The Pain Continues Despite Being An Adult

I have been thinking lately about a lot of pain in my life. I don't want to feel sorry for myself. i will never feel sorry for myself because I am so blessed in this world. I have been given tremendous opportunities in life. Through the grace of God I have moved past the hurt. But sometimes, I look back.

And there is pain. It always, of course, comes back to my family. They have hurt me so much. When I was a child, my mom bleached my hair and cut it short so I would look just like her. There were no hugs, homework help, or love in my family, only constant "you kids are animals!" and "you are all going to burn in hell!". I was eight, and my siblings were younger. This is what I heard every day. My mom was paranoid about people. We were not allowed to talk to anyone including friends and relatives. Our house windows were frosted over with fake snow. There were four deadbolt locks on our door. When a relative came by, we would be forced to hide under the dinner table until they went away.

When I was a teenager, my family blamed my mother's illness on me. My mother was the mental one, and she trained my siblings to hate me. The living conditions we were under were too terrible to forget. Piles of garbage. Yelling, cursing, blame, and punishment directed at me and eventually at the other children as they aged. Nobody to cook meals. Nobody to read books with or do homework. Just a crazy mom, obsessed with herself and paranoid with the irrational, hateful thoughts that dominated her life. They put me away. Not her.

I did it. I called child protective services because I could not take the abuse anymore. It was absolute craziness. My father let it all happen. He encouraged it! Yet he is regarded as the "hero" in my family. Nobody knows the terrible things he has done to me. So many relatives and friends of the family I have tried to tell this to just sweep it under the rug - my dad treats everyone else in the family well, and he was a magnificent award-winning teacher. It makes no sense that he was terrible towards me. It just doesn't make sense. I am the liar. I am the crazy one. I don't have the blue ribbons my father does. I don't have his smile, and sense of humor, and incredible ability to hate someone and make it invisible to the entire world. I don't have the hypocrisy.

If only these people were with me every day. If only they heard the screaming, the yelling. If only they saw my sisters being trained to throw textbooks and other heavy objects at me as my mother laughed and my father told me that it was what I deserved. If only the disbelievers heard my father scream at me, telling me that if I ever told anyone what was going on, I would be considered the crazy one and I would be kicked out of the family. If only these disbelievers sat in the long car rides after my mom's death and heard my dad blame me for hours about my mother's death. If only disbelieving people heard my sisters call me names every single day after my mom died and I went back to care for them. If only these family members watched as my father threatened to kick me out as my sisters called me these names, despite how hard I slaved over them. Nobody believes it. They cover up the abuse so well.

There are traces of clues for my family members and friends that have known me for a long time. The fact that we could never visit family when we were young. The fact that my mother always wore sunglasses to hide her face from people, even in the winter. The fact that the police officers were called to my house on a monthly basis. The fact that our blinds were always drawn and my house was always locked with at least four deadbolts. The fact that nobody ever answered the door. The fact that my younger brother wore the same shirt for two years. The fact that years later, when my mom died, he made something of himself. The fact that he continued to see my sisters and father treating my like crap. The fact that he did nothing, and distanced himself from me instead.

It is pain. But with pain comes growth. I pray to God to never be bitter. Sometimes it is hard. I wonder how many people I should keep in my life who choose to ignore what happened, who put on a happy face and continue to support my father and hold his legacy up high despite hearing the truth about how he treated me. I think about this. And I wonder what I should be to them, when that is all they are to me.
picturebooklover picturebooklover
26-30
6 Responses Jul 28, 2010

Oh precious - im still in their house - im 42 with my youngest child five - I have tried but cannot escape - she will take and take and destroy - be my friend - maybe we can help each other

