Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Childhood dysfunction

I've noticed these past couple of months an increase in impatient, "Don't worry lah"'s from friends. It made me pull up short and reflect a bit on this 'worry-wart' trait. I know that one of the reasons why I worry has much to do with a fairly dysfunctional family. I got this off the Net:-

Children growing up in a dysfunctional family have been known to adopt one or more of six basic roles:

"The Good Child" – a child who assumes the parental role.

"The Problem Child" – the child who is blamed for most problems in spite of being the only emotionally honest one in the family.

"The Caretaker" – the one who takes responsibility for the emotional well-being of the family.

"The Lost Child" – the inconspicuous, quiet one, whose needs are often ignored or hidden.

"The Mascot" – uses comedy to divert attention away from the increasingly dysfunctional family system.

"The Mastermind" – the opportunist who capitalizes on the other family members' faults in order to get whatever he/she wants.

They may also:

think only of themselves to make up the difference of their childhoods. They're still learning the balance of self-love

distrust others

have difficulty expressing emotions

have low self-esteem or have a poor self image

have difficulty forming healthy relationships with others

feel angry, anxious, depressed, isolated from others, or unlovable

perpetuate dysfunctional behaviors in their other relationships (especially their children)

lack the ability to be playful, or childlike, and may "grow up too fast"

I definitely remember my role as "The Mascot" ... and in a sub-role, "The Caretaker". Always anxious, always keeping an eye out for trouble and trying to divert it....

Last night somebody retaliated pretty angrily when I tried to diffuse the situation with humour when I saw trouble brewing between him and someone else. The short reply which basically translated would mean "Mind your own business" was pretty well-deserved.

I think for this year, I'll be concentrating on remembering that the past is in the past and not in the present. That I no longer have to take up 'roles' but can just go on with my own life now, not worrying or caring overly much about others around me.

Sounds liberating :>

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