Solutions and Recovery from Depression and Trauma


darlene ouimet ~ emerging from broken

Depression was like a thick heavy blanket that sometimes felt like a cozy warm nest and I felt so safe there that I was afraid to let it go, even though the weight of the blanket was killing me; Just one more day I would say.. “just one more day in this dark cocoon and tomorrow I will start to live, but for just one more day, it feels safer to hide.”  (Darlene Ouimet)

That was all about the illusion of safe. I did not overcome depression by dealing with the depression itself because depression did not stand alone in my life. Facing the depression isn’t exactly what led me out of the darkness; it was realizing where the depression came from and why it had become one of my coping methods that led me to overcoming it. Just like my dissociative identity disorder, for me depression started when I was very young. I realize today that all coping methods have a common reason for existing. There is something “back there” that isn’t resolved. We have all these coping methods because the mind is such an amazing and powerful thing. They are literally the way we deal, how we cope and how we survive.

There was a comment on my post “Mother Daughter Relationship Nightmares” that got me thinking about how all my coping methods and my recovery discoveries work together and how I came to this place in my life.  The following question was posted by Mark Alan Effinger; Mark asked “Is there a direct path through this &^%$ to a better place? Or is it so individual, that no formulaic method will do?” Although Mark is referring to the serious and graphic comments about sexual abuse, I have come to realize that the answer is the same for this question as it is for all questions about emotional healing and recovery.

To recap, I sought help from a therapist when I was heading into my third serious depression in five years, the previous two serious depressions lasted two years each, so I hadn’t had much of a break off the medication this time. I was going to leave my husband and three young children, believing that they would be better off without me. I got frustrated when the therapist wanted to talk about my childhood.  I didn’t want to talk about the past, I was having trouble NOW. I needed help for my life in the present, not for my life in the past. I really didn’t see any connection from the past to the present. But he was insistent and I was losing money arguing with him, so I gave in. We talked about the past. In fact we started with my first trauma memory.

I began to see how my depressions were very much related to my childhood trauma and that depression wound its way through my entire life and intertwined with other coping methods, addictions, dissociative identity disorder, and that in reality all of these coping methods were an amazing survival system that I had built, and I started building it when I was very young. But now, it had turned on me. Because I began to see the patterns, I became willing to keep digging up that rotten foundation. The whole key for me was uncovering and discovering how my belief system about myself and the world, had formed. As I replaced the lies with the truth, the coping methods fell away; because I didn’t need them anymore.

The process isn’t simple and it isn’t a quick fix. The good news is that for me it wasn’t a band-aid either and the resulting freedom from all that hell on earth has been permanent. I have the occasional down day, but they are rare. I don’t dissociate anymore, I no longer have multiple personalities, and I don’t fall into the depths of darkness; depression is no longer something I worry about.

When I began speaking in metal health seminars, and working at the director of client relations in a counseling firm, I realized others were also having the same astounding results as I was having ~ finding the way out of the darkness and into the light; finding freedom from depression, freedom from addictions, gaining a new understanding of coping methods; where they came from and why we needed them and how it was possible to uncover the mystery of how to ditch them.

In writing this blog, Emerging from Broken, I am attempting to deliver a message of hope; step by step, mixed in with story by story and tiny little snapshots of how I uncovered the layers of lies on top of other lies, all which built my belief system which falsely defined who I was, my purpose or lack of it, my value and lack of it. I write snapshots of how I found the truth about why I believed all that stuff about myself. Not knowing that I didn’t know the truth about myself prior to my recovery, I wasn’t searching for it. I was searching for freedom and recovery from broken, but not in the right places. How is one to know where to look?  So I am sharing where and how I found it.

So to answer Mark’s question; I think there is a formulaic method that works for everyone. The trauma events (or mistreatment) and the belief system belong to the individual, but the way out, the pathway to freedom and wholeness is not so unique.

If this method worked for me, and for others, then why can’t it work for everyone? Who can say that it won’t work? Who can say that there is too much damage? Who really knows that?  I believe that this is the way and so I write to inspire others.

As always, please feel free to express yourself in any way that you would like by adding your comments;

One Snapshot at a time ~ Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Depression



It’s been a little over a year that I have finally realized I was headed down hill fast because of my past. However, today I feel like healing is not available and I just want to give up! I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! The work is so hard at times I just want to hide. It’s too painful, but something in me keeps me digging the roots and facing my brokeness. All the shit that happened to me is not going to go away. I get that, but why is the recovery almost as painful as the first time around when it actually happened? It’s like I’m being re-traumatized. It sucks!


Hi Kathy,
Personally I think that the reason recovery is so painful is because I didn’t have any opportunity to deal with any of the trauma in the first place. SO I developed coping methods, but those coping methods were just that; a way to cope. In recovery, I actually faced the trauma because the coping methods didn’t work anymore and maybe I was finally ready. I wanted to hide and run and all the rest of it too, but I realized along the way that I was fighting against the solution and against freedom. It IS like being re-traumatized. Absolutely it is, and for some of us it is very important to have a professional therapist alongside our recovery to help us get through it.
Don’t give up Kathy!
Be gentle with yourself.
hugs, Darlene


i was 17 yrs old sat in the doctors room telling him it was me, myself and i. and i was in the corner and not the chair in front off him. he put me on meds and sent me to see the shrink. i used the therapy offered for nearly two yrs weekly yet was reluctant to take the meds properly. i used them to stablize myslef so i could work at the group, n once i felt stable i would stop them and round and round i went for about 6 yrs. it was tough at the start because i was still reeling from the shock that my childhood was sooo very different to the ones most of the people i knew had. i felt robbed and angry and yet so scared to reveal what was hidden. it has taken me 25yrs of solo, group and self awareness and control techniques i had found along the way. i started removing my past outre layers inwards. by trhat i mean i dealt with t e stuff that was lighest and was i got deeper i found that i had learnt enough awareness to help me cope that little bit better and recover from the downward spiral fastr. i have grown weary of the battle to be heard and believed in a society that has no real idea of whta i have had to go through to reach a level they deem normal. i am not normal I AM UNIQUE, my abuse and how it has impacted my life choices is my journey alone, yet to know there are people all over the globe who actually understand where i am coming from because they have walked in those shoes, has helped me more than ever to be able to hope i can get through this,
thank you again


Carol, I have done the same with my meds. For me, I don’t want to always be dependent on meds to fight my depression and the HELL I went through! It just breaks me when I have a flashback or nightmare….remembering the graphic details of the painful sex, the humiliation of being forced to watch porn videos and perform to my mom, brother and grandfather as if I was a stripper and wanted this. They traumatized me and fucked up my self image and what was right or wrong. It’s sick! To this day I can not even watch a romatic or sex sceen in any type of movie bc it trigger’s me. I’m so messed up! They messed me up and I am striving so hard to figure out who I AM, and to love myself. Having small children to raise is a blessing but also a HUGE part of where my time goes. So when I’m not raising my kids…when they are at school or a sleep is when these painful memories wake up and come alive! I, as I said before feel like I’m being re-traumatized and it HURTS!


Disclosing the abuse to the police was releasing and being believed was so validating. But the flip side of that, the legal processes and the unsatisfactory ending has had only one effect – and that has been to re-traumatise me several times over.

I hope one day to not have to be dependent on anti depressants to keep me stable and other meds to sleep at night!! My problems really kick in when triggers occur. Then I get sent into a downward black spiral of triggers causing flashbacks causing nightmares leading on to the blackest of blackness, then my coping mechanisms kick in and I go into survival mode. There seems no way out of that cycle as yet!!

For me the question is how can this re-traumatising and trigger cycle be broken?


