Nov
27

Standing up to Damaging Advice and Overcoming Trauma Directives

By
emotional abuse
unhelpful directives

People always told me things like “deal with it” and “get over it” and “put it behind you” They always seemed so impatient with me and even exasperated that I was still “there” and not over it.

Has anyone ever given you instructions on HOW to “deal with it”? Have you been giving information about HOW to get over it, that didn’t include statements to which you have to keep asking “how do I do that”?

Just get over it  (HOW?)  Just put it behind you. (HOW?) ~ “give it to God”. (HOW?) To which the answer was “Have faith” (HOW?) well you get the picture.

I was told to accept things with statements like “nothing happens by mistake” And while I totally love that expression when I was in the right place at just the right time and suddenly met the person who was going to change my life, what about when someone uses that expression “nothing happens by mistake” when you are trying to comprehend the leftover emotions from child abuse? That expression becomes a way to try to make you grateful for having been abused!

What about people who tell me that I would not be the person that I am today if I had not been abused; that the abuse made me a stronger person. (again that I should be grateful that I was abused) But the truth is that I will never know how I would have turned out. I don’t know how strong I would have been if I had never been abused.  Perhaps my brilliant mind would have been capable of finding the cure for cancer or creating brilliant best selling thrillers instead of writing about overcoming depressions and child abuse. I will never know what my gifts could have been used for and although I love what I do, I will never be grateful for the abuse just because it enables me to make a difference in the world now.

Perhaps even God has a different idea about this whole thing. I wonder if He would suggest any of those lame and unhelpful directives.

What if dealing with it is embracing the justifiable anger and rage for the damage that was done against you and for the time that you lost out of your life because of it. What if dealing with it is acknowledging to yourself that it was not fair, not right and a rotten horrible and usually illegal CRIME that was forced onto you? (and remember that emotional abuse and neglect are crimes too) What if dealing with it is feeling all the feelings that you were never given permission to feel when the damage was done?

What if dealing with it IS talking about it? What if dealing with it means talking about every little detail as many times as you needed to state them, for as long as it takes until you understand and realize that you didn’t deserve the treatment that you got. What if dealing with it means you talk about until someone else agrees with you, that you were unjustly treated, without telling you to “get over it” or “put it behind you?” and thereby validated your pain by not trying to get you to ignore it because the “truth is” that it makes them uncomfortable.

What if you were not told to “get over it”?

What if dealing with it meant confronting the person who did it to you or confronting the person who ignored what happened to you if that was what you needed to do in order to get over it?

The real message out there in the world is “don’t deal with it.” The real message is sweep it under the carpet where it will fester and grow bigger and bigger and manifest itself as depression and mental illness, dissociated identity, multiple personality, bi polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and yes, even narcissistic personality disorder. 

“Put it behind you” is the same as saying “don’t deal with it”. Stop talking about it means “don’t deal with it. Get over it really means “don’t deal with it” Anger is a sin means “don’t deal with it” Don’t think about it, don’t acknowledge what happened to you…although they don’t realize that what they are saying is actually “don’t deal with it and let it slowly kill you.  Let it take whatever ever small part of you that is still left”.

Not dealing with it was like denying that it was ever a problem.  And the truth can only set you free if you face it.

You will never find any of those recommendations written by me in this website.  It was dealing with this stuff, facing all of it and talking about all of it until I finally believed that I was not the problem that cleared the fog and opened the doors of my prison. It was in talking about it enough that I finally realized that I did not cause any of it to happen to me, that I finally overcame it and took my life back. It was by looking at it long enough to realize what I had come to believe about myself because of what happened to me, that I was able to overturn all those false messages that I had accepted as truth.

I think we have been living under the false definition of the phrase “deal with it”

So here in Emerging from Broken I say “deal with it” in every way that you can! Your LIFE depends on it!

Freedom is on the other side of broken;

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness

146 Comments

1

Exactly. Truth, even when it’s ugly, is beautiful, because it’s truth. Embracing the truth that crimes were committed is much more freeing than shoving it under the rug. Love your connection between stuffing the abuse and the resultant disorders, (depression and mental illness, dissociated identity, multiple personality, bi polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and even narcissistic personality disorder), caused by others’ requirements that one move on, without properly processing the grief over one’s uninjured, healthy, and happy life being ripped from them by a perpetrator.

2

Darlene, I wish, as the expression goes, that I had a nickle for every time my sister told me to “quit living in the past” or to just forget the past or that God gave me the parents He intended for me to have. What’s common in all of the things my family said to me is that what happened to me was my fault and it was my fault that I couldn’t get over it. They blocked me from doing the work I needed to do to “get over it” and then they riduculed me for being overly anxious and depressed and controling. All of the symptoms of sexual abuse that they continue to deny and demand I take full responsibility for.

I’m in the middle of watching a series on MSNBC on human trafricing and I just boil inside as I see little girls being treated the way I was treated. How can my family be so blind? The more I understand and really, deep down inside, accept what happened to me, the angrier I become…

Pam

3

Thank you. This blog entry was very topical for me today. To read these things, the confirmation that I am not alone in knowing the way most people dismiss the victims of abuse and violence has helped me to hold on to my sanity.

4

Martha,

I really feel for you. Quite a lot of what you describe feels very similar to how I feel (no further suggestions; believing I have PTSD symptoms (but noone seems to listen/help); religious abuse; feeling like nobody irl wants to know/cares about my struggles).

I wish I had something useful to tell you. (For that matter, I wish you – or anyone – had something useful to tell me that could just “fix” everything right now!) I guess I figured all I can do is relate my similar feelings & my sympathy for you.

I haven’t confronted my abusers (parents) yet. Not sure if I ever will. But I’m really sorry to hear that doing so has caused even more harm for you — especially regarding your daughter. Reading that just made my heart ache even more for you and her.

I really want to wish love and light for both you and your daughter and I really hope that you can find some degree of peace for yourselves.

Give yourself as much love and self-care as you can, and I really hope too that you might find people who genuinely care about you and can help you in some way (whether as friends or professionals)

J

5

This is the most meaningful (to me) post yet, Darlene! Thank you for letting so many people learn from your healing process. You ARE making a difference!

6

These are the statements my son and I have heard for the past 3 yrs.My son has been pushed away,ignored,bullied,made fun of,emotionally abused and financially neglected.All by the person who calls himself his “father”.After quite a number of years in counseling we have learned his father is a sociopath and the way we were treated is abuse.Our family and friends have told us both,”to get over it” “move on” “it’s over,he’s gone”…..like that is supposed to erase the years of heartbreak. People just don’t want to hear and deal with these things,they want to hear that we’ve moved on,for their sake not ours.We are healing but it’s a long,slow process.

Thank you,Darlene! You manage to put into words what we have trouble verbalizing to others.

7

I think this is one of those things that is uttered (sometimes, but not always) by well meaning folk who just DON”T get it. I have had good friends with gentle hearts tell me that I just need to stop thinking about it, stop trying to understand it – because I must be wallowing in it. And I honestly don’t – I am honestly trying to winkle out the LIES i have been force fed so that I can reject them and replace them with truth. But if you don’t know what the lie is, how can you counter it? In truth, fear of a nameless, faceless ‘bad thing’ deep inside me, had me running for years, and ‘not looking at it’ didn’t stop me running – it just stopped me facing and defeating it.
Darlene – your words are, in my opinion, right on the money.

8

Living in denial is not the answer. You don’t just wake up one day and decide the past is the past and move on with your life. Your past affects EVERY area of your present life. I’ve heard 90% of the reason people get divorced is because of unresolved wounds from childhood they have never addressed and healed from. They just carry over the dysfunction and pain into their marriage and expect the other person’s love to ‘fix’ them. Or they choose a partner that reminds them of their parent, which is a no-win situation from the start. TAKE TIME TO HEAL! It’s not selfish. Some people won’t be able to relate or don’t want to take the blindfolds off their own eyes, so I avoid talking to them. Otherwise, I just feel worse afterward. You can’t just put a Band Aid on things! I just keep sharing and pouring my heart out to safe people who care. No one deserves to be ABUSED. We spent years suffering for someone else’s actions. Let’s put the shame and blame back where it belongs, on the ABUSER’S shoulders! Facing the truth and being validated is what set me on the road to recovery. I only live in the truth now and won’t ever let anyone abuse me again.

9

Hi Abigail,
I made that connection when I started to face the truth and really look at how I got so “damaged” in the first place (and replaced the false belief system that had developed as a result) and all my issues began to resolve themselves.
YES the truth is beautiful.
Thanks for your comments, Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
yes exactly! I LOVE what you said here:

Pam said: “what happened to me was my fault and it was my fault that I couldn’t get over it. They blocked me from doing the work I needed to do to “get over it” and then they ridiculed me for being overly anxious and depressed and controlling”.

Thanks for that insight Pam!
Hugs, Darlene

10

Hi Bipolar Bear
We are certainly not alone. Before I started this website I was speaking in mental health seminars. I was shocked at the way people related to me when I shared some of the deep down feelings that I had. It was crazy how many people could relate and felt this huge relief that they were not “the only one”… so I decided to take it to the internet. And wow… just as I suspected there are millions of us who feel this way and have been discounted and told that our feelings are invalid..
Thank you for being here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Martha
My heart goes out to you. I can relate totally. I paid for crappy help too and it added to the problem and made me worse. Everyone left me too. No one changed and started to listen to me; I had to listen to myself. I was terribly disappointed in the results of confrontation to my family but I fought this fight for me. I said what I needed to say FOR ME. I gave up the hope that confronting them would resolve the relationship problems. They all think I am crazy… but they always did. That was how they controlled me and put me down. Even my husband was against me ~ he played the crazy card for years too. My kids were on his side. The solution for me has been to learn to love myself. To believe in myself. To know that I can go forward and it doesn’t depend on someone else. YES it is damn lonely and very hard and it takes a few years. I don’t intend to minimize your pain. I hear you. I just kept striving to go forward and I kept striving to learn how to depend on ME and believing that I COULD do it ~ . Eventually I felt like God was cheering me on, but that took a long time. Where do you go from here??? you keep going forward however you can.
There is hope. Hugs, Darlene

11

Hi Robin,
Thank you!!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Diane
Yes, exactly. People don’t know what to say so they say things that actually cause harm and hurt.
I am so glad that you are healing now… keep striving!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi J.
There are no quick fixes. :( There is lots of useful information on this site, but the work is still up to you.
hugs, Darlene

12

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve “disappeared” from EFB!!

Darlene, I totally agree with your stand on this post. I always tell people – if you don’t know what to say to a hurting person, then DON’T SAY ANYTHING. So often, we say the wrong things when we try too hard. Often times, the best thing to do to help a hurting friend is to just be there, even if it means silence. It’s to listen. Why is there always a need to say something?

I’ve had so many people tell me to “get over it”. If we can just easily get over things that have happened, then mental illness will not have existed. In fact, there won’t even be sadness in this world. But that’s not how we were created to be, just as how you won’t expect a glass to remain intact after a fall.

