How to Heal After Being the Scapegoat of the Family? My Side of the Story

You might be wondering, “Is healing possible? What exactly should I do?”

First of all, I know you are doing everything you can. The fact that you are reading this right now means you are committed to changing your life for the better.

I want you to know that I’m so proud of you! Saying it’s hard is not enough to explain the pain and fear that you are feeling.

But still, you keep pushing and pushing. So give yourself a pat on the back and smile, because you deserve it.

Today, I want to share a deeply personal journey with you a journey of healing after being the scapegoat in my family.

But before you continue reading this article, I want you to tell yourself: I am a fighter! I can achieve everything I set my mind to! 

You got this, queen! And I am with you every step of the way.

  • By turning your fears into your superpowers, you can shift your focus from being defined by past trauma to creating a life story that aligns with your authentic self.
  • Developing a habit of treating yourself with kindness and compassion is very important. In the journey of healing, patience is key.
  • A healthy relationship with your family may not always be possible. Instead, focus on connecting with those who uplift and support you. 

How to Heal After Being the Scapegoat of the Family?

If you have been unfairly blamed by toxic people within your family, healing and moving forward can be a challenging journey. In my case, it left me with feelings of grief, self-blame, and post-traumatic stress.

My story of healing as a scapegoat child was not fast and easy. It took me a while to get here. 

I simply followed these tips day by day. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes I lose hope.

Now, I am here, sharing my story with you. I believe in you and I know that you also have the superpower and the ability to create a new path for yourself. 

1. Understanding the Scapegoat Mentality

The first step to the healing process is to have a deep understanding of the scapegoat mentality. You can educate yourself by reading blogs about being the scapegoat, signs you may be one, and how to deal with it.

Family scapegoating is a form of family abuse where the scapegoat is usually blamed for the wrongs of the members of the family. It is consciously or unconsciously done by people with narcissistic personality disorder.

I thought to myself, it’s time to understand the dynamics within my family unit. Instead of accepting all the blame or shame from my family, I paid attention to their narcissistic behaviors.

I had a journal where I put down notes, and this helped a lot in my scapegoat recovery.

I often feel worried and anxious because there are a lot of unanswered questions in my head. Writing down my thoughts helped me process what was going on, especially the role of family.

By doing this, I learned about what a dysfunctional family dynamic is like. You might have abusive family members too, so you should be more aware of their manipulative words.

It also helped me let go of negative thoughts like feeling unlovable. But no, it was all because of my role in the family as their scapegoat.

Now, I know the best way to handle them and keep my emotions at bay.

Take some time to think about how your family works. When did you feel like someone was blaming you? Seeing where this role came from can be a big step toward healing.

2. Trusting Your Inner Wisdom

When you’re the scapegoat in your family, it’s hard not to lose faith in yourself. You start to doubt your choices, your worth, and even your very being.

But your inner wisdom is still there, ready for you to recognize it. You have to embrace and trust yourself during these trying times.

I used to doubt every decision I made because I thought I was flawed by nature. I started to make choices that felt true to myself, even if it meant going against the expectations of my family.

I realized that I had always known deep down what I truly wanted and who I truly was, but I had been ignoring those feelings for so long.

By listening to my inner voice and following my instincts, I was able to make decisions that were truly aligned with my authentic self.

I am worthy, I am capable, and I am strong. And no matter what my family may say or do, I will continue to trust in myself and embrace my inner wisdom.

And as I did this, I started to regain my self-worth and confidence. You also have the ability to create a life that is truly yours – a life where you are truly happy.

Start small. Begin by trusting yourself with small choices and working your way up. Don’t forget that building trust again takes time, not a sprint.

3. Rejecting Shame and Self-Blame

Shame is the silent companion of the scapegoat.

You know, those moments when you hear you aren’t good enough or that everything is somehow your fault? It’s like an old song of self-blame playing on repeat.

But here’s the real deal: I see you hustling and doing your absolute best every single day.

You’re definitely not that “not good enough” person that people in your family are trying to paint you as. It’s high time you showed shame at the exit and took back control of your life.

There was a time when I carried the shame of the family like a heavy cloak. But then, I realized that I wasn’t responsible for the dysfunction around me.

It was a collective dynamic, and I didn’t have to bear the burden alone. So, I decided to let go of the shame, the self-rejection, and that low self-esteem that had been holding me back.

