Do you know your role?

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Candywarhol

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Do you know your role?
« on: August 21, 2016, 06:02:18 PM »
I've been reading about the roles in dysfunctional families and just wonder if you have any thoughts on whether
you're the hero, mascot, carer scapegoat, lost child ....?
Do any of you have any experience of mixed roles? I identify with 2 of them when reading the characteristics.

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Sunshine days

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 06:50:56 PM »
Not really, only that I got to be golden for a second or two then it got snatched back, of course I never knew what was going on, I was trapped listening to a mentally ill woman. I was the sg now I think. I'm the lost child, I guess that's what freedom does to you .

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Mapleleaf14

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 08:04:31 PM »
I would say that I have a mixed role. I was the hero child growing up - excellent athlete and academically successful. I am the only one who went to college.  As I grew older, I became a lost child feeling all of the pain I was forced to ignore as a child and ended up the scapegoat due to my low dysfunction threshold (I like to call it my low bull**** threshold haha). I have developed strong boundaries, defend my right to be sensitive because that's who I am, and have cut many people off due to their dysfunctional behavior/abuse and enabling. So in a way, I have gone through all of those roles and have happily moved through the lost child role through lots of therapy and hard work. Now I feel like I am my own hero.

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 10:07:28 PM »
I am so glad you brought this up. I cannot figure out what role I played. It's the Marilyn Munster Effect if you're old enough to remember The Munsters TV show. Marilyn is the only normal one in a family of vampires and crazy people but she is sure the problem lies with her. That was me. I still can't figure out how I fit in with those people! I always assumed I was my mom's hero because I took care of her emotionally and I was supposed to be perfect to give her less to worry and be sad about. But now that I see that role for the abuse that it was, and now that I have been so easily discarded by them all, I wonder if I was actually a scapegoat? My undiagnosed but very Nsis got to do her own thing, so I thought she was lost child, but whenever she had a problem, the whole family, including myself, were expected to drop everything to jump in and fix it. Even now, that is the case with her, whereas I was expected to be strong and figure things out on my own. I always knew my dad preferred her as his GC (although he basically ignored both of us except to tease, criticize, or berate) but I thought I was mom's favorite. Now I'm not sure. It was all such a mess and the whole family system shifted based on my parents' moods and fights with each other. It's driving me crazy that I can't put a label on my role. It just seems like a label would help me make sense of the past, you know what I mean?

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VividImagination

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 12:11:13 AM »
I was primarily scapegoat growing up. I can actually identify the role of each of my siblings. My younger brother had a mixed role of GC/SG with severe emotional incest.

Once all of us were grown and gone, NM rotated through all of us being SGs and GCs. If she got angry with you, you were SGed for a few days to a few years. If you were a GC, your GC status was shifted to a former SG, who was usually thrilled to be "promoted". She was then able to instigate very dysfunctional competition amongst us all to try to avoid the SG role.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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alonenow

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:07 AM »
love the Munster s reference  it seems so appropriate.   I am not sure either the roles were not clearly defined and MoM had a knack of making you feel golden for a moment then stab you in the back when you least expected it. 
I am not really sure how she felt about any of us. 
 I can only imagine what she said about me................ because behind my siblings backs she said awful things about them to me.  No one was ever golden for long.

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 01:12:56 AM »
Yes, my mother would badmouth my sister to me as well, always disguising it as concern. "I'm worried about your sister because she..[passive aggressive belittling betrayal of confidence]." Part of what made me think I was her hero was the way she confided in me about my sister behind her back. I would try to help her fix whatever was wrong between her and my sister. My son once said, "You know she does the same thing to you behind your back,  right?" And I thought--oh, no, we have a special closeness! But my son was right. Maybe this is common where they trick you into thinking you are playing a "positive" role but secretly scapegoat you.

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snoflinga

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 03:16:48 AM »
I don't think the roles HAVE to be just those few. Families are all different. SG and GC might be the most common, but there have to be dozens of variations or mixed roles.

I am definitely SG and my brother is definitely GC. It has never varied since the day we were born. Nmom will tell you how I was always a difficult and ugly baby and my brother was so sweet and adorable. The roles were so obvious by the time we were older that our friends (we shared friends / were in the same social circle) would comment on it. They even had an ongoing game they played where they'd dare GC to do something minor against the rules in our house (being too loud, teasing our little sister, taking the car, etc) and then they would all watch as I got blamed for it.

