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Dr. Levang here. I left you an answer and am just checking back. Let me know if you would like to chat more.
Dr Levang, I would like some advise on how to handle this situation. My feelings are contradictory. On one hand I do not want to interact with them, on the other hand I can't because of emotional attachment. It's very hard not to talk to them all at all. What can I do so that I am in peace with myself?
Yes - you are in a tough spot. You are hurt and angry because of the double standard with your brother - he gets financial support from your parents, yet your parents don't seem to see that. Then your sister, who you consider yourself close to, advocates against you by encouraging your mother not to help you. It is all confusing and hurtful - still - this is your family.
And you care about your family and want to be connected to them.
Here are some thoughts:
It doesn't help to measure how your parents treat each of you. Yes - it's true that your brother gets "special treatment" and that your sister seems to have your mother's "ear." Your parents have the right to form unique relationships with each of their children. In families, fairness doesn't always rule.
If you look deep into your heart, you are likely to find and describe some special aspect to your relationship with your parents that is different from your brother and sister. Maybe it is that your mother confides in you, that she enjoys conversation with you...think about this idea and see what you find.
At this point, it would be helpful for you to be honest with your mother and sister by telling them that you are hurt, but that you extend forgiveness to them. As you have said, it's not the money that bothers you, but how they treated you - how easily they judged and rebuffed you. In order to go forward, they need to hear of your pain and what you would have wanted instead. If you do not tell them these things, there will be no real opportunity to be treated differently! Certainly, they are not mind readers. If you withhold this, they cannot change. I encourage to find the strength within yourself to discuss this with them.
Then, set about forgiving your mother and your sister. Perhaps you are right and your sister doesn't want you to get money from your mother because she wants that money available for herself. If that is true, then she will have to live with her dishonesty and the consequences of being untruthful. If your mother does not want to help you because she is being persuaded by your sister, then your mother has to live with the aftermath of making a decision based on falseness. In any case, each of them will have to live with their choice.
Then, too, you will have to live with your choice as to how you go forward. It sounds like you do not want to alienate yourself from your family. If that is true, then you must find room in your heart to let this go and to move to forgiveness. Certainly there is an unfairness here. Your mother does not treat each of her children equally. Is it worth the emotional battle to press for equality? Is it better for you - and for the rest of your family - to step back and come to see that your parents have the right to see each of their children individually and to build unique relationships with each of them?
I understand your pain. Yes - it would have been far better if your mother and sister had not thrown unkind and hurtful statements at you when you asked for financial support. They do need to understand how hurtful and wounding that was and how hard it is for you to be judged. Because you are the one hurt, you must be the one to discuss this with them. As I said, they are not mind-readers.
Forgiveness and compassion are in order as well. That is what you want from them...you want them to be compassionate about your financial issue, forgive you for not being the best at handling money, and so forth....
This is an opportunity for you and your family to grow in commitment and love.
Please let me know if this is helpful.
Just checking back to see if you are available to respond.
Another thing I want to say is that my brother is very bossy with my parents. He does not respect them and he does not care at all about them. Indeed he says that in case my parents need help I am their only hope. He has stated that he won't help them when they will become old and needy. Regardless of all these, they support him financially, emotionally and practicly i.e. looking after his children. And all these because he is the boy in the family. As my mother has said: "we are one family with your brother and his family, we are a unit. My relationship with my brother is non-existant. I tried to come close to him but it seems that he does not want to. I think that he is very selfish and he wants everything. But that's how he was raised.
Regarding my sister I think that she is jeoulous of me, because I am beautiful and she is not, I am popular with our extended family and she is not.
My mother thinks that she and my sister are more clever than me. They think that I am timid, lazy and taking no initiatives. Actually, my mother has passed this on to other people. She compares me to my sister saying that she is more assertive, more of a leader and more dynamic. So far I haven't mentioned my father. Well, my mother manipulates him and she does whatever she wants. Actually she is the boss, after my brother of course. Although I have a wider knowledge of things than my sister, in conversations with my parents they ask her about different topics. I haven't said that I am not a very talkative person, I find it difficult to make idle chit-chat,especially so after my postnatal depression. From what I have written so far could you assess my personality? I want an honest opinion!!
Your family dynamics are quite common - really. Dominant mother with selfish, self-centered son who - because he is a male - is entitled and operates with a different set of rules. This is very typical in many cultures. Jealous sister - yes - that is not unusual when there are differences in looks, personality, wealth, intellect. That mother compares her daughters and makes that known - that is typical in some families too.
While all of this happens frequently in families it does not resolve the pain that you feel for being on the "outside". As that is what you are describing....that sense that mother and brother have a tight bond, that mother and sister have a tight bond, and that you are "forgotten" or "have no place." I can only imagine the emotional pain this brings you. I am sorry.
As to your personality, you seem to be an intelligent and thoughtful individual. You acknowledge some flaws in handling money, but you also point to your generosity and desire to share your wealth when you have it. It is obvious that you love your parents and want to have a place in the family. If you didn't, you would not be taking the time to write to JustAnswer!
The financial crisis that brought you to ask your mother and sister for help is not the issue here at all. The issue is that you feel forgotten and left out of the family circle.
It seems that some amount of bitterness and anger is settling in about your family. I understand your choice not to be in relationship with your brother. But that decision comes with a cost as your mother is so dependent on him and so entrenched in his life. Certainly, it will be far easier for your mother to blame you for a poor relationship with him, then for her to see that he has any responsibility. Right?!
You don't have to become your brother's best friend or even come to like him. But...because your feelings for him are well-known by your mother and sister, I encourage you to develop a minimal relationship with him. By that I mean: when you see him, be cordial and respectful. When you talk with your mother, bring up his name and ask how he and his family are. Attempt to open up communication about him with your mother and sister so that you are drawn into the family circle rather than remain outside it.
Does this make sense to you? Are you willing to move in this direction?
How your brother conducts his life and how he will treat your parents when they are old and needy is not something you can control. He will do what he will do. Meanwhile, you have the responsibility for your choices. As hard as it might be, you can choose to be civil to your brother and...you can choose to forgive your sister for her petty jealousy.
It appears that you would feel better about your family and yourself, if you did not feel like such an outsider.
Your sister has likely had years and years of being jealous of you. And...your mother hasn't helped by making all these comparisons. Sometimes we just have to accept that the past is the past and make new plans for going forward. Compliment your sister and what she does have - is she well read, is she good at crafts, does she have a good singing voice - find the things that are "beautiful" about her and tell her so. Try to find ways to show her - and your mother - your sister's own uniqueness. By doing this, you move away from comparisons and demonstrate that every person is valued for who they are.
Please let me know your response.