64 thoughts on “The Invisible Wounds of the ‘Family Scapegoat’

  • January 9, 2020 at 5:49 am

    I am 65yrs old. Male and I have hated myself my whole life. Now I read about being the family scapegoat boy howdy!! Does this ever describe my life! I have been married three times and all three wives used me as their escapegoat. My parents who were born again Christians had to have some one to blame every thing on. God must really hate me to have placed me in their care. My siblings all hate me with a passion,blaming me for everything. I have tried to get mental health help. What a ____ joke, I wish I would have killed myself when I first started thinking about when I was seven years old! I have never had a mental health professional take me serious! I have even had a few pros try to kill me. This is another whore story! It involves the va. Yes I am a veteran. Dad wanted me to go to Vietnam to get killed he told me that many times.the only thing that is helping me cope is lots of CBC oil. Seems to help a lot. Psych meds never did me any good so I quit taking them. In closing s
    What I have learned in my 65 years. Never trust a born again christian they will do great harm! Next never trust a mental health professional! They are all out to destroy you in every way they can! I know there is no hope for me. But I hope you still have a chance to recover!

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    • January 10, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Hi Lee, I am saddened to hear that you feel you did not get the support and help you needed from the Mental Health profession. Vets in particular seem to struggle to find the care they need – and *deserve*. As a society, we all should be concerned and committed to improving services for ALL. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share a bit of your story. I do have free resources in my website, which is linked to my bio at the bottom of this post – Perhaps you will find these helpful.

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      • April 19, 2020 at 10:47 am

        This article has pinpointed to a ‘t’ what I’ve intuited and more. It wasn’t until recently that I learned of the term and it has provided a relief, validation and explanation for what I’ve experienced my whole life. Of the articles thus far read, yours is the most spot-on, all-encompassing. Both of my parents ( now deceased) and my older sister who ran the family scapegoated me in ways that have drastically impacted my mental health. I’ve cut off contact with my older sister several times in my adult life but unfortunately apologize and go back to what is a crippling relationship, highly damaging to my self-esteem. A therapist told me she fits the classic narcism pattern and her criticism of me is boundless. She was the golden child and me, the “overly-sensitive” bad child… despite being the most empathic and honest. The carry over from all that hit me hard in adulthood and continues to do so.. in all of the ways you’ve described. I will mention this to my Psychiatrist to see what she says. She did tell me at one point to stay away from my sister as people like that don’t change.

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      • April 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm

        I am so pleased to hear that you found my article helpful, Lori. Some of my coaching clients who are also working with therapists and psychiatrists (I coordinate treatment with their therapy providers when coaching for scapegoating issues) have benefited from the detailed FSA self-assessment I include in my introductory (50-page) eBook on FSA, available on my website. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to email me via the address in my profile – link to my website / eBook there as well. I wish you all the best in your recovery journey.

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    • January 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      You’ve been through hell, so sorry to hear it. It isn’t unusual for a mental health practitioner to retraumatize you further. It happened to me and I’ve come across a lot of comments saying the same. I went to a psychiatrist. Not a good idea as most of them are basically just pill pushers. Now I have an online therapist who understands what I went through. The only therapist who can help you is someone who has experienced it themselves/specializes in trauma. Hang in there.

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    • April 17, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Dear Lee I have felt like you just learning about what this is called already know about stress syndrome got away from all of my family had too doing better happier my help is heavenly Father o felt the same way.about why would God put me in this.family IAM same age as you there is hope !! I have faith that heavenly Father is protecting [email protected] helping me

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  • January 9, 2020 at 6:41 am

    An excellent, much-needed and informative piece about the real and seldom talked about issue of family scapegoating. A must-read and a valuable piece to share with therapists and supportive friends and family. Finally, the pain and real life issues of the family scapegoat are explained

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  • January 9, 2020 at 7:30 am

    My therapist just went over this with me. It’s very eye opening now that I am being helped.

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    • January 9, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      It is eye-opening indeed! Many people have told me they find my scapegoat self-test to be helpful and they often go over their responses with their therapist. You may access the self-test here: Scapegoat Self-Test

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  • January 9, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    This is exactly what I am going thru right now. My brother and his wife inject steroids and testosterone to go to the gym they are very aggressive and try to blame everything on me and my daughter. This year I was told my 12 year old daughter wasn’t welcome for Christmas dinner because they don’t like her. My mum goes along with it because she’s too scared to stand up to them. I’m scapegoated and treated as if I’m mentally unstable when I stand up for my daughter or say no to late night requests from them as a single working mum. I’m a qualified nurse and have been working in the Nhs 15 years. My brother and his wife grow and sell marijuana for a living however to my mum their opinion is far more credible than mine. All this has been taking a massive toll on my mood and ability to cope with other stressors in life. Until I found you and learned how to put into words what is going on in my family. I’m no longer in contact with my extended family and I’m thinking about it with my mum too as she is perpetuating this too. Thank you so much for raising awareness on dysfunctional families

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    • January 10, 2020 at 11:21 am

      You’re very welcome, Elaine. Please consider joining our ‘closed’ facebook peer support group, which you will find linked within my bio at the bottom of this page. There are people there who will understand your unique struggles, challenges, and pain. My website has many free resources as well (also linked in bio).

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  • January 9, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    This is so very real. Great Article. I felt like someone wrote about my life.

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  • January 9, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Describes my whole life. I have been no contact with my father for over 30 years. Now in his late 80s he still is incapable and refuses to leave me alone. Can’t wait till he’s finally dead.

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    • January 10, 2020 at 12:04 am

      I’m so very sorry. Going no contact is sometimes the only choice available to the family scapegoat. Your well-being must come first!

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  • January 9, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I think this is me. Will be joining the FB group.

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  • January 9, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    I’m the scapegoat. It’s like everything I’ve felt my entire life ( 39) was plucked out of my brain and put onto paper.
    I have far to many stories to even begin to tell any single one. I’m always left absolutely gutted and confused when these “events” happen.
    My mom is the one who goes after me with such viciousness that I sometimes end up being physcilly sick( verbal abuse)
    I often ask my friend (s) if I’m delusional , am I this monster that for some reason I can’t see in myself. They reassure me that I am a good person and i am being the person I intend to be and not the person im made out to be by family. It’s like being in the middle of a dog fight and I’m the bait surrounded by a pack of wild eyed animals waiting to tear me to shreds the second I make any sorta movement.
    I’m sorry for the rant. I am going through hell right now as this last event was the worst one yet. I cry every day and even had a TMI ( mini stroke) bc of the stress I’m feeling. I’m relieved to see that what I’m going though has a name, is a real thing and I’m not crazy. I often feel scared for my own mental health.

