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to always feel second best

(17 Posts)
Looon Wed 08-Jul-09 18:23:47

I have always lived in the shadow of my older sister and felt like we were treated differently growing up. I am 21, She is 2 years older than me. Growing up she was always the clever one. I was the stupid one who had dsylexia and had to work her ass off just to get a C at school. Prime example of this was GCSE's.... she did no revision and went into most of her exams drunk and got straight A's. I revised my ass off and got B's and C's which wasnt a very good result at the snobby private school I went to although I was predicted D's so it was an improvement.
I have just finished a degree and have had 2 children during this time, left an awful relationship and moved into my own flat.
Throughout this time I dont really feel like my family feel like i havent acomplished anything and they make me feel like Im a burdon and make a mountain out of a mole hill.
My sister has just been accepted on to a diploma course to be a nurse and my mum is taking her out for a meal to celebrate. I have never had any of this treatment and it just pisses me off. She has such a bloody easy life but gets so much more than me.... my mum bought her a house. My grandparents regually send her money to do things to her house.... I have to work for everything I have.
(might I add my mum comes from a nursing background. she is a nurse as is her mother.... im just a stuppid gardener.)
I have really bad depression atm so Im probs blowing it out of preportion but I do get upset that I get no encouragement or anything or how hard I have had to try over the past few years.

Looon Wed 08-Jul-09 18:26:25

I have name changed although it is obvious who I am.

I am pleased for my sister.... I want to make that clear. This is something she really wanted. Im just fed up that I never get the congratulations and pampering that she does.

bigchris Wed 08-Jul-09 18:28:36


is there any way you could bring it up with your mum?

have you been invited to the meal out?

at some point though you just have to let it all go, otherwise it will eat away at you and you will become bitter and twisted

at least you know you will never do the same to your children

Looon Wed 08-Jul-09 18:37:45

nope not invited. if i bring it up we will probs have a massive argument and she will storm out.

ineedalifelaundry Wed 08-Jul-09 18:51:08

Was there any kind of celebration for you finishing your degree? What about when you exceeded all your GCSE targets through your incredible efforts? As a secondary school teacher, let me tell you that jumping from D to B or even to C is an remarkable achievement - it's the hardest barrier between grades to overcome.

I'm so sorry your mum doesn't recognise your achievements sad. Don't let her attitude dampen your perception of yourself. I know it's hard but it's no good relying on others for approval (although it's nice to know they approve). The only person who needs to be proud of you is YOU.

With all the struggles you've had to overcome to get where you are now, I bet you're a fantastic mum, and deep down a really strong person. Your DCs are lucky to have you!

ineedalifelaundry Wed 08-Jul-09 18:53:47

Just wanted to add, Looon, that Dyslexia does not equal stupid.

BlueFlotsam Wed 08-Jul-09 18:58:40

Hi Looon

I am an avid lurker on MN and never post but I read your comments and had to reply!

Hey! You should hold your head up high and your shoulders back woman! Look at what you have done. All by yourself! Give yourself a big pat on the back!

You know, if I am ever stuck in a corner, it would be you I would choose to be with me - not your sister! Not your mum! You are worth two of your sister. So no more of this 'shadow' business. Life has thrown you some big challenges and you have faced them squarely and come thru! You are the one who is clever. You appreciated your situations and did all you could to make the best out of them. You really should be proud of yourself!

Looon Wed 08-Jul-09 19:02:46

hope people dont think i wrote this thread to make people compliment me coz it wasnt my intention. I asked my mum the other day if she was proud of me and she said ofcourse but she doesnt show it and has made some comments that make me think otherwise.

Actually I feel a bit bad now, I did get some straighteners when I passed my GCSE's...... but my younger sister is getitng the same and she has totally fucked up her exams by not bothering to go to school or doing any revision.

god im such a miserable cow. sorry. thanks for the comments. Im not in a very good place atm.

BlueFlotsam Wed 08-Jul-09 19:42:59


So, you have two lovely DC's, a job, and your own flat?


Do you have a DP at the moment?

