Archive for Therapy

There is a lot going on in May and June and today I am sharing the updates with you here on the Emerging from Broken blog because not everyone is signed up to receive updates from me. (info on how to sign up and new changes to the way this blog is running are near the end of this post!)

Healing Support: I am participating as a featured expert in the following events in May and June and my entire network is invited to be a part of these exciting online presentations;

 The “Take Your Power Back’ Webinar! I have been invited by Child Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, Crisis Intervention Specialist and Certified Trainer, Svava Brooks, to be part of a webinar, (an online seminar) for Trauma Survivors and as my guest you may listen to the each of the 24 expert interviews. This event has already started so don’t delay. There is no charge for this Summit; all you have to do is register! There are some amazing experts participating in this event, including me ~ you won’t want to miss it. My interview will be published on May 23rd. 2015  For all the details click here: “Take Your Power Back Summit” and register.

 The ‘HE HIT ME’ Series~ I have been invited by Liz Simpson, The Self Discovery Diva to participate in her video chat series “He Hit Me” There will be a live chat every Tuesday at 7:00 pm CST (8:00 pm EST) for the next 8 weeks. Liz will be interviewing me live on Tuesday June 30, 2015 .  This series is available by registration only. Here is the scoop!

 Liz J Simpson presents… “He Hit Me!” ~ a FREE, ten week conversation to educate and empower domestic violence victims, survivors and their supporters.

 The 10 part series will air LIVE on Tuesdays beginning May 12th and running until July 14th. Liz will be joined weekly by guest experts that include psychologists, social workers, domestic violence survivors, a Nobel Prize winner & even a celebrity spokeswoman for the national domestic violence hotline.

 Registration is mandatory to join the 10 part series which will cover a bevy of topics including:

  • common characteristics of abusers
  • safety planning
  • creating financial independence
  • single parenting
  • building self-esteem
  • writing/journaling
  • yoga/meditation
  • fear
  • how to love again

 Participants will be emailed replays of the weekly broadcast (in case they miss the LIVE feed) and are able to join the exclusive facebook community for the event ~ For registration and info, please see the following link.  He Hit Me info

 COMMENTS on Emerging from Broken ~ For several years now I have been struggling to keep up with the magnitude of comments that come through this blog; there are posts that have been active for 4 years! This is  a dream come true for me, but there are often over 1000 comments between 500 and 2000 words every month and I am unable to take care of this by myself anymore. I am sad to have had to do this but until I can afford to hire some help with moderating I have decided to close the comments on all blog posts over 200 days old. Please feel free to comment on any of the current posts and don’t worry if you are “off topic.”

 The EFB BOOK ~ “Emerging from Broken ~ The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is available on the upper right side bar here in the website. Click on the book image for all the info!

 If you would like to receive updates please sign up by downloading the “Free Guide to Getting Unstuck” on the right hand side bar. If you have purchased the e-book you may have already signed up for updates when you bought it. If you are already getting updates, please don’t sign up again.

 Please share this information. You never know who you know that might benefit from listening to these online events or from my message here in this website. I appreciate every one of you that shares my blog posts through social media or clicks the FB like button.  We are changing lives and empowering people to heal and take their lives back!

 Enjoy all 24 of the pre-recorded speakers in the “Take Your Power Back” Summit and 10 weeks of live chats in the “He Hit Me” series and please feel free to post feedback here!  

 In Love and Truth,

Darlene Ouimet

 

Categories : Therapy
Comments (19)

The Path for EFBChild abuse and neglect result in low self-esteem, depression and a whole lot of other issues. Part of the grooming process that occurs in ALL abuse including emotional abuse and psychological abuse is that the blame is transferred to the child and in order to cope and survive children accept that blame and focus inward in order to try harder for the love and acceptance they long for. In the dysfunctional family, the abuse doesn’t end in childhood and often the child who is now an adult will seek professional help in order to overcome the damage that the child abuse caused. Just as our parents and all adult abusers, controllers and manipulators had positional power, doctors, therapists and helping professionals have it too.

When we have been convinced through actions, inactions and words that there is something ‘wrong’ with us and we finally go to a helping professional such as a therapist, counselor or psychologist ~ if that mental health professional defends our parents, or focuses on US as the problem it serves us as confirmation that we are in fact the problem and it is very much a re-traumatization.

Mental health professionals have tons of positional power ~ they are endorsed and accredited as being able to help and therefore we often see them as an even bigger authority then the way that we saw our parents when we were kids, so if they AGREE with our parents or if they focus with us on what WE could do or could have done differently, it very often causes a bigger problem than the one we went to talk about. Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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TILT 2

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→

Categories : Therapy
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I learned that anger was deadly...

