This is true.In my case my father put my older sister in charge and neglected parenting me himself.But he also turned her against me by claiming himself the ‘victim’.She was emotionally brutal.
” Vernon R. Wiehe explored the reasons why siblings hurt each other. Sibling abuse may stem from a desire to control another person in order to take advantage of that person. The sibling in control typically does not know how to empathize (be aware and sensitive to the feelings of others). Wiehe noted that the reason most often given for sibling abuse is that an older sibling has been put in charge of younger siblings. Some parents may expect too much from older children, relegating parental responsibilities to them. Some children are too young to assume a parental role and may take out their frustration on younger siblings. Even if an older brother or sister is capable of babysitting their younger siblings, they lack the knowledge or skills to parent.”

I was diagnosed with PTSD and i suffered severe eating disorders that put my life on hold for 14 years.Alone with no help at all and my abusive sister also was very angry at me and prompted more emotional and verbal abuse from her for having those>Her emotional abuse drove me to try to commit suicide.I struggle now with PTSD every day.

Effects of Sibling Abuse

In What Parents Need to Know about Sibling Abuse, Wiehe enumerated the  effects of sibling abuse based on his interviews with survivors of such  abuse:

  • Poor self-esteem—Survivors indicated feelings of worthlessness and a lack of  self-confidence. Those who experienced sexual abuse felt guilt and shame for  their childhood victimization.
  • Problems in relationships with the opposite sex—Women who had been sexually  abused by their brothers reported problems with forming intimate relationships  with men. They were suspicious and distrustful of men. Some had never married.  Many continued to blame themselves for not having stopped the abuse.
  • Difficulty with interpersonal relationships—Some survivors said they tried  too hard to please others. Although they feared expressing anger and feared  others’ anger, they constantly lived with rage toward the sibling-perpetrators  and their parents who responded inappropriately to the abuse.
  • Revictimization—Because of their low self-esteem, survivors were likely to  put themselves in a position of abuse as adults.
  • Eating disorders, alcoholism, and drug abuse.
  • Depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—Some survivors  experienced severe depression to the point of contemplating and attempting  suicide. Survivors reported PTSD symptoms, including anxiety attacks and  reliving the experience of the abuse.
  • More on emotional abuse good link.

Effects of Emotional Abuse


The effects of emotional abuse are often silent. Verbal and psychological wounds leave a child forever changed. Emotional abuse is often overlooked, unnoticed or confused with other causes.

Emotional child abuse attacks a child’s self-concept. The child comes to see him or herself as unworthy of love and affection.

The wounds of maltreatment, in children who are shamed, I can’t believe you embarrassed me like this!,” humiliated,  “You idiot!,” terrorized, “You’re really gonna get it now!” or rejected, “Go to your room!” are as equally significant, although seemingly invisible and harder to recognize or quantify than the wounds of the worst physical and sexual abuse.

An infant who is being deprived of emotional nurturing, connection and bonding through close contact, even though physically well cared for, can fail to thrive.

Less severe forms of early emotional deprivation still can produce drastic effects of emotional abuse such as babies who grow into anxious and insecure children who are slow to develop and who may fail to develop a strong sense of  self-esteem.

Other types of abuse are usually noticed because marks or other physical evidence is left, however, signs of emotional abuse can be very hard to define.

In some instances, the effects of emotional abuse are so subtle that an emotionally mistreated child may show no outward signs of abuse. For this reason, emotional abuse is the most difficult form of child maltreatment to identify and stop.

This type of abuse leaves hidden scars that manifest themselves in numerous ways.

Insecurity, poor self-esteem, destructive behavior, angry acts such as fire setting or cruelty to animals, withdrawal, poor development of basic skills, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide and difficulty forming relationships can all be possible results of emotional abuse.


Emotional child abuse can result in other more serious psychological and/or behavioral problems. These include depression, lack of attachment or emotional bond to a parent or guardian, low cognitive ability and educational achievement and poor social skills.

One study which followed emotionally abused children in infancy and then again during their preschool years consistently found them to be “angry, uncooperative and unattached to their primary caregiver.” These children more often also lacked creativity, persistence and enthusiasm.

The effects of emotional abuse in children who experience rejection demonstrate that they are more likely than accepted children to exhibit hostility, aggressive or passive-aggressive behavior, to be extremely dependent, to have negative opinions of themselves and their abilities, to be emotionally unstable or unresponsive, and to have a negative perception of the world around them.

Parental verbal aggression (e.g., yelling, insulting) or symbolic aggression (e.g., slamming a door, giving the silent treatment) toward children can have serious consequences.

Children who witness abuse in relationships or emotional spousal abuse demonstrate higher rates of physical aggressiveness, delinquency and interpersonal problems than other children. Children whose parents are additionally physically abusive are even more likely to experience such difficulties.

Children who see or hear their mothers being abused are victims of emotional abuse.

Growing up in such an environment is terrifying and severely affects a child’s psychological and social development. Male children may learn to model violent behavior while female children may learn that being abused is a normal part of relationships. This contributes to the intergenerational cycle of violence.

The consequences of emotional child abuse can be serious and long-term. Emotionally abused children may experience a lifelong  pattern of depression, estrangement, anxiety, low self-esteem, inappropriate or troubled relationships, or a lack of empathy.

As teenagers, they find it difficult to trust, participate in and achieve happiness in relationships, and resolve the complex feelings left over from their childhoods.    As adults, they may have trouble recognizing and appreciating the needs and feelings of their own children and emotionally abuse them as well.