Archive for wholeness

Darlene Ouimet and Shadows

When I accomplished something I was told in so many ways that it didn’t matter, it was no big deal, or the credit was given to someone else. This was a big part of my continuing depressions; that I was just so “nothing” and that I didn’t count. I was used to it. Although in some small ways I still fought to be validated, I gave up pretty easy. I was used to being “not important”.

On your journey to emotional recovery and wholeness, have you ever spent any length of time living with the validation that YOU WERE actually a victim?  It was exploring this fact that changed things for me. This was the real beginning of emotional recovery.  All my life I was squished; I was told that I was nothing and that I would amount to nothing. I was told this, not so much in words but in the way that I was disregarded, brushed aside, not heard and mistreated and by the way that I was taught false messages about love and by how I was defined by everyone else rather than accepted and encouraged to be ME.  

I had to realize that I had become comfortable with wrong treatment. Being unimportant and always trying so hard to find someone to say that I was important as I had no way to validate myself (I had no frame of reference for that) I became comfortable with being discounted and unimportant.

I started to beat myself up; I started to reprimand myself about the things I did wrong, told myself to try harder, told myself that I was lazy. I took over invalidating myself. And there I sat. Stuck. Wanting someone to TELL me that I was worth loving, but never believing it if they did tell me.  The big dark secrets of having been sexually abused and chronically depressed had long ceased to be anywhere near what I thought to be the real problem because I was still very young when I believed that the real problem was me. 

I was in my forties when I finally really looked at things from the perspective of having been a victim. Finally, I validated myself as someone that had been unfairly treated; a child who had been violated; an innocent person that had been taken advantage of. A child that had not been empowered to know she had any worth. That was when the real emotional healing began for me.

I stayed there in that place of validation, realizing that I had been a victim and placing the blame of the responsibility in the proper place, (not on myself) for as long as it took for me to get to a new place of understanding. I had to look at my life through a new grid; a more truthful grid and had to validate myself without any self blame, long enough for me to be ABLE to move on.

There were times that I felt guilty and full of shame for allowing myself to indulge in feeling sad for myself and the life that I had lost because of this, but I kept going; it was what I had to do ~ validate myself and the trauma that I went through.  

This was a key part of the journey to wholeness for me. I tried to get over it and let go of it for over 25 years… but until I faced it, relived it and validated that it happened, that it was WRONG and it was not my fault etc… I didn’t seem to be able to move forward with my real life.

The point of the process towards recovery and emotional healing is not to blame ourselves. And it is not to blame everyone else either, at least not forever. I had to place blame/responsibility where it belonged long enough to find a way out of that darkness by recognizing the truth about HOW I got to the state of emotional brokenness and chronic depression in the first place.

How do you feel about this first step in your own recovery journey?

Darlene Ouimet

Related posts ~ When inspirational material triggers self blame

                             ~ Emotional healing and the will to go forward

                               ~ Understanding Victim Mentality ~ A key to freedom

Categories : Depression
Comments (39)

courage to write, abuse recovery
Home

I get asked a lot about “how” I can write what I write. Occasionally I get asked if I use my real name and if my parents are still alive.  I get a lot of private emails expressing shock, admiration or awe and appreciation for the courage that I have to write the things that happened to me. So this post is about why I do what I do.

Darlene Ouimet is the name that I was born with. My parents are both still alive. My father is aware of this blog although I don’t know how often he reads it. If he told my siblings about it, then they know about it too. I don’t know if my mother has found it yet but I wouldn’t mind if she reads it.

Emerging from Broken is about the truth; it is my story and the reason that I do what I do is so that others can realize some of the ways we come to believe that we have caused our own pain and that we are somehow defective compared to other people. This blog is about overcoming depression ~ sometimes lifelong depression, by looking at the root causes and how confused we got about those roots. It is about overcoming trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, child abuse, psychological abuse, dissociative identity disorder, bi polar, post traumatic stress and every other mental health issue that you can think of. It is about freedom and wholeness and how it is possible to life a full life, and it is about thriving instead of just surviving. It is about emotional healing.

