emotional healing “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is YOU who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”  Les Brown

There is a critical fact that I had to DRILL into my brain in order to get the full benefit of the process of emotional healing.


My emotional healing would not have been accelerated if my mother or father suddenly admitted their part in all the dysfunction that I grew up with. It would have been wonderful and today it might mean that we could restore our relationship and heal the damage there, but it would not be the source of my emotional healing. It would not be the necessary fuel.

Emotional healing would not have happened more rapidly if my parents sincerely apologized to me for the damage that they contributed to in my childhood.  It might have helped a bit but it would not be where the healing comes from. 

My emotional healing would not have happened faster if the people who sexually abused me suddenly confessed and turned themselves in.

My emotional healing would not have miraculously emerged because the police arrested the perpetrators and the courts agreed that these people committed crimes against me, and put them behind bars.  It would be great; it would be a cause for major celebration, yes… but it would not have been the foundation of my healing process.

Emotional healing did not occur because I had “the right therapist” A therapist cannot do the work for you. Therapists are only guides and most of them caused me more damage in the long run by trying to get me to “accept the past and leave it there” instead of getting to the core of the damage and overcoming it. And then there are the ones who actually seem to help and then take advantage of the trust that you put in them.

My emotional healing did not happen because my husband stood by me. In fact he DIDN’T stand by me at all.  He fought me and he fought the process. My healing and taking my life and individuality back threatened his control over me. It threatened his orderly little world where he was King and I was his servant.  He had his life all organized the way HE wanted it. He liked me messed up and compliant and he is the first one to admit that today.

My emotional healing did not depend on ANY of that.

In the beginning, when I first realized that I was not born broken and that the way I got messed up was not my fault but was in fact  caused by other people, I was really angry that I had to FIX what “they broke”. I had to move forward with my emotional healing anyway. No one was going to do it for me in fact the majority of people in my life didn’t want me to heal. They too liked me weak and sick and compliant. NO one wanted me to realize that I actually had equal value to them or their power over me would be exposed and they would therefore lose it. And when I healed and faced the truth about the ways that I was regarded by them, they did lose their power over me; because I refused to live that way anymore.

Overcoming dysfunctional relationships and emotional healing depends only on ME. Not on results, outcomes, negotiations, agreement from others, the law, or whether or not I lost or gained weight. Emotional healing does not depend on people or on “things”, money, or circumstances.  

It depends on ME.  

My husband’s emotional healing did not take place until HE did HIS work.

My healing came because I did the work. My emotional healing depended on ME.


Yes you can do the work.  I told myself that I could do it a million times and I still tell myself that. I can do this. I can face this. I can get through this. I can get to the roots of this and overcome it. And I keep going forward. I learned to FIGHT for me where no one else ever did. I had to do it. I learned to depend on ME. I became everyone and everything that was ever missing in my childhood. I did this for ME.

I keep going forward; knowing that my identity, my self esteem, my emotional health ~ depended and still depends on me now.

That is how I emerged from broken. That is how I accomplished my own emotional healing.

This concept is one of the biggest stick points that I encounter when working with others. I think that in my case I was afraid to believe that it was up to me to do this, because I was so convinced by the messages from others my whole life, that I could not succeed at anything and that I was not really worthy of equal value and a wonderful full life. I was afraid to take my life back in case I failed. I was afraid to fail because that would prove “they” were right.

 Please share your thoughts and feelings.

From surviving to thriving on the journey to wholeness;

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

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Related Posts ~ False Beliefs like “I know I would be okay if…” 

Saying Sorry doesn’t automatically Cancel the damage 

Categories : Therapy



I really appreciate this article! I am really beginning to arrive to that place in my life. It is sooo liberating. I am my own woman!! Thank you Darlene and God Bless!!


Hi Darlene!
I was recently so liberated by being able to say “no” to my stepfather. I have (in the past 12 months) decided not to let he and my mother do me any favors of any kind, even if they offer. I ask for nothing, and I accept nothing. This has helped me feel free to say no to them. It was so liberating to not be sucked into the insistance/pouting/guilt trip, etc. I even stated, “it is my choice, right?” After he unsuccessfully tried to persuade me, he finally let it go. All that to say, I realize the healing is up to me, and I think I just discovered one of the stepping stones on my path to freedom with my mother and stepfather. It felt sooooooo good to have a choice, a voice, and to be an individual. So much has happened this year. It’s been devastating, but I think I’ve reached a point where I’m ready to take ACTION!! One action has led to another. Wow, it feels good!! Thank you for your blog Darlene!!


Hi Cara
That is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
That is excellent! I discovered that same stepping stone along the way. I love how you say one action has led to another! That is exactly how it worked and still works for me too!
Hugs, Darlene


This is a great post Darlene! In my personal journey I have been a major people-pleaser. It created resentment, knowing that I was giving so much to other people, expecting them to give me back everything I needed, and not receiving what I expected. Not until I realized that I am the ONLY one in control of who I am and how I feel did I begin to let go of pleasing people and let go of both relying on others and giving them all the power. Your words here are so expressive of truth!



This post is so spot on. The process of emotional healing is similar to the process of grieving a loss and moving forward with life. Your healing depends solely on the work you are willing to put into it. My son died from cancer a few years back and I know the work that goes into mending a heart and soul quite well. It isn’t easy and it isn’t fun but it IS worth it.

It wasn’t until I found your site that I fully realized that now I need to do another work of healing my own brokenness. I didn’t realize it was even a possibility. Of course, on the heels of a finished work of mourning a death, it’s like a double whammy of healing works I suppose. I just want to feel better now! I know this process works but it just takes time. The “I don’t want to feel like this anymore” is what keeps me moving forward.

Thank you so much for your work here. I am truly motivated in this.



Hi Jennelle
Great to see you here! I love your comments. That is what I found out too. It was up to me to find out how I ended up being such a people pleaser so that I could put an end to it and take my power back.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jen
I am so sorry about your son. That must have been really hard for you. And I can see how hard it would be to face your own brokenness “on the heals” of this other process. YOU really inspire me with YOUR comments! I am impressed that you are even thinking in this direction! I am so glad that you are here and I look forward to getting to know you and sharing the journey with you.
Hugs, Darlene


This is really good. I am going to share it on my page hoping my honorary niece sees it. For me it was that I was desperate to change just desperate to change and get away from unhealthy people. Many people I know do not attempt to change until they are desperate. I knew for me it was a matter of life and death. When people realize that, at least for me it is when they start to heal!


I was desperate too. Many things happened in my family and marriage in a fairly short amount of time. I look back at earlier this year and realize I wasn’t functioning anymore. I was, like you say, desperate. Some days I still am. Some days I still cry for nothing other than release and mourning some losses. My hope lies in the reality that it’s not EVERY day anymore. I feel some residual effects of depression… lack of desire/energy, etc. But, I’m at least functioning now, and I do have hope that the cloud of blueness will be lifted bit by bit as I continue to dig deep within. The idea of sifting through things and self consoling, giving things back to their owners, all came from this site. Even in therapy, that hasn’t happened or even been suggested to me. Those brilliant ideas came from the experienced people of this blog. There’s an element of understanding no therapist can pretend to have if they haven’t lived a similar experience, in my humble opinion. I recently read that our times in the valley might serve no other purpose at all, than to give us understanding, so someday we can share the wisdom of experience with someone who’s also desperate.
love to everyone,


Thanks for sharing Mimi.I have seen people suffering a lot in different ways not just abuse survivors but any kid if suffering but until people become desperate in general not everyone but in general I have seen people resist change.
For me this site has validated what I have gone through in terms of healing and things I might go through in the future. I do believe there are attorney’s and investigators and therapists of many of the survivors here monitoring this site, I think it might help some people with no experience, learn. I do not try to figure out why for me it is a waste of time and energy but that is me. I am careful because time is so short. I think for me it helps to know that many others have been and are on this journey. I understand. Hugs and love to you Mimi. @Darlene you are doing a great job!


and PS Mimi it does get better and sorry you are suffering! xo


Thank you Pinky. When I think of where I was 6 months ago, I wouldn’t say I suffer now. Just a little blue at times still, and I need more sleep the past several months. I have given into it, even though my mother always took a very dim view of taking naps, sleeping in, etc. I think my mind needs the extra down time, so I decided one day that I would cater to my need for extra sleep, no matter what anyone thinks. Another freedom!! :o) Thank you for your encouragement Pinky…. and as always, thanks Darlene and all who share.


Thanks for sharing this awesome writing! The time is now and you are a true example of how believing in oneself gets a person to where they want to be. It wasn’t easy for you; but you did it and you are an example for those of us struggling to get to where you are at. I had been wanting to give up off and on; but after reading your writing this morning, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t want to steal your limelight by mentioning how I was abused, etc. in my life; but thank you again for being a source of inspiration. I hope one day that I will be at the place you are at in your life. Able to accept people and things are they are or as they happen, then move on to better things.


Yes, Darlene, until we change from “victim” to “agent” we are stuck. As you say so clearly here, we are in charge of pursuing our own healing.

Also, one of the great stumbling blocks is our own desire to be “right.” If we believe we cannot heal, we can be “right.”

If we choose to believe we can heal, we risk being “wrong.”

Taking that risk is where the healing is.


I like the use of the word “agent” instead of “victim” in Karens’ comment. Seeing validation about a person is in charge of pursuing their own healing is something I know I have needed for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I have pursued healing all along on my journey to recovery; but was saddened on one occasion when I was invited to a local church where one of the Prayer Warriors made a statement that if a person has a mental health condition that they cannot be healed. I continue risking to be “wrong”; but still seek healing of my condition and situation. It is coming; but a little slower than I had hoped for.



In regard to this; “I was invited to a local church where one of the Prayer Warriors made a statement that if a person has a mental health condition that they cannot be healed.”

I detest so-called Prayer-Warriors who say things like this. One, there is NOTHING too hard for God. However, He rarely mends our hearts “just like that.” Healing is in the journey. It’s in understanding. It’s in truth. The journey to healing affords many benefits. Look at Darlene who know comforts and helps others because she has walked this path ahead of us. Now, she is a comforter. An encourager. A beaming light to those who are wandering in the darkness. I didn’t even realize I was still in the dark until I found this site. (by God’s hand I know)

Often you must stop where you are and look back at the path you have traveled to see the places where you have healed more clearly. Keep walking. Never give up.


Hi Pinky
I do seem to recall a pretty desperate bottom line in my own life. One of the things that helped me progress faster was understanding what I was so afraid to face was so helpful in getting me to finally face it.
Hugs, Darlene

The first year and maybe even year and a half was really intense. Many times I doubted that I was getting anywhere. I had to hold on to things like you post here; that it was not “as bad” and it was not “every day” anymore. I allowed myself escapes like going to bed in the day time a lot. I had huge guilt issues that i had to look at the origin of about doing that. It didn’t come from my mother but from my husband and his workaholic family. But I stood up for me and just did it. Going to bed and napping was harmless and healing so I did it. I would reassure myself that it was self care and it was a part of me learning to stand up to the beliefs and judgements of other people. Eventually I rarely needed to do it anymore but I would say that was my refuge when I needed it for at least 3 years.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Faith
Thank you for your comments. I strive to be an inspiration for healing, to others.
There were so many people in my life that told me depression could never be healed. My mother (who had been convinced by her doctors) prepared me from a young age to expect to have problems with depression because she did and her mother did and they never got over them. I fought that lie off for many years even before I found the way out that I write about in this site. I was losing hope though because I keep losing to depression, but that is another reason that I write this blog ~ because I found the solution and wanted to share it.
Please share whatever you wish to here. That is what it is here for 🙂

Hi Karen
I like the victim to agent expression too. Good point about being “right” too. That is another good way to understand this whole stick point.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jen
Thank you! Your comments honour me deeply! About the things people say that cause so much damage, I often wonder about that person’s belief system too. In the past I constantly forgot that the things other people said were governed by their own pain and the “truth” that they believed. My own “truth” was SO false and really needed an overhaul so I was not really aware that others could be wrong..
and I agree ~ NEVER GIVE UP. That is my mantra.
Hugs, Darlene


@Darlene at least for me the desperation took away the fear or became more important to me.
I kind of speed read through things but wanted to comment to Mimi, just a fun thought, I saw a weddign show on the wedding channel I forgot the name but it was something like unique wedding stories. There was one young couple, they were artists and didnt keep a regular schedule. They were both very attractive. The guy said he married her because she let him take naps 🙂
Sleep is a luxury and if it is what you need for self care even if you don’t need it as much any more, go for it! If you look on many peoples face book pages they have sleep listed as a hobby. Pretty interesting! Sleep s restorative! Hugs and healing to all!


Another truly inspiring post Darlene! I wish I had time to read back through all of yours. Yes, I have learned and am learning that my healing depends on me. I have learned to be patient with myself, that this is going to be a life time process and to give myself grace. I don’t have to do it all it once cause it won’t happen all at once. But am learning to enjoy the process, of becoming what God intends me to be…while growing up is painful – it has so many great benefits. Not being stuck as the victim but giving myself the power to be who I am meant to be is one. I am learning to not let anyone define me by their comments, their actions…and most of all my own thoughts about what they must think about me. I cannot read their minds any more than they can read mine…so I need to stop acting like I know what every one in the world must think of me based of a few truly sick individuals that have told me “who I am.”

Lastly, I am learning to “rephrase” my mind and change my life. I am no longer using the words “failure” or “mistakes”…because those are so negative and seen as something to avoid at all costs. However, those acts are so completely human and NEEDED in hour human experience…so I have rephrased them as “learning lessons”. I just think this is more accurate to what they truly are. If I can learn from my lessons…then I come out ahead. I learn about me, who I am, about those around me – who I can and cannot trust and on what level – about the world I live in and about God. I am not always 100% on this rephrasing…but I am getting there. I wrote a post lately about this called: Rephrasing your mind: Mistakes become learning lessons.

Love what you are doing here – please keep it up!


