...about feelings I've had about my own complicated relationship with my siblings.

(TW: I may come off a bit pendantic and spoiled)

I have two of them, and they are both so much older than me that I've felt like an only child for most of my life. It certainly felt that way growing up.

They were tweens when I was born, so from the get go, I was treated like a living doll. They played "mommy" with me: they dressed me, bathed me, fed me, pushed me in my stroller; with and without adult supervision. We were latchkey kids and mom was just relieved that she had extra hands on deck to help take care of me.

Even as I grew older, the "mommying" behavior continued. I wasn't just the youngest sibling. I was "the baby" of the family and I got coddled and stifled and suffocated. My peers had "normal" siblings they could play with, hang out with, talk with; siblings they could relate to. I didn't. I had four parents and no siblings.

Four parents I had to seek permission from to do anything. Four parents I had to answer to for any transgressions. Four parents who had expectations of me and demanded that I meet them. Two young adults who treated me like their daughter, even though they had absolutely no right to.

Advertisement

As I got older, I rebelled. I asserted my independence. I demanded that they treat me like an equal, because they had no right to demand from me the same level of deference, obedience, and respect as our parents. They called me ungrateful. Spat back in my face everything they'd done for me. We fought. We hurt each other. Deeply; both physically and emotionally.

Eventually, they let go of the idea of me as their child and started treating me more like a peer. Going to college as far, far away from my family as possible certainly helped. I can even have conversations with them now in which they take my views seriously. (Although sometimes, I swear I can catch them daydreaming about me looking like I did when I was five years old.) Some topics of conversation, however, can never be broached. I'm not 100% comfortable talking to them about my romantic relationships and dalliances, and I don't think I ever will be. Much like I would never dream of having those conversations with my mother or father.

Though we have a much more balanced and healthier relationship now, it hasn't completely erased the feelings of loneliness I felt as a child, wishing that I had a sibling closer in age. Someone who could relate to everything I was experiencing.

Advertisement

I guess I really am ungrateful, and I should just be thankful that I have some kind of relationship with my sibs. Even a flawed one.