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3 Bizarre Realities Adult Survivors of Family Scapegoating Abuse Experience

family scapegoating abuse youtube videos

Announcement: I will not be able to write new blog articles for the foreseeable future; however, I am recording videos about my research and clinical experience regarding what I named family scapegoating abuse (FSA) on my new Beyond Family Scapegoating Abuse YouTube channel. I hope to see you there (you may subscribe to be alerted to my video offerings).

This week was a most challenging one, and writing a new article just wasn’t possible. However, I did have time to record a second fifteen minute video for my new ‘FSA Education’ channel on YouTube that I hope you will take the time to watch as time and space allows.

Regarding this video (link available below): This is the first video in a new series in which I describe the truly bizarre realities that adult survivors of family scapegoating abuse (FSA) experience, as revealed in my FSA research and clinical practice. Sadly, as one YouTube subscriber said in a comment, these “bizarre” realities are typical experiences for the FSA adult survivor.

I’ve had so many clients and newsletter / blog subscribers tell me that they are strangely amazed and relieved to discover that they are not the only ones experiencing the types of incomprehensible realities they are exposed to regularly as the target of family scapegoating behaviors – realities that are well-documented in my FSA research, as well as reports from clients in my FSA Recovery Coaching practice.

In next week’s video, I will tell you WHY these sorts of bizarre scenarios can happen in a dysfunctional or narcissistic family system that scapegoats one of their own, so I hope you will consider subscribing (tap the bell to be alerted to my latest video offerings).

Have any of the mind-bending (and painful) realities described in this video happened to you? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! You can support my new YouTube channel created specifically for FSA adult survivors by subscribing and then ‘liking’ this video.


8 thoughts on “3 Bizarre Realities Adult Survivors of Family Scapegoating Abuse Experience”

  1. Aqua

    I fell in love with a man (self-abandoned) and when I felt rejected… I went into a psychosis more or less. I grieved and healed. I had a spiritual awakening/mystical experience during the ordeal. Now, I know I’m whole and complete. I thought my partner was the malignant narcissist. He was not one though!!!’He was just wounded and emotionally unavailable- we are very alike. Repetition compulsion at its best I guess. But we got to rewrite the script!!! We have reconciled and have a very loving relationship. It was my mother that was malignant and my emotionally unavailable dad that explains my life. I’m a recovering opiate addict. After healing from the psychosis and now being in a loving, conscious, safe relationship (healing happens in this crucible!)… I am still connected with my mentally Ill family for reasons Too long to explain here. I plan on moving far away and limiting contact because the body keeps score… my issue is empathy. I know my mother has no self-love. The tortured turn into the torturers after all. I understand because I had no self-love for most my life. And it sucked so bad!!!! I understand her issues… and it just sucks. For my sanity and well being, I need to fully individuate. I’m not fully healed but I’ve made a LOT of progress. I have self compassion, self acceptance and self forgiveness … and self love. I have radical acceptance of what is. I’m looking forward to letting my true self continue to grow…. And expand. However, I definitely need to figure out how to get over the feelings/sadness. Does the candle pity the moth? No. But I’m definitely feeling super weird about loving myself more and disconnecting from the toxicity…and than feeling sad about my small dysfunctional family. I know I cannot fix it and heal them. I understand I was never loved. I know I will be disowned, written off, no inheritance for me, I’m the crazy one remember? Lol. Good ‘ol martyr complex I’m sure will be coming…..

    What I went through in the early idealization stage of my relationship with my partner (after the projections fell) and I was “rejected/abandoned” was traumatic… Sometimes I wonder how I’m still alive!! I’m grateful despite what I’ve been through, I can know my worth and value. I am whole and complete as is. And I’m worthy of having a good life. The second half of my life will be better. It’s inevitable so long as I continue to heal. One day at a time.

    Definitely need a therapist to continue my journey… the body keeps score after all. And my heart aches for the tragedy of it all. If my mother truly had self-awareness… I think it would destroy her. We forgive them for they know not what they do.

    But I deserve more in my life. Here we go.

    “Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” -Jung

    1. Rebecca C. Mandeville, LMFT, CCTP

      Aqua, so sorry, for some reason your comment ended up in spam and I just now found it. It is a beautiful description of an FSA survivor’s experience and I hope many will read it for greater understanding of dynamics that can lead to this form of abuse. Wishing you the very best in your continued healing.

  2. Diana

    I watched your video Rebecca and hope to share it with others. The first bizarre behavior is exactly been my experience as well and that of my brother. He described it as an omission of personhood and conversations. Like it didn’t happen and now thankfully after learning so much about the narcissistic brain it finally makes sense. I felt as rejected as could be humanly possible and it nearly destroyed my spirit. I am healing from it now and am so very grateful for your work and others on the way this disease as I call it, has manifested in twisting my own brain trying to understand. Ouch. These bizarre behaviors are dangerous. The education I have received has given me insight and tools to overcome it. Quite the process and for a long time I felt isolated in my recovery but not anymore. Thank you!

    1. Rebecca C. Mandeville, LMFT, CCTP

      Good to hear, Diana, sounds like you are on your way – and hopefully your brother as well. Some of us are so gaslighted that we begin to gaslight ourselves and lose touch with our felt-sense reality. The dehumanizing aspects of both narcissistic abuse and family scapegoating abuse – and the damage and trauma this can cause – cannot be underestimated. We must indeed claim our right to be treated as human beings and not as some kind of human projection screens – objectified, voiceless, and blank.

  3. Tamara

    Your blog and videos are very appreciated. I am accomplished in many ways plus have advanced degrees; experienced #1 and #3 whole life. Can’t say they sided with my emotionally and physically abusive ex husband, but in retrospect I’m sure it was because of the dysfunction/disregard/dismissal by family that I fell into that relationship (at age 30). (25) Years later though, when trigger event/betrayal trauma happened with family and then they gaslighted and silent treatmented me, it registered for what it was, abuse. And thus began quest (about 6 yrs ago) to understand why, why, why, what’s wrong with me that my family would reject and treat me like this! Tonight, thanks to you, I understand concept of toxic shame better, that I have it and why, and can/did release it back where it belongs!!

    1. Rebecca C. Mandeville, LMFT, CCTP

      YES!!! You made my night, Tamara. I encourage you to read my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, as well as my free FSA blog articles here. I have a chapter in my book specifically on betrayal trauma and one on toxic shame as related to FSA, among other things. Thank you for writing!

  4. E.

    100% to 1, 3 and 2 is familiar with some twists. Notable to me was that although I’m breaking ties and getting healthier, in middle age, I still now wouldn’t have considered any of these realities “bizarre” unless the adjective was there. They’re just typical. I only understand it’s unhealthy because I’m learning that now. It’s really hard to comprehend what healthy people on the other side of the wall, so to speak, see and understand.

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