Middle Child of Four

Let me start by saying that I am a middle child in a family of four. My older sister is a year older than me, my brother is 3 years younger, and my younger sister is 6 years younger. Technically, my brother is also a middle child. However, being that he is the only boy, he is heavily favored in my family as if he was an only child.

I started to feel like there was something different about me during my preteen years. I always looked for reasons as to why I was treated differently than my siblings, and I would usually find excuses as to why my parents were justified in the way they treated me. As I got older I realized that my birth order was playing a much larger role in my life than I ever realized.

I did not have a tragic childhood by any means. My family is well off, I always had friends, and I was usually one of the smarter kids in school. The one major problem in my life was the criticisms I received from my parents. I was always targeted for my weight, lack of maturity, laziness, etc. I took these comments for the truth and believed that I exuded these traits.

It was when I got to college that I started to realize that I was not as much of a lost cause as I believed. Away from my house and the criticism, I unknowingly blossomed into the lady that I always was deep down. I was constantly complimented by professors, dorm mates, friends, etc. I was told how independent, strong, smart, successful, and beautiful I was. At first, when I was complimented, I thought to myself “all these people who see the good in me must not know me well enough; none of these good things are true.” However, as time went on I began to forget the things my parents had told me and believe what others were telling me.

I am thankful that being in college has helped me see how much I have going for me. I am by no means perfect, but being away from home helped me see that I have just as many good traits as my siblings. It is still hard sometimes, especially when I come home from school on winter or summer vacation. I am once again forced into the shadow of my adored siblings, and I still find myself asking “is the something wrong with me? What makes my siblings so much better?”

It saddens me that being with my family causes my self esteem to lower so much, because I really do love them. I am thankful for the growth college has granted me, but I hope that a day comes when I can be amongst my family without the environment causing me to doubt myself.

by Nicole

Life is Tough

So I have 2 sisters an older and younger so I’m stuck being the middle child. I’m always picked on by my sister Rebecca, my older sister. She always calls me selfish and a mistake. Sometimes I believe that I was a mistake. it wasn’t just her though I was picked on by my mom as well, she always said that I was an emotional basket case and that when I got my period I would be so much more trouble. I hate my family. They always say that they love me but I know that that’s not true because if it was then they would care more. For example whenever I get straight A’s (which is always ever since middle school) they say I need to do better!!! I’m like WTF because that’s the best you can do but when my sister gets a bad grade they just tell her to do better and then leave it at that.

Then don’t even get me started with my little sister. She says she’s so tough but really whenever i so much as pinch her she goes running to mom or dad that I hurt her and then I get scolded at. I always get blamed for doing everything. for example when I don’t do anything I get yelled at for not trying to stop my sister from hurting my little sister and then if I do something I get yelled at for getting involved.. So whatever I do I get punished. My parents don’t treat us equally even though they say they do but I wouldn’t expect them to understand… my mom was the third child of ten, two older brothers and the rest younger. She was the oldest girl so I can’t go to her for help at all. Then there’s my dad. He was the oldest of eight so it doesn’t work and besides he’s a guy and doesn’t understand.

I don’t know if this would matter but I was born the year of the tiger, which has a sensitive personality while I was also born the month of the Gemini, the sign of a split personality… not a very good combination if you ask me. My parents as well as my sisters would always say that I was so lazy and that I don’t do a thing to help out at home even though i do.

My sister Rebecca and I always got into a fight and my mom would always say that it was my fault even though she started it. Then she would say to my sister to just let it go because I was so emotional.  My mom says that I should know better because I should be more mature and yet I can’t do the things I want to do. My big sister Rebecca always gets things first. For example my parents said to my sister that when she got her driver’s license that they would get her a car but when I got one, they said that I had to share it. I hate that I always had to get hand-me-downs.

My little sister gets the privileges I never got and I’m sick of it. I hate it when my parent’s say that they don’t need to go to my orientation because they already went to my sister’s and you know what if we weren’t shown around the school I would have probably gotten lost.

My mom always blames me for everything! if she sees a cup she just assumes that its mine even though it’s not and I get yell at and threatened that if I don’t go put it in the sink then I won’t be able to go onto the computer and such.

I always feel like an outsider within my family because of the way they treat me. No one should have to feel the type of neglect I felt so this one time when someone was being bullied I helped her out and then an acquaintance asked me why I did that because no one liked the girl and I said because I don’t like to see someone being bullied because it’s not fair.

i always feel sad and fall into depression because I know I will never be accepted by anyone not even my friends. I know from the age of nine that I had to be independent because they didn’t love me the way they loved my sisters.

p.s. my mom says that I need a life but says she’s way too busy to drive me there so I have to bike to my friends house but she rides my sister everywhere.

FYI: if you don’t agree that middle children only selfish and jealous because of the lack of love then you have no heart and have no right to be on this site!

