* How much stress is the scapegoating affecting your current family?

                                          It's ok to say goodbye when:

* The relationship is physically or mentally abusive.  You know you are being emotionally jerked around and that they seem to enjoy doing this.

* It causes enough stress that it effects important aspects/areas of your life, like work or home life and possibly your marriage to your spouse. You are loosing sleep over it on a nightly basis.

* The relationship is one-sided. You are doing all the giving and they are doing all the taking.

* The relationship is only about finances and is very superficial. You realize that they do not value you as a human being deserving of love and respect. They are merely using you for any number of reasons, usually material and financial gain.

*The family member is taking you down with them and you realize that staying connected to them in any capacity is like being on a "sinking ship" and you could drown with them.

*The person is using gossip, manipulation, etc to control you and/or turn other family members against you. They are just plain cruel and sadistic.

* The only contact with them is negative. They only call to bring you down and put you down too. They are never genuinely happy for you.

* You begin to realize that any information you share about yourself with them is always used against you somewhere down the road.

* They appear to ignore you and give you the silent treatment unless they want something from you. Usually it is money.

Cutting Family Ties - Going "No Contact" -Yes or No?
Patricia Jones, M.A.
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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
One of the most difficult decisions that a person may have to make in this life is cutting your family or certain family members out of your life. It is also called going "No Contact." This is not a decision entered into lightly and usually does not happen until someone has endured years and years of abuse from their very own family or family members. And has made hundreds of attempts to have a good relationship with their families.

Biblically speaking, Jesus told his disciples in response to their question concerning "Who will be our enemies?" He replied, "Your enemies will be the members of your own household" (family) Which is surprising to many people because your family of all people are supposed to be the ones who will give you unconditional love and support. See Matt: Chapter 10
                                            Not Peace, but Division

(Luke 12:49-53)

34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword! 35 I came to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 A person’s enemies will include members of his own family."

                                         The Cost of Discipleship

(Luke 14:25-27)

37“The one who loves his father or mother more than me isn’t worthy of me, and the one who loves a son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me. 38The one who doesn't’t take up his cross and follow me isn’t worthy of me. 39The one who finds his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life because of me will find it.”
Unfortunately, Jesus' words have proved to be true as almost 99% of all counseling and life issues that people have are concerning their family members.  When these family members refuse to grow and refuse to give up their destructive and abusive ways against another family member, there comes a time when the only road to peace and sanity for the targeted family member is to cut off all contact with the people who are abusing you. In fact, Jesus also tells us to "Have nothing to do with wicked and toxic people" He tells us to "Dust off our shoes and leave that town" if you are not treated with love and respect.

Jesus Himself was the target of wicked people and when accused He did not defend Himself, or get into arguments trying to prove who He was or what he stood for. He said what He had to say once, and then he moved on to more accepting people. We are to do the same.
At the root of all fighting and dysfunction in warring families is the fact that those who are doing the abusing do not have a right relationship with God. They may go to church , they may never miss a Sunday, they may be the church deacon or minister even, but at the Last Days Jesus will say "I never knew you." And this is because they did not have a right relationship with Him while they were on this earth.  And the division comes because the family member being "targeted for abuse" does have a right relationship with God, and is the "Cinderella"  or who is the "Family Scapegoat" in the family.  They are the "truth tellers" the most compassionate and sensitive and empathetic. They are the ones who do all the giving and all the rescuing, and all the sacrificing for others. They follow Christ. The others do not. So there is division and they really have nothing in common. What does light have in common with darkness?
They really have done nothing wrong yet they are blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family. They are the "Family Scapegoat" They are being "Persecuted for righteousness sake" the same way that Jesus was persecuted even though He had done nothing wrong, and was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

Scapegoats eventually come to the point that trying to get along with, pacify, and engage their families is affecting their peace, their health and their very souls. After years and years of trying to reason with these people, and expecting them to behave decently the time comes when you know in your heart that you "can't do this anymore" in fact, you cannot even be around your family without experiencing extreme stress and even physical symptoms or actual sickness. This is because they are toxic to you and actually causing you to become ill.  This is when you begin to realize that going "no contact" is the only thing you can do to stop their insanity and bring peace to your soul.
In healthy families the love is consistently and unconditionally there. The key ingredients are unconditional love and an ability to agree to disagree at times, which is otherwise known as respect without having to change or control each other. These families support and help each other when one of them is having a hard time. They do not attack, and slander, and try to destroy the hurting family member.

                     Evaluating the Relationship - Questions to ask yourself

You have probably been contemplating cutting all ties with your abusive family members for some time now, but actually cutting the ties brings on feelings of guilt, failure, emptiness, sadness at what might have been, depression, doubt, abandonment, and even grief. This is not an easy decision since no one wants to be without a family.
*   How long as the relationship and abuse been going on? Has it been your entire life, or a good portion of it? Has there been a pattern of abuse from this family member or family members for as long as you can remember? Have you just now finally realized what is really going on and that you are not the problem as they would so like you to believe?

*  Will this decision affect the entire family or just those who are scapegoating you?
* Are you the family scapegoat? The one who is always blamed  for everything no matter what the truth is? Are you tired of taking the blame for things  you never said or did?  Have you recently come to the conclusion that being around these people for any length of time makes you physically ill? And you just cannot do it anymore?

*Have you discovered that you are being slandered, and backstabbed by your own family? Are you always put on the defensive? Do they respect your boundaries or are you even allowed to have any boundaries?

* What is the geographical location of your family to you? Do they live in the same state or town? How often do you have to see them?
The list of reasons you should cut off all contact with an abusive family is endless but all of them are valid reasons. God does not want anyone to stay in an abusive situation even if the person abusing you is a member of your own family. We are to have "Nothing to do with wicked and evil people and are to come away from them" according to God.

If you are having difficulty making the decision to go "no contact" with your family and would like some help and advice as you work it through, please feel free to contact me to help you do just that.

Patricia Jones, M.A.
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