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    • January 10, 2020 at 12:03 am

      Hi Kelli, I’m so very sorry that you have had to suffer for so many years in this way. I understand what you may be going through better than you might imagine via my own ‘lived experience’. Do know that there IS a reason to hope, and there IS a way out of the imprisoning and destructive family scapegoat role! Please do consider joining our ‘closed’ Facebook peer support group (linked in my bio at bottom of article) – My website is also linked there, and the menu and sidebar has many free resources, including a 25-page eBook.

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  • January 10, 2020 at 5:42 am

    I really don’t know were to start with this but I’ll try and get has much information ..i suffer from mental health and a disability problem. Iam dealing with six family members whom have and are still causing me so much greif to the point of having uncontrolled emotional outbreaks i have never cryed so much in my life to the point of fear of losing myself completely.some members of the family are my adult children which one of them my oldest daughter a mum herself.she has mentaly emotionally abused me and my husband ..shes denied all what shes done so now all the remaing family have jumped on board including my sister whom caused problems 3 yrs ago..she now as gaind victory because my own children have been conjuring with her.i live 170mils away in a derelict lonley place with know other part of family are friends.iam homebound due to no confedence, anxiety, depression and iam limited to distant walking.iam under mental health team ..and gp.but i need someones guidence and advice how to cope with this on going situation ..iam mentally feeling trauma i cant deal with all the denial and lies. Deceit, hypocritical backs have been turned on me all this has happend because i spoke the truth about things happening in the family ..iam a scapegoat iam being abused and want help please advise me .

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    • January 10, 2020 at 11:16 am

      Hi Deborah, Thank you for reaching out! I am so very sorry to hear of your pain – it can feel extremely isolating and upsetting to experience scapegoating dynamics in a family. Please visit our peer-support group on Facebook; it is ‘closed’ and not available for public viewing and you will find understanding people there who have had similar experiences with family. I also provide many free resources on my website, which is linked in my bio at the bottom of this post. The facebook support group link is in my bio as well. Hope to see you there!

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  • January 10, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Two years ago, I became suicidal from the depression and anxiety I faced when I purchased my first home with my husband. Not from the home-purchase, but because my mother, who I suspect has BPD, is not financially stable and had just gone through a foreclosure, so I had taken it upon myself to provide her a home, in our home. She was going to move in with us (newlyweds)- and the anxiety that this created nearly killed me. I asked my two siblings for help with the situation… neither of whom had ever been much help in general. Eventually nothing happened, except I started therapy for the anxiety and depression. Through therapy I realized I have been the parentified child of my entire family, especially my mother. I’ve been her emotional caretaker my entire life. I started to take a step back from the parentified role, and as I began forming boundaries, my family began to unveil themselves for who they really are. My father is a malignant narcissist, as well as my older sister. My brother- a flying monkey. As I formed and held true to my boundaries, the attacks, insults, and dismissive, abusive language increased. I’ve been told “I’m a piece of work,” I am “always so angry,” that I’m actually the abusive one. Now I am 8 months pregnant with our first child. I haven’t spoken to my sister in 9 months- this is because she and her husband verbally assaulted me at a family gathering and refused to own any part of it. I didn’t spend the holidays with my family- my brother and father have harassed and insulted me for months trying to get me to “forgive and move on” from what prompted me to go no contact with my sister. I’ve been threatened, told to shut up. Verbally abused. My brother refused to see me over the holiday when I told him we have gifts for him and his wife– then bailed on coming to our baby shower. I’m at my wits end. Then leaves a message with my mom to relay to me “Tell her I love her.” Maddening. Every time I think it can’t get any worse– it does. I have come to the disgusting realization that I am the family scapegoat- and there’s no way out of it except to go no contact all around. And the grief of this reality is so painful. I’m in a lot of pain right now. The only thing that sort of helps is knowing there are others out there going through similar situations. Otherwise I feel painfully alone.

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    • January 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Your story suggests you were / are the ‘family empath’. The family empath initially takes on the role of ‘family caretaker’ as a child and will become codependent as an adult, feeling responsible for other people’s well-being and happiness. It seems that as you woke up to the fact you have your own life and your own needs and began to set boundaries (which was the healthy thing to do, and necessary), you became the ‘family scapegoat’. This is often what happens when the adult survivor/empath attempts to set boundaries – the dysfunctional family cannot tolerate it. This is a link to a video I did with Narcissistic Abuse Rehab where I talk about this dynamic – I was the Guest Expert. I think it will help you. Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEBynhulh0k&list=PLZLwSpcfCXSSWasffoiYUB2j4PP6PvMkS&index=4

      Also please feel free to join our facebook peer-support group, as well as access free resources on my website – both links can be found in my bio at the bottom of this post.

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      • January 11, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        Wow this is me too. I thought I was the lost child. I’m realizing I’ve had to parent my whole family all while keeping a huge secret from them for their well being for 35 years and they do nothing but talk behind my back and I’m the youngest. I’m overwhelmed with emotions.

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      • January 12, 2020 at 12:14 am

        It can really be like that. That moment when suddenly all the dots connect and so many things make sense. Please feel free to join our Facebook peer-support group and also access the free resources available on my website. Both links are listed in my bio at the bottom of the post. BREATHE and take your time with all of this – it can feel somewhat overwhelming at first but it will settle down and then the deep healing and recovery can begin!

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  • January 10, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    My mother scapegoated me from the beginning. I believe she has Histrionic Personality Disorder, and that I was clinically depressed by age 7. Am 71 now, so back then no one recognized these issues, and nothing could have been done about it, anyway. I have lots of bad memories, all of which she told me never happened. But she did even worse things to me as an adult, many of which I have witnesses for. She worked really hard to take my firstborn child away from me–and continued to do so for 16 years, shrieking at me, “You’re going to ruin that child for life!” every chance she got, insisting I “couldn’t possibly” raise a child. I did anyway. She tried to lure my daughter away from me with lies, promises and treats, but that didn’t work, either. She sided with my second abusive spouse after I divorced him, setting me up for some nasty scenes. And so on. So–she can’t stand hot weather, so I moved out near Death Valley. She seldom visited, which was perfect. As she aged, she forgot how to work the phone, so the calls became fewer and fewer, thankfully! I essentially went low-contact, only visiting once a year for the holidays. She’s still alive–age 94–but is no longer able to manipulate us. I worked at repairing the relationships with my siblings, and now we get along surprisingly well–are able to make informed decisions together about her care, so she can’t play us against each other any more. I have worked hard at my recovery, and it’s paying off–I am now healthier and happier than I have ever been. Solitude suits me. My kids and I get along really well–I did NOT pass along the damage!

