Healing from childhood neglect & abuse is a very long process. When I started therapy at the age of 16, I never would have thought that I’d still be healing at 33. The difference of now and then is that I have matured, become more self aware and have learned a lot more about the depth of my parents’ abuse and now know about npd. I have also found very useful resources on websites about growing up with a disabled sibling and how much that can also affect you. One of the most useful websites I came across was the one below:
It lists all the problems that adult siblings deal with and all the feelings that a child sibling experiences. When I came across this website I cried with relief and validation. Even though my mum had started her own special needs charity for my brother and other special needs children like him, she had never sat down with me when I was a child and asked me how I felt about my brother. I mean I had arguments with my brother and had so much frustration and cried many times. My mum tried to comfort me but wasn’t able to validate my feelings. Instead I had to sweep it under the carpet and be strong as my brother was the vulnerable one that needed more attention. It is still this way and always will be. I never got to grieve the loss of a ‘normal’ brother. I am finally also doing that now in my healing. Each member of my family needs to be grieved. This is such tough work! Luckily now, I no longer need my mum or dad’s validation. I have a good relationship with my brother, even though I will always wonder what it would have been like to have a normal brother, who would look out for me, comfort me and be a good friend. Despite this, I am happy I have a brother. He has taught me patience, kindness for those with special needs and of course empathy.