Fi, I have that same question! I spriral down too and go to old coping skills like anorexia, cutting myself. This has to stop! But I don’t know how to make it! It’s so damn frustrating! I hate taking anti-depressants and believe you me I have been through them all trying to find the right one to work for me. I’m currently on cymbalta for depression and Vistril for anxiety and some days I think it’s working and others I don’t!


you wrote “i felt robbed and angry and yet so scared to reveal what was hidden” There is such a common factor in that sentence. I felt that way too, and i blocked so much of it out, and I just took ownership that what was wrong with me was my fault, and then you go on to say “my abuse and how it has impacted my life choices is my journey alone, yet to know there are people all over the globe who actually understand where i am coming from because they have walked in those shoes, has helped me more than ever to be able to hope i can get through this” and that is so key. The work is MINE to do, but I am not alone. I journey along side others, and from each other we gain strength and unity. Hope. Hope was the little flame that I first got when I began to see how this whole thing began for me as a young child.
Thank you so much for this comment. It is inspiring, and your history is tragic and yet you still hope!
Hugs, Darlene

Be gentle with yourself and remember that recovery is a process that often starts with “uncovery” and uncovery can really be hard. Please make sure that you have some support that is not just here on the internet. =) Hugs, Darlene

Fi and Kathy and everyone else who has this question. I can honestly say that I no longer have flashbacks that cut into me the way they used to. I rarely even have them and I have NO nightmares at all, but the flashbacks~ when I do have them it is more like just a “shudder” now. They don’t bring me to my knees anymore. So for me the answer is yes. It is a process, a journey, and it takes some time and some deep work. Like I said, it wasn’t in facing the events or the depressions or all that, I faced them, but I also looked at them for the purpose of figuring out what I believed because of those things. They key for me was in what I believed because of it. There is hope, there is wholeness and recovery and there is life to the fullest. =)
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene you said: “As I replaced the lies with the truth, the coping methods fell away; because I didn’t need them anymore.”

My journey somewhat mirrored yours in that I also experienced the depression, dissociation and a few other labeles :)….and I think the thing that made the hugest difference was when I understood what it meant to “go through” the pain to “get out of” the pain.

This was where I learned how to connect my thoughts, feelings and emotions (after a lifetime of not wanting to feel my body etc – this was pretty traumatic in itself:)). In doing so I was able to process through the feelings of the past that my coping behaviors had protected me from for so long.

It’s kind of a long story – but like you I do the best I can to share a snapshot here and there….thank you for opening these doors and letting the light begin to shine through the crack in the door, Darlene:)


Hi Susan,
Yes, I remember grabbing that phrase “the only way over, is through”. I remember learning to say to myself at the beginning of a new “wave” of understanding and facing a past trauma “bring it on” instead of “oh I need to go to bed and pull the covers up”. Sometimes I went to bed, pulled the covers up and said “OKAY.. lets deal” It was the biggest part of my process too, to connect to myself, to feel the feelings, to realize just how disconnected that I was from all the events of my past.
Thank you for being part of my journey Susan. I love your blog too, and I highly recommend it to others! You can read Susan’s blog by clicking here “A Journey”
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene for your note and encouragement!

This process you describe…..for me the only way I could put it was the deep weeping sorrow anger and grief at realizing that I’d spent a lifetime in this fog believing that something was “wrong” with me and that I’d spent 15+ years in a mental health system that encouraged avoidance and had no clue how to help me “go through to get out of” the pain of the past.

In hindsight – there was a day that I decided traditional talk therapy wasn’t working and I was ready to do this “hard work” of emotional healing when I’d stumbled across a therapist who had an “eclectic” approach to trauma work.

I asked my then psychologist why we had never addressed my trauma history and instead had focused on managing labels – diagnosis and symptoms – and just “coping” ie the belief of the medical model that once “sick” always sick and thus “meds” and weekly therapy and emergency phone calls when the flashbacks and feelings of shame and inadequacy took over my mind and my life. I’d been convinced for many many years that something was “wrong” with me is why I wasn’t “getting better”.

His response to my question? “I don’t know how to take you there and bring you back”. And the psychiatrist who actually did give me helpful information and support on occasion? Could not offer me that kind of therapy because she could only bill for “med management” in 10 or 15 minute increments.

So you see, Darlene – what you offer here on EFB is vital and I am grateful that you have made this space where we can share our stories, our truths and find freedom from growing up broken.

In gratitude:)



You wrote about depression being like a warm blanket, that is EXACTLY what it is for me..I try to poke out from under and I get pulled back in.. I have been on medication on and off for 16 years and I just can not do it anymore.. I am tired physically, mentally, emotionally.. I am also a survivor of sexual abuse, I can not seem to let it go. The person who caused me this pain is brought into my life everyday be it in a flash back or brought up in conversation.. How do I over come this..


The lies told to me:
you are hopeless
you don’t love me
you hate me and are mean to me
you are self destructive
you are selfish
you are abusive to your family
you don’t love God
you constantly overreact
you make things up
you are just jealous of me because I am healthy and normal and you are not
you are a burden and a problem to your family and you make people miserable
you are a loser
you cause trouble all the time

Those are some of the lies.

The truth:
I did love my family fiercely
I was scared alot of the time growing up
I am brave and courageous
I am intuitive and intelligent
I am loyal
I stand up for undergogs
I love my higher power and I don’t have to prove that to any church group
I am empathetic
I am hardworking
I am a beautiful human being who loves life
I am kind

Those are just a few. I’m just starting. Its hard!


thanks for this forum to discuss how i have felt about has happened, well in general, to me when i was a child. i cannot face the details yet but i am getting there one day at a time, just like us all.
i use the meds now to stablise me so i can function how i want to function in the outside world, and when i feel i can lessen my dosage i will but not until i have managed to do the work i know i have left to do. yet some once said to my husband ‘ if you had a broken leg you would use a cast and crutches without a problem, yet when it comes to mental health issues, people shy away from using meds as a crutch to help them walk through the patches that trip you off. i managed nearly a decade off meds but once my daughter hit 18mnths i went off the tracks that i had laid down for me and was riding my parents tracks. scared the hell out of me, i was becoming the very thing i hated when i was a child. so i found ways of learning what a parent had to do to be a good parent from the intrnet and courses at a local family centre. i went and got meds n found therapy to help me cope with why i was screaming at my child n then verbally beating myself up because i couldnt find the control i thought i had. mmm wasnt a good time. but it has been the sprinboard for this latest round of new discoveries and not all of them have sat well with the adult me, tho i do get that cos i dont have the full memory just a few moments of one it makes sorting out the dynamics very hard. but i just keep plodding along dealing with those issues that are still screaming aloud in my mind and hopefully find ways of helping the screams come out instead of staying in my head.


I would never have truly believed that healing was possible until now, and i can only say it now because i know that the body of the work i have needed to do all my life has now been done, the rest of it will probably take the rest of my life but now it consists of me building me and me being able to live as apposed to exist.

i believe that In us all is the very core seed which we were born with, and despite what all the abusers do they dont have the power to take that core seed from us and i believe that in order to heal we need to strip the layers away of abuse and find that seed which in turn is finding us.

This however is a very difficult process but with the help of an experienced and understanding therapist is absolutley possible. I can not tell you how many times i said to my therapist ‘this is too hard, i dont want to do it anymore’ yet i did keep doing it and still do. I no longer dissociate, run myself into the ground, drink to take the pain away together with other self harming coping mechanisms and i no longer have the demon voice of bulimia.

Coping strategies are there to keep us safe and to ‘COPE’, but i didnt want to COPE anymore i wanted to live. Nothing and nobody can ever take away the sadness of what i have been through as it is sooo sad but its no longer debilitating and i dont have the internal pain and anger and the sense that i might implode any minute. I agree with you Susan and Darlene you do have to break through it and face it which takes such alot of courage, yet the rewards are far more than you can ever imagine.


