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My Parents Always Treat Me Inferior to My Elder Brother

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From a young woman in Canada:  I don’t know where to start. I am an introvert and have difficulty telling my feelings to even my close friends.

My parents never wanted a girl. My mother told me once that she didn’t like it when i was born. My parents always treat me inferior to my elder brother. As a child when i told my mother that i think she discriminated against me (that day, i learnt the word “discrimination”,) she and my brother laughed and made fun of me. So, i stopped telling anything to anyone.

My parents called me mentally retarded, twice. My mother once told me that no one will ever be happy with me. When I cry, i am called irritable and too sensitive and made fun of. When my grades were bad, they would call me a failure and when my grades were good, they would tell anyone and everyone that i have just crammed up the things. They would compare me to the people that they consider as a failure.

I had no privacy growing up and even now. My parents and brother would go through my things at random. All my life, my mother would vent out on me for things that my father or brother has done that made her angry and her reason is that she has no one to talk to. Every time after listening to her, i would go to my room and cry.

Apart from that role, i am invisible. No one even acknowledge my opinions. My parents fight constantly, every single day. And, they would include me in their fight.

I don’t hate my family and i know blaming them won’t help. But, it affects my emotionally. I don’t know how to move on. After each argument, i just lock myself in my room and cry. I just want to be emotionally strong and stable. (This is the most open i have ever been.)

My Parents Always Treat Me Inferior to My Elder Brother

Answered by on -


Of course this affects you emotionally. How could it not? You have been repeatedly told that you are inadequate and inferior. That would erode anyone’s self-esteem.

Sadly, not every child gets the family she or he deserves. Sadly, you are one of the children this happened to. You may never know why. But do you know what? It doesn’t matter any more.

You can’t change the past. You can’t change your family. But, at 23, you have new options for taking care of yourself.  Locking yourself in your room and crying isn’t going to help. A change for the better isn’t going to come knocking on your door.  You are going to have to dig deep to find the shred of self-esteem still in there and take some steps to improve your situation.

You made a great start by writing us here at Psych Central. That tells me that shred of self-esteem exists. Now it’s time for the next step. Start making a plan for getting out on your own. You are now in your 20s. It’s time to take charge of your life. Get yourself into school or a job. Get out of your parents’ house and out from under their influence as soon as you can. If you don’t know how to get into school or a training program, go back to your high school and talk to the guidance office there. If that’s not an option, look around for an agency that helps people get on their feet. They have counselors who can help.

If you can, see a mental health counselor as well. A counselor will help you nurture that little bit of self-esteem so it can grow and get stronger. A counselor can also provide you with practical advice and referrals to other people who can help you start on the path to an adult life that is markedly different from your childhood. Do consider joining one of the forums here at PsychCentral as well. People from all over the world encourage and support each other in recovery.

You can do it. It will be difficult at times. But, really: You can do it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Parents Always Treat Me Inferior to My Elder Brother

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). My Parents Always Treat Me Inferior to My Elder Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Feb 2020 (Originally: 13 Feb 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Feb 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.