Six years later, this text arrives

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    In 2014, husband and I stopped enabling Difficult Child - after finding this wonderful, wonderful forum. I can never recommend CD to enough folks.

    While eating lunch with my parents yesterday (both late 80's and victims of Difficult Child's theft and lying), this text arrived on my phone, from [email protected]. husband and I have not responded to any texts/emails, because they have all been mean and/or hateful. They are not nearly as frequent these days, but every now and then...

    Here is today's text, exactly as received:

    MSG: Scapegoated Child Syndrome: I know u are smarter than everyone but its real. I couls write a book to support this. Your ignorance didn't ruin me.

    I Googled Scapegoated Child Syndrome in the hotel room last night. It is horrible, but there is no way Difficult Child ever experienced this (and I know this is preaching to the choir.)

    This is easier to deal with than years ago, but not yet what husband and I pray for. Posting only because I know you got me. ; )
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  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh SS, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the title to your thread. I thought, “At last, SS has gotten the words of amends she and Mr. Seeking have deserved for so long, words we all dream of seeing one day. Maybe their son is finally coming around.”

    Then THAT text.

    Wow. I’m shaking.

    I guess if there is anything to gain from it, you can at least know you spared yourselves 6 years of that kind of stuff.

    I’m so sorry, SS. Glad you’ve got this. We are all here circling the wagons.
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  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    These adult kids are amazing. Now your son is also a psychiatrist!!!

    How about his abuse of you? Oh yeah. It didn't happen.

    I am sorry he sent this to you. Sometimes I wonder if they take everything they lack in themselves and tell themselves that we caused it.

    Prayers and hugs.
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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Ugh. That is very odd. I had never heard of it either so looked it up. I can say without hesitation that none of the parents on these forums could possibly be in any way guilty of that.

    Heck none of us would be here if that were the case.

    Stay strong and keep that thick skin moisturized!

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  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for the love. Even though it is years later and husband and I are way past the most difficult part, your responses are heart-warming. I loved all three of them. They are as full of wonderful wisdom as when CD and I first crossed paths.

    Thanks. It gets easier, but never easy.
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  6. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    You know, I've been going to post about this for a while. I think part of why we feel so alone in all of this is because there is so much blame placed on parents. Sometimes it feels like society doesn't expect much of young people at all. It seems universally accepted that all behaviour that strays from the norm is outside of the young person's control and is entirely the fault of their parents.

    I've been searching online for help and resources for myself. Some of the things I've typed into the search engine have been "Parenting a toxic child", "Detaching from your adult child" and similar. Each time I search I get one or two hits that might be helpful and the rest are all about TOXIC PARENTS. Sadly, I came across Scapegoated Child Syndrome a few week's back. I thought to myself then, "here we go". I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my son accuses me of this.

    My son sees a psychologist, and while I'm happy about that, I sometimes wonder what lies are being told about our family and whether the psychologist takes everything my son says at face value and believes him, or whether he knows that my son sometimes lies.

    In any case, I'm so sorry this happened to you. Sometimes it seems like the pain never ends.
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  7. Barbaro

    Barbaro New Member

    I had a bizarre thought. While I see you don't respond to these texts (don't blame you) I wonder what the reaction would be if you said something like this .... OK let's say for yucks you are the Scapegoated Child. Now why don't you explain why that excuses your stealing and lying from your grandparents, violating court orders and incarceration.
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  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    It's very tempting, but he uses these fake no-reply #'s (which I think means he would never see our response??)

    At the end of the day, I do not think anything his dad or i might say would do one iota of good.

    I went over a few things in my head I'd like to say. Trust me. :checkwriter:

    We have gone this long with the stance that we will not respond until he is nice/decent, I don't want to change that now. Six years since we stopped enabling and he still hasn't sent a nice communication....

    Thanks for your response. I totally get it.

  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Seeking Strength, I'm sorry.

    He is feeling sorry for himself that his life is oh so hard, and wants to put it on you, into your psyche. This was a cruel and abusive way to hurt you, because he's mad about his own failed life. He would text, "purple people eater" (an old, old song) if he thought it would inflict damage, so that he could imagine getting a rise out of you.

    I would never, ever respond to him. It would only feed his negativity.

    I think each time this happens you are called upon to recognize how much better off you are, than years past. You have detached. Over the years I have been here I can see with my own eyes, how you've gotten your power back. Of course it smarts, but the person in pain now, is your son. He is flailing about now because he, not you, or his grandparents have to experience the effects of living badly.

    Your boundaries are so healthy and strong and appropriate he has to sneak around on the internet to get to you. He didn't really. You are fine. He is not.

    But he's got to feel this if there is any chance of his healing. I am so very sorry this happened. I feel sad for him too, actually. But you are fine.
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  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thank you again for your support. husband and I rely on it so often.

    Our boundaries feel healthy and strong. We have come so far since finding CD. We are very sad for him and his life. He is our firstborn, always much loved.

    Sometimes that sadness still feels so heavy, but we are tired of the tears and hurting. What we learned from CD members is our best hope - take care of ourselves and enjoy life to the fullest (always praying).
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  11. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Effing chutzpah of Difficult Child!

    Good for you (plural). You have adopted the right approach.