One of the hallmarks of a "scapegoating family" is that they cannot, MUST NOT, WILL NOT let their victim get away peacefully. The dysfunctional family NEEDS their scapegoat as they need the very air they breathe. They MUST have someone to destroy in order to feel better about themselves. They must have a scapegoat on whom to vent their murderous rage. <br />
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When you are blamed for everything that goes wrong, and your successes are ignored or denigrated... when you are discredited, gossiped about, demeaned... you are on the receiving end of evil. When your life turns out well and they only hate you more for it... when they must tear you down at all costs, you are on the receiving end of evil. When they must obliterate your happiness, your enthusiasm, your joy, you are on the receiving end of evil. When they take joy in injuring you, you are on the receiving end of evil. <br />
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Evil spelled backwards is “live” -- evil is the opposite of life. Evil seeks to destroy, to crush, to maim, to poison, to annihilate, to eradicate, to obliterate anything that is good, clean, healthy, positive, joyful, hopeful, successful. EVIL SEEKS TO KILL LIFE. Scapegoaters seek to “kill” the joy, happiness, hope, health and well being of their victims. Scapegoaters are pure evil. <br />
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Poison kills. Hate kills. Rage kills. Character assassination kills. Invalidation kills. False allegations kill. <br />
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Scapegoaters’ spew poison with their tongues … and if we keep breathing it in it will kill us. Period. As sad as it may be, there is only once choice – will we allow others to kill us or will we save ourselves? <br />
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As scapegoats, we need to reach a point where we become very clear on what is really happening. This is not about people being mean and hurtful. This is not about family “not approving of us” or “not caring about us.” This is about evil people trying to destroy us. Once we finally stop making excuses for what is really going on, once we admit the truth - we need to ask ourselves selves … why do I tolerate pure evil in my life? Why am I giving people a chance to destroy me? Could it be because we have been trained to be the recipient of the family’s murderous rage? That training will be the death of us. We need to reject it and reject those who would harm us. <br />
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One of the things I have learned along life’s journey is you can never stop the scapegoaters. You can never get them to admit they are doing anything wrong. You can never get them to change. You don’t have the power. If you did, you would have changed things long ago. The only thing you can change is YOU. Only YOU can save YOU and YOU need to decide that YOU are worth saving. If you choose to continue participating in the dysfunction, you are guilty of aiding and abetting, you are guilty of allowing yourself to be a victim, you are guilty of allowing your other family members (spouse, children) to be hurt by witnessing the scapegoating. YOU need to be the hero who saves the day. Change is in YOUR power, and YOUR POWER ALONE. <br />
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Many years ago, after a lifetime of being my family's scapegoat, I reached my breaking point. I had tried everything to change the dynamics, to stop the scapegoating, to help the perpetrators change their ways, all to no avail. I distanced myself for short periods of time over the years, believing that if I did the right things, or provided some “space” all would turn out well, believing that if I stayed away for awhile the perpetrators’ would "see the light." Further contact only reinforced the cycle of dysfunction and engendered further scapegoating. After the death of my mother, who was the chief “orchestrator of scapegoating” and who always found a way to turn one family member against another, I had my “AHA” moment and I finally “got it.” She was gone and the scapegoating continued, in fact it escalated. She had done her job well. My epiphany was simple: the only way to make the scapegoating stop was for ME to remove myself from the situation. Completely. Permanently. <br />
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And so I did the hardest thing I ever had to do. First, I had to face the truth about what was really happening. I had to stop making excuses. I had to decide to save myself. I did not make any huge announcement, I did not make any proclamation about my intentions, I did not accuse or blame. I simply turned my back and walked away. And I have stayed away for over 6 years, and I will continue to stay away for the rest of my days. I do not answer phone calls (caller ID lets me know who is calling - and the calls continue to come), I do not answer letters (and the letters continue to come), I do not accept invitations to any event under any circumstances (and the invitations continue to come), I do not attend any family functions – NONE. I do not respond to any contact from any of them. <br />
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I decided to save myself ... to finally, finally love myself enough to say "no more." And “no more” means NO MORE! I am the person who is in charge of my happiness, and I choose life and happiness over their need to harm and injure. <br />
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Did it hurt to walk away? Oh yes. Did I cry repeatedly because I had to let go of the dream that one day my family of origin would be kind and loving? Oh yes. Was my heart broken because I had to finally accept that my family of origin wanted to injure me and enjoyed causing me pain? Oh yes. It all hurt… for a very long time.<br />
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As my husband said, "They want you crushed. They want you crawling on your belly begging for crumbs of kindness. Every time you do something good, every time you are successful, they hate you all the more. They will never approve of you until you are groveling in the dirt. And they don't care if they hurt me or our children along the way, as long as they can hurt you." Ouch! BIG OUCH!!! But he was right. It just took me 50 years to wake up and realize that it was not them, but ME who needed to "see the light" and finally face reality. Even when that reality broke my heart. <br />
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The good news is time does heal… if I had stayed in the situation I would still be bleeding, crying, defending, pleading, being battered, being harmed. Being totally disconnected has allowed me to heal. And the healing journey, though initially filled with tears, sorrow and heartbreak, has led me down a path to happiness and peace.<br />
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6 years on, my marriage is strong and wonderful, my children are happy and joyful, my heart is full and carefree, and my life is lived “in the light.” <br />
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I walked away from the murderous rage, black hearts and poison tongues of scapegoaters. I chose life over evil, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I will never go back. I like the light…. <br />
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I choose life. I hope all my fellow scapegoats choose life too.

I find that I keep reading about someone in the family escaping the situation and never looking back while the scapegoat goes back into the situation to look after people who evidently hold them in contempt and have absolutely no respect for them; and then the scapegoat wonders why the sibling who escaped the situation isn't around? We scapegoats need to set behind us those who are so willing to mistreat us. If someone is mistreating you, why stick around for the mistreatment? In order to help them out? Being around them to help them only encourages them to mistreat us. It provides an unhealthy ego boost for them as well; they are so wonderful they can walk all over someone and that someone is willing to lick their boots clean in the process. The attitude of those who are looking for a scapegoat and those who enjoy scapegoating is the pursuit of a sense of dominance and power at the expense of another. They get a neurochemical high off of it; it's pleasurable to them. And they don't feel guilty about it because they project the "badness" on to you. What a convenient and efficient psychological system. Racism works the same way. I realized all of this when I had an epiphany at 7 years old. What a thing for a child to have to come to realize. This world is a very twisted place but it is also exactly as it is supposed to be. It is a purgatory, perhaps, where we are all given the chance to chose between good and evil. All too many people foolishly believe that evil is where the power is at. They have been deceived.

Thank you everyone for your comments! @yankeebob, this is true. I seek the counsel of God to clear my thoughts and help me create a better life that is a gift to others. @koyptakh, we are friends in the making. @k1nudey, thank you for your kind words. It is a perverse pleasure. I pray that they be saved from their ways.

A very dysfunctional family. I very much doubt if I could have survived it.<br />
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What amazes me is the perverse pleasure the scapegoater gets out of tormenting the victim. I very much doubt if any animal would do it so I do not have the words to describe a thing that would do it.

Hi picturebooklover <br />
You write very well about a very difficult experience. I think that must be rare. You make sense of an impossible situation. <br />
Best wishes<br />
:)