sibling rivalry~By Wendy Zangari
As I think about family this season. I am only going to think about the ones that actually reciprocate caring. There are things I just can’t fix with my siblings because of the way our parents raised us, they have become so closed off from their emotions that they don’t have them anymore, the only emotion they seem to have is anger towards me because I want to resolve the issues, which essentially makes them blame me for their problems (which they don’t have apparently). See how convoluted that is?
So I sit here and realize who my family is, some of you who I speak to on the phone often, others that I speak to online often, some of Greg’s family whom I have met and gotten to know a bit, one out of 5 of my capable siblings (one of my siblings has Downs and I barely have seen her over the years), and Greg and our cats, this is my family.
I can’t change how 2 of my siblings perceive me, I can’t change the way they think that I am the issue of their problems even though we barely speak and we barely talk about anything meaningful. They are all about status, what you do for work makes you who you are and I am not like that, I look at people for who they are in substance (how they treat another), not what they do for a living, that is just ludicrous. I am judged and they don’t trust me because they don’t and can’t trust themselves and they don’t like themselves, but instead are playing a game of life in which they will have to repeat because their soul lost compassion, if it ever had it to begin with. But a wise person told me you can’t have compassion without suffering. I guess they haven’t suffered enough.
One thing about me is that I used to raise my voice to my family because as the youngest of 6, I would get blamed for everyone’s issues and screaming was the way I was shown to get my point across. But instead I was the result of how they treated me, I was just a child and from the time I was about 6 or 7 years old, the family problems were blamed on me, it was easy for them, I made it easy for them. I was a shy kid, I had no backbone as I always held onto mom’s pant leg. I was insecure as a child and my siblings put me into a deeper despair at 10 years old in which I started acting out because no one would listen to the “family problems” in which I pointed out and wanted to fix. I have always been like that, but even then, when I was in my Elementary years I was to blame for all of the problems in the house when they certainly existed way before I came into the world, but it was easy to blame the baby, they couldn’t talk back and adults knew best. So I cowered and thought I was the issue for so many years.
After 30 or so years of therapy (since I was 10), I have worked so hard on fixing the problems that I was instilled with, including behaviors. They have had 0 years of therapy, not one person from my family, no matter how much our father wanted us ALL to go to therapy, I was the only one that was willing. I am glad I did, if I didn’t, I would be a callous, uncaring, insensitive human being, that is who they have become. It is all about appearances and it is all about putting on an heir so others won’t think ill of you. It is also about control, they want control over their lives as well as those around them and I apparently am the one they want to control, but it frustrates them that they can no longer.
After living here in PA for almost 11 years, with no family visiting ever, I know where I stand, in addition to them telling me that they don’t want to speak to me because I bring up things they don’t want to talk about. So I want to fix our relationship, in order to fix the relationship we have to go into the past, get our resentments out of the way (some are based on perceptions) and talk it out, but they can’t, they refuse because they don’t know how to deal with their negative emotions that still linger in the back of their mind. This is what abusive parenting does to children, it closes them up completely so they are a robot going through life because they never got help in how to deal with emotions.
Apparently they state that they don’t have any issues but I am the one with the issues and they don’t want to hear it, which is pretty much exclaimed loudly in these conversations.
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I went to my brothers and sister to talk about our family and why people were screaming at each other, why they were abusing each other and why they were causing so much emotional pain. You know what I got from all of them? “I don’t want to hear it Wendy, it is not my problem, you will have to figure it out on your own”. I am 6 years old, my oldest brother being 20 years old at the time. So it seems while he is 56 years old now, he says the same exact thing, but in a very demeaning, insulting and accusatory way, stating I am the problem, he has no issues except me.
So my mom dies in 2008, both parents now gone. ((My mom used to be the blame in addition to me being blamed, but it was more-so on her (rightfully so)), but when she died it was all transferred onto me all the things she did to us and caused us. I guess it’s easier to blame the one person you don’t speak to for your problems and it’s easier to blame someone who is 389 miles away that you have never visited, someone who has gotten help for 30 years in therapy, who has fixed most of her synchronicities that was undesirable. And I am the problem? Huh? Wondering how that works when I am the one that has grown up, gotten help and fixed a lot of things that were not taught to me correctly and yet they haven’t spent one hour with a therapist ever and have never gotten help whatsoever. This is the result.
So if you have been abused as a child, emotionally or physically, or both, get help, talk to a professional that has an outside perspective (teachers, guidance counselors, therapists, etc.) and can help you grow your emotional wellbeing. Don’t stagger in life, don’t accept nothing but greatness for yourself and don’t let others blame you for their own issues, it may not even be your fault and in my case it isn’t my fault. I struck a cord and I was attacked, bottom line.
If you don’t want a child that has a lot of emotional problems in life, treat them with respect, listen to your children, give THEM the benefit of the doubt and show them they are loved without question. Give them confidence and show them that the world is their oyster and they have a lot to offer the world.
I was not a confident child, I didn’t start becoming confident until this year believe it or not. This year was a catalyst for me to grow up some more, detach from family that is toxic and not hope for a relationship with them. It has taken me many years to get to this point, don’t let this happen to you or your children. Give them the tools to grow in this world, don’t stifle them and show them how with love and respect for themselves and others.

© 2014, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.

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