Choosing Like Minded Friends and the Belief System


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~ As a child at school I chose other kids who were withdrawn like I was.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 to drive them somewhere. They used me and I thought doing what they wanted was “love”. I thought that their needs were more important than mine were and they agreed with me. We were like minded that way.

The point is that I chose like minded people without realizing what was mixed up in my own mind! I didn’t realize that “like minded” was not necessarily a good thing!

The only way that I could change anything about my life was to find out what my belief system WAS and where it was on the wrong track.  That is not the easiest thing to do because the belief system forms when we are very young and we don’t realize in childhood when our normal is in fact a “false normal”~ meaning NOT normal or healthy at all.  It was a challenge to figure out what was dysfunctional IN my own thinking. “I had to expose “my normal” to myself and reject it as the “false normal” that it was.

So many “self help books” and “self help programs” focus on changing the thinking by using will power. Positive thinking, affirmations and “acceptance” of the past i.e.: it happened now let it go. I tried that for about 25 years before I found out that the real changes in my operating system came quickly when I found the roots of how the dysfunctional beliefs got there in the first place. I was not born broken. I was not born with a false normal belief system.

Choosing “like minded” people to hang out with and to have mutually respectful relationship with was a lot healthier for me once I found out the beliefs that were dysfunctioning and dysfunctional in my “mind” in the first place and then changed them; then it was much easier to choose “healthy” like minded friends instead of the like minded unhealthy friends I had gravitated towards in the past.  It’s obvious to me now that when friends and associates exhibited abusive and devaluing traits that were so familiar and even comfortable to me that it was only natural to connect with those people who seemed so “like minded”.

I am happy to say that have a much healthier idea of what “like minded” is today. I pursue mutually respectful and mutually valuing relationships.  I try to be aware and to resist dismissing any “red warning flags” that I get when I meet a new friend.  

I have also discovered that “true” self help is actually helpful and does not add more confusion.

Please share your thoughts about looking at the topic of “like minded” through a new grid of understanding.  The truth set me free, but it was not that easy to find it.

Another little snapshot of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

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Categories : Therapy



I too don’t think that being ‘like minded’ is always a good thing. I was never one who sought out friends but for the most part tried to show myself friendly to everyone. In elementary I had two friends, then as we grew older we grew apart for some reason. I think our desires and attitude towards life went two different directions. I do enjoy people and enjoy watching others’ friendships and interactions. I believe in any relationship I have there has to be room for growth. I don’t like to be crowded, I don’t like to be in a atmosphere where I can’t breathe. There has to be common grounds, healthy purposes, and unconditional love for me to function at my best. Yes, I do agree belief system is very important in establishing a firm foundation for lasting friendships and for me this is for any relationship. I thought I had best friends, which were my sisters, but turn out it was all a lie. They abandoned me when I told them I was raped by our parents. It did hurt me and if I think about it too much it will make life harder for me. I know what type of friend I am and I know what kind of friends I will accept. It’s all in what you’re willing to give and what you’re willing to take. I don’t have friends now. There are those who come and talk to me but it’s not a friendship, more acquaintances who need me to listen to them. I don’t lend my heart to heavy towards expecting anything more than this from them. I wouldn’t chose them as friends and it’s not because I think they’re bad people, it’s because I know that we have different belief system of what friendship is all about…I’m not anxious about having that close bond but I am excited for the day when I get to meet up with my friends, whoever they are…..I enjoy reading your blog Darlene. Thank you for this outlet. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share and express.


Hi Darlene, I have experienced much the same thing. Water seeks its own level and one of the hardest things about getting well is finding yourself at a new level, while the people you love remain at the old level. That’s where I am now. It is a constant struggle to hold my new ground, my new view of me, and not alienate the people who mean the most to me. Some days, I want to give up but the truth is, I can’t. I’ve changed because my view of my life and who I am has changed so drastically. I’ve no choice but to press forward and hope that those who love me, love me enough to also, seek a new level.



Hi Will
Thanks for sharing. I am glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
I can relate! The stage you are in took some time for me. It was like the “gelling time” for my new belief system about how I was going to live from now on and if I was going to stick to my boundaries. I didn’t always trust myself and because of all the old ways that were “normal to me” I had to constantly remind myself that what I was doing was right! Keep going, I am so glad that you are on the road with me!
Hugs, Darlene


In a similar way, I recently saw how the major relationships of my adult life fit the same pattern as my parents’ behavior and I didn’t see it because the exterior behaviors were so different.

