“It’s My Turn to Decide Now”- A Scapegoat Redefines Her Place in the Family.

My parents are downsizing from their home to a condo that they bought years ago and were renting out during that time.  For tax purposes they need to live in it for a certain amount of time before selling it and so that is what they are setting out to do.  They are looking forward to living in their church’s seniors’ complex after that. They have many plans for dealing with their 70 plus years of accumulated possessions including a large yard sale.  They also wish to ready their house for sale while renovating the condo before they move in.

While I’m on no contact with my siblings, I have decided to remain low-contact with my parents for the sake of honour to them.  I didn’t tell them that and they wouldn’t care about me honouring them, but I do it because God told us to and I understand why.  In light of that, I told them if they need anything from me to just let me know.  I even let them know what I knew I was a whiz at, like painting and edging.stock-photo-1551101-paintbrush-paint  I reminded them twice that I was available to help them with anything.

In an open family email they updated us with their plans and mentioned that my sister and her husband were starting to help with the renos this weekend at the condo.  OF COURSE the first thing I think of is that they didn’t ask me to come help.  I sort of knew they wouldn’t, which is why I found myself before reminding them twice.

I realized that part of why I felt I needed to help them is that my whole family will know through my parents’ “send to all” emails that I never helped.  The family won’t know that I made offers that were never taken up on, they will just never read my parents mentioning I did something for them through this process.

If that is my real fear then maybe I need to reconsider how much I’m going to let it bother me what the family thinks.  My brothers, sisters, and in-laws will not care that I’m not present as they themselves come through town to help them.  This is part of my letting go of wishing they DID care that so many scapegoats have to go through when choosing no-contact.  You still hold out that maybe even one of them will notice or will be bothered by it.

So, they may never care that they just stopped seeing me or hearing from me, or even of hearing OF me.  I can’t even think of it as a form of punishment to them that this happens because, like I said, they may actually prefer it.  But it doesn’t hurt for me to take the position that perhaps it may still make them wonder that I’ve removed myself from the family without giving notice.  Maybe it might give them a little pang of guilt that maybe they kind of pushed me out, or didn’t ask of me enough.

The knowledge of this possibility has one purpose in helping me.  I can use it to remind myself that I’m not powerless – my decisions and actions are not without ripples in my sphere of influence.  I have taken the upper hand by removing myself from the family theater.  I’m so used to thinking of myself ineffectual and inconsequential to this world and I’m finally healing enough to realize that, no, I DO have an effect.  You can’t be in this world and not affect it. God has given me this ability to move things, change things, speak things, and affect things as much as anyone else as I, too, am made in the image of God and told to take dominion of the Earth.

I’ve decided that I have offered twice and I now leave it to my parents to let me know if they need anything.  I don’t care if my siblings think I never offered, or that they may be a little glad I’m not there. That should start pricking their conscience at some point, the ones who have one.

And all this reminds me of something that I say to myself so often now: I’m so preoccupied with whether or not other people accept me that I forget to consider that maybe it’s not a relationship I want anyway.  That turns the table and reminds me that I’m not dictated to by the relational decision of everyone else but that I can make them too.

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9 thoughts on ““It’s My Turn to Decide Now”- A Scapegoat Redefines Her Place in the Family.

  1. This is just outstanding! I could relate to every word too. I moved in for a period of a few months when my dad was in hospice to use my considerable organizational skills getting their house ready. I started work by 6 am fixing breakfast cleaning serving until 8 pm at night. I put long days of hard work in everyday for months. I was trying to prove my competence but like you I was also trying to honor the parents that had so consistently dishonored and abused me.
    Unbeknownst to me my mother told the hospice workers I was a mentally ill mooch that she was taking care of adding to her overburdened life. Meanwhile she told me to my face I was amazing while calling siblings and telling them I didn’t do a $+&+$ thing all day

