Sexual Abuse ~ Devalued, Discounted and Unprotected


child sexual abuse

In my last post I talked about how I learned to take apart a memory. In this post about child sexual abuse I am going to detail one event in my life and then In part three, show how I took the memory apart a bit more in relation to the “other things” that happened in order to realize that the confusion and depression that I thought I understood had a much bigger impact on me then I realized just from the event itself. There were other things associated with this child sexual assault that contributed to my low self esteem, depression, mental health struggle and dissociative behavior. I had been emotionally abused and mistreated many years before this, and this assault was not the first sexual assault of my life, but it was one that seemed to set my path in deeper cement. Something broke in me after that night. I think this is when I lost hope. I think that this is when I believed that I really was worthless and unlovable.

When I was 13 years old, my mother had an Italian boyfriend, Phillip, who was much younger than her. He was really cute with sparkling light brown eyes and curly black hair. He  worked in construction so he was what we teenagers thought of as “really built” and what is known today as ripped, hot etc.  He used to take my brother and I riding in his convertible and we thought he was totally awesome.

One night while I was sleeping, just after my 14th birthday I woke up to Phillip touching me sexually. I was disoriented and immediately scared. This was not my first time being sexually assaulted and I had learned to freeze. Freezing includes being too afraid to scream and I found myself whispering things to him, trying to talk my way out of it. He was drunk and not making a lot of sense. All he was wearing were little white briefs and he was trying to get into bed with me. I lost time. I remember him telling me that he loved my mother, but I also remember him calling me by her name when he was getting into bed with me, grabbing and groping me. The next thing I remember is my Aunt who was visiting us and sleeping in the room next to mine, opening the door of my bedroom and shouted at Phillip “Get out of her room” He argued with her, and she stated again, this time louder “Get out of her room”. I don’t remember anything else that night.

No one addressed it that night; he could have come in again. I don’t remember much about the rest of the night though. I stayed in my room that morning, and when my mom came in I knew that my Aunt had spoken to my mother. I remember her sitting on my bed and telling me that I must have misunderstood, the he would “Never” do that. He was still in the house. It was the next morning and he didn’t have to get out of the house. My mother was saying something about how he wanted to take us on a picnic to make up for the misunderstanding. The thought of that started the panic all over again in me; I said that I would not go. I was really stunned that this conversation was happening. How could she consider going out somewhere and doing something “fun” with this creepy scary man that tried to have sex with her 14 year old daughter? I remember wondering if I was dreaming. I wondered if this was my mother. I wondered if she would suddenly hear me and realize that I had been violated; ME her daughter had been violated. But she sat there pleading with me to come on a freaking picnic (with the same guy that had been trying to rape me) and kept explaining that he was drunk; that she had broken up with him because she found out he was married to a woman who was still in Italy, but when he showed up drunk, she didn’t want him to drive so she let him stay. She tried to convince me that  maybe he didn’t know what he was doing but he would never do “that”.  

She never once asked me what happened. I don’t recall even trying to tell her. I guess I knew by that age that I would not be heard and I the truth is that she didn’t want to know.

But at the end of the conversation my mother dealt the crushing blow. She said “Well Darlene, you do have a crush on him.”

That is the memory of the event. I started having anxiety attacks. I gained 30 pounds over the next few months. I stopped sleeping properly and preferred to sleep in the daylight. I tried alcohol that summer and started to sneak it mostly because I was having trouble sleeping. I withdrew from all my friends including the boy that I considered to be my boyfriend. I didn’t even give him an explanation; I just stopped taking his calls. Over the next year I became obsessed with suicidal thoughts and prayed to die in my sleep every night. My mother let this man come over a few more times. I lived in constant fear because I never knew when he would show up. I never knew if he would come and punish me or threaten me for telling. And since there were no consequences to him, I was afraid that he would come back and finish what he started. I didn’t tell anyone else. I didn’t see the point.

These are the things that I put together myself about this one incident. In my next post I will list all the factors that I had not considered prior to learning how to take a memory apart.

Please feel free to share your story, your reaction or whatever else you would like to say.

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Mother Daughter



I am sorry that such a terrible thing happened to you and worse,that you were blamed and shamed.Women are NOT respected in this world….and if you tell,few believe…until,that is,it happens to THEM…

Soon there will be no more hiding how common this really is.


All I can really say is Darlene I am so sorry that happened to you. You know if I was near by I would have to come over and give you a great big hug and I mean that, because you are worth being cared for.

Unlike your situation in my own I made the decision not to tell, the individual who molested me did not threaten me not to tell that I can recall however what I realize out of my own 10 year old mind is that the reason I didn’t tell was the fear of not being believed, of causing trouble not just for the man who did this to me but for my family. A year before this happened to me my parents, two siblings, and I lived with my dad’s mom. I have a cousin on my dad’s side who is the same age as me and it was no hidden secret to me that when it came to her my dad’s mom (my grandmother) always took her word over mine. One evening after school this cousin was over waiting for her mom to get off from work and we had been playing and a incident happened where my brother got in trouble by my grandmother for throwing some rocks well a few moments later (after my grandmother had done went back into the house) this cousin took it upon herself to tell my brother what he could or could not do. Of course being the older sister I came to his rescue, my cousin and I had some words, though I was not rude nor vulgar with my words (back then I didn’t even know what curse words were I got embarrassed one time about that but that is another story) but to the point and stern with her. Later on that evening after my cousin had left, my parents had went out to bring the clothes in from the clothes line in the time they were out there my dad’s mom cornered me while I was watching tv in the living room and I still can remember her shaking her finger in my face and accusing me of stuff that I did not do or say that my cousin said I did and after her accusations my dad’s mom told me “You wait I am going to tell your dad” .. after she walked out of the living room I ran to my parents room (which there were conjoining doors between my room and my parents room) I made it to there bed and collapsed in a fetal position scared out of my mind. I just knew my dad would believe his mom over me that he would beat me to the edge of my life. When my parents came back in from getting the clothes they found me on their bed really traumatized and they asked me what was wrong. And I was afraid at first to tell them but they asked again and I told them everything and broke down to crying and told them I did not say those horrible things or do those things that my grandma had accused me of. My dad did something that night that was totally the opposite of what I expected, instead of knocking me to the edge of death he actually confronted his mom and in not to nice of a way told her to never do that to me again. I did not know the full detail of what he said because I was still very upset but I could hear loud voices coming from the kitchen. That night my whole family had to go stay with an aunt.

I share all of that to point out why I chose not to tell anyone about me being molested. One would think that with my dad sticking up for me like he did that I would have felt free enough to tell them however instead I felt as though I was the problem and I had caused enough of problems so basically I sacrificed myself..

My parents have often said I was a problematic teenager that I gave them a hard time but not once did they realize that there was a lot of things that I thought I was doing to spare them so much more and that is where I was wrong (meaning in my way of thinking) I was not the adult they were however I felt I had to be the adult in so many ways.

If there were any words upon the face of this earth that I could say to take away the years of pain you went through my friend then I would say them in a heartbeat. It doesn’t matter if a man’s drunk, high, whatever (they are all just excuses and they knew before they got in that shape that their judgment would be impaired).

((((HUGS)))) to you and thank you for sharing your story with so many and for helping so many of us as you do. Please don’t ever think that you are taken for granted because what you have given me by sharing your story is the ability to understand my own. Thank you!


I can relate to how difficult it is to open wounds inflicted upon us that shaped our lives for so many years. Thank you for sharing your story ~ such monstrous acts that took away your innocence, safety, well being while intruding and exploiting you :*( … Bless you and your strength to heal and ’emerge from broken’. I look forward to hear how you took apart each memory.
Hugs!! <3


how are you able to just share your story like that? I’m so scared to! I want to so badly, but I’m scared what people will think. I’m so sorry that these things have happened to all of you! But how do you have the courage to share them!?


Hi Darlene,

So sorry you went through that, and also that your mother dealt you such an incredibly horrific response to it. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the response of partners of molesters in that they will do anything, sacrifice anyone, in order to maintain the status quo. It’s heartbreaking how your mother did indeed seem to be sending that “worthless and unlovable” message. She valued her own comfort and stability over the physical and emotional health of her own child. Put simply, that is way f’ed up.

And is it any wonder that sexual abuse victims don’t tell? I mean, really? When you get responses like this, why would a victim ever WANT to tell??? Prior to the first round of sexual abuse that I went through, I lived in constant fear of my father because of how he was with us physically. I think that’s probably the one thing that to this day I am still the angriest about with him, the fact that instilled such a feeling of fear in our home that I could not come to him and let him know what was happening to me with the sexual abuse. I was being raped on a periodic basis, yet I was more scared of what my father’s reaction would be. If I got a beating for the more minor infractions, I knew this bigger thing would be a nuclear event. So I never told, which also set me up for all of the after-effects of sexual abuse, which is the devastated self-esteem, drugs, drinking, and a general “so what” attitude when the next abuser came along to sexually abuse me. Initially, I thought he was showing in interest in me because perhaps, just perhaps, I was maybe worth something. But then he, too, was like the others, and I saw that I was nothing more than a whore to him as well. Betrayal like this just totally gutted me. I see that sense of betrayal in your post as well in that you were totally betrayed by your own mother, someone you would never have expected such from. “Betrayal” really does seem to be the right word here.


I can’t even BEGIN to imagine how difficult it was to go back and re-live this so you could unpack it-
Thank you, dear friend… may HIS everlasting arms comfort that little child and the adult you are now,


It’s amazing how much of a burden a child who is abused carries. Especially when they already live in a troubled home. I was just telling someone the other day that I can’t remember ever BEING a child. I always felt like the adult in my …family. I carried all the weight of so many horrible things, always protecting the adults from the turmoil I was experiencing. I don’t remember ever having that carefree childlike feeling. We get robbed of so much more than what is apparent. And you can’t really get all those years back. I am thankful, however, that we can claim the years we have ahead of us when we get to this place of healing.

Kudos to you, Darlene, for giving us another look into what it meant to come from abuse, all the pain and fear, and here you are today, a new person. FREE.

Hugs to you, my friend! 🙂


Oh Darlene – I don’t hardly know where to start.

Firstly – thank you for sharing. Wish I was closer so I could come and hug you right now. Seriously I would make cookies, bring Tim’s and come over to give you some serious TLC. What a stunning post.

Secondly – thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. That that sort of situation denial, blame-game, you asked for it routine is not unique. I ‘knew’ that but to hear your story sets is up for me in a solid way. I hear your Mother’s voice, because it was similar to my own’ Mom’s voice, excusing my grandfather, the youth pastor, the stranger assault that she doesn’t know about but her voice was there. The blame was there.

The unworthiness was there for so many years afterwards, the power need was there for safety and control…and then many years later, on the lawn, the indictment: “well you don’t really have a good track record with relationships, now do you? Why don’t you let us decide what you, as an adult, need because you obviously cannot make any good choices.”

Happily for me I did walk away from that conversation and into the life I have now with the person who is my best friend and the one who is encouraging me down this path of healing, boundary setting and gaining strength.

Is it time to air all of the ghosts out? Set them up in the sunlight and let them fade away, without fearing who might see them, who might judge me for them? Maybe, just maybe, after all you’ve shown me a way of courage and I’m proud to call you friend.

Rebekah: it has taken me years, courage to you, and take baby steps…be gentle with yourself, this is a healing time. You can message me through Darlene if you ever need someone to talk to or stop by my blog: and message me there.

Hugs and prayers for you Mel, Nikki and Jeanette…


Hi Jeanette,
It is my hope that you are right, that eventually people will realize that this type of thing is not so rare. It is my dream that I can help to illustrate what happens in the mind and in the belief system to a person who is not protected, and not validated and in order to cope and survive, we accept these events as something that might have actually had something to do with us and we process them (alone) in the wrong way so that even worse damage is done. My dream is to help unravel that damage, but looking at the truth and by shedding light on it so that others can be more FREE to live, just like I got help that set me free.
Thank you so much for your comment and support.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nikki
Thanks for the big hug! I don’t think that I was ever threatened not to tell. I know where I learned not to bother to tell though, (and that will be highlighted in my next post) but this particular event was worse because this time I had a witness and I just thought that maybe that would make a difference.
There are many contributing factors that make a child decide not to tell, and even when someone sticks up for you, the foundation of the belief system might not change so easily, and as you say yourself here, you thought you were a problem and that you caused problems, (and sacrificed yourself which is what we do to survive) which might be why you didn’t tell when it happened to you. I got that message way before this one incident.

