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    I wish you had a separate room from your sister. Maybe it would be better if you slept on the sofa, in a common area of the home, instead of in the room with your sister (“we are in the same room 24/7“).

    I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the sofa because it’s really small and parents come out randomly at night

    not a good automatic reaction or behavior. No wonder she prefers to be  online with friends instead of listening to your rants. Find a way to change this behavior from being automatic to being a matter of choice (no matter how hard it will be). Choose to not rant and vent. Instead, you can journal, draw or post here, or go elsewhere in the home.

    I try not to rant to her about everything. Instead, I try my best to keep it to myself. And she always rants to me too.

    imagine that you are outside your home, interacting with a person, and notice: are you having eye contact with the person, or are you looking away? Are you smiling at them or is there a frown on your face? When you talk to them, is your voice gentle or harsh? You can stand in front of the mirror as you imagine these things and look at your face: what does it communicate?

    People often say I’m soft spoken and quiet in person.



    when you feel that no one in your home understands you or tries to empathize with you, you tend to view situations outside of your home (in the workplace, in social situations not involving your family members, and elsewhere)  the same way, “like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me”.  Your emotional experience at home becomes your emotional experience everywhere.

    I will give you a common example: a lonely girl who really was misunderstood and neglected at home grows up, starts a relationship with a decent man who pays her attention and understands her, so she feels euphoric, like the most wonderful thing just happened- but not for long. One day she tried really hard to look good for him and he doesn’t notice, she thinks: he didn’t notice me, he doesn’t care.  One evening, she badly needs him to be with her because she feels painfully lonely, but he is working the night shift and tells her that he will see you the day after. She thinks: if he cared and understood how lonely I felt, he would have left his shift and visit me tonight!

    In reality: no one person can always notice how another person feels and attend to the other, we all get distracted by our own thoughts and feelings, and many have to keep their jobs, but the lonely-girl-turned-lonely-woman has unrealistic expectations: she wants her boyfriend to always know what she feels and what she wants,  and always attend to her. In summary: she really was misunderstood and neglected at home, but her boyfriend understands her and does not neglect her. It’s just that he is human and no human is able to 100% understand and attend to another person all of the time.

    That makes sense and I can understand the girl because I was in a really similar relationship with my ex.


    what are your behaviors in regard to your sister that caused her to not want your company? Your answer may give us a clue as to your behaviors  with other people (not family members) that cause them to not want your company.

    I noticed that I would almost always end up ranting and venting to her a lot because we are always in the same room. When I am upset or something bothers me it just became an automatic reaction for me to do because she is the physically closest person. I also get upset and angry a lot lately and because we are in the same room 24/7, she sees a lot of that.


    But it is not true that “everyone always prefers someone else” over you, it just seems to you this way because you project your experience with your parents (and with your sister), into your experiences with everyone.

    That makes sense.


    I will add to #3 that because you are (understandably) angry with your parents,  and because you imagine that everyone else is like your parents.. your anger shows, people can see that you are angry, and.. people tend to avoid angry people.

    I never thought about my anger showing to anyone else. If anything I try to avoid conflict with people outside of my family.



    It would anger me too because what she is doing is.. refusing to have a dialogue with you, she is refusing to communicate with you about what is troubling you so much. You knock on her door, so to speak, and she slams the door in your face. That’s quite cruel of her: to refuse to talk to her own daughter and alleviate her daughter’s suffering.

    This happens often, but yesterday it just topped it off and I had a break down and cried in front of her because the same day, I was venting to a friend about something else that was upsetting me and her response made me felt like my feelings were invalid and I don’t feel heard, like my feelings are being dismissed. I was really feeling distressed because it’s like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me.

    It just makes me shut down and want to retreat to being by myself because I’m not heard or understood“- I understand: she refuses to hear you, she refuses to understand you, and as a result, you feel unheard and misunderstood. In the context of your home, you really are unheard and misunderstood at home: it is really happening.

    Thank you for making me feel heard. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me.

    As far as you re-experiencing being left out and excluded, unheard and misunderstood outside of your home: it will take lots of effort and time for you to (1)  identify the times and situations when you feel that way, but it isn’t really happening, (2) identify the behaviors on your part that sometimes cause some people to not prefer your company, (3) accept the reality that every person, including yourself, has preferences, preferring certain foods, certain music.. certain people, and therefore there will always be people who will prefer other people over you (same is true to me and everyone else).

    #1: Can you elaborate?

    #2: I think I have an idea at least with my sister but I don’t know about with other people.

