I Am My Families Scapegoat.

I'm not exactly sure when it started but i have been the designated scapegoat in my family for at least 20 years. Do ALL families have scapegoats? Or is it just the millions of dysfunctional families that have this dynamic.

It can be difficult at times when you realize no matter what you do, in the end something that happens becomes my fault. Gee did i drive my father to alcoholism? Did I ask him and my brother to abuse me? Did i say *Mom, even though you first stated you knew they were capable of that* did i turn my back on my very own child?

Is it HORRIFIC of me NOT to want to visit weekly? Is it my fault that my kids are bored to death when they are dragged their to visit their grandparents? I have NEVER spoken a word to my children about how you treat me, but guess what Mother and Father and my 4 siblings, 2 nieces and 1 nephew, they had front row seats the last time we were their and you treated me like dirt IN FRONT of them!

Did i physically beat MYSELF up at the age of three, so badly that you took me to a neighbors to take pictures IF you decided you might leave the man? Did i suffocate the family dog in a green garbage bag than tell everyone that i over-dosed him with medication in his ice-cream?

WOW i guess since i did (NOT) do any of the above, than it makes perfect sense that i would be the scapegoat.

NOW here are some things that i did do; yes i confronted my abusers and yes they admitted it, sorry Mother i guess i somehow provoked them into physically and sexually abusing me.

Did i stand by your side Mother when you dragged your own sister to court before your mother even died over her will? Yes i guess i was supportive, shame on me!!

Was i Everyone's problem solver for YEARS, sorry Mother,, did that upset you that they came to me instead of you?

Was i forced to check on father when he was in a drunken rage, to see if i could calm him down. Yes mom, sorry but you did insist on it.

Was i told to lie to my teachers and say that i didn't get my essay done when the fact was that father had thrown it in the fire, WHAT an offense you made me do at the age of 13, i guess i must be punished.

So. I know ALL the family's DIRTY secrets and YES i chose to speak about the elephant in the room. Well i suppose that is why i became the scapegoat. Well I'm gone now, so all of you can continue to **** on me and not fear i will bring up the truth.

In the end Mother, you forced your daughter to be the parent of the family and for that reason alone i will always be the scapegoat, well who will you blame now? will you ever accept ANY responsibility that all five of your children have psychiatric labels and medications to go with them? OR is that my fault too!!

AlwaysRemembers AlwaysRemembers
41-45, F
44 Responses May 25, 2007

What we've all gone through. Let's try to get past it as best we can. If it's necessary to abandon our families for our sanity, that's what we need to do. Let's start off New Year right
and be selfish for a change. We need to treat ourselves best first before others can mistreat us.

Wow. So tragic- just so tragic. I have read my own story in this forum .Realising, last night, that I have to walk out of my family's life, I came on line for solace and information. I have wept and sobbed as I have read. My Mother infected my entire family with a toxic attitude toward me. My own children don't make conversation with me, have no respect for me and blame me for everything. I have had enough..

I have decided not to hate them ... any of them, I don't need to carry that with me as I step ahead on my own journey devoid of 'people-pleasing' and approval seeking.

Even though so much self-doubt has accompanied me for 59 years I now know I am on the right track., my family, 'looked so good on paper', it even confused me... yet I knew, I just knew I wasn't welcome in that family. The back turned, exclusion, "children should be seen and not heard",medical conditions overlooked (e.g. a broken wrist ignored until teachers insisted they get treatment. for me), stupid answers to questions, not given any choice of type of high school, left to my own devices, driven home by drunken father - on a regular basis, abandoned from a very early age. When I had an "Identity Crisis" in my 20's my parents were outraged my counsellor wished to see them and discuss their "family business".

They were so secretive and defensive I was 12 yrs old and knew nothing about their plans to change my entire life, selling the family business, our home, moving from a remote rural town by the sea I loved, and mum moved to the city, Dad appearing "now and then". My 21 yr old sister, mums "golden child", had gone there to live.

My family told me I was a horrible child, needed more " smacked bottoms", couldn't do anything right. It affected my entire life.

Everything I did was tarnished and as if I , in turn, didn't do enough damage to my own children in unwitting ignorance at the time, my "family" have made sure they have completed that, too.

IThank you so much, all of you and God Speed you on the journey of your life, from here forward... with my love.

I stay away from my family except for special occasions. I visit one of my brothers and my kids 1-2 times a year. That's it. Rest of family was so poisoned by my mother that I'm afraid
they'll repeat her actions. I hope all of you who wrote will either try to make peace or if
not possible, keep your distance. You all deserve better.

