Feb
20

Self Esteem, My Value and Learning to Love My Self

By

Self Esteem, Self Worth, Self Love
CELEBRATE ME

The process of learning to love myself is best understood backwards; there are so many layers and levels to it; so much confusion. There was so much deception; deception that I had come to believe was truth, and on top of that deception, there was this thick layer of fog kind of hiding things, making my memories murky. At the core of my belief system were mixed messages and among them a very confusing conflict; I was sexually abused at a young age and at the same time raised to believe that my only value was in my looks and appeal. My parents were very popular and seemed to be well liked, but with me, my mother was controlling, unloving and very sexual; my father was disinterested, un-relational and emotionally unavailable. These things made up my life and formed my identity and resulted in a dissociated mess. I had some serious sorting, revealing and re-organizing to do in order to heal.

 It was in finding out why I did not value myself that I realized the lies I believed from the past. It was in discovering the lies about my past that I was able to find the actual truth. The lies, once I really looked at them, were obviously lies that I had been raised, fed and nurtured on and then I had to set those lies right.

 But I had to do the work.

 I had to dig through all that information. I had to face the pain. And each blog post is filled with stories about why and how I came to the false conclusion that I came to and processes of how those discoveries helped me to dispel the lies. I can tell you how I did this, but I can’t do it for you.

 I already doubted my memories were accurate because I was told that I made up stories and was punished for it. My mother told me that I needed too much attention. My father told me that I talked to hear myself talk.

The truth is that I didn’t have enough attention. I made up stories to get someone to notice me. I was ignored when I told the truth and there were some big things that happened to me that I should have been protected from, but I wasn’t. Continued… Eventually I believed that I must have lied about everything and deserved the punishment. I did not feel loved or valued. It became almost natural for me to also accept that the abuse that I suffered was my fault too.

Being affirmed as a liar and invalidated by the only people that mattered in my life, has its own path of destruction. I kept trying harder to be “good enough” believing that if I were good enough then I would be loved. I also believed that if I were loved by someone else, then I would be able to love myself. This goes to show that I believed my worth came from someone else, and that I accepted the low value that was assigned to me by others ~ what choice does a child have other than to believe their parents?

It was in the process of untangling the wild mess buried deep inside of me, that eventually I realized who I was in the first place and discovered the original me. I realized that I was not at fault, that I didn’t cause the abuse, that I didn’t deserve it, that I had been lied to, tricked and manipulated and that I never grew emotionally because of it. I realized that this faulty and rotten foundation my life was built on was why I believe that I was valueless, useless, unlovable and was the cause of not only my dissociation, which had become my survival method, but also my constant depressions.

In my last blog post there were some comments asking me for more details about how I recovered my value and learned to love myself. I get asked these kinds of questions often and I believe that I try to infuse the answers to those questions into each post that I write and publish.

I was 3 years in this process before I knew that I would never believe those lies again, or let anyone make me feel “less than” again. Then I worked in a counselling firm with a gifted therapist for 3 years as the director of client relations and learned how to support people in this process. I also returned to school for 1.5 years and studied under a brilliant Psychiatrist. I got my life coaching certification, learned the difference between coaching and counselling, and then took specialty training with that same Psychiatrist, learning about the process of coaching people to live a New Life Story while continuing to do my own New Life Story work.

My own process of recovery from depressions, addictions, and dissociative identity, combined with my training with these two men, and my continued exploration of where and how the broken happens and how it happens goes into producing this blog, Emerging from Broken.  I encourage those of you who have not done so to take advantage of the information here.

 The more that I discovered who I really am and recognized the gifts that I have and the truth of how they were shut down by other people, the more interested in life that I got.  I wasn’t born broken and I began to see that at my core I was very sweet, smart, loving and gifted. I worked hard on getting down to the core of myself and I am no longer willing to be defined by someone else or by someone else’s value system. When I started to value and appreciate myself, life took on a new meaning and I discovered living with a purpose and excitement that I never thought possible.  BUT I had to do the work.

I have great success helping others to find the truths that I have found but each of us has had to do our own work to find our own belief systems in order to restore them back to truth.

 Susa shared the following metaphor on my previous blog post and it illustrates the process of changing our life long learned belief system in order to re-establish our own self worth and value.

 “We envision that we’re driving a tractor out in a field… The wheel has been rusted in place, so that the tractor keeps going around in the same circle, again and again, until the ruts are very deep.  We must not only try to break the rust loose, but then use every ounce of strength that we can muster to turn the wheel the other direction, so that it climbs out of the “dysfunction ruts”.  The longer the unhealthy boundaries have been in place, the more rust there is, and more strength is required to break the steering wheel loose before we can even attempt to strong-arm the wheel and turn it to climb out of the old, dysfunctional ruts.  So far, I’m starting to break some of the rust loose!”  Susa

 I encourage you to add your comments. Revealing the lies and pain, and speaking the truth has so much healing power.

 Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Self Esteem

63 Comments

1

Brilliant! You and Sousa both! God bless you and please keep up the good work. You ARE making a difference!

2

I just saw this and only want to comment on this one thought but for me it is huge, just huge! So much of what you say doesn’t apply to me at this point in my life so I don’t comment. But this truly does______
“Being affirmed as a liar and invalidated by the only people that mattered in my life, has its own path of destruction.”

I went through as a very young girl and woman the self worth thing but that was so long ago and not my main issue All humans go through that. For me it is being believed. To the point where I do not just tell people something I usually provide proof so they will believe me. For me it isn’t about self worth at this point but truth and I hate lies and being lied to or called a liar. So much of the past is way in the past to the point where I do not relate to who I used to be. However the problem of not being believed is my biggest issue. The very worst part is I am going through this very thing in court even with proof and documentation that cant be disputed being called a lair and it costing me money, reputation, time and friendships all because I refuse to lie and the truth is important to me. The truth is costly but it is the key to healing to life to everything!

3

I too was labeled a liar at a young age. My life has been full of fantastic and crazy things, and they seem outlandish when I speak of them, so I don’t often. I hate to be called a liar– you can call me any other name in the book at all, but don’t call me a liar.
I recently sent my father a letter asking him why he did and said certain things to me as a child/young adult. The answer I got was wishy-washy at best. He said that as he was approaching his 80th birthday, his memory wasn’t all that great, and he doesn’t remember any of what I mentioned. Of course that is BS, because he remembered enough to pull out a letter from my older stepsister that was written almost 40 years prior and send it to me. I think that it says alot when your children from a previous marriage have not had contact with you in 30+ years…no matter what they wrote in a letter as a young child.
Since I sent this letter to my dad, which he shared with my mother, they have never mentioned it to me at all. I have only seen them a few times. I don’t know if I should bring it up or not. I had spoken to my mother earlier, on the phone, and told her that her father had molested me as a child, from an early age on until I was 10 (when he died). She told my sister that she didn’t believe me. My sister doesn’t believe me either. I am really unsure of how to continue with these people. Or if I want to.