Thanks so much for sharing your story~ it sheds light on the whole power and control dynamic which plays a big part in the whole abuse cycle, sexual, physical AND emotional abuse.
I really appreciate your comments Nikki!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mel,
Thanks for your support and encouragement! Hugs back!


Hi Rebekah
Thank you for asking this question, a lot of people wonder this same thing. To answer “how am I able to share my story like this” ~ I used to be scared before I recovered and got my life back. Now I have this passion, this deep desire that drives me to help others to find the freedom and wholeness that I found. It is because I see that the silence almost killed me that I have found the courage. I tell these stories to hopefully give others the courage to tell what they need to tell in order to begin healing. I tell also because I have learned how we are harmed and how we get manipulated into thinking we don’t deserve freedom and wholeness. I l tell because I realized that my low self esteem came from no where strange, and that it wasn’t my defect, it was not my fault, and no wonder that I had all kinds of depression.
Thanks for sharing, please feel free to share whatever you want.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Eddie,
Yes Betrayal. Exactly. And YES that is my point to why would we tell. The first time I was abused I was two. I don’t think I tried to tell then, but I tried to tell about a teacher when I was 10 and I was ignored so I know for sure that I learned YOUNG that I was not going to have any real result from telling about anything.
And I hope that everyone noticed your point “If I got a beating for the more minor infractions, I knew this bigger thing would be a nuclear event. So I never told, which also set me up for all of the after-effects of sexual abuse…….” because that is VERY true and so important for us to understand. There are almost always other things going on in our lives that get mixed in with the reasons we don’t tell and don’t feel we have any options.
Thanks so much for your support Eddie and for your own contribution to this post!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Maribeth,
Thanks for your blessings and your support. This was more difficult for me to write then I thought it would be. I think that I went a lot deeper with it then I have with some other events, but I chose it because it is a great example to use to show some before the belief system developed stuff ~ that got me thinking the way that I did with this assault ~ and the after stuff in my next post is much more understandable with this account this detailed. I was surprised at how much pain I still feel over the fact that my mother didn’t want to know what happened, but just insisted that it didn’t happen and that final blow that she blamed me ~ when she didn’t believe me in the first place… that was something that I didn’t catch for years.
Thanks for you comment!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carla,
You make a very valid point when you say “always protecting the adults from the turmoil you were experiencing”.. oh yes isn’t that a huge factor. I felt so sorry for my mom already because of what she told me about her life, that I made excuses for her for YEARS.
YES YES ~ we can claim the years ahead~ I remember this one time I told my therapist how disapointed I was to realize that half my life was over when I really recovered and got some of this sorted out. But then I realized that I had the REST of my life, and I could make the most of it. Today I live to the fullest every day with purpose and passion and joy! (well today I was really tired… LOL but you know what I mean!)
Thanks for this comment!


Bravo to you for stating your memory so clearly and publicly. Beautiful job!

I wish I could share some of my memories, but right now…I just cannot. You help to give me hope that someday soon, I will be able to share mine, as well…AND to be heard.



Hi Darlene,I’m sorry this happened to you..I’m sorry no one protected you. And I’m sorry your mother said what she said. I look at my girls. If someone tries to hurt them…I’ll kill them. It’s hard for me to understand why your mother or any mother wouldn’t do that or believe a child. As a kid, I was beaten and bullied by both my parents…later pulled into a house, held for six months and raped. I believed it was all my fault. I believed I was bad, wrong….I ended up hurting myself with drugs, an eating disorder, cutting myself…They locked me up…tied me to the bed, medicated me until I couldn’t think..No one helped. No one protected me. No one stopped any of it.
Your voice now is being heard Darlene. And it’s powerful..And I’m glad you survived and have become as strong as you have.


My mother did the same to me. It is another reason I hate tolook at it because it makes me really hate her even today when I am 63.


Hi Snanyn,
You are right that this is not rare. One of the things that inspires me to share these dark parts of my life is because I found out that this kind of thing isn’t rare but it is rarely talked about. I can hear YOUR mothers voice in my head now… when I read that sentence ~ the indictment ~ exactly. I love the imagery of your question here ~” Is it time to air all of the ghosts out? Set them up in the sunlight and let them fade away, without fearing who might see them, who might judge me for them?” It is time Shanyn, Yes it is time.
Hugs and love Darlene

Hi Cassie,
Cassie, I am glad that I am giving you hope, that is a very big part of this blog ~ to inspire hope in others and yes ~ for others to be heard. I am rooting for you Cassie!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Nikki
I am sorry that all this happened to you too. What a horrific experience that was. ~~ And we grow up and wonder why we struggle with depression. WE seriously wonder why. AND there is a stigma about mental health struggles too, which is just so totally unfathomable when you realize where the depressions come from! And I am not just talking about sexual abuse because it is ANY kind of abuse that sets this up ~ verbal, psychological and emotional, physical abuse ~ ALL abuse sets this up. Things happen to us and we are ignored, and then as we grow up we are constantly reprimanded and put down, and told that we “CAN’T do life right” ( just like Shanyn showed in her quote from her mother) and we are so conditioned by then that we believe it.
Thanks for being here Nikki and for sharing your story.
Hugs Darlene

Hi Jamie,
I am so sorry that this happened to you too. In my case it was in looking at it, really looking at it like I am detailing in this post and tomorrows post, that I was set free from the damage that she and they did to me. I don’t even hate her anymore, I actually feel sorry for her, but the best thing is that today NO ONE can do this kind of stuff to me OR make me feel “not good enough or wrong” anymore.
Hugs and love Jamie,
hang in there, and please feel free to share as often as you wish.


I’m out the door to work shortly but wanted to take a minute…I haven’t read in detail all the comments but suffice it to say that I also had these experiences. I am not able to go into the details right now but my father – the man whom had hands that could not NOT touch and had groomed me that my value lie in being compliant and quiet – would tell others in our small town that I was a whore when it was the adult men in our town who were passing me around from the time I was about 12 until I was maybe 15. I”m guessing that I got too old for them or perhaps they were just done with me. At the time though – I’d wondered what I’d done wrong…why no one “liked” me anymore.

I was I believe 32 when I finally told my father to stop touching me. His response? “But it feels so good”.

And these issues were not addressed in traditional talk therapy….so the depression was fed and fueled as I continued to believe something was “wrong” with me.

It was when I finally connected with a therapist trained in trauma work that I was encouraged to start to write about these things and get the idea that it really was not my fault. It was through facing my past that I began to find freedom from the many “diagnosis” that had ruled my life and left me hopeless for many years.


Hi Susan,
Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your story with us. It makes me angry when I read this kind of thing. The anger fuels me to keep doing this work. This isn’t the first time that I have heard a victim wondering why no one “liked him or her anymore” when abusers stopped wanting them sexually. Abuse can be all that some of us know. Eventually we believe it is some kind of love. (I am pretty sure that my mother was really jealous that her boyfriend came in my room because she thought it was some sort of “love” too ~ her definitions of love were just as messed up as mine were. ) This is the false belief system that I am talking about. Like you said, writing it out you were able to see that it wasn’t your fault. We have to find a way to realize that these things were not our fault. And I know that like me Susan, it is because you found that out and worked it out, that like me you are inspired to inspire others to move forward in healing and towards healing. We have to realize what our belief system is (what it became as a result of this stuff) in order to change it.

Something you said Susan made me think of something important ~ that you were 32 when you told your father to stop touching you.
I wanted to point out to the readers that it is not unusual for a father (or mother) to continue abusing an adult daughter or son. (and it happens because the child who grew up into an adult really does not know they have a choice!) I have heard stories about this with physical abuse too, I know people that told their parents they couldn’t hit them anymore when the adult children were as old as thirty! And you know how I always say that abuse is abuse is abuse ~ well I was in my early forties when I told my mom that she could no longer say nasty things to me ~ SHE was still using that expression “Well Darlene, You did have a crush on him!” all those years later. I was about 45 when I told her that she could never say it again, that she could NO LONGER say that to me again.
Thanks so much for sharing with us. It makes a HUGE difference when several people share stories of being devalued and finally realized they were not to blame.
Hugs, Darlene


ok, so I think I am going to do this, I think I am going to share one event of my life that changed me forever. I have never shared any of my stories publicly and I have only shared some of my stories with just a few people, so this is very new to me. I am going to try it though and see if it helps.

ok, when I was 4, my family was very close to another family. My Mom would often send my sister and I over to this families house to babysit us when she was busy and my Mom would in turn watch the other friends child in return. My best friend, Andrew, was the little boy in that family, he was the same age as me. His Mom, Joanne, was very sweet and I liked to be there. His Dad, Craig, was a very big man, I remember liking him, but being afraid of him a lot and it took me a long time to figure out why.

I remember specifically this certain time that Joanne was watching me. Andrew and I were playing and Joanne had told us not to do something, well, rebellious child that I was did it anyway. When Joanne came back into the room and saw that I had dissobeyed her, she said that Craif would deal with me when he got home from work. I remember being terrified. When Craig got home that day, I ran to Andrews room, somehow I thought I could hide from him. JOanne came into Andrews room to get me and told me that Craig was going to spank me for disobeying her earlier. Right then Craig came in and picked me up and took me into their bedroom.

He got in the room and closed the door, I remember very well that they had a waterbed (weird thing to remember). He told me he was going to have to punish me and began taking off all my clothes. When he had me naked, he began touching me, put me over his knee and molested me, put his fingers up inside me. He also spanked me, I guess he had to do that too so Joanne wouldn’t suspect anything. I remember being so afraid and screaming so loud but no one ever came into the room. He finished his fun, I really don’t know how long it lasted or when he finally dressed me and took me out, I don’t even know if he threatened me not to tell.

When my Mom picked me up, whether it was later that day or another day I don’t know, Joanne told her that Craig had spanked me and that I had cried more than normal. My Mom never said anything to me about it. I had tried to tell her when I was 10 but she told me never to talk like that again, that it wasn’t true and maybe I had a bad dream. I didn’t even find out until I was 21 what Joanne had told my Mom that day when I actually comepletely told my Mom everything that had happened to me as a child. That was just one story. I still don’t think she believes me completely. She swears she didn’t know. Craig was my Dad’s best friend, my Dad still won’t talk to me about it.

Later I figured out the time line of events and about a month or so after he did this to me he committed suicide in his garage and my Dad found him. Somehow, my mind wonders if this happened many times with Craig and I. For the longest time after my Mom had told me not to talk like that anymore I had convinced myself that it was a bad dream, that it didn’t really happen. But it did. I can’t get away from it. I can’t try and hide it and pretend that everything was ok, because it wasn’t. It was awful.

I hope that what I wrote wasn’t too graphic or transparent.

Thank you all for giving me the courage to share one of my stories. I feel different now somehow, not as ashamed as I thought I would.


Rebekah, I’m hugging you, crying for that little girl you were, and I’m so honoured you shared, you were able to open this up. I hope you know there is no judgment here but much love. I’m honouring your scars and saying a prayer for you…much love. Shanyn


Oh my gosh Rebekah,
that is an awful thing that happened to you. My heart reaches out to touch yours. I admire your courage for writing all that out. When we get abused as a punishment as though we deserved it, that is like a double whammy. First of all in my opinion, even if he spanked you that would have been abuse; I never let other people spank my kids. Then to be brutally assaulted like that and such a young child too; and then the final blow would be when you did tell your mom when you got older and she got mad at you for talking that way? That you made it up! that you dreamed something like THAT up? This is how we learn to question our own sanity. This is how we come to think that we deserved it or did something to cause it and doubt ourselves. And once we doubt ourselves about being abused, we doubt all abuse. We second guess ourselves EVERY TIME we get a red flag after that.
Thank you so much for your honesty and courage. It isn’t too graphic and we can never be too transparent when it come to letting go of a secret that has kept us in bondage for years.
Hugs and love to you!


