Jul
17

Stop that Crying or I will give you Something to Cry About

By

psychological abuseI was told not to cry.  I was told “stop that crying or I will give you something to cry about” and I tried to stop. As a child forced to stifle tears, what was communicated to me? As I look back and try to remember some of the feelings, the thoughts that went through my mind at those times, I can’t recall much other then the need to STOP Crying. I do remember thinking that I already HAD something to cry about.  And thinking about it today I know that a LOT more than just “stop crying” was communicated to me with those types of statements.

 

I became afraid to cry. I remember trying to stop… trying to control my breathing and slow it down and trying to stifle that hiccup sound that comes from heavy sobbing.  I was so afraid of the consequences of NOT being able to stop the tears. I don’t even remember if I ever got a second beating for not stopping; all I remember is being told to stop and trying to comply and that the fear of the consequences made it very hard to get any kind of a grip on the situation.

 I became so afraid to cry that even today it is very rare that I do cry. But it isn’t just being told to stop crying that caused all the problems around that statement.  There is more to the communication “stop crying or I will give you something to cry about.” That statement means that the speaker, the adult looming over me, told me that I had “nothing” to cry about.

 What happens to a child who is not allowed to express emotional hurt or pain? What happens when the communication (covert OR overt) is that you should NOT express your emotions?

 I began to invalidate my own physical and emotional pain.

 There is fear that comes with this dynamic too.  I am crying. I’m told that I have no reason to cry and then told that if I don’t STOP crying, I will GET something to cry about.  Since I am already in pain, usually in both emotional and physical pain, and I am really afraid of what they might do that would give me a “real and valid” reason to cry.

 I am already crying.

 I am in trouble for crying.

 I have been told that I have no reason for crying

 I have been warned that I will GET a reason to cry if I don’t stop crying.

 How does a child process that? Over time I agreed with them that I had no reason to cry. How could I, as a child, disagree forever? These adults were my love source. They were my caregivers. They were my life’s blood. Without them what would become of me. I had been taught to respect my elders and to view them as authority. They were authority. And they declared that I had no reason to cry. No reason to hurt.

 My pain had been invalidated by others so often that I learned to invalidate my own physical and emotional pain.

 My invalidated pain would not cease to scream in the background of my life.  And my invalidated pain manifested itself as an illness, which I realize today was my first real depression when I was only ten years old. My invalidated pain had to find a way to SPEAK.  My ten year old self was being psychologically abused by a teacher. My ten year old self had already been sexually abused by several people, and disregarded by even more.  My pain, although suppressed by me and my oppressors, found a way to express itself. In illness and depression.  I developed asthma. I couldn’t breathe and if you think about me being told to suppress my emotional pain and tears, no wonder I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t BE. My depressions were deep and dark. All I wanted to do was sleep and sleep. I didn’t want to face anyone. I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to live. I think if I had understood what death was, I would have wanted to die.

 And we think child sacrifice is not something that we encounter in civilised countries.

In recovery, before I could validate my own pain, I had to realize why and how I had learned to invalidate it. Once I realized where the invalidation of my own feelings originated, I was able to realize why I also invalidated it myself.  Once I realized that I did in fact invalidate it myself, I was able to finally begin to listen to me.  I was finally able to hear the voice that told me I had nothing to cry about and respond that it was lying. I replaced those lies with the truth that I had never heard before. That I DID have something to cry about.  That I WAS in pain, either physically or emotionally and usually both. That I had a reason to cry.  That I deserved to express myself emotionally.  I told myself over and over again that I was VALID and that my FEELINGS were and are VALID.  Every time I heard that voice (sometimes my own voice, sometimes the voice of an adult in the past) telling me to “suck it up” or telling me to “quit being such a baby” and actually telling me that I had no right to FEEL, I corrected it.  This was a very big part of my emotional healing. Sometimes I asked (the voice) for more information so that I could dig deeper into the origin of my own belief system.

 And this process, like all others, took some time. When I was finally able to validate my own pain, I realized that there was a lot of it. There was pain from the past and pain in the present that I had learned to discount and ignore. Pain, fear and anger that I had learned to invalidate.  But through the process of seeing the beginning of where it was first shut down, I was able to sort it all out.  I was able to feel it, embrace it, validate and affirm it and finally let it go.

Exposing Truth ~ One Snapshot at a Time;

Darlene Ouimet

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Related Post ~ Psychological Abuse;  if you don’t like it leave

The purpose of facing the past and childhood history

 

Categories : Self Esteem

174 Comments

1

What an eye opening post Darlene; learning to understand why I did not take care of myself, why I “let” others abuse and mistreat me…a huge issue. I remember thinking “why doesn’t anyone care? why doesn’t anyone take care of me?”. For a child that would be reasonable but as an adult – I was left feeling powerless because I was waiting for “someone” to take care of me still. Realizing and recognizing that it was now up to me to take care of me was both frightening and freeing. I love how you touch on the core issues of this stuff; thanks again for another great post.

2

I was taught at a very early age, not to show emotions. If I cried, I too got told “stop it or I’ll give you something to cry about” and I would try my hardest to stop crying. One day I couldn’t do it and the something I got was my mothers fist upside my head again and again until I just shut up completely. To this day I don’t cry much because if and when I do…my mind goes back to being that little girl who got the sh*t knocked out of her just for crying and I shut them down again. I find it hard to express my emotions today. I so wish I could show how I feel much more than I do already, but it’s hard……

3

First… I had to do a double take to see the author’s name and know it was NOT mine. I was sure I did not write it but at first glance I saw the Q [O] met
THEN …. of course it was my dad who said that to me so even though I knew I had not written it I knew I could have…
but THANK YOU
AS I EMERGE… and learn to think and feel and stop denying my thoughts and emotions…

In recovery, before I could validate my own pain, I had to realize why and how I had learned to invalidate it. Once I realized where the invalidation of my own feelings originated, I was able to realize why I also invalidated it myself. Once I realized that I did in fact invalidate it myself, I was able to finally begin to listen to me.

HOW MUCH WE INVALIDATE OURSELVES…
I’m very much connecting to the prison that Jaycee Duggard lived in. I do NOT want to invalidate her prison.
but there are many of us that have a prison that is just as real!

4

Hi Susan KS
I try to articulate HOW I got to the bottom of this stuff. How did I feel about myself? Why did I feel that way? Where did it originate? What happened that I believed that stuff about me? And why did I think that I “LET” people do those things to me?? All of those questions needed truthful answers, and that is what I try to write about.
It WAS frightening to realize that it was up to me, and yes it was LIBERATING too ~ because there was way more hope if it were up to me, than if it were up to “them”. LOL I just hadn’t realize that yet!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jackie
wow… that is awful. The things that some of us have lived through are really nasty. For me, learning to express my feelings came after I understood (in retrospect) why I couldn’t express them in the first place. Why and how I got so shut down.
I don’t remember what happened to me if I didn’t stop crying. I don’t remember much other then the crying, sometimes I remember the reason I WAS crying and being told to stop crying or else.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kimberly
The first time I saw your last name I looked twice too! Last names that start with O and end with ‘met’ are not that common I don’t think!
Yes, a big part of the process of emotional healing for me was in learning to think and feel and stop denying as I had learned to do.
Thanks for sharing and welcome to emerging from broken!
Hugs, Darlene

5

No wonder I have a hard time crying! And when my maternal grandma died and my parents and I were arriving at her house, I started to tear up and sniffle a little and my mom said, “We’ll have none of that!” She didn’t even CRY at her own mom’s funeral!!! But she threw up like she had food poisoning the night before. Oh, it’s still so hard to process all the abuse I endured and realize I’ve been so compliant and obedient the past 20 years SINCE I’ve left home, too! Man, it feels like I’m coming out of a cult! I’ve been so programmed and brainwashed by my mother!! It’s hard to wrap my mind around the truth, though. But it helps to have a child. I can’t even IMAGINE ever beating him with a belt like I was as a child!! How horrendous! And my mom claims I was never abused!!!!!!!

6

Darlene

This so hits home with me that i wanted to cry “BUT” am afraid.. You said that

“thinking about it today I know that a LOT more than just “stop crying” was communicated to me with those types of statements.”

When My mom said if i cried as she was beating she give me more and worse it told me my pain was not important .. that I shouldnt tell anyone when I was hurt. .that if people hurt me that i had no permission to let my feelings be seen.. That my feelings didn’t matter. that I didnt matter. that I must take pain but not cry . that i was couldn’t cry .it was wrong..That I should never pay attention to my feelings because if I did there would be trouble.

i know I when I try to open up to “T” about something painful .. I feel the tears trying to well and I am trying to fight them .. and T says you don’t ever have to worry about crying in front of me..just remember to breathe..

Hearing T say i could cry .. just made it all the more harder not to and instead of a few little tears all the oceans of tears held back were coming out.

When I was asked why so many tears I couldn’t even answer.. I was so afraid . while I knew T said its ok to cry and good to cry . .in my mind i broke the 11th commandment “thou shalt not cry” and it was all over the place..

I was waiting for some big scolding to happened and it didn’t. How embarrassed I was . but i know it was not a thing to be embarrassed for now. That crying is ok. but I am still afraid.

I find I cannot even breathe if I cry . because so much pain was attached to crying.that moment tears come fear comes and terror and flashbacks ..

I hope I can learn to not be afraid to cry.. I know intellectually but inside me . I still hear the mean mom waiting to wallop me more.

joy

7

Darlene, this post was a hard one for me. It brought up a lot of stuff about tears, pain, feelings and perceptions. There was a rule, spoken and enforced that tears were a sign of serious weakness, a sign of being a loser and a sign of being not being good enough for the family. My grandparents, my parents, my sibling all worked from the stand point that tears should only be shed if you are bleeding or on fire. You couldn’t be sad, you couldn’t be scared and you couldn’t be hurt unless you didn’t show it. You could not or you were scum, and then the threat (rather promise) that you would ‘get something to cry about’ and that could be a slap, the belt, or anything they thought of.

You know what? I have an incredibly high pain tolerance for physical pain, I’ve learned to shut down my feelings to a point of not caring so I wouldn’t be weak and cry. I learned that it’s okay to have rage but not hurt. I still cry, heaven knows I cry. I’m learning to not fear it, and I’m learning not to feel a substandard person because I have tears. I can be inarticulate with pain and rage and appear completely calm and normal. It used to terrify me that something was wired very wrong in me, sometimes it still does.

I love deeply, I hurt and I fear. If it wasn’t for books, writing and my faith I think I would have been lost.

You have written one that hit me close to the heart Darlene, I may expand upon it and write a Scarred Seeker tomorrow – but I need some time to reflect a bit further.

Bright blessings…

8

@Karen

I kinda feel that way too: “coming out of a cult” I have been so brainwashed with so much bad stuff and never taught what i needed to know as a child. So really, I am quite a case
joy

9

Hi Karen
I felt that way too when the fog started to lift. Like I had been brainwashed in a cult and a dysfunctional family system is like that.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy
yes, this is what I am talking about. There is a lot of damage done. Keep in mind joy that tears are also healing and healing takes time. The damage was done over YEARS and it is healed by awareness. And the awareness can come and then go again, that is all part of the process.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

10

Thank you so much for broaching this! The first time I caught those words passing my lips in the direction of one of my daughters I became violently sick. A memory flash from one of our younger one (we are a multiple) slammed into my mind. For a reason none of us can remember our mother “whipped” us with a hickory to the point of drawing blood when we were around 5 or 6 years old. Those words came with that beating. To add to her demented “game” she then ran a bath of scalding water and forced us to sit in it as the water changed from clear to red. It was so hot it almost took the breath from us. Again, those same words came. That is the only clear picture any of us have of floating above ourself and seeing something like that happen to someone else (dissassociating). The child left behind in the tub didn’t cry anymore that day and hasn’t since. It sometimes amazes me the ablilty we have to “tune out” physical pain but at the same time, it makes since. The people we should have been able to trust to care for us told us we were not in pain and as you said, it became a case where we no longer trusted our ability to feel but relied on others to dictate what we were to feel.

11

Hi Shanyn
Yes, this is a very common aspect of what is communicated to us. For me, I don’t think it was that crying was weakness although that is more common. I believed that I was not allowed to cry because it bothered other people. As though my feelings were too loud, and emotionally unfair to THEM. Like my crying was “in the way”. I was in the way. I was just not allowed.
I am glad that you shared the details of what this did to you Shanyn and what was communicated to you. The more details and examples we have here, the better because sometimes it is only by reading the examples others that breaks through the fog.
Hugs, Darlene

12

Hi Lee ann
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
Yes, and it was by looking at this stuff and facing that pain and the truth of what they did, that I was able to STOP needing to dissociate and I was able to fully recover from multiple personality disorder and DID. Dissociating and splitting was how we survived all that truama and realizing where it all started helped me to take my life back again, moving from surviving and coping to thriving and conquering!
Glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

13

Something else that struck me as I was reading this was how even today as an adult, physical pain works as an emotional stabilizer. SI is something we fight against the impulse of though less and less as time goes by. I used to think it was just about self punishment but it wasn’t. It was as much about numbing and being able to blank out I guess would be a good way to put it as anything. The reflex from early childhood was to not feel pain and then later not to feel at all. Learning to embrace emotions even if we aren’t to a point of being able to express them is something that takes a conscious effort and I think that probably holds true for many survivors of child abuse.

