I NEED TO LEARN & ACCEPT
that their attacks are not about me!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 3)
QUOTE: “Most of the time, victims sense that their attacker is a threat but ignore this inner knowing.” from The Gift of Fear ~ Gavin De Becker, Criminologist
SCAPEGOATING is a way of acting without integrity – a perpetrator slandering another person in order to take the focus off of themselves. It would probably not occur if it weren’t experienced as advantageous:
— A self-protective process, shielding the ‘doer’ from unbearable internal conflicts, projected outward
— The whole group raises their status against the targeted minority or individual
— The group’s behavior, no matter how egregious, is made legitimate by rationalization (“Of course we are full of defects, but we do not act like him/them”). Human Rights Awareness, Paola Marziani
In the home, it’s a long-standing pattern of the whole family – verbally, emotionally &/or physically abusing one child. Most members, if not all, seem to accept it as the normal
way to treat the victim, & look the other way when the Sc is bullied or otherwise mistreated & made the ‘black sheep’.
HOW has your family Scapegoated (Sc) YOU?
This list applies to what happened in childhood, but may still be ongoing, no matter how old you are. You were the Sc IF YOU were/are —
● picked on by either parent to be the ‘bad one’ who then looked for things to make you wrong – most of the time untrue
● put in the role of family outcast, treated with disdain or disgust by family – & then by yourself
● blamed for others’ actions, & held responsible for family problems, conflicts or challenges, which had nothing to do with you
● attacked for telling the truth (‘blowing the whistle’) about abusive, hurtful & inappropriate family dynamics
● never believed when telling the truth about things that actually happened to you or around you, even if you had proof
● told or shown that your accomplishments were unimportant, ugly, worthless, useless, bad
● ignored or rejected by anyone who was/is easily influenced by your torturers (in & out of the family), & perhaps still are
● physically abused (slapped, beaten, kicked, thrown against walls….) whether you did something ‘wrong’ , but even when not
● repeatedly accused of behavior only the scapegoater is doing.
EXP: Parent regularly yells at you, then accuses you of being abusive / You’re being genuinely thoughtful & caring, but told “all you care about is yourself” / You’re the mentally healthiest family member, but accused of being sick, bad, selfish….. ADD your own experiences to this list
Bill Taylor, of Stressed Health Professionals & Families says:
“ One of the most destructive patterns is the scapegoating of a physically or sexually abused child, especially when the mis-treatment is unknown to others except the victim & perpetrator.
Such a victim will often misbehave or be completely withdrawn, take out their anger on others, develop depression or other signs of emotional distress, as a way of handling the anxiety about the abuse. They are then punished for acting out, the family not seeing that their attacks & beatings create extreme stress & add to the bad behavior. Most people can’t imagine the daily hell the child or teen suffers from a combination of abuse and scapegoating.” (MORE….)
NOTE: These characteristics apply to many ACoAs, especially in families where all the kids we abused & neglected in various ways.
However, the focus here is on the one out of a number of children who is tortured, while the others are treated a great deal better – at least on the surface. (MORE…..)
— 7 year old Nixmary Brown was the only one chosen for parental abuse & neglect while her 5 siblings were relatively well-treated.
— In 1995, 6-year-old Elisa Izquierdo was starved and beaten by her mother while her 5 siblings were left unscathed
— In 1996, Nadine Lockwood was starved to death while her 8 siblings were treated fairly well
● Everyone in a scapegoating family is harmed by this pattern, even those not directly picked on. Just living every day in that kind of sadistic environment eats away at one’s soul – especially vulnerable, developing personalities. SO – if you were not ‘it’ in your childhood, it doesn’t mean you got away emotionally, psychologically & spiritually undamaged.
NEXT: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 5)