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AIBU?

I'm not part of their family am I?

107 replies

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:28

My mum cheated on my dad back when I was around 2 years old and eventually left him for the man she is now married to. I have 2 step brothers, although I've always thought of them and called them my brothers not ste-brothers.

I was always treated very differently to my brothers growing up. I was expected to pay half my wages in rent to my mum as soon as I started working full time at 18. I was told long before I was even thinking about moving out of home that once I was gone that was it, there would be no coming back home again, this was "tough love" to encourage me to stand on my own two feet. I was not invited on their family holidays

My brothers have both left home and come back again multiple times over the years, both have had girlfriends moving into their parents house with them - rent free so that they could save for their futures. Both are still currently living there in their mid/late thirties after one brother split from his long term partner and mother of his 2 children.

I only learned in December that my brother and his girlfriend seem to have split and that he has been off work with MH issues for several months. Also that his ex-partner is pregnant with their 3rd child - due in a few weeks. I had absolutely no idea, none of my "famliy" have shared any of this with me! I had gone to brothers ex's house to take a birthday present for my nephew. When I arrived our youngest brother was also there with his girlfriend with presents for nephew, all making a big fuss.

A few days after Christmas it was my son's birthday. My mum got him a tiny lego set and £10 (to be fair she is disabled and can't get out to the shops and relies on her husband so this is his doing). My brothers couldn't even be fucked to get off their asses and come wish him a happy birthday when we were at my mums house let alone get him a card or a present. My older daughter had her birthday in October and was spoiled rotten by everyone, cards and presents from everyone.

It has all left me feeling so upset, like I'm just not considered a part of their family at all. I am so fucking angry that my daughter gets spoiled on her birthday and my son is barely acknowledged. I don't understand why.

I'm thinking of not bothering with any of them from now on apart from my mum. I wont bother acknowledging the birth of my brothers 3rd child or with his other childrens birthdays and next Christmas I'll stick to my mum, dad and my own children when it comes to gift giving. AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

401 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
5%
You are NOT being unreasonable
95%
LusaBatoosa · 13/01/2024 12:31

Tbh, your mum would be the person I was crossest with, if it were me. Have you ever discussed all this with her?

When people show you that they don’t value you, leave them alone.

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:41

My mum has Parkinsons disease, her speech is badly affected so discussion is literally not possible sadly. I don't know that I do entirely blame my mum for the way things are tbh. The family she married into is very overbearing and domineering, she went along with a lot of stuff she wasn't really happy with to keep them happy.

OP posts:
Muchof · 13/01/2024 12:41

I do wonder if your mother was bullied by her husband. As yes it does seem that you (her child) were treated very differently to your step brothers (his children), did he have full custody of them as they were growing up? He could have been behind some of the treatment towards you, especially if he was the main breadwinner.

I think you are right anyway, they (step father and step brothers) do not see you as family, so I would be inclined to reduce contact with them. The only question remaining is whether you want to talk to your mother about it.

GoingToBeLessRubbishAtLife · 13/01/2024 12:42

Your mum seems to be the worst out of all these people. She was the only one responsible for not including you on family holidays. Where did you go? Did you stay with your dad then?

I’d just not contact any of them unless they contact you BUT I have a history of just not pursuing relationships that don’t work for me so you might get more measured advice in that regard from someone else.

Evaka · 13/01/2024 12:43

That's so sad OP. I hope your own little family is a happy one x

vidflex · 13/01/2024 12:47

I also think your mom was majorly to blame for all this. I would never ever of allowed my dh to treat his step children like this. She's behaved appallingly. All our children are treated the same.

Easipeelerie · 13/01/2024 12:47

Who instigated the tough love approach to you leaving at age 18? Was it more your step father?
I would definitely step back from devoting any energy to people who hurt or disregard you. Go for it, you only live once-enjoy your life with people who value you.
Re: your mum - it’s harder to unpick. If you know that at heart she wants to do right by you, I’d continue to see her but on your own terms.

Jarstastic · 13/01/2024 12:50

Are they your stepbrothers (father is stepfather and mother is someone else) or half brothers (father is stepfather and mother is your mother)?

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:50

My mother's husband is a piece of shit, always has been. He was physically and emotionally abusive to me and seriously neglectful since I was 3 years old. He smacked me around the head so frequently I used to flinch every time anyone raised a hand near me. I didn't just automatically accept him as my "new dad" when he expected me to and has always hated me for pointing out that he's not my dad. My nan recalls an occasion when I was around 9/10 when he held me down on the floor and laughed as my brothers spit on me.

His mother was very concerned with outer appearances, I don't think she liked me existing as I was a reminder of the fact her precious son was a home-wrecker. There was a lot of pressure from his mother and sisters to change my surname to his and to try to transform me into some kind of clone of his oh-so-perfect niece. I was dressed the same, hair styled the same, sent to ballet because she went and even pulled out of a pre-school I loved to go to the same snooty private nursery she went to.

My mum I think buried her head in the sand in an effort to "keep the peace", tried to validate some of what was happening by telling me that I shouldn't be so difficult and shouldn't "wind him up" etc. She came from a pretty messed up and abusive background herself to be fair so probably had no idea of what was normal or not.

OP posts:
bombardelli · 13/01/2024 12:51

YANBU. I wouldn’t bother with them anymore.

x2boys · 13/01/2024 12:51

Are your brothers your mums sons. So.your half brothers or your step.Dads kids so step brothers
I they're your half brothers then your mum has favoured hers sons over you
If they are step brothers it might not have been her choice

Diamondcurtains · 13/01/2024 12:52

So your mum favours her step sons over you? That would really upset me. ☹️

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:52

Evaka · 13/01/2024 12:43

That's so sad OP. I hope your own little family is a happy one x

Thank you, it is a happy little family and we have my wonderful dad and his side of the family who are all lovely to us.