Another like-minded pattern for me was getting into relationships with men that didn’t really want to commit because I thought I wanted “freedom.” I finally realized I just didn’t believe anyone would find me worthy of commitment.

You are so right that willing a belief system change doesn’t work. Excavating the roots and finding out what we actually believe is what also brought me rapid change, too.



Hi Sophia
I made the same discoveries! Sometimes I feel like I mention the belief system way too much, but the formation of it is at the root of everything; the discovery of the roots of my belief system has been the beginning of all major changes too!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


I think the ideas about the exploration of belief systems needs a lot of mention especially because so many people have bought into the positive thinking propaganda even when it doesn’t work. Another thing I find offensive about enforced positivity is that it is another form of blame the victim. “So what if you were abused, you must have attracted it by negative thoughts. And you are wrong to want to hold them accountable because that means you are just wallowing,” etc.


In my recent search for self help I have read at least six recommended books. Each had a different
approach to self healing. Some had workbooks. Some had positive exercises . Journaling was encouraged.
But they all seemed to put the cause of your problem or issue squarely on you and then proceeded to
help you overcome this perceived defect. A faulty belief system was never mentioned in any of my reading or by any of my councelors. It seems as though you are labeled first then they proceed with curing you.
This is the first info I have found which truely makes sense to me and fits truely fits my situation.
I wonder why it is not more widely known? Its like a good weight loss program wont work for you until you understand what your underlying problem is. Changing your thinking is extreemly hard especially when you dont know how you started thinking the way you do. If it was always that way and you know
no different how can you even question it? Thats how we get stuck.


Hi Darlene,
I have a like minded pattern of going towards people, who have the same dysfunctional family I have, with “abusive & “devaluing traits”. I’m more conscious of that now and pick & choose my friends. In the past, I chose unhealthy friends, because there was that familiarity and common bond in relating to each other. It was a lot of subtle things, that I picked up on, subconsciously. However, as I became more aware of my pattern, I can spot the dysfunction in others much more clearly. There are certain people I would naturally go towards, but then realized they were not who they appeared to be. I would find out they were controlling & had a long mean streak!

I had a false definition of relationship, based on my dysfunctional family. I have a friend now, who is like minded in positive ways. We have the same good qualities & similar interests. However, she also comes from a dysfunctional family. We talk about the negative & the positive things. It’s such a blessing to find someone “like minded” in that way. It’s a healthier relationship, but I have to be mindful of not dumping too much baggage on her, because she can not meet all my needs. Even though, I know she would understand some of what I went through, she is a newer friend, who has to earn my trust. I have trust issues for good reasons. I mistrust my own family, since they have broken my trust in so many ways. It’s hard to form healthy relationships, since I’ve been raised in a dysfunctional family. Relationships need boundaries, limits, equality, and respect, that is healthy!


Excellent comments! I agree! Thanks for adding those thoughts.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen
Thank you for sharing this!! What you have said here is one of the biggest reasons that I started this website. I too found that no one was talking about what REALLY works. I had read a ton of self help books, and I found the same thing. I tried to do what they said for YEARS but it was when I looked at the original belief system that I finally had permanent results instead of just a band aid for the wounds. I felt the same as you; that this made sense!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Really great insight, Darlene. Thank you so much. I started following your blog a few weeks ago when I came across it on facebook and have found it applicable to my own experiences. I really appreciate how you take on difficult topics and share them in straightforward, small chunks that are easy to reflect upon. Have a wonderful weekend. Thanks again. xx


It is amazing how this gets so much easier when we see things through the grid of truth! It’s proof that we can change our thinking, we can learn that what we thought was healthy may not have been, and that our definitions of certain words like “relationship” have been messed up. It shows that we CAN change our lives and get through all this stuff. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing this!
hugs, Darlene


Hi “Worth-Waiting-For”
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! Thank you for your comments. I am glad you are here and I welcome you to share often.
Hugs, Darlene


After reading this I find myself in a sticky situation. I have a friend who we have been helping each other through our very similar pasts/struggles, and at the moment it seems that we are the only people that can get each other through life. Are you saying that this is not a healthy friendship then? Because I don’t know where I would be right now if I didn’t have the friendship with her.
Thanks xx


This is an excellent and timely post! I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing your insights, Darlene!


