I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine who complained that her Brother was her Mother’s favourite. For me this conversation echoed my own families experiences; it was too close for comfort.
My own Mother had issues with her Mother, as she favoured my Mother’s Brother to the point of isolating my own Mother. This ongoing nepotism caused vast rifts in our family, the repercussions of which are still visible today.
My friend, like my Mother has experienced Motherly spite, withheld love and trust and also head games. Whatever was done or said it has never been good enough; never feeling like they belong to the family they were born into because their Mother won’t accept them. Both my friend and my Mother have been left feeling like the underdog or the black sheep in their family for no good reason, other than they are not the favourite.
A result of this unwarranted treatment, years of continual stress, strain, upset, turmoil and anger. Years of wondering in vain, why?? My Mother always felt inadequate somehow, and this was the result of that faulty Mother / Daughter relationship, which my friend is now suffering at the hands of now.
I have heard similar stories related to me time and time again; the golden child scenario and the ensuing faulty parental and child relationship of the one left in the shadows.
The golden child; how much destruction does this effigy of shinning ‘perfection’ in human form cause to families all over the world?? To what extent has this parental favourtism ruined the lives of the siblings not in favour? The fractured self esteem, dampened confidence and even altered functionality of the child who then becomes an adult, feeling somehow as though they have missed out on a necessary piece of their childhood – unconditional love. How can the adult ever then gain any of this missed time, missed life back to become whole??
Why would a parent deny a child unconditional love? Why would they hold onto their favourite child to the detriment of another? Why would they want to hurt their own child in such a profound way?
Do parents do this consciously? It seems to me that often they do. Is it because the parents themselves have witnessed or been the brunt of such behaviour themselves growing up? Does something innate compel them to do this to their own child, something they can’t even understand??
What can any parent gain from ripping the world out from under their own flesh and blood? For me it is a self defeating prospect, that only creates and stores up trouble for the future. It seems to me that once these golden child sides have been drawn up, they cannot be changed or undone; it remains this way, a private family war, forever. The ripple of bad feeling surrounds that golden child, and alienates the child outside of this ‘halo’. It has a massive impact, and effects consequent generations – I know as I have grown up with such things surrounding my own life. The effect on my own Mother from her childhood impacted even when she no longer lived with her parents, and still does.
I empathise with my friend and what she is going through. I hope for her and her families sake (her own children and partner), that she can find a resolution to gain peace of mind, and sooner rather than later.
I hope she doesn’t allow the golden child rot to infiltrate, and mar her life as my own Mother did (to some extent). I hope my friend realises life is too short to measure herself against what her Mother thinks or doesn’t think about her; as she will never gain her approval with whatever she does or says. It is a losing game trying to please someone who cannot be pleased, because you are not their favourite.