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I just found this article and it is excellent. I am the scapegoat/caretaker and your comment of the scapegoat caretaking to earn the love she never received as a child is spot on. I was not a trouble maker though- I was also a high achiever, just the scapegoat because my family needed one. My brother is the hero. I am now in marital therapy. I married a hero, with a caretaker mom and scapegoat sister, with whom he is estranged. I burned out in my marriage repeating my roles and constantly caretaking in hope that I would gain the respect of the hero. Your comment about the scapegoat being the truth teller is also excellent, for every attempt to have a heart to heart talk with my husband has been thwarted by him. I expected he would want to discuss it, but now I realize the purpose of the denial and the futility of my need for validation from someone besides myself. Your article finally gave me a key to stop this mess: get out of MY roles. I will now work on stopping my caretaking and also stop my battles to get the hero to see what is going on. I can only change myself. Thank you for clarifying this.

Is is possible to have a different role with each parent? I know for a fact that with my dad I was the scapegoat and my sister the hero. With my mom I was the caretaker and my sister the scapegoat.. They divided us between themselves..

This was a God send to me. I cannot believe how perfectly the role of Scapegoat fit me. EVERYTHING you said is exactly what role I played in my family right down to being sent to therapy as a child. Thank you. You confirmed what I always knew but as the Scapegoat doubted within myself.

My brother was the scapegoat and I was his scapegoat and when I was about eight I became my mam and dads scapegoat . Is it possible for roles to change as you get older ? My younger sister the golden child could do no wrong and still carnt , I've two other brothers ,we're all older now in our fifties dad died 14years ago mam is 81 years and I'm still the scape goat . I'm married have been for 23 years with 4 children we are all disrespected by my family and there siblings . I've no close relationship with any of them . The thing is all the resentment I feel towards them is still so raw ,I've been in and out of counselling twice and have been on and off medication (I'm off tablets now) I love my mam and I loved my dad very much although none were alcoholics or any addictions that I no of ,but they were always arguing mam was always stressed , my brothers were always out playing with thierry friends and I had to work along side mam doing all the house chores and if they weren't to her standard she flogged me then hugged me saying she was sorry . I was verbally abused by my brothers calling me names and hen there friends would bullie me . I was big and fat my older brother couldn't walk past me without punching me or busting my nose . Dad was constantly on my back to do chores . It's sounds awful but that's what it was like . We were lucky enough to have holidays to caravan sites and often to butlins . My brothers didn't want me knocking about with them so I went around on my own I was painfully shy and self conscious when I left school without any grades , I had lots of issues and still have with relationships . I love my children very much but I'm at this stage in my life at 53 and feel so lonely and don't no what else to do .

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