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December 29, 2009


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Wow I so needed to hear this today. I am set to go NC with the birth family. The realisation of my Scapegoat role is such a tough thing to deal with. Why me? I try to say that I am good enough, but my whole life my mother has hated me. And I need to go to self protection mode. I'm aware that I am beating my head against the wall and have been for years to get her to love me. I have tried to tell the truth for years, so I really see the Scapegoat traits that do have. Crazy, thanks for the article!

This is just an amazing article. Thank you so much. I was told in therapy as a child that my mother was NPD and I was the scapegoat. I was a kid, it pretty much meant nothing to me lol! Now it does.

I have a long history of "friends" who have used me. Upon examining this, it occurred to me that my husband and I took out to eat a friend on our wedding day that never even congratulated us on our wedding day, or scribbled congrats on a napkin.

I've always been thoughtful of others. It's been expected. People come to our home & order as if we're a restaurant. It got to be too much after spending a full day with my new husband in chemo.

We got married, I moved to his country, and two months later, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer. A "friend" expected us to sponsor her and support her and her son. That's a lot to ask of anyone but we were just beginning our journey with cancer. I considered the fact that she was lazy, a slob, didn't want to work and that I would have to wait on her hand and foot, now with a sick husband. She spoke to me with venom when I explained she doesn't work, etc etc etc. Truth. I was blasted. I tried explaining that he had cancer, we couldn't have her and her son in our small home. I went through hell with this person for over six years. She did so much to me. I could never do enough for her.

She isn't the only one. I've been told many times how I am a bad friend because I ended friendships, telling the person that I had to pay my own electric bills and couldn't continue to pay theirs, or their food, clothing, etc. I was a single mother. Sometimes I starved in order to provide for others.

When my husband's father died, his narcissist sister attacked me. It was just incredible.

I've gotten to the point where I have little trust. I've been attacked so much, especially through this cancer journey. We have no support system. But we have supported, waited on, fed SO SO many.

I realize my mother trained me. I hadn't put it into words how she did what she did. This article has helped me to do that, and I'm starting to see a tiny bit why I have the relationships I do.
Thank you.

I have enjoyed reading your suggestions and advice. It has hit the mark on many many levels. i am grateful to find out that the problem is understood and there are solutions.

I have one question: i live in a very small and isolated town which of course breeds its own particular problems and dysfunctions and certainly the state of mental health here is problematical and compounded by the fact that there are a lot of people here who are not qualified to hold the types of jobs they hold here anywhere else.

Even though i am far from my own family i have several monkeys on my back here - my in-laws who do not live here but still have ties (for gossip purposes and for getting intel on my comings and goings) and their dysfunctional peasant matriarch who totally hates me; my ex husband and the woman who broke up my first marriage; my current spouse's (we have been together for 30 years)ex wife of one year and her family of parasites and cons who still rely on my spouse for money; an alleged stepson who is determined to get me out of his mothers nice warm spot and has always blamed me for all his shortcomings; my spouse's colleagues at his business who resent me for a list of reasons and the fact that i am not from here but from a big city; my former 'friends' who have indulged in so much gossip about me that i have become someone totally unlike who i really am, sort of like a big bogeyman who is responsible for all ills in the world...

i could go on as the list is all encompassing. i am at a point now where very few people will have anything to do with me except to use me to lay the blame for anything awful that happens to them. i cannot even find two people who will sign my passport application!

so back to the one question - if i change the behaviours that have put me in this position will i ever be able to change out of my pariah costume or am i stuck with this for life as long as i live here?

I told the truth while confronting my self destruction in rehab in 1980's. for this I was called sick and crazy and thrown out of the family I had idealized until then. As far back as I can remember I was self abusive and knew that I was despised by my mother. I never knew why and blamed myself for being born. Seven sibling followed suit and I spent my days in the woods alone with the cows. I studied their eyes and connected with their souls. They were as trapped as I. Telling the truth saved my life along with the brilliant therapist who mothered me! I tried for years to stay in my family until the lies and bullying became unacceptable. There was nothing I did to deserve any of this. Advising people to stop telling the truth concerns me. I am not a victim I am an amazing survivor with an amazing family of my own! I tell my daughter to always speak her truth!

This is victim blaming and it's bad advice. the author should be ashamed. That's the truth.

Hi Jacob,

I'm sorry you feel that way. My intent was to help Scapegoats realize what they do to replicate this role in their adult relationships so they could break out of the pattern.

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