Inspiration and Hope for Emotional Healing


Taking your life back

It is never too late to heal

I received a comment from a reader this week that just blew my socks off. I was inspired, flattered and thrilled by her words. I was reminded of why I do this work and why I chose to create this website (emerging from broken) in the first place. This is what it is all about! These comments are so filled with life and hope that I asked for permission to share them with my readers because hope for emotional healing was the first key for me. Please welcome Diane and her lovely comments by sharing your thoughts with her and I.

Diane’s comments came in on the blog post “Security Blanket of Coping Methods ~ My Survival Mode” which was written over two years ago in February 2010!    

Here is what Diane said:

I found the archives! I didn’t know there were archives, so now I have so much more to read and learn and grow from! Yay! I went through something so life changing last week and weekend and I have spent this week simply allowing the reality of it and the joy of it soak in. I became healed and free at the core of my being from the abuse of my parents..from caring about them and what they used to think of me…from wondering WHY did they abuse me…from excusing them from abusing me…from hating myself to loving and liking myself…and the list goes on! This is what I have been hoping, praying, searching, crying and desperate for!

Last week the puzzle pieces to my childhood all fell into place for the very first time in my life and I was able to let all of the blame and shame and hatred and dislike and rejection of ME GO forever. I now feel WHOLE as a person for the very first time…I don’t even feel damaged! I was crushed like a bug and now I am not. Now I feel compassion for myself…which I have never felt before. I want to heal more and more the bad habits I developed in trying to cope with abuse and neglect and move forward away from everything unhealthy. It is like a miracle has happened to me and I am so grateful and happy and the most important thing to me is that I can just BE MYSELF. I am able to just BE. No sense that something or someone is looming over me in disgust at how I act or what I say or how I do or don’t do things….no guilt and shame that I am less than ANYONE else. All of those feelings have disappeared. I don’t have to pretend or wear a mask in order to please someone. I really don’t have words to describe this new freedom, but I can say this: I WANT to learn now how to care for ME in new ways…I want to get rid of anything and everything that has held ME back.

I am now able to see when I need to question why I respond in different situations like I do. My next biggest “level” of healing is going to be with my husband. We definitely love each other in a healthy way, but there are also old patterns that just won’t work anymore. His silences…and me trying to fill them. It is amazing how silence can be controlling of someone else…deliberately. So I want to tackle this in our marriage..and I know he is trying to heal and change too, so I am looking forward to this process over time. I am really enjoying that now there is going to be a new process to change and living. I look forward to not trying to escape my life…but to BE IN IT and living it in the present.

I always felt like I was waiting for my life or something big to happen in the future, but really I was running away from myself and my life to a huge degree because I didn’t feel worthy of anything good for myself. I was the biggest cheerleader for everyone else, but I always only pretended that I was secure and motivated and full of self esteem…I wanted my daughter to have that as a mother and not how I really and truly felt on the inside. Now I don’t have to pretend and it isn’t because of anything other than I now believe it. My parents were so wrong in what they did and what they said and how they treated me…..and it was not love. I can now accept all that and I am not sad to let them go…I am more than happy not to have that in my life anymore! Yay!

So…I just wanted to say that my summer is going to be spent in loving myself and learning to self care and self soothe and find out what I want to DO now. Anytime I might feel the old emptiness or loneliness or voids, I am going to begin to ask myself WHAT DO I NEED right now!

Thank you Darlene….many many hugs and thanks to YOU!  ~ Diane

Please share your thoughts with Diane and I.

Inspiring hope on the road to healing;

Darlene Ouimet

Did you know that the Emerging from Broken book “The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” 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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See the original post and comments here:    Security Blanket of Coping Methods by Darlene Ouimet                                                



Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



Darlene & Diane,

What an inspiring post!..I can relate to the belief that, I can just “BE MYSELF” with “no guilt & shame that I am less than Anyone else”. When I threw my Freedom Rock, I felt peace & hope from the guilt & shame. I notice when those feelings come up now, I say to myself,”Is this really true or do I believe that?”…this has enabled me to look at my false guilt & shame and turn it around.I was also thinking today, that I do not miss wearing a mask & pretending to please everyone, especially my parents & in-laws. I came to the realization that I will reach out to family members, when it’s mutual & not out of obligation. I have the freedom of choice!

I’m not obligated to my parents or m-i-l. I know other family members do things for my parents & m-i-l out of obligation or the right thing to do. Well, that is phony. For example, my s-i-l has recently taken my m-i-l out for Mother’s day & had her over for Christmas. I know she is doing this because that’s her husband’s mother. She has made it clear over the years, by her actions & words, that she doesn’t really like our m-i-l. I was getting into a Spin about feeling guilty for not doing something for my m-i-l, however, I am there for her a lot of the times not just Holidays, we talk & visit regularly and my husband does a lot to address her needs because we CARE. She is over 80 & lives alone. She is not an abusive family member & I do have a relationship with her.

My m-i-l is unlike my NPD mom & controlling/critical father. I have nothing to feel guilty about…I’m not going to let other’s actions in the family dictate what I’m going to do anymore. If they are doing things out of their own guilt or obligation then, that’s their choice, I will not cow tow to their expectations. My family has high expectations on both sides and I’m tired & done with that way of thinking!

My mom recently gave me the silent treatment and it rubbed me the wrong way, however, I know that’s about her and I left early. In the past, I would have tried harder to please, feel wrong or guilty about her behavior and stay. She was not nice for treating me this way. I told my dtr today, that if one of her friends is being mean or hurtful, tell them how she feels. How easily I say that to her, but how hard it is for me to say that to my family of origin & in-laws. I’ve started to say things like, “that was hurtful what you said” or “that doesn’t sit well with me”. I just want to BE ME & that is GOOD ENOUGH! It is about Being not Doing for everyone else. I always think I’m getting off track and confusing myself, but I did get the jest of the post LOL!
Thanks for posting it!
Hugs to you,


SMD, when I wrote the above, it was….and still is! 🙂 ….because I realized all of a sudden…in a rush of thoughts and feelings…that I had absolutely nothing to do with why my parents…or others abused me. It was all because of them…not me. I literally did nothing to bring on the abuse…I did nothing to make them neglect and reject me as a person. Their own feelings and anger and pain from their past had been unresolved and unhealed and they did not attempt to try to get free …and so they were perpetuating the same family patterns with me and my older brother. Plus we were in the way of what they really wanted. That used to hurt me horribly because I could not accept that I was not loved or wanted…and I was truly in their way. (in their minds). I was able to see it clearly and able to sit …and not try to numb out or run from…the pain of that rejection. I also was able to admit to myself that they did not love me. It is a difficult thing to swallow that truth because the words “I love you” were said and my parents believed…in their denial….that they loved me. Those were mixed messages….those words and my desperate wanting of them to be true…vs. the reality of how they treated me. The guilt and shame of feeling the way I always did too! So for me…it has been an awakening experience to sit with my pain and face the cold hard facts. Once I did….and I also visualized me rescuing myself as a child and smashing and destroying everything that I remembered in order to get out and get unstuck and to get to a safe place….which was powerful for me to do!….I was completely free of all that pain and shame and guilt. I don’t know how to articulate it other than to say that I know I am healed at the core of my heart and being, and with that realization is also the understanding that I am equal to anyone and everyone in the entire world. That sounds arrogant, but that is how I now believe! It is now up to me to further my healing by throwing off of me old unhealthy habits of relating to others…and to learn how to relate to myself in ways that I like! I also have to learn how to retrain others so that I don’t hurt them but also so that I am treated with value and the same measure of respect as I give to them. That will be tough with certain ppl!

What you said about you and your relationship with your mother in law was really sweet to read. It is so wonderful that you have a good relationship with her and you don’t have to prove it to anyone…and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! And I think like you do… IS good enough to just BE and to just be ourselves. Let everyone who chooses to be in a snit and control with silences alone ….and not allow their control to touch us…or their chronic negative attitudes or expectations to hurt us or pressure us into doing or being something that we end up wearing another mask and pretend to try please them. That isn’t selfish…that is self care for me and you now! The pressures you have put on yourself seem so hard and it is great that you are throwing them off of you! I have loved reading all of your comments and they help me so much. It is like having a “family” of real support here and it is so comforting to read of everyone’s….and your….issues and feelings and thoughts and wisdom! Have a wonderful weekend!


I too realized last week that I was perfectly lovable and acceptable as the sensitive, sweet little girl I was. It was their fault they couldn’t see me and it is also their fault that their own feelings couldn’t treat me like a human being. I realized last week that it is/was never about me as much as they want/wanted me to think it is/was. Darlene always says she always thought she had to try harder, I can relate to that. I was punished severely by them when I stopped trying at all (because my time was being taken up by a very abusive boyfriend). When this idea, that I was lovable and am lovable, hit me like a brick wall I actually felt the little girl inside me, the one who I had crushed in order to be found acceptable and lovable by my family, I actually felt her crawl out into the light a little bit. It is so validating to connect with her, to comfort her and to tell her it is gonna be all right now. Then I realized she had been part of me all along. I’d been crushing me all these years. Feels so good to really see and understand the truth of the situation, to hold that truth in the place where my heart had been carved out, instead of feeling that unending despair that sat there until very, very recently. The thing that triggered this event was I wrote a letter to my sister telling her about the emotional damage that had been done to me because no one really cares/cared about Jackie the person and blamed me for it, and how this burden I’ve carried was given to me by our parents. I wrote that these feelings have seeped into every single thing I’d ever done with my life. I felt so poorly about myself and everything I’d done that I felt I didn’t deserve protection because I had never been protected, so when things happened or when others abused me, I deserved it. Anyways, I wrote the letter because my therapist asked me what was the purpose of my looking back into my childhood. Usually that kind of question would send me into the pits of self doubt, but this time I really asked myself what was the purpose. And then I read in one of Darlene’s comments that the real work starts when I think about the feelings confrontation would cause with my family. I guess what the purpose of looking back, for me, is to place the responsibility on the right people. I’d just never realized that that was even possible! That I can place responsibility and not carry it any longer! This letter was my first attempt at doing it, and I was afraid of being demonized…but it didn’t feel life threatening like it always did when I’d get close to the truth. I’d always ran for cover before because I was so afraid. I knew, then, for the first time ever, that I’d be just fine because I am lovable and acceptable. I haven’t sent this letter yet, cause I’d rather say it to my sister in person cause she tried to protect me when we were little. She suffers now worse than me; she deserves to know that I love her still even though what I want to say will hurt her a lot. This community has helped me a million times over. There’s TRUE love here, with all us strangers and those who don’t even comment here know it too, I’ve received more love and validation from here than I ever dreamed I’d ever get from anyone. Now I feel strong enough to comfort, validate and love myself.


