My experience of being an only

by on February 1, 2011

in Workshop experiences

Angelica the archetypal only child stereotype

Loneliness as a child
in relationships
in life
It also strikes me
I feel I have always had to cope
There was no-one
to share with as a child
everything fell on my shoulders.

It’s very claustrophobic
there wasn’t any way out
there wasn’t anywhere to go
really trapped in a way
I couldn’t bypass them
I couldn’t get anywhere
without going through either mum or dad
I always felt if there’d been two of us
it would have been so easy

I think it’s affected my confidence in myself
I was so isolated
it’s narrowed my experience of being a child
in the way I feel –
I very much lived in an adult world
a lost, lonely figure
is the image I now see
No-one to be a child with

It was kind of not feeling met
at my own pace and space
Not having space to express myself
There was so much intensity
a lot of the time
So for me the being ordinary
was a real sense of realisation and freedom –
being like other people
belonging and not having to be special…

Something that I really valued
about being an only child
is I’ve kept some continuity
of dreaming experiences
and imagination into my adult life –
I didn’t have to test it against other kids
I never had to lose it
I have quite a long memory of childhood
books and images and thoughts
dreams and things

when both my parents go
it’s just me in the world
that’s another reason why
I think my personal life
more important than a career

  • Natalie

    I am so glad I just read the above. Wow. I could have written that myself!!
    And the key thing that has stuck in my head when reading that is = normality does feel like freedom!! Belonging and not having to feel special – YES YES YES!! That is exactly it! At 27 I am slowly coming to this realizations about the effect that being an only child has had on me and not only that but both my parents are only children too – so imagine what that’s resulted in!

    So to read the above…is like a sigh of relief and I too will be the last one standing when they both pass and that really scares me and I want more than anything else to have brothers and sisters and feel like I belong! As I don’t feel like I ever have. Jobs have come and gone where this feeling gets created and the odd relationship but unlike family. It has a sell by date…So i am still on the quest on how to fill this void in my life!

    Thanks again for a great article…can’t wait to read more! :)

    • buzzless

      I am also an only child of 2 only children. I have also just read the above and it all felt as
      have felt it is nice to no that there are others like me.

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