Is Natalie's protection of her mother a reversal of roles? Does it happen often nowadays? Any personal experiences?

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JuliaKay
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Re: Is Natalie's protection of her mother a reversal of roles? Does it happen often nowadays? Any personal experiences?

Post by JuliaKay » 08 Apr 2018, 16:37

It is a reversal of roles for Natalie to have to protect her mother, but it is not uncommon. Girls hate to see their mothers in pain, physically, emotionally, or mentally. I see my own daughters try to comfort me when they know I am sad, or sometimes when I am sick I can hear them whispering about what they can do to help me. I also experienced the need to protect my own mother when she was in a weak possession when I was a child. I believe it happens often.
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Post by crediblereading2 » 08 Apr 2018, 17:07

This is definitely a reversal of role. Although this situation has put a burden on Natalie's life, I believe that in the end, it could work out for her in a positive way. This great responsibility at such an early age will build her character and make her a supermom in the future.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 08 Apr 2018, 17:24

CambaReviewer wrote:
03 Apr 2018, 12:46
I think Natalie found herself in a reversal of roles where she was protecting her mother who should have protected her, but was unable to. I have friends who have experienced it, but it was not in an abusive environment. They had to take up parenting roles because of illness leading to situations where the adult had diminished responsibility. It is a huge daunting challenge that children are often not prepared for.
I experienced role reversal with my mother as a child, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances. I would imagine each person responds to this situation differently. For me, I grew up too young and took on an inordinate sense of responsibility for the circumstances in my environment. It also led to my making a very intentional decision as a young adult not to have children of my own. I realized that I needed to nurture the wounded child within me and obtain for myself those things that I lacked as a child. Raising a child well, both emotionally and financially, requires a degree of selflessness and sacrifice that I simply did not want to take on.
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Post by Darront24 » 08 Apr 2018, 17:43

Spirit Wandering wrote:
08 Apr 2018, 17:24
I experienced role reversal with my mother as a child, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances. I would imagine each person responds to this situation differently. For me, I grew up too young and took on an inordinate sense of responsibility for the circumstances in my environment. It also led to my making a very intentional decision as a young adult not to have children of my own. I realized that I needed to nurture the wounded child within me and obtain for myself those things that I lacked as a child. Raising a child well, both emotionally and financially, requires a degree of selflessness and sacrifice that I simply did not want to take on.
I understand these feelings about wanting to make yourself right before starting a new generation. I was the oldest of 5 in a single parent home and had a lot of those parental roles thrown at me too. Now that I have more than a decade since I moved away it is interesting to see the significant differences in lifestyle between myself and my other siblings who got to stay children for much longer.

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Post by jwalker73 » 08 Apr 2018, 22:55

While I felt that her mother should have done more to protect her family, I also think it is human nature to stand up for and protect the ones we love, regardless of age. So, yes, there was a lot of role reversal in this relationship, however, I think a lot of Natalie's actions were also out of love for her mum and siblings. In regards to finances, it was common practice for all children with jobs to contribute to the cost of running a household.

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Post by EllieA » 09 Apr 2018, 09:00

Nanig83006 wrote:
07 Apr 2018, 12:38
It is a role of reversals and, in my opinion, a form of abuse as well. Natalie should have enjoyed her time as a child. Instead, she stepped in to protect her mother. I don't blame her mother, though. A lot of women (especially during that time period) were taught to just accept abuse. It's brainwashing. For the adult and the child. Both have been taught it's okay to behave and respond to the situation, so they see nothing wrong with being beaten or being a child protecting an adult who does nothing to stop it. They've likely been abused like this for a long time. It's a cycle that needs to break and, while it's great that Natalie broke it, it shouldn't have been at such a young age and for someone else. I do want to add that Natalie's protection of her mother is also natural. All children love their parents (or caregivers/guardians) and will do anything to keep them safe. It's just a shame when it becomes a habit.
I really agree with this assessment! When this happens, an adult stepping aside to let a child take on their own burdens, it really is a form of abuse. Children are not psychologically developed enough to be able to make judgement calls that are sound or to understand the impact of actions on their future. They certainly shouldn't be held responsible, by themselves or others, for "fixing" the problems caused by the adults around them. Obviously, this does not translate to how such situations turn out. Children will very often "step up" to try to help the adults. Doesn't mean that this is what should be happening.

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Post by EllieA » 09 Apr 2018, 09:11

I think Natalie found herself in a role reversal in that she became the protector, but I also think this is, and always has been, VERY common. This sort of protective behavior spans time and situation. I don't think there is any time limit going into the past about children caring enough about their family to try to protect them, or teens feeling (or being told) that they need to "grow up" and help out. Sometimes that is an expectation that the child will contribute financially, sometimes it means caring for the house/ other children, sometimes it means the older siblings protecting the younger (or an adult relative) from physical abuse.

