Fifty, And Just Realizing How Horribly I've Been Scapegoated!

I recently tried to break off with my family. I love them so much, and I so want to have a relationship with them, but I can't. No matter what I do, they find fault with me. They seem to have an intense need to blame me. It's taken me 25 years of therapy, and many more of soul-searching and trying to figure it out (and trying to be "the good girl") to realize how dysfunctional it is. The worst part is that if I told you who my parents are, you would most likely know their names. They are famous. And they have made their names on, yes, you guessed it: Their "humanism," "compassion," their brilliance and do-gooderness. Yep. I told two people in my entire life what happened to me in my family, and both said: No way. Your parents could not have done that. My folks have also done it to my siblings, but because my siblings have kept their distance (even when they were children), my parents see them, ironically, as better people. It's so messed up!

I could go on and on. I've read that scapegoats often remind a parent--usually the "powerful" one--of someone (a mother, sibling) they didn't get along with. About 15 years ago, my own father admitted that he sees his mother in me, and that he couldn't stand her. Therefore...

Thanks for all who have written here. I will check back for validation and strength. I am determined to have a good life, especially to love my children and give them a legacy of acceptance and esteem.

If someone had told me years ago that this situation is a "nightmare," I wouldn't have believed them. I am wealthy and well-educated and have traveled the world and met the most "amazing" people. Yet I would trade it all to feel loved and accepted...
megano megano
9 Responses Dec 13, 2012

Please do yourself a favor and read the book Me & My Shadow.

Please do yourself a cavorted and read the book Me & My Shadow.

I am 47 years old and have started doing researches about "sgapegoat" , "golden child" and Narsistic family dynamics. I presume, you know what these two words means by now and I also know that you are the "sgapegoat" of your family, since people with NPD will never look for answers or question about sick behaviour. What I am about to write now may sound very strange but will also make you understand that YOU as a sgapegoat are not the only victim in your family. Golden children who receive golden treatment from their parents are also a victim themselves. I AM HAPPY THAT I AM THE SGAPEGOAT and not the golden child. Here are my reasons:1-Sgapegoats are sensitive, caring etc... And eventually figure out what is happening to them and get help by doing researches, therapy etc, however, the golden child will never seek for help since they never realize that something is wrong with them. Sgapegoat has a chance to live happily once they go through all the stages of - anger, acceptance etc...2-Sgapegoats are often very insightful, intuitive, sincere, caring... These are great qualities of a human. Life has been harsh for them but they are great people most of the time.3-Apparently, Sgapegoats start looking for real answers only in their early 40's. By the time you become emotionally stable and accept the loss of your parents and siblings by removing yourself completely from them, since there is no cure for families with NPD, your parents either die or become ill because of their age. And guess what happens to the golden child without the nurturing parent around them. Life shatters and they literally die with them. They lose all senses. This means that your life is beginning now and ending for them. CELEBRATE life and take advantage of each minute to compensate all the years that you were sad, unhappy.... I no longer see my family and have no intention of seeing them. I will tell you only 2 incidents about my relationship with my crazy family and will let you imagine what I have been through for all these years.I got married 6 years ago and my sisters invited a cousin to do a speech on my wedding day. This was his speech. S thinks that her mother does not love her but that is wrong. I urge you to love your mother (the cousin is referring to me). We know that you have some mental issues.... My mother was crying to make things worst. I spent my honeymoon in the hospital. Another incident, I had an appendicitis operation last year which exploded and my pressure went down to 40. The doctors were afraid that I will not make it. I told a friend of my mother to go and tell her that I am in the hospital but she never showed up. After 6 months, she told my brother that she did not go see me because I am an aggressive as a person (as usual, I am dying and again she is blaming me) Imagine, after all the things I have been with them... As a child, those are the things I used to hear from my mother on a regular basis. As a baby you were not wanted around the neighbours because you were ugly, when I found out that I had a girl, I cried for 1 week and did not want to see you. I hated you so much that you had no name for 3 months and then I let your aunt, whom I hated with passion to give you a name.I hope that you will find peace. You are not alone. SM

I know how it is to have parents like that. We aren't famous or wealthy but people used to call us the huxtables( the family from the cosby show)! My dad is so charmingly manipulative that no one ever believed me about the things he did. Just stay strong and committed to yourself(you deserve to be selfish finally).

