Mar
04

Mom and Grandma had a Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship

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dysfunctional mother daughter relationship
From Surviving to Thriving

Through  the comments discussion on my recent post “My Value and Learning to Love MY Self” here on Emerging from Broken, Lynda recently asked me the following question and since it is such a popular question I thought I would answer it in a post all its own. 

Lynda says: Darlene,
“I’m so sorry your mother treated you the way she did. What I DON’T understand… if your mother’s mother treated her that way, why did she do the same to you? I was just the opposite, always trying to give my children the love and encouragement and affirmation that I never got from my mother.”

This is the realization that I finally came to when it came to my own kids; that I had a choice and I actively decided to pursue something different for my children. But the truth is that my mother made the same choice, she actually did do better by me then what was done to her in her own dysfunctional relationship she had with her mother and I think she thought that it was enough. We were fed and clothed better than her and her siblings were. We were clean and had clean clothing, bedding and nutritious food. But the love was missing. I was emotionally neglected. I was not heard. I was not acceptable. I was not encouraged to be an individual or  regarded with equal value. Her own issues were way too much in the way and we ended up having a very dysfunctional mother daughter relationship very similar to the same dysfunctional mother daughter relationship that my mother had with her mother. Continued….

My mother didn’t do her own emotional healing work. And I let the traumatic childhood that she had be the excuse for never being able to stand up to her or to draw boundaries and therefore as an adult, I ended up sacrificing my own value. (which was really easy because I had learned to do that all my life anyway, and I had come to believe that I didn’t HAVE equal value to anyone else)  As a child, I had no choice, and as an adult I didn’t KNOW that I had a choice. I sacrificed my own recovery in order to make excuses for her issues. And in doing that, my children grew up (until about 5 years ago) seeing my mother treat me as though I was “less than” and they saw my mother and also my in-laws and lots of other people walk all over me and they saw me accept that treatment, accept the blame for it and continually try harder.

It was the psychological abuse stuff that didn’t change in my adult relationship with my mother. Our mother daughter relationship was dysfunctional mostly because It was all about her. The power and control dynamics were still in place; that belief that if you place children as equally valuable to yourself, that you risk them walking all over you. My mother had equal value mixed up with equal authority. And I never did receive equal value OR equal authority because she had her definition of respect mixed up.  Today I realize that it is wrong to take that attitude with children, but my mother took that attitude all throughout our relationship. My mother didn’t do the emotional healing work that I did which made the biggest difference to the way that my life is now, and to the functional parent child relationships that I have with my children today. 

I vowed when I was 15 years old that I would NEVER be like my mother. That vow consumed my life and eventually I had to look at what that vow meant. It meant different things to me at different times of my life. I asked myself what specifically did I not want to do in the ways that my mother did them when it came to being a parent.  I had a list of things such as that I would never treat them like they were born to serve me or validate me. I would never take my daughters to bars to attract men. I would never flirt with their boyfriends. I would never humiliate them in front of other people. I would protect them. I had to realize that those things were wrong things to do.

But there were other things that were not as easy to define as “wrong”.  How would I make sure that I didn’t devalue my children? How would I raise them differently then I had been raised. Where would I get the knowledge to raise them differently so that I would I NOT have dysfunctional parent child relationships?  I had to start searching for answers, searching for better ways, loving ways, nurturing ways. But the point is that when I started searching. I was nowhere close to whole when I had my kids.  I was lost and feeling my way around in the dark. I was broken and struggling with depressions. So for some of the changes to my parenting style, it took the process of emotional healing that I write about here in “emerging from broken” to really change things because I didn’t know how to validate myself in the first place, how would I validate them? I was in the fog about so many things.  

A comforting thing for me has been to realize that was was not through understanding my Mother, or even understanding our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship, that emotional healing came about. It was through sorting through the things that happened to me. It was through examining what I came to believe about myself because of emotional and physical trauma. It was through realizing how I came to believe that I was not worthy and that I was less valuable than others. I recovered as I took my life back. I took my life back when I realized that I did not cause my own problems. Not for the purpose of assigning blame, but for the purpose of stating the truth. I love the idea that everyone has issues, and that my parents were not perfect, but knowing that and accepting that is NOT what helped me to heal. I was TOLD who I was and I believed it. But that is not who I was and it is not who I am.  I had to take my life back and restore the truth about me~ that is what set me free.

Please feel free to share. You do not have to use your real name. There have been some concerns lately about facebook privacy. The comments in this blog are not connected to facebook, or to the Emerging from Broken facebook page. These comments are only visible on this blog.

Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts ~ Conflicting feelings of Rejection when the Abuser Withdraws

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Categories : Mother Daughter

135 Comments

1

Darlene, I love that last paragraph especially. Your emotional healing came about, NOT through understanding your mother, but through:

“…sorting through the things that happened to me. It was through examining what I came to believe about myself because of emotional and physical trauma. It was through realizing how I came to believe that I was not worthy and that I was less valuable than others. I recovered as I took my life back. I took my life back when I realized that I did not cause my own problems. Not for the purpose of assigning blame, but for the purpose of stating the truth. I love the idea that everyone has issues, and that my parents were not perfect, but knowing that and accepting that is NOT what helped me to heal. I was TOLD who I was and I believed it. But that is not who I was and it is not who I am. I had to take my life back and restore the truth about me~ that is what set me free.”

THIS is the biggest avenue of healing for me, too. Thank yiou, Darlene, for your wonderful blog!

Love ~ Lynda

2

I have to add this, too… I know that I made a lot of mistakes with my 3 children, due to my own brokenness. Unfortunately, although I looked for it, I didn’t find a really good, helpful therapist, and start to heal from my childhood truamas, until I was 50. By then, my daughter and two sons were all grown and long gone from the nest. Sadly, I know that I am a much better “mother” to our fur-baby, our Australian Cattle Dog, Lady, than I was to my own off-spring. IF ONLY I could go back and re-parent them, with the love and healing and wisdom I have gained these past 8 years, since turning 50.

Yes, I know I did the best I could with what I had. And yes, I did far better with my own children, than my mother did with me. But knowing that doesn’t help me feel better, nor, does it help my sons and daughter feel better. The eldest will be 40 this year, the youngest, 30. All I can do for them at this point, is let them know how sorry I am, how wrong I was about some things, and that they deserved much better. They deserved a childhood that didn’t hurt~

Lynda

3

Hi Lynda
Being sorry is great but there is more! (you may have not thought about it this way though) Actually I believe it is never too late to make a difference in the lives of your kids. You can’t change the past, but your healing WILL make a difference to the present day relationships. I brought up specific things with my kids that I was sorry for, things that I did to manipulate them. I talked about the way that I was concerned about what people thought about my mothering skills. It is never too late to model something different; it is never too late to live in a new and healthy system. I am sorry for some of the things I did too, but I can’t let that be my stick point ~ I press on. Sometimes FOR my kids, because I see the benefits to them, but mostly for me, because when I am really emotionally healthy, people see something different in me and my kids do too. If they are going to learn by example, then I want to be an example. I thought I was too old to recover. I was in my early 40′s when I began this new process. I could have said that it was too late. But it wasn’t. You are still a parent to those kids. The key isn’t in making up for the past because the past can’t be altered, but if everyone has some sort of emotional abuse issues, then everyone needs the hope of overcoming those issues. You can be that hope. I strive to be that hope. And each generation will get stronger because there have been examples like us to follow.
I appreciate deep honesty and your involvement here!
Hugs, Darlene

4

I have one more question about our very similar mothers, Darlene ~ why could they so clearly see the wrong they suffered at the hands of their own mothers, but they could not see the wrong they were doing to US, to their own daughters?

In my mother’s world, everything is about HER. Her needs, her wants, her feelings, her beliefs, it’s about HER, first, last, and always.

She has several “horror stories” that she regularly trots out from her own childhood, stories about how her mother did this and did that to hurt HER ~ but truly, what her mother did to her was NOTHING compared to the way my mother treated me. My mother parented my by thinking of the worst, most hurtful thing she could say or do to me in any given situation, and then that was what she would do or say. Truly, that’s how it seems to me!

I remember that my mother’s mother, my “grammie,” never seemed to like or approve of my mother. My grandmother had two children, my mother, and then my aunt was born when my mother was 5. All through my growing up years, I clearly remember how my geandmother’s attitude toward my mother was that my mother could do nothing right, while her attitude toward my aunt was that she could do no wrong. Devastatingly hurtful to my mother, certainly, to be treated that way. But still, she never did and said the really HORRIBLE things that my mother did to me.

My mother’s worst story about how badly her own mother treated her, was soemthing that happened long after my mother was grown and married, with most of her own children grown. My mother was talking on the phone to my grammie, and they were discussing foods, what they like, and particularly, what they don’t like. My mother told her mother that the two foods she hated most in the world were egg whites, and rye bread. She could eat just about anything, but those two things turned her stomach.

Not long after that, Grammie invited my mother over to lunch. Mother tells the story with great feeling, how excited she was when she sat down at the beautifully set table, with the best china and silver. How special she felt. Then she lifted the silver cover off her plate, and saw, to her horror, that her mother had given her a sandwich made of sliced egg whites, on rye bread~

Mother tells that story with tears in her eyes. “I felt as horrified as if my mother had a dead rat waiting for me under that silver dome. But when I asked her how, and why, she would serve me such a thing for lunch, when I had told her those were the two foods I hate most in the world, my mother swore up and down that she didn’t remember me ever saying that. But who makes a sandwich out of nothing but sliced egg whiltes… no yokes… and rye bread?!”

OF COURSE that hurt my mother. OF COURSE it felt like she had been served a dead rat. But my GOD… the things that my mother said, and did, to me all my life long, were a thousand times worse…. her mother never tried to gas her to death, for God’s sake. Her mother never told her that her husband wouldn’t love her after he got to know her, her mother wasn’t telling her from toddlerhood on, “I love you, because you are my daughter, but I just don’t like you.” Her mother didn’t invite her one best friend over to the house, and then tell her friend that she, her daughter, was lazy and a liar and no good, effectively ruining their lifelong relationship. Her mother didn’t sit on her own husband’s lap, and talk about leaving her husband for her son-in-law…..

I don’t get it Darlene, I really, truly don’t get it. YES I did see firsthand how badly my grammie treated my mother. But my mother, who complained about her own mother’s slights and neglect, incessantly, all my life long…. why couldn’t she see that she was treating her own daughter just as horribly, and WORSE?

Confused, that’s what I am.

5

WOW, Darlene, I just read your post #3: “You are still a parent to those kids. The key isn’t in making up for the past because the past can’t be altered, but if everyone has some sort of emotional abuse issues, then everyone needs the hope of overcoming those issues. You can be that hope. I strive to be that hope. And each generation will get stronger because there have been examples like us to follow.”

THANK YOU. How did you get to be so WISE?! Love you~

6

I am having a hard time understanding my own mother because according to my mother and her sister, they had a very normal childhood with no emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. I never saw any signs with my grandparents that their childhood wasn’t as they said it was. I just can’t figure out how my mother ended up as narcissitic as she is. I know with my dad I have more empathy for him, he was raised in an abusive home and came back from Vietnam a totally different person. But with my mother, I don’t know where her issues came from.

7

Darlene, so beautifully put as always! especially this statement- “I had to take my life back and restore the truth about me~ that is what set me free.”

I do think that applies to every human being no matter what their background to maturity and peace.

8

Hi Lynda,
Two things:
you don’t know what your grandmother did to your mother. You only know what your mother told you. Depending on how communicative a person is, how strongly they feel about “loyalty to parents” and how much denial they are in, equals what they may or may not say. My mother didn’t tell me tons of nasty stories about her mother, but I remember the way that my grandmother was. I put some of the dots together myself too. So we can’t really compare our mothers to our grandmothers; we do know however that the cycle just continues. People who come from loving healthy homes, where they were raised being valued and encouraged to be self sufficient individuals DON’T end up being emotional abusive or any other kind of abusive.

And the second thing is that understanding your mother is NEVER going to be the answer or lead you to healing. It isn’t understandable. My healing is what I think about today. I bring up these stories to show how I believed the false stuff ABOUT ME that I was taught to believe about me. It is really important to share these stories, to dump them out so to speak, but not so that we can figure out why our own relatives were so nasty to us.

Does that make sense?

I smiled when I read your question “how did you get to be so wise” The answer is this; I did my healing work. I concentrated on me. I found the roots of where my self esteem got so damaged and the beliefs that I adopted because of that damage. And the person that I am today is the result! =)

Love Darlene

Hi Kari,
Just before I went to publish the above reply to Lynda, I saw your post. My response is the same one that I just posted to Lynda. :)
Hugs, Darlene

9

It makes perfect sense, Darlene, thank you again.

@ Pinky: So true, what you said.

10

“Not for the purpose of assigning blame, but for the purpose of stating the truth.”

11

Darlene you can remove this comment if you think it might hurt someone isn’t meant to at all but for me anyway I have learned that it is not beneficial to get stuck in the why of anything. I always move beyond that and deal with what is not why or why not. I also dont think it is beneficial to anyone to try and understand abusers and why they abuse. Be it a parent or anyone else. I just dont deal with abusers any more knowing they are abusive and ave chosen to be that way and I have chosen not to deal with them. I do not think in general in life there is any benefit to getting stuck in why. It is what it is. It is for me more abotu what choices I am making now. I dont live to understand who abused me or to even not be like them I live for myself and God. I am not going to give abusers that much power in my life!

