Breaking Free As The Family Scapegoat

peckingAnyone who has observed or studied human beings knows that there is a pecking order to every group, with the pack leader at the top, low man on the totem pole at the bottom, and everyone else fits in between, in some form of hierarchy. A common but little discussed dynamic within any group, is scapegoating. Who was cast in this role, in your family? Whoever it is, he was not picked randomly. Usually the ‘target’ is sensitive, unhappy, or vulnerable, and often was a ‘difficult’ child in the home. Someone who refused to stay silent, might be outspoken, or even a whistle blower. This person might be the youngest child- this person might be a Capricorn.

In biblical history, the scapegoat was an actual goat of which was cast out of the community, with the sins of the community ceremonially placed on the goat’s head. The scapegoat was the negativity sponge, the subject of hate, and the ultimate black sheep.

Although scapegoating is irrational and reflexive, not logical and conscious,where there is a scapegoat, there is most often a narcissist behind the scenes. In families, it is usually the mother or father who is the narcissist. The narcissist owns an incredibly sharp critical eye, and this is what happens when he bullies, verbally abuses, and casts into the role of the black sheep, his scapegoat:

  • Your achievements are belittled, minimized, criticized and rejected.
  • You are attacked and disbelieved if you tell the truth and ‘blow the whistle’ on negative and/or inappropriate family dynamics, or reveal dreaded family secrets.
  • You may be held responsible for family conflicts, and be blamed for the action of others.
  • You feel like the black sheep of the family (no one feels this way for nothing).
  • You may well be the healthiest family member, but are always accused of being sick and bad.
  • You might occupy the role of family outcast, and are treated with disdain or disgust by family, and maybe even by yourself.
  • You find yourself consistently being accused of ‘only caring about yourself’, being thoughtless and selfish, and never ‘measuring up’ to expectations set, which you know couldn’t be further from the truth.
  • You are held responsible for family problems, conflicts or challenges, even if they have nothing to do with you. Other people blame you for their actions. You may end up feeling a lot of shame for being ‘the bad guy’, and/or anger for being blamed for negative family dynamics.

Sadly, when confronted about their behaviors, the perpetrators of scapegoating will probably deny their role, and become even more defensive and critical. They may treat you as if you are weird, inadequate or defective, which is again, not the truth, and in fact it’s more likely a lie that was created to prevent family members from acknowledging their own troubles, thereby avoiding taking responsibility for both their behavior and the need to change. Not only that, husbands or wives of scapegoated people, might unconsciously identify their victim spouses, and are often likely to join in, inadvertently, to the scapegoating behaviors. This is the empirical evidence folks, I did not make this stuff up. If this be your plight in life, keep this in mind;

  • Stop trying to win the favor of abusive and uncaring family members. Anyone who engages in this type of inappropriate behavior has personality problems, especially a parent who did not love their child.
  • Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends. They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable.
  • Assert your right to be treated with respect by the family members who have been bashing you as long as you can remember, by saying something like “The way you just spoke to me now is not acceptable, and I never want to be talked to like that again”, or “I will not respond to your criticism, belittling, accusations, or name calling- I’m hanging up the phone now, and will call you later when you are able to control your negative and destructive dialogue.”
  • Figure out what you might be doing (either consciously or unconsciously) that gives hostile family members the idea that it’s OK to abuse you, and then try to determine how to change any behavior that draws you into the victim role. You may not have started out a victim, but you sure are one now.

Here are some non-conventional things you can do, for one who wants to break the bondage of being the family scapegoat;

  • Broadcast your intention of family unity on a radionics device or chart.
  • Broadcast the Sai Sanjeevini pattern called dharma, to the family members in question. Dharma, put simply, means ‘right conduct’.
  • Dowse and ask the universe to balance the negativity that is unwelcome.
  • Try the Bach flower remedy called Pine, if you find yourself constantly apologizing and feeling guilty. You may have even accepted guilt for events that happened long before your birth – even going back to Adam and Eve.

