The Problem with the Saying “Love and You will be Loved”



the problem with the saying love and you will be loved

Photo by Journi Roe Photography

This week I came across the expression “love and you will be loved” several times and it got me thinking about how in theory it can and does work but the problem is what it infers. Depending on what you have already learned about “love” different messages are received through this saying. This phrase is so often said as a solution for everything just like with other sayings such as; Love heals all wounds; Love is the answer; if you are lonely then simply Love someone. It implies that if you “are not loving” then you will not be loved and the message that I “heard” is that I was not loved because I was not loving enough which led to me trying harder in impossible and abusive situations. This directive “love and you will be loved” seems to imply that we are all able to love as though love is something we just “know” how to do.  Are we born knowing how to love or do we learn how to love by first being loved.

“Love and you will be loved” is often said as a reprimand. That phrase has some baggage that goes along with it. It decides that you will only be loved IF you love and that is fine. I am not disagreeing with that concept. It is the way that it is applied that I have an issue with.  In our society, it seems to be applied to the victim in any given situation. The statement seems to infer that if you are struggling then it must be YOUR fault. If you are lonely, it is YOUR fault. If you are oppressed, what did you do to cause it? If you are being abused, or if you were mistreated (in any way) in the past, what did you do bring that on to yourself?

 What if the saying “love and you shall be loved” was applied to the adults FIRST before it is applied to their children. What if we lived in a world where everyone said to parents with regards to their children “you reap what you sow” instead of these sayings always being directed to the children? What if the saying “love and you shall be loved” was aimed at my mother and father in regards to the way that they treated me? Perhaps that is why I am not the “loving and devoted” daughter they “expected” me to be. They didn’t teach me to love. They didn’t model love. They didn’t love. There was no action behind the words “love”.   

“The world” looks at me as an ungrateful child who has disrespected my parents with my blog. I am harshly judged for writing the truth as well as for standing up to them. The “world” thinks that I am the one with the problem. What is wrong with that picture?

Where did you learn to love? How did you learn what “love” was? What do you think “love” is? These were the kinds of questions that helped me sort things out.  These are the kinds of questions that led me to become an independent and LOVING individual with a full and happy life and with wonderful loving children. Answering these questions has saved my marriage and helped us to break the cycle of dysfunctional family systems within our marriage and with our children.

The following poem/quote by Dorothy Law Nolte is shared virally on facebook.

“If a child lives with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive,

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves,

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

But do not despair …

If a child lives with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If a child lives with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, they live with justice.

If a child lives with security, they live to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, they learn to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship they learn to find love in the world.”

Dorothy Law Nolte 

Please see the complete version here: Dorothy Law Nolte Poem

Everyone loves to share beautiful stuff like this but articles such as the ones that I write about the reality of children who have NOT been raised this way are not shared nearly as much. The reality of child abuse and child neglect that so many adults share is not nearly as popular as this wisdom and truth in Dorothy’s quote. Her words are truth and they are the ideal but it is frowned upon in polite society if we have discussions about the way kids turn out if we ARE NOT raised with all this love and nurturing because it points the finger at the parents and there is some sort of huge taboo about doing that.  

We are not going to solve the problem of child abuse without discussing the pain of being those children. It is the adult children who are IN so much pain who are raising the future generations and it will only be by facing ALL the truth that will lead to global change. If the cycle of child abuse (emotional abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse or spiritual abuse) and neglect is going to be broken, the painful details that involve dysfunctional families have to be talked about too.

Please share your thoughts about this topic. I look forward to the discussion.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

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

Related Posts: “When Children are not regarded as Actual People”

Categories : Family



Wow – When I first met my husband he had this poem on the wall of his stepdaughter’s room. His ex wife had taken the girl away from the state and he struggled many years to find her (another blog). I thought these were wonderful ideas and inside I remember thinking “That never happens”. We had a whirlwind wonderful honeymoon phase – I unintentionally had little contact with my Nparents. After a few years of marriage and after being “born again, again”‘ I thought that if I only gave enough I could win over my sh#t-fit-having baby parents. OK that sounds mean but every encounter became worse than the one before.

When visiting, NM would barge into the room at 5:00 in the morning – say weird things about her sex life, give me lingerie she bought for herself that did not fit (ew, I threw it away)…Act like my husband was not even in the room.

They would have these huge dinner parties and then complain about every person after they left and complain about every food item, expense, people said too much, did not talk at all, brought their kids, did not even bring their kids, they expect us to pay or oh they tried to give us money!! All of my 4 siblings experienced these same unhappy parents but so far – I am the only one who has stood up to my mother and said, No you cannot say to my husband, “I don’t give a shit what you think, where is tamara?”

I just turned 50 and was tempted to call my Dad because my NM was out of town. My Golden child sister just happened to be on vacation nearby and said oh you should come here and we’ll give you a party ! I said, Is that an invitation?? I never heard from her. My biological family is 400 miles away but my true family my husband and friends celebrated me and my 50th in a way I have never even come close to w/ my birth family. I am so thankful. Even thought that old thought pattern tried to creep in – I was able, with help from Emerging From Broken, to let go of that old pattern of trying to love the truly unlovable in my life and be free and have actual FUN. The guilt is gone from not loving enough or “love and you will be loved”

In the past , I would have tried to fit myself into my sisters vacation and been miserable while she was on her iphone and playing video games or working the whole time – going shopping and letting her 15 yr old dictate the events to come… whew – I HAVE come a long way. There is nothing that compares to the peace of standing up for yourself. It is like this whole “standing up for yourself” doesn’t have to be the main issue when I am around the people that I choose to be in my life now. Of course in the world we will encounter it.

I hope I have stayed on topic, Darlene. Also when I send out my checks this month YOU are getting one!! Your support and the support of those you attract here is immeasurable!! Hugsxoxo


I was thinking about the shooter in Colorado and wondering what his childhood was like. Growing up, I had my Aunt and my Grandmother to show me love and give me support and encouragement. To counteract the coldness and negativity. But what if you had no one? When Hillary Clinton says, it takes a village to raise a child, well, maybe it does sometimes. It doesn’t excuse the absent or abusive parents, but it gives the child hope.I know some people on here have survived, and thrived with no one at all, and as my good therapist used to say, “That’s you. It didn’t come from what you learned or were shown, the kindness and understanding of others is part of who you are”. But I did learn alot about love from those two role models in my life, and I am grateful!
“If a child learns fear, they will be aprehensive”. I suffer with difficuty flying, and one thing I learned in the class I am studying is, most fearful fliers have mother/trust issues. Why is that not surprising?
Darlene, I made a donation, it is from a different email address for my paypal, but maybe you can guess it is me!



I appreciate what you say here.

Very often I have used spiritual principles to pretend that the reality is something other than what it is. Love heals everything, just forgive, be compassionate to everyone because if they did something abusive they were probably abused, etc, etc, etc…

And for me, as it turns out, that was disempowering.

Once I heard the phrase “the illusion of transcendence.” Many of us hear these great spiritual truths or aphorisms and on one level resonate with the truth – and on another level it doesn’t serve us at that point in our journey. And in some cases, it is downright destructive, damaging. For me I am learning that in attempting to be a spiritual person (well, I am a spiritually oriented person) or forming an identity based on spiritual life, I have not allowed the full expression of anger, of fear, of sadness…

I read a book once “The Places that Scare You.” That was pretty cool. Also “Start Where You Are.” Both by Pema Chodron – if more people read those books people would be sharing posts like this like crazy because they would get how valuable staring into the darker aspects of truth can be.

I know that isn’t exactly congruent with what you are saying but that is what it brought up for me.

I’m glad you continue to not worry about winning a popularity contest.


Oh snap… I just looked up “illusion of transcendence” and realized theres way too many mixed messages so I wanted to clarify…

What it means in the context I used it is this:

“Oh, I’m a good person, I’m not angry.”

“Oh, I’m spiritual so I don’t judge.”

“Oh, they did that to me, but it’s okay because they are pain.”

Or, “If I love more, or if I am more good, or if I am more perfect, they will love me too.”

All these things perhaps sound like a nice platform from which to operate, but realistically speaking, whose actually there? Maybe the Dalai Lama, and that’s cool. But IM NOT. So if I pretend to be, then I am actually causing violence in the world by dishonoring myself.


All those statements sound like a nice platform except the last one… oops… i hit enter too fast


When I was growing up – love was an earned thing. Funny though, it was expected of me to give more love than I’d ever get back. Love was weighed on a scale. Trouble was – the deeds I did to earn love were never as heavy as my mother expectations of love. So, it didn’t matter how much I did or said to earn her love, it was just never enough. Affection and love were always out of reach. Always. I truly thought this was love – its what I grew up with. So even when I started dating – I figured love was weighed on scales – ‘you do this for me and I’ll do this for you.’ So warped. Yeah, real love never works this way. My mother taught that marriage (and love too) was always 50/50 – this is a lie too.

I was 26 years old when I learned what love was – this was also when I became a Christian. The Biblical definition of love to me is the one I cling to – it makes the most sense to me and it works – its proven itself right and true (I’m 46 now.) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The first time I ever read this passage I cried. I couldn’t believe I had been so lied to. Imagine finding out that love is kind, its not envious, it doesn’t boil over in jealousy, its not conceited, its not rude, its not self-seeking … and it DOESN’T keep a record of wrongs – this was my mother’s speciality, remembering EVERYTHING I did wrong so she could humiliate me with it at her convenience. I was shamed for anything I did that wasn’t so much ‘wrong’ as it was just being ‘me.’

When I learned that love/marriage isn’t 50/50 but actually 100/100 – then I knew what real love was … and what it felt like. Doing the 50/50 never works. My 50 will never be the same as the other person’s 50 which I may think is only 25 when they think they’re giving 75 – its stupid. But if both people give their absolute all – it works out far better.

The term, “Love and be Loved” is false. I tried to love my mother into loving me – it didn’t work. And when it didn’t work I rebelled – and by that I mean living my own life and not succumbing to what and who she figured I should be. This didn’t last long though – her abusiveness stepped up huge which is the only thing she knew would get me back under her control – she was only easy on me when I did surrender to her and succumb. This I did for a long time until pretty soon her abuse came on worse and worse. It’s like the more I tried to love her into loving me the more she hated me. And she did. I mean she always hated me, but in those last years is when I saw it the most. “Love and be loved to me is conditional in that I have to perform for it.” To me, that is what conditional love is – its performing in order to earn love. Unconditional love is loving without expecting anything in return and that is how real love works.

So in an abusive situation, ‘love to be loved’ can be really crappy and a wonderful control tactic for the abuser – and we never do get the love. We are all made to love, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will or that everyone is capable of it.


…oops, forgot to click ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ – so … ‘click’


Hi Rizae, Enjoyed reading your comments, can so identify. The scale of justice, the scorekeeping, oh, yeah! That 50/50 thing about marriage, made me think of mn NM stating “I always lovedall of you kids just the same”. I remember reading an article our of McCalls magazine to her, as a kid, that said that was impossible, and she said that was a lie. I think the 50/50 and “equal love” thing arises from the fact that they can’t love, or empathize, so, in fact, it IS equal. They are always giving the same, whatever they need to get. And care about us all, in as much as we can do for them.Make them look good, like upstanding citizens in the community, behaving to exactly what the prescribed notion they have in their head of the perfect family.
It’s another one of those nights where when I try to sleep, I am jarred by some he said/she said going on in my head. Defending myself. Speaking the truth in whatever scenerio is playing out in my head, and being shot down, told i’m a liar, trouble, disruptive, whateva. Does this happen to anyone else? It can be exhausting, but it almost happens on an unconscious level. Like I “come to” in the middle of a scenario going on in my mind, and am traumatized by my imagination. Wierd.


Janie – #8 – oh. My. Gosh!! My mother would say this all the time – ‘I love you kids all the same’ – trouble was she didn’t!! Me she actually hated and she had GREAT affection for my sister whose a year & a half younger than me. It was so obvious that this sister was (maybe still is) my NM’s favorite that other people actually noticed it!!! When I was about 18 I confronted my mother, “You favour her!!” and the snide reply was,’I do not – I treat you kids all the same!” Blatant lies.

I’ve done that too I think – do you mean playing out scenarios in your head?? I think for us this is very common and maybe even a healing part of the process.


Darlene, My husband and I were just discussing how everything is society is set up to correct the behavior of the victim, as if it is the victim’s behavior that causes the abusive person to hurt them. It’s crazy. I think of the Jerry Sandusky scandel where so little has been said about the pain the vitims suffered and still suffer. No one wants to talk about that. They moan about the reputations of powerful men being tarnished and how the image of the school has been marred. It makes me sick. People who haven’t been vitimized by sexual abuse in particular, seem to often, believe it just wouldn’t happen to them. There is always suspicion about what a rape victim did to cause their rape. Just like my family refuses to see that I was sexually abused as a teenager because I was rebellious. In their eyes, I asked for it and got what I deserved. Even in the case of prostitutes, men pay to abuse teenage girls and young women but it is the prostitutes who are considered the criminals. I think Johns who pay to use underage girls should have their pictures plastered on billboards and do time for sexually abusing children. I don’t think anyone dreams of being a prostitute when they grow up. Prostitutes are usually victims of abuse long before they turn professional and most of them are controlled by an abuser. Why are they never acknowledged as the victims rather than the perpetrators? The truth is powerless people are regarded as subhuman and that’s the way many people look at abuse victims. It’s not wrong for someone to commit the vile acts, it’s wrong for the person they were committed against to talk about it. Talking about the crimes and naming the person who did it is “unloving”, “dishonoring”, “unseemly”, “not positive”, etc. We live in a world that gives support to the powerful and not to the powerless. I believe that the answer to this is for victims to become more powerful by laying aside the misappropriated shame we carry and speaking out. Just as facing the truth has the power to heal victims of abuse, the truth has the power to heal our society. That’s one reason I believe it is so important to support your work!:0)The loss of EFB would be huge not only to the survivor’s community but to society in general. Nothing can be healed if it isn’t faced. There is a serious lack of truth in the world today and EFB is one place I can count on to present the truth. The only people dishonored by truth are liars and liars define love as a willingness to honor their lies.



Hi All,
I just wanted to drop in and say I love the pics you get for your posts Darlene, and, I haven’t read the comments yet, but I had to type something to get them coming to my email. So here goes,




Hi Everyone,
I can confirm it’s not true. Love and you will be loved just isn’t true. I’ve loved many people who didn’t love me back. Family, and people outside of family. Rizae, I’ve heard you say before, we can’t make someone love us. It’s true, we can’t love them into loving us either. And there isn’t a good payoff for trying. Tamara, the GC in my family has a child who dictates as well. She is the GC in her own immediate family too. HUGE denial there!!

Love to everyone,


Mimi, the GC of a GC must be particularly trying to deal with! Yikes!



Hi Tamara
Yes, totally on topic. You remind me of how often I had to remind myself that it wasn’t my imagination that things were weird and that the disrespect and disregard in my life was NOT something I made up or something I was exaggerating.
Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Janie
Thank you so much for your donation! I have had 2 donations so far since I asked yesterday and I appreciate them both so very much!

We went to church with our kids and when there were infant baptisms they always talked about how it takes a whole community to raise a child. Looking back on the farming community that we live in, I see that statement very differently today; there were MANY abusers to children everywhere. Everyone had a different idea of how to make children comply and most of these people use guilt shame fear and disrespect to do it and it seemed like the church was giving permission for everyone to do this!!

I had one wonderful grandmother too; I don’t ever remember her treating me like I was “less than” anyone else and for that I too am very grateful.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Kylie
You make excellent points in your second comment about those sayings and what they infer. That is exactly the box that I was trying to live in and stay in, all the while dishonouring myself. This illusion of perfection that I was seeking was bad enough but even worse that NO ONE else in my life had to even try to live up to it but that I was constantly asked by them to strive for, really messed me up!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rizae
Your first paragraph; when I worked in marriage counselling one of the common issues was that one partner in the couple would actually keep a tally! This stems from the belief system that you speak of and that is exactly how it manifests in relationship. It is the false def of love at its finest!
About 50/50 ~ there is no 50/50 in a pecking order system. Whoever is on the top of the pecking order will give the least. In the case of my mother, I gave 95% but within her marriage to my father, I would say she gave way more then he did towards the relationship.

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Janie and Rizae
The problem with the statement “I love all you kids the same” is not the statement itself. It is the fact that they operate from a false definition of love in the first place. They don’t really know what it is! It is just “words” that have no real meaning.
My mother treated my brothers way differently and yet her motive was very much the same. Different manipulations worked on them. My youngest brother got way more beatings and my oldest brother got almost none, but that has nothing to do with love or who was “loved” more.

Janie ~ yes that happened with me too. I had all that stuff to re-live and put through new grid of truth in order to sort it out and then overcome the damage.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pam
I believe this too. If the victims heal and embrace the truth then the “shoving all this under the carpet” will lessen and the victims who are the majority of the population, will have the greater voice in the world and this might just get turned around. I was not strong enough to do what I do today even 5 years ago! In fact this last year I have become 10x stronger and more willing to go deeper and expose more abuse and sick thinking. I was terrified to talk about the family system and even when I got over the fear of my own family I was terrified to write about it the way that I do today because I thought my readers whold hate me! Too much truth I thought. But the more I wrote the more the readership increased. Some people do leave, but that is okay. I can only make a difference to those who want to live in a different world.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement Pam! Love your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
Perhaps the expression can be viewed this way: Love (yourself) and you will be loved.
~ All my healing comes from learing to love myself. Learning to respect myself and setting boundaries with other people proving or backing up my new belief that I respect and love myself.
Just food for thought.

DID I miss something?? What is a GC?
Hugs, Darlene


Golden Child


It is this sort of reasoning that possesses such a stronghold on the world at large that I have opted out of having children. I fear I am too messed up and confused by statements such as this, and the actions of the “grown-ups” from my own childhood to trust myself to be a good mother. How sad…. I commend you for looking through it and getting past it in order to move on to a more positive place in life.


Hi Leyla Marie
I almost didn’t have children for these same reasons so I understand what you are talking about. I changed my mind when I was in my late twenties and coped by shutting myself down even more. I never believed that I could be a good mother either, and I knew that I had some pretty bad role models. I think that (in the past) the only place that I put my foot down in my life was in the choices that I made with how I raised my kids and so I did a lot of things right, but many things were wrong anyway because of my messed up belief system. I have spent the last 7 years trying to help them get rid of the belief system stuff that my husband and I passed on to them in spite of how hard I tried. The good thing is that they have responded to so much of the changes and that I did some things out of real love in the first place.
I am glad that you are here. This site is about healing from the damage more than anything else!
Hugs, Darlene


When I write “GB” it means “Golden Boy,” or “Goldenchild brother” too. :0


I don’t recall being told “love and you will be loved.” But I must have thought that way, because I sure did hope for that. Didn’t work though.

