Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Musings about Siblings

A friend once confided that his father and his father's brother never talk to each other.  I assumed he meant they had a temporary falling out, but as he added more detail the period involved was some 15 years. Another friend has a sister who's been out of touch with everyone in her family for as long as she can remember and acknowledges she may never see her for the rest of her life.  And still another friend has a brother she typically describes as never being there for her, whatever the "there" is.  It's the other sibling's fault, he or she did it, I'm innocent, parents often hear from their young children, typical and often amusing comments from a 5 year-old or maybe even an 8 year-old.  But what does it mean when those young children are in their 40s or 50s and essentially say the same things?

Undoubtedly all these splittings have different causes, but the apparent trauma connected to each broken relationship is impressive.  Absent sexual abuse and extreme bullying, which I discounted, how could things have gotten so bad?  If problems with siblings can't be worked out how will that carry over into the world and affect relationships with spouses, lovers and friends, even with foreign nations? Totally, some, not at all?  And is it that the love or the hatred is too deep; or perhaps both?    

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