twins leaning on a pillar

Sibling Estrangement: The Impact of Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) on Sibling Relationships

by Rebecca C. Mandeville, LMFT, CCTP

In families with dysfunctional dynamics, particularly those that exhibit narcissism, the ‘scapegoat’ child is burdened with the family’s collective problems and issues via the pathological Family Projective Identification process and attendant systemic ‘splitting’. As ‘closed’ systems, such families typically do not seek outside help, preserve unhealthy behaviors, and create estrangement and conflict that persists through generations. Siblings (the ‘golden child’ sibling in particular) may adopt and perpetuate the damaging ‘scapegoat narrative’, further entrenching family scapegoating abuse (FSA) dynamics, even after a scapegoating parent’s death. The recognition and resolution of these issues are critical for healing, but often, the scapegoated family member may have no choice but to distance themselves from the toxic family environment for their own mental and emotional well-being. (Scroll to the bottom of this article to watch my latest video on this topic).

Siblings Who Grow Up in ‘Closed’ Family Systems

Sibling relationships are an intricate web of emotions, experiences, and memories that shape our lives from childhood through adulthood. From the joy of shared family experiences and memories to the challenges associated with jealousy, competitiveness, and sibling rivalry, the dynamics among siblings play a significant role in our personal growth and development.

Research within the field of Family Systems has shown that sibling relationships play a crucial role in shaping one’s sense of self-identity and belonging within the family structure. Scapegoating between siblings is a complex dynamic that ultimately involves the entire family system, whether individual family members are aware of this consciously or not. As discussed in my introductory book on FSA, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, scapegoating behaviors in families are typically fueled by generations of trauma and/or the individual pathology of a parent via pathological projective identification processes.

In a healthy, ‘open’ family system, sibling conflict resolution strategies play a vital role in fostering positive relationships among siblings. Via healthy parenting (including leading by example), siblings learn that open communication, active listening, and empathy are key components in resolving conflicts effectively.

In a dysfunctional (or narcissistic) family system, such healthy communication practices are non-existent. Instead, these types of families operate as ‘closed’ systems, whereby the family power-holders (typically one or both parents) are unlikely to acknowledge that the family and/or the sibling subsystem is in distress. And as a ‘closed’ system, it is even more unlikely they will seek outside help from qualified Mental Health professionals (including Family Systems-oriented therapists) to resolve conflict within the nuclear family system.

Parents Who Model and Incite Scapegoating Behaviors

To make matters worse, instead of helping siblings resolve differences and conflicts, one or both parents may openly or covertly encourage competitiveness between siblings, or favor one child over another (for example, the ‘golden child’ being favored over the ‘scapegoat child’).

It should therefore not come as a surprise that scapegoating in a family setting can have profound effects on sibling relationships and the overall relationship dynamics within a given household. The scapegoat child often bears the brunt of blame, shame, criticism, and negative attention from other family members, leading to a sense of isolation and alienation within their own home – the place they should feel the safest and most loved.

Suffering from daily chronic psycho-emotional stressors from which there is no escape, the scapegoated child may eventually develop symptoms of complex trauma (C-PTSD), compounding the overall tragedy of FSA.

Sibling Estrangement and the Long-Term Effects on Family Dynamics

Siblings that are ‘favored’ and empowered within the dysfunctional or narcissistic family system may adopt the same negative behaviors that one or both parents demonstrate toward the scapegoated child, either as children or later in life.

In extreme cases, this can result in ‘family mobbing’, whereby family members gang up on, and bully, the scapegoat child so as to intentionally humiliate them. It is dynamics such as these that plant the seeds for sibling estrangement – estrangement which is frequently irreparable due to power imbalances that continue to exist within the family long after the adult children have left the family home.

Needless to say, the breakdown of sibling relationships can have significant long-term effects on family dynamics. It can create rifts within the family system that, in turn, invariably leads to strained relationships and communication breakdowns between siblings and other family members. These conflicts affect not only the estranged siblings themselves but also parents and extended family members (i.e., nieces nephews, etc.), negatively impacting future generations.

Familial conflicts that result in sibling estrangement can also lead to feelings of loss and grief for those involved. However, the scapegoated family member’s grief will rarely be acknowledged or recognized within the family or by society. This is because the FSA adult survivor is frequently viewed as the cause of family rifts via their being in a highly reactive state due to unrecognized complex trauma symptoms and/or their decision to limit or end contact with scapegoating family members to protect their psycho-emotional health.