I am so glad I have found you. I am afraid I have totally the same experience. All my childhood I was struggle to earn my mom care, attention and love. But she was frozen. I was many times in my life tried figured out why friends despaired from my life, why I don’t have those who really love me. And that was big and painful discovery understand I have pick up for my close friends those who didn’t love me, didn’t care. Those I was sure I can do something to make them love me, care about me and stand by me. ….Of course surprise, surprise that never happened. I was friendly to all, people pleaser addict. Now I am more aware now I hope I pick much better … but I still miss those who break my trust, that false friends. Its something I don’t understand why that false hope is so deep stuck to me I know and my brain know I should keep myself as far as possible from myself but I still comming back for more hoping this time gonna be different but I am as a fool open myself more for new fresh betrayal. What that “red flag” are how recognize them??


Hi Meerkat..
Yes I too am curious what the red flags would be. I too have chosen poorly in my quest for someone to care about me as long as I can remember. I know I put out too much at first but I wonder too how is it I recognize others like me?


I did not intend to imply that when a relationship is positive that like mindedness is negative. I am sorry for giving the wrong impression. I was actually addressing the directive to “find like minded friends” when I was like minded in agreeing that I deserved to be “less important” then the person I was with.
It sounds like you have a wonderful friend there and it doesn’t sound negative or unhealthy at all.
I hope this clarifies
Hugs, Darlene


Meerkat and Karen,
I recognized red flags much easier when I started to realize the lies that I believed about myself as a result of the way that I had been regarded and disregarded. I have written lots about red flags in this site. When I figured out where I got broken in the first place, I started to “see” red flags that I had ignored back then, like warning signs that the person didn’t actually care about me at all, but was in fact only interested in what I could do for them.
I hope that helps clarify a bit.
Hugs, Darlene


This is a really interesting look at how “like minded” friends and associates aren’t always a good thing. You are making me think, Darlene.


Good stuff. I work with a lot of people on these issues. You are right on. That childhood ‘normal’ which is dis functional becomes the grow up default especially under pressure. And we wonder why we are so unhappy. Exploring what was ‘normal’ and comfortable but makes you feel
Devalued can help you understand where your mind was given wrong information. Then you can speak truth to those issues. Here’s a couple truths. You were a precious child deserving of love and care and nurturing and correction and having your needs met. That is the job of a child- to be cared for and taught in gentle ways that are healthy and free of fear. If you did not have that it wasnt your fault. There was brokenness in the adult. But as an adult it is your job to find healing and break the chains. Another truth. You can find healing and you don’t have to repeat history. Another
Truth. You are precious and deserving of a whole and healthy life. Even if you have failed and done really bad things. You are precious and deserve to have better. You may have to pay back or make restitution for things you did. That’s what healthy people do. But that doesn’t have to define you. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Only you can be that. And we need your uniqueness in this world. Red flag is someone who diminishes who you are. A good friend will tell you if you are messing up but will also see your failures as humanness not your forever state. If you never get the care and only give it, that’s unhealthy. If you always demand it and don’t give then that’s unhealthy. Truth says I may be a mess right now- own that as a starting point but don’t let it be the ending. There are
Many lovely people out there who will treat you well but you have to know what that looks like. Baby steps. If you don’t know what kind looks like how can you recognize it? Al-anon is an organization for friends and fame of alcoholics and addicts but it is great for all types of disfunctions. I highly recommend trying Al-Anon groups until you find a fit. And you can’t do this alone. Find a group-a community art or music or drama or church or whatever your passion is and you will find people that you might connect to that can help you. You may have to try several before something clicks. But don’t quit because you are worth it. Treat yourself as a fragile newborn and nurture yourself. As you grow you will change how you treat yourself but still be kind. No one improves by being hit with a bat, physically or emotionally. So don’t hit yourself. If you fail admit it say your sorry and mean it, fix what you can and move on. You have a future to find. Go for it. You are a treasure!


o yes Darlene, thank you for explanation, that helps a bit.
Could you give for our all benefit a few example from real life, please. I have found its so difficult to me catch those red flag don’t know how recognize it, name it.

Or maybe its just me beginner in healing. I need to find how to develop ability to recognise red flags. Many years training to suppress my feelings being voiceless child who share life with toxic mother and child sexual abusers made me develop totally false scale what is “wrong” or what is “painful”.