Awareness leads to change.  Break the cycle!! And be mindful of any family members whose birth order is last, born under the sigh of Capricorn. It is very likely that they are destined to becoming, yes you guessed it, the next  scapegoat.scapegoat


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenna
    Mar 29, 2014 @ 22:14:02

    OMG how did you know?

  2. Mary
    Mar 30, 2015 @ 03:18:35

    OMG! I am the youngest child, a Capricorn, and the family scapegoat.

    My father was the narcissist and a fellow Cappy. My mother was a Taurus who joined in with the scapegoating, especially as I grew older.

    Thank you for this post!!

  3. Sharon
    Apr 19, 2015 @ 08:57:48

    I was the oldest child and a Scorpio with heavy Sag in my chart. My late father was the narcissist/sociopath who targeted me from birth, and he had Sun in Gemini with a lot of Taurus planets (and Capricorn moon). Mother (Leo) and Golden Child brother (Sag) were of no help at all, and in fact contributed heavily to the whole family dynamic.

  4. Elizabeth
    Jul 19, 2015 @ 20:15:38

    I am last of six born, a triple aries, and have been under attack by the alpha child for 58 years. All of the above is as if the writer was there observing and documenting my youth.
    The following is my take on the culture of lies and abuse. I knew before I was out of diapers that I had been denied dignity, fellowship, protection, and if I let it, self determination. I knew I was being treated badly simply by observation. At the age of two( based on an incident involving a potty chair) I made a promise to myself to never treat a child as I was being treated. I kept that promise. The alpha sister, my lifelong enemy(I am not her enemy) taught me how to endure anything as long as there was an end in sight, a valuable skill. I counted the days till she left for college, and finally let out my breath when she went. Not so fast, I could not have known that my brother was doing some observing of his own. He observed no reprimand or intervention of the alpha sisters abuse. In fact, she skillfully attained approval for everything she did in other areas . Without pause, he took over abusing me only worse. He made attacks every single day
    for the next five years. My sister established a premise of concern to justify her actions. He on the other hand hissed his disgust for me all the time. When I was in need of protection or comfort, I turned to the bathroom, the one room with a lock. I climbed up on the counter and placed my nose on the mirror, looked deeply into my own eyes and repeated out loud just three words, “God loves me”. It gave me the strength to carry on. The other thing I did was in retrospect, among the best choices I ever made. I had been labeled as a sneak, a thief and a liar for as long as I can remember. I decided to make sure everything I said and did was true to the truth. Armored in this standard of conduct, I could no longer be shot down.
    They could not exert control over me all the time. I went to school, played with friends and my cousins who lived nearby. I observed stark contrast from who they said I was at home and the message i got everywhere else. It was as if I was leading a double life at the age of eight.To cope with the pain of rejection from the people who were suppose to love me
    I made my second promise to myself. I decided to take to heart only the words who come from people who I respect enough to choose as my role models. It worked immediately and continues to work to this day.
    In Summation, a little girl overcame powerlessness and abuse by claiming her God given free will to practice
    1. God loves me affirmations
    2. choose integrity to protect from self debasement
    3. Carefully choose role models based on merit
    Other positive outcomes to name a few
    1. Fearlessly slaying bullies throughout life.
    2. Inclusion granted without hesitation to outcasts.
    3. Willingness to believe people.
    4. Performing without approval or encouragement.
    5. Saying out loud to all gossipers, “I don’t listen to gossip.”
    6. Honoring the vast potential everywhere.
    7. Teaching by example.
    8. Most importantly, love everyone, and always remain willing to forgive.

