Busy thoughts from a busy mind.

The dark side of Family Dynamics: Scapegoating and Narcissism: Some insights.

“If you can’t get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

    Hearing the voice.

The scapegoat makes the dysfunctional family function.

The scapegoat becomes the negativity sponge, the subject of hate; The ultimate black sheep. As there is a scapegoat, most often a narcissist is behind the scene.

It is hard for anyone to fathom the difficulties a scapegoat faces in their families. As they come to realise the effect narcissist dynamics has had on them- their self esteem and the way they live their lives changes as they begin to realise how deep this core seated pain runs.

Perhaps they have unknowingly brought out their fractured sense of self into society, where they have become victims of abusive relationships and friendships, failing to understand the idea of a normal friendship where they are not required to carry unnecessary burdens, and where love and kindness is given unconditionally.

Perhaps they have not yet learned that the positives of emotion are not supposed to be earned, but given without conditions. By the time the scapegoat realises their role in the family system, it is critical that they find a way to some support in order to heal. To a significant other who hears their voice and does not dismiss it.

In itself, this is a dangerous and challenging time for the individual. As the abuse continues and the voice of a scapegoat is drowned out in their usual torment, they can begin to turn apathetic. Go back to residing in the role that has been assigned to them. By consciously understanding what has happened to them, and even the way it works, they can fully feel how this still doesn’t heal these core wounds that have never had a chance to close. If you find yourself stuck in the situation, that is, stuck waking up to the abuse, the loneliness, the bullying, and then having it again and again, and yet you are so afraid of the world because you could hardly walk around your house without being belittled, then the frustrations are intensified beyond belief.

You’re captive. Your whole system is working overload to figure out a way to escape the situation, and all the while among trying to make sense of your surroundings the dynamics continue. Slowly, the words become empty and you drift into what feels like endless apathy. You no longer have the emotion to react, to defend, to speak. You do not even have the emotion to leave. You have no desires, no goals, no nothing. You become nothing.

And the loneliness? The loneliness is always there coupled with the vast misunderstood void in your life that others will never hear you and take your voice as significant. The loneliness haunts you in your dreams, in your waking moments and it steals your breath away. And you fear that you will be lonely in the next life too. You fear that you will be lonely for eternity and you pray to any God that their isn’t an afterlife and to just end your existence so that you can completely cease to exist and really be nothing.

Being selfless and told: “All you care about is yourself”

The scapegoat will never escape undamaged. These individuals are often hypersensitive, and hyper stimulated, despite the fact they probably repress any signs as to being this way.


The narcissist owns an incredibly sharp critical eye. This critical eye is not trained to look at self, but trained to look at others. And most intensely, on their scapegoat. The scapegoat sits in the critical eye, feeling naked and stripped to the bones. They have no voice in this light, no gravity. The truth holds no weight, as the critical eye does not listen. The critical eye sees what it wants to see, and then criticizes it. And most of the time we obtain some undercurrent of confusion. A general off-ness. Like anyone would if they were made to live under such criticism. It doesn’t make sense. You have trouble lining the pieces up and understanding why it happened. But you can wonder why forever, or you can try to detach yourself from your constrictions and heal.

There is not one aspect that survives violation when you are the scapegoat. You are not raised to develop a sense of self. You are just a play thing to project wants, needs, issues and insecurities onto. You are not allowed to reject your insults, and if you do then you are imagining it. (See Gas-lighting) You are not allowed to go against the narcissist otherwise you are selfish. You are the scapegoat. And you are not allowed to be depressed about it, because if you are you are accused of being “selfish and ungrateful of a family that loves you” and in need of “getting a life”. Not only that, but you are so depressed that you are accused that you must “enjoy being miserable”.
Allowing yourself to feel sad in a negative environment is what deems you as selfish. You are not allowed to walk past the narcissist without being picked apart. If you don’t give yourself over as narcissist supply then you will be told you “are angry” and “hate everyone” and that it’s “no wonder you don’t have any friends”, so you have never actually done anything wrong, but you are convinced you that you have. They will give no answers, and they will raise their voice above you to drown you out. In time you will realise that just the fact they have to use their volume of voice to drowns you out means they know subconsciously that your words hit home. That they shine light on the white elephants in the room. The things the narcissistic personality thrives only by ignoring. And this is why they deny them.

No child is depressed without cause. No child enjoys being depressed. No child grows insecurities at core depth if they were raised by able and consistently loving parents. Parenting is a job that comes with unconditional love. It is an automatic role, and it is only those who lack the necessary emotions to perform this role, that override the systems of their children and others who have no choice but to rely on them. We do not have to buy rights to and bid for our emotions. Our souls are not to be bought and sacrificed in return. We are not out of touch with our emotions unless we are giving that much and receiving that much violation that we lose our sense of self.

We do not lose our sense of self without a complete and all engulfing power that has had the opportunity to undermine our core foundations, and leads to a loss in sense of identity from the earliest stages of life.

We do not become beings without structure, without self, without mind, unless we have been manipulated in such subtle, insidious and closeted ways, that we cannot, for much too long, understand the truth that is right in front of us the whole time. That it was never your fault. That influences around you have created a system that you are unwillingly a part of.

It is often the most crucial self-preserving lessons in life that we are denied from learning. A violation of emotional boundaries, or a neglect to meet basic emotional needs, creates a lack of “emotional firewalls”- thus, the scapegoat probably invites more and more abuse and negativity into their lives. Because y’know, home sweet home, it just feels normal to be hurt and slighted.

(It’s interesting to note about the link between BPD and narcissist parents. On wikipedias page about Borderline Personality (Which definitely has its flaws but I chose it since I’m sure every googler of BPD would click on the Wiki article) it says about the development of the disorder the following:

“They were also much more likely to report having caregivers (of both genders) deny the validity of their thoughts and feelings. They were also reported to have failed to provide needed protection, and neglected their child’s physical care. Parents (of both sexes) were typically reported to have withdrawn from the child emotionally, and to have treated the child inconsistently”

Does this not sound like narcissist characteristics in parents towards their child? I think there is a strong link between Narcissistic parents and Borderline development in their offspring)

Obviously, If we had been raised by the hands of those capable of providing a stable foundation of love and support, we would reject the kinds of friendships and relationships, as scapegoats, we find ourselves making. We would understand how unhealthy they are. Rather we have to come to the realisation ourselves, that these kinds of friendships aren’t normal. We would understand that is is not normal to be abused. To be treated as worthless.

We were taught to put self-second, raised to blame self, and hurt self, and so we are in no position to come to an understanding why we do not deserve abuse from others we meet in life. We were raised to believe we were just too weak, and so therefor should be treated as such. In believing we were weak, we tested how far we could allow ourselves to be hurt, in order to prove we weren’t. There’s nothing to it though. We could not improve ourselves by hating ourselves into it. We could not destroy ourselves trying to show you we weren’t weak, because you had no reason to believe we were in the first place. I see now in so many of these families, it is the strongest one, the one with the most open mind, the most imagination, that becomes the once who is set up in the scheme. Painted as the defiant, and raised to be the shock absorber. The one who believes he is the bad guy among good people. The truth teller. The giver. Who ends up giving everything, and then is made to feel bad about it.

However, I can tell you, the power that you feel the day you realise that you have been a puppet, the day the curtain is lifted from your eyes and you see the world for what it is, is indescribable. There is the smallest and brightest flame of power that comes from the middle of your core. It shines so brightly that you are in awe of it. You ‘feel’ for the first time. You finally understand that YOU have emotions and you are NOT to be told how you feel. It is the voice of justice, it is the voice of the outspoken. It is unswayed. It is the voice of wisdom and adversity, and this voice, though linked with a lifetime of inner conflicts, will not go out once it has flickered into life. It is you, the little sprout that was not allowed to grow. The little flower that was taught it was a weed. And the knowledge of self, is the greatest miracle you could ask for. You have paid your life again and again for it, but it will not let you hate yourself any longer. It will tell you in gentle words why the cruel voices in your mind are wrong. And eventually, you can help turn the lights of others on too.

You can only heal yourself through love.

In the end, it’s a big puppet show where the audience, the actors and you yourself are convinced by the complex and subtle ways which you have been manipulated, to believe that it is all your fault. And this is so toxic, so intense, that you get to the point where you no longer have the energy to hate yourself all the time. Hating yourself is a full time job. There is no rest, no lunch break. You hate yourself in the morning, and you hate yourself all day, and you go to bed hating yourself. And if that’s not enough, you hate yourself in your dreams too. If there is nothing to hate yourself about, you don’t have to worry because your narcissist is going to tell you how you feel. “You’re angry” they are going to say, and you’ve long lost the ability to understand you have emotions and you just become a canvas. They will paint you as they please. “You’re ungrateful” and then you spend time intensifying yourself hate as to why you are so ungrateful. You can even create reasons as to why you must be ungrateful in order to justify the self hate. You don’t even realise you are sacrificing your own innocence to make yourself mentally accountable for the insults and the accusations that aren’t even yours to own!

They say you’re miserable and need a smile on your face. But it keeps slipping. And you are slowly finding that the elements don’t fit together. That it just doesn’t feel right inside you. The more families you see, the more it becomes obvious that something is off. Yet all the while you punished yourself for being too weak to commit suicide, you realise it isn’t fear that is keeping you from killing yourself. No, it’s something else. And you can’t figure out what it is. And every time you get close, they attack you again and you fall back. It’s two steps back, for every toe forward. And if you’re “lucky” you might come to realize what this little stubborn element inside you is. It is the voice of you. The one you were forced to ignore since you came into this world. The one you never had a choice to listen to. The one they convinced you was wrong, and stupid, and ungrateful and selfish. It speaks to you so quietly, and so outspoken that it knocks your feet out from under you, and you have no choice but to listen. The world dulls, the voices mute, and you finally listen to what it has to say. And you want to cry and scream, and hurt and feel angry at everything you have had denied this little voice, of all the time it has lost, of all the damage it has taken, the injustice it has been served. Of how difficult the path ahead is going to be with the wounds you have obtained. And the lack of trust you feel towards absolutely everyone. And you want justice for it.

