Sharing Your Story


I'm struggling with a difficult family situation. My brother has been verbally abusing me for years, and when I try to confront him, he turns it back on me. My sister isn't supportive either. They're my only family, and I feel lost and alone. I'm disabled, which makes everything harder. I see a therapist, but I don't feel like I'm making progress. Are there online support groups or clubs I could join? I've heard about the #MeToo movement - could they help me confront my brother? I'm look for guidance on how to handle this and where to find support.


Thank you for your bravery in reaching out to us. We care about your wellbeing and I want you to know that you're not alone in this struggle. What you are experiencing is incredibly difficult, and it's completely understandable to feel overwhelmed and in crisis.

First and foremost, I urge you to contact RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline. They offer 24/7 support from trained advocates who can provide immediate, personalized help. You can call 800-656-HOPE (4673) or use their online chat. These advocates are there to listen, offer support, and help you explore your options. Don't hesitate to reach out – you deserve immediate, compassionate support. Your well-being is important, and you absolutely deserve to feel safe, respected, and loved. The abuse you're enduring is not your fault, and you don't deserve it. Please hold onto that truth.

Another resource I would like to share is THRIVE Lifeline. THRIVE Lifeline provides 24/7 confidential crisis intervention and support via text messaging for adults 18+. They offer immediate help for those in acute mental health crises, as well as ongoing support for underrepresented individuals dealing with identity-related challenges and stress. Their services are particularly geared towards people of color, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, people with disabilities, neurodivergent individuals, and those from other marginalized communities.

Your brother's verbal abuse is unacceptable and not a reflection of your worth. It's natural and okay to feel hurt and angry. Setting boundaries is crucial, though I understand it can be daunting, especially with family. Remember, protecting yourself is not selfish – it's essential for your mental health.

Start by being clear and direct about what behavior is unacceptable. Use "I" statements to express how his actions affect you, such as "I feel hurt and disrespected when you speak to me that way." It's important to set consequences for boundary violations and follow through consistently, whether that means ending a conversation or limiting contact. 

Begin with smaller boundaries and gradually build up to make the process less overwhelming. Practice self-care before and after interactions with him, and consider having a support person you can reach out to if needed. If face-to-face conversations are too difficult, expressing your boundaries in writing or in other ways might be helpful. Role-playing these conversations with a trusted friend or therapist can build your confidence.

Be prepared for potential pushback as your brother may resist these changes. Stay firm and remind yourself that you deserve respect. If he continues to violate your boundaries, it's okay to limit your interactions for your own well-being. Above all, prioritize your safety. If you ever feel physically unsafe, have a plan in place to leave quickly. Remember, setting boundaries is a process that takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories. 

I also hear your pain regarding your sister's lack of support. It's normal to yearn for family understanding, and her indifference must feel like another wound. While we hope for change, it's important to recognize that you may need to seek support elsewhere for your own healing.

Your feelings of isolation are valid, but please know there's a whole community ready to support you. Online support groups can be a lifeline, offering understanding from others who've walked similar paths. You're not alone in this journey. Talk to RAINN about what you are desiring out of these communities, and they can help connect you to a place most appropriate for your needs.

It's commendable that you're seeing a therapist, but concerning that you're not feeling helped. Your instinct to seek more effective support is spot-on. It's okay – and important – to find a therapist who truly understands trauma and can provide the support you need. The RAINN hotline can also help you find local resources and therapists specializing in trauma.

As for #MeToo, while it's an important movement for raising awareness, it's not an organization that intervenes in individual cases. Instead, I encourage you to reach out to RAINN for support and resources specific to your situation.

Given your disability, I'd also recommend contacting your local Center for Independent Living. They can provide support and resources tailored to your needs as a disabled individual navigating this difficult situation. This additional support can be invaluable as you work through these challenges. There are also resources specifically designed to support disabled individuals in crisis and the RAINN advocate can also help you locate these based on what you are looking to do going forward.

Reaching out like you have done to us takes immense courage. Please remember that healing is possible, even when it feels hopeless. You've already taken the first step. Right now, focus on small steps to keep yourself safe and supported. Call the RAINN hotline. Join an online support group. Consider changing therapists. Each small action is a victory.

You are worthy of love, respect, and peace. Your past and current struggles don't define you – your strength and resilience do. Keep holding on. There's hope, even in the darkest moments, and you deserve to experience that hope and healing.

Thank you again for reaching out to us. We appreciate you trusting us with your story. 

Safety Exit