_I wonder what not being the favorite child would feel like. Of course, my mother says she loves us all the same, but my father makes it pretty obvious. _
Then again, my siblings might find this and bring it to my parent's attention so...ugh, never mind any of that. Hey guys...
For more stories, take a look at the original thread at the end of the article.
‘I Guess I’m Just Not Good Enough’
“My father gave a speech at my wedding. He spoke of my stubbornness and how not everybody has to excel in life to be happy and apparently I am one of those people.
I just remember thinking why couldn’t he find something I am good at to talk about instead of all the things I tried and failed at.”
‘I Use To Overcompensate’
“I went the overcompensation route. The favorite sibling passed away, and I’m still not enough compared to him.
Him dying now places him on this angelic pedestal even though he literally did nothing with his life and straight up stole money from my parents!”
“I had cripplingly low self-esteem. I don’t blame my brother at all, in fact we have a really great relationship. He’s one of my all-time favourite people. He notices the differences too and doesn’t think it’s fair. And straight up, I’m just the scapegoat.”
‘Mom And Dad, Both Had Favourites’
“I always got the sense that my sister was my mom’s favourite, and I was my dad’s. When my dad left, well it was nothing major, but it is frustrating knowing she will always get the benefit of the doubt and get more leeway.
Then again, if my dad visits, it is kinda awkward watching the opposite happen.”
‘I Got Kicked Out Of My House At 10’
“I am a middle child in between two sisters, each approximately a year apart from me. My mother always preferred girls to boys, and as such would treat me like I was always in the wrong. This went as far as to when she would catch them in the act of doing something wrong and would punish me instead.
This culminated into what I like to refer to as, ‘kicking me out of the house when I was ten years old.’
In essence, she called one of her ex-husband’s (not my father and that was a rather nasty divorce) and told him that if he didn’t come and take me in, she was putting me into a boy’s home. So this man, who lived several states away took me in for a few months. I was then bounced from house to house until I landed a semi-permanent residence with one of my aunts.”
To Say The Least: It Hurt
“My father would introduce us as ‘First son’s name’ is a genius. ‘First daughter’s name’ is my princess. ‘Second son’s name’ is a football star, and ‘youngest daughter’s name’ is a beauty pageant winner….oh, and that’s ‘my name’.
“The experience went favorably for the most part, except if things went wrong and I was nearby it was my fault.
As the oldest of 5, I developed dad reflexes long before my time.”
‘I’m Practically A Ghost’
“I have terrible self-esteem. I’m a perfectionist, I get uncomfortable talking about my emotions, and I constantly try to please the people in my life now.
The short story: I’m the eldest of 3. My parents are big sports people, and are the types of people who force their kids into intensive athletic training in order to live vicariously through their children.
I was never good at sports. The first time I tried out for a team, I got cut. So my parents just moved on to my siblings and totally ignored me for the rest of my high school and college years. They ignored all my achievements, would leave home every weekend to go to my siblings’ tournaments around the country and would leave me home alone.
They would neglect to mention that they had an older child to everyone they knew (which led to some awkward moments meeting people they knew), and they didn’t even attend my college graduation because they were so ‘busy’ trolling around the country for my siblings’ sports-related activities.
I was literally told that a tournament was more important than my graduation. I spent my graduation day totally alone, while roommates and friends celebrated with their families. Can you imagine missing your first child’s college graduation for sports?
After college, I moved abroad and never looked back. I only talk to them once a month or so. I didn’t even get a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ when the holidays roll around.
I think my moving far away has just made it okay for them to really pretend that I don’t exist.
I’ve lived here for almost 7 years, and they have never once made an attempt to visit, despite the fact that my mom has several relatives who are pilots and she basically flies for free on their flight plans.
I’m like a ghost to my family and it feels bad.”
The Black Sheep
“I try to have a sense of humor about it and call myself the black sheep. I think deep down it hurts but I truly just think my parents don’t ‘understand’ me or my interests and I’ve come to realize they love me but just don’t relate to me as well as my other siblings.”
The Problem Kid
“When my stepmother came into the picture, I became the middle child of five. I had great grades in advanced placement classes all throughout high school and got directly into my college’s honor school. But I don’t know, I guess because I didn’t come out of my stepmother, I was always the ‘problem’ child. Always accused of doing wrong or something illegal even though it was completely without basis and out of left field.
There was a whole structure of abuse that I can’t even begin to explain – hitting, isolation, manipulation, withheld food, etc. I basically spent high school locked in my bedroom, so I probably spent an unhealthy amount of time online. I focused on doing good in school so I could get myself the heck up out of there.
