When an individual is brought up in a family in which the parent is narcissistic, there tends to be an incredibly different relationship dynamic between siblings. It is inevitable in this kind of setting, that a child will experience mental and physical health issues later in their life due to this abnormal dynamic.
Whenever there is a narcissistic parent involved, there is always the scapegoat of the family and the golden child of the family. Although the scapegoat and the golden child experience a more intense level of abuse, the other siblings involved experience some extent of abuse as well as neglect. These roles between siblings may change throughout the rest of their time living in that house. However, in my house, the roles never changed until my older sister moved out.
For as long as I can remember, I have been the scapegoat of the family. The scapegoat is essentially what holds the family together. The idea is that the scapegoat is willing to defend themselves in unjust situations, even if this means they will get in trouble. I was always incredibly worried for my siblings and when a problem arose, I would not hesitate to defend them. As I continued to stand up for myself and my siblings, I received a higher level of abuse. My mother saw me as the “troubled” child and believed I was capable of nothing other than being a “bad influence.”
My mother began feeding information to my siblings and outside family members that there was a point in which, all of my siblings turned against me at some point or simply bullied me. I specifically remember turmoil becoming more intense between my mom and I when my younger sister, Ali, was hospitalized due to anorexia. My older sister, Nina, and I had both urged our parents months before that they needed to get Ali medical attention. It was not until she was near death that they brought her to the hospital.
At the time of this occurrence, I was in eighth grade and Ali was in sixth grade. It was the start of a couple years, in which, Ali was constantly in the hospital or a rehabilitation center. There was a cycle of coming in and out of programs. Her recovery was made immensely difficult as my parents did not give her the support she needed. Anorexia is a mental illness which they refused to grasp and it was a devastating few years as my siblings and I could not do much other than focusing on being there for her.
It was particularly difficult for me because Ali and I began to draw apart. I was struggling immensely with depression and anxiety at this time and it became difficult to grow a relationship between her and I as we both felt helpless in aiding our personal needs. It was two years later when I realized that my mother had neglected the needs of Nina when she was near the age, in which Ali was struggling the most.
My older sister shed light on the fact that my mother neglected to give her the help she needed when she struggled with bulimia. Nina even asked her for help and my mother refused to support her. When I discovered this, I felt the need to speak up to my mother and confront her for the way she had treated Nina but also how she was currently treating Ali. This act of defense ended with my mother screaming at me while on the phone with Nina. She continued to tell me I was wrong and that none of it happened. It was the first time I had a panic attack to the point I was hyperventilating.
After this extremely scarring event, I grew more and more anger towards my mother but also pain. I would get into screaming battles with her but ones that always ended in her telling me how disappointed she was that I was like this. My panic/anxiety attacks became even worse, in which I would shake uncontrollably, hyperventilate, cry, black out, and nearly my entire body would go numb- which was absolutely terrifying.
As for my other siblings, I began to notice a decrease in their energy level and mood. I knew they were struggling and would try to be there for them as much as possible but I didn’t even know how to help myself. There were times when they would get incredibly angry with me in my mother’s defense which made matters even more complicated.
As far as the golden child is concerned, for a while it was my older sister. This made sibling dynamic in our household very tense because all of us were experiencing a different level of abuse but we weren’t able to get closure about it because we simply didn’t understand it ourselves. However, as I begin to learn more about this toxic way of living, it becomes more and more obvious how dire it is to work through this trauma.
Recently, I have been struggling with C-PTSD and anxiety on a level that I have never experienced before. The realization of the treatment I experienced throughout my entire life, has brought back a ton of flashbacks and put me in a mindset that feels suffocating. I have made it a priority for myself to work through this trauma and know that I will find peace.