Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Jealous of my 'perfect' sister and her 'perfect' life. Family roles etc.

(71 Posts)
poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 18:39:05

Long, sorry.

My sister are chalk and cheese.
When we were little my mum had mental health difficulties and went on and on about how the psychiatrists were wonderful and how they saved her life. I think that she was obsessed with us becoming doctors as they are like God to her and I think that she regretted not doing medicine at University.

She used to encourage us to do medicine at University.We both reacted differently. I chose to rebel and go off the rails. I didn't really know what I wanted to do and was torn between the arts and the sciences.
I did study hard but I had an unsuitable, abusive boyfriend who tore my young life apart. (See other threads).

My sister decided that she would study hard and do medicine at Uni. Good for her. She didn't have a boyfriend until she got to Uni and he is totally wonderful and supportive> She met him when she was sitting in a train in America. Turns out he was English and his work was where she was in Uni. They now live together and are going on their annual holiday to America. They are rolling in it. She is a now a psychiatrist.
I on the other hand was in a psychiatric unit for a month ten years ago because of my abusive ex.

I am so thankful to have my dd but I can't help feeling jealous that she goes on about two holidays a year and sometimes I cann't afford to eat and I am single.

I feel that she saw the way that I rebelled and decided that was no way to live. She was right. I do really regret not choosing to study medicine and I totally regret going out with the abusive boyfriend when I was 16 rather than waiting til I was older.

I feel that she has taken on the family role of golden child and I am the black sheep. She is the ''well'' one and I am the ''sick'' one.

This wouldn't be so bad if I thought sh eliked me or if she made the effort but it is like I don't exist to her.
When I came out of the psychiatric ward she told me to stop feeling sorry for myself.
She is dd's god mum but she never phones to see how we are and she never comes to see us.
Once I did phone her and she wasn't interested.

She came down at Christmas and my parents told me about my new house and asked her if she wanted to see it. She declined. I just feel like she thinks that she is so superior to me.
When she does visit it is like butter dosn't melt in her mouth in front of my parents but she is very dismissive of me and makes no effort at all to take an interest in my life.I always feel like a complete looser when her and her boyfriend come to visit. They are the perfect couple with their dinner parties and regular foreign travel and I am a skint single mum.
It is not her fault that she chose the sensible route- I don't blame her. I just wish that I was as sensible as her and had her life.

I know she dosn't have dd but when she does have kids she will have a supportive partner and pots of cash to spend on them.

fluffles Thu 01-Oct-09 18:44:00

is she really 'perfect' and 'happy'? or do you think she's as affected by your joint past as you are but just expresses it in a different way?

do you think that you remind her of a difficult time in both your lives? maybe it's nothing to do with you personally? maybe she sees in you what could so easily have been her?

i don't know if any of that is true, but i doubt that all is as it seems on the surface (it never is, nobody's life is perfect).

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 18:49:45

Hi fluffels. I know that she was scared of what happened to me and that she hates my ex boyfriend for whta he did but we are quite different personality wise.
I think that I am more extroverted and dramatic. She is more calm and rational. I think that she is the sensible one and I am the hopeless case. I don't know why but he and her boyfriend make me feel like a failure. It's not their fault.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 18:51:58

I sometimes think that at least I had the courage to think for myself instead of what my parents wanted me to do but look where that's got me. She's definately more succesful. My parents were right and I threw it back in their face.

RealityIsAnAuntie Thu 01-Oct-09 18:57:04

Message withdrawn

Northernlurker Thu 01-Oct-09 18:59:59

It's not your sister's fault you have had a hard life. She's done nothing to make your situation worse and it's really unfair to blame her for being sensible in her choices.

You seem quite hostile to her and I imagine your feelings are quite plain to her which is why she doesn't get in touch. She probably doesn't know what to say and suspects that whatever she does say would perhaps only fuel your resentment.

