Good article on how to stop being family scapegoat...Confused, Cedar, you may like it too.

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have gone on a reading binge about family scapegoating, no longer focusing on the people involved. It is interesting how it comes about and how often and how you can fight it.I feel my situation will last forever so there is no point in going further than understanding it, but maybe some others can find some compassion in healing from those who scapegoat you. I read a good article on being baited too, but I can't find it rightnow :< If I can, I'll post it too. I think some of us may benefit. Anyhow, this is the article I just read. Here goes!! I put some comment in. They are in parenthesis.

    How To Break Free From Scapegoating

    1. Understand that what you have come to believe about yourself as family Scapegoat – i.e. that you are bad, weird, inadequate or defective - is not the truth. In fact it’s likely a lie that was created to prevent family members from acknowledging their own troubles, thereby avoiding taking responsibility for both their behavior and the need to change. (This was huge with me. I believed them for so long. I did not realize that this is just baloney.)
    2. Locate and trust your ‘Inner Owl’ – that wise part of you that knows you have been mistreated and will no longer willingly allow this abuse from others or yourself. (DONE!)
    3. Recognize that feelings of shame, guilt and self blame belong to the perpetrators, not you as target. You are simply a dumping ground for their bad feelings. To change this you need to start standing up to the notion that you are at fault. You will likely have to begin with yourself, learning to question and reject seeing yourself as ‘bad’. (I never feel "bad" anymore unless I am brought into contact with them and that will be never one day).
    4. Get to know your true self. Identify exceptions to the negative stereotype you have been saddled with. In other words, pinpoint what is good, likeable or at least adequate about you - your character, values, actions, etc. Write down your good traits – you will need to be reminded of this alternate universe, which is the truth about you, especially if you start to fall back into the habit of feeling bad about yourself again. Understand that getting better – and feeling better - is a learning curve, and you may slip a few times before you gain solid footing
    5. Figure out what you might be doing – consciously or unconsciously – that gives scapegoaters the idea that it’s OK to abuse you. Determine how to change any behavior that draws you into the Victim role.
    6. Stop trying to win the favor of abusive and uncaring family members, co-workers or ‘friends’. Anyone who engages in this type of inappropriate behavior has personality problems, especially a parent who did not love their child.
    7. Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends. They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable.
    8. Start asserting your right to be treated respectfully with family and other people who try and abuse you. E.G., “The way you just spoke to me now is not acceptable, and I never want to be talked to like that again”, or “If you want to have a relationship with me, you will stop the angry outbursts, name calling, accusations, etc.” Know that you may not be heard or respected by aggressive people. The point is that you hear and respect yourself! Don’t do this until you are ready to follow through with your commitment to yourself.
    9. Accept that you may never have a healthy relationship with your scapegoater(s). This may involve limited or no contact with those who are determined to continue to abuse you. You may experience feelings of grief. Work through the painful feelings, and get support if needed. This pain is much less harmful than continuing to allow yourself to be abused by anyone.
    10. Get in the habit of treating yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, appreciation and acceptance. Practice viewing yourself as a person of worth and lovability. This will likely feel weird at first as it is unfamiliar. But even though it is unfamiliar, treating yourself in a loving manner is never wrong.
    11. Understand that it will take time to learn how to love and appreciate yourself. You have been trained to be overly self critical and may believe you are defective. Be patient as this false image gradually crumbles. Get counselling to help you overcome this painful legacy, and find your true self - the strong, valuable person you are meant to be.
    12. Practice what you preach with others… Break the cycle
    Need help overcoming scapegoating? Click Here to Book a Counselling Appointment

    Counselling is available in person in Vancouver BC, toll free by Phone in Canada and the USA, or by Skype around the world.


    Glynis Sherwood - medication, Canadian Certified Counsellor, Registered Clinical Counsellor, specializes in recovery from Scapegoating/Bullying, Low Self Esteem, Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Addictive Behaviors. My services are available in person in Vancouver BC, or Toll-Free across Canada by Phone or Email. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve the life you want and deserve!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Very nice, SWOT. I found myself deep in the thoughts of a horrible family interaction from 30+ years ago the other day and for the life of my I couldn't figure out how I got from singing a song in my car to that ugly awful place plain as day. I understand the falsity of these thoughts, and really feel that if I can dissect the process of getting there that I can stop those trips to the helplessness of long ago. I honestly spent more time (just a minute or two) trying to figure out how I got there than getting there. I know that it's important to put myself right when it happens, but I sure wish that I could "see" the process and learn to avoid it before it gets that far.
     