Well as a family scapegoat it totally amazes me how I am to blame when I limit my contact because if one of them are in their normal crisis it's because of something I said or did when I know nothing about it until I am told about it....my sister was the golden child given the silver spoon in her mouth and has lived a very privileged life, and because I was unable to measure up to that for the most part I became a loner, with serious trust issues and what minimal help I did get is thrown in my face and held over my head...when my brother in law sexually abused me it was my fault and I was disowned then I was to blame for staying away when they wanted nothing to do with me....last year I found out some negative things being said about my character and my kids so I confronted my 32 year old niece about it, her mother took a rage because how dare I not take it and keep quiet, so I walked away....I got an email from another relative asking how dare I abandon our elderly mother whom is so vulnerable....now, my niece is back crying at my mother about how I hate her and my mother is repeating the same cycle...I am to blame for the mess the golden child and her family started....I also had a cousellor tell me I needed to stay away because I could not be the family psychologist for the rest of them, but yet there I sat in the therapy chair for "help" because I was convinced I was a broken person in need of fixing..I wasn't broken I am stuck in the middle of a dysfunctional mentally sick family who should be getting help themselves instead of shoving it off on me

I was advised by a psychologist two years ago that I was the scapegoat of my family and that for me to regain my self-worth, confidence and happiness, I would firstly need to minimise contact with them and only interact with them on a more functional basis, until such time that they learned respectful behaviour I was not to enter into any conversation with them that resulted in their dysfunctional behaviour becoming apparent. This definitely worked for six months and then we (myself included) slipped back into the usual roles within our family. Today, I have yet again, walked from my family, its now been six months but its so much better this time. I understand the dynamics of a family that work destructively and I am happier, less anxious and enjoying a fuller life without their involvement. This is not an easy option to take, however, for me I have long been the scapegoat, blamed for the smallest of things and even blamed for things I have not done. I felt like I was always trying to validate who I am, a good person! I remember my husband saying "go to the local store and pick six people and ask if they like the look of you, if they say 'no' bring them home with you and live with them, for that is currently how your life is with your family. The news I was to share with others, is that even if I am lonely it is better that in the grips of a family that truly does not see my worth. I am a worthy person, good and kind, requiring respectful relationships with both friends and family. I only want respectful and caring relationships in my life and I feel so much better in the past six weeks than I have for many years. I have also recently been seeing another psychologist, so I am seeking advice from him as to the journey I take, which I believe is very important as a life change as big as this can be daunting, so he has certainly provided me with valuable advice moving forward. Good luck to anyone reading this, I hope your lives improve as being the scapegoat is not fun!

Where there is a scapegoat, there is a golden child. Although from the scapegoats point of view, the golden child has it all layed out on a silver platter, this isn't the case. The Narcissistic parent who creates these roles from before we can even crawl, has created wedges between her/his family members from the beginning. Look up a sight called www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com<br />
I found this site gives amazing and mind blowing insight into how these dysfunctional roles are created, maintained and can be overcome. I myself, am a scapegoat. Because of an extrememly traumatic family tragedy, my siblings and I were forced to pull ranks in order to get through what happened... once we started talking, we realised that what we had thought about each other for our whole lives was a load of bull, and we all knew right away who it was coming from. I am now the only child in the family who has not been able to cut myself off from this poisonous parent... but I think I have the advantage of being the only one who lives on the opposite end of the country. It may also be a blessing, or a curse, that the scapegoat and the golden child (myself and my sister) have now had our roles flipped. This is dangerous for me as my approval seeking is now being fed which makes it so very difficult to come to terms with my anger and my need to escape it all... and is harrowing for my sister because she has to face what she had become as the golden child while suddenly copping the abuse of the scapegoat. I need to read more into the site I mentioned above (there is SO much information) to see what other roles there are in these families. But you are not alone. Your story is horrific and you are so amazingly strong. Your anger is rightious, but don't let it eat you alive. Now is your time to shine... shine so brightly it burns those who oppose your right to your own freedom and happiness. All the best to you on your journey of healing. xo

stupid. that.

I am turning 50 years old tomorrow and as i sit here writing this i am crying hysterically. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers and have been the scapegoat in my family for as long as i can remember. During my late 20's i was having a lot of growing pain problems and sought therapy. It was there that if first learned about scapegoating. It manifests itself in a really weird way in my family. When my mother becomes stressed out she accuses me of stealing things from her. During my 20's she accused me of stealing her spoons, a petticoat, earrings and other wierd things that i just didnt need or want. I have always earned good money. I out earn any of my siblings by more than $200K/year so i did not have any desire to steal. By the time i was 30 i had my first child and i decided that i would not stand for this treatment any longer and told my entire family that if my mother continued to treat me in this way that she would never see my son or me. That changed things for quite a while. However last week my brother asker for her $50K to pay for his chlid that he walked away from and that caused my mother's stress to be huge and she then called my sister to tell her that i had stolen jewlery from her. I have not been in my parents house in over 10 years because of these accusations. I thought all of this was behind me and yet here i go again. I am a professional woman who understands this crap and yet i have been crying for three days. At this point i feel like i would like to write my mother's obituary so i can ensure never having to go through this again

