Survivor Roles of ACA’s
When children are born and raised in a family with one or more addicts as parents, they often revert to certain family survival roles, as explained by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse. The child molds themselves into a certain role in an effort to survive the dysfunctional family, and attempt to steer attention from the addiction to other areas in their lives. One of the addict family system survival roles that Wegscheider-Cruse writes and teaches about is the child’s role of being the “family hero”. In this paper I will dig deeper into what it means for a child to be the “family hero” and how holding this position within their family may affect them later in life.
The “family hero” is often described as being the child that is an over achiever, good child, social adapted, engaged in extracurricular activities and hold themselves to very high standards. This child is often the first born, therefore feeling that they must set the bar high for their younger brothers and sisters, in order to set them up for achievement later in life as well. This child often feels that the family’s sense of worth or standing in society rest on their shoulders, therefore feeling as if they let the family down if they do not success at what they are doing in life.
When the “family hero” often performs the daily duties of the adult at home, as the adult may not be able to complete these duties themselves. This may include simple things like grabbing the mail when they return from school all the way to getting their younger brothers and sisters up in the morning, fed breakfast, washed, dressed and on the bus. By doing these sort of duties, this child may feel as if they are working hard to support the family, when in reality, they are ignoring their own needs, feeling and goals in life. Children holding this survival role, children often set their own wants...