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    • January 10, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      I identify with so many aspects of your story, Linda! What you share here is a testimony to the reality that recovery from family scapegoating (including severe scapegoating, as in your case) really is possible – Even when few resources are available. Limiting or ending contact is sometimes the only way that recovery can truly begin – But that doesn’t mean it is easy and I commend you for your great courage and fortitude under extremely difficult circumstances. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment. I am sure it will help many who read it.

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  • January 10, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you for this article! I am the family scapegoat. I am 45 now and healed after 4 years of counseling. I cut ties with my dad and brother this past May. Most of my extended family no longer talk to me because my dad has told anyone who will listen that I am mean, abusive and that I have issues. He has left out the part about his narcissistic rages and discarding his only grandchildren (my kids) but of course the kids are to blame for the lack of relationship.
    I am in the process of writing my story and hope to have it published some day. It has helped a lot with part of my healing.

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    • January 11, 2020 at 1:02 am

      That’s wonderful that you are writing your story and hope to get it published. Writing about our experiences can be a powerful part of healing from wounding and trauma. Glad you liked the article, and thank you for taking the time to comment, Sharon!

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  • January 11, 2020 at 1:10 am

    My mother was also a man-hater and gave both me and my dad hell!
    She told my dad when she found she was pregnant that if it was a boy she would hate it! And she did. I found out after she died that her sister looked after me for the first six months as she wanted to have me adopted out.
    She told me several times that when I was born the Dr’s told her that I was mentally retarded and she should just leave me at the hospital and go home without me. I asked my dad many years later and he knew nothing about it.
    I was very ill as a kid from the period around 4 1/2-6. The Dr’s couldn’t find out what was wrong and thought she had suburban neurosis. Eventually a paediatrician from Auckland saw me in Chch and asked I be taken to Auckland. We went up and I stayed in the hospital. NM got a motel and because my dad was self employed he had to return home so he could earn an income. But NM saw this as avoiding helping and always held it over him and me. “Just remember that I saved your life!” was a common thing followed by “your father had to work” in a very sarcastic tone!
    At age 6 my parents adopted a girl, not because NM couldn’t have any more children, but because she didn’t want to destroy her figure and didn’t want to risk having another boy!!
    Sister became the Golden Child and could do no wrong whereas I could do no right!
    I was sent to boarding school at 10 because, as I found out much later my dad could see it wasn’t working with me and my NM.
    NM gave various excuses to me as to why I was sent to boarding school such as because I was behind in school. But I was a year behind because I missed a year while being ill so I was never going to catch up.
    While in my second year at Boarding school I wanted to learn the piano and started to, but NM put a stop to that, claiming that my maths was suffering because I was always having a lesson at maths time which was wrong. The problem was that the teacher we had wouldn’t teach the syllabus!
    I was a complete loner at boarding school because I was a year older than everyone else in my class and wasn’t sport orientated. I have only one eye so can’t see any depth and therefore am useless at ball sports. Also I was bullied so tended to keep myself to myself all the time.
    I joined the camera club when it started and was interested in photography. When I left the principal said in his report that it was something to be nurtured. Of course NM didn’t encourage anything. My Birthday is just after Xmas and she asked what I wanted for my BD and I replied a developing tank and chemicals so I could process my own films (this was back in the early 1970’s!) Dad was a veterinary surgeon and had a small darkroom to develop x-rays. NM immediately shut that idea down claiming she didn’t think so as she thought it was just a passing fad! They gave me some money and I immediately went and bought a developing tank and dad got me the chemicals needed.
    NM was also into giving then taking away. For that Xmas, I got a watch. By my birthday she had confiscated it. She started an argument that ended up with me and dad getting into a fistfight, although he was restrained. I took the watch off so it didn’t get damaged and she took it! Thereafter whenever she stirred trouble he would confiscate it!
    Secondary school was hell. She blamed me for everything even things that I wasn’t present when they happened.
    I went and talked to a teacher one day and he ended up being my support person along with his wife. My dad’s business partnership split and I was blamed! I needed a spare pair of spectacles at the same time and as I was living with the teacher at the time for a few weeks I went to get the cheque. NM asked why given the present financial situation (which wasn’t in any way dire as they were still schooling ups both at exclusive schools)! I told her that of course I needed a spare pair as the ophthalmologist had said I needed a spare pair. I was and am very short-sighted. She took offence and told me they wouldn’t pay until I apologised!! I refused as she was a mad bitch! I went and explained to the optician what had happened and I gather he just sent dad an account.
    Another Xmas we were going out and I wanted to take someone. I was talking to a friend and NM came in and cut the phone off. I reacted and as a result, they wouldn’t feed me for a week!! Also, they wouldn’t let teacher feed me either!
    At the end of my 4th year at high school, I was staying with the teacher and his wife supposedly to study, but I was emotionally exhausted and doped up so didn’t pass my exams. When came the time for me to return back to the fold, I refused as I knew I would probably kill her. NM and dad expected me to go home and refused to pay for my keep. My mind was made up and I said to the teacher I would go live under a bridge, but I wasn’t going home!
    The last year at school was a waste of time as I wasn’t interested, and was seriously depressed. And the trouble didn’t stop as I still had to ask for things I needed. The school weren’t! supportive of me!
    It was suggested that I do a course in photography when I left and I started to make a portfolio but halfway through I realised that there was no way I could pay for it and living expenses away from home in another city so gave up. On reflection I was in no fit state to do any more study anyway.
    I got a job in retail where I worked for eight and a half years till I got sick of it. After I left my dad kept telling me I should become a photographer, but he didn’t realise that being a professional photographer is very different from doing it as a hobby. I also didn’t have to confidence or business experience. I went to see about a course after a career advisor said I should do the course. The course was expensive so I went home and told my dad who I was living with after he left NM, what the careers officer had said hoping that would shut him up. But he told me to enrol. I totally lacked confidence and couldn’t see the point in wasting all that money to fail. I didn’t do as well as I should have but I did pass.
    A couple of years later dad bought me a photography studio in a small town, but he undercapitalised it and the locals wouldn’t support me. Also, I felt he hadn’t listened.
    After 3 years we shifted to another town which was better, but I still had to deal with my Scottish dad about money.
    I stayed there for 15 years and towards the end I was also dealing with my dad’s failing health as my GC sister lived overseas. Then suddenly he changed everything and I wasn’t even allowed to be told what was going on. By this time he had broken his neck and was in a rest home. Every time something went wrong I jumped on a plane and went to deal with it. But he was giving me hell because he was developing dementia. GC sister didn’t believe it even though I was there when the specialist gave the diagnosis.
    I ended up back in Chch my home town the day before he died and was with him when he passed. GC sister wasn’t there.
    I had two relationships neither of which my dad approved of. The last ended 15 years ago and I haven’t had any since then.
    I’ve been seeing a psychologist for over seven years, but at times I feel it is a waste of time as I suffer from depression and haven’t worked since dad died in 2010. I feel that it has been a total waste of life. I find it easier to be on my own but am lonely. I find it hard to be in crowds even of friends. I would live on my own if I could afford it.
    NM died 4 1/2 years ago and it was a relief. But I still feel a fraud and less than adequate. People tell me I am intelligent but for a long while, I thought that maybe what my NM told me about being mentally retarded could be right!

