And now something you’ll really like – another treatise of my blathering about one thing or another – this time a snippet of something I researched and wrote several years ago about children and birth order.
This came about to my mind as my sister attacked me again – in true fashion of the ‘Cane and Abel Syndrome’ – so much that she has no realisation what she is doing. She is oblivious to her own behaviour so ingrained into her first-born privilege psyche.
Here she cruelly invoked ascribing me as some insane sort. These are a few of her quotes from her e-mails:
- ‘That screwed up mind of yours’
- ‘You are totally fucked up’
- ‘I think u are nuts!’
- ‘i think these things you come up with are totally wack!’
- ‘trying to get you declared incompetent’
- ‘No happiness, joy, or any positive thoughts, only downer rantings of accusations of wrong doings to you’
- ‘It is like a cancer festering inside’.
Kathy, you have no idea what goes on. Only the people who do harm to me use those pejoratives.
I shall not divulge all my intimate records; here I shall present these comments from my psychotherapists’ recent notes:
- ‘The DSM diagnoses exist as Gender Dysphoria, Adult (302.85/F64.1). No additional mental health diagnoses have been made.’
- She has embarked upon a cohesive path of female identity development. Beginning in childhood, she developed cognitive self-schemas congruent with female identity. For example, early in life she wore her sister’s clothing, perceived herself as “the little sister,” and by the age of 8 years had decided upon the name Sharon.’
- ‘As a child she told her female friends that she “is” a girl. Across her lifespan, her female identity has been persistent, insistent, and consistent.’
- ‘In 1980, she legally changed her name and her gender marker to female, and by 1985 she presented full-time as Sharon. She never has hesitated in moving forward; she expresses great pleasure from sex reassignment surgery.’
- ‘She has had multiple losses of family members secondary to her transition.’
- ‘Overall, it is clear that she knows who she is. She has embarked on a lifelong journey as a female.’
I attended to appointments at least with four counsellors since this past Summer, each wrote their similar testament to my stability in their notes to my medical record. I have been through 40-some years of continued counselling and not once has any therapist or psychologist ever used those terms Kathy bandied about or ever determined my absence or loss of my sanity. I could wallpaper her mansion with all my clear reports. Psychological clearance is my walk in the park. You want ground rules? I have ground rules – you respect and accept the reality of my sanity.
We as a group are under constant attack by family and ‘friends’. If we do exhibit ‘no happiness, joy, or any positive thoughts, only downer rantings of accusations of wrong doings to you’, then is it no wonder. But that ‘cancer’ is not us, it is you who reject us and render our lives worthless.
Family Composition Identity Base
(see also: ‘Cain and Abel Syndrome’ and ‘First-born Syndrome’)
Let’s summarise how a mother, father, and child(ren) create their Family Composition Identity Base – an essence of one’s personal identification.
An adult couple (e.g., the generic mother and father) creates their initial Family Composition Identity Base as that couple. They adjust their Family Composition Identity Base as children enter their family (birth, adoption, foster care, etc.). Their extended family members of parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and others play a secondary role to their immediate Family Composition Identity Base.
The first child to enter this couple’s Family Composition Identity Base carries their own Family Composition Identity Base identity:
- Father, and
- Child Self.
The process continues with each successive Child Self Identity Base:
- Mother – Father – Eldest Child Self
- Mother – Father – Eldest Child – Second Child Self
- Mother – Father – Eldest Child – Second Child – Third Child Self
And so on to ‘Youngest Child Self’ Family Composition Identity Base as the number of children continue.
There is a contrast between each child’s Family Composition Identity Base – ‘You’ versus ‘Me’ among each child. It is the essence of each child’s mother-father-child Family Composition Identity Base.
- ‘Your’ Family Composition Identity Base comprises of ‘your’ mother, father, and ‘you’ the elder child;
- ‘My’ Family Composition Identity Base comprises of ‘my’ mother, father, ‘you’ and ‘me’.
Younger siblings seek acceptance from their elder siblings to match their Family Composition Identity Base; elder siblings minimise and / or deny recognition and acceptance of younger siblings into their Family Composition Identity Base.
The natural essence of Family Composition Identity Base of younger siblings requires the presence of their mother, father, and elder siblings. The identity of each younger sibling is incomplete without the presence of all older siblings regardless of perceptions, animosities, or antagonisms of their elder siblings against them. Younger siblings’ essence is to seek and retain their elder siblings’ love and acceptance as much as their instinctive essence for their mother and father to maintain their Family Composition Identity Base.
