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Browsing Tag: divide and conquer

No triangulation here thanks

Triangulation is defined as indirect communication where one person (usually the narcissist) acts as a messenger between two others, often fabricating the message to suit the talebearer’s objective. Triangulation is commonly used by narcissists’, and it ties in with gas lighting and projection. In narcissistic families the narcissist will avoid discussing any issues they have with a targeted individual in the family unit. Instead, they will communicate with a third family member, or a few family members at one time, in regard to a problem, which normal healthy adults would be able to resolve by themselves without involving other people. The narcissist’s minions often feel compelled to become a part of the triangle in a bid to resolve the narcissist’s problems with targeted individuals. Usually, this solution to the problem ends in triangulation, anger and passive aggression.

The personality disordered mother or father is without an interpersonal tool box. They do not know how to resolve conflict, do not want to resolve conflict, enjoy drama, and will often create drama by deliberately becoming upset over trivial things which normal people simply do not become upset about. Vengeance will often be taken out against a target (which is usually one of the narcissist’s children) for trivial slights, via triangulation.

In normal families the parents act as leaders. They do not involve other people in their problems, and they deal with any problems they have with their children directly. Healthy parents do not discuss issues they have with one child, with the other children in the family. Healthy parents want their children to grow into assertive, authentic human beings who know how to handle problems head on without involving friends or family in their issues with other people.

How does the narcissistic family handle conflict?

The narcissist is no stranger to divide and conquer. With this strategy, the narcissist will sow seeds of instability between the family members, in the hope of creating havoc, and to eventually turn the entire family against a target of choice (usually the scapegoat). For this strategy to work, the narcissist must share information, or mean spirited comments (real or not), that the target has mentioned in confidence to the narcissist about their siblings. The narcissist thrives on telling each sibling how unhappy their other siblings are with them.

The narcissist uses divide and conquer day in, day out to create conflict. The narcissist is constantly twisting the words of their allies around to suit their own agenda, in the hope of emotionally harming their target. There is always a slither of truth added to the lies the narcissist tells each individual party that the other party has said about them.

Question: What happens in family situations where there is divide and conquer?

Answer: If all of the siblings feel offended by the target’s mean words, they will feel more compelled to triangulate against the target, in the hope of resolving what is now a family problem with the target.

In the narcissist’s mind, they honestly believe that if they can secure allies’ against another family member, than this family member will have no choice but to become submissive to the narcissist, and behave as the narcissist would like them to.

  • Why does the narcissist involve everybody in their problems?

The narcissist doesn’t want to solve their problems directly with the many people they have a problem with. To do so would be to resolve the problem, and narcissist’s do not want to resolve problems. Instead, a narcissist will often create a problem with one of their children, the next door neighbour, or the enabling parent, just to gain attention, adoration, and sympathy from their many allies’. The narcissist feigns victimhood so well, and the narcissist’s allies’ (who are under the spell of mind control, and honestly believe they are helping) often take the problem on as though its their own, and try to fix the problem for the narcissist.

If one sibling can make the other sibling behave appropriately, (usually through aggression or anger) than the narcissist will be happy. However, all that happens here is that the attacked sibling, or enabling parent simply becomes resentful of the narcissist’s ally (usually a brother or sister, or son or daughter) because they have become involved in something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

  • To gossip or not to gossip?

The narcissist’s children learn from the narcissist first hand, that the only way to handle a problem with a sibling, or parent is to gossip about this person to another family member, and to try to draw this person into the triangle.

Over time, the gossip spread about each family member behind their backs, is fed back to them through another family member. This becomes the family’s pattern of communication. Confrontation becomes something to be afraid of, which of course, results in a fear based system of communication. This fear based system of communication becomes the catalyst for passive aggressive communication which results in rage.

Where does the problem lie? 

The narcissist has the emotional capacity of a three year old, which means that the leader in this family leads the children down the garden path, and ends up passing skills down to their children which will destroy the children’s future relationships. The ‘leader’ in this family is nothing more than a perpetrator, which is why this family often falls apart.

What is the problem with indirectness? Tools of the unskilled

  • A lack of assertion

Indirect communication between family members often leads to resentment and discontent in the narcissist’s children. When siblings find out indirectly about a problem another family member has with them through a ‘Chinese whispers’ type style of communication, the affected family member feels hurt, which is often the reason why relationships between siblings often fizzle out. Triangulation makes the narcissistic family unit an unpredictable, and frightening place to be.

