alone

Only-child Aloneness

There are many ways and times we as only-child adults can feel alone. In childhood it is often the lack of a sibling that brings about feelings of aloneness. ‘Tina’ writes how this gap can be filled by only-child friends or cousins which, as a result, can feel particularly important to us. However what happens if you find this close only-child now finds that they have a sibling they did not know about? How would it affect you? Or your other close relationships? I know from my research, that when one only child married to another, suddenly found that her husband had three siblings, she felt extremely rejected. He was over the moon but even years later she finds it difficult to accept this completely new position both she and he has – especially as she has always wanted siblings herself. Of course often the greatest feeling of aloneness is [...]

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Christmas: festive or lonely?

If you are reading this it may be because you are feeling particularly alone this festive season and have googled ‘only child’ or ‘adult only’. My research highlighted that many adult onlies feel most alone at Christmas because they have no siblings or even parents to share it with. For others, who do not have a partner or children, Christmas can feel very lonely. I know after my parents’ died, and I was divorced and both children spent some time with their father over Christmas I often felt quite cut off from the ‘family gatherings’ of other people. I always tried to find others in the same position, to share these times together, and that certainly helps. However it is not always possible, so I am keeping in mind those people who do not have family to be with at this seasonal family time. I also know from my experience [...]

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Arianna – I’ve had a wonderful life!

I met Arianna, without her borsalino, on a Greek island beach. Now in her 70’s she told me so many fascinating stories that I wanted to share some of these with my fellow AOC’s! Arianna, an only child of parents’ in their 40’s, was brought up in a tiny village in old Czechoslovakia in the late 1930’s. She remembers an idyllic childhood. Once, on her birthday, she wanted a live bear and her father arranged for her to have one through the local zoo – although it never happened because war broke out. Her father was from a gypsy family and a highly gifted musician whilst her mother was an aristocrat and her family were not happy about the marriage.  Arianna was brought up by constantly changing nannies and her education was primarily music and poetry from her father. She played the piano from the age of three and by [...]

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Over 3000 visits a month!

I am very heartened that so many people are now visiting this website which has not even been going a year. Our readership has now increased to 3000 a month! I am very curious to see how many non-onlies are using this site.  That is not to say I am not grateful that people who are not only children are interested to read what I am posting. It does seem though that it is mostly people who have had a relationship with an only that are contributing. I am interested in their comments, and pleased that my posts have helped them to understand only child behaviours from a different point of view than perhaps they have been able to see before. I also understand from other posts, that some people see the distinction between onlies and non onlies as superficial. However I think it is important to realise that the [...]

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My parents are my life..but when they die..

This is the first time I have reached out to research “being an only child” I do often think about it and I was glad to find your website. It is hard to know if being an only is what has made me the way I am or is it just emotional problems stemming from many experiences in my life. I do however, know this; I despise being an only and have pictured in my minds eye, the concept of having a brother or sister to the point that I really think (for a second) I could feel what it “felt” like to have that. Sounds a bit crazy, but is true. It has brought me to tears. I find I feel very lonely, especially when other friendships OR relationships are not meeting my needs. Both of my parents (in there late 50″s) have health problems that I bear wastefully [...]

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Being an only isn’t a terrible thing- but helps to explain what makes “me”

I just found your website and have to be honest, I am amazed, I never realised other people found it so bad. I must admit that I haven’t found it so good myself, to the extent that I quite deliberately had two children close together. Part of me feels as though I am incredibly special and the other part knows I have no major talents, and am just like everyone else. Power struggles whilst growing up with my mother. Feeling like my parents didn’t really see “me” but wanted to sculpt me into whatever I should have been. Being over sensitive when people are just difficult and trying over and over to get them to like me, clearly its all my fault. Feeling alone. Feeling misunderstood. Not seeming to understand societies rules, and so always feeling as though I am slow in some capacity! I cant stress enough that I [...]

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Adopted male only

It was a comfort somewhat stumbling quite accidental upon your site, having never had encounters with other only children or their experiences, I am a 36 year old father of two great boys now. But still live with the emotional difficulties from not only being an only child, but also being adopted. I have read some literature on the adoption side of things, the feelings of guilt, shame, and unworthiness of being adopted. But knew being an only child in some way to added to these feeling, now having also seen your site I see that` only children` do also feel this same way and I as an only child share theirs. I have never meet with other only children or adopted people, and now I feel in some way from my lonely childhood that I must take the burden of these feelings and I am now at a stage [...]

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Is being an only more problematic as you get older?

After reading the honest, open and heartfelt contributions of other people who wanted to share their experiences, and after two tears formed on reading some, I knew writing to you was something that I had to do. To give a little background, I was raised by my mother, and for a few years, her partner. My biological father was not on the scene, as they broke up before my birth. My mother has two sisters and one brother. Due to family dynamic caused in part by sexual abuse within the family, my mother has a very strained relationship with my grandmother, her siblings, and the wider family. Hence, cousins did not play apart in my childhood. I had lots of fun while growing up. I lived in an area which had lots of children, and made friends easily. I was good at sport, and good at school, but found navigating [...]

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