So recently the issue of my parents favouring my brother over me has been bothering me more and more. My mentor asked me why it bothered me now even though it’s been consistent over the years? Maybe it’s because I can’t reason their favouritism any more. We’re both adults and on equal playing ground. He no longer has his cyst and surgeries and issues with being bullied. He’s even above me in the sense that I’m going to graduate with a bachelor in pharmacy whereas he graduates as a doctor of pharmacy since the program upgraded. He gets the top 15% of marks and recommendations for scholarships while I’m struggling to pass my courses. And with my struggles with mental and physical illnesses, I guess I assumed that the treatment would change due to this. And it hurts. It hurts all the more that the effort I put into making his life easier isn’t reciprocated. And the excuses that come up are so unreasonable that it hurts even more to hear them come up with such lame excuses. To the point that it’s because I’m a girl and he’s a boy, thus letting him have more freedom. Like *insert swear word* it’s 2017, equality. We’re BOTH your children. How do you expect me to try my best and be happy with who I am if I don’t get any respect at home? My recommendations were never heard, until now that HE’S in the program too and can justify my recommendations. Should I even NEED his justifications? And NOW that we’re on equal playing ground, they start seeing that the things I complain about are true. Like REALLY. Did my words just fall on deaf ears all these years? All my struggles to just come to an end like this? And never once would I hear that I was right. Because all I’ve crashed into were the walls of “you are wrong” and they would never let their egos break that wall. They say that we should unite and go through all our struggles together as a family. But the struggles I go through are because of them. So how am i supposed to tell them about my stresses and fears?
As I take another dose of lorazepam due to stress, I feel numbed. Sure, I can continue living this way and just numb myself each time. Sure, I can put up a wall so that their hurting words SHOULDN’T hurt. Sure, I can FORGET and FORGIVE. And sure, I can still love them when my heart is so broken I don’t even know if I can feel love anymore. But reality is that every day is a fight. A fight within myself to try harder to love my family. Because I believe SO STRONGLY in family. That the bond is beyond the bloodline. That there is love within each hurting word, within each rejection, within each disappointment. They DO love me in the end, right? They love me in their ways but never tried to love me the way that I wanted them to love me. Is that love? While I support their every fight and decision, they only join the fight against me. They still love me right? While I go out of my way to do things for them, they don’t want to go out of their ways to do a favour for me or remember my schedule like they do for him. But they still love me right? They defend his mistakes and don’t say sorry for berating me on the same mistakes in the past. But because it’s in the past and they were learning with me as their first child so it’s okay right? It will be okay right?
So my brother recently told my mom about the pressure he felt for getting into medicine and studying for the MCAT. It’s almost funny how I feel as though that was the first time she really cracked down on him. It was also the first time when he said that he understands what I might’ve felt. My whole life of more than 2 decades of being the firstborn and feeling all the pressure and NOW he says he thinks he understands it?! It didn’t feel comforting at all, but it did remind me the responsibility I have as a firstborn.
Someone once said this to his firstborn daughter that life will be harder on her as she bears more responsibility for her actions due to being a firstborn. That it won’t be fair, but that’s because she’s firstborn. At first, I was taken aback and felt bad for the little girl who was only 6 years old. Then I realized that even without being told that when I was young, the same thing happened to me. I guess it happens to all firstborns. Parents will be more protective and have higher expectations. They’re also the leader who’s supposed to show a good example to the younger ones. And with my brother who had a lot of health issues while growing up, it felt as though it was right for them to do that. I became protective of him too. From the teasing he would get from others because of his bandage on his ear and his hospitalizations. I’m not saying that I hated that, but I admit that there have been times when I hated him because it felt so unfair. At the same time, I would pour as much love as I can onto him because it felt like he needed it more.
When I think back to my studying and pressure that I received from my parents, I’ve always remembered them telling me that I should’ve studied harder to get even better grades. Them telling me how I should’ve done this instead and how I should sleep earlier. Them not knowing that I’d spend nights unable to sleep worrying because of the stress. How I would try my best to study everything as much as I can, sleeping at 2:30am and waking up at 6:30am to keep studying. With my brother, he sleeps late and my mom would defend him saying she already talked to him about it. When he sleeps in after a night of studying, my parents would say that he tried his best because he studied during the night. If he doesn’t do as well on an exam and says that he already tried his best, my parents would leave him alone. If it was me, I’d hear it a thousand times if I didn’t change my behaviour. I wouldn’t talk back to my parents, I’d just take it to heart and try my best to appease them. My brother, on the other hand, seems to feel wronged when he gets berated and would justify his actions. I guess it’s become a habit for me. I remember when I used to argue with my parents because of their seemingly unjust scoldings. It doesn’t help that when my mom scolds him, she’s learned to scold him when they’re alone so as to not have him “lose face” in front of us. When it was me, I’d get scolded in front of everyone and my brother would join in the scolding. I still hate that. But what can I say, I was the first baby they had, and parents learn along with their children. It wasn’t something that they knew to change before. I’m willing to be their guinea pig for the rest of my life. It’s something that I’m willing to do for my brother as I want him to become the best second-born, an improved newer person.
Valentine’s day and what is more romantic than writing a Chemistry midterm today? That’ll make sure there’s “chemistry” in the room, with the other 100 students! I remember Valentine’s day back in elementary school; making envelopes and exchanging cards and candies with each other. Even back then, there were people who wouldn’t get as many cards and if the box of cards my parents got me had only 20 cards, then my favourite 20 people would get a card. Valentine’s day seems to make people seem excluded from love, friendship, and can remind people how lonely they are. Is it really necessary to have a day to show your love to your loved ones? Shouldn’t that be everyday? And as for a special day for that special someone…doesn’t your anniversary count? Valentine’s day was named after St. Valentine, who married people against the law and then fell in love with his jailer’s young daughter, writing a letter signed “from your Valentine”. Then it was believed that birds mated on February 14th in the 14th century and thus love was associated with Valentine’s day (from what I gather from http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm).
It’s always so cute seeing people with flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s day, but it can remind us of loved ones that we’ve lost, and sometimes seeing everyone else in love while you’re out of love doesn’t feel that great. Valentine’s day for me other than having lots of chemistry, will be spent with friends. Why not use this day of love to show how much you love/value your friends? It doesn’t have to be romantic love, there’s many different kinds of love: storge (family love), philia (friendship love), eros (romantic love), and agape (unconditional love). If I was not stuck at school for the whole day and didn’t have to study for the past week, I had planned to make Valentine’s day cards and distribute them to random strangers. Who doesn’t like receiving a little note of encouragement, knowing that someone does care? Maybe next year that plan will go into action. Just some thoughts about Valentine’s day. Now back to studying…=(