Hi Susan,
I wish I could take a highlighter and highlight your last comment. =) You add so much insight to the understanding of healing. I was so positive that the people that I sought help from were right… (because of their positional power ~ I mean they ARE the professionals, right?) Everything had to do with diagnosis and symptoms… EVERYTHING and today it makes me want to scream because there were only band-aids with that, and no solutions… so.. here I am screaming my story to the world ~ that there is MORE then a band-aid and that if this “process” worked for me, then why not for others. AND it is so great to have your voice here, telling that same truth!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lisa,
I know how you feel.. that is exactly how I felt just before I got on the right road to healing. “so tired “tired physically, mentally, emotionally..” and I write this whole blog in an attempt to share how I overcame this. How I dug down, in order to see what happened. All I can tell you is to keep striving to keep going forward. Read some of the other posts, and the comments and keep sharing.
Thank you for being here Lisa,
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene – I am so grateful to have this place where I can speak both my truth about my past as well as the truth about how I overcame it…and you are such a great role model in this journey for everyone who is a part of this…excuse the pun:)……emerging community!


I am almost speechless.. this is beautiful! I can’t thank you enough for sharing this list of lies vs. truth. This is a huge wonderful list.. and yes, it IS HARD, but wow what a grand start you have made. I am thrilled for you.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol,
Meds can be a great tool ~ I know lots of people who stay on them until they have worked through everything, each individual is different just as the process is unique to each of us. We each need to do what is best for us. I like your expression “I just keep plodding along dealing with those issues that are still screaming aloud in my mind….” and that is what I did too! Just kept going..
Thanks for sharing ~ You are really doing some amazing work!
p.s. I don’t want anyone to think that I am against medication at all, in my case I was very afraid of it because I had such a bad time getting off of it the last time. As I say, each of us is different and we all need to make our own decisions with the help of our doctors, when it comes to medications.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nikki!
Me too! I didn’t actually know the words as applied to me, (coping methods) but I realized that I was sick of coping too. I wanted SOLUTION. and I found it. Thanks for sharing your hope and recovery with us. It is inspiring that you have come this far and are on the rebuilding YOU part. I appreciate your sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


I worked so hard trying to get the lies and the truth out of my head and out into the open spaces where they could disperse and go on their way instead of staying in my head taking up space and causing me to stay in a constant spin. The lies drug me down and exhausted me. I never knew this was happening and it was a subtle and gradual down word spiral until I hit bottom and had to take an honest look at my life. I had to buy a new pitch fork and start to clean out my head so I could put some fresher cleaner things into it. I had no idea how deep the crap was until I started digging and pitching crap after lie out into the open. Sometimes the stuff comming out shocked even me because I didn’t think I had such a “twist” on some of my thoughts. It was so important I got these out and believed the truth.
It is hard but totaly worth it


I don’t know if you know of the term polyfragmented but it is when there are so many alters it’s difficult to imagine a person could survive so fragmented. I used to keep a science project board with little post it note strips for when I found a part and any info such as name, job, little, big, etc. In spite of advice not to count, the day I had to go to the other side of the huge board, I counted. There were over 500 names and it was early in my healing. I broke down and cried. I stopped keeping track after that.

As part of a gov’t program since birth (actually birth planned to be part of the program), a formula was used to keep fragmenting me. It’s what I called structured dissociation. A definitive structure had been built inside and the system had it’s own language. Cues and codes and secrets to undo things. All was known inside so no special “deprogrammers” were needed. In fact I distrust anyone calling themselves a deprogrammer. But I could see what programming each part had to help them diffuse it and heal.

It’s a bit more complex to undo, but it does come undone with the same process and a caring therapist. Part of my issue with depression is that still parts remain hidden that may be holding onto those terrifying feelings. Until all heal, I feel a bit helpless to be completely in control of depressive moods. But once these insiders are found, they heal so quickly.

My having a cold for two weeks has a bearing on my emotional state. Actually have learned physical ailments hurl me into depression much more quickly. Have been tearful all day…a red flag for me. But am going to hold out on staying on reduced antidepressant. It’s only day 3. Thanks for sharing and your inspiration.

I was once intentionally made a polyfragmented multiple to “serve my country”. I have healed from that and only a few remain. That betrayal of not only father but country…that’s such a raw wound. I used to be the most patriotic person ever. How rose colored were my glasses?

Hope I haven’t rambled too much.


Hi Maggie, I’m so glad you’ve raised the issue of multiple alters because I have a list of names that’s about 350 long, and I thought how on earth can someone be so fragmented? How on earth and where on earth do you begin in healing so many? And is it possible? I’ve had another 22 names recently. And it’s kind of blowing my mind. I don’t even know where to start with this and if anyone would believe me if I said there were so many. Thanks for giving me permission to mention the issue!!


Hi Jimmy
I quoted you on the facebook page for emerging from broken and there was a great comment about the head crap making great manure to fertilize the new belief system! (well you have to read it!)
Thanks for this great analogy. I remember sometimes you would say something out loud that was in your head… and you would get this “stunned” look on your face.. and I would be stunned to, but then the healing started. It is so much better to get that stuff OUT in the open.
Thanks for sharing! This is such a good point for those of us who don’t say things out loud but keep it in. We often don’t know what is living in there in the dark until we speak it and hear ourselves say it…
Hugs, Darlene


Fi and Maggie,
Thank you for sharing so openly about this difficult and personal subject.
I am not an expert on DID but this is what I learned in my own recovery. It didn’t matter how many alters that there were not all of mine were even introduced in therapy. (and not everyone is like me, I am just sharing my own experience.) The reason there were alters, is because I created them to deal for me. I split off or fragmented in order to deal with trauma. I created the alters to take care of ME. What I found is that I didn’t have to heal them individually. When I saw the patterns of how my belief systems were formed, (and the alters were created to deal with trauma but the belief systems had similarities) and began to uncover the lies, that I (the core) believed, as I replaced the lies with the truth, and did my work, the alters all merged eventually. It sounds really simple, I KNOW, but that is how it worked for me. I didn’t have to do formal integration because the belief system was what needed to be healed and then I just seemed to “come back together” as one. ( I was pretty shocked not to have to do the same kind of work that I had heard about in books etc… but I didn’t do it that way. ) It didn’t matter ( to my recovery) how many there were, I don’t honestly know how many there were, broken is broken. (just like abuse is abuse and lies are lies)

Now having said that, please feel free to express your own experiences with DID ~ recovery is an individual thing, and I don’t want to make anyone feel restricted. I have a VERY good friend who needed to deal with each alter in therapy, that is what worked for her and I respect that.

Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I also had denied for many years that any of my problems stemmed from my childhood. I was done with that part of my life. I had run away. I had no contact so how could it be affecting me? It was a medical doctor, who knew of my family history, that suggested my problems could be from my abusive childhood. I was 31 years old and suddenly had to face something I had hidden deep inside. I was so scared. I have now been on medication for almost 20 years and, although I don’t like it, it keeps me from killing myself. I will stay on it as long as I need to.

One thing that has helped me is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I have also done a lot of work on replacing lies with the truth. It is very, very hard work. However as I continue to heal, it is worth every minute and every tear. I am going to continue the battle to reclaim my life. Joy is a gift waiting to be found.

Thank you for your wonderful posts.


Hello Hold Fast!
It was very hard for me to realize and acknowledge to myself that my problems stemmed from childhood. But we are trained from so young to believe we are wrong, that our memories are wrong, that we imagined things and even that we didn’t matter or that we wouldn’t actually remember anything. SO we have no choice but to disconnect from all that. But deep down it doesn’t actually go away. We seek help for depression etc. without realizing where the roots of it come from… so complicated.
Thanks for being here and for contributing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene (and the rest of you fabulous ladies),

Thanks for the great points of clarity here. Watching each of these lives (yours, Darlene, and each of the brave, often hurting souls who respond) is a bit like watching the movie Momento: We only know this moment, and blips of those that hurt us. Seeing the light, the potential peace, having hope… those are often so out of reach, unbelievable. Unattainable.

