Question for the Only Children out there

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2_exhausted

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2020, 12:11:48 AM »
My uBPD mom made my male cousins GC...wth? Because her ethnic backgis Sicilian. My female cousin & I were treated like crap from my grandmother...no one knew or would believe hoe insane it was in my house...my mother would ramp up, change her body language and her voice...and it frightened me...after I saw “Mommy Dearest “ I was in shock...I used to call her Joan when she acted that way. Most adult friends I describe this to do not understand...my UNPD ex bf did not understand, and I even showed him videos of her raging.....
Yes... I received 100% of her psychotic attention. I really do not know what normal is.

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Adrianna

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2020, 09:55:18 AM »
I desperately wanted a sibling, too.

When I got older, though, I saw what some of my friends went through who had one PD parent but really loved the rest of their nuclear families, and I became grateful that my mom didn't have anyone to triangulate with me or hold hostage.

I realized later too that’s the downside of  having siblings in a pd family. I have no doubt there would have been triangulation happening and pitting us against each other.  I would have had to compete against a sibling as to who could be the best servant to them.
Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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jennsc85

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2020, 10:05:45 AM »
I always wanted a sibling too! I would write “a brother or sister” on my Christmas lists when I was a little kid.

As an adult I still wish that I had a sibling because of the relationship I see between friends and family with their siblings. But as a kid, I 100% wanted a sibling to “go through” things with. I wanted someone else who understood how awful my M was and I always thought if I had a sibling, we could bond over that, and furthermore, I wouldn’t be the the be all end all to my mother- there would be someone else for her to focus on too.

Now I have no idea if that’s how any of it would have played out but that’s how I thought of it as a kid and admittedly still as an adult sometimes.

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2_exhausted

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2020, 08:13:05 PM »
I wanted a sibling as well....as a child I was very lonely, so in my child mind it would have been “fun”.....after learning about PDs, the poet would be a nightmare.

As an adult, it would be nice to have one now...but I do not..

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Free2Bme

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2020, 02:34:26 AM »
I am an only as well, always wanted a sibling.  When I was 16, I was shocked to learn that M had given birth at 16 to a baby girl and relinquished her for adoption.  She was my full biological sister.  After M gave her up, she then married sister's (my) father, they divorced when I was 3 .  I didn't tell M that I knew at the time, but when I was around 20, I searched for bio-sis.  The agencies couldn;t help me because it was a closed adoption.  Ten years went by and my mom decided to tell me.  Fast forward ten more years and M got the courage to search for her, sis was living in my state and we all met up (both of us already in our late 30's), my sister is 2 years older than I. 

Although we have some things in common (mannerisms, preferences) and we have visited  off/on over the years, we never really connected.  Sadly, I'm pretty certain my sister may be BPD, she has many of the traits, so I've had to distance myself from her instability.  Sometimes it's sad to think; D was a loser, M was immature enabler and emotionally unavailable, SF was a drunk abuser.  M wasn't malicious or manipulative, just immature, neglectful and never healed her own issues with shame and being a battered wife.  I was often the more responsible one (role reversal) and did a bit of caretaking.  So basically no parental figures, other than two wonderful grandparents, thank heavens for that.   

As many have said here, the most difficult part about being an 'only' is not having someone to compare notes with as a witness to the crazy stuff that went on, a confidant.  I think this is why I too struggled with trusting my perceptions, (this set me up for future updxh).  Because I was not a high-maintenance  child, it was easy to overlook me and stuff I needed, so I learned to not ask for what I needed.   I became very responsible, hypervigilant, and  decided I was gonna save the world.  And of course, I wanted to smack people who said,  "you're soooooo lucky to be an only child, you must be spoiled!" ...uh, yeah right.

I remember taking a sociology class in college, there was roughly one paragraph in the whole text about  only children , it said they have a "shorter life expectancy because they lack coping skills".   :wacko: 
I don't know if this is accurate or supported by any solid research.  I think it's more to do with FOO.