OP posts:
DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:53

Jarstastic · 13/01/2024 12:50

Are they your stepbrothers (father is stepfather and mother is someone else) or half brothers (father is stepfather and mother is your mother)?

Sorry, yes they are half brothers - same mum, different dad.

OP posts:
x2boys · 13/01/2024 12:55

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:53

Sorry, yes they are half brothers - same mum, different dad.

So your mum.favoured her.two sons over her daughter
I think that's despicable

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:57

My mum has definitely always favoured her sons over me, probably learned from her own mother who was always very much the same.

My mum is very, very complicated and has a difficult and messed up life to be fair. I don't think that she doesn't love me or care about me now, although I often felt that as a child. But I always had much higher expectations for how I behaved and choices I made, my brothers would always get away with anything.

OP posts:
PumpkinsAndCoconuts · 13/01/2024 13:05

Your stepfather abused you and encouraged your halfbrothers to abuse you as well. And your DM did nothing.

No, I am not surprised that your halfbrothers don´t consider you family seeing as you were raised in a manner that made it extremely obvious that their father and your mother did not deem you worthy of protection, the care and resources afforded to your stepbrothers etc.



Did you ever go to therapy? It might help you decide how to proceed.
I don´t know what´s right (for you) but now is the time to protect yourself and your DC.

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 13:05

Growing up my mum had 2 younger brothers who she was expected to run around after, she'd have to look after them and cook their meals, do their laundry etc. My nan would always say things like "well you can't expect a man to be able to do anything can you". My mum's brothers have been unemployed, one of them beat his first wife and lost her and his children because of it, then went on to do the same with his next partner and mother of his 3rd child. He's also been in prison for drug offences, nan would never say a negative word about either of them, made every excuse in the book for them. My mother she constantly berated and ran down, despite my mum working hard, supporting herself and trying to do her best for her family.

Now I have a daughter and a son and it seems that my daughter is my mum's favourite. My son has autism and ADHD and is a little harder to interact with for some people I guess. When I was at my mum's house telling her about his diagnoses her husband came in snorting with derision about how "everyone needs a trendy label these days" and "these things never existed in my day, its just an excuse for bad parenting" etc. After that I did reduce the amount of time I spent visiting my mum as I just can't stand that man and his attitude. Perhaps this is why they no longer bother with me or my son, who knows?!

OP posts:
Ponoka7 · 13/01/2024 13:10

Letting a child get away with anything and letting them spit on another child, is abusive. You've all suffered from bad parenting, your experiences were just different. It usually takes three generations for abusive parenting to disappear and I'd say that it's been a factor in your brothers lives and relationship breakdown. You should forget your mother's husband. Then decide if there is anything to be gained by persuing a relationship with your brothers. I'd just keep the peace enough to see your Mum and nothing more.

Vinrouge4 · 13/01/2024 13:11

Honestly OP, I would cut this toxic bunch out of your life. They are not giving you any joy whatsoever. You have your own little family unit and your dad and you do not need them. You will feel so much happier.

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 13:14

PumpkinsAndCoconuts · 13/01/2024 13:05

Your stepfather abused you and encouraged your halfbrothers to abuse you as well. And your DM did nothing.

No, I am not surprised that your halfbrothers don´t consider you family seeing as you were raised in a manner that made it extremely obvious that their father and your mother did not deem you worthy of protection, the care and resources afforded to your stepbrothers etc.



Did you ever go to therapy? It might help you decide how to proceed.
I don´t know what´s right (for you) but now is the time to protect yourself and your DC.

It's like she just refused to see it, or to see it was as bad as it was, she always tried to downplay it. She took my dad to court for custody of me and won, I guess she just couldn't face admitting how fucked up the situation was. Other people noticed the change in me, my nan realised my flinching had to be down to someone hurting me and she told my uncle who gave mums husband a taste of his own medicine. This just made more drama and upset that I got most of the blame for. I was a trouble-maker apparently, at 4 years old.

I am currently on a waiting list for therapy, I did touch on some of this about 20 years ago when I had 6 therapy sessions arranged and paid for by my workplace at the time. I've suffered with depression and anxiety for pretty much my whole life, I guess I'll need more than a handful of sessions to pick through it all.

OP posts:
Muchof · 13/01/2024 13:15

DiscoDragon · 13/01/2024 12:53

Sorry, yes they are half brothers - same mum, different dad.

So when you say you always thought of them as brothers and not step brothers, well that is because they are! 🙂 It definitely puts a new angle on this though with respect to your mothers behaviour over the years. I would go NC with the whole sorry lot of them.

ToHellBackAndBeyond · 13/01/2024 13:16

Walk away for your sanity and for your children. Just go and don't look back. They don't care about you so don't waste any more of your life on them. Take care now.

Wellhellooooodear · 13/01/2024 13:17

This is horrible to read OP but I'm glad you have your own family now, focus on them x

Nanny0gg · 13/01/2024 13:18

ToHellBackAndBeyond · 13/01/2024 13:16

Walk away for your sanity and for your children. Just go and don't look back. They don't care about you so don't waste any more of your life on them. Take care now.

I agree with this

And your mother's favouritism of your daughter will cause damage to your son (and to your DD. It's not good being the Golden Child either)

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