The scapegoat is often the child who will not say how high every time the narcissist says jump.
The narcissists’ Scapegoat, what it means, what happens to you, ways to recover.
The scapegoat is the person that gets all the blame for the mistakes, wrongdoings and faults of others, especially when it’s convenient for the other person to avoid taking any moral responsibility by claiming it’s the scapegoat’s fault.
The narcissist has two faces, and everything and everyone to them is black and white, the admiration face, so those who shower them with attention and do as they want they see as good and will idealise, which makes the people do more and more for the narcissist believing the narcissist to be genuine, yet as narcissistic people are stuck in their ways and incredibly hard to please so even the golden child or golden person can be devalued and discarded, the envy and jealous face, means that those who have their own mind, the child who goes against the narcissist are often devalued throughout their lives, as the narcissist sees people who don’t do as they say as bad people, those who they can not trust, so they must do their best to scapegoat them and put them down to remain in control. At times the narcissist can idealise the scapegoat when they view the scapegoat as pleasing the narcissist.
The definition of the scapegoat child is someone who is assigned to take all the blame, to be the reason behind any family fallouts, anything that’s not going how the narcissist wants, it can happen to anyone within the family unit, or even a work environment when the boss makes one person to blame for any and all mistakes, even mistakes that have not happened. Within the dynamics of the family, friends, or work, the narcissist will try their absolute best to gather an army of enablers, the flying monkeys, to join in the narcissist’s games and cause more cognitive dissonance to the scapegoat.
Scapegoats are usually,
Self-blames and internalise blame,
Protective of others.
Enablers are people who get sucked into the narcissist’s lies, and most people have been an enabler without realising at some point. Either by not questioning the narcissists’ actions, not standing up to the narcissists poor treatment of others often through fear, helping to hide the destruction the narcissist has caused, or cleaning up after them, either because they believe the narcissists lies, which is an effortless thing to do when they are treating you so right. You have no knowledge or visual evidence of their bad behaviour at that point, or through fear, once you do wake up to see, yet as the narcissist threatens in so many subtle and obvious ways, the enablers become trapped, fawning to the narcissist’s behaviour often with those around them not understanding why the enablers or scapegoats feel so out of sorts. Or the enablers act as an apologist or make excuses up for the narcissist’s poor treatment of others, usually as the narcissist will have played the victim to the enablers, so again, the enablers believing the narcissist lies want to help and defend the narcissist.
Flying monkeys is a term that comes from the wizard of oz, or abuse by proxy. Flying monkeys are people who, through the narcissists’ tactics, have usually been manipulated into believing the narcissists lies and then unwittingly help the narcissist punish the real victim, thinking they are helping a genuine person when in reality they are causing further harm to the person who actually needs help and support. Flying monkeys can be the narcissists’ friends, family or work colleagues. They can also be the victims’ friends, family or work colleagues that the narcissist manipulates onto their side. The narcissist can also bring authorities onto their side to further abuse to the victim. Many a narcissist will drag a victim through the court systems if they can.
The narcissist uses enablers/ flying monkeys to spread gossip, bully, intimidate and harass. Unfortunately, most enablers / flying monkeys don’t understand until they themselves end up on the wrong side of the narcissist.
This can be devastating for vulnerable young children who are the scapegoat child, as well as adults. Not only are their minds living in inner conflict, turmoil, distress, But Self-worth is also often shattered, with never-ending games and blame from the narcissist and the narcissist’s party of enablers. Young children can have their other parents, siblings, and other family members turned against them. In friendship groups, you can become singled out and eventually left out, and at work, you can have all your colleagues turn against you. Left to question your own self-worth and full of dread to speak out for who you indeed are.
This causes cognitive dissonance, as the scapegoat can feel clearly that they don’t feel good around the narcissist, how others are attacking them. Yet, as they’ve usually done no wrong, it confuses reality. With the narcissist seemingly treating all others so well, the scapegoat is generally left further confused, believing it to be them as everyone is treating them so horribly. While everyone else is treating all others so well. The scapegoat is usually the one who knows something isn’t right. Knows their own mind, will not conform and is happier with their own opinions, why the narcissist must take them down, fearing they’ll expose the narcissist, fearing they’ll do better than the narcissist, yet because the scapegoat’s spirit is crushed so much. It’s often hard for them to break free. Most child scapegoats do flee the family home early on if they can. (Not all.) Some become the disobedient one that seems to go off the rails, trying to heal inner pain and inner shame that they themselves don’t understand, they can become people-pleasers, through years of abuse and trying to be liked, or go the opposite and become extremely independent on their own minds, as they’ve learned through the years that only themselves will look out for themselves and that they can not trust others, even when others mean well. Without healing, they are left questioning those around them. Some become cold and distant.
