2. Adult Child Abuse of the Scapegoats

In troubled families, abuse and neglect are permitted;
it's the talking about them that is forbidden. 

© by Gail Meyers
Toxic families are closed systems. Mine gave all of the typical toxic responses for breaking the unwritten family rule of going to therapy. The therapists are crazier than the patients. You should not air your dirty laundry. They guess they never needed therapy because they are strong enough to handle their own problems.  All of this is rubbish. You do need to find the right therapist, but when you do extraordinary healing can take place. My childhood sexual abuse therapist undoubtedly saved my life.

However, just like any abuser, narcissistic mothers do not appreciate it when your confidence begins to grow, you receive validation, responsibility for the abuse is placed squarely with the abuser, you begin setting healthy boundaries or seeing through their manipulation. So, be warned. During my sexual abuse therapy in the 1980's, the inner child was often discussed. However, I joked that while searching for my inner child, I must have bumped into my inner bitch, because that is what I was so often called when I first started setting boundaries.

Several months into my therapy I decided to tell my mother of my childhood sexual abuse.  My therapist warned me that in all likelihood my mother already knew, but I assured her that she did not.  She could not have known or she surely would have done something to protect me.  It took 15 minutes of sitting in front of my mother trying to tell her why I was so upset before I finally got the words to come out of my mouth. She looked shocked, but then there was a reason my brother and I called her Scarlett O’Hara. She said she believed me, but looking back I realized all she was worried about was whether I had told anyone else. She was especially concerned as to whether I told my grandmother.

I drove the two hours to where my mother and step-father had moved after my brother and I moved out of the house. It was a sudden move that only made sense to me years later.  My brother and I were not so easy to control as legal adults, plus the numerous other girls he had molested were also coming of age. Nearly a year after telling my mother of the sexual abuse, my mother was still living with the pedophile.  She was telling me she was planning her escape, even though I offered her a place to stay the night I told her. Then one night I picked up the telephone to hear my brother hysterically crying on the other end.  He received a letter from our mother which also enclosed a note from our (narcissistic) sister. He was sitting in the cemetery thinking and crying.  When I went to pick him up, he showed me the notes that I was obviously never meant to see.

Our mother explained in the letter how the sexual abuse happened one time, years ago.  It actually happened many times over nearly a decade.  How my step-father, and my brother’s natural father, had changed. He’s even been reading his bible.  He was a deacon in the extremely dysfunctional church we grew up in, even though he was an alcoholic pedophile. Looking back, I wonder if it was led by lukewarm Christians or if they were intentional pretenders.  I have wondered if it was a spiritually dead church or whether it was actually closer to a cult.

The letter then went on to say how much better the family is doing and getting along now that the troublemaker was out of the house – me.  I was anything but a troublemaker as a child.  In any case, the note from our sister reiterated the story.  I was astounded at the time by what my mother was trying to pull, so much so that I could not fully grasp it.

My Brother's Truth Telling Makes Him a Scapegoat 

My brother did not buy the story for a minute.  Unlike me, my brother immediately saw the truth and he was beside himself. By this time the father who had abused and neglected my brother as a boy was afraid of him. That is the very reason they told him through a letter. They were afraid he would hear the news and come down there unannounced and infuriated. They wanted him to hear their lies about it first hoping he would buy the story.

So, without knowing I read the notes, my mother called me to tell me to be sure to keep my brother in the city with me. She then told me how she was plotting her escape from her husband and is surprised she has not killed him in his sleep. Since I was unable to keep my brother in the city with me, she then told people I sent my brother down there after them. Keep in mind I was trying to get my mother to leave him and move in with me. I also cared way too much about my brother than to send him down there.

So he went down there to the remote spot where my mother and step-father had moved to that was two hours from the city we grew up in.  When his father saw him, he ran to get in his truck to get away, but my brother jumped on the running board and started punching his father through the window.  His father drove off and did not come back for days.

In the meantime, that left our mother there without her pedophile husband to protect her. My brother confronted her and when she tried to blame me he lost it.  My brother showed amazing restraint, but literally for the rest of her life she used a twisted version of these events to climb back up on her martyr throne while using it to destroy my brother’s reputation and relationships.  He did not strike her, but he did shove her. He also told her he was not leaving until she told the truth.

So, our mother sat there infuriated while her pedophile husband hid out somewhere too afraid to come home.  It ended with my mother sneaking out in the middle of the night and driving back to the city where she repeated the tale of her heroic escape from her drug crazed son who had attacked her when he was out of his mind on drugs because I put him up to it.

This set the stage for our narcissistic mother to begin targeting my brother as a scapegoat, as she did me, for the rest of her days. Some of her maneuvers are discussed in detail, one-by-one. While these stunts are discussed one-by-one in order to help you recognize, name and articulate each one, they are often used in combination.

