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Old 06-19-2017, 09:40 AM
 
Location: USA
1,679 posts, read 452,576 times
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I can relate to what you're saying OP. I am the youngest and the only girl. Everything my brothers do is much more important than what I do. I'm older than you. It hasn't improved. Sorry...
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:44 AM
 
1,389 posts, read 758,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
My parents doted on my 11 years younger brother and after he was born I became the invisible child. In a way, having the attention of my alcoholic parents diverted from me was a comfort. I simply accepted it and didn't dwell upon it. In time I became a commissioned officer in the military which should have made my Marine Corp, career officer father proud but it was barely acknowledged by my parents. Invisible indeed. As an adult I simply continued to accept it and filed it away. If you have no expectations you can never be disappointed.
That is terrible I need to learn to brush it off better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Extraction View Post
I can relate to what you're saying OP. I am the youngest and the only girl. Everything my brothers do is much more important than what I do. I'm older than you. It hasn't improved. Sorry...
At least i'm not alone.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:00 AM
 
Location: PA
838 posts, read 1,013,557 times
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I grew up in a family like this, I was ranked 2/3 out of 4. My husband grew up in a split home, one bio sibling and two step siblings, he is ranked last and everything comes before him. We are expected to drop everything when they have holiday gatherings even though they tell us last minute. I remember when my husband was in hospital last year, his mother was too busy going to the beach with his brother to stop by during or after. We didn't see her again till months later in Thanksgiving where she paid attention to everyone in the family but my husband till he was ready to leave die to boredom and the fact we were already there 4 hours. We suck it up and deal, because we have tried to say something and they spun it back on us, making us the bad guys for feeling the way we did. Families can be brutal, and I am sorry I don't have successful advice. We tried everything and nothing we tried worked except for trying to not let it get to us (although when it happens over and over again it is hard).
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:15 AM
 
5,933 posts, read 5,411,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
I don't know. Probably not. I could ask them. They are a lot more unphased by my parents actions/words. but then again, they are treated better lol
LOL. I would maybe talk to them to potentially get some confirmation that you're not crazy, since your parents may be in gaslighting mode (whether they realize it or not).

What I'm about to say is much harder to say than do so I'm acknowledging that upfront. If there is not a reasonable chance at changing this family dynamic you're going to have to make some decisions IMO. You either need to limit the time you spend with them (and maybe focus on building your own ad hoc "family" made up of people you meet, just so yo can get that validation elsewhere) or you're going to have keep spending time with them but learn not to care what they say. After all it really is their problem, not something you deserve. But it can be very hard to internalize that lesson especially if they've been doing this since childhood. You need to learn that either way but it can be harder if you are around them a lot.

You can also do both. Focus on building your own network of loving supportive people while simultaneously pulling back on time with your parents when your brothers are there also. Maybe see people separately instead of all of you together since that is when things get most toxic.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,398 posts, read 4,553,576 times
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I'm sorry. Isn't it frustrating to have this happen all your life and know they're never going to change?

You know, we see a lot of people (particularly in the Retirement forum) who are upset because they're estranged from their adult children. I sometimes wonder what those adult children would say if they were asked. I'm guessing at least some of them would tell a story similar to yours.

You could try a couple of sessions of talk therapy to see if that helps. Sometimes having a neutral third party giving you their entire attention helps.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:02 AM
 
1,389 posts, read 758,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
LOL. I would maybe talk to them to potentially get some confirmation that you're not crazy, since your parents may be in gaslighting mode (whether they realize it or not).

What I'm about to say is much harder to say than do so I'm acknowledging that upfront. If there is not a reasonable chance at changing this family dynamic you're going to have to make some decisions IMO. You either need to limit the time you spend with them (and maybe focus on building your own ad hoc "family" made up of people you meet, just so yo can get that validation elsewhere) or you're going to have keep spending time with them but learn not to care what they say. After all it really is their problem, not something you deserve. But it can be very hard to internalize that lesson especially if they've been doing this since childhood. You need to learn that either way but it can be harder if you are around them a lot.

You can also do both. Focus on building your own network of loving supportive people while simultaneously pulling back on time with your parents when your brothers are there also. Maybe see people separately instead of all of you together since that is when things get most toxic.
Yeah probably a mix of both. I definitely have to cut back on the time i spend with them, i just can't do it, like i feel like its just not good for my overall health. And trying to just brush it off is NOT working. It's hard when society tells you "family is everything".
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:03 AM
 
1,389 posts, read 758,772 times
Reputation: 1642
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I'm sorry. Isn't it frustrating to have this happen all your life and know they're never going to change?

You know, we see a lot of people (particularly in the Retirement forum) who are upset because they're estranged from their adult children. I sometimes wonder what those adult children would say if they were asked. I'm guessing at least some of them would tell a story similar to yours.

You could try a couple of sessions of talk therapy to see if that helps. Sometimes having a neutral third party giving you their entire attention helps.
Yup, that is the first thing i always think of. Actually i saw a thread just before, i think in the parenting forum, where a mother is asking why her daughter doesn't call more often or something. and i think to myself - maybe you are saying/doing something harmful that you don't even realize. Like i wonder if my parents even realize they are doing these things.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,806 posts, read 1,613,544 times
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My mother treated me this way, compared to my sister and 4 brothers. I could tell she resented me, but didn't understand why, and she was not the kind of person you could ask.

This went on for decades, and eventually I stopped interacting with her. I didn't even go to her funeral.

I did finally figure out what was going on (I think). She had younger sisters--adorable twins--that she had to take care of when young. She resented THEM all their lives, and transferred her feelings to her own kids. So in her head, my older sister represented my mom, and I was the younger sisters who needed to be punished for stealing her mother's attention.

Family dynamics are nuts, everybody bringing their own dish of crazy to the table. Do your brothers treat you the same way your parents do?
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:06 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,972 posts, read 69,907,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
thanks for taking the time to read my post

I do wonder if it's just because i'm a girl. also i'm the youngest. so maybe when i was born my parents were just exhausted from raising 2 kids already so by the time i came around they just cared a lot less lol.

i am fortunate in that it is not as extreme as your friend's. and i will say my parents did a lot for me and all that stuff. but still hurts nonetheless.
OP, it IS because you're a girl! I have the same situation in my family--two older brothers. Same dynamic as you; everything the oldest brother especially says is declared "brilliant", no matter how banal. Even when he's caught by surprise by a question I ask him on the issues of the day, and stumbles around to find a response, whatever response he comes up with to hide the fact that he'd never thought about the issue I raised is declared "brilliant". Anything the boys (now men, of course, with families) do is automatically considered important. Even when they postponed going to college for years, because they weren't interested in academics, they still received all the attention in conversations. And I noticed that this preferential treatment was reinforced by the extended family as well, at the rare family gatherings.

My family also had that "exhaustion" factor, to some extent, by the time the 3rd child arrived. My mother struggled to deal with two rambunctious boys, and didn't seem to have much steam left for a third late-arriving child. Though I wouldn't say this is common, or normal. It has to do with individual psychology. 3 kids is not too many for quite a few parents. But there's a lot of unconscious bias in favor of boys in our culture.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:08 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,972 posts, read 69,907,126 times
Reputation: 75762
Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post

Family dynamics are nuts, everybody bringing their own dish of crazy to the table
Haha, in a nutshell!
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