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Free2Bme

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2020, 03:58:11 AM »
I am an only as well, always wanted a sibling.  When I was 16, I was shocked to learn that M had given birth at 16 to a baby girl and relinquished her for adoption.  She was my full biological sister.  After M gave her up, she then married sister's (my) father, they divorced when I was 3 .  I didn't tell M that I knew at the time, but when I was around 20, I searched for bio-sis.  The agencies couldn;t help me because it was a closed adoption.  Ten years went by and my mom decided to tell me.  Fast forward ten more years and M got the courage to search for her, sis was living in my state and we all met up (both of us already in our late 30's), my sister is 2 years older than I. 

Although we have some things in common (mannerisms, preferences) and we have visited  off/on over the years, we never really connected.  Sadly, I'm pretty certain my sister may be BPD, she has many of the traits, so I've had to distance myself from her instability.  Sometimes it's sad to think; D was a loser, M was immature enabler and emotionally unavailable, SF was a drunk abuser.  M wasn't malicious or manipulative, just immature, neglectful and never healed her own issues with shame and being a battered wife.  I was often the more responsible one (role reversal) and did a bit of caretaking.  So basically no parental figures, other than two wonderful grandparents, thank heavens for that.   

As many have said here, the most difficult part about being an 'only' is not having someone to compare notes with as a witness to the crazy stuff that went on, a confidant.  I think this is why I too struggled with trusting my perceptions, (this set me up for future updxh).  Because I was not a high-maintenance  child, it was easy to overlook me and stuff I needed, so I learned to not ask for what I needed.   I became very responsible, hypervigilant, and  decided I was gonna save the world.  And of course, I wanted to smack people who said,  "you're soooooo lucky to be an only child, you must be spoiled!" ...uh, yeah right.

I remember taking a sociology class in college, there was roughly one paragraph in the whole text about  only children , it said they have a "shorter life expectancy because they lack coping skills".   :wacko: 
I don't know if this is accurate or supported by any solid research.  I think it's more to do with FOO.

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Bella

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2020, 11:57:03 AM »
So funny thing is, I am half an only child, I have a half sister who is 10 years older, so quite a lot of my childhood I was the only child of my parents in the house, but in order to help them my mother took in 3 nieces of my father in because she wanted to help them and a house full of children. When the first one moved in I lost everything that was mine, you see we were wealthy but there is this tradition that puts the nieces/nephews leaving under their uncle roof over the children of said uncle. In any case, they had their own issues and treated me horribly. There was plenty of rooms in the house for me to at least have my own, but I had to share with one of them, it was so bad that I sometimes slept in my mother’s dressing where there was a bed.
I only managed to get rid of the most problematic one when my parents divorced while the rest of the extended family On my mothers side tried to guilt trip me for no being charitable enough.
Anyway this is wayyyy longer but the point is, I have been sometimes the favorite but now I am the scapegoat for trying to put boundaries and trying to learn independence, I went to the supermarket a year ago and couldn’t even recognise cilantro, had to ask for help   :wacko:.
One of the consequences of my childhood is I can keep event straight and in order but don’t ask me dates and years. I can tell you around 10 or before the move or after my grandpa’s death, nothing more.
The other thing is my personality is really fluid, when you never have a consistent story told to you and 500 different stories told depending on the audience somethings get blurry.

I know who I am at my core thankfully but I have the hardest time maintaining it as primary and most of the time it is somewhat difficult to access, like I know it’s there, I know what I am meant to do and I know what that side of me wants But keeping all that at the forefront is hell, it’s it’s swatted in clouds that are always around.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2020, 01:27:46 PM »
This resonates. Only daughter of a single parent with some sort of PD.

