Some People desperately look for Scapegoat, because they don’t want to see the truth.
– Jonathan Davis
Dysfunctional Family or any toxic system need a scapegoat. This is how the system works and the more people inside the system want to escape from blame / trouble, such toxic system will be bonded much stronger and exist longer.
Abusers need an Excuse
It’s difficult to explain to outsiders what’s going on inside dysfunctional family. Usually there’s a kid who is rebellious as he / she noticed the “sickness” inside family and not willing to conform the dysfunction. This makes abuser (usually parents) feel insecure so need a scapegoat to blame on.
Then when outsiders judge or curious about what’s happening in “look-good” family, these abusive parents will have a well-explained excuse to escape from their parental responsibilities : now it’s not their faults, they have already do their best and every other family members seems satisfied and live happier……only the so-called “bad” child is the one who ruins the harmony of the family.
People are lazy to find out the truth, we all are busy at our own issues so when you present outsiders a “seem-reasonable / OK” answers, why they care or some of them may not willing to accept the truth. So they accept and believe such troubled kid should take all responsibilities. Parents don’t love this kid because he/she is “bad”.
Abusers project their anger / frustration to Victim
Not uncommon to read news occasionally indicates that someone – who was a well-known priest / professionals / authorities etc. but was charged for domestic violence, unethical issues, e.g. sexual / child abuse etc.
According to psychology theory of “projection” – a common defense mechanism : there are chances when a person who blame / hate the most of certain topics, or have a stronger stereotypes, e.g. homosexual is evil, child molester is monster etc. the more they openly criticize a topic / person in public, potentially they want to transfer focus from their hidden secrets to the target.
They may actually own these thoughts but hate themselves, most importantly they don’t want outsiders feel they belongs to same type. Thus they will blame harshly for targets so outsiders will assume….well, he / she must not do the same thing.
My ex-boss always blame / humiliate others who is messy, lack of integrity or emotional unstable, etc. She loves to preach instructors / staffs about what’s conscious living, honesty and best communication skills. It’s really annoying to listen her “wisdom” during 1.5 hours meetings weekly, doesn’t she realize she’s behave exactly what she disguise?
As you can see, this phenomenon not only happened in dysfunctional / toxic family, but many environment such as workplace too.
My ex-colleague was the typical “scapegoat” at office. Boss and colleagues treated her like an emotional trash bin, who accept all the BS. When something wrong, nobody wants to take responsibilities but transfer blame on her.
I felt bad for her every time when I heard people talked behind her back. This reminded my situation at home. It’s difficult to turn the table, during the toxic system, it’s not always an abuser exists but also those who support them.
So reality check, are you the scapegoat or the one who supports the abuse happens?
Photo credit : Unplash – Bonnie Kittle