    Things I still struggle with:
    1.Longing to belong to and be valued by my family.
    2. Old hurt felt anew on holidays and birthdays and milestone occasions spent for fifty years without my family.
    3. Vulnerability to invalidation of accomplishments attempts by family.
    4. Diminished view of other family members who failed to act
    to protect me.
    5. Continued abuse by alpha female who despite living 6 thousand miles apart, I’m in Hawaii, she in Boston,and decades of estrangement, has managed to disrupt every aspect of my life. She married well. Her vast financial resources have paid for a full time attorney in Honolulu, who periodically acts on my alpha sisters behalf, a full time private investigator who my friends and associates have told me has offered money to report goings on in my life, and so much more I am not aware of.
    6. Issues trusting others, especially women. I trust motive, not decisions and choices they make.
    7. A vague sense of shame and embarrassment for not being loved.
    8. An involuntary physical message of guilt conveyed by posture and facial expressions.
    In closing, It is possible to transform what was meant to cause lifelong damage, into a source for strength, and courage to nurture ones own potential.

    • The Pendulist
      Jul 19, 2015 @ 20:53:07

      wow- it sounds like you have a very clear and detailed understanding of the scapegoat you were in your past, and are working it through even now that you are an adult. You were harmed- you were damaged, and you realize every detail of it. That is what is making you healthier today.

  5. maria
    Mar 19, 2016 @ 23:14:24

    second child, capricorn, scapegoat… OMG

  6. Wised up
    Sep 10, 2016 @ 03:46:18

    This is excellent. Thank you. It took me 43 years to work out this is the role I’ve been put into/and play with my family and this year and last I finally said a few words to family members to stop treating me with disrespect & telling me there’s something wrong with me! All I ever wanted was a safe, loving happy family -it ain’t going to happen. I’m highly competent and grossly misunderstood – but never got the love or encouragement I needed so struggled with self-confidence, guilt of my life. I envy people who complain that their parents are strict and coercive about managing their career, education – Oh my gosh – appreciate it!!
    If I had considered direction from my parents I could’ve been a model or anything in life.
    Anyway, it is what it is. I don’t blame anymore – people do the best with what they have at the time. But I also no longer bother trying to make an effort with family members who don’t put in any effort. My mother raised me to believe ‘treat people how you would like to be treated’. I now think “treat people as they treat you’. My Dad’s values are ‘you can’t have everything’. It has taken years to undo this lack of abundance thinking & I’m still not there yet. When he says it to me now, I say ‘why not’?
    Go to the beat of your own drum and only compromise for those who you know will do the same for you. Much love and madness.

  7. Amo
    Apr 23, 2017 @ 04:29:29

    I have lived almost an entire life of being the outcast in my family- I am the middle child of five daughters. Every time something blows up I am targeted, bitched about and yet keep going back fir more. When my siblings have needed me I have run to help them and yet when I need help everyone ignores me. I am so desperately sad that not one of them supports me and that they all gang up against me. I don’t know who I am anymore bc they have destroyed my self confidence and I feel worthless all the time.. I know that if I walk away I have to deal with being removed from everything and whilst I can eventually deal with this it is my three children that I really worry about- I am at my wits end and do not know what I can do to make my family just ‘like’ me

    • The Pendulist
      Apr 23, 2017 @ 23:47:35

      1. be observant and make sure none of your children become scapegoats- you know what to look for!!

      2. remember what I said in my article;

      Stop trying to win the favor of abusive and uncaring family members.
      Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends.
      Assert your right to be treated with respect by the family members who have been bashing you as long as you can remember, by saying something like “The way you just spoke to me now is not acceptable, and I never want to be talked to like that again”, or “I will not respond to your criticism, belittling, accusations, or name calling- I’m hanging up the phone now, and will call you later when you are able to control your negative and destructive dialogue.”
      Figure out what you might be doing (either consciously or unconsciously) that gives hostile family members the idea that it’s OK to abuse you, and then try to determine how to change any behavior that draws you into the victim role. You may not have started out a victim, but you sure are one now.