It’s Saturday morning and I have to get going. I will comment later as an extended note and wrap it back here (there are some recent articles I need to mention, and some insights that may be valuable for those who are on meds and want to migrate to a more sound, healthy program. While not upsetting your respective doctors).

Suffice to say I can assure you there is light. And over time, you can’t even imagine a time where you DIDN’T have hope, love, light, happiness. Even joy. Really.

This is not me blowing smoke. This is a big reality. There is some mental and emotional rewiring to do. There is a lot of self talk and knee-jerk reactions that you’ll suddenly see as self-defeating. I dare to say your belief system will change. But that’s good, right?

Here’s a cool insight: There are dozens of ways to get to the other side. Think about that! That means, for each individual here, there are lots of options to explore… some will provide new insights. One may knock the snot out of the big bad fear/pain/thought that is holding you back. Once you realize you can make it, that that dark cloud has no control over you, you will realize you are indomitable. Because you made it through this hell. Nobody, nothing can &%$# with your spirit ever again.

More later. But please PLEASE hold on. Be thankful to be alive. Find one little thing to be thankful for. I don’t care how insignificant it may seem. Find it and magnify it. Give thanks. It’s really hard to be down when you’re giving thanks. Even if everything else seems bleak. Find a way to give thanks.

The woman who gave me three beautiful kids. The love of my life, ended her own just two years ago. From the living room, this very moment, the beautiful melodies of Chopin come wafting through as my youngest daughter Livvy plucks them from the piano keys.

You deserve to hear this.


These comments are so intense amd so deep.
I am very thankful for everyone here – each person has been a real help to me as I pore over all you have said.

I have figured out that what dragged me down for years was that I was seeking validation from the same people who hadinvalidated me. I was wanting to change the story- I was wanting to rewrite history. I wanted these people to say they didn’t mean it; that they loved me; that they were sorry; that is was all a mistake.
That I was wrong about my fears and my thoughts and memories that are so hazy that I hoped they were wrong.
I didn’t even know this was my thought process for a long time.
I have waffled, gone back and forth about the abuse in my family.
I think what has hobbled me now at this point is that my denial at the time caused the initial abuses of my daughter because I did not want to believe who I believe now really abused her in the first place.
Everything points to one person and I denied, and denied it to myself for years.What would it mean if it were true? It would mean everything i our family was a big cat and mouse game. It would mean they weren’t just ‘sick’; they really were evil. and my confusion really was amusing to them, as I experienced over and over.It would mean I was scapegoated as the family problem well after my childhood to once again cover up the abuse of my child.

I would love to believe I am imagining things, but a family member who says nothing supportive or helpful, when your toddler is found to be abused, and never even mentions it again, when you are reeling in panic and confusion,is NOT someone who wants to get to the bottom things and is NOT concerned about keeping a child safe.

my family member is dead now. I read her journals from that time. She never even mentions my child’s abuse. The entire thems of her writings is about how mean I am to her, and how I ‘despise’ her. Its a collection of sickness that just overwhems me with its projections and its indifference to the feelings of everyone else in her life.

For me now, this guilt I feel about not protecting my child is holding me back somehow from moving on and allowing myself to go forward.As if since I failed my child I wonder if I deserve to stand her and gripe about the fact no one protected me. I know this is a process and thi is part of it.
At the time I didn’t really suspect this person hurt my child, and was so confused though about why she seemed so weirdly indifferent to what had happened.But her reactions and her treatment of me – trying to convine everyone AND me how mean I was to her when it just wasn’t true, is weird. Normsl people don’t do that.

After the abuse of my toddler-and i still didn’t suspect this person- this person would change my baby’s diaper and very specifically make sure I saw her and heard her telling my child how to wipe from ‘front to back’ when pottying, over and over again. At the time I wondered what in the world she was doing.

Now I think she wanted ME to see her occupied with my child’s diaper area, in case my child ever said this person touched her ‘down there’.

Now I think alot of things.sometimes I think I am losing it.

I love this blog. I am staying on this journey.


Wow Elizabeth; you are so describing a journey so similar to the one I have been on. From your first paragraph to your last one.

Having been in similar positions with family and my children – me too. And for my own healing as a parent – I found this to be one more layer of grief that I needed to face. And that when I stopped accepting blame from my family for what had happened to me – it was a lot easier to own my role in how my children were affected and hurt over the years.

And in order for me to get past the anger, hatred and resentment at what my family had done to first hurt me then the role they played in my children’s hurts…I chose to see them as hurt people trying to validate their own pain and issues through controlling hurting and denying my pain. When I hung onto the idea that they were simply horrible evil people that took away from my peace.

When I could see them as people who had their own issues and that I could set boundaries around them – I wasn’t letting them off the hook but I was removing that constant stirring up of my pain around them. Sort of forgiving the debt in order to set myself free from carrying that burden of anger while also closing the door for further opportunities to allow them in my life as they have not done their own work to find healing. For me this was another layer of the grief. Theres more to it of course – but mostly i just wanted to let you know I hear you and understand what you are describing. I’m so glad to see you here!


Hi Elizabeth, I can so relate to your wanting to rewrite history and be wrong about your memories and fears and believe you’re imagining things. It is excruciatingly painful to face up to the truth, layer by layer.


Sickness is a condition
Evil is a behavior

I will never understand the behavior of abusers.
I guess I am glad in a way of that.
I don’t understand the prccess of lying to cover up what was done, the process of trying to throw blame on other people, the processof trying to throw others off the trail fo hide abuse so a person won’t be suspected.Lying.Trying to make ones self the ‘abused’…expecially when they are afraid of detection.
I believe all of these things are done by abusers and they require a conscious thought process.
I don’t think there has been a cure found for sexual child abusers- at least that is what psychologists say.

If forensic psychologists have a table of characteristics for abusers of all kinds, especially sexual, then why should any victim have to turn themselves inside out long after they need to, about whether mom, dad or someone else abused them. I know the answer is in not wanting to believe it.

If I focus on the behavior of people and not in assumptions about them(oh, THEY wouldn’t do THAT)or their supposed intentions, over a period of time I get clearer about how to lay to rest these things I struggle with.

I can forgive myself eventually for not seeing and understanding what I was seeing because of denila and previous conditioning;I KNOW what my intentions were regarding my child’s abuse, and that was to keep her safe.

I DON’T know what the inner workings or the ‘intentions’ were of the person who abused her -I can guess, but I don’t know. What I do have is clues of behavior and responses.And shows of indifference.

I hate having to piece things together this way.
All I know is I crave safety for both my daughter and I. Safety seems to be my primary motivation now. I don’t want to get taken by these awful surprises or feel powerleass ever again.

Forgiveness seems secondary.


Elizabeth – I think my comment was most likely not applicable to this thread perhaps. I wasn’t trying to make assumptions about what anyone else has done or what you or anyone else should be doing – only the process I used to resolve some issues for myself around this.

This whole process is difficult in itself. It is hard trying to make sense out of these kinds of senseless actions that cause so much deep and long lasting damage to us and our children.

You have every right to desire safety for you and your daughter. This is as you say the primary focus.


Oh no, Susan,
I wasn’t even thinking you were making assumptions about anything, I was just writing my thoughts as I went. I think for so long I have bounced back and forth between being angry and then feeling guilty for being angry, and then trying to see things from everyone else’s point of view’ and the starting the whole thing over again, I got exhausted mentally.

The issue of forgiveness does allow us to rid ourselves of bitterness and self poison from the hatred.I am aiming for detachment I guess, but although I know the right words to say, I don’t really feel it, nor does my compassion for the people who hurt us seem to stick around very long.I don’t even know how I feel sometimes.

I used to believe my attachment to people was what made being around them safe. Now I have realized that this is and was NO guarantee of their being trustworthy, all my paradigms have shifted. I have to see life a whole different way-a more educated way. I have to LISTEN to my gut. I have the chance to observe and be careful with myself. I have the chance to be there for my daughter when she needs me for support with her own memories.

