Other Witnessing extreme traumatic illness as a child

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I was horrible to my sister, we used to be physically violent towards eachother when I was a kid and when she was aswell. It started with a stutter and I didn't believe her and thought she was doing it for attention. I was a kid and didn't know any better. She would have panic attacks and started self harming but I was only 12 so I didn't understand what was going on.

She slowly stopped being able to speak properly, slurring her words. It slowly turned into just wailing sounds and we couldn't understand her anymore. While this was going on, she was slowly going paralysed. I was there when her legs stopped working, she dropped on our bathroom floor. She tried talking to us but we didn't understand, we sat for 3 hours using hand signs trying to figure out. My parents was crying, I was crying. She was just trying to tell us she loved us. I then had to help drag her body to her bed where she cried and wailed at the fact she was losing control of her body. Her life became the dialogue of "toilet" and "food" in hand signs.

The stress slowly ate at her brain and it was so traumatic she had full memory loss and was essentially labotomised. Her paralysis continued until she was locked in paralysed. I had to drag her body each day to go to the toilet and to hold her body up in the shower.

No one told us what was wrong with her, I just loved each day thinking she was slowly going to die.

I didn't know how to process what I saw, I didn't tell anyone my experiences. It would just come out as me screaming and crying till I just locked up all my emotions away and became a robot.

I cry every night seeing remembering her wails and the fact she used to be my sister who I played with and had my childhood memories with. What she went through was so traumatic, seeing it first hand, death would have been merciful.

She now lives with an IQ of 60 and can't function by herself. She doesn't remember what happened to her or that she is disabled. She is now what you would consider low functioning autistic.

I feel so different to people and feel so depressed everyday trying to find happiness. But it gets so hard. There are no support groups for the illness she has. I get flashbacks nearly everyday. I hurt living.


@Pirate_Frog, welcome to the forum. I hope you have a therapist you can work with to help you process the grief and trauma you have experienced. My heart goes out to you and your sister.


I'm so sorry @Pirate_Frog . I hope you can forgive yourself for your feelings toward your sister and how you treated her in the past. So much grief and trauma you've gone through. Is she walking now? Are you still living with her? Let yourself cry every night. Let yourself feel all this. You lost a lot. You lost freedoms and joy. Eventually, with time you will begin to heal around all that happened. We never really "heal" but learn to live with the losses. You do deserve happiness and some joy. Allow yourself some joy when it comes. Allow your grief to express itself. I think there are support groups for siblings of children with intense illnesses. I hope you find one. You may reach out to a local children's hospital for such groups and ask the facilitator if they know of one for older adults who went through this. How old are you now, how old is your sister now?


Everyone lives and learns and I practice forgiveness as much as I can. That's actually what my story was like too, the cross section between Autism and PTSD can be extremely physically harmful and interestingly enough mine was violence too so this was even eye opening to read. I also when it's triggered semi-verbal and lose control over my voice, sometimes I'll use sign language a bit more. When that happens my body gets very dysregulated too all over, especially my motor issues. I find life isn't about finding happiness as much as it about finding peace and some kind of stability in the mess we're all in. It's great to be happy but even like negative emotional states it passes over and thatt in general is something key to understand to help you find that peace. I can have a day where I feel sad for example over something but as long as I keep myself otherwise in a comfortable place I can just sit with it, feel it and its contents, and let it pass. Everything is a temporary state, nothing ever stays the same but we control variables of it.
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