14

Darlene

What do you mean when you say

“The damage was done over YEARS and it is healed by awareness. And the awareness can come and then go again, that is all part of the process”

What exactly is awareness in this situation and what do you ean it can come and go?

Thank you for responding to me and taking time

joy

15

I have been waiting for this article!! YAY!!
The asthma connection!!
I never had asthma, but I heard these words “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” more times than I could ever count. It was a liturgy in our home.

16

By saying ‘the awareness can come and then go again…’ do you mean we’ll second-guess our reality, since we’re been trained for so long that our abnormal was normal? By becoming aware we are breaking the family ‘loyalty’ code and rebelling against what we were taught to be: the subservient, obedient, compliant child who sweeps problems under the living room rug. As I’m coming out of this fog, I sometimes ask myself, ‘Was it really that bad? Do I need to stop all contact with my mother? Am I just overreacting by never wanting to see her again?” So I think I’m still trying to process all this. It’s so intense. I hope I’m over the worst part, though, the retching and two days of numbness/depression/aches a week later. Now I’m just sad and angry. But I have good times, too. I can’t wait to be on the other side of healing!!! I don’t know what true joy really feels like, I’ve been numb for so long.

17

“My pain had been invalidated by others so often that I learned to invalidate my own physical and emotional pain.”

You were FORCED to invalidate your own pain. My parents did the same to me as their trouble was much more important than mine.

By nature we develop survival mechanisms, learning to run without tripping is a simple examplje.
If you grow up in a violent environment, like you and I have, you develop a web of survival mechanisms. A complex system of reflexes to any kind of danger or stress that overwrites any kind of childhood emotions. Your nature tells you that in such an environment there is no space for emotions, it’s all about survival.

This ‘helps’ the ability to neglect your own emotions and pain. A down going spiral that is difficult to get out of.

I don’t cry, I still don’t. I only cry when someone I know dies or when I collapse (which happened twice in my life).

A great article you wrote! Thank you for sharing!

Sincerely,

– Prozacblogger

18

Morning Darlene,
I read this last night and had no reaction to ‘stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about’. I know I’ve been told that and I doubt that there is any child in America who hasn’t. I was puzzled by my lack of repsonse. As I considered it, I realized that the reason I responded that way is because as long as I was bothering my parents, no one cared if I cried. I learned very early to stay in my room with my emotions. If I wasn’t underfoot and pestering, I was left to my own devices. I also don’t really remember being spanked, I know that I was spanked as a very small child but they left on impression on me. The only discipline I received from the age of about six was not really discipline but about my bothering my parents, most particularly, my dad. The result of my bothering was usually a bereting lecture. I really could do anything as long as I did nothing that my parents had to bother themselves about. They seldom noticed one way or the other if I were crying. When I was depressed, I could lay in my room all day and no one would try to find out why. Their chaotic behavior gave me something to cry about all of the time but if I didn’t cry and make a lot of upleasant racket in their presense, my tears were of no concern. They never stopped to think, and still don’t allow themselves to think, about what their un-parent-like behavior was doing to their children. The only feelings that mattered were my dad’s.

This leads me to wonder what your mother’s intent was behind the words she used to stop your crying. Were they spoken with the intent of teaching self-control or because you were bothering her and the fact that you were hurting didn’t matter to you.

I would have loved some real discipline because that would have meant that what I did or what I felt mattered. I know that the reason my parents did nothing when I left home at 16 was because it just didn’t matter to them. I was rebellious and a big bother so when the opportunity arose to be rid of me, they threw me away. Now that I have bothered them with details of what happened to me after they threw me away, they have thrown me away again.

I’m not sad about it anymore. I don’t want to pretend that my parents care about me but I still wish that they would have. They often told me that they loved me but the intent behind those words was a void.

19

Hi Joy
Awareness of “what happened to us/you” is coming into awareness. The wrongness of it can’t be comprehended until we are aware. Because it was part of the survival system that we accepted that the behaviour and abuse was “normal” it is very hard for the new beliefs to take root. SO, they come, (we have a big breakthrough) and suddenly they go, and we have to have the same breakthrough again.
Hope this clarifies what I was saying
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kate
Glad you liked the article!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen
Yes Karen, that is a big part of it. That questing “was it really that bad?” and even worse is when we ask ourselves if we are sure that THEY were wrong, OR if what we are calling abuse or misuse of power and control, really was that or just something I made up because I am such a……. well you get the picture. When you are told you are wrong, stupid, or whatever for long enough, it is natural to start to believe it ad that is another part of coming out of the fog. There are MANY levels to this whole process!
And YES, there is freedom on the other side of broken!
Hugs, Darlene

20

Welcome Prozac Blogger to emerging from broken,
Yes, that is what this entire blog is about ~ it is about how and why we developed coping methods, (including dissociation and depression, addictions, behaviours) and how by realizing the truth I was able to overcome all those coping methods and take my life back. I realized what had really happened to me and that it was wrong. I realized that there was damage done to me and that I could fix it by looking at the truth and exposing all the lies that I believed about myself because of things like “stop crying or I will give you something to cry about”.
It is great to have you here; I think you are going to like what is going on here and I am going to like your comments!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Yes, I know that I was a bother. My tears bothered my mother ~ maybe it reminded her of what she just did. Maybe it was the noise that bothered her? Maybe it was how she established her control and felt her power? Maybe it was that she was just so unhappy herself that we just bothered her? I was given the strap, and then told to stop crying. I don’t think her intention was teaching anything. BUT what I have found out in my healing is that trying to figure her out never helped me. That was where I was stuck most of my life.

I had real discipline, but it was never consistent. It was to do with her mood. My father never cared to bother about me so I know what you mean. AND this it the pain of it all. The truth that they didn’t really care or that I was a bother and when my usefulness ceased to suit them, that was the end of that. That is what hurts so much and is so hard to accept.
Thanks for sharing Pam. Your comments really resonate with me today.
Hugs, Darlene

21

Hi Darlene

Thanks for clearing things up for me. I am in the midst if more boundary making in between some other work. I am so overwhelmed by things people have told me . that it has triggered all my own things inside and have to say am not able on some things and it hurts me .but I have been backing out of groups that don’t focus on what I am working on .. Sleepless nights and memories. stories that others are telling me in emails are way beyond me. I hope am doing right but i put a statement on my wall that I cannot handle people telling me they want to take their life or they want to hurt themselves. its too painful as I tend to internalize other’s pains and its too painful and mixing all that with my mess inside is one big mess..today i feel like that. a big mess and hopefully my attempts to back away from some things will help me heal better

Joy

22

I stopped crying and started reasoning. Then my mother’s mantra, repeated a zillion times to me was, “I don’t want to hear your back-talk.” Back talk was simply me responding to something she just said. It was me participating. It was conversational. To her, it was intolerable. It was rebellion and was not allowed.

Last resort, if I wanted my dad to hear me, it had to be when she and my sister were not around, however he usually deferred to her anyway.

When my chronic stomach aches were verbalized, I was told that my stomach didn’t hurt, I just thought it did. No wonder I struggle with constipation my whole life. When I was a toddler and pooped, she would yell, and yell my name and say she was ashamed of me, and those responses were used in a variety of ways and settings with me.

When we sat at a table to eat, she would look at me and yell, “Eat, eat,…my dad would tell me that I eat like a bird…” It would take me an hour to eat every time. I was always at the table alone. She made me sit in a toddler’s high chair until I went to kindergarden or first grade. I know I was five in that high chair. I saw a photo of it last summer. I was WAY too big for that chair, and bolted in with the tray locked in front of me. It started a real roll of unravelling memories for me. I felt deeply humiliated. I knew at the time that my playmates were not still in high chairs. But if crumbs went anywhere, she would erupt.

When I sang all the time, my parents asked their pastor’s wife, who sang, if I should have voice lessons at age 6, (now, THAT would have been the greatest experience of my life) and my all-knowing pastor’s wife, by virtue of the authority invested in her by her followers (and the state where we lived in the USA–sarcasm)said that I was too young. “We only teach adults how to sing,” she said. Today, that same city holds one of the largest children’ choir networks in the country where they are doing the very thing for HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of children that my pastor’s wife said not to do for a child, that was me. I have their instructional materials today for my own teaching. I didn’t major in music 25 years ago, now I am 48, and over the hill in some peoples’ mind for vocal performance, but I am studying with a phD, a 40-year-old teacher now who praises me every week for doing the thing that I always KNEW I could do. But when I did it at home, I was considered selfish, vain, etc., but when others did it, and were good, they were praised. I learned so many bad habits, was moved so many times by an abusive husband and couldn’t stick with any good teachers, talk about years of frustration just trying to learn to do something that we are made to do, and that I KNEW I could do well.

This teacher hears me in the first five minutes and says that she can tell I’ve been practicing this week. (HA–not as much as she thinks)
She says that her college students do not practice. She points out every good thing, and says that I am highly teachable, when tells me or demonstrates what to do, I do it, like most students do not. I think that age, experience, who knows what, but still that little girl that always wanted to sing, because she KNEW she could is doing what she could have done had someone taken the time to show her long ago.

23

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24

Darlene,
I hear loud and clear what you are saying about trying to figure them out. I wasted a lot of time that I could have used for my own healing in trying to figure them out. Especially, my dad. I do believe that true discipline is for the good of the child. I didn’t have that kind of discipline. My good wasn’t often considered. At sixteenl,I wasn’t allowed to get a driver’s license because I was,in their estimation, rebellious and irresponsible. They didn’t want me to wreck their car. However, when it came to leaving home at sixteen and going to live with a 27-28 year old man,they did nothing and excuse their inaction by asking me, “Wheren’t you in love?” Because I thought I was in love, they decided that I was mature enough to make that decision. They make a scapegoat of me and since they have that excuse,their responsibility became mine. They wouldn’t let me drive because of what they might lose, their car. But I could go live with a pervert because that completely relieved them of having to deal with me at all. Disciplining me was just too much bother and what I grew up to be was too much of an embarrasment. I soooo needed proper discipline but this was denied me. Another vivid example of this lack of discipline was my being allowed to eat a diet of only candy and pop when I was little. This resulted in abcessed teeth before I started school. I also had fillings in every tooth by first grade. I lost all of my teeth by the third grade. The lack of loving discipline hurt me as much as the hurtful things they did to me directly.

Thanks for listening, Darlene. I had weird dreams last night and I can’t shake the feeling of it. I dreamed I was in bed with one of my abusers and then the man that I told you about who manipulated the church to side with him in the trial of his granddaughter whom he had sexually abused came in and sat down on the bed to watch. It was all perfectly normal in my dream for this to happen. I guess, it took me back to the time when I viewed such abuse as okay and even preferable to what I had at home. There’s still more I want to say about that but it won’t come out yet.

Love,
Pam

25

oh, man, that is bad about your teeth, Pam, and didn’t someone recently say on here that women who are abused typically have teeth problems? Not that the sugar was good–just putting things together that I have heard…

26

Kate,
Its awful the way you were taught to ignore your most instinctual responses. When I read your posts, I feel very sorry for that little girl, Kate.

I wrote an article on my blog yesterday about spiritual abuse and I was thinking of you and joy when I wrote it. Its a terrible thing for someone to place themselves between another and God. Its another abusive way of cutting us off from our inner thoughts and feelings.When that happens, we’re ripe for manipulation and brain-washing. It is treading on the most sacred ground.

Love,
Pam

27

Pam,

I would love to read your article! Thanks for thinking of us!!

How well put:

Its a terrible thing for someone to place themselves between another and God. Its another abusive way of cutting us off from our inner thoughts and feelings.When that happens, we’re ripe for manipulation and brain-washing. It is treading on the most sacred ground.

28

Kate,
I have had problems metabolising sugar for my entire life. I was so small and I think my diet as well as being premature contributed to my failure to thrive and grow. I couldn’t start school until I was seven because of the Scarlet Fever that was ignored for so long and took me a year to recover from. When I started school, people thought I was about four. I know I only weighed 22 lbs. Even after all that pain, I was still allowed to consume lots and lots of sugar.

Pam

29

Hi Pam
What you said about ~ not responsible enough to get your drivers ~ but old enough to move in with a 28 year old man at 16 is what I call a “truth leak” It leaks the truth about them and their views about you. So does the candy and pop thing. Wow.

And your dream, yes, I had one of those weird types of flashback dreams, where it all seemed so normal this week too. And I am sure it was my mind reminding me that I used to live without knowing the difference. Even in dramatic circumstances where the rest of the world would have wondered… heck if someone would have told me it was happening to them, I WOULD HAVE WONDERED! but when it came to me, almost nothing seemed abnormal.