All I can say is ditto ditto ditto…that is exactly how I feel. I
have gone no contact with my abusive mother. My husband told me last you seem so different, so much happier each day. Yeah!!
I also discovered the archives. It will take time to process it all and change my bad habits. I also have the husband issue but he is loving and will support me and we will grow in this new better life.
Thank you to all who post and share and to you Darlene for bringing all this into the light.


Hi Darlene, Diane, and SMD,
I loved reading this post. I wish I could have that same miraculous experience. It’s been slower for me. Your post gives me great hope!! I will see the day when all the crap falls away, and I’m free as a bird. Just have to believe and work at it. Sometimes I want to rush the process. I want to be at a different place in life. I don’t want to continue facing this every day. I get weary when I wake up each day and realize I matter to no one in my family. I’ve been loyal to them. I think with that, came expectations that they would return the love and loyalty. The truth is, if I walk away, it’s over. No one will run after me. That saddens me, but, it also is a means to a beautiful end. The end of struggling and seeking love and mutual giving. The end of putting others before me and like a dog, I go back for more. I remember at the first of this year I wrote a letter to my two sisters and mother and told them I had realized some things had to change because I was losing myself, I was failing to thrive anymore. I got one response from that. My oldest sister responded to the email and this is what she said, “praying you through. If anyone can do it, you can”. That was it. For whatever reason, I still was dumb enough to keep feeding into relationships that didn’t reciprocate in any way. I just kept motoring along, keeping the contact alive (with the exception of my mother). Then, 5-6 weeks ago, it hit me like a truck. That I was the glue holding those relationships together. Then it was like taking 14 steps back. I was devastated AGAIN with this realization. The silence is frustrating. My oldest sister has made effort the past 10 days. Makes me wonder what she’s up to. I don’t have any desire to be dragged around by a nose ring. My middle sister and I were talking/texting quite frequently until I had this mind blowing realization. I immediately stopped contacting her. I did send them an email that said I thought it would be a good year to stop buying each other birthday gifts, because it’s a new year, and mine comes first. My oldest sister wrote, “fine with me”. My middle sister wrote nothing. Yet another email I wrote apologizing to my oldest sister for a reaction I had last year to something that happened when I was at her house. Although I held it together while I was there, when I got home and felt safe, I spelled it out for her. Later I apologized and she didn’t acknowledge it. On one hand, I blame my mother. It’s always been her dream to drive a wedge between us all and keep things stirred up. On the other hand, I blame my sisters. They’re adults. I sent a letter to my mom and sisters, holding my mom accountable. I got nothing at all in return. It was like I never sent it.

Just recently I realized what a slap in the face it is to get silence, or cold one line responses. It’s going to be okay though. I believe that. It’s just a matter of pushing through it.

I sent a text with a link to the article I wrote here to my oldest sister. I was excited and didn’t think much about the stuff I had also commented on that page. She read my article and my comments. I immediately regretted trusting her when I went through and read the stuff too. We had a text conversation that night. She said in her mind, all we have is each other. WOW, talk about confusion. When words don’t match actions, it makes my head spin. 10 minutes after that conversation where I was touched and felt like things might be okay between her and I, I got the realization ~ a strong whisper saying, don’t fall for it. More confusion.

I imagine telling her about truths I know about the religious couple she basically sold her soul to…. and the souls of her kids. I imagine her getting her back up and being mad at me until the end of time. Then, I imagine them saying something unsavory about me and how she would react. I predict it would be gospel in her eyes. This couple recently sent out a newsletter requesting donations for a second car. They had set their target at $20,000. OMG, I wanted to laugh out loud. I am on their mailing list, so I got the letter too. There is no way I would support religious leaders who say they need a second car, and it needs to be a really nice one. In my mind, a NEED for a car could be met with $2,000, not $20,000, LOL!! Omg… sorry for rambling. I just need to get this confusion and crap off my chest.

SMD, your last paragraph about saying how you feel…. I think that’s the way a healthier relationship should operate. However, in my family, the silent treatment is rampant, and my mother heads up that operation. I’m happy for you that you were able to leave the situation. So easy to say ~ not at all easy to do. Congratulations to you. And, here’s to strength for the day!!
With love and hope,


What a great breakthrough. I’m thankful for the experience you’re having Diane and for you Darlene having a part in helping her get to this point. It’s such a beautiful thing to be in a position to help each other in times of difficulties. I hope that you will continue to experience many more breakthroughs as this. I’m sure you will…Thanks Darlene for this blog and your service to humanity.


Your comments are inspirational too! I love your discoveries and thank you for sharing them! As I grew in this process, all kind of things became more clear for me and one of them was how I was teaching my kids “relationship” and how I didn’t always model to them what I was trying to teach them. Our lives changed in a huge way when I started to LIVE what I knew to be right. It was awkward and uncomfortable for all of us for a while, but today we live in truth!
Hugs, Darlene

Thank you for giving me permission to re print your comments! I love the discussion that is happening here as a result! The truth is so simple once we get out of the fog that has surrounded most of us our whole lives. ALL people deserve to be treated with the same respect. There is (should not be a) no “pecking order” in relationship. Taking my life back was about living in that truth. It was about standing up to that disregaurd and mistreatment. And it all began when I knew that it wasn’t me. And I had to “own it” not just say it. In my heart, like you have shared here, I knew that what was happening and what had happened to me was dysfunctional and plain WRONG!
Thank you for your additional comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jackie!
Your comments caused me the same reaction as Diane’s original comments that I re-printed here! What a marvelous discovery and fantastic story too. These are the kinds of discoveries that I had that led me to the freedom and wholeness that I have today.
And the end of them is a huge endorsement! I was really touched by your sentence “and those who don’t even comment know it too.” I have always tried to write this site with all my love… Thank you so much for sharing and welcome to emerging from broken!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen
Yay for breakthroughs! It is amazing what having some space and some room to think can do for a person!
Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
I didn’t have a major breakthrough like this ~ for me it happened over time and much more slowly but it all added up to the same thing so it is all good! I had breakthroughs that I realized I had a few months earlier but they didn’t “gel” right away. I would look back and it seemed so obvious, but I didn’t quite get it in my heart. I just took some time to LIVE in the new belief and understanding. I realize looking back that the most important thing is to keep striving. Keep going, keep reading, keep working at coming out of the fog by looking at the truth. It is different for everyone but persistence pays off big time. I see huge changes in you.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


What happened that such a miraculous change took place all of a sudden? I’ve been working for years and years and years and YEARS to find healing and I’m still beating myself bloody on a thick brick wall. I don’t get it. I still hate myself, can’t even get angry with my parents, am terrified of life (and the next bad thing that’s coming to destroy me), feel utterly worthless and am broken into a zillion fragments. Why can’t I find even a tiny degree of healing and freedom? I’m so tired; I’ve been working at this for so long. I just don’t understand what I’m doing wrong and why I can’t seem to make progress…


Hi Robin
Have you read very many of the articles in this site yet? For years (well over 20 years) I did everything I could think of and heard of to find healing with very little help until I started to look at the roots of what happened to me and where the “broken began” from there I was able to see the lies that traumatic events taught me about myself, lies that I had accepted and lies that had to re-wired back to the truth. It isn’t that you are doing anything wrong, it might just be that you are stuck somewhere in the process, not looking in the right places or something like that. Most of us have been told to leave the past in the past, but the keys are usually there in the past. There is a lot of information in this site about “HOW” I did all this sorting out and the things I realized that led me to healing.
I hope this helps you a bit.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Will
Thanks for your comments and your encouragement!
Hugs, Darlene


Your post is also inspiring. I like that you pointed out that strangers here are able to show TRUE love for each other. It’s true. I’ve found more inspiration, love, understanding, and validation here, than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve said it before, EFB may have saved my life!! I’m so thankful for this safe place, with understanding and empathetic people. Thanks for sharing your story, Jackie. It makes me hopeful…. the part about self love.
Hugs and love,


You said, “I had breakthroughs that I realized I had a few months earlier but they didn’t “gel” right away. I would look back and it seemed so obvious, but I didn’t quite get it in my heart. I just took some time to LIVE in the new belief and understanding”

OMG, so true. I had the breakthrough about 5-6 weeks ago. Like I woke up one day and there was the truth staring me in the face. It was very upsetting. I mourned for 3 days, give or take. Then the processing of it and how it would play out in my life. You said it so well. It didn’t “gel” right away, yet the knowledge of the truth was there. It just takes a minute to get my brain and heart around it I guess. To REALLY accept it.

I remember when I was little, maybe 4-5 years old, my oldest sister broke her arm. I wanted to do everything for her. Tie her shoes, etc. I hurt, because she was hurt. I don’t remember the desire to help her as much as I remember my mother making fun of me for it. At least that’s how it seemed. A lot of laughing because I wanted to take care of my sister. When I see siblings doing that, my first thought is, “Awww, what a sweet kid.” NOT in my family apparently!! All I can hear is my mother laughing about it. As if to say, “look at little Mimi….. she’s my ‘slow’ one!!” She stomped on that sweet innocence. That makes me angry right now!!
Thanks for everything Darlene,


Thanks for responding, Darlene. I’ve read a lot of your posts and greatly appreciate your sharing from the heart the way you do. I just can’t seem to find my way out, no matter what I try. I can’t break through. I’m at a point of total discouragement and beginning to think it’s never going to happen for me. I want it so badly…but just can’t seem to get there. I’ve spent so much time, so many years gone, so much money, and I am still destroyed. It’s hard. Thanks again for sharing and caring!


