Scapegoat

 

scapegoat

“You don’t want to end up like him do you now?”

Years later those words still echo through my mind. They act as some cruel guardian which ensures that I will never stumble, never flounder and never fall victim to the injustices which this world has in store for me. I was shown what happens to those who are weak, those who fail to seize control and grasp the power for themselves. The consequences of failure were paraded before me on an almost daily basis to allow me to witness the full horror of what it was to be sub-standard, below par and just not good enough.

I knew that this fate must not befall me and that it became necessary for me to clamber higher than everybody else no matter what it took or what the cost was. So long as there was somebody underneath me on that ladder as I climbed, then, as the saying goes, the devil would take the hindmost.

Onwards and upwards, climbing higher and higher to escape the consequences of vulnerability, weakness and failure. I was given a swift induction into learning how to stay ahead and protect myself. There were two routes available to ensure that you stayed number one and the best. Strive to stay ahead of the opposition and by the opposition I was taught that this means everybody else and furthermore bring the opposition down so that they become subsumed into the quagmire of failure.

If your opponent is taller, chop him off at the knees. If he is better looking, fling acid in his face. If he is smarter, batter his brains out. If he is stronger, poison him into weakness. If he is wealthier, sap him of penny and cent. If he lives in a pleasant place, pollute the neighbourhood. If he has a good job, get him sacked. Figuratively speaking some of the time of course and that means to do all of those things, that it is necessary to play the scapegoat card. Become proficient at pointing the finger elsewhere, cultivate persuasiveness so that the allocation of blame falls on the shoulders of another, practise plausible deniability so the mantle of fault never rests on my head. Never be the one at fault. Ever. Those were my instructions.

The indoctrination continued. You are not to blame, you are not guilty, you are not the problem, you did not cause the problem either. Erase sorry from your vocabulary as you do not feel it, remove the idea of apologising as you have nothing to apologise for, do not express anything which might be regarded as guilt as that is an alien concept.

There is always somebody else who can be blamed. It does not take long for the repeated mantra of it never being my fault to engender that sense of impregnability and a lack of accountability. Since it is the fault of everyone else it is impeccable logic is it not that it can never be my fault? It therefore follows that if it is never my fault then such a fault-free individual is truly superior and stands above all others.

To facilitate this it therefore becomes necessary to identify a scapegoat or more accurately scapegoats. The role of scapegoat slots seamlessly into our thinking. Fault is an intangible concept but it exists. Someone is always to blame. I was taught that from the beginning. Things do not just happen, they happen for a reason and the reason that she was always crying, that he was always failing, that they were socially ostracised, that she could not pass her exam, that he never scored a goal, that they never went on holiday, that he could not hold down a job, that she was a single mother, that he had a drink problem, that she was ugly, that he lived in a poor area, that she was never invited out, that he died alone, that she was beaten, that he was arrested, that she was raped, that he was murdered was because they were scapegoats.

Make others the scapegoat and immunity from fault and blame follows and thus one can move without hindrance, barrier or boundary. Make him or her a scapegoat because if you do not get in first they will do it to you. Make sure you blame them before they can turn that accusing eye in your direction. Stay one, no ten, steps ahead. They deserve to be blamed. If they had any value they would not be stigmatised in such a fashion, it is their own fault.

I learnt that they may come with smiles but the blade of blame is held behind their back ready to strike, so plunge your dagger of fault deep into them first. Do not be taken in by the false proclamations of love and compassion, they are but veils to place across my eyes so a crown of accountability can be thrust on my head.

Soon, the lessons that I learned began to automatically teach me. Not feeling enough attention at a party? The guests are ignorant and impolite. Tell one that this is a case and see how the attention shifts. Served slowly at the bar? The bar man is incompetent and he should be reminded of this fact. See how he has responded now? Report not completed on time? Find a junior colleague and point out how he has failed to provide the necessary information. Criticised for not earning enough? Blame the bosses for running the company into the ground and failing to reward an achiever such as I. Feeling restless and unloved? Lash out at her so she seeks to make amends. Stuck in a traffic jam? Blame the department of transport for the ill-thought out road works. Struggling to sleep? Must be those damned neighbours and their late-night music, go and give them a piece of your mind and see how much better you feel when you point out they are at fault.