Many adult children of narcissist’s eventually grow tired of the chaos that triangulation causes. They eventually realise that they cannot solve the narcissist’s problems, become tired of their own part in the dysfunction, and often walk away from an entire family, deciding that they will no longer have triangulation in their lives.

  • Poor modelling

The narcissistic family’s values and belief systems are topsy turvy. In the narcissistic family set up, the children quickly learn that it is not ok to put up boundaries, behave assertively, or to resolve a problem through direct communication. Yet it is ok triangulate against loved ones, including friends and family.

It is very likely that at least one of the narcissist’s children will take on some of the trouble making behaviours passed down from the narcissist.

Venting or triangulation?

Venting to a trusted friend about an issue with another person can be very helpful, if the intent is to gain advice about resolving the problem. This is a very effective way of handling conflict resolution, and will often lead to the person enquiring, to take their friends advice, and to use it to help to resolve an ongoing problem.

However, involving other people in your problem with another person in the hope that this person will take on the problem and try to resolve it for you is called triangulation, and is one of the narcissist’s favourite tactics.

Confrontation in the narcissistic family

Confrontation is a big no no in the narcissistic family system. The narcissist’s anxiety ridden, petrified children become immune to triangulation, and will often resort to this learned behaviour through fear of confrontation. However, instead of resolving the problem, this fear of confrontation perpetuates the problem and exacerbates the issue even further.

  • What are the consequences of confronting a narcissist?

When confronted, narcissist’s can become verbally or physically aggressive, may turn against the victim by implementing allies, and will most likely use the silent treatment to pay the victim back.

The assertive child, teenager, or adult child of the narcissist who dares to assert their needs, says no to the narcissist about an agreed upon arrangement, or challenges the narcissist’s poor behaviour will most definitely be shamed. Authentic children who speak their mind are the narcissist’s biggest fear. Hence, the reason why authentic children are almost always scapegoated, and emotionally crushed beyond belief.

The rule of thumb in this family is that you never ever confront anybody in this family unit. Children in the narcissistic family do not come out unscathed, and often suffer with some big emotional issues of their own. After all, these children have spent their entire childhoods with a narcissistic parent who exhibits a complete lack of accountability, a sense of entitlement, and who refuses at all costs to be wrong. Often the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the narcissist’s non-narcissistic children often struggle with some of these issues in adulthood themselves.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

Children of narcissist’s often hand over their power, back down, and accept mistreatment, in order to stay safe from potentially harmful caregivers, or an angry, aggressive golden child.

However, the problem with backing down, and forgoing the right to assert ones needs is that this ‘child like survival mechanism’ is merely a temporary solution to a very big problem. Not discussing problems with the person concerned, and turning on them instead through triangulation is like stepping on a grenade. Inappropriate aggression, venting, and resentment from the narcissist’s minions towards those triangulated against, is the consequence of an innate fear of confrontation.

Adult children of narcissist’s often refuse to assert themselves around their peers through fear that the people they associate with will react to their assertiveness with the same outrageous response the narcissistic parent once did.

Triangulation tactics

  • To kill two birds with one stone: To obtain control, attention or adulation, narcissists’ will often inform child number one that they are a bad child, and that their sibling, child number two, is being really good this week. The next week the same parent will tell child number one that they are just so well behaved and their sibling, child number two, is such a bad kid. This idea of adding a third party to the relationship, which is now a triangle, kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, it stirs up feelings of jealousy and insecurity in both children, and subtly warns each child that they are replaceable. Instinctively, both children begin to resent one another, and will try harder to please the narcissist so as to not be replaced. It creates a delusion of rivalry, both of which fill the narcissist with narcissistic supply, adulation and control.
  • Recruiting reinforcements: One of the ways narcissists’ use triangulation to manipulate their children, or the enabling parent into siding with their point of view, is by using a third party to reinforce the narcissist’s opinions. This is an extreme form of bullying. The third party involved doesn’t realise that the reason the narcissist is trying to get the opinion from an outsider, is so they can take the opinion, and twist it around, just so as they can serve it on a platter to one of their victims. What victim’s fail to forget when this is happening is that the narcissist hasn’t told the third party the truth. Usually, the narcissist’s third party is a biased relative who sees the narcissist with rose tinted glasses. This relative’s false perception of the narcissist will be used as a tool by the narcissist to help settle differences and coerce their children, the enabling parent, or anyone else into accepting their viewpoint through the use of persuasion, embarrassment, majority rules, or guilt.
  • Splitting:This method of triangulation involves pitting two children against each other.  The narcissist does this by smearing the character of one, or both people behind their backs. This enables the narcissist to preserve their false image and ensures they’re viewed positively amongst the triangle. In many instances the narcissist will portray themselves as the victim, who just so happens to have these terrible children that just cannot get along. This may happen if the narcissist realises that their scapegoat child can now see through their manipulation, game playing, hypocrisy and abuse.  The narcissist will react by planning a full-fledged smear campaign behind their back. So, by the time they discard the scapegoat child, the narcissist will have already turned the siblings, relatives, friends and family against the scapegoat.

