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November 16, 2023

Want to goat? Yep, I am the scapegoat.

Saddled with every sin, mistake, and fault?


Does the word, “scapegoat” register with you?

Chances are, you’re probably quite familiar with the term. Are you the designated person who is blamed for any wrong, in any system, including those systems of family, the workplace, or love relationships?

Are you shouldering the responsibility of others’ addictions, bad choices, and toxic environments?

Saying yes to this?

Then, congratulations.

Say it with me, “Yep, I am the scapegoat.”

I recently came across an adorable meme, declaring the following…

“I don’t want to adult anymore. Don’t even want to human. I want to goat. Jump around randomly. Eat what I want. And head butt anyone who annoys me.”

While, on the surface, this is a humorous post, if we look a little closer, we can derive some deeper revelations about our scapegoat status.

“I don’t want to adult anymore…”


That’s a loaded word. It’s an oppressive existence.

Many of us now are chronological adults.

But we have often been toxically living out that role and burden for much longer than that. Often, we have been adults since childhood.

Abusive dynamics, harmful or nonexistent boundaries, and chaotic addictions, many times, have forced us to “grow up” while we were still children.

We, as children, may take care of the adults and the siblings around us.

We may act as the only source of emotional, mental, and financial support, taking on responsibilities that were never supposed to be ours in the first place.

We may even, in extreme cases, be subject to sexual and emotional incest.

So that stuff often occurs when we’re children.

And often, when do we discover what happened to us as children?

In adulthood.

How fun!

That’s part of the painful trauma.

Ignorance is bliss. Therefore, the knowledge can be excruciating and jarring.

We feel unsettled, disturbed, and jostled, as we need to learn an entirely new and different way of approaching life, relationships, behaviors, and attitudes. Everything feels upended now.

Recognizing the reality of us, cast in the scapegoat role, can become so overwhelming, that we feel ourselves shutting down. And this is often at the precise time when we need to deal with reality head-on.

Therapy, most of us discover, therefore, becomes a necessary survival tool. Our scapegoat selves often do not get revealed without the delving excavation of therapy. And then, we can’t just stop halfway through the process. The healing comes as we work through it, getting more uncomfortable and unsettled.

The “goat” confronts the adult. How will we respond?

With a child’s response, or with an adult’s response?

Are we Human?

Regardless of how mature, wise, informed, and committed our responses to healing may be, feelings are still feelings. And we will have them.

“…Don’t even want to human…”

Enter the feeling of not wanting to be human.

Of feeling cut off from the experience.

Being a scapegoat, to a certain degree, had us operating on automatic pilot. We were surviving on animal instinct.

Again, ignorance is bliss. Just doing it, not being aware of it, is one thing. But encountering and confronting its reality in our lives, with intention and focus, can have us wanting to retreat with our second-guessing and our fear of the unknown, the unpleasant, and the scary.

Many of us, upon discovering our scapegoat status, realize we need to learn how to be human.

It is not for the faint of heart.

We embrace our inner goat.

“…I want to goat…”


It can, perhaps, go one of two ways- destructive or constructive.

One possible approach?

We embrace our inner goat; we live the dark side.

We can deal with our scapegoat status from an unhealthy perspective.

We can simply choose to participate in the path of least resistance.

We can choose to ignore insight, better coping tools, and active recovery from our early formative goat experiences.

We can choose to embrace the negative payoffs that often come with dysfunction.

Maybe we have now acquired an addiction we don’t want to abandon.

Maybe we still hope that a certain toxic person will magically change.

Maybe we don’t want to look at the ugliness of our lives for what that means. Prettier, cleaner, more socially acceptable image stuff seems more desirable, and less threatening to our sense of selves.

Don’t upset the apple cart.

So, we believe we choose that we aren’t, and that all is well.

But it isn’t.

But sometimes, for those of us who choose this darker aspect of the scapegoat role, it is just too attractive, rewarding, and comforting to release.

We don’t want to let it go.

But there can be another option.

We embrace our inner goat; we live the healthier side.

It, by contrast to the unhealthier perspective, is the path of much- or even, the MOST resistance. We choose this hard option intentionally, daily, and with commitment to override harmful behaviors and thoughts.

That’s a tall order.

We stop telling lies, for others, and to ourselves. We accept the hard, ugly truth. We get into- and stick with- therapy. We remove our immediate connection with people and systems that toxically mandate we only be their scapegoat.

And we recognize this goat status will not change in their eyes. They will not see us any other way.

With that in mind, we, again and again, with imperfect stumbles and mistakes, choose our different healthier choices.

We choose to be a scapegoat in recovery.

And that can prime us for other changes.

We now jump around.

With the knowledge of us being scapegoats, cognizant of the pitfalls and the necessary changes that often come with that role, we now move emotionally, physically, geographically, spiritually, and mentally.

“…Jump around randomly…”

Anything that signifies a change in location, we are about it.

This gets messy. Imagine a greased up pogo stick. We are jumping away on it. We fall off the pogo stick. We hop into places we are surprised by. We get tired from exerting energy and effort. We get hurt, bruised, and bloodied.

And, of course, because of the pogo stick concept itself, we look ridiculous as we are hopping around on it.

Boing, boing.

But movement is often preferable to the stagnant paralysis our goat selves have experienced. Being blamed, after all, means that we needed to just stay there and take it.

Movement defies that. We are on the move.

All this activity, therefore, works up quite an appetite.

Therefore, next we…


It’s more than just about food, even though food, yes, may have been policed and controlled by those who relegated us to the scapegoat role.

“…Eat what I want…”

It’s about what we consume, what we let in.

We now can have more of a say-so in what feeds us.

Therefore, this is a part of our declaration of independence. We declare we will take better care of ourselves.

Scapegoats have often been presented with the toxic message that we do not deserve self-care, good treatment, dignity, and health. We must be denied and punished.

Those are often the rules we must abide by.

There is no reality, whatsoever, of us having better in our lives.

But when we can decide for ourselves what we intentionally, personally consume, we can often access what is better for us.

And that influences how we address our issues.

And how that can also show up for us.


We headbutt.

“…And head butt anyone who annoys me.”

Confrontation? Well, how can that be healthy?

Scapegoats, often, are treated like animals; we are not allowed our individual, human being nature by those who enforce we take on all blame.

We are accustomed to being the beast of burden. We are saddled with others’ issues, failings, distortions, and entitlements.

When we decide to heat butt, we challenge that.

It’s not about picking a fight with anyone and everyone. Rather, it’s about standing up for us when someone tries, in any way, to encroach on, and violate us.

And that usually involves confrontation.

Other people who are used to us being their convenient scapegoats are familiar with our people-pleasing behaviors. They count on that continually happening, without question or disruption.

Head butting questions and disrupts.

If other people are uncomfortable about that, it’s on them, not us.

We have a right to our sovereignty. We have a right to live, deal with, and expect truth to be a part of our lives.

Lies and distortion favor those who need the scapegoat. Those things don’t serve us.

So, head butt away!

We deserve change that benefits us. We deserve lives free from the harmful status quo.

“Yep, I am the scapegoat.”

It’s the statement of reality. This reality has been painful, abusive, and limiting for us.

Our work is facing it, making changes, over a lifetime, employing newer, better, healthier ways of being.

By owning the reality of our scapegoat status, we can challenge what else we can be, besides that dysfunctional role.

Our unique life purpose is much different than “their force.”

Indeed, we are not someone else’s beast of burden and blame.

We were never created to be that.

Copyright © 2023 by Sheryle Cruse




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