Pushed to the Side

I am the middle child of 7 born 11 months after my sister.  I have learned my position early in life.  It was a competition to be heard in our family and my personality aggravated the middle child problems that existed.  I am still today not going to compete to be heard. I am still, at 50, cut off in mid conversation where the rest of my thought is finished by someone else. I was the child that didn’t know what love was, but my younger sisters had it in abundance.  My older sisters were allowed freedoms that I looked forward to, only to be told no when it became my turn. I was treated unfairly in most things and my siblings did the same. They learned that I was the outcast, the one who was dumb, something is wrong with her, etc. And this was not corrected by my parents.

I always waited for my turn which never came.  I was ostracized from my mother into adulthood. Was it because I got pregnant at 18? Divorced with 2 babies at 21?  I was not invited and uninvited to “family” get together’s repeatedly. I was talked about by my sisters and mother as the family shame.  The one who didn’t get married and pregnant in that order.  The one who dated and married abusive men.  Something was wrong with me, so they think/thought.  Whenever my sisters or mother have or have had a question about me, they didn’t ask me because I was too stupid to know.  Instead they talk to one another and make it up as they go along. I suppose it makes them feel better.  But I do know that it hurts me. I would have fantasies as a child of being loved.  I thought it was unattainable, just a story (I read a lot), not real. My life has been hard and painful for myself and for my kids because of this ostracizing.  Why was I chosen to be the family punching bag?  Growing up I thought it was normal, as an adult I see the destruction.  The psychological impact on a neglected child is enormous, especially when you are the only one.  You have no one to confide in, no one to team up with and find support.  You are alone in this.  Alone in making your own screwed up decisions.

I raised my kids by myself for 17 years after 2 divorces, which is a long time for someone who wants to be loved.  I am now married to a man who had a similar experience to my own (he was alone for 12 years).  We both have finally found someone who loves us and truly cares about us.  This is my 3rd marriage and this is his 5th.  Statistically we are bound to have a divorce.  We have had some rough times trying to unload and process our mistreatment.  We finally found someone who understood.

To all parents:  make sure that you show your love to all of your children, especially the quiet child.  They already feel delegated to the bottom rung, and are just waiting their turn to be hugged and made to feel special. When that doesn’t happen, that is what they expect in life and from others……nothing.

– Susan

Being a Middle Child

Well, I’m 17, about to turn 18 (I think all of you know how exciting the prospect of being an adult is, especially when you’re the middle child), and I absolutely distaste being the middle child. But I love it at the same time.

I have a sister who is 3 years older than me, and a little brother who is 2 years younger than me. I basically help raise my brother, and I’m my sister’s person to lean on when she has problems. Same applies to my mom.  I think she looks at me as more as her confidant than her daughter, in all honesty.

But anyway, I have always been slightly independent, because I think my mom just assumes I can take care of myself, therefore I never get the support I want, or need. Right now, I’ve been out of school for two years. I dropped out in 10th grade, and now I would be graduating in 5 months if I hadn’t dropped out. I’m looking into getting my GED before I turn 18 so  I can feel a little bit accomplished, but it’s like my mom refuses to help me, even though when she was my age she got her GED. I think that she compares me to my sister, who is 20, with a high school diploma and working for a law firm. She has everything going for her. And my brother, he’s not the brightest. He’s a jock, on the football team, and insanely cocky. I can’t stand him the majority of the time. But my mom has big hopes for him, and tells him all the time.

Not once has anyone in my family (save my grandma, bless her heart. I love her so much. She’s my biggest supporter,) has ever just told me that they’re proud of me. I know that there’s nothing really to be proud of, but I think you get the gist.

I started looking for some attention outside of my family, since I’m not getting any, and found my best friend Tay, and for the last 4 years I’ve spent every summer, Christmas, spring and thanksgiving break with her and her family. I love her mom and little sister, and her mom treats me just like I’m her own daughter,and I love it cause I’m finally getting the attention I honestly crave. My mom doesn’t like Tay, but I refuse to budge on my friendship, because, hey, she’s not giving me attention and Tay and her family are.