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    • January 11, 2020 at 2:30 am

      Heartbreaking stories like yours emphasize the devastating impact of family scapegoating. Thank you for sharing your story – It is so important that we live and speak our truth, including the truth of our pain and suffering. Do feel free to join our peer-support group, the link is on my bio, along with my website, with free resources.

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  • January 11, 2020 at 5:06 am

    Dear Rebecca,
    You wrote my story. I am 54 and only one year ago I found out I am the scapegoat. My father as well as my sister are narcissistic. I can relate to the denial, the lying and the twisting of reality. I am also called a liar and mentally ill. As a result they turned my brother totally against me. He believes their lies and thinks I am t the one lying.
    In fact I am a person that’s always honest and I am not even capable of lying. I always fight injustice and I am empathetic
    The worst part, and this is so inccediblly cruel, is that my father is gaslighting my mother by making her believe I have said and done terrible things to her. For almost a year I have not seen or spoken to her. That breaks my heart because I know my mother is suffering mentally as well as physically. My biggest fear is that she will die without having seen me. I miss her so much. She means the world to me. I love her with all of my heart. I know my father will never let her see me again since he told me I no longer belong to the family for what I did to my mother. He is the one hurting her and not me. But that’s part of the toxic tactics . Blaming the victim.
    The pain I feel is unbearable. How can a father do this to hij child and moreover to hij wife. And how can my sister do this to me and my mother.
    My only hope is that I can convince my brother because I cannot bear this burden. They have destroyed my life as well as that of my family. I often wish I were dead because my life is ruïned. My body is filled with pain and trauma. It’s so very hard. I am seeing a trauma therapist now who understands and acknowledges my pain. He will help me with my trauma but this will take a very long time. He says it’s one of the worst and most painful experiences and I have to agree.
    My only consellation is that everybody around me believes me. Because they know me. Even my uncles, aunts and the referant believe. But the most important person, the only one who can stop this does not.
    So I will lose my whole family. I never want to see my father nor my sister again. They are toxic and cruel. They are not capable of giving love nor receiving it.
    I sincerely hope I will be able to heal since I want to live a healthy and happy life with my husband and sons. They also suffer. My oldest son is also seeing a therapist because he cannot cope with what happened.
    How can my family do this to me. I have only given them love all my life.
    Dear Rebecca, thanks for your article. We seriously need to raise awareness for this topic. There are so many wounded children who deserve validation for the emotional abuse and trauma they suffer from.

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    • January 11, 2020 at 9:52 am

      I am so very sorry that you have had to go through so much heartache and pain. And I am grateful that you are now able to work with a trauma-informed therapist – this can make all the difference in the world. What happened to you is a perfect, yet tragic, example of what I call ‘Family Scapegoat Abuse’ – and your symptoms and suffering are mirrored in the research I am doing that establishes and supports the reality of ‘Family Scapegoat Abuse Syndrome’ (a term I created to identify and describe the impact family scapegoating has on the adult survivor’s mental and emotional health). I do hope you consider joining our peer-support group; I also offer many free resources via my website, including a link to my YouTube channel where I discuss scapegoating and recovery. There’s a free eBook as well. I wish you well on your journey, and thank you for sharing a bit of your story, I am sure it will help to raise awareness with others.

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      • January 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm

        Dear Rebecca,

        Thanks for your reply.
        I think I might join your support group. Only other family scapegoats can truly relate to the pain of being the identified patient. I also became member of a Facebook group.
        I suppose you already know that the scapegoat is chosen because of his or her traits. Traits the narcissist lacks. Scapegoats are authentic, honest, empathic, always fighting injustice, rebellious, emotional intelligent and strong-willed. The narcissist is jealous of these qualities and for that reason he/she will destroy you. It’s so cruel. In my opinion it’s criminal. Sometimes I wish my narcissistic father would have severely beaten me so that I had proof of his abuse. Invisible wounds are not recognized.
        I fully agree with you that raising awareness for this topic is essential.
        Thanks again.
        Jacoba

        Reply
  • January 12, 2020 at 10:16 am

    ::secretly giggles::

    Its me, you know who — they’re trying to do this on two levels for the entertainers on campus who can’t read as the integration stalls. Little do they know, they’ve run into a mixed brick wall.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2020 at 5:22 am

