Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.
~ Gene Hackman
In any dysfunctional / toxic families, siblings are discouraged to support and get close to each other. This is one of the tactic toxic parents used to manipulate each other kid according to their own wishes. It’s a huge force when siblings united together, such dynamic scares narcissistic parents a lot because it’s difficult to brainwash or restrain.
Split us up
Though I was young, but still sensed my narcissistic father felt uncomfortable whenever he spotted us played together, had fun or laugh around. At first, I thought it’s just because our noises but later I found his prohibition were became more and more unpersuasive. He did it on purpose to separate us from each other. My life was like “walking on the eggshells” whenever he’s home because I was so scared to speak to my sisters. Even when I tried to have conversation with my sisters, they ignored me as they knew father hate to see I have good relationship with them. It’s a reason I pick up reading as my hobby as the house was completely quiet like a ghost house. I was very lonely.
Competition was encouraged
Besides, he tactfully encourage us compete with each other continuously. I am not talking about how great marks we got from schools, or how nice we behaved. In fact, my father never cherish my success and efforts in any aspects, instead, he continuously put me down sarcastically, for example, he persuaded me to abandon further education even I got a remarkable school results, it’s one of the terrible mistakes I made but I trust him at that age; and when I tried to get a nice job, he teased me for being too greedy and unrealistic. I learned keep all my plans for my own secrets as I tied of hearing his hurtful comments. I was so confused as I thought parents always happy to see their kids have a better education, career and life. But I was wrong, at least not in my home.
The only thing he concerns is his ego, he cares a lot whether people praise him or not. He loves to comment in front of us to compare who is more obedient and respect him. He made it very clear if anyone of us want benefits / gifts, especially his love and attention, that person must do whatever he say. This is his interpretation of devotion to him and the family. He never think I’m a human who has my own mind, wishes and dreams etc.
Stab another in the back
Since he discouraged us to have our social life outside home. Undoubtedly he became the top and ONLY person that my sisters rely on for love, care, attention and survival. Life at home was kind of like school bully situation, many dramas were running from time to time. I got to be concussions about my behaviors and speeches as these could become my own traps. My sister not only teased on my appearance, clothes and act of behaviors, but also love to grab any opportunities to grab my flaws and show to parents, thus they can be praised.
Since early age, I knew I can’t trust them as I believe when situation allowed, they would sell me out. Whenever I was in trouble, they will joined together to tease / verbally abused me, laugh and jumped around to show their happiness to see me failed. I learned to hide my record cards, change another ugly dress before I back home or don’t show my happiness / luck for avoiding potential troubles. It’s no longer a family I feel safe with freedom.
Of course it’s my narcissistic father’s fault to set up this toxic system, which eventually ruin our relationships.
But at the same time, I do believe every person have a choice to respond good or bad. We are very different from animals because we have moral standards and wisdom right? Thus, I trust my sisters do have their own responsibilities, Hitler is evil, but if there’s nobody support him or execute his evil thoughts, the tragedy will never become the true. I would say my abusive father is the primary cause of this dysfunctional system, but the reactions of my sisters supports / encourage the phenomenon,put gasoline to fire to make it worse.
For me, no matter how many abusive incidents I got from this family, I never feel comfortable to do the same, as like as my sisters did to me. I feel immoral to betray or step over another person to seek love and attention.
It’s one of my shame to tell people that I don’t connected much emotionally to my siblings. I don’t talk about my relationship with parents and siblings, all are under the blankets. There’s a myth and pressure from society that siblings are always nice to each other as these are people who are blood related, but the truth I experienced – these are people who kept on sell me out for their benefits, not the fellows I can trust.
When I did good things, they took advantages by claiming it’s their efforts then took the compliments; but when things goes wrong, whether it’s my fault or not, they will transfer the blame to me. I was treated as a “scapegoat”.
Sibling relationships only brought me anxious and headaches. This kind of so-called sibling relationship hurt me a lot!
Photo credit : Pixabay – Sathyatripodi