I Can Do Nothing Right In My Family

I hate feeling afraid or anxious all the time. I am the family scapegoat but also the peace-keeper. I am the daughter of an alcoholic mother and even though I am an adult I am still not over the **** I went through as a child. My mother repeatedly put me down for being overweight and told me how embarrassed she was that I was her fat *** daughter. Now as an adult I still struggle with self esteem and take abuse from older siblings for not being perfect in their eyes. I feel like I am always on the defensive waiting to be attacked. Thank God that I have the support of a few siblings that acknowledge the abuse I have taken. But I don't know how to learn to like myself or how to stop drinking. I had gastric bypass an only maintained a 50 lb weight loss because of my drinking. For this I feel like a failure and the more I feel bad about myself the more I want to drink and avoid my family. I feel guilty if I don't go to weekly Sunday dinners but all I have is bad feelings about myself the whole time I am there. I am repeatedly insulted by two of my brothers and only lately have I stood up for myself but that has now caused two sisters to attack me for causing coconflict in the family. So I am supposed to take their abuse- peace at all cost. I can't do it anymore- I would rather lose my family entirely than feel anxious and nervous all the time. The only way I can get through Sunday dinner is to have 4-6 glasses of wine to calm my nerves. I constantly feel judged and inadequate. I think that the only way I can quit drinking is if I avoid my family -cause they just make me feel terrible about myself. I am just such a people pleaser that I find it hard to stand up for myself. And thank God for the few siblings that acknowledge the big pink elephant in the room and stood up to the abusive brothers saying that it is unacceptable to treat me like a piece of ****. Can you believe that had to be stated - like two college grads could not figure out that it was unacceptable to treat me like ****. This incident happened just a few days ago and I am simply sick with heartache that I could be valued so little by some of my siblings as to blame me for the conflict because I did not want to be insulted anymore. I am just now realizing that my abusing of food and alcohol in my life has just been a way that I dealt with the abuse. I just know that I don't want to self medicate myself anymore. I want to feel good about myself and not anxious or depressed anymore.



scapegoat scapegoat
8 Responses May 8, 2008

Rule # 1: Only YOU can allow you to be treated badly. Only YOU can take the BS to heart. Do not allow that to happen. Learn that it is not YOU, it is THEM. Rule # 2: In your case, the best advice I can offer at this point is STOP THE DRINKING. You are enabling them and you are contributing to your own destruction. Rule # 3: Get away from them and stay away from them. NOW. Rule # 4: Spend some money and get some counseling. It will help greatly.

You have got scapegoating exactly right. I have walked away from most of my generation.<br />
Though my parents' generation is mostly gone, they were perpetrators of it and my generation is mostly poisoned by it. They can't understand why I keep my distance. They think I ought to bury<br />
hatchet. Should've thought of it before they axed me too often.

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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Scapegoats need to reach a point where they 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 see what they were doing, all to no avail. I distanced myself for bits 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 a family member who was one of the "lead perpetrators" I had my “AHA” moment and I finally “got it.” She was gone and the scapegoating was continuing, in fact it was escalating. 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 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.

wow. that took lots of courage and determination, but I am so glad you distanced yourself. I am in the process of finally doing that - should have a long time ago. You are so right -- the family needs the scapegoat and whatever you do will be wrong because you are the scapegoat. They will lie to themselves and you in order to see you as the scapegoat. There is no resolution for this - they will not wake up and "smell the coffee." It is very sad, but it is the truth.

I came from a home where there was no praise only criticism. I put myself in counselling and as a result learned that I have just as much value as anyone else. Building up one's self-esteem is important. You can't do it in the environment of your family.<br />
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For your own sake, get some help, learn to value yourself, and create a new family of friends that love and support you. That is exactly what I had to do.<br />
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Step away from the people who hurt you!! You would not allow a friend to treat you like that so don't let your family do it either. If they won't change, you have to make the changes yourself.<br />
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Good luck. I hope you can find your way out of this hurtful life you are living.

I can relate to your feelings of people pleasing! Someone recently told me the defination of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I finally have come to terms with the fact that my siblings are not going to change. However, we can change the "dance of dysfunction" by surrounding ourselves with people who provides us with support, caring and encouragement.<br />
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

You MUST leave the abusers. You've already admitted to yourself that you are happier without them. Just ignore them, do not answer their calls (and believe me they will call because they can't stand to be ignored). For a while this is going to make them very angry because you are threatening thier very livelyhood which is to suck you dry.<br />
It would be nice if we could just turn our brains off when they are talking to us but I know that I can't so I just had to break off contact with them. I know it sounds like running and I suppose it is but hey - Maybe when we get over it we can slowly deal with them in short moments.

I understand your pain of being made a scapegoat. I have gone through it too but I discovered that this can and will turn around. Years ago God had told me "Your family made you a scapegoat" I didn't know what that meant at the time and had to look up the definition. But since that day years ago, God has been trying to teach me how to walk free of this. You see, being made a scapegoat isn't a learned behavior, but a spiritual curse that manifests by people mistreating you. It is real. But when you discover how Jesus became a scapegoat for you by taking on all the blame, sin, and iniquities (curses). Please read "Free at Last: Breaking the cycle of Family Curses" by Larry Huch and his other materials. You've suffered this whole time. Why suffer any longer?