I had real situation me and my colleague experienced the same situation with our common friend. And she never accepted and totally divorced that person who made as feel and treat us very bad but for myself that was after first pain gone sort of “not so bad”, nearly as “normal” so “familiar rejection” of course I felt execrably and I question that friendship many times after that but I forgive easily and many times I was trying build up back that relationship. I wish I was able to see those red flags before that happen. And how to retrain yourself to NOT avoid red flags?


Hi Tracie!
Thats one of my fav things to do!
Hugs! Darlene

Hi Bobs,
Welcome to emerging from broken.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Meerkat
An example of a red flag would be when the person that I am with displays that their wants, wishes, needs, interests etc. are always more important than mine. Sometimes they don’t even show interest in what my interests are. One time I babysat for these people and I slept over at their house because they were going to be home late. In the morning, I had the flu and they refused to drive me home until they felt like it. (later in the afternoon!) I was babysitting for FREE because I loved the kids. It took that event for me to see how they had been using me for 2 years! And when I looked back I saw all kinds of these “red flag warnings” that the relationship was based on what I could do for them and there was no mutuality.
It was through progress forward that I was able to see so many red flags in the past but this clarity has also helped me to spot red flags right away now. Healthy relationship is mutually valuable and mutually respectful.
Hugs, Darlene


thank you, thank you, thank you, now I even can feel how the red flag feel 🙂
wish all here lovely weekend.



In a similar vein I am thinking about the things we do in order to preserve a “friendship” and what these things say about our belief system. I and another women had a mutual “friend” with whom we both got into business relationships. This gal (V) then took advantage of me in our business dealings and she didn’t treat the other gal (M) very well either. I decided to stop working for her and I no longer consider her a friend. Of course, because I now value myself, I could not continue such a business relationship, especially because she underpayed me on the basis that I was her “friend.” (!) But M said to me, “Well I stopped doing business with V so that I could preserve our friendship.”

Now when I think about this, it makes little sense. A person who abuses or mistreats me in business is not a person I then consider a friend if I stop doing business with her. But I hear so many people say that about how they can still consider someone a friend after they have been hurt in business dealings. Is this not a red flag, too? So the “friendship” is preserved if we just ignore how they misused us in business?! This is a fascinating business of unraveling all the various threads of abuse we have tolerated and accepted in our lives.




Meerkat ~ YAY ~ thanks for affirming that my comments clarified!

Exactly! that is what I was just saying to someone on the phone this morning. How can you be friends with a person who has treated you unfairly in biz?? Relationship is relationship!

I too have had this happen in business. What I realized is that these people were not interested in my friendship. The seemed to be because they couldn’t manipulate me very well if they didn’t seem interested in me as a person. The truth is that they were interested in what I could do for them and that is as far as it goes. This is the very thing I have worked so hard to get away from; unhealthy relationships with people who had ulterior motives. (Business or friendship, there is really no difference!)
Thanks so much for your awesome comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Yes, choose healthy relationships or not. Choose mutual respect or not. It requires ongoing effort but is worth it

Deirdre Burnside
April 7th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Darlene, I have been internally dealing with this message, as well. My dad (recovered alcoholic) has managed to keep me off track for years by telling me that this has all been me calling bad things to myself. In many ways. He does not accept depression, therapy, etc. Over the past several years I have had to put my ear to the ground in order to excavate some rationale, some truth from all of this. My truth tells me that he has hidden behind a smokescreen of AA in order to camoflage his true intent. Digging out the reality has been excruciating, in all ways. I had finally began to be strong enough to call his bluff, when his step-son grabbed my breasts at a Fathers’s Day lunch at him & his current wife’s house 2 yrs ago. This has been a turning point in my current life. I finally, finally got the gonads up to face him and his wife and tell them exactly what I was thinking and that included that they were to leave me alone in no uncertain terms. Their messages were not supportive and kept me stuck in the past. In fact, their messages told me that I was the one that had problems/was the problem for so many years that I was inclined to believe them, even though I knew better. Listen to your gut, that is where the truth resides. Once I removed all possibility for any thoughts of reconciliation with him I began to really live for myself…. A work in progress.


