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Feeling unimportant

Community Member

Hello. New account.

I was taken in by my adult sister mid last year after my mother passed away from a terminal illness. I had depression then, and I thought I was getting better but I just feel the same as before now. I have anxiety and OCD as well.

I share a room with my sister's daughter for now. Recently we found out she was self harming. I found out. I feel terrible and I know it is her child so of course she loves her more than I, but I feel like she will always be on her daughters side over mine. Especially now.

I know that I am lucky to have my sister, otherwise I'd be in a foster home. I'm LGBT so it mighn't have gone well for me.

I just- feel unimportant. I wash her daughters clothes and fold them for her, I help her with things and all, I do her chores (by the way, not at her mother's request. Her mother treats me fine). But when the daughter does something wrong to me, especially now, I get "Now isn't a good time. I'm not going to push her." After all I asked was that she tell her daughter she needs to clean up a drink she spilt on my bed (I cleaned it up).

I want to cry so bad but I can't because the daughter is in the room with me. Tomorrow is my birthday, and all I want is my mother.

I don't know what to do.

6 Replies 6

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello, welcome to this site Akansstar

It seems to me that your grief for your mum is ever present and will be for some time. Grief is a personal process so if it takes a really long time...well that's ok. She obviously was very important to you and I think she would be proud as punch that you are working hard doing others chores and semi looking after your niece.

You are also trying to help your sister with information and that isn't playing out how you wished. Ideally if you were living in a small caravan in the back yard then it would be better away from the chemistry of the home you are in. It is likely that your presence has thrown a spanner in the works with their home situation and that isn't anyones fault- its is just fact.

I think you need more time to "blend" into the household. Take a step back, continue doing the things you do but keep a lower profile...as if you don't exist there- almost. Try to come up with other ideas of accommodation like a separate room or some other relatives family. I don't know how old you are but a part time job and save some money for the time you can break out on your own. What about chatting to your school counselor?

All the best. Hoping another person replies with some ideas.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi akansstar,

Welcome to beyond blue.

Like Tony said, not sure about your age but guessing the adult sister is acting as your guardian. And I am sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately there is no set time of period the grief starts and ends and will be different from person to person. Please be patient yourself in this area.

I can understand (as much as possible) how you would feel tomorrow. Is there anyone that you can talk to about how you are feeling? Friends? You adult sister? And if that is not possible then

  • give Lifeline a call on 13 11 44 to be able to talk through the issues.
  • If you are less than 25 you could also contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
  • Griefline is another service and contact number is 1300 845 745 (https://griefline.org.au/phone-counselling/)

If course you can always talk to us via the forum, but if you can speak with someone about this, you might be able reduce some of the pain you feel. I know that you feel that you cannot cry because of the daughter, but there is nothing wrong will be able to show your emotions. Crying can be a good stress reliever, and shows you are not afraid to show your feelings. It could become an opportunity to talk about ways of dealing the stress.

You have probably worked out that I am hinting that communication is important here and being true to yourself, as hard as that can be sometimes. Some things are easier said than done. You might get other ideas here...

  • https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/loss-grief
  • https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/grief-and-loss

I want to know that I am listening and as tough as it might be tomorrow hope you will have some fun on your birthday. Happy Birthday.

Sending peace to you,





Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi akansstar and happy birthday for the other day!

I'm so sorry for the the grief you're experiencing. I really do feel great sorrow for you in a number of ways and wish I was there to put my arms around you. To have lost someone who acted as support and guide and to have lost an environment which you had a greater sense of control over is life-changing. It's also identity changing. How we identify with life and our experiences does have an impact on our identity. Whether we're aware of it or not, at times we may be left asking 'Who am I (now)?' In order to make sense of things, we'll typically seek reference. In relation to the following, I'll end each one with a truth for you to reference:

  • If you're left thinking 'I am unimportant', this could not be further from the truth. You have had an incredible impact on you sister and your niece. You may not be able to see now but you have changed their path for the better. The self harming may have gone undetected for months or even years if it wasn't for you. Now, your sister is finally aware of the serious nature of the mental health issues which need addressing regarding her daughter. If I was your sister, I would feel forever indebted to you. -'I am someone who is life changing in a positive way'
  • As a mum, I can tell you that the love for your own child can appear greater than the love for another. Appearances can be deceiving. Personally, I love my children differently to others because the bond is different for a number of reasons. Your sister loves you differently to her daughter. -'I am someone who is loved uniquely'
  • The soft approach your sister's using in regard to her daughter should not have to impact you. You have every right to expect your niece to take responsibility for cleaning up after herself, a skillful action. -'I am someone who deserves basic consideration'
  • 'I am someone who is deserving of guidance from family, friends and/or mental health professionals'
  • 'I am someone who is entitled to seek support from the LGBT community'
  • 'I am someone who should feel free in expressing harmless healing emotions, in private'. Perhaps this is something you could discuss with your sister. If she's not aware of this need you have, becoming aware may be the key to her thinking up ways for her to provide this opportunity for you.

I could go on with this list but you get the idea. Being careful with how we use our 'I am' can lead us to reform our identity in truthful constructive ways.

Take care akansstar