Tuesday, 07 July 2009
I had a little experience today that made my eternal life situation apparent: I'm an only child and I'm always reminded when I find even the smallest task of asking someone not to do something as a rule of courtesy in the household nearly impossible.
Here's what happened:
I came home to find my bag of chips eaten. I'm in the middle of PMS right now and while a pill may control my mood, my cravings have never wavered. I needs my chips, yo! I was actually mad that my chips were gone. I was also pissed that I could leave dirty dishes around for 4 days and nobody else ever thinks to take it upon themselves to wash them. More often than not I feel like a maid, but I'm getting off track. I told Nate that AJ ate my chips and that I was mad about it. He said, "So go hit him." What a typical brotherly response. It's not in me to walk over to someone, slap them upside the head and say, "Don't touch my food!" It seems too petty make a big deal out of it, but I still have to say something even if it comes out as a side note just to help me feel better. After I told Nate he told AJ to go out and buy me another bag of chips. I wouldn't have even told him to go get me another bag of chips if I had the guts to put my foot down. It would have been a "Just so you know for next time..." conversation.
That being said, I always imagine myself putting my piece out there firmly with authority, but diplomatically and nicely. But at the end of the day I've always had a fear of starting conflict no matter what it's about, no matter how little the issue is. I hate having to defend myself. I get hostile. And the few times it has happened it had never ended well. I overreact and I get overemotional and often say things I don't mean and regret. I also have issues with pride. I hate admitting that I was in the wrong and I hate apologizing. So I avoid the scene altogether.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm a doormat.
I often think that I could see a therapist about my lack of assertiveness. But, would it really help? It doesn't stem from any traumatic childhood experiences. It comes from....nowhere. It's just how I am. I personally think it's a byproduct of being an only child. Without having a brother or sister to pick on me and vise versa I've never learned how to grow a back bone. The percentage of people who grow up with siblings is much higher than those who don't, so unfortunately, there are all those people out there who just do not and will never understand what it's like to be an only child and where my shyness and passive nature stems from.
It's hard living with two brothers because I don't understand the dynamic. Granted, how they grew up as kids plays a huge role, no matter who it is. But, looking at the whole sibling thing through only child eyes I've always believed that siblings have a connection in a similar way a mother has a connection with her baby. It's always there, no matter what. However, I'm open to being corrected on this one because I do not and never will understand what it's like to have a sibling.
Is there anyone else out there who is an only child? Moms, would you have more than one child only for the sake of your first child?