5.a. The Scapegoating Narcissistic Mother

The Scapegoats of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers

© by Gail Meyers
The children are often assigned rigid roles in toxic, dysfunctional families where alcoholism, childhood sexual abuse or mental illness is an everyday reality. The assignment of these roles often happens early in childhood, long before the child could possibly have any idea what is truly happening or why. However, even young children quickly understand the unwritten toxic family rules.

These rigid roles and toxic rules are taken very seriously because they are required in order for the closed toxic system to survive and continue. So when you try to get out of your role, to shed this false image that has been forced upon you, the whole family system will often go to extremes to put your back in your place.

Why a Narcissistic Mother Needs a Scapegoat

The scapegoat and the golden child are two of the most widely discussed rigid toxic family rigid roles. Neither of these children are loved or valued for who they truly are, but for the purpose they serve the narcissistic mother. 

The Golden Child 

The golden child’s purpose is to reflect all that is good back to the narcissist. He is showing the world she must be a good mother to have such a child as this. Narcissistic Mom will rewrite history or twist reality beyond all recognition to cause everything this child does to be deemed exceedingly wonderful. This is Mom’s mini me, a narcissist in training. This reflection of her grandeur is one of the real reasons this child can do no wrong in her eyes.  

Of course, this extreme favoritism causes anger, strife and even severed relationships between siblings. That's fine with narcissistic mother who wants to be the hub in the middle, dividing and conquering her children in order to maintain control and the flow of information. She will intentionally pit the golden child against the scapegoat by manipulation. She may even use the golden child, as well as the other children, to inflict abuse by proxy on the scapegoat child. Then, she will garner as much pity as possible by proclaiming how she must endure these contrary children.

The Scapegoat Child  

Narcissistic mother chronically avoids personal responsibility and accountability, thus a scapegoat child. The scapegoat is the truth teller in the midst of this great pretender’s sticky web of lies, secrets and pretense. The scapegoat child can do no right in the eyes of the narcissist, and often can do no right in the eyes of the entire family.  So it is for truth lovers among pretenders and liars.

The other children quickly learn it is okay for them to blame the scapegoat too. As the cunning narcissistic mother skillfully manipulates every member of the family, she will rewrite history or twist reality beyond all recognition to be sure this child takes the blame. This is in order for the narcissistic mother, as well as the entire family, to maintain a facade of normalcy and health while pointing at the scapegoat as the problem. It is smoke and mirrors, a distraction directing attention toward a symptom of the issue rather than the real culprit.  The scapegoat provides a distraction, a sleight of hand.

How Do You Know If You Are the Scapegoat?  

You may have long ago realized you are the scapegoat or you may be just beginning to realize the reality of the situation. Either way, do not beat yourself up about it. Denial helped us survive abusive childhoods. Some indications of being the scapegoat are:

  • You are the truth teller;
  • You are blamed for things you have no control over or were not your fault;
  • You are the target of false accusations – accused, lied and gossiped about;
  • You are labeled the troublemaker;
  • You are left out of or the last to learn of family business or news;
  • You are always the first to apologize and forgive, even when you are one the who truly deserves the apology;
  • Your accomplishments are ignored, sabotaged or invalidated;
  • You are accused of being selfish when you take care of yourself or if you do not meet even ridiculous demands;
  • You may be accused of being unstable, dishonest or crazy;
  • You may be shunned or ostracized.
  • Even with all of the above, you may be the one everyone runs to in crisis.

The History of the Scapegoat 

Most of us have heard the term and understand the popular use of the word, but the idea of a scapegoat has a long history. There is some mention of a scapegoat rite in Ancient Greece. However, our current use of the word comes from the English translation of the Hebrew term from the Bible. Our current usage literally means “an individual, group or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame.” 