Oh and P.S. Rebekah, YOU did nothing to be ashamed of. The shame is not yours to carry it is his. He did that to you. You had nothing to do with it what so ever! No one deserves to be treated that way, to be used and mistreated and abused that way.
More hugs, Darlene


thank you Darlene and Shanyn for your support. I really appreciate it. That was hard to do, I have a lot going through my mind right now. It’s true Darlene, I have questioned my sanity many times. And the thing is, I kept everything that happened to me a secret for so long! I never told ANYONE(excluding the time I tried to tell my MOm when I was 10, but I never got passed the fact that he had spanked me) until I was 20 and I didn’t really try and get help until I was about 21. There are some times when I think I am totally over it, I mean, It’s not happening to me now, I’m not getting molested now. I’m in a good environment now married to an amazing husband. I wonder why I still seem to struggle so much at times. The last time things happened to me I was 14. Hasn’t it been long enough to put it behind me by now? SOmetimes I huts get so frustrated with myself and feel like a broken record.


It isn’t time that heals all wounds. (another statement that we take for granted that isn’t true) Time didn’t do anything for me. It is the truth that sets us free. It is the way the events of abuse manifest in our belief systems, and the way that other events often unrelated events, contribute to our belief system about ourselves that seems to be at the root of the problem. I write a lot about this and will be writing more about this ~ in fact my next two posts are about this subject.
I felt like a broken record too, we keep spinning it around in our heads in an attempt to make sense of it. It is like it can’t go until it is resolved, or understood, or when our parents aknowledge that it happened, and ohter then that we dont understand how resolution can happen. (it can happen but not the way we think ~ the event won’t go away but the bleiefs around it will) ~ but it all made sense when I got to the bottom of it, and re wired those beliefs!
Hugs, Darlene


Rebekah I hate that this happened to you bless your heart! I can relate to what you said about thinking it was a bad dream because that is what I tried to convince myself of in my own situation.
I know how hard it is to share but I want you to know you are not alone, and what this man did to you was his fault not yours.

I agree with Darlene that time does not heal us however the truth does set us free. (((HUGS))) to you


Rebekah – I am so sorry that this was your experience and I am so glad you are able to talk about it here. This is such a safe and inviting place to share and find support for this pain. You did not deserve this, it wasn’t your fault and I am so sorry that your mother did not listen and hear you when you were 10…or at any other time. I’m glad you are here. And Darlene is of course right – it’s not time that heals this pain but the truth that sets us free of it.

Darlene you said: “This is how we learn to question our own sanity.” Yes; over my entire lifetime I was told that I was crazy, mental, sick. Then when I turned to the professionals they reinforced this. I have such anguish over this part of my journey and the many losses related to how I believed this for so long.


thanks Nikki,

I just read your story and I’m so sorry that you had to go through those things. I noticed that you said you used to cut because of everything, I did the same thing. That was something that was really hard to get over. I still seem to struggle with not doing that from time to time. It’s amazing how we can convince ourselves things sometimes. I’m glad that I shared that now. I hope that I can help someone someday because of what I’ve been through. Thanks again.


so how do you get closure? One of the men that did things to me is dead. How does the “truth set you free”?


About the questioning mental being a big part of the pain in the journey, ME TOO. I remember when I was about half way through my therapy process I started to realize how smart that I am…I was just stunned… kept going around saying “I’m not stupid and I’m not crazy” as though I just couldn’t believe it! I had been treated like a dummy for so so long, and I just accepted it. My school marks were great but that didn’t seem to matter to me, I thought I was dumb and I thought I was crazy. They treated me like I was crazy and everyone hinted at it and on top of that I had been told that my memories were WRONG!
This was a big thing for me to overcome too.

Hi Rebekah
For me closure had nothing to do with the abusers themselves. I am sure more then one of my abusers is dead. I don’t have closure from the emotional abuse and sexual abuse from my mother, but I don’t need that anymore. I wish I could just explain this in a quick way. I have been writing this blog for 10 months and lots of it is on here already but I have LOTS more to write. A lot of getting to the point of freedom is just part of the process… we do the work and face the memories and the real truth comes out. When we realize the lies are not the truth, we change how we feel about ourselves. One change leads to another. One replaced false truth, leads to the next one… and so on.
Hope that helps a bit!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I wanted to come back and speak some to what you said above, which was “I had been treated like a dummy for so so long, and I just accepted it. My school marks were great but that didn’t seem to matter to me, I thought I was dumb and I thought I was crazy.”

I can so relate to that statement in every respect. When I was growing up, I would strive so hard for my father’s acknowledgment, something, just anything to know that I wasn’t seen as a complete and utter failure in his eyes. I think all children want that from their parents, to be seen as though we have “arrived” in a way, to know that we are valuable to them beyond being considered their chattel. There are a lot of examples from my schoolwork where it was apparent now in looking back that I was indeed above average in abilities, particularly in an artistic aspect, yet I saw myself as a failure time and time again because I felt that I didn’t “measure up”. After the first round of sexual abuse when I was 12-13, I then had a sense of what my “worth” was, but it was defined by the sexual abuse. During that time, I was being groomed by another creep who really turned on the lies when I was 14-15, telling me how handsome I was, how talented I was, etc. All things that any child wants to hear from a parent figure, so of course I drank that in like I had been lost in a desert.

And when it became apparent that this abuser, too, really only wanted me for sex, then I felt dumber than you can imagine. His actions reinforced what I had already determined for myself which was that I was ugly, stupid, and certainly didn’t deserve anything in the way of a normal, healthy relationship with anyone. It was after he moved away abruptly with his wife and small sons that I was left wondering what was wrong with me, and wondering why he would just leave like that, no goodbye or anything. My thought processes ran the path of “well, it’s me, I was expecting too much, after all, look at HIM and look at ME.” I guess all of that is to say that the lies we were fed are what made us feel stupid about ourselves – we weren’t stupid, we made to feel that way.


Eddie I can so relate to what you said about “well it’s me, I was expecting too much, after all, look at HIM and look at ME.” that is what I constantly thought as well … I did not realize that it wasn’t me, I did not realize that it was the other person’s fault. I grew up thinking I was stupid even though I had teachers who stopped me after class and who would tell me I was smart but I was just lazy, actually it wasn’t that I was lazy it is just that I could not focus it has always been hard for me to concentrate for very long.

Four years ago my mom revealed to me why my dad treated me the way he did (in which my dad was not sexually abusive to me however he was emotionally, mentally, physically, and at times spiritually abusive to me) she said that my intelligence intimidated my dad. And I felt like screaming “WHAT! AFTER ALL THESE YEARS OF MAKING ME FEEL LIKE I WAS STUPID!” to be honest I didn’t say to much I was just too stunned!

But I can so relate to what you are saying!


This is such a huge area ~ I intend to write more about it in the future but in this comment you have described exactly the chain of events that happens with the belief system ~ the way that we are conditioned to STRIVE for parents acknowledgement, which leads to this kind of self esteem, and leads to this searching for it through other people and those other people are ALWAYS abusers! And we are so conditioned to think that the LACK is in us, that we think we have something to DO with these predators abusing us! and round and round it goes until we stop that cycle in our own minds and realize that we are worthy, lovable, smart and certainly NOT crazy. I am actually having a bit of an adrenalin spike writing this because of all the old feelings that are coming up and the anger that this happens to us and how much damage it does. And OH how sick it all is.. I am so sick over the horror of these stories and so honored that you and others are sharing them here, so that we can all overcome our pasts.
Thank you so much for coming back and commenting again Eddie.

In Love and appreciation! Darlene

I hate it when people say stuff like that ~ stuff like your mom told you why your dad treated you like that… as though that explains it?? Does that justify it? I don’t think so!
Hugs, Darlene


Wow. I can relate to so many of these stories, it makes me so sad that we all had to go through this and believe such horrible lies about ourselves. I never told anyone about any of my abuse until just a few months ago, after my 3rd psychatric hospitalization in 2 years. I had been told I was “crazy” for a long time, had been to therapists and doctors and on meds and all that and never connected it to the sexual abuse, until this last hospitalization. I had been seeing a therapist for about 6 months and we finally began to talk about the abuse, It was so weird, I could tell her that I had slept with men for money and not blink an eye, but admitting that I was abused sexually was just too much. I think it was probably obvious to her from the beginning, but if I didnt bring it up, neither did she. I guess I convinced myself that I made it up, because no one else knew, so it was all inside my head, so I could say it wasnt true and it wouldnt be….but to admit it outloud was acknowledging that it was true, and it was real, and I didnt know how to handle that.

I think the reason I never told was that I never believed I was valued enough, I was never listened to….I was ignored completely. I dont really think it was on purpose (this might just be rationalization, but I dont know) because I had 4 other siblings and various stepsiblings and my mom worked two jobs and constant influx of men in and out of the house, and somehow I knew it was better (and safer) to stay out of the way and not cause trouble. So I literally stayed in my room and read books when I wasnt at school. I dont remember really doing anything with other kids, except during the summers when me and my sister would go visit my dad. I often wonder if there wasnt some earlier abuse that Im not aware of, but I try not to think about it because I figure if my mind could handle the memory then I would remember it anyway.

The one thing I remember most clearly as far as a pivotal point that kind of reinforced my unworthiness, well there were two things, but the first one was when we were in a store when I was probably about 8, and I dont know what I said or did, but my mom said “you are an embarrassment to me” and I knew that deep down inside already, but she voiced the words, and then I couldnt lie to myself about it anymore. So after that I knew telling her about any of the subsequent abuse was useless and would just further validate my lack of worth….which I was sure I didnt have anyway if my own mother didnt think I was valuable, why should anyone else?

So when the abuse happened the first time, and the second, and the third and so on, I kept it to myself. I started cutting after the first assault when I was 10, and no one even seemed to care, they noticed I guess, but it didnt seem to matter, it wasnt something they thought to stop or fix or ask about. Every single minute of every day just seemed to reinforce that I didnt matter. Only when I was in a partial hospitalization program with a therapist who was also an abuse survivor, did i tell my story, and she made me feel so good about myself because she said i was strong and was good and that so many other people wouldnt have lived through what I did and been able to be a parent and a wife and I decided to try and tell my mom about the abuse, which was a huge mistake.

I guess in a way I thought that if I told her, that I would finally matter to her, that she couldnt ignore me anymore. So I told her in a roundabout way, of the first instance of abuse. Her response was “oh, I didnt know that happened to any of my kids”. No hug, no I’m sorry, no nothing.

But I have a great supportive husband, and a great therapist and all of you here and on Facebook, and so I know I am not alone and i am starting to learn my own value and worth, and learning to love me, and get to know who I am, and that is a priceless gift that almost makes the past seem worth it.

Sorry this was so long.


Hi Darlene and others

Just wanted to weigh in and thank you all for sharing your stories. I’m horrified to hear so many people’s mothers were so dismissive of the horrible things that happened – but frankly, I’m not surprised. I tried to tell my mother twice about the abuse that I suffered at the hands of her brother-in-law, but was accused initially of “misinterpreting” his actions, and later of outright lies because I was “too contrary to want to visit him and his wife”.

My mother is a good person and I love her very much, but these kind of responses were…well, less than ideal. So I empathise and sympathise, and thank you all for making me feel less alone in this battle – though, having said that, I’m sorry that anyone had to go through this 🙁

Big hugs to all.

Best wishes



Thank you so much for sharing this … as I was reading your words I felt a small weight being lifted off of my shoulders … I am not alone . their are others like me and I’m not the freak that I think I am. Thank you sooooo much . words cannot express. Love and blessings.