You want to be acknowledged that it is wrong. You want to be consumed by anger, all the anger you have for those who have hurt you. But the voice tells you that anger is just anger, and you no longer can hold it. You must dedicate your time to loving yourself. Even while you’re standing there and they’re going off at you, yelling, insulting, manipulating. It’s different now. They can’t stick their fingers in your mind and cross the wires. The voice is telling you, that you don’t need the anger, the hate and the need to be acknowledged. Because at least you know now. At least you can stand above the master puppeteer and watch the way she manipulates the play. The voice tells you that while you aren’t going to be heard, you can find a small, minuscule place inside yourself and try, try, try and comfort yourself. It tells you that there is no benefit in debating, in convincing others, because the truth is to be felt inside. There is no need to convince others you are worthy of emotions and happiness. It is you who needs to know, and it is you and only you who can hear the voice and take it as the center of your universe until the voices of those who almost destroyed it are just shadows banging on the windows, doing and saying anything to get your attention back again. This quiet resolve is alarming to them. They could never imagine you picking yourself up from complete and utter hell.

And even if you can’t continue with the wounds you have, as I know some can’t, and some haven’t, the voice will not hate you through it, or through anything. Because you found that voice again, and now you can take the voice and you can take your truth. You’ve found your core, and if that is all you need, then you need not struggle here anymore.

The realization of your inner voice is bright and innocent. What you need to realize is that is it easily misled. It was once wasn’t it? Early in childhood, you learnt to believe it wasn’t worthy of listening too. Innocence is a beautiful thing, but innocence is also very trusting. Innocence can easily be taught the wrong lessons. Now you need to know that you need support, but you need to get it from the right places. Don’t expect people to listen to your voice and understand. Some will turn away and act as if what you just said is irrelevant. This can cause you a major set back. It can make you believe again that you must be wrong in speaking out. No. There are those that will listen. Those who will register your words, and those who will finally say to you that it’s okay. It’s okay because you have someone who can see you now. In all your truth.

You will not be told how you feel.
You will feel how you feel.
You will not disregard your beliefs.
If you are told what you should believe.
You are not to hate yourself for being weak,
When you are the one who has been so strong.
You will not carry burdens that drag you down,
As it is not your job to make the dysfunctional function.
You are not to fear when your words go unheard,
As you will believe the words you speak inside.
You will not live in fear of losing yourself,
As you know in your heart the ultimate truth of these convictions.
You will not be misled by self hate and anger,
As you know your love keeps your light from going out.
You will not fret when you have no one beside you,
Because you have learned the lesson of being comforted by yourself.


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Categorised in: anxiety, depression, mental health, Uncategorized, understanding mental health

78 Responses »

  1. Thank you-you gave me immense hope

  2. This article described my life? How? I’m still trying to shed the slimy, vile filth from myself. My mother seems demon possessed. The psychological horror is worse than any fiction. God help me.

    • I think because I know exactly what you’re going through. There’s elements of the “slimy, vile filth” that is going to be hard to remove yourself from. If you benefit from it (which of course you would) you need to drop contact. Even if she plays the sad and “I need you” card, or the guilt trip card, you need to press on and remove her from your life. You can’t suffer for someone else like that, because it’s a pointless sacrifice, and all you get in return is more pain. It is worse than any fiction I know…the complexities of the situation goes beyond anything anyone could imagine but for us. I’m always here to talk to you if you need it. I know how much of an uphill battle it is to remove that toxin from your life. It’s going to hurt, and it’s going to drain you. But over time, with the right support and knowledge those same complexities turn from horrific to wisdom. And you will regain everything you have lost and hurt over in this situation.

      Stay strong :)

      • Thank you for this blog. I love the self-affirming statements at the end. Thank you. I have only recently understood the narcissistic/scapegoating dynamic. I used to just say I was the black sheep in my family for being the good one. I am going to read them to myself everyday. Thank you for helping me and helping others. This is proof that you are a beautiful person…far different than you were told in your childhood.

  3. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I will never meet you but you have saved my life.

  4. This speaks to my very soul.
    Thank you.
    Truth has its own buoyancy, indeed-it can never be suppressed indefinitely.

  5. posting to my facebook feed- i hope it is read and re read .

  6. it is interesting the similarities between Borderline and Narcissist types. My mother was BPD and I was the only other family member, so I was the scapegoat from birth I think. When I married, I thought he was so different, but now, years after our split and knowing now that he was Narcissist, I see how I became the scapegoat again during our marriage. He was much more subtle with it than my Mother. He actually made me believe I was the one who was insecure, unstable, etc. With my Mother, who was not at all subtle, I always knew she was a monster (to me) while it took 14 years to see my husband was one (to me) as well. Thank goodness they are both well out of my life now. Now, only myself puts me down.

  7. 90 minutes ago, I looked up “scapegoating in families” and already my life has changed. I can’t express how it feels to be validated!! And this post is a huge part of the potpourri of healing I’m experiencing right now. It is not my parents, ironically, who scapegoated me, but my 3 much-older siblings. Knowing this is what they’ve done to me for 48 years is life-altering to my core. Thank you so much for all you’ve written above.

  8. Oh.. Friend, thank you for your post. I have a teenage friend that I’ve been trying to save and after needing to wait through his N moms isolation and seeing him struggle. I know now that I just need to support the process and just keep loving him. The light inside of him has been flickering; thought it had gone out, but I now i believe I know what I need to do to keep the flame burning brighter. Thank you!

  9. can identify with this to a T. I’ve been no-contact with my narcissitic mother and enabling father for 4yrs now. I’m still healing. This article gives me a “energy boost”.

    • As a scapegoat that has been No Contact with my sociopathic, narcissistic egg-donor, her enabling sperm donor, and their GC son, for 11 years, I can tell you that things become much better with each passing year. I still read articles like this excellent one, to give me that “boost” as well.
      I can tell you within those 11 years, I decide to gain for myself, all the things that were denied me. First and foremost was an education – which was freely given to the GC. I obtained 3 degrees with a 4.0 GPA ( working towards my 4th), divorced my Nhusband and his equally NMother, moved 3 states away and left no forwarding address. I can tell you that the smear campaign against me was ramped up 200% from it’s usual 100%. But, cutting contact with extended family – too many sociopathic personalities there – who bought into the decades of lying, only served me well. I found the talents that were rebuffed, mocked, and jeered at – I’m actually an pretty good artist – and have the beginnigs of finding my voice. I will say it’s still very difficult to trust people and make friends. But, I’m working on that too.
      Going NC is the only positive route to take to find your true indentity and self which is far beyond and above anything they made you believe.

      God Bless and Carry on

  10. Every word is so so true. Thank you.
    I have been told my whole life that ‘all I care about is myself’. I am ‘no contact’ with my narcissistic mother and enabling father too. I have been for a year. We had three years apart before and I went back for more with no apology and no talking, hoping things could change, thinking I was doing the ‘right’ thing. I was wrong, they are worse!
    I have three sisters-One is the golden child. She can do no wrong. Her life is a mess. She cannot cope without my Mum’s support. She is 45 and she cannot buy an item of clothing without asking. ‘will mummy like it?’ The other sisters are infantile too, not to the same extent, but they are not mature women like my friends of similar age. None of us have relationships independently. We have always related though Mum.
    Mum has spent years creating a persona for me that is bad. She blackened my name to every part of the extended family. She can say ‘How come it is just Nikki?’ to justify herself. You are right about the loneliness. I used to feel so misrepresented that I would wake up in cold sweats dreaming that I was being taken to the gallows, screaming” I didn’t do it”.
    It is getting easier now, I have strong good teenagers who see it too, They see injustice clearer than those of us jaded by life. They see my parents as they are and they help me to see it clearer. They are my family now. I need no other. I am writing a book. As I write and see it in black and white on the page, it is so obvious it is all wrong; it was always wrong. It helps me feel stronger.

    • Interesting that we are always told we only care about ourselves when like you noted; you tried to fix the situation. When I’m sure all you ever wanted was just a levelled amount of communication, compassion and some support. It was never you that lacked the ability to give those things. When you’re the scapegoat nothing you ever do is the ‘right thing’, but: in the end despite all the pain and the difficulties we face- we can realise that no one gets to decide what is right or wrong about us or how we feel, and no one should be able to hold themselves over us and make us fight so hard to just be respected. We can learn that. The golden child is tied to the narcissist mother for probably the rest of his or her life, because they can’t see the things we see, they tip toe around our mothers by feeding her ego so as not to set off her emotional grenades. Not that it would matter if it got set off anyway because it would probably just be our fault.

      The golden child is really just another narcissist in creation. I know that my sister is as oblivious to my story and my suffering as my mother is. I’m “troubled”, not because of everything I’ve written about in the above, but because I’m just the drop out child who supposedly hates everyone and is an angry person.

      I’m glad you feel stronger…keep going, don’t stop. I know how hard it is to slide back down sometimes into that void. But from what you’ve written here you’re already opening your eyes to your situation and I have high hopes for you, and your book. Be sure to keep me posted on the details.

