Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sibling Rivalry: Not I said the girl with her fingers crossed.

I totally lied at my morning Mom-to-Mom Bible study this morning. My hand may have been on a Bible (a coincidence, I swear.)

I announced to a room full of friends: that as an adult I felt no sibling rivalry with either of my siblings; that I never really felt much need to compete with my sister or brother and because of their various dysfunctions, I was totally secure as the normal kid.

Yep, little old competitive me who made pumping breast milk a competition in the NICU (twice. and I won. Because no one else was aware of the competition.), never ever competed with her older half-sister (who also happens to be a professional con artist) and her younger brother (who happens to be severely intellectually disabled).

Never ever.

Competition 1: Con Artist-Literally. 
Ever.

Lies. Lies. Lies.

Thirty minutes after my bold face proclamation, I saw my mother who kept reminding me she had to get home to meet my brother at his after-work bus. She kept reminding me. Reminded me while Chloe sang and paraded in her Halloween costume at preschool. Reminded me while we raced to lunch. Reminded me as I gulped down hot soup. Reminded me as she sprung up exactly 3 hours before David was due home (note her drive is 1 hour. she is a flapper.) and raced to her car:

"David needs his mother. You will be fine eating alone, right?"

And yeah, I get it. But, maybe, I'd like my mother to be available to help me be in two places at once, so I could have one moment of peace. Maybe, just, maybe, I ate alone a lot as a kid and still do as an adult. Maybe, this whole independent normal child thing is not all it is cracked up to be. And maybe, just a sort of large, gigantic piece of me wants to scream and yell at my brother:

"YOU ALWAYS GET ALL THE ATTENTION."

Of course, this is terribly unfair. He has so many needs and needs an adult at home to supervise him (or he will end up wandering the neighborhood).  I should just suck it up. Right?

Competitor 2: Special Needs. (And yes, I have mental problems)
Unlike David, my life is bursting with potential. I have all my words. I have all my mental faculties. I have my independence. And, without droning on about the other sibling: I am not a criminal. I have a family of my own; something Beth will never have. And I don't routinely call my father (or stepmother) for emergency wires of cash to bail me out of jail/hot water/debt to a bookie.

All-in-all, I am winning the competition.

See, there I go again, competing. The truth is, I've been engaged in a competition with my sister since 1977.  My brother joined the race in 1980. I doubt either is aware of the competition; nor do they realize that I've always felt like the loser:

For in this competition, the winner gets the attention.  She gets the financial help because she is a total train wreck. She gets a hysterical mother racing to help her, so she is not alone. She gets the constant concern, prayers and worries of extended family.

And frankly, I'd like all of the above.








3 comments:

  1. Brave. I love your honesty!

    I don't care what anyone says, sibs are always in competition with each other. My mother would say I got what I deserved with my fighting two, and she's right.

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  2. Hey, it's way bigger than you and me. Esau and Jacob. Even further back than that. And no, I don't compete with my sibling either.

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  3. Hugs! We all compete in some way. I know I compete with my sister even now, though I think we've both gotten more comfortable with ourselves and feel less of a need to compete.

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