Being Validated, Making a Difference and the Ripple Effect



emerging from broken founder darlene ouimet
Darlene Ouimet at home

Earlier this week, in the midst of a difficult day where it seemed that everything required my time and attention and Iwas really short on time, out of the blue I got this comment. I got a comment from a lady telling me that my blog, Emerging from Broken; my work made a difference to her and then to the grade 4 through 6 students that she teaches.

The timing could not have been more perfect for me.  It was the lift I needed. I speak about “the ripple effect” and I long to make a big difference in the world and although I get tons of fan mail and excellent validating comments on my blog every day, this comment is about a difference that I made when someone stumbled across my work.  She understood my message and she changed her message.  That is really validating.

You can read the post here: “You Reap what you Sow ~ what about Child Abuse?” Here is the comment from Connie. 

“Hello – I wanted to tell you how I came to this blog and what it did in my life. I volunteer at a Christian after school program and teach kids 4-6th grade. I was planning to teach LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR from Galatians 5:14. In reading further, I found “A man reaps what he sows.” in Gal 6:7 and thought it would be a good way to illustrate, if you want love, sow love…right?…. How NAIVE of me! (Thanks to finding this blog.) As I read your descriptions of how this scripture gets twisted and used to harm gentle spirits, I just lay on the floor and wept for the hurt and became outraged at the lies!!! I realized, God was allowing me to feel just an ounce of what He feels on the subject! Thank you so much for sharing your stories, and know that they diverted a well meaning teacher from planting an idea that could be used against other kids! I basically looked into each of their eyes and told them, “YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW OTHER PEOPLE BEHAVE, EVER!” We are only responsible for how we behave. Anger and meanness are a choice, just like love and gentleness are choices!

I thank God for Emerging from Broken and I pray for wholeness that can only come from knowing the healer.

Doing my best to serve Jesus,

I write a lot about self validation, self care and self love. This is the goal. Sometimes I make it sound like being validated by others serves no purpose but what I mean to say is that being validated by others is not the whole answer and that being validated by the abuser is what so many of us seek due to the false belief that the person who devalued us can restore our value if they finally value us.  That is a terribly damaging false message. It keeps us working for the abuser and the only one who gets validated IS the abuser.

Before I was able to validate myself love myself or accept myself; before I was able to even KNOW myself, my pain was validated by someone who heard me.  There is nothing wrong with being validated. My interaction with my readers is based on my belief that we all need validation. It is manipulative validation that you have to watch out for!

I wanted to share this with my readers because all of us are in this together.  When we learn the truth we share the truth if not through our voices then through our actions. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we are changing or growing just by realizing the actual truth. 

Thank you to Connie. Thank you for sharing this story with me and with the other readers here. I too am doing my best to serve.

While I am on the subject of being validated for the right reasons; I got another great comment this week challenging all my readers to send me a donation.  I support emerging from broken out of my own pocket. There have been monthly expenses since the beginning as well as the thousands that I spent on my education before I started this site. I gave up my paid work to build this website because I wanted to reach a larger audience with my message. The traffic and comment numbers exploded and I needed to hire technical help to keep the website safe. My plan was to give myself an 18 month window to build EFB and then take clients again so that I could pay the bills and contribute to my family income. That was over 2 years ago now. Between writing the posts and keeping up with the readers/commenter’s and all the private emails I get, I have been having trouble finding the time to get back to generating an income. Every month I receive 700 to 1000 plus comments and I spend a lot of time reading and answering them because being heard and believed was the first step in my own recovery.

And now I really need to have an income again and I am asking for help. I work full time on this website to deliver this message. I have a passion for my readers and for sharing this truth about how I overcame depressions and all the issues that manifested in my life by finding the roots of the problem and where I got broken in the first place.

If you find value from reading what I write and if you can help in anyway, please consider using the donate button on the right sidebar to make a contribution. Thank you AnnaLyzza for initiating this challenge. I don’t think many saw it since it was in a comment thread, but you inspired me to make a public appeal about it.

With love and gratitude to this whole community;

Darlene Ouimet 

Categories : Self Esteem



This is so helpful!! I went from desperately needing validation to not accepting any from anyone becuase it was “bad”. I was trying to sustain myself without help or encouragement because I believed all the help had to come purely from


myself… sorry the cat rubbed so hard on my computer he submitted the comment early!!