I write because what happened to me was wrong. The sexual abuse, the emotional abuse, the domestic violence, being put down and walked on and bulldozed over was wrong. The way that my parents regarded me was wrong. The way that I was abused and mistreated was wrong and it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t cause it and I didn’t deserve it and other people need to know that what happened to them was wrong too.

When I went through the process of clearing the old foundation and building a new one, I found out that I believed a lot of things that were not true about myself, and those things were in my way.  I realized that I was having depression after depression because of those things that were in my way and when I got them out of my way, my whole life changed. I write a lot about my Mom; my mother was not one of the things in my way; it was what she taught me about myself that was in my way. Some of the belief system she passed on to me were in my way.  When I emerged from broken, I was excited because I thought my mother would want to live the rest of her life free from chronic depression too.  But that was not the case. She didn’t want to hear about my victory. I don’t think she acknowledged it at all. She just thought maybe I was having an affair with the therapist. (Remember I told you that she taught me that my only value was sexual.)

I didn’t ask my mother to leave my life, she left it because she didn’t want to live in a system of mutual respect. She liked the control she had over me. Well that is my version anyhow. Her version would be different. She might think I write for revenge, but this blog could just as easily be seen as a love letter to her. That is my version anyhow.

So to answer the question how can I write what I write ~ well it is the truth that set me free. If I can touch just a few others with that truth, then I have lived for one more purpose. If I can trigger a memory or a thought that strikes a chord with someone else, that enables them to realize a lie that they believed too, then I have done my work for that day. I believe that the freedom I live in today is a rare gift that I believe was intended for each of us to have. I think that gift was taken from us by abusive and controlling people who misused their power. I am passionate about sharing this message; often I feel almost driven to share it.

Sometimes when I hit the publish button on a blog post I feel a bit sick. Sometimes I am scared that my mother will fly into a rage and blame me for her fragile state of mental health, as though my truth has the power to kill her. Sometimes I feel sick because of the fear I had as a child of my abusers and their power over me and the belt my mother used and back then I knew that my parents had the power to decide if I lived or died. But today I don’t believe that anymore; I know it isn’t true anymore. So I write. I write to remind myself that I am free and how I became free and I write to tell others of this sweet freedom and the heady experience of emerging from broken and living in fullness. I write because it reminds me that I am alive and what a gift that life is when for so many years I was dead.

Please share your thoughts, struggles, victories or anything else you would like to share,

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
Comments (38)

emotional abandonment, recovery, rejection

Darlene

When I try to conform to what other people want, I realize that I am rejecting myself the same way that I have been rejected by others. I can decide (even subconsciously) that I don’t see the point of trying or that it is too hard to stand up for myself, but that leaves me feeling the same way that I have always felt; empty, unsupported unlovable, unworthy and not good enough.

Rejected and emotionally abandoned.

Loving myself has so much to do with being there for myself. It has so much to do with not leaving myself the way that I was emotionally abandoned by others.

Rejection is not just when someone says “get out of my life”.  I was rejected by every single boyfriend that I ever had although I was always the one that left the relationship. I didn’t understand my deep feelings of turmoil in those relationships. I didn’t see the reality of not being accepted. I didn’t realize how hard I tried to conform and comply. I did not realize I had experienced emotional abandonment again. Sometimes I didn’t even understand why I gave up and left.  

And I was left with this huge feeling of restlessness about my life and why things didn’t work out, always sure that it was my own fault always looking to change myself, my reactions, my way of doing life. But in reality, I was always rejecting myself the same way that I was being rejected. Every time I saw the need to change me, I was agreeing with them. I was agreeing that the real me was somehow “wrong,” every time I tried to conform in order to make someone else happy.

All of this was combined with the underlying questions about why I was not accepted and trying to understand why I always had to change, and why I was still being rejected and abandoned emotionally by others, even though at the same time I was willing to accept that it must be me who had the problem.  

Today I realize that when people asked me to conform to their ideas of who I should be, that’s rejection. When people asked me to be who they want me to be, they are rejecting who I am. They are rejecting who I was born to be; my individuality.

