Birth Order, Or How Adler Screwed Me Up for Life

“If you are afraid, and fear you gonna change some, all you gotta do is just remember where you came from.” – Lupe Fiasco

Day 4 in Beattie’s “The Language of Letting Go” deals with family issues. Everyone has them. They’re inescapable, necessary evils of life.

Upon reading this part, I began to think about my solitary year in graduate school. I was halfway to a Masters in Counseling, one I never ended up completing (though I enjoyed it, I decided it wasn’t for me).

One of the classes I took, a theories course, had a chapter about Alfred Adler. He was a psychiatrist who theorized that the order in which you were born affected your personality. Firstborns, for example, tended to be a bit neurotic, because they had so many pressures placed on them. The youngest, then, were perhaps a bit spoiled and might even be self-absorbed. And the middle – well, they were either ignored or made themselves the peacemakers in the family.

I remember telling my professor that I didn’t know where I fit, and when asked why, I explained that I was the baby of my biological mom and dad’s, the middle child of my stepmom and dad’s, and sometimes even played the role of the oldest in the second family as well.

He said what I already suspected: “Huh. Well. Yeah. According to Adler, you’re fucked.”

So I’m slightly neurotic, often ignored but a peacemaker, and, at times, an attention whore. Got it.

I don’t think I’d change my position, anyway. It’s been an interesting ride, and I don’t even think of each “family” as separate. I have two moms (four if you count my older sisters :) ), my dad, and six siblings. I’ll admit it gets a little hard NOT to get caught up in things, especially with the younger ones (who are now in their twenties and teens!)  – but it’s only because I really want them to grow up to be well-rounded, happy individuals. In that respect, I suppose I’m like Jesus. I suffer so they don’t have to.

Nevertheless, every once in a while, I remember that there are choices they make without me; I can’t protect everyone from everything and vice versa. With more time, maybe I can get more comfortable with that. Until then, thanks Adler. I really (don’t) appreciate it.

50 Responses to “Birth Order, Or How Adler Screwed Me Up for Life”

  1. kathryn

    “Martyr for my love for you”
    (jack white wanted me to let you know he can relate)

  2. amanda

    will you ask him: what’s the hardest button to button?

    AND “where do babies come from?”

  3. Bethany

    Since you’ve been a Middle and a Youngest, you’re probably also the best at being the Oldest. Kinda cool, no? At least that’s SOMETHING for all this fuckedupedness :)

  4. Ken

    I read somewhere that the firstborn tend to be awesome, smart, and handsome.

  5. brittany

    i think ken doesn’t count because he was a firstborn boy in a house of girls for so long. but amanda, you’ll always be the baby to me. now go clean your room! (sorry)

  6. Kian

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog
    that’s both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

  7. Alyce

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff
    previous to and you are simply too fantastic. I really like
    what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and
    the way in which during which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still
    take care of to stay it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you.

    That is really a tremendous web site.

  8. web hosting their

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  9. t.co

    It’s truly very complex in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, therefore I only
    use internet for that purpose, and get the hottest information.

  10. http://t.co/V4GSBluhrM

    Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was
    just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything
    you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is
    very much appreciated.

  11. or asmr

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of information.
    I am glad that you shared this useful info with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you
    for sharing.

  12. Daniela

    When some one searches for his required thing, thus he/she wants to be
    available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

  13. Celina

    It’s an amazing post designed for all the online visitors; they will take benefit from
    it I am sure.

  14. asmr your

    Hey there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to
    get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  15. Macy Austino

    Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!|

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>