Wednesday, January 19, 2011


What do you think of when you hear that word? Does it make you cringe? Does it make you cry? Does it make you want to wipe it off of you and spit it out of your mouth? Me too.

Unfortunately, I put that word, that role, on every now and then and struggle to escape its grasp. It's suffocating at times. You see, I wasn't an overly wanted baby (at least by my own perception). A year and a half before my tumultuous arrival I might parents had suffered a great loss of their first born...a son, beautiful and an accident on the farm. He was still just a tiny little boy of 3 years old when he was ripped from their arms, and my older sister was merely an infant. They had their perfect family...a son and a daughter....and didn't want any more. But God changed their world in a single horrific moment.

And then I a fury during a blizzard and full of fire. I was not in the plan and didn't agree with their status quo. Older sis was "perfect" as I've been told numerous times. I, however, was fiery, feisty, temperamental, and equipped with a great pair of lungs. And on several occasions have been told how they hated my infancy, that I was the worst toddler, and my mere demeanor, and hence presence in my mind, made them never want any more children. In fact, they cried when the found out they were pregnant with my younger brother...because they didn't want another child like me.

Now as a mom...sometimes I can understand from where my mother was coming. However, being told over and over and over that "you were the worst child ever" and that "they didn't want any more like you" can sometimes tear you down...even if that wasn't the intent. You see, I think all of our parents did the very best that they could. And sometimes we need to forgive them their mistakes because they, too, are only human.

But I find it hard to let go and release the hold that "unwanted" has over me. I feel it at every family gathering even if it isn't intentional. By virtue of losing a child, I think you hold onto the remaining child even tighter. Which I think happened, but I never felt a strong grip toward me. When older sis was perceived as "perfect" all of the time, younger sis (myself)  was unable to live up to that expectation...and according to the re-telling of my childhood, I fell short. Big sis was allowed to torment me throughout my childhood with no repercussions, and now, she goes after my kids...still void of any consequences. I feel like the white-trash step-child who descends upon the royal family with my little white-trash posse in tow.

To top it off, when I was 3 my parents had an unexpected birth...a son. He was placed on a beautiful blue pedestal. And I can't really blame them. Little "T" was so loved, cherished...protected. As a mother, I think I understand and can say that I would probably do the same. What I can't wrap my head around is the disconnect that I feel now and felt throughout my childhood. Was I really that "unwanted"? Put those words on for a second. They don't feel very good do they? A little suffocating? Do you feel smaller? Do you feel.....less?

Me too.


Mom vs. the boys said...

this is really good food for thought, I cried for a week, literally every day for a week when I found out baby #3 was a boy. I didn't even want another child. I already had a 2 year old and a 3 mo old when we accidently conceived another. I was overwhelmed to say the least and I held on to the fact that just maybe I would get my girl. Even though baby 3 was technically 'unwanted' now that he's here, and the first rocky year is over, I wouldn't change a thing and I hope he never ever feels for a second that he was ever unwanted, but welcomed among the chaos.
I'm so sorry that you feel this way and I imagine it was a tough post to write, but as a mama, I really appreciate your honesty.

Nichole said...

I can't even begin to imagine how much it hurts to think that for even one second you weren't wanted.
My mother lost a baby to SIDS before I was born and her reaction was the extreme opposite (which also has it's downside).
I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that your children look at you and want no other. That they wouldn't trade you for the world.
You deserve that.

Shell said...

I'm sorry you were made to feel that way.

My father's nickname for me was "Obby" as in short for "obnoxious." Nice, huh?

We can talk our experiences and be sure not to repeat them with our own kids.

kitten said...

I have an older sister and a younger brother too... sure is not fun being in the middle sometimes.

Sarah, Three Boys said...

Ugh, I can relate, i think. grew up feeling like my mom wasn't really IN to the whole parenting thing, not that she worked, just was pretty non-exsistant. So for me "Lonely or Alone" are the words that crush me. And last month she for some reason decided it was a good time to come clean?! Told me that she never should have had kids, had no idea what she was getting into. BTW i am the oldest of 4 and they planned for each one. Also said it would have been ok if she had had one child like her. But she was so unlucky and got all of us (not like her) and our teenage time she stated was horrible and she needed therapy for post traumatic stress b/c it was so hard on her (not kidding, she went for 8 years!) And FYI we weren't that bad! We are all highly functioning adults with families, and degrees coming out of our ears... parents I think blame their kids for their own misery...

And secondly.... penis bomb? hilarious.

The Blue Zoo said...

Wow, that is a lot to deal with. I cant imagine telling my kids that they weren't altogether wanted.

But just one thing - Dont let big sis go after your kids without consequence!

Erin said...

I so love that you put this out there, because it's so sad, and my heart goes out to you! My brother always seemed to be the perfect one, so I over compensated for everything, I was always good, always got good grades etc. Then...he had to go and die, and I feel he was the "favorite" even more so now.

So I hope I don't ever make my boys feel that way, even when my oldest is our terror and my youngest is my little sweetie! I will remember this!

Vic said...

that is horrible! you are very me anyways:) love you and am sorry you feel this way! life is hell sometimes and mean and crude! our parents just effing mom was a whore in the bars all the time...although she didn't say those things to me, she might as well have....muahhh! love you and you're a doll! xoxo

Elizabeth said...

Awww hun, I'm so sorry. Nobody should have to feel this way!

PS-Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.

blueviolet said...

Those old feelings never really do go away. I don't think parents realize how much kids internalize their remarks. It's really traumatizing at times.

I'm so sorry.

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

This title sounds awful and I'm so sorry you had to bear it throughout your childhood. I am happy that now, as an adult and mom, you can wear whatever title YOU want. Let YOU be the one that gives you all the happiest most beautiful of titles. You DESERVE a great title.

Skye said...
Following your blog! Please follow back!
If you could follow me on Facebook/Twitter, that would be awesome too!!
Thanks for your time!

Heather said...

You are so gracious to admit parents do their best and forgive yours for your shortcomings. I need to definitely remember this post when I talk to my second son about his toddlerhood.
I am sorry your sister wasn't more comforting then...and now.

Branson said...

Parents hold such power to leave us with serious emotional baggage... I know I am not perfect, but as a fellow "unwanted" I can at least be aware of the impact my relationship with my son will have on his entire life... I can make sure HE never feels unwanted :)

. . . and that's a true story said...

I'm sorry you went through such a difficult time. Luckily, it sounds like you learned from your parents' mistakes and have provided a wonderful family environment for your own children!

P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Joelle said...

I really appreciate this story. You just commented on my blog about my post about words, and I think this is a perfect example of what I mean...Words are powerful. It's just so unfortunate that you had to experience a childhood like this. I guess there comes a day in everyone's life, however, when they realize that their parents aren't the perfect people they thought them to be. They are human beings, flaws and all.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving the sweet comment. I'm really enjoying your blog as well, and I love your writing!


Annie said...

Being a mom is sometimes a thankless job... but you are always the one they want. Dad coaches every sport, drives to every game - they get famous and it's "Hi Mom" in the camera. Some people are relationship clueless. The crap endured during childhood can spark a sensitivity that ensures our kids will never endure that stuff, and we will be different, better, kinder, more in touch. A price paid for our kids' benefit never seems too steep a price, does it?

And I'd rather be fiery and feisty with a good set of lungs than boringly perched on some pedestal where I am never free to be myself... because "perfect people" are just imperfect people hiding away their true selves, because they're more afraid of disapproval than a life lived as someone else.