    #3: I understand that. But all my life, I feel like everyone always prefers someone else over me. Especially with my parents because I feel like they secretly prefer my sister. Maybe it’s a deep emotional wound thats why its triggering me so much.


    That’s good, it means you don’t have a problem with saying No and setting boundaries at your work place, just at home. And as you explained, your resentment is mostly about being excluded from the circle of your loved ones (be it your family or your friends), of not being loved and appreciated equally, of being replaced. This is where you feel rejection the most, not so much at your work place.

    Although with time, a similar type of scenario could happen at your work place too, where you might feel that your colleagues get along very well with each other, but are keeping you out of their tight circle. So if you don’t deal with the original pain of rejection, a similar problem may appear at your work place too.

    Actually, there were times I felt left out or excluded at work mainly because I was new there and everyone already all knew each other and are friends. They’d have hang outside during the weekend and I did feel excluded when we all sit together during lunch to eat and they’d talk about it. But it didn’t really bother me as much as with family and friends.

    I am sorry about that. If it’s anyhow possible, perhaps you can use some of the free time to do (or at least start) that course on emotional healing?

    I am trying to at least do some once a week. Sometimes doing the work for internship takes me a while to complete. And when I have some time, I just end up spending the time doing other things. I just find myself having no emotional or mental energy to do anything. And with my chronic neck and shoulder pain had been really bothersome and it’s been making things difficult since. And I just get so frustrated with myself and my pain. It feels like whatever I do this chronic pain never goes away.

    Could you place an ad? Or you think people are weary of getting a roommate, due to covid?

    It’s more that I don’t trust people especially if I don’t know them. If it’s someone I know, I’d be more at ease. And also because of covid, I don’t feel comfortable moving out any time soon.



    “I don’t feel the anger towards my parents anymore. But I do see the correlation of me trying to get that emotional need from my partner because I didn’t get that as a child or ever from my dad” (Sept 2019)- at the time you didn’t feel anger toward your parents because you were focused on a boyfriend, distracted from your relationships at home.

    That sounds correct.

    On Sept 26 2019, I wrote to you: “Dear Annie: That is what happens most often when we experience a significant lack in childhood: we ‘don’t feel the anger toward (our) parents anymore’ but we feel it toward our boyfriends/ partners in each and every relationship… Problem is that you are likely to feel this kind of jealousy for your next boyfriend and the next.. until you address the jealousy you felt as a child when one of your parents (or both) seemed to prefer other people over you- other family members, maybe even neighbors or strangers…. Do you want to share about this old childhood jealousy?”

    That is true and you are correct… I did notice the pattern in my relationship with H, and I had the same jealousy that he seems to be really lucky with meeting really great friends that do anything for him and I envied him a lot about that – and I ask myself “Why can’t I have such friends? Why don’t I have friends that do those things for me?” and end up comparing my friends to theirs. It’s an automatic reaction that I tend to compare. This is the same as when parents do or say something to my sister and I would compare it with how they treat me or things they say to me too. And it puts me in a not so good mood.

    This is also apparent when I’m around a group of friends too. They seem to be closer than they are with me, and I often felt like a third wheel. I envied their relationship so much since high school because I was originally best friends with one of them and we were really close until 2 years later when our current friend came to our school from another country. After that, the two of them became really close. The 3 of us would hang out every day during lunch time at school, but it just didn’t felt the same as before. After we all graduated, there were times when the both of them hung out without me, and it would hurt me a lot because I felt so left out and excluded. My best friend started labelling her as her best friend, and she no longer addressed me that. I felt so hurt and replaced. This was years ago, and we do still all hang out once in a while, but I still feel that resentment and the feeling of being replaced. Maybe this triggered the similar feeling I felt when my sister was born, and I felt replaced.

    My thoughts today: it is not your fault that you feel disconnected from your parents, from your sister, and from everyone else. You did not create your childhood experience of emotional disconnection aka loneliness. It was created for you, and it was done to you. I don’t think that within your family, you are the odd one, the only one who is not connected to others. I think that everyone in your home is emotionally disconnected from everyone else, including your sister. This is why “she haven’t been doing anything at home other than play video games.. she’s just gaming!!!”- she is just gaming, she is not connecting with you, or with her mother, or with her father.

    Thank you anita. I guess I’m feeling more resentment towards my sister because we used to be closer until she met her online friends. Before that, we would be playing the game together, even staying up to play and it was happy times even though it was short. We also used to do puzzles and watch some dramas together (even though she never really liked watching things together because it’s ‘too long’). Since she met her online friends, she’s spend every waking moment playing games with them, talking, and even streaming movies to watch together. I feel like she talks to him more than she does to me in a lifetime (for the most part, I’m always the one talking and sharing things with her, rarely the other way around). I felt replaced and really hurt because we literally don’t even have that now.