Later it seemed more true to tell myself, “Don’t love too much or you will get hurt again.”
“Loving too much” means doing what culture has taught women to do for centuries: avoid self-love, and put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. Don’t be “self-centered.”

Interesting, that last term. Nowadays we are supposed to “be/stay centered.” Leaving me wondering…how can one be centered without the self?

Mottos and semantics…can’t we humans be more thoughtful about our word choices and thus speak more clearly? Must we unthinkingly parrot platitudes? Better to say nothing than to say something without thought.

Why are we taught that we sound wise to quote (and requote) these so called “wise sayings?” What’s so wise about vainly repeating the words of someone else?


This topic brings me back to the idea of “unconditional” love. Which we are taught is desired,is best, is a holy quest.

But in my experience it seems unconditional love, meaning you set no conditions, no boundaries, no “this far and no further,” is mostly NOT truly wanted, because no one wants love from someone they can disrespect without reservations.

Because if humans CAN, generally they DO disrespect. The “pecking order” instinct seems to take precedence over unconditional love for most people, and they WILL PECK if there are “no conditions” no personal boundaries, no “line in the sand” beyond which their BEAKS can’t dare reach without risking a return peck.

(okay, no nutty comments about peckers)

I guess I am just disillusioned (which is another tricky word, think about it, is it really better to be “illusioned?”)


Growing up I was given this message by leaving the word love out of it. I was told repeatedly that I would get out of it what I put into it and I should stop feeling sorry for myself.
At five years of age my father chose not to be a father and I was taken away from a schitzophrenic mother who was unable to raise me. I did not have parents. I was separated from my brother and given to my grandmother who at the time was an undiagnosed bipolar prescription drug addict who was either sleeping or raging. She could, however, put on quite the act of normalcy if she was in public. She was extremely abusive. As a small child I tried to love her into loving me. I would leave notes on her chair that I wrote and rewrote to make perfect, apologizing for anything I did to make her angry at me or not love me. She would hit me for not holding my fork correctly or shove my head in the sink for spilling toothpaste on my shirt. I was unable to love her into loving me, it didn’t work and I knew she hated me. I am now 40 years old and the lack of love I received in that home affects me still today. I did not get out of it what I put into it.
My husband who also tried to manipulate, control and excuse his behavior by telling me that I get out of it what I put into it, turned out to be an abusive alcoholic with a gambling addiction. I could never love him enough to make him treat me with love and kindness. I did not get out of it what I put into it.
I have chosen to separate myself from a very toxic family who will not love me if I love them. However, in doing so I have stopped the abusive family relationships, but I am left with a gaping hole and a lot of pain. It is overwhelming to me at times and feels as if the pain will never go away. I have been through years of therapy and 12 step groups to help deal with my loss and abuse.
I was told recently by someone that at fourty you can’t still hold those people in your past responsible for how you are feeling today. On one hand I agree that I am the one making the decisions today, but to think that my decisions today are not colored by what I experienced in my past is simply not the truth for me. I have to relearn how to live in order to have a happy life, and all the while life does not stop so that I can catch up. I am raising two children on my own, trying to give them a different life than I had and teach myself at the same time how to live that life.




Janie, I agree with you–the shooter (as all other such people) must have a childhood of terrible betrayal and abuse with no counterbalance. Sadly that fact will never enter the official story. When there’s a school shooting a chorus of voices rises up saying that if only children were beaten even more, it would never have happened. Of course, recognizing the true source of this violence doesn’t excuse it. But tell that to the millions of people who do use it to excuse their parents while reacting vehemently to someone like this young shooter. No one ever extends the problem of ‘glorifying violence’ to the exaggerated respect and honor given to parents who beat their children.

My sister once said to me that “I can see why dad prefers him (my brother), he makes an effort and talks to him.” I had not said anything for many years about my brother being the favorite, but she felt that, at 15, it was my fault that my homophobic father who had raped, beaten, and ignored me didn’t like me. I was supposed to perform, be entertaining and social like my brother (completely empty inside) was. But no, the truth is when a young child I had given my father love, had talked to him and cared, and I got nothing for it. It was his responsibility to love and respect me; not the other way around. My sister had once shown me love and kindness, before she moved out and adopted our parents ideology; I still loved her for a long time, but she treated me horribly, so I stopped giving her something she didn’t deserve anymore.

Recently I saw chronically ill patients being advised that they should take some time to “do something for others.” I found this so insulting. Why not ask healthy, fully-functioning people to do that? Because those with debilitating conditions are vulnerable, seen as subject to such moral claims because they are weakened. I think it is the same with abuse victims. As Pam says, the whole society is organized to shut us up, make claims on us, confuse and tie us up with self-depreciating ideals that will distract us from changing the system.


Why do people say “feeling sorry for your self” is such a bad thing anyhow? What is wrong with feeling sorrow for a young self that was so mistreated? (or old self for that matter!)

First we are told not to love self, then not allowed to feel sorrow for mistreated self.

The very people who say this as an accusation didn’t want to have to witness your sorrow because it would make them feel guilty for creating your sorrow, that is all.

“Pity-party”/ “feeling sorry for yourself” and other phrases like these are unthinking accusations designed to stop the abused from thinking, and to keep EVERYONE from feeling sorrow or pity for the abused, including the abused one!
These parroted phrases are just plain ignorant!

I want to STOP THE WORD GAMES, that extend the verbal abuse.

So here are a few quick comebacks. Add to them if you want!
“Having a pity party?”.
” Why do you want to know…you aren’t invited anyway.”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”
“My sorrow is not yours to command. Stop telling me what to feel!”


Thank you Karenina, I agree with you. I also think that the lack of validation of a persons sorrow and outright oppression actually prolongs the process of grief, because you are not even allowed to acknowledge it as real. You are expected to be quiet so as not to disturb the illusion of normalcy that the other person is so intent on maintaining.
My children have a much different life than I had, but in an attempt to not continue that cycle with my kids I have caught myself telling my kids to stop whining and apologized to them. I remember being a kid and thinking that I would never tell my children to stop whining because it was so hurtful to me as a kid. As a child I didn’t think I was whining, I was expressing emotion and pain in the only way I knew how and the person telling me to stop was unable to hear me or help me.


Karenina, good points! I really dislike the comment In Dorothy Nolte’s poem about ‘if children live with pity they will feel sorry for themselves.’ I think giving children empathy for their pain provides them with empathy for themselves and other people, which is a good thing, which is healthy. What is “not giving pity” to children exactly? Telling them to get up and stop crying, put away their emotions in favor of a happy face? The accusation of ‘feeling sorry for yourself’ is an insult, I’d prefer to avoid such language.


I disliked that line too (the one about pity) thanks for bringing that up Caden.

I have a lot of comments to catch up on ~ I will return later on. The canola is in bloom here and we are surrounded by three huge field/crops of it and my algeries are off the charts. My eyes can only take a bit of computer at a time today! (so sad because it is SO pretty to be surrounded by that much pretty yellow!)
Hugs, Darlene


Caden, good catch on the line in that poem.

If someone, especially a child, is “feeling sorry for h-self,” why not say “I see you are sad. Can I help?” Or something validating instead of unkind.

And especially if someone else has used the words “whining” “feeling sorry for h-self” “having a pity party” it would be really helpful to ignore the ignorant remarks and say something that is validating to the child.

The commenter might blame you for “spoiling” the child, but that’s just yet another insulting unthinking term people parrot. So: “Children don’t spoil, they are not foods they are people.”


““The world” looks at me as an ungrateful child who has disrespected my parents with my blog. I am harshly judged for writing the truth as well as for standing up to them. The “world” thinks that I am the one with the problem. What is wrong with that picture?”

OMG!!!! This idea is what my Grandmother has been telling me FOR YEARS!!! She doesn’t get that the life she set in motion for my Mother has effects on me as well because my Mother isn’t strong enough to get help. All I can say is F**K THAT S**T! I’m sorry if that offends anyone but I’m tired of people telling me that I HAVE A PROBLEM!

Inside I feel broken and used and I have this entire supply of raw materials to lead a normal life and I have no tools to use my supply so I sit there and grow bitter over the loss I have because no one wants to guide me or help me. I have to PAY someone to do this. I am finding my own way and it really pisses me off (sorry for the language again) when people say that I HAVE AN ISSUE AND I AM THE PROBLEM.

No I am not.

I am not a problem and I am not the one with an issue. I am the one that is trying to find a solution for all the baggage my parents left me with!

I am a person and I deserve the same happiness and rights to my love and expressing myself in a positive way and if the person that can’t help themselves doesn’t like it then they can keep on moving on until they find what they want.

My Mother is not normal and I know without a doubt that I am more normal than she will ever be.

Back to my raw material metaphor: I made my own axe with a rock that I chipped sharp. I am now hacking all the dead crap off my lumber and I’m going to build the most beautiful, fantastic house and only the people I want to let in are going to be there. The people that do not like me can live in my outhouse that I build with the rotten parts 😀

I like learning who I am. I don’t think most people in my Mother’s family ever expected this….


Yeah Jessie, I like when you said “All I can say is F**K THAT S**T! I’m sorry if that offends anyone but I’m tired of people telling me that I HAVE A PROBLEM!”.

You’re so right.

I also like when you said : “No I am not.
I am not a problem and I am not the one with an issue. I am the one that is trying to find a solution for all the baggage my parents left me with!
I am a person and I deserve the same happiness and rights to my love and expressing myself in a positive way and if the person that can’t help themselves doesn’t like it then they can keep on moving on until they find what they want.
My Mother is not normal and I know without a doubt that I am more normal than she will ever be.”

That helps me to read you, I am also in the stage “fuck you all” and we are right.


I doensn’t like too the line “if children live with pity they will feel sorry for themselves”. I’m happy I’m not the only one who doen’t like .


Of course “fuck you all” is for my family and never intended for someone here.


““The world” looks at me as an ungrateful child who has disrespected my parents with my blog. I am harshly judged for writing the truth as well as for standing up to them. The “world” thinks that I am the one with the problem.”

This is how my siblings and mother see me. They hate that I blog about the abuse I experienced. I have been told that I need to be forgiving and forget about it. They sure do not know what forgiving means because it does not mean you forget.
I struggle tremendously with the word love! I wonder often if I even know what it is or means. People use it with so little care that I have a hard time understanding who is serious and who is just throwing the word out there.
Thanks for your encouragement in this post. 😀


Jesse ~ #33 – Don’t worry – speaking for myself, I’m not offended. I hope I don’t step on anyone’s toes by saying that if there is any place you can vent about this stuff, it would be here. I’m not one for swearing – but man, it feels good. On a side note, I read an article about a study done and it said that swearing actually helps release a lot of anger. And it does!

About the rest of your post – I can’t agree and relate with you more. Why is it that we the victims are the ones required to keep quiet. We are supposed to suffer in silence while our abusers go on living as if its their divine right to abuse the one the choose?? There is something wrong with this! I had a blog about a year ago or so where I put everything out there and the only reason I took it down was because I did not want whatever I said to just feed my mother’s control. Being I’ve been tagged the liar – I can just about imagine the greater lies that would have been created to cover my mother’s arse, thus making her seem like the ‘victim’ even more. I have a blog now, and it is still related to abuse, but not airing all the crap she did to me. With that said, I am so thankful that Darlene is strong enough to put it out there. I cannot imagine a site like this not existing. I wouldn’t be where I am now in my healing without it.

And yeah, I did go to therapy – it costs money to get over a lot of this stuff. Even though I find this site healing and validating, I still did need a therapist to help me through some really painful stuff. And you’re right, we’re not the problem – they tried to make us the problem, but were not the problem!!! My mother is not normal either – she can pull of the facade with many, but not with me. As I’ve expressed before, that I said to my sister once, “The woman you know and the woman I know are not the same people.”

I have had very few relatives who saw what or how she treated me (my seemingly Narcissistic mother). But for now, I have severed ties with all relatives. When I confronted my father and siblings two years ago – I was rejected. They said they didn’t want to hear about it or talk about it and I said, “If you think I’m the liar then stay out of my life.” And they did. I chose to break relations with all of them, at least for now, because I have no idea who I can trust and I don’t even want my sick mother knowing how well or how happy I am. They don’t deserve to even know that.

I LOVE your raw material metaphor by the way … and I am building my new house and its coming along beautifully! 🙂


Darlene ~

#15 – That is so true. And that is what my mother did she kept a tally – of everything I did wrong. And yeah, I gave way more than she did. I gave and gave and she took and took.

#16 – I have to agree – their definition of love is so warped. I guess you have to ask yourself, ‘What is love to them?’ I know for my mother, love to her was being put on a pedestal. So, if I chose to not worship her on the pedestal – well, to her it translated that I didn’t love her. So sick. It makes me sad that she’s gone through her whole life not knowing what REAL love is.


Hi Toni
Welcome to EFB!
I think that the root of the problem is very often in that false definition of the word love. I write a lot about that here in this site. Love has been taught as “obedience, compliance, forgiveness, acceptance” (and many other words) and some of those words are also taught with false definitions. If love is doing what is “best” for the one loved, then it would be best for all, right? The bottom line is that it isn’t “best” for me to have been abused or mistreated and then blamed for it. It also isn’t best for me to just let it go or forgive people (by letting it go) who don’t even admit to what they have done so that they are enabled to keep going and keep abusing and keep hurting and squishing other people. There is a reason that it is called “the cycle of abuse” and we can at least make a dent in stopping that cycle if we face the truth.
Your mother and siblings are just plain wrong. Thanks for sharing and it is wonderful to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene


Posts 20 &21 ~ Raising children differently than how I was raised is a day-to-day thing. Every day I have to be on guard about what I say AND HOW I say it. Even HOW we say something can be incredibly hurtful and it goes into the core of a kid.

I started realizing how bad my mother was upon having kids of my own. And once I realized that how she treated me was ‘abuse’ – I got scared. Scared that I would raise my kids like I was raised. I took a Christian parenting course which was awesome – it gave me a really good solid foundation to build upon. I won’t say I’m a perfect parent, I’m not. Its been hard to change a lot of learned behaviour, but I’m doing it. And, as someone shared, I apologize to my kids (something that my mother never did without justifying herself.) I straight apologize to my kids without the ‘but you …’ I know they have no idea just yet how different they are being raised. But I hope it shows one day. I hope. I still, at the core me, hope that I don’t screw up my kids!


Yes, that is how the cycle continues, exactly!
I felt really angry that I had to pay someone to help me when I had not caused the damage in the first place. (and I paid thousands! I decided that I was worth it in spite of all the teachings my whole life that I wasn’t worth it! and today I know at the deepest level that I am worth everything I ever spent and all the time and effort that I put into MY healing! plus that, I broke the cycle of abuse within my own family! YAY)

Love your metaphor!

Jessie said “I made my own axe with a rock that I chipped sharp. I am now hacking all the dead crap off my lumber and I’m going to build the most beautiful, fantastic house and only the people I want to let in are going to be there. The people that do not like me can live in my outhouse that I build with the rotten parts”


I like the anger and resolution behind your words. I am not offended; I had to say similar things and I found it empowering and self validating. (and I knew you didn’t mean f you to the people here!)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi JM,
I was just reading post #25 when you said someone has told you to decide to get over the past hurts. You said you know you could decide not to hold them responsible.

The thing that came to my head is, I can rarely decide what my emotions or feelings are. I’ve been taught that I should be able to harness my emotions/feelings. I am not at that place… not even a little. I can’t decide not to feel something. I just don’t have it in me. Perhaps some do, perhaps someday I will, but not right now.

Anyhow, just something I noticed.
ps – I think it’s a lesser damaged person who usually forces the idea of deciding to feel differently.


Karenina is post 28 said something … we are taught to not love ourselves. Oh, was I ever taught that!! My mother ‘taught’ me (through things she’s say) that loving oneself is vanity and self-centered. So I never did it. And I didn’t know how to do that.

Mother’s typically model to their children how to love and be loved. Mothers like ours didn’t do that. I saw myself through my mother’s eyes. She loathed me which taught me how to loathe myself. This is not an easy thing – at all. How does one love oneself without it turning into narcissism or vanity?? I didn’t and was then scared to allow myself to love myself in a healthy way – like taking care of myself properly and when I don’t know how to do this with my own self, how on earth can I know how to extend it to others … like my husband and kids!??

I came across a scripture verse – its short and simple and yet says so much. “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” And I got to thinking, ‘But how can I love my neighbour if I can’t (or don’t know how to) love myself?? It’s something that hit to the core of me … and so have been working on that – and its HARD. It’s hard to get up every day and think to myself, ‘I need to love me so I can better love those around me.’

I am thankful that I have many around me who do love themselves – it rubs off, just not as fast as I want it to. 🙂


My son played hockey with a kid whose mom kept an actual notepad in her purse where she wrote down every expense for each of her children. I was stunned to see her pull it out and write down tournament fees as she explained to me that she was going to show the record to each of her kids when they were older! HOLY smokes… think of the message that will carry! No wonder some kids remind their parents that they didn’t ask to be born!!

Hugs, Darlene

Everyone ~ I had booked the summer off because of this getting ready to sell the ranch and move stuff, (and because I was so busy with this site but I have decided to resume taking clients when I am settled) I am finding myself ahead of schedual and I have some openings for consults. Please use the contact form if you are interested in talking to me about that. My fee is usually 150.00 per hour (on phone or on skype) but I am offering a reduced fee for a donation of $100.00 per hour. (reduced fee due to less paperwork and I also don’t do emails or read homework for that fee)


@Rizae #38 Thanks for your lovely comments!!! 🙂 I too was rejected by my Father. This was before I saw my Mother as the problem. Since his death I’ve kind of been sucked down a drain into Jessica-land and it seems that everything is pointing me to face myself. Not so much to deal with who I am but to find who I am. I am glad your house is being built wonderfully 😀

Since 2005 I have had three children and 4 people I loved have died (an aunt, my Father, my Paternal Grandfather and my Paternal Grandmother). Growing up I visited my Paternal Grandmother in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I always wanted to live in Nova Scotia. My life started to fall apart in the end of 2005. My marriage was failing and I found out we were pregnant just as we were ready to divorce. We stayed together and some how patched the fray. We lost our jobs with the recession and struggled for the next 4 years. It got so bad we had to move in with my Mother. I was eager because I wanted her attention. Today I know it was because I needed to outgrow her and my memories of her. We ended up on welfare for three months until my husband signed on with the military here in Canada.

