Families logo

A Tribute to the Only Children

She has two sisters, he has two brothers

By Melissa SteussyPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

He has a brother and sister. She has a sister and brother.

How does it feel to have people that look like you, who grew up with you?

I always felt lucky to be an only child. I wouldn’t have wanted to have to try to take care of a kid when I could barely take care of myself. I worried about when my parents were in drunken fights full of rage how I would escape and how I would take another kid with me. I wondered how we would afford another kid when we could barely afford me. So I was glad. A sibling seemed like too much trouble.

Was I lonely? Yes, so lonely. I still feel that lonely actually.

I feel like there is a deep hole of aloneness permanently tattooed to my chest. It says I will always be alone and the deep gut-wrenching hole gets deeper and deeper every day.

Do I want something salty or sweet? What will dull this ache I feel inside? This discomfort without a brother or sister to call, without someone who knows me from the inside out?

A mother or a father, I don’t have those either. I am an adult orphan and it hurts like hell.

A family is something I don’t have, extended anyway. I have a husband and two fine kids that give me comfort and space when I need it. They know me, but they don’t really know me.

They know the stories I tell and they get me, but I want someone whos been there from day one. I want someone who shares my cells and blood. I want a relative. I want a family of my own.

Everyone else seems to have this.

I lost my parents in my 30’s. We weren’t super close. So maybe I am missing what I didn’t have in the first place, but as I get older I see how important siblings can be.

To be honest I get jealous of seeing others with their parents and siblings. I get jealous when my husband is talking to his family. I feel more alone and I crawl into my hole.

Now here’s the quote I hate: “Friends that are like family,” Yes, I get that some people have friends that feel like family, but most have families as well. I don’t have either and it drills into my heart and mind that I am missing out.

I am on the hunt for these friends that are like family, but the problem is when you are from a displaced family it can be hard to trust, hard to let people in, and hard to still not grieve.

I hear myself and I see myself in my self-pity. I feel like it’s time to embrace what I have and live in gratitude, blaa, blaa, blaa.

I have good days and bad, like all of us, but sometimes it is hard to overlook my glaring loneliness. I was busy raising kids, but now they are older and I have more time in my head to squander on about how I wish it were.

I want someone who is glad to see me, a mother to shop with and to call. A father who cares about his darling girl.

I see so many having fun. I see so many smiling and laughing and more and more I think what is wrong with me?

Why am I so unhappy?

Will I ever even let myself be happy and not be on guard?

Will I ever be able to not reenact in my brain the tragic things that have taken place?

Will I ever run out of grief to feel? Eventually, will I use it all up and move on?

Maybe I am the tortured artist of sorts. I need to have dark days so I have writing material. So others can feel less alone. So I can bring someone hope on my good days when I show how I have overcome and persevere.

I don’t know the answer. I don’t have any solutions today.

This is not a self-help piece, not today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Originally published on Medium

immediate family

About the Creator

Melissa Steussy

Author of Let Your Privates Breathe-Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Family Dysfunction. Available at The Black Hat Press:



Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.