I DO love life. I still have fleeting thoughts of feeling terrified and frozen, as if….I am waiting for my ‘parents’ to come and make things ok. Not literally, but its that kind of feeling; a longing.

I have learned to ride them out- its some kind of flashback I guess.
It gets better as time goes by.

Again thanks for this and the other blogs, SO much.


Hi all!
The blog is not letting Susan post her reply, so I am posting it for her:

Elizabeth – I so understand what you are saying about the mental exhaustion. It is exhausting learning how to change our beliefs and the learned pattern of thinking that goes with them. What you describe I think is very normal for the kind of emotional healing that you are describing. I mean – we are not just “healing” but we are reconstructing ourselves and learning to create a being from inside out. Doing this kind of demolition to the lies that our lives have been based and then the reconstruction on IS exhausting – yet so so rewarding!

You share so much wisdom and insight in your notes Elizabeth; it does get better as the new programming settles in and becomes our new, healthy “normal”.

I so appreciate your journey! thank you for sharing and for your encouraging note!


Hello Everyone;
I have been having some serious eye strain problems and trying to get new glasses sorted out; this has caused me to have difficulty keeping up with the comments on this post. Please accept my apologies for the late response to the recent comments.

Mark ~ Thank you for your inspirational contribution to this post. I am so sorry that you lost your wife. I can’t really imagine. It is inspiring that you see the brightness and wonder of life so soon after that kind of tragedy. You are an amazing example. You bring up such a great point about being thankful ~ I write 10 minutes of gratitude each morning. This practice has changed my life dramatically. I highly recommend doing this! I started off with just a few things each day.

Elizabeth ~ you have had a huge breakthrough.. I have watched you struggle with this for weeks now; I have had the honor of sharing your journey as you have been processing all of it right here on this blog. You prove that this process works. Although you have shared a huge chuck of pain here in this post, you sound settled and convicted. As though at the same time you have found some freedom in the truth. I am so proud of you and the work you are doing both for yourself and for your daughter.
Hugs, Darlene


I like the idea of creating our lives from the inside out.

I confronted a family member about some of the things she was saying to others – and doing that affected my life and that were distorted views and her own opinions. I also discussed things with a couple others trying to get closure and ‘set the record straight’. In each case the person 1. didn’t apologize, 2. treated me with annoyance, as if I were pestering them, 3. talked to me as if I were deranged, instead of talking to me rationally.

I did this at my therapist’s suggestion.Maybe I was supposed to be giving people a chance to talk straight to me and say they were sorry. I don’t know.It all made things so much worse.And it kept me in turmoil for a long time.

People of goodwill don’t do the things they did in the first place.I believe 99% of the time others know when they are acting inappropriately. They don’t need me to say anything to them.There was no value on calling someone’s hand unless and until I was safe from their reach.

So recreating myself from the inside out is not only healthy- its a necessity.I lived my whole life around controlling people who were
defining me so I would fit into THEIR world. I was never empowered to create my own world. Boy do I feel used…..

I had read all the recovery books, years ago. I shared all I knew with my family.I knew alot!What a kicker to realize my family’s and family friends response was to up the ante.

Reading my mother’s journal after her death I found that she didn’t WANT me living with her, although she invited me to, after I left my daughter’s father.The only reason she ‘tolerated’ me was because she wanted to be around my child.

She also states in her journal that she would tell me to leave but she is afraid I would kill myself.That is crazy.However living with her
was like water torture; putdowns, shrugs, eye rolling.She would also say things like.’I’m a horrible person’ all the time and I guess that was my cue to tell her she wasn’t and that I loved her. After awhile I got tired of that.

I told her I wanted to move out and she said ‘well you can’t make it on your own and you’ll just blame me for it somehow.’

She strongly disliked me according to her journal.

Reading that journal was eye opening and a real horror to me.

I have to come to terms like so many, that my family was incapable of caring.

So each day I learn to be kind to myself, a step at a time.That is re-creation.I slso have to trust that my inner self Is protective and that I will only recall or understand things as I can handle them. that is what I am hoping.


One of the things that I can see looking back is that once I realized the truth of how it really was, how my mother communicated that I didn’t matter, that most things were for her own motives, and once I got used to the horror of that fact, I was able to begin setting those lies straight. Setting them straight took some time.. I would accept that what I believed about my self was a lie, but then I second guessed ~ that went on for a while. Eventually I really KNEW that I was not the problem, that SHE had a problem and projected it on to me. (but that was no longer a good enough reason for me to take it anymore) Pretty soon I was solid in my knowledge that I am fine! I am lovable, I am worthy and I am important! I have something to contribute to this world. I belong just as much as anyone else does. That is the TRUTH that set me free!
You are doing awesome my friend!
Love Darlene


Darlene, you said once you got used to fact that your mother’s behavior came from her own motives that you were able to look at the lies, and see that it was projection on her part.It was about her; not you.

Then you were able to see you were fine.This so hope inspiring.

I think I started out fine but for some reason I was a threat to my mother, and alot of damage was done. I have ALOT of self worth issues to overcome.

When I go back and forth feeling so sorry for my mother and then flipping into feeling so angry at her- and darn it, I feel both of those things, I am working on remembering that just because i feel sorry for her life, it was NOT my job to fix her life or the way she felt about herself, and the verbal and nonverbal jabs -among other things-were not something I was obligated to endure just to be in her life…I was not obligated to turn my child over to her because she believed I was an incompetent alcoholic. I had been in recovery for over two years when I moved in with her with my infant, and mom treated me-and referred to me in her journal, as if I were downing a bottle of Jack every night or something- as if I were not even IN recovery. SHADES of my dad.

I simply replaced him in her life.

When I start to feel sorry for her, I remember that one time she said,’You know, when you wear mascara, you look like Miss Piggy.’..and would laugh,,,at me…This was long before her head injury.She knew what she was saying and doing.

I know it sounds silly, but this one little comment was so hurtful, an so unnecessary, and looking back speaks volumes about the mocking nature of her relationship to me.

I keep it in my memory not to dwell on it, but to NOT fall into feeling great pity etc for her, and then GUILT for my anger at the way she treated me.

People know what they are doing when they deride and demean others, and its never an accident. Ignoring someone’s pain might be an accident, or a misunderstanding, but snipes and mocking comments are not an accident.

I was in denial about so much and if it were not so, I would not be here-Now I can move on.

There has to be an inner voice that keeps us moving forward and mine is in there, and it IS kind and compassionate, and it WILL rise louder and higher than the voices of the past that do not even belong to me.

Thanks Susan, Darlene, Christine, Patty and everyone here for being here and sharing with all of us.


Hi Elizabeth!
Something I just thought of ~ It is fine to feel sorry for your mother AND be angry. We don’t have to pick one or the other. That is something that I got sorted out over time. It is part of the whole process of owning the truth.
You are making great progress, huge strides! You are doing so great!
Love Darlene
Oh and P.S. ~ that miss piggy comment… my mothers mother was exactly like that… extreemly devaluing, hurtful that stuff is. My mother had a way of hinting at it. Her mother must have hurt her badly enough that my mother adopted a different style of doing it, because she really just did it in a different way. That miss piggy thing really bugged me…


Darlene, a FB friend sent me this website and I am so glad I found it. I just turned 63 and in past 9 months I have moved, gotten divorced, lost my mother and dog on the same day and as a result, had a nervous breakdown. This is the first time in my life I am living on my own, paying my own bills, and dealing with life on my own. I am in therapy, for second time in my life, trying to let the real me out. I discovered through journaling, reading and therapy, that I had an emotionally abusive childhood. My mother was a supremely beautiful but narcissistic woman who saw me as a threat to her when I became a teenager. From that point on, she treated me horribly and I bent over backward my entire life to please her and get her love and praise. She became more angry and bitter over her life with my father, a depressed, selfish man, and lashed out at everyone, but me especially. By the time she died this past April at 86, I could barely shed any tears for her. Now, almost 7 months later, I don’t miss her at all. I finally feel I can be the me that was always hiding inside. There is no one to cut me down anymore. I feel free for the first time in my life. Got rid of an emotionally insecure and controlling husband, a jealous sister, and my Mom is gone. Free at last. And for first time in my life, I love myself. I think I am a fantastic person. I don’t need their approval anymore. They couldn’t love themselves, so how could they ever love me? I understand that now. I have a ways to go, but I am finally on the right track.


