What role did you play in your family as a child?


Well-Known Member
You were the golden child, parents favorite, could do not wrong.

You were the scapegoat, blamed for everything you did even the good in you.

The lost child. You were ignored in comparison with siblings.

You were not given a role. You had great parents who validated everyone equally.

You were a mixture. Sometimes you were the golden child, but if you let your parents down you could find yourself a scapegoat.

What about tour parents? Loving and kind and fair or erratic and maybe personality disordered? Did you turn out to parent like your parents?

This is a topic that has always interested me. I hope I'm not alone but if I am thanks for reading anyway.

I will answer. I was a scapegoat by mother and her brother, my detested uncle, since babyhood. Mother told me I was hard to hold do she didn't. She propped a bottle in my crib. I think she blamed me for not melding into her arms even as an infant. Highly sensitive and prone to raging anger at me. I think definitely borderline traits if not borderline.

Dad had no favorites. Not home much. Narcicism. But I loved him for not treating me second best and felt Mother started most of their constant fights.

I had many mental health issues, which was partly why my mother scapegoated me. I did however know it and get help early. I learned how to parent by copying my wonderful mother in law and doing the opposite of my mother and know I was a loving good mom. Never close to my DNA family. Less and less close as I got older and healthier. Probably won't ever talk to any DNA member after the will from my father is distributed.

There is too much that went on for me to feel comfortable or safe around my siblings. Prefer my family of choice plus my sis in law and bro in law because they liike me the way I am and my two DNA siblings think the worst of me and my sister has a weird habit of calling the cops on me if she gets mad at me. And she wont admit this is ridiculous or apologize...therefore she could call the cops again. Haha my daughter is in law enforcement now. Maybe Sis is borderline like Mother because who does that with the cops? A borderline does !! Anyway there is no hope. Both she and my very nice bro also think the worst of me. But we will never discuss it again. It doesn't matter now.

I have so much love in my life. I can't accept that scapegoat stuff anymore. And I have no desire to be demeaned. Even nice brother wrote me a letter once probably to tell me what I did wrong. He was Mother's favorite. I never read his list of complaints. I threw it out. I have a lot of will power.

Sorry for the novel. Answer if you like, but two sentences will do lol.

Oh yeah. Also I was the oldest kid!
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Well-Known Member
I felt my dad was always in competition with me. Though he appreciated that I was clever and smart, because I made him look good, at home he was basically hateful. He was very big on image and everything looking perfect.

My mom preferred my brother (three years younger) over me most of my life. My brother is very much like my father was, judgmental and arrogant, and my mom bent over backwards for his acceptance. In recent years, my mom has recognized my brother's behaviors and is standing up for herself.

My brother is a jerk. Always has been. He wants to rewrite his life so he's perfect - his daughter was horrified to discover her mom was five months pregnant with her when Brother and Wife got married, and even more horrified to learn that her oh so perfect father had been married before. He dislikes me because I have an excellent memory, I know where the bodies are buried, and I'm basically a loose cannon when I'm really annoyed. He annoys me. I adore my niece, though. My nephew - just like his father.

Baggy Bags

Active Member
I was the only child (counselor, rock, emotional support) of the hard-done-by, cheated-on, divorced, bi-polar mom.
And I look just like my dad, so that didn't help.


New Member
I was mostly the BAD child in the splitting of two parents with personality disorders. In addition, the family was a Type III alcoholic family(no drinking but all the same family rules) and in that family I was the scapegoat. In the first instance, we had two separate families, with my younger siblings 7 and 10 years behind my sister and I. I do not know where my two young siblings fit, but I suspect that my mid brother was the bad child in that split group.


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I was the youngest of 2 and only daughter. Very close to my mom she was awesome. I still miss her. My dad traveled for his job and was probably an alcoholic but he always loved me and provided for his family. My brother was the problem child but also a type a personality works hard and has completely turned his life around and has helped me with my son. He did give me a hard time as a kid. I am very close to his daughter.