I have a little problem with my uncle, who just so happens to be my mom’s closest sibling. We argue constantly, and he’s always grinding at my very last nerve. No one ever stands up for me when he yells at me for no reason, so I stand up for myself, and end up getting in trouble for doing so. I think it’s stupid, but no one seems to agree with me. My mom won’t even stand up for me, and that really does hurt..

Also, I bet you’re wondering about my dad. Haha. He’s not in the picture. He never has been. I know his name. Benjamin Gulsmith. If you know him, tell him his long lost daughter said hi.

I envy my brother and sister for that very fact; they know their dads. We all have different dads, and my brothers dad just came into his life a year ago, and he’s insanely happy. I try to be, because I know that no one cares how jealous I am, but I can’t be happy for him no matter how hard I try.

I just don’t understand how life could seriously just be this unfair, that my entire family (but, like earlier, except for my grandma, she’s always been there for me) is so against me. My mom always used to yell at me for having a bad attitude. Well yeah. Anyone would have a bad attitude if you’re an 8 year old kid getting your 6 year old brother breakfast every morning and getting him dressed and bathed every day of his life till he got old enough to take care of himself.

I am so ecstatic about turning 18, because I can move out and make my own rules, and decide for myself. I am a pretty independent person, so living on my own won’t be too hard on me.

There are perks to being the middle child, but one down-side was definitely that basically my whole child hood was taken from me because I had to take care of my little brother, and ended up having to grow up to fast, to soon.

I’m sorry I rambled so much; it was just so nice to get this off my chest! Thank you if you read all of this, and if you’re a middle child, I’ll pray for you. It sucks, but we’re stronger than we seem, right?

– Megan

My Story

I have a 14 year old brother and a 6 year old sister. I’m an 11 year old girl and life isn’t always “amazing” for me. My older brother gets a lot of attention and more stuff than me because my mom and dad believe that they need to pay attention to him because he’s older and he might do things that will upset them.

My little sister…oh gosh…she’s spoiled! If she doesn’t get what she wants she will cry. and sometimes slap. which is very horrible around Christmas time and she will cry in any game she looses.

me…im pretty depressed. im angry a lot i have VERY LOW self-esteem i search the internet and read books on how to make things better but my two siblings are so spoiled that nothing helps.
and all my teachers think im just like my older brother so they treat me exactly the same.

– Gianna

I Never Stood a Chance

Note: This might be all over the place, so please bear with me.

Right now, I’m sitting in a room of the house owned by my mom. I’m 28 years old and I don’t even have a driver’s license. She blames her ex-boyfriend for his empty promises to teach myself and my sisters when we were in our late teens. My older sister is out of the house was indeed the leader of the three of us. She had to be, due to our mother rarely being home. She was going to school at the time, and when she wasn’t in school she was clubbing. I still remember occasions in which she’d come home from school, and I’d be so excited to spend time with her, only to see go to the bathroom for a shower, grab a dress and leave. There were several times in which I hadn’t seen her all day and happen to wake up late at night to hear her partying with several friends. I would cry as loud as possible just so I could see her. This stopped after a week, when she yelled at me for it. For the first years of my little sister’s life she called my older sister “mama”.

Though she was never really around, she was overprotective. We only really left the house for school, or occasionally to hang out with our cousins or with other kids at a babysitter’s house (which were their own hellish experiences, but that’s a different story…). Whenever me and my older sister would meet any of these kids, the interaction was always the same. The group took to her immediately, and I was constantly bullied. There were occasions in which several of the older kids (8-9 years old)the babysitter was keeping would group together and stare me (5-6 years old) down as if they were going to jump me. I doubt they had real intentions to do so, but it can still prove unnerving at that age.

