EFB PVI get really angry when I think about the degree of spiritual abuse that is ‘out there’ and how victims are preached LIES about right and wrong and how the name of GOD is used to back up those lies.  It upsets me that the name of God is used to guilt and shame abuse victims and survivors into staying silent. This is such a common tactic that controlling people use, it makes me sick.

Take the forgiveness directive for example and how people insist that blind forgiveness is what God would want us to do; even on the EFB facebook page people post daily that forgiveness is the solution to healing from child abuse and that jumping straight to forgiveness is for the victim’s freedom without ever considering that forgiveness in most of the cases WE are referring to, is towards perpetrators and offenders who DENY that they have ever done anything wrong. Here in Emerging from Broken we are not talking about people who are sincerely sorry for what they have done and are asking for forgiveness and making the effort to stop causing harm. We are talking about people who either say that they didn’t do it, OR they stand behind their entitlement for doing it and they don’t want forgiveness NOR are they willing to repent or stop doing the abusive things that are doing. In this way, by being taught that forgiveness for those types of perpetrators is a solution, victims of child abuse (and even ongoing abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment on into adulthood) are further invalidated and re-abused.

Often times, when victims of abuse perpetrated by a family member or close friend try to talk about what happened to them, they are told to “get over it” or “forgive and forget” and a whole host of other little sayings designed to make the victim feel bad about talking. And not just to feel bad about ‘talking’ about it, the victim ends up feeling bad about what happened to them as if it was something he or she did wrong to attract it in the first place and even believing that their ‘feelings’ about it are unfounded.

Talking about what happened to me is not “negative.” Talking about it doesn’t bring shame on the survivor of the abuse, the Church or on the name of Jesus Christ. It brings shame on Read More→

Categories : Family
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EFB blog butterflyMany of you have heard about the 5 year old little girl Alexa Linboom who was disciplined for drinking her step mothers grape soda without permission and as a punishment her father and step-mother forced her to drink 2.4 litres of water and several cans of grape soda which caused her to die. “Both parents were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and two counts of aggravated child neglect.” (court date for this trial is Scheduled for October 2014)

Here is a summary paragraph, but if you are interested in the whole story follow the highlighted sentences and links at the end of the post. “The Vaughns disciplined Alexa by forcing her to drink about 2.4 liters of fluid, including several 12-ounce cans of grape soda, in a span of one to two hours, according to an autopsy report prepared by the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. She was bruised throughout her body and had cuts on her face, the report states.”

In an effort to show what children and adult survivors of child abuse are up against with the way society views child abuse, I am writing about the commenters who STUCK UP for the parents in this situation, saying that the punishment (charged with murder) they received for their actions which ultimately caused this little girl’s DEATH, was too harsh.

Too harsh?

The autopsy report and even the charges state that there were signs of ongoing abuse and neglect but some people commenting still defend the abusive parents.

It has been my experience that sticking up for abusive parents is about parental entitlement; if anything threatens the ‘rights’ of the parents, some people will freak out and defend parents; even parents who caused the death of their child. Adults posted on this article that their parents disciplined them in a similar way and they ‘turned out fine’. Some defended the parents saying that it wasn’t ‘that much liquid’ and they go down the rabbit trail leading nowhere defending that this little girl ‘should have been able to drink that much liquid’… As though the specialists who performed the autopsy must have made a mistake, but the bottom line is that there are people who are completely willing to ignore the DEATH of this child that directly resulted from the punishment she was given because validating that the child DIED as a result of the punishment, threatens Read More→

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book photo a shrinkMy birthday is this week and I have a special request. I am about to publish the first Emerging from Broken downloadable e-book; “Emerging from Broken ~ The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”  Signing the movie contract to appear as an emotional healing expert in the new self-help film “The Secrets of the Keys” got me all fired up to get my book done and I am really excited about being so close to the finish line! There is one very important thing left to accomplish on my “to do” list and it involves YOU!  

This e-book is an adaptation of the first third of the work I published here in the EFB blog and I am collecting ‘endorsements’ and any positive feedback for what I have presented in this website, for the book. I am asking my readers to post something that can be included in book itself, and for the promotion here on this page so that they are all in one place and easy for me to cut and paste into the manuscript and the other places they will be used.

