“Abusive, controlling, entitled people and the people who are afraid of them will say almost anything to get you to shut up. They will label you as angry, hateful and unforgiving if you decide to stand up to them and the ways that they regard you. I want to shout at them and to the ones that defend them ~ “What do you think I am angry about? Anger is justifiable in this situation!” Darlene Ouimet
The quote came from one of my recent blog posts about spiritual abuse when the name of God is used to Guilt and Shame victims of abuse, and I wrote it in the context of explaining the abuse tactic of being told what God would expect you to do or what would make God proud of you according to what abusive controlling, manipulative people want you to do, which has nothing to do with God OR his/her expectations of you.
For many of the readers, this quote was validating. But for others it was upsetting. As I read through the comments it became clear to me that the word “justifiable” was the primary culprit that triggered so many reactions. Apparently, the idea of “justifiable anger” upsets a lot of people.
Some people believe that justifiable anger is dangerous and inappropriate. This quote is about standing up to abusive people and how those people reacted to me standing up to them to and the control tactics that are used in abusive relationships to keep a victim in the web. As most of you know I have a passion for the topic of parent abuse which seems to be an even bigger hot button. The quote exposes spiritual abuse, and the controlling and manipulative people I am referring to, happen to be my parents. BUT as soon as I mentioned “justifiable anger” the meaning of the quote was lost to some of the readers. The meaning of the quote lost its purpose and its importance because a “fear belief” was triggered. Read More→
I am excited to have our very own Pam Witzemann guest blogging on Emerging from Broken this week! Pam was a frequent guest blogger here in 2011 and 2012 and she has always been a contributor in the conversations. Please welcome Pam;
An Invisible Child in a Hostile World by Pam Witzemann
Where there is substance abuse and children, there is child neglect and abuse.
I was born to parents who abused alcohol and from my birth I was an invisible child in a hostile world. Alcohol abuse is considered a disease but my life’s experience has taught me to view it as a symptom of underlying mental illness and psychological disorder. Though my parents have never seen a psychologist or psychiatrist and aren’t likely ever to do so, I am quite certain of their underlying psychological disorders. Alcohol was gasoline added to the flame of their mental illness that created the distorted and sometimes, dangerous environment of my childhood home.
There was a time when I hated my parents. I still hate the things they did to me and neglected to do for me; but I now view them as pitiable persons who choose the false safety of denial, rather than face the truth about themselves and the lives they’ve led. They are no longer a part of my life because in order to be in a relationship with them I would have to deny the truth about my life and continue in the denial that rules my family of origin. That is abusive to me and I refuse to allow them to abuse me any longer. In any event, the truths I share here are about my life and not really about my parents at all. I now choose when and where to share my personal history and what I share here is for the purpose of helping others who suffer as I have suffered and not about any kind of exposure or revenge.
I don’t think my parents ever saw me as an individual separate from themselves. I was simply an extension of them. I was their firstborn child and to them, a disappointing reflection of themselves. I only weighed four pounds and my mother brought me home wearing doll clothes and lying in a shoe box. My mother had many childish fantasies of a baby daughter who would change her life for the better and it didn’t seem likely that I would fulfill any of them. She says my dad was jealous of me and didn’t like her giving me the attention I constantly cried for.
I nearly died when I was only a few weeks old. Read More→
“I was reading on your FB page about a post you had written about a year ago. It was about a “narcissistic mother” that demanded honor from her daughter. But I have a question for you; what about a mother that has truly been hurt by her children? I am one such mother. I have been “there” for my children countless times. I have emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially supported them in anything they wanted and wanted to do in their lives. I have told them all of their lives that I love them and believe they have the power to do and be anything they set their minds to. As a result they have thrown insults back at me and called me names. To this end they have basically abandoned me telling me I am worthless and a burden. I am a little upset that you seem to take the side of the child in most of your posts without balance. I would like to see you post that there is balance in all things. Signed, Hurt Mother who loves her children endlessly and doesn’t understand.”