12

Thanks Lynda.

13

I went back to my hometown after 20 plus years and met up with a high school friend who lost her (to death) alcoholic mom the year we graduated. We spent quite a bit aof time together in high school and now. I asked her how she got to be so strong and independent and successful the way she did and it took me two or more decades to figure out some basics.
She said that when her mom died, she KNEW that nobody was there for her and it was all up to her from this point on. I thought, “How clear!” I wish that my life had been more clear that way.

14

Sheryl,
This is so logical, isn’t it? I totally get what she is saying and actually, it fits for all of us. Not that we have to get “rid” of our mothers either through separation or death but that our lives are up to us. That is really the basis of my entire recovery. My marriage was in a mess; my husband had always made it clear that although he loved me and treated me really well, HE was the more important person in the relationship and that was not really up for question. He was totally threatened by my recovery in the beginning; he even told me we could not afford therapy for me. He didn’t want any changes. My kids were fine with the way things were becasue they were used to it, and I was servant to all so why would they want that to change? They were afraid to upset Dad, so they always went with what he wanted. My mother…. well I have written plenty about how unsupportive that she has been, so it was UP TO ME. I was the only one that going to be there for me.
This is great Sheryl, Thanks for sharing.

For any new readers, my husband had to go through his own therapy process, and we resolved our marriage and he now treats me with equal value. We have a mutually co-creative relationship. Our kids have flourished in this new system of equal value for all, and we spend a lot of happy family time together. They are no longer afraid of their father or respect him out of that fear so they no longer see the need to side with him vs. me but rather are encouraged to have their own opinions about things and they are free to state them. They view me as a valuable part of thier lives and they trust me with the details of their lives.

Hugs, Darlene

15

Pinky,
GREAT comment. Thanks so much for posting. I was trying to think of how, experientially, bad behavior hasn’t been discovered to be “wrong” for them to do to you. They “know” something was wrong to be done to them, but they don’t “know” that it is wrong to do to you because of measuring stick of relativity; this is better than how my mom treated me. But boil it all down, and no one feels your feelings but you and that is why it is up to your choices, you and God. The why thing can be a real trap for us who have consciences, that is, trying to figure out the consciences of others, a real trap indeed. And when I find myself getting stuck in the why of someone else’s behavior, it is like I am looking for an excuse or a reason for it, like there must be a good reason why they acted this way and why my perception is not complete.

16

As to why a mother would treat her daughter in an unhealthy way? She is gaining something from it.

Lynda,
When I read that your mom told her mom she hates rye and egg white and then her mother served her that very food (IF this really happened,) I thought that these two really “feed” on each other.
Does that make sense?
But you and I can be healthier than that.

17

Thanks Sheryl, I didn’t think of the word trap but that is what I was trying to say and glad it didn’t damage but only helped validate you. Darlene I didnt know that about your husband. I would not have had what it takes to stick it out but glad that you did and now are experiencing the good of the choice you made. I rarely hear about anyone changing that much to accept that a person has changed. I usually just cu contact if they are not supporting me. But your marriage stood the test and has changed that is great news!

18

Her marriage and family grew up, which is what we all want…

19

I know my mother had a dysfunctional relationship with her mother. I know that my father was probably beaten by his own father. I think knowing those things helps me to understand to some extent how they treated me, the fact that they had not had any healing. My mother started therapy for her own CSA when I was 14, just one year before I began therapy for MY CSA. My father as far as I know to this day refuses counseling, despite many many people advising him he needs to do it.

So that helps me to understand, but it doesn’t excuse the abuse I went through, the dysfunctionality of my childhood/teen years.

And although I am working on my healing NOW, before I have kids, I still fear greatly that I will continue the cycle, pass on the abuse.

20
Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 4th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I rememnber me telling my mom that I loved my grandma. She told me I wasn’t raised by her or other wise I wouldn’t feel that way toward her. I loved my grandma and up to a point she was very loving towards me. She was the only person that actually showed me love. I never felt love by anyone except her and my mom sounded jealous and became very mean to me. When I was 11 (I think) I stole some socks that my sister and brother talked me into stealing. My grandma never treated me with love again. That made my mom happy. It broke my heart. Now I litteraly had no one to love me. When I had my two girls I vowed they would hear the words “I love you” and I would mean it. I never want or wish anyone to live their life with out hearing those words.
Renee

21

Pinky, I love what you said: “I dont live to understand who abused me or to even not be like them I live for myself and God. I am not going to give abusers that much power in my life!”

I was just thinking about a comment you made on one of Darlene’s earlier posts, about your former friend hiring your rapist to be his bodyguard! What a horrible betrayal. I would have been stark-raving FURIOUS. I’ve had similar types of betrayal in the past from people I’d thought of as friends, or caring relatives.. it hurt, and it made me ANGRY. AND, worst of all, back in the days before I learned that I do indeed have equal value, and that any and all abuse or disrepect toward me is WRONG, period ~ when I was betrayed like that, it always made me question ME… was I making “too big a deal” out of things like abuse, and disloyalty?

I also used to get really caught up big time in the WHY. Especially with my abusive ex-boyfriend, if I could just figure out WHY he was being so mean to me, then I could change whatever the cause was, so he would stop being mean. Or so I could go on loving him, if I could only “understand.” My definition of love from childhood on was really warped.

But finally… at the ripe old age of 50, I said, ENOUGH. I have refused to remain in any sort of a relationship with anyone who abuses, betrays, belittles, or disrespects me. No more of me trying to twist my mind into a pretzel trying to figure out the WHYS so I can excuse it, forgive it, overlook it, or try to change it. No More.

Earlier, when I was asking WHY would my mother treat me so horribly, and seem so utterly OBLIVIOUS to how badly she was treating me, and to how badly her behavior was hurting me ~ when she was always so super-sensitive to how badly her own mother, and others, treated HER ~ I didn’t ask that so much with the hope of understanding, as with an air of utter exasperation and disgust. I mean, to my mind, it is just one more form of ABUSE that my mother dealt me… the fact that she treated me so badly, yet at the same time, complained to me very frequently about how her own mother mistreated her… yet the stories my mother told about her own mother’s “abuse” were so laughingly minor, compared to how really HORRIBLY my mother treated me! It was like my mother was telling me: “YOU, Lynda, didn’t deserve to be treated with any kindness or consideration by me, your mother. But I, on the other hand, deserve only the BEST from everyone, and I will complain and kick and scream if I don’t get it!”

It’s a self-serving double-standard and it makes me FURIOUS. It was as though my mother kept stabbing me with a big butcher knife, while complaining to me that her own mother had given her a couple of hard pinches on the arm. HELLO! I’m bleeding to death, here, Mom, who gives a s–t about your little bruises?!

Big sigh… well, I feel better now, anyway. I love this great blog community that Darlene has created!

22

Nicki, how wonderful that you are working on your healing now, before you have children.!

Renee, I felt SO SAD when I read that your grandmother never treated you with love again, after you stole some socks when you were 11. How terrible it is when parents, and grandparents, put conditions on their love. If a child has to be absolutely perfect all the time to be loved… never steal, never lie, never skip school, never disobey in any way, then no child could be loved. Was your grandmother perfect, all the time, in every way, all her life long? Did she never sin, never make a mistake?

I was the eldest, and for many years I was the only grandchild on both sides of the family, so I got a lot of attention… until I had a breakdown at age 14, due to the horrible abuses going on in my home, and then my mother committed me to a mental institution. After that, it was as though I had ceased to exist. My being “crazy” was the biggest dissapointment to my grandparents. I never felt loved by them again, either. Ignored, shunned, maybe sometimes pitied, but never again loved, never again looked at with that glowing look of grandparent’s pride. Grandparents LOVE to brag about their grandchildren, to show off their pictures and proudly tell of their achievements. But nobody wants to brag about “my granddaughter in the insane asylum.” Especially not in the high position my grandfather had, at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. My grandfather was the Associate Warden at the “big house,” and he and my grammie lived in the huge, impressive warden’s mansion on the grounds in front of the prison, because the warden had his own house nearby. With their teenage granddaughter committed to a State Mental Asylum not too many miles away from the Leavenworth Pen, that must have been quite an embarrassment to them, to say the least. Appearances, and class, meant so much to my grandparents. They were at the top, and I had fallen to the bottom. They blamed it on the “bad genes” I had inherited from my dad, and then, basically washed their hands of me.

Alone. Unloved. Unloveable. No child should ever feel that way.

23

@Lynda, Thanks so much! I will be 48 years old next week. I have been with my present husband for 17 years. We are blessed! Before him I was dysfunctional and so were all of my relationships. MY husband is exceptional and supportive that is why I said to Darlene I could not stay if my husband was not supportive. Anyway I said all of that to say that when I met my present husband he was loving and normal and I actually pushed him away. You would think i would be happy to find a great guy but it was so unfamiliar to me that I didnt trust it or understand it. He won me over by being a true friend by being there and then finally after 13 years I married him and it was the best decision of my life! I was so used o dysfunction by the time I met him because he was normal and sane and loving it was weird to me. It took me so long to reprogram my mind. I would have married him earlier e were planning in 2002 but I had to wait until 2006 because I was sued and though the part of the case is over that might endanger him I am stuck with this and it is because I told the truth about an abuser (not my abuser) that they are basically torturing me. And they got one of 2 of my abusers to start to harass and threaten me and they paid him to do this. It is all illegal but still going on in the NY Supreme court. The judge was bribed the FBI investigated for 5 years a judicial activist working on a case with the same people who was helping em he vanished. Its been a night mare and all along my husband was there and took a lot of loss to support me and be with me. I am under constant death threat and have to travel with a body guard. Anyway long story short I would be homeless if it wasn’t for my husband and dead if it wasn’t my attorney. Maybe it is not so good that I cut people off when they show they are abusive or not supportive but I have been through too much and when my radar goes up it is for a reason. Anyway half asleep now so I am rambling but thansk for the comments.

24

Kari,

I am responding to your first comment above. That’s as far as I got and I had to say something.

Our mom’s telling of their stories sound eerily similar. According to my mother, she had a “perfect” childhood. It isn’t that she accepts any responsibility for her obnoxious and inappropriate behavior, mind you; but she also does not blame her parents or find any fault whatsoever with her upbringing. The funny thing is, there were important circumstances surrounding her own birth that they lied to her about until she was almost 65 years of age. My grandfather was also a veteran of the second World War, and brought plenty of baggage home to deal with — which my mom has talked briefly to me about. There are other things about her parents that I and plenty of other people can clearly see which are far from ideal, so I have to assume — considering that my mother herself is an intrinsically dishonest person from the core — that she is in absolute denial. Plain and simple as that. I’m not saying they were horrible people, but they certainly weren’t perfect. And I know because they all did the same thing to me my entire life that feelings were discouraged — anything less than utter enthusiasm. This is not an ideal setting for anyone to grow up in. I also know a great deal (much too much) about my parents’ less than idyllic marriage and a lot of my mom’s issues I think — while they certainly began before meeting my dad — were cemented in her marriage and in raising her kids. Much too much to divulge in this setting, but with my eyes peeled wide open, I can see very clearly that my mother lives in total denial of anything less than perfect that she doesn’t wish to believe. And since most of those things have translated into decades of treating me like an impotent child and outright lying about me and to me, as well as the utter refusal to observe any type of boundaries whatsoever, therein lies the death of our love. Such is life, and I’m moving on without her.

Kellie

25
Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 5th, 2011 at 9:02 am

Thank you Lynda,
I know what Im about to say is very very strange but it happened and I rarely tell it because I don’t want people to think I am wierd. The night that my grandmother died I woke up the moment her spirit left her body because I litteraly felt and saw it go into mine. I loved my grandma so much and she taught me a lot about Shauman medicine.
My mother and older sister hated me and wasted no time to let me know how much my sister WAS her favorite. If that was true and even though my grandma quite showing me love why did that happen? I beleive it was because deep down my grandma truely did love me and at the end she let me know it. I hold on to this memory because someone did find me worthy and it made my world less lonely.
Renee

26

Hi Nicki
It does help to understand some of the history with our parents. I had to separate that knowledge in my own recovery. Hard to explain but I had used it for the excuse to “excuse them” and that got in my way. So I had to look at it from both sides in order to heal. I think that it is awesome that you are doing healing work now! I had my first child at age 30 because I was so afraid. My kids are all teens (the oldest is turning 20 soon) and their lives have been WAY different then mine was. The desire to do better will take you far.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Renee
Interesting statement from your mother. In other words ~ if you really knew your grandmother, you would not have loved her? (and isn’t that what we end up believing about ourselves? “if you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me”).. this is all about controlling, even controlling a kids feelings! I am so sorry that happened to you Renee.
I also want to mention that I had to find a new definition of love. Not loving a kid because they stole something is not real love. That is the cycle that most of us grew up in; that we were loved IF we were what they wanted, and it is trained into us that way. (by withdrawing love or attention every time we “disappoint”.) I can’t think of a reason that I would stop loving my children.
Thanks for sharing. This is like a snapshot of exactly what happens on the road that leads to broken.
Hugs, Darlene

Lynda,
Another great comment about how we learn as children to try harder to WIN or EARN the love of someone else. (your boyfriend story) And how they will never give it (for long) because making someone try all the time is having power and control over that person. It is as though they think “well if I love you and accept who you are, then I won’t be able to control you make you jump through my hoops anymore… ” This is why it is so important for us to take our own lives back and break that conditioning.
Your story about your grandparents is another great example of how this all happens.
Thanks for sharing all of this.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Kellie
There seems to be two distinct tactics that parents use. (well there are hundreds, but these two are common and they are also opposite) One of the tactics is to tell the kids they had a perfect upbringing and that they would NEVER hold a parent accountable for anything. I wonder if the motive is to teach the child not to ever blame the parent? The other one is to tell the child “you think YOU had it bad?…. I had it so much worse” My mother often said out loud to me “no matter how mean my mother was we still loved her”. I was like……….. what the hell does THAT mean?? But I know what it means… it means that I am supposed to “love” (accept everything she did) my mother no matter what she did to me. But that isn’t what love is about. I have written a lot in other posts about this stuff.
~Thanks for posting your comments Kellie. You are exactly right about all of this.
Hugs, Darlene

Renee
I am glad that you found some peace and comfort from your experience when your grandma died. Sometimes these are the things that really help pull us through.
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene,

In response to your latest comment to Lynda, I am having an “aha” moment. You wrote:

And how they will never give it (for long) because making someone
try all the time is having power and control over that person. It
is as though they think “well if I love you and accept who you are,
then I won’t be able to control you make you jump through my hoops
anymore… ”

I can’t believe I have never thought of this before! This answers some of the question of why the standards were constantly changing and shifting — expectations met brought more, higher ones and impossible challenges to navigate as a child. This carried right over into my first marriage. The exact same thing. I honestly never thought of it as a way to control me — although I knew there were lots of other ways.

