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Toxic Family Members

Posted by Sandra On January - 2 - 2016

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Toxic Family Members Who Scapegoat

We tend to think of bullying as something that happens in the school yard amongst kids who are being mean and abusive to one another. However, over the many years of my practice I have come across cases in which the client presented with the problem and complaint that they felt picked on and excluded from their family of origin. They were distressed, anxious and depressed over this problem despite the fact that they had their own families with husbands or wives, children, careers and friends. Yet, they were experiencing life as though they were children living in their parental home.

Incredible as it might seem, there are families that scapegoat a loved one even into and including adulthood. For a variety of reasons we will explore one member becomes the target of accusations, blame, criticism and ostracism. While it’s happening, family members are totally unaware of what they are doing and would deny it if confronted with their behavior. Often, scapegoating begins in childhood and continues into and throughout adulthood.

Why would a family choose a loved one to bully and scapegoat? The answer has a lot to do with the concept of scapegoating and the purpose it serves. Scapegoating is often a way for families to hide problems that they cannot face. In the examples of cases I have worked with one or both parents were abusive to their children. In adulthood, scapegoating became a way for adult children to hide the fact of family history of abuse by blaming everything on one member who seemed vulnerable for attack. At times the scapegoat targeted by the sibling who was always the favorite of the family. In that way, the less favored sibling becomes the repository of everything that is wrong in the family. READ MORE HERE

10 Things to Remember About Toxic Family Members

7 Signs It’s Time to Cut (Toxic) Family Ties

The Family Dynamics of Severe Child Abuse | Psychology

“What is “toxic family of origin?

Identifying Toxic Family Dynamics

Dysfunctional Family Rules and Roles

12 Steps to Breaking Free from Being the Family Scapegoat

 










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