Hi Vicky,
Welcome to emerging from broken!
Sounds like we had mothers that were very much alike! I am very glad that you have found my blog and that you are sharing some of your life and journey and thank you for sharing this inspirational post! There is life and love after abuse and struggle!
hugs, Darlene


[…] years ago, I excitedly told my Mother over the phone that I was going to write a book about my process of recovery from chronic depression and dissociative identity disorder.  She reacted with strange sort of hesitation.  She didn’t ask any questions; she didn’t […]

Christy Feddersen
April 5th, 2012 at 6:00 am

I recently shared a portion of my story about how “My Mother Doesn’t Love Me” on another post, but have been reading many other articles here on Emerging From Broken that have really helped me so much, as well. I came across this particular one this morning, and something hit me LIKE A TON OF BRICKS!!!

For the last year, I have been feeling stuck in the deepest, darkest depression I think I have ever felt in my entire life! The second I looked at those slippers and read the part in the article about “how they aren’t working anymore” tears began to stream down my face. I replaced those slippers with my pain pills. It is the same for me. What once was a comfortable coping mechanism for me, is no longer working, and I am DESPERATE to find a way out of this depression!

I have literaly locked myself away into one room of our home for the past 3 months and have let everything around me, including myself, completely go. I cannot seem to care about the house, the laundry, even brushing my hair unless I have to. I feel like I am going INSANE! I see the door, and I don’t understand why I just can’t walk out of it and venture out into the rest of the house and maybe start cleaning or SOMETHING, but it seriously pains me to even think about it. I only leave this room when I have to. To let the dogs outside, to use the restroom or take a shower (which has even become a chore lately), to pop something into the microwave to eat, or to make a glass of ice water. I rarely leave my home, except for when I absolutely have to. I DREAD having to go to the store and it exhausts me to the point that I feel like I cannot BREATHE by the time I am done. I even tried going to a movie with my two adult children recently because they were insisting that I “get out of the house and do something”, and I had a full blown panic attack during the movie and had to excuse myself to step outside and breathe. I realized I hadn’t eaten anything that day, and thought maybe if I ate something I’d feel better, so I ordered a $4 hot dog and went and sat inside the bathroom stall alone on the toilet and crammed it down my throat trying to make myself feel better. It didn’t work.

It doesn’t feel like ANYTHING is working anymore and as much as I really DO want to MAKE MYSELF get out of this room, when I do leave it for whatever reason…I feel too overwhlemed to even deal with anything in life whatsoever. So, back to the room I go…death grip on the remote…bottle of pain pills on the nightstand…overflowing ashtray beside the bottle. I am DYING here in this room and no one can save me but MYSELF and I know it, but cannot seem to crawl out of this depression for whatever reason. I’m scared…always in fear that someone will “catch me” being lazy. I refuse to answer the door when the doorbell rings. I pretend I’m not home. I panic and am frozen at the peep hole and cannot open the door. I don’t want to open the door. I don’t want to do ANYTHING anymore, and the worst part is that it’s not even like I DON’T know why, because I very much do!

In dealing with the issues with my mother, I have allowed her to control me again to the point of punishing myself and locking myself in this room, but there is so much more than just issues with my mother. It goes way beyond that. The problem is that my usual coping skills (or what I thought were coping skills, but are really just a means of escaping reality) are just not doing their job any longer.

It feels like I am crippled in some way, like mentally. All of the abuse I have suffered my entire life…sexual, mental, emotional, physical, verbal, psychological…ALL of it has debilitated me to the point that I feel as though I can no longer function! The catch is that I KNOW I CAN…I just don’t want to. How can that be??? How can I NOT WANT to function? That in turn, causes me so much guilt, which in turn causes me to become more depressed. It’s like a vicious cycle that I cannot break free from! I keep thinking of all the things that need my attention, but I am broken to the point that I feel I am broken beyond repair and all I can do is sit in this God forsaken room and watch t.v. shows about Interventions and Hoarders and cry.

I think even my dogs are becomming depressed. They look at me and do not understand. They sleep a lot, because I don’t play with them outside anymore. My children TRY to get me to do SOMETHING, but I just can’t! My youngest child who is 14 is away and has been gone for several months, working her way through the system at the Juvenile Detention Center for truancy, and I miss her terribly, but feel like her downward spiral is all my fault, too. If I had been a better mother, maybe she wouldn’t be there. I know in my heart that is not the truth but my head tells me lies. I visit her once a week on Saturdays, but am not allowed to touch her, not allowed to hug her, kiss her, or wipe away her tears. I know I have to find a way out of this depression so I can be stronger for her when she comes home. She has her own healing to do and I have to be there for her…so why on earth can’t I MAKE MYSELF do what needs to be done now???

I just don’t get it! I am desperately trying to wean myself off of these horrible pain pills that I don’t really need. I have, over the last week or so, cut my intake in half. My body feels like it is in shock! It is difficult for me to move. Everything hurts. I don’t know where else to start really, with so much else going on around me…so I felt I needed to start somewhere, and the pills aren’t working for me anymore, so I started there. But…it feels like it’s not enough of a start. It feels like I should be doing more, yet, I just can’t.

Hopefully, one day soon I will be able to come back here and have a happy ending to this, but for now…this is where I’m at. “The Blue Room” is what I call it. Not only because it IS blue…but because that is also how I very much feel inside if you could describe your feelings in color. It is not even a nice blue like the sky. It’s a sad blue…a very sad blue. Maybe one day I will have the energy and the courage to paint it! For my sake, I certainly hope so! =(

~Christy Feddersen~


Hi Christy
I started at the beginning. I started with looking at how I got so broken in the first place. I dug in, I wrote journals I looked at the damage, the original damage and I validated it; I stopped excusing it, I stopped trying to understand “why” my parents were the way they were. I validated me and learned to do for myself what no one had ever done for me. This is the process in a nutshell. I hear your pain and I know what that is like. I hope that you keep reading ~ there is so much information in this site. There is hope!
Hugs, Darlene

Christy Feddersen
April 5th, 2012 at 9:23 am

In thinking back to one of my very first memories of childhood…I believe I know the very root of my continuing pain and issues. When I was 3yrs old, my mother’s sister, my aunt Kathy, very violently sexually molested me one night while she was babysitting me and my younger sister when my mother was working late. I will never forget that horrible night!

My aunt Kathy was in her late teens or early 20’s I think, something my mother would later use as a reason to “excuse” her sister’s behavior and the pain she inflicted on me (her age). My aunt Kathy also got into a bicycle accident when she was little and was hit by a car and was diagnosed with mental problems because it damaged her brain I was told…and that would be another reason to “excuse” her sister’s behavior and make light of what horrible thing she had done to me.

It was very late at night and my aunt and I were sitting on the couch watching the black and white t.v., but I remember distinctly that the picture was fuzzy on the t.v. screen and you could only ‘hear’ the t.v. and not see anything on the screen but lines and blur as if it weren’t on the right channel. I didn’t know why we were watching or “listening” to whatever that was, but I felt special because I was allowed to stay up later than my baby sister when it was way past my bed time. I now understand that it was either some pornographic show or the moans and sighs of two people who were being intimate or having sexual relations. That is what I was hearing from the t.v. at the time, but had no way of comprehending as a 3yr old child what that meant, nor did I know that it was inappropriate for me to be watching that sort of thing. Aunt Kathy was in charge, she was the boss, and mom was at work…so I just assumed that it was okay.