When people who are supposed to love you do this, it cuts really deeply and it is very hard to understand. When we keep trying to meet someone else’s expectations that is the same as rejecting of our own desires. We don’t understand it this way because we have learned that we MUST conform and comply as a child in order to survive; which is a true fact. In order to find freedom and wholeness however, I had to realize I am not a child anymore. When I began to understand this concept I made big progress in overcoming depression and dissociative behaviour.

When I was a child I had to do whatever was necessary for me to survive. I had to try harder to be what they wanted, to please, to make everyone happy. What I am saying now though, is that I had to realize that I am not that child anymore. The truth is that I do not need to conform in order to survive. The truth is that I do not need other adults to take care of me; my survival is not dependant on anyone else anymore. I am not a pawn in someone else’s game.

I had to realize this truth; I can take care of myself now. Then I had to learn to honour myself, to value and appreciate myself for who I am, so that I could “be there” for me.  I had to stop rejecting myself in order to accept myself. I had to realize that in all of this learned behaviour, I had become the one who was emotionally abandoning me.

Looking forward to your comments on this one!

From surviving to thriving on the journey to wholeness;

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts :  Click ~ Who am I  ~ will I like me?

                                Click  ~ Depression and Identity Crisis

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (36)

When it comes to parent child relationships I often feel as though I struggle to explain or communicate the difference between how I felt about the past when it was in the past, how I felt about it when I was in the healing stages of it and how I feel about it now. This comes up a lot on the blog and on the facebook page for Emerging from Broken so I thought I would write about it.

This blog gets hundreds of views every day. The comments don’t reflect that though, and I get these private emails from people who don’t want to write publically, especially about parent stuff. By some of the questions that I get asked, I understand why this is; most of us have really big loyalty issues when it comes to our parents and our parent child relationships.  This has to do with several things; our belief systems, our upbringing and the way that society frowns on anyone revealing family secrets ~ even if the whole family could recover from the pain of the past if they were revealed ~ some things are just taboo.

I sometimes wonder how different my life would be today if my mother were willing to pursue wholeness and freedom herself? How different would it be if she were willing to work on our mother daughter relationship stuff with me? But sadly this isn’t the case.

I know one thing for sure, it would not change the past. What happened, really happened and it was dysfunctional, devaluing and abusive much of the time. So my decision was to get on with the present and future and to do that I ended up having to deal with the past. (Again) But this time I went deeper then I had gone before. I ventured into previously uncharted waters. The truth about my parents and just how dysfunctional the parent child relationships were.

When I talk about anger and blame towards my abusers as well as my parents ~ anger and blame were a necessary part of my healing. I had to look at the truth ~ almost from a neutral point of view if I were ever going to heal from it. I can only say this in retrospect as I didn’t realize that this would be a key before I did it.

I was so wrapped up in should and should not’s and because I believed expressions like “if you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future you are peeing on today” I was stuck. So I had to look at what my life story was as though I was looking at it through someone else’s eyes. Some of the events of my life were shocking and yet I didn’t think so. I felt guilty for feeling even a glimmer of hurt or anger towards my parents, especially my mother because I felt so sorry for her. It was almost easier to just accept the blame for our difficult mother daughter relationship.

If someone else told me the exact same things had happened to them (that had happened to me) I was horrified. I could feel justifiable anger, outrage, shock, disgust, sadness, sympathy compassion and love, but I could not feel these things for myself about my own life or about the things that had happened to ME. I can’t stress enough how convinced that I am that taking a look at my life story through different eyes was one of the biggest keys to the eventual restoration of my emotional health and overall mental health. This was also one of the biggest keys to overcoming depression. Seeing things from a neutral view point, was a huge key to my overcoming dissociative identity disorder and the integration of all my “alter personalities” and a major key to my wholeness and freedom.

As a child, I surrendered all my power over to my parents, teachers, and elders. When those people treated me with less value then I deserved or abused and controlled me in ways that were not acceptable, I complied and surrendered even more of my will. I had no choice as a child. It wasn’t a decision I made, it was survival and it was necessary. But this became my way of life and when we live under dysfunctional control, we become accustomed to living under dysfunctional control. This becomes a habit that is familiar and even comfortable. I grew into an adult in this familiar comfortable fog and I continued to give control to the abusers or controllers. Often when we are adults this control and abuse is psychological and emotional when it comes to our parents but none the less is in not really love. It is not a healthy, functional, love based parent child relationship.

