Before I Faced the Pain I had to Face the Lies


Emotional abuse, recovery from abuse
The Road Ahead

Something is happening here on Emerging from Broken.  There is a depth of sharing and honesty that I didn’t expect. There is a community growing that I only hoped for. There is a profound expression of struggle and healing, all working towards the overall good and towards emotional recovery.

This post is the follow up to my last post ~ “Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain” . If you have not read it, I really recommend that you take the time to read it and the 50 some amazing comments that it has generated so far. There is something special there.

Some of those comments made my heart ache with pain and I wanted to touch each heart and convince each one that there is hope for emotional healing. It is possible. It is doable. This is curable!  I feel your pain because I remember that pain myself.

~The pain of realizing that any kind of abuse including emotional abuse is rejection.  I worked so hard all of my life to be this great person full of acceptance and rejection was my biggest fear, only to wake up one day and realize how rejected that I was all along. But that was not MY failure.

~The pain of realizing that my life was built on lies. But they were not MY lies.

~The pain of realizing that all of my efforts to avoid being alone, left me alone anyway, but then realizing that the journey is lonely because we have to go through it as individuals. All my life I tried to do life how someone else taught me to do it, but in reality, I had to find my way because there is only one of me. They took that from me for way too long.

~Realizing that I had been defined by someone else and then suddenly realizing that if I was not who I thought I was, then who was I?  And being scared to death to find out who I might be. Which comes from the same fear of rejection and round and round it goes.

~I was so stuck in realizing that after the abuse I felt like no one ever loved me again ~ thinking the answer would be in finding someone to love me again, but in truth, I didn’t love me either.  I didn’t know how. The abuse defined me. I wanted someone else to fix it just like someone else broke it. But I had to do it for me. I had to decide that I would love me. I had to find out how. I had to redefine me and in that new beginning, I was able to take my life back.

~Realizing that I never believed that MY abuse was really valid and therefore I was invalidated; first by them and then by me. But that was not my choice. That was what I learned to do. I wasn’t given a choice. But I have one now. I have one today.

~Realizing and finally acknowledging that I was filled with guilt and shame and not knowing exactly what the heck to DO with it.  But it wasn’t MY guilt and shame and realizing that was what got me to the next step in the process of letting it go.

~And the frozenness that goes along with all of it and seems to return with each new stage. That feeling of being immobilized; the fear of forward motion; all of that with its own history, each one of us with a slightly different story that the frozen is grounded in and has its roots in and everything even remotely related to any of the following things.

    ~ I told but was ignored

    ~ I didn’t tell because I was too scared of the consequences

    ~ I told and I suffered the consequences

    ~ I didn’t know there was anything to tell

AND the threads of steel wrapped around each one of these things, each memory, each event, each invalidation and ALL the conclusions that we came to ~ all of which need to be looked at, examined, cut and then healed such as:

~The belief that I am the one that wasted my life.  That somehow I should have been able to get over all of this by myself; that somehow I am a failure because of what happened TO me. That somehow the abuse done to me has suddenly become my fault, and I lived my life as though it was my failure ~ that my whole life was my screw up. But HOW was I supposed to move forward with no guidance? HOW was I supposed to “get over it”?   

~No one validated me so that I knew how to validate myself

~No one ever helped me move forward.

~No one encouraged me to be who I am but everyone “told me” who I was and that was a lie too. No one knew me. No one SAW ME.

~And I carried the failure that was not mine to carry. I lived the identity that they assigned me.

Running from me but not realizing that it is in the running back to me that I find my true self. Running from the truth because I believed the lies.

Running until I finally realized that the running was killing me. Realizing just one truth was enough to set me on the right path. And then running again because the fear of the unknown was just too scary to actually stop running to face it. 

Round and Round it goes… like a whirlwind that I was trapped in. I had to somehow find a way to step out of it for mere moments at a time. Picture being inside of a small tornado that is spinning you around so fast that everything is a blur. Now picture stepping back just enough that you can SEE the spin in front of you, but you are not in it, just for one minute. That is how it began for me. And I began by just looking at one thing at a time for those moments when I could step back from the spin. As time went on, I learned to love myself and fill the void in me for myself. This was not quick OR easy but it was possible and it is possible.