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Joel Osteen was so helpful to me in restructuring internal perceptions of self.

    Just as there is such a thing as global condemnation, there is global healing, that simple phrase that covers so much.

    I am not religious in the traditional sense, but I find much of value in Joel Osteen's writings and in his sermons, too.

    Brene Brown, with her certainty that each of us is born hardwired for challenge was extremely helpful to me, as well. Her quote from one of the Presidents about being bloodied and ridiculed and maybe, even losing, but having fought for our beliefs and our selves ~ I loved that, too.

    Self Esteem, by McKay/Fanning.

    Verbal Abuse by Patricia Evans.

    Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

    I want everything to look right. In my childhood, things got very bad very fast when things did not look and feel just right. Very scary, to me. I wonder whether I even cared whether things really were alright, as long as they were safe. So, part of my own recovery is coming alive to wonderful things that are real.

    Very nice, to feel the world expanding this way, so much of it undeniably safe, as I learn to carry "safe" within me.

    Or "home".

    Or "mother".

    Or "sister" for that matter.

    Yes, this is so sadly true. I remember when one of us posted to me about how pointless it would be to try to understand "why" when even professionals had not been able to do that.

    That is how I concluded, and I mean it too, that "why" cannot matter. I am not going to find the magic that will fix this for us.

    It is sad. But the other way wasn't working either. It never really did work. I just refused to believe they meant it.

    They mean it.

    It is better to know.

    I think that is where my resolution to be kinder ~ not kind, which is a kind of judgment call, but kinder, which is a conscious, effortful thing ~ I think that is when I began to not tolerate the rottenness of these crummy people.

    ROAR

    F you, mom.

    :mcsmiley1:

    Seriously.

    I know, and isn't that sad. I still don't get the win in it for them.

    Lately though, I don't let myself give it head room. Why doesn't matter, and people don't change.

    I know that one of us here on the site posts that she believes there were certain things wrong with the way she was thinking or experiencing her life, and that she tried very hard to identify and work to see differently, and so she was able to change.

    But in my secret heart I believe this poster was absolutely healthy, and was twisted into the unhealthy concoction of emotions required to balance the sickness in her family of origin.

    It only seems normal to us because we did not know any other way to be.

    Here is the thing: If that person had really been the things her family accused and really, almost relished calling her? And if it were true?

    How could she have seen from a different perspective to know that whatever the "win" was in her behavior, there was a better way?

    She couldn't.

    Just as the sociopaths or whatever it is that is the matter with some of our family members cannot see beyond whatever it is that motivates them to do what they do.

    So, that thing for this beloved poster to do is bless herself and thank her lucky stars that the sick one turned out not to be her, at all.

    Maybe that is true for me, too.

    I hope so, with all my heart.

    It is lonely to be who we are, against the wishes of our enmeshed families. They are intimately acquainted with how to get us to believe whatever they need us to believe about ourselves.

    That sets us up for easy victimization in the other areas of our lives. Predators scent that stuff the way sharks scent blood in the water.

    I just don't get the win.

    So I never have to take them seriously, ever again. All you have to tell a predator is the truth. The whole chimera of a game falls apart, when you do.

    It's not even a win, given that what you were playing for was trust over time.

    Whatever. Reltionships with predators turn out never to have been what we think we miss so fiercely once they make their so blatant moves and we finally admit to ourselves that it pretty much is what it looks like.

    Ew.

    It turns out we were the ones who made everything seem so magical, in the first place.

    Not to sound too corny.

    Oh, very true.

    Very enjoyable, to do that.

    The thing is, those negative internal messages are killers. They become very obvious, and then, we really do have to work through them. There is a reason we believed what we did about ourselves.

    If any of this were simple or easy, we would have thrown the bums out long ago.

    I meant we would have learned how to love our families of origin differently long ago.

    Ahem.

    :mcsmiley1:


    Isn't that something. That we have been trained not to feel the joy of living in our own skin, of breathing fresh air?

    I don't know that we could break a cycle for someone else.

    We can tell our stories here, and take courage to face our own private demons from one another.