VALIDATION was and continues to be the single biggest factor in my being able to move forward and manage my C-PTSD.


Thanks Naomi
I can relate to what you have said here. I went through those stages too.

Validation; being heard was the first thing that helped me too. And from that I got hope that healing would be possible.

Hugs, Darlene



I have always said your blog helps me immensely . your victory over the things that happened in your life is inspirational . I agree that a little donation will help you with keeping up this blog and continue your mission to so many.

Sometimes I am going through personal things and need to back away or something may be too hard for me to digest because of present struggles but I always enjoy reading your blog and comments.

We are all human .we all NEED to have a pat on the back and hear we are doing something worthwhile. .. we need that. I hope you know I appreciate all you write.

Although I am saving for a trip i have sent a little donation. I hope you will find a bunch of little pings from paypal as this blog helps so many .. I know you spend lots of time constructing just the right answers. they are always so warm and validating towards others.. thank you..

I am really struggling right now . am due in court in less than 2 weeks so have been trying to deal with my emotions related to that.

There are always days when things don’t seem just right or having a good effect but you still continue to be an inspirational person for me. thank you for this blog and all our past comments of support.



Hi Darlene,

I’m going to make my pitch again here so that hopefully more people will see it:

Fellow EFB blog followers,

It’s been a few months now since I began reading Darlene’s blogs, and I’ve found learning and benefit in each and every one. Finding this blog has improved my parenting, opened my eyes to ways I am still sabotaging my self by unconsciously operating on old ideas and conditioning, and opened my heart to a whole community of people who are struggling with but overcoming their abusive pasts. I have found so much to inspire me and comfort me and broaden my understanding of myself and others here. I really appreciate that Darlene is providing this forum for us, and carefully monitoring it and responding as best she can to all of us as we reach out and share our feelings and experiences. To have a safe place to share, to feel heard and to be acknowledged is such a HUGE gift.

I know that Darlene is trying to earn a living while also writing a book while also providing this supportive place for all of us. I think that if all of us really value what Darlene is doing here and if we want to give back to her something for all she freely gives to us, why don’t we all do what we can to help Darlene so she can keep this thing going?

We have a pretty limited budget like I’m sure a lot of people do, but even if each of us donates a small amount, every bit adds up – if even 1000 of the 67,000 people who view this site per month donated $10, that would give Darlene $10,000! If we made a few donations of $10 during the year, that would provide Darlene with some solid resources so that her energy could continue to be directed to this site. I know I can’t afford to make one big donation, but I can find $10 a month to donate to the cause. If we all skip a trip to Tim Hortons or MacDonalds and donate that money to Darlene instead, and do that once a month, we could make a HUGE difference in Darlene’s life and possibly free up her energy so she can focus on this blog and our comments even more.

So, there’s my challenge to all of you who, like me, are benefiting from the work that Darlene is doing. Let’s support her so she can keep on supporting us!



Emerging from Broken has been having technical difficulties this past 18 hours and no comments have been allowed through. This problem has been resolved now; please try to post comments again. (I got notices about the posts people were trying to comment on)
Hugs, Darlene

I will be answering the comments in this post shortly!


Hi Joy
Thank you for your support and encouragement and for your donation!
I understand how difficult this must be for you right now with the court date coming up so quickly. Hang in there and know that I am with you in spirit!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi AnnaLyzza
Once again, thank you for your efforts to help me! I am going to see if I can promote your comment in EFB facebook.
What you have written here is so thoughtful and supportive and very well presented. So far I have had 5 donations! That is a great start towards paying the blog expenses for the month of November.
Thank you so much! I hope that others will respond to this appeal for help.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Joy,

I’m really sorry to hear you’re struggling. I haven’t had personal
experience in court, but the justice system in general has long been one of the fears my brain is able to terrify me with. I really hope it goes as well as possible for you! Be as gentle with yourself as you can & give yourself as much self-care as possible!

Thinking of you!


I just wanted to “second” your msg and say thankyou for having the courage to say it! I’m pretty sure I would have felt afraid to write a msg challenging people to do something, but I’m really glad you did.

Hi Naomi,

Heheh, it gave me a big smile imagining kitty stomping over the keyboard! It seems like such a “cat” thing to do – “how dare you interfere with where I wanted to walk?!? Hmmph!” 🙂

Your description of going from one extreme to the other with validation feels like it’s descriptive of me as well. I can’t seem to think of specific examples right now — might have to ponder it some more.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!