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Marlboro I had no idea about personality disorders as a young person. But I was split black. Mother had many over the top heroes. Nobody was just okay to her. People were all good or all bad.
Even when I, black sheep, , did something very nice she turned it bad. Like adopting my kids. I did it for the money of course. Lol there was no money but she said "I don't believe you." What else is new? I HAD to have bad motives for all I did. That was Mommie Dearest.

The only person in my family who was totally nice was my brother. Everyone else had serious issues but either did not admit it (still don't) or truly believed they were healthy! Annosgnosia. Now I get it. I had no idea especially how my clearly wacky mom could think she was normal but I'm sure she thought she was.

The only person in my small family of origin with a normal loving non dysfunctional family of choice is me, the scapegoat. I think most of my family of origin have serious problems getting romantically close to anyone. With intimacy. My mother never had a lpving long term good relationship. She left my dad. My brother did not either. My uncle married after his mother died. He was petrified to be alone and too selfish to have kids. He was overly attached to his mother even into his 40s. My mother worshipped ( not just liked...
Worshipped) many people mostly male..her
.brother, my brother, her boyfriend before he cheated on her....ad nauseum. Black and White. Nobody was okay. They were all good or all bad. I was all bad. Dad was all bad. My husband was bad. Not one redeeming feature did any of us have. Splitting.

I am glad I detached. I see my sister struggle to love a normal man and she can't. I think it is just being around the DNA group too much for too long. She claimed shes never loved her husband snd divorced him. Now she is totally addicted to a narcicist and they are awful to each other. She is not a terrible person. I just can't risk her cop calls and her drama wears me out. And too much was done for me to trust her. And I wasn't an angel either. I fought back. She hated that. There are other stories beyond how she called the cops me, like her sudden silent treatments but that I could live with. What I no longer want is the threat of cops. And since she never says that was a bad way to handle a situation that was not illegal, I would rather not speak to her than risk her doing that again. The constant silent treatments in between her calling me to start another relationship again ( doomed to fail) and then the inevitable cops call has worn me out and is so typical of both the on/off behavior and the revenge seeking of the Borderline (BPD).

I am going to stick with my positive peeps :)
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Pink Elephant

Well-Known Member
I was the stereotypical big sister growing up, helping with the care of my baby siblings all the time. I prepared bottles, changed diapers (cloth diapers, pins, rubber pants), helped with laundry, including hanging on the line, went shopping with mom, and whatever else needed doing, I always seemed to be there.

I was that big sister pushing a baby stroller with a baby sibling firmly seated through the park at age 9 and 10, and Friday night was my babysitting night. Mom and dad always went shopping on Friday night, so I spent many a Friday night babysitting. You grow up fast when you're made to feel like a mom or adult.

I was labeled, dependable, by my mom, and that always made me feel grown-up and mature, which I liked, and for my age, I was always light-years ahead of my peers.

I kept my nose clean for the most part, buckling-down in school and always holding down part-time work. I babysat a ton, and I do mean a ton. From baby siblings, to baby cousins, to neighbourhood kids, I was always babysitting for someone, especially when school got out for the summer. I spent two separate (full) summers babysitting from Monday to Friday, for two different families, both with babies and young children, which helped keep me out of trouble.

My parents were old-fashioned and always expected me to set a good example, which I did, and I was okay with that, but, I do feel, looking back on it now, that such ideals can attribute to a stressful upbringing for some, even though I wasn't effected by such.

I definitely picked-up slack in the home, and mostly all on my own. Being mature for my age, I knew when to step-in and offer-up my help or services, and I'm so proud of myself for being the way I was. I absolutely know that my parents were always so very appreciative of me.

I couldn't have asked for a better upbringing.


