Favoritism

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fiona

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Favoritism
« on: May 06, 2016, 06:36:32 PM »
  I found some quotes and this is exactly how I feel. I'm  in my early 60's and the strain of what she's done as far as favoritism cuts deep. It has caused problems. Esp now that she's old, and the thoughts loom of who's taking care of her in the near future?  I say let oldest bro and middle  bro...she cooks for them daily, makes them check in with her, they call her if she goes out, she calls them when she gets back, she tells them things I said, heck one lives with her!!  Grow up boys!!! I trust none of them I keep it very LC, and do not share anything with her, you live you learn!!! Still I think it will always hurt and stay with me always...you just don't favor your children one over the other :sadno:

     "The unfavored child
The unfavored child perhaps stands to suffer the most – even long after he or she has left home whether it be through depression, weakened self-esteem or a chronic need to feel special. And in many cases, sibling relationships are strained as resentment from favoritism breeds.

“I see patients who, even well into their 50s, carry feelings about being the favored or unfavored child,” Dr. Libby says. “I have a patient in his 60s whose mom is still alive. He still feels slighted when his elderly mom needs something and turns to his sister. He still wants to be seen as special to his mother.”

Long term
"Dr. Volling studies sibling relationships and knows all too well the devastating effects that can result from sibling relationships gone wrong particularly due to parental favoritism".

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GarbageChild

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 08:28:32 PM »
The unfavored child is often the one that identifies the family dysfunction and rejects it, while the favored child is the one that will at least attempt to mold himself to the dysfunction, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes being totally engulfed by it.

As I age and look back on the unequal treatment, I now understand that by virtue of my "critical eye" I was seen as an enemy of the family system that needed to be crushed and eradicated.  I was not the worshipping, adoring, abuse-forgiving daughter of her dreams - thank goodness.

I am not the loser of family favor, I am the winner that freed herself from the dysfunctional system.

When I was 15 my parents sat me down, and my father told me that I should now choose to stay and obey their rules (which was submitting to their madness and cruelty), or to leave.  Before I could say anything, he said that were I to choose to leave, him, Nmother and GCbro would be a happy and harmonious family.

I put them to the test and I left.  I left into later was to be a happy and harmonious family of choice.  The dysfunction continued unabated in the family I left behind, and GCbro is still immensely traumatized, he can barely speak of the past.  He was the one that understood the need to comply so that what happened to me didn't happen to him.  He suffered greatly from this fear-induced compliance.

I cannot say that I suffered the most, because life vindicated me and the values I believed in, while they wallowed in misery and eternal conflict.  All in all, I was with them for only a very short time, I started to plot my escape when I was 12.

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fiona

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 10:02:25 AM »
yes, that is so true, the unfavored child does identify the dysfunction Thank you for that GarbageChild!

I know I must just let go of it and not care. I'm trying and I will get there

My youngest brother says he just doesn't care. He broke free!  :applause:

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xredshoesx

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 11:14:32 AM »
when my biological mom was married to my stepfather (who i am thinking now is an uNPD) the two of them would tag team to pick favorites between the oldest three, when one of us would be temporarily elevated and then other two scapegoated, with youngest was always the first choice GC.  that made for an interesting dynamic and destroyed any possibility of me having a relationship with any of my step-siblings after the divorce, even though their dad had custody of me (which is another sidebar but really how messed up do both your bio parents have to be before an ex-step parent gets custody of your kid?????????) because the dynamic worsened after my biological mom was out of the picture.

i found out my uncle was my half brother when i was close to 30.  it destroyed my relationship with him and left me questioning 'why him and not me' when i think of the difference in how we were treated by our grandparents (my biological mother's parents).

this rings very true for me.  even though i have been NC half my life,  now as an adult i still never want to be first or favored in any way.  i prefer to stay in the backround, fly under the radar as much as possible and in general feel uncomfortable when i am singled out for anything, even if it's positive or a nice thing.    being singled out still has too many negative memories and emotions for me which i would prefer to not have in front of other people.

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GarbageChild

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2016, 12:01:14 PM »
I know I must just let go of it and not care. I'm trying and I will get there

The flip side of "favoritism" is that the disfavored child can be purposely neglected and abused.  You could be 98 and still be outraged, "how can a mother treat her child that way?" especially that you observed that she was able to treat a sibling very differently.