      • Exactly- familiar words! It’s so good to know others understand. Apparently I’m ‘troubled’ and ‘angry’ too! That is how my mother describes me. It is her way of putting me down and feigning concern at the same time. It is also her way of invalidating any complaint I make about being left out, ignored or put down. Either that, or I’m lying. I’m always lying or ‘remembering it wrong’ apparently. Either that or she ‘forgets’ the detail or says ‘you’re not still dwelling on that are you?’, Anything to avoid scrutiny and honesty!
        You get put down like that often enough and you start to doubt yourself. Who wouldn’t? I’ve been told endlessly, I’ve ‘always been difficult’, I’m ‘always causing trouble’, I’ll ‘never have any friends.’, I’m so over-sensitive. My husband is ‘deranged’ apparently.too. This is because he had the audacity to stand up for me.My grown up children have been told that ‘Mummy has put silly ideas into their heads’. because they spoke out when they were old enough to see through her. I am more wicked still, to have made them grow up thinking these things. My Mum can’t entertain the possibility that they might have formed their own opinion based on observing years of her behaviour.
        Strangely, I don’t envy my golden child sister, although my parents think I do. She has only earned her attention by becoming my Mum’s shadow. She even looks like her now. In my book they become two sad old ladies together with my sister nervously answering to her very self-centered whim. She doesn’t know who she is. At least I escaped!
        You’re right about slipping back into the void though. It’s like you have lost your whole family and because it is so taboo to tell people, no one supports you in your grief. And they come back to haunt you. I have been sent letters by my sisters chastising me for not sending mothers day cards. (they don’t make them with the right words-reading loving messages to real mothers do is painful). I’ve also had a letter from a sister telling me not to talk to my friends about this-They will only make angry; I am being hushed and brought back into line! When these letters come I lie awake composing letters all night. I toss and turn but I never send them. There is no logic in arguing with them. They don’t want to see.
        That’s why I’m writing a book. Its the truth I’m not allowed to utter. It’s making me feel better. It’s so awful it’s almost comical. I’d love to see it published. Would I change the names?

      • I really can’t believe how identical we seem. It made me angry reading some of the things you wrote here because I felt that frustration again of being painted into that role. My mother also feigns concern, only to later use the same things as ammunition. Of course, if they make out we’re not sane then they can say anything. Especially if the extended family also sees you as the “troubled one” I know mine does. The only person in the family who I really give my heart to is my youngest aunty on my mothers side. And why? Because she was the scapegoat too. My grandmother has her golden children (my mother and my other aunty) then out of that I became the new scapegoat.

        Ah yes the good old selective memory of the narcissist. It really is funny how much they can alter something to suit themselves isnt it?Sometimes mum would tell me I had a vivid imagination and I was very intelligent, the next minute when she was twisting my words and when I called her out on it it was because I had an “over active imagination” and was “imagining things”. Anything can be originally dressed up as a compliment can’t it? But of course if she hurts you, she’s over it in an hour. But what she perceives as your own wrong doings will never be forgotten. And it’s interesting that even though we knew what she was saying is a lie, our fathers defended her lies, and we questioned ourselves “maybe it is us?”, because what choice has a logical mind to try and make sense of lies that everyone believes but you? In a way things make sense when she says you’re bad and you believe you’re bad. But at that point you’re just acting in the costume she built for you. Luckily we know this now.

        I’m so happy to hear that despite the attempt of your family to cast you in the bad light, you’ve already built your own family. A much stronger, healthier and supportive one. While you’ve got eachothers backs the void we spoke about will never be as hopeless as it used to be.

        You’re right about the golden child ending up worse in the end. She might’ve walked the easier road, but the destination wasn’t as beautiful as ours has been. The realisation of how crucial human compassion and love is, is a lesson the scapegoat learns the hard way by being deprived from it. The golden child will always be a reflection, but they can not separate themselves from that reflection. And if they could, they would be the scapegoat.

        Your book really does sound interesting. I can picture it already as something that would heavily relate to me.

        Oh Mother’s Day is always hell! This year I got a bit over defiant and I didn’t make a card either, and she made sure my father got onto me about it by telling me I had “crossed a line I shouldn’t have” because she was “always the one who helped me” Ha!

        Of course your sisters can’t see. No one sees the scapegoats reality except the scapegoat. The web your mother has spun around you might not be attached to your own perception of yourself but to the other family members you will always be the lies that she spun around you. Congratulations! You just said “there’s no point in arguing” and you’re so right. I know how tempting it is to try and make them see how wrong they are and how much you hurt, and how angry it makes you when you’re this vastly misunderstood. But you only lose all your own energy trying to fight false and inevitable perceptions of you, which you could be using to write your book and explore and heal the need to be validated by those who chose to neglect you and your personality originally. Even if you don’t send those letters, they’re good to vent through I find. Sometimes I write some really angry things, things I used to be scared to say, and it always is a release.

        Perhaps with your book, it is up to you with the name change. Changing them would mean you would probably avoid a bit of a shit fight where family and extended family are picking up your writings and finding unpleasant truths that they are never going to swallow, and having a huge rage. Fingers will point at you and you will probably be called a liar, you will get angry letters, and it’s going to hurt you when they try to violate the most important thing you’ve ever produced by trying to make it all look false. Of course this is the worst case scenario, but…you have to be prepared I suppose. At the risk of not having to hold yourself back and say everything you want too maybe you could change the names? Ultimately, it is up to you. You have the support from your family, and you certainly have mine.

  11. How hard to be alone and blamed for anything and everything?
    How hard when you live in a different page and someone from your own blood turn this page down as if you don’t deserve a chance?
    And how it’s to live not knowing why is this happening to you?!! Sad isn’t !!!
    I’m so glad that I finally knew that I lived as a scapegoat and amazed with similarities in my situation but it breaks my heart that I couldn’t dream and have those dreams true just because i didn’t deserve a chance.

    Do yourself a favour leave your toxic family forever they don’t deserve your smartness and kindness .

    • I too, am amazed at the situation. And I also feel the weight of not being able to develop normally. It’s hard to find dreams like ‘normal’ people when your only dream is to be like normal people. To think normally, to have normal relationships and a normal life. I know how hard it is to fight everyday for a degree of normality in your life. But you have fight, or there’s nothing else. Fighting just gets very tiring sometimes doesn’t it?

    • I’m trying to leave my two sister’s after the death of my mother and they have turned everyone against me because I had an opinion. My words, thoughts, ideas and dreams just enrage them to the point I have moved and got an unlisted number I have no blood family at all, everyone is on the side of the scapegoaters.

      • My mother died on July 27th, 2012. My golden brother and sister through me under the bus. I know the loss you express. I always feel like I have no other family than the ones in my home. My sister seems to think I am her emotional trashcan, I left her alone, because it made me sick to think she was going to continue the hell my mother created for me. I thought my mom would finally admit or ask for forgiveness on her deathbed. She through me out, the golden ones had the locks changed, as though I would do something crazy. When I stayed away, they called me back, telling me how I was keeping my kids from my mother. Once I got here they had a meeting in front of the Hospice workers as they tried to decide if I should stay. My dying mother participated. This occurred because my golden boy brother, 250lbs..
        Pushed me out of his way as he was going over to my mother. 120lbs. Is my weight. I got upset, which upset him and my mom. I had no right to feel pain or express it. When I left, the call came in to my husband, they called a locksmith to ensure I would not be back to upset or harm my bulky brother. Scapegoats do not get mercy even at the deathbed of their mothers, I know. Once summoned to return, my sister, literally began to tell me when I could talk, and when to be quiet, it took my aunt to slow her down. My mother never stopped her or my brother. My only wrong was trying to be treated human. Then she died. I knew I would never tolerate the golden ones actions, or disregard again.

  12. “And in believing we were weak, we tested how far we could allow ourselves to be hurt, in order to prove we weren’t weak.”

    So very sad. I used to think in this manner. Not sure why I don’t any more. Think I just developed a more pragmatic and simple view of the world. I was bullied at school, but the great thing about being an adult is if anyone bullies you, you can simply avoid them. Plus I’ve never had any problems with the way my family has treated me, beyond the usual political tos and fros. I suppose if I had to choose then, problems with people not related to me would be the way to go.

    Very impressed by this. I suppose it’s a form of healing too. I tried writing a blog about bullying, but it kind of just reads like a series of bullying incidents. Can’t really think of any insights to inject in to it.

  13. Simply put….it sucks being the scapegoat. Once we are chosen for this role, be it as infant or adolescent, it sticks with us in all our intersections in life – school yard, classroom, work, community, etc. Sadly, most of us become who the Narcs say we are by overtime internalizing their projections until there is a concrete pattern-manifestation in our behavior. In my case, my anger at their multi-decades worth of pathological lies, manipulations, dividing and conquering loved ones, translated into I’m crazy; have anger issues; a monster. In reality, they are the monsters.

    Their real strength is the ability to hide even within your circle of family and/or friends.That’s where they do their best work. The Bible says love conceals a matter. They, instead, go on the offensive and poison your family members’ minds behind your back for years before you’re onto them – all the while you (the scapegoat) are concealing matter after matter, trying to play by the rules. So when you’re finally had enough, and begin telling others the real score, their reaction is they want nothing at all to do with you. It becomes them vs scapegoat. This is what happened to me.

    Best advice: read up on scapegoating, personality disorders – learn about the red flags and run/disengage immediately when you spot them, You can’t beat these kind at their own came b/c you have empathy, conscience, and will admit when you are wrong. Journal, exercise, pray, and know your true value in God – this last one has been an on-going process for me but getting there slowly. Perfect love casts out fear..

  14. Thank you so much for such a beautiful expression of empowerment! After years of therapy using many empty words like shame, abuse, and hypersensitivity one word today has freed me, scapegoating. I always described my life growing up as being a rat in a cage with an electrified grid I could not escape. That cage was my mother, father, brother, and sister. It is almost too obvious to me now as I recall all the times that I said to therapists that it was almost as though they planned it all out. On many levels they did. I sustained them as I starved. Now I realize that even more than saying it wasn’t my fault, there really was nothing I could have done to stop it…then. However, I survived and I survive! Now I can bring this deep sustaining beauty back to me. Now I reclaim it for me as mine and not theirs.

    Thank you and much love to all of you for your words. My heart is full.

    • It takes a huge strength to re-discover life from inside that cage. But you’re right! You’re a survivor, who found empowerment from restriction and now you will continue to reclaim what wisdom is yours and develop that strength even more everyday. Congratulations, I’m so happy for you.