All of this stuff added up in my recovery to setting me free from the self blame that I lived with for so long. That is why I am such an advocate of facing the past in order to live in the present. I am going to read your blog post later on today ~ for right now, I am going shopping with my daughter who is heading off to university in 6 weeks… oh my this is going to be hard! (for me! LOL)
So glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

30

Pam,

OK, I see how to find your site now.

And, speaking of teeth, sugar, and scarlet fever:

My grandfather had scarlet fever at some point in his life. My dad had rheumatic fever age 13-14, held back a year in school, home for six months in bed. His mother cared for him. That was the year that his only sibling, a brother, left for Germany/France, he was sent to war at age 18. A HARD year! His mother had the flu in the flu epedemic in 1912, and was weak. She then got viral encephelitis at age 42, when my dad was 19, and died in an iron lung in a few days. My grandfather, the one who had had scarlet fever, married her best friend and was cut off by her family one year later. HE was diagnosed with adrenal failure five years later immediately following gallbladder surgery. It was blamed on the shock death of my grandmother. I have struggled with adrenal shock episodes for my whole adult life. I cannot tolerate sugar.

Pam, DO you have your tonsils?

My husband and I have had some dreams this year, and I think it is a good thing sometimes. I once dreamed that my abusive choir director from last fall showed up with my ex-husband and mother-in-law (trinity of control freaks) to tell me how to remodel my bathroom in roayl blue, which is a color I don’t like.

31

Darlene,
When I left my oldest at his dorm, I cried like a baby for the 2,000 miles I had to travel back home. I’ll be praying for you as you begin to let your fledglings fly from the nest.

Love,
Pam

32

Kate,
I’m not the first to suffer with Scarlett Fever. Some of my second cousins died with it. The difference was that penicilin was available to me and not to my second cousins. I was a tough little wart though and I broke the fever on the way to the hospital after my granny insisted they take me. Penicilin became the staple of my diet for years to come after that. They didn’t take my tonsils because they were afraid that I was too small and weak to survive the surgery. I still have them now even after finding out that I can now carry strep throat without knowing it. I’ve had every strain and am immune to it.

Your dream’s meaning is very evident. If you were told the sky was magenta, as a child, you had to accept that even if your eyes said ‘blue’. I hope you’ve painted your bathroom in your favorite colors!

Love,
Pam

33

Not being able to cry when we hurt is one of the many ways that some of us were told to shut down our feelings when we were young. When the incest started at least by age 11, I shut off my feelings and disconnected from my body. I thought that the only safe place to be was in my head. Only after a few years in 12-Step meetings did I begin to own my feelings and reconnected with my body and the messages that it could give me.

34

as far as teaching good singing technique to children, Jackie Evancho is the perfect exmple from this country. And what do you see on the video interview? You see a mom sitting at the piano having her do her vocal exercises. You hear a ten-year-old with a perfectly resonating, HUGE, beautiful sound that can sing absolutely anything, all on its own power, not that of a microphone.

35

Just found this on facebook, another fantastic generic statement about life. Just what we ALL need. That is what I love about so much that is “out there”!! It is what we ALL need. One size fits all. One size fits the abused AND the abusers. OK, so here it is:

“Your life is a result of the choices you make… If you don’t like your life it is time to start making better choices.”

Who, and what, and when, and what part of your life, and how…yeah, this always comes to mind when I read a nic ebig generic statement that fits ALL people in every situation.

I guess that I would say that part of my life is a result of the choices that I make and that making good choices definitely helps my life. What I eat makes a big idfference in how I function.

But my WHOLE life is a result of only MY choices? WOW! How did I choose to my parents’ treatment of me when I was a child? That has taken time to unravel and change the “shape” that they influenced me to become.

36

Kate

I would have to say my life is the result of my not making choices. i never had any chance to make any choices. wow. I guess i made the choice not to make a choice because i was scared to death of everyone who told me i better not have a voice or make a choice 🙁

joy

37

I just don’t think it fair to talk to the general public in general ways, and consider abusive sometimes

38

People are so insensitive.. i put a general request no one private message me with suicidal problems and self hurt problems and next thing you know the same person I was trying to stop sent a private email with the very content i asked not to see. I am so upset about whats going on in f/b am tempted to leave it 🙁 joy

39

Joy, unfriend for a while?

40

Am afraid ..if something happened i would probably be in a very low state. i am already unable to sleep for all she tells me I try to get her to talk to her therapist or her doctor and she says she wants to talk to me.

AM not strong enough am so triggered by other things this week then add that 🙁

joy

41

Joy, if you ask someone not to do something and they do it anyway, that is abuse. You don’t have to listen to or read the messages from this person. For your sanity and safety, take care of yourself. The other person can take care of themselves and is responsible for their own behavior.

42

I feel bad about it but I simply stopped answering as I am not in a very good place this week . having my own flashbacks and last week i didnt sleep well for listening and being kind . I want to be kind but I am needing to take care of me and I can’t give her help if I am broken.

43

If you ask them to stop and they don’t it is also legally harrassment.

44

Honestly I dont think this person is doing it purposely but i have been so wrong about everyone else who I thought i knew. i don’t want no one hurt because of me.

joy

45

joy,
I was always one that people wanted to tell their problems to and that’s okay when I’m feeling strong but its definately not okay when I’m not. Also, at one time, I had people who would call me with their problems, saying they were friends but the friendship was all one way. We didn’t even spend time together and it got to a point that I didn’t think they’d recognize me on the street. That’s not good. It wasn’t good for me. If I reach out to help someone it has to be from a position of strength and not an abuse of friendship.

46

Hi Pam

Before I started healing; and getting therapy and talking here . I would put myself out to no ends . even recently but I am struggling with my own problems..nightmares etc. and I have found that more I listened to someone else do such things more difficult was for me to cope with whats happening. I am still trying to get over the last letter and am being called on by someone who is suicidal. my heart is already torn in two , stamped on. .what do i do with their brokenness when I am so broken. I feel such a mess . Thank you ..pam and all for help on this.. .

(gentle hug) if ok

joy

47

I know exactly what you’re talking about! I sometimes feel like crying and can’t and I remember being told all those things, too. And I know I got spanked for crying. My husband does this to my kids even now and it makes me so mad. If they didn’t have a reason to cry, they wouldn’t be crying! We may not like it. We may not understand it. We may not see it as that serious, but obviously it is to them!

48

When I first started to heal all I did was cry! I still cry easy now! My parents were slick. They used to commend me for being so stoic!

49

Hi Shellie
Thanks for your comments. You are right; this message can be communicated without words and it IS communicated without words. Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pinky
Yes, that sounds like a very manipulative way to get a kid to not express emotion. Like “behaviour modification” used in the wrong way. BOO
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

50

Pinky,
Thanks for the stoic remark. That reminds me: My ex of 20 years used to praise his father for being stoic, say that HE never cried unless it was for joy, and if I cried, he would mock my sounds, AND he told me for years to slit my wrists. YET, when I filed divorce, he sat in our church that Sunday, in front of the entire assembly and cried for two hours straight, loudly. It was the most disgutsting thing I have ever seen. He never tried to get back together with me ; it was all show.

51

@Kate, sorry to hear this. I never understood why anyone would pretend to be something when they are not. We will stand before God not people. What a waste of energy and a life!
I am not on here all the time so I missed all the fighting. I dont really know what people are talking about. But I hope it s fixed now.

52

Hi Everyone
I want to address the suicide type talk issue again as it is being discussed here on this post. We are online. People use fake names and fake locations. I worked in psych emerg at a major hospital assisting with suicide threats. I was the one who traced the calls and corresponded with the police. Because it was over the phone, it was possible to find these people. There is NO WAY to help them or get help for them online unless you know them in person. I do not allow these types of threats on my FB page for EFB ~ I delete them. I will not allow them on this blog either. I won’t publish those kinds of comments… NOT because I don’t want the person to have help or support, but because It isn’t fair to anyone reading that stuff to struggle with the worry and fear of someone who is threatening to kill or harm themselves when we can’t help them online. I have the international suicide hotline number on my facebook page. There are lots of organizations (local and international) who are trained to help with this stuff. These hurting people must go to one of those places for help IF they really want help. This is such a serious matter.
Hugs, Darlene

53

Thanks Darlene. am exhausted. .even though i publicly asked for people to not message me it goes on. .and now someone else from my group is doing it. I wish I was more bold; but, think I will have to delete them as friends? That is the only way? I think . what will this do to them. will they do something bad if i unfriend them. ? to themselves.. I know how traumatic it is to me to be unfriended without explanation..

joy

54

Joy,
I am going to tell you again what I do. First of all, I do not engage. EVER. I say “please call your local hospital to speak to someone trained in that field or call the suicide hotline”. I have NEVER gotten an answer to my response. But they don’t keep emailing me ~ because I will not engage. The thing is that you will never know if they do something or not ~ and they are making it YOUR problem instead of their problem. There is nothing you can do about it. I am a trained professional, and I will not engage with this because we are online. If someone will not go to an organization that specializes in help for this issue, they don’t really want help. And it is distracting YOU from your own recovery, and that is your number one priority right now. 🙂
I hope that helps clarify.
Hugs, Darlene

55

Darlene
it’s crystal clear ..thank you . i actually did tell her that if she cannot seek help professionally from the doctors or therapists I or the other group members cannot help her as we are not professionals and are struggling along the way too..
IT’s hard for me as I told you before. to say “no” . am so afraid of hurting people but then i forget am a people to .. that if i dont say the right thing to them and raise my boundary then am hurting me and that is not goo. .
THanks for clarifying. I did tell her firmly to seek professional help and that if she can not; on one else in group will be able to help her.

((hugs))

joy

56

It all depends on the meaning of the word “No”. In a relationship, if the word “no” cannot mean “no” then the relationship is __________.

57

Kate,
That is true for everything, isn’t it; it is kind of a bottom line and it totally applies to what we are talking about regarding people theratening self harm or even hinting at it. Our NO must mean No. and then the other person has a choice about if they want to continue to try and have a relationship. I could easily feel rejected by all the people that write me on FB who when they don’t like my answer, never write me again. I had one woman tell me when I wrote her a huge private email back about a problem she was having but then told her after a few more emails that I don’t have time to do private email due to the volume on my blog so I could not spend so much time on email with her; she wrote me back and told me that she didn’t have time to read my blog either. I was like… OH… okay then. WOW… and I respect her decision but it doesn’t hurt me. I don’t play that game anymore; the game of “do what I want or I will not be your friend”. That is not healthy!
Thanks for bringing up this important point Kate!
Hugs, Darlene

58

A person SYSTEMATICALLY gets you to take back a “no” and no becomes maybe, or just this once, or eventually no becomes yes, and YOU don’t KNOW what your own words mean. It is a process that occurs over time. YOU have become a person that YOU can’t respect or even recognize!! This is how abusers destroy a person. You aren’t allowed to talk, to express feelings, or determine the meaning of your own words.

59

I am talking about people that I have known in my own life and the effects the manipulation had on me.

60

When a person systematically destroys your ability to say “no”, and you have become a person that you can’t respect, a person, who in effect, is now a liar, you have agreed to participate in a relationship based on lies. You don’t know what your own words mean and you don’t know what the other person’s words/actions mean either! This inability to know reality eventually permeates your whole world!

From my experience, anyway

61

Kate,
I have experienced the same. Interacting with my family is a game where everyone surmises what the other person is really thinking despite what they are saying. I know that my parents and sister say one thing while thinking another but I’m not that way. I say what I think and I don’t deny what I feel. They can’t believe this is true about me so no matter how hard I try to get them to hear the truth, I can’t get through because they assume I am like them. They don’t know me at all. I’m just a mirror to them and when I don’t reflect what they want to see, I am of no use.

Its horrible to have your reality continually denied. To not be allowed any sacred boundaries as to what you think or believe. There is no respect from a manipulator and a child raised by them doesn’t have the opportunity to develop self-respect. For a long time, I had no self-respect and didn’t even really understand what that was. I’ve got it in spades now!

Pam

62

Patricia,
I resonate with what you said about going somewhere inside of your head while your sexual abuse was taking place. I know I did the same as a teenager. I was wondering if you remember many details about your abuse. I don’t. They sometimes hit me in flashback memories but often what I remembered disappears again if I try to purposely recall it. I went through 40 weeks of chemo 2 years ago and a horrifying fungal infection caused me to disociate. At first that was pleasant but then it morphed into my reliving that time in my life as if it were happening in real time. My husband was afraid that i wouldn’t come back and I’m still afraid that I might get sucked under into that world again. When I quit treatment, it eventually stopped but I did have to take an antipsychotic for a few months. Have you ever had an experience like that?

Pam

63

Darlene

Its amazing how people react when they don’t get what they want; that someone would stop reading your blog as a response to something you said really doesn’t make sense; other than she was trying to make a trade . you answer her emails she’ll read your blog.

For myself, I blog for therapeutic reasons.. if someone falls upon a post I make and it helps them ; so be it; but my posting has already done what it should: it helped me.

Your blog is super interesting; it’s full of helpful stuff and give encouragement. It’s like a little forum but its really a blog . I have met so many nice people here and am so grateful that you have let so many people interact on your blog, Darlene.

