Fraser Valley/Halifax – This opinion piece is from Glynis Sherwood, Relationship Counselor. This is timely considering Christmas get togethers can sometimes get our of hand.
Ask the Therapist – December 2019
I’ve been the Family Scapegoat my whole life. Could you shed some light on my family of origin’s complete lack of remorse, empathy and love for me?
Everything about being the family scapegoat is emotionally difficult. My father is a narcissist, my mother an enabler and flying monkey, and my brother is the golden child. One part I personally struggle with more so at times though is the complete lack of empathy and love from all family members, after the abuse has occurred. If I said or did something that caused my husband, whom I love, visible emotional pain I wouldn’t be able to apologize or comfort him fast enough, never could I look at him in a visibly distressed state and say or do nothing then go about my business as if nothing had happened.
My family has been scapegoating me for 50 years – since I was born. I have minimal contact with them, and in all those years none of them have ever apologized, shown any remorse, comforted me, expressed any guilt etc. It’s like they feel justified. Now I can understand the lack of compassion and love from my father being narcissistic as he lacks empathy. But what about my mother and brother, they don’t? Even when they had the opportunity, and it was safe for them to show me love and empathy when I was in emotional pain, because of their abuse or my father’s abuse, they didn’t and haven’t ever to this day, even when I’ve tried speaking to them about it.
Can you possibly shed some light on their complete lack of remorse, empathy and love for me? Is it brainwashing? Do they just not love me? Do they feel justified? Even so, that still shouldn’t elicit no remorse or empathy at all. How does a mother who isn’t a narcissist, but their enabler, never show her own daughter any love, compassion or comfort when her daughter is in visible emotional pain because she’s being emotionally abused in front of her or by her, even when that daughter was a vulnerable innocent and sweet little child? I just don’t get it.