    I think that when you see your sister prepping food in the kitchen with your mother, and you think that they are “so close”- you are wrong: she has moments of connection with her mother, some moments of connection with you, some with her father, but same is true to you. Four people living in the same small location (home), by sheer volume of time spent in close proximity- they end up connecting with each other at times.  But as a whole, there is little emotional connection between all four of you. You only imagine that everything is lovely when it comes to your sister’s connection with your mother/ parents.

    Most of the time when I try to talk to my mom, and I am trying to say how I feel or my thoughts, it never fails that she would say things like “we are going to argue again” or “okay, you are right. I am wrong” and it really triggers and angers me so much. Every time when we say things and don’t agree with each other. Or she talks over me and I never feel heard. There is no point when I tell her that I am not trying to say I am trying to be right, because I am not. Then she says that when someone is talking that I should stay quiet and listen and other crap. Everything negative she says is so triggering and she says the same things every time. Then saying that we can’t ever talk. It just makes me shut down and want to retreat to being by myself because I’m not heard or understood.

    If you move out and live away from your family, you will not get rid of the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy, and you will not be free to form close emotional connections with others. You will be taking the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy with you wherever you go. But living away from your family, and receiving some psychotherapy, will provide you the OPPORTUNITY to heal: the opportunity to express and resolve (over time) your  hurt and anger, the opportunity to form and maintain emotional connections with others, and the opportunity to enjoy a healthy love relationship with a man.

    Yes I am trying to work on healing slowly. I got laid off and have been doing internships recently so I am still trying to look for a job.



    Dear Annie,

    your sister does seem very spoiled, and your parents enable it. They have zero expectations from her, they let her do whatever she wants and accommodate to her whims, whereas they have all those expectations from you. There are unfortunately parents who treat their children differently, and yours seem to be like that.

    I don’t know what the reason is: it could be because your sister is much younger, or perhaps her health was fragile when she was a child and that’s why they were worried about her and spared her from duties (?), and/or because of her character where she’s rather selfish and self-centered, and doesn’t care if she causes trouble to her parents. Whatever the cause is, they do seem to treat the two of you differently.

    It tends to be a vicious circle because sometimes we can’t say No to other people’s requirements to even start caring about ourselves. And so our exhaustion and burnout deepens… How is it at your workplace? Do you feel overburdened there too?

    Yes, that would be really important. Do you have a vision of when this might become possible and under what circumstances?

    Not for work, I felt okay there. I am able to focus on keeping myself busy with work and don’t think about other things. I don’t know when I’ll be able to move out yet. I am still currently unemployed and looking for work because I got laid off. But I would prefer to find a roommate to live with which is hard because I don’t know anyone else who wants to do that.



    Dear Annie,

    They NEVER put this pressure on my sister, would is 20 turning 21. When she would throw a tantrum or show her discontent, my mom just let it go and never yell and nag at her for hours.

    They would rather pay someone else to help them than ask her.

    Now I understand why what I suggested above (to teach your sister how to fill in the forms, and then inform your parents that she too is able to do it from now) – wouldn’t really work. They would rather pay someone else than to disturb her. She uses a smart defense strategy: she throws a tantrum and that’s how she keeps them at bay. She doesn’t have any remorse or any sense of guilt for not helping them. And so she’s off the hook.

    You on the other hand have a sense of responsibility and a strong sense of guilt if you don’t help them. And they are using it – they are using your sense of duty, your care and conscientiousness to do what they want you to do. I could imagine that even your mother nagging you to get a driver’s license is because she’ll be using you to drive them (or your sister) to places. It seems  that your parents unfortunately don’t see you as a person with her own needs and wants, but as a function to them. And you, because of your good heart and your sense of duty, are allowing it.

    It’s time to take that course, Annie, and start respecting yourself and learning how to set boundaries. If you could live separately from your parents, that would be great too. Physical and emotional separation is what you need, because otherwise you’re going to burnout. Those chest pains and physical problems you’re experiencing are a sign of burnout, I believe. You need to take care of yourself, and not sacrifice your health and well-being for them.

    I root for you to start the process of self-care. One step could be to set aside time for taking that course… And also, let them pay someone else to do those tasks. Start respecting yourself and caring about your health.

    Also, whenever they ask her for help, she just acts clueless and right away says she doesn’t know without bothering to even begin helping or looking into it.