The Bible documents the use of a scapegoat dating back to the accounts of the children of Israel. In Leviticus 16, the scapegoat was an actual goat. The sins of the people were ceremonially placed on the head of the goat, then the goat was cast out of the community and into the desert alone to symbolize the removal of sin and guilt. If you are the scapegoat son or daughter of a narcissistic mother, you may know just exactly how that feels!

In the Bible the forgiveness of sin required these animal sacrifices before Christ died a sacrificial death on the cross, but that requirement ended at the cross. The New Testament (after Christ) view holds that Christ took the sins of humanity on His own head. The law was given, not that any man could keep the whole of the law, but for man to come to the conclusion he is unable to. Thus, the law points to the need for a savior. Christ is the Savior who fulfilled the law, placing us under grace. He is the only One who can wash away sins. There is no longer any need for scapegoats. We are each accountable before God for our own actions.

Why Am I the Scapegoat?  

The very first thing the scapegoat needs to understand is it is not your fault. The very existence of a scapegoat in the family signals a problem because a scapegoat is only required in a family when someone chronically refuses to take responsibility for their actions. You did not cause it and you cannot fix it. What you can do is recognize it and protect yourself. 

Scapegoating is a reflection on the person refusing to take responsibility or be held accountable, not the person being blamed. The scapegoat also provides a buffer against reality to support the family denial. The scapegoat carries the lion’s share of the blame, shame, anger and rejection so narcissistic mother can maintain her patterns of dysfunction while continuing to appear normal.

However, the scapegoats are the strongest, nicest, most honest and emotionally healthiest ones in the family. The scapegoat suffers more abuse, rejection and shame than the rest of the family put together.  So never doubt your strength, but also realize it is okay to ask for help. You were strong enough to survive and you are certainly strong enough to recover!

Since it is very painful to be the scapegoat, the scapegoat is usually the one in the family who will go looking for answers – and find them.  Thus, scapegoats are more likely to escape, heal and go on to lead healthier lives.

It Was Never Your Fault, Scapegoat!

A scapegoat allows someone or an entire family to project everything that is negative onto the scapegoat in order for them to continue to appear normal.  It is a distraction, a red herring.  The whole family can then point at the scapegoat as the problem and focus the attention away from the true core issue. This can be reinforced in many overt and covert ways.  It may be verbally being told your family wants the best for you, but their actions do not match their words.  For example, telling you they support you getting an education, but then actively sabotaging or undermining your attempts to do so. 

There is a heavy investment in keeping you in your assigned role as the bad scapegoat.  So you might think you will become an overachiever to prove to your family and the world you are not bad. However, narcissistic mother needs a bad scapegoat in order to support the denial and facade. So when you start to excel it actually makes narcissistic mother uncomfortable because it threatens her assessment of you.  She may very well also become jealous of any success you have. So, narcissist mother may actually reward her scapegoats for floundering, failing or getting in a mess.  This can be done in very subtle ways so as to remain deniable and undetected, while she also actively undermines any success in every way she is able to.

The Scapegoat's Accomplishments Ignored

When I graduated from college in spite of all of the undermining and brow beating efforts, the accomplishment was completely ignored.   If I brought it up, they changed the subject.  No one in the entire extended family even attended my graduation or celebrated the accomplishment.  I was getting out of my scapegoat role by being the first to graduate from college in an extended family of high school dropouts.  So while everyone else was enjoying cards, presents and celebrations, I was actually being shunned and punished for graduating.
This is only one example of how a toxic family takes virtually anything the scapegoat does and reframes it as negative or spins it into an accusation.  Simultaneously, my late narcissistic personality disordered mother decided to get her GED.  When she passed the test, she threw herself a party inviting the younger siblings but not inviting me.
This is only one example of why it is futile to think you are going to prove yourself to a toxic family who has assigned you the role of scapegoat.  When I was younger I often said I could find the cure for cancer and their response would be it was the wrong kind of cancer!  Hardly anyone gets that kind of cancer. It really should not even be considered cancer.  She thought of that cure years ago, but it was so obvious she thought surely everyone already knew.  Everything a scapegoat does is spun to fit the role.
In my experience, the toxic family system will always and forever require scapegoats unless or until the entire family seeks recovery.  While this may happen with an alcoholic or drug addict, the psychiatry profession as a whole does not even claim to be able to effectively treat narcissistic personality disorder.  Hence, this is just one more reason why I personally support no contact.