Instead, I embraced my worthiness. I made it clear to myself that I am not defined by the wild rollercoaster of my family dynamics and their actions.

It’s like shaking off an old, dusty coat and strutting into a brand-new mindset.

Take note, shame, and self-blame are tricky little devils. They have sneaky and ingrained behaviors that love to stick around.

But, armed with mindfulness and a support system, you can totally minimize their influence on your life. It’s like giving those nagging thoughts a friendly but firm wave goodbye.

4. Discovering and Embracing Your Authentic Self

Are you ready to find your true self? It’s like taking off clothes to see the real you, not the person your family thinks you should be.

Here are some practical tips on how I discovered and embraced my authentic self to escape from a scapegoating family and heal from emotional abuse.

I thought about what I liked, what made me happy, and what I believed in. It felt freeing to know I didn’t have to live up to someone else’s standards.

I chose to start painting one day. I had always wanted to do it, but I never thought it was “allowed.”

I felt free as soon as I put the paintbrush on the canvas. Even though it was a small thing I did, it helped me find and accept my true self.

I ended up feeling worthy of love and acceptance just as I am. I learned to treat myself with kindness and forgive myself for past mistakes.

It is a process of letting go of the expectations of all the members of your family and embracing who you truly are. No one else can see your true worth except for you.

Anyhow, this is your life! Not your mother’s life or your family’s life. Sometimes, you just have to follow your heart and fulfill your inner desires.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and live the life that aligns with your values and desires. You deserve to be true to yourself and to live a life that is authentic and fulfilling. 

5. Altering Victim Behaviors

In my journey, I’ve noticed that I keep slipping back into my old habits and thinking, “Why does this always happen to me?” 

I’ve been ‘stuck’ playing the role of the family scapegoat for so long, and it’s been really tough. It’s like having an unwanted companion in my thoughts.

I just realized that whenever I played the victim, I ended up giving away my power.

But I am not weak. And neither are you, despite your role in your family.

You and I are stronger than the rest of the people in this world. Why? We’ve been through difficult family dynamics, yet we’re still hanging in there, still putting up a fight.

You won’t believe how much a change in perspective can make a difference.

Instead of my usual complaint of “Why is this happening to me?” I’ve started asking myself, “What can I learn from this chaotic situation?” 

I had a real “aha” moment at a birthday party for one of my relatives. I ended up being the target of criticism once again.

Instead of keeping it all inside, I decided to take a moment and think about what was going on. I realized that I shouldn’t let this situation and this toxic environment determine my value.

I wasn’t trying to be a family therapist and change their behavior or anything. It’s more about changing how I reacted to it.

I wanted to remind you that when life throws you a curveball, you’re definitely not alone in asking yourself, “Why me?” 

But push yourself to ask, “What can I take away from this?” Trust me, there’s definitely strength in making that change.

6. Ceasing Efforts to Please Abusers

One major change in my life is when I’ve decided to stop trying so hard to please members of the family who treat me badly. It’s just not worth it anymore.

Have you ever noticed how many times you’ve gone above and beyond to please your family? Yet they never seemed happy, no matter what you did.

I feel the same way. It’s just a never-ending cycle, isn’t it?

I’ve spent my entire life trying to make my family happy. I used to spend so much time cooking for family get-togethers, hoping that everyone would be impressed.

I would cook their favorite meals. I could not even prepare my favorite dishes because my family was allergic to one of the ingredients.

I did all these things to build good family relationships. But it turns out they were never going to be satisfied.

In the end, I got exhausted, both mentally and emotionally. From now on, I have decided to change my focus. 

Now, I continue my love for cooking, and I’m trying new recipes that make me happy. I found satisfaction within myself, and I noticed that I didn’t rely on external validation as much anymore.

Let go of the need for approval from others. Prioritize your happiness and well-being over the opinions of others.

7. Start Asserting Your Right to Be Treated Respectfully

If you want to recover from scapegoating, it’s about time you make a decision and take a stand. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should ever treat you with disrespect.

It took me some time to realize that setting boundaries isn’t selfish at all. It’s an important way to show love and care for myself, and this was when I began to heal.

I started making sure to clearly and firmly express my needs, even if I had to deal with some pushback.

I made it clear that I wasn’t going to put up with any belittling, criticism, or family bullying. It wasn’t a walk in the park, and it didn’t fix everything overnight.

The dynamics in the family system started changing little by little. My family started to realize that I wasn’t going to tolerate disrespectful behavior anymore.

