How do you feel about your siblings ?

As a therapist I usually hear feelings that are  either way too extremely positive….or  very negative responses to this question. On the other hand, the people who come to see me are not usually coming from the happiest of childhoods, where these bonds formed….or didn’t… 

(I say way too extremely positive because if you have someone THAT idealized you’re probably projecting your needs onto who or what that person represents rather than who he or she is, warts and all.)

I’m curious,  how do you feel about your siblings?

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6 Responses to “How do you feel about your siblings ?”

  1. amberfireinus Says:

    My sibilings, hmm thats an interesting question.

    As we have grown up, I have become sort of the matriarch of the family. My mother worked long hours so it was up to me to keep things together, to cook the meals and to be the Mom.

    My brothers are both blue collar workers. I am so different to them. I have a very priveledged executive lifestyle. It causes alot of tension between us. Not from me, but from them.

    Even though I worked very hard in my career, long hours, sacraficed alot of things, now suddenly Im a princess. I no longer need to work so therefore I couldnt possibly understand someone with a real life as they put it. Its like to them, I never ever had a job of my own.

    I get frustrated with their life decisions. My older brother goes from hairbrained scheme to hairbrained scheme with his finances and working career. For him the expression would be… catch the penny and miss the pound. He also makes horrible decisions in his personal life. He’s so sad to be alone, yet he makes it impossible to be with anyone else because his expectations are so unrealistic. I sit and watch him make the same mistakes over and over again. I try and save him from those mistakes but alas, he doesnt listen. After all, I am the princess.

    My younger brother.. wow he has taken the hard road in life. Although he has grown up since he turned 30 and has alot of his issues whipped, he too makes me despair. He married a woman who is sweet but emotionally and socially retarded. He is so frustraited with her, but he knew what she was like before he married her. He also to my mind has a problem with drugs and alcohol. He’s the poster boy for….Instant asshole, just add alcohol.

    Watching both of my bothers toil is very difficult in my life. Its one of the major stresses I feel. They both tell me every little detail of their lives. Way more than I would ever want to know. I feel like it is still my job to care for them and listen to their woes.

    On the upside I love my brothers dearly. My older brother is the funniest person I have ever met. Both of my brothers have absolutely beautiful kind souls and they would give the shirt off of their backs for anyone in need. They are both extremely honest and hard working guys. They love their family.

    I guess all of us are flawed. Not everyone can be a princess like me…lol!

  2. wpm1955 Says:

    My brother and I are very different. We didn’t get along growing up, in my view, mainly because my parents favored him and didn’t make him do all the work around the house I had to, “because he’s a boy.” But when I left home at 17, he had to do it, so he eventually got his share.

    My brother and I did not become friends until we were in our 30’s. I think both of us are disappointments to our parents, in that our parents have their own identities wrapped up in “showing off their children as the perfect selves they would have liked to have been.” However, neither of us turned out at all in a way our parents would have liked, as we have different values and interests than they do. (Both of our parents were very controlling.)

    But I think both my brother and I are very satisfied with our relationship now. Our parents are not satisfied with the way either of us is living, and we each have a completely different lifestyle, but we ourselves are very happy with the ways we are living (even though different), and we have a lot of respect and affection for each other now. My brother is a very good person, and I think that is a lot more important than if someone were as financially successful as my father would wish. I have more of an artistic lifestyle, and my father thinks I should have a “business” lifestyle, and live in the United States. My brother has OCD and my father doesn’t understand that, and thinks my brother should “just get over it.” But with the new medications these past few years, my brother has created a lifestyle he enjoys and can live with. My brother and I now live on opposite sides of the world, but do communicate frequently by email.

    Madame Monet

  3. wpm1955 Says:

    I forgot to add that I am a teacher of eight-year-old children. I often hear them complaining about fighting with their brothers and sisters. I tell them that often we fight growing up, but become friends in our 20’s or 30’s*; so to just be patient.

    Madame Monet

  4. psychscribe Says:

    Thank you, amberinus and Madame Monet, for taking the time to write these posts. My sister is my best friend but this only happened much later in life. It took a health crisis for us to put the childhood stuff aside and appriate each other.

  5. preciousturtle Says:

    I am not sure how I feel about my siblings. I have only just met the after 28 years.I was the second oldest,and adopted out when I was born,so there is a lot of resentmentment on my part. The 4 of them got Ma, I didn’t.

    But I would still do anything for either of my sisters.We usually along pretty well,despite my bad attitude.

  6. ilegirl Says:

    I have two older sisters, and I love them both. But this does not mean we perfectly agree on everything, or that I am extraordinarily close to both of them, or that I feel the same toward both. I am closer to one than the other, and I admit, my husband and I sometimes mock the eldest for being rather snobbish. But even now, as a person in her 40’s, I learn new things about these women with whom I shared a childhood.

    When I was little my sisters and I fought a lot, and were inappropriately competitive with one another. There were a few times when our arguments degenerated into some nasty name-calling, with tears and a couple cases of ‘I hate you!’ being shouted across the living room. But fortunately, my parents didn’t care for this drama, didn’t tolerate it well, and in a surprisingly short period of time these dramatics diminished. By the time I was a preteen, we learned how to tolerate and (usually) respect one another.

    My parents made some mistakes (as all parents do), but in one very important way they were wildly successful: my sisters and I were always encouraged to develop into individuals rather than clones of one another or (worse) miniature versions of our parents. When the three of us are together now, we are more like friends than sisters. And as adults, we have discovered that we all have one thing in common: a wicked sense of humor!

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