For years I have been the family scapegoat. My parents were alcoholics when I was growing up and I was pretty much left to my own devices. I never felt like they cared about me. They had plenty of money but refused to help me pay for college. I payed my own way--with loans. It took me years to get out of debt. At school I was regularly picked on and bullied. I never could figure out why. After awhile I just stopped trying to make friends and now can't really stand to be around people. My mother always put me down in subtle ways, and when I tried to tell her how much it hurt, she would become angry and say I was lying. My mother moved in with her first daughter (my half sister) when she lost her home, even though she always treated my sister like crap. I never even got to know my sister but for some reason I don't understand she has always hated me and I am not allowed in her home. I am in danger of becoming homeless and my father's wife (my step mother) told me I should go find a homeless shelter to live in because they had no room for me (even though they live in a half million dollar house and most of it is unused). I wasn't a bad kid, I didn't do drugs or drink much, and I didn't cause trouble, but no one in the family wants me around. <br />
I got married when I was 26 to another alcoholic (who I thought had stopped drinking) and now him and my teenage daughter gang up on me all the time. Neither works, or even tries to look for work, and I pay all the bills. I come home every day to find the house a mess, the dishes unwashed, and him lying on the couch getting high. It boils my blood but if I say anything, we wind up fighting. I had stopped trying to be nice to him. He knows how much I hate his guts but he doesnt care. He hasn't earned a penny in four years and we are struggling on just my income. I had to take a second job because he won't work. My daughter blames me for all our financial troubles even though her father's the one who refuses to work and steals money from me to buy drugs. My husband says I don't know how to manage money yet he refuses to help and my pitiful salary can't pay all the bills. Meanwhile they buy themselves new things and I never have anything left over for myself even though I am the only one working. I can't leave because I have no friends, no family that cares about me or will take me in, and no where to go. I don't earn enough to move. Another thing my husband does is adopt stray animals and I am the one who has to cough up the money to feed them. If I threaten to take them to the pound I am accused by my husband and kids of being an animal hater, which I am not. But I;m not a hoarder like he is. <br />
I've had it. I would pack up my bags and leave if I had a place to go and a support system but I do not. I am 53 years old and I can't exactly start over with a better job at my age. There's so few jobs as it is. <br />
I've had it with my family and am sick to death of being the family doormat but it seems I have allowed this for years and now it's too late to get out of it. I hole myself up in my room when I get home to get away from them and the way they pick on me, take advantage of me, and walk all over me, even though I'm the only one who is at all responsible. I realize I'm enabling these people because I lack the self esteem to stop doing that and because when I try to show them tough love things at home get even worse. I absolutely hate my life and don't feel like there's any hope to get out of this hellish trap.

I feel like I've found others who actually understand. It is maddening to know your mother doesn't even like you, much less love you - most people don't even believe that's possible. <br />
I am 42 yrs., female and the second of four children. I, too have been referred to as "black-sheep", etc...and have brothers (one in particular) on whom the sun rises and sets - it's not my fault that I do not have a penis.<br />
I know the exact date and time when I became the scapegoat. It was my younger (next in line) brothers day of birth. Mom has actually said before that she knew he was "different" and "special" from the moment of his birth - I was essentially abandoned at the ripe old age of 18 months. I remember feeling like I was "in the way" and "a burden" to my mother after he was born and I never felt loved or provided for by her again. <br />
It really became impossible to ignore (though I've been trying to just be okay on my own and live normally since very early childhood) my scapegoat-ism when my sister had all the old family reel-to-reel home movies converted to DVD for Christmas one year....sounds sweet, right? I took the DVD home and watched it with my husband - he was the first to speak up by saying "where were you when all this was being filmed?" as if I might have been off at boarding school, or something. The movies covered all types of locations and spanned many years (at least 10). It was impossible to ignore the fact that I was seemingly purposefully left out and ignored on most of the movies. Even though I'm the one who staged our silly little plays and wore the craziest costumes...I was essentially absent from my family's history. <br />
I had always known deep down that the relationship I had with my mother especially was fundamentally flawed, I had no preparation for the totality of my banishment. I was just a kid - I never went to jail, had an un-wanted pregnancy, never ran away. I made good grades and really LOVED to read. By the time I was a teenager, I guess I wanted to fulfill all the negative references to me and I did start to drink and smoke and stay out late, became promiscuous and rebellious - that's what THEY WANTED. <br />
I'm grown now, have a full-time job, own my own home, pay taxes, try like hell to do the right thing always, but she is never happy unless and until there is some problem in my life - I think she WANTED me to get pregnant at 15, have a horrible and abusive man, fail at my career, live in a rusted-out trailer on the bad side of town. I stopped telling her happy, positive things because she would be unimpressed, negative and would find some way to spoil it. I don't tell her about problems or failures because it makes her so happy. To this day she will revisit any past error or embarassing thing if there is any way to reference it in conversations - but only on me. I have married someone who treats me exactly the same as she had and I am rapidly approaching being done with all of them. I have no friends and no one to confide in. I am seriously thinking about seeking out an old boyfriend, but that is more self-defeating and destructive behaviour I care too much about myself to allow, although it would be temporarily satisfying. I am soooooo sad right now. I have never felt more alone, but I have known since the age of 2 that I would always have to depend on myself. In spite of a large family, I just don't have the normal support system most people enjoy. I have always had to mother myself.<br />
Watching the TV show about wedding dress shopping is like peering into a parallel universe - watching aliens. So strange to me that some womens' mothers help them and participate in the joyous occasions of their lives and, more than that, actually seem to CARE about the daughters happiness, real, genuine care!!!!! I sit there and stare because I just don't understand how they are so important to their Moms. It has succinctly summed up just how little mothering I've had. I hug myself sometimes, just to feel arms around me. Good thing I can self-soothe with the best.

