Jun
01

Damaging Labels and Dysfunctional Family History

By

Damaging Labels on children

Without Defence

Since Mother’s day, I have been writing a lot about specific ways that I was devalued, defined as unworthy and treated less then equally valuable. There have hundreds of heart wrenching comments from readers sharing their own pain and empowering others to realize where so many of us got stuck. My heart hurts for the millions of people in the world so badly hurting because of the treatment that they have received from their own dysfunctional parents and so many of us have grown up not knowing that this treatment, this mistreatment was wrong.

~ Dysfunctional mothers who tell their children that they were never wanted. Telling their own children, grandchildren or adopted children that they were “a mistake”. Telling them they are worthless. Saying that they regret the day you were born.  When a child is told they are a mistake or worthless, they are automatically invalidated.

Not good enough, not worthy, not lovable. Constantly reprimanded. Constantly ignored, constantly reminded that you are not valid.

~ Dysfunctional parents who not only refuse to SEE their child as an individual, but refuse to allow that child to BE an individual and instead they decide who and what this child should be like.  Usually their “creation” is not good enough and unacceptable anyway.  Because children (people) are not robots and people are not meant to be what someone else wants them to be.

~ Dysfunctional parents who used their children for their own gain without regard for feelings or boundaries, sometimes without regard for human life. Beatings that are so often a means for the adult to take out their frustrations on a powerless child but the child is blamed shamed and forced to accept that they must have been very “bad” to get those beatings.

Loyalty to these dysfunctional parents it taught from very early on. So the child doesn’t speak of this treatment.

~ Parents who have NO concern for their children, but are only concerned with how they themselves will look, how they will be perceived by others, and concerned with making sure no one knows the truth. And sometimes we just don’t realize how obvious that it is because we are brainwashed to believe we are wrong. One of my readers posted the following comment in relation to my story about my mother’s reaction to my announcement that I was writing a book :

Joy shared: “What came to mind is how my mom reacted to my situation in 2009: where my boss took over my life; verbally, mentally, emotionally tortured me .. When finally I was rescued and was in a safe place that I can tell people I was back.  I let her know .She didn’t ask me how I was. .. She didn’t say she was sorry that I was so tortured..She only asked me if I was going to seek counseling and said she didn’t want me to go and if i talked to anyone not to talk about the past.. .when we were little. I told her at that time part of the counseling may be to ask about the whole past..She became angry and told me if I went to counselling not to bother calling her..Funny thing; she has managed to call me to lash out and warn and tell me how I deserved the treatment I got from my boss”

And this is typical! This is a typical reaction from a dysfunctional parent. What the heck?? Joy was kidnapped, verbally, mentally, and emotionally tortured, and all her mother said was “ if you go to therapy, don’t talk about your childhood” ??? REALLY? Doesn’t that prove that her mother has something to hide? I call this a “truth leak”.  When someone hounds you to keep your mouth shut, they KNOW that they have done something that must be hidden. But we (the grown children) are unsure if we have a right to these feelings or questions.  We are unsure if we have the right to disclose the abuse because we are raised to worship and depend on our parents. And to add even more pain, her mother called her up and told her that she DESERVED to have been verbally and mentally tortured by her boss. UNBELIEVABLE! But sadly, this is what is going on out there.

We live in world of people who don’t know their own value, because it was never shown to them by their own (dysfunctional) parents. And then when we reach a certain age, we are expected know how to take care of our own self esteem.  We are expected to have self confidence. And all the while parents and relatives are STILL reminding us that we are less than them.  Still teaching that “love” is about how we treat them, but has nothing to do with how they treat us.

Sometimes it is not the parents that are the primary abusers. But if the parents don’t want to deal with taking care of the child’s needs, telling the child to hush up or forget the past or don’t speak such things or that you will displease God if you talk “that way” or doesn’t believe the child, then the child  is still labelled as “not worth it”.  And this is still dysfunctional parenting.

Disregarded, devalued, mistreated, unprotected, rejected, blamed, convicted, and thrown into an emotional prison.  When a child has not been raised with love and respect, when a child is not valued for who they are, when a child is not honoured and treasured as a person, all sorts of difficulties manifest themselves. Difficulties such as depression, anxiety and extreme anger. Difficulties such as stress, migraine headaches and chronic stomach aches. Struggles such as nightmares, dissociative disorders, and phobias. Although the world often tells us differently, those disorders, difficulties and struggles start somewhere. We are not born with all that baggage. These “manifestations” are the result of something that happened to us.

I was brainwashed about my lack of worth and until I realized that my self worth could not be defined or determined by someone else. And my self worth is not defined by the abuse that I suffered, NOR is it defined by a diagnosis or mental health struggle.  And until I realized that the struggles that I was having with depressions etc, were a direct result of being falsely defined as NOT valuable, I could not find my way out of the struggles I was having.

Furthermore I was brainwashed to believe that I could not survive without these people who OWNED me. I had been raised to believe that I needed them in order to live and that without them I was nothing. And that was a big lie, but so much was wrapped up in that lie.  I realized that I was terrified to stand up to them and I had to ask myself “why?” I found so many clues and then answers within those questions. And the truth was that I believed that they did own me and had the right to define me. I believed that I owed these dysfunctional parents my life; that they were my life blood and that without them I would die. I had to change that belief. It was a lie.

Emotional healing came when I recognized the truth and realized that I deserve love, respect and value and that getting that validation from people who have declared me unworthy was unlikely. Healing came when I understood that I am not who they decided that am.  Healing came when I decided that they can’t stop me from claiming the life that I was meant to have and that I deserve to have it now. Healing came when I realized through learning self love, that it was never going to be “their love” or anyone else’s love that would heal me. Healing came when I decided that I am worth it.

You deserve it too!

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Family

135 Comments

1

So sad but true, Darlene. Well said.

2

What you discussed, I call “the gag order” given to me by my mother about telling anything to anyone. She would also say that the person in whom I wanted to confide was nosey, spread lies, and told everyone whatever was confided in them. That would automatically shut my mouth about anything!

As to the discussion of knowing one’s own value, that is foreign to me! I do not know how to have an opinion. My mother wanted all of the children to function like little automotons or robots. When we did not, there was impending doom! I never felt like a person while growing up in my household.

3

Darlene:

You write so well and seeing the story written out again has reopen the flood walls and I found myself in a sea of tears..Its really heart wrenching not to have someone to care when one has been through a traumatic tortuous situation..I knew all along as I went through his torture ..there was no one who really cared and so did he..as he had gotten me to trust him and gotten my story of my difficult childhood..he knew i had no one.. I was trapped.. In all the time I was there in the prison of control and abuse my boss had created, no one inquired of me .. but my landlords back here where i am .. …

Everything my boss said or ordered or commmanded was just an echo from many years back and I felt again like that scared child who had no one and had to keep quiet and obey ..or else..

There is so much that happened in those 8 months that i dont know how my heart took it physically but am here… People don’t understand what happened or do they care.. just like family most have told me I should move on not think of it and forgive .. Seems like am always getting the forgiveness speech and the guilty sentence for not being holy enough to keep silent about everything..but I am to the point that nothing more bad can be said to me and I really need to heal.

tears are falling once again
broken bruised i am within
the little girl wants her way
has so much she wants to say
if i let her speak outside
i’ll have to run and have to hide
things i’ve hidden she knows well
never know what she might tell
but thats the way it has to be
for she is waiting to be set free
says too long she’s had to wait
the time is now its getting late.
i’m afraid and i’m not strong
afraid of things that might go wrong
but i know i have to let it start
am letting healing into my heart.
joy

4

I times thought there would be healing n reconciliation wth heart felt apologies from such parents, til I realize it runs deeper than that. it would take more than words to erase what already exist in their offspring’s mind n conscious cz its engraved deep in their personalities.

Only salvation from spiritual understandin or therapy can redeem such a family n reconcile them.. If all else fails tht is..

Thank u for ua posts 🙂 they help in understandin another world I never thought existed..

5

wow, that got hard to read in places and i went onto autopilot to be able to finish reading it as it opens up to many wounds form my earliest days. days of not feeling loved or wanted, the feeling that even though i had it bad kids in the children homes had it worse and i didnt want to be put there. the helplessness of not knowing what would happen or how to stop it happening again hurt even now. the knowing that i was a burden to my mother and her mother had wanted me aborted has left a sore that i speak about but havent fully lanced yet, as i get angry and hostile and as an adult feel stupid that i didnt speak out or did what i had to do to survive and i think it the adult shame in some areas that still holds me behind the wall that imprisons my life without me even realising it most of th etime.
i havent felt up to reading a few of your latest blog posts darlene as the bits posted on the f/b wall made me too uncomfy but as you have expanded on the ideas i was able to manage to read it and oh my gosh it echoes loudly, almost too loudly for me at the moment as daily life has more stressors than the past can handle at the moment. had a mini meltdown the other day when i felt i had let my tutor down at college for not being able to complete my assignment in time and hadnt used the correct procedure for dealing with the situation, something i wasnt aware of and wasnt expecting and it threw me right of balance. the feelings of failure and unfairness that i was being treated differently to othres. took me ages to calm down which is most unusual for me and has taken me all day today to calm down from which furthers the spiral. awareness doesnt always led to cure sometimes it just becomes another stick to beat yourself with

6

Thank you again, I have kept part of me on hold for so long waiting for the day they realise they were wrong, and see I didn’t cause problems and tell me I’m ok. Realiseing it will never happen is hard but its very freeing to understand that I can validate myself. I can say I’m ok and worthy. I can tell myself that I deserve love and kindness. I have kept waiting all my life for someone to tell me that NOW I’m ok, now I’ve done enough to prove them wrong, that i wasn’t terrible. It doesn’t work that way. I tell myself I’m ok. The guilt does hit me a lot still though, all the things I don’t do, or ways I let down people .. but its getting easier and reading these posts are very helpful to see that I’m not the only one that struggles with this. Its as if my darkest fears and secrets are shared. thanks again.

7

Darlene,

Since I have been reading and commenting here, I am overwhelmed by the power of truth. I’ve come to realize that my whole struggle with my past has been a struggle between lies and truth. I have believed so many lies about myself because of those who mistreated me and then insisted that I live out those lies. All along, I had the power to set myself free simply by telling the truth and insisting upon that truth.

I am grateful to you and to everyone here who has couragiously shared their truth and given me greater confidence in my own truth.

I would say more but I am overwhelmed by an inner cascade of realization of who I truly am as all those old lies fall away.

8

Hi Mary,
Welcome to EFB!
Glad you are here, Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ronnie,
The “gag order” is a good name for it. I am glad that you highlighted that there are ‘ways’ to make sure that kids people don’t talk that seem “right” ~ as you stated, that your mother told you they would all tell everyone and lie about it too. I didn’t know who I was either, but I do now. I emerged out of this process of finding out all these lies and replacing them with the truth. One thing is for sure, nobody is a robot and we ALL have right to individuality and autonomy!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy!
My goodness, I didn’t realize that you had been kidnapped for 8 months! What a nightmare. And he used the information that he gathered from you, pretending to care about you, in order to find out your past and find out that he could re victimize you. HOLY SMOKES! Thank you so much for allowing me to share a part of your story here, and for filling in some of the blanks for us too. It is so important that we get this stuff out, where others can validate for us that it was NOT at all acceptable what happened to you, not in childhood and not in adulthood at the hands of your boss. I care about what happened. I don’t understand HIM but I understand you.
I am so glad that you are here with us! And thank you for another beautiful poem. Yes, healing can start!
Hugs, Darlene

9

Hi Carol,
I understand that sometimes we just have to take a break, and that sometimes life is harder then at other times. I know that I have been hitting some nerves lately with my “family dysfunction posts” I know… I tried to avoid writing about it for a long time because I was afraid of hitting nerves. But that is how I healed ~ by facing that wound…. and yes Carol it hurts like nothing else! To realize this stuff and to realize that it happened to ME to US and at the hands of loved ones. It is dang hard. We CAN’T speak out, we have been totally brainwashed not to. I never thought to go to a higher authority ~ not once not even as a teenager. I knew about school counsellors.. I never once thought to see one. I don’t feel ashamed about that, I was totally convinced that it was not safe for me to do something like that. We were taken to a family counsellor when my brother got in trouble once as teenagers… and I still never thought to tell. But I am telling now!
I have missed you, but I totally understand the need for a break!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marie
I hear you so clearly. It is hard to let go of that hope, it felt like a death to me. It felt like something was being torn right out of me. But I DID validate myself. I told myself all those things that you wrote that you can tell your self. And I believed them because I had realized all the lies that I had always believed in the past ~ WERE NOT TRUE..
I am so glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

10

Hi Pam,
Well I don’t know if I had the power to set myself free until someone helped me to see the lies in the first place. I was totally convinced that there was something wrong with me! I hope you are not being hard on yourself about that because really you were powerless. We all were.
YAY for the lies falling away! That is wonderful.
So glad that you are here!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Prime, Welcome to EFB
Yes, it does take more than words, and they can’t change what they did once the damage is done. It is wonderful when parents do realize what they have done, and the damage etc. and want to restore the relationship, but even then, we still have a lot do do in order to heal ourselves.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

11

Darlene

At the time i was trusting the exboss.. before i left to NJ.didnt know that I was giving information that would help him. I only learned this now ..He gave me a sad story and said I was a special friend that he was of the same faith etc. I believed everything he said 🙁 Once he got the info he would use it and say if I didnt do what he said ..obey him.. he would put my info up on billboards. When I even questioned he would copy me into an email that told his assistant to call the printers and put up on the billboard that joy come from a nogood fmaily her mother was a …. and she wont ever amount to anything dont hire her.. I was in tears seeing the email and told him I was going to better do what he asked. . i had to work late late hours he would tell me to have 20 -50 blogs done before i went to sleep and if i didnt better have my bags packed as i would be going for a ride.. the blogs i did in evening was afer a full day of sales. he held my debit card so i could only eat what he provided me. he kept the key so i could only go out when he wanted. . he drop me in strange place for ours ..its a nightmare to recall . and am still afraid for I am getting bad calls all the time on my landline which is from skype or other.. All his threatening me makes me afraid when things happen that he really will come after me as he said.

I wish i knew how to tell who is bad. … if I could I wouldnt have had this happen.

joy

12

ps thank you for having me here and for caring and for understanging .. those are words I never had said to me as a child
or an adult thank you

joy

13

I was taught, from my earliest childhood memories, that I was unlikeable, unwanted, unloved, and a burden. I was taught that I was “crazy, just like your father,” and that the major thing that was so inherently WRONG with me was: “just YOU, just the way you ARE, just the way you THINK.”

I was taught these things, primarily by my mother, by her words, and by her deeds, from the cradle on. I grew up fully believing the things my mother taught me, that LYNDA WAS NOT OK, NEVER HAD BEEN OK, AND NEVER WOULD BE OK.

BEING LOVED is a basic human NEED for a child. BELIEVING YOU ARE WORTHY OF BEING LOVED, is essential to having this basic human need met, as an adult.

FOR MOST OF THE FIRST 50 YEARS OF MY LIFE, I HURT. I hurt, because I was not loved. I hurt, because I did not believe I deserved to be loved. I hurt, and I hurt, and I HURT, until the unrelenting, “hopeless” PAIN literally became unbearable, and I made plans to die.

GROOMED by my family of origin to have NO SELF WORTH, I went out into the adult world and got into relationships with one abuser after another abuser. The normal, healthy people, from normal, healthy families, were not attracted to me ~ but the abusers were hunting me like PREY.

I fully believed that, because *I* was the common denominator in *ALL* these abusive, failed relationships, this proved that *I* WAS THE PROBLEM. I WAS THE CRAZY ONE, I WAS THE ONE NO ONE COULD LIVE HAPPILY WITH, I WAS THE ONE NO ONE COULD LOVE…. because I was not worthy of love. I was too needy, I was too crazy, I was too sensitive, I was just…. somehow…. too damn IRRITATING, to be loved.

Each abusive, failed relationship, only reinforced what I had been taught by all the others, going back to my earliest days on this earth: “Lynda should not have been born. Lynda is a burden. Lynda is bad. Lynda is crazy. Lynda is impossible to get along with. Lynda is impossible to love. Lynda does not deserve even the basic common courtesy that one would show to a stranger on the street.”

I tried SO HARD to FIX whatever it was, that was wrong with me!!! But how could I fix it, when none of my abusers could give me a coherent, consistent, sensible answer to my question: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT MAKES YOU NOT LOVE ME? My mother’s answer: “It’s just YOU, it’s just the way you ARE, it’s the way you THINK.”

How do you fix that?

My first teenaged boyfriend’s answer to my question: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT MAKES YOU NOT LOVE ME? “I was just testing you all these months when I kept begging you to prove to me that you love me by letting me get in your pants. After seven months of going steady, I thought you were gong to pass the test. But now that you’ve let me screw you, I know that you are nothing but a WHORE and you are not GOOD ENOUGH to be my wife.”

How do you fix that?

My first abusive husband’s answer, when I asked him why he was cheating on me, and beating on me: “You just ain’t woman enough for me.”

How do you fix that?

My second abusive husband’s answer, when I asked him why he was cheating on me, and beating on me: “I married you because you are so much younger than me, I thought I could train you to be the kind of wife I want. But you are too needy and too sensitive. You cry too much. You get on my NERVES.”

How do you fix that?

My third abusive husband’s answer, when I told him that if he only loved me half as much as he so obviously loved our young son, I would be so happy: “I can’t help it. He is my flesh and blood, you are not.”

How do you fix that?

My fourth husband, when I asked him why he preferred porn, to me: “You’re not as young as you were when I first knew you. You are getting some wrinkles now and you’ve put on weight and it turns me off.”

How do you fix that?

My “manfriend,” the older AA 13th-Stepper, when I asked him why his great fawning infatuation with me had vanished commpletely within 2 months: “When I first knew you, you had just published a book and been on the Oprah Show. I admired you and thought you were really going someplace with your life! But lately you’ve been depressed and clingy and needy and you aren’t doing anything important. So NOW, I pity you. And I can’t love someone I PITY.”

