May
25

Dysfunctional Extended Family ~ The Mean Aunt that I Loved

By

dysfunctional mother daughter relationshipEven as an adult, in a dysfunctional family system I did not even have permission to decide who I didn’t want to be around anymore.

Having been denied permission to exist as an individual as I mentioned in the previous blog post, I grew up a mal functioning adult woman not knowing my own identity. Being denied autonomy, I also grew up without personal boundaries. I struggled with depressions and was taken advantage of by most other people and really didn’t have a clue why any of that was my lot in life.  I kept trying harder to please everyone.

I believed that if I was compliant that everyone else would treat me the same way back. In truth, accepting devaluing and unfair treatment, gave the message that I would accept devaluing and unfair treatment.

When I began to try to face the truth about some of the past, I was told by the rest of the world to “just get over it” and “put it behind me” all the while being told and taught contradicting statements. One of these statements that kept me the spin of confusion was that I was told “the most important thing” was to have a relationship with the people that had caused all these problems in the first place. I am talking about my dysfunctional Aunts and other extended family.

I was constantly told “Put the past behind you, don’t be so negative, why do you always have to bring this stuff up?”

My Mother had a sister that I fondly remembered as “my favourite Aunt” and I went to live with her for a couple of months when I was 19 and had relocated by myself to a new City on the other side of the country from my immediate family. She was the wonderful and fun loving Aunt that I remembered, for the first couple of weeks. Then she became like an extension of my mother. She would often ignore me and shoot me dirty looks, as though my very existence was in her way. She gossiped and lied about me to the rest of the family. Living all my life in an “obligation system of love” I had to be grateful that she was allowing me to live with her. I had already been groomed to just be quiet and put up with it. I tried harder to please her, to stay out of her way and to figure out what she wanted. I knew not to rock the boat. I had learned “obligation” well and I was now obligated to put up with this devaluing treatment and the uncomfortable awkward atmosphere while living with my Aunt without questioning the effect on  my own self worth.

She invited another one of her friends to come and live with her so of course I gave up the guest room to her friend. Her dog kept peeing on my bed in the basement, and my aunt thought it was funny. I had to wash all my blankets sometimes every night.  My Aunt and her friend laughed about it. They made it so uncomfortable for me that I rarely came out of my bedroom. And today I know that that my reaction (to retreat and withdraw) was exactly what they wanted.

One night I came up the stairs and they didn’t hear me, and I overheard my Aunt say that if I didn’t like her dog peeing on my bed, then I could move out. They roared with laughter.  I heard lot of other nasty things about me too that night, all mean lies and exaggerations, and it was clear to me that I better get out before I got kicked out. So although I was 19 and only 2 weeks into a new job in a new city, I found a way to leave.

I moved out but I never said a word about the way that things were for me there. At least not yet. And here is the crazy part. I still went to my Aunts or my Cousins for Christmas every year. We all acted like nothing ever happened. We were all “close family” and exchanged gifts as though we “loved’ each other. I think we thought we DID love each other.

As a child I learned that I was wrong to feel wronged. I had NO RIGHT to feel wronged. I carried that belief with me well into my adult years.

When I was about 35, I was sick my mother’s dysfunctional family causing trouble and decided not to see any them anymore.  I questioned if I “had” to accept all this horror, and if I was “obligated to love” these people. They were so mean. But when I told my mother that I was done with having any contact with them, she was horrified; she lectured me countless times about the importance of family. The truth about my side of it was NEVER addressed. She just said things like “they are all you have” and blood is thicker than water”.  I remember thinking ‘what does that even mean?”

All the while my mother was part of the gossip herself. She knew all the trouble that they caused, half the time she was in on it, the other half they were doing the same things to HER, but still in her view, the most important thing was that I not walk away from them. Not stand up to them, not rock the boat, but just “take it” and worse than that was that it was always inferred that it was my defect that caused all of it! Both sides of it ~ that I could not stand it, and that it happened! This is the most common dysfunctional family relationship fog in the world.  Today I wonder if the “family is so important lecture” was because she was afraid that I might stand to her too.

People are shocked when you tell them that you do not visit your own family. Even if you disclose the abuse, it is like the whole world is brainwashed that family is the most important thing. Just take it, ignore it, get over it, you are imagining it, just don’t speak about it; BUT WHY NOT?? Why can’t we stand up to it? Why did I have to play nice and try harder? Why did everyone think that this family dysfunction was normal? AND why was my mother surprised when I said that I had had enough! Why did she try for SO LONG to make me change my mind? Why was she so upset 5 years later when I told her that I didn’t want to hear anymore stories about all the problems SHE was having with them either, if she wasn’t willing to do anything about it?

I think she was jealous because she didn’t have the guts to say that SHE had had enough because like me, she never knew any different system. The fear of having NO family was worse than having a nasty horrible one.

Looking back I am really stunned to realize how much dysfunctional relationship that I put up within the sick family system I lived in.  I moved out of my mother’s home when I was 17, because I could not take it anymore.  Two years later, I lived with an Aunt in the same type of sick dysfunctional mother daughter relationship situation that I had lived in with my mother and stayed there until the last possible minute, never recognizing that I was once again back in the same dysfunctional relationship, being treated like nothing, being devalued, disregarded, and shamed. Still believing that the burden of the relationship fell on my shoulders! Believing STILL that it was up to me to make it work which is why even though I moved out, I still kept going back. Never exposing the truth. Always putting myself last and never having the understanding that I didn’t HAVE to put up with it.

I believed that I HAD to be in those relationships; because I grew up never having a choice. I believed it because my belief system was cemented with hundreds of lies. I believed it because that was all I ever knew and I thought it was “normal.” And to me it WAS normal. It was MY normal. Dysfunction was the daily fare. I never had the right to say no as a child and I didn’t learn that I EVER had that right, and I believed that it was always something that I did wrong in the first place.

Even though I walked away then, it was years before I realized that I had done nothing wrong, so I lived with the guilt of walking away from my mother’s dysfunctional family system.

There is no obligation in the real definition of love. There is no pecking order. There is no accepting abuse and mistreatment.

Please share your thoughts and feelings;

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

Please visit the category button marked “Family” for related posts

“Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental health illness: the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood.” Alice Miller ~ The Drama of the Gifted Child

Categories : Family

80 Comments

1

The message that we are supposed to love our family no matter what can create so many issues for an incest survivor. The ambivalence of a love/hate relationship that we can sometimes have with the parent that abuses us or with the silent parent even can cause so much hurt and so much anger that we carry around inside of us. You can become so confused that you don’t know what you are feeling or you can shut down the feelings all together like I did for many years. I had a mean aunt that I actually hated her and her precious angel of a daughter. That perfect angel died of a diseased liver from alcoholism at the age of 18. It wasn’t my cousins fault that I never liked her. It was her mean mother who told me I was going to Hell at the age of 7 because I was wearing a pair of shorts. She was a religious fanatic who used her religion to judge everyone as bad.

2

I don’t know if it’s just me or if other people had this experience. My Aunt always made it gutwrenchingly, painfully evident that she hated and wanted me gone. If I were never born, according to A. Rosemary, none of the issues revolving around whether they would spend money for me to have eye operations would ever have existed.
She made it sound as if the arguing over whether I get the operation is what caused them to have marital discord. They DID always argue about the operation, but she never got her way, and that’s why I’m still partially blind today. It’s why I can’t drive anymore too.
To this day, I have no understanding of whether they really had to pay for this operation. When he worked, we would have had insurance, and THAT would have paid for it. And the whole time they talked about the operation, all they ever seemed to care about was how much it would cost. I could have died while it was happening and I think they would have cared more about their damn expenses than me as a patient.
To sit there and argue about someone getting an operation in voices loud enough that the person can hear every damn word being said is proof IMO they never cared in the first place. They seem like they care about the money more than me, and that’s how it’s always seemed. Even today, one of my brothers talks about how terrible it was for HIM when I’m the one who wore a ‘pirate’ patch over my eye. People made fun of me every day of my life, but it was terrible for DAVID.
If anyone believes he’s like that b/c he cares about me, they’d be wrong.
They make EVERYTHING be about THEM. I don’t see how my wearing a patch over my eye and being ridiculed for it destroyed DAVID’S life. He’s not the one everybody hated for it. They may have hated him for OTHER reason, but that wasn’t one of them.

I’d like to stay away from them, but a strange thing happens every time I try. They take a genuine, and sudden, interest in maintaining a relationship. Then, when they no longer think I’m going to leave, they go back to being jackasses.
Unfortunately, I think ONE person in my family is sincere about wanting a relationship. It’s unfortunate, b/c he DOESN’T want to rock the boat, so he refuses to admit abuse. Besides that, he has our oldest sister around him saying we have to “love Mom in spite of her actions.”
That makes me think she did the same crap to HER kids. Why else would we need to love an abuser despite what she’s done.
One of those things done being causing lasting physical head trauma to two of your kids.