The next thing I remember is my aunt picking me up and putting me in a sitting position on top of her while she was lying down on the couch. I didn’t think too much of that because we had watched t.v. or talked with me sitting on her like that many times before and she never hurt me until that night. She removed my underwear and then shoved her fingers hard into my vagina, and when I tried to get away because I did not understand why she was hurting me OR what was going on, she held me there with her other hand, forcing me to sit on her fingers that she had crammed far inside of my little body. I remember the pain of that night like it was yesterday! I was screaming and crying and begging her to stop hurting me, but she didn’t. She continued to molest me for what seemed like an eternity.

When she finished, she realized that there was blood everywhere. It was running down my little legs and thighs, all the way to my feet. I was screaming in pain and though I was going to die because I had never seen so much blood before, and all I knew was that it felt like I was burning inside of my stomach and I felt like I was going to throw up. She snatched me up in a panic and ran with me to the kitchen sink where she sat me on the edge of the counter with my legs into the sink, and she turned on the faucet. I don’t remember anything she said, or if she even said anything at all. I just remember being so confused and not understanding what just happened to me.

She grabbed the dish soap from near the sink, squirted a large amount onto her hand and onto the same fingers she had just crammed inside of my tiny body, and she put them inside of me again. I am assuming that she was making an attempt to “clean me” or “clean up the evidence”. I continued to scream in pain and the dishsoap burned like fire inside of me! She did not stop! She took several minutes, with me there crying out begging her to stop hurting me, and cleaned me up with that dish soap, and then redressed me, set me back onto the couch, and began pacing back and forth in the livingroom as if she were angry. I remember being so afraid that I didn’t know what to do. All I wanted was my mommy, but my mommy was not home…she was at work, so no one came to save me.

Later when my mom did come home from work, I was still crying and still in pain, and I told my mother what happened. I remember my mother sort of yelling at her sister and saying, “Kathy! You know better than that! You are not supposed to do things like that to little kids!” and that is all I remember. No one called the police. No one arrested my aunt for what she had done to me. No one saved me. The very next night, my mother left me alone with my aunt Kathy while she worked the late shift again. I have no memory of whether or not my aunt ever sexually assaulted me again after that night.

As the years went by, I thought about that day a lot. My mother did not want to talk to me about it. At family gatherings, my aunt Kathy was there and everyone acted like nothing ever happened. My aunt would even try to come and hug me or hold me, but I would run away from her in a panic, afraid of her and what she might do to me if she got her hands on me. Everyone just laughed, including my own mother and my aunt, saying I was being so silly and needed to be nice and give my aunt Kathy a hug. So, my mother, AFTER KNOWING WHAT HER SISTER HAD DONE TO HURT ME, made me hug my aunt Kathy, tell my aunt I loved her and sit on her lap in front of the rest of the family for “show” I suppose. I was horrified inside!

When I started to hit my teenage years, this single memory haunted me on a daily basis and it began to disgust me how my mother could even speak to her sister after she had done such a horrible thing to her precious child! Whenever I would try to talk to her about MY FEELINGS, she would get angry and yell at me and say things like, “It was a long time ago! Why can’t you just get over it already?!” She would also, of course, continue to make excuses for my aunt, but I still resented my mother for continuing her relationship with my aunt as if nothing ever happened. I did not understand how she could do that. It felt like she was choosing her own sister who had done a horrible crime agianst her daughter over her OWN daughter…and basically she TRULY WAS!

It has taken its toll on me, even today. My mother will nonchalauntly mention my aunt Kathy in conversation and talk about how they went shopping and went to eat lunch together as if NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. Even going so far as to laugh about things my aunt said or did, or just talk to me in general about my aunt and her life and what is going on with her. AS IF I CARE!!! SHE MOLESTED ME!!! It sometimes felt like my mother was doing that on purpose to try to make me relive that horrible night again over and over in my mind as if I hadn’t done that enough already!

My pain was never recognized and it CERTAINLY was NOT dealt with. Instead, it was shoved under the rug, and I was expected to “just get over it” and forget about it, but as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t. The older I got, the angrier I got, and the more I hounded my mother about it. She would only lash back in a rage and start bringing up everything I was doing wrong at the time or try to shift the focus to something I had or was doing wrong instead of talking about the REAL problem. It always left me feeling like the abuse I suffered was my own fault, even though I knew in my heart it wasn’t. How could it be??? I WAS 3YRS OLD!! I DID NOT DESERVE THAT! NOT ONE BIT!

Thinking back to that memory, that is the first time I felt like my mother turned her back on me and walked out of my life, leaving me to ‘fend for myself’ emotionally, and she really did shut herself off to me from that very night on it seemed. It continued to worsen over the years (my mother’s detachment and emotional abandonment) and has gotten to the point where I am today. Many awful things throughout my childhood I have suffered BECAUSE of DIRECT results of bad choices made by my mother, yet to this day…she absolutely REFUSES to even so much as say she is sorry for my pain. She will NOT accept the fact that she has ever done anything wrong…NOT EVER!

I remember once when I was 14yrs old and my brother was first born, I was really bothered by the memory of my aunt and was having constant and I mean CONSTANT thoughts of it. Like, it was CONSUMING my life and I could not get it out of my head. I felt like I was going crazy! I began to have horrible nightmares and life became unbearable. It was not the first time I thought about suicide, but I was so upset that I just felt like I HAD to confront my mother again about this unresolved issue in my life or I just didn’t know WHAT I would do. It was so traumatic! I had to find a way to deal with it and I NEEDED MY MOTHER to help me do that. What was I thinking????

Instead, what she did to me was just absolutely insane! I remember trying to explain to her my feelings and remember her getting angry and yelling at me telling me that she was so sick and tired of hearing it…the usual. I just could not let it go. I NEEDED to process it, but she would take no part in that! A couple of days passed after I made the attempt to confront her and express my feelings, and she came to me one night when I was sitting in my room. I was angry, full of rage inside, and my only outlet was writing so that is what I was doing. 14yrs old, listening to music and writing while sitting on my bed. She had a Bible in her hand and she leaned against the door frame and she had that “look” so I knew something very bad was about to happen because she looked MAD! I knew I had done something wrong, but I did not know what. I frantically tried to think of what on earth it might be in my head so I could brace myself for the abuse I knew was coming, whether verbal, physical or emotional. Nothing could have prepared for what was about to happen next!

She starts ranting and raving accusing me of being a devil worshiper and calling me a demon. She says that she KNOWS I cut my infant brother’s eyelashes and that I was using the hairs to cast a spell on him because she KNEW I was practicing witch craft. I was in shock! I thought she’d gone mad! She MUST be making this up! It must be a joke! But it wasn’t. She was DEAD SERIOUS!!! I began to cry and plead with her, explaining myself, defending myself… telling her there was no way I would ever hurt my brother (which was very true because I loved him almost as if he were my own child) and I would NEVER harm him! She refused to believe me, and opened the Bible and began quoting scripture from it, yelling at me and screaming at me and trying to cast out demons from me “In the name of Jesus”. I was crying and begging her to stop. I didn’t understand. I had done nothing wrong. Then she took that Bible and began beating me over the head with it…over and over and over as she was yelling at the top of her lungs and casting demons out of me. I cannot remember how long this went on, but she eventually stopped, leaving me horrified and alone in my room as she slammed the door and said, “You disgust me! You make me sick! You are not MY daughter! I don’t know WHAT you are!” I do not know where anyone else in the house was. My sisters were 12 and 10 at the time. Mostly they just tried to avoid the wrath of my mother as much as possible, even though it was only ever directed towards me. I guess they ignored it out of fear that she would treat them that way. They didn’t want to be “the bad one”.

