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.