I was my mother's scapegoat for many years, starting as a young child, before I even realized what was going on. She told me I rejected her from a young age, before I can even remember. She blames me for her depression, smoking, hoarding, laziness. She made my father feel guilty for comforting me when I was sad (I had terrible anxiety as a child, prob due to the emotional abuse by my mother). Now she is dying of cancer. I am doing my best to take care of her but it turns out that old habits die hard. She is still bringing up things from the past she blames me for (and others too) and blames me for some of her health issues. While she was going through some periods of psychosis she apologized almost whole heartedly for what she did to me the whole family (living in a hoarded house hold, her depression, and scapegoating and laziness). Im trying to take that in to consideration, but at the same time, I have days where it is hard to care for her. <br />
Thank you and everyone else for sharing their stories. My biggest fear is that this pent up anger will cause me to do the same to my children and family. Right now I am in counseling, meditating, etc, but worried that it will come out when times get stressful.

Good for you! Wish I had that nerve many years ago. Might've made many in my family feel bad.

You are a strong person.

I have read all these stories and have always known it happens to other people in families that are sick. I choose not to be around my family at all. They and my ex-husband taught my children, now grown, how to blame me for everything and now I am estranged from them too. It is a very sad situation so as I teach school, I make sure the middle schoolers know that bullying is not o.k., especially if it is your own family. I have no warm fuzzy memories of my family, so they are out.

Your story has tears in my eyes. It's all too familiar. I don't understand how parents can do this to their children throughout their lives, and how vicious and irrational and cruel it is... I am so sorry.

Alice, one of my brothers subjected me to physical abuse. My mother would downplay it, She'd say he didn't really hurt me that bad or I'm just exaggerating. How would she know? If she wasn't around, she'd accuse me of lying or "I asked for it because I made him lose his temper." Too bad.<br />
He told my son that it was true but I have to "get over it." If he was the one being abused, how quick would he get over it? He hasn't physically abused me in over 40 years but still verbally abusive. Believe me, I know how you feel. It's not cute and they had no right to downplay or<br />
insult you. Makes it hurt even more. I told him it stops right here and now.

Don't give them an audience. They don't need attention. Only makes them feel more powerful and important. They should feel opposite.

They don't deserve one more minute from you. They are thieves, not to mention heartless,spineless and gutless.

I also was/am the family scapegoat... if you can call it "family". My mom died when I was 4 - my dad had died in an auto accident even earlier -although they were not married so I was a true orphan. I went to live with my mother's uncle and his wife and 3 daughters. If not for the saving grace of extended family, my grandmother and some wonderful adults placed in my path it would have been total unbearable hell. I was called a "freeloaded" I was only 4 years old - the family made their house payments with my social security death benefits from my mom - they use to seperate my clothing from their laundry - the little I had - and verbally attack me endlessly. Even as an adult, at holidays I would still go round - they took my picture off the wall of family portriats - would buy gifts for all but me - once my Uncle even after the fact handed me the actual pen he wrote a gift check out for a daughter that couldn't make it home for the holiday and he wanted me to drop her check off--- as an afterthought for my christmas present - yes, the pen he wrote the check for the other daughter with. I was told i couldn't wear their cloths as sisters do - even our minister once preached a sermon on putting people down and I felt he did it just for me - I was so grateful (I was about 12 years old then) but the best is I was a 4 year old orphaned freeloader paying their house payment. Funny I am the only one of the 4 of the girls to go to college and have a true job (20 years as a social worker ) These people for so long took my soul from me and have cost me - but not one more minute - not one more minute.

