Archive for definition of love

sailboat

“Putting up with abuse or abusive treatment is not love for the abuser. It is not love for the self. It has nothing to do with love at all. Finding out what LOVE really is went miles towards my recovery” ~ Darlene Ouimet

Long before I ever ‘emerged from broken’ I had this burning question about the obligation involved in loving my parents. I had been told/warned that it was a sin if I didn’t honor them, and I had honor and love all mixed up. I didn’t really understand what either word actually meant since I had never been taught the true meaning of those words. My real question was more about my right to ‘stand up to them’ and since I believed that standing up to them was not a loving action, that standing up to them was going against them which meant “noncompliance” I believed that love was putting up with unacceptable treatment.

Each year around Mother’s Day, I re-visit my belief system and the longings that I had in the past, the judgments that I made on myself and the roots of where they came from; In order to find out what love really is, I had to realize what it was not. I had to realize how I had been taught what love was and realize that that teaching was false and not based on truth or the true definition of love at all.

I had been told that love was the answer but I had not been taught what LOVE actually was. So I took my false belief about love and what I ‘thought’ it was, and I applied that false definition of ‘love’ to everyone in my life.

I believed that loving abusive people like my mother, until they could love themselves was equal to having a higher purpose. I believed that I was ‘the better person’ because I could take the abuse, mistreatment or disrespect and that would communicate that I could love unconditionally. I believed that accepting devaluing treatment in some way ‘proved’ my value; even if it only proved it to God. 

The truth is that putting up with the abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment only served to validate the way they treated me. It communicated my permission for them to treat me like dirt. How can that be love?  Sometimes I wonder if deep down they were laughing at me. I wonder if they ever thought “What an idiot this girl is! No matter how nasty I am to her she keeps coming back for more; no matter how I treat her she ‘LOVES’ me!”

I don’t think my acceptance of abuse did anything to serve any kind of higher purpose once I entered into adulthood; I think it served to communicate that these people (like my mother) had rights that I didn’t have which is really what abuse is; compliance to abusive treatment communicates to the abuser that Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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psychological abuseI had to learn to shift my thinking in this process of overcoming the damage caused by emotional abuse. There were a few rather large shifts that I had to make in order to make progress and there was a process to shifting my thinking! It didn’t just happen overnight. 

Instead of trying to understand why ‘they’ didn’t like me or why ‘they’ didn’t love me and why I didn’t fit in and why ‘they’ treated me so badly and what was wrong with me, I started to try to understand why I kept trying.

 I started to ask myself new questions;

Although I had some suspicions that most of my relationships were not fair to me, deep down why did I believe I was the one that was wrong about everything ~ which kept me trying to fix me?  

Although I has some suspicions that there were some things my family was doing wrong, why was I so easily convinced that I was the problem in the relationship which also kept me trying to fix me?  

Why didn’t I expect to be treated the way they insisted that I treat them? 

Why did I accept such a one sided definition of love that so obviously had two very different sets of rules; a set for them and a set for me?

And as I started to ask myself different questions, I started to Read More→

Categories : Survival
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Giving and Receiving in heathy relationship  “It is only when we feel deprived that we resent giving to others. Self-care does not mean you stop caring about others; it just means you start caring more about you. Start thinking about yourself more and others less. Since you have a choice between taking care of someone else, or giving to yourself, try choosing yourself sometimes.” The Right to Innocence by Beverly Engel

In a dysfunctional relationship, there is an imbalance in the way that each person is considered.  In a relationship based on equal value, everyone’s needs are considered. In a healthy relationship based on the true definition of love, everyone matters. I have tried very hard to teach and model healthy relationship in this website with the readers here.

Once in a while I post a request for donations at the end of a new article. This is the first time that I have ever posted a blog post about it on a main page about it. I hate asking for donations because sometimes I get nasty emails from people accusing me of doing this blog for money; I have been compared to ‘abusers’ because I asked for donations. This is very upsetting because for six years now, (three with this website) I have done everything to contribute to the healing of others without any thought to my own gain. And I have become aware that I discount myself in doing so. In order to ensure that ‘other people’ are comfortable, I have discounted myself, which is exactly what I did in the past with my relationships with my family and what I write about here in Emerging from Broken.

I have heard some bizarre things from people when I have requested donations at the bottom of a blog post. More than once people have said to me “well I WAS going to donate until you asked”. (I have no idea what that means! When I don’t ask no one donates!) Sometimes people stop commenting when I ask for donations. I posted a request for donations on facebook once and no one clicked the like button or commented, which is really odd because normally I get at least 80 likes per status update in the facebook page for EFB.  The message that I get from this is that nobody ‘liked’ me asking for my needs to be met… and that also reminds me of the dysfunctional family system that I write about here in Emerging from Broken.