And we do have a choice.

And we can overcome.

And we can take our lives back.

And we can leave the pain behind.

And we can live fully in real happiness and freedom.

………..And I know because I didn’t think I could do it either, but here I am.

Please share.

More little snapshots of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

Related posts: “Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain”

                              “But HOW do I recover? Emotional and other abuse”

and most of the other posts on this blog.. 😎

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



I can so relate and in fact have decided to share my experience on this facebook group page:!/home.php?sk=group_142636525791910&ap=1

There is healing in sharing our stories. It has been what enabled me to face the lies and seek truth. I shared even when I didn’t think anyone was listening. And I’ve continued to share and have found so many others in the same place as me. I just needed to venture outside of myself long enough to see these other people.


If the link above doesn’t work, search for the group called Journey to Peace. It’s an open group on facebook… 🙂


Good one Darlene–I so identify with so much that ur saying here. SEE ME! I screamed that in therapy just last week ;). I thi k that the stepping back and vsiualizing the whirling tornado can be especially difficult for those of us whose abuse began at a very early age. There is no “before”. There are no supportive people that i canconjure up. There IS no oher space to back up to to get that sifferent vantage point. My sexual abuse bganwhen I was two years old. It’s not a


Sorry…so I have no other reference point. My little brain didn’t get to grow as a normally functioning one. So formy brain, Time moves in many directionssimultaneously. Having the ability to take a step back from it all requires the ability define a past asa past. It’s an unfortunafe physical truth. That having been said, i think this is a great post. Liesin my life? You betcha. My little head didn’t Fully develop objdct i
Permanence so it’s tricky. But, is what is. Thanks


i nearly cried when i got to
~Realizing that I had been defined by someone else and then suddenly realizing that if I was not who I thought I was, then who was I? And being scared to death to find out who I might be. Which comes from the same fear of rejection and round and round it goes.

but as i carried on reading i began to smile, thank you for your openess and understanding which has shown so many of us that though each of us are different most of us have gone through enough similar situations that reading about how others felt helps. yeah it may trigger some but for many it a chance to pass on their healing n insights into what makes us do the things we do. i still cannot do details but i know that to move forward i have to push and keep pushin to find the roots of the behaviours, cos i realised all you have wrote the last few months has shown me othersides to the pictures i had and another veiw is always helpful.


I really love this post! I’m adding it to my favorites list. So much of it resonated with my process, but the thing that hit me was this: “Running from me but not realizing that it is in the running back to me that I find my true self. Running from the truth because I believed the lies.”

I was just thinking earlier today that every time I judged myself for being weak or imperfect or even ‘still in the process’ that I separated even more from my true self and that separation caused me to stay in the brokeness. I wanted to distance myself from the pain and the past, but the more I did that, the further I got from the truth and real healing.

Thank you so much for consistantly speaking about the truth and sharing your own process. It’s frickin amazing stuff!

Love and hugs, Christina


Hi Jen Lynn
Thanks for sharing the link. =)

Hi Splinty
I think you got the wrong idea of my visual ~ I didn’t step back to a time “before”. I just “step back” away from the spin. My abuse began at an early age too. I didn’t develop properly either. When I do this “step back thing” I don’t step back to “something”. I just step back. I am still alone, looking at the spin, but not actually in it. I hadn’t though about it before you shared, but I step back into space… just “land”; the sun is shining, the sky above is blue, the ground is grassy, but three is nothing else, just me and the land and the spinning whirlwind in front of me. I hope this clarifies what I was trying to say.
Thanks for being here and sharing. I am glad that I got to clarify this in case others got the same impression that you did.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Carol!
Thanks for sharing this! I never know which parts might be impactful to others but when I wrote that part it hit me too. I was very afraid when I realized that I was NOT who they defined me to be. That it was a lie. It was like “being suspended in time”.
I am so proud of all that you have accomplished this last while and your determination to push forward.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Christina,
You crack me up with your “frickin amazing” LOL
It’s true, what we run from, often holds the most answers. And judging ourselves is a really good point, because we do it then too and as you say it causes us to stay in broken ~ actually farther from where we want to be.
Thanks for being part of this!
Love and hugs! Darlene