    Works for me, f you mom.

    :O)

    :mcsmiley1:

    Great article, SOT. Thanks for posting.

    I found it very meaningful.

    Cedar
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, no matter how enlightened about your situation you become, there still might be triggers that are mild setbacks. I am reading about scape-going in the family and, man, that fits me more than any other label ever did. Scapegoating even causes the scapegoated to sometimes get so frustrated, they fight back in anger with words they later regret, but it does make sense. Rational words don't help anyway if you are the scapegoat. And the scapegoat is ALWAYS baited and then blamed.

    I recall when my beloved grandmother, who gave me all the love I had, passed away and for some reason we were sitting in her apartment...all five of us (thankfully, there were hardly any of us). My son was a young boy at the time and was touching things and my mom kept yelling at him to stop. There was no reason for her to do that in the way she did. Finally, due to my own mental illness (mood disorder), intense, unexplainable grief, and realization that my son was being picked on simply because he was my son, I had a meltdown, think I yelled at them, and left and went straight to a CODA meeting.

    That's what family does to the scapegoat, who is usually more vulnerable, more sensitive, more emotional and has a bigger heart than the other family members. It was a bait, which was always worse when mean mother was sad, angry, out of control and in charge of the family roost. A nicer, kinder grandmother may have seen a little boy who knows something bad happened and doesn't understand and maybe take him on her lap and cuddle him. Um, not my mom.

    Now if my relatives read this, they would say it never happened. That's gaslighting or else maybe just their own selective memory...all they remember is my outburst, not the why of it and withou the compassion that my grief was so deep. I know they all missed Grandma, but I didn't see tears or sadness expressed. Nope. You don't do that in my family of origin. So it goes.

    I am doing my best to read, read, read, learn, learn, learn so that I can stop the many voices of my small by very dysfunctional family that tell me I am "bad" or "evil" or "borderline" or "ABCDEF." Once you understand the need of a scapegoat in a sick family, it is easier to feel good about yourself and to just shrug off the nonsense of those still playing the game.

    I do wish you luck and I'm sorry you had a bad family experience. It's true that our childhood does follow us around all our lives, but we can counter the negative thoughts if we learn how and most importantly WHY we were the one treated like dirt ;)
     
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This helps me, Witz.

    I simply acknowledge that I am there, again.

    I get it now that this thing I am letting myself see or hear, this traumatic, poisonous thing, has been playing all along in my subconscious. It, that thing that happened, has been defining me without my awareness ever since.

    So, however traumatic it feels when I get to know it consciously?

    It is my effort, my knowledge, my courage, my choice ~ all of that, to see and confront and know what happened to me for once and for all.

    I see courage in those times, Witz.

    They are very hard.

    I know I will feel weird and off balance until I have reinterpreted the self I was taught in that time.

    But I know too that I would not have given myself this old trauma to heal unless I were strong enough to heal it.

    Kinder.

    The miracle of healing, layer by horrible layer, begins with kindness to the self and awareness of the really destructive, ugly, shaming and shameful things we were taught about the world and about ourselves in it.

    There may come a time when I hate those who did this to me?

    But for right now Witz, I am savoring the light.

    Even when it is really scary, and I don't think I am going to come through this time because the negatives are so all-consuming, I do come through it, Witz.

    I am so happy for you that you are coming through it, too.

    There is nothing you need to do, Witz.

    That is the other thing that helps me when I am in the grip of something awful.

    There is nothing I need to do about this.

    I am meant to be healthy, beautifully healthy, and oh, so innocently happy.

    Not to be too corny, but it feels that innocent, once I see how toxic the leftovers of whatever power trip my abuser was on was for me.

    It is what it is. We are hardwired for challenge from birth. We can do this.

    We ARE doing it. Right in the midst of the worst feelings, we are healing those exact feelings. They have been there, poisoning us, weakening us, all along.

    How strong we have been Witz, to have lived, and to have chosen kindness in our lives when we had that choice, despite what was done to us.

    Cedar
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I will read your post in a sec, Cedar. I'm sure it is full of helpful insight. First I wanted to post this short article about protecting yourself if you are being scapegoated.

    One thing they say is to disconnect with ANYONE who is in touch with your haters. Well...I'm not willing to go NC with 91 year old dad. At his age...yes, I have heard of haters disconnecting from 85 year old parents...but I just don't have the heart to do it. Are you trying to help them die? Why didn't you do it twenty years ago.