Well just was in for a chat. I trying to distract my thoughts from some passing memory.

Have a nice day

Joy

64

Hi Joy
Yes Joy that IS what she was saying. she was saying” I will read and comment on your blog IF you answer my private emails.” and I ignored that email and that was the last time I heard from her in my blog or privately. And isn’t that exactly the message that I am talking about that we get all our lives from so many people? “if you do what I want then I will like you” and we even learn to guess what they might want so that they like us… but the problem is that this is not love or even relationship. This is purely the false definition of love and the misuse of power and control. That dynamic is what I worked so hard to get away from. Still this is a great example of what we are talking about here.
Thanks for your comment.
Hugs Darlene

65

Really great post. I heard that many times as a child myself. It is such a classic example of abusive child rearing.

66

Pam,

“I went through 40 weeks of chemo 2 years ago and a horrifying fungal infection caused me to disociate”

Which came first, the fungal infection or chemo?

What were the manifestations of the fungal infection?

Did you have any other reactions to the chemo?

67

I still don’t cry very often it is a frightening thing when I do . I remember being young and my mom would get mad and hit us with a belt or whatever was handy she would have us line up against the bunk beds and just keep hitting even if we didn’t do anything .she would then say if we didn’t cry she wasn’t hitting us hard enough then when we cried we would get hit for that !!I now realize thats why I would leave my body I can withstand all kinds of pain I had all of my children without medication because I would just disassociate . I went through years of cutting myself and often wondered why , but in thinking about this post today I get it ! I hope that someday I can cry because I know there are so many tears locked up inside me that really need to run free !

68

My father would yell at me when I cried and my mother would invalidate my feelings, saying “it’s meant to be” and “don’t let it get the best of you”. The school psychologist said “big girls don’t cry” and gave me a pen. She told me that every time I felt like crying that I should look at the pen and it would remind me not to cry.

69

A little OT, but Kate, you are not “over the hill” at all! We are the same age and I feel that way too sometimes, but in the vocal groups I belong to there are several people around my age and quite a few that are older, all vibrant,active people with solid musical skills. One gentleman is 87 and still going strong.

70

Hi Darlene. I have been on and off anti-depressants since 2004. And I feel that a lot of people don’t understand when I feel sad or upset. I am instead, misconstrued as being too sensitive and weak. A lot of times my feelings are invalidated, the worst was when I had an anxiety attack where I was hyperventilating and all that, and this person I know thought it was all drama. It is terribly frustrating for our feelings to be invalidated. And when they are, the more afraid we become in showing them. Right now, I feel like I only have my blog to share what I truly felt. I don’t really share much to my family and friends for fear of being invalidated again.

Thank you so much for this post. I felt like I was given a voice.

~Irene~

71

Mary,

thanks for the encourgaement. Yes, I have sung i n community choirs with all ages, as you mention.

I meant that for me to go to college to get a degree in (solo work) vocal performance, I am older than the norm, and I am glad for the feedback I am getting from my teacher right now, who teaches in a college setting.

72

Kate,
The fungal infection was due to the chemo therapy lowering my white cell count. We all have fungus living in our skin but when the immune system is weak, it can take over. It first appeared on my scalp, then it went into my ears,nose,and eyes. It continued to spread over the rest of my body down to my knees. The worst of it was my scalp. The sores on the crown of my head were huge, they eventually blew out to the size of saucers,and they effected my ocipital nerve. This caused me to have many painful sensations such as feeling like my head was being crushed. (Part of it was due to the fungus wrapping itself into my skin.) I also had sensations of crawling up and down my spine and down my limbs. I also had to deal with spores from the fungus. I lived with this for six months. It ended up that I was allergic to the drug they were giving me to produce white cells. I would inject the drug and the fungus would start to heal only to return even worse than before. My allergy caused my yeast(a traveling fungus)to rise and the yeast actually fed the other fungus. Finally, they gave me ankother drug for the white cells and it did clear up the fungus. By that point though, the infection was very wide spread and the drug caused nerve sensations on top of the ones I already had. It was like I could feel the white cells eating the fungus. That’s when I disocicated. That along with all of the high powered drugs I was taking threw me into psychosis. That is when I fell into the secret world of my past. It was a waking nightmare for me and for my family.

I also had problems with my heart rythm and once it stuck at 180 and I had to have it stopped and then restarted. I became hypothyroid which also affected my mood and my thinking. I had problems with eating and keeping my food down. It was hell, Kate. I am very glad though, to be free of the hep c virus and the cryoglobulinemia.It was the battle of my life but it was worth it.

Pam

73

Hi Mary,
Welcome to EFB ~I am glad you liked the post.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Char,
Welcome to EFB. This is so great that you get it! It was the accumulation of those moments that really set me on the road to healing.
Glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Irene
Welcome to EFB ~
I am so glad that you feel heard ~ my whole purpose in writing my blog is to write about the things that set me free to heal.
Glad you are here
Hugs, Darlene

74

Mary
Big girls don’t cry is another abusive statement meant to shut down the emotions of children. It is really awful that a pshchologist taught you to do that! That story makes me feel sick.
Oh and “don’t let it get the best of you” ??? I could write another post about that statement! The best of me?? What part of me would it get? It destroyed the best of me. Thank you for sharing this today. This highlights even more of what I am talking about!
Hugs, Darlene

75

I am getting pretty good at crying now but I used to get angry at myself and say it was stupid to be crying over whatever it was. I’d try to laugh it off. I’d try anything to stop crying. I definitely think I learned this at a young age. I never wanted my abusers to see me crying. I didn’t want them to see weakness. My mother taught me “not to listen” to painful things. I became numb. It was my way of fighting back. Now that I am free of that house I am crying in movies again. Even stupid ones. And it’s OK.

76

Pam,

I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I would say that the drugs assalted your system as abusers did in your past. There was something similar going on; it wasn’t about you not being able to cope with your past.

Chloe,
Good for you being able to cry.
My ex, who wouldn’t cry, and taunted me for crying, and told me to slit my wrists instead, WOULD actually cry when watching movies. I am not judging this. I am just stating what I observed. It may be the only place or way he was used to being allowed to feel while he grew up. I am not judging you for crying with movies. I am just stating something I remembered when you stated that about yourself. It doesn’st mean that I think you are like my ex–just wanted to clear the air on that one!

77

I think that Big Girls Don’t Whine by Jan Silvious may be an alternative thought, in that we are growing here on this blog, sorting out the truth from lies, and not unproductively whining anymore because we are confused. CRYING is a whole different matter, its a release, its a grieving, etc.

78

Kate,
That is true but its not all of it. I relived the sexual abuse and that was a secret world inside of me for decades. When I first dissociated, I imagined my old tom cat who had been with me during previous illnesses, comforting me. Then there were more cats and they ended up representing people during that time. It was bizarre. There was a definate line between that secret world that sucked me under and the world that I live in. After that experience, I knew I had to talk about what had happened to me and include the your girl who lived it as part of who I am now. I never want to go there again.

Pam

79

Pam, But you don’t feel those same sensations or experiences now, two years later? You feel much different, healthwise and all?

I just want to say that my parents can fold and put away their own underwear. That didn’t need to be my job, as a child. I don’t remember ever making my kids fold and put away their parents’ underwear. Just saying…we do our own stuff in our household.

Also, parent/family time ahead…my standard response to inappropriate subjects is going to be, “If I want to talk about that, I will bring it up…”

I am ticked that my community choir is so political which goes along nicely with disorganization…I mailed my billpay payment in time, about three months ago, and she never told that she didn’t get it, but waited over two months to tell me. I confronted her about not telling me that it didn’t come and she filled the air with irrelevent information, lots of it, but avoided the issue of not telling me in a timely fashion. Today I met her in a parking lot and traded recordings for cash, and she wanted to know if I got the check cancelled with the bank (I can’t believe she would even ask this) and said that she knows from her husband’s business that he gets billpay payments and that you have 60 days to cancel them!!! So she just told me that she intentionly withheld the information, for MORE than 60 days that my check didn’t arrive AND KNEW that I wouldn’t be able to cancel it. (She was wrong, my bank cooperated)

I sat inbetween this lady and another last semester, who, because they are in the “special” choir which meets right before our big choir, they are too tired to sing for our practice, and so they sit in the chairs slouched and sleep half way through our practice and talk about how they just aren’t singing much tonight, etc., while the choir director talks repeatedly about “don’t sing louder than your neighbor, listen to your neighbors and blend, and your quiet sound is your best sound, etc” The choir is about 100 people.

80

Kate,
No, I’m not in a dissociative state and I’m not psychotic. My experience was trauma and drug induced. Now that I’m talking about it I feel much different than I did even before treatment. It is very freeing to understand what happened, why I behaved the way I did, and to have no secrets.

My dad was a musician and you could not measure up in his eyes if you had no musical talent. My mother constantly made remarks about my not being able to sing and if I did sing, I was corrected to the point of not wanting to sing. It was a triumph for me in my forties to be singing the Hallelujah Chorrus in choir and have my mom in the audience. I’m no Barbara Striesand but I can sing. My parents used this to single me out from the rest of the family. I was the chosen scape-goat and this was part of my grooming.

I’m glad you sing too, Kate.

Pam

81

I cried throughout my childhood. A neighbor said I would sit out in the yard and scream. Yet, no one bothered to find out why I cried so much. The tears were there for a reason. Had I been told not to cry, I probably would have suffered a mental break.

82

[…] includes times when emotional pain was ignored and when any kind of abuse was ignored or invalidated.  This also includes psychological abuse such […]

83

Hi Renee
That is what I am talking about! That no one “bothered” to find out why. THERE WAS a reason! For sure there was.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Everyone ~ I just published a new post on the home page about “that feeling of lonliness” that seems to be part of the whole thing we go through. I think the readers of this post will enjoy that post too ~ you can read it here:
Loneliness in Recovery and Emotional Healing
Hope you like it,
Hugs, Darlene

84

Wow, Pam, I can relate to your statement about being in your forties and singing the Messiah with your mom in the audience. I think I was in my forties before I ever heard my dad say anything positive about my singing. And i about had a nervous breakdown with my mom in the audience when I was in my twenties . I could not stop laughing during the start of the cantata. I had a solo and the director called me Sandy Patti, but the faces he made at us to make us smile, combined with the nervousness over having my mom there, was too much for me and I about lost it altogether.

I am so sorry about your dad. How horrible. My dad had a way of being that way with me even though I was more musical than anyone in my family. He just made me feel like singing was selfish if I was the one doing it. If it was some other pretty girl or woman, then she deserved our attention.

85

Chloe ~
I totally realte to what you said in comment #75
Excellent points, thank you for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

86

i too was often told that did i not stop crying i would be given something to cry about. another one i heard often was “why are you so depressed? what do you have to be sad about? we have given you everything you’ve ever wanted”

i am only recently beginning to realize the effect these types of comments had on my child/adolescent mind… the effect they still have on my adult mind. i am only now beginning to realize i was emotionally psychologically and physically abuse by my mother and emotionally and psychologically abused by my father, in addition to the sexual abuse rape and domestic violence i was already aware of. and yet i still hear those words, what do i have to cry about? to be so depressed about? shouldnt i just get over it and be okay for once!? i get so mad at myself for not being stronger, for being affected by all of it so much. it is such a relief to read the words on this site and know that so many women out there relate and understand. this is my first time visiting this site and every article i have read has touched me so deeply. like kimberly said earlier, i had to do a double take to see if somehow i had written what i was reading. so many of you alls experiences are exactly like my own. it is quite strange. thank you to everyone for sharing, thank you darlene for the wonderful site. it is so nice to finally not feel so alone.

87

Haven’t read any of the comments, so this may have already been mentioned. For me, I learned to never cry — like you, Darlene, and for the same reasons. I also didn’t laugh or express much emotion at all other than anger and depression (no wonder). Later on in life, as I began to re-parent myself and get some healing in my life, I have been crying and laughing all too often. I wonder if, like sleep, our minds and bodies just need to “catch up” with the emotions that we were not allowed to share. If I ever do stop having tears or laughter when they sometimes seem inappropriate, I’ll let you know.

88

Kate,

In comment 50, I see that we married similar men. Glad you got out of yours. I left and divorced seven years ago and have not looked back. Like you, my ex never tried to restore the marriage — just used manipulative and abusive tactics to try to destroy me so I would be too scared to divorce. It didn’t work!

🙂 Kellie

89

Darlene,

We watched “Tangled” last night. It was my first time seeing it. Rapunzel is held captive by a witch who poses as her mother. I thought of you so many times in watching the bad “mother” use all sorts of scare tactics and manipulations to try to keep Rapunzel from leaving the tower. I also thought it was interesting watching Rapunzel go through many gyrations of guilt and shame when she did leave — first elated, then depressed and self-loathing for betraying her mother. It’s funny in a way that I can’t watch these types of movies without thinking of real life abuse. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m too obsessive. I guess I’m just really observant and always aware of these types of relationships — even in fantasy stories.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the film. I won’t be following the comments as I get way too many emails as it is, but maybe you could email me the link if you think of it in case you do a review of the movie. kellie dot blair dot alexander at gmail dot com. thanks!