Us disfavored children of PDs have learned some very harsh lessons in how NOT to behave as an adult.  We broke free, and devoted our lifetimes to being different from them, to not repeat their ways in our FOCs.

Sometimes it helps to remember that children of PDs aren't the only ones with horrible childhoods.  Children of criminals, addicts, cults, celebrities, the mentally ill... children born out of violence and poverty... horrible childhoods are part of the human experience - very broken people have children all the time!

Still we grew; we loved, we learned, we traveled, some of us had children of their own.  Have we not had wonderful lives after all?

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Inurdreams

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2016, 01:27:28 PM »
Favoritism with children is abuse IMHO.  It is always set up for at least one child to "fail" in the eyes of the parent, no matter how hard that child tries to win approval of the parent.

I was thinking about the story of Cain and Able.  I was always taught that it was a story warning us about the consequences of murder.  But maybe there is more to the story. Maybe it's a warning to parents not to favor one child over another which then led to murder.  In the story it was Adam's favoritism of Able that caused Cain to murder Able.  As a result Adam was left with neither son; one dead and one banished.  Maybe Cain wasn't the only bad guy in the story, in fact, maybe maybe Adam was just as responsible for Able's murder as Cain was.  Adam's favoritism was the catalyst of the whole incident.

Not to go all preachy and I am not a Bible scholar at all, it's just something that popped up in my head recently concerning our Nparent's blatant favoritism.

Maybe the story is obvious to most people and I am just a little slow on the uptake.  If so, please just ignore this post and carry on.
 :-[

Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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fiona

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
I agree with you that Adams favoritism caused the terrible outcome of that story!  I'm sure there are places in the bible that God warns of favoritism..tho I don't know where? My mom swears she doesn't favor one over the other but she does! Odd thing is she bashed her sister for doing the same thing with her 3 daughters for favoring the youngest.

My mom seems clueless and I'm finding that whatever works best for her seems to be how she lives. Such N behavior! Show her attention, she's a happy camper ;D I don't have the energy to try to please her anymore. Nothing I do is noticed, a waste of time and energy

ohhh and me too, I don't like being singled out, noticed, hate attention and just want to also be in the background. I am very much an introvert!

Thank you everyone. The advice and lessons here from all of you are priceless!


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Joyous

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 11:53:59 PM »
I am also the scapegoat of the family.  My younger brother treats my mother badly and he can do no wrong.  I on the other hand am treated without mercy.  I have a job that is very customer service oriented. I deal very well with people on the outside, but inside I never feel like I fit in.  I carry that feeling within my being, and at times it brings a deep sense of sadness to me.  The flip side to this is that I have become a very empathetic person.  I was always told growing up that I was difficult and cold.  Studying about npd has taught me that I was given a role to play by my NM.  That was her version of me, not what I truly am.  I no longer look for that family connection.  My mothers favoritism towards my brother caused a rift between us, but that's what narcs do. Divide and conquer! 

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all4peace

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2016, 05:31:32 PM »
My H is the SG or neglected adult child in his family. One sister is the highly favored GC. We both (SG and GC) live next door to H's parents. I feel a bit ill when I think of what the dynamic might be once my ILs are aging and need a lot of care. SIL doesn't even acknowledge H's presence in a public setting, where normally the masks are on and the family is trying to be convincingly polite and kind. She will take his help without a word of acknowledgement, and demand help, and literally will not even make eye contact.

He has struggled with depression and does not feel lovable or worthy. When people do love him (which is pretty much everyone he meets!!) he doesn't trust it or believe it. I really worry for him when I die, as even my love sometimes isn't enough.

It's a terrible, terrible wound when parents do this to their children.

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fiona

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 09:05:43 AM »
My heart breaks for anyone who goes thru the pain of having an ignoring mom. That feeling that stays inside us never goes away. Life can go on daily but then some little thing triggers it. I saw many face book posts on Sunday with mom/daughter pictures. I cried because I could never put one of those on there. It would be fake. She only wants me when she needs help and since I refused to drive both her and step-dad to HER doctor appointments...she ignores me more.  He is 87 unstable and I'll be damned if I take both :no:

I care about all of you and the sadness having this kind of mom brings to us and our loved ones. Watching them go thru it is so very hard also.

I think I need to just get stonger, and say to H with it!!  Many do get there and I'm hoping I do as well as others who hurt

 :hug:


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fiona

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 10:01:43 AM »
I have found some great reading lately, very validating!

