Branches of the Personality Disordered Family Tree

The Bully
Sees their family as possessions. They vicariously live through the children, assigning each one certain roles – and expect the children to unconsciously adopt their given roles. The Bully is a Narcissist, craving to be the center of attention. They carefully create an illusion for the others to lose their True Selves in. This illusion becomes their method of hiding their intentions, and the toxicity of the family. The Bully is known to get emotionally or physically violent if anyone dares to disagree with him/her. They always blame others or external situations for losing their temper – never accepting responsibility or owning up to their faults. Their goal is to maintain power and control, at any cost.

The Golden Child
This person will be seen by the disordered elders as the perfect representation of the family – the one they are most proud of, and brag about to others outside the home. This child probably does well in school, obeys the unspoken rules of the family, such as “Don’t question our fallible logic or destructive ways.” Even if the GC makes mistakes, like everyone does, it’s simply ignored by the disordered family – this child is pampered with everything they want, materially. The GC is allowed to get away with murder, figuratively or literally. They can physically attack the Scapegoat (coming close to killing) and have absolutely no consequences by the elders. In fact, the elders will shift the blame to the Scapegoat. The GC is expected to keep their appearance kept up, dress nicely, smile a lot in public, and don’t show a lot of creativity or self-expression. Also, they’re expected to do well financially, but not too well. If the parents didn’t go to college, the child will likely graduate high school and then never seek any other type of education. The elders want you to make them look good, not bad. It may seem that the Favorite One will turn out better than the less favorable ones, but this is the grand illusion – as these children are the most easily controlled by the disordered elders. The GC almost always ends up very disordered themselves, leading to a life of unfulfillment. They rarely discover their True Self.

The Forgotten Child
These are the people who don’t really fit into the mold of the Golden Ones or the Scapegoat – they are simply forgotten in the background. Their existence is neither hated nor celebrated by the disordered family members. They lack the needed traits to be the Golden Child, as they are usually somewhat freethinkers – which the Bully and Enabler, of course, doesn’t tolerate. So, the FC unconsciously hides the fact that they’re aware of the hypocrisy in the family. They rather be invisible than to be the enemy. They often struggle with codependency, and feel they really don’t matter in the big picture of things. They’re scared to shine or really express their creativity. The Forgotten Child has very poor communication skills, and low self esteem.

The Scapegoat
Values truth over acceptance. Expresses creativity. This child speaks up about the unfairness and imbalance within the family. They are considered a rebel, outcast, and crazy by those who are in power. The SG is abused severely – mentally, emotionally, and/or physically due to their inability to be successfully brainwashed. They may go through years wondering if there really is something terribly wrong with them. But, at the same time, they know that there is definitely more insanity in the disordered family – even if they, too, are a bit “crazy” by association. When they try to be independent from the family, their efforts are usually squashed – as most people need help, in the beginning, getting to and from work, etc. The elders will refuse help or punish the Scapegoat while giving them rides (example: using the time in the car to complain about how much of a burden the SG is to everyone.) This often holds the SG back from their true potential, until they find sources outside the family who can help them. They usually end up going No Contact with their abusers, and realize how much more peaceful life is once the primary source of toxicity is removed. Many people won’t understand why they chose to leave the family – having the impression that things weren’t as bad as the SG makes it seem.

The False Hero or Enabler 
This is someone who keeps the home functioning enough so that the toxicity doesn’t interfere with normal daily life, to the extreme. Such as: making sure the bills are paid, the garbage is taken out, laundry is done, meals are made, the kids are sent to school. This person may think they are a hero, but in actuality, they are keeping the real problems from being confronted in the family – letting reality be ignored. A real crisis, or hitting rock bottom, usually is so uncomfortable that it forces people to find a new way of thinking and being. This can lead to positive transformation, getting control over an addiction, etc. When a crisis is constantly averted, nothing gets resolved or realized. Because, there is the illusion of things going smoothly enough to continue doing what they have always done. When confronted by the Scapegoat about the imbalance and toxicity in the family, the Enabler may turn into the Bully – terrified that the family secret will be revealed. They do damage control, seeking to silence those who may speak out – usually, by making excuses for the problems in the family, as if it is all due to external situations, and pushing the idea that the problems will magically go away on their own someday – if everyone just leaves it be. Or, they may try to Infantalise the Truth Speaker/Scapegoat, so that they never become fully independent and gain some solid ground, paired with their ability to spread the truth about the family secrets.

The Infantalised Adult
They are relieved of normal adult responsibilities by one or more family members, to cover up the fact that this person was not given the proper developmental tools from youth, by the parents. They are likely to be mentally and emotionally stunted from a young age. For example: encouraged to start drinking beer during childhood, not taught to clean up after oneself, or to do their own laundry. They often are a Bully and/or an Enabler. Blinded to what their parents have done to them, they probably think there was nothing abnormal about their upbringing. Brainwashed to believe they are making smart decisions for their self, but really they are constantly being influenced by the toxic parents. Their parents may raise then to be a hard worker to use them for money.

Flying Monkeys
This role is given to those recruited by the Bully and/or Enabler, attempting to intimidate or influence others (commonly the Scapegoat) from having a clear perspective of the toxic family dynamics. The Flying Monkey(s) may be used to deliver messages to the person who chooses to go No Contact with the abusive family members. Messages meant to get the escapee to return and fulfill their role. They use accusations such as: “You’re being so heartless.” “Dad is sick and needs you, don’t you care?” “Why does everything have to revolve around you? Think of others, for a change.” these messages are intended to guilt-trip or shame the person who is simply exiting a severely abusive situation. FMs are conditioned to stay within the realms of a fantasy world manufactured by the Bully and/or Enabler.

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