The Lost Child Role / "Syndrome/Spectrum"
An Unsuccessful Survival & Coping Strategy:
Traits and Characteristics
Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" For Your Journey Through Life
rom the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 27-2019
Questions and comments welcomed.
    The Lost Child
    (Children Roles continued)

                                               SURVIVAL - COPING:

    The Lost Child is the most severely (and most sensitive) Adult wounded Child victim of a
    Dysfunctional   Childhood -or Alcoholic Family- sick codependency background. Lost
    Child is not an illness you (or they) get. It is a ROLE, one that began, just like the other
    "roles", as a survival/coping strategy  in reaction to negative circumstances: one that
    backfired, and continues to do so,   because it ultimately became (and becomes) a
    behaviour pattern, and also your/their new controller. It's onset was so gradual that they
    have forgotten the route they took, and also how to go "back" out of it. It is somewhat like a
    syndrome or constellation, but it isn't one, because a Syndrome is a somewhat rigid definition
    or classification - one that requires a certain number of things to qualify for inclusion. Perhaps
    it's more like a Spectrum - which allows for great variation.

    This is not a definition or classification, per se,  of people: it is a description of the
    numerous traits connected to this strategy. Very few of these adult children have all of
    the listed characteristics - generally, each person will have a somewhat different "mix".
    It's only a few that have them to extreme levels: some have only  a few. Thus, this is a
    description; not a label.

    While this strategy at first sight, seems a reasonable and somewhat "normal" reaction
    to severe dysfunctional circumstances and backgrounds: it really wasn't, because you/
    they also became dysfunctional (meaning it began   to interfere with leading a
    constructive, successful, and satisfying life - a functional, healthy one).

    They/You lost their/your inner integration of Mind, Emotions And Spirit; leaving
    these unconnected and in tatters   - bits and pieces.  It is a form of disintegration
    which can be either temporary or permanent with gradual decline into deeper
    dysfunction: "re-assembly" of the bits and pieces is totally possible!

    Without recovery/healing (or help), the traits will deepen and get more severe over time.
                               Why them, and How:

    The Lost Child is most often  born into a family at a time
    when it is already highly stressed due to the problems
    associated with “the family secret”, i.e. Alcoholism,
    drug dependency, mental illness, etc, and seems to sense
    that his/her role is to “not make waves.”  are many other
    reasons (generational continuation, for example).
    These children grow up to be adults who find themselves
    unable to "feel"  (they are that disconnected from
    themselves), and have extremely low, or no self-worth

    Perhaps they were gifted (or special, with certain
    uncommon abilities) in some way - or were savants
    (this is common among these children) that somehow
    were perceived as a challenge, or as competition - by a
    parent (or parents) who were lacking in self-confidence,
    and who had esteem and self-image problems - and
    therefore were "jealous" of that child.

    And thus because of their insecurities and felt-
    inadequacies, they reacted by "putting the Lost Child
    down" at every opportunity: in these  situations, they
    belittle, minimize and trivialize, ridicule, mock . . .     
    and laugh - (laughter in these kinds of circumstances is
    an act of aggression that robs people of their sense of
    self, when done often, and long enough) it's devastatingly
    painful to the "victim".

    * Disconnected (lost): the Lost Child is almost totally “disconnected” – from self, and
    from others. And the disconnection at times is virtually a dissociative state, rather than
    an "almost  like dissociative" state. They  don't "own" their feelings; actually many of
    them do not "feel",  and are incapable of real, genuine ones (many of them are aware of
    this, and are frustrated and  dismayed by it; yet, many are totally unaware of it).

    *Addiction Risk: Because they were born into an alcoholic family, later in life they
    either also become alcoholics, or else avoid it totally - BUT they will form alternative
    addictions such as:  food, workaholism, gambling, sex, pornography, or endless dating
    -yet never being satisfied- always needing more, more novelty, and many other
    gratifications satisfied - and yet these  never bring "satisfaction".

