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jheart123 Offline
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Unhappy she's making me feel bad. - September 17th 2010, 05:04 AM

okay, so a little background info: my dad moved out about 7 years ago now, and I visit him on a regular basis. And everybody knows that my dad favors me over my older brother.

My relationship with my brother is tough, sometimes we get along and sometimes I don't. It's pretty much the same way between him and my dad, and him and my mom. My mom likes to complain to me about how my brother "can be such a jerk." But whenever I feel that he's being jerk too, she gets defensive. I know he's her son and all, but still I find it a little bit hypocritical.

For the past couple nights, I've been crying myself to sleep because me and my brother really got at it. So I ran over to my dad's house to get away from him and to complain to somebody. My dad sent my brother an email telling him to lighten up. According to my mother, I went to my dad's because I knew my dad was gonna be on my side. Well, I agree with her but at the same time, I couldn't complain to my mom about my brother. And I never thought my dad would actually do something about it. To me, it wasn't a big deal anyways. Just a simple email. To my mom, not so much.

I've been hiding out in my room feeling bad. She's telling me how much I'm like my dad, and she makes it sound like it's a flaw. I can't help who I am. Since when is a mother supposed to make her child feel like crap?

Seriously, I want to run away. If I leave then my brother won't have competition over a good relationship with my dad. My mom won't have to worry about always spending money on me. Everything would be better if I were just in another place.
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Re: she's making me feel bad. - September 18th 2010, 01:10 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your current situation. =( It sounds like things aren't going too well between yourself, your brother, and your mother. I know it's easy to feel overwhelmed, and it's tempting to just run away from it all... but believe me, that won't solve your problem. It'll only cause you to grow even further apart from your brother and mother.

Now, when I say running away isn't the answer, I mean in the literal sense (ex. packing up and staying with a friend or in a hotel). There IS one option I'd like you to consider, and possibly discuss with BOTH of your parents. Why not simply live with your father for the next two years (or even for just a few weeks/months)? Parents rarely admit it, but they DO have favorites among their children. It's obvious that your father favors you over his son, and your mother favors her son over you, so why not make things easier on yourself (and on your brother) by living in separate households for the time being?

Right now, you don't have the opportunity to "take a break" in between conflicts, and that's hindering EVERYONE'S ability to communicate effectively. If you can come to an agreement with both of your parents, however, and spend a few weeks/months at your dad's house, that may give everyone a chance to calm down and deal with the problems at hand later on. You may need to go through a few legal formalities (ex. custodial rights, child support), but ultimately, it may be best for everyone if you spent some time apart from your brother and mother.

If that's not possible (ex. your father lives too far away, your mother doesn't want to agree to your moving out), then I would suggest you make a list of all the things you think are "wrong" with your current household. Don't just make a list of all your brother's and mother's faults, though... find some things about yourself that could be improved upon. For example, if you tend to yell at your brother (vs. calmly walking out of the room) during an argument, or if you immediately run to your mother (vs. finding other ways to cope) whenever your brother bothers you, write it down! Once you have a list, ask your mother if you could sit down with her and discuss the problems at hand, either with her or with your brother present as well. Together, try to come up with ways in which to improve the overall family dynamics. You might even want to suggest family therapy, which can be relatively cheap and may be covered under your insurance plans. =)

Worst-case scenario... you're 16. Yes, two years is a long time... but you can use that time wisely to plan for your future. You could start looking for a part-time job (some places hire 16-year-olds), or you could plan out your future career in greater detail (ex. go to community college for two years while working part-time, then getting a job in such-and-such industry). You could talk to your father about getting financial support, should you wish to attend a 4-year university. You could start saving up money and figure out how much it would cost to live on your own (ex. average apartment/utility/transportation costs). If you are that desperate to "run away"... then start planning now, so you'll truly be prepared the moment you turn 18! Believe me, two years goes by pretty quickly when you have so many things to plan for... it almost isn't ENOUGH time.

I wish you and your family members all the best. =) Good luck!

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Re: she's making me feel bad. - September 19th 2010, 07:36 PM

Firstly, I expect your mum doesn't want things to go bad between you and your brother, which is why she doesn't want you to badmouth him. This is hypocritical, but it's because she cares about both of you. Remember that even if your parents favour one of you, it doesn't mean they're disregarding the other. They still care about you both.

You said that to you and your dad, the email wasn't a big thing, but it meant more to your mum. Do you know how it made your brother feel? See if you can communicate with him, try and repair your relationship a bit, and stick at it. Learn when to avoid him, if he's in a jerkass mood. If you two get along, it should ease the atmosphere in the household.

Does the favouritism bother you much? If it doesn't, then that's alright, but if it does see if you can confront your parents about it (not necessarily together). Start with the easier one: defend your brother from your dad, and talk to him about him preferring you. If your parents can at least recognise that they're being unfair, they can begin to work towards stopping it.

Best of luck,

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