A Family Scapegoat Wakes Up

The email she sent after a traumatic, devastating and seemingly unconnected event, was an exploding point of so many things boiling under the surface from decades of accumulation.

It was about the abuse endured and how she couldn’t make sense or a connection between  the words of love and caring spoken and the actions that showed otherwise.

After the damage was done though, she suspected the email and the words in it would be used against it somehow. But events turned in such a way that it was proven to her. She knew now it was the perfect ammo for them to blame and point fingers at her for all the problems that exist in the family dynamics. To tell her how mean she was. To tell her that it was full of stuff she should’ve gotten over by now. To let her know how difficult it is to be a parent.

In their minds it was all her fault. If she wasn’t depressed, if she’d just get out of the past. If she’d just keep her mouth shut. If she’d just go back to sleep…

If she went back to sleep they could all continue to use her as their scapegoat.

But maybe if she’d stayed quiet and went along and believed, thought and felt the way they all do and did, she wouldn’t be their scapegoat.

What would they have to blame her for?

Just the fact that the family has a scapegoat should give it away that they are all a mess, not just her.

Healthy families don’t have scapegoats. Healthy people don’t find it fun or useful to manipulate, triangulate, take advantage of and abuse one family member. (Or any for that matter.)

If they loved the scapegoat and she did indeed find the courage to express herself feeling like a scapegoat, they would not wave away and invalidate her feelings as ridiculous, then proceed to tear apart her character once again. At times, falsely, attacking her for characteristics of others, not hers.

If they cared about their scapegoat she wouldn’t be the scapegoat.

She’s aware of the egg shells surrounding her. But they’ve got plenty that she tip-toes around too. They all tip-toe around each other too. But they turn a blind eye to those.

She’s expected to own all the mistakes, arguments and all the egg shells too.

In their mind it is she that is always the selfish one. She is the one that should be sacrificing. She is the one who is expected to do whatever they want or need, exactly when they want or need it,  on their terms.

As much as she has tried to discuss the dysfunction and toxicity, none of them want to listen or take their share of the responsibility. No one else is accountable. If she is hurt she is expected to absorb it.

How dare she address it? “Suck it up!” they say, “Grow thicker skin…make the choice to be happy.

She made a choice all right, and walked away forever.

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6 thoughts on “A Family Scapegoat Wakes Up

  1. I started reading this and I was like “is she talking about me?” Because I thought you were talking about me and what i wrote to my family because omg our lives are so freaking similar and ofcourse a few sentences in i knew you weren’t it is just uncanny how similar our pasts are. Blows me away really. I would love to go on a long cussing rant right now about our families but I will hold back so as to not traumatized your readers with my foul mouth and anger!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about how uncanny it can be. I was talking to my therapist in more detail about what happened with my family while my dad was dying and it was nice to have someone empathize even though I’m pretty sure she didn’t live it.

      She’d told me previously that the reason she got into DBT was to help those of us who were put in that role of scapegoat. She’d actually read about the dynamic and then took DBT.

      It’s made a big difference for me(knock wood) to have a therapist who validates, acknowledges and empathizes.

      Liked by 1 person

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