Whenthescapegoatquits's Blog

A Blog about scapegoat recovery & daughters of narcissistic mothers

Caregiving & the Golden Child/Scapegoat Dynamic

Posted by whenthescapegoatquits on September 26, 2012

I want to pass this along, I found out about it via another site.  I’m no contact with my mother, but I thought of those of you who are still in contact with your mother. 

Especially this comment by bippityboppityboob:

I see this play out ALL THE TIME. I’m an advocate for elders, and I often find myself trying to unravel the strands of some seriously complicated (and fucked) family dynamics in order to figure out how I can best help the situation. The Favorite One, interestingly, is often not The Responsible One (or even The One Who Gives A Shit). I’ll watch siblings go rounds with one another about why on EARTH their mother would want the “loser” child to be their caregiver, Power Of Attorney, etc.

I’ve watched elder mothers try to manipulate their favorite into caring for them, also. A daughter who lives locally and can best meet their needs might be the natural choice for a caregiver, and is willing to do the job, but the mother will constantly sketch out why that child is no good, and if she could only move to [wherever] to be close to her son and his family, it would be so much better. Cue sobbing phone call to son to complain that local daughter isn’t meeting her needs.

I also often see the Un-Favorite try to step in and become the hero–especially in the final years, months, etc. They try to redeem their less-than-close relationship with Mom/Dad by swooping in to save the day as the ever-vigilant bedside visitor, the one who really has their parents’ “best interests” at heart.

It’s very sad, at times. And I will say that there is something to the mother/child dynamic more so than father/child–I just don’t see these things as often with elder fathers, even after accounting for elder women outnumbering their male counterparts

I know it’s difficult, but please don’t allow her or the family to hurt you any more by trying to please them.  Don’t try to be the hero or think she’s going to change.   It’s a losing game.  This really is a case of “It’s not you”.  It really isn’t.  And this is in regard to relatively functional families.  Please protect yourself.


2 Responses to “Caregiving & the Golden Child/Scapegoat Dynamic”

  1. Oh man, the comments! I’m glad I’m no contact with my mother too. My sister can deal with her.

  2. E said

    I am as no contact as I can get with my elderly mom. Her favorite child (male) – yes – spends some time with her, etc. but has been watching her money for years. He can’t wait to get his hands on it. He lives very near her but is not a sensitive person. I see that she’d rather be alone having strangers caring for her than have me do it because it might show my sibs that I matter to her. Frankly, how creepy she’s been to me and mine – I wouldn’t do the hard work of caring for an elderly parent unless I’m compensated – 15 years ago I would have done anything for her for nothing. But I see on the horizon my brother abandoning her once she’s really compromised and he’ll get the dough. She is becoming more confused and my brother will be handing her the pen to write us out of the will, I’m sure. This, after years of having what I though was a kind and loving mother. Of course, I’ll be the bad daughter for not stepping in doing the “womens” work when she gets really ill.

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