Today just over 2 years later (after suffering a lot of crap with my Mother again) we live in Nova Scotia 🙂 I have three children that are beautiful and loving. I couldn’t be happier nor feel stronger. The biggest thing is we have security and I feel safe being away from her.

Just over a month ago I told her not to call me anymore. She has attempted 3 times and left messages. I told her I don’t want any phone calls unless someone has a baby or dies. She called the one time and left a message that my sister had good news. She graduated university and I already knew from before. I thought she may have been pregnant. I now know that I cannot accept any calls. I will have to scan obituaries for deaths and find out from friends I have in common with my family if anyone has any babies.

Out of all the things I’ve lost and never had I miss the concept of family the most. The hope that one day I’d have a good relationship with each of my family members. Not through my lack of trying but that will never happen. My sister and Mother seem intent on using me as a buffer for their relationship. My sister finally did something I never did and graduated university and my Mother can gloat. They have each other and I disappeared. It’s what they always wanted speaking through words and actions to me. I can only assume that my Mother misses hurting me. She tries to still with phone calls.

When I said that no one expected this it’s because my whole life they have done this to me. I remember family parties I always was blamed for something that one of us cousins did. I’d have my Mother, my Grandmother and three Aunts all telling me how they knew it was me and I did it. I don’t know I survived and sometimes I get caught up in it. The fact is I did survive and I made it out alive. Now it’s time to find myself and improve on my skills. I’m rebuilding the house they mangled, gutted and tried to destroy.

I believe my Mother is a sociopath (not to be confused with psychopath). She meets all the check boxes as well as narcissist. I cannot help the broken heart I have for her because at one time I think she was a little girl who just wanted to be loved. I can hold her accountable for the things she knowingly does now and for that I have to walk away. I love my Mother very much and have forgiven her.

To forgive is not to allow it to continue or even to forget about it and move on. Forgiveness is to understand why they do what they do and accept them for it so I can accept a part of me to move on. I accept my Mother doing what she did because she probably wasn’t raised the way she needed. I’m pretty sure there are abuses that have affected her psychologically by people she cared about. I can understand what led her to be the way she was with me more than I care to admit. I understand the failed protection at the hands of family members I should never have been left with. It doesn’t lessen the anger, frustration nor other emotions I feel about my childhood or my life, but it helps me to accept what happened to me. From this I can not accept what she does to me now and I can move on.

I too had to get help and pay for it and it did help immensely with the right person. A very big help to me was a book called “The Dance of Wounded Souls” by Robert Burney. He even signed the book to me personally which made me feel special 🙂 http://joy2meu.com/joy_22.htm

A very big thank you is to Darlene. Without finding her site about 3 months after moving to Nova Scotia I don’t think I’d be where I am. About 6 months ago I spammed her page with a person I didn’t know about opening a box (metaphor :D) Well I opened it but it wasn’t a box…it was a can of worms! I went fishing and now I am finding myself. At the time I was terrified to look within in case they were right about me. I was afraid I would see a horrible person that was selfish and mean and didn’t care about anyone and took advantage of people. I didn’t think I would make a very good person and I was afraid. Opening that for myself was the most amazing thing I have gone through yet. I am learning that naturally I am loving, kind, positive and happy and don’t get angry easy (I’m still learning about that because emotions well up often still), and fiercely loyal. I still have trouble trusting people and accepting that all people have faults and I have to trust beyond the possibility of being hurt. My intuition is coming back to the strength it was when I was a teenager as well (when I tried to push out from my family). I found out that the things I dislike about myself are not naturally within me and I have the power to change them and be the real me. I can feel myself coming out more and more every day and I feel like I’m going to be on fire one day (another metaphor lol). My family won’t recognize me. With the internal change is coming change on the outside. I have lost 19 lbs so far and am on my way to my goal. I weighed 246 and now weigh 227. I started a month ago eating healthy and exercising. I feel so happy lately and the anger is growing more dim into a distant memory.

I used to think that people that changed like this lost something. Lost their sense of reality, lost intelligence, lost family that seemed to mourn their loss. Then it started to happen to me. I can see why I thought that. I lost my sense of their reality and traded it in for my reality. I gained intelligence because I know the difference of their version of love and my own. My lost family is lost to themselves and they aren’t really missing me or grieving me. They are grieving the loss of missing the control they had to hurt me. Now they have to look at themselves or find a new person to dump on.

On here I have met more caring, nurturing and loving people than I ever felt from my family. Blood is thicker than water, but water has the power to cleanse and wash away the coagulation of hurt and pain that our family members have caused. I love reading the comments on here and saying “YES!!!” when I see other people that are finding themselves and leaving behind the abuse.

Thank you Darlene for giving us a place to hang out and grow. Thank you for changing my life more than you will ever know 🙂


If I had to pick the one thing that has been the most important thing in the healing process, it would be learning to love myself. And that has also been the biggest part of the process. It has been huge. I say this all the time; that I was taught not to love or value myself and as you note her Rizae, I was taught the oposite. NOt only are we taught that loving oneself is vane etc. we are taught through the actions of others that we are NOT lovable in the first place. This is the damage that I constantly talk aobut.
This is our task now. To overcome all that…
Hugs, Darlene

Great comments!


Love your comments! I actually felt an emptiness when I let the old me go and became the real me. I mourned the coping methods that I had to let go of. I was used to living that way. I was used to the turmoil and even the pain. I was used to dissociating and hiding and all the other things that I did. I went through many stages and many coping methods on my journey, I used MANY band-aids before I found out how well facing the truth works. I felt the fear as I went forward. MANY times I thought about trying to shove all those worms BACK in the can but I’m so glad that I never actually tried to do it.
Thank you for your thank you! I am so honoured to be part of your process.
Hugs, Darlene


I’m Still Alive by Meatloaf <3



Darlene – post 46 – oh. My. Gosh. I hope that hockey mom drops that idea of showing her kids their expense to her – imagine how that would make her kids feel?? It’s like her boasting, “Look how great I am – look what I paid for you …” What is she gonna say, “I paid all this for you and now you owe me.” ?? What’s the point – unless it IS her intention to use it over them to manipulate them for things she ‘needs.’ WOW!!


Jesse #47 – I feel for you {hugs} … So much of what you shared I can so relate to. My mother hadn’t been in my life for 12 years & father (my parents divorced 15 years ago) and siblings haven’t been in my life for 2 years now. It’s painful, this kind if rejection. But, surprisingly, I’m happier than I thought I would be, and as I continue to heal and discover more of who I am (not being defined by my mother) I expect to be even happier, more content.


Darlene – #48 – I so concur!!! The BIGGEST thing (and still is to some degree) for me is the learning to love myself in a healthy way. I still struggle with it – even though I’m kinder to myself, I still struggle with ‘how’ I should feel about me. How my mother felt about me still lives in me – I find it the hardest to conquer – to overcome.


Feeling anger towards my mother today.Reading this post just now helped me. I was just thinking about love and anger, how it goes hand in hand. Today I want to express the anger I feel for what she did to me as a little girl. I want to express the pain I feel inside that rips my heart out over and over again. I’m angry when I hear her voice and when she says “I love you”. Hate taught me how to love. Being a person who have been on the receiving end of hatred gave me a sensitivity to others. What I experienced and the aftermath of it I pray God to never give to another human being. It taught me compassion, patience, and how to be faithful in relationships. But today I feel the anger. I believe anger and love go hand in hand. This anger is because of the injustice and inhuman way I was treated by my mother, and dad. My mother, took my life, and today it hurts so deeply as if it just happened. My dad raped me and I cried to her for help she didn’t do anything. Today she’s still such a liar. I love her but I do get angry about what she did and how she still tries to hurt me. I have nurtured my mother through two strokes, and breast cancer. I have sat with her at her lowest points. I love my mother but today I’m angry with her. Love and anger goes hand in hand. I want no harm to come to her but a day like today I don’t want to even hear her voice. I don’t love her any less, it’s about me loving myself. Loving myself helps me to love others. Being true to my emotions in a healthy way helps me, teaches me how to love others in a healthy fashion. I know my mother doesn’t love me. I don’t care how many times she says it. It’s what she does that tells me she hates me. Love doesn’t harm you intentionally. Making mistakes is hurting someone unintentionally. My mother sets out to do me harm, that’s not a mistake, that’s not love, that’s hatred…I have heard the same ‘love and you will be loved’. I wasn’t loved as a child. I was raped by both parents and my grandmothers and they abandoned me. Was that because I didn’t love as a child? I say No!! I don’t know everything about love. I’m still learning. But I do know that all that abuse didn’t come to me because I didn’t give love. I believe in love. I believe in the love of God. I believe in the power of love. As I live my life I try to be a person of love to all. I love because it’s what makes me the best person that I desire to be. I don’t look for it to be a lucky charm but a lifestyle and that sets me free to become all that I was created to be. I have to focus on being the best person I can be and giving that to my daughters and my fellowman. All the good that comes to me I’m grateful…Thanks Darlene for this blog and I’m proud of you for asking for help with your website. When I’m positioned to help you financially I will. Thank you once again for your service. Please keep me in your thoughts as I continue to heal…God bless



When I have thought on the phrase about love and you will be loved, it always makes me think of some of the churches I attended. I went to church because I had discovered a loving, forgiving, kind God, and a new faith in Jesus and I had been so abused and neglected that it was absolutely a change of life for me in a wonderful, positive and healing way. I went to church to worship and to learn more. When I was there, I discovered so many really really nice people who accepted me and liked me…and some even loved me….and after what I had grown up with, it was totally unexpected and nothing short of a miracle to me at that time. After awhile I learned and grew in my faith, but I began to feel things that seemed similar to attitudes I had felt growing up. Love, and you will be loved. It began to seem like if I went through enough hoops to PROVE my spirituality, and if I was more loving and forgiving…..and basically conformed and complied….then I would remain accepted and praised and “loved” by the leadership and other pastor/leader wannabes. I noticed a “social climbing” attitude at church that reminded me of high school, clubs, and family. Thank God….literally…that I had a genuine faith and understood and truly believed that the Lord thinks I am His daughter and HE loves me etc etc, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done because I do believe that some of that crap led right into spiritual abuses. I saw many ppl get hurt and leave that church. I saw leaders and pastors treat men and women as “weak” because they weren’t aggressive and didn’t pursue a position of authority….it disgusted me! I discovered that just because someone is a spiritual leader, it doesn’t make him or her mature or automatically handle authority appropriately…or know how to pastor with patience or love. Just because a person is a Christian or the minister of a church of thousands, it doesn’t mean that they will represent the Lord and Be a good one! Now I also believe that being a spiritual leader is one of the toughest jobs around because in some ways they feel they have to look strong and in charge all of the time, but on the other hand, if they haven’t dealt with their own pain and addictions to cope with pressures, or they have control issues from childhood…..woe on that congregation! I got tired of feeling that others wanted me to prove something to them….I simply wanted to be with similar ppl to myself and worship my God. I pulled away over those years that I was there, and lost a lot of the “love” from many who truly believed they were much more spiritual than I was….and who believed they were going to be used powerfully. It was heartbreaking , yet enlightening. Today I have looked up a number of the ppl I used to believe I was close to, and they are just the same and doing almost exactly the same thing…and making right about exactly the same amount of impact as they were nearly 20 years ago! They are STILL looking for ppl who will “love and then they will be loved” be ause those type of ministers or leaders or pastors need to believe that they are important and they need followers and compliant ppl to prove it. A lot of things are very wrong about churches these days because there are so many who are fighting to be top dog…even at church. I would rather not go or become known at a church when I do go than to ever go thru those things ever again. I know there are so many ppl who ARE genuine in their faith and do go to church and love going and don’t see what I saw…..that is a good thing! However, I have known many others terribly betrayed by leadership and wannabes who have tried to control them….what they wear or don’t wear…color of hair…HOW to say something….etc ect and they have come from abuses and horrific backgrounds, many of them! That is NOT God….and NOT how He wants ppl treated! It is very sad! I think it very sad that ppl can be trading in abuse and are desperate for God and His love, and have that exchanged for a man or woman’s personal agenda and bullying and control! Instead of healing, they can become more injured! I refuse to cowtow and bow and scrape at a church! I have known many wonderful leaders, and I am so glad that there are actually truly loving hearts that are helping others and not hurting them!


Karenina, I agree with you. It’s so ironic that the word “spoiling” is used to describe being kind, caring, and giving a child self-esteem and self-worth. Not doing so RUINS a persons childhood and often young adult hood and on from there until they invest a great amount of time undoing the damage. Validation is invaluable for a young child.

Reading these comments reminds me that my mother would also keep tally’s, which she liked to repeat over and over to shame and harass me. The numbers would become distorted to higher and higher totals over time, but she never backed down. Of course, people who have children are legally obligated to provide them with food, clothing, and good treatment as long as they have custody. No one needs to “feel grateful” for basic things or use having received them as a reason to excuse abuse.


Diane, A simple saying that helps me keep all of this in perspective goes like this, “Church is a hospital for sinners and not a museum for saints.” People in church are just people and it’s no place to escape from abusive people or abusive behavior. I think every believer becomes disillusioned by it at some point, and if our faith is in the church rather than God, we will lose that faith. I think we also, get skewed in our thinking when we view chruch attendance and participation as our main service to God, when really, it’s the way we live our life and treat others every day. I go to church and I enjoy it but I don’t ever want to get caught up in ‘playing church’ ever again. If I need to remind myself of how bad that game can be, I just read the Bible. The church was far from perfect then too and things really haven’t changed. People still behave like people.



Well, I had a very interesting day yesterday. I was invited to visit my Aunt and Uncle. My Aunt is not in the bet of health and elderly. It was very nice to see them, and see my Aunt being well cared for. My Uncle is an excellent caregiver, and they are fortunate to have a great support system. I found it odd, my sister was there, and then I remembered, my mother knew I was going, and I had to smile. Of course I would not be allowed to visit alone!! She was pleasant to me (we really dont speak), and then did a whole bunch of “Mom talk” with my cousin, so I would be left out. But I know what kind of a “Mom” she is, so thats okay. I did have a good visit with my cousin and her family, after sister left.
Then I stopped by to see my parents, and it was actually nice to see them, especialy what good health my Dad was in, for mid 80’s. Good spirits, too. So, in course of conversation, I asked my mother how my BIL, sister’s hub, was doing. Last I heard, he had been suffering with a chronic health condition. So, she said, so, you’ve heard? And I said, I just know he wasnt feeling too well and having trouble with his meds. Oh, well, you know, he is in jail. (!) This is the guy with all of the OUI’s or DUI’s, and he was finally put in jail. I was stunned, and immediately my thoughts went to my 8 yr old nephew. My mother did not seem upset, just told me the story which I already knew. She then said, Oh! Guess I shouldnt have told you that. We will just say, You asked how BIL was, I thought you knew, and I “let the cat out of the bag”. My father walked in just then from yardwork, and immediately that false story rolled off her tongue to him. My fahter said, well, its the truth, its where he is, I’m not surprised by it, he has not carried any of the weight snce they were married. I knew something wasnt right there. We had not told him, as we thought it would make him ill (or that was the spin put on it), but he said, no, it doenst bother me at all. There’s nothing I did and nothing I can do about it. Lets hope he can change when he gets out at the end of the year.
I think I am more upset by this than anyone. First for my nephew,as he is visiting his father in jail, and knowing his Dad is in a place like that. I also do feel badly for my BIL, as it is a hard way to learn a lesson.
His sisters have been trying to help my sister,and one has undertaken a massive cleaning endeavor in her house, and my sister was angered by her input,and threw her out! My mother kept talking about how bossy the SIL was, and I said, Mom, her house was filthy and really unfit for a child. (SIL had brought in industrial strength vaccuum, and her own lawn mower, which angered her, I guess the reality of it all was too much for her). So, my mother starts talking about how sisters finances are tight, and why, oh why, do I immediately think of helping her? I almost gave her $500 yesterday (I prayed about it before hand, and she wasnt home when I stopped by). She is not nice to me, and talks behind my back constantly. I am still thinking, should I send her a little money every week? What is the right thing to do? I hate to think of my nephew doing with out. My Dad does help them financially. Can someone put this in perspective for me? Thanks for listening!



Hi Will
It is horrifying what children are asked to comprehend, forgive and understand. I am so horrified by what you have lived through. Anger certainly has a place here! It makes me angry that these things happened to you too and it should make me angry! As you have stated:

(Will Said; “I know my mother doesn’t love me. I don’t care how many times she says it. It’s what she does that tells me she hates me. Love doesn’t harm you intentionally. Making mistakes is hurting someone unintentionally. My mother sets out to do me harm, that’s not a mistake, that’s not love, that’s hatred…I have heard the same ‘love and you will be loved’. I wasn’t loved as a child. I was raped by both parents and my grandmothers and they abandoned me.”

I had to box quote your statement; too many people are still in denial about what we are discussing here. I still get too many emails and comments about how I should “get over it” and now we just need to “forgive” and understand… NOOOOOOO we need to validate what happened in order to heal! Just like you are doing here. We need to call it like it is and was. You are so right Will; that was NOT love.

Thank you for sharing and thank you for validating my request asking for support for this website. I finally realized myself that it was not wrong for me to want help PAYING for the expenses. For a long time I was willing to absorb them myself. I called it a “hobby”. And I would tell people who wanted to be my clients that I was too busy to take new clients! And I would go on vacation becasuse I was so burnt out from doing this website that I was paying to do! It was kind of another layer of my old belief system! (I will have to write about it one of these days) Thanks again!
Hugs, Darlene

p.s. I do not live in the system of obligation so please anyone who is reading these posts about donations ~ if you can not donate that is fine. Don’t feel that you can’t comment or read the posts. As I have explained in other posts, it costs me money to do this and I am just trying to get those costs covered. (and although I have had 5 donations this week, I am still a little short for this coming month! ~ Thanks everyone!!)

HUGS!! Darlene


Hi Diane
Excellent comments. That was almost exactly my own exp. when I returned to church and I tried 2 different churches. And my reasons for going were also very much like yours. Today I prefer to say that I follow the teachings of Christ instead of saying that I am a Christian. It IS very sad what is going on within the church and I want no part of it. People are supporting that false system of “love” even under the umbrella of God’s teaching ~ it is insane!
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

about the hockey mom; who knows what happened. Her kids are all adults now (her youngest was a year older than my oldest) but there was so much dysfunction there that I doubt it would be hard to guess what the outcome was. I could tell a lot of other stories about that particular woman’s parenting ideas and methods. I shudder to think about some of them.
Hugs, Darlene


love your saying! I agree with you and when I left the church I told the pastor (whom I actually loved but he was a total victim of the system) that I was a much better “christian” without the church. There was so much misuse of power and contol within the church that I couldn’t stand to be around it. I had been pretty involved before I came out of the fog and people who abused did not accept the changes in me, so for me I had to walk away. I don’t miss it at all!
Hugs, Darlene


You are in a tough place. In my opinion, it’s not your place to support your sister financially. Just my perspective. I have been in a situation where I wanted to help, but I knew the money wouldn’t be used wisely. In that case, I bought food, clothing, etc. Rather than handing over cash. I didn’t trust that the parent would use if FOR the child, in this case specifically.