Hi everyone,

just wanted to let you all know I got the keys to my first ever apartment today! (will be 1st time living on my own) Going to take it REALLY slow and gentle with myself re actually moving in (lots of fear/anxiety etc) but there is a hint of excitement hiding under it all I think.

I also told my sib & sib-in-law tonight; was a bit afraid of doing that but they were really excited for me, and didn’t mind at all not telling our parents yet. Still not quite sure how to go about that. I’d been planning to cut off if I ever got away from here, but currently thinking it’d prob be easier on me to NOT do it (as in, can always choose to do it later if I want to, but can’t “unchoose” if I DO cut off now)…

The sticking point is that I’m afraid of how my mother will react, and it’s been such an intense & emotional process for me (trying to get on welfare, find housing etc — even with the ton of help I’ve been given by 2 friends who are also social workers) that I feel like I can’t afford to take the chance of her reacting even a little bit badly (in terms of the effect it could have on me).

Actually I’m swinging a lot re all that…. I really don’t feel like they’ve respected my right to live my own life & make my own choices (because they haven’t, and instead HAVE actively tried to control pretty much every aspect of my life to varying degrees over the years). So that’s not cool, and I’m FINALLY coming to really see and understand that. But I guess I’ve let myself get talked around a bit by both friends/workers re not cutting off

I kinda THINK they’ve been trying to convince me not to cut off right now [for my own benefit], rather than trying to convince me “not to cut off, period”, if that makes sense. But at the same time I guess I feel a bit like maybe they were trying to change my mind from cutting off ever…. pretty confused about this. (There is a connection between my parents and these friends, just to further complicate things, but they’re treating me as a client in terms of confidentiality etc).

I think I’m confused in my own mind about what I want/need in all this…. I kind of want to draw a line in the sand of some sort, and becuase I find it so hard to stand up for myself (ESPECIALLY with my parents, and probably even more especially against my mother — most of all, my mother by herself — that’s when the knives can really come out, of course). And I’ve taken 30 years to come to a stage of really feeling like I’M not to blame for all the troubles/dysfunctions in my life, but that THEY are…. and that’s been so hard, and has given me so much rage & anger & hatred, as well as hopelessness, added doses of depression, grief etc….

There have been occasional patches where I’ve been able to do things I haven’t even tried in ages, or at least very rarely (eg going out to see a band, asking someone out, and the biggie of course GETTING MY OWN PLACE!! :)) But I guess it feels like I see more clearly the toll the years of abuse/control etc has taken on me (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc etc) and where it’s left me (in terms of how f**king hard it often is for me to do even the tiniest things) and how unpredictable it is as to when/if I’ll have any energy or motivation or sleep etc. And I just get so incredibly angry at times, I just want to try and tear apart their worlds like they did to me. I think I’m feeling a bit like my worker/friends have been coming a bit much from the “don’t cause waves” side of things…. HOPING that it’s mainly from the point of view of just making things easier on myself at this very stressful time; but I guess worried it’s not.

I think someone was talking about sleep above (??) Just checked – Mimi did I noticed. This is also quite confusing for me, becuase I’m almost completely nocturnal since the process of welfare/housing started (actually think sleep’d gone to s**t before this process started; memory’s so damn hazy). Anyway I started falling asleep around the time my parents would get home from work. I’ve wondered if that was a bit of a defensive mechanism (eg body would just shut down, so I didn’t have to be around them at that time — I always hate when they just get home and all the stress & shit walks in the door with them — my mother in particular). But then napping during the day almost always screws my sleep cycle badly (often won’t sleep again all night if I do nap), but sometimes I just can’t stay awake (even forced myself to go for walks etc, eat food, call someone etc & body just starts to sag & feels like I literally can’t hold myself up) so it just seems completely unavoidable sometimes.

Right now, feels like I can’t ever remember actually waking up and feeling better/refreshed etc from sleep. I’m sure I must have as a child (??) or maybe not. Who knows? I mean the abuse would’ve been there from birth, so maybe I never did. Used to have nightmares a lot as a kid; recurring sometimes I think, usually of being trapped/chased/sometimes killed. OFten used to wake up (or think I did, at least) and be utterly convinced someone was in my room waiting to kill me. I’d pretty much forgotten that actually, but it used to feel SO fu**ing real. How’s this for child logic – all I had to do was put my head under my pillow & completely cover my body with my blanket and I was safe. 🙂 Now I feel sadly nostalgic for those days in a weird way. Maybe I should try walking around with a pillow on my head, just in case the “safe” feeling comes back! 🙂 (somehow I doubt it)

I remember my mother telling me I had night terrors one time, where I looked completely awake and was screaming about a truck coming to kill me (no recollection of that one at all). In fact as I think about it I was a pretty brutal “tosser & turner” from a pretty young age…. I remember waking up one time with the quilt stuffed down the bottom of the bed, and the quilt cover lying separately on the floor (I can barely get those damn things on or off even now, when I’m awake and TRYING to do it, let alone in my sleep!)

Hmmm. This is quite a strange stroll down “amnesia lane”. 🙂 Actually I just remembered how fascinated I used to be by sleep and dreams etc. Especially that weird stage when you’re somewhere between the two (eg if someone’s waking you up, and for a minute they’re in a dream with you but then the dream fades to leave only their voice or something). I used to think that sort of thing would be fascinating to study.

Well I actually feel like I could be close-ish to sleep, and there’s still a couple of hours before sunrise! (Generally not been able to sleep til daybreak of late, so I’ll claim this as a potential win I think!)

This feels pretty random. Oh well.

I hope everyone’s doing well!

PS Jen, I’m very sorry to hear about your son too. Really great to hear you’ve been able to deal with the emotions etc though! Thanks for sharing and hope you can have similar success with the next part of the journey! 🙂

PPS Joy, if you’re around atm, still thinking of you & really hope it’s all going as well as possible!


Darlene, I was stuck for a long time thinking that I needed validation from my family of origin to heal. You were the one who made me aware that wasn’t true. It is an important part of my ending the inmeshment of myself with my family and becoming a whole person. Thanks, Darlene!



I just donated a bit as a massive thank you for the work you’re doing here. I wish it could be more, hopefully soon I’ll be able to. Y


I love your sleep comments!
Thanks, Darlene

Hi Holli
LOVE your comments! Yay for getting those words out of your vocabulary and learning to apply new expressions of truth about your experiences. Glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Veronica,
Thank you! I got your donation; I appreciate it so much! Every little bit helps so don’t worry about the amounts!
Thank you again. I am very grateful
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J
Congratulations!!!!! That is very exciting. I totally understand the fear of your mothers reaction. I had so many fears about my parents reactions to everything. (esp. my mother) This is the work I always talk about. What is the fear? where does it originate. Those kinds of questions to self, and there are MANY of them.
Keep talking it out! I had many many discoveries through my own writing things out. (and I love Pam’s comments too…they apply to what you are going through.)
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Great comments! It was huge for me to realize that I didn’t need their validation and that I didn’t need anyones validation. I had to figure out the why of why I thought I did. That was when I got down to the bottom line of it. I am so glad you are here!
Love, Darlene


In the last week or so I have been thinking a lot about thinking. In particular about faulty thinking. I am just beginning to recognise that much of how I have been thinking over most of my life is skewed. Some of it I have done becuase I found it helped me to cope, to survive – some of it I was taught from a very young age. Either way, my thinking is often not right – I have a distorted view of myself and of the world – it affects my expectations in life and in relationships.
One of those faulty thought processes is a fantasy in which I meet my abusers and they apologise…..not only is it never going to happen – but I now realise that it won’t help me heal – I used to think it would….There has also been the fantasy of an honest discussion with my parents in which they acknowledged the damage that was done to me – that they were complicit in, either as direct protagonists or as bystanders. But in my heart I know that this would/could never have happened – they were far too blinkered or defensive for that ever to have been a possibility. And it would not have changed a thing.
As a child I fantasised about a fairy Godmother who magicked it all better – but again that never happened – still think about that one though 🙂
My husband has been so agnry with me since this all broke open. He was happier when I was sick and dependent on him, and resented my recovery into physical health. He has been honest enought oacknowledge that. The issue about my childhood has also deeply affectedhim – again his initial response was anger because it “robbed ” him of our sexual life, because he felt unwanted – it sure brought up a lot of issues for him about his own childhood. We now know we have similar wounds, although he was not sexually abused.
Since I have always believed I only had me I could depend on I have always understood that my healing was MY healing and no one else could “fix” me. So that’s OK.
So I went into my own therapy, and a short time later my husband joined me in couples therapy – and then went into therapy himself. IT has been a really hard road to travel, and no doubt there will be occasional hard times ahead too. As I have started to heal, my husband had the choice of staying put where he was and potentially sabotaging my efforts or coming with me. Thankfully he is with me.
Your post fits with my experience – as so many of your blogs do. It gives me great hope – the first hope I have had in my life. I am a long way from thriving yet, but I am now beginning to believe it might be possible for me to get to that place. Bless you, Darlene.
ps I just signed up for a course of CBT to help me sort out my thinking!


Congratulations on your success. How liberating it will be to be on your own. I truly cherished the times when I was alone (before marriage). I thrust myself into renovations of my condo, and ever further into thought. It was a blessed time in my life. I always look back on it with incredible fondness. ENJOY your newfound freedom!!

That was good…. the wedding show. What is it about naps that people sort of turn their nose up at?? ~ well, my mother at least. Although, she took a 15-20 minute nap every single day when I was growing up. She worked at home and every day right after “All My Children” she would take a little siesta. BUT, always always always know ~ do what she SAID, not what she DID!!

And, that reminds me of something I saw on TV once. It was a spoof of Jeopardy. The category was “Therapist”. The contestant chose that category and pronounced it “the rapist”. Not that I equate that with anyone in the field or anyone who’s had success with counseling. I just think it’s pretty funny!! Not indicative of my opinion, however!


The thought occurs to me that if we were able to be spontaneously healed of all our emotional trauma, we would no longer recognize who we are. I have developed many strengths as a result of surviving in a horrible environment, many of which I would not want to lose by a “sudden healing.” I’d rather have the choice of refining those strengths in a nourishing positive way as I mend the brokenness that caused me to have these gifts in the first place.

Transformation needs to be a gradual process. Too much too fast would be detrimental. Each new truth must be spoon fed, chewed on and thoroughly digested before we can even hope to see it manifest in our lives in a natural healing way. When this happens in my life, I notice it right away. I think, “Wow, I’ve really changed in regard to “this” and I didn’t even have to try, it just came naturally with understanding the truth.” That is a wonderful feeling. I like looking back and knowing that “I” accomplished this for myself (with God’s help lest I forget). Nonetheless, it wasn’t handed to me.

Love to all!


@Mimi, I think or at least I have heard people especially wealthy people look down on sleeping in any form. I used to hear wealthy I mean really wealthy people say things like don’t sleep your life away.( Not my family)we were poor growing up, but we have an entire neighborhood of billionaires in NYC one of the richest zip codes in the world but unlike LA or other areas where the wealthy live they are not separated there is no room for that so everyone mingles in NY. The super wealthy believe in constant frenetic learning for their children. It is really crazy in the 10021 and 10028 zip codes in NYC. I am sure you have heard of the nursery school competition there are years waiting lists like getting into an Ivy league school.
Living in NY that is always a constant thing, constant frenetic activity. It is fun for tourists but we in NY need to take time to rest.I have never been wealthy in fact been poor and homeless in the past. Just lower middle class or middle class now which is a dying thing in NY it is mainly wealthy and poor here not many middle class. But it is the constant energy of the city. It is everywhere but worse in the wealthy areas and families.
But the thing is they also use the most prescription drugs like sleeping pills anti depressants and so on. They aren’t healthy, just wealthy!
I have only learned to value rest in the past 3 years. I used to say I will sleep when I die. I ran myself ragged. My doctor made me rest and also the bible says we should strive to rest so if it is important to God then we should learn to value it as well! 🙂
The wedding show was really cute. It struck me since the groom was so young and attractive. I shard it with my husband. He liked it too!


I am stunned that people compete to get their young children into preschools. Wow, what are people thinking?? I soooooo don’t live that life. I love going to Chicago which is not too far away, but I always love coming home where there is grass, birds, my pets, and not nearly as much concrete. It’s all in what you’re used to I suppose. Incidentally, my mother in law used to say she would sleep when she died. I appreciate that sentiment because to me it means you’re living life to the fullest, unless, it becomes unhealthy. I want to continue to protect my sleep, but when I’m awake, I want to be UP and AT IT!! Getting something done!! Maybe that’s why I sleep so well. I’ve not often had insomnia, except when I overdid it on caffeine and that’s intirely possible for me.
Have a great weekend everyone!!


Yes, I have to do my own work of healing and taking responsibility for my life as an adult. That means letting go of the fairy tale idea that one day my parents will say they are sorry and that they truly love me. Like you said, healing doesn’t depend upon any of those things happening.

I have to be committed to my own healing and to doing the work no matter how long it takes or how much it hurts. The hurt does lessen later on. In the beginning, healing means facing and feeling all of those trapped emotions that I wasn’t able to feel as a child. Healing means not getting stuck but taking as long as it takes to release all of those feelings in healthy ways so that they don’t harm me any more. Healing means not waiting on others to change before I decide to do my own changes in my childhood patterns of behavior. In order to heal, I need to stop reacting as I did as a child and learn new adult ways of acting instead of reacting to the behavior of others.


