17 thoughts on “Five Ways the Scapegoated Adult Experiences Disenfranchised Grief

  • May 21, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I very much identify with what you have written. Extremely glad someone ” gets it” and happy u are attempting to educate others.

    • May 21, 2020 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you, Wendy, I appreciate your taking the time to comment and I do hope my article will increase understanding of the challenges the FSA survivor faces.

  • May 21, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    I am glad you are taking this on.

    Good article

  • May 22, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for bringing awareness to this. I felt isolated & alone while being the scapegoat of my family since childhood. Seeing that others suffer from this gives me hope.

    • May 22, 2020 at 10:29 am

      You’re most welcome, Gloria. There are many who are working to recover from family scapegoating abuse – I look forward to sharing such stories here in future, as well as in the full-length book I am currently working on the addresses FSA and recovery. Stay tuned!

  • May 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    This article is very helpful and I am grateful for it. The only thing that bothers me is the reference to Kubler-Ross and ‘stages’ of grief. Every one of the many therapists I’ve seen over the years discredits her, and those stages; they’re really harmful. They don’t just imply linearity, but also that someone feels one thing at a time and that there is some kind of schedule or expectation of grief grief happens.

    • May 23, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      I absolutely agree with you, and in fact just now expanded my article to reinforce my original statement that the process of grieving is not linear, as Kubler-Ross’s model suggests. I’m currently working on a full-length book on FSA recovery, and will be expanding on ideas presented in this article in my book. Feel free to sign up to my FSA Newsletter if you’d like to know when my book is published at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/QJNGRFW/FRSANewsandBook. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

  • May 23, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Great article and very timely for me. No one can possibly understand going no contact from people who thought cared about you for your entire life.
    From many sides I have been told to forgive, to forget, that I was a good person, why are you doing this, she is your blood and so on. Just basically attacks to my decision of saving myself and the rest of my life from further abuse, mistreatment and lies.
    Now there are no connections and one by one I am being kicked down because people only hear one side of the story. Very hard to be positive and move forward trying to navigate with little support. I have forgiven myself and embraced my inner child, but the past aha moments keep popping into my head and sometimes thier is anger, but I feel more lucid. I understand that I was never wanted to be born, and the way to deal with me was to dismiss me and her shame was transferred to me. It is a terrible feeling that I may never get past and I know I have a lot of grieving to do. I have lost so much that will never be in my grasp ever again.

    • May 23, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Deb, you describe the painful, double-bind ridden dilemmas that FSA survivors commonly find themselves in. You write, “From many sides I have been told to forgive, to forget, that I was a good person, why are you doing this, she is your blood and so on. Just basically attacks to my decision of saving myself and the rest of my life from further abuse, mistreatment and lies”. This is especially important and you eloquently sum up why some who are scapegoated by one or more family members choose to go ‘no contact’ – It is often the only means available to end the exposure to the abuse – Abuse which is often subtle, and goes unnoticed by most, including other family members. Thank you so much for your comment and I wish you the best in your journey of healing and recovering from FSA.

  • May 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    My friend’s mother recently passed away and I attended the funeral mass and luncheon that followed. I watched them say goodbye to her one last time as they lowered the casket into the ground. I heard her moving eulogy about their great relationship. She was in deep pain but found comfort in the ceremony and in the arms of the friends and family gathered with her that day. I will never have that support. My mother is still very much alive but has rejected me. I mourn every day without ceremony. There is no one by my side to comfort me in my grief. A few close friends truly understand my pain but most people judge me. There’s still time! She’s not getting any younger! One day you’ll regret not putting your petty differences aside! Grieving for someone who is still very much alive and interacting with your sibling and cousins and aunts is beyond complicated. There are no Hallmark cards for this situation. No one sends flowers or leaves a casserole on your porch. You’re alone in your family and alone in your grief.

    • May 24, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to share a most powerful illustration of disenfranchised grief. That you are aware that you are grieving, and have the right to grieve, does not take away from the fact that you, like other scapegoated adults, are deprived of the kinds of familial and social support that one usually receives when enduring the loss of family members. I will be including a special section on this aspect of family scapegoating abuse in my upcoming full-length book and may contact you later regarding sharing your comment with others beyond this blog, as I am sure you speak for many FSA survivors.

      • May 24, 2020 at 6:35 pm

        I look forward to your upcoming book. There are too few resources for survivors of scapegoating/gaslighting. It’s wonderful to have my experience validated and not be seen as “too dramatic” or “overly emotional”. You may contact me any time. I’m happy to help in any way I can.

  • May 25, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I’m going through this right now and you’ve articulated exactly what it’s like – thank you for listening to us, unlike the mental health system which merely labels our ‘personalities’ and numbs us with chemicals, the former of which adds insult to injury.
    I wish I’d seen someone like you decades ago…
    Again, thank you for your caring and kindness – both of those attributes are the answer (for everyone in society).

    • May 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      Indeed, for too long the adult survivor of these more insidious forms of mental and emotional parental / familial (systemic) abuse have had their pain and the fact of their being actual abuse victims denied. Thank you for helping to raise awareness by commenting here.

  • May 25, 2020 at 10:45 am

    My parents were/are good people in a very unfortunate situation, and my sister took her trauma out on me. I’m emotionally exhausted after decades of being oblivious to the affects of it all.
    It’s all so stupid; if only we’d all been given some help (instead of pills).
    The current ‘model’ of psychiatry has a lot to answer for because I have no doubt this phenomenon is the underlying cause of most, if not all, ‘mental illness’.
    Thank God for people like you!

    • May 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      It is critical that health-care providers think systemically and holistically when treating their patients / clients. Sadly, this does not always happen, resulting in further suffering. I’m glad you found my article on disenfranchised grief helpful, AC.


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