Sibling Rivalry

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by silverspoon65, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 7, 2008

    My mom and I have always gotten along. We were like the Gilmore Girls when I was younger. I never had that hate your mom phase. We rarely bickered or argued. I was also super-responsible and always protected my mom and would never yell at her or say anything bad to her unless I was REALLY angry. And even then, I still treated her with respect.

    My brother and sister are entirely the opposite. My brother has a pretty explosive personality. If something doesn't go his way, he blows up and makes threats, like that he will go out and party and get drunk on Christmas Eve and ruin Christmas or he'll run away, etc. etc. (He is 23 now and might not make the exact same threats but its still a similar attitude).

    My sister gets cold instead of explosive. She would go a whole year not talking to someone just to be spiteful. I have seen her do this with other family members, including my dad, and some of her own friends. She doesn't keep friends as long as many people do. She is very cynical and sarcastic. She can guilt trip my mom like its nothing. She makes her cry regularly because she hurts her feelings. She calls her a witch with b, a ho-bag, etc. Sometimes its with dry humor, but I still find it really offensive and disrespectful. (and I am no prude, I am definitely also sarcastic and have a good sense of humor, i just don't find this funny). She also expects to get whatever she asks for.

    The problem is, sometimes I almost feel punished for their sensitivity. Mom panders to their behavior because she knows if she doesn't they might not talk to her/get explosive. I don't get that attention because she knows she can rely on my to always be there. They have both ruined plans that I had for my mom and I to spend time together because she had to kiss up to them so they wouldn't get angry.

    Also, I know they both complain about each other and me to my mom. I, on the other hand, don't get my mom into the middle of my battles with my brother and sister. Tonight, for example, when I mentioned I hadn't talked to my sister in awhile, my mom told me I needed to call her and work things out. I didn't even know my sister and I were fighting! But she complained to my mom about something, mom only gets the one side, and I look like the bad guy, although really I was the one trying not to get my mom in the middle of it. (And for the record, if she is mad about what I think, if I had told my mom the truth it would have made my sister look bad, but it would have hurt my mom's feelings, and I would rather not do that.)

    Sorry this is so long but i needed to vent. Does anyone else have this issues with siblings? Is it an older child thing? A co-worker and I were discussing how we are both the oldest, and we are so much more responsible and protective of our moms.
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 7, 2008

    Wow, what a tough situation. My family isn't like that. For all of our dysfunctions, we really get along well. I have 3 sisters and a brother, and my parents are adopting a 6yo, so soon to be 4 sisters. The boy is also young and recently adopted, but the 4 adult children get along reasonably well. None of live in the same geographic region of the country though. I live in S. Fl near my parents, one sis is in GA, another in CA and another in AK. We moan and complain every once and a while to/about each other, and sometime to/about mom and dad, but that's just normal "ugh" kinda things. I wish I could give you advice, but I'm at a loss. I hope things get better or at least tolerable soon.
     
  4. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 7, 2008

    Do I have sibling issues? ABSOLUTELY! But, I come from a VERY disfuntional background. I was the responsible one...I had to be, I am the oldest and had to take care of my siblings through some pretty nasty stuff. But, my sisters seem to fall into the same type of pattern that you describe of your siblings. I have who I call highly emotional...hangs up, name calling, won't call for awhile. The other is the master manipulator, gets things from my parents that they would have laughed in my face if I even dreamed of them asking for these things. The she will turn around and be really cold. She will cut you out without a second thought. My youngest, highly emotional sister, isn't talking to me right now for whatever reason.

    I do think this is an oldest child thing. I know my mom let alot more slide, and gave more to my younger sisters.

    Unfortunately, my sibling issues aren't in protecting my mother, we don't have a relationship anymore. In fact, I do believe my youngest sister is more protective of my mother than any of us.
     
  5. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Apr 7, 2008

    Yup, I hear ya. I have a similar situation, different, but similar. I am the baby, however, so I don't think it's and older sibling thing. My mom and dad always know they can count on me, and that I can take care of myself. My sister however she is very irresponsible, and continues to manipulate my parents into picking up the pieces of her life for her. My brother has other controlling ways...I could go on and on, but I want to get to a helpful point for you...