Thanks again for ALL of your insight. My philosophy is that a wound that is ignored cannot heal. That is why I journey into these pages from time to time. I also take long breaks and give myself days and sometimes weeks in between reading and studying so I don’t become so angry that I’m no good to anyone in my family.

God Bless,
Kellie

29

Renee, thank you for sharing your story about what you experienced when your grandmother died. I had a very similar “weird but true” experience when my paternal grandfather died. I knew he was sick, but didn’t know thst he had cancer, and didn’t know he was dying. He was only in his late 50s. He was living in California, and I was living about 2,000 miles east from there. I was 13 years old, in the 8th grade, sitting in my math class, trying to stay awake while the teacher droned on and on…. and suddenly, out of nowhere, came this blindingly powerful thought: “My Grandfather Robinson has just died!” It was so real and strong, that I started to cry, right there in class.

When I got home from school that afternoon, as I was walking in the back door, my mother met me and said, “Lynda, I have some bad news for you…” I interrupted her: “I already know what it is. My Grandfather Robinson died today.” She looked at me strangely and asked, “How did you know?” I said, “I don’t know, I just did.”

I strongly felt that my grandfather, who had lived far away from me for most of my life, and knew nothing of the trauma in my life, was reaching out to me at the moment of his death, because he somehow knew, in that moment, how troubled and traumatized I was, and how desperately I needed love. A very strange thing, I know, Renee. Like you, I rarely tell about it, because I don’t want people to think I’m “weird.” But, I suspect that many, if not most people, have experienced some similar weird things. Life ~ and deaf ~ is a Mystery!

30

Years ago when going through some difficult times with my parents I read a book called…”Divorcing your Parents’. Don’t know who wrote it but it was amazing…I highlighted all the pages that pertained to me and saw me through better days. Unfortunately I have moved several times and can’t find it anymore.

31

Darlene, back in December of 2007, I wrote my own blog article called “Family Generational Patterns of Behavior” [ http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2007/12/family-generational-patterns-of.html ] in which I was looking at the anger between my daughter and me and wondering if it was just the anger that my mother felt toward her mother and my anger at my mother being passed down to the next generation – my daugher. I still don’t know if it was that simple/complicated or not. What writing the article did do was to give me some awarenesses about my relationships with my mother and daughter. It showed me some of the messages that I was told about “good” daughters. It showed me some of the relationship messages that I still had time to change between my daughter and me even though she is an adult with her own children now.

What I learned about asking so many “why” questions is that the questions often kept me so focused on the search that it left me no time to feel. For many years, I lived in my head/mind rather than be connected to the body that had been sexually abused by my dad. Staying in my head was safe rather than possibly having to deal with the body that allowed itself to be used. In my mind, I could hide from the pain of the abuse and betrayals of my childhood.

Second, staying in my head/mind, I didn’t have to feel the emotional hurt, the feelings of worthlessness, the hurt of betrayal by my parents, the overwhelming sadness, the self-hatred for my body and for my feeling, vulnerable child parts. I intellectualized everything rather than feel. That is how I used the “why” questions that my mind came up with. Today, I am connected to my head, body and feelings. Sometimes I slip back into just the head but I see what I am doing and can reconnect to all of my beautiful parts. They are all me.

Renee, I am glad to see you here venturing out to let others share a part of your journey. You have the courage to continue on.

Linda, I benefit so much from your sharing even though our abuses were so different. The feelings are the same.

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Susan, I remember when that book about Divorcing Your Parents came out. The title was very enticing to me… but, I was going to a church at the time that focused heavily on forgiving and loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, honoring father and mother, dying to SELF, forgetting the past…. and so on and so on. All well-meaning teachings, but they didn’t help me. So, for year and years of my adulthood, I continued to stay in close contact with my parents, and to visit them whenever I could… so that they could continue putting me down, lying about me to other family members, discounting me, and verbally abusing me, over and over and over.

Then I remembered another verse in the Bible, one that says that if a town will not receive you, shake the dust of that place off your shoes and LEAVE. So I did, and it was the best thing I could have done… leaving my parents.

Lynda

33
Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 5th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Thank you, Darlene, Patricia and Lynda
Every time we write we feel we are taking a chance of being rejected. We have met with love and kindness from all of you. Today I read some of your blog, Darlene to my sister who is just starting her journey. She isan’t capable of reading these so I read to her. Then we talk about it. I don’t know if I am strong enough internally to help her, yet I know your blog gentle touches on topics that she will need to when she is ready. She is in counseling also. Thank you to everyone, I feel as we continue, my sisters life and journey will be changed by all of your experiences and love that each transfers into your blog and comments.
Love
Renee and the girls.

34

Renee ~ isn’t it wonderfully HEALING, to be able to tell our stories, and share our true, innermost being, and receive in return, NOT the rejection we have grown so accustome to, but love and kindness, acceptance and understanding? What a blessed GIFT Darlene’s blog community is.

Patricia, yes, it is so true: “…though our abuses were so different… The feelings are the same.”

With Love & Gratitude,
Lynda

35

PS~ I should proofread more often. I meant “Life ~ and death ~ is a Mystery,” not “Life ~ and Deaf” (giggle).

36

Patricia, I did the same…living in my head so I didn’t have to feel the emotions. Sometimes I think I’m still doing that. Because handling the emotions while navigating a full-time job and having to be at least “semi” functional is extraordinarily difficult. Also I spent a lot of time trying to “figure it out”…figure out where it all went wrong, then I could fix it. As though KNOWING where it went wrong in the past would make it somehow go right in the future. I recognize this as a delaying tactic now, but have not yet learned to replace it with something healthier and more productive.

I was raised by my mother and my grandmother (her mother). I saw firsthand how devalued my mother was by her mother. I spent my life internalizing those things and making it my responsibility to make sure my mother was not hurt or angry or sad. I always failed.

My father left when my mother was pregnant with me. My mother moved back with her parents. My grandfather died when I was seven (he was an alcoholic and there were myriad problems with him as well as far as my mother’s upbringing was concerned…even thinking about it makes me sad and angry on her behalf.) My mother was an only child and she had an alcoholic father and a narcissistic mother. I figured that if I could make her happy, if I could heal her pain, if I could keep her from being sad, then she would be all right. And thus, I would be all right.

That’s a lot of power for a little kid to think she has. Not just a little kid. My grandmother died when I was twenty. I’m 43 now, and, up until very recently, I was still doing this. Even though I had accepted – INTELLECTUALLY – that I could never make her happy, I was still trying. A lifetime of habits are hard to break. I can still see the wounded child inside of my mother and I can still hear my grandmother’s voice tearing her down and it makes me crazy. It makes me terribly sad. It STILL makes me want to make her better! I’m sitting here crying as I type that she had such a bad life and I couldn’t do anything about it!

But then I get to thinking…this woman hurt her at every opportunity. She emotionally and verbally abused her every day of her life. And she thought it would be okay if she went ahead and raised us too. My mother acknowledges this was a mistake. Of course, she couches it in self-justifying language: “I really thought I had no other choice. My only other choice was to go on welfare.” Well, maybe going on welfare would have been better. My mother was not the type to get on welfare and stay on it for life. She was an educated woman who had always worked. She was a nurse. And she never had any trouble finding and keeping a job. She would have only been on welfare a short time, if at all. Instead, she came home to her abusive mother and her alcoholic father and used them as child care while she worked.

My mother talks about a realization she had one day when I was a junior in high school. She tells me about this all the time. She realized that “in a year, you’d be gone and it would just be her and me and I knew that only one of us would survive.” (Meaning I would be going away to college and would no longer be there to be a buffer between her and her mother.) She describes this as her breakthrough moment, when she decided it would be good if she got some help and got out. It never occurred to me, until very recently, that this was a little messed up. It’s great that she had that breakthrough and got out. Long overdue. But it never occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t okay that she had been using me as a buffer at all. By the way, it didn’t (and still hasn’t) occurred to her either.

One incident is sticking out in my head right now from my upbringing. I have no idea why THIS incident, but … I don’t know how old I was, but: My mother was a little bit late getting home from work one day and my grandmother had all of us out on the street, looking for her car, saying, “she’s left you, just like your father.” This terrified me, as she knew it would. I had a stage a little earlier on where, every day, when my mother left to go to work, I was terrified that I would never see her again. I didn’t fear that she would leave me on purpose, but that she would die before she got home. Undoubtedly this was because my grandmother always told us that my mother was at “that dangerous age;” that she could have a stroke or a heart attack at any moment. Of course, I added car crashes and murderers to the list of things that could possibly happen to her. I was terrified. When my mother got home that particular night, she flew into a rage at her mother for daring to suggest that she would ever walk out on her children. I felt safe again. Until the next morning. I don’t really remember when that fear stopped, but it eventually did. And it was replaced by vaguer, more monstrous fears.

And (intellectually, again!), I know that none of that matters! All that matters is right now. This moment. That’s all we really have anyway, right?! “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” If I’m going to be happy, I have to make the right choices and do the right things and care about myself, because no one else can do it for me. I even know that in my heart and soul.

But after a lifetime of making the wrong choices (maybe even sometimes for the right reasons…like not wanting my mom to be hurt or sad), the right choices don’t always come so easy. I may even know what they are (eat right, exercise more, stand up for myself, etc.), but I don’t know how to implement them because a core “motivator” is missing: self worth. And that’s a little more complicated (at least for me) than just “deciding” to feel better. Every time I “decide” to feel better…I end up feeling worse.

37

Lisa, your last paragraph has just… really… hit me HARD right between the eyes.

My utter lack of self worth held me back and kept me miserable, throughtout most of my life. I’ve had a lot of healing in that area in recent years, but ~ I still have a ways to go.

38

Lisa and Lynda, finding your own self-worth is the best possible thing that you can do for yourself and for those closest to you. I was blessed to find people who loved me and showed me how to love myself. My teacher for self-worth was a lady about 8 years older than me that I met through a mutual friend. They later married and both became my counselors as soon as they graduated from college with degrees in counseling. My friend, Kathy became my incest counselor, 12-Step mentor, and best friend all in one person. Kathy was a wonderful role model for being a healthy incest survivor herself. She was a recovering alcoholic. I don’t drink because I carry the gene for alcoholism. She was a recovering bulimic also. The important thing was she was a healthy role model for being a woman too which I had never had before. She taught me but she also showed me by example what it was like to be healthy and to love myself. She also taught me to play and enjoy my life. I only knew her for 3 short years before she was killed by someone that she was trying to help. She probably taught me more about myself than anybody else. She taught me what it meant to be a strong, loving woman.

You are worth loving yourself. You are worth being loved by others. We already are strong women. We already are courageous women just by being here and telling our stories so that others can read and benefit from our sharing.

I had to start my own journey to loving myself by admitting that I hated myself and then going from there. Until you admit what you are feeling, you can’t change it. I hated myself because I believed all of the lies that my dad told me when I was a child. He told me that women were only good for one thing and that was sex. He told me that all women were whores. He told me that a man only wanted a woman for sex, not to love. He made me feel that I was the “other woman” in his marriage. How could I feel any other way about myself?

Like Darlene, I had to see those statements for what they were – lies. I didn’t deserve to be hurt by my dad and neglected by my mom except when she needed biscuits made for supper, or wanted me to bring her a cup of coffee or her cigarettes, or when she wanted me to wash dishes or do some other household chore. I didn’t deserve to be sent off with my dad every time that he decided to go somewhere other than to work. I can’t tell you the number of stomach aches that I got as a kid when he started talking about going somewhere. The stomach aches never got me out of going places with him. The trips always ended with sex in the front seat of his truck.

Wow! Just writing that is giving me an upset stomach. I haven’t had that reaction in a very long time – years, in fact. Darlene, I love/hate the way that your posts are making – no, not making – helping me to feel. A friend of mine says “Feeling is healing.” I have to agree with him. That must be my lesson today. It is the 3rd time today that I have quoted him. So much healing is going on because of your posts, Darlene. Thank you.

39

Patricia, I feel so much anger and hatred toward your dad for what he did to you. Reading that made me feel sick, too.

You are such a beautiful woman, you have such a strong and kind and caring spirit. I am in awe that you could go through that hell of a childhood, and be the lovely person you are today.

40

Lynda, thank you. That makes me want to cry – in a good cry way. Your compassion touches me deeply.

41

Thank you, Lynda and Patricia. It really does help to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

42

Hi Everyone,
I took some time off yesterday but I see that the discussion has been amazing while I was gone! I can’t answer all the new comments (I am pressed for time today) but I want to respond to a few.

Patricia ~ Your comment really hit me. I am going to repost the parts that really struck me as SO significant so that anyone reading my comment back doesn’t have to search for yours to see what I am talking about:
You wrote:

” What I learned about asking so many “why” questions is that the questions often kept me so focused on the search that it left me no time to feel. For many years, I lived in my head/mind rather than be connected to the body that had been sexually abused by my dad. Staying in my head was safe rather than possibly having to deal with the body that allowed itself to be used. In my mind, I could hide from the pain of the abuse and betrayals of my childhood.

Second, staying in my head/mind, I didn’t have to feel the emotional hurt, the feelings of worthlessness, the hurt of betrayal by my parents, the overwhelming sadness, the self-hatred for my body and for my feeling, vulnerable child parts. I intellectualized everything rather than feel. That is how I used the “why” questions that my mind came up with. Today, I am connected to my head, body and feelings. Sometimes I slip back into just the head but I see what I am doing and can reconnect to all of my beautiful parts. They are all me.”

I have never thought about this “head/body” thing in exactly this way, but I love how you have described it. It really resonates with me. I have not done a ton of work with BODY memory stuff…. and I think that the way you explain it really well. I have given a lot of thought and done a lot of work about staying present, about the “head stuff” being such a big part of the “spin” for me. The spin that leads nowhere. But this avoiding my body thing… that really makes sense to me. I see it slightly differently then you do, in that I felt all those feelings in my head and dealt with them that way, BUT I also realize that I have avoided the body stuff in that I don’t like to be aware of my body as the “part of me” that was used. I can’t even articulate it properly yet, but I had to say that this has given me a lot to think about and I really appreciate this post Patricia! I am sure that I will write about this more in a new post one of these days.
Hugs, Darlene

43

Reconnecting with my body was a really big part of my recovery efforts. It hasn’t been easy and it is still something that I have to work at some days. It is so much easier to just stay in my head, with my thoughts.

Feeling is painful or it can be. I was so afraid to feel it all and my body is where I feel it all, not my head. I was afraid that if I felt all of the pain from the childhood incest that I would just explode into a million pieces or that I would just give up and lay down and die. The odd thing is my best friend of the past 15 years is a drama queen who not only feels but feels very deeply about most things. The lesson that we have taught each other is balance. Healthy is somewhere in the middle of our two stances on feeling. Another instance of me doing the extremes that I was taught as a child. Darlene, I look forward to hearing what you have to post about your ah-ha moment.

44

You broke because they treated you with hateful behavior.
Being broken is not acceptable, so you move on, and heal.

45

Has anyone tried cranio-sacral therapy for getting the body to relase trauma/emotions?

I had it done a few times and think it is worthwhile. I would actually like to become a therapist.

46

Wow…… such valuable info from all… thank you for sharing…..

47

Hi Renee
That is really great about you being able to share this with your sister. It warms my heart to know that my blog and others that take the time to contribute here are making a difference.
I am glad that you and your sister are here too, Renee

Hi Lisa B.
Your story about how you thought you could make your mother happy, if you could heal her pain, then she would be all right… THAT is my story with my mother too. I felt so deeply for her, I was so aware of her pain and what you have expressed her today is a huge part of the process that I talk about her in EFB. It was so important for me to realize that I could not save my mother, the it was not my fault that she was unhappy, and it was not my job, my duty or within my ability to help her. It was only when I really accepted that, that I could see my mothers expectations of me clearly for the first time. Because I used my deep connection to her pain and that I could not save her, as the excuse to not hold her accountable for how she in turn treated me. It is as though she also believed I could restore her value, and she was so disappointed in me for not being able to do so. There was a distinct process to the way that I got through all this in order to put things in the right perspective and heal.
Your post today is FULL of wonderful information about the places where we get so damaged and where we get so stuck. I don’t agree that today is all that matters at all. Yesterday shapped today and if there are a lot of lies attached to yesterday, then we can’t be okay today unless we go back and discover / uncover those lies.
Thanks so much for sharing all of this. I was reminded of so much!
Hugs, Darlene

48

Sheryl, I have done cranio-scral a few times and was very pleased with the process. I was doing inner child work and wrote several blog posts about the process. I had to quit going because of transportation problems which haven’t been resolved yet. I will go back to it as a way to reconnect with body memories sometime in the future.

49

I think such dysfunctional moms intentionally try to do better thinking that they’re nowhere near as bad as their own mom. But if these moms aren’t healed, they unconsciously still do the same things to their kid that was done to them.

50

Patricia and Darlene,
This past Monday as I was being wheeled on the gurney into the operating room for my colonoscopy, I could feel myself leaving my body and going into my head only. I knew I was going to be put to sleep, under anesthesia, and that terrifies me. When I was 14 – 16 years old, in a state mental institution, I was drugged and raped 3 times by my psychiatrist. He used sodium pentothal, the drug that is known as the truth serum. The last time he did that, he gave me too much, too fast, and I almost died. A nurse told me later that she heard me screaming bloody murder from inside his office, but she couldn’t get in the locked door. He yelled at her thru the door that I was under hypnosis and was reliving a very traumatic memory, and could not be disturbed. When he was through with me, he sent me back to the ward, and I passed out right after I got there. I remember floating up in the air and looking down on my body, lying crumpled on the floor. The two nurses on the ward came running out of their office. As they were checking me, one said she couldn’t find a pulse.
The other said that my lips were turning blue…

Somehow they revived me, then they walked me back and forth, up and down the long hall, holding me upright between them. I felt like I was floating the whole time, dreaming, not real. Finally after what seemed like several hours of this, I came fully awake. Then when I went to the bathroom, I could tell by the condition of my underwear that I had been raped… I had no memory of the actual rape, just the dr. telling me to go to sleep and have a dream and saying that when I woke up I would not remember anything. I don’t remember screaming either, don’t remember a nurse trying to get into the locked office, don’t remember the rapist dr. telling her to go away… but I do remember that when he was giving me the drug, in a vein inside my left arm, that my chest, my heart, began to hurt terribly, like it was being squeezed, hard, by a very strong fist. I told the doctor that my chest hurt, he stopped briefly, took my pulse, then plunged the rest of the drug into my arm.

I have a vague memory of him telling me that if I ever remembered, or told, anyone about what he was doing to me, that he would, quote: “stick you back in a hole so far that you will never see the light of day again.”

Afterward, I also remember that he tried to make me kiss him. When I wouldn’t do it, he said, “You will never get better until you learn to stop repressing your real feelings.” That was when he sent me back to the ward, where I passed out and almost died.

The nurses reported what had happened to me that night. The dr’s office was searched for evidence, and in his desk drawer, they found tape recordings that he had made of his rapes. The dr. was fired. Later someone told me he had committed suicide.

One male counselor, and one male psychiatrist, separately cursed me out during the following few days, for having “ruined the life of a wonderful man.” The Dr. said, “I suppose you want to lay right down here on my office floor and screw me too, don’t you?”

About a year later, shortly after I had been released from the institution, the counselor drove several hundred miles to my house to apologize for blaming me for what the rapist dr. had done. I refused to see him… but his effort to apologize did help me feel a little less “crazy.”

I was put in solitary confinement after being raped. Why? Because I was sitting on the toilet in the ward’s open community bathroom, sitting there crying silently, and one of the other patients saw me crying and went and told the nurse who was then on duty, hoping the nurse might be able to help me feel better or something, and the nurse came into the bathroom and yelled at me, “Stop that cyring! You are upsetting the other patients!” In one of my very extremely rare moments of trying to stand up for myself I said, “You Bitch! I can CRY if I want to!”

So the nurse ran and called for help. Moments later, that nurse, and several big burly white-coated male attendants came storming into the bathroom where I was still sitting on the pot, still crying silently…. and they grabbed me off the toilet, and dragged me by my arms, legs, and hair, across and down the hall to a solitary confinement room, and shoved me inside, and slammed and locked the door.

There was a bed in there, that’s all. I took the bedding off the bed, climbed up on the marble window sill, and made a noose from the bedsheet, and hung it from the big metal rod that was bolted into the cement wall above the tall window with the thick metal screens and bars. Then I hung myself.

The metal rod broke off the wall.

I was lying in a heap on the floor, when, moments later, the door flew open, and another herd of white-coated males swarmed in, dragged the rod and bedding out of the room, held me down while a nurse shot me full of dope in my thigh, then they strapped me down to the metal cot in that room, I was strapped with leather-wrapped metal belts that went around my ankles, to the bottom of the bed, around my wrists, to the sides of the bed, and around my abdomen, to where it was all padlocked under the bed. And there I floated, out of my body, for days.

THESE ARE THE MEMORIES THAT RETURN EVERY TIME I AM GIVEN AN INJECTION THAT CAUSES ME TO GO TO SLEEP. I remember it all, as if it were NOW. It IS now…

The doctor who performed my colonoscopy last Monday was a woman. She was very understanding when I told her ahead of time that I have a panic attack when I am being put under anesthesia for any reason, because as a teenager I was drugged and raped. I did not tell her it was my own dr. who did that… usually when I tell that part, I get this look of disbelief. I don’t know if my new dr. would have looked that way, but I suspect she would not. In fact, when I told her that I had been drugged and raped and have panicked over being put under ever since, she looked at me so sadly and compassionately and said, “You’re not the first woman to tell me that. I’ve heard it from quite a few women over the years.”

She was very compassionate and lovely, and I had no fear whatsoever that anything would be done to harm me in any way, during my colonoscopy procedure… but even so, the feeling of a drug going into my vein, that feeling of being warm all over, of starting to lose control, to lose consciousness, to lose ME… my heart began to pound and I panicked and I wanted to RUN. Then I went into my head, out of my body, and I knew even as I was doing it, “I am dissociating right now.” I have never known that before, I have just automatically done it. But this time, I knew that was what I was doing, a split second after I began doing it. And I told myself, “That’s OK, I can do this for right now, to help me through, I won’t stay dissociated.”

I was SO GLAD when it was ALL OVER and I could wake up and come back to ME again!

Lynda

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Lynda, I am so glad that you could share your story of abuse here. I want to take the child/teenager that you were and just hold you and cry with you. I want to somehow heal your hurts. No one should ever be treated the way that you were by that doctor and nurse. It was not your fault that the doctor committed suicide. It was his shame at getting caught. I sometimes wonder how we survive the abuse at all. It is a wonder to me that we can function at all. I am glad that your current lady doctor was so compassionate and that you were able to tell her why you have the panic attacks. If we don’t tell them, they don’t know why we react the way that we do. My doctor who is a nurse practictioner knows that I am an incest survivor. I print out some of my blog articles and take to her to read when I have my appointments hoping that it will help her to understand if she has any other patients like me who are incest survivors. Thank you Lynda for honoring us with your story. We teach each other to have more compassion by sharing our stories.

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Thank you, Patricia. Your words were exactly what I needed to hear. Like a healing balm.

Your writing about your dad.. that gave me the courage to tell the whole story about my being raped, and how it affects me to this day. I have gone without medical procedures that I was told I needed, due to my panic over the anesthesia, and the flashback it causes me.

I, too, want to hold the child that you were and cry with you and scream with you. No one, no child, should ever be treated the way you were treated. I agree, I don’t know how we’ve survived some of our traumas.

I believe I am both very strong, and very weak. Very strong, to have survived. Weak, in my wounded broken places. Yet very strong, to go on living, even with the brokenness inside, and to continue to strive for HEALING, rather than just giving up and curling into a helpless little ball… although I have done that, too. There are days when brushing my teeth is a major victory.

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Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 7th, 2011 at 7:57 am

Patricia,
Thank you for that gift you gave me when you wrote about Kathy. I only met her twice as I lived in Idaho when she was killed. To know what she beleived in, how she lived her healing and being blessed to know you personnaly holds dear to my heart. Through you and how you are so humbley caring, I see her. Thank you for loving my sister-in -law, I wish I could have known her as you did.
Renee

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Lynda, thank you so much for sharing your story. I too have gone without medical procedures and dental work I need because of my fear of going under anesthesia. My reason is different, but I had an operation when I was 3 and the anesthesia didn’t work and I felt everything. I was awake, but paralyzed and couldn’t scream or fight back. I had nightmares about it my whole life, of trying to move, trying to scream, trying to get away, and yet my soul is screaming and thrashing violently inside, just my body won’t move. Every time I have anesthetic, the same thing happens – I feel it but can’t tell anyone. Not only that, no one has ever believed me when I tell them afterwards. My parents told me it was impossible, I was imagining it because I psyched myself up so much beforehand. Doctors and dentists told me the same thing. You couldn’t possibly have that much pain killer and still feel anything. When I had my wisdom teeth out, it was so bad that I did that time actually break out of the restraints on my arms, knocked the tray over and pushed past 3 dentists, through the door and ran down the hall and locked myself in the bathroom. I lay down on the cool tile floor finally feeling safe and went to sleep, but they took the door off the hinges and dragged me out because they were not finished. After all that, my mother was furious at me. I had caused a scene. I embarrassed her. No, wait, I humiliated her. She would not allow me to stay in the recovery room, she wanted to get out of there right away. So people helped me out to the car and put me in the back seat, but I had no strength in my muscles yet (the paralyzing part of the anesthetic worked) so every time she put on the brakes or turned a corner I would roll off the back seat onto the floor and not be able to get up. She was so MAD! She accused me of crying wolf, of being dramatic, and she would mimic me crying and saying “mom stop the car” in a whiny, dramatic, baby, mocking voice. This was how it was my whole life. My pain was an embarrassment. So I wasn’t allowed to have it.

It was about this time, when I had my wisdom teeth out in my 20s, that my mother called me and confessed to me that God was convicting her about something and that she needed to tell me. She told me that she had been afraid I was too needy and clingy when I was little, like 3 or 4, and she was afraid I wouldn’t learn to be independent, so she stopped hugging me, stopped touching me, and stopped letting me come to her for comfort or sit on her lap or hold her hand. It was embarrassing to her that I might cry and not want to go to school while other kids were fine. She thought it was the right thing to do, but suddenly now she realized it had damaged me. She wanted to hear me say the words I forgive you. But she never changed towards me. It was like just KNOWING something in your head was enough.

So back to my earlier point. I basically stopped going to the dentist and doctor. I just ignored my body.

And it’s connected to something else commented on… I think it was Lisa B, about living in your head and not your body. That’s what I did. But truly, I believe that’s what my mother did her whole life too, and she had absolutely no awareness of pain – hers or anyone else’s close to her. I think I did it to survive from the time I was very little, but also I think I learned it or it was reinforced by how my mother was. Everything was logical and rational and intellectualized, never felt. And that’s why analyzing my thoughts and beliefs, as Darlene has done to heal and uproot the lies, that’s why it feels so wrong for me right now. If feels unhealthy and dysfunctional to analyze my feelings and thoughts instead of just allowing them to be there whether they are logical or true or not. Wow. Very interesting. Maybe I’m just in a stage where I need to let myself feel regardless of whether I can INTELLECTUALLY validate it or find the source of it.

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Wow! This post and the comments here are simply amazing! I am blown away by the shared and combined wisdom and experiences here; there is so much in fact that it is not possible for me to comment on each one – I can only say again – wow.

Darlene…like you, I was determined to not make the same mistakes with my kids. Yet; many of them I did make because as I discovered it was not about the “doing” part of parenting. It wasn’t about making sure they had new clothes instead of used clothes that didn’t fit from the second hand store or the variety of pretty shoes instead of the one pair of ugly corrective shoes that I wore as a child. It wasn’t about the house, the car or “making” them obey me. It was about the emotional healing.

@Lynda – me too….my children are grown now and I have often grieved over the parenting that they didn’t get. I keep telling myself that I did the best I could and that wasn’t helpful; it was when I refocused on “I did the best I could AND now I can do better” that helped me get past the guilt of not knowing how to be a nurturing parent and focusing on being the best I could be TODAY.

I just love the way you put this entire process Darlene; this paragraph really hit home for me: “A comforting thing for me has been to realize that was not through understanding my Mother, or even understanding our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship, that emotional healing came about. It was through sorting through the things that happened to me. It was through examining what I came to believe about myself because of emotional and physical trauma. It was through realizing how I came to believe that I was not worthy and that I was less valuable than others. I recovered as I took my life back. I took my life back when I realized that I did not cause my own problems.”

And this part was so key for me to move past the resentments in my own journey….”Not for the purpose of assigning blame, but for the purpose of stating the truth. I love the idea that everyone has issues, and that my parents were not perfect, but knowing that and accepting that is NOT what helped me to heal. I was TOLD who I was and I believed it. But that is not who I was and it is not who I am. I had to take my life back and restore the truth about me~ that is what set me free.”

It really was vital for me to make that shift from assigning blame to placing responsibility for the way they treated me with those who mistreated me in order that I could release the burden both for my own pain but also the lie that had told me I was responsible for THEIR pain. As long as I was “blaming” them then I could accept others blaming me for things that I had done even though my today choices were based on my past beliefs and the mistakes I’d made from that place. When I could place responsibility for the way they treated me with them, then I could also accept responsibility for my own failures as a parent. Without that – I could only live in the guilt of being a “bad” parent. Instead, I can now live outside of that place of “black and white” where life and people were “all bad” or “all good”. Instead, I can accept responsibility while not accepting blame for who I was and what I did that came from the original abuse all the while knowing that I can do better each day. This was where the past shifted from being the excuse for bad behavior that was based on shame and blame to being an understandable reason while accepting responsibility for my past actions and my future choices.

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Hi Amy,
Thank you for sharing your story. I woke up once while under a general anaesthetic. I had all the same symptoms that you had, I could feel the arm restraints, I was panicking like crazy because I couldn’t move and I thought I was dying. but that is all I remember because the very aware anaesthesiology doctor monitoring the anaesthetic realized that I had woken up. (which was his JOB to realize and it is one of the MOST important jobs of any of the DR.s in the operating room) and the next day he came to see me and asked me if I was aware of anything going “wrong” in the surgery and he explained to me what had happened. I felt validated and supported but I am still terrified to ever have a general anaesthetic again. It is horrifying to think that you were awake AND feeling the surgery! To not be believed is horrific. The abusive way that your own mother treated you is inexcusable. I am so sorry that you have been through ALL that. One abuse heaped on top of another. I believe you Amy. Why in the world would people think a person could make that up????
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan
Love your point about DOING. It isn’t about doing, it is about being and YES it is always about emotional healing. And I have to highlight your last paragraph! It is so great ~

Susan wrote:
“It really was vital for me to make that shift from assigning blame to placing responsibility for the way they treated me with those who mistreated me in order that I could release the burden both for my own pain but also the lie that had told me I was responsible for THEIR pain. As long as I was “blaming” them then I could accept others blaming me for things that I had done even though my today choices were based on my past beliefs and the mistakes I’d made from that place. When I could place responsibility for the way they treated me with them, then I could also accept responsibility for my own failures as a parent. Without that – I could only live in the guilt of being a “bad” parent. Instead, I can now live outside of that place of “black and white” where life and people were “all bad” or “all good”. Instead, I can accept responsibility while not accepting blame for who I was and what I did that came from the original abuse all the while knowing that I can do better each day. This was where the past shifted from being the excuse for bad behaviour that was based on shame and blame to being an understandable reason while accepting responsibility for my past actions and my future choices.”

Really excellent points Susan, thanks for being here as always!
Hugs, Darlene

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Lynda, providing all of us with a safe place to talk about our abuse is a very important part of what Darlene and EFB are doing for all of us who choose to share here. It is safe. Not everyone has a safe place to share the details of their abuse. With Darlene’s permission, we have created that safe place here. Thank you, Darlene.
In my own healing from incest, talking about what happened and how it is still affecting me has been my #1 tool for healing with writing being my #2 tool. Finding a group where I could talk was #3. That group used to be 12-Step meetings. Today that group is here on EFB and on Facebook.

Yes, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. You may be strong where I am weak and I may be strong where you are weak. That is how we support one another through our challenges. Weak or strong, we are all courageous women and men who help each other. Equally, Lynda, your stories give me the freedom to tell my own. That is what survivors do for one another. We have a right to celebrate any victories that we want to celebrate. On those days that brushing your teeth is a victory, count your blessings that you got out of bed that day. Some days all we are capable of is baby steps and that is okay. Healing is like that. Sending and receiving love and healing for all of us.

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Renee, I feel sad that you didn’t know Kathy any better. She was a truly remarkable woman and a survivor. I owe her and Jack so much with showing me the steps in recovery. I will email you later the links to the blog articles that I wrote about her and the things that she taught me. She guided me through some really painful parts of my healing from incest. It is hard for me to believe that I only knew her for 3 years. By example and by being my teacher, she changed my life in so many ways. Through her goodness and her faults, she taught me what being a woman meant.

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Amy, I will put off dental procedures even today because of the feeling of fright from the fight or flight response that having someone that close to you sets off in all of us, not just abuse survivors. I believe the fight or flight response for us is probably stronger because of our abuse. My automatic response to having a dentist in my face is to tense up every muscle in my body and to stop breathing. It took me years to feel that as it was happening. It took longer before I was able to tell myself to let go and relax that the dentist wasn’t going to rape me or attack me. He was just there to fix my teeth. I have to remember to keep breathing, to stay connected to my body. To anyone else, going to the dentist may be a little thing. Because of my incest, it is a very big thing for me, just another example of how someone can be affected by abuse.

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Thank you Darlene! I’m so pleased to be a part of such a vibrant community!

Patricia – I really appreciate the way you laid out your tools: sharing what happened with another, writing and a group where you are able to share and give support as well as receive. I know this is not an easy journey but I really like the simple way you laid it out:)

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Susan, thank you. To me, simple is usually the best. This journey to healing isn’t easy but we are so worth the facing the challenges and reclaiming who we are in all our glory.

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Darlene, I get what you are saying, and read through the first few responses, which clarified things further.

My question is, and I’m sorry if you feel like you are having to repeat yourself, when you decided THEY don’t define you and you are NOT who they say you are, how do YOU decide WHO the heck you are then?

My pastor at church always said that if we believe what God says about us, we don’t worry about what others say, because we don’t believe what they say. So I always thought that the abuse should not have affected me, because I didn’t have to believe or take in any of the nasty stuff ex was doing. So I erroneously believed that the marriage could have survived because I didn’t have to react to anything he did, or feel scared, or affected if I knew who I was in God.

But now I am separated because I don’t believe that God expects us to tolerate wickedness. I don’t believe God puts an institution above the welfare of people. So do I ask God who I am, who He created me to be, then believe it, and live accordingly?

I, too, have so much to apologize to my kids for. Even today I found myself raging at my raging son. How can I expect him to be different if I yell at him (for yelling at me)? I know how I ought to be, I just don’t know how to do it, because I never had a nurturing, affectionate mother. Not that I ever got angry at the way she was and determined in my heart not to be like her. I actually was very bonded to her, because she was very “nice” to me, while being nasty to many others, including my sister, who determined never to turn out like her mother.

Thanks for assuring me that it is never too late. I feel like I have “wasted” my life – all I wanted to do was to impart to the next generation. I gave up a good job for that, and now I find that the legacy I gave was one of having a violent home. And I don’t know how to be the healing agent when I am empty myself, looking for the nurturing I never had and never knew I missed out on.

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I am feeling lost right now. I feel like I have shared way too much here, and I’m feeling very vulnerable. It hurts.

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Hi Lynda,
I know how it feels to feel like I have shared too much. I have been sick and overwhlemed more then once after I have pushed that publish button, but the growth and healing that has come from it is amazing. Please be gentle with yourself ~ you are safe, accepted and loved here.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Krissy
Becoming who I am today was born out of the process of uncovering who they said I was. In realizing how they defined me, and deciding that I was NOT who they said I was and it was NOT best for me to be who they wanted me to be, I was able to throw off those abusive and controlling labels. THEN I went through a period of feeling pretty empty but I look at it today as a kind of empty that was waiting to be filled with my new life. The real me emerged from the process of exposing the truth about what happened to me and how it had defined me.
Hope that helps…
Hugs, Darlene

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@Lynda, I know once Darlene sees this she will respond but I wanted to say none of us know each other on a personal basis don’t let anything intimidate you from sharing your truth. I hope this has been a healing journey for you and that I or none of the other shave hurt you in any way. We are all at different levels on different paths of our journey and I personally do not feel any of them is right or wrong. Just different. But I understand how you feel. I questioned myself being out of place as to why I never had the why questions. off hand I dont think I did. It made me feel so out of place as to why I seem to be the only one who did not. I think after thinking about it my family did not play as much of role in my life or emotions as my friends. I did have why questions when in romantic relationships about the abuse. Just not with my family. My feelings and thoughts abotu my biological mother were only to get away from her. I intuitively knew she was the one who was off and no it wasnt generational. Her mother and her had a pretty good relationship but her dad died at age 10 in an accident. I never tried to understand why she was that way. Even her mom my grandma was a victim of her hatred and insanity. My grandma owned and operated restaurants and bed and breakfasts after her husband died so she didn’t haev time to watch over my mom so my mom was bitter. That is as much as I know but I didn’t want to know more I just wanted to get way and move forward and I did. She tries to get back into my life through court because like Darlene’s mom it is all about her ego. But I refuse to communicate with her and will only do so through my attorney and cant if I wanted to but I dont want to. If you have not been heard before or shared before I understand it can make you feel vulnerable but dont give up. There is power in truth and in your voice!

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Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 8th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Lynda,
I have been reading this blog for about a month or so. I have had about 5-8 years of therepy. And do you know what? Though counseling is top notch and we all need to have it, this blog has been second best for ME (and us). That includes your posts. I can not think of any other source that has given me such love and exceptance. Each one of you are putting a stitch into my broken self. Without all of you, your comments, your concern, your love, and your support I would never have taken the steps I have. I have my own blog where I wrote my story, my memory it is called A Resurrected Spirit. It would never have happened if I haden’t read this blog or Patricia’s. We need you yet we need only what you feel safe and good in doing.
Love with all our heart,
Renee and girls

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Renee, Pinky, Darlene, Patricia… You beautiful, wonderful, kind and compassionate women…. THANK YOU.

No, Pinky, I can assure you truly that nothing you said upset me in any way, nor did anything that anyone else say here upset me in any way. It was just me, reliving the rape.. the rape that I don’t remember, because I was drugged. Yet the horror of it, that I do remember. The horror of coming so close to dying, that third time that he raped me, I remember that too, very well. It was so terrifying. And I relive that every time I have to be given an anesthetic of any kind. I’ve gone without needed medical procedures in the past, due to my fear of the flashback/memory. I even had a dr. do a D & C on me in his office one time, to try to determine why I was bleeding all the time, he did it with no pain med whatsoever, due to my fear. It HURT. I also had a dentist drill on my teeth with no shots, nothing, because of my fear.

I am better now, I do allow shots when I really need them. But, I still panic, I flash back, I start to remember the rape. Then the aftermath… being blamed by my rapist’s dr’s colleagues, being put in solitary confinement, trying to hang myself. I really really wanted to die then. When the big heavy metal rod that I hung myself from broke off the wall… I was crushed that I hadn’t succeeded in killing myself.

Now, I am so happy in my life, so glad to be alive. I thank God that I didn’t die that terrible day, when I wasas 15 years old.

But remembering, which the anesthesia for my colonoscopy last Monday made me remember, it puts me in a spin. And then when I wrote about it here, I felt the shame and the blame and the humiliation all over again.

Today, I have been beating myself up emotionally all day long, for being such a wimpy baby last night, when I posted my last comment about feeling lost and vulnerable and hurting. I was afraid to come back here today to see what, if anything, any of you may have said to me in response. I finally just now did read these precious comments, and again, all I can say is, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. I feel like I don’t deserve these sweet comments tho, because I am still mad at myself for being such a baby. But I thank you anyway! You are all so wonderful, and I’m so glad we’ve met through this awesome healing blog community.

Please accept my apology for being such a baby wimp last night, I am truly sorry for that. The good news is that I got a lot done in the house today, being off the computer. Then I took our Lady dog for a long run in the afternoon. So now I am aching and sore, but I feel a lot better emotionally than I did last night, thanks most of all to you gracious lovely women.

HUGS to ALL,
Lynda

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Lynda, saying you felt lost and vulnerable and hurt does NOT make you wimpy! I thought it was very brave of you to share not only your story but your feelings about telling it later! I went to your blog last night and was typing a comment to you about how beautiful God has made you and how encouraging it is to me to know that He rescued you from such a living hell and turned ashes into beauty. My battery ran out before I could publish it. Your story is so horrendous, and to see what an articulate, open, honest, loving, courageous, mature woman you became in spite of that is amazing and gives glory to God. When I read your thoughts (that sounds weird – I mean, read the thoughts you post!), that’s the woman I hear, not a baby or a wimp or a broken person. You have nothing to be ashamed of! Send that back where it came from!

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Renee-A Ressurected Spirit
March 8th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I have learned something here for the first time in my life I have sisters of a special kind. When one is hurting, sick or lost in her pain, there are a legion to pick her up and carry her tenderly until she can get back on her feet to continue her journey. Thank you just doesn’t say it well enough.

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Amy, thank you for saying what I have been thinking since I read Lynda’s words earlier tonight. We had thunderstorms in the area earlier so I had to unplug my computer for several hours.

Lynda, you gave us honest emotions, not wimpy emotions, not baby emotions. You trusted us enough to show us your vulnerability. I thank you for that. That is courage at its best. It opens the doors for all of us to test our vulnerability with this group of wonderful, loving, caring, knowing survivors.

Like Renee said, we are becoming sisters through our sharing of our woundedness. I have rarely had this kind of sharing in my life. Most of my regular (offline) friends know that I am an incest survivor but most of them don’t know the details that I have shared here. I share more here because I know that someone will understand because of their own experiences. We do this for each other.

Lynda, last night when you said you felt alone and lost, you were being honest with your feelings and that is good. It means that we have trust going on here. I can’t speak for anyone else but trusting wasn’t easy for me for a long time because of the betrayal of the incest experience. You honored us last night with your trust. Some of your overwhelm could have come from that trusting us with your secrets. I am glad that you did. Thank you.

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Hi Lynda,
You are the farthest thing from wimpy! I totally understand the trigger stuff. I am writing a post about it for this week!
Thanks for sharing more valuable processing! We all go through this!
Hugs, Darlene

Amy
~ I love what you said!

Renee
~ Your summary of this community is beautiful. Thank you.

Patricia
~ as always your voice adds healing.

Hugs, Darlene

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I’m crying right now after reading these last comments. HAPPY, HEALIN tears.

Amy, I’ve been thinking a lot about the little girl who felt all the pain of your medical procedures when you were under the anesthesia. I feel so bad for that precious, hurting little girl… and I’m FURIOUS at your mother, and the doctors, who wouldn’t believe you. I thought everybody knows that that happens some people ~ I first heard about that or read about that at least 40 years ago. I thought it was common knowledge. But your mother and your doctors were so ignorant. I was really angry, reading about how your mother took you home before you were out of recovery, and drove and braked so hard and fast that you kept falling off the back seat, because you didn’t have your muscles under control yet, and she was MOCKING you? OHHHH that makes me so mad. I just want to hug the little Amy and make all her hurt and panic and grief go away.

Yes, we are becoming sisters here, Renee. That is how I have been feeling for a while. It’s very healing to me on so many levels. Since my mother was my main abuser as I was growing up, I’ve had problems with women ever since. I was prettier than average, and so many females treated me with jealousy and disdain, thanks to the way our society over-emphasizes looks, especially in women. I used my looks too, which did not make me any more popular, but I foolishly thought that was “all I had” about me that was good. Yet, while trying to capitolize on my femininity, I also hated the “mother-homemeaker” in me, because I didn’t want to be like my mother. To this very day, I am far happier doing something that is traditionally a “man’s” job, and a nervous wreck when I’m doing housework. Yet I’m a neat freak by nature and want it all clean and tidy and pretty… I just don’t want to do it myself! It’s not “laziness,” as my exes, and my mother, have accused…. I can work myself until I drop, doing things like mowing the lawn, repairing the roof, or, cleaning up a huge lake of raw sewage out of our crawl space under the house, like I recently did. But when I do the things that my mother did every day… cooking, housecleaning, something inside of me wants to SCREAM.

SO…. like I said, this wonderful community of survivor/thriver WOMEN, is a blessing to me in more ways than one.

I LOVE my new Sisters!

Lynda

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[...] I get emails and comments like the one that I got this week on the post “Mom and Grandma had a Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship”  expressing feeling overwhelmed about sharing stories of the past. The comment said: “I am [...]

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Hi Everyone,
I Just published a post related to these comments about WHY we have those fears about talking about our childhoods, and why sometimes sharing is so triggering. You can read it here:
“Why is it so Scary to Share the Truth about Child Abuse”
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Everyone, I just published a post about my grandmother with a little more information about how she related to me.
You can read it here: I thought my Grandmother was the Wicked Witch

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I think its hard for me to know many things about relationships since in my relationship with mom there was no relationship.. I never learned anything about life from her the only thing I learned was that I was a mistake.. I was not loved ..that I was someone to take anger on .. but never felt like a person . never felt loved..never felt like i mattered..

I know in my little child wasy I tried despite all the beatings to show my love.. handing her dandelions that she threw straight to the garbage or writing her poems she tore up in my face..so every thing I ever tried was made little of.

Because i grew up thinkng i was so terrible I think I have a low self image ..people tell me i have these ‘gifts’ but i find it hard to believe.. mom told me i would neve ammount to anything that i was stupid and slow.

How does one come to believe in a different way when such a strong pattern has been set? Even as an adult..any attempt I made she told me it woud fail . etc..

I guess everyone here who has has such a mother wishes it were different.. I wonder what I would have been like had i been loved. .

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the Cry of a child.

Do I not have a voice in this big world of ours
I shout loud enough you can hear me on the stars
Why doesnt anyone hear me why doesnt anyone care
I’m shouting and am crying, is anybody there.

They hurt me again today see my bruises here?
I am just a little child filled with alot of fear
If I cry out loud then they will beat me more
Who will speak for me when I cant get off the floor?

Today was a another bad one mommy put me in the bed
Older bro was with me and did things for which I dread
Those candles for the show why were they put in me
Mom and older bro just wouldnt get off me

They say I am a bad child because I’m a big mistake
So I must be punished daily oh for goodness sake
Do you think its ok that my mommy hates me so
Why is it wrong to cry I really want to know…..

I am sharing this with you so you might work with me
Give little ones a voice help others come to see
That abusing little ones is happening every day
But no one speaks for them and we’re afraid to say.

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Joy, your poetry is hauntingly beautiful in that it speaks for so many us who were abused as children. I hope that you are keeping copies of your poems so that maybe in a long-time coming future you could publish them so that others can see where you come from and compare it to where you will be in the future with more time for healing to take place. As survivors, many of us have heard the echo of your words in our minds when we were being abused.

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Hello Patricia ..

Thank you for your kind words.. am trying to keep copies in word pad . i am thinking i should create a blog just of the journey…therapy type poems. i have two other blogs with earlier poems..I write them every day sometimes a couple a day as i have no one here to tell my pains to .so i write . .

I feel i share as others feel the same way..as i do… Some of the poems i have share in some groups and people have asked permission to put them on blogs and websites.which I always say ok.

I so appreciate your kind words and all your support Patricia.. you keep me inspired.. . ..

joy

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Joy, you are very welcome. We are all here to heal and to support each other. Tomorrow will be my 4 year anniversary for starting my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker. I use it to write about the healing that I am still going through. When I started that blog, I had no idea that because of it and the blogs of others (EFB is one of those blogs.) I would find healing spots that I still needed to pay attention to and do work on. The difference between my early healing and the healing work that I do today is the healing is on a deeper level and I usually get through it quicker than I did in the beginning. Today, I have tools that I didn’t have in the beginning. I also have the support of friends on and offline that I didn’t have in the beginning. We help each other here. I am proud to be a part of this healing community.

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Hi Patricia: Wow 4 years..your blog is such a blessing am trying to figure out how to comment . I tried to put one and dont know where it went..I love your writing there!!! YOu do well..

You are really very far advance and I am just a beginner. I am so glad for the support too .of you and everyone.. i hope someday can be like you .. reaching out and healing and having been healed..

joy

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Joy, You will be able to one day look back on this beginning and you will be surprised and pleased with how far you have come.

To comment on my blog, you may have to open a Google account if you don’t already have one. It is easy and tells you how step by step. It is free with no cost to you to set one up.

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Patricia thank you . is the blog cast today at 7pm or 8 pm ..is it eastern?

I hope I can look back some day and see all this differently as now i look with a little fear. low self esteem.. trying to trust but not doing so good

joy

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Joy, the radio show with Darlene, Cyrus Webb, Brad Rickerby and me starts at 8:00 p.m. EST. The link to the program is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2011/06/01/cyrus-webb-presents-you-are-not-alone

We are about an hour away for anyone else who wants to listen to us.

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Patricia thank you as I saw one that I thought said 7pm. so its 8pm Eastern. . i look forward to it :)

Thank you for everything.

joy

87

Love the support going on here!
Thanks for sharing the link to our show with Cyrus Webb Patricia! I was looking for the “like button” and realized that I don’t have that for blog comments! LOL
See you in an hour!
Hugs, Darlene

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If you go to the link in Blog Talk Radio Joy it will post the show time as whatever your time zone is. But if you didn’t set your computer to be in a certain timezone it gets confusing. So yes, the interview is at 8:00 pm EST.

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Darlene

Its my programmed self kicking in.. i set it to insync but am thinking I did it wrong or something might happen. I dont want to miss it :)
THank you so much:

joy

90

WEll just wanted to say how very very lovely it was to hear the blogcast and hear how you started out, how you took your power back,and just to “hear” your voices..what a difference it makes reading words and being able to associate them with a live person.Not that you were not live but there is a kindness and caring that I heard there.. its also in your writings but hearing it is so much deeper..just want to say thanks. so much

joy

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Renee/A resurrected Spirit
June 1st, 2011 at 8:39 am

Darlene and Pat,
I tried several times to get the broadcast up on my computer and I gave up, very dissapointed by the way because I so wanted to here it:(
Can I turn on the radio and hear it that way? If so what station? Man Im so bummed!

93

Thanks, Joy. I just finished listening to the replay of our program last night. I am always amazed at how I sound on the radio. Inside I was nervous. With Cyrus, you don’t know what he is going to ask in advance so you don’t get to prepare what you are going to say. As I am talking, I can’t remember have I said this before in my other interviews with Cyrus. I always like to go back and listen to the replay so I can hear what was said without the adrenaline high of the recording. Cyrus is a very calm, strong, compassionate moderator. He does his job very well. It was an honor to be on this program with Darlene, Brad and Cyrus.

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Darlene and Pat
I finally was able to listen to the interview. Awesome job!

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Hi Renee
Thanks! So glad that you enjoyed it!
Hugs, Darlene

97

I have a memory from when I was about 4. I remember sitting on my bed after my Mother completely “taught me a lesson”. I don’t remember what I did but it must have been something to really P**S her off. I remember feeling like I was dead inside. I remember hurting and feeling unloved and wondering what I did or how I could be so ugly on the inside to make her hate me so much. I remember playing with my stuffed animals and crying quietly after she left and thinking to myself that “When I’m a Mommy when I grow up I’ll never be like her”. I remember so hard trying so very hard. It took me years of therapy and parenting classes to feel ready to even begin. I still don’t feel 100% on board :( I must have been the only 17 year old attending parenting workshops for adults because I didn’t want to be like her. I didn’t become a Mom until I was 24. Lately I’ve been thinking about going back to therapy when my youngest reaches 18 months. I also want to have one more baby, but not in the middle of an old identity and a new one. I got away from her and when she calls I let the message machine pick up and IF it’s important, I call. I gave up. I used to think giving up was losing and even if it is, I’d rather be a loser, happy and satisfied than to be a play thing. Even today my family still tries to hook me in.

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Hi J
I remember making the same vow as you, possibly not that young though… I remember when I was 15 I set a goal to NEVER be like her and that was when I decided not to have kids. EVER. I was 30 when I changed my mind. (I have three now) but it was a very scary thing… I read every book about nurturing parenting I could get my hands on! As you read this blog J, keep in mind that when we start to look at the roots of the issues, and when we can see the lies in the belief system that manifested as a result of not being treasured in the first place, the identity thing will straighten out. At least mine did.
Great to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene

99

sounds very familiar, recently my mother stuck up for my bullies telling me i was a “snot” a “leech on my husband” and told me i had not accoplished anything in my life. I have a 2 month old daughter she barley knows and doesn’t care to know because she is too wrapped up in her new rich fiance. Which i find just sad, it seems like my mother hasn’t grown from 17 when she had me and resents me for her not being able to do things a normal teen would do. I recently came to the realization that my mother doesn’t care for me. plain and simple. and to be honest thats fine. Ill just do better with my daughter and tell her everyday how much i love her.

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Hi Amanda
Welcome to EFB!
I feel that way too ~ I am doing so much better then that with my 3 kids. If my mother cares for me, she had a funny way of showing it. I got tired of that whole system. I am glad that you are here,
Please share often.
Hugs, Darlene

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How do you go about parenting adult children, that have put up walls? This hurts…I have gone through and still am going through healing. I know they grew up with my brokenness, I’ve asked for their forgiveness, I’ve changed… but it seems the more I try, they push farther away. Where’s the line between graveling for their love and letting go??? :/ I’ve been trying to EARN everyones love my entire life…I’m tired at age 54! Thanks

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I’m glad to see you use the pronoun “I” so often. You realized you were responsible for the changes made, not your mother. Your mother was the catalyst for your change, but the difference between you and normal people, if you so wish to designate, is minimal except for the one small thing that you bought everything they said to you hook, line and sinker. Most children separate from their parents. Almost all children decide to do things differently from their parents which accounts for the gender gaps we see. We want a different childhood for our kid and we think we have all the answers until our kids do the opposite of what we did. It’s a hoot really, but it’s life. You lived in a household where all of your needs were met except, you say, love and that is subjective. Love to your mother might well have been meeting all of your physical needs and may have been all she knew and was able to provide for you. She was emotionally damaged as you say. The real healing comes when we accept humanity in all its phases, cull out the truly evil, forgive the uneducated and undereducated and learn for ourselves what is right and wrong. That does not mean we have to stay in relationship with our parents or not stay in relationship with them. IF they physically harmed you, get the hell out of there. If not, move to make a relationship. It is much healthier to do that than to spend a lifetime bashing and hating your parents who, by and large, did not purposely harm you. You kids may well say you harmed them and you will buy into some of it, some not. It’s not about that. We all make mistakes with our kids and some huge, but life is about growing, forgiving, loving and learning. If you don’t meet all of your needs and needs of others, you are less than a lot of people and your life is less than so it’s a fitting label. Equal value for children is a myth. They don’t have equal voting rights in my family and never will. They have input, but they don’t get to make the rules. They don’t get to choose what they do when it comes to dating, colleges or anything. They get input. We make the decision with them, heavy on the we being their parents and supposedly having more experience and knowledge. God gave parents to children for a reason and we are the leaders and have more say so. We have equal value in the eyes of the law and the eyes of God, but He expects parents to rule their children and lead them, not be morons who think kids know what is best for them. They do not. They will eat cookies and candy all day given the choice. They wouldn’t go to school given the choice. All of this is love so if your mother helped you with these things, count yourself lucky. She led you to make healthy choices, eat right. If she couldn’t love you, show her love. That’s what I did. I ended up my mother’s friend and wouldn’t change that for the world. It’s all about how forgiving you are. If you can’t forgive, I feel for you. If she physically harmed you or allowed others to harm you, forgiveness is still necessary for you to heal even if it doesn’t change her. Forgiveness does not mean you’re a wimp. It just takes the anger at someone away so that they are not the focus of your healing. If you are healing because of your anger at your parents, it won’t last. You have to do it for yourself only with no other reason involved after you are past the childish “poor me” catalyst that caused you to want to better your life.

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OBI 1
Interesting that you chose not to use your real name for your judgemental reprimand of my article.
I find myself wondering why you happened upon this very old article on my website… I know that I posted it on facebook yesterday, but I wonder why you came to read it? What attracted you to it? Is it your perfect life? Is it because of your wonderful relationship with your mother and your children. I can’t imagine being bothered with a website like mine if everything was so awesome in your own relationships.
You have drawn a lot of conclusions about me for having only read one article. Nothing you have posted is helpful to my readership, but I chose to publish your comment anyway because sometimes these kinds of comments show the actual problem with the way people “out there” think.

For the sake of my readers I want to say just this: Forgiveness is a result of healing, not a necessary even prior to the actual healing.

The author of this comment says that equal value for children is a myth and right there is the problem.
Please don’t get equal value mixed up with equal authority. There is a huge difference. Equal value is something we are all born with.

Hugs, Darlene

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I didn’t say anything you wrote. You lack interpretation skills or reading skills. I find that interesting. Don’t attack me because I’m different. That’s part of the problem, not the solution. If God is not in your life, your description is true. Not so if God is involved. Anyway, you are responsible for your life now, not anything or anyone else and blaming anybody will move you nowhere. If you are a 50 something adolescent still blaming your past, you need more help and you aren’t helping your readers. I’m sorry it took you so long to discover what most of us do in our 20s. Late bloomers are okay too, however I find it ridiculous to your age still beating the “it’s my parents fault I see myself as a failure” drum. Equal value and equal rights are not the same. I never said they were. Publish or not, my opinion of you remains the same and in my book, I’m right. I’ll believe what I see and I call it like I see it. Use my name? Now in this lifetime. I’m no fool and my stalker isn’t finding me. You do as you wish and I will reciprocate as I see politeness is not in your play book, only blaming. Just another thing your parents didn’t teach you I guess or is that the equal value thing I missed? What a drag to not be allowed to have a voice. Isn’t that what you are all about, you hypocrite!

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Hi Mary
Welcome to EFB
This is one of the hardest and most heart breaking questions that I get asked and I wish I had a quick answer but I really don’t. All you can do is keep going forward with self love and self care and hope that one day they will believe that things have changed enough to give relationship with you another chance. I totally understand what you are asking and validate how difficult this situation is but I also want to validate that your wanting to make it right is wonderful!!
hugs Darlene

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Obi 1……. is that you Aunt Grace ?

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Oh, I’m not a woman, FYI. Retired military captain, father people, husband.. Married and enjoying life, not blaming my mother for my inability to adjust emotionally although she wasn’t good emotionally. I grew the hell up and realized she did the best she could like me and my other half are. If my kids decide to say something in their life is my fault, I’ll call them weak. We owe it to ourselves to accept the responsibility for our lives and growth. Otherwise, the parents should get the pat on the back for our achievements. If not for them, we wouldn’t have taken this trip to growth. Such logic! If not for the man in my family, I could have been on the road much earlier. I won’t thank him for his abuse so I don’t blame him. Equal value? I made my life what it is and he had no part on it. I take all of the credit next to a God who led me.

JQIII

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Darlene, you are such a great help to me. I have family members and all around me judging my “negativity” regarding the past. For me I feel it’s healthier to face it, go theough it and get over it than just “stop talking about it and be positive” at any and all cost .

Through my recent therapy I’m coming to realize that even though my parents do not accept me for who I am, at
Least I learned how to accept my own children for who they are. I may not love every single choice they make but I love them regardless of their choices.

My biggest regret is that I lived 60 years in hiding, terrified of a world that would not like or accept me. Now I am moving forward. I am conquering the anxiety that kept me home and alone. I am not afraid of what people think of me, at least not like I used to be. You have been my guiding light and my open door.

109

You have helped me tremendously. The various issues of growing up in an abusive home are often difficult to rationalize and verbalize clearly because of so much cognitive dissonance. Your language, insight and research have helped to frame these issues more clearly so that I can address the confusion in my psyche. Keep up the good work. When one is doing good things for the world, there will always be critics and naysayers and even bullies. So be it. Everyone must live in their own truth and follow their own journey. For me, I am greatful that you became part of mine.

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I appreicate this post.

111

Hi Mary, I’m in much the same situation. It is heart breaking. I am finding that my healing isn’t making me the mother that they think they want. And trying to be the mother they want isn’t going to help me heal. Maybe I need to get further along in my own journey for them to see me clearly. Maybe they need to being a journey of their own to recognize who I really am.

No matter what, we deserve to heal whether we become suitable to everyone around us or not. I’m sure that as we work through our issues, some people in the world around us will appreciate us.

112

Darlene,
I love what you teach and it has helped me get past a lot of hurdles. Keep doing what you are doing and ignore the know it alls. Peace

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“Obi 1″ What an ironic name. You are no sage. You are a man who found his power in other ways, by being in power over others. Just because you got your power back doesn’t mean others don’t have the right to a different journey that doesn’t involve lording over others. Of course you are “fine” with the way things are. You “pulled yourself up by your bootstraps”. We are not all afforded your path, nor would we want it. It doesn’t serve you to be individuated nor does it serve you to have others individuated. Shut up, buy the token forgiveness and move on is what you’re saying. “Produce, produce, produce. Be a good cog in the machine, stop jamming things up! We aren’t going to get our perfect family portrait if someone isn’t smiling.” You have control issues. Every one here has the right to be where they are, unfortunately, even you. People like you pretend you are strong, but really you are cowards who are afraid to stand up for dignity of self and others and children. You’re afraid it would be to complicated. You’re afraid to be your own person. That’s the only reason you’re cozy. You have a place in the hierarchy of your family and you’re up towards the top now and happy to be there. And you have a stalker? At your age? Really? You sound a little mental. Have a nice day.

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Darlene, your work is amazing. I can never thank you enough for being brave and leading the way out of broken. You’ve made an amazing difference in my life. Thank you so so much!!!

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Darlene, your website has helped more than you can imagine! Through it I have learned to stop ruminating on what is wrong with me, but instead to look at what happened to me and the damage it caused. I learned to see how many false beliefs I had picked up. I learned to start rewiring them back to the truth, to let go of guilt and self blame, and to start reparenting myself. You are a true hero to so many! One rotten apple can’t spoil the great things you’ve done for the rest of the bunch!

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coyoteMedicinecalling aka Robin
March 5th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

obi1 I can tell you have strong opinions of what is best for others but if you weren’t one of us children crying out to “GOD,a protector”in the dark as we were raped beaten n made to feel like throw away children,then don’t assume you speak for me.Its your right to feel n know your truth as you see it but I have gratitude Darlene gives voice to what I know to be my experience n I believe she has been led by the HolySpirit to speak out truth so those of us that were those children can n will heal!Robin R.

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Thanks Darlene and Hobbie!

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All of those hateful stereotypes about children being so stupid that they deserve no choice are things that my mother agreed with. I remember being beaten if I didn’t eat foods when I wasn’t hungry or that my body rejected, and if I didn’t automatically go to sleep when I wasn’t tired just because she wanted me to. But children aren’t robots, and in fact they do have an innate desire to learn (that’s why alternative methods of schooling that are student-directed work, and are much more fulfilling for the child) and a knowledge of when they are tired and should sleep, when they are hungry and should eat, and of what foods are good for their body.

Deciding you will control all of their educational decisions and that their bodies and their lives are your possession is very abusive. My mother also thought that I was eternally beneath her, less then her, and that my opinion was worthless because she was older. She also wanted to control my adult life in terms of what colleges I went to and how/who I dated. I’m glad I was able to extricate myself from that toxic, judgmental “we know best” environment which does not respect children regardless of their age. I know that I deserved trust, respect, and equal value as a child, and people who didn’t give me that don’t deserve my trust or respect today.

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Leslie, Amber, Melody ~ Chandra and Christina and Coyotemedicinecalling aka robin
Thank you for your support and your encouragement.
hugs, Darlene

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Wow- so many comments! In spite of the fact that this was an old blog, it’s obvious the issue is still alive and well.

My mother too in many ways tried to live in a better way than her mother had. I do have to say that in the culture my mother lived as an adult, there was no place for self-examination; that was considered pride and self-indulgence – so since it was considered a negative thing, she didn’t know how to ‘do the work’ on her issues. I think it helps to know that her abuse wasn’t deliberate.

For me, at least understanding that women raised by Victorian mothers have specific issues which caused abuse to their children, helps. I can see that she really had no idea what she was doing tho for me it is so clear.

BUT when MY children ask me why ‘I gave them such a shitty childhood’ tho I thought I was parenting so much differently than my mother (which I definitely was) it’s given me pause. I realized just this week that the things that caused PTSD in me which led to disability, emotional paralysis and depression likely hit them much harder as I was an adult and they were dependent on a parent who essentially just wasn’t there for them. My mother and grandfather colluded to rob me of the house I owned, which was our home. While the shock of their disloyalty and abandonment in what was essentially a crime against my family- robbing me of the home I’d paid for for 7 years- sent me into a tailspin from which even now I would say I am not completely recovered. (I still trigger out at seeing or being in nice homes and wonder why I am not allowed to have a home of my own- we rent an apt now). The one person in my whole family who I trusted implicitly- my grandfather who saw the abuse I lived with and defended me (to me) and supported me, stole my house. It just broke me. Discovering that my mother who SHOULD have been on my side, COLLUDED with my grandfather (she admitted it) made it all much worse.

BUT, while I experienced that rejection, disloyalty and loss, my kids lost their only home, friends, school etc and large parts of their parents. My husband buried himself in pinball parlors for years after a stint in the psych ward and I in escaped my pain by reading.

So while I complain about my mother’s lack of nurture I guess I gave very little as well to my children though I was consciously trying so hard to be the best mother I could be. This is a conversation I must have soon with my adult children who still, nearly 30 years later, show the scars of that loss and it’s consequences.

Interesting in some ways, I have never cried since my mother died 6 years ago. (she used her will to make sure I realized her animosity for me) – but I haven’t cried about anything. I spent the first year after her death wondering how I could be such an awful daughter so as to have made her hate me so much but finally decided, since she’s not here now that I can just choose to get on with my life. But the grief and rage etc are all locked up tight inside. Sometimes I just long to be able to weep but – nope.

I saw a counsellor for awhile but really only touched on surface problems- some of which are pretty much resolved. But knowing I can only afford 3 more sessions, it seems pretty useless to tear open all that deep, deep stuff and then be in a mess I can’t fix.

Probably I shouldn’t post this- lots for people to poke holes in I guess but it’s a process and I seem to come to things on my own as I talk or write or even sometimes, just think, which moves me down my path and I reality check with a friend who is a psychotherapist- tho she certainly doesn’t ‘practise’ on me! At least she can affirm when I’m actually making sense.

It’s taken a terrible toll on my body – I have severe fibromyalgia and while I had it long before the losing of the home, it’s been exacerbated by the abuse I’ve suffered at various hands.

Anyway, Darlene, several of your recent posts on fb have opened my eyes to things going on of which I was unaware which is a good thing. It’s hard when the awareness of the consequences of your actions is just not there. In that regard, it’s made it easier for me to accept some of the things that happened with my mother- tho not the house thing. I believe that many times she was completely unaware of the impact of her words and actions – tho sometimes she surely did know what she was doing and kept on doing it.

Anyway, thanx for the space to write this stuff and in writing, see.

My reaction to Obi 1 is that he is locked into his own reality with no clue about anything but his own concepts… where my parents lived also… such similar ideas but no clue how destructive they are… I mean- he thinks HE should decide where his kids go to college? Yikes! But my father did much the same thing really. Life 40 years ago was different than it is now, for sure and while people who grew up in that time generally exhibit similarities, it’s easier now within a culture of more openness about all aspects of life, to see how their actions caused issues of our own. Seeing, is the first step. More needs to be taken in my case and I appreciate the support of folks here and on my fb and in my life as I stumble along, pursuing healing.

I hope that my musings aren’t a sign of narcissism. All I’ve really talked about is me. If it is, sorry. But I’ve felt free to express and thus see more as I’ve written today so thanx for listening.

One last thing- I was interested to see how you made a vow to never be like your mother. In my psych studies at university and other counselling studies I have done, the common wisdom was that negative fixation on a behavior: “I will NEVER be like…” generally caused one to become pretty much just like the one one was trying to avoid. I find it interesting and hopeful that eventually you were able to work yourself out of that consequence. In my life it’s been difficult to see where my behaviors mirror those I’ve tried to avoid- of my parents- until told that I am acting just like them. Good for you.

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OMG! Obi 1 was so appalled at someone thinking of HIM as a woman… Hmmm. His comments brought back to mind the same feelings I had when subjected to some of the abusive, self-righteous males from my dysfunctional family. Yes, I see control issues AND no respect for women whether it is his mother, wife, daughter, etc. But, thank you so much, Obi 0 (I mean 1), for proving Darlene’s point so well as well as reminding me of where I have stumbled from over the past 10 – 12 years in finding my worth. I never lived on my own until I was 45 years old. I was trained throughout childhood, and believed, that a woman could not make it and survive out on her own. I “learned” that a woman’s place is to be submissive to her man and let him “lead” her in the way she should go. I am a christian but I know this kind of submission and leading may be done in such a way that is not christ-like or acceptable to God. It very well depends on the “man”, his mission, and his attitude. I am so thankful for my new life with no one to invalidate me. :)

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First of all, OB1, I’m not surprised you’re a man. Second of all, I’m even less surprised you were in the military. After all, they teach you how to stuff your feelings and emotions down so well that all you let show to the world is this robot like man who spews repressed anger on a website where everybody is healing. You have your own opinions indeed. They are not right, they are not wrong, they just ARE. What gets me is the zero tolerance for the powerful work Darlene has been doing here. Work that is helping many tremendously. I know that denial is bliss, but I wish you would try to open your mind and see the many different colors life has to offer. If not, that’s ok too. But I will then ask of you to respect this website that is our sanctuary. Namaste.

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Two thumbs up Caden.

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Thanks Karen <3 ! I love this community and how, despite one persons accusations, we have very good reading comprehension skills for recognizing and interpreting abusive speech.

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For Mary,whose adult children keep pulling away..first, I’m so sorry that’s what they’re doing! I know it’s heartbreaking. ((((((Mary))))))
But what I want to say is, if they back away, the more you try to communicate, my experience is that backing off for now is better. Is it possible that you still feel like a failure unless they (your kids) acknowledge and affirm that you’re
recovered and really have changed?
I know when *I* feel good and successful,I still feel confused and upset when someone close to me denies it- or just plain ignores how I’ve changed or avoids me.
You’re still doing the right thing,you have still improved and grown no matter how much or how little anyone else appreciates it.
Maybe your adult children need to get to a pointin their own lives where they

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can see you for who *you* are. We don’t know whether they’re afraid to trust you, or just don’t know how to be close with you again. Forgive yourself all the more, and reach out to others for validation and love. When the time is right, they and you will be in just the right circumstances to connect again.

You’re not alone though-many many mothers are hurt, devastated because they can barely speak to their grown kids…I can’t know what’s to be for you,but I just *know* things will get better. Take a step back from the kids, but don’t stop loving and hoping and forgiving.
I don’t know your spiritual beliefs,but I pray for those I wish I could show my love to but can’t. And whoever God or Goddess is for you- Im not religious,I just feel there’s a God or Great Spirit that can give them the love I can’t share with them yet. If that’s not an appalling idea to you, anyway I find it helps me let go more. :-) Good luck and much love to you!

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Hi Everyone
I ran out of time to answer comments on this yesterday! Please accept my apologies but thank you all for responding. There are so many things that I would like to say one of which is that I don’t usually publish comments like the one from OB1 but for some reason this time I did and I realize that it was a mistake. I have no idea why people who feel that way are on MY blog and facebook page. Surely there are far more places on the internet that stick up for abusive parents than there are places for people trying to take their lives back from abusive parents.
I am honored by all of your supportive comments. Thank you all so much!
hugs and love, Darlene

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p.s.
WEll said Caden. :)
love Darlene

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I am amazed that people can think and dare to assess others like OB1. I agree that OB1 has control issues as he reminds me of my own father, a military man. I am 62 years old, now, and my father is 85. He and my mother still assume a false entitlement over me. They demand respect when they do not deserve it. They have been emotionally abusive all my life by denigrating me and berating me and my family. Although, we have not allowed them to control us, it took a great effort of time and realization of what has/had happened to me in my life and how to break free. I constantly examined myself feeling as though I were wrong. I lived under the cloud of “guilt and shame” among a few other self-degrading issues. (I was raped at 15 and impregnated. They raised my child in a lie and I recently disclosed the truth to my child) I felt like a failure my whole life. I felt as though I had to constantly prove my worth to them but they constantly showed their disapproval. It would take me ten pages to write about their “extreme narcissism.” I recently had therapy with a psychologist as I thought that I was the crazy one and I was told that I was perfectly sane. I found that I am easy prey for controllers. I have managed to live a successful, fruitful life and lived a great deal of it under Christian belief systems. Not all that I learned under the belief system of Christianity was helpful but it parented me in many ways. I recently made a break of the Christian church as many of the leaders are controllers preying on the unsuspecting person. That system did a fair amount of damage to my five children, who range in age from 24 ? 40. I have always had difficulty with understanding authority in terms of my own validity and equality until I recently understood how to assert myself. In the midst of a very difficult extended family issue, I had to make a strong stand to my father as he was screaming at me and berating me. I realize he is 85 but he is an unusually cognitive and physically strong man of 85 and is in complete control of his mental faculties. Both he and my mother are very manipulative and self-centered. At this time in my life, I feel for the first time that I am an individual in my own right and that I am detached from my parents as an individual. I am just as valid as they are in my own perspective of life and as equal as they are. They would not and do not treat their friends as they do me. In fact, they do not treat my younger sister the way they treat me. A long story short, I have the ability to walk away with no regrets. I have the capacity to forgive but I will not until I am healed enough to do so. I have extended written forgiveness to my parents but they misunderstand and use it as a license to continue their bad behavior. They write letters that are huge behavior disclaimers for themselves and demand respect. I have learned a lot about forgiveness and what that truly means. I think some people think of it as a magic way to absolve and dissolve issues. But that is not so. I know that I can forgive if I choose but reconciliation is another complete aspect of its own. My children as adults have been able to process the immediate family and extended family issues but not until after some trial of struggle. The older ones had the most difficulty as their grandparents had more control of them. When my children talk to me about their perspectives and their emotions even if it is something about me, I listen to them with empathy and they in turn listen to me. We don’t try to vindicate ourselves or judge each other but listen with respect and empathy as we share our feelings. We are able to move on because we are able to acknowledge and own our wrongness to each other and then it is truly forgotten and never brought up again. My 27 year old daughter says, “There is my perspective and there is your perspective and then there is the truth!”

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Thanks for the info Renee! That is the same person.

Hi Deb
Welcome to EFB ~ OB1 is a troll and appartently likes to stir the pot. I don’t think he/she has anything valid to say here.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. The Christian school (and church) system also did a fair amount of damage to my 3 children and it has been huge trying to overcome it. I told the church that I was a better Christian without ‘fellowship’ or the church. and I love the message of Christ, but wow they sure messed it up and I don’t follow ‘mans message’ any more.
Love your comments, thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

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Thanks, Darlene! I am even more amazed that people can set up trolls to try to destroy years of work and the reputation of people who live to help others to be free and to live a wonderful life of wholeness! That is insidious, mean spirited, and just evil!

My sentiments exactly concerning the church! I have not attended the church for ten years after a 30 year intense dedicated service in almost every ministry/service I could be involved with. Now, certain family members who were not attending when I did and now are, deem me as demonized. My Dad said the other day that he hoped I could make it back to the Lord. I asked him if he was judging me. He changed the subject and began angrily berating me very loudly and I had to take my first strong stand against him. Something I have never done in my entire life. Very shocking! I have separated myself from my parents, now, which is sad for them because of their ages. I have not lost anything because I did not have anything in the first place regarding their respect and love. I do not feel sad. In fact, I feel more free than ever! So, who is demonized? Strange behavior from the ones who deem me lost! :)

I still have to think very hard about the logic of honoring your parents and forgiveness. Sorting through the false ideas embedded in my mind about these teachings and others is difficult sometimes especially when challenged.

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I have to jump in – Renee!!! It’s you!! I went to look at that link and then read the author and realized you were Sister Renee from Luke 17 site. Your website is so absolutely wonderful. I’m a rather liberal Christian, and have been so freed since my FOO went NC with me almost 3 years ago. ( I wasn’t giving them the deference they’d come to expect.) However, DH’s family are very strong fundamentalist-style Christians, and they were very upset with me for not “making things right” with my abusive family. DH was able to use information from your website to reassure his family that I was doing the right thing by not “crawling back” and begging my FOO to love me again. I’m so happy to see both Renee and Darlene writing in the same thread! You both have been lifesavers — throwing a rope (a safe one, a strong one, a loving one) to a drowning person. Thank you!!!

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Hi Chandra! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, Darlene is a great friend and fellow N-Warrior. We are all part of the same community and many of us N-Warriors keep in touch, read each other’s blogs, compare notes,etc. (apparently the trolls are a little slow to figure this out lol). I’m so thankful the Lord has set you free and we could be a blessing to you. Thank you for blessing me today <3

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Hi All
I have published a new post today called Verbal Theatre: A lecture from an abusive Parent”
The comment came in from a reader who wrote about the way he was spoken to as a child and it is very very powerful. I hope you will read it and share your thoughts there.
hugs, Darlene

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