Emotionally healthy families

In emotionally healthy families,  parent’s do not recruit third parties (the other siblings), or use messengers to help to settle their differences with their children. Instead, they have face to face discussions with their child, teenager, or adult child.

Emotionally healthy parent’s encourage their children to discuss their issues with one another openly and honestly. These parent’s do not gossip about their children behind their backs with the other children. Instead, they guide their children in conflict resolution.

 

 

 

Parental alienation after divorce

Parental alienation is an extreme form of emotional abuse, forcing children to listen to, watch, and engage in, the full-blown mental abuse of the alienated parent. Alienating parents’ deliberately slander, and maliciously put down the alienated parent in an effort to destroy their relationship with the children.

If  a child asks the alienating parent to stop denigrating the alienated parent, or outwardly disagrees with what is being said about the other parent, they may be raged at, disagreed with, ignored, or may even have love with-held.

Alienating another parent is a serious form of child abuse; which takes years for the adult children’ of parental alienators’ to work through. These children are lied to daily about the alienated parent, and brainwashed into believing that the alienated parent (usually the nicer parent) is actually abusing the alienating parent.

Why alienate another parent?

In the eyes of the parental alienator there are many benefits to alienating another person. Blaming somebody else for all of the problems within the family, means that the alienator doesn’t need to take responsibility for their own behaviour. By blaming their own behaviour on somebody else, this parent can perpetuate their own victim state as the bullied martyr who has to persist with such a difficult, dysfunctional co-parent.

Severe parental alienators’ want their children to feel sorry for them, because they need the children’s continued support in the fight against the alienated parent.

Alienating another parent means that narcissistic supply is endless, the alienator is guaranteed a life time supply of attention, will always be the person in the room with the most attention, and will forever have a scapegoat.

What happens?

Over time the children slowly but surely begin to side with the alienating parent. Through the children, ( the alienating parent’s little puppets) this parent will make chaos where once there was none.

Why? 

Parental alienators’ of the more severe kind are very sensitive individuals. They can’t handle any criticism. Any slight to their ego, and they will pull out of their little bag of tricks, survival skills that small children use to tackle similar situations.

Where and when can parental alienation occur?

Parental alienation can happen in the family home, right in front of the alienated parent, in the family home while the alienated parent is out of sight, in the alienating parent’s home if they are the primary caregiver, or at the alienating parent’s house during weekend visitation.

Parental alienators’ can be of either gender.

Three different types of parental alienators:

Dr Douglous Arnell, in his book, divorce casualties: ‘Protecting your children from parental alienation,’ describes three types of alienators’.

Mild: Naive alienators’ are unaware of what they are doing, and are prepared to change.

Moderate: When triggered, the active alienator loses control of appropriate boundaries, and loses their temper. When they calm down, they don’t want to admit that they were out of control.

Severe: Severe parental alienators’ are committed to destroying the other parent’s relationship with the child.

In the case of the severe parental alienator, no treatment exists, other than removing the child from the alienator’s care.

What is the parental alienator’s motivation?

  • The parental alienator is filled with rage, hatred, and contempt towards the alienated parent. Their primary motive is to enlist the children as soldiers’ in their army, in their war against the other parent.
  • Alienating parent’s usually have a victim’s mentality, and manipulate the people around them, into feeling sorry for them. Its a case of ‘poor me,’ on every level. The alienating parent turns the entire situation around, will not accept their part in any argument, will not admit to their own failings, will deny what they did to create discontent in the other parent, and will encourage the children to feel sorry for them at the expense of the alienated parent.
  • The parental alienator wants their children to feel as though the alienated parent is their problem as well; a problem which needs fixing.
  • Alienating parent’s manipulate their children for their own vested interests. These parents’ are great actors’, and deliberately use their acting skills to manipulate their children. They may role their eyes when the alienated parent makes a request of them, or look overwhelmed and sad when the other parent has an argument with them. All of these actions upset the child, and manipulate them into believing that the alienating parent is being mistreated, when in actual fact they are diverting the attention away from themselves, and onto the alienated parent. This way, the alienating parent can avoid taking responsibility for their own behaviour.
  • Parental alienator’s want the children all to themselves.