  15. I am a scapegoat survivor. I am still blamed and shamed by the self righteous narcisstic mother and brother and ostrich father. I am free and happy now thanks to wonderful loving friends and an understanding partner.

  16. Thank you so much. I am not alone anymore.

  17. I feel as if I’ve finally ran into a kindred spirit after reading your blog! I was the scapegoat for 33 years until I realized the truth. I tried for quite some time after that to have some kind of connection with my family but the dysfunction was so bad and only growing worse, I realized the best thing I could do was something for myself… leave the entire family. After a year I gave my mother another chance but I found out later that nothing had really changed. What finally cut the cord was learning that she truly knew my father was a child molester almost all of their marriage and what happened after I learned it. She blurted it out accidentally some time after we reunited. If you tell one too many lies, sooner or later the truth spills out. Almost all of my life I had my suspicions she knew but I wasn’t sure. Hearing that my suspicions were rightfully there wasn’t too shocking but there was still this feeling of being stunned and very hurt. At the time I never said a word to her about it and I forgave her. But some time later she accused me of being unforgiving about something stupid and that I hold grudges. I brought up how she slipped and told me the truth and despite knowing she could have protected her daughters and didn’t, (and she told people that her girls tend to stretch stories when someone wondered if my father was a monster), despite all of that I forgave her and never said a word to her. I don’t know what I expected once I let her know she accidentally told me the truth. She did what she usually does when you bring up something wrong she’s ever done. She called me a liar and asked how could I make up stuff like that about my own mother. And that was what cut the cord for me completely, along with how she began to tell other people that I’m nuts just in case I started spreading the truth around and others may hear it. I grieved over my family bitterly for a few years. The beginning of my leaving wasn’t easy. It’s better now. Holidays are still somewhat painful. My mother would love it if I’d drop “my grudge” and let her back in, but since I told her when we parted we could reunite once she agreed we could get counseling together, I haven’t heard a word out of her. I doubt I ever will. Counseling for us both is the only way I’ll allow her back in my life. She’s never wrong in her mind and I refuse to live in her weird cruel world. I can be just as stubborn as she’s being, now that I’m no longer the SG. There’s a much better life to live! God bless all here who are working on their healing.

  18. Damn, best account of how it is and feels and hurts I have ever read or heard.

  19. I once looked in the mirror and could not see me. The truth of mew as not allowed to exist. I knew where I was, buried inside a living grave, I wanted to go there and rest. I needed peace. God inside of me said leave, live, I said I do not know how. God said I will help you. I looked in the mirror again and saw soooo many wounds and raging pains, I could not figure out how to heal or hide them. My secret wish was aways death. Because living hurt like hell. How could I explain I loved life, but had earned to hate it? How could I explain, I love family, but had all the people I loved manipulated away.

    She died a year ago, I thought her death bed would make her kind, she took one last swipe, she left all her money to the golden son and daughter. She told them to lock e out from her deathbed. Then she summoned for my children, stating I was keeping them from her. I came, and it continued. Then she died. I heard a voice inside say now you can live. I pray Godgives me enough years so that I can dilute the pain. I have decided, I will never treat anyone the way I was treated. I decided to believe the truth, I deserve to be happy.

    How can I explain, I do know how the scapegoat feels? The golden ones will never understand. I decided to live and refuse to allow anyone to treat me that way again. Know thyself, allow thyself, heal thyself through self love.

  20. OMG. Unbelievable. About five years ago, I was attempting once again in a long line of them, to heal with my mother and extended family. I googled how to heal with the mother and “narcissistic mother” came up. Since then, I have been so, so aware of the manipulation, (word very downplayed at this point) and “death by living” scenario. My whole life I was the scapegoat and as written above, it , like a disease spread into every other relationship I could have possibly had. Marriages, friendships, co-workers, clients, etc. I am so grateful because my mother also died a year ago. On her deathbed, she could barely speak. She was days from passing. She had the odasity to spit out and ask why I have kept her so far away from me my whole life…..in front of everyone, again proving I am the loser child. If she say it on her death bed, then it must be true right?????? OMG. Crazy. Luckily, the past few years have been better with only a few set backs that lasted maybe days. I’ve come a long way. But this blog is huge for me. Never have I replied to any other. The pathology lives on in my dna relatives as proven to me two weeks ago when drama queen mom finally had her memorial. Yes, a year to the day she wanted it so we could all linger in her death. Personally, the day she died brought peace but all the “people” in relation…(not going to ever call family again), continue the pathology. I again, scapegoated at the memorial I was begged to attend by all the dna. How ridiculous. But boy oh boy, since then I have been searching for the utltimate healing process and today I found it. Thank you. Never alone again. None of us are. Let’s adopt each of us here as “family”. That could really work. :)

  21. Oh yes. And as a footnote: My mother somehow was able to convince fully and completely our small town where I grew up that I was addicted to drugs, spent time in an institution, was bipolar, then I was diagnosed schizophrenic and a multitude of other disorders that a compassionate person would not dare to kid about. They believed it, tarnishing my whole sweetheart rep in the community. I had moved back after twenty years for a short while. I could not stay because my reputation was so bad. None of it was true. I had never even tried pot. For years my mother tried to convince me that I was bi polar or personality disordered. I have gone for so much testing to rule out all of these things. She had me convinced. It turns out that after 4 psychiatrists and numerous psychologists I have nothing. After the abuse I would tell them all I have something. I feel that my whole last 30 yrs was a joke. I cannot afford to waste another minute let alone another year. My children are amazing. I love them both. I have done well with them. I don`t want anyone else to have to feel such pain. People in prison on death row are treated better.

  22. Chloe, you sound like me.
    When I was summoned to return after being banished from my mothers deathbed, my sister argued it was time for me to accept that I was bi-polar. She got upset that I would not concede to her “golden” diagnosis of me. She wanted sympathy from me because as she said ” her mother was dying”. They even told the hospice people to watch out for me. Hell is kinder than them. I had no right to feel. I needed my inner voice to speak, to be very clear in my defense. I felt like I was drowning. One of the hospice workers talked to me very callously, because my mother and sister had gotten to him. I had to control my emotions in order to let him meet me, and not the person they introduced me to be in my absence. Yes, I seemed to always be battling the false character they told family, lost friends (those who believed them), and strangers that I had. There were people who spoke to me with aggression, because of who they had previously told them I was. I was always walking in blind, trying to understand where it was coming from. I was just getting my Masters degree in Education. My impossible dream had been realized. My sister went before me and told everyone how I looked down on un or uneducated people. So all responses were with disdain to me. Yes, my marriage, (we were suppose to be child abusers), everyone greeted my husband with suspicious looks. My mother came over one day and announced it was time for my husband to leave. She stated she was speaking as the wife, in my stead because I had no mind of my own. My sister brought over papers for me to surrender all parental rights to my son, they could raise him better. Oh, the joys. All the while, I was told this was being done because they loved me.

    Do you know, I had once adored my mother and older sister? I could,nt understand why I was always depressed when I left their presence. My mother started competing with me, while my sister put down everything I held dear. The day I recognized my mothers jealousy nearly took my breathe away and killed me. Something inside of me died towards her. She was my rival, while I ad been her greatest admire. Talk about a flip flop. Suddenly, things started making sense. Even though I usually got A,s in school when I was young, she always called me stupid. I used to think my grades were not like other kids, somehow my A was still less.

    I am trying to forgive her, I was so angry after she died, I couldn’t, begin to find my peace. Now, I hear the voice of God, and my voice. I am beginning to recognize me. I must admit though, that sometimes I am soooo lonely. I forgot how to make friends, it is so strange to ave family, and yet I don,t.
    Chloe, I hope you are greeted with kindness, I hope your inner voice speaks up for you with love and certainty when you need to say something and self doubt tries to steal your you away. I believe we have the divine right and authority to be, and not just exist, but live peacefully with love toward ourselves and others, while refusing to receive abuse from anyone. Thank you soooooo much for letting me know I am not alone. Know this Chloe, I am hugging the little girl in both of us with a loving mothers arms, I am raising a toast to the quality women we have and are becoming. It is an honor to know ourselves. Your friend is sending love beams to your heart, mind, and spirit.
    Hear comes some love, love, divine love, straight to you.

    • Your words could be mine. Your phrase, “The scapegoat makes the dysfunctional family function.”Put all the pieces together for me. This is my story, I was born with a disadvantage into the wrong family. Although my intelligence is above average. I have both, dyslexia and attention deficit. This automatically make me the favorite child of three to be the scapegoat. As a child only the dyslexia was diagnosed. Having these disorders, made it much more difficult for me to recognize the abuse. As I struggled with other parts of my life(school etc.), I easily believed, that all the other abuse was my fault and was deserved.

      In my family, it was my father who was the bully, Although I was not treated properly by any of the family members.

      What made it even more difficult to recognize his bullying ways, was the fact that, I was not sexually abused by him, he was not an alcoholic, he had a high powered job, did not allow any cussing in the house, and to the outside world was a pillow of society.

      I did see how he abused my mother, Although at the time, I believed he just misunderstood her. She now drinks every night until she is nonsensical and belligerent, and my father constantly tops her glass up.

      My mother had come from a dysfunctional family, and I believe she had undiagnosed attention deficit. She married this man, who was highly intelligent and everyone looked up to, but was incredibly self-centered, he had all power over her, This caused my mother a lot of unhappiness and turmoil. She was prescribed Prozac to calm her down.

      My father realized that if she was on a high dose of Prozac, it took her emotions away so he could continue with the abuse and she would take it.
      She always seem to have an extra stash of Prozac that she handed out to us like candy, If we said we were feeling down.

      Anyway I struggled my way through school with almost no support and ended up leaving two years early

      After getting out of a toxic relationship, my brothers best childhood friend took an interest in me.

