SITEs : ” Scapegoat as Truth Teller for the Family“
🎯 Cost of Growing up in a Dysfunctional Family
QUIZ: What’s your role in the family?
Desire positive attention but can’t ask for it, empty, fearful, frustrated, guilty, hopeless, hurt, inadequate, lonely, self-hating.
Shows shame via addictions, rage, procrastination. Feel left out of family & like a misfit
COST TO SELF
• Not allowed to be admired, respected, successful. Denies self legitimate opportunities, accomplishments & success or the ability to connect with others in a genuine way. Unaware of emotions other than rage, & can’t live peacefully.
• DANGER: If family’s addict is confronted (by Intervention) while this child still lives at home, Scapegoat is likely to try suicide in order to shift the focus away from the sufferer
PARENTS can HELP SCAPEGOAT CHILD
To: Disengage the child from the power struggles, express anger safely, have an outlet for their sensitivity & generosity
By: being calm, fair but firm. Avoid acting shocked or disgusted by child actions, let child experience consequences of behavior, give opportunities to use power appropriately, with outlets for the underdog.
a. Overtly – have problems with any authority figure. Can participate in rebellious groups, just for the sake of it.
May alter their bodies to shock family or ‘normals’, such as going Goth, with piercings, tattoos, & worse if family abuse was particularly severe.
Are argumentative, confrontational, distrusting & rageful.
May live on the edge of society or as complete outcasts. Often with little education or skill they continue to rebel, sometimes in rather clever & dramatic ways. Have illegitimate children, graduate to felonies, suffer with mental illness & addictions
OR: Because they’re actually intelligent & can be very talented, some will need to have a sense of power – somewhere in their life. Developing social skills outside the home, they can become leaders in their own peer groups, often illegal & possibly destructive.
b. Passively – frequently the underdog in relationships & situations, will marry early, stay in long-term abusive relationships, be everyone’s doormat, plagued by depression & addictions, living out the scapegoat position.
Carry deep resentments for all the hurt, rejection, blame & shaming they experienced at home (& school).
May be aware of the sacrifices they’ve made & resent that it did no good, for themself or the family
✶ HOWEVER – Because of their emotional honesty they are the one most likely to seek counseling, realize the dysfunction they grew up with face it. They may get help for problems with drugs, alcohol, verbal aggression or violence, trouble functioning at work or school, issues with authority & relationships
FROM: “I’m angry about it, whatever it is”
“If I scream loudly enough, someone may notice me.”
“Take what you want. No one is going to give you anything.”
TO: “I can ask for what I want, & listen to others at the same time”
“The world is not out to get me. I am not here alone”
“While my needs are important, others’ needs are to be considered too”
Adult RECOVERY NEEDS 0 TO
• achieve chemical & emotional sobriety
• consistently work at giving up the self-demand for perfectionism
• identify, own & work through the anger to get to the enormous hurt, sorrow & loneliness underneath
• learn problem solving skills & negotiating, instead of rebelling or fighting
• speak ones inner truth, allow themself to be a good role model
• Courageous, creative, & when healthy, the ability to lead positively
• Can read people, have lots of friends, adapt easily, lead an exciting life, take risks, with a great sense of humor and fun-loving
• With less denial & good insight, they can admit reality, be more straightforward & aware of their emotions
NEXT: Lost Child