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  • Writer's pictureDana Arcuri

Toxic Siblings Who Triangulate & Alienate YOU #SiblingAbuse

Today’s blog post is for anyone who has experienced sibling abuse. If you have suffered any type of abuse from one sibling or more, it may have involved gaslighting, manipulation, triangulation of relationships, and alienation.

According to, "In America alone, there are over 40 million sibling abuse survivors. Society pays a huge price when sibling abuse is not given attention and goes uncorrected in lives of many adults. The over-learned maladaptive coping skills generated by an abusive sibling can affect adulthood. Because of sibling abuse, victimization occurred again in their childhoods through bullying."

What is triangulation of relationships? On they shared, “Triangulation is when a toxic or manipulative person, often a person with strong narcissistic traits, brings a third person into their relationship in order to remain in control. There will be limited or no communication between the two triangulated individuals except through the manipulator. It may appear in different forms, but all are about divide and conquer, or playing people against each other.

Triangulation is a form of manipulating the other sibling. This means the toxic sibling will talk about you behind your back to your other siblings, to your parents, and to other people, including strangers.

Of course, there is already a real problem in a relationship affected by triangulation. The sibling who starts triangulating your relationships typically can have narcissistic tendencies. They could be the covert narcissist or a flying monkey.

Triangulation is an approach used by people who share one thing in common: insecurity. As a result, they're willing to manipulate others in harmful ways to get what they want or feel a sense of security in a relationship.

10 Signs Your Sibling is Triangulating Your Relationships:

1. Your sibling discourages you to communicate with your parent, other siblings, or relative.

2. Your sibling creates intense drama in your life.

3. Your sibling spreads rumors and false accusations about you.

4. Your sibling is extremely jealous of you.

5. Your sibling seek revenge with you.

6. Your sibling makes up horrible lies about you to your parent, other siblings, friends, etc.

7. Your toxic sibling will force your other siblings to take sides with them and not you.

8. Your abusive sibling recruits flying monkeys to gang up on you. (Family mobbing & gang stalking.)

9. Your sibling discards you like trash.

10. Your sibling is manipulative, hostile, and spiteful towards you.

Sibling abuse is underreported, and it goes under the radar. The concern with sibling rivalry is when it turns into sibling abuse. The core root of sibling abuse is the intent to harm and control the other sibling.” ― Dana Arcuri, Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, Soul Rescue: How to Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse & Heal Trauma

Sibling Alienation

What is sibling alienation? According to Susan Heitler from Psychology Today, “Sibling alienation occurs when one adult sibling wants to push aside another. While sibling alienation can occur at any point, one sibling may be especially tempted to alienate another in order to gain control of care-taking or inheritance outcomes with aging parents.

She goes onward to state, “Adult siblings (or a sibling-in-law) who attempt to poison others about one of their siblings, can produce long-lasting divisiveness within the family, physical as well as emotional harm to the elderly parent, and profoundly emotionally and financially draining court battles.

What Motivates Sibling Alienation?

1. Money – This goes hand in hand with financial abuse. It can involve the toxic sibling stealing your family inheritance, trust fund, property, or more.

2. Stolen Inheritance/Trust Fund - According to, “After death, inheritance issues come directly into play. Because alienating siblings typically believe that they are entitled to more of the inheritance than the other siblings, they spread negative innuendos and false accusations regarding the targeted sibling to convince others of their view.

3. Chronic Hostility - One important indicator of alienation is longstanding hostility. If a sibling has for many years been spreading negative innuendos and false accusations about you and isolate you from others in the family, odds are very high that alienation will be exacerbated near the time of the last parent's death.

4. Envy – The abusive sibling is quite jealous of you, your happiness, your awesome accomplishments, and all that is going well in your life.

5. NPD - Your sibling may have undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Borderline Personality Disorder, or other psychological illnesses.