I am glad that you were finally able to tell someone about your abuse. It is too much for you to try and carry alone, I know, because I tried to myself and realized it was killing me from the inside out. I hope that you can find help and assurance that everything will be ok now. It’s so hard to go through those things and on top of that have parents that don’t even seem to care that it even happened to you. When I compeltely told my Mom about one of my abuses she asked if I was actually raped, ( this abuse happened when I was 4). I hadn’t, I had been molested very badly but technically you could not call it rape. I told her no and her response was “well, it’s not like you were raped or anything”. It is very strange to hear the responses of so many mothers to their children about what happened to them as children. I think to some degree they respond this way because they feel so guilty for not protecting us better as children, even though in many cases they were actually helping to put us in that situation. It’s a tough cycle.

I hope that things get better for you! Hugs to you!



I know what you mean about not feeling as alone on here with others who have gone through the same things. It has helped me a lot in the short time i have been on here. Hope things are better for you.


@Darlene – me too on the “smart” thing! My father was illiterate and couldn’t tolerate my mothers intelligence or anyone else’s. I was 40 years old before I believed that I was “intelligent”; I was an honor roll student.

@Eddie – “look at him look at me”. Wow. That hit home with me. For so long I viewed myself as “less than” because my father and family had to see me as “the problem” and reminded me that I was never quite “good enough”. These were those times where it seemed as though I could never to anything good enough or right enough and eventually this led to that complete physical emotional and mental “shut down” when I had no more of me to sacrifice. We are trained to continue to strive yet we never realize the reward.

@Amira – I am so sorry to hear about your experiences and so glad to see you here. I am so sad and angry at the idea of you being neglected and hurt this way. It seems to make the wound bigger when we tell and it is made as though it is no big deal. Amira – you are valuable and I am so glad you shared part of your story. You are in a good place:)


i am so sorry for what you have gone through. i was sexually abused for years when i was a child and it only has been recently that i am starting to come to terms with it…..not sure if i will ever be “healed” . God bless you for sharing these painful stories and helping others to heal.


Darlene I feel your pain and I am so sorry you had to go through all of that and that you had to do it alone 🙁 I can relate to your story all to well. My father(a pastor) raped me for many years. My mother knew the whole time and did nothing to stop it. She just lived in denial and pretended that we were all one big happy family. That hurt so bad. To know that your own mother knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it. How worthless I felt. Then she started to abuse me too. She was jealous and wanted me to go away. She wished I was dead. She even tried to kill me a few times. Now when confronting her she tells me she was a good mother and that she doesnt remember anything about the past. So I guess she just totally blacked out the first 14 years of my life. She will not come to terms with what my father did to me either. she took his side and the chruches side and left me behind. She, I believe still loves my father and holds me entirely responsible for ruining her life and marriage. What a sick world we live in! Darlene you are an awesome person and you are of great worth to me and a lot of others. Hugs Nicole


I am somewhat at a loss for words. I am still in the process of cutting the cord, so to speak, at 36 years old. The deception is blinding, and intentionally so. The secrets must be kept, because the guilty cannot be exposed. It is so hard to see, sometimes too, because it is easier for the “others” to keep reminding you it is about the sexual abuse and the sexual abuser…but in reality, it was all made possible by the others who were so busy protecting themselves that their children were even in the situation, and then fell victim of believing the sexual abuser was offering love, then the child either doesn’t tell because they know no one cares, or they will be blamed, or the worst…UNLOVED, or they do tell or it gets discovered and then the child’s fear is reinforced. This leads to an adult that functions basically in the same manner…until the pain becomes so unbearable and the adult child’s life is so wrought with further abuse that they find the strength to face reality. The reality, for me, is that the sexual abuse was a side effect made possible and further damaged the original abuse…the emotional abuse and neglect by a family that was perpetuating the cycle of abuse for fear of facing their own… Cliches that I kept hearing from other survivors that didn’t make a lot of sense but that I heard enough for me to put on a detective hat and get my magnifying glass…The only way out is through, and the truth will set you free. For me, this is the only way…and it is true…and not only will it free the victim/survivor it will free future generations of that person… But until someone is ready to stand up, face the ugly truth, and do the hard work to become free, the cycle continues through the generations until one comes along that has what it takes to free their people… I have to be that one…I am going to be that one…I will not just tell my children…remember that I love you…and forget all that other stuff you think is bad…because I love you…remember that. Baloney. Words are cheap and sometimes painful.


The hardest thing to do is to be able to share what happened in order for me and I know many of you probably can relate to is I had to fight through not only the lies but the shame the guilt and so on and so forth to be able to share my own story. It is important to be able to share our story. It is like a purging process and it helps us to actually evaluate and see the truth.

What I just realized is that I devalued myself by believing that what happened to me was not as bad as what some others have been through, I realize now that I honestly believed that the abuse that happen to me didn’t count meaning that in some ways it wasn’t as extreme as what I had heard of others going through thus I didn’t have a right to say anything about it and in reality though the abuse was just that bad. It is amazing what I am seeing and knowing now about the truth and about my situation.

I am thankful to be where I am at now in my life, and I am thankful that Darlene is so willing to share her life and how she has been able to recover and that she allows each of us to be open and honest! That is a blessing!


Darlene, I am so sorry you had to endure that agony. I too can relate; I was sexually molested by my softball coach and a relative when I was very young. Honestly, I thought I had “put it away” (I was then diagnosed at age 17 as rapid cycling bipolar) and was questioning my sexuality also. I am a lesbian and proud of it. Anyway, over the years I wonder just how the molestations really did affect me – I was suicidal (still have suicidal ideations; I have been seeing a therapist and psychiatrist for meds regularly for the past 30 years) back then, didn’t want to date boys; even though I did have my share of dates and proms over my teenage years which my mother was so excited about. Not me! I’ve never had a relationship with a man. No, they don’t repulse me, nor do I “hate” them. There are times when I have an episode and I wonder if the sexual molestations have anything to do with my feelings. My parents claim they had the coach removed from the association, but he later got back in. I was told “Don’t let anyone do that to you again.” Really. I was 10 years old and thought I didn’t do anything to provoke it…I wondered why they never called the police or filed charges, and to this day, I feel very bitter about that, since I have heard from several neighbors that they knew he was accosting other young girls. He has since died, but that day will never leave my memory. Just remember that you are a good person and you did absolutely nothing to provoke the situation. Be good to yourself and take care.


Nikki said : “What I just realized is that I devalued myself by believing that what happened to me was not as bad as what some others have been through”

and “It is amazing what I am seeing and knowing now about the truth and about my situation.”

Wow what a realization!! I too can relate to this. I was never sexually abused but I was very hurt by the things that did happen to me. The most hurtful thing though was to be told suck it up or you always were needy or for my parents to diminish the things that they did to me. It was instilled in me to believe these things–my belief system kicked in and I told my self maybe it was for the best, maybe I will be a stronger person for it, maybe I could whitness to others and be a big inspiration to them–all the time believing I was worthless and should hide under a rock where I belonged.
All abuse is abuse and does huge amounts of damage
I am very happy to be a part of this but My heart bleeds for the pain of abuse others have shared. It takes tremendous strength and courage to share your pain


Hi Amira
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I relate to your comments here. (books, my room, all the men… hearing it out loud cemented what I already suspected, AND wondering if I had suppressed memories, (as though what I did remember happened wasn’t bad enough!) In my post tomorrow, I am going to highlight some of the other events that “taught” me that I was not valued ~ things I didn’t connect to the whole picture at the time this incident.
I really identify with telling your mom about your abuse and she discounted/ignored it. SO devaluing and really that just affirms that what we are so afraid is true about us ~ IS TRUE.
I am so happy that you are here and have contributed such a GREAT comment to this discussion.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Terri
Yay for a small weight being lifted! No we are not the freaks we thought we were! I am so glad that you are here sharing with us now!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barb
There is hope for healing! That is why I do this blog because when I finally found healing, freedom and wholeness through the getting to the root of my belief system, I found I had this extreem passion to share the message!
I am really happy that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pandora!
Thank you so much for sharing this also! I am so sorry that you also had a mother who didn’t listen to you, but I am really glad that you are on the journey to healing and that you have shared with us today!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lisa!
Wow.. another amazing account of what happened and how it was mishandled.. and even if it was handled, it sounds as though you were not helped through it properly. Being told not to LET someone do that agian, is so devaluing~ sometimes it is the way things are said (even if the speaker doesn’t mean to say it that way, the damage is done) This implies that you had a choice. Which of cousre you did not have a choice. That is what my mom did to me by treating me like competion after and by saying that I had a crush on him. She implied that it was my choice… my fault and in many ways this is JUST as bad and just as damaging as the abuse itself. Realizing that no one called the police is anohter blow. I could go on all day……. =)
I am so glad that you have shared this story, thank you so much for being here and for your kind words,
Hugs, Darlene

Thanks for sharing your break through today! Do you know that ALMOST ALL abuse survivors think that our abuse is not so bad? That other had it so much worse? I thought that I had NOTHING to complain about over this incident with my mothers boyfrined all those years. Beleiving that is a way of survival. Abuse is abuse, and all of it is so damaging! That is part of the truth that set me free!
Hugs, Darlene


Nikki–you wrote “What I just realized is that I devalued myself by believing that what happened to me was not as bad as what some others have been through, I realize now that I honestly believed that the abuse that happen to me didn’t count meaning that in some ways it wasn’t as extreme as what I had heard of others going through thus I didn’t have a right to say anything about it and in reality though the abuse was just that bad.”

I have done (am still doing) that same thing. Im in a sexual abuse survivors therapy group with other women survivors and we were telling bits of our stories one day as part of group conversation, and I have always felt like my abuse was not as bad as others because I was never abused by anyone in my family (I realize now that just because I wasnt sexually abused by them, doesnt mean there were not other kinds of abuse that went on) and I point blank said that in group one day, that I felt bad for the other women because they had been abused by people in their families and that my abuse wasnt as bad as theirs because it wasnt ever done by family members. One woman there spoke up and said that she had been abused by both family members and strangers and that they were both equally terrible and I shouldnt feel that my abuse is less than theirs because it all hurts and its all bad and its all wrong and it all sucks.

So after that I started to try and not “devalue” myself by negating or minimizing my abuse….and trying to see it for what it is, and to see my family for who they are, and stop trying to escape reality and learn to face it. One of the things I think that has helped me the most is to realize that my actions throughout my childhood and adolescence and adulthood (Im in my early 30’s now) and even my parenting and every single relationship (I use that term loosely) has been impacted by my abuse, be it sexual, physical, emotional, spiritual or otherwise. It has affected every single aspect of my life and still does, and while I have to take responsibility for my choices in life, I do not have to blame myself. I did the very best I could with the resources and knowledge I had at the time and I was using the coping skills I had, however limited they may have been. Im not dead, my children are still in my home and healthy (for the most part…they are special needs kids), I finally have a religious faith that I believe in wholeheartedly and I am married to a fantastic man who is the most loving and supportive person i could have ever wished for. So when its all said and done, I turned out ok, despite my circumstances…and that counts for something, and I am valuable to MYSELF and my children and my husband and my Higher Power….and thats all that matters in the end.

I am so glad to be able to share here and that Darlene is so open and honest in her posts and has allowed for us to be able to do the same. I appreciate this more than you could possibly know. Safe Hugs to all that want/need them!!!



I started get anxiety just reading your horrific event. It makes me so sad knowing the person who should believe you the most, your mother didn’t. My mother is the same way. I have issues with her around my own abuse. It’s like she doesn’t even care to hear it. I am unsure when it began and when it ended. My mother left us with our grandmother and step grandfather when we were young. Pretty much the two most evil people I can think of on this earth. I am glad they are both dead. The only memory I have of the horror is sitting naked in an empty bathtub with the sunlight and breeze streaming in. I was about 4. I had all the signs of an abused child like throwing up on command, gagging, wetting the bed til I was six, not sleeping, masturbating early on, and my mother never questioned it….When we would visit their house I would compulsively lock the bathroom door before actually going to the bathroom, fearing he would come in and do heinous things to me. I would sit across the room from him and curse the very air that he breathed. I prayed to god that he would kill this man right in front of me. That is how much I hated him and I hated my mom for not hearing or caring or whatever it was that kept her from protecting me. That’s all for now, thanks for hearing me.