Robin, my heart goes out to you today! I didnt have quite the sudden miracle that it may seem from this one article…far from it! I wrote elsewhere that it has taken me nearly 30 years to reach this point! But when it happened, it was all of a sudden and it certainly feels like a total miracle! So be encouraged…it is exactly like Darlene says it is…it is a process! For me, to reach the understanding that what happened to me was not my fault at all…I was just a baby…a little child…and to also realize I had to learn to accept that I was not wanted, loved or liked by my parents…and that they used me and abused me. THAT was the toughest part…to accept that I had been utterly rejected. The pain of that was sometimes more than I could bear, so I “coped” by using food…and by believing that it must be ME because parents arent supposed to reject and dislike and not want their own children…that isnt socially acceptable, and it isnt normal. Anyway, that is what I did accept, because all along I knew it anyway. Deep down by their actions and works. The words “I love you” mixed me up and confused me…so I believed that I must deserve the abuse and neglect and dislike! For me, I was searching my entire adult life for what I found here on this site! So it does seem to others that it was sudden and overnight, but it certainly wasnt for me! It was a very painful and depressing path for so many years. I wish I could shout it out loud to perhaps give a glimmer of hope for everyone….it really is simple, but it also takes a long process to get to the point of admitting and being able to accept those hard realities…and to reaach the point in my life where I made a good choice to let those ppl go out of my life so that I wasnt being manipulated and controlled and devalued any longer. A part of me wanted those relationships for a long long time because I knew if I cut them off, I would never willingly see them or talk to them again for the rest of my life and I LOVED them. My entire life had been so caught up in trying to help, trying to please, trying to be loved and to admit that it was all in vain took me years to process. Once I realized that it was like watching a hampster in one of those wheels that keep going round and round and round and the hampster never quits or gets off …that was how I was and I realized that if I didnt get off of that spinning wheel that it would be exactly the same in my life…those ppl would be treating me exactly the same in my life in 10 and 20 years from now…and I couldnt live like that anymore. I did not want to be in my latter years still being treated the same, and still being trapped the same. So…it has been a long and painful process, but the rewards for me now are absolutely amazing. I feel normal and healthy and whole…and I look forward to correcting the unbalanced ways of relating, the old ways of coping and now I am happy to face my future! Thanks to everyone who have added so much to my life on here! This is a new family for me! 🙂



This is wonderful. Congratulations.

I am feeling similarly to Diane and Jackie. But also I relate to what Darlene said in her comments about it taking time to gel—sometimes years later having the same realizations. There’s a lot of communication that has to go on between one’s head and heart.

When I was a teenager, my mom told some relatives how she had hated me when I was a child (I was there when she said this). She was going through a self-analysis period and another time told another relative how she would take her anger out on me for no other reason than I would remind her of my dad. It is strange now to think of these times and wonder how a person could have that kind of awareness but for it not to have extended beyond herself. At the time, that was the norm; I was even involved in the analysis and advice giving. Forget the fact that of course it had had a deep impact on me. Of course I had felt her hatred and her anger. By the time I was a teenager, I’d become the good “baby girl,” giving her the relationship she always wanted. The fact that we never fought and spent so much time together was proof of her good parenting. It was such a sham.

As a child she made me wear my hair in a ponytail. One day at school my friends were bothering me about it, why I never wore it down, so I took the ponytail out and they told me how good it looked, so I kept it down the rest of the day. I remember playing outside and having fun. I felt good about myself. It sounds a little ridiculous because it was just hair, but I remember feeling “free.” When my mom came to pick me and my brother up that day, I stood there in the parking lot and decided I would keep it down. I would defy her. I remember thinking that maybe she would see that she was wrong. It was a slim hope but I did think if my friends thought it looked good, maybe she would see that it did, too. But no. I got in the car and there was no hello. Right away, she launched into me—-how she never wanted to see my hair like that again, how greasy and ugly it looked, etc. After that, I always wore my hair up. When I was a teen, she no longer cared if I wore it down but I rarely did. If I did, I would steal away easily ten times a day to brush it so that it wouldn’t look “so ugly.” Our hairdresser was one of her friends and one day she asked me why I never wore my hair down. I didn’t answer because my mom was there and she answered for me (as she often talked for me—I was a good, QUIET daughter). She said it was probably because of how she used to be when I was young and then she laughed (maybe it was a nervous laugh, who knows). And again I think how on earth can you have awareness but not stop to SEE your child sitting in front of you. How can you simultaneously know the truth and be totally blind to it… She’d often quote some finding from a study that said that the first five years of a child’s life formed and predicted the future of the child’s life—she would say this with pride. Perhaps because I was a “good kid,” did well at school, never got in trouble, etc., it proved that she must have done a good job with me in those first five years…. At the same time, she recognized she had hated me, took out her anger on me, was intensely controlling, etc… The logic is mind-boggling.

My mom has the tendency to be quite Pollyanna about things, sentimental and mushy, expressing all her love for me, but she has an anger that has always seethed under the surface—an anger that she is both somehow aware of and totally in denial of, in the same way as the examples above. (I was terrified of her most of my life.) Underneath it all, I know there is a part of her that hates me. Certain family members have told me that no, that isn’t true, and I believe they mean well, but for me, it’s now a relief to know for myself that it is true. The thing is she put so much at stake into being a mother—all her value and purpose. She had such a dream and I know I can never give her this. It’s a vacuum. Of course she would hate me and be angry for not giving her what she wanted—-it is totally misplaced anger, though. A totally unrealistic view of what it is to be parent and child. The reason it is a relief for me, though, is because I can now properly distinguish love from anger/hate. If you feel hate and anger radiating from someone, even just under the surface, and can still feel that from when you were a child, it is dangerous to be told that that was “love.” Yes, there were reasons—she had a whole lot of unresolved issues, she had a major car accident that left her with chronic pain, there were a slew of sudden deaths, etc. But when you’re 3 years old, what does that mean? If someone was mean to me, don’t tell me she loved me. I don’t really care. (As an adult, it might give a certain understanding, but it doesn’t change the child’s experience; it doesn’t nullify impact or the realities of cause and effect.)

I think a major component of love should be joy—enjoyment of one of another. Connection, respect, friendship. But I feel none of that for my immediate family. The best I feel for any of them (on a good day) would be empathy, sympathy or pity… but that to me isn’t love. I am quite capable of feeling empathy for people who do incredibly heinous things. Does that mean I love them? No. Does that mean I want them in my life? No.

For me, healing was not possible without also looking into and embracing my own shadow. For a long time I had a deep-seated fear that I might be a psychopath. That might sound ridiculous but there was certainly a basis for that fear (albeit misunderstood). First, I was numb so I didn’t have a lot of feeling. Second, I had experiences where I wanted to hurt my dog and once a young girl who was touching my hair. I’d freeze but the urge to physically harm these beings was strong. I believed that something was terribly wrong with me. I also had an experience watching a documentary when I was a teenager of a young boy who had killed another boy and I really didn’t feel anything for the child who was killed or his family but on a very instinctive, gut level I felt for the killer—because I understood him. I understood why he snapped and I felt sad and sorry for him (he was full of shame and guilt and had absolutely no understanding of his own behaviour; he was broken). I’m sure if I saw this documentary now, I would also feel for the child who was killed and his family but I’m sure I would also still feel for the child who killed the boy, possibly even more now. As a teenager, I had no understanding of why I felt for this kid, I just did. Now, I know why, although I couldn’t break it down to absolutes; it’s more a composite understanding. When I started to really go into my shadow, what I came to understand was that there was a part of me that wanted to destroy another person; I wanted to find the centre of another being, whatever made them who they were, whatever formed their conception of themselves and their world, and destroy it. It isn’t something I feel anymore but I understand it. I wasn’t a psychopath but it’s fair enough to call those feelings I had “psychopathic.” You can label it whatever you want, whatever works—it doesn’t matter to me. I imagine a lot of it has to do with my uncle’s suicide, my identification with him, the fact that a big part of my identity and my conception of the world was absolutely shattered when he died, and the feeling that he “murdered” someone who was immensely important to me—himself. And instead of getting help with this death, it just festered inside me for years, while I was being used and controlled by a family who simply could not SEE me.

For me, here, the difference between my mother and I, as far as I’m concerned, is that I was willing to go into the dark, to look at the anger, the hate, inside me. Shame dissolves as you come to understanding. I could eventually come to sit with the empathetic part of me in one hand and the psychopathic part of me in the other. It doesn’t scare me anymore. I am no monster. I am a loving, caring human being, who is incredibly resilient, if I do say so myself. (I did have a lot of help, though! From other loving, caring, resilient people. It certainly makes a difference to have people championing you on. People who could see me and hear me… that gave me the room and the belief to do the work.)

I think why we can hold understanding and empathy for why people are the way they are, wherever they are at in their lives, have forgiveness and not judge them, but at the same time hold them entirely accountable for their actions and not make excuses or allow them to victimize you… After all, holding people accountable is actually a demonstration of respect—that you believe in their capacity to be whole, grown-up people. (This is of course the ideal… in real life sometimes for your own safety, because boundaries aren’t strong, etc., it can be for your own good to not be forgiving or hold empathy. Our first responsibility is to take care of ourselves, after all.)

Anyway, I have yapped on and on and on… this is what happens when the QUIET ONES start to speak! Haha!

Thanks to all of you for being here and speaking your truth. Thank you so much, Darlene, for what you are doing here… and what Jackie said about the ones who don’t speak is true… I read your words for a long time before I felt ready to speak. I guess I had to smash my mother’s “baby girl” first!


