PLEASE, don’t attack me. I feel horribly about all that I’m about to say, but I can’t help it.
I’m wondering if I am the only person who has dealt with this. I am the oldest of 10 children. I’m only 19, the baby is 4 years old. 10 children(and one miscarriage) in 17 years. A lot of other people, after they get over the shock, and “get to know” my family, think it’s so cool, and wonderful.
I love my family. I love all of my brothers(4) and sisters(5). I love my parents. I know they all love me. But sometimes love is not enough. I have spent so much time as a surrogate mother, I am more comfortable with children and babies than I am with people my own age. My mother, being perpetually pregnant, and having so many children to care for, was never able to give any one child much attention, even though she has homeschooled us all. I’m a freshman in college, and it’s the first time I’ve ever been in a traditional educational setting. I am only now beginning to have any sort of feeling that I matter at all as an individual being, and most of the time, I don’t. I was always just one of my parents many kids, and not even they had much time for me. My mother was technically my teacher, but by the time i was in high school, everything was left up to me. She couldn’t help me at all. At age 12, I started developing depression(there’s a long history of mental health problems on both sides of my family), and began cutting myself . I also started developing bulimia around this time. When I was 15, I tried to tell my parents that I needed help, but they didn’t think it was that big of a deal, and plus, they had I think 8 other children at the time to take care of. I didn’t get any sort of help until i was almost 18, which I had to fight for, and which I sometimes was not able to go to because my parents did not have the money for it. Up until I went into a psychiatric hospital, my parents had never even noticed that I had stopped any sort of normal eating, and would not eat for days at a time, never caught on the the extreme self-injury I was relying on to survive, or noticed that I was continually ODing on tylenol and advil to make me too sick to think or eat. They never noticed any of this. I was just one of the 10, and not one of the favored, either. Just a diaper changer/ dishwasher/ sweeper/ cook/ laundry person/ free babysitter/ extra expense/ guinea pig. Kind of a failed experiment, too, since some of the younger ones are like me, but better. Smarter, not as hyper or violent, quieter, better with people.
I’m 19 now, and moved out, and doing better. But I still am struggling with wanting attention so badly, but never feeling that I deserve it, or anything else positive, or that I have any kind of worth whatsoever. I would like to say that I am the only member of my family who has had these problems, but it would be a lie. I try not to blame my parents for anything, but I can’t help feeling that I might have been a somewhat healthier person mentally if my parents had been able to give me more attention.
I hate to feel like this, since my parents made such a big deal about being open to God’s plans, and using NFP(the only reason they’ve stopped having kids is because my mom had to have a hysterectomy to save her life). And I do really love all of my brothers and sisters, and my parents. But it seems as though other people that I’ve met who were somewhat in my position never have the feelings that I have. Maybe I’m the one with the problem, I don’t know.