Sometimes I feel very stuck in what you mentioned – childhood patterns of behavior. I get angry, non-functional at times, broken, as if the world is ending, sometimes at very slight offenses that many people would take in stride. My question is, in your experience, did the childhood patterns sort of dissolve on their own along the way as you released emotions? I’m so afraid that the next time there’s an offense, I will have a meltdown, and that will mean I’m back at square one (in my own mind). Sometimes, it doesn’t matter who the offense comes from. I don’t mean to say it’s random, but, if a coworker were to say I did/didn’t do/say something, I would mull it over in my head until it virtually consumes me. I might get angry, cry when I’m removed from the situation. I positively am sick of that reaction but it feels like I can’t control it most the time. As if I’m ready to burst with emotion. I don’t have all that much trust in myself that my reaction would be “appropriate” even today, after having a bit of the work behind me (hopefully). I appreciate your comments.
Thanks to all,



this is SO true! I started healing by leaps and bounds when I realized that I could heal despite my family and friends support and encouragement (or lack thereof) and that nothing any of them said or did/didnt do, would sincerely make any difference in my future. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t be made to) take responsibility for my childhood and the traumas that occured in it, but I alone am responsible for my life as an adult. I have the right to choose to do, say, think, feel, act, behave (or not) in any way that I alone see fit, and the biggest lesson for me in that, was the knowledge that, not only did I have a right to those things as an adult, but I also did not need to explain or justify one single action, thought, feeling, idea, purpose or anything at all, to ANYONE…not my parents, my children, my spouse, no one “deserved” an explanation for anything, except ME!

Those two things were the cornerstone to my healing…I DID have a choice in my life’s path, and I didnt have to explain or justify that choice to anyone, and it was MY responsibility to make my life what I wanted it to be…

Of course, like you said, then came the fear of “oh shit, what if I screw up??? What if I dont get that job/friend/promotion/degree etc.??? What if they all laugh at me and think Im just a big joke and no one ever takes me seriously???? What if I really am “broken” and all this therapy talk has just puffed up my ego and I don’t realize it? What if….

But one day, you just realize you have to face the “what if’s” head on, and that doing that, is the ONLY way to get past them, and prove to YOU that NOTHING can stop you but YOU! I am doing things today that I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER thought I would do. They may not be life altering to other people, but to me, damnit, they are HUGE!!! I have a steady job, for the last 2 months, for the first time in my adult life and I have only had to take ONE day off because of trauma related bs, in two months! I am getting to and from work every day 100% on my own, which for me is a big deal. I am being a more consistent better parent. I am a much more honest, compassionate, caring, loving wife. I am feeling things I have NEVER felt before, and not all of them are good, but they are all REAL feelings. Im being ME for the first time ever….and its awesome! I dont “need” to go to therapy every week now, I can make it a few weeks on my own if I have something come up and miss a session or two…its not a catastrophe….which for me is another one of those BIG deals!

I have proven that I can succeed at so many things, and I am so much more accepting of me than I used to be, which makes me more accepting of others….

To all of you reading this:

I know it sounds totally cliche’ and like its total bullshit therapy speak and you think “oh yeah, that will never be me, I have gone through too much stuff to be happy with myself or not need therapy” but I PROMISE, no matter how hard it was, no matter how hard it still is, the fact that you are alive and willing to even attempt healing, is ENOUGH proof that IT WILL happen for you….you are strong enough to make it, because you have already done the hardest part…you started trying to heal and have lived through the shit that was dealt to you.


Hi Libby
I had a lot of those same fantasies. Letting them go was really painful and difficult. Thanks for highlighting another way that many of us avoid the healing process.
Hugs, Darlene

Yes, quicker is not better! I can see that truth too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia
Nicely said Patricia. Thank you for your contribution to this!
Hugs, Darlene


I know your question was to Patricia but want to say that ALL of this lessened for me and all of it got better as I continued to pursue the truth about the past and heal those wounds by validating them first. All those reactions that I had to others had roots that I had not understood before. They were my childhood coping methods and learned reactions, but I didn’t concentrate on them in order to overcome them… what I did was keep digging to the roots of where they originated to find the lies attached to them.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Amira
Great comments!(#33) Very inspiring! Thank you for being here on this one.
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, all of my healing started with awareness. I couldn’t change what I wasn’t aware of. As I became aware of those patterns of behavior, I could work to change them. It was a fast process for smaller things but larger patterns with more than one trigger took longer. Learning to recognize the triggers helps. At some point in seeing the triggers as triggers, then I could watch my reaction. The next time, I might be halfway into the reaction and realize that I was reacting again. Next time I might only think about reacting until finally I don’t react at all. It all comes down to awareness of what I am feeling and knowing that I don’t have to keep reacting. At some point, I am able to see the trigger without reacting at all. I don’t know if I have explained the process very well or not but this is the process as I do it.


@Mimi, I had to stay in Chicago for 2 weeks is is nothing like NYC might as well be another country so much colder and so much more crime. But I understand what you are saying. Chicago is a cultural wasteland. 🙂 I thought most people knew about the nursery school thing because there are always articles and TV specials about it.
Anyway about my desperation I was actually 20 years old when I started in my healing journey. I am 48 now. I was already living on my own since I was a teenager. I told my parents I was leaving and not coming back. MY mom id not believe me my dad did. I guess they realize I am not coming back now LOL!
I did not however cut complete contact fully until 1993. I moved out in 1979 or 1980. Anyway found out my brother who also abused me raped his 2 year old daughter and broke her legs, and there was DNA proof though to this day they are all still in denial and she has been silenced. But at that point I began my journey. It was not the only thing but the biggest thing that happened. I was desperate not to live in a fantasy world like them and did anything and everything it took. Long journey but well worth it! This is a great blog that is very validating for me!


Thanks to each person who responded. I am still at a place where I’m not sure I trust myself, but I’ve always longed to be able to handle things without tears, self loathing, anger, consummation, etc. I take each of your words to heart, so I really thank you for your insights. I know we each process differently, so I’m thrilled to hear different perspectives. I feel like so much has been lifted off, just in the last 30 days, or maybe even less. I’ve taken a few strides in directions I would not have gone before. I believe those steps have made me lighter. I hope that future events or offenses will be easier to handle as a result of the few steps I’ve taken. I also think the pain I’ve felt this year has made me a little tougher. Some things just aren’t as important anymore. I’m thankful for that. Love to you all!!


Thanks Darlene & Mimi,

I appreciate your thoughts! It’s interesting you mention that that’s the “work” you talk about Darlene, as I’ve been a bit confused at times lately as to exactly what you meant when you talk about doing work.

A few things zoomed thru my head as I first read your post, so I’m going to try to remember them & see if I can do some “work” now 🙂

NOTE: This ended up being pretty much all about fears related to my christian upbringing. For the record, I’d prefer not to have anyone try and convince me to “return to god” or anything like that. I know there’s plenty of christians here, so some of you may prefer to skip this post. thanks

The fear can be probably be summed up as “fear that I’m doomed to eternal damnation”. I’ve had it as long as I can remember. I don’t specifically remember my parents actively telling me that, but it must’ve been implied by them at the very least. (My mother still seems to be stuck in a strange hyper-religious thing of her own creating, while my father told me not too long ago he no longer thinks that “God is the only way” — or something to that effect, anyway)

Writing that about my dad just reminded me how scared I’d been to tell them (and my sister, and my mother’s parents) I don’t consider myself a Christian anymore (haven’t for years). So it was quite strange when my father told me that out of the blue. One of the things that makes me suspect he’s got at least some idea of how I feel. (Not that that really means shit in the end though). It’s not like I’ve exactly gone out of my way to pretend things like I used to (eg not swearing in front of them, trying to pretend my relationships weren’t sexual etc). I used to believe that everyone who didn’t go to church was going to hell, and that it was my job to make everyone go to church so that they wouldn’t. But even as a kid I was to some degree aware of how weird/unwelcoming church would seem to most people I knew at school etc.

So, fear. The fear is that God is real and hell exists.

And I guess also I remember the terror I lived in for years (both for me, and my other grandparents and anyone else I knew who didn’t go to church) of that, and the strong suspicion that both my mother (and her parents) and my sister still see things in that sort of way, has made me reluctant to force them to understand that if their God is real, I’ve chosen to reject it/him, so I won’t be in their heaven with them.

There’s also the knowledge that my parents (esp my mother) have been so easily able to control me for so long thanks to their raising me the way they did, and the fear that I’d end up homeless & on the streets without them. That fear’s still there. (I don’t think it’s without reason, either). One of my biggest fears growing up was my parents finding out that I was a very different person when they weren’t around (eg swearing etc). I remember a “children’s book of bedtime tales” we had that were full of cautionary tales for little hellions like myself, including one where the little girl’s favorite teacher came over for dinner unannounced and heard the little girl treating her mother badly (disobeying etc), whereas she was a complete brown-noser to the teacher at school, and the teacher told the girl how upset she was, and the girl cried, and presumably changed her ways forevermore and re-earned her teacher’s respect & they all lived happily ever after.

Also a charming tale where a small child had commited some greivous sin (don’t remember what; probably something along the lines of taking 2 sweets instead of 1) and she later went outside and fell asleep and had a nightmare about her sins coming to life and smothering her to death. She then woke up to discover it had really happened — or so she thought, it turned out she’d fallen asleep on an ant’s nest & was completely covered in ants biting her. (Seriously, who comes up with shit like that?!?)

Sorry this is going all over the place. I still have the fear that I’m a f**ked-up pervert as well. (Due to my long-standing porn habit, there’s certainly a case to be made there, but the way I was raised I strongly suspect that even if I’d never even kissed a girl, and had ended up married, that sex would still seem filthy and evil, thanks to the active discouragement of any interest in girls whatsoever. (I know I mentioned this elsewhere, but when a gay friend asked me what it would have been like if I’d been gay, I had no hesitation in saying I’d have killed myself long ago. The amount of s**t I’ve scored from them for my so-called “normal” sexuality [and this includes long before there was anything remotely sexual about my relationships with girls] leaves very little doubt in my mind about what they would’ve done if I started showing interest in guys).

OK it’s super-late again & can feel my brain slowing down even more so I’m going to leave it there.

Hope everyone’s well.


Darlene, as usual, great post!

For years all I wanted was an apology from my parents for what they did to me during my childhood, instead of them saying they were great parents and I was ungrateful and didn’t honor them. I thought it would make a big difference in how I felt about myself and could finally begin to heal.

Well, after 40+ years I finally realized that’s not going to happen. I also don’t care if they apologize because I now accept they were very sick and should have never been parents. Big weight off my shoulders! I don’t need anything from them.

What I need is to continue to heal by learning to love and respect myself. What a hard job and not much fun but the rewards have been amazing. I’m just continuing to take baby steps when I can and giving myself permission to hold off when I need to rest.


To Mimi
THere are times – when I am having a bad day – when I too don’t trust myself , or scare myself. But it always passes – just hang on – try to find something to help ground you and hang on, till it passes. I am still trying to learn about loving myself, caring for me – but I now know it can be done – and actually in the past week I have done some things that are about caring for me better. Yes we all go at different paces in our individual healing journeys. There is no prize for doing it quickly OR slowly, no one way that is better than another. Some turn to religion (some turn away), some of us have great help in therapists, some do it on their own. Awareness comes when we are ready for it, realisations of the truth can be devastating nonetheless – and liberating. Each new stage adds a new fresh dimension to life. Either way, it is hard and exhausting – but even when I am down or exhausted I know I cannot stop now. I do rest more than I ever used to – I am managing to quieten that voice that compelled me to work non-stop. What a blessing!


I totally relate to what you are writing about here. This IS the work, you are doing great. I too was terrified that I would go to hell for my independant thought. (didn’t see it that way at first)
I was sure my parents held the key to my life; that they could end it if they so chose. I had all those misunderstandings too.
AND that horror story about the girl and the ants.. I am positvie those kinds of stories are designed to scare the crap out of kids. Scared into compliance. That was the story of my life until I was in my 40’s and found a process of digging down to the real truth.
So.. do you really believe that “god” would run his world that way? Do you think that a devine power would rejoice at the story of your childhood? I realized that no sane person would believe in that God and that junk had all been twisted to make me comply. Those were the kinds of things I looked at in order to expose the lies I had in my bleief system to myself so that I could right them.
It takes time so don’t lose hope!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Hold Fast
Thank you for sharing this victory comment! This is great
Hugs, Darlene

“awareness comes when we are ready for it” YES that is so true.
Thank you for sharing. I love your comments to Mimi.
Hugs, Darlene


I loved this blog post. It is so true and right on time for me.


Thank you for your kindness and insight (and everyone else). I’ve seen others’ comments about awareness coming in stages as well. I don’t know if I can handle anymore awareness this year, but, on the bright side, there are only a few days left of this year. 🙂 I’m believing that 2012 will be better. I have taken the spring semester off from school, and I won’t have any other serious obligations for a while. As in, I am choosing to not work for that period either. A big release and comfort to me is doing renovations. I have planned some great changes to our home and I’m digging in the first of the year. It’s my therapy; art form. I also have regular appts with my counselor during that time. I am really looking forward to it and to some deep and lasting healing as a result. I’m very thankful to be able to take the time. I have wondered how super busy people get through this kind of self help/work.

Sidebar: I have journaled so much this year too. Recently I did something that might be the edge of insanity though. I want to throw it out there to see if anyone else has done this during their healing. I was driving along, and in my mind’s ear, I heard one of the judgments my mother used to slather on. As if I was on autopilot, I told her to shut up and I didn’t want to hear her shit because it was a lie and I wasn’t listening to it anymore. I said it aloud, as if she were in my passenger seat. Again, it was almost like autopilot. It just sort of came out. BUT, the beauty….. she shut up!! And, so did the message in my mind. I instantly thought, WOW, that worked!! I wonder if anyone else has done this type of release? As in, pretending your offender is in front of you and you’re giving it back to them. I know, it might sound a little loopy, but, it did seem to work. Anyone else??



No you are not the only one. I hear my mother’s voice as well. I hear different things she has said in various conversations and my usual response is “You are an idiot.” Pretty much every line I hear her say I answer similarly. And then I’d feel like a bad Christian knowing that’s not the answer God would prefer and yet He does tell us to answer a fool according to his folly or else he will consider himself wise. That’s the best I can do. Since finding this site, however, the voices have stopped because I’ve become so much more aware of her tactics which were motivated by control and not love. I’ve learned rather quickly, just over the last few days, that my gut feelings (that I stifled) were always right and NOW I trust them. I don’t feel guilty for them. They ARE the truth.

