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Toxic family dynamics are much different than a healthy one. The dynamic typically is dysfunctional in nature, and oftentimes, the main members of the family end up choosing a child to scapegoat.

Much like any other community or clan of people in a toxic family, especially in larger ones, many of the members will ban together and turn on one person. This person can be different at different times and for different reasons. When you have all of these toxic personalities, it’s simply a normal byproduct for the toxic personalities to clique together and turn on each other. Well, at least a normal byproduct of a toxic family.

In a healthy family, this would not happen.

Within the toxic family system, there is much anger that is projected. And unfortunately, there is often one person that is targeted to receive the brunt of the anger. If you look more closely, there are usually certain types of members most often targeted. Here are a few.

1. The protector.

The protector is a member of the family who stands up for the underdog. When another member becomes the target, they aren’t afraid to stand up for them. Most often, this is an older sibling, or an aunt, or an uncle that is more distant from the close-knit unit. However, when they stand up to protect another, they soon receive a target on their back.

2. The one who gets away.

The one who gets away is the one who realizes early on that the family is toxic. Oftentimes, they bide their time, diligently working to escape. They seek out job or schooling opportunities that allow them the ability to move outside of the family. However, in doing so, because they escaped (much like a cow that tries to escape the herd) the rest of the members turn on them.

3. The one who says the truth.

There is typically one person who can see the toxicity of the family for what it is and who stands against it. When they do- no matter how well-intentioned they may be, the rest do not like being called out and turn against them.

4. The caretaker.

The caretaker genuinely has a good heart. They want everyone to be okay, and despite their good interests, they are fighting an unwinnable battle. The other, less well-intentioned members often see the caretaker as a ‘do-gooder’ who is trying to show them up.

5. The rebel.

The rebel knows from the moment they are born that they are not of this family, not in spirit. And they fight hard against the other members. Oftentimes, they run away at a young age, only to be made to return. And they often get bullied hard by their family members for trying to stand against the rest.