*It has been brought to my attention that this video has been hacked.  So I will upload the original as soon as time allows.  Until then, the video abruptly ends in the middle of the article. Gail


  1. As a 54 year old female my narcissistic mother suddenly passed in June this past year. This was a shock to me and I had only been told she was ill a month prior when she had actually been ill for over a year and all the seven siblings knew except me. I live a mile from my mother I saw her two weeks prior to her death and she looked fine. My siblings sent me a text the morning she passed. I went over to her house and I said calmly that I would sad that they sent me a text and no one told me the day prior... they then ushered me out to the front door and verbally and emotionally attacked me . . four of them very large compared to my 5 foot 1 frame. I was in shock literally. But I was able to get myself clear enough to realize I needed to protect myself and play their game and give them what they wanted so I could leave safely. That evening I realized narcissist and I looked it up and I realized my entire family are in this malignant narcissist dilemma. All my life I knew something was wrong but I couldn't understand what. Now I understand and my mind feels like it's as fractured as it has been my whole life. My heart is broken. I'm trying to figure things out and in the mist of this my fiance of five years dumps me. Because he's also part of this system. When I explained to him I needed time to rest physically with this because my adrenals are shot he then said we were over. So now I'm going to find a place to live I have to find a job my health is compromised my mind is compromised and I have absolutely no family or friends except my 26 year old son who also lives with me and believes everything that's going on cuz he seen it. I'm too afraid to find a therapist because in my years of going to therapy none of them understood the actually kept insisting that I stay friends with my family! I'm losing weight I can't sleep and my nerves are shot and I have no idea what to do where to turn or who to ask because every time I've tried I've been shut down and pushed away and victimized because that's where I've been my whole life and I know what they want they all want me just to end it, my own life and I will not do that. , I've been ostracized my whole life from everyone I thought you cared about me and it turns out there's only one person in my life who actually cares about me to myself and my son. Even my adult 30 year old daughter is telling lies about me and saying I physically assaulted her when she was pregnant which is the furthest thing from the truth. That is my one thing I've always desired was to treat my children well and to love them and protect them as I wasn't as a child and now she's using that against me and saying I did to her but I would never do to anyone. Does got to be positive safe people in the world I just have to find them and get away from these people I'm still living with my xfiance I'm unemployed I'm on disability and my mind is just frazzled I need help and I don't know what to do.

  2. Hello Unkown. I too am a child victim of a narccissistic parents who did not want me. I went thru my whole life being ostracized as a child and now as an adult in my 40s. I too am the scapegoat. I cried out to God my entire life to heal me...from what..I didn't even know and could not begin to understand. Until about 6 years ago...when the Lord opened up a door for me to finally get counseling from a Dr in psychology who was a victim as well. She was the catalyst to me understanding this evil disorder. And now six years later...I am still muttering through it and still working through it in counseling. God loves you my friend. And I like you hit wall after wall trying to get counseled but it was in His timing because they must have an understanding. I have to tell myself often not to die in the process. That's something my counselor told me. You keep fighting. Keep praying. I will pray with you that God will send that counselor or counselors your way
    It's a long hard cold and lonely road but God has given you what you need to endure...that's why you're not dead. He has plans for you...as well as all of us. Your testimony has blessed me because by little and little I am seeing that I was not crazy and I not alone. God bless you and continue to keep you my friend. I have left out a lot of details of my childhood because I don't feel comfortable at this time to share it all. And at this time I am being ostracized by my family...yet again. But I too have a wonderful teenage son and husband...who if it were not for him I am certain I would be dead or have already lost my mind. I really believe God placed he and our son in my life to show me the love I never had as a child growing up. Cherish your son for he also is a gift of love and an extension of God's love for you. I still have trouble receiving their love for me but I won't give up trying.

  3. Hello I feel your pain. The story above sounded much like my own life story. It took me till I was 58 to figure out what was going on.I agree about therapist They don't know what they are doing!! I think that's why rapist is written right into therapist. I swear they addicted me to drugs. But that's a whole other story. I finally pieced together that my siblings were selling me on dates to old men when I was 13 14 and 15.My brother and sister both have tried to kill me. They were never punished for anything. We were never allowed to tattle on each other. So they got away with everything they ever did.They have both tried to kill me before. But got no punishment. My brother was caught selling pot out of our parents home. All they did was flush it. He never even skipped a beat. Not one single punishment for it. But me? If I so much as spilled a glass of tea. I got a switch to my legs.Yep they they lied they stole they cheated never once got punished. But I was good all the time. I could not keep out of trouble. It's like she punished me for what they did.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5.a. The Scapegoating Narcissistic Mother

5.e. Narcissistic Mother's Silent Treatment