I deal with my emotions by allowing myself to face them. That makes me emotional, but it also makes me as honest as possible, with myself. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Neither do I think that pretending to be strong is the THE WAY to deal with issues. We all have different ways of dealing with our emotions, so what makes you think that you’re right and I’m wrong? In fact, as much as I think that you’re lying to yourself, who am I to say that you’re pathetic? You made that choice, and I’ll make mine.

Telling someone to “get over it” doesn’t help. In fact, it creates an added layer of guilt. Guilty for being weak. Guilty for being bitter and angry. Guilty for not dealing with my problems like how “stronger” people do. And then it’s my fault too?

Sometimes, I wonder what is so hard with listening. Recently, a good friend of mine told me that her nightmares have greatly reduced after talking to me about a past sexual abuse. I didn’t do anything – I just LISTENED. I gave her permission to cry as long as she needs to. I told her that she can’t say sorry to me. I gave her space. To me, it’s much easier than cracking my head over what to say – and ending up saying something wrong.

13

Hi Zoe
Very good points ~ yes very often people are well meaning and just don’t know what to say. These saying are learned and accepted in our society and people don’t really think about what they are indicating when they say them. I don’t write this against them. I write this to shed light on what WE take in from those expressions and how it holds us back. I write to inspire moving past that unhelpful advice. I wasn’t wallowing in it either and I tried to convince myself that I was! because I thought if I could just admit that I was feeling sorry for myself that I COULD actually “get over it” when actually I got over it when I validated myself and my feelings about the trauma events. Like you say, finding the lie in the first place is a very key step! I didn’t know 90% of the lies that I finally faced. I started with one event and found the lies I believed because of it… and then I went from there.
Love your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

14

Hi Karen
EXCELLENT!! Very well said.
Thank you for your comments ~ they highlight this post so well!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jasmine
Nice to hear from you!
Great points and I love your last paragraph! Listening is so powerful. Just being heard. I always thought that I had to be heard by the people that did the damage to me… but in truth I only had to be heard. And when I finally heard myself, the real healing started!
Hugs, Darlene

15

Yup, and the thing is it takes time to listen to ourselves and iron things out. It takes even longer time if we’re confused by the get-over-its. Sometimes, I just have to lock myself from people who are impatient with me, and deal with things on my own. To me, strong people are those who deal with their issues head-on. My friend had kept her sexual abuse a secret for nearly 10 years. It didn’t help. Time doesn’t heal all wounds – it causes them to rot. The only way to deal with hurt, is to clean it. Painful? hell yes. Time-consuming? Of course, longer than it takes to slap a band-aid on. Ugly? Definitely. But trust me, it’s the beginning of healing.

16

My husband and I had a discussion about this very issue just last night. He stated that he knows that I have to heal in my own time and in my own way. He acknowledged that no one has the right to set the standards for my healing, and that it is not possible to get over it without going over the crappy feelings, thoughts, and details I feel I can divulge in therapy. He ended the conversation by telling me that I am not a burden to him because I am on disability as a result of the debilitation caused by the abuse. Those statements were both comforting and validating that I do not have to allow myself to heal at anyone’s pace other than my own.

17

Darlene, I will never forget the day that someone mentioned to me that God “allowed” my abuse to help me to help others. That is not my concept of God! They implied that I should be grateful for what happened to me. I am sorry, but I cannot be grateful for what happened to me, nor will I ever ‘get over it’. To me it was a learning experience unlike any other. What I have learned is that I am grateful for surviving the experiences I went through and I will do everything in my power to help others heal and to prevent other children from living those same horrible experiences. It is said “we learn from our mistakes” but I learned the most from other people’s mistakes. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about abuse! Keep on telling the truth and thanks for this support to others who are told, “just get over it”, it helps them so much to validate their feelings.

18

I swear, some how you have this innate ability to read my mind. This is the exact same thing I was talking to my therapist about his morning. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

19

Totally agree. “Deal with it” = ignore it, forget about it, pretend it never happened.

Abuse destroys, period. If someone is strong after abuse it is because they were stronger before abuse. Abuse damages the brain, our spirits, and causes untold other damage. It spreads pain from one generation to the next (because many abused children grow up to become abusers or victims, also bringing their children into the same cycle.) There is nothing positive about abuse other than connecting abused people (who admittedly need understanding.) I think that people confuse strength with anger\determination\will to live or whatever other trait they want to see as “strong.” We tell ourselves and others that we are better for having suffered but that is a coping mechanism that allows us to let go of the regret of the loss of self.

20

Jasmine,
Yes exactly. It IS the beginning of healing. (and the dang band aids don’t work anyway!)
hugs! Darlene

Hi Linda
I used to be one of those people who told people that I was grateful for what happened to me because it made me who I am today. Of course back then I was a hot freaking mess! (whistling in the dark to keep my spirits up)
I am grateful for the fact that I survived too. Love you comments! Thanks for posting them
Hugs, Darlene

21

Hi Ronnie
Welcome to EFB
Yay for having a supportive husband!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ruth,
You are welcome, welcome, welcome!! When people tell my that it reminds me of just how many of us feel this way! Millions!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Justa Sobriquet
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
EXCELLENT COMMENTS thank you so much for sharing them here! There is nothing positive about abuse indeed!
I too used this belief as some sort of warped coping method when I was so stuck in the fog. I hope you share often!
Hugs, Darlene

22

Christina,

What you have said is golden. This site is an adjunct to my therapy. That this information is free makes it more precious to me! People, including Darlene and those who post, are taking a risk and making themselves vulnerable by trusting people they do not know and sharing their deepest emotions and secrets.

I sought this site because I needed to talk to others whose experiences, thoughts, and feelings echoed my own. Thanks for your courage to defend Darlene and those who support her!

Ronnie

23

Such a good post, Darlene – I tell people saying “get over it” or “move on” is revictimizing me all over again. Telling me I am not a real victim is also abuse. I don’t know of any victim, including me, who wants to hold on to the abuse or is a ‘professional victim’. That sort of garbage really ticks me off. It’s part of the “see no evil, hear no evil” syndrome that keeps abusers abusing.

24

Thanks for the welcome Darlene.:)

Christina: I agree that information on blogs like this and other web resources is invaluable and very helpful but I also understand the perspective of Martha. It is important to feel heard in real life for so many people. My worry is for those who do not have regular internet access, they are unable to take advantage of all that we have here. I have, honestly, found more sound advice and information online than I ever have in person (and I have been seeking help since 2006 for myself, 2009 for my child.) But those who need a professional who cares and actually understands in a clinical setting seems hard to come by as well as expensive. Society needs to take mental health more seriously and make these services more widely available. Educational institutions need to take a firm stance on who they endorse also. I recently met a pediatric psych (for my child) that I cannot for the life of me understand how this woman got a degree in child psych much less a license to practice!

25

Hi Darlene! I have been following you on facebook and always love what you have to say. This blog however really hit it home! I, like you, have been trying to help others through their experiences. I was raped when I was 15 and was told to get over it!! However…long story short, I did just that (or thought I did), only to be diagnosed with PTSD 25 years later. This last 2 years have been very hard on me, and feel like the pain was worse than when I was originally assaulted. I realized just recently that I was also abused as a child, and through my recent healing process came to realize that my entire life was off track from what it should have been.

It has now become my goal to help others heal and my writing career seems to be focussed on sexual abuse and PTSD as well. Keep it up!

Sharing the Light, Vicki

26

I’ve been through several bouts of depression in my life; molestation, I suffer from battered wife syndrome My children were taken away from me and Post tramatic stress disorder I’ve been raped as a young girl and a grown woman I just got to the point where I felt like my past had such a hold on me I wanted to end my life I’ve commited suicide more than three to five times in my life until one day I can’t say what it was but it talked to me told me it was’nt my time I have a purpose so I followed that voice about eleven years ago Now I’m a published Model/Author (book of Poetry) and an Actor I have a youtube channel featuring my talents I’m a Paralegal.Notary,Legal Secrtary, Direct care worker Sunday School teacher amongst other job titles I sometimes go into the city and feed the homeless. church has always been a foundation for me so I help out at the Out reach Program feed the less fortunate and homeless in the community I still suffer from these things I guess you never get over them but just lke any othe kind of incurable medical condition it can be manage with your will and strong determination you can get your life back in order
Defeating The Odds!!!!!!! that what you have to be about. Be Beautiful and have a wonderful day!

27

Ronnie,
I’m so glad you recognize the preciousness of what Darlene has created. I think the more we see how valuable it is, the more benefit we can draw from it.
Christina

28

>>What about people who tell me that I would not be the person that I am today if I had not been abused; that the abuse made me a stronger person. (again that I should be grateful that I was abused)<<

You are not the person you are today because of the abuse; you are the person you are today because you are actively recovering from that abuse. Sadly the majority of 'strong people' who were abused are calling their scar tissue 'strength'.

Much love to you Darlene,

Dave

29

“Stop dwelling in the past” & “Put it behind you” were two of my mother’s favourite epithets for me. The worst was “no such thing as ‘bad’ experience” (How I HATED THAT one!)
I wish I could have “put it behind me” – heaven knows I have TRIED – for decades. But I couldn’t – How can you put trauma in the past when it continues to be a major part of your present???? PLEASE – someone tell me???? UNTIL someone finally started to listen to me, to encourage me to talk about “it”. First I talked only to my therapists – more recently to my family doctor, and a group – and even more recently to my husband. And the diagnosis of PTSD has been a relief – it makes so much sense of my life. Now, some of the things I DO remember are starting to be less bright, less painful, less dominant. However, other memories are surfacing – and it is painful and raw…And totally exhausting.

30

the lowest form of knowledge-(ignorance)-mass thinking…mass education, mass bullying, mass entertainment…

31

Hi Vicki
Welcome to EFB
Very similar to part of my story Vicki!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Donna
Welcome to EFB
YAY for Victory. Thanks for sharing here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barbara
Yes exactly ~ it is a victimization!
Hugs, Darlene

32

Hi Dave
WELL SAID! Love this!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Libby
I heard an expression that stuck with me. Here it is “I will let go of the past when it lets go of me”… LOL
Hang in there Libby. I was exhausted for a couple of years and then I got my energy back!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kate..
Yes there is an element of that in all this too.
Hugs, Darlene

33

Thank you, Darlene. Again, you have voiced what I needed to hear now. These times when I feel fragile and cautious emotionally are not just weakness on my part, they are the result of living with bullies and soul-deniers. I don’t know if people who say, “just put it behind you” are well-meaning or if they are frightened of what looking at familial and societal truths will show them.

34

A really helpful book I read was “When You and Your Mother Can’t be Friends” by Victoria Secunda (Delacorte Press 1990). Here’s a quote: “But if a mother has an unhealthy need to dominate her children – which she demonstrates by bullying, terrifying, neglecting, suffocating, indulging, humiliating, overprotecting, or abusing them – those children must come to the recognition that such treatment is wrong in order to begin the long process or recovery and ultimate understanding.” In other words, you’ve gotta open up Pandora’s Box before you can recover!