But what if it is not those things and it is because I am not interesting enough to talk to, or not attractive enough to catch the server’s eye, or not good enough at my job, or not hitting the targets because I cannot apply the required effort, or because I do not show her any affection any longer, or because I set off late from the house, or because I fell asleep this afternoon?

Never. That is what they want you to think. That is the control that they seek to exert over you. That is how they get inside your mind and try to make you think that you are weak, when you are not. Remember, they want you to be the scapegoat. They want you to be the failure, they want you to be the subject of their blaming, so you take the rap, take the hit and become the patsy. Yes, you are right, I remember now.

The diktat still resonates even now, reminding and emphasising. That is not your role. You are better than all of them. You will rise above them and to do that you must work hard at everything and ensure that they are the ones who are to blame, because they are. They are the ones who are trying to stop you achieving and claiming what is rightfully yours. They are the traitors, the insidious foes, the treacherous betrayers who spout sedition and practise disloyalty. Let them know who they are, scapegoat them.

Thus this carries into everything that we do. We find a scapegoat in every aspect of our lives. The put-upon sibling, the browbeaten colleague, the lambasted neighbour, the oddball in the local superstore, the subjugated underling, the butt of the social circle and most of all you, the intimate partner who becomes the ultimate scapegoat.

It is you that becomes the receptacle for our domineering, hectoring, nagging, bullying, blaming, intimidating, coercing, blaming, accusing, menacing, terrorising, bludgeoning and oppressive persecutions. You burnt dinner, you made the white shirt turn pink, you forgot to get that present that we wanted, you failed to satisfy our sexual appetite, you made us be unfaithful, you made us break that mirror, you made us slap you, you made us ill, you made our team lose, you cost us that promotion, you woke us too early, you woke us too late, you let us fall asleep, you kept us awake, you didn’t do it, you did it. Again.

This conditioning ensured that the only way to stay ahead, to win and to succeed was to find someone else to blame and that does not change because we know you are just waiting to try to blame us, well we know your game. We have you in our eyes and it is you who is to blame, not us.

The only way to prevent the hell of being a scapegoat is to make others a scapegoat instead.

And so I do as I do, I say as I say and I am what I am so that I do not end up like him, like her, like them, like you.

Can you really blame me for doing that?

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27 thoughts on “Scapegoat”

  1. I am the first to admit when I make a mistake. It is not a weakness in my eyes, but a matter of acknowledging responsibility. I have had to learn however, that if you do that, you are more likely to be blamed for things which are NOT your fault. Massively infuriating!

    In a workplace scenario, for example, you have to document everything that you are doing, you need to have tasks/assignments etc. in writing, and you need to let the usual suspects know that you are keeping track of everything. It signals that you are not an easy target, and they will think twice about messing with you. It works.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Brian, the workplace is riddled with these types… one of their playgrounds.

      — —

      I hear you, alexissmith2016… it’s completely disillusioning to have to resort to this method for self protection.

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      1. Yeah, once you know what you are looking for its easy to spot them.
        Basically the person who talks the most is the first suspect, then look for self-promotion in their speech.
        Haven’t had any XP with covert narcs though.

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      2. Yes, the overt ones are easy to spot: loudmouth; never shy to praise themselves for every little contribution to the assignment; beacon of diligence and dedication in front of management, not so much when no one is watching; purposeful flattery etc… you watch it, you are disgusted, you stay the hell away! 😀

        The covert types are the dangerous ones… the secret vassals of management, the double agents of the office, who will try to befriend you in order to sound you out and report back to their masters. ‘Whenever you need someone to speak with, I am here for you’, she said. ‘Sure, love’, I thought, ‘whenever I feel the urge to shoot myself in the foot, I will call you!’. It’s all quite ridiculous once you see clearly! 🙂

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      3. Matilda, do we work for the same company? Hehe! Your comments are spot on! I live it everyday when I go to work..it’s very challenging .. I wish I had found this site a few years ago but I suppose better late than never ..

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      4. Susan,

        Yes, they all operate similarly. The fundamental principles of power and control are the same everywhere. You have to be vigilant at all times, trying to predict their behaviours and shield yourself before damage is done… quite exhausting, but necessary.

