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The toxic parents make the scapegoat child feel unsafe to be themselves.

Often shaming and blaming the scapegoat for simply being kids and having basic emotional needs.

The scapegoat then grows up in a permanent state of hypervigilance.

Always fearing that there is surrounding potential threat simply for being themselves.

This fear and trauma can often lead to living with PTSD.

And the scapegoat grows up with triggers that they must heal in their adult life.

My struggles

I remember being in my twenties and only just making genuine friends at the time, every social interaction would trigger my anxiety.

Image by cottonbro studio

But I wanted to be around their company so much to avoid my feelings of deep loneliness,

that I learned to accept the anxiety as normal, hiding it with alcohol and fake happiness.

Every mistake I made growing up were huge triggers. I would self-loath for weeks,

months and sometimes years. Always subconsciously worrying about what other people thought.

I really wanted everyone to like me when I was younger.

Any love, kindness, attention and validation from others felt so good back then, when you grow up with none in your childhood.

Image by Anete Lusina

Living everyday and doing everyday things became an emotional and mental struggle,

everything I did was coped with all the will-power I had.

It felt like every day I was forcing myself to face fears just to get on with life.

Fear of repercussions, fear of rejection, fear of having to defend myself, fear of over reacting to my own emotions and fear of the unknown.

I learned to do this dealing with my family and so I used the same habits to cope outside my family circle.

I always felt like something bad was going to happen, and I was in a permanent state of being mentally prepared for if and when it was going happen.

Critical remarks would feel like someone ripping my insides out and wanting to personally destroy me.

Everyday, no matter what I did, I had to force myself to think positive thoughts that went against all the negative feelings I felt inside.

Image by Darina Belonogova

I’d had so much pity, shame, blame, and hate projected onto me growing up, that at the time, those feelings were all I knew.

Many times I would stop forcing my thoughts to be positive because it became exhausting,

and I would simply go back to the dark thoughts that felt more natural at the time, even though they were self-sabotaging and self-destructive.

Going to any job felt stressful, being around controlling people caused me feel like I had to be ready for conflict at any moment.

I still find it difficult to be told what do by most individuals and have quit jobs or been sacked by some employers because of this reason.

And I also constantly found myself being scapegoated in many workplaces I was employed in.

Image by Yan Krukau

My freedom and joy became the most important things in my life because I felt I had none growing up.

It seemed that simply being myself in any environment came at a cost of having to be attacked by someone.

I had to learn how to cope, defend and navigate my way around these toxic people.

And I would always have critical thoughts about everyone and their intentions.

I took everything people did and said personally and would spend my days mentally and emotionally battling with my self-loathing.

It always felt like my thoughts wanted to be negative towards everything and everyone to match the darkness I felt inside of me.

Image by Engin Akyurt

But my heart knew these negative thoughts were wrong and I didn’t want to hate or hurt anyone.

And so, my heart would fight with the dark thoughts in my head daily, and for many, many years.

I know it sounds crazy, even as I write this I cannot believe myself the internal battles I went through mentally and emotionally,

and how I had come to accept it as a part of normal everyday life at the time.

It felt like a spiritual war was happening inside of me.

My personality had definitely split, everyday was a struggle to find the meaning of life, to find myself, my peace, my purpose and to learn to love myself.

And seeking all those things, became my main reason for living. It became a long and personal life journey.

I felt I had to fake my stableness until it eventually became a reality.

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Awareness is power.