I too ws abused from before i could talk but i still have huge blocks of time i do not remember but within that hole i have horrendous abuse happening to me to others in front of me, it is still hard for me to accept that this was possible for a group of people to get away with, i am talking about ritualized abuse..the other abuse was the violence of my dad that is blank to me but my sister told me such frightening things, do not know if i have to remember that in order to become integrated from my insiders…still avoiding afraid to take that step to start the process again..after each revealing memory it takes me so much effort to start again remembering what i had to go through before..yes, i get myself grounded for a few weeks then starts that tornado, yes over and over again. so i can totally relate to the running killing myself, i am at the point where i will start in again in another month, waiting for surgery then rehab and cannot be processing memories during that i have to wait, while i wait this forum has been a lifeline for connect with others experiencing similiar feelings and events and processess. thanks to all of you who share a little about your experience it is what makes this page so meaningful. so glad do not fear any rejection in what i say…


lorraine, i had memories surface at the start of my journey that would have crippled me to have to deal with, so my body protected it self as it always has and hid the memories from my mins again, i was 18 then. over the years i have opened some of those memories and dealt with as and when i found the people who could help me learn how to go forward and not judge my backward slides but show me how to use them to look at the same stuff but from a different point. i have been lucky down the years that i have found people who came and weht as my need for their wisdom lessened, but i remeber them for giving me the support an suidance that carried me over the rocky periods.
darlene many thanks for your support, you have become one of those people in my life that have accepted me for who i am and shown me other ways that may help me reclaim the bits that are still in progress


“Realizing that I had been defined by someone else and then suddenly realizing that if I was not who I thought I was, then who was I? And being scared to death to find out who I might be”

Darlene; This may be a bit off topic but…..this post/series….the entire content of EFB…rings so true for me and stirs up a LOT of feelings not only around the original abuse that I faced and overcame in much the same way as you have described but my current nemesis…that of the mental health system.

In this system – I told. And was ignored. I stopped telling because no one was listening.When I did talk about the issues with my past abuse or the current abuse in my family and intimate relationships I was told that I was “powerless” and needed to learn “acceptance”. When I was upset about the abuse, panicking at being stalked I was “paranoid”. When I tried to find my own solutions by reading and learning about these issues on my own I was chastized. When I complained that the promised benefits of the drugs were not happening for me I was told I was so far gone and so broken that there just wasn’t a pill for me….that I would live in this misery forever. My hope was taken from me. When I complained that the “talk therapy” was not helpful…I was told I was resistant to therapy.

I could go one and on about what I survived during my time in the mental health system. But in a nutshell, after nearly 2 decades of listening to the lie that I was every diagnosis there is and being told that my “problems” were because I was “sick” and that the drugs were the only solution…I realized that in my personal healing journey I have this to overcome as well. I was convinced by the “professionals” that I WAS my “diagnosis” and I held on to that because it was the only hope that was offered to me….until I learned how to do this kind of work and hold these lies up one by one to heal the original lies in the original abuse…that were unwittingly being reinforced in my mental health “treatment”; that I was less than, not good enough, powerless to change my life and I eventually resigned myself to and accepted this for a very long time…until I left this system and began to look at the source of my issues as coming from the lies I was told as child and began to find hope and real healing.

I had to grieve the life I lost to these lies that told me I was at fault for this “illness” (that my brain was broken) and that I was powerless over it (incurable)….and I am still doing this part of my work; learning to live beyond being defined by the mental health system…and I am grateful for this space where even this kind of loss is acknowledged and my loss and pain around it is validated instead of dismissed.