I do appreciate what you are saying. It is hard to comment from the outside of a relationship. But it seems to me that the problem isnt yours at all. You feel your Mum does not appreciate you, and it sounds fair enough from your comments. Everybody, absolutely everybody needs to feel appreciated and also want unconditional love and acceptance from their parents.

Is it possible that your mum and sister are just a little more alike and therefore get along more? similar tastes possibly?

My son is dreadfully jealous of the relationship I have with my daughter. I do everything I can to be close to him but I dont think he understands the female aspect of our relationship, shared interests and such like. I blame myself constantly and worry that I have hurt him but no matter what I say or do I never feel that I have made it 'better'.

You have done incredibly well and you want your mum to acknowledge that. What about your father? Is he around? Where does he fit in with this?

It is possible you will not ever have the relationship with your mum that you want but that does not make you any less worthy.

How old are your DC?

May be instead of worrying about your mum, you can concentrate on your DC, who, I am sure appreciate you so much more than you realise.

chin up!

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Wed 08-Jul-09 20:54:10

poor you, it must be frustrating for you. I am an only child so i can't really "get" the whole sibling thing. I have grown up thinking im not good enough. I had lovely parents who did their best for me, but i always felt like i was a bit of a let down tbh. I have really bad self esteem issues and i am having counselling to overcome this.

Are you having any counselling for your depression? Could it be that due to your depression you are not actually feeling it when you are praised for what you have acheived etc. Have you coped well with praise in the past or shrugged it off?

Your mum probably is very proud of you, but just doesn't show it. I guess she understands your sisters chosen profession better. Personally i would rather be a gardener!

I think it is amazing that you have overcome your dyslexia, with what sounds like very little support from your school and your parent (probably because they dont understand). Dyslexia doesn't mean stupid, with the right support, dyslexics do really well, i know dyslexic proffessors of biochemistry, they are far from stupid. Apparently dyslexia is very common among scientists - must be the way the brain works to understand some of the more complex and abstract stuff.

I think it does come down to schooling. My DP had a shit education, his spelling and reading is terrible, i am positive he is dyslexic - had he gone to a decent school, more recently, i think this would have been picked up. As it was, it really affects his confidence. He has a very logical brain which astounds me sometimes but he thinks he is not very bright - nothing could be further from the truth.

I am learning, slowly, that self worth comes from within, its just a case of believing it!

My mum never shows me she is proud of me to my face, ever. But then i pick up things she has said to other people about me and i realise that she is. I just htink the mother daughter relationship can be very fruaght and competitive at times.

Looon Wed 08-Jul-09 23:27:42

my dad died when I was 8 so he isnt about but he would be disapointed in me. He would be very angry that I have had children and am no longer with their dad.
I have no dp. I left exp 18 months ago when I was 6 months pregnant with dd. He was pretty vile to me and very controling. I wasnt alowed to be me or have a life with him in my life.

My dc's are 1 and 2. I dont think Im a very good mum to them at all..... I screamed at dd today..... she is only 1.... i properly got up in her face and screamed at her because she was playing up and I was so exhausted I didnt know how to deal with her. Afterwards I pulled her in for a cuddle, burst in to tears and felt terrible. she wriggled away from me and flinched when i went over to cuddle her. I feel horrible. My babies are precious and beautiful and deserve so much better than me. I just dont have the energy to be their mum and do all the other things that are expected of me.

Dont get me wrong my mum has been very supportive in the past and has helped me through some difficult times but I just feel that she thinks im lazy and could do better.

Am feeling really low this evening. Hade an argument with my mum on the phone. She doent seem to have any time for me these days and Im very lonely..... im miserable and I just feel like crying. The kitchen is such a mess I dont know where to stop and everything is on top of me.

Im sure from what I have written people will be able to identify me but I have name changed for a reason.

I really dont know how to cope anymore. I HATE myself.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Wed 08-Jul-09 23:59:29

Please don't think for one minute that your dad will be anything but bursting with pride for you

In your OP you mention you have depression. Are you getting any help for this? I can totally empathise with the feeling of self loathing, ive been there - i am often in that place and its pretty shit isn't it. I am on medication and im in counselling, about to get some CBT therapy as well.

