I (26F) am struggling with my relationship with my nibling (11NB) because of their relationship with their abusive stepfather (33M).

Their grandma was handling all interactions between them and him for a while, but she gets really beaten down interacting with him too which is understandable. All the rest of my best friend’s friends bailed during her relationship with him because he was….very effective at being an absolute monster to all of her friends (clearly, ha) and the pandemic has made it hard to branch out again. All of my friends are in the state I moved from unfortunately, again because isolating us was like his #1 priority to the point that my best friend hadn’t spent a holiday with her mom for the entirety of the relationship and her mom lives literally in the same town.

I’m not seeing a therapist right now but I am looking. Wait lists for this service is very long where we are - even with the extreme situations around the kid’s mental health, getting them into a regularly scheduled therapist took months. It’s high on the priority list though.

I am normally good at remembering my “they’re a traumatized child” mantras and remembering to always approach things with empathy and compassion. When he’s not in town and it’s just phone calls and text messages it’s a lot easier to maintain an open and friendly relationship with them. When he’s in town and the panic sets in though, it’s harder to stay objective and I feel very backed into a corner. Even right now my #1 thought is escape and looking at where I can move and where I can run to and how much it would cost me to do so. I try to override those feelings with the logic of the situation but it’s hard and having to struggle so much and so often, it’s hard not to be resentful. And then I feel like an ass because again - they’re 11 and just want a dad. And it’s this endless cycle of panic and then rage and then guilt.

/r/relationships Thread Parent