likely to be experiencing quite a bit of pain and shame even though they may not see it as the result of excessive alcohol or drug useas things get worse, the alcoholic is faced with increasing feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy, fear, and lonelinessdevelop a number of defenses to hide their shame and guiltmay include irrational anger, charm, rigidity, grandiosity, perfectionism, social withdrawal, hostility, and depressionproject blame or responsibility for their problems onto others including family members who take on unhealthy roles in order to survivechildren of alcoholics feel guilty for their failure to save their parents from the effects of alcohol
steps up and takes control if the alcoholic loses powerenabling is anything that protects the chemically dependent person from the consequences of their actionsspouse often takes on the role, but children and siblings can also be enablers (multigenerational alcoholic families will sometimes designate a child in this role, a sign of more serious pathology)tends to everyone's needs in the familyloses sense of self in tasks of a domestic naturenever takes the time to assess his/her own needs and feelingsperson never gains what they need most in order to get better: insightnever are confronted with the facts that would drive home the point: drugs or alcohol are destroying their lives and their familyas long as the enabler and the chemically dependent family members play their game of mutual self-deception, things never get better - they get worseothers cannot bond with the caretaker due to the bustle of activity
high achiever; takes focus off the alcoholic because of his/her success; perfectionist; feels inadequate; compulsive; can become a workaholicalcohol bestows this role onto the individual whose accomplishments compensate for the alcoholic's behavioroften the oldest child who may see more of the family's situation and feels responsible for fixing the family painchild excels in academics, athletics, music or theatregets self worth from being "special"rest of family also gets self worth ("we can't be that bad if one of us is successful")his/her deeds assure the family that their definition is more than alcoholhero does not receive attention for anything besides an achievement; therefore, inner needs are not methe/she loses the ability to feel satisfied by whatever feat he/she has manifestedas things get worse, the hero is driven to higher and higher levels of achievement. No level of super responsible, perfectionist, over achievement can remove the hero's internalized feelings of inadequacy, pain, and confusionmany others grow up to become workaholics and live under constant stress as they work in the service of others seeking approval for their extraordinary effortthey often end up distancing themselves from their family of origininterestingly, many family heroes grow to marry alcoholics and become enablers
goes against rules; acts out to take the focus off the alcoholic; feels hurt & guilt; because of behavior, can bring help to familylightning rod for family pain and stressdirect message is that they are responsible for the family's chaosfamily assigns all ills to the person who harbors this role, e.g. "Mom would not drink so much if (Scapegoat's name) were not always in trouble."in reality the misbehavior of the Scapegoat serves to distract and provide some relief from the stress of chemical dependencychild has issues with authority figures as well as negative consequences with the law, school and homeon the inside the child is a mass of frozen feelings of anger and painmay show self-pity, strong identification with peer values, defiance, and hostility or even suicidal gesturesthis role may seem strange in purpose. However, if there were no scapegoat, all other roles would dismantle. He/she allows others a pretense of controlalcohol is not identified as an issue -> often, the scapegoat is identified as 'The Problem.'
uses humor to lighten difficult family situations; feels fear; others see him/her as being immature; limited by bringing humor to all situations even if inappropriatethis individual most popular in the family; brings fun and humour into the familylearn to work hard at getting attention and making people laugh especially when the anger and tension of substance use are dangerously highoften named a class clown in school; frequently demonstrates poor timing for the comic relief; most people don't take this child seriouslyoften hyperactive, charmers, or cuteinside, they feel lonely knowing no one really knows the real person behind the clown's maskmay grow up unable to express deep feelings of compassionmay put themselves down often as well as cover up their pain with humouraccepts laughter as approval, but the humor serves to hide inner painful feelingsthe laughter prevents healing rather than produces it
no connection to family; brings relief to family by not bringing attention to the family; feels lonely; does not learn communication and relationship skillshas much in common with scapegoat -> neither feels very importantdisappears from the activity of the familysees much more than is vocalizedreinforced for causing no problemsbuild quiet lives on the edges of family life and are seldom considered in family decisionsthey hide their hurt and pain by losing themselves in the solitary world of short-term pleasure including excessive TV, reading, listening to music, drugs, object love, eating and fantasyfavorite places for the lost child are in front of the T.V. as well as in his/her roomdue to the sedentary lifestyle, a lost child tends to have issues with weightas adults they feel confused and inadequate in relationshipsmay end up as quiet loners with a host of secondary issues such as: sexuality problems, weight problems, excessive materialism, or heavy involvement in fantasy