Very often people send me advice about how to change the website to a membership site that people have to pay for. But the thing is that I don’t want to change the site; It works this way. It is free to ALL. It is helping people; whoever wants to access the information on it. I know that not everyone can afford to hire me to do one on one work, just like I know that not everyone who reads my work can afford to give a donation to it, but I want you to understand that free content is not free. I pay a webmaster monthly to do the security and back-ups and updates on this site. I pay for the auto responder and the hosting fees. The way that I developed this community was and still is intentional. I don’t do it for me; I already know all this stuff. This is my gift to a hurting world. I am working on a Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
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overcoming low self esteem

sometimes it has to be about me…

This morning I was doing research on dealing with dysfunctional family during the holidays.  Everything that I find about this problem has to do with advice regarding ‘acceptance of others’ and how we can’t change anyone else.

I don’t get it; it seems that the solution “out there” is always about acceptance of the people who are doing the damage, and then taking responsibility for YOUR part in it. It is always assumed that each person in the relationship shares part of the blame for the difficulties in family relationships. This 50/50 responsibility for the failure in relationship thing is rarely the way it really is. Think about it this way; in your life, does your family equally share in the success of the relationship according to the way that you were taught the ‘rules of engagement?” 

Even the articles about ‘setting boundary stuff’ are about ‘not engaging’ and not expecting them to change. I never read an article that says, if your family is abusive, humiliating, harassing, degrading or devaluing you, if your family or friends disrespect you privately or publically, then “stay away from them!”

No one ever says that you are RIGHT to have issues with abusive family and that it is okay to stand up to them. They say that if your mother comments on your weight because you are having a second slice of pumpkin pie you should just “let it go”… and “well, you know how she is”… (What does that mean?) Why can’t you say “mind your own business mom, that hurts my feelings” ~ It’s all about keeping the peace and harmony; as though the message is that love is acceptance of abuse! But where does that definition of LOVE come from? Why is it so important that we don’t rock the boat when it comes to ‘family’ no matter what they say? Why is it that it is up to the victim to learn to ‘let it go’ and accept people the (abusive) way that they are?  (The message comes from people who want to live in the system where the one with the most power wins. Just because that message is the most popular message out there, that doesn’t make it a truth based message)

I tried to do this type of acceptance stuff for years and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. Looking back I always felt like I was Read More→

Categories : Family
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Navajo Proverb: You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.Standing up for yourself, self esteem

In the March Article “The Unheard Invisible Child; Being Seen and Finding my Voice” here in Emerging from Broken, a commenter asked a very popular question.  Here is the query;

“Now that I’ve found my voice, I have this strong desire to voice my anger towards my family. To tell them that they are wrong with how they have mistreated me. However, I don’t want to put myself in a position to be hurt again. Based on past experience, they will not hear me and will deny the truth & blame me for misinterpreting them. It’s been that way since childhood.

I’m an adult now and I deserve equal respect but like you said I have to “give up being heard from the people that silenced me in the first place”… I want to assert myself directly to my mom for something hurtful she recently told me, but what will this accomplish?… I will not be heard. Asserting myself and not being heard is insulting! However, if I don’t assert myself, isn’t that sending them the message that they can say whatever they want to me with no regard for my feelings? Please clarify…”   

Here are my thoughts expanded from my original reply;

I constantly hurt myself by accepting devaluing treatment from other people. I didn’t realize that it had become normal and acceptable to me. For instance take the phrase in the query; “I’m an adult now, and I deserve equal respect.” The false belief in that statement is when we become adults we deserve equal respect but the truth is that we always did deserve equal respect, even as children. Respect and authority are not the same thing. Adults have more authority over children, but in the true definition of love ~ respect and equal value have nothing to do with age or Read More→

Categories : Family
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Freedom and Wholeness

Freedom

Eventually, at some point in my childhood, I accepted the fact that I was not heard and not going to be heard. I did not consciously accept it, but it was an effective part of the grooming process and I came to understand that it was “just the way it was”.  I think perhaps I believed that when I was “older” or when I was an adult, I would have “my chance” to be a part of the world and finally have a voice.

When I grew up however, nothing changed.  I had been taught compliance and subservience and I didn’t step out of that role just because I became an adult.

