Cain and Abel Had Crappy Parents

          It’s Monday and we are nearing the end of another school year. By Thursday morning, we’ll have all three kids at home and God help us, all three kids together. There is a special bond between siblings. We have often heard of the psychic connection between twins and some siblings share a hatred that had to be born in the bowels of hell. Where does the connection come from and what separates us forever?

          Lee says: I think I’ve mentioned here that I have two siblings. Since neither of them read what I write, I can be completely honest as to our relationship. And, because I am a consummate professional, I can be quite clinical and dissect the foundation from which our current state of relations rests. I can also look at the triggers and extenuating circumstances that has molded or relationships. Nothing but cold, emotion-free analysis of one of the most important association you can have in your life.

          When we are born we are thrust into several relationships. Unlike friendships and love interests, siblings and children have a forced affiliation. We are family because of proximity. Genetics have nothing to do with family thus the ability for those who are adopted to assimilate into a family unit. Familial affinity is as simple as sharing a home. So what makes or breaks a sibling relationship? The answer is simple: parents.    

          Now, I am not a parent basher. As a therapist, I have been known to ask ‘How do you feel about your Mother?’ As a therapist, I have been known to ask ‘How’s your relationship with your Dad?’ This is not a prelude to parent piñatas. Ignorance of the process has led people to believe that therapy is simply a sanctioned parent punching. The truth is that our parents are our primary source of understanding and beliefs in this world. The responsibility of a parent far exceeds food, shelter and nurturing.

          Our relationships with our brothers and sisters are wholly dependent on Mom and Dad. Rivalry is not a given. Rivalry is actually something that can be squelched or fanned by parents. Parents blame sibling rivalry on the child’s strong will, personality or the green eyed monster, himself. It is the way of the world. It’s the way it has always been all the way back to Cain and Abel. What caused this rivalry? Simply put, God favored one over the other. Hold on a second; don’t get pissed off at me because God had a favorite. It’s in the Bible and the Quran and the Dead Sea Scrolls and throughout the media. Abel was favored because of his offering and Cain, who also had an offering, was not. And thousands of years later, we are still doing the same thing.

          In Cain’s case, being disregarded by God brought him to kill his brother. In today’s society, kids tend to argue or adults tend to dissolve their relationships from their siblings. We find the inequities of our parents to be easier to stomach when we move the blame to our siblings. Dad liked him better translates to my brother is a dick and I don’t like him. Mom liked my sister better translates to my sister can be such a bitch.

          In my case it is simple; I was my parents’ favorite. Just kidding. I adore my siblings. My brother, sister and I have a good relationship. Our parents, specifically our mother, did not allow sibling rivalry to dominate our relationships. My mother allowed the spats but demanded that we make up. We were able to foster the deeper sibling connections and, even though there was rivalry due to favoritism, we always came back to the deeper connection. 

          It’s sad my parents and siblings never read my writing. They would see that I love them very much. I bet if my brother or sister wrote, my parents would read it. Where’s my club?

          Paul says: I tried to smash my brother’s head in as a child. My parents eventually stopped me. I think that it had less to do with brotherly love and more because my mother didn’t want to clean up the mess. See, if Adam and Eve would have had carpeting, none of that Cain and Abel stuff would have ever happened.

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