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  2. The one enduring question after all I have learned was the Narcs remark at discard, “it’s nothing you did.” Ever other word and action is spot on to your descriptions and words. Have you ever used such a remark? And if so why?

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      1. Do you know what..ive had a belly full of remarks hurled at me today by my ex. Completely unfair.
        Because i wont fuel i realise.
        I wanted to ignore him completely but I failed.
        I responded… kept as neutral as i could but the smell of quelled emotion seeped out. ..
        I dont wanna fix.
        I wanna run as fast as I can away.
        He is so pathetic trying now to back peddle now.
        Its so upsetting.. Im so sick of myself and my understanding right now.
        I am now starting to hate him.
        I want him gone.
        HG…I really do heed your advice… the application of it is hard but spot on obviously.
        HG…ive really had enough of it all.😕
        Am I ever going to get away?
        😢

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      2. Good job, Debbie! It IS hard, I know. Mine has been intense in his past hoovers (a blitzing of texts, calls, and social media invites.) Rately does the first try take and it takes practice. Hang in there, the longer you starve him of fuel, the more likelihood he will slow up and show up in seemingly random drizzles over the years when you pop up in his thoughts. By then, your strength will continue to grow and it will feel like swatting at a mosquito.

        Swat, swat!!!

        Sending support and strength!!
        Indy

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  3. HG,
    I grew up in the mirror of your house. It now sickens me how nobody could take responsibility for their own actions. This lesson of blaming did come in handy throughout my life. I learned from two grandmasters. Now I have humility though….don’t choke on just reading the word HG, and I accept responsibility for what I do. It has worked out without consequences. I think people give me more respect because they know I wont blame them to make myself look better. My work speaks for itself. I tell my employees just tell me the truth so I can fix it. They fear disappointing me rather than fear my wrath. Better strategy. This way I stay liked and they punish themselves. Don’t try that at home HG, there could be adverse reactions if you were to show humility without a spotter. I’ll spot you if you want.

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  4. A bigger person owns what is theirs and does not take on more than that. I learning to only carry my own baggage. **drops yours at your feet** I am the ultimate goat, the sea goat (Capricorn) that climbs the highest mountains and swims the broadest seas…and I have horns on my head and hooves on my feet to knock out the illusions that try to stop me. Care to lock horns?

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  5. HG

    No one knows what youve been through.. obviously terrible things.
    There are people who have been terribly abused but it doesn’t always follow that they go and abuse others.

    All you have is now.
    And a lot to work out and on.
    I don’t pretend to understand.
    I don’t know what you’ve endured.
    I don’t know what you want to be honest.
    I suspect you do not want anything except the thing witheld unless you have treatment. I accept I may be wrong. Who knows?

    I do know discernment and recognition isn’t enough without deliberate positive action going forward. Otherwise the knowledge gained is a waste of time.
    We, here, read these works to apply and act on it to avoid and/or escape bad treatment going forward.
    Setting healthy boundaries in all areas to live by for protection.

    You are also able to apply and act on a new construct (with the good doctors) instead of acting on an all-out abuse offensive across the board.
    Logically, it is the way to go: reach for a better way. Enrichment. Self fuelling.

    It’s a choice to make following discernment, following the understanding as to why you do things.

    The logical thing to do is act on correction, or if not…then forever hold your peace, but reaping inevitable consequences over time.

    Maybe there will always be pastures new as you seem to think, however…since you believe in your superior success…then that means your work reaches the masses and everyone becomes aware.

    Break the cycle of abuse HG.
    How can you not? If you are to be believed it follows that it is illogical for you to fail when you set your mind to it.

    Responsibility is part of being human..
    I know you have found the right way forward. The choice is in front of you. It is wrong to abuse others as you know full well.
    Taking it far too far and really hurting people.

    Abusing people who genuinely love you isnt going to fill any voids..ever. Never.

    Frankly my whole comment here is like teaching an old women to suck eggs…preaching to the converted or like being a stand up comedian past their sell by date; Because you know all this stuff.

