Recently I received a question that I thought would make a really great blog post. The question was; “In relation to leaving or reducing contact with your “FOO” (which stands for Family of Origin) do you feel guilty about going no contact with your family of origin?”
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I receive and it is a really worthwhile topic to dig more deeply into. I know that my readers want to know the simple answer to these questions but if I wrote the simple answer you would only have my answer and I want you to know the answer for you; we are all individuals; the same answer doesn’t fit for all.
Not only do I get asked if I feel guilty, I get asked a lot of other related questions so here are a few quick facts:
Both of my parents are still alive. They are divorced and they have been divorced since I was a teenager.
I use my legal maiden name for this blog and on my book. I use the name that I was given when I was born. I actually had my married name legally changed back to my original name when I began to heal. There is something about doing that that made me feel like I was taking MY life back.
Both my parents and in fact my entire family are aware of my blog and what I am doing here. I don’t know if, when or how often they check on it, but I am not concerned about that. I am empowered with the knowledge and comprehension that it isn’t really any of their business what I am writing about OR what I am talking about. One of the hardest truths for me to embrace in my recovery was the fact that I have a right to talk about my life. I have a right to have feelings about what happened to me. I am an individual and not an extension of my family of origin. Busting through that brainwashing wasn’t the easiest thing that I have ever done; I was taught (brainwashed) to believe that I was wrong ~ to think for myself was wrong, to feel, talk, and to be me; I was always somehow ~ “wrong”. I was taught that I had no rights. I was taught what to believe about the world and about myself through all of the examples that I share in my blog. (For the ‘fast track version’ of this see my book “The beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” which you can access here on the upper right side bar)
I believe that the most important thing about writing publically or even about talking about my life and my family of origin is how I feel about what I am doing. I wish my family no malice or emotional harm. My motive is purely about delivering the message of hope, freedom and wholeness in a hurting world by illustrating how I found it for myself.
Getting back to the question ~ Do I Feel Guilty about Going No Contact with My Family of Origin?
Something that I really can’t emphasize enough is that going no contact was not a choice I made. Read More→
I am excited to announce that my first e-book ~ “Emerging from Broken ~ The beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” ~ is finally ready! The original articles from my early work have been edited, cleaned up and some cases, re-written and I have re-ordered them for better flow and readability. The e-book is 197 full pages, printable and live linked to the associated website articles~ and it’s a steal of a deal for only $9.97
It’s been well over 2 years since I first got the idea to reorganize, edit and compile some of my key blog posts into e-books after receiving thousands of emails and comments through the blog and questions on the Emerging from Broken-Facebook page from people asking where to start reading and how to navigate through the EFB website. Thousands and thousands of people want to know “where to start” this healing process.
I share the “Where” and “How” answers in the ‘Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing’ collection of my writing. The way that I write shines a light on a path that I have travelled. The answers that I have found are available for you to find in your own way, in your own life and in your own time and thousands of people report that this light I am shining has lit up a path for them as well.
If you are anything like me, I thought I was alone in the way that I felt and the way that I experienced life. I even thought that I might be a little “crazy”. I thought that it was me and that it was my fault and since I had been “told” through the actions and inactions of the people in my life that it ‘was me’, I believed it. But it wasn’t me. Their actions were not about me but I couldn’t see it. I just kept trying harder and I explain why in the book. Understanding the ‘why’ about me went miles towards overcoming the damage.
Majority doesn’t rule when it comes to the way that people define people and just because everyone says it’s you, doesn’t mean it is you. Emerging from Broken is kind of like overcoming brainwashing. I wasn’t born with low self-esteem and through looking at the ways that it got damaged I was able recover it. I found out that it wasn’t so much about what was wrong with me, as it was about what was what was communicated to me about me.
This e-book is available for download on your computer or laptop. There are versions for Kindle and iPad as well as other e-readers. Your choice! (All of these options will be available to you when you get the book!) AND if you like to write in the margins, print a copy for yourself!
AND I have included a special feature in this e-book; Read More→
I 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→
Many 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.
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→
My 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→
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→
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.
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→
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→