Hannah, Joshua

Healing the Sibling Relationship

It’s not just the victims who are impacted by childhood sexual assault, it’s their entire family. From her first memories, Hannah remembers Joshua’s anger and frustration with her. It took many years, prayers and work for siblings, to get to where they are today. How did they do it? We’ll let her tell you.

Hello all. This is Hannah.
“Hannah? Who is Hannah?”
I’m the other sibling.
“Oh. The girl?” Yes.

You may not remember me, because I was never sexually assaulted. Praise the Lord! I am the 5th member of the Scott family, and wasn’t even a year old when my brothers were hurt. Do I remember it? All the pain? No. Did the trauma affect me? Very much.

I lost my beautiful, hand decorated nursery before I was old enough to remember it. We had to leave our lovely house to move into our healing home.

From a young age I knew more about trauma than most adults do. I have not belonged to a church or seen any of my extended family, since I was three.

I have never been able to wear army patterns or watch baby videos around my mom without her becoming very sad.

There were periods of time when my brother, Joshua, would go into a deep depression, but I was too young to understand. I had to watch and wonder why my precious brother was so very sad.

But, Joshua didn’t see me as precious – as precious as I saw him. In fact, he didn’t like me at all.

He hated that I was always barefoot. When I was in the room, he would roll his eyes just because I was there. If I walked past him, he would wave his hands, shooing me away, and so many other rude things.

I didn’t understand what I was doing to make my Joshua dislike me so very much. I heard phrases like “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This was always said to Joshua, by my parents, about me.

Siblings of victims, do your hurting borthers or sisters treat you like this? I understand. It hurts! But, please don’t blame your sibling. Speak up for yourself, by all means, but let me tell you why they act like that.

Joshua had fear of hurting me, his baby sister, when he was young. Very young. Subconsciously, he tried to make himself repulsed and repelled by me. For years we had these troubles.

Joshua had to make the choice to be my friend. Joshua had to take this problem to God. First, he had to pray to love me. Then, once the love came, he started praying to like me.

Now, after years of praying, Joshua and I are building a good, healthy relationship.

But siblings, don’t think you can’t do anything to help. Go to your brother or sister, when you’re not angry. Ask to start building a relationship with them.

I KNOW! It sounds terrifying. You may even be a little afraid of your Joshua. But trust me, make your voice heard because it is worth it.

Most importantly, you can pray for the relationship. Pray your sibling will like and love you. It’s not going to happen immediately and it’s not going to happen without God. But if you and your sibling want to have a relationship based on love and faith, you can do it. You have to be ready for the long haul, but you can do it.

This all started with Joshua when he was a preschooler & I was a toddler and we still have problems today, but my mother told me I would grow closer to my brother and I never gave up, even on very hard days where I had to give him TONS of grace. Now, he just took me to my first prom.

So never fear siblings! Have grace for your Joshua, and never give up. For we can do “all things through Christ, who gives us strength.”

-written by Hannah Scott, age 15

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