    I went through alot of turmoil during a period of time where I felt taken advantage of, and not cared for, or about because of this . What helped me was a story in the bible. Luke 15:1-32. the story of the prodigal son. I apologize in advance if this offends you, but I think you will find the situation you are talking about very similar. It really helped me!
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 8, 2008

    I don't know how far apart in ages you & your siblings are & I don't know if your mom (or parents) showed favoritism w/ you over your siblings since you & your mom got along so well. But, that might have something to do w/ it. As much as parents may not want to be obvious w/ showing favoritism, kids are smart about those things & will notice even the most minute things. It sounds like your siblings resent the fact that you & your mom get along so incredibly well & they wish they had that kind of relationship w/ mother like the two of you do. Maybe they act that way hoping that your mom will care & give them attention.

    I know blood is supposed to be thicker than water & all that, but after a certain amount of time, I would be so sick of the whole situation & if I had siblings who wouldn't talk to me anymore. After a while, I may think, "ok so be it" because life is too short to be made feeling unnecessarily guilty about anything & I'd want to just go on w/ my own life & be as happy as possible.

    I'm so glad I'm an only child & I couldn't picture it any other way. But my long-term bf is an identical twin & has two younger siblings & he tells me about the problems he has w/ them, mainly w/ his twin. My bf is so different from the three of them.
    Your situation is similiar in that my bf is sometimes made by his mom to make the first move toward his siblings when it was them who acted wrongly in the first place.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 8, 2008

    I'm sorry your going through this. I'm the only child of my parents marriage, but have two half siblings from my parents previous marriages. Both my brother and sister are 7-8 years older than me. Because I was the only one at home (my sister went to live with her dad when she got into HS b/c she couldnt stand living in the country) and my brother always lived with his mother, I was very close with both of my parents. Because of the age differences I was never really close to my siblings. I'm still not that close to my brother, but when my mom died, my sister and I grew very close. Now she lives an hour away from me and we talk nearly every day. I won't say there wasn't any issues when she did live with us because I know there had to be, but I was so young that I don't remember them.

    I hope that you and your siblings can work this out.
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 8, 2008

    I think my sister's problem is my brother (and me a little) picked on her a lot because she was the youngest. And then 8 years ago, when I was in college, we had another sister born, and Surprise! Suddenly my other sister wasn't the baby anymore. SO I think a lot of her cynicism and need for attention stems from that.

    What I actually should have mentioned, is that as long as my mom isn't involved, she and I actually get a long pretty well. We both live near each other, and about an hour from my parents, and we hang out a lot (when she is speaking to me, I guess). But if we are planning something for my mom, or doing something together with my mom, it turns into a competition.
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 11, 2008

    My family is incredibly dysfuntional, but I can't say we have this particular problem. I do have siblings that are explosive, but no one is very good about giving the cold shoulder. We are just way to honest for our own good sometimes. If someone is angry or hurt, you'll know it either because they come at you themselves (usually verbal, we did the physical battles when we were kids) or you can expect to hear about it from Mom or Dad. I just had my mom tell me that something I said to my sister in a conversation I never thought would leave the car ended up hurting my brother because....well, you get the idea. Being the oldest I get this a lot and have grown something of a skin. If you want to ignore me for the next year and a half fine. Seriously, I have other matters to attend to other than a person's grudge against me for whatever I did or said 3 months ago. I'd rather you yell so I can yell back and get the whole thing over with. Honestly though, my siblings and I get on pretty well now. We don't always keep in touch, but we rarely fight, probably because we don't always keep in touch. I get more upset with my parents for reasons having to do with my siblings than my siblings themselves.

    Going into dear abby mode

    Stay close with your mom, but don't bring up issues you are having with your sibs. If your sibs bring up these issues to your mom and expect her to be the messenger/mediator turn a deaf ear. Just tell her that if Suzy or Sammy are angry they need to approach you. You do not deal with go-betweens. It isn't fair to either you or your mom since a) you may not even know there is a problem and b) mom is only hearing one side. Your sibs need to grow up and stop relying on mumsy. Nothing you can do about her pandering to them although I know it drives you crazy. Just go on as you have been being the calm rather than the calamity.
     
  10. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Apr 13, 2008

    Well, I have the same problem in my family. I think it is the same everywhere and I do not think birth order has a role at all- I am the youngest of six and very much in the same boat as you. Sending you lots of hugs!
     

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