3

This was my life too Darlene. Each time I tried to remove myself and walk away from the abuse there were a few ploys that always got me to come back and take more. The first was of course that we never talked about anything, especially our feelings. We all just pretended like nothing was going on. When we did get to gether for “family” get togethers there was a lot of subtle put downs and I always felt as though I was “odd man out”. Like something was going on that I wasn’t aware of. The one day when one of my older siblings blasted me it was disclosed that the conversation I’d had with another sibling was at the root of this lambasting and had been twisted to make me the “bad guy” when I’d confided my feelings about the way this other sibling had treated me because I was too afraid to talk to them directly. Each time something like this happened I would pull away. And each time it was never discussed directly. And each time I tried to re enter the family they would put on their sunday best smiles. It was always uncomfortable but for the longest time I thought it was just me and that something was wrong with me for not liking being around them. And the “family” card was often played to guilt me into allowing them back into my life. Finally I came to realize that it wasn’t me…but that it was the dysfunction and denial of my entire family and that the only way for it to change was for me to stop trying to make it work. I miss the hope that they would actually love me and accept me but I don’t miss their cruelty.

4

This hit soooo close to home. I’m 47, and as the eldest, was always “the good child”. I was nice to my mother even when there was no reason to be. I put up with all sorts of abuse, and felt guilty when I didn’t please her.
After divorcing an abusive husband 8 years ago, I ended up moving 1500 miles to get away from him. My mother was counterproductive in the whole thing, and helped him fight me for custody of my sons, because I had protected my youngest brother from her abuse years earlier.
4 years ago, she left me voice mail telling me Jesus wanted me to call her. At that point, I did call her, and told her she was a horrible, abusive parent, and to please NEVER call or write to me again. She couldn’t admit she was a horrible, vicious, abusive parent, so I wanted nothing to do with her until she owned up and made amends. She told me Jesus had relieved her of “a lot of painful memories”, i.e. she was in complete denial.
This week, she emailed me and said she just wanted our family to be close, and there had been “so many misunderstandings”. She still isn’t able to admit to her crimes, or to apologize, because she believes everything she ever did to me was MY fault. I wanted to write to respond, so i did – and destroyed it. I figured that responding in anger was still responding, what she wants above all else, so I’m not responding to her. I owe her nothing. Any time I feel guilty about not being a better daughter, I remind myself that NONE of her 4 children speaks to her. It can’t be just me, and it’s not all 4 of us kids with a problem. She has a problem, and I’m not going to enable her to keep exercising her cruelty.

5

Laurie,

I am your same age, have the same birth order, and totoally get the nice girl thing, WOW. Yes, I assumed a role where I thought I was doing the right thing nad would eventually get me respect. What it was more like an announcement that I will agree to be mistreated.

I divorced an A (fill in the blank–repeated adulterer, asshole, abuser) of a husband (20 years of it) 6 years ago and moved 1400 miles away from him.

Yeah, and then there was the whole dynamic of my parents and how they treated me AFTER this horrible experience. Can’t even stand to spell it out. Their loyalty to their favored (church) ones (which don’t include each other, strangley–love lacking in that bedroom)just left no room for respect when it came to me and my children.

And I love this line, it really sums it up for me, “and I’m not going to enable her to keep exercising her cruelty.” The definition of a mature adult. Because cruelty hurts me and therefore it hurts those I love.

6

Darlene – great post. It’s only when we can ‘remove’ ourselves that we can look at our family objectively and see the dysfunction. My mother’s family is the same … they all have this mean streak. I remember living with an aunt one summer as she recovered from a hysterectomy and she seemed nice at first, but when something went wrong, she blamed me! I avoided her for the most part and just looked after her house and kids. Looking back it was like my mother was lending out her slave to her sister. And as bad as it was, it was nice to be out of my mother’s house for the summer!

I like what you said, “There is no obligation in the real definition of love. There is no pecking order. There is no accepting abuse and mistreatment.” So true!!!!!! Love doesn’t have unrealistic expectations of you, and it is something you should never have to earn. Growing up I was always expected to earn love, trouble was, my mother’s standard was so high that it was impossible to attain.

I am so happy that I’m done with the lot of them. I am so happy that I don’t have to tippy-toe around everyone anymore or put up with their looks that say, “Oh, if only she’d just get over it.” Grrr.

I have learned that my dearest ‘family’ are those who actually love me and accept me as I am – who don’t have unrealistic expectations of me – who don’t expect me to earn their love … that is family, and many friends are my family. :o)

7

I wish that my parents had been open and honest about their own relationships with their own parents, etc., and life would have been much happier and healthier. And, only do holidays once in a while, if desired…

8

Kate,
That’s a lot of similarities. Wow is right. My dad, the peacemaker, the youngest of 4 boys, died of a stroke at 53, primarily from working himself to death and trying to please my mother, an impossible task. The saddest part of it was that while he was rarely home, thanks to running his own business, he was nothing like her. He was caring, loving, and nurturing. Trying to please her and do the right thing for everyone else around him killed him. It occurred to me I don’t want to be like that.
My mother’s mother had spent years begging my mother’s brother (her only sibling) to love her. She ended her days living behind his big, beautiful house in a pull-behind travel trailer so she could be near the son who couldn’t stand her, because she was desperate for him to love her, regardless of his rejection. When I was in high school, I witnessed my mother in the kitchen floor, her arms wrapped around her mother’s legs, begging her to stay with us, and to love HER. I thought at that moment “I will NOT ever do that.”
Most recently, my sister, whose lifestyle absolutely horrifies my mother, invited my mother and current husband to meet her and her significant other at a restaurant (not their home)- 7 years ago – and my mother can’t detach her lips from my sister’s backside. They haven’t spoken since, so it drives the egg donor nuts, and she keeps trying, as far as I know. Somebody’s got to break the cycle, and I’m that somebody.
I married the boys’ dad because my mother raised me to think I didn’t have any value, and didn’t deserve anyone special. She cost me my sons, although she knew my ex was violent, by refusing to testify on my behalf in a change of custody hearing, because she didn’t want to upset my sister (who doesn’t speak to her), my career, because my teaching license wouldn’t transfer from my home state, and so many other things. I had no self-esteem, and only after 40 did I ever begin to realize I’m not perfect, but I’m OKAY. There is nothing wrong with me, comparatively speaking.
Last summer I had a total nervous breakdown, and the hospital was like 11 days in hell, but I learned one thing I’ll always carry with me. A prostitute from Dallas, trying to break her addiction to crack, spoke up in a group meeting regarding toxic people. She said the definition of a toxic person is someone who makes you feel “less than”. When my mother emailed to tell me she wanted to have a friendly talk, I realized SHE, of all people, is a toxic person, and the best thing to do is to walk away. I feel disconnected from a lot of relatives by now, but it’s better than thinking I’m the problem when I’m not.

9

holidays were like the liturgy (repeated thoughts and words and actions)of dysfunction

Yes, it was a mix of good and bad, but bad ignored and exused dominates a child’s life

10

Laurie,
you had some REAL defining moments and experiences, WOW!!

egg donor? Sorry, I haven’t heard that one, I guess?

yes, amazing how they will dance around the other sibling, while the other sibling is rude in general, yes I have seen that one, first hand

Yes, I had those same realizations after ago 40, not afraid to try and fail, etc., not afraid to say what I think, etc.

I felt eaten alive in the work place from 2005-2008
and just today found this article:

http://www.kellyservices.us/web/us/services/en/pages/careertips_may2011_post_recession_job.html

Anyway, I felt abused in the workplace and had a counselor who kept repeating to me, daily, listening to my stories, and finally I got it that I had to speak up for me because no one else would do it. It was so hard because I had been trained by my mother who told me more times than I could ever count, “I don’t want to hear your backtalk…” translation…”I don’t want to hear you…” She never explained what backtalk was, so it was implied that if I questioned anything, or talked after she talked, it was “backtalk”.

But finally in the workplace, at age 42, I got it that I had to defend myself, all the time. I am here for me, not you, and I cna’t care too much about anything in the workplace, or at least that is how it felt to me.

11

People who only take a “sudden and genuine interest” in you only do so because if you cut the apron strings to that hell on earth, they’re going to have to pick out a new, mutually agreed-upon victim. My mother’s family and my ex-husband’s family both do this, and the best part is, after they’ve repeated a lie long enough and often enough, they actually believe it themselves. If nothing truly awful can be said, they make up something. I saw it many times, and for the first few years after I escaped, I spent a lot of time agonizing, knowing the pattern, and that because it was a holiday, folks were sitting around having pie and coffee while they trash-talked me.
Know what? They have no lives if that’s the best they can do. People who are unkind to you on a regular basis then are suddenly loving do NOT love you. It’s more like one of their beloved slaves is about to escape, and they’ve invested too much to want to have to purchase and train a replacement.

