The lost child is usually the third born n a dysfunctional family. They are called this because they are literally lost in the crowd. The are quiet, don’t make trouble and don’t get their needs met as a result. They are able to fend for themselves but are often alone and sometimes lonely. They are shy and they are the children the parents don’t think they need to worry. They are lost in the shuffle, fade into the woodwork, disappear when trouble starts, hide from life and are often times happy doing so. In other power systems that are dysfunctional the same principles apply. These people are sad and unhappy, often times closet drinkers. They are looking for love and do not find it because no one is paying attention.
Change can also happen for lost children. They will need to begin to get rid of their fear and start to put themselves out there to be seen. Take chances and use the skills that you have learned to use for yourselves. You are brave to go through life by yourself, use that bravery now to put yourself out there. Get involved with and ACOA meeting (Adult Children of Alcoholics) go to therapy as well because you will have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms as well. Using my relaxation video will help you to calm down enough to put yourself out there and to give away what is no longer working for you.
In all dysfunctional systems, there is a scapegoat. A scapegoat is someone you blame when everything goes wrong. It doesn’t have to be that persons fault, and often times is not, but they will get blamed for whatever it is that has happened to cause the system harm or trouble. If it is within the family system it is usually the second born. They will eventually resent being blamed for everything and rebel against it. They are the children that get into trouble with the legal system, have unplanned pregnancies, experiment with drugs and alcohol and defy authority in general. They do not do well in school, not because they can’t but because they have checked out of society. They are not necessarily sociopathic. They usually care, they just won’t show you they do because you have the potential to hurt them. They do not trust you enough to let you in, you have to earn that. These people know where all of the skeletons are hidden, where all the bodies are buried because they were blamed for it and they know who actually did it.
Help for scapegoats comes when they get away from their system, the unit that is blaming them for everything. They have to be willing to put down the drugs and alcohol, stop the criminal behavior and get a life for themselves. They will not be able to do that within the system because the system needs them to take the blame in order to survive. When they leave, however, the system will elect another scapegoat to take the blame. Going to ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholic) meetings is a good start. Getting Trauma therapy is another. Often times these people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because of what has gone on in their lives. Their criminal activity is usually related to the drugs and alcohol and will have to resolve those things. They make great Drug and Alcohol Counselors because they know all of the tricks, they make great therapist because of the same thing. Here is my relaxation video while you are getting back to yourself.
In a dysfunctional system whether that be a family system or any other system of power, there is a person that develops the characteristics of the systems hero. In a family system it is usually the first born. The super hero saves the family from disgrace. They are the only child in that system that succeeds. They are usually parentified, meaning that they take over for the other children where the parents fail to do so. This is the child that every one says they are 4 going on 40, or they are the little man or woman. They are behaving older then their years. The problem with that is they are missing out on being a child and will have to go back and do that at some point in their lives when they are an adult. You don’t really get to skip over parts of your childhood without something being missing from your growth. Super hero’s do well in school and at home. They are never a problem in the community and obey all of the rules. They are usually super organized because that is the only way they can keep track of everything that they have to do for their parents and siblings. They take over the role of parent because their parents are not doing it. They usually grow into people who need to control because everything about their childhood has been out of control and scary. They are often times rigid in their thinking and not always able to let go of what is stopping them from moving forward with their growth, because when they let go bad things happen.
Even though super hero’s are successful, they are not always happy because they do not know how to play. They are not always happy with their success because they feel something is missing, and it is. Their childhood. In order to heal they will have to learn how to let go of the control they feel they need to hang on to, they will need to learn how to play, they will have to learn how to truly love themselves. ACOA is a good place to start if there are meetings in your area. ACOA is Adult Children of Alcoholics. Even though it says alcoholics, dysfunction is the same no matter what you label it and can be within any system in any culture. Change is possible for this hero and will come when they are able to trust enough to let go of all of the old patterns that kept them safe when they were a child but no longer work in adulthood. List the patterns of behavior that are getting you into trouble and then change them one by one until you are happy with what you’ve got. Remember that you did not cause this and that you did the best you could with the situation that you had at that time. Changing behavior is one of my earlier blogs. Here is my relaxation video to help while your doing it.
A parental figure is anyone who takes on the role of authority. That can be in the home, school, church, judicial system or community. Anyone a child will look to for order, direction or safety in their life. If there is no one stepping up to that plate they will create their own sense of security. A dysfunction happens within that unit when the parental figures are otherwise occupied. That preoccupation can be from addiction and there are many types. Addiction is anything that occupies your thoughts and actions over anything else. It is where you spend most of your time, money and energy. When you are looking at parental figures and addiction, you are looking at dysfunction within the unit that these figures are supposed to be looking after, but fail to do so because of the preoccupation. When you have two figures, it is usually one of them that are the addictive personality and the other is trying to clean up the messes the other is making or trying to make up for what the other is or is not doing. That is called co-dependence. They become addicted to the addict. At the end of the day, no one is watching the store and the kids are running a muck and fending for themselves. Not a good idea.
