Scapegoat Notes

Full article here: “No Contact – The Scapegoat’s Last Resort”

I still find it incredible that a group of well-educated people who consider themselves intelligent can be aware of the existence of articles like this, written by a professional, that EXACTLY describe my family situation and how it came about, yet can deny that I am right about it.

Then again, “Narcissistic family members lack insight” so maybe it’s not that surprising.

‘No Contact’ is not a welcome choice that scapegoats make to push family away, but rather a decision of last resorts they are driven to in order to protect themselves from ongoing abuse by family members who refuse to respect healthy relationships, limits or behavior.

…More typically amongst scapegoats, ‘No Contact’ is open ended, meaning it will be retracted if their abusers acknowledge mistreatment and make a commitment to not engage in abusive behavior again. Unfortunately this is rare and unlikely, but demonstrates the hopefulness, desire and mental health on the part of the scapegoat to improve and hold onto family relationships. The fact that scapegoating families are willing to deny the truth about abusive behavior is a statement about the psychological dysfunction of the family system as a whole.

Scapegoats have usually tried repeatedly – often over years or decades – to maintain and improve relationships with difficult family members, only to be continuously put down, lied about, shamed, blamed… if they try to stop scapegoating behavior, they tend to be punished repeatedly for attempting to break free of their role as the ‘family problem’. Scapegoats are frequently told they are creating family problems… many scapegoats choose ‘No Contact’ as a last resort to distance themselves from ongoing mistreatment… targets are considered to have few or no human rights by family members who mistreat them…‘No Contact’ is an act of desperate self preservation by scapegoats who want healthy relationships with their family, but desire more to flee the humiliation, hurt and craziness of ongoing mistreatment.

By saying ‘No’ to scapegoating, targets are escaping the nightmare of never being allowed to be right – especially when they are.

…escaping the repetitive nightmare of never being allowed to be seen as loveable or worthy members of a family that frames them as the bad guy… targets are resigning from toxic patterns of abusive family dynamics… In the end they are choosing basic sanity and peace of mind.

Scapegoaters become defensive when their abusive behavior is being openly identified… A ‘No Contact’ stance tends to elicit angry denunciation of the target’s decision by scapegoaters, and becomes fuel for more false outrage, blaming and framing the target’s choice as further evidence of their ‘badness’.

Loss:  ‘No Contact’ can be one of the most heart wrenching choices a scapegoat can make. In spite of a legitimate decision to move away from abuse, ‘No Contact’ represents a break from and, sometimes, the permanent loss of family. As most scapegoats are mentally well, they experience normal, healthy grief in the face of this loss.

Scapegoats have been deprived of the one thing they come into this world deserving – to be wanted and loved by family…

extended family relationships are damaged or lost due to buying into the scapegoat myth. This creates a greater sense of loneliness for scapegoats, especially at traditional family times such as Christmas…

Many scapegoats come from family systems that are character disordered –often narcissistic – meaning controlling, self centered, unloving, unsupportive, discontented, mentally unhealthy people are at the helm.

…narcissists have unconscious fears of inadequacy which break through when they are not being put on a pedestal, they are being criticized or asked to take accountability for negative behavior. When this happens, narcissistic rage arises, and the scapegoat is made responsible for this unhappiness.

Denial and minimization of personal responsibility, blaming others, and rage are the main defenses of narcissistic people.

It’s a shock to the system to separate from your nuclear family, and requires a process of grieving and adjustment.

Family should be made up of people whom you trust and who care about you, and vice versa.

Expect to feel sad sometimes. You did not ask to be born into a family that does not value you or respect you for who you are. You have lost a lot in being cheated of a loving family. But you are also a survivor who has chosen to break the silence and end the cycle of abuse. It takes courage and self awareness to break free from the toxic legacy of scapegoating. For that huge reason alone, you deserve to feel good about yourself.