The Lost Child. The “role” of a lifetime.

Within role-playing dynamics of household systems, many latchkey kids (a kid who is at house without adult guidance for some part of the day, particularly after school until a parent returns from work) may identify with all 4 fundamental functions: hero, mascot, lost child and scapegoat– taking one on as the household evolves or devolves. Remarkably, my bro, besieged with the exact same variables as me, struggled far more than I did (with school, with friends, with the law) and so this lost child quickly became the undoubted scapegoat of the household, a function he sadly typifies to this day.

Be the addicts roots steeped in blood or stitch up from the environment, nothing records both of these concepts like the idea of family. By meaning, family systems involve heredity. The alcoholic dad or mother produce a dysfunctional solar system in whose gravity no child can leave.

Whether one leans toward one school of thought or the other matters little bit when thought about through the lens of family systems. Unusually enough, no one else in my recognized family tree has anything carefully resembling what I went through, as an alcoholic and an addict. Depending on how one were to frame the argument, my disease is either plainly acquired from my moms and dads or we in the immediate family were merely anomalies.

Having actually been sober and tidy for almost twenty years, I am deeply acquainted with the 12-step design for recovery (I actively take part in Alcoholics Anonymous and am grateful for the program) but I likewise recognize that AA and NA are not treatment programs and that there are other techniques and treatments for helping clients accomplish long-term sobriety.

Coming from the proverbial broken home (moms and dads separated at a really early age), I initially determined with the role of Lost Child. I had no one on which to model my habits, and so looked for after role designs, and, being a just a kid, I made many bad options in this procedure, some important. Discovering a group of older, troublemaking teenagers in the community became my de facto household system.

For long stretches we both obtained the defining attribute of a mascot: namely, being the funnyman. Using humor (the darker the better) we learned the dark art of sarcasm and became long-lasting cynics while doing so. And to believe this all began being household mascots, deflecting with jokes, our own unhappiness and pain.

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The Lost Child. The “function” of a lifetime.
April 15, 2021

Within role-playing dynamics of household systems, most latchkey kids (a child who is at home without adult supervision for some part of the day, particularly after school until a parent returns from work) might determine with all four basic functions: hero, mascot, lost child and scapegoat– taking one on as the family progresses or devolves. I aspired for more and would come to welcome characteristics more in line with the hero archetype: the firstborn son in my family system yearning attention, adulation and accolades. Interestingly, my brother, beleaguered with the same variables as me, had a hard time far more than I did (with school, with buddies, with the law) and so this lost kid quickly became the unquestioned scapegoat of the family, a role he sadly represents to this day.

Whether one leans toward one school of thought or the other matters little bit when thought about through the lens of family systems. Strangely enough, no one else in my known household tree has anything carefully resembling what I went through, as an alcoholic and an addict. Depending on how one were to frame the argument, my disease is either clearly inherited from my parents or we in the immediate family were simply abnormalities.

Growing up, I wasnt especially mindful of my parents drinking. Left to my own devices, without appropriate function designs, I readily discovered kinship with the drinkers and druggies in my neighborhood and high school. With no one looking out for my finest interests, I fended for myself, creating a hazardous household out of a motley crew.

I feel a kinship with individuals who have a hard time accepting AAs first step: that of being powerless over drugs and alcohol and accepting that their lives have ended up being uncontrollable. Perhaps I remember all too well the lonesome child I as soon as was, and still am, and am encouraged to divine sobriety from these kindred spirits.

Still, my households characteristics (or do not have thereof), produced myriad chances for my dependency to grow or, possibly much better said, produced a particular phase set for my function as a brother, son and addict to intertwine and bind together.

Over the years, before and after my recovery, Ive become attuned to seeing these roles and variations presented by others. In particular, Ive discovered it to be useful type of “profiling” within the treatment community. Understanding how roles and archetypes played a part of each of my customers addiction stories along with how they present within the context of the milieu is a practical and interesting way to develop rapport and produce a healing relationship.

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