I learned that anger was deadly…

Recently I read a quote about anger and how everyone should embrace it and all the reasons that anger is useful. I agree that anger is useful and that anger is often justified, but I had a pretty big problem with feeling any anger and expressing it was out of the question. I had to look at WHY I had that issue in the first place before I understood that anger was useful to me in any way at all.

First of all I looked at my experiences with anger.

When my mother was angry she hit. Picture a small child (me) being hit with a belt by someone who was three times my size and three times my weight. I was powerless. When I think about how I would feel today if I were beaten by a stranger in a dark alley, I am sure that I would fear for my life. I am sure that as a child I also feared for my life when I was being beaten with a leather strap by a raging adult who was over 3 times my size.

I learned that angry people were dangerous. I learned that anger is dangerous.  I learned that angry people do scary things and that angry people can inflict huge amounts of pain.  

It is logical to understand that I was focused on trying to make sure that my mother didn’t get angry. Since I was powerless, I believed that the only thing I could do to avoid getting hit was try to make sure she didn’t ‘get angry’.

I had also been reprimanded for my own emotions. I had been taught that even if I had an “unhappy face” I was unappealing and somehow unworthy. I was not supposed to be sad; I was reprimanded for not being happy and for not smiling.

Sometimes when I was happy and playing with my brothers I was criticized and punished for Read More→

Categories : Therapy
Comments (223)

 

stop crying or I will give you something to cry about

on the rocks

“I had a lot of trouble crying; sometimes I needed to cry so bad that I would watch a tear jerker movie by myself so I could get a few tears out. I still have trouble in this area but I have been able to keep going forward anyway. Other than a tear or two, I can’t cry in front of anyone. This comes from not having PERMISSION to cry in the past. I am happy to say that this has not prevented me from healing.”  Darlene Ouimet

I have always had trouble crying. I have not thought about this as deeply in the past as I have been thinking about it lately. I knew that crying made me feel bad about myself. And I have come to understand through the emotional healing process the different ways that I was not given permission to ‘feel’ when I was growing up.

When I post these types of quotes on the Emerging from Broken Facebook page about difficulty with crying or the inability to cry, there are always a lot of comments from others who share about being told not to cry and about being hit or punished for crying. Some people experience an intense fear of starting to cry and never being able to stop. Some share that like me, they have real difficulty crying and many share having both difficulty crying and shame for crying or even shame for wanting to cry.

The message I got when I was a kid was that I didn’t have a right to cry and that my feelings were wrong and the message was that I was exaggerating or lying about my pain whether it was emotional pain or physical pain. I too was often told that if I didn’t stop crying I would be given a reason to cry ~ (said to me by the person who had delivered the blows) when I was crying because I had just been hit with a belt.  Recently I realized that this issue goes even deeper than the fear of crying, shame over crying and the fact that I had been threatened and punished for crying.  

There was another message I received by being told to stop crying that was even more covert than then the messages about my worth or lack of worth and even more manipulative than the message about my rights or lack of rights;

The deeper message that I got about crying was Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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Freedom on the other side

freedom on the other side….

It is very common that when the lights go on and we start to come out of ‘the fog’ that we realize we have been living in for a long time, we are excited to tell others what we are discovering and it is frustrating when they react as though we are crazy.  You know that look; the look that says “WHAT the HECK? You must be Nuts”

Sometimes people try to talk us out of what we are discovering before we are even finished talking about it. Even worse is when people refuse to listen at all as if to say that if they can’t ‘shut us down’ they will simply block us out. This type of reaction is defining in the way that it sent me the message that I was not worth listening to, or that I ‘was crazy’ or out of my mind, ridiculous, exaggerating etcetera. It was dismissive. The bottom line with these types of reactions is that I had been discounted, devalued, not permitted to have any impact and very much what exactly what I have been used to living with for so long, so the automatic response is NOT to fight to have a  voice, it was to question myself again.   

It’s typical for a survivor of any type of abuse to try and understand “why” these people do not want to ‘hear them’ and it is also typical to conclude that the person on the receiving end of our story is rejecting our story because they don’t understand it, have never been a victim of any type of abuse, neglect or devaluing/discounting treatment and don’t relate to it in any personal way.  

But this is usually NOT why the receiver of the information we so desperately want to discuss, will reject our discoveries. It is far more common that the receiver of this information is Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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Overcoming self blame by seeing where it comes from“It wasn’t just that I didn’t know what I was feeling; I was also afraid to acknowledge my feelings in case they were wrong. Survival for me had become about making sure that I didn’t do or say the wrong thing”. Darlene Ouimet

This morning my husband needed me to pick him up at one of our hay fields where he was dropping off his semi in preparation to haul some hay. The ground is covered in several inches of snow here and the last couple of days have been mild and the snow is very heavy, wet and slippery now. He pulled into the field in the Semi and I was driving the pick-up truck close behind.  I was trying to ‘guess’ where he was going to park the Semi with the good intention of picking him up to avoid making him trek on foot through the snow.  I advanced into the field and he held his hand up to alert me to ‘stop’ where I was. I felt uncomfortable.