    Even when she goes to college, they never pressure her to take the bus or anything. Instead, they’d go out of their way to pick her up even if they have to leave work. I had to take the bus or other transportation back from school and from taking classes. She just doesn’t like taking buses or other transportations because it’s uncomfortable. But who does? No one likes taking the bus. I feel they spoil her too much on this too. And she gets so upset when they pick her up but then parents have to go somewhere after because she just wants to go home and it’s inconvenient to her.

    I know I keep pushing back on resuming the course, but I just feel like I have no time or energy to do it lately. I feel so mentally tired a lot lately just from work that I literally just feel like doing nothing.

    I know I will move out eventually in the future.




    Dear Annie:

    I wish there was a way for you to take a vacation away from your family- to travel far, far away, and be all by yourself for a few weeks.. or longer, just you alone on a beach somewhere, listening to the calming sound of waves.. take in the ocean air and relax.


    That would be nice but I feel more anxiety going out now since covid.


    I hate my family. I’m at the point where they’re pushing me everyday and pressuring me about things. I just started learning to drive recently because my mom kept bothering and nagging at me that I need to learn. And I took a practice driving test last week, I didn’t pass. So I am paying to take more lessons but the instructor is booked all 2 months and I have to wait until September to get more lessons. They’re telling me to find another instructor, and I just felt so frustrated and stressed with them. I know they probably have good intentions, but I can’t see that right now. Because I’ve been feeling so mentally and emotionally exhausted from work, I just want to be left alone and not always taking about accomplishments. When they are mentioning to me everyday about driving, it just aggravates me so much, on top of that bothering me to help them with unemployment. I’ve also haven’t felt good physically, and I told them. Today, my mom was bringing the topic about driving again and I exploded. Of course, she went on yelling and nagging at me for a long time. And of course, she would bring up the past about how I should’ve learned a long time ago and everything I “should’ve” done.

    In my head, I can’t stop comparing that they NEVER put this pressure on my sister, would is 20 turning 21. When she would throw a tantrum or show her discontent, my mom just let it go and never yell and nag at her for hours. For me, even a small conflict and she would go off on me and saying other hurtful things like this is why she can’t talk to me and to me sounds like something is wrong with me. Yeah, I am certain that she is her favorite child.

    There is no tension with my sister and parents because they never put this pressure on her and never strict with her than they are with me. She gets away with everything and even when she kicks and throws tantrums, my mom would dismiss it and not discipline her.

    Why is it hard for them to ask her for help? Probably because when they asked her for help earlier, they did not enjoy the experience: maybe she expressed anger and impatience, maybe she did a bad job helping them (purposefully or not), maybe they had to explain too much to her about what they wanted and it exhausted them.

    It is easier for them to ask you for help than it is to ask your sister for help.

    I’ve expressed anger and frustration to my parents, yet they never resort to asking her for help. There were many times where I got really upset with them because I felt overwhelmed with my own things and problems. They would rather pay someone else to help them than ask her.


    What exactly are you afraid they won’t understand? According to your culture, are you as the eldest daughter responsible to single-handedly help them, while your younger sister is spared of all duties?

    That it’s selfish and that I only think about myself (I’ve been told that before). Their excuse for my sister is that because she doesn’t know how to do it (things they keep asking me for help with like filling out forms and stuff). She’s 20. When I was her age, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own to help them, and I don’t understand because nothing is hard about it as long as you can read English. She knows how to do it if she puts a few minutes into it. She just doesn’t care and just gives the excuse that she doesn’t know how and parents let her off.


    @TeaK: you are right, TeaK. I should learn to stand my ground and not give in.

    I have actually started taking a personal development course on healing emotional wounds but just haven’t had time to do any of it because I’ve been so busy with work.

    I feel like if I confront them, they will be offended. It’s easier for me to confront them in English than my native language and because of the culture, I don’t think they will understand.


    @anita: Yes, because I’m the oldest one of my sister they always come to me for help. It just feels so overwhelming even if it’s something so small. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to ask my sister to help. She haven’t been doing anything at home other than play video games, and my parents know this. The also know that I am actually working. And it angers me that when they do ask her for help, it’s optional and always ask if she has time or if she’s not busy. For god’s sake, she’s just gaming!!! For me, they don’t bother asking me if I am busy or have time. They just shove any favors or tells me to help them. I don’t feel respected like they do with my sister and it makes me don’t want to do anything for them anymore out of free will.

    I can probably ask my grandma to talk to her since they are really close. But I doubt anything will change.


    @pink24: Yes, especially in my culture and how my family is, there is no boundaries and we are always taught to take care of parents. I guess my problem is that when I say “No”, I always end up feeling bad and end up helping them because I give in too much. Because if I don’t help them, my sister won’t do it and then my mom would cry and say things to me and I feel guilty to reject and not offer a helping hand.