Diane – thx for sharing your breakthrough and your journey ! So happy for you and for your healing. I have been working on getting better for a long time but really have had much more healing in the past six months or so and absorbing everything i can from this site like a sponge. I am learning how to get better and how value myself. I am hating myself less and loving myself more. I am taking care of myself the way no one ever did and it feels really good. All around me i see people not taking care of themselves and catering to the needs of others. I walked out of church today just smh because the pastors on stage were more like something out of the world wrestling federation than humble men of God representing Jesus. I go to worship God and be in his presence.

I have discovered too that all the “i love yous’ by my mother were just her way of manipulating me to get me to do what she wanted. the real truth was all the times she called me stupid and told me what a fool i was. that was how she really felt. “I love you” was her way to continue to control and manipulate me. I stopped all that about 7 years ago and she has been out of our lives since then. My only regret is that i didnt do it sooner.

I continue to cry a lot to deal with the pain of abuse and rejection and neglect but i can tell i am getting to the core of the pain and that its almost gone. I can tell i am getting closer to being whole. I am enjoying life a little more each day and have begun to have joy and laugh more. I am breaking through 40 years of abuse, neglect and suffering. I will not be defined by my past. I will not let my past dictate my future. I will not be bound by others unhealthy ways of relating and dysfunctional mess. Its everywhere but i see it often very quickly. i perceive things very easily and can tell very early on whether someone is relatively healthy or not. The vast majority of people we have known are very unhealthy so almost all of those relationships are gone. What a relief ! Its like getting rid of junk. Bad relationships are so toxic and poisonous. they do so much damage. I am much happier being alone and working on my stuff and doing things i enjoy. I am trying to get my wife to work on her issues. I am hoping and praying she will do that after she finishes teaching next month. I want a healthy marriage. I deserve it. I deserve so much better than what i have gotten most of my life. the key is now i recognize it and am working towards it. I have two really good counselors who are helping me process and work through the rest of my stuff. I will be whole and will have life after brokenness !


I agree with you, when you said, that a “major component of love should be joy- enjoyment of one another.” I don’t have that with my mom, especially now, when she is in chronic pain. It’s obvious that she is miserable and I do feel empathy, sympathy & pity for her, but does that mean love?…I don’t enjoy being with her and how she treats me with her silent treatment & disregard for my feelings. Her behavior is even meaner, when she is sick. I don’t deserve to be the brunt of that abuse like I was in the past! I’m done with that!

I found myself second guessing my feelings of empathy & sympathy towards her. Why should I care about her pain, with the way she treats me?…I came to the conclusion that it speaks about the kind of caring person I am. I realize though that I can not be too empathetic to the point, that I’m consumed with her pain. That is not healthy! Boundaries & Limits are what I live by! I tend to feel too responsible for others and it isn’t my baggage to carry. That is the Biggest Breakthrough for me is not to carry the Shame & Guilt for another’s pain or be responsible for their behavior. It’s about being true to myself & taking care of me!

I too had obsessive feelings about harming a baby, when I was a child. I was so upset by this and I knew it was wrong. However, I knew I would not be capable of acting on those feelings. I was very upset. I did tell my mom & Wow! What a big mistake that was! She was horrified and said, “Don’t think like that!”…”What is wrong with you!”..that was not helpful!…Why didn’t she try to understand where these feelings were coming from? It was obvious that it was disturbing to me. The anger did go away over time because I buried it, as I was programmed to do with most of my feelings. When I look at it now, I know it was about my anger coming out & projecting it onto an innocent baby. I wasn’t allowed to express my anger.

I think I was that innocent baby and I had loads of anxiety and anger. A mother is suppose to comfort her child in distress, even if it’s something they don’t want to face. My mom is unable to face her own dark side!…I’m a better & healthier person for looking at my dark shadow side, since it gives me the understanding & compassion for myself & others. I have to validate my negative & positive feelings. We all have them. Good or Bad/Right or Wrong! Sorry this isn’t as inspirational as my prior post but your post triggered my memories & got me thinking!…I’m gaining more insight the deeper I dig and it’s happening so frequently these days. “Shame dissolves as you come to understanding”. Well said, Alaina!
Thanks for sharing the good & bad! The Truth involves both!


Dave, thank you so much! It is very validating each and every time I am on this site…and I am also soaking up everything like a sponge! It is so encouraging to hear that you are breaking through more and more of the crap from your past….and how aware you are of dysfunction in others. I think I understand you about wanting your wife to also get free….I am in my marriage hoping for the same thing. As for church, that can be tricky! On one hand the desire to know Gods love for us is so strong, and we can read all about it in the Bible and hear about it in the pulpit, but when there are preachers and others who are insecure themselves and have something to prove and they are not “seasoned”….church can become an emotional and mental battleground. At least I have perceived it that way. There are also preachers and ppl who WANT the congregation to stay weak because it gives them a powerful feeling that they are needed and they really don’t understand what to do with ppl who are strong in their faith…or question why things are said or done certain ways, so they can try to push the ppl back into their “place”. It can feel very unsafe at times to be there. So when you say that you go to worship God and be in His presence, it touched my heart for you! It sounds like you are taking care of yourself there as well? It is so awesome that you are working towards getting better than what you have gotten in the past! That is truly how I suddenly feel….and can recognize too. I am also seeing so clearly many of the ways that I was trained to expect nothing, or less than everyone around me…and how those beliefs have caused me to be devalued over and over again as an adult…but now the “fun” part is beginning….and I do hope it is for you too….that we can now unlearn our old habits of relating and learn healthier ones….we do deserve so much more and better. I am about to be very brave and ask my husband if he truly believes that my wants and needs are as important as his in our marriage. He will say “yes”, and that will open the door for me to explain how it has not felt that way and how now I am going to expect him to put some action behind his yes! I will give him a few examples and tell him what will happen if I begin to feel less than from him. Anyway, it was nice to “chat” with you Dave! I wish you the best!!!!!


Thank you for sharing. I have often thought that the biggest difference between me and my parents and other abusers is that same fact; that I was willing to go into the dark and face the pain, the truth and the whole mess of it. I was so pleasantly surprised that I did not find what I feared most; I was most afraid to find out that I was a psychopath and that they were right about me. That the problem really was me, but the truth showed me that it was not me.
Hugs, Darlene

There are certain things that I can’t do in a website. When I work with people as clients I can help pinpoint key things so much more quickly. (at the moment I am not taking clients as I found one to one work very demanding and even draining. I am currently thinking of ways that I can do this work in a group setting. (on line) I know it is really hard. Hugs, Darlene

Hi Dave,
I appreciate your comments and love the comments about soaking everything up like a sponge! Keep soaking. There is lots here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sonia,

Thanks for your response! The ability to look at all aspects of life, positive and negative, is definitely inspiring… though the upbeat stuff tends to feel better! I totally relate to being too responsible and feeling too much empathy for others and the need for boundaries. I think empathy is something that should be practiced in a state of detachment (at least when we’re talking about empathy for the negative emotions of wounded people—because if you’re doing it in their presence, oh, they will do their best to latch on and suck you dry, where really you do usually have to physically remove yourself at some point, not just emotionally detach… on the other hand, feeling happy for people who have had something wonderful happen is the best sort of empathy and one which feels wonderful to be around). I also think it’s not something you should do for extended periods of time. You engage in it—if it comes to you naturally—and then you let it go, because they aren’t your feelings anyway. It’s like when you go to watch a movie. If it’s good, you’ll be engaged with the characters and feeling for them, and if it’s really good, it’ll stick with you once you’ve left the theatre… but you do let it go, after you’ve taken something away from it—usually some kind of knowledge—because it’s someone else’s story, not yours. When I talk about feeling empathy, I’m not necessarily talking about expressing or giving empathy, you know? I can feel empathy for people I would not want to know or engage with in real life or even want to ever express it to them in any way… and it isn’t the kind of empathy I would want to be engaged with on a regular basis, either, nor for an extended period of time. That I can is great; that I can choose whether I want to be or not is even greater. I think that’s what you meant in terms of empathy toward your mom… Life is short, after all, and we definitely want to be able to choose how we spend our time here! Better to engage with understanding, caring people whose goals, needs, desires line up alongside ours, not against. I’d rather empathize with them—with people I know are capable of empathizing with me! I can empathize with my mom but I’ve also cut off contact with her and live in another province, and I would not empathize “to” her. I’ve learned better. Plus, I’m pretty much done empathizing in that regard. I know I’ve done it and I don’t need to keep doing it to prove anything. It’s her life, her pain, her responsibility. She is the parent after all; I was the child with way too much responsibility put on me… I am planning on slowly reconnecting with my family but the main reason for that is because I want a relationship with my nephew who was just born in the winter. All I really want is something superficial with the rest of them, unless by some miracle things can change but I don’t expect it or have any hope whatsoever, and I don’t even really care or want it, which I think is a good thing. I just want and will expect a base level of respect. I know it will be difficult and won’t come right away; I’m just starting to get my footing after all!(By superficial, though, I don’t mean phony, just not personal or deep). Otherwise, I’m now very much intent on choosing my own “family” of people I know I can trust, where there is real love with real joy and where no one is asking me, consciously or unconsciously, to brush anything under the carpet. I have started this and will continue.

I think people have a hard time with anger, the so-called negative emotions and “dark side” but it is all very human, very real, but mostly just very sad and deserving of understanding and compassion. It can scare people and they can react weirdly and in totally unhelpful ways. It’s their problem, a reflection of their issues and their inability to look at themselves—in my opinion anyway.

Balance is definitely key. I try to remind myself to cultivate the good stuff, just as much as I dig up the painful stuff. Otherwise life is too hard, and unnecessarily so. Really, it’s the good stuff we’re all living for, anyway, and the whole reason we’re digging up the painful is to have more room for that good stuff to grow healthy and strong. It’s what we all deserve—that chance to live fully. I know that I never deserved all the punishment I was heaping on myself for years; it was, though, by looking into the harder, darker, more painful stuff that I’ve realized this (like Darlene often says about facing the past). I had to face my desire to hurt other people, so I could understand it and realize that it, too, was not my fault and to stop punishing and alienating myself because of it; otherwise, I’d just be stuck. It’s hard but it’s worth it in the end.


