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#384757 - 02/07/12 04:41 PM The "bad" one.
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
Interesting topic eh?

So I wonder , as we talk about being bullied and the likes, who heard as a kid they were the "bad" one.

As I work through recovery, I have learned that we all have/had a role to play..specifically in our families. Some take on and are given the role of the "bad" kid...For me it was pretty interesting how the perp had good grades and this that and the otherthing...and I was considered the "bad" one.

How as a child do you stand up and say I'm not the bad one, but the golden child is...and in that, it was easier for me to be designated the "bad" one and helped keep the focus from the rest of the dysfunction in my otherwise outside looking in "good" family.

those little words we say to children really have an impact...Now I also did some stupid things as a kid, but I wasnt the "bad" kid...that was a role I played for others benifit whether I knew or not.

Add in to the fact that my "brother" allowed me to play the "bad" son/brother role and take and hold his shame, well, that too pisses me off royaly. It was never mine to hold, yet I did for others at my own expense for many years.

"Funny", if you know me you know that my family have given me some really interesting presents in the past...My mom gave, in my teeen years, a set of 4 pewter monkeys...See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, and the forth was Do no evil, with his hands over his privates....Its funny that they choose me to give that gift too, Id love to tell her she gave them to the wrong son....and interesting , even as a joke, what the little subversve messages we hear allowed us to hold onto things that we didnt fuck up.

Did you hear you were the bad one? Open thread on the topic.


#384758 - 02/07/12 04:49 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: Castle]
timetested Offline

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 30
I still get that, not so much from my mother, but from my aunts and uncles, who do not understand the path my life has taken but agree that it is "unconventional." Even now, as an adult, their comments about it hurt.

#384761 - 02/07/12 04:54 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: timetested]
Anthony39 Offline

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 345
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Mostly from grandma. I was the prototype, but my bro was the improved model. Uncles made fun too. He was smarter, more of everything. I was the one to feel sorry for. Which made my folks push me and tell me to work harder that I was lazy. Little did they know. So be it , I hold no grudge with my bro, not his fault. Just stupid adults. Now we know better than to do a repeat with our kis eh.

Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and lend a hand.
E. E. Hale

#384763 - 02/07/12 05:00 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: Anthony39]
MarkK Offline

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2585
Loc: Denver, CO
. oops

#384767 - 02/07/12 05:29 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: MarkK]
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
Precicely the reason the word "bad" was and is in quotes...I would suggest we dont even try to figure out if "bad" is worse than "unwanted" they both suck.

Realy what it's about is a role we were placed the heart of this topic, to deflect the real dysfunction in a "family" or "org".

How that role fucked with us, and in many cases, how it went against what we really were on the inside...the real us that couldn't come out.


#384773 - 02/07/12 05:57 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: Castle]
Bradley P Offline

Registered: 11/03/10
Posts: 44
Loc: AR
Castle, you bring about an interesting question.

Yes, in many ways, I was the bad one. My parents never understood was mostly the middle school years. I became a loner, I wrote about suicide all the time (which my father read from my personal journal btw), I stole stuff, I lied all the time.

"Life is for living, we all know...but I don't want to live it alone"-Chris Martin (Coldplay)

#384781 - 02/07/12 06:56 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: Bradley P]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3885
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I was the "Black Sheep" in my family - ironically. I was always compliant and obedient and trying super-hard to live up to impossibly perfedctionistic standards - and achieved well - straight A's, extra-curriculars like plays, debate team, student leader, etc. but never good enough for the step-father. I was blamed for everything that was wrong in the family. Big issue was i wasn't his deceased son or daughter - who were perfect. Then whe he and mom had two more sons when i was in middle school, they could do no wrong - and my position was cast in concrete. I never acted out in any way - was always the scapegoat and to outsiders looked like the perfect kid - but to step-father i couldn't do anything right. Wasn't til college that i started acting out - in very mild ways - grew long hair and facial hair and started listening to rock music and expressing non-conservative political views. Then the shit really hit the fan cuz they had something definite to pin on me.

