Archive for domestic violence

christina 11The first time a boy got a little rough with me I was 14. I had been swimming at our community pool and Mike the 17 year old life guard let me wear his diving watch in the water, which I thought was so cool. My boyfriend Rob showed up and called me over to the gate and I forgot to take the watch off when I went to meet him. I could tell he was angry.

I grabbed my towel and as we were walking away from the pool I had a sinking feeling in my gut. Looking back it was a familiar feeling, one that I had had often in my lifetime; it was the feeling of impending doom.

My internal dialogue went like this; “I have a bad feeling. Something bad is going to happen. Something bad… my tummy hurts, I don’t feel good; I don’t like this feeling.”

I remember my boyfriend started questioning me.            

Rob: Who is that guy?

Me: He’s just the life Guard

Rob: Why are you wearing that watch?

Me: Because he let me wear it to dive in the deep end. It’s so cool!

Rob: Give me that watch.

Me: NO, I have to give it back to Mike.

By now the feeling of impending doom is almost making me throw up. I am scared; I feel like I have done something really bad but I am not sure what. I want to hide and there is nowhere to hide. I want to disappear. I want Rob to stop breathing in that angry way. I want him to calm down and listen to me.

I can see that Rob is getting more agitated. He grabs my wrist with one hand (OW, stop it, you are hurting me!) and he rips the watch off my wrist with the other hand. Then he goes back to the fence surrounding the pool and he throws the watch over the fence and into the pool. I am just standing there dripping wet, feeling scared and stupid and starting to give myself shit for being so dumb. Earlier in the year Rob had beat up a boy at school because he said something flirty to me and it took three teachers to break the fight up and now I am really scared he is going to beat up the life guard. But he doesn’t go into the pool area. Read More→

Categories : Survival
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There is a lot going on in May and June and today I am sharing the updates with you here on the Emerging from Broken blog because not everyone is signed up to receive updates from me. (info on how to sign up and new changes to the way this blog is running are near the end of this post!)

Healing Support: I am participating as a featured expert in the following events in May and June and my entire network is invited to be a part of these exciting online presentations;

 The “Take Your Power Back’ Webinar! I have been invited by Child Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, Crisis Intervention Specialist and Certified Trainer, Svava Brooks, to be part of a webinar, (an online seminar) for Trauma Survivors and as my guest you may listen to the each of the 24 expert interviews. This event has already started so don’t delay. There is no charge for this Summit; all you have to do is register! There are some amazing experts participating in this event, including me ~ you won’t want to miss it. My interview will be published on May 23rd. 2015  For all the details click here: “Take Your Power Back Summit” and register.

 The ‘HE HIT ME’ Series~ I have been invited by Liz Simpson, The Self Discovery Diva to participate in her video chat series “He Hit Me” There will be a live chat every Tuesday at 7:00 pm CST (8:00 pm EST) for the next 8 weeks. Liz will be interviewing me live on Tuesday June 30, 2015 .  This series is available by registration only. Here is the scoop!

 Liz J Simpson presents… “He Hit Me!” ~ a FREE, ten week conversation to educate and empower domestic violence victims, survivors and their supporters.

 The 10 part series will air LIVE on Tuesdays beginning May 12th and running until July 14th. Liz will be joined weekly by guest experts that include psychologists, social workers, domestic violence survivors, a Nobel Prize winner & even a celebrity spokeswoman for the national domestic violence hotline.

 Registration is mandatory to join the 10 part series which will cover a bevy of topics including:

  • common characteristics of abusers
  • safety planning
  • creating financial independence
  • single parenting
  • building self-esteem
  • writing/journaling
  • yoga/meditation
  • fear
  • how to love again

 Participants will be emailed replays of the weekly broadcast (in case they miss the LIVE feed) and are able to join the exclusive facebook community for the event ~ For registration and info, please see the following link.  He Hit Me info

 COMMENTS on Emerging from Broken ~ For several years now I have been struggling to keep up with the magnitude of comments that come through this blog; there are posts that have been active for 4 years! This is  a dream come true for me, but there are often over 1000 comments between 500 and 2000 words every month and I am unable to take care of this by myself anymore. I am sad to have had to do this but until I can afford to hire some help with moderating I have decided to close the comments on all blog posts over 200 days old. Please feel free to comment on any of the current posts and don’t worry if you are “off topic.”

 The EFB BOOK ~ “Emerging from Broken ~ The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is available on the upper right side bar here in the website. Click on the book image for all the info!

 If you would like to receive updates please sign up by downloading the “Free Guide to Getting Unstuck” on the right hand side bar. If you have purchased the e-book you may have already signed up for updates when you bought it. If you are already getting updates, please don’t sign up again.

 Please share this information. You never know who you know that might benefit from listening to these online events or from my message here in this website. I appreciate every one of you that shares my blog posts through social media or clicks the FB like button.  We are changing lives and empowering people to heal and take their lives back!

 Enjoy all 24 of the pre-recorded speakers in the “Take Your Power Back” Summit and 10 weeks of live chats in the “He Hit Me” series and please feel free to post feedback here!  

 In Love and Truth,

Darlene Ouimet

 

Categories : Therapy
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EFB blog butterflyMany of you have heard about the 5 year old little girl Alexa Linboom who was disciplined for drinking her step mothers grape soda without permission and as a punishment her father and step-mother forced her to drink 2.4 litres of water and several cans of grape soda which caused her to die. “Both parents were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and two counts of aggravated child neglect.” (court date for this trial is Scheduled for October 2014)

Here is a summary paragraph, but if you are interested in the whole story follow the highlighted sentences and links at the end of the post. “The Vaughns disciplined Alexa by forcing her to drink about 2.4 liters of fluid, including several 12-ounce cans of grape soda, in a span of one to two hours, according to an autopsy report prepared by the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. She was bruised throughout her body and had cuts on her face, the report states.”

In an effort to show what children and adult survivors of child abuse are up against with the way society views child abuse, I am writing about the commenters who STUCK UP for the parents in this situation, saying that the punishment (charged with murder) they received for their actions which ultimately caused this little girl’s DEATH, was too harsh.

Too harsh?

The autopsy report and even the charges state that there were signs of ongoing abuse and neglect but some people commenting still defend the abusive parents.

It has been my experience that sticking up for abusive parents is about parental entitlement; if anything threatens the ‘rights’ of the parents, some people will freak out and defend parents; even parents who caused the death of their child. Adults posted on this article that their parents disciplined them in a similar way and they ‘turned out fine’. Some defended the parents saying that it wasn’t ‘that much liquid’ and they go down the rabbit trail leading nowhere defending that this little girl ‘should have been able to drink that much liquid’… As though the specialists who performed the autopsy must have made a mistake, but the bottom line is that there are people who are completely willing to ignore the DEATH of this child that directly resulted from the punishment she was given because validating that the child DIED as a result of the punishment, threatens Read More→

Categories : Family
Comments (208)

carla's hawaii 117Dear Mom;

If you read my blog as the daughter YOU were, instead of as the mother you ARE, can you honestly tell me that you would not completely relate to what I am saying? If I wasn’t YOUR daughter, (if I was your next door neighbor), I know you would be a fan. 

My mother always said a lot of things that indicated that I was the problem ~ her problem. Those types of things that she said were a big part of the grooming process in the cycle of abuse. Grooming a child to believe that the child is the problem and communicating that publically serves several purposes one of which is that it discredits the child to other family members and friends of the family way before the child ever tries to stand up to abusive treatment which serves to insure that the abuser will never be questioned by other people. It is important for the controlling or abusive person to discredit the child in case the child ever tells or exposes the truth about the dysfunction in the family. Another purpose for grooming the child to believe he or she is the problem is that it also causes the child to spend more time questioning themselves than they ever would spend questioning the treatment that they have been groomed to accept as ‘normal’ treatment. In other words this type of grooming insures that all eyes are always on the child and never on the parent or adult involved.

The truth is that my mother comes from a dysfunctional family herself and she comes from an abusive family as well so she herself went through this same grooming process. She learned to discount me from the same grooming process that she learned her own value from. I don’t mention that to excuse her, but to show the cycle of abuse. The only way to stop the cycle is to expose it and to stand up to it. I stood up to it and Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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I learned that anger was deadly...

I learned that anger was deadly…

Recently I read a quote about anger and how everyone should embrace it and all the reasons that anger is useful. I agree that anger is useful and that anger is often justified, but I had a pretty big problem with feeling any anger and expressing it was out of the question. I had to look at WHY I had that issue in the first place before I understood that anger was useful to me in any way at all.

First of all I looked at my experiences with anger.

When my mother was angry she hit. Picture a small child (me) being hit with a belt by someone who was three times my size and three times my weight. I was powerless. When I think about how I would feel today if I were beaten by a stranger in a dark alley, I am sure that I would fear for my life. I am sure that as a child I also feared for my life when I was being beaten with a leather strap by a raging adult who was over 3 times my size.

I learned that angry people were dangerous. I learned that anger is dangerous.  I learned that angry people do scary things and that angry people can inflict huge amounts of pain.  

It is logical to understand that I was focused on trying to make sure that my mother didn’t get angry. Since I was powerless, I believed that the only thing I could do to avoid getting hit was try to make sure she didn’t ‘get angry’.

I had also been reprimanded for my own emotions. I had been taught that even if I had an “unhappy face” I was unappealing and somehow unworthy. I was not supposed to be sad; I was reprimanded for not being happy and for not smiling.

Sometimes when I was happy and playing with my brothers I was criticized and punished for Read More→

Categories : Therapy
Comments (225)

 

physical abuse
Faded Hope

I had this dream the other night.

I dreamt that my mother threw an elegant cocktail party. It was attended by her well to do friends and it was very formal. The house was decorated beautifully; all dressed in sparkly Christmas decoration, Christmas flower arrangements and the type of decorating perfection that my mother has always been known for.  There were handsome waiters in beautiful black tuxedos quietly bringing around trays of fancy treats and beautifully presented drinks. 

