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.