The "J" effect... not all it's cracked up to be

I’ve been pondering this heavily since the night before last. I’ve found that if I get a ponder out of my head, it helps me. I have a negative effect on others, or it seems like I make them live two different lives.

My brother who is one year younger then I sent an e-mail about some of the stuff that bugs him. The fact Mom and Dad had to rearrange their lives to accommodate me, the fact that we might have had more money then we do have if I wasn’t ill. I’ve heard these before and I’m trying to getting over them. Maybe it is sibling resentment or rivalry…

But the one that hit me was that I’m holding my kid sis back from having a life or education. That because of me she’s not going to U.C. Berkeley. I had no idea that offer was still on the table for her. If it wasn’t for me, she’d have a healthy boyfriend and not the ex she has. If it wasn’t for me she’d be further ahead in life.

In a moment of weakness and panic, I turned over her room again. I’ll be mentioning that in therapy this week. I found her planner. OH MY… her calendar almost made me shut down and curl up in a ball. Some of her days she’s actually scheduled in “37 minutes of commute time barring obstacles.”

But on the calender in the hall, it’s just a few key days and one or two family gatherings. She said she keeps two calenders… one for me and one for her. The one for me is to keep me on track with out overwhelming me.
Now it feels like I make her live a double life. I feel like I make my entire family live a double life. The life they insulate me from and the life they include me into.

As I bring more people into my life, I wonder if I make them do that too? Or if it’s just family who has fallen into a double life habit. I’d like to think I can get through my day with out SO much kit gloves. But at the same time, I’m not sure I can. When I look at her planner, I wonder… am I even able to self manage?

I go to school, have a job and have the same family, why am I not able to keep up? I know I can’t compare my rough draft to someone else’s finished novel, but I wish I was higher functioning and further ahead in my life instead of feeing like I’m just now starting to become an adult at 29. Yet because of me, my sis had to become a full adult as 15.

Thanks for letting me get this ponder out of my head. I wonder, how do other effect their family?


I don’t think I became an adult until I met my SO at 30. To be with him I had to grow up fast! I often look at those around me and think the same thing, that I can’t keep up. I see my SO holding back on telling me about things because he thinks they will stress me out. I feel like I’m missing out on getting to know the real him.


BAM :boom: Right there… :boom: Thank you. That is sort of how I’m feeling. That’s what I love about this site… I have a long pondering, and someone comes up with a tangible and easy way to explain it.

I am really starting to hate that feeling of being insulated, cut off, or some how coddled. I’m not an egg. I wonder how to make it stop?

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I think sometimes you over think :blush:

To a certain degree we all live two or more lives. Who or what I am for my son is different then who or what I am for my husband or even my daughter or siblings.

I’m guessing your brother is still in the “it’s everyone else’s fault, please feel sorry for me and everyone else is worse.” phase of his recovery/life. Two days ago I got to listen to my son complain how his sister would never get disrespected like this and that she is allowed to get away with everything and never gets disciplined… She just got her cell phone back after losing it for 2-3 weeks for skipping school. But that is not what he wanted to see instead he sees how unfair it is that he be held accountable for his own actions so shift the limelight onto someone else.

Your sister is capable of making her own decisions with respect to Berkeley and her education. Just because it looks good to other’s does not mean that it is the best choice for her. If not for you she would not have gained the knowledge and strength of character that will serve her so well in later years. It is not just through SZ groups that one meets narcissistic individuals. I’m picturing all the “boys” my daughter has managed to attract :astonished: You have told us about the advanced placement that kidsis is in for school. She is already further ahead in life then most 25 year olds. That is not a bad thing.

Calenders… I have 3 of them. One on my son’s wall noting his items like PACT and YMCA. One that I use to keep track of my son’s symptoms, meds taken or not taken, sleep schedule, self care etc. and one for me where I keep track of med refills, pickups, appointments, bills, birthdays or anything else that I may forget I need to do or may want to remember I did later on like start and stop champix.

Try not to let negative thinking bring you down. You have a positive affect on so many people.


I think that you shouldn’t read so much into what your brother is saying. Siblings often aren’t the most supportive family members. There’s usually some rivalry and resentment that they’ve held onto for many years. Some of it is just their own perception–and not really based in reality.

So don’t let this get you upset or triggered. Take it with a grain of salt.

After all, you’re doing VERY well given your diagnosis. So don’t let anyone make you feel guilty based on what’s out of your control.




Hi J, I know how you feel. My brother is the same way as your brother. He has a lot of resentment and hurt feelings from not being the center of attention growing up, some real some imagined or blown up. He is getting better with it though, he tells me that he understands better. What you are thinking is natural and normal behavior - I go through the same exact thoughts as you, and I am pretty sure many people have these thoughts - please dont be so hard on yourself, dealing with the actual illness is hard enough, you dont need the added guilt in your life, just take things slowly and one step at a time. I know its easier said than done


Well said Barbie, totally agree!


in australia we have a saying, which covers your brothers attitude , i would personally write this on his forehead.
he is a ’ total whinger '.
you have an illness that was not your choice or fault.
your sister was born into your family and again was not her choice.
you are both amazing human beings and more so because of the things that you have to struggle through.
walk tall , and be proud of your achievements.
take care


To Everyone, @BarbieBF @Wave @lovemyson @radmedtech @darksith @Skims

Thank you for that a lot. I’m feeling a lot better and I’ve got my deflector shields back up and running. I’m still working on trying to keep my perspective around this brother. He knows exactly what buttons to push.

I sometimes think if I didn’t have Sz, my buttons would be harder to get too. I’m still working on how to not let myself get taken in by his button pushing.

If anyone has any idea on how to deal with a button pushing sibling, I’d love to know.


You make me smile… Eventually we all give in to button pushing. I did just a couple of days ago :blush:

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