Reactive abuse is when someone who is a victim of abuse (family scapegoating abuse, in this case) reacts to the abuse in such a manner that if an outside person were to be a fly on the wall observing, it would make it look like they, and not the perpetrator, are the abuser.
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…
In this week’s article I share one of the biggest myths about going no contact with family and how I handle issues related to ending contact with scapegoating family members in a trauma-informed manner.
My latest video on narcissistic families and scapegoating explores family systems that are dominated by a narcissistic parent. This would be a parent that meets the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder or who displays strong narcissistic traits.
A family that is dominated by a dysfunctional or narcissistic parent may result in its members living under a set of unspoken ‘rules’, rules which benefit the parent at the expense of their children’s well-being. The research I conducted on what I named family scapegoating abuse (FSA) suggests that dysfunctional families that scapegoat are also governed by a specific set of rules. This article reviews ten rules that I have identified as being evident in families that scapegoat one of their own.
For the child victim of family scapegoating abuse (FSA), the ‘scapegoat story’ created by one or both parents (which the entire family invariably adapts and accepts unquestioningly) can negatively impact their mental and emotional health. When a parent is a malignant narcissist, the abuse the child experiences can be extreme, resulting in complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms secondary to grave psycho-emotional distress.
- Radical Acceptance and Scapegoat Recovery: The Power of Accepting What IS - November 5, 2023
- Study on Childhood Verbal Abuse - October 7, 2023
- Key Findings From My Recent FSA Survey (2023) - September 3, 2023
This article was originally published on Psych Central as an advance preview of my book on family scapegoating abuse (FSA), Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed. To comply with Amazon’s publishing requirements, I am no longer able to offer portions of my book for free online. Visit my blog to see more articles on family scapegoating and…
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.