I hear so much growth in you today! You have really described the progression of the cycle of abuse in your comment today. Just as Eddie highlighted this, you have expanded it that the original abuse becomes the fertile ground for future abuse. That is exactly what this particular series of posts is about. Exactly. And it the original abuse is neglect or emotional abuse, then it sets up the same victim mentality as any other kind of abuse does and it leaves the whole thing open to ALL other types of abuse to happen. We are standing up Wendi.
Thanks so much for your contribution to this! I am so glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nicole,
It is very hard to get over something like you describe here and I applaud you for facing it. It took me a long time to realize that my mothers opinions of me were wrong and that her world view was also wrong, but once I did it was simple. Once I was finally able to re-wire my belief system, re-parent myself and really grasp the truth, it was SO EASY to realize that my mother was wrong, sick and nothing she could do ~ healing the relationship with me, or completely rejecting me and sticking to her version , mattered anymore. None of it makes a difference anymore. I am free.
Thanks for sharing Nicole and I am glad you are here too!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Jenny,
I hear you. Oh my gosh I am sorry and my heart goes out to yours. My grandmother abused me too when I was really little. I was very scared of them. I had an evil step grandfather too and my mother was even afrid of him, and knew he was a molester, but we went there anyway! but still it was my grandmother that I remember… and it is so confusing not to be believed, or as you say, you had all the signs and NO ONE noticed. It is so unfathomable!
Hugs Jenny and thank you so much for sharing this and for being here.
Hugs, Darlene


I always kind of thought what happened was fairly normal, especially with my Uncle. I mean, he told me he loved me the whole time he was doing it.

Amira, It’s true what that person said in your support group about being abused by family and other people. I was abused by both family and people outside of the family, it still felt the same, it still hurt on both parts, I still felt devalued on both sides.

This is so good to talk about with everyone yet so hard at the same time.


Jimmy B and Amira

It just hit me earlier as I had read over some of each of these stories in how often I did devalue myself and you know yes it has been a way of survival for me and even as I write this there is still a part of me that cries out but I don’t want to hurt my family because you see I do see the situation so much clearer now that I am older. Yes they are responsible for their own actions I am not however I do see the progress that my family is making and that now my parents see and understand what they did do to a certain degree because we are able to talk about it more now although there is still many more miles to go.

However that part of me that cries out to protect them its not that I want to protect them from the truth now it is more of I hurt for them because I know what both of my parents have been through and abuse is handed down from generation to generation unless someone stands up and puts a stop to it.

It is hard to come to terms with abuse especially when it comes from those whom you love because the realization of it tears deeply inside and there is all these mixed emotions of deep sorrow and anger. I have reached a point in my life that I am not angry at my parents like I use to be instead by facing the truth and being able to stand up to them has helped me to overcome much of that anger towards them.

I know by talking to my mom about these things at how much she has had to face the truth as well and at how much she is improving within her own self because my mom suffered with great low-self esteem yet I see healing going on in her words and actions, as for my dad well we talk but it is still a limited at times he still has so much anger towards his own parents even though they are both dead

Sometimes I find myself asking the Lord “when, when shall all this hurt and sorrow pass and when shall you wipe every tear from our eyes when?”

Along with all of this I have had to learn to let go of my childhood to be the whole adult that I am becoming and that has been hard I have grieved ever so much. My childhood had a lot of trauma in it however there were moments of happiness but I had to be an adult way to soon and my childhood innocence was taken from me way to soon .. I never got a chance to grieve then but this past year I have grieved in so many ways. That is the one thing about this life in order to grow up we have to let go … and I find myself at times not ready to let go of my childhood I want to so much go back to the days of being able to be my Grandma’s little girl and then again I am so thankful to be where I am in my life so I do have a lot of mix emotions in my life right now however I have healed in places that I thought that would never heal.


Nikki, do you feel like you really have healing? How long has it taken? It seems so hard to let go of your childhood like you were saying. It seems like mine is always staring me straight in the face and different things constantly remind me of my childhood.

I want so badly to change things, to do things over. Somehow I think that if I could go back to those bad times in my lfe that maybe I could have changed it. If I could go back to when I was 4 I would not have disobeyed and therefore never would have been put into the situation that I was put in. If I could go back to all of those times with my Uncle, maybe I would have told him no or ran or something. Does anyone else ever feel like this?


Rebekah yes I do have healing and I still have healing going on and how I know is now I can actually cry a productive releasing cry three years ago I couldn’t even cry I was so lifeless I was very dead inside. Now I can grieve and its amazing how tears are healing in themselves I just had a really good cry while ago when I was writing the last comment and now I feel like there is a release within me, like that grip is gone..

It is a process and I have been going through this process for three years now … these wounds did not happen over night but an accumulation of years thus its going to take some time to heal how long I don’t know however I am more free today then I was yesterday thus each new day and with each new realization of truth every shattered piece in my life is being mended ..

And I have often thought the same thing like you “If I could go back…I would change…!” but the truth is we can’t thus part of healing is acceptance and that is hard now I am learning to accept that myself one day at a time one moment at a time one small step at a time and i cant rush myself I have to allow myself this space to breathe and the compassion to grieve and to let go and in that process of letting go what i mean is facing it with the truth accepting it all with the truth and believing in the truth that I am not all those lies I use to believe about myself and that I have value..

Hang in there healing can be painful and often it is more painful then the initial wound however when the wound is healed there is no more pain were as long as the wound is still there the pain remains and never truly goes away.. and can get worse!

There are things in my life that use to cause me great pain however they dont anymore because that part has healed..

Don’t give up it is well worth the journey to become whole!


Thanks Darlene!!! Such great insights. I get a lot of comfort reading others stories. Each story a bit different yet the aftermath so much the same. I have many unturned stones but I realize every single step counts. I am actually going to participate in my first ever round of AMAC meetings and I am quite terrified. I know I need it but it doesn’t make it any easier. If only I could skip those super awkward moments of always feeling like I am on the outside looking in. That is how I spent most of my childhood. I want to get over that feeling of being so different or “tainted” when I know I am not the only one and it was none of my doing that makes me feel so odd sometimes. I just have to keep my goal in sight…that is to be able to trust again, to be happy and to surround myself with loving people.



It is interesting that you said that you couldn’t cry. I’ve actually never been able to cry over the things that have happened to me. For over 7 months or so I could not cry at all, about anything. I finally did last week but it had nothing to do with what I have gone through, I felt the pain of someone else and that is what made me cry.

Dealing with these things is so confusing and hard. So many supressed feelings and emotions that tend to come up out of nowhere at times.


Wow, this thread is incredible reading, Darlene, thank you for putting it out here and getting the discussion going. So many people have poured out their hearts here, and it’s so uplifting to see how it helps them as well as others when they do so. “You are NOT alone!” is the message this thread sends, and that is something a survivor of abuse needs to hear over and over and over again.

One topic that was raised today was the concept of how we think the abuse we endured was bad, but not as bad as what someone else went through, i.e., we minimize our trauma and that just leads us into thinking we probably should quit whining about it and just “get over it” like so many of us have been told. The best thing I have ever heard in response to that is this: If you are in a fire and get burns over say your left arm, then you are going to have excruciating pain during the recovery from that. Likewise, a person who gets burned on BOTH arms is also going to have excruciating pain. But that doesn’t mean that your pain is going to hurt any less than it does you. Your pain is your pain, and it’s going to hurt. Comparing it to someone who has both arms burned makes no sense. You’re hurt and in pain, that should be your focus and guide, and you deserve to heal from it and heal well.

I’ve been thinking today on the comments you’ve made about how the belief system is established and that once we get wrong ideas implanted how that then tends to lead to other wrong beliefs, which then perpetuates onwards. I’ve thought of that often, how if this or that particular abuse had not happened then it probably wouldn’t have left me exposed to a later one that came along as well, etc. For instance, if my father had not created a weak and timid spirit in me with his physical abuse, then perhaps the later predators would not have honed in on that and seen me as easy prey.

It seems like a gradual stair-stepping downwards, falling down one step, then another, and another, until we were tumbling fast at the end because we had nothing left to hold onto. At some point we seem to bottom out and then live that way for a while, thrashing through life, or hopefully begin to move upwards again. I know my bottoming out point in life was when I was 15 and I was ready to end it. I hated what I had become (or I guess I should say, what had been forced upon me), and rode my bicycle to the train tracks a few blocks from our house. And there I waited. Determined that this would be the end, so that when a Missouri Pacific train would come around the curve in the tracks, I knew he wouldn’t be able to stop. But the whole time I sat there on my bicycle crying and waiting, the only thing I could think about was how furious my father would be with me if I was only hurt and not killed. So even in this, I had no control, he still had all of the control. My mind was so consumed with fear of him. So I left and rode back home, all the way knowing what a complete failure I was. I think about that and can see how there was just total domination there, I didn’t exist. I told a therapist once that I simply felt like one of my father’s possessions, the same level as his lawn mower or hammer. I was just owned. That’s the only way I can describe how I was set up for abusers who found it so easy to pluck me. They didn’t have to try hard, not hard at all. And I’m sure they could see that as well.



Wow. Thank you for that…I too had been set up for abusers to do as they wished. I never had a voice, my parents squashed any voice I ever had. I completely understand feeling as if you didn’t even exist. I remember vividly walking across a dangerous foot bridge by myself in my teens. I was so afraid someone would try to rape me or hurt me on this bridge that I felt like I was not even human…like a complete out of body experience, perhaps the way I felt when the abuse was happening like my soul had already taken flight.

It truly amazes me what you see when you look back. I never really understood it much when I was younger. Now that I have a daughter of my own many things have come up for me. It is so essential that I heal me because everyone I love including me will be better off. It is my worst nightmare come true to fail my daughter in the ways I was failed by my parents.

Thanks for listening.



that is how I begin to learn to cry again was by crying for someone else, now I am able to cry for my self because even though I do have so many mixed emotions going on I am now able to put real feelings to thos emotions(meaning I had emotions however I was numb to them)and a reason to those feelings as well..

Eddie you said

“The best thing I have ever heard in response to that is this: If you are in a fire and get burns over say your left arm, then you are going to have excruciating pain during the recovery from that. Likewise, a person who gets burned on BOTH arms is also going to have excruciating pain. But that doesn’t mean that your pain is going to hurt any less than it does you. Your pain is your pain, and it’s going to hurt. Comparing it to someone who has both arms burned makes no sense. You’re hurt and in pain, that should be your focus and guide, and you deserve to heal from it and heal well.”

Wow what an analogy and there is so much truth to this I never really thought of it that way!

and another thing

“It seems like a gradual stair-stepping downwards, falling down one step, then another, and another, until we were tumbling fast at the end because we had nothing left to hold onto. At some point we seem to bottom out and then live that way for a while, thrashing through life, or hopefully begin to move upwards again”

I totally agree with how you described the process of one abuse leading to another. Because I can look back in my life and I see the events now as though it was a domino affect or a gradual step down into the abyss!



I want to say thank you for your courage. It takes much courage to tell your story. I cried for you and I am so sorry. It hurts just to read that and the fact that your parents did nothing for you just is heart wrenching. Every time I read that a child was not believed it almost makes me want to throw up. I can’t even imagine NOT believing a child in that case. How ever would a child fabricate or WANT to fabricate such a horrific life changing event?

Hugs to all…. 😉


I love your goal ~ it is a very worthy and amazing goal! Keep striving ~ it can happen!!

It was really important for me to realize that it wasn’t what I did that cause the abuse. There would have been some other way that Craig would have found to be alone with you. I had to realize that it wasn’t ME it was them. You had no choice with your Uncle either. You can tell an abuser NO all you want, but that won’t stop anything. How does a child run away from an adult? How does a child stop something like that? I told this same stuff to my therapist, and it was in seeing that I was powerless, that I could NOT have done anything to aid myself that was the first reason that I had to keep going forward with healing. It was the first hope that I had. EVER. That was my beginning. I really hope that you can understand that this had nothing to do with anything YOU did or DIDN’T do.