For example you could share how reading my website, or the Emerging from Broken Facebook page has made a difference in your life, or how my work has impacted you on your journey. 

I am going choose several of these quotes for the inside cover of the book, some for a page on “what people are saying about Darlene Ouimet and Emerging from Broken” and some for the sales promotion.

I am going to publish a work book later this year and I will use some of these quotes, blurbs and endorsements on that book as well. Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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breaking free of the web

breaking free of the web

This weekend some of us celebrate Father’s Day in some parts of the world including Canada and the United States. Father’s day can be a really tough time of year emotionally for many of us who have been raised in dysfunctional families or where we have been taught that love is proven (by children) through obedience, compliance and service. It helped me to realize that if obedience, compliance and service is love, why isn’t it returned in the same way to the children in dysfunctional families. Why are the rules different for some people? Why aren’t we loved in the same way that we are taught to love? When the rules are different for some people, it isn’t really love; it is a false definition of love that causes confusion. Emerging from Broken is about breaking free from all that confusion by enabling clarity.

 Typically, there is more resistance when looking at issues we have with our fathers, and it is okay if that is what you are feeling when you read this. This is painful stuff!  It took me a lot longer to acknowledge the pain that my father caused me with his passive abusive actions and inactions than it took me to see the pain that my mother caused me with her more overt treatment. And father’s day was hard the first few years after I drew my boundary because I missed the idea of a loving father; I missed the hope that he might ‘see me’ one day. Letting go of the fantasy was like a death and there is grieving and sadness in the emotional healing process when Read More→

Categories : Father Daughter
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EFB victim blaming

“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them” Iyanla Vanzant

I got a little note of “un-appreciation” in the e-mail a few weeks ago. I was told how wonderful Iyanla Vanzant is and that Iyanla ‘gets it’ and that I don’t when it comes to healing. Today one of Iyanla’s quotes came across my desk. This same quote was posted by a reader on the EFB facebook page a few weeks ago and I “liked it” but today I saw it from a different angle; perhaps from the angle of why I got reprimanded for the work that I do by that reader who says that “I don’t get it”.

I think it is a wonderful quote ~ I share this quote myself, but what struck me is that for the most part, people LOVE these kinds of quotes as long as the core of your pain isn’t rooted in the way you were treated and defined by your parents or your family in your childhood ~ because if it is rooted in family dysfunction or child abuse, then oddly enough, the “stain that oozes through and stains your life”, is often presumed to be your own dang fault. If the core of your pain has something to do with your family or having not been protected and validated by your family, the world is not so interested in hearing about it. In those cases the victim survivor is often viewed differently and possibly even blamed for causing the abuse or for bringing it on to themselves! Sometimes children of parental abuse are told Read More→

Categories : Family
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Broken Bottle 2

Carrie H. first guest posted here on Emerging from Broken in March and her post “Self Love and Navigating the Waters of Grief” was a big hit. Carrie writes with passion and beautiful emotional imagery and I am excited to publish her second post. Please help me welcome Carrie back with her second contribution here as we light the path to emotional healing by shedding light on the empowering truth. ~ Darlene Ouimet

Defined as the Problem by the Age of Four  by Carrie H.

Bottle Breaker

When I was very young, maybe three or four, my mom asked me to carry some glass bottles up the concrete steps leading up to a neighbor’s house.  On the first trip I dropped a bottle and it shattered.  My mother was very upset with me, but she let me try again.  This time, I was so nervous that I would drop the bottle that it slipped through my fingers and broke.   She was furious.  She yelled at me.  I don’t remember exactly what she said but it made me feel like she thought I had intentionally broken the bottle just to upset her.  There was no way to prove that wasn’t true.  It was the first time I felt trapped behind a lie about myself that I couldn’t prove wrong.  

It was the first time I felt like I was screaming into the wind and my words were carried away.  It was the first time I felt like I was placed into a box; a box with glass walls that gave the illusion of freedom.  A box I couldn’t escape, yet couldn’t prove was there.  No matter how hard I tried (and still try), I couldn’t escape that box.  How could I possibly prove that dropping the bottle was an accident???  How could I possibly prove I wasn’t unkind?  Eventually I adapted to being trapped in that glass box labeled “unkind” and “selfish” and I became comfortable.  So comfortable that even I stopped seeing the walls.  