I also was/am the family scapegoat... if you can call it "family". My mom died when I was 4 - my dad had died in an auto accident even earlier -although they were not married so I was a true orphan. I went to live with my mother's uncle and his wife and 3 daughters. If not for the saving grace of extended family, my grandmother and some wonderful adults placed in my path it would have been total unbearable hell. I was called a "freeloaded" I was only 4 years old - the family made their house payments with my social security death benefits from my mom - they use to seperate my clothing from their laundry - the little I had - and verbally attack me endlessly. Even as an adult, at holidays I would still go round - they took my picture off the wall of family portriats - would buy gifts for all but me - once my Uncle even after the fact handed me the actual pen he wrote a gift check out for a daughter that couldn't make it home for the holiday and he wanted me to drop her check off--- as an afterthought for my christmas present - yes, the pen he wrote the check for the other daughter with. I was told i couldn't wear their cloths as sisters do - even our minister once preached a sermon on putting people down and I felt he did it just for me - I was so grateful (I was about 12 years old then) but the best is I was a 4 year old orphaned freeloader paying their house payment. Funny I am the only one of the 4 of the girls to go to college and have a true job (20 years as a social worker ) These people for so long took my soul from me and have cost me - but not one more minute - not one more minute.

We'd appreciate it, Abe 32, if you share more with us. We've all been in same boat. That's how we help each other stay afloat.

Erinwins, I can relate to nearly everything you said. I have friends out here and others who don't know my family. Some of them have experienced similar family troubles. Who says we have to<br />
keep in contact with original family? Those with who you feel comfortable and connected are your<br />
real family. You deserve better.

I'm a 40 year old female with an advanced degree and a government job - helping people. I have good friends and a sense of humor. I used to joke that I was the family blacksheep. I now realize that I am the family scapegoat, and there is a difference. My view is that the blacksheep "earns" the blame, but the scapegoat gets the blame, whether deserved or not. I grew up in a middle class family with four brothers no sisters. My family "looks good on paper". If you met them, you'd think they were respectable, contributing members of society, and I suppose on some level they are. The family abuse is an "inside job" and other scapegoats will know what I mean. It's that "normal" family image that adds to the "crazy making." It's that image that makes the scapegoat ask, over and over again, "Is there something horribly wrong with me? Why else would one's own blood relatives reject them?" They demanded apologies for things I never did. They told me not to come to Christmas. They sent back Christmas toys and cards I sent to my nephews. They told me I was a disgrace. If I wasn't ignored, I was abused and threatened. The hostility was palpable. Over the years, and varying degrees of estrangement, I finally got tired of the sophisticated psychological abuse doled out by these people, and began to look to make my family elsewhere. I would be lying to myself if I said it didn't bother me, but I am so much stronger and better than I was. Fellow scapegoats, you are not crazy and you are not alone. I guess they "why" of the abuse doesn't matter. What matter is that we stand tall and find peace knowing that we didn't deserve the family we got. You are so strong for making it this far and recognizing it for what it is. Leave them to their own devices and take care of yourself. You are worth it.

Being a scapegoat of the family is very hurtful. My father and my mother divorced when I was two years old, and my father moved to America. He met my stepmom and they got married. Now, he has a new family (my stepfamily) in America. I came to America when I was a teenager, and joined my paternal (my father's new family) stepfamily. My father is very intellectual and he is a professor or somethin. But he is very immature inside. He was the one who called me over to America. BUT... I totally feel that I had become and now as well, the scapegoat of his family. I haven been getting all the blames from my stepmom and him. They would just PICK ON ME because of the way I am wearing, because of the way I am. I am like.. Do I have that many traits you dont like? What is wrong with me? HUH!? My father just loves to blame me whenever I go back to SF. I get hurt every time he blames me. He will bring my past mistakes, and all the troubles I brought to his family. I really dont have reasons to be blamed for, because I am doing well in many aspects of my lives. They are the ones who have been SICK. Especially my fake stepmom. She would do everything so perfect, and "so kind and caring" to me in front of my father! But underneath, she told me that I should never come back here again. She is so manipulative and I know that she is the one who is making my relationship with him worse and worse. <br />
I am like,, do I have tha I know my stepmom just doesnt like me for whatever I do, and my dad either! I know that there were times I had acted out and made lots of mistakes as a teenager, but I have changed myself positively and I have improved a lot. And there is no reason for me to eat this crap any longer. When I went back to SF for thanksgiving, my dad even told me that I was the reason why he cannot get his relationship with my stepfamily work out was because of ME! He totally makes me feel as if I am the BAD SEED OF THE FAMILY. that I am the one who is pulling his leg and making his family life so difficult. He blamesme for the troubles and unhappiness created in that SICK FAMILY. Honestly, I don't have anything to be blamed for. I should not be the one. I know that people often say I am kind. I am honest and kind just like you all! Now, I have a boyfriend who really loves me and shares with me about this story. I think that I have happy time with him together, most of the time. However, there were a lot of times I got furious just by talking about and mentioning about them. There are times I am overly sensitive to his comments because of the scars created in the past. I still have scars remained in my heart, but I am trying to get out of it. <br />
<br />
You guys are being so nice. I cant stand this crap any more. I would be leaving this place and his family after I graduate. I will go back to my home country. My dad always says something like he would go look for me, but seriously, I will reject him.