It felt empowering. I felt like I was finally taking control of my happiness and well-being.

There were still some moments of discomfort, but it was so worth it. It’s time to assert your right to be treated respectfully.

It’s okay to stand up for yourself. You have the power to create the respectful and healthy relationships that you deserve.

8. Accept That a Healthy Relationship With Your Scapegoater(s) Might Be Impossible

I know it can be hard to accept, but it’s important. I’ve been holding on to this hope for so long, thinking that maybe one day my family would finally realize who I am.

But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s just not possible to have a healthy relationship with the family who always made you the scapegoat. It’s been a journey filled with tears and a lot of soul-searching, but I’ve come to accept it.

I know it can be tough, but at the same time, it can also be quite freeing.

There’s no need to keep stressing yourself out by constantly trying to prove your worth to people who just won’t see it. Instead, make it a priority to connect with people who uplift and support you.

Make sure you’re hanging out with people who truly appreciate the real you. It’s all about finding that sense of belonging and acceptance in a healthy and positive environment.

And once you do, there’s no looking back. You can finally let go of all that negativity and focus on living your best life. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s worth it.

You are worthy of love and acceptance, and you deserve to be surrounded by people who truly see and appreciate you for who you are. So take the leap and let go of the toxic relationships, and embrace the people who bring positivity and joy into your life.

It may not be the family you were born into, but it can be the family you choose. You have the power to create your own support system and build a life filled with love and understanding.

So don’t be afraid to let go and move forward towards a happier, healthier future. You’ve got this.

While it may be tough, acceptance is key to finding peace and happiness. It’s about letting go of the things you can’t control and embracing the things you can.

9. Develop a Habit of Treating Yourself With Kindness and Compassion

I have been the family scapegoat, and I can understand that you may have absorbed a lot of negativity. It’s really important to break free from those chains and start treating yourself with kindness and compassion.

I used to be so hard on myself, constantly finding faults and buying into the negative stories people told me about who I was.

But I did not let those labels define me. They don’t know anything about me.

The same goes with you. You’re such a special and valuable person!

If you’re having doubts about yourself, let’s begin with something small. Take a moment to look in the mirror and find something you absolutely love about yourself.

It could be something as simple as your smile, your ability to bounce back, or your genuine kindness. That’s something worth celebrating!

Let it be the starting point for nurturing self-love. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations.

Practice self-care and make time for things that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s reading a good book, going for a walk, or indulging in a hobby, prioritize activities that make you feel good about yourself.

Remind yourself daily of your worth and value. And most importantly, be gentle with yourself as you continue on your journey towards self-acceptance and self-love.

It’s not an easy road, but it’s a worthwhile one. You deserve to break free from the chains of negativity and embrace a life filled with love and compassion for yourself.

Believe in yourself and know that you are capable of finding the self-love and acceptance that you deserve. 

You are not defined by the negative labels or stories others have placed upon you. You have the power to redefine your narrative and live a life filled with love, compassion, and self-acceptance.

I believe in you, and I know that you can do it. You are strong, resilient, and capable of breaking free from the pain and negativity of the past.

Take it one day at a time, and know that you are not alone. You deserve all the love and happiness in the world, and it all begins with loving and accepting yourself.

Self-love is a journey with ups and downs, but every step you take towards embracing and honoring yourself is worth it. You deserve to love and appreciate the wonderful person that you are.

10. Recognize That Learning to Love and Appreciate Yourself Takes Time

Patience is really important. Healing from being the family scapegoat is a long journey, more like a marathon than a sprint.

I’ve had moments where I wondered if I would ever feel complete again. But I looked back and suddenly, I realized I was far from where I began.

It’s a slow process. What’s important is to recognize and appreciate any progress, no matter how small it may seem.

Celebrate all the wins! The journey of healing as the family’s scapegoat is not a straight line and you will encounter a lot of bumps.

But with each step you take, you’re reclaiming a part of your true self.

Think about it. It’s amazing how much inner strength and resilience you have within you. It’s okay to have setbacks and moments of doubt, but it’s important to keep moving forward and never give up on ourselves.

As we continue on this journey, we’ll find that we become more whole and at peace with ourselves. It’s a marathon, but one that’s worth running.

And we’ll get there.

So, be patient with yourself. Healing takes time, and it’s okay to have moments of frustration and impatience.

But remember that every small step forward is a victory, and it’s all part of the process. Keep pushing forward, and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.