You Selfish Scapegoat!

This accusation is so often made when the scapegoat draws a boundary or does anything to interfere with the narcissist's needs and wants.  This is a profound, often deeply ingrained message to the scapegoat.  

It is imperative that a scapegoat realize the truth of this brainwashing.  It is not selfish to draw healthy boundaries, protect yourself and your children from abuse or to refuse to be the family whipping post or slave. 
Narcissists chronically project their own negative behavior, character traits, and deeds onto the scapegoat.  My narcissistic mother often accused me of the very thing she was guilty of or doing.  You are not selfish, she is. 

Also, notice how the terms are defined according to whose behavior is being considered.  Invariably, narcissistic mothers redefine terms and have double meanings depending on who they are being applied to.  A great way to expose these double meanings or toxic unwritten family rules is to switch the characters of the golden child and the scapegoat.  

If the golden child was doing this or that would it be considered selfish?  If the narcissist was doing this or that would it be considered selfish?  No, selfishness is redefined for the scapegoat in order to reinforce your continued silence and participation.

Narcissistic Mother Teaches Others to Abuse the Scapegoat

It is not uncommon for the dysfunctional parent to teach the other children to also abuse the scapegoat child.  This can result in mobbing, where more than one member of the family gangs up on the scapegoat.  This abuse does not stop in childhood, but may continue as adult child abuse.
Do not think for a minute a narcissistic mother who scapegoats her own child will not also turn the scapegoat's own children against them.  In my experience, just as the narcissistic mother taught the other siblings as children to also mistreat, blame and even abuse the scapegoat, she will teach your children the same thing. It does not get better, it ripples. 

What Happens If the Scapegoat Leaves?

If the scapegoat leaves, the discord in the remainder of the family often increases without the scapegoat there to buffer the friction. The other family members may turn on one another as the tension increases or someone else will be assigned the role. However, if you are the scapegoat and you leave the family that does not necessarily mean you will be let out of your assigned role.

A narcissistic mother may let you go, too easily, way too easily. This is to convey a demoralizing message that it does not really matter to her or that is the way she prefers it anyway. Watch your back for the smear campaign in this scenario because she is thinking about the situation completely differently than what you imagine. Her mind is likely on her image and making sure no one believes you and the real reason for the separation.

On the other hand, everyone may be exceptionally nice attempting to lure you back in, but the scapegoat should not fall for this deception. I fell for this one myself.  Upon returning to the same state due to my mother’s insistence, my mother pulled one of the worst stunts she ever pulled on me. Her manufactured drama included falsely disparaging me to the entire extended family in a very convincing manner. She then proceeded to twist the facts and use it against me literally for the rest of her days.  Her drama was so dramatically convincing no one even questioned the validity of it.

So do not fall for the playing nice to get you back routine. This is no different than any other abusive cycle of being nice for a bit when an abuser fears he or she has lost his or her victim. It is difficult, and you may be tempted to believe things have finally improved, but do not believe it.

What Is a Scapegoat to Do?