12

“It’s more like one of their beloved slaves is about to escape, and they’ve invested too much to want to have to purchase and train a replacement.”

Cheap entertainment

13

Hi Patricia,

It was so important for me to realize and then to remember that this system is all about having power over others. When we are brainwashed as children first, then they have us and it is very hard to break out of that kind of conditioning. I had to realize that the definition of LOVE that I had was WRONG in the first place. It was taught to me wrong, (likely because none of them know what it is either) and believed that love was obedience and doing what they wanted and believing that I really was the one who was wrong. but that is not love. Diminishing a child is not love. Overpowering a child is actually pathetic!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs! Darlene

Hi Vicki

You shared that you would like to stay away from them but every time you try they take a genuine interest in you, and when they feel safe again, they go back to the way they were before.
That is exactly what MOST dysfunctional family systems are like. It isn’t strange at all, maybe hard to understand, but no to them. It is about “ownership” how dare you think that YOU can walk away.
There came a time for me when I realized that this was never going to change and I took my life back from them.
Then I was free.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

14

Susan Kingsley-Smith
YES ~ thank you for sharing an account of exactly how it works ~ this twisting, this “always making YOU”: try harder, and “proof that YOU” are always the one causing the problems. I totally relate to your post. Always mixed with just a touch of the truth, enough to make everyone agree that you are the problem. Oh yes, that was my life.
But not anymore!
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Paulette,
And to add to your brilliant comments, it is pretty hard for us to “earn love” when it is modeled to us as meanness and power and control dynamics. If we dared “love them” the way that they modeled love to us……… (perhaps they would have killed us? )……well how do I finish that sentence????
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kate,
Yes, I am quite sure that if my parents had faced their own histories, my life would have been different, but the good news is that I faced MINE and my kids are not being raised in all the lies and dysfunction and false definitions of love and the misuse of power, and obligation, that I was raised in.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

15

Hi Laurie,
Welcome to EFB ~ And this kind of story is also very common and makes my blood boil! I hear over and over that a mother will help a son in law to overpower her own daughter! What the heck is that about??? (the same power and control dynamic that ALL of this is about) and it isn’t just with family, this happens everywhere, where the bully gets the support!
Don’t you just LOVE it when abuse is labeled as a “misunderstanding” and guess who misunderstood?? never them!

about your most recent comment; YES, abusers NEED a victim. It is how they establish their OWN value. That is all they know. They feel powerful if they can victimize or overpower someone else, and if that person puts up with it they feel “validated” it is really sick.
Thank you for sharing your empowering story, insights and victory here!
Hugs, Darlene

16

fun to watch the X revictimize his first girlfriend after all these years and hear the stories told to me by my own children!! Talk about a need for a victim!

17

I have no problem with getting rid of abusers. I do, OTOH, have an issue with making everyone who’s NOT involved suffer right along WITH them.
One of my brothers does everything he can to make a relationship work. Every time I’ve ever had a complaint he’s tried, and in lots of cases actually succeeded at changing the behavior.
So I feel like getting rid of him too is the same as throwing the baby out with the bath water.
And certain members of my family don’t care that I walked out. It makes no difference to them, b/c I wasn’t worth the effort of changing their behavior. Well, one in particular is like that, and they’ve got HER working in social work.
She shows no ability to care even the slightest about you when you’re not telling people the sun rises and sets up her ass, and an employer thinks she belongs in a job where people skills is the main factor in being successful at it.
When it comes to having any emotions that make sense, she’s like my biological mother. She turns it off and on just exactly like a broken water faucet. Where it either gushes (anger, not love) or has no movement at all.
IOW she has either no emotion at all or raging anger, and this is the person everyone looks up to, tries to emulate, wants to be like b/c they think she has material wealth.
She doesn’t even have that and anyone who wants to be like her doesn’t want much at all, but most of society continues to look at her surface and judge her as normal.
That’s why I never in a million years want anything to do with being what they call normal.
I’d rather have too many emotions than none at all except rage.

18

I’m not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater. One of my brothers is going to be a recovering addict the rest of his life, because our mother did so much damage to his self-image. My sister is permanently the sort who tries to “buy” love, because although she won’t admit it, she feels unworthy. I’m the eldest, but I wore the hand-me-downs and looked like a ragamuffin, because the egg donor knew I wanted desperately to have pretty things. My sister is very “butch”, and would cry and scream if she was forced to put on a dress, so of course, she bought her tons of pricey clothing my sister hated. Now she has million-dollar taste and dresses like a man. My youngest brother, who is adopted, turned out less damaged. He’s found his birth mother and her family. Thanks to his escaping at 15 when my dad died, I was able to counter a lot of the damage she’d done.
I’ve had to learn that no matter what the blood or marital relationship, if it’s toxic, I don’t need it.

19

Lot of your words sound so much like mine. I was the “mistake” so obviously I was less then everyone else. Every lash and hit and smack and everything else that happened daily was because I was a “mistake” even the most disgraceful thing was just to show me how very invaluable I was .. As long as I did what I was told and kept quiet..things were not so bad . .but I once slipped up answered a question made to all in class. and that brought the feds to our home . we were taken away temporarily then returned. When we come back I was promoted from being a mistake to the worse mistake. Having been taken away didn’t stop any of the nonsense.. my siblings run from home and I stayed till graduation never opening my mouth.. i graduated from high school early at 17 and left .. there is so much more that happened in between . . that would make be too sad for here. .but everything . .that happned.. all the mean stuff I went through was because I was a mistake. so mom said and she daily let me know this.. I have the challenge now of trying to become active in my own healing and try to tell myself. nothing that happened is my fault..that i deserved love and still do. BUt its so very hard.. To this day.. .mom tells me i was not wanted .. that I am a mistake. .

20

Joy,
But that is a lie! you are not a mistake, and no one can decide that you are! What your mother did was wrong. It is abuse and the worst kind of mistreatment. This is what happens to kids, we are told things like that (in words or in actions) and we believe it because what choice do we have? It is so important that we expose those lies for what they are! and this site is a great place to do just that!
Glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

21

Joy,
You are not a mistake. Believing that would be a huge mistake. I know how hard that is. For years, my mother reminded me that if she hadn’t had me at home in diapers, she wouldn’t have had to turn down a nightclub circuit singing contract. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that, and how badly I wanted to tell her I’d have been far better off with my dad and without her.
It’s extremely hard, but when my mother called a few years ago and wanted me to know Jesus wanted me to call her, and wanted to heal our relationship (on her terms and in light of all her denial), I told her if Jesus wanted me to call her, I was pretty sure he’d let me know, rather than using her as an intermediary.
I told her we could talk IF she was ready to admit to specific incidents of abuse and to express real regret for them. She said “Jesus has releived me of so many painful memories.” I told her other people would just call that denial.
For the first time, I didn’t ASK her something, I TOLD her, firmly but politely, that I never wanted to talk to her again,until such time as she was ready to admit to her abuse of her children, and to try to make amends. It wasn’t easy, but it felt SO good.
Until this week, I had enjoyed her absence from my life. She emailed me last week, and I ignored it. She emailed me again this week, having gotten my address from a group email accidentally sent to both of us at the same time by an aunt.
This week’s email was full of denial and “Jesus loves you” and “There are so many misconceptions”, ad nauseum. She sent copies to that aunt (who truly is a wonderful woman) & to my eldest son,who is grown, mistakenly believing that they can pressure me into loving her.
After some thought, I sent an email of apology to the aunt my mother had CC’d, since the email included a statement that she was sending a copy of the letter to her and to my son, so they would know how unreasonable I am, and how Christlike she is.
I told my aunt she has been the best example of Christianity or human decency I’ve known since my paternal grandmother died years ago, and assured her I did not want her to feel any obligation to have anything to do with this nonsense.

22

When I was 19 I moved out of home for the first time. I thought my parents hated me so much that i would never see them again – they would be so glad to see me gone. But they had the opposite reaction. My mother cried. My father was angry. I felt so confused. Why would they hate me so much and make me feel so unwelcome, but not want me to leave? When i was younger I used to wonder why they didn’t just get rid of me, abandon me once and for all if I was so repellant to them.

It’s like they need us to be their punching bag and expect us to be grateful for that.

Laurie said: “if you cut the apron strings to that hell on earth, they’re going to have to pick out a new, mutually agreed-upon victim…It’s more like one of their beloved slaves is about to escape, and they’ve invested too much to want to have to purchase and train a replacement.”

Darlene said “abusers NEED a victim. It is how they establish their OWN value.”