    Yes, Dad reminds of of abusers each time I talk to him, although he is very good about not talking about them or mentioning their names, as I have asked him not to. But he still reminds me of them. I can't help it...he is their father too. But he has been trying really hard to do his best lately after we had a few long talks in which I feel he really listened. I am so grateful that he gave me his ear. Only my grandmother did that before him.

    Once he is gone, we have no mutual ties and I can do it completely. I really have no reason to ever see them after that. I know. It will cut off a lot of their fun, but they will have to find another scapegoat. Maybe they'll turn on one another. After all, one of them has once been brutal to the other in the past. Either way, I don't want to know.

    Cedar, you may find this interesting. One of the speakers on YouTube (forgot which one, can look it up) who gave a speech about scapegoating said that nobody really "hates" anyone. "Hate" merely is pain and anger combined. I don't think he is qualified to define "hate", but I liked his definition. I don't hate anybody. I just want them gone from me. And on the occasions I feel the strong emotion that is called "hate" is IS due to the person having hurt me and angered me at the same time. I think "hurt" is more prominent, at least for me.

    Here's the link:

    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/03/21/family-scapegoating-part-2/
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, another sterling post. You really "get" it. Only the scapegoated one could ever get it.
     
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "It can be a horrible horrible experience but, if one is willing to break free and take steps toward healing, these former victims turn into some of the strongest people known to man! And they grow into advocates for others who are hurting. There is so much hope for the former scapegoated individual. And each step will lead to more and more wholeness."

    This is quoted from SOT's posting on scapegoats.

    So, now we know where we are going, and who we are coming to be.

    Hard battle.

    Hard wired for conflict.

    That's us.

    Here is an interesting thought regarding scapegoating. So, could there be such a thing as scapegoating in reverse? The trap is the same one. The end results are the same.

    Or could it be that, as seems true to me, we all were given to one another to work through this somehow?

    I'm kind of coming to a dead end, with my family. Maybe I was meant to stand up all along. Maybe that is the thing that will make the difference for all of us.

    Best to let that pony ride, maybe.

    ***

    I like the definition of hatred as hurt and anger. I know that as I come through layer after layer, what at first seemed blazing hatred or ugliness or cowardice or fraudulence or blah, blah ~ it just seems to lose its charge. It isn't that I don't love them, it's just that I don't find common cause with them.

    It is better to clarify the places someone bigger, or someone I was taught it was my responsibility to protect, took a bite from a power over position, naming what they did, naming the nature of that relationship love. I think a piece of what happened to us (to me) is that I didn't know how else any of this was supposed to look where family of origin was concerned, and had no faith in my own judgment.

    So I accepted theirs.

    About myself.

    And you must first dehumanize, before you can victimize.

    So, in some sense, I was a dehumanized little person, growing up with access to only half my self.

    So I did pretty well, then.

    I've always been afraid that I would hate them, and that is so ugly. (Mine is an ugly story, and that may yet be its outcome.) Instead, it's like I don't even recognize them. There is such a sense of dis-reality between who I thought they were and who they turn out to have been.

    ?

    ***

    Part of what is happening now is that as I learn I do not have to be perfect, or reach for (and continually fall short of) perfection, or even feel doing a thing perfectly is possible, I am developing a sense of judgment, of locus of control in here, not out there where only I am not perfect, where it is my responsibility to make everything so pretty on every level.

    Perfectionism works into all this somewhere, I just know it.

    Perfectionism and locus of control. If I could just be perfect enough, they won't kill me. If I had been perfect instead of terminally flawed, they would have loved me.

    Instead, they tried to kill me and oh, boy, they hated me while they did it.

    That is the thing. Hatred funneled at us when we are little doesn't feel like anger and hurt. It feels impersonal, like a mass murderer.

    No one to help.

    No one to see.

    Only me.

    It was so helpful to me when one of us posted about our being only thirty to fifty pounds (or less) when these terrible things, physical and emotional, were happening to us.

    (F you, mom.)

    And I know why doesn't matter, but what ever could have happened to these adults, that they could live with themselves, could face other adults, knowing what they had done and were surely going to do again, to a child?

    How does that work, I wonder.

    Maybe there was no help to be had for them, back in the day.