These some of the things that helped me as the scapegoat of my narcissistic personality disordered mother: 

  • Understand it is not your fault and it never was.  You are not bad, but have been taught a false image of yourself. 
  • Begin sorting through the false image and accusations that have been cast upon you and explore who you truly are. 
  • Realize that in a very real sense by using you as a scapegoat your narcissistic mother has already cast you out even while you were standing right in front of her. It is not because there is something wrong with you, but with her. Even wild animals care for and protect their young. 
  • Stop trying to win the approval of your narcissistic mother and others who are committed to misinterpreting, accusing or invalidating you while keeping you in the scapegoat role. 
  • Do not expect to receive an admission, sincere apology, genuine remorse or any other validation from a narcissistic mother or anyone else who used you as a scapegoat. 
  • Begin setting healthy boundaries with your narcissistic mother.  There is often a backlash when you do this, so be prepared. 
    • Realize that even if you determine to go no contact with your narcissistic mother the boundary work must still be done in recovery. This is because boundaries are important in every relationship. Soft, weak boundaries pave the way for other abusive relationships. 
  • Begin setting healthy boundaries with your narcissistic mother's silent partner and flying monkeys.  They will not like it either, so be prepared. 
  • Refuse to be narcissistic mother's slave or the family slave. 
  • Accept that you may very well never have a healthy relationship with your narcissistic mother or the flying monkeys. 
  • Realize you may very well lose other relationships if you go no contact with your narcissistic mother. This is discussed further in a later chapter. 
  • It has been my experience that not only my narcissistic mother, but also siblings and extended family members are heavily invested in maintaining the extended family pretense. 
    • Some seem unwilling or unable to face the truth about their mother, sister or daughter.  Others do not want extended family skeletons out of the closet for fear some of their own may fall out too.  However, most are likely intentional pretenders, abusers or pathologically narcissistic themselves. 
  • While narcissists in an extended family will turn on one another if it serves their individual selfish purposes, they will also tag team a scapegoat when there is a common goal.  This is a reflection on them not on you but be warned. 
  • If you have already been shunned or ostracized see it as the blessing in disguise that it is.


  1. Thank you, I am not crazy
    I have allowed myself to feel so bad about myself
    that I actually branded myself
    I have a seven inch in height tattoo
    from shoulder blade to shoulder blade
    that reads
    " SCORNED"
    Hurting me is a sport to her

  2. Thank you so much
    have you been a fly on the wall my entire life ?

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  4. This is THE BEST page on the web on the subject of Scapegoats and NPD. I have listened to this OVER and OVER. It so much more than just educational. This website is like free therapy, and validation in it's purest form. Thank you SOOO much for this. You are saving so many people with your work here. Keep up the good work.

  5. I just read my whole life. I had no way to explain this situation because I have always been undermined into silence. This family dynamic has seen the beginning of the end in my life. Thank you!!!!

  6. This is truly one of the best things I have read on the Internet that describes my NPD mother to a "T". You have amazing insight and I can't personally thank you enough for helping me to finally figure out that my mother does have a NPD, and I don't have to feel guilty anymore because my feelings about how she has treated me my whole life and continues to do so are completely justified. I felt like you were somehow telling my life story without even having met me. I know the Good Lord brought this to my attention so I can finally move on and not let her make me feel guilty about it anymore. Thank you!

  7. Every family holiday, anniversaries, weddings funeral etc was shared without me and people were told that I had refused to go when the truth was I only heard about it after the event took place. People began to believe I was a bad person, after all if my own family spoke so badly of me it must be true, I began to question myself.

  8. I only really learnt about narcissistic behavior this year.... Mind blowing.

    Your article is amazing.

    There's so much of this around... What's causing it?

  9. Hi, I'm the Adult daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, and other Narcissistic sociopathic family members. My Narcissistic Mother verbally psychologically mentally emotionally and even some occasions physically placed her shame guilt and blame for all what her wickedness evil,and for what she claims my Father did to her. She willfully inflicted excruciating emotional pain, and sufferings onto me because it served a great purpose for all the other criminals in my family to wrongfully unjustly and unfairly willfully intentionally massively inflicted excruciating emotional psychological even physical pain and unbearable sufferings unto me, also because they assigned me to the role of being the scapegoat for the family, they set me up to become an easy target for other predators, bloodsuckers, HARDCORE CRIMINALS everywhere and anywhere to target me and single me out exclusively to commit terrible crimes against me which is exactly what happened to me for too many years. I have been mobbed too many times by multiple family members at the same time. I call it organized crime.

