This has dominated me for my entire life


I’d really like to know if anyone else feels this way or if It’s just silly, because to me it sounds ridiculous when I say it out loud. I’m the youngest in my entire family and I’ve always been treated like it. Like with all small children – I was sympathetically laughed at whenever I expressed an opinion, which must have really affected me because now I’m really defensive and touchy whenever there’s any reference to my younger self. It also really kills my self esteem whenever this happens. Specifically, it’s when people said how “cute” I was (bearing in mind that I’m the only one who’s ever mentioned in this way) and I know that that’s what everyone says about young children, but as the youngest, it carried on with me longer than with my cousin or my sister (who’s two years older than me). My sister was never laughed at and always treated like an adult, and with that she was understood better than I was, e.g. I’m now 16 and my family still thinks that I’m exactly how I was when I was 9, and they belittle everything I do or say. My sister however, is praised for every little thing she does and all of her opinions and important things like career choices are supported (even before she was 18).

I feel like I can’t be taken seriously, and it’s like I think that everyone I meet will label me as “the dumb 9 year old” as well, like it feels my family has. Because of this, I’m so overly self-conscious that I’ve missed out on opportunities and I’ve hidden what I’ve always wanted to do because I’m scared of being laughed at. I always loved role-playing as a kid and I loved doing plays, but as I got older I got more aware that I was being belittled (as the youngest) and became shyer. I still love the idea of acting and after not doing it for years, when I had to do a drama piece in front of only my teacher for my english exam, I not only got a high grade for it but I enjoyed it so much. Only the problem is that I could never do it as a career because I’ve never studied it, and at 16 years old It’s probably too late, and I can’t think of anything else that I would rather spend my life doing.

Another thing which really hurt was when my sister was recently told by our family that she would be a “natural” at acting. She’s never done acting before, and considering that my cousin (one year older than me) was laughed at by her own parents when she told them she wanted to try acting herself years ago, I now feel so frustrated and hopeless.

Does anyone else have a similar issue which makes them hate themselves or is this me being crazy?

Category: Tags: asked August 8, 2014

3 Answers

I don't know if this helps, but sometimes I feel this in my professional/study environment. I study Computer Science: there're almost only boys. So, when we make groups to study often my opinion is the last to be heard. Even worse, my specialization includes all about user experience and front-end development, so it's labeled like 'girly' and 'useless' and 'not cool like the REAL (???) Computer Science'. I know the context is really different, but I understand the frustration of not being take seriously, of being laugh at even if you know you're right. And the worst part is that if you point it out you'll never hear the end of it, beacuse 'the poor girl feels she's not appreciated'. Sometimes I feel really sad, like nobody understands me. Sometimes I feel that maybe they're right. But most of the times I think that I know who I am, and I'll show them. So I study for myself, I try to became every day a more efficient person in my field. And it's really satisfactory when I reach a goal and they don't. So you have to do the same: focus on yourself, be the person you want to be and screw them (in a good way, they're family ^^). It' their loss if they don't want to listen to you, or support you. I know it's difficult to feel alone, but you cannot let other people tear you down. So take some acting class, create an online portfolio and a photobook, improve your diction, watch a lot of movies, go to exhibitions. You can do it yourself, believe me. Good luck!
I guess they dont want you to grow up yet to be mature. They still want a "little kid" in the house, the one that gives out joy and laughter. You know what, im the eldest of my cousins and im 19. My younger cousin is allowed to be in a relationship and I am apparently not. They still treat me like i cant make proper decisions despite being the eldest. What I did was I showed them how matured I have become and in the end i managed to convince them and they finally allowed me. Hope you feel better soon.
I know how you feel in a way, even though I don't have any older siblings. But I do know how it feels like to be laughed at everytime you want to take a step in the right direction. And when people who have nothing to do with my life - not even friends family, just people I don't give a shit about - tell me I'm "wrong" or that I don't know what I'm doing, I just tell them: "It's not any of your bussiness. You don't know me and you don't know my goals. So back off." What I mean is, you need to make decisions. You don't have to go around annoucing them to the whole world but you need to be firm - I want something, I *will* fight for that, no matter what people say. Because when you do that, it gives you confidence to stand up for your family and tell them that these decisions regarding your life are entirely up to you. Show maturity, independence, and focus. Make a plan, make things work. You family will, eventually, realize that there is no use getting in the way of your dreams, because that will not stop you from chasing it.