35

darlene – thank you for validating that i still need to be heard. i still need a place to voice my feelings of being betrayed, abused, neglected and that the people that tell me to stop “living in the past” including my wife who has said it countless times and shut me down – they are ALL WRONG !!!! I knew i needed to keep talking. i have kept this stuff inside for 40 years. I too am tired of paying to talk to someone. I told the pastor at church yesterday that i will go talk to someone but i will not pay for it. i said “the church can pay for it if that is who you think i need to see” – specifically in the area of recovering from sexual abuse.

martha – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are all in this together. Dont buy into the lie that you have nowhere to turn. we are all in this together, working on getting better and healing together. This is the safest place to do healing work and its free. We are each in charge of our own recovery. You get to decide what you share, when you share and how much you share. You can share as much or as little as you want. You are empowered in your recovery. No one can do it for you. You have to take control of your recovery. We are the support you need. It may not be the way you want but its here. take it and run with it. Use it and grow. you will recover, you will heal, you will get better. YOU ARE NOT ALONE !

blessings,

dave

36

To Darlene and the rest of the EFB community,I just want to say a big thank you for being a support system for me. I don’t always know what i would do if it weren’t for this blog and the support we can give each other.
Wow! Lots of trigger points here. But i’m a little hesitant to say much because i haven’t been able to be on for a long time so i’m not sure how much i should say. I did just read a lot of comments on one of the other posts on here. My roommate asked me why i was not in bed by now (usually I am) and i told her that our school’s internet is finally letting me on here and I needed to do some “self-care” so I have been reading posts and comments. I have a lot of school to do, but it has already been suffering because i am have had so many triggers since coming here to school. It can wait just a little longer.
I recently stood up for myself (as in on Thanksgiving Day) and took a physical action with someone that hurt me incredibly badly. I was surprised by the healing I found in it.
I have had so many people tell me, “Just get over it.” “You’re not there anymore, it isn’t part of your life now. It is time to move on and let the past be the past.” how? These statements hurt, they frustrate me! Being at school, i have had a hard time making friends and being a friend because they do not know what kinds of things are trigger points for me. I have to build trust all over again, with everyone around me. I feel like i’m starting over at square one and that is discouraging to me. I also have one class in particular that is a cause of many major triggers for me. The professor seems to be extremely legalistic – but maybe that is just how i perceive it being sensitive right now. The text books she has chosen to use, have been really hard for me. They are portraying ideals for the perfect city, the perfect school, etc… and the ideas used are ideas that I grew up with and they don’t work. Having a professor that does this specifically to make the class argue is hard for me. I don’t feel like i can say anything because I don’t really care to have the whole class know why it makes me react. And the professor is not very approachable.
In another class, i am being asked to open up more than i am comfortable with both in class and in my papers for the class. I don’t have a choice to say that i don’t want to participate in what is being discussed in class. I don’t know the professor well enough to be comfortable being open about my life and what it has been like. When i came to school, I came to learn, but i didn’t want my personal life to be plastered all over my papers. In other words, I wish to keep my personal life and my school life separate from each other. Is that possible? Is there anyone in the EFB community that can share any helpful tips for dealing with these things pertaining to college?
Another area that I’m having trigger points right now is that some of my memory of the early years is coming back. I remember how i was told to just ignore and get over the teasing that i received as a child. It wasn’t loving teasing, it was hurtful, i.e. making me have a bike wreck, chasing me around, calling names etc… I can’t think about it right now.
Sorry about spilling so much right now. Everything kinda piled up right now.
Darlene, i just want to say thank you for all you do for us here. I really have a lot of respect for you. Thank you!

37

Wow! Now I feel physically sick. Funny how emotions do that to me.

38

Hi Kia!!
I am facing some of these giants myself right now. I had a “professor” which I am reluctant to say because she did a whole lot more than profess, who targeted me the very first day of lab (in a microbiology class). She called me out in the volume she would use as if she were speaking to the entire class, using my name each time, and about what I think are fairly insignificant issues. For example, If I was holding an inoculating loop in one hand, and a specimen in the other, she would say, “MIMI…. PUT THE SPECIMEN DOWN!!” Very condescending. Anyhow, it was our very first lab day and in my opinion, she had no tolerance for human error, specifically if it was mine. I took it until last week. I asked her a question, she refused to answer it, then I observed her closely as she spent I’d say about 6-7 minutes with the young man behind me, directing him, helping him, etc. She gave me nothing except, “you should have came prepared”, “why didn’t you have that information when you got here?” “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do.” etc. Since a few days have passed, I believe she really touched on a root of shame I carry with me all the time. I got to the point where it was unbearable. I confronted her with tears. I dropped the class and I am heading to the Dean this week. I have the support of my husband who actually orchestrated the meeting with the dean; an enormous help. All this to say, I’ve encountered a few different professors whose self worth is in the gutter, so they LEACH it off their vulnerable students because they are in a place that they can do so. The woman I’m speaking of above, tends to favor people who go to her with their issues and personal problems. I was not one to do that. I don’t “need” her for that purpose. I need her to teach me microbiology. Also, my education is one of the few things I’m confident about. I think that posed a threat to her in some way. I didn’t depend on her or lean on her in any way; socially, personally, academically, etc. And, now that I think about it, I’m probably one of the very few that didn’t need her for something. I could be onto something here!! (Isn’t it funny how sometimes things are uncovered as you write, or type.) As a result, she really bullied me and tried blatantly to crush my spirit. I had told her once I was not easily discouraged…. big mistake. She took that and ran with it. Even though I dropped the class, with the help of Darlene and other posters on this site, and my husband, she still has not discouraged me. I will test out of that class because I have all the materials I need and I’ve nearly completed the semester at this point. When I take that test and pass it, (maybe too confident here), it will be a big victory for me for not letting someone in her position squash me, in my position. Of course I don’t know anything about you or what you can do to remedy the situation you’re in, but I did want to share because I find in reading other people’s stories, I obtain answers and hope. Very best of luck in your academic endeavors Kia!!
Mimi

39

Kia,
I just read your post again. Once I was asked to write a paper in an English class. I constructed a ficticious scenario rather than one that revealed my history or personal life. I don’t really think anyone can be expected to share something personal they don’t feel comfortable sharing, in an educational/college setting, particularly if it’s a painful story. That’s just my humble opinion.
Mimi

40

Martha, I have experienced almost verbatim what you describe. I want to tell you not to give up, stick to your guns, and things will get better. In my family, it was “crazy Pam and her crazy boys” as my children put it and my “crazy boys” are so happy that I no longer remain with a family that treats me and them as if we are less viable than they are. I see them getting stronger and thinking of themselves in new ways as I move forward with a new attitude of self-acceptance, self-love, and protection of self against those who wish to victimize me and tell me that they love me while doing it.

I went through the same misdiagnosis and I do have insurance now. I haven’t taken medication for about five or six years now with no major episode so I tell my doctors that I was misdiagnosed. When they try to force the issue, I tell them that the diagnosis of mental illness is subjective on the part of the doctor and the patient. There is no objective means to measure what is happening in the brain. I also believe that the chemical embalance thing is mostly a hoax and no amount of psycho-tropic medication can fix it. Our bodies produce the chemistry our brain needs from the food we eat and nutrition is the best way to really treat an embalance in seretonin, etc. Other embalances are caused by physical problems and will only disappear when those problems are resolved. Doctors don’t know everything and doctors who’s education is the product of the drug companies who are the source of educational material and funding for the schools they attend, know even less. There are a lot of smart people out there with better answers. Darlene is one of them. The people who comment here are also providing more help to one another as a group of survivors than I ever received from the mental health community. Like you, I spent a lot of money to be further abused. When I read everyone’s stories here, I know that what I always felt was at the bottom of my problems is true and it is in taking full grasp of the truth that if found the strength to live with a new attitude. It’s contagious so keep hanging around. I think you’ll be amazed at how fast you are able to progress with some effort in applying the information on this site.

Pam

41

Excellent post! I loved this. My favorite part is where you encouraged us to talk about the minute details over and over until it doesn’t bother us anymore. Any you’re right, people don’t like it. They want you to get back in line and stop talking about what makes them uncomfortable.

Sometimes it makes *me* uncomfortable that I can’t just get over it. Sometimes I get tired of talking about the same thing over and over again, even if it still hurts. But I know that it’s because somewhere inside I don’t really feel that I’m worth the time or the effort.

Robin

42

Hi Sophia,
Love the expression “soul deniers” Yes, I get that! Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Janet
LOVE that quote ~ Thank you so much for sharing it! I posted it on the EFB facebook page!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Dave
Yes, adult children still need to be heard. I think that this is a great place for that to happen.
Hugs, Darlene

43

Hi Kia
Spill as much as you want whenever you want and don’t worry about how often that is. There is no obligation here; it is all up to each individual. That is the only way it works! It is great that you are making the connections about being told this stuff, (these unhelpful directives) and you are realizing that the things they assumed were WRONG. That it wasn’t just teasing, it was hurtful. That is the “truth” that i am always talking about!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. I have often felt physically sick when I have a realization that busts through something toxic (like a false belief) that I’ve been trying to accept all along.

Hi Mimi
Thanks for sharing this with us and with Kia. Great examples and points! Kia, Mimi has also shared a lot about this on the post ~ “anger problems on the emotional healing journey” you may want to catch up with our conversation there as well.

44

Hi Pam
Thank you for your wonderful and encouraging comments to Martha and the truth you share here as well. Your message here speaks volumes about the “how to do it” stuff.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robin
It drove me crazy that I couldn’t get over it. and I also had that belief system that I was not worth it ~ But then I learned to face it in a new way and everything changed. Keep striving to go forward!
Hugs, Darlene

45

“Soul-deniers” are thoe who just want me to “get on with it” and are asking me to forsake my deepest needs in order to fit in and not say or ask uncomfortable things. I see much of our culture as soul-denying on many levels. That’s what makes it so hard sometimes to stand by my truth and to believe that I am worthy of respect and love. If people invalidate what we need to do to preserve and heal our souls, and re-connect to our spirits, we can’t thrive, can we? I had a dream this morning that I was trying to keep up with people who seemed to find it effortless to function and I found myself falling behind to excavate a hole that I found and recover some treasures (hmmm, I like that). At the same time I resented the ease with which they seemed to function and I felt self-conscious, inadequate, like a misfit and a loser. Seems like I have problems when I compare myself to others. I am so used to seeing myself as not-good-enough. It isn’t helpful for me to see that many others have problems despite their outward appearance of success. I still feel “wrong.” Identifying the lies and false beliefs is one step, but CHANGING those deep-down long-held beliefs is what I am working on now.