Much love,


Thanks for responding. I’m relieved to know there are at least 2 of us who experience this. Honestly, I guess I believe if it worked for me once, I can use it whenever, just because it worked for me. The things I want to say to her, I can’t. I am also a christian. This year has really pushed the envelope though. I curse more. The result of anger just below the surface, I believe. The bible also says to resist or turn away from evildoers. If that’s a parent, I wonder how to honor and turn away at the same time. For now though, if I get the urge to curse at her and tell her how stupid, evil, and what a liar she is, I will do it…… of course, not in her presence. It did sort of sooth some of the anger beneath the surface that tends to reside there as a result of NOT being able to tell her how I feel. I can shout it and get it out. I guess it matters not if she receives it, only that I get it out. Thanks for your comment Jen!!!


Yes, Mimi,

The Bible does say to flee from evildoers in addition to bad company corrupts good character. When I think of my family, my character is quickly corrupted. All I have to do is listen to my thoughts and I know they corrupt me. That tells me a lot. The Bible also tell us that honoring God comes before and above honoring anyone else most especially those who do not honor Him. We are called to live in peace. There is no peace amongst liars, murderers and thieves, all of which describe my parents. I “honor” them by no longer playing along with their sham. Don’t beat yourself up.



No, you are not alone. I also talk back when the voices of the past begin. It only seems to work if I reply out loud. I think it is due to the fact that your brain will take it in as a truth if it comes to you in a voice. (Only speculation but sometimes my therapist has me do this too.)

It also seems to work when I began to have a series of nightmares. I will say out loud before I go to sleep that I only want pleasant dreams that will lift my spirits and cause me to have a restful night’s sleep.

Keep on doing what works for you. The only thing that borders on the edge of insanity is how we were treated in the past. Great steps knowing those were lies and being able to tell her that!



There is such a thing as righteous anger. We’re totally appropriate to get upset over sin. Evils such as abuse and neglect should incense us. But no matter who or what we’re condemning, we still aren’t justified to sin in our responses.

We can honor or respect our parents by not bad mouthing them in their churches or communities. I have no contact with my family but because I’m respecting them, I have decided not to call a news channel to do a story on them. (I have enough hard evidence that I could.)

Not sure if what I’m trying to say is making any sense. Sorry if I just took up space.


Hi Mimi,

just wanted to say (I’ve only quickly skimmed last couple of comments, btw) that one thing hit me like a truck in your post “She shut up – and so did the message in my mind!” That is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!!!!! And quite frankly, even if every shrink/religious leader/friend etc in the world told you you were crazy because of the method you used, WHO CARES!?!?! I’d take the silenced thoughts every time! 🙂 It really gave me a thrill just imagining the feeling of my brain actually being silenced for a bit. (I know it happens sometimes, but the way you described it just seemed so in-your-control, if you know what I mean)


thanks again for the encouragement! Especially given the subject matter and knowing you’re a christian, I really appreciate your understanding (I tend to automatically mistrust [or at least be extra cautious] if I know someone identifies as christian; which I guess I see as pretty understandable given pretty much all the abuse/s**t in my life has come at the hands of those who do) So anyway, it really stands out to me when someone who does identify that way doesn’t respond in a way I don’t like.

**********************************************************************RELIGION WARNING again…. this ended up being about my hopes/fears re life after death (or lack thereof). I don’t think I’m intentionally trying to offend all christians. I guess I feel like what I think now would’ve used to offend me greatly; and I guess basically if there’s anyone reading this who’s as closed-minded/judgemental etc as I used to be, then I feel good about offending you. (“Maybe you NEED to be offended” as a certain song says)

I’m not sure if I’ve written on here before about how I hope things could be (re universe, higher power etc). The sticking point always ends up being forgiveness. (As in, where [and how] is the line drawn between “you DO get into heaven/afterlife, but you DON’T?”)

Anyway, my hope (leaving that part aside for now) is that whatever higher power there may be despises all forms of religious (can’t think of the word I want…) I guess the closed-minded, “we have the truth and you don’t therefore you are wrong” kind of mentality that seems all too prevalent. I don’t know if anyone knows “The Last Battle” (final Narnia book), but the part in that where one of the so-called “heathen” who worshipped Tash (the “Satan” of Narnia) was accepted by Aslan (the “God” of Narnia) because of his heart, even though he’d actively rejected Aslan for Tash during his life.

I think I got to the stage of deciding that if there is a higher power, and it is the “God” of the christians, and he/she DOES sentence you to hell if you haven’t “ticked the right boxes” before you die (eg repented, changed your ways, confessed, been baptised, or whatever else the various denominations require), then I would choose to reject that god for that reason alone, even if I believed I could have scored my ticket to heaven had I chosen to.

I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I kinda felt like any higher power that would actually CHOOSE to set things up in that fear-based kind of way, I will choose to reject. I’m not sure I’d actually be tough enough to reject it if I somehow KNEW 100% that “ticking the right boxes” was the only way to heaven (and I somehow KNEW what the right boxes were”. I guess I hope that if there is a higher power, it’s secure enough in itself to not require any form of closed-minded “service” etc, and that when people die, they get to communicate with it directly (FINALLY free of all the bullshit humanity has saddled religions/higher powers with), and THEN choose what they want.

I mean, I just can’t see a way around forgiveness for the “big” things (serial killers, warmongers, child abusers etc) but nor can I see a way of “drawing the line” between what’s kosher (or forgivable) and what isn’t.

Also, I wonder about things like sex in the afterlife (I once read a quote somewhere along the lines of “christians spend all this time talking about heaven/paradise etc, but never once mention what most people consider the closest to paradise they ever get on earth”), and do you know/recognise people in the afterlife, and how the f**k could that work with all the pain, and what about the mess of reuniting with sexual partners. Maybe it’s just like a blank slate or something, and you somehow “know” you know other souls, but all the specific memories of pain & heartache are wipes away.

And the other thing I think about is all the different religions of the world. I guess I feel like, if you’re ready to believe that your religion is “the way”, you need to be ready to be wrong (whatever your religion is). And I wish more people WERE ready for that. Because I still maintain that nobody actually KNOWS “the truth”. There could be nothing when we die. There could be the christian “heaven”, or “nirvana”, or reincarnation, or something completely removed from anything ever conceived by humans. But it seems to me that religion is one of the doozies in terms of control mechanisms – not to mention probably the ultimate divider (patriotism would probably come second) that leads to war etc. But unlike patriotism, if you believe you’re fighting for ETERNITY, well then the stakes don’t get any higher, do they?

I think my worldview (and it’s very narrow in a lot of ways, but still sometimes feels pretty awesomely inspiring & profound to me!) is that if we humans could take back control from politicians, religious leaders, big business, monarchies, powerful countries etc and actually start ensuring that entire continents aren’t starving/dying of aids etc, and that everyone has a safe place to live (even if it’s tiny), we’d be doing a whole lot better. Of course, that would require a lot of people to let go of greed, closed-minded religious/patriotic/racist mindsets etc, so I won’t be holding my breath. But just start by admitting there is no truth that can be proven re afterlife/lack thereof, so stop f**king up the world in the name of religion/trying to impose your beliefs on others etc, and try to see the people in the world to whom even the poorest in the western world is comparitively rich.

********* PLEASE NOTE: that last sentence wasn’t directed at anyone specific here or anything. It’s just what I wish EVERYONE could/would do (and I include myself first and foremost)************

Getting sleepy again. I need a looooot of sleep atm. Hope everyone’s well!


J–I have SOOOOOO much I want to say about your last two posts, and I can relate to the Nth degree to them, seriously. I was raised a “Christian” (similar to how you describe your upbringing–a lot of talk and very little behind it) and have since adopted another faith, after a LOT of soul searching and asking and answering the same types of questions you are asking now (long before my healing journey ever started…actually in some ways my change in faith prompted some of the things that led to me facing my traumas)

and I have run the gamut from fear to anger to hatred to peace and love and acceptance and been all over the map in regards to what I believe and feel is “right” and the conclusion I came to is this:

for me, there are many paths to “God” (or whatever name you choose) and every religion has the same foundation, in a spiritual relationship with a higher power, but they have different ideas on how and what should be done to manifest that relationship in the public eye, and some of that is outright bulls**t in my opinion, and some of it makes a lot of sense, but I dont think any of it is necessarily “wrong” for any one person…just a way of seeing the world that I may not agree with.

“God” didnt just make a world full of strong, holy, pious, intelligent, honest, kind, beautiful people…he made it full of people who are mentally or physically handicapped and people who are liars and cheats, and at the end of the day, He (God) loves every one of them, just as much as he loves the other…and He (God) will meet them on whatever level they are capable of seeing. For some, its much more advanced spiritually than other people’s paths…so one person may need to believe they have to “tick a certain box” to get to heaven, and really truly honestly fear damnation if they dont….and believe that its the ONLY way, but may tell someone that who believes like I do, that there are different ways for everyone….and then I have the decision to either accept or reject their worldview…which is part of the learning in our journey here on EFB

to learn that it is OUR CHOICE what we believe and what we dont, and ultimately its between us and “God” and when we die, if there is a heaven/hell/reincarnation…it probably will matter a whole lot more if we had good intentions and tried to be the best version of ourselves that we could, and consistently worked to improve the lives of ourselves, our family and those around us in a positive way… matter what our past sins may have been.

I believe wholeheartedly that just because someone was a murderer or child molester, even ten seconds before they die, if they sincerely feel remorse for their actions and realize the negative repercussions of that, and ask “God” for forgiveness and intend to live the rest of their lives in a way that benefits others (even if its only seconds of time—if its sincere and not just a fear based response to imminent death) then “God” will understand and do what He feels is best, and just because we dont understand that completely, or it doesnt make much sense to us individually…doesnt mean it doesnt make sense to God.

People have used the weak minded, the fearful, the innocent, the oppressed and force fed them religious doctrine to control them, since the beginning of time, and I believe it is THOSE people, the ones who have distorted “God’s” truth for their own gains…who will go to hell if it exists, for causing immeasurable hurt and pain on people who had no options (at least in their own understanding) but to believe what they were told, and follow the teachings they were given.

I shudder when I think of children’s stories like those you mentioned…its stories like that, that plant fear in babies before they are old enough to understand and they become weak minded and fearful because they know no other way…and that allows them to be controlled and manipulated by anyone and everyone wearing a “God” cloak who says they will go to hell….and there begins spiritual abuse….and so I dont believe that religions in and of themselves are bad, but they have been so twisted from what they were originally meant to do in the world…that you have to really do a lot of inner searching and have a relationship with “God” in your own way…and trust your heart and your mind above all else.

Thats just my novel on the subject (and Darlene, I was not intending to hijack this beautiful post for a religious discussion but I had no way to contact J directly–feel free to pass on my email address to him if he would like to continue to talk about this off the blog…feel free to delete this as well and send it privately to him if you think its more appropriate also)


Thanks Amira,

parents are in the house so checking quickly & stealthily… will have to come back & re-read your post in more detail.

Thanks very much for the response! 🙂


Thanks to all who understood and commented on my false interaction with my mother. I appreciate the input, as always!

Because I’m Christian doesn’t make me feel offended or like I have a right to condemn you for your beliefs, so I want you to know that up front. Or, anyone else, for the record. For myself, one of the facets of calling myself christian means accepting people where they are, the way they are. I try to treat people with respect, empathy, honor and dignity. (not only because I call myself Christian, but also because I believe there is no excuse not to ~ until given an excuse, as in abuse, disrespect, etc.) I think knowing how to treat each other is at the crux of the universal abuse. I know my view is ridiculously simplistic in that I sometimes think, “ok people, stop treating everyone like dogs and act like you have some sense!!” In that thought I mentally include my family, friends who have betrayed me, the corporate giants that got there by stepping ON people in the rungs of their ladder to success, many Christians, everyone really. Deep in my heart, I wish the world was a better place and that people had the ability or skill, or knowledge; whatever it takes, to treat each other better. I believe there are so many people who have children for the wrong reasons. To fill a void in themselves generally speaking. My mother has always claimed to love kids, they’re her self proclaimed weakness. I always mentally add to that, “except her own.” She not only doesn’t have a clue who I am, she has no idea who SHE is either. It’s crazy!! Anyhow J, just want you to know I’ve always enjoyed interacting here and you most likely won’t be able to shake me off no matter what you write!! haha!!

Hold Fast,
Thanks for your support and comments. I am aware of righteous anger, but, I do still have some work to do with respect to what I was taught at an incredibly young age about anger, and how wrong and unacceptable it is. Not only that, but, sometimes I approach rage. Like you said, reacting in sin goes against biblical advice. Yelling curse words I don’t think fits into the little box of righteous anger, and that’s where I’ve been at times this year. I only hope that God has mercy for my reactions in that they came from a very deep place of excruciating pain. I have asked for forgiveness and mercy. I’m just in the beginning processes of sorting through truth and lies about my family, and taking steps toward healing. I still question my actions and second guess myself. The all out floundering has seemed to somewhat lift only recently. Some of the fog has cleared. So, now begins new processes and a degree of anger has simultaneously lifted. I’m so thankful for that. Thank you for your encouragement and reminding me of righteous anger.

Love to all,


🙂 thanks Mimi!

I’m more than a touch nervous about sharing a lot of this stuff; much of it’s been building for at least 10 years, but hasn’t really got out much. Probably more about me than about others at this stage. But still, the fear remains.

thanks again! hopefully each little (well, not-so-little, really) thing like this will gradually help me to learn that “christian” doesn’t automatically mean “abuser” or “judgmental” or whatever. (Having said that, old prejudices die hard, so I’ll probably always clench up a bit if someone introduces themselves as christian. Oh well. I think the urge then becomes “offend them and hopefully make them leave before they f**k with me”. And to be quite frank, there still seem to be plenty out there where that’s the best option).