When one of both parents have narcissistic traits, the scapegoat usually has some form of instinct, yet not sure what. I’ve spoken to a few who, even though it was only emotionally abuse, often remember thinking negative thoughts about abuse as they grew. Without being able to connect them, they just knew something wasn’t right. Yet, as a child, that’s all they know, so they can not understand themselves. A young child can not see/understand/ or know; most adults don’t until they learn about NPD. Young children might sense they are not loved or feel violated somehow, yet often blame themselves, as they get all the blame from those around them, especially the parents.
Most often, a child being emotionally abused by their parent doesn’t stop loving their parent. They stop loving themselves.
As scapegoats are blamed for everything, they feel as though they are not good enough and can not do anything correctly, and usually internalise the blame and look for what they did wrong. Often they end up believing they are a bad person.
They get all the verbal abuse, be invalidated those phrases from the narcissist such as. “That’s not good enough.” To “You’re lazy; you’ll never be able to do that.” This can drive some scapegoats to be highly successful when older to prove the narcissist wrong, and it can also encourage them to invalidate themselves and not feel good enough. Leading them into abusive relationships and accepting learned behaviour from their parents as normal from others that they should have never accepted, as it’s all they’ve ever known.
When scapegoats speak the truth, they often get invalidated and ignored by the narcissist and their enablers, and this can be a soul-crushing feeling like you have no one to turn to for support or clarification of your own mind.
The narcissist tries to isolate the scapegoat, often with mass smear campaigns and triangulation, turning loved ones, friends, family members, work colleagues against them, or causing so much doubt in the scapegoat’s mind, the scapegoat might self isolate not knowing who to trust.
Scapegoat’s character is assassinated, not only internally from the mental torture from the narcissist, yet also externally, and the narcissist slanders the scapegoat to all those who will listen.
Scapegoats are never rewarded for good behaviour and often get dismissed or told by the narcissist that they only achieved because of something the narcissist did. Accomplishments are most often ignored, Belittled or rejected. At the same time, any mistakes are heightened and used against the scapegoat.
Scapegoats are sabotaged at every turn by the narcissist. Anything that the scapegoat is passionate about, they repeatedly get told that “you’re not smart enough.” Or “you’re incapable.” Continually being undermined and invalidated to kill off any drive or determination and you begin to doubt your own abilities, the more you try to prove the narcissist wrong, and you are capable, the more they’ll put pressure on you to do other things like household chores accusing you of being “lazy.” While they sit doing nothing, to sabotage your time so you can not work on the things you love.
Narcissistic parents will triangulate siblings, and if they have more than one child, they will make one a golden child, scapegoat child, even the invisible child. They will spin stories, tell half-truths, lie and cause mayhem within the family unit.
If you escape their grasp, they will often try to manipulate you back in, especially if you do well for yourself. The pity plays and guilt-trips will come at full force for you to support your elderly parents. They often play on those extremely rare times they did something for you, even if it was only to meet a need of their own.
Scapegoat children often grow to suffer from addictions, CPTSD, OCD, anxiety and depression due to the psychological abuse, often forever chasing the highs to recover from their low self-worth caused by the narcissist’s abuse. As the scars aren’t visible other people tend to dismiss them, often ending up in that push-pull relationship as they want to please people yet can not fully trust in others or even know how to be loved correctly, so recreating the only love they’ve ever indeed known, most often misdiagnosed as a borderline personality disorder, if they seek help or support when in reality they are just suffering from CPTSD due to the long term abuse.
As the abuse is highly addictive, the dopamine released for those highs and the cortisol from the stress of the lows means our body’s become addicted, often than searching through life to fulfil that addiction in other ways.
We learn to talk to ourselves negatively, as that’s all we heard growing up. We try to control other areas in our lives, including our weight, so going on extreme diets to achieve rapid weight loss, to then gain it all back. OCD can develop in any area of life in order to keep control over anything they can, certainty is another human need, and when life is so full of uncertainty, which is another human need, yet because the balance is lost, they crave to make things certain with OCD, as they are so used to the uncertainty from others, they also tend to desire to re-create this too.
The many scars left by narcissistic people are mostly invisible, as the scapegoat is burdened by projection and blame-shifting of the sins of the narcissist, often driven away to be pulled back in. People around them often don’t truly understand what’s happened to them. Most often, family, friends, or work colleagues have been turned against them, if its friendships you can walk away, not easy if you’ve known them years, and create new friendships with positive people who raise you and not sink you, if it’s work, looking for new jobs, again not always easy depending on the type of narcissist you are dealing with, as some will go to the extreme of trying to ruin your chances of getting new jobs elsewhere, threaten family, they will go all out to sabotage you moving on. Family is extremely tough as most can be under the narcissist’s spell, and most often, you’ve been labelled as the bad one.
Trying to explain with those who haven’t lived it can be difficult, as genuine people will try to understand you, yet as they haven’t experienced it are not entirely sure, if there was only emotional abuse, it’s hard to explain that your childhood was difficult, especially if the narcissist puts a great show onto the outside world.