My mother looked stunning in her black full length evening gown; She was happier than I had seen her for years.   

I felt as though I was not actually “at” the party but that I was observing it. I felt awkward in my professional style dress and wished I had thought to buy a new evening gown myself. I felt more like I was part of the “staff” instead of a guest. (In real life I always felt like part of her staff too ~ just a servant, her cook, her whipping post) I noticed that what had started off to be a slight tension headache was quickly becoming a migraine headache and I decided that I better take some Advil and get somewhere quiet to let the pain killer work before it was too late.

I quietly slipped upstairs to the guest room to lay down while the Advil took effect.  A few moments later my mother quietly slipped into the room.  She whisper/yelled “what do you think you are doing?”  I felt that same shock and bewilderment that I always felt when she asked me something in that accusatory tone of voice as though I was purposely doing something “wrong” and that I should not PRETEND that I didn’t know what she was talking about.  I was already backing away from her as Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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Mixed messages about rape

where I will be this week

We live in a society that teaches “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape”.  And we wonder why we are so filled with guilt and shame when we get raped. We mistakenly believe that we somehow didn’t prevent ourselves from getting raped.

And some of us even question what others “did” to get raped because we are so conditioned to think in terms of “don’t get raped, instead of “don’t rape” ~  as though the weight of the crime should be shared between the victim and the perpetrator or even worse that the weight of the crime rests mostly on the victim.  

And the weight of the crime should not be shared. There is no excuse for rape.

When we are treated unfairly or unjustly we try our hardest to understand why someone would treat us that way and when we have been told that we get what we deserve or that everything that happens to us is our own fault, we look for what we did to cause it. If this brainwashing is done well, then when we are beaten black and blue, we believe Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (49)

physical abuse“What did you do to make “him” do that? What did you do to cause that reaction?” This is such a lame thing to ask someone because it immediately places blame on the victim.

I am guilty of saying similar things to my own kids when they were small.  I cringe with horror at the memory of it today. I know exactly what I communicated… that the bully was only defending themselves. I was inferring that the one who was complaining or reporting an offence must have done something to deserve it in the first place.  (This is psychological abuse)

I can comfort myself that usually I said this to two of my kids who were fighting with each other at the time and that I was trying to get to the bottom of it. I was trying to find out what really happened from the beginning.  Although it is bad enough to say this to a child who is having some sort of sibling rivalry crisis; “he stole my tractor” ~ “she hit me with her toy duck” and the adult is really just trying to get to the bottom of who really started it, it is a whole other story and a whole other accusation when you say this to a child who comes home from school with a black eye. This statement implies that Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (75)

 

 

 

crime against children

Awareness

“We are so used to such phrases that most people don’t even notice them. But there are some who do notice them; people who have decided to analyze the words of adults from the perspective of the child are arriving at new knowledge and no longer afraid of letting in the light. They see that the destruction of a human life is not to be described as “ambivalent parental love” but must be recognized for what it is: a crime”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries

Have you ever thought about the statement “leave well enough alone”? What the heck is “well enough”? What does that even mean and who gets to decide what “well enough” is.  It is actually more of a command or a directive then a statement. Someone else is dictating what I should do or shouldn’t do and even telling me how I should or shouldn’t FEEL. (Because we never want to revisit anything that we don’t have strong feelings about)

I can tell you that in the old system, it was certainly not me who got to decide what “well enough” was! It is certainly not the person who is suffering from the damage of what happened that got to decide what needed to be left alone or not.  And I can assure you that the person who was invalidated and mistreated is not Read More→

Categories : Family
Comments (77)

Permission to live and the truth about family

When the Lies Die by Azelinn

For many years, I didn’t even know that I sought “permission.”  It was a normal way of life for me growing up to need permission for everything. I am not talking about permission to sleep over at my friends, or permission to go to the corner store. It is healthy for children to need to seek permission for those things. That is about safety. I am talking about needing and seeking permission to think, permission to be who I really am, permission to make a decision on my own and in reality, seeking permission to live.

Seeking permission started because a big part of my survival system was about doing what was expected of me and being what and who the adults and my dysfunctional paretents wanted me to be.  And I was so afraid to be wrong. It was dangerous to decide anything on my own without approval. That was just the way I grew up. I didn’t know that I COULD think for myself. I had never been allowed to OR encouraged to so I had never learned how. And this is largely because of the consequences of saying or doing something wrong when I was a kid.

Eventually, I felt like I needed permission to breathe.

As I got older I had this constant feeling of not being able to breathe.

I wondered “how I should feel” instead of having feelings.  It was like I had to have the “right” to have my own feelings. I was not given permission to feel. “I am scared”, was met with “don’t be silly, there is nothing to be scared of.” “That hurts” was met with “no it doesn’t”and when I think about it today, how did someone else KNOW if something Read More→

Categories : Family
Comments (87)