In such situations, the FSA adult survivor is often accused of wanting a sibling or parent “to take sides,” when what the survivor is actually wanting – and legitimately needing – is acknowledgement of the abuse at the hands of one or more family members that the sibling was aware of or witnessed. It is therefore under the auspice of “not wanting to take sides” that allows siblings to avoid acknowledging painful realities and/or their part in the systemic abuse that fuels FSA.

As I often say to my clients, when it comes to any form of abuse, silence is complicity. Meaning, when adult siblings are silent in the face of verbal and emotional abuse directed at the FSA target, they are implicitly signaling to the family member engaging in the bullying and scapegoating behaviors that their behavior is acceptable. How is that not “taking sides”?

When Siblings Perpetuate the Damaging ‘Scapegoat Narrative’

I cannot count how many times during the course of my original research on what I eventually named ‘family scapegoating abuse’ (FSA) that a research participant shared their shock, surprise, and sense of confusion when it became clear that one or more siblings had adopted the ‘scapegoat narrative’ after a scapegoating parent became infirm or died.

The insidious ‘scapegoat narrative’ is a term I coined to describe the damaging false narrative that fuels FSA. Typical statements associated with this narrative are “Janie’s emotionally ill,”; “Johnny’s crazy”; “Janie’s a liar”; “Johnny does drugs and has mental problems”; “Janie steals things”; etc., etc. – statements that have no basis in reality.

In the case of a deceased parent, the sibling scapegoating can first manifest at the parent’s funeral. Imagine being at a parent’s funeral and having one or more siblings say things to you like, “Mom never loved you,” or “You don’t care about mom and you never did so why are you crying now?”, or “We know you stole dad’s souvenirs from the war.” It may seem incomprehensible to those raised in a healthy, functional family system but these sorts of events are relatively common in unhealthy families that scapegoat, based on my years of research on FSA.

By the way, I’ve had more than one client experience this type of sibling scapegoating at a parent’s funeral and it is nothing short of devastating – particularly if the FSA adult survivor felt close to their sibling and thought they had a good relationship.

What can be even more shocking is hearing the sibling say the exact same thing that the (now infirm or deceased) scapegoating parent had said. The relief that was initially experienced that the scapegoating abuse might finally be over with the death of the parent is quickly replaced by the sickening recognition that the scapegoat narrative would now be replayed and promoted by one or more siblings.

Learn more about the Scapegoat Narrative by watching my YouTube video here.

Scapegoating Among Siblings and Family Homeostasis

An important point I wish to emphasize is that family scapegoating abuse is not ‘just’ psycho-emotional; when enough tension has built up, conflicts between siblings can turn physical, even in adulthood.

For example, past clients of mine, along with FSA research participants, have reported that they were subjected to personal attacks that resulted in their being physically assaulted by one or more siblings after a scapegoating parent’s death, events that were a direct result of scapegoating dynamics within a family and the shift in the family homeostasis that occurs within a given family system when a family power-holder dies.

This change in homeostasis following a parent’s death explains why siblings (the ‘golden child’ sibling, especially) will attempt a ‘power grab’ after a parent’s death (or while the parent is alive but infirm). For example, they might covertly arrange to have Power of Attorney over the parent’s health and finances and/or attempt to take a larger portion of the parent’s assets than they are legally or rightfully due.

Once their dirty deed is revealed, the sibling making the power grab will often blame the FSA adult survivor for their bad behavior using the DARVO strategy (Dr. Jennifer Freyd), saying things like, “Dad never loved you anyway” or “You weren’t ever around to help so I deserve more assets than you” when it was actually the scapegoated sibling who had been cut off from the family or had stepped back from their family-of-origin to protect their mental and emotional health.

The Importance of Identifying Signs of Scapegoating Among Siblings

Recognizing signs of scapegoating and estrangement among siblings is crucial for maintaining healthy family dynamics. Ideally, it would be a parent who would intervene when siblings mistreat, bully, or abuse each other, but this is unlikely to happen when it comes to family scapegoating abuse because the parents themselves are participating in the dysfunctional scapegoating dynamics, whether they are conscious of this fact or not.