      At this stage I didn’t have much self-esteem, and knew that I needed somebody that was responsible and trustworthy. As I doubted myself so much. This guy looked like the night in shining armor. Responsible hard-working decent and kind.

      We have now been married 17 years, and it has been 17 years of hell. He still has the perfect persona to the outside world and a great job. He has inflicted very subtle and constant emotional abuse on me almost from the second year of marriage, I’ve put up with it, and tried to change it for a long time because I was just so petrified that I would not cope by myself.

      In recent years I have taken a hard stance on his behaviors, but as I quell one, another one appears.

      I’ve noticed that a lot of his behaviors are the same as what Sam Vaknin describes in his many videos of narcissists, and infract recently in the list of 47 characteristics of a psychopath 35 Accurately described my husband.

      We did marriage counseling for almost a year. He opened up not one bit, and in fact It just allowed him to learn more about me.

      On telling my parents about this abuse, and all so showing them photos of bruises I had recieved at his hands. My father decided to take my husband’s side. This absolutely devastated me and as, I would not back down on my opinions, they are now plotting behind my back to take me down. My whole extended family now believe that I am psychotic.

      I have a psychiatrist I currently see for attention deficit medication, and my father has emailed him as a “pseudo” caring father. To tell him his warped family history of depression and also say that he believes that I’m addicted to the attention deficit medication, and that he believes I’m emotionally very unstable, he told the doctor that he was worried for my children’s sake.

      The thing is that, I know longer have faith in all medical fraternity, As it is been my experience, That they don’t believe me when I tell them these stories.

      I am in a very bad way, as I find when I tell friends of this problem. They either think I’m strange, or don’t want to get involved. So I face every challenge by myself while trying to hide my sadness from my kids

      The one ray of hope I have is, I found, this guy on the Internet, called dr Ben Leichtling. He has a company called, “Bullies Be Gone,” that helps people, and organizations who are being bullied. His video was a breath of fresh air.

      So far I have had one phone session with him, where he looks at your situation and helps you find a way to stop the bullying. I think it is already starting to help, but I still have a very long road ahead.

      I just can’t believe that Psychologists are so duped by these situations.
      I feel like I’m living in a horror movie.

  23. This made me cry I realise it’s the ones that are always giving that gets it thrown back in their faces I just want to treat my mum like a princess and give her the best in life after all she bought me into this world, but your right all she ever does is say I’m the trouble maker and that she wishes I wasn’t her daughter, she treats me so differently from the rest also they say children who go through thus are more likely to come across abuse well I did my partner was very violent to me tryed to kill me and all she could do was make a joke of it and laugh about it, I’m only 18 I’ve been through so much since I was 10 and was always confused about why my family treated me so different but reading what you said I now understand why my mum does the things she does.I just hope we can have a good relationship one day.

    • You sound like such a giving person… I’m sorry you don’t have a mother to appreciate what a beautiful person you are. It sounds like you’ve been through hell and back. And even though I know your intentions are good, and you want it to work someday, please don’t wait around forever. Because I’ve no doubt that a person with such a generous and giving nature will be desired forever in the world of takers.

      You deserve to be recognised for who you are, and you deserve equal treatment. You deserve love and happiness not abuse and unfairness. Please do what you can to find this for yourself. Disconnect from those who hurt you. It is not worth it. There is a bright world outside the four walls that surround you. You just need to be brave enough to say goodbye to the broken promises and pain of that room and take the leap.

  24. As an only child of an npd and a husband of one I always felt like a scapegoat. You mean to tell me that my daughter “not as smart as brother” was to. I am gaslighted into believing it was me. I’ve been in denial and I can’t get to the point were I understand my behaviors bz the negative behaviours are associated with narcisisstic abuse. We fathers begin to not understand how to love. The

  25. I have suffered from being the family scapegoat my whole life, from a narcissistic mother and an extremely dysfunctional family. I have had suicidal depression, complex ptsd, and depersonalization disorder with disorganized-attachment, codependency, and massive guilt and shame permeating throughout my body.

    I have been suicidal for 4 years. depressed for 10. I am 26 years old turning 27 on october. I was abused my entire life, by my entire family, and bullys at school and in the workplace. I only felt comfortable around people who abused me, and thought if I can prove to them I’m a good person, I can rid myself of the feelings of shame and worthlessness.

    I was in denial of all my feelings and that anything was wrong. I was “just going through a phase” everyone told me. I was so dissociated from myself whenever I talked to someone about the abuse, they never believed me. This drove me even more crazy. I just recently learned about narcissism and have been studying it for about 2 months now, trying to make sense of all this fog and confusion.

    Although I intellectually understood that I had emotions, that I was abused, and that I was the scapegoat, I still was in denial and it didn’t spark in my mind. I didn’t emotionally believe it, because I still felt everything was my fault, and that I was the cause of everyone’s problems. That I was a burden to the family. I was only of use as a whipping boy. A punching bag. People were only “happy” when I was humiliated, and humiliated without an emotional response. I wasn’t allowed to express any objection to my treatment. I was to accept it as that was who I am: Their Scapegoat.

    This was the first post, first anything when I actually felt something. Reading this made me feel understood for the first time in my whole life. No one ever cared about my problems. They always said “Oh it’s not that bad” or “you’re exaggerating. no one could possibly be like that” “you probably did something wrong.” Which even hurt me more.

    This gave me so much hope. I feel now that I am at 1% mental health, but for the first time I realize there is hope, and I’m not crazy. I’m saving this post in my email, in case I need it whenever I feel misunderstood, or losing faith in my journey.

    I say this with absolute sincerity and love, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I hope more people become aware of the devastation narcissistic parents secretly cause behind closed doors, and the eternal pain and suffering we scapegoats endure daily. I hope people learn from this, and I hope people who were also scapegoated find this page, and find the strength to be with themselves and recover what was taken from all of us so long ago. I hope they learn to truly love themselves and others unconditionally, so no other child will ever be scapegoated again. One more is too many. I can’t imagine what other scapegoats are going through now, but I’m glad that there is hope out there.

    • I’m glad you found this page Kevin, it has helped me so much. One thing you talked about was no being able to even make a peep when you were abused, that’s me, you make a small feeble peep and the screaming and ganging up gets so extreme it’s like the ceiling falls on you. Keep healing and don’t ever go back. It seems once you are a scapegoat you will find there are many people out there looking for someone like that.

  26. What a great blog site, I have read through what you wrote above and it was very painful to read it.

    I have been going to Codependence Anonymous here in Phoenix since January when I decided I just couldn’t live with being exploited and pulled in all directions by people who didn’t care about me. Where did I learn that behavior? oh, right. From my incredibly alcoholic and sexually abusive family of origin. The secret that my family was the sexual abuse of course. Because – my mother was abused in her childhood by her father and then her mother was abused in her childhood by her father, and on and on for several generations that I know of.

    I have to assume my dad was as well, for him to have acted like that. Anyway, easier to blame the last child, the one who spoke up and said that there was abuse here! It is such an unfair burden to lay on a child. I am working to overcome that role and to live my own life just for myself and those I chose to share it with.

    Here’s the thing, when adults chose not to take care of themselves that’s it. It’s not anyone else’s job to step in and take care of them, whatever that means. I always felt pressure to heal my sick family of origin but they never wanted to go to therapy, AA, al-anon or anything else. No one ever went, except my mother went a couple of times but stopped because she ‘got healed all at once.’ I am leaving them to their own dysfunction, it’s not my job to take care of them. Children need love and protection, yes it’s my job to look out for them. But not for adults, especially adults who bite me and insult and criticise me. My mother has stolen money and objects from me, but shouts and denies everything. Reality shifts whenever I have to interact with her or anyone else in that family, and so I don’t ever contact them. If my mother calls me sometimes, I am myself 100%. Honest, straightforward and I don’t deny anything. If she doesn’t like it – she can go away.

    So sad. Thanks for posting such an awesome blog, there is healing is speaking out against the abuse. For sure!

  27. Here’s another thought, I am really shocked at how different we all are but how exactly the same comments and behavior happened to us all. I am really shocked at the same words and phrases used, and the very same behaviors.

    This is such a crazy sick dynamic, we are so very lucky to be the goat that got to escape! when you read the bible about the two goats brought in, one was sacrificed and killed and the other was given the sins of the people and allowed to go free! it was sent out far into the wilderness, away from the people. We friends, are the goats who were allowed to go free. Really, we are the blessed ones and the goat who got to stay (the golden child) is the one who suffers the most.

    Another thing I have heard is that the scapegoat is chosen because they are the healthiest and the strongest of all the children. They are the best and the brightest of the children and they are actually chosen because they will go and get help (true, scapegoats get therapy!) and bring it back to the family. Friends, there is a gift in all this pain.

  28. I also think the scapegoat is chosen because they show empathy. Narcissists have no empathy so the child in the family who shows empathy is an obstacle to maintaining the narcissists delusion that they are not lacking in some way. You can’t fake empathy and you can’t hide it . It is intuitive. It goes deep into the core of what we are as human beings.

    • I think you are right, I’m the only one in my family who has any empathy at all. When I was younger my sister controlled my by telling me I was hurting her so much if I wasn’t her puppet and as a child I did suck into that. Others viewed it as we were close but only as close as a slave is to her master. After my mother died all hell broke loose and she used that tactic on me unsuccessfully. She went to my other sister who is in prison for stabbing her ex in the heart and killing him and incited so much hatred in her toward me I’ve moved and left no one my address after getting hate mail from her. I am legally considered a victim of hers. I am alone in this as people have no clue about this problem. They think if I’m the only one with a problem that the problem is me.

  29. How is it possible to remove the narcissist from my life when he is still the biological father of my younger brother and sister whom I love very much. I am forced to see him on holidays because I feel I need to be there for my younger brother and sister. What can I say to my little brother and sister to help them understand that they are in control of there own feelings and emotions and they are valued. I was the scapegoat of my family and now that I have removed myself from the situation and made the decision to not only move out, which I did at 16, but move to a new city at the age of 18. I am worried of who is going to take my place as the scape goat? I would almost be willing to put myself back in the situation so that neither my brother or sister have to go through the sick fucked up things that I did.