  10. I went NC 6 months ago with my mother and just like the article says "she let me go quite easily" due to NPD and her hostile abuse of me for 48 years. However, she has waged a full on character assassination of me to every member of my family. My guess is she is having a difficult time finding the new scapegoat as other family members have messaged me telling me how selfish I am. All I can say to those suffering from abuse like this is its ok to take care of you!! My life immediately improved from going NC and I'm learning to like if not love myself for the first time. Thank you for the validation that so many of us have been searching for.

  11. Thank you. My mother has been 'nice' the past year because she has new supply in the form of my cousin. But the first time we were together as family with my brother, her, my daughter and myself, it was childhood all over. I was the scapegoat. As soon as my brother arrived, she never spoke to me again. Except for disparaging remarks. Even though the golden child is actually, not so golden. I felt so silly but so relieved! She is still suck, she still does not live me. I'm done. I will go limited contact this coming year. I KNOW she talks about me to him because she talks about him to me. The betrayal! I hope she leaves me alone but I know she won't. I feel so free and relieved! For the first time in my 34 years, I have come to accept that we became orphans 23 years ago when our father died. My mother's 'love' has absolutely crippled my brother. While her neglect of me has made me excell. I'm ok with this. I feel lucky to be self sufficient because I've had to be. But miss having a parent.

  12. When my entire narcissistic family abandoned me on Christmas day 2012 I thought God hated me and was punishing me for my past mistakes. I spent two and a half years in agony, grieving the loss of my entire birth family. I never saw it coming and it hit me like a lead wall. I finally had a total nervous breakdown over it. After that, I found help in a wonderful doctor who put me on two medications that I still take today and probably always will. The medications helped clear my mind and let me recover from the deep depression I was in. Then I found a great therapist and was finally able to see the truth about my family and myself. Now, I truly believe what you said, Gail, their ostracizing me was God's precious gift just for me. He knew my heart and knew I would never leave them, so he took them away so I could finally live. It was the biggest blessing of my life. Today, I am so peaceful, so joyous and finally free. I never could have imagined how happy truly feels. I no longer see myself through their eyes, but through God's eyes, I am a beautiful, loving spirit. I have to thank my family, too. Gail, you said that when you find your inner child it team smack into your inner bitch. The same thing happened to me. In finding myself I found that I am stronger than I could have ever imagined. I'm proud of my inner bitch now! No body, and I mean NOBODY, messes with me anymore. My boundaries and hard and firm. Through my family's betrayal I find my voice and I'll never ever be quiet again. Thank you for this series, it has given me the validation I yearned for, for so many years.

  13. Very great article and very accurate. I have been the scapegoat my whole life and I have cut out my mother and older sister from my life but I still have a lot of hurt and issues from growing up as the scapegoat (and never realizing that is what it was called)

  14. I started no contact about 10 yrs ago , went back once or twice . Never again ! My sister is extremely toxic . And my mother is her firewall . They have conducted a vile smear campaign , or should I say ratcheted up a life long one . My two brother donated their testicles to these tyrants , after the death of my drunken father , and are well underfoot . Cousins , aunts , many fell in line . All my life I was tormented , mobbed , intimidated . I was a skinny wee gay boy combatting the 5 narcs and affiliated members . It wasn't till I told them it stopped , in my late 30s . It got ten times worse .
    My sister and mother the shutters came down like a banks security . And out came the guns .
    My mother took up the roll as communications and misinformation officer where as my sister remained and still is a complete cunt .
    I seemed to pull out an ace when I went to visit family abroad . Family they were all very close to . I hand to seen or spoken to them for years . 2 weeks in the sun with family and I told my story .
    But of course I had been beaten across the Atlantic . Emails and the such , but it made no difference to this lot of good folks . The little children just loved me . Children do , always have !
    On my next visit , some ten months later . My aunt was dying . I was holding her hand . The phone went and my cousin spoke to our aunt ( my dying aunts sister) . My aunt died the next day .
    On my next visit one year after the death . I was told the phone call was from a very concerned aunt (flying monkey) . Not that my ain't was dying . But that I should be kept away from the three children ( all under 5 ) and her teenage son .
    Over the past year I have been combating CPTD. And am doing well . I practice forgiveness and love . And do not waste my energy on these inadequate narcs . Unfortunately , for them , they continue to project all that is bad about themselves the quieter I remain .