Like another person has commented I find it difficult to read the stories above and am constantly in a state of anxiety about the way I am being treated. The most distressing paart of it is that my sister who was also my kidney donor has become so dismissive and I feel reluctant to say anything to her. I have a supportive husband and though we do not have children I am very fond of my nieces and nephews whose parents are demonising me.

I only realized a few years ago that I was the family scapegoat. I am "well-past forty" and remember telling the first shrink I saw (when I was 21), "I don't know why I am so depressed. When I was a child I was so loved!" <br />
Part of the abuse I endured included brainwashing and encouraged me to live in denial of the truth. They said I deserved the mistreatment because I had brought so much tragedy into the life of the family. The truth was that I was a good child who did well in school, had friends, and treated other people with kindness. According to my mother and father I caused my brother to have asthma, my mother to be chronically depressed (She was the child of an alcoholic father, was widowed at a very young age, and when she remarried, it was to a narcisstic, narrow-minded male chauvanist pig.), and caused my father to fail in his career. My father encouraged one of my brothers to torment me 24/7 because my father thought it was so funny when I cried with despair and frustration. My mother told me to ignore being punched in the belly, nearly suffocated with a pillow, having my hair pulled out by the roots, being locked in dark closets, having spitballs thrown in my face, and having toothepaste smeared in my eyes. Someone broke my collar bone before I was old enough to talk.<br />
Until my parents died I was the good adult child and visited on a regular basis. I helped care for my mother as she died of Alzheimer's and multiple strokes. But once she was gone I felt no need to see my brothers ever again. They don't get it and never will understand why it is painful for me to be around them. <br />
Now, I am beginning to realized why bullies used to pick me out for their abuse. I projected an attitude of low self-esteem and insecurity. And I am physically small, which made bullies think I could not fight back. Oh, but I am learning. You don't have to have big muscles and tall stature to learn to assert yourself. I am glad to find this site and hear stories from other former scapegoats. My dream is to help young adults avoid the pitfalls and pain I experienced because I became enlightened so late in life.

Even though my mother's been dead now 1 1/2 years and my father 20 years, I can't easily forgive them for scapegoating me to keep together. Even worse, those still living who allowed themselves
to be dragged into it , I still can't forgive and want little or nothing to do with them. Everyone acts
as if I should get over it. If it were them, would they be so quick to say that?

I'm too upset to read this whole blog, but looks like you are me! I don't know when it began, I only know that, yes, as a teen I acted out, but in retrospect I don't remember my parents being around to ask about school and the like. I did go through my difficult years, but now, as a 47 old single mom, homeschooling my 13 year old (last year!), and yes, living with my - gag - parents (well, mother is the problem) - I can see that for the past 25-30 years, I am hated by my whole family - even down to the cousins, distant cousins, you name it! I have been for many years an extremely responsible and good person - I wouldn't ever turn down somebody who need help, and honestly, I don't bother anybody - but, with my family (I really believe my mother created it from the get go - she is the alpha) - they either treat me like total crap, like I don't deserve to exist on this planet, or they are outright mean to me/taunt me to argue then laugh (I don't argue, I leave), or I feel invisible - I add to family XMas conversation, for example, and it's as if I'm not even in the room! Anyway, as I said before I'm just so upset - another incident today - and I am now, with no finances at all - trying to figure a way out of this dreadful situation - for my son more than anything! thanks for reading...

I am my family's chosen scapegoat. I am from one of the MOST dysfunctional families. <br />
<br />
I became the target for some unknown reason. I was the most caring, kind and sensitive<br />
<br />
member. I did not deserve to be mistreated. I have overcome much but still feel the impact<br />
<br />
of an emotionally and physically abusive childhood.

