An Australian living in France
I would very much like to make contact with a surrogate brother and/or sister. I desperately feel the need to communicate with someone who has traversed the same road.
I am a 61 year old only “child”. I have hated it all my life, always being the odd one out with no brother or sister. My father was an only child too, and I have never been able to find out why I was also doomed to this solitary life. I find that I STILL have to explain to people that I don’t have any siblings and I STILL get the same looks of incomprehension and distrust that I first noticed at primary school. I get the feeling that they think it is my fault that I have to live like this.
At primary school I used to hear other kids say that ” my brother’ll come and get you” etc when bullied, but I had no such luck and occasionally “invented” a brother. That ruse didn’t last long as I was soon found out, but eventually ignored. Children are cruel – I was taunted over my lack of siblings. I had no idea how to play with other kids- play was just not a part of my life -and I used, to watch the other kids thinking how “childish” they were with their imaginings, although there was a part of me that would dearly have liked to join in, I was seldom asked to and retired into a book instead. In fact reading has been my great solace. I often just cried from loneliness during my primary school years when I saw the others going out with their siblings. At secondary school I didn’t cry as much – I was too busy studying and at 20 I got married to escape this solitary life. Then with married life and work I managed to put my sibling-deficiency on the back-burner for a while.
I had 3 children and now wish that I had had more, but at the time I felt guilty over the pleasure they brought me. I now realise that it is normal to enjoy one’s children but that had not been my experience growing up. Now in my 60′s I find that the cycle seems to be starting again. My grandchildren just cannot understand my lack of siblings and the concurrent lack of relations.
I am just a dead-end. I have my children and grand-children and that is it. For the first time in many years I think every day of my “missing” siblings and I cry again. When I am out shopping for example and I see obvious brothers and sisters happily going about together I almost dissolve in tears, much to my embarrassment. I really thought that I had become hardened to being alone and would never cry again, let alone at 60!
I am Australian, living in France, and there it is even more of an oddity to be an onlychild, and I find myself having to “explain”. I am so glad to have found your site – I have searched many times previously for some network of “onlies”. The popular opinion is that we are spoilt – how wrong that is. My parents discouraged other children from visiting after school, and I never made any long-lasting friends.