Narcissistic abuse awareness day is a global online event which occurs every year on June the 1st. This worldwide event began in 2016 in an effort to spread the word about narcissistic abuse, an underacknowledged form of psychological abuse which leaves the victim in despair. The day has finally come where people are telling it how it is and shining a light on the narcissist’s vile behaviour. Finally, the millions of people affected globally by narcissistic abuse syndrome, Complex-PTSD, and other mental health issues are standing up and saying enough is enough.
As a scapegoated adult child, I need this day. This is my day of recognition for the loss of the confident self I was born with because of narcissistic abuse; a form of abuse aimed at completely mentally disabling a scapegoated victim for the purposes of control. The narcissistically abused child is damaged beyond belief for the rest of their life. They may never have the opportunities that children not narcissistically abused will have. They will never know what it is to have a healthy psyche, and they will never know what it is like to belong to a loving family. Scapegoated children often end up family-less full of hurt and shame, anxiety and depression.
Narcissistically abused children are ripped off! These abuse survivors have been frightened into submission, live with levels of fear that most people don’t understand, have lost their voices, their right to an autonomous sense of self, and their ability to assert their rights and needs. Life is very unnerving for the narcissistically abused person. Children of narcissists are held back in life’s race because of what their parent stole from them. They may face issues with self-medication, self-harm, eating disorders, relationship issues, and anxiety disorders. They may also struggle with interpersonal relationships and exhibit attachment issues. It often takes decades to recover from the lifelong effects of narcissistic abuse. Some people never recover.
Narcissistic abuse can ruin someone’s life. Scapegoated children are set up from birth to go from scapegoating situation to scapegoating situation throughout their lifetime. They tend to form relationships with friends who will scapegoat them, partners who will scapegoat them, and often end up being scapegoated and bullied in the work-place. The scapegoated child is an easy target for a bully. They often lack confidence and come across as afraid and a complete pushover.
Scapegoated children go through extreme mental anguish because they were born into a role, instead of a loving family. I believed the narcissistic projections bestowed upon me, and I have had to fight like hell against those narcissistic projections. I can’t even describe the intensity of narcissistic projections and what it is like to have to convince yourself as a teenager that you are ok, and you are not the bad person you are being told you are. The narcissistic parent imagines up a version of their scapegoat child that isn’t real and sells the story to the child, and those around the child. This fulfils the narcissist’s agenda and leaves the child in a state of despair, sometimes even suicidal.
I have had to be own support, my own parent, and my biggest fan. Small children being projected onto can spend decades ruminating over the lies told to themselves; believing them wholeheartedly, until of course, they find out their parent is a narcissist. Some victims of narcissistic abuse never find out their parent is a narcissist, or don’t find out until their fifties or sixties. That is a long time to be unaware that this was never your fault.
Scapegoated children spend their entire childhoods wondering why their parent hates them and is intent on turning their siblings against them. Narcissistic projections eat away at people’s souls, make them fell unworthy of friendship, of love, or of support. In a child’s mind it doesn’t matter how much other people tell them they are a great child, they’ll never believe it if their parent has convinced them otherwise. It can take years and years of therapy and recovery to come to a place where a scapegoated child of a narcissist can feel safe enough to function in the world properly. It is hard to feel safe in the world if you weren’t safe in childhood.
The frightening reality of narcissistic abuse is most narcissistically dangerous individuals can seem like some of the quietest, sweetest individuals one could meet. A covert narcissist can be very difficult to detect because their abuse is often disguised as concern. They have the ability to disable a person’s entire sense of self without the victim even realising what is happening. These people rip through families, smashing them apart with a smile on their face, calm as day, destroying each and every one of their children without their children even noticing.
The more knowledgeable people are about the emotionally crippling effects of narcissistic abuse, then the more easily they will be able to spot the warning signs early and potentially save themselves, or their children from a pathological person. I personally believe the early warning signs of narcissism should be taught in schools, to all lawyers, judges, and social workers. I would hope that one day lawyers, and councillors who don’t specialise in narcissistic abuse are given compulsory training on how to detect a charming sociopath. This could save the mental health of many small children who are drowning in a sea of mental anguish at the hands of a sociopathic parent who has the capacity to charm everybody around them while getting away with destroying a family through triangulation, and divide and conquer.
Very few people know what it is like to be narcissistically abused. Most people don’t know what you’re talking about when you try to describe it. This leaves victims very isolated, and often finding solitude in narcissistic abuse forums.
Men and women fighting in court to keep their children safe from a narcissistic ex often feel like they’re hitting their head up against a brick when they try to explain to lawyers, judges and psychologists why their ex, whom they have very little evidence against, is too psychologically dangerous to be around the children.
The courts do not provide enough protection for children of narcissists. A parent trying to stop one of their children being scapegoated by a narcissistic ex-husband or wife has no leg to stand on. As long as the narcissistic parent has a good job, has no history of violence, or physical neglect, and is fairly responsible, then in a court of law, the parent is seen as fit. Fully fledged narcissistic abuse has gone unrecognised in the family court for being the serious form of irreversible abuse that it is.
There are no laws against mind games, namecalling, and projection of all of a narcissist’s disowned parts onto somebody else. There is no law against psychological abuse. We need to raise awareness about NPD so as people can pick it as soon as they meet a narcissistic personality type, and remove themselves before its too late. One person can destroy an entire family. The damage done to one generation will impact the next generation and the generation after that. Unfortunately, narcissism can breed narcissism, and generations upon generations of families can be affected.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Survivor Empowerment Telesummit, hosted by World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD). There will be some fantastic speakers which include industry experts, mental health practitioners, and my favourite narcissistic abuse specialist, Melanie Tonia Evans. You can reserve your free spot to listen for free to a panel of 15 speakers speaking in honour of narcissistic abuse awareness day over a two day period, from June 1st to June 2nd at this link www.wnaad.com/survivor-empowerment-telesummit-2018/.
The term ‘grey rock’ is a popular term used to described a method of contact, and a way of being when dealing with a psychopath or malignant narcissist. Psychopaths, sociopaths and malignant narcissists thrive off narcissistic supply. As soon as they wake up in the morning they are off to get their narcissistic supply (attention, good or bad) just like a junkie goes out to find their drug of choice. Without fuel, the narcissist feels weighed down and energy-less; which is why these crazy-makers feel a desire to conjure up so much drama, and use other people’s reactions to play the victim. They need the drama and emotional reactions from other people to survive. Any attention, good or bad lifts the narcissist out of their chronic feelings of emptiness, and gives them the energy to get on with their day. Without constant supply a narcissist becomes what is considered a dilapidated narcissist.
”Narcissist’s need narcissistic supply like a junkie needs their drug of choice.”
What is the grey rock method of contact?
The theory behind ‘grey rock’ is that grey rocks are boring. They fail to attract attention, which means they are more unlikely to be bothered, and sourced out by those attracted to sparkly objects . Their unappealing, boring look, and ability to blend in makes the grey rock unique, and really quite beautiful from the point of view a man or woman wanting to escape a dangerous narcissist who keeps baiting them for a reaction.
What’s so great about the grey rock? Grey rocks remain untouchable.
The shiny, colourful rock on the other hand, stands out, and is far more appealing to the eye. The grey rock in all of its beauty gets left alone on the banks of the river to sit in solace, while the colourful rocks attract visual attention, which leaves them ripe for the picking.
Malignant narcissists love shiny, sparkly people. They love charismatic individuals, sensitive souls, exuberant people, hilarious people, highly reactive people, and those who pull the narcissist up on their terrible behaviour. Its a double edged sword, they also hate these people for their giftedness, and usually end up becoming very jealous of them. However, they love the A grade narcissistic supply they can get from these people.
What is the attraction to these personality traits? People with these personality traits stand out, and attract a lot of people (supply to a narcissist). This could be very beneficial to a narcissist.
Reactive people, emotionally charged people, and those who pull the narcissist up on their vile behaviour particularly stand out to the narcissist as potential sources of supply. Why? Because they engage. They challenge the narcissist, won’t stand for the narcissist’s rubbish, and will often lecture and prescribe advice; advice which goes in one ear and out the other over and over again.
An empath with too much patience will try to teach the narcissist (whom they often love dearly and wish the best for ) how to become a decent person. Patient co-dependent types are fantastic sources of supply, often do not know that they are being played for narcissistic supply, and fall hook line and sinker to the narcissist’s crazy-making behaviour over and over again until they finally have enough. Anybody who has fallen victim to the narcissist has engaged at one time or another, only to be told by the narcissist that their reaction is the problem, not the abuse itself.
After many years of practice, trial and error, I have learned to disengage from narcissists and have become quite skilled at using grey rock as a tactic to get them out of my life. It takes an incredible amount of practice and self-control to hone in on this skill. It truly is a skill, and takes a lot of refining to get it down pat.
The desired result
The idea behind the grey rock method is that once the victim has proved to the narcissist how boring and non-reactive they are, the narcissist will most likely move on and leave their victim alone. The victim is no longer useful and has officially become a broken toy. This is a great method to use when dealing with a narcissistic ex with whom you don’t have children. It does have successful results in co-parenting situations with a narcissist as well. However, it doesn’t fully rid the victim with children to a narcissist, of the narcissist forever.
The grey rock method can drastically reduce the impactful behaviour. Although, it can be a constant battle to keep the grey rock method of minimal contact in place in a co-parenting situation; especially if the narcissist is relentless, or is low on fuel supplies, and knows their target is capable of giving them A grade fuel supply in the form of a reaction.
So many empaths don’t even know that the person they are dealing with is a narcissist
Buying into the crazy-making is what we do when we don’t know we are dealing with a narcissistic sociopath. Victims often think they’re going insane and that they may in fact be the crazy one. It is how one thinks when they are constantly being poked and prodded to the point of feeling as though they’re about to become hysterical.
A victim rarely figures out their ex partner is a narcissist until they go in search of answers. It is in this moment that they may realise that this was all one big game, that they have been losing at the game because they didn’t know how to play the game to their advantage, and that they must now stop giving the narcissist ammunition to scapegoat them with.
I was once given the advice below from a good friend mine.
‘Its like this, the narcissist puts a hole in your boat. Then you have to go and plug it up again. Once you’ve plugged up all of the holes, the narcissist can no longer take control of your boat.’
Anybody co-parenting with a malignant narcissistic ex is going to feel as though their boat is being destroyed, which is why the grey rock method is often one of the only ways a non-narcissistic parent can plug up the holes in the boat.
Malignant narcissists in a co-parenting situation use their exes reactions against them to scapegoat them
If a malignant narcissistic ex knows they can get a reaction out of their target because they have many times before, then they will keep trying until they give them what they want. They are relentless in their pursuit of narcissistic supply. The narcissist doesn’t see their target as a person. They see them as an opportunity for fuel, which is why they may never entirely stop goading, baiting, and provoking their target into giving away a reaction, even with grey rock in place.
How does a narcissistic parent use their ability to goad you against you?
The narcissistic ex will constantly accuse their non-narcissistic ex of being unfair, mistreating them, and doing everything they can to make the narcissist’s life hard. It is just what they do. They need the narcissistic supply that playing the victim role gives them. The narcissist will turn everything around, accuse their target of doing to them what they are actually doing to their target, and will smear their ex-partner (who is probably quite a lovely person) to everybody they can.
I have heard so many stories where the malignant narcissist has used the co-parenting situation to pay the other parent back in any which way they can at every given opportunity. They usually try to turn everybody they possibly can against the non-narcissistic parent, including the children. Very often, everything the parent does with the children, for the children, or in regard to discipline with the children is put down in front of the children. This sets the parent up for negative treatment from the children, who unknowingly act out the narcissistic parent’s angst against the alienated parent.
