Repetition compulsion? Scapegoat


Hi. I don’t usually post these days, but I’m so confused about this scapegoat role I keep falling into and would love to know if anyone else has this..
I was scapegoated in the family I grew up in. My mother had mental illness and my father took his frustrations with her out on me. He also blamed me for causing her mental illness.
As I was pretty young when that happened, 10, I absorbed it and believed it until I opened up to my mother when I was 26 and found out it had nothing to do with me. But for all those years, I believed I had caused that.
Many years on, I look back on my life and see that I have repeated and repeated that trauma - felt to blame for the sufferings of those around me, and often been manipulated into taking the blame even when I was 100% sure I wasn’t to blame.
That’s not to say I’m blameless of everything, but I do feel marked somehow, like I have Scapegoat written on my forehead.
I’ve had lots of therapy etc but I still feel like I am a kind of magnet for trauma, esp sexual and emotional abuse, and a magnet for someone looking for someone else to blame.
I can’t control this magnet!! It feels like some kind of energy thing.
Does anyone know what I’m talking about???
I have become very reclusive. It seems to go beyond logic and I’m so tired of these things happening.


Yeah, I feel this too.
I wasn't the scapegoat, that was my middle sister. But, as the youngest for some unknown reason, I was the one who had to keep everyone ok. So if the others fell out - somehow I had to make it better. I was responsible for everyone being happy. When my sister went missing, my parents screamed and screamed at me because they felt I knew where she was and if only I told them, everything would be better.
And as adults now: again, everyone expects me to fix things.

What I learnt growing up was that there were no boundaires.
Being made to be responsir for the impossible means we lose our sense of self.
We take the blame for stuff we are blameless for.
It is emotional abuse to put a child (or adult) through that.

I felt/feel that I am also a magnet for sexual abuse. If there is a creep out there: they seem to see the sign I must be holding up, and over they come to me.

My T has said:
I need to shift the blame and responsibility onto those who did those things, rather than on to me.
Having boundaires.
Developing a sense of self.
Not feeling victimised or acting victimised.

It's a work in progress.

Are there small steps you can do to help you develop your sense of self? And help you feel a bit freer to work up to being out and socialising more?


@Movingforward10 Thanks for relating! My younger brother had the same role as you and he still struggles with that.
It’s all about boundaries, but even when I think they’re in place, others see through that.
But it’s weird isn’t it, that invisible sign that seems to wave to those looking for someone to abuse or blame…


i fully relate, nevermore. a hefty part of my own psychotherapy has been dedicated to determining what is and isn't my responsibility. no, i was not responsible for the kiddie whorehouses i was born into. i might go so far as calling scapegoating and/or the blame game an institutionalized part of the human condition. a uselessly standard part of any problem solving session is "who is to blame for this problem." triple so for those of us affected by mental illness, be the illness ours or someone else's.

guilt and/or shame be a gnarly psycho snot knot to untangle. gentle empathy and support while you untangle yours.


Thx @arfie empathy your way too.
I think you’re right. Maybe it is an “institutionalised part of the human condition” - considering things like the holocaust happened and continue to happen ):
I’m just as allergic to it happening to others as I am to it happening to me. Maybe I should value that.
There are others though that seem to invite kindness like a magnet.
Is it the way you look? Maybe I always look guilty? I think I kind of flinch away from people - maybe that’s it?
I really wonder how people sense that they can treat you in a certain way…
It makes me nervous even talking about it


the institutionalized part of guilt and shame can be found everywhere from the childhood conditioning to be a good kid to world leaders trying to decide who is responsible for the latest social atrocities. collectively, we spend allot more resources on assessing blame than fixing problems.

the strictly personal guilt and shame which was the subject of so many psychotherapy sessions is no less complex. being "one of those girls" was the only birthright i had. how many layers of guilt and shame can we attach to that fact, alone? resolving that guilt will show in a million ways, but that resolution is not about how i look. it is about how i feel.

as for the laws of attraction. . . i have no doubt there is something to it, but. . . so far, i still don't like people well enough to give a damn.

works in progress. . . sorta. . .


“One of those girls” );
I’m not so keen on my fellow humans either, but I have a feeling I don’t Draw the most positive types towards me…
Guilt and shame are always there w me too, I do think some people smell it.