Hi Deirdre
Lots of people hide in their recovery programs. I have seen that way too often too.
To add to your statement about removing the possibility of reconciliation; Even giving myself permission to consider stepping away from my family for a time was huge and went a long way towards my own recovery. It was so much about ME talking care of me and listening to me. Telling myself that I would protect myself and put myself first, telling myself that I deserved better, telling myself that they didn’t “own” me and that I didn’t owe them anything… all of that went so far towards my healing. In the end it was my mother who stopped talking to me. And that is okay with me today.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All
I have a new post published; In this new post I take a look at how I convinced myself something really unhealthy was actually healthy in order to find some validation and approval. It is about coping methods and more belief system formation stuff. I go into a bit more detail in this one. I hope you all read it here: “I avoided the pain of Abuse by Altering the Truth” http://emergingfrombroken.com/i-avoided-the-pain-of-abuse-by-altering-the-truth/
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone!!
In 2010, I was reunited with a childhood friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years, or thereabouts. I had a reunion girls weekend where 5 of us spent the weekend together on vacation. Me and the friend I hadn’t seen since childhood, hit it off well again. So did the rest of us. We had a fantastic time.

Since then, this particular friend I am speaking of, that I hit it off with, has sort of picked me out of the bunch to stay connected with. She’s traveled hundreds of miles on three different occasions since that weekend, to stay at my house for a weekend or 3-4 days. I always enjoy our time, we end up talking non-stop about our lives and struggles, etc. All at once, about a month ago, I got this gut feeling that she wasn’t all that good for me. She listens intently, has given heartfelt sound advice, has maintained contact when I failed to do so, etc.

My curiosity about the health of the relationship started to surface when I began to think about how spotless I felt my house had to be when she arrived. I though my husband had to behave in a certain way when she was here. I caved in when our class reunion weekend came and she was staying with me, and we did what SHE wanted to do. We skipped several events I wanted to go to, because she didn’t want to go. I would have gone to them, had she not been here. In addition, she basically invited herself to my house to stay. I did not invite her. She has aged well, takes immaculate care of herself, and is very conscious of the way she looks. I feel quite “less than” in her presence. I find myself secretly not wanting her around really. A long distance relationship where we text or talk on the phone is fine with me. I enjoy her insight and her sense of humor. I just don’t really enjoy the constraints I feel, that I have largely put upon myself. I am having trouble deciding if this is a healthy friendship. Some of her behaviors remind me of my mother. She has an underlying expectancy that all eyes will be on her, I believe. That is soooooo my mother. I am still processing how to move forward in this reltionship. I suppose my gut will tell me when it’s not healthy, or some aspect of it isn’t healthy. I hope I’ll have the courage to follow my heart if/when that time comes.

Love to all,


Hi Mimi
You have a choice, the trick is to believe it enough to make a it. I can relate to what you have posted here. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” ~ you can take the risk having your home the way you want, standing up for what YOU want to do etc. You can empower youself to be yourself and literally not care what she thinks or does. For me this situation was the same fear of rejection that I had with my parents. (If I am not what you (they) want, they will leave me. ) but the truth is that if they don’t like who I am, so what?
Hugs, Darlene


Powerful insight!! Coincidentally, I’ve been trying to stretch a little in this area. I’ve always been so wound up about people coming to my home. Lately though, I’ve tried to let it slide. I left renovations messes out when my sister was here two weekends ago. Funny, I didn’t care after she was here. I was also fairly safe with her, she’s not at all judgmental. It was sort of a practice run, haha! I am so looking forward to the days where I can empower myself to be myself, as you say, without caring what people think. I had no idea the fear behind it, but you said it. It is the fear they will leave me, judge me, not love or accept me. You’re so right…. so what?? Thank you for this comment!!
Peace and love,


do people from functional families relate with us
are they even interested in noticing us
they can make out within seconds how dysfunctional a abused child is.
just like we seek normal and functional friends
so do they……..ultimately a beggar cant be a chooser


Hi Priya
Welcome to EFB
This site is about recovery from all that.
Hugs, Darlene


I like what Priya wrote.My fiance doesn’t understand how the past isn’t just “the past” when it can control how we feel and act today.He says,” the past is past,so why do you keep going over things from your past?””We all had crap to live through and now it’s done,over,back then,final.”He’s the one person I’ve been able to talk about anything with most of my life.Over 40 yrs.Now when I feel I need to bounce something off him,I get the “leave it in the past,It’s done you cannot change anything about it.”Well,I love you Rod,but I am at Darlene and friends and we are dealing with the past,the present and the future!”Thank you for starting EFB,I’ll be like what I have often heard,I am so pleased to meet you and all,I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstances.We are precious treasure,each of us<3


