Family Dilemmas

When parents are elderly Some of the issues on this site apply to me, I think, but not all. My Mom had several miscarriages and still-births so after 8 years of trying (8 failed attempts) I arrived on the scene; my mum has a self-confidence issue so I think went from being a “failure” to being a “success” as her 6 brothers mainly all had children. When I went to Uni I partly based my choices on where would be beyond a day’s journey from home and I remember thinking when my own daughter was born “Mum won’t kill herself now if anything happens to me.” I understand why my mum was (and is!) the way she is and we have a good relationship that I wouldn’t say is dependent, but partly because I lived in France for 5 years after University and I think she learned to deal with [...]

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What are the issues for adult onlies?

I’m a 31 year old only child (female).  I had lots of friends and I can’t remember ever feeling lonely, like other people on your site. I always found it easy to make friends when I was at school and growing up. I still have a good group of very close (mainly female) friends and we are a bit of a urban family in London. However, now I’m single in my 30s after one long relationship in my 20s and I am of the mind set that I’m better off on my own – I don’t know if this is because of being an only child? I feel like what’s the point of trusting a man to make you happy, I’m better off on my own.  I can spend time (and often need to be) on my own quite happily, unlike most of my friends who seem to crave constant company.  I also try not to rely on anyone, too much (in case they [...]

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Being an Only – carries a Stigma – socially.

You see – because I was brought up as ‘an Only Child’ (I am a surviving twin) there is an assumption, generally, that (a) I was spoilt (b) I don’t know how to share (c) I don’t know how to mix.  Oh if those who make these assumptions  – ‘knew’ of the inner and private ‘pain’!! None of these is actually correct.  I enjoy meeting other people, learning about their personalities etc., and as for ‘sharing’ maybe I have ‘compensated’ a little too much in this way, by causing myself to become ‘victim’ to those who have ‘taken advantage’.  Most of all – the one very absolute thing that both angers and hurts comes from the lips of those goodly souls – with ‘a thousand brothers and sisters’ –who take it upon themselves to ‘declare’  - “of course, you are an ONLY child, aren’t you”.  The way in which this [...]

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Can you tell me more about only child issues?

I came across your website while looking for information on only children and was compelled to write a thought or two.  I am my mother’s only child and I’m also am the mother of an only daughter who is just about to turn five. In reading through the experiences of only children that were posted I was struck by, more than anything else, the sense that because of who a person is and by being raised as an “only”, the person is somehow lacking. I have had many years of therapy sorting through my “issues”.  I have learned over time that the more I blame my parents, or even the circumstances of my childhood, the worse I feel.  It doesn’t help me to focus on what could have been at all.  My parents are who they are. Our circumstances were as they were. They loved me and sometimes they were [...]

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Being judged for being an only child

I used to get really fed up of people assuming I must be spoilt because of being an only child. I did feel it was looked on as a bad thing to be even though it was not my choice to be an only and I actually felt lonely sometimes and wanted a brother or sister (I told my mother this many times and finally gave up asking for one at about the age of 12). I felt judged negatively for something that was not my fault, but I don’t remember anyone judging my parents for it. I also had my mother say I was such hard work, which made me think I was worse than most children. I have three children and was determined not to have only one child. A few years ago someone got very offended because she has only one child by choice and I said [...]

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Sharing what it feels like to be an only

I suppose I was compelled to write to you simply because I have never encountered anyone who wanted to know, in some depth, what it felt like to be an only child. Although I have had some experience of personal therapy,  my experience of being an only child has come up in the context of other matters, not as a matter for examination itself. I suppose this is the nature of therapy, one deals with what arises in the time and space, and the fact of my ‘onliness’ has never been, of itself, a topic in the therapeutic space. I have no doubt, however, that having brought it to the fore, I will take it to my personal therapy. My impulse to write to you signifies to me that this is something that needs to be used in my therapy, which begins next week.

Some of what I remember is my [...]

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What being an only means to me.

Being an only means that you try to do too much because you don’t like asking for help.. I used to ask my father, but I can’t ask my children because then I  become a burden to them as my mother did to me and I  know how soul destroying it is. Being an only for me, means that I find it really hard to let anyone get close and the fact that I have two failed marriages, which must mean that it is me that is the problem, so I can’t go down that way again. Being an only means that I get lonely at times, I enjoy working at weekends because that’s when families get together and that’s when I sit by myself. I view my sons as individuals and knew they must leave home, so I can’t understand the family that gets upset when their children fly the nest. Being an only gives you the ’if you want something [...]

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I feel so solitary with aged parents

At this moment in time I have just scanned the web as I am just overwhelmed 
with the shear scale of emotional and physical support required of me to
 support my parents aged 81 and 80 years old, I have just put the telephone 
down at 10.00pm after my father has rung me saying he does not know what to do with my mother who is crying and in pain. I am at 56 year of age, just being able to enjoy life after working hard but being pulled back again and again, more and more to help my parents. Its has been so hard to show love for the both of them now, when they both
so desperately need it and I have to forgive and forget all the years that
went before when all I needed was a cuddle from them.

I know I sound selfish and just at the moment [...]

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