I was bullied a lot whilst I was younger, both inside and outside the home. I used to look at other families and wish that my own was like theirs. I wished for mums like theirs and a mum that loved me. I wished for siblings I didn’t have to compete or fight with. I lived with my mum, stepdad and two younger brothers, my brothers bullied me a lot, sibling abuse was both verbally and physically, they said horrible things and did horrible things to me but they were never told off, more so encouraged, because my mum and stepdad were just as bad.
My brothers would spit in my food or add loads of salt to it and I would be made to eat it. They would hit me and I would have to take it. I did hit back when my mum and stepdad were not looking but they always told me off and they would always be believed no matter how many times I denied it. They would break my things, kick at me as I ate and just be as mean as they could be.
My mother didn’t hep me
Mum used to be awful. I lived in my bedroom and she only allowed me out to eat, do the pots or clean. We lived in a five-bedroom house, and it was my job to clean it from top to bottom, mum used to go round and run her finger along the surfaces and if there was even a bit of dust, I got a smack and had to do it again. I also had to wash, dry and put away everybody’s dishes, even if I hadn’t used them.
I wasn’t allowed to sit on a chair at the dinner table but had to kneel on the floor next to it. I was only allowed to chew my mouthfuls of food ten times before I had to swallow it. I wasn’t allowed to blow my runny nose at the table or sniff the runs up. I was made to just let it run down my face.
I stayed home while they all went off to the cinemas, I didn’t watch tv, I wasn’t allowed to play out with the few friends I had. My brothers could. I got a lot of kicks, slaps and punches, even just for stupid things, from everyone in the house. When it was my mum or stepdad hurting me, it was always anywhere on the body but my face, as nobody could see it then.
My brothers ruined my childhood
I never knew why I was different to the other two but I obviously was. I’d have done anything to just fit in and feel loved. The list of things could go on and on, but it’s too much to put here. I ran away from home several times, but always got brought back.
At 16, I left again. Mum made me gave her an address that I would be going to. I did give her an address, but it was only that of a friend. Then I packed my stuff and left. I went and sat by the river, wishing I had the guts to jump in and just end it all. But I didn’t.
That all stopped over ten years ago now and you know what’s happened between then and now? I forgave them and I welcomed them back into my life, with the exception of my eldest brother. I’ve since lived with them for a while, been on holiday with them but I can’t pretend I’ve forgotten. I won’t ever forget. But I’ve managed to deal with what they did to me and move on.
They know I will never stand for any of that again. I wrote to my mum when I was about to get married, and I told her I wanted to sort things out because I wanted my mum to be there when I got married and we sorted things from there. My stepdad was already off the scene by then. I made up with my youngest brother about a year after.
The relationships I have with them are still not the same as the family relationships I had longed for, as a child, there’s still a little tension and still a hint of awkwardness, but we are getting there.
I think it has had some effect on the way I am with my daughter, for example, if I tell her off and she gets really upset, I do have to admit, I back down a lot because I was once a little girl, crying, desperate for my mummy’s cuddle. I know the situations are completely different, but it’s just the way it turned me.
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