🙂 Kellie

90

Hi Everyone

I just wrote an article that continues on with where I was going with this aritcle. The new article highlights some of the adulthood results from the childhood trauma of being shut down emotionally. You can read it here:

“Why I didn’t know how I felt about anything”
Hope you enjoy it,
Hugs, Darlene

91

[…] to Think or Taught NOT to Think? By Darlene Ouimet The last few blog posts have covered how our feelings can get shut down, but what about our thoughts? Have you ever thought about how you were taught to think, or taught […]

92

[…] my post “Stop Crying or I will give you something to cry about” I talked about the message that we got as children when were told “to stop crying or else.” My […]

93

Pam, I am sorry about what you experienced with the fungal infection. I would close my eyes and go inside of my head so I don’t have many visual memories. But with my eyes closed, my ears seemed to become more in tune with outside sounds. I was always so afraid of being caught and shamed by someone else coming down the road that my dad was parked on that I couldn’t turn the sounds off. Most of my sexual abuse happened with me laying across the front seat of whatever truck my dad owned at the time. Our house was too small for me to have my own bedroom. My sister and I always shared a room so he didn’t come to my room much. I remember a few times around 6th or 7th grade that he woke me up and we went into the living room while everyone else was asleep but that didn’t happen often.

I haven’t really ever done many flashbacks in my life. I can only imagine what those are like for you. I have 6 years worth of memories that have become less clear in my mind over the years since they first happened. Some memories are all too clear in my mind’s eye but the majority of them, maybe because there were so many, are not so clear any more. Those memories are from age 11 to 17. At 17, I was so tired and emotionally stressed that I told my dad no more sex and he couldn’t change my mind. At 19, I finally had the courage to run away from home when I was old enough that my dad couldn’t come after me and drag me back. I left because from age 17-19, the stress inside me continued to build. I knew if I didn’t leave that I would cease to be me. I knew I was close to having a complete mental breakdown. I knew that this was my one and only chance to leave. If I didn’t take it then, I never would have.

Even though I went inside my head to hide from the abuse, I have the memories of before and after and the feelings of shame that I always felt and the thoughts of I must really be bad and unworthy for my own dad to hurt me in this way. All I ever wanted was for my parents to love me just like every child wants to be loved. In the beginning I remember the physical pain of being so small when he was so big in comparison. Then after awhile, the physical pain stopped and I just felt numb emotionally. There are earlier times of abuse that I have clues for but no actual memories of. If I ever connect with those memories, then I might experience flashbacks. My clues are for ages 2-3 and again at age 7. I have talked about calling myself a 3-year-old adulteress before on my blog and I think on EFB as well. At age 7, I have always known that something big happened that year but I have no clue what other than that knowing. It feels omminous but I don’t know what that happening was. I may or I may not ever recover those memories. I know that whatever it was, my dad never let me visit my maternal grandmother again without my parents along. Before that I visited her for months at a time and for summers after I started to school.

Pam, I am sorry that I haven’t been able to help you with your question.

94

I heard Stop that Crying or I will give you Something to Cry About,
when i was growing up. did i like the options no.
but i stopped crying and learnt. If you are upset. stop, think, compose yourself, speak clearly and precise and you will most time get what you want.
to me it was one of life’s lessons that you have to pay. could it have been done different, may be. but i know i was a handful.

95

Hi Mike,
Welcome to EFB and thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

96

[…] There is fear that comes with this dynamic too.  I am crying. I’m told that I have no reason to cry and then told that if I don’t STOP crying, I will GET something to cry about.  Since I am already in pain, usually in both emotional and physical pain, and I am really afraid of what they might do that would give me a ‘real and valid’ reason to cry” (Darlene, 2011, http://emergingfrombroken.com/stop-that-crying-or-i-will-give-you-something-to-cry-about/). […]

97

OMG I got told this too on a regular basis!!!!

98

I was a clever little kid. I utilized my thoughts a lot so I intellectualized everything. I cried a lot. I challenged my parents bu tthey still did the whole ‘dont cry or Ill give you something to cry about’ and ‘stop the crocodile tears’.

Now? I’m confused about my own reality. I intellectualize everything.

I don’t believe my own emotions were real.

99

Nadia
Welcome to EFB ~ I totally relate to what you wrote. I too did not believe myself ~ that is part of what happens when we are invlaidated as children. Through the healing process, I began to sort out why I was mixed up about the truth, and validate myself. It takes time.
Hang in here!
Hugs, Darlene

100

Hey Darlene. Thanks so much. I constantly worry and then I worry about what I think I know and then I worry if that was real and then worry about whether all this worrying was validated…or that I was just making it up. What about anger, though? My therapist always talks about it being safe to be angry if I need to be but I can’t be angry. I’m too submissive to my therapist because she cares about me and I don’t want to anger her. But I have nothing to be angry about really, she’s a really good therapist..Again, worrying..

101

Hi Nadia
I was well into this process before I even realized that I had trouble with feeling or getting angry. I kept going forward without the anger and one day I was able to feel it. Everyone is different and healing happens at different stages.
I had lots to be angry about, I just didn’t feel it for a while..
Hugs, Darlene

102

Hi Darlene
Yet again another eye opening post! I recently had an incident happen between my sister & her 11 yr old son. I was upset by how my sister handled her son’s crying. First of all, he has special needs & has ADHD. He has trouble regulating his emotions and gets easily worked up. Well, something set him off and he was crying & whining, so my sister tells him to stop very harshly, and when he doesn’t, she says out loud in front of our dad, her daughter, me & my kids, that he is going to get a “Beating”…not here but “AT HOME”.

Well, this triggered more tears from the boy, which IS understandable!..H also reacts by saying, “You can’t do that!” over & over again. He is terrified and I can relate, because as a child I was not allowed to express my feelings or get my feelings validated. I wanted to hug him & say it will be alright, but I would be undermining my sister’s authority. I did that once, where I said “why do you have to yell at him”?!, when she shamelessly reprimanded him in front of me when he had an accident.She said he knows better. It’s hard to witness this abuse and what makes it more difficult is my parents don’t say anything and it’s happening in their house.

My 6 yr old dtr picked up on what my sister said and commented to me that she “yells alot” and asked me afterwards, in the car, if her aunt was going to hit him?…Well, that was a hard one to answer!…I want to believe she was just saying that to shut her son up & she wouldn’t act on it! I ended up covering up for my sister to protect my 6 yr old by saying, “I don’t think she will do that” and she just wanted him to “calm down”. I was thinking to myself, that I doubt she left him alone. My son told me after the fact, that she already slapped him up side his head!…He whispered this to me because his sister was in the car.

I also told my kids, that I don’t agree with my sister saying that she was going to beat him. I want them to know that was WRONG!…Well anyway, this whole incident had me triggering about my past & how I learned to clam up because i was terrified of the consequences…A day later, I’m still upset and I have the Right to be. My nephew was being Mistreated!…I feel so tempted to call my sister up & tell her that Her behavior was WRONG, but she would have a fit!….What’s important is that, my kids & I know the TRUTH!

My daughter was still thinking about it today & expressed to me that her Aunt was probably yelling at her cousin, at that moment. She knows it will continue, even without me telling her that….Sad realization!

103

Hi SMD
This is all the type of stuff I am talking about. In my own healing, I had to look at the message that I got from that kind of exchange. How was I “regarded” how did it make me feel about myself, what did it communicate to ME about ME. That was the damage. Facing the truth about that stuff is what led me to freedom!
Thanks for sharing. I don’t know what these people are thinking! I tell you though, I am very careful about the way that I communicate to my own children!
Hugs, Darlene

104

Thanks Darlene. You are right about facing the truth about “how I was regarded’, “how did it make me feel about myself” and “what did it communicate to me about me”. I will reflect on those questions further in therapy. I see what my family is doing is wrong & I am careful about what I say to my kids too I’m just more concerned about the message my kids are getting from my family. I hope I’m doing the right thing by teaching my kids that it’s wrong what my family is doing!….In the past, I wouldn’t say anything to the kids.
Sincerely, SMD

105

This is tragic. My mom would speak those same words to me as she beat me and my brothers. If we cried, the beatings would intensify. To this day, I have difficulty crying. I shut down emotionally. Thank you for this post.

106

Hi Brandon
Welcome to EFB
Yes.. it is tragic. Facing that truth really helps in the recovery process and was a major factor towards my healing. Thank you for sharing here.
Hugs, Darlene

107

Interesting article and so right on about how this statement can wreck havoc on your life. I can remember being beat like an animal with a belt…somewhat…much was blocked…my sister said shhe used to use her hands go protect her face from being hit with the belt…my mom tried to poison and drown me when very young…later she turned a gin on usn…everyone forgave her but me…I been too abused to really allow her in my life…I have my own family now to protect

108

Hi Kimberly
It is horrible that this happened to you. This kind of thing causes huge damage and that damage gets in the way of living! Glad you are here,
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

109

My Dad always said this while trying to hit me with his belt. By “trying to hit me” i dont mean he missed but that he kind of expected me to be still for it, I twisted and turned and slid under furniture or whatever I could do to dodge the blows all the while he had me by one arm.
One time when I was about eight, I tried very hard to obey, and not cry. I can’t recall my error, but I do recall that that time I had disobeyed. (most of the time, I was falsely accused as I remember, ha ha) this time I deserved punishment (though no one deserves a beating) so I determined to take it honorably.
I kept my face straight as I could, looked him in the eye, hoping he would see I was trying to do what he told me to do. I was very brave not to cry, because I was very scared and it hurt a lot.
But he just thought I was being “hardheaded” and defiant, so he kept it up until I cried. it was the only time I ever stood still for a whipping. Damned if ya do and damned if ya don’t.

After that I renewed my efforts to not get hit, twisting, turning, and screaming to the top of
my lungs the entire while. If he or Mama were gonna beat me they were gonna have to work at it.

To my mind only a fool would stand still while someone hit you. I sorta prided myself on not standing still for it, and thought my sibs were nuts because they didn’t squirm as much.

It was bound to happen with all my squirming: the belt fell and when it was picked back up the buckle end hit me in the abdomen leaving a hernia-like bruised swelling near my navel. (they had the idea that hitting the buttocks and upper thighs was okay) My Dad looked sick, my Mom looked scared. I felt, believe it or not… guilty. For the looks on their faces. Dad never hit me again, no matter what. Mom did til I was 12.

At 12, nearly 13, I asked if I could take a quilt outside to lay on to read.(Afternoon, AFTER chores) She said I could. It was a beautiful day, and I spread the quilt out on the grass and enjoyed my book. But soon she called me in to help with supper, eat supper, and then wash dishes.
Now when she called she wanted you there yesterday, and not a minute later, so no way I coulda picked up that quilt and folded it and put it away before making my appearance before her! By the time all was done, it had begun to rain. She went ballistic because her quilt was in the rain. She decided she was gonna beat me for that, and I decided she wasn’t. As she came toward me, I warned her. I was sitting on the sofa, and I told her it was not my
fault and she was NOT gonna whip me. She came forward, I pulled both knees to my belly and landed both feet into her belly. I knocked her on her fanny, and she started to cry.
I distinctly recall thinking, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” She never hit me again. After that the physical abuse stopped. The mental abuse just stopped in February when I went NC, that is, 48 years later.

110

Karenina,
It’s insane that a little thing like leaving a quilt outside in the rain, justifies a beating! What if something really bad happened like something illegal or criminal????…What if you had drugs or slept around, would they try to kill you????…I actually thought little accidents or mistakes were a crime to be punished for. I still find myself feeling guilty for little things that are not my fault. For example, my washer went the other day. I smelt something burning & when I looked, I realized the smell was coming from the bathroom. My washer is in there. I opened the lid & saw it filled with water & clothes. There was also a puddle of water on the floor.

I started to think, “My husband is going to kill me”…then quickly turned that around by saying, that is not my fault…I found it but & didn’t do anything for that to happen. I’m only responsible for cleaning it up & to get the washer fixed. Who knew the washer was going to break???…I told my husband what happened & asked how old the washer was & he said, “15 years”…Well, that explains it! The washer came with the house we bought a year ago. Anyway, we can’t control everything & the abusers in our lives have this misconception that all can be controlled!…That is an illusion….If something is done maliciously that is one thing, but if you make a mistake, your only being human. It ironic that abusers want victims to sweep the damage done by them, under the rug, while they can punish us for such trivial things!???
Sonia

111

Sonia, how did you know what I was thinking!? just before I scrolled down, I was thinking about how, when something “big” happened I would say, “My Daddy’s gonna kill me” or “My Mama’s gonna kill me.” I don’t think I really believed I was in danger of being killed, but that was the first words outta my mouth if I was, say, late getting home, or some toy hit the car, or anything big got broken.
I guess it was the logical next step in escalating punishment from a beating, for any “crime” bigger than simple sassing (speaking my mind, or telling my side of things, as I so often just HAD to do, and for which I got punished most often,) so it was logical to say that.