This article was talking about 'the lost child' and different paths their lives took. This one was my path.

"The other path is that this child becomes socially awkward and uncomfortable with others.  If the focus moves to them, they panic.  They are unable to express emotion, because they have learned it doesn’t pay.
These chidlren tend to become attached to pets and toys rather than people"

pets became my best friends. To this day my love of animals helps me get through many bad days

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nanotech

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2016, 10:41:09 AM »
inurdreams  I was interested in your reference to Cain AND Abel. Have you seen the film EAST OF EDEN with James Dean?  If not try to watch it. It's one of my faves- saw it first at about 15 and loved it. Didn't really understand at the time why - just thought I had fallen in love with JD, (which I had lol). It's the way he plays the character of Caleb and the dysfunctional family dynamics he has to endure.
We only scratched the surface of genius with James Dean. RIP to him.
Me and my older sis were alternate scapegoats with our brother as GC. When one sister was in our parents' bad books, the other would be in favour.  It caused a tremendous rift between us, as in order to be in favour with our parents, the other one needed to be out of favour. We could never then be friends. It went on for years and would still be going on- but mum passed away (tumultuous time) and even though GC undiagnosed narc brother tried to continue triangulating through dad, I told dad directly that I wasn't prepared to listen to negative talk about my sister. He huffed and puffed but he's had to agree to that in the end. He still tries now and again but I soon bat it away if he does. Golden child brother can do no wrong of course. Younger sis just withdrew from everything and really became a 'lost child.' I still feel I don't know my younger sister. I do know that she's socially very shy, and loves animals.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 10:44:52 AM by nanotech »

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xredshoesx

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2016, 10:45:39 AM »
we had an east of eden discussion in the cafe when i first came on as a member- i'll see if i can find it.

fiona, do you have the link to that article?

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fiona

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2016, 11:05:54 AM »

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nanotech

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 03:06:31 PM »
Interesting article that, and I can relate - this is how I was, growing up. I think I've broken away and become more independent, but the habit to fall back into old patterns has always made it difficult for me socially. My sister is an incredibly quiet ,passive, semi- reclusive person who totally puts shutters up re- emotions.  We were both the middle kids.

I would love to read the East of Eden discussion if you can retrieve it ?

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xredshoesx

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2016, 03:59:13 PM »
it may have gone in the last round of periodic post pruning.  please do start another one. 

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Clarella

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2016, 03:24:21 PM »
Thank you for this light bulb moment, Garbage child:

"especially that you observed that she was able to treat a sibling very differently."

This is something I still struggle with. They weren't doing "the best they could do, within their own limitations". These limitations applied only to me.
Apart from all the other wounds -and there are plenty-, this one runs breathtakingly deep. Right before he died, my lying, abusing dad said: 'I always did the best I could'. No you didn't. You were able to do better, and I saw it in the way you treated GC sister. You just didn't bother for me.
Sometimes I feel that maybe I should just accept (from a personal healing point of view) that my parents and my dad in particular just couldn't do any better, given the PD traits he was born with. But he COULD. But not for me. And that makes it so hard to let go of the anger now. 

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Salsera

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2016, 01:39:17 AM »
The favoritism of my brothers was so obvious to others in my extended family and family friends that it was often discussed, but no one ever came to my rescue.
I am happily NC with FOO and all the rest of the extended family and friends for 3 years. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.
So I have no family. I never did. The difference is that now I am safely away from the abuse. And, I no longer care what they say or do. Not interested. As long as they stay away from me.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Prosperpine

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2016, 05:16:59 PM »
This is a really helpful thread.

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hope2016

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Re: Favoritism
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 07:59:11 AM »
yes, that is so true, the unfavored child does identify the dysfunction Thank you for that GarbageChild!

I know I must just let go of it and not care. I'm trying and I will get there

My youngest brother says he just doesn't care. He broke free!  :applause:

This must be true! I didnt realize that I was the unfavored child before I reacted on the dysfunction in the family though. My family believes I am the conflicted person - and this is what keeps me from letting go: or that none of them can see what is going on and never has mention it. When a good person in the family cant see or arent able to confront whats going on - this is my current challenge in the process of ledding go, because I am constantly reminded whit this ignorence/blindness when I am in contact with this person whom are a victim of the familydysfunction and not the cause.
The innocence keeps you avake at night when you go non contact. The ones whom are not able to rebel up and brake free.