    Cedar

    Oh for heaven's sake.

    Then why are they still doing it now.

    I just get that sense of unreality around all this "why" stuff.

    Why doesn't matter. If it did, I would already know.

    It is enough that I see it, now.

    I just can't hardly quite freaking believe it.

    :9-07tears:
     
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh, wait.

    I meant F you mom.

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

    Cedar
     
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Excellent post that I can relate to, as always, Cedar.

    I was never afraid I'd hate them. I really don't have that kind of emotion in me. My hate IS hurt and pain, which makes it clear I should do what a smart scapegoat does and just move on. You know what? For a few days it bothered me that Sissy was reading my inner thoughts. I don't care anymore. She is free to read them, laugh with dysfunctional bro, scream at th e screen, get herself all out of sorts, whatever she does with her spare time is fine with me. Maybe it's good for her to read my reality, even if she doesn't believe it. I have NOT stopped posting you noticed. I am stronger than that and am not going to let someone who dislikes me and invalidates my life to change what I do. That's not me anymore. I pick myself up, wipe off the seat of my pants and move ahead.

    Cedar, I know you love your family, probably as in love/hate (which is pain/anger). I can't find that love in there anymore. Maybe the pain/anger is too fresh. Maybe there is love in there for these people somewhere in the back of my mind. I loved them both so much at one time. I thought they were smart enough to "get" that I did have a mental illness, which can override the medications if I am under unbearable pressure. (Haha, what's their excuse?) But at any rate, it now has a diagnosed name...borderline, by Dr. Sis and Dr. Bro. I would love to find that love again and hope that years and years of never seeing them will at least bring back the great memories of playing hockey with my little bro in his room because we were both school outcasts. I hope I can once again remember playing "rate the record" with him. We were each other's best friend. We had nights when he'd come in from NJ when we were out at restaurants just talking and laughing about our lives until 1am or later. I want to remember that about him because they were good times and I'm not sure where they went.

    I want to remember the times with my sister that were hilarious, in between her ten or more cut offs. We did have similar senses of humor and I tried to be there for her until I couldn't and I think at times she even tried to be there for me but she couldn't. We did not have all horrible times either. I want to smile at the time when she thought she wasn't pretty (she is a knockout) and I brought her to my place of work just because there were so many young boys there and I was already married...of course they all fell for her and thought she was pretty and that was a good, warm memory.

    My mother was the elephant in the room. Once she decided I didn't like my brother enough (long story, can't put it down here) she REALLY got her claws out. I actually did like my brother that much, but her incessant favoritism of him got on my nerves and I said something about him and the fight was on (her fight). After that it was never the same between me and mother. It went from bad and bad to horrible and traumatic. No, it is not a made up story. It may be one that only I remember because it was a phone call. Nobody else knew.

    My mother has been dead so long. I still can't find the love, but I do remember the few times she was proud of me for a good drama or singing performance or a writing award. But most of my memories, after all these years, are still her yelling horrible things at and about me and expecting me to give my grandmother's small inheritance ONLY to my biological son and hurt my other two kids. Divide and conquer. As much as I loved my grandmother, she did it with her own two kids and my mom was jealous of her brother. Now she was going to try to do it to my three kids and I would not participate. THAT is what got my mother so angry...that I refused to do it...that she basically never forgave me. Isn't that twisted?

    Although she did not get along that well with her mother and was angry at her for favoring her son and then me next, my mother still had this fear of of her mother and, even after she died, she felt her mother's wishes had to be carried out, even if they were cruel wishes. My grandmother was sending a message to my adopted kids that they were not her blood and she loved Bart the most. She even told that to Bart and he was very uncomfortable hearing it. I was not about to be given money, no matter how little, that came from all three of my children's great-grandmother and only give it to Bart. And I don't do things in secret. And we spoke to Bart about it and even Bart agreed. He still does to this day.

    So after all this time, although I feel we will meet again, I can not find the love.

    I hope I can find the love I once had for my other siblings. With both of them my love was so deep. I especially had an affinity for my brother who had the same social problems I did.

    Cedar, do you find yourself doing kind things for others that non-scapegoats would feel scornful about? Do you help homeless people? Do you offer a meal? Do you ever help children who are obviously in distress (we adopted them). Did you ever help stray animals, hurt animals and nurse them back to health and trust? Do you find that you run to pick things up for others who drop things? I do this all the time and I know it's because you develop a certain compassion and caring for others when you are treated like dirt. You just have this uncanny urge to want to help others be better.