    I realise that your question at the end of the piece was probably purely rhetorical, however, humour me; Should you freely decide to continue as you do, that is abusing others, following your enlightenment and treatments, and then you were to pose the question again, the answer to the question would be “yes.”

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  6. Bah. looks like weakness to me. And really, quantitative statements like “the only way to avoid being a scapegoat is to make others a scapegoat” are childish and simply have no basis in logic or reality. Pure nonsense

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  7. HG,
    Thank you, everything you write is killing me softly with your words. But it is killing the part of me I couldn’t see and don’t want to see again. I hope you don’t mind but I sent this post to my ex and added a note from me, it might not make sense or be fully understood by him? But maybe some of your readers will understand it?

    Dear ……
    I’m not sending this to be mean or rub anything in your face. Just a lot of things in it remind me of things you have said to me, that when I read this guys words, it’s as if, it’s you writing them. It scares me, but it is helping me understand your thinking a little. I still love you, my mind is in overtime with you, Kayden and Scotty. And why people ( me included) do the things they do. Read it if you want, or don’t? Kayden is my main concern now, he is such a good kid, kind, considerate and he needs me and I need him. He is going to be going through every emotion and thought over this and I have to make sure he comes out of it being a strong man and keeping his kind, considerate, loving side of him. I don’t want him to lose that and hide it. This has made me realize how selfish I have become. Kayden said that I didn’t need to apologize to him, that I didn’t need to ask his forgiveness and that his brothers and sister don’t blame me and love me. He is so remarkable. So I am making up, I am going to show them he is right by giving them my time, my love, my help that I lost somewhere along the way. They will have their mom back and be proud of me.
    I have been doing, what I have been blaming you for all along. Saying sorry, having excuses of why…instead of just changing, showing, giving them my time and love. I’m still scared, I’m not a bad person, I was a lost person. But I will not let them down again, or scare them again, or make excuses again. I’m not perfect, I will fuck up sometimes but it’s seeing those fuck ups and changing what I do so it doesn’t happen again. I can’t blame you, as I was doing the same thing, to the ones most precious to me. I can only fix what I have broke by being the person I once was long ago, and make me even better.

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  8. To answer your question of this article: Yes, I do. I blame you for doing that.You became a “whole” narcissist, when you were a young adult.You were able to leave your dysfunctional family at that age.You were able to use your brain, you did not.You took the easy way. Yes, I blame you for that. You are responsible. You preferred to stay member of a dysfunctional family. I do have no fears like you. I do not suffer from paranoia. You do sometimes. Maybe, that is the penalty/sentence for your behaviour. That is the prize you have to pay. Paranoia, getting worse and worse.

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  9. Hello HG, I have read that groups with members who cannot stand each other want to have a common enemy “to bring the group together” or “to restore the peace”. Group members would be fighting/turning against each other if they did not have a common enemy.

    If I have understood it correctly, this strategy has nothing to do with some group members seeing the scapegoat as their competitor.

    Let’s say group members A and B cannot stand each other and maybe A and B see each other as competitors. Then A and B choose X as their common enemy. A and B are now friends. This would have never been possible if A and B had not chosen X as their enemy.

    What is your opinion about this group dynamics strategy about scapegoating? Is it really so simple or is there something more to it?

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  10. HG, Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps to understand what happened to me as I grew up in a similar household. I was the scapegoat and my sisters the N’s. I guess I was harder to handle, so I became the scapegoat. My sisters worshipped the matrinarc. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to switch places with them…The perfect creations of the matrinarc, never wrong and all-knowing. Completely and joyously above the common folk. Then, I remember how amazing it is to cry over a sad song, feel the pain of a broken heart and experience the joy of love so deep it makes your heart smile. I don’t want to experience the hole they have in their gut that can never been filled.

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  11. I think this is very interesting. All the narcs I’ve known, especially an extremely evil one, had a very traumatic childhood where you can see how they were tormented in the same way that we were…..

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  12. I have been reasonably good at spotting the overt narcissists at work. It’s only been lately through that I’ve started seeing the signs of the covert. A mild mannered colleague cancelled a mass of engagements including ones impacting the powers that be and immediately flew to another location. Silent treatment, removal of support to the entire office for not giving him what he wanted. Looking back this has happened each time in similar circumstances!

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