Hey Darlene, See, I love EFB so much that I can’t even stay away while I’m on vacation.:0)I’m so glad that you wrote this post, asking for donations. You offer a great service here and you deserve to be paid. EFB has helped me so much and very quickly. I’ve been coming here for seven months now and I don’t know how I would have gotten through the trauma of losing my family of origin without you. You’ve also, helped me understand that my depression is a coping mechanism and it is connected to the abuse in my childhood. That was an amazing revelation. I had (on my own)connected my anxiety to my past(after dealing with it for decades)but not my depression. Every professional I talked to said I needed to be on medication for the rest of my life and when I couldn’t tolerate the medication, they had nothing to offer. Understanding the purpose of my depressions as a coping mechanism, helped me to understand that I turned it on and I can also, turn it off. You’ve also helped me to understand the abuse in my childhood better by validating my experience as abuse and also, applying terms to the types of abuse that I endured. Everything is much clearer now and I’m so much stronger. Every time I do a guest post for you, I gain confidence and validation that I never dreamed of. Five years ago, I could barely whisper about being sexually abused as a teenager and now, I’m writing about it with thousands of people reading. That’s amazing.

My husband, children, and close friends all see the change in me and tell me that I seem better, more whole, than they’ve ever seen me. Thank you, Darlene. I love you. As soon as I get home, you’ll be getting a donation from me.



Hi Pam,

Hope you’re having a great time on vacation! I can relate to the feeling of professionals having nothing to offer. I’m phasing out meds at the moment (very gradually) basically just to see what happens. (My GP knows, btw).

That’s so amazing to hear about how far you’ve come in your journey – thanks so much for sharing it! 🙂 Helps give me hope. (And imagine how well you could be doing in another 5 years!!!)

On a personal note, I just found out I’ve got an appointment to view a possible place to live on Thursday! Scared s**tless to be honest, but there’s a teensy bit of excitement down under it all (I think?!) I’m kinda just trying to run with whatever happens at the moment despite all the fear/anxiety etc, because I’ve been so stagnant for so long, I feel like I just HAVE to try and take any chance that comes along.

And I strongly suspect that the care and support of people on this forum has played a significant part in me being able to even get this far (whatever happens or doesn’t happen from here). And I know that those of you who are further along the path of individuation/healing etc than me who’ve shared your stories have helped me to borrow a bit of hope for myself (even when I haven’t really had any for myself).

So thank you all very much for being here & sharing & supporting!!! What an amazing place! 🙂



Thanks for your kind words…I think the hardest part is the anticipation..while up there I have to see some psych dr as this is part of the other case. .so will be done with 2 at one time.. It will take all my strength and will to get there.. as everything in me does not want to go..




Hi Darlene,’s nice having the connections and support of caring people..

Am way behind schedule with so much




Hi Pam!

Thanks for stopping by even though you are on vacation!
Thank you Pam for your encouragement and for highlighting the ways in which I and this site and my work has made a difference in your life.

You mention professionals and the advice you got from them; that is such a common thing to be advised that only medication will be the answer, (I had been told that too) and I offer a different answer because I FOUND a different answer. I was one of the lucky people who found help from someone who believed that there WAS a different answer. I paid 150.00 per hour for his help. Between my husband and I, we spent about $30,00.00 or $40,000.00 on therapy and then I did 3 more years of school (which was not free either) and volunteering in mental health to learn more. I put all of that into this website. I think that I deserve to be paid too (not because of what it cost me to learn it), but because I believe that I offer real value. I know that I do. And I have to eat too!

Thanks again Pam
Hugs, Darlene



I think it’s completely understandable not wanting to go. In fact I can’t imagine anyone would feel any differently! I really hope it works out well for you! Do you have to go alone, or do you have anyone to go with & support you? (Hope you don’t mind me asking).

If there’s anything I can do to help (support, encouragement etc) on here, feel free to ask. It sounds like a really rough time.

Hugs galore right back at you! 🙂

PS I don’t know if you (or anyone else here) likes baby videos, but a friend showed me one that just makes me feel happy – look up “Babies Love Spray Bottle” on youtube (2 gorgeous little Asian babies with the cutest laughs ever!)