    Well, that felt good for my soul and reading your posts is always so healing too. I hope I can help you as much as you help me.

    My husband is home and I want to spend time with him. We are so blessed to have our husbands, aren't we? There are so many terrible relationships out there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    SomewhereOutThere, oh wow, that definitely makes sense and sounds familiar!

    witzend, I had that happen too, its sad we have to remember any bad event.

    Scent of Cedar, you also have been through a lot and its hard for all of us to get away from the lifestyle, and even when we do, its burned in our head.

    *****Ok... to" answer" each "number"


    How To Break Free From Scapegoating

    1. Understand that what you have come to believe about yourself as family Scapegoat – i.e. that you are bad, weird, inadequate or defective - is not the truth. In fact it’s likely a lie that was created to prevent family members from acknowledging their own troubles, thereby avoiding taking responsibility for both their behavior and the need to change. --->( I figured I was born tho be their punching bag, family/exs/friends and thats what I had to give( of course when really little I had my dreams before I started to "realize" things) Still working on its not all my fault, its them.. getting there!!!)
    2. Locate and trust your ‘Inner Owl’ – that wise part of you that knows you have been mistreated and will no longer willingly allow this abuse from others or yourself. --->(Working on)
    3. Recognize that feelings of shame, guilt and self blame belong to the perpetrators, not you as target. You are simply a dumping ground for their bad feelings. To change this you need to start standing up to the notion that you are at fault. You will likely have to begin with yourself, learning to question and reject seeing yourself as ‘bad’. ---->(They still see as they have no bad feelings, but again, work in progress for myself. )
    4. Get to know your true self. Identify exceptions to the negative stereotype you have been saddled with. In other words, pinpoint what is good, likeable or at least adequate about you - your character, values, actions, etc. Write down your good traits – you will need to be reminded of this alternate universe, which is the truth about you, especially if you start to fall back into the habit of feeling bad about yourself again. Understand that getting better – and feeling better - is a learning curve, and you may slip a few times before you gain solid footing--->( I used to have confidence in most things, but when told failure for many things- hard to change my own mind.. but again, trying and will make that list. I have my ideas starting to come in, just going to take a job, money etc. I know what I want to do in life, I want to help others, but I know I have to help me, but really, the process will never end. For us, its sadly permanent, least me burned in my head of all bad and even good things that the past holds. I wonder by helping others, how will this help me when my mind is set like this? It will because we all need support to move forward, people who get it, people who arent like the ones we are trying to be apart from. My past is part of me no matter how good or bad, so I just need to learn from it and move on and use it as a guide not be this way, teach others not to be that way)
    5. Figure out what you might be doing – consciously or unconsciously – that gives scapegoaters the idea that it’s OK to abuse you. Determine how to change any behavior that draws you into the Victim role.--->( Yup, I heard that I keep playing the victim role because I haven't done much about it, but again, have started to put my foot down!! Its guilt, obligation,. love for them, family is family.. blood thicker than water, all people deserve chances, do I deserve more or different, am I taking it wrong whats going on( also been told I was), no love for self etc)
    6. Stop trying to win the favor of abusive and uncaring family members, co-workers or ‘friends’. Anyone who engages in this type of inappropriate behavior has personality problems, especially a parent who did not love their child.---> (Thats a hard one, but, I do know I cant change the past, and unless I was hot, smart, rich, talented, prefect at cooking and doing things for others, Ill NEVER win. But, I still do "crave" the family and friends is why, as well as the family is family things, blood thicker than water etc.. well, not so much now..in progress!!!))
    7. Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends. They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable.----->( yes , yes and more yes!!! just happened few days back..again...they are just NEVER wrong :crazy2:)
    8. Start asserting your right to be treated respectfully with family and other people who try and abuse you. E.G., “The way you just spoke to me now is not acceptable, and I never want to be talked to like that again”, or “If you want to have a relationship with me, you will stop the angry outbursts, name calling, accusations, etc.” Know that you may not be heard or respected by aggressive people. The point is that you hear and respect yourself! Don’t do this until you are ready to follow through with your commitment to yourself.---> (um yes, and the blame goes back to me that I was the one who was wrong or talked bad, that I took what they said wrong " uggh!! They are always right no matter what, even if theres some type of proof they were wrong)
    9. Accept that you may never have a healthy relationship with your scapegoater(s). This may involve limited or no contact with those who are determined to continue to abuse you. You may experience feelings of grief. Work through the painful feelings, and get support if needed. This pain is much less harmful than continuing to allow yourself to be abused by anyone.--->( see, a call is great, visit can be too, but as you all told me, STAY AWAY and go ONLY when things can be a quick in and out or call, nothing else or quit all contact-- Im also proud to say, been following that!!!!!!!!!!)
    10. Get in the habit of treating yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, appreciation and acceptance. Practice viewing yourself as a person of worth and lovability. This will likely feel weird at first as it is unfamiliar. But even though it is unfamiliar, treating yourself in a loving manner is never wrong.--->( yup, starting by watching my weight now, and going to go to my own doctors instead of always everyone else first !!Oh and if I ever have a perm place to live, I shall buy me a Hot Tub!!!- of course the kiddos can use it too)
    11. Understand that it will take time to learn how to love and appreciate yourself. You have been trained to be overly self critical and may believe you are defective. Be patient as this false image gradually crumbles. Get counselling to help you overcome this painful legacy, and find your true self - the strong, valuable person you are meant to be.-->( True, very slow process for me but job and weight loss, own place, kids settled will all be helping me towards this goal)
    12. Practice what you preach with others… Break the cycle--->(Im working on it- some things or views should I say I have never changed nor will I so Im still proud and strong that way!! They couldnt break that!!)
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Confused, you did such a good job, I decided to do a personal inventory just like you did, even if nobody cares. LOL. It's for me, nobody else.


