More threads by pip



I moved to the Netherlands a year ago in an attempt to get away from all the things that were making me depressed. Specifically my ex boyfriend and my abusive parents. I think the ex was abusive too, not really physically or anything. He was just...manipulative and only really gave anything when he thought he could get something he wanted back. After the breakup I learned that I was just part of a pattern...all his other girlfriends were just as screwed up as I was when we met. But I digress...

In October, I took a huge step forward (or maybe backward). I went to visit my parents. I don't really know what I was thinking. They were abusive verbally, physically and well...etc. I went I think, because my little sister asked me too. She still lives there, mostly because every out she's been given she's thrown away.

It really surprised me to see them. My stepdad had popped so many pills he was a drooling idiot, and my mum was as out of it as usual. My little sister had developed an interesting way of dealing with everything: She ignored everything they said. She even resorted to violence when someone tried to stop her from going out or something. I saw sort of a reversal in roles: the people who used to abuse us, were now being abused by my little sister. She'd yell and call them names, and at the end of the day, she owned them.

Whenever I'd try to talk to her about anything, she'd yell at me, accuse me of betraying her and leaving her alone there--she does have a point. I did end up abandoning her. But our relationship was never that strong, and while I did leave her, I did so after I'd called C.A.S. and was assured that she would be taken care of and would be safe. I had to leave, before my parents found out it was me that called.

Even after I left, I made sure she knew where I was and how to reach me. I bought her a mobile telephone so she could call me any time. I got my driver's license so that I could go pick her up any time. I found friends who could act as safehouses if she ever needed to run away, and I put aside enough money for her for rent, busfare, whatever she needed.

But I think I'm rambling. I'm really asking how I should react to this, because I'm really not very sure.
Re: going back...

Pip, I don't have an experts oppinion on this at all, but was thinking that its probably not directed at you. If she has addapted to yelling and violence to protect herself against your parents, she has probably addopted the behaviour to protect herself against all things that she feels could hurt her. How old is she?


She's 16.

I know it isn't really directed at me, I mean, she's 16, she's going through her own teenage hell, but what worries me most is that she's slipped so easily into the same cycle. Both my parents are considered disabled now, and my sister sort of...I really don't know how to explain it. Just, she treats them like garbage (and I personally believe they don't deserve much more), but she says some of the same things that my stepdad used to say, and launches into violence at similar non-sensical triggers, and it's directed at everyone -- her friends, classmates, teachers, parents....even the police.

I'm worried she might be continuing the cycle in her own way.
how would she react do you think to broaching therapy with her?

She may not be in the mood to hear, because it can sound like you'd be telling her that you think that there is a problem with her, but if you explained that what she went through living with your parents (and you can even respectfully refer to them, because it would remove some of the stigma that therapy is about 'blame') may have caused her some trauma....

whats a calmer word for trauma? And suggest that she may feel some joy at ranting to a professional that could help her sort through her feelings and thoughts?
I don't think that what she is going through should be ignored though, as it will probably get alot worse for her if left alone. I'm not meaning to scare btw, just worried.

What do others think about this situation?
btw, I comend you and your strength in getting yourself through what you did. I hope you had help around you to help you get through it too.
i'm not sure on how to best approach the situation with your sister, but one thought might be for you to talk to a licensed therapist yourself maybe? he/she would be able to advise you properly having had training in dealing with these sorts of things. you could explain in more detail what's going on, what her behaviour is like, and how you could best approach her to get her to accept help.


It's hard because I don't live in the same country as her. I really don't even want too. I think I'm trapped in that I either help her and screw myself, or help myself and screw her. I really don't want it to be a case of the blind leading the blind.

I know she's incredibly confused and hurt by my actions mostly and doesn't know what she should feel about me. When I do speak to her she says she wants a big sister, but when I give her (solicited) advice she doesn't agree with, she tells me to buzz off. I'm not allowed (by her) to say a single thing about my parents and what happened in the past -- she's convinced herself that it wasn't real which in itself is messing with me.

I started her a book of letters that comes quite heavily from the journals I've written since I was a kid. Just all the different things I've come across and how I learned to deal with them and how they ended up affecting me. I'm keeping it about me, even though I'm choosing the issues that seem more relevant to her, in hopes that maybe she'll see me as an ally, or as someone who has been in the same situation or something. Maybe then I'd be able to help her.

She refuses to see a professional, she thinks psychs screwed up our family.
She refuses to see a professional, she thinks psychs screwed up our family.
in a sense they did, because your parents kept choosing the ones that they approved of - the ones that helped them continue to maintain the status quo. as you said, as soon as they didn't like what someone was telling her, they got her a new therapist.

is there any way she would want to go over to the netherlands to live with you? i do not know if this is something you would want as i do realize that puts a huge amount of responsibility on you and you would effectively have to be her surrogate mom. it would certainly be incredibly difficult. however, the reason i suggest this is because 1) that way she gets away from your parents 2) that way over time you can show her you are there for her - and eventually she might be more open to seeing a professional.

have you tried having a heart to heart with her and told her you love her and you really want to help? or is this something she isn't open to? have you acknowledged to her that you know she's been very hurt by your actions? i do not know what would reach her but maybe for now if you focus on your relationship to try and heal that, you may afterwards be able to discuss the other issues a bit more easily.

the other thought, maybe less extreme, would it be possible for her to come visit you for a month?
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