I knew at that moment, that was how my mother viewed me…as some kind of ‘demon’…not as her daughter that she loved and was willing to protect and nurture. I was a monster and she made that very clear to me. To this day, she swears to God that never happened and actually calls ME a liar and says that I am making things up, but I know it was VERY real. She refuses to talk to me about any of this either and tells me that none of it was true, and then says, “Until you can act like MY daughter, I want nothing to do with you.” I realize now that is her way of controlling me…by making me hang on to that one thread of hope that she will ever love me the way I need and deserve. She threatens to rip that hope away by saying, “If you don’t shut up about things and stop talking, I will be gone for good this time.”

The truth is that she’s never been there to begin with. I realized that over the last couple months and that is what started the whole confrontation with my mother that has lead up to me putting my foot down once and for all and not allowing her to continue to control me any longer. I did give her one last chance by asking for her help as I explained in my story on the other post, but of course she denied my cries for help as usual…and that was the final straw for me.

So…I know where the root of my very deep seeded issues lie….it is just a matter of somehow processing them enough to pull myself out of this depression. I am not a demon or a horrible person. I am a worthy human being who deserves respect and love. This has been such a process for me for my whole life and even now at age 42 I am still tyring to overcome the horrible abuse and twisted lies that have been engrained into my mind. Undoing it all is exhausting, and I am so grateful for this safe haven in which I can express my pain and actually get positive and encouraging emotional support. Thanks to all of you for listening and reading.

~Christy Feddersen~

Christy Feddersen
April 5th, 2012 at 9:28 am

I have so much work to do! =/ The thought of it makes me feel so completely overwhelmed right now. I guess I can just only do what I can do and that is to take things one step at a time…baby steps…small breaths. Little by little, I must uncover the truth and like you said, validate myself, because I AM worth it! I have such a strong faith and something in my heart of heart’s just tells me that eventually I will get there if I keep pushing forward!!!!

~Christy Feddersen~


Christy – first, very brave of you to share your heart like this. Love it! It’s a real stepping stone to healing. Even if for the moment, it feels more like a cry for help.

Second: Your reaction is real – and normal when you’ve been on painkillers.

An insight: The mother of my children took her own life after a decade on painkillers. She started following the birth of our last child. Adding alcohol and eventually methadone to the mix created the perfect storm.

So here are a couple suggestions that may be helpful. If I had more time today, I’d extend this post. – but please know that I intimately feel your pain.

I won’t get into the biochemical and neurological things the painkillers do to you. But the short story is:
1) Painkillers trap dopamine (the feel-good hormone) between the neurons. This is good for a short while. The problem is, over time, your body senses the dopamine levels and reduces your dopamine production.

So over time, you produce less dopamine. Meaning when you’re not on the painkillers, you don’t have enough dopamine cycling in your system to feel happy. It’s an ugly cycle, as you end up taking more and more painkiller to try to recover the feeling. But since there is less and less dopamine (and consequently, often seratonin as well) the pills don’t help.

That’s how Tish died: she could no longer feel good. So she just took as much as her body could stand.

OK, so back to solutions: how can we start improving your body’s own seratonin and dopamine levels, and give the body what it needs to help you feel better naturally.

(And BTW: ALL doctors should be establishing this routine when they put a patient on painkillers of antidepressants – always).

Remember: these were never meant to be taken for more than a short period of time.

So a few things you can take to help (all available cheap online from places like Amazon.com and Swanson’s vitamins).

Nighttime mix:
– 5-HTP, Huperzine-A, Potassium Gluconate and, if necessary, two small dozes of Melatonin 20-30 minutes apart. Don’t do this every day. But you can do it for a week and see how it feels. Then cycle the Huperzine-A in and out every few days. Add California Poppyseed Extract every other day as well.

Add sunflower lecithin capsules to it to restore choline levels and elasticity to skin and brain.

There are dozens of other things you can try, but I assure you this is a safe and effective regimen.

Sleeping well will really help.

Which means you need to be sleepy. Which means you should get out and get exercise. Even short walks (set a timer and take 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes walking… that’s a great start).

And vitamin D from sun on your skin and in your eyes. Very important. Also supplement with Vitamin D gel caps (lanolin). And take oils like Grapeseed Oil to help give the brain and body healthy oils to keep the cels clean and membranes flexible.

Now – what can we do to make your days brighter? Here, follow me…

Daytime Mix
– Rhodiola Rosea – 1 capsule in the morning, one just after noon. NOW makes a great one. Affordable, too.
– 7-Keto DHEA (Good-n-Natural brand). Will give you natural energy and also clear your head a bit. Great for weight loss as well.
– I’m treading on thin ice here, but a cycle of DHEA (25mgs) and Pregnenolone (5-50mgs) can completely remove the funk within hours. I recommend a blood and saliva test first, to get your baseline readings. But from there, it can make a world of difference.

Energy is critical. If you have energy, you can function. Then just doing helps to reduce the funk to a manageable level. Seeing some progress, even a little gives hope.

Which is the last part of my response: How to develop hope. Because in the end, hope and passion are the fuel for a meaningful life. I can sincerely share that Tish (my former wife) would still be alive today if she had found a true passion, and had hope in something meaningful.

So an exercise that pulled me from depression multiple times was simply this:
1) Keep a journal. Write in it daily. Commet some time, as little as 5 minutes, to just pen the thoughts in your head, and get them on paper.

I will regularly wake and spend the first 15-30 minutes just writing. It clears the head and provides some reflection.

2) Take a page, and write down all the things that are “wrong” – from what’s broken in your life, to your fears, etc…

My experience is, I had a hard time getting more than half a page of my “issues” before I realized that my life was actually pretty good. And at that point, I could smile, see a ray of hope, and follow that bright light into doing something productive.

I’m not a doctor. But I do know how disempowering depression can be. I just want to let you know you’ll find amazing people here in Darlene’s world – and that there is a way out.

Had I known what I know now, Tish would probably still be alive and thriving. She was smart, talented, gorgeous and a great Mom… painkillers were the killer.

I hope that helps. If you need more specifics, let me know.

Here’s to you rockin’ your life again.

Grace & Peace,


Hi Christy,

First of all, Thanks for sharing your traumatic experiences with your Aunt & Mom!…I’m so furious reading about what your Aunt did to you. Your aunt & mother are SICK & EVIL people!… No doubt, that your mom should have called the police on her sister! Your Aunt should have been held Legally Liable for Child Abuse!…No amount of FALSE LOYALTY towards her sister, should have prevented her from PROTECTING her OWN CHILD! No Excuse for Abuse period!….Also, Your mom PROJECTED all Her SIN on you, by casting out those so-called Demons from you. Of course, you would feel Abandoned & Betrayed by her through out your life.

I can relate to having Depression and feeling unable to function with every day activities. The mistreatment I endured from my Mom & Family is at the root of my Mental Health Problems!…I’m in the process of applying for Mental Health Disability through Social Security, because it has interfered with my functioning at work, in the last few years. The pain has finally gotten to the point, that I have to face the damage. It’s overwhelming some days, but I’m doing it step by step and day by day. This site is really helpful by providing the support I’ve been needing for so long! I’m doing the work and don’t look to my mother to meet my needs anymore. I’m being my own parent. My own mom has emotionally abandoned & betrayed me too, which I’ve written about in other posts through out the site. Thanks for Sharing your Story!…Your so Brave to face the Ugly Truth. Wish you much Peace & Health!
Sincerely, Sonia (SMD)


I had that “feeling” in my heart too and that was what drove me to keep trying. I just kept trying and striving to go forward by seeing the roots of this stuff. And it all paid off! There is hope for everyone. We all deserve this freedom. You ARE worth it!
Hugs, Darlene


I just got home and was reading the comments and I realized that I answered your second comment on this post and had missed the big one. My gosh I am sorry that this happened to you! SMD is right, all of this is sick including what you go on to tell about your mother.
Glad you are here, and please be gentle with yourself; you have shared a lot this past few days.
Hugs, Darlene

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