You can't have her life but you have your dd and it sounds like you have a place to live so build on that. She will be your sister for the rest of your lives , you have a long time to fix this together. Just get yourself in as good a place as you can and I would hope that she will then get over her fears and step up to be the sibling you both deserve.

fluffles Thu 01-Oct-09 19:02:37

you say she's calm and rational and seems standoffish but i'd guess that she's (as you say) just a different personality to you and doesn't express herself as you would.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 19:11:27

Northern- I know that it's not my sister's fault and as I have said- I do applaud her good choices. I think it's just the fact that she shows so little interest in me and dd that gets to me.
I hav etried being friends but she's not interested. I am proud of her. Very much so but her refusal to have arelationship with me makes me feel really shit about my choices. It's her lack of interest that comes across as superior.
I guess that you could be right that she feels my resentment.
However last Christma I spent a day making her a beautiful necklace (she loved it) and she gave me hot chocolate. I know that's ungrateful of me to compare gifts but I just don't think that she knows who I am or wants to know.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 19:14:36

Also I do feel it was harsh of her to tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself when I came out of the hospital. She also told me that our parents were happy until I came along. When I pulled her up on this in front of my parents she burst into tears and denied it. I was made to feel like a liar and I still to this day can remember her saying it to me but feel mabe I was hallucinating.

ComeOveneer Thu 01-Oct-09 19:16:37

The sad truth is, is that just because we are related to each other doesn't mean that we will get along.

Ladyatron Thu 01-Oct-09 19:20:38

all sisters say shitty things, it is what sisters do. it sounds like you are using her as a scapegoat for your feelings of inadequacy. sort yourself out and stop being bitter.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 19:24:57

im not that bitter. sure i have my gripes but my life isn't that shit thank you. and if you went through what i wentthrough with my ex an ddd's dad mabe you'd understand. But then again mabe not. So I'm bitter that my ex tried to kill me. So shoot me.

Northernlurker Thu 01-Oct-09 19:25:11

Well telling you to stop feeling sorry for yourself may seem a bit harsh but she works in that field and it's very draining. Lots of the time HCPs do not say what they actually think to patients because they can react on an ordinary human level but rather must maintain a professional view. How many lung cancer experts spend all day saying 'I do advice you to stop smoking' and then go home and say to their parent, still puffing away 'put doen the damn fags before you puff your way into the grave you idiot!' It's not right or reasonable but people snap, it happens.

If she did say that about your parents happiness then obviously that's terrible - but that does seem to be a bit of grey area and maybe the best thing is to concentrate on not dwelling on that rather than worrying about how true or otherwise it maight have been.

Hot chocolate is a crap present yes - but even loving and involved relatives make crap choices sometimes. Dh once bought me a kettle hmm I think you could spend a lot of time thinking about the past but all you do with is put up more barriers between you and she will sense and react to them.

cathcat Thu 01-Oct-09 19:31:20

It sounds like you have been through something traumatic. Have you had any help working through that? Perhaps if you had some professional help then you would feel more positive about things.
I do agree her Xmas present was crap. Don't make the same effort this year - be less emotionally involved in what you give her.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 19:36:03

She said it before she became a psychiatrist. Before she even went to Uni. I felt vulnerable and mabe she just wanted to stick the knife in or didn't know what to say.

I did use to steal her dummy when she was a tot though! Mabe it's bad karma.

I think I DO have lots of issues with my ex still all these years later.

I do love my sister a lot but I'm quite hurt by the way things are. I will have to acceppt it and I'm noy saying I've been perfect to her either. I think she sees me as a drama queen and attention seeker. Mabe she's right.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 19:44:55

I have just been lookig at my georgeous dd and she's worth a million holidays in the usa!

Greatgoing Thu 01-Oct-09 20:00:47

A couple of things to consider.

Life has a real habit of turning upside down. Someone's perfect life can come crashing down very quickly, though illness, death, disaster. Put simply, I am now in my thirties and don't know anyone in my circle who hasn't had something fairly grim happen to them. If it hasn't happened yet, it will, and if it has happened to you already it will happen again. Don't wish sadness, crisis or trauma on people, because I guarentee when it happens to them, you will regret ever wishing away the peace, contment and tranquility they have now. You will also have to pick up the pieces.

Wish brings me to my next point. Castin yourself as the 'black sheep' is sad and depressing, but also an excellent way to abdicate any responsibility for your life. Everything in life is either an definite choice, or has aspects of choice. It is high time you started making choices, and making them good ones.

