FIRST CHILD SYNDROME – MY EXPERIENCE


Hello! I’ve had a BIG realization (big a-ha moment) recently and I want to share it with you all, because it may lead to a-ha’s from you too! It’s related to birth order position, in my case, being a first child.

Birth order and how it influences us

In an (Em)Powered Love group energy clearing (the “Releasing your blocks to fun” session), part of what was being cleared was the effect of our birth order in our family: if we are the first child, middle child, youngest child, or only child. Each “child position” in the family has its advantages and its particular struggles.

For instance, a 1st born is usually the one that has all eyes and concerns focused on him/her, as the parents don’t have any previous experience with having a kid and they don’t let anything go by, even a sneeze is a trigger for concern! It’s also on the 1st child that the parent’s aspirations and expectations are projected into.

When another child comes along, the first child feels that now their parent’s love isn’t on them anymore, so they may become overachievers to prove that they still deserve that love. An added sense of responsibility is also a trait of a first child and they often have to become “little adults” to take care of their younger siblings too.

The 2nd child, from its point of view, is coming into a family where the parents focus and love for the 1st child is already established, and the 2nd child can never compete with the 1st one or be as good because the 1st one already has “years” of experience and is more developed. So, a 2nd child can often rebel against what the 1st one represents, find areas where the 1st one isn’t good at, and practice those areas so that it can distinguish and separate itself from the “shadow” of its older brother/sister.

If a 3rd child comes along, then the 2nd child feels that it has lost all its benefits. It’s not “as good as” the older sibling, and now it’s no longer the baby of the family either, so it can become lost in knowing where it fits and what is its place.

The 3rd child may have the same experience as the 2nd one, and with 2 older siblings, it often learns, early on, how to play on the “soft spots” of older parents to get the love and attention it needs. Many times, the youngest member of the family is a natural entertainer, as this is a way to get positive love and attention from all, including its older siblings.

It’s not all gloom and doom, of course! 😀 All of these birth order positions bring traits and qualities that are frequently seen as the child grows. And we all chose our position in the family before we came here, so, we decided to have these experiences and then make the best of them. 🙂

My experience as a first child

My a-ha today is directly related to this. I’m the first child and I have one younger brother, 5 years younger than me. I often remembered a memory from my family’s 1st vacation after my brother was born. We traveled to the South of Portugal, Algarve. I remember being in an hotel room, and as I was going to sleep, I was planning how I’d go back home (to the North, Porto) if my parents abandoned me there.

Now, I never had anything in my experience that could even suggest my parents would leave me, and I was always (and especially at that age), loved and acknowledged. So that memory always puzzled me. I didn’t know why the “they will abandon me” came up then. And that’s my a-ha today.

As a 5 year old, the birth of my baby brother and the redirection of my parent’s love and attention to him felt like abandonment to me. And I made 2 very (VERY!) big decisions at that young an age: first, love is going to be taken away from me, so it doesn’t last forever; and second, if I can’t count on their love I can’t trust them, so I have to become independent and take care of myself.

These two decisions I made at 5 years old have been ever present since and they have given me a huge amount of blessings, on the positive side: being strong, independent, a go-getter, loving myself and taking good care of myself are only a few. On the shadow side, though, there’s a sadness and abandonment, a need to prove “I am enough” and lack of trust in people that doesn’t need to be there anymore, it can now be acknowledged and healed.

It was such an innocent thing and so “regular” and happy from any outside perspective, but for a sensitive child like I was, the birth of a sibling triggered all kinds of emotions and defense mechanisms, something I now can love and nurture back into full integration.

I know this was a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG post, but I wanted to share my experience with you, and hopefully, it helps you be aware of some of your early on decisions and self-assessments too, because now is the time to heal them. Much love to you all! ♥

 

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