– Rachel

Independent Middle Child

I’m a boy, in between my brother who is 9 years older than me and my sister who is 3 years younger than me. My brother was a bully since he was a lot bigger than me. He likes to tease and disturb me until I broke down to tears. When I cried, he would force me to run back and forth across the street until I stop crying because he was afraid that my parents would know. He always makes me cook breakfast for him and he left me with a very small portion of the breakfast. Sometimes, he tickled me until I peed in my pants.

My sister was spoiled by my parents. I always get scolded even when it was her fault. If I touched her stuff she will start screaming at me and my father scolded me so bad because of that. My father always shouts to me with his loud voice when I cried. He didn’t want to hear me cry or even sobbing, else I will get scolded with his lion roaring voice. Once, I had a long shower he was mad about it and he locked me in the dark store room; naked. I had told my sister a funny thing, and she plagiarized it to my parents. My parents were so amazed with her sense of humor and even until now when they talk back about it. It annoys me so much.

I was the one who do all the house chores; laundry, sweep the floor, reheat the dish that I bought for lunch, walk my sister to school and everything, you name it, just because my sister is too young and my brother is too lazy.

I shared my room with my brother once but that didn’t last long. He harassed me by asking me to do something that a 5years old child not supposed to know yet. I was afraid of him, I slept with my parents ever since. My parents didn’t even ask me why.

On the age of 13, I felt left out ever since I went to boarding school for 5 years. Right after school, about a week gap, I was brought to college until present. I feel much more left out when my sister is closed to my mother and my brother is closed to my father. I am an adult now and I can’t even make a real conversation with my father.

I had a friend who backstabbed me and I told my mother and seek for her advice. My father came to know about it and he unmotivated me by asking me to work on my attitude and find more friends. He said my sister and brother wouldn’t have problem finding friends.

I am a loner due to my childhood experience. I constantly feel that everybody doesn’t like me and low self-esteem. One good thing is that I have learned how to be independent.

– Anonymous

The Black Sheep

I am the middle girl, 2 older brothers and 2 younger sisters. I have always been treated unfairly by my mom not by my dad I remember one time as a child mom would whip me to do the dishes, and one night dad ask me to do them and to keep her from whipping me, he stayed in the kitchen and started reading me a book until I was done, I was the only girl that ever had to clean the house and wash dishes,  was and still is picked on by my brothers and the sister, that was born after me I can’t stand her, she would break things, or do mean things, to my baby sister and would tell mom I did them. I would get punished.

I hated my life as a child and am 49 now and all of these old feelings are coming back strong. remember as a child I swallowed an ice cube and hid and would not tell mom in fear that I would get a whipping we had to break our own switches and pull all the green leaves off I know at times I may have needed a spanking but got a lot more for things I didn’t do, we as kids were sitting in front of the TV. one day and  my mom told us to be quiet, and so I did and then because the others would not be quiet, she throws a high heel shoe at me, which thank god I ducked and it hit the speaker on her TV. And put a dent in it, and so for that she started hitting me with the dust pan.

I got along with my baby sister other than being jealous of the attention she got from mom she was our half sister. Yes my mom messed around on my dad and got pregnant with my baby sister. I love her but mom thinks the sun rises and sets on her, my mom and dad separated when I was 12 and we had to go to court and say who we wanted to go with and because everyone else wanted to go with mom I went to plus the fact that a year before I started having seziours, and mom was there and dad had to work but did not find out till older, she would meet a man on her stay there with me. When mom and dad separated she started fooling around with my baby sisters dad, one day we were at the apt. we lived at and he was taking us girls and mom to get ice cream and the sister after me screamed when he moved his truck and so for that mom blamed me and she and I didn’t get to go so my mom put us in our room till they got back, which at the time mom and us three girls shared, and they took my baby sister and got her ice cream, and while they were going the sister after, me found some stick pins, and stuck them in my sister’s bed, when mom came home, I told her what she had done, wrong move. I got a beaten and she didn’t and then all of a sudden he upped and left town, never to be heard from again. My mom blamed me for him leaving.

When I started my monthly cycle I was afraid to tell her afraid I would get punished, but knew I had to in order to get my monthly supplies. I would have to tell her I have been praying for years that it would get better it has not she treats my other brothers and sisters like saints and all of their kids like saints but not my kids or grandkids I am married to a really wonderful guy now we have been married for 9 years, Mom loves him I thought mom and I had repaired our relationship we were even talking about her maybe moving in but because I told her that I would not have people running in and out of our house all the time and she said that it would be better that she stay where she is now she has had hip surgery and my baby sister and I stayed over there the night of surgery and I had not slept any the night before surgery because mom had came to my house and I had to shower her the night before surgery and the morning before surgery and we had to leave home at 4 am and she was awake and crying all night I was wore out so about 4 am on the morning after surgery I overheard my mom ask my sister you mean to tell me she did not let you have the good spot to sleep and you have got to drive back across the mountain today which I think I know how to drive I just laid there my heart sank so I know this is still going on.