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I've mentioned before, I had great parents and I was a great kid. Very Leave it to Beaver family. I have one older brother and my parents were old enough to be our grandparents. They were 19 and 35 when they married and were married 13 years before my brother came and another 4 before me, so I think they appreciated having kids more than a lot of younger parents. Plus, they'd had their honeymoon period a lot longer and being tied down to kids wasn't a burden. That doesn't mean they weren't strict, because they tended to be, and never yelled or spanked, because that happened too; but they were good, loving, parents. We were poor, but never really knew it. They stood up for us. The school principal never really wanted to see our mom coming. ;)

In return, my brother and I were good kids. We liked each other okay...though we really don't have much to do with one another as adults. It's not that we don't love each other still - we just don't have a lot in common. But we both were obedient and loving children. That's not to say we never did anything wrong - we were kids and kids do that. But generally speaking, we'd never do anything that would make our parent's truly ashamed of us. Having my mother tell me she was disappointed in me was worse than any spanking.

If there were any labels, I'd say I was the smart one. Unfair perhaps to us, but so mild really. My brother was smart, but rather unmotivated as a student. C's and B's were fine...and for some reason, my parent's didn't push him. I'd bring home an A- and my mom might say, "Well that's nice dear, but why isn't it an A?" There was no push for him to go to college - though he married young and really had no choice after that...but it was always assumed I would go to college. I was never asked if I was going - I just was. (When I brought home a 3.3 gpa first semester - Mom asked why I wasn't on Dean's list. When I brought home a 3.5 and made Dean's list, she asked why it wasn't a 4.0. :unsure: I made a 3.75 and then a 4.0 pretty much every semester after that.) My brother did tell me much later that it bothered him, how proud they were of me. They put my picture in the local paper when I got into college, saved the clipping from every Dean's list announcement - which I just realized they don't put in the paper - so they much have gotten that published! - and put a photo and announcement when I got into law school too. They bragged on me a lot. My brother actually has two degrees now, is in a higher government position than I and makes a lot more money than me - all after my parent's passed away. They would be so proud of him too.

I do think their attitudes weren't favoritism, but simply how they saw the world. As a kid (mom) and young adult (dad) during the depression, they were hard working and frugal and fairly sexist really. Men were supposed to work hard - it was the manly thing to do. My mom had always worked too...she'd been a cook or laborer all her life and she had a simple goal for me: She wanted me to work in air conditioning. :) Really, that's it. She told me that many times - to sit in air conditioning, instead of slaving over a stove and fryer in a hot kitchen...that was her dream for me.

It's been nearly 29 years since I lost Daddy and 31 since I lost Mom. I still miss them both every single day.


Active Member
I'm an only child. I had a childhood that I'm still trying to come to terms with. Much of it was spent in a bar with parents who are/were alcoholics. The profession my dad was in was filled with amazingly awesome diverse people that I was exposed to. My parents took me with them everywhere. I'm very close to my mom, but also have some unresolved resentments/anger related to my childhood and feeling that I wasn't adequately protected. She lives with me and for the most part it works, but there are times...... My dad passed several years ago and at the time had been sober for ten years. He was the dad then that I had always wanted and I treasure that time we had. I so wish he would have lived to not only see his grandson who was his absolute pride and joy grow up, but to enjoy his sobriety. He died of liver cancer due to cirrhosis.


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Lil now I know why you turned out so amazing. I'm going to have to ask you about venues in St. Louis soon!!

Everyone else it is interesting to learn our roots. Our childhood is what launches us into the world and a piece of it stays with us always. I am no longer angry at anyone but I have a lot of gratitude that things turned around.

Keep the stories coming!

Pink Elephant

Well-Known Member
I was just thinking about babysitting, being a mom, and the maturity level younger girls had back in the 60's, compared to young girls today.

I'm not saying such in blanket form, because there's always the exception, but it seemed us girls were ahead of our day when it came to knowing how to cook, clean, tend to babies and children, and do other domestic related things, compared to young girls nowadays.

Seemed we were far more ready to enter family life (marriage, children) when the time came, than our modern counterparts are today. Sure, I know times have changed, but still, just made me think about it more today after responding to a couple of other newer started threads.