Monday, May 15, 2017

Family Scapegoating Article

I found these articles interesting, it is from a Christian website against abuse:

Family Scapegoating Part 1

"The chances of a family scapegoat escaping are slim and usually do not occur until a person reaches their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. And, when a victim does, indeed, escape and boundaries go up, the family is viciously angry. The victim continues to be the scapegoat and the family further bonds with each other in their hatred for the victim. But, he or she is no longer available to accuse. Accusations are slung in other, less direct capacities (blog posts, letters to friends, letters to the workplace). However, after a while, as the victim is no longer bothered by this, they cease. More attacks may come up later but, all in all, with “no contact” from the victim, things get better. The family of origin, however, begins bickering, back-biting, gossiping and dramatizing within their own cesspool of hatred and they, eventually, find another scapegoat! And the cycle begins again.
So, what often happens is, a man or woman leaves an abusive marriage, pursues divorce (enormous amount of bravery required here) and the family of origin begins to (for lack of a better term) freak out. They are afraid that their secrets will be revealed as they watch the strength of their former victim blossoming. Their grip on the victim’s emotions becomes tighter than ever. The victim is laying on the floor, trying to rise and the dysfunctional family stands on his or her neck. They  make a healthy relationship impossible (unless the victim is willing to place his- or herself under their control) so the victim begins to set up healthy boundaries. The family of origin then claims “abandonment”. Mud-slinging begins. And the victim is left shattered in pieces . . . completely dazed and frantic as he or she tries to make sense of the world that has gone crazy in a few short weeks.
She was always the scapegoat; and she will continue to be. The only hope for her is to escape, go “no contact”, and learn how to become all that God intended her to be in Him. This is no easy feat and takes a lot of time"


  1. Very interesting. When I left my alcoholic, abusive ex-husband, my family came to his defense every time. They went so far as to tell me to my face that I was making "the alcoholic thing" up. When I confided in them to let them know he was sleeping with other women, I was told it was my fault because I didn't dress like a lady.

    I remarried 9 years later, and they believe that I married my current husband for his money. Which they say is the smartest thing I've ever done. Even though I've worked as a software engineer for 17 years and now own my own consulting firm and am doing quite well. I've always done quite well once I got past Catholic nuns beating the Aspergers out of me in grade school and high school.

    When I was growing up, each of us had our assigned 'roles' in the family. There were 8 sibs in my family, and my role was "Fat, ugly loser that will need someone to take care of her eventually." And no matter what I do in my life, and no matter what I say to them, I can't shake that loser-black sheep stereotype.

    My husband is a little dumbstruck by it, and has made several failed attempts to convince them otherwise. And yet, I'm probably the most successful sib in my family, but they all still see a big "L" on my forehead.

    I don't get it, and I don't try to understand it any more. Their loss.

    1. yes for those who end up in unhappy marriages, I have seen narc families rally around the person's ex. Its terrible your family told you that you were lying about his alcoholism but it does not surprise me. My brother's ex wife was called a liar about many things but I remember him telling me some of what she brought up. Sick that they equate you not dressing the exact way to adultery. Yeah they still put you down even in your new marriage and you have been successful and they still call you loser. I know I have posted about being poor here a lot but some scapegoats have come and told me, look, even if you got rich, they still treat you like crap. Looks like that happened to you too. I know what that assigned role is, and I realized I was NOT going to break out if it with ANY of them. I thought with acouple cousins, if I showed some activism and art work on Facebook, they'd see me in a more well rounded way but I am trying to break myself from the "proving myself"habit and figured out it did not work anyhow. Yeah there's no understanding this or "fixing it".I knew when I walked and walked from all, it could not be fixed. I am glad you have your second husband and a good career, all the best.