A typical scenario:

Action: The alienating parent leaves the children unattended in their home for hours at a time. When the alienated parent becomes upset about this reoccuring problem, the parental alienator discusses the alienated parent’s reaction with the children, and uses this reaction to play ‘poor me.’ The parental alienator tells the children that the alienated parent has unfairly attacked them.

During reoccuring conversations with the children about the alienated parent’s behaviour, the alienating parent will always leave out what they have done to illicit such as reaction.

Continued scenarios similar to the above will continue to transpire, which will leave the children upset, confused, and feeling as though they need to resolve the problem for the alienating parent, and to protect this parent from the alienated parent.

What is wrong with the parental alienator?

The narcissistic parental alienator: Narcissists’ are very sensitive people. So sensitive in fact, that the smallest slight against their false self makes them crash, and endure what is known as a narcissistic injury. Narcissists’ split frequently, and see people as either all good or all bad. When a narcissist experiences a breakup with their children’s parent, this parent will immediately fall off their pedestal, and will be perceived as all bad.

The psychopathic parental alienator: The psychopath engages in parental alienation to win. Every situation in the psychopath’s life is about winning. This drive to win means that they consistently put their foot in it. Psychopaths often lose custody of the children for many reasons; not just parental alienation.

Parents’ with personality disorders are extremely sensitive people, and cannot handle any criticism. Criticism to sensitive people feels like a major rejection. Rejection to people with personality disorders, is a fate worse than death. To fight against the rejection, these people usually act with an air of superiority. With this air of superiority they will reject everybody around them with continued put – downs, and arrogant behaviour.

It is not uncommon for an alienator to:

For example: The alienating parent may engage the children in their disagreements with the alienated parent:

‘Look at what your mother does kids. Are you watching her. This is what she always does.’

  • Show the children private text messages from the alienated parent:

Parental alienators’ will show the children private emails, and text messages that the alienated parent has written to the alienating parent.

For example: The alienated parent may email the alienating parent (instead of engaging directly due to the drama it causes) to ask if they can return the children’s soccer-boots next time they pick up the children, because without their soccer boots, the children will be unable to play in the next match. The alienating parent may take advantage of this situation, show their children the email, and claim that the alienated parent is bullying them, putting them down, and directly insulting them, again.

  • Allow the children to listen to private voice messages left by the alienated parent:

Severely disordered alienating parents’ will allow their children to listen to voice messages left for the alienating parent, especially messages which are stern, or show emotion. The alienating parent will pick the alienated parent’s emotions to pieces, and feign victim hood.

  • Pathologically lie about how the alienated parent perceives the children:

For example: If one of the teenage children is bi-sexual, the alienating parent may tell the child that the alienated parent doesn’t agree with their child’s sexual preferences.

  • Subtly hint that the other parent is incapable, by saying things like:
  1. ‘Oh yes, mummy doesn’t make you brush your teeth much does she? That must be why they look hairy.’
  2. ‘I bet you don’t eat decent food likely mummy cooks when your at daddy’s house.’
  3. ‘Oh yes, that’s right, you don’t eat many vegetables at mummy’s.’
  4. ‘Mummy never puts sunscreen on properly. Make sure you tell mummy that I’ll put the sunscreen on you when you get to the park.’
  • Play the game of good cop/ bad cop:

The alienating parent will want the children to see them as the fun parent, the joker, and the parent who allows the child to do whatever they like while in the alienating parent’s home.

When with the alienating parent, the children may:

  1. Have really late nights, regardless of it being a school night.
  2. Be allowed to break big boundaries.
  3. Be encouraged to discuss problems at the alienated parent’s home with the alienating parent.
  4. Be rule free.

An example of good cop/ bad cop:  A teenage child may be disciplined by the alienated parent and given consequences. The teenager goes to their ‘good cop’ parent for support, and confides in them about the incident. Instead of backing the alienated parent, the alienating parent may say something like:

‘You know your mother has anger management issues. You need to learn to ignore her.’

