Clinical experience and research show that adult children of narcissists have a difficult time putting their finger on what is wrong, because denial is rampant in the narcissistic family system:
“The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression and has no clue about how he or she got that way.”—Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family
Can’t we all get along? That’s a tall order when your limelight has been snatched away by your adorable new little brother. Family, you love them and you hate them. There are so many things to consider when you think of family: there’s birth order, rivalries, the only child, to name a few.
So what is a functional family? How do we know if we have one? How would you define a functional family?
Were you considered the responsible child while your younger brother or sister was the rebel or ‘Mummy’s little one’?
According to experts as children we all played a specific role in our family, although which role was not always within our control. It may be due to gender, family culture or the order in which we were born. However the legacies of being the model child or the baby may continue to help or haunt us in our adult lives and understanding these silent family agreements can help us break behavioural patterns which could at times be disabling. Flavia Mazelin Salvi explains the four different roles: