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Sibling Rivalry

I am an only child so what do I know of sibling rivalry?

I have learned by observing both directly and indirectly in my family, how this monster manifests and evolves and it gets more complicated when potential mental health issues are present.  I can’t properly diagnose my family members, I can only surmise from the research I’ve done.

Born many years apart and having an absent father may have played key roles in laying the foundation for Dangerous Family Members and their underlying sibling rivalry, as well.  Leaving one or both vying for all they could get, be it:  attention, love, recognition or material things.  In a sense, arch enemies came to be and coexist up to a point.   I think animosity breeds animosity.

Reaching out.  There was a time when Aunt came to live with us, she being the younger one.  While I was young and my parents, married at the time, were a young couple themselves I barely remember those days.  What I can recall is that I viewed my Aunt as a young, hip, partying beautiful woman, who I wanted to be like some day. Of course, I didn’t  know anything that was really going on behind the scenes with the  family, with her or why she was living with us.  I was a kid.

My mom liked to paint artful pieces of work, I noticed my Aunt did the same.   There is an image burned into my brain, when Aunt came to live with us she painted her bedroom, one wall was covered in a hand painted image of a naked woman.  I thought, Wow, pretty and how talented!  When I eventually decided to draw and paint, I found that this artistic talent had skipped me.  Over the years I would re attempt and fall flat.  Oh well, I must have other talents.

Mom and Aunt would have stretches of time where they were friends, when mom became single years later they would go “out” together to party, dance and meet men.  Aunt was single for quite a long time and there were many men, some she lived with that were famous and not so famous, some were wealthy (or appeared to be) and others were not.  Some I coveted believing that they must be wonderful if she had chosen them and they her.   Wanted a kind loving male in my life, a longing that has never been fulfilled nor dissipated.

Mom went to college for a certain degree.  Aunt soon attempted followed pursuit but never finished though she will tell you different.

Then one day she was living with us again.  She was never a “hands on” type of Aunt, she would pop in and out of my life and was just “around” when she was there, like an occassional friend of sorts.  Eventually, the two would have a blow up.  Stealing was often an event that seemed to have occurred, missing clothes, jewelry, etc.  I don’t know if it ever included men.   Years would pass, or so it seemed, before I would see Aunt again.  It wasn’t a loss to me personally, since she was much like a distant and occasional friend.

One year, not so long ago, we all ( mom, aunt and grandmother ) met at a restaurant for a birthday dinner.  Aunt didn’t bring any of her family members (husband and two sons), I felt disappointed but I also observed a strangeness between mom and aunt.  Aunt appeared to often “glance” at mom maybe as to be trying to read her?  It was not a good feeling.  Why not actually talk to eachother, your sitting side-by-side.  Aunt showed up for a couple of other significant events alone offering excuses for her family’s absences.  Hmmmm I wondered what that was really about.

Hurt feelings and distrust seemed to be a constant in their sisterly relationship.   And now as things have gone from difficult to dangerous, these same feelings permeate Aunts victims ( us, the rest of the family ).  While events continue to unfold the irreparable damage to a family “connection” has been set in stone, for me anyway.


The beginning of this series  is titled Dangerous Family Members and is located at  https://verbalbanter.wordpress.com/category/dangerousfamilymembers-real-life-series/

Leave a comment


  1. Family rivalries can be a dangerous thing. Family members often feel entitled, or as if they should receive some kind of preferred treatment and be able to get away with things. When they actually can’t. It can be a dangerous place but it can also be a fun place, just depends on who your family is made up of. Of course you could always get a new one, lol if only it were that easy.

  2. Trouble between siblings can get really really ugly. I know from personal experience. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers, and any given time at least 2 of us are at war about something or other.



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