Wow. Just got off the phone with my mom. The call did not go well. My relationship with my parents has not been easy. Lots of ups and downs. My parents basically have two families – My Twin and I, and then my other sisters who are 9 and 11 years younger. I do remember things being great until my sisters came along.. then it all went to hell. 😉
A week ago my mom had a disagreement/confrontation with My Twin sister… My Twin and my mom walked away from this conversation with very different views. I don’t agree 100% with either of their perspectives, I feel that I have an in-between view so I tried to bridge the gap. My attempt was disastrous.
My parents were much more strict with My Twin and I – the rules were much more rigid and the punishment much more severe. They are and have been much more lenient with my younger sisters. Right or wrong, it is the way that it is. My parents are good people. They did the best that they could. But that doesn’t take away the fact that their treatment of each of us was and is very different. And when you treat your kids so differently it creates animosity. ADDITION: Perceived favoritism has long term impacts on adult children.
My mom got very angry. In a very angry voice she told me that she and my dad did the best they could. Accused me of “jumping on My Twin sister’s bandwagon” (playing victim), and being judgmental. She said they help all their kids no matter what and that will never change.
I told my mom that I know that she and dad did the best they could, but that doesn’t change the experiences that My Twin and I had… I then said that the best way to deal with differing perspectives is to talk about it, so that we could better understand the bigger picture.. She did NOT agree. Said that she doesn’t owe My Twin and I any explanations, then basically hung up. I do not want my mom to feel bad, but her anger doesn’t change feelings.
My mom and dad did their best. I am proud of them. They have gone through a lot and I respect that they want to help their children. But what if one kid takes more than the other? Helping one child over an over again can take away from time with the other children. It is a fact of life – you only have so much time and energy. The fact is that my parents continue to help my 36-year-old sister takes away from the time and energy my mom has to spend with the rest of her kids. Example, my sister has lived with my parents for 18+ years. She still lives with them – my sister, her husband, and her 3 kids. My mom takes her 10-year-old to school and babysits the 3-year-old everyday. My parents, who have been retired for 3 years, just went on vacation, away from their own home “to get away and relax”.
My parents have not been out to see me in CA in over 4 years. Yep. 4 years. Yes I have invited them, even offered to pay for them to visit. They have yet to fit it into their schedule.
I feel like giving up. I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to have a relationship with my parents. But the relationship feels one-sided for the most part. If this was a love relationship, we would have broken up long ago. I do love my parents, it would be nice to have a more balanced relationship. Even without my sister sucking up all their time and energy, I am not confident that they would desire such a relationship. Makes me sad.
Anyone else have a complicated relationship with their parents?
ADDITION: Sibling Favoritism. This is the issue. My perception is that my mom loved my youngest sister best, the sister who still lives at home is my dads favorite. My Twin and I had each other. It always felt as if my parents were a family with my sisters and My Twin and I were the odd ones out. Advise on the web is to “get over it”… not exactly sure how one does this.