This is so true. It’s making sense to me now. I was their scapegoat.
It makes me feel so angry and ashamed to think that is how my own family saw me. I want to beleive so badly that really there has been some mistake, some misunderstanding…

23

Carolyn,
If you’re not in therapy for this, get some therapy! I’ve been in therapy for a total of about 3 of the last 8 years. A lot of stuff became a lot clearer to me when I realized that I was trying so hard to please those around me, hoping they’d appreciate me, I was making me miserable, and they were taking advantage of it. Last summer I was attacked by a homecare patient, and spent 11 days locked up in a psych ward with no visitors, covered in bruises, and wondering what in the heck I did to be there. It led me to one conclusion – I had spent my whole life trying to please others and feeling guilty if I was happy. I spent my whole life apologizing for things that weren’t my fault, feeling guilty if people got angry, and not once considering maybe it wasn’t my fault!
Don’t be ashamed of yourself for having been a victim. Instead, focus on becoming the person you were meant to be. It’s hard to learn to be kind to yourself, because you’ve spent a lifetime feeling that’s selfish. It isn’t.

24

@Darlene ..thank you for your kind words.. I hear that I am no mistake and am attempting to make it my belief.. every contact I have had from family was to tell me no one likes me etc etc.. yet. I stayed through it all while they all ran away. There are so many bad things happened to me ..for which i feel ashamed. when I was only 6 years old . but i know time will heal and my psychologist who I only started with in March has her hands full but she is a psyd been over 20 years handling cases like mine .

@Laurie… my family who denies much are people of the church that told me never to speak of the things done me. Priests told me not to nuns sent me to their library to learn about saints so i can learn to suffer the beatings in silence. The beatings and the shameful thing done me when i was not old enough to know why it was done to me.

I have been learning boundaries.. and have been blocking numbers . I lost every friend who was from the old church because I wanted my space to determine what I believe.. They stopped talking to me. ..

On holidays its hardest. .in company of those who talk of family . i feel lost.. so this weekend i have already got my kleenex ready ..

Hugs to all you good people. so glad I foung this blog..

ps abuse didnt stay in my childhood in 2009 i was reabused. i need to learn things most people learned when they were children so i dont keep being victimized.

joy

25

Carolyn,
Yes something strange often happens when the “victim” tries to leave. In fact sometimes if there is one sibling who is the most victimized in the home, the other siblings will often try everything not to let that victim leave the family system for fear that if the one escapes, then they might be next in line! (none of this is actually conscious)
(about the comment to you about therapy; therapy is YOUR choice. Lots of people do not go to therapy for what ever reason.)

Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy,
I am glad to hear that you are in good hands!
I am glad that you have found this blog too.
Hugs, Darlene

26

Hello Darlene…

How you do it all ..its amazing.. am in good hands but also need a support group like yours here and f/b .. ..as have very limited friends now. its so hard .. ((hugs)) joy

27

Ahhh yes, my Sister in abuse, it is good to meet you. I too had the “whippin’ post” position in my family, and it was then and always is my fault. I found that there are reasons for it on my Mother’s side, her fear of me turning into who she was, but there is NO excuse from my brothers. NONE!

I rarely see my mother now because she found a way to recreate the same scenario and abuse my good intent again. It makes her sad and I don’t care. She also begs me to “make up” with my brothers “because they are all you have when I am gone” and doesn’t understand the response of “If a man I was dating treated me that way you wouldn’t say that, and I would rather have nothing than abuse and humiliation”.

Good on you for getting out and getting it out, it’s not easy to reevaluate and relearn everything you have known, but it is GOOD!

28

Laurie,
In #21, this is such a CLEAR example for me relating to much of my life. Thank you so much for spelling it all out for us.

29

@Star…
mom prob had problems even seeing me as reminded her too much
of how i come about.so all her efforts to make me disappear
didnt work. although they have left me scarred inside and out..
I am still very much alive and just beginning to heal. I am told
no one in my family or origin or extended likes me..its all too hard
for me to understand it . so i try not to any more ..i let it
soak in a moment if i can then try to get it out of my mind. it makes
me cry too much and why they hate me or why my mom and bro abused me
isn’t my fault even though they have made me believe it was for so long..joy ..

30

Triggers: Emotional, Physical, Sexual Abuse.

This is a two part bio about me as a person. I didnt know that my story was something like so many others who are here but it is a painfully traumatic and emotional story of my childhood and second bad thing that happened.

My mom has told me since I can remember that I “was a mistake” and everything she did to me. tells me she believed this. I never asked to come into this world but I took every hurt and beating she dished out, not knowing why she hated me.. not as a child.

I was born into my family in 1964 and was born into a poor dysfunctional family. I didn’t know what that meant but i know now it was.
Mom didnt know who she wanted to marry so she had many men and I was the result of relationships with many men. I was told by the one of many .that my mom was someone who sold her body for money.

Mom never told me this but her actions told me that I was hated or being blamed for her life.

Whenever mom was angry, it didnt have to be anything we done, she would grab a razor strap, a belt a board , whatever and take us one by one..never together and beat the living daylights out of us.

She didnt just beat us but told us to drop our pants so we took the full force of the beatings..
She didnt care that we were so beat we fell to the floor and god forbid we wet the floor. It is so terrible what happened if we did. I know one time i did and she told me to lick it up .I felt so awful and low.

Besides daily beatings mom 3 times tried to take my life: two of the times I remember clerarly the third is partially .. and siblings kept asking me in my life about the 3rd time .

The first time she tried, she took a pillow. I remember laying in bed. Mom took a pillow and pushed it over my face. I couldnt breathe . I passed out. I dont know what happened. why I was not dead but she didnt do the whole act.

Another time mom filled the tub with really hot water and threw me in. I blacked out .or whatever happends when pain is too much. She didnt succeed there.

Third time police were coming to take us away for awhile to foster homes. She took me put me in the window and put scissors to my throat. This one I see but dont remember the outcome. Siblings told me of this.

At the age of 6 I was held down by mom while my older bro sexually hurted me . I remember screaming and kicknig mom would let go..she did something with candles to me.

I remember teacher after asking if anyone was afraid of anybody .. I raised my hand and said my mother and my brother..afterwards teacher kept me after school ..i told things that he asked me of.

the police come take us away .. i wanted to hug my mom .. she pushed me away..i remember hitting the man who took us. .

When we were taken and put in foster homes they were no better.. for some reason all this time is not present to my memory..but I remember bits and pieces of the foster homes.. What stands out is one time my older brother refused the greenbeans served . None of us had learned to like vegetables. .They pulled him from the table and beat him really bad .. I shoved all my greenbeans in my mouth and swallowed them quickly.

We were returned back to our home .The abuse began all over again as it was before we were taken.Mom said it was my fault things happened. and that I was her worst mistake.

Mom told me often the at I was hated and whenever she hit me she would tell me “you were an accident” and all kinds of abusive vulgar words followed.

My older brother and sister both run away when I was 13 ..so I was the only recipient of moms anger till I left home. I don’t think she ever hit the two youngest .

While all the abuse was happening . I never told anyone but a priest and nuns. I was raised Catholic. They told me I must never tell what my mom did. Told me saints, people who ere close to God, suffered everything in silence…They told me I must never talk about my sufferings if I want to become a saing.

In my little mind, only saints got to Heaven, so I kept my mouth shut. never talked about all this hurt.. Telling this now . is probably the most I have ever told. .

I was afraid to ever tell anyone ..even though my brothers and sisters did.. that I was abused. and beat over and over again.

I was beat until I left . .which was after I was graduated from high school.

I pushed all this back into a tiny corner of my forgetful side of my mind or subconscious.and moved on.
I never would think of it again: I thought.

Then 2009 come and my boss reopened the whole memory bank of fear by what he did to me emotionally and mentally . I write this in other section as it is the 2nd abuse i went throught

2009 the abuse scene the made me realize I need therapy .

These were some of the situations I found myself in when I agreed to move, at the request of my former boss, former owner of First Priority Pay.

I could never have imagined leaving my quiet little city to a more vibrant, noisy, populated city; yet when my boss said moving would show I really was dedicated to “the company”; I put aside my fears and drove up to NJ.

The drive up, itself, should have been enough to warn me that NJ was not the place for me. I was pulled over three times by different officers of the law for driving too slow in the slow lane. One police office reminded me, as if I didn’t know, that I was not in West Virginia any more and I had better hurry up.

Things that I thought would be so wonderful were all dillusions. Moving up to NJ meant I would have to live on less and in a smaller place. Half my pay went to the room I stayed in and the other half to expenses. There was nothing left for extra little things.

Promises made to me, in order to encourage me to move up, were just that: promises. Had I known that these promise would never come to be, I would never have left my quiet town for such nonsense in NJ.

I never stepped foot inside the office I moved closer to. More work was piled on to me and things I never could imagine would happen, happened.

Why did I let things happen ? Why allow someone to frighten and threaten and overstep their position? At first, I was hoping such ways would stop; that the person dishing out the cruel and ridiculous requests would have a change of heart. After all, I had once desired to be a nun I felt called to help others draw closer to God. I thought, perhaps, with my bearing things the evil person would change and become kinder. That never happened.