How do you fix that?

My next boyfriend, the “As Good As It Gets” Jack Nicholson-type of Idiot-Savant, Genius-level high-functioning Autistic: “I love my mororcycle. I love my cats. But I can’t love you, because you NEED to be loved. Love can’t be FORCED.”

How do you fix that?

My last boyfriend, the aging Former-Gangster-turned-Plumber: “I don’t know if you are the woman I want. I’ll let you know, when I have it figured out. Meanwhile, I have a business to run…”

How do you fix that?

…..that last one was 9 years ago. NOW, I am loved. NOW, I KNOW that I am AWESOME and I am SO VERY WORTHY OF BEING LOVED… just by the fact of my existance. I don’t have to DO or BE anything “spectacular,” I don’t have to be young and perfectly flawlessly beautiful… I don’t have to be the Greatest and the Best at anything… I am FINE, just the way I am, just the way my Creator made me. I AM worthy of love, kindness, caring, respect, and consideration, simply because I EXIST. I am NOT crazy. I am NOT bad. I am NOT any of those awful things my former abusers brainwashed me into believeing that I am.

I was created by God, in His image. He loves me enough to lay down his life for me, and nothing and nobody can ever separate me from my Creator’s love. I BELIEVE that. I KNOW that.

I will not allow anyone to abuse me again.

Lynda ~ OUT of the CrAzY Closet

14

Darlene,

No, I’m not being hard on myself. It did take a long time to start seeing the ‘lies’ and to start recognizing them as lies. It is empowering for me to realize that the power to get well has always been inside of me. That power is the truth of what was done to me. I see that power in all that is posted here.

Joy,

My mother has reacted exactly the same way to my vitimization. She will not admit that I was led away from home and sexually abused by a pedophile. She acts as though I seduced him. She even went so far as to make a show of how she and my dad had forgiven him and insists that he needs my forgiveness without ever acknowledging what he did to me. There have been other times when I was victimized and she always sides with the person or persons who hurt me. She made me feel lower than low, filthy, bad, nasty; but now I know that the problem is in her. I suppose she feels more powerful by empathizing with an abuser rather than with the abused. That is a very sick point of view. I feel sorry for her and would help her if I could, but I can’t. I can help myself and not allowing her to hurt me anymore is an important step for me.

15

Joy,
I also feel that my parents painted a big target on my back that made me a vitim to be abused by others. I also have a hard time seeing evil in others. I always tend to think that others are like me and sometimes make mistakes but mean well. That isn’t true. There are people in the world totally motivated by evil. My parents treated me so lousy that I also accepted lousy treatment as love. I wanted to be loved and accepted so badly that I fell for anything. It is an awful feeling to know that we are so vulnerable. I’m still very wary of getting close to people and it takes me a year or so before I feel that I know someone at all. I tend to isolate as I would rather be alone that be taken advantage of anymore. I haven’t figured it all out but I just want to say that you are not all alone in you suffering.

16

Joy
Thank you for the courage you have in sharing this with us. What an evil man! I don’t blame you for being scared. Did you get that counselling that you were talking about? Do you have a plan in place if he does try to contact you? What a nightmare the whole thing must have been. I am so glad that you got away! Very very abusive situation and absolutely not your fault. I am so glad that you are here and ready to heal. We care!
Hugs, Darlene
Darlene

Hi Lynda
Here is what I think ~ It was JUST HER, JUST the way SHE thinks. She was so wrong about you and she never took the time to see you. She doesn’t even know you, but more important that that, she had no right to define you. None at all. She had no right to destroy you the way she did.
You mention that you believed it was you because “you were the common denominator” and that is a very major tactic that is used against us. People SAY it, they say, well everyone says it is YOU and they say well, YOU are the trouble, but that doesn’t make what they say truth. It is so hard to sort this kind of brainwashing out!
As for all the comments with “how do you fix that?” well you don’t because it is about them not about you so it is not your problem. They were all wrong ~ and cold and unfeeling and they lied to you. It was about them all along.
I am so glad that you have found real love now!
Hugs, Darlene

17

@ Pam
I am so sorry how your mother did you, making you feel so bad, I am glad you are not going to allow her to abuse you any more. It really is so painful to know that our mom sided with the one who so terribly abused you. I am crying with you those past pains. and hope that she nver ever hurts you again..

Like you I try with all my heart and soul to always see people as good . I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt to start.

I understand how you feel not wanting to be hurt no more. Personally I dont think my heart can physically take another revictimization am so hoping I can be healed and directed right

I have such a wonderful counselor/therapist..She is working hard with me.but am just beginnng and am trying so hard to trust all she says and do all she advises as she sees things from a healthier side than I do.

I thnk you for pointing out that I am not alone but I wouldnt wish anyone anywhere any type of suffering .. I grieve that you suffered so much. My heart weeps for you and hopes for you all good things..

Love you Pam: thank you again <3

Joy

18

Hi Pam,
Thanks so much for sharing your story with Joy. ~Joy, if you read other posts and the comments, you will find lots of accounts of similar parents and mothers. There is so much comfort in knowing you are not alone and that it is /was not your fault that it happened.

As I have written in previous posts, my mother raised me to believe that my only real value was in being attractive to men. That set me up for all kinds of abuse too. And that is the thing, there are so many lies, so many ways that we have been falsely defined. But we are finding the truth now!
Hugs, Darlene

19

Darlene

I have a therpist and am just starting, she is a very wise and very intuitive and a smart Doctor.. .. I have so much of a mixed bag.. My therapist is working with me slowly . there is so much to do.. I know she is not discouraged by my slowness but I am . I am slow in all the process. wishing i can just go to sleep and wake up all healed; but I know it can’t be like that.. just wish it were..

I dont have any plans in place if he should try to contact me .. THe police here wont do anythng ..I had my door handle taken off.. I had someone lock my ouside screen door with the latch so I had to go out back door to get my front door open.. lots of thng happening. and when I told police they said “o well there is nothing we can do” call us again if you get frightened” !! I guess only time they will come is if its too late and then i dont know who would call for help as i have no one here with me by cats and they dont know how to call for help..

I am reading all the accounts here of people who had such bad experiences and that is why i posted on f/b that they are all inspirations to me . speaking out and sharing and encouraging.. I am so blessed to be here. and am so grateful to every person for responding and to you Darlene for letting me be here on your blog..

Love you all :

Joy

20

Darlene,

Sometimes I wish I could lean over and ask you, “How did you know?” because when I read your posts they speak to me of not being alone, not being the only one who was fed the lie. They speak to me of a sisterhood and a brotherhood of survivors who are healing, who are seeking and who are finding places like this.

It makes it hard to breathe sometimes, when I try to go back in time to find the good nuggets and come face to face with the ‘facts as I knew them growing up’. I see my loving husband and son, and realize that I am worthy of them, and that we have a love which I never knew could be.

It used to feel like a mafia movie growing up, even as an adult, the control, the demands for containment and management. The need to be always doing the spin, always making the public face matter. I broke free, and instead of being hunted I’ve been left alone. Blessedly left alone. Unfriended, unsought after, unasked for. Alone. But NOT lonely. Healing, growing, and finding my way.

The hurt is there, the more I heal the layers the more are exposed, the more that are needing work. But clearing the fog and moving through it is amazing for the pain and for the healing.

Thank you Darlene, and for everyone who comes here, you all touch me more than you know.

21

Wow Darlene, This place is never boring thats for certain. I think a large part of what each of us were taught was that we didn’t deserve compassion. That we each were defective in what ever way suited their unhealthy need to control and dominate us. Its like their internal battles combine to warp a child’s natural joy and beauty and sense of awe in the world. Like all that brightness is just too much for them to bear and they have to beat it down. Sigh. So much of what I see shows up in life in the strangest of places. This line caught me as I was reading… which furthers the spiral. awareness doesnt always led to cure sometimes it just becomes another stick to beat yourself with… and of course I should know better.. and how could I fall for that one.. you name it there’s always some way or another that insanity tries to take over. So staying present is about the only way I know how to be, that and doing simply my best. Be my authentic self and I will have fewer regrets when I do slip and fall. Because everyone does. Its part of being alive. Its that wonderful gift of compassion that we never knew growing up. When someone shines it on us or a facsimile of it we automatically turn to it, like nature turning towards the sun. We all are inherently worthy, unfortunately those in charge of our childhood were also lacking in those areas of compassion. That saying about loving yourself before you can really love another? If I were to show love like I was taught it? now thats a really scary thought! Thank gods I know better than that. My life has been one of reclaiming myself over and over again. Of navigating by the seat of the pants. But hopefully now I can know the difference between accepting responsibility for human mistakes rather than judging myself wrongly and accepting unearned blame. Thank you all for sharing. May your day be one of peaceful un-foldment in discovering how wonderful you really are. Mac Aeron

22

Wow Darlene, What you wrote brought forward all the voices in my head from my childhood saying, “I never wanted you, you ruined my life, I would have never had to marry your abusive father, you are just like him, you will never find anyone to love you, you are stupid, you are ugly, you don’t matter, you can’t sing, you aren’t smart enough to go to college, you are lazy, there is something wrong with you, you are retarded, you don’t love me enough, you sleep to much, you shouldn’t have acne, don’t ever disappoint me”.

Who would love someone like that? Not me. I don’t count in the world, I am less than and therefore deserve less than.

Thank you for bringing these things to the surface where they can be brought out into the light.

23

Darlene,
I don’t know if you have said who it was that helped you see the lies in the first place, or if you have said more about how that relationship worked, but I would love to hear more about that, if you feel like sharing it.

24

“We live in world of people who don’t know their own value, because it was never shown to them by their own (dysfunctional) parents. And then when we reach a certain age, we are expected know how to take care of our own self esteem. We are expected to have self confidence. And all the while parents and relatives are STILL reminding us that we are less than them. Still teaching that “love” is about how we treat them, but has nothing to do with how they treat us.”

Exactly. This is how I kept finding myself in abusive relationships. One of the main issues when I have tried to talk about what happened to me from the childhood abuse to the bad marriages then the church and the mental health system I’d turned to for help – it was reinforced that I had a choice. The sad thing is – I may have had a choice – but I didn’t know that I did and so I stayed and sacrificed a lifetime to feeling ashamed because I’d been abused and “should” have known better.

Giving responsibility back to those who abused me and then those I’d turned to for help and re-victimized me in the helping systems (church and mental health care) was where I finally understood that I actually had the power to say “No” and walk away. Doing this – was terrifying because of course I believed that I “needed” these people in my life. Doing this was also very validating as I began to see that I could take care of myself. Learning to recognize the “symptoms” of abuse empowered me to live beyond the “symptoms” of poor mental well being.

25

Hi Shanyn
I can relate to what you wrote too. I was left alone too, and at first I was kind of shocked. I was not mean or demanding when I stood up to them. I was really strong and sure of my truth. There was no denial on their part but they just did not want to have a ‘functional equality based relationship” and that was the part that hurt. They didn’t want to deal with the truth or face it in any way and they didn’t want to STOP treating me like dirt. That is what hurt.
But today I am free. I no longer have to “be the problem” and I am not anxious anymore about the next visit or phone call. I live! I guess it might always hurt a bit, to be so disregarded by my own family, but on the other hand, I am free!
thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mac
I considered not posting this post, it seemed so harsh, like the light of reality was just too bright.. but on the other hand, the truth did set me free and I vowed to share the truth here.
I agree that it is a very scary thought to LOVE the way we were taught to love. And that happens so very often, that people grow up to be just like the examples that their parents showed them, living out of a false definition of love, relationship, respect… etc.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Hold Fast
thank you for your share and for highlighting all the statements that were said to you ~ the statements that defined you and devalued you. All those LIES. When I realized this stuff, (and most of what was said to me was NON verbal but I got the message loud and clear) I realized that the people who do this are the problem! That I really was an innocent child and that this was a sick family system I was born into.
Thank you so much for sharing. Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes when the fog lifts in a chunk, it can hurt more then when it lifts in smaller layers.
Hugs, Darlene

26

Hi Sheryl
I had a therapist who used the model “causal therapy” ~ looking at the root cause of depression etc. The childhood history. I had a lot of insights beyond the therapy room, I journeyed extensively and spoke to one friend on the phone almost daily while I was in the process of figuring this all out. I worked very hard. I only had access to therapy during the session times and that wasn’t enough for me! I took a specialty in “live a new life story” coaching (my teacher for both certifications was a Psychiatrist) after I got my initial coaching certification and added a lot of the neuro pathway information to my already forming understanding about how all the brainwashing takes place and all the thing that I speak about/ write about now. And I came up with my message through all of that.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan,
You hit some key points here Susan; The fear of standing up because of that false belief system is huge. The fact that as adults we are suddenly expected to live a different way than we have been raised to live and that suddenly we just “know we have choices” and it doesn’t work that way at all thus as you say, we feel a failure that we “should” have known better. This is so KEY.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today!
Hugs, Darlene

27

Susan

I feel like i am lacking so many skills and really hope I can pick up some of the things I never learned at home that others have .. I know I feel like you . .all am told is about respectint mom ..honoring her .. but for me there is none.

Its a very hurtful reality reading everyones posts and hearing all the echos of the past in my heart..I am in a very somber moment today.. and am questioning why can’t I believe in myself…then I realized in reading your post ..it’s because no one taught me how as a child..

So many things people learn at home .. I missed out because i was too busy surviving day by day.. I wonder will I ever be made whole.. am I beyond repair..Am I doing something to make myself easy prey to abusers..will I be re-abused..Already in so many little ways since 2009 I have let myself be abused and mistreated by people online who I trusted..and by people offline.. just trying to be a friend: for example people asking me for things i have or for money ..they do this because I they know am easy..

How do I get out of this cycle of letting others hurt me if I have no courage to stand up to them .. no courage to say no fear that was created by my mom freezes me as it did back as a child and in 2009 and in the little ways after..how does one get what one doesn’t have?

joy

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Darlene

My access to my therapist is only during session times and so finding this group for support is good…I have no friends in 3d as they have left and talking to my cats is all a one way street athough they are good listeners but their responses though good as they can be cannot carry me to my next session.

I dont have anyone I can talk to in between sessions its very hard.

Joy

.

29

@Darlene; your welcome and I appreciate so much this venue where this core issue can be acknowledged. To this date – there are so few persons, who I know mean well, but they have no clue what this attitude does to reinforce that overwhelming sense of powerlessness that we who have survived the worst of the worst have to face every day. This for me was the source of my inability to function after being told a for a lifetime that I had no right to feel angry or sad over the ways I’d been mistreated.

@Joy – I so understand what you are saying. I also felt and actually had been told by the mental health providers that I was so broken that I would never overcome what I had survived. Yet – here I am! I’m now able to recognize the dysfunctional patterns in myself and others and have compassion for myself – and others. What I discovered is that the healing journey is intertwined with learning and that like all change – it takes time to recognize and incorporate changes. One of the first things – is as you mentioned here – understanding that it wasn’t my fault and putting responsibility back on the abusers. And I found that I worked this often in layers and over time as I began to see the lies that told me it was my fault, I was defective, not good enough and so on. EFB is a wonderful place where we each share a bit of our light and we are all on our own unique path to wholeness. I understand and hear your pain and can honestly say that the one thing I knew from the beginning – as long as I didn’t give up, stop trying, throw in the towel…I knew that in time I would win the battles – and the war. Hang in there and keep coming back:)

30

Susan

That I do understand now . I was just a child that couldnt stop anything and it couldnt have been my fault though mom continues to say its my fault for being born. It wasnt i had no say..she could have stopped me coming out before I did.. so I cannot bear the guilt..

I do hope I am not beyond repair.. i want to get better and hope my T doesn’t give up on me.. i think i worry about this because people I have trusted in the past have left me alone in bad ways..I surely wouldnt want to be left alone that all my wounds are open .. I know my T is caring and compassionate and wise .. from all she says but deep down i worry somehow this good thing will faill as the others have ..

That can be my moms voice still inside me saying i wont ever amount to anything due to the fact i wasnt suppose to be.. so she says..

Joy

31

Thank you, Darlene, I agree with you, it’s just HER (my “mother”), it’s just the way she IS, it’s just the way she THINKS.

I can see it now, that my mother projected all of her negative stuff onto me. She made me her literal scapegoat! But when I was a child, I had no idea that was what she was doing, in fact, I didn’t even know about the psychological phenomena of “projection.” When I was a child, my mother was the Big Adult, the Queen Bee, and I was nothing more than her little drone slave. Every word my mother said was like a Great Prouncement From On High. I can STILL sometimes hear some of the things my mother told me more than 50 years ago, as if she were saying them to me right now!

Here’s one of my mother’s long-ago “pronouncements” that’s been playing over and over in my head lately, like tape recording on an endless loop: “The more that someone NEEDS to be loved, the HARDER it is to love them.”

How would she even KNOW? My mother never loved anybody but herself, from what I could see. She only seemed to FAKE love for others, when they could give her something she wanted. But my mother said it, and my little inner child took it in as the Gospel Truth, and I’m still hearing it today, more than half a century later.

**Pam, you wrote: “I also feel that my parents painted a big target on my back that made me a vitim to be abused by others. I also have a hard time seeing evil in others. I always tend to think that others are like me and sometimes make mistakes but mean well. That isn’t true. There are people in the world totally motivated by evil. My parents treated me so lousy that I also accepted lousy treatment as love. I wanted to be loved and accepted so badly that I fell for anything.”

You wrote that to Joy, but you could have been talking to me, too, because that’s ME, exactly. Especially the part where you said “I always tend to think that others are like me and sometimes make mistakes but mean well.” YES!!! ME, TOO! But you are right, as you said: “That isn’t true. There are people totally motivated by evil.”

It’s so hard to “get that,” isn’t it, Pam, and Joy? People like us, who genuinely care about others, who actually have the capacity to feel other people’s pain at times, to have deep COMPASSION, as Mac Aeron talked about ~ it’s almost impossible for us to wrap our heads around the idea that there really are people in the world who Truly Do Not CARE about anybody, but THEMSELVES. These people may “fake” caring for somebody, but will typically only do so, when their act of caring will further their own self-interest in some way. As soon as it no longer benefits them to continue this caring pretense, the mask comes off and you see the real hateful selfish uncaring sadistic monster underneath.