First of all, I would like to qualify that in my work here in Emerging from Broken I am not advocating or empowering grown children to rise up and abuse their parents. I am not in favor of abuse of any kind. I am not supporting revenge on parents and I am NOT advocating or recommending that grown children go ‘no contact’ with their parents which I believe is an individual choice that each person has the right to make. Emerging from Broken and my work here represents the concept of equal value for all human beings and it’s about learning what love is through the truth about equal value, which in dysfunctional families is grossly misunderstood. What I am trying to do with my articles, speaking etc. is EXPOSE the TRUTH about relationships that are out of balance such as where the entitlement of parents rules over everyone or where the rules in love and relationship that apply to the children (even grown children) are not the same for the children as they are for the parents. EVERYONE has a choice about continuing or discontinuing in relationship. I am advocating for and empowering people to make those choices through looking at the truth through understanding equal value and the true definition of love.
The first part of her question is Read More→
A couple of months ago I was invited by DeeAnna Nagel and Kate Anthony from Online Therapy Institute to submit an article to TILT magazine (TILT stands for “Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology“) and the issue that my article has been featured in has been published! A lot of my readers are coaches and therapists and people who are trying to navigate the internet in order to make a difference in the world with their messages and expertise, so I want to bring awareness to this awesome resource. (I know the cover picture is small but that’s my article on pg 14!)
About TILT Magazine ~ TILT is about envisioning therapeutic interventions in a new way. While Kate was visiting DeeAnna on the Jersey Shore, they took a late afternoon boat ride and a display of sail boats tilting against the sunset came within view. It reminded them how, as helping professionals, we should always be willing to tilt our heads a bit to be able to envision which innovations – however seemingly unconventional – may fit our clients’ needs. Our clients are experiencing issues in new ways in light of the presence of technology in their lives. As helping professionals, so are we. TILT and the Online Therapy Institute is about embracing the changes technology brings to the profession, keeping you informed and aware of those developments, and entertaining you along the way.
Here is a copy of my article;
From Starting a Blog to landing a Movie Deal ~ all on the WWW
When I overcame dissociative issues and chronic depressions by seeing where they originated in the first place and how the false understandings of how relationships worked were stuck in my belief system, I found myself with a massive passion and desire to share my new found freedom and wholeness with the world.
In the beginning I started speaking in mental health seminars and I noticed that almost everyone in the room could relate to what I was speaking about when I talked about this ‘root belief system stuff’ that had resulted from the messages that I got from the actions of adults in my childhood. I was seeing people’s eyes pop open and they were mobbing me on the breaks. It was really validating to have so many people interested in talking to me in order to learn more about how I found this new freedom from depression and how I recovered my self-esteem.
I was in my mid-forties at this time and although I considered going back to school to become a therapist, I still had 3 kids at home and I lived way out in the country and couldn’t figure out how I would attend school if I did go back so I decided to become a professional coach. Since I was already working in the mental health arena, I chose a well-known American psychiatrist who was the dean of a reputable coaching institute, as my coaching instructor, so I could learn how to coach without crossing over into therapy. Read More→
I had a dream that caused me to wake up thinking about my relationship with my father who is passive abusive and emotionally unavailable and my relationship with my mother who believes that she comes first, simply because ‘she is the mom’. This dream resulted in me having a deeper understanding of just how I had never been seen by my parents and how deep my longing to be seen as an equally valuable individual was.
In this dream I was in someone’s home looking at family pictures on the walls. As the wife and mother of the children in the pictures proudly explained who was in each picture we came to a spot where two side by side photos showed the father with his little girl.
The little girl was about 5 years old; she wore an expensive and beautiful white frilly dress and her hair was curled and styled perfectly for the photos that were taken that day. But something wasn’t right…
In the first photo the father sat looking like a movie star with his perfect smile and charming disposition but the little girl in the princess dress, sitting on his knee was crying. She had tears streaming down her cheeks and I could see by the expression on her face, her tears were silent. She was silent.
In the second photo while the father sat posed, still gazing into the camera with his Hollywood looks and handsome smile, the little girl was trying to get away from him. She was off his lap, pulling with all her might, her muscles straining, her body angled away and towards her destination and her face screwed up with the effort of trying to escape his grasp but her father held fast to her tiny hand oblivious to anything but the photographer and the photo opportunity. Read More→
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→