You don’t feel like the great person your partner thinks you are because you have been scape-goated all your life by your family. I don’t know why they have treated you so badly. I do know that siblings can only target someone if the parents allow it to happen. It sounds like your parents have been as emotionally abusive as your sibs. That kind of treatment often leaves the scape-goated kid uncertain of his or her own worth and undeserving of love.
There are some families where everyone needs to feel better than someone else in order to feel good enough about themselves. Mysteriously, someone gets elected to be the person at the bottom of the chain. And sometimes, a family has a secret and essentially evicts a family member rather than face whatever it is that they are ashamed of.
If you are feeling strong enough, you might try just asking your parents whether there is something about your birth that makes them dislike you. Sometimes when the truth is finally out, people can remember that it’s never the kid’s fault if he or she was born under some kind of shadow and healing can begin. Of course, it’s possible that your folks will tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about and you will end up feeling worse.
If that happens, or if you don’t want to chance it, then the thing to do is to look forward instead of back, to take in the love of your partner, and to do the personal work you need to do to build up your self-esteem. Although it’s sad that you didn’t get the family that every kid deserves, their judgment on who you are isn’t the final one. You need to surround yourself with people who accept and value you. If you are too depressed to do this on your own, please consider finding a counselor who can help you extricate yourself from your family’s negativity.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 2, 2007.