  15. The velvet glove of treachery .
    The matriarchs have spoken .
    The licenses are handed out .
    Each confederate taken their token .

    Got on their boots and knuckledusters .
    All tooled up for the fight .
    Not one of them can look at me .
    Cause they attack in the dead of night .

    Blindsided by a cowardly clan .
    Of narcissistic rage .
    All have been infantilised .
    And remain that early age .

    The women ruling at the top .
    So bad they only worsen .
    Clever , charming , well educated .
    And they masters in coercion .

    Hard . Not strong .
    Dispassionate , cold and fully flawed.
    Disdainful righteous haughty .
    Acting as one God .

    But if they meet the real one .
    They shall be shaking in their shoes .
    Ten pounds in a Sunday plate .
    And an hour in the pews .

    Is not enough to save them .
    And their narcissistic clan .
    They have tried to ruin me .
    A good and honest man .

    I moved away . Said nothing .
    And I never shall again .
    They never did deserve me .
    In their demonic like domain .

  16. Just like everyone here that has posted, I appreciate you and this article. After 41 years of living within a toxic abusive narssictic mother and completed crippled sister who is only two year younger than I am. My sisters life has completely been taken over by my mother, my sister is my mothers puppet, flying monkey. The abusive situation that my sister is in and she doesn't even know it, upsets me more than the years of abuse put on me by my abusive mother. My sister believes that I am the worst person ever, thanks to my mothers conniving twisted stories. She has no trust in me and I can't even spend time with her.

    I guess at this point I realize my mother will never change her abusive ways, I would just like to have a healthy relationship with my only sibling. But that has been ruined.

    Our father died many years ago and we have been under our mother ever since. After several attempts by mother to create a flying monkey out of my husband, to no avail, she turned on him and now he is not a 'real' husband. So I have gone no contact with my sister and my mother. My life is so much more refreshing now and happier. I think of them and wish them well, but after 401 years, I've never been happier. My life is more focused and peaceful. I am now in a career profession where I can help counsel others. So it comes full circle.i am a very strong person because of what I endured, but sometimes I get flashbacks of the phot is of me while I was crying as a young child, who does that. Or being told that I am crazy whenever I express the way I felt as a young person. I could go on and on.
    I've achieved educational degrees and multiple license because I was constantly trying to p rove that I am worthy and not crazy. So in hindsight, the abuse pushed me to the achievements I have now and my offspring will benefit from that, minus contact with their grandmother.
    My son spend the first few years of his life around grandmother and she already showed signs of teaching him not to kiss me and telling him that I'm just stressed out.

  17. I have been the scapegoat my entire life and I've always wondered why my mother treated me as if she hated me yet she loved my sister. I have bent over backwards for my mother and the Golden Child has nothing but harm her, including stealing money, medicine etc. I'm so glad I can access detailed information about this condition because I literally had no idea what illness my mother had and why she caused our family to be so screwed up. I cannot wait for the day that she's no longer a part of my life.