    Good luck.
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  12. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Hi SS- I haven't been on in quite awhile, but jumped on here today. I come from a very toxic family where I really was the scapegoated child, and didn't even realize it until I was in yet another round of therapy as an adult in my 40s. It really took me some time to wrap my head around what had happened to me. If a therapist hadn't pointed it out and explained it I never would have. Sounds like he's gas lighting you. For me, as a scapegoated child I was always trying to fix myself. It sounds like he's doing the classic difficult child thing of blaming everyone else for his problems. I'm sure not all scapegoated children respond the same way, but that was my experience.
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  13. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I dated a scapegoat in high school. His siblings got cars. He was lucky to get a pack of gum. The siblings got new clothes even if they didn't work summer jobs. He was outgrowing his clothes and the ones that fit were 10 years out of style because they wouldn't let him spend money from his job on decent clothes. No new or nice clothes for him. No hugs for him, but hugs for his siblings. Nothing was ever good enough. His parents took money out of his college savings because they fell on hard times, but then they would spend it at nice restaurants and fly to California for non-essential trips. His parents didn't speak to him for quite a while because he didnt get a scholarship like his siblings did. The siblings went to the salon for a haircut. He got his hair cut at home. His parents never gave him attention. Even now, his parents don't make over his kids as much as their other grandchildren.

    I doubt you treated your kid that way, so I don't think there was scapegoating.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    How sad.

    If this were me, I would probably tell them gently (I do not do harsh) that our relationship needed to change or we would not see them.

    So very horrible. There ARE scapegoats. I don't think this mother did that.
  15. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    My difficult daughter used to also say her two siblings received much more than her, which wasn't even close to the truth. I remember in second grade after the teacher read Cinderella to the students, my d.d. told the teacher she felt like Cinderealla in that story. The teacher told me and I didn't say anything to explain how this daughter was, but never forgot it. The d.d. was given so much more than the other two and now she hasn't spoken to me in 5 years. Nothing was good enough for her. I spent a fortune putting her in Parochial school for a year to try and help her out with a different environment from the public schools. My other daughter had wanted to attend Parochial school too, but I didn't let the other daughter, as we couldn't afford having two in parachial school. There was never a complaint about that from the other daughter. There's just no pleasing adult kids like this. I think when they act as if they were ignored, treated less than, etc. people will eventually see the truth. Good luck with all of this.
  16. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Seeking Strength--I'm sorry you received that painful text message. I do agree though, you have saved yourself a lot of heartache by detaching; and it sounds like you are healing (although the sadness will always be there just because we are people who are loving, caring human beings). I've noticed our son will make disparaging comments about people, when he himself shows the very same characteristic. These kids are so self-deceived about their "victimization." It's amazing.
  17. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I am finding, at least regarding myself, that pain can go away mostly, even with grown kids in a mess. I feel normal now. Sometimes I feel guilty that I am so much happier with her out of touch and Jaden doing well in Amy's care. I worried more about Jaden than Kay. He is a baby.

    I can not be so cold-hearted that I am the only person able to learn how to let go emotionally from a very cruel acting child and to still laugh and enjoy life. Maybe the other kids helped. I'm not sure.

    Whatever the cause, I feel better now and I think others can too. It takes time, support from others and small steps at first. But I guiltily tell you it can be done in some cases.

    Sending healing prayers to all.
  18. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Sorry you had to be on the receiving end of a message like that. It sucks, even if you know it's not true.

    My daughter has told us repeatedly that she is a victim of trauma. And she blames her childhood sometimes. I have no idea what she is talking about. She has siblings that share none of what she speaks of. Husband says it's the years of drug abuse and her strong pattern of lies. But even if I know it is not true... it sits there for a while and I question everything. It's hard not to (for me).
  19. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Chickpea, it's the same for me. I know that there are scapegoated children, and that must be a terrible thing for any person to endure, but my son is anything but. He's been loved so much by us (and our wider family) and in many ways indulged more than his siblings -- more money spent on him, more leniency afforded to him etc -- yet to hear him speak you would think that he has been neglected all his life.

    I don't think anyone who posts on this forum is the parent of a scapegoated child. If we were we wouldn't suffer the way we do and we wouldn't spend so much time reflecting on our relationships with our difficult children.
  20. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    If we took a poll of our very beloved and entitled adult kids who made horrible life choices, my guess is all of them would claim to be scapegoated. It is as if they can't hurt us enough. They think of ways to gaslight us and to pour on the pain.

    Truly scapegoated kids, those whose parents mistreat them and give more to the other kids, would not be on this forum crying over their beloved children nor would these kids who cry that they didn't get enough get what our kids received.

    Kay claims we didn't love her as much as her siblings yet she got more love, fuss, time and certainly more material items than her two siblings combined. Looking back, we apologized to our two other kids for giving Kay all of our time. We were focused on trying to save her and the other two did not seem to need that amount of attention. My husband and I regret this deeply now. Our other kids are so forgiving. And Kay? Well, we abused her. She has amnesia about her entire life it seems.

    This is one way they get us to feel guilty....gaslighting.

    Prayers and love for all who know what it feels like to be wrongfully accused of bad things by our beloved children.