Hugs, Darlene


It is about ownership ~ absolutly. My mother thought she had a right to treat me this way. I WAS her possession. When we see ourselves that way we don’t see any hope. I see the ownership issue easier when I look at the relationship that my husband used to have with his father or when I look at my past with men, not sure why that is, it just is. My husbands father had a fit when I got pregnant with our third child. HOW dare I do that… and we got told like you would not believe. Years later when I looked back, we didn’t have permission to have a third child… he owned my husband and I guess he thought he owned me too. He never really did aknowledge our youngest… and now that we don’t see them anymore, she tells us about how she was treated by her grandfather. Like she wasn’t there! OH MY GOSH… he didn’t say she could be born so he discounted her. My husband was nothing more then a lawn mower or a hammer either. And I guess really, neither was I when it came to my mother.. Wait till I start telling the stories about how she took me out man hunting with her.. I was the magnet. (stated at 15) =(
One last thing… about abusers finding it easy.. yes that is right too. They sense the vulnerability, it is like they smell it, the insecurity that we have, like they know we are just looking for approval and some attention.. so they pounce and we blame ourselves for that too. BUT we were set up for it all along, way before they saw us. For me it was when I understood this concept that everything started to change!
Lots more about this later!
Hugs, Darlene


Wow, what a discussion here! Thank you Darlene for sharing this.

There’s a lot of talk in sexual abuse prevention about the grooming process that the abuser goes through with the victim before the actual abuse. I’m seeing more and more how even if our abuser wasn’t a family member, our family system grooms us for the abuse far more effectively than the sexual predator does. If we were treated special at home, would we have wanted to stay after school with the teacher who showered us with attention? If we had genuine affection from our parents, would we be vulnerable to the scout leader’s touch?

I came from an incest family. My dad was one of my abusers and he passed me around to other men, but that wasn’t the greatest source of my pain. As I’ve uncovered the lies from the past and faced the truth, I’ve discovered that the neglect from my mother was far more painful than the abuse from my father. My dad only saw me as a sex object, but my mom didn’t even see me. The abuse told me that my only value was for sex, but the neglect told me I had no value at all. It wasn’t only the abuse that was damaging. I think the abuse only added to my already fractured self that happened from my needs not being met. I already made a good victim because I knew I was a piece of shit since my mom didn’t love me.

Hugs to you Darlene and to all of you who were treated like you didn’t matter. We do! A LOT!!


This really hit home for me. My dad had an affair with my sister. At the age of 16 he bought her a convertible and drove around with her like a mistress. I saw him having sex with her and blocked it out till I was in my 20’s. It wasn’t until I was older and started healing that I realized the trauma of his abuse on her. She was lost. Getting her love from many men.
I took my family on, shortly before she died, and wanted someone to join me in a declaration that she was sexually abused and misused. I wanted them to see the wrong in my dad and have compassion for her. Their response was that she was a tramp. She probably asked for it. Look at how she lived her life with all those men.

The response your mom gave you, reminded me of their response to me about her. She asked for it!!

Thank you for spreading hope. You let everyone know that no matter what they have gone thru and no matter how they were disowned from their family, that they can have brighter days and live a life worthy of them. You are the best!!!


I have found this to be true also. This is a huge block or wall for many people because there are so many “loyalty issues”. We believe as children that if we are rejected from our parents, then we will not be able to survive and we will likely die. In a sick system parents want us to think that too. And we carry that belief into our adulthood, so the thought of even looking at the things our parents may have done wrong is often not even an option! I had a friend who said for over 2 years that she could not understand why she could relate to me and my recovery and belief system SO much and yet she had never been mistreated by her parents. She had no history of sexual or physical abuse either. When she started to do belief system work, she suddenly realized that she had in fact been severely neglected and not knowing anything different, she hadn’t realized it. That is the thing about the truth… we so often don’t know it because we never knew it.
I love your comment and I could write a whole post about the rest of it.. and maybe I will, but for now, thanks for being here and for this excellent contribution!
Hugs, Darlene

Wow, what a devastating story that is. My heart hurts for what happened to you and your sister. This thing about us getting blamed for being abused really burns me. It is SO common, and not just with sexual abuse, but with EVERY SINGLE kind of abuse. My husband (Jimmy B who also comments on this blog) confronted his parents to draw the boundary about the inequality in their relationship and he brought up some painful events at the hands of his father (who still believed that he owned Jim, that Jim owed him. He was told (several times) “well Jimmy.. you always were more needy then the other kids… we never could “give you enough”. Each issue was Jim’s own fault. It is so crazy. I should write another post about this too… it is so insidious.
My next post is about how they actually get us to believe that it really IS our fault and it starts YOUNG.
Thanks so much for your comments Pat and the lovely things you say at the end!
Love Darlene


This comment came in from Nicole and the blog won’t let her post. (a weird occasional glitch) So I am posting it for her

Nicole writes:
1st I want to thank you for sharing this with all of us and helping me to be able to talk about what happened to me too. I have only told a few ppl as to what happened to me as a young girl. It all started when I was about 8 or 9 from what I can think of. It was my half brothers cousin that molested me for years. I never told at the time because he told me that if I told that he would say I wanted it and it was my fault. His sister knew that it was going on after a while after things started and she was made to think that I wanted it so she never said a thing. Then one night we all a different cousin’s house and was playing hide and seek. Needless to say I know what was in store for me and I wanted it to stop and needed some help. I went to the other oldest cousin and told him everything and he kept me safe that night and any other time he was there. Time when on and I have blocked alot of it out but I remember the last try. I asked my mom to take me to the house were things happened to get a tape that the sister had of mine. Not thinking that he was going to be the only one home and yes he felt I needed what I had been safe from for a while and he attacked me trying to hold me down and have his way I kicked him were it counts and took off to the car were my mom and brothers were. It never happened again.
I never to this day told my mom and I know from things that have happened in the last yr that she wouldnt have trusted me anyway. I think I was about 11 or 12 when it all ended.
Thank you Darlene for letting us share our hurts and pain as you have with us.
Much love and hugs


My goodness Nicole,
this is another devastating account of what happened to an innocent child! Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us. It is really devastating when we have been threatened this way ~ that he would just say that you wanted it ~ and even worse when someone who finds out believes that is true! the thing that is so frustrating is that what 8 or 9 year old kid would WANT something like that? (well let me rephrase for some people because I know people that had been abused from such a young age that they learned to like it and to seek it mistaking it for real love and never knowing that is was abuse ~ so aside from that situation which is also NEVER the victims fault, I am talking about this one situation)
I am so sorry that this happened and GOOD for you for telling the cousin who helped you and for fighting back later. I bet that when the cousin who believed and protected you really empowered you to stand up to the other guy~ I know when I was finally believed by my therapist it empowered me to stand up to a whole lot of people and things past and present!

Thanks for Sharing and contributing your story here! hugs, Darlene


This is such a powerful blog and story. The comments are just as powerful; thanks everyone for the honest and candid remarks and emotions.

I have no memories of overt sexual abuse in my childhood, except that I remember at age 4 wanting to wear frilly panties because my daddy would like them, and I remember standing beside his chair one time and him running his hand all over my bottom over my panties under my dress.I also remember being terrified of his anger which was explosive at times.My sister was fondled by my father’s uncle, so there was sexusl abuse tendencies on that sidde of the family.

At 3 or 4 I remember I colored on one of my parents books with a crayon. When my father came home my mother told him I did it and he slapped me at the dinner table and made me leave the table.My mother brought me some food later but I refused to eat it.Thinking back I wondered how my father even noticed what I did to the book;or why my mother didn’t try to erase it. I have the book today and the damage was faint. and not noticeable across a room. Its as if my mother wanted to get me in trouble.She frequently did tell tell me she was going to tell my dad things I did so I had the whole day to be afraid for when he got home from work.

One time when my sister and I were in the tub, my dad came in and grabbed our heads and knocked them together several times for being too loud. We were 3 and 5.

At age 4 When my mom was in the hospital having my brother,my dad’s mother came to stay with us and locked me in a closet for something I did.I don’t remember what.I was terrified. A few days later my mom’s mother came to stay and I spilled a glass of milk at the table. I dove under the table and she had to coax me out, saying she wasn’t going to hurt me.

I developed fears and asthma; had nighmares about witches coming after me; was afraid of monsters under the bed, and of the dark. My mom had to frag me to the first day of school because I was afraid. I got lost several times walking to school even though it was a short distance from our house. When I got fearful I would become disoriented and panicky and still do to this day.

My first memories are of being about three and beating my doll between the legs with a coathanger or something.I had a doll hula skirt that I dressed my doll in with no underwear knowing it was sexy. how did I know this at age 3 or 4? I also remember sitting in my closet eating a box of cake mix from my Bettye Crocker baking set. I was crying and afraid.

When I was 5 the little boy across the street and I pulled our pants down and mooned each other from our respective driveways, which doesn’t seem abnormal at that age.My mother called me in the house and asked me what I was doing. ‘nothing’, I said. She pushed me against the wall, proceeded to pull up my top, and pull down my pants, saying:’you were doing THIS and THIS, weren’t you?’ I was so humiliated and shocked by her rage at me.’I’m ashamed of you!’she said. She said that very often.

I overheard my dad telling my mom when I was 7:’Elizabeth is a fool. She tears up everything she gets.’So many times when my parents would talk to me about something I did, and say ‘Why did you do that?’ they would sit there after i could give them no answer, and one or the other would say: ‘You’re hopeless; just hopeless’.

I became very interested in sex after a school friend brought some porn pictures to school. We would call local dj’s and let them talk dirty to us.I was 9 or 10.

I remember literally hating; and also deeply loving each of my parents as an adolescent, and feeling guilty I was angry at them. I was very conflicted and depressed.I also never seemed to consistently do anything right. If I didn’t literally make a mistake; my mom didn’t like the look on my face, and would start in on me.

She got breast cancer when I was 12 and had a radical mastectomy; started wearing all black and dark colors and no make up anymore. Our house was like a morgue.She blamed my dad for giving the dr. permission to do a radical, even though it turned out the lump was neither cancer nor exactly benign. Back then spouse could do that.
Everything from then on was frankly miserable in our house. She became paranoid, and thought we were against her. Every disagreement was like:’Well I guess I just don’t do anything right’ on her part. Very confusing.

My dad wound up killing himself seven years later. He was an alcoholic who was trying to wean himself off with pills.He was a dr. He was having an affair and my mother was having him followed so she could get a scriptural divorce.She also forbade us to tell him she was having him followed.She told us he was trying to have her committed because of her depressions, and if she tried to divorce him would have her ‘put away’. I don’t know what to think of that. She was certainly functional, and working.She basically had used my 16 year old brother as her ‘defender and protector’.Two years later he killed himself.

It was terrible. There was so much going on, but no one ever talked honestly about things. There was just alot of fear and keeping up appearances. By then I drinking and having blackouts.
when in proximity to my mom and sister, which I have been, have always felt like an utter failure.

I had depressions, had unhealthy relationships with men.Panic attacks; anxiety.My sister and her friends decided I have ‘demons’ because of my depressions; although she is ‘perfec’t and so NICE.
I have been in recovery for 22 years, and always believed I was the problem in most situations. I tried to fix myself for years, working the 12 steps and praying, but the anxiety and depression remain.I thought if I fixed myself, they would think I was ok and worthy, I see now.

In 97 my mom sustained head injury in a car accident which made her paranoia of me become full blown. She had to have a year of rehab which I took her to. She was angry at me, manipulative with my daughter and refused followup dr. appts because she was convinced I was trying to put her away.Just like she had been with my dad. In fact she started referring to me as ‘just like her dad’.my sister sympathized with her and refused to get her back to the dr, even though I begged her to help. Later, she told me;’If I make mom mad,or help you, she will cut me out of the will.!’