Until one day I stumbled upon them.

 I realize that I’ve been trying to prove that wasn’t me my whole life.  The little girl who broke a bottle on purpose.  The selfish person who would intentionally hurt another.  But it turns out that my family won’t see me any other way.  I’ve left the box but they won’t see me unless I climb back in.  I’ve tried so hard to Read More→

Categories : Family
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movie promo pic I’ve been keeping something under my hat these past few weeks that I have been bursting to tell you all! I have some exciting and fabulous news;

My work and my message here on Emerging from Broken have been discovered by a movie producer and I have been invited to co-star in the next “Key” movie as a featured “Key Expert.” Writer/Producer Robin Jay, an award-winning filmmaker, has just signed me to be a featured expert in her newest film, “The Secrets of the Keys.”

The film will star icons of the personal development industry including Brian Tracy, Michael Beckwith, Dannion Brinkley (Author of “Saved by the Light,”) John Assaraf, Gloria Loring, (author, singer, songwriter, actress) and will feature special guest don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements.” I am beyond excited and extremely honored to have been invited to co-star with these amazing messengers in the field of self-help and personal development.

The ‘Secrets of the Keys’ is a prequel to Robin Jay’s first movie,  “The Keeper of the Keys,” which stars Jack Canfield (co-creator of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and author of “The Success Principles”), Marci Shimoff (author of “Happy for No Reason”), and Dr. John Gray (author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.”) “The Keeper of the Keys” was the first funny self-help film. It won the Las Vegas International Film FestivalAward for Best Independent Film and The INDIE Fest Award for Best Documentary.

The first thing that caught my eye on the Key Movies website (www.TheKeyMovies.com) was their tag line: “Taking the Hell out of Self-Help.”  I am ALL for that! The second thing that caught my eye was that these are “real” movies, hybrids that incorporate a fictional story line and characters interacting with the film’s experts, as opposed to the more traditional “talking head” style of documentaries that typically identify the self-help genre of films. In “The Keeper of the Keys,” personal development experts interact with fictional characters by sharing deeply personal stories of transformation. As viewers, we find ourselves rooting for the main character, a man who is feeling victimized by his Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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My Flowers

My Flowers

Yesterday someone asked me for guidance on the “dreaded mother’s day card purchase”. Flashbacks of trying to find just the right card went zipping through my mind. I remember reading dozens of them trying to find something that my Mother would like, but that didn’t make me feel like a liar. I wanted to make her happy and I wanted approval but I also wanted to feel good about myself. Joke cards were fun, but my mother didn’t appreciate them at all. Mushy cards that said “thank you for being the most wonderful mother in the world… for always taking care of all my needs, for putting yourself last” and all that other stuff wasn’t truthful. Not getting a card was even more risky than buying a less than perfect card. Thinking about that whole dreaded mother’s day card shopping nightmare resulted in the following thoughts;

This week in honor of Mother’s day, don’t forget to acknowledge the Mother that YOU have been to yourself. I am talking about everyone who has survived any kind of family dysfunction, emotional neglect or psychological abuse. I am talking to everyone who lived in a violent home, and to everyone who was spiritually abused and told that even God is disappointed in you. I am reaching out to every human being who was taught to believe that they were less valuable than any other human being and to anyone who felt shame that was not theirs to bear, and to every individual who came to the conclusion that if actions speak louder than words, my mother didn’t love me. I am referring to everyone, man or woman, who has persisted in moving forward in spite of the baggage and false beliefs left over from child abuse that we have tried and tried to ditch although this has always been so much easier said than done.

I remember feeling horrified and even panicky at the point in my process of emotional healing when I realized that I was going to have to be the one that had to Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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Check the Motive

Check the Motive

Note: this post was originally published February 18th 2014 but due to a server malfunction it was lost in cyberspace along with about 25 comments from this post and 25 others from other posts! I am including some of the comments that I saved in email at the end of the post so please read through to the end.