The quilt issue was typical for my Mom, as she valued her possessions more than me anyhow. I ranked last below my sibs, (who resembled her, while I resembled Dad) and also below most anything ELSE she OWNED.)

Also it comes to mind now, how I didn’t have a watch, but I could get a whipping (Mom) for being five minutes late coming in from outside, or down the street. Somehow for years as a child I was supposed to know what time it was to the minute without one…I guess I was supposed to be expert at reading the sun position in the sky!? Oddly I can still tell time to some extent without a clock or watch…Guess it was a survival skill I evolved, ha ha.

112

Twelve years ago, Mama said she was going to will her china to me. It is a lovely full set with roses on it. But the memory I have of it is nervous fear, when setting or clearing the table, washing dishes, or even putting a fork on it to eat, for heaven sake, that I might chip it. “Mama will KILL me if I chip her china.”

I remember feeling very uncomfortable when she said that, and wondering why I didn’t want it. “Your sister doesnt take care of such things” was the reason Mama gave for wanting me to have it. (in other words, if sis had taken care of things, she would have been first choice, as usual.) I guess Mom still prized it so much that she was worried about her china’s welfare even after death. (At the time she said this, she was also attempting bribing me to not move out of state, and out of her CONTROL.)

I moved anyhow. Soon after that I sold my own fine china, every piece, for a pittance. Silver service too. My kitchen motto became, “If I can’t put it in the dishwasher, I don’t want it.” Really, it was if my kids, grandkids, have to be so careful with the dishes that they worry too much to eat, what good is it to have china for special occasions?

113

Sonia, another survival skill I developed was good night vision. Leaving a light burning was “wasting electricity.” and a punishable offense. So I conquered fear of the dark very early on, and soon learned to maneuver in the dark not turning on the light in the first place, so I wouldn’t be whipped for leaving it on. To this day, I rarely turn on the lights when I get up before sunrise and make my coffee. My iPad screen is blinding on it’s lowest light setting, I often keep my reading sunglasses on to see it in the early morn.

114

Okay, one more comment on the quilt in the rain episode.
When Mom cried, everyone was supposed to rush to her aid and comfort, that was the way of things. When I cried I was a sniveling crybaby who needed to stop crying or get something to cry about. Her greatest shock wasn’t that I fought back (though I’m sure that was a doozy) but that I didn’t rush to her aid when she cried about it. Or even feel particularly guilty…after all, I HAD given fair warning.

Ever notice how a bully will back down, run, or cry when his or her victim finally screws up enough courage to fight back?
Mom was a bully. Plain and simple.

115

Okay, here was my biggest sin…there was always JUST ONE MORE comment…y’all should beat me. LOL!
Though I warn you that 1) years of beatings never stopped me 2) I know how to squirm like nobody else 3) I learned to fight back 4) I have night vision (in case y’all wanna beat me at night, LOL)

It was not that I always had to have “THE LAST WORD.” It was that in spite of obvious opinions to the contrary, I felt that I had worthwhile things to say! Smart stuff, not just smart-aleck stuff. And I refused to give in to their ignoring, belittling, turning their backs, or walking away, or even beatings. I don’t mean to sound bragging, but in simple fact, I KNEW I WAS SMART, in spite of their stated opinions. And I knew that my intelligence was something they could not diminish, or take away (short of head injury, which woulda landed THEM in jail.)

It was not until writing today that I realized their facial expressions after the navel bruising with the belt were: My Dad was disgusted with himself and ashamed, as he never cried back then, but I saw tears starting. (to my remembering, dad never hit any of us again after that) My Mom was scared she might have to take me to the doctor, where the belt buckle imprint might cause some serious repercussions to HERSELF. “Let me get some ice to stop the swelling,” she said in a panicky voice. While applying ice to my bruise, she did not comfort but rather scolded me for wriggling so much, and that it was my fault I got hit by a belt buckle in the abdomen. (Dad was beating me because she said he “needed to” as in “just wait til your father gets home.” so typical then, there was a jingle about it.

116

Karenina
You are making some very excellent points! Thank you for sharing all this. This is a post that is visited often so I am really glad to have these comments on it! Your insights are fantastic.
Hugs, Darlene

117

Sonia and Karenina
I just saw more of your comments and wrote a note to myself to write a blog post about some of the things you are talking about. I had a similar exp. with the last time my mother hit me. I was 15 and she slapped me across the face so hard that my glasses flew off. I told her that if she ever hit me again I would hit her back. I think I was mad enough to finally scare her. She changed her tactics and abused me in different ways after that. That is what abusers do; they change the ways they do it. And yes, the rules they teach us never apply to them.

I can relate to the washing machine story too. I was so accustomed (groomed) to accept everything as my fault. I would get nervous over everything that even MIGHT go wrong.
Great conversation you girls!
Hugs, Darlene

118

Darlene, no, thank YOU! I am sure you must know how good it feels to have someone say my “insights are fantastic” when I come from a family that never would acknowledge any speck of intelligence or common sense.
They might have had they bothered to actually listen, as they are, none of them, unintelligent. Just selectively deaf.

119

I’m on a roll, so here goes: regarding fear of the dark…
When I was maybe four, I slept in a double bed with my (mean as a snake) sister, who told me there were alligators under the bed. I was trying sooo hard not to wet the bed at night back then, and she (at 7) knew it. My brothers slept in a second double bed in the same tiny room, with a really small passage between the two beds.
My side of the bed was against the wall on the far side of the room from the door, and if I touched her side even in my sleep, she would kick me hard. So, one night I desperately had to pee. I manured carefully to the end of the bed, balance-beamed my way across the footboard, leapt the chasm between the beds, balance-beamed my way across golden-boy’s bed, and jumped from there out the door and into the hall by the bathroom door.
My dad with a full hardon had just come from his/moms room, as I landed…TA DA!!! Arms up like a performer, and straight outta the dark…his eyes got big as saucers, he said “oh sh-t” and went back to his room. I went pee, and repeated my performance in the other direction, and didn’t wake up a sibling…:0

120

I’m on a roll, so here goes: regarding fear of the dark…
When I was maybe four, I slept in a double bed with my (mean as a snake) sister, who told me there were alligators under the bed. I was trying sooo hard not to wet the bed at night back then, and she (at 7) knew it. My brothers slept in a second double bed in the same tiny room, with a really small passage between the two beds.
My side of the bed was against the wall on the far side of the room from the door, and if I touched her side even in my sleep, she would kick me hard. So, one night I desperately had to pee. I manuvered carefully to the end of the bed, balance-beamed my way across the footboard, leapt the chasm between the beds, balance-beamed my way across golden-boy’s bed, and jumped from there out the door and into the hall by the bathroom door.
My dad with a full hardon had just come from his/moms room, as I landed…TA DA!!! Arms up like a performer, and straight outta the dark…his eyes got big as saucers, he said “oh sh-t” and went back to his room. I went pee, and repeated my performance in the other direction, and didn’t wake up a sibling…I had no idea why his weenie was so big, just thought he musta had to pee real bad too…:o

121

Sorry for the double post, thought I had stopped it in time so I could correct manured to maneuvered.

122

Karenina
Something I realized about the way I was controlled; no one could acknowledge my brain because that would give me a little self esteem and look what happened when I did heal my broken self esteem! My brain scared the crap out of all the people who ever abused me.
Hugs, Darlene

123

Haha, Darlene! It is so good to have a scary brain 😉 !

124

I was supposed to be a boy according to my parents anyway, instead I came out a girl. They said they loved me inspite of that but the used to treat me more like a boy than a girl…certainly they dressed me as a girl but they always called me by my more masculine last name saying “Wesley your stronger than that stop crying” or something like that telling me that people were out to make me cry and that it was weak. I stopped crying even when my grandmother passed and some of my cousins too i never cried. When I had problems in school i would sometimes cry over them and was given a ‘real’ reason to cry in the form of beatings.

It messed me up, I suffer from depression among other mental and emotional issues. Its nice to know im not the only one

125

Hi Ashes
Welcome to emerging from broken!
You have found the right website; this entire site is about this kind of stuff and how I overcame the damage casued by it. There is a lot of info and a lot of support here!
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Everyone
I have published a new post about passive abuse and how my mothers definition of LAZY got stuck in my belief system even though she never called me lazy! In this post I highlight a new way to look at the belief system and how it forms. Seeing this stuff is a big part of how I was set free from those false beliefs!
Here is the link! “Connecting the dots about passive abuse and the truth about lazy”
Hugs, Darlene

126

Hi, again
“I’ll give you something to cry about…!” from my mother, an emotionally unavailable person. I have spent the better part of 61 years trying to understand just why I could not emote. And why I seldom cry.

Today I received the results of a survey, taken online for a Mental Health Counseling course assignment – “…she has suppressed her own feelings and become indifferent to those of others.” This was the phrase from part of the assessment which struck me as out of place – the one which was true, but not true.

Later in the morning I ‘got’ that the phrase – “I’ll give you something to cry about…” was at the bottom of this so-called indifference. It is not true in that I am overly sensitive to others’ feelings, to the complete detriment of my own inner life.

Mother passed away this Spring. And with her passing came a flood of old, mouldy feelings. About time, too. Sometimes I feel that a nervous breakdown is right around the corner, waiting to happen.

As someone else mentioned, I, too, suffered from asthma, depressions, illnesses (that she could never seem to consider ‘real’ enough. When I had cancer, not once, but twice, she was unable to help. I lived alone for the first one, the second I was sharing household with her, needed her assistance to even open a bottle of water. Which to her credit she performed, but reluctantly.

Yes, sometimes I find the anger expressing in ‘swearing’ at her ghost. Something which I could never do when she was alive. One was not supposed to have any displays of emotion.

So, thanks, Darlene, for writing out the methodology of working through the inner messages. Try as I might growing up, there were times when I could not find any words to describe what was happening inside my heart.

If you don’t mind I’ll pass this link along to others in my course.

127

Hi Kate K
Thank you for sharing ~ this is exactly what this whole site is about. I found a way to heal and then found a way to articulate it here. It is shocking sometimes to see how many thousands and thousands of people relate to this and are set free from the bondage of dsyfunctional relationship and childhood neglect issues by simply seeing the truth about how it really was.
Thank you for sharing this link to others in your course.
Hugs, Darlene

128

I know!….what crazy messages some parents give their children!

I also grew up with that “stop crying or I’ll give you something to really cry about” message from my parents. What is that all about anyway?

I was thinking about what you wrote about and the stupidity of our parents ridiculously inhumane message really struck me. Because here is how it can be translated:

I am already expressing a normal human emotion.

I am in trouble for expressing a normal human emotion.

I have been told that I have no reason for expressing a normal human emotion.

I have been warned that I will be given a reason to express a normal human emotion if I don’t stop expressing a normal human emotion.

See the insanity in that line of reasoning? It reeks of lunacy!!

What parents who give these messages are teaching their children is that IT IS NOT EVER OKAY TO BE A HUMAN BEING.

I have often thought this was true. Parents who are comfortable with their own humanity, their own human-ness, along with all of the beauty and the flaws, seem to be able to accept their childrens’ “human-ness,” as well. It’s those parents who are trying so hard to appear perfect, who use fear and intimidation to control their children, who abuse their kids.

All these parents do is cause their children to numb out and shut down. The children grow up not even knowing that it’s perfectly normal and okay to feel an emotion. It seems that we child abuse survivors have a lot of difficulty allowing ourselves to feel much of anything, especially to feel the emotions of anger and sadness.

Both anger and sadness were forbidden in my home. Oh, with one exception, of course. My rageaholic crazy father was permitted to act out his rage every single day, by knocking us around, by throwing things, by breaking doors and kicking our dog across the room, and by brandishing his loaded guns and threatening to kill us. Oh, it was perfectly fine for him to act like a loony-bird!

Parents who won’t permit their children to feel emotion are perpetrating a great deal of damage. It’s extremely abusive.

I so understood every single word you wrote, Darlene.

All of us here are miracles, aren’t we? I mean, we are. We are still capable of loving and of caring. That’s really saying something. The human spirit within us survived.

It was a long, long road for me to come out of dissociating and to finally recognize my long-frozen emotions. It was painful, too. But now I can feel without also feeling shame. That’s another miracle.

Thanks, Darlene.

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Thank you Marore for sharing. I agree with your view that abusers don’t accept humanity of others.
For me, they taught me to be ashamed of my body and his expression.
So damageable.

Yes, people like us who have been mistreated in the childhood and who have choosen not to be abusive towards children or animals or spouse are beautiful.

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Hi Marore
Yes, exactly. Your comments are very well expressed!
Hugs, Darlene

131

I remember growing up with those words all the time. IF I did stop crying, I still got hit with my mother’s fist or the horse strap. I was not allowed to show any type of emotion, including a smile. You’d think one would “outgrow” this type of thing right? Nope, still today I barely cry and if I do, I know to stop it before I get hit (in my mind). I do not smile much or show emotions because I am always afraid my mother (although she is dead) is looming over me just waiting for me to cry or smile or show any type of emotion so she can beat me again. It’s hard when you grow up in a state of mind that emotions are wrong so they musn’t be shown. I try, I do but I find myself at times still shutting down.