    1. Recognize that feelings of shame, guilt and self blame belong to the perpetrators, not you as target. You are simply a dumping ground for their bad feelings. To change this you need to start standing up to the notion that you are at fault. You will likely have to begin with yourself, learning to question and reject seeing yourself as ‘bad’. (I never feel "bad" anymore unless I am brought into contact with them and that will be never one day).

    1. Get to know your true self. Identify exceptions to the negative stereotype you have been saddled with. In other words, pinpoint what is good, likeable or at least adequate about you - your character, values, actions, etc. Write down your good traits – you will need to be reminded of this alternate universe, which is the truth about you, especially if you start to fall back into the habit of feeling bad about yourself again. Understand that getting better – and feeling better - is a learning curve, and you may slip a few times before you gain solid footing

    1. Figure out what you might be doing – consciously or unconsciously – that gives scapegoaters the idea that it’s OK to abuse you. Determine how to change any behavior that draws you into the Victim role. (I have mood disorder not otherwise specified and the haters stupidly believe my illness is me.And it is stupid. I can't counter their ignorance nor do I care. I also speak up about the favoritism, divide and conquer and sainted mother's horrific abuse against me. That is a no-no. But I won't be silenced again. Ever. Nor am I good with either sibling doing NOTHING to try to get mother to quit doing it. I guess they believed her stories, because they never asked for my side. They were like the kid who watches the bully beat up the little guy and jus stands by looking because "I don't want to get involved." I have little respect for people like that. They didn't have to help out, but they could have and they chose not to and they did know what was going on. I have always felt funny toward them becuse they allowed her abuse without uttering a word to her. It's finally out in the open. I think they were both either in denial or cowards.)

    1. Stop trying to win the favor of abusive and uncaring family members, co-workers or ‘friends’. Anyone who engages in this type of inappropriate behavior has personality problems, especially a parent who did not love their child.
    2. Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends. They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable. (LOL. Like they would ever say it was them and not me.)

    3. Start asserting your right to be treated respectfully with family and other people who try and abuse you. E.G., “The way you just spoke to me now is not acceptable, and I never want to be talked to like that again”, or “If you want to have a relationship with me, you will stop the angry outbursts, name calling, accusations, etc.” Know that you may not be heard or respected by aggressive people. The point is that you hear and respect yourself! Don’t do this until you are ready to follow through with your commitment to yourself.

    4. Accept that you may never have a healthy relationship with your scapegoater(s). This may involve limited or no contact with those who are determined to continue to abuse you. You may experience feelings of grief. Work through the painful feelings, and get support if needed. This pain is much less harmful than continuing to allow yourself to be abused by anyone. (This is my new work on and for myself and I will triumph).