You are very generous to give to your sister and her family.



Pam…I totally love what you wrote and I agree completely! You really have a lot of wisdom and insight into people and I love your comments!!! Thank you!

Darlene…I have also changed how I would describe my beliefs when or if people ask. I stand up for how and what and who I believe, but I dont “offer” it out there that I am a “christian”. I think it is awesome that you were so bold to tell the Pastor how you felt and had come to believe. I did something similar as we left the smaller church we attended for a few years….the last one we decided to regularly attend. I told one of the Pastors that the way they ran the place was like “Us Four and No More”….because there was so much going on that was geared for keeping them in places of control over the people and keeping the ppl weak and always compliant and following….no change. It is very interesting to look back on and sort through what really seemed to happen and I still see what I saw then. Very much a learning experience…not a fun one, by any means, but I did learn a lot from it! We chose to raise our daughter with our beliefs, but I never did put her into any of the church classes or childrens groups for a reason! We,as parents, were trying to absorb and understand what the heck was going on all around us and what choices we felt we needed to make about them, and we didnt want another person messing with her about spiritual things. Children soak up everything around them so quickly and we are glad that we kept her close to us and have had her grow up without all of that now. She isnt confused by it and she isnt damaged by it …and she did not EVER have to learn “love and you will be loved”. Thank God!


Darlene, Diane, I’ve had my share of bad experiences in church too and unlike you, Diane, I wasn’t quick enough to understand it and protect my children from it. They really bore the brunt of it. My husband and I don’t attend that church anymore. The one we attend now is huge and it’s easy for me to keep away from the nasty stuff that I’m sure is going on somewhere. In a way, it was all good for me because it made me face things about human behavior that I want to deny. My battery is running low but there is tons I could say about all of this.



Pam and Diane
I think that this is a huge huge topic; I agree that there is tons to say about it.
I don’t know if I would try another church. Where I live there are no big ones; the nearest city is over an hour drive away but aside from that I am really happy with the way things are right now in my spiritual life.
I also learned a lot of about human behavior through my chruch exp. and I’m not sorry either! The truth shocks, hurts, and all that stuff, but it also opens my eyes, heals and sets me free! (YAY)
Re charge those batteries Pam! You come first!
Hugs, Darlene


Mimmi #44 I feel the need to clarify:
I didn’t say that I could decide not to hold them responsible.
A person in my life thinks that I can’t hold them responsible.

What I said is, “I agree that I am the one making the decisions today, but to think that my decisions today are not colored by what I experienced in my past is simply not the truth for me.”

That is completely different from saying that I could decide to not hold them responsible. I absolutely do hold them responsible.


Pam…I dont feel that I learned this stuff quickly at all! I was 20 when I went to the large church and I met my husband there in my late 20’s and didnt have our daughter until in my 30’s, and it was about the same time she was born that I guess I began seeing things differently. But I had friends that were older than me with grown children or friends that had their babies earlier than I did, so I had a lot of time to watch people parent at my church!I do know that parents shouldnt feel at all guilty when they have taken their children to a church and what is expected is LOVE and compassion and healthy interactions and teachings, but the people who are in a place of teaching or even authority and spending time with our children arent healthy and actually end up hurting and damaging them….then that is THEIR fault and THEIR responsibility. It is too bad you cant track down the ppl who did wrong to your children and hold them accountable in some way! It is so sad that your children got hurt Pam…I am so sorry! I feel sad for EVERYONE who has ever had any kind of negative experience at a church! But you are so right…all of this has made me also face human behaviors and see the truth in areas that I used to believe should be flawless and above reproach in every way! (all or nothing thinking on my part!) I did not want to face that truth at all because of what I had come out of in my growing up years. Now I dont feel pain, but I am also not going to throw myself under the bus to please anyone at any church ever again either! Peace and joy to you Pam!!!


Diane, Darlene, I think God used church in my life in a special way because I was so isolated and emotionally neglected as a child that I never really learned to relate to people. I still have problems with it and it is easy for me to become overwhelmed when people get too close. I have a very tight inner circle of true friends. In church, I did learn to understand people better and I’m better able to relate on a surface level. Still, I feel like I’m mostly an observer and most of the insight I have into human behavior is from observation rather than interaction. Church has been good there too because I was forced to interact on a regualar basis but not all of it was positive!lol!

Darlene, I’m having a really tough time recharging right now. I think my thyroid problem is more of a problem of not being able to absorb and utilize thyroid hormone rather than my thyroid not producing it as it should. I’m depressed for the first time in a long time partly because of the ‘chemical imbalance’ and partly because I don’t want to be sick again. Any prayers or positive thoughts thrown my way would be greatly appreciated.



I can relate with almost all of you. #1 Tamara, yes my mother gave me lingerie too (that she couldn’t fit), when I was 15, then turned around and called me the HS whore. #8 Janie, yes, I’m a liar, manipulative, a user, mean, disrespectful, a bully….shall I go on? I honestly believe she hates me and for years I’ve never lived my life independent of hers, she always involves herself and then lets me know how if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be who I am..excuse me…. I get what I give, my life is like this because of how I treat people. My kids are going to treat me like I treat her. (are all the things she says to me) and finding your site and reading all the comments and my new boyfriend, who goes out of his way to help me along in this healing process has been a godsend. When I started detaching myself from her abusive comments it got ugly….I got texts like she was a stalker boyfriend that basically told me I have alot of nerve being done with her and how she is done with her failures in life (I’m assuming that ment me)…..but she still calls like none of it ever happened……I apologize if I got off topic.


Pam ~ #58 – I do agree as well about the church stuff. Many forget that many of us are the broken and broken-hearted that Jesus came for. There was a time way back when, when a friend of mine who led an adult Sunday school class addressed the group with, “So, when are we going to stop playing church and start being the church?” He was asked to leave. He made a good point though – I find that many a church are ill-equipped to be of any use to the broken and broken-hearted. They seem more concerned with upbeat life groups and occasion for pleasantries who don’t want to be bothered in actually HEALING the broken/broken-hearted.


Thank you, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It helps allot to hear different people’s experiences. I actually wanted to comment on Janie’s comment about scenarios going on in her mind (and the follow-up comment that it’s part of the healing process). I get this all the time. I replay actual events, imagined events, parts of songs get stuck in my head… etc. I really hated it at first because I worried I was actually crazy (and deserved to be treated with no respect as a child). But then I realized it was my mind calling out to me. Telling me, “this is what is bugging you today”, hinting to look in that direction. I have managed to come to terms with many of my problems by stopping and listening to myself. That scenario where you yell and scream at a co-worker… or where you’re apologizing over and over trying to justify your actions to people? Once I realized these were emotion-fueled shouts from the past, I could stop and attach these day-dreams to actual pain I had experienced, and start the healing process with recognition (instead of just frustration and anger). Not to say I’ve solved it all, not by a long shot. But the more time I spend listening to my emotions instead of avoiding life with TV, movies, shopping, etc., the closer I get to actually loving myself. An idea that hasn’t quite sunken in yet.


Pam, I am so glad that you have your close circle of friends, and I feel for you about getting overwhelmed when other ppl get too close. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Please don’t answer if you don’t want to! I was wondering if you have trust issues with people because of the isolation and emotional neglect from childhood?
I think it is amazing that you have learned so much about behaviors from people watching. You are very observant and I love reading your comments and have learned from them. I hope you feel better soon! Sending you hugs and comfort and peace thru the Internet!


Rizae,You’re exactly right and sadly, people get so caught up in pretending that they’re perfect that no one would dare to breath a word about a real problem they’re having. Religion is a way for some to make a living and gain influence and there is usually, a lot of religious politics in play at church. It’s tough to push against that and live a truthful, Christian life but we need more people to try. It was religious power brokering that put Jesus one the cross so I guess we can’t really expect much better treatment from people who use religion to make their way in the world. Jesus still went to the temple and taught though and it helps me when I remember that the church is made up of believers who are sinners saved by grace and unbelieving sinners. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell them apart and I’m glad my faith doesn’t depend on others. People always let us down even when they try hard not to but Jesus did come for the broken and He never lets me down.

Diane, Yes, and I don’t mind you asking. I trusted too much because I didn’t know how to relate to others then I was hurt a lot so I didn’t trust at all. I became a very hard young woman. I do better but I’m still a loner. I didn’t know I was neglected. I didn’t understand it that way until the last few years. I wasn’t so much a lonely child as an alone child. I’m content with myself and I have to be mindful about making contact with others. It isn’t good for me to isolate for too long,even though I don’t mind it that much. On the other hand, I have to have a certain amount of time alone because that’s kind of my natural state. It’s hard to explain. I could probably be a complete recluse but I know that’s not healthy so I work at not allowing that to happen. I was recently a shut-in for three years and it got away from me then. It was hard to come back from that. I don’t want to be like that again. I hope I feel better soon too, Diane. I think I’m having flashbacks from being sick before and I’m afraid of being like that again. Peace and love to you too.



Hi Charlie
Welcome to emerging from broken! I love your comments. I have had very similar things in my process and that is why I dislilke the term “trigger warning”. If something triggers I have come to understand it as a good thing! My mind is telling me that I am ready to take a closer look. I like how you say “my mind is calling out to me”. Thank you for sharing; I am glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Celeste
These are all very good examples of the “rights” that parents so often think they have and why we should be so “grateful” to them. My mother used to say all the time “just wait and you will see” (meaning about how hard it will be for me when my kids grow up) but two of my kids ARE adults now and they love me and our relationship is one of mutual respect. We take JOY in sharing time and being together. I am still the mom and I am there for them but I don’t expect them to take care of my emotions. I don’t think you got off topic at all!
Hugs, Darlene


What you said is wonderful! It is my fav quote of the day (I wrote a note on my hand today when I read your comment on my phone to remind me to hold that thought)

I am going to repost it ! Much of my earlier work is devoted to the concept of realizing that my decisions were so often coloured by what I was taught was the truth and by the belief system that developed in me from those false teachings. Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

JM said;

“I agree that I am the one making the decisions today, but to think that my decisions today are not colored by what I experienced in my past is simply not the truth for me.”


Pam, I used to think that people thought I probably was abusing my little daughter because whenever she was in public with other ppl around her, she would clam up and be glued to my side and she never wanted to be alone with other children, except her cousins. She is naturally more of a private, silent person who doesn’t want or need a lot of friends or outside activities to make her happy. She loves the friends she has, her kitties, her writings and reading, and family. She is a very intelligent girl and a she won’t admit it, but she still is a “mamas baby” at heart. My point is that I understand totally when someone has to force themselves out of solitude and create that balance for themselves so they don’t fall into getting stuck in some ways. It’s too bad we aren’t living in the same neighborhood….I would drive over ….with my daughter….and take you both out to get some much needed fresh air and a different view than looking out your window at home! lol.
I am saddened and sorry that you trusted and got burned badly by people…..and what else could you have done at the time but become hard on the outside? I am sure that while you were behaving like a tough cookie, you really were a marshmallow on the inside….! I know what you mean about not understanding that you were neglected….it took me years to understand that too because I did not know what I wasnt getting, or wasn’t learning etc. Your comments and stories touch my heart and thank you so much for sharing! I do hope and will be praying that you feel better and that you won’t have to worry about going back to that place you were stuck in before. Take care!!


Hi All! Firstly, let me apologise for not having time to have read all the comments yet. I began reading and had to pause to digest some of my own further understanding. As always, this blog continues to provide me with moments of clarity i’ve never had in all my 34 years!

So. This. When considering the “love and you will be loved” notion, I conjured this thought. As babies we are born blank slates. We have an innate need to bond because we have needs to physically thrive and must rely on another human being to meet those needs. In most cases, the most perfect match for that role is our own biological Mother. As that relationship evolves and becomes more complex, we evolve from basic need to love. But that love must be taught and modeled so that as babies we can assimilate that emotion and learn to express it appropriately.

Bearing this in mind, and moving forward some decades, I experience my own Mother faulting our (mine and my sisters) love for her. That we don’t respect her, push her buttons, care for her, etc. Wouldn’t the evolved mind realise that this must mean that she must have taught us “incorrectly” then or that her model isn’t a workable one?

Her anger is my litmus. The more she becomes angry with “my treatment” of her, the more I realise that I am attempting a healthy relationship that is against her grain. If she was pleased (if that were even possible) with what I was doing, then “I” wouldn’t exist, for matching her idea of perfection would be absorbency versus individuation.

In this same vein, my own Mother (I take notes from a very evolved Aunt – her sister – who is an amazing shoulder to cry on and a product of years of therapy herself) comes from a dysfunctional family system. She and her own Mother are more alike than either of them will ever admit. Despite my Mother’s seeming resentment and dislike for her Mother, she will often tell me how she must do x, y or z for her Mother as an example to us girls. Because if she didn’t show us how to forgive and carry on enduring, then what sort of Mother is she?

I take this as her very own insurance policy. You know, hey girls I will treat you how I like, but when I get old and pitiful, then you MUST endure me because i’ve shown you it’s the right thing to do. Because it’s what “I” did. Because…….because maybe she knows how lonely and helpless she will be when that chapter arrives?

These are just my ramblings.

On a final note, my husband and I discussed my Mother’s version of “I Love You”. My Sister always describes it as “pavlovian” whereas my husband describes it as a phrase chocked full of inflection and question. So once that phrase exits her mouth, there’s a measurable pause where she waits for your response (confirmation). Luckily, I recognise this now and when I find myself using that same questioning tone when telling my own kids that I love them, I remember to scurry off and busy myself doing something. This way if they then say those words back to me, it’s out of their choosing rather than my pressing. Another strategy which I will soon try (tomorrow) is “Mommy Loves You.” A statement of fact. A reliable, unquestioning, phrase filled with affirmation rather than contempt.


Im sorry, I think I misunderstood.

In my comment, which turns out isn’t much related to yours, was to explain that often I have heard abusers or people who didn’t understand abuse, say that I could “decide” to change my feelings. I work in an opposite way in that I think my own feelings are natural. It’s very tough for me to change my own feelings as a result of simply deciding to do so. I hope i havent offended you?

Peace and Hope,


I appreciate your comment. I have had the opportunity to observe a similar scenario to what you describe with your mother, and her mother. My mom, in the last year has done a big turn around. She defends my grandma lying by trying to frost it with humor. As if it’s so funny what older people do, lie and such. She also said earlier the year, in reference to her mom being ill, “oh, she is NO faker”. I view these things as my moms insurance as well. As if shes giving a little forewarning that she will EXPECT that we ACCEPT these things of her when she gets further in age. Kind of funny though, if my plans come to fruition, I won’t be anywhere around when she begins to fail.

The whole church conversation can be summed up in two words for me….. Completely agree!!

Love to all,


Hi Darlene,
In response to “triggers” in post #75, I see my triggers as teachers. I learn & listen to my triggers to better understand my feelings. There are reasons why I react the way I do & it’s tied into being neglected & abused in my life.

In post #64, you sparked my thoughts about my religious beliefs. I consider myself more spiritual than religious. The difference to me is I don’t depend on a church or others for my Faith in God. I believe in God & raised a Catholic. My mom made sure I was baptized and had my communion & confirmation. That was expected to be the good & right thing to do. I have baptized my two children in the Catholic Church, however, I do not practice my religion or attend church. I’ve felt conflicted about that for years, yet what I find is that teaching my kids morals & values are important, whether it’s in the context of religion or not. I talk to my kids about Jesus & God, however I avoid the catholic church, which is filled with politics, abuse & misuse of power. I could say I have more of a spiritual connection than a religious one. I believe there are different Paths to the same Truth, which is God. Well, that’s my ramble for today and I certainly don’t intend to offend anyone here. It’s just my opinion.


Diane, Your little girl sounds like a sweetie. I’m not a shy person, though. I’m just wired differently than most but I accept that about myself now, so it’s okay. It has helped me to understand the emotional neglect and isolation piece of my childhood and in fact, I think I’m very strong to have survived it and grew up to function as well as I have. Sometimes, especially in times like now when I’m facing a new diagnosis and new health problems, I can get stuck on wondering who I would have been or what I could have become if my parents would have been more responsible and gotten me medical care when I needed it, not given me alcohol for medication, and not allowed me to eat only candy when I was little. I don’t think I would have been as unhealthy as I’ve been for most of my life if I would have had a better start and I get angry. I feel cheated. Most of the time though, I try to look at it as something that was set to destroy me but I overcame it and also, learned empathy for others who suffer through my suffering. It’s kind of amazing to me that God worked it out that way in me. There was that brief time in my life when I did decide that the only way to win was to give myself over to evil and be more evil to others than they were to me but my faith changed that attitude. Choosing to give myself over to good instead of evil preserved me as a person. I think the only way not to be overcome by evil is to seek to overcome evil with good. Not because we think we’ll get it in return, like the title of this post, but because it is the right thing to do and it will preserve our integrity, in the end. That’s why Darlene was able to break the cycle of abuse and though I didn’t wake up until later with my family, choosing to apply truth has gone a long way toward our healing and I believe that cycle is broken in my family too. The difference between me and my parents is that more than anything, I want what is good and right for my children.It’s never too late to choose for the good. It will always make a difference for the better.

My niece and her little girl just stopped by to see me. I haven’t seen any of my nieces and nephews for about five years and have had no contact with any of my family for over a year. It means so much to me that she came to see me and I didn’t have to relinquish the boundary I set. We didn’t talk about any of the problems but it means so much that she would not believe all the bad things that I’m sure have been said about me and come see me. I’m kind of teary eyed…



SMD, I consider myself spiritual and not religious, also. I think people have all kinds of different definitions of what religion is but to me, it is rituals, rules, special days,dogma, and a ruling heirarchy. My faith is about having a spiritual relationship with God.I enjoy church because I enjoy being with other people who love God but it certainly, isn’t necessary. I think for some, the kind of religion I just describe is an expression of their spirituality but it gets forced on people who don’t express their spirituality in the same way. I would like to think that I express my spirituality through the kind of religious practice described in the NT, that of doing good from people who have nothing and no power in the world. I don’t know if I always achieve that but I think that’s what Jesus was all about. You know, kind of like what Darlene does here on EFB.:0)



Mimi, I’ve been told that I should change my feelings or act in opposition to them, also. In fact, that’s what my family does. Even to the point of denying they have feelings that they believe are inappropriate. I never could understand how they thought they could be loving toward someone if they didn’t love them, or even, hated them. I’m straight forward and feelings are feelings. I can’t control how I feel. I do know I shouldn’t follow my feelings and do damage to someone but I can’t be ungenuine and pretend I feel otherwise either. This was shoved at me as the Christian way to do things but I find it in total opposition to what I read in the Bible and untruthful. It boggles my mind sometimes, how things can get twisted and then accepted as truth.