    I’m 50 years old and was the the scapegoat in my family I grew up around gang members seeing things that no child should of ever seen people getting there limbs chopped off and shot as 3 years old stabbed in the face at 2 years old remember it like was yesterday there are many more like military tortures of putting rice on a 2 by 4 and kneeling on it for 6 hrs holding a pressure pot cooker out with my arms straight out if I lowered them I would be whipped on the back there’s many others this just some of them I’ve been getting help for a lot of my traumas seeing traumas therapist until I met this woman who I told my his to then studied me and then used my stories of my past against me as guilting a shaming tactics I spent 8 yrs with this woman and didn’t know what a narcissist was and diagnosing me other mental illness as used them to make feel even more less of myself I went through many therapists and counselor because she felt they weren’t right and helping me I became very discouraged and hopeless and not feeling like a human being at just a bag of garbage to be thrown to the curb and out of the 8 years I was with her Iost all of my friends family I didn’t care about they were toxic anyways for me I was isolated for 3 years from ever having a life of anything I used my time to learn what she had learned about me and discovered she was and very clever covert narcissist and manipulating everything thing I’ve said and emotionally abusing me with my past and I couldn’t enough go on Facebook and like a post without it being and infidelity to her her friends would monitor my Facebook page and call her and tell her I had to give her my Facebook and social media accounts passwords to just to prove my innocence. Her friends then would scroll page it was ridiculous and just last year i made a fictional Facebook account and scroll her page and discovered she was following a coworker and knew more information about him the just liking and commenting about his post and after that she blocked me and wouldn’t show me her Facebook account and told me I was invading her privacy anyways For about a year now she hasn’t been coming around me and we don’t do anything as a couple that’s supposed be in love together and distancing her self from me everything I’ve done is saying is wrong I’m always feeling guilt a shame from everybody that’s she accusing and assuming I’m saying or doing any behaviors as well I’ve felt useless as a person then I met this one counselor that had given me my strength and hope back and told this him my story and not telling her anything about what I’ve talked to him about and said that I was right I m not a narcissists and that my problem was I had extreme codependency and CPTSD and disassociation disorder and was being triggered by her actions and behaviors I’ve just ended with her our last conversation was I told I didn’t feel safe talking her anymore I felt I was walking on eggshells and took that out context and said that I meant that she physically abusing from her and the hung up on me and called back and said what do you mean I told the same thing and she got extremely upset at me and I hung up said i can’t talk to anymore it’s not working you are a covert narcissist and I’ve knew for a while now in doubt of my findings of but your by the book a covert narcissistic person so I’m now dealing with my pain of this but I’m okay because I’ve got people who can give me the help I need and I don’t have to be diagnosed and label and judge by her and guilted a shame I love your story of this it never dawned on me to think of in this aspect of who I am as a person in the scapegoat goat which my life I’ve always been in my family dynamics thanks for this information it’s going to be very helpful in my recovery

    Reply
    • January 14, 2020 at 6:27 am

      I’m so glad that you found my article helpful. It is important to explore our ‘roots’,including any history of childhood abuse and early relational trauma, for in this way we can shed all that is false and not true to who we actually are today. “Build it and they will come.” Stay on this recovery and healing journey you are on and live and speak your truth; this will eventually lead to your being loved and appreciated for who you actually are by those who see and appreciate you. You’ve got what it takes to do this, I can feel your innate strength in your message!

      Reply
  • January 15, 2020 at 7:19 am

    Is there an online website resource which those of us who do not care to engage Facebook, Instagram, etc, utilize?

    Reply
    • January 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      What sort of resources, specifically? Also, my first (introductory) book will be released on January 30th, it is linked in my profile.

      Reply
  • January 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    I would question the piece in the article where it says that scapegoating is unconscious blame shifting. From my experience with my NM it was very conscious. She knew she was doing it and no one ever called her out on it. Narcs are calculated in everything they do and everything is a means to an end, that bung that the narc is perfect in every way and how dare anyone say otherwise!
    To imply that scapegoating in unconscious let’s the narc off the hook in that they don’t know what they are doing. I believe this is categorically untrue.

    Reply
    • January 19, 2020 at 6:24 am

      Hi Simon, thank you for your comment. In a future article I will address Narcissistic Family Abuse and scapegoating. In this article, I am focused on dysfunctional family systems and the family projection process, as described by Murray Bowen (more information here https://thebowencenter.org/theory/eight-concepts/). I do agree that deliberate blame-shifting can go on by a parent – whether diagnosed with NPD or not; I will clarify this in the article, as I see that it could indeed be confusing.

      Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for your informative articles. It would be great if you wrote an article about scapegoat abuse or any abuse that is subtle. Most stories I read are more extreme. The subtle abuse is the most damaging in some ways because it is difficult to point a finger at what was really going on so you have more dissonance. It my case it was the suggestion that I’m weird, defective etc. I was never called a bad person or had family problems blamed on me.

    An example: My mother (dead now) used to like to tell me stories about what I was like as a small child. I had developmental problems. The term autistic wasn’t around back then but it is as if she read about it and projected that onto me. I’ve done online tests and don’t think I’m autistic or if so, marginally. It is just the fact I’m an introvert that was so defective in her eyes. Anyway 90% of the stories were always about how weird I was. I could see she enjoyed it as she’d have that little smirk in the corner of her mouth. Even though I got past the developmental problems and did quite well in school even decades later she’d tell me the same stories.

    Also I think there can be different combinations of dynamics. In my family, my father was the prime scapegoat and I was the secondary scapegoat. I prefer the term Black Sheep as that fits for me more. I also feel more like a combination of black sheep and lost child. There were 2 children, me and one younger brother. He was the golden child but, again, very subtly. He is also an introvert but she never shamed him about it and even claimed that he was an extrovert. My allocated role was to be the invisible listening post door mat.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Hi Lesley, thank you for leaving such a rich and descriptive comment. Yes, I speak about these ‘subtle realities’ often, including ‘gaslighting’ and ‘reality distortion’. In fact, I recorded a four-part YouTube series entitled, ‘Gaslighting and the Family Scapegoat’. I have had to make these videos private due to copyright infringement issues (unauthorized use of my work); however, if you would like me to send you the private link to the videos I would be happy to do so; just email me at [email protected]. I also am dedicating an entire ‘special notes’ section on ‘gaslighting’ and the family scapegoat in my upcoming book, available to order now on Amazon (see my Author’s bio on the original post). If you are not already a member of our peer-support group on Facebook, I hope you consider joining – link to this group in my bio as well.