No, I have no one.. I had someone but she injured her back am going it alone.. It’s frightening considering all the circumstances and the threats in the back of my mind.. Because of this whole legal stuff my first T dropped me.. so lots of scary emotions and feelings I have to deal with ..but I will survive.. I don’t know what will be left of me but I will come back and start all over with my life.

Just knowing people somewhere support me. is a great help.




Hi Joy
I have been thinking about you and all that you have on your plate right now. I am with you in spirit! I think that this post shows courage and that although you are scared (and who wouldn’t be!!) you are willing to take those next steps! AND I love your attitude! You know that you will survive! You have decided that you will come back and start your life all over. YAY ~ this is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hugs and love, Darlene


I’m really sorry to hear about your friend Joy; it really sounds like a time when you could use all the support you can get.

BUT…. that is ***SO AWESOME*** that you’ve got those positive glimpses peeking through despite the horrible circumstances!!! 🙂
That’s so amazing to hear!

Btw I meant to ask you ages ago – is “T” for therapist? (I remember seeing it in one of the first posts you made when I came on here but felt too shy to ask).

Keep feeding that positivity as much as you can! I’ll be wishing you all the “virtual internet” support I can! 🙂

Take care!!


HI Darlene,

Your words touch me to the heart and mean so much to me, especially at this time. .Times like this needs support and friends …true ones..Am trying hard to see some light behind every shadow..thank you so much for your kind words of support..

Hugs and love,



Hi J..

Yea “T” is for therapist and its kind of way to post a comment about a therapist without google grabbing on to it .. I suppose.. I picked it up on another forum. and love using now I use “t” for therapist.

I still think of my first T very often . she taught me so much ..but then just when I started trusting her.. she taught me not to trust.. but that is the past.. somehow she has to deal with that and me too..

Hope you are well, J, I thank you for kind words.




Hi J

Just wanted to add that I will have police watching.. all in one way .. it will be like someone will be there.. though not .




yeah shortcuts are fun! Well now I know! 🙂

I’ve had significant issues with “professionals” over my journey too. I think a big part of the problem for me is that I tend not to trust MYSELF (eg feelings, intuitions etc) and give them the benefit of the doubt, but not myself….

And we’re back to my upbringing and “training”/indoctrination by my parents to do just that. GRRRRRR!!!!!! >: [ (grumpy face shortcut, hehe!)

I really hope you can find the support you need. I guess I hope most of all, that you can be your OWN support first and foremost (btw I’m not at all saying not to pursue therapy or anything like that. Just that I guess if we can get to a stage of trusting/nurturing ourselves, I imagine that “un”professionals will probably have less impact on us — if only because we recognize them for what they are, and leave them sooner!)

I hope that makes sense.

I just also thought, that maybe part of the problem is the feeling of “having” to trust…. I think I tend to do that, even when all the evidence is saying that in fact I SHOULDN’T trust someone. I guess we have to trust (at least to a degree) to even have a first appointment with a therapist etc. But maybe we need to make them EARN trust rather than just automatically give it to them.

(I’m talking to myself here too. I hope it’s still relevant. Also hope it’s not coming across as bossy/giving advice/preaching etc.)

I’m really sorry to hear that this is all serious enough to need police watching you, but I’m really glad that they are. My thoughts are with you, and I’ll try to keep sending positive thoughts your way as much as I can.

Take care Joy


You are awesome Darlene. Validation is so important. It means we feel understood and that our thoughts, actions and feelings are valid. Keep up the great work.


Hi Kylie
Thank you!
Hugs, Darlene


it has just dawned on me this morning that I have spent all my life looking for validation.This is because yesterday I spent time with a friend I had previously fallen out with.I had never been able to put a finger on why everytime I spent time with her I felt wounded and in pain.I woke up in pain today and


it has just dawned on me this morning that I have spent all my life looking for validation.This is because yesterday I spent time with a friend I had previously fallen out with.I had never been able to put a finger on why everytime I spent time with her I felt wounded and in pain.I woke up in pain today and as usual the answer just popped into my head.Validation!!!!!!!!!!! or lack of.This lady spends all her time discrediting me and my feelings and theories( and then using them as her own in future).I felt so hurt and wounded.This is how it was in my chilghood growing up in a family that invalidated and discredited all my feelings and always pointed out how wrong I was.

