Life Advice



Ask Amy: Childhood abuse affects sibling relationship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I was raised in a very abusive environment.

The abuse was very seriously physical on my dad's side, and mentally and emotionally on my mom's.

I left home at 17. I limited my interactions with both sides thereafter.

There were several times over my young adult life that horrible things were said by both parents that caused me to completely stop interacting with them. Nobody even contacted me when they died.

There are other siblings involved. They seem to have just accepted the abuse, and continue to interact with one stepparent who dished out a lot of it.

One sibling can't understand why I won't have a relationship with this person and there is a lot of underlying anger toward me because of this.


I've been in therapy for years now.

How can I make that sibling understand?

– Wounded

Dear Wounded: Your therapy can address your need to make this sibling understand why you are keeping your distance from family members who have hurt you.


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