I do not understand it! I keep expecting other people to be like ME… caring and well-meaning, despite my occasional mistakes, which I always try to make ammends for, as soon as I’ve realized my mistake. But narcissistic, sadistic, sociopathic, psychopathic people… whatever label they may have, it all comes down to the label ABUSER… these people are not at all like me.

****WOW ~ do you see what we are doing????? We, who have genuine kindness and compassion in our souls, are PROJECTING our own kind and caring personality onto others, seeing them as “being like us,” when in reality they may be the polar OPPOSITE of us. This is the same thing that many abusers do ~ they project their “badness” onto others, and then treat these innocent people the way they think their “badness” deserves to be treated!****

Wow. BIG WOW.

About 10 days ago, my loving best-friend-husband walked out to our mailbox to get the mail, and he saw a very thick envelope addressed to me, with the return address indicating that the letter was from my mother. Stan knows my horrible history with her, and I had long ago given him permission to read my mail. Stan is great about respecting my boundaries, and I love that about him, but I told him that I have no secrets, so if he ever wants to read anything that is addressed to me, feel free. Stan did not ask for that priviledge, I just gave it to him because that’s how I am, I am an open book to him. like I said, he is my best friend, and I don’t keep secrets from my best friend.

When Stan saw the fat envelope from my mother, something told him it wasn’t good. So he hid the letter, and waited until I was asleep that night, to begin reading it. The letter was handwritten on more than 30 pieces of paper, in my mother’s tight, tiny handwriting, front and back…. a total of over 60 pages. The letter had apparently been written over a period of several YEARS… Stan noted a date near the beginning of the letter, of more than 4 years ago. The ink color and the paper style changed many times throughout this long, obsessive letter.

Stan read only a small part of it, and, as he later told me: “it was full of nothing but hate and jealousy.” The letter went back to the beginning of my life, and described in detail every “wrong” I had ever committed, whether real and imagained or exaggerated, starting with when I was a very little girl, and continuing on to the present. As he scanned through the letter, Stan saw that my mother had made multiple derrogatory references to my “lifelong, severe, mental illness.”

My husband became so ENRAGED as he read the horrible poisonous words written by my mother to me, her eldest child, that he stopped reading early on in the letter, and tore all of the pages to bits. Then, because he didn’t want me to see all those torn-up pages in the trash, my couch potato hubby who never likes to walk anywhere, walked to the town dump, about a half mile away, at around 3 in the morning, to throw the torn-up letter away there! On the way to the dump, he got worried that I might wake up while he was gone, and want to know where he had gone and what he was doing. Stan knew he wouldn’t lie to me, which meant he would have to tell me the truth, if I point-blank asked him what was going on… and he was worried that, if he told me about the letter, I would go immediately to the dump and try to retrieve the torn-up pages.

So my husband put parts of the torn pages into every single dumpster that is at our town’s dumping station. He told me he made sure to put some of the letter, into every dumpster, he didn’t want to skip a single one. THERE ARE 31 DUMPSTERS AT OUR TOWN DUMPING STATION!

My loving best-friend-husband came back home, so upset that he didn’t sleep at all that entire night… while I slept blissfully on, completely unaware of any problem. The next morning, Stan couldn’t bear to tell me about my mother’s horrible letter, so he didn’t.

This past Sunday morning, I received an email from my precious loving affirming and wonderful Aunt. She is my mother’s only sibling, 5 years younger than my mother. She has 2 grown children of her own, whom she LOVES without reservation, UNCONDITIONLLY, despite the fact that they are no more perfect than I am, and their mistakes and problems over their lifetimes have been almost as bad as mine… worse, actually, when her now 40-something happily-married therapist son was a drug-addicted, theiving, womanizing, rebellious teen.

My mother had sent a copy of this latest hate letter she had written to me, to my aunt! My mother and her sister had been estranged for several years, but had renewed their relationship in the past 4 or 5 years, after they both became widowed. Apparently, as they began communicating again, my aunt let my mother know that she and I had become close over the several years, beginning with when we had discovered, back in 1998, that we were then living near each other.

So, my mother sent a copy of her 60+ page hate letter to her sister, apparently hoping that would cause my aunt to hate me as my mother does, thue ruining our close relationship. My mother ruined, or tried to ruin, every family relationship, friendship, and marriage of mine, whenever she could possibly find a way to do so. Not only did my mother NEVER take my side if someone else did me wrong, she always blamed ME for someone “causing” it ~ my mother has also never failed to pass up an opportunity to cause trouble between me, and everyone else, family, friends, and neighbors.

So this past Sunday, my aunt sent me an email of the draft letter she intended to send to her sister, my mother, in reply to the horrible letter she thought that I had also gotten. When I read my aunt’s email, I asked my husband, “Did my mother recently send a letter to me?” And that’s when he told me his whole story about waiting until I was asleep, reading part of it, becoming enraged, tearing the 60+ page letter to bits, then walking down to the dump station at 3 in the morning and throwing the pieces into 31 dumpsters.

My aunt mailed her final revised letter yesterday. It is beautifully written. In her classy, brilliant style, my former-English Teacher aunt told her elder sister exactly how appalled she was…horrified, really… that a mother would write such a devastatingly hateful letter to her own daughter… and, to also write in the letter that “God told her to write it?!”

“The loving God that I know and serve would NEVER tell a mother to do a thing like this,” my aunt wrote. My aunt also told my mother, “I can’t stop thinking about the fact that you told Lynda that she should have asked your forgiveness for being your daughter! And then you wrote that, despite Lynda’s failure to ask your forgiveness, you forgive her, anyway…… and you feel MAGNANIMOUS about this? UNbelievable!”

At the end of her letter, my aunt reminded her elder sister of just a few… a tiny fraction… of the horrible misdeeds that she personally knows my mother has done, going back to many decades ago. “NOw, doesn’t this feel GOOD, being forced to remember this ancient history?” my aunt wrote. “Do you find that it is helping YOU in any way, for me to remind you of your long-ago misdeeds? And I have only mentioned a very few… the floodgates of my memory are opening.. I could go on and on and on… but, I am now closing those floodgates, so that I can concentrate on the present, and the future. I advise you to do the same.”

By the way, I am paraphrasing here, going by my memory, I’m not quoting directly word for word from my aunt’s letter, but this is the general basics of what my aunt told my mother. She also told her that, just as the medical profession has made great strides in the last 45 years, so has the mental health field. She wrote: “Lynda is now, finally, accurately diagnosed, and making great strides in recovering from her PTSD. She is now happily married, and close to her children and grandchildren.”

At the very end of her letter, my aunt closed by saying that she was ashamed of what her sister had done, and she said, “Leave Lynda alone.” Then she added a lovely PS… “GREAT NEWS! I was worried that Lynda must be very upset by your letter, so I called. Stan answered, and he told me what he had done.. so Lynda was protected from your poison by someone who loves her the way she deserves to be loved!”

I feel SO BLESSED, blessed beyond measure, to finally have a husband, and one single relative from my family of origin, who loves me and believes in me. When my aunt and I first began to know each other, 13 years ago, she was very wary, having been told a lot of LIES and TWISTED TRUTHS about me, by my mother. But she was also determined to keep an open mind, because she had had enough problems with my mother over the years, to suspect that something was seriously wrong there. As my aunt and I slowly got to know each other, she, and her late husband, my wonderful, loving, gentle uncle, soon came to realize that my mother was full of BULL. So now, finally, I am no longer ALONE in my family of origin!

THIS is a whole new thing for me, NO ONE EVER protected me or stood up for me, before! It was always the opposite, always being told: “This many people can’t be wrong about you! If your OWN MOTHER can’t stand you, something must be Really Wrong with YOU!” How awesom it is, at the age of 58, to finally have loving, wonderful, affirming peole on my side! Better late, than never~

But at the same time that I am feeling so blessed and loved and validated by my aunt and my husband, and deeply grateful to be so LOVED and protected…. it feels LUXURIOUS, after a lifetime of NOT EVER having anything like this… Yet, I am also feeling very sad. Deeply, deeply sad. I did not have to read her actual words, for them to HURT… my mother sent me a 50-page hate letter 28 years ago when I was 30, telling me in great detail everything that was ever “wrong” about me, so I know the general jist of what this latest letter must have said. And I feel…. Bludgeoned. Bruised and Battered, deep down inside. It HURTS. It just… hurts, like a *B*, which is the letter that my mother’s first name begins with.

I may be 58, and my mother now is 76, but in my heart I am about 10 or 11 right now, and my mother is a young beautiful porcelain doll with piercing blue-gray eyes and thick waves of long black hair and pale skin so smooth and flawless ~ she really did look like a porcelain doll, all dressed up for church. She would look in the mirror at the front of herself, and she looked perfect, so she thought she was just fine. And out in public, the people who saw only the front of her, they, too, thought she was just fine.

But turn the doll over, and you see something out of a horror movie ~ the whole back of her head is broken, and GONE. She talks, she walks, she smiles, she puts on a very good show of being HUMAN… and she looks so lovely from the front. But in the back, in the hidden, secret part of her, the part that the outside world almost never saw, there is a huge chunk missing, broken, gone. She is missing a heart, too. She is a porcelain doll, and she is not human.

And what of the little girl, the eldest daughter of the hideously broken porcelain doll? I see a paper doll, wadded into a ball and thrown out with the trash…

I have to keep reminding myself, THAT IS NOT WHO LYNDA IS, ANYMORE. Coming back HERE to EFB, helps me remember what is TRUE.

Lynda

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(Furthermore I was brainwashed to believe that I could not survive without these people who OWNED me. )This sentence got me I spent my whole life covering everything because I knew no one would love me like my mother once she was gone ! Actually since she passed away almost 3 yrs ago I have been relieved, I feel like I can breathe for once I don’t know how many times she told me I was a mistake! “our biological father never wanted kids” she said well then why did you have 5 with him? I surely didn’t ask to be sent to that crazy family I would have much rather been sent to a “normal” family. Someone who would have loved me I then cared for this mean woman as she fought cancer , she was mean to me while I cleaned her up and yet I continued I was devastated when she died because I felt I didn’t do enough 2 months before she passed she called me from a chemo appt. and left a message on my machine it was my Birthday and she sang to me on this message and said she was glad I was born That was the only time I ever heard that As she got more confused due to the Brain cancer she would say she wished things would have been different and she loved me but I she never acknowledged anything was wrong when I asked her how at two I was molested and she didn’t know she said “you had a bad rash and would bleed in your panties but I never thought ??? Thats probably what I am the most upset about and she said when the neighbors said your sister had you sitting on the third floor ledge I didn’t believe them If one of my neighbors told me one of my kids was out on a ledge I would most certainly get to the bottom of that I would never dismiss that . So here I am mothering myself taking each memory of abuse 1 at a time and sorting them out It is hard work reading everyone here’s stories as I notice it triggers memories of things I have repressed I wish none of this had happened but it did and I am finally going dig through my closet and get rid of what no longer fits in my mind I will make it I am sure this time it is the first time in forever I feel strong enough to work it all out I want to thank you all for being here I was trying to figure out How I found this blog a few months ago I was severely depressed and I went to a online suicide forum because I wanted to live just not feel the way I have felt for so long I was reading so many things and I somehow found emerging from Broken I remember saying I was broken to my kids just a few days before I thought when something was broke you discarded it but I learned that day you just EMERGE So Thanks Darlene you truly are a life saver and to everyone else hold on we are all Emerging one step at a time!

33

Hi Joy,
It is very hard. It is hard to face that old system and replace it with a new system. Our “friends” don’t usually like it, it threatens them and the false reality that they live in. But it is so worth it to do this work and get down to building a fresh new foundation ~ a foundation built on the truth.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Susan Kingsley-Smith
Thanks for your added comments here. I agree, there is a process that is very important, and it much of it is intertwined; sometimes one fog is connected to another fog and one won’t lift until the other is realized. And it take time. It happens as we are ready. And yes, the path is unique!

I am looking forward to our Radio Broadcast later on today!
Hugs, Darlene

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@Joy; Its really good to hear that you are seeing this for yourself. Personally – it was when I was able to combine this (not my fault) with giving back the responsibility to those whose fault it was: the adults that I had depended on for my survival. Part of that for me was also no longer sweeping it under the rug and politely continuing to tolerate the ongoing abuse of my family. It all came to gether in time though and it was in my continuing to seek my own answers and learn to recognize when I was taking back the burden and shame from those who denied culpability that I got a little stronger and began to “see” it in play when it was happening. I do understand that fear you mention about being left and in time, as I grew myself up and replaced the old message of “no choice” to a new message of “Yes; I have a choice” I realized that when people “left” me – it was out of their own issues and had nothing to do with me. I understand the fear you describe and am so glad to see you here and seeing your notes encourages me too:)

35

What a powerful lot of posts, folks. . . thank you so much for sharing. Somewhere deep down inside I’m feeling the stirrings of what may be a quantum shift; or perhaps this iceberg is beginning to thaw?

Don’t know why all these posts bring to mind the Statue of Liberty,
but I have been reflecting on these thoughts:

The New Colossus/Emma Lazarus, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Darlene, you continue to be a light, a mighty woman with
a torch. And not only does your light shine, and your
truth beckon — silent lips have been given a voice.
Thank you once again for this place of refuge.

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Lynda
That is quite a statement that your mother makes.. that the more someone needs to be loved, the harder it is to love them. As soon as I read it I realized that your mother made a decision that SHE wouldn’t need to be loved. (because THAT statement is HER belief, right)

Thank you for sharing about the horror letter, so glad that you didn’t have to read it! WOW, this is such a profound example of what I am talking about!
What a blessing your Aunt is!

One of the things that I noticed in my own process with all this stuff is that the things I was told played over and over in my head too, and I believe it was the way that my brain sorted it out. I was fighting the brainwashing and manipulation so things kept going round and round as I corrected them. When I heard those “old voices” and false statements, I just kept saying “that is not true” “that was and is a lie”. If I thought the I was telling myself the statement, (like OH who do you think you are with all this NEW way of thinking” then I would ask the voice what else it had to tell me. And what else and what else and so on till I got to the bottom of where it was rooted and then I corrected all those lies too. I did this a lot of quite a while before it all really stuck!

Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

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@Darlene; absolutely, intertwined is a good word for it. And once I started seeing one piece of the puzzle the rest started to fall into place; it was that putting one foot in front of the other and learning to trust myself and that my process was perfect for me that I began to see that I was already complete and had what I needed to keep going. And me too – I’m looking forward to chatting later today!

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Hi Charlotte
YAY for Mothering YOURSELF ~ I had to do that. Your comments today have so much POWER in them! I am going to highlight so everyone is sure to read:

Charlotte wrote: So here I am mothering myself taking each memory of abuse 1 at a time and sorting them out It is hard work reading everyone here’s stories as I notice it triggers memories of things I have repressed I wish none of this had happened but it did and I am finally going dig through my closet and get rid of what no longer fits in my mind I will make it I am sure this time it is the first time in forever I feel strong enough to work it all out I want to thank you all for being here I was trying to figure out How I found this blog a few months ago I was severely depressed and I went to a online suicide forum because I wanted to live just not feel the way I have felt for so long I was reading so many things and I somehow found emerging from Broken I remember saying I was broken to my kids just a few days before I thought when something was broke you discarded it but I learned that day you just EMERGE So Thanks Darlene you truly are a life saver and to everyone else hold on we are all Emerging one step at a time!

Thank YOU Charlotte, this is so inspirational! I LOVE IT!
Hugs, Darlene

39

PS~ It occurred to me, when I first found out about my mother’s latest 60+ page RANT AGAINST LYNDA, that it was somehow “MY FAULT” ~ don’t we Adult Children of Abusers almost always tend to think that, first thing? MY FAULT, because I am posting here on EFB, and on my facebook account, and on my own Out of the CrAzY Closet blogS, about my life and my abusive mother.

MY FAULT… as thought I have No Right to speak up in my own defense, and TELL THE TRUTH for the sake of my own HEALING, after all these years of being “Silent as a Lamb.” MY FAULT, despite the fact that I have chosen to not use my real name, not here, and not on my Lynda Lee Facebook account, and not on my blogs, which are also written under the pseudonym Lynda Lee. MY FAULT, despite the fact that I have been ultra-careful to keep my family of origin, and my children and grandchildren, away from my Lynda Lee Out of the CrAzY Closet blogs and facebook account (I have a Real Name facebook account, for my family and family friends). MY FAULT, despite the fact that I have not used the real name of any of my abusers, nor do I use identifying details, such as the real name of the small mid-western town where I grew up. The only real place name I have used on my blog and on my Lynda Lee facebook page, is the name of town Nevada, Missouri, which is where the Insane Asylum that my mother committed me to in 1967 when I was 14, was located. (I say “was,” because it has since been closed and torn down.)

MY FAULT…. me telling the TRUTH about my life and my horribly abusive mother, must have thrown her into such a RAGE, that it caused her to send me 60+ pages of handwritten HATE!

Guess What, though… not only have I changed the names and the towns and kept my family off of my blogs and my Survivor’s Only facebook profile…. and, not only does my mother not have a computer, never did, and most likely never will, have a computer…. (I thought that MAYBE one of my siblings had somehow stumbled across my online writings and truth telling and “told on me,” but, NO, that is not the case). According to my aunt, who read and reread ALL of my mother’s hate letter, there was not ONE mention about me and the things I’ve been writing, these past few months, on the internet. She obviously does not know, or else she would surely have made an outraged reference to my “lies” or to me “dragging the family name through the mud,” airing all of our “dirty laundry.”

My mother started that letter over 4 years ago, and I wasn’t even on facebook then, didn’t even know there was such a thing, back then. I didn’t begin my blogs about my life of abuse and trauma, until January of This Year.

