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to still be bitter, aged 34, that I had the smaller bedroom?

(88 Posts)
Judderwoman Thu 11-Aug-11 16:33:52

As a baby I was stuck in the boxroom, whilst my toddler DB got the largest room in the house.

As we grew up this arrangement never changed, even though I grew to be the taller sibling. There was just room for a cut-down junior bed in my 'bedroom' so I slept squashed up on it (I could not stretch my full length from the age of about 12). There was no room for any other furniture or even a radiator so the walls were black with mould that directly touched my skin - due to aforementioned tiny bed.

I was the one with the friends and boyfriend, but I had nowhere to take them. My brother had no friends so used his mountains of space to just make a mess and be a slob. I had few possessions because I had nowhere to put them. Any inherited 'gifts' (e.g. the old TV) went directly to him as I had no room. When I had exchange-visit friends to stay he would refuse to give up his room and they had to go in my mouldy tiny room with their suitcase - embarrassing! I played a large musical instrument but had nowhere to practice it. I begged my parents to change the door so it opened outwards or slid sideways to give me more space, but they refused as it was too much effort and would 'spoil the house'. Any time I spent in my room was spent writing stories or doing homework as I had nothing else to do in there.

When DB went off to uni he still refused to give up his room and so I, as a 16-year-old 5ft 9inch girl with A-levels to study for, slept on a 5ft 5inch bed whilst his room remained an out-of-bounds shrine. When he was 25, and I was back home for a bit after uni, he finally gave up his childhood bedroom and I was allowed it until I moved in with DH. I had few possessions as I had had to be so frugal with what I owned - just me, my musical instrument, and a few clothes/toiletries.

I get so jealous now when I see girl's bedrooms with lots of space and things in them and beautiful furnishings. I wonder if I'd had a larger room and somewhere to take friends, would I have had more friends? would I have wanted to study more if I had a decent study space and done better at school? My friends and DH feel the injustice on my behalf, and my friends with DCs tell me "girls need more space - you should have had the larger room" though I don't know if this is true. I see families where the girl is the younger sibling but has the larger room.

This is all part of a bigger picture of how my DB was/is treated differently to me, but it's the one thing that for some reason upsets me the most. Whenever I have mentioned it to my DM I was told I should be grateful because she had to share a double room (and double bed) with her sister and at least I had my own space. When my parents sold the house a few years back, my DM asked the estate agent "can that room really be called a bedroom? it's not really is it", and yet it was ok to put me in it!

Shouldn't parents want better for their children than what they had themselves, rather than guilt-tripping them that they should somehow be grateful for existing? I shall live vicariously through the beautiful bedrooms of any DDs I have.

Tell me your childhood bedroom injustices and make me feel better!

Mumwithadragontattoo Thu 11-Aug-11 16:40:06

YABU - They had to decide and normally the older sibling gets the bigger room. I agree he should have given it up when you had and exchange friend to stay and also after he had gone to university but otherwise what would you rather they did? I suppose you could have shared but that would have been worse once you both got to secondary school age.

Not to mention this is years ago and you need to get over it. Being jealous of little girls bedrooms? Really?

AgentZigzag Thu 11-Aug-11 16:40:09

Sounds like your situation was much more than just a shitty room.

How awful.

Why do you think they treated you so differently?

I had a smaller bedroom to my brother, but his was freezing cold all year round grin

It's never bothered me because my parents were scrupulously fair in just about everything else and made sure we both knew that.

I would have felt very betrayed if they'd have acted like yours, at least your DH sees and acknowledges their injustice.

DandyGilver Thu 11-Aug-11 16:43:52

This is about more than the bedroom, isn't it?

lilyliz Thu 11-Aug-11 16:44:31

my 2 sisters are still bitter about the fact they had acne and I did not get it,Iam the youngest by 12 yrs and now aged 56 and it still gets brought up.Just one of those family things

Oh my dd is moaning at the moment because her brothers fecking window is bigger than hers, never mind the fact her rooms 3 times bigger.

mrsdonkeybucket Thu 11-Aug-11 16:46:44

I had to share a room with my sister.

Infinitely worse.

Youngest sister had the 'box room'.

Reasoning was that there was a 2 year gap between me and middle sister, but 3 between middle and youngest sister.

Never had any privacy, or anywhere to go alone, or to have friends round. Actually, we weren't allowed friends round.

I felt hard done by, but had other massive issues anyway (a whole other story), middle sister was the 'could-do-no-wrong'-daughter, and youngest always felt left out and alone. Nowadays has a drink problem. (Again, a whole other story).

And my Mother wonders why we all hate each other, as adults.

Fooffy Thu 11-Aug-11 16:47:00

That sounds utterly crap and unfair.

Poweredbypepsi Thu 11-Aug-11 16:47:32

I think its normal for the younger child to get the smaller bedroom at first but the other things sound a little mean especially after he went to uni he should have given you the biggest room. YANBU to be upset about that.
My major injustice was that after my mum died my dad moved in his girlfriend and her daughter who was abotu 5 years younger than me would come and stay overnight twice a month. So she felt welcome they kicked me out of my bedroom and mover me into the partially converted attic (it had a floor and window but still a ladder to go up and holes in the walls oh and still had stuff in boxes in it etc!) she got my tv as well lol. I waited until i finished a levels then left its only the couple of years (thank to his NEW wife not the one who had the daughter) that we really speak properly!.

Judderwoman Thu 11-Aug-11 16:47:57

Mumwithadragontattoo I'd rather they'd have at least changed the door round - I don't think that would've been that hard! Also once we both reached the age of being non-babies then our various differences should've been taken into account e.g. me being taller, instead of him just getting his own way automatically. Hardly my fault I was born last.