I feel your pain. My family has painted me to be the scapegoat too. I recently walked away from the last of them. My heart hurts and I feel lost, but I have less anxiety and can face myself and know I did everything I could.

My sister was always lauded as the golden child. She was friendly, smiley, emotional, loving,manipulative, and skinny. Even when she ended up becoming a drug addict and prostitute (several times) she was still seen as the good one. My mother would say we need to support her because she's messed up, your the bigger sister..blah blah blah. Nothing I ever did was right, when I asked for respect and consideration for me I was belittled and screamed at.

I took abuse for her, she tried to have me charged for assault (one she did on herself) and my parents didn't believe me.

The joke is I was the first in my whole family to graduate high school, college (twice) and have a steady career. I have a wonderful marriage and great supportive friends. I've always done the right things. I did everything my mother demanded of me and still she couldn't tell me to my face she was proud of me. In the end I was called a thieving, condescending *****. Well thanks Mom.

Then don't even get me started on the f'd up mess that is my parents and their marriage, or the physical, emotional or mental abuse.

One thing I can say is out of all of this I learned how parents shouldn't be towards their children, how to stop and consider others before doing something, to stick to my morals and ethics, and finally to consider myself and my feelings. For far too long I've placed myself last for them and I finally had enough.

I just joined this group and read your story first because of your age. I am a 53 yr old and have just realized that I was and still am being scapegoated. Like you, my siblings moved away, but my father continues to recruit them to join in. I am so sad and feel as if I can't escape from my situation. My mother passed away and my dad married a much younger woman more than 10 yrs ago. She lives 4 hours away, so I feel responsible for my father who is 81 yrs old. In the last 2 years, I have been battered by a drug addicted brother as my father watched and did nothing to stop it. I loved my brother very much, but he had been absent due to the drugs for a very long time. He is now dead because of it. I also always speak up. My father accuses me of whatever is wrong. I used to KNOW I was allowing myself to be the scapegoat because I didn't think it would hurt me, as I had been scapegoated so much. I know that was a mistake. I have told my father many times that the craziest thing about me is that I still love him. He attempts to convince people that I am crazy. Both of my sisters have been in a psych ward and my brother had been to prison. I have no such history and feel it is his way of putting me down to their level. He gave them excellent educations. I've not been given that, but I always had jobs that required a Bachelors degree. My father has taken everyone in the family, including his grandkids, to Europe....except me.
I don't think it is possible for me to change any of them. I am hopeful that if I remove myself from the situation that my father will stop recruiting my children. It is hurting them so much that I'm being forced to figure out if it is best to step away from the family altogether to save my own offspring.
Have you considered moving away so that your parents aren't automatically "your problem"? You and I both know that caring for them isn't likely going to elevate you in your family, it will only leave an open door for further scapegoating....I think.
It is hard for me to think of moving away and leaving my father to deal with his aging, but he DOES have a wife, as absent as she may be. I know if I accept the responsibility that my sisters assume I will take on is only opening myself to further criticism.

Inspiring read. I'm 50 years old and have been my father's and middle sister's scapegoat my entire life. My earliest memories recall circumstances that can only be described as 'dirty tricks'. I'm in the process of relocating and starting over with no family.

I'm a new member. I'm here to learn and I also intend to contribute. My story involves "wounding", a pattern of authoritarian conditioning that suppresses emotional and social maturity.

I'm different in that I don't feel the need for love and acceptance. All I want is the practical sense of not being punked. Unfortunately, my destructive narcissists appear to be sado. I've seen the dark side of more typical codependency and it's shocking to say the least.

Your love and care for your family makes you more complete. I hope your circumstance isn't like mine in that your folks wouldn't care about your feelings. Best wishes and thanks for sharing.

Twenty-five years of therapy? Has it helped?

I recently went to a therapist for the very first time and I walked away feeling like nothing really happened. My gut says to give it time, but I would love to hear your experience with therapy.

I have told them. Recently! And yet the irony is, because I am the "feeling" one in the family, they seem to need me in their lives. (Like I said, my siblings are distant.) They are getting older, and I feel such guilt. I know any day they will die (or become dependent), and I just feel this duty...I keep hearing voices in my head (theirs) that say: You are exactly the person your parents said you were, selfish and mean.