IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT I GET IT
that I am NOT bad, stupid or weak!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 4)
SITE: ‘The Scapegoat’
NOTE: See ACRONYMs for abbrev.
CONSEQUENCES for the SCAPEGOAT (Sc)
HEALTH: People can bear a great deal of pain IF & when they’re comforted, understood & treated with respect by one or more safe & caring people.
DAMAGE: Forced inappropriately to carry the family’s burden of disowned defects, Scapegoats drown in the pain of those closest to them, & later in the collective pain of the society – with no one to comfort or understand them. In the process Scapegoats are robbed of experiencing their own pain, denied the opportunity to learn how to contain, endure & grieve the suffering they have had to ignore & bury. (What is Scapegoat child abuse? )
● To survive, Sc have to build a wall around the toxic shadow energies they were forced to swallow, denying the origin of the abuse. At the same time the least little emotional ‘bump’ is felt with extreme sensitivity when it touches old wounds which Sc haven’t learned to contain & process. Sc automatically assume they can’t cope with intense emotions (fear, anger, sadness…), from the mistaken belief that being ‘normal’ would mean not being in so much distress or not feeling anything ‘unpleasant or upsetting’.
● Ironically, even if Sc may not be able consciously to say they’re the family victim, they know it at a very basic level. To compensate for being rejected by ‘loved ones’, they can cover it up feeling omnipotent, seeing themselves as the ‘chosen one’ (which they also are – but in a very sick way) for having the ‘special strength’ to carry the guilt & misery of others. It’s their way of keeping the family together!
● As adults Sc live out the grandiose belief that “I can do everything for everyone who needs me”, while resenting others for not providing them with their own un-spoken needs! They feel cut off from the rest of human experience for suffering ‘more’ than everyone else, but also feel superior & above it all because if it!
If you were the designated Scapegoat, YOU:
● blame yourself for the original abuse, & look for rational reasons for the way you were treated, BUT
● have developed a lack of trust & deep resentment against the world, while maintaining self-hate & hopelessness
● feel worthless, ugly, stupid, incompetent AND crazy!
● likely are living out the negative messages heaped on you as a kid, because your self esteem has been damaged (not living up to your potential, getting into harmful & unfulfilling relationships, let abusers walk all over you…..)
● feel overburdened, at the edge, marginalized, but still responsible for the tribe’s shadow side (clean up others’ messes, sooth anger in a group, ‘keep an eye’ on everything, listening to others dump, put out ‘fires’….)
● feel misunderstood & burned out, BUT also duty-bound, noble, virtuous, self-sacrificing, AND
● are inevitably fueled by your accusers’ internalized voice (PP), disapproving of yourself (Self-Hate) and others (projection), or scapegoating your children
● feel a lot of shame for being ‘the bad guy’, as well as anger at being blamed for the family’s dysfunction
● are desperate to find acceptance but can not see/hear positive regard when it’s available, so you finding life almost impossible to manage, SO —
● tend to look for acceptance outside of yourself, & can be vulnerable to manipulators &/or groups who want to take advantage. Religious cults, criminal organizations, & violent or sexual predators lure their victims by initially offering validation to the Sc, who is looking for positive attention, but has not learned to identify users & abusers
● carry psychological & emotional scars: as a Sc you may not have started out with a mental illness (altho some ACoAs have a predisposition because of parental alcoholism), but are highly likely to have developed one or more – after years of being subjected to this pattern. Common reactions are academic failure, delinquency, depressions, drug/ alcohol abuse, rages, PTSD, stress-related ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual acting out/pregnancy….. especially in teens, & can continue for many years into adulthood.
● It can take Sc half a lifetime (anywhere from age 30s to 60s) before getting the right information to put the pieces of the puzzle together, & then emotionally strong enough to bear knowing why interactions with their family & others have been so horrendous.
Once Sc realize that all the blame & slander they’ve endured came from the very people who are supposed to love us the most on this earth, they often decide to cut interactions with the very ones who used them as a punching bag, in order to avoid dealing with their own issues.
Instead, as a liberated person, having learned to love their Inner child, we can legitimately believe & accept that we are a wonderful person – gifted, loving, intelligent, sensitive, & for many – highly accomplished.
NEXT: ACoAs – being Scapegoated (Part 6a)