The Beginning ~ Emerging from Broken


Hope and Beauty by Cherie LaLanne

I have been writing some pretty in depth posts about how the belief system gets messed up and altered and how the lies that we owned as the truth have shaped our belief system and imprisoned us in falseness. And I have been getting emails and questions about the “overcoming part”. There are many parts to the overcoming part which is commonly known as “the process”. In the coming weeks I hope to shed a bit more light on this.

Each part of the process has its own difficulty and each part has its breakthroughs and celebrations. The point is to pursue wholeness at each stage; to keep going forward. To keep pressing on because a little bit of freedom is just over that next wall and a little bit more freedom is over the wall after that. A little bit of freedom, a little bit more wholeness, and so on and so on. That is the process of emerging from broken.

Most of my adult life I’ve been what I refer to as a “truth seeker” or “a seeker”, which to me is the same thing. I studied many religions. I studied inspirational speakers and teachers and their work. I studied Greek and Hebrew word origins for 8 years in precept bible studies and did a lot of homework every day. I felt guilty that I didn’t feel purposeful, that I didn’t feel like I was okay or that I fit in and belonged. I practiced gratitude, and felt guilty that I deep down I was unhappy; I practiced positive thinking, I prayed every day but I never felt really right. I remember asking a therapist that I was seeing for one of my major depressions, “when am I going to just get over this stuff, (the past) I have been trying to get over it for 20 years.” He said that the abuse was part of who I was. That I might never get over it.

He might as well have shot me right there. I took his answer to mean that there was no hope that I would ever be free of the past that secretly drug me down into the depths of despair on a regular basis. My past messed with my self esteem, my self worth and my productivity as a person. It had become who I was, I was someone who had been abused. I was someone who had used alcohol and illegal drugs to cope with life. I was someone who struggled with depression and dissociative behaviours. I was someone who identified with being “unfit” and “invalid”. I was “used”, dirty, and shame filled. I was really tired. These things defined me.

I wanted to be defined differently but could not seem to ever get past the past. I wanted to be “washed clean” and all that great stuff that I heard when I went to churches, but it didn’t seem to happen for me. I could not have tried harder. For well over 20 years I was preached at, prayed over went to self help programs, seminars, conferences, well you name it, I tried it. The dirty feeling didn’t go away for very long; it always came back.

I felt like I had to hide all these feelings because everyone else said that they were “saved” or free or healed but never said exactly what that meant and I thought I must be doing something wrong, or that I was just plain ungrateful. No matter how often I picked myself up, my past seemed to be there, and I was getting really tired. But one day, on perhaps the darkest day before the dawn, I met someone who gave me hope. I met a therapist who had a different way of looking at things then other therapists I had been to. I was told that I could get over my past, I just had to learn how. I had to face it, dig down deep into my past and expose the lies that I had accepted as truth, and replace them with real truth. And so it began.

Stay tuned I will continue….. Darlene  😎



One thing I’ve come to realize is that although everyone else out there in churchland SEEMS to be saved or free or healed, that’s not the case, most are just walking around trying to fit in as well; very few are going to risk being authentic and stand up and say ‘wait a minute, I’m still broken and there’s something missing in this and I need help that I’m not finding in this way.’ But we all know that to admit this would undermine a whole belief system, so we suffer in silence.

I’m hoping things are starting to change, I mean, really change. Healing and freedom don’t come until we take the masks off and take a good hard look at the faces behind them, with honesty, compassion and sensitivity.

And the same with many positive thinking and self help books. They tend to keep a person looking for all the answers intellectually, when the wounds of abuse and trauma go much deeper than that, the healing needs to take place at a much deeper level.

Thanks for another great post Darlene. This topic really resonates with me. Painfully so, but that’s part of the process!

Jeanette 🙂


Way to go, Darlene! You point to the amazing phenomenon that just because someone is “washed clean” the problems the might face don’t all magically disappear! Thank you for your honesty in addressing that. I thought the same thing for years – somehow I wasn’t doing religion right. And of course, there’s always the “out” for the way religion is sometimes presented – if it doesn’t work for me, it’s because I wasn’t doing it right or didn’t have enough faith!

I think you’re talking very candidly about something that many people struggle with, and find difficult to address honestly within the church, where the “everything’s alright” philosophy is socially accepted. I have always found it significant that when I first started attending meetings for people who had grown up with alcoholics, the first person I encountered was a woman from my Sunday School class. Not to mention that as I looked around at my “religious” friends, a whole lot of them seemed to share the same characteristics I was facing!

I remember feeling a failure because we went to one seminar where to be faithful you had to memorize a chapter of the Bible every week. I’m really smart, and it took a long time to realize it was the goal that was unrealistic – not my attempts at attaining it!

And I agree with Jeanette that the positive thinking books have the same flaw – “if you want to feel good, just feel good!” doesn’t really work with deep seated abuse issues!

Wonderful post, Darlene! Well done!


Hi hon–well, you resonate once again. What has struck me like a
jackhammer is that about going over one more wall. One little bit, then another little bit. As you know I do ‘t have the ability to titrate emotionally and this is a great thing for me to hear. Thank you again!

Cindy Leigh Garrett Wilson
March 10th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Can’t wait for the next post Darlene. I wish the message of honesty in a person’s spiritual walk with God would be shouted from the tree tops! Religion is the worst thing that has happened to Christianity in my opinion. A true personal intimate walk with God does not mean we are to put on happy faces to prove our faith. I believe Jesus didn’t merely spend the majority of His time with the broken hearted and hurting to heal them, but also because He enjoyed the transparency in their lives which allowed deeper fellowship.