I have certainly been my family's scapegoat, although I don't think I fit the description, I didn't act out or get into any trouble, but I was continuously, to this day, called the "weirdo of the family" and the "black sheep of the family" although to this day I don't know why, must be the scapegoat. My entire family was heavy drinkers, my mom went through DT's when I was 13 years old. When I grew up and got married I disassociated myself from them, I knew they were bad for me. I stayed away for the good part of twenty years. My younger sister, (I'm fifth of six kids) and I had I thought a pretty good relationship for a while, but then she all of a sudden stopped talking to me. Never found out why, now she acts like nothing ever happened. Gee sis, what about the last six years you wouldn't answer my calls? My niece told me her mom told her to say she wasn't home when I called. I asked her if I did something to upset her mom to which she shrugged her shoulders and said, "No, nothing I know of." Then she apologized for her mom. I told her to forget about it, it's not her problem. She's a sweet kid, and she likes me so I left it at that. <br />
<br />
Then one day I got a message that my oldest sister was dying of cancer. My family wanted to renew relationships and forget the past. I was game, my mistake. I saw my oldest sister a few times before she died, although she kept calling me by my little sister's name. I attended the funeral, and the lunch afterwards. Of course, the lunch was in the party room of a local bar, big surprise. I felt bad for my nephews and niece, but I sat at this lunch and watched my four siblings get drunk, nothing had changed, or had it?<br />
<br />
Since then, (about the last three years), we've sort of kept in contact through emails and Facebook, but it's been laughable at best. My siblings continue to attack me anytime they have a chance, and they haven't seen me in years. Each one of them have had their bouts of anger at me via the Internet the last couple of years, the only difference from the past is I don't care anymore. I don't take their crap anymore. NONE of my siblings has ever lifted ONE finger to help me all these years, nothing, NADA, so I don't feel I owe them anything. Heck, I was their built in babysitter all those years back in their heavy party days, if nothing else, they owe me! I used to take care of their kids so they could get drunk, then I had to take their lip, too. <br />
<br />
I'm all grown up now and I don't feel the need for their acceptance or approval, they're just a bunch of drunks anyway, who cares? The latest is my stupid brother who, just yesterday, (we're talking April) emailed me to criticize the font on a holiday e-letter I sent to him TWO YEARS AGO! Now if that isn't weird, I don't know what is, and I told him so. So now he's mad at me. <br />
<br />
I've come to the conclusion that the reason they called me the weirdo and black sheep is because I was the only normal one in the family. I don't have a drinking problem, don't like to get drunk, don't even smoke. And they can't stand it. <br />
<br />
You can't let a bunch of morons dictate your life. I have my immediate family and four wonderful grown daughters, who also don't have any substance abuse problems, and that's who I call my family, not the rest. BTW, one of my older brothers now has pancreatic cancer, I won't be attending any more funerals.

I was a scapegoat too. We all have horrible stories of how unfair the family was or is to us. But we don't have to stay there. Once you realize that you are a scapegoat, you have to leave the situation or be destroyed. You can't negotiate for better treatment. They won't stop. They may take a break and be nice to get you in line and then, "Wham!", they will strike again. Being scapegoated doesn't give us an excuse to scapegoat someone else and it doesn't give us the excuse to give up on life. We have to rescue ourselves. Get out of the situation! Don't stay and collect another story of injustice. You don't owe them your life. People scapegoat because they don't want to take responsibility for their lives and have decided that you will pay the price so they can be lazy and piggish and not try or improve. They don't have to improve if they have you to blame. Don't be a "Teabore"-----The Simpsons has an espisode where everyone in the nuclear plant blames Teabore for everything.

I am a child and domestic abuse survivor, as well as a mother of a sexually abused child. I am writing a book about ALL types of abuse to others know they are not alone in their struggle. My intention is to inform others where there is prevention, education, and support.<br />
<br />
Education + Awareness = Prevention. I am inviting you to use my book as a platform share your testimony that will your contribution to spreading awareness. For your help I am giving a book; providing you pay the delivery. Authors may use their real name or be anonymous. I prefer 1200 words but will allow up to 1500.<br />
<br />
I hope you will join me and the many other men, women, and organizations who are assisting me in my quest.<br />
<br />
If you go http://sherry123456789.xanga.com/ I have extensive information, which includes letters of support from other professionals and samples of my writing. Or you may email: burt222@hotmail.com <br />
<br />
I look forward to your reply. <br />
<br />
Respectfully<br />
Sherry Clyburn

It hit me this holiday season that I am a scapegoat in my family. My mind is still trying to grasp the thoughts and feelings that go along with the revelation. Unfortunately, my mother, who is the perpetrator of this in my life, is 84 years old and lives within three miles of my home. She is in need of care and I have been at her disposal for a long time. The scapegoating comes out during family get togethers. It is very difficult for me to continue to care for her needs. My sister and brother live out of the state and I am the only family member who can be at her call. <br />
<br />
I have informed my brother and sister that I now know what is happening within the dynamics of our family and that I choose not to take part in it any longer. I will tell my brother, sister and mother that because they feel I am inadequate that I will no longer anticipate and attend to my mothers needs on a daily basis. If she needs something i will gladly fulfill my responsibility by doing simple things like going to the pharmacy for her or picking up an item from the grocery but I will no longer sit with her in the evenings to keep her company or continue to keep my sister and brother informed of her well being. She will have to contact me by phone and ask if she needs my help. No more placating to her or my sister and brother. It is over....done, finished. <br />
<br />
I guess this is kinda my freedom speech....:)

My mother died last month at 94. I'll never get to hear any reasons from her. Hopefully she told either my<br />
brothers or other family or friends. It certainly would help give me some closure. <br />
Once I hear it from somebody, I'd just as soon never mention my parents again. Let those dead remain<br />
dead and gone.

Your story parallels mine in many ways. One difference is that most family members from my parents' generation have died. Those of my generation don't know too much that went on between me and my parents. What little they do know they either don't believe or think I'm bad for mentioning anything. Both my brothers do know but don't like to discuss it. One gets angry because he was encouraged to do it by them and does not like to admit it. Other was less a participant but acts like since it's past I should act like it's over and done. How? It's affected too much my relationships with others. For years I was unable to assert myself and became a target of bullying by others.<br />
Looks like it was a common trend with all of you. Being over 90, my mother doesn't remember much or won't talk. It's up to us to break cycle and take our own lives back for our children's sake.

