The Relationship Between Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) and Traumatic Shame

There are very few clients who enter my FSA Recovery Coaching practice who are not suffering from traumatic shame (also known as ‘toxic shame’), as well as a variety of complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms – something I discuss at length in my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed. While traumatic shame creates a sense of social isolation, complex trauma itself fragments us and leads to self-alienation, leaving the adult survivor of family scapegoating abuse (FSA) feeling intensely alone and unsupported.

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The Connection Between Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) and Complex Trauma

Adult survivors of family scapegoating abuse (FSA) have historically been diagnosed with one or more mental health conditions that ignore the trauma symptoms they are regularly experiencing. Rarely will their most distressing symptoms be recognized as Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) secondary to growing up in an unstable, non-nurturing, dangerous, rejecting, or abusive family environment.

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Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) as Psychological Trauma

As we learn more about Complex Trauma (C-PTSD), it becomes increasingly clear that family scapegoating abuse (FSA) can lead to the development of C-PTSD symptoms, which are often misdiagnosed and mislabelled by Mental Health Professionals if and when the FSA adult survivor seeks therapeutic treatment and support.

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A Licensed Clinical Social Worker’s Perspective on Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)

I recently received the following review on my book on family scapegoating abuse, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed. As one client of mine who read this review said, “Wow – they really nailed it!” I am sharing the review with you here and hope you can take a moment to read it.

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Family Scapegoating Abuse and Healing the Mother Wound

Mother’s Day can be a particularly painful holiday for adult survivors of family scapegoating abuse (FSA), especially for those that are estranged from their nuclear family. Today’s article therefore focuses on mother wounding and transforming the ‘negative mother’ archetype.

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Do Family Members Know That They Are Scapegoating You?

A question I am often asked by clients and readers of my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, is whether or not family scapegoating abuse (FSA) is conscious and intentional or unconscious and unintentional. My answer is that it can be either or both, and that nothing is simple or black and white when it comes to this uniquely complex family system process.

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Family Scapegoating Abuse and Conflicting Family Narratives

Family scapegoating abuse (FSA) may be intentionally overlooked or rationalized by family members. The scapegoated child or adult will rarely get validation if they attempt to share their experiences of mistreatment or abuse. Siblings will frequently adopt the ‘scapegoat narrative’ promoted by the family system power-holder (typically a parent), causing the FSA victim to become isolated and cut off within their family-of-origin.

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DARVO and Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA): When the Abused Are Revictimized by Their Abuser

One of the more baffling and incomprehensible aspects of being scapegoated by family is being the target of mentally and emotionally abusive behaviors; reacting to the abuse appropriately (e.g., expressing hurt, confusion, anger, setting boundaries, etc), and then discovering that the person who committed the harmful or abusive acts views themselves as the victim – not the one they harmed.

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The Healing Power of a ‘Victim Impact Statement’ for FSA Survivors

As you consider how being the victim of family scapegoating abuse has changed your life, you may use the following suggestions and questions to guide you. Do be aware that thinking and writing about something so painful may be difficult for you. Pace yourself and don’t feel that you need to complete your FSA Victim Impact Statement in one sitting…

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When Your Family Invalidates Your Experiences of Abuse and Complex Trauma

It is difficult enough to bear the burden of traumatic childhood experiences and its long-term physical, emotional, and mental effects. For adult survivors of family scapegoating abuse (FSA), this difficulty is magnified by the fact that their reports of abuse or trauma are typically denied, dismissed, and invalidated by their family due to their being in the ‘identified patient’ role…

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10 Strategies for Navigating Holiday Family Gatherings as FSA Survivors

It is common to have high expectations when thinking of reuniting with family you haven’t seen for a long time. Alternatively, you might fear that your worst expectations will be realized if you get together with nuclear and/or extended family members for a holiday celebration.

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Radical Acceptance and Family Scapegoating Abuse Recovery

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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10 Self-Care Tips for Adult Survivors of Family Scapegoating

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.

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Recognizing Narcissistic Family Abuse

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.

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Are You the ‘Family Scapegoat’? (10 Question Quiz)

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.

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5 Critical Things to Know About Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)

Because family scapegoating processes can be insidious and subtle, many adult survivors do not realize that they are suffering from a most egregious (and often chronic) form of systemically-driven psycho-emotional bullying and abuse, with all of the painful consequences to body, mind, and spirit…

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