This volume is a comprehensive study of parentification in the family—children who fulfill the role of parents to their own parents or to their siblings, almost always at the expense of their own development. The book is divided into two sections: theory and research and contextual perspectives.

Trauma, Invisibility, and Loss: Multiple Metaphors of Parentification

Trauma, invisibility, and loss: Multiple metaphors of parentification

“Rough hands.” As I repeated these newly minted words of my client, I began to meet a string of alters, or alternate personalities, ranging from a distressed 5-year-old, to an angry 14-year-old girl, to a hypervigilant 12-year-old boy, an 84-year-old woman, a seductress, and a timeless angelic spirit. Rough hands were the magic words that opened the door to a private world of both accommodating and angry alters.

That the woman who hosted this ensemble earned her living by cleaning made these words a double entendre, triggered by the memory of abuse at the rough hands of her stepfather. Her day-to-day life was also a struggle of rough hands, literally and ...

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