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The Dysfunctional Roles in a Narcissistic Family 

The Scapegoated Child aka The Blacksheep

It is absolutely inhumane.... we have high goals to make this activity illegal.


The family's aggression towards that child..."You're the Worthless One and You Better Stay That Way...or Else"


They are all in on it! All of them are in the family. Just ask yourself, who stood up for you? Welp, there's your answer.

What's the World of a Scapegoat Like?

Scapegoats bear the burden of recovering from a childhood full of bullying, put-downs, unequal treatment, and abuse generally. They were deprived of the experience of growing up in a safe, stable home where they had the unconditional love of their parents or caregivers.

Child therapy
Cave Explorer
Image by Sarah Medina

Why Was the Scapegoat Singled Out to Abuse? 

Pathological Projective Identification 

The parent has feelings of worthless that they are not comfortable with so they trump up charges against a child that challenges them and their maladaptive behaviors spiritually or psychologically. That child's natural ways of being in the world remind the parent of his or her own sense of worthlessness... (good qualities withing the child... the child is original in their thinking, creative, moves about the world with compassion, they speak out about injustices of the world, duplicitous behavior, they fight back and has an unyielding toughness that endures the horrible false accusations of being bad (psychological grit...not paying it forward onto the world, but remaining loving throughout all of the torture). In this type of system, these traits pose a great risk.

The parent must break down the child to feel worthless... they must coerce the gifted child to feel worthless (think of the movie Matilda or Cinderella (but she never gets the Prince... she ends up getting Narcs as lovers later on in life due to the wounding and damage done).

The Scapegoat is the truth-teller of the family and will often verbalize or act out the "problem" that the family is attempting to cover up or deny. This individual's behavior warrants negative attention and is a great distraction for everyone from the real issues at hand.

Almost all scapegoated children develop a thick hide emotionally and are prone to self-armoring, even when they're conscious of how they're being bullied and mistreated and how unfair it is. Being robbed of a sense of belonging in their family of origin leaves a real mark, and may dog them into adulthood.

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