ANYWAY….. holding on to the times like this, when that ISN’T the case. Look at me go!! 🙂



Claiming to “love kids” but not loving your own must be part of the pattern of abuse. We used to say this exact thing about my father. He seemed to love everyone else’s kids, just not us. He made that hatred really obvious as did his parents. And at least with this knowledge, you knew where you stood and expected nothing good from them. You knew to stay away from them. My dad would come home every night from work and we kids would immediately disappear.

My mother, on the other hand, was much more deceptive. Her hatred was disguised with gifts mostly. And since kids can be bought, it took awhile to figure out that the gifts weren’t given freely and lovingly but as bribes.

I’ve never felt anything by animosity toward my father but I will say this, at least he wasn’t deceptive. We knew his hatred. My mother’s deception infuriates me though but mostly because I didn’t recognize it for so long. When I did start to see it, I stifled those truths thinking they were imagined. And for the record, she considered herself a Christian while my dad was always a proclaimed athiest. It’s repulsive how much crime is perpetuated and silcenced under a faux Christianity. Thankfully, I recognized that too before rejecting God as well as my family.


With you on that one, Jen. (In a lot of ways at least).

The bribery bit is an old standard on my mother’s family’s side. And yes, they are the ones who still seem to consider themselves christians. I still have my tiny hint of hope that what they and so many others call “god” would be utterly rejected by any higher power that is actually out there…. but who the hell knows?

Everyone: I’ve been reading a lot of Frances Hodgson Burnett (Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy etc) lately. Some of them are f**king dark (even the supposed “kids” ones… Secret Garden starts with an entire household dying).

Anyway came across this description in “Robin” just now & wanted to share it. I guess I relate to it….

“I suppose I was born a dogged sort of devil,” he went on almost in a monotone. “The fact did not manifest itself to me until I came to the time when all the rest of me dropped into a bottomless gulf. That perhaps describes it. I found myself suddenly standing on the edge of it. And youth, and future, and belief in the use of hoping and real enjoyment of things dropped into the blackness and were gone while I looked on. If I had not been born a dogged devil I should have blown my brains out. If I had been born gentler or kinder or more patient I should perhaps have lived it down and found there was something left. A man’s way of facing things depends upon the kind of thing he was born. I went on living WITHOUT the rest of myself. I closed my mouth and not only my mouth but my life — as far as other men and women were concerned. When I found an interest stirring in me I shut another door — that was all. Whatsoever went on did it behind a shut door.”

I guess it made me think of dissociative symptoms. This probably has nothing to do with this current post (I’m in an antsy mood & don’t feel like reading it again), but I wanted to share it anyway.

Hope everyone’s doing well.



I have also experienced lots of that dialogue stuff and being aware of my mothers voice and others voices as well. Something that I started doing was talking to that voice in a slightly different way then what you are all talking about here. This was SO powerful.

What I started doing was saying out loud ~ “oh ya?? well what else do you have to say to me about that?” or “why do you think that about me?” and the strangest thing happened. Through those “conversations” I was able to find out what MY BELIEF system was about those statements I was hearing in my head. AND even more interesting is that the voice would often suddenly change to MY voice instead of who ever was putting me down in the first place. I did a LOT of this kind of work!

Great conversation everyone!
hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

I seem to be in a quotational mood today… I just found this in my list of potential song lyric/title ideas (unfortunately I didn’t write where I got it from):

“Cultivating a Real Love of Self: It has been said many times that we cannot love others if we do not love ourselves. But what does this mean? We usually think that it has something to do with having self-esteem or with giving ourselves emotional “goodies” to compensate for our feelings of deficiency. Perhaps, but one central aspect of a mature love of ourselves is caring about our growth sufficiently not to flee from the discomfort or pain of our actual condition. We must love ourselves enough not to abandon ourselves—and we abandon ourselves to the degree that we are not fully present to our own lives. When we are caught up in worry, fantasy, tension and anxiety, we become dissociated from our bodies and our feelings—and ultimately, from our true nature.

True love of self also entails a profound acceptance of ourselves—returning to Presence and settling into ourselves as we actually are without attempting to change our experience. It is also aided by seeking the company of people who possess some degree of this quality themselves.”

The final sentence made me think of EFB.

Hope everyone’s doing well!

PS thinking of you Joy


Hi Hold Fast
I don’t think that respecting my parents has to do with keeping silent about abuse from them. I think that we disrespect ourselves when we keep silent for the sake of their reputations or whatever. I am not saying that it is a must to report or to talk about all this stuff publically; I am just saying that keeping quiet for their sake is not respect. That is what we have always been taught to do.
Hugs, Darlene

Great comments Amira,
No worries about “hijacking the post” I appreciate your input! Thank you! Great comments
Hugs, Darlene

GREAT comments Jen, Mimi, J. and Hold Fast! Love this discussion.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for sharing that. My mom was also very deceptive. My dad didn’t have to do much, he left when I was 11. He really checked out long before that though. Just never home, always out drinking, a stranger to me really. Anyhow, I don’t know which is worse, gifting with deception, or not gifting. My mother is the world’s most selfish and greedy person. She refused to ever give to my sisters and I. Holiday and birthday gifts of course. But, to lend a hand in financial need, or just buy something she thought I’d love…. that never happened. BUT, the thing that makes that really evil isn’t so much the lack of contribution, but the contribution to other people, then announcing it to us/me. Giving to a young family who’s struggling, etc. (in the form of cash). When I was young and struggling I just knew not to ask. One time she thought I was asking, although I wasn’t, and her response was, “well, I don’t know what you’re going to do.” This was after my last $40 was stolen and I had a couple weeks to go before payday. She was just a witch. She wanted suffering on her kids, I believe. Who knows – my work now is focused on figuring me out, not her!! I’m thankful for my awarenesses, no matter how heartbreaking.


Hi again everyone,

this feels like a very strange night/morning… I keep popping in to do (for me) small comments, then finding something else I want to share….

still reading FHB “Robin”; it’s such a harsh but real book. I seem to force myself to read/watch things that are pretty distressing at times, but seem to need lots of little breaks when it’s getting too much for me.

Anyway I just read a part about a man who never went to church going regularly during non-service times after WWI had broken out, and always finding broken soldiers back from war and their families, often just kneeling there crying. It’s described: “He did not know why he went in; his going seemed only part of some surging misery.”

It just reminded me of a habit I’ve had (no idea how long… possibly several years?) of reading the “In Memorium” notices in the newspaper (I usually try and avoid all news sources as much as possible). I think maybe it’s something to do with all the people who have fond memories of their parents & seem to have genuine love etc. Also perhaps because of my first serious relationship which ended just before her sibling was killed in a car crash. I think I’ve written about this before, but I actually thought it was god punishing me because we’d made out the night it happened for the first time since breaking up.

Anyway. Morbid, but hey.

PS Mimi, my mother’s parents (well, her mother really, when I think about it) often blows her own trumpet re giving money to others. She gives to us too, but it’s long since felt like more of a bribe/purchasing of us etc. I just thought as I was typing that, what would happen if I just refused to take it? I think she’d get angry. I’ve at least semi-seriously tried many times, but she usually just stuffs it into my pocket anyway. I dunno. Makes me think of another kids book (but again, very dark/realistic) the Tillerman series by Cynthia Voigt. There was a line from Dicey (a girl, the main character in most of the books) who was looking for someone to take care of her and her 3 siblings along the lines of “Her kind of charity was dangerous, because it expected things in return”.

When I actually think of how much wisdom is contained in many of the “kids” books I still keep & read, I feel much less childish for still keeping and reading them. In fact I’d argue they’re often harsher than “grown-up” books, because many of them contain children having to deal with grown-up problems.




The “Christians” like my mom and the ones you describe are nothing new. They are the modern day Pharisees and Saducees. They had all the religious pomp and were very vocal about how “good and godly” they were all the while committing every crime known to man behind the scenes. These are the ones Jesus told point blank that their father was the devil and He rejected them. God is not fooled by these hypocrites though we may be for awhile.

I was very fortunate that my grandparents WERE very godly Christians. Their lives were marked by compassion, humility, grace, mercy and love and if not for them, I would not be here and at peace with God today. All this to say that there are a lot of hypocrites out there but when you meet a true Christian, it leaves an undeniable impression. You don’t feel like spewing in their presence, you crave being near them.



In regards to this:
December 11th, 2011 at 10:38 am
Hi Hold Fast
I don’t think that respecting my parents has to do with keeping silent about abuse from them. I think that we disrespect ourselves when we keep silent for the sake of their reputations or whatever. I am not saying that it is a must to report or to talk about all this stuff publically; I am just saying that keeping quiet for their sake is not respect. That is what we have always been taught to do.
Hugs, Darlene

Oh Darlene! You must be an answer to my prayers… This is the only the 3rd time I have posted on here because I just found ‘you’.

Just a few moments ago, prior to reading this, I was sitting here questioning and wondering what others would think about me finally stepping out and being open about the emotional abuse that came from my mother and other family members as well and then I read this. ) Thank you my new found friend. This has given me the courage to reach down to the core of my abuse and address it like I should have been doing. Although, rejection will result in exposure, it is worth it.

I just want to share something with you.

After years of sexual abuse from my mother’s brother, (beginning when I was 11 or 12) of which I kept silent, 2 years ago I finally told my husband. He had known about other family members who had abused me as a child, but for some reason this particular person I chose to continue to protect. For many years, I made the decision to stay away from him and not have him involved in my life. When we would cross paths during family reunions, etc., we would be very kind to one another and it was genuine, I believed.

For reasons I cannot explain, I did not even tell any of the many therapists about him. I truly loved him and really wanted him to love me as his niece. Whenever he was in my presence, I made the choice to pretend as if it had never happened. However a few years ago, my husband had started inviting him over to our home more and we began doing the typical family things together…bbq’s, dinners, etc. We were even planning a family vacation together. It reached the point where we were actually spending every weekend with him and his family. If they weren’t at our home, we were at his. My husband would always say he couldn’t understand why I had always been so withdrawn from the idea of having him around more..telling me what a great guy he is. My husband truly thought of the world of him and I just could not bring myself to tell him the truth.

I honestly believed that since so many years had passed that maybe I could accept his presence in our lives and chalk it up to just a bad mistake. At that time, the last “pass” that he had made towards me was when I was 26 years old. Since then, I had avoided being around him until we began the weekly get-togethers.

Then, his mother, my grandmother, got very ill about 6 years ago and I went to KY to stay with her and take care of her until she was better.. I had always turned to her in search of that bond that I lacked from my own mother and although we lived 500 miles away, I felt she filled that void. The relationship that she and I shared was awesome. I felt so very very loved. Since she was the mother of my biological mother, she knew and understood the emotional abuse that her daughter had done. Her compassion towards the situation was genuine. She was the closest thing I had to a real mother. I was her first granddaughter. I loved her with all my heart and she always called me her own daughter…until 2 years ago.

While there, in KY, he, I will call him “bob” drove down to see her prior to her being released from the hospital. I was staying at her home awaiting for her release from the hospital, alone, so he naturally stayed there as well. The very first night that we were alone in the house, he made a sexual gesture towards me, which truly devastated me. He actually just got up from where he was sitting, walked over to the couch, sat down next to me and put his head in my breasts. I told him to leave me alone..I was scared, embarrassed, hurt and I was stunned! So much so that I didn’t even know what to say…All I could think to say was how his mother was lying in a hospital bed, maybe dying, he was in HER home and disrespecting her like that. At this point, I was 45 years old and he 53. He laughed at me.

Four years later, I finally told my husband. My husband has always been so supportive of me and he was furious. He contacted “bob” and basically let him know if he ever saw him again, he would not be able to control what he might do to him. My husband also contacted my father, who he ended up hanging up on, because my father told him that I just needed to let stuff let that go and keep it myself. (My father knew that his own brother had molested me when I was nine)

My husband convinced me that I should tell “bob’s” younger sister, who was like a sister to me. She and I grew up together and never even considered our relationship that one of a niece/aunt. We were truly best friends and sisters..until this. I phoned her in Ky and told her what had been going on for all of those years and how it had happened again while I was there caring for her mother. At that time she didn’t believe me and called my grandmother- her mother- and “warned” her that I was “making up” things about “bob”. Needless to say, I was heart broken. Eventually, my sister/aunt told me that she did believe me, but I can tell she blames me and now our relationship will never be the same.

Sadly, my grandmother didn’t believe me and the relationship she and I had shared that was so amazing was destroyed. Losing her has been a harder grieving process than losing my biological mother. She and I have not spoken now for two years. It has been made clear to me that when she passes away that I am welcome to attend the funeral.

My mother/father said I should have kept my mouth shut and now I no longer have any one left on that side of my family that wants anything to do with me. I have just recently began to heal from this rejection.

To be honest, the hurt is so deep that I am having such a difficult time with it. Because of bad choices I had made in my own past years ago, I know that my family uses that as an excuse so that they don’t have to believe that “bob” would do such a terrible thing. At one time, I turned to drugs and alcohol to self medicate before I reached out and sought help from professionals.

In closing, I guess I would just like to say to anyone who thinks they should “keep the secrets” inside instead of exposing the Perpetrators that I struggled with it and although my story my sound sad to most, it was the beginning of a new life for me and sitting here right now, I have no regrets. I heard once that we are as sick as the secrets we keep…I don’t want to be “sick” any longer.


Thank you for sharing some of your history ~ I know that takes courage. There is a ton of stuff in your post. We don’t tell for many reasons; usually we have been groomed not to tell. Many people continue to have a relationship with their abusers and just “shove it to the background” This is how many of us handle it. You are dealing with it now. That is the main thing. And yay for your husband!
One of the things that I realized on this journey about rejection is that I had been “rejected” my whole life. They didn’t hear me, they didn’t deal with the things I needed help with. They didn’t validate my needs. etc etc. The final rejection was not actually a new thing. Lots to think about with that one!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mitz,

just wanted to say hello & welcome. Also well done for sharing your story – “well done” sounds strange to say in this context, but hopefully you get what I mean. (I’m very tired & found it a confronting read, so I can only imagine what it was like to tell it).

