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.
”One of the hardest realities to come to terms with for the adult child of a narcissist is that their entire childhood was a lie; and all they were to their parent was narcissistic supply. An object to be toyed with, manipulated, goaded, and provoked.”
The wisdom of fairy tales
I often wonder if the author’s of ‘Snow White,’ ‘Hansel and Gretal’ and ‘Cinderella’ had once been victims’ of narcissism. As children, we are warned through folk tales, and fairy tales alike, about the cruelty of parents. What I have recently come to realise is that the simple children’s fairy tale, is actually many a child’s normal.
I applaud the author of ‘Snow White’ for planting a seed in the minds of our children, and forewarning little children about the cruelty of the world, and the most malignant of hoovers. ‘Hansel and Gretel’ is an eye opener for children with an enabling parent, and ‘Cinderella’s’ story describes a typical narcissistic setup – where siblings sell each other down the river for their narcissistic parent’s approval. Luckily for the reader, all fairytales have a happy ending.
However, for the child of the narcissist, there is no happy ending. Their parent cannot change, and will always play mind games with their child.
The malignant hoover as a unique design – and mental damage to a child’s psyche
A Child of a narcissist does not have the ability to realise that they are being love bombed, idealised, devalued and discarded over and over again. A little child gives their narcissistic parent all of their trust willingly, and with love – only to endure the most horrific psychological abuse one can suffer from. Kids don’t have the ability to comprehend why their narcissistic parent is kind, caring , loving, giving and supportive one minute – only to punish them moments later for reasons which don’t make sense.
Children living out the cycle of idealise, devalue, discard, come out of their childhoods believing that they are inherently bad, and deserve to be punished, discarded, and denounced over and over again. This pattern of abuse most likely will not be understood by the child of a narcissist until adulthood, if they make the choice to go in search of answers. The scapegoat will most likely be the first child to endeavour to look behind their parent’s false self.
The most mistreated child, the scapegoat, will most definitely be the first of the children to put two and two together.
The three stage phase
Common discards for children of narcissists
What does it mean to be hoovered?
The ‘hoover’ is a well- known tactic utilised by the narcissist after they have worked their way through each phase of a three stage process; idealisation, devalue and discard. After the discard stage has been utilised, and the victim retreats, the narcissist will than exercise a hoover of sorts to draw the person back into their life.
Idealisation, devaluation, and the discard are not phases of the three stage process just limited to adults. Small children go through these stages daily, only to be hoovered again shortly after.
Example hoovers for children
Discarding a small child – how is it done?
The narcissistic parent will deploy a number of techniques to distress their small children. Children as young as four will be idealised, devalued and discarded, as well as love bombed, all in a matter of hours.
Scenario: A child decides to go shopping with mummy instead of spending time with daddy and the other siblings. Daddy decides to buy the child that went with him, a toy – and deliberately decides not to buy the other child a toy. When the child comes home, they ask if daddy bought them a toy too. The narcissistic father informs the child that it is in fact their fault that they did not receive a toy, because they refused to spend time with their father.
The child will become momentarily dumbfounded and confused as they blubber away in the corner. However, the confusion will soon subside when the narcissist hoovers the child with a cupcake hours later.
Buying a child’s love
Narcissists’ love to buy children gifts, and to use their artistic talents, and abilities, to love bomb and hoover small children. To receive a gift from a narcissist, a home cooked meal, a batch of cookies, or a hand drawn get well card, signifies to the victim that they they have the narcissist’s approval. Children, in particular begin to think that these manipulative tactics are gestures of love, an apology, and an expression of accountability. The confusion is exhausting for the child, because their narcissistic parent is hot, cold, and calculating. They could lash out and initiate a mentally damaging payback at the smallest slight.
The wisdom of fairytales:
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately (I am yet to come to either conclusion) I now know that fairytales are not tales about fortune; but rather misfortune, and the harsh realities about the cruelty of both parents, and step parents. Fairy tales are confirmation for small children that not all parents can be trusted, and not all parent’s will protect their children from abusive behaviour.
Narcissism brings out the worst in people, and shows the true colours of everybody around the narcissist. Siblings readily sell out the family scapegoat to stay in good rapport with the narcissistic mother or father, or to ensure their human right to a tidy sum once the narcissist dies. Enablers’ often choose the narcissist over the children a million times over; and the list of offences towards good human beings and small children goes on.
Lets take a look at poor Hansel and Gretel, shall we? Hansel and Gretel’s own father took Hansel and Gretel out into the woods, only to discard his children at the step mother’s request. Cinderella’s stepsisters sold her down the river, and triangulated against her time and time again to keep in favour of their vile mother, Cinderella’s stepmother – and Snow White was nearly murdered by her stepmother in the name of jealousy. Fairytales can teach us a lot about narcissism.