When I read this: No one encouraged me to be who I am but everyone “told me” who I was and that was a lie too. No one knew me. No one SAW ME.

I CRIED. I’m still crying. At almost 40 years old I’m struggling between the old pseudo safety of invisibility and facing the fears that make me afraid to say, “This is who I am, this is where I am – deal with it or not that’s YOUR choice!”

What a powerful post, wonderfully written and honestly shared. Thank you…


Hi Lorraine,
I have huge blocks of time that I still don’t remember either, and I no longer worry about them. In the end it was not the memories that helped me heal so much as digging into the things that I did remember. Eventually I saw patterns of lies and brainwashing that helped me to undo the false belief system that I developed. So don’t worry ~ I am fully one person now, (integrated) in spite of there still being memory loss. Hang in there ~ and I am so happy to hear that you fear no rejection here and that you feel free to share!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan,
This comment is so FULL! It could have been a whole blog post ~ thank you so much for sharing. (I posted a quote from it on the emerging from broken facebook page and there is a conversation going on there too, for anyone who is interested in reading that here: emerging from broken on facebookThis is a perfect example of how many places in our lives that we are fed the lies from and how similar they all are and that the damage is the SAME. I can relate to everything you said here, although this isn’t exactly what happened to me. It doesn’t matter how we got lied to, just that we realize we did so we can undo the lies and replace them with the truth.

Thanks Susan for this amazing post! Hugs, Darlene


Both on and off topic- We watched a TV show yesterday and the star of the show asked a mother if you only had one wish granted to you for your children what would it be? She said happiness. I think 25 years ago that would have been mine too. But I told my husband my one wish would be that they live in truth because then they can be happy.


Darlene, your posts are always so full. There are, almost always, lines or entire paragraphs that I’d love to see turned into blog entries of their own.

With this post, for me, it’s the paragraph about wanting to find someone to love us, but being unable to love ourselves. There is SO MUCH there. As well as the sentence from earlier in the post about how “the journey is lonely cuz we need to go thru it as individuals”. Wow.

Thanks for this blog. I don’t get to it often enough, but I’m always blessed, touched, and often healed(or helped in that direction) when I do.


I agree! Truth first, and all else will follow after that. =) Thank you.
Hugs, Darlene

Welcome to EFB, nice to have your comments.
Thank you for your kind words ~ many of these phrases do have whole posts of their own. =) I say lots of things twice or more in 7 different ways.
I am really glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene


[…] Related Posts ~ “Before I faced the pain, I had to face the lies” […]


I tried to make it thru this post last night. Will try again soon. Very powerful stuff.


You might like the post I published today a bit better ~ it is full of hope and meant to inspire and encourage about the journey.
You can read it here: “Welcoming a new year of Emotional Healing
Hang in here!
Hugs, Darlene


“And I carried the failure that was not mine to carry. I lived the identity that they assigned me.”

Until my Narcissist Mother passed on almost 11 years ago… I felt powerless to feel anger. Now, of course, I feel rage. I loved her but I didn’t like her. Memories were safe to come flooding back.

Of course I lost so many people and things because of her that I will never get back. But I must move forward… for myself and my children. And I have. Carefully.


Although this is not exactly how it happened for me because my mother didn’t pass yet, I really understand what you are saying. For some people the mind blocks out or forgets even more when a parent dies, and for others like yourself, the memories are safe to come back. Either way, healing is so neccessary for ourselves, our children and for others.
Thank you for being here and for sharing this.
Hugs, Darlene


Hey Darlene, if I want to find out if a certain line or paragraph in an efb blog post has a post of it’s own, how would I find out – and find it if it does?


You could scroll down to the “tag cloud” and click on the key words that interest you. The “tag cloud” (on the bottom right side bar) is like a mini search tool for the blog. Other than that there is also a search tool you could try ~ it is also found in the side bar. Oh and there are also catagory buttons in the top under the header graphic.
Hope this helps!