I’m really glad to hear you found a new life for yourself – that’s so positive & awesome!

take care

PS just noticed Darlene’s comment “Yay for your husband!” – I’ll raise a glass to that! 🙂


Jen and Darlene, thank you for taking the time to read the things I shared here regarding some of my story. I don’t think I ever realized until today how much I craved someone “listening” to my pain. I was taught by my mother that my thoughts and or my opinions were not important, so through out the years, I have kept pretty silent. Due to the fact that I really did not ever believe that anything I said was very important, I found myself through out my life, shortening my comments/opinions/responses in a conversation because I truly felt like I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with ‘me’. The validation that I have received here today is so overwhelming to me and I cannot thank each of you enough.


Your story was is so profound. It is so incredibly painful to have to let go of people who are still living, due to circumstances beyond our control. I miss my sister and the relationship we had so so much. She was such a treasure to me. We speak, but very lightly. I’m also still mourning that loss. It’s heartwrenching. We used to talk every day. Now, it’s just gone. On a lighter note, I’m happy you’ve found refuge here, along with the rest of us. Thanks for sharing because each story lends the rest of us hope as well. And, of course, thank you Darlene, for all you do.


What helped me the most in breaking contact with my family was realizing that they were NEVER going to be the kind of parents/sister/grandparents that actually love God’s way. Their means of love was controling, critical, malicious and guilt-breeding. It was one thing that they did all these things to me, but then they started messing with my kids and THAT is where I drew the line. They have nothing healthy, building, or loving to offer any relationship and as such I reject them. My kids don’t miss them. I don’t miss them. More and more, I have come to realize that my Father is God Himself and the more I’ve allowed Him to fill that role, the more I see His hands covering me, healing me and guiding me to truth and healing. That right there is the #1 thing that keeps me moving forward toward healing and free from guilt that this is all my fault.


I like you, miss my sister (aunt) and our relationship. She was always the very first person I phoned if I had any kind of news to share, good or bad. She is the one I shared everything with. We were baptized together in our teens, wearing a matching dress, we wore the same wedding dress, she was my maid of honor, we lived together several times. We sometimes shared phone calls that would last 8 or so hours, etc. I knew I could call her no matter what time it was and she’d be there for me and visa-versa. I drove several times a year to KY to visit her. Now when something happens that I want to share with her, I have to take a moment and think before I pick up the phone. My heart is grieving terribly over the loss of her.

She and I have had a few conversations since this all came out about her brother, but it is obvious the wall that has been built between us now. My mother is her oldest sister and she knows the abuse that came from my mother. My mother emotionally abused her as well and tried in many different ways, many many times throughout the years to destroy mine and her relationship. We knew our relationship was so strong that not even my mother, with all her lies and manipulations could touch us. So in believing that, and in sharing the bond that I believed was unbreakable, words can’t even describe the loss. Unlike the relationship I had with my mother, I knew she never loved me and a part of me, from childhood, knew she was incapable of giving unconditional love. When the final chapter of mine and my mother’s relationship was written and then closed, although it was/is painful, it was something I had saw coming for a long time, so I was sort of prepared. I guess that is why the devastation of losing vicki was so much harder on me than losing my own mother. I was blindsided.

Your words are words I could have written myself regarding the fact that those in my family that I lost could never be who I needed or wanted them to be to me. My husband has been such a rock for me in this. Often he tells me that it is their loss. : ) Jen, also that side of my family were/are Christians and I was raised to be a Christian as well. However, after being deserted and not even given the chance to tell my side of the story, like to my grandmother, makes me question the religious beliefs that I once had.I truly believed that my grandmother was the epitome of Proverbs 31. Now I find myself reevaluating all the things I was taught regarding religion and have been on a wonderful journey of self discovery that includes many many different religions/beliefs.



Oh, my family claimed to be Christian as well. They lied about a lot of things including that. They were Christians for company only. It was all a sham. I realized that when I acutally cracked open my Bible, read and studied who God really was for myself. My family falls into the category of the hypocrite, the Pharisee, or the Saducee. They are NOT Christian regardless of what they profess.

Best wishes!


I just found your blog. About a year ago I learned my MIL was a narcissist. Since then I have been trying to “see clearly.” As you well know that is not easy!

Thank you for this blog.


i have suffered from depression as long as i can remember. i dont remember a time when i was not depressed. doing the work is so hard when you cant put life on hold and say – hey i need 10 years to work through all my crap from my childhood so can we just hit a big pause button ? trying to deal with emotional pain from more than 40 years ago is just exhausting. I am dealing with deep pain every day. I feel betrayed by almost all of my male friends. I realize that almost none of them have worked on their own stuff, let alone acknowledge it. I realize that i need to be around people who are healing and who have healed. I have broken off some so called friendships this week from people who i thought cared about me but when i asked for accountability from a group of men about six months ago none of them stepped up to provide any real accountability at all. i even said i didnt care whether it was a phone call or text or email. Just something to check in. I wrote them all an email and told them that they dont deserve my friendship and that i shared something very hurtful and was vulnerable and they pretty much just totally ignored my request and have made no effort at all to check in with me. I guess this validates darlenes point but i feel the need to have accountability in some areas of my life. i have been an emotional wreck for a long time. the scars from my childhood run very deep. my father was very verbally abusive to me and i was sexually abused by a male cousin. where are the healthy men in our society ? My god are there any healthy men who have truly worked thru their issues like we are doing here – of course this is almost all women. females tend to support each other much better than males do. i feel like Joseph from the bible who was thrown into a hole and betrayed by his brothers and left to die. the pain and hurt is so intense at times it feels like my heart is going to burst open. I have lived with a broken heart for so long and have felt so alone and isolated most of my life. thank you for this site Darlene and for a place to share my thoughts and feelings. i never had that growing up. I am still learning that its ok to share. I just want to get better. I hope it comes sooner than later. i cant take much more pain.


Hey Dave Healing is healing, comunity is comunity, support is support. I have always felt that an ear to listen, male or female, is a great help to lessen the pain. There are men here


Hi Linda
Welcome to emerging from broken
I think you are going to like it here! Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave
Healing is so hard for everyone. I don’t know anyone who had the luxury of putting life on hold. I certainly did not. I was married and raising 3 kids when I totally fell apart that last time and could not put the real work off any longer. I know it is hard. But don’t let that stop you.
I am sorry that you are in so much pain. I understand that kind of pain.
about men; There are many men here. They don’t share as often, (although “J”. is a man and he shares on almost every post) but this is not a “womans site” I know that doesn’t comfort you much because you seem set on needing males to recover with but I see that like some of the conditions that I placed on my own healing which I had to just let go of. I had to let go of the thoughts that I could not heal “unless”….
Believe that you CAN get better and go forward from there. That is what worked the best for me!
I am glad you are here; there is hope. Gender is not the issue.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jimmy
Nice to hear from you! Thanks for your endorsement!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave,

I feel like you in that I wish I could push pause on my daily commitments and just deal with this full force. But I’m a wife with three kids (whom I homeschool) so this is just not possible. This past week, things have been so “fresh” again that I’ve found myself doing what I did as a child; doing the bare essentials to keep life going and as soon as that is done, retreating to my own private corner of blackness. It’s frustrating in that I feel like just when I might be having a “breakthrough,” duty calls and I have to leave whatever progress I just made. By doing that, I actually lose a little progress. Like two steps forward and one back. That’s pretty much been my life though and this is what I want to be free of. I have a very blessed life. God has given me a wonderful husband who is the exact opposite of the kind of people I grew up with. I have wonderful children and our family is doing well even in this economy. Life is good so I should be happy too. But what happens when life is good is that I have nothing pressing to focus my energy on so I focus on the past. I am greeted with that inner feeling of doom and it dampens all the joy and peace I should be feeling. And when there is any sort of conflict, that inner doom seems to magnify it. However, now that I see both of these things more clearly, I am not letting that doom have complete control of me. It’s a conscious change that I am making but I truly want to feel better inside so that I can enjoy what is outside.



What you have experienced is outright spiritual abuse. You probably think ‘religion’ is a dirty word, and why wouldn’t you? But the way you warn others of your potentially upsetting posts show you are looking out for the interests of others, and that, to me is what a true and nice person is, regardless of their religious orientation.:)


My heart goes out to you. I wish I could give u a big hug, I really do. You are in the right place here. I think there are not many men here because a lot of men don’t open up like you have. You are to be commended for that. It will benefit you greatly. As you said you can’t take much more pain, well here is a place where you can begin and continue to heal. Good onya mate!

Love to all xo


Thanks Michelle.

That’s really beautiful of you to say. So easy to forget my caring nature (or perhaps more accurately, to invalidate it by thinking of as “sucking up” / “trying to make people like me” etc).

Thank you so much 🙂


Jen and Michelle

Great comments to Dave. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
Jen ~ I too was homeschooling during the intense part of my process. It was hard on everyone, but my kids saw me fight for my life and win. Now they know that it can be done! They saw me take my life back. They fought me on it, they were afraid of the changes at first, but everyone was so much happier in the end and they got ME back, fully present etc.
Hugs, Darlene


My newest post is about control and manipulation as it relates to the way that we become convinced that we NEED others to validate us believing that if they do, we will be able to achieve emotional healing.Lots of fog busting thoughts in this new post.
You can read the new post here:
Manipulative and Controlling People and tactics used to control.
Looking forward to the feedback there,
Hugs, Darlene


I wish I could hug you too. I think so many men are programmed from young ages to be “tough” and not allow their emotions to show. I also think the result of their lack of attention to emotional injuries is what fuels the adult men who prey on children, etc. I wonder if they had worked through their issues, would they need to prey on children in a sexual way? And, not just that way, but all manners of abuse. My husband has road rage. My counselor said it was suppressed anger from long ago. It sometimes consumes his thoughts honestly. He does have some issues to work through. He treats it as, or should I say, I observe him treating it as something that hasn’t affected him (the issues from childhood), downplays it, says it doesn’t affect his daily life, he is generally a happy person, etc. I don’t know why he avoids the roots. Maybe it’s just too painful. Anytime I bring up something serious that he doesn’t want to discuss, he will get up and say something like, “well, I got some work to do in the garage….” That generally ends it. He’s perfected the art of avoidance, then, emotions seep out his pores when he’s driving. He doesn’t get in a rage necessarily, I should correct that, but he gets pretty hung up on what other drivers are doing; thinks they intentionally do things to frustrate him, etc. Dave, I find avoidance is the behavior of a lot of people. At the first mention of something that isn’t sunny and light, they start stepping back. I’m not at all like that. I’ve never been able to brush things under the rug. I always trip over it eventually. Just since I found this site, I’ve tried to accept that in myself, rather than view it as a character flaw, which I’ve always believed. I encourage you to keep visiting here Dave. If it’s women who respond, you still might gain something unexpectedly. I know I have. I can’t tell you the times I’ve read someone else’s story and had a light bulb moment. I hope to see you here again!!

You have an amazingly caring heart. I wonder why you’re scared to live alone? Or be alone?? Do you know why, and do you care to share??

Thank you…. for everything!!



I find myself saying the same thing; “I should be happy”. I’ve decided for me personally, that’s an expectation, and I don’t think I need to put more of those on myself. A revelation I’ve had since coming to this blogspot is that I have unrealistic expectations of myself. I know I have to accept who I am as a fundamental first step. Part of that for me has been letting go of ‘some’ (baby steps) of my personal expectations, rather than believing what I’ve been told ~ that somehow I’m inherently flawed. Just in the past few months, when that phrase has crept into my mind, I’ve tried to tell myself that yes, I’m blessed, BUT, that doesn’t make life perfect. I still have some stuff (a lot) to deal with. I appreciate my blessings, or at least try to, but I know they don’t erase the muck I need to wade through at this time in my life. It does serve as one less thing to stew over. I’ve always agreed that money can’t make a person happy, but my personal sidebar to that is, “it sure does give a person one less thing to worry about.” And the more things you can tick off your worry list, the better, right? I view my current life as blessed and something I don’t have to worry a lot about (for the most part). But, again, it in no way negates the damage inside. It has freed me up on some levels to DEAL with the damage inside. I hope I’m making sense??? When I pull up some of that damage or something/someone else does, my blessings don’t do anything to dampen that pain. It still really hurts. Sheesh, I hope this makes sense!! I feel a little cephalically scattered today!!
Love to everyone,


Hi Mimi,

I do see what you are saying. For me personally, I’ve used the “I should be happy” as a barometer for “I still have unresolved issues.” After my son died, I had to process not only his death but also the horrendous circumstances of his life. It was tumoltuous to say the least and while he was alive, there was not time to sleep or cry, only to deal with each new hurdle as it came. So I was impacted heavily with grief at the time of his death. So much to work through. I knew I’d never be able to walk through that and live without God so I allowed Him to lay things on my heart and I vowed to work through them. It became sort of like someone dumping a bunch of mismatched files into your lap and your job was to put them in some sort of order and file them away. That’s what I did. It was all I did the first year. The second year was less work; about 3/4 work and 1/4 living life. The third year was about 50/50 and now it is only when triggers come up. I don’t run from the pain, I ask God what He is trying to teach me through it. The grief has substancially subsided from my son’s life and death. Enough so that I know I’ve completed the grieving process and dealt with all the unresolved issues there. So after all of that, to still feel like “I should be happy” and I still have this undefined gloom looming painting everything black, I know I still have unresolved issues. Possibly things I am not even aware of yet and actually that’s what I believe the real issue is. So, I am not putting pressure on myself to be happy. I am using my unhappiness and gloom as a reason to dig deeper. Let God dump the files in my lap all over again, so to speak.




