Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:18 AM
Yep, I can dig it...Watching parents lavish love and attention on another sibling, and you can SEE what the potential of their love and affection COULD be....but YOU'LL never get it, for reasons that are never explained (because you're not worthy enough to be owed an explanation, perhaps?). And their blatant favoritism might be so obvious that other family members and even people around town might comment on it, which can contribute shame and embarrassment to the heap of hurt feelings that pile up as the parents cruelly perpetuate this particularly cruel form of rejection. I can dig it that this is more than about the financial outlay or getting enough material goodies at Xmas to satisfy you. This is about trying to have a Merry Xmas, and when material goods are used to make people feel rotten...well, it IS the thought that counts, and if the thoughts are rotten, it'll often come shining through in the gift. Eowyn, I guess for 2012, your DH could stand to figure out whether this gift is symptomatic of other deficits he finds in his relationship with his family, so you both can figure out how to deal with them to mitigate the hurt that comes from them. As you can guess, my sister's favored. After 38 years of dysfunction, it became too much to bear, and therapy with my mother and sister actually worked wonders for our relationship. (My sister was also the type to rub things in my face...Once, when I objected, she hollered, "Don't you dare try to make me feel guilty because Mom and Dad give me more things than you!" Oh baby, we've come a long way). I think birth placement had a lot to do with things-- both my parents are older siblings, and they used to mention how their younger siblings got on their nerves, so I could see, growing up, how they favored my sister, gave her more and better stuff, let her get away with murder and treating me like scum, etc. My cousins used to marvel at it, and we'd laugh about it sometimes because it was so ridiculous, but it really became a PITA as I got older. I think, when un-favoreds get married and bring an outside witness to the favoritism, it gets a bit harder to swallow this kind of material bullying, and to shrug it off as "no big deal." And as we get older, pity for situations like this becomes more embarrassing. And believe me, it's hard not to pity your DH. The picture of him saving his present from his family under the tree so he could specially open it on Christmas Day....the anticipation...the build-up by your family and getting fun things that show him, yes, he's worth thinking of, yes, he's worthy, yes, he's special....And then finding out his parents don't know his size, don't care, and just wanted to make an empty gesture. Sure, his parents have the constitutional right to spend their money as they see fit, just like your DH has the constitutional right to protest being treated like sh** by his family for no apparent reason, and to seek an outside party to mediate difficult discussions like this. And I hope he does seek that neutral party, because it's not likely to get any better if nothing is said. And who knows? Maybe there's an explanation for all of it that he's not aware of....Maybe they had to spend $50K to bail him out of a Mexican jail on Spring Break '99 or something, consigning him to a lifetime of receiving $20 shirts at Xmas....(I doubt it seriously, but it was fun to come up with a crazy example.) Good luck, and tell him I said "Nuts to them!"