When I see myself I often see a big black squiggle, like half my being was already annihilated. I thought that this feeling of rejection and aloneness was something I had to live with on my own. I didn’t know that I fell within predictable behaviour patterns by those who have been scapegoated and that these behaviour patterns have been observed over and over in the counseling community. None of my many counselors throughout my life told me. I don’t know why except that I had not, until recently, known how to properly categorize my experience.
If I had known and had the words to intelligently explain my situation I could have said, “I was the scapegoat in a family where my mother was definitely a cluster B, if not an out-and-out narcissist, who despised my birth. Her behaviour set my other siblings against me through a combination of poisoning the well along with fear on their part to not go along with her low assessment of me. I’m living my adulthood in a stream of family ostracism, fear, anxiety, and suppressed self-hatred. I feel like I need to justify having a place on this Earth and I need some help to sort this out and train myself to see myself in a manner that benefits me.”
Instead, I gave them piecemeal problems with different counselors during different crisis points in my life because I didn’t know they were related. I thought I was a mess and dysfunctional in just about every category in my life. The reality was something that would be so much easier to deal with in my mind – I only had one issue, being a scapegoat. It coloured all the categories of my life, yes, but it had one cure – DISMISS everything I was told from my family and start fresh with all the positive feedback from others throughout my life and things I’ve noticed on my own too. Yes, I have things I don’t like about myself and most likely others would also agree they’re not good traits, but I can come up with those without an issue. And it’s not time for that right now. And, yes, it won’t be as cut and dried as that, but having a term and a map of behaviours gives my mind something to settle on. I have a huge job in front of me to actually learn and accept the good traits about me and my place in this world. And it’s about time, too.
It changed so much for me to know that I wasn’t a personal messy phenomenon. I am so grateful for everyone who writes and speaks on their experiences, as well as those who counsel scapegoats and put out out helpful information on the internet. It’s set me on a whole new course in my life.