In many families where ongoing conflict persists, a heightened tolerance for emotional pain ensues. Denial, rather than resolution become the goal. Repression, shame, and blame become tools that are used to perpetuate the need to deny what exists. Overtime all the members of the family assume different roles to perpetuate the lie. Denial perpetuates the drama that contains the conflict. Each individual within the family system denies their authentic self to avoid conflict. Maintaining the role becomes more important than becoming a separate and autonomous individual. The role then becomes the person’s identity and drama becomes the vehicle to feel alive.
In the process the family adopts three rules to avoid the pain brought about by unresolved pain / conflict / family secret and denial: Don’t Talk. Don’t Trust. Don’t Feel. These rules are used to avoid having to address and confront the issue or “pink elephant” in the center of the room — that no one wants to address.
In my family system, I was either given or assumed the role of a scapegoat. I stayed in that role because I was led to believe that I was responsible for people, places, and things. My role thrived with in the family system because of denial. Through functioning in the role of a scapegoat I was forced to carry the shame that other people with in the family could or would not carry or address. In essence I was given the responsibility of carrying the uncomfortable and unresolved feelings that other people with in the family choose not to deal with in themselves. The “dance” that was created by my role — and the roles of other people with in the family — kept my life in a constant state of drama.
In essence I became the focus of the family and thereby the excuse for not addressing the pink elephant or the uncomfortable feelings associated with the pink elephant.
What I discovered through my recovery process was that by being fixated and focused on the drama, my ability to individuate and live my life atrophied. At the time, my only course of action seemed to be one of survival. My time and energy subsequently were devoted to managing the conflict with in the drama. Consequently, I was duped into believing that the drama would somehow save me. It was only after I experienced an emotional bottom that I started to find my answers. Through my recovery process, I came to understand that the role that I had been given to me or one that I assumed at an early age was never meant to define the will of God for my life.
With my awareness I was able to begin making peace with both God and myself.
By making peace with both God and myself I was able to do the following.
Please read Part 3 of this series. Thank you.
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