Have any of you ever felt that your parents were choosing one of your siblings over you? Or even just someone else? Well, I get that feeling. Before I explain, I want to point out that my mother is a very strong and independent single mother of four. She married into a family of three and with me and my younger brother in the picture we made a perfect American family. After 13 years of being a single mother, she finally met the man of her dreams and got married, with him came twin girls who my mother practically adopted. Their mother had left the picture and only came back after my mom stepped up to the plate. I won’t lie, I have no compassion for this women, she has shown me and my family, time and time again, that she is nothing short of a villain towards us. So while my dad (the man my mother married), Steven, was alive, Stacy had no custody of the girls. All choices regarding my sisters were my mother's and my father's to make.
So when my father, died Stacy immediately took custody and changed everything. The girls moved out, changed schools within a year, and went from seeing us five times a week to only two days. Stacy will ground them from seeing us and has made it very clear that at any moment she could take the girls and allow them to never see us again.
Now over a year later and the game is the same. Eggshells and silent anger.
Yet my mother has made it a habit to feel guilty about her children and when that happens she shows them favor. No chores, fewer rules, easy getaway, and almost never in the wrong. She argues on their behalf and makes sure everyone else knows you can’t change her mind.
So you can see where I am coming from when I ask you all if you ever felt like your parent(s) are or is choosing someone else over you. It doesn’t have to be them spending more time with them, it can just be them telling you to be quiet when it was someone else who was in the wrong. It could be you who has to clean up someone else’s mess because that person or those people don’t have to. It’s like favoritism.
Now, I know my mother loves us all equally, she just feels guilty and is afraid she will lose two of her children from just one wrong move. I understand why she is scared to set rules and get harsh, but what about the rest of us? What about the things we have to do to make them all happy?
I am the oldest of the four children, so the role of second parent falls on my shoulders when there is only one parent. And that role was on my shoulders from the time I was five when my brother was born. I helped take care of him and watched him when I was needed to. I stepped up as the older sibling and when his dad stepped out emotionally, I stepped up even more. So when my mom got married, I finally got a break. There were two parents, a secure household, a rule of law. I was just one of the kids, finally.
So I took it hard when Steven died and I had to not only step up all over again, but no longer did I have the security that came with the role. It was my word against the girls and I lost every time.
My brother does the dishes and when he visits his dad on the weekends, the sink will generally have a handful of dishes if that. Yet after the two days, the girls are with us, every cup is used and the sink is almost full. All of which are mostly due to them. The back room can be clean from when I organized everything yet after two days of them being over, the floor will disappear and clothes will be shoved on the shelves.
Yet they get to leave and do nothing.
We clean up after them.
10 days max out of the month and yet they have more clothes than everyone else and make the biggest mess with the things they bring with them. Not to forget that they are both now 13 and have developed a full-blown teenage attitude.
An attitude that I will return when it is given to me.
Yet I am the one who gets told off.
I am the older one, I should just let it go. My mothers’ words, of course.
I might be older, but what does that have to do when out of four children, the oldest is the most prosecuted?
The one, when asked to do something, always does. Grocery pickup? On it. Dinner? On it. Pick the kids up? On it. Do an errand? On it. I am always on it. Someone coming over and the living room needs straightening up? On it.
Yet, I am in the wrong every time. I need to stop every time.
Me. Every time.
How is one supposed to feel during all this?
The girls weren’t the only ones who lost a dad.
The girls weren’t the only one who lost a home, whose lives changed within minutes.
So how is it that I am supposed to deal with the grief, step up to a long lost role of oldest sibling, pick up the slack on second parent when needed, deal with the favoritism, and then be happy about it? To be quiet about it?
So tell me, am I the only one who faces this problem? Who has to love someone, in my case two someone’s, and yet have to look at them and know if it came between us two, I would lose?
If you face this, just breath. Every day I think about what my life will be like once I finish school. Once I get to move on to med school and can just leave. To not have to deal with the weekends full of arguing and attitude. To not have to deal with the messes or disrespect. To just move on with my life and be much more relaxed.
You just have to face forward and keep going. One day someone will look back and see what you gave to the table and will thank you for it. But until then you just need to love yourself. Know what you gave out and then just keep going.
You should never feel like you are competing with your family, so if someone is making you feel like that then shame on them. You can love someone but you do not have to fully respect them. They get what they give and if they give you nothing then that is on them. You just have to be nice, stay respectful, and move forward with your life.
Maybe sitting down and talking will fix things, but in my situation, it just turned into a fight that my mother dragged on.
Just don’t lose yourself when everything will get better once you start your own life. When you no longer have to share a life, then they have no reason to listen to them. So breath. Just live and be happy. Figure yourself out and let them figure out theirs.
Hopefully, at the end of the day, when all is said and finished, they find themselves back into your life and make it easier, not harder.
And if any of you ever need to talk, please email me and I will be more than happy to talk with you.
With much love,