I haven’t been in contact with my mother, and she knows nothing of my blogs, my facebook, my posts here, and the book I am writing. She has no idea, either, that on my Lynda Lee facebook wall, for the past couple of days, I have had an ongoing conversation about my mother’s latest hate letter, with more 10 different people who are located literally all over the world.. in a total of 6 different countries! Australia, South Africa, France, England, Canada, and from several states across the U.S.A… my mother has NO IDEA!

I asked my aunt if she could tell from my mother’s letter, what had provoked her to write it? My aunt replied, “I don’t think your mother ever needs any provocation to do something hateful.”

IT’S NOT MY FAULT NOW ~ AND IT WAS NEVER MY FAULT WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.

Lynda ~ Out of the CRAZY Closet

40

Ultralite!
WOW thank you for this beautiful verse and fabulous compliment to me!
I feel so blessed, I even blushed a bit and felt a bit emotional over it, but I today I can accept this kind of compliment, and believe that it is sincere too! ( YAY for personal growth!)
I am otherwise speechless but I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Hugs, Darlene

Lynda,
You have a wise Aunt.
It is not your fault now, and it never was your fault. There came a day that I stopped questioning if I was at fault. That was a freeking fantastic day ~ not that I remembered the exact day but one day just realized that I was not questioning where the blame lay anymore! I knew it was not my fault! And the truth, that truth, is a major key to freedom.
YAY,
Darlene

41

Wow…this hits my life totally. All the time growin up bein told I was never goin to amount to nothin, how I was a nobody, wasn’t worht the breath I took, I was a huge mistake, and many many more things I was told. Today I still struggle with these things and I believe some of them b/c I was always worthless and today I wonder….

42

hi darlene and thanks,
i hav had uni stuff to finish and deadlines to meet wow the expectations you put on your self can sometimes become overwhelming, and i so heard what you went through, even if mine was different the basics were the same. i was not worthy and i was too blame. i know i have grown so much because of the enlightment you have passed our way and i have taken a lot of it on board and looked for the lies and found them. especially after cutting ties with my mother and feeling so lost yet so guilty because it was 1 less stress in my life. you helped me then, so much. it helped me see my personal identity and the family identity i was trying to shed. seeing the whys helped me see the where’s. where in my life i was still being affected and how i was still reacting instead of allowing myself the time to learn the skills needed to move on to the next level. these last few posts are needed and i will go back to them when they cause less triggers, not because i dont want to it just is not time for me, even the tiniest bit of detail is still enough to make me want to disassociate so pushing in that direction might not be too good for me, or as my gp said when i said i wana try n cope better n try other things, take your time and dont push yourself into crisis. unfortunately for me some of the best breakthrews have come through crisis and not holding me horses. so i gona try and take me time and get me studies done and then go from there, though the doc said he will help as much or as litle as i need which confused me when i went to him for direction.

43

Joy, your comments reminded me that I want to go and search out all of the books that I read at the beginning of my journey. Yes, I had a counselor, several in fact, that guided me those first few years and I had my 12-Step groups that let me talk about incest until I talked it all out of my mind and my body.

In addition to those, I had my books that I read that gave me new information about things like boundaries and dysfunctional family systems and so many more. I just went to Amazon because I wanted to recommend the book that taught me so much about boundaries. Boundaries written by Henry Cloud, the newest version of the book that I used is written by Henry Cloud, John Townsend and John Sims Townsend. The subtitle is “When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.”

I had no idea what boundaries were – healthy or otherwise. I used walls to hide behind, to keep me safe, except that they didn’t. I didn’t know that I had the right to say no until I read that book. I didn’t know that boundaries are healthy and flexible rather than walls. I didn’t know that there was a me separate from you. My dad didn’t allow for any individuality in our family. He was all that was important and he was in total control.

That is one of the differences between Darlene and I. Our parents switched roles. My mom was the quiet, passive-aggressive one and my dad was the dictator that made all the decisions for the family and verbally abused everyone with his rage.

What I have found is that the circumstances of the abuse can be different for each of us. What is the same is the feelings and the lies that we were told. We were all made to feel worthless, blamed for causing our abuse, not capable of being loved, told that we were broken or damaged or beyond repair. None of that is true.

It took me awhile to come back and make a comment because even though I have dealt with all of these lies, it was still hard to see them all in one place. I couldn’t decide what feelings this post brought up for me either. I felt overwhelmed and that is with 20+ years of healing behind me. Sometimes the lies and the abuse still get to me but what is different between now and the beginning is that I can feel the overwhelm and know that it comes from my inner children who were abused and who still need my love and protection. Today I can give them that love and I can protect them. I didn’t know how to do that when the abuse was happening or even in the early days of healing. Today, I can. I can’t tell anyone else “how” to do that for themselves but I can encourage you and tell you that you can do it slowly over time. I wasn’t taught any of the healthy stuff that I know today. I found it through watching other healthy role modals. I have been blessed with quite a few healthy role modals in my adult life. I can’t tell you the steps I took to get where I am today because so much of it was trial and error, finding what worked for me and letting go of what didn’t work. I can share by example more than I can tell you how I did it or what steps I took. I read every book on healing that I could find. I took what worked and let the other go over the years. I am not saying this to discourage anyone. I know that if I can accomplish what I have then you can too. I just don’t have a set of written down instructions for how you should live your life.

I know what works for me may work for you but it may not because we are each our own person with our own set of lessons to learn. Like so many others, I am so glad that you are here Darlene.

44

Hi Carol.
Great to hear from you! Unfortunately (or fortunately) it is common for everyone to have the biggest break through when we are in or going through crisis. I love the breakthroughs though, so I am not so afraid to bring them on. There were times for me as well however, when life was just too full for a few weeks, and I took a break from processing. We go at our own pace!
Hugs, Darlene

Patricia,
Good points about the circumstances of abuse, which can be so very different, with very similar results. And yes, we are not beyond repair, and we can love ourselves, love and be loved.
I have not written a lot of the details or circumstances of my own abuse in this blog, but rather the feelings and beliefs that resulted from the messages that I got. About “inner children” I express it differently then you do. My overwhelm came from the magnitude of the truth of it all. That this happened to ME. Not so much “my inner children” who were abused, but that I was abused and had disconnected from myself and became others in my head. I had to reconnect to myself and realize all of it happened to me, that I was unloved, unprotected.. used, hurt, rejected and unacceptable; all this horror was the truth of my childhood and became the very definition of me. Realizing all that and righting those accepted lies is when I became whole. I know today that I need my love and validation and that I can protect myself. I am not in that kind of danger anymore.
Thank you so much for your post. I found it to be very thought provoking here at my end!
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene:

Am glad am here too.. Its showing me new things and helping me understand a bit more about my own situation.. that am not alone in the journey to heal. Hoping my new foundation that is being laid is much sturdier than before ..

THank you of allowing me to be part of your blog community

Joy

46

Dear Susan

I think my biggest handicap is having had to sweep everything under the carpet for so long. The last thing I revealed to anyone was the things done at home. What happen in 2009 was fresh and needing healing so I never touched the past hurts just the immediate, not realizing it was the much further past that was causing me so much problems with the more present trauma of 2009. I didn’t think a hurt childhood could make me easy victim to someone in my older years.

I feel that always wanting to do the right thing kept me doing the wrong thing..since the right thing in my eyes was what my family was telling me to do. ..so I was completely going the wrong way. but thought it was right..

I really feel bad about how misled i have been.

joy

47

Dear Patricia

I think my T gave me a link to some articles that explained about boundaries and has followed up with me on that. Sometimes she has to remind me as I don’t always keep my boundaries up or don’t recognize situations as being a place to put up a boundary.

I have a very very hard time saying “no” to someone if I feel I am hurting them . I interiorize hurt and if someone says its hurting them I hurt inside. I don’t want to hurt people. I have old programming that I am still trying to get rid of . .That programming that told me that I should think of others first. and myself last. I was told to deny myself . .forget myself. . so that others can be happy .

I am still so stuck on all this messed up stuff that I was told in my head. I have a whirlwind of stuff whirling around in my head .and am trying to pick out whats good from all the lies and nonsense. I get so tired, frustrated and worn out.

I have confusion over things I use to make so much a part of my thinking and now am learning it was a very tainted way of thinking. I find it hard .. i cry long hours. .thinking that I suffered so much because I was told it was good to suffer.. that it was making me better.. Now I am a complete mess .. I was so misled.

The hardest thing I have done is opening up about my childhood .. I was sure I would carry that secret to my grave as that is what I was taught I should do .. that I shouldnt expose my sufferings because what God sees in secret . our sufferings would be rewarded with heaven.. and now I am learning this holding in. that has kept me from so much happiness didnt even have to be..

Though I recognize that holding it in so many years was not healthy..i still hear everyone tell me I am bad for having talked .. I am bad for having left the faith the gave me wrong ideas.. I am bad for seeking healing and not being the strong person I use to be . that is suffering everythng quietly for love of God.

Its not just coming out its letting go of a belief system I was schooled in till 2009.. or that I attended to devotedly. I am all tears because I have mixed emotions. as I am finishing this post.. Am I going to Hell for having finally told..

joy

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Patricia

I just wanted to add: thank you for the book recommendatons.
I will definitely look into them on amazon.
You are such an inspiration to me.
I am in a very emotional way right now.. got a piece of mail
I shoul have tossed .. have tossed now but should have tossed
before reading.

🙁

joy

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Joy,
So much of what you just shared is about the false defintions of so many things such as Love, faith, strength,and even GOD. Do you think that God intended you to suffer like you did as a child? I cannot believe that any higher power or creator would have wanted that. Those are lies created by the abusers and grasped by the victims as some sort of “comfort” that our pain shall one day be rewarded.

What about having life and having it to the fullest? I thought that is what we are supposed to have! Isn’t that the real message of a loving God? I think it is. I have found it to be the truth.

Believe me I know what you are going through and how hard it is to undo the brainwashing that we have been subjected to. I am not discounting that at all, I am just trying to help you to see through truth glasses! Keep going, you are doing great!

Hugs, Darlene

50

Anyone that tells me that I should suffer and be grateful for that suffering because it brings me closer to God and sainthood is an abuser. I refuse to listen to them and their garbage. I call that religious abuse and I have some of that in my childhood too. It is more of those lies that Darlene is talking about here and in other recent posts.

51

Darlene and Patricia

I just am confused about all my feelings and will have to talk them over with T too.. am feeling all kinds of feelings right now.. If all I was taught was a lie and I believed it .. have i wasted my life up till now? If i accepted all those lies up till last year.. am I too far mixed up.?

During all that nonsense .. studying to become a better person in that faith and its lies.. i must have read a couple hundred books on how to become more close to God but always from that slant.. and all those books are wrong.. ..does that mean am not close to God? I feel i am kinder to people for having read them though not kinder to myself.

People from the old way have tried to make it more sensible to me. .first on my shopping trip then in the letter.but why dont i feel good about myself right now…?

I know the truth glasses show me its all wrong.. I was misled.
I trusted people who lead will always lead me right..how does one know its safe to trust anymore when everyone i have trusted have led me wrong..I keep saying i want to trust but deep down i know am struggling with the idea of trusting.

i know you are all good and are speaking truth .. and am hoping someday to arrive at the confidence level that you are all at. I hope I can get there.

I thank you for your patience.. you answers and encouragement.. I know someday I will get there because all of you have had your to get through and you did

hugs,

Joy

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Great conversation on Empowering Solutions, Darlene. I can’t wait to listen to it again — you both had some powerful observations, and I just could not gather all my thoughts together fast enough.

Never could figure out why affirmations never worked. . . that was a big A-HA.

Once again, you rock my world. When is your book going to be available? I’ll put in my order now!!!

53

Another great post, Darlene. I find your strength inspirational.

My story is not as traumatic as Joy’s, but the theme is similar. I was in a car accident while driving my mothers car – the accident was in no way my fault, the driver of the other car took full responsibility. Both cars were written off, but luckily no one was seriously injured. Still, it was a really terrifying experience for me plowing into another car at 100kph.

My mother yelled at me for wrecking her car, and to this day will not let me drive her car. She never once asked me if I was ok, or even what my injuries were. It’s just the same old story that I am an inconvenience to her, I cannot be trusted – even when it is not my fault. My physical and mental wellbeing just do not come into it. Never have.

I know that feeling of being owned. I feel like there is a really blurry line between who I am and who my parents are. It’s as if I have to be them, an extension of them. Every sign of autonomy or independence I ever expressed was nipped in the bud with ridicule or punishment. And the pain of being told you’re not good enough anyway – you can never reach those standards.

I don’t think my parents would ever gag me outright, but I remember as a child that my mother was always really adamant at telling people how “shy” I was. I can see now that was her way of trying to invalidate the abuse, as if my anxiety was just something I was born with and had nothing to do with how I was treated at home.

What a cunning bitch!

Thanks for listening. It’s really healing to come here and share my stories and read everyone elses and know that I’m not alone in my pain.

54

‘“…love” is about how we treat them’ I’m still hearing this today (almost verbatim). And remembering this aching loneliness I had as a child trying not to disturb my parents or ‘need’ them. A lot of loneliness trying to do things by myself, and to deal with things alone and not sharing what happened, keeping it a secret and essentially trying to ‘parent’ myself. They weren’t 100% dysfunctional, my ma also fought for me, and tried to amend things she’d done wrong that caused me harm. And in many ways they did a lot of ‘good’ parent things. I don’t think my belief system is entirely down to them. I spent a lot of my childhood not at home even. But I can’t remember everything, it’s still piecemeal.’

55

Ultralite…I’m really glad to hear that you enjoyed and got something helpful from the program! For anyone who missed the link earlier…you can try this one to listen to the archived show: http://ow.ly/592lw

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I’m with you Patricia on the religious abuse issues. I could never understand why god had turned on me – but it wasnt that god did….it was the people who used religion to manipulate and control me.

57

I had grown to believe that everything was wrong with me, that it was MY fault that nobody loves me. I longed to just hear Mum say that she is proud of me, or that she loves me…but it never happened. It was only much later (in my late teens) when Dad told me that Mum had actually said good things about me to other people. Why didn’t she said it to me instead? Why does she always have to only degrade me in front and then say nicer things behind my back?

I guess, perhaps, human beings don’t like changes. To say that I am good after all the years of abuse just doesn’t fit in the schema anymore. Even though we have come a long way and Mum does express her pride in me now, I sometimes still wish that I had heard them earlier. Mum even tells me that one thing she’s always been glad of me even as a child was that she had never had to worry about my studies. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT!

Yesterday I was walking around Toys R Us, and I felt so much pain in my heart. I loved the Barbie dolls…and I wished that I had them. I can’t go back to childhood now…it’s lost forever. And no matter how far I’ve come today, I still allowed myself to grieve over a childhood that I never had…

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I have a whole collection of stuffed animals for the little girl in me. My lastest 2 in my collection are a small white tiger that my best friend gave to me recently and a huge green frog that my son and daughter-in-law got me for Valentine’s Day.

Susan and Darlene, I loved the radio program tonight. It was awesome.

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As I read through these comments, I am deeply moved again and again. Something in everyone’s comments has touched me, and I want to afirm each one of you and not leave out or mistakenly overlook anyone.

Patricia wrote: “Anyone that tells me that I should suffer and be grateful for that suffering because it brings me closer to God and sainthood is an abuser. I refuse to listen to them and their garbage. I call that religious abuse.” So True!

Pat also wrote: “I know what works for me may work for you but it may not because we are each our own person with our own set of lessons to learn.” Right again. In my opinion, both the Religious Abusers and the mental health abusers are trying to make us all like identical cloned sheep, meekly following in their footsteps. We are individuals. We have much in common, but we also have much that is unique, in each one of us.

Joy said many things that I relate to, but particularly this: “Its not just coming out its letting go of a belief system I was schooled in till 2009.. or that I attended to devotedly. I am all tears because I have mixed emotions. as I am finishing this post.. Am I going to Hell for having finally told.. ”

WHEW that is a BIGGIE. I, too, was brought up in a super strict religion that “had all the answers,” and everyone who didn’t believe like they did were going to hell. My dad was the preacher! I spent years reading and studying the “right” books so that I could know all the answers, too….. I even worked for several years behind the scenes in a television ministry. When all of that started crumbling down…. it left me CONFUSED, EMPTY, ALONE, and TERRIFIED that I was going to hell. For many years, I rebelled by going to the opposite extreme. I was agnostic, and wanted nothing to do with religion of any kind. Now, for the past 8 years I have been a Christian. That’s It. No denominational name, no set-in-stone doctrine. All I know is Christ, and his love, and that is enough for me.

Louise said: “remembering this aching loneliness I had as a child trying not to disturb my parents or ‘need’ them. A lot of loneliness trying to do things by myself, and to deal with things alone and not sharing what happened, keeping it a secret and essentially trying to ‘parent’ myself.” Sweet precious Louise…. that ‘aching loneliness’ is such a terrible thing to feel, at any age, but especially when you are a child.

Jasmine said: “Yesterday I was walking around Toys R Us, and I felt so much pain in my heart. I loved the Barbie dolls…and I wished that I had them. I can’t go back to childhood now…it’s lost forever. And no matter how far I’ve come today, I still allowed myself to grieve over a childhood that I never had…” I wish you had had the Barbie Dolls, too. I hope you will buy one for yourself. My parents did not let me have Barbie dolls because they were “too worldly.” TV was too worldly, non-Christian musis was too worldly, going to see a movie, even the child’s animated “Pinnochio” was too worldly. A woman wearing makeup, pants, or shorts, was too worldly. Saying “gosh, golly, gee, heck, or darn” was too worldly. Playing children’s card games like Go Fish and Authors was too worldly.

Jasmine, my childhood is long gone, too, at the age of 58, but I have a little doll I bought for myself several years ago. She sits on the shelf next to my bed and every day when I see my doll, I feel happy.

Carolyn, you wrote: “My mother yelled at me for wrecking her car, and to this day will not let me drive her car. She never once asked me if I was ok, or even what my injuries were.” How horrible that your mother cared about her stupid inanimate car, but not about her priceless, precious, flesh and blood daughter! When my daughter had an accident that WAS her fault, at least partially, because she was speeding, she totalled the car and her back was broken. When I saw the destroyed car that my daughter had been in…. I came very close to passing out. Not about the stupid car, but about my daughter!!