But there I was in it anyway and in order to survive and cope I convinced myself that it wasn’t really wrong. “My poor mother didn’t know any better.” (true but so what?) Until I had nowhere else to turn and I was an emotional mess and I realized through getting some help to navigate through the false and the true, I suddenly realized that if I remained “loyal” to my parents, and if I didn’t want to look at this stuff  that had happened to me at their hands through the lens of truth in order to place the burden back on them and realize that this was not my fault, then I was actually giving them control over MY recovery and my will to recover, in order to protect them. (as we have learned to do our whole lives)

This isn’t about loyalty. I was fighting for my life, and I had to get really honest. I had to accept the past the way that it was ~ the plain honest way that it was without the loyalty and excuses that I consistently made for them all my life. What I am trying to express in this blog is about emerging OUT of victim mentality and into wholeness and freedom and real relationship.

In love and in truth,

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Family
Comments (27)

After I came home from Bible College I decided to volunteer at the church I grew up in, leading a group that met to design the services with more creativity. There was a certain song that our pastor had blacklisted from being sung. During one of these meetings, I brought in an article written by the composer of the song explaining his meaning and intention behind it. The pastor said he had already read the article and felt it proved even more that the song wasn’t “theologically sound” and that the composer was in error, valuing our emotions more than our minds (that being the main problem). I challenged his point, highlighting a quote from the article itself which contradicted exactly what the pastor was saying. Eventually the tension peaked in the room and the pastor exploded at me: “So you think that what we FEEL is more important than what we THINK????”  I had heard this message in many subtle ways throughout my church life, but never so explicitly. It wasn’t just his theology that whacked me over the head that day- it was his tone and the vengeance in his words, the condemning message that said, “How stupid and wrong are you to think that your emotions are valuable in some way? Don’t you realize they can’t be trusted??”

I do still believe in Jesus and how he is portrayed in the Christian Bible. One of the things I take away most from the stories about him were that he asked so many people this question: “What is it that you want?” He engaged with their hearts. He stopped and listened to their answers. It doesn’t seem like he asked the question with furrowed eyebrows and suspicious eyes… He didn’t hint that he knew their answer or expected a certain response. He asked in such a way that people opened up and really shared what they felt inside, what they wanted. He gave them the freedom to be real. Because of this, people were empowered to know themselves better and had the opportunity to navigate and embrace a fuller life.

In all my years of church and Bible school attendance, a question like this was never asked without some kind of agenda or hook at the end. Out of the hundreds of sermons and chapels I attended, my desire, my heart, my feelings came with me but were most often pummelled or corrected to death by the time I left. Verses were sliced and diced from the Bible to condemn our anger, our jealousy, our doubt, our fear, our desires, and even our joy (be careful WHY you feel happy), our pride, our grief (God has a purpose for everything that happens to you, so feel sad for awhile but you better get thankful again soon). We were TOLD what we SHOULD want. “You call yourself a Christian? Then, you should want to read your Bible every day. You should want to pray a lot. You should want to ‘evangelize’ and give away all your earthly goods to the needy. You should want to tell everyone about God. You should want this, you should want that, and if you don’t then something is really WRONG with your faith, with your belief, with YOU.” I spent years agonizing over whether my feelings on the inside qualified me to be a Christian (even a PERSON) and filled a dozen journals with my doubts and anguish. At the root of it all was the lie that my humanity could not be trusted and had to be controlled in order to be pleasing and good.

My emotional landscape was blazed away like a fire on the prairies over and over again and I still struggle with this part of my recovery. The lies I learned in church about the evil lurking in my emotions were like blow torches on the prowl, snuffing out spontaneous inner life here and there, teaching me to fear and correct myself all the time. The hope in living whole and free from those lies means I can let this inner landscape come back to life. Just like Jesus, I can practice asking myself “what is it that you want?” and know my honest answer.