I do feel frozen today. I’ve spent these last few years writing, writing, and writing some more trying to prove my abuse to my family. Now I am past that. I am sure I was abused and no longer see it as all my fault but I don’t really know who I am. I’m free but I don’t know what to do with the freedom.

My grandmother was a writer and one of her poems has this line in it:
“I am an anxious person, Always looking ahead and then behind;” That is how I’ve spent most of my life in a total state of anxiety afraid of what had happened and seeing it in the future. I want to enjoy the present. I want to live a life in which the present day’s trouble is sufficient for the day. Today is a very empty, cloudy day and perhaps that is the trouble of it, I don’t know how to fill the void left by all of my anxiety of my ‘secret’ past. Who am I anyway? How did you find the answer to that question?


Hi Pam
The answer to that question is answered in time. I was there once too, somewhere in the “middle of the process”. I wondered “so if I am not who they said I was, then who am I?” and it was good, because that was when I knew I had built the new platform; the truth was established and I could now go forward and discover who I really am. It will happen Pam. It takes time.
Hugs, Darlene


Omg! That was so hard to read! This page took me 2 hours to read a bit, then have a break to breath and then read a bit more, then stop to cry for a moment to relieve the tension of feeling the same or recognising me in there.
No one validated me
No one encouraged me
No one saw me
Till I found this site. .

Thank you for the encouragement to heal Darlene


I did tell and suffered the consequences . . Total rejection and put in a foster home. My coping mechanism and escape is sleep and plenty of it!


Cheeky Sprite,
Yes many of us (most in fact) are punished for telling but that doesn’t make it wrong that you told and it doesn’t make it a lie either. I waited for most of my life for the abusers to validate me, to see the mistakes they made but they never admitted anything so I had to take my healing into my own hands.
Hugs, Darlene


Cheeky, I saw this comment after I answered the other one!
Even if it takes you some time to get through it, bravo for reading all the way through it! It was so so painful for me to face this stuff; that no one heard me or saw me or validated me. But seeing the truth about it set me free!
hugs, Darlene


Very, very good Darlene. This is where I’m at. I’m at the crossroads. I’m looking down the the path of staying in my dysfunctional family system or down a road of enlightenment and possible freedom and dare I say….JOY…no…I don’t believe it. LOL!

Seriously, I have done enough reading and preliminary work in an effort to “heal,” but the time is now to start delving into 52 years of abuse. I know it will be painful. I’ve already had painful “awareness-es” of just how badly I was abused and neglected as a child…now I have to face that pain. Feel that pain.

When looking back over my life, especially when I was a child…do you know I believe I was completely emotionally shut down by the age of 4 or 5. My mother has told me I hardly spoke a word as a child, and I do have memories of being very quiet, and actually fearful that someone would “notice” me. And whenever anyone did speak to me I usually cried. Looking back through a different set of glasses, I see just how damaged I was at a very early age. I have a grandson who is 5, and if he ever displayed the type of behavior I did, my daughter and I would do everything we could to find out why he was so withdrawn. To my family, it was just a blessing (with 12 other kids in the house), that one of them was being quiet.

So much work to do. Darlene, do you know about any resources that might be helpful when trying to identify, face and work through the many abuses of my past? Like a workbook or something? Maybe a website? A good book? Thanks Darlene, and God Bless you for all that you do on this blog.


Hi Connie
Yes joy! I have so much joy, feelings that I never though would be possible, freedom, laughter and no more nightmares or depressions! It is so awesome.
The pain of facing was never as bad as I feared it would be and the real pain was not over the things that I thought it would be over. This IS the best website and it also ranks the highest for traffic for emotional healing on the entire internet. As far as books, the work of Alice Miller is really good. (Start with the Drama of the Gifted child. I found her after I started this website when therapists were writing and asking me if I studied under her! ha)
Hugs, Darlene


OMG!!!! Yeah, I got some feelings surfacing all right. OMG I’m so furious! The part about “wasting my life” OMG. I suddenly realized in a profound way (even tho I knew it already on some level), that THEY (my parents) have effing wasted my life. But the real kicker is how they wash their hypocritical hands of it all and wag their fingers at me for something THEY actually did. The audacity of it is what is hitting me, I suppose. I had been ranting about this for awhile, but it was from a different side of the mountain, I suppose. I knew they could never own up, but THEY actually wasted my life. THEY robbed me and then said I was the thief. i seriously want to crack some heads. I Prob won’t, but these are my feelings and they matter. Grrrrrrrrr.