My childhood was excruciatingly lonely and the relationship with my mother was intense to say the least. I was emotionally parentified to the max as her confidante, counsellor and "sister".
I too was desperate for her to remarry so I could have siblings. She never did, choosing a string of married men instead and wailing to me when things inevitably went belly up. I had to deal with all of it, on my own. She necked a bottle of tranquilizers in front of me once during a meltdown. I remember trying to get them out of her hands whilst pleading with her to stop. I would have been about 8 years old then. She had no friends, therefore I didn't. It took me years to learn the necessary social skills to get on with other oeople. She took no interest in my education or interests whatsoever
and I left school at 16 grossly under qualified.  Nobody, but nobody had my back as we say in the UK.

Luckily, I left home at 18, fell in with some good people and my life took a turn for the better but I had a LOT of fleas and it's taken years to heal and grow. I still have co-dependancy issues at 63 (!) and continue to work on myself. I have had 2, possibly 3, romantic relationships with PDs and know that I am attracted to them.

On the plus side, I am incredibly resilient, resourceful and competent as a result. I have worked hard to fill my life with healthy relationships and have a wide circle of friends. My son is 24 and had a good childhood and is thriving. We get on well and I am sooooo proud of him. My mother continues to be a right, royal pain in the arse!!!!!

« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 01:29:35 PM by Boat Babe »
It gets better. It has to.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2020, 10:51:23 AM »
I don't belong here, I have a sibling. I am and always have been SG and he GC. We were very close as children and with our cousins. My pdmum triangulated us all and played games. My sib is an alcoholic and a pd and we have been NC for over 11 years. I am VVLC with cousins. I'm....working on it with nmum, who continues with her roles for us and games and triangulation with everyone under the sun.
I often feel jealous of coworkers and the like who have loving close relationships with their own sibs and who band together in times of need or who just have sister day or sib day or whatever. I guess you only get that in normal families.
I just wanted to say, it's not different, even if you've got a sib. You'll have had a buddy growing up, true, (maybe. Sonetimes they make kids hate each other, I've heard) but they'll have done their same shit. And if it's convenient, you'll have swapped roles. Even now. Sometimes from hour to hour, depending on the audience.
Say for example brother didn't get good grades (he never did). Conveniently, I always got excellent grades. So if ever academics were the topic, I was GC about that. Now it's other stuff.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 11:00:30 AM by SparkStillLit »

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Andeza

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2020, 02:12:32 PM »
Thanks for chiming in, Spark. It's excellent to get the perspective of someone who has lived life the way we can only guess at. I would posit the theory that some parents with pds are "hardliners" and you're stuck in your roll come hell or high water, but others seem more fluid. I wonder if having only one child forces them to adapt and BE more fluid with the roles?
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
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Psuedonym

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2020, 04:25:39 PM »
SparkStillLit,

Of course you belong! I don't think it's better to have siblings, I think it's a little different. My original post was really about how there's very little documentation about how, as an only, you're switching roles constantly and how that affects you. Like many posters here, I wished for a sibling when I was young - apparently I told my parents I wanted an older brother when I was little - but once I learned about how PDs, I realized it was a different sort of hell. i read about many stories like yours where at least one of the kids also ends up with a PD, who then cause at least as much harm/grief as thee parents. Yeesh.

Boat Babe, you and the others who grew up with a SINGLE parent as an only really take the resiliency award. My hat is off to you!

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2020, 07:51:23 PM »
Different kind of hell, that says it. And I don't suppose anyone DOES address what happens when there's only one kid to play all the lovely roles, all the damn time. At least I *mostly* stayed SG and he *mostly* stayed GC, unless it  was/is convenient to switch up for specific purposes.

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catta

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2020, 11:22:35 PM »
I felt extremely bitter about not having siblings until a year or so ago when I talked it through with my therapist who told me what I think a lot of you realize: that siblings would not necessarily have been the allies I imagined they would be. I'm also in a group therapy centered on people whose parents have PDs and have realized that no one in the group has sibling relationships that are a source of comfort-- instead they tend to reenact the same unpleasant family dynamics over and over.