I later discovered my step mom was a classic narcissist and it explained everything. I’ve since gone with no contact to her and my dad.”
‘What A Crock’
“I was born shortly after WWII to a war broken father and clueless mother, who tried hard to raise a son, but were misguided by Dr. Spock and parenting practises that were prevalent at the time.
As a result, corporal punishment was liberally applied, even as an infant, and I grew into a resentful, hostile toddler.
Then my sister was born.
‘Sugar and spice, and everything nice’, what a crock!
It took me over 50 years to figure out that I had no support or good will from my parents and sister.
Ultimately, I cut all ties with them. My parents are now deceased, and sister has been completely out of my life for years.
I do not miss them, and am grateful for the few years I have left to examine, and maybe fix, some of the damage they did to me.”
‘I’m An Only Child…’
“It wasn’t the best time growing up. All I ever heard was, ‘Oh well, Brian won a ski competition and looks like he’s getting engaged. I wish you would be more like your cousin. He’s a very good kid.”
Well, shoot. I’m an only child and I’m still not the favorite.”
It All Works Out In The End
“I was the mistake of two teenagers. My biological dad ran away to another country and my biological mom had me and then dumped me on my grandma. My mom then married an abusive jerk and had 3 other kids with him that were 2 to 5 years younger than me.
My grandma was a widower that worked as a cleaner all her life. She had so little but she tried her best. We were super poor until she passed away from a heart attack when I was 8. I then rejoined my mom and was promptly cast as the black sheep.
My mom’s husband had a small successful building company and they lived in a big mansion type of house with a pool. My half-siblings had the latest toys, participated in all sorts of after-school activities and had their own rooms. I was allowed to sleep in a sleeping bag in the lounge. I had to look for a job and use it all to pay board since the age of 13. I wasn’t allowed to have any friends over or do anything. I had to go to the local school whilst my siblings went to some fancy pants prestigious school.
I mostly spent my days in the library reading, studying and participating in free activities.
I would also volunteer a lot as that was more fun than working and they couldn’t tell me not to do it (they were ‘good Christians’). I would basically wake up at 6 am, do my chores, paper route/other odd jobs, exercise, eat fruit for breakfast then go to school. Then after school, I would go to work/extracurricular free crap/spend time in the library until it was 8 pm then go home, do the other chores I had left, eat left overs and sleep.
Due to this routine, I ended up doing well at school and getting multiple offers for full rides through college.
My guidance counselor, some teachers and close friends’ families knew of my situation and helped me a lot by taking me for holidays and helping me get organized for college etc.
In the end, I got a good job, started a successful business and am way ahead of any of my siblings. My siblings treated me like complete trash and ignored me for most of my youth (probably coached by my mom and stepdad). The great financial crisis really killed my stepdad’s business and the whole family became dirt poor.
My business prospered under the GFC and now I make enough money that I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. It’s not so surprising how everyone suddenly remembers you are family when in a crisis after ignoring you for most of your life.
I’m currently 33 and very happy with myself. I don’t have any family in my eyes and the experiences I’ve had made it difficult for me to open up to anyone completely and be vulnerable so relationships are difficult for me.
However, this experience has taught me discipline, self-reliance, independence and drive which has helped me with my business, career life and physical health.
I have a very small group of tight friends and that’s enough for me. I am in therapy trying to get myself to open up more and hopefully one day I will have a family of my own.”
It’s A Harsh World
“I’m the oldest by four years. My younger sister and younger brother are only a year apart in age.
I find that most of my parents’ friends and colleagues have no idea I even exist. I often get the ‘I didn’t know you had another daughter…’ or they will call me by my younger sister’s name when we first meet.
My response is always, ‘I’m the one they don’t talk about.’
I actually don’t care.
My parents and I have never really gotten along. My mother is a narcissist, my father parties every night. I’m the only child that ever had the wherewithal to tell them no or to make choices for myself.
I’m also the most successful of the three, by far. Personally, financially, I’ve made decisions that put me on a path of growth, because I wasn’t waiting for my mother to make decisions for me.
My mom was only ever concerned with what people think, so now people get to think that she’s the parent of two pretty unsuccessful children, instead of adding in that third one she might actually be able to brag about.
If I had any sort of emotional attachment to them I might feel differently, but they’re just people to me, I have the same feelings for them that I have for any stranger.”
Points are edited for clarity.