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Scapegoated as a Child

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I just wish to have opinion of therapist. I stopped communicating with siblings from childhood because I was molested by my older brother when I was nine and he has made inappropriate sexual suggestions to me as adult. My older sister was beaten by our father and our mother didn’t protect her. Instead, our mother scapegoated me from her guilt I am guessing. She made me take the second grade over again because my sister wanted me to. She kept my blonde hair very short at my sister’s request. I was blamed for things other children did. What bothers me the most is my sister attacked me when I was twenty-seven, after I cared for our dying mother. I had a two year old son to care for also after separating from my husband. I kept mom company in the hospital during her last days so my father and older sister could continue working. Mom was basically brow beaten into leaving all her possessions to my sister. I gave up moving into an apartment so I could care for mom until her death. The thanks I got was when I was moving out after mom’s death, my sister attacked me when I was packing up a painting I did in high school. She was twenty-nine and I twenty-seven. She felt that since mom framed it for me and hung it up, it was hers. She hit me so hard on my breast that I had to have the scar tissue surgically removed. She pulled me out of my room I shared with my toddler son by the hair and called me a whore. She said, “You’re a whore because you have a son.” I wasn’t allowed to claim the painting until nine years later when my sister was getting married. She wanted her husband to be to think she was sweet. Now, she is showing signs of her past behavior in making degrading comments about my grown children. She still laughs about things she got mom to do when mom empowered her. I don’t want to be an old woman and my older sister beat on me again. I think I was right to stop communicating with her. Don’t you. Just wondering. ps…She denies hitting me and told my husband I failed in school. I have records I passed. Thank you.

Scapegoated as a Child

Answered by on -


It sounds like your sister is someone you needed to protect yourself from for a long time and this makes sense to me. I don’t know if those scars from the past can heal, but I do think it is worth you talking to a therapist about them. This would not be to help you cope with your sister as much as it would be for you to heal the history inside you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Scapegoated as a Child

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Scapegoated as a Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 17 Jun 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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