She apparently told neighbors and friends I was cruel to her, and trying to put her away. People stopped talking to me, and relationships changed. She could seem perfectly reasonable- a sweet little older lady.I looked like a banshee; stressed out and anxious.

I went on disability for anxiety and panic and depression about three months before my mom got involved with a male sociopath I guess, who took exception to my not wanting him in our lives. I was living with mom with my 10 yr old daughter.
He started stalking me and my mom thought my fear of him was amusing.She though he had a crush on her. He was after what money he thought she had, in my opinion, and I was in the way.

She was 71. He was 59.I had a breakdown after four months of living in fear of him and no one believing he was a bad character. He came to our home whenever he wanted. I had two proffesional people tell me how dangerous this guy was but my mom wouldn’t listen and my sister didn’t care. She was the only one my mom would have listened to.

I asked her if my daughter and I could stay with her to get started over in her town and she told me she didn’t have room and also that: ‘mom isn’t going to help you if you leave town to come here.’

I wasn’t working and had no money.My panic went out the roof.No one would listen to me or help with mom.

Mom stayed friends with this guy until 2003 when she got cancer. After my breakdown I told mom I either was going to a shelter or she could help me move out.She helped me.

Then she proceeded to get her church friends to see what a bad influence I was on my daughter after I objected to an inappropriate chaperoning situation at church and tried to leave with my daughter. This sparked about two years of turmoil trying to get my daughter away from people at that church who were trying to get her to stay.

Again because I was now identified as a mental case by my family, and the people they told about me, I had no one on my side. It was a nightmare with mr finally hiring a lawyer to write cease ans desist letters to the youth minister and his wife who were by then writing letters to my daughter and trying to get her to live with them when she turned 18.

Since mom died two years ago,I have been working a year. It was the scariest thing I have ever done. I have few skills or training and I am not sure I can support myself. My sister did not help with the caregiving while mom was ill wiith cancer; I did it. I did all the estate tasks alone, and cleaned out mom’s house alone My sister lives 2 hours away. I feel abandoned by her. last I heard from a mutual friend, she is telling people I am ‘mad’ at her but she doesn’t know why.She makes over 50,000 a year and got more than I did in the will because mom said she deserved more because she had helped my daughter and I over the years more than she did my sister. It was only ‘fair’.

I wish I had left this town when I became pregnant with my daughter. I never dreamed that my own family in the end, would be the ones who tried to crush me everytime I tried to act independently. I was in big big denial.

Too long a post but thanks for letting me share.


Thank you so much for your post Elizabeth.
My goodness my heart reaches out to you! I admire your courage for posting everything that you have.
You might be surprised to know how often family try to paint a member of the family as crazy. I thought I was crazy. But I am not and I was not. They tried to MAKE me crazy ~ that much is true. LOL
Please keep sharing and reading. I am gald that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene,

I feel I just posted too long a comment and it wasn’t realy about sexusl abuse. I am still really confused by my family’s reactions to so many things.

So much of my experiences as a kid are really fuzzy. My niece and my daughter were both sexually abused;my niece by her stepfather at 15, and my daughter as a toddler and we never found out who did it. She wasn’t around anyone except my mom and I and the people at her daycare. I lost my faith in most people at that time, and have never really trusted anyone totally since.It feels as if there is a really big piece missing in my life, like there are things that hsppened that I don’t remember or didn’t register.I have been kind of hypervigilant ever since then afraid I would miss the things I needed to be aware of to keep my daughter safe.I had nightmares for years about not being able to find her, or her being in trouble and I couldn’t help her.It just never occurred to me my family would act like enemies and obstruct the things I tried to do to keep my daughter, mom and I safe.

My heart goes out to all the people who posted here. Thank God we are all still here. I am amazed I made it this far.


It doens’t matter if your comment was about sexual abuse or not. This blog is about overcoming mental health struggles and all abuse in order to live a full life. In this particular blog post I am just using an example of sexual abuse in order to show the impact that it had on my belief system. In the post I published yesterday, I refer to two other incidents that were not related to sexual abuse and yet completly contributed to my belief system and how messed up it got.
I can relate to a lot of what you say. I was very protective of my children and my in-laws thought I was crazy and that I was actually wrecking their lives becaue of some of my protectivness. Even food alergies that the DR.s confirmed, they did not respect and looked down on me for being so careful with the kids. I don’t understand that kind of attitude, it was as though they would rather put the childs life in danger then believe me. Such a blatant display of the way they think. (which is I am nothing and know nothing ~ but they know best about everything) There were a million other examples to do with them and other people in my life too. (and some of them are already written here in the blog. )

Anyway, please feel free to share what ever you like ~ because in the end I found out in my process that it is all linked together, and it is up to us to unravel the strings and make the connections and set the false things we come to believe, straight so that we can be free from the way that all the horror of the past impacts the present.
Love Darlene


I can realy relate to your story
I was not sexually abused. People think my abuse wasn’t that bad–to their standards. Alot of my life I thought I had nothing to complain about. It wasnn’t until I started talking and getting my feelings out that I began to recover, starting on my journey towards wholeness. The sickness inside that I carried was like a tumor, a festering brain eating disease that clouded my thinking and sanity. I infected my family and loved ones with my belief systems and showed the wrong way to love and nurture. I didn’t know how myself because I had never been taught the right way. I had to get the sickness out, I “talked” to my therapist, I “talked” to my wife and family. I “talked” to myself and learned how to love myself. I puked out memories and warped beliefs and started to fill the emptiness with the right defination of love, something good I could share and believe in my heart. Surgeons cut out cancerious growths and disect them and then incenerate it. Then people start to recover. It feels good to get the bad out so we can start to heal. I say “disect” because I had to tear apart the good from the bad and put it through a new grid of understanding.
Mental abuse can be just as horrific as physical abuse and sexual abuse. ABUSE IS ABUSE The stories and memories people share are heart wrenching. Why do people treat others like that with such little reguard–especially the ones who are supposed to “love” us, the ones we call “family” That also goes for other we are suppose to trust-Pastors, Police, Doctors etc. Why do they abuse with such meanness, hate and patheticness.
Please keep sharing and getting it out


The courage it took for eveyone to share that these storied is incredible, thankyou. It mirrors exactly the way I felt my whole life, and I remember the incident that for me was the catalyst, although because noone knew noone undervalued it. I just kept it inside. I have had a food addiction my whole life because of my experiences, and a near miss with alcohol addiction. I completely understand about freezing- I learned that very early. And being told you are crazy as well. Because my father was my orginal perpetrator, I was labelled as the milkmans kid, the oversensitive one, the crazy one, the one who is a bit strange. Being scared was a way of life and I never looked anyone in the eye. Survival was my main objective. This is until I met some friends who showed me truth and love in a way I had never known. I have finally spoken out. I don’t know what will happen now, but I am hoping it will be life and hope and truth if I keep faith. A friend put me onto this website and I am so so so so so glad, because it has helped me not minimize my experience, to know I am not alone and know that I am not going crazy.


Welcome Michaela,
I am so glad that you found my blog and have been able to realize that there are many of us who have been that same horrible place that you have also been. It was VERY important to me to stop minimizing my experience. You are not alone.
You mentioned eating disorder ~ my next post is (tomorrow) is actually about how I developed an eating disorder and how I realized a few key points about why that happened ~ which enabled me to put a few more pieces of the puzzle together.
I am glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] was another specific outcome to being sexually assaulted when I was barely fourteen that had a very big impact on my belief system and was part of the results I realized as I took the […]


These are all such powerful comments. Darlene, Bless you for this blog.I think overall I came out of my family and situation with a profound sense of shame and feeling defective in every way. I did look for validation that I was a good person, from other people.I literally didn’t ‘get it’ that I AM a good person, a worthy person in my own right.I felt defective as a back as I can remember. I was like a deflated balloon.I felt like I wasn’t capable of making good decisions. That is how defeated I felt at times.
A counselor once told me: ‘We do to ourselves what was done TO us, until we learn not to.’

Recovery doesn’t happen in a vacuum, just like abuse always involves other people. Its so important to be around compassionate and understanding people when healing. People damaged us. We have to have healing people around to recover and not isolate.

I encountered several disturbing situation in the last several years:my toddler being sexually abused, but not knowing who did it:later having my daughter being taken on a church youth trip with the female chaperone leaving the group at their destination and no parents being informed that this would happen; my mother telling people I was mistreating her; the man who came into our lives who started stalking me when I objected to him being around us, my sister telling people I was being mean to our mother,(untrue) that I had demons, and was jealous of her because she was ‘normal’.Family friends associated with the church, trying to get my daughter away from me when I tried to leave their church with her;….

I had one friend say: ‘this is all crazy; its as if everyone around you is acting like you are certifiably nuts, yet you aren’t crazy.Anyone would have valid reasons to be upset at the things that have gone on!’ I said: ‘Well, if I am crazy, then its an outside issue. It doesn’t change the facts of what has gone on, and the fact that my family is playing the ‘crazy card’ scares me more than anything.’They sll acted like some kind of a cult, yet I know they aren’t .

I think the efforts of the people closest to me- family, and a few close family friends, to discredit me in my life arena, where I walked and functioned everyday: family, church, daughter’s school(connected with church), made me angrier than anything.Other people CAN destroy alot in your life.Sticks and stones and words CAN hurt you, particularly if they were said by people who you thought cared about you.
It was my worst mightmare: having NO credibility or the ABILITY TO BE HEARD after my family decided to tell everyone I was nuts. I was left without the ability to protect my daughter because I was then not FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.I was considered nuts, because I had had a breakdown as the result of dealing WITH my mother etc, and my young daughter was fair game to people who wanted to put her into inappropriate situations.
I am not sure I can actively forgive but the horror of that time is fading.


When I read the quote from the counselor I thought “wow” ~ ‘We do to ourselves what was done TO us, until we learn not to.’ That is very true.
The “crazy thing” was a huge thing for me to overcome. That label ate me alive. I think it was so hard for me because deep down I wondered if I was… and that allowed others to just get that foot in the door and start using it against me. I was a little stunned when my therapist started to helping me to take a closer look at all that… I was stunned and sitting there going “I’m not crazy..” over and over as though I was trying to convince myself. Eventually I knew that it was true. I was not crazy. When a bunch of people all gang up on one other person, it is worse. If they find out you have had any sort of break down or are on or have even been on anti depressants, it is as though they think they have “proof” that you are indeed crazy and they use that against you too. I know, I have been there too.

About forgiveness; that was never my goal in healing. It just happened as a result of working out all this junk and abuse and fixing my faulty belief system. I had to put all my ideas about forgiveness on a back burner while I was in recovery though… because I didn’t understand it and understanding it didn’t set me free. It was another way that I had been controlled and devalued and told there was something wrong with me.
Thanks for your comment and for sharing more of your journey,
Hugs, Darlene


[…] put this whole puzzle together when I realized that she really did blame me for the time that her boyfriend came in my room when I was 14. Realizing that not only did she believe that I had attracted and even enticed one of her […]


[…] ~I have posted the number of comments on certain posts. The most comments ever was 77 for the post Sexual Abuse ~ Devalued, Discounted and Unprotected […]


[…] in my forties when I told my mother that she could no longer “remind me” that it was my fault that her boyfriend came into my room when I was barely 14 years old.  If my mother didn’t know it was wrong to accuse me of deliberately attracting him into my […]


[…] pot and they mesh with each other. Remember the story of how when my mother declared that it was my fault that her boyfriend came in my room in the night to sexually assault me because I had a crush on him. Well because my self esteem was already so […]


Wow, WHAT a conversation. So I can’t say that my abuse “wasn’t so bad.” It set me up for YEARS of pain. So I was never raped or molested. So it seemed like “all” I was getting was cruelty and insults from my step-mother, and her tendency to try to “help” me by forcing me to do things her way, like making me get a short haircut when I wanted long hair. And my father, who I thought loved me, always stck up for her, made excuses, “explained” her behavior. I became the crazy one. Got into fights at school. Sent to psychiatrists because why was I SUCH a problem at home? Then as a teenager I went wild sexually. I had sex with anyone. I told myself it was because I was liberated and into “free love.” There was nothing free or loving about it. It was compulsive. It was a desperate attempt to feel worthy and wanted. If someone would have sex with me that meant approval. This went on for years. I jumped right in because if I insisted on waiting and getting to know them first and all that sane stuff, they would reject me. I was anxious to do what pleased them but afraid to ask for what I wanted. No, self-respect was not an option because I had been groomed to believe I was not deserving of it. And then, of course, my step-mother called me a slut. No one ever cared about me to ask WHY I would act in such a self-destructive way or to offer real loving support and advice. I had to figure it out for myself and that took a long time because, as I said, I didn’t even realize that what I was doing was so self-obliterating. I thought it was “groovy.” Did I ever stop and ask myself why it really wasn’t all that much fun? Did I ever ask myself if these men who were so willing to take advantage of me were worthy of MY attention? It’s very difficult now to realize how badly I squandered those years. Thank you all for helping me to see that this does NOT happen to those who are treated with love and respect and intelligent guidance. It is wonderful to see this clearly and get it off my chest.


