I am the oldest of three sisters. I'm about 4 years older than the middle sister and 14 years older than the baby sister (can you say "oops!"?). Middle sis and I got along famously until at some point during my puberty. I think it was before baby sis came along, but maybe after my parents initially separated (getting back together on at least one occasion to create baby sis).

Anyway, at some point middle sis' very existence annoyed the ever loving hell out of me and I started beating the crap out of her. My parents didn't do anything because we were smart enough to do it when they weren't around (I was supposed to be babysitting her - ha!). Also, middle sis didn't tell on me because, as she says now, I had as much dirt on her as she did on me.

I did things like smack her, push and shove her, and once I sat on top of her and strangled her. To this day she claims she was turning blue, but I didn't do it in front of a mirror so I contest that point because there's no way she could have known she was turning blue.

When baby sis got old enough to talk, the jig was up because she ratted us out and she wasn't old enough to emotionally blackmail. But the relationship didn't improve until I moved out of the house.

I did pick on baby sis some too, I remember getting yelled at by my mom "You're 20, she's 6!", but nothing physically violent and I don't think emotionally abusive either. Just teasing. I remember pointing my finger just to the left or right of her eye, not touching her, and making weird noises.

Fortunately, none of this affected our adult relationships and we are now each others' best friends and laugh about our younger years. I think poor baby sis does still get ganged up on by middle sis and I, but now the abuse comes in the form of unsolicited advise. Well, and I still sometimes do the pointing finger thing too. :)

Nevertheless, I used to investigate child abuse and neglect and I do absolutely believe, no KNOW, that true abuse, the type that can permanently damage a person's psyche, does happen. I think more education is needed for parents to know what is "normal" and what is abusive. "Normal" shouldn't tolerated, but abusive needs to be addressed by a professional.