What Is Your Role?
by Chris de Serres
Every family is a system. For the system to function, you have to play your role. If you don’t like your role and you want to change it, the system rebels. It creates pressure. It needs you to be what you unconsciously agreed to be. It needs you to be what your parents socialized you to be. If you can’t function in your role, you may have to walk away entirely. There are no restarts.
But you never lose your role. Even walking away from your family occupies a role.
Maybe you were the scapegoat in the family. A regular source of blame and criticism. You are a way for the system to relieve anxiety. When your parents find it too difficult to deal with their marital issues, they transfer the anxiety to you. The fuck up. The clumsy one. The mouthy one. Always acting out. They need you to be the scapegoat.
They triangulate you.
You are too young to realize what is happening, to differentiate yourself from what they want you to be. So you agree to be the scapegoat. Resigned to this role, you fulfill it. You fuck up. You drop dinner onto the carpet. You yell and scream because that is your role. Even your siblings are socializing you, as you are socializing them to play their roles.
There are many roles. What is yours? How does it serve your system?