Given that the scapegoated child frequently exhibits traits such as low self-esteem, traumatic shame, and feeling misunderstood both within and outside the family unit, one would hope that teachers, school counselors, or other professionals interacting with the child might see that they are in some type of distress and intervene, but my original research on FSA indicates that this is rarely the case.

This is why I continually stress that there needs to be more training, research, and information available on how ‘invisible’ forms of abuse like family scapegoating impact children. By recognizing the signs of scapegoating or other forms of mental and emotional abuse early on, helping professionals (such as school counselors and social workers) might be able to effectively intervene.

Addressing Sibling Estrangement Due to Past Dynamics

When it comes to mending sibling relationships in families that scapegoat, the journey towards reconciliation can be challenging, at best. Articles I’ve reviewed that address sibling reconciliation rarely mention systemic issues like the Family Projective Identification Process or the fact that at some level the entire family is both involved – and responsible – for sibling estrangement that is a direct result of family scapegoating abuse.

Overcoming familial wounds and rebuilding trust with siblings would require that the siblings be open to learning about family systems and dysfunctional system dynamics, as well as FSA dynamics; however, this rarely happens due to the family homeostasis (as mentioned earlier) and individual defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization (which also fuel and support DARVO).

The painful reality is, one cannot successfully initiate ‘open communication’ if the family-of-origin operates as a dysfunctional, ‘closed’ system. For example, how is the FSA adult survivor supposed to have an “honest conversation that can help both parties express their feelings, perspectives, and grievances in a safe and respectful manner” (the typical advice articles on sibling reconciliation suggest) when the family is dysfunctional and the mistreatment and psycho-emotional abuse of the scapegoated sibling is fervently denied by everyone in the system?

For this to happen, all family members would need to recognize that everyone in the family has been at some level participating in the scapegoating of a particular child / adult child – possibly for years or even decades. This would require an extraordinary leap in awareness, and given I have worked with literally hundreds of families during the course of my career as a Family Systems therapist, I can tell you that this takes many, many hours of therapy (both individual and as a family) and even then, the family may be too deep in their denial and defensiveness to ever admit such a thing.

This is why many adult survivors of FSA have no choice but to severely limit or end contact with their nuclear (and sometimes extended) family system. They simply cannot put up with the denial of the abuse anymore, and they are tired of having their painful experiences within the family dismissed and invalidated.

Have you experienced scapegoating from one or more siblings? If so, how did you address this? I’d love to hear from you in the comments (scroll down to the bottom of this page to access comment section).

To learn more about Sibling Estrangement and FSA, you can watch my video here

Copyright 2024 | Rebecca C. Mandeville | All Rights Reserved


Rebecca C. Mandeville, MA

Rebecca C. Mandeville coined the research-supported terms 'family scapegoating abuse' (FSA) and 'family scapegoat trauma' (FST) and is a recognized thought leader in understanding the consequences of being in the family 'identified patient' or 'scapegoat' role. She also created the FSA Recovery Coaching℠ process. Her best-selling book, 'Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed', is the first book ever written on FSA. Rebecca serves as a YouTube Health Partner via her channel 'Beyond Family Scapegoating Abuse' and is also active on Instagram and Facebook.

16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you for writing this and allowing us to post and see comments. It is so helpful and I am able to continue my healing journey.

    I was very close to my dad but after he died (I was an adult by then) my mother’s scapegoating of me ramped up as he was no longer around to keep her in check. I was married and had four young kids but lived far away and was spared much of her nonsense, or so I thought. She was obviously laying the groundwork with my golden child younger sister, with whom I was very close, by smearing me. Now in my fifties I am no contact with my mom or sister. My sister has remarkably taken on my mother’s persona, and my mother is almost her flying monkey, like they’ve reversed roles. I’m not sure what it is, but they are definitely working in tandem. My sister attempted to break up my marriage and turn my adult children against me, hence my going no contact. When I woke up to what was going on no contact was instinctive, but also painful. I’m still processing it two years later. I regret not seeing it sooner, but I guess I just wanted to believe that they loved me and supported me. We scapegoats are strong and have many positive survivor qualities, but at the same time feel all alone and powerless. It’s a weird limbo.

  2. Thank you for your work. It is one of a kind and not enough is being written about this issue. It has been very helpful to have the understanding of what is going on, as I walk the path of finding acceptance.