4

@ Pinky….
I hear you, I feel as if I am in the same place. At a very early age I was staying with my grandmother. I asked her if I could cross the busy street to visit my friend, she told me no. I did anyway. When I got home later she asked me if I crossed the street and I lied and told her no. She beat my butt severly with her shoe. When she asked me if I knew why I got a beating I told her because I crossed the street and she said “No, you got a beating because you lied to me”. That was back in the 50’s and the last time I ever lied to anyone. A good lesson that I remember to this day. However, people do not believe me….I too have to validate everything and it’s very time consuming and frusturating. And WHY don’t people believe me? I have been told by some that I am too honest to a fault…what’s wrong with being honest. I walked out of my job last week. One of my co-workers made up this story to the boss about something I had said,and she believed my co-worker. I could not convince her that I did not say this and yet I had no way to validate her word against mine. How can you work alongside with such a vindictive person and what was her motive? The statement “Being affirmed as a liar….holds such meaning to me. And yest, it has cost me time, money and now my job…I hear you!

5

@Susan the thing is I have done so much healing and changing and moving forward. I am not one to stay stuck in the past in general. However this issue is in court now with a bunch of wealthy abusers who successful slandered me calling me a whore in the news the international news and the judge has it under seal so I cant even defend myself and clear my name. It started in 2001 and just goes on all because I told the truth. But there is no way I will lie to make my life easier because then what would I be ,a liar!
I am sorry the truth cost your job! It is good that someone can relate! IT all goes to show how powerful the truth is!

6

Darlene,

Another “groundbreaking” post. (no pun intended, Susa)

Seriously, very helpful stuff. I like the idea of helping others take responsibility for their own mental health. It isn’t our fault we’re here, but it is our job to find the way back to sanity.

I am interested in Life Coach training. Would you be willing to share the name of the institution(s) you used. I looked up a few online, but I’d like a little feedback before proceeding. I am in the US, so that is a factor for me.

Thanks,
Kellie

8

Susa > Kellie

That was supposed to be a smiley face!

9

In a frustrating situation now. Close to finishing a degree in social work and trying to help siblings take care of my 81 yr old mother. (they live in the same town) Three weeks after Christmas break (I was there 4 weeks and town is 2 hrs from me)she created emergency by not taking her diabetes meds. I mentioned that they should check her every day (doesn’t live with them) I am there for three days and cooking,cleaning, making sure she takes meds. She tells me they are not coming over every day, maybe once or twice a week by my sister and once every other week by my brother. Why do I feel responsible? Yet I will be there this summer and trying to break away with my own life. I came back and talked with my aunt and realizing again how I’m being manipulated. A lot of things happened in the past and I realize she won’t change, but basically all of them are trying to get me to come back and take care of her full-time permanently. Very few jobs in that town. EVerytime i try to do the right thing I feel taken advantage of. I’ve found out so many things about the past from my aunt and the many lies she told about my dad and drove so many people away that could have been there for me.

10

Hi Gabrielle! Thank you!
Hugs! Darlene

Hi Pinky
I am glad that line had some impact. I had huge issues with not being believed and never realized the effect that they had on my life. I am sorry that you are going through such a tough time with the court stuff. And yes, the truth is KEY!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Edalji
Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
I feel the same way about being called a liar. It is the most devaluing thing to be accused of lying. For me I think it bothered me so much because the things that I told about were SO drastic ~ to not be believed was devastated and instilled a panic in me as a chid. There was no chance of protection if I were not believed. Today, knowing that my family of origin does not believe me is not a big deal anymore because I believe me. They can call me whatever they want, and I know it is not true. I had to do a lot of work on the original trauma however, before I found this freedom.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan
Glad you are here, ~ one of the things that I realized is that if people don’t believe me, that is their problem, not mine. That was one of the wonderful benefits of recovery ~ that I really don’t care anymore. I realized that some people find a weak spot in another (ie: that you can’t stand to be called a liar) and they poke at it, just to cause pain. Others just don’t trust anyone… but that is not my problem either.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

11

Susa > Bonnie

I felt compelled to comment on your post because it mirrors something that I am currently, and have always experienced with family. Where that invisible boundary line is – this is what I have been trying to determine, and have been able to get so much help right here on this blog. I realize that the answers dwell deep inside of each of us, but they can be so difficult to unearth! Just digging through all of the dysfunctional, useless and WRONG muck that we were told by the family of origin, is exhausting in itself… but, after digging down so far, we finally get to our own individual truths…

From the outside, it appears that your aunt is right on target… but then I totally empathize with how you’re feeling on the inside. If your situation is similar to mine, you most probably have always been “the caretaker”, doing way more than your share, which over time becomes almost habit (and other family members learn to depend on that). It seems that they seem to throw the “fairness factor” out the window, and sharing equal responsibility for another family member’s care is distorted as a result. It is a horrible dilemma, but sometimes beginning to create healthy new boundaries is extremely painful at first, but worth it in the end.

I am still quite wobbly on my feet (boundary-wise), and taking baby steps, but I hope to be jogging soon!

12

Susa,

It’s cute! I smiled when I saw your response. 🙂

Blessings!
Kellie

13

Susa > Bonnie

Oh, maybe I misunderstood – I read your post as meaning that your aunt pointed out the manipulation by your siblings. Sorry if I got that wrong!

14

Hi Kellie
Yes, this is one of the big stick points. I was so ticked that I had to do all this work when I didn’t do the damage! dang!
I took my coach training from Coach Training Alliance. All the training was done on a bridgeline, (over the phone with the whole class). I was very happy with the training I received there.
Hope this helps.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Bonnie
It sounds like you are gaining a lot of insight about this situation. I found that the more I realized the stuff that you just wrote, the more I was able to draw my boundaries. I had to come to the realizations first though; it was the natural process. I can totally relate to your statement that every time you try to do the right thing you feel taken advantage of. Abusers and controllers have a way of keeping others off balance. It is how they get good at keeping control.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Susa
I like how you added that you are still wobbly on your feet boundary wise ~ that is such a good way to put it. That “stage” is necessary because we are learning to do something new. As you say, the answers really are in there. We can figure out the broken by going back there. When I righted all those lies that i had been fed, my whole life changed. I feel so ME now. =) (not that I knew what that was before) I feel so strong. That whole caretaker thing is over rated when there is no equal value. I am glad that I am done with it!
Hugs, Darlene

15

@ Susa

Thanks so much. Yeah they have been trying for 6 yrs to get me back. I came back from the military and immediately went to live with my aunt to attend school 2 hrs away in DFW area. I knew I had to. I took care of my mother for a few months before school started and was beseiged with, “When are you getting a job?” My reply, “I’m attending school in 3 months.” Over and over “When are you goign to get a job?” My same reply. I finally came back for a while and took some time off from school to work. Immediately my brother wanted to know if I wanted to start mowing the grass and that was a deal he had made with mom when she let him have her car! He got out of the buying groceries weekly cause I was there. I took over setting up my mother’s meds. Sister wanted to know if I wanted to help mom writing checks to pay bills too! Actually most are paid automatic, but I’ve refused the bill paying assistance cause that would really tie me there. Yeah, they were ready to dump EVERYTHING on me when I was constantly cleaning up & cooking for her. If she makes a mess in her bed I clean that up too. And when it comes to holidays, I’m the one that sets everything up. I drive 2 hours and setup everything including the shopping & cooking Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. I setup the tree, etc. And for a while my sister thought I was a free babysitter & carpool service at a moment’s notice. Entertaining her inlaws is another duty that’s been tried to be assigned. It took quite a lot of effort to get out of the constant demands to spend time with her inlaws for hours on end. Esp. when they tried to insist we all attend their church and go to Sunday dinner, etc., etc. The inlaws thing has been going on for 20 yrs. But, my mother prefers not to spend time with them now that the mil told my mom off in her own house. LOl. But before that happened I changed denominations! LOL.

My aunt and uncle were told that they were prejudice becauset he inlaws are hispanic. My aunt said my uncle couldn’t figure it out cause he never said anything about them or to them about anything. He was very distant growing up cause my mother accused my dad of trying to molest my sister while changing her diaper. He thought she’d accuse him of something like that. She moved us all over Texas to small isolated towns so my dad would have to travel long distances to visit us. And, told a lawyer that she was protecting us from my dad. Accused my dad of not paying child support and my dad showed my uncle the receipts. They liked my dad, but were told all kind of things to try to make them hate him. I’ve dealt with most of my issues by rebelling and running away. I’ve come to the conclusion that my mother & sister are narcissists. I have to be careful on FB cause my sister twists all sorts of things around. I’ve blocked her a couple of times. LOL. My brother just doesn’t want to be bothered. If my mother wasn’t there I would feel no responsibility to be there at all. They each have their own families. If I was seeing a guy, I wouldn’t want him to deal with all of this either. I don’t know if I could find a guy that would be that understanding. My mother can afford more home care but refuses to pay the money. She likes to get things for free. I’ve told her numerous times that she should donate the requested amount to meals on wheels cause tax payers like me are paying for it and they may come and take her and her wheelchair to jail someday!

I’ve been told all my life that I’m abandoning everyone. I was abandoning them by being in the military. I’m abandoning them by living 2 hours away. I have always come home on holidays. But, somehow I’m awful don’t care about anyone.

Good luck with your journey too. Glad to know someone understands.

16

Susa > Bonnie

It appears that our familial histories are VERY similar! Even down to the DFW area. The word “No” seems to be such a difficult word to learn… especially when it comes to family and friends.

Hang in there,
Susa

17

@ Darlene,

It was easier when i was in the military, but I hadn’t dealt with issues. I think often you have to come back to deal with issues. I never knew why my aunt & uncle seemed so cold & distant while I was growing up. I thought they didn’t like me and I had no idea why. My dad was there for holidays, but he was also an alcoholic. He had a 5th grade education and lived on a farm. Could he possibly have dealt with things better? I don’t know. I really didn’t notice during childhood that my sister got all the attention, mom attended all her sporting events. I never questioned it. When my sister was unhappy she was allowed to live with my gradmother when she didn’t like a school. I had major issues later in school and requested to change schools. I was skipping classes. I was just told no. No further discussion. I staying in my room for an entire year and thought about running away. I literally didn’t speak to her for an entire year and she didn’t budge. Incredible, huh? But now she’s extremely jealous that I’m at my aunt’s. My uncle died several years ago. My aunt wants nothing to do with my mother because she said she never treated my uncle well. When he died my mother told my aunt, “maybe its for the best.” She said many times that he wasn’t a brother to her cause he lived in DFW area. The “inlaws” invaded my grandmother’s dinners and the father followed my uncle around bothering him. They showed up unannounced when my uncle would try to visit my mom and take over and tried to invite themselves over my uncles house in DFW. He said “no” and they got mad. I’ve been learning a lot since I’ve been in the social work program and I learn a lot from your blog too. I know there are some areas I really need to develop in myself.

18

@ Susa –

I say no often, but they don’t understand the word. LOL.

19

Bonnie, as the oldest daughter in my family, I was taught how to take care of the family at an early age. I finally told my dad’s family about the incest when they started pressuring me to take care of my dad. At that time, it was 10 years since I had had any contact with him but suddenly he was supposed to be my responsibility. I was well enough emotionally and had learned to set some healthy boundaries in my life. I sat down and wrote a Dear Family Members letter
( http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/10/dear-family-member-notification-about.html )
( http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/10/revisiting-dear-family-member-letter.html )and mailed it to each of my dad’s brothers and sisters—all 10 of them, some of which lived a lot closer to him than I did. Since getting married in 1972, I have always kept some distance between me and my dad. A few of them got back to me with their reactions to the letter and the incest. Most of them ignored the letter as if I had never written and mailed it to them.

I have always been the responsible child/daughter in our family—not in that instance. I could not do it and endanger my peace of mind and my recovery efforts or the safety of my children. I have made the choice to not be manipulated by any of my family ever again. I could not be true to me and do what they wanted me to do.

20

Hi Bonnie,
I had to stop wondering if my parents knew better or not, because that was one of the traps that kept me so stuck in letting them KEEP doing it to me. In trying to only look at myself, and what had happened to me; how I had been controlled and things like that, I was able to realize that I had a choice too. I was able to realize that I did not have to keep doing everything that they wanted because I wasn’t a kid anymore. I was able to realize that the things they said about me, and the things that they accused me of were simply just NOT true in the first place and that they said them for reasons of control. This is a big process Bonnie,
good to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia,
Thank you for sharing your links to the family letters and for stating that you were able to make the choice not to be manipulated by any of your family again.
Hugs!

We do have that choice, we all have that choice, but when I was in all the confusion, I didn’t know it. This blog is about finding the way out of all that confusion. It is about realizing that we CAN have our lives back, that we can stand up to abuse, mistreatment, control etc. That we do have value, equal value, rights, and individuality and that how we have been regarded, is wrong.

Hugs!
Darlene

21

I wasn’t a liar as much as a mistake and quilty person. All I can say.

22

Hi Dee,
That is terrible that you were made to feel like a mistake and a guilty person. This happens to so many of us, and it was in finding my way out of the mold that I had been forced into that I recovered. They were wrong. They ARE wrong.
I am glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

23

Hello, I am new to this blog and the little I’ve read has already meant a great deal to me. I’m in the midst of this very subject-the liar AND the flawed shameful genetic mistake they told me I was/have been my entire life- as well as in the midst of more betrayals coming from those I could never have imagined, seemingly purposeful misunderstandings/interpretations of my behavior, and such deep depression I can barely see straight. This all happening now, after years of work coming to terms with the incest inflicted upon me by my sociopathic father and neglect/denial/invisibility from a severely narcissist/BPD mother and family who delight in my ‘badness’ and ‘lies’. I look forward to reading and learning more here and am grateful for this light and energy devoted to TRUTH and wholeness and reclamation of all of us who have been purposely maligned and denigrated.

That being said something came to mind as I read the post and responses. I hope I don’t offend by bringing up a religious theme. But what came to mind is that Christ as God came to us here and was maligned, persecuted, betrayed, humiliated, punished and projected upon, in all his innocence. It struck me that even God couldn’t–or perhaps wouldn’t in his solidarity with us as innocent victims, be ‘free’ or understood here on earth among the majority who needed him to serve as the guilty scapegoat to somehow vindicate or rationalize their need to marginalize or victimize one they perceived as ‘weaker’ or less than-or perhaps so potentially powerful he needed to be stopped as his truth was threatening to the status quo. Much like the incested child whose words and truth threatens to rock the authoritarian structure in the family and bring those who are wickedly guilty into truth and accountability.

It just struck me that God Itself could not escape this insane and evil system here. That it took the Resurrection to reveal another reality and power structure. That is what we may be up against in our healing. Just some thoughts.

Now how to learn to live a resurrected life…………..

Thank you for holding this healing space-I know I am of late, floundering, and exhausted from what appears to be never ending continued healing and all that entails if one still in contact w/foo. ie: more abuse and disbelief, being challenged, disbelieved, denied, etc… and attempting to live from the place of the innocent baby/child I once was.

24

@ Patricia,

I know my situation was/is not near what many people have been through. I joke about it a lot, but the fact is that my mother just wasn’t there for me. All of us kids learned to cook for ourselves at an early age hamburger helper, cereal, mac & cheese or pb&j sandwiches basicly. Our baby sitter was the TV. My mother always stayed late at her job as an elementary teacher, but seemed to get fired often anyway. That’s another explanation of why we kept moving. I might be struggling with some schoolwork, but the thought of asking her for help never crossed my mind. It never crossed my mind that she as responsible for anything. Funny, huh? At the same time, if I got bad grades it was just my fault. I remember really trying to make all A’s and I made all and one B. She asked why I made the B. I was very upset about that and now I think it is just ridiculous. I went into people’s locker’s after school to get answers to homework cause I was desperate to be able to pass geometry. Again, ridiculous.

My uncle did come on to me when I was 22 before/during my brother’s wedding. What timing, huh? He was rubbing my shoulders and then staring at me a lot during the reception. I grew up with almost no contact with him and he never touched, hugged or anything. So, I was writing a letter to a friend about it and then just threw the letter in the trash. My mother went through the trash and found the letter. She demanded to know what he did and said that I was a liar. I was crazy because I made that up. I refused to tell her anything. That was right before I left for the Army, again, what timing? So, the crazy label stuck. Whenever I got angry about anything the crazy label came out. If I disagree about anything, I’m told I’m being bad. Recently I told her, “You don’t get to tell me what I am.” But, the holiday stuff and when I’m sometimes there is mostly for my neices to not see the disfunction so much. To end the cycle. They are all teenagers now and all this other stuff is ancient history. They have dedicated parents. But, just in case there comes a time that they have a problem, I can be the aunt in another city if they need a place to go.

Even though I didn’t go through a lot of the stuff I’m hearing, many things sound familiar. I’ve had a great deal of trouble figuring out what real relationships are all about cause it wasn’t modeled to me. There are also times that I haven’t been a good friend becuase I was stressed out and confused about various things. Just a couple of yrs ago they were able to push my buttons a lot. Now I recognize everything they do and mostly I watch their behavior to confirm my hypothesis of the narcisist disorder, like disagreeing or contradicting to see a reaction. I purposely enjoy saying no just becuase I want to say no. Do you want to do this? No thanks. Why not? I don’t want to. I go kind of overkill with nos though. Mainly anytime an invitation comes to spend time with the “inlaws”. Just no thanks. I also setup the holidays at moms cause if I don’t then it ends up being over my sister’s or with her inlaws. Its a way to get out of being with them and they aren’t invited although my sister’s husband always makes comments like – We’re doing this and want to make sure that we DID invite you. Then I say, “no thanks.” LOL.

25

@ Darlene,
I still have a lot of questions about my dad. It seemed like it was a vulnerable time for him when he married my mother. He grew up on a farm with 13 siblings. His dad died when he was 12. He was the last one, unmarried and taking care of his aging mother when he met my mom. She was goign to bars, desperate to meet someone to marry and he was there drinking cause he was an alcoholic. She claimed to not know he was an alcoholic. Anyway, his mother died and then he decided to marry my mom. Well, right off he realized his mistake and my mom was nothing like his mom or the women he knew. He told everyone he made the biggest mistake of his life. But, how long had he been drinking and how did that affect his development as a person? It was a small Catholic farming community. They both wanted children and I guess decided to make the best of it. She left him when I was 4. Basicly separated for life until he decided to stop drinking. He didn’t and found another woman.

26

Hi Pallie
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Yours is a very deep and insightful comment. I have given much though to this parallel myself and I agree that there is a HUGE fear (to the abusers/controllers) when a victim begins to come out of the fog and starts to speak (or even to realize) the truth. I believe that the problem in these dysfunctional families (and organizations, businesses, etc.) is the misuse of power and control and the unwillingness to acknowledge that everyone has equal value. I think that relationally dysfunctional people often have a belief that everyone is a threat to them and they survive by keeping everyone around them in some sort of spin, constantly trying, constantly falling short, spinning around unable to see or think clearly in order to find some solid footing. One of the things that I did in order to get my footing back and escape that lifelong spin, was to eventually stop thinking about them and their sick motives, and start really looking at the truth of what happened to me, and that everything they defined me as was a lie meant to serve them and assist them in their obsession with control. This of course wasn’t a quick process.. but it really worked!
I look forward to hearing more from you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Bonnie,
I try not to put levels on abuse. If your mother wasn’t there for you, that is neglect which is abuse and has life long effects. Being called a liar is extremely devaluing and causes a strange sort of self doubt, which so often is the goal of the accuser. It is hard to come out of the fog on this stuff, because the “training” started so young. The training not to ever look at anyone else’s responsibility. I wanted to reassure you that the things you are reading sound familiar because all abuse is abuse and it is all related. It is all just as hard to overcome. I am glad you are here, and thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

27

I am so glad for your web site. I have fought against being called a liar, trouble maker, horrible names because I no longer wanted to hide in the closet about my abuse. Still to this day I have family members that say “oh she wants attention” well you know what YES I do! I want them to know the longer it is kept hidden the longer the abuse has control of my life, NO longer! I want to thank you, you and a friend that has her blog have helped me so much. I am writing and I don’t care if my family reads it or not. It makes me feel healthier. Thank you,
Renee

28

@Pallie, you saidBut what came to mind is that Christ as God came to us here and was maligned, persecuted, betrayed, humiliated, punished and projected upon, in all his innocence. It struck me that even God couldn’t–or perhaps wouldn’t in his solidarity with us as innocent victims, be ‘free’ or understood here on earth among the majority who needed him to serve as the guilty scapegoat to somehow vindicate or rationalize their need to marginalize or victimize one they perceived as ‘weaker’ or less than-or perhaps so potentially powerful he needed to be stopped as his truth was threatening to the status quo. Much like the incested child whose words and truth threatens to rock the authoritarian structure in the family and bring those who are wickedly guilty into truth and accountability.

It just struck me that God Itself could not escape this insane and evil system here. That it took the Resurrection to reveal another reality and power structure. That is what we may be up against in our healing. Just some thoughts.
That is really powerful! I have done so much healing and have grown so much as not to be the same person any more! I think as a born again Christian I just thought (many years ago) that the truth would prevail that the truth would come out that abusers woudl be caught and held accountable. I am 47 years old now and know not only is that not true that many abusers become more powerful and rich and find lawyers and other professionals to protect them from consequences and it is not only our families who get into the denial and attacks but also their attorneys and churches, and society in general. It has come to the point for me that hundreds of people literally are involved in covering the truth involved in allowing abuse to continue in the next generation.It has come to the point where I had to seek the scriptures in the New Testament to realize justice only comes in eternity not in this life. We are in the age of grace God rains on the just and unjust.
This fight we have for the truth for many of us will last until we die and go into eternity. But as you said Jesus himself faced this same opposition and who are we to expect a better earthly experience. Living he resserected life can only come by his power when you are up against such maniacal opposition and even when you are not. For me the truth is everything and I have seen the consequences of choosing lies. For me if it means I lost everything and I have lost everything for the price of telling the truth I still chose truth! Thanks for yoru comments they are very powerful.

29

@Pallie I just want to ask permission to use your thought in writing a blog about justice, injustice and truth. Is that okay? I dont get paid for it I just pontificate on themes from time to time. LOL! I will give you great if you want.

30

Hi Renee
I am so glad that you are here! Good for you! YES I wanted attention too, I wanted to be valued, I wanted to be validated! We all do! And we all deserve to be heard. What happened was wrong. What happened was so very damaging and part of getting that damage to the point that you speak of ~ where it is no long controlling our lives ~ is in talking about it! We are not the ones that did something that we need to hide!
Thanks for sharing! Love your energy!
Hugs, Darlene

31

Pinky and I picked out the same sentence! I find that amazing!@

“Being affirmed as a liar and invalidated by the only people that mattered in my life, has its own path of destruction.”

I would make one change to this sentence and then it makes more sense to my life.

“Being affirmed as a liar and invalidated by the only people that mattered in my life, IS a path of destruction.” It actually IS destruction. And it can be more or less sublte, but no less harmful.

32

I’m wondering if NPD is genetic. A couple of yrs ago I had to have mohl’s surgery to take out skin cancer in my face & plastic surgery to repair it. I had it done in DFW area and stayed at my aunts a couple of days to recuperate. I told the family of origin about it and the questions I kept getting from my sister was, “why did you get the surgery?” I sent her a link to what the surgery was and again told her it was for skin cancer and again I got the same, “Why did you get the surgery?” This to me was a very bizaar response. But, whenever she gets sick she goes all out for sympathy. I was just letting them know. There’s been more & more of these types of incidents popping up with her. But I know, its not about her or them, its about me healing and being around people who care for me.

33

Pallie,
“Thank you for holding this healing space-I know I am of late, floundering, and exhausted from what appears to be never ending continued healing and all that entails if one still in contact w/foo. ie: more abuse and disbelief, being challenged, disbelieved, denied, etc… and attempting to live from the place of the innocent baby/child I once was.”
AMEN!!!

34

Darlene,
You wrote:
I try not to put levels on abuse. If your mother wasn’t there for you, that is neglect which is abuse and has life long effects. Being called a liar is extremely devaluing and causes a strange sort of self doubt, which so often is the goal of the accuser. It is hard to come out of the fog on this stuff, because the “training” started so young. The training not to ever look at anyone else’s responsibility. I wanted to reassure you that the things you are reading sound familiar because all abuse is abuse and it is all related. It is all just as hard to overcome.”

Amazing comments!
Being called a liar leads to the fog of self-doubt, a habit of self-doubt which prevents you from ever realizing another person’s responsibility! My paraphrase! Excellent!

35

Pinky,
Yes! the last will be first!!

36

Darlene,

It does appear unusual that we all come from slightly different dysfunctional beginnings in life, but we seem to arrive at similar places regarding feelings of self worthlessness. I suppose dysfunctional parenting produces much the same effects in children, no matter how the dysfunctional roles are exhibited.

With us, the parental roles seem to be reversed from yours in that dad made it clear that his daughter was his favorite, and mother made it clear that her son was her favorite. This was even verbally stated. Mother was deaf, and that was clearly traumatizing in itself for a young child… A child learns instinctively not to cry when she falls and gets hurt even at an early age when she has a deaf mother who won’t hear her anyway. This child never spoke much at all… Relatives always asked (in our presence) what was wrong with Susan mentally? Dad said that she’s just shy and withdrawn. Now that I revisit these memories, this child’s behavior seems to be almost Autistic. These relatives knew that dad and mother were forcing their young daughter to share a bedroom with their teenaged son… and they did nothing…

We had the open door policy in our house… We were not allowed to close any doors at all… even the bathroom door – no matter what we were doing in there. That may explain my fear of public restrooms… The only door that was ever closed, was when dad closed the bedroom door at night where his son and young daughter slept.

Dad was one of the pillars of his church as he was the choir director. They had no idea what was going on at home in this dysfunctional bubble of private child abuse… We learned not to invite our neighborhood friend into the house, because when dad was home, he only wore a t-shirt and slippers… nothing else. At least we knew instinctively that it would not be appropriate for the neighborhood friend to be around dad who was essentially nude from the waist down. I suppose this was part exhibitionism, and part control over his “domain”, and who entered it.

