I know it sounds childish to complain you are not being treated fairly by your parents when you are already a parent yourself, but that’s how I feel.
I am the third of four children and being honest the most ordinary. My two brothers and sister are high flyers and one is quite a celebrity. They’ve married society people have beautiful children and made our parents proud.
I on the other hand have had mental health issues and have been very depressed several times in my life. At times it’s been a real struggle managing and made life harder for me than it has been for them. On the other hand I am quite proud of myself. I hold down a job and have a girlfriend who really cares about me and can cope when I feel down. I do however earn a fraction of what my siblings take home because I am careful not to put myself under too much pressure.
I am grumbling because my parents are now at an age when they are thinking about planning for the future. They have given my brothers and sister a very generous amount of cash and have told them their paintings and pottery collection is to be divided between the three of them. So far I haven’t been included in this generosity, which would really help me buy a small flat. My siblings who are not unkind offered to speak to my parents on my behalf but I decided to address it myself. It took a lot of courage. Their response was that I wasn’t married, had no children and hadn’t done particularly well for myself so they weren’t sure I deserved their help. It was breathtakingly awful, made me feel very vulnerable and I don’t know what to do.
It is not childish to recognise and resent being unfairly treated, especially by ones parents. In theory all parents should do their best to love all their children equally and unconditionally and some believe that a child who needs more help should get it. Do you ever wonder if your parents would have been so uncaring if you had had a physical disability rather than mental health problems?
You have done incredibly well to support yourself and cope and live with your difficulties. Your siblings sound sympathetic too so in future it might be worth exploring your situation with them rather than tackling your unkind and thoughtless parents. In some families where the parents overtly favour some siblings over the others, they get together to pool any financial gifts and divide the sum equally.
Today is World Mental Health Day, which is designed to raise awareness of how people can suffer and what resources and support they may need. This year the theme is how to support young people’s mental health in a changing world. You might find some of the material being published helpful.
Do stay on top of your progress and try not to let your parents’ behaviour get you down. Take pride in what you have achieved as they have probably taken more effort than your siblings’ achievements.