It is all too common for a sociopathic parent to set the parent up over and over again for big reactions right in front of the children. One narcissistic parent I knew of, would call the non-narcissistic parent while in the car with the children, and leave speaker phone on for the children to hear the conversation. If the other parent became rightfully distressed over being baited and goaded on the phone, then the narcissist would use the incident to scapegoat the parent to the children. This narcissist would use manipulative body language (rolling their eyes, looking sad. and distressed) in the hope that the children would go into bat for them while the narcissist was on the phone. The alienated parent couldn’t understand (until they realised they were dealing with a narcissist) why a parent would deliberately involve the children in adult issues.
The same narcissist would show the children private emails from the other parent. They would manipulate the children into believing that the very assertive, non-abusive email was, in fact, abusive; which would again, ignite the children’s protective instinct over their dangerous parent. The children would unknowingly go against the innocent parent to protect the person in the wrong, the narcissistic perpetrator. Every opportunity possible was used by this dangerous narcissist to scapegoat the other parent to the children.
Other opportunities for narcissistic supply at the non-narcissistic parent’s expense
For example It is not uncommon for the non-narcissistic parent to be smeared to people in positions of authority by a narcissist wanting to infiltrate the children’s circle with a smear campaign against the other parent. Narcissists this malignant almost always pull out the mental health card and suggest that this parent is seriously mentally ill and has major problems.
It is not uncommon for a smeared parent to get the cold shoulder from people they don’t even know, including but not limited to, a child’s music teacher, a child’s counsellor (if they go to one), or even the child’s doctor. A narcissist wanting narcissistic supply will feign victimhood to anybody they can with a smear campaign aimed at turning everybody against an innocent victim for sympathy and allies.
What can one do? One thing a parent dealing with a sociopathic narcissist can do is to become a grey rock and take grey rock to a whole new level.
The problem with grey rock?
I’m writing this article for a friend who has been going through similar scenarios to the ones above with an ex-partner who is claiming my friend is unstable and is infiltrating their children’s circles with lies. We were discussing some of the confusion around grey rock earlier this week.
Grey rock is designed to completely starve a narcissist of their fuel supply so they can no longer affect you, or scapegoat you to such an extent that it affects your mental health and overall quality of life. When the witch was starved of narcissistic supply in the Wizard Of Oz, she melted. When a narcissist can’t get fuel from their victim, they will have no choice but to find someone else to feed off.
When implementing grey rock most people co-parenting with a malignant narcissist drop all phone contact, get a family member (if they can) to do changeovers, only engage in email contact, and only respond to the messages that they absolutely have to. These parents have as little to do with the narcissistic parent as possible. They give simple dull responses and refrain from reacting at all costs. However, a lot of people think this should be enough, and that by remaining dull and boring the narcissist will eventually stop the smear campaign and leave them alone. This is not true. Unless a victim never has to see a narcissist again, grey rock is merely a way to limit contact, and therefore reduce abuse.
When co-parenting, grey rock can be used to gain back some control over the smearing if used correctly. A victim of narcissistic abuse has to think quickly with a narcissist. Especially when it comes to utilising grey rock; because wherever they look the narcissist is trying to turn everyone against them, including the children.
How to cut the narcissist’s fuel supply
When co-parenting with a narcissist, a non-narcissistic parent must never forget that the narcissist wants to destroy their reputation at any given opportunity; which is why it is better to try to get in first before the narcissist in a grey rock kind of way when needing to organise and attend appointments such as the doctors, councillors, or an instructor. This way individuals in positions of power can make their mind up about the non-narcissistic parent without the malignant narcissist’s immediate influence. This is dependent on the situation and is easier when the children are living with the non-narcissistic parent.
A non-narcissistic parent will save themselves a lot of heartache if they plug up the holes straight away, and accept that they have to take back control of their own lives, before the narcissist has complete control over how others see them. Grey rock is all about keeping the boat leak free.
If you go up against the narcissistic family and leave every single person in your immediate family behind you because of abusive family dynamics, than you can expect to be written out of the will. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t receive any of your inheritance (different laws for various countries and states). However, it does mean that you will need to contest the will (if you have the opportunity), and will most likely receive less than your siblings. This is simply part and parcel of disagreeing with the narcissistic illusion, questioning it, challenging it, and saying no to it.
The psychological abuse aimed directly at the family scapegoat is often so dangerous that this adult child simply has no other choice but to leave their family of origin. It is often a case of making the choice to either lose out financially, or to stay in a role which will see the innocent victim of scapegoating continually shamed, ostracised, blamed and projected onto by very sick, brainwashed family members. However, even if the family scapegoat does stay in the family chaos solely for monetary reasons, there is no guarantee that they’ll receive their inheritance anyway. In fact, there is no guarantee that any of the adult children within the narcissistic family unit will receive their inheritance; not even the golden child. Narcissists are extremely unpredictable. At the drop of a hat the narcissist could suddenly deem their children unworthy of inheriting their money. They may just leave their money to a charity instead of handing it over to children who could never please them.
However, the harsh reality is that the Golden child will probably get their all of their inheritance, whereas the scapegoat may not receive any of it, or only very little of what they should’ve received, and would’ve if their parent hadn’t suffered from NPD. If the golden child is sociopathic, than this will make it even harder for a scapegoat to get the entitlement they deserve.
The scapegoat role – the worst role in the narcissistic family, or not?
In my opinion the role of ‘family scapegoat’ is the most disgusting role to be forced to play out within the narcissistic family unit. However, others would disagree with me, and would suggest that the scapegoat is the luckiest family member because they are forced to face the monster head on, the false self, and the darkest of souls. They see a side of the narcissist that other family members are oblivious to. The golden child on the other hand sees the best of the narcissist, and is gifted with a lifetime of adoration and praise.
The scapegoat child is instead on the receiving end of negative narcissistic projections, (the narcissist’s disowned parts of themselves)which destroy the scapegoat child’s confidence, their self esteem, and often their life. Scapegoat children often live with chronic depression, contempt for self, and the debilitating effects of Complex PTSD. These symptoms are life destroying.
The sad reality is that it doesn’t matter how hard the scapegoat tries to win their narcissistic parent’s approval, they will never be able to change their parent’s tainted perception of them. Why? The narcissist doesn’t have the ability to stop themselves from splitting; a habit deeply ingrained. Therefore, the narcissist will always believe the family scapegoat child’s is the reason why all of the problems within the family unit exist. This parent projects onto this child the evil lurking within themselves.
Splitting: A narcissist splits their good and bad parts between the golden child and the scapegoat (or scapegoats). This parent primarily thinks in black and white terms. There is no grey area. You are either all good, or all bad. Splitting is dangerous because splitting is actually a failure in the person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole.
A lot of psychologists believe that the roles of ‘scapegoat’ and ‘golden child’ are equally as emotionally plaguing; and destroy both lives. I don’t agree. In my opinion, as a scapegoat living through the aftermath, I believe the scapegoat loses everything. Even though they often end up with the most admirable traits, they also end up emotionally destroyed, projected onto so horrifically that their family believes they are a basket case, (when the opposite is true) hated by the entire family (because the family views them through the narcissist’s distorted perception) completely alone, and written out of the will. The golden child on the other hand very rarely experiences contempt from the narcissist and is given the best of everything money can buy. The other family members are encouraged by the narcissist to dote on the golden child; which sees them approved of by the whole family. The golden child rarely ends up alone and isolated from their family, or projected onto negatively. They are embraced by the family unit, and everything comes to them on a silver platter; including their inheritance. Yes, this does affect them in negative ways. However, a doted on golden child treated like an angel that just fell out of the sky couldn’t even begin to understand how rejection feels, and the issues it creates for their cast out sibling. Yes, they are damaged; but I don’t believe they are damaged in the life threatening way the scapegoat is.
So, a scapegoat lives through all of the above, goes no contact for emotional safety, then is written out of the will? Did you hear that correctly? Yes you did. Could a narcissist truly be this vindictive? Always……
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably that scapegoat adult child that has decided after years of abuse to finally go no contact with your family, wondering consequently if you will be written out of the will. In answer to that question, it is very likely that you will be. There is a huge price to pay for leaving a cult like family system. If you have defied the authority, most likely exposed the dangerous family dynamics, and disagreed with the narcissistic illusion, than you will most likely be resented by the narcissist and paid back with mind games. In the narcissist’s mind anyone who goes up against them is an attacker, and will be treated as such.
Would I change my belief system for money?
No, I would not. However, it is a huge punch in the guts to know that you will be disinherited because you have strong morals. It is hard to be in any environment where you are the only person who can see how dangerous the environment is. This is the life of any scapegoat. We see toxic situations for what they are. We don’t go along to get along. I personally have felt very disadvantaged because of my insight; and I have often desperately wished that I could remain blind sighted to dysfunctional dynamics. If only I could be like those who are happy to go along to get along, while avoiding the elephant in the room (or gigantic dinosaur).
I have tried desperately to conform to my narcissistic parent’s desired personality profile. I have tried to conform to the narcissist’s opinions on everything, to forgo my own needs, to stop expressing myself, and to be the clone the narcissistic leaders wanted me to be. Trying to conform at times in childhood turned me into a frightened people pleaser with zero confidence. I need to be autonomous from the narcissist. I have to be; my sense of self depends on it. Refraining from being my true self to protect the narcissist’s thin skinned, fragile ego is something that I will never ever do again.
After 32 years of trying to please an impossible person, I left my family a shell of a person; because it didn’t matter how much I hid my self, and refrained from being me, I would always inevitably end up upsetting and offending the narcissist, just because narcissist’s like to be offended. Narcissist’s are constantly searching for avenues to create opportunities for attention, and victim feigning. Small things not even worthy of correction, or the time, thoughts or energy of the narcissist, will be used against an innocent person for no other purpose than narcissistic supply. I am not ok with the narcissistic illusion; and if losing out financially is the cost, than so be it. I mean that wholeheartedly.
Disinherited financially to inherit mentally, emotionally and physically
Sometimes you have to lose an entire family to gain your real family. Sometimes you have to walk away from your blood family to stop yourself from giving into suicide. Scapegoated individuals are at high risk in the narcissistic family unit. Many of us would forfeit the money for emotional health. Sticking around for an inheritance that a scapegoat may never even get is a recipe for disaster.
My life is so different now that I have forgone what the narcissistic family had to offer me. Emotionally it has been very difficult to come to terms with the fact that I will be written out of the will. However, the rewards outweigh the losses. You cannot have a happy fulfilled life when your parent is making you feel so terrible about yourself that you live in self-hatred every minute of every day. You cannot exist with confidence, and good self-esteem when a narcissist is trashing you to your face, and scheming behind your back day in day out. You cannot know normal until you walk out of an abnormal, controlling, toxic environment. You cannot stop living in fear until you stop associating with family members that play dangerous mind games with you. You cannot come to the realisation that the world is not that scary and that normal people do not tear you down for normal assertive behaviour until you get away from a person that rages at you, plots against you, turns everybody against you, and excludes you every time you try to put up boundaries.
You cannot learn to assert yourself, find your voice, and say goodbye to PTSD until you stop associating with people who won’t allow you to be yourself without shaming you for it, who won’t allow you to speak up without scaring you into submission, and who are threatened by your assertiveness, and your need to have your needs met.
For the first time in my life I am not as frightened anymore. I can now have the important conversations if I need to, and stand up for myself if I have to (even though I find it extremely overwhelming because of trauma). For most of my life I have been petrified of standing up for myself through fear of backlash. After removing my self from toxicity I now know that most people don’t seek out to pay you back just because you confront them. I now have the confidence (most of the time) to speak, and to be myself without fearing rejection. Accepting the ridiculous amount of loss which comes with playing out the scapegoat role is the only way for a family scapegoat to officially leave the scapegoat role behind them.