46

I was emotionally and controlled as a child which led to becoming part of a high control group as an adult (a cult). All the while my family stood by and knew what I was a part of was wrong. Then now as I try to heal from this (almost seven years since leaving the group) all I get is either the “just get over it” attitude, or the “oh no he’s depressed and we need him to stop being depressed” reaction, which is the same thing in a different package. I talk to counselors, but they don’t really get it either. Even other PTSDérs don’t understand the dynamics of a cult and how it differs. But at least there I find the most understanding, with sites like DailyStrength.org and other forums I’m at least somewhat herd and understood. But it gets old fighting by myself in my life and only able to connect to people on the computer instead of real life having someone there that really cares and is there for you.

47

I have found a few pages on Facebook about sociopaths.Alot of what they post is how to heal.So I share them plus I think it’s good to get the word out about sociopaths/narcissists.They are true monsters and the hurt and damage they do is absolutely horrible.One of my friends suggested that I should stop sharing that info because she believes it means I am still in love with the spath.She said….”just move on and put him out of your life,already!”I tried to tell her that reading and posting stories helps me heal and if one person reads it and learns from it,if they are in a r/s like that what’s the harm?Well,this friend has not called me for 2 months and she unfriended me on FB.It does hurt because I thought she understood,I thought she was there for me,I thought she was my friend.

48

Richard: I know what you mean about counselors “not getting it”… and I understand why they don’t. You just can’t understand most of this stuff without having lived it. Books only go so far in teaching what happens to the human brain during trauma/stress/abuse. I’ve had counselors that had NO clue what they were doing and others who were good at emulating understanding (it was clear that they didn’t really know what I was talking about but they were good at placing the “uhuhs” and “mmmms” and “I sees” in the approximately right places.) I also know how important it is to have real-life/in person support. Sometimes I just really need a hug and silent support, but it never happens anymore. I am getting professional support in the way I mentioned before, the “uhuhs” and “mmmms” are abundant nowadays but I think that I got more from support groups where there was real understanding and connections being made. I highly value online commmunities such as this because it provides annonymenity that you can’t get in person but there is no eye-to-eye connection that you get with the in-person human experience. I cannot find support groups to attend when I have available time though. :( I hope you can find a group (or even one or two people) who truly understand what you have been through, I know how hard it is to feel emotionally isolated from others in your community.

49

@justa sobriquet (post 53)

Thank you for yor kind and understanding words, I’m looking for a support group but not even sure what type I should be looking for, I have ADD and borderline Aspergures to boot, which complicates my process some. But that hug type stuff :-) would go a long way for me right now too.

Do you have any resources you know of to find a support group?

50

Hi Diane
Sadly that is a common story. Thank you for sharing it with us though because here it is validating that we are not alone and its an example of how some people will not be friends with us if we don’t do what THEY want… and that is not equality based relationship at all.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Richard
Welcome to Emerging from Broken ~ yes cult abuse is a very nasty thing. I am glad that you have found some support online and I do understand the desire to connect with people face to face also. That however is not as easy to find for many in our society where so many so called professionals are also fogged out and too messed up to help anyone.
Good to have you here.
Hugs, Darlene

justa sobriquet ~Thank you for your supportive comments to Richard ~

51

Richard, I also left a cult. I know the pain etc. connected with that. I’m here if you ever need anything.
You’re not alone. I hear you, loud and clear.
Gentle Hugs (if that is ok?)
Kia

52

Hi Darlene. Oh, my, I really liked this post. You say so well what I’ve often thought. Thank you. Yes, “dealing with it” in whatever way seems best to us is the Key. And I agree with you that part of dealing with it (for me) is embracing/acknowledging the “justifiable anger” for the damage that has been done, and talking about it with supportive people. I’ve gotten the “it’s made you stronger” comment as well, but like you, I wonder what I’d be like had the abuse never happened. We’ll never know, but we can do the best we can with what we’ve got, in the present moment. Also, for me, it feels quantifiably different to be told “you are so strong” (something I like to hear) versus “it made you stronger.” An older woman who I recently met, upon hearing some of the things that my mother did in my childhood and also to me as an adult, seemed appropriately appalled and replied something to the effect of: Oh, my God, had that happened to me I think I would have balled up in the fetal position and stayed that way; you are so strong.

53

@Darlene, thanks

@Kia, yes I could use a hug, but not virtual, I get enough of those, so your offer is wonderful and the heart of it appriciated.

Part of the healing journey took my two kids, my now ex-wife from the west coast where most of my family is, to New England (MA), and I had been doing well since after our divorce and an attempted suicide (couple years apart, not related), that was a major turning point for me in a positive direction actually, still is. But through some failed relationships and issues with my Father (the abuser growing up), my Uncle (one of two that helped me get through cildhood) having health issues, I have had som set backs lately, and I’m seeing the need to dig deeper and find some more substantial healing.

54

Darlene,

Hi.. I have heard alot of that “get over it” . that “you cannot keep crying forever” but at this point in my journey ” get over it” is not what I need to hear. I need to hear “you can make it through” . . I am not at a strong point in my mind as I am nearing a difficult few days. 7 days till I have to appear in NJ. If I had my choice.. I would not go.. I would let it all sail away so I wouldn’t have to relive all that. It’s been a very hard two months counting down the days till I go face my monster.

I hate when people say “We are here for you” but really are not.. They want you to stand on your own two feet .. so saying they are here for me was something they thought they had to say. it sounds nicer right now than what they have been saying.. “Get over it” .

Also I have lots saying “don’t be afraid, he can’t hurt you anymore” Just seeing him is going to reopen everything. Already . .I am going over in my mind all that happened. worried .. that despite me telling , it’s all going to be made little of.

I feel like many that I am running into is insensitive to how very real what is going to happen is. .I have to appear in court. .I have to talk about all the stuff again. Yet I shouldn’t be afraid.. It’s going to go alright. .How do they know it’s going to be alright.. ?

I am sorry this probably didnt make much sense but I am not sleepig at all.

Joy

55

Richard (post 54): Different regions have very different resources (as you may know) so I might not be able to offer much help in finding a support group for your situation. I found myself in the common demographic of Domestic Violence survivor (and sufferer of PTSD and depression as a direct result of the violence.) It might be more challenging to find a support group for cult survivors. I’ve always started with internet searches and gone from there. If you can find even one or 2 resources, they can often point you in more directions. Lately, it seems that the most useful resources I’ve found are indirect contacts (locate one resource, dead end, ask for more contacts to call, more dead ends, until I eventually find a solid lead.) It might be more work for you because you are in a less common demographic (compared to the very prevalent DV rate) but I know that there have been support groups for cult survivors. Maybe you could contact a crisis center that has counseling services and ask if they can refer you to a group? There are organizations, I believe, for cult survivors as well. Those organizations may be national but they might be able to direct you to a local group? I realize that your diagnosis’ may alter your situation a bit but nobody has exactly the same experience/situation in a support group, even if you just get some of the support you need, it is worth it IMO. Good luck!

56

Hi Katie Lee

YES there is a huge difference between being told that I am strong vs. being told that “it made me stronger” ~ great point! I love what the woman said to you too ~ I find that kind of response SO validating and supportive.

Hugs, Darlene

57

Darlene, I am so grateful for you and your readers. I always know this is a safe, understanding place to be. Last week I told a very close friend of mine a struggle and triggers I was having and she had the answer, “That is just the way he is. You have to accept him.” What a disappointment to me. I know I cannot share my deep feelings with her and expect to receive what I need.

But, when I come here, I know there will be advice and others who truly care. It is like being wrapped in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

Thank you for all you do Darlene. I have learned so much and this blog has been a big part of my healing.

58

Darlene ~ I have to say that I could have said this post word for word – WELL SAID!! I know I couldn’t have communicated it as well as you have. I too have gone through this with a family who refuses to admit it, much less deal with it. Maybe they like to live in their own deceptions, but I refuse too.

I love the idea of being mentally sound. I love being healthier after months of therapy, sorting things out and being able to really talk things out. Nothing is more healing than finding folk who validate you – validation is so HUGE!!

I’m now discovering who I really am and letting the real ME out to meet and greet people. My therapist described me as tenacious and I love being defined as tenacious instead of being my mother’s doormat which I was and was still expected to be by my family. I no longer have fears about sticking up for those who should be stood up for; I no longer have fears of expressing my opinions … I have no fear anymore of needing to be HEARD. Getting to know oneself is like a slow romance … exciting and even a little scary … but I let it come slow, day by day … and letting it come slow is delightful. More than I ever have before, I finally have an idea of who I am and I am not at all, in any way, the person my mother said I was.

The Lord bless you, Darlene!

59

Darlene, thanks for this post. i do think i have experienced this attitude in subtle ways. i have also done it to myself in response to others. i realize denying my feelings and thoughts came as a protection…to go with the flow to avoid rejection and possible abuse. i have interpreted the observations and suggestions of others in a negative way and responded by appearing to follow along. there are people i can trust to be truthful and challenging with me. that means that sometimes my response to the challenge is to put on the appearance of acceptance and co-operation while i am really grasping at understanding it and feeling hurt. i would do better to be honest with these people, perhaps cautiously but explain that i don’t really get it.

i recently had a conversation with one of my pastors about something she wrote in an email that bothered me enough to back away from her. but since i don’t want to put up walls to people that i know love me and want to help i made an appointment with her to discuss it and some other things. she explained the context she meant it in and i understand it and now that i went back to re-read the email from August i see her context that i did not see before. so my pattern of responding to things which resulted from my abuse affected a good healing relationship. i don’t want to stay in this place of misinterpreting things but i do need to recognize people that don’t or won’t understand and do essentially tell me to “get over it”.

60

My 2 cents…

It has been my experience in on-line forums/posts and especially those for support of things like PTSD, Abuse, etc.. that triggers happen and the PTSD takes over on the part of all parties involved, things are said and misiterprited, and it is hard to clear the air. It always saddens me to see somone leave because of it and I hope that all those involved will forgive and understand that ALL of you suffer and perceive your trauma and recovery from it differently.

Please take a deep breath and try to TRUST each other here and simply try to speak of only your feelings and not assume that you know the other persons, or even assume they don’t get what you are saying, maybe they just don’t feel heard. When (not if) someone does assume, try not to take it personal as it is likely due to their own trauma or recovfery from it. Learning good communication skills and not making statements for others, active listening etc. are all learned skills that will help you, but not everyone is at the same level and try to cut each other some slack please.

I hope no one leaves because of this mis-understaqnding.

Have a blessed day!

61

Hi Everyone
I deleted all the comments that were causing all the problems here. I am going to do a more thorough check tomorrow.
Hugs, Darlene

62

Richard, thank you for your “2 cents” worth.

63

<3

64

I have recieved an email from someone expressing her hurt that I deleted her comments because of how I said “I deleted all the comments that were causing problems” I am sorry that I worded it that way; I deleted all the comments that had to do with the Martha and Christina conversation. I deleted mine too. I deleted the “advice” and the supportive comments too. NOT because those comments were causing problems ~ but because I wanted the conversation off my blog. I am the only one that knows all that goes on with this blog because it is mine. I have always been here and I have read every comment from every reader. So I know the whole history that you don’t know. I am sorry that people feel silenced. I am trying to look at a bigger picture here. That whole thing became about who was right and who was wrong and in my view neither was “wrong” and people got mad at me for not agreeing with them. I don’t want the focus of this post to be about that arguement so I removed the conversation.
Darlene

65

Thanks, Darlene, I think that was a good move. I appreciate all that you do here. Onward!