  • Set the alienated parent up to be humiliated by their own children:

Alienating parents are well known for setting up the alienated parent. They plan these incidents out very carefully, and make sure that their children are there to become a part of the conflict they are about to create.

For example: The alienated parent sends the alienating parent an email highlighting a problem they both need to discuss when appropriate. The alienating parent contacts the alienated parent to discuss the problem. While discussing the topic, and in the middle of what is becoming a small disagreement, one of the children pipes up in the background and accuses the alienated parent of being in the wrong.

The alienating parent deliberately had the children with them when they made the phone call, and kept the phone on speaker so as the children could be witnesses to the discussion, and see for themselves how difficult the alienating parent is.

  •   Tell the children half truths:

The severe parental alienator either lies outright to the children, or only tells half truths.

For example: If the alienated parent puts up a boundary because of the alienating parent’s inappropriate behaviour, than the boundary is spoken about to the children by the alienating parent; not the behaviour that lead to the boundary.

Example: The alienated parent may decide that they can no longer invite the alienating parent to anymore of the children’s birthday parties because the parent continues to belittle the alienated parent to the guests’ at the party.

The alienated parent uses this new boundary as an opportunity to play the victim, and to become outraged by the alienated parent’s treatment of them.

However, not once throughout this entire scenario has the alienating parent told the children what they did to contribute to the alienated parent’s decision.

  • Pick the alienated parent’s reactions to their children apart:

If the alienated parent shouts at their child, the alienating parent paints the parent to be someone with anger – management problems, and behavioural issues.

If the alienated parent becomes upset with their child, the alienating parent will tell the child that it is not okay for their parent to be upset with them, to snap at them, or to speak to them in any way that makes the child feel uncomfortable.

Speaks negatively of the fun activities the children engage in with alienated parent:

The alienating parent may say things like:

‘Be careful while camping. I’ve heard that there are a lot of snakes out at this time of year.’

‘Why do you have to go so far away? I worry about you when you go on such long trips with daddy. You know he can’t drive for long without getting tired.’

Why has the alienator become this way?

  1. Severe parental alienators’ treat the people around them as extensions of themselves, which means that the children must believe, think and feel in a way which suits the alienator.
  2. The alienator feels entitled, and as though they have the right to destroy other peoples’ relationships.
  3. The alienating parent may have been brought up with extremely controlling parents who taught the child that relationships are about control; and unless somebody has all of the control, than they are nothing. Alienating parents’ only know how to have dominance bonds.  To not be in control means they are unworthy.
  4. The alienator most likely has extremely low self-esteem. If their marriage failed, than the alienator may see this as their fault. This could lead them to believe that they need to fight for their reputation, especially in the face of their children. Narcissists’ are continually trying to protect their outside image; so much so, that they will do anything to make everybody around them believe that this situation is not their fault.
  5. The alienator is so narcissistic in their beliefs that they believe they are never wrong. To protect their image as being all good, they must make the other person, all bad.
  6. The alienator has never been taught to take responsibility for their own actions. They were never pulled up on their own behaviour, and could even be modelling the behaviour of a narcissistic parent.
  7.  The alienator could be extremely frightened of losing their children; because, deep down they don’t feel loveable.

Creation of a little soldier:

Common behaviours in children which signal they have been turned against the other parent:

  1. The child speaks with contempt to the other parent, and about them. They may swear at the other parent and behave with opposition.
  2. Excuses without foundation: The child offers silly excuses for his or her behaviour.
  3. The child believes that they have independently come up with the idea to denigrate their parent on their own.
  4. The child feels as though it is their responsibility to protect the alienating parent.
  5. The child has a complete lack of empathy towards the other parent, believing that they deserve ill treatment.
  6. The child may take their anger out on the parental alienators’ friends, or extended family.

What happens if the children expose the alienating parent?

If the children expose the alienating parent, this parent will deny the accusations, feign victimhood, and claim that the children are now turning against them as well.

Should the scapegoat child trust the golden child?

 

Question: Why is it exactly that the scapegoat child cannot trust their golden child sibling? 

Answer: The golden child is committed to misunderstanding the scapegoat child, and in believing the smear campaign against them; the one full of lies.