Tangie, I’ve grappled with my parents definition of love too. They said, I love you all of the time but there is so little in their actions that prove that out and it has always confused me because their love for me had so little to do with what was good for me. Now, I think that there ‘love’ is an expression of their own need and not an affirmation, at all. Their love is like a black hole that I can never do enough to fill. In fact, it consumes anyone who stays around them for very long. The words, I love you, were also, used as a tether and I think they repeated it often to make sure that tether was still attached and the people they fed upon emotionally, still available. What you said about your mom’s insurance policy rings true with me because everything was about me and my siblings caring for them when they got old and that happened when my mom was just a little older than I am now. They ‘retired’ and were on a fixed income long before they were unable to work and provide for themselves. They ‘loved’ their children and expected to be taken care of. Biting in to that apple is what brought everything to a head and I began to see what I couldn’t understand as a child, through the eyes of an adult. That’s when I really began to understand what happened to me as a kid.



I agree with everything you said. I can relate to what you said, “I express my spirituality through the kind of religious practice described in the NT, that of doing good from people who have nothing and no power in the world.”……”I think that’s what Jesus was all about.” Yes, Jesus healed the suffering & broken hearted. He was the example of long suffering & healing. EFB also provides the healing for those who are broken & have no power. Yes, there is something spiritual about what Darlene does.


Sonia, I appreciated what you shared! I was born an episcopalian, then baptized and finished out being raised a catholic…the whole deal….catholic school,(but only until 6th grade) ccd, confirmation…confession..all of it. Then I switched to non-denomination, and also attended the Lutheran church after I was 18. I also rented a room while living w/one of my pastors family for six years in my early 20s at the big church I wrote about earlier. Lol….but I don’t go anywhere anymore….for now. I feel more spiritual than religious too I guess. I also definitely believe like you do that there are different journeys for each person….He made us all to “tick” differently, and I also love that! This article has made me think about memories I haven’t thought about in a long time. Some wonderful and amazing, and some that ended up being difficult learning material.


Mimi, Thank you for your comment. No offense at all, it’s always good to clarify. I like you also can’t decide to change my feelings. I think that I have been told for so long to decide to change my feelings that it has put me all the way on the opposite side of the spectrum in that I strive to truly feel my feelings no matter what they are. It often makes people around me uncomfortable. I recently quit a job because I had to put on an act and be someone I’m not(and not in a good way where I get applause from an audience for my performance and a big fat paycheck). I would rather be broke and figure out the next right thing to do than betray myself today. I grew up with “fakers”. I didn’t understand as a kid how people could pretend to love each other and then say such horrible things about them after they left the room. I wondered even then as a child why they didn’t just talk to each other and say the things they realy felt. It taught me not to trust anyone who said they loved me. They must have a motive. I struggle with picking the right people to trust and that is one of the reasons. Living amongst fake people also resulted in me becoming completely intolerant of it. Some of my family sees me as crass or combative and lacking tact because I refuse to pretend or put on an act. I say I’m just honest and call it like I see it. It took me years to begin to trust my intuition, but I now trust more what I feel in a room than what is being said. If there is any doubt about a person’s genuiness I opt with my gut feeling. I may have rambled there and got way off topic. 🙂


I understand that – how can people mean they love someone, then mutilate them with their tongue. My family, mostly mother and grandmother, are CLASSIC examples of this. I am the subject matter more than others too, because I seek truth, and I hate pretending as well. I also seek peace. Once the bad mouthing starts, I want to flee! Ugh!



Hello all,

This post is so right on. The other problem I have with the idea of telling people that they should just be loving is that it is like telling people that they should just change the way they feel or think. It doesn’t work that way! I see that others here also have come to realize you can’t just change your thoughts, and why should we anyway?

Right now the biggest problem I have with it all is that I am realizing how much I am unable to love MYSELF! It is so easy for all these self-help types to say, just love yourself and everything will get better. But how do I do that? I’m working to understand HOW I came to be so self-hating, but I can’t seem to make the leap to self-acceptance. But I am trusting the process, because I can see just how much I’ve changed in many ways since I started the healing process.

Love to all,


Hi Pam
My love and my thoughts are with you as you are going through this rough time. I feared depression for a very long time and sometimes would not let myself slow down in case one caught up with me. I pray that you will get through this quickly and know that at the end of this struggle might be a brighter rainbow!
Hugs and love, Darlene

Yes, my mom said all that too. And she used her mother as an example that I should love and respect her the way that she loved and respected HER abusive mother. I asked why?? When I was coming out of the fog on all this stuff my mother brought up this age old topic of “her mother” and I said that I would not have loved her mother. That was sort of a first step for me on hinting to my mother that I didn’t think love had anything to do with compliance. I’ve certainly come a long long way since then! (that would have been about 6 years ago now) I think that my mother believed that it was ‘her turn’ to be the bossy bitch and be revered for it because she stuck it out with her own mother. I think a lot of parents believe in this “right”. but it isn’t love.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Pam and Sonia
Thank you ~ oh my gosh what a huge compliment you have given me relating what I attempt to do here in EFB to the example of Christ. His life and his message are my examples. His love is and has been my guideline. I am not religious at all and I do not care what spiritual program anyone follows and I believe that there are many paths to the same end as so many here have expressed but Christs message has been my influence and I am so honoured to be validated for my effort to express what I believe to be true love and the proper use of power.
Hugs and love, Darlene

I love the discussion going on in here about spirituality. I don’t go to church at all and I don’t indentify as anything but spiritual and I believe that ALL people are equal and that any “higher power” loves all people the same! How else would equality (as in equal value) work???


Hi Sophia
I came to that same realization too Sophia. I came to love myself by understanding why I didn’t love myself. I had to see where my self esteem got damaged in the first place. That is what EFB is all about. It IS a process and it took some time for me to figure it all out.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


And what JM said also applies in this sense. Maybe I now have the ability to choose to love, but to think that this ability is not influenced by what happened in the past is simply not the truth!


Hi everyone!

I am totally blindsided by an email I just got from my stepdad. I am copied and will paste here because this post has the most traffic and I really need some help sorting it out. I know the rule is to not give advice. I respect that people can’t do that. I just need something… anything, confirmation, validation, a hug!!

Here it is…..
Mimi, this is from your dad (my stepfather). I don’t want to EVER,EVER, hear or read that you have called MY WIFE/your mother a liar again!!! I have a list of promises (LIES), NOT kept by you and I want a complete list of the accusations and so called lies your mother has said to you or other people. How ungrateful can you be toward us, we spent time and money on you through all of your many problems .

We need to set down face to face and record the conversation so that there will be no twisting of the truth later.

When you turned XXXXX in to DCFS I offered you 10,000 to help you get XXXX and you yourself offered XXXX that money. We developed a relationship with her as a grandaughter , babysitted for you , loved her and now you are using her as a weapon against us. I have read your last letter and in that letter I found several lies and accusations from you about your mother . You need to grow up and realize that your mother and I won’t be here forever and who is going to rescue you then.

I am very tired of all this bullshit!!!
THis is my letter not your mothers, stepdad

I don’t know what to say to all this, but I can say without a doubt that I’m about to lose my Jesus. I am fuming. Forgive me for the brutal honesty, but what I want to say is Fuck off, or kiss my ass!! I am totally pissed. SOOOOO pissed!!!

NO HOPE whatsoever at this moment!!


Mimi, this letter disturbs me with it’s arrogance and almost legalistic terms. He wants to “record” a conversation with you? This indignant, self-righteous, abusive tone of his reminds me of my own parents. It really doesn’t matter if they’ve given you money in the past, that is no excuse for ill treatment, in fact there is none whatsoever. He can plug up his ears if he doesn’t like it, you’re entitled to express yourself and your feelings about your mother. You, however, could probably get a restraining order in response to these implied threats. “MY WIFE” sounds so proprietary it’s disgusting. I bet he does compile bullet-pointed lists to shame people with.

What you want to say sounds just fine to me. You don’t have to respond to his demands or dignify them in any way. I’m sorry you received such a toxic letter; I know my parents would be writing them to me right this second if they had a channel in which to. Take care,


Mimi….sending you emergency virtual hugs and peace and comfort to you right now! I just read what you wrote and my heart goes out to you tonight. I am sorry that I don’t have any advice to give, but please know that I do care very much. My first thought was wondering if she might have put the idea in his head to support her views and such? You have said before that she is narcissistic, so another thought is that maybe her husband is striking out at you so that he appears to be “loyal” to her and her issues with you? My dad did anything and everything to keep his wife “happy”….which always seemed to me that he would side with her to shut her up and it was the way she got to keep the control rolling. Have you made some more independent choices recently? In any case, it seems to me that your stepdad is the one making choices to write and send the message to you….you didn’t! To assume guilt or blame yourself is something I do hope you can be strong enough not to do tonight! Sending more hugs and peace your way! Take care!


Thenk you for your kindness and understanding. They still have a hint of power to get me questioning my every thought and word. AM I just being an ungrateful brat? DO I owe something to them becuz they let me move back home when I was in my twenties? My resolve begins to waver at an attack like this. Make no mistake, they never gave me money for anything EVER! If they loaned me money, I paid it back and I think of only two occasions that happened. There were never handouts. His reference to spending money on me would be the electricity I used while under their roof. One of the times I moved home I was nearly incapacitated by chronic panic attacks. Wouldn’t a loving mother want to help her child in that case?

I have calmed way down now. My rant was surprisingly short. That gives me hope that the power they once had over me, is in fact diminishing. So grateful for that. The more they eff with me the further away I want to be. Tokyo sounds appealing right now!

Thanks for the rescue! My head was spinning!!! I always like reading your insightful posts anyway. If no one has ever told you that you’re gifted with words, I’d like to tell you that now. (and not because you are first responder, I thought that always). You’re a poignant writer and I enjoy reading the stuff on your site also.

Thanks Caden,


Mimi…I wrote about you and trying not to feel guilt or blame because I used to constantly feel that immediately after an attack, and so I didn’t know if you did too. I just wanted to clarify……


Thank you so much for the emergency rescue! I soooo love this place and the support here!! I think you are right. He could be reaching in an effort to appear like the fierce supporter tomy mom. Puke! How twisted is that! He clearly believes all her BS, and EVERYone else is wrong. Poor sucker! Incidentally, he’s a thief who steals from his own NEIGHBORS!!! Just to give you an idea of the character and gross lack of integrity I’m faced with here. He’s a colossal piece of sh*t honestly. He rips off anyone he can. Anyway that’s. It the point and isn’t related so I’ll try to stick to the subject matter here.

I was so angry!!!! I thought perhaps i was overreacting. Thus posting it here. I don’t want to be them AT ALL and I hope if I’m acting like a pig, someone here would have the inclination to point it out. I so fear being an abuser and not seeing it in myself. So this kind of email, although I was furious, sparks a question in my mind. Am I abusing and I don’t know it? I know I felt like abusing him for a brief moment.

I get so damn sick of them trying to rob my of relationships. I don’t know if u saw another post I wrote about my mother going to my Godchilds mother and asking to see her. She’s never met the mother before, and she passed up the opportunity to see her several months ago, knowing the future was uncertain and we had no idea if/when we would see her again. How is it my fault she declined, sheesh!!!

Anyhow, thanks for the virtual hug and rescue. I sooo appreciate your input and wise words!!
Thank you Diane!


No doubt in my mind that your mother is behind this letter. They are presenting a united front and it’s about Control. Caden is right about the “arrogant, self-righteous, & abusive tone” to the letter. Don’t be Swayed & Stick to your Truth!…My resolve has been tested by my family tonight too & I’m staying true to myself. I’m not in a Fog but I sure could start spinning at any time. Yet, I’m working on staying grounded. Tomorrow is a New Day & it will come with new realizations & insights. You are a Trooper Mimi!


Yep, same here! Feelin guilt and a gazillion other emotions! Not sure how I’ll handle this at all.
Thank you again! I needed my peeps tonight for sure!!


Oh Mimi – how familiar words like that sound. Aren’t they great at making us feel like sh*t!? From what you’ve shared, I’d say your mother hasn’t even shown her true colors to your step-dad. I’ve been through this and if it offers any validation or comfort, know this – he has no idea what she’s done to you and that letter he wrote you doesn’t deserve the space it was written in. I remember how infuriating getting accusational kind of stuff from folk who just don’t get it is. And he wants to tape YOUR conversation – oh, the gaslighting / blame shifting has begun.

This is my opinion, not advice, but if I got such a letter now, where I’m at in my life now, I wouldn’t even respond to that – I see it as a guilt/manipulation tactic, but that’s me!! Having been through this stuff, God promised me He’d be all I’d ever need – that He’d be all the parent I’d ever need – and He has been!! I am completely no contact with family of origin or with extended family of origin – for me anyway, it’s just not worth it being made to feel wretched and crazy by people who refuse to see our abusers as they really are. I’d want to reply, F*CK OFF too! I can honestly say, “I know exactly how you feel!” {BIGhugs}


Thanks for coming to the rescue as well!! I swear I don’t know how you manage this low contact business!! You got the patience of a saint, I swear to it!!

I think you’re right too! Mother dear has definitely got her hands in this letter. On the upside, with each new blow, after the dust settles, I’m more aware and less likely to engage. I suspect that’s what they want. To really get me wound up so I will lose sleep or go into a tailspin. I came off the ceiling much more quickly than I used to. :o).

I don’t know how I will handle this. Ignoring it might be the best route. I want to be heard and defend myself, but it fuels everything and keeps them engaged. Hmmm, wonder what the answer is to that – when u want to defend yourself but the effort just keeps things going.

I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling tonight too. Maybe we will both have better days tomorrow!! I hope!!
Thanks again Sonia! Your support means a lot, as always!
Ps – hope u had a super birthday, despite circumstances! 🙂


Thank you for understanding and reaching out. My husband said the same thing – don’t even dignify that with a response.

I think you could be on to something too. That he’s not all that aware. Funny thing is, I have some dirt on him! Last year he came to my house unannounced and talked at length about the various family issues, which weren’t as out of hand as they are now. Knowing that he’s a snake and a thief, and would also lie if he felt like it, I taped every one of those conversations. Just because, he can’t be trusted. I just hit record on my phone when he knocked on the door and laid my phone down. He was never any wiser. Each time he was here he asked me not to breathe a word of it to my mom. I don’t want to be a crap stirring bitty, but I sure could be with that under my belt. Incidentally, the email came from my moms email addy. I don’t think he has one. I even question if he was part of it at all. Like Sonia said, it seems like my mom could have had a pretty big hand in it. I guess hers could have been the ONLY hand, I’d never know from my end.

It’s all crazy!!

Thanks for your input as well. I don’t know what keeps me from running from them all. I suppose because there are ppl who see her for what she is. Her brother hasn’t spoken to her in 10 years. Not angry – just done! And, I see why.

Anyhow, thanks a bunch for sharing. I appreciate you!!


Thanks for acknowledging my Birthday! BTW, I had a great day with my kids & husband. There was no family drama, just what I wanted! LOL My parents did send B-Day Wishes on FB though. Last year, about a week before my B-Day, we had a blow-up & they sent Birthday Wishes. I responded to the scrapes of love & felt like a fool for doing so. I let them off the hook too easily. However the big difference between then & now is, that I did not engage with them on my Birthday! I had enough Birthday Wishes from Friends, that made my day!


Hi Mimi,

I was reading the letter from your stepfather and it is so similar to what I have experienced with my narcissist mother. She will play the victim and go on and on and on to the closest person to her and they will then attack the person who has dared to criticise her.

My sister and mother work the same way. If someone upsets them (basically tells them the absolute truth about themselves), they go to their significant other and cries wolf and then the significant other attacks the person who has told them the truth about themselves.

This is like your mum loading the gun and the stepfather firing the bullets.

I have a crap stepfather too (he coincidentally steals too), and I deal with him in the “this is between my mother and me and has nothing to do with you so fuck off” way.

It takes the triangulation out of the communication and also pisses him off because he is arrogant, egotistical and controlling, he hates the fact that I don’t give him any power or authority over me.

One thing I love now is that I am fully grown adult with an intelligent mind and a good life away from family. Every time I tell an abuser to fuck off and not allow them to have power over me, really does help me glow inside and build me back up from broken. It really pisses abusers off and makes me feel good inside because I am giving justice to myself and taking something away from them that they want which is power.

Pam can I just say that your words are so wise and your writing is very spiritual too and you and Darlene have given me much inspiration and healing in your words. I do hope that you feel better soon and I am so pleased for you that your nieces came to see you. I have learned much from you.

Sorry to go away from the topic, Love and you will be loved, I think Love me and I will love you back (if you treat me right).



Darlene, I’ve read a lot of your posts and it’s like they all relate to me and my relationship with my mother. I’ve never read anything that describes it so accurately. Except for a few minor differences. I, too, have been told that I should love unconditionally, and I tried so hard. It’s like I’ve been programmed to behave and think of myself in a certain way, as less than everyone else. I’ve also been told for years and years, in various ways, that it’s all my fault, that my severe depressions are a mystery that I should be able to just snap out of already, my childhood that I’m not allowed to talk about was far better than many other famous people who have recovered and become great people. The broken pieces that are my life, no one has to answer for that except for me, and it’s a mystery apparently. Well, without me being able to tell my story, of what happened to me during my childhood, what it was like, nothing about me makes sense, my history, my pain or my weaknesses don’t make sense. What you’re writing in this blog though, could almost to every detail be about me and my story. I’ve tried for decades, thought that someday they’d want to listen, love me, but now I’m starting to understand that no one actively silences someone for so long without knowing what the whole thing is about. They know.


LOL…. you had me smiling for sure. Part of me wants to let it go, but, I have this inner need to give it back to them. I’ve never been able to really do that. I have recently held my mom accountable for lying. She just keeps reaching further and further out, in more desperate fashion, without ever acknowledging the lies she told. Now, they want to say I have lied. I am a bit curious also, about what the hell that’s all about. That would end in a war of words I’m sure.

It is a perfect example of how the dynamics work in my family. He wouldn’t DREAM of sending something like this to the golden child. I perfect illustration in the different levels of respect. They have also just recently accused the golden child of withholding her children. The big difference is, my mom’s counselor wrote a letter to the golden child with the accusations. NOT my stepdad.

