Sunday 30 October 2016


Reader Jade loves her sister... but secretly longs for a time when she can break away from her shadow...

Jade says:
My sister Lucie is just fifteen months older than me, and at times we have been mistaken for twins. Ever since I can remember, I have hero-worshipped Lucie - she has always seemed perfect to me. I modelled myself on her, copied her style, her dress sense, even her hobbies and interests. I always wanted her approval and praise more than anyone else's, wanted to be as good as she was. It took me until I was twelve or thirteen to realise that was never going to happen.

Lucie was - and is - my best friend as well as my sister, so it felt incredibly disloyal to admit to myself that I was jealous of her. I was, though. No matter how hard I tried, I could never match her, never be quite as good or as perfect. My marks at school were never as good, and although we both did tap and modern dancing, piano lessons and drama, Lucie was better at all of them. I started to feel like a poor copy of her, and that hurt. I decided to try a different hobby and signed up for gymnastics, but I wasn't great at that either... and the lessons fizzled out because I couldn't bear to fail at yet another thing. At that point, my parents began to worry about me because they thought I'd changed, stopped trying. I realised they saw me as a problem teen, and that was the last straw.

The one good thing I had in my life was Matt, my boyfriend... and then I lost him too. He finished with me at Easter, and by the summer holidays he was going out with Lucie. My world crumbled. Of course, I'd told Lucie I didn't care about Matt, that it had never been serious, because I didn't want her pity. So now I can't even let her see how hurt I am. I feel like my life is a lie, and although Lucie thinks we are as close as ever, I hate being in her shadow. I don't hate Lucie herself - she genuinely is a lovely person, much better than I am. I could never hate her, but I long for a time when I am no longer in her shadow. Lucie passed ten GCSEs in the summer and is already looking forward to uni. Sometimes she talks about how cool it would be if we went to the same uni and how we could share a flat, but that will never happen. If I am going to have a chance of a happy life, I need to be a long way away from Lucie. I can never tell her this, never tell my parents or friends. They would think I was the worst person in the world. Sometimes I think I am. I just want a chance to be myself... to have the space to find out what that is, to live my life without comparisons. And maybe when I am out of Lucie's shadow, I won't feel like such a bad sister anymore. Perhaps we'll find a way to stay close. I hope so.

All names have been changed to protect privacy.

Fab photographs by reader Hollie: with thanks to fab models Jess and Emily!

Cathy says:
Jade has been painfully honest, and I think she does need some space to be herself. I hope she manages to spread her wings and find her place in the world, as well as holding on to that close bond with her sister. Have YOU ever felt overshadowed by a sister or a friend? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. I suffer from Middle Child Syndrome. All through school and beyond, my big sister was clever and responsible (even when she skipped school to get drunk - which I would never do - she was still deemed more responsible than me because I cried sometimes which Mum said embarrassed the family). Her problems were given priority over mine because what did it matter if I was messed up? She was going places, she was going to succeed. I was always going to be a failure. My little brother was also clever in addition to being really funny and popular as well. Again, his problems were taken more seriously than mine. My suicide attempts and self harming were brushed aside or written off as normal teenage behaviour (by the way, never let ANYONE tell you it's normal teenage behaviour because it really isn't, it's serious). My brother never self harmed, never attempted suicide but was instantly prescribed medication and given counselling when he said he was depressed. I'm pleased he got help, of course, he's my brother and I want him to be OK. I just wish I wasn't ignored when I was suffering the same affliction. My sister went to university, returning home to bully me relentlessly every holiday. She spent her last year of uni taking half of Mum's money before promptly cutting everyone except my little brother off before she graduated. She's working in a hospital now and she just got promoted. My little brother went to uni but realised he didn't like his course and dropped out. He's going back to uni next year to study zoology. I never went to uni. I went to college but I almost ended up killing myself because of the stress. I now live off benefits as I struggle to function. At least I'm appreciated for bringing money into the house but I'm not good for anything else. I don't have to compete with my sister too much anymore but I'll never be as good as my brother. He's clever. He's popular. He's social. He's well-dressed. He's ambitious. He's hilarious. He doesn't hang around the house, making everyone hate him. He's lucky I like him because I could really resent him otherwise. Jade is right to want to get away from Lucie. Nothing good ever comes of being constantly compared to someone else.

    1. remember somebody out here will always love you. even if it doesn't look like it.

    2. You are an amazing person. It must be terrible to be treated differently to your siblings. I know how it feels to self-harm and be stressed, and being misunderstood. You need to talk to your whole family; perhaps write a letter if the words don't get out. Both you and Jade are very brave people. Things will get better, I know it.

  2. Good luck for the future.

  3. I hv always thought Tht I never belonged in this world... I hv no real friends..... 1ns who actually fare about me 1s who actually want 2 hang out with me and don't speak a different language all the time... I protested wn my bro told me I had no friends I dint want to admit it.... my mum asked 2.... from time 2 time I switched between 2 groups fighting with this 1 and he other. .. recently, the leader of the group I'm with hooked up its another girl and I was deadly jealous. This new gal wad my friend 2 but always spoke a different language. They had secrets and 2dat. .. they broke up. I texted the leader on snap but she didn't reply... I asked if she was the other gal's friend well see.

  4. i have always felt in the shadow of my sister since i am the youngest. she is good at every subject at school and i am only good at history.

  5. i have found one good thing my crush oscar he is so nice to me but i think he likes my freind

  6. He likes me and not my friend!yes
    She's is not my friend anymore since she is saying to everyone that I said she was jealous about us and they started to be mean to me today
    At least he really really likes me!!��������������



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