From Your Sibling With Mental Illness

It may have seemed like I got everything growing up; Time, attention, things… You may have even thought that I appeared more important and considered me selfish. You may have hated me, resented my existence, and felt alone and for that, I’m so sorry. Would it help at all if I told you that I felt that way every day of my life? I hated myself too. I hated my life. I hated that I couldn’t and can’t succeed. I hated that I missed out on so many opportunities because I simply couldn’t handle it. It was hard watching everyone pass me by, moving away, going to college, getting good grades, and working full-time jobs while I sat there wondering if I would ever be able to accomplish anything. I, too felt alone.

I want you to know that all the attention and time I received from our parents wasn’t always pleasant nor fun. That was rarely the case actually. The attention and time I got with them were full of endless doctor’s appointments, hospitalizations, fighting and arguing, or needing to be with them because my anxiety was too severe to even leave their side.

Do you know how much I always envied you though? How much I admired and looked up to you? I was amazed at who were as a person, what you were able to do, and what you accomplished. I still am. I was often jealous at times seeing you interact and share laughs with mom when I only ever made her angry and cry. I felt like she hated me and she saw you as the more worthy one. I never felt able or as if I did anything right. There were many times I just felt worthless and like a complete waste of space.

This wasn’t written to create guilt or anything of that matter, but rather to inform and help see things from my side. The truth is that I feel terribly guilty. I feel guilty that I took up so much of mom and dad’s time. I feel guilty for acting in ways that portrayed me as a selfish brat. I feel guilty for the ways I treated you when I was younger and for ignoring your needs.

I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me and to understand what really went on. I’m so sorry for everything and for how my mental illness may have affected you. It wasn’t in any way intentional and I know that it wasn’t fair to you.

You are amazing and I love you. I always have.

Love,

your sibling with mental illness

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