      Reply
    • February 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Lesley,
      I really relate to what you say and have a similar experience of my abuse as being subtle, so very subtle that it took me until the age of 55 (three years ago) to put it all together! There were no tell-tale signs of abuse in my family that are characteristic of dysfunctional families – no divorce, no marital discord (indeed this June my parents will have been married for 65 years) no substance abuse, etc. I was thought to come from a nice, supportive, well-educated family with a psychologist mother who was (supposedly) my greatest advocate and champion. All the special help she got me as a child and adolescent was seen by others as being in my best interest but what it ended up doing was labeling and marginalizing me. My peers saw me as different and ended up resenting and tormenting me. When I complained about being tormented as I was, instead of my mother looking at what SHE might have done to create this situation, my mother blamed me and dragged me to a psychiatrist, thus marginalizing me even more. In college, I first heard the term “Identified Patient” which really resonated with me but was not ready to accept it since my mother was such a well-regarded and well-admired psychologist and educator and believed (what everybody else did) that she knew best! Thus it took me another 35 years to reach a place of acceptance!

      Reply
      • February 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm

        I’m glad you found resonance in my comments. OMG your mother was a psychologist. I’ve read in a few sources that some narcissists become psychologists etc. What a total mindf**k for you. I’m sorry you had to go through all that.

        My mother saw a psychiatrist for several years starting when I was about 7. This was about her processing and forgiving her mother. I don’t know if the psychiatrist had any clue she was a narcissist but if he did he didn’t tell her. Skip ahead to when I’m in mid teens and she announces she is ‘cured’. I remember feeling so disgusted that here she was supposed to be healed yet no one ever addressed her narcissism and even wondered how she treated me. This head trip was just another confirmation of how I was invisible and don’t matter. There had been no improvement whatsoever in how she treated me. Back then she also liked to read books about psychology especially by Freud. She didn’t label me with some disorder per se (apart from introvert, deeply flawed, weird) but said various things to me to indicate that I wasn’t normal in some way.

        I also had trouble in school with intermittent bullying or being ignored. I was shy and lacked self confidence. I’d always wondered to what extent my home life caused me to be that way or if I was just different. I’m a bit of both. I have read affirming articles that these mothers can set up their kids to be bullied in school. Or perhaps the better way of saying it is that if bullying happens to you, you lack the confidence to deal with it so it continues. I don’t know if she said this to me when the bullying first started in grade 1, but other times she liked to brag about how she used to be shy but now she’s such an outgoing friendly person. So I imagine she said something unhelpful to me like that to make me feel worse about myself, rather than helping me overcome it.

        A last thing I want to say is that in my explorations of the topic, many scapegoats have the following things in common: have natural empathy, are kind, sensitive, intelligent, creative, truth seekers, spiritually inclined. Did you know that many musicians were the black sheep of their families? So on the one hand, you are a threat to them. On the other they like to think of you as weak, over sensitive etc.

        This is something I copied from somewhere: “Fallaciously imposes diseases and disorders on the supply/daughter. Regardless of what you’ve achieved, your mother has achieved more. Whatever challenges you are struggling through, your mother’s struggles overshadows yours. She absolutely refuses to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate you as your own person, because you are simply an object she uses as a step-stool to make herself feel superior.”

        Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you for identifying what I went through for years. You have given a name to and validated my experiences. I’m joining the group today.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      Naming the seemingly unnameable allows us to identify it, deal with it, feel it, and heal from it.So glad you are joining our group!

      Reply
  • February 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    My husband was raised by a narcissistic mother and was the scape goat in his family. He has never dealt with this or the abusive nature of his entire family. We’ve been married 15 years and I’m barely hanging on because he uses all these learned behaviors towards me. He blames me for all his behaviors, that I push him to reaction, though I’m usually completely in shock and have no idea what is even going on. Gaslighting is a constant. He has diagnosed me with mental illness and because he’s a successful doctor, it’s usually believed. The behaviors he tells our therapists are mine are truly his. I have spent so many years reacting and getting angry about the false accusations, that I’ve played into unknowingly into the traps. How do I get him to stop the cycle of this behavior, that I see is learned behavior from his mother, and deal with the trauma of his past. I do not believe he is narcissistic like his mother, but an emotionally broken adult because of his childhood abuse. I don’t think he knows any different, or am I just fooling myself?

    Reply
    • February 19, 2020 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Jane, the sad fact is, we cannot control anyone except ourselves. You are clearly in great pain emotionally; the best avenue for hope, healing, and preserving your own mental and emotional well-being would be to find an individual therapist to work with so that you can process your feelings, gain clarity, and make important life decisions with someone who is supportive and will be there for you to guide you through. Support forums online can also be helpful; however, be careful about taking other people’s advice – which you will get a lot of on those types of online support groups.

      Reply
  • February 21, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Hi,
    It is a relief but maybe not reading this. I am 59, married mother of 3 young adults. There’s been what I would call deeply subtle abuse of me- scapegoating, gaslighting, ostracizing, manipulating, terrorizing, ignoring etc etc etc from my earliest memories. I have 2 sisters and older brother. My father was nice, mother was mean but I didn’t realize it. I knew I was extremely shy and embarrassed about it. We lived in the best neighborhood in town, I had no idea. Our house was raided for drugs 3 times when I was around 13. Police shot after my brother. I thought I was stupid and the runt of the family. At 25 I became engaged, broke it off for someone else. I now think it was because my 1st fiance was very normal as was his family and I was totally uncomfortable with that but I didn’t know it at the time. My husband has been really abusive of me but no-one can see and nobody would ever believe. Only 2 times physical. Because he is very nice and personable on the outside. Gaslights, ignores my needs, passive aggressive all the time. Big things and little things. Denies and denies and denies. Says he will do x and does not, never does. Then says that if only I would stop nagging him maybe he would do X. He has lost a couple of jobs and we continue to move backwards, he doesn’t look for other opportunities. We are educated. I stayed home with the kids because it was cheaper than daycare. I’ve taken care of all including tons of large household repairs while holding down 2 part-time jobs as well. All the whike he whines about needing a nicer car, the one he likes. My husband allowed his older sister to lure our just college graduated son to her home across the country for a job- all behind my back. I was away at the time and communicating with spouse and son, I had no idea- and when I returned they told me son would be moving across country in 4 days. I was shocked and furious! and my mother even gave him money to help with the move. I found on my husband’s phone a text message: don’t tell Mom (about the move). We had to visit my parents once a month for the weekend with our kids, did so for 20+ years. Every single time my mother would let them do or eat lots of things to which I said NO, but I would be overruled. This included lighting fires & fireworks at 7 years, eating and drinking soda and cookies right before lunch and watching r rated movies at 5, every single time. My mother would say: “Don’t listen to your mother!” My husband would be right there and NEVER backed me up. There is so much more. My kids pretty much despised me by their teens, it didn’t seem normal. My husband used his subtle words and comments about me to our kids to get them to question my “normalness”. I have been working so hard for 7 years to undo the damage and present myself as a good human to our kids. All my siblings and my spouse would throw me under the bus for my mother. Whenever we would all be together they would each and all say rotten and false things about me to my kids. There was a concerted effort by my mother, siblings and other relatives (and it succeeded) to thwart my kids’ outstanding summer internships- in favor of a family weekend…..it makes my stomach convulse when I think of that. My spouse also threw me under the bus also for his sister I just did not have a say in ANYTHING. He told me I was out of place, all the time. There is so much more….I feel much the same as I always have: I just want to be alone, that I am incapable of doing anything (yes, I can clean the house!) I believe I am a misfit. Not likable. I am so uncomfortable with anybody I can’t quite describe it. I have been fighting for myself, my sanity, but all of it- everything feels so weird and so wrong. Currently I am ostracized by my relatives and I have done nothing wrong. I have never, ever been mean…just the opposite. It is the worst feeling. The pain is unbearable at times. I know I am supposed to see it for what it is but the central question for me is: why? Why me, why pick on me? I never hurt anyone and never would.
    It feels like this is and has been a very subtle but awful form of abuse. I don’t think I feel sorry for myself. I just feel like I have been living with abuse. It is so painful.
    Jennifer