I’m working later today so that will help keep my mind off of it. Thankfully, the more of the crap I have to endure, the less time my mind spends on it. I am thankful for that. A year ago, I would have been disabled for days at this letter. Not today!!

Thanks for your input Emma. I like your approach!! 🙂


Hi Mimi,

Thank you for your reply, there always seems to be a golden child too in these families!



Mimi ~ post 104 – I’m going to assume you don’t run because you still might have hope, and second of all, its all a process – at least that’s how it was with me. My mother was physically out of my life for 12 years to date. My father and siblings for the last two years. It took me a long time to confront my father and siblings, I think it because I knew it would result in rejection and I just wasn’t ready to handle that way back when … two years ago I was expected to come to my brother’s wedding which I was hoping to attend until I started having anxiety attacks about going because I knew my mother was there and I had no idea what abuse lay hanging in balance. I knew that the closer I would have got to the venue, I’d have a full blown anxiety attack (which is painful!) and I couldn’t do it.

Before this wedding, I emailed my mother to get a feel for if she’d changed at all – and she writes me back as though my attending would mean that its all ‘water under the bridge’ and that she has ‘her family all back under the same roof’ (spoken like a dictator – at least that’s how I took it – it was her chance to resume complete control of ALL her kids.) She also disclosed how she didn’t know what I wanted from her when I’ve made it more than clear I’ll bet, at least, ten times. Then the bomb drop, “You were always so hard to love.” Me. Hard to love … I was a very compliant daughter for the most part – I mean, was the part of me ‘hard to love’ the times when I’d actually have the courage to stand up to her?? Was that the part hard to love?? Sorry … got off on a tangent there.

Point is, it took me a long time to choose to just ‘run.’ I gave them plenty of chances. And you know, not once did my siblings ever ask me why I ousted my mother from my life. My father did when it first happened 12 years ago – but somewhere along the way, he disbelieved me. Don’t know what happened there – maybe my mother played the victim card. Again.

And the email source being your mother’s email seems pretty suspicious to me. He mails it from her email and then says he doesn’t want your mother to know. What?! I do agree with your husband, that this letter doesn’t deserve an answer, or a rebuttal, or whatever.

What did it for me after so many years is that I finally came to the painful realization that my mother will not change. And the opinion and or views that my father and siblings have of me will never change either. I realized that I cannot make them believe me, just like I can’t make them love me. And I knew, I had to let them go. So, when I confronted them all – I knew it would tell me who believed me or not and none of them did. I was told, “We don’t want to hear anymore of your crap!” ‘My’ crap?? wow. My crap is the crap my mother instigated and infected.

Big hugs to you, Mimi – this is not easy. It’s heartbreaking, disheartening. But from what I have read, I think you are tenacious and I can tell by how you share that you are a ‘down to earth’ person. Don’t let them make you feel like you’re the crazy one – it makes me so angry how they do that!


I would like to offer empathy to all of us here. I hear all the pain, frustration, sadness, anger, grief, loneliness, and anxiety that comes from not having our needs met.

I can’t even get into conversations with individuals whose stories have touched me because I have very little computer time and because I myself am struggling so hard right now just to keep my head above water. I have come so far already but again I am at one of those points where it feels like darkness is trying to claim my soul. When I am alone at night and in the morning I am assaulted with doubts and fears. I feel like I have to practically reconstruct myself every morning just to be able to set foot outside the door to get anything done. But if I just stay home it gets much worse because I feel like I’m giving up on myself.

I’ve also been one of those people who has spent a lot of time alone. I think it’s because I’ve felt safest there where no one can hurt me and I can control my interactions with others. But as I have worked out issues over the past few years I realize that staying alone has also hurt me. It has kept me from going forth and claiming the kind of life I want. It was a coping mechanism but it no longer serves me, and yet I have to struggle to let go of it.

I can finally see the beginnings of a vision of the kind of life I’d like to be living: where I would like to be, the kind of work I’d like to do, the kind of people I’d like to have as friends. I actually know that I am more that capable of doing it, but somehow in the moment by moment I feel absolutely helpless to try to make it happen. Inside I am STILL waiting for the kind of family I never had to magically appear and do for me what should have been done when I was small. Logically I know that this is not going to happen and that I will have to reparent and repair myself, but I am still so angry and resentful that I did not get my needs met. I still feel the presence of the very small child who was emotionally neglected and who just is bewildered by the pain she feels.

Hmmm, well writing this out seems to help me sort out what the next step it: continuing to offer empathy and support to the hurt and betrayed part of me, take time for feeling my pain, and not beat myself up for not making progress according to some timetable.


Mimi, You know that letter is crap. They are deflecting the ‘problem’ back on you as in ‘all of your problems’. A list of your mother’s lies, are you kidding? I know this letter is crap because I’ve read the same kind of letters and what I notice most is there is no admitting of wrong doing on their part. When people really want to work out the problems of a relationship, it requires responsibility on both sides, not one. They don’t acknowledge their part in causing you to have ‘problems’. I don’t blame you for wanting to tell them to ‘F’ off. It fits the situation. However, they would only use it against you as manipulators love to make us loose our cool and do or say something we’re ashamed of. They poke us hard when they think we’re getting the upper hand. I find I can protect myself best by keeping my cool and maintaining the upper hand.

I said before that I’ve learned more about people through observation than interaction but sadly, I’ve had lots of interaction with abusive manipulators.:0(



Mimi, Thank you for your support and it makes me really happy to hear that the pain in my life has become a light for another.:0) You’re dear to me.

There is a lot of triangulation in my family too. It’s because I’m the scape-goat and they don’t know how to go on as a family without dumping all of the shame they can’t face on me. That’s my role and in weird, convoluted way, I was the one the held us together as a family for a lot of years. I love my neice dearly and I hope she isn’t being used but there’s part of me that wonders if she is being used as an envoy. AAAAKKKK! I will respond to my neice with love but I will not remove the boundary I set with my parents and sister! I know there is no other way to win because they use my heart against me whenever they can. It’s so sick and twisted and my boundary is the only thing that keeps me out of that sickness. Enmeshment is a horrible way to live and I just won’t go back!



Hi Miralina
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I am so glad that you are here! There is so much support and healing in this community about exactly what you are talking about. We are not alone and YOU are not the problem. Thanks for sharing, I hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
I thought that you already wrote the email detailing the lies that you wanted your mom to address? There is NO reason for you to have to repeat what you have already expressed; that is a game that “they” play.

~ he says “how ungrateful can you be”? ~ there is a truth leak in that statement and it means that anything they think they have “done for you” came with a price tag and that is what obligation and compliance is all about.
~ Record the conversation ~ that is a tactic to make you spin. You have already stated what your issues are and if they get you in person they already know they can get you all mixed up in order to “get you back in line”. This is all about that they DEMAND for you to stop going against them.
~ The paragraph about his version of what “they have done for you” is a power play.
~The statement “you need to grow up” ~ is defining and demeaning.
~”and realize that we won’t be here forever and who is going to rescue you then?” defining and demeaning as well and more obligation and demands for compliance.
~ OF course he is tired ~ you won’t comply! and this is shocking to controllers. They are used to getting their own way.
This is so typical actually. You stood your ground. Your mother sent an “apology” and you didn’t take the bait and that is when he stepped in and blew. When I started to stand up to abusers, they changed their tactics. That is what they do! and if that doesn’t work they either change them again and again OR they actually try to listen (real relationship) OR they get dang mad to back you the hell up.
They are not used to anyone actually daring to stand up to it.
Hugs, Darlene

Questions: when you say you have “no hope at the moment” what do you mean? No hope for what?


Hi Sophia!
I know what you are saying, I understand those feelings and I was also there too. I think of it now as being in “the middle” part of the process. It was where I was seeing what life could be like and yet still afraid of letting go the hopes and dreams of having my family love and accept me for who I am. I was still afraid of the pain of accepting the truth even though I was seeing the truth so much more clearly. I stayed there for a while, because that is just the way it was, but I kept trying to go forward as halting as that was. I kept trying to repair myself by seeing more and more clearly, and that was what helped me to finally let go and to face the worst of the pain. I took care of that small child within me. I listened to her. I nurtured her. I love your last sentence! That is what I did and that is what worked!
Hugs, Darlene


a couple of other things:
YES they want you to engage; that is the only way they can get you back under their rule. My fav saying to myself in these cases is “don’t engage” and it is because it won’t work. You already told them where you stand. If they can’t accept it, that is not about you.

I wanted to mention your comments to Caden;
I always questioned myself that way. One day I realized that abusers NEVER question themselves. (and I began to realize that motive is really where the answer is to the question “who is the abuser”) They do not put their own actions through the grid of “is it me”. (They might only do this when the pecking order is flipped and it is their own parents or whoever is “above them” that are accusing them but not in circumstances when their “victims” are “rebelling” ~ they are so confident that they are and have the right to dictate how the relationship works that they never think they are wrong! This is about ownership, “parental rights” and all manner of other b.s. that has nothing to do with LOVE or the def. of what is BEST.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for your voice. I really needed help sorting it out. I don’t have the knowledge to pick it apart and point out precisely what one thing, or another, is designed to do. I’m very thankful for your wisdom here. I copied and pasted it only a few moments after I read it myself. I was pretty confused and angry. Everyone’s input has helped me see it for what it is. The thing that I’m a little concerned about is that I went back to that place of needing someone to help me. I am not reparented enough that I can stand alone, and feel okay about it. I suppose it will come with time??

The question you asked about hope… I felt hopeless against the monster. I felt hopeless that I will ever have an ally because they will make sure I don’t with their lies. I felt hopeless about my own progress, because I was upset by their tactics. I felt hopeless to get away from them in a way that they will always grab at something further and more extreme, and never give up trying to wreck my life. Darlene, it has gone way further than I expected. I really thought when I held my mother accountable for lying that she would RUN. I had NO idea she would go to further and further extremes. I have been taken by surprise there. When she went to my Godchild’s mother, asking to see her, even though she declined an invitation several months ago, and has never met my Godchild’s mom, I was like OMG, she is going to try to rob me of that relationship too!!

Thank you for your kindness and support. You always have wisdom in your words as well. It means so much to me!!

I have to rush to work, but I do want to give a collective thank you to everyone because I can’t really address it all right this minute. I don’t want anyone to feel I haven’t heard their input. I have and I so appreciate each and every one of you.

Hope returning, (thank the Lord in heaven)


Hi Mimi
There is no shame in still needing people! I still need people to bounce things off of and I would not hesitate to hire a coach if I didn’t have a few colleagues that are really good at helping me find clarity quickly. I couldn’t stand “alone” for almost 4 years on the parent stuff; that strength came much later and after a long period of real clarity! don’t be concerned about that part.
About hopeless, good work on that! It went way farther than I expected too. In my case by the time I drew a boundary I was SO strong that my mother backed off right away. The boundary is drawn in the heart, which means that the more I owned my truth the more others saw it and were afraid to push me. It is as though they ‘knew’ that I was dead serious and in fact they and their nasty motives had been found out. That is the point where they had to make a decision about the relationship itself. And that was my biggest fear; that they would dump me. And most of them did. And it wasn’t as bad as I thougth it would be. But I know that I did nothing wrong in drawing my boundaries. I was ready to find out the truth about what they would do too. I wasn’t worth it “to them” but I am to me. (and I was to my husband who worked very hard to listen to me and see himself and the truth about his past and about our marriage.) Some abusers will stop at nothing and those can be very hard to deal with. There is a “punishment factor” they can’t seem to resist. Breath Mimi! Nothing has to be decided today and it is OKAY to BE IN the process.
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, I’ve found the best way to free myself from the abusers in my life is to make sure I don’t fill the need they want me to fill or that I don’t fulfill the role they’ve assigned to me. If I point out anything they’ve done wrong or a way in which they’ve hurt me, they take it as a personal attack on their very life because they depend upon the image they’ve constructed of themselves for survival. They can’t survive without manipulating others to serve them. They are really very helpless but vicious when threatened. If I called any of my abusers a lier, they’d go after me full force. Especially, if they thought someone would believe it was true. I know they don’t care at all about really mending things with me because they don’t see me as an individual person. They only see the need that I fill for them. It really is that sick.



Excellently put Pam!
This is so very true and I especially like your point about making sure not to fill the need that they want you to fill or fulfill the role that they’ve assigned to me. They do depend on the image that they’ve constructed. They have no desire to live in the truth OR in wholeness and freedom for that matter! Those were things that I had to come to accept about them while I was deciding that I didn’t want the life they had!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone, I have been working alot of hours in the past few days, and need to go through and read these posts. Mimi, I saw that letter from your stepfather and it is disgusting. Your mother could not have picked a better puppet/mouthpiece, b/c I am sure she is behind it.
I am really trying to get over the visit with my parents, esp my mother, of course. The other day, after working night shift and sitting eating breakfast with my “real family”, the thought came to me, “I feel so dirty. Why do I feel so dirty after interacting with my mother?” She did a bunch of lies, sitting there in conversation with her. It goes like this. (if you remember, I had just found out my BIL was put in jail for 6 months for his 4th drunk driving) mother: “Well, if anyone asks me where BIL is, I am going to just say he is in rehab.” Then, 5 more minutes into the conversation, she says, “When BIL gets out of rehab, he is going to have to….”. And when I say, no, he is in jail, she says, “When BIL gets out of rehab….” and lies go on just like that. Whatever edict comes out of her mouth, is instantly the truth to her.Very sick! She told me how wonderful my sisters were doing (one with a husband in jail!), and all about their kids, who I almost never see, and it was just like the old days when it was them against me, and she can rub it in, in her mind, that I dont have children, and now after gastric bypass, how wonderful my sister looks. Ad nauseum. But I know that my sister has not dealt wih any of the emotional issues that caused her overeating, as I am now her target again as in days of old, and she actually looks gaunt in photos I have seen. Then she told me how she(mother) had been drinking with my brother, in the backyard, out in the sun, and had gtten sick, vomiting all over the place. And I said, you know you cannot drink in the sun, you always get sick.(I spent the night b/f I started nursing school, holding her head as she vomited. She was so drunk she could not protect her own airway, and the rest of the family just thought it was hysterical) But she just keep reiterating what a good son my brother was, calling the next day, Oh, he was so worried about me, so concerned!
I am truely sickened by her. She is just where she wants to be, right in the center, with everyone split off. But you know, when my sisters were on the outs with her, and we tried to get together, they knew the unhealthiness of her behavior, the roots of it, and they would rather ignore the bad behavior, for whatever small reward they may get. It is like my old therapist used to say, “You are all fighting over scraps!”. I just wonder how someone gets to be so successfully manipulative.
I have decided not to support my sister financially.I have sent my nephew a birthday card with some cash. My parents can help her, they created this enabling monster, now they can deal with her.
I have been sad about my BIL being in jail. He is not a mean person, he actually has a very gentle personality. Everytime I go in the shower, I cry about it. I know he is responsible for his behavior, but I would drink as well if I were trapped in a relationship with my sister (actually, I would leave, so, his choice again). But it still doesnt take away the fact that I liked him as a person, and I feel sad about where he is at.
I need to just focus on myself, and not have contact with the women in my family. I would like to find a way to get through to my Dad, and bypass them, but my mother makes it as difficult as possible. It is nice not speaking to my sisters again, as the flow of information and the negative spin they put on my life, has been ceased. I just have to remember not to tell my mother anything personal whatsoever, and that is the last crappy leak to plug. Pretty easy, now………


Pam, I could read that Post #122 over and over and find something new to think about. Everything you said is so true! You know, with this false self they have created, dont you wonder who they ever really were? I guess that doesnt matter, as they are presently an abuser, who have assigned us all crappy roles in their own personal mello drama. We are their own personal pawns, until we remove ourseves from their playing board. Because it all really is just a game to them.
The scape goat role is up for grabs, in my mothers dysfunctional system. Probably going to my sister, with incarcerated hubby, but you never know what she will pull.
Today I was thinking about how they will never know the true “give and take” of a relationship, a friendship. The satisfaction of being understood and accepted as you are, warts and all. What it is like to have empathy for another human being. True connection. To me, that’s the good stuff of life.
I want to apologize if I sound so angry on here at times. I am stil grieving and trying to accept that I will never had the family I wanted. I need to go to therapy, but have had bad experiences in the past, and couldnt take one more, at this time….
Thank you for listening. It means the world to me, to connect with others here, and be understood!
I hope your journey goes well today, and you load is light!


Janie, It’s good to be angry if you make it work for you. We get angry because it gives us the extra energy we need to stand up to a threat and defend ourselves. It’s when we turn it inward or vent it in a destructive way that it is bad. In my family, we were so enmeshed that we were almost like one dysfunctional person and my dad was the ‘head’ and the rest of us his appendages. He actually, verbally, taught us that we were part of him. If we failed to serve his needs or maintain his false image, then we were cut off. I’m sure that’s why he did nothing when I was barely sixteen and a 28 year old man talked me into moving in with him. He abandoned me because I was out of control and in order to help me, he would have to take some of the responsibility for the condition I was in. I know Darlene is right. They are seriously, mentally ill but they don’t want to get better because their way of coping with how much they despise themselves, seems to work so well for them. They always told me I was overly sensitive but I know now that they don’t feel very much at all. Everything is about tactics, avoidance, and maintaining that false persona. They’re really in much worse shape than I ever was but I can’t let myself feel sorry for them. They don’t understand it anyway and they would turn it against me.

I never got much help in therapy. The answers were inside of me all of the time. I just had to trust myself enough to listen. I’ve gotten much more help at EFB because Darlene and others understand what I’m talking about without me having to try and explain. This works much faster than therapy.



Darlene, The lives they live are horrible! I can’t imagine being someone who has to use, abuse, and pretend to be someone other than who they are to get through life.



Thanks, Pam. I do try to use the angry energy, in a positive way. It could be towards school, or exercising, for some endorphin benefits! Much of what is said/done about me has to be without my knowledge, as I am low contact with mother, and no contact, really, with 2 sisters. I will be ready to start my Masters next fall, and hope to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. However, it is said that you must “do your own work” b/f you are well enough to help others. I’m just hoping it can still be done without a therapist. I do employ some of the things we talk about here with some of my patients now, but most of them are in crisis, and just waiting for a psychiatric bed placement. Hopefully, I am planting a seed.
I like the “head and appendages” analogy. That is really a good one! My mother was and is an emotional abandoner, as your Dad did to you when you were 16! She pretended she did not know I had issues in high school, and denied them when confronted with them. They do this, now, when my sister lashes out at me at family functions. I say, arent you going to correct her, for acting this way in your home? My mother will say, “What can I do? I cant stop her!” But in reality, she is just doing her job as an appendage, putting me in check when I stand up for myself. I basically dont go to family functions anymore, unless extended family are there and I can circulate.

