Family Scapegoat Quiz: Are You Suffering From Being The Family Scapegoat?

Do you suffer from Family Scapegoat Abuse Signs and Symptoms? Take this self test to find out!

The following is a list of common conditions and symptoms associated with Family Scapegoat Abuse Syndrome (FSAS)™ – a term I use in my clinical practice as a mean of defining and describing symptoms of this most insidious form of systemic covert bullying within one’s family-of-origin. This list of questions, symptoms, and signs is certainly not exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. However, taking this brief self-assessment may give you a sense of whether or not you may have been significantly impacted from being scapegoated in your family system. The more you answer “yes” to the questions, the more likely it is that you may be suffering from FSAS.

Family Scapegoat Abuse Syndrome (FSAS) is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Survivors will often be diagnosed with one or more mental health conditions such as Borderline or Histrionic Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder; or Major Depressive Disorder. Rarely will the symptoms be recognized as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) secondary to chronic parental / family psycho-emotional abuse. Note: The World Health Organization (WHO) will be including C-PTSD as a billable and insurable diagnosis internationally in the next ICD-11, effective January, 2022; however, C-PTSD is not yet recognized in the DSM in the United States as a diagnosis).

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above disorders (or similar) and you feel that your diagnosis does not accommodate some of your more acute symptoms (particularly if you were scapegoated persistently as a child) it may be useful for you to take this questionnaire with you when seeing a mental health professional so you can go over your experiences and answers together.

Many people find relief in recognizing that they are suffering from FSAS, as it helps to validate their experiences and the quietly traumatic events they have been living through most of their life as the target of family scapegoating, particularly if the scapegoating was / is systemically aggressive. Best of all, it really is possible to recover from FSAS!

(Note: The terms primary caregivers and parents are used interchangeably throughout the questionnaire; however, siblings and other dominant nuclear and extended family members may also have participated in your scapegoating – Please adjust your answers accordingly).

FSAS Self-Test: Begin Here

Childhood Experiences

Do you believe that you were cared for and nurtured as a child within your family-of-origin?
Yes/No

Do you feel your primary caregivers neglected / abused you as a child?
Yes/No

Did you experience ongoing chronic stressors in your childhood (e.g., alcoholic family system, death, divorce, abandonment, neglect)?
Yes/No

Did you have the sense that you wanted to escape from your family home, and had detailed fantasies of doing so?
Yes/No

Did you regularly daydream about being magically ‘rescued’ from your family home?
Yes/No

Were your ‘gaslighted’ growing up, e.g., were your everyday experiences and perceptions regularly denied or discounted by the power-holders in your family, such as your parent?
Yes/No

Did you feel that your parents treated you differently than your siblings and/or others in your family?
Yes/No

Did you feel that your primary caregivers were insensitive to, or denied and diminished your basic needs, including emotional?
Yes/No

Did you feel that you were essentially invisible to your parents, or, alternatively, did you wish to be invisible to avoid their negative attention?
Yes/No

Did you lack any of the basic necessities of life (shelter, food, clothing, consistent nurturing)?
Yes/No

Did you regularly have the sense that one or both parents hated you?
Yes/No

Were you told by one or both parents that you were “bad” and/or was it implied that you were “different” or that something was wrong with you?
Yes/No

Did you feel that you were “bad”, defective, or somehow not good enough as a child?
Yes/No

Did you feel like you had to constantly prove yourself to your parents to be worthy of love and positive regard?
Yes/No

Did your parent(s) point to one or more siblings as examples of what you needed to be worthy of their love?
Yes/No

Did you grow up in your family home feeling like you were “walking on egg-shells” and needed to be careful not to upset anyone – one or both parents, especially?
Yes/No

Were you ever bullied outside the home, such as at school, an after-school group, summer camp, or in church?
Yes/No

Did one or both of your parents ever mention they were the scapegoat in their own family (e.g., they were seen by their parents and/or their grandparents as being a “bad” child?)
Yes/No

