Life Advice



Abuse survivor went through it and is now over it

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I come from a family of four kids.

Mother was bipolar and kept the four of us at each other's throats through manipulation. It took me years to repair my relationships with my two brothers, and our sister passed, refusing any attempts at reconciliation with her siblings.

Mother died several years ago, and my two brothers and I had fairly good communication.

Then when our father died, the eldest brother, who was physically abusive to us when we were younger and very much verbally abusive as adults, emotionally attacked me and refused to allow the younger brother to attend the funeral.

Now, my younger brother has also alienated me, even though I took his side during that skirmish.

Since Father's death, Big Brother continues to invite me to his family events, and my family wants me to put his past meanness aside and spend time in his home.


I am now in my 60s and do not wish to be demeaned by him. He just cannot help himself.

He is basically saying that I just need to get over it, but I AM over it, and I do not wish to be exposed to his mean-spirited attacks any longer.

I would rather my immediate family visit him (if they wish), without me.

I hate it that my family is so fractured, but I have no control over any of this.


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