Darlene & Diane, I’ve always thought I was so complicated and that ‘my problems’ were complicated too but really, they are simple and the cure is simple too. Deep down, I knew why I was depressed and anxious and messed up inside but I didn’t have enought self esteem to listen to me. I listened to everyone else, the people who did the damage and didn’t want the truth to get out. When I quit listening to them and started to listen to me and acknowledge the truth, I started to get better and Emerging From Broken is the place where I found the support and validation I needed to make the changes I needed to make. I’m still healing, there’s still stuff to face, but I am so much further along in the process than I was a year ago when I first came here. The truth heals by disinfecting the old wounds and allowing them to mend properly. Like Diane, I’m grateful too, Darlene. Thank you for sharing your life.



Thanks for the response, Darlene. I wonder how many people feared they were a psychopath… You know, each time I’ve written here, I feel like I’m speaking with an authority on my own life and truly believe what I’m saying, but in the aftermath, there’s this fear that the clouds might part and a giant fist might come down—or something of that sort. Often I feel that way in new situations with new people. So I’ll want to huddle in my shell and poke my head out once in a while to assess, is everything OK? In my family only one person was, or seemed to be, allowed to be an authority on just about everything (or at least to have the final word on everything—that is, even if you were an authority on something, it was because she in some way okayed it first), so just trying to be an authority on my own life sometimes can feel like I’m trying to usurp someone else’s place and I start to wonder did I show enough gratitude and respect, do they think I’m trying to take over, to steal something that doesn’t belong to me, etc…. But no, I know I’m not. I know it’s all just the residue of the past. It takes a while, though, doesn’t it? Reality checking and all that… I think since smashing my mom’s baby girl last weekend, it was a lot to take in and the leaves still need to settle. I’m very glad to have taken part in that, though, and glad that I found your website.
Best, Alaina


Hi Pam
I almost missed this comment; I have been rushing around getting ready for vacation (leaving in a half hour!) this last couple of days. Thank you for all the lovely things you say and for adding your voice here too. These comments in particular are so powerful and truth filled. I found what I needed within me too and I too just needed some support and validation and to bounce things off another compassionate human being. That was how I healed and that is the compassionate human being that I try to be here now.
Love and hugs!


Hello everyone! I know this site is about sharing and emerging from being broken, and I hope this is appropriate to give good reports as frequently as I have been? If not, just let me know because I dont want to be interfering with anyones process at all! I wanted to voice how happy I am today because I did speak with my husband about equal rights in our marriage…about valueing my opinions and feelings and wants and needs as much as his. We have had a lop-sided marriage in some ways over the 19 yrs, so I had to work up my courage to discuss this. I am not afraid of my husband, but old habits of relating die hard! So..I brought all of this up in conversation last night and he responded with such support that it really surprised me! I realized not very long ago that when I use the word “expect”….such as “I expect you to….” my family snaps to attention! lol. So I told my husband that I EXPECT to have my needs for affection met from now on. ( He is a quiet, intelligent, logical, reserved kind of guy and has never been entirely comfortable with spontanious hugs and kisses.) My husband started saying the usual ….”I will try harder….”…and I stopped him and told him that trying wasnt going to work for me anymore…I deserve to have my needs met and he hasnt been meeting them…and because he wants to see me happy and our marriage to be happy, then he needs to step up and DO what I am asking. He didnt like that! lol. My “mom” was so narcissitic and demanding of my father that I never wanted to be a demanding wife, but I was actually also in the victim mentality to some extent with my husband. So…now my husband understands and truly wants to be supportive and love me the way I need to be loved…and that is a huge breakthough. This is huge because I actually believe the words I am saying now…not just hoping that he will meet my needs. I cant express enough how different I am feeling now. I have even started a healthy new eating plan and it is easy to follow because even my appetite has changed. I was always feeling hungry and I used food to cope all of my life, and for over a week now I have not been hungry on the inside, so I think that it has made me not obsessively, frantically hungry for food. Yay! That is another huge breakthrough. So..once again, everyone on this site and Darlene and the articles are making such a huge difference in my life and I am sooooo grateful! Blessings to everyone here!


Good job Diane ! I did the same thing w/my wife over the weekend and it has already begun to pay dividends. I finally put my foot down (again) and said – this is going to stop. I have had to pretty much take initiative for everyhting in the marriage and said i am not going to do it anymore. So far she has responded well and has started showing/taking some initiative without me having to ask/nag/request etc..Keep us posted !



OMGosh Dave…I am so happy for you and I think you were awfully brave too! Good job to you! As I read your comment it really hit home that I am not alone! I have always felt that there was more that I should be doing, or there was something I was missing for my husband to be so passive and not take initiative in the romance, affection, even YOU KNOW WHAT areas of our marriage. At first it didnt bug me too much because I was younger and madly in love and I knew he loved me back. But as the years have progressed, I was asking, nagging, and requesting almost all of the time. Not fun and not happy and I have to admit that I have hated my marriage. I love my husband, but hate the way the marriage has been in this area…which is such a vital and important area. I feel so happy that you shared this Dave…thank you! It really encourages me! I will keep you posted and please do the same if you feel like it, okay? Diane


I feel so bad right now. I thought that all the family members who could hurt me were out of my life. I thought that my brother was supportive. So last week I called him and left a message for him to call me so we could discuss me going to NY to visit him at HIS invitation. Days go by and I don’t hear anything. Yesterday he texted me and said we could talk last night. So I called him and he didn’t answer. This morning I got a text saying that he had just fallen asleep. I texted back, what about tonight, and I didn’t get any answer.

I feel hurt that he just can’t pick up the phone and have a chat. He says he loves me, he misses me, he wants more communication. But it doesn’t really happen and then I end up feeling guilty like I am somehow being demanding. Like the problem is not his neglect but my expectation of respect.

I am sitting here crying and thinking that he is not treating me well. Am I over-reacting? Whenever someone calls me needing to talk, even someone not that close, I don’t let days go by. Does anyone here think this is a warning signal?



Diane – yes its fine…please keep sharing. we can learn from one another. None of us has all the answers but as we learn and grow together we can get healthier and help each other to see things more clearly and be validated and realize that we do deserve respect and do deserve to be heard and that we do deserve balance and equality in our marriage and in our relationships. Thanks for sharing !



Sophia – i dont know that its a warning signal. If he says he wants you to visit then that sounds supportive to me. he fell asleep so clearly he was tired (no excuse but nevertheless he could have handled it better). maybe he was busy tonight and just didnt have time to talk. Maybe he wants to wait to talk in person when you come visit…Maybe he is so busy right now that he doesnt want to just have a 5 minute conversation because he knows that would not be fair to you so he is waiting until he has time and he is not too tired to have a good conversation. I am not trying to make excuses, just presenting possible situations why he has not called. You certainly deserve to be respected in the relationship. I think when you get the chance you need to explain to him what that respect looks like for you (if you have not already done this). Perhaps he does not see it as a lack of respect and does not realize how its impacting you. I hope you get a chance to speak with him soon. I would encourage you not to read too much into it until you can speak with him. Your expectation of responding is clearly different than his. does that mean you are right and he is wrong. No – it just means you have different expectations. You want a more immediate response and he either doesnt understand that you want that or just has not been able to give you the response and time that you want yet. Hang in there Sophia. I know its hard to be patient. I dont see it as a warning sign. People dont operate on our terms or to meet our expectations. There is hopefully a happy medium with a spoken and agreed upon understanding of what that looks like for both of you. Keep working on it and dont give up !



Sophia, I feel for you! I grew up with 3 brothers…one older and two younger and let me throw this out to you as perhaps another possibility. My brothers were not TAUGHT and TRAINED when they were growing up, so they developed different expectations in relationships for themselves and by themselves. No one was right or wrong….but it did hurt when we weren’t on the same page in how we related back and forth. I agree with Dave and what he said …..hang in there and hugs and comfort to you !


I don’t see it as a warning signal either and I understand your concern. I too feel like certain family members avoid me by not returning my phone calls. Recently, I left two messages on a family member’s cell phone on two different days. One message was an invitation to a party and the other call was to follow-up a few days later. I was going to throw in the towel, until I gave it one last shot, the day before the party. Nothing like the last minute, but I wanted an answer either way. So, I was in luck the 3rd time and he answered. He did explain that he was away, however, I know he goes everywhere with his phone. I let it go, since he came through and I took his explanation at face value. He was able to come to the party after all.

Sometimes people are really just too busy & other times they avoid, for whatever reason. My sister is another story, I can never leave a message for her, since her messages are always filled and she usually doesn’t answer the phone. Other family members have the same problem and go through her husband’s cell phone. Some people just don’t bother to return calls & I wonder is it there way of avoiding others, until they want to reach out. It’s not fair or mutual. It’s happened in my dysfunctional family for years. I have said something to my sister about not being able to leave a message or get in contact. She shrugs it off & doesn’t change. With my sister I think it’s a control issue & avoidance. She wants to talk, when she wants to talk. So one-sided. Anyway, hope this helps in some way. For me, it’s more frustrating to track certain people down. It’s just too much work and I don’t do it often. Hope it works out!


I agree with you on having a choice to engage in empathy “regularly” or for “extended periods of time”. I don’t want or need to do that with my mom. She has my dad, although my dad is not that empathetic. He tends to discount my mom’s feelings & pain. However, I will stay emotionally detached, since it is not my problem to take on. I have to take care of myself & my kids. I have expressed my concern to my mom & dad, over my mom’s severe physical pain and suggested pain management. She has multiple health problems.

