ACoAs being SCAPEGOATED (Part 5)

pointing finger

 IT HELPS TO KNOW – I’m not the ‘crazy’ on

PREVIOUS: Scapegoating #4

SITEScapegoating in Families-What We Need to Know

QUOTE: “Most of the time, victims sense that their attacker is a threat, but ignore this inner knowing.” from The Gift of Fear ~ Gavin De Becker, Criminologist

3. Scapegoat-ed CHILD

5. Scapegoat-ING ADULT  (towards a parent, boss, mate, adult-child….) Just las in Double Binds, scapegoating can be called “enemy behavior against an innocent & helpless victim”, because the real source of the abuser’s frustration is
• at themselves, but denying S-H
• at someone else who’s not available to be attacked
• someone in their life who’s unsafe to confront

Their frustration is projected on to others (Thoughts) & then acted out (Behavior), usually a person or group without supporters or otherwise can’t protect themselves.  Even if others observe the abuse, they rarely want to get involved, so the victim stays unprotected & alone.

HABITUAL scapegoaters are irritatingly smug, managing to convince themselves that the way they’re treating the Sc is somehow justified. But behind the facade, they’re actually miserable, extremely dissatisfied with themselves & life in general. It’s expressed as hostility – at the least punitive, at the worst sadistic.

Just like double-binders, they raise themselves up by lowering another person, getting narcissistic satisfaction from being controlling, & some from torturing the Sc. Scapegoating is their self-righteous discharge of aggression, which momentarily frees them from a little of their own S-H & inner powerlessness

Narcissists (Ns being overt, & Co-deps because they’re covert Ns) generally blame their bad behavior – addictions, emotional immaturity, volatility, cruelty – on other people or things (partnersangry-father-scolding-son, children, the weather, the ‘system’….)
They’re master fantasists – no one is better than an N for looking directly at another person & only seeing who they want/need that person to be

EXP: When a N parent considers their child, they see many things: a source of narcissistic supply, an ally or obstacle to their lust for personal power, a string of intolerable annoyances, the inconvenience of the child’s emotions & needs, unwanted personal limitations, someone to rescue & take care of them or to take their frustrations out on…. BUT never the actual child.

Scapegoaters’ main characteristics are cowardice, dishonesty, egotism, immaturity, pride, self-righteousness & weak character, with Borderline, Narcissistic or Histrionic Personality Disorders.
They live through a manufactured looking-good public image they desperately need. ANY truth-telling child or other adult who challenges it risks destroying everything, so they have to be stopped at all costs!

• Scapegoaters are not in touch with most of their emotions, rarely knowing how full of hate they really are. They just feel dissatisfied & frustrated, while ‘blissfully’ unaware of the original source of their hurt & resulting ragecenteroftheuniverse

• Since self-deception is a major trait, the Perpetrator’s (P) drive to displace & transfer responsibility away from themselves may not be totally conscious, which makes it easy to cut off any guilt or shame, & deny what they’re doing.
But even if they do become aware of the actual cause of their unhappiness, they can’t or won’t direct their anger where it truly belongs – usually their original family

• To deal with their deep anxiety, scapegoaters will rationalize that this specific victim \ group is somehow responsible for their frustration.
A perfect candidate can be anyone who reminds them of the person who originally injured them (parents or parent-figures). They look for someone who’s not socially confident, is emotionally over-reactive, anxious & self-hating – which makes them an easy target

• Often the main scapegoater (parent, spouse, teacher….) has a good social standing in their community, & some power. Naturally they don’t want to lose either one – at any price. If the Perpetrator consciously knows the victim is innocent, they may increase the attacks, to keep their house-of-cards standing, & keep the upper hand
Assistant scapegoaters will also add to the fire, to stay in the P’s good graces, & to never admit they’ve been gullible – being manipulated into blaming the innocent

• In milder cases, occasional scapegoaters can be anyone temporarily angry & dissatisfied, who uses this tactic as a relief valve. If they’re not too damaged they will experience some shame & guilt afterwards, & pull back.

NEXT: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 6)

ACoAs being SCAPEGOATED (Part 2)

alcoholic rageI DIDN’T CAUSE THEM 
to pick on me! 

PREVIOUS: Scapegoating (#1)

SITE:The Scapegoat’ a lengthy description – scroll down

2. Scapegoating FAMILY

This torture can & does happen in any size unit, but studies show that the larger the family the more likely one child will be singled out for this toxic role. These homes will be rife with socio-economic, psychological, marital, mental and/or physical stressors. Nerves are usually on edge, & the adults’ energies are stretched to the limit because of frustration & overwhelm.

In such case, a parents may deliberately make home life so unbearable for the Scapegoat (Sc), that the child is left with no outcastchoice but to leave as soon as possible. Many of these throw-aways have little education or marketable skills, ending up homeless, prey to the worst criminal elements, or go into a life of crime themselves just to survive.

HOWEVER, scapegoating families can be from any background, educational or financial level – not just poor or immigrant. A common thread is severe narcissism, co-dependence, alcoholism or other addictions, & scapegoating can continue being perpetrated at home even if one or more members are in a 12-step Program, such as AA!

GOLDEN CHILD vs Scapegoat child is a common divisive ploy set up by a narcissistic parent. In sick families one child will be favored as the ‘good’ one, given special status by the parent who treats them as if he/she is perfect. (References here are to NPD mothers & daughters, but can be applied to any combo)

• At the same time – another child is set up to be the victim (Sc), continually told they’re ‘bad’ – left out or picked on, humiliated & abused. The Sc is forced to care for everyone else, but not allowed any needs of their own.
EXP: A scapegoated woman said, “For years I resented my sister who my mother adored. I wished I had felt special to mom. Now I see how messed up my sister is & I’m glad I wasn’t the favored one after all.”

• The golden child can do no wrong. The scapegoat can do no right. This creates divisions between them, the former having a great investment in the mother being wise & wonderful, in contrast to the Sc who hates her. That division is encouraged & perpetuated by the narcissist with lies & blatant unfairness

EXP:  the narcissistic mother identifies with the golden child, provides them with privileges, as long as they do/ are exactly what she wants  – be her carbon copy. The child’s payoff – at least inside the family – is to be compulsively protected & idealized by everyone, including the Sc, who hides their resentment & envy.

To reciprocate & stay in the parent’s good graces, the favorite will defend the mother by:
indirectly perpetuating the abuse by finding reasons to blame the scapegoat for the mother’s actions
• or directly taking over the perpetrator’s role by physically abusing the scapegoat so the parent won’t have to do that herself. (MORE….)

Because of inappropriate pampering, the golden one believes they’re worthy of adoration, & therefore entitled.
But being the favorite eventually backfires – because they develop their own pathology.
The NPD parent forms a destructive enmeshment which engulfs the child, perhaps for life. He/She isn’t allowed to htrapped with NPDave their own identity or boundaries, stays emotionally immature, & often becomes the puppet of a parent-substitutes, such as an abusive spouse.

EXP: In another case, the Favored son couldn’t cope with the abandonment when his wife of 18 yrs finally left him – who he’d battered – so he shot himself in the head, while the Rejected & tortured son became a well-loved minister

• The ‘bad one’ is ultimately the more fortunate – given this scenario. He/She is basically more independent, often driven to seek answers, & eventually may come to understand the nature of the NPD parent – allowing them to outgrow the Sc role. They’re the ones who can break free from their destructive family system to create a healthier life.

NEXT: Scapegoating #3