I cried a lot as a child, and Mom frequently got mad at me for this. One occasion, both of my sisters were beating me up (yes, younger too. What can I say I was a soft kid…) and when she saw me on the floor crying, she simply says, ”Be a man and fight back.” And with that, leaves the room.

I received several beatings from my older sister at this time. She was about 9 or 10 and dealing with the loss of our older brother, whom I’ve never met (more on this later) and our parents divorcing. She had a lot of pain in her and I was the one she often expressed it on.

At the age of 10, Mom divulged that I was conceived specifically to take the place of my older brother. Which in and of itself isn’t that big of a deal, I guess. But in later years, thinking back on our interactions, I feel she didn’t want a son to replace the one she lost, but a product to be corrected with the belt.

As the years progressed, through high school and college, I notice my mom and sisters becoming closer as I distanced myself from my mother as best I could. There were instances in which Mom would get on me about something, then start yelling at me two other unrelated things. I ask my older sister about it, and I find out that on several occasions, the three of them came together just to rant about what a pain in the ass I am. This dynamic would continue over time. When me and my little sister got jobs, if my sister had a bad day at work she could easily go to our mom to vent. I gripe about things at work, I get yelled at for not taking initiative to leave. I’d explain that I’ve turned in several applications; she’d continue to yell at me saying I wasn’t trying hard enough to find another job. In recent years, my mother admitted she was harder on me because I’m a male. Though I still live with her, I haven’t really talked to her since I was 12.

May I also mention that throughout all these years until college, we were STILL not allowed to leave the house for any reason other than school. From practically no interaction with the outside world, to a customer service job…clearly this wouldn’t turn out well..

This brings you guys up to speed on my past and explains my current broken state. I have severe social anxiety. When in public settings, as a reflex, my body tenses up as if ready for a fight to defend myself against the outside world. I don’t have many friends because of this. At work, I scare people away from me with a look. Actions that I mean to be benevolent unintentionally come off as hostile to those around me.

I’m an aspiring comic book artist. Many people say I’m good, but whenever I try to submit work to a company, I’m so riddled with self doubt that nothing ever gets done. Recently, I’ve found myself entertaining the idea of suicide.

– A.J.

A Middle Child Forgotten

For the first five years of my life I didn’t even know my mom, dad, or siblings. When I was three months my mom handed me off to stay with my uncle and auntie in Chicago. I stayed with them for five whole years until one day my mom popped up with the police officers and told me that she was my mom and that it was time to go home. It took me four years to cope with the big change. By the way she has treated me these past thirteen years, I wonder why she even bothered to take me from people who actually cared for me.

I am the middle child of an older sister and brother and my youngest sister and brother. My oldest sister, Lyn was always the one that could have fun with friends and go to the movies. I knew then that we were young, so I waited for my chance. My oldest sister grew older and moved out at age fifteen. My mom still spoiled her from a distance. My sister has had two cars given to her by my mom and dad.

I have an oldest brother name Gene. Gene is in college and my mom gave him a car before, but he ruined it. My mom and I always were in arguments just because I wanted to hang with the older group. I use to get in trouble for the simplest things such as staying after school or being with friends. I was the only one that seriously had a hard time.

It was mandatory that I had to cook and clean for all five of us, I had to help my mom cook on Holidays also when I didn’t want to. Everyone else were able to relax, but not me. I became impatient with waiting for things to happen that never did.

I was supposed to be the next in line to receive a car, but I became pregnant at age seventeen Honestly, I think that is no excuse because my oldest sister has a child and my mom bought her a brand new car. I am currently I senior attending high school and my mom won’t even help me get through high school so I can go to college.

My younger sister and brother, Te’Jon and Audrionna, are the two spoiled ones. They can do anything they want to do now. From what I hear, my younger sister is the next one in line to get a car. That is not fair due to the fact that I am on my way to college and doing good things for my life and she seems not to care. I feel she has abandoned my attention and also the fact the she has another child somewhere out in the world that she has forgotten.

– Phaedra