Mel is facing a lot of difficulties at school. His intelligence and kind behavior had always brought good luck to him in the past.
But this school year was different. The new admission in the class wasn’t impressed by the light mood Mel was bringing to the class. So, he wanted to dim it with his aggression and verbal assault.
Mel used to spend most of his day at school distraught and confused. But after his parents empowered him to confront the bully and tell the teacher about the issue, this problem improved a lot.
Now consider Julie who is facing similar jealousy-based bullying. The only difference in the two cases is Julie’s bully was her own brother.
Her days at school were enjoyable. But she dreaded going home. When she told her mother about the physical assaults, her mother dismissed this behavior as usual friction among siblings. Her father, however, was concerned and wanted her and her mother to recognize the gravity of the situation. Julie is confused. She doesn’t know who she should blame for her uncomfortable feelings around her brother. Her father’s one-sided interventions are also proving to be useless. And her mother is also taking this issue personally, thinking that Julie is exaggerating the issue.
Sibling Bullying is Worse than Peer-to-Peer Bullying
Because of the attached confusion, drama, and priorities from parents, sibling bullying is way more complicated than school bullying.
Julie’s is the simplest case in which Julie is at least compelled to question her relationship with her brother. Most children lack this guidance from their parents and end up taking this bullying personally. In the end, these internalized feelings severely harm their self-esteem.
Let’s learn different emotions that create the emotional persona of a bullying victim.
This is the basic emotion that supports and elongates the victimization process. When victims are faced with bullying scenarios, they feel threatened because of the physical, verbal, and emotional attack they face.
The assault not only physically hurts but also creates anticipation of future recurrence of the vent. This anticipation creates an aura of dread as soon as the bully comes nearby the victim. This dread is short-lived for school bullying or playground bullying.
But if this dread lives in the victim’s domestic life, it surrounds their entire life. It affects their complete emotional makeup and makes fealings of fear their resting emotional state.
This is the second major reaction to bullying. The victim feels vulnerable. By making them laughing stock, the bully highlights their weakness and invites others to use the victim as a waste bin for their emotions.
Sibling bullying affects all circles of the victim’s life. It can impact the victim’s familial gatherings, social life, relationship with parents, studies, and extra-curricular activities.
In extreme events, it can lead to the social anxiety of the victim. They may feel left out and useless. Again, their self-esteem will take the worst hit.
This emotion prevails in almost all shapes of bullying. Victims feel helpless in dealing with this situation. However, because more often than not, they get support from home, and teachers or other authority figures, against bullying outside the home, these feelings of helplessness remain mild.
Sibling bullying, on the other hand, brings confusion and misunderstanding. Because of its subtlety and parents’ blind trust towards their children, this bullying often goes unnoticed.
Victim siblings either don’t get heard or if they do the intervention is too little too late.
This lack, or inadequacy, of intervention causes the victims to feel a loss of control over the situation. Unfortunately, most victims of sibling bullying remain at this stage for most of their childhood.
This emotion persists in only a few forms of bullying, namely teacher bullying, parent bullying, and sibling bullying.
Victims of these types of bullying often question their negative feelings towards the bully and the latter’s aggression.
This confusion especially escalates because of emotional manipulation from bullies themselves or other actors in society who try to normalize this behavior. The most unfortunate consequence of this confusion manifests in the form of the victim’s unhealthy attachment to this behavior. They start believing that this is a healthy way of dealing with people. Or they may start believing that they deserve this treatment because of some invisible flaws in them.
Worthlessness often accompanies the confusion that surrounds bullying.
Both of these feelings are more prominent in domestic bullying than in bullying in other settings.
The reason is simple, bullying in the domestic setting is more overlooked than it is in other situations. Another reason is the innocence of children who are easily impressionable and believe what their parents and other authority figures tell them to believe.
So, when a close relationship, a sibling, tells the victim that they are useless again and again, they take only a little time before believing their allegations.
This feeling gets further support from muted parents and other elders who dismiss this bullying as widespread, often healthy, rivalry among siblings.
Another unfortunate fate of these kids is their lost childhood. Because of abandonment from parents, who believe that victim’s complaints are nothing more than just tactics to gain attention, these children feel that they are unworthy of love and affection.
This internalization of the feeling of abandonment remains with them for a major part of their childhood. And it often grows to become self-loathe in their adult lives.
The victims of sibling bullying have a lot more intense and deep emotional wounds than victims of other forms of bullying, especially if other forms of bullying aren’t coming from parents or teachers. These scars are long-lasting and often never heal.
But their longevity is not the biggest issue for these kids. The biggest aftermath for these kids comes from the fact that the lies bullies tell them during their childhood become their truths. They believe these truths and make sure that these biased opinions control a major part of their lives.
Consequences are depression, anxiety, and anti-social tendencies.