I’m the youngest child out of three and I’ve felt passive and alone most of the time since I was a kid. My oldest siblings were and are closer to each other (now even physically since I’m abroad). This feeling of not being seen or not fitting in with others has always been there and due to moving to different locations I don’t have a big social circle which I really miss.
Unlike me, my brother and sister have never moved and have lifelong friends. I’ve left my home country as an adult some years ago and during one of my visits back home my brother had a party. As soon as one of their closest friends arrived she saw me and commented: “oh! I’d forgotten you had another sister!” This hit me so deeply, as someone had verbalized all those feelings of being invisible that I’ve had all my life.
I’ve noticed that people do talk up about me and admire my lifestyle/achievements but never really have conversations with me or reach out to see how I’m doing unless they need something. I try to build connections by keeping in touch and doing nice things as much as I can but I end up nowhere after a while because I find it’s all one way.
The current situation
My parents were recently visiting me and during their visit my siblings would call regularly to talk to them. I also burned my hand while trying to serve my parents which kept me off work for weeks and my siblings were asking about that as well during the parents visit. However, the contact has completely diminished since they’ve returned.
I went out of my way to buy some presents for my brother, his wife and his son, and I would have liked if they acknowledged and thanked for receiving it. But as I say they haven’t even texted me once since my parents returned.
Similar things have happened before (including my sister forgetting my birthday for weeks) and I’ve happened to nag to my mother about that where she’s then probably hinted it to my siblings so they’ve then called me which had no value to me anymore.
I know I shouldn’t have expectations for giving presents to people but a simple “thank you” or even “how are you doing?” doesn’t cost much.
I don’t want to victimize myself and want to stop feeling ignored and invisible if I can. I want to ring up my brother and ask if they got the presents. But, how to approach it so that I make my point without sounding nasty or passive-aggressive?