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Dr. Erin Watson

The Dual Layers of Betrayal Trauma For Survivors of Family Scapegoating Abuse

Betrayal is at the heart of being scapegoated. Betrayal is the constant in all the examples shared in this article. When exploring our scapegoating histories we see that our trauma doesn’t just come from the hurtful actions, the cruel words, the painful neglect and humiliations, or the psychological wounds wielded out by family members. Our trauma extends beyond tangible incidents: It permeates our psyches and our physiology…

the grief of the family scapegoat

The Impact of Disenfranchised Grief on Scapegoat Survivors

Those who were cast in the role of “identified patient” in their dysfunctional or abusive family system are subjected to pains and losses that in many cases have no clearly defined name, and are not even on the radar of the professionals and clinicians brought in to help. Furthermore, the scapegoat’s pains are often ignored, denied and even used against them by those who claim to care about them and love them most…

woman holding forehead at night

Scapegoating and The Fantasy of Vindication and Validation

For many scapegoated adults, the difficult reality is that repair and reunion with their family simply isn’t possible. For some, it is a conscious choice to stay away from their toxic family system as attempting to re-integrate would result in further psycho-emotional injury. Others were unceremoniously ‘ejected’ from their family-of-origin when they began to assert boundaries or call out the abuse, making any type of reconciliation both undesirable and impossible.

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