My quiet suffering and putting up with things became fuel for my supervisor’s twisted mind. He not only gave me work assignments but decided that my personal life needed to be controlled. I could do nothing unless he gave permission.

While I dealt with his foolishness and sadistic ways, I had to deal with trying to budget with my little bit of money. Moreover I inherited, one by one, a colony of cats that this crazy person said I had to keep or “I would be out”. Imagine how much cat food and cat sand one would have to have to keep a one room studio clean and neat and cats fed.

You would have to know me, how shy and timid I am, to know why his
threats scared me and convinced me that I better just do what he wants.
I kept hoping that these things would stop but they did not. While all the world was praising this guy as some business guru, I was the one working overtime to build up his mansion and win him his crown.

What eventually broke me down was the moving from one place to another that started to take place. My boss told me I would have to move so that I could help the company out more . During this stage, there was a guy who did ran errands for him and this guy was the one who dropped me from one place to another…

Day after day I would be told move my stuff down to the lobby, so and so is picking you up. I would move all my belongings down to the lobby on a hotel cart and wait for hours and no one would show up. And to make sure I was waiting in the lobby for no one who would come; my boss text me on my cell and tell me send him pics of the lobby showing I was waiting.

Every time he told me to go down I went down, only to find no one ever would come. When finally someone come, I expected I was going to some place nice (this is what I was promised) but, this did not happen: I was dropped at another hotel.
I was so upset, I was crying and said I wanted to leave. I was told it was a temporary stay. My boss told me the place I was going to was just painted. Not! I was to stay at the hotel just one more day. I was still carrying around the bosses cats. Cats weren’t allowed.

Because of the colony of cats I was toting; I was told by the hotel staff I had to leave. So his driver come, picked me up , and dropped me at a Starbuck’s. He, the driver, told me he would be back in a couple hours.

What was I suppose to do in a starbucks without any money?
Two hours was not the length of time I stayed!! He dropped me at noon and picked me up at 8:30pm and took me to the “next place.”

This happened several times till he ended up dropping me at another extended stay hotel. He told me the luxury hotel just wasn’t ready, my boss said I would just have to stay where I was or he would drop me at a bus station without any money and “you know what kind of bad things can happen at bus stations” .

I was so confused and hurt that I stayed where I was dropped. While all this was going on, I continued working as I was suppose to bring in a certain amount of clients to the company.

I dreaded having left WV for NJ; yet I had no money ..I never had any money when I lived in NJ. My boss made sure that if I had extra that money was spent for treats he asked me to order and have delivered to his place.

I had to present to the world a smiling face when I talked to customers but was crying inside. I was afraid to tell anyone since I believed no one would believe me. . No one would believe that the popular businessman had some bad ways about him.
While I was experiencing my let down, he was in his glory: my boss. He was considered the man to have around. Yet, I prayed he never come around.
I was ashamed to tell others what was happening because so many had warned me not to leave where I was. I was too proud to admit that I was wrong for trusting the smooth talking NJ businessman.

While in my last Extended Stay Hotel, my boss told me that I was finally going to go to a luxury prepaid furnished apartment called the Lexington Apts. He said I would not have to worry about nothing. That the place would be stocked with food, linens etc. He said I wouldnt have any more rent to pay ( which was something he promised me when I left WV)

He told me leave the cats and that his driver would come pick me up. I told my boss I didn’t believe it. Yet down I was waitng for his driver who for several days had me repeating the whole scenario of bringing my belongings down to the lobby only to find no one come to get me.

When he finally got me I arrived at my final nightmare. The place they put me in was bare. No sheets, no pillow, no blanket, no utensila, no pots or pans. No food, nothing. Lucky me I had some packets of oatmeal and i had a pen so I took the insides of the pen out and use the tubing to drink my oatmeal!

I was dropped at the “luxury hotel” right on the weekend. it was a luxury hotel but my room was no luxury . I emailed the boss to complain and he told me that I could not have everything at once. I never did get anything!

I was not even given a key . When I needed something his driver would come with the key. On a rare occasion the driver would not take the key back with him but would quickly come back for it in the morning .

In that last place you needed two keys. One for your apartment door and one for the entry door that had a beam . The boss kept both and would send someone with a key if I needed to get out for food.

I was a prisoner there because I could not leave my room, not in my mind, as I had a laptop there with all the personal information of clients of that company. Since I could not lock the door, I had to stay put.

I could not go out of a walk as I had no way to get back in. I had to say work during the day and do his blogs at night .

Thing I haven’t said from March to October 2009 , not only did I do regular enrollments for the company but I also had to bloga at night. I had a number of blogs to do every night or “i was out'” and if I said I wanted not to do them I was threatened that something evil was going to happen or “that I should sleep with one eye open” .

Other crazy stuff that my boss wanted me to do certain daily things at times he specified. Like, he told me I was to take a bath twice a day and that I had to prove that I was obeying him.. doing what he said, by sending pictures of the bath before I would go in.

He told me to put bubbles in the bath and he wanted pics sent by phone of the bubbles in the bath. I thought he was totatlly crazy but I did not see evil in pictures of bubbles.

He also started telling me to drink wine at night. I am not suppose to have alcohol . He would tell me to send pictures of me drinking every glass of wine!
This all was going on while he dressed with perfectly pressed clothes and drove around in Porsches and he was praised as one of the top 40.
I said nothing, I thought no one would believe me.

Whenever there were problems with clients .. they would call me as I enrolled them; he would tell me to smooth things out and tell them things would be handled by the tax department or that the specialist who handled their account would follow up with them.

When there were complaints on the RipOffReport, he would tell me go and write exactly what I say there. He would even tell me to put a certain company’s name down as being responsible with certain problems.

No one ever knew how much was being piled on me.
Finally one day, while I was at 619 Adams St; two police officers came and told me that someone tipped them off about some women and that they were concerned for my livelihood.

I don’t know what made me finally talk but I broke down and started crying and explained how I was promised so much only to end up in a cold apt room with absolutely nothing.

They told me they wanted me to leave and that I was to go with the to the Police Dept . They were very kind and then asked me to talk with other officers of the law.
I told my story but as things go in life; the fellow walks around without any charges. He had always told me that no one would ever believe me and that he had powers.

I finally got home through the kindness of a friend in NJ and found a ready apartment from my former landlords, who to this day I shall be eternally grateful to.
What I have to say after all this; don’t let any boss or any promise of something better convince you to leave what you know is certain and sure.
Don’t let any boss take over your life and make you so afraid that you become a slave to the company .

When you become afraid for your job; leave, as that is a sign you should not be there; no job is worth so much heartache and loss.
I lost so much: my car, my credit I was rebuilding and at the time alot of confidence in the justice system.

I know now that all this was so that I could know what others go through to keep their job. I know that there are others who suffer in silence because losing a job would mean starting all over and doing without.

I am still struggling and still have no vehicle. I can only hope, some day, justice will catch up to all who abuse others and who fool the public into believing they are who they are not.

What now:

I am ..trying to learn to trust and just now starting therapy that should have started so long ago. I feel like a dishcloth run through the ringer and am hoping for healing and new insights.

I have an excellent therapist who is a clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience. I am trusting her completely
or will be trying to.. as I believe she has the tools to help me uncover everything that is hiding the whole me.

31

Joy,
I am speechless for now. However, I notice one large presence looming out of your entire story; it is the church, once again, telling abuse sufferers to be silent!

32

@Kate: when i started therapy and learned it was not so good to keep silent..it really just shook me up .. after 2009 happened. my familyl didnt ask me how i am ..after such torture ..they were concerned i would seek counseling i .didnt want to because i felt talking was betrayal .. of family ..and that was somewhere defined by the 4th commandment..and i was confused. They..famimly told me if I talked .. I was cut off. even the chuch afterward even past easter come over and told me i need to go to confession get back to church and move on . at a time when i was triggered by aloneness of the holiday. i was told i was in sin for not being there. when i called for help in 2009 ..i was told to get myself out of the mess. and i had given 10 years of my life free service playing organ ..teaching ..cleaning church evey saturday….ITs all confusing to me. My friends left me because they dont want to associate with someone who ‘left the true church’ .It’s been very rocky..emotionally its very painful..

33

I am no longer religious, because I have trouble trusting any group of people who use the same literary source as grounds for being cruel. They pick and choose passages to justify their unjustifiable actions. No child asks to be born, but it’s easier to blame the child than to admit the parent did something shameful, regardless of why they did it.
My youngest son is the result of spousal rape, but he is the love of my life. He looks like my late mother-in-law, who hated me, but again, that’s not his fault. We don’t choose our genes.

