Some of us were born with wanderlust and thrill seeking. We venture out from the crib wanting adventure. Then there are those who remain quietly soaking in the heaviness and rules of the family. Following each plan set out for their future, the tiny football players line up with all the others, excited to get the approval of their parents through living the dreams only parents can dream.
This is where the hero child, and black sheep, or scapegoat is created. Almost every family, even the reader’s family as well, had one sibling who was the star athlete or straight A student always community minded.
Then, likewise, there will always be the scapegoat. The sibling knowing full well, whatever birth order they are in, they will never measure up to the one hero, star child. Scapegoats rebel; go down paths of creativity and darkness no one else in the family dare go. They openly see the hypocrisy in the parents and refuse it.
It isn’t easy being the hero child for sure. There is pressure from the moment the little one agrees with the pressure and brutality the parent’s demand. Being placed in front of the family, presented as what they truly are is exhausting. Remaining the best baseball player, football star, and 4.0+, brings upon some of the highest anxiety our schools have ever seen. The competition ruins friendships and pits families against all of the others.
Being the Scapegoat is far easier yet kills the inner, most vulnerable soul within. Wild at heart, the scapegoat will most always be a writer, musician, or painter. The thought process is so different that they do not seem to be from the same family as all of the rest, and yet they are. Enjoying the freedom of expression and imagination rarely goes over well with siblings and parents still waiting for the rebel to follow at least one rule. These children are not presented in front of the family to represent them. They wander around on their own, knowing full well they will never measure up to expectations and find others who feel the same way about themselves as this scapegoat feels about his or herself. Secretly the Hero loves the freedom of the wild one and the Scapegoat dreams of a time when they will be honored for just being who they are.
Let’s talk about it.
Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact: Contact@DebraWhittam.com