Then Carolyn said, “I don’t think my parents would ever gag me outright, but I remember as a child that my mother was always really adamant at telling people how “shy” I was. I can see now that was her way of trying to invalidate the abuse, as if my anxiety was just something I was born with and had nothing to do with how I was treated at home.”

”What a cunning bitch!” is RIGHT. My mother did similar, “pre-emptive strike” tactics, to either shut me up before I had even opened my mouth, or, more often, to make everyone think I was crazy and a liar, so that IF I ever told her horrible secrets, I would not be believed. I was gaslighted by my own mother, if you know what that means… from an old movie called Gaslight, where a man marries a young woman to get at her money, then does things to make her think she is losing her mind, as he tells her in his loving, concerned voice, that NO, this did not happen, and that did not happen, Poor Darling, you must really be Losing It.

Lynda

60

Jackie, you wrote: “All the time growin up bein told I was never goin to amount to nothin, how I was a nobody, wasn’t worht the breath I took, I was a huge mistake, and many many more things I was told. Today I still struggle with these things and I believe some of them b/c I was always worthless and today I wonder….” HIP HIP HURRAY for your WONDER! I hope you will take that “wonder” many steps further, all the way to telling those old evil life-destroying LIES that are in your head, that they are LIES, and they are DAMNED LIES, and you are NOT going to believe them anymore, because you are going to believe the TRUTH: That you were created EQUAL. You are equal to every human being ever created, you are no less valuable and worthy and wonderful than any other person. You are a beautiful God-Original, far more valuable than the Mona Lisa or any other work of art. YAAY JACKIE! And I love your name, that is my precious daughter’s name.

Susan, you wrote: “Learning to recognize the “symptoms” of abuse empowered me to live beyond the “symptoms” of poor mental well being.”
EXACTLY! And, as you have so eloquently written elsewhere: “It is when I understood my response to trauma was normal vs a “disorder” that I began to see that I could live beyond it.”

ULTRALITE! How wonderful, the words of the poem you were moved to share, the poem written for the Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus/Emma Lazarus, 1883. These lines from that ancient poem are particularly powerful, and fittingly descriptive of Darlene, and of all who are bravely shining the light of FREEDOM for the wretched masses:

“…A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles…..
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me”

WOW that gave me chills.

Carol, you wrote: “seeing the whys helped me see the where’s. where in my life i was still being affected and how i was still reacting instead of allowing myself the time to learn the skills needed to move on to the next level.” That sentence of yours really made me stop and THINK. Seeing the WHYS helped me see the WHERE’S… Where I am still reacting instead of taking the time to learn the skills needed to move on to the next level…. taking the time, to learn the skills……. I try to make it HURRY, I want it all NOW. Instant healing, instant wholeness. But it is a process, and it does take time.

Charlotte Antee wrote: “How I found this blog a few months ago I was severely depressed and I went to a online suicide forum because I wanted to live just not feel the way I have felt for so long I was reading so many things and I somehow found emerging from Broken I remember saying I was broken to my kids just a few days before I thought when something was broke you discarded it but I learned that day you just EMERGE” ME, TOO, Charlotte! Throughout my whole life I have often said that I felt BROKEN. I, too, thought that, when someething was broken, you discarded it. Like you, I found this blog a few months ago.. in my case, it was either back last October or November… I was searching online for help because I, too, was feeling *almost* suicidal, it was like you described it, I wanted to live but I didn’t want to keep feeling the way I was feeing. And in my search I somehow found Emerging From Broken, and I learned that being BROKEN is NOT the end!

Lynda

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Caroline

It was bad enough you experienced a car wreck. how awful that was: when i carried mail temporarily ..someone totalled a new car i had gotten ..it looked like accordian..I am still afraid of driving a bit. I don’t have a car now but it is a challenge when I get the opportunity to drive. I am so sorry how your mom did . I am really sorrowing for you ..hugs..joy

Jasmine

I recently bought a stuffed teddy bear. i name her violet..because all she had on was a purple bow but also becaue i love the small violet.

Someone gave me 2 small dolls the other day.and they need some clothes and TLC as looked like someone tried to give one a haircut.

I love to color and draw with crayons. If I cannot get to my safeplace i know coloring requires focus..so I color away..if my safeplace imagery doesn’t work..I was told to think of a safeplace to go to if I am triggered or cannot sleep..Sometimes this works but after really bad dreams it does allow me to think or after a bad
triggering thing..like yesterday’s letter..its hard to get out of the bad zone to the lake ( my safe place in my mind) so I pull out my crayons..

All those things I wish I could do when I was little ..I do a little of now when I am older..I don’t think am a chlld just like the child things.. and little ways.

Gentle hugs..

Joy

62

Hold Fast wrote: “Darlene, What you wrote brought forward all the voices in my head from my childhood saying, “I never wanted you, you ruined my life, I would have never had to marry your abusive father, you are just like him, you will never find anyone to love you, you are stupid, you are ugly, you don’t matter, you can’t sing, you aren’t smart enough to go to college, you are lazy, there is something wrong with you, you are retarded, you don’t love me enough, you sleep to much………….”

I was told those things, too, almost word for word. When I was just 5 years old, and still the only child, my mother showed me her big ugly stretch marks and the varicose veins that she said had been caused by her pregnancy with me. She described in detail her awful morning sickness, telling me how she embarrassed herself by throwing up on a city bus, and being yelled at by the bus driver. She also told me about the night I was born, how her doctor was called from a party, obviously drunk, you could smell the booze on him, she said, and he was being very hateful to my mother, clearly ticked off that he had to leave his party for something so unimportant as attending my brith… and when my mother gave a big hard push, instead of a baby coming out, she had a bowel movement all over the doctor, and he was furious and disgusted, and my mother was mortified… then, she said, the PAIN of giving birth to me was so horrific.. I can still remember the exact words that my mother told my 5-year-old self about the pain of giving birth to me: “I never knew it was possible for a human being to feel that much pain, and not DIE.”

Like you, Hold Fast, the message I got from my mother, was the same message your mother gave to you: “Who would love someone like that? Not me. I don’t count in the world, I am less than and therefore deserve less than.” Thank God for EFB and this healing community that is teaching us the difference between TRUTH, and LIES. How can a child be made to feel guilty for being BORN??? It’s utterly ridiculous! Yet when we are small and our parents are like God to us, we take every word they say, straight into or hearts, and carry that with us into adulthood.

Mac Aeron wrote: “I think a large part of what each of us were taught was that we didn’t deserve compassion….. Be my authentic self and I will have fewer regrets when I do slip and fall. Because everyone does. Its part of being alive. Its that wonderful gift of compassion that we never knew growing up. When someone shines it on us or a facsimile of it we automatically turn to it, like nature turning towards the sun.”

THOSE WORDS OF YOURS took my breath away. COMPASSION. We were never shown compassion. No mercy and no pity. Every normal human failing of ours, ever little childish mistake, was POUNCED upon, as PROOF of our unworthiness. COMPASSION…. like the time my husband and I came home after a few hours away, and discovered that our rescue dog had had uncontrollable diarrhea in the house. She had not been living with us very long, she had been abused and then abandoned by her original owners, and during the 6 months that the rescue organization had her, she was adopted and then taken back, many many times, due to her behvior issues… all of which were caused by her initial abuse and abandonment! And then all of the successive abandonment, only wounded her and made her “issues” even worse. But when my husband and I took her home, it was to stay. Period. It took Lady a couple of years to finally seem to believe that. When we came home and she had had the diarrhea, she was crying, WAILING, in her panic. She obviously thought that she was going to be punished for doing something that she could not help, and probably “taken back.” But I held her as she trembled and cried. Then I gently bathed her, with my husband helping, and both of us telling her over and over again that she was a GOOD GIRL, that she could not help it. We did the same, those times when she would throw up. At first she would panic, act like she was going to be hit or thrown away. But now at long last, she has come to trust us. Now she knows that when she is sick, I HOLD her, and PET her, and SOOTHE her while she is vomiting… to HECK with the antique persian carpets, they can be washed, or burned if need be, who cares, this is a living creature with FEELINGS.

As yet she is “only” a dog. Why couldn’t our parents have had the same COMPASSION for us, as human children, when we would make a mistake, or have an accident and break something or soil something?

THE ONLY COMPASSION THAT I EVER SAW FROM MY MOTHER, WAS COMPASSION FOR HERSELF.

Lynda

63

Lynda:

Thank you for sharing how it was for you.. and I know I would have felt uncomfortable.there in your home…My mom had our whole familly appear to be functional in the church..WE never missed. It was important to keep up the image. It was hard for me to understand going to church and singing happy songs when I was so crying inside all the time. Right now I am not sure what I believe.. ..

64

Shanyn, you wrote: “I broke free, and instead of being hunted I’ve been left alone. Blessedly left alone. Unfriended, unsought after, unasked for. Alone. But NOT lonely. Healing, growing, and finding my way.”

I used to hope that my family would care enough to come after me. It broke my heart that they didn’t. But every time, over the past 36 and 1/2 years since I moved several states away from my family of origin, of the MANY times over these years that *I* have gone back and sought, yet again, and again, and again, to have a relationship with my mother and the rest of my family of origin, every time without exception I have been deeply WOUNDED by them, primarily by my mother, but the rest, too, sooner or later it always happens.

Each time, I would stay away longer, hoping that they just needed more time to go by, before they would begin to miss me. And they would SAY that they had missed me, when I would finally go back for another family reunion… but it seems that all they had missed, was someone to dump on.

Finally I stopped writing, calling, and going to visit my mother. I stopped, after her last big snub/hurt/lying/gaslighting of me. This was in 2006. I, like you, was being left blesedly, peacefully, ALONE, until about a week and a half ago when, out of the blue, with no provocation on my part whatsoever, a 60+ HATE letter arrived in the mail from my mother. There was no provocation, my mother is not on the computer and wouldn’t know a blog from a frog, plus I do not use my real full name anywhere that I write about my childhood and my life, and no one from my family, with the sole exception of my husband, is on my blog. I don’t use any family or other real names, nor any idenitfying details or place names. Nothing in the hate letter indicated that she had any idea whatsoever that I have been telling the truth about her, online. NO, her latest book-long hate letter…. there have been others… was prompted aparently by her getting tired of waiting for me to come back to volunteer to be abused again.

I am now in the process of writing out a Divorce Decree to my “mother.”

Pam wrote: “I also feel that my parents painted a big target on my back that made me a vitim to be abused by others. I also have a hard time seeing evil in others. I always tend to think that others are like me and sometimes make mistakes but mean well. That isn’t true. There are people in the world totally motivated by evil. My parents treated me so lousy that I also accepted lousy treatment as love. I wanted to be loved and accepted so badly that I fell for anything. It is an awful feeling to know that we are so vulnerable. I’m still very wary of getting close to people and it takes me a year or so before I feel that I know someone at all. I tend to isolate as I would rather be alone that be taken advantage of anymore.”

Me, too, I could have written every word you wrote.

Marie wrote: “I have kept part of me on hold for so long waiting for the day they realise they were wrong, and see I didn’t cause problems and tell me I’m ok. Realiseing it will never happen is hard but its very freeing to understand that I can validate myself. I can say I’m ok and worthy. I can tell myself that I deserve love and kindness. I have kept waiting all my life for someone to tell me that NOW I’m ok, now I’ve done enough to prove them wrong, that i wasn’t terrible. It doesn’t work that way. I tell myself I’m ok.”

IT’S SO H*A*R*D to completely give up that “someday they will realize they were wrong” dream! But it’s necessary to face reality, I have found, in order to grieve, and then let go, of that never-ending disappointment. Waiting with my life and happines on hold for my mother to suddenly realize she was wrong, and apologize, and come to me with loving, open arms…. is just as foolish as going head-over-heels deeply and hopelessly in debt, in debt way beyond my means to ever repay it, and doing so because I am expecting to win a multi-million dollar lottery someday.

Priime wrote: “I times thought there would be healing n reconciliation wth heart felt apologies from such parents, til I realize it runs deeper than that…. Only salvation from spiritual understandin or therapy can redeem such a family n reconcile them..”

That’s what I believe now, too. A mircale on the scale of Mosse parting the Red Sea, something HUGE and SUPERNATURAL like that might do the trick, of finally opening my mother’s eyes to see. But since miracles like that seem to only happen about once every 6,000 years or so, I don’t think I should be holding my breath, waiting and hoping. The little girl in me still pops her little blonde head up with HOPE for a MIRACLE, but I know that is NOT AT ALL likely to ever happen in this lifetime. My mother is 76 and still writing hate letters to me!

Ronnie, you said: “As to the discussion of knowing one’s own value, that is foreign to me! I do not know how to have an opinion. My mother wanted all of the children to function like little automotons or robots. When we did not, there was impending doom! I never felt like a person while growing up in my household.”

Ronnie, I have been through a LOT of HELL in my life. Multiple extreme traumas, abuse of all kinds, losses, and PAIN. But of all the things I’ve gone through, the Most Painful By Far, was the misery of Not Liking Myself…. and HATING myself. Believing that I had no value, that my value was a negative number. Thinking that I was less than everyone else, the lowest of the low, crazy, bad, a burden, toxic, weird, wrong, and just too ignorant and sick to have the sense to even know what it was that was so very wrong with me. I was… no big loss… that’s what my sister said to her friend a few months ago, when she was new to facebook and didn’t realize that her posts would show up automatically in my newsfeed. “My eldest sister Lynda is weird. She has PTSD. So she’s no big loss.”

THAT is a LIE. I am… AMAZING. I am loving and kind and generous and deeply compassionate. I give of myself, of my heart and my time, for no other reason than I want to brighten someone’s day. I like myself today. More than that, I LOVE myself today. But it took a lot of re-learning reality, to get here!

Mary Peck wrote: “So sad but true, Darlene. Well said.”

I want to end this, by echoing those words. It is so very sad. It is so very true. And, Darlene, this post of your is very well said.

Lynda

65

Joy, I understand that lost feeling of not being sure what you believe. What began to help me with that, was one day I decided that it was OK for me to not have all the answers to all my religious questions. It was OK for me to say, “I don’t know. But I believe God knows, and that’s good enough for me.”

66

Hi Ultralite,
So glad that you listened to the show and liked it!
I am editing my e-book (which is a collection of my writing) this week! I am not sure how long the finishing touches are going to take, but I hope that by the end of June it is ready!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carolyn
We can’t put levels on Trauma… I think that this story is just as devaluing as the example that I used with Joy’s mother. When a child is shut down like that and when we have an trauma or accident that is ignored, it sends a message! And the message itself is a lie about us, (that we don’t matter) but it is a truth about them.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Louise
I agree with you; No belief system is entirely down to any one event or person. My belief system was developed through many things and mistreatment from many people some of which might not have been so difficult for me if I had been valued at home in the first place. My first memory of abuse was not at the hands of my parents. There are many contributing factors, traumas and even seemingly meaningless events that all contributed to the conclusions that I came to about myself.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan,

Thanks for sharing the link for our Radio Show that we did. For those of you who missed the discussion that I had with Susan Kingsley Smith on Blog talk Radio about Dealing with Diagnosis ~ here is the link to the replay: http://ow.ly/592lw
It was a GREAT broadcast!
Hugs, Darlene

67

Hi Jasmine
Yes, we are allowed to grieve over a lost childhood. And that was a very big and necessary part of the process of healing for me too!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia, thanks for listening to the radio program! Glad that you liked it!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda,
WOW, thanks for all your comments. They are full of great processing work! Thanks for sharing that with us here. I can’t even begin to write all that I would like to comment, but I wanted to say something about that fantasy about the family “caring enough to come after you” I had that longing… that my mother would realize that she missed me and she would want to restore the relationship with me. I was really shocked as the months went by without any word, after I set my boundary. (no more abusive treatment) I was baffled too. How could she walk away from her only daughter? This is a very hard truth to accept and comprehend, but as you say, I think they knew that I would not let anyone “dump on me again” so that was the end of the “relationship”. I am free now, so it is all good, but it did/does hurt!
Hugs, Darlene

68

Thank you, Darlene. I know I did a huge amount of commenting here, and I thank you for giving me the privilege to do so. I realize there is no way you could comment on all of what I’ve said here, there is so much, and you are busy with your book editing. I know firsthand how all-consuming that task can be.

I just wanted to comment on what you said to Carolyn: “We can’t put levels on Trauma… I think that this story is just as devaluing as the example that I used with Joy’s mother.”

I’ve been thinking about that, about how some people think that what they have experienced in life is either “not nearly as bad,” or “so much worse,” than someone else’s trauma. This is the conclusion I’ve come to:

I have been through many, countless, diverse traumas and abuse in my life. In fact, I have been through so many traumas, some of which were so extreme, that I’ve had more than one therapist react as though I were making stories up, because there have been so many traumas in my life, they just couldn’t believe that many terrible things could have happened to one person.

Before I finally found a GOOD therapist, who BELIEVED the truth I was telling about my life, and was finally able to began to recover, back in 2003, my life was like a 100-car-pile-up that sometimes happen on an icy highway in thick fog. One trauma/accident led to the next trauma/accident and led to the next trauma/accident; it was never-ending! And it was truly, unbearably horrible!

But, in these past 8 years since I got some real help, at the clinic where my non-existant self-esteem began to bloom and grow for the first time in my life, I have frequently made this statement:

Out of all the mulitple traumas, losses, and abuses I have lived through in my entire life, the ONE THING that hurt me by FAR the MOST, was: Not Liking Myself.