I think you need to go and talk to your doctor, TOMORROW, please? You cannot go on this route of self destruction. Ive done the screaming at DD thing too, and like you, felt awful - I daresay my DD doesn't remember. She loves me and needs me. Sometimes i thnk im a shit parent - but im not. Neither are you.

I'm worried for you, I don't like your nickname - you are NOT a loon. You have had a lot to deal with, it has to come out somewhere - you sound a very strong and brave lady actually - that took courage to leave your ex partner, something that i think your father would actually be very proud of. Seriously, any parent would want their child to be able to be happy and not be abused in any way within a relationship.

I can totally understand the kitchen thing too, i suffer from extreme anxiety and whenever i am anxious i am almost paralysed by it, you can guage my mental state by the state of my house. But you know, whenever i pick up, i clean up - it is doable. Just do it when you are ready. Do you have a dishwasher? If so, just load it as you feel like it - or just set yourself the task of emptying it for now. Then you can fill it up as and when. If you don't then fill a bowl of water, shove some washing liquid in, stick a pile of plates in there. Leave it, go for a walk, have a cup of tea, whatever - then wash and rinse them. If that spurs you to do the rest - fantastic - if not. Well, youve made a start.

Please go to the doctors. I have posted very similarly to this in the past - its horrible to feel like this - but you don't have to. This could be PND, i had this and it wasn't diagnosed til DD was 2.

Stop being so hard on yourself. Try and get some sleep - make sure you get out of the house tomorrow and keep posting.

dizzymare Thu 09-Jul-09 00:04:54

I know how you feel looon, as a fellow 'shadow', sometimes I wonder if anyone would really notice if I just disappeared.

ineedalifelaundry Thu 09-Jul-09 00:08:41

You don't actually know that your dad would be disappointed in you. You are only projecting your own self-disappointment onto him. From your last post I'm starting to wonder if you're doing the same with your mum. She's probably much more proud of you than you realise. It's you who isn't proud of you, because of your depression. Are you having counselling?

I don't think there's a mum out there who hasn't lost it with there DC at least once and then felt terrible about it afterwards. I shouted at my DD yesterday and I'm still getting pangs of guilt. I told my DH and he told me to get over myself. He was right. We're human. As long as you don't shout and scream at them all the time!

The kitchen doesn't really matter. Leave it til the morning. YOU and your DC are way more important than the housework.

Go easy on yourself.

Looon Thu 09-Jul-09 00:46:12

Not having counciling at the mo. I want it but it doesnt seem to be forthcoming. I have very bad anxiety at the moment too. I am on 40mg of citalopram a day but at the moment this doesnt seem to be making a scrap of difference.

I really feel alone. My friend has been coming over in the evenings to help me out and just be there for me and whilst she is here I am fine but almost the moment she goes i sink down into a low and feel frightened and anxious and lonely. Just want to be normal.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Thu 09-Jul-09 07:47:11

I totally sympathise re the anxiety. I am on citalopram too. i lowered my dose from 40mg to 20mg and was ok for a bit but the anxiety is back with a vengence - i know how you feel.
I know exactly what you mean about the counselling too - you have to stamp your feet. I basically went to the doctors and told them i was worried that i might do something drastic - a miraculous appointment with the local mental health team materialised - funny that! I was given counselling within a matter of weeks (2 if i remember rightly) and it has really really helped me. I'm not 100%, far from it, but the counselling gives me something to focus on.

Please go back to the doctors and make some noise. There are other drugs out there too. If 40mg cit isn't doing it for you (i was on cloud cukoo land with no anxiety to speak of, but it made me very down) it might be that you need something different. I think citalopram is the first thing they try - reason - money! There are drugs in the same family which apprently do better for anxiety - ask your doctor.

You cannot go on like this, i recognise this self loathing and it is skewing everything for you.

Today is a new day - what would you like to happen with it?

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Thu 09-Jul-09 17:39:26

how are you today looon?

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