My sister plays a role I call "infant." She is much younger than my brother and I, and she is adopted because Nmom needed to feel like she was 'saving' someone. Her entire life her role has been to be the needy child, the one Nmom can rescue and help. Nmom has always insisted on doing everything for her, which grew into the argument that sister CAN'T do routine things for herself and needs Nmom to survive. So now sister is in her mid-thirties, still lives at home, and mom does everything for her from cooking to washing her underwear to driving her to work. Sister is not disabled in any traditional way but she has grown unable to perform these basic tasks herself, because she was never allowed to do them. She makes Nmom feel needed and morally superior for rescuing her, and that's her entire purpose in life now.

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snoflinga

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 03:18:37 AM »
Yes, my mother would badmouth my sister to me as well, always disguising it as concern. "I'm worried about your sister because she..[passive aggressive belittling betrayal of confidence]." Part of what made me think I was her hero was the way she confided in me about my sister behind her back. I would try to help her fix whatever was wrong between her and my sister. My son once said, "You know she does the same thing to you behind your back,  right?" And I thought--oh, no, we have a special closeness! But my son was right. Maybe this is common where they trick you into thinking you are playing a "positive" role but secretly scapegoat you.

My NPD does this too, and I always thought of it as triangulation. She calls each of us and will go on and on and on for hours about all the awful problems our siblings have. Of course it's always phrased as "I'm so worried about..." It's done purposefully to drive a wedge between the three of us, so she can control all communication.

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Sunshine days

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2016, 08:27:33 AM »
Yes, my mother would badmouth my sister to me as well, always disguising it as concern. "I'm worried about your sister because she..[passive aggressive belittling betrayal of confidence]." Part of what made me think I was her hero was the way she confided in me about my sister behind her back. I would try to help her fix whatever was wrong between her and my sister. My son once said, "You know she does the same thing to you behind your back,  right?" And I thought--oh, no, we have a special closeness! But my son was right. Maybe this is common where they trick you into thinking you are playing a "positive" role but secretly scapegoat you.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME SHE MADE ME FEEL AND THINK I UNDERSTOOD HER AND THE REST WEREN'T AS INTELLIGENT BUT YET SHE WAS DUMPING HER NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ON ME AS SHE CAN'T PROCESS THEM BEING A NARC. I WAS HER FIXER THAT CLEANED HER RAGES UP , I FELT I WAS SPECIAL MORE THEN THE GOLDEN CHILD AND THAT ONE DAY HE WOULD THANK ME , SHE TOLD ME THIS REPEATEDLY SO MY SHINE INSIDE WAS I WAS GETTING A REWARD ONE DAY OF GC, I NEVER KNEW IT WAS A ILLUSION. YES THEY CONFIDE IN US AND TELL US THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE GAME BOARD SO I THOUGHT WE HAD A BOND , I NEVER KNEW ABOUT MY TRAUMA BOND AND THAT IT WASN'T A LOVING BOND THEN. I NEVER THOUGHHT OF BEING A HERO CHILD BUT YES I WAS THE HERO CHILD BEING SECRETLY SG AND SOMETIMES BEING MADE GOLDEN TO SNATCH IT BACK AND SHE ALWAYS GAVE IT BACK TO THE GC BEFORE I LEFT , ALL WAYS OF KEEPING YOU CONDITONED . IT'S SO GOOD TO MEET SOME ONE LIKE YOU THE EXACT SAME , NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE UNTIL SUSSED THE GAME PLAY OUT. THANKS ONE FOR THE JOURNAL

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Pepin

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 12:21:40 PM »
Yes, my mother would badmouth my sister to me as well, always disguising it as concern. "I'm worried about your sister because she..[passive aggressive belittling betrayal of confidence]." Part of what made me think I was her hero was the way she confided in me about my sister behind her back. I would try to help her fix whatever was wrong between her and my sister. My son once said, "You know she does the same thing to you behind your back,  right?" And I thought--oh, no, we have a special closeness! But my son was right. Maybe this is common where they trick you into thinking you are playing a "positive" role but secretly scapegoat you.

My NPD does this too, and I always thought of it as triangulation. She calls each of us and will go on and on and on for hours about all the awful problems our siblings have. Of course it's always phrased as "I'm so worried about..." It's done purposefully to drive a wedge between the three of us, so she can control all communication.