I'm not jealous of 'little girls' rooms, I'm jealous of older girls who have space to take their friends and I wish I'd had that, so you don't have to put some kind of spin on it.

mrsdonkeybucket Thu 11-Aug-11 16:48:17

Oh, and I know I sound bitter, but I'm not......I get round it these days by having nothing to do with any of them......again, a whole other story !

rushofbloodtothefeet Thu 11-Aug-11 16:48:52

I was all ready to storm in here with an YABU, but given the circumstances I think you are completely justified. As DandyGilver says, this is about much more than the bedroom.

<shudder at sleeping against mould>

Sariah Thu 11-Aug-11 16:48:57

I think yabsu. If you had his room then he would have had your room. So someone had to lose out. He was clearly not going to give it up.

Yanbu in relation to the mould as that would not have been nice.

I think if I was faced with those circumstances as a mother I would probably try and see about knocking into the bigger room or something like that.

There are always issues like this. My sister had to share a room with me which she hated as I was a pig she was very tidy. She even tried drawing a line down the centre of the room so my stuff couldnt contaminte hers.

We all could have had more friends if we had been richer, better looking, went to a different school etc....

I think you need to draw a line under it and move on.

mrsdonkeybucket Thu 11-Aug-11 16:49:39

Well I was an older girl who wasn't allowed friends round because I shared a room !

Judderwoman Thu 11-Aug-11 16:51:34

Oh yeah of course it's about more than a bedroom smile !

And yes, my parents wonder why we don't (and never) got on too. But he can do no wrong so meh what can you do?

Mumwithadragontattoo Thu 11-Aug-11 16:55:42

They could have turned the door around but that would not have made your bed any bigger which seems to be the main problem. I'm not suggested that it was ideal but how would your brother have felt if they'd turfed him out of his room once you grew taller than him. Hardly his fault he was shorter. Or said you have fewer friends than Judder so you'll have to give up your room.

One of you had to have the bigger room. Your parents couldn't win here.

DeWe Thu 11-Aug-11 16:57:23

I not only had the smallest room, but for some reason my parents decided I should have the large and ugly wardrobe that didn't fit in their room (but still had their stuff in it). They bought the wardrobes after the house too. So I had the tiny room with two wardrobes in it.
Talking about houses with dm not very long ago and she commented that someone else wanted the house we moved into. They withdrew the offer after doing some measuring and finding their wardrobes didn't fit in the bedrooms. Quote from dm. "Can you think of anything more ridiculous than not buying a house because your wardrobes didn't fit?"
Had to bite my tongue to say "yes, buying wardrobes that don't fit into your bedrooms after you've bought the house." confused

SnoozleDoozle Thu 11-Aug-11 16:58:39

hmm, I suppose they couldn't magic up a bigger bedroom, but on the other hand, it does sound a bit horrible.

But there are such injustices in all families.....I got a bedroom to myself from the age of 12, because the sister I shared with was much much older and moved out, whereas my other two sisters were closer in age and ended up still sharing a room in their 20s. On the other hand, I was never allowed a bike growing up because sis. no 2 (who is frankly the laziest person I have ever had the misfortune to meet) 'was given one and never rode it, so we're not making that mistake again'. I'm 35 and that still pisses me off, as I remember spending summer after summer left out whilst my friends rode round on theirs! I even asked for one to help me get around whilst at univerisity and got the same answer !!

27tilly Thu 11-Aug-11 16:59:07

My mum is bitter that she is fat and I am not.... Now that's fucked up!

mrsdonkeybucket Thu 11-Aug-11 16:59:25

I know what you mean, Judder.

My Mother spent years making sure we didn't get on, and now doesn't like it that we don't.

I don't care anymore. At 35 I have decided that my DH and DCs are more important, they can do their thing, just don't involve us !

Mumwithadragontattoo Thu 11-Aug-11 17:00:03

Also lots of siblings think their parents favoured the other. He probably tells of how his popular sister was allowed to go out more than him or given more support at school or whatever.

It really is a long time ago and it sounds like you discuss it (regularly?) with your family as you say they all agree a girl should have had the bigger room. They probably agree with you to shut you up. It is a non-issue all these years on.

skrumle Thu 11-Aug-11 17:00:32

why on earth did you not share the bigger room till you were reaching puberty??? and at that point one of you might have been glad of the smaller room!

it is kind of daft to be bitter about it now though - but i don't really blame you... i don't understand how he got to keep the bigger room while at uni either, my siblings and i all swapped rooms round as situations changed!

AgentZigzag Thu 11-Aug-11 17:00:45

What was the reason you felt you couldn't bring that up with your mum DeWe?

Judderwoman Thu 11-Aug-11 17:00:53

Sariah you're right someone would've had to lose out, but I think given all the circumstances my parents should've been fairer about it or at least agreed to alter the door so I felt a bit more cared about?

Why couldn't we have swapped over every so often so we both got the experience of having a larger room vs a smaller room? As the occupier of the larger room he also automatically got all the free stuff as well, so there were knock-on injustices. As a parent shouldn't you treat both children fairly - if one gets free stuff shouldn't the other get equivalent money in the bank or some token gesture?

As others have pointed out it's about more than the room, it's about bending over to please the Golden Child, but that's a whole other thread.

On the plus side I became good at creative writing, learned to live tidily and frugally, and have an excellent constitution from exposure to the mould squalour, so it's not all bad.

AgentZigzag Thu 11-Aug-11 17:01:49

'It is a non-issue all these years on.'

Not for the OP it isn't Mumwitha.

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