After talking to my mom’s sister today, I found out that she is also having suicidal thoughts & doesn’t want to “burden her family” with her problems. Well, it would be more of a burden if she acted on her thoughts, in my opinion. It was upsetting to hear about her mind set, however, part of me thinks she is vying for sympathy by burdening my Aunt. Don’t like to think she is being manipulative, but she knows I talk with my aunt. However, I talked to my dad & she will be going to the Dr soon. I did not mention the suicidal thoughts to him, since my aunt told me that in confidence, and she already confronted my dad with it. I plan to stay in limited contact by phone for awhile. I feel guilty for not being there, however, she is not alone and again, I don’t want to put myself in the line of fire. She is nasty when she is sick! Wishing her Peace & Pain Free days ahead….


SMD….wow you are REALLY going thru some stuff today! You sound amazingly aware of what everyone is about in your family, and I can understand why you are choosing to stay in limited contact! I read what you and others here deal with in their relationships and my heart goes out to you and them and I wish I could give you a real hug right now! You have been such an inspiration to me! I send you Internet hugs and comfort! 🙂


I understand your pain. I have cried so many tears over my sisters. They claimed we needed to stick together in holding my mom accountable. They both have kids, so the bottom fell out of that. They have all but said they are going back to the “pretend” life. Now, I’m alone in it and it hurts and it’s scary. I don’t know your brother’s intentions. All I can say is, I would be crying too. Even if the intentions are good, there is so much crap surrounding family pain, that I’m very sensitive right now
to the slightest indication of MORE pain. I sincerely hope your brother pulls through and means what he says. I hope you come and share the outcome as well. Love and hugs to you.

You are one strong lady!! Limited contact seems to be like slowly ripping off a bandaid rather than just giving it a good jerk! I am plagued by all or nothing thinking. In many areas of life. I forget that I do that. It happens with my mom. I think I have to be completely free of her to experience any freedom at all. It feels like I’m connected to her IV on a very slow drip.

I have really had big setbacks lately. I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Being sick doesn’t help. Although, being in bed gave me time to work on the letter I’ve been drafting to mother. I am anxious and tearful. I am going through a time of forced self-parenting and it’s abundantly clear that I have no idea how to do it. I freak out a little when I’m sick (or a lot sometimes). I had to really bear down and pray Monday and be sick alone. That’s hard for me. I get so scared. If I could ever figure out the root of that, I could maybe reverse it or at least work on reversing it. I have no idea where the fear comes from though. I didn’t do so well on Monday. I survived it of course, but, I was very scared. I am SO SICK of fear!!

Anyhow, sorry to get off subject. You seem to be doing well SMD. Congrats for that and for minding your boundaries.


Hi Sonia,

That’s heavy stuff but I’m impressed by your boundaries. I imagine it’s really tough not to think about and also to handle the emotional tug, but you sound like you know what you’re all about and where you stand. Hopefully she will seek out the help she needs from her Dr. and/or other resources. Take care and be good to yourself. I’d like to say, let go of the guilt because you’ve done what you could and there’s nothing for you to feel guilty about, but such things are so easy to say and another to do… but I do wish that you may have that release.


Thanks to all for being here for me! He did call me this morning and we had a good talk. He was warm and encouraging and he did point out just how busy he’s been lately (in business meetings until 9pm last night, for example). We’re both working on repairing years of damage from trauma and abuse, and he did say that he is open to talking with me about what I am experiencing and learning in therapy.

I figure that when he didn’t call back right away I got triggered on my false beliefs about deserving abandonment and rejection. Again! Anyway, tonight we are supposed to do a conference call so I can connect with him and my nephews, and then we will discuss my visit.

Everything is bubbling up in me: anger, tears, years of frustration. I have to work hard to distinguish historical pain from present day incidents which may or may not be hurtfully meant. I have to cherish my brother, I think, because he DOES acknowledge the truth about our family, he wants me to do better, and he has his own struggles, too. If I say that the fact that our father is dead now and our stepmother is out of our lives is actually a blessing, I think you all know what I mean.

Thanks so much,


Thanks for your support & positive comments!…You made me smile. It means a lot to have validation regarding my family. I often feel alone, when it comes to seeing my family’s dysfunction. It’s been amazing & eye opening to read that others here deal with the same crap! It’s inspiring to see others growing & supporting each other on EFB! It’s a great on-line support group! Yay for that!!
Hugs to you too Diane,


Thanks for your support! Your right, I have done what I could with my mom and I’m working on letting the guilt go. I understand intellectually, but the hard part is to emotionally detach. It’s a work in progress for me and I find myself saying the same thing over & over to let it sink in. It’s like Darlene says, it takes time to let things gel & sink in, until it becomes cemented into our belief system. Wish I could skip to the healed part already UUGGHH! I do have more good days than bad lately, it’s just outside stressors are anxiety provoking and it sometimes feels like I’m slipping back. I’m going to keep moving on in my healing journey.
Hugs Alaina,


Great News!…It sounds encouraging & such a relief to have your brother on your side. He does sound supportive & it’s a good thing you gave him the benefit of the doubt. I know exactly what you mean when you say, “I got triggered on my false beliefs about deserving abandonment & rejection.” I automatically go there too & it’s not always the truth of the situation though. I’m looking at my automatic negative emotions & saying to myself, “Do I really believe that & Is that True”. Feelings are not good or bad, right or wrong, it’s just how we interpret them. I look at what do I know to be true..the facts and I don’t really know what someone else is thinking or feeling, unless they tell me. I’m trying not to be a mind reader because that is faulty thinking. I’m glad things worked out for you. Wishing you happy days ahead with your brother.


Thanks for your support & kind words. LC does feel like slowly ripping off a bandaid OUCH! I’m still dealing with my guilt, which I made a conscious decision to release, when I threw my rock. It’s going to be a work in progress is what I’m seeing. Thanks for the compliment about being a strong lady. It’s more about being aware of my limitations & strengths. I’ve been physically sick too, with bronchitis & a sinus infection, which as me feeling cranky and vunerable the last couple of weeks, on top of dealing with my mom being in a bad way. When it Rains it Pours sometimes! Wish it would stop raining & light will be on it’s way LOL. I hear you about Fear too & I’ve had more than my share. You are doing well too. Your a kind & strong lady yourself. Recovery can be lonely but you are far from alone! Brighter Days are ahead of us all!
Love, Sonia


Mimi….hi! I hope you feel better soon! I feel for you about your fear issues and black and white thinking! I think it can be difficult to remember to be extra kind to ourselves when we feel icky! Sending you hugs and extra comfort today….and you aren’t all alone! It is so great that we “check in ” with each other in our discussions….it has been a source of comfort for me personally too! I appreciate that healing is a process….and in some ways we ARE healed, and in some ways we are still healing, and then in other ways we are still messy and trying to find our way. It is all good and we learn so much in the process! I am so proud of myself for how far I have healed…and even though there is more….it’s all good and okay! Like Sonia just wrote….brighter days are ahead for us….for YOU!


I’m really happy for you that your brother pulled through. I do the same thing you mentioned ~ reacting out of what we think we deserve, or for me it’s maybe even moreso that I react out of expectations from others and a sense of doom surrounding that. I don’t tend to be able to rely on anyone for what they say. It leaves me with a feeling of walking on thin ice and at any moment, I could fall in. The debilitating blows, one after another over the past 16 months have made me doubt many things, and expect the worst in most situations. I really didn’t need help doing that anyway.

Post 41 to Sophia ~ that is good information about reading minds and sticking only to the facts. And, the stuff about feelings. Really good information to try to remember when I’m stewing over other people and trying to predict what they will do, creating scenarios in my mind, etc. I did learn some valuable stuff while I was sick or soon thereafter. I realize that stress plays a big part in chronic illness and I’ve had one illness after another for a month. I mentioned I had to self-parent on Monday and had no idea how. Well, I was too sick to take a crash course so I just did the best I could to get through it. My phobia is vomiting, and although I rarely do, when I get sick like that and feel so close, I really lose control. Anyhow, I was determined not to let a run of the mill illness debilitate me like it has in the past. Yesterday morning I woke up scared and really anxious. I said, Okay, I feel much better in terms of being sick, time to start figuring out this reparenting thing. So, I prayed and talked to my little self for the first time ever. I was able to realize through illness that I was subconsciously giving ALL my energy and thoughts to worrying about my family and the upcoming weekend. I was not at all staying in the moment. For several weeks I have been ruminating non-stop over this weekend, and all my extended family being here. In the illness, I realized, I HAVE to stop this and take better care of myself. I have to give it up and just let whatever will be, be! I have to remind myself that I’m who I am, and if they don’t like me, I can’t help that! I am suffering physically now because of all the stress and worry. Time to do something different!! It has given me strength to realize this. Now, my health has suffered, I HAVE to do something different. I have had weird eye infections, kidney stones, a stomach flu, and a tooth in pain. I know it’s from letting the worry eat me alive.

Another revelation I had in being sick, was that caffeine is not my friend and I have to give it up for good. I’ve known it all my life. I just tend to blow it off for periods of time. I need to be done with it forever. I’m now taking steps to eliminate it. I know, sounds simple. Not really that easy. I have used it as a form of self sabotage, food replacement, a source of energy in depression, etc. It’s also an addiction. I drink coffee all day, and forego food. Not healthy!!