He seemed to be driving the semi in random patterns and I jumped to the conclusion that I must have gotten in his way when I drove into the field. I assumed that he was trying to back the Semi up to the haystack, but he couldn’t because I was parked in between the Semi and the stack. I tried to get out of the way but I realized it was really slippery and I was starting to get stuck in the snow. On top of that, I didn’t know exactly where to ‘go’ now and I didn’t want to make things worse, so I just stayed where I was.

I became aware of my old default mode coming up. My old default mode operated under the belief that I could never do the right thing and that I always did something stupid when I was trying to help. I felt my face get a little hot. I imagined that Read More→

Categories : Therapy
Comments (74)

overcoming depression

against all odds

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I have been thinking about gratitude these past few days in relation to the past and the present.  I had been in the process of ‘trying’ to heal a lot longer than I have been in the actual process of healing and I have many new insights today that I didn’t have in the past.

Something that sprang to mind this morning while I was doing my gratitude journal* was how much the way that I practice gratitude has changed over the last few years.

I have heard most of my adult like that practicing gratitude is one of the most important aspects in any kind of recovery and I am no newbie to the action of being grateful. What is different today is that I don’t have that little voice in the background reprimanding me for my failure with the concept of gratitude.

For example, my gratitude practice in the past would go something like this:

“I am grateful for the abundance in my life! I have food, shelter, clothing and friends. I have everything I need” and the little reprimanding voice full of self-defeating disgust would respond “jeeze but you still think you are so hard done by; you have no excuse for ever being depressed, you have no excuse for ever being sad, you are pathetic and you SHOULD be grateful. If you were really grateful you would not have any of those ‘problems’ that you have.”

The problem is that I didn’t actually ‘hear’ the voice. It was hidden under the surface of my mind, whispering at me constantly, tearing me down in my subconscious and I didn’t actually ‘hear it’ until Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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like minded and the belief system

Like Minded?

I decided to do a search on Google using the key words “belief system” and one of the first things that came up was the instruction to “challenge your belief system” (not much instruction on “how to do the how”) But one of the suggestions on challenging your belief system struck me as odd; it said ~ “choose like minded friends”

That is an interesting directive; I chose like minded friends most of my life. And when I thought about that statement, choosing like minded friends was actually natural and also a part of the problem.  Like minded isn’t always a positive thing!

~ As a child at school I chose other kids who were withdrawn like I was. I fit in better with them.

~When I was a young adult, I chose other survivors of dysfunctional families who were in denial. We stayed in denial together.

~ I chose men who thought that they were more important than I was. I didn’t think I agreed with them, but my actions and the acceptance of the way that they treated me as “less than them” shows that we were in fact like minded.

~I chose friends who like me, were pretending that their lives were wonderful. We were like minded in our denial.

~ Sometimes I chose girlfriends that “used me” and took advantage of me to baby sit their kids or Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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where does the belief system come from

Darlene Ouimet ~ Smile

One of the biggest uncomfortable and reoccurring memories that I have is of constantly being told to smile. It was not encouragement, it was a directive. I didn’t realize it at the time, I was too young when it started but today I know that it was a judgment of me. It was said “as a judgment”  

I wonder why no one asked me why I was so unhappy. I bet my mother would say that she did ask. But what I remember is her asking why I didn’t smile more like this; “Why don’t you smile Darlene… you always look so sullen.” That was a rhetorical question.  She didn’t want an answer. She was not concerned. She just didn’t want me to look “sullen”.

It is important to keep in mind however, that it doesn’t matter what her intention was. It was what I heard that matters because the message that I got from this “request” or “judgment” is the damage that I had to overcome. The message received was the damage. That is what I am talking about when I talk about overcoming damage and having to find out what the damage actually was in the first place.

I was extremely quiet. Perhaps “withdrawn” is a better word.  Didn’t anyone think that there was a reason for that? 

I heard the whispers about me. I heard the question “what is wrong with her?” many times. I don’t think that statement or question helped me become the happy child that they “wanted” me to be. It made it worse.

I overheard a conversation once between my mother and her sister (my Aunt) when I was somewhere around the age of 8 or 9.  They were discussing my “sullenness” and my constant headaches. It was not so much that they were concerned about me that struck me, but they were trying to decide what was WRONG with me.  I connected the word sullen with the smile directive and Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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