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  18. I have been the scapegoat for half a century, when I turned 12, and my mother declared me her enemy, maybe because I was the apple of my father's eye, and somehow in her twisted mind, I became her rival. She has spent five decades trashing me. She even took my boyfriends aside to tell them what a horrible person I was. I haven't been invited home to Christmas for 30 years. I was never invited to their vacation home in Florida even though I asked for an invitation. She laughed when I asked her. I was left out of family reunions. She told me that I wasn't capable of loving anyone so I sabatoged all my relationships, thinking somethign was wrong with me. Finally I got married at 44, too late to have kids. I saw my mother a few weeks ago for the first time in four years as I went home to see my sister who has terminal breast cancer. My mother didn't even say hello to me. Another sister kindly invited me to stay at her house and gave me her bedroom as I have Lyme disease and have trouble walking. My mother blasted me, "I hope you appreciate your sister giving up her room for you." I am rendered speechless around her. I cannot even defend myself. Here is the kicker. My father's health then took a turn for the worst and I had to say goodbye to him, knowing I probably wouldn't see him again. I had a moment alone with him. I thought he would tell me he loved me or apologize for finally choosing to treat me as badly as my mom did. I always thought he loved me underneath and felt bad for me. I was wrong. He told me he had the best wife on the planet, and then turned to me and begged me to become a good person. I was struck dumb again. Then he made me promise, as if I had been bad my whole life. I came home and have been severely depressed--my mother never said goodbye to me either--then today I learned by accident that my father is dying by assisted suicide this Friday, and none of my six siblings bothered to tell me. I am totally shocked. After my father is gone, I am going No Contact as it is just too painful to be in touch with them. My two brothers always treated me well so it will be sad to say goodbye to them. But when my dad is gone, I will have no reason to try to get affirmation from my mother or her flying monkeys, my two sisters who cater to my mom's every need and join in her hateful gossip. The other two sisters have remained neutral but they just pretend our family is normal.

  19. Thank you for this. I feel like this was the justification that I needed to truly acknowledge that I hadn't always been the one at fault. Lately my relationship with my siblings have already taken a sharp turn when I stopped caring about what my mother's expectation was of me. In her world, she liked to be the one in control, and when she's not, what better way than to blame the scapegoat? My father's clearly more submissive to the endeavor, and doesn't bother trying to comfort me anymore because she's destroyed my relationship with him as well. I used to be so close to the rest of my family, well as close as having been ignorant to being subjected to harsh insults to get me to do something, and not receive a single ounce of apology. I'm always the one to apologize, and they're always the one to accept without trying to learn from the experience. I'm the one that has taken the initiative to stop taking their baggage from them, and now they're treating me like some invalid because they couldn't get me to do the jobs that I would usually have done in my younger years. They're pissed off mainly because they actually have to do the work, other than let somebody else do it. They're clearly so blind about their errors that all they could do is insult me behind my mother's back. And even when my mother is present, she lets them get away with it because it's not like she agrees whether I should be subjected to killing myself or not. I can't rely on anybody anymore. If I did, they force feed me this never ending mantra of how I should be grateful about what I was given, and that without them, I wouldn't have been able to do the actions, because apparently, I'm incapable of carrying out anything, being subjected to relying on them on most things, when really, I'm just being their child. When my siblings get this treatment, it wasn't as bad . They get like a 2-minute scolding, whilst I get reminded every time I see them about how I should be thankful for the things they do for me. I'm not saying that I'm ungrateful, but having been put through harsh, toxic conditions has lead me to mentally withdraw my emotions due to fear of seeing it be used against me for future reference. I know this shouldn't be the case, but there's no other choices that doesn't involve my person having to tolerate their abuse. I know not all people are like them, which is why I try to make it a goal to be nice to anyone I meet. Trying to stay strong for now, with hopes of a brighter future.

  20. Thank You so much. Like others I have come across so many others sites about NPD mother but never describing it as clearly like you have. At 43 I once more got fooled to believing she had changed being on her deathbed, dying from cancer. Oh my was I wrong. I am the scapegoat & that will never change. My family will continue to see me as the villain.Thank You so Much for these resources, validating my feelings

  21. I thought this behavior in the family would stop when my mother died in 1994. It hasn't. My sisters continue to Scapegoat me. It is painful. I love them and never understood what I did wrong. Now I know, I have done nothing but tell the truth about what is wrong in the family. I have been in therapy for years, but when I go around them, I fall back into that role. I have decided to stay away, for my own piece of mind.

