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5. Scapegoat-ING ADULT
(towards a parent, boss, mate, adult-child….)
Just like the Double Bind, scapegoating can be called “enemy behavior against an innocent and helpless victim”, because the real source of the abuser’s frustration is either themself but in denial about their anger, or at someone else who’s not available be attacked, or can’t be confronted for some reason (Co-dep triangles—>)
Their frustration is projected onto others (blame) & then acted out, usually someone or group who are without supporters or otherwise can’t protect themselves. Even if others observe the abuse, they rarely want to get involved, so the victim stays unprotected & alone.
HABITUAL scapegoaters are irritatingly smug, managing to convince themselves that the way they’re treating the Sc is somehow justified. are actually miserable – extremely dissatisfied with themselves & life in general. But hidden away, they’re actually miserable, extremely dissatisfied with themselves & life in general, expressing it as hostility – at the least punitive, at the worst sadistic.
They raise themselves up by lowering the other person. Just like double-binders. They get narcissistic satisfaction from controlling others, & some from torturing the Sc. Scapegoating is their self-righteous discharge of aggression, which momentarily frees them from a little of their own self-hate & feeling of powerlessness.
Narcissists (Ns being overt & co-dependents because they’re covert Ns) generally blame their bad behavior – addictions, emotional immaturity, volatility, cruelty – on other people or things (partners, children, the weather, the ‘system’….).
They are master projectors – no one is better than an N for looking directly at another person & only seeing who they want/need that person to be.
EXP: When a N parent considers their child, they see many things: a source of narcissistic supply, an ally or obstacle to their lust for personal power, a string of intolerable annoyances, the inconvenience of a child’s emotions & needs, unwanted limitations, someone to rescue & take care of them or to take their frustrations out on…. BUT never the actual child.
Scapegoaters’ main characteristics are cowardice, dishonesty, egotism, immaturity, pride, self-righteousness & weak character. These Parents have Borderline, Narcissistic or Histrionic Personality Disorders. They live through a manufactured good-looking public image they desperately need. But the truth-telling kid who challenged that image risks destroying everything, so they have to be stopped.
• Scapegoaters are not in touch with most of their emotions, rarely knowing how full of hate they really are. They just feel dissatisfied & frustrated, while ‘blissfully’ unaware of the original source of their hurt & resulting rage
Since self-deception is a major characteristic, the perpetrator’s drive to displace & transfer responsibility away from themselves may not be totally conscious, which makes it easy to cut off any guilt or shame, & deny what they’re doing. But even if they do become aware of the actual cause, they can’t or won’t direct their anger where it truly belongs – usually their own original family
• To deal with their deep anxiety, scapegoaters will rationalize that this specific victim \group is somehow responsible for their frustration. A perfect candidate can be anyone who reminds them of the person who originally injured them (parents or parent-figures). They look for someone who’s not socially confident, is emotionally over-reactive, anxious & self-hating – which makes them an easy target
• Often the main scapegoater (parent, spouse, teacher….) has a good social standing in their community, & some power. Naturally they don’t want to lose either one – at any cost. If the Perpetrator consciously knows the victim is innocent, they may increase the attacks, to keep their house-of-cards standing, keeping the upper hand
– Assistant scapegoaters will also add to the fire, to stay in the P’s good graces, & to never admit they’ve been gullible – being manipulated into blaming the innocent
• In milder cases, occasional scapegoaters can be anyone temporarily angry & dissatisfied, who uses this tactic as a relief valve. And if they’re not too damaged they will experience some shame and guilt afterwards, & pull back.
NEXT: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 6)