My sister and I are 3 years apart (Im 21 and she’s 24) but could not be more different. Since the day I was born, I have lived in her shadow. She is literally perfect in every single way. She inherited all the good genes and is 5’10, 145 pounds, skin so perfect it looks airbrushed, perfect teeth, long jet black hair with crystal blue eyes. She also has the literal perfect body. She looks identical to Adriana Lima or Megan Fox in their younger years but has the curves of Scarlett Johansson. I wish I was exaggerating. Our whole lives, people have seriously stopped in their tracks to stare at her. Every single guy I have ever been interested in has been very open about how gorgeous my sister is or have used me to get closer to her. She has had many offers to model and has had some big name celebrities even message her, offering to fly her out to see them. I have seen the messages with my own eyes. I on the other hand have always been average looking- I’m 5’4, always been around 150 and have traditional brown hair and brown eyes. I would not say I am ugly by any means but just average.
If her insanely good looks weren’t hard enough to cope with, my sister is also insanely smart and athletic. She was valedictorian of her class, in addition to being the prom queen, homecoming queen, and star volleyball player. She got a full academic scholarship on top of a full ride volleyball scholarship. She got so many scholarships for college that she got 20k a year after her tuition and everything was paid for. I on the other hand was always average in school. I tried extremely hard, but I have always just been average. I also do not have an athletic bone in my body. My sister and I went to the same high school and had many of the same teacher and many of them have said hurtful things like “wow you and your sister look nothing alike. Your sister is absolutely gorgeous. ” or “Wow I am surprised you struggled in this class, I had your sister a few years ago and she was my star student.” In college, my sister maintain her 4.0 and was selected to be her class speaker. She also got accepted into medical school and got pretty much a full ride. She is in school now to be an actual heart surgeon. Meanwhile I got no scholarships and am just taking basic courses because I have no clue what I am going to do.
And I would love to be able to say she is a bore or is stuck up, but I cannot even say that. My sister is extremely funny and kind and literally everyone falls in love with her upon first meeting her. While my parents have never tried to compare us, sometimes the comparisons between my sister and I are inevitable. When I have brought up these feeling to my parents, they will say things like “oh you have things your sister doesn’t” and when I ask for examples they will immediately get silent. My dad straight up told me one time, “I am not going to lie to you, your sister is pretty much almost perfect in every single way. And I am sorry for that kid. Sometimes even I am intimidated and jealous of her so I cannot imagine how you feel. Just know your mother and I love you both just the same.”
About a month ago, I invited my sister to one of my therapy sessions while she was home on break. I have bad anxiety and therapy helps. I of course have talked about my sister and my jealousy of her. Within 10 minutes, my sister had the therapist rolling in laughter and took over my session. The next time I saw my therapist she apologized for the derailing of my appointment and said “You know I really thought you had to be exaggerating when you described how beautiful your sister is and what an exceptional person she is but after meeting her, wow you really weren’t exaggerating.” This tore at my heart. I try to focus on myself and bettering myself but I feel so inadequate compared to her.
blacksheepOctober 24, 2022 at 4:26 am #1116589
- This topic was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by dawnfawn1996.
I can not say I have been there but I had similar issues with my younger brother. And I guess you having the same sex sibling makes the whole jealousy situation lot more tougher than it did in my situation. I did not see a hint of “bitter” jealousy in your explaination. You do not wish your sister were less attractive, sporty, smart. You totally admire her for it, the problem is how the people around you remind you of what you could be by comparing. Which is worse, I literally find these people insensitive, especially the teachers. You are still young and is discovering your personality and interests for that matter, I think you should get a new therapist. I am not going to give you advice on how to cope with this but I would like to say you should not feel bad for feeling the way you do. It’s quite normal to go throug this. I am 31 now and my brother is 29, things have changed and we could not be more happier for each other’s success or achievments. we are still different but we are quite happy with what we have become and we don’t want what the other have.
Please, you should set your interests apart from your sisters’.
Hugs sister!!peggyOctober 24, 2022 at 9:17 am #1116590
This does sound tough. The best advice I can give is to move away your her and the area, when you can, where people know her and your family. You can stay in touch of course and see her on occasion. This can give you some time to develop your own interests, meet people that will not know your sister and create a life out of her shadow. This should give you confidence and belief in yourself. Continue therapy too. I wish you well.
So I’ll be honest, it’s *really* hard for me to imagine teachers (plural) commenting on a former student’s looks or putting you down as described or a therapist behaving as you say yours did. Or your dad saying he’s intimidated and jealous. Those details felt exaggerated to me, but assuming everything you’ve said is factually accurate, I think you should find a new therapist and continue going. Your sister may have a lot going for her, but you need to focus on being your best self instead of focusing on all the ways you feel you don’t stack up.AnonymousseOctober 24, 2022 at 12:56 pm #1116592
I agree with Copa. I want to believe but I’m struggling to imagine educators, numerous educators saying that and a therapist rolling in laughter…why did you invite your sister to that session and how did it get derailed to that point? It doesn’t sound real.
If it is, I urge you to move away to forge a life of your own outside of her shadow, and see a different therapist.
We are from a very small town, only 5000 people, so most of the teachers my sister had, I had. I promise you I am not lying. For example, one time I was having trouble understanding my calculus assignment and I went to the teacher for help. And he said,” you know who you should ask, your sister! She aced this class and could probably help you better understand it than I can.” My sophomore year of high school my chemistry teacher, who also had my sister, asked why I was not taking AP chemistry like my sister and when I responded I was not as smart as my sister, she responded “so your sister took the smart and looks genes huh?” My parents actually went to the school for that and the teacher got in huge trouble after she admitted to saying that but only meant it as a joke. My principal ended up moving my classes after that.