    *Lacking in Empathy: inability to empathize with others. One the one hand they
    know about Empathy, and on the other hand, they don't "know" it. A trait also
    shared with Narcissists and Socio/Psychopaths, and in a way,  people diagnosed
    on the  "Autism Spectrum: (formerly Asperger's Syndrome)".  The difference is that
    in the case of someone with a Spectrum "disorder, they are unable to change that: it
    is an inherent part of the syndrome, not a matter of choice. For the others, it is an
    acquired trait - one they can/could change if they choose to do so. Interestingly,
    many of them can show empathy to/with animals, while lacking the "ability" to do
    so with humans. The  same goes for Compassion (they were never taught "how".

    * Impetuous: They are impulsive and spontaneous. They tend to live for the moment,
    forgetting all else. Like the fact that every action has a reaction, in this case,
    "consequences". Actions almost always have unforeseen chain-reactions, like a domino
    effect whose chain  cannot be stopped, once it's set in motion. Not only that, but they
    give no thought to the fact that those consequences also often really affect and impact
    other people in not-so-nice ways. Those people become unsuspecting "victims"
    as collateral damage, so to speak.

    * Undependable: They are promise-breakers;

    * Suspicious: They are wracked by fear, almost bordering on paranoia - they fear
    other people, and being around other people; among other things, this has to do
    with trust issues.

    * Introverts: They are generally loners, yet will often form many superficial, tenuous
    acquaintanceships and friendships. They are more comfortable with groups than
    anything more intimate (smaller) settings.  Everything is "ME" oriented and focussed
    - their major preoccupation is (or appears) to be with themselves. There is a huge
    preoccupation with self - very reminiscent of Narcissists.

    * Routines: they create routine; they like order and regularity (it provides them with a
    comfort  zone). Some of their routines are ritualistic in nature (or appear to be).
    "OCD": they like everything in its place - the place they decided upon - and frequently
    engage in re-arranging things is specific patterns, or order - often they're not even
    aware of it. Thus, they are Compulsive: experiencing, and engaging in compulsive
    behaviour - as we've seen.

    * Change: since they like order and regularity, they are intimidated and frightened
    by change; they're very uncomfortable with it, unless they initiated it - and even then,
    it is usually done a bit at a  time, in small increments, and then they need time to
    adjust to that, before they can do the next stage.
    Sexuality - Romantic Intimacy:
    * They have lost touch with their feelings to such a degree
    that they may ask (or indicate) that they want to be
    slapped, pinched, bitten – just to get some feeling - because
    all too often the only "feeling" they can relate to is physical,
    not inner emotional ones.
    * Remember please, that especially for many males, sex is
    primarily an act of aggression, and/or a means of
    discharging tension or anger, besides the pleasure aspect.
    Please bear that in mind, in order to understand this
    context correctly. They can learn that sex can also be a loving,
    romantic activity.

    * They often need the physical sensation (of pain) as a
    substitute for the emotional feeling they have become
    totally disconnected from: pain is the only feeling they can
    "relate" to, or connect with.

    * They are sexually inhibited: unconnected to the feelings
    associated with their sexuality to the point they mostly do
    not know what they like or don’t like. It will purely be
    SEX, no love, or romance involved: here too, a major
    disconnection with self.

    * And yet, while being inhibited, they will at the same time
    often act very promiscuously. Many of them have a series
    of relationships - permanency is not a trait.

    * They truly are "studies" in contrasts and contradictions.
Lost Child Dating and Relationships
Relationships: Close human relationships of any kind are a major problem for
them: Commitment scares them - they get anxious and feel trapped at the idea,
plus they have almost an addiction of needing, or having a constant variety
of members of partners in their lives. They are not monogamous almost by
nature: many of them are the male and female versions of "womanizers/
men-chasers, Lotharios and Casanovas/femmes fatale" - the ultimate men
and woman chasers.
A future separate page on dating is possible.
to enlarge
                               Why them, and How: