Aug
06

Parent Child Relationship When Loyalty Costs too Much

By

When it comes to parent child relationships I often feel as though I struggle to explain or communicate the difference between how I felt about the past when it was in the past, how I felt about it when I was in the healing stages of it and how I feel about it now. This comes up a lot on the blog and on the facebook page for Emerging from Broken so I thought I would write about it.

This blog gets hundreds of views every day. The comments don’t reflect that though, and I get these private emails from people who don’t want to write publically, especially about parent stuff. By some of the questions that I get asked, I understand why this is; most of us have really big loyalty issues when it comes to our parents and our parent child relationships.  This has to do with several things; our belief systems, our upbringing and the way that society frowns on anyone revealing family secrets ~ even if the whole family could recover from the pain of the past if they were revealed ~ some things are just taboo.

I sometimes wonder how different my life would be today if my mother were willing to pursue wholeness and freedom herself? How different would it be if she were willing to work on our mother daughter relationship stuff with me? But sadly this isn’t the case.

I know one thing for sure, it would not change the past. What happened, really happened and it was dysfunctional, devaluing and abusive much of the time. So my decision was to get on with the present and future and to do that I ended up having to deal with the past. (Again) But this time I went deeper then I had gone before. I ventured into previously uncharted waters. The truth about my parents and just how dysfunctional the parent child relationships were.

When I talk about anger and blame towards my abusers as well as my parents ~ anger and blame were a necessary part of my healing. I had to look at the truth ~ almost from a neutral point of view if I were ever going to heal from it. I can only say this in retrospect as I didn’t realize that this would be a key before I did it.

I was so wrapped up in should and should not’s and because I believed expressions like “if you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future you are peeing on today” I was stuck. So I had to look at what my life story was as though I was looking at it through someone else’s eyes. Some of the events of my life were shocking and yet I didn’t think so. I felt guilty for feeling even a glimmer of hurt or anger towards my parents, especially my mother because I felt so sorry for her. It was almost easier to just accept the blame for our difficult mother daughter relationship.

If someone else told me the exact same things had happened to them (that had happened to me) I was horrified. I could feel justifiable anger, outrage, shock, disgust, sadness, sympathy compassion and love, but I could not feel these things for myself about my own life or about the things that had happened to ME. I can’t stress enough how convinced that I am that taking a look at my life story through different eyes was one of the biggest keys to the eventual restoration of my emotional health and overall mental health. This was also one of the biggest keys to overcoming depression. Seeing things from a neutral view point, was a huge key to my overcoming dissociative identity disorder and the integration of all my “alter personalities” and a major key to my wholeness and freedom.

As a child, I surrendered all my power over to my parents, teachers, and elders. When those people treated me with less value then I deserved or abused and controlled me in ways that were not acceptable, I complied and surrendered even more of my will. I had no choice as a child. It wasn’t a decision I made, it was survival and it was necessary. But this became my way of life and when we live under dysfunctional control, we become accustomed to living under dysfunctional control. This becomes a habit that is familiar and even comfortable. I grew into an adult in this familiar comfortable fog and I continued to give control to the abusers or controllers. Often when we are adults this control and abuse is psychological and emotional when it comes to our parents but none the less is in not really love. It is not a healthy, functional, love based parent child relationship.

But there I was in it anyway and in order to survive and cope I convinced myself that it wasn’t really wrong. “My poor mother didn’t know any better.” (true but so what?) Until I had nowhere else to turn and I was an emotional mess and I realized through getting some help to navigate through the false and the true, I suddenly realized that if I remained “loyal” to my parents, and if I didn’t want to look at this stuff  that had happened to me at their hands through the lens of truth in order to place the burden back on them and realize that this was not my fault, then I was actually giving them control over MY recovery and my will to recover, in order to protect them. (as we have learned to do our whole lives)

This isn’t about loyalty. I was fighting for my life, and I had to get really honest. I had to accept the past the way that it was ~ the plain honest way that it was without the loyalty and excuses that I consistently made for them all my life. What I am trying to express in this blog is about emerging OUT of victim mentality and into wholeness and freedom and real relationship.

In love and in truth,

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Family

27 Comments

1

thanxs darlene,
when this has some time to sink in , i know that it will make a change in my perception of my birth family. dont know why i have started sayig birth family,maybe i am slowly distancing myself from the pain n hurt they have given my ovr the years, well verbally. i suppose it abit like the new linguistic approach of retrain ya brain by rewiring your vocal thoughts so they become internal thoughts. i was lucky to attend some trainning in picked up so tips but looking back i find this is how i have done alot of my healing. once i vocalise my pain, who caused it and how it made me feel then n now and work on it. that has gotten me this far, plus that unqeunching thirst to understand the dynamics that made my early life so terrible that i have very few memories of it. n those i have are disjointed. i used to tell people i will tilt at windmills if i want to becos if someone dont speak out the ill-wind of abuse would continue unabated. i still have my ‘don quote’ moments but know have the knowledge to back up what i am saying and the pwoers that be in my community dont like the bleak outlook i have on family life n how they should n can do so much more to protect our next generation of victims befor ethey actually become them, arghhhh. prevention is all ways better then trying to undo the damage done to a child, socially, emotionally n mentally.
on the otherside of the coin i have never actually delved into my early life much, n if i do it is centred on the sexual abuse not hte emotional n mental damge done to me by my parents. i too excuse thier actions to a point, n the reason i dont see much of my family is becos i point out how the past hurt me or do u remember this or that. my mother actually posted on her f/b wall that she wishes people could find happiness in the present and leave the past in the past. i thought ‘ i bet you wish i would stop pointing out that you did it to me not the other way around’ or that’ we followed her life not the other way around, she decided how we lived wejust had to get through it’ yet i also now know she wont be able to accept that she is more like her own mother than she cares to admit. that she proved food shelter clothes, material things, things that yeah u need but as children it is down to the adult to provide n if they resent it they shouldnt off had kids

2

I have written before about my past of abuse, manipulation, and control. Within the last 6 years I have been facing the “truth” about my life. I thought I had already done this but I had never verbalized my perspective to my family. I continued in the family game with all the pain it brought. It took a sudden explosive episode to cause me to see that I needed to confront and confront I did. I wrote many letters to my parents, especially my Mom. I “unleashed” you might say but I did so in an unemotional way, almost like from a “neutral” perspective. I stated facts the way I saw it and made it clear that everything I wrote was my perspective and that my desire is that they would understand and know how I think and feel. I was honest and truthful taking responsibility where it was due. But they did not get it! My family and I are classified as liars and my father said I needed psychological help. I realized I would have to become somewhat estranged from my family at this point and establish some very firm boundaries for myself and my immediate family. The “family” doesn’t know what to do and they think I am still in the game. I think they are slowly realizing that my life is not dependent on them.

I lived most of my life being “reactive” to whatever came to me. I am now learning to be “proactive” with my choices and decisions. I read somewhere that it is not unusual for someone who is becoming more “proactive” to have a period of “unleashing” but at some point they have to rejoin the human race. I am learning and enjoying the freedom one acquires when they face the “truth” with honesty and learn the proper use of boundaries. I believe the “truth” will set you free. Proverbs says “A city without walls is a man without self-control.” In other words, if you don’t construct your walls properly anything can get in.

A side-note: My sister said to me about a week ago that our Mom “overprotected” me. Something she says consistently. We are 57 and 58. I looked at her and said that the word “overprotected” is a cover word for “control” and in so many words told her I did not want that label put on me again.

3

Wow…
It’s hard when control is that of others and not your own. They say parents raise ya AS they were raised. I so want to believe that but I can’t b/c I couldn’t do to my kids what was done to me in a million yrs. I can’t wait for the day I’m whole and the past is just that…a past 🙂

4

I have felt like that I was being unloyal, unloving, by admitting to what was done to me thru out my childhood by my parents. The eye opener for me happened in 2008. I was laying on my couch and I am not sure all that was going on at that time or what lead up to this but I suddenly had this thought it was a very clear thought sort of like a vision and what I saw was I was trying to take on the sins of my parents that I was not letting God deal with them. By not standing up in truth that I was not allowing my parents to deal with the reality of what was done instead I was aiding in their denial. In that vision I seen myself trying to get on the cross and you know what I can’t and it is not my place to carry the sins of others I can only deal with my own not anyone else.