Oh my Darlene, i am so sincerely sorry for the abuse you have suffered, so sorry for the childhood you lost, so sorry that you did not have a “Mom” to love, protect and honor you.. You are so full of love and light, so deserving of all things beautiful, i so wish that as a child someone could have let you know this..
To all others who have posted… As i read your words, my heart cried for each and every one of you, my heart screamed out for the children you were who suffered so terribly, who felt so unloved and cast aside… I wish too, that you were all given the gift of unconditional love and allowed to feel the pure joy and wonderment that a child should be able to experience. This world is a harsh, harsh place, made so by harsh people.. my dream is that one day, you and i will know and feel that we are wonderful children of the Creator, filled with love and light, walking in the knowledge that we are deserving of the love and tenderness that we were so horribly robbed of.. Thank you all.. for sharing parts of you with all of us.. it means so much to have a place where sharing can happen with peace, encouragement and love…
i remember the walls, the wallpaper, the knots in the paneling, of the rooms i was abused in.. as i most times disappeared inside those walls for the duration of the experience… in the one, the faded, browning wallpaper, which was once probably cream color, it had light blue flowers, that now had a yellowish tinge from the cigarettes, that burned my nose so badly while i visited.. i remember as he would lean over me, frightened, but also curious, as the ashes dropped off the one hanging out of his mouth.. curious to if i would even feel the pain while i burned alive..(my childs mind didn’t know that the ash does not catch fire) but that also was my cue, to disappear, find the right flower in the wallpaper, or wait, there, the wallpaper is has a rip, thats where i will go, through that hole, he will never find me in there..the roughness of his hands disturbed me, always felt as though he was scratching me.. i never said a word, never looked at him.. stayed far away, until i was set on my feet.. and as i was led out the door.. My mind doesn’t really let me stay in that room, or any other room, with that one or another childhood abuser.. it seems when i try, i become to frightened… perhaps i don’t want to know exactly what happened.. i have been able to in therapy see and speak of the abuse, rapes in my teen and adult years.. but those child hood memories.. seem to want to stay hidden.. is it necessary, really necessary to know all?


Darlene.. i am unsure what these mean… numbers 77 – 80 i believe…


oh, nevermind, i figured it out.. sorry about that… I get frightened when i am confused, or not understanding something.. so when i saw those, comments that weren’t actuall comments, but sections of comments.. i became confused, which of course became fear. so please disregard that question and this comment.. ugh.. not a good day today..


That’s okay Kelly
I am sick with a really bad head cold, so just saw the comments now. Those are called “track backs” where this post has been mentioned on other related posts. I publish them so commenters know there is a related post they might want to read.
I will be answering the rest of the comments in a while.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sophia
YES ~ it is not the type of abuse that defines us, but the lack of love, value, and respect that damages us. That continual pushing to be what and who we are not and to do what someone else wants, never being heard for what we want often ever having a say in our own lives. We learn to search for love in all sorts of ways. Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kelly
I don’t have all my memories. In fact recently (after all these years living in wholeness) I am having flashbacks again. It wasn’t necessary for me to have all my memories, but now I want them. There is still so much missing. For me it is also the childhood memories of which I was the most afraid to face. There are many reasons for the fear that comes up when one of these memories starts to return. The fear that I might find out that I deserved it. (like I was told) the fear that I might have to relive it. (although I can and do tell myself today that I am not there again.. that the memory will contribute to setting me free. They come slowly anyway. I pay attention to my dreams. They seem to have clues in them. (the dreams that leave me feeling confused, more then just normal dreams)
Hang in here Kelly! You are not alone! Thanks for your courage in sharing. (I too escaped into wallpaper and floating curtains…)
Hugs, Darlene


[…] One day I was having coffee with a friend of mine who I had met in a 12 step program. In an attempt to mentor me and validate an issue that I was struggling with he told me that from as young as he can remember his parents sandwiched him in between themselves while they had sex. He told me that he can never remember a time growing up when he didn’t have sex with both his parents. He told me that by the time he was 5 he liked it and by the time he was a young teenager, he loved it. He didn’t know it wasn’t “normal”.  It was his normal.  And now he was struggling to learn what the truth about “normal” actually was and to overcome the damage that had occurred in his life. He was having all kind of relationship problems as a result of child sexual abuse. […]


Boy so much can be said about this, it’s overwhelming where to begin.

While today I can state that my childhood was abusive, I have a harder time accepting that it was also sexually abusive. That recognition is most difficult. Even though a counselour I see at a sexual assault centre tells me it was—I resist, or ping pong back and forth.

I resist because….I try to think….it’s so invasive and intimate and personal. It sickens me. Can’t I have any private space? Is there nothing for me? It’s like going into my soul or something…and it’s just too unnatural…and I’ve been completely alone (before this counselour) in even going there, putting that definition on it.

For years and years I’ve not called it that, or minimized it because, it’s not like that lady I knew who got pregnant 3 times by her father. And the mental ward counselour told me, in the 90s, I didn’t qualify for the sexual abuse group, (or maybe it was the incest survivors group). Then I felt bad and wondered why did I want to even BE in that group, was I playing victim? Trying to make things worse than they were?
But I don’t believe, really, anyone would have any such interest in such a group if it didn’t speak to them on a personal level.

I remember being angry but concluded the counselour ‘had’ to be right. I learned that my truth could never stand in opposition of someone else’s. Her schooling was supposed to mean more than my life experience and feelings.

It was incestuous, isn’t that close enough for an incest group? That’s why I was reading books from survivors of incest 20 years ago. I was relating to it even though I couldn’t really identify in an ‘equal’ way. Why does a man’s penis have to define this according to many people? In any case I did see it, when he exposed himself sleeping on the couch or chair, many times. And he knew it, Mom complained, but he didn’t care and he didn’t change his style of underwear to make sure these ‘accidents’ never happened again.

And as I write I’m thinking, he wanted us to see his genitals. And excuse me for the capitals this is for my edification here, IF A FATHER DOES NOT WANT HIS DAUGHTERS TO SEE HIS GENITALS HE WILL BE MORTIFIED THE FIRST TIME AND THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

So how can I say these were repeated “accidents”? Ain’t that hard to change your underwear. So why would a father not do something about it? I’ve been going through life thinking, “He didn’t know or understand the ramifications of what he was doing”.
Oh no. He knew. “Oh they’ll see it one day anyway” he told Mom. He knew this was a sexual display, because he was referring to our future sex lives. It’s only now that I write that I make these conclusions, and I think, “All my life you bastards have told me something’s wrong with ME, and I’ve lived for 48 years believing it, my youth is GONE, I spent 19 years with a man who wouldn’t touch me and got arrested for child porn and incarcerated, I’ve prostituted for booze money, hooked up with strangers who showed the slightest interest in me, kept the weight on and cut my hair wearing drab clothes denying my beauty, because Dad’s dick was more important than his two precious girls, his porn magazines he bought and often in my presence even as a kid, he bought them so often he couldn’t buy the house his income could afford.

And I’m not supposed to call it sexual abuse or incestuous even when he leered at me one time, I’m not even supposed to call it abuse in general according to my sister because I’m the problem. She says she’s worried about me, her husband is worried about me, they should worry about themselves, I’ll be fine. I’m just coming out into my own and not towing the line, that’s all.

My disgusting mother who got angry at me once because I discharged too much in my panties, she’s actually looking at my panties up close I realized at that moment, that was sexual abuse too, she was invading my intimate space, it was gross. And she got off on it too, that’s another thing you don’t damn well do if you can help it, blechhh. You don’t stick your nose in that unless you wanna.

I’m the healthiest one of the bunch and they’re worried about me.

Darlene, thanks for this site, I’m so glad I was able to get this out



excellent work! you are really cooking!!! (about people being worried about you, in my case I think they were only worried about losing control over me.)
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks so much for your support Darlene 🙂 Like I say, I’m grateful to have made it to this point, even of just beginning to see more clearly. Just in the last few days I feel more ‘fully’ in myself and can make better eye contact with folks.

I need to understand what was going on in that environment because it affected me so negatively. I can’t get in mom and dad’s heads but I feel a need to really see how their actions reflected how they saw us.
I am realizing more that the interpretations I had before of disturbing memories often protected them or supported their version of things—or more like, was their very version.

I’ve gone through life thinking Dad knew we were bothered but he wasn’t trying to expose himself, it was just a series of lazy accidents. But a man with his kind of sexual issues (of which I should have known nothing) would not ‘innocently’ expose himself like it means nothing. You either want your kids to see your genitals or you don’t, and I must conclude he got something from it.

But the covert ‘accidental’ manner of what he was doing enabled him to claim innocence and behave in a way he couldn’t risk more explicitly. He had no shame about it, that was the most disturbing part to me and left me very alone with MY feelings of shame witnessing it. The shame has to go somewhere. And I know that shame was internalized because when I remember these exposures I feel like crap, like something’s wrong with ME. I took the shame on because something was very wrong and he didn’t take responsibility.

It’s a hard thing to accept that these things didn’t just happen, but were deliberate actions understood even if just subconsciously by my parents. My mom also indirectly invaded my body by examining my underwear.

The covert nature of their actions messed with my head; it created huge self-doubt about how invasive behaviour ‘hidden’ in everyday acts like doing laundry, napping on the couch disturbed me and made me feel exposed.
The explicit message from my mom that sex was bad and dirty, while both of them unnecessarily exposed us to this ‘dirtiness’ HIGHLY confused me and shamed me.

What I’m attempting to do in speaking of it is to take my ingrained shame and place it back squarely on their shoulders, because it’s THEIR’S, and at least in my mind it gets placed where it belongs.
I don’t want their junk in my head anymore. This gives me room to redefine my sexuality and treat myself accordingly, with respect, which I’ve never done with men.



[…] Sexual abuse steals the completeness of that divine experience from a child, forever. In fact, that ideal of a sexual relationship is all but lost in our culture, today. Our society is sexually insane (by the legal definition of an inability to tell right from wrong) and it is no wonder that children sold for sexual abuse, is the third largest black market in the world. What happened to me was horrific but it is mild compared to what is happening to many children now. […]


[…] with her boyfriend’s when I was only a young teenage girl. I have expressed the pain of being accused of causing one of her boyfriends to come into my bedroom in the night and how it was communicated to me by my mother that I must have done something to send […]
Hi Everyone
I have written about a lot of things to do with my mother and how she blamed me, but one thing I haven’t written about yet is how after she blamed me for her boyfriend coming in my bedroom, she started to treat me like her competition and started flirting with MY boyfriends. I just published a new post about what it was like for me as a teenage woman to go through that. You can read the post here: “Was my mother a Cougar? More toxic mother daughter relationship”
This subject matter applies to all actions that devalue or disrespect the child.
Hugs, Darlene

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