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My parents hate me but love my sister

Dear Sam,

Im a (15 in a little les than a month) girl. I live with both my parents and 2 younger sisters. Im the oldest and my parents absoloutley adore one of my younger sisters for example, when I didnt get into the highschool i wanted my dad filled in half of the appeal form at 3am writing 1 sentence per answer. When this happened to my sister they hired a professional to help write an appeal letter, got multiple people to write letters on why she should be accepted etc. My parents always constantly say she is the best, most well behaved, she gets more treats and attention, when shes feeling down its taken seriously yet i get blamed for “attention seeking” she gets away with way more than me and my other sister. Along with this my parents constantly belittle me, when i mention good things i did in the past they say it never happened and that im lying, they tell me im the reason of everyone being unhappy. They scream at me if i try to bring it up and Im incredibly upset and down about this and i dont know what to do. Could you help me please?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Everyone is unique and individual and it’s wrong for someone to compare you to other people. Your parents or carers should treat you and your siblings in the same way and support you all equally.

Being put down all the time and told you’re lying when you’re being truthful are types of emotional abuse. It’s wrong and it shouldn’t be happening. You might feel confused, sad, angry or frustrated if you’re being abused emotionally, especially if it’s by the people who look after you.

Remember: you’re not responsible for other people’s feelings and you have the right to be happy where you live. You could talk to an adult you trust, like a counsellor at Childline, a teacher, grandparent or an older cousin. Talking about what’s happening can help you express your feelings and think about ways to get help for things to change at home.

If you feel comfortable, you could write a letter or talk to your parents or carers about what’s happening and how you’re feeling. You could ask another family member to be there for support or to talk to them for you if that feels easier. If things don’t improve you could talk to social services about how things are at home and ask for help.

You have the right to talk about things you’ve done well - your achievements are important and should be recognised. Being compared in a negative way and blamed for things you have no control over can affect how you feel about yourself and it can take time to build your confidence and self-esteem. You could start by writing a list of things you do well and like about yourself. Reading your list at night and in the morning could be a good reminder that it’s okay to feel positive about yourself.

It’s also important to recognise that everyone has things they do well and other things that are harder for them. Some people are more academic, others are more creative or practical. It’s not possible to be successful at everything you do and you have the right to be supported and helped to do the best you can whatever you’re doing.

Thank you for your letter. Remember, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor about your worries.

Take care,

Sam

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