Hi Stephanie! Yes your feelings do matter!! And the anger at this is understandable! Thanks for sharing. Hugs Darlene


Thanks Darlene. I guess what struck me was one of the times my NSF hit me the hardest below the belt was one Thanksgiving some years back. This was Prob when I was not quite min contact and before learning some things. We all drove down to FL to my aunt’s house. As I recall bits and pieces–Tho I will NEVER forget how hard he hit me with his put down that day–I was chatting with my aunt (my mom’s sister, who is a pretty decent person and who was asking me about some of my plans/goals or something). At this time I was struggling financially and trying to “obey God” with what I felt called to do–and it was a really difficult time in my life. I had not too long ago quit working in the fam business (NSF was the boss), which he resented. So I’m answering my aunt and NSF interjects some comment (in front of her and everyone) about how I “wasted my life.” I can’t always recall his exact words, I just always strongly recall the gist of it and how he made me feel. Something to the tune of not progressing very far in my desired area (with my calling), never marrying and the sad state of my finances and being severely underemployed. Well, as I recall I gave him a look and I flipped him off and walked out of the room, where I proceeded to bawl my eyes out in private as my mom and my aunt and everyone sat there in silence (rarely has anyone ever stood up for me or defended me against his evil mouth). Then God brought a song to my memory (as he often does, as I am a very musical person). It was Beautiful Day by U2. So I think the next day I was playing it in one of the back rooms. The particular lyric part was “reach me/teach me–I know I’m not a hopeless case.” And it was my way of fighting the utter discouragement and despair that the NSF had brought my way. But he didn’t stop there, don’tcha know. He came back there–interrupting my “me time” just to tell me how horrible/evil the music sounded. He had to also put that down as well. He just couldn’t stand the thought of me having even one decent moment, as I was not “contributing” materially or whatever had been stuck in his ridiculous pea brain. It went on like that on and off for about 2 to 3 years, as I was so messed up by him and some other bad church experiences. I couldn’t seem to pick myself up off the floor long enough to get even any old regular job. Even tho, I had just wasted about maybe 6 or 7 years of my life working for my parents, with nothing to show for it and without a pot to pee in, as well as him destroying the one thing I almost ALWAYS could count on–which was seeing myself as a good employee and such. And many times that’s what I was. A model employee-well just about everywhere except while working for him. And i wondered wtf I would use for a reference. Right. My “mommy” perhaps? Ugh! Wtf was gonna hire the likes of me? Seriously. I was so broken. I’m working now and he’s playimg all pretend nice Cuz I’m “contributing.” Even tho Mr Churchy Pants doesn’t give a rat’s ass that I pretty much hardly ever have a Sunday off if my life depended on it. Yeah, it’s ony about working, making money, paying some bills and then dying with him. He acts like he thinks God and church are so important, but I know the only thing that matters to him is me not making him look bad and him being in control and, well, his precious, precious money, of course. Yup. He “punished” me for years. he has charmed the pants off everyone outside and most inside the fam and I am just I suppose some kind of Lome Ranger out here surviving on forest berries or something. And I swear I’ll go to hell before I let anyone tell me to “forgive” that SOB or to “not let anything offend me.” Bah! God, I am sure takes offense at such abuse of position and power. It’s actually in Proverbs and I wonder if folks have ever even actually READ the Bible sometimes. Does God not hate unequal weights and measures? Does He not hate a haughty look? Why then did Jesus find it necessary to crack a whip at the money changers that day? No! I will not relent and I stand firm in this nonsense offending me and it is right, not wrong.

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