What I am about to write about is not inclusive of every golden child. Some golden children do not exhibit any of the traits relating to this article and have the integrity enough to see right through the narcissist, tell the narcissist that they are in the wrong, and to stand by the scapegoat’s side. It is likely that if the golden child honours their scapegoated sibling in this way, (which is highly unusual) both children will be discarded from the family for having dared challenge the narcissist.

When I write about narcissism, I write about what I have witnessed happen in families where there is a narcissistic parent. The particular situation I am about to discuss runs rampant throughout narcissistic families’, and is more common than not.

My primary belief about the golden child (who forms a nasty alliance with the narcissist against the scapegoat) is that they are completely unaware of what they are doing and that they have been completely brainwashed by the narcissist. However, that being said, the golden child still makes an executive decision to aid the narcissist in their smear campaigns of the people who expose the narcissist, challenge the narcissist, or who simply have a difference of opinion from the narcissist.

Why does the golden child choose to side with the narcissist?

The narcissist lives and breathes to influence the golden child’s perception of the scapegoat. Through daily put-downs of the scapegoat, exaggerations, and half-truths about the scapegoat, the narcissist will gradually erode the golden child’s perception of their scapegoated sibling. At times mind control sessions will occur on an hourly basis (not daily, hourly).

As the scapegoat becomes older, more defiant and defensive against the abuse, the narcissist will begin to fear exposure, and will suddenly turn the tables on the scapegoat. This is when they will tell all kinds of outrageous lies about the scapegoat, and work especially hard to turn the golden child against their sibling.

By the time the scapegoat exposes the narcissist, the narcissist (who knew this was coming all along) has already pulled one over the scapegoat; and now nobody in the family will believe the scapegoat when they begin to the claim that there is something wrong with the family system.

A close relationship between the scapegoat and the golden child?

A close relationship between the scapegoat and golden child, will in fact, inevitably be destroyed by the narcissist. This will happen because the narcissist has been moulding the golden child’s perceptions of the scapegoat since birth. Eventually, the golden child will completely forfeit the close relationship they may have with the scapegoat (if they were ever close, to begin with), and will act out the narcissist’s contempt of the scapegoat through their body language, verbal language, and utter nastiness.

Any signs of anger or emotional confusion from the scapegoat about the treatment of them during the devaluation phase will be perceived by the narcissist and the golden child as symptoms of a severe mental health issue within the scapegoat; instead of a pretty normal reaction to vile abuse.

The narcissist’s intent is to push the scapegoat over the edge, so as all eyes are off them, and on the scapegoat instead. All of this happens because the scapegoat brings to the forefront the narcissist’s shortcomings.

The golden child’s relationship with the parent:

The golden child is bought by the narcissist, given the best of everything, and doted on daily. They are also continually groomed and hoovered by the parent, told just how entitled or special they are, and are reminded by the parent just how similar they are to them. We mustn’t forget that this child represents to the narcissist all of the goodness in them.

The narcissistic parent will encourage the other siblings’ to also adore the golden child too, to do everything for the golden child, and to love this child until no end.

This child is always right, never punished for harming the other siblings’, and their misdeeds are shoved under the carpet. All of their misdeeds are projected onto the scapegoat, and the scapegoat becomes the golden child’s fall guy early on in the piece.

The scapegoat’s relationship with the parent: 

The scapegoat is despised in childhood. Some theories suggest that the scapegoat is the whistleblower or the truth teller in the family. However, the narcissist will claim that this child is treated differently for obvious reasons. They have apparently always been a difficult child; while of course, the golden child wasn’t. However, if the scapegoat was as adored, and never disciplined to extreme measures,  like their golden child sibling, then the scapegoat child would have nothing to be upset about now, would they?

Excuses are always made by the narcissistic parent to explain away the abuse of the scapegoated child.

Common excuses:

  1. They’re cheeky
  2. Disagreeable
  3. Challenges me all the time
  4. They’re out of control

These claims made by the narcissist are most likely true. However, the narcissist is prone to exaggeration, and these behaviours are fairly normal in children; some more so than others.  The narcissist cannot tolerate ordinary child-like behaviour because in their eyes they are entitled to have complete control over the child. In the narcissistic family, normal childlike behaviour such as squabbling between siblings, or a bit of back chatting is used against the children. The children who refuse to be seen and not heard are assessed by the narcissist as being problematic. For example; crying is pretty much prohibited in this family system, or explained away as crocodile tears and attention seeking.