Yes, triangulation.  NDad rotated between my siblings and I.  For the most part, my 2 siblings were the golden children while we were growing up.  I was the oldest and so I went through most things first -- which meant Ndad could make it better/smooth things out for my siblings.  My siblings were also admired by our relatives and I just kind of coexisted beside them for lack of better words.

Since we lost our mother at a young age and I was the oldest, it was assumed that I would fill in -- and I did.  I did it mostly out of fear and it was a way of consoling myself.  I had to take care of them and myself because Ndad refused.  Our mother's death disrupted Ndad's plan for a good and carefree life; he thought that his only role in the marriage was to bring in *some* income while relaxing the rest of the time.  I do not believe that he actually wanted to have anything to do with raising children.  My siblings and I raised ourselves as best as we could with what we had presented to us -- and there has been a lot of rebuilding in our adult lives and continues to be.  As adults in our 40s we do not have roles anymore since we are NC until the end with Ndad.
NPD F (overt) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC headed to NC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Certitude

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 07:18:18 PM »
As children, my sister and I were supposed to be little angels, complete with wings and halos, sweetly and happily compliant with whatever unBPDm wanted.

As a young adult, I turned into the scapegoat when I discovered people outside the FOO actually valued my friendship and thought I had valid opinions and something to contribute to society.   Becoming my own person with a healthy self esteem did not fit within my mother's parameters for being the daughter she wanted, despite my success and happiness in my chosen field and personal life.

Three years ago, on the cusp of becoming a senior citizen, I became "persona non grata," because I decided I would no longer put up with my mother's controlling, degrading rages designed to keep me in angel mode.  She, now in her mid 90's, hasn't spoken to me since that day (neither has my enmeshed sister)....but I'll bet plenty has been said about me!

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Candywarhol

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 07:45:43 PM »
I think I was the invisible child before my younger sister came along. Her arrival enabled me to move up in the ranks at age 7.
When my older sister moved out, I took her place at age 12 of my mother's shrink - she'd discuss her dysfunctional relationships with her sisters and my father with me - I felt important and mature giving my mother advice and being able to show her how much I cared and secretly hoped I was doing as good a job as her confidant as my older sis had done.
Although I never outwardly exhibited self-harming behaviour, I'm definitely the scapegoat now. I point out the truth, try to talk to people rather than about them and exhibit their craziness, they look at me with disdain and I've had to separate myself from them.
A cluster-fuck it has been growing up with these people!!

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Artsy

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 09:48:28 PM »
My theory about my family seems too clean, but here it is:

I honesty think both my parents assigned us roles based on how well they could control us, how much they were embattled, or how we made them feel. I have theorized that my father was jealous of the mother/baby bond between my mother and oldest sister, which made my Mom feel like she was winning something. Therefore my oldest sister was Mom's GC. And was she ever. For years she sent pictures of herself in the newspaper home to my mother and followed my mother's career steps, etc...

When my oldest sister (like in the play Gypsy) started taking credit for her own success and stopped idealizing my mother, she was scapegoated. Of course my father started taking pride in her success at that point. Prior to that my sister described my father as "gone" and distant (partly because of his work, but I suspect also because he was on the outside of her and my mother's narc circle.) Ironically, my sister (12 years older) became like a second NPD mother in my life so I got stereo Narcs.

My father, I think, was a schizoid (very disconnected from relationships) so he wasn't able to bond with my second older sister who was sullen and withdrawn and who my mother accused of being "just like him." My mother couldn't get any needs met with this second born daughter, so she became my mother's SG. I think she was also a lost child (she identified once with that role).

I've always said, my oldest sister was Mom's child (which was to be an elevated extension of Mom's narcissism), and my second oldest sister was Dad's child (which was to be lost). So it followed a predictable pattern after that, as if they were dividing us up.

My brother, the next born, was Mom's child, and he was, by virtue of his gender, the greatest threat to my father who despised him. My third sister (the fourth in birth order after my brother) was Dad's child.

So it was even. My mother had one girl and one boy, and Dad got two girls. Then, whoops, I was born, and who do you think claimed me? MOM! I was groomed from an early age to be Mom's child - Mom's GC. Which made Mom the winner and made me Dad's SG.

My parents fought bitterly and seemed to hate each other (why oh why did they stay married???) So whomever they chose as their GC's were SGed by the other (if that makes sense). It was like a war over our souls, and we all lined up accordingly.

