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Family Loyalty

Thread starter #1
My sister was sexually abused by my former stepfather for years. My mother failed her in a huge way and fails to recognize the seriousness of multiple years of sexual abuse to this day. If she really means to insult me, she will tell me that I am acting like my sister when I am angry.

Some-fifteen years ago, my mother sat on my couch in tears, apologizing to me for my stepfather's abuse, for abandoning me, etc. I forgave her. But she never apologized to my sister and they don't have a relationship.

Frankly, sometimes I feel guilty for having a peaceful relationship with my mother while my sister does not. I have told my mother how I feel about the way she discusses my sister's abuse - that I disagree that my sister is making some big deal of nothing and also made clear that even I felt that my mother had favored me over my sister, carefully explaining that all my medical issues meant I necessarily got more attention, at the very least. She disagrees.

Sometimes I think the loyalty for my sister is rooted in us surviving the abuse together - other times I just think it's because my mom is being an insensitive asshole and I don't like that in a human being.

Has anyone else had family loyalty issues like this? Any thoughts?
I'm sorry you've gone through that, it's tough. I haven't had the same experience but I've had family issues. My dad was an abusive and violent alcoholic and even though he's stopped drinking I don't want to see him. My mom(who I now have a pretty good relationship with) told me that he knows I don't want anything to do with him. I have one brother older by 5 years and he knows that i had a massive heart attack 7 days ago. I nearly died, but I haven't even had a text from him asking if I'm alright. f*cked up family shit. I don't even expect it to get better anymore. I just accept the fact that they're dumbass assholes that are incapable of caring.


My story is the opposite of yours. I was like your sister. But I do have to pile praise on you for caring that your sister is left out. My sister did not care one way or the other.

I hope your sister knows how much you love her and that you would do anything to change the dynamics. Just let her know YOU are loyal to her. It will make a lot of difference in your sister's life.


I do not know if you are in trauma therapy or family therapy but your post screams you have greatly suffered in narcissistic abuse by your mother.

I do not want to be hyperbole about it but it seems there are great traits in your mother that were passed to you maybe even including being emphatic and caring about your sister but your mother also passed her guilt for you to carry one like a nice little soldier. Why worry when russelsue can carry family trauma on his shoulders.

I am very sorry you have experienced this and still carrying the torch. The only mature royalty is to self-respect and self love and extending same to others whom you admire but never at your own expense. You do not need to become hard on your mother - this could be a generational trauma as well but you can try to learn how to differentiate from your mother and be your own person who can see her clearly and build both relationships (mother and sister) separately just as you would with two friends or a friend and a partner. They do not all have to be zero sum game but different and treated separate. It is obvious your sister was abused and your mother feels guilty but is choosing not to acknowledge or take in (in order probably to ease her pain) and that you also witnessed this abuse by being there or hearing about and this has its own toll on you as a family member and human.

Setting boundary with your mother may save you a lot of money and pain down the road. At the end, you may not be fully aware (or maybe you did not include in the post) but as your mother can be that detached from your sister's abuse, she probably is similarly detached similar abuses against you (whether they were as grave as your sister, only you would know).
Thread starter #5
I am in trauma therapy. Who knows if we will ever get to this particular dynamic, though: I've been in therapy for 15 years.

My mother has herself isolated on 60 acres, off-grid, where she only needs to emerge occasionally to gather food. Her guilt and fear of the world is enormous for a person who was never diagnosed with a mental illness.

My mother seems like if she were younger she would identify as transgender: she wears men's clothes, has very short hair and grew up wanting to be a boy. She's also 64 and splits wood by hand with a splitting maul. She is married. My sister is beautiful and wanted to be a girl but I emerged with a facial deformity. My mother was extremely empathetic to me and seemed to be jealous of my sister. Even the molestation seemed to cause anger and jealousy - like she wasn't able to be the woman my sister was - not pretty enough, not feminine enough. She has similar problems with women in general but didn't with me because I basically grew up sexless on account of being deformed. I had moved out and away by the time I had a real good reconstructive surgery, so she never had to see me with boyfriends, me wearing makeup or dresses, etc.

Out of the womb, I was my mother's counselor. My sister remembers it well and resented it because nothing Jennifer said was taken seriously but I was actually looked to for advice. Recently, my mother made a statement to me utterly clarifying that I was her favorite. Yeah, we knew.

Anyway, she lives as she does because she has a lot of guilt and can't handle any reminders as far as I can tell. She has no friends. I moved away from that area just last year. What I have found is that she doesn't at all seem that she wants to stay in contact with me.

My sister thinks my mother has autism. My oldest nephew also has it. She just seems to be missing some very vital skills for dealing with others - my grandparents housed us until my sister was 14 and year later my mother kicked her out, so I am not sure she was ever able to handle the level of responsibility she ended up with.

Thanks. I didn't mean for this to get so long. I have been trying to unravel some things as of late because my husband and I are planning on looking to buy a home in the next year or two and I was thinking I should have room for my mother but I am starting to stare boldly into what they might do to me and my marriage. We have plenty of time to figure things out. I imagine but there's a lot to consider over the next few years.
Thread starter #6
I won't lie: it's been a rocky road for my sister and I. We have gone without talking for years on end more than once. We have talked about a LOT and I hope those days are behind us now. She knows how I feel about her and what has gone on. Even the teenage stint of her being violent toward me has been dealt with. We are both in therapy now and no doubt that helps.

I have made it very clear that I am on her side when it comes to what has gone on in our family.

I am sorry you haven't had your sister's support. Jennifer is my only sister, so there's only been that one dynamic but it's complicated and it's taken a lot of work on both of our parts. If one of chose to throw in the towel on the work part, we could not get along.

I get really mad at my mom at times for what she has done to my sister. I don't like taking sides but being in the middle sucks and that is where I have been with these two all my life. I may just be tired.

Thanks 🙂
I was my mom's fav. I was sexually abused by my dad's dad. (I refuse to call him my grandfather, he does not deserve that title.) I believe my sister was sexually abused also, but she doesn't remember it. She shows all the signs.

She didn't get along well with my mom throughout our childhood. She had huge arguments with mom all through her teen years. My dad would have to solve them.

I believe that my mom rescued me from dad's dad. She discovered it when I was six. My sister would have been ten then. It's probable that since my sis suffered far longer than I did, that mom felt more guilty towards her than me. It's just an educated guess.

These thoughts are just suppositions of mine, but your original post here reminded me of them.
Thread starter #9
I am sorry. That's got to be hard to deal with.

I have also shown signs of having been molested but not like my sister. She's had a very rough time that way. I've wondered about myself but also suspect that if I had been molested, it wasn't by my stepfather. He had a sick game going where my sister, the pretty one, deserved to be the object of sexual desire. But since I was "disgusting" I did not. These messages and seeing my sister be molested caused plenty of damage to me in the sex department all on it's own, anyway.
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