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Heather400 05-21-2019 09:03 AM

Looking for a book with roles in a family with an alcoholic, particularly scapegoat.
Hello, I am looking for a book that talks about the roles in a family with an alcoholic parent. I see a therapist that recently said I was the scapegoat in my family , which makes sense but I have yet to read about it. I am twelve years sober but still struggling with some aspect of recovery so I hope exploring this will help. I did look at the book on Amazon and that looked very helpful.

Alysheba 05-26-2019 05:19 PM

I have been identified as the "identified patient" or scapegoat in my family and it is an absolutely horrible thing to be saddled with, I don't know if this happened to you, but it stuck, well after my father (an alcoholic who the sun rose and set on for me) died I was devastated and my family treats me worse than ever, which has been like 25 years. I suspect my mother is a dry drunk. She's awful. Her dad was an alcoholic and physically as well as mentally extremely abusive, which she denies. I couldn't stand her father either (my grandfather-icky). My dad's family was SO much nicer and all she did while growing was tell us that his family was terrible and low class. I mean what snob and a mean thing to say. I loved my dad's parents.
I would love to know if anyone did have a recommendation on this too. I'll look at amazon too, or maybe the library?
Thank you and good luck, Heather! ♥♥♥

Dandelion12 06-13-2019 07:39 PM

John Bradshaw I know covers this topic in his books.

And Alysheba Im curious about your name? Any reference to the horse?

Alysheba 06-13-2019 07:48 PM

Yes, I took the name from the race horse, Alysheba. I saw him race when I was quite young and I just thought he was one of the most beautiful horses I'd ever seen. I've had horses for, about 35+ years and rescued a few from the track and I bred a couple of European Warmblood/Thoroughbred crosses.
I'm glad you recognized it! Have a great day Dandelion!! ♥

Heather400 06-14-2019 03:33 AM

Hi Dandelion 12, thank you for your reply and I will look up the book you suggest. X

hi Alesheba, I'm sorry it has taken me a while to reply and thank you for your post. I like how you got your name and I'm an animal lover so it is lovely to read if your interest in horses. After I wrote my post I read the post "6 family roles in a dysfunctional or alcoholic family" by Pathway to free , where the book Another chance by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse is suggested. I've looked at this on Amazon & it looks good although not a recent book.
In your post you write about how being the "identified patient" or scapegoat stuck after your father died and I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your father and how this role continued. This has been the same with me as I got into a relationship where I was the identified patient and felt I was victim even though I was trying to fight back bit by bit. I really hope that having this role identified will help you. Xxx

Alysheba 06-14-2019 09:24 AM

Thank you, Heather. You are such a sweet soul. I sure hope we can find books that help us.
Best of luck to you, and all my love, Aly ♥♥♥

Heather400 06-20-2019 03:23 AM

Thank you Alysheba, your post made my day when I read it last Saturday. I'm going through a very emotional period in therapy so would find it hard to write about my family at the moment but I hope that I will be able to in the future. I hope you do find something to help you . I have found reading posts on this site have helped me a lot to see I'm not alone.
Love and hugs to you xxx

Alysheba 06-20-2019 07:02 AM

Heather, I have a rather difficult family as well, so I think I understand the emotional issues with family members. The serenity and Sick man prayers help a lot.
Have a wonderful, sober day.
I've read some of Bradshaw, but it has been a while. I'll have to look him up again. M. Scott Peck writes some very good stuff too. I really like his "People of the Lie'". Very interesting point of view.
All my love to you! ♥♥♥

AnvilheadII 06-23-2019 05:33 PM

while seemingly not specific to roles in the family, The Dance of Anger was one of the most powerful ACOA/growing up in a dysfunctional family system books i ever read.

Eauchiche 07-03-2019 06:17 AM

Dear Alysheba
I haven't read any of the books listed here, but they all sound like a really good idea.
In my case, I went no contact with the remainder of my FOO three years ago. It has proven to be the absolute right decision I made.
Some things in life aren't fixable, and the little bit of DNA we had in common wasn't enough to fix the relationships.

Alysheba 07-03-2019 09:10 AM

So true ^^^
Thank you. I'm trying to figure out a way to extradite myself from them. Working on it.
Anvil, The Dance of Anger, is one I am going to look up for sure.

MikeH 07-11-2019 11:22 AM

I think Bradshaw's book is good for many things.

The book: Perfect Daughters (Robert Ackerman) doesn't so much talk about scapegoats, but he talks about personality traits and characteristics with several descriptive checklists. (And, yes, I'm a guy who has the book!) :-)

I think it's been discussed here in several discussions here, including some that talk about how certain traits seem to correlate with one's birth order that include this topic.

Searching sometimes isn't easy, but here's a few I found by searching for "scapegpoat," then looking for this forum or the "Friends-Family-Alcoholics" forum.


Alysheba 07-11-2019 11:29 AM

Thank you, Mike!

Heather400 07-15-2019 03:44 AM

Hi Alysheba, thank you for your post - again sorry it's taken me while to reply.. I hadn't come across the sick man prayer but I really like it and I found it on the Internet. M Scott Peck looks interesting and I havn't come across them before. Hope you have a good day xxx

Hi AnvilheadII, thank you that looks like a good book as well and I think I need it!

Hi Mike H, thank you for the book recommendation and the search. I have started the classic reads on this forum and I have been reading on the friends and family forum bit.

When I was first in recovery I read about depression , later bought Acoa books but then gave them away as I realised I was an alcoholic as well. At present I'm reading how to be compassionate based on the readings of the Dalai Lamai . Also I started codependent no more but it has to go back to the library....

Hugs and thank you

StellaBlu 08-03-2019 07:55 PM

Hi Heather400, I was (and still am??) the scapegoat in my dysfunctional alcoholic family. Two books that helped me understand a lot of the dynamics are:

"Toxic Parents" by Dr. Susan Forward
"When you and your Mother Can't be friends" by Victoria Secunda

I read both about 10 years ago but they are still on my shelf and I still reference them from time to time.

Heather400 09-02-2019 07:33 AM

Hi StellaBlu, thank you for your post. I'm not in touch with some members of my family but still think I can be the scapegoat with those that I am. The books you post look good so I will look them up on Amazon.


EveningRose 09-10-2019 07:57 PM

I read the Toxic Parents book long ago. I think it helped me put things in perspective and be at peace with my decision.

I, too, am the family scapegoat. And then of course, I'm told I'm crazy for thinking so and that I'm denying looking at myself honestly. Yeah, right.

It's been around ten years since I've had any real contact with my family and if it weren't for the fact they're working on my kids, I'd be 100% at peace with the decision.

One thing that helps me is what I used to tell my kids: When you stand at the pearly gates, God's not going to ask what anyone else did. It doesn't matter if you're religious or not. I live my life in a way that any rational person NOT being fed stories by my crazy parents will see that I lived well.

They've damaged my relationships with other people beyond my control, with the stories they tell. But so be it. I move on and find other people and over the years I finally realized that almost without fail, people who did NOT know my parents saw me entirely differently. ;)

Alysheba 09-11-2019 09:47 AM

Oh, the stories, Ugh. I hear you on that one.

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