I certainly do sympathize with you. It's not until you are grown and have moved away from family that you recognize you were scapegoated and see the pattern.<br />
My brothers don't want to admit that our parents<br />
dragged them into their scapegoating me. One of them gets so nasty if you even mention it. I hardly speak to him much. My mother's over 90 and admits that she regrets many things she did. However she doesn't want<br />
to give me reasons for actions. I have my ideas but I'd really like to hear from it from her. <br />
Scapegoating affected my relationship with<br />
others and sometimes still does. Some family members<br />
heard mainly my parents' verson of events and berate me without bothering to ask me. I have felt betrayed many times. As a result I felt powerless toward not only family but also outsiders. You often feel you have to comply no matter how inappropriate someone's demands are. You need either outside encouragement,counseling or self-examination to break that pattern. <br />
I am in my 60's now. I visit family on special<br />
occasions or those with whom there has been good <br />
feeling. I don't encourage visits where I live. My children and their generation are welcome.<br />
Do any of you have similar stories? How do you deal with them?

I can relate with everything you say. My life has been destroyed for years, as I've been elected my family's scapegoat by my mother, father and siblings.<br />
I think judicial action is needed and essential in these cases. More than that: scapegoats have the right to be protected while the investigation and trial happen.

I can relate with everything you say. My life has been destroyed for years, as I've been elected my family's scapegoat by my mother, father and siblings.<br />
I think judicial action is needed and essential in these cases. More than that: scapegoats have the right to be protected while the investigation and trial happen.

You have my deepest sympathy

I am new to this site, and coming to terms with an estrangement from my genetic/biological family.<br />
I have 3 young children and as they all in essence 'age' (I suppose 'grow up' would make sense too) I am having sleepless nights as I am starting to remember moments of my own childhood. I have had to see councilling to cope with my mother (and her orchestrating my father, siblings, neice and nephews) berrating me and now my husband. <br />
Without a doubt I am my family's scapegoat.

There is no doubt going by my experience the scapegoat role can follow you through life. This I believe is the result of body language created by the bullying. Most people scapegoated tend to have a posture and or behaviour that marks them as a victim resulting in bullies picking them out for special attention.<br />
<br />
Therefore the behavioural/mindset change needed is for the scapegoat to confront bully and tell them in no uncertain terms it stops. It has to be done forcefully and leave the bully in no uncertain terms aware it is meant. The scapegoating does stop but very reluctantly I have found so needs constant correction. The thing is your demeanour changes as you have more pride in yourself resulting in less scapegoating following you through life.

What about when the scapegoat role follows you around to other parts of life? I requested the "Free at Last" book from my library and look forward to reading it. Obviously that is the spiritual side, which I have addressed before but will revisit. I've also worked a lot in the boundaries area. It does seem that as much as I've changed, there is still a label on my head. Or maybe it's just a tug-of-war because I've changed and that change is being tested? I had to step away from my family also, although that's loosely stepping away not completely cutting them off. I would love to know what behavioral/mindset changes need to happen specifically geared to a scapegoat. Anything out there?

Some incredible stories here. I thought my family was a shocker. What annoys me about mine is I have a brother who our mother thinks walks on water even though she is backstabbing him left right and centre. As soon as he walks through he door she is back to licking his boots. This same brother could do no wrong and made my childhood hell as result. Simply because he could. What gets me the most is everyone thinks he is great even people who should know better as they have seen his real side. Why are so many people ignorant? One person who knows my brother better believes his behaviour to me is due to jealousy.

Being made a scapegoat is painful. I know, I've gone through it too. I did find a way out and I didn't have to leave my family members. Read "Free at Last:Breaking the cycle of Family Curses" by Larry Huch and then get his other materials too. It might be new information to you, but being made a scapegoat is a curse. This book has the answers to your problem. You've suffered for so long, why suffer any longer?

Thanks Creativesoul...I'm going to find that book!

Thanks for sharing your story. Whenever I type in keywords like "scapegoat" or "family dysfunction" into the search engine, I may get a myriad of psychological research articles or often Christian ministry websites but I find these things only touch upon the problem, state in some bland way the obvious that there are negative affects, which of course I already know all too well. It isn't until I find those sites where other people share their experiences and I see others have gone through this that I start to feel some sort of healing begin. I'll bet group therapy works very well for this reason. I realize I am not alone. It is okay for me to be angry about it, that does not make me a bad person or the guilty party as my family would have me believe. I am so sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve it or ask for it in any way. They are so wrong.

Might want to check out www.cinderellajones.com. Very comprehensive, practical, no b.s. approach to the issues surrounding scapegoating. Also a community link that will you help you connect with sites similar to the Experience Project. Good luck to you.