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 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.) 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!) 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). 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 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. 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. Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends. They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!