Monday, September 14, 2015

A Freakin' Scapegoat?

As some of you who Follow me on Facebook have seen.  I've recently had the worst period of my life thus Far.  I'm not dwelling on it because I want it to be over.  My struggle is with deciding how detrimental to my life and emotional health certain patterns are.

Things got hairy at the beginning of summer.  We learned my youngest had something medical going on.  I then decided to tell Family members about it, which is when the crap hit the Fan. Suddenly, I was being accused of trying to place blame for his condition, when I wasn't.  I tried to stop the escalation by asking to be allowed to Finish what I was saying.  I wasn't allowed to Finish what I was saying, and I wasn't heard when I said, "That's not what I'm doing."  My mother then made it personal and then downright insulting.  Basically, the one who was accusing me of things in a time I needed to communicate my healthy and perfectly normal Feelings, who was therefore behaving irrationally called me "F*cking irrational."  Well, that Flew over like a Fart in church.  Suddenly, I had had enough.  Who knew all it took was me having a boatload of worry for one of my babies to reach the moment I would snap?  Not me.  I had always prided myself on understanding people.  I've been told I have the patience of a saint.  I've been told I put up with way too much ugliness in others that I somehow always Found a way to excuse away.  But I wound up saying, "F*ck you." and hanging up.  I hit the proverbial wall.

Enter my Father....I tried communicating with him via e-mail details that I knew he was receiving incorrectly.  My mother was telling people "They think it's....." No.  We had a diagnosis.  There was no thinking.  She just didn't want to hear me for some reason. My message to him was delivered from my head in my voice just matter of factly, in sort of what is called a Flat affect.  It was just Facts.  It was where we've been and where we were headed with an invitation to call or write if he needed or wanted more information. The response I received from him was shocking to me.  He told me that *MY* "cruel behavior" and moodiness was getting old. Okay, so now I'm effing irrational, cruel, and moody at a very critical and stressful time of my life.  I wasn't expecting this and I was not expecting it now. I certainly didn't need this right now either.

Enter one out of three sisters now.  Upon learning my father was in the hospital from another relative, I called her.  I asked her if she knew he was in the hospital because I really had no idea of knowing whether or not she did.  She lives in another state and has often been the last to know.  When she expressed her disappointment at being the last to know or being left out of a loop, I always replied with something along the lines of "I'm sorry. I didn't realize you didn't know or I would have called sooner."  I had no reason to think or feel that she was actually blaming me because I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. So when she indicated she did know and my next question was how long he had been in (NOT how long she had known because that isn't important to me), she answered with yesterday.  It was at this moment I made a terrible mistake.  I thought she got me.  I thought she knew I would never be mean to her, let alone blame her for something I wasn't or that she was not responsible for.  When I said, "Hmmm...and nobody thought to call me.", I thought she would say something like, "Wow.  Who knew she'd (my mom) take it this far?" because I'm usually the first person notified. That isn't what happened at all.  She lit into me for blaming her.  I tried to tell her I was not placing blame on her at all, but she wasn't having it.  It suddenly became painfully evident she had been waiting to pounce on me, and boy did she.  She said so many hurtful things, I just let her go until it ended. I Finished it off by saying, "Don't ever call me again."

She immediately called my husband and left him a voicemail crying about how disgusting and terrible and another adjective that escapes me she felt about what she had said to me.  She cares more about what other people think of her than anything in this world.

I had to take a step back and I told my husband that this goes waaaaay deeper than me not actually being freaking irrational.  These people were letting me have it over what seems like a lifetime of abuse or meanness/mistreatment from me.  It told me what they thought of me, and that hurt. This was my life for so long intermittently and I always found a way to just think "It's Family.  This is normal strife. We'll all get over it."  But I think I'm the only one who has to get over it all of the time.  It's only because I am able to overlook it, put it aside, brush it under the rug, and, more importantly, excuse it away that things move Forward. It's been so long since it has happened that I feel hoodwinked into thinking my family had emotionally grown to the point that we could ALL overlook the Faults of the others, but nope.  It's a lot of pots calling this kettle black.  I could say all sorts of things to them, but I don't, because I loved them despite their shortcomings and Faults. The picture they have painted for me as to the person they think and have always thought I am, disturbs me greatly.  That is not me.  I know better.

The other problem is that I unwittingly walked right into it.  My mother has been antagonistic, trite, and calculating toward me for years now.  It was about 1-1/2 years ago, lying in bed with my husband while on vacation with her and my father that I said alloud that I am going to have to enter this trap because they obviously wouldn't quit with me avoiding it.  They just kept picking and picking and picking....throwing out absurdities that were supposed to be left standing as they were presented. When I did it, I just did it.  When I was confronted with a "I know how you feel about XX." and I interrupted with "No you don't. You've never asked me how I feel about it." it somehow meant *I* was being confrontational.  This has grown from there in their minds because they can't see their own faults. I went in thinking that if they didn't like what I had to say, which is always truth, then they'd stop baiting me and I could therefore stop pretending like their antagonistic and superior attitudes weren't bothering me.  Nope. It just blew up in my face. Since it was not my traditional family-appointed role, it was interpreted as me doing all the things they were actually doing. I guess that's what they call passive aggressive and I should have just said, "Stop it. I don't like your antagonistic attitude toward me."  The counselor says it wouldn't have made a difference because that is also breaking from my normal familial role and they would not have liked it any more or less.

How does someone say to you, "I know you don't mean it..." or "You mean well, but...." and continue to berate you in a vicious way?  Isn't that the equivalent of saying, "I know you have a good heart and make mistakes, so please allow me to beat you in the head with all of your Faults anyway"?

How does someone accuse you of putting them in a bad place by sharing the maddening or Frustrating conversation you had with another equate to you putting them in a bad place when they turn around and do the same exact thing with the conversation they just had with you, and even be bold enough to do it with your own spouse?

What does it mean when the person berating you keeps chanting, "I am NOT an asshole!" when you've never said they were.  How do they not see that they Feel like an asshole because they are wrong instead of blaming you for making them Feel that way?

How does someone you've asked to allow you to Finish what you were saying in practically a whisper so your kids don't hear proclaim you to be effing irrational?

How does me asking you if my child is wearing a helmet in your go-kart equate to me making you feel like an "inadequate adult"?

There's more, oh so much more, but I'll stop here because it's getting long. 

Luckily for me I had already decided to seek counseling over my mother's troubling behavior by the time the sister entered the Fray, which she coincidentally always does when my mother is mad at me.  (The counselor says it is no coincidence by the way, which seems consistent with the reading I am doing on scapegoating.)

I've seen my counselor three times so far.  She's not what I expected.  I am looking for some input as to what I've done wrong....rather, some insight as to why I lost my cool on my mother, as it's my lifelong goal to grow and learn. That's not what I got.  When I told the "eff you" story, I was expecting her to give an indication as to how wrong she thought that was or at least ask me, "Why do you think you responded so harshly?"  Instead, I got a "Good! Your mom sounds like a real witch!" as she jotted down notes.  I had nothing for her but a surprised face.. I think my mouth was actually agape at this moment. lol And then she added, "And your dad sounds like a real jerk too." Wow.

She told me I'm the Family scapegoat.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I've done some online reading about it, and it does Fit in a LOT of ways, but it also does not fit in a lot of ways.  I Feel like my world has been rocked a little.  I'm trying to understand it all.  One thing is evident, scapegoaters will never apologize because they do not recognize their own faults.

I am Fascinated by it though.  I had  no idea there was such an in depth breadth of information regarding a Familial scapegoat role. I Feel like my sisters and I may be better Friends if it weren't for some pigeon-holing conditioning we received during childhood conflicts.  I'm not sure what they have been told about me and therefore believe from people in such trusted positions of authority in our family, but I know what I've been told about them.  I used to believe my "trusted source", but now I see clearly.  Now I see that I don't know what the truth in my Family is.  I learned to stick up for them as I grew in insightfulness, but did or do they just believe what I assume they've been Fed about me?  Was/Is my insightfulness really just a bad habit of excusing the bad traits/behaviors in others?  I don't think so.  I think I have an ability to recognize that while I don't understand exactly why someone has done, thinks, or feels the way that they do, I love them anyway.  I don't feel I get that same consideration at all.

When I asked why this sister didn't like me way back in high school, I got "You're jealous of her because she's skinny and pretty, and she of you because you are smart and successful at what you do."  Even then, I spoke up and said that I was not jealous of her.  I could see some things in her that made me feel sorry for her, a lot of inconsistencies and manipulation.  As it turns out, the scapegoat is usually chosen for Failing to go along with Family dynamics or to play along in their role in the Family, so that I can agree with.  Did she say the same thing to this sister when I wasn't around?  If so, how would she internalize that?  I thought it was a pretty mean and manipulative thing to do then, just as I do now, but if someone who is already insecure hears such a thing...what happens?  Is a lifelong connection made to hate the person you will never measure up to?  It feels like that is what has happened.  I'm only now starting to wonder if I'll never be able to change that perception.  If not, why bother?

I am not, however, a victim.  When I identify a problem, I immediately work toward solving it.  It's who I am, so the parts about scapegoats having their lives ruined via their own actions and conditioning for that role, I don't and can't relate to.  I am in no way criticizing the scapegoats who find themselves in this position; it's just not me.  So here, again, my ability to move beyond and their inability to is what makes me the "indifferent" scapegoat. It's easier for them to not understand and band together in that "understanding."  All I can say is that they are so wrong.

I have an appointment with my counselor tomorrow in which I have some scapegoat questions.  There is a price to pay when you are the scapegoat and choose to step out of that role.  She tells me the whole Family Freaks out and is Forced to Find a new way to operate without the scapegoat.  We shall see.  I think she will have some insight for me as to how it really applies to me.  I Find it Fascinating really.  It's my understanding that the only way to Fix this is for me to Forget everything that has been said to me, but I'm not sure I can anymore.  I wonder what that means?  I wonder how this might play into many aspects of my life.  I seek clarity. I have not embraced this scapegoat title.....yet.  All I know is this is not normal and very unfair and mean.  They are mean and miserable people in my eyes.  They live to fight these days. I would never talk to someone the way they repeatedly speak to me.

Then there are these circular thoughts that I have....what if they were seeing a counselor who likewise has told them they are scapegoats?  lol  It's crazy...just plain craziness I tell ya.

No comments:

Post a Comment