~Carla

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
Comments (22)
May
11

Pain in the Process of Recovery

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And a woman spoke, saying, ‘Tell us of Pain.’ And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain….” ~ Kahlil Gibran

"Glass Art" by Robert Kraft

We are learning to struggle well.  Our desire speaks to us of a new place, a place we have belonged all along but for so long believed we didn’t… Wholeness.  A place of validity, entirety, freedom, fulfillment, excitement, promise, purpose.

People and events told us we didn’t belong in this place, we didn’t deserve to go there, we weren’t good enough for it, we had to work harder to earn the right to be there. We got broken. And then we got tangled up in trying so hard to make ourselves “righter”, make ourselves more worthy so we could get there. We got sidetracked on our way in all kinds of other places that promised peace but only delivered disappointment and anxiety. We doubted ourselves. We questioned if we should keep trying to get there…But continually burning deep deep down inside, we knew that we belonged there; we wanted to belong there… Even if at first all we heard was a whisper, a longing, a puzzled feeling, the “click” of a moment when we realized, “hey, this and this and this that I’ve believed all along about myself doesn’t really make sense…”

A dawning starts to happen.  And the light draws us toward it. The warmth we feel says, “Yes, this is the right direction. You do belong here. You are stepping in the right tracks.”

The tracks are not always easy. Some feel very painful.

Pain feels like something is wrong, and if something feels wrong our old belief system tells us that we are wrong. We try to avoid the pain because of this misconception, one we have suffered under for so long. We avoid the pain because we are afraid that it will tell us that we really are mistakes after all… But now we see the misconception for what it is. We connect with the new truth about ourselves that is gaining life deep down inside. We see the lies woven into the misconception that fuels our fear and we decide that we don’t want to agree with those lies anymore.

Pain invites us to look deeper, to look through. It is not telling us that we are wrong, just that something is wrong. It draws our hands to feel around us, to feel at what confines us. It draws us to open more windows, to let in more light here, then more light there, so we can see more clearly, bit by bit. It says to us with matter-of-fact assurance, “I can’t leave until you really pay attention to me.” It wasn’t our brokenness that was the problem; the real problem was what caused the brokenness. And what caused the brokenness was not of our making.

We work to understand this. We peel back the layers of our past, we uncover the lies that were whispered or shouted to us. We learn the truth. We realize that all the work we have done to earn our worthiness, the crawling and striving we have done towards feigned acceptance, was not required of us. It was work done for other people’s benefit, not our own. We feel the pain of being deceived, of being discounted, being taken advantage of.   We feel the pain of disbelief, of sorrow and grief. And sometimes after we have gotten to this new place of wholeness, we feel the pain of learning. We feel uncomfortable because it is so new. We sometimes still slip into those redeemable ruts. And we are invited into one journey after another of rebirth.

Our pain is a corridor. A place of deep movement towards where we truly belong. It is the breaking with the past, the hope of new growth and new life, the acceptance of reality all rolled into one. It is part of the process that helps us to keep moving forward.

Courage and love to you on your journey…

~Carla~

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
Comments (18)

The unknown path

the road is mysterious

Unless you are new to this blog, you have realized by now that my life has not always been happy joyous and free. I prayed to die for many years. I tried hard to change my life, to change my heart and to just “get over it”. I didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me, but I knew something was. I did everything that I was told might work, and I can honestly say that I was sincere in my desire to live without the baggage of my past dragging me down forever. I just never felt happy or good for very long.

I did make some progress over the years through some of the people that I met and the places that I went for help. Some books gave me hope; some seminars lifted my spirits for a while. I am not discounting any of the methods that I tried; it is just that none of them were the total answer. The improvement never felt finished. I still had this emptiness, this hole in me that would not fill. I had this restlessness and desire for something better, to find and know myself, to find my purpose in life. I longed to be free of the depression that came unexpectedly and yet regularly into my life. I just wanted to be okay instead of lost, broken, exhausted and disconnected.

I found fresh hope one day when sitting across from a new therapist talking about the hopelessness that was me; In my intake session I told him that I had the best life, the most wonderful husband, 3 great kids and was living my dream on a big farm/ranch riding my horse, but for some reason I had no reason to live. I thought that my family would be better off without me. I was tired, frustrated and heading for my third serious depression in 5 years. The last two depressions had lasted for almost 2 years each. I was terrified of antidepressants since I’d had a terrible withdrawal experience the last time I had taken them. The only stone left unturned that I knew of was that I had not followed through on the therapy for the dissociated identity disorder that I had been diagnosed with when I was in my mid twenties. I had decided to make one last attempt at dealing with that.

I caught just a glimmer of something different in the methods this therapist was using. He didn’t just listen to me, he reacted to me. He winced when I asked if it “was normal for a mother to put her tongue in her 9 year old daughter’s mouth?” He assured me that this was not “normal” and it was in that moment that I knew this therapy would be different. Not because of what he said though, because he winced. Other therapists had never reacted to that question. It was what I later realized was my “test question” and I was not going to tell absolutely everything if I wasn’t going to get an idea if this stuff was just run of the mill no big deal stuff or if something really wrong had happened to me. I had been raised to believe after all, that my life and my upbringing was better than most.

That glimmer of hope is what kept me going week after week, dumping some of the most difficult stories, and being validated by my therapist who was sometimes moved to tears. He showed his disgust for the things that happened to me. He assured me that it was not my fault, but more importantly than that, he showed me why I thought it was my fault, and then he helped me to see why it was not my fault. This was the beginning of my emerging from broken and into to a life of wholeness and splendid mental health beyond anything I had ever hoped for.

Living life to the fullest,

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

Categories : Mother Daughter
Comments (52)

head clearing work ~ preparing a new foundation for parenting
Darlene and Bodie

In my recovery it has been important for me to realize how my parents did not have a sense of their own value and therefore did not know how to help me to see my own value. I think that when we are adult children and we struggle with self esteem, we have some funky and skewed systems in place, causing us to believe that the road to wholeness and freedom is on a path that it isn’t on at all. It can get really confusing if at the heart of it we believe that someone else can restore our value, or that we can be the source of defining value for another. If you have not read my last post “The Beginning of Broken ~ Family Foundations”, please read it first as it gives more context for this post.

Somewhere along the way my mother thought that her children would restore her value.  I think this is what so often happens. Parents try to get their value restored through their children. Children can’t accomplish that; nobody can restore value for another person. But I really wanted my mother to be okay, and thought that if only I could love her enough, that she would love me too and I tried harder and harder but I failed her. Her disappointment became blame which seeped out unto me and became a part of the way that I viewed myself.

When my oldest son was 12 he began to roll his eyes at me, speaking to me and looking at me like I was a little crazy. Since I had struggled with depression for many years, deep down I thought maybe I was crazy. My greatest joy and most important work in life up till then had been raising these 3 kids but I had this feeling that I was failing. Pretty much  my only goal in life had been not to do what my mother did to me, but it was all going wrong and I was seriously considering giving up. I thought the kids might be better off without me, and that my husband might be able to do a better job on his own. I sought help as a last resort.

I was very sure that I could do things better with my own kids. I had a few ideas about where my parents failed me, but I didn’t often consider that my self esteem got stunted because their self esteem was stunted. When my parents didn’t succeed in showing me my value, and although I worked hard in many different ways to find my value, I failed, mostly because I looked for evidence of value in the wrong places. I didn’t have anywhere to start from. The foundation was never laid, so I looked for my worth in my work, through other people, through my talents and things like that.

When I had my own children, deep down I thought that I would do better with raising them and that in succeeding in doing better, in successfully raising my own kids, that THEY would be the proof of my value. I thought successful parenting would “define” me and prove that I was a valuable person. I started to have increasing mental health breakdowns as I realized that I was not having the success that I dreamed of, nor was my value being established. I had to throw all my old ideas out the window and learn a new way of looking at things in order to heal from the illnesses that I struggled with. I had to think outside the confines of the box that was passed down to me in order to find freedom and wholeness on this side of broken.

What are your thoughts on these ideas? As always I welcome your comments, as your views only enhance the effectiveness of my purpose.

Bright Blessings,

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Family
Comments (18)

My last post “The Twisted Accountability Tactic & How it Works” caused a few comments using the phrase “old enough to know better” or “I should have known better”. This is an interesting expression; one that I beat myself up with for a very long time. I didn’t understand my choices or why I made them. I did things that were destructive to myself, my self esteem; often they were dangerous and even life threatening. It wasn’t until my therapist explained to me several times what happens to a child who is taught that their value is not as high as the value of the adult that is devaluing them. This is what had happened to me.