  30. I too was a scapegoat. My adoptive family was quite large (7 total, I was the only one adopted) so I have seen the dynamic span different kids. Oldest sister, adoptive mother’s first daughter: first scapegoat. Her dear mummy drove her to hard drugs, prostitution and promiscuity, she ran away. Third oldest siter, adopted father’s (enabler) second daughter. Her step mother drove her insane, eventually she moved out to live with her mother. Then me. Golden child, adoptive mother’s second daughter. Could do no wrong, got the best of everything, even the enabling father’s priority over his own blood children, and, of course, me.

    There is nothing like being berated for getting a better grade in something than your sister, with the reason for you getting in trouble for getting a B being because your golden child sister only got a C+ and she deserved the B more than you did. When you hear ad nauseum about how your grades arent good enough and you finally have a B to show (I was a C student) and then get berated for not deserving it it’s enough to drive you insane.

    Abuse. My adopted mother’s brother was living with them when I was adopted. He was a creep (I’m male btw). Tried crawling into my bed drunk. Molested my friend after drugging the two of us. I told my adopted mother about it figuring telling a grown up was the best I could do, despite my friend not wanting me to tell anyone. I was told he went away for “treatment”. Hindsight and skeletons falling out of the closet decades later, it was she who co-ordinated the cover up. He molested my adopted cousin too during that same summer. I went to the cops last year to report it all, I was afraid if I bumped into him I’d beat him senseless. Dear adopted mother tried to get me arrested when she gave her statement through her lies, was berating me for only reporting it to raise my profile. Common occurrence in these comments; she “didnt remember” me telling her, she remembered me crying and all this BS. I nearly broke the guy’s hand. I was a tough kid from the inner city. Crying wasnt part of my repotoire at that age. Growing up with an alcoholic drug addicted birth mother to age 12 who held parties that lasted for days tempered me pretty solid.

    Scapegoat / Golden Child dynamic. The blatant double standard was rampant. Golden child sister didn’t have to do chores because she was “trying hard in school” (yet we were supposed to try harder?). She didnt need to do chores because she was “working”. I couldnt get my drivers’ license at 16 because I liked racing video games on the computer. We lived in a rural area 30 minutes drive from town. Golden Child sister was taking the car to go to work. Me and the rest were left lingering around the house broke. When golden child went to post secondary, I got kicked out of the house and was rendered homless and couldn’t finish grade 12. They were spending every second weekend paying her bills, bringing her food, bringing her furniture, appliances. I barely left with the clothes on my back.

    Dysfunction. I was adopted at 14, kicked out at 16, probably because I was getting assertive about getting my drivers’ license – in that rural area it was hard to get around and my social life was passing me by as I was already one of the younger ones in my grade and everyone else was driving places. After nearly two months of negotiation on the part of my friend’s social worker mother (with consummate lies about me stomping around angry smashing things as an excuse for booting me out) I was let back home in time for christmas. Not a word about what I did to get kicked out or what I needed to do to avoid it happening again. Not even from the siblings. Insane. I had the roof over my head dangled in front of me for the whole following year, until I was kicked out the final time two weeks before Grade 12 started. Why adopt me at 14, kick me out at 16 and then again at 17? I barely lived with my adoptive “parents” for 2.5 years. Yet they’re on my birth certificate. Ick.

    Sabotage. This is the part that makes me the most enraged. I needed to come back home for a few months to get reoriented after having a few bad roomates. Tried to pay room and board, this was refused. I left most of my stuff in town with friends so I wouldnt play my stereo too loud and rarely was around the house; cleaned my room once a day to avoid raising ire. I got kicked out after 3 weeks on 24 hour notice because “she couldnt handle having me around anymore”, god knows why, I was playing it so safe, I was barely ever there. She took messages dutifiully for job interviews – never passed them along to me. Nice. Keep me from seeing the fruits of my labor (job hunting) AND kick me out on 24 hours notice for no reason. Later in life, she told my fiancee’s mother that I was always a violent, aggressive, difficult person to live with and that she should caution her daughter against marrying me. Great. That engagement didnt last, poor girl heard no end of it from her mother. Didnt make much difference that we had lived together for 6 years by then. Successive girlfriends, same thing in different incantations. Realtors, job offers turned away from me due to her meddling. I now realize that anything she knows about me is a potential weapon. I have gone no contact just to save my own well being and employment prospects.

    Character assassination. Like others posted above, my entire extended family and siblings all think I’m a pathetic loser. I’m afraid that they’re too far gone for any sort of recovery, with exception of the few that saw how things really are. I’m an alcoholic. I work a two bit job. My sailboat is a death trap. My house is a depressing wreck. I overstate my job in investment banking, I’m really just a glorified telemarketer. The firm I work for is sketchy (a Tier 1 major national bank). Even to my birth family, and that pisses me off more than anything. She soured my relationship with my birth aunties, uncles. They all thought I was on skid row. She tried so hard, she tells them, but I let them all down. Nice. Not the story of a young boy growing up with a drug addict who gets adopted by a rampant narcissistic dysfunctional family who stood in the way of his getting even a basic high school diploma or drivers license who managed to eke his way up to investment banking and goes on sailing cruises with his family and is a member of the local yacht club. Growl.

    I will never forget when I was starving, living on my own at age 19. Went to her work and said I had no money for food, was looking for work, needed help. She handed me ten dollars. I bought a 10 lb bag of rice. Lived on that and margerine for five weeks. Couldnt even afford soy sauce.

    Or when I got kicked out at 17, stayed with a friend’s dad two doors down. Lived in a tent trailer behind his house. No a once did they stop by to see if I was OK. No helping my friend’s dad with groceries, I had to sneak throught the forest in the middle of the night to steal from their freezer to be able to eat some meat. I lived through two Canadian winters in that shoebox. I tried getting welfare to get back on track, she kept telling welfare that I was welcome home. I’d go there for dinner to see what the ground rules I wasnt following were; I was greeted with the statement that it was so much better now that I didnt live there anyore. Back to welfare. Lather, rinse, repeat, until I gave up. I could have a roof over my head or go to school, but not both. Even the neighbors berating them for treating me so badly and letting me live in that tent trailer during the winter could not change their minds. She told them she was “teaching me a lesson”. I guess the lesson was that they didnt give a damn about me.

    There should be a test for narcissistic parents early on in kids lives. If the parent is a narcissist, they should just take away the kids immediately. This test should be given when they present themselves for adoption or fostering (my Narcissistic adopted mother did both).

    While I have too much good happening in my life to actually do it, I would get no more joy than if I could actually just shoot her in the face. Decades of my life were like running up the down escalator that was running at double speed. I had to go flat out just to stay where I was. In a small town that kind of character assassination is flat out deadly, and how is a 17 year old teenager supposed to go toe to toe with a bank manager and a teacher over his reputation? Asymmetrical warfare.

  31. Thank you! To me this is a clear and helpful description of the social chemistry that underlies scapegoating. E.g. the proces of denial and cover up from the side of the offenders in the family that you call gaslighting. I recognise the weird response as being similar to what I saw at home. It helps me see what happened at that frightful place. I come from a dysfunctional family with a lot of quarreling and silent tensions (elephants in the room) a dark place. I teached to be silent and strong. Not seeing and not knowing reality there. Being the youngest I was often belittled and ridiculed by my 3 brothers and sister. They bonded 2 by 2 (together = stronger) so they formed 2 couples in the house. I was alone and often targeted. (My sister later called me ‘the fifth wheel on the wagon’.) Through the years the family made me feel I was a stranger (“he is mad” – grin grin) my confidence was low when I left home. I was nosy like a detective when I left home, I was good in analysis and attracted to technical subjects. I longed for a relationship but was afraid of being let down. I imagined a girl would come to know me more every day and find out who I really was and she would leave. I feared most what I wanted most, so when I talked to an attractive girl I felt like I was facing a judge in a court. I remained alone and studied chemistry and undertook therapy for many years to find out who I was and what could be wrong. I got used to digging and doing research all day, now I am 58. A year ago my cat Puck was run over by a car and she died, I felt very sad as I missed her kindness and the things we shared and the care I could give her. The sorrow melted me inside to something new, the pain and warmth gave me openess and new ground to stand on. The trust I shared with Puck was very real. There was something very very real that was now missing. At the lowest level I could trust this I discovered. I decided to change things and started to do volunteer work to meet good people. Most importantly I told my family I wanted no contact with them for the time being (they still visited my house from time to time, popping up every now and acting negatively and authoritarian). So Pucks death gave me the trust to say no to my family. This cat showed me more trust then I had ever known. I felt a lot of anger towards my family but also guilt for keeping them out of my house. I started reading on the internet about dysfunctional families to understand my position and find some advice.Today I found your article and I think it is very helpful and recognizable e.g. the bit about gasligthing and the bit about taking more and more pain as proof of being the stronger one. There are many things in the text that I find surprisingly familiar to what I saw at home! I am starting on this road to more autonomy but it is a good read for a start. Thanks a lot! Fred

    • I love your story, Fred. “The sorrow melted me inside to something new.” You have found emotion, through love and caring, that is real and is your own. I found that caring for a guinea pig, at age 38, gave me a “basis;” an emotional starting point ….now fifteen years later my life is happy and i found a loving husband. your story rings very true to me. Good luck.

  32. “What the hell is wrong with you ?  You can’t even contact your Mother on Mother’s Day.  What a disappointment.  Get your act together. You are getting too old  to be weird.  Take your hostilities out somewhere else.  Your Father.”