[…] in the first place would finally validate, then life would be so much better.  It is the way our belief systems have been fed and formed that is at the root of this dilemma. And there are MANY hidden false […]


I happened upon this website today and I just want to start pouring out SO much “stuff”, but quite honestly I didn’t know where to begin until I ran across these posts. I have been to therapy probably a dozen times over the last 25 yrs all with different therapists, none of which really did anything for me except sit and look at me with no explanation to anything or helpful advice. I am hoping that I can learn from the lives of others. I am 45 yrs old and have not been able to feel peace within myself for a very very long time. I am married and have 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren. I know that I have hurt my immediate family and extended family to great lengths with my depression and a suicide attempt several years ago. Everyday is a struggle and it is so much easier to just exist than to live, I am so numb and I am terrified to feel. If I do allow feelings they are very extreme whether it’s sadness or anger and I don’t know that I have had extreme happiness ever. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Cyndi
Welcome to emerging from broken
It is so important to look at where those feelings of helplessness and your depressions began. There are roots to them and the keys are in those roots. That is a lot of what we talk about here.
Glad you have joined us.
Hugs, Darlene


WOW> I recently discovered your page and am overwhelmed by the thoughts scrambling around my brain crashing into each other. I was in an abusive marriage for two years and have been free of that for a little over a year… However in my healing proess from that I had come to the conclusion that something in me was “off” … granted I’m sure my x is a spath/narc/antisocial person and I was taen off guard until it was too late… Anyways. sorry to loose track.. I was starting to say that in the process of trying to heal form the abuse of my x, I have come to question things about myself as to why I stayed. I ahve always had rumblings in my head about my childhood and feeling unworthy wanting to just once hear my parents say they are proud of me, but I have pretty much given that up… Unfortunately, I have very little recolection of my childhood. A few scattered memories here and there but not much concrete until I was probably around 14-15? Anyways, I am rambling. THank you for your page. A lot of what I have read has resonated deep inside of me.


Hi ArchAngel InPain
Welcome to emerging from Broken!
Your story is pretty much how I also figured out the roots of what happened to me in the first place. I started to wonder why I kept getting involved with these “certain types of men”.
I didn’t have that many memories of my young childhood either but it turned out that I had enough of them to put together what my belief system was and how it formed. You have found the right website!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank You. I am wondering, how I go about changing the belief system I have about myself? I choose not to “confront” my parents about the ways they made me feel unworthy and less than as a child, it would be in vain. I guess my dad never really did anything except be absent and unavaiable, my mother on the other hand, well thats like trying to untangle someones dreadlocks. Growing up my dad was passive and my mother always made me feel horrible for loving my dad. I really have no idea if my dad ever knew what was going on, they divorced when I was very young. I was a colicky baby and I recall hearing my mother tell stories about how my dad thought I was perfect, bcz I cried all day but my colick was calmed down by the time he got home from work. All throughout growing up I heard my mom spew “hatred” about my dad. I never as a child ever heard my dad say a single bad thing about my mom… as an adult there have been a few times where he has implied negative things but only after I have shared/said something. My mom to this day can say things “jokingly” that just rip me to shreds and leave me feeling wounded, unworthy and unloved. It is at these times, I tell myself I am done with her and vow to never speak to her again until I get an apology… but that never works for very long even tho the apology never happens.
I want to change how I believe about myself, I do not know how.
I have read so much stuff and tried it all. I know I am a worthy, loving, kind person who deserves real love and true happiness… I just don’t know how to actually believe it?


