Stories from My Life: How Sibling Relationships Affect our Self-Worth.

Whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction and Quantum Physics where like attracts like there is something to be said about what we believe about ourselves we attract. Growing up with two older brothers and being the only girl there were times when I believed I was special and treated differently and there were times when I felt victimized and bullied, although it wasn’t until later in life that I would truly understand the long term effects of that treatment.

I write this story not to denigrate my brother for he is the only person that can judge himself, but to explain how the treatment I received when I was young had a lasting effect on me that subconsciously influenced the choices I made when it came to relationships.

There were only two years separating my brother and I in age so there were many times that we would be on holidays from school together. You would expect that that simple fact would create a close relationship between us and in some respects that was, in fact, the case. However, there are some aspects of that relationship that instilled in me the belief that males in my life who are supposed to care about me will treat me like crap.

We were educated in the Catholic school system at a time when corporal punishment was accepted, and the nuns and Christian brothers were at their most brutal in many respects. Luckily, we were not victims of any sexual abuse as others were and to be honest I never experienced the brutality that others did but I was very wary not to break the rules. My brother was bullied at school by other students and would lash out which would bring down the wrath of the teachers and the cane across the knuckles or fingertips on a cold morning.

As a consequence, my brother, who was a lot bigger than me, became a bit of a bully towards me always making me do what he wanted and often teasing and tormenting me to the point I would try to retaliate with no success, that is until I reached my teens. There are a couple of occasions, possibly the last ones I can recall, where, because I had refused to do what he had ordered me to do he had used whatever he could lay his hands on in that moment and hit me on the arm. However, both of those times, in shock and with adrenalin pumping I erupted and seeing the anger in my eyes he ran for his life. Before he was able to escape into his room, I was able to grab whatever was nearest and throw it at him, both times he was lucky he was not hit as he surely would have ended up in hospital. On both occasions when the incidents were explained to our parents it was him who got into trouble and not me, which he could never understand.

Now I am not proud of those instances but as I grew older and began dating, I began attracting men that only treated me badly, similar to what my brother had done as we were growing. Only in the last two years after surviving domestic violence that almost cost me my life and spending much time with counsellors and spiritual teachers did I discover that all those years prior I had developed the belief that men who are supposed to love me will treat me like garbage. Once I had that realization and changed my self-belief that I was worthy of better and deserved to be treated better I soon attracted a man who not only treats me with respect but accepts me for who I am completely, flaws and all, and he wouldn’t want to change one thing about me. At times I still find it hard to believe and am half expecting that bubble to burst but am eternally grateful that he came into my life and is showing me that I deserve to be treated with respect.

If we are to become the best versions of ourselves, we need to understand how every relationship, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can impact our subconscious belief system. For the vast majority of us our family relationships are the first relationships we encounter and, depending on the circumstances can have either a positive or negative affect creating subconscious beliefs that will influence our choices in life. On the flip side, how we treat others as we are growing can do the same to them.

Take a moment to look back at the relationships you have had over the course of your life and try to see what affect they had on your self-belief and self-worth. Also think hard about how you have impacted others. If we become more aware of our behaviors and what affects we can have on each other then maybe, just maybe, we can start to have more positive relationships that nurture us all so we can live our best lives and with gratitude, understanding and acceptance.

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