HUGS,
Sophia

66

Thank you thank you for your very insiteful and understanding blog God Bless You I have always tried to give understanding listen and love as I have been thru a whole lot of hurts as others have A good place to learn compassion and see as our Lord does is to hand with the broken and allow your heart to be broken then any jusgements we have will be tempered with understanding I recently went thru some things very hurtful and I was told get over yourself ??Learn who you are in Jesus Mind you I know that I was brought up in Word of Faith and I am a intercessor but I too need healing and understanding as I haven;t arrived Too much of this going on in the body of Christ and yet I know hurting people hurt people but we need each others understanding love and prayers Thank you for putting this out there Hugs to you another Darlene ;)

67

Hi Hold Fast!
Thank you so much. I found that more people have rejected me for my truth than have accepted me for it (except people that I have met through my work because they are looking for the answers ~ not the same as people who want to stay in the lies and denial) and that stings a lot at first. (but it gets easier because the truth allows me to live in freedom and true self value)
Thank you so much for all your encouragement!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rise
I love your discription of it being like a slow romance! Excellent!
Thank you for your comments
Hugs, Darlene

68

Hi Sojourner
Very good comments, thank you for sharing your insights. And yes very often clarity is all that is necessary to resolve the issue. When I started this process I had to learn how to have a relationship. First I had to learn about equal value but then I had to learn about real communication. (as you are talking about here with your pastor and how you misunderstood the context)
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

69

Hi Richard,
Your comments contain a lot of truth. Thank you for posting,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Darlene
Welcome to emerging from broken!
Hugs, Darlene

70

I just published a new post about why I thought I would be okay if only………
and the truth about how I really became okay.

Please read it here: “False beliefs like “I know I would be okay if…..”
Hugs, Darlene

71

@Darlene (the “other”one), I want to leave you with a couple of thoughts about your post, but before I do I understand it was very much from the heart and shows both your progress and your faith.

Now please don’t take this personal, there is something you need to understand for those traumatized by religiouse cults (which mine was a bible based one), using so much religious verbiage can trigger them. Personally I’m far enough a long in my healing it does not bother me to the point of being a trigger (but it can still make me uncomfortable); however early on in the process it would have set me off in a bad way and turned me away from this source of potential healing, so all I’m asking is that you be conscience of that as you discuss things in whatever medium (on-line, support groups, etc.), and try to be aware of the others on the medium and not overly “sell” the “religious” points, but speak more of the heart of what is being discussed.

May you have a blessed day and receive this with the heart and intent out of love it was meant to be.

Richard (KickinIT on DS)

72

Hi Darlene,

Just wanted to say – thank you. Thank you so much, for all of your blog, but especially this post.

I posted a comment here a few months ago, while I was trying to get together the courage to write to my parents and tell them about their abuse of me. I wanted to tell you: I did manage it. And I’m ever so glad I did. :-)

Recognising that I have a right to be angry about the way that I was treated growing up has been an essential first step to healing. I couldn’t take any of the other steps until I took that one. I’m still mostly on that first step! But now I have a good chance of getting beyond that, and start thriving rather than just surviving. Your blog is one of the reasons why I have come this far.

For your courage, your integrity, your wisdom and your kindness: thank you.

73

Hi Elly
Great to hear from you! Thanks for the update! yay. I am thrilled for your breakthroughs and thank you so much for sharing them here!
Love Darlene

74

Elly ~ This site has been a huge aid in my healing as well … {hugs}

75

I have an email that says Joy posted here. I used the link to come and make a comment on her post. It’s not here though. Anyone know where I can find it?? Thanks!!
Mimi

76

Hi Mimi
That was a comment that I had put in the trash by accident and found it today so I restored it. When I deleted an entrie conversation in this thread(17 comments) I deleted this one by accident.

It is actually here, but it is an early comment. You can see the comment #54.

p.s. everyone
I have taken a lot of heat over deleting this conversation. There has even been a smear campaign against me in facebook. I am very sorry to the readers who no longer feel safe sharing here and I understand your feeings. This for me was a no win situation. In my view it was a terrible misunderstanding where many involved misunderstood what was being said by several including misunderstanding what I was trying to say. And people started to take sides without understanding the intent of myself and the two key people who were posting. I did not delete the comments to silence anyone or to hide anything. I deleted because it was getting so badly mistaken and I felt that it was causing far more harm then any good. No matter what happens, at the end of the day I always try to do what is best for the entire readership. In this case, there seems to be no way to resolve the whole thing. For that I apologize to all involved.
Hugs, Darlene

77

Thanks for the info on that post Darlene!!
Mimi

78

Hi God Bless You So sorry Richard did not mean to in the least cause any triggers Please for give me I am usually very careful in my verbage but this is the first time I have posted hera and usually I know the people and have never had a problem I do know what you are saying I hate the word religion looked it up it means to be bound I definitely don’t want to even come close to that Sorry I meant to say alot of my hurts have come from churches where people have been superficial in there love and care and not at all like the Lord wants us to be I have recently realized they need healing too and aren’t aware of their own state I was reading a book about such a man and he said he had to allow the Lord to bring him into a place of understanding and compassion to be able to not judge but minister and he was so hardhearted the Lord had to allow( with His permission) to break his heart or soften it with understanding so he could help rather then hurt people more I was raised in a Holiness Church and legalism then went my own way for a while as it was too legalistic and then came back in to different churches for different seasons and saw and learned alot been serving the Lord over 35 years now and I do know what you are saying I know Christians right now who are soo wounded that they are really in need of alot of love and understanding and healing and they are going from church to church and not getting it that is not the way Jesus meant us to be He loves us so much and He is full of compassion Blessings !!!

79

Also Richard you ministered to me I think it was you sharing that you were so controled that you allowed yourself to be controlled wrongly I can relate to that also My beautiful granddaughter is being very much overly controled by my daughter in law because she needs healing and has alot of fears and hurts I am concerned as I don’t want the same to happen to her she is only 9 now Blessings !!

80

To all of you here I look forward to hearing all of you we can glean and receive understanding from each other and not all of us are in the same places but all of us understand the wounds and hurts and I read once that 80% of healing comes as we are allowed to share our gearts and not be shut down by people that are uncomfortable with what we share I am not there yet at all and I learn from all of you and thank you so much Darlene you are a Blessings I also was taken from my mom for chile abuse and I was in some violent marriages with alot of verbal abuse and I have walked with Jesus along time and healing is a process I am still going thru I do understand Love all of you Blessings and Thank you for allowing me to share

81

Sorry my spelling is imperfect like me :) meant heart and child abuse

82

I have had all of the same things said to me and more…it is so frustrating…I think the one that stands out the most to me is You should count your blessings..your still alive..think of all the kids out there who died…Your sitting around moaping about the past when you are alive and can live your life and those other children cant…I bet they wouldnt be acting the way you are if they were alive! Yup that one always gets me ….great post Darlene but you def. hit a nerve :)

83

@Darlene (the “other” one),
I was not triggered, I was just trying to educate you a little, so that you understood a different perspective, you never know when you’ll run into someone fresh out of a cult and will have to be aware of triggers for them, it can make the difference in there healing.

When I first got out, I couldn’t hear anything remotely religious without feeling anxiety, depression, guilt or anger, and I did leave a few forums that triggered me too much. However I have healed enough there (thanks for the reminder ;-)). I try to impart what I have learned so that those on these different sites with me can better help the community, for we need to help one another, and that comes through compassion, understanding and learning.

My struggles are elsewhere right now.

I hope you have a blessed day tomorrow…

Or in the words of Tiny Tim “God bless us, each and every one”

Good night all!

84

Hi Darlene
Thanks for coming back to reply to what Richard said. It is great to know you understand.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nicole,
What was said to you is a great example of exactly what I am talking about. Many surviviors spend years trying to be grateful to BE alive! Many wish they didn’t live through it. Those kinds of sayings are SO discounting and devaluing and dismissive! Living through that kind of damage does NOT make the damage any easier to cope with or get over!
Thanks for sharing, hugs, Darlene

85

I couldnt agree more Darlene. I for the longest time and sometimes still think I would have been lucky to be taken out of this world. I know that sounds awful but I think a lot of the people that tell me to just get over it wishes the same thing for me but only because they dont want to deal with me and my problems.

86

I think part of the “just get over it” attitude stems from denial of the reality of what people can do to others, if you just gloss over it and don’t deal with the repercussions, then you don’t have to do anything about the root problem.

I’m at a point in my healing where not only do I NEED to face it more head on, I’m determined to make a difference in breaking the cycle of abuse. Being inspired by many things including this blog which I just found recently, I have started my own blog, where I plan to pull together resources for reference of those seeking help in the shorter term, but in the longer term I hope I can make it an advocacy for change.

Will we ever rid the world of abuse, no, but the more people are able to see it for what it is, the more we can do to make this a better world with less abuse.

87

Darlene, I swear, your timing is impeccable! This is just what I needed to hear today. Bless your heart and thank you!

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Richard,
The more the message gets out first that healing is POSSIBLE and second that we did not cause our own damage, the better off the whole world will be.
Change happens one life at a time!
Hugs, Darlene

Gabrielle
I am glad that this was what you needed to see today!
Hugs, Darlene

89

Amen! Until you truly “Deal with it” you will never move forward. And really what folks are saying when they say, “deal with it” or “get over it” is, “Shut up because I don’t want to hear it or talk about it” – Most people do not want to hear about it, esp if they were never abused. Sure they might feel sorta bad for you but they don’t want to hear it. Someone in my family actually said, “wow I didn’t know so-and-so did that to you but I still love them.” And I get the sentiment but it hurt. I felt like they chose that person above me. There are SO many emotions that come from being abused and they are like stalkers, you never truly know when they’re going to jump you!

Blessings,
Mel
Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

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Hi Mel
Those kinds of statements just shock me even to this day. In my view that is the foggy brainwashed society that we live in. For years I listened to these comments without any emotion even registering in me. Then I started to come out of the fog and realized that these were hurtful and invalidating things people were saying. I have a tendency to open peoples eyes a little these days when they say stuff like that around me. Saying “wow I didn’t know they did that to you, but I still love them” gets a fog busting reply from me. People look like they got a bucket of ice thrown on them when I say something about the way their statement comes across. AND they RARELY reply to my fog busting statements at all. (I think they are too stunned)
Love your comment about emotions being like “stalkers” ~ that is a good point.
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene,
I wish I could be a fly on the wall. I could use some creative lines!!
:)
Mimi

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Seconded Mimi!

