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Scapegoats: Explore The Geeky Healing Power of Doctor Who’s Parallel Reality

If you’re a fan of Doctor Who and his time-traveling Tardis, you know the Doctor sometimes finds himself in a parallel world, an alternative timeline with a different flow of events than his original reality. What if we could use a similar trick to find healing from being scapegoated by narcissists!?

I know, I know. It sounds weird. Just stick with me here. I’ve tried it and it works!

You’re not a screw-up; you were screwed with.

Here’s what you do: Dredge up a painful narcissistic-abuse caused memory from the past, then reframe it in how good life would have been if you’d never been scapegoated, never experienced narcissistic abuse. Suddenly, the burden of “you got what you deserved” lifts from your shoulders and we realize how good life should have been.

Although it sounds like an exercise in regret, don’t let yourself go there! Don’t blame yourself! Instead, pat yourself on the back for the wonderful life you would have made for yourself, if the Daleks, I mean narcissists, would have left you the hell alone!

I recently tried this exercise and found it unexpectedly exhilarating to realize I’m not a bad person, I’m not a whore, it all wasn’t my fault and wow! my twenties could have been dream-come-true awesome. I wasn’t the one making my life hopeless. It was Them all along.

Not A Bad Child

If you were the “little lego project” child of a narcissist, everything was your fault. Their resident scapegoat. Your parents punished you harshly and unfairly, then claimed you “made” them do it. Undoubtedly, they called you a “strong-willed” child who deserved all those punishments so you didn’t become, to quote Mom’s favorite phrase, “a snot-nosed brat.”

What if that weren’t true? I was spanked when I upright-forthright-downright disobeyed and knew I’d consciously chosen to disobey. Because I knew and agreed that some form of punishment was richly deserved, I can only remember one spanking.

What I do remember vividly was unfair, inappropriate punishments meted out in anger: fist-meets-jaw, slaps across the face, Mom digging her fingers into my arms, being forced to eat food that made me gag  and then having my new toy taken away when I couldn’t and being lectured/brow-beaten/yelled/shamed for what seemed like hours and sometimes was hours.

Those events are seared into my memory because they weren’t fair or right. I didn’t deserve them. So I jump in my imaginary Tardis and toy with a Doctor Whoesque parallel reality devoid of any of those events. Suddenly, I’m a good little girl. I’m treated with respect, empathy, common sense, humor and humanity. The most painful memories of childhood “never happened” in that alternative timeline and I realize just how much happier my childhood could have been, how much more stable my self-esteem. If only I could cross my timeline and live in that happy reality.

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood…

Pain over childhood abuse is innocent because everything was done to us. We had no power, no choice. The pain of adult abuse has a bitter tang because, supposedly, we had choices. {insert snort of derision here}

Or did we?

As I wrote in So You Loved a Narcissist. Quit Beating Yourself Up About It:

We all had good reasons for loving and staying with our narcissists. We need to cut ourselves some slack. Stop beating ourselves up mentally. Stop wallowing in acrid regret….You stayed with your narcissist for the best of reasons: because you believed it was the right thing to do. Some higher ethic was at stake and a great deal of careful thought and consideration went into your decision.

Meanwhile, our narcissist controlled our life choices. “Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate” was their mantra! (Y’know…Daleks! Oh never mind.) There were dreams we sadly abandoned. Opportunities we missed. In the words of The Road Not Taken by poet Robert Frost…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both…
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
So hop in your Tardis, flip a few switches, whoosh-whoosh-whoosh and step out into the life you would have created for yourself sans being scapegoated, sans narcissistic abuse. It’s a good life, isn’t it. See? You’re not a screw-up; you were screwed with.
If you’re alive and reading this article (and if you’re not alive and are still reading it, please stop cause you’re freaking me out! LOL ), it’s not too late. Yorkshire farmers have a saying: “Where’s there’s life, there’s hope.”

You can still hop timelines and pursue that good Dalek-free life. You may be fifty-sixty-seventy-eighty. Remember what Doctor Who said in Season 3: “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.”

Many of my readers are in their golden years and still finding ways to live a new narc-free timeline. It takes guts and courage, but I believe you have guts and courage. After all, you survived narcissistic abuse, so you must be a pretty tough cookie. Uh-huh!

Next Stop? Everywhere!

Scapegoats: Explore The Geeky Healing Power of Doctor Who’s Parallel Reality

Lenora Thompson

For five years, "Narcissism Meets Normalcy" has followed the real-life, ongoing story of freelance writer, Lenora Thompson, and her readers’ healing journey from narcissistic abuse to healing, peace and happiness. In August 2020, Lenora launched a new blog, "Beyond Narcissism…And Getting Happier All the Time" as she and her readers explore the new world of peace and happiness. "Beyond Narcs…Get Happy" is 100% reader supported! To learn more about Lenora, her husband Michael’s heroic fight against Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis and to subscribe to her other writings, please visit Thank you!

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APA Reference
Thompson, L. (2018). Scapegoats: Explore The Geeky Healing Power of Doctor Who’s Parallel Reality. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Mar 2018
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