Alienated Girl

 

Unfortunately I am a middle child.

I have always felt left out in things and would stay away from my family. I felt like the ‘black sheep’ in a white sheep herd, so I stayed away from them.

I was always the ‘weird’ one, the ‘crazy’ one, the ‘scary’ one, because I believed in things out of this world. My parents would laugh at me for being curious of fashion styles and talking about ‘weird’ topics such as Aliens and Stonehenge [sci-fi fan girl] and they would criticize me, but it would be my relatives that would understand me because most of them were a middle child.

My older brother would be brought to things without a complaint because he would be the ‘over-achiever’ and win awards and such, except my parents never came to my Award ceremonies. They Didn’t even come to my 6 grade graduation, and I would be lucky if my dad came and sat for one of my chorus concerts but he would just drop me off and pick me up later.

I have 2 younger siblings that are attached to my parents very much that I barely have time alone to speak to them. I ended up having very low self-esteem that only got worse when I started getting acne in elementary, I would start to be distant to many people in elementary and more tolerant of multiple people.

I got made fun of by the popular girls because I wasn’t a ‘stick’ figure like them or blonde, and didn’t have a very good boyfriend then. And then I only had him as a choice because no other guy would go out with me.

So to over-view things; I was a distant, weird, shy, smart, mysterious kid with too many personalities.

I am now living a very different life, not much had changed though except my impossible amount of tolerance of people’s attitude, and my self-image. I’m working on becoming more intelligent and confident as we know it on my own… Gradually… with help from another middle child friend…

Julia

The Lost Sister

 

I guess my story is all too familiar and not at all unique, but I still feel the need to share it.

All my life I’ve struggled with being a middle child, sandwhiched in between two sisters born 2,5 before and 2 years after me. I’ve always been the odd one out, the odd ball, the weirdo who as a child hid in the closet with her books and talked to herself. When I hit puberty I was described as moody, difficult and impossible and I spent most of my time in my room, scribbling in my journal and writing obscure poetry about how awful life was. I still tried my very hardest to please my parents and make them notice me. It was a tough job, I’ll tell you… My sisters were both very successful competetive riders and I was the groom, always on the side lines, taking care of the horses, rooting for my sisters and being pushed out of photos taken by our proud parents.

I moved away from home at an early age, to attend high school in another city. It was a relief to stand on my own two feet and leave the bubble of never being noticed. I am now 24 years old and to this day I still crave the praise and attention of my parents: two things that they squander mainly on my little sister. I’m at the bottom of the phone list, when there’s a family gathering coming up I always hear about from my sisters, I rarely receive a direct invitation. When my parents call me, 9 times out of 10 they want to ask me how my younger sister is doing and if I’m looking out for her. It makes me feel unimportant and replaceable.

Some people think this whole middle child syndrome discussion is stupid and just a way for chronically wronged people to blow off some steam, but I think that’s over-simplifying the matter and offending those of us who grew up in this reality. I can still feel sad thinking about how my parents would make us take turns playing with toys or having candy handed to us by saying “Oldest first” or “Youngest first”. No one ever thought to give me the first turn, not once. I really don’t want to be one of those people who clings to old issues from the past but fact is that this is still very much part of my life. My parents are planning a trip this summer and my younger sister has been offered an indefinite loan so she can afford tickets and accommodation. I’m expected to pay for myself.

The biggest effect of my middle child syndrome is that I’ve grown a bit distant from my family. I’m engaged to a wonderful guy and we get more support and emotional validation from his family. My relationship with my fiancée is my future and I’ve decided to invest energy in our life instead of dwelling on my family situation. I hope I’ll someday start feeling good about being me, being in a happy relationship, having wonderful friends and a meaningful career has gone some way towards easing my sense of being odd, strange and “wrong”. I pray that all middle children suffering from this syndrome one day will reach a point where we all feel that we are unique and worth just as much as our siblings, regardless of how we’ve been treated and still are being treated by our parents!

Emmy

Middle Child in Late Years

Hello, My story may be unique, in that I am 72 years old and a Middle child of nine children. I am in the process of writing a book about my childhood.

While researching, I have noticed many difficulties which may have been caused by being the middle child , even though there was a separation of many years from the oldest child to the youngest.
I know that I stuttered very badly as a child and it continued until I became an adult. I also remember having terrible nightmares, which I still have today. I have sought counseling for some of my marital problems, which may, or may not stem from my childhood upbringing. I do remember being left out of many situations as a child and pushed aside by my siblings.

I have not drawn a  definite conclusion yet as to the affect of “middle child syndrome”, if it exist. Nontheless, there is a question…..

Ralph

A Story from the Readers

 

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.

Do You have Middle Child Syndrome?

So you’re a middle child, but how do you know you have Middle Child Syndrome? We have creatively collected this survey from a list of the most common symptoms seen in an individual with Middle Child Personality. The survey is composed of questions that are arranged in in a scale from mild to dangerous symptoms.

The 10 Symptoms
(Answer Truthfully!)

  1. Do you feel alienated from your family?

  2. Do you feel alienated from your friends?

  3. Do you often lock yourself inside your room?

  4. Ever felt used by friends?

  5. Do you get easily depressed from criticism?

  6. Have you ever dreamed of something but didn’t have the courage to pursue it?

  7. Do you feel envy and even hatred towards your parents or siblings?

  8. Have you ever done things just to be accepted or noticed by others?

  9. Did you feel that you were pushed to achieve things that you did not enjoy your childhood?

  10. Ever felt that you did not belong and no one loves you and the world will be better without you?

Meaning of my scores: Count the number of YES‘s to the questions above

0-3 Congratulations! You’re perfectly normal.

4-5 You just suffer low self-esteem. Nothing weird, go fix your hair and you will do fine.

6-8 Do not be scared. It seems you have mild Middle Child Personality. Self-help and guidance will often cure the condition.

9-10 Unfortunately, you suffer a severe condition of Middle Child Syndrome, try not to do anything rash. Emotional support from love ones along with psychiatric help will solve this.