I idealized my oldest sister and my brother (being in Mom's camp,) and while my father missed the boat with my second oldest sister, he compensated for it with my third sister, infantilizing her to no end. They became hopelessly enmeshed. Both parents truly disliked my second oldest sister, who really grew up to be quite cruel to others, so she remained lost.

But even within my Mom's camp, her GC could still get SGed if we didn't meet her needs. All three of us rebelled and moved to Dad's camp, because he was the only one that could actually connect to anyone. He was codependent though and needed to constantly fix and lecture you, but he wasn't manevolant like my mother was.

I honestly think Narc's can't connect because they devour others. Scizoids, created by narc parents, simply have learned to remain distant and disconnected. I believe my father was a Scizoid with fleas (hows that for a diagnosis?) Everyone fought over my father in the end, because he was capable of connecting, but he usually pushed us away. Mom, on the other hand, who wanted to cook us for dinner, kept pitting us against each other and lashing out, so we all found ways to avoid her.

I think all the roles are what we need to do to survive. I really like the movie Gattika with Ethan Hawk, because it shows both GC and SG roles (and their burdens) so well. Not sure about that fourth role you listed...?? I'll have to look that one up.

GOOD TOPIC CandyWarhol!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 09:50:04 PM by Artsy »
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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Shockwave

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 10:56:43 PM »
 :abduct: Yes, I know my role. Lost/Invisible Child. :spaceship:

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight."
-- James Gordon, The Dark Knight

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Summer Sun

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2016, 01:36:23 AM »
All of the above?  Lost child throughout childhood.  Hero at differing points through adulthood, and now, the big promotion to SG.  If my PD sibs could weigh in, I'm sure they'd say I was GC, although, they would not be able to elaborate or support their position. 

I know I am also hero, to myself.  I've survived all the abuses, loses, nutters, and been successful on many fronts, thus far, which is not an easy feat amongst vampires and being raised in crazy town.
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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Candywarhol

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2016, 04:10:16 AM »
@Artsy Not sure about that fourth role you listed...?? I'll have to look that one up

I think that was just a bit of over-zealous typing on my part. The mascot is the hero.

Your family sounds like a lot of fun   :sadno:
Sometimes I wonder that we're all still here.

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randompanda

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2016, 01:27:44 PM »
I started out as the Lost Child and was left to parent myself, since both of my brothers were such a nightmare for everyone to deal with.  They got all of waif M's attention with their horrible and sometimes criminal behavior, yet bullied me savagely for being "the golden child".  I was mostly raised by the television, kept quiet and to myself, did well in school, never had medical or dental care, was constantly either talked over or told to shut up anytime I spoke, and was assured that any problems I might have weren't squat compared to everyone else's.  I realized after a while that I just wasn't permitted to have problems, so I figure that's where the people-pleasing and perfectionism began. 

As an adult, I've become an odd mix of Lost Child and GC.  I still am not permitted to have problems, and nothing good is ever allowed to happen to me without jealousy and scorn from the others, but waif M now considers me her personal savior and can't say enough good things about me.  She has told me on several occasions that she would kill herself if I went away.  Coming from the PD family I was raised in, I used to think that was a strong statement of "love".  I now realize (through the help of my therapist and OOTF) that it's emotional blackmail and that it's not normal for a parent to make a child feel responsible for whether their parent lives or dies.       

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Artsy

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2016, 04:53:52 PM »
Random Panda:

I was mostly raised by the television, kept quiet and to myself, did well in school, never had medical or dental care, was constantly either talked over or told to shut up anytime I spoke, and was assured that any problems I might have weren't squat compared to everyone else's. 

Candywarhol

Your family sounds like a lot of fun   :sadno:
Sometimes I wonder that we're all still here.


Randompanda: same! No medical, dental. Completely silenced and invalidated. Criminally inclined sibs taking up all the oxygen. I'm sorry this happened to you and me both!

Candyworhol: As fun as a barrel of dead babies (unfortunately fitting yet graphic quote from husband :aaauuugh:) Well, at least we're all here to help one another :yes:

Thank you both for seeking health and helping us all feel a little less alone in the world.
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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Candywarhol

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Re: Do you know your role?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2016, 07:47:56 PM »
Well, at least we're all here to help one another :yes:

 :yeahthat: