Youngest child, black sheep

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Youngest child, black sheep
3
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 4:53pm
Ok here goes. I am the youngest of three kids. I am 23 and happen to be the only girl. My brothers are both married. One of them has kids. I lived away from the house from the time I was 19 until I was 22. I decided to go back to school and get my degree. I also moved back in with mom and dad to save money. I feel like the black sheep. Every time we have family gatherings....my brothers and thier wives are in the spotlight. They hardly talk to me, or even ask me how I am doing in school. Last year I had a nervous break down and I ended up in the hospital. My parents came and got me. Things have never been the same with our relationship. they keep bringing up the past. Actually they have always brought up the past. But it seems like now that there is something new that they can bring up, it is what they bring up first.

I dont understand why parents bring up the past and rub it in your face. They say things like "I didnt help you because you wouldnt listen." They make me feel alienated and like the things that happened to me when I was a child were my fault. Can we say...."I was a Child!" How can you blame anything on a child? I guess i just dont get this whole situation. If anyone has any feedback I would appreciate it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 8:01pm
Aawise: My own father brought up something I did....when I was five years old!!! I mean, PLEASE, can we let bygones be bygones? If anything, parents are more to blame because they were the adults at the time, and you were the CHILD. Your bad behavior is far more excusable than their bad behavior.

It sounds like perhaps your family is alienating you because you are the unmarried one? That happens a lot. Some parents tend to have punitive attitudes towards their unmarried, adult daughters. Its unfair and its wrong, but their attitude seems to be that the unmarried daughter failed in some way. Disappointed her parents. So they "punish" her for it. And, when she does finally get married, they start treating her better, quit treating her like the black sheep. This is just all wrong. I have been excluded from family events; recently my sister and cousin, both married with kids, got together for lunch with my aunts and I wasn't invited. It was so obvious why.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 8:11pm
Well, maybe I can help. I am the youngest. I love my mom and my sister, but I could never live with them again. I moved out when I was 18 to go to college. I am 26 years old, I have a degree in chemical engineering, I have worked for ten years, five or six in the engineering field. However, I am still 16 in their eyes. I could get married and have kids and still be the baby. Nothing will ever change that. My mom says she worries the most about me, yet I have a stable career, make good money, have good friends. It is absolutely frustrating. Neither of them are interested or know about the things I like to do. They have absolutely know idea what kind of person I am, because they are very different from me. The only thing they really know is the person who I was when I was 16, so I am treated as if I am 16.

I am guessing that you will always be the baby too, and will never be given the opportunity to be anything else. Just accept it as a fault that they cannot see the person you have become, but try not to be angry. Eventually they will see that you have grown up. When you moved out of the house, they continued their lives without you, they had conversations without you. So when you are back in the house and everyone comes over and they ignore you, they are probably just acting as they did when you were not there. Don't see this as a negative thing, just see it as an opportunity to get a feel for how you fit in. If they bring up the past, just say, yes I did get some help in the hospital, thanks for your concern. Try to keep the conversation calm and un-emotional.

I really hope they don't force advice on you though, my family does that, so I stopped telling them what's going on. Treat them as an aquaintenance, polite yet distant until you get a better feel about what they want to talk about with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 11:36pm
I would like to thank you for your replies. I dont feel so alone in being alientated in the family. I thought for a long time that maybe it had to do with me being the daughter and being unmarried. I excluded that in my reply because I thought i was just me, I thought it was my immagination. For gods sake I am only 23. Anyhow, I do appreciate your response. Thank you