DEAR ABBY: My parents divorced when I was 4. I’ve had a problem with insecurity and jealousy for as long as I can remember. I have two older sisters who are twins and a half-brother my stepmom and dad had when I was 18.
My sisters were always the popular and favored kids because they were twins. My grandparents took them to twin contests and constantly bragged about their talents. I was born legally blind. I can see, just not well. I had learning disabilities and have always been overweight.
I was bullied at school and had few friends. My sisters were popular and were the talk of the school. I do have some close friends I’ve had since childhood, especially my best friend, whom I’ve known since kindergarten. Our friendship has lasted through my best and worst times. My family considers him a part of our family.
One of my sisters is always talking to him. She even went to visit him without letting me know. I feel like whenever we are all together, I get ignored. I don’t doubt our friendship, but I can’t help but feel left out when it comes to my sister. She used to lie to me about going out to lunch and visiting him out of state.
I feel like they are keeping things from me. How do I move past my insecurities and jealousy? My sister says I’m being childish. I was always in the twins’ shadow. How do I move past that?
— Left Out in Wisconsin
DEAR LEFT OUT: I sympathize with what you went through, but you are no longer a child. It is time to quit competing with your sister. She should not have been sneaking around with your best friend of her, and he shouldn’t have abetted her. That said, as insecure as a person may feel, they don’t have the right to dictate to others who they may or may not see — all that does is generate resentment.
You might have less anxiety if you interact less with the twins and focus on your own separate relationships. Figure out what interests bring you pleasure and involve yourself in activities with like-minded people.
DEAR ABBY: I am approaching a major college reunion next year. Several of us former roommates are looking forward to spending the weekend together and attending some of the official reunion activities. None of the others plans to bring a spouse or partner. My partner didn’t attend our college, although he does know some of the girlfriends. He wants to attend.
How can I tell him it will be more relaxed and fun for me if I don’t have to worry about whether he’s enjoying events when he knows few people and doesn’t have the shared history the rest of the group enjoys?
— Going Solo in Mississippi
DEAR GOING SOLO: Explain it to your partner exactly as you have explained it to me — that this isn’t a couples event, and none of your former roommates is bringing her partner. If he insists on coming anyway, he should not expect you to be responsible for entertaining him.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.