Many people are familiar with Kubler-Ross’s ‘Five Stages of Grief’, which are Denial; Anger; Bargaining; Depression; Acceptance. In my model for family scapegoating abuse (FSA) recovery (which I will expand upon in an upcoming book), I use the term ‘radical acceptance’ versus ‘acceptance’ to describe a late-stage healing concept that is critical to the FSA adult survivor’s full recovery from systemic family abuse.
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If you’re in the ‘family scapegoat’ role and in contact with family members who continue to subject you to mental and emotional abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, and narcissistic behaviors, this checklist will aid you in protecting your emotional and mental health.
In the narcissistic family system, the needs of the disordered parent take precedence over the needs of the dependent child, resulting in narcissistic abuse. Family members are not cherished individuals to be loved; they are instead ‘narcissistic supply’ whose only purpose is to serve the infantile, primitive psycho-emotional needs of the narcissistic parent.
It would be nice to believe that when children turn into adults they are somehow magically released from the ‘family scapegoat’ role. However, this is not at all the case. In fact, many individuals who come to me for therapy suffer from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) due to continued family abuse that has resulted in them feeling psycho-emotionally paralyzed and worthless – even suicidal.
Few things are more heart-wrenching to me as a Mental Health practitioner than when I see a client being scapegoated, betrayed, and abandoned by their family-of-origin – and even some friends – when divorcing a spouse that engages in covert abuse…
One of the ways that a narcissistic parent marginalizes their child is to demean them and put them down – This is particularly the case with the ‘scapegoat child’. An example of such marginalization tactics is evident in what S.P. named the ‘Martyr Parent Ploy’, which we consider to be a form of covert narcissism.
This is Part Two of a two-part article on psycho-emotional child abuse. You may read Part One here. Note: This article was first published in 2014 and revised in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The ‘True Self’ Lost in Childhood As discussed last week, psycho-emotional abuse, when repetitive and/or chronic, results in the child unconsciously believing that […]
Note: This article was first published in 2014 and revised in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Were You a Victim of ‘Invisible Abuse’ in Your Family-Of-Origin? Ever wonder if you were were the victim of actual psychological / emotional abuse versus ‘sub-par parenting’ as a child? Many people have no idea that they grew up in […]
[Note: This article originally written for The C-PTSD Foundation in November 2020] Complex PTSD ( which is sometimes interchanged with terms such as complex relational trauma, developmental trauma, and interpersonal trauma) is a relatively recent concept. With the recognition of complex PTSD (C-PTSD) by the World Health Organization (WHO), healthcare providers around the world are […]