    5. Get in the habit of treating yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, appreciation and acceptance. Practice viewing yourself as a person of worth and lovability. This will likely feel weird at first as it is unfamiliar. But even though it is unfamiliar, treating yourself in a loving manner is never wrong. (No, it's a good thing)

    6. Understand that it will take time to learn how to love and appreciate yourself. You have been trained to be overly self critical and may believe you are defective. Be patient as this false image gradually crumbles. Get counselling to help you overcome this painful legacy, and find your true self - the strong, valuable person you are meant to be.
    7. Practice what you preach with others… Break the cycle (I broke the cycle in my loving family. I spent my life trying to help people from giving things to the poor and homeless, to fostering and adopting children, to helping animals, to listening to sad stories, to volunteering widely in the communities I've lived in. I like myself. There are things I don't like about myself and I can work on them. But nobody is going to make me doubt I'm a good person again. Ever. What have THEY done for anyone but themselves lately?"
    Ok, so the numbers got screwed up...lol. Today I am happy and proud of myself. It was my therapists ideas to write down all my good points and put them beside my bad points. This is an excellent exercise to do when you doubt your good heart that, in the back of your mind, you know you have. But somebody or somebodies are telling you you are bad. Who are they to tell you what you are? What are their credentials? How much do they know your heart? More than that, what particular education do they have to tell you that you have a particular diagnosis, which is often done by our smug abusers? We get too hurt by the diagnoses of Dr. Janitor, Dr. Teacher, Dr. Streetcleaner, Dr. Lawyer, Dr. Chef, Dr. Artist, Dr. Hotdog Vendor, Dr. Unemployed, Dr. Retired...let's be honest. Nobody but a trained psychiatrist who has known you for a decent amount of time can diagnose you. Why let these unqualified people tell you what you are?

    I'm firing Dr. Doolittle. Let him talk to the aniamls ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "Abuse is fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself* as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control. The abuser is not hampered in these efforts by the pangs of a healthy conscience and indeed often lacks a conscience.

    While this mentality of power and control often expresses itself in various forms of physical abuse, it just as frequently employs tactics of verbal, emotional, financial, social, sexual and spiritual abuse. Thus, an abuser may never actually lay a hand on his wife and yet be very actively terrorizing her in incredibly damaging ways."

    ***

    This is from the article you listed for us, SOT.

    This is the thing we know when we heal. We see beyond what we saw or felt to the wrongness beneath it. We see the "why".

    I realized "scapegoat" could be any kind of ridicule. It could be living ridiculed for seeing things positively, but still seeing the way I see and so, feeling essentially wrong. If those same ridiculed qualities are not ridiculed in my day to day life, oh how I dread knowing the day will come when they will be. That is what it is to feel fraudulent, to feel there is something wrong with us, something we need to conceal, for the hurt of being found out and ridiculed for who we really are.

    That could be an example of the result of scapegoating in action.

    And this is why Brene Brown's "lean into it", risk real, you can do this, made such a difference for me.

    And Joel Osteen's sermons and teachings about how to see ourselves as we truly are ~ as cherished beings, here on purpose.

    And Maya, of course.

    As was pointed out in the quote above, abuse is so much more than what happened. Abuse is in the "win" for the abuser. Abuse is in the way we are forever wound up in the why of the thing.

    This is from Rumi, courtesy of Ariana Huffington, who was on Super Soul Sunday today.

    "Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor."

    It echoes through the same places Maya's "We are here on purpose" echoes. We are seen, we are known, we were meant to be here just as we are.

    And that is trust.

    And that is what abuse destroys.

    Trust that we are gloriously here, present and alive until the hour of our deaths on purpose.

    Here is something else from Ariana this morning: "Failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is a stepping stone to success."

    There is no such thing as failure.

    That is alot to trust.

    The opposite of trust is fear.

    If we choose to love, we come to see that fear and love cannot exist together in the same place at the same time. So maybe, if we can know that, we can choose love and fly by the seats of our pants about the rest of it.

    ?

    Cedar
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Great great post. Loved it all!
    Our abusers never win. We do once we understand.
    Most abusers are lonely people. In our cases perhaps they are angry because we are with a loving partner.
     
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