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Sunday, May 4, 2014

No One Knows What it's Like...

I am one of those unfortunate souls who had to grow up without a sibling. This may sound harsh, but I don’t think I can quite forgive my parents for bringing upon me the misfortune of being an only child. What hurts me more is that both of them grew up with siblings, so I know that they will never know what it was like for me growing up. Or what it is like for me now, when I am grown up. My parents called it realistic and practical, I call it downright selfishness. I never had a ‘co’ anyone in the house when I was growing up. My parents made sure that I will never know what it feels to be a sister, to be a sister-in-law, to be an aunt. There have been a lot of heated debates regarding which are the strongest bonds in relationships – mother-child, or between siblings. I am not close with my parents, so I will go ahead and say that to me I think the sibling relationship is the strongest. Most of my friends have siblings, older or younger and I see how strong their bond is. And I know I can never know what it is like to have that kind of a bond. While I agree that not all sibling relationships are the best in the world, but not having experienced what it is like to have a sibling, I am choosing to be na├»ve and believe that siblings bring out the best in each other. Whenever I see a movie based on sibling relationship, be it Rachel Getting Married, Your Sister’s Keeper, You Can Count On Me, Into the Wild to a certain extent, Children of Heaven, Pride and Prejudice…the list goes on, there is this emptiness, this hollowness within me which never quite goes away even after the movie ends. There is this vacuum, which I believe will always remain inside of me. And no matter what success I achieve in life, nothing will ever replenish that vacuum within me. I know I won’t have a shoulder to fall back on when I lose a parent. There will be people who will say that they know what it is that I am going through, but I happen to disagree. They will not know what it is like to lose MY parents, because my parents were not their parents. They didn’t know what family dinner was like, what the vacation ritual was, what our typical Sunday was. If I had a sibling, only my sibling would have understood my loss. When my parents would fight, I couldn't talk to anyone about it. Not to my friends because I don't like to wash my dirty linen in public. So i had to internalise all that and I had no one to talk to about it. No, I don’t know what it is like to buy a best sister or best brother memento, or to borrow a dress from a sister without asking her, or having my boyfriend scrutinized by a brother, or having a sibling stand up for me to my parents. And I never will.

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