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Family Dynamic – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning!  It’s Hump Day! Or, for about 50-60 of us (give or take) it’s Friday Fictioneers time. And would you look at that? Rochelle has chosen my picture this week! I had a bazillion stories to go with this one and yet, none of them made it to the page, so to speak.  Maybe I’ll have to double-dip. Maybe not. We’ll see 😉 Maybe you have an idea on a story that would go with this picture. Why don’t you try your hand and add your link by clicking the frog below. Not sure how it works? Click on Rochelle’s name and find the rules and regs. G’head, you know you wanna…

Click me to play!

Family Dynamic

How could one feel so alone within such a close family?  Sure, they did lots of activities together but he felt he had no special place within the family dynamic.

Peter had Mom.  She favoured him, he was sure of it. When push came to shove, she always took Peter’s side, no matter what.

Paula had Dad. He protected her, defended her and gave her treats whenever she was sad.  She was Daddy’s little girl and while he understood it, he also resented it.

No matter how hard he tried, Patrick’s deeds went less noticed.

Where did that leave him?


175 thoughts on “Family Dynamic – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Dear Dale,

    How sad a child should feel that way in his own family. I hope his feelings are unfounded. I know my kids used to accuse me of favoritism to which I’d say, “You’re right, he’s my favorite. How did you know?” Of course that was the answer to whomever leveled the accusation. 😉

    A good story. And if you decide to double dip it’s okie dokie by me.

    Shalom and lotsa hugs,


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dale,
    Whether those feeling are an accurate reflection or not, the isolation and pain felt is very real and can last a lifetime. I grew up feeling my mother didn’t love me and favoured my brother. That was too strong a statement. She loves me but she’s not very good at showing it or showing it in a way I can pick up on. I reached a point of acceptance and let it go. She’s particualrly close to my kids and I’m grateful for that. You can’t expect people to be someone they’re not.
    Best wishes and thanks for this week’s prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rowena,
      Most welcome for the prompt.
      And yes, those feelings belong to the person. It is up to them to change the meaning as they mature. Sometimes it is real, sometimes it is simply perceived.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure they did. And it could just simply be a personality thing. Parents are human, too. There are days when I would sell my boys cheap and days where one seems to be the one around to help when at other times it is the other one!
      As a parent, we just hope we didn’t bugger them up too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a sensitive write, Dale! I think this is probably a true feeling in many a child (whether founded in reality or not, in momentary misinterpretation or jealousy or in actual skewed attention by the parents–which can happen even to the most well-meaning parents, especially if they have a particularly sensitive or tending-to-wounding child). I hope his parents notice his reticent mood and coax out of him some of what he feels (though I also know that for some children – and adults who were once children … – when they feel that way, words cannot really make it better, nor facts or recounting of all the ways they matter) and that they find a way to help him feel less left out.
    And for him … I hope he finds a way to belong.
    Well done, you. The photo took me in a whole other direction … 😉
    Great shot, you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wonder if his feelings are based on the reality or only from his perspective. I’m sure it’s not deliberate from the parent’s point of view. Hopefully they will talk it out and all will be well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny isn’t it, that children gravitate towards one of their parents. So when there are three siblings… I was one of two, but my husband was the middle child – it shows. A very thought provoking piece, Dale.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is funny. My youngest feels he lost his special link when his father died. In his mind, the eldest is closest to me whereas he was closest to his dad. Frankly, I feel there are waves when one gravitates more to the other.
      My middle sister suffers from the “syndrome”.


  6. A really interesting story, and also quite thought provoking. It’s easy to assume that it’s all in his head, and that’s what a lot of people do. There’s actually lots of evidence that parents tend to have favourites and treat their kids differently to a greater or lesser extent. It’s mostly unconscious but obviously a lot of heart breaking stories of when it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think there are personalities that come into play. My eldest and I are very go with the flow. We might explode when something happens, but then it is over. My youngest stews things and builds them up and his father would coddle his baby…


    • It is. Though I actually wanted to change this up and make it the eldest but kinda ran out of words and then decided to just leave it.
      And that was so unintentional! LOL! I just decided to go with three P names for no reason…


  7. Perhaps the family could get a dog, and the boy and dog could be a special item.
    I was told almost daily, that I was not pretty, that my sister got the looks and I would have to rely on my brains….maybe marry a pharmacist (a doctor was aiming, too high)
    Never believed a word!
    I have 3 half sisters & 2 half brothers as well.
    I loved being left alone in the crowd. Still do.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like a middle child… My hubby often feels this way in regards to his family. At gatherings, they ignore him as if he’s not there, and not important.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Here’s the best I can do (I was actually going to write something really depressing and then this came to me — and it is kind of a true story) …

    This is where it happened. Before they paved the grass over. This was a lawn of green. And there, one day, we played football.