    At 52 I am finally willing to give up the hope for their (mom and two sisters) change or my receiving of acceptance, love or consideration.
    I am realizing that I don’t even like any of them anyway and wouldn’t enjoy them in my life on any terms.
    It is still so painful, but the worst of it is my lack of relationship skills for building my own future.

    How do I learn to be a healthy friend that can attract and keep emotionally healthy relationships? I don’t have any and can’t to seem to make it happen. The harder I try the worse I “perform”.

  3. Rebecca,

    (Warning: it’s a long read, as I try to capture the unique experience of sibling abuse.)

    Thank you so much for this much needed information. It is unfortunate that so little research includes sibling abuse, and so little information exists beyond anecdotal. I don’t believe an individual can completely understand or process the scapegoating experience without examining it within the context of the family dynamic, of which sibling abuse can be a large part.

    Scapegoating by siblings not only increases the abusive experiences in number and variety, but often creates an entirely different family dynamic, and experience, for the scapegoated member. The effects are not simply additive. For one, it reinforces and magnifies the abuse by the parent. Second, it can create an environment in which the entire family experience is abusive. Third, other dysfunction can develop out of family interactions, each with their loyalties, hierarchies, beliefs, and roles, creating new circumstances of abuse that otherwise would not exist.

    It is in my case. If you take my three sisters, younger by 14 months, 3 years, and 6 years, respectively, and put them together, the impact of abuse from my mother pales in comparison. My sisters are not only flying monkeys doing our mother’s bidding, but they are laden with their own narcissistically induced dysfunction that they take out on me. In addition, they project my mother’s dysfunction on me and punish me as the mother-substitute and protect their favor with her.
    David M. Allen M.D. professor emeritus of psychiatry who works and writes extensively on family dysfunction, describes this situation as common in certain larger families where there is significant neglect by the mother, there are many girls, and the oldest child is female.

    “This situation is a setup for disturbed sibling relationships after everyone has grown into adulthood. … The siblings are angry at the neglectful parents, but they protect their parents from those negative feelings by displacing them onto the older, mother-substitute sibling. … [T]he younger siblings as adults isolate or even completely exile the older one from the rest of the family. As the parents age, the younger siblings may get together to keep the eldest away from the parents, and to make sure that he or she is disinherited in one way or another. Vicious gossip about the eldest may make the rounds.

    “Usually the siblings, as adults, will never even discuss what happened. They may go on and act like nothing at all untoward had ever happened. …. Everyone in the family stuffs their feelings when in one another’s presence, and no one speaks up when someone else displeases them. Family members are also highly prone to giving one another the “silent treatment” when upset with one another, or cutting off contact for years at a time. There are few feelings worse than having your whole family act like you just don’t count for anything.”

    This describes my family situation perfectly. Scapegoating informs nearly the entire family and its relationship with me. It is as if everyone is infected with a poison that travels systemically throughout the family body, leaking out, or shooting out, with any given encounter with me. When it infects the entire family, it leaves no escape, no safe spaces. It closes out any potential for satisfying relationships. It leaves no room for hope for relief. The oppression is complete, and it is easier for hopelessness and despair to set in. For me, it made the role of cast out complete, compelling me to self-exile.

    Across the board, the scapegoating worsens with age as animosities fester, increasing in frequency, cruelty, and impact. Siblings are astute observers of us, unlike the self-absorbed mother, and have more intimate knowledge of what buttons will deliver maximum pain. They amass a larger arsenal of obscure details, ancient confidences, and long forgotten private musings that have been sorted, indexed, filed, and meticulously preserved, just waiting for the opportunity to unleash with reckless abandon– eight years is as good as a day.

    When we were kids, my sisters played on me being the outcast by my mother (rejected by her mother) and teased by my father to project his anger (as an abused child), and would band together to hunt me down so they could then mock and bully me with cruel epithets, such as “grenade bomb” (which I only fed with my angry retort of “Leave me alone!”). My mother? Whatever, just don’t disturb her nap. My sisters would rather drink battery acid before they ever included me or thought of me as an older sister.

