As The Scapegoat, Im Busy Googling How I Can Speak In A Way That Wont Make People Angry

Growing up, I was the brat and crybaby. We spent a lot of time with extended family, and everyone agreed that I was the brat - the family was encouraged to point out opportunities to punish me.

My brother (2 years older) was very physically abusive to me. Left "in charge" of me for several hours a day, he would often lock me in dark closets, beat me, not allow me to leave or talk on the phone, came up with strange chore-lists for me to complete in order to be able to earn back basic human privileges. I complained to my mom, but she knew that I was a brat and a crybaby, so I was encouraged to stop causing so much trouble.

My grandmother (also lived in our home) hated me. She would go months without looking/ speaking to me over some small thing like, "I saw you roll your eyes, you braaaat!" Looking back, she would spend days insulting me, just waiting for any reaction that she could punish me for.

My grandmother would wash and iron my mother and brothers clothing every night, while leaving my clothes to lay on the floor. Grandma would make feasts and not allow me to have any - not even leftovers. They would sit at the table and laugh when I walked by. I was not to touch them. Even if I made a sandwich with lunchmeat, I was greeted with a, "JESUS CHRIST! SHE JUST HELPS HERSELF, DOESNT SHE???"

When I brought home the honor roll, they made fun of me for being a little miss know it all and rubbing it in their faces.

At holiday gatherings, they all went full-force (they always turned things up in front of crowds). Most family jokes were at my expense. If I finally broke down in to tears, then they all made fun of me for being a crybaby.

As an adult, I am still trying to figure out how I can better communicate so that people dont hate me. Am I being rude without realizing it? Do I have a nasty tone (when there was nothing big to punish me for, I was usually punished for my snotty tone.)

I spend hours trying to figure out why my mother is not kind to me? Or if I am too sensitive and a normal person could better deal with this relationship.

One thing I know is not healthy is that I am extremely thankful to people when they do something kind for me. I thank and thank and thank! I really want them to know I am grateful. This is because I was always an ungrateful brat that deserved nothing - No matter how much I poured over a gift, or said thank you, I was still the same ungrateful brat.

The worst part is that I genuinely want my mother to be kind to me. So I find myself googling, "How can I speak in a more kind way?" I investigate ways that I can change to be more like the people she likes.

She shows an incredible amount of compassion for others. She rescues dogs, donates time/ fundraises for domestic violence survivors, drives across the country to sit with a friend that is going through a bad time... But just goes completely silent when I share a story of heartache.

Not long ago, she pinned me against a wall and told me my husband was too good for me and I will destroy my marriage. This was on a vacation (that I treated her to) on the Virgin Islands. Just another example of me reaching out to do a deed that CAN NOT POSSIBLY be turned around on me.

It feels good to realize that Im not just some black cloud that my family was forced to endure.

bellybelle bellybelle
36-40
5 Responses Dec 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing your story. It takes courage and you help so many people by doing so. I am the scapegoat in my family so I understand the pain that you are going through. This site and others have helped me to realize that I am not alone and that many others are going through the same thing. You must come to understand that your family is ill. Dysfunctional. You are most likely the healthiest person in your family. You cannot fix them. You must love yourself enough to remove yourself from that toxic situation. You are also an enabler. Your family members (and there is always a ring leader -i.e. mom) are addicted to hurtful, hateful, destructive patterns. Your presence enables them to act out their bullshit. You must love them enough to no longer cooperate with that dynamic. You are the drug. They feed on your pain. Bringing booze to the alcoholic, giving money to a drug addict friend/child, standing by while your boyfriend beats your kid to death...that is what enablers do. And this is what you do when you offer yourself to them...when you interact with them. Love yourself. Love yourself enough to protect yourself. Love yourself enough to cut off all ties. Love yourself as you would love your own child. Remove yourself from that insanity and hatefulness. Create a new family full of love and support. Let the old family go. Difficult? Yes. Turn from that pattern of abuse. Create a new world of love. People it loving souls. Surround yourself with love. Be a pioneer. Be a leader. Don't follow the old pattern. Does this take courage? You bet it does. But most of all it takes love, Love for yourself and sane love towards those addicted to hate and insanity. Love yourself. Don't be an enabler. Build a new world of love, sanity, and respect. Live in this new world of love and allow it to expand by sharing your love with other loving beings (from puppies and butterflies to new friends.). This important work heals the entire planet. It is a quiet revolution which brings meaning and purpose to the lives of those who were once abused. Who else would take on this work? I believe that it is necessary step in the spiritual evolution of humanity. It is that deep. (Become strong through realization of purpose. Know you are not alone and stay connected to love/the universe of love. Accept your assignment. Sober up and do your work. Become empowered in/through the process.)

It's hard, but you need to learn how to be kind to yourself too. Seems like your relationship with your husband is somehow a mirror of how you view yourself because of your upbringing. Stay strong. Recognize your own strength and goodness.

Your family is abusing you. I suggest you find a good therapist who understands narcissism and family dynamics surrounding scapegoating. There are plenty of good books out there about adult children of narcissistic parents. Start reading. There is really nothing you can do to better communicate with them. Your family is using you to deal with their own problems and they do not really see you -- you are a thing that they blame for their problems. Surround yourself with friends, your husband and children. They are your caring, nurturing family. Don't waste time trying to get your mother's and family's love -- they are unable to give it. A great book is Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina Brown, but there are many others. It is very hard to realize all this, and I'm still struggling with it after too many years -- but the sooner you stop trying to interact with them the better. All the best to you.

I want to say that I Googled family scapegoat in desperation. I am FIFTY and am just realizing how terrible my family situation is. I could have responded to so many of these posts, but for some reason I am just responding to yours--especially because someone else is encouraging you to cut off from your family, and I need that encouragement, too. If I told you who my parents are, you would KNOW them--they are that famous. And you would NEVER believe how abusive they are. They have made a name for their compassion--I'm talking, a recognizable name. It's messed up, and I am holding on for dear life, mostly for my lovely beautiful children. You hold on, too, okay?

Hi. Thanks for replying to me.

Did something set you off today? I wrote this after a 5-day visit with my mom. I havent spoken to her since, so it doesn't feel so heavy today. If anything, I'm starting to feel bad for not calling my mom to 'make nice' with her again.

Have you googled narcissist parents? I never had a real understanding of the word 'narcissist.' Try it. I've often read that famous people are narcissists - so maybe it will fit for you.

Our parents will never admit to treating us poorly, and they wont ever change. So what are we going to do about it?

I hope you'll share your own story. I'd love to hear it (I understand that your privacy is important. But boy, is my curiosity peaked!)

Your family is abusing you. You don't deserve it. It's time to say good-bye! I've walked away from my family. I created a circle of friends, who love me unconditionally, enjoy spending time with me and encourage me to spread my wings and fly. I have an unlisted phone number, changed my email address and moved. My family cannot communicate with me. I'm free! And I'm loving it!

I am struggling with this. I still dont want to hurt my family.

I recently had children and my mother wants very much to be around them (we live in different states - so this means we end up spending days together when we travel to visit). It is horrible for me, but she is kind to my children.

When I gave birth, I didnt allow her to come to town. I was stronger then. I took a firm stand and wouldnt allow her to come spoil it. 12 hours before I gave birth, she called me screaming and crying about how I was robbing her of her rights as a grandmother.

****... Just typing this out makes it so clear. But it is still so hard. :(

"I have an unlisted phone number, changed my email address and moved. My family cannot communicate with me. I'm free! And I'm loving it!"

Thanks for the input. I'm in the same situation but haven't made the transition. Best wishes with everything!