sibling envy

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Was thinking about sibling rivalry last night & wishing & hoping I could find a way to get my 2 kids to get along more often, to hit less and hug more. My heart breaks when they are not kind to one another. I take things personally and beat myself up for not having a solution. It takes me awhile to get over the uncaringness.
I found a highlighter and I pulled, “Siblings Without Rivalry,” from my nightstand and dusted it off. I began to read and highlight searching for a quick fix.
I read this:
“I’m wondering, would it be going too far to say that these early experiences with siblings could determine how we act or think or feel about ourselves today?”
Since I can remember, I wanted to be just like my older sister, Joy. We are 5 years apart. I followed her around and hung on her every word. We shared a bedroom and she would braid my hair. We had dance parties, and made up dance routines to ‘Thriller,’ and collected tadpoles. Nature walks made us happy and bike riding was fun, too. Joy let me tag along & it made me feel special.
Joy was a ballerina. I was not a ballerina. Joy was a gymnast. I was not a gymnist. Joy was on drill team. I tried out and didn’t make the cut.
School came very easily for my sister and she always got straight A’s. I longed to be like her, to get the perfect grades. She had the ability to study until she mastered the material. I, on the other hand, struggled as an ADD & dyslexia sufferer. I could only pay attention for so long and I often forgot what I read. My mind was jumbled & mixed up.
I repeated first grade because my reading was not up to par. I overheard my teacher telling another teacher, in the library, that I was in the lowest reading group. I never ever felt the same after that. I felt less than.
Was once told, ‘you got the boobs and your sister got the brains.’ So, I would overcompensate to try to make up for my lack of smarts. I believed I was less than and not smart and not going to amount to much. Was told that I should attend a college for those with ADD and dyslexia and learning disabilities. I spent my whole childhood running to catch up with my colleagues that were ahead of me and doing better than me. I was under the assumption that grades & popularity equaled intelligence & worth.
I’ve believed a lie my whole life, the lie that I am not good enough. The truth is, I am good enough and not just good enough, but enough. I’ve carried that weight all the way into my adult life, my mothering life, my friend life, and my married life. I wonder what would happen if I learned to let go of the lie and began to truly accept the greatness and gifts that exist inside my heart and soul- the artist, the writer, & the empath within.
I have to reparent myself and take the bits and pieces from my childhood, the parts that served me & let go of the rest- the parts that no contribute to my well-being. I have to retell my story and relarn and cross out untruths from my past and redefine and recreate what is real and true for me today.
I have to be kinder to that little girl inside me, that little girl who was doing the very best she could with the bringing she was in. I have to hold her and nurture her and tell her that her worth was never ever measured in her grades or her popularity or her dance ability or her athleticism, but rather she was born worthy and enough. I would tell her that she carries special gifts and talents unique to her. That her fingerprint is one of a kind, her smile is so special, and her heart is so good and well-intentioned. I’d tell her not to compare herself to that of her sister or anyone for that matter. Instead, I’d ask her to immerse herself in her love of art, singing, jazz dancing, writing, & whatever else brought her joy. I’d tell her to do and be her best.

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