      I also gave you a few ‘non-conventional ways to deal with it, but at the very least, use your verbal skills- set boundaries with your family- demand respect (using respect)

      Good luck

  8. Patrick Cook
    May 26, 2017 @ 05:45:16

    Called a mistake to mother by 3 teenager siblings. I loved my mother and father and respect of the three older siblings. I am Capricorn and a gay man. My mom died early and no one told me she died. I found out by friend in CA where I was living single at the time who just happened to be visiting hometown NE. When I go there I was ostracized and marginalized. The 3 other siblings and spouses were handing out money to each other and oldest sister had already become POA and dad was not even old enough to need that. They proceeded to slander and defame me to father and he later advised that “we’ took you off the will, but I put you back on. See I had gone back 20 years later and spent time with my father and my life partner of 20+ years, who the siblings called that guy. My father made the sister and brother witness my marriage ceremony which they despised as much as they despised me. I and my partner formed a strong bond with my father the last 15 years of his life. I overcame the defamation from the siblings and I am happy about that. After that, they despised my father too and they did something, because in about a year they had father in a home and took his drivers’ license and he passed away and was cremated on my first marriage anniversary. I believe it was a hate crime. They used my fathers money and retirement up and denied me anything as beneficiary and told by oldest brother and sister there was no will which is a lie. My sister was calling my dad gay because he got to know me and liked me and my partner. They never called me, but I would call them and make an effort to no avail. Sister lied and told my father she called me. This all dawned on me one year after my dad died and no one ever called me and I had broken my knee and had three operations. Things were not right and I am still damaged by their action profoundly in the following and now current year 2017. Tomorrow is my mothers anniversary of her passing and I am not doing well. I am going to get flowers and would very much like to file a personal injury or probate remedy on the 2 older siblings and their spouses. They took my stuff when my mother died and sold the family home who was mainly inhabited by three capricorns, My two parents and myself. All the siblings can say about my wonderful, wonderful mother is that she had credit card dept. which I do not think so, but she had cancer and always took the grandchildren to get hair done and many things witch there parents should be thankful and feel good but they do not. The house did not need to be sold as the debt was not that larger and the housed made a profit of #120K as it was purchased by my parents for $13K. I was living in my mom’s mother, my grandma’s home and it was furnished and she knew I would be back. After she passed they sold my home and took all stuff. My sisters husband once said when I was looking for a car when I came back to let my father buy it cause he was loaded. My partner was very offended as we purchased the car ourselves. They do not know me and hate me. Sad. Very sad story.

    • The Pendulist
      May 26, 2017 @ 15:59:47

      Quite a story- much more exaggerated characters than I usually see. First about the business of it all- it wouldn’t hurt to get the opinion of a few attorneys but only go forward with an action if you can find one to take the case on a contingency basis- they only get paid if you win. If you have the wills or other documents you may have something. Otherwise, time to move on. And it’s time to move on from this anyhow. Remember I said don’t’ expect them to apologize or change. Form new meaningful relationships like the one you have with your partner. I’m sure you being gay just sent them over the edge. Remember, they are ignorant, and you are evolved. They are linear and you are cosmic. They are limited, and you are universal. Remember that.

  9. Been there/Done that
    Aug 12, 2017 @ 18:11:32

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with the Capricorn child being scapegoated at all. I am a Leo and was the family scapegoat for 51 years before I finally went No Contact with my entire family. I’ll turn 55 tomorrow and am so proud of the tremendous progress I’ve made since NC. I am finally free and living the life I’ve always desired. Next in line will be my older sister, who is a Virgo — she was the GC/SG. So I’m certain she’s already the family’s new scapegoat by now. Interestingly, my 60-year-old brother (a Capricorn), recently divorced and moved back in with my narc mother. Now, my GC 45-year-old brother, GC 60-year-old brother, and SG 56-year-old sister will all be revolving around my 82-year-old malignant narcissistic mother in her home. Oh, I wish I could take a peek into that rabbit hole now.😄🐰😃. Do you think outsiders will finally see through their ruse??? Nah! 🐇🐇🐇