132

Hi JMWilliams
How horrible that happened to you. I also still stop myself from crying to this day. I have learned to feel agian but the crying thing is still one of my fears and I try to just concentrate on not shutting down my feelings now. I keep striving to go forward! Glad to see you!!!
Hugs, Darlene

133

My mother would shut me down when something bothered me. Negative emotions are not allowed to exist. I’ve had some problems with anorexia/bulimia and sometimes I wonder if that had any link to it. Maybe it’s my way of coping, Im not sure

134

Hi L.Sol
Welcome to EFB
My bulimia and eating disorders were directly related to coping methods and to trauma/abuse. There is lots of info about how I overcame all that here in this site!
Hugs, Darlene

135

[…] my pain whether it was emotional pain or physical pain. I too was often told that if I didn’t stop crying I would be given a reason to cry ~ (said to me by the person who had delivered the blows) when I was crying because I had just been […]

136

Hi Everyone,
I have published a new article and this one is about ‘crying’ and the difficulties that so many survivors have with crying. I am big on the messages that lived at the roots of all my struggles and last week I made a deeper discovery about crying and my deeper feelings about it. You can read the post and comment here: “Difficulty Crying or Feeling Ashamed or Afraid of Crying”
Hugs, Darlene

137

One thing I found I was able to actually DO about the “stop crying or I will give you something to cry about” treatment I was subjected to when I was young was to be sure my own children were never treated like that. I feel good about that!!

138

Dear Darlene,
thanks so much for posting this blog ,its hit home with me this week.
back a few months ago my husband saw a man hit his little 2 year old baby. to make it short today my husband testified in court the man in the parking lot .the day my husband called me on the cell phone i was in the store shopping he was in tears so upset seeing the man slam the child in the car seat and he punched the 2 year old baby . well a little history my husband he was beaten by his father and told i’ll give you somthing to cry about . well when the man hit his step son and slammed the baby in the car seat and punched the baby. all this brought up my husbands passed childhood pain. my husband told me i must stand up for the baby the child with no voice like me so many years ago. so he called the police and made a complaint. well to make things short ,today was the court day .the lawer was asking my husband what he saw my husband told the court that after the man hit the baby it stopped crying and the man said i’ll give you something to cry about. that got me thinking about my childhood abuse and why a battred child will stop crying after being hit and told i’ll give you something to cry about ,this showed me today the face of a child thats been hit is why the child will stop crying ,the lawer was trying to rip my husband apart but he stood strong for the little boy that had no voice ,my husband told the court he would do the same thing again and report it if he saw anyone hit a child,he stood up and said he told the truth for the for the child. the step dad admitted to hitting the baby,he said he slapped the baby not punched the baby devaluing the baby and the hit. my husband told the court there is no reasion to ever hit a baby or other wise. I was so proud of my husband hes a real hero! todays last thoughts for the day are how do you know a childs been hit or abused? if the child cant speak? the child when crying will suddling stop crying. its becalses hes been tought i’ll give you something to cry about. how do you know adults been abused as a child the time when the adult will stop crying when hit too. I rembered while speaking to my councler about my childhood abuse and sexual abuse I remered talking about the abuse starting to cry and forcing myself to stop crying I would hold my breath and bit my lips to make myself stop crying holding all the pain inside by holding my breath. then when in the passed ive got hit and started to cry and then made my self stop crying then i got called a drama queen or told shes turning off the water works . how many of you can relate to what i ve said? validate your self and feel your pain and let your pain show cry if you need to. its hard for me to cry infront of people . what do think? sorry about the spelling this subject is upsetting but at the same time its freeing reading this blog thanks so much Darlene.

139

I just cant cry in front of others I was told not to cry or I was told i’ll give you something to cry about or your to be seen not hurd.I cant stand hearing any one telling a child that it makes me so mad. trying to heal myself from the toxic and messed up family false belifes its like to heal is to rip my skin off from all that i know and been toxicly raised in ,it feels like my skins been ripped off just healing my self,and trying to teach my self healthy things like i do matter! god dosent make mistakes we do. thanks for such a wisdom filled blog.

140

Seriously. Bless you for this post. I am so glad to see this and to hear other people’s point of view about it. My dad does this to me all the time, but here’s the kicker; for a long period of time I stopped crying and my dad thought this was unusual. One night he spoke to me and told me that I never cry at all…..ever. and that I deserved to cry ever now and then. Hell, he even told me to let it all out in one. But I didn’t do it. When. I started my period, I naturally became more emotional and began crying again. I didn’t cry very often. Maybe once a month if I was having a bad day, but ever time I did cry, I would get absolutely no sympathy from him. He told me he didn’t understand why I was crying. For Christ’s sake, my dog bit my jaw and I began to cry ( not because It hurt but because I was so baffled by my dog and overwhelmed by my stressful day at work) and was blamed that I was probably upsetting the dog, or that the dog was just “trying to play with me” even though he was snarling at me like that thing was serious. He told me he didn’t understand why I was crying and I gave him a look like “are you fucking stupid?!” And my dad just got angry with me and started victimizing himself saying that oh, he’s always the bad Guy. Well, when your own kid gets bit by your “precious baby dog” and you do absolutely nothing, not even punish the dog, that shits gonna happen. Excuse my course language for this post. Your post, Darlene, has hit the head right onto the nail. You have my utmost respect for opening up and talking about it. Thank you.

141

My adopted son (who I surrendered to adoption)basically just told me this same thing. Here’s how I feel about it.

B U L L S H I T.

I don’t care who it is. I won’t tolerate that abusive behavior and I don’t care if it’s family or not.

I H A V E A R I G H T T O M Y F E E L I N G S

They either apologize to me or they don’t. It’s their loss. End of story.

142

I just searched “Stop crying or I’ll give you a reason to cry” into Google and found this. That statement was the very statement my father said to me every single time that I cried. I understand completely everything written there. I want to say it hurts but after I stopped crying, I told myself I wasn’t allowed to have pain so I can’t say it hurts. I can say its difficult not being able to react appropriately to this emotion anymore. My mother also didn’t believe being upset in front of your children. I believe that’s wrong because growing up I thought the only emotion I was allowed to have was happiness; if I was sad I would be in trouble or something was utterly wrong with me. I understand that a crying child is embarrassing in public and it is annoying to other people. I also understand that a mother never wants her child to see her upset and never wants her child to be upset. I would have to say my childhood was chaotic and confusing. Still is today for me because the things a parent teaches you while you’re in your development years sticks with you for a lifetime.

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Hi Carson
Welcome to EFB ~ A crying child has a need that for whatever reason, isn’t being met. It was never embarrassing to me when one of my kids was crying because I made the decision to find out what was wrong. (so unlike me, my children all felt worthy and validated 🙂 ~ There is hope to re-wire all those things that parents teach us! That is what this site is all about! Glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene

144

I read this and was flooded with memories. But, I needed to read this and the comments to finally acknowledge that I was/am not the only one. At the time, I felt so very alone, helpless, hopeless… wanting to tell someone, anyone..praying someone would notice the stripes on my legs and bruises on my arms.. and at the same time knowing I would literally be killed if it was found out. I was told so many times, “You cry, and I’ll give you something to cry about”…and then if I was beaten so much and DIDN’T cry, it was, “I must not be getting through to you”, was beaten and whipped more until I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
Often thrown down stairs to a dirt basement when just little more than a toddler and then I *was* given something to cry about when it always scared me so bad.
Seemed to be a never ending circle.

145

Hi Judy
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes exactly! This is and was a no win situation because it was never about us in the first place! It was always about them needing something from us. When we finally broke down crying it made them feel powerful, making us try not to cry made them feel powerful, complying to every whim was the only way they could feel their own value and it was all by taking our value away. It’s sick! This site is about seeing all of that through the grid of truth in order to overcome the issues that resulted from that treatment and live life.
Glad you are here,
hugs, Darlene

146

I walked in the back door of my house years ago and overheard my wife saying exactly those words to one of my toddler children. I could not believe what I was hearing. I had been in recovery for 20 years at the time and by then the statement was a classic though never spoken to me as a child.
This event was a big deal to me and I was clear to my wife that the mere fact that it had happened had caused me to question my wife’s emotional health and ability to interact with our children without passing her baggage down as an untreated person.
Today the issue came up again when my wife used the event as an example, to my 10 year old son, of what happens when someone holds you responsible (and never forgets) for something that happened only once. My son told me that I tended to barge into the bathroom on him and I asked why he thought that. He told me that I had done it once to him.
Well I was shocked that my wife would inject this past incident as an example of her being judged, maybe, too harshly and not adequately forgiven.
I am not sure if forgiveness is the correct word to use when someone, at best, uses such poor judgment or at worst, acts out. I might use the concept of a warning sign. I don’t, for example, wish that I be more adequately forgiven for ills that I committed from before I found recovery. I see today’s efforts of my wife to make the case that she was judged too harshly as a clear sign that she does not get it.

147

Hi John
Welcome to EFB ~ There is always hope. I hope that your wife will listen to you as you explain how harmful her actions are and will be to the children. If not, it is important that you do what you can to make sure that they know they are loved by communicating the truth about love to them.
Thanks you for sharing.
hugs, Darlene

148

The fact that many senior citizens spend their last days lonely and isolated, can in many cases be attributed to the level of child abuse they imposed upon their offspring. “Spanking” is a sugar coated word for physical assault. Denial of committing physical abuse is prevalent amongst these abusers of children. The circumstances within our culture that produced a whole generation of child abusers, does not justify their actions. There appears to exist this mentality amongst these child abusers, that conveys this message,……”Somebody has to pay for what I endured growing up”. All I have to say about that is when you know better, you do better. I personally agree, there is an entire generation that essentially had no business having children. If your having children to sadistically abuse and exploit them (essentially destroying their lives), it is immoral to procreate. Unfortunately these twisted, sadistic beings bred excessively and spawned a whole generation of broken children/adults. The stories are all to common amongst the victims of this twisted generation. Spending your entire life trying to heal from the scars of abuse, is the legacy imposed upon the offspring of these child abusers. In so many cases these victimized adult children, actively choose to no longer associate with their abuser parent(s). Child abuse is wrong!!! PERIOD!!!!
Just because you may have been abused yourself as a child, is all the more reason NOT to continue the cycle of abuse towards your own offspring. Humanity has been scarred by these monsters. It is our responsibility as parents to break the chain and end abuse forever.

149

This is me. My dad, the one person who was my source of love and care growing up, is also the person who curses and yells at me based on his mood rather than my actions. And I’m an adult now, and I physically can’t cry, especially not in front of other people. I have no idea how to free myself, let go, to express emotions. Even happy emotions- I’ve fallen in love with a girl and often cry on the inside about how in love I am when I am with her, but I can’t get it to show on the outside.

Any advice? I like the self validation idea, telling myself it’s okay to cry, but still the tears don’t flow- my face stays numb and I just get angrier that the tears won’t come when I’m trying to let myself express emotions.

150

Hi Caryn
I got to the self validation by looking at the damage done to me and then looking at the false beliefs I had about myself that resulted from that damage. It was in seeing that depth of the truth that I was finally able to feel again.
hugs, Darlene

151

I’m starting to realize this about myself too. There’s always this voice in my bad saying, “Are you sure you’re sad? Are you sure you’re a good person? Are you sure that what you did was nice? Are you sure you’re sane? Are you sure you’re not just doing that because you want to get something out of it? Are you sure you’re scared? Are you sure you have the right to feel like that? Are you sure that they care? Are you SURE?” And then if I try thinking of good things about myself, “Are you sure you’re not narcissistic and ego-filled and just plain wrong? Does it even matter really? Are you sure that I’m lying?” It just goes on and on and on. I don’t know where it all came from, though I have an idea. I’m glad you realized it, along with the other people here, and you’re healing from it! 🙂

152

There seems to be an unwritten law of the (my) universe that creates a dynamic where I am being accused of the same thing that I am bearing witness to in the person accusing me. And it seems that I have spent my life attempting to escape from this very same dynamic. I used to have a recurring dream in which I would go on vacation and after I arrived I would get trapped in a crisis where something needed fixing (my skis, my surfboard, my luggage) and I would in turn spend my entire dream trying to solve the crisis and never ever getting to the vacationing. Very predictable and very similar to my non-dream life. Half my life (exactly half this year) spent in recovery but still like an insect caught in a web. Not what I envisioned for myself after recovery. I am holding out hope that I will find a way to salvage the balance of my functional life without another divorce and torn kids.

153

John B. I hope it works out for you! Healing begins when you believe in it.

154

I hope to make the time to read more of your writings. Thanks for giving us a voice. I was raised with 3 “rules”:the one addressed in this post as well as “Do not speak unless you are spoken to” and “Children are to be seen and not heard”. It does seem to take decades to walk out of that darkness, for each year of learning to be “perfect”.
I had to learn of my dad’s painful and awful childhood in order to understand and forgive him. I want to cry at the thought of the things he lived through.
I pray that my inner child will continue to heal, and yours, as well.

