Sibling rivalry is usually explained as the jealousy, competition, and fighting between brothers and sisters. These problems can often start right after the birth of the second child. Sibling rivalry usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. This is something I have experienced with my own sisters, and it started from a very young age and has lasted into our adulthood.
It all started when my parents divorced. I was only two years old when my mother found out that my father had cheated on her. She found out probably the worst way possible, by answering the door to two police officers looking to arrest my father for having underage sex with the babysitter. This placed an end to my parent’s marriage. My mother packed her suite case, threw me over her shoulder and walked out the door to live with my grandmother.
Unfortunately, she decided to leave my 2 older sisters behind. My two sisters watched her walk away with a suite case in one hand and me in the other. As you can imagine the impact of your mother walking out on you when you are a child is bound to have a devastating effect on you and leave a mark on you for the rest of your life.
It did just that and left both of my sisters with a lot of bitter, unhealed emotions inside them which they didn’t resent our mother for, they resented me for being the child she took. In time, my father re-married and moved on with his life and had another child and so did my mother, which also ended in divorce 12 years later due to her infidelity.
In that time, she and I were separated from my sisters for 10 years, there was a lot of court battles, social services being involved and many other issues happening at that time. I don’t know the complete story and still don’t know the truth about the situation. I don’t know if my mother was fighting to get her kids back, or it was my father fighting to keep them away from her.
All I do know is that the whole impact left terrible scars upon both my sister’s and still burns deep down inside of them. Through life, I have made a success of many businesses, one of those businesses was a childcare business that my eldest sister tried to ruin. When my children were little, one of the sisters wrote letters to the child welfare service pretending to be my neighbour and complaining that I abused my children. I was investigated and my kids were interviewed and medically examined for bruises and sexual abuse.
No charges were brought because I was innocent and there was far too much evidence piled up against my sister for the child welfare services to know it was her. She may have thought she was clever covering her tracks by giving them false addresses, but one day she left her phone number by an accident, and they traced it back to her. Therefore, by the 3rd complaint, the child welfare officer was on first name terms with me and would smile before she left my house and say: “I will see you in a few months when your sister writes or calls us again with another made up tale”.
The case was reported to the police as harassment and I didn’t hear from them again until my work started to become public and spread across the media. The eldest sister that had made complaints to the child welfare service previously, came out of the woodwork, once again, and started branding me a liar for what I was saying in my interviews.
It seems that she totally forgot that our mother was far from an angel and made tons of wrong choices when we were kids. One of those wrong choices was abandoning her when she was child. So, again, I reported her for harassment to the police for the 2nd time and I haven’t seen her since, which is great because now my life is peaceful again.
So, out of all this hateful stuff that my sister has done throughout my life, do I hate her? No, I love my sisters and here is why:
They both directed their anger of being rejected towards me instead of learning forgiveness and forgiving the one person that abandoned them when they were children, our mother. When we don’t want to face something, we run far away from it. We blame innocent people because facing the truth is scary and they have yet to find the courage to do that. Their hate doesn’t lay with me, yet I see the situation for what it is and choose to not have them in my life for the sake of my own sanity.
Sometimes sibling rivalry has nothing to do with you. It could be something that your parent has done and because you are the closest thing to them, you gain the blame, the bitterness, and the pain directed at you. If you do experience this in your life, see it for what it is, see it as somebody who is lashing out in the wrong direction and hurting deep down inside.
You must stay strong and keep one foot in front of the other and know that you are not responsible for their lives, they are. If your siblings choose hate, then love them from a distance and let them go their separate route. You were not placed on this Earth to monitor how others feel, you were created for a purpose.
We can’t choose our family members, but we can choose who we spend our time with and plan the life we wish to lead.
If sibling rivalry happens, just learn from it, don’t hate it.
About the Author: Kate GARDNER is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a #1 International Best-Selling Author, Editor in Chief of The Missing Piece Magazine, and Publisher of the International Best-Selling Book Series The Missing Piece. As a coach, Kate helps business owners grow their platforms by teaching them how to publish, market and sell their books to international best-seller status. Kate has had the honor and pleasure of consulting TV personalities and award-winning Hollywood film directors. Read more…