Narcissists love to mess with their children, and these children represent the full spectrum of personality types. An acon is not necessarily someone who was scapegoated though. An acon can be a full blown psychopath, much like my brother who loved to set things on fire and sprinkled our flower pots with pins for the cats to step on so he could laugh at their agonizing pain. An acon can be a narcissist, like my mother who saw her mother being beaten black and blue by her father leading her to multiple miscarriages. An acon can be a highly empathic person, like me who picks up on others’ feelings and experiences them as her own.
The usual dynamic of a narcissistic family involves several enablers who allow abuse to be perpetrated, one or more golden children (or other relatives) that are used as means of aggrandizement by association for the narcs, and at least one scapegoat who serves the purpose of a Kleenex for everyone’s shortcomings.
Since narcs live in a parallel universe where they love to weave the scenario in which they are protagonists, they get to assign the aforementioned roles to the family members. Now for a scapegoat to be successful in gulping all the criticism, the accusations and the emotional lashings there’s a fundamental quality required. Empathy. The more the empathy the better the scapegoat. The higher the level of kindness the lower one drops in the family’s pecking order.
This is what gets nice people into trouble in the first place. When you are an empath you pick up on other people’s feelings. You want to make them happy, proud and you literally experience their anger and their disappointment when you allegedly fail to pamper their fragile egos. You put your emotions aside, because you carry that freaking curse of stepping so much into other people’s shoes that you forget to live your own life.
Narcissists take advantage of that quality and they drain you to such a degree that suicide doesn’t seem like a half bad option. My NM told me that she picked me as her favorite between me and my brother [sic] because I was such a sensitive little girl. True, I bought into every stunt she pulled, all her fake guilt trips, threats, put-downs, rages and belittling by comparison. She used my ability to pick up on every goddamn single feeling and own it so that she could soothe herself by looking at my depressed face. What a juicy, little victim I was…
I guess for many of us who are so badly hurt that was our misdeed. We have the ability to care more than your average person, and to them that’s like the smell of blood to a shark. If we leave, they soon train someone else to fill the humongous shoes we leave behind.
Still, the same quality that bites us in the ass is the key to our healing. Even though we come out beaten-up, depressed, with a touch of cPTSD we can still empathize with the world. We can still love, smile at a kind stranger, laugh with a baby’s grimace, share our stories and help fellow victims of abuse, and eventually feel really good about ourselves. The miserable losers that tortured us never get a taste of that fulfilling sensation; they are doomed to remain empty vessels just making too much ugly noise till the day they die. And I say that serves them right!