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I Always Feel So Voiceless


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I am tired of my life being controlled by others. From a child, my mother would be telling me how to speak, how to act, how to think...etc. Now, my mother is no longer as controlling, that role is taken up by my little sister. My every thought and opinionalways seems to be attacked by her.

 

I usually don't like voicing my opinions at all. Why? Because they ALWAYS at odds with my sister. Why can't she accept me the way I am? In her mind, she probably have a set of standards she lives by. That doesn't mean I have to live to her standards. I want to live to my own standards and beliefs. In her mind, it is her duty to show me how wrong I am, otherwise I will never learn.

 

She would argue with me over the most trivial of matters. I tell her that such arguments achieve nothing, yet she she is insistent on continuing the argument just to prove herself right. I don't want to hate my sister, but I do. Does she not realise that she is being hurtful to me by never accepting/respecting my opinions/thoughts? Everytime I tell her this, she accuses me of making myself look like the victim and she accuses me of putting words in her mouth to make it look like she is a bully. I am tired of always never voicing my opinions. She is being hurtful and she doesn't realise it. I am tired of having my opinions attacked. I am tired of all my words, opinions and thoughts amounting to nothing.

 

She reminds me of "Marie" in "Everybody Loves Raymond". You can never convince my sister that she is wrong. The only time she will admit she is wrong is to let you do things "your way" so you can prove yourself wrong. In her mind, she is never wrong, and she probably believes that if she can't prove that you are wrong, you would prove yourself wrong. Never has she ever decided to lose an argument gracefully. Rarely do we ever agree on one topic. Her every sign of kindness to me is to prove to me of how much of a better person she is. Every time I try to do something kind, it gets criticized or it goes unnoticed. Rarely do I feel appreciated.

 

Simple favors she asks for me to do (e.g. feeding the dogs, or washing the dishes) when I don't feel in the mood or too busy, giving up and following orders would get things done in contrast to standing up for myself (by saying "no") will cause unwanted tension. I am tired of living my life to someone else's demand/standards/beliefs...etc. I am tired of always giving up on my opinions just for the sake of avoiding an argument. She has no faith in me, she has no empathy or sympathy for me at all. Continuous attacks on my character will only weaken me, not strengthen me. To have my character attacked, it wounds more deeply then she will ever know. Does she not realise that her every attack on my character breaks my spirit not strengthens it? Choosing not to assert myself makes me feel my feelings and thoughts are unimportant. Choosing to stand up for myself creates unwanted tension and anger (which I usually bottle up inside).

 

Must my every thought/opinion/judgement be crushed because of my sister's simply thinks she is right? Her sense of self-righteousness is always in opposition to my wish to be more assertive and more self-confident. I truly want to feel accepted and acknowledged for who I am. I want someone to have faith in me and encouragement instead of attacking me. I want to be more assertive. I want to be able to stand up for my own beliefs, instead of being dominated by the beliefs of others. I want to improve myself at my own pace, and to have encouragement instead of criticism. I always feel so voiceless, yet my every attempt to develop my own voice is to be crushed. This is how I always feel. Because of this, rarely do I argue with anyone (in fact, my sister is the only person I ever argue with). Because of this, I feel that I never have a strong opinion about anything. Also I can't help but feel embarrassed I would lose to my little sister.

 

Of course, I could also ignore her opinions and feelings just like she does to me, but that isn't the right way to do things.

 

P.S. It it is not surprising that my little sister would win every argument, I am not very talkative (and somewhat shy), while she is the captain of the school debating team and plus she has plans to study law at uni and become a lawyer. My mother used to be like this (not anymore because she is too tired and too stressed), and she would have a similar effect on me as well.

(Re-Edited to remove some small typing errors, I am somewhat of a perfectionist)

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Well, if your sister was raised by the same mother as you, then you can probably see why she is so controlling. The apple doesn't usually fall far from the tree, if you know what I mean. How old is she anyway? She is probably extremely immature and still trying to find her place in the world; part of that includes wanting to feel "smart" or "superior".

 

Have you seen Punch Drunk Love with Adam Sandler? He had extremely domineering and catty sisters, and as a result he went pretty nuts, didn't have any self-esteem, never stuck up for himself, etc.

 

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to resolve her attitude. She will probably just have to 'grow up' and realize that her opinion isn't carved in stone, and that if she wants people to respect her and listen to her, that she will have to do the same in return. But, this is usually learned as someone grows up, and is 'put in their place' by someone other than a family member. Sometimes we have a tendency to abuse our family members because we are so comfortable around them; it's like a ticket to speak to them and treat them however we want, and they'll always be there.

 

You can try sitting her down and having a serious talk with her, but she seems very stubborn and argumentative. This may be counter-productive. However, what do you have to lose? If you find yourself trying to tell her that you don't want to have arguments with her while she is arguing, then she probably won't take you seriously. Sit her down and tell her that you respect her opinions, but that you simply hate the arguments and hostility; that it makes her look like a bully and that she never says/ does anything wrong. Don't, under any circumstances, argue with her. This will be giving her EXACTLY what she wants; to feel like she is in control of something.

