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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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The least favored in the family. - March 7th 2014, 07:15 AM

I'm moving soon to a different state than my family and it's got me thinking a lot lately. I have an older sister who just had a baby not that long ago, an older brother who is disabled, and a younger adopted brother that still lives with my mom.

Out of my older siblings and I, I'm the one that got the short end of the stick with my parents. I know my parents love me but I'm not as important to them as my older siblings. It bothers me. My sister lives literally 20 minutes away from me and my parents (who are divorced) will go up to see her and my niece but won't come to see me, they always go out of their way for her too and since she's talented they idolize her. My brother has always gotten his way and he has always come before any of the rest of us. Most often I have to drive the nearly two hours to go see them. They use up all their resources on my brother and then what's left goes to my sister, I'm usually SOL.

My brother and his trashy girlfriend live and mooch off my dad now and I told my dad that I can not come down to visit until they move out. If I see my brother's trashy girlfriend I will punch her in her greasy face, I know I will so I'm avoiding that possibility. I have nothing to do with my brother anymore either, I don't want to see or talk to him for the next few years at least.

My youngest brother is raised by my mom and she is extremely rough on him. She was terrible with me when I hit my teen years too and was the exact same with my sister. I feel so bad for him but he will make it.

It kills me to move because I'm going to miss my family like none other but I feel they've had their opportunities and have time and again chosen my older siblings over me. I'm a bit of a screw up but I'm also successful in my own ways; I'm growing and learning as an adult. I'm just feeling upset about all of this. It's not fair to me and I've pointed it out so many times but it'll never change. Maybe they'll take more interest when I have a family of my own but that's not for a while (hopefully). It hurts because life is short and I just want to spend as much time as I can with the people I love. My sister doesn't even come to see me... I thought I wouldn't be so alone up here but I am...
   
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Re: The least favored in the family. - March 10th 2014, 08:41 PM

I'm sorry your family members aren't giving you as much love and attention as you would like for them to. It sounds like there are a few factors that are contributing to this situation.

First, your parents seem to have parenting styles that aren't ideal. You pointed out that your mom has been "rough" and "terrible" on other siblings, so it's not just you. Additionally, your father doesn't seem to be the most assertive parent. Otherwise, he would set appropriate boundaries for your younger brother.

Second, your parents seem to be focusing their time and energy on children that they believe are in greater need of help. Since your older brother is disabled, they may believe he should "come first." After that, there's your older sister, who has a young child and may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. That makes her their second priority. I'm not excusing their behavior, because it seems perfectly reasonable to expect them to come visit you when you live so close to your sister... but I can also understand where they're coming from, even if their way of thinking is distorted.

Finally, it sounds like you may have made some choices that affected your relationship with your parents. Again, I'm not excusing their behavior or accusing you of being the only person at fault... but if you said or did anything hurtful in the past, when you were a "screw up," then your parents may be wary of getting too close to you.

So what can you do? It sounds like you've already talked to them, and nothing has changed. What have they said in response to direct questions, such as, "Why don't you visit me when I'm only 20 minutes away from my sister?" or "Why don't you express your love for me more often?" If they avoid direct questions, then I'm afraid there isn't much else you can do, other than accepting the situation for what it is. If your parents aren't willing to change their behavior, then you can try to change your behavior... but if you've already taken reasonable steps to improve your relationship with your parents, then maybe it's time to place your focus on friends and other loved ones. I've done something similar with my mother, and while I still wish she would be the mother I want her to be, it doesn't affect my life to such an extent that I can't be happy.






   
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Re: The least favored in the family. - March 11th 2014, 11:42 PM

Hi,
I don't think that your parents like you less. It's possible that they simply feel like your siblings need more help. They may feel like your sister needs more help and support due to being a mother, and your older brother is disabled and may be (from the sound of your post) in a rather unhealthy relationship. You also have a younger brother so they may be concerned about the things younger kids typically need all the help with.

This doesn't mean that they love you any less. There have been times when my parents have paid more attention to me because I needed extra help, and times when they paid more attention to everyone else because THEY needed extra help. A parent's day has 24 hours only so sometimes they're doing their best and don't notice they may be unfair, or think they're being fair.

I recommend talking (calmly) with your parents, even writing them a letter or something. They may see it as random complaining, especially if you get very emotional when you say this, and may not be paying attention to what you're saying. Explain that you understand why your siblings may be getting more help but that you'd also like to get some attention and affection for yourself. It might even help to proactive, for example, if your mother is ever home alone you can use this time to hang out with her.

As to your sister never visiting anymore, a small child is a lot of work so she may be busy with that... have you thought about visiting her?

You say that your mother is "extremely rough" on your younger brother and that she was "terrible" to you and your sister. What do you mean? Is she being abusive? If she is, then I'd definitely recommend talking to someone you trust about this. If she's simply just being extra strict or something, that can just be that she's trying to do her best to keep you out of trouble and doesn't know how to do better. Talking to her could help (again, show them you're responsible and calm, don't start a fight, and show them you're responsible in other ways too like doing your chores and helping with your younger brother and so on). If she IS being abusive then seeking out help or calling an anonymous abuse support hotline could help.

I don't think it's necessarily because you're a "screw up". Unless your parents are the abusive type, they probably love you no matter what, even if they may have a harder time trusting you with certain responsibilities at most.


   
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