Not liking myself… HATING myself, really… is the one thing that hurt me, deeper and harder, far more than anything else. Not liking Lynda, and being ASHAMED of the person I am, hurt me more than being raped, hurt me more than being physically beaten, hurt me more than being verbally beaten, hurt me more than being locked up in a hell-hole of a mental institution from the age of 14 – 16, on Maximum Security most of that time, with the criminally insane, murderers and the like, put on max security because I kept trying to run away…. Not Liking Myself, and Being Ashamed of Me, hurt me more than my husbands cheating on me, hurt me more than my multiple divorces, hurt me more, even, than my second-worst-ever pain, and that was the pain of when ex-husband #2 stole my 2 children from me, and they were gone, out of the country, for over a year and a half. I didn’t know if they were ok or even if they were alive or if I would ever see them again… I can’t even begin to put into words, how much that HURT. When I finally got my children back, my son barely remembered my, and my daughter didn’t remember me at all, that is how young they were when they were taken from me by my abusive, bullying, soiciopathic ex-husband, who was a mental CLONE of my narcissistic sociopathic mother, and my previously super-close relationship with my children, has never been the same since, their being kidnaped from me, hurt them, and hurt me, indelibly.

Losing my precious babies for so long, was a pain far worse than any other… WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION OF THE SEARING, SOUL-KILLING PAIN OF NOT LIKING MYSELF.

Think of people who commit suicide, despite seeming to have it ALL ~ fame, riches, beauty, and the adoration of millions of fans…. HOW could someone who “has it all,” commit suicide? In my opinion, if they don’t LIKE themselves… if, for some reason, deep down inside they HATE themselves… then all the fame, riches, beauty, and adoration by others in the WORLD, cannot make them happy.

Until I took my settlement money from my last divorce in 2003, shortly before my 50th birthday, and checked myself into the renowned Meier Clinic in Richardson, Texas, where the founder of the (fomerly Minirth-Meier) nationwide chain of clinics, and the author/co-author of more than 80 books, Paul Meier, MD, was Himself my personal psychiatrist… which I paid thousands in cash for, having lost my health insurance in my 4th divorce… before I went to that clinic and they began to help me build the self-esteem that I had never had… prior to that life-saving experience, my lifetime of traumas and abuses and losses, beginning in my earliest childhood, had taught me the LIE that Lynda is not worthy or love, or kindness, or courtesy…. I believed that Lynda was NOTHING, in fact I was sure that I was worse than nothing. I HATED ME. And because I hated myself, I kept getting into harmful situations and harmful relationships and sabatoging my life, so that my life was a total WRECK, and I wanted to DIE.

I hated myself so much, that I did not believe I deserved to be happy. I hated being miserable… yet I believed that misery and pain was all I deserved, and so I settled for that, for decades.

Now that I really, truly LOVE ME, despite my human faults and failings… I love life!! I’m getting older, my physical health isn’t that great, my looks are fading, and every single day my husband and I struggle financially to make ends meet… but, I am so happy, so fulfilled, so at PEACE, on the inside… I am happy and at peace because I now know that I am equal, to ANYBODY.

Yes, some of us have lived through “much worse” than others… but the end result of our traumas and abuse, the end result of Hating and Being Ashamed of Who We Are… THAT is the worst trauma of all, and THAT is what makes all of our traumas EQUAL.

Lynda

69

letting go

so many years of suffering in the silence that i was taught
kept me hoping that with every lash my heaven could be bought
This was what i was told all that i’d have to do
is suffer all in silence; i believed it to be true

so as the beatings happend and all the sexual hurt
I kept banking on my Heaven though my soul felt like dirt
never knowing mother’s love i believed there’d come a day
when finally I’d know a hug and hurts would go away..\

only time kept on passing and bruises became more
silence held my secrets behind its hidden door
so long were the sufferings, so long all the shame..
never as a child did I know my real name.

now am on a journey to heal the child within
its all so very scary .. and i tremble to begin
yet i know in letting go of all use to know
healing can begin though the pace may be slow..

joy

70

Lynda,
We watched the British and the American versions of the Gaslight movie and actually thought that the American version was more real, creative, and instructive!

71

Lynda,
Good dog story and how you care for her when she is sick. I loved my childhood dog. I remember my ex-mother-in-law telling my ex-husbamd ( we were at their ski condo) that the only language I would ever be able to understand was a beating. She told him to beat me. We had one child at the time, he was one. I heard her say these words. l completely lost it. The ex told me to go read my Bible. Then I really lost it and his dad came in the room and got us packed and out of there. I wrote this in my diary. I forgot that she had told him to beat me until I read them a few months ago to my current husband. Nearly 20 years had gone by.
And when I was ill in (1986) the hospital with two surgeries, IV anti-biotics for a week, (I had std’s–from the ex) the mother-in-law was there bending over me telling me that it is hell for a man to have a sick wife and have I always been sickly? My ex didn’t even stay in the hospital, but left and went to work while I was in surgery. And all I could do when I came home was cry when I looked at my wasted body and think of my grandmother who had died at age 42, probably wondering how long i could live in this sorry life of mine. I couldn’t even find myself. But that first child we had turned out to be National Merit Scholar, and I home schooled him for a long time.

72

Lynda,
About missing us, you said, ” but it seems that all they had missed, was someone to dump on. A truer thing has never been observed and said!!
I haven’t talked to my dad in months, had to call him, and he says, “Havent’ heard from you in a long time.” I said, “You don’t read the emails I send?” He hates that “damn” computer, that is another abusive line that gets thrown at the ones he chooses to abuse. So my parents’ game is that my mother does the computer and communicates with me that way, and my dad answers the phone, so I never call. I cannot stand his verbal abuse, and only communicate as little as possible with my mom. So when I was on the phone with him the other day, he actually says to me, “So what do you do all day long, stay in bed?” I couldn’t believe how crude completely insulting.

73

Darlene,
This, “I was really shocked as the months went by without any word, after I set my boundary. (no more abusive treatment) I was baffled too. How could she walk away from her only daughter? This is a very hard truth to accept and comprehend, but as you say, I think they knew that I would not let anyone “dump on me again” so that was the end of the “relationship”

It is like there is no way to really comprehend it, but since it keeps repeating itself, I am left to accept it. I am recovering from divorcing an abuser and the abusive religious system and moving IN with my parents and my four kids and living through their abuse of me as an adult parent, remembering finally the crap from my chidhood, and having someone in my community tell me that they don’t know anyone who turns more people off to God than my own dad. It was a timing thing, it all came together and made sense. I could accept it at that point and begin to move away.

74

My dad’s devaluing of me was done in a variety of ways, but one that stands out the most is how he idolizes his perfect set of christians from our town, (I don’t live there anymore). Oh, what a hell to endure for all those years. I still detox every Sunday.

75

Darlene,

you said:
I think they knew that I would not let anyone “dump on me again” so that was the end of the “relationship”

OR
I think they knew that I would not let anyone “dump on me again” so that was the end of the “relationship” BECAUSE THAT WAS THE RELATIONSHIP…that was the only relationship that there was. you ended something that was harmful…you took a step toward health, they would never do it, but you did it.

76

Kate ..
I am feeling in the depths of my soul your pain
I wish I could take it away
WHat you have had to go through was totally insane
So much more than words can say
You have every right to your feelings of sorrow
and every right to scream and shout
I am hoping for you and easier tomorrow
After you have let all those feelings out
joy

77

It is even hard for me to face kitchen work alone. Since going through that divorce, my kids’ only choice in life was to reject or accept my meals, and what abused single mom has the energy to enforce all good things anymore? Now with a good husband, we cook together, we bake bread together, etc., and the kitchen is a whole new experience nad we actually enjoy eating the same foods and he doesn’t put me down for my preferences; we have the same preferences. But lately, this year, since moving away from that “hometown” I hear my mother’s criticisms of me in the kitchen, like I am now facing the devastation fo her mouth in that way. Even though for years I home schooled my four children and we cooked and ate together everyday, making big breakfasts of fresh ground whole grains, etc., my daughter learned to do many things, etc., lots of good times, but the ex–he had to have his food his way, and criticised my food and my cooking and how I cut an onion, etc.,

78

Joy,
I hope that you keep your poems written down altogether somehow, somewhere, they are just so “spot on”

79

Joy,
feeling the feeling unfold, Darlene wrote about that a while back, the process of letting the feeling unfold, etc. complicated for me in th at I returned to my family of origin and moved back in with them and had to experience it all over again, which is good in the sense that I HAD to face it, but traumatizing all over again in many ways.

80

Kate i understand as in my 2009 trauma with my exboss . its not over as I have to keep relaying the story and the foo problem is not over as some people feel its their mission to convert me into seeing how bad a daughter I am . so I understand reliving and revictimiazation..

I have been keeping most my poems in word pad..

Joy

81

Kate i understand as in my 2009 trauma with my exboss . its not over as I have to keep relaying the story and the foo problem is not over as some people feel its their mission to convert me into seeing how bad a daughter I am . so I understand reliving and revictimiazation..

I have been keeping most my poems in word pad..

Joy

82

Kate, Yes, that WAS the relationship indeed! but not now!
Thanks for sharing, glad you are here!

Hello everyone, I took the day off the blog in order to work on editing my book. I got all my notes done in the final read through and tomorrow I am going to make the changes to the manuscript! I am hoping that this phase of it will be done by next week!
That is why I have been quiet!
Hugs, Darlene

83

Thank you again for putting into words my feelings about dealing with this time in my life. It has been almost eight months since I FINALLY severed ties with my abusive family and I have never thought more clearer than I do now. I am finally able to step back and see how severely emotionally abused I was and how my biological mother tortured me with her words and brainwashing and threats. She has done everything in her power to destroy me for doing better than her (to her something worse than death) and she hasn’t.

I no longer hold my self responsible for being repeatedly raped while she looked the other way. I find my rapists responsible and my mother for doing absolutely nothing to stop it for fear it may ruin the “reputation” that she THINKS she has. I have worth and I see in the eyes of my husband and my children. That is something that she will never have.

84

Hi Candie,
I can relate to the “thinking clearly” thing. I noticed that too. My mom didn’t do anything either.. she is just pathetic. You have worth period! No matter whose eyes it is in! YOu just do! We all do!
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

85

Kate,
Everything you said about your past problems with cooking and working in the kitchen hit me very hard… LONG, multi-layered stories of abuse in that area of my life. Here is just one of many: When I got married the first time, at the age of 16, just 2 months and a few days after being released from the hellhole insane asylum where I had been since the age of 14… my first husband used to punch, hit, and kick me, because I didn’t do a good enough job of cooking “the food he worked his A** off to buy.”

And there is more to my painful kithen memories, but I am too sick right now to go into it all. I’m having a miserable reaction to the second antibiotic that my dentist prescribed for my infected tooth. (groan)….. too sick to be on facebook or on my blog or to walk our darling dog, who mopes so heartbreakingly.

I’m just so blessed that my loving best-friend-husband Stan loves to cook, and is a great cook! But when he is sick, as he has been a lot lately, coughing and coughing and we don’t know why, he will see his doctor again next week… then I must feed us, and my skills in that area are not the best. Thank goodness for frozen foods and microwave ovens.

Lynda

86

Kate, my mother told me, in front of my first husband, that he had every right to hit me. “If you behave like a child, you deserve to be spanked like a child,” she said.

It happened on my 17th birthday. I woke up that day feeling so excited, thinking my new husband was going to do something nice for me, as I did for him on his 19th birthday in March (we were married in February, and my birthday is in May1970). It was the weekend, and one of his days off from work. But he had nothing planned, and when I enthusiastically asked him if we could afford to go out a movie and get a hamburger and a shake, like we had done during the whole 2 months we were dating, he hit me, and hit me, and hit me. Then he ran out of the house and went straight to my mother’s house, to cry on her shoulder, because he knew from me confiding in him about my horrific childhood, that my mother hated me and would take his side against me.

Hours later he came home, half-drunk, and threw my mother’s big leather-bound family Bible on top of me, where I was lying in a depressed heap under the blankets on our bed ~ that is how I spent my 17th birthday, in bed, crying myself to sleep ~ and he told me, “Your mother told me to give this to you and tell you that you need to read it, and find out what a wife is supposed to be like.”

Before I could even respond, a car pulled up outside, and my half-drunk mother came storming into our 1-room efficiency apartment, and began yelling at me that if I didn’t straighten up and be a good wife. I sat up on the bed and said, “Mom, he HITS me!” There was, in fact, glass from the broken wall mirror that he had pushed me into that morning, still scattered all over the floor.

That’s when my mother screeched “I know he hits you, he told me so himself, and I told him that I don’t blame him one bit! If you are going to act like a child, you deserve to be hit like a child!”

That was one of the very few moments in my entire life that I ever “talked back” to my mother. I had hoped that when she heard that my husband beat me… and the evidence was right there in front of her face, the broken glass, the wrecked apartment, and me on the bed, crying, and covered with big bruises… I hoped that finally, for ONCE IN HER LIFE, my “mother” would Take My Side.

But when she didn’t… something inside me just SNAPPED. I didn’t move from off the bed, but I pointed to the door, and I said, “Get Out Of My House.”

Her mouth fell open, she was that astonished that *I*, her little nothing daughter, would DARE to talk to Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, in such a TONE!

Good grief… kids “talk back” to their parents every day all over the world, and the sky doesn’t fall in, and the world doesn’t stop turning. But here was Lynda on her 17th birthday, a married young woman, “talking back” to her mother for maybe the first time ever in my young life… and my mother was so SHOCKED that her mouth fell open and just hung there.

Now I ask you.. if I was such a “terrible daughter” and a “terrible person,” WHY was my mother SCHOCKED by my behavior? Apparently I wasn’t that TERRIBLE after all, if she was so stunned by my UNCHARACTERISTIC talking back and telling her to get out of my house… which I had every legal right to do! Lord knows my mother had told me to get out of HER HOUSE, back when I was just 14 and she was newly remarried and afraid.. I see that now.. that her new husband might be attracted to her blossoming young daughter, the way her first husband, my own father, had been. When I was 14 she had told me, “No house is big enough for two women.” So I was just telling her, what she had told me.. Get Out Of My House.

And with those 5 words, I damned my own self in my mother’s eyes.

After her mouth stopped hanging open, my then-35-year-old mother walked over to my 19-year-old husband, who was sitting in a chair not with his head in his hands. My mother threw her arms around his neck and said, “I’m so sorry, Honey, that I didn’t WARN YOU about what she is like, before you married her.”

My husband threw his arms around my mother and, the next thing I knew, she was SITTING ON HIS LAP, and they were rocking back and forth, both of them crying, “I love you!” to each other.

Happy 17th Birthday to ME. With all that LOVE going around, why wasn’t there any love for LYNDA?

Days later my husband cried and told me that the reason he had flipped out on my birthday when I asked him if we could go out for a movie and a hamburger and a shake, was because his unloving parents never ONCE gave him a birthday gift, or a Christmas gift, in his entire life growing up.

WHATEVER.

NOW, he has a youtube video of himself and his second wife leading a church class on how to have a healthy marriage. I know this, because we have a 13-year-old granddaughter in common, from the one son we had together, and his second wife is one of my granddaughter’s many fb friends.

WHATEVER.

Lynda

87

PS~ In my earlier post, where I talked about the fact that hating myself, hurt me far worse than any of my other trauma and abuse… there were 2 reasons that I thought I hated myself. The main reason was because I was raised by the most unloving parents, and was taught from the cradle on that I was a burden, I should never have been born, I had something inherently WRONG with me and, whatever that WRONG SOMETHING was, it made me unlovable, and unworthy of the most basic kindness and courtesy.

My SECOND reason for not liking, or HATING, myself, is this: I was so STARVED FOR LOVE, that I desperately searched for love in a lot of wrong places. I had affairs, that I am DEEPLY ashamed of, to this day. I also drank to medicate my PAIN, and when I had alcohol in my system, I lost my inhibitions, and did things, in my desperation to be LOVED and to stop HURTING, of which I became deeply ashamed.

When you are prettier than average, as I was, the temptation to have affairs and do some really wrong things is everywhere, especially with alcohol in the mix.

SO, even though I never really did anything seriously “wrong” as a girl… on the contrary, I tried really, really hard to live up to my parents super-strict religious teachings… when I got out of their house, by the time my second violent abuse marriage to another cheater was falling apart, I began to drink, and I began to do things in my desperation to be loved, that were really wrong.

After that, then I decided that my mother had been right about me all my life. Somehow she had seen the “hidden sin” in me, long before I ever really sinned. I hated myself so bad for my affairs ~ and at times I used sex as a drug, too ~ that I literally thought I deserved to be stoned to death, like the adulterous women of the Old Testament.

I carried this horrible weight of GUILT and SELF-HATRED for years. I hated myself so bad, that when I was in my early 40s, and I decided to go to Practical Nursing school… when the large class of approx. 50 other nursing students, most of whom were fresh out of high school, shocked me by nominating me, and then voting for me as class president…. I couldn’t even receive that honor with dignity. Several weeks later, I was standing up in front of my nursing class and telling them that if they REALLY KNEW ME, they wouldn’t like me!!

TODAY, I am no longer ASHAMED of the affairs I had in my young womanhood, when I was so desperate for love and happiness, or at least just a temporary “thrill” to take my mind off my misery. Today, I have COMPASSION for the hurting, starved young woman that I was.

And I believe in my heart that my Creator has nothing but total compassion and understanding for me, and for the hell and the hurt I have been through. I am forgiven, my sins are completely gone. I am not perfect, but no human being is. I am PRECIOUS and LOVED, and there is NOW, NO CONDEMNATION that I deserve, NO CONDEMNATION that I will accept.

Lynda

88

“TODAY, I am no longer ASHAMED of the affairs I had in my young womanhood, when I was so desperate for love and happiness, or at least just a temporary “thrill” to take my mind off my misery. Today, I have COMPASSION for the hurting, starved young woman that I was.

And I believe in my heart that my Creator has nothing but total compassion and understanding for me, and for the hell and the hurt I have been through.”

I don’t know of any church where you could go and talk like this. But I am so glad that we are in a place where we can speak this honestly.

89

Hello, Everyone. I am still reeling from the impact of everyone’s posts and listening to Darlene’s interviews (so many people deserve recognition for sharing their lives and insights — thank you).

I had one night of dreams — not nightmares. My brain is working very hard while asleep to process the information being presented here — in a very positive way. I tried to catch hold of the flavor of the dream to see what it was trying to tell me.