Thank you for your description of the “mismatched files” that makes a lot of sense & makes it easier for me to see that I am going about this the right way.



I cannot imagine the work and all out heartache involved in losing a child. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have a mother’s love for a child. I could never have my own, and not sure I was supposed to. Long before it was determined I wouldn’t have kids, I often wondered if I could effectively parent a child, from an emotional perspective. That’s not what I wanted to post about so… next subject.

I feel that gloom too. To say I can willingly shake it is not true. Blessed or not. I am concerned that my post made it seem like I had the magic bullet or something. I want you to know that if it sounded that way, I absolutely didn’t intend for it to. Sometimes I too can’t shake the darkness that seems to be, for me, general disappointment in the way life has happened, and in finding out truth about people I loved and trusted. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time Jen.



No apology necessary. What I always read and infer from your comments is nothing but compassion and love. Never anything arrogant. So please do not worry.

In regard to children, I didn’t want any for similar reasons as you. When I met my (now) husband, I was raising and training my first colt. He was about 1.5 years old at the time and followed me around like a puppy. He was my baby, and still is! My husband’s comment at that time was that I was going to be a good mom someday. That was more than 17 years ago and you see I still remember it. I do believe my horse taught me to mother. He is 18.5 years old today and as it turns out, he is quite possibly the last reminder of my horrendous home life. That is bittersweet knowledge.

Mothering kids came naturally. Through it, I was able to heal a lot of my sorrows before I could even name them. Something about doing someone else right does help ease the pain of the wrong done to you. I have two teenagers now and a 7.5 year old and they act so completely different than I did at their ages. I mean, they are happy, well-adjusted kids who enjoy being home. It’s very striking!

Much love!


Thanks Jen. I appreciate your response.

I am an animal LOVER. I loved your story about your horse teaching you how to mother. I think “non” animal people sometimes don’t understand the depth of relationships with our pets (babies). Even among those of us who do love them, I wonder if we know what all is going on in their communication and interaction, and how intelligent they really are. My dog stares out the glass door everyday about the time my husband should be getting home. He sits patiently watching out the door, same time everyday. It blows my mind. Three different species in our house; each loving the other and living in peace. 🙂
ps – maybe they could teach my family how to do this.


Hi Mimi,

just saw your post (#83) – that’s so beautiful, thank you so much!

I can’t remember the context of your question (scared to be alone) – was that in relation to something specific I’d said, or just more general question?

Anyway I think I’m scared to live alone because of the brainwashing that I was incapable of supporting myself. Also the constant nagging re any little household thing having to be done “her way” (my mother’s) rather than “efficient” etc.

Bit of a double whammy this one – first off, the implication that I’m incapable of figuring anything out for myself / wrong when I think of a more efficient way to do something because it’s not “the right way” [ie how she’s always done it], and 2nd because of all this in a lot of household type areas I’ve just switched off & not wanted to have to interact w/her so don’t actually know how to do a lot of stuff / worry that I’m not doing it “right” [not by her standards; more as in “will eating this make me sick” or “how often do I have to clean things to not get sick from some weird infection”

In regards to being alone, I think I’ve been afraid of my own head/thoughts for a long time, because I have felt suicidal at times. And just knowing how easily my brain/thoughts can find a tiny little chink in my thinking & weasel its way in to f**k with me.

(That feels somewhat schizophrenic writing that. It just reminded me of my GP telling me one time that all the mental stuff is all in my head (not the causes of things necessarily, just the actual mental processes etc). As stupid as this seems in retrospect, I don’t remember ever realizing this before. The way I remember thinking about it (this sounds very morbid, but wasn’t meant to be) is that if I don’t exist, the problems don’t exist. (I don’t mean problems that have causes from others; just the mental gymnastics getting stuck on everything etc). It actually felt positive in a strange way I think…. (thinking…) oh yeah, it felt positive because it helped me to realize that nobody can really KNOW what’s going on inside my head unless I tell them. So this helped me to realize if I don’t tell him things, he can’t even begin to understand them. (Again seems very obvious in hindsight, but felt like quite a big realization at the time).

Anyway been on for quite a while already; time to cruise I think. Should probably eat something sometime today too! 🙂


To all, I’m sorry this is off subject.

To Darlene and J, my faithful micro supporters. I just checked my grade and she gave me a “B”!!! I’ve never been so happy to have a “B”. I’ve actually never had one before but in this class I was honestly looking for a “D”. It’s over, I made it through those last few weeks and came out with a letter grade I’m happy with, although I always expect an “A”, I’m okay this time. Thanks to you both for your support and validation!! I felt so much better about it after I posted here and you both responded and encouraged me. THANK YOU!! Hope everyone has a peaceful, safe, healthy, and very Merry Christmas!!!


Hey Mimi,

that’s so awesome!!! thanks heaps for letting us know – must admit it’d slipped my mind with everything going on, but it’s really great to know it worked out well for you! 🙂

Also really glad I was able to be a support for you – I know how much it’s meant to me when I’ve had people respond on here!

Merry Christmas to you too!

PS I can’t remember which thread we talked about this in to look — was this the end of your study now? Even more congrats if so!! 🙂


That is fantastic! Thanks for telling us. It feels great to stand up for yourself, doesn’t it??!! I hope you don’t have to deal with that woman again but wow I am so thrilled for you about this outcome.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene and J,
I can’t honestly remember which string ~ I think maybe anger on the path to healing?? And, no J, not the end of my study, but the end of any contact with the professor from H*LL.

Perhaps one more victory to celebrate. Nearing the end of the semester, she passed out a review. Each student fills it out and it’s turned in to the dean, approx 2-3 weeks before the semester’s over. Pretty standard practice. Here’s the other thing though…. when the day of finals was over, a SECOND review was posted to each student in my class, on our college account homepage. It stated that because students don’t always feel comfortable being honest before the semester is over, etc….; It went into details about how it’s anonymous and what the professor can see/not see. AND, your grade won’t suffer because class is over. We all got the opportunity to answer about 10 questions and enough space to write until your wrists wear out. And, boy did I!! I’ve never had that happen before in all the classes I’ve taken there. I wonder if her number is almost up!!?? 🙂
Thanks again to both of you!! Hope you have a sunny day today!!


Hey Mimi
That is wonderful! Sounds like you had an impact ~ perhaps you have saved others from going through what YOU went through! YAY
Thanks for sharing this second win!!
Hugs, Darlene



let me put it this way — I strongly doubt the college is doing a 2nd survey and highlighting the “anonymity” details so strongly to make people feel comfortable enough to share the POSITIVE stuff they weren’t comfortable writing about before! 🙂

They’re on to her. Even if she’s not gone now (or soon), one more step outta line from her & she’s toast. And as Darlene said, if you hadn’t done what you did, who knows how long it would’ve continued?? MUCH respect for having the strength to do what you did!!!


Again… thanks to you both. I HOPE I’ve saved others from this woman’s wrath. I hate to think of all the young lives she’s discouraged in the past. She is well past retirement age. Ah well, I’m just glad it’s over and I don’t have to see her again. She did need to be stopped or siginificantly slowed down. I hope you’re both right ~ that there was some kind of impact. Hope you both have a very Merry Christmas!!
With much love,


Thank you Mimi & Jen & Michelle and of course Darlene. My wife keeps pushing me towards relationships with men. She is somewhat scared of me having friendships with women. I think she is afraid i will run off with some other woman. I have never cheated on her in 10 years but she is still not comfortable with me even having lunch with female friends. Pretty much all of my male friends have abandoned me during this journey. I did make one new friend recently that has actually worked on his stuff. he can relate to some of what i am going through. I cry every day. I have been crying every day for years and years and years. I dont know how else to let go of the pain and the past and all the hurt and disappointment. I spent 21 years trying to please my mother in every way possible and she ended up betraying me in the end and so did my father. The first time i ever shared a bed with someone was when i was molested by a male cousin. the first 6 months of our marriage i slept on a mattress on the floor of our bedroom. i could not bare to share a bed with anyone. I still struggle with the shame and pain of being abused. I value your prayers and support. I need them. I get almost nothing from my church and very little from friends. My heart has been broken my whole life. It feels like someone took a sledgehammer to it and it just shattered into a million pieces. It hurts all the time. Please pray for me !



You can count on me to cover you in prayer! I’m sorry for the constant pain you describe. Hang on, there is hope, and help ~ right here on this blogspot.
Love and peace sent your way!!


Darlene, What you have said about the abusers- family members, not admitting their mistakes would not change your healing any faster. I totally agree. I wanted this for years and would talk to my mom about certain past incidents, hoping she would see the error of her ways & at least admit she made mistakes. I was always the problem for bringing the past up & hurting her. I stopped doing that because I was beating a dead horse. I realized she will never think I had it hard because her past was worse. She even said that to me once that she didn’t understand my depression, since i was loved as a baby (kissed a lot) & never abused!…Well, i was upset with this since she will not acknowledge my pain or take any responsibility. She actually turned it around many times & told me she doesn’t like when people don’t take responsibility…hint hint!…Well, i know this is far from the truth with me- i’ve taken much responsibility for myself, by going to therapy for most of my adult years and i’m 43 now!…she doesn’t go to therapy, because in her mind, she was a “good Mother”…i told her once she was not capable of giving me what i needed & she was not a good mother…Well, she was furious at me & didn’t talk to me for a while & i kept my distance. I have learned not to go there with her- it’s a dead horse and I set limits around how often i see her & my father, which includes Holidays. There is more to my story & my brother & sister feed into her sickness and “appease her”- in their words!…I’m the black sheep for speaking the truth & setting boundaries and limits. I would not do it differently, since they don’t provide any real support for me or my kids. It’s about them- when will I be over next, i don’t tell them when my son has his activities, so they can come & the give excuses to come over to my house…i do empathize with my mom’s serious diabetes- she is very sick & continues to work even though her disease is in control. She will need a insulin pump to regulate her sugars….Anyway, her moods r up & down because of this & i do not visit, because she will lash out at me for some little thing!….My dad told me about her unstable diabetes & i said i’m sorry to hear she is sick. He suggested not to visit because she is having a hard time…well i said, it’s best i don’t visit because we would rub each other the wrong way…my dad laughed- he knews & he is very loyal to her….So, the false loyalty, compliance, obedience runs rampant in my family…the more i write, the more i want to stay away from my mother in particular but i have been trained that family is “thicker than blood” & respect your parents…even when they make big mistakes & cause harm!….Sorry for rambling but this helps me to process & purge some of my issues….Thanks for listening…I’ve never wrote about my family like this and feel guilt about doing so….I’m tired of being a compliant daughter!….


Oh my God, I talk back to my voices in my head too!…i usually do this, when i’m home alone or in the car. I talk out loud too…sometimes people in other cars look at me, but i ignore them and continue when they are out of sight. This talking back is a way for me to reframe my thoughts and i say out loud, “that is not true or that’s far from the truth!”…it does make me feel better & reframes the voice of my mother or someone else criticizing me, as out of line or lying!…Wow, it’s amazing i’m not the only one talking to myself lol!…I know i’m not crazy or out of my mind lol….


I’m glad to hear you do it too. I was questioning myself in those posts above. I thought, “well, it’s confirmed…. I’ve lost my mind” Just a good coping mechanism in desperate times. I’m happy it works for you too, and you found out as well, that you’re not the only one!! 🙂


Well you have found the right place to share this stuff. The thing is that what is going on is wrong. I felt guilt when I first started talking about this stuff, but today I realize that seeing the truth by talking about it saved my life. With my mother, I told her that we could either work it out and have a two sided mutually respectful relationship or not. She picked not and I found freedom and more emotional health then I ever dreamed existed.
Glad you are here, please share often!
Hugs, Darlene

About voices Mimi and SMD ~ talking to myself was a huge part of my process. It was one of the ways that I realized what my belief system was deep down. I think it is totally healthy and it worked for me!


Darlene, Thanks for your understanding & validation, that what is going on with my mom is wrong. She is a narcissist & i’ve known that for years, however i have struggled with maintaining some kind of relationship with her, despite the Fact that there is always something she will do or say that will trigger me. I do believe in the Truth of the matter & for me to see clearly who my mom & dad are- (the good, the bad & the ugly)….because for so long i expected them to be the loving parents i so needed. My mom is a good caregiver with providing good food & occasional money at the Holidays, but those things don’t really matter to me. I’ve wanted a nurturing mom all my life. I realize I’m a nurturing mom to my kids and i do talk to them about their feelings. I was not allowed to talk about my feelings & my dad saw it as a weakness if i cried. I feel so sad when i think about how i suppressed my feelings as a child & an adult because of my family’s belief regarding feelings. Anyway, i’m a work in progress & i’m in the process of healing myself with the help of a caring counselor. I believe this blog will also help, because the people here are empathetic due to their wounds as well….I will continue sharing as i feel up to…some days i will not feel up to it because of my depression, but i will try to rise above. Thanks for sharing your healing process.I learning so much already by reading your posts- you are so intelligent & insightful!….Thank You


Mimi, Thank you for your support & validation with talking back to the voices. It’s a relief to know i’m not the only one!


It took me years to realize that the good does not cancel the bad. My mother made sure we were fed, housed and clothed. There were even occasional treats. But that didn’t cancel out the damage, the danger she put me in, the men, her lack of caring when I needed help and I kept trying to make the good cancel the bad. It was when I finally faced the truth and then the damage that I began to heal.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene and SMD,
You might have read somewhere here that I sent my mother a letter about 12 days ago I think. I held her accountable for some big life altering lies she told in 2011. She has not responded. My counselor insists that God wants me to have “some form” of relationship with her and that the big 10 states I’m to honor her.

This question is mostly for you Darlene. I’m struggling with the implications of the counselor. I understand what she’s saying because I am a Christian. But, don’t I get to define what Honor and relationship means…. between me and God? Not between me, my counselor, and God. I feel like if I allow my mom and I’s relationship to drudge on the way it always has, my mental health will be at stake. Do I have to give up on my own mental health to Honor her?? It doesn’t seem logical to me, but this Honoring thing has been waying on me since I saw the counselor on Monday. Thanks for your help.

