Many, if not all, cases of birth-family 


abuse can be traced back 


to jealousy, selfishness, parental partiality 


(real or perceived), or envy in the abuser’s heart.



We know that in the real world sibling rivalry exists, 


but we are often blindsided by it because 


it is the last thing we would expect 


from a family member.

Brothers and sisters argue and fight each other, 


lie and trick each other, 


and generally treat each other horribly at times.


It never feels good... 


in fact, it is very painful to be the target... 


a whipping post for siblings or anyone else. 



It can be very painful being on the receiving end


of another person’s verbal assaults. 


Words laced with poison can be just as emotionally 


and/or spiritually excruciating as physical blows, 


and those that hurl words as a weapon 


are often quite skilled at using them.


My siblings seem to constantly assume 


I am the rightful catch-all for 


anger, criticism, and judgment. 


To my siblings, it seems that the name “Carole” 


is synonymous with “whipping post”.


Apparently, they do not realize that their words and deeds 


have an impending doom. 


They are blinded by the god of this world 


(2 Cor. 4:3–4),


 bound in darkness (Col. 1:13, Acts 26:18),


 and caught in Satan’s snare (2 Tim. 2:25–26).


The biggest bullies are often 


toxic family members.


And bullying is never OK.  


Period! 


We tend to think of bullying as something that happens 


in the schoolyard amongst kids 


who are being mean and abusive to one another. 


However, as incredible as it might seem,

verbal abuse and emotional abuse 


through power, control, domination, 


subjugation, and relentless 


sibling rivalry 


are the weapons of choice for 


some family members 


to gain control over others.

There are families who have scapegoated a loved one 


from childhood, into and including adulthood.


One’s family of origin can target one member for 


accusations, blame, criticism, and ostracism. 


They belittle, excommunicate, and slander, 


in an attempt to assassinate another’s character.

Why would a family choose a loved one 

to bully and scapegoat? 

Scapegoating is often a way for 


families to hide problems 


that they cannot face. 


At times the scapegoat is targeted by the sibling 


who was always the bully of the family. 


In that way, the less favored sibling 


becomes the repository 


of everything that is wrong in the family.

It’s sometimes right to defend your reputation 


before those who have slandered you. 


However, it is possible, when the scapegoat argues 


and pleads their innocence before the family… 


they can sometimes find themselves 


further blamed and persecuted.

No one has the right to assault who we are as a person.  


Sadly, some people just won’t be happy 


until they’ve pushed  our self-esteem to the ground 


and stomped on it. 



It takes a great deal of courage to stand up 


to your enemies, but just as much to stand up 


to your family.  


Sometimes bullying comes from the most 


unlikely places.  



Be cognizant of how the people closest to you 


treat you, and look out for the 


subtle jabs they throw.