    I read this blog and cried after another night of beating myself up for my life turning out the way It has. I am the scapegoat and i am in my f…king 50s and far away but they still…as i call it…use me as the family rage receptical… above is the email my enabling father sent because I forgot my phone and didnt call narcissist mom on mother’s day….but I did send a card. Havn’t talked to them since and my siblings rarely call because as they told me..I am once again on the shit list. So I don’t exist except for conversations about how horrible I am behind my back.

    I just wanted to post his cruel words to people who would understand. Thank you! No contact does give the little sprout time to grow…no matter how old.

    • Oh wow! You know at first I finished work and I saw a brief snippet of this comment on my phone screen. I thought it was a personal attack at me! I thought oh god a family member must have found my blog.

      Then I read your comment and saw that was an actual email you received. That is such a hostile letter. But a typical letter from an enabler father to their scapegoat. You might be in your fifties, but you are certainly not alone in the struggle that can go on through many years of life in these dynamics. I’m proud to see you have distanced yourself.

      It seems like they are using their only means of contacting you online to send the ever continuing blame on you even if you are far away. I’m sorry for how that email must have hurt you. You do not deserve that.

      Oh yes the shit list. We end up on that list for little to no reason don’t we? I’m glad you’ve found your way here, to people who can empathise with you. The loneliness and confusion that comes with these situations is so overwhelming at times.

      I’m glad you are aware of your little sprout (: it deserves to grow away from those who hurt you. Even if they still find a way to do that, you’ve got a place of support here.

      Much love ❤

  33. This website is a blessing. I too am in my 50′s and finally breaking away from lifelong scapegoating by my family of origin. I was actually assaulted by my sister at a family gathering, then my family sent my Dr’s letters trying to say I was at fault. The Dr’s insisted it was time to break off contact completely; I’ve seen one counselor over 10 years and he’s been telling me how poisonous my family is and not to expect change for years. The letter gave all Dr’s in receipt of it (over 5!) plus their partners concrete evidence to say my family are narcissistic and out to harm me and told me I had the choice of breaking off contact or having the assault reported, as a competent person wouldn’t put up with such abuse.

    I haven’t internalized much of what they’ve said for years and confronted their negligence, and attempts at harm for awhile. So I’m accused of hurting them. What a laugh.

    The stories here are so like my own, and any reinforcement helps, as my family is in high gear trying to challenge my no contact boundaries. I so want them to just go away so I can work on improving my trust issues and fear of getting too close to others. I force myself out and have plenty of people who recognize I’m a kind and caring person, but am on alert to not attract another narcissist. Many of my relationship have been attempts to “fix Daddy” and choose someone like him. So friendships are a good beginning.

    My heart goes out to all of you. We all deserved better, but had sick people raise us and define who we were. I encourage anyone whose been bullied and scapegoated to get the h**l away as it will never change. I hope this blog helps people can wake up sooner in life, but better late than never, right?

  34. Yes agreed. My fear is they will cut me from their will as the bad girl. They are not rich but I am alone so it scares me. And I know my siblings will say…well you had nothing to do with them, you were a terrible daughter in their last days etc. Supportive friends have suggested I suck it up and apologize (for them assasinating me once again) any thoughts out there in regards to this dilema?

    • The more you apologize, the more power and control you give them. I was sucked into my mother while she was dying (for 3 1/2 years) and it almost killed me. I was at the hospital with chest pains and couldn’t even take care of myself. That’s when I stopped wearing makeup because I had not time or energy which made me look even more pathetic than I felt. It’s been five years without makeup now and I am still so sick I just qualified for disability. My mother would not allow me to mention if I was sick or she would rage that she was dying. After she died I found out all the plans I had made with my older sister for years were lies. She cut me out of everything. She went to my younger sister who is in prison for killing someone for a family hate fest against me and I got very disturbing mail that I sent back to the superintendent of the prison and was immediately put on a victims list, she is not allowed to write. My older sister told every family member and friend we had in common horrible lies about me and everyone has cut off all contact with me. I tried to call the realtor about the sale of my mothers house and he threatened to call the FBI. My sister is up for parole in December and I’m scared of her. I had to hire a lawyer for myself and am still waiting for the inheritance check long past due. I believe she isn’t finished with me yet, just waiting for a few more stabs. My advice is to save yourself, you could die in the process and get out now. If anyone tries to contact me that has jumped on the hate wagon there is no way I will have anything to do with them. Normal rules do not apply, When you leave they are so sick they will have to find another scapegoat.

  35. I am 52 now. Why does it take us so long to get to the root of this issue? I have been in recovery in al-anon since 25 and just now I am really examining the effects of this abuse in my life. After most of my adult life with no contact with my FOO (family of origin!), I have been back in touch and while my mother ‘tries’ to be nicer it is really just a thin veneer.

    Like in those horror films, or Men in Black, when the alien is inside the skin of the man. I can still see the real person inside of her and it will always be insulting and horrific. When I challenge her behavior, she says: I don’t remember doing that. Or I never did that. She tells me that I am a bad child because I ‘abandoned’ her for fifteen years. I reminded her that I left because she was so abusive, didn’t she remember the many conversations about that? No, she didn’t remember. She has no idea why I didn’t talk to her for 15 years, except that I ‘abandoned’ her and I am bad (in her eyes)!

    Recently, I told her to please not call anymore. I had asked her about some abuse memories I have and she didn’t deny them. But she did say ‘it had been a long time ago, why don’t you just let it go?’

    It was after that, that I told her not to call any more. My alcoholic sister is the only one she likes, but now that my mother is old (81) she (my sister) doesn’t want to deal with her. So my mother had been asking me if she could come and live with me and I was shocked! No, of course you can’t. Why would you even ask, after how you have treated me? It’s just awful and so sick. I have to have no contact of any kind in order to take care of myself and heal from this stuff.

    Glad to read others’ comments and to know that what I have been through, others have as well. Thank you for this web site and the comments, yeah for us fantastic survivors!!

  36. This piece of writing about the scapegoat role is very moving and hits the spot on so many levels. Finally the words are being found to describe this insidious emotional abuse that has gone unnoticed and unacknowledged for so long. My heart goes out to every scapegoat and especially the animal ones. It’s a dark disgraceful unconscious atrocity. I am 54 and finally closing the doors on the toxic treatment from all family members. I am strongest, I am the most loving of all of them and time tends to agree with me it seems as the dysfunctional family members fumble around unable to command me anymore. I respect where they are on their own journeys and their issue is with God not me. I extract myself from their intolerance and abuse. I AM FREE. Alone, with the small voice inside me, which is so much more loving than all of them put together. Thank You for your wonderful insight and courage, in time I hope I can meet people who I can trust…for now I’m loving myself with all my heart and soul at last.

  37. Very true, thank you.

  38. I have circled topics from narcissistic parents to being a highly sensitive person to depression and back. Your article bought everything together and I broke into tears. I’m overwhelmed reading it again a second time. I journaled about my experience with a narcissistic mother; it was titled the ax murderer. I always felt stalked and hunted by her, and I never knew where she might be laying in wait or what would set her off but she was always there to swing the ax and cut me to the core. I saw the fiery eye in The Lord of the rings movies and knew this was the critical eye you spoke of that has haunted me forever. An eery symbol! Years of study, therapy, spiritual work and now I am a spiritual counselor holding the light for others. But I am exhausted and still find life troubling and hard to make sense of at times. With more and more understanding and honesty from others like you, it helps to find peace and see things right side up for a moment or two. Thank you for your insights and sharing your experiences. They have healed me a little more today and made me feel understood. Thank you!

  39. I have read this last night and was stunned by recognising myself throughout – as well as in your gas-lighting article. I am relieved to be validated but horrified what I have felt for so long: that the grip of this goes to my very root, and that I carry so much poison I can easily poison myself even further whilst trying to heal desperately. I had half-escaped my family only to plunge into a 12 year marriage which nearly drowned me with same but different abuse. I am now trying to manoeuvre a divorce, whilst feeling the sands under my feet are still shifting and threatening to swallow me up.
    I cling to your promise of the ultimate reward: the wisdom, the strength, the self-love. In deepest sorrow and most furtile hope. Thank you.

  40. I divorced my stranger three years ago. Though there has been much joy in escaping him and in finding myself – I believe that his attempts to destroy me emotionally and financially have heightened since divorcing him. I no longer enable him and I am no longer using denial to survive. This past week through a series of calculated plots he is again trying to undermine my good path and to damage me financially- serving me with contempt papers in yet another frivilous legal maneuver and thinking I will crumble. Prayers going up with hopes of karma’s arrival.

  41. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone. Furthermore, that there is always hope. I am so grateful that I listened to that stubborn voice so many times when I tried to hurt myself. I realize now I was not too weak to even rid the world of someone like me, but that I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. I’ve only recently learned that we endure hard times to learn the lessons our soul seeks answers too.

    My journey of healing has only begun… and I confess, I do lapse from time to time. But I want to thank you so very much for posting this. I am so grateful for landing on this site to help remind myself not to lapse back into anger and the pattern of self-hate, and when I do fall backwards, to cry… vent… and pick myself up and continue down my path of self-healing. It used to be a lonely, dark path, until recently, I realized that my road is less lonely, and more peaceful… and the bright and colorful trees that line my road are the others out there who have the same experiences and toiled with their confusion and mixed emotions.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. All of you…. for being strong enough to share those experiences and for helping others through dark times.