 

Have you considered moving out? I moved out of my house when I was 20, and wouldn't even consider moving back. Also, I get along much better with my parents and my siblings. I can't stand my brother, but for other reasons. Sometimes the easiest way out of an unhappy home is to leave. You've gotta go sometime!

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I can relate to how you are feeling. I was an introvert growing up. Super sensitive and eager to please everyone. I learned how to be a people pleaser and forgot how to please myself, how to be myself, and give myself proper respect to voice my opinions. Fear of being yelled at, bullied, or ridiculed was always my motivation and what happened was I was a sad girl. Keeping it all bottled up inside much like you. The pain of feeling like your opinions don't matter, don't count hurts. You end up feeling like nothing ...invisable. Feeling controlled is not good. It can lead to feeling like a victim of sorts.

 

But you can choose ...right this minute, you can choose to not take it anymore. She can't keep arguing if you don't participate. Why not just decide what you want to say to her and give her a blount speech about how you feel and what you are not willing to put up with. Let her know that your 2 cents is just as important as hers.

 

But more importantly I think you should try to realize that your worth and value is not determined by lil sis or anybody else. YOU determine that. The more you can start to see your good qualities the sooner you can stand up for yourself and show the world. I have came a long way in terms of that and I still struggle to not be so critical of myself, but it is a slow progress. I wish you the best. Msg me if you ever need to vent. I do understand how you feel. -Bree

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How stressful!!!

 

I agree with Bree that it is your choice. Remember, we can't control other people, we can only control how WE RESPOND to them. The best way to not argue with someone is to not respond. Just brush it off, walk away, take a walk.

 

I'm sorry to hear your Mom is feeling tired. Sounds like all 3 of you are going thru some tough times, individually, and rather than pulling together each has had to "go into their own world" to cope. Maybe some counselling would help, can't hurt.

 

Kudos to you for wanting to break thru this stage of uncertainty. You're a brave person and sound like you have a great head on your shoulders. What are your goals for the next 6 months? By continuing to focus on yourself and your goals I think others will impact you less on a day to day basis.

 

Take care! Lelu

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Having grown up always being obedient, I don't have much inititive (i.e. I rarely make a decision to do things, I wait until someone tells me to do it). On the occasion I decide to do things although no one tells me, (e.g. like yesterday, deciding to wash the dishes myself because my sister just got home work tired) my little bit of help would either be criticized (like yesterday, I gave up on washing the dishes atnd let my sister wash the dishes "her way") or my little bit of help would go unnoticed. Everytime my mother or my sister argues with me, I want to tell them "I wish you would just accept me the way I am".

 

I have a lot of bottled up anger and frustration that I would like to channel into something constructuve. I don't want all that anger and frustration to be sitting there so one day I wind up lashing out at someone. I want to have pride in the skills I have, instead of always believing that my skills are not good enough (hence, making me lose faith in myself). Telling my mother that I don't want to feel pressured into finding a job (she tried to set me up with a job) makes her think that I don't want to find a job and that she would think that I believe she is pressuring me. I wish I could tell my mother I to do things on my own, to learn to take control of my own life, instead of lettting her dictate my every move. Many lessons in life are self-taught through experience not handed down by her or from reading books or from school. Living a sheltered life doesn't give me much experience at anything. There is a limit to what I could learn from books or from my mother. All this I would like to tell my mother, but language is a large problem. My own language is no where as good as my english.

 

As for my goals, I would like to find a job on my own. If I do get a job, I might take up martial arts to channel and control all my anger/frustration. I would like to lose more weight. I want to focus more on my studies (I am taking difficult subjects next year at uni). All this is my attempt to try to make myself more comfortable with who I am, to try to have something to be proud of. I don't want to feel like my mother or my sister are in my way. Its so hard trying to find faith in myself when no one else has faith in me. Its hard to try to look at life with a more positive perspective when my family that I am so closely connected to and so dependant on is full of negativity. I want to feel hopeful. I want to work out what I truly want in life, instead of always sitting around waiting for a sign to tell me what to do.

 

However, there is large gap in stating what I want and doing what I want. I just want the self-confidence and the inititive to develop and pursue any goals I have.

 

By the way, thanks for your replies.

 

P.S. My sister is 4 years younger than me (16 years old). Also moving out is not an option. I am no where near ready, I am still too dependant on family.

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If you know in your heart that you are doing the best you can at whatever the task is then you have to give yourself credit and smile inside and have that pride and esteem. Tune the critical ones (mom & sis) out. I hate to hear that there is no way you can vacate your moms and go it alone right now. Since you can't I hope you can at least take baby steps towards your goals. Stand up for yourself.

 

You say I want to tell them 'I wish you would just accept me the way I am" ...so tell me, why not just do it?! Putting your foot down to any degree is a step in the right direction. I think you're on your way because your wheels are turning and you want to change. Good luck man. -Bree

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