Advice: it’s all about her…
Well im the middle child in my family and lately my older sister has been getting all the attention (not that i even get any attention because im the middle child). My sister just turned 17 and has been to the “mental hospital” like 3 times. To be honest she doesnt even belong there because there is NOTHING wrong with her. She has apparently been diagnosed with multipal personality disorder or something but there is nothing wrong (i would know). She hasnt been bullied or anything and shes popular. Are parents did split up ages ago but she didnt even like our dad anyway so its not that. My nanna, mum and aunties are so “worried” about her even though shes practically faking. If there was something wrong she would of told me because she usually tells me everything. She has been “cutting her self” (they are cat scratches practically because shes afraid of blood ) and she writes about how she wants to die and stuff and she tells people she wants to kill her self and that shes going to but she wont because she faking . If anyone should be going through this it should be me. Iv been bulled for 2 years and i didnt have any friends at all because my bestfriend was ashamed of me and left me. Even teachers bullied me. She is really popular and has really good friends. At school every single day i get asked “hows your sister?” by all the teachers and her friends. I am so sick of hearing about her. No one asks me how im going or if im okay… My family members always want her to stay at there house and they barely want to see me. My nanna always buys my sister things and takes her out to places and it really upsets me. My mum has noticed that i get angry when my sister gets favored over me. It really annoys me and i dont want to tell anyone because they might think that i want all the attention and that im selfish. But thats not the case i just dont want to be here if shes getting favored over a lie. I always feel like if i wasnt here everything would be better and they probably wont miss me if i was gone. what do i do i cant take it anymore???
Moggy, 14. Perth, Western Australia
Our psychologist says: If you feel like you’re constantly being over looked because everyone is in ‘crisis mode’ focussing on your sister, it’s understandable you’re frustrated. It seems your resentment is building even more because you’re convinced your sister is faking it and taking everyone along for a ride. You’ve been through a really tough time yourself with the bullying and your friend’s rejection. You must speak up. Let others know things are not-OK for you and reach out for support. It hurts that your sister is getting all the attention and no one is asking how you’re going or if you’re alright. Don’t think this means however, that no one cares. Chances are, most people in your close circle (your mum, nana and aunties) are so caught up making sure your sister is safe, they haven’t noticed you’re struggling. Perhaps you’re also someone who can put on an “I’m fine” mask even when you’re actually not. Because of what they’re seeing from the outside, maybe everyone assumes you’re OK. Sit down with your mum or another adult you trust (eg. a teacher or relative) and open up about where you’re at. Let them know what you’ve been through lately (the bullying and issues with friends). Describe the thoughts you’ve had about ‘things being better’ if you weren’t around. Highlight how you feel there’s so much energy being directed at your sister, that no one is taking any interest in you. Avoid getting hung up on whether or not your sister is ‘faking everything’. Even if that’s your view, it’s probably important to accept that the others feel they have to take what’s happening with her seriously. Rather than making it a ‘my sister’s problems’ versus ‘mine’ scenario, keep the conversation focussed on what your needs are at the moment. By revealing what you’ve been dealing with, hopefully others will get the message you need help too and start providing this. When you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and like you can’t cope any more, it’s essential to seek other ‘backups’ too. Contact Kidshelpline or see your GP or school counsellor immediately. A psychologist (eg. via Headspace) or youth worker can also guide you through this. Getting professional help from someone whose attention can be focussed purely on you (rather than your sister) is vital at this time.
(image credit Angie Harms
Over to you: Our psychologist has offered a few suggestions, but what do you think? Can you relate to Moggy’s situation? Have you got any helpful ideas for her?