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Old July 13th 06, 03:22 PM posted to alt.sailing.asa
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First recorded activity by BoatBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 199
Default RB: The only child!

Only Child Syndrome - I'm a classic case. What is it exactly? Well I don't
know if this is actually a clinical term, but I blame a lot of my issues on
being an only child. The solitude, the lack of constant peer interaction,
the unproportional amount of adult contact, all creating a proneness to
loneliness, selfishness, pride, a need of belonging and approval, in
addition to having a weight of responsibility to my family at a very early

I never had to share. Everything was mine. No sibling ever came in and
borrowed my things without asking or broke something of mine. I took care of
my possessions. Yes, they were mine. I had to learn at a much older age the
concept and virtue of sharing. It was quite an adjustment living with people
in college. And even now, though I try to control it, I'm still very
territorial and sometimes obsessive compulsive about my possessions.

Loneliness is by far the most prevalent thing I remember about my childhood.
I needed someone to cry with when I heard my parents fighting one night and
mentioning divorce. My cousins would spend the night once in awhile and I
would cry in my room after they left. I felt such a loss. I needed help when
my parents separated when I was in college. I needed help in maintaining
those two separate relationships. I bore the burden of being everything to
both of them, and not being able to break down, all in the midst of midterms
and classes and trying to understand how a twenty something year old
marriage could just end. I needed someone to fight with and interact with on
a daily basis who was my peer. I'm still learning people skills to this day.

Everybody needs people but I have a stubborn independence that denies my
need of help. It must stem from trying to console myself for the lack of
company. I crave it, but it also threatens me. I don't want to need anybody.
I don't want to depend on anybody. I just want to take care of my own. This
causes me to shut people out, especially when I need them most. I am
unwilling to become vulnerable to someone, because I don't want to give them
the chance to hurt me.

It also has to do with a fear of abandonment, or I think it may be less the
fear of abandonment and more the fear of loss. Is that the same thing? I
blame it on the instability of my childhood. I was in one school from
kindergarten to the middle of 3rd grade. Went to a second school from the
rest of 3rd grade to 4th grade. Transferred to another school for 5th grade.
And then finally to my last elementary school from 6th to 8th grade. That's
a lot of goodbyes to friends I had gotten attached to. That's a lot of
insecurity from being the new kid in class several times. And that's a lot
of anger from the lack of control over my situation.

Whenever someone finds out I'm an only child, inevitably, with no
exceptions, comes "oh you must be spoiled". People with siblings, sit down
and really think about whether you would really rather not have any
siblings. It is a truly precious relationship to have. Please don't envy
what I would have given anything for. Anything.

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