I do still feel a lot of pain that I am the only child available to take care of my parents as they age. They constantly make it clear that they expect this and I have NO interest or ability to do so.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2020, 02:10:11 AM »
Mini-threadjack   :wave:

Catta wrote:

I do still feel a lot of pain that I am the only child available to take care of my parents as they age. They constantly make it clear that they expect this and I have NO interest or ability to do so.

I sez:

This is NOT your job.  If they need help in their old age, they can get it themselves -hire help, get Meals on Wheels, take the Senior Van, rely on friends, hire Merry Maids, move to a smaller, safer place - but those are all THEIR responsibilities, and NOT yours.

You are NOT their Old Age Golden Parachute Plan, where they get to treat you like a slave, spend all your money, and abuse you in a weird return of the old childhood dynamic, where they scream and kvetch, and you can't do a single damned thing right, no matter how hard you try.  :blink:

It doesn't work like that - if they need help, they'll have to get it on their own, and there are a vast number of resources  *they just don't want utilize or even look into.*  They won't want to BOTHER those people or agencies.  :dramaqueen:

If they REFUSE to get the help they need, it doesn't fall on you to take up the slack.  As long as they're competent adults, they can make all the crappy, unsound, lousy decisions they want - and you can make the decision to *stay out of it completely.*  8-) :ninja:

Their problems are not YOUR problems.

Keep repeating that - and keep posting!  :yes:

There are plenty of us here who never, EVER want to see another person feel they HAVE to be a caregiver - and I'm just one of them.  8-)

Please resume your regularly scheduled thread.  ;D

 :hug:

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PeanutButter

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2020, 03:42:02 AM »
The dynamics do contnue to the sibs.

 A perfect example is that alot of times imo its not just the parents who try to FOG an AC into caring for them, but in a family of dysfunction Sibs expecting their Sibs to be career instead of them or worse a Siib bitterly standing on a soapbox completely engulfed in FOG screaming what a horrible person a Sib OOTF is for not 'helping' with poor elderly parents' care. Because you know being elderly is a disability with these parents. And being born of them contracts you to be their care giver whenever they say so.

 IME its a narrative such as: "If I have to do it then so does my Sibs!" Hog sh#*. There is a choice. Noone HAS to do it. If a person is bitter about doing it then obviously they should not do it!

My H is an only child and he told MIL and FIL to spend their money on a nice AL and/or CF for their old age instead of giving him an inheritance! Haha ruined their plans! They thought for sure they had raised someone who was going to dance and do tricks for a dangling carrot. NOT!

Im so proud of him.

He did want a sib growing up. His parents tried to change his mind by telling him if he had a sib he would only have get half of the toys and stuff. He told them he didnt mind sharing and giving half of all his stuff to a sib. He was lonely. He rarely had other children to play with. He was forced to do adult things with his parents and expected to like it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 03:53:55 AM by PeanutButter »
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LavenderLime

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2020, 02:40:00 PM »
I am an only child, too. I half joke about being the Golden Scapegoat. My parents divorced when I was 3, so I was her sunshine, the only thing right in the world - until I displeased her by having my own mind.  Add in the equally narcissistic, enabling alcoholic step father a few years later. It's really no wonder I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I want.

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Psuedonym

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2020, 02:47:12 PM »
LavenderLime, I award you 5 stars for inventing: Golden Scapegoat. Genius!

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Sidney37

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2020, 03:34:16 PM »
Golden scapegoat!!!  Yes!!!  So much of what all of you have posted resonates with me.  I wanted an older brother probably to protect me from her nonsense and drama.  I thought it would get the attention off of me.   Now I know that she would have just manipulated and played favorites just the way she did with her grandchildren. 

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Blackbird11

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Re: Question for the Only Children out there
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2020, 04:17:46 PM »
I'm an only child. I feel this deeply  :applause: It wasn't until recently that I realized having siblings wasn't always a blessing. I know a bunch of people with very strained/tense sibling relationships. I had always idealized it because my only sibling passed away when I was very young.