You deserve to feel whole and free from the burdens of being the family scapegoat. So, keep going, and never give up. You’ll get there, and it will be worth it.

11. Apply the Principles of Self-Respect and Kindness When Interacting With Others

This is the last tip that I’ll be sharing with you. Once you’ve found yourself and you’re ready to build new, healthy relationships, keep this in mind.

The way you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself. When you treat others with self-respect and kindness, it has a cool way of making your life better.

It’s like throwing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples spread out. Always show consideration and politeness towards others, regardless of their background or beliefs.

While I was in the process of healing from dysfunctional families, I was awkward when meeting new people. I still had a huge wall, like a barrier, that made it difficult for me to trust and open up with others.

But I hoped that not everyone was like my narcissist family. If I continue to be scared of interacting with others, then I might lose this chance of finding people who can be my new family.

So in my daily conversations with my colleagues and friends, I treat them just the way I want to be treated. Soon, I found myself smiling and laughing while talking about the most random things.

You might have had experiences where people wronged you. But there are still good people in the world.

So, I made a conscious effort to be kind, respectful, and considerate towards others. I started small, by smiling at strangers, holding the door open for someone, or simply greeting my neighbors.

And slowly, I started to feel more at ease and comfortable around new people. I also noticed that the more I treated others with dignity and respect, the more I started to receive the same treatment in return.

Building healthy relationships starts with how we treat others, and it all begins with self-respect and kindness. So, as you move forward on your journey, remember to always treat others the way you want to be treated, and watch how it positively impacts your life.

How to Practice Healthy Self-Soothe vs. Unhealthy Coping After Scapegoating?

It’s important to note that there are both healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with this situation.

When it comes to healthy coping techniques, one approach is to set boundaries. This means communicating your limits and asserting yourself when necessary.

It’s also important to practice self-care, which involves taking care of your physical and emotional well-being. This means doing things that make you happy and help you relax.

Seeking support from trusted friends or professionals, such as therapists, can also be beneficial. Another healthy technique is to practice self-reflection, keep a journal, and work on building your self-esteem, reminding yourself that you are not defined by the negative treatment you receive.

Don’t forget to practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques to handle stress and negative feelings. They can also help protect your mental and emotional well-being.

On the flip side, when it comes to dealing with difficult emotions, it’s important to be aware that unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse, self-harm, or engaging in destructive behaviors can take a toll on both your mental and physical well-being.

Scapegoats tend to use these coping mechanisms because they make you feel better temporarily, but in the end, they can make things worse and create more difficulties for you in the future.

When your family blames you for everything, it’s really important to focus on taking care of yourself in a positive way. Instead of turning to unhealthy ways of dealing with it, try practicing healthy techniques to comfort yourself.

If you practice healthy self-soothe techniques, you can boost your resilience and find a sense of inner peace, even when things get tough.

Everything Is Temporary, Move On!

A little about me: I love the sun. I love watching sunrises and sunsets.

It tells me one thing, “This too shall pass.” Nature heals you and me. The sun shall rise, and the sun shall set too.

Like your problem in life, everything shall pass. You will overcome this. You will become stronger. You will become braver.

As you embark on this healing journey, keep in mind that it’s okay to take things one step at a time. Be patient and kind with yourself, and remember that healing is a process, not an overnight fix.

You’re on the right path, and you deserve everything good and beautiful in the world. Keep going, and never give up on yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you survive being the scapegoat of the family?

Surviving as the family scapegoat means recognizing your worth beyond their judgments, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and finding strength in self-love.

What are scapegoat effects?

Scapegoat effects can include low self-esteem, anxiety, and strained relationships, but acknowledging these impacts is the first step toward breaking free from their hold on you.

How do you stand up for yourself as a scapegoat?

To stand up for yourself as a scapegoat, assert your boundaries, communicate your feelings calmly, and prioritize self-care; remember, your voice matters, and you deserve to be heard.

How do you step out of the scapegoat role?

Stepping out of the scapegoat role involves reclaiming your narrative, seeking support therapy, and gradually distancing yourself from the toxic dynamics; prioritize your well-being and rediscover your true identity.

What do people gain from scapegoating?

People might gain a false sense of superiority, deflect responsibility for their actions, or maintain a semblance of unity within the family by scapegoating; recognizing these dynamics empowers you to break free and build a healthier, more authentic life for yourself.

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