Self discovery - Your role in your FOO

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Dutch Uncle

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Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« on: September 09, 2015, 12:42:07 PM »
Multiple answers possible. You may change your vote. (If you do so, please state what you changed and why)
For some explanation on the types:
http://www.insightfulinnovations.com/zykrblog/roleplaying-family-roles
http://www.recoveredfamily.com/codependency/codependency-and-family-roles.aspx
edit: that link appears dead. Here's the webarchive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20150508081425/http://www.recoveredfamily.com/codependency/codependency-and-family-roles.aspx
But this poll is not about the role (you think/feel) that was assigned to you, but the role you took yourself. They may overlap, but possibly not.


I struggle with identifying me with these roles. I sometimes think I have fulfilled them all. And nowadays I even see there are overlaps/switches I make in the way I function within the FOO.

I do think though for the majority of time and characteristics of my role in the FOO, I'm the Low Maintenance Child. I like to keep a low profile, am very reluctant in expressing any grievances I have to FOO-members (both face-to-face, but even more so behind-their-backs). I'm self-reliant, don't ask for help/aid, don't ask for support. Not only where it's concerning my FOO, but in all 'walks of life'.
Then I see a bit of the Clown in my behavior, though I think it's more 'good humored' (as in "mood")
There's definitely a Helper, but not Enabling.
And with the Scapegoat I struggle the most. Since I resist 'Truth Telling'. It is a role that's being pushed on me, but which I have resisted my whole life. I do feel good 'spilling the beans' here though. It needs to be said. For my sake. Not the Family's sake.

So, for the purpose of this poll I'll vote: The Invisible Child.
For the rest of the FOO I might well be the Scapegoat.

Thanks for steamy for the inspiration to set this up. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2353.0
I hope these 'self discoveries' can serve a purpose hand-in-hand.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 08:28:22 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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blues_cruise

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 09:59:20 AM »
This is interesting because I think you're right, the roles can and do overlap. I think I was conditioned to be The Scapegoat and my reaction as I grew up was to take on traits of The Low Maintenance Child in order to cope with the constant shouting and criticism. I think my survival mechanism, even into adulthood, has been to make myself as low profile as possible to avoid unwanted criticism. Unfortunately it meant that I let my father treat me as a doormat for what I felt for a long time was an easier life, though I see now that this was not fair on myself and was damaging in the long run. I'm very quiet as a result and tend to be reluctant to assert myself in situations as growing up assertiveness was punished and therefore dangerous. Parents really can screw you up, can't they?

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2015, 10:32:45 AM »
I think I was conditioned to be The Scapegoat and my reaction as I grew up was to take on traits of The Low Maintenance Child in order to cope with the constant shouting and criticism.
[..]
Parents really can screw you up, can't they?
They sure can.
So did you vote for "The Low Maintenance Child" ?

I ask since I share many of the thoughts/experiences you mentioned.
And I think that for my recovery, I better focus on not being a "Low Maintenance Child" anymore, rather than on focussing on "How not to be the ScapeGoat". The two probably go hand in hand, but in a paradoxical way: If I go "claim the maintenance" I need in order to have a healthy relationship (IMHO relationships always require a maintenance effort for, and to, both involved) the scapegoating will probably increase ("Don't be such a high maintenance prat, Dutch"), but it will put the 'blame', the effort to 'solve' the problem back on them: "Yes, I (or: our relationship) do(es) indeed need some maintenance, thank you. Now get on with it! Show me the goodies!"

I'm pretty sure this will not bring any reprieve/resolution in my FOO (my parents are in their 80's, they'll never be able to escape/change their routine before they'll pass on), but it might well bear fruit in other existing relationships (quite a few are probably not even build on it, it's just that I'm so used to being "Low Maintenance" that I fall back in my routine, regardless of them), and definitely in establishing healthy relationships when new opportunities for them arise.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:34:50 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2015, 10:42:40 AM »
my decision was instant, no question, the golden and the ghost. that was in my FOO.

in my second FOO, the jp, i morphed into first the caretaker and then later when i returned to them,  the scapegoat. 

 that's a bit complicated, but i really did have two FOO's. one my natural family, and one my jp family. not sure i can get my head round that but it's true.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2015, 10:49:25 AM »
my decision was instant, no question, the golden and the ghost. that was in my FOO.
Excuse me for prying, but does that mean you assumed the role of the Golden child, while your FOO treated/assigned you as the ghost, or the other way around?