Joy, I was also abused by a boss for a couple of years, and your story was part of the thread. Darlene’s interview with Susan provided groundwork, and Lynda — I’m right there with you when you talk about self-hate. My self hate has brought me to the place where I am right now . . . however, you all are giving me the wherewithal to hang in there.

Back to my dream — while I cannot describe it now, here is what insight I have gathered: Ever since my abuse as a child, I have been, as Darlene talks about, running. No only have I been running away from my abuser, my shame, my guilt, the condemnation of my parents and family — I have also been running to find those things that my abuser provided: that feeling of being special, that “care,” that “concern,” that feeling of “closeness,” that “love.” [lies, all lies. . . but what does a 5-year-old know]. The fact that the closeness became increasingly perverted as I grew older, and more resistant, and more fearful, and more threatened — to the point of being shown how I was going to die (being smothered almost to the point of death)… The story of my life. So many things that began as a joy and pleasure became nightmares, destroyed, perverted.

Looked back at my life, it seems that all I have done is try and return to that special place in someone’s life. To be treated as I was initially. . . where I felt treasured, and “special.” It seems that I have done that in all my pursuits: with teachers, college professors, the men I have worked with, my ex husband, my ex men “friends,” and people in general. I would pull out all stops, trying harder and harder to be all they would seem to want me to be — and falling shorter and shorter. Using up more and more of myself until I had just about used myself up, because I was giving my all — and nothing was being put back. I was so happy with just a crumb . . . a kind word. A minute’s attention. Where did it ever make sense in my brain that all that effort was going to be rewarded with their love? (What is wrong with this picture: I’m working myself nearly to death for my boss because somewhere inside me I’m hoping he’s going to love me????)

At the same time, as I am seeing all that work being washed away with the tide, and I am slipping away — there is this horrible, terrific flood of anguish — that no one values me enough to try and save me. I’m looking at myself, and I’m realizing that in their hearts and minds I’m not worth the trouble, worth the effort, worth the time to come after me, and I’m yearning, longing, aching — with all my heart — for them to value me enough to be worth the rescue. (And I never say anything — there is never any cry for help). . .

And I wake up before I am completely swept away. . .

So my subconscious mind is juggling your messages: Darlene – truth and Lynda – (self) love. I am certain I had to come to this point in my life in order to recognize and appropriate this truth in my life. However, I don’t have a clue how to love myself — does this mean my love for those around me (that I have professed to love) is also as deeply flawed?

Is it too late to restore my flawed “love map?” There are those here who have ridden out the flood tide and are professing healing and wholeness. I’ve tossed out my anchor, in an attempt to hold fast — I’m so very thankful for your presence — your comments — and your kindness. You all are teaching me so much.

90

One of the ways in which I “reparent-ed” myself was to be a “girl”. I might not have grown up with many toys and barbies, but those didn’t affect me as much as not being allowed to be a girl.

I didn’t even realize what I was doing, but after losing drastic amounts of weight that even sent doctors’ jaws dropping (yes, at the expense of my health), I went of a “rampage” – pierced my ears and got crazy over earrings and jewelries, and started to love wearing dresses. Two days ago, I got myself a hairband with a big bow. I also refused to cut my hair short (yes, sometimes it’s a crazy idea to keep long hair under this crazy Malaysian weather).

Mum doesn’t tease me about it anymore, we just have brief laughs over it. In fact, she helps me choose my dresses now. I could never do any of the above from the ages of probably around 10 until 20. Back then, even when I wore dresses…it was never without Mum’s teasing.

I can gain another 10 kgs (no, not gonna do that) and still deserve my dresses!

91

Lynda,

I have to highlight your statements: Lynda wrote: Today, I have COMPASSION for the hurting, starved young woman that I was.
I am PRECIOUS and LOVED, and there is NOW, NO CONDEMNATION that I deserve, NO CONDEMNATION that I will accept.

Thank you!
Hugs, Darlene

Kate,
I too am so glad that we have a place where we can speak this honestly!
What a freedom!
hugs, Darlene

92

Hi Ultralite
Your comment is extremely insightful. This is exactly what we do because we have that sick kind of “special” mixed up with what we think real love is, because we have never been taught the difference! I hope everyone reads your comment, # 89 in this thread.
I assure you that it is not too late for you to restore your “flawed love map” It was only in realizing where mine was so badly flawed that I was able to begin to love myself and then to love others. This is the process… you are doing so well.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Love Darlene

93

Hi Jasmine!
YES! Great points. I went through some of this stuff too, giving myself the permission to BE me, after having been shut down and told who to be for so long. I realized after reading your comment that in my life people were critical of my writing and even when I first began this blog, I had some critical advice about HOW I write and how to improve my writing from well meaning friends. Grammar stuff and all kinds of stuff. But I decided that I was going to do it my way because I don’t really understand THEIR way! I never considered myself to be a writer… but in my view I wasn’t doing this blog to get awards in writing. I was doing it to deliver a message that saved my life. SO now embraced writing the way that I WANT to. And I am really glad that I did! I have more and more confidence about the style I write in as time goes by, and I got it from being ME!
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

94

letting her go

wishing today would go by faster
but the minutes slowly creep
each time I look at the clock
my heart, skips a beat
Surrounded by the stillness
I wish I could somehow say
mom i really love you
am thinking of you today

but really deep down I know
this will never be
she’ll never return my love
she has no love for me.
just have to let it go
and perhaps today’s the day
the clock is moving slowly
time is slowly fading away

i am resolving therefore today
while my heart is full of pain
and tears that quickly fall
cause my pillowcase to stain
despite the love thats in me
i will have to let her go
so that the seeds inner healing
can have some room to grow.

joy

95

Dear Friends,
Where I live, it is now Saturday night, almost midnight. I posted my last comment on here on Friday night, approx. 10:30 pm. I did not know, then, that my cousin Elaine had just died.

I talked with my cousin Elaine for nearly an hour on Thursday night, less than 24 hours before she died.

I am numb with grief. Elaine was so young, only 38. A registered nurse, the only daughter of my aunt who has been so wonderfully supportive of me, the aunt who received a copy of my mother’s latest long hate letter to me less than 2 weeks ago, and recently mailed a reply to my mother, affirming me, and telling my mother how appalled she was that any mother would do this to her own daughter.

And now, my precious aunt’s only daughter is dead! She drowned. I don’t believe it. It should have been ME, not Elaine. I am 19 years older than Elaine, it just is so wrong.

Elaine and I cried together and laughed together, when we talked on the phone the night before she died. I told my young cousin: “I love you four ways: I love you for YOU, I love you because you are my cousin, I love you because you are the daughter of my favorite aunt, and I love you because your father was my favorite uncle.”

She was the only blood relative I had living in this State. I cannot believe she is gone.

My aunt called this morning to tell us the terrible news. I screamed~

We know that life is fleeting. We know that death comes to all of us, sooner or later, and we never know how, and we never know when. My cousin took me out to lunch on my 50th birthday, 8 years ago. I cannot believe that she won’t live to see her 40th birthday.

We won’t know until the autopsy, but the people who found her say they believe it was an accident. I fear that she was murdered, by her abusive boyfriend. I also fear that alcohol was involved. One week ago today, my cousin showed up at her nurse’s job, still intoxicated from the night before. She was put on administrative leave, and the incident was in the process of being reported to the board of nursing. Elaine tearfully told me that she was finally ready to admit that she had a problem with alcohol, and go into a treatment program. She met with her employer along with a union rep, the day before she died. They were going to get back to her on which program they wanted her to go to, in-house, or an out-program. Meanwhile, Elaine and this abusive boyfriend of hers, drove up to a hot springs area in northern New Mexico, where she drowned.

I am telling you this because…. if drinking and/or drugging to medicate your problems is an issue in your life, GET HELP NOW. TODAY. Do Not Wait, I beg you.

And if you are in a situation where you are being phsyically abused, even if it is ONLY a hit, a slap, a kick, whatever… the ONLY that my cousin’s live-in man friend had done to her in the past.. and I didn’t know, until today, when my aunt told me… GET OUT. Please. As fast as you safely can, GET OUT. If you are with someone who physically harms you, or even just threatens to physically harm you, YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER. Please don’t stay and believe that it will get better, it ONLY gets WORSE.

Lynda

96

PS~ I just have to add, that I’m not naming any names or accusing anyone directly. I don’t use my full real name here, and my cousin has had 2 different abusive boyfriends within the past year of so. And we won’t know for sure if her drowning was an accident or not, until the autopsy. It’s just all so horribly suspicious, and terrible. That’s why I wanted to put this plea out here, that if any reader is living with someone who physically abuses you, please please please get out while you can.

I talked with my cousin earlier in the week and she asked if she could come and stay with my husband and me for a while, and I said, Yes we would love to have you here. I wanted to go and get her right then, but she wanted to stay and try to work things out on her job first. Now I am hurting so badly because I didn’t just go and get her. Yet I have to remind myself she was an adult, it was her decision. And it’s too late now to second guess what we could have done differently… she’s gone.

97

Hi Joy,
I love how you work things out through your poetry, and I appreciate you sharing your poems here with us.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda,
I am so sorry about your cousin! My goodness, that is really terrible news. I am sorry for your aunt too having lost her daughter that way.
She was so young and this is so tragic.
Please take care of yourself as you go through this grieving process.
Love Darlene

98

I wrote a new blog post about forgiveness issues ~ some of it was inspired by the comments on this post.
You can read it here:

The Confusion Created around Forgiveness Issues

99

Lynda,
So sorry about your cousin, family, etc.,

100

Thank you, Kate and Darlene. ((HUGS))

My husband and I are making arrangements for a memorial service for Elaine later this month, on the day that would have been her birthday. My aunt is taking her daughter’s cremated remains back east to be buried beside her late father. When I talked to my aunt, Elaine’s mother, on Saturday, she told me that she couldn’t face having a memorial here in this state that took her daughter from her. I understand her feelings. My poor sweet aunt.

My cousin had lived here in this western state for several years, had worked at her hospital nursing job for more than 5 years, and has left behind many very close friends here who loved her dearly. They, and we, need a local service where we can say goodbye. Since my husband and I are her only family in this state, we are putting the service together for Elaine. She deserves to have a memorial in the place where she lived out the last years of her life, and where she has so many people who love her. It is the least we can do, the last thing we can do, for our Elaine.

Lynda

101

THIS IS AN E-MAIL MY AUNT SENT ME LAST MONTH…..Hi Cindy, I don’t know what you want. If you think i am going to apologize to you it ain’t going to happen. I did nothing to you but tried to help. I don’t think any one has to apologize to you. I don’t know who you are so upset with but my family has nothing to feel bad about. You need to stop generalizing and stop saying every one in the family has hurt you. It is your perception of things and very different from mine i speak for myself . Read the bible for yourself and not for everyone else. I am fine with God my life proves it. I will not let any one steal my joy. that is a commitment i made to God and myself i suggest you do the same. I have peace it comes from God Himself. I have no guilt for any thing i might have done. All my sins are forgiven and gone. This conversation is done. That doesn’t mean i don’ t want to have e mails from you just not on this subject. It is done. love ya aunt grace.>>>>>>>> FUNNY BUT I NEVER ASKED FOR AN APOLOGY, AND SHE HAS NO GUILT FOR ANYTHING ” SHE MIGHT HAVE DONE “. MY DAD HAS 8 SISTERS AND I LIVED WITH 5 OF THEM, THEY ALL HIDE BEHIND GOD. VALIDATION IMPOSSIBLE AND I HAVE ACCEPTED THAT FINALLY.

102

Hi Cyndy
Isn’t that interesting! Funny how she worded it that way, and typical too.

You might be interested in the current post on this site; I just published one about this whole subject of forgiveness.
You can read it here:
The Confusion Created around Forgiveness Issues
Hugs, Darlene

103

Lynda,
That is a lovely thing you are doing for your cousin and her memory ~ to honour her life like this. You are a wonderful person Lynda with a very big and very tender and compassionate heart.
Hugs, Darlene

104

@Lynda; I am so sorry for your loss. As Darlene says…it is a wonderful thing you are doing to honor her place in your life. I feel terrible that you are grieving this horrible loss of love and family. My thoughts are with you. Many prayers for your and yours as you travel this path. Susan

105

My mom got married the second time to a pedophile.She traded her three little girls in exchange for a life of comfort.Her last words to me knowing we would never see each other again in this lifetime were “I wish i had never taken you”.You see,as the story goes i have questioned my lineage with good reason.I have four different birth certificates.I do not look like my siblings or those said to be my birth parents.Family history of generational incest mixes further doubt.The question used to be “Where did i come from?”.Am i a stolen baby?.Am i a product of incest?.I have no answers to these questions and no hope of ever having the answer.What i do have is me.Broken,but i love me.My children love me.My God loves me.I don’t need further validation.

106

Hi Yvonne!
Welcome to emerging from broken!
I love what you have shared, that you love yourself. The answers to those questions would not set you free OR validate you anyway!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

107

Dear Darlene and Susan, thank you from the bottom of my heart for you sweet and caring words. You both mean so much to me.

Dear Cyndy ~ YUCK. That was all I could think as I read your aunt’s nasty-toned invalidting email to you. It sounds exactly like something my mother would write.

Dear Yvonne, I second what Darlene said, I love that you love you!!!!

108

Darlene,

Thank you for that snapshot….In my case it wasn’t things said to me as much as it was implied that I didn’t matter….everyone else’s feelings came before mine…I was never listened to, never valued or heard…I still have heavy anger issues around communicating because I was so devalued in that area…I get in people’s faces because I feel like they are not hearing me and I have to stomp and get volatile in order to be heard…it is so sad…so, I just coped by shutting up since everyone else was more important than me….the emotional neglect has manifested itself in so many ways it is hard to really be clear on it….It is difficult for me to cry…I trained myself to be really tough and not cry in front of people who were abusing me…they were not going to win…I was….so, I still have issues allowing myself to go there…especially in front of men….I remember one time I was rollerskating with my sister and I hit the ground hard…there was a man who saw it and asked if I was okay, I said “that was fun” and then skated away crying….

109

Hi Jenny,
Yes, it was much more applied and infered to me then it was “said” in words too. The damage is the same. I also have much difficulty crying. I still feel feelings of shame when I cry in front of someone.. but I am working on it.
Today I have learned to hear my own voice and answer my own needs. I validate myself for where I was discounted in the past. I know what happened was wrong, I don’t need anyone to agree with me. It gets better the more you keep going forward!
Thanks for sharing your heart Jenny!
Hugs, Darlene

110

Thanks for your response Darlene…big hugs back..

111

Hi Everyone!

I just published a post that is very related to this one ~ It is called “Adult Victims of Child Abuse STILL need to be Heard”

You can read it here! I am looking forward to the feedback.

http://emergingfrombroken.com/adult-victims-of-child-abuse-still-need-to-be-heard/

Hugs, Darlene

112

Jenny, you said:

“I still have heavy anger issues around communicating because I was so devalued in that area…I get in people’s faces because I feel like they are not hearing me and I have to stomp and get volatile in order to be heard…it is so sad…so, I just coped by shutting up since everyone else was more important than me…”

Wow. I could have written what you wrote, word for word.

HUGS,
Lynda

113

My so-called father made me feel like I was a mistake,that I never should have been born.He never spent time with me,never helped me with school or encouraged me in sports.When I was suicidal,he ignored me.Then I was diagnosed with depression and he never even came to my counselors.He made me want to kill myself because I was always invisible to him.I wasn’t worth his time.I’m doing alot better now because him and my mother are getting a divorce and I cut him out of my life.I just graduated high school and I’m really looking forward to college in the fall.

114

Hi Shane,
Welcome to emerging from broken. This blog is about exactly what you are talking about. Please know that what he did was about him and not about you. There is a lot of support and sharing here, please feel free to post often and congrats on graduating!
Hugs, Darlene

115

thanks,graduation was pretty exciting. Can I ask something? When my sperm donor moved out,one night I held a sword to my chest.I really wanted to kill myself because I was in so much pain and didn’t feel worthy of love or friends. I woke my mother up because I really didn’t want to die,I was scared.My mother sat with me until I fell asleep.She stayed with me all night,she didn’t go to sleep because she wanted to be there in case I needed her.Well the next day,my mother called my sperm donor and told him all this.He said my mother was lying.When I asked him why he thought that he said it was just a misunderstanding.But he claims he’s cared what happens to me.I don’t believe him at all.

116

Sorry,I forgot to ask my question. Why wouldn’t someone that is supposed to love me and take care of me,help me through that? I didn’t ask to be born,I didn’t want to suffer from depression.My counselor said I developed depression because of my sperm donor,because of the way he treated me my whole life.I can remember trying to please him but nothing made him pay attention to me. When I was 8 yrs old,I got a set of Legos for xmas.I was so proud for building it pretty fast.I ran out in the living room to show my mother and the sperm donor.You know what he said? “Nobody is interested in that!” My mother was interested,she made me feel really good about it.Why would he do that to me? I try to let it go but I’m so angry and I HATE him more than anything.

117

Hi Shane
Well I guess actions speak much louder then words, right? So I don’t believe him either. As for the why questions… I wrote a post about that, (see the link below)
There is no good answer for that, because it is about him, but you were brainwashed to think that it is somehow about you.. and there is nothing that you could have done to make him care… but we think there was… round it goes.
I have written a ton about this stuff. Check some of the other posts, esp under the family category and the mother daughter category, (just change the word mother, for father and daughter for son) I have written a few about my father, but he just was not really around much… so not much to write about!
Here is the link to the other post

Psychological, Physical and Sexual abuse Why Questions

Hugs, Darlene

118

Dear, PRECIOUS Shane,
Darlene is right, the problem is with the sperm donor, not with you. HE does not know how to love, for whatever reason ~ his hateful actions and hateful words make that clear.

Shane, when I was a teenager, I became very depressed. I told my mother that I was feeling like killing myself. She said, “Well, go ahead and do it, then!” And she walked out of the room.

I almost did do it. I came very close to taking an overdose of all the pills that were in the house. But, I was afraid to die. My fear saved me.

