Narcissist - Scapegoat - Golden Child Siblings Dynamics
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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
Have you ever wondered why whenever you are around your family, siblings or other relatives it seems like you are treated with very little respect, love, or equality? In fact, are you treated almost with disdain?
And have you further noticed that you appear to be blamed for everything whenever there is a disagreement or scene even when it is obvious that it was not your fault and it was the other person's fault, but somehow they are considered innocent and you are called the "trouble-maker?"
Do you feel like this has been going on for years, since you were born almost? And that your siblings were allowed to get away with everything, never blamed, always were treated much better than you were? And the irony is that you are the most responsible, compassionate, caring, empathetic one in the entire bunch? When a crisis happens are you the one that always runs to the rescue and saves the situation while the others sit back and let you do it.? Are you the "giver" and they are the "takers?" Are you always the one to apologize first, even sometimes when you did nothing wrong, but you apologize anyway just to keep the peace? And they never apologize to you?
Are you left out of the family loop? Not invited to family events and then find out that they happened without your knowledge even? Do your parents and siblings make decisions without you and you are the last to know? Are there family secrets kept from you? Are you accused of saying things you never said and doing things you never did?
And finally are you in your forties, fifties, and even sixties and are just now putting the pieces of the puzzle together and realizing that you have been, and still are being "set up" by your family of origin to be abused emotionally, mentally, verbally, and sometimes even physically every time you are around them?
Well, congratulate yourself because it is time for this type of treatment from those who are supposed to love and support your needs to come to a stop. And this is because you have been made the SCAPEGOAT by your narcissistic mother or father or both of them from the day you were born. And so everything that went wrong in the family was dumped on you, or the blame was placed on you by them because they cannot face that they have any faults or imperfections themselves. By making you the "target" for all their faults they can continue on in life thinking that they are OK and you are not. The reality is, you come from a dysfunctional family. Which is NOT YOUR FAULT.
The dynamics of this process follows a typical pattern. One of your parents, usually it is the mother, decided consciously or unconsciously to make you the "family scapegoat" and then she chose one of your other siblings to be the "golden child" in the family, the "darling prince or princess" who she always sided with, supported, showed unconditional love to, and who she encouraged to treat you badly. These "golden child" siblings become budding narcissists themselves who learn to lie, to manipulate, to hurt and abuse you, just like your narcissistic parent does.
Pretty soon the entire family treats you like this and you find yourself in a "no win" situation. No matter what you do, no matter how good you are, no matter what your accomplishments in life, etc. it is never enough. You are still considered the "scapegoat" in the family. You are '"set up" to get angry by these people, and then when you react in NORMAL anger to their abuse, they turn around and call you "mentally ill" and "out of control" etc. and any number of negative names they can place on you in response to your trying to defend yourself from their attacks.
They will lie to you, lie about you, slander you and gossip about you to others in the family, and will even attempt to slander you to your own children, and try to turn your own children against you, making themselves out to be the "victims" and you the "abuser." They may even tell others in the family that you are "dangerous to their children and to not allow you to be around them."
The entire process is insidious and very evil. It looks like this:
The Narcissistic Parent - makes you the Scapegoat- then picks the "Golden Child" and you become so depressed, have such low self-esteem that you end up as an adult marrying or being in a relationship with an abuser who treats you just like your family of origin does because you don't know what real, genuine love is, because you have never experienced it. You may have become a "battered woman" and can be stuck in an abusive marriage or relationship for years and years, because you believe that you are no good, not worthy of unconditional love, and you think that love equals conditions and bad treatment.
Finally, one day, a "light bulb" goes on in your head and you begin to doubt what your family of origin, your siblings, your other relatives and your abusive husband or boyfriend have been saying about you or to you, and you realize that THEY are the problem NOT YOU. You realize that you have been a "victim" of their abuse your entire life. That you have been surrounded by very hateful, toxic people who are members of your own family and you begin to do some research on the terms scapegoating, narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic mothers, domestic violence, golden children, etc. and you find out that you are really a very bright, intelligent, strong person who realizes that the only time you feel good about yourself is when you are NOT with your family or abusive husband, and that you are NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
You may be very angry, sad, and depressed once you realize that you have been unjustly, and unfairly made the "Scapegoat" in your family, who tried to make you believe that YOU were the cause of all the relationship problems in the family. FINALLY you have come to the point where you are ready to set boundaries, and get the love and respect you should have been getting by these people, and you are ready to have "no contact" with them any further UNLESS they can STOP the abuse of you that has been going on your entire life.
You may now be in your late fifties or sixties and cannot afford anymore to be upset, depressed, tense, etc. whenever you are around your family. Your other siblings are ganging up on you as well, even trying to influence your parents to "write you out of the will" or short change you in some other way. And your other siblings are influencing your nephews and nieces to treat you very badly as well and to have no respect for you.
If you can identify with all or even some of the above characteristics of being treated very poorly by your parents, siblings, and other family relatives and would like some help and direction at how to STOP their abusive treatment of you, please do not hesitate to obtain either phone counseling or e-mail counseling with me about your particular situation.
Just know that you are not alone. There are thousands of "family scapegoats" out there who are discovering that their situation is not unique and that there are others who have families who have abused them just like yours has. There are books to get, support groups to join, and you will find a "new family of friends" who will give you encouragement, strength, and courage to get out of the abusive pattern that your family has placed you in.
Patricia Jones, M.A.
1.) Do you recall being abused by a parent, sibling, or another relative which still continues to this day even though you are now an adult?
2.) Have you been called names, screamed at, or been ordered around?
3.) Do you seem to get blamed for any disagreements or fights in your family when they were started by or caused by the other person but they are considered the innocent one?
4.) Are your relationships within your family basically one-way with you doing all of the giving and the others doing all of the taking?
5.) Have you felt manipulated, controlled, criticized, humiliated, insulted, betrayed or abandoned by someone you loved?
6.) Have your children disowned you? Or has anyone else in your family disowned you or written you off and you have done nothing to deserve it?
7.) Have you been cut out of the will?
8.) Have you been slandered, gossiped about, lied to, been lied about, and been called mentally ill?
9.) Do you feel like you have been crucified and judged unfairly without even a jury?
10.) Are you always having to defend yourself or feel like you are "on the defense" when around your family?
11.) Have you been disrespected, teased, made fun of, "set up" or been the target of jealousy or envy from a parent or a sibling?
12.) Are you always taking care of others while your own needs are being ignored? Do you feel burned out and exhausted from the contant put downs and criticism?
13.) Are you thinking of cutting your family off from any more contact from you?
14.) Have you been promised things that never happened and then told that your expectations are too high?
15.) Have you tried to set boundaries with your relatives only to have them refuse to accept them and then blame you for the abuse that you receive from them and they say you "bring it on yourself?"
16.) Do other relatives look the other way or even justify the abusers when you are being abused?
17.) When you finally begin standing up for yourself does your family get angry and tell you to "Let go of the past?" Forgive and forget? Quote Bible verses to you and call you "Un-Christian?"
18.) If you are being abused by someone in your family do you find that your siblings, and parents take the side of the abuser?
19.) Did these same people tolerate and accept the abuser's behavior, standing by silently while you were victimized, possibly for many years, and now the only disapproval they have ever voiced is aimed at you, for trying to protect yourself?
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