Did your caregiver(s) or any other close family members involved in your care (e.g., your grandparents) suffer from mental illness – whether treated or untreated?
Yes/No

Were you treated differently than your siblings growing up and/ or now, in the present (i.e., less favorably)?
Yes/No

Did or do one or more siblings or cousins or other extended family members treat you poorly / speak negatively about you, either openly or covertly?
Yes/No

Did one or both parents tell family and friends that you are “crazy”, “emotionally unstable”, and/or “a liar” when you challenged them on their poor treatment of you and/or as a means to discredit you to others to hide their own overt or covert abuse?
Yes/No

Did one or both parents promote a “story” about you to family and even acquaintances and strangers whereby they are the “good”, self-sacrificing parent and you were/are the “difficult” (perhaps ungrateful) child?
Yes/No

Present Circumstances

Do you feel that you are dissociated / not in your body?
Yes/No

Do you have difficulty with anger (either explosive anger or not being able to feel anger or both)?
Yes/No

Do you suffer from any one of the following: Anxiety, Depression, difficulty forming secure attachments?
Yes/No

Do you ever contemplate suicide and/or have attempted suicide?
Yes/No

Do you sometimes feel like you cannot trust your own perception or sense of reality?
Yes/No

Do struggle to find a sense of meaning and purpose in life?
Yes/No

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome at work / in your career?
Yes/No

Do you feel helpless, hopeless, and/or that you have lost all initiative, unable to act on your own behalf?
Yes/No

Do you feel a chronic sense of shame, guilt or self-blame?
Yes/No

Do you experience a sense of being maligned, cast out, “different”, or stigmatized?
Yes/No

Do you feel that you are actually very different from other people and most could never understand you?
Yes/No

Are you preoccupied with your relationship with a caregiver(s) and nuclear / extended family members who neglected / abused / scapegoated you?
Yes/No

Do you sometimes feel that the caregiver(s) who neglected or abused you are all powerful, even though you are now an adult?
Yes/No

Do you feel strangely indebted to, or do you idealize, the caregiver(s) who neglected / abused / scapegoated you?
Yes/No

Are you convinced that you can one day “win” the love of the parent(s) who rejected / scapegoated you?
Yes/No

Do you find yourself quick to judge, and even scapegoat, others?
Yes/No

Do you tend to isolate yourself socially and/or withdraw from others?
Yes/No

Do you have a difficult time finding or maintaining intimate relationships with others and/or feel insecure / anxious / mistrusting in any intimate relationship you are in?
Yes/No

Do you have a hope that one day your family will see how truly wonderful and amazing you are?
Yes/No

Have you had to limit or even end contact with one or more family members in order to preserve / protect your own mental and emotional health?
Yes/No

Do you have a difficult time protecting yourself from others and/or engaging in conflict?
Yes/No

Do you struggle with codependency / people-pleasing and/or addiction?
Yes/No

Do you have “revenge fantasies” whereby your family gets their “just desserts” for treating you in a cruel and shameful fashion?
Yes/No

If you answered ‘yes’ to many of the above questions and you’d like to learn more about Family Scapegoating and Scapegoat Recovery, pick up your free eBook here – My gift to you when you sign up to receive the Scapegoat Recovery Monthly Newsletter!

BOOK YOUR FREE DISCOVERY CALL TO LEARN HOW I HELP SCAPEGOATED PEOPLE RECOVER AND RECLAIM THEIR LIVES!

Are you sick and tired of feeling trapped in a dysfunctional family role and want help finding a way out? Use the form below to request your FREE Discovery Call to learn how my Reclamation Life Coaching services can help you break free of the painful family scapegoat trap so that you can realize your most cherished life goals and dreams. I look forward to connecting!

Note: Life Coaching is not appropriate for treating Mental Health issues requiring licensed psychotherapy services.

Have questions about my online scapegoat recovery life coaching services? Send me a message and leave me an email address where I can contact you and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

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