Still smarting from the irrationality and injustice,


A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense to not himself.
Or just as mad.
So there you are.
Stark raving sane.
- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

#384789 - 02/07/12 07:43 PM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: traveler]
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 116
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
I became the black sheep of my family the moment the school called my parents in way back when I was in grade 1 to tell them I was learning disabled and dropped a thick (just over 20 page) report on them to back it up. That's when everything changed. I still remember the ride home in the car after this happened. I kept asking what happened, if I'd done something wrong, why they were so upset and they wouldn't talk to me. I don't know if it was shock or anger or disgust or what, probably a combination of all of that, but it's never gone away.

My parents and my grandmother who they were very tight with wrote me off at that point as their "defective first child" (their words) and pinned their hopes on my younger sister and brother who was born a few weeks after this happened. Mom didn't come home from the hospital after he was born because she had a followup operation to have her tubes tied and I was told that this was to make certain they couldn't have any more children because they didn't want to take any chances that any more might turn out like me. Life became a living hell because my parents took it out badly on me whenever I didn't measure up, which was a frequent occurrence and the whole learning disability issue precipitated a bullying issue at the school I got moved to.

My sister later became another black sheep too and it was heartbreaking seeing my parents treat here like worthless garbage over the stupidest things. Dad refused speak to her for months because she didn't want a carpet in her bedroom on top of the hardwood floor when dad was insisting that each bedroom should have a carpet because she was afraid that she'd accidentally spill something and damage it since he'd have killed her if that happened. My parents love my brother though. He got into university and is doing well there which is more than my sister or I did. The fact that I got into university and then dropped out after a couple of years was unforgivable and really cemented the whole "failure" and "defective" status with my parents. My brother also models their asshole behaviour too and they love that, they think it's great even though he's a real jerk to everybody. He's totally above criticism though even when he gets violent with family members and beats the shit out of people. Again, they see their own behaviour in him and they love it. He's the golden kid because he turned out exactly like they did.

I tried so hard for so long to try and make my parents happy and nothing worked. No amount of work around the house, not getting a series of jobs that got progressively better. Not going back to school and taking a 3 year advanced diploma and graduating with honours from college. I even got a good full time job at my college co-op placement's employer who skipped the job interview for the full time position and held it open for me until I graduated. None of that counted for anything with my parents but I'm glad I did well for myself, finally, after a lot of very hard work despite fact that they seemed to be making everything unnecessarily difficult for me. It turns out that they actually were deliberately throwing up roadbloacks and I wasn't imagining things because it finally came out several months ago from one of my aunts and a family friend that my parents were really pissed off when I started bringing honour roll letters home from college. They were so heavily invested in the whole thing about me being the black sheep of the family that me finally doing well was embarrassing them pretty badly. Good - I'm glad it embarrassed them! They should be embarrassed - of themselves.

If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.

#384888 - 02/08/12 10:46 AM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: Castle]
gjonbos Offline

Registered: 09/23/11
Posts: 48
Loc: MA

The irony in that gift is insane. I think the package was mislabeled. If opening something like that doesn't slap a muzzle on a little kid that went through what you did, I don't know what else would.

I might not have been labeled the "bad" one, but I sure felt like it.

IMO....between you and that brother of yours...there is no comparison. You are the "good" one.

"Place your past into a book
Put in everything you ever took
Place your past into a book
Burn the pages let them cook"

#384892 - 02/08/12 11:03 AM Re: The "bad" one. [Re: gjonbos]
Shaun The Sheep Offline

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 188
Loc: West Coast
Yup - "bad" one here too.

My family's neglect and abuse wasn't directly related to whatever abuse I suffered (I can't remember any and it likely happened before I was old enough to remember). Still, my older brother was favored - me and my sister had to learn to fend for ourselves because he was allowed to hit us for 'being disrespectful' (and then Mom or Dad would follow up with a punishment of their own) but nobody did anything about how cruel he was to us.

I remember certain vignettes - family dinners that were knotted-stomach-tension-fests. Remembering pushing my brother out of the way because I was about to throw up and how my Dad was about to put me in the back bedroom for a 'conversation' until I threw up in the sink.

Being a parent doesn't mean that you completely understand group dynamics and the challenges of life make it convenient to stay in the moment instead of stepping back and thinking about what you're really doing and saying. Yes, I was the 'bad' kid but I know that they're wrong and I make sure that I tell my son I love him and that he's a good boy every day.

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