Having said all that, I am looking forward to following your blog to hear your pathway of healing. I have learned so much already and am encouraged along the way. Thanks for taking the time to pass what you have learned on to us who are still in the midst of getting out of the jungle of past false teaching and judgments!


I really enjoyed your post Darlene~ When you talked about that therapist telling you that your abusive past was just part of who you would be, it reminded me of how easily I can mix up my identity with how I have reacted to abuse in my past. It is easy to think through my reactions to being mistreated and label myself as over-reactive or too sensitive and stop the story there. But truth is, that is NOT who I am. Who I am goes much much deeper than that and this truth is a huge door to joy for me. I agree- this is going to be a fantastic series of posts!


Thank you so much … I was leading a small group at church in a discussion about why Jesus had to die for us and the number one question (more than half of the group) wasn’t why did Jesus die, but how do I FEEL forgiven when I’ve done so much.

A psychological footprint can be left from abuse and/or violence that may or may not be removed by a spiritual awakening.


Hi mcProdigal,
It is always interesting to me when so many people feel guilty and carry this burden of not being forgivable for things that were actually done to them. When abuse of any kind is present, it often sets us up to make mistakes, however, when I really healed at the roots of where things had gone so wrong for me, the whole forgiveness thing fell into place. It’s hard to explain, but I will attempt it in future posts!
Thanks so much for visiting and leaving your valuable and relevant comment. This issue of feeling worthy of forgiveness is such a huge one in our broken world.


Thanks for the comments and the encouragement you leave here. I might be on the right track now, but I have to admit, the encouragement that I get in the comments and emails really keep me going forward. I think it is all the invalidation that I had for so long, and when I can touch the hearts of others, when others say “YES that was Me Too,” there is so much healing and affirmation in that. Thanks so much for sharing your personal experience too. There is so much power in this type of coming together.
Hugs, Darlene



You make some very good and important points with this comment. You are right ~ not everyone who seems to be saved free or healed, IS. I constantly tell people not to judge someone else’s outside by your inside. In some of my most devastating and broken years, everyone thought I was so together. No so. One time I had a little break down in Church as a result of something that a bible teacher said about people still to this day deserve to be stoned at the city gates for certain sins.. (of which I was guilty I thought) and man did that attract attention; no one knew how to comfort me because the truth had not really been taught to them either, but for me it was a turning point. I decided to take my life back.
I also love your comment about self help books and positive thinking. EXACTLY! and you know what, I read that stuff now and it makes sense and even works for me, where it never did before when the lies and abuse was in my way clouding my vision.

Thanks so much for your insightful comments!


Good Evening my friend,

everything you have said in this blog I can so relate to because I can not even begin to tell you how many churches, how many times I was prayed over .. and how many times I felt evil and vile no matter what i did and you hit the nail on the head about unmasking and facing all the lies and replacing them with the truth ..

That is where I am at in my life now .. I am having to see the reality of what was to what is.. and it isn’t easy but it is the most liberating freedom that anyone can have.. Sometimes in facing the truth it does hurt but it is not like the hurt we receive from lies or from the abuse that we may have suffered this kind of hurt is healing pain.. it is letting go and being released but the end result is always joyful and sweet peace..

There is nothing like the Truth .. I often go to God’s word even though at times it is very hard for me to because often thru out my life I have gone through spiritual abuse but I am facing the reality of that now and in doing so God’s word is not something that I fear but that i embrace now for I find so much truth in it!!

I just wanted to thank you for sharing this blog .. because what you share is the key to beginning the healing process.. and that is facing the lies head on with the truth!


Forgiveness takes care of itself after you have worked through most of the anger. I won’t say all of the anger because for me, as I work on another layer of abuse, more anger comes to the surface to be worked through and let go of.

Forgiveness happens when and if you are ready for it and not before no matter what someone else tells you. Churches are bad about preaching about forgiveness but don’t know how to help you achieve it in any lasting way.

I have had a number of conversations with ministers over the years when they would tell me that I needed to forgive. None of them ever understood what I couldn’t, at the time, tell them about the effects of incest on my mind, body and emotions. I added more and more guilt and shame onto my already overwhelming load because I just couldn’t forgive and mean it. I could say the words but nothing changed. That made me feel worse.

Forgiveness didn’t come until my dad was beginning to die from alcoholism and cigarettes back in the year 2000. I never thought I would be able to forgive him but I did. That doesn’t mean the hurting stops. It becomes not as intense and not as often to have to deal with the anger. What I sometimes feel today is anger, not the rage of my early recovery period. The hurt doesn’t keep me a prisoner of depression any longer. Thanks Darlene for writing this article.



I like how you word your first sentence. That is my exp. also, that I had to work through the anger, acknowledge what really happened and that is was not my fault, and let I was able to let it go. It just went.
I have had much frustration with churches preaching all their forgiveness messages, but not being able to help me do it!

Thanks so much for your comments!


Darlene; I feel like I have come home. I have never met another who had this experience of finding a way to “get over” what the past had given me. I was also pretty much told that I would always be broken. But I’m not. I won’t write a book here but I am so grateful to have found your blog and will look forward to reading again. Susan


[…] Continued from my previous post, “The Beginning~Emerging from Broken“ […]

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