Even though the parental relationship was so co-dependent, probably because of mother’s deafness, there was rabid triangulation going on. I don’t know if others here have experienced triangulation with their families of origin… just another form of abuse. The mother goes to the child and complains that dad has hit her again in her breast (mother finally got breast cancer… we suspect some connection there), and the daughter confronts dad for hitting mother. The dad becomes enraged – gets his wide leather belt out, and the mother helps to hold the daughter while he holds the child’s other arm and straps her until she bleeds. The mother does this because she is using manipulation to make the dad like her sexually again – no matter what the consequences for her daughter are. She temporarily succeeds in her quest to turn the dad against the daughter. Parental triangulation is insidious.

We visit the past not to cause more trauma, but to get answers to current struggles… and we’re solving them little by little.

I AM emerging… one small step at a time!

37

Hi Sheryl!
Yes I agree ~ being affirmed as a liar and invalidated by the only people that mattered in my life IS destruction.
Love your paraphrase also: “Being called a liar leads to the fog of self-doubt, a habit of self-doubt which prevents you from ever realizing another person’s responsibility! My paraphrase! Excellent!” Really true!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Bonnie
It really is about your healing, I am glad that you know that. So glad that you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

38

Susa,
This is excellent work, thank you so much for sharing it with me and the other readers! Many have shared about triangulation and yes it is so insidious. It is also related to the tactic “divide and conquer” and in a sick family system, survival of the fittest. Always making sure that the “primary abuser” is not ruffled or upset. The things that you are writing here are the types of things that helped me to get to the bottom of this whole mess, and do the work it took to get my mind straightened out.
You reminded me of something ~ my relatives also asked “what is wrong with Darlene” right in front of me. I was called sullen, moody, and I was withdrawn. This was a big thing for me to come out of as it has been one of the ways that I had been defined and not so much about the withdrawn, (which was true) but about the “what is wrong with her? and the “something is wrong with her” which I believed all my life.
My next post (I am publishing today) is about taking a close look at one process that helped me to see how my belief system formed. I think you are going to like it!
Hugs, Darlene

39

Darlene, I do hope you can some how hook up with publishers to get your story out. To have a publisher pick up a book you dont have to write the book. You write a book out line which would probably take you 20 minutes to a half an hour. Then you submit it to publishers.If they pick it up you get a ghost writer so you do not have to have a fully written book to get published. You can even just submit your blog and say you want to get it published, just copy and paste. You have a lot to say that can bring freedom to peoples lives.

40

Ah Pinky you always make me smile…
Thank you so much for your encouragement… there is a book in the works. I am not saying much yet, but there is one!
I will keep you posted!
Hugs, Darlene

41

Great to hear Darlene! I really believe what you talk about is ground breaking and I share many of the same beliefs but they are more intuitive nothing to really back them up other than experience your book would help so many like me who believe this but have no support in their beliefs. I have a list of people I want to give the book to so keep me informed! 🙂
I just wanted to add that I no longer have self doubt but I feel like I have to provide documentation for every little thing both because of my past and the night mare I am experiencing in court. Listen these truths are powerful other wise extraordinarily wealthy people would not be trying to shut me down! Since I have been silenced by the Supreme court of New York and you haven’t I just feel your voice is valuable more so than even you do because I see the power of truth every day in a way that nobody else possibly can right now! You know how they say knowledge is power no, I disagree truth is power!

42

@Susa –
Some of this is really really hard to read. I recognize the triangulation though. My mother will complain about my sister and then I get into it with my sister and then later my sister gets upset and calls mom about me. Then mom gets onto me about getting into it with my sister. I guess you’d say my mother has been neglectful, but my sister is abusive. I don’t understand this abusiveness towards my mother when she was the favorite.

43

Hi Everyone ~
Just wanted to say that the comments that have been shared this post and several other recent posts inspired me to write an article about exactly HOW my belief system got so mixed up and full of lies by highlighting one trauma event. Not the details of the trauma itself, but the details of the outcome and my own thoughts that got skewed and how I processed it until I believed without know it, that I blamed myself. You can read it here: How one Trauma led to Several False Beliefs

44

OH wow… there’s so many things here that I relate to, I want to respond to all of it, but only have the energy to address a couple of things at this time.

1. Pallie, I love what you said, especially in your first comment. You make so much sense to me. As a Christian, I look at it this way: We live in a fallen world, surrounded by fallen people…. we aren’t in heaven yet!

2. Being called a liar has always hurt me SO BADLY. NEEDING to be believed, and feeling traumatized, all over again, when I wasn’t believed. Being so careful to always tell the truth, the whole truth, and to have “proof” whenever possible, because that label my mother gave me at a very young age, “Lynda the Liar,” hurt so bad and…. it isn’t TRUE! But now, I accept the fact that I know what is true, and God knows what is true, and that’s good enough for me.

A few years ago I came up with this motto: Fear No Truth.

Lynda

45

@Lynda, I was at that place but now at age 47 and I will be 48 next month I am in an unethical court case to silence the truth and even with documented truth I am being called a liar and the truth is indisputable but when judges are bribed there is nothing hat can be done. So I am at this place again and I am having to provide documentation for the case and when I do it is thrown out of court and I am called a liar. It has caused me to lose my career, my husbands retirement had to be cashed out to pay court fees, my reputation in the international news and my ability to even make a living all because I did the right thing and told the truth. I have literally lost everything except my husband and it is not even a possibility for me to get out of this. Denial is strong and these abusers especially the wealthy ones have an army of enablers and it goes to show how strong the truth is.

46

wow, what a discussion.
darlene your comment, no38, resonated with me. my mother alwys said she did everything she could to keep my fathers temper directed away from us kids, then blamed us children for what she suffered. has taken me till just before finding your site and blog, to break away from her toxicity. not that everyone believes me, she has her supporters who see me as the evil child for putting her through so much, but hand on heart i can say that the only thing i did to hurt her was to be born anything else she has to take responsibility for until i started saying NO that wasnt how i saw it or how it felt to me. then starts the manipulation and attempts to make me and my house fell unworhty. guess what mother you are wrong about that as well cos i do have worth and just because you do not wish to acknowledge your part in my past doesnt make me a bad person. only took 40 yrs to realise now i have to unpick it, mmm. it will be faster with you in my life thanks darlene

47

Hi Carol,
Thank you for your comments. They are very deep. I made a very similar statement regarding my own mother. I will share it with you:
“Just becasue you (my mother) won’t aknowledge that I have worth and that I am lovable and valuable, does not mean that I don’t and it does not mean that you are right. You are wrong Mother.”
Thanks to you too Carol!
Hugs, Darlene

48

28 years ago… the year I turned 30… my mother sent me a 50-page hate letter. She has small, neat handwriting and she had handwritten her letter on big legal-sized paper. 50 handwritten pages, of nothing but HATE. She said in her letter that it had taken her more than 2 weeks to write it.