The scapegoat grows up living in the golden child’s shadow. When they get upset about it, and have the audacity to have an argument with the narcissist about the issue, they are told that they are insane, have mental health problems, and are out of control. They may even be told that they are very similar to other people that the narcissist deems as crazy, such as relatives or friends.

The narcissist hopes that by denigrating this child they will be able to control the child. This tactic usually goes the other way for the narcissist. Instead, the scapegoat becomes distressed at the accusations hurled at them, and one day discloses the abuse.

Meanwhile, the golden child sits back and feels very special while this is happening to the scapegoat. The abuse of the scapegoat not only keeps this child out of the limelight, but it reinforces to the golden child what a good child they are, and what a bad child the scapegoat is.

Lets get one thing Straight: The golden child isn’t any better than the scapegoated child. They just haven’t been scapegoated; that is the difference.

Cinderella Syndrome: So, here we have a very real case of ‘Cinderella syndrome,’ which of course the golden – child revels in.

Abuse in silence:

A lot of the narcissist’s abuse towards the scapegoat is done behind closed doors, in private where other family members’ are unable to directly witness events which signify extreme abuse. Acts of subtle abuse, on the other hand, are committed in front of the entire family and are accepted by these family members as a consequence of the scapegoat’s behaviour. These family members’ have fallen prey to the brainwashing tactics of the narcissist, and now also believe, along with the narcissistic parent that the scapegoat’s normal childlike behaviour, is the behaviour of a child with something seriously wrong with them.

”It all depends on what the narcissist wants people to hear”

Abuse of the scapegoat is also initiated very subtly in front of the neighbours, friends, work colleagues, or even the coffee shop owner. Often, friends’, colleagues’, and family members’ accidentally perpetuate the abuse by telling the scapegoat that they are cheeky, should smile more, or that they have a sour persona. This reinforces to the scapegoated child that they are the problem.

Common phrases made to the narcissist’s minions: 

  • ‘She’s just like my mother. (A very abusive person who destroyed the life of the narcissist)
  • ‘My goodness, she’s just like my sister Samantha,’ (who apparently also has emotional regulation problems).
  • ‘That child of mine is so unhappy all the time. I don’t know what to do.’

These comments are said day in day out, sometimes five or six times in an hour. It is no wonder that the golden – child has a distorted perception of the scapegoat. They’re under the spell of mind control.

These continuous despicable comments eventually turn everybody against the scapegoat. So when the scapegoat acts out and claims that they are being treated unfairly, everybody, including the golden child, just thinks to themselves, ‘they’re crazy.’

A consequence of the scapegoat’s position in the family is that it enables the golden child, along with the other siblings, to blame their poor behaviour towards the scapegoat, on the scapegoat. Somehow, in some way, the scapegoat will always be blamed for the abuse hurled upon them.

The mind control that the narcissist has over the golden – child is a sure investment to the narcissist. Whenever the narcissistic parent requires the golden child’s allegiance against the scapegoat, the golden child will provide the narcissistic supply that the narcissist is asking for.

The narcissist has no empathy and no conscience; which means that they have absolutely no issue whatsoever with pushing the scapegoat over the edge emotionally. This way everybody will look to the scapegoat’s unusual behaviour, and focus on that rather than the narcissist.

Why must the scapegoat child never completely trust the golden child?

The golden child and the scapegoat child are sometimes good friends in childhood; best friends even. However, in most cases, the golden child will not accept that the scapegoat has been abused beyond belief. Deep down they too have internalised that the scapegoat is the crazy person, not the reverse.

They honestly don’t get it, and how could they? Most of the time people cannot empathise with an abused individual unless they’ve experienced something similar. Not once does the golden child ever question the impact the severe emotional abuse inflicted on the scapegoat, by the narcissist, may actually have on their sibling.

The scapegoat must never ever fully trust the golden child, under any circumstances. At the end of the day, it is most likely that when it comes down to it the golden child will always align with the narcissist.

Why?

  1. They have had their perception of the scapegoat distorted at a young age, and unless they have an epiphany, this perception will most likely never change.
  2. They have an investment in believing the lies. If they don’t, they will end up being scapegoated too.
  3. The narcissist has been investing financially in this child since they were born, which subconsciously makes the golden child feel very loyal to the narcissist.
  4. They’ve just bought themselves a soldier in their army, a conqueror, and a secondary abuser to put the scapegoat back in their place when they challenge the abuse.
  5. The golden child is most likely suffering from cognitive dissonance, and cannot see past the good stuff the narcissist does for them. However, the golden child has seen the narcissist treat people appallingly; and has chosen not to acknowledge it.