From that point on I realized I had to turn this over to God and even though it went against this “loyalty” which what I discovered wasn’t loyalty it was more or less years and years of believing that I was a bad person if I spoke up about the truth it was fear more than loyalty. Since then I have stood firm with my parents.

The relationship with my mom and I is changing for the better whereas with my dad well I realized that I could stand up to him to and I have and it is a slow progression but he is starting to deal with much of his life as well!

Sometimes relationships can’t be mended no matter what and what I have learned is that for a relationship to heal and mend both parties involved has to be willing. For years I was willing I really wanted closure and I wanted to be close to my parents but they always kept me at arms length thus such healing did not take place. But as I look back on all of this 20/20 hindsight I also realize that I too kept them at arms length by hiding behind the idea of “loyalty”

Thank you Darlene for sharing this it hit some areas within me that I have dealt with and am dealing with.

5

Hi Darlene,

So much in your blog post of today to digest! You continue to amaze me in your writings as to how much resonates with me and my own journey. A few things particularly stood out to me. One was:

“If someone else told me the exact same things had happened to them (that had happened to me) I was horrified. I could feel justifiable anger, outrage, shock, disgust, sadness, sympathy compassion and love, but I could not feel these things for myself about my own life or about the things that had happened to ME. I can’t stress enough how convinced that I am that taking a look at my life story through different eyes was one of the biggest keys to the eventual restoration of my emotional health and overall mental health.”

So many survivors of abuse can relate to this. I know it was true in my case as well. I remember talking with a therapist about all the junk from the abuse of the past and telling him that I felt like I was just a whiner and didn’t really feel justified in even taking up his time from someone else who had “real” problems. It’s all part of the crap the abuse leaves us with in a damaged self image. We don’t think we’re even worthy of recovery, how terribly sad that is! My therapist asked me to look at my history as though it were happening now to some other 12 year old child. How would I feel about that little boy, knowing what he was going through? Would I feel he was unworthy of help? Would I want him to just “get over it”? Looking at it through this perspective really makes it clear that we do deserve the help and recovery we seek. We ARE worth it!

“…when we live under dysfunctional control, we become accustomed to living under dysfunctional control.”

As survivors of abusive behaviors live with it day after day, year after year, it becomes ingrained in them that “this is my life and this is the way it is from now on”. The abuse becomes the norm. When a normal person then offers kindness, it is then met with suspicion. “What do they want from me?” It’s hard to break out of that way of thinking and realize the abuse for what it is – NOT normal. It’s a conditioned way of thinking, and I know that in my own case that I still have to stop and times and tell myself “O.k., this is the abuse making me think this way about myself, and it’s not right.” It’s a reality check moment.

“…emerging OUT of victim mentality and into wholeness and freedom and real relationship.”

The goal for all of us! It’s a hard place to get ourselves “unstuck” from and to also keep ourselves from slipping back into. But we weren’t born to be victims and I certainly don’t intend spending the rest of my life as one. 🙂

6

Carol,
It is very hard to take a look at all of it. I started off picking one thing that I was ready to deal with (I originally went to therapy to finally deal with my dissociative identity disorder) and it was necessary to take a look at the trauma and sexual abuse. Doing this gave me a look at what caused me to fragment (break) in the first place. What surprised me though, was the realization of what ‘grew’ out of the abuse ~ how my belief system developed. That is when the issues with my parents and childhood with them entered into it. My process is like a roadmap with one thing crisscrossing over and intermingling with another. Eventually as I followed one vein, I realized that it had effected my perception of another seemingly unrelated vein.
Thanks for sharing so much of your life ~ you wins and your struggles with us. I really appreciate it!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Debbie!
Everyone said I needed psychological help… and I did but the “helpers” said that I needed help because of the people that said I needed help! LOL isn’t that interesting??? I can relate to being reactive in the past. I was like a tightly wound spring.. as I got older I got more defensive; I expected to be blamed for EVERYTHING. I was even like this when it came to my children.
What you said here about having a period of unleashing but at some point having to rejoin the human race.. that was very much my experience. I also realized that I went through a time of anger and blame, and it was necessary, but I wouldn’t want to STAY there! I am so glad that I went there though. I hope no one that goes there, stays there either… It is just a pathway to healing and there are many. And I love your Walls Proverb. YES
Thanks for contributing, I appreciate all that you have shared here today!
Love Darlene

7

UnEk_DiMoN (yes you are a unique diamond, I love the jewel analogy my therapist told me we would find the unique jewel that was me at the bottom of the mess, and WOW he was so right!)
Welcome and thanks for sharing. If you keep striving to go forward that day will surely come when you are whole and the past is truly the past!
Hugs, Darlene

Nikki, oh my gosh.. I had a bit of a spiritual experience while reading your comments. Earlier today when I was writing this blog post, I realized that this blog is like a love letter to the broken world AND a love letter to my mother. My mother is just as broken as I was.. and she doesn’t know that she doesn’t’ have to live that way. i really feel sorry for her struggle ~ I even feel sorry for her that she lost her only daughter ~ ME. But I was not going to sacrifice my life for hers anymore. Your comments actually illuminate my thoughts from this morning even more! When we allow others to control or devalue us and never stand up to them, they don’t grow either. Happy, healthy, well adjusted people don’t ‘abuse’ other people. There is real love in this world. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your insights. I really appreciate it.
Love Darlene

8

Eddie;
I love how you “get me.” one of my friends said to me earlier today “I get your heart” and there is no greater gift, is there? To be heard and understood, for others to realize that I make sense, that I am not crazy, that I am possibly even smart! (I had huge issues about the way that I was dealt with. I believed that I was crazy, stupid and useless )
I can relate to all that you say too. I had big problems with people that were nice to me and looking back I rejected many of them. I also recall how I bent over backwards for the people who treated me with disregard. I had been trained that way after all. So I sought after those who treated me badly… I realized that I believed that if I could get someone who treated me badly to SEE my VALUE, that it would confirm my value! Such a lie! It would never have happened. (I have written posts about this subject too… but none said quite that bluntly)
Emerging out of victim mentality is an amazing journey, YES! I am so happy that you are here Eddie!
Hugs, Darlene

9

Wonderful Darlene. How true it is that we need to quit making excuses and exceptions for those who have hurt us, even when it involves our parents. There is no excuse for abuse.

When I questioned my dad about him having sex with my sister, he made excuses. Of course blaming it on her. I knew better and I said so. What could he or anyone tell me, that would justify that? Even if he said he was sorry, it would not take away the “fact” that it happened. It should have never happened, plain and simple.

I feel the same way about my abuse. But, I know and hear from other Survivors how it hurts so much because a parent abused them. I personally believe it should be beyond hurt, and wonder if it isn’t the hurt that Survivors hang on to, that keeps them in the bondage of the abuse. I’ve pondered on this for a long time and know that the hurt that I felt about my dad, kept me in a frame of mind, looking for justification. As long as we continue to look for the reason, I believe there is a hold on us. A pull, a kind of hope, that there was a reason. The parents who have died before the healing starts and were not able to be confronted seem to have even more power over the Survivor. They can’t release them. They have a hard time letting go and able to push thru toward healing.

I know that once my dad started making excuses, something broke in me. There was now, no excuses. He had no rights as far as I was concerned. Breaking away was easier, as anger pushed me on toward healing for myself.

10

Parent Child Relationship When Loyalty Costs too Much…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

11

Thanks, Darlene,

Yes, it is funny that the perpetrators of the reason for getting “help” are the ones that tell you that you need it! Instead of desiring to be part of the solution to the issues they still choose to be part of the problem by not recognizing their responsibility in the matter. Talk about putting your head in sand!

12

Dear Patty,
You make such profound statements here; thank you so much.
I have suspected the same things when working with some survivors, and it isn’t just with survivors of sexual abuse but survivors of ANY kind of abuse. I have worked with people who suffered psychological abuse from a parent who have huge problems letting go of the why questions. They have the added element that psychological abuse isn’t illegal also ~ in other words it is even harder for them to be convinced that what happened to them was even “wrong”.
It will never cease to amaze and shock me how perpetrators can blame the victim, but it is always the way. I was also shocked when I realized how easily I bought the lame excuses. Today it makes me sick.
Thank you so much for coming over from “Overcoming Sexual Abuse” and posting your comment. Your wisdom is so greatly appreciated.
Love Darlene

You’re welcome Debbie,
This is the sick cycle of abuse. When my husband confronted his father, his father offered to go to a counselor with us. I was like “really!!??” and he mistook my question of shocked surprise and interest, for disgust and fear that he offered. My husband told me that he had been raised to believe that only really crazy people need to see a therapist, so his father was actually “threatening” to take us to a therapist. It backfired on him when I told him that we already had one and he was welcome to join us for a few sessions…. he didn’t bring that up again. LOL At the time it wasn’t funny though, I was like WOW he is willing to try and work this out! But no, he wasn’t it was just another way to tell us that WE were the problem. They have a million ways and I had to learn not to go down the path with them.
Love Darlene

13

I told my parents that I went to a couselor who told me the “family” had a poor understanding of boudaries and were manipulating and controling to which there was no response. They will not budge. But that does not matter for I have a life to LIVE! with them or without them!

Deb

14

Conditional love
Was all that was offered
Take it or leave it
But don’t be a bother
Be sure to hide your shame
Deeply bury your past
Forget where you came from
Put on a fake mask
Don’t be a burden
Don’t you dare shame us
We have an image to uphold
And your story will just label us
Hold my hand if you must
Just not too tight
So I can rid myself of you
When the time is right
Family’s most important
Blood is thicker than water
Except when it’s inconvenient
Except when you’re a problem
Go away until I need you
Find another to see you through
My love is always conditional
And should benefit me instead of you

Wow did this post hit home for me. I thought until recently that I was the problem. I thought I wasn’t good enough. My family was superfical but I thought it to be genuine. During therapy over the past 2 years I have uncovered so many lies from my family. I really couldn’t even post them all. There love was so conditional. I was told they loved me and supported me and would always be there for me. Well, that wasn’t the case at all. They were trying to uphold a false image for other family and friends so that they could look good. I found them to be fake and so so hurtful. Helping someone just to make yourself look good? WOW! When I no longer made them feel good about themselves or look good in front of others their unconditional love turned into abandonment and rejection. When they needed me I was their for them. When I needed them well…they walked away. I am tearing up as I type because of the pain my family has caused me. They only wanted to be close to me for their own selves and morbid curiosity. How sick is it to want to be close to a sexual abuse victim just to hear the story? Just to get all the horrible details. Not to help me but almost as if I was entertainment. Wow! I feel sick! Then there is my mother. Dear God, where do I start. I have been the parent. I have always been the mother. She was supposed to be my mother but the roles were reversed when I was very young. Still to this day she acts like a 15year old little girl. Irresponsible and always looking for someone to take care of her. This would be where I come in. Not only was my father raping me every night but then I would have to cook, clean, and do what ever else my mother wanted done. It was never good enough and I usually ended up doing my daily chores 2 to 3 times a day until they were done to her satisfaction. When my father went to prison she totally abandoned me. She moved 1200 miles away leaving me alone. I was 14 years old. No one in my family came for me. No one helped me. Three years later they come waltzing back into my life like they had arrived to save the day only to abandon me again just a few years later. My mother still rejected me but over the years she found herself alone and needed a crutch to get her through life. I became the crutch. She used my need for a mother and longing for love against me. Soon I became her mother, therapist, best friend, and her sympathizer. I found myself so exhausted having a life of my own but having to be there for her every second at the same time. Having to lift her up when she was down. Carrying her load so that she didnt have to. I did all this for her while she constantly abused me. She lives in constant denial about my father and was throwing the past in my face over and over again making me to feel everything was my fault. I had made such a mess of her life or so she said I did in not so many words. Juggling a husband, 3 toddlers (one autistic) and my own issues I did what any one would do. I had a complete break down. I couldn’t handle her problems any more I needed a way out but couldnt see one. She would threaten suicide every time I would try to stand up to her. I was a mess. It took a lot of therapy for me to be where I am now. I recently about 3 months ago decided to take my life back. I wrote my mother a lengthy letter and explained to her why I had to step out of her life and what she could do to make things right. Unfortunantly she hasnt done any of those things yet. It saddens me to think she used me so badly and I didnt even realize it. I thought I was being a good daughter. I thought I was supposed to be loyal to her and take care of her. Well it should have been the other way around. I hope one day to make things right with her but I’m not sure that will happen. I am ok with that now. Some days are harder than others but I will make it and be stronger because of it. As for the other family members…over the past 2years I have slowly weeded them out of my life and it is the best thing I’ve ever done. Hurtful? Yes! I am so much happier now and I can focus on my healing instead of everyone elses problems. Thank you Darlene for writing this post. You are an amazing woman and I admire you. Thank you for showing me all the I cans instead of all the I can’ts. Your the best! :0)

15

Nicole;
Welcome and thank you for posting the first POEM on the blog! It is beautiful.
Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. I am so sorry that you were hurt so badly, that you were devalued and unprotected in all these ways. I know that by sharing this with us here, you will give strength to others who read this blog; others who have not spoken about this kind of abuse out loud or to anyone else. We can recover, that is the whole message of this blog ~ we can emerge from broken and learn how to love ourselves and take care of ourselves and be the parents to ourselves that we never had. We deserve it. You deserve it.
Thank you so much Niclole for being here and for sharing your life, your strength and your hope. You are an amazing woman too.
Hugs, Darlene

17

I wonder sometimes if an image of proper parenting isn’t imprinted on our souls so that we have at least one vulnerable boundary. Giving up the image of the parenting we hoped for is excruciating, saying out loud to ourselves that we’re in the group that missed out is overwhelming.

18

Hi Richard,

It is so great to “see” you here. I keep reading your comment (which really strikes me deeply) and thinking about how sad it is, and at the same time thinking that the truth is always better then the lie although getting there is really hard. Even reading your comment made me want to say “hey! I didn’t MISS OUT! ~ but I did, I really did and it is my old way of thinking that wants to say that I didn’t ~ that it wasn’t that bad, that my parents loved me, but that there was something lacking in me that just couldn’t accpet that love.. and I was the one who caused the problem. Wow… I could write a whole blog post about how that comment triggered the old defences in me that I thought helped me to survive all those years. That I still want to believe that it didn’t happen to me. (but now I hear that voice and I set my thinking straight really quickly now!)

So yes Richard.. it is overwhelming to admit out loud to ourselves that we are in the group that missed out. Thank you so much for your comment.
Hugs, Darlene

19

Wow! to both Nicole and Richard!

20

Loyalties, lies, hurt beyond hurt, blame shifting. There was no and is no end of it in my dysfunctional family. And I thought it was only me! And I thought it was me who was dysfunctional, me who was the cause.

What is horrifically astonishing is how it was normal life. It was not considered abnormal by me or anyone in the family, that was just how life was. I knew it didn’t feel right and I knew I was being terrorised, but that is just how life was.

To be disloyal and break their code, some of it unspoken, some of it beaten and threatenedd into me is so hard because when it comes down to it, they are my parents by birth. That’s what makes it so hard to speak out and try and get justice. That’s what makes it hurt beyond hurt. There is no word for the hurt to be honest.

It was the day 8 years ago when I went to see them to give them one last chance that was their undoing. I was there for over an hour. The whole time I was there my mother did not look once in my direction, completely ignored me. All the time I spoke with my father, she scoffed on occasion, tried to throw the conversation off track but never once looked even in my direction. When I decided I had had enough of the charade, I watched her sit there, put a smile on her face, turn around and look at me and say ‘it’s been lovely to see you’.

The sense of shock, disgust, revulsion and rage I experienced as I witnessed that lives with me right to this moment. That was the beginning of the end. The moment I realised there could be no reconciliation or admittance of wrong on their part. It was the day I began to realise that it wasn’t about me, but it was them who were severely dysfunctional. It was the day I realised they were at fault and continue to be at fault and that there was nothing I could do to make them admit their fault. The day I realised I was not the cause.

It was also the beginning of me stopping being the dutiful daughter and confronting them with the truth of the dysfunctionality of the family. I was hit by denials and blame but it was the day I began to stand up to them instead of living in fear of them.

21

Fi,
The pain you express here is so deep and so personal, and when I read what you have written, I have several reactions. One of them is that feeling of “oh this is so awful, how could someone’s parents be so clueless?? This is so tragic”. when I feel that thought, I forget that this was my life too, so the second thought is that feeling of shared pain ~ oh my gosh, that is my story too. I totally understand where you are coming from, and yet I still don’t understand where THEY are coming from. The third thought is ~ isn’t it shocking how many of us have lived this story and yet at the same time it is nice to be understood, to have others affirm that we are not alone, and that we have hope in each other.

There is no end to the dysfunction in my family either. And then I married a man who had the same stuff in his screwed up family. And we both had to find our ways out from under them and figure out how to see our way clear in order to stop the cycle in our own family with our own kids.

Thank you for sharing your moment of clarity on that painful day 8 years ago. Thank you for being part of this blog.
I really appreciate your presence.

Hugs Darlene

22

Hi Darlene, it is shocking how many there are of us out there and how few of us find the courage and strength to find our voices, and even more shocking how even fewer ever get any kind of justice or closure.

It is wonderful to be heard, to be understood and affirmed in one’s own pain and in hope for healing and wholeness. For me it is through finding a voice and sharing stories that I’m finding the greatest strength. I’m so glad I found this blog through facebook. It’s great to be able to say it as it was and as it is and know it is understood, not minimised and appreciated.

I know my journey towards wholeness is going to be difficult and painful but I also know it cannot and will not be worse than that which I have survived.

The more I write the more I’m able to own my past and realise how crass it was. And the more I realise that though each survivor’s story differs in its details we share so much in common when it comes to feelings, reactions and coping strategies.

It is a privilege to be part of this little blog community.

Love to you
Fi

23

Fi,
You make a great point that I want to highlight; You said “I know my journey towards wholeness is going to be difficult and painful but I also know it cannot and will not be worse than that which I have survived.”
That is SO true and so many of us are so convinced that the pain of facing the past will be worse then the pain in the past.. that the truth will be fatal. But it isn’t! it is freeing… it was like a fresh breeze and bright sunshine flowing into me after years of darkness and murky dreary foggy feelings. It was truth and the truth was life.

So glad that you are here too! Hugs, Darlene

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Loyalty to the family system is what keeps us in the abusive cycle of being abused, of being controlled by others and their actions. For me, true healing started when I finally was able to see and let go of the fairy tale family that I had created in my head and kept telling myself, “One day, if I am good enough, smart enough, perfect enough, they will change and become the family that I need, the family that I want them to be.” Let know of the fairy tale. Sometimes hope isn’t such a good thing. Hope can keep you wanting to believe things that will never happen.

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Hi Patricia,
You are right, sometimes we hope for the impossible and it never feels better when it never happens. I think that when I changed what I was hoping for, things got better. I had to let go of a lot of fairy tale fantasys. Especially to do with my parents and my family. (maybe with people in general) I grieved in layers for my parents, especially for the mother that I finally relaized that I would never have. She will never love me ~ accept me for who I am. But that is her loss and it does not have to be mine anymore. But we can move forward in other ways, and we can celebrate who we are, our strengths and our accomplishments.
Thanks for you comments,
Love Darlene

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WOW, what a blast from the past. it was weird reading my own comments from 2 yrs ago, lol though not much has changed in how i see the world or how the world sees me.
yet that snt really true. i have grown so much since then. i have found the confidence to get a paper qualification to match some of my life experiences, i have sort off dealt with my guilt at not being able to be around my mother without her making me feel the ‘naughty child’, by not being around her. suits me at the moment as i still waiting on therapy for the area i have skirted all through my recovery because i looked at my past as you described. i was always looking over my own shoulder when i was healing, as if it wasnt me that it has happened to. my head has healed, now i have to find ways that will allow me to face that it was my body it happened to, when i often feel that it not really my body but someone elses. the seams of the disjointedness are so smooth due the years of wear on the that i cannot see them anymore, making self awareness useless. but hey ho i still plod on face the lil bits as they appear or are jolted out of me by outside factors, mmm
thank you for helping me darlene, you made a huge difference for me

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Hi Carol
GREAT to hear from you on this old post! I know what you mean about connecting ME to all of this; I had to do that too. The whole thing all worked together for me to become “one”.
I have been so proud to be a part of your journey Carol! I see huge huge changes in you over the last couple years.
Hugs! Darlene

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