So what’s all this middle child syndrome all about? Do you fall in to this place in your family?
From time to time I have intense feelings of being left behind in life. When change occurs, which it does and is only natural, I can’t help but feel I’ll be left behind. At the moment, there’s so much change happening around me and in my life and I’ve been feeling so much sickness in my stomach. This is the first place I feel everything, all of those sticky emotions. Over the weekend, I decided to spend some time on my mat to work with these feelings that were coming up and to see if I could make any sense of them and I’ve been slowly able to put parts of the puzzle together.
I believe these crazy feelings I’ve been experiencing are linked back to my childhood.
Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of healing around my family roots and I decided to do a little research about middle child syndrome to try make some sense from it.
I come from quite a large family (but probably a standard Irish family) of 7 which includes both my parents and I sit in between.
I’ll admit being in the middle is god damn hard! I’ve always had feelings of never quite belonging, feelings of being loved less and I’ve pretty much had self-esteem issues my whole life.
It definitely seems like I got less attention – and maybe I did, but I’m positive they love me the same as my siblings.
The first born is the eldest and can normally be an over-achiever, sometimes they tend to be the most important and get the most privileges.
The youngest on the other hand is the ‘baby’ of the family and can get away with pretty much everything and tends to be the most looked-after. In my case, I had two sisters before me and one sister and brother after me. The middle child tends to get squeezed between the others (which happened to me) and have trouble finding their ‘niche’ in the family.
While growing up I pretty much felt like this, squashed in between the others trying to find my voice to speak up.
From my own experience middle children can….
- be naughty, cause trouble and play up to get attention
- go with the flow to keep the peace
- tend to go to a friend for advice rather than a parent
- keep quiet – they don’t feel like they have a voice
- become the ‘loner’ of the family
- play the peacemaker ‘go-betweener’ role in the family
In short the eldest children tend to get all the praise, the younger children gets all the love, and the middle is a little lost in between.
The characteristics of someone experiencing middle child syndrome tends to be:
- An introvert – yes, that’s me!
- Inclined to having low self-esteem – yes, that’s me!
- Inclined to jealousy, and feeling of emptiness – yes, that’s me!
- Lack of self-belief – yes, that’s me!
I certainly don’t have the gift of the gab and I’m not much of a talker, unlike the rest of my family (unless I am super comfortable with the person; I’m getting better though over time).
You could say, that I am more of the listener.
My feelings stay tucked inside, and I’ve recently found that my outlet is writing.
I don’t believe in any way that I was abused by my parents because I was the middle child or because I was the least noticed. Overall my parents were good parents who I feel did the best that they knew how to do at the time.
I’m sure like many of us, if we could go back and do some things over again with our children there would be many things that we would do differently? They taught me good morals and a good strong work ethic (which stands for me today as a business owner).
When I talk above about the realities of growing up in the middle, I’m not blaming my childhood on my life today. I believe as adults, we’re responsible for our actions and how our lives turn out. We can change, change is possible!
I don’t what so ever defend anyone who says, “I’m the middle child so that is why my life sucks and that’s why my life is crap”.
I believe that if you want a different life, then you need to make the choices to get better results.
“We must be the change we want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve been doing a lot of inner work over the past couple of years and I intend to keep doing this inner work so that I can be the best that I can be in this life and after.
I read that the middle child, once grown, tends to be the one to move the farthest away from the rest of the family.
This, I find interesting because I live on the opposite side of the world to my family (of course this was never intentional). I do believe that the middle child feels they need to be away from their family for a while to find their own identity.
So tell me, where do you fall in your family? Are you in the middle, what were your experiences?
Yours, in love and light.
Be kind, be courageous, be yourself.
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