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Thread: Any adult child left family after years of scapegoating?

  1. #1
    Member GingerMay's Avatar
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    Any adult child left family after years of scapegoating?

    My mom is a narcissist and dad is her enabler. Sister is the golden child and I am unfortunately the family scapegoat. I am all grown up now, but these toxic dynamics never got any better. Everything has always been my fault. I saw the effects of narcissism as a kid growing up but had to remain since I needed my parents to help with college, and you know, I was a kid who just couldn't walk out. I was never harmed physically which made it easy for me to justify remaining.
    However, fast forward to my 40's and I've just gone no contact with both parents and sibling. It was something I had to do to save my sanity, and emotional wellbeing. It came after decades of being their door mat and trash reciptcle. Sister had a 70th birthday party for mom when I was out of town. I was blamed for not changing my schedule to attend since it was the only time sister could do it. Apparently the other 51 weeks on the calendar did not work for her. Each time I questioned the hateful dialog toward me, I was told I was difficult, stubborn, unstable, or uncaring. They all alilgned in blaming me for whatever wasn't working.
    As a kid, if I disagreed with anything mom said she told me I was "a zero, my opinion didn't matter, and nobody would ever like me". Dad never stopped this. Mom also used to tell me she didn't like me, but would always love me. I guess I was supposed to say thank you.
    As I got older, I distanced myself. I've just stopped contacting all of them and blocked them on my phone and social media. My life otherwise is good with a happy marriage, good job, and good friends. I am wondering if anyone else has been scapegoated and gone no-contact to save your sanity? What has been your experience? Sorry for anyone who also had to experience these things, but thanks for sharing.

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I am sorry for your experience. I am mostly estranged from my dad for the past 27 years. I call him a few times a year and see him once a year , sometimes not even once a year.

    My dad was an abusive and neglectful parent and spouse. I love my dad but I have no use for his abuse nor severe emotional instability.

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    I had a mother with mental illness and addiction. And yes she is a narcissistic person, still is and it has it's challenges. My dad ignored my pleas, swept her behavior under the rug so I never had any support. My time with her was emotional abuse. She was vindictive, cruel, unloving, manipulative, and was in denial. When her alcoholism got at it's worst at around the time my dad passed away (they were divorced for years, and I was taking care of him) and she was going through her second divorce, I did indeed cut her off. I verbally told her what I thought, how I felt, and told her to stop contacting me. But this was between me and her, I didn't, like yourself, had the whole family against me. My mother alienated herself from all of us. The relationships between all of us just imploded. It was one of the most painful times in my life. My mom actually got help, cleaned up her act, and things were ok, but there are times our relaitonship still gets strained. I'm all she has now because my brother's wife had a falling out with her about 10+ years. So I'm caught in the middle. I haven't spent a holiday dinner with my brother in years. My mom expects me to spend it with her, and this has devastated my husband because he loves my brother. It's such a horrible mess. I have pretty much given up on the holidays. I just go through the motions. I feel so dead inside sometimes.

    So I can see where you are at. Damn if you do, and damn if you don't. All I can say is, never ever feel guilty for your decision and don't let them get in your head...because that's what manipulators do. I know that is what your mother is doing to the rest of the family..manipulating them. Maybe one day someone will see what truly is going on. I have a feeling her focus will turn to someone else to pick on because she miserable.

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    Yes, I have almost the exact same dynamic. Sister is golden child, I was scapegoat, mother is narcissist.

    I'm in my late 50's, and I spent decades wondering why I wasn't good enough, etc.

    It was only this past year that finally, finally, finally, I found the help that I needed in the form of a therapist who specializes in children of narcissistic mothers. She's in another state, but did Skype sessions, and it was like lightbulbs going off all over the place.

    Re: contact. Decades ago, I distanced myself from my mother, slightly at first. I'd go a few extra days between calling her (she has literally never, not once, picked up the phone to call me, as I am to call her, as she "deserves" the respect of a daughter calling her mother, even though she calls my sister several times a day). I'd then go a week or more, then the phone calls got shorter. Today, it's very cursory, almost professional in nature. Pleasantries exchanged, how are you, fine, how are you, same, great to hear it, talk soon!

    Sister: I've gone NC with my sister very recently. Haven't spoken to her in....4 months? We used to talk every day, until one day she, yet again, brought up something she felt the need to hammer me about from the past (her favorite thing to do with me). This thing was 16 years ago. I decided, it's enough, and I literally haven't spoken to her once. I'll probably go back into contact with her, but it'll be much like my mother: cursory, professional, short.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    My mother was not a nice person, she doted on my brother, the golden child and male. I, the female, was of just about no use. She was a hitter and mostly mean and negative. My dad was a nice man but he didnt stand up to her. He's long gone and after he died I cut my mother from my life and was glad that I did, I felt a lot better. My brother and I never got along and in time I cut him from my life as we were toxic to each other. No regrets there either.

    So I understand how you feel and really, you have to do what works for you. Just because people are close relatives doesnt mean you have to like them or associate with them.

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    Platinum Member shellyf62's Avatar
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    My mother and father divorced when I was 12, which was pretty unheard of 44 years ago. She couldnt be without a man, so ended up marrying 4 more times.
    Each one, including my father were alcoholics & my Sisters & my life was horrendous, with physical & mental abuse.
    One of my Sisters became like mum & had many abusive partners, to the point where one threatened physical harm to my bi polar Son, and that decided it.
    I stopped contact with my mum & 2 sisters instantly, and it was the best 5 years of my life.
    I got a message from my ex husband saying I had to contact them urgently. My other Sister had committed suicide, so the contact began again.
    All was kind of ok, until my mother said something ridiculous about how she could never be one of those partners that could stay with someone abusive.
    I lost my s**t...and told her a lot of home truths, then left.

    She wrote me a letter saying how she knew I "hated" her (her words) but never knew why, and then went into 3 pages of excuses & misrepresentation of the past. I was laughing very hard by the end of it.
    I replied with the truth about everything, from my childhood til now. I said I didnt want a relationship with her, I dont want to tell her about my day, I dont want to call her.
    I see her for birthdays and Xmas but that is it. She & my Sister are co dependant, and never do things apart, so I rarely see my Sister also.
    It is what it is, I wish I had the Brady Bunch family, but I dont.

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Ya I think we all wished that :/

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shellyf62

    All was kind of ok, until my mother said something ridiculous about how she could never be one of those partners that could stay with someone abusive.
    I lost my s**t...and told her a lot of home truths, then left.

    She wrote me a letter saying how she knew I "hated" her (her words) but never knew why, and then went into 3 pages of excuses & misrepresentation of the past.
    Ya my mom always sent me those weird emails too, sometimes out of the blue accusing me of negative things. Pages and pages. Blew my mind how she perceived things...so out of wack. Made me angry at times, and other times made me laugh as well.....my husband just shakes his head. Then I have to vent for an hour to get it out of my system.

  10. #9
    Silver Member fwdthinker's Avatar
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    OP, I am sorry this happened to you and I know the dynamic all too well. You are not alone.


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