Darlene I hope you don’t mind me saying it gave me a smile the way you put that (it just sounded so matter of fact…. thoughtless comment = FOG BUSTING)

“Who ya gonna call…..”

nana na na na na….. nananananaaaaa na

(damn now that song’s gonna be in my head all day) :)

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Ha ha J.
That song used to actually go through my head when I first thought up the term fog busting (aparently it is not my invention but I thought at the time it was)

Mimi and J… perhaps I should write a post called “snappy answers to devauling statements” ?

Hugs Darlene

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Darlene,

the whole “fog busting” thing had already brightened my day, and now I get an Al Jaffee reference?!? :)

WHAT ME WORRY!!!

95

J
Now the ghost (FOG) buster song is stuck in my head! Hugs. Darlene

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You are truly super-human if you can say “hugs” there and mean it Darlene! :) I could offer another song to try and replace it with, but it’s a slippery slope….

PS was that a mad magazine reference before? (Snappy answers?) if not my post will make no sense at all. Oh well!

Hope all’s well your end!

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Sorry J.
It wasn’t a mad magazine reference… at least now I know why your comment made sense.
p.s. about the hug thing ~ I don’t always write it. It is rare but there are times that to write that signoff would be phoney!
Hugs, Darlene

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I would visit the post often Darlene!!
Mimi

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I am sooo blessed by your blog! I, too, have just recently started a blog. I do hope you can have a chance to read my story. I really want to expand on it and write a book. There is still MUCH to write about.
Bless you!

Cara J.

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Seconded again Mimi!
:)

101

Last week I was inspired by the comments on several recent posts, particularly the comments on this one, to write this new blog post that I just published and wanted the commenters to know about it

You can read it here ~ It is called “Emotional Healing does not depend on………” Looking forward to the conversation about this concept. (it is one of the biggest stick points I encounter when talking to others.)

Hugs, Darlene

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I’m so thankful that I found this website! Now I will be able to accept myself and move forward. The article states correctly how we, as a society as a whole, are taught to sweep things under the carpet. When I spoke up about something thru the Veterans’ healthcare system, it was told to other staff members then onto some other veterans, so that my healthcare concerns, fears, etc. were made public to several people who didn’t have any direct contact with my care, etc. I feel like I have been made to live in a nightmare. My current Social Worker compares me to my ex-significant other, thereby not stating good things about what I have been doing that are healthy; but focusing on the negative, label that someone decided to pin on me. It gets depressing to go and see her. If I make a complaint, it will fall back on me.

I’m still on the road to recovery; but reading the articles here are helping me see that I am not the only one who has been told to keep quiet even by professionals.

Please continue to keep writing and teaching people what you learned can make a difference in peoples’ lives.

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Hi Faith,
Thanks for sharing. This is such a difficult situation and my heart goes out to you. I am glad that you realize what is going on here and what actually happened. (I hear this story all too often from people who believe that the professionals they are seeing, are right!)
Keep reading, I am so happy to have your input here!
Hugs, Darlene

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Something that really helped me with the “just get over it”, or “deal with it” foolish comments is I heard a man speaking on the internet about how for your whole life you have learned how to survive by “not dealing with it”. Most of the time, someone is just looking at it for the very first time in all their life. That person has been practicing being the way they are for 30+ years. If it took 30+ years to be who you are today in an unhealthy way, if it takes less than half that time (and in most cases even less than that) to learn new truth and tools that are healthy is actually amazing proof of the resiliency of the human spirit to heal. He even makes a point that if someone has cancer and has surgery, the first question the patient asks the surgeon isn’t how fast was the surgery but did you get it all. Did everything get done that needed to get done? So the focus shouldn’t be on how fast the healing but did the healing go down all the way it needed to go.

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Terri,

I love that bit about surgery “Did you get it all?” Such a good way to look at things!

Thanks for sharing!

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Hi Terri
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Thank you for sharing this! Brilliant story and very true analogy as well! I love it!
Hugs, Darlene

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I’ve just seen this post – how fabulous! I have to say that comments like these have driven me to silence. A place where healing is so unlikely. I see the looks and hear the *sighs* if I mention anything. Or, from the more-supportive-but-less-than-helpful crowd ‘really? Still? But you seem so….normal! Your house is spotless and you’re so productive at work!!’ It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re running from flashbacks and don’t sleep. Quality of life seems to be a whole separate, irrelevant issue.

Also related – a quick comment on your disliking the statement that ‘nothing happens by mistake’. That statement has actually helped my healing process. It all comes down to locus of control – whose responsibility is it? My abuse was no mistake. No, that doesn’t mean it should appreciate it. It means that it was done on purpose. I was not neglected by mistake. My Mother made choices everyday that lead to that outcome. I was not assaulted by a doctor by mistake. It was because of arrogance and a feeling of superiority. There are no mistakes. I have been the victim of the many bad choices of other people. While these terrible things were not mistakes, they certainly were not mine.

Cheers, Bape

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Hi Bapesaurus
OH my goodness! I had forgotten about those types of comments! (but you seem so “normal”…) Like what does any of THAT have to do with overcoming trauma!!!! Those kinds of comments really reveal the belief system of the people saying those things!
I love your explanation about nothing happens by mistake! I have never heard it explained from that angle before. That is excellent!!! In the future I will remember it.
***I have written about this statement in the past from the focus of people who are “grateful for their abuse” saying that they are glad that it happened so that they could help others. That “god” let this happen to them so they would “be stronger”. That was the side of that saying “nothing happens by mistake” that I was referring to.
Thank you for adding your comment about it; I will absolutely keep that in mind the next time I speak about that statement and present it both ways!
Thanks for sharing, Hugs, Darlene

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Hi guys,

Darlene,
the way you describe is what I was used to re “no mistakes” and I totally agree that it’s a crock of s**t. (As I was typing that, I remembered however that that’s often how I’ve tried to think about my depression in the past. I guess it’s a slim hope of trying to make something good out of s**t. A strange new form of alchemy, perhaps?!?) :)

Bape,
I haven’t thought of that statement in the way you describe it, but I really like it too! It’s so weird how the exact same words can convey such completely opposite/conflicting meanings hey!

I also REALLY love what you said about “quality of life” — so true! I’m currently in the “low-functioning” sphere of mental illness (ie no job, messy as hell, stopped caring about most “normal” everyday things) but still with the handful of friends I still see, always tend to just slip straight into the good ol’ “happy mask” most of the time. But then I remember that my parents certainly laid the tracks so to speak for the whole “smily face everything’s perfect” dupe for the outside world (and sometimes I think even for themselves, for that matter).

J

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hi ladies,

I couldn’t agree more about the whole ‘grateful’ thing. It makes it up there on my favourite top 10 most deluded statements ever. I’ve heard some women talk about how they’ve managed to be thankful for their experience. I suppose there is a point where a person has overcome so much that they manage to integrate their experience into a higher form of self-awareness….based on bad past experience. However, I think anyone who had ever really done that would never make as dangerous a statement as ‘YOU should be grateful’. The only time I make the statement ‘you should be’ to anyone is to tell my son for the umpteenth time put his shoes on ‘you should be putting your shoes on now’. Telling someone in that manner has no place in adult-adult relationships. For me its a sign of someone trying to dominate or control me.

As for what God things, the God I know would never want us to accept and forget what happened. She’d want us to talk about it, to heal, and to protect others. Just because God gives us the tools to heal doesn’t mean She was okay with what went down.

Anyway, not saying your interpretation of the statement is wrong, just as much as I believe there are no mistakes, I equally don’t believe in the concept of right and wrong. There are just choices and consequences. Shame on those who taught us limited choices so they could have the best outcomes! Thanks for letting me share :)

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Wow Darlene! This post rings truth for me when you said, the message is to “Sweep it under the Rug” where it will “fester” into depression. Well, my family gives me this message when I speak the truth. They say things like, “You’re still bringing it up, so your not over it” & “why are you dwelling on this now?” My dad actually said, “you let it fester”. Well, of course the mistreatment/abuse will fester, if it is not acknowledged or talked about!…
They do not want to talk about it or deal with it!…Yes, i do have depression & now I know where my feelings of sadness & anger come from! I deal by talking about the damage but it is beating a dead horse to talk to the family Bullies about it!…they see no purpose in it and deny the problems anyway. I find a safe place to “DEAL WITH IT” is in Therapy. My brother & sister buy into the sweep it under the rug belief and they see if there are any hard feelings, that it’s holding a grudge!
Well, I have one liners now, in response to their snide/rude comments. I’ll say that is far from the truth or i don’t believe that….Anyway,there has been WRONG/HARMFUL behavior,that the Bullies don’t believe is their fault, in their eyes- it is so backwards & makes me sick!…A healthy way to deal with it is acknowledge the mistakes, apologize & do better!…that’s what i try to Live by….Sincerely, SMD

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Hi SMD
Yes… it was really important for me to stop trying to convince them that it wasn’t ME.
Hugs, Darlene

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Thanks Darlene..It’s a relief to have someone agree with me. It’s more important for me to focus on healing,that is where the hard work is, not trying to convince them!….Sincerely, SMD

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I’ve been told to “Pull up my socks and get on with living”. HOW?

This website is really helping me to understand a lot of things, to look deeper and not accept cliches or platitudes.

Thank you!!

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Victoria,
I’ve heard those same words. It was one of my mother’s favorite things to say. There was always a sneaky little message in there that I was weak. I hated hearing it too. The “how”?? Truly it was EFB that taught me. I don’t mean I’m cured, but I do mean this place has been an invaluable tool and Darlene and a few others helped me to figure out the “hows” for myself.
With hope,
Mimi

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i found this sight by a post on face book. of all the sections this one stands out most. I grew up with a very abusive mother and then found myself… married to my mother… 4 children and almost 12 years later i finally found the courage to leave. yea me right. i wish i could agree. I sit here tonight lonlier then i have ever been in my life and it has been over a year since i left.
I, too, hear get over it or the one i love the most is what my sister said to me when i questioned ‘why she ivited my abusive ex with the kids to her house during the summer instead of me. I was told that she is happy to see that HE IS ABLE TO PUT THE PAST BEHIND HIM FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS…UNLIKE ME’ This is the same sister that when i asked why she never defended me when he bad mouthed me to her and my other family members she told me the day i left she would never speak to him again. and yet when i had kids for 75 percent of last summer she invited him.
I no longer speak to her. The sense of betrayal i feel makes me physically ill everytime i think of it.
I understand i need to let go of the past but how do i do that when these 2 insist on minimizing what he did to me and then make me look like the bad one too my children. Sure…he can let it go because HE was the abuser. I live in a small town that thinks HE walks on water and can do nooooo wrong. To this day I am treated like the bad person from these people which is why i hide in my home….lol.
Am I wrong…how do i just get over it…. when it won’t quit. I dont want my kids thinking and believing i am the bad person. I really am at a loss.

