This blog is about walls we find in ourselves and the process of tearing them down, and then the successes we have after the transition. Well, I’ve been dealing with an old wall, one that must be built of something really strong because it keeps coming back. I’ve certainly chipped at it, but in different forms it returns to surprise me with its continued existence and continued interference.
I was abused as a child and this wall comes from that. I am seeing it now whenever I am in a group working situation. If I do not immediately start out as the star of the group, I work to make myself the scapegoat. The scapegoat is someone who does things a little off, so that others in the group can blame them for anything that goes wrong even if it isn’t the scapegoat’s fault.
The fact that there can be a scapegoat who takes the fall for others says a lot about humanity. The fact that I naturally assume this position says a lot about me.
For example, in class, I am working in a group of four. We had to brainstorm and mind map our ideas together to formulate ideas about three different topics. For some reason, my ideas were always rejected, so I wasn’t the immediate star of the group. Then one guy looked at me and said that I was getting too far ahead of the plan and shouldn’t be thinking about a thesis statement. In contradiction to what he said, another girl in the group, said that my ideas were too broad and that I should be thinking of what we could build a website about.
The idea of mine they did like was when I spouted out the word “organic”, which seems rather broad to me. Anyway, we chose a topic of online real estate after the two main criticizers discussed second life real estate.
To be honest, I’m not even sure that I did anything “off” to cause the criticism of my ideas, but it happened. The girl who insisted my ideas were not narrow enough, is a friend-ish person. I say “friend-ish” because we were introduced through another girl outside of class who I really adore, but am not as close with. I know this girl, who is French, through the French Meet up group I started here in Milwaukee. She comes every meeting and is now my co-organizer in that group. We always speak French, which I’m still learning in school, so we do not necessarily become as close due to my language limitations.
Nonetheless, Sandra, the friend-ish girl is very nice and I think to be a good person who was sincerely believing herself to be helping.
Inside me I was mostly fine, but couldn’t help notice the pattern forming when it was happening. I’ve worked in a lot of groups both in school and on a team at Sybase. I’ve sometimes not played the scapegoat, but that is when I started out as the star performer.
It’s as if when I am feeling my way around, I don’t get a chance to find it without a criticizer on my back.
The way this relates to my family is probably slightly obvious, I was the scapegoat. This pattern from my upbringing has affected me in every facet of my being as an adult. In the past I dealt with my connections to people and learning how to build them and maintain them. I think I’m a pro now, but in the past I was scared to make friends.
The reason is that as the scapegoat in my family, everyone blamed me for just about everything, but mostly my parents blamed me for their failed marriage, and failed parenting of my two younger sisters. This meant that my parents told my two younger sisters that the reason they did not get what they needed from my parents is because of me!
This did not strengthen relationships in our family. This made me feel guilty about my family at the age of fourteen, when I didn’t really understand anything. Nobody in my family was taught how to express their emotions so in my attempts I failed and further failed to gain understanding from my family, and further failed to gain closeness to my sisters who were told to not be like me.
They still suffer from this impression of me and it is really up to them to fix it. Nonetheless, being the black sheep and the scapegoat of my family does not do anything for me socially. Well that was the first form this wall took in my life and I have destroyed that version of this blockade to success.
Now, it has surfaced in another form, one I will have to fix. It is slightly less impactful, causing only slight discomfort, but still a discomfort.
Also, my two sisters have decided to start a company together without any of my input. They call it a “family” company. I wonder if either of them realize that I am apart of their family?