Staying in a toxic family unit for money
I have heard of scapegoats sticking around to gain their share of the inheritance, or breaking ‘no contact’ and going back into their toxic family once they feel strong enough for financial reasons. Sometimes this is possible. I guess it depends on whether or not a scapegoated individual can handle the narcissistic projections, and can tough it out until the end. It depends on the malignancy of the situation. Degrees of scapegoating exist. However, for a scapegoat being smeared, shamed, ostracised and triangulated against, facing being written out of the will and going no contact is probably your best option. I would choose emotional safety over an appearance in the will any day.
Be warned though that a sociopathic narcissistic golden children have a tendency to try to steal the inheritance from their siblings, by scapegoating all of the siblings, one by one until they, the narcissistic golden child is the last one standing. So many siblings stay in this toxic situation, long after the family scapegoat has been turfed out, primarily for the inheritance. They often opt for the grey rock method of contact with a narcissistic golden child, and parent, being as quiet and compliant as they can in the hope that this is enough to get their share of the money.
Very often this doesn’t work. The scapegoat leaves and gets a life, while these siblings often lose their quality of life trying to please a dangerous malignant narcissist who is probably going to constantly change their will in the heat of the moment whenever one of their children doesn’t obey them anyway.
The benefits of accepting being written out of the will
Sometimes for one’s own mental health they just have to leave the entire family, and accept that it is very likely that they will be written out of the will. This doesn’t mean that they can’t go back and fight for it in court, where they can try to prove that being disinherited was unjust. This can be done.
However, for many, completely forfeiting the inheritance has been well worth it; very painful, and heartbreaking at the same time. Sticking around for twenty years trying to get an inheritance that you may never get is far more painful though because its a constant reminder of how little one means to their narcissistic parent. The benefit of leaving a family that doesn’t love you is that you get to have your own life without being controlled. To be able to finally breathe without walking on egg shells is the most amazing feeling.
I am not the same the person that I was when I had a family. I was afraid, scared, and had no confidence. I was so controlled that I felt that I couldn’t even make a decision without the approval of my narcissistic parent. After years of no contact, I am finally creating a self for myself; a self that was stolen from me in child hood to gratify the needs of the narcissist. For the first time in my life my every move is no longer being watched, assessed or judged by the narcissistic leaders in my family. The narcissist is no longer using minor events in my life to create massive dramas out of. I can finally be myself, challenge other people’s ideas without being scapegoated, and actually disagree with the opinions of others without having everybody turned against me.
For the first time in my life people see my worth, and I approve of myself. The sociopathic narcissistic family is nothing more than a hate group. If being disinherited means that one gets to leave toxic hate behind, than as much as it hurts, its the best thing. Money can’t buy you happiness, but leaving a toxic family can.
Deuteronomy 5:16 (KJV) King James Version: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother as the LORD hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.’
This opinion piece is written in honour of the religiously indoctrinated scapegoat adult child of a narcissist; or any family scapegoat who cannot seem to relinquish the tremendous amount of guilt they feel because they cannot be in contact with their emotionally dangerous parent; a psychological abuser whose intention is to destroy their adult child’s reputation within the family unit through the use of pathological lying and projection. This parent does not love their child. Instead they love the negative effect they have on their adult child, and the chaos they can create through them.
It is often simply too emotionally dangerous for a scapegoat child, or scapegoat children (there is often more than one) in a narcissistic family unit to spend any time with their narcissistic parent. Even five minutes is too long. Any attempt at contact; one minute or five, is an opportunity for the narcissist to project their disowned parts onto the targeted adult child, or children.
In the narcissist’s mind the family scapegoat truly is a bad person. This child has been given a gift. They are the more emotionally sensitive child, which is why they have the ability to see straight through the narcissist. This makes them a prime target for dangerous narcissistic projections. The child has challenged the hyper-sensitive narcissists authority, which immediately makes them bad in their parent’s eyes. All of the narcissist’s disowned inadequacies now belong to the child that dared to see through them. The narcissist will now manipulate the rest of the family into taking on their skewed perception of the scapegoat.
If the narcissist has an anger management problem, they will label the scapegoat child as a child with an anger management problem. If the narcissistic mother or father has a habit of being ruthless, hard, and cruel, than this is how he or she will view their scapegoat child. If the narcissist is a thief, the child is a thief. If the narcissist is an alcoholic; the child may be told that they are destined for alcoholism themselves. If the narcissist is promiscuous, the scapegoat will most likely be accused of being promiscuous in adulthood. If the narcissist has stolen their friend’s husband or wife, they may accuse an adult child of doing the same thing, even though it’s an outright lie (I’ve witnessed this doozy).
If the child catches the narcissist out in a lie and exposes it, the narcissist may claim that the child is a pathological liar (I’ve witnessed this one too). This narcissist will now disown that part of him or herself and make this a part of the child’s personality. If they can convince themselves and everyone around them that the child is the liar and not them, than they can feel ok about themselves and avoid a narcissistic injury.
Ultimately, once a parent sees you as all bad, it is never ever going to stop. A narcissistic parent will continue to disown their badness and project it onto the scapegoat all the way up until their last breath. So, in a lot of cases, ‘No Contact’ is the only way out of this mess for a family scapegoat.
The narcissist couldn’t care less about this child. They don’t care if projecting onto the child destroys their child’s reputation, friendships, or life. As long as they can relinquish ownership of their stuff, and make it their child’s, so they don’t have to face it, they couldn’t care less about the ramifications. If the child dies of toxic shame; well, so be it.
The problem with the fourth commandment, ‘honour thy mother and father’ is that there is no exception to the rule; no clause explaining the conditions of the commandment, or other options applied in brackets for special circumstances. It is plain as day. In biblical terms you must honour your mother and father, and that is that.
Even though it is also made quite clear in the bible that we should under no circumstances affiliate with toxic people, the fundamentalist Christians still insist that a child, no matter how abused they have been, have some form of contact with an abusive parent – even if its very minor.
‘If you can’t go over to your parents house without police involvement, well just send them flowers or a birthday card’ (I don’t think so).
The Christian narcissist, who pretends to do the will of God loves this commandment. They pull this one out of the bag at any given opportunity; all while behaving abusively towards their children day in day out. There will be no reaping what you sow in the Christian narcissist’s mind. They’re far too entitled for consequences.
The Christian narcissist knows all too well that by misinterpreting this commandment, and instilling their thwarted views in the minds of their children, that the fear of God will force them into the role of dutiful child. This of course will surely make sure that the Christian narcissist has a lifetime of narcissistic supply, and ongoing sources of chaos; these sources being their adult children, who by this stage are too scared not to honour their dangerous parent, through fear that God will most definitely get them for disobeying him.
This bible verse really has been the bane of my ‘no contact’ journey, and still is to some degree. It is open to interpretation; which makes it somewhat dangerous in the hands of the wrong person.
Is the family scapegoat expected by God to still honour their abusive parent in such a way that debilitates them emotionally and reduces them to a sad, humiliated five-year old every-time they have contact with this dangerous person? Of course not! However, for an indoctrinated scapegoat, guilt over this commandment is often a given.
If somebody makes your body physically sick every time you have contact with them, than in my mind, that is God telling you to stay away. Should we really feel an obligation to adhere to biblical scripture if we honestly think that contact with our abusive parent has the potential to kill us? No, I do not think God would want this. However, some clarification would be nice.
I have spent many years wondering what God thinks of me. I have wondered often if he understands my situation, and actually understands the horror I’ve been put through because of narcissistic abuse. During my ‘no contact’ journey I’ve read the bible a lot in search of answers. It’s all I’ve had at times.
It is not the bible verses or commandments that floor me so much. Instead it is the expectations many fully indoctrinated, fundamentalist Christians who have never experienced narcissistic abuse, have of the abused adult children of their narcissistic friends. Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. Whatever happened to ‘thou shalt not judge.’
I refuse to spend any time with a parent that doesn’t love me, just to fulfil a biblical obligation which I believe is really referring to parents deserving of their adult child’s respect; the ones who have fulfilled their parental obligations. For those who haven’t. Well, they will reap what they sow.
Bible verses warning against toxic people
So what happens when all the above is your parent? The bible is openly telling us to stay away from anybody with the above qualities. Does this include parents?
Well according to Catholic Psychologist Dr Raymond Richmond, it does.
Dr Richmond writes ”So what really happens when parents don’t really want the good of their children? What happens when parents constantly criticise their children, abuse them, and essentially stifle any good that the children could achieve? In short, what happens in dysfunctional families when parents don’t really love their children but manipulate and control them? Well, parents such as this don’t love their children because they don’t love God either. These parents have broken the first commandment, and, to their children, that ,makes them enemies, not parents worthy of being honoured.’
Does God want us to honour dangerous parents in such a way that will directly affect our mental health? No! Patricia Jones (M.A) author for Dove Christian counselling states that Jesus openly tells us ‘to have nothing to do with wicked and toxic people.’ He tells us to ‘dust off our shoes and leave that town’ if we are not being treated with love and respect.
These are my beliefs too. Sometimes you have to cut contact with the old school Christians who feel that it is ok to judge you for a choice that wasn’t really your choice. It was your parent’s choice. They created this situation, not you.
Its heartbreaking to know that you cannot be there for a parent because of their skewed perception of you, and their desire to destroy you. The choice to go ‘no contact’ is never made lightly, and it hurts like hell.
I don’t like the Christmas holidays, or the Easter long weekend. I dread my birthday, and the birthdays of the family I no longer see. Why? Because each of these occasions brings with them indescribable feelings of loss. Every time a holiday such as Easter or Christmas arises I can’t help but feel excluded to a degree; estranged, and reminded of my lifelong role as the family scapegoat. I am aware that I am probably the only family member out of my other family members actually experiencing any joy. My life is fortunately very much drama free since I have left my chaotic family. Emotions such as happiness and joy are no longer foreign to me. I have fought very hard for this new-found freedom.
I am also very aware that any adult child who chooses to stay in a highly malignant narcissistic family unit, whether they are a scapegoat child, or a golden child, will eventually be drawn into the high level chaos, and drama which prevails, whether they like or not. This is inevitable, and there is simply no escaping this harsh reality; no matter how golden one is; especially when the official family scapegoat chooses to relinquish all contact with the family that can’t love them.
Unfortunately, what the scapegoating family members didn’t realise is that while ever the narcissist continues to exist within their family, they will still continue to endure extreme chaos anyway. Once the scapegoat is nowhere to be found, the never accountable narcissist will eventually throw someone else under the metaphorical bus anyway; all to avoid exposure for yet another high conflict situation they’ve created. I think every family member gets a turn; even if we aren’t there to witness it.
However, regardless of what I know to be true, I still literally cannot wait for this Easter long weekend to be over. As soon as Good Friday arrives, I am immediately wanting to be back at work getting on with life. Life stops for me when the holidays arrive. Sad thoughts of what could’ve been take over. A deep, black depression often sets in, and I miss not having a family. This morning my legs felt so heavy with sadness that I didn’t think I would be able to get out of bed.
I don’t miss my immediate family for a second. I don’t miss my narcissistic parent, or the siblings that believe in the façade. However, I do miss the family I always wanted; the one I was never born into. The reasonably supportive one that I’ve never known. I know that all families have issues, and that no family is perfect. I crave for one of these families with minor issues and personality clashes that don’t spiral out of control.
Waking up on Good Friday to the silence yesterday was hard. It is hard every year. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of being family less yet again for another Easter period. Late at night, one Christmas Eve years ago, I found myself driving past my parent’s house just to try to remember what it felt like to have a family.
For the first three years of my ‘No Contact journey,’ after yet another attack of ‘family mobbing,‘ (there have been a few) I celebrated special occasions such as Christmas and Easter alone with my three small children. Even though I was in what can only be described as a deep state of grief, I still tried to make these occasions as happy as one can for their children while suffering from ‘Complex PTSD.’ My Complex PTSD was so severe at this time in my life that I couldn’t even leave the house without being triggered into a major panic attack. I was a broken person at this point in my life. My sense of self had been so abused and destroyed that I honestly didn’t think anyone would want my company. The smear campaign and the fear of everybody believing it honestly kept me indoors and afraid of friendship, or human interaction for a very long time.
However, now that I have relinquished myself from the shame that once kept me bound to a life of isolation, and self hate, I now always have somewhere to go on these occasions.
So, this year (yesterday), I went to spend time with my cousin’s family. I am very blessed that these lovely family members know what my immediate family is all about, and didn’t fall for the lies and smear campaign that my siblings did. For the first time in my life I now have good people in my life who understand my situation to a degree. Nobody, other than another scapegoat will ever fully understand my feelings of isolation. However, its nice to know that my friends can look beyond it, and try to understand how horrific it is to be scapegoated by your entire immediate family.
I am alone in the world; and to be very honest, most of the time, except for the holidays, I’m actually very happy that I don’t have a family. I am quite proud of my unique role as the family scapegoat. If having a different opinion, values and beliefs from my narcissistic family members means that I have to be their scapegoat, than that’s ok. I will never tolerate abuse. That is a pretty good trait to have. However, in the holidays I do desperately wish that I had an immediate family. Not just for me; but for my children as well.
I don’t enjoy sitting in my aloneness on these occasions, only to think about what could’ve been if my narcissistic parent didn’t take pleasure in destroying all the sibling relationships. Triangulation, and dividing to conquer has destroyed my family. I have watched first hand one person destroy an entire family through brainwashing, pathological lying, and other dangerously manipulative behaviour. Every Easter, and Christmas Eve I freeze with feelings of horror. Sometimes I can barely move my body when I sit down and think for a moment about the depth of what really has happened to an entire family because of narcissistic personality disorder. It hurts beyond belief.
While other families are barbecuing, laughing and smiling together on these family occasions – so many scapegoats are sitting at home in the dark night experiencing an array of emotions about the depths of the emotional terrorism their narcissistic parent has put them through. All for one reason and one reason only; so as their narcissistic parent could avoid exposure. It is on these occasions that I think in depth about the unconsciousness which prevails in the siblings of the scapegoat, whom often very unconsciously continue to spend Christmas day and Easter Sunday with a parent or narcissistic golden child who deliberately went out of their way to destroy their relationships with the most empathetic family member, their scapegoat sibling. It saddens me to think these siblings have no idea that their narcissistic parent is a perpetrator, and that these people honestly believe that their scapegoat sibling really deserved the mistreatment. It is on these occasions while trying not think about these things, that my own aloneness terrifies me.
As much as I am very blessed to always have somewhere to go, I still feel extremely alone on these occasions, because I don’t have my family; the one that I feel is meant to be there for me.
It is very difficult for a scapegoat family member to accept that they, the true victim, is alone, often anxious and depressed, possibly barely hanging onto life, while their entire family sits at the dinner table enjoying an Easter or Christmas celebration, completely unaware that they are lunching with the perpetrator that set their scapegoat sibling up.
The scapegoat role is arguably the most painful. It is a heartbreaking role for those who are playing it out. Being punished for seeing through a sociopath, or sociopath’s (there can be two) is a heartbreaking burden to bear.
I don’t glide through life with ease. My role as the family scapegoat has really hindered me. However, I am safe from chaos, and that is something to be grateful for. I miss the ‘Easter’ picnic and ‘Christmas’ lunch with my nieces, nephews, and parents. Sometimes it is hard to be around other families. It can be difficult hearing that my friends are going off to spend time with family for the long Easter weekend, or Christmas day where mind games, attention seeking behaviour, triangulation, and family mobbing set ups are unheard of, and frowned upon.
Holidays are often the most difficult time of year for a scapegoat with no family. This is why it is so important for ‘scapegoats’ to take themselves out of isolation, and to try to build their own families with healthy, like-minded people. It helps to have some friends when you don’t have a family.
The narcissistic family system is an unsupportive, self-serving family system where a survival of the fittest mentality is unknowingly adopted by each of the family members’ as a way to stay both emotionally and physically safe in this family unit. In childhood, each child in the family unit quickly learns that they must meet the needs of the narcissist (no matter how ridiculous) by often forfeiting their own needs, in order to escape criticism, drama, and major conflict created by the main perpetrator in this family system – the narcissist.
The golden child may receive some support from their narcissistic parent, who often dotes on them to extreme degrees. However, being the favorite comes with a huge price to pay because the narcissist doesn’t do anything without strings attached. The golden child is merely an investment to use and abuse just like the rest of the children.
The scapegoated child is almost always the only child in the family unit to challenge the narcissist’s unsupportive nature, and the enabling parent’s acceptance of the narcissistic parent’s unsupportive behavior. The scapegoat will fight the system over and over again, question, and challenge the family’s lack of support – much to their own detriment. The reality that they can’t be brainwashed, or manipulated becomes increasingly problematic for them.
The enabling parent is the core perpetrator in both supporting and allowing this survival of the fittest mentality. This easily manipulated parent supports the narcissist’s ridiculous expectations by either sitting back, saying nothing, and simply allowing the narcissist to make all of the rules; or by alternatively brainwashing their children into forfeiting their boundaries, and autonomy – making the children boundary-less, expectation – less, and clone-like.
The children as a dilemma and a burden
At the forefront of NPD is a complete inability of the narcissistic individual to empathize with the needs and distress of other people. The narcissist’s extreme sense of entitlement makes it terribly difficult for this parent to understand why children (especially small children) cling to them so much, why they need anything from them, and why they require 24/7 support.
Children need love, attention, emotional support, and help daily. This is terribly distressing for a narcissistic parent because they completely depend on a constant supply of attention, (positive or negative) from everybody in their environment all day long – to the same extent that a drug addict relies on their drug of choice. Without constant attention a narcissist feels empty, and will lash out at everybody around them; especially their children, who are often resented by the narcissist for stealing the limelight.
The enabler’s personality as a very big problem in the narcissistic family unit
Enablers are hunted down by the narcissist because of their very obvious shaky, malleable, and easily manipulated sense of self. Anxious, reflective individuals with low-self esteem, and people pleaser syndrome, who find it hard to detach, are vulnerable to narcissists. An individual with a secure sense of self will immediately repel a narcissist.
Enlightened, validating enablers do exist. However, they’re very rare; and even if they do openly see what’s going on, their co-dependent nature often sees them tied to the narcissist. In my opinion, based on what I have observed, enablers often lack empathy, are self-serving, and are easily brainwashed.
To outsiders, your typical enabler appears to be gentle, quiet, and very placid. People often think the world of them and perceive them to be beautiful, lovely, gentle people who just happen to be in a bad relationship with a controlling person.
I used to believe this to be the truth too. However, now I view your typical unenlightened enabler very differently. From my personal experience with my own enabling parent, who appeared to be kind, gentle, and placid, I now see your typical enabler as a very unsupportive individual. The most unenlightened of enablers appears to have absolutely no problem standing by on the sidelines, and watching the narcissist destroy their child’s sense of self on a daily basis, without stepping in to protect them.
The enabling parent’s children often try to secure this parent as an ally in this disgustingly abusive situation, only to be rejected by a parent who almost always supports the narcissist, regardless of the fact that they are in the wrong.
An unenlightened enabler with absolutely no education on the effects of narcissistic abuse refuses to look beneath the narcissist’s abusive behavior, to even try to imagine how this abusive behavior would insidiously infect a child’s soul. Being the HSP that I am, I have no understanding of this inability.
The narcissist as a serial complainer
From what I’ve witnessed, the most pathological of narcissist’s does an awful lot of complaining. They tend to not like anybody. There isn’t anybody in their circles that they don’t have a problem with.
In my experience, this dislike of absolutely everybody the narcissist comes into contact with, extends to the narcissist’s children (all but the golden child) who are complained about by the narcissist day in day out to the enabling parent.
Complaints such as ‘they cry too much,’ ‘they’re not really sick,’ ‘they’re faking it,’ ‘they’re spoilt,’ ‘they’re out of control,’ ‘they shouldn’t be asking me to borrow my things,’ ‘why should I have to lend them any money?’ ‘they shouldn’t be asking me for help. Nobody ever helped me,’ ‘they’re manipulating the family by asking if we can do this or that to help them,’ are all comments that continually fly out of the narcissist’s mouth about their children.
How does the enabling parent respond to the narcissist’s constant complaints about the children’s need for support?
Some enabling parents choose to simply ignore the narcissist, and co-exist without discussion. This kind of enabling parent allows the narcissistic parent to be who they are, to rule the roost, and to choose which children do or do not get supported. They rarely intervene, or say anything much to the children about the narcissist’s unfairness and unrealistic expectations.
Every now and again a more enlightened enabler will come to the conclusion that they are keeping their children in a toxic situation, and need to leave. However, co-dependency and a lack of self-esteem are often two big issues for this enabler, who will most likely find it very difficult to pluck up the courage to take that final step and leave.
then there is your toxic enabler. I call this kind of enabler the fixer. My enabling parent was a fixer. This kind of enabling parent is constantly plugging up the holes in the boat; only to find that more leaks continue to appear out of nowhere.
In other words, the narcissist continues to find problems with their children’s personalities. The enabling parent steps in time and time again to try to stop the children from creating further problems for the narcissist. From what I have seen first hand, this enabler takes the narcissistic parent’s problems with their children on as though the problem is their own, and try to solve it for the narcissist. The problem with this is that a lot of the incidents taking place between the children and the narcissist (all out of the enabler’s sight) are often lied about, and exaggerated by the narcissist to the enabler, who tries to take control of the situation at the children’s expense.
The narcissist is supported at the expense of the children, who go unsupported once again. This parent has fallen victim to the ideology that external sources outside of the narcissist (the children) are the reason for the narcissist’s unhappiness, instead of the obvious internal defect within the narcissist.
This patriarchal, punitive enabling parent honestly believes that if they can educate (manipulate) these external sources, (the narcissist’s children) get them under both their control, and the narcissist’s control, then the narcissist will be happy, and the enabling parent will finally have peace and quiet from the complaining narcissist.
The narcissist as the only family member to receive support
The narcissistic parent’s continued need for all of the support in the family unit, as well as all of the attention, sees the narcissist feigning victimhood, and painting all of the children, besides the golden child, as all bad to the enabling parent. The enabling parent will often punish the children excessively for normal child like misbehavior – behavior that they most likely didn’t even personally witness.
Love is conditional and is almost always withheld if the children haven’t supported the narcissist adequately.
Inappropriate behavior from the children is rarely talked about, or discussed with the children in a loving and supportive manner. It is instead used against the children to shame them back into control, in the hope of gaining peace and quiet in the family home.
The enabling parent manages down the children
Once a punitive enabling parent has decided that the narcissist’s issues are related to external sources, rather than a complete software malfunction within the narcissist’s brain wiring, they unconsciously become a perpetrator in the full-blown psychological abuse of the children. Many enabling parents literally manage down the children by brainwashing them into believing that they have absolutely no right to ask for anything from anyone in this family unit. The lack of validation from the enabling parent causes the children to doubt their own sanity.
The democratic, often highly intelligent scapegoat has no allies in this system and often ends up being ganged up on by the entire family, including the enabling parent for continuing to push for support.
A safe enabling parent with a lack of understanding about narcissistic abuse would, in fact, see the error of their ways, and align with their scapegoated child – the only child in the entire family unit with any guts to point out the emperor’s nudity.
What happens if you ask for support?
Any adult child (other than the doted on golden child) wanting support of any kind in the narcissistic family unit will receive very big consequences. The narcissist, as well as a toxic enabling parent, will use the adult child’s need for support to their advantage to gain narcissistic supply. A child in this family unit may be goaded or baited into a negative reaction when asking for help.
Rejecting an adult child’s need for support is often done so as to create drama through an adult child’s negative reaction (for narcissistic supply). If the narcissistic parent can manipulate the enabling parent to side with them, the two parents can distress the adult child, provoke a reaction out of them, or to try make them feel unworthy, difficult, or demanding. If an adult child has a reaction and becomes really upset about the cruelty of the family unit, everybody in the family unit will be informed about the reaction from the challenging child, and the entire family will moan and groan about this person for weeks at a time. Needing anything is always used against the adult child of a narcissist.
What is going on when the narcissistic parent gladly offers you support?
Its a trick! If an adult child is being offered support out of the blew by the narcissistic parent, (and they’re not the golden child) the chances are that the narcissist either wants something from them, or they are running low on narcissistic supply, haven’t had any drama for a while, and are about to create a huge drama in the family unit by triangulating everybody in the family unit against the adult child being offered support. The narcissist is about to launch a huge smear campaign to the other members against the child they offered support to. This offer of support may turn into a huge attack by the other family members, especially a jealous narcissistic golden child. A jealous narcissistic golden child will fuel the smear campaign alongside the narcissistic parent, because, not only are they jealous that they aren’t getting all of the attention in the room, but they too have fallen for the pathological lies of the narcissist.
‘You’re being lured. Don’t take the bait’
Examples of support being used against you:
Scenario one: The narcissist offers to lend you an item, and you accept. They than tell the rest of your family members that you stole it. You turn up to the next family gathering, (if you aren’t excluded first) only to find that you are being ignored by the other members of the family, or treated with coldness.
Scenario two: You aren’t coping. You need emotional support. The narcissist decides to invite you over to support you with your troubles. They hoover you with homemade cooking, and gifts to make you feel better. However, behind your back the narcissist is playing the victim to the other family members, claiming that you are harassing them, breaking big boundaries, and won’t leave them alone.
What happens if you have a major crisis in the narcissistic family
Unfortunately, adult children coming out of the narcissistic family unit (especially scapegoated, and rebel children) often need an incredible amount of emotional support in adulthood. From personal experience, I know that this is just not going to happen. It is not uncommon for children from the narcissistic family unit to either become drug addicted, suffer from an eating disorder, or to experience other mental health issues.
If an adult child simply cannot cope, needs ongoing support, or has become a self medicator to soothe inner childhood wounding, the adult child will ultimately be blamed for what they’re going through, trash talked, and vilified behind their back by the entire family. The narcissist will take absolutely no responsibility for the situation at hand, and will use this situation as leverage to brainwash the rest of the family into believing this adult child is unhinged and screwed up.
If you are supported by the narcissistic parent in your time of need, all of your secrets will be discussed amongst family. Stories of you instability will be spread, and at some point; even years down the track you’ll be made to pay for shaming the family by appearing weak in the first place.
‘Family scapegoating is a hostile discrediting routine by which the scapegoating family members’ remove blame and responsibility from themselves for problems within the family unit, and dump all of the responsibility onto a targeted family member. The practice of scapegoating allows for feelings of anger and hostility to be projected onto the family scapegoat through continued inappropriate accusations. The scapegoated adult child of a narcissistic parent feels wrongly persecuted after receiving misplaced vilification, blame, criticism, and rejection from the member’s of the family whom the narcissistic parent seeks to influence. Scapegoating allows for the self-righteous discharge of one’s aggression onto another more vulnerable source.’
Scapegoating is a serious family dysfunctional problem where one member of the family is picked apart for small things, that most non-judgemental healthy families’ wouldn’t view as abnormal, or problematic. Scapegoating begins in childhood. Small things that the targeted child does are exaggerated, talked about among family, and are considered the actions of a child with a behavioural problem.
Scapegoating typically occurs in families’ where there is a narcissistic parent. Narcissistic parents’ typically have a golden child and a scapegoat. The golden child can no wrong, and the scapegoat can do no right. The golden child is all good, and the scapegoat is all bad. All of the children are encouraged to goad, bait, and peck at the one. In a family such as this, somebody always has to be the bad guy.
Why is the scapegoat chosen?
Scapegoats are not chosen by accident. They are usually the more sensitive child, highly empathetic, can’t stand abusive behaviour, and have a penchant for the truth. These character traits bring to the narcissist’s attention that the child, come adulthood, could blab. Deeming the scapegoat bad in some way is the families’ way of discrediting the scapegoat, and denying the problems in the family by projecting onto the child the behaviours of the perpetrators’ – therefore, deeming them the main troublemaker in the family.
The scapegoat is to blame for everything
The scapegoated child is typically blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family unit. The narcissistic parent blames this child for the problems the scapegoat has with the other children in the family unit. In the mind of the narcissistic parent, the scapegoated child is at fault for the other children’s verbal and physical aggression towards them. Regardless of whether or not the other children are provoking the scapegoat, attacking the scapegoat, are caught out lying about the scapegoat, or excluding the scapegoat; these children will never be held accountable for their actions. Instead, the scapegoat will be blamed for the horrendous behaviour of the other children. This dynamic often plays out between the golden child and the scapegoat. In the mind of the narcissist, the golden child is never at fault for their poor behaviour. Instead, this child is grandiose and entitled to do as they please, just like the narcissist.
This dynamic doesn’t stop in childhood and often persists well into adulthood – up until the scapegoat either puts up big boundaries or goes No Contact.
The scapegoat’s view of themselves
This pattern of blaming and shaming the scapegoat for every issue within the family unit sets them up to be overly self-critical, to shame themselves constantly, and to believe they are always at fault in every conflict. Once an adult, the family scapegoat often has difficulty asserting themselves, does not believe in their right to stand up for themselves, or to the notion that they not defective, unworthy, or lovable. They often walk out of the family in adulthood only to be scapegoated again by an abusive partner, or abusive friends.
Subconsciously, the narcissist believes that if the entire family is unhappy with the scapegoat, then it releases the family from any blame, and deflects from the real issues within the family. The scapegoaters view the mistreatment of the scapegoat from a distorted mindset. They honestly believe that onlookers will realise that the scapegoat is to blame for the family’s decision to exclude this person.
Characteristics of a scapegoater
Typically, family members’ who scapegoat are very punitive in their beliefs, are extremely judgmental of others, and fall victim to the manipulations of the narcissist, primarily because of this deeply ingrained punitive, judgemental way of behaving and thinking.
How does the family scapegoat the victim?
Scapegoating is the practice of pathological lying. The scapegoater poisons the minds of other family members by slandering the family scapegoat, claiming they have said and done things they haven’t, by triangulating the adult children against the scapegoat, and blaming them for everything that goes on within the family. In adulthood, the adult children already view the scapegoat as fundamentally floored, because of the narcissistic parent’s continued slander, and accusations directed against the child for things they didn’t do. The adult children have been brainwashed into taking on the narcissist’s perception of the child; which of course, is untrue.
This works in the narcissist’s favour. When a scene occurs, the scapegoat is made to take the blame for whatever has happened, even if they are completely innocent, and it was another family member who was actually the real culprit. The scapegoats family always makes this adult – child the bad guy and lies about how things really went down. Horrendous behaviour from the other family members is shoved under the carpet, and the scapegoat is left wondering why they were just blamed for the attack upon them, which just occurred.
Repeated scenarios such as the one above often lead to the scapegoat being deemed as volatile, unhinged, crazy, and a troublemaker. These same scenarios often lead to the scapegoat being excluded from important family events, being talked about, laughed at, ridiculed, and denigrated to disgusting degrees. The scapegoat victim can usually feel the discontent, and anger from their family members during the scapegoating process.
They know they have been ostracised from family functions, and have a fair idea they are being denigrated behind their backs. What they don’t know though, is the degree of the slander, or ridicule.
Scapegoaters’ are often disappointed when they find that the same problems within the family still exist long after the scapegoat has left.
Walking away from an entire family is one of the most painful things the family scapegoat adult child in a narcissistic family will ever do. Abuse from the narcissistic family towards the scapegoat is often so severe, and so mentally damaging, that the only solution left after exhausting all other avenues, is to walk away from the family unit, and anybody outside of the family unit, connected to the family.
Scapegoating is contagious – and once the family scapegoat has been earmarked for this kind of abuse, friends of the perpetrators, or relatives ( minions) previously uninvolved in the situation, may involve themselves in scapegoating this member of the family; just because they can. This is the nature of scapegoating. Once the smear campaign is at work, and infiltrates everybody within the narcissist’s circles, the scapegoat no longer has any control over the situation. Explaining away one’s own innocence proves unproductive. The only options left are to walk away, and to remain non-reactive.
At the centre of the scapegoating problem within the family unit, is often an extremely emotionally dangerous, triangulating narcissistic parent, often aided by either an unaware enabling parent, a narcissistic golden child or a flying monkey golden child with a lack of awareness in what they have become involved in.
Earmarked for abuse
Scapegoated individuals are often earmarked for abuse by their narcissistic parent early on in childhood because they are the child who sees through the narcissist’s façade. This ability to see through the narcissist eventuates in family mobbing and the destruction of the scapegoat’s reputation.
The narcissist’s false self cannot take any criticism; and will dish out low blows to anybody who dares challenge the narcissist’s reality – which is not reality.
How does one become a scapegoat?
To become a scapegoat, one must be highly empathetic, very strong emotionally, extremely caring, easily vexed by abusive behaviour, and emotionally sensitive to nasty, cruel actions. This type of individual can literally feel the hurt and pain from those being abused and will pull up the abusers on their behaviour without a second thought.
This child will challenge the narcissist’s false self over and over again; inflicting narcissistic injury upon narcissistic injury to the narcissist’s false self. They are now a threat. In a nutshell, the narcissist must brainwash this child into believing that they are inherently bad. If this sadistic parent can gain control over this child’s opinion of themselves, and manipulate the child into believing that they, instead of the parent, are actually the problem, then the narcissist will be safe from future narcissistic injuries. This child’s view of themselves is now tainted, which will see them second-guessing themselves – and will hinder the child from feeling confident enough to be their true authentic self within this family unit, or in their interpersonal relationships with others later on in life.
To reclaim control over the child, the narcissist will smash the scapegoat’s self-esteem apart, and smash at their developing sense of self by attributing their own abusive traits to the child. The narcissist rids these traits from within themselves, by projecting them onto the child. The narrative projected onto the child is often ‘you’re crazy, angry, abusive, dysfunctional, mentally unstable.’ Of course, as we all know, the narcissist is all of these things, not the child.
To scapegoat an adult child of a narcissistic parent, the parent must have participants. These participants are usually an enabling parent, and the scapegoat’s siblings, who almost always engage in the scapegoating epidemic, because they have not yet cottoned on to the reality that they are being brainwashed, and the narcissistic parent actually has a serious mental illness. Although, that being said, the narcissist selects their flying monkeys, based on the ease at which they can brainwash them. In most cases, the narcissistic parent will secure the child most like them, or the child most easily manipulated and brainwashed, into siding with them in taunting the scapegoat.
Very often, the most obvious ally is the narcissist’s golden child (mini-me). Firstly, the narcissistic parent will triangulate the golden child and the scapegoat against each other. Than the narcissistic parent will smear the scapegoat’s name to the golden child. In no time at all, the golden child will be under the spell of mind control, and will be convinced of the scapegoat’s inherent badness.
These two perpetrators will launch a dangerous smear campaign against the scapegoat and will sell it to the other family members. The focus of the smear campaign will be on the scapegoat’s sins; which apparently deem the scapegoat unworthy of love – and worthy instead of being ostracised and punished by everybody else in the family unit.
This act of family mobbing will almost always eventuate because of the obvious threat the scapegoat poses to the family unit as a whole. Truth tellers are not allowed in this family unit.
These attacks of family mobbing are not uncommon in the narcissistic family system. They are almost always set up by the narcissistic parent as a payback to the scapegoat for usually disagreeing with the narcissist’s opinion on something they deem important, requiring support – which of course would take attention away from the narcissistic parent, or for exposing some minor abuses incurred from the narcissistic parent, to an enabling parent, or other family members. To silence the scapegoat, or to pay them back, and show them who’s boss, the narcissist will set the scapegoat up by turning the adult children against them. They will do whatever it takes to destroy the other family members relationships with the scapegoat; which will, of course, cause horrendous pain to the scapegoat, and cut deep. The narcissist most likely fears the scapegoat will completely expose them as the fake they truly are. So they must remove them from the family.
The scapegoat says ‘no more.’
After decades of psychological abuse, random family interventions on the scapegoat, years of smearing, backstabbing, triangulation, and more likely than not, another attack of family mobbing – the scapegoat says ‘enough is enough.’ The final goodbye is not pretty, and usually, after the final confrontation, the scapegoat walks away. Nothing has worked. Assertion hasn’t worked, distress hasn’t worked, and most of the scapegoat’s warranted reactions have backfired on them.
The entire family watches on in dismay as the scapegoat informs the family that they will no longer be abused by them, and wants nothing more to do with them. They wander off into the darkness, (which eventually turns to light) never to return.
An earthquake has literally erupted, and the scapegoat’s family of origin is left to pick up the pieces. Narcissism is one of the few conditions where the true victim is left alone in a complete state of emotional terror; and isolation, while everybody flutters around the emotional terrorist, and dotes on them. Whereas the true victim often walks away from their war-torn family, only to have a complete psychotic breakdown.
The entire family turns their back on the scapegoat in their time of need. Members who once supported the scapegoat have become victims of brainwashing and now believe in the lie. Not one single family member will check to see if the scapegoat is ok – and nobody tries to find them; because nobody cares. This is the nature of the narcissistic family unit.
It is very unlikely that anybody within the family unit will ever actually have an epiphany, understand what they have been involved in, and actually realise the breadth of the damage done to the scapegoat. If the scapegoat’s family ever did try to find the scapegoat, it wouldn’t be to empathise with them. It would instead be to convince them that they should come back to the family, and honour their mother or father. These people are not going to apologise for what they have been a part of, and will most likely never be able to access the empathy required to understand the emotional agony the scapegoat has actually endured.
A member of the family who acts as a flying monkey for the narcissist, and tries to hoover the scapegoat back into the family unit, subconsciously does so, in the hope that the scapegoat will come back to the family to fulfil their role as the family trash can. Life becomes difficult for the narcissistic family when the trash can leaves. However, it becomes harder to blame the scapegoat when the endless drama between the family members continues – even when the scapegoat is nowhere to be found.
The earthquake has erupted
After being smeared, and trashed talked to such extensive degrees amongst the immediate family members, and extended family, scapegoat’s often choose to speak their truth, in relation the family dynamic, and reveal to extended family members, or to curious enquirers known to the narcissist, that the narcissist is indeed the main reason for the dissension in the family unit.
The narcissist wasn’t prepared for this. Revealing the narcissistic family dynamic to enquiring minds without trash talking the family, or stooping down to their level, is often the only way for the scapegoat to recover their reputation, which is often destroyed in the face of cousins, aunts, or even grandparents. A lot of these people see through the ruse and sympathise with the scapegoat. However; others don’t.
It is not uncommon for a scapegoat to find support in an extended family filled with cousins, where they can openly discuss the scapegoating epidemic within the family. This decision to assert their truth is very empowering; because for an entire lifetime, the scapegoat has watched on as the narcissist has lied about them, deemed them mentally unwell, smeared their name to anyone who would listen, and has done everything they could to break them. All the while the scapegoat has most likely remained loyal and hasn’t revealed the truth.
The tables have turned, and the scapegoat is gaining their power back. What the narcissist wasn’t prepared for is the scapegoat’s comeback.
This statement from the scapegoat is very powerful. Depending on the extent of the narcissist’s malignancy, the narcissist, along with their minions have been known to withdraw from an assertive supa – nova scapegoat’s sting. The family now knows that the scapegoat will never ever be available for family mobbing, family bullying, baiting, goading, exclusion, and other cruel acts of emotional terrorism, ever again. The family has been called out.
This exposure repels the narcissistic family from the scapegoat. They know the scapegoat is a force to be reckoned with; and because of this, the scapegoat will most likely never ever hear from these crazy-making family members ever again. They are free, and are now in survival mode after having left a war-torn family.
What happens to the family when the scapegoat leaves?
The family, on the other hand, is left to deal with the family problems all on their own. The scapegoat has quit after decades of abuse. The family trashcan is gone, and the family will now have to deal with their own rubbish or shift it over to a newly appointed scapegoat.
The family members will gossip and trash talk amongst themselves about how terrible the scapegoat is for as long as the subject can keep them entertained. This collaboration of forces against the scapegoat in their absence may connect these family members for a time – but eventually, they are back to square one, dealing with the same problems within the family unit that they were once blaming the scapegoat for.
What everybody has failed to recognise in this major debacle, is that the main problem in the family unit, the narcissist, still lives and breathes in the adult children’s domain. The ringleader, and primary crazy maker, the narcissist, is not going to change just because the scapegoat has left. This sick human being is still going to continue to triangulate all of the other family members and to cause chaos where once there was none. The narcissist doesn’t know any other way. The family members who mistakably thought that all of the families problems would be fixed once the scapegoat left are in for in a huge shock. I am speculating here; but the problems are only just beginning.
What happened to the scapegoat the day they left?
After an act of family mobbing against the scapegoat, all of the family members flock around the narcissist, while the real victim, the scapegoat, is left in a state of emotional terror.
The scapegoat has lost everything all in one sitting. They have lost their family, close relationships with the members of the family that were turned against them, their dignity, their reputation, and their identity. Their identity has been trashed in this family unit, they have no reputation left, and they are in a state of shock. It is not unusual for someone this bullied to have a complete psychotic breakdown, experience suicidal ideation, fantasise about dying, experience C-PTSD symptoms, huge triggers, and daily panic attacks.
Narcissistic abuse is a complete attack on the soul, personality, and emotions; almost always leaving victims feeling emotionally dysregulated, suffering panic attacks or agoraphobia. The scapegoat is left in a state of emotional upheaval.
This innocent victim of abuse has been cast out and left to fend for themselves. They are vulnerable, fragile, and broken.
The scapegoat embarks on the biggest healing journey of their life
If the scapegoat has a partner, healing from narcissistic abuse is going to be a smoother process. However, if the scapegoat is completely alone in their healing, then they may struggle immensely. If they are alone, or with a clan of children (a single mother) while grieving, then the lack of family support will take its toll.
Either way, the scapegoat is about to embark on what could be described as one of the darkest, bleakest, scariest journeys a person can embark on. They are about to grieve years and years and years of abuse, rejection, abandonment, and betrayal, from the people who were meant to love them. Grieving an entire family is one of the darkest, bleakest, scariest journey’s a person can endure. It is often filled with horror, depression, shame, guilt, and condemnation of self.
Years and years of brainwashing has taken its toll and has controlled the scapegoat beyond belief. The chains which have held them captive emotionally for a lifetime, are finally about to begin to dissolve. This may take a number of years. However, as time goes on, the scapegoat will most likely eventually relinquish the crazy cult like beliefs drummed into them; as well as their brainwashed pathology – by finally realising that they can now be the autonomous being they always wanted to be, because no one is watching them, or judging their every move, any more.
This journey may be very painful, but joyful, bleak, but full of opportunity, and darker than one could imagine. However, once the grieving is done, the light is brighter than the scapegoat ever thought it could be.
The aftermath – the feelings felt
The shame that the scapegoat feels after being so terribly psychologically abused for an entire lifetime will most likely eat away at them for a long time. They may even experience regular shame spirals for a number of years, even after they have gone no contact.
The seven stages of grief are relentless, and will often feel never-ending while enduring; because the day the scapegoat left is the day their family died.
The rainbow after the storm
However, at the very same time that the scapegoat experiences these terribly overwhelming, gut-wrenching feelings of shame, pain, guilt, anger, rage, and complete distress; they also feel an immense sense of freedom. For the first time in their lives they are free to do what they want, when they want to, without having a bunch of nasty onlookers laughing at them, picking their choices to pieces, disagreeing with their decisions, telling them how they should be, and still trying to control every single aspect of their lives in adulthood.
They don’t have to deal with regular family interventions anymore, their narcissistic parent constantly trying to gain attention for themselves by creating drama in the scapegoat’s life, and creating problems where there once were none.
For the first time in their entire lives, the scapegoat is free. For the first time in their life, they no longer have to walk on eggshells or behave with an incredible amount of hyper-vigilance. They now know which way the pendulum swings. For the first time in their life, they are emotionally safe.
Is it Tempting to go back?
Yes, it is tempting go back. The pain can get so bad at times that the scapegoat will probably feel tempted to go back to their family. However, once these emotions dissipate until next time, the scapegoat will in time, begin to feel a sense of freedom, and autonomy that they have never felt before.
It is especially tempting to go back to the family of origin if something goes wrong, and the scapegoat is experiencing an unbearable emotion which would normally dissipate with family support. Scapegoats are very very vulnerable in so many areas of their life because they have no family support.
The clarity which comes from healing
The more time one has away from the narcissistic family unit, the clearer they become about what was really going on. Within a few years, the fog completely lifts away, and the scapegoat realises they were duped by a false self, with a penchant for brainwashing, who claimed to be the scapegoat’s parent. They were living in an illusion for years with a very sick parent, as well as an enabling parent, who did very little to stop the abuse.
When you leave the narcissistic family, you leave a brainwashing facility; plain and simple. The brainwashing and indoctrination begin to lose power after some years of being away from narcissistic people. It is such an amazing feeling to learn that everything you were ever taught or were ever told about yourself was not reality, and was told to you and taught to you, so as to control you.
The narcissist’s belief systems are deranged – and the oppression the scapegoat lived under for so many years is not how normal people live. This is liberating. No one is watching the scapegoat anymore, judging the scapegoat, and picking the scapegoat to pieces. Mind control is wearing off, and it feels great.
The chains previously wrapped around the scapegoat’s soul are dissolving.
The scapegoat as an autonomous being
The scapegoat is now an autonomous being. They are no longer an extension of the narcissist; and after a lifetime of abuse, they now see through all of the lies. It takes a lot of internal work on one’s self to recover their self-esteem, lesson the effects of narcissistic abuse syndrome, and to find their voice again. It can be done, and will only be improved upon with time.
The scapegoat walks forward into the sunshine, and creates the best life they have ever had, and leaves behind them a war zone where everybody in the family unit continues to fight, bully, goad and provoke one another.
In today’s article, I am going to discuss the toxic dynamic between a highly malignant narcissistic ‘golden child,’ and the ‘scapegoated child’. Not all golden children are narcissistic, sociopathic, or psychopathic. The vast majority are just ‘golden’ – as in all good, doted on, coddled, and adored. However, the narcissistic ‘golden child’ is not so benign, and more often than not will take great pleasure in supporting the narcissistic parent in destroying the scapegoat child’s confidence and self- esteem. Sibling to sibling psychological abuse is very real and can affect the children abused by these toxic siblings terribly in adulthood.
The disordered golden child is not always the oldest child. However, a lot of the time the oldest child will play out the ‘golden child/ scapegoat dynamic’ with the second child within a narcissistic family set up. Many of my friends are either enduring this dynamic with an older golden child sibling still. Or, they have made the heart-wrenching decision to go No Contact with this older sibling.
The narcissistic ‘golden child’ will mistreat all of their siblings. However, the scapegoated child will endure the most, because they will be the child who refuses to go along with the narcissistic child’s illusions of grandeur. They will refuse to accept the narcissistic child’s belief that they are entitled to abuse, steal from others, become aggressive at the slightest criticism, or have complete control over other people. The scapegoated child refuses to mirror this child as they would like to be mirrored. So, the golden child, with the approval of the narcissistic parent, smashes the mirror.
The narcissist as a black and white thinker
Narcissists are black and white thinkers. They never see shades of grey. You’re either good or bad in their eyes. Very often two people will be separated into ‘black’ and ‘white’. One person will be seen as black (all bad) and the other will be seen as white (all good). Sometimes the two same people will rotate between good and bad, or black and white, in the mind of the narcissist.
The first child is often all good, and the second child is often all bad. However, this isn’t always the way it goes. Sometimes the first child is all bad, and the second child is all good.
Birth order plays a major role in personality development, without narcissism being involved. In a healthy family, the oldest child is the most likely child to emulate the parents. If the parents are narcissistic, the second child has a problem.
The narcissistic child as a replica of the narcissistic parent
The narcissistic golden child is often a replica of the narcissistic parent. They subconsciously take on the narcissistic parent’s values, beliefs, and way of life. They integrate these beliefs into every aspect of the life. Whereas the scapegoated child consciously completely rejects the narcissistic parent’s way of life, beliefs, and values. They consciously question the narcissist’s way of thinking – whereas the narcissistic child just goes along to get along.
The narcissistic child completely models their narcissistic parent and chooses to treat others based on how their role model treats others. The scapegoat, on the other hand, decides that they will treat people respectfully, because they don’t like how their narcissistic role model treats others.
Why does the narcissistic child take on the narcissist’s personality?
Nobody really knows why the narcissistic child takes on the same personality as their parent, and why the scapegoated child doesn’t. However, there are varying theories on the matter. Family dynamics also play a part in the creation of the golden child and the scapegoat.
The highly malignant golden child is not nurtured by the narcissistic parent. They can’t relay empathy, because they have never been shown any. Empathy is often taught. If a child isn’t pulled up on their ill-treatment of others and given consequences for it, then they don’t learn the difference between kindness and unkindness. If a child is not corrected on their behavior, then they’ll think that it is ok to behave badly. Nobody has told them otherwise. This child learns early on that they can do whatever they want.
In the narcissistic abuse communities, scapegoated adult children often discuss the reality that they as the scapegoat was constantly being pulled up on their poor behavior, and were constantly told when they weren’t treating people properly. The golden child, on the other hand, was never pulled up and was taught that whatever they did, no matter how vile, was seen as ok in the narcissistic parent’s eyes, because they were the golden child.
The expectations for each child, (scapegoated and golden) are different, to coincide with the narcissist’s black and white thinking.
The narcissistic golden child is encouraged to take on the un-empathetic, self-serving behavior of the parent, whereas the scapegoated individuals are often told that they are ruthless, and need to be more empathetic.
”Don’t be like the scapegoat! ”
The golden child learns very quickly that to gain the narcissistic parent’s approval, one must behave in this un-empathetic, judgemental, disgusting way. If they behave like the scapegoat, (concerned, empathetic, and loving) they will be treated like the scapegoat. The narcissistic golden child refuses to stand in the corner with the scapegoated child and have stones thrown at them. Instead, they unconsciously decide that one will fare better in this family system, and may even gain some approval, or feigned love and support if they take on the role of psycho bully.
This isn’t thought out properly. It’s just a survival of the fittest mentality that some children (narcissistically inclined children) take on.
The malignancy of any golden child can very much depend on the family dynamic. If the narcissistic child only has a narcissistic mother or father to mirror, then the child is in big trouble. However, if this child has some love from one parent, that parent being the enabling parent, then the child may fair better in terms of malignancy.
The scapegoat rejects narcissism
The scapegoat has the empathy gene, and they know how to love. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and feel their pain. This ability to feel the internal pain of others is what drives them to speak up about the abuse from the narcissistic parent towards both the ‘golden child,’ and themselves.
It is not clear as to why the scapegoat child is more sensitive to the feelings of others and has more empathy. It may be because they are seen as all ‘black’ in the mind of the narcissistic parent. The scapegoated child is constantly reminded by the narcissist that they need to be empathetic, kind, and improve upon the innate ‘badness’ that the narcissist has projected onto them. This treatment often pushes the scapegoat child to work even harder to prove their goodness to the narcissistic parent.
A lack of entitlement may be their saving grace, or; they may simply have been nurtured more than the golden child by an enabling parent somewhere along the line.
The narcissistic parent’s rejection of the scapegoated child is a double-edged sword. In some ways being rejected pays for this child. Luckily they were never embraced with a sick love, and never had delusions of grandeur thrown their way. They escaped the false self which took over the narcissistic child, and the damage done to them is somewhat reparable.
The narcissist’s differential treatment of the two children puts the scapegoat in a position where they begin to see through their golden child sibling. They can see straight through the lie the golden child has fallen victim to. The scapegoated child knows their golden child sibling is not entitled, knows they are not grand, are not going to be famous, and is not this amazing person the narcissistic parent keeps making out they are. They see how cruel this child is becoming. So, the scapegoat child openly rejects narcissism.
What happens when the scapegoat talks about the elephant in the room?
The scapegoated child is in big trouble. This mother (father) and son, or mother (father) and daughter duo are the hierarchy. The second child either follows suit, and allows the narcissistic parent and golden child to control them, without complaining; or they complain, and become scapegoated.
The scapegoated option is the option unintentionally chosen by the second child, who almost always ends up sparring with the entitled child daily, and complaining endlessly to the narcissistic parent about the endless abuses incurred from the golden child. Challenging the narcissist’s illusion about their ‘special’ child ends badly for the scapegoated child. They spend their entire childhood being pecked at by a psychologically dangerous child, and a psychotic parent.
This golden child represents to the narcissistic parent everything amazing they see in themselves. The narcissistic parent lives and breathes through this grandiose, omnipotent, amazing child. This is the child that will defend the narcissist to no end, battle all of the people that continue to harm the narcissist’s ego, and will prove their omnipotence to the people around them. The narcissist will shine like a star through this child.
The scapegoat child strikes blow upon blow to the narcissist’s ego when they point out that the golden child isn’t so wonderful, is floored, troubled, and mean. This creates a huge narcissistic injury in this parent, who sees everything they love about themselves in this narcissistic child.
The narcissistic parent doesn’t encourage love between the two children
There is no love here. Only pure hatred from the narcissistic golden child towards the scapegoated child. The relationship between these two children is very similar to the iconic Cain and Able tale in the bible. The narcissistic parent deliberately sets this dynamic up for their own vested interests.
This dangerous, toxic dynamic between the two children serves a purpose for the narcissist, who has deliberately pitted both children against one another.
The narcissist encourages the golden child to try to gain control over the scapegoat child. The narcissistic parent never intends to encourage love and harmony. Instead, they allow the golden child to abuse the scapegoat, and they don’t bat an eyelid. Its a hate fest, where this dynamic duo attack, and discredit the scapegoated child any chance they get.
The narcissist will share the children’s secrets with each child, paint each child as black behind each other’s backs, and will feign victimhood when the situation explodes, and the children blow up at one another. This friction between the children is just another way of gaining attention from anyone who will listen when the narcissist explains to people how they have these two terrible children who can’t get along. The narcissist will do anything for fuel, and drama. Even if it means triangulating their children.
The golden child at this stage is a fully fledged narcissist. They operated with a false self, and they believe in the illusion – that they truly are grandiose, a hero, and omnipotent. When the scapegoated child challenges the narcissistic illusion, they are pummelled, turned against, lied about, and smashed down by the narcissistic child to the narcissistic parent, who just goes along with it.
The situation by this stage is too far gone, and the relatively good-natured enabling parent can’t get the situation between the two children under control because the narcissist isn’t on the same page as them.
How does the narcissistic child treat their siblings?
The narcissistic child doesn’t love any of their siblings and treats each of them terribly. They will, however, feign kindness towards the sibling or siblings’, that they feel are easier to control, and are more compliant appliances; especially if it serves them in some way.
The golden child will use these children as porns to antagonize the scapegoated child. They will share their lollies with a more compliant child and reject the scapegoat when they ask if they too can have a lolly. They will allow the more compliant child to engage with, or play with them while informing the scapegoat that they are not invited to play. As time goes on, and the scapegoat becomes more difficult to control, the golden child will even try to brainwash the other siblings into believing that the scapegoated child is fundamentally floored and that everybody must exclude them in some way or another.
This behavior worsens in adulthood, and often results in family mobbing. The golden child and narcissistic parent are always the ringleaders in family mobbing against the scapegoat.
The golden child will rage at their siblings, laugh at them in a condescending manner; use them when they please, and reject them if they suddenly need help, support, or empathy.
However, this being said, the more compliant sibling, or siblings, will not endure the harassment that the scapegoated child endures; unless of course, they question the golden child’s control. If the second child is already the scapegoat, the golden child has no need to go after the other siblings’. They already have a punching bag.
The golden child will provoke, and provoke and provoke the scapegoat child into arguments, while never antagonizing the more compliant siblings in such a way. They will pick this child to bits. They will pick at their entire being. When they become upset and react to the abuse, they will be told that they are unhinged, unstable and crazy.
Two sets of rules for golden children and scapegoats
There are two sets of rules for the golden child and the scapegoat child. If this child rages and screams at everyone, the narcissist doesn’t move on in to protect the children from the abuse. Instead, they accept it as the norm. However, if the scapegoat loses it because they can’t tolerate the golden child’s abuse anymore, they will never hear the end of it from the narcissistic parent. They will be told they are neurotic, highly strung, and a bad person; whereas the golden child’s faults will be swept underneath the carpet as though they never happened.
They are all good, and the scapegoat is all bad.
The narcissistic child is groomed to be the narcissist’s soldier
The narcissistic parent doesn’t like anybody. Nobody will ever be good enough, and everybody who comes into contact with the narcissist is a potential scapegoat.
The narcissistic parent literally grooms the golden child into becoming their soldier. The golden child (who will do anything to be accepted in this rejecting narcissistic family system) falls victim to the narcissist’s manipulations, and believes in the narcissist’s lies told continually about potential scapegoats. The golden child is the ultimate ‘bark dog’. This child behaves as though they are at war with everyone.
The narcissistic parent lives through the golden child. They encourage the golden child to trash talk everybody that comes into the room, be on the lookout for potential scapegoats, and to judge people harshly, with no room for error. Other people’s faults become the golden child’s focus, instead of their own.
Judge judge judge.
Often this duo will be a mother and a son, a mother and her daughter, a father, and daughter, or father and son. They are best friends and will conquer the world together. If anyone challenges the system, the golden child is there with the narcissistic parent to organize the smear campaign. Sadly, the object of the smear campaign is often the family scapegoat.
Why does the golden child have it in for the scapegoat to such intensity?
This is about the golden child’s sense of entitlement. The narcissistic parent felt entitled enough to create a mini-me and taught the child early on that they are entitled to exercise complete control over the scapegoat child, and everybody else they come into contact with.
This kind of golden child becomes that narcissistic adult in the room that a lot of us have probably met – the one who must have complete control over the actions, words, thoughts, and beliefs of everybody within their environment. The scapegoat is just meant to sit down and shut-up. The golden child’s sense of entitlement will not allow this child to accept that other people have human rights to a different opinion or different ideas from them.
Pulling the golden child up on their behavior, or disagreeing with their opinion on any given topic is seen by the golden child as severely manipulative behavior by the perpetrator of such an offense (usually the scapegoat).
The narcissistic parent is completely to blame for this over exaggerated sense of grandiosity and entitlement in the golden child because this parent taught the golden child that they have complete control over everybody in their environment. The first victim under the complete control of the golden child was the scapegoat. The narcissistic parent gave the golden child this position of power over the scapegoat and set the golden child up to believe that they will have control over anybody in their space.
What happens to the scapegoat’s relationship with the golden child in adulthood?