  22. WOW. This is so helpful. My mother is the externally "nice" version of a narcissist - everyone outside the family thinks she is a saint, and she puts a lot of energy into maintaining that role.

    My older sister is the "golden child" who reflected back my mother's values, never questioned what was going on, and became almost a carbon copy of my mother as an adult - same profession, same hobbies, same vacation spots - they're peas-in-a-pod.

    I was the brilliant, outspoken "scapegoat" who became the dumping ground for my parents insecurities and loveless marriage. My entire family treats me as if my feelings and opinions don't matter. I am the only one who's moved to another city - my siblings still live near my parents, and still act out the tired old family roles.

    My brother married a narcissist - and after a year or so in the family, she started treating me the same way, saying HORRIBLE things to me that she would never say to my sister, or mother. Really inappropriate, hurtful things. And of course - everyone in my family assumed it was my fault.

    I REALLY love the idea of NC (no contact) - I've been embracing this approach over the summer, and I'm getting the predictable push-back. My mother occasionally sends me long, rambling emails about herself - all the projects she's doing, all the people she's involved with. I want to scream when I get these letters, and email her back telling her how angry they make me - but that would be playing into the role. So I just delete the emails, and then cry quietly as I'm going to sleep, mourning the lost relationships - mourning the loving, warm, accepting family that I never had.

    The most powerful aspect of reading this site - and writing these words - is acknowledging that it's NOT JUST ME who feels this way - many wonderful people have been scapegoated by their families, and thrust into an offensive and unfair role.

    After many, many years of trying to work this out within my family - years of pointing out the grossly unfair treatment that I get, and being told it's all because I'm "so difficult" - I'm FINALLY realizing that it's never going to change, because they're all SO invested in me playing that role. The only way to change is to leave, make my own life, and put up strong boundaries.

    Thank you so much for the insight, support and clarity.

  23. As a survivor of being the scapegoat child and marrying my mother on steroids I am free of all these people after many years of emotional and physical abuse. I gave my whole life and have broken free of toxi when I turned 41 to the validation I was looking for all those years. She now has dinner parties with my soon to be ex-husband (3 year divorce ) with my children and his girlfriend who has been told I am crazy. She now tries to convince my children with what little interaction she gets. My ex-husband suffocated and drugged me to try to kill me and she told my son it is all a lie. My dad was told to get him out of jail.. This article will be printed and saved... Thank you for this book too. Painful watching my first son try to get the validation I was looking for from him own father.. I hope someday when my kids are older I can tell them the truth why I walked away from their grandparents

  24. I love this article- so on the nose. Very accurate description of my own experience and truly helped me to understand the phase I am in. I went no contact 2 years ago. Still suffering from the smear campaign for having the audacity to leave! It is a lonely place to be but I can now see who I am and I can grow. It took 56 years to see through this NPD but once I did my own survival instinct took over and I have never looked back.

    Narcissist Attack

    I've seen that snarl beneath your charm
    where spite and envy reign;
    driving your revenge for my existence.
    I've felt you burrow beneath my skin
    reaching deep within.
    to steal my dreams, my history,
    coveting my life.
    I've heard your gossip and smear
    my words twisted ,
    cherished memories fouled,
    love destoyed, most hateful blow.
    I've smelled the stench of betrayal
    in your wake,
    acrid pungency
    spoiling air's sweet perfume.
    I've shivered on your touch,
    chilling disdain in your hand,
    cold and limp in mine.
    I understand you now;
    I have grown.
    I am free.

  25. When will this behavior become illegal and a crime of abuse? More lives have been ruined worse by this than physical abuse! Bruises heal...mental abuse last a lifetime!


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