Why I'm glad my dysfunctional parents had more kids
Having siblings as an adult saved my sanity.

I don't know what exactly life would've been like had I grown up without my brother and sister

When I was younger I wasn't quite as fond as I am now of having siblings. We'd fight over toys, car seats, friends, you name it.

For some reason I felt that being the oldest of three children gave me some sort of right to throw pity parties for myself. I'd given myself a complex about being the 'guinea-pig child' where my siblings wouldn't have to go through the same things I went through if my parents had realised (at my expense) that it hadn't worked the first time.

Not your average family

My parents were nuts. Both were raging alcoholics with eating disorders and post traumatic stress syndrome (amongst many other things), but as children we were completely oblivious to it all and grew up enjoying being the kids whose parents would allow us to do almost anything we wanted. 

Read more: My Border War dad

Apart from me, who'll be turning 30 soon, my siblings and I are now all in our 20's and things have been a bit different to what we remember our lives being as children.

The harsh realities of the long-term effects of our parents' addictions and other problems finally came to surface the older we got and the more we'd start to understand the extent to which our parent's problems had gone.   

Sticking together

Whether we liked it or not, we soon had to face and pick up the pieces of our parent's broken lives. This is where I acknowledge the value and appreciation I have for my siblings, because doing that alone is something I can't even imagine doing.

Without disregarding other family members and various friends who've been a strong base for support to us, no one really understands the complex situation we had as a family like my brother and sister did.

When one of us felt like giving up, the other would enforce positivity and give further perspective on things. 

"Hey, at least our lives aren't boring!" or "at least we have each other" are words from both of my siblings that I'll never forget when going through hard times. 

It also encouraged us to stay positive for our parents and to set an example by not letting things stop us from reaching our goals. As siblings we also agreed that we'd strive to not end up the way most people would assume the kids of dysfunctional parents would end up, and that we wouldn't live through our parent's mistakes. 

We do have our rough patches, we make mistakes, we fail and we disappoint ourselves and others, but I still wonder how life would have turned out if it wasn't for my siblings who've been there to help us get back up again and carry on.  

How do you feel about your siblings? Send us your comments to chatback@parent24.com

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