    And heaven help the person who falls on tragedy or misfortune for they will not only be denied help, but from siblings will only get kicked while down, as they exploit the opportunity for power and superiority. Falling on hard times when forced to close my company in the pandemic:

    “What makes you think mom has to do anything to help you?” “If you ask my help once more, I will block you.” “You’re just hurting yourself so you can punish mom.” “You just make up your own reality.” “You need to stop blaming everyone and ask God’s forgiveness for your problems, real and imagined.” “You’re responsible for your own life. I can’t feel sorry for you.” “I don’t remember offering to share any of the inheritance [I got from our uncle]. I can’t afford to subsidize you living in NYC.”

    From my mother: “What do you expect me to do? It’s MY money. I don’t have any responsibility for you,” and then manipulates her assistance to keep in a heightened state of financial distress.

    Their cruelty and oppression are simply breathtaking. Sibling abuse deserves its own entry in family pathologies.

    1. This is such a powerful – and educational – comment, Rae. I hope many here take the time to read it. Dr. Allen nails it – always relieved when I hear there are some good Family Systems-aware clinicians out there. Thank you for sharing your experiences of FSA – and your understanding of it – with others here. Much appreciated.

  4. Wow! The timing of this article was amazing since I just found myself going down that old, tired path of wanting a family member to acknowledge a situation where one of my scapegoating siblings had bullied me yet again. The article explains beautifully and concisely why members of my closed family unit will never acknowledge the family’s history of scapegoating me. Thank you for that reminder, Rebecca!!

  5. I just left the last comment about my court battle. I recently had a good friend ask me why I’m inviting my mother back into my life that I have with my son (he’s 3). The way I got rid of her was filing in court, she stopped speaking to me the day se got the papers. And if she didn’t have my daughter I’d be perfectly happy. But now it’s all taken so long, she got my daughter to quit talking to me and to hate me. Until she asked me that I hadn’t considered not fighting for my child but now I just wonder if I should just move on… it’s so sad.

    1. It is sad, indeed – also, (I would imagine), angering (?) The toxic poison that is FSA can occur – and spread – fast within the family system and between family members. Even your own child is not safe from it, as you have found out. You might take a few minutes to read the very insightful comment from Rae S. on this same post. It is well worth it.

  6. I think the worst experience so far was the custody battle I have had to take on against my mother. She’s an extremely covert narcissist and boy is she one of the worst. She got me to sign over custody of my daughter when she was 2. I was 25, going through extreme tragedy and in drug addiction. Completely unaware still of who my mother truly was. Here we are 10 years later…many of the years we all lived together but I was in prison from 2016-18, and she moved out of state. They came back and it hit me hard, seeing her treat my daughter like I was treated. They also have my brother’s son ( both golden children) so it’s my mother’s perfect little redo, i suppose. Nobody expected it but I filed in court for custody. I’m well studied and also broke, so i represented myself— she’s a millionaire, thanks to all her husbands (currently on #7). Anyhow, I thought all the texts and evidence and proving them all to be liars would have mattered but it didn’t. The abuse that occurred in the courtroom as five of my family members all told horrible lies about me as I was the one questioning them, was the worst it’s ever been. Truly a traumatic experience. The judge made an ILLEGAL ruling and although this woman proved herself she’s constantly lying, he gave her full discretion over if and when I see my daughter. Illegal and disgusting. It’s in the Court of Appeals now but that experience was really bad. They would purposely bring up stuff that happened to me to trigger me, just so many things were awful.

  7. I am 70 years old and have spent the last few years discovering and dealing with the truth of my toxic family. I’m the eldest of seven, my 94 year old narcissistic mother humiliated and neglected me as a child and teen, and trained my siblings to look down on me. My mother did everything she could to destroy my chances of a normal healthy life. She’s been like a black cloud hoovering over the life I’ve worked so hard to create in spite of her less than negative influence. It’s been like living in two worlds.

    My enabling father left my mother and both remarried a very long time ago. It seemed like he couldn’t wait to run from that silent strange house.
    When he passed away my siblings suddenly emerged as a coordinated mob under my mother’s command insisting that I conform to her increasingly selfish demands for more of my attention.

    My father’s death was used as an excuse to try to force me into committing to take care of our mother when/if needed. Why would they expect their loser sister to do this? Why were they turning their backs on the mother they pretended to adore all these years? Why had they always said they’d take of her? My chief enabler sister had said for years that she had everything planned. My flying monkey brothers had said she could live with them. Anything I’d suggested in the past was deemed unnecessary.

