I was the family scapegoat until my sister was born. Then that role was transferred to her while I was given the family care giver role. However, both my sister and I were blamed for negative things in the family. My father’s worse insult was to call someone a “Girrrl.” To him, there was nothing lower on the planet than girls. My mother started this hate campaign from the day we were born. In her late 80’s, she explained to me why she hated us so much and had to make our father hate us too. She felt justified in her distorted thinking. My sister went no contact first, I followed after this conversation and I realized my mother truly hated me. It was a relief to stop trying to heal a relationship that the other person did not want to heal.
I like the article below because it shares a clear, and to me accurate, picture of what scapegoating is and how members in the family embrace this dysfunction. More importantly it shares 12 things to do to break the pattern. My sister recognized the problems long before I did. I appreciate her help in seeing what was happening and her constant encouragement when I finally sought counseling and started doing my own healing. I noticed that my own family were doing some of this and attempted to stop it but sadly wasn’t very successful. It was a family pattern that is difficult to break. I figure educating others is the best thing I can do to help people learn that no one person is to blame for any family dynamics. However, I did observe that taking one person out of the mix due to distance or going no contact, changed everything, not because that person was to blame but because family dynamics are dependent on the members playing their roles. Encouraging changing family roles is difficult but I am determined to help my children see how dangerous the dynamics can be to everyone. My sister and I went on a truth campaign to stop lying, especially to our selves. This changed everything. I am thankful for the change. Still a work in progress but I am working on seeing each child for who they are and the gifts and talents they are given. No easy task when raised with family dynamics of blame and shame.