    Well, actually, it was more than one day. Every Thanksgiving morning, we got together for a flag football game. We called it the Toilet Bowl because, you know, every big game is a Bowl and in the mud and muck of a damp November morning, it just might have looked like we had all gone for a run through an unflushed toilet.

    The first few years, I was always a role player. Blocking for the quarterback, staying out of the way.

    But the last Toilet Bowl? Something happened. Dean was QB and he kept sending me out and he’d find me out there, acting like I knew what I was doing. The ball found my hands enough times for me to wrap it to my chest and then run, twisting and turning through defenders.

    I scored three touchdowns that day and was named Toilet Bowl MVP.

    In the spring they paved the field over.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was the eldest of three boys and whilst I have no recollections of favoritism, it was clear from our early years that our middle bro didn’t fit in. And so it remained, for now, he has no contact with any of us, not even our mother.

    Looking back, I was my favourite brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Q,

    Love how you went with the photograph.

    I would feel for Patrick but I don’t know how! I was that kid and I was plenty fine with it. There was an autonomy to the youngest self I can remember, for many reasons. But I guess I felt closest to my aunt, who I saw on occasion. That sense of not belonging to any one thing is what led me to writing, so yeah . . the blessings we possess when we allow ourselves to see beyond the present.

    As for the story itself, it jibes with the photograph. There is a sense of detachment and of not belonging that makes it work. That solitary table sitting smack dab in the middle of a court that is used for group activities. This was a really, really smart and poignant way to go with this!

    To the Patrick’s of the world!


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      Glad you did.

      Yanno, I can’t either. I wasn’t around enough to feel it. Always out and about. I think occasionally I feel it more today! How stupid is that? And you definitely turned it to your advantage

      So glad it does. Smart, eh? 😊

      To the Patricks of this world!


      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahhh … one can never win in the eyes of our children. As a parent,
    I think we’ve all been accused of favoritism. Me … I was politically correct – I disliked all of them … LOLOL … just kidding.
    Interesting photo for the prompt this week. Thanks for sharing it with Rochelle. I can’t wait to read where people go with it.
    Izzy 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My brother and I were twenty years apart. I was shocked years back when we were both adults and he told me I was spoiled. I don’t think he ever understood that our parents were different people when they raised me than when they raised him. Twenty years makes a big difference. Also, I was a girl and our father was protective of me for that reason. My mother wasn’t working when she raised me. He grew up during the Depression and they were both working. However, he might have just been having a bad day. My children were closer in age and my son said his sister was spoiled. I credited that to sibling rivalry. My daughter was always busy with her friends and work and didn’t seem to be bothered with either of them being favored. I always went out of my way to treat both the same. You can’t win Dale, 🙂 — Suzanne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twenty years apart – one would think the younger would have ended up being spoiled, what with the parents being older… baby of the family and all that 😉
      I jokingly just asked my youngest if he thought I had a favourite child – he said yea, it’s me. I asked the older one and he answered “I don’t know”. LOL
      I know I tell them my favourite is the one who is doing what I ask when I ask it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Kids in that place can go in several directions. Sometimes they find other ways, not so positive, to get their parents’ attentions. Sometimes they find acceptance at a friend’s family. Sometimes they gravitate to other self-perceived outcasts and get into trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s an awful lonely feeling. And we try not to allow our kids to feel that way, but eventually it’s all about individual perspective. Interesting how you pulled out the feeling of loneliness in that picture, that you took.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Tenderly and sympathetically written, Dale. Parenting is so difficult, and yet most kids come through relatively unscathed! It’s interesting that our emotional response to the photo was the same – the loneliness, and the out of place feelings of the MC.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think if he told his parents how he feels they’d be devastated. I have recently discovered that one of my sons apparently thinks I regard him as the black sheep, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so too. I like to think he will grow up and realise that his childhood wasn’t as bad as he thought.
      So funny. My husband was an only child and there was no way in hell he wanted to have an only child.

      Liked by 1 person

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