Changing this behavior involves stopping the addictive behavior. That will require not only stopping what you have been preoccupied with but also the behaviors you have developed with the addiction. There are a variety: cheating, stealing, lying, blaming others, projecting your thoughts on to others or not having enough money to pay your bills because you’re spending it on the preoccupation. It will also require some kind of support while you’re doing it. That can be therapy or meetings like AA, NA, SA, FA, Alanon, Alateen or a variety of others because you can be addicted to anything. Changing is not overnight. There is not a magic pill for anything, just hard work and a determination to not repeat the past. Here is my relaxation video to help you relax while you are changing your behavior, the guided imagery will help you to get rid of old behaviors. Link to the video’s Enjoy!
Just by virtue of the word dysfunction it means that it is not working functionally. A family that is dysfunctional splinters all of the aspects of being human. They place responsibility for each function on a person within that family because one person cannot do it all. Those facets are divided among the children. They have been labeled by mental health professionals as the following: Super Hero, scapegoat, lost child and mascot. They each serve a purpose within the family and the family cannot function without each one doing their part within the family. This week I will talk about each role that is played within the dysfunctional family to help explain how the family works. This system also works well within other systems as well. I have seen it at work in businesses, the judicial system, law enforcement and just about anywhere that you can name that cannot function without separating those parts of the whole. In a functional system, whether that is a family or something else. The components mentioned above are within each individual and the family as a whole helps the individual struggling with something, through whatever that is without judgment, ridicule, being ignored or having to justify whatever it is. The family as a whole helps that person to understand the lessen that needs to be learned without fear of being rejected or unloved. But instead a functional family comes together and supports that individual through whatever it might be that they are going through with unconditional love.
Dysfunction usually comes when people are distracted with life in general. They struggle with their daily lives because of something that is a constant drain on their energies, mental health or physical well being. It is usually looked at in alcoholic or addicted homes. It can be any distraction. It can be a long term illness, homelessness, divorce or anything that allows the children to take on some of the parental roles because the parents either cannot or will not do it themselves. Or that the children are not being taught what children need to be taught. That can be because the parents were never taught it and therefore cannot teach what they do not know themselves or that they do not have the time or energy to do it themselves. This way the child is not getting what they need and develops skills that are not functional within the world, but instead only within that family or system. At some point the child will realize that what they learned within their family does not work in most places in the outside world. They will either choose to change or they will find a dysfunctional system to work in and play the same role they have always played within the dysfunction.
This can also change. You will need to be able to relax while you are doing it. here is the relaxation video while you are making the changes.
Having a feeling of gratitude sets us up for a positive feeling to start the day as well as one to continue with during the day. Being grateful for the things that we have as well as the things that happen to us during the day changes the way we see things. When bad things happen, if we are thanking God for the experience and asking to learn what we need to learn from it, then we will. If we are grumbling and complaining about what just happened then we are learning nothing. The sooner we get to the gratitude the sooner we learn what we need to learn and move on to the next challenge. That doesn’t mean it is easy. We learned somewhere along the line to complain to get what we want. We need to unlearn it and relearn the positive attitude of gratitude. Again it will take 3 weeks of constantly catching yourself complaining, stopping it and replacing it with gratitude to stop the behavior. It will take 3 more weeks to make that behavior a habit. No magic pill. Just hard work. You will need to be able to relax while you’re learning and making mistakes. The more mistakes the long the change will take. Be gentle with yourself. Here is my video to help you give it away and relax.
Using violence of any kind, whether it is verbal or physical, is an indication that you have already lost the battle. Violence does not solve anything. It will get you more violence. People become violent when they feel they have no other choice or when they have been raised in violence and it has worked in their family to get what they want. If you are trying to solve or resolve a problem than violence is not the way to do it. If you are trying to get the upper hand and “win” then you will resort to anything to get what you want and “Win”. Resolving problems has nothing to do with winning. If you are in a relationship and are having an argument or discussion with your partner and you have resorted to violence to win, you should get out of the relationship, because you do not love this person. That is another blog. Resorting to violence means you have to be right and the other person has to do it your way or you will make them. Violence is not winning it is making the other person comply out of fear. You don’t win on a lot of levels. Making someone do something in order for you not to hurt them is bullying. You need to look at why you need to be right all of the time and why you need to win all of the time. It is impossible to do both all of the time. All of us lose once in a while and all of us are wrong some of the time. It should not be ego based whether we win or lose or are right or wrong. It should be a realistic expectation that we are both once in a while. Neither make us bad people, just fully human. Resorting to violence means we have not been taught the skill set that we need to resolve the problem any other way and become frustrated because we don’t have the skill set necessary to do so. Learning the skill set is not impossible no matter what age you happen to be. Finding other ways to resolve your problems will make you a happier, more content person. It is always easier when you accept yourself as a fallible human being like the rest of us. While you’re learning other ways of handling your need to win here is my video to help you relax enough to give away what you cannot control.