Anyhow, all this said, I had some time to reflect while I was in bed. 🙂
I spoke to my little self, and to God a lot. I figured some things out that need to be set in motion, and the bright side is, I’m back to myself pretty much. Illness such as this has caused great and lasting havoc for me at other times in my life. The fear (which I couldn’t recognize) was overwhelming and I ended up hospitalized unable to eat. After huge weight loss and dehydration, and a battery of tests, it was boiled down to one thing, anxiety! I HAVE to get that arrested PERIOD!! This time, I’ve done much better. I am back to eating, and I had the brief period of waking up with fear and doom yesterday. Today, I’m looking it in the face and saying NO MORE!!! I need to LIVE!!
Thanks for your support everyone!! I needed this feedback and soft place to fall!
Peace and love to you all,


You are so right. I forgot to be kind to myself. I ended up sick, and was forced to be kind to myself and let everyone else slip out of my head. I did get something good from being so so sick!! I’m suffering emotionally, and letting it eat me alive. It has to stop somewhere!! From that perspective, there was beauty in being so sick. Thank you for kindness and support and although I haven’t commented on everything, I read all your posts. I was in bed for a few days and commenting was impossible. I love your insights and support and bright outlook on things. You have really blessed me and others. Thank you for that!!
With love,


Mimi, thank you for such kind words! :). I absolutely feel for you about your health issues, anxieties, stress, caffeine, food, and everything else you are experiencing! I am so sorry all of this is going on in your world! I used to go haywire with anxiety whenever a “family” event was coming up, so I can totally relate! For me personally, it was one main reason behind cutting them off. I would look forward to the gathering, and absolutely dread it at the same time! Part of me was so hoping and longing for approval, compassion, etc….and I also was waiting for that one special day that I would become important to them. It was a fantasy because they never changed, so each gathering had so much tension in the air that it could have been cut with a knife! I also had anxiety over what behaviors my ” family” members were going to throw into the event. One brother of mine could be counted on to say and do things to stir up emotions deliberately with some head games. Other relatives could also be counted and depended on to bring their personal criticisms to the table…along with an unhealthy dose of “teasing”….and also chronic unhappiness. I could always depend and count on “family” for those type of things! The positive, loving, and kind things were never real or ever there….and if they were, it was so difficult to understand which was which sometimes. Now I don’t have even a smidgeon of the anxiety that I used to because I don’t have to deal with any of their craziness…they can feed off of each other! That is exactly what it seemed like to me….a frenzied feeding time. Count ME out! I know everyone has to do what is right for them, and I wish you the best for your weekend! Comfort and peace to you!!!


I hope your weekend goes well & you rise above any family drama!…I’ll be routing for you. Hope you set a limit on how long you will visit. I know how family parties can get & they can drag on & before you know it, your drained & even more anxious. Nothing wrong with walking away any time you feel the drama or tension. I’ve learned that myself. Like I always say, Boundaries & Limits…easy to say but hard to do sometimes. Peace & Good Times!


Barging in as usual 🙂

Just wanted to share my light bulb moment which occured a few days ago and is and will be important on my road to recovery.

For as long as I can remember I have rushed through life, every single thing that needs doing from my job to shopping to feeding the cats and everything in between feels like a really urgent rush .

Consequently im always running around, doing things at breakneck speed, thoughts, heart and body racing – like everything was a major disaster/emergency.

A comment from a friend at the weekend finally made me stop and think ‘hang on, are you saying not everyone lives their life with their heart beating in their throat, desperately trying to stave off the next disaster?

Early research has me thinking ive been left with some form of anxiety condition – something I never would have stopped to consider before i came to this site.

It’s very clearly linked to my childhood – nothing was ever allowed to be done at a ‘snails pace’ if i did do things at mu pace then i was ‘wasting the lords good day’ and so on but Im also thinking that living in a state of constant of panic is a way for me to avoid thinking about/facing my real feelings in any detail.

Stunning to think that i’ve lived feeling so horrible and jittery inside for literally decades without questioning it.

And the benefits others have reaped from my rush rush rush mentality and consequently beating myself through twice the work ‘normal’ people get through in a day is making me furious atm.

Thank you as ever for helping me break down the walls of denial and ‘I’m fine, my crappy psychotic, violent childhood didn’t affect me at all’


R….Hi! I loved what you wrote about your revelation! That is so powerful to realize that! I feel sad that you have been working and running around frantically for too many years…trying to please and help and be productive etc. Being furious is how I have felt everytime I get a new revelation too! I dont know if you feel this way too, but I suddenly feel angry and cheated…! It is so infuriating to have lived X amount of years and then realize that you didnt have to and you could have been living it FREE of all the crap! It sounds like you are really healing and things are beginning to stick into place with you in areas of your life! WOW! I am excited for you. Sending you internet hugs and peace and comfort!!!! 🙂


Oh Darlene, I can’t tell you how much hope and encouragement I have received from your posts, thank you a million times over.


Thanks for your comment Diane, really appreciate it.

Still amazed this has finally clicked into place for me and the anger is quickly giving way to relief that I’ve found a major way to quit punishing myself every minute of every day.

Since I was a child I’ve had the outward signs of a great deal of internal fear and anxiety – fingernails bitten to the point of missing nail beds, bleeding etc, teeth grinding at night, stiff neck, flushed red face from the constant rushing etc but I never allowed myself to slow down enough to acknowledge that there is a very valid reason for my feelings.

My history means I’m not ‘wired’ exactly the same as those who had an abuse free past and that it’s not my fault.

Makes it much easier to put a plan in place to be much kinder and more patient with myself from here on in.

Noticed I even wear a permanent ‘rictus’ smile when I’m just by myself – how ridiculous is that? 🙂


AND – another insight – as I was reminding myself to unclench my jaw and relax the fixed grin just now it finally occurs to me why I’m so furious at my last foster family (when oddly I made peace with the abuse in my birth family a long time ago)

It’s because I was taught there to deny any and all of my feelings, any physical signs of illness were ‘explained’ to me as me making it up so I could do less work on their farm.

So long as everything was rosy and sunny that was fine but the minute I needed anything emotionally it was very clear that I was a nuisance and an inconvenience.

We could all do that couldn’t we? ‘save’ and fix an abused child by constantly telling him or her just to forget what happened and be ‘normal’, don’t ask for anything that’s not solid and practical (food, clothes for example)

Pretend you have no needs and that nothing is or was ever wrong and hey presto – kudos in the community and a compliant quiet and above all grateful for the smallest crumb child!!

Apologies if this entirely inappropriate for this section just needed to get that out lest I forget.


R…I felt anger when I read what you have written….anger at what you have suffered and all of the times your life has been in an upheaval and you were taken and placed in places out of your control, but you had to adapt just to survive. And the things you have suffered in the situations you have been in. Well meaning people, perhaps, but in the end they hurt you too by neglect …abuse…and the lack of real love for you. If that were ME…I wouldnt feel “grateful”…grateful for WHAT? You didnt ASK for any of this to happen to you, and you didnt bring it upon yourself, so what do you have to be grateful to them for? And “kudos in the community” is almost sickening to think about. So self-serving if that was indeed a motive behind clothing and feeding and rooming you! Also..the working on the farm….I dont know how much you had to do there, but honestly! Why take a child in your home if you dont want to LOVE it? I have never understood that. For the money and the kudos? I feel very sad that you suffered in these ways and I am SO glad for you that you are realizing the things you are and learning to validate yourself and value yourself more and more! It is so shocking to realize all of a sudden that you actually were blameless and just an innocent little kid who didnt deserve any of the abuse and neglect and horrible circumstances that adults threw us into. It is also a shock to realize that we are valuable and how DEvalued we were…and how we have every right to be happy and that noone has the right to put us down or treat us with disrespect. I am so glad that you are beginning to peel back layers of lies to reveal your own personal truths and to see how WRONG those ppl were. You dont owe them anything as far as I can see it…they CHOSE to take you in and they made choices that were out of your control for you . I am so glad that you are realizing that and that you are aware enough today to begin learning how to be more patient and kind to yourself. I have a dear friend who had a horrible childhood and she rushes through life in everything she does too. It may not be the same life you had, but she cant slow herself down at this point. She has a few children and a wonderful husband, but it has concerned me at times with all of that rushing. I almost think it is to run away from her childhood and make sure that her children never experience anything like it. She is always chronically tired and overlaps her schedule every single day of her life. I dont say anything about it to her but you reminded me of her when you wrote that. We all have to cope in some way to deal with the traumas! I think that is normal! If a child isnt given a “normal”…or a childhood without abuse, neglect and traumas…they have to survive somehow with it all! Mine was always food! From the time I was eight years old! I am in the process of learning how to be kind to myself and not use food to cope…it has been exactly one week on my new healthy eating plan and it has been easy. I do have to always be AWARE, but now I want to be aware..before I was just coping. Every person I personally have known has used something to cope. My husband used to gamble, my next door neighbor drinks, another friend smokes like a chimney, and I have known scores of ppl who have done drugs….actually, I know many many women who truly believe they are not coping by using prescription meds, but they are! On and on….so when you have used rushing around…it sounds normal to me! lol. Anyway..sorry for the novel! I write as much as I talk! Take care…it is great sharing with you! Here is to hoping that you learn quickly what makes YOU happy and comforted and joyful in life! Diane


🙂 Glad I’m not the only one who posts ‘novels’ here Diane and really well done for finding what works for you with your eating plan!

Always knocks me for six when I see someone else getting angry on my behalf – i always think ‘that’s what i should be feeling’ but it’s not there in such strength yet.

One reason where the foster lot are concerned is that I am grateful in lots of ways for the life they were able to give me and i have always felt that some work or chores and responsibilities are good and even necessary for any child.

Didn’t so much agree with the amount that was heaped on me with very few breaks (can’t turn the cows off when it suits is don’t you know….) it’s added to the feeling that i was raised as a good and uncomplaining worker bee if that makes any sense.

The relief when I left at 18 and realised my life no longer revolved around the cows milking and feeding schedule was enormous, still remember that vividly 20 years later 🙂

Interesting that your friend also suffers from ‘rush-itis’ – mine is made worse when I’m out with someone especially if they’re waiting for me outside a shop or similar. Always feel I’m taking the piss out of them by ‘ambling’ along taking up their time when in reality they’re wondering while I’m running like a lunatic 🙂

Now I’m starting to see why i do it it helps a lot when my friend firmly says to me ‘dont’t rush’ (sometimes twice) – it lets me know they don’t mind being held up by my ‘slowness’ and it’s easier to move at a normal pace.

Anyway, rambling now and there are hungry cats staring at me so best wrap this up for now 🙂


On this long, bumpy road to healing, I’ve found there are many jolts, or figurative slaps in the face along the way. It knocks you off balance but you must remain standing and continue down the road. These “slaps” often come from clueless outsiders. Be ready for them, because they will always be out there.

The last thing a daughter of an N mother wants to hear is:
1. Your mother is SO smart!
2. You look so much like your mother!
3. You sound a lot like your mother!
4. I love to come visit your mother. She’s so much fun to talk to!

This is what I’ve heard just in the last 2 weeks. I feel my stomach clench and I quickly move to a different topic. What I’m thinking to myself is always the same thing: Well, YOU didn’t have to be her daughter…. But I keep it to myself. No need to get into that no-win debate.

Keep standing. Don’t let “her” or “them” knock you down back into that box.


I always hear how wonderful my mother looks. I agree, she looks very very good for her age. But, I get sick of hearing it because if she is present as well, you can almost literally see her head swell. YUCK!!

I like your insights. It is a no-win debate, and they do knock you off balance. So true. Gotta remain standing!! It’s soooo tough at times, especially when you still have a little shred of your soul, hanging on, or missing people, or wishing it could have been different. The thing I am coming to realize the last 48 hours, is that it won’t change, (not speaking of my mother here, I gave up on her a long time ago), it is what it is, and I have to accept the truth about everyone.

Hope you’re doing well,


I know I have a long way to go to emerge from the brokenness I still feel after all this time. I relate completely to so many of the comments and stories I have read here. I wanted to share a poem I wrote on 9/6/2009 that was a starting point of my healing process. I hope it may help atleast one.

What happened to the golden rule..did it disappear
Is this a sign of the it drawing near?

When everywhere I glance..its someone being used
Mis-cared for..and mis-treated..left battered and abused.

Broken hearts and tear-filled eyes..cry out in the dark
Hands once closed..clenched to hit their mark.

Children shake from fear..of things that they have seen
Grow up with such anger..that they themselves turn mean

Hating what they have witnessed..yet life has set the stage
for them to go on punishing…for they cant control the rage.

Pray out loud with me..right here..right friend
for the final curtains coming..the play is about to end.

Show as many souls today..twice as many more tomorrow
the day grows near we’re gonna feel the suffering and sorrow

of friends and family left behind…cause we didn’t do the favor
to help them open up their hearts.. to our Lord and Savior

Don’t just speak of His mercy..His never ending love
and how we never walk alone..when He’s watching from above

but show testament to the fact..of how He’s always by our side
put trust and faith in Him..allow Him to be your guide

Lay your burdens down..release the heaviness in your heart
allow the peace and rest He give you a fresh start

Nothing seems so overwhelming…there’s nothing you can’t face
when you ask God for forgiveness..and His love you can embrace

don’t latch on to the anger…just let the hatred go
I know you’ve hurt and been so scared..not very long ago

But Jesus is with fact..He’s knocking on your door
Invite Him in..accept His grace..and live in chains…NO MORE !!!

Realizing that God loves me…even when it felt like noone else did..was the strength I needed to start heading down the right path to freedom from the war I had been fighting by myself.


That is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. It really touched my heart!! 🙂

Love and hugs,


Beautiful !!! Amazing piece of work ! Thanks for sharing ! Awesome stuff !



Hi Dave,
That was my reaction too!! Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for the opportunity to share. I believe God gave me those words to share and never knew with who, or when. Fear kept me from sharing for quite awhile.Your hugs and love mean the world to me..thank you so very much. God does provide! Pray each day our journeys bring us closer to healing, hope, happiness, and a more intimate relationship with Him. Love and Hugs to all of you!


Wow, that is pretty cool! I am glad that you are sharing now!
Hugs, Darlene


Since this article is about inspiration and hope I wanted to share an interaction I had with my precious little 5 year old grandson this past weekend. It was a wonderful experience that validated him, and helped people were going through a very difficult emotional time. There was a local fireman who was killed in the line of duty in our small community about a week ago. It you go to this link it will explain the rest. Very uplifting and a wonderful response from the community…it even got a little blip on the local news channel:


Cute story about your grandson! Thanks for sharing it!!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Diane for putting in words what has begun in me these past several months.
Darlene- I am so thankful for you and your site; for your care and concern that others will find healing from abuse as you did. Thank you for doing the work and sharing your healing journey with us. You are a blessing!


Hi Darlene! I’m always amazed at how you post exactly what I need to hear at the right time. I too have felt like I am solving the mystery of me. Putting together a puzzle that will eventually lead to a whole, complete picture. I’m still missing some pieces and yet I feel at peace with it because I know I will find them in divine timing. I didn’t realize how many pieces of me that were shattered until I really started digging deep into my childhood.

I feel a level of gratitude that I never felt before and it’s all towards myself. I’m grateful that I have a soul that is so determined, resilient and dedicated to my healing journey. I feel like I am beating the odds and I have been given a second chance to live my life in the way that “I” choose.

I love when people share from their heart and soul because whether they know it or not, those are the little pieces of me that I collect and use to honor my soul. I love that I am not alone on this journey and I feel truly blessed that I am learning that life does have a purpose for me, I just need to reach out and discover it for myself.

I have shared your site with people when I feel pulled too and I hope they find the comfort in it that I do. I think the greatest fear we all seem to have is that we are alone in this and I’m so relieved to know we are not. I am learning that all the love I ever needed was already inside of me but first I needed someone to teach me that it was there. This is where my parents failed me and I have forgiven them because I realize they were taught the same thing. Letting go of blame has given me the space for compassion, respect and honor towards myself and my parents.

I don’t need to have my parents in my life in order to love them. I have let them go so I can save and honor my own soul. I have made peace that we were all brought together for lessons I am just beginning to discover. It is my mission now to take my learning to higher levels of understanding so I may expand my ability to love myself and others.

This has been one hell of a ride only because I wasn’t strapped in securely; now that I have the wisdom and experience of this ride called life, I can strap in knowing I am safe and just let go and enjoy the experience. What a difference!

Thank you Darlene for reminding me who I really am…I am a divine spark of the Universe and this little spark is going to shine as bright as she can. Namaste!


Thank you so much for sharing this. Ive been working on me now for two years and I have made a lot of progress understanding what was done to me. I am 60 now and struggled all my life with low self esteem and proving my worth. I truely thought my bad coping proved mental illness. I have had issues since a out age 9.
I now know it wasnt me. Its a slow process learning to stop punishing myself and be kind to me. I was taught to hate myself. Im getting a lot better at seeing that other’s behavior against me is about them. I still have anger but its directed at my abusers not myself. What kind of parents teach a little girl to hate herself?
I am no contact to protect myself. Thanks to all for your enlightening comments. Karen Ranes


Hi Karen!
YAY. persistence pays off! That is what worked for me too; I just kept going forward, kept trying to stay “with me” and learned to treat myself with respect and love. (after I found out what they were!! LOL)
love and hugs, Darlene


Am I ever glad I stumbled onto this site, it is a wonderful feeling knowing I am not alone. I have done a ton of reading here and I am starting not to beat myself up so much, and seeing things as they really are.
I have a blood disease and fibromyalgia, both together when I have a flare is a painful living hell. The trouble with me is my family thinks I have made all of this up because I am lazy and don’t want to work. I have raised three wonderful kids on my own, put myself through 4 years of school to become a nurse without any help what so ever from my family who have always said I was nothing but a useless, stupid fing bitch. I really thought I was stupid so when O applied to collage I was scared to death thinking I might not be able to do this. Funny after the four years I ended up graduating with honours, was on the dean’s list with a scholarship award for clinical and academic excellence. Imagine that! Not one of my family would go to my graduation, I was so hurt I ended up not going either.
Now because of my health issues I cannot do what I loved with a passion, I am not dependable to work, I don’t know what my body will do 5 minutes from now. I have been in hospital many times and not once did any of my FOO come to visit me. My Foo has not ever seen me when I have had an attack until last summer. That time my monster attacked my lungs and I was having trouble breathing and was in horrid pain. My father was there when the ambulance got there, I could see in his face he was shocked. Did he go to the hospital, NO.
I have a brother whom I have always adored. Over the years he has worked very hard and is worth mega bucks today. Also over the years he has become very arrogant and a know it all. A few years back at Christmas time he had a few to drink and got on the subject of how useless and lazy I am because I just don’t want to work. I sat there and took an entire evening of nothing but abuse. Last weekend I went to his house for an over night visit. The same thing started to happen and I just saw red. I was not going to sit there and take his holier than thow lecture again. I got up from my chair grabbed my suitcase and dog and left slamming the door behind me on the way out in the middle of the night. I have been sick about it ever since, my self esteem took a terrible beating and I have felt terrible for slamming the door. Well yes, I could have handled things differently and I was sorry for that part but I had a right to be angry. Who the hell does he think he is? After reading a ton of posts here I am feeling much better about myself.
I have been so sick at times and really needed help, they were no where in sight. Something I can do is find my joy, I am learning to paint, God gave me a gift with art and I am learning lots. I am not great with it yet but it is my dream to be able to sell my work. My brother dumped on that idea telling me how foolish it was and to smarten up and cut it out. Who is he to tell me what my dreams should be, thank you for your support. I wonder who died and made him God.
We grew up in a living hell together and as children all we ever really ever had was each other. We have always been close until now. I am heart broken about the whole mess and have been beating myself up mercilessly. Reading here has given me a new perspective, I don’t deserve to be treated like that all the way around. Being around my family is like drinking poison, I am so tired, so sick and tired. I am currently living with my 83 yr old Dad who needs help and being on a disability pension I cannot afford to live anywhere else. I enjoy my Dads company and like helping him out, at least I feel like I am doing some good in the world. I am finding it very difficult being so close up to this kind of dysfunction, I cannot go no contact like others have talked about here. Darlene do you have any ideas that will help me survive this better? I am open to suggestions. God bless you, I don’t know what I would have done without this safe place.

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