*also: for those of you who don’t know, facebook has a feature that allows me to choose if I want to allow people to subscribe to my posts and status updates, and since I have a really big readership here and not everyone wants to publically follow the emerging from broken facebook  page, I allow people to follow the status updates on my personal page.

When People use Facebook to Spy; Dear Stalkers

I was surprised to see how popular my “dear stalkers” status update on my facebook page was.  I thought that the ‘back story’ might make for an interesting update here on the emerging from broken website.

When I first noticed that my mother’s husband was subscribing to my status updates on my personal facebook page, I was a little shocked. I couldn’t figure out why the hell he was openly following me when my mother (his wife) isn’t even interested in speaking to me. Why would they ‘follow me’ and subscribe to my personal facebook status updates?

The day before I noticed he was following me, I had confronted a cousin that I have not spoken to for YEARS for sharing a picture of my daughter on her page. I have not spoken to her for at least 12 years and I noticed that she had subscribed to my status updates on my personal page and for over 3 weeks she had been clicking the like button for everything I posted, but she had not sent me a friend request, messaged me or spoken directly to me.  I thought it was really odd.  But when I saw the share notification from facebook that she had shared a picture I posted of my youngest daughter getting her cast changed in the hospital, (my daughter had been in a car accident a couple of weeks earlier) I thought that was downright creepy!

So I went to her facebook page and asked her why she was sharing my pictures? She responded with “because your family does care about you”.  You know the old saying “they have a funny way of showing it?” well I worded it this way; “So you are sharing these for my family? You’ve been liking my status updates for weeks but you’ve never talked to me? No one in my family has even asked about any of my kids for years ~ is that what you call “caring?”  

(I don’t call it caring; I call it spying and information mongering.)

She didn’t answer the question but proceeded to tell me all the family news!??? (News such as who had surgery, and who died and how she doesn’t talk to most of ‘them’ because they are only interested in themselves. (Have you ever noticed how much these people are so willing to throw each other under the bus in order to convince you that they are on “your side”?) 

I stopped responding to her in that conversation on her status because suddenly the whole horrific dysfunctional family thing came rushing back and I remembered why I stopped talking to all but one cousin on my mother’s side of my extended family YEARS before I drew the boundaries with my mother.

The very next day I got the notification from facebook that my mother’s husband Read More→

Categories : Family
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efb grief watersPlease join me in welcoming Carrie H. and her debut article on Emerging from Broken.  Carrie writes in a brilliant style filled with emotional honesty and compassion both for herself and for others who understand the grief we feel when we find it necessary to draw a boundary with our own families of origin. I am honored to have Carrie as a guest writer on Emerging from Broken.  ~ Darlene

 Self-Love and Navigating the Waters of Grief  by Carrie H.

 When my husband found out that his father was dying I asked him how he would make it through.  How would his sister make it?  How would his mother make it?  “Our love will hold us together”, he answered.  Wow, I thought. I watched as he and mom and sister held each other that day.  The day they knew one of their family members was dying.  In that moment I realized that love was absent from my own family of origin.  In my family, love did not tie us together, which was why getting through a dark time seemed so difficult from where I was standing.    

 When I pointed out the Truth to my parents and sister, that there had been verbal and emotional abuse, I was abandoned.  I had visions of us healing together as a family – that’s what loving families do – but I’ve had to let those dreams go over the past few months. 

 Their reaction to me revealing the dysfunction merely proved the dysfunction.  Instead of looking at their own behaviors and their role in our family dynamic, they chose to point their fingers at me and to blame me for their pain.  You see, once I stepped out of “The Matrix” – which is what I call their faulty belief system regarding love – they became very uncomfortable.  I told them that there was an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed.   I held up a mirror and they ran screaming.  In regards to the elephant in the room, my sister wants to pretend it’s not there.  If we don’t look at it, it can’t be there, right??  My father, always the spiritual bypasser, admits it’s there but says life is “just an illusion” so we are “one” with the elephant.  My mother says I’M the elephant. 

 I realized that the only way my family would accept me was as their scapegoat, as the one who Read More→

Categories : Family
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