Sister issues - can they be conquered?
January 17, 2013 8:06 AM Subscribe
I keep comparing myself to my sister, and it's making me miserable.
posted by anonymous to human relations (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
(I searched AskMeFi but couldn't find anything similar - if anyone knows of related questions, please link me.)
I should start off by saying I'm not the happiest person. When I was a kid I got it into my head that I wasn't like everyone else (I wasn't a cute little girl, I was skinny and needed glasses, and I've had severe facial eczema since I was a baby). I spent a lot of high school being bullied by a girl who was ostensibly my friend, and thus began college plagued with a host of issues including crippling low self-esteem, social anxiety, a pathological need to please, and most likely some degree of depression. It's only in the past few years (I'm mid-20s) that I've started to come into myself, becoming more positive and friendly, more assertive and sure of my own mind. But I still have this weird fixation on my sister and I feel like it's holding me back.
My sister's younger than me and seems to have had an easier time of it. She was the cute one, the healthy one, the outspoken one, she never seemed to have difficulties establishing friendship groups, and now that she's finished her teens, in my head she's somehow morphed into this ideal of what my life should be (or should have been): from the outside she appears so much more adult than me, with a regular part-time job, strong social network, down-to-earth personality, a combination of interests that are 'in' (eg. coffee, baking, photography, concerts, street fashion). Because I'm the older sister it feels like I've failed somehow, even though I know we are totally different people and I couldn't have or do some of the things she does (I don't have the spare cash or energy to go out so many times socially, nor do I want to). I get pangs of jealousy and feel immature and awful whenever sis comes back home with tales of how her day went, and our parents respond with enthusiasm (I dislike talking about my day, and so can't bond to the parents in this fashion). And somehow, I still light up whenever she's around, and whenever she's out and it's just me and the parents at home, everything feels quiet and lifeless. A lot of this is tied up in perceived parental expectations and what my parents must think of me just sitting at home all the time (even though I'm happy being by myself - or I would be, if I weren't aware of the way it looks to other people).
Basically, whenever I think about how good my sister seems to have it, I feel a furious sense of entitlement that that should be *me*, and then I hate myself for being so deeply fucked up and for being jealous of someone who actually cares about me a lot.
I'm seeing my counsellor tomorrow, but if you guys have any advice/wisdom/kicks in the butt for me in the meantime, that would be very welcome. Thanks to PMS I've been randomly bursting into tears about it and the dehydration is giving me headaches. Cheers.
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