Although I had no siblings, somehow I was always made to feel lik ethe "black sheep" by my parents. I had an unremarkable childhoodand teenage years, but I would have sworn I was an alcholic, drug addict, and punk during this time. By the way, during this time, I did none of those things. I was always home after school, I made supper three times a week, had chores to do, did my homework although not well (bored of school before college), and tried to survive the environment that I found myself in as best a could.
Probably the badest thing that I did, was try to islolate myself from my parents early on to avoid the arguing.My step-brother has always been the "golden child", and while I have never talked to him about this, I have never covetted his place either. The mildest of infraction on his part is commented on. Like one mother's day, Andy decided to sit at his in-laws table (he was spending other time with his mother), and looking back on the pictures of the big family gathering, I still see in the photos the angry red flush on my steps face and her angry look. Not directed at me for once!! My step goes over to their house every weekend. Can you imagine if you are a couple that might like SOME privacy EVERY NOW and AGAIN? Course she does provide them with free babysitting, but I have often wondered if the price is really worth it to them? Now they got them both for every time they would have asked a favor of me (only time they would call me by the way), now I am sure they get those calls, and angry responses if they dare to say no. I don't envy my step-brother this additional responsibility. On the other hand, he has had it pretty well in his life, so a little bit of stress won't kill him.
When I was older, although it was clearly not my fault that I was slapped out of a sound sleep in my own house, somehow it was my fault that I was angry at the step who was trying to start a physical abuse campaign on me, and instead found me to have quite the backbone when I walked out on them. My father's secretary didn't even know who I was. Any way, that is all old news.
What struck me about the attached post, are there are certain patterns of manipulation that can be traced in these dysfunctional families. Whether you arethe "golden" child who has been coddled and exhaulted, or you are the "black sheep" that has been stripped down for no reason, there is a strategy in this by the dysfunctional parent in my opinion. I was stripped down, because I was expected to have no self esteem.I was expected to hop to when asked to, and to never dare ask anything of myself, like "please don't make the death of a belovedperson in my life a problem just because I don't want you to sell my house". 18 years later after the slap that launched me out of the house, this was the next unforgivable act on my part which needed punishing. And when I didn't curl up in the fetal position and beg forgiveness, oh you guessed it, that was the second unforgivable acton my part. Now the family knowing that Robin is not "away on overseas vacations for the rest of her life", yup there is number3. I am supposed to be ashamed of course, and hiding in my house hoping noone knows. Instead, I am out and about the town. I see them on the street on the beach. I say hello if I see them on the street and wave. That would be number 4 in there book, I shouldlook like a crazy mental ill outcast daughter. Instead I look like me only happier.
It's even worse that my husband wants nothing to do with the step of course, that makes everyone wonder........my husband is just not like that.Course I don't worry about my relatives that know and love me. They know me and are aware of the situation. As for the relatives that have never had time for me, well they will think what they will think. I can't control that, nor do I want to particularly.