Feeling Crazy; Family Won't Believe Me

I will keep this short because I've just been through a lot of painful email exchanges with my family.  There is no doubt that I was the family scapegoat.  I am male, have three sisters (princess/hero, lost child, and star/mascot) to generalize (although we all fit them to a T).

We're not a nuclear family anymore; we all live apart.  But more and more lately, when I'm with them, something will happen--someone, my Mom or sister, will say something to me they'd NEVER say to anyone else had they committed the same "infraction."  I guess I can't take it anymore, I react--explode with anger, tears, etc.--and then all that happens is I'm confirmed as the "troubled one" or some other negative designation--and on top of that, i'm called out for exploding with anger, etc.

They will not hear me when I suggest the whole scapegoat thing. they think that's long in the past and that we've all moved on. i feel so sad, so angry, and so crazy.  sounds crazy, but we really are all close and love each other. i know they'll listen to me eventually, but i've let each incident die down after a while. but it's gettin worse and worse, and they're all thinking that it's because i'm taking drugs, or having financial problems, or any number of things that aren't true, but that are easy to infer or assign to me.

This kind of anguish is not new to me, but identifying with /as the scapegoat is, and it's scaring and saddening me. is it really as big a deal as it seems?  is it real? i've never been so sure, unsure, and confused about anything before!

evanrude evanrude
36-40, M
5 Responses Aug 26, 2008

sadsara:<br />
i only got your comment today. i think that i am realizing that you (and so many other posters, books, etc.) are right about the hopelessness of my family owning up to things. as that means losing them, in terms of having any kind of healthy or real relationship, makes me feel that i just couldn't go on living. i used to be certain of this, but now i'm just pretty sure, so that's a little progress, i guess. it IS a curse, and i know there are others with horrible, horrible fates, but to be cast out of your family and denied reality, seems to me, like the worst fate ever. :(*

Thanks, everyone for your commentary. I wrote that main account a while ago, and never really came back to the site. But so much has happened--scapegoat-wise--at work, with the family, etc. some good, a lot bad. Will try to update soon. Thanks in particular to Docstrnge, as your note reminded me to recognize my anger, as it's all too, too easy to just slip back into the role and conciously or unconciously scapegoat yourself! The confrontational approach with family has had mixed results, but suffice it to say that, although I made my concerns, experiences, and perceptions absolutely clear, I feel as if they "got it" for that little moment, but have reverted (including me) to the "normal" family system. sigh.

The only reason I put any effort into my activities is because I am having a good time not because I need his approval. I think he is a deadbeat and is socially and morally under developed.

The best revenge is to live well. When I feel I am being scapegoated by my jelous brother, I just do something fun or achieve something and make sure any of my good deeds or accomplishments get back to him. I don't have to say a thing. I feel good and as far as I'm concerned it only improves me and bugs him.

I understand your pain. I recently learned I don't have to accept being scapegoated anymore. The answer to all this isn't psychological but spiritual and it manifests in mistreatment. Being made a scapegoat is a real curse. This will turn around in your life when you discover that Jesus became man's scapegoat when he took on all blame, sin and curses on the cross to remove it from you. There is a great book that explains this better by Larry Huch "Free at Last: Breaking the cycle of Family Curses. Start there and then get the rest of his materials. Also, Blood Covenant by E.W. Kenyon explains Jesus as Scapegoat.