The Scapegoat

Scapegoat: a. one that bears the blame for others b. one that is the object of irrational hostility.

In dysfunctional families, such as those affected by Parental Alienation (PA), there often exists a scapegoat—a person targeted by the alienator’s anger. I am the primary scapegoat in my family, labeled as the embodiment of evil and wickedness, seen as the root cause of all our family’s woes.

In my last post, I posted a video by Jerry Wise who goes into detail about children from narcissistic parents. Wise has many videos dealing with narcissistic parents, and I have only recently stumbled upon his videos (which I find are excellent).

The one he did on scapegoats caught my attention. After watching it, I wanted to do a post on it, to encourage my readers to view it:

Narcissistic Family: Odd Ways They TARGET the Scapegoat by Jerry Wise

One of the reasons I wanted to write about this particular video was because I was almost immediately struck with the thought this was not only describing me, but also my middle daughter, Michelle (not her real name). I may be wrong in this belief, of course, but I feel that she has become the current scapegoat of the family, particularly because myself, as the main scapegoat, has long since been forced out of the dysfunctional family.

From my perspective, and this perspective is limited because I have no contact with any members of my family, having been cast out two decades ago, Michelle, being the most tenderhearted of my three daughters and the only one who has expressed any desire to have contact with me, has been the subject of abuse on the part of her mother and other two sisters. Put another way, Michelle has paid a costly, brutal price for expressing any desire in wanting to have a relationship with her own father.

Naturally, this situation is heartbreaking. As I’ve discussed in other parts of my blog’s ‘Divorce and PAS’ section, my ex-wife did me a tremendous favor by divorcing me a second time and forcing me out of my own home. It liberated me from a profoundly twisted and pathologically disturbed life partner who turned out to be one of the most toxic and destructive women I’ve encountered.

Though her divorce set me free, it passed a prison sentence onto our three daughters. They now became prisoners of her narcissistic and abusive patterns, her gaslighting tactics, selfishness, manipulation, and all manner of bizarre and damaging psychological machinations, actions that today, twenty years later, still keep them imprisoned within her webs of deceit.

I know I was not a perfect father, making my fair share of mistakes and having my own regrets and psychological deficiencies. Though I may accuse my ex of being a narcissist—and rightly so—I would be lacking in self-awareness if I also did not realize I possess some of the same narcissistic tendencies. After all, I was raised by a narcissistic mother myself in a highly dysfunctional and broken family, so it only makes sense I would have at least some of those same pathological problems myself.

But I loved my children and tried to be the best father I was capable of being. Each of them were precious in my eyes and I have only wanted the very best for them. Unfortunately for all of us, we never had a chance to experience the longterm joys and blessing of living within an intact, loving, and supportive family.

Since I am no longer a part of my own family, and enough time has passed (two decades) since my physical presence has been felt, who is my ex-wife going to target with her abuse, her pathological desire to control others and be the controlling influence in her family? Since bullies like to target the most vulnerable members of society, her sights were no doubt, from my perspective, set on our middle daughter, Michelle.

Why I say this is because Michelle, as noted above, is the only one of my three children that has expressed the slightest inclination to have a relationship with me. In appearance, she bears the most resemblance to me as well. And perhaps most important of all, she is the most sensitive and tenderhearted both in nature and to the feelings of others.

These qualities would make her the inevitable target of her pathologically disturbed mother, and unfortunately, the target of her sisters as well. Because I am looked at as worse than Hitler by my ex and our other two daughters but not so much from the viewpoint of Michelle, Michelle is less inclined to express the rabid hatred and malice towards me as her other family members. Thus, she is the perfect target for being the scapegoat of this highly dysfunctional family who regards any positive feelings for me as the ultimate betrayal from the other members of the cabal.

Could I be wrong in this grim assessment? Certainly, but from my viewpoint, this hypothesis has valid propositions and strong evidence backing it up.

I feel pity and compassion for all three of my daughters, but Michelle desires extra support due to her more delicate emotional makeup than her two sisters and because Michelle is the object of a definite amount of scorn from her mom and sisters because of her desire in wanting to be a part of her own father’s life. The scapegoat’s life is a difficult one to endure.