6. Pathological Liars – Nonstop lying can be a part of the sibling's clinical diagnoses. Some siblings with mental health disorders may quickly believe their own lies, enabling them to poison others with false accusations about the targeted sibling without pangs of conscience. They are not remorseful. They are not sorry for habitually hurting. They are sadistic and enjoy aiming to harm you.

As an adult survivor of sibling abuse, the most difficult fact pertaining to it is that 90% of abusive siblings deny they have abused their sibling. They will not take accountability for it.

― Dana Arcuri, Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, Soul Rescue: How to Break Free from Narcissistic Abuse & Heal Trauma

The best way to heal from this type of trauma is to educate yourself about sibling abuse, toxic family enmeshment, and the trauma recovery process. You cannot heal if you stay in a toxic family environment.

"You cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick." ~ Unknown Author

A few years ago, when I came across this quote, I felt it in my soul. It resonated with me for two main reasons:

  1. Because prior to July 2018, I had not had much success in healing my traumatic experiences. Not my past child neglect and abuse. Not my past three sexual assaults. Not my awful experiences with a narcissistic mother and toxic siblings. By July 2018, I had a major shift in my conscious reality. I realized that the top reason why I wasn't able to heal my past trauma was because I was still in abusive relationships with my mother, siblings, and other toxic people. This led me to courageously say, "I am done. Enough is enough."

  2. After being estranged from my mother, siblings, and other perpetrators, the longer I was distanced from them, the more I started to gain clarity. The more I gained clarity, the better I could navigate my healing journey. The more I could navigate my healing journey, the more I embraced my peace of mind, healthy boundaries, happiness, following my passionate pursuits, rebuilding a new life, reducing my trauma response, and learning how to calm my central nervous system. I took back my personal power. The longer I have been no contact from abusive people, the more I heal. I guarantee, I am in a MUCH better place now compared to early 2018. It's been an incredible healing journey!

If you truly desire to heal and to improve your overall quality of life, no contact is the key. Cut off all communication with your abusive siblings. Don't engage with them. Otherwise, you may find yourself being repeatedly triggered, re-traumatized, emotionally drained, and going in an unproductive loop with a trauma response: fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode.

Seek emotional support by a trauma-informed mental health professional. Always interview the person before you choose to work with them. Make certain that they are educated and experienced in sibling abuse, narcissistic abuse, trauma, and the toxic family enmeshment.

Next, set healthy boundaries. Stand up for yourself. Learn to trust your gut instincts. Do what is wisest for you and your mental health. Love yourself enough that you can find the strength to release those who clearly don't love you, nor care about you.

Lastly, ask yourself these important questions about your siblings: Do you trust them? Do you feel safe with them? Or do you feel invalidated, misunderstood, violated, judged, and criticized by them?

The answers you seek are within you. Listen to your body signals. For your body is screaming for your attention. (Triggers, racing heartbeat, perspiration, flashbacks, physical pain, fear, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, illnesses, stomachaches, migraines, and negative symptoms.)

Simply stated: The body keeps the score. We must permit ourselves to fully feel and process our human emotions in effort to release old, trapped trauma inside our body.

According to psychiatrist, researcher, educator, and author of The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk said, “Trauma is not just an event that took place in the past. It is also the imprint left by that experience on the mind, brain, and body.”

Trauma is stored in your body. When you suffered trauma, your nervous system began to dysregulate in the midst of overwhelm. You didn't feel safe. You may have disconnected to yourself. You disconnected to your body, mind, and soul. You disconnected because your pain hurts badly. If you’ve experienced this, you are not alone. Somatic embodiment, emotional regulation, and holistic strategies can bring you home to yourself. To release your negative sensations; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, I work with women and men. I provide my clients with voice and choice in their trauma recovery. This means they are seen, heard, validated, and their boundaries are respected. I offer nonjudgmental emotional support to each client.

If you need support along your trauma recovery and you are ready to explore Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching, contact me here on my website.

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