I think of all the hurtful things she has said the worst is how if she had to do it all over again she would have never had kids. I cannot imagine ever saying that to my kids. Ever. Things aren’t always easy, but I have never wished I didn’t have them


Hi ArchAngel UnPain
There are over 350 articles in this site and all with discussions. There are over 19,000 comments in the discussions and I participate in all of them. I have written all the HOW stuff within the pages of this website. The key is to find out where the broken began. Find out how your belief system formed and find the lies planted there that are about yourself. There are tons of examples in here that will help you do that.
Keep reading and sharing (if you want to be part of the discussions it is easier if you join one of the current ones on the home page)
Hang in here! There is hope for healing!
Hugs, Darlene


ArchAngel InPain ~ that is a horrible thing that your mother said. Those are the messages that settle in the belief system. When parents say things like that they are telling the child that they wish you were never born. That “you were not worth whatever effort she put in” and that is so hard to comprehend!
Those are the lies. You are worth it. You have the same value as all other human beings but it was never communicated to you. Hugs, Darlene


Im new to this site and cant believe there are others like me. I had a friend recently tell me “I was the dog everyone kicked”. She was the second person in the world to validate my experience oh yes and two professional counselors. Now there is all of you and yes it is real Im not crazy or garbage thisbreally doea happen. Its amazinf how covert and tightly knitted the deception has been i believed them i deserved and excepted abuse from almost every human contact and yes I understAnd picking like minded people to only repeat the drama. I will be 50 this year and red a post where 2 of the women were in there late 40’s before waking up. I almost died in the FOG. That would have been hell. These people have no conscience how coild they. Uck uck uck! So many years i hated myself and my defectivenesa weekness and as they said stupid. Even though i proved all of it wrong i could only play the role they gave me to be mentally ill idiot. Not a nice dream a mother has for her child. I have had no contact in 4 years my sister and brother were her tools after my fathers death at 8 we were left in her evil hands. The amazing part is the world seea her as a saint. How deceptive its amazing we got it and i am greatful there are others to validate the truth. Families can be very very cruel and sick. I fear i will never be healed from the dammage i have nonone who loves holds or stands with me out here. I think my therapist sucks and have been awake for about 3 years. Im so greatful darlene what a women to have figured so much out! Wise women pleasurebto meet you. Kady


Hi Kady
Welcome to EFB
Well you are certainly not alone! This site is all about the “HOW” I healed from all this damage; there is hope for healing. I am really happy you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you! I hope i can see some break through here. I have been in therapy for 4 years my ne therapist mentioned my last visit to imagine how my mother has felt shame guilt what she must be feeling. OMG i so dont think she gets it. I have tried for 40+ years with that womem. Its not an option if thats what i need to do to heal id be sunk. I will be watching and reading your blog. Thanks for the hug!


The great thing that this website does is that it offers a place to find people who had been like-minded in an unhealthy way becoming like-minded in a healthy way. It provides a sharper awareness of what was wrong when I see a familiar pattern in the lives of others. And it provides the encouragement by seeing others successfully learn new beliefs and apply them to their lives.

Thank you Darlene for all that you put into this!



Good article. I try to choose different minded friends. Something I learned, it has a name: Double Cross theory. Something that attracts you to someone will eventually repel you. It was true for me. I thought I was boring, so I wanted a “party animal” so that I would become a party animal. It backfired. I didn’t like the “party animal” stuff.

So, liking different minded people can work against you, too.


Thanksto you Darlene I can now understand healthy like minded people. I always knew that i had been neglected, but until i found EFB I didn’t understand any of it, nor did i have a clue that I could heal .


“Like-minded” in the past usually had me at the losing end. Since I discounted myself, I made connections with people who also discounted me. By the way, me discounting myself had started with my mother and then others discounting me. Like minded in the dysfunctional way meant that my friend placed an importance on me meeting her needs and I also placed an importance on me meeting her needs. The problem was that these were one way street friendships with only the other person’s needed being met. Many of my early dating relationships worked this way too.

I have a long time friend who, because I always felt insecure, I would confide in and look to for advice. She came across as confident and sure of herself. She liked her role in this because she felt superior when I was struggling with something. As time went by I went yo her less for advice and looked to have a more balanced friendship. I don’t think she liked this shift. It turned out she liked giving me advice, but she didn’t want me yo benefit too much from it because she didn’t want me to ever surpass her in anything whether it was in my job, financial situation, my home, my husband, vacations, clothes. The reason is that she herself is insecure and got boosted up if I was doing worse Han her in any area. I don’t talk to her very often anymore do to living far away now and also distancing myself emotionally because of the toxic elements in the relationship. She still wants to compete by bragging about trips she hoes on, shows she sees, and what she buys. I’m not interested in playing her game, so I rarely talk to her anymore.


Hi Jeffry
That’s awesome! That is why I do this work; because I didn’t have a clue either and when I found out that I COULD heal, I just had to tell the world! 🙂
hugs, Darlene

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