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My sister is almost 4 years older than me. As a child, she lived to control, intimidate, bully, belittle, and shame me. She was always hyper critical of every move I made.I can't even articulate what sibling abuse has done to me. I have lived my entire life feeling like a stupid, fat, ugly, lazy, good for nothing, loser... all because my older sister told me that is what I was. It wasn't just verbal. She was constantly starting physical fights with me. I would always fight back, in fear that I would get in trouble if I didn't. (I was taught by my dad to "take my part" and if he ever heard of me backing down from anyone I'd had it. How screwed up is that?) She stopped treating me that way years ago, but I picked up right where she stopped. My internal dialog is a constant replay of the words I heard as a child. I even became the aggressor at one point. Bullying, and intimidating others... really because of fear. Anyway, now that I know that this was sibling abuse, how do I change the effects it has had on me? I constantly put myself down, doubt my abilities, and take everything way too personally. My self esteem is low. I have depression/anxiety, and have a family history of depression. (My father and uncle both comitted suicide.)I forgive her for the way she treated me because I really don't think she knew what it was doing to me long term. I just can't seem to get past these feelings of inadequacy.
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