Coffee Rhetoric: First Born Second

December 13, 2007

First Born Second

"I was born as a second child. All I got was hand-me-downs. All that is what was left..." Bilal, from his debut album, First Born Second
Psychiatrist and theorist, Alfred Adler has surmised that the order in which one is born, influences their personality. That order can have leave an indelible impression on that sibling's quality of life and the way in which they cope with life's trials and tribulations. Of course many psychologists of yore and today dispute Adler's suggestions on birth order. I was born right smack-dab in the midst of the madness. A middle child. Introspective, mercurial, passionate, self absorbed, creative, sensitive, aloof, stoic, an aversion to being told what to do by my mother sometimes/but clinging and crying to her other times (preferably in the absence of my sisters). I've been spending a lot more time with my immediate family amidst my transitional phase, and I've never been more aware of where I fall in the triad my mother has created, as I have been recently. Middle Child Syndrome, it has been christened. Regardless of how people cope with being the second born, the syndrome feels very real to many of us middlers. A feeling of being somewhat solitary and misunderstood. Alone in my philosophies and ways of thinking and living, a sense of feeling undermined or disputed, fighting to be heard over competing voices, wanting to be left alone, creative, artistic, caught between a rock and a hard place, sometimes wanting to slip under the radar, a bit eccentric and self contained ... While theories abound on Middle Child Syndrome and we all cope differently with being wedged in between two siblings, it is a rather interesting and complex situation to deal with sometimes. I suddenly feel compelled to delve deeper into the order of such things in order to figure out some things about myself. I suddenly feel a deep empathy for Jan Brady.