It got me thinking that I had chosen this very friend for precisely the same reasons.Repetition compulsion is a strange thing.I am still smarting from the revelation but I am glad that I have finally woken up.When I am with this `friend`, I too,discredit myself,victimize myself and revere her and applaud her accomplishments whilst down playing mine.This was a survival tactic of mine in childhood.I gave all my power away.

Thank you Darlene so very much for your courage.You are the big sister I needed whereas my big sisters seemed to need me.I have confused needing validation to needing permission in the past.Validation doesn’t mean agreeing with someone but just acknowledging that this is how they feel at that given point without trying to get them to feel a different way.This is what nearly drove me insane because my feelings were invalidated by being criticized and corrected.In a way I had to feel like how they felt.My own feelings were deemed wrong.This has taken me nearly 50 years to start to learn to trust myself.

I am working fervently on myself and victory is certain.I can see and smell it and I have an amazing therapist too and now I have this forum.

Many many thanks and God bless.xx


Londiwe, interesting, I just posted on another article here about one sided friendships! I am still in touch with the woman I was best friends with in high school. She was the confident one, I was the timid, unsure of myself girl who was always down and out and seeking advice from my friend about dating and many other relational topics. I think she enjoyed the role of advising and somehow it boosted her up being in that position.
As the years passed I have gained more confidence. I am still a work in progress as I have much more ground to cover. I noticed that as I became more confident this woman would say things to try to put me back in my old place! She would knock things I did or said, and brag about what she was doing and it took me a while to figure out that she didn’t like the shift in our friendship. I was no longer coming to her for advice and she must have lost that feeling of being in a position of importance. For a while I eased off of the friendship. Her behavior improved and for a while things were going nicely. I felt she adjusted to the shift our friendship took. Just a few days ago I spoke to her and she was back to her superior attitude and I felt the conversation was a brag fest of her planned vacation and everything else she was doing. So time to make a decision about this persons place in my life!


Hi Londiwe!
This is awesome! Excellent insight. I love your understanding of validation vs permission.
hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene .By the way I need to say that your request for donations triggered me quite a lot.I am still working on why that is so.I know it has something to so with family where love was given conditionally.I had to ‘pay’ to belong.I paid with my soul.I sacrificed myself in order to belong.I think this is where it’s coming from and I projecting it onto you.I want to donate, Infact, I want to give to you but at this point I am stuck in the projected mode and I am unable to give.I am working on this issue so that when the time comes to give to you, I too will give with an open heart like you give to me and all of us on this forum.

Amber, your friend and my friend could be one and the same.I moved from an abusive mother straight into the arms of an abusive best friend.We were also friends from high school.She was in charge of me.She told me what to wear.She wore my clothes if they looked better than hers.She forbade from doing things I wanted to do, all in the name of being a caring friend.We fell out spectacularly when I woke up and realized that I had got myself into an abusive friendship.She latched onto my dysfunctional family and they loved her and abandoned me.I was blamed for being a rubbish friend.Wherever I went,there she was.She was invited to all family gatherings .My niece made her her god mother.I nearly went insane thinking I was the wrong one.

To cut a long story short I decided foolishly that it was time to move on.Met her for coffee a couple of times.i am footing the bills.I am driving us to the venues.She is choosing where we go.ENOUGH!

It’s goodbye and goodnight Vienna!!!


Hi Londiwe
I totally understand where you are coming from in being triggered and I think that happened to a lot of people when I asked for donations. I even get hate mail about asking for donations which triggers ME because just like everyone else, I have to buy groceries, how come I can’t get paid for what I do for work?

This post is over 2 years old. The donation thing didn’t do so well so now instead of answering all the comments and writing several new posts per week here, (which I considered part of “my work”) I now coach internationally and I am able to contribute to my family again. 🙂 and my coaching practice is ‘my work’ now. I appreciate donations because they pay for the upkeep of the site. (It costs me 200 per month to run this site and I am still asking for those who can to help me with the expenses.) But it isn’t about paying to belong. Its about sharing the cost of keeping EFB here. I welcome everyone no matter what. This website is free to all who come here, and I am so blessed that every month, somehow I get the 200 that I need in donations and that is all I ask. 🙂 So please don’t worry about sending one. I think it is awesome that you are thinking about how this triggered you!
Hugs, Darlene

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