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Heather,
I once left an abuser and although we didn’t have kids, he seemed to come out smelling like a rose. Two days after I left, I saw him at the cable company when I went to shut off the service that was in my name. He was there with one of the “other” women. I left him to go back and live with my mom. I felt horrible that I didn’t have a place to go, and had enough debt that I couldn’t support myself, so I had no choice but to move to my mom’s. (she treated me like a dog too). The man I left went on with a good job, his new girlfriend, (which he’d had for who knows how long) and his life seemed wonderful. She and her husband were supplying his drug habit, and she left her husband and kids to be with him. They got married and I sat for a few years wondering why he got to come out smelling like a rose. I was single for a long time, working my butt off in school and at work. No free time or social life. It just seemed unfair.

I saw him at a visitation about 9 months ago. His wife had gained, I’d say 100 pounds, he had put on a little weight as well. He lost his job about 3 years after I left. He’s now on disability because he had a heart attack (which incidentally is NOT why he lost his job). He’s under 50 years old. Life doesn’t look so shiny for him now.

My only point is, even if your ex has come out smelling like a rose after all his abuse, that doesn’t mean it will always be this way. I just had to sit back and wait and it took years before he had the bad luck he deserved. Your sister is wrong for what she’s doing. Who knows what her motivation is, but, it’s wrong. If they are bad mouthing you to the kids, remember, they will be grown someday and will form their own opinions. No matter what is said about you, they will one day be able to agree or disagree based on your character. Keep doing the right thing with your kids, and I believe you will reap rewards from that, even if you can’t see it now. It’s so tough to sit and wait and feel like your character is being assassinated. Your sister might need you one day too.

There is no time limit on the time it takes to get over something. If anyone says you’re taking too long, it’s because they aren’t in your shoes. Let that crap go. It’s none of their business how long your grieving process lasts anyway.

Things won’t always be this way. Sometimes it just takes time for your rewards to come to fruition, and for “his” day of trials. I believe you’ll see it in time.

Blessings sent for your lonely, hurting heart.
Mimi

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Mimi…tysm for your kind response. I am a person who treats others as I would like to be treated and I am a big believer in karma as well. MY ex was a alchoholic and a drug user. He was using cocaine and i never knew it…but now it seems i WAS the only one that didnt know. Of course he went to rehab and became CURED in 17 days. LOL…i laugh because the following year was the most abusive year i spent with him. But of course that could be expected because as he put it…his recovery had nothing to do with me. The day he said those words to me…2 wks out of rehab…the hair on the back of my neck stood up and i knew i had to get out. It took me almost a year and a literal act of God to get me and my 6 kids into a home not controlled by him or his family.
You must understand my sister has always felt she could do whatever she wanted. But during the year following me leaving my ex she did 3 things that completely crossed a line. The first was finding and talking to my REAL father who i had repeatedly told her i was not interested in finding,threatening to throw away my belongings i had at my fathers house while i was trying to get moved out of the house that i lived with my ex in, and then the inviting my ex with the kids to her house over last summer. IT was these 3 things right after another while i was going through the seperation and a custody battle. I FINALLY said enough is enough…i am done with her…i will not speak to her.
My children are my heart and soul. And all through this process I have encouraged and fostered their love of their father AND ALL OF THEIR RELATIVES that i personally would spit in their faces if given half the chance…because they all knew what he was doing and ignored it. But my kids love these people and i understand that. But once again my sister invited my ex and the kids to her place this summer and my ex now has the kids asking me if I would go. They want me to go and i know that. But I can not possibly put myself in that setting even for my children. So here once again i am the bad person. And i hate my ex and my sister for putting me in a position like this. My children to him are ages 10,9,5,and 4. How do i make them understand WHY without bad mouthing those 2. That is what has me so messed up. The kids saw their dad do things to me…so they know some of the story. And yes…i now they will grow up someday and see things as a adult does…but right now it just breaks my heart knowing that they are being told the things they are by my ex and sister and unless i stoop to their level i can’t defend my actions.
thank you again for the words of encouragement…heather

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Hi Heather
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
There is no way to “just get over it”. It was through validating that I was right about the abuse, and that what anyone else said did not define the truth that I began to pick up the fragments of my life and put myself back together. I had to decide that the threats of family members were wrong. That they don’t get to run my life. But feeling good about that came from me validating me in all the places that I had been invalidated all my life. My kids eventually saw the truth about the abusive relatives on both sides of the family. Not because I “told them” but because I worked hard on self care and self love and they saw a difference in the way I was compared to the way I used to be. The more they saw my health, the more they were attracted to the way that I was “doing life”. Getting over all that stuff is a process that starts with really really knowing that you are not the problem and that the abuse was not your fault, and for me I had to accept that all those other people can choose to judge however they want, but that does not change the truth about what really went on.
I hope that helps a bit. There is lots of info in this site about this whole thing. I hope you find some comfort here.
Hugs, Darlene

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Heather ~ being tagged ‘the crazy lady’ always seems to come with it. I too had an abusive mother. It got so bad that she hasn’t been in my life now for 12 years. And for the last year and a half – my father and siblings are no longer in my life now either. When you have one person’s say against another, there is division and a sense of betrayal. The sister I was closest to is the one I felt most betrayed by when she was more concerned about my mother (who is a habitual liar and conniver) – I flipped out.

Like you, my siblings never stuck up for me either. I was never defended when she’d humiliate and degrade me in front of people. And when she and I were alone together it was WORSE. Clever abuser – treat your daughter like sh*t and get away with it because she’s conned them all into thinking that she is the one who is the victim!! They are insidious!!!

It’s a journey – and it can be confusing. I hope you find a lot of help here – Emerging From Broken was KEY in my journey to healing!! Big hugs to you, girl. I know your pain and frustration … and I know the betrayal.

I have learned to let it go. One thing I learned in this journey is that you cannot make someone love you … and this truth also translates to the fact that you cannot make someone believe you. I know the truth. YOU know the truth – and its this truth that will lead you to the freedom from all the lies.

{hugs} ~ Risé

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and yeah … this is not something one can just ‘get over’ … I got this said to me too, “Just get over it!” … and when they say this, they have no idea the pain endured – they don’t even want to find out why we can’t get over it … for them to ask and be told the truth means that they have to do something about it now … but to ‘keep peace’ (which is a false peace) … they will continue to feed the narcissistic needs of the abuser. (MY mother would be classed as someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.)

My heart is with you, Heather … I know exactly what you’re going through.

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[...] heard so many things against speaking about the past.  Questions which are actually statements and judgements more than they are actual questions such as “why do you want to talk about your problems in [...]

this is the new post on emerging from broken..

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WELL SAID, Darlene! The only way through it…is…well, THROUGH IT!!! Otherwise, we just become storage units for unprocessed emotions. The more negative emotions we have stored away, the less we can feel joy in our lives because we become so exhausted from carrying around the extra weight of our emotional baggage! Makes me think of going on a sightseeing trip that is overly packed with activities – you end up going through the motions of the trip without taking in anything! Anyway, thank you for providing such great insight into these matters. Hope you’re having a nice day!

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I am so lucky, I have four very good friends who know me from different points in my life who are all very support and always there for me. They are willing to listen to me go over and over the same thing time and time again.

But I feel bad about dumping all my emotional rubbish on them, I always thank them but I don’t feel it’s enough. They listen to the same story over and over again. I am bored with the same old same old so how must they feel.

I hear what they say and I know they are right. I know they only have my best interests at heart and two of the friends have witnessed several of my Mother’s ‘performances’.

But only now I am really hearing what they are saying inside me. Yesterday I woke up and really felt that the key was in my hand to opening up my life without the burden of my mother’s demands.

I know it’s not going to be easy but I am about to write an email letting my mother know that I am no longer going to take the blame, that I am an invidual and in order to maintain a relationship need to be treated with honesty and respect.

I don’t know where to start but I know what I want to say and feel lighter inside my stomach just having made the decision to do it.

This website is amazing, it is so helpful, it feels like a hug with words. Thank you

126

Hi Worth-Waiting-For
Yes exactly! It was so exhausting to jump through all those hoops and at the same time pretend that nothing in my life was wrong. I spent just as much energy trying to convince myself that everything was normal!
I am having a great day thanks!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jordon
This is huge~ that you are ready to say enough and to no longer take the blame and that you need to be treated with honesty and respect! YAY!
Good for you, keep us posted!
Hugs, Darlene

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I made the mistake of sharing my struggles in an email to some “friends” – one of them compared me being abused as a child to her choosing unhealthy relationships with men as an adult. She said i just need to learn to “let it go” and forgive and move on…she pretty much disagrees with your blog…i thought she was a good friend whom i could trust but now i know that i cant trust her and i cant share anything with her anymore…i lost another “friend” – hardly anyone even responded to my email, which had some details about all of the abuse i suffered as a child. Pretty much tells me that i dont need those people in my life anymore…i have to learn to choose differently as far as friends go. As i was laying awake last night i was thinking i wonder what my life would have been like had i not been abused. I wonder what kind of life i would have had. I wonder if i would have been able to have kids and what type of father i would have been. I wonder if i would have been a grandfather….i wonder what God will say when i die and if he will show me what my life would have been like had i not been abused. I refuse to believe that this was “God’s plan” for my life…what kind of God wants people to be abused so they can “learn from it”..i hope one day i will know all that i missed out on and what could have been. I am still grieving a lot over a ruined childhood and basically having a family that did nothing but abuse and neglect me. I want a “do over” -i want another chance to be a child in a good home with good parents…i know that obviously will never happen but its still what i want.

Dave

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I am currently waiting for my husband, out of love and respect for me, to contact my mother’s husband to explain to him why I can no longer talk to my mother. I have had enough of put downs and using my grown children to control me. They ( my children, ages 31 and 41 by the way) are responsible for themselves and I will no longer answer to my mother as to why I do not rescue them or contribute to their depraved life styles.

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Hi Julie
Welcome to emerging from broken
Thannks for your comments. I understand the position you are in. There are lots of discussions here about this subject!
Hugs, Darlene

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Dear Dave,

LIke you, I have wondered what my life could have been had I not been abused and I too have foregone having children. I believe things do happen for a reason–I was abused because my own mother was damaged–there’s the reason. It’s never right when a child is abused. And, I highly doubt that it’s all part of “God’s Plan”. Our experiences change us for better or worse. Sometimes things happen for the wrong reason.

I’m so sorry that your “friends” did not understand what you’ve been through. There are people who are either unable or incapable of understanding the “journey” we have travelled.

I wish you all the very best!

Victoria

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One of your best yet, Darlene. Could I have permission to post this on my blog? WITH attribution and link, of course!

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Victoria – it pains me to see you say your mom was abuse so you were abused and “that’s the reason.”

My Narcissist Mother abused me. I have never knowingly abused anyone. So there’s the anti-reason. Abusive parents (narc or whatever) know they are abusing and hurting you. The EXCUSE that their parents abused them? is garbage.
http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/2006/09/abuse-excuse.html

You are better than that. We all are. And each and every one of us deserved better.

