Note: A child can fill both positive and negative roles.
Roles Assigned to Child With Enmeshing Abuse
- Hero or heroine (good child)
- Surrogate partners
- Surrogate parent
- Mascot (comedian role)
- Daddy's Little Girl (a ROLE, not a name said in passing)
- Daddy's Little Man
- Mommy's Little Girl
- Mommy's Little Man
In a relationship, this person will be “very good at being good.” Because he/she is so adaptable as a child, when they become an adult, they will seek intensity in order to feel alive and do it in a “positive” but COVERT manner.
They derive both shame and a false sense of empowerment from these roles which imparts a sense of value. They objectify those whom they care for by devaluing their partner while also elevating self.
- Scapegoat (problem child)
In a relationship, this person will be “very good at being bad.” This adult will seek intensity in order to feel alive in a “negative” OVERT manner.
Roles Assigned To Child With Abandoning/Neglecting Abuse
In a relationship, this person will act in a dependent, needy manner and try to create intensity inside the relationship itself as he/she perceives that it is the relationship that keeps him/her alive.
Deeper level of the lost child.
- Fear in general.
- Fear of strangers.
- It is a biological imperative and sometimes is necessary for survival, and we then tend to be relational with what is familiar.
- For the person who has been neglected or abandoned, he/she will try to be relational with people who create distance in relationships through the use of walls. (They will naturally be attracted, ironically, to those who are emotionally unavailable to them.)
- For the person who has been enmeshed, he/she will feel compelled to be relational with people who are needy and who believe that they are worthless.
From Pia Mellody's writings and lectures,
and professional training with "The Meadows" treatment facility.
by Mellody, Miller and Miller