I Could Never Admit It

I'm an only child and I used to hate it. It got so lonely. When I was in primary school, I got picked on and didn't really have any friends and always wanted a brother or sister to keep my company and stand up for me. I wanted that sibling bond.

My god brother, who is 3 years younger than me, is like my brother. I knew him since he was born and we've grown up together. Almost like cousins, but it's a different relationship (our parents are best friends, rather than siblings).

My cousins are also like my sibings because we get on so well. My girl cousin 4 years older than me has been like a sister to me since I was born, partly because we live so close and also because she's an only child too. She has an older half sister, unlike me, but lives further away. We used to sleep round our nan's every weekend when we were younger. Nan was like her mum because her mum left many years back. Our other cousins, a boy 7 years older than me, boy the same age as me and a girl 5 years younger than me (they're siblings) are like my big brother, twin brother and younger sister. We all get on so well. When we go on holiday, we usually share a big self catering house, so we really feel like brothers and sisters. And we often share rooms (eg me with my 'little sister').

My mum said that when one of our relations was born with downsyndrome, it scared her into having another child as she wouldn't have been able to cope. She didn't say this was the whole reason, but she said that might have been the main reason for not having any more children. I'm not angry at him (my downs cousin) for this, I love him so much and we're really close. I do of course wonder what would have happened if he'd been born "normal"- would we have been closer? or would he have grown up with the understanding of culture and turned into a chav or such label which would draw us apart- and I also wonder whether I'd have had any younger siblings.

I used to make up my imaginary world where I had siblings. That, and the friends one (which pretty much interlink) are what I've talked about in another story.

I think, deep down, I always liked being an only child, because I had my parents to myself, I got more than I would if I'd had to share (I'm not spoilt, contrary to popular belief), but I always wondered what it would have been like have a younger brother and/or sister. Would we have got along, would we have hated each other? Would we have turned out similar due to our bringing, or would he/she (of of course even I) have turned into a 'label'?

I always got jelous of people with siblings, and still do. My current boy friend, who has had family problems from a pretty young age, has an older sister and they get on well. He described his sister, not long ago, as being like a best friend, which made me jelous 1) because of their sibling bond and 2) because I wanted to be closer to him, and it felt like I was competing with his sister. But, regardless of my jelousy, I am very happy for him. He needs a strong family bond with somebody, and I would wish otherwise if they had no bond.

I can admit it to my closest friends now, but I always used to tell people I had younger siblings. I had made them up and knew them, and freguently interacted with them (when on my own ^-^) and wrote stories and stuff about them.

I appreciate being an only child now, although I still often  pretend I do, but I got so lonely as a child. I loved being with my god brother, and my cousins.

Jennir Jennir
3 Responses Mar 23, 2008

I am 55 years old and hate being an only child. My parents chose it that way out of selfishness and my fathers controlling decision. It is the biggest disappointment of my life and one feels it more as you get older. I realize that it is not the case for everyone but it's how it has always been for me. I used to invent siblings and had imaginary friends and self talk which is still the case today. I have always been different to others especially my generation. I have been blessed with 3 of my own which is wonderful.

I used to lie and pretend I had a younger sister too, when I was a child. Glad to know I am not alone in this:)

You're definately not the only one, Fran54 :-) I don't lie about it any longer (I might if I had the chance with someone I was never going to meet again) but I still fantasise about it. I give siblings to my story characters instead.

I really enjoyed reading your story.It reminded me a bit of myself.I always wanted siblings,and I was picked on and had few friends like you.Luckily I have a cousin that's like a brother to me,but not much other family.