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This page hopes to create more of an awareness of some roles or characters that you might be getting stuck into. It is very common for people to take on such characters, if you identify with a role or roles then don’t worry your not in the wrong. However, by reading this you might find you are taking on a character which makes you unhappy and by finding out that it is a character; this means you do not necessarily have to play it!
For example, when you are at school you take on the role of a student and when you are at home you take on the role of a sister/brother or daughter/son, and so on. With an addict in the family, family members can be a mother/father, sister/brother and also take on other roles such as the Scapegoat.
If you feel like you are always getting the blame for things, you could be playing the scapegoat character. People might blame you for things as a way of taking the attention off of them and their bad behaviours. This is ok to be feeling like this, you might feel like you have not done anything wrong but eventually you start to think well maybe I have, maybe everything is my fault? Well this is when you are taking on the scapegoat role, now you know this is what you might be doing, next time you get the blame for something try to remember it may not always be your fault.
If you feel like you are always having to take care of someone you know or live with because they use drugs or alcohol then you could playing the caretaker character. You may feel like it is your responsibility to take care of the person who takes drugs or uses alcohol. This is ok to be feeling like this and understandable as you may feel like if you don’t take care of the person no one else will. But, it is not your responsibility. Now you know this is what you might be doing, maybe you could let another adult know who you trust to try and get some help for you so you don’t have to look after the person all the time.
If you feel like you are acting like everything is ok, then you could be playing the Hero character. When others look at you they think that you are doing ok, because you may be putting on a brave face and not letting others know what’s really going on. This is ok to be feeling like this and understandable sometimes it helps to put on a brave face. But it can also be helpful to let someone you trust, know how you really feel, for example you could visit the COAP forums and tell other people how you are feeling and this might make you feel better.
f you feel like you make jokes to make things easier to deal with, then you could be playing the clown character. You may find when things get tense and you are in a difficult situation you make jokes to try and calm things down. This is ok to do this and sometimes it can really help a situation. It is also helpful sometimes to know that you may be playing the clown character, and that it is not always your responsibility to calm a situation down
If you feel alone and lost or distant from family members and friends, you could be playing the lost child character. You may feel like you try to distance yourself from the family that is not working well together, and this is ok to feel like this and understandable as sometimes distance can protect you from getting more upset and stressed out. You may feel like you are so well behaved that no-one notices you or you may feel like you have stopped communicating and interacting with others altogether or you may leave home. It can be helpful if you are feeling like a lost child to let an adult or friend you trust know how you are feeling or help you to find some support where you can talk about your feelings.