Golden child

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (5) – Golden Child (Hero)

“Golden Child” has the cherished role, but in long run “Scapegoat” is the one most likely to escape, heal & lead a healthier life.

– Gail Meyers

I wish this quote is at certain level of truth to my life eventually.

Beside of the “Scapegoat” role I wrote another day, there’s another common dysfunctional role that can be found in any toxic/ narcissistic family – “Golden child” (Hero).

There aren’t many discussions / articles about this role if comparing to “scapegoating”, guess it’s because individuals who is crowded with this assigned role will enjoy privileges, take advantage of the situation so usually don’t feel much to complain. They are not able to sense the injustice running in the family and thought they deserve what they have gained.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for those siblings surrounding them in the same family system.

Crowning Glory with supreme image

Golden child always be viewed as the “super star”, “hero” in such kind of dysfunctional family.  They can never do anything wrong and classified as the most talent, beautiful, adorable kid.  My youngest sister, for example, is the lucky one.  A minor success or achievement will give her a great applause from everyone.

Even though we were raised in the same environment, but most of time I feel my status is much inferior to her.  I can see the differences when my dad and other sister, relatives look at her with great admiration, which never happen to me as I’m classified as the worst, laziest, useless kid.

People brag / boast her ego and confidence by highly praise her behaviors, attitudes, personality, etc. while I was demeaned, judged, or name-calling as a total loser, rubbish.  We can do the same thing but receive different reactions from people.

She’s the princess I’m the maid, she’s growing up in Disneyland and I need to self-nurtured in thatched cottage; she’s well-dressed, well-groomed and I’m causal; she always head up high in front of people while I had to head down to stay away from blames.

There were times I strongly feel I’m the character inside the story of “Cinderella”, “Snow white”.  The only difference is there’s no prince save me from the darkness.

Reap without sowing


Since Golden child is the one who is treated as the perfect, brightest and most favorite kid, without a doubt they can get whatever they want without paying as much as effort like others in the family.

I used to work, study hard to earn love, care and respect; I tried to be a good kid – being obedient, do whatever I was told to. But all I got are only blames, bullies, abuse and unfair treatments.  She was allowed to go out at nights for fun, have friends and love relationships, while I need to stay at home for non-stopped housework.  I was scolded by not doing good enough or blame for having friends or social life besides school and work.  I have to save every penny carefully to buy things I want or place to go, but she simply sit there and gifts will be delivered to her hands, nice clothes, accessories and cosmetic etc.

I can’t control myself but jealous.  It’s extremely hurtful for me to watch my sister do / get many things that I dream or desire.

Lack of sense of devotion / responsibility

Because of the prominent position, Golden child usually no need to devote as much as other family members but still manage to grab whatever they want.

No one will blame for my sister not contribute to family finance, but I was picked and calculated for how much I give to the family bank account.  I used to be so naive, contribute and pay whatever I think it’s necessary, but as soon as I spot the differences, I learned to protect myself to save and plan more, started to realize money is the most reliable thing, in case there’s anything bad happened to me.

My sister can order us to buy her breakfast, do her laundry and cook for her.  Her main job at home was chatting on phone, changing clothes and doing make up to look good, while I work like her maid and slave running around to tidy up her mess. Of course I can’t complain, otherwise I will be blamed for being such a “bitchy sister”.  Actually my dad told me straight to my face that I can never expect the same like her, because we are DIFFERENT.  I was so devastated when I heard this comment.

I was totally awaken : Nobody will help me if I don’t help myself.  My life will never get better in here, only get worse if I keep on letting others step over my face.

Sibling relationship was damaged

My dad encourage us, siblings to compete with each other for his love, care and attention.  There’s no unconditional but all are “conditioned” love.  It’s a method for manipulative people who wants to show their power.  My abusive dad make it clear that if anyone wants to get benefits from him, we have to follow his rules.

That’s the thing I hate the most, no matter how much I hungry for love and care, but I want it without exchange my dignity, freedom and life.  I was rebel and always break the non-sense regulations, which end up I was giving him more excuse to abuse me more, verbally, emotionally.  He shows me clearly that he hates me because I’m the worst daughter he has.  My existence shame him a lot !

It’s inevitably to damage sibling relationships.  First of all, I compare my situation with them and that’s make me feel more shame. Secondly, with the support and encouragement of my dad, they don’t need to show any empathy and can have guts to step over me without any remorse further.  This make me disrespect them, it’s disgusting to see a home become like a bully ground at college.

They took advantage of my “underdog” life : When I was verbally abused by dad, they join together to tease and gossip about me; when I was left out alone at home for family meals, they were dancing around showing off their happiness. When I was not allowed to have dinner with lights on at night, they’re the one who laugh and switched off the light so I need to eat at dark.

It hurts me so much and the pain is unspeakable.  I’m not only abused by dad but also betrayed by my self-centered, self-fish siblings. It’s so painful that I must shut down my emotions, acting “I don’t care” gesture but deep inside my heart was bleeding with tears.  So many times I cried and cried until no more tears coming down, I screamed inside “how can they do this to me? we are blood-related….what if they were treated as like as me? How would they feel?  There are so many questions I don’t know the answers.

Final thoughts

Until now, I still not able to manage my anger and frustration wisely whenever flashbacks pop up my mind.  I can become overwhelmed and feel devastated immediately.  In the meantime, I don’t quite catch the feelings of others who have good sibling relationships or viewed them as life-long friends.  My sibling relationships are filled with sorrow, tears, betrays, competition so may be this is the reason I have difficulties to develop trust towards others.

What about you? Do you have specific role in family? Good for you if you have close relationships with siblings.

Photo credit : Pixabay – Nemo


5 thoughts on “Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (5) – Golden Child (Hero)”

  1. There’s only one way out of the scapegoat role. You have to leave. Forever. Let them vilify you to the neighbors and second cousins. Let them lose their marbles and snap at each other as the whole family system destabilizes. Let them hunt for a new victim once they’ve seen that you’re not coming back. And maybe, in an ironic twist, the new scapegoat will be the former golden child.

    One way or the other, in a couple of decades, it all just won’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. agree what you say Lee. and that’s what i read / heard from professor too over the years. HOwever this still torture myself and i am still dealing with shame and guilt. although less burden nowadays but honestly not completely free


  2. Your pain resonates with me because I share the same role as the scapegoat in my immediate family. It is sad when we finally realize that we will never be viewed as anything other than irrelevant. It used to bother me, but once I realized that I didn’t have to accept that kind of behavior from them, or anyone else for that matter, my entire outlook changed. Although they will probably never stop dragging us through the mud, we don’t have to be present and witness it. If at all possible, try to get as far away from them as possible and don’t look back. You deserve to love and be loved. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynettedavis

      Sorry to hear that you have similar situation like me. No one can understand fully how it hurts deeply in heart unless those have the same experience. It took me a long way, a lot of tears and depressed days to get rid of those self-doubts/self-hated feelings. Nowadays, I can’t say I can fully control my feelings but at least I am more calm and objective to see my situation. My self-confidence is increasing in comparing to previous days, combine with continued acquired knowledge, this make me much easy to control my reactions. Let’s stay strong.


      1. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m glad to hear that your self-confidence has increased. If we hate ourselves and begin destroying ourselves, the enemy wins. Stay strong.

        Liked by 1 person

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