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Hi Barbara
Yes, you have my permission.
Hugs, Darlene

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Denial – how often do therapists tell us we are in denial? Yet, that’s often the advice you do get from others. Frankly, the more I talk about my abuse, the more I realize that it really is a “taboo” and embarrassing subject to others. They don’t want to think about it or face it as a real problem in today’s society. Nor do they really understand the effects it has upon us as women or men.

It’s really important that we don’t deny or sweep under the rug what happened to us as children. If we do, we’ll never recognize in our lives the influence it has upon our actions, choices, feelings, and emotional health. You can’t overcome by ignoring the problem.

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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Hi J.D.
Welcome to EFB
I suspect that ‘they’, these people telling us not to talk about it, or to get over it, actually do know it is a real problem. The problem is that they are too afraid to face it themselves. They squish the voices of other people out of fear of having to relate if they listen. They are telling people to ‘do what they did’… which of course didn’t actually work. Even many therapists will tell people that they need to forget the past and deal with the present day. (which is useless if the root of the problem started because of abuse in the past!)
You are so right; nothing will ever be overcome by ignoring the actual problem!
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Barbara,

I agree wholeheartedly that no one has a “reason” to abuse anyone, ever. I’m afraid I was being a little facetious when I left my last comment and I’m terribly sorry if I offended anyone. I was simply disconcerted with how Dave’s friends responded to him! I had hoped that the taboo around abuse had eased in recent years, but Dave’s posting reminded me that some people still stigmatize and revictimize!

Victoria

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My favorite one is the new age concept, “You brought it to you” (Law of Attraction). Really? How? (Let’s reason together and blame the victim who had NO CONTROL over another human’s choices. I cut off a few friends who chew me out when I lamented about how others abused or neglected me.) I brought it to me because I had my focus on hiding myself from the known neglecters and abusers. Those with keener perceptions and sensitivies get the bad rap by those who choose callous behavior, even if they profess to practice law of attraction principles and love of self (and they usually live alone and are single with no one to upset any part of their being – so much for their wisdom and understanding). I’ve had some crazy people do crazy things to me, deny it all, then blame me or yell at me for the results of what they did.

How about the ones that say these “experiences” make you stronger? Really? From my experience, it’s worn me down to the point that even a minor event sets me into huge negative feelings inside myself. My conscience isn’t right too. I feel bad for me, bad for them, angry, helpless, powerless, feeling like a “less than”, etc. And when I dare to speak of these behaviors that are out of integrity for life & well-being, and what they do to others, those that are blantently guilty of them will whole-heartedly agree…and repeat the offenses without showing they made the connection of what I said, what they agreed, and what they did. Only OTHER people do that stuff. NOT THEM. hmmmm.

I walk a lonely life wishing to find a kindred soul.

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Hi Laurie
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
You have found the right website, thats for sure. Everything you mention is what this site is about and how I overcame, recovered and took my life back.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

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I think it is interesting Darlene, that you mention God in your posts, despite all you have been through. I find belief in a God very difficult after I endured what I did as a child.

I would like to believe, but I struggle to see past a dog eat dog, or survival of the fittest/meanest – view of the world.

I would very much appreciate your comments, or a link to an article if you talk about it anywhere on this site already. You truly are providing much help to me personally, which I am very appreciative of.

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Here’s another piece of confusing advice – according to neurobiology, toxic thoughts are literally toxic to your brain and can cause physiological problems. So, according to some experts, change your thoughts, and you will literally feel better, and be less depressed, less sick, etc. A friend of mine even went so far as to say we can decide to change our thoughts, that is, decide not to be depressed. She insists that most people sadly don’t want to change and if someone really wants to get out of anxiety or depression, he/she should just decide and speak it out, and think that way.

I agree that flooding the brain with adrenaline is like bathing it in toxins and the immune system is affected as well. But what these experts fail to see or express is that the body emits adrenaline as a natural fight/flight/freeze reaction to danger, and the anxiety or depression that results is natural, given the threat that the body is exposed to. It’s no good telling a person experiencing natural post-traumatic reactions to change the thoughts while remaining in threatening situations.

Simply thinking positive is not going to help a person being hounded by a soldier any more than telling an abused person to think cheery thoughts. Sure, I agree that it’s good advice to encourage positive thoughts, but I think that authors of these types of books and proponents of such thinking need to be more responsible when their audiences are going to include a significant proportion of people who are or have been in abusive situations. For these victims/survivors, shoving the “positive thinking” line is only going to make them feel guilty, or worse, turn their attention away from what really needs to happen, and that is, to address the source of the threat.

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Hi Annabelle
The God thing was a big part of the whole picture for me. I realized that I had been brainwashed about God too, and that I didn’t know the truth about ‘him’ either. The way that I was taught about God was all wrong. I had this idea that he was a mean and brutal parent too, that only loved conditionally.
I see this as a dog eat dog world as well. That is about people. God gave free will and people misuse the power they have to disempower and control other. That is not what God had in mind I am sure.
I came ‘back to god’ after I sorted out the truth from the false. God was not responsible for any of the horrible things that happened to me.
There are hundreds of articles on this site about everything! You can use google search (type in emerging from broken with whatever subject you are looking for and if I have written about it, it will come up) to find most of them easily.
Hugs, Darlene

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Thank you Darlene for responding, I really am having trouble with this issue.

I can’t see the free will here on earth though.
A lot of people who are abusers are trapped in thinking and behaviour that is subconscious. They don’t get it – I can’t see where the free will is in that!

And then they unwittingly abuse others, who often, in turn become abusers because they are not aware of what happened to themselves, nor how they can overcome it… This never ending cycle seems to continue until someone happens to be born with enough wit and vigour to challenge the patterns of thought and behaviour enough so that the next generation has a fighting chance. Why God would not afford this wit and vigour to each person in the chain, I cannot understand. If he truly intended free will, he would have given us all the information we needed, so we really could make decisions and express free will.

I feel sadder thinking he is real, because if he is, then he abandoned us, leaving us to suffer alone in confusion and desperation.

It is easier sometimes to believe he doesn’t exist and explain life by the theory of the survival of the fittest. To me, these dysfunctional families would not be the fittest, and their lines would eventually die out. That seems to be what is happening in my family.

I want God to be real because I know it would comfort me, but where is He? how could he let this happen to me and to so many innocent lives?
Is he cruel? is he an abuser himself? I just don’t understand.

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Hi Annabelle
I understand what you are saying ~ and I have written so much about this in this site ~ I may not have called it by the same words, but it is all here. Our free will was pretty much destroyed by the misuse of power against us by other people. This website is about how I got it back. And as far as the abusers go, most do know that what they are doing is VERY wrong or they would do it all in public and they would not bother to groom children to be silent about it. I had to put all the ‘God’ stuff aside in order to concentrate on healing and then the God stuff became much more clear to me. I realized that ‘he’ didn’t actualy LET anything happen. Thinking of it that way, (that he let it happen) then him preventing it would mean that all humanity would be just a bunch of robots.
And it is fine to decide that god isn’t real. I set all those confusing things aside for over 2 years in my healing process. I think if you keep reading this site, more clarity will come.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Annabelle,
I understand your struggles I think. I was raised in church as a young child, and, I was always a believer. Later in my teens, twenties, I believed, but, I wasn’t active so to speak.

I have often questioned what’s going on in my life too. Why won’t he heal my brain so I can be normal? Why doesn’t he work a miracle in my mother so she can be normal? Why, Why, Why? I found myself frustrated with Him, and reluctant to go to him with any kind of concern or request.

I decided I had to look at the big picture of my life in order to figure out if He really was there with me. If He DID want the best for me. I look back at adverse events in my life that involved fear (ie surgeries, illness, etc.) when I prayed with abandon. I prayed and begged. When I look at those times, my prayers were always answered.

Annabelle, it hasn’t been easy to convince myself that He’s had my best interests at heart, particularly in light of the past two years with my mother, siblings, and even my husband. In the darkest of times, I would cry and pray. It seemed like He would never move on my behalf. I’ve had to wait and wait. I’m still waiting on some things. What I’ve learned is that He has come through for me. It sometimes doesn’t happen when I think it should, but, it has happened. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of all that’s happened in my family the past few years. My head still spins at times, and I get upset at times. NOTHING like it used to be. He has answered my prayers, and the ones I’m waiting for…. I’m just trying to be patient.

Recently, I prayed to release the negative emotions surrounding my mother. Not for her, but for me. I don’t like being unsettled, worried, angry, etc. He has made a transformation in my heart that’s brought me peace just the past day or so. Not to say I won’t have to pray this again, but for today, I have no negative emotions surrounding my mother, the worst offender of all.

A few weeks back I prayed and pleaded with God to be my vindicator, because I was feeling like revenge would make me feel relief. I know in my heart it won’t, but convincing my head is no easy task. So, I prayed.

It will be difficult for you to connect the dots without going into an all out life story, but, in short, my mother exploded at another family member. She showed her rage which she effectively keeps secret with the exception of her children, and her ex (my dad). She’s been saying I’m angry, immature, and unreasonable for years. This of course, was projection. I’ve had anger, don’t get me wrong, but, It wasn’t without provocation by her, and it’s been years and years since I’ve shown any anger toward her. She still maintains these claims to this day. But, now, God has been my vindicator just as I pleaded. I’ve waited fairly patiently for my mother to show her true nature to ANYone. She finally did. Her colors shone that day. It was a good day for me. She disproved her own lies about me being angry, immature, and unreasonable….. by being all those things herself. She cussed out a family member in a yelling, bawling rage. I didn’t have to do a thing to expose her. She did it on her own, and I can’t help but credit God for being my vindicator. He released me on some level that day. I have waited decades for other people to see her in her truest form. (although, I only prayed about it recently). She finally did it all on her own.

The whole idea of free will to me is, we were all given free will, and unfortunately, there are multitudes of people who abuse it. I was given free will as well. I could cheat on my husband, or slash my mom’s tires, or whatever. I thank God that he’s given me a conscience and a desire to do good. Otherwise, I’d be among the multitudes. I’ve been at a lonely place with all my hopes in humanity dashed. It’s taken a conscious effort on my part, and prayer, to find good people. There are still good people out there. It just might take some searching. It’s still very difficult to trust people, don’t get me wrong. But, that’s not their fault or God’s. It’s the fault of the people who battered my trust by their own free will.

Darlene, you are one such angel. You are proof to me that there is still good in the world, along with many of the people who comment here.

Annabelle, I feel like Darlene in that it’s fine if you decide that God isn’t real. I hope that I’m a “live and let live” kind of individual. I only shared my experiences with you because they are truthful, and because sometimes I feel like we need the experience of others to help us in this thing called life.

Peace and hope to you as you navigate!
Mimi

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[...] also says: I heard so many things against speaking about the past.  Questions which are actually statements and judgements more than they are actual questions such as “why do you want to talk about your problems in [...]

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Had these kind of comments in the past, often from my chief abuser . So much so in fact ,I find that I upbraid myself ,in my head ,with them. Now I am very careful who I speak to, not wanting to throw my pearls of pain and suffering before swine, just to be trampled on.

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