The Other One

I am a middle daughter.  My older sister is very strong, sarcastic, outgoing and funny (to others, I am often the butt of her jokes).  My younger sister was the smart and athletic one who needed a lot of attention because she was difficult.  I was always just ‘easy’ as my mom likes to say, but this also meant that I got little attention.  Both of my sisters were athletes, I was not.  When sports didn’t work out for me it was like my parents didn’t know what else to do.  I think I could have been an amazing dancer but that wasn’t the kind of thing my parents would think of getting me into.  Since I was so ‘easy’, they didn’t really find a need to help me find my niche. Growing up I found it very hard to express who I was since my older sister was always right there to make fun of me.  Eventually I just started inhibiting myself.  While I was always able to make friends because I was pretty (sad but true) inside I never felt like I belonged.  On the outside I was well-adjusted but the internal struggle has continued to grow for years.

I’m now almost 30 and have gone through years of depression, isolation and sadness and no one knows it (no one).  I moved away from home after college to get away from that ‘me’ and hopefully build a new life based on who I wanted to be.  While this somewhat helped for a while, I realized that the personality traits that I so hate about myself continue to sneak in and affect my work, friendships and relationships.  What’s even more frustrating is that I feel I have so much to offer the world if I could just rid me of my self-consciousness.  On top of all of that, I will admit that I am very attractive, but to be honest it’s almost like it makes me hate myself more.  I feel like a huge let-down.  You see an attractive person and think they’ll have confidence; I’m just quiet and lay low, forgettable.  I’m so worried about what people will think of me that I often just fade into the background, never wanting to be the center of attention but at the same time wishing I was confident enough to be just that.  I feel like life is passing me by and I’m desperately trying to figure out how to not waste another day like this.

The biggest problem is that I don’t even know who “me” is.  I guess that’s the definition of an identity crisis.  My family constantly reinforces these thoughts of myself to this day, which is why I try to stay away.  My sisters both have nicknames for each other and refer to me as “the other one.”  I’m the weird one, the odd ball, the one that no one really knows.  Just when I think I’m making progress and feeling better about myself my sisters manage to knock me back and don’t even think twice about the comments they make or understand their profound effect on me.  I’m so tired of living this way and live in constant jealousy of the ease with which those around me live their lives.  Even in times of difficulty they know who they are.  I live with this every day, good or bad.  Sometimes I wish I could hit a restart button to my life.  I just don’t know how to fix it…..

Lauren

2 thoughts on “The Other One

  1. Dear Hailey,

    I can very well relate to your feelings. However, there is definitely a way to restart your button. I have been sad, depressed, resentful and was acting up, tearing up to name a few.

    But the solution was always there. Being a typical middle child, I was/ am always making friends and I have great friends who love me like their sister. I see how my older sister with her bossy personality let good friends slip through her bossy fingers and struggles to maintain a friendship. However, friends from my childhood ( I will be 48 this June), friends from college, friends I have made after my marriage ( to my wonderful husband of 25 years), friends I have made after moving to the US, friends from my book club, friends from the non- profit where I volunteer consider me as a very close friend and run to me whenever they need me and vice versa. I feel very blessed.

    I feel alienated from my mother ( my dad passed a couple of years back ) and my siblings. All family decisions are made without even consulting me which used to bother me a lot. Not anymore. I started thinking that there is no point in fighting to be involved in family decisions, when my mother and siblings feel differently. Actually that gives me more time and energy to pursue things that I feel passionate about like reading, volunteering and enrolling in classes.

    I have a 19 year old son who loves me a lot and treats me like his close friend. My middle child personality gave me the out-of box thinking as a mother and I can proudly say that I have raised a well-rounded, well balanced, socially aware and a conscious child.

    Life is a balancing act. What was not given to you as a child will be given to you later in some way. I married the last child (and the only son) and all my sisters- in- law treat me as if I am the most precious thing. My only son adores me and my husband is such a caring, loving man. What my parents/ siblings could not/ cannot give me, I get from my husband’s side of the family. My sister cannot even believe I have a fleet of loving loyal friends.

    So, please look around you…there are people who will make you feel special. With your middle child positive qualities, they will become your brothers and sisters.

    Wish you all the best,

    Amy

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