Quote
not sure i can get my head round that but it's true.
It seems perfectly plausible to me.  :thumbup:

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arpy1

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2015, 11:04:13 AM »
i think, altho this is off the top of my head, that i was the ghost and became the golden becos it probably got me some sort of place in the family. my brother (eldest) and my sister (middle) were always problematic kids, and i was the 'good' one.

i was the third, unplanned child. mum was told after my sister that her health wouldn't stand another childbirth. i was an accident and she was ill, in and out of hospital for the first four or five years of my life. dad couldn't cope and was always angry, he was a policeman and worked shifts so it must have been very stressful with three small kids, one a baby.

i remember never knowing who i would wake up to in the mornings, who would be there to look after me. i was always afraid becos i only really felt safe with mum or with her mum, my nan. the others were scary/angry/distant. so i guess i learnt to make myself invisible so no one would get angry at me. i knew from right early on there was no guarantee that anyone would be available to make me feel safe. the not knowing was the worst bit.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2015, 11:25:00 AM »
Thanks.
So for the purpose of this poll it 'should' be the Ghost.
(I possibly should rephrase my original post better)

For the jp-FOO, vote accordingly. Twice if you want. (since you have a jp1 and jp2, no? )

i was the third, unplanned child. mum was told after my sister that her health wouldn't stand another childbirth.
Interesting analogy with my personal history (though not quite the same)
When my mother gave birth to my brother, health issues arose as well.
She was advised to postpone further childbirth, at least for the coming years.
As a result, she was probably one of the first women (in this nation) to be prescribed the contraceptive pill. We're talking the mid 60's here.
After some years it was apparently decided her wounds had healed properly, and with consent of her GP (for lack of a better term) she got pregnant of me. The four year gap between me and my brother is the result of this. I'm also the only child to have been born in hospital, as a preventive measure.
(this reminds me of a funny side note: My sister was conceived on their wedding night (or perhaps night two or three  ;) , I sure hope those nights actually took place regardless.). We as kids used to tease our parents with that, for the visible discomfort it brought to them (especially dad) when we teenagers flashed our knowledge about sex (well, the reproductive essentials of it) while obviously ignorant still about the actual act.  ;D )
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 11:27:03 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2015, 11:36:13 AM »
it only lets me vote once so i did invisible child. hope that will serve??


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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2015, 11:51:13 AM »
it only lets me vote once so i did invisible child. hope that will serve??
:thumbup:

Thanks for telling me only one vote is allowed.
I had hoped more than one would be possible, but apparently it isn't.

I'll look into it, but barring any update on this post: One vote it is.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2015, 11:54:22 AM »
Update:

It's possible (for me, but possibly that's only because I made the poll) to "remove vote", and revote while ticking more than one box/option, and then push the 'vote' button. I have been able to vote all six  ;D .

It's not possible to vote one option more than once, that's true.
That's OK, I'm curious about the self-identification, primarily. If such a self-identification happened more than once, in different circumstances, it does add 'weight' I guess, but it's OK if it's not visible as such in the poll.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 01:22:54 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2015, 01:10:09 PM »
ok, i did that. hope it worked  ;D :hug:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2015, 01:23:11 PM »
Yes!  ;D

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steamy

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2015, 04:15:33 PM »
Cool survey! Thanks Dutch Uncle!

I was def the scape goat, my mum used to directly blame me for things that went wrong for her. Even when she might have cut her finger or dropped a plate. I can hear her now, "I've just cut my finger making YOUR dinner, you drive me crazy."

I was also the problem child I have even been called the prodical son and black sheep of the family in public.

The amazing thing is that the roles assigned never bear any relation to reality, the prodical son comment came after i had just graduated from putting myself through university after 12 years in the Navy rising to the rank of Cheif Petty Officer by age 24. Some prodical son. My parents wanted others to think that they had paid to put me through university.

I later became the invisible child, I used to compete in bicycle races on a normal shop bought bike with 1 1/4 inch wheels, was probably the least cool guy in the group out on training rides in trousers with cycle clips when my peers were decked out in the latest Lycra. I used to try to get lifts to events and sometimes had to resort to riding there and participating before riding home again.

I also became the golden child lol


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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2015, 05:49:29 PM »
Could you tell me what you voted? It's not clear to me. You mentioned so many  ;) .

To clarify: This poll is not about what role was assigned to you, but the role you took up yourself. (they may be congruent, if you're obedient, or not, if you're rebellious. Or you may even have switched from one to the other)


I was assigned the Scapegoat (I'm supposed to clear all the mess, preferably by 'acting it out'.) but I resisted my whole life (resulting in ever existing conflict: How dare you not solve our mess!), and thus tried to be become invisible. ("Huh? Our mess? No-no-no, not mine! But let's keep that under the table, where it already is.")
So I voted: Invisible Child.

When you f.e. said : "I also became the golden child lol" was that you who took up that role at that time, or was it what became expected of you at some point? And if so, did you then 'oblige', or stuck to the role you had already taken by then?

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woodsgnome

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Re: Self discovery - Your role in your FOO
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2015, 08:57:38 PM »
I dunno, I'm resistant to ever dredging up the FOO follies, but the *, I gave it a twang of the old emotional rubber band but still come up too confused and/or too angry to really know if my vote was accurate.

If I understood right, you vote for what you become, correct? So that's "lost child" land, alright. But I think it matches well with the FOO all the way through. One glaring gaffe in the poll is that I was in pretty steady trouble with school, but much of it wasn't anything I ever actually did either; it was just a disaster, period. I think the m was emotionally ...

umm, well you know what...I really have to bail out of this--it's too upsetting...but if a vote was requested, yeah the lost child fits, at least at the end, once upon a time. I know what happened, every stinking detail, and analyzing it all leads me to just one big cry; I'll have to leave it at that. Sorry.
                              :sadno: :'( :'( :'( :sadno:
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 09:06:29 PM by woodsgnome »