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Nobody Dies Today

Positively Speaking

There is a poster used by Domestic Violence educators that shows the different roles of DV. Nobody is a real person in situations involving DV. Everyone just plays a role. That’s the point they are trying to make. Real only happens in healthy.
Growing up in a household where I was constantly abused and moving into church work which is, unfortunately, loaded with abusers (four times the national average for the helping professions- real true self reporting statistics so probably higher) and then living in affluent circles where an invisible,   form of abuse has been identified, economic abuse, my role was always The Scapegoat.

The term comes from Jewish tradition where an animal was designated to have all the sins of the people on it and then sent off into the wilderness or killed.

In practical terms it means you are the one who takes the hits for other people who are feeling negative inside. That was me. Was being the operative word.

So, my mom as I’ve mentioned so many times before, was the most culturally accepted kind of mental illness. She had family money, I mean K-2 kinda money, a good education, and nice social skills. Inside, she was one hurting kind of being. I loved her then, love her now. I was devoted.  Her best friend. When I was forty I discovered, because all candidates for the ministry in the Presbyterian church have to go through a complete and utter psychological evaluation, that unlike what I had been told, there wasn’t anything wrong with me. In fact I was remarkably healthy, above the charts healthy.

Now we collect people who verify what we believe to be our story. So I had married a man with clinical depression and anxiety disorder and was a mysoginist ( hated women), and I had adopted two severely attachment disordered children, each when they were five. The point in mentioning the ages is that they came very damaged. First five years is everything. Another column will deal with forgiving birthparents. I mean, my father could have protected me right?

Wait! Wait!  you say. Deborah, you can’t just put those kinds of things in print about other people.  Well, yes you can if they are clinically documented and also if it’s part of your story...ya know...that free speech thing. This piece is for those who are walking my walk. Scapegoats who are trying to stand up on that damnable altar where they are being sliced and diced and say, “Back Off! Nobody Dies Today!” this part of my story started is, one night I called my mom who used to call every night at 8:30 and tell me what an awful daughter I was. Why 8:30 PM? Because she was on East Coast time. It was the time she noticed she was the most alone in her life.

“Mom”, I said, “You just can’t call me up (like this) anymore. I have two seriously needy children and two birth children who are terrified of them, I’m putting to bed. It just can’t happen anymore.” I don’t even know where I got the courage to say that, except that being a scapegoat is a spiritual issue too and my faith was growing leaps and bounds.

But the reply was the beginning of the end for all who had been exploiting me. She said, “But you’ve ALWAYS been in charge of managing my anxiety!!”

I... was... stunned. My life changed in a heartbeat. I had not seen that. I had not signed on for that. I did not have that on my ‘to do’ list. The next step was seeing how, because of Mom, I had all these crazy people in my life that I reached out to normally and never saw that they were exploitive or crazy. They all had two things in common. They had good social skills and they were all wrapped up in money issues.

Now people who have those two issues usually like to use the courts to play out drama. They also have people around them who are, what is termed, enmeshed, or co dependent.

If you ever hear someone talking about me being a rebel, or non compliant, or insubordinate, without exception they are someone who has tried to scapegoat me and it has failed. From my lips to your ears.The one thing that Scapegoats are not supposed to do is stand up and say, “Nobody Dies Today”.

So...two more things happened. I had been heavily involved in education awareness and prevention for sexual and domestic violence, and people started hauling me into court when I set limits with them.

It escalated until the day a judge foolishly said to me, “I don’t want to hear a thing you have to say”. Oh  honey. Nobody Dies Today! Secondly, in the United States, it’s your job to hear what I have to say!

I take vows very seriously. Professional vows, personal vows. Judges who do not keep their vows, pastors who do not keep their vows, doctors who do not keep their vows, lawyers who do not keep their vows,  will be held accountable.

OK...those of you who are Scapegoats who are reading this and saying ‘why do I always end up eating someone else’s garbage?”  Each person’s ‘why’ is different. That’s how you find your true self. That’s not a column, that’s a book.

But what I want to talk about is the part of what happened when I was no longer a Scapegoat. So back to the courtroom. Six months later I get put on jury duty. I get asked in court about situations of injustice and I get to tell two judges about this other judge and let me tell you, it was taken seriously. I also found out if you file a complaint about a judge you can’t talk about it. So I didn’t file a complaint. And people saw that I was telling the truth. They saw that confronting being a Scapegoat had made me strong and courageous and that I was not retributive. I don’t return evil for evil.

And I got asked to be a major part of judicial reform. Pretty cool. Nobody Dies Today! More later, no doubt.