I think that this kind of role reversal is probably very common in situations where an adult in the family is affected by drugs, alcohol, or mental health issues. I have even seen adults trying to make their kids into their emotional spouses in weird ways, including taking on the burden of providership. This is more likely in an abusive situation, but I think this kind of responsibility is also shifted onto children in cases of poverty. A child might feel like, or be told, that as they get older, they are partly or wholly responsible for making sure everyone has food, so they need to give up school/ their social life/ whatever to help out.

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Post by zilizopita1998 » 10 Apr 2018, 02:31

Natalie's protection of her mother is not a reversal of roles since there comes a time when children must just assist their parents. Assume that your mother is crippled and that she is the sole provider. Will not take your time to push her on wheelchair to work every morning? If you are schooling, you may be compelled to arrive late at school always but there is no otherwise.

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Post by Bukhosi767 » 10 Apr 2018, 04:21

Absolutely yes, Natalie's role is not a reversal, its not a bad thing for a child to help their parents, No matter what parents need us at trying times as much as they have been there for us

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Post by briellejee » 10 Apr 2018, 05:26

I have known a friend who also was in a similar situation. they're deprived of their childhood and that is not uncommon since the olden days. life is just so twisted and unexpected.

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Post by Nanig83006 » 10 Apr 2018, 11:19

EllieA wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 09:00
Nanig83006 wrote:
07 Apr 2018, 12:38
It is a role of reversals and, in my opinion, a form of abuse as well. Natalie should have enjoyed her time as a child. Instead, she stepped in to protect her mother. I don't blame her mother, though. A lot of women (especially during that time period) were taught to just accept abuse. It's brainwashing. For the adult and the child. Both have been taught it's okay to behave and respond to the situation, so they see nothing wrong with being beaten or being a child protecting an adult who does nothing to stop it. They've likely been abused like this for a long time. It's a cycle that needs to break and, while it's great that Natalie broke it, it shouldn't have been at such a young age and for someone else. I do want to add that Natalie's protection of her mother is also natural. All children love their parents (or caregivers/guardians) and will do anything to keep them safe. It's just a shame when it becomes a habit.
I really agree with this assessment! When this happens, an adult stepping aside to let a child take on their own burdens, it really is a form of abuse. Children are not psychologically developed enough to be able to make judgement calls that are sound or to understand the impact of actions on their future. They certainly shouldn't be held responsible, by themselves or others, for "fixing" the problems caused by the adults around them. Obviously, this does not translate to how such situations turn out. Children will very often "step up" to try to help the adults. Doesn't mean that this is what should be happening.
Thank you! I'm glad you agree. (: You're also right. To add to what you shared: Natalie being forced to "grow up" and protect her mother leads to her falling into sexual abuse. No matter what she believes, being with an older married man is in no way good for her at 16 years of age. She literally goes from one form of abuse to another. The problem is that she is now at a mind set in which she's too "mature" to accept being treated as a child, but too young to fully understand the consequences and reality of a intimate relationship with someone MUCH older than her. And, if he'll take advantage of her, who's to say he won't with another young girl?

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Post by Laura Bach » 11 Apr 2018, 04:54

It happens and it is not something I like. A child shouldn't have to be an adult. A child is a child. But an adult can also be a child sometimes, forcing a responsible child to make decisions that are not usual.

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Post by CheyenneR » 11 Apr 2018, 18:33

I think that it is still prominent today but maybe not as accepted. Many people see the role of parent and child as irreversible and I think for some people, breaking those boundaries just confuses them.

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Post by Katherine Smith » 12 Apr 2018, 11:59

I agree with all of the previous posts. My mother was abusive to me and now I have to take care of her because she is sick. I am now the adult in the family who has a lot of responsibility including being the primary breadwinner. I think that elder abuse by family members is a direct result of abuse within families and a reversal of roles. I think that many times I feel frustrated at my mom because I have to take care of her when she did not do her job which was to protect me.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 12 Apr 2018, 13:37

FilmStar wrote:
04 Apr 2018, 12:58
It seemed like she was taking care of her mother more than her taking care of Natalie. Natalie used her prize money to give her a sewing machine which she shouldn't have to do and she's the one taking care of the family financially. If her mother was that great of a mother, she wouldn't be with a drunken, abusive fool like Alex.
Victims of abuse typically don't see a way out of the relationship as their self-esteem is so incredibly low & they have been brainwashed by the abuser.
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