155

Hi Abbie
Welcome to EFB~ I heard those three as well although not always from MY parents. 🙂
I always knew about my moms painful and awful childhood, it was the excuse that I used to comfort myself all my life, but it wasn’t the solution that healed the damage caused to me. That was a whole different thing!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

156

why does everyone I am close to think it’s ok to constantly correct me? what is it about me that gives them permission to do so because I am so tierd of it!

157

I, too, was raised with the threat of being punished for crying. For many years I kept all tears firmly squelched and suffered depression because of that. That all changed one day when I was alone in my house with just my dogs lying down nearby. I was sitting on my bed and I felt the presence of God. He knew about the pain I was feeling and He cared. He held out His arms to me and I stiffened – I was terrified to cry in front of Him because I’d been taught you get punished for crying. Father God picked me up and sat me on His lap and put His arms around me and held me close. I burst into tears and could not stop. All that accumulated pain and agony was pouring out of me via the safety valve that Father has built into all of us – tears. His embrace reassured me that He wasn’t going to hurt me for crying, and that there wasn’t any need to be scared – He wasn’t going to let me go crazy or be unable to ever stop. When at last every last drop of accumulated pain had drained out of me, He continued to hold me and tell me how much He loved me and how proud of me He was for trusting Him with my vulnerability. I began to relax and actually fell asleep with Father still holding me. This encounter with Him changed my life. Now I understand how wrong my parents were to punish me for crying. Now I do cry when genuinely hurt, but not over things that aren’t that big a deal. The experience has made me more healthy, not into a big crier (something I was afraid might happen). Our Father really loves us and wants to comfort us when we hurt.

158

To Olive #156
What else can you say about your experiences?

159

I hardly ever cry. When I do, most people take it seriously, because I don’t cry very often. I hardly ever cry for the same reason; I was raised to be tough and not show weakness, and crying was the biggest sign of weakness. Anytime I was caught crying, I was usually in trouble or shunned. I would often get sent off to my room to pull myself together. If I wasn’t out soon enough, I was in more trouble.
Now that I’m older, most people respect when I cry. Except for my dad. He will steam the longer I am upset, and after a while he will erupt and be angry. It really hurts me that he thinks it’s just a “girl thing” and won’t listen to what I have to say. Especially when he’s so sympathetic with other people, like my mom. He always listens to her problems and then helps her sort through them. After her dad died, he was there for her whenever she needed to talk and was always there to hug her when she needed it. But with me, he’s ice cold and mean. I know he loves me, because he says it all the time. But… it just makes me feel like I don’t matter as much as other people. Like I’m a nice person to be around when I’m happy, but if I’m sad he wants nothing to do with me… it’s a really, really awful feeling.

160

Hi Jane
Welcome to EFB ~ Gosh I totally understand how you feel. Something that really helped me was looking at the truth about the ‘action’ of love. Love isn’t intolerant of our emotions. When I began to realize the real definition of love, I began to reject the unloving ways that some people treated me, knowing that I was worthy of much better.
Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

161

Firstly, many of you have described outright abusive situations! Thrown down stairs?! Jeez! I may be the only one here who chooses to be unemotional (I seldom cry, even in private but I won’t discuss any feelings with anyone – even a counselor) but it comes with a price: people consider me closed off. I can’t refute people when they accuse me of such. It remains my choice to accept this because I’m also considered a leader and a it fits my career choice perfectly; plus I fit the stereotypical mould of an independent male: strong, intelligent, able to support myself alone and able-bodied. Here’s the caveat: I am a career WOMAN and to me, my job is very important. The thing I will be proudest about is how I made it in a man’s world. If I did get married again, I want to be the one who brings home the paycheck and supports my man. The biggest compliment that I can be given is to be treated like a man. So in this day and time, crying is still a sign of weakness in my situation. The payoff is worth it, for me.

162

Hi Seth
Welcome to EFB ~ Everything that we do is our choice. Crying or not crying is fine (I rarely cry) but I am not closed off at all anymore. I think the bottom line is about ‘being me’ and not being what someone else wanted me to be or told me to be.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

163

To ‘Seth’ (one assumes not your real name):

And yet, here you are in a forum where people are sharing their feelings openly. Does this not strike YOU as ironic? Some of us wander through life dazed and devoid of emotion and ‘think’ we are alive, mostly because we got the s _ _ t knocked out of us when we were infants. Until the day comes when the seemingly impenetrable shell cracks, and crack it will. For those who can ease into learning about what has been hidden even from him or herself, counseling allows for a gentle move toward sanity. Not the sanity of “you’re crazy and I’m not” but the sanity of breathing on one’s own, not tied to a false persona, allowing for healing to emerge.

Is it really worth ‘it’? You have abandoned yourself to a false ethic, one which traumatizes women and the vulnerable of society because of a personal perception that you are clinging to with all of your might – is this ‘worth it’? What possible value has been added to life if one is a traitor to one’s own gender? But you forget the open crying of Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, for which he is unapologetic, by the way – write him and find out for yourself like I chose to.

You forget that more deaths occur due to suicide/PTSD among vets than any open military actions.

What is your point? And why did you think we should hear this from you today? What is looming on your horizon?

This may never post, but at least I shall have said what comes to mind – your behaviors are nothing more than those chosen by a bully to traumatize others, even here within this forum. Having experienced this close at hand, I know that underneath lies the heart of a coward. You probably chose this set of behaviors long ago before you entered the age when you would have had to decided to work among ‘men’.

I have worked in fields that have been dominated by males, only to discover they are not models to emulate. Their behaviors (chosen) are nothing more than those of spoiled brats, little boys who got away with taunting others, passing on cruelty instead of compassion. If this is what is meant by ‘It’ then you are welcome to ‘it’. No one is sitting out here in the virtual world envying you and your chosen life style.

A suggestion: watch the 8 episode series: The Honourable Woman. Try out what it might be like to truly have your life ripped apart, if even only through a movie set. Then ask yourself – was her displays of emotion from weakness?

And to Deb: if you yank my post, then consider screening for other examples like Seth’s. I feel brutalized just having read it.

164

Hi Kate
I am not going to yank your post, but my name is Darlene. Just for your information ~ I get a minimum of 1000 comments per month; it is really hard for me to screen them all unless they are a first time comment in which case I have to read them before they are posted. And please remember that this blog is maintained exclusively and voluntarily by me with very few donations towards even the cost of keeping it hosted and secure so much of it comes out of my own pocket.
As for the comment from Seth. I am sorry that you feel brutalized. Seth spoke for herself ~ don’t let it be something that defines you or your choices. I personally would not be happy living in the way that she aspires to, but thankfully, I have a choice of my own. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene

165

It wasn’t just the ‘bad’ stuff. I have a hard time crying (when it’s about me–not so much when it’s about other people or animals) and I have a hard time feeling joy or relief (again, when it’s about me–when it’s about others I feel a great deal). I just got really good news. I was anxious waiting for the news. I am grateful the news was good. I don’t feel the joy or relief I think I’m supposed to feel. I wish I could explain this better. If it’s about me, I am numb, with the possible exception of fear and anxiety and, at times, this inexpresible sadness. I should be happy right now. And I can’t make it happen.

166

I too was told “I will give you something to cry about”. I can’t cry for myself and rarely can I cry for others. I was not physically abused or sexually abused but I lived in a home with verbal abuse. I was the only child from an unhappy second marriage. My mother’s first husband died and she married my father for survival. I was 13 years younger than my closest sibling so I did not grow up around any other children. I was told my mother’s first husband was the love of her life and she dearly loved her children with him. I was told I was spoiled and lazy. I grew up believing I was worthless and I could no nothing right. My siblings saw the show that was put on but not the reality. They saw I did not clean up after dinner, but they were not there to see me ordered from the kitchen because I was “in the way”. Every holiday they would find me and yell at me about how spoiled and lazy I was. I was just doing what I had learned, making myself invisible. By the time I got a part-time job I was offering to stay late on Christmas Eve to avoid the hassle. I made sure I left at the same time as the manager left. When I got home dinner would be over, dishes would be done, and I could grab a roll, put some meat on it, and eat it off a paper towel by myself in peace in the kitchen. I don’t blame anyone for purposefuly being cruel. My siblings saw only the positive aspects of our home. My mother had a hard, disappointing life and having a child at 37 was really hard for her. My father was raised in a very unloving home and he was verbally abused as well. He worked hard to support us and he was tired when he was home. Everyone was handling things the best they could. I have attempted suicide twice. The first time when I was 19. My boyfriend happened to come over and stopped me. The second time I was married and in my 30’s, my husband (who was the boyfriend who stopped me) stopped me again. My husband is my hero, he married me even though I was damaged goods. (He has never called me that, it is my term.) He cried for me when he learned I can not cry for my own pain. When my parents died I was suprised to learn my sisters can cry.

167

Cont.
I thought we were all trained to not cry. I sat through first my mother’s funeral and 6 months later my father’s funeral dry eyed and miserable. I am not sure what anyone else thought, but my kids and husband knew why I was not crying. I always encouraged my children to cry if they needed to. Holding everything in does not help anything. It makes things worse! Unfortunately children learn from observing their parents as well and both can hold back tears if they feel it will show weakness. I could go on about this, but as I have read most of you understand completely. Thank you for letting me share/vent.

168

I was just sitting at my piano playing a piece that is soft and sweet and started crying. Well, I do that all the time. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, when everyone else is happy, joyous, lighthearted, I am covering my face because of tears. I heard all my growing up years “shut-up or I will give you something to cry about”. Well he had already given me something to cry about but we (siblings and I) crouched in a corner holding one another, each trying to help the other not to cry. I remember one night my sweet little 4 y/o sister made an almost deadly mistake. She told my Dad that she hated him, not once but several times. Each time she said the words her voice got weaker and weaker. The beatings got worse and worse until finally all she did was mouth the words, “I hate you”. Each time was a more brutal beating than the last. looking back maybe Mary Elizabeth finally wore him out. I’m not sure I’m making much sense here but what I’m curious about now after all these grown-up years is how do the rest of you generally experience NOT being able to cry when all I do all the time is cry. I have to say it is quite embarrassing when all others are cheering and laughing, I am crying, i.e., my granddaughter just competed in a “cheer” competition. I cried the whole way through, hiding it from the others. I am so overcome with emotion. My other granddaughter is a swimmer. Once she starts to swim everyone is cheering, not me, I am crying, trying my best to cover it up. It’s just plain inappropriate to cry at times like these. Are we all born with a reservoir of tears that we have to use up before we leave this earth? I have forgiven my Dad (Deceased). I really think he was doing the best he knew how to do. He just didn’t know how to “do”. Thank you for listening. Annabelle

169

Hi Annabelle
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I think we all express our emotions differently. I find it easier to cry when there is something really happy or exciting going on than to cry when I am hurt or upset.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

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Just had to vent today. Since day 1, whenever I start crying, I often get screamed at for crying and even told “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!” This still happens today because they never taught me that it’s okay to cry. Plus, they were taught at a young age to never ever have any emotions. They not only learned that lesson very well,but they also decided that they would pass it along to their own kids. You know, it’s very hard to grow up in an environment where you’re constantly screamed at/threatened/abused for crying.

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You are not alone. In my mid-60’s the memories come when they want to. I cried more for my old cat when he passed than I had for my mother, the antagonist. What I last remember, was that I was silently saying inside – “I will not cry, they can’t make me” and so I willed myself to refuse to let out ANY emotions. In college when I had an opportunity to seek one-on-one counseling, that individual never asked what I thought might have been the source of my issues. Not once. I believe now as I did then he was more interested in promoting his own theories – damn the student in front of him. Just my opinion. He, would however, be brought up for review for overstepping the physical boundaries of other students who had been solicited by him. In many respects there doesn’t seem to be anyone who really cares. College campuses are hotbeds of students who are vulnerable, who need help of a deeper nature, but run into ‘professional’ bleeding hearts whose only interest is themselves.

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I went skewy on that, sorry. I meant to say – get help, You know it at least, mine was buried for decades. But be aware of the person sitting across from you. Learn about their reputations before attempting contact. Get references. Even if recommended by another professional – do your own homework on who they are. Just as if you would have had a different outcome if as a child you could have chosen your parents/family use your efforts to really scour this person’s credentials. Check with police even to be sure they do not have a criminal background. Best of luck with your efforts.

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Annabelle I’ve been asking myself this same question about tears. I cry at everything as well, I have to try so hard to contain myself and hide my tears, it’s embarrassing when this happens at happy events. I’m not sad, I’m just so overcome with emotion, love, attachment to that love. Anything to do with my husband or kids especially. I’m extremely moved by live music and singing, even large groups cheering. I’m so tired or crying, I truly am. I’m tired of feeling so much, and I asked myslef this morning after reading this article, as hot tears were stinging my eyes, how much more am I going to cry? When will the emotions simmer down? It’s been years now. I’m tired, but I’m just scratching the surface as I’ve just discovered I’m a daughter of a narcissistic mother.
I’m sorry you lost your kitty. ?

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That was suppose to be an emoji at the end, not a question mark.

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