The reason I had invited my sister to my therapy session was because we were going to be talking about something traumatic both my sister and I went through as kids (our cousin sexually abused us) and I thought it would be a good idea if she came along because she went through it too. But my sister deals with things by making jokes and avoiding the topic so instead she started making jokes and telling funny stories instead of talking about it. I did move away for college a few years ago (I moved back home and am in community college now) and when I would bring friends home, they would see pictures of my sister or see her if she was also home for break and would be instantly infatuated with her. I brought home a boyfriend from college once who upon meeting my sister said “wow, you guys looking nothing alike. Are you sure you guys are related?” Then later on I found messages from him and his friends where he had gone onto my sister’s social media and screenshotted pictures of her and sent them and said “damn I got with the wrong sister.” After we broke up, he started messaging my sister who quickly shut it down.
I am currently on the hunt to find a new therapist and I am doing things to try and better myself but it is hard when I am constantly being compared to her. As I mentioned, my parents have always done their best to not compare us but unfortunately some of our family is not as kind about it and are very blunt about the differences between my sister and ILisforLeslieOctober 24, 2022 at 1:32 pm #1116594
This is tough and it’s not fair to you that everyone makes comparisons. And it’s likely going to keep happening. There are a few things that might help a little: First and foremost, it sounds like your sister is in your corner. She may occasionally steal your spotlight, but it doesn’t sound like she’s intentionally trying to one up you, she is just being herself. Your parents are supportive but they seem to be as baffled by how everything lined up as much as anyone else.
Your sister may always be prettier and smarter but that doesn’t mean that everything is always going to fall into place. It might, but it might not. And if she faces disappointment or tragedy, she may not be nearly as resilient as you. The most beautiful models and starlets have been cheated on. The smartest people have been taken advantage of (remember the victims of Bernie Madoff?). And sometimes shit just happens.
I do think you need to move away from her shadow. Get involved with activities that make you happy. Join a community theater, a kickball league, a hiking group. Do things that make you happy and try things for the sake of trying them. Don’t worry whether you’re good at them. Do things just because they make you happy. And if you keep doing them, you will likely get better. Baking, drawing, skiing, running, playing an instrument take both passion and practice. And it’s ok to be honest with her, that you need to keep her at arms length not because you don’t love her and not because of her behavior, but because of the behavior of everyone else – it’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to her, but sometimes life isn’t fair is it?
Okay, I believe you! Sorry, wasn’t trying to call this one fake, but it did seem a little exaggerated. I’m glad the teacher who brought up her appearance was reprimanded because that’s super inappropriate and I’m sorry about the ex-boyfriend’s shitty behavior. That really had to hurt!
Without meeting you two/just going off this snippet of your lives, you sound like the more emotionally aware sister who goes to therapy to become her best self while your sister hides behind her armor made of humor… and IMO that’s actually not a small thing at all.
I also have an older sister and I know teachers who had both of us sometimes did make comments, but I never felt like I was being compared unfavorably. I think in HS I did sometimes compare myself to her — puberty definitely treated her with more kindness during those awkward years! — but for the most part, I’ve always thought of us as two different people with different interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Your sister may seem perfect and the comments comparing you two may make that feel even more true, nobody actually is. Agreed that taking up hobbies/activities that make you happy is a good move. You have value even if you’re not the hottest, most intelligent, most athletic person in the family.
I’d probably call out family members out if they continually compared me to my sister, tbh. Not sure if that’s bad advice, but I’m pretty direct. I’m also a bit petty and wouldn’t hesitate to turn the tables enough to make them feel silly or uncomfortable for whatever they’d said.
I think that town sounds pretty toxic. Can you get out of there anytime soon? I think it could be good to live in a context where your identity isn’t as “Sally’s sister.” I’m not trying to be unkind, but like, do you truly feel safe around your family? Your dad’s comment was pretty strange, and you weren’t kept safe from your cousin.
I think you need a life that’s all yours.
Unfortunately I cannot afford to leave right now. I ma hoping too in the next few years. And I do feel safe around my family. The situation with my cousin happened once and he was our age- about 7-9. We immediately told our parents and have never been around him since. I could see how my dad’s comment may seem strange out of context but it was during a conversation we were having. I think he said it to reassure me that being intimidated and jealous of my sister wasn’t abnormal. Sometimes my dad just doesn’t know what to say and can be awkward.AnonymousseOctober 24, 2022 at 5:44 pm #1116599
Yeah, you’re situation sounds really unfair and unreasonable. I’d suggest moving away to create a life of your own.
I also think you need a new therapist if your therapist let your sister tell jokes throughout a session you were paying for that that was supposed to be about your trauma, which is not funny, and that session didn’t actually help you at all. That doesn’t sound like great therapist.
Do you discuss your sister in therapy? You should.
Your sister isn’t perfect. Stop that fable in your mind. I’d give your self some distance from pretty much everyone in this situation, except your sister. She’s the only person in this story who has not decided that she is some angel on earth.
I guess that’s why this didn’t sound that real to me at first read, I cannot imagine a father being so ridiculously inappropriate to you in what he said to try to make you feel better about your sister. Everyone around you sucks? It’s about building a life that makes you happy. If that’s away from your small town and family, so be it. I’m so sorry.
Well, it’s all you know, but please believe that all of the comments you described are inappropriate and not stuff that normal people with sensitivity would say.
And also, no one is perfect. Gorgeous, smart, successful people have problems and inner demons too, maybe more so than “regular” people. Imagine the pressure. And probably always feeling like you’re not good enough because someone is always even smarter and even prettier. And bad stuff happens to them too.
A better therapist maybe could help you reframe your narrative.