SITEs : ” Scapegoat as Truth Teller for the Family“
Lonely, fearful, inadequate, self-hating, frustrated, empty, hurt, hopeless, guilty, shows shame via rage, addictions, procrastination. Feel left out of family & like a misfit, desire positive attention but can’t ask for it
COST TO SELF
• Not allowed to be successful, respected, admired. Unaware of emotions other than rage. Denies self legitimate opportunities, accomplishments & success or the ability to connect with others in a genuine way, can’t live peacefully
• DANGER: If addict is confronted 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, avoiding expressing shock or disgust, let the child experience consequences of behavior, give opportunities to use power appropriately & outlets for helping the underdog. be fair but firm
a. Overtly — have problems with any authority figure. Can participate in rebellious groups, just for the sake of it. They may alter their bodies in order to shock family or ‘normals’, such as going Goth, with piercings, tattoos & worse, if family abuse was particularly severe.
Are confrontational, argumentative, distrusting & rageful. May live on the edge of society or as complete outcasts. With little education or skill they continue to rebel, sometimes in sophisticated & dramatic ways. Have illegitimate children, graduate to felonies, suffer with mental illness & addictions
OR: They’re actually intelligent & can be very clever, with a 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, marry early, stay in long-term abusive relationships, are everyone’s doormat, plagued by depression & addictions, living out the scapegoat position.
They carry around resentments as a result of the hurt, rejection, blame & shaming they experienced at home (& school).
May be aware of the sacrifices they’ve made & resent it
✶ 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
• 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
• achieve chemical & emotional sobriety
• speak ones inner truth, allow self to be a positive leader
• They have less denial & good insight, the ability to see reality, more straightforward, aware of their emotions
• Can read people, have lots of friends, adapt easily, lead an exciting life, take risks, a great sense of humor and fun-loving
• Courageous, creative, & when healthy, the ability to lead positively
NEXT: Lost Child