Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Abuse Role Assignment Within Family: Thoughts on Love Avoidance And Love Addiction



Part IV: From the writings of Pia Mellody on Love Avoidance and Love Addiction (The dynamics of non-sexual incest)

Roles Assigned to Child With Enmeshing Abuse

Note: A child can fill both positive and negative roles.

“Positive Roles”
  • Hero or heroine
  • Counselor
  • Surrogate parners
  • Surrogate parent
  • Mediator
  • Mascot
  • 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 Enmeshment,


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.

Negative Roles”
  • Scapegoat
  • Rebel

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

“Negative Role”
Lost Child:
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.

Irrelevant Child:
Deeper level of the lost child.

Xenophobia for BOTH SUBTYPES:
  • 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.

I have taken all of this material and that which I will present from Pia Mellody's writings and lectures, and my professional training with "The Meadows" treatment facility. This is all her her copyrighted work that I am citing here for educational purposes only!!!