The Middle Child


I was having a shower this morning and for some reason I started thinking about my birth order – I am the middle of three girls.  My Dad used to call us #1, #2 and #3 – suddenly ego was there telling me “You are second best” very calmly.  I told ego “Thanks for sharing, I choose something else”.  I usually go on about my business but this morning I found myself almost yelling “I am NOT 2nd best!”   “I am NOT 2nd best!”   “I am NOT 2nd best!”.

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It hit me that may that’s how I have been seeing myself all my life.  Scary!  I remember Debye telling me if something feels heavy, it isn’t true.  When it feels light, it is true.  I have also been reading Martha Beck – she is such a cool lady! – she calls it “shackles on” ” shackles off”.    This feels heavy “shackles on”.  Since then I have been thinking – not always a smart idea – and wonder if that is true.  Unfortunately those were the days of always comparing myself and finding myself coming up short.  This time I felt grateful to ego and told her “Thank you for sharing”.  This will not be a field day for my inner critic or for me to beat myself up; rather a time to see objectively how much truth there really is in it.

Not too long ago I was listening to Alternative Talk radio and one of the guests posed a question: What do you believe about yourself?  That was a head scratcher because I am not always sure what I believe about myself.  I know beliefs are chapped by parents, siblings, friends, peers, etc.; I look back and wonder if I believed the feedback from those who called me names because I was a chubby, somewhat plain child with glasses since the 3rd grade, was true.  I know it hurt and I didn’t like it, but I didn’t think of any way to fight back.

I went to school a year earlier than I was supposed to – Mom and Dad say I made such a fuss when Ellen got on the bus because I want to see where she went.  There was in Southern California a rule you had to be 5 by the first of March, so I qualified.  My grades were not great, mostly C’s, a few B’s and  an A in art one year.  My sister Ellen was just the right age and she did really well in school; as a result of me and my early start, they kept my sister Candy from going to school until she was almost 6.  She had really good grades.  Both sisters seemed adventurous to me, I was always scared to step out and do things.

I really noticed a difference in my relationship with Ellen.  When lived in California we used to play a lot together, the 4 year difference didn’t seem to be a problem.  When I was 7, we moved to Seattle and lived in a rented house for a year and a half.  It was as if Ellen and I were strangers, she was on her way to junior high and my sister Candy was only 18 months.  When we moved to the present house, I was starting 4th grade and Ellen was in junior high.  What a gap there seemed to be – 4 years was a lot more than it used to be.  There was a 3 year gap in school, so as she left junior high, I started it.  When she graduated from high school, I began.  Unfortunately some of the teachers remembered her – did they have expectations I would do as well?

Ellen is a wonderful artist, plus she plays most of the stringed instruments.  My sister Candy is a musician and song writer as well as writing books.  Where was my talent, my gifts?  I didn’t really know.  I have said I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  There wasn’t a whole lot that really inspired me or captured my interest, I seem to have drifted along all my life.  I had no idea I would meet an Armenian and go to Australia to marry him, then come back to the States 18 months later.  I had always wanted to travel, so I was able to do that because of his jobs; I lived in parts of the U.S. I have always been curious about and certainly his travel has made me more independent.

Now that I have gotten this far in the post, it suddenly hits me that being diagnosed with RA has contributed to my possible feeling I am not as able or capable as most people.  Oh dear, there is that comparing stuff again.  Well, this one will have to sit on the back burner for a bit to see what else comes.  RA is a subject all in itself.

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