On the other side, it is really difficult and distressing trying to assuage the anger and self pity of a sibling who seem unable to move into any sort of positivity, despite favourable changes in circumstance.While they obsess about their bad lot, life moves on around them ,and apart from physically wrenching them out of their mire, their is little you can do.

Eventually you sort of shut off. She will be keenly aware of the gulf, in all it's different histories and aspects that is between you, but apart from sacrificing her life to the alter of your misery, what can she do?

I guarentee you the beauty and warmth of your sisterhood, as it should be, will return as soon as you go some way to restoring your self esteem. Just don't look to her to do it. She will not be obsessing over this as you are, and it is clearly sapping your already reduced energy reserves.

poshsinglemum Thu 01-Oct-09 20:15:06


I think you are right. If I use the balck sheep excuse then I will refuse to take responsibility and will be stuck in the doldrums forever.
I would not wish anything bad to happen to my sister. I guess I would just like to be like her so it's a mixture of jealousy but also of pride. Plus - I am sooo lucky to have dd and I'm not sure her partner wants kids.
I think she was gutted when I got ill but her way of dealing with emotions is very internal whereas I am very vocal.

Greatgoing Thu 01-Oct-09 20:56:55

That sounds sensible and rational and positive. Though I wouldn't assume she is 'jealous' of the fact you have a child (I know you haven't said exactly that).

It is dangerous and part of the black sheep habit to look at everything in terms of have/have nots. She may crave a child, but she may not. I would really try and take all these sorts of comparisons right out of your internal discourse, even if it is out of an 'emotional generosity' on your part.

I may be wrong, but I imagine you see yourself as a very 'honest' person, in direct comparison to her lack of 'openess'?

If I am wrong, apologies, tell me.

skihorse Thu 01-Oct-09 23:16:46

My sister is dripping in money and has forever looked down on my choices, bad men, bad "everything" - but mostly my bad financial decisions and dropping out of uni.

Ah well, not so rosy in her camp either - sure, she's got pots in the bank but she lives with my mum & dad, hasn't had a boyfriend for 10 years and drinks far, far too much. But hey - at least she doesn't get shitty letters from the gas company and that's what matters in life right? wink

TheYearOfTheCat Thu 01-Oct-09 23:47:40

Coming from another perspective, I get a bit pissed off that one of my sisters clearly has some sort of issue with the fact that I live quite comfortably - and makes her resentment pretty clear. I didn't get the lifestyle I have by winning the lottery - it was through a heck of a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice. I don't have a perfect life - but my sister can only focus on what she perceives on the unfairness of it. She chose not to concentrate on career & study. Her choice, her life - I don't see how it is my problem, or why I should be on the receiving end of her resentment.

Not having a go at you OP - but maybe your sister is thinking along similar lines?

Greatgoing Thu 01-Oct-09 23:51:38

Thank God- thought I had killed my fifth post in a record one night.

cheesesarnie Thu 01-Oct-09 23:52:09

to others one of my sisters appears to have a perfect life all sorted.but sadly she sister has done well for herself and i feel nothing but happiness for her.she s worked hard for what shes got/achieved and im very proud of her.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 02-Oct-09 00:02:46

What Greatgoing said in her very eloquent post of 20:00:47.

Just a small point over the Christmas present - is it possible that she got you something 'small' out of sensitivity to you being skint? It can be a little bit humiliating to be given something expensive when you can't afford to respond in kind, she may have been trying to not do that to you. And she loved the necklace you gave her, that bodes well, had she genuinely disliked you she'd have disparaged it however beautiful it was.

skihorse Fri 02-Oct-09 07:51:36

TheYearOfTheCat If my sister had genuinely just "been better" but actually been a nice person I suppose it wouldn't bother me so much. And, if she were a genuinely nice person she wouldn't go out of her way to make me feel bad about my apparent lack of success. Do you deliberately try and make your sis feel bad? Or just bite your lip but give her a hug anyway?

We both suffered mental illness - however mine was more crushing and I dropped out of uni because of it. Not because I was a lazy flake - although it certainly would've appeared that way! wink

But seriously, I suppose it goes to show how different we are (my sister and I) - I value highly kindness, empathy and warmth in others and these are characteristics which my sister is unable to show.

She certainly has a superiority complex - but (IMO) she's really not all that and a bag of chips. Material wealth is not as valuable as emotional wealth.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: