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.