I was helping her get into her car one day before her surgery and my niece her favorite could get her in the car better than I could my niece has been taking care of her before the surgery only to find out they were kicked out of there trailer because they were late paying rent and there lights have been turned off they have been mooching off mom but I keep my mouth shut she can’t stand her husband and the girl is fooling around with another guy. Mom is in rehab but since I have got home I don’t want to go back my husband sees the way she does me and is very upset. I should not feel this way I had counseling and I thought it was all behind me and I was starting to move on, what happened I feel worse now than I ever have we I feel as though we are talked about all the time I would talk to her about things and my brother would call my husband and make jokes about it has really gotten old so it has been awhile since I have confided in mom about anything here, I have always been teased by my brothers now they are teasing my husband and saying things like you need to step up to the plate and you need to wear the pants things like that they think it is funny my husband and I don’t want to be around any of them, they were making jokes to my teen daughter and I halted that she can’t stand my family she sees right thru them can’t say I blame her she has always ask my mom can I go home with you NO is always the answer. Her dad and I was married briefly but his mom her grandmother and I get along great we have had our run is but I feel closer to her than my mom. I don’t know why all this stuff is surfacing now. I am trying to deal with it and knows my mom needs me now but she is still treating me the same way, how do I get past this. I feel angry ,hurt, heartbroken  and don’t know what to do anymore.

by Lorri

Being the middle child doesn’t mean that I will never be anybody

I have one sister who is a year older, and a brother who is three years younger.

Growing up, there were times that all three of us got into mischief together. Then, there were times when they would gang up against me, and I very clearly remember what it felt like.

It wasn’t just loneliness. I felt rejected and unliked. Similarly, in school, I was ganged up against by the other girls. I sought acceptance. I wanted the coolest pens, I wanted mechanical pencils. Back then, mechanical pencils were really expensive because they were new. Oh, shaker pencils! I don’t know how many of you know about it, but they were cool because everyone had one and they came in many different colours.

But no, my mum decided that it was enough to have regular lead pencils and ball-point pens. My bag was gawky, my pencil case was old and scrummy. Definitely not a cool kid.

My mum wouldn’t let me keep my hair long, but my sis could.
My sis got to take ballet lessons, I couldn’t.
My sister got to have a birthday party, I didn’t. In fact, the first birthday party I had for myself was for my 18th birthday. And, my mum got to decide who to invite. My sister had several; my brother had his own too.
I had to wear specs and somehow, my mum never chose the nicer ones for me. Sure, she did ask me to pick. But she would always complain that they were too expensive. In the end, she got her way because she paid. My sis got to choose her own. My brother doesn’t wear specs.

Was I jealous of them? You bet. It was horrid. I wanted to kill myself; I tried convincing myself that I was adopted.

We graduated to Secondary school, and I entered the same school as my sister, again. I felt like a loser. My sister was class monitor, then school councillor. She had authority and people thought less of me.

Have I mentioned that I was bullied in school? When I was 8, I was bullied so bad on the bus to school, I called my mum from the public phone the minute I reached school. She didn’t want to come get me. She told me that it was nothing. From then, I guess I realized that I was on my own. Teachers couldn’t do anything. Besides, the bullies always come down harder on those who snitched, right?

Secondary school was even more of a pain. Going through puberty and seeking an identity is tough when everyone else seems so comfortable where they were. I was insecure.

I stole, I stopped doing homework, I tried to be bad, thinking it would help me assimilate with the bad kids. It didn’t work.

Then, I tried being good. Completing all my homework, being punctual, answering questions in class. Then they called me a teachers’ pet.

Nothing worked. So I gave up when I was 14. Then, I had two more years of Secondary school. I dreaded school, so I timed myself to reach just before attendance was taken.

Later, I moved on to college, where I started writing short stories and poems. I took a course in Mass Communications and somehow, forgot the need to fit in. I stopped trying. And, friends found me.

I started internship at a local newspaper and continued working there. Now, I am still in touch with friends from church and school, as well as miscellaneous activities I took part in.

What I’m trying to say here is to simply let go of your insecurities. Allow yourself to believe that you are the best that you let yourself be. Find something you like and hone your skill. Life gets so much easier once you accept that Change Starts From YOU.

It still isn’t easy for me to be emotionally honest with my mum because I feel betrayed by how she didn’t help me when I was 8. I am turning 20 next month. I am trying, but maybe it’s just me, but I can’t be emotionally honest with a lot of people, especially those whom I care for.

Maybe it’s because my feelings were dismissed when I was younger, maybe it’s because my parents seemed to prefer the opinions of my siblings instead.

But whatever it is, I realize that I find comfort in small groups of friends. And these people let me believe that I am worthy.

And yes, I am the black sheep of the family. I am not going to university, I party, I drink, I stay out late. I don’t have a conventional job (I am a journalist) and I stick out like a sore thumb, especially in my extended family.

But who cares? Acquaintances tell me that I am lucky that my job is essentially my interest. and how many people have the opportunity to make a living by doing what they love?

I got that chance, because I accepted myself. I am happy being the middle child because I chose to believe in the good things.

by Amanda