The relationship between the scapegoat and the golden child is often so damaged that the scapegoat outwardly resents the golden child. They don’t have a problem challenging the golden child’s false self. They don’t like them, and they aren’t going to hide it, regardless of the repercussions.
This person damaged the scapegoat so badly in childhood that there is no way that the scapegoated child will mirror back to the golden child that they are grand and omnipotent. The scapegoat can’t be controlled. The scapegoat is a continued reminder to the golden child that they are truly an abuser and a dangerous person.
So what does the golden child do? They smash the mirror over and over, with the help of the narcissistic parent, until the scapegoat eventually walks out of the family.
Eventually, many narcissistic golden children ruin the scapegoat’s reputation in adult life and turn their siblings against them, as well as the enabling parent. Rigid, weak enabling family members often just go with it. The scapegoat is often so terribly shamed and humiliated by these people that they are advised by their therapist to leave the entire family.
Does anyone support the scapegoat?
It’s unlikely. There appears to be an inability for the scapegoats’ siblings, even the less narcissistically inclined siblings to empathise with the intensity of the scapegoat’s pain; because if they could empathise at all, they would stand up for their sibling, and actually ask their golden child sibling, or the narcissist, to stop abusing the scapegoat. However, most of the narcissist’s children turn a blind eye, look the other way, and allow for the scapegoated child to get pecked and pecked and pecked, until there is literally no soul left to peck at.
It often becomes a case of ‘well thank goodness it isn’t not me.’
The narcissist convinces the other siblings who fail to support their scapegoated sibling that the scapegoat is unhinged, mentally ill, and needs help with emotional regulation. The golden child also says these vile things about the scapegoat in the hope of escaping all accountability.
The scapegoat’s strength
Scapegoated individuals are strong, often creative, and intelligent. They are often the most empathetic child in the narcissistic family, which is the primary reason why they are so targeted. When they leave the narcissistic family they take these traits with them, grieve the family, heal, and begin traveling the road less traveled by family members in the narcissistic family; the road to recovery.
The scapegoat has integrity. They never back down on this integrity, and they usually go on to have very fulfilling lives. The narcissistic family members either stay united in chaos or turn on each other.
For obvious reasons, scapegoated adult children unfortunately make up a large percentage of the narcissistic abuse community. The abuse of the scapegoat is not committed solely by one perpetrator, but by many. More often than not, each member of the scapegoated child’s immediate family behaves abusively towards them in one way, or another; both, in childhood, and adulthood.
Why? Because they can. The scapegoated child has been earmarked for abuse by the narcissist. In the mind of the narcissist, the scapegoat is a fundamentally flawed individual, and a faulty appliance. They just do not understand why the scapegoat continues to challenge their authority, and won’t allow themselves to be controlled.
The scapegoated child’s siblings have been brainwashed into believing the narcissist’s faulty perception of this child. These siblings are trained by the narcissistic parent to peck peck peck at the scapegoated child, to pick them to bits, and to hold their sins under a microscope.
In all of this chaos, nobody nurtures the scapegoat. Scapegoats’ endure a horrendous amount of abuse. So much so, they often come out of the narcissistic family with a crushed spirit, and internal wounds so horrendous that they often struggle terribly in their adult life. Once all is said and done, scapegoated children almost always end up playing out the same relationship dynamic they did with their abusive parent, with narcissistic friends and narcissistic partners.
It doesn’t stop there. Once adulthood arrives, scapegoat victims almost always continue to be victimised and blamed for all of the chaos in the narcissistic family unit. More often than not, they end up being victim’s of family mobbing, are forced out of the family, and decide to go ‘No Contact’.
The narcissistic parent teaches the children early on that everything about the scapegoat is wrong, and that they are crazy. The scapegoat’s siblings subconsciously take on this false perception, and look down upon the scapegoat for the same sins they themselves engage in daily. These sins are picked to bits, and are often the presenting reason as to why a narcissistic parent, and a narcissistic golden child often will turn the entire family against the scapegoat in adulthood.
Do the adult children know the narcissist has treated the scapegoat child differently in childhood?
Yes, a lot of the time they do. It is not uncommon for adult children to clarify with the scapegoated child that they know they have been treated differently by the narcissistic parent in childhood. However, this knowledge alone doesn’t stop the same adult children from discrediting the scapegoat, and isolating them from the rest of the family.
Mind control is in full force
Mind control, and brainwashing are the tactics utilised by the narcissistic parent to turn the other siblings against the scapegoated child. The siblings engaging in this behaviour often aren’t even aware of what they are doing.
The sibling who knows
A core theme in the narcissistic abuse community is ‘the sibling who knows.’ A lot of abuse survivors claim that sometimes other siblings, or a sibling within the narcissistic family unit admits that they know that family scapegoating, bullying, and cruelty runs rampant in the family.
Scapegoated adult children often become very distressed when they realise that even the sibling who claims to have their back, often turns their back on the scapegoated adult child. To put it plain and simple, the scapegoat realises that none of the siblings’ (including the sibling who knows) have any loyalty. Its tribal mentality.
The reality of the narcissistic family unit
Unfortunately, the harsh reality about the narcissistic family unit is that every single member in the family unit is sick. That may be a hard pill to swallow – but, it is true. You won’t find consciousness in an unconscious environment. Everybody in the narcissistic environment is unconscious. This is the reason why so much abuse takes place, and siblings sell each other down the river. The survival of the fittest mentality runs rampant throughout the narcissistic family unit. Being a truth – teller is playing a moral game. People with strong morals aren’t welcome in this family.
The scapegoat child is the first to enter therapy
The scapegoated adult – child has the highest success rate out of each of the family members when it comes to becoming emotional healthy. They are usually the first to go into therapy, and the first to begin the life long journey to recovery from severe emotional abuse. However, its a catch twenty two for the scapegoat; because once they go into therapy and sort through their internal wounding, they slowly but surely begin to outgrow the family anyway, finally begin to see just how sick their entire family actually is, and are reminded just how they sick they were too, before they entered therapy and awakened. After years in therapy, the recovering scapegoat literally feels like a stranger in a foreign country when around their family.
The scapegoat awakens and suddenly realises that their is no consciousness in this family unit.
The scapegoat will never lose their role
Scapegoated adult children never lose their role that the family has bestowed upon them. It doesn’t matter how well they become, or what they achieve, they will never be good enough for this family. Their sins will always be held under a microscope, while the other family members continue to get away with murder. Eventually, the scapegoat often ends up being the victim of family mobbing, and has no choice but to go ‘No Contact’ with the entire family.
Nobody stands up for the scapegoated family member
It is more common than not that a ‘more awake sibling’ within the family unit will know about your abuse.
Will they stand up for you? Probably not.
When push comes to shove, the sibling who knows about your abuse, also knows that by standing up for you, there is a lot to lose. In an extremely malignant family system, raising your hand, and pulling up a narcissist will see you thrown out of the family. Its the name of the game. If you challenge the narcissistic illusion, the narcissist will smash the mirror, and you will have to go. So, this person is not going to stand up for you.
Very often, asking for a family member to stand up for you, to acknowledge your pain, and to validate just how serious, and life threatening ‘family mobbing’ is, is not going to happen. This is a toxic family unit, where people want what they want. If thats money, and friendship from other family members who can’t handle any criticism, or take responsibility for their behaviour, than unfortunately, your mental health is going to take a beating while you stand on the sidelines and watch your sibling, who you thought had your back, literally walk away from you once you challenge them on their inability to stand for the truth.
This sibling does not have the empathy required to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and to at least try to identify with the scapegoat’s feelings of horror. This sibling doesn’t have the ability to even try to begin to understand what it would feel like to have your whole sense of self attacked, smeared, shamed, ostracised and trash talked. Narcissistic abuse is an attack on the spirit, the soul, and the body. A sibling in support of you would need a huge amount of empathy to feel the pain which comes from an attack on the soul. They don’t have it. They can’t do it.
Does this sibling care about me?
No. If a sibling can’t stand up for their sibling in a situation as emotionally dangerous, and disgusting as family mobbing, when they know that bullying causes suicide; than no, they don’t care about you.
There is a lot of information about the cluster B family system on the website ‘flying monkey’s denied.’ Unfortunately, this issue with siblings’ not wanting to back one another is very common. What you need to look at here is the entire family unit, and the leaders in the family unit. All of the children in your family come from the same parents. Of course this was going to happen.
This sibling is not your friend. Yes, they know what happened to you. They have probably spent hours talking to you about it, and have empathised with you – but actions speak louder than words. More often than not if the actions don’t match the words, than you may be dealing with a narcissistically inclined sibling that is just telling you what you want to hear.
They are very much a part of the scapegoating of you. They keep you in this role because of what they won’t say.
In 2001, Rose became a victim of family mobbing. She has a sibling, a younger brother, who knew just how abusive Rose’s family really was. Rose’s brother also knew months before the act of family mobbing took place, that Rose was being smeared behind her back by a narcissistic parent, and golden child sibling.
Rose’s younger brother knew that Rose had been targeted before. He had empathised with Rose before – and Rose honestly believed that he was her ally.
Rose’s golden child sibling suddenly decided that Rose should be ostracised from the family. Again, Rose’s brother knew about it; and instead of standing up for her, he decided to go to some of the family events that he knew Rose hadn’t been told about, because Rose’s golden child sibling had decided that Rose wasn’t allowed to go.
After some months, Rose’s brother walked Rose into a dangerous situation which he knew would most likely result in family mobbing. Rose was attacked verbally by her physically violent family member.
Later on down the track, Rose’s brother told her that he knew what was being planned, and he knew she was being scapegoated. It came out that he didn’t want to stand up for Rose, because he was trying to get along with everybody in the family, and to nurture those relationships. He told her that he didn’t want to become involved.
When Rose asked him if he could stand up for her, he told her directly that he didn’t want to thrown out of the family, because he was worried he’d be left out of the will. He turned the entire situation around, and told Rose that she was being controlling and self-serving. He even accused her of asking him to choose between herself and the family that had bullied her. Rose realised that her brother is not who she thought he was, and was never her ally. She describes him as more of a frenemie. Rose picked up quite quickly that her younger brother has a complete lack of empathy, and an unwillingness to recognise or identify with the needs and feelings of others.
Rose’s brother stopped talking to her after this conversation, and Rose now has no family support. Whether Rose’s brother realises it or not, he is now very much apart of Rose’s abuse – and is more karmically liable than Rose’s brainwashed siblings’ who have no idea that they have been used as pawns to attack Rose. He knows about the narcissistic family dynamics, still communicates with the family members that abused Rose as though nothing has happened – and couldn’t even have the decency enough to even stand up for his sister.
Every time he listens to the smear campaign behind Rose’s back, and refuses to correct the family members when they blame Rose for things that are not Rose’s fault – he lets Rose down, and aids the family in their abuse of Rose.
This sibling is not your friend
The scapegoated family member has to accept that this relationship is toxic as well. They won’t get anywhere here, because there is nowhere to move in a relationship when someone clearly in the wrong will not admit that they are in the wrong. It is very likely that a sibling that tells you what you want to hear, only to betray you so terribly, is narcissistic as well.
Emotionally healthy people can accept when they are wrong, have no problem admitting when they are in the wrong, and don’t see apologising to somebody as a threat to their ego.
Any person who justifies their own immoral behaviour by turning a situation around to make you wrong because you wanted them to strengthen your voice, with their voice; so as to lesson excruciating emotional pain incurred from family bullying, is a troubled person, and they can’t read their room very well.
Somebody who truly loves their sibling would not be able to hold their tongue about the abuse hurled upon their beloved sibling. They would be so furious with the abuser’s who almost pushed their sibling over the edge, that you wouldn’t be able to stop them from supporting you. Thats what true friends do. Frenemies on the other hand, don’t. The narcissistic family is full of frenemies.