Before blogging about my Sabah trip (which I have promised), there is something I wish to share with you – a story which might help you to understand my world, and any of the only child better. This is a post which I have extracted from my Dr.D’s assignment.
I believe this is the right moment in sharing my personal story, after keeping this write-up for almost a year. Well, this is a real story. So, there is no need to re-edit my previous work.
Understand my story and I will tell you why in my next following post.
“Oh my God! You’re the only child? Your papa and mama must have treated you like a ruby”.
“You don’t have to fight for a drumstick, but you get both of them. Isn’t that great?”
“Will you feel lonely? Why doesn’t your mother get you another sibling?”
Before I go any deeper into Adler’s Birth Order Theory discussion, let me just admit something. Yes. I am the only child in my family and I seriously don’t feel good about it. I know, there are a lot of people who are dying to be the only child in the family because they are tired of sharing things, space, attention and love. I understand that. But still, I wish to have sibling – at least one?
I guess, some of you might be calling me stupid for wanting a sibling or siblings so much at the age of 22 as my parents who are already old are unable to produce a ‘new member’ into this small family. Or some of you might be throwing me a pity look for not having any. Well, yes. I do feel pity to myself right now and regret at the same time. I know I shouldn’t stop my parents from the big plan – having another baby when I was at the age of 6.
I wonder, should I be blamed for this ‘tragedy’? I remembered my mum ever told me that I was the one who cried and rolled on the floor when the idea of having another sister or brother being proposed by her. She said I protested so hard and the idea of having another child in the family has been eliminated. Well, I think she was wrong. I didn’t cry and roll on the floor.
I just, I just…. answered a big ‘NO’. That’s all.
Anyway, I don’t think I should be blamed completely because I was too small to understand what a brother or sister means. Trust me because I have a vivid picture on how my parents explained the meaning of siblings to me when we were sitting in the living room one day (Surprisingly, I have a very good memory for my childhood).
I still remembered how the conversation was being carried out when I was eager to know what does brother and sister mean. (Not exactly the words but the idea is there)
“What is sister?”, I asked innocently.
“When you have a sister, you can share your room, your dresses and your Barbie doll with her. She will be your friend and you will be hers. You don’t have to play alone anymore”, my mum answered.
“How about having a brother?”
“You can play badminton with him, share the room and eat drumstick together”.
“But I want two drumsticks!”
“You can share my dear…”
“No! I want 2 drumsticks! And I want my Barbie dolls”. I started running away from them.
Ok. That was embarrassing. I shouldn’t be afraid to share my things with my sibling (if I really have one or a few). Most importantly, I shouldn’t stop my mum. Errggh!!! My mum was afraid that I might hate her and my dad once a new baby is born. They really care so much for my feeling because they love me unconditionally – and I know it. Thanks mum and dad, I love you too.
Ever since then, I am officially the only child in the family and the three of us live happily ever after. Well, that was what I thought earlier, but not now. As I am growing older and wiser, I start to be able to stand on the ground more firmly and not fantasizing myself flying all around garden, just like a fairy. I mean, I can see the reality more clearly right now.
For all this while, I thought I can have my parents with me as long as I wanted to. The awareness of death has never struck my mind until I am old enough to understand the meaning. Pictures of my aging parents leaving me forever really make my heart aches. I know they will have to leave me some day, and once that happen, I will be all alone.
I guess mum and dad realize that too and worried about my future. Thus, they got me 3 ‘new siblings’ few years back and I am now an elder sister for 1 brother and 2 small sisters. Isn’t that wonderful? I wonder what should I call this… God-sister and god-brother? Or adik angkat?
Frankly, I am really excited having new siblings in my life although they are not my biological-siblings. Well, that is good enough for me because I can at least experience being a sister. I mean being a caring and loveable elder sister who can share things. I know I should start putting aside my ‘the-only-child-characteristics’ like what Alder described in his Birth Order Theory. I realize I do show the characteristics of having difficulty in sharing with others, wanting to be in the center of adult attention and speak like an old lady really irritates me.
Before learning about Adler in my Counseling Theory class last semester with Dr. Haslee, I did realize I am somehow different from my friends and even cousins. I am aware that I will have conflict more easily with people who are around my age compare to others.
Firstly, it is because of I hardly share things with others for example books, pencil, seats and etc. Secondly, I feel that some of their thinking isn’t mature enough. Thus, there will be miscommunication. Lastly, I may compete to get the elderly attention especially the teachers (who I like of course).
Seriously, I hate conflict and I will be upset once I discovered my friends starting to isolate me (I guess being an ENPF, I am sensitive to other’s feeling). There were few incidents happened during in my primary and secondary school moments where my friends (including my best friend) sabotaged and left me. Being isolated and alone really drive me crazy. I am already alone at home and I don’t want it to happen in school. I really hate that.
Anyway, my friends didn’t hate me long. We are friends again when I know how to say the magic word, “Sorry”. Besides, I did ask them to point out my weaknesses so that I can improve and they did. (Phew… I didn’t know I have the courage to put down my ego and listen to others). From time to time, I am slowly changing and I am who I am today.
In these 22 years of being the-only-child, I have developed and improved my communication skills with others. Through various conflicts and new experiences, I have learnt to understand other’s feeling and my own weaknesses. I can start sharing things with others and respect other’s view as I value them as my teacher (someone who can teach me some things valuable in life). Besides, I am an elder sister now. I should really show the oldest child’s characteristics isn’t it? (Start baby-sitting! Hehe..)
I guess, that is the reason why most of my Counseling course mates didn’t realize that I am the-only-child until this semester when each one of us were asked to share our family background including the number of sibling we have. That’s a good news to me.
Adler’s explanation on the only child’s characteristics held true in me. That’s the reason why I am impressed with his work. Guess what, by learning this knowledge, I am going to have at least two children in order to allow them to be more socializing and less loneliness. Well, we will see.. =P