Break Free From Naricissistic Abuse & Feel Like The Family Scapegoat No More!
Did you know that if you have been mistreated or scapegoated by your family, then you are at much higher risk of struggling with some form of false shame, blame and guilt. You might also suffer from chronic grief, anxiety or low self worth. Or perhaps your life is being undermined by unresolved relationship trauma.
Whatever you are grappling with, you have likely been ‘programmed’ by family to believe you are flawed. This programming can live inside you as a punitive belief system – aka the ‘Troll’. You may also have trouble accessing your emotions, making it harder to have a clear idea of what you need – or don’t need – or to tap into your motivation.
With the help of therapy, you can learn to conquer these difficulties. By standing up to negative beliefs with reality based thinking, while exploring and understanding your emotions more fully, you will discover how to break free from faulty programming, trust yourself more, overcome trauma symptoms, and reclaim your true self identity – and peace of mind – in the present.
What Are Some Family Scapegoat Signs?
- Are you routinely criticized, blamed, shunned or singled out for mistreatment by one or more family members?
- Do you get discredited or attacked when you try to stand up for yourself, or point out the truth about negative family relationship dynamics?
- Have you tried to stay in contact with family members only to feel misunderstood, put down or rejected over and over again?
- Do you struggle with self doubt, low self esteem, find it hard to achieve your potential, or have difficulty trusting intimate partners?
If you answered Yes to these questions, then you may be the scapegoat of a narcissistic family
Scapegoating often starts in childhood or youth, when one member of a narcissistic family is targeted as the ‘fall guy’ for the family’s problems. Children who are scapegoated tend to be picked on due to their sensitivity, vulnerability, or refusal to keep up appearances and stay silent in an unhealthy family atmosphere.
Scapegoating is a form of narcissistic abuse and bullying that causes injury to a young person’s emerging sense of self-identity. Young people who are targeted in this way often grow up into adults who feel chronically flawed, inadequate or – at worst – ashamed. At the same time, they may feel intense anger at the unfair treatment they’ve had to endure.
Unfortunately, most scapegoats come to believe – on some level – the family myth that they are the bad guy, rather than understanding they are being abused. Buying into the belief that one is ‘bad’ seriously undermines a person’s sense of self-worth. Sometimes this belief is unconscious, whereby the scapegoat believes that their inadequacy is a ‘fact’.
Healthy families take responsibility for difficulties as they occur, and take steps to try and resolve challenges constructively. This does not occur in families who scapegoat another family member. In fact, the opposite is true. Scapegoating is an attempt by a narcissistic family system to deny, minimize or deflect responsibility for problem behavior and relationship challenges by making the target the problem.
The negative impact of scapegoating can be far-reaching. Scapegoats may have difficulty living up to their potential or fulfilling their life’s dreams due to chronic self-doubt or feeling flawed. They may have difficulty developing healthy, trusting relationships. Scapegoats can also experience recurring patterns of disrespect, abuse or bullying from family, friends or colleagues.
Still wondering if you have been scapegoated? Here’s the link to a popular and groundbreaking article I wrote on family scapegoating that will help you understand the signs and how to heal: 12 Steps to Healing From Being the Family Scapegoat
If you have experienced any of these problems with narcissistic abuse, don’t give up!
I’m Glynis Sherwood MEd, a certified counseling therapist based in Canada who works with people around the world by video. I help people who have been scapegoated overcome the pain and move on to lead happier, more loving and successful lives – inside and out.
You are not alone!
Being scapegoated by family is deeply hurtful and frustrating. Many people in this situation feel lonely, hopeless, sad, angry, resentful and insecure. This is particularly the case if their efforts to resolve the problem have led to more conflict or disconnection from family.
If you feel upset, unsure of yourself, confused or just fed up with being the family scapegoat, help is here.
Scapegoating is a form of narcissistic abuse that occurs in the one place you should feel most safe – your family.
With the right help you can move past the pain and create the life you want and deserve!
Online Video Therapy Can Help You Recover From Narcissistic Family Scapegoating By:
- Helping you understand why you are not the source of family problems, so you can overcome false blame, guilt or shame.
- Standing up to the Inner Scapegoat aka the Troll, so you can learn to see yourself accurately and feel better about yourself
- Deciding on how much contact – if any – to have with scapegoating family members; how to have more emotionally safe contact, and protecting your mental health and self esteem.
- Overcoming anxiety and trauma due to having been repeatedly abused, and discovering the peace of mind you deserve
- Learning to become more assertive with family members and others, so you increase the chances of creating respectful boundaries, and decrease vulnerability to more scapegoating.
- Becoming more skilled at pinpointing your strengths, and being able to quickly remind yourself of your good qualities, should you start to believe you are ‘the bad guy’.
- Identifying and stopping unconscious scapegoating patterns you may be getting drawn into.
- Discovering where the allies might be in your extended family, so you can grow the positive relationships you long for.
- Helping to build your sense of self worth, so you feel more confident, secure and capable of having loving relationships – with yourself and others!
How Do I Know Narcissistic Family Scapegoat Counseling Can Help Me?
Good question! At this point you may be thinking:
“I’ve tried everything to get through to my family and nothing works. How will counseling help?”
Counseling can help you feel more in control of the one thing you can control – yourself. You can learn to be more confident setting healthy limits with family, and standing up for those boundaries, no matter the opposition. I will also help you identify your allies, and to build relationships with supportive individual family members, where possible.
Or you may wonder:
“My self esteem has taken a real hit after years of being scapegoated by my family. What difference will counseling make?”
Counseling can help you begin to truly grasp deep down that you are not ‘the problem’, but rather the target of abusive narcissistic family dynamics, and deserving of better treatment. When you start to overcome negative beliefs that you are somehow bad, inadequate or flawed – you can free yourself from feelings of guilt, self blame or shame. This lays the groundwork for building up your sense of self worth and esteem so you feel more sure of yourself and your relationships. Working with a skilled therapist who truly understands family scapegoating could be the solution you are looking for.
Click here for Counseling for Former Targets of Workplace Bullying