I am 22 years old, been married for nearly 4 years and have 2 gorgeous daughters, so it is unlikely that I fit into the loner or commitment bracket as much, but I don’t have a wide circle of friends. I had always grown up in the shadow of my elder brother, he was the brainy one. My younger brother was the baby, and got away with everything. I was the middle child, always getting noticed for the wrong reasons, I am still reminded of these reasons now most times I go home.
An example would be my brothers both being able to have friends over, it was always an inconvenience for mine to come over. I was expected to look up to my brother, and be an example for my younger brother.
As I got older into my teens I used to spend every weekend and my friends house, where I felt most comfortable and less like an outcast that my brothers could gang up on. My friends parents didn’t know or didn’t care about when I was bad, therefore I was never bad to them (wonder why?). I had my escapism when I joined a military youth organization, I found a niche that I fitted right into, I also enhanced my independence.
My older brother got jealous, and resented me (he still does), probably because my mother noticed me for something good for a change. I joined the Air Force and now live 300 miles away from family, where I feel most comfortable.
But problems persist. On my wedding day my mother pleaded poverty to my in-laws, and did a good job, but managed to buy my brother a car for his 21st (she even tried to justify it by saying that your 21st only comes once, so its more important). My wife’s family were seething, does my mother think that my marriage wont last? I can tell you that my relationship with my wife and her family is spot on, and in no way of stopping. We didn’t even get a proper wedding gift. I only received a fraction of the amount the car cost for my 21st. Its examples like this that make me glad we live so far away.
My wife has put up enough with this, she is at her wits end and I believe that this whole middle child syndrome had manifested into a kind of middle family syndrome. My wife and kids are more important to me than the background I come from, I believe. They are my future, and a new life, none of the crap I’m used to. We never get calls, e-mails, we’re always expected to make the first move, and we’ve never asked or received any help (we have had plenty from my in-laws), yet my older brother has his food cooked, bed made, washing cleaned, but he shows no thanks. It makes me sick because my wife and I have struggles and learned to pay our own way, and pay plenty of taxes, he is just a freeloader. Why are we treated differently? Is it because we are moaners? Or are we just thought of as Owain and his new family, and are (once again) ignored and not given the time of day? 2011 is going to be a good year, I am not going to blab about my life and achievements, but am simply going to see if anyone in my family asks or shows concern. Here are some other examples, to summarize;
– My younger brother receiving money to travel home. We are never offered any help to go home, and it costs us a heck of a lot more. Yet my mother uses poverty as an excuse to not visit.
– My daughter stayed at my in-laws, but my mother HAD to see my older brother the same day (he lives 30 minutes away not 6 hrs like us). She went and visited out daughter, moaned about money, and went home. (Only went to see her once in the whole 2 weeks she was there while my wife was giving birth to our (equally) second daughter)
– Brings up stories of my misbehaving youth every time we go home, as if I am still to retain my place in the family lineup as the ‘little git’ one.
– We are not called, or given as much help as my other brothers, we almost feel forgotten.
My wife and I are going to concentrate on the future with our children. If we are to be sidelined, then we have to let that be and sideline my family, we have our own life issues without this hanging over us. Its a case of ‘get involved and interested, or not at all’. We wont see our children feeling sidelined and alienated.