A narcissist would rather impress a stranger than care for their own family.
At the same time, in the home, it’s completely different, so you have people telling you just how amazing the narcissist is. All you can really do is let them know your childhood wasn’t the picture everyone saw. It was full of emotional abuse, till the point you never felt good enough within yourself. Also, some people are actually living it too, and they are not ready to admit to themselves what’s happening as the narcissist plays nicely to pull them back in. Trying to explain that your childhood was damaging people don’t always get, explaining that you were manipulated throughout your childhood to have scars that even you couldn’t also see, ask them to look up gaslighting and see if they understand more, or simply let them know. Explaining things like, throughout childhood, you were told 2+2= 10 not in a mathematical way, yet through conflicting thoughts that you couldn’t do stuff. You were constantly told you were not good enough and not always in direct methods, which is a very confusing place to live, or “my childhood was like walking through a minefield trying not to do anything to put me on the wrong side of my parent, and even when I did right I was still wrong, it was a very confusing childhood.”
Or ” I was taught from a very early age to blame myself for everything, when things went wrong it was always my fault, when things went right it was a fluke of luck if someone liked me, praised me or complimented me I doubted it, I always doubted myself and my own abilities, If I achieved it was always down to someone else and never down to me, unable to accept credit from myself or from those around me, if something went wrong I knew it was my fault because I was told over and over how stupid, useless, lazy and could never do anything right. So even when I doing I felt lazy, even when getting things right I felt like I was doing something wrong, So I slowly learned by the harsh words said to me, and actions that are done to me by others towards me are my fault, that it must be true about me, because I was flawed, and it takes a lot of time and works to shift those voices back out.”
”I was taught as a child no matter what I did. It was never enough to leave me questing, am I enough?”
”I was taught as a child to apologise for things I haven’t even done, leaving me to say sorry for no reason.”
” I was taught as a child that everything was my fault, leaving me to question and blame myself.”
Also, remember those genuine people will do their best to listen and understand. You don’t need to explain to those not interested. Once we open up to our own vulnerabilities and insecurities, accept ourselves for who we are and heal them, it’s easier to open up to others, it’s easier to explain to others, and good people will connect with you, or at least try to understand your point of view. Remember, you only have to tell people what you are comfortable with telling, things like I had a difficult childhood, behind closed doors, and scars I have to heal. That friend wasn’t a true friend, and I couldn’t work with that boss, so I had to get a new job.
If the narcissist is smearing your name, step out of the picture and leave them to it, the gossip fades so much faster when you’re not reacting to anyone. I understand this isn’t easy when they are coming at you from all angles with so many soul-destroying games. It’s our instinct to want to defend ourselves. The best defensive with these kinds of people is simply not to play, not giving them any of your time or energy, focusing on you and your new life. It is hard when living in fear. The more you call the authorities if needed, the more you step away from the games, the easier it becomes. Trying to explain to authorities that don’t seem to understand can be hard. Just stick with you’re in fear of your life and safety. When you start going around in circles trying to explain, just explain you’re in fear of your life and safety, and you want the authorities to help.
Seeking help with those who haven’t lived it, most can not pinpoint what’s wrong or what you need help with. Finding those who understand how you feel, and validate the things you’ve been through, helps give more clarity that you are not alone, good people to care for you, and how you feel is normal.
Then we are left with the negative talk that the narcissist has repeated time and time again because we are so used to being spoken to in that way, most often we begin to talk to ourselves in that way, bringing ourselves down, they negative talk is played on repeat within our minds, often bringing ourselves down and sabotaging our own success, as hurtful as the narcissist is and as damaging as they are, sometimes it’s due to them being the scapegoat or victim of narcissistic abuse, and it all they know, a survival instinct that kicked In as a young child and stayed through excessive psychological abuse, the only real way to stop this going from family generation to generation is to stop it within you, remember it did not start with you. If it’s your parent, partner, boss, a friend, that narcissist will not end with you. However, you can stop it for yourself.
You are learning how to recreate your inner voice to how you’d like people to speak to you, and how you should talk to yourself, if you’re a people pleaser, a hurt person who tries to help people, speaking to yourself how you choose to speak to others and lift them up.
Writing out any damaging negative thoughts someone else placed into your mind, who it was, and why they did it, so you have that visual, then writing the truth, as only you define you. You have strength, power and endurance within you, you are special, and you are kind. You can, and you will recover from this.
Everyone has the drive within themselves to push through the hard times and reach the good times, and everyone has the power and abilities within themselves to heal and recover. When we use our greatest pain to push us through to our greatest gains, survivors of narcissistic abuse are all capable of empathy. They are all capable of self-reflection, all capable of growth, all capable of perspectives, and all capable of stepping out of that darkness and to go and shine bright as ourselves.
Signs your parent is a narcissist.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.