Resentment

  • 4 Replies
  • 214 Views
*

Pepin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1567
Resentment
« on: April 19, 2021, 09:21:49 PM »
My youth was heavy with parentification.  As a motherless daughter and raised by an emotionally unstable first generation immigrant, I was required to pick up the pieces.  It seemed like I was always on call...I had no quiet place to study.  My room was situated in the house in such a way that it almost seemed like a drive through for people to come and go as they pleased -- yet they all had a place to retreat to when they needed it.

I think that being parentified while attending school was too much for me.  I didn't have the focus or the drive and I was ashamed and hard on myself when I couldn't achieve a strong report card like my siblings.  It is also embarrassing to admit that I feel less than because I couldn't get acceptance into an Ivy League college like my siblings.  Our home was clearly made up of Ivy League people except for me. 

Now decades later, I have tried to reassure myself that attending an Ivy League school was not necessary.  But on the other hand, I am sad knowing that if I had attended one, other doors could have opened for me that my siblings have. 

And no doubt that while I am happy for my siblings, I also carry resentment.  I resent the path that they had offered to them while I didn't have much of a choice.  I had too much to do and too much to question and think about.  My siblings never stepped in to take over nor did they reciprocate what I had to do for them.  I had to break away for everything to come to a grinding halt and for the s--- to hit the fan.  Yeah.  I put that in motion.

As I continue to age, I have become fierce about my needing space and solitude so that I can think about what is best for me.  Over the years I have been questioned by my siblings for these decisions.  I have been met with disapproval and the silent treatment.  They don't understand what I had to do get through to be where I am today.  Even though we all lived under the same roof and more or less experienced the same abuse, our roles were different and the portions of abuse were delivered specifically for how and who we were.  I was clearly the SG.  And there is no way they can understand what that was like.

I know that I cannot go back in time...I can only move forward with what I know.  But it has been so hard to dissolve the resentment, especially because it was never acknowledged.  I don't know if I should ever bring up these conversations with them?  Or if I have to continue turning it over in my mind and writing about it.  I am very certain that my siblings would have never wanted to be in my shoes.  They were content with the fact that I went through everything first and it made things smoother for them.  It doesn't make me happy anymore that I made life better for them.  They have never apologized to me for not stepping up.  And without me around after I had left, their bond grew stronger.  *sigh* They always had each other.  Always. 

NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

*

Penny Lane

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 1843
Re: Resentment
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2021, 03:35:02 PM »
I'm so sorry for all this. I would feel resentment too.

My guess is that you aren't going to get the validation you seek from your siblings - unless they are very far in their OOTF journey. You were all the victims of abuse and it's pretty hard for a victim to look at a fellow victim (who, I'm guessing, they were pitted against) and say "you had it worse than me."

Here are some strategies that might help you let go of these feelings, for your sake:
- Write a letter to them, expressing everything you wish you could say. Write a letter as if it's from them validating your feelings.
- Therapy!
- When you get focused on a cycle of thought circling around that resentment, see if you can change it. Think about what you have that you wouldn't have had if you pursued an Ivy League education or if you'd had the advantages your siblings have. Are you further Out of the FOG than them? Authentic relationships with other people? And think about how you feel grateful for those things.
- Try turning that resentful energy into doing something to better your life. Learn a skill, sign up for a class, write a card to someone in your FOC, etc.
- Come up with a script for if your siblings ask you about things that are a sore subject for you. Ideally this script would be authentic without really inviting further conversation. "Even though we grew up in the same house, I didn't have the same experience and opportunities as you," maybe something like that? So you don't feel like you have to defend yourself on the fly.

Your feelings are totally valid. Your upbringing was NOT fair, what your parents did was NOT right. I suggest these not as a way to try to go back and make it OK, but rather a way for you to heal and move forward despite the unfairness.

 :hug:

*

Pepin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1567
Re: Resentment
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 07:43:57 PM »
Penny Lane - thanks for your reply, there is so much to unpack there.  I may try writing the letter on here and see if that helps.  As for the what if I had attended an Ivy League school what would it have given me that I don't have?  Connections.  Comraderie.  A place of belonging that people look highly upon and love talking about.  Prestige...sadly, I feel second rate because I couldn't attend a school like that.  While in my gut I know that attending an Ivy League isn't all that, it was more about fitting in with my siblings.  By not attending, it kept and keeps me separated -- which was and is a continuum of how my life started out: as an outsider.  That is a general sum of my life: outsider.

I have worked in certain areas of my life to focus on things I like to do and to better myself at it.  But it seems that my siblings are always on my heels and can easily do things better or more quickly.  I've been slowing down a lot and it is difficult to find other things to do at my age.

You bring up and interesting point though about having a script ready -- and to date I haven't needed to defend myself about my role.  I am terrified that I would hurt my siblings with my thoughts only because we really didn't know when we were young.  BUT, I am concerned about the lack of accountability as we have grown up.  I posted about one of my siblings recently doing the silent treatment and it has been so triggering -- it feels like NF punishing us all over again.  This sibling is upset about a decision I made for myself that only affects me and they think that they have more information and know better than me....hence the Ivy League card.  I just went to a Liberal Arts School in the middle of nowhere that had a campus covered in goose poop...so what kind of an education did I receive?  I am also worried that if I said: I didn't have the same experience and opportunities as you -- that one of my siblings would say that I didn't work hard enough.

Much of life has been and is unfair.  It just gets tiring sometimes when we always have to turn to ourselves for validation.  I would love to hear that what I do is good and wow you should be proud, etc. but these are things I never hear from anyone.  It is just another example of living on the outside.   

 

NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

*

1footouttadefog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 3018
Re: Resentment
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 02:31:08 PM »
It seems that what you need is a chosen family to be emotionally connected with and that you can be supported by.

Happiness should be a goal and it does not require an ivy degree.

I hope you can discover what would bring happiness and start on that path from today onward.

I am in a place where I am doing a big reset and trying to find a new path forward as well.  Letting go of old unfinished goals from my youth was surprisingly hard.  However with those cords now broken, I feel more free to go where life leads.

*

Boat Babe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 804
  • To survive is necessary. To thrive is elegant.
Re: Resentment
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 03:43:10 PM »
Hiya Pepin. Yes, I get what you say. I think many of us have not had the best opportunities because of our FOO.  I too feel some resentment that my education suffered tremendously due to the shit that went down. I left school at sixteen and did low paid, boring jobs for 12 years.  I also put it into a larger picture, that of being a woman in a British working class culture. Certainly in the UK, many groups, especially black people, don't make it to the elite universities.

However, I personally need to let go of any lingering resentment for two reasons. Firstly, what's done is done. I can't change it and resentment is a poisonous emotion imo. I will do myself a favour by finally dropping it.  Secondly, I still had a good life, despite the lack of formal education, being an adventurous young woman and speaking French (my mum is French). I lived in Paris in my twenties and had a great time. And, I was able to go to university as a mature student, albeit not a prestigious one, and really enjoyed the experience. Even though the campus was far from picturesque and was far from elitist, I can hold my own with anyone from Cambridge or Oxford in my subject.

So yes, had I had a different childhood, things for sure would have been very different, but I wanna drop the resentment because I have done well, albeit in a roundabout and pretty bohemian fashion. In a way, doing it the hard way makes it all the more valuable.

I hope you can let go of your resentment Pepin and find some peace with this aspect of your story.

Sending hugs.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 03:46:05 PM by Boat Babe »
It gets better. It has to.