34

Hi Joy,
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! It is so helpful and powerful when we realize that we are not alone, that others have also been there. After a life time of being constantly told that we were exaggerating, that we were lying, that we didn’t have it that bad, that we deserved it and all those other lies… it is such a freedom to bust out of that fog and say to each other “YES it HAPPENED” and YES it was wrong! And have others hear us and know we are telling the truth. And we do NOT have to stay silent! We can find our voices and use them to set ourselves free!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Star!
Welcome to EFB! Great to have you here! It doesn’t matter if there are reasons or not, it is so important for us to focus on healing without excusing anything, before we try to understand what might have been the problem or reason for how messed up someone else is.
so glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Joy and Kate
~ the people who perpetrate all these crimes against us are so afraid of us telling! To me that is a huge indicator that they KNOW what they are doing is wrong. They know! And all the sheep that follow, all the victims that go along with “yes keep silent, obey, don’t rock the boat” all because they are afraid of more abuse. It is a crazy system ~ Darlene

35

Dear Laurie. I don’t know what I believe right now .in way of religion..but I know there have been too many reasons in the old to turn me away from it .. I believe in angels and love and that there are good people and bad.. and Some Divine Being decided when I was little I was not going to lose my life from anything dealt me ..and n my adulthood provided help where the church I had belonged to closed their eyes.. I am just beginning to heal and just beginning to learn to think and understand that I wasnt a mistake i was born or that i am still alive after allthat has happened..there is a reason .. and its slowly going to be shown me as I heal am sure. joy

ps am so sorry you suffered the pain of hatred of another, Laurie, I know how that feels. joy

36

Dear Darlene

Thank you for your support and yes its so different talking about something I kept hidden for so long as it was said to be someting sinfull and shameful to talk about.. I am only beginnng. to speak about things..Its hard to even speak it without seeing my mom with her hand raised ready to hit me should I dare.. My siblings are backing her in telling me to be quiet …let things alone and move on..but how can i . I got abused a second time and had nothing to protect myself as i never learned the right ways . or things.. just learned to be quiet and accept what is given as my due.. ..I am grateful to sites like this and all the people here that are willing to be supportive and share.. their stories and things they find help them heal. Thank you . am very grateful . Joy

37

I don’t go to church anymore. However, last Sunday, I went with my spouse, who sometimes contributes musically in a place where his brother is a paid (slightly) organist. The building is majestic. We think that (some) music is the only good thing that goes on there. We watched a known control freak priest tell the altar girl to go away and he lit only 5 of her 6 candles for her. I said, “What do you want to bet that he will go complain that SHE didn’t light all the candles and therefore, must not be allowed to be altar girl anymore, and gets in trouble at home, or something like that?” And this is in front of the entire assembly; this is how accomplished some of these perverts are. And I mean perverts. Their sex drive is rerouted in all the wrong directions, and for no good reason; it doesn’t accomplish a thing. It is not “For the Lord…”

38

oh, and I also said that I bet that that priest HAS already offended, oppressed, or abused her in some way…and this is just more in the continuation of it…they are so depraved in the ways that they seek attention, from an entire corwd, which would rather sit in a fantasy world and ignore…

39

Dear Kate

I think the “sex scandal” in that church already had me wondering and the fact I was told to keep silent .. by them .. the fact that when abuse came up they moved the abuser to another place, never telling the congregation he was leaving from or going to that he was an abuser..has caused me much interior trouble. As an adult I was told to keep silent again and this after all the bad stuff of the church has been exposed; this shows me that there is a pattern of silencing victims and hiding the abuser.

While they ask great patience and consideration for the abuser that is caught they are quick to condemn, kick out and shun people who have committed lesser or no crime at all. Seems like a grave imbalance of favoritism. The abuser is excused and the abused is accused..

I am sorry you have such an experience, Kate, with that controlling priest and I hope he didn’t do that ..accuse the litle altar girl.

I also hope he is not another hidden abuser..waiting for the next victim.

I don’t think all churches are bad ..but there are so many cases right now …it makes you wonder .. and it makes one angry.

joy

40

PISSED at the x
just sent a b’day card to our son who is turning 16 tomorrow, and no check included…what parent sends a child a b’day card, like they were an acquaintence? OK, don’t answer that question…we haven’t all suffered the same types and amounts of devaluing, but devaluing is devaluing, and usually there is some kind of gift!
and he knows that his dad has money

41

Kate
Am sorry about that..that is just terrible.
That is really not nice at all.
Some people don’t have much sense.
I am sorry for your son too :(

joy

42

@Darlene.
I don’t excuse, but I chose to believe she did the best she knew how to do. It is how I came to be able to leave pain and guilt behind. I don’t forget, and I don’t excuse…but it did enable me to begin my healing within myself all those years ago. The finding out the why’s came long after the healing began (I don’t think it ever “finishes”). They why’s are just another tool that prove it was nothing I did.

-Star

43

Star,
I hope that I didn’t offended you, there is nothing wrong with choosing to believe she did her best or the best she could do. I very often write for the benefit of all readers, and I personally was stuck for many years excusing my own mother and it kept me from healing. I am really glad to hear that you use the whys to prove that it was nothing you did!
hugs, Darlene

44

I just told my son, 16, that his step-dad wants to watch Citizen Kane, and had he ever heard of it? It is supposed to be the greatest the movie of all time, etc., and he asked what it was about and I was explaining about the misuse of power, and that he is a narcisist. My son wanted to know what that was, so I said it is a person who is all about themselves. He replied that he knows a couple of those.

45

Laurie,

I love this clarity that yo uprovided in your dialog with your mother:

I told her we could talk IF she was ready to admit to specific incidents of abuse and to express real regret for them. She said “Jesus has releived me of so many painful memories.” (OMG have I heard THIS before!!!AND I FELL FOR IT!!!) I told her other people would just call that denial.
For the first time, I didn’t ASK her something, I TOLD her, firmly but politely, that I never wanted to talk to her again,until such time as she was ready to admit to her abuse of her children, and to try to make amends. It wasn’t easy, but it felt SO good.

46

Laurie,
And I love what you said to her because it was so clear and you weren’t cutting her off. Her behavior cut her off. You left the possibility for relationship restored!

47

I can also relate to that Kate, when I finally stood up for myself with my mother, I didn’t ask her anything. I told her that she could no longer do (xyz) and I told her that IF she wanted a relationship with me, that it would be based on mutual respect.
I don’t think she liked that. ;)
but I stuck to my new resolution! I am free and really happy / healthy now!
hugs, Darlene

48

Gotta love massage therapists, and other “professionals” who know just enough language to be dangerous. Went to a new one yesterday. Covering her own personal shit with these kinds of statements to me: cancer comes from being bitter over your ex-
Why did you marry him in the first place? What lessons did you need to learn that you married him in the first place? He gave you three great kids; look at the positive.
This was all unsolicited, BTW.
(Oh,yeah,Darlene, I hear you now saying, “And just what is THAT supposed to mean??”)
OMG! I get it now, though…
immunity is worn away, and cancer may result when:

healthy boundaries do not exist, abusers are excused, abuse takes its toll, lies take their toll,

yeah, tell the truth to yourself and the abuser, it is not about being bitter about being abused, it is about being bitter over not getting away from the abuse,
sorry if I am stepping on toes, I am just trying to detox from this wretch crossing all the wrong boundaries

49

Actually, she said that cancer comes from not “forgiving” your ex

I would say that ill health results from excusing abuse, and “forgiveness” is sending the person with the offense away, and as Laurie has shown us, telling the person how to make it right, since, obviously they are not going to suggest what is truly healing to you, only you can do that

50

With my abusers there is never a two way communication.. I have had to cut them off.. They would call. .and tell me a whole line and when I try to talk cut me off. I had tried to talk about where the blame should lie but that was only answered with obscenities . dont now if I spelled that right.and restating that I need to turn my life around and start seeing their way and then I get the commandment about honoring monther and father..etc.

On their end .. they dont want to hear me but they want me to hear them. .My therapists helped me see that for my well being, I cannot continue to listen ..so have cut them off. but its not been easy. They would call from numbers not their own. Now I don’t answer the phone at all.. all people go to voicemail . .so I dont have to listen to the wrong people.

And on the emailing, I have put their email to go to delete, then they come in emails that are not their own.. so I am fighting even while having the best boundaries in place.

I am getting there .

Joy

51

Joy,
GOOD for you!! This sounds great!

52

Darlene, I admire you for being able to handle all the comments you get. I get all the comments too, b/c I’m subscribed to them, and one day’s comments covers 3 pages of my email list.
I’m a paramedic, and they told us we have to pace ourselves in order to avoid burnout. Just looking at all those comments made me feel overwhelmed.
I’m impressed with your ability to stay rational and nice no matter what comments you get. Impressed and amazed.
I’m not in the most positive mood today, so I’ll stop here.
But thanks for listening.

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Kate:
Thank you ..

joy

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Kate,
I am so glad to hear that you didn’t stick with that therapist! YIKES Sounds like a big fog storm. (and they get PAID to cause that kind of harm!)
Thanks for sharing.

