First I want to share with you that I am really sorry to hear that you feel your parents treat your sister better than you. In my personal experience that would make me feel sad, and question what it is about me that makes them treat my sister better. that being shared, would you consider taking stock of this situation, and maybe try to get some perspective, to try to understand if your parents are truly treating your sister better than yo, or if this is perhaps, just perhaps, a perception that you have that isn\’t actually the case? I would never invalidate how you feel, I just think that, in my personal experience, it is very easy for most of us, as human begins, to get focused on what we percieve as being slighted. another option you could consider is working with a mental health professional. You might also consider focusing on taking grew care of yourself, and spending as much time with friends and other family that support you. I know you asked why your parents treat your sister bette than you, and I will share with you that. personally, in my experience, if the truly do treat your sister better, you may not ever get to know that answer to that question, and that would require a great deal of acceptance on your part, if you are willing to go down that path in your journey with this. However, you could, if you feel comfortable with it, ask your parents to have a heart to heart with you about your feelings on this. Or you might consider writing a letter to your parents if you feel more comfortable with that. You know you and your parents and your feelings and the relationship you have with your parents best, so of course these choices are best made by you.
These are just ideas I wanted to share with you from both my personal experience and what I have observed in supporting other friends and families with situations that I perceive as similar to what you briefly asked here.
My older sister and I have always had a rocky relationship. It started, my mother tells me, when I was brought home from hospital after being born and I was not the fun companion my sister had been promised. We then spent the better part of our childhood fighting. Our father did not want to know and would stay out of it. His attitude was, ignore it and it will go away. As adults, we exist together Б I love her, but I do not like her. get-togethers are our only source of interaction, and they are usually strained. We get on better when my mother isnБt there, so she believes that any hostility between us exists only because we are warring for her love and attention. Her constant worry and nit-picking over every interaction is making the whole situation worse. If we ignore each other, we arenБt trying hard enough; if we try to talk, we are making each other uncomfortable or instigating a fight. Recently, my mother accused me of saying something to make my sister feel unwanted, and she is still bringing it up weeks later, saying I am making her stressed. I am truly sorry for what my mother went through when we were children, but I canБt seem to make her understand that we are trying to be amicable, and that we cannot rewrite history.
Although as adults you have to own your own behaviour, you and your sister not getting on as children is not your fault (nor is it your sisterБs); it is the responsibility of parents to make sure siblings get on as well as possible. That doesnБt mean all siblings will be best friends, but parental guidance can go a long way to help. Your parents didnБt help, either by over-involvement or absence. I question why parents tell children about sibling reactions when they were born Б unless they were positive. Such throwaway comments can shape relationships for a lifetime. I consulted Susanna Abse, who is very experienced in sibling relationships. She was struck by how involved your mother is. Abse went straight to the nub of this, which is that Бas long as your mother is the central figure, you and your sister may never have a relationship. And your father sounds displaced. There is no sense of a parental couple. Б Abse and I talked about why some siblings donБt get on, and why a parent may get over-involved in a sibling relationship in the way your mother has. It may be that the parent is Бfull of disappointment and anger, but that anger may be suppressed and then it pops up elsewhere in the family system, such as between siblingsБ. Your mother places herself between you and your sister, in the Бcentre of the dramaБ, as Abse puts it. Who knows how she or your father handled you coming into the home as a baby? Maybe your sister felt displaced, Abse suggests Б it certainly sounds so Б but instead of managing any understandable sibling rivalry, they seem instead to have fuelled the resentment your sister felt.
БIt would be helpful,Б Abse says, Бif you could try to develop something with your sister that is separate from your mother. Where is the sibling space for the two of you? Where is the relationship that is separate from your mum? Adult siblings need to develop a relationship outside of their parents. Б I hear that you Бlove but donБt likeБ your sister; but if you two were ever able to sit down and talk about things, away from your mother, you might be surprised at what you learn. You need to start to see things from each otherБs point of view to get on better, instead of seeing everything the way your mother wants you to. And you should accept that you may just never get on brilliantly with your sister. Perhaps in becoming over-embroiled in your lives, your mother doesnБt have to look at her own life. БA parent can feel left out of their childrenБs relationship,Б Abse says, Бparticularly if that parent is lonely and doesnБt have a partner they can be intimate with. Б Your mother believes that you and your sister are warring for her love and affection. I disagree; I think it is your mother who is fighting for the love and affection. But that is her issue. As you have already seen, away from her, your relationship with your sister is better: work on that. Send your problem to Annalisa regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Follow Annalisa on Twitter: