Mar
28

No More Crumbs by Carla Logan

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dysfunctional relationship

I am excited and pleased to have my wonderful friend and fellow truth seeker, Carla Logan, guest posting today on Emerging from Broken. There have been some really deep posts this past couple of weeks and Carla shares a summary of her feelings and discoveries using the imagery of “living off the crumbs” and emotional starvation. Carla and I look forward to the discussion and responses in the comments section.  ~ Darlene

No More Crumbs by Carla Logan

When we grow up in an abusive home, we learn all kinds of things that are not true. We learn that we don’t deserve love. We learn that we don’t deserve respect. We learn that we don’t deserve kindness. We learn that we don’t deserve affection or even attention. We learn that we don’t deserve to be treated as a human person, an equal. Some of us learn that we don’t deserve to be treated even as well as a family pet who sits on the floor at the dinner table waiting for the scraps of food to be tossed its way. We learn that what we do deserve is nothing more than to be satisfied with the crumbs we are allowed, the ones that fall from that table. The table that we should be sitting at as equals. Warmly and lovingly welcomed. And yet we are not.  

And the tragedy doesn’t end there,  because we take these beliefs about ourselves into our adult lives with us and we search out relationships and situations that reinforce these beliefs, because it’s all we know and all we are comfortable with, nothing else ‘feels right’. To be treated well does not feel right. To be loved somehow feels untrustworthy, it feels suspect. What does this person really want from me? It can’t be that I am truly worth being treated well, there must be some kind of motive, some kind of agenda. Things get so twisted up for us.

But something happens somewhere along the way. There is this hole in our gut. And it starts really really hurting. And it really starts giving us trouble when we find ourselves back in our comfort zone of being abused, whether physically abused, sexually abused, spiritually abused or emotionally abused. How is it that we can be both comfortable with our treatment and yet have this horrible pain in our gut? That pain is telling us something. It is telling us that what we believe about ourselves is NOT TRUE. The pain is telling us that what we have been satisfied with all this time, these pathetic crumbs that we lap up all around us; the pain pushes us to realize that we are actually deserving of more than this. The pain indicates that we are being starved to death. Our soul is being starved to death. Because the crumbs are not enough to sustain life. The hole in our gut and the pain we feel is a warning that we need more than the crumbs if we are going to survive. Emotionally survive.

When we get to this place, we have a choice: ignore it and die a slow, painful death or come out from under the table that has become our prison and take our rightful place as a human being deserving of what is good in this life; deserving of love and respect and affection and attention, all the things that are true and are found in healthy living and healthy relationships. And making this choice is NOT EASY. It goes against everything that is familiar, everything that is comfortable, everything we have ever known. But it is the only way we will actually find life, real life.

And we have to see this for ourselves. We have to see ourselves sitting at the table. We have to long for it and want it and see it. And we have to fight for our right to be there, and if that means we find another table, then that is what we do.

Leave the house of abuse, (meaning all those people in our lives who have been controlling us in this way) and build our own house, where we are welcomed with open arms to sit in our rightful place among the humans. And once we have claimed our place there, we can begin to invite those who have shown themselves trustworthy, to come and sit with us, and we can eat the good things of life together.

No more controlling, manipulative abuse. No more emotional starvation. No more crumbs.

Carla Logan

**Readers ~ I am taking a vacation beginning this week on Thursday, the 31st of March. I am going to Mexico again ~ this time to celebrate with my eldest daughter who is going to be leaving the nest in the fall to attend university.  Just her and I for a week in paradise.  I decided that for this trip I am not taking my computer. I have made arrangements for the blog to carry on as usual so please continue to read and interact with the guest bloggers. There are some fantastic posts coming up! The emerging from broken facebook page will be managed by my administrative assistant, Louise Brookes. Please understand that Louise is my administrative assistant and that her work is very much about administrative stuff, and not so much about the process that I write about. To protect Louise, I want to make sure that no one thinks that Louise will be standing in for me as far as comments go.  The guest bloggers will be managing their own comments and feedback. I will be back on April 8th.  

Bright Blessings, hugs and squishes!

Darlene Ouimet

Related posts ~ Emotionally abusive statements designed to control (with 103 comments discussion)

Emotional Healing by understanding psychological abuse with discussion

Categories : Self Esteem

25 Comments

1

This is so true for me I decided one day I was tired of only getting crumbs because I was truly starving to Death and I didn’t want to die anymore .I have lost a few relatives while doing this but it is truly awesome eating at the table and not the floor anymore .Thanks for all the posts you share it is really starting to help me . I have gone to therapists on and off for 30 yrs and never have I felt as free as I do right now !I really am glad that I found this site *hugs* have a great vacation !

2

Last night, someone very near to me was terrorized, threatened, and viciously verbally assaulted repeatedly by the man she’s been dating. In fact, in the eyes of his religion they are married – but it’s not a legal marriage. For several hours, she told him repeatedly over the phone to stay away, that she would not go anywhere with him, she was staying home and nothing he would say could change her mind. So in fine asshole order, he came to her house, banging on the door and screaming that the rest of us were all interfering in his business by telling him to leave, and if we knew what was best for us we would stay out of his business. She told him she did not want to talk with him, did not want to see him, did not even want to listen to him through the door, to just go away. He kept insisting that he needed to talk to her, but it had to be alone because we were being subversive and keeping him from his wife, that he was only trying to help her, it was for her own good that he was standing outside on the porch, screaming and raging at the locked door.

At the worst point, I found myself with my back against the door because I couldn’t get the slide bolt to engage and I wanted a couple hundred more pounds of inertia to add to the effectiveness of the lock that we *did* have engaged. With the back of my head blocking the the door’s tall, narrow peep window to keep his gawddam crazy asshole eyes from violating the privacy of their home, I told him through the door that yes it was my business, he’d made it my business by being there when he had been told to stay away. I could actually *feel* the force of his voice vibrating through the glass against my head as he told me that I really should mind my own business and stop interfering where I didn’t belong.

I’d said all I was saying to him, so that was the end of anything else I had to say to him. Until his ride finally showed, I stood there, calmly talking with his victim and the rest of us sitting it out in the house. I didn’t have my phone on me, and the home landline was effectively tied open because he refused to either hang up or stop calling long enough for us to be able to dial out. After repeatedly claiming to be on the phone with the police, .four.times. he claimed that the police were pulling up. “See?” he’d call out, “see how much I love you? I’m willing to go to jail for you, to prove how much I care about you!” and other such bullshit about being concerned for her safety, and Why Wouldn’t We Let Him Talk With HIS WIFE????!!!?! As if that all proved anything other than just how fucked up in the head he was.

To show how far she’s sucked in, it was several hours after he left before she finally shut the ringer off on the phone and refused to take his repeated, incessant calls. I slept on the floor. Poorly, but we were breathing, are breathing still, and so long as that continues we will be well.

Today, we’re doing what needs to be done. I’m offering what support I can, and hoping for her sake that she doesn’t let him grab another toe-hold while he’s scrabbling for a tighter grip on her. At the moment we’re in triage mode. Bunkered down in a safe, secure fox hole while we shore up the defenses and continue to work The Plan. Starting with #1: All clothes must have pockets, and each adult has a cell phone that’s unlocked and *in* a pocket. And hopefully I can find enough supporting documentation to help her 18yr. old self know the following with such conviction that she won’t .ever. allow someone like this to remain in her life once they’ve shown their colors:

No matter what “magic words” two people have exchanged, both will always have the right to say no to ANYthing the other wants them to do, at ANY time, for ANY reason. It might hurt or cause anger or sever a relationship’s bonds to stand up for a boundary line, but once NO has been said, that is just as far as things can go and still remain a healthy relationship. And any unhealthy relationship is one too many.

3

Sorry Darlene, I only just re-read that and realized how angry *I* sound. Because I am angry, no doubt about that. My apologies to anyone else that is upset or triggered by my language choices up there, too. I didn’t realize how much I really *NEEDED* to share this today. Needed to have my voice heard, even if she’s still keeping hers silent. This isn’t my child, but she’s mine anyway. Absolutely no way I’ll let that happen to one of mine while I can offer any shred of positive support I can manage to scrape together.

4

This explains what I have been trying to put together for a long time. I attended a very abusive Independent Fundamental Baptist church that is more a cult than anything. I actually was healed from my lack of crumbs my whole life by the Lord walking with me for 9 years and showing me who I was in Him, while attending and being abused there. He showed me I need and deserve more. I never ever thought I would be healed from the very thing you have discussed today but the Lord did it.

5

Charlotte, I am so happy for you, that you have come to recognize and claim your value! That you realized you were starving and deserved more than the crumbs being offered. And it does feel liberating, doesn’t it? And it is a process, we start to claim our value in one situation and we gain strength and courage to continue on with other situations or relationships that are unhealthy and devaluing as well. So glad you are finding strength and support here in this community!

Hugs,
Carla

Sherie, what a horrible experience you and this young woman have had. Sadly, this is not uncommon in relationships, where the balance of power is non existent, where one person claims control and becomes abusive. You did not in any way sound more angry than you absolutely should have! You should be angry, anyone who reads your story should be angry! I hope for this young woman’s sake that she has the emotional strength to know her value and see the danger this man is to her and resolve to protect herself, both physically and emotionally. She is fortunate to have a good group of friends to help her through this! Stay safe please!

Hugs,
Carla

6

Yes! I can so relate! I cant believe and you would not believe for how long I pushed my husband away as more than a friend because he was normal and loving! Wow! It is insane really! Sherie dont worry I am sure everyone is fine. For me it brought back memories of my own past insanity and realize how far I have come! It takes time to relearn healthy thinking and to realize how bad some of our relationships are. Darlene have fun in Mexico and enjoy the sun! And congrats to your daughter!

7

Tammy, your experience with spiritual abuse is so common and just as devastating and traumatic as any other form of emotional abuse, one that I am very familiar with as well, many years of this in a very similar church environment. I am so sorry you were subjected to it and endured it for so long. I am thrilled for you, that you were able to come away from this experience healed in your soul and knowing your value as a child of God, in spite of the abuse that was used to keep you in submission and controlled. You are valuable and you are loved! Thank you for sharing here today!

Hugs,
Carla

8

Thanks Carla. I am truly healed from my childhood now healing from being in a cult. It is very difficult but after 16 months I am starting to feel a little bit “normal”. My children are still struggling and my husband but we are glad to finally be free from all of it and trying to get to the bottom of why we have always been in churches that are abusive. We are planning on never repeating this one. We have been a part of 2 other churches that were fairly abusive. Not ready to take the step to go to church yet.

9

Pinky, I have had a lifetime pattern of avoiding healthy, truly loving relationships because I didn’t think I was worthy of them, I was taught my place was at the bottom where the imperfect people reside, I was uncomfortable with anything other than being controlled and put down or patronized. I am so happy to know that you found your way out of that cycle and have a good relationship that is loving. There is hope!!! Thank you for sharing a good ending story of stepping out of that cycle!

Hugs!
Carla

10

Sherie,
I totally understand your anger over this situation. No worries about your share. I hear your voice. Good for you for your resolve that this is not something to stay silent about!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Tammy, Welcome to Emerging from Broken! Great to have you with us!
Hugs, Darlene

11

Carla, what a wonderful, insightful, TRUE TO LIFE post. It did me a lot of good to read it, thank you.

I’m happy for Darlene and her daughter, and hope you two have the best time. And, I’ve super excited about Louise Brookes managing the blog during Darlene’s vacation. Yaay Louise! I’m eager to see what you will be doing here, Precious and Adorable and Brilliant Lady Lou~

Charlotte, like you, I have gone to therapists off and on for many years, in my case it’s been 44 years since my very first appointment with a shrink at the age of 14. I’ve tried varioius religious, support groups, and self-help pop psychology books galore, but, like you, I have never felt so FREE, and so HEALTHY, since I found Darlene Ouimet’s awesome Emerging From Broken blog-community a few months ago. This blog community has turned my life completely around, back in October I was sliding downhill fast to a very dark, hopeless place. But then I found this blog and now I’m coming out into the bright sunshine. Darlene, and all of you wonderful Survivors and Thrivers who regularly post comments here, you are a Life Saver!!

Sherie, your story left me breathless, the way you told it so vividly, I felt like I was THERE. It brought back so many memories of when I was in situations like that, being screamed at and threatened by someone who “loved me” and “wanted only what he knew was best for me” through my locked door… someone whose idea of LOVE is OWNERSHIP, someone who believes that love means never have to say you’re sorry, and never having to take NO for an answer. Nothing you wrote, Sherie, struck me as inappropriate in the least. On the contrary, I kept thinking, WOW how lucky that young lady is to have Sherie for a friend!!

12

Tammy, abusive, cult-like churches…. I grew up in one, my very mentally ill and extrememly abusive father was the minister. Since then, I’ve bounced back and forth between agnosticism, and a number of other abusive cult-like churches, where I would run to when my life got too hard, because I had been so conditioned as a child to believe that a cultic church could take over my life and FIX everything about me that was broken, and SAVE me. But, it never worked out that way.

Tammy, what you said near the end of your first post: “I actually was healed from my lack of crumbs my whole life by the Lord walking with me for 9 years and showing me who I was in Him….. He showed me I need and deserve more.” YES, the Lord did the same thing for me, in 2003. I know, today, that I am precious in the eyes of my Creator, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I know that I am a one-of-a-kind God original, made by him, and made in his own wonderful image. I believe that God has engraved me on the palms of his hands, and that I am the apple of my father God’s eye. NOTHING can ever separate me from the Love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord! I believe that a God who could make everything out of nothing, can take a submitted miserable ignorant sinner and make a brand new sinless creation out of her, or him. I know he can, because he did if for me!

Like you, Tammy, I have finally learned who I am in Christ… I am a precious daughter of the Lord God most High, and I truly believe that he would have died to save me from evil, een if I had been the Only One who needed saving. Although my mother may forget me, he will never forget me, nor forsake me.

I am like the Samaritan Woman at the well, to whom Christ said, “…you have had 5 husbands…” Yes, I have. PTSD is HARD on marriages, especially after my severe childhood abuse had me all trained to settle for CRUMBS and ABUSE. I was raised to believe that I was crazy and worthless, and that no one who was normal and kind and loving would ever wsnt me, so I didn’t even try for one of those.

It amazes me how Jesus didn’t condemn that woman at the well. Hypocritical holier-than-thou religious people, he did condemn. But the woman at the well he treated with utmost compassion. He obviously knew her history, he knew her heart, and he spoke to her in compassion and with love, and he offered her a New Life! WOW!

But when my husband, who, like me, has severe PTSD (his is from Vietnam Combat, and mine is from severe child abuse and then past domestic/marital abuse)…. when in the church we were attending for the first couple of years of our marriage, where we felt loved and accepted and so at home…. as we began to feel comfortable enough in that fellowship to open up and “be real,” as the church leaders were encouraging everyone to do, and so we admitted that before we had become Christians so late in life, we had each been divorced 4 times, and I am now Stan’s 5th wife, and Stan is my 5th husband…. from that moment on, we were given the silent treatment by everyone in that church. We weren’t openly asked to leave…. we were just blatantly ignored. We became invisible. If one of us spoke in our open meetings, everyone pretended not to hear us or respond to anything we said. There were no more warm greetings, no more happy smiles to see us, no more hugs, no more invitations to extra church activities.

If Stan and I could go back in time and undo our first 4 disastrous marriages, and marry only each other, first and last, God knows we would do it! Our hearts were broken BADLY through each divorce, it didn’t ever become easier to divorce, it only became progressively WORSE, like a series of horrific car crashes, each one leaving us more wounded than before, and less capable of driving safely because of all the accumulating wounds, and fears. Each broken marriage left us more broken, more scarred, more afraid, with a lot more baggage, and each broken marriage left us less and less capable of finding and having a healthy relationship. What healthy person wants to marry a multiply-divorced person with severe PTSD?

But then, when we were both almost 50, before we had even met each other, we both came to know the Lord and our hearts and lives were profoundly changed. And THEN, when the time was right for both of us, when our hearts were finally healed just enough, we met when we were hired to work at the same job, hired on the same day, and trained side by side. I was 50 and he was 54 when we met, and we were both recovering from our last, 4th, divorces. First we became friends, and then we married almost a year later. My precious Uncle married us! We’ve been married almost 7 years now, and for the first time in both of our lives, we are happy, we are secure, we are at peace. Because we both have PTSD, we understand each other, and accept each other just the way we are… neither of us ever had that with anyone else before, we were always being rejected for our “craziness” and pressured to change and to “just get over it already, stop living in the past!” We wish it were that easy to do, but, it just isn’t.

In our heart of hearts, we both know that we are right with God. In our heart of hearts, we both know that we are forgiven for all our sins, our sins have been paid for in full, and there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. In our heart of hearts, we know who we are in Christ, we know are brand new sinless creations in his eyes, and our sins of the past have been as far removed from us as the east is from the west. We know deep down inside that God understands, and has compassion, for all the HELL ON EARTH we have both been through, first in our horrific trauma that gave us both severe PTSD, and then in our painful series of broken relationships and marriages, which resulted from our being so broken with PTSD.

But, in the Christian community, we have been treated like we are something evil and dangerous, because of our multiple failed marriages. It’s a stigma that doesn’t ever go away, just like the stigma of mental illness.

I have to work hard at NOT FEELING ASHAMED by the fact that I have been divorced 4 times. I never intended to ever be divorced, I expected and desperately wanted each marriage to succeed and last. Those 4 divorces literally almost killed me. Stan’s too, he had 2 heart attacks right after his last divorce in 2001.

I don’t believe that the story of the 5-times married Samaritan woman was put in the Bible by accident. I believe it was put there for the benefit of people like my best-friend-husband Stan and me. But, try telling that to the churches…

Some day we hope to get back into a church fellowship where we can be accepted for the people we are today. We have agreed that we will never tell people in our new church about our past divorces.

But the thought of having to hide huge chunks of our lives, of being phony, keeps us from going. It’s been 5 years since we were silently forced out of our church. We’ve visited a couple of churches once or twice in these past 5 years, but never felt comfortable. I miss the fellowship, the singing, the ceremony. But I don’t miss the judgmental, holier-than-thou, ”We Alone Are Right And The Rest Of The World Is Wrong and Damned” attitude…

Lynda

13

Pinky, wow, I also “I pushed my husband away as being more than a friend because he was normal and loving!”

I had confused BEING IN LOVE with the high highs and low lows, the DRAMA of “will he or won’t he love me today, will he or won’t he be nice to me today.” The butterflies in my stomach that I thought was love and excitement… it was really the High Anxiety of being so completely insecure in my relationships.

I was taught as a child that I was not worthy of love… I mean, my mother literally told me that, over and over again, as I was growing up. When I was 16 and she wanted me out of her house “because 2 women cannot live in the same house,” and I was meak and always trying to please her, not at all a rebellious teen… when I came home from my date with a guy I had recently met and excitedly told my mother that my new boyfriend had asked me to marry him, she said, “He only thinks he loves you because he doesn’t really know you. After he has lived with you a while and gotten to know you, then he won’t love you.”

When my new husband started beating on me less than a month after we were married, and cheating on me openly with everyone he could get into bed, I thought my mother’s words had come true, and that it was all my fault. “You aren’t woman enough to keep me happy,” my husband said. So I kept trying harder to be “woman enough,” whatever the heck that meant.

On my 17th birthday, my husband beat me because I had expected he would do something special for me on my day, just as I had done for him on his 19th birthday the month before. But when I asked him if we could do like we had done when we were dating, and go out for a coke and a hamburger and to see a movie for my birthday, he responded by beating me all over the tiny one-room apartment. Then he left, and ran to my mother’s house to cry on her shoulder, becausse I had confided in him about her mistreatment of me, so he knew she would be his willing ally. Together they had formed their own little Hate Lynda Club.

Several hours later my husband came back, drunk, and he found me still in our tiny apartment, surrounded by all the broken glass from the wall mirror he’d shoved me into, curled up on the bed, crying. And my husband threw the big heavy family Bible on top of me and yelled, “HERE. Your mother told me to give this to you, you need to read it, and learn how to be a good wife.” Then my mother, who had followed him in her car, came flying in the door, and she was also half-drunk. “If you don’t start acting like a wife should, you are going to lose this wonderful husband,” she screamed at me.

“But Mom, he BEATS me,” I cried. It was the first time I had ever told anyone, I had been too ashamed.

“Yes I know he hits you, he told me so himself, and I told him that I don’t blame him one bit. If you are going to act like a spoiled child, you need to be spanked like a spoiled child.”

And then came one of the very few moments in my life when I actually stood up to my mother. I sat up on the bed and I pointed at the door and I said, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE.”

She stood there with her mouth literally hanging open, so shocked was she that I, the meek and mild mouse she had trained so well to be so snivelingly subserviant at all times, would dare to speak to her in that way! And then, my mother went over to my 19 year old husband, who was sitting in a chair looking miserable and sick, and she threw her arms around him, and said, “I’m so sorry, Honey, that I didn’t warn you about how crazy she is before you married her!” Then my husband threw his arms around her and cried, “I love you,” and my mother cried “I love you too!” and when I looked up, there she was sitting on my husband’s lap. My 35-year-old bitch mother, was sitting on my 19 year old husband’s lap, right in front of me, in my home, on my 17th Happy Birthday. (And my younger siblings all wonder why I won’t have anything to do with our poor widowed 76-year-old mother.)

Way back in 1970, when I was 17, I thought that all I had to do was try harder, and try to be “woman enough” so that my husband would stop beating me and love me and be happy with me. When I finally couldn’t take his abuse and cheating anymore, I jumped straight from the frying pan of that abusive marriage, into the fire of an even more abusive marriage. And each broken marriage, as I said before, left me even more broken, and even less capable of having a healthy marriage. I didn’t even know what a healthy marriage looked like!

In 2003, at the age of 50, when I met the man who is now my best-friend-husband, he loved me without reservation, he loved and adored me just the way I am, and he continues to love and adore me and accept me exactly as I am, to this day. But I thought he was boring! There weren’t any skyrockets and fireworks, and I didn’t have that breathless butterfly feeling in my stomach. Where was the challenge? Where were the high highs and the low lows?

Thank God I had a great therapist at that time who had warned me that, to a woman who had been abused all her life, healthy love seems boring. “Just take it slow and give it time,” she told me. So I did.

Today, I thank God every day for my best-friend-husband. This isn’t boring, this is security. This isn’t dull, this is sanity. Today I know that happiness isn’t found on the thrill of a roller coaster ride, happiness is a calm quiet secure safe and gentle PEACE.

Lynda

14

Lynda – How crappy that you and your husband were treated that way after announcing you had each been married 4 times before. I know its a lot, but you both came to Christ later in life … there was abuse. It makes me angry, as a Christian, to hear other believers treated this way. Arrgghh!! Where is the love? Where is the compassion? Where is the celebrating of now being a believer in Christ??

Tammy ~ I grew up with some family that were in a cult – Armstrongism/Worldwide Church of God – of which an uncle of mine was pastor who NEVER believed that Jesus is who He claimed to be. He was a pastor for 20 years! Scary! Then when my husband and I met and were dating, (I came to Christ through my husband almost 19 yrs ago) we were in a cult unbenownst to us until we started weighing what this ‘pastor’ was saying against God’s Word … when we wanted to meet with the ‘pastor’ to talk about it, he would not see us and we got tagged as ‘trouble-makers.’ Long story short – we left … RUNNING! We did nothing but emerge ourselves in God’s Word alone. No other books. Just God’s Word and got ourselves well-grounded in our faith before we started looking for another church. This took about a year and some, but Tammy – it was so worth it. We see deception a mile away now as well as wonky teaching. When we took ourselves to get well-grounded, we started at the bottom to build a firm foundation. We used a concordance with hebrew and greek to KNOW what stuff meant. It’s never fun being in any kind of abusive situation. I know this is unsolicited advice – but I wanted to share this, because it has saved my husband and I from being deceived all over again.

As for the crumbs under the table … I’m so happy I came out from under it and found a new table with new loving and stable human beings with which to ‘eat’ with. Coming out of what we know to be ‘comfortable and familiar’ is never easy – it even seems scary. But once you take those steps, there is a freedom that is sweet and comfortable and desirous. It almost feels like ‘joining the land of the living.’ 🙂

15

Lynda – on your post #12 … I feel for ya … and I think its sad that you have to hide a part of your life from other believers. I mean, do they really think that they are without fault?? Without sin?? Without regrets?? (You get the gist!) I hate the judgmental stuff too – makes me crazy. Which likely explains why my husband and I have not been faithful church goers for years. FIrst of all, the deception in many is intolerable. Finding someplace where you fit in is hard. We too so miss solid Bible teaching and the fellowship of other believers on a regular basis.

My husband and I were part of a home church for a good many years … and even though that dissolved as our pastor and his wife felt God leading them into Christ-centered marriage conferences for couples – which they have been so called to do!! 🙂 I LOVED home fellowship – its where we could operate very much like a new testament church – and we ALWAYS ate together afterward. There was a lot of love there – everyone accepted. And the teaching was discussed – not thrown at us to swallow which was awesome as it kept those who taught, accountable. I think home churches will be the way for true believers who have a great love for His Truth in this coming future. I really do.

16

There is something in our belief system about ourselves that totally sets us up to be sucked into these other types of controlling situations, including the religious ones. The overwhelming hunger for love and acceptance is, that emotional starvation, is already in place and we seek to fill this in all sorts of ways, and this is why so many people fall prey to abusive and controlling people and organizations. And when something does kick in and you start to question what is going on, YOU BECOME THE PROBLEM. And you are the problem, the fly in the ointment. You become a threat to their system of control.

Very few of us have our first experience of abuse in a religious setting, although it can happen simultaneously if you are raised in it, but the abusive situation is almost always present in the home environment first, it sets the scene for us to accept it as we continue our lives. And we can leave the religious systems and think we have been freed of our controllers, but if we haven’t found the root cause within ourselves for having been controlled, we will continue the cycle in other areas and relationships until we get it resolved. Replacing the lies of the original abuse with the truth of who we really are and what we are truly deserving of in this life.

17

Carla,
Thank you for guest posting here on EFB! You made this last few days before my trip so much easier!
I love this post, you bring up so many great points. The choice to live in wholeness is not easy, that is so true. It is very unfamiliar and those beliefs that we don’t deserve go very deep.
You Wrote: “And we have to see this for ourselves. We have to see ourselves sitting at the table. We have to long for it and want it and see it. And we have to fight for our right to be there, and if that means we find another table, then that is what we do.”
I can really relate to that part. I had to BELIEVE that I could reach that goal, I had to know that it could happen for me and that gave me the hope that inspired the willingness to do the work. This is a definite process.
I left the “house of abuse” when I finally knew that I deserved more than just crumbs. And my life continues to get better, and I continue to flourish and thrive.

About your comment beginning “there is something in our belief system about ourselves that sets us up to be sucked into these other types of controlling situations;” ~ Abuse is Abuse. Period. So if we are groomed and trained to believe that we deserve it and that is our normal and that it is RIGHT for us to be treated that way, lots of crossover is enabled. A woman who was never beaten by her parents, (but who has been emotionally abused, neglected, etc) can easily become involved with a man who hits her, because abuse is abuse and she believes that she deserves it. We are told that “punishment” is for our own good, and we accept that, so….. punishment is for our own good from then on. We even punish ourselves. We learn to punish others. We believe in the system that we think is “normal and right”. And we have to realize that it is not right.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Lynda!
Thank you for the well wishes! I am SO looking forward to this trip with my daughter and to having a solid week off!

Everyone, I would like to make something a bit more clear. Lynda mentioned looking forward to Louise managing the blog when I am away and I am thrilled with the welcome that you gave Louise, Lynda! I just want to say that Louise will be managing the facebook page for emerging from broken, but not the blog. The blog will be running with guest posts. Please understand that Louise is my administrative assistant and that her work is very much about administrative stuff, and not so much about the process that I write about. To protect Louise, I want to make sure that no one thinks that Louise will be standing in for me as far as comments or questions about processing go. The guest bloggers will be managing their own comments and feedback. ~ Thanks!!
Hugs, Darlene

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Lynda #13 – I am so sorry you had to go through that.

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“When we grow up in an abusive home, we learn all kinds of things that are not true. We learn that we don’t deserve love. We learn that we don’t deserve respect. We learn that we don’t deserve kindness. We learn that we don’t deserve affection or even attention. We learn that we don’t deserve to be treated as a human person, an equal.”

I’ve been thinking about this paragraph all day today. It really resonated with me, as it gave voice to the dysfunctional existence we had in our home. With my father being physically abusive, I learned early that touch from him was not a good thing. I cannot remember one time growing up when he touched me in a non-angry way. And my mother, well, she just didn’t touch at all. I told my wife about this a few years ago and during a one-on-one discussion that my wife had with my mother, my wife asked her why she never hugged me as a child. My mother’s response was “I didn’t think boys needed to be hugged.”

As I write that just now, it still has some shock to it, even these years later. What boy would not need to know that he is loved? That he is worthy of affection? That he matters? What boy does not need to feel like he is eating from the crumbs of affection, anywhere he can find it? Because when a pedophile came along, he was easy prey. Starved for affection, however small a crumb it is, he will eat it up quickly.

Thank you for this post, Carla, and the affirmation it gives me.

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Eddie, I am so sorry for the childhood you had, for the very real fact that the emotional starvation you experienced made you the perfect target for a pedophile. I too, had that same experience, we were set up for becoming such easy targets, they knew how to prey upon our vulnerabilities, and our already broken hearts would take on whole new levels of pain.

I wish that what I wrote in this post didn’t actually sound so familiar to people, but sadly it is all too familiar to many of us. I am, however, glad that you found some affirmation in it, and know that not only are you not alone in what you went through, but that none of it was your fault. Children are not to blame for needing to be loved and not understanding when they are being taken advantage of by abusers.

Take care and thank you for sharing!
Hugs to you!
Carla

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Darlene!

It was my honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to post on Emerging From Broken, a place where I have found so much insight and encouragement for my own healing process, and where I have met a wonderful friend such as yourself and many others as well!

I hope you have a fun and fabulous vacation, I don’t know of anyone who deserves one more, you put so much of yourself into this site for the benefit of our healing journeys. Bon voyage my friend! See you soon!

Love and hugs,
Carla

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Paulette, Darlene, and Bonnie:

Thank you all for your compassionate and kind words. It’s amazing to me how much healing I can feel inside my heart, just from reading a sentence that says, “I am so sorry you had to go through that.”

I am so sorry for the abuse that everyone here has gone through. But I’m very thankful that I no longer feel so utterly ALONE and HOPELESS, as I have for most of my life. I believed the lies I was taught from infancy on, that I was unwanted, unworthy, unloved, unlovable, born defective, shouldn’t have been born, had no rights whatsoever. I believed that I was the cause of my being abused, because there was something inherently wrong in me that “drove people to want to hurt me.”

I left my crazy, extremely abusive childhood home and went straight into one abusive marriage after another, NOT so much because I didn’t feel “comfortable” with kind loving people, but rather because I had been taught that I was “crazy” and “bad” and that no sane, normal, good person could ever possibly love me… so I didn’t even try to ever have a relationship with someone like that! Not until I FINALLY got some GOOD therapy, at the age of 50, when I took my settlement money from my last miserable divorce and, in sheer desperation, checked myself into a renowned Christian Psychiatric Clinic, the Meier Clinic (formerly Minirth-Meier), in Richardson, Texas. There, I learned that I was not born broken or crazy or less-than, there I learned that I have PTSD, which is a NORMAL reaction to extreme trauma, just as bleeding is a normal reaction to being stabbed… I was treated with true RESPECT there, not “talked down to,” I was shown genuine Christian non-judgmental love there, I was NOT condemned for my 4 divorces, but instead I was shown compassion for having gone through all that PAIN…

That healing I got in 2003 turned my life around. Yet I still had a long way to go, so deeply wounded was I. Darlene’s wonderful blog community gets the credit for my continuing now to grow, and heal, and learn my inherent, God-given value, which No One and Nothing can ever diminish.

Thank you everyone, for commenting. And, Eddie… your mother didn’t believe that boys needed to be hugged? How that sentence made me shudder. We truly do perish for lack of wisdom.

Lynda

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I’m new to this site and have found so many of the postings comforting and helpful. There is one thing that I have found in my family that is not mentioned here — the disrespect and neglect my mother had for me (and my siblings) has left each of us family members in constant turmoil with each other. Each of us has been affected in much the same way. We are not comfortable showing affection and respect for each other. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

It seems as though our mother enjoys to sit back and watch all of this. My mother never ever showed an ounce of affection to us kids – no touching, hugging, kissing, etc. She is proud that she has affection for her cats – wants everybody to know and see. When I was a child she had a pet dog who would be with her all day long, on her bed. She would read all day while us kids were in school. I remember thatm after school, I would want to be close to her on the bed. She would encourage the dog to bite me if I came near her. Then she would laugh proudly when the dog snapped at me. My siblings would laugh about it also. They wanted her approval.

These past months have been especially challenging. My mother, who is 86 years old now, fell and broke her arm just before Christmas. While she was recovering in a rehab facility she agreed to move out of her house and into a care facility upon her discharge. The three of us sisters cleaned her house, had a garage sale, and moved her remaining belongings to the new home. I was especially stressed- flipped back and forth in my mind -is this the right thing for me to do? I was also remembering that I was doing things for her that she would not have done for me as a child – taking care of her needs. The end result – total turmoil between family members! Letters from attorney, not speaking, accusations of dishonesty, personal insults. But….mother is comfy in her new living arrangement, sitting back and watching all this unfold.

I’ve learned from this site that I need to be my own parent and treat myself with love and kindness. It’s not that I’ve lost my parent or family in all of this. They were never there to begin with. I feel guilty when I speak with my friends about our families. I don’t have those fond memories and kind words to say.

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Hi Barbara,
That dog story is very abusive. This is what I am talking about when I refer to how our “value” is established or in most cases NOT established. You were taught that the dog was more important then you. ouch.
Although I don’t talk about it very much, this was one of the reasons that I drew my final boundary with my mother. Her constant trouble making between myself and my siblings, and the relatives. There is lots of stuff about this kind of family dynamic in the comments on many posts. This control tactic is called “divide and conquer” and it used rather effectively by MANY parents so that “they” will always be the king on the throne. If the family members all get along, they might talk to each other and find out how mean and unfair the parent is.
It is very hard to recovery from a life time of having a controlling parent who shows no love. I had to become my own parent too, and I found so much freedom by accepting the truth about the whole situation.
Hang in here Barbara!
Hugs, Darlene

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