    “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller

  42. I have to make this brief so apologies if I’m repeating comments from above…
    It’s also about shame. Rene Brown has spoken about this. See Ted Talks. She had fantastic feedback. But to me, one talk about this in general public forum is not enough.
    I first learnt about shame from John Bradshaw on tv and later his books. He lived through it (walked the talk), as well as having academic qualifications. It was mind blowing stuff at the time, I can tell you.
    Shame is at the core of these dysfunctional families. It’s probably passed on through many
    generations. It is in this century we’re starting to have a proper understanding and getting a grip on what it means. It is at the core of oneself in narc families. It is passed on: not I made a mistake, I AM a mistake, type of thinking. Heavy stuff to deal with. But to deal with it we must, if we are to truly understand what’s going on. Narcs are so filled with shame, they ‘must’/’need’ to make you feel the same way. It is the core of scapegoating. As you said: no scapegoat no functioning of the (family) system. We have been ‘programmed’ to take on this shaming. I fully embraced I was bad. I even acted it out to prove she was right! The crazy making stuff of “You’re bad” was fulfilled by her AND by myself!!! How CRAZY is that?!!? On another level it’s actually quite logical: to make your mother correct you have to do something “bad” to make her accusations correct! Sigh… By the way, the GChild doesn’t incur this shame to quite the same depth. When you finally, finally, really cognitively AND emotionally get what’s going on, the hard part is forgiving yourself and knowing you are, of course, NOT that bad person she wanted you to be. It’s really hard…!

  43. And yes you’re spot on about the strong altruistic ones who are the ones to break the spell: hey, this isn’t working, can we discuss this?!!!! “NO!”
    To know that we are not alone, not crazy (cos the others dont/won’t look at it for what it is)and to all the people who visit your blog (probably the scapegoats) this is so LIFE affirming. We’re also probably in the minority of families (well, you wouldn’t wish it upon others) so it’s taken a long time for society to be discussing this once taboo subject with much more clarity. Other minority groups have had their time. Now it’s ours!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to make this blog. You ARE making a difference for us! Xx

    • Merridy, I find this website the most helpful of any. As of now I have lost my family and some friends because those outside the family and extended family almost always believe the lies. Narcissism and shame are a big part of this but scapegoating is the reason. The lies, the blame (for everything), the screaming, the group that comes to the support of the abuser who puts on quite an act is so unbelievably so not believable on any level to me I wonder if anyone has a brain in their head at all. I have a large empty hole in my heart that I don’t know what to do with.

      • I agree it leaves a hole in your heart, Laurel. This is the trickiest journey when one moves away from the malignant family. This part is the real test. I’m still trying to find my way on this one. It’s a lonely journey, but if the NM or NF is playing such sick games, one has no choice. Well there is of course: stay and be awfully unhappy in the craziness of it all (and if you have kids, subject them to all the ramifications of such a scenario) or B. Leave and make your family of choice. No easy matter, no one should underestimate how difficult it is to find this new family. I still get caught up in, “If only I had had (insert you’re witnessing of nurturing parents) that family, I would …..”.
        My very strong advise to those from narc backgrounds: recognise the NPD ‘checklist’ and before you get involved romantically or whatever with someone who seems to have a lot of traits: run! Run away as quickly as possible. Do not get involved. Having had a 2nd big time narc (boss: couldn’t do much about that one), it opens what you thought were sealed, wounds.
        But as Abbey said: this blog is a good start. We’re not in the neighbourhood to support each other, but we’ve been there, we get it, we know it’s not exaggerated over sensitivity…this is the start: validation. Albeit from a distance/global community. You’re not the crazy one, they were. Ithe dysfunctional stories need to be given back to where they belong.
        I also agree this is one of the best, most authentic blogs. It rings much truer than some of the others. It helps that Abbey’s not selling anything; this is her generous offer to share her thoughts and to offer hope to others. That is her agenda, nothing hidden. No ‘pussyfooting’ around that sometimes it’s so dysfunctional you have to go non contact. One book I have started to read is not confirming one’s position one needs to take if it’s that malignant. Narcs are on a continuum: some mild, medium and then what some term, malignant. Mine was malignant. You just have to get out if you’re with the latter type. It’s not ever going to get better. Sometimes they even get worse with age!!! There is no hope in that relationship, but there is hope to make a saner, more peaceful life for yourself. Sad? Absolutely! But one has to move on from there. Step by slow step…!
        I still think narcs are passing on the shame (cause) and the EFFECT or consequence of this is to scapegoat… The shame is so bad for them, they create this false self and the stronger the shame the worse the outcome for both them and anyone who’s involved significantly in their lives. It makes sense… And that’s gotta have some reassuring aspects to it!

  44. This post is powerful, hopeful and beautiful. I enjoyed your style of writing a lot. Thank you! :)

  45. Mindful lady… I will ALWAYS Love You for this! XXX I took a giant overdose in may 2013 and have worked real hard since…i went to see the Narcissist *Father*on monday 25th nov. 2013…i attempted to tell him (havent had real contact with family for 4 years–> im a Scapegoat & ostracised) about what happened…he told me *dont talk about misery!* i continued and THE VOICE SHOUTED…*WHY IS HE GRINNING THIS IS NOT FUNNY WHY IS HE GRINNING??* it spoke so loud i couldn’t hear myself speak… i have been in pieces since..except i wrote them, saying i dont have cancer & won’t be silenced unless what i say is UNLAWFUL!
    now i know where the BPD has stemmed from, the Stress related paranoia, and all the abusive relationships…
    As i read thick tears, then…my Spine lost its pain, my neck/throat/teeth lost their tenseness…and now i know why i felt so much rage for so long…im blown away…i can feel…ME! I CAN FEEEEEEL MEEEEEEEEEEE Hahahahahahahaa =D
    I just feel like the Buddha might have felt after getting-up from the Bodhi Tree…when his first disciple asked who witnessed your enlightenment? Buddha replied..*The Earth* how fitting that you mentioned flowers…
    *if we could see the miracle of a Single Flower Clearly…our whole life would change!*
    Everyone who has been scapegoated here and anywhere deserves the Beauty of a Single Bloom…we ARE FLOWERS DESPITE EVERYTHING! GROW THE GARDEN…LIVE IN BLOOM.
    So Much Love ALWAYS

  46. The article was so real it must have read mind, my life. I started to cry a little and am still trying to finish it. Here’s my 2 cents while it’s fresh in my mind thought I’d jot it down. Thanks and Illegitimi non carborundum!

    Maybe the most painful part is the humiliation that your mother and father do not love you. the idea is so painful that it is repressed into the unconscious. there is the sense of dread and shame that other people will see this.

    Sometimes the scapegoat is due to a difficult birth. Look up “Difficult Birth” and The Story of the Weeping Camel. Once you understand how women are helpless against the psychological impact of a difficult birth, if the infant is not given to the mother immediately after birth so they can for a special bond the mother simply will not love the child and not understand why. Sometimes the mother may have been subjected to the same or worse and the ghosts echo down through the generations. After learning about this I felt the greatest pity for my poor mother. Yes, she abused me, but she did the best that she could and she really did suffer. It is really so very sad the feelings of self loathing and conflicting feelings of loove and hatred.

    It is in understanding psychology that the conflict between the deepest love of mother and the fear and resentment due to abuse that can give relief. Studying psychology helps to understand that they are just people and they are suffering and are probably unaware of what they are doing or maybe mentally ill.

    Furthermore, the personality forms at a young age and there is childhood imprinting. The nervous system grows as the body develops and child shapes this probably mostly irreversible. The idea of an emotional firewall is spot on.

    So spot on in fact that it can ruin the entire life. I am now on the cusp of growing old. I’ve watched in horror as my life has run it’s course and I have no friends, rarely get any love from a woman, my life is wasted. I am bitter and alone and really try very hard to make friends. But the self protection armor is very tough and the firewall is strong. It doesn’t help that people have become more insulated. they plug in earphone, stare at IPhones, sit motionless and quiet like Zen monks in front of computers for hours, days, years, lifetimes. I feel cheated out of love in this life. You know that song” “Don’t you Want Somebody to Love”.

    • Divid,
      Thank you! You have read my mind and put it so eloquently into words.

      “Maybe the most painful part is the humiliation that your mother and father do not love you. the idea is so painful that it is repressed into the unconscious. there is the sense of dread and shame that other people will see this.”

      When I read this I about fell out of my chair because I have felt this same thing. Hiding in my home with the lights out, curtains pulled so no one can see me. Trying to explain this to friends and therapist to no avail. Afraid that everyone will see that I am unworthy and unloved. The humiliation I have carried feels like a bright neon beacon of shame, and everyone can see that my parents don’t love me so why would they waste their time with someone who’s own parents have thrown them away. Sometimes these thoughts are unbearable.

      I also gave the weeping camel movie to my mother as a gift. This was before I knew a lot about the narcissistic parent and my part as the scapegoat in the whole play. I thought if she saw it she would see my pain. Ha! I borrowed it back and now have it for myself. Because I matter and I needed it for me.

      Thank you for your courage to come forward and share your story and thoughts. I have been on a spiritual journey for years trying to understand it all. A Course in Miracles and The Work by Byron Katie has really helped me see the nonsense of IT ALL and have come to find that the answer is within. All of that out there is just stuff.

      I know my mother struggled with the death of her parents right after my twin brother and I were born so I get she had a lot going on. I get that she did the best she could. I have separated from her as much as I can but still carry so much anger and pain. I do the best I can now and continually nurture that little baby I was, the toddler, the child, the teenager all the way up to where I now stand. It is a solitary existence on my levels but I cherish who I am now and ride the waves of sorrow, peace and the unknown of the next feeling or trigger.

      My friendships and relationships are up and down but I strive to enjoy them as best as I can and hope they understand my quirkiness and shades of sanity. So far so good. I stay grateful to these wonderful souls on my journey. I force myself to get out there and interact as painful as it is some days. You are a beautiful soul Divid! Worthy of stepping out and embracing a new world that loves and supports you despite the “mind” telling you otherwise. Fire your thoughts and see through a new lens even if it’s for a few minutes at first. Test the theory in brief increments and see a new day, a new world, and look at everyone you meet as loving and supporting you. You are loved each and every moment. Dare to accept it! ;-)

      Forever grateful for You!


  1. The dark side of Family Dynamics: Scapegoating and Narcissism: Some insights. | FREE TO BE ME!
  2. The dark side of Family Dynamics: Scapegoating and Narcissism: Some insights. | cynthiabaileyrug

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