    : Hi anita and thank you! It’s nice to talk to you again. Yes, we are still living together and still sharing the same room.

    “You shared that your parents gave you a lot of attention for as long as you were the only child. But when you were 8, and your sister was born, both parents favored her over you, and “showered her with more attention and love”. You shared that the relationship between your mother and sister was “so close”, and you added: “I feel I won’t ever have that closeness and it’s killing me”.

    Fast forward a year, I assume that you still share a room with your much younger sister (?), and not surprising to me: you still feel that your parents are favoring your younger sister over you, by insisting on bothering you, the un-favored older daughter, with their requests for help, so to not bother their favorite daughter, your sister. At this point, you’ve been feeling unfavored for 21 years.

    Am I correct in my understanding?

    Yes, that is correct. Deep down, I guess I don’t mind helping them, but I just really wish parents would be more fair and split between asking my sister and I for help. And having built up resentment with my parents makes it so hard for me to help them because I feel (especially from my dad) that the only time he talks to me is when he needs something from me. And only calling my name when he needs help. With my sister, they would talk about anything and it’s like no tension. I just feel so unheard and unseen by my parents. I literally do not have any emotional connection and closeness with any family member. And it drives me crazy that my sister doesn’t even offer to help at all. When I do ask for her to help parents, she gives me an attitude.


    Noor – Hi Noor, thank you for your reply. We do still talk sometimes, and it does get frustrating sometimes because I always need to be the first one to say something, otherwise we don’t talk for the rest of the day. I do talk about feelings and things with her though, sometimes she just gets annoyed because she’s either too glued to her gaming screen or having her earphones on and I feel bad/sad. At those times, I feel like giving up trying to bother with talking with her. I guess now I’m just accepting that she’s just like that because it’s how she is. But sometimes though, she does express to me how she feels or like about some things, though it still feels like a wall between us. But I guess that’s just how it is. I just forget sometimes that our age gap is big.

    We used to play online games together, but she made her own group of online friends so she plays with them instead. Besides that game, she sometimes bakes but she prefers to do those things by herself. Even times when my mom and her are prepping food and I come out to join, my sister would stop and leave. I feel sad and hurt because I feel like she doesn’t want me to join or do things together. We used to watch video together but it was because I asked her to watch with me. Her reaction tells me that she doesn’t want to and it feels like a burden for her to do things together. So it was why I eventually stopped suggesting or asking her to watch with me because I felt she doesn’t appreciate those times or even miss it.

    Thank you Noor. Break ups are always tough to deal with, especially at a time like this in my opinion. I’m still trying to deal with it and still do feel emptiness. I hope you’re feeling better too and I believe that you’re a strong person.


    Anita – My sister actually turned 19 this year. But you’re probably right that it might not be possible to have that kind of emotional bonding/closeness with her as much as I hoped for.

    “I wish you had someone with whom you had a meeting of the minds and hearts.” I guess that’s why I try to search for that closeness/emotional bonding in a significant other in replacement of ones I’m lacking from family and friends. But I feel it always backfires because I confide too much to them and in the end they would say harsh things or we end up arguing/fighting about it. Thus it makes me feel like it’s not safe to talk about my feelings or thoughts without being judged or used against me when conflict arises. I do journal about it but I guess it still doesn’t replace the feeling of not having someone to empathize with me, like a best friend you know?

    It’s also hard for me to make friends growing up because I’m painfully awkward socially and I do get social anxiety. When I do make friends, it’s hard for me to keep them because we eventually drift apart somehow whether it’s online or in real life.

    Yes exactly. To be honest, I was really hoping and looking forward to learning driving this year, but that would have to be postponed until later because of quarantine. It made me feel more regret and guilt that I really should’ve done it sooner because now it feels like such a huge setback that I don’t feel like I can accomplish anything due to it. On top of that, my work situation is currently unstable at the moment and I’m really worried about it or whether I’ll be rehired. I really don’t want to lose this job. It’s the first job where I worked from the bottom way up that actually gave me confidence and made me felt proud of myself, that I can do anything. I had hopes on working there for many more years.. It was the place that gave me a chance despite that I didn’t have much work experience. Before that, I was really depressed and felt horrible about myself because I’ve tried countless times applying to retail jobs and others, which I always got denied because I lacked the skills or have no experience. I’m just scared that I’d have to face that again. Interviews always terrified me because of my social anxiety and I don’t feel good enough because there are always someone who’ll be chosen because they are better.

    Thank you anita. I really do appreciate that you’re taking the time to listen/read and reply to my posts always. <3

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