    Reply
    • February 21, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Hi Jennifer, I am so glad you reached out via this comment. Based on what you have written here, it does sound like you have been the target of family scapegoat abuse; it also appears, based on your statements here, that you are a victim of Domestic Violence (DV). I urge you to call the National Domestic Violence hotline as soon as possible. They are extremely helpful and will help you to understand better the dynamics of DV and also help you find resources in your area. You may reach them via their website here: https://www.thehotline.org/ To learn more about family scapegoat abuse (FSA) please visit my own website at https://scapegoatrecovery.com. You may also buy my eBook via the link in my profile at the bottom of my post. I wish you the very best! Rebecca

      Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you so much for making these comments available to those of us who do not use “social” media! To know that there is a whole community of us who sound alike when we relate our life experiences gives such peace. I am thankful that those younger than me have this safe place to process the stresses and damage of being a scapegoat. I have always told people that the stork dropped me down the wrong chimney when asked about my family of origin. After the continuous scapegoating and being cut in and out of their lives by them all of my life, I finally took them up on their last months of silent treatment/exclusion when I turned 65 and made it permanent. Oh, how I wish I had done it when I was 18! I changed my phone numbers and if any mail came from them, I threw it away. They live in different states far away.They have had to find other avenues of twisted entertainment and I am living in a constant state of thankfulness and peace with my close family of loving friends. This blog is the cherry on top! I am thankful! Hugs all around! We are not alone, everyone!

    Reply
    • February 26, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      We are conditioned to stay connected to family no matter what. Most people who end contact did this as a last resort due to repeated acts of disrespect and even blatant abuse and find few to no ‘allies’ in the family who will support them and help them hold the offender(s) accountable. We as the family scapegoat are rarely listened to or believed. Often the nieces, nephews, cousins, even our own siblings pick the ‘scapegoat story’ up and see us through this same twisted and distorted lens, and so it continues – It seems we can never escape it. But we can. And you did. Congratulations.

      Reply
  • March 2, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Born in 1956 in Ireland to a large catholick family did not suffer from sexual abuse , my parents and and my sister,s mentally and physically tortured me i married , and moved far away to another country this stoped the physical but the mentel abuse continued, the guilt i abandoned them my parents i was evil i Wount go on , my parents pased away a few years ago,i broke all contact finally im free

    Reply
  • March 6, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I’m so happy to know I am not alone but sad more people have to endure the years and years of trauma. I am apart of the classic dysfunctional family, both parents were narcissists and misogynistic. My older brother is golden child, I’m the scapegoat and only girl, my next younger brother is the lost child, and my youngest brother is the mascot. I am the only one that stood up to my parents for myself, my brothers and generally all their overt wrong doings. The hardest part was going through it all alone. On christmas my brothers had custom embroidered stockings. I had a plastic bag. We went to my grandmoms for Christmas and I watched all 10 of my cousins open gift after gift. My girl cousins got matching charm bracelets. I got nothing, and they said they “didnt know I was coming.” I finally escaped at 18 and have been struggling with cptsd since, trying to stay on my feet and support myself. I’d rather suffer than go back to them. The hardest thing was going no contact and accepting having parents just wont be apart of my existence. I’m missing out on my brothers growing up. My cousins and aunts I was very close to became “flying monkeys” acting interested in me only to get information and send it back to my parents, to exploit me, to twist to hurt me, to fuel their need for control. I had to cut them all off too. The scapegoating role has followed me in other contexts like with friends, teachers, bosses. It’s hard to break free from but I’m finally starting over and rebuilding my life. I’m proud to be a scapegoat, there are great qualities that come from such, its my character, it scares people. I couldnt NOT speak up to these people. They know I know everything, I have a psychology degree and that scares them. They labeled me crazy and wanting attention and that I should just “get over it” to ruin my credibility when I do begin to share my story with others. I’m not ready yet, but the book is in process.. that’s my mini story pals. I’m with you all.. and thank you for writing this amazing article 🙂

    Reply
  • March 6, 2020 at 10:02 am

    I’m so happy to know I am not alone but sad more people have to endure the years and years of trauma. I am apart of the classic dysfunctional family, both parents were narcissists and misogynistic. My older brother is golden child, I’m the scapegoat and only girl, my next younger brother is the lost child, and my youngest brother is the mascot. I am the only one that stood up to my parents for myself, my brothers and generally all their overt wrong doings. The hardest part was going through it all alone. On christmas my brothers had custom embroidered stockings. I had a plastic bag. We went to my grandmoms for Christmas and I watched all 10 of my cousins open gift after gift. My girl cousins got matching charm bracelets. I got nothing, and they said they “didnt know I was coming.” I finally escaped at 18 and have been struggling with cptsd since, trying to stay on my feet and support myself. I’d rather suffer than go back to them. The hardest thing was going no contact and accepting having parents just wont be apart of my existence. I’m missing out on my brothers growing up. My cousins and aunts I was very close to became “flying monkeys” acting interested in me only to get information and send it back to my parents, to exploit me, to twist to hurt me, to fuel their need for control. I had to cut them all off too. The scapegoating role has followed me in other contexts like with friends, teachers, bosses. It’s hard to break free from but I’m finally starting over and rebuilding my life. I’m proud to be a scapegoat, there are great qualities that come from such, its my character, it scares people. I couldnt NOT speak up to these people. They know I know everything, I have a psychology degree and that scares them. They labeled me crazy and wanting attention and that I should just “get over it” to ruin my credibility when I do begin to share my story with others. I’m not ready yet, but the book is in process.. that’s my mini story pals. I’m with you all.. and thank you for writing this amazing article 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    • April 16, 2020 at 11:27 am