Joy,
What you shared about your parents don’t want to hear you but want you to hear them ~ this is one of the biggies. When do “kids” get to be equally valuable? The honour your mother and father thing ~ they didn’t teach you how, so I guess that is their fault. Love and respect (honour) has to be MODELED. A child will honour and love parents who have first honoured and loved them. That is one of the key things that we are talking about in this blog.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Vicki
Thank you for the compliment. I have a system for reading and answering comments. I can’t answer them all, but I try!
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene accordinng to “their thinking” I never will have rights except the right to obey my mom and that I stepped away from obeying I have lost my right to respect..as an adult. THey are so good at quoting and condemning me yet never made a move to heal all my brokenness…I understand now though..that as her child I can only honor which is honorable and am not expected to respect what is not.. and really in my life there was not a time that I felt loved or honored or cared for . I understand i remind her of the fact I was just a transaction she made for money.. and that getting rid of me
can somehow cancel that transaction.I get it. but I am not going to allow that as I been through too much . survived too much ..so I am out of her life the entire familys life so i dont remind her of the fact i was just the result of easy cash.

joy

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ps am glad I have a great counselor and found you and some other really positive people. I know the healing takes time but I have nowhere to go but forward: Joy

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I so resonate with this post in a different way. I did not know abuse included the yelling and disrepect I knew the rape was. I just thought this is the way the world is this is how people are, to me anyway. The reason my marriage is ending now is I refuse to be abused anymore. I do believe my wife did the best she could and she has no clue she was abusive. Only seperated for three weeks but I still catch myself trying to do something exactly right so I don’t get yelled at or chastized. I know it is never too late I am 51 years old and finaly putting up boundaries and the people who refuse to respect me are no longer welcome in my world.Once I started therapy and started changing my wife became more desperate to control me even resorting to punching me but I knew I was not going back to my old ways. She even called the police again and this was the first time the cops saw what was really happening and threatened to lock her up. Every other time she called them I got locked up and was found not guilty. When she drank wich was very often she would not remember what she did the day before. I tried to help her paying for two rehabs but she still drank. I suggested marriage counceling she said no. Now I’ve moved to Canada, she does not have a passport and I feel safe. I sleep better knowing I will not be attacked while asleep.It was not easy for me to grow up after CSA but all the work was worth it.My priorities are so different I am learning to live again. So for me it was not my family it was me I put up with abuse for so long and finally I am free from abuse because I don’t deserve it and won’t tolerate it at all. Love your post Darlene.

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Edward

Wow: Its not often you hear that women are abusing men but i know its true.. Sorry you suffered abuse and I hope you find happiness in Canada. ..I didnt know it was so easy to move there as i had asked my T about it (I have soe friends there) and she had told me its not so easy to move there legally?

Boundaries are hard to keep up when people keep breaking through..even when I try my hardest to have everyone set up .. My family finds away around them.

I find that starting therapy things have become more difficult with people around me..do you think its because of the boundaries?

I wish you the best of luck in Canada.

joy

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The first round of therapy 23 years ago didn’t do any good, but when I moved to CT 8 years ago, it was suggested that I get some domestic violence counseling. The therapist talked to me for 45 minutes, and afterwards told me “You moved over 1500 miles to get away from abuse. I don’t think you’ll ever let anyone hit you again. I DO think you need assertiveness counseling.” She was right. I was 40 years old the first time I ever told a soul “I’m angry, and we’re not having a misunderstanding.” Then I sat down and laughed til I cried, because it felt soooo weird!
I still have a long fuse, and it takes a lot to anger me, but I am at last able to say so when I’ve had enough, and if it’s bad enough for me to say something, I quietly and firmly say “THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, and I won’t put up with it.” Then it is politely discussed. I’m not comfortable throwing a tantrum, even if I’m right, because I feel it costs me self-respect, but I do definitely assert myself.
Things do become more difficult when therapy starts, because the status quo begins to change. The long-time victim stops taking abuse of any sort, it’s not going to go over well. First of all, the abuser(s)are going to be shocked, then after it sinks in, they’ll be angry. They’re not used to not having a trained monkey at their command, a whipping boy, and a maid.
The changes scare us as much as they upset the abusers, because we’re used to certain outcomes, and so are the abusers. Suddenly, it’s all different. They realize they’re losing control of a part of their life where they’ve always had the upper hand, and since most abusers are control freaks, they’re afraid. A loss of control causes that fear.
The former victim is afraid because it’s like learning to do anything else. When I learned to ice skate as an adult (not well), I was scared to death, because I’m not coordinated, and I knew it was going to hurt. I was right, but I kept trying. Every time I went out on the ice, I was scared, because I knew at some point I was probably going to fall, and it was going to hurt, but I went out there anyway, and now I’m a passable ice skater. Think about how afraid little kids are when you first take the training wheels off their bikes. A bit of that fear remains for a few days or even weeks, because they know they’re new at it, and if they fall, it’s going to hurt, but the eventual independence they gain is SO worth it. So is the independence we gain when we realize we’re FORMER victims.
I still avoid confrontation, and it still scares me, but there is no way I am going to return to being a victim just because standing up for myself is going to upset someone.

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Well I am just visiting and will have to be back in the states for two weeks out of the year. A passcard was easy to get.But moving here entails more than I could do on such a short notice since I reched my level of tolerance for the abuse. I’ve been a carpenter all my life and am used to carrying beams heavier than my wife hitting her back was never an option since something would have broke. She broke herself up from falling down the booze was whuping her pretty good.Therapy helped me to improve my self worth along with recognising what verbal abuse is since my brain would be spinning and my therapist would want to know why. She would ask if I had any ptsd episodes and I would get flashbacks whenever my wife attacked me while I was sleeping not at first but after I begged her to leave me alone and she persisted a lot of times I just left to let her cool down sober up. She liked me a lot better when I had no boundaries and just took what she dished out. I was afraid she would follow me in the States. She still reads what I say on facebook even though I unfreinded her and puts in a snide remark from time to time. Most of this I say here I would not on facebook, I feel safer here.I still need to apply for a work visa to work up here money is not my priority wellness is. So she is angry at me at present and has been for a long time yet now she can’t get to me. Being here with a couple who are survivors also is very healthy for me at present. Thanks.

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@Darlene
No, you didn’t offend me, I just felt the need to clarify. I frequently do:-)

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Joy,
That is the thing ~ how can anyone determine that someone else has NO RIGHTS! It is a continuation of the dysfunctional treatment in childhood. And they believe it, and we are expected to believe it! But it makes no sense! arggggggg
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Edward,
Ya we are conditioned to “think that is just the way the world is” and although a great deal of the time that IS how the world is, it doesn’t mean that it is right!
Glad you are safe now!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Laurie
YAY! Thanks for sharing your victories with this! That is fantastic. I totally relate to it.. I was shaking in my boots when I first started standing up for myself too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hey Star, thank you for clarifying ~ I love that we both long to be understood! AFter a life time of not being heard, and being dismissed, I am in love with this kind of communication!
Hugs, Darlene

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@Laurie : your words really gave me enlightenment and says to me I am going th normal route of a survivor.

@Edward: If I could I would move to Canada..I have some friends there, glad you have someone to sponsor you.

@Darlene: yes they want me to believe it and strangely..I did: so many years of programming . I really believed that stuff because I heard it every day of my life. Everyone else in the family follows it. They cannot understand why I decided to stop .Since I was always the easiest one to tell what to do.

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Hi Everyone,
I just published a post about more dysfunctional extended family. This post is not so much about the pedophile himself as it is about how my parents missed the mark when it came to protecting me. It highlights the dysfunctional thinking process that goes along with dysfunctional family. You can read it here: My grandfather the scary drunken pedophile

65

As I read this blog entry, I sat on my couch shaking my head! I just recently discontinued compulsory calls to my father. My mother died in 2008, and trying to keep up the appearance of normalcy, I was calling him frequently to see how he was doing. In a recent call to him, I asked him for some financial help. He told me that he could not help me because he is on a fixed income — this from a man that has a small fortune in his bank account. I told him that if he did not want to help me, that is acceptable. However, it was not acceptable to lie to me about his financial status. I told him that I would never ask for assistance in the future.

He has always treated me worse than the proverbial “red-headed stepchild.” He has lied to other family members about anything I would say to him when I called and would deny what he said when confronted. I finally had enough! I do not call him and am glad that there was finally a chance to end communication with him! It hit me one day, why do I want this man’s approval, love, compassion, etc. when all I will ever get from his is abuse! It happened when I was a child, in other ways, and will continue until he dies! The cycle has been broken!

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Hi Ronnie,
The obligation thing is also something we are taught. But it is a one way street. We are obligated, they are not. This isn’t love. (or even relationship) It is dysfunctional relationship. Yay for you that you have broken the cycle!
Hugs, Darlene

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I moved 3500 miles to get away from the disfunction of my mother’s family.

It’s not far enough.

