Saturday, March 16, 2013

Family Dynamics or Dynamite

I have had an epiphany. It wasn't easy nor quick and I'm ashamed to say how slow it really was.

It's about family.

My daughter is an only child and many times I have mourned the fact that she didn't have the opportunity to have that special bond one has with a sibling. She doesn't have that one person, shared DNA, shared memories from childhood that she can trust with her deepest secrets, her doubts and fears; someone she can remininsce with on every part of her childhood, share laughs on silly things they know about each other. I feel as though I have cheated her from having all that.

My revelation? Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way with siblings.

I've been the sounding board for many people that are estranged from their sibling or if not estranged, they are hurt and offended by the things their siblings have done to them.

A niece used to vent about the horrid things her sibling would do to hurt her; the sibling either unaware or too self centered to care.

Yesterday I spoke with a soft spoken person, kindness exudes from her and in our discussion this very subject came up. She hasn't spoken to two brothers and a sister in the past thirty years! One sister remains in her circle of friends and family.

My aunt hasn't spoken to her sister in 20 plus years though she says attempts were made over the years to include her in family activities which didn't turn out so well.

The husband is from a family of 12...a family so big they could have had their  unincorporated village. The same dynamics exist among those 12.

I remember my own father with his two siblings. There was animosity there between two of them.

I've seen this division happen when one parent dies and that "vulture" gene appears and the greedy move in to claim what they think is owed them. This will cause a great divide in a family. Whoever said "money is the root of all evil" might not have been far from the truth.

I have finally released myself from the guilt of not supplying my daughter with a sibling. It might have been more of a burden on her having one and being estranged.

As memories of siblings flood the mind, one can't help but remember everyone gathering around those central figures, the parents, when everyone was a real family unit.

How sad this happens. It would be interesting to take a poll to find out what caused the chasm, the riff, the sinkhole in the relations in these families.

Maybe I should broach a poll on Facebook and see what sort of answers I get.

One last note. I love seeing a family portrait, everyone smiling and arms encircling each other with the patriarch or the matriarch sitting forefront, the small children gathered around that person.


  1. Being the only child you speak of I would like to add... I did feel alone but imagination was abundant.. I made sure I had 3 and they all know they are here for each other to cling to when I'm gone... because I grew up alone In raising them I didn't know what was normal between siblings so we just created our normal at 25 and 19 my children still have yet to call each other hurtful names so the report from the eldest.... and I always hear them tell each other "I love you" before they get off the phone.. Lissie wasn't always excited to have him around when they were little but they weren't mean didn't hit each other and say mean stuff more like a whine does he have to come with me. I have pointed out the disappointment of the Old Folks, that's how I refer to your generation of the family, In hopes they will see how much pain and ugliness these little riffs can cause. I love you mom and always thought of you as my crazy mostly fun sister grownin up...

  2. I'm sure there isn't a family in existence where there is no rift. In my case, my son has not spoken to me for more than 14 years, and to his sister for more than 10 years. The reason: he didn't like that I decided to move to Turkey. The reason for not speaking to my daughter....because she accepted my move and we continued our wonderful relationship, and he didn't like that either.

    There have been so msany attempts on my part to make contact with him...all have failed. It breaks my heart, not really for me, but for the loss of the relationship between him and his sister. (She gave up on him years ago, says she's not bothered, but I feel deep down she is hurt).

    It's so sad, because life is just too short for all this.

  3. Ayak...Novemeber 2010..I had bo block my sister from my FB account..all her comments were deragotry and snide and hurtful. I tried just deleting her comments...friends were outraged at what she posted. After I blocked her..she went on a vendetta to get even. She made it a point to slander me to everyone that would listen..a very spiteful and long lasting rant to everyone that would listen. 4 months later her live in passed..his son accused her of letting him die....she wasn't married to him..his personal belongings were to go to his children. She took a knife and ripped the tires off the carrier for the bulldozer, hid guns and knifes..the children took her to court.
    She still accuses me of the things his chilren accused her of. The sister of this man knows how he died that night...she told everyone while in shock immediately after..and that too she blames on me. This all started because I didn't want her mean hurtful posts on my FB? Isn't it strange how one ends a lifelong relationship over something as silly as moving to Turkey or deleting someones mean comments? I let her rage...her friends believe what she tells proof exists in any form on any of her accusations..
    I'm done!


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