What the scapegoat needs to understand about their relationship with the golden child:

The relationship with this child was never real and never had a chance. Relationships can’t exist when there is mind control involved or the likes of a dangerous manipulator.

The entitlement of the golden child:

The golden child believes they are so much better than their scapegoat sibling, who just cannot behave (apparently).

The golden child can be very two-faced. With entitlement can often come nastiness. Their specialness makes it ok for them to sit and laugh at the scapegoat behind their back, smear the scapegoat’s name, and continually put the scapegoat down.

The golden child has a sense entitlement, and they believe that everybody should treat them in a special manner.

Moral values

The golden child:

  • has no loyalty to the scapegoat.
  • will sit and listen to the slander about the scapegoat, and all of the other people the narcissist can’t stand.
  • never apologises for anything, and never ever sees themselves as being at fault.
  • will never stand up for the scapegoat or anyone else for that matter, because to do so would be to cross the narcissist.

The sad fact is that the golden – child doesn’t care. Its all about the survival of the fittest in this family, and if the golden child needs to turn on their sibling to keep in favour of a vile human being. Well, so be it.

It is absolutely imperative that scapegoated children, even in adulthood, never fully trust their golden child sibling; because unbeknown to the scapegoat child, the golden-child, even in early childhood, has taken on board the brainwashing tactics of the narcissist. Deep down, regardless of a friendship with the scapegoat child, or not, the golden child will always believe that the scapegoat is fundamentally floored.

This is what the evidence suggests about the scapegoat in the eyes of the golden – child:

The golden child has witnessed the scapegoat:

  1. become hysterical
  2. have emotional meltdowns
  3. engage in big arguments with the narcissist

Golden child as judgemental:

The golden child is very judgemental and does not understand that these reactions are very normal reactions to a disgusting amount of psychological abuse.

The development of an alliance between golden child and narcissist: A scenario

In adulthood, the scapegoat may begin to tell people about their abuse, including the enabling parent. When they do this, and the truth becomes uncovered, the narcissist will take the scapegoat out, and destroy their relationships with the other siblings.

How does the narcissist use the golden – child to take the scapegoated adult child out ? A scenario

Narcissists are very revengeful: They will plot for months, or even years to get somebody back for some supposed slight that didn’t happen as they see it (like a scapegoat pouring their heart out to a family member about being on the receiving end of severe mental abuse).

First, the narcissist will hoover the scapegoat into the family by love bombing them. The scapegoat will find it odd that the person whom they have exposed is now making them soup, buying them things, and suddenly being very kind to them.

The scapegoat will believe in their mind that they have made amends with their parent, and that the parent has forgiven them for exposing the truth. However, they will notice that the tension heightens when they enter the room and that their siblings are acting strangely around them. The scapegoat will know for months in advance that something is wrong; they just won’t be able to put their finger on it.

The final showdown may happen at a function, or while the scapegoat is visiting the parent, who appears to want them around. I have heard many stories where a scapegoat is vilified in front of everyone at a function; only to have the scapegoat’s original suspicions clarified. The tension they originally felt around the family was very real. The narcissist had been sitting around with the help of the golden – child smearing the scapegoat’s name to the entire family.

Mind control is in full force: Finally, one of the children will have enough (most likely a golden child sibling – (there can be more than one) and blast the scapegoat. When the scapegoat questions the parent in private, their supposed slight of the narcissist will most likely be mentioned to the scapegoat as a reason as to why the discard occurred. The other children will most likely never know that this was all a revenge plot by the narcissist. At this point, the golden child will show no remorse for what has happened.

Redeveloping a relationship with the golden child:

I personally believe that the golden child has already shown the scapegoat who they are, and that the scapegoat should really take this into account. The golden child cannot be trusted, and they have most likely shown this to be true on several occasions.

Possibilities for a relationship may occur after the narcissist dies. However, the scapegoat will never be able to trust the golden child again, because when it suits them, they’ll just turn against their scapegoated sibling, as a way to avoid all accountability for their own vile behaviour. The only element that will change in this scenario is who they side with.

Until the golden child’s perception of the scapegoat changes, which is unlikely, the scapegoat may need to sever all ties with the golden child and kiss the relationship goodbye.