At that time, my mother and I were getting along really good. My then-active-duty military husband and I had moved about 1,500 miles away from where my mother lived, but I stayed in frequent touch with her through phone calls, and pleasant letters. I was the only one who ever called her, by the way, she never saw fit to spend money on long distance calls to me. But I made the effort, because I still so strongly needed my mother to love me and like me. I tried to forget all the hell she had put me through growing up, and just focused on the present.

What provoked her 50 page hate letter was this: I called her up all excited because I had just received a letter from a major publishing house that they were interested in publishing my book. I had dreamed of being a writer since I was 8 years old, and my 3rd grade teacher had praised my writing, and told my parents that she could tell from the talent I had already at the age of 8 that I was very bright, and should go to college so as not to waste the intelligence and promising talent that I had.

My mother had told me later that it was ridiculous to think of me ever going to college, because one day I would have a husband to take care of me, but my brothers would go to college, if any of us would, since they would be their family’s breadwinners some day. My mother also put down my dream of being a writer, telling me that I could never make it as a writer, that is was a fantasy and totally impractical as a career goal.

But I clung to my dream, and even as I was raising 3 young children, I was writing while they were in school. Then I send an outline and synopsis and part of my book to several publishing houses, got mainly form rejection letters back, a couple of really nice personal but encouraging rejection letters, and THEN…. the one letter from Zondervon Publishing house asking to see the rest of my novel!!!! I was on cloud nine hundred ninety-nine!

So I called my mother, all bubbling over with joy and excitement, and read Zondervon’s letter to her. I was not only thrilled by the possibility of fulfilling a lifelong dream, I was so sure this would make my mother really PROUD of me at long last.

I was so exicted, I didn’t notice that she said very little, and had to get off the phone almost right away. She was shocked, in a happy way, that was what I told myself.

Then, about 3 weeks later, came her 50 page hate letter. She started it off by saying along the lines of, “I would love to have the opportunity to write a book and tell the whole world about what a horrible person you are, but since I don’t have a book deal in the works, I will have to tell you in a letter.”

Then she proceeded to write down in detail every little thing I had ever done wrong in my entire life, going all the way back to when I was just a toddler, continuing all the way up to the present, telling me off for things both real andr imagined, for things taken out of context, blown out of all proportion, and in many cases, completely and falsely mis-remembered.

In that entire 50 legal-sized pages of her tight tiny handwriting, the one and only thing she said that was a TOTAL negative slam, was when she wrote: “I know your father does love you.” But then she followed that sweet sentiment up with this statement: “However, he just doesn’t LIKE you.” The very thing she always told me all my life, “I love you, of course, because you are my daughter, but I don’t like you.”

The things that my mother wrote in that 50-page hate letter were all so nit-picky and stupid. Honest to God, the very worst thing she had to say against me, in all her putdowns, that made me feel bad about myself, was that when I had first gotten out of the mental institution at the age of 16, after having been locked up there since the age of 14, just before my mother threw me out of the house, she saw me out in the yard skipping rope, using one of my little siblings jump ropes that had been left lying on the lawn. “And your big breasts were bouncing up and down for everyone in the neighborhood to see, and your stepfather was inside the house, looking out the window and watching you.”

I felt so embarrassed when I read that!!! I was very excessively modest as a girl and teenager, and the thought of my breasts bouncing up and down like that… and of my stepfather, or anyone else, seeing that, was horrifying to me. What was I thinking? I don’t remember… but I do remember that I was still very heavily medicated with the Thorazine the mental hospital had sent home with me, and truly it affects your judgment and awareness in a weird way.

SO finally I knew why she told me to either “run away from home,” or she would take me back to the institution, shortly after I was released. “No house is big enough for two women,” she had told me then. “You are 16, and I was 16 when I got married, so you are old enough to be out on your own. Don’t worry, I won’t call the police and report you as a runaway,” she promised, with a big smile on her face, like she was offering me a wonderful prize. This was December, 1969, in a very tiny farming town in the middle of nowhere, with snow on the ground. I had not one penny to my name. I had no friends to turn to, having just spent 2 years in an insane asylum, and my family had moved far away from where we used to live while I was locked up. Where was I to go? What was I to do to survive in the cold winter, on my own? She didn’t offer any suggestions, didn’t offer any money, hey, I was 16, old enough to be on my own. My high school educatation had been interrupted at age 14 in the early part of 7th grade, due to me being institutionalized, so how was I to get a job… even if there were any jobs to be had in that tiny town?

Of course, when she told me to run away, my stepfather was a work, my siblings all in school, so there were no witnesses. I was being as meek and quiet and good and helpful and unobtrusive as I could possibly be, out of my fear of being sent back to the Snake Pit. So there was no fight, no argument, no disagreement, nothing I did to provoke it that I knew of…. until years later when I read her complaint about my stepfather watching me jump rope.

So I went upstairs to the room I shared with my sisters, put my clothes in a pillowcase, and walked out of the house into the snow. She watched me go. I looked at her, she looked at me, neither of us said a word. Then out the door I went, with no clue as to where I was going or how I was going to survive.

My mother.

It 2 yeares it will be 30 years since she sent me that 50-page hate letter when I was 30. I think it is high time that I send her one. Believe it or not, I’ve never done that, in all these years. Thought about it, but never done it. I still kept trying to reach out to my mother and make her see that she was wrong about me, that I was someone she could both love AND like, and be proud of. I didn’t give up trying until 2006. She is 76 years old now. And all my younger siblings don’t understand why I won’t have anything to do with our poor, widowed mother~

Lynda

49

PS~ OOps, I meant to say, that the only thing my mother wrote in that 50 page letter that was NOT a total slam, was when she wrote: “I know your dad does love you,” followed by the disclaimer “BUT he just doesn’t LIKE you.”

Right now I hate my mother. I don’t love her, don’t like her, I just can’t stand her. I am almost 58-years-old and I am feeling guilty for having that emotion, like I am supposed to love my mother no matter what! And also there were a few good times with her… not many, but some. Like when she would bake a cake, and let me lick out the batter bowl. Or when she would make snow ice cream, and walnut cookies with the walnuts I brought in that fell off the trees.

But the few good things I remember aren’t enough to even begin to outweigh all the really horrible badness. I didn’t deserve the way my mother treated me.

I SAID I DIDN’T DESERVE THE WAY MY MOTHER TREATED ME. Not ever, not for any reason, she had NO RIGHT to treat me the way she did.

Yet I worry that if I send her a letter telling her everything that she ever did wrong in my life… will she be able to stand it, now that she is old and alone?