I am now in my late 50s, my mother is now in her late 70s, and, SHE HAS NOT CHANGED. My mother still treats me exactly the same horrible, hateful way that she treated me when I was a kid. About 3 weeks ago she sent a 60+ page hate letter to me, and she also sent a copy of it to my aunt. I guess my mother hoped to ruin my close relationship with my aunt, her sister, by letting her sister know all about my “many faults.” Bu,t it had the opposite effect ~ when my aunt read my mother’s crazy-long, viciously hateful letter, my aunt was horrified that any mother would treat her daughter that way! To write a huge long letter telling me everything that was ever “wrong” with me, everything that I ever did or said that was “wrong,” going all the way back to my earliest childhood…. it’s just crazy. I’m 58 now, am I supposed to still be feeling bad and sorry for things that I did “wrong” when I was 5, and 10, and 15 years old??

The thing is, I was really a very GOOD GIRL, I was always trying my very hardest to PLEASE my mother… yet, despite how good and non-bratty I was toward my mother, she still managed to pull 60+ pages worth of negative things to write about me, right out of thin air.

I am telling you this, Shane, to let you know two things:

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Sadly, there are many multitudes of people, of all ages, from all over the world, both male and female, who have had their hearts broken by the fact that either their mother, or their father, or Both, never loved them.

2. UNLOVING, ABUSIVE PARENTS DO NOT CHANGE! Shane, I wasted decades of my life waiting and praying and hoping and TRYING to get my mother to LOVE ME. It took me a lot of years and many many many attempts at “reconciliation” with my mother to finally face the fact that she is not EVER going to treat me with love and kindness. Occasionally, over the years, my mother would fake a short-lived change of heart toward me, just to get me back into her clutches again, and then, as soon as I would begin to relax and think that FINALLY we were having a good relationship, BOOM, she would do or say something that would DEVASTATE me all over again.

This latest hate letter came out of nowhere, with no provocation whatsoever. She apparently wanted to get her last licks in one more time, before she dies and can’t hurt me any more.

I’m sorry you have such a horrible biological father, Shane.

HUGS,
Lynda

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He even got his girlfriend to make fun of me because I was suicidal and suffer from depression.She supposedly kicked him out last year,me and my mother knew he was just using her for a free place to stay,her truck,she cooks and cleans for him,probably supports him because he doesn’t have a job and he’s a gambler.We wrote her a letter apologizing for some of the mean things we said.She wrote me back,making up excuses for the way he treated me and wanting me to forgive him.She also told me that he was never a father to me and I need to move on and stop wishing for something I never had.That hurt me so bad,especially since I found out he’s always been living with her,she never kicked him out.Then she sends me an email saying the sperm donor is a sociopath.I think she was mocking me because I told her my counselor said that the sperm donor sounds like a narcissist.His girlfriend is 65 yrs old,I’m more mature than her. I told them both how much I hate them.I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I also told them I hope they get sick and suffer for the rest of your lives.I’m a good kid,I’ve never been in trouble,do well in school,I’m a good friend,my mother and brother love me so why would someone who doesn’t even know me hurt me like that? For a dirtbag like him?

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Shane,
I don’t why you wouldn’t feel that way. What they did to you was really horrible. And it was all that kind of stuff that was at the roots of all my depressions and dissociation.
like I said before, there are no answers to the why questions… but there is healing for you! Please read some of the other posts on this blog. You are not alone.
Hugs, Darlene

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I think the reason why I’m angry is because they pretended he moved out last year.And before that,I didn’t want to go to that town because I might have run into them so I hid away.When he supposedly got kicked out it was one of the happiest times of my life.My mother just discovered,this April,that he still lives there.Plus him and his girlfriend have been spotted shopping in the same stores we go in.I really don’t care if I see him and his girlfriend because it would give me a chance to spit in their faces.Plus he is a deadbeat,he owes me child support but he gambles my money away.I need that money to help my mother pay for my college.My counselor keeps telling me to try to stop asking why because I’ll never get my answer.

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Shane,
I don’t blame you for hate, you didn’t deserve any of that. Nobody does. it is very hard to accept when one of our parents doesn’t care about us.
Please hang in here!
and if you post in a more recent post, there is lots of support from the readers too! Hugs, Darlene

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Dear Shane,
I have never known an abuser who did NOT lie, a lot. They lie about anything and everything. They use their lies to try to justify their abuse.

I’m glad you have a good therapist helping you, and a mom who loves you. But I know that doesn’t take away the DEEP PAIN of having a deadbeat, hateful, lying, unloving dad.

The best revenge I know is to have the best life you can have. Be as happy as you can be, in your own life, without him. That will drive your dad and his girlfriend crazier than anything. I know my mother can’t stand the fact that I am very happily married, I have a close relationship with my grandchildren and my daughter and youngest son, I am close to my aunt, I am HAPPY AT LAST. That’s what my sick hateful mother hates the most, I believe, is knowing that I am happy.

Lynda

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[…] Damaging Labels and Dysfunctional family histroy […]

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My own father begged me on his death bed to keep quiet about the sexual, mental and physical abuse I suffered from my brothers and the physical and mental abuse he perpetrated upon me. Instead of being concerned that he was about to meet his maker, all he cared about was me keeping my mouth shut about the past. He is burning in hell today.

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Hi Peacekeeper;
Welcome! Isn’t that a typical sick abuser thing to say! Wow… even on his death bed he still had no concern for you as a person and for what happend to you. Disgusting.
Thank you for sharing this!
Hugs, Darlene

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Thats right Darlene. He was a real piece of work. Narcissistic to the core. That man never cared for anyone other than himself and his evil sons. I have reasons to believe he even may have been responsible for my mother’s death. I can’t prove it and he’s dead now anyway. That’s one piece of no good flesh off planet earth and I sleep a bit better knowing it.

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[…] they disliked me but it was communicated in other ways.  Actions speak louder than words and the accumulated actions of others towards me communicated to me that I was […]

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THANK YOU SO MUCH DARLENE!

I’m writing with tears in my eyes – for me, for you, and for all the others who relate to this site. I’ve tried probably a dozen times to write to you. Last night I wrote a ridiculously long “life story” post, but again was afraid to post it. Maybe someday I’ll feel able to (I saved it just in case).

But for now I want to just say THANK YOU for your bravery in sharing your story, and not only surviving such horrendous actions, but finding your way BEYOND being defined by the past & helping so many others. It is truly inspirational, and right now I need to just hold on to the fact that it’s happened for you, and that maybe someday it can happen for me too.

I’m right in the middle of the hopelessness at the moment. But I’ve survived this long, so I can survive longer. And I think it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve really started to truly see past the brainwashing and control and manipulation and actually started to feel the rage and anger and hatred that SHOULD be felt when you realise a child has been abused (emotionally, in my case).

I wanted to just write a brief “hello” msg instead of going into details about my life. I’ve already written more than I intended to. I’ll finish off by asking for support — I’ve recently started seeing a new counsellor, and had felt it was going well, but last session she said I should be grateful I don’t have cancer (she specialises in counselling people with cancer). When I read your site, I can convince myself that this isn’t fair, and that my mental state is NOT my fault, but unfortunately this idea messes with my head far too effectively (because I think deep down I believe it IS my fault… or at least, I’ve been brainwashed into believing it’s all my fault, and so it’s very very hard to keep those thoughts at bay, especially when the people I’m paying to help me start leading the chorus).

I’m not sure what to do about that. I find it very hard to stand up for myself, but I need to stop that from happening one way or another. (Whattya know, I actually “helped myself” so to speak!) = )

Wishing you & everyone else on here love & light

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Hi J,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am so glad you are here!
I think that what your therapist said is devaluing. That is like saying “well you think YOU have it bad” or “it could be so much worse” but really?? Says who? Who gets to decide that it could be worse? My trauma is mine… and no one can discount that, or say that someone else had it worse than I did simply because it doesn’t help. It makes things worse in fact. “You should be grateful” for me was a guilt trip. And I put myself through HELL with the guilt of not being grateful, for YEARS. I didn’t need anyone, esp. a professional whom I had given “positional power” to validate that guilt and shame for not being grateful. I validate your concern J.
I have strong feelings about this topic and have written other stuff about it in this site.
Hugs, Darlene

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Thanks Darlene!

Your time and attention are much appreciated. Thanks also for the validation of my concern. I can relate to feeling guilty for not being grateful. My father once said something along the lines of “at least we weren’t molesting her” during a conversation where he was telling me about my sister telling him about being unhappy about something from her childhood (I can’t remember what now).

In an unhappy coincidence, I just remembered last night my sibling long ago saying in front of a group of adults something like “you’re the one who used to tickle me” to an old man (long dead now) from my grandparent’s church. I was quite young at the time too, but must’ve either been old enough to have some idea that that might not be a good thing, or possibly could sense from people’s reactions that this made people uncomfortable (I can’t remember it very clearly). Or possibly I remembered it years later and retroactively applied the uncomfortable-ness to the memory. I don’t think I ever mentioned it to my sibling. I’m feeling bad about that now, but nothing I can do about it at this second, so I’ll leave that alone for the moment.

OK feeling pretty depressed now about this f**ked up world. Gonna try to snap out of it. (Ha, now I’m guilty of the “you shuold try harder to beat depression” mentality!) =) not actually very funny I know, but it feels like a positive to get any sort of humor at this second.

OK. I wanted to ask you if I could send you my “life story” email privately (feels like too much potential for being recognised if posted publicly, and I’m not ready for that at this stage). I’d appreciate your perspective on it if you’d be willing to read it. I’m feeling really stuck at the moment in a lot of ways, and despite copious amounts of medication over the last few years and a ton of effort on both my part (research, self-help books etc) and through appointments w/various doctors, counsellors, psychiatrist/ologists etc I’m getting worse instead of better.

At this point in time, I’m pretty much blaming my parents 100% for how I’ve turned out. (I’m pretty sure from what I’ve read you don’t subscribe to the “take responsibility for your own problems and don’t blame others” theory, but just in case can I ask that you don’t say that – even if you think it).

I feel like I NEED to blame them and feel the anger/rage/misery etc that I feel for what’s been done to me, because I feel I was brainwashed from birth to never question, toe the party line (eg “I love my parents and I had a perfect childhood”) etc and it’s worked until about the last year (even though there were occasional small realisations in some areas that things they did hurt me, I still never got from there to questioning the ingrained belief that **I** was the root of all the problems).

I also think that this realisation is the reason my mental health has gotten so much worse — I’ve been back living with my parents since my last relationship break-up a couple of years ago, and it’s since that time that I’ve felt like the light has dawned about how they treat me. It’s fucking killing me having to live with them and pretend everything’s fine (seems like they don’t want to acknowledge my difficulties) and still be around it all the time, still getting wounded from the same old shit, as well as noticing all these new things I used to (I think) dissociate from, or maybe just legitimately didn’t recognise them for what they were back then.

And for the cherry on top of this crap sundae, I’ve never learned to stand up for myself, and have serious mental & physical blocks re supporting myself, earning money, holding down a job etc etc, so I feel completely unable to move out at this stage. (I don’t think I need to say this here, but I’m feeling paranoid, so I will — please be gentle with me about all this).

The worst I’ve ever felt is when I’ve had the thought/feeling that I’ve been intentionally raised from birth to be a broken, helpless, guilt-and-doubt-racked basket case specifically so I’d never be able to support myself and leave home, and so then my mother can always have me around to control and continue distracting herself from the fact that she had a simliar experience with her mother (who had it with hers, and christ knows how far back that goes) and that she feels unable to control anything else in her life.

I really, REALLY hope that it was not an intentional choice, but a flow-on effect of her fucked-up childhood and never learning emotional skills etc. Quite frankly, if she ever told me it WAS intentional, I don’t think I could trust myself to not hurt her. But regardless of intent, I desperately need to “emerge from broken” as you call it.

It’s a bit tricky for me to read through your site, becuase I can get stuck in depression & hopelessness very quickly from details of abuse etc. So I guess I’m asking if you’d be willing to work with me/help me validate my story, and work with/help me to try and choose some direction in finding my way through all this.

I’ve already put a heap of thought & effort into “self-help” kind of work, but I really think my upbringing is the key to understanding why I am how I am. I guess I’m hoping that by doing that, I can identify all the misguided beliefs/habits etc I inherited and then work to change from how I am right now to how I want to be.

Sorry, this feels really disjointed, and also like I’m asking a huge amount of you. I guess I feel like I need help to make sense of what happened to me, and also help from someone who can understand my specific challenges and is willing to be gentle with me in trying to affect change. I don’t have much money, but I’d be willing to pay what I could.

I think I’m trying to say that I’m wanting to “throw myself into this” completely so to speak, and just write and write and write to try and get it all out and get validation/help etc. But I’m aware that it’s a huge amount to ask and also that there are a lot of people who need/want help and that you have a life outside of this website. But I think I’d prefer to do it privately if possible so I don’t have to worry about being recognized. And now I’m afraid to send this, because another paradox is that I’m unlikely to try things (such as asking this) without having hope that it will help me, but hope is a killer for me becuase nothing ever has helped, and each new thing I try that doesn’t work is another thing ticked off what feels like an ever-shrinking list.

My brain is now telling me that I’m trying to manipulate you by using emotional language to try and make you feel sorry for me. I’m telling you this so that I can fight my brain by reminding it that at least I’ve tried to be open about it. I’m very tired now & I honestly can’t tell if that’s true or not. I’m going to send this now without re-reading it because I need to stop thinking. Apologies for all this mess and confusion.

Can I ask one final favor – I have a tendency to hero-worship / expect someone to be able to miraculously cure me overnight, and in sending this there’s already a part of me hoping for that. I’ll be excited every time I open my email now waiting for a response, and if it’s not what I hoped for in any way, I’ll probably get really depressed. My rational mind is pretty damn certain I’m asking way more than you (or anyone) can give me even if I could pay a million dollars, so there’s a part of me already expecting disappointment. Can I just ask you to please be very gentle in responding?

PS sometime I’d also like to ask you about putting your life story (with real name etc) online. I’ve been thinking about doing it for some time, but don’t think I could stand the fallout.

thanks again for your time, and apologies for the length / disarray of my thoughts / unreasonable requests. mental illness is a bitch, no? =)

(tiny victory – ending with a smile!)

hugs back at you

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Hi J,
I have a lot I would like to respond to re your comments and questions, but I have meetings today. I didn’t want you to think that I was ignoring your comment so I am just posting this short note for now. Although I am going to try to get back to this today, it may not be until tomorrow that I respond with all I would like to.
Having said that, I don’t judge and I am not going to be hard on you. Don’t worry about that. Don’t worry about the length of your comments either. I have no problem with that. Thank you for your courage. Hugs, Darlene

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Thanks Darlene.

This was a very thoughtful way of helping me stop my unhelpful mental processes re all this! =) Hope your meetings go well

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Hi J.
You have permission to send my your life story, however, I am very sorry but don’t have time to send feedback on private emails. I get hundreds of them. This blog generates 1000 comments every 4 weeks, so I pretty much only give feedback in the blog itself unless I am working with a client. I know that this is hard for you, but you are not alone. I created this community because there are so many hurting the same way that you are hurting. I hope that you understand and that this wasn’t too harsh. My time is so limited and this week has been one of the busiest ever.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi, Shane:

I am both an adult child of a narcissistic mother who abused me and allowed me to be abused, and the mother to two grown children ages 20 and 24. Because of my childhood, I caused many injuries to my children. The same with their father.

The fact that I have childhood wounds does not excuse the wounds I have created in my children. And, when my children are ready to look for help to resolve the feelings of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide they have, I want to be there to help them and take responsibility for what I’ve done to them. I’m there for them now in whatever capacity I can now. Neither of them are willing to discuss their childhood with me. They are both very angry and have every right to be.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this. I’m telling you this because I can feel your pain and frustration as the child. And, I see it in my children who aren’t much older than you. I also see in you bravery and, in spite of the hopelessness you feel at times when you think about suicide, I hear from you screams to be seen and feel love, pain, or something at all and when that doesn’t happen it turns back into the rage I’m picking up on. I may be wrong, but don’t think I am. I say this because it’s all too familiar to me. The bravery is because at this very young age you are already alert to the fact that something is WRONG and are reaching out to get help for it. So many of us didn’t even start considering things were bad until we were much, much older. I know I was in my early 30’s and didn’t realize what the real root was until I was 40. So, on top of brave, you’re ahead of the curve.

Emerging from Broken has and continues to help me IMMENSELY. Darlene’s book is great, and if you are interested, I can give you the name of a book that is a very layman-friendly read and economical that really helped take my rage level from breaking-the-thermometer red to at least orange. It is 100% okay to be angry, pissed off, enraged, and all of those high charged feelings that so many people label in a shameful way. They are not shameful feelings. The reason I pointed out that the book brought my rage feelings down was because mine were so off the charts they were scaring ME and making ME uncomfortable. I was having graphic dreams of curbstomping my mother. As I read and worked through this book, I had a dream in which I finally succeeded. I’ve never had another dream about her since. In the multiple dreams of trying to kill my mother, I was always trying to kill her at her mouth. She always called me a liar when I have proven her the liar over and over. That book, some inner-child education, and EFB (and finding a really, really good therapist) have been what have brought me the greatest healing thus far. More than any cognitive or dialectical behavioral training.

When we have children before we heal our own childhood wounds, we create wounds in our children. You are at a pivotal point in your life. You have the chance to break the cycle if you heal your wounds before you have children. I want so much for you, for yourself, to heal these wounds so that you can spend the longest part of your life happy and healthy, not looking back with regret not only at all the time lost, but with the knowledge that, even though it wasn’t intended, the same harmful messages that were sent to you got sent to your children just by a different means of communication like I did.

I hope what I’ve shared makes sense and brings some encouragement. It’s really okay to be this angry. We just have to be responsible for our actions regardless of what we’re feeling. I have a red plastic bat that I beat bed pillows with if need be. I guess my point is, no matter what the feeling is, allow yourself to feel it, while being responsible for your actions, and feel no shame about it.

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