    Up until this time my siblings hardly paid attention to me except to take advantage of my hospitality over the years and my people pleasing generosity. They gave nothing back.

    Now they wouldn’t leave me alone. I felt like I was being hunted. With a therapist’s help I was finally able to stand up to them and tell them to stop contacting me but they wouldn’t respect my wishes. Then some of their kids, who I never hear from, threatened me. I saw how sick my “family” really is and how my mother’s influence is moving on. My siblings have passed this sickness on to their own children and they will pass it on to theirs too.

    Everything you’ve said here about siblings resonates with me and I am so thankful for your research into this. I hope that every family scapegoat discovers the truth as soon as possible.

    At my age I have a lifetime of betrayal to process and move on from but I survived it all for some reason and am grateful that it’s all finally come to light. Now everything makes sense.

    1. The dynamics I describe as making up the phenomenon of FSA are real – and quite ugly. It is a hornet’s nest, and unless you’ve been in the ‘scapegoat’ role first-hand, it is terribly difficult for one to wrap their mind around. I am very sorry you have had to endure this; I’m glad my work on FSA has been helpful, and if you haven’t yet, you may want to read my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed – I have a chapter on ‘Betrayal Trauma’ in there for a reason. I also have a resource list linked near the top of the home page on my website here (link to my book is there as well).

  8. Rebecca, again a spot-on article. But that’s also a reason why I decided to unsubscribe from your mail-list and will stop reading your blog. Thanks to you!

    I’ll explain. After my consious awareness about FSA, by reading your blog, had grown substantially I noticed I started binge-reading your articles and all comments. While for me there was no new helpfull information any more.
    It became a kind of obssesive urge. And I know this obssesive urge from other experiences..

    I know it is a dangerous trapp to fall in to. Why? Cause it can get addictive and becomes a problem on itself. It doesn’t adds to higher awareness anymore but starts functioning like an addiction (the obssesive reading).
    And this compulsive attention to the trauma then only keeps it more alive and feeds it.

    It’s like with the No-Contact rule after the ending of a relationship with an abuser/ClusterB disordered person. Once you are firmly consious aware of the destructive dynamics you have to cut all contact as best as possible to speed up healing (like breaking an addiction).
    Imo this also means to let go of the constant validation/confirmation seeking on blogs (like yours) at a certain time when you notice you are running in a hamster-wheel while no real new info is offered to you anymore.

    This is the case with me. I stop because I don’t want to get trapped in another addiction that now only will serve to keep the trauma alive and even feed it.

    But very, very much thank you for making me much more aware about the puzzle I was trying solve for so many years.
    It’s indeed about Radical Acceptence finally and then close this book with all that comes with it. And let ‘God’ decide what the future will bring.
    It’s out of my hands (as it always was I know now).

    1. You’re so very welcome! I whole-heartedly support you in stepping away from these resources I (and others) offer and I understand I will not be hearing from you again. Best of luck in your recovery from FSA.

      1. Thanks Rebecca. And I like to leave you and your readers with something warm and strong.
        It’s a Blues Traveler song called ‘Look around’. When I first heard it many years ago it immediatally ‘took’ me and I bursted in to tears when the guitarsolo started. Couldn’t stop crying for a while. Although I didn’t grassep the lyrics back then I felt this was not a regular ‘love song’. Every time I listened to it later it had the same result; many tears from deep, unexplainable sorrow.

        It’s only since recently, since my awakening about FSA that I finally grasp the lyrics and what the song is truly about. Hope you enjoy it and all the best to you and all.

      2. And Rebecca, to add. I dedicate this song to my remaining brother and sisters.
        And all those who have supported my scapegoating, active or passive, since childhood.
        And to all who suffer from FSA.
        It’s the most painfull and harmfull ‘betrayal trauma’ you can experience in my view. And while I’m 63 I can tell a bit..

        The ones who have the courage to fight/confront this narrative are all true hero’s to me. Also if they do not succeed in getting peace with this awfull reality.
        Fighting for your dignity/self-respect is not about ‘winning’ and convincing others about your self-worth. You’ll never be able to convince them anyway for their narrative about you is firmly ingrained (often since childhood).

        You have to dig up every ugly stone that kept you on your own. But then simply put them down once you fully understand.
        It’s only then that you can start to go ‘Look Around’ for true happyness and peace again.

        Love/insight and recovery wished to all.

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