50

Hi Lynda,
I wish my mother would read your comment.. I know that she would relate to it, her mother was like that too. I am almost sure that she would feel really bad for you but I am also pretty sure that she would not see that she is also that kind of mother. I really related to this comment. My mother didn’t write me a letter like that one, but she squished my joy every chance that she got until I said enough was enough. I was asked to do the content edit on a brilliant book by a therapist who teaches about the misuse of power and control in relationships. When I phoned my mother, she said “why you?” then she asked if I was having an affair with the therapist. I was crushed… and later wondered why I was so shocked and stunned that she would say something like that. She started talking like that about me when I was 14. I don’t miss the way that she squished me. 🙂
And NO you didn’t deserve that treatment from your mother. I don’t hate my mother anymore.. I have come to a place where I feel sorry for her. (but not enough to put myself back into that line of fire) my mother lost out on having a relationship with me and I was a really wonderful daughter, a really wonderful person, but she decided not to see that which is HER problem. I am way beyond feeling obligated to be her daughter under her terms and impossible conditions. I could write volumes about this whole thing! LOL
Thank you for sharing this Lynda. It is really important to get this stuff out ~ for me it was like letting the light of truth shine on it, so that I could see the truth about the devaluing relationship that I had with my mother. It was toxic.
Hugs, Darlene

51

Darlene,
Thank you for your validation and understanding. I’m so sorry your mother treated you the way she did.

What I DON’T understand… if her 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.

No, I didn’t always succeed, and sometimes, in my pain, and brokenness, and ignorance, and especially when my children pushed my trigger buttons, I made mistakes, sometimes pretty serious mistakes, with my 3 children, which I will always regret, and would give ANYTHING to undo.

But still… as much as I possibly could be, I was the opposite of my mother. I’m sorry your mother didn’t try to go that route with you.

Complicated stuff, isn’t it? But you’re right, bringing the truth out into the light of day helps somehow. I don’t always hate my mother, but when I’m really remembering/reliving her abuse, as I was doing when I wrote that last night, then the hate and anger wells up. I also feel very sorry for her, but no, not enough to let her back into my life again. I care about her and don’t want to hurt her… which is really why I have never given her “a taste of her own medicine” in the form of a long hate letter, in the 28 years since she sent that 50-page hate letter to me.

BTW, my book was not published, the one that Zondervon was interested in. I was just too totally crushed by my mother’s hate letter, to pursue it. My book wasn’t going to be about her at all… but for some weird reason she must have assumed that it was. NOW, in this age of the internet and instant worldwide communication, in the book I am currently writing, and will self-publish if I can’t get it published any other way, I am going to tell it all. BUT… I will not use her name or any other real names, even my own last name is changed for the book. My main reason for changing the names is because I don’t want to hurt my mother!

52

Lynda,
I am going to answer your last comment in a blog post all on it’s own. You bring up a point that is frequently brought up with questions that are frequently asked. I will post the link in this thread when it is published.
Thanks for all that you share!
Hugs, Darlene

53

[…] 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 […]

54

Hi Everyone,
I just published the post answering the question from Lynda asked about how if my grandmother treated my mother like that, how could my mother treat me like that. My mother tried to do better then her mother, but there were some foundational things missing in her own upbringing. And she didn’t pursue the depth of healing that I did. You can read the whole post here: Mom and Grandma had a dysfunctional Relationship

55

I’ve just finished a uni assignment (as a mature age student) involving a photographic portfolio and narrative of family and I’m feeling sorry for the lecturer. I had an absent father (air force) and an abusive mother who constantly told me I was fat and put me on extreme diets from an early age. We moved around every two years and never brought friends home for fear of our mother getting angry. My brother could do no wrong in her eyes, my sister has that effect on my father and she always told me I was unwanted, fat and ugly. On my 23 rd birthday (20 years ago) she phoned me when I came home from work and said: if you’re not here for a birthday dinner tonight don’t bother coming here again. Lose my number, just don’t bother’. I already had plans that night so I kept them and didn’t go to mums. She slammed the door in my face when I went to see her after work the next day and refused to talk to me on the phone. After a while I stopped trying. My father left when I was 12 and my mother became a man hating person. It’s so hard to put her and my father out of my ‘wish they were here’ list

56

Sharon
Welcome to emerging from Broken.
Wow, what happened to you is really harsh! The way that I was able to get my parents of my “wish list” was to reparent myself and become for myself all that they never were to me. I have written a lot in this site about how I have done that. There is hope
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

57

When you talked about making things up, and learning to understand why, that really did just make a lot of sense.

Its my biggest worry at the moment. I don’t remember fully a potentially traumatic incident. If it happened it was bad, but my memories are so lost that I just don’t know. The thought of being a liar and having made it up, is keeping me quite stuck. When you said “Eventually I believed that I must have lied about everything and deserved the punishment. I did not feel loved or valued. It became almost natural for me to also accept that the abuse that I suffered was my fault too.” – it really resonated with me. It gives words to a few current feelings so thank you

58

Hi Katy
I didn’t have to remember all the details. I started off with fragments of memories. I had enough of one to realize what happened to me and the way that I processed it; how I took on the belief that I had something to do with it and how I believed that I deserved it. That was a huge key for me; to find out HOW/WHY I thought it was “me”.
I am glad you are here,
Thanks for sharing

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Thank you for replying. Its scary replying to something like this – good and challenging, but still a little scary.Its nice to be heard.

My fragments are very small and I was only young. I’m scared I’ve convinced myself of my own trauma, if that makes sense. However the self blame of my seven year old. Just seems illogical when you break it down I guess. I shouldn’t need to forgive myself for my lies, instead I should be able to comfort my myself for the possibility I needed to. Regardless of whether I lied or didn’t lie for any particular incidents I am still hurt by it. Even if I was lying, I was lying for a reason.

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yes i too came from a family system and a dad that invalidated me and but the rnyire family system sold me on lies that im not worthy and to take care of them at all cost ,and im getting to the core of self esteem ,but as i been working through it i have people trying to hook me back into it but me being able to spot it immediately helps i am getting better thanks for reading this

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Hi Dean
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
Yay for getting better. Glad you are here! I hope you feel free to share often.
Hugs, Darlene

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and im presently on family of origin issues ,and alot into dad stuff ,im working through dealing with men im a guy but my dad took advantage of me so much ,that as im working through this painful issue im getting men at my work doing the same thing ,i know its what has my self esteem affected too but im better than what i used to be but stil have a ways to go ,i cant believe how deep it has gooten wow just to find me .thanks for all your articles on the self healing work.

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Hi Dean
I am really glad you are here. When it comes to this issue there is no gender; abuse is abuse and it destroys! Yay for rebuilding! Thank you for sharing your progress.
Hugs, Darlene

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