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Former Abuser Re-entering My Life

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My brother who is now 19 almost 20, used to hit me (along with violently push me, slap me, tackle me, put me down, humiliate me, make fun of me infront of my friends, include himself if i have a friend over etc.) for years as far back as i can remember, Is moving back to Canada and staying with my parents, my sister and me in a month or so. I’m so afraid of what will happen, how should I deal with and approach this? (age 16, from Canada)

Former Abuser Re-entering My Life

Answered by on -


A: First of all, I’m sorry that your brother was so mean to you while growing up. As common as this can be, it is still wrong and can leave lasting scars. I’m also sorry that your parents didn’t do more to protect you, but hopefully they will this time around. I would let them know how scared you are now, before he even moves back. You might even consider showing them your letter and my response. Sibling abuse is real. Here is a link you might find helpful:

You did not mention how long he has been out of the home, but I can only assume that you have both grown up some since the abuse occurred. You will be better able to defend yourself if need be and to avoid being near him if he starts his old behaviors. But, hopefully he will have matured enough that he won’t treat you the same way as he did in the past. If he does, first, tell your parents immediately, and secondly call the police if he physically harms you.  You have a right to feel safe in your own home.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Former Abuser Re-entering My Life

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Former Abuser Re-entering My Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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