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A bad situation has left me far too competitive and bitter...help?


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All through my teenage years, I grew up living with 2 substance addicts: my mom and my younger brother. She was a reckless alcoholic who drank herself into a stupor every night. He was a druggie who never went to school and had a number of behavioral issues.


The two of them created an extremely high element of stress for both me and my extended family. My parents were divorced, so I was able to stay with my dad for half of the week to escape the madness, but that just wasn't enough to make up for the drama I experienced when I was with my mom.


It was a hard time, but I never gave up on myself. Ever since I was little, I was considered the "brilliant one" in the family. The one with unlimited potential. I had high expectations placed on me, and I refused to let everyone down. I never did drugs. I never had any behavioral issues. I was never tardy to class. I never even got a detention. I went to parties on occasion, but I always drank responsibly and made good decisions. I graduated high school with high honors and top SAT scores, then enrolled in college in the fall. I was an easy teenager. I never gave my parents any trouble.


That brings us to now. I'm 20 and in a really tough place. Since I graduated high school, my mom has started going to AA everyday and my brother has been sent to a really strict rehab-like school for "problem children". The strictness has been good for both of them. My mom is...usually sober now. And since my brother's school is year-long with a 6-day school week, he's about to finish high school a year early and come home.


I should be happy for them...but I'm not.


I'm still mad at my mom for literally ruining a big chunk of my life, and although I'm willing to be polite when I do see her, a part of me doesn't want her involved in my future, especially when I have kids of my own. I know it's awful for me to say that, but it's true.


And I can't help but hate my brother for completing his program and coming home soon. It's not fair. I did everything right. He did everything wrong. But yet, because of his mistakes, he gets to be done with high school a year early. And because my family is SO proud of him, they're basically spoon-feeding him everything he has ever wanted. He's having opportunities that he's done nothing to earn handed to him. Everyone is so set on helping him get the career he wants as soon as he gets out (no college plans for him; he plans on working with sound and light effects for concerts). And it's just really driving me insane...no one's done anything like that for me. No one's been proud of me. I've been the good child, the smart one, the one who held everything together while my mom and brother had their "fun"...so why am I getting the short end of the stick?


So now all I can think about is trying to prove myself. To prove to the world that despite having opportunities handed to him, I'm still the golden child. That I'm the one who's honestly accomplished something. That I'm the one they should be proud of. This obsession is taking over my life. The constant drive to prove that I'm "better" is getting out of hand. And I know it's mean, but I don't know what to do about it.


Any advice?


(And...sorry, I hope I don't come accross as a mean person! I've just been really stressed and hurt by my family for a long time, and I can't help it.)

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