But I know what I know, I remember what I remember, and I know them better than they know me… they still manage to hurt me from time to time, but it’s more rare with the passing years (it’s 12 years now, since I moved West)and I actually find myself feeling HAPPY from time to time, and there’s no one around to try to take that away from me.
Makes the move more than worth it.

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Hi Darlene
(I love your name! ;)
I love what you said and I had to remind myself of that MANY times!

you wrote: ” But I know what I know, I remember what I remember,”

this is VERY important!
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene, I just read your previous post to this, and was so blown away by it, that I couldn’t, yet, manage to read the comments. Then I clicked on this post, and it has blown me the freak away, even more than your previous post.

My God, you WERE treated the way I was treated. What you describe right here, and in your post just prior to this one, your childhood was almost a clone of mine.

Again, I have not ~ YET ~ read any of the comments here, I just had to comment on your post, first. But I will read all the comments soon, I always get so much out of them, too.

Lynda ~ no longer “COMING” Out of the Crazy Closet, because I am OUT Of The Crazy Closet

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Hi Lynda,
When I first decided to do this work, I realized this same common denominator that so many people share. The psychological abuse is always always similar! And the brainwashing is begins there in childhood. SO.. I am glad that you can relate.
Hugs, Darlene

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In case you are not aware, there is a new post called Damaging labels and Dysfunctional Family History, that expands on the thoughts from this one!
You can find it here
http://emergingfrombroken.com/damaging-labels-and-dysfunctional-family-history/

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Hi. I knew a family once that held the utmost respect for one another. They laughed together, ate together and vacationed together. Everyone was accepted totally and completely without condition. They seldom fought, nor did they pick on one another. There was no jealousy but instead pride in each other’s accomplishments, there were many compliments extended towards each other…they all achieved and shared good hearted humor. I think their name were Cosby and they lived on a television show back in the 1980’s featured every Thursday night. Unfortunately, the were not real..ONLY a dream of what family life should be for the lucky.
My extended family was in opposite of this. I had two parents who fought constantly and six siblings who thought that it was cute to make the youngest (me) wait on them in some sort of warped “let’s see how much we can get her to do for us” game. I was mocked, belittled and made to feel by some of my siblings as if I was not really welcome.
I am currently 47 years old and those same patterns have followed me into my adult life. No matter how strongly I stand up for myself or how right I am to do it, the blame is still turned around to be my issue.
Here’s the thing: those people were never able to meet my needs as a child what on earth makes me think that somehow through a miracle they will do this present day. Impossible.
The only real choice for me is to keep my distance and build my life with people who respect me, love me and encourage me. I have my own family and the great thing is how my husband and I both were able to give our children a safe and loving home based on what neither of us had while growing up. The pattern does not need to continue…we all have it within us to evolve towards better…choose friends who are good to us and leave the rest behind.

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Jeanne
Thank you for your comments. Yes it is very possible to go forward learning from the damage that was caused to us. I had to learn to meet my own needs.
Hugs, Darlene

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Dear Darlene:

I think that learning to meet your own needs is the only way to move forward in a more positive direction.

As children what choice do we have other than to cope? As adults however, we have all the power to recognize the relationships around us for what they are and make better choices that only include people who respect, love and honor us.

It is so very difficult to let go of the dream that certain relatives would all of a sudden be who we need them to be…but once one does, the end result is room to fill that void with quality relationships that raise us up.

Letting go of that toxic dynamic is difficult but once accomplished it opens up the freedom towards better.

I wish you well on your journey forward and the peaceful happiness each and everyone of us very much deserves.

Hugs,
Jeanne

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Jeanne
EXACTLY! yes.
Thanks for sharing again!
Hugs, Darlene

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Thank you for that post. It’s nice to know that you’re not alone. I have a condition that has stopped me from moving out and being independent. In 14 years, I have never been able to work a full-time job because stress of full hours increases my symptoms. Right now, I have met the love of my life and he has a good job and we will be moving in together in the spring. He has been a great support in keeping me away from my family since it is healthier for me. So thank you again for posting this self- loving sentiment. All the best to you.

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Hi Pam
When the fog begins to clear we start to see things through a new grid of understanding and sometimes I wondered why it took me so long to see these things; they were so plain!
I too wanted to be approved of as a parent and I felt guilty that I nurtured too much! I know the pressure you speak of. I too was terrified of the disaproval, but that was pretty much all I got anyway!
I love your comments here! I hope that everyone will take time to read them! (and I look forward to being a grandma one day too!)
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Audrey
Welcome to EFB
That is wonderful that you have support and understanding with your man and that you will be able to get away from the dysfunction soon.
Hugs, Darlene

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My aunt has ruined me she tells so many lies. She gossips constantly and had once stated that my uncle and her have decided they need to disown some relatives. I quit working for them and now they are trea ting my grandma the same way they treated me. I have not talked to them for over a year.

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Hi…

What drove me into this website was the same reason you first described. Im glad i could let you all know what im going through..and please reply me if there are any advises or suggestions i could take into my life. I came to usa to study…i have never left my parents ever in my country (a very small island ) but i gathered all my courage and decided to put all of me into my future..studies. I came here to stay with my uncle and aunt with their little kids. They arent really blood related so i guess this situation is kind of obvious. I came here when i was 17, im from a middle classed family and yes i can study well too. Im into it. I wanna be in the medical field some day. So at first, my aunt an uncle were all nice amd sweet but later on…they acted so mean to me..shouting at me..criticising my talents and most of all calling my parents in my country and blaming them for my behavior. I have no idea what i did to them..but it made my parents very sad..and i usually dont let my parents know about how they treat me now because they work relly hard to help me study and i dont wanna let then down. So they lie , gossip and rumor about me with their other friends in usa..one time i had to go with them to one of their friends house for a sleepover. That day my little cousin puhed me ..and since i used o admire her and love her ..i felt sad and went to their bathroom and cried alone.. The next day we went back home. The following day i had college classes and when i got home ..their is a huge mess.. My aunt started scolding me so much..she even called my parents again and blamed them plus me. The reason ..omg ..they said the reason was that my little cousons had told her that i hit them regularly and push them and are mean to them and have mood shifts all the time…! I mean seriously !?!?!? Back in my country…i had so many little baby cousins and i was the one to take are of all them..and they LOVED me ! I loved them soo much..in fact i was known as the baby addict..and now in usa..they call me this monster !?! God. What could i have done ? The friends we went over to had agreed on it they said..what else could i say ? Btw…it was just one week after my 19th bday..( the first bday i ever celebrated without my parents).. And thats what happened.
I was really upset last year about that..really.. I had really bad headaches and i used to cry everytime. I just let it fade away with time and put my best effort to carry on with my studies… Right after i get home from college, i tutor my cousins..regardless of how tired i am..then i usually help my aunt cook food..then clean the kitchen..and sometimes when my aunt and uncle go away, i have to take care of the little kids… I put aside my work..and helped them out..my parents always said..’your aunt and uncle let you a place to stay and appreciate that deed atleast’ i do that.. I let everything else just hide beneath me.. So this is been going on for awhile… I wasnt allowed to go out either..not even once with my friends..
Today, 2014, i came home to an angry aunt..she yelled at me..saying she doesnt care about my ear ache ( i had one because of my growing wisdom tooth) and that i should go away and stay somewhere else if i dnt know how to stay at a house and didnt appreciate their kindness if lettinge stay (yeah they provide me with food and shelter ). True but my dad helps my uncle with his business wihout taking any money in return. I mean that doesnt mean tht they could treat me like this. Like im under their control.! The very wierd thing is..yesterday everything was alright..i came home in the evening..taught my cousins and even started cooking dinner for them..i ate ..talked to my aunt..and as every other night..i washed the dishes..hand dried them..and swept the kitchen.. I do that every day. And all of a sudden she blows off the following day..my room was a little messy but hey it is the middle of the week ..a thursday! I always clean my room and do my laundry on fridays..when i dont have classes on fridays. Besides the mess was because of my cousins cloths..my aunt blamed me for not telling them to take them away..I TELL THEM EVERY SINGLE TIME WHEN I NOTICE IT. But they wouldnt listen ! They are very nice little kids i admit..but sometimes they dont like me..well thats fine with me..not everyone can be liked perfectly. What really bothers me that my aunt and uncle are really good at times but the rest of the time..they dont want me here.. If i do a single mistake..its a really big deal for them..why ? Im 19 and im still learning ! People or moreover humans maje mistakes ! Not purposely though ! I can kind of see it in my aunt..sometimes..she really doesnt like me..my guts makes her wanna puke , i think. She is always in bad :/ mood when im there… And so on..
Now i feel like there is no way out for me.. I cant leave just like that because i cant afford my self.. I cant stay either. Im stuck with life… I hate it sometimes .. But then i think of my parents.. And i wanna go on with my life ..make it happen.. So what should i do ??

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I understand. It took well into my adult hood to get out of my toxic family. I wanted family so much I put up with far too much growing up.

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