I wasn’t heard so I stopped expecting to be heard. I was not “allowed” the impact that I saw other people had. I had to listen to what everyone else wanted, but I was not given that same consideration. My opinions rarely had any impact. I sought out friends who were similar to me in their own victim mentality and found fellowship with them but I continued to have bosses, parents, boyfriends who communicated that they were more important than I was.  Once again with those types of people in my life, I stopped trying to be heard. I accepted that I was not going to be heard and that my voice didn’t really matter. Not having a voice and not being heard had become Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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Equal Value for all people

Peace through Truth by Theodora MacLeod

I am an advocate for truth. I am an advocate for the truth that leads to freedom, wholeness and healing. I am an advocate for the truth that leads to healthy self esteem, the true definition of love and equal value for adults and children, bosses and employees, teachers and students because in the eyes of the truth, we are ALL people with equal value. Although we may have more authority in some situations, we do not suddenly reach a certain age or status which gives us more value than someone else has.

I will no longer do what “they” have decided is best for me to do or what “they” think I should do. I will do what I believe is right and best for me. When others tell me what to do or what I am doing wrong according to them, my ability to make decisions for myself is insulted and that kind of put down is devaluing.

I am not going to be who others say I am or who others want me to be. I am who I really am. No one else can define me. When I am defined by others I feel judged and unappreciated and it stifles my ability to be who I AM.  

Taking my life back means that I am in charge of it now. I am the captain of my own ship. My happiness does not depend on someone else’s happiness anymore.  In learning what was best for me and living in that definition, I empower all those around me to Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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when victims become abusers

The Glass House

My mother is a victim. In fact, she is the exact same type of victim that I was.  She was a victim of her parent’s abuse and dysfunction and she learned to survive in that dysfunctional family system exactly as it was taught to her. She accepted it because she had no other choice and no other example. The cycle of abuse was “normal” for her. When she grew up, it was as though she couldn’t wait to have someone to pick on because she believed that’s how life works. It was “her turn”.  Not her turn to ‘abuse’ or overpower someone, but her turn to be loved in the only definition of love that she knew; the false and dysfunctional one that she had been taught.

It was her turn to be right; her turn to have impact and her turn to be heard. 

Abusers believe in the system and very often victims believe in the system too. The sick dysfunctional family system seems to have “worked for their parents” so why wouldn’t it work for them? It was the best that my (dysfunctional) mother had to hope for, but only because she didn’t believe there might be something better.  She accepted the reality of the cycle of abuse, psychological abuse and dysfunctional family as “normal” and functional exactly as it was presented to her and the cycle of generational abuse continued. 

She communicated to me that it was my job to restore her life and her self esteem; her mother had delivered the same message to her. I wanted to “save her” because I believed that if I could prove that I “loved her” then she would love me.  This cycle of generational abuse stopped with me when I no longer accepted the role of victim but I also had to stand up to the myth that Read More→

Categories : Family
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High Self Esteem and Self Value
Beautiful Self Esteem

I was raised to believe that I had less importance than the adults in my life. At first glance that may sit okay with most people. Perhaps it feels “right” and “logical”. Perhaps I had no reason to believe otherwise in the first place.  As children we are not born with truth filters. We learn what we are taught is the truth. We accept what is modeled to us AS truth.  But the truth we are taught is often false truth. 

Emerging from Broken is largely about how I uncovered that false truth and re wired my brain to understand and accept the true truth.

It felt right and even logical to accept that adults were more important than I was when I thought about it the way that I believed “importance was measured.” I was a child; a dependent child. I believed that the adults were important because they provided. They brought home the food and until I was a young teen, they cooked it. Adults provided me with clothing and shelter. They sent me to school where other important adults taught me what I needed to learn in order for me to become an adult myself.  Adults met my physical needs and in many ways they had all the power; both good and bad. Looking at it that way, I could easily agree that Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
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Am I okay without a man

Darlene and Jim

My parents split up and eventually divorced when I was just turning 13 years old. After my mother went through her suicidal phase she started dating. She had not been separated from my father for very long when she started dating. Men and dating became her priority.

Through her behaviour she communicated to me that attracting men was the way to cope with low self esteem and pain. Looking back on what she taught me and how she impacted my belief system, she herself believed that men and having a man in her life was what she needed more than anything else.  She believed that she needed a man in order to survive. She needed a man in order for her to feel complete or even good about herself. Men defined her as worthy and good enough.  Her self esteem came from them. Their attraction to her identified her. Having a man meant that my mom was okay.

I had learned from my mother’s actions, words and teachings that men were the most important connection or relationship a woman can have. Because belief systems grow from layers of information, add to that teaching what I learned from the media (movies and books)  and from observing Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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