My beliefs about myself and my self-worth and the lack of value that I felt about myself actually left me with limited choices as an adult. I didn’t really understand what it meant that I had a choice. I beat myself up for things that happened and choices that I made because I knew that some of those things were wrong, and yet… why the heck was I doing them? What was I thinking? These were questions that I asked myself regularly from the age of 15 or 16 and well into my adulthood.

How the heck did it happen to me? How did I get myself into the situation? I know this is very complicated to understand, but that is why I write what I write. ~ I believe that one of the keys to freedom and wholeness is in realizing why we “didn’t know better” when we “should have known better”.  Why we seemed to do things even as an adult that made us feel so bad about ourselves and why we chose to do them even when we knew deep down that we would likely come to regret it.

I could not stop blaming myself until I understood the whole progression from childhood and how my belief system formed and how I came to place such little value on myself.

In therapy I started to reveal my history and talk about the things that had happened to me; things that that I had taken the blame for and believed that I had brought on myself. Since a big part of my coping method was dissociating, I spoke about my past as though it wasn’t me anyway, however somewhere deep down I knew that these things were about me and I started to have to connect to myself. This was very painful but it enabled me to almost look at myself through new eyes. Not the disconnected eyes of the alter personalities, but as though I was hearing my story for the first time, realizing that if it were not MY story, I would have been really horrified by it. So why wasn’t I horrified by it when it was my story?

My therapist really helped me to see that when a child is devalued and squished down to a level of non importance due to lack of attention, the wrong kind of attention or abuse, then that child will automatically place that little value on himself or herself. I was defined with little value as a child, therefore where was I going to learn my value as I grew up if not in the wrong places, wrong situations, which once again lead to wrong beliefs? (So the value that I placed on myself was actually not the true value!)  This is learned behavior, as well as a coping method. How could a child blame the adults? We don’t have the frame of reference for that when we are young. So it is then very easy to grow up believing that we get what we deserve, and remember, we have been groomed to grow up believing that we deserve to be treated less valuable and even to believe that we are bad.

Because I came to understand that there is a direct connection to our childhoods and how we act in adulthood I was able to re wire my childhood beliefs. I realized why I had not been old enough to know better when I was an adult because my emotional growth had been seriously stunted.  I had been defined by the actions of others.

I had to dig deep into that whole system, set the lies straight for myself, and then redefine myself this time with the truth. I had to own my value; my original value. It is a process, but it is amazing!

What say you? I would love your comments and feedback about this concept.

In Truth and Recovery!

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

Categories : Self Esteem
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I do this work because I have a passion for planting the seeds of hope and spreading encouragement for healing and recovery where there has been a history of depression, feelings of unworthiness, psychological abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, low self esteem, addictions, eating disorders and all the other types of struggles that so many of us seem to deal with in the course of a lifetime. I do it because I love to see the lights go on when someone has a break through. I like to hear the chains breaking. I like to watch people get their wings back. I love to be a small part of that process.

 I am dedicated to the pursuit of wholeness and freedom and to revealing and sharing the truth that I have picked up along the way; I will share it with every other person brave enough to journey. This is what I do, this is part of who I am.

Recovery and overcoming is not easy. There are times when it is like fighting all alone with invisible demons who never retreat. There are times when I questioned whether or not it was worth it; times when I wanted to stop the world and get the heck off. There were times I wondered what kept me going.

I appreciate my persistence today. It paid off. I am grateful for my drive, my passion, my courage; I am free. I am grateful that I found myself and recovered my identity and that I discovered my purpose. I am appreciative of my therapist who encouraged me and guided me through the process and I have no words to thank my friend Teresa who stood by me and fought with me, laughed with me and cried with me; almost daily.

And now I am grateful for you, the people who actually like to hear what I have to say about all this!

Darlene Ouimet

P.S. In just three short days since we launched the fan page on facebook, we have had 105 people join us! I think that this is a pretty exciting number and worthy of celebration… so I’m doing the happy dance.

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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