      Hi Noori, I regret your comment is only now appearing – I just found it in the ‘spam’ folder. Thank you for taking the time to share a bit of your story. I’m sure it will help others.

      Reply
  • March 8, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I volunteer to be the scapegoat. I’m strong. My other family members are perfect, I’m a worthless piece of shit. I’m Satan. It’s OK. I know the truth. It’s how I protect them from the consequences of acting out.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    It’s the story of my life, in spades! With all the emphasis being on the ‘importance’ of family in every newscast and every commercial due to this virus outbreak, those of us who are the ‘family scapegoat’ are likely waffling between feeling ‘glad’ for our acceptance of ingrained self isolation and feeling ‘worse’ because we have NO FAMILY bonds or sense of belonging for that ‘loving support’. For everyone who has commented here HONOR yourselves for having the courage, strength and WILL to keep going and remember, the ‘scapegoat’ is the strong one, we’re the ones who got away!

    Reply
    • April 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm

      You describe many scapegoated adults’ experience during this pandemic, Beth. I wrote a blog post here on Psych Central on “Social Distancing” and the scapegoated family member, you might like to read that as well. Thank you for your comment, and your encouraging words to other readers.

      Reply
  • May 15, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    I am a 73 yr old male and this arcticle about family scapegoat is a real good description of my life and the fall out resulting from being the blacksheep ( a badge that I wear with pride now). My Mom was a normal human and she loved us all but she was so overwhelmed with the demands of a wretched, broken dysfunctional and mean spirited husband, she couldn’t be there to protect us all. He was never physically abusive to her but he was very verbal and threatening at times. His own childhood was horrible and he was filled with rage and pain. He was also very intelligent and clever enough to hide the worst of it from those he treasured. However he had to vent on someone and he chose me out of their 10 offspring to use as a barn slave, field hand and whipping post. My older brothers followed his lead and I became the butt of constant cruel remarks and ridicule. My earliest memories are of his disapproval, ridicule and insults. As a small boy I received many vicious head slaps that came from out of nowhere and left me bewildered and disorientated. The verbal abuse was never ending and I received my first beating when I was 7 or 8. I have been beaten semi-nude with hand, fist, belt, stick and wire coat hanger fashioned into a wire whip. This last was done out of sight and sound of family. As a teen, he would prey on me when I was alone in the barn, He would start in on some stupid thing that bothered him and blame me for his problems and soon be in a rage…when he started talking through clenched teeth I knew it was too late. I was forced to stand there and look at him as his eyes changed to pure hate and then there would come with out warning a fisted blow to the temple of my head…there would be a flash of light in my brain and then…blackness. I don’t remember how those incidents ended and I don’t remember him walking away. These incidents and others similar to it caused me to withdraw from family and live in fear. This article uses the term “passively suicidal”. What a great term..and it describes my adolescense. I knew I would never do it but I planned it in different ways. Being in a dark hole where no one could touch me or hurt me seemed very comforting and inviting. I was saved by the Military. I was in the Army during the Viet Nam conflict. I believe I have PTSD from my early yrs and none at all from war time Military. It was in the military that I learned my self-worth and became the man God wanted me to be. I had a successful 3 yrs in the army and honorably discharged with some accomplishments that are a source of personal pride and self confidence. I was a very small boy when I realized the my abuser wasn’t normal or sane. I knew also that he was no hero and vowed that I survive him, never be like him and that I would live well by the Grace of God…and that is what happened. There are too many ugly memories and incidents to bring up…like when he forbade me to join the family for Christmas because he was “ashamed of me”??? I had completed a sucessful military career and was working and going to school and kept myself neat and out of trouble. A normal father would have been proud. The Army had changed me into a man and he couldn’t stand that he no longer controlled me. I was a threat to him and his ugly, ignorant little life. A few yrs later when he was introduced to my fiancee, he was rude to her and threatened to not attend our wedding. There were other incidents through out my adulthood and they were always negative. He died over a decade ago..no tears, not then, not now, not ever. I shed my last tear over him in a tree in the woods as a beaten, dispairing 14 yr old boy. I deal with the abuse daily in my mind but I forgive as well as humanly possible and that helps. My wife and I are a strong and happy couple for 45 yrs. My abuser was never a part of my family and he never knew our kids because I kept them away from him for the most part. My family is harmonious, mutually respectful, very close and hilarious when we get together and we do so often. We raised 5 well adjusted, morale hard working God fearing Americans and we have one of Gods greatest rewards…Grandkids…5 grand daughters. They make me smile everyday. I treasure my scape goat/black sheep badge. He may have won all his cowardly battles when I was young, naive and helpless…but he lost the war. I stopped the cycle of abuse and the black sheep badge is a badge of honor…

    Reply
    • May 15, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      I am so deeply and profoundly moved by all that you have shared here, Phil. I am actually writing a full-length book on family scapegoating and recovery – I am wondering if I might share your story with others in a manner you are comfortable with (under an alias). Also, within an article for my ‘Scapegoat Recovery’ blog here on Psych Central. Please email me at [email protected] if you are interested – I feel your story of survival, transformation, healing, and transcendence would touch many, and other readers would benefit greatly from hearing your story that is filled with not only ugly truths about abusive parents and their targeted children, but also awareness, beauty, and grace. Hope to hear from you, Rebecca (PS – You might also like to read my article on Family scapegoating abuse symptoms and C-PTSD at https://blogs.psychcentral.com/scapegoat-recovery/2020/04/what-family-scapegoat-abuse-survivors-need-to-know-about-c-ptsd/)

      Reply
 

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