Dear Scapegoat,<br />
I was researching the internet and came upon your story. I read the comments from the other members of the project. I have a different view on your situation. I looked up scapegoat in wikipedia, because I wasn't sure about what it meant. I had a pretty good idea, but I wanted to see the true meaning. Here is what I pasted from the wikipedia site:<br />
The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16. The word is more widely used as a metaphor, referring to someone who is blamed for misfortunes, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.<br />
I believe that women, I am one myself, are formed and fearfully made by God. In Psalms 139:14 it says, I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works. Have you heard the saying, God don’t make trash. That’s not in the Bible, but I think it is still a great fact.<br />
I have been fortunate to have had supporting loving parents. I have never walked a mile in your shoes, so I don’t know what you have been through. I can provide a few little comments.<br />
I think that some of your siblings have lived to see your mother treat you as she does, and therefore they have watched and learned by example. Question: Do you find yourself treating other people like your mother treated you. Do you down people for weight, how they look, how they act? Do you criticize or gossip about others? Sometimes as we grow into adults we so become more and more like our parents. I have finally realized that.<br />
Now, I want you to write me back so we can get a conversation going. I have more to tell you but I will say a little about a lot that you should know, so here goes.<br />
Jesus said “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burdens are light. <br />
My sister has always struggled with her weight. I have watched people make fun of her and tease her. I was always small and petite. Even family member would come and tell me how pretty I was when I was younger and leave my sister out. She would be so hurt, but tried not to show it. I didn’t really know what to say to her when I was younger, but every time I seen her I make it a point to comment something nice about how she has fixed her house, her hair, or her clothing. I hope that some of your siblings do the same.<br />
As for your weight problem. We all struggle about our physical appearance. I have trichotillomania. Look it up. I have been pulling hair from my head for the past 13 years. I am 26 years old. I don’t really know the onset of it, but I sure know that it is present today. I have bald spots in my scalp. I have to make a conscience effort every waking hour to make sure no one can see those spots. I didn’t even tell my husband till a year after we were married. He was supportive, and for that I am thankful. I feel so unattractive sometimes. I have also gained weight since high school, and people have made a few comments about that such as “You used to be a lot smaller in highschool” I just say, well most people do gain weight after highschool. I don’t have a lot of comeback comments. <br />
I have never seen you, but I believe that you are beautiful, as all women are. We have to find our inner beauty and when that is done, people will not be able to look at our physical beauty. For example: the first time I seen my husband I didn’t think he was good looking. But when he asked me out, he made me laugh, so I went out with him. My sister made the comment, he don’t look like someone you would date. I always chose the pretty boys. Well let me tell you, I find my husband the most sexy, handsome man ever. It’s love that makes us beautiful. If you research your mother’s history and past, I guarantee she had parents who treated her that way, or she was a victim of some type of abuse. Sometimes our actions and history fall from one generation to the next. Didn’t you say that your mother was an alcoholic, and now you like to drink to settle your nerves and make you feel better at family gatherings?<br />
I am making you think in this letter. I am sad that you feel ostracized from your family. Guess what? The generation history curse can be broken. You can stop it. And if you have children, for your children’ sake it must stop. <br />
As for weight loss, you are trying. The gastro is an indication that you are serious and want to lose the weight. I had a friend you had the surgery and she lost 160 pounds. She was a size 10 and still had personal appearance issues. <br />
Start tomorrow. Eat wholesome good food. Wake up and say, I am going to lose weight, I am going to stop drinking. When you start to feel better about your self and your appearance, so will others. You will have a more positive attitude about yourself and hopefully others will see that. When your siblings say something to hurt you, don’t react with harsh words, violence, or anything. Don’t play the game they do. But only say these few words, “I am sorry you feel that way about me.” Only say that. Sometimes people want to see a reaction from others. There are people in life who feed off of making fun, fighting, getting angry, and hurting others. Don’t be one of them. <br />
I am sure the drinking is not good for your surgery. I hope you have not become so trapped from the spirit of alcoholism. If you have you can be released. <br />
Do you believe in God? If you do, they you get on your knees and you say “Lord, I am a sinner. I have alcohol problems. I have weight problems. I have self-esteem problems. I have sibling and parent problems. Lord please release me from all the bad spirits(I’m not talking about ghosts that howl, but the inner man) that has consumed my life. Lord I need you to release me. In your word it says ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Seek and you shall find him. Your word is truth. “<br />
Be serious with God. Call out to him and put all your cares, worries and burdens in his hand. God don’t want us to sit idly by and wait on a miracle, but to work with our minds, hearts and hands. <br />
Have you heard time heals all wounds, it does. I went from pulling 100 hairs out a day to about 10, then to 5, then to 2, then to a few every now and then. I still have wounds, but time and prayer is healing them. It may take a year, or it may take a month. It may take 3 years, but it will happen if you seek God and want it yourself.<br />
I hope this has helped in some way. If you would like to make more of a conversation, that would be great.<br />
God Bless you<br />

First of all.. my issues are not always ur issues. I am 39 years old. I have been fat my whole life. And yes fat is ok with me. Degratting my fat is NOT ok with me.

I had gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago and never tell anyone that I had the surgery.. Uggh why, well cuz I have only lost and maintained. 80lbs weight loss.. I'm happy with a
20 lb weight lost but the worst comment ihave heard is " did it work".... Damn..yes it did FOR ME