Is there anyone in your family you stay in touch with?


Janie, I had no contact with my FOO for over a year. My niece stopped by to see me two nights ago and I hadn’t seen her for years. She’s getting older and I think some things are starting to click but we didn’t talk about any of that. We were very close when she was growing up and I know what happened between her mother and I must be very confusing.It’s such a long story…I always thought of the sexual abuse that happened to me in my teens was my fault. I buried it that way and tried to hide it all. My FOO wanted me to keep it secret and they also, held it over my head all of my life and used my shame to manipulate me. About six years ago, I realized that I’d been sexually abused. The man who talked me into leaving home was 28, had been married, divorced, had a child and worked in a porn theatre and sold drugs. I was a really nieve kid and when I was sixteen, I looked more like I was twelve. My parents knew who this man was and knew where I was but they did nothing. They abandoned me and I was raped by this man and others, every day for a year. When I first understood what happened to me, it was like the world suddenly turned right side up. I’ve always had flash backs but this time I was awake for three days and I relived it…it’s hard to explain in a comment. I tried talking about it with my FOO and I was met with total rejection. I tried for several years to work things out with them and I got stuck thinking that I needed their acknowledgment of what happened to me to get better. They never would acknowledge it. I can’t tell you how bad that hurt…it still hurts. It ended with my telling my parents and my sister that if they wanted to have a relationship with me they had to start treating me with respect and that would have to begin with them acknowleding that I was sexually abused and that my parents were guilty of criminal child neglect when they did nothing to stop what was happening to me. I haven’t heard from any of them in over a year. I don’t expect them to ever respect my boundary and I have to maintain that boundary no matter what because I know they would like to slip by it some way. It all hurt a lot but I’ve been happy to be free of the manipulation and the cloud of disapproval that they hung over my head, all of my life. Even if they respected my boundary, I have to admit it would be really hard for me to invite them back into my life. I love them, I forgive them, but I don’t trust them.

I used anger to face my past. It took awhile to be angry about the things that happened to me. I was so used to taking blame for bad things people did to me. When I finally, was as angry as I should have been when all of that happened to me then I was able to do what I needed to do to remove myself from the position of their abuse. I call it righteous anger because I was angry at the kind of things that make God angry. Regaining my righteous anger and untilizing it helped me regain my dignity and lay the guilt and shame that I carried for decades on the right door steps and leave it there. That’s what I was trying to share about using my anger in a healthy way. I finally, learned to use it for the purpose it is intended, self-defense. That had been stolen from me a long time ago.



Hi everyone!
There is a new post published on the home page about the sayings we hear that sound so great but somehow when we can’t live up to them we so often feel like “a failure” and they actually cause more damage to survivors instead of inspiring them. You can read it here: “Make Better Choices and Other Directionless Directives” http://emergingfrombroken.com/make-better-choices-and-other-directionless-directives/
Hope to hear from you there!
Hugs, Darlene

July 29th, 2012 at 8:50 am

Wow! I just got to Mimi’s post of her Stepdad’s letter and it is very similar to an email I got from my stepdad. He is a extremely controlling man who thinks he is always right, and he believes in the false definition of respect. Meaning he thinks he demands respect because of his position, money and influence.

He also wants to meet face-to-face because he intimidates and threatens with physical harm.

He also has told me to “grow up,” and he has convinced my mom that all I care about is getting money from them. Money versus a real relationship is his issue.

He didn’t raise me. My mom was a single parent, and I never asked (nor ask) her for anything. In a lot of ways, I raised myself. Working from my preteen years and up into my twenties, before having children. My stepdad also told me the lie thst I needed them or else I’d “end up alone living under a bridge.” That comment was so sick and wrong to me.

And most of all, I was soangry when my mom later said that she had read the email stepdad sent me snd found nothing wrong with it. She alsosaid she found nothing wrong when she confided (and believed)my stepdad telling her that I was going to find his handgun in their house and use ir. A huge LIE! First off, I never knew he pwned a hand gun. Secondly, I had small children in their house, and I would never knowingly bring my kids their if I knew a handgun was lying around.

What is wrong with parents?!? The lies they believe seem so obvious but even when you try to
get them to see truth, they refuse.


Hi Gifted,
These people are all cut from the same mold it seems. I have gotten even more crap from him since the letter above. I will paste it here in a few minutes. I know when I’m being blatantly offended, but I still can’t always read between the lines. I can’t see some of the hidden messages and I have trouble knowing what some statements are designed to do. So, I’ve shared them here to help decipher. He really started bullying me in the last 24 hours. I kept my cool. I haven’t told anyone to EFF off!! And, here is where my progress is evident. I didn’t cry. I have spent some mind space on it, which is what they want, I’m sure. But, hubby got some movies last night and we did a little marathon. That helped keep my mind off of it. Sometimes, it seems like they live there rent free. I am now in a place where I’m ready to block emails and move on. It’s not rent free anymore and they just stir me up. My mother’s counselor just compounds the problem. Fortunately, after living with this kind of manipulation for a lifetime, I have insight and forethought that they never imagined they instilled in me. They never think someone will outsmart them. But, I have in some ways. EFB has really helped me know what is acceptable and what isn’t. I’m sorry you’re going through this too. I does prove we aren’t alone though.
Hugs and Peace,


Your statement, “He abandoned me because I was out of control and in order to help me, he would have to take some of the responsibility for the condition I was in.” I can’t tell you how much this statement has clarified things for me. I was a little out of control too. I’m not sure it was as bad as my mother made it seem, but I was not a perfect teen for sure. She liked to pretend I was a felon. Cry and create drama because of things like a speeding ticket. Oh, that just destroyed her world and she was at a total loss as to what to do with me. And, those were her words.

I have really taken so much from all the comments about my stepdad. The drama has continued and I failed to not defend myself. I think it comes from never being able to for so many years. Mother would back me into a corner at home, where no one else could hear, and tell me how horrible I was and the family agreed. I think a result of that is that I have a burning need to defend myself. I haven’t quite learned the ever valuable lesson that it just feeds the monster. BUT, I have said enough now. I feel relief and that I won’t need to engage any further. My husband and a friend have both said (as well as people here), it just keeps me stirred up. The best thing is to route those emails to spam. That way, I don’t even see it. I do want to post the recent correspondence. Mostly because I’m not sure if I handled it with dignity. They’re famous claim is that I’m angry, so I tried to write without any anger whatsoever. My stepdad, however, got increasingly angry and that is evident.

Love to all,


Your statement, “He abandoned me because I was out of control and in order to help me, he would have to take some of the responsibility for the condition I was in.” I can’t tell you how much this statement has clarified things for me. I was a little out of control too. I’m not sure it was as bad as my mother made it seem, but I was not a perfect teen for sure. She liked to pretend I was a felon. Cry and create drama because of things like a speeding ticket. Oh, that just destroyed her world and she was at a total loss as to what to do with me. And, those were her words.

I have really taken so much from all the comments about my stepdad. The drama has continued and I failed to not defend myself. I think it comes from never being able to for so many years. Mother would back me into a corner at home, where no one else could hear, and tell me how horrible I was and the family agreed. I think a result of that is that I have a burning need to defend myself. I haven’t quite learned the ever valuable lesson that it just feeds the monster. BUT, I have said enough now. I feel relief and that I won’t need to engage any further. My husband and a friend have both said (as well as people here), it just keeps me stirred up. The best thing is to route those emails to spam. That way, I don’t even see it. I do want to post the recent correspondence. Mostly because I’m not sure if I handled it with dignity. They’re famous claim is that I’m angry, so I tried to write without any anger whatsoever. My stepdad, however, got increasingly angry and that is evident.

Love to all,


Hi Everyone!!

Here is the response I typed to my stepdad at my mom’s email address. This is in response to the one “he” sent above from her email addy. I took a few days to think about it. In the meantime, he created his OWN email account (apparently) and while I was typing this message to them below, he was also typing one to me from HIS email account. That email is following this one.


I have already pointed out the lies several times because “your wife” keeps asking. I’m not providing it again.

Blaming me for your wife’s words about DCFS doesn’t make sense. Blaming me because she didn’t come up off an extra buck at the dollar store for gifts for all the kids makes no sense either. Nor, does her decision NOT to come to the field trip. I haven’t kept you from my Godchild. Your wife did that all by herself.

The story about $10,000 means nothing. I didn’t offer your money to Godchild’s mom. I told her YOU offered it. And, it wasn’t when I turned XXXXX in to DCFS, it was when Godchilds mom moved 4 hours away. Get your facts straight. No one ever saw a dime of your money, it was only words. Godchild’s mom or I neither one owe you anything for your words.

If you didn’t want to babysit Godchild, you shouldn’t have.

Any time or money you spent to “rescue” me from my “many problems” was not an outstanding heroic act. Humane people WANT to help their kids, out of love. It’s the way my uncle, my aunt, my siblings, including step, and MANY other people operate with their kids. EXPECTING to be repaid for letting me move home when I was sick or being abused is an incredible truth leak about YOUR character, and your wife’s, and says volumes about how much either of you truly wanted to help, out of goodness and love instead of a resentful parental responsibility. It sounds like you did it because you’d look like horrible parents if you didn’t. And how much money DID you give me anyway?? “After all I’ve done for you” isn’t the way love works. It’s a sick, distorted, and false definition of love. I’ve lined your pockets pretty well with my real estate transactions, and renting your condo, and I’ve repaid every dime you LOANED me. Is there something else you think I OWE you? Nothing you or her have ever done FOR me, gives you a free pass to lie, manipulate and slander me. There IS no excuse for that.

A few months ago, my (bio) dad sent me $xx,xxx. It was a free gift. I don’t have to repay it, I didn’t have to sign a ridiculous contract, and I wasn’t told what to do with it. It was given freely. That blows a big fat hole in your wife’s claims that my dad doesn’t love me, never has, and never will and I’m stupid if I believe he does. If I should ever have a need for anything in the future, you’re completely off the hook. Again, don’t blame me for HER words.

I said I surrender. You are both free to talk as much crap as you want. You need never “rescue” me again, which is a laugh since I have a husband, an uncle, two sisters, a biological father, a paternal aunt, etc. You can both rest easy knowing I won’t come to you. This includes whatever inheritance you love to talk about. I doubt there is any, and if there is, I don’t need it, or want it.

I will regard the list of lies or promises you’ve compiled as crap, since you didn’t produce it. Claiming I’ve lied because I said your wife did, is called deflection, diversion, or projection, and it’s designed to take the focus off of her guilt. It doesn’t work!!

Below is the email from my stepdad’s OWN email addy, with my response. Since I am to assume I’m dealing solely with him now, I sent him a gentle reminder that I have kept his secrets for over a year. Maybe not the best idea, but, I haven’t heard a word from either of them since. I did succeed in shutting his dumbA$$ up!! I felt like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead or something when he mentioned my “many problems”. As if he’s so above me!! GRRRRR!! Truth is, he’s trash. Here it is…….

Stepdad again, you just told another mistruth ,(lie), why would your mother embarss you , her and me by telling the her brother in law about the names and accusations you have made towards her. This is nothing to be proud of. It has been 3 days and I haven’t received your huge list of lies that your mother has told. Do you need more time to come up with supposed lies . It only took me about 30 minutes to come up with your list!!!!

I think the best way to settle this is to meet with your minister and ask him how Jesus talked to his mother. What happened to honor thy father and mother? Maybe your minister can explain this to us and you need to be sure to fact check your list of tales as I will be checking them. I am willing to go at any time with your minister, call me at XXX-XXXX and don’t bother your mother any more with all this bullshit!! You are dealing with me now not her.

And remember I am a Gemini , they always win, remember you said that.

My reply because I could NOT keep my mouth shut……

So pathetic that you actually do think this is about winning. You failed to read the part I wrote about surrendering. I already surrendered. You have no other reason to contact me.

I just sent an email to your wife’s address. READ IT!!!! Her brother in law has said that MOTHER went to him saying she knew nothing about me being paid to help grandma!! Who’s lying about that??? Brother in law, or your wife???

I have already SPELLED out what lies I want accountability for. If YOUR WIFE hasn’t shared that with you, it’s not my problem. I am not obligated to YOU to spell it out YET AGAIN! Get it from your wife!!!! I’ve already spelled it out at and I have all those emails!!! If you want answers, speak to HER!!!

You need to check how much YOU are being deceived as well before you start attacking me!!

You have asked me to keep your secrets and I have done that. Your angry verbal attacks are making me want to REALLY tell your wife…. and I DO have them on recording!

I live a life of honesty. I have no reason to believe you have a list. You keep talking, but your not producing.

There it is folks…. nothing at all since then (last night). He’s not so bright to bully and attack someone who has dirt on him. Haha!! I just feel satisfied to bring that up to him. The evil in me rose to the surface!! Anyhow, I plan to block him now since I’ve had a chance to respond and defend myself. My points have been clearly made and that’s what I wanted. Being silent (I feared) would allow them to fill in the blanks and make up all kinds of crap about how they cornered me and I had no response. I didn’t want that. I suppose never getting to defend myself has created a monster in me. I am learning though, and thankful for that.

Peace to all,


MIMI !!!
WOW! Your communication to your step father is clear and fantastic. It is straightforward with NO rabbit trails and no loopholes! It is THE TRUTH! Good for you. I am so proud to read all of your words. Your step dad is a bully and a pretty confident one too! I don’t think he is going to know what hit him! YAY you!

Having said that, I want to point something out about what you say in your last paragraph to US here; Watch out for your “self talk”; you say that the “evil in you” rose to the surface. ???? Why is anything you said evil? and you also say “never getting to defend myself has created a monster in me”. A really smart and lovable self loving and empowered monster I hope! Those are the little things that can drag us back down into the spin of “was it me?”

Hugs and Love,


Hi Gifted
That whole money thing is such a game to so many; my mother thought she could hold that over my head, that I might inherit money! I didn’t even realize that I didn’t care aobut it. It was like I was brainwashed to want it or something. That living under a bridge comment is SO manipulative and defining. And YAY that you saw through that fog storm. My in-laws once said that it was my fault that “we” (husband and I) were in trouble with finances.. I was so in the fog that I didn’t even realize what they said. I just took it. And a few hours later, I suddenly realized that we were NOT in any trouble. They threw that comment in to try and get the control back! (Long crazy story.)
about why they won’t see the truth; if they see the truth, they have to give up their power over you. Power is everything to people like that.
p.s. That hand gun story is scary. That is a red flag story for sure. Sometimes people plant stories like that to set someone up as “nuts” to the rest of the world and garner more support for themselves.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Mimi!!! I had no idea you were going through your own personal bs with your family currently, as well! I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR! I know I haven’t been on lately, but I didn’t realize you were posting on this threat until now. Wow, those letters are just… horrible. I’m glad my stepdad stays out of things for the most part. I am so proud of you! I think I would have just blocked the email address! You are a very strong person.

Please take care of yourself. You don’t need this. Their lives are miserable and full of drama, and personally, they seem to enjoy it!

Take care,



Thank you for your support. I don’t know if it’s really strength as much as it is fed up, mixed with a little dose of anger. After 43 years of not being able to make sense of myself or her, I am clear now. I know without a doubt it’s her with the problem. I was just a sponge, soaking up all the things that never made sense, yet angry at the craziness and the way I felt inside. Anger at her, and myself. It hasn’t been in upheaval since I last saw you here. I’ve had quiet times too. Seems like about every 2-3 months, my mom comes back with some other, more extreme measure and stirs things up. This has just begun recently. It started with what seemed like a genuine apology from her to my sisters and I. She still failed to address some lies I had pointed out, so I pressed in and pointed that out. WHOA, the firestorm began!! Also, she sent the apology at the same time she was doing her dirty work behind the curtain. PFT!! I really had no idea how totally controlling they both were until my stepdad starting telling me what I would and wouldn’t do. I have to laugh at that!! He should know by now that when someone says I can’t, I set out to prove I can. Sometimes that’s a help, and sometimes a hindrance.

Thank you for reading and responding. I wanted to try to stay focused on the real issues, without anger seeping in, and without doing what he did with the deflection. I have plenty enough I could write pages back. But, it would be going off topic and I think I lose credibility when that happens. I know his credibility is in the dumpster with him trying to point out I had lied. PFT. I am so happy that I can say with complete confidence that his claims about me lying made NO impact because I do live a life of honesty as best I can. I’m not stirring crap, manipulating, dragging in distant relatives, etc. It made me feel really good about ME, that my integrity is intact and he can’t touch that. I have nothing to hide and no lies to cover. And, that feels good!!

The part I’m not really sure about is, bringing up his secrets that I’ve kept for a year….. from my mom. I’m not convinced it was the right thing to do to hold that over his head. I guess because it is likely something either of them would do out of desperation. I wanted to not go there, but like I said, my monster rose up and I could NOT seem to resist. He wasn’t smart enough to withhold his attacks on someone who is keeping his secret. I suppose that’s his fault.

Anyhow, thanks for your input as always!!


Mimi, I just read your comments….I cannot believe your courage and boldness! I was amazed at how you worded everything to your stepdad. He definitely sounds like he has taken on himself FAR TOO MUCH control and gotten involved in things that quite frankly, were none of his business to begin with since he is not your real father, and it seems that these things have always been more about the relationship you have with your mother. I have already said adios to my family, so there isnt any going back for me (a good thing!), but sometimes I wonder what it would have felt like to confront my parents like that! I never did out of fear, but I used to think about it sometimes. I think you are more honest than I was with your parents by telling them exactly how you feel and getting your points across and not stuffing it all down inside like I did. I somehow think I have been dishonest because I didnt. I was too chicken and that might be the one thing I dont feel comfortable about because when I cut them off, I really didnt do any real explaining. So…I admire your courage and bluntness and boldness! 🙂


Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure if one way has any advantage over another. Silence vs holding them accountable. I wish I could be silent. I wish I was a person who let things roll off and didn’t say a word. For many years I was that person in my mother’s presence. She would have me backed down until I was invisible, unheard, ashamed, guilty, and believing I had no one. Inside I was angry at that. It would come out at other times and it would sometimes be inappropriate for the occasion. I learned early not to let it show with mother. No anger, or defense. The times I did speak up, the repercussions were beyond what I could handle.