    A hospice worker took me aside and told me this. My brother sent his golden child to take over my position something she was clueless about doing and I was told to leave. When my dad died the siblings lost their minds in an abuse onslaught. But ultimately I know in my conscience as my father was dying I served him and my mother as if they were Jesus himself. I entered that time of service with that mindset so my conscience is clear ev en if the acts of service were lied about. Even if abused for doing good I go into a life of having been pushed aside with a sense of peace that I served my enemies with grace and a loving heart. All the narcs in the world can’t take that truth away and I think it does convict them thus the hatred. Yes we are more powerful than we know. Prayer is also stronger than any narcissistic personality

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, this is exactly it! People outside of Christianity think that turning the other cheek, praying for our enemies, and honouring unloving parents are things only the passive and weak do, but they are actually spiritual practices in which we gain the upper hand of the situation. We are now in control with our dignity. It is a spiritual law that God has placed and, in doing so, the scapegoats, unloved, and downtrodden have the ability to actually be stronger in the end than those who sought to mistreat them.

      I read the post where you described this time that you moved in to care for our parents. I felt pain for you having this demoralizing memory. But the knowledge you did right nonetheless keeps your head up. We may not have much, but God shows us the way to be with dignity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can definitely relate. We are the scapegoats to my husband’s narcissistic family tree (3 generations strong). We have had 14 years of marriage as the scapegoats and did everything in our power to honor the parents and grandparents and endured a lot of pain and attacks in the process. We have now been one year of no contact with any of the family. It’s long and complicated, but honestly it is the same story as everyone else…just different names and places. Reading this post just reminded me of how many times we have been so concerned with what the siblings (2 Goldens and 1 Enabler, all married to the same) and grandparents, parents, extended family, all their friends will be thinking of us. They don’t know the effort we put in for so many years or the heartaches we have been through. That they don’t know that we have done all we can, even through NC to honor the parents and grandparents and not cause any ripples in their societal lives. But when it comes down to it, what anyone thinks does not matter at all. We have clean consciences with God and we can rest in knowing that even we were under attack we did not attack back.

    My husband has had to be no contact with his entire family because it was too unhealthy and they were allowing the siblings to post things on their mother’s wall on facebook attacking us and she was allowing it. That is just the short example. When he called his father and he placed firm boundaries (after 6+/- months of low contact), his father was emotionless and said “ok” – my husband told him we would not be going to family events or anyone’s house until the others could respect us, but they were welcomed to come visit their grandson anytime at a public location, just to let us know when and where.

    That was the last contact. Guess what God did after that last contact? Within weeks he surprised my husband with a job interview within his company to transfer 16 hours away from his hometown to where my family lives. Within four months from going no contact and crying and praying and pleading with God to show us what we should do, God picked us up and moved us. My husband had 2 weeks to move. Our house sold in 7 days. Everything did and has still worked out perfectly, completely the Lord.

    Sorry this is so long, but looking back at how we prayed for 14 years about how to handle the family (and still do pray all day every day about if we still are doing His will), we are now no contact and feel we still honor his parents – if nothing else by protecting our 8 year old son (who they were lying to and manipulating) and we are honoring them by making sure the cycle does not continue in our family and by living our lives for God and seeking His will in every thing we do.

    And the best part? What they think of us at this point doesn’t matter. We have done our best and not compromised our integrity or relationships with God. Their opinions are no longer necessary to give us all our self-worth. In 14 years of pain and silent treatments and even now that we are no contact NOT ONE PERSON (siblings included) have called or sent a message or anything to check on their brother or their nephew, ever. I think it’s safe to say that, although it hurts, they don’t miss our presence one bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment! I wonder if the one who goes no-contact is known in the family as the “oddball” family member who just up and left to go their own way for no apparent reason, lol No consideration that they might have had something to do with it. You often hear of those stories even from other families and I’m now convinced they were actually not oddballs but the one sane family member who just got sick of their nonsense.

      Yours sounds like quite the trial and I am so glad that you and your husband had each other to go through it together. I’m so happy to hear that. I will follow your blog as I have lots to read in it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could relate to this post too, Prairie Girl. I’m sorry I’ve been commenting so little, but I come home so exhausted and after writing my own stuff (if I do at all), all I want to do is crash. SometimesIi come straight home from work and just fall asleep. I’ll try to be better about this

    Liked by 1 person

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