I hope you will come and talk even DURING the times of depression. I found that it was then I reaped the most benefits. I was able to release and there was nearly always someone here to affirm, or respond in some way. It helped me realize, at least in my depression, I wasn’t alone. Releasing through writing is a big help to me, even in journaling, but I know everyone is different. I have an inherent need to spill it out somehow, so it doesn’t overflow into my attitude and life, and even the way I treat people. I tend to carry around irritation if I haven’t vented in some way. Thinking of you.
With Love,


I needed to read this, thank you. I relate to this on so many levels, and I think for me I have the added nuance of literally being born “broken” I was born with fixable birth defects. I always felt I deserved being treated the way I was treated, because I had caused it. Realizing that it was not me, made me angry at first and I felt like I did not want to have to do the work. Now I realize how empowering it really is to be the one doing it, it is giving me the power to define myself and my life rather then letting others do it for me as I always had. Thank you!


Hi Mimi
Therapists and councillors are only people. They are not always right. I had a huge struggle with this; I was so torn with the obligation stuff and it was okay for me to not have a relationship with my family. But here is the bottom line for me. I did my part. My mother is the one who walked away from me when she refused to respect my boundary or even ME as a person. Why is is up to me to constantly carry the burden of the relationship?? Why do I have to overlook her treatment of me? What does that mean? Why is it that no one (in the sick dysfunctional system) ever suggests that my mother is the one who is wrong? It has always been up to me to “fix it”. By my mothers actions, SHE doesn’t want a relationship with me.
At the end of the day I realize that there are many many misguided people in all professions and I do not have to give them credibility just because of their “profession”.
Hope that helps,
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. as far as being a Christian goes, where does it say that following Christ means letting people abuse or devalue you? Christ’s message is the original message of equal value for all people.

Hi Randi
Welcome to EFB! Yay for your victories! It is empowering to be the one doing it!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene and everyone

I have just read the article and most of the blogs here and I soooo relate to much of what has been said. My healing journey began once I became a Christian and as my relationship with God grew stronger I was finally ready to deal with the root issue of my pain.

Two years ago, I was thirty three, the Lord revealed a long hidden repressed incident of sexual abuse when I was three by the boyfriend of a nanny. Some healing took place but as Darlene said we are the only ones who have control over our emotional healing. I have suffered with depression over the years but leading up to this revelation, it became so bad that I could no longer work.

I have always struggled with female friendships as my sister and another girl also interferred with me – put it this way, my first passionate kiss was with this girl. I have huge trust issues and have had many tumultous, volatile situations since.

My family is very disfunctional my father is an alcoholic and my mother is in denial. I have been the rescuer. Last year Dad had a run-in with my sister and mum ended up getting struck. Since then my sister has had nothing to do with them).

Last year I moved away from home to study and build a life of my own, However, I came down with anxiety and had to pull out of the course. I have had counselling on and off over the years some of it has been useful others not so. My take is that the ‘Church’ does not understand sexual abuse victims, or alcoholism, or homosexuality for that matter. It is not equipped to deal with the fall-out. That’s not to say that God doesn’t understand and is unwilling to help and heal. But it is a journey, it’s not a quick fix and I am working alongside Him. I have since found a safe and wonderful man who loves me dearly and KNOWS me. His mother is a wonderful woman who has been instrumental in my healing and ministers to Christians. I am building a life for myself that doesn’t revolve around my parents and their problems. I am finally starting to live at the age of 35.

At the moment I am enjoying my vegetable garden and I live in the country with beautiful green paddocks and hills and i see the sun set every night from my kitchen window. I start a teacher aide course next week so please pray for me that I will be able to cope with my anxiety…I have hope that this time will be better.

Thank you for all the comments and Darlene your posts have been very encouraging thanks so much.


Darlene & Mimi thanks so much for your support. It is a relief to be able to talk about my family issues without judgement! I do journal, but now i have a new avenue, in which I can vent with others in the same situation. I have shared some of the info in Darlene’s posts to my counselor, and she was pleased that i am here! Like Martin Luther said, “Only The Truth will set us free!” I Look forward to sharing, so i don’t carry all the baggage of my family. Thanks……


Hi ShellStar!
Welcome to emerging from broken! Thank you for sharing your story. I found gardening to be a very soothing and healing time to think. Yay for building a life for yourself.
Hugs, Darlene


Just came across this post. I love it and its so true. I remained stuck for years in my healing, because I was waiting for someone to apologize, etc. Thanks for this.


Hello darlene,

Great blog, so inspiring, and encouraging.

I am afraid of changing my life because I also believe that I will fail and feel worst than if I have done anything.

I was also discouraged during my youngth to do things things by myself.

I was discouraged by my father to escape from his power.

I am so stuck.


Hi Aurele
I felt that way too, and I found out that the fear was keeping me from life itself. This site is about how I found the courage, and how I learned to encourage myself. You can too!
I am glad you are here.. keep reading.
Hugs, Darlene


I was very angry when I read this. It smacked of the dismissive “Get Over It” command that gets tossed whenever I am not doing well.
I have other issues that are aggravated by the sexual abuse issues. So I am dealing with them as I try to deal with these. And both mental illness issues as well as sexual abuse issues are “managed” by the Mental Health System which I find to be incredibly ignorant and slow to treating people with questions about and problems concerning MI and SA. In fact I find many workers are often manipulative and abusive towards the people they are suppose to be giving treatment to.
Ultimately I know I am responsible for myself (and my children who have also experienced abuse but so far not MI.) I am not afraid or embarrassed to say that I will still seek peaceful respite and someone to guide me by the hand. Sometimes I need someone who has more experience than myself to lead me when I am blind. Experiencing symptoms of BP puts a large hold on my mental recovery. I have been incredibly strong and tolerant i life so far. I know I will continue but sometimes I a mental vacation.


Hi Bipolar Bear
This post is not meant to tear down the reader it is meant to inspire hope that emotional healing doesn’t depend on outside circumstances but it possible for all. There is no shame in getting help. I got help but I did that for me. I get paid to help others. I am certianly not saying that getting help is not necessary. I too have found that many support people are abusive to the very people that need them. (and I think they are in the wrong jobs!) When people say “get over it” that is a whole different thing than saying “you can do it”. In your comment you say several times “I am dealing with them” and that is what I mean. I am so sorry that this post offended you and hope you understand that was not at all my intention.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] ones teaching me that false definition of the word trust, that I was able to realize the truth;  I didn’t have to trust anyone until they proved to be trustworthy. By the same token, I do not expect people to blindly trust me either. Trust in healthy […]


I have been a benevolent lurker on this amazing site for some time now, and have to open up and tell you how much it means to me that this kind of help and community is now available to anyone. The first seeds of emotional healing were planted in me 25 years ago. I grew and learned a great deal in the last quarter century, at least enough to know I don’t need “them” (my emotionally abusive parents) because I am able to love myself. I was suicidal at 17, they still don’t know, but today I choose to live. I have discovered artistic talent late in life and it’s now a driving passion.
One thing I haven’t worked through till now is figuring out why my family abandoned me, why my mother chose herself and not me. Reading on here has helped me so much to connect the dots, see the family history with new clarity, and feel compassion and forgiveness for Mom. Thank you and love to all!


Hi Stitch
Welcome to EFB ~ Self love and self care were both the solution and the results of healing for me.
Glad you are here, hugs, Darlene


My mind is driven by the need to be healthy and free rather than stuck and in pain. But I thank my mind for providing me with the ability to follow the process in manageable increments.


Darlene, thank you for these words. I’m excited to “emerge from broken”, very hopeful. I read your blogs every day and always get the goods!! I grew up in a very disfunctional household and even though I’ve been out of the house for 20 years the relationships are still there and a complete mess. My parents divorced when I was 13 ( I’m 36 now) and a sibling of 4. My father was an alcoholic and recovering for 20 years now, being the recovering alcoholic that I am I have forgiven my father. I wonder how it happened but I’m so glad it did. The mental, physical, emotional abuse was horrific. I was the only sibling never hit by my mother or father. Reasons today I believe was Fear. He’s going in tomorrow for brain surgery and I’m sitting in self-pity because my mother Still hasn’t called me to see how I am or if I need anything. I have all these expectations of her and I’m not sure why. Growing up she was never available why dhould I think she’d be available today. I guess it just hurts. I’m so angry and just wish I could let it go and move on with my life. My sponsor tells me until I accept it I will remain insane. I’m in between it being acceptable behavior and accepting she’s a sick woman and totally incapable of reaching out and being a mother.
Thank you for your blogs, they help me a lot.
Thanks for letting me share, I’m trying to change and be the best person I can be without hatred. Love and peace are the keys to happiness, and pain is the touchstone to growth.


Hey Darlene! I can just feel the power as I read this and I applaud you because I’ve come to realize that my anger is my greatest motivational force to keep me trudging throught the crap.

I used to be afraid of my anger because it felt wreckless and out of control. I was afraid to own my anger because I was afraid I might do more harm with it. I felt such rage to my mother and I was told by a counsellor to confront her with it.

That may have been good advice if it was in a controlled environment where a mediator could be present but I did it on my own and it could have cost me my life. When I started to express I how felt and then she asked if she could explain her part I completely lost it and if restraint was not with me that day I felt like I could have actually killed her. I chose to walk away and cool myself down. That’s the day I learned that I too had my own demons that I must get under control.

It’s a very sick feeling to know that I am capable of killing another human being, especially my own mother and it also taught me alot about the person I didn’t want to be. After I thought about what could have happened to me if I did succeed, it made me feel even more sick inside. I could have ended up in jail and added more onto my plate. It was a very humbling experience and it made me realize that love or fear is a choice. I could continue living in fear and put myself and others at risk, or I can choose love and heal my wounds and learn to start my life again.

I am so grateful I chose love and even though there are times when I ask myself if the journey is worth it, I remind myself of that day and I thank myself for making a good choice. I may have not been able to choose my up bringing when I was a child, but I do get to choose how I will heal and love myself through the wreckage of the past.

I thank you so much for being a bright light to get me through my dark moments. The sharing in this forum is priceless and I am truly inspired to hear other people’s stories because it reminds me that I am not alone and that I matter. My self worth comes from the love I show towards myself and the rest is out of my hands. I can’t control how people will respond to me but I can walk away if I feel my life is in danger or not respected. Education is power and I’m grateful to have tapped into it. Namaste to all of you on this journey! Hugs!


Hi Molly
Welcome to EFB ~ It does hurt. For me I was only able to let go of the expectations was to validate for myself how wrong the whole thing was. NOT to try to understand my parents and not to try to forgive when they were still denying that they ever did anything wrong but to validate that there was dysfunction and it wasn’t my fault. That was the beginning of the process of healing for me. Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


One of my stuck points was thinking that I had to get people to understand that they were wrong, being mean, mistreating me, being disrespectful. I thought I hadn’t succeeded until I was able to change them. So I continued to feel unworthy. Now I accept that these people are dysfunctional, they are not going to change and that them not changing is not my failure. It is theirs, and my well-being does NOT depend on them changing at all. I feel much healthier after changing my thinking on this. So my work is on validating the damage they caused and no longer blaming myself for the way that they treated me.


That was a big stick point for me too. Accepting that they were NOT going to change was huge and freeing for me!
Awesome comments!


[…] “In the beginning, when I first realized that I was not born broken and that the way I got mes… […]


It seems like I have to keep on starting over with the healing process. I keep getting sucked back in. I separate myself and the next thing I know I get involved with them again. I had a long time of staying separate from my father, but still spoke to my mother. I have realized lately that she is so much a part of the horrid abuse but she was subtle about it. She used me as a scapegoat and a buffer. It was a weak moment when I invited her to my wedding (at 50) She flew to Texas and was SOO NICE to me. I mean, I was CONVINCED she changed. She kept it up for a week.. staying supportive and loving. I bough the whole deal. It turned out that she was so jealous of my new home that she HAD to have a new home. She bought the house across the street from me CASH. Now they are back. I am not talking to them again. They have sucked me in and now I pay by having to deal with them across the street and its my fault for being stupid.


Hi Leslie
Welcome to EFB ~ It isn’t your fault. You were responding out of a good heart. It isn’t your fault that you got sucked in again. It is part of the way the grooming process we go through in childhood plays out later. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


[…] (Note: Here’s a great post over at Emerging From Broken.  Emotional healing does not depend on) […]



Your story has truly inspired me to father heal myself. Last week I went to speak with a dr about my depression and I instantly realized it’s not up to them. It’s on me and my thought patterns. As soon as I admitted to myself that it’s my responsibility, the healing process began almost naturally. For so long, I’ve felt very alone and dependent because I’ve allowed myself to be that way. I’ve allowed people to take advantage of me because of my need to be dependent on someone. My need for the validation of others buried me underneath the rubble of depression but now I’m learning to fight. I love your quote “I have to fix what someone else broke”. That perfectly describes my situation. A lot of things in my childhood is now the root cause of my insecurities and fear that I deal with. It’s getting better everyday but I do also feel resentment towards my mother and father. My father wasn’t in my life and my mother was sort of like yours. She didn’t treat me the way she treated others. Now that I’m older and going through my issues, I can sense her guilt. It makes me so angry but I remind myself that it’s my healing process and holding anything against her will only hinder my progression. Just the fact that I know that I’m healing myself is a wonderful feeling and it allows me to admit my flaws instead of hiding them from the world. I love sharing my story because there are so many people like me who are dying to live without the fear of rejection. Thank you very much for sharing your story. God bless!

-Mr Reid


Hello Mr Reid
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
Yes, I hear you. Looking back I realized that I thought I needed validation from others, because I had been so INvalidated by others. I had been defined by others so I believed I would be re-defined by others too. I had never been empowered to know that I could do anything (like this) by my own steam so I didn’t know. I am so glad that I found out!
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

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