Meanwhile, it may develop an extreme that each elder child’s natural essence wants all younger siblings out of their life because those younger siblings are absent from that elder child’s own original Family Composition Identity Base. The eldest sibling may express hatred, abuse, and bullying toward their younger siblings. They may actively regret the existance of every younger sibling and pray for (or act upon) the demise of their younger siblings. They may demonstrate little need of contact with younger siblings. Elder siblings may express their attitude toward younger siblings such that they show little concern at the absence or death of a younger sibling (regardless of what age this occurs – whether at childhood or adulthood).
Watch a two-years-old toddler’s mood become extreme jealousy, anger, and rage when the mother turns her attention from that elder child to her new-born child who needs feeding, changing, and cuddling. That elder child is acting on their essence – their natural antipathy against their younger sibling. Meanwhile, the mother is acting on her own essence of her nature to add her new child to her evolving Family Composition Identity Base.
Each elder sibling will perceive of their younger siblings the concept that those younger siblings forever, permanently destroyed the ‘perfect’ mother-father-child Family Composition Identity Base of that elder sibling – beginning with that happy family life of mom, dad, and first-born only child. In this perspective, three’s company, four’s a crowd. Each subsequent child becomes that ‘crowd’ to the family’s previous Family Composition Identity Base.
The ‘natural world’ is filled with examples of first-born killing second-born siblings; nature shows on PBS, Discovery, etc., are replete with these examples. By extension, there are many instances in human life when the older child murders the younger sibling. An episode of ‘Sea Hunt’ during the early days of television explored the topic of fratricide committed by an elder sibling against a younger sibling – the younger child was so protective of the older child that he was willing to cover for crimes the older sibling committed on the way to murdering that younger child.
The younger siblings will hold their perspective that their existance invaded that previous, established Family Composition Identity Base – whether physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise. The younger sibling’s being – the essence of the younger sibling’s Family Composition Identity Base – sees themselves as having intruded upon that cozy, closed relationship with mom and dad – from beginning to kingdom come.
Age differences between one sibling and another generate their own issues.
- Narrow age differences between two successive siblings or between youngest to oldest siblings may produce behaviours ranging from mild intolerance to rejection from the older sibling toward all younger siblings.
- Wider age separations can create an elder sibling’s indifference toward younger siblings.
For this second example, the oldest sibling may now be an adult living independently from home when a new-born sibling enters the parents’ new Family Composition Identity Base household. This elder sibling may have no direct contact with their youngest sibling except for rare visits to home. There may be a total lack of familial bonding in a Family Composition Identity Base.
Separation of the parental adults (married or common law) disrupts one’s Family Composition Identity Base – regardless of mother, father, or child in that family. The parental adults adjust their personal Family Composition Identity Base according to the results of their separation. A child may attach with either their mother or their father. Children may encounter various options or other arrangements depending upon age and circumstances at the time of this separation. Some may join a different family comprised of other relatives and / or non-relatives; other children may become independent as adults and establish their own, new Family Composition Identity Base.
Children will eventually experience the loss (death) of their father and mother along the way of life. This loss causes trauma to one’s Family Composition Identity Base regardless of the birth order of the children. Elder surviving siblings can ease the transition of survivor’s core Family Composition Identity Base. They comprise this adjustment to one’s own Family Composition Identity Base.
The death of an elder sibling will also be a blow to each younger sibling when the elder sibling’s death preceeds the younger sibling. That loss of the elder sibling disrupts the Family Composition Identity Base of each younger sibling. Original Family Composition Identity Base never changed from its initial form – it requires the living presence of their mother and father as much as the living presence of each elder sibling.
Family Composition Identity Base eventually cycles and shifts as each sibling child reaches their own emancipation and adulthood. Children may live as a ‘single’ adult and that becomes their Family Composition Identity Base. Other children will find a mate and create that two-member Family Composition Identity Base. Continuing, that couple continues the cycle and creates a new Family Composition Identity Base with their own child(ren) and subordinates their previous Family Composition Identity Base of mother, father, elder siblings, and self. Of course, prior Family Composition Identity Base circumstances will persist as their elder siblings develop animosity toward their younger siblings and their younger siblings’ new Family Composition Identity Base.
This narrative only summarises the generic ‘traditional’ mother-father-child(ren) family. Other equally valid ‘alternative’ families of single parents, in loco parentis grandparents or older child(ren), in-laws, step-families, marriage equality couples, adoption, foster children, etc., invoke their own nature and issues.
One can only imagine what new writings this web-site will inflict upon the comfortable and comfort for the afflicted.
Stay tuned; 2016 will be quite a year for us all.
Beverly: Did you read this far? With Jack and Gail being much older, how do you see this in your family? In some ways at some times, you became an only child despite three older siblings. Your relationship circumstance changed as Carol left it and now returned – fluid as my research showed.
Did you also see my ‘Incognito’ page?
Let’s meet at the airport either going or returning.