The difference now is, I’m no longer afraid to tell the truth. I believe with all my heart that the truth WILL set me free. I’m not afraid to make sense of nonsense that was designed to completely confuse me. I tell ya Diane, it has been a LONG time coming. Lots of shame filled my days. Ashamed of my very existence. When I learned it was HER that was lying, twisting things all up, gaslighting, triangulating, manipulating…. it was sooooo not going to end well for her. I’ve carried along this stifled energy for years. Now that I know for sure I was right, my instincts were not faulty, she created confusion, etc…. I was ready to let this energy go back where it belongs. Her destroying my character through slander is always her way. I would be broken hearted at that. I would cry and lose days of thought on it. It took a heck of a lot to get me to the point that I understand the dynamics enough that it no longer matters what she says to people. I have no compassion left for her. I have no tolerance left.

I mourned losing her last year. For months (about 3) I cried every day. I went through a period where I was incapacitated by the discovery of her lack of love. I was blessed to have that time to get it all out. Since that time, it really is like she died and all that’s left is a shell of a person whom I don’t know.

Anyhow, thanks for your support and virtual hugs, etc. It means a lot!!

I woke up this morning thinking of an example of what you explained above. I remember in my youth when my mom would say I lied about something, I didn’t DARE “twist it all around” and say she called me a liar. There was a huge difference according to her. And she would get irate if I said she’d called me a liar. She’d say, “Oh no I did not…. I said you lied”! Is there a difference?

For the record, I have never, in all this correspondence with her, called her a liar. But, now that the tables are turned, and she’s the accused, it’s OKAY for her to say I called her a liar. It’s one of those things I was raised to believe so I don’t know what’s right really. I can see it’s a double standard though. I said she lied, I never called her a liar. Now, her and her husband both come at me saying I’ve called her a liar and I have some huge list of lies I’ve been talking about. A “huge list” never came out of my mouth either. They just made that up, for dramatic effect I guess, who knows.

Anyhow, I see clearly what you mean about how rules are different depending on what role they’re playing, plaintiff vs defendent. It just proves more and more how rules are different for her. How she’s a princess and not to be disturbed. I have plenty of my dad’s blood in me and that’s never really jived with her. I’m fine with that today. I’m becoming more accepting of the blood that courses through my veins. I don’t have to be like her, or anyone else. I’m finally starting to see it’s okay to be just who I am. So liberating!!
Thanks Darlene,


Hi Mimi
You have shared a great example of the spin and the fog storm with your comments about being called a liar. If someone says that you lied, then they are in fact calling you a liar! And your mother IS a liar so what is the big deal if you call it what it is? Just as you pointed out, There IS no difference between the two! (oh and Yes this is also a great example of how the rules are different for them)
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, My rebellion as a teenager was blown out of porportion too. There was a lot my parents could have done to help me but they either didn’t want to bother or they think their responsibility toward me ended with telling me not to do something. I bought their version of how ‘bad’ I was until I raised teenagers. They’re always telling me that others had it worse than me well, other people have had a much more difficult teenager than me to raise and they didn’t give up and abandon them. I’m branded as ‘angry’ too, Mimi. They used it as a weapon against me. They do all they can to make me angry and then they make my anger the issue rather than whatever they did to me or someone I love.

I think manipulators lose their soul through objectification. They have to objectify their victim in order to abuse them. Then they have to objectify themselves in order to live with what they’ve done to other people.

Hang in there, sweetie.



Mimi and all,
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Regarding telling lies. We see it, hear it, and feel it and express it to them and all they can do is deny, deny, deny yet again. (Or perhaps tell another lie to cover up the first.) Absolutely mindnumbing. I feel for you and all of us. Since having my eyes open to the fact that there are people out there just like me, it has helped tremendously. But it doesn’t stop the process of what the dysfunctional group chooses to do and say to the Scapegoat. Looking at many of the posts on this site I can assume that most of us are scapegoats in the family. In a funny way we need to realize the abusers actually raised very nice people! We on this site are so supportive and nice to others that are going through what we are going through.We wouldn’t think to behaving so badly and treating people that way they treat us. So bravo to us that somehow we are normal people and have eachother to lean on. It isn’t us and we are not crazy! I wish everyone well as we move forward….


I admire you for standing up to your step dad! He has taken over where your mom left off. They are bullies! Yay for courage & strength!!

To all,
I’ve been holding back from talking about my recent visit with mommy dearest, because it was quite mind boggling & also involved my sister too. She was being the family voice box & it was all intense & dramatic!…Basically, I observed her ranting & raving about Family being her “Core” & viewing her new tat of her kids’ names in a heart on her back. BTW, her husband has a matching one on his arm. I’m not against tats at all…it’s just another example of family being life’s blood. Anyway, my point is that she said a lot about family: the good, the bad & the ugly. I’m purposely staying away from the content, since it was intended to confuse me. I’m seeing through the fog & it’s unpleasant! I’ve been in distress about this visit & it has opened my eyes to their controlling ways. When my sister made the comment, “My family is my “core”….I said, “Myself is my Core”…with my mom sitting right next to me. My sister encouraged me to open up in front of my mom, like she was baiting me. Then interrupted me too many times, so I couldn’t finish what I was saying. I did say, “Let me talk & listen”, but she kept changing the subject. Deflecting from my issues. She also brought up a lie my s-i-l told her about a past incident, & I set her straight by telling her the truth. My s-i-l was gas lighting her & then my sister turns it on me by saying, you didn’t tell me what happened. Yes, I did try to tell her after the incident happened and again I was cut off from telling my side. My own mother didn’t believe me & I felt Betrayed. I told my sister all of this and then she goes, “Oh now I get it!”….Then she compliments me with “Your Brillant & Very Smart”, while walking away. What???!! I’ve never heard her say that ever!! My mom tells me that she was always jealous of how smart I was. Whether they are just sayin that or not, my family has not been there for me & that’s the bottom line!….My mom actually kissed my cheek before I left. I’m Mad, I’m Sad & I’m Distressed by this interaction …I have not returned to visit. I got that book, “The Betrayal Bond”, which talks about “Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships”…It’s Time to Start Reading!…The main thought that was going through my mind after leaving them, was “What a Web of Lies”!….If I’m missing something here, please let me know?? My family is so indirect that I have to read between the lines. Just felt the need to Vent!…Thanks for listening…..


Hi Sonia
When I first started to change I noticed that people would treat me differently, like finally say something nice or whatever and I was hopeful that they were finally going to hear me. Sometimes that was exactly what was happening! Some people really do want to have a “real relationship”. And other people change their tactics and it gets really confusing. It IS really confusing. Hang in there!
Another thing that I notice looking back is that the minute someone was nice to me, I thought I had to give up my right to be mad at all the other times they devalued and dismissed me! And that simply is not true!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All
The newest post just published on EFB is about why it is so hard to set personal boundaries in the first place ~ it was inspired by the discussion on the last few posts.
Here is the link: http://emergingfrombroken.com/why-setting-personal-boundaries-is-not-as-easy-as-it-sounds/

Hugs, Darlene


#125 ~ I did wonder who my mother was for the longest time. All that took place when I was in the mourning phase last year. I still don’t know because she’s many people in one body it seems. I don’t even think she knows who she is. Fortunately, it’s less and less my problem all the time. I don’t care to figure her out. It would be an endless task.

I’m sorry for your recent familial encounter. It just makes life uneasy doesn’t it? So confusing when you do have to read between the lines. Maybe that’s a part of an abusers “bag of tricks”. I was thinking recently about something my mother said a few years ago. I was diagnosed with diabetes and I modified my diet and got to the point that it was reversed. In the process, I lost some weight too, although I still wasn’t where the American Medical Assn says I should be for my height. My mother told me one of her friends said she didn’t think I needed to lose anymore weight. I think I see the truth of that statement now. It was my mom injecting her “secret hope” that I didn’t reach my ideal weight, because for whatever twisted reason, that would be a threat to her. She wrapped it in a compliment, so I’d never see through it. I have known she somehow “accepted” my failures (only since I’ve been married) fairly easily compared to the way she used to use them against me. I see now that, since I have a husband, she lost some power to blatantly insult me or somehow control me with my failures. She, in this and other failed endeavors, has been surprisingly “understanding” since I’ve been married and independent. I see that false support for what it is. The hope I continue to fail. It’s so disgusting ~ if you don’t know her intricate, insidious motives, you’d never suspect the true masterminding behind it all. Instead, I appear paranoid, searching for “dirt” on her, etc. In my heart of hearts, I believe this is what’s behind her “compliments”. She hopes to keep me in failure. It serves her well. YUCK!!

I hope you’re finding solace in the midst of the turmoil. It’s tough to do that when you’re right in the middle of an upset. I know for myself, I’m thinking a lot about my stepdad and mother since our exchanges over the weekend. I can look at past issues with them and realize that I’ve made progress in that they have lost a lot of the power to upset me. I might have been disabled before, at the recent exchanges with them. I’m not disabled at all. I did have what felt like an emotional hangover the first 36 hours (give or take). I was basically a slug. No energy. Emotionally drained I suppose. But, it’s lifted. Also, with each new level of desperation my mother reaches, I feel a bit of a relief as well. I guess it’s because with each new event, comes a level of truth ~ that I’m not crazy, and she really does have huge issues. I suppose in a strange way, that in itself is validation. Hugs to you Sonia!!

Agree!! I was a nice person!! (WAS, haha). My mom has done her level best to sculpt me into an angry and insane freak of nature. I followed along for 43 years ~ as if there were a ring in my nose. Not today!!

Darlene and Pam,
Thanks for your wisdom, always!!

Peace and love,


Hi All,
A brief update…. I haven’t heard a word from my momster, or her husband. YaY!! I DID have an impact…. for now anyway!!


Hi Pam,

I like your post espacially “They used it as a weapon against me. They do all they can to make me angry and then they make my anger the issue rather than whatever they did to me or someone I love.”

For me it was the same. I was the “rebellious”, the “difficult” teenager, the bad seed. I received so many violence because of that excuse.
So horrible. And the beatings I received were justified by this excuse.

And I ended up believing they were right I was the problem. I have so much guilty inside me today.
Now I am afraid of my inner-anger.


My father spent his life to blame me.

I have bad results at school, I had pannic attack, I was bullied by my schoolmates.

My “father”‘s attitude, made me sad so I told him. He said that I deserved everything. It was because I was rebellious that he was obliged to treat me that way. In other words if I would like he changed his attitdue and be more nice with me, I had to be more nice, more nice with him.

I tried to do that, I was more compliant, I tried to please him again but it was betraying myself and it was killing myself and I have no benefice from him either. I wasn’t there for me either.
And what his demands, his expectations were too heavy for me.
I had to deny myself to please him.

Pff. My rebellion put me in danger but it was more sane for me.

He made me responsible for the nighmare I was living.
He said that I deserve to be bullied, he didn’t help me at all.

For him, I was too a part of himself, an object. So sick.


Sorry for my english, I wanted to say “He wasn’t there for me either” instead of ” I wasn’t there for me either”.


Hi Aurele,
Great work! These are the painful truths that I had to face in order to put the puzzle (that was me and my life) back together. Not being protected amounts to being discounted, dismissed and invalidated. Seeing these things in my own life gave me the answers about how to move forward and away from those messages. I learned to love and validate myself.
Hugs, Darlene


You bring up some great points!…First of all, you mentioned “false support”, which so validates what I’m seeing in my family. The painful truth is they aren’t there for me & then, they will randomly throw a compliment or money my way. It’s hard to believe they really care because of their many betrayals. It’s sad to say that, yet I’m sticking to my truth.

Also, I have been distressed with my recent family interaction. They do not have the power to destroy me, but they can stir me up & trigger me!….I had a so-called “emotional hangover” afterwards too & isolated myself over the weekend. I know that’s not healthy coping, but old coping mechanisms kick in, when it comes to family drama & stress. When I say emotional hangover- it’s like shell shock (PTSD) & past pain comes up for me. It’s distress intolerance with increase irritability, anxiety & weepiness. I keep the emotions at bay, but by pretending I’m ok, does not work. What I resist, persists! I just made a call to a DBT Program for a much needed Tune-UP!…Wish I was feeling better, but the reality is I’m distressed & pissed! I’m sticking to my personal boundary of No Contact with Family this week! I’m grateful for the support here & my counselor. I’m staying a float for now & may feel the need to reach out more, in the days to come. Last night, I dreamed of a family member yelling at me & I felt like I was jumping out of my skin! That reaction reminded me of childhood, when I felt helpless and scared. My parents would say, “You overreact” & “shut up!” They were the ones out of control & I was the scapegoat for their anger!….I’m being flooded at times, with emotions & memory flashes. I continue to believe My triggers are my teachers to my pain/trauma. I want to face this myself, however, I’m needing more support these past few weeks. Please Bear with me…I’m feeling a bit Raw today….


Aurele, It makes me sad that you were treated that way. My parents didn’t physically beat me. I got constant emotional and psychological beatings. It was hard for me to define what was wrong and when I’d try to talk to other kids about it, I made up stories about my parents beating me. I shouldn’t have told lies like that but now I know that I felt as though I was being beaten. Some abusers are very good at getting the gratification they seek without leaving bruises even though, the wounds they leave are near to being mortal.–My anger became managable when I connected it to the events that hurt me and turned it outward rather than turning it on myself or trying to keep it stuffed down. When I was younger, I would get triggered and rage.It was awful and it made me feel like some kind of monster. “Be angry and sin not” is a Bible verse that has my teeth marks all through it but I did accomplish that by learning how to use my anger for what it is designed for, self defense. When I was able to use my anger apropriately, my other emotions became more appropriate, as well. I struggled with it all for a long time though…



SMD, My family makes me sick that way too.This last year without them makes this so clear to me. It’s wonderful not to have that cloud of disaproval hanging over my head all of the time. It hurt to make the break from them but I feel so happy and free now. I feel whole and now I know I’ve always been the person I am not but I used to see myself through their eyes and their vision of me is warped.Hang in there.



Hi Pam
This is an important fact too that you have brought up here; that some of us exagarated the truth or lied about how it really was and then THAT is used as proof that we are liars or that we are “crazy”. (like my cupcake story) They point to it as the proof and we so often hang our heads and accpet that “yes, it must be me”. But the truth is that you WERE beaten emotionally and that the emotional abuse was still abuse! Abuse is abuse and that is what we are sorting out!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks so much for your comment #156!…Yes, I’ve been feeling Sick, since my last family contact. It’s like Close Encounter’s of the Third Kind…my mom, sister & me (triangulation)…Feeling better today can joke a little… I have no doubt, that my family is Controlling & that I’ve been Beaten Down Emotionally by them too, my whole life. Despite my set backs & I have them after family drama & stress, my eyes are wide open. I’ll be making some life changing decisions soon re: family. The Sweet/Mean Cycle of abuse is Sickening! I’m Hanging in There!! I feel more grounded now, after no contact. Yay!


I’m sorry you’re having a tough time. I haven’t been able to comment for a few days, just busier than normal, and that’s been good for me. I hope you’ve found the strength to stick to your boundary of no contact for the week. It is a welcome relief for me ~ no contact. Isn’t it sickening the power they have to make us miserable. Then people want to suggest we’re selfish for staying away and/or “punishing” them. GRRRRR!!

I’ve had bad dreams about my mom for years, although I haven’t for several months now. I have imagined telling her about the dreams and her saying, “pft, whatever!!” behind a muffled laugh. Even so, I know it’s part of the PROOF of my reality. I did tell her counselor if I remember correctly. She blew it off. Two can play that game. She no longer gets my money, haha!!

My emotional hangover isn’t exactly like being in the emotional whirlwind. I don’t seem to have a lot of emotion, just no energy. Like I’m completely zapped. Then I can get into ruminating a few days down the road. Right at first it just seems like I’m disabled.


Does any of you know how our mothers become this way?
I mean, for me, my mother is a neglectful, ignoring, false self human being, with no capacity for a real connection. She regarded children as something that existed for HER sake. Her children should cater to her needs. From my research into this she’s basically a narcissistic mother of the ignoring type, but switching to being engulfing occasionally. Bottom line, I’ve never felt as if I could connect with a real person under all that surface stuff.

But my maternal grandmother, was my best friend as a child. She was incredibly loving, caring, strong, genuine, funny, playful, supportive, taught me so much.

So I’m left wondering how this can be, what could have possibly happened for my mother to turn out this way. If there had been abuse in the family I would be able to understand this. But I just don’t understand.
Thank you all.


Actually, I’m not sure it matters that much. I need to be connected to my anger. I’ve spent so much time trying to understand. Whatever happened, it surely wasn’t my fault, but I had to pay for it. Still, if you have any thoughts…


Thanks Pam for your answer.
In fact my self defense system is always activated I always fear of an attack, a rejection, a bad judgement on me.

I have a huge fear in me.


Me again!! Haha! I don’t know what button I hit, but my post went without my permission. I wasn’t finished yet….. 🙂

Anyhow, after a few days of feeling hungover, then I can get into the mental rehearsals. Thankfully, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had the mental space to waste on mother and her husband.

Interesting, I haven’t heard a word from her or Mr. BadA$$ since I sent the email to him directly that reminded him I’m keeping his secrets. Hahahahaha… I get a nice smile out of that!! They haven’t even produced the “list of lies” they said I told that took them only 30 minutes to compile. I feel satisfied that I turned the tables on their game.

At the same time Sonia, when thoughts of them have come up over the past week, I’ve also wondered if I went to extremes. Should I have accepted her apology? Should I have let the lies slide ~ am I being too critical and demanding, unapproachable? Too big of a bitch, frankly. I’m ever so slightly on the fence. I feel good about what took place. I feel empowered. But, at the same time, there’s a hint of wonder if I went too far. I say that, but, in the midst of the drama, there wasn’t any fiber of my being that felt okay letting her slide with the lies. I felt sickened by the idea. So, I guess I’ve answered my own questions. My choices were to be sickened and accept half her accountability, or feel the freedom my gut was urging me to seek at the time.

You mentioned being pissed and for me, I think I had to have a healthy dose of anger in the mix of emotions, in order to carry out the accountability. I was the poster child for anger issues according to mother. So, I kind of fear being angry due to the fallout of it in the past. I have been so shamed by the thought that I’m such an angry and unreasonable person. That element of shame tends to hold on for dear life. I did everything I could in the correspondence to not appear angry. Yet, since I held them accountable, that was still one of their weapons of choice. That alone makes me a little angry.

I’m happy to hear you’re getting some relief from being no cantact for the week. (Just now read that part). It amazes me that people actually think we would make this kind of crap up. As if we want to be in the pain it causes. I’ve also wondered what “they” would do ~ take care of themselves if they were at the bottom of the barrel like I was, or continue to sink until death.

I agree…. it is so so hard to articulate emotional abuse. Especially if you don’t even know that it IS abuse, or that other people don’t necessarily operate in this unