First, let's start out with some definitions:
The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16. The word also refers, in modern parlance, to one who is blamed for misfortunes, often as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.
Well the family drama unfolded in Colorado this week. My mom and her husband went to visit my brother and his family in Denver. All went to hell. There was arguing, blaming, and my mother took ill and retreated to the guest room. This is her M.O. and it is the way she deals with having an emotion. Her husband is a hateful man who has never been able to look at himself in any way. He has no friends, no hobbies, complains all the time, and hates me. He's hated me since I was 17. At 17, I was a normal teenager with angst, drama and a bad attitude. This guy still defines me by the 17-year old girl he met. Therefore, he hates me. He likes dogs and toddlers because they are controllable. It would take years for me to talk about this piece of work == but let's move on. The dynamic duo headed to Colorado in hopes of having some illusional family brew haha. This has never happened as "Dick" (the husband) never likes anything or anyone and makes everyone nervous. My mom is a total codependent so she tries to manage him so he doesn't get upset and then acts weird most of the time. My brothers' kids are 3 and 5 and a little bit hyper. This was just too much for them to handle so they wanted to leave. The little 5 year old told his mommy that he felt weird around them and didn't want them looking at him funny. (Hmm, if a 5 year old says something like that, I tend to believe it).
Scapegoating in psychoanalytic theory
Psychoanalytic theory holds that unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one's own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group's problems.
So, they wanted to leave early and my brother's wife made some curt comments to them because she was protecting her baby cubs. Well, she told me about this and then my mom called me and told me her side. I didn't take sides. I just listened and provided an ear. IN the back of my mind I thought, these people have always said that I was the "ruiner" of every event because I was emotional. So, for the past year I haven't gone to any "events". I've seen these people destruct over and over again even thougth the "ruiner" wasn't around. But, they are used to thinking I'm the problem.
With that being said...you probably know where this story is going. Things heated up today as my mom called me and told me that the mamabear left her a message that basically said my mom was a horrible mother and that's why her kids are all fucked up and that she was very hurt by the way they acted around her cubs. Earlier in the day, mamabear had called me and told me she had done that. I understood that she was distraught because her kids had been affected by this visit. The kids were so excited to see Nana and Poppy, but Nana and Poppy were displeased with their kid-like behavior and decided to leave early. Mamabear got real pissed at this. So, the scenario is that I know both sides. I talk to both and don't offer anything about what the other said. But, lo and behold, I am an instigator supposedly and caused this entire catastrophe. Now who's hurt? ME!
However, the important part of the journey for me is that I'm in San Francisco and no where near them. I have always been the Identified Problem and Scapegoat and even though I am miles and miles away, they found some insane way to blame me for the problems they are all having.
It's insane, I tell you ...Insane. What is it about coming out of a suicidal depression and getting abstinent that makes people turn into assholes. I just don't get it. First, I had the idiot friend who dissed me and I let go of, then we had the drama with the family, and now I'm being blamed for something I had no part in. I was so angry when I heard this and really wanted to rage at all of them. I felt myself going toward that same suicidal place that only my family seems to help me get to. I am holding on. ONe thing I liked about James Frey's book, A Million Little Pieces, was the term "hold on, just hold on". I'm holding. I'm still taking care of myself around food and trying to tend to my tasks that keep me on the road to recovery but this dynamic of scapegoating is becoming intolerable.
Am I supposed to just walk away from these people? At a time when my friendships aren't quite a family, and I'm jobless, and very tender due to new abstinent behavior and coming out of a deep clinical depression, am I supposed to walk away from them?
Maybe some of you are wondering; what does this have to do with Fat Girl Camp? It has everything to do with Fat Girl Camp. It is a known fact that eating addictively is merely a symptom of much deeper problems. I am recovering from a hopeless state of MIND and BODY. My reaction to food AFTER I take the first bite of an addictive substance is out of my mental control. I believe this wholeheartedly. However, when emotions come into play it is required to rely on a power greater than myself. I'm having problems in this area.
I've always said that I should have been born into a crazy Jewish family from NYC. I would fit in so well. But alas, I was born into a broken Irish Catholic family who are so disjointed and fragmented it has made me physcially sick and mentally shattered. I wonder how I can use a higher power in this? Will a higher power even help me? Is there even a higher power at all?
These are the things going through my mind right now. I still can't believe they are blaming me for something that happened 1000 miles away....unbelievable but predictable.