“In biblical lore, Aaron selected a goat on behalf of the entire tribe, cast upon it the sins of all members, and then banished it alone to the wild. The members of the tribe were then at great ease, having been freed from their cast-off sins—whatever those sins may have been.” The Blameless Burden: Scapegoating in Dysfunctional Families
A manipulative family bully with so-called secrets to try to hide aided the family court corruption, to provide a much needed distraction for open secrets that were blowing up in her face. Forcing her family to shun me accomplished her goal: create a diversion. Glomming onto my documented abuser’s smear campaign became the perfect distraction.
Slandering, and shunning someone is designed to tarnish their name, and cause emotional pain – to silence them. And if they heap enough group hatred onto the scapegoat, maybe – just maybe – they can numb their own shame and regret.
But never being allowed to confront your accusers is how the game is rigged. Could you imagine if they allowed the scapegoat back into their midst, to inform everyone of the facts conveniently missing from their stories? After they refused my invitation to join me in mediation, as well as numerous other attempts to communicate over the years, I finally faced the stark reality that they NEED a scapegoat.
Beginning when the first child was just a baby, we were forced to hear our parent’s despair about him coming to their care with bruises. It was torture to watch, as the family bully’s children were neglected and abused, a never-ending nightmare. I took care of the family bully’s children for years, while she lived her secret life, and her spouse was too beside himself from her actions, to care for them himself. Everyone in the family had to take care of these children due to her intense preoccupation with her secret activities. Finally, in desperation, the eldest begged me to teach him how to cook so they wouldn’t keep going hungry in their home.
But my parents lived in fear of her threats to “take the children out of state” if they challenged her, walking on eggshells for years, talking about calling DCFS, then trying to get the other set of parents to call for them, fearing her threats. Everybody was looking for a “fall guy” to take her wrath.
When this was dropped at my door, I did what they discussed for years. I called DCFS. And so, I became the bully’s target, with my parents too afraid to admit that calling DCFS was their idea in the first place. Also omitted from the family narrative, is the school social worker’s statement I was justified in calling DCFS, and the teacher’s aide who said they stood and cheered.
This family bully’s spouse landed on my doorstep, a total mess – utterly destroyed, and reported chilling accounts of violence that caused me nightmares for weeks. He related how she bashed his front teeth in and he needed them replaced, along with other accounts of ongoing violence whenever he dared challenge her “secret” life. Finally, everything made sense: his black eyes over the years, while he lowered his gaze in shame with flimsy excuses about “running into the barn door“, the bruises I saw on the younger girls, my parent’s reports of bruises on the children, and eye-witness accounts of physical abuse in front of their homes.
But when it came down to doing anything to protect them, both of my sets of parents talked about it endlessly, but finally putting their heads in the sand, thinking it would be better to have the children abused nearby, than face her wrath, and possibly even have the children taken out of state.
“Bullies within the family, especially female bullies, are masters (mistresses?) of manipulation and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions (eg guilt) and through their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. Bullies see any form of vulnerability as an opportunity for manipulation.”
“A favourite tactic of the bully in the family is to set people against each other. The benefits to the bully are that: a) the bully gains a great deal of gratification (a perverse form of satisfaction) from encouraging and provoking argument, quarreling and hostility, and then from watching others engage in adversarial interaction and destructive conflict, and b) the ensuing conflict ensures that people’s attention is distracted and diverted away from the cause of the conflict.”
“The family bully encourages and manipulates family members etc to lie, act dishonestly, withhold information, spread misinformation, and to punish the target.” A Favorite Tactic Of The Bullies In Our Family-Set People Against Each Other
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” From: Other People’s Money, Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice
“The entire family watches on in dismay as the scapegoat informs the family that they will no longer be abused by them, and wants nothing more to do with them… Life becomes difficult for the narcissistic family when the trash can leaves. However, it becomes harder to blame the scapegoat when the endless drama between the family members continues – even when the scapegoat is nowhere to be found. The Scapegoat Walks Away’