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Forums / Young people / Anxiety and living in someone's shadow

Topic: Anxiety and living in someone's shadow

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. -headintheclouds-
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    -headintheclouds- avatar
    24 posts
    10 June 2015

    um, so hi.

    im sorta new here and dont know if anyone will reply to my simple call for help and understanding.

    so the last year or so has been really hard for me. im the oldest of three kids, and my sister has always been the star of the family. im smart, but she's smarter. im sorta sporty, but there arent many sports she cant do. even though im older than her by 2 and a hlf years, i feel like im living in her shadow. people always hint or say straight up: "why cant you be more like your sister". 

    my parents have made it worse by always expecting too much of me, always expecting me to be smarter, stronger, sportier. and of lately my depression and anxiety has been getting worse. i try to talk to them, but when i mention getting help, or something like that, they always shut me down and say im faking, or overreacting, and that i just need some sleep or something like that.

    i had a school debate the other week, and one of my friends had backed out. i was expected to take her spot, but she hadnt given her speech. everyone was pressing me to write it 40mins before the debate, and i couldnt handle all the pressure. i had a severe anxiety attack, but the worst part was, even though my dad was there, when i broke down, he didnt try to comfort me, or anything to help me. he walked away. and it hurt. it hurt that he didnt help me, and it hurt that he was my own father, but he didnt believe me when i said i needed help. after my attack i then had to still sit through the debate because my dad wanted to see how we went. it was also pretty bad because he never even brought it up. when we got home, i nearly started crying because he pretended nothing had happened. i then attempted to tell my mum, but my golden sister decided that then was a great time to start complaining about school and a specific teacher she didnt like. again, i was pushed into the background. no one noticed when i went to my room and cried.

    im not saying i hate my sister or anything. i just wished my family would notice that im not always the strong older sister they want me to be


    thanks for listening

  2. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8217 posts
    11 June 2015 in reply to -headintheclouds-

    Hi Head in the clouds,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and to the Community here.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, and I hope you receive a few responses.

    If you don't mind, I have a few questions for you. Is there a support person at your school who you can talk to? Maybe even a teacher from any class.

    Can you talk to the person running the debate sessions?

    I don't have children so am unsure how the school system works these days.

    Do you have a close friend you can talk to about how you are feeling? Do you have contact with the parents of any of your friends? They may be willing to listen to you.

    Is it possible for you to go and chat to a Dr about how you are feeling?

    Do you have an Aunt or Uncle who will listen to you?

    It is really hard growing up in a family where you feel like or you are being ignored or over looked due to a sibling being in the lime light.

    Just briefly, I was born a girl after my parents lost a son who only lived 3 weeks. I was a great disappointment to my Mum and was often told this because I was born the wrong sex! I still love my Mum by the way but sometimes it is hard.

    Could you write out how you are feeling and present that to your parents? Maybe ask them for some time alone with them as it is very important to you.

    Hopefully you will find a healthy sense of self esteem and you will be happy being you. I needed to find the things that I was good at, the things in life that I enjoyed and tried not to be the person I could never be.

    I have trouble writing short posts! Hope some of this has helped! Please respond openly to anything I have written.

    We are all anonymous to each other here and are people trying to reach out to listen and help.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools




  3. Mariee
    Mariee avatar
    4 posts
    11 June 2015 in reply to -headintheclouds-

    Hi headintheclouds,

    It sounds like you’re having a really tough time being heard by your parents and I can understand why you’re finding it difficult! Something that popped into my mind when I was reading your post is about how your parents may be feeling. Is it possible that they may actually be finding it hard to come to terms with and they don’t know how to support you, so they are acting as if it is not happening?

    I left school a fair few years ago now but during uni I have become very anxious about my grades. I could usually cope with it until it got too much and I would get really upset and feel like there was no way forward. My mum actually got a bit angry when this happened, but she said it was because she could see how badly it was affecting me and couldn’t do anything to make it better. I guess what I’m thinking is that perhaps your parents can see that you’re struggling but are in denial or just don’t know much about your condition. Would it be worth speaking to your school counsellor for some coping techniques, and letting your parents know what the counsellor told you and also give them some information to read through?

    Hope that helped in some way!


  4. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    11 June 2015

    Hi there HITC

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you so much for coming here and providing your post.

    I’m really sorry to hear of the struggles that you’ve been facing and while it’s great that you’ve been trying to speak with your parents on this, it is not good to hear of the responses that you’ve received each time you’ve tried to reach out.

    Ok, so you’re still at school, so is there a school counsellor or a teacher who you feel able to talk to about certain things – in regard to your anxiety and depression?

    My son (now 17yo) had some tough times during the last couple of years, but last year in particular and he was supported really well through his school and in particular a “House” teacher as well as the school counsellor.  I find it awesome of you that you were willing to open up and talk to your parents about it, because our son pretty much shut us out of his troubles and so for us, it was very frustrating.   We wanted to be there for him and were so open for him to share and talk – I think largely because of how I suffer from my own mental illness, it makes me more receptive to these kinds of things.  At least he knew that, which was important.

    But he received good support from his school and this year he’s going much better.

    Do you think your school may be able to offer some kind of support for you in this way?    Another question, do you have any uncles or aunts who may be close to you, who you feel you might be able to share with?

    You said there are three children – I’m guessing the 3rd child is the youngest, so is possibly not received the treatment that you are from your parents?

    I’ve heard of instances like these before as well, only with the children slightly older and where the two siblings were able to talk to each other about things, issues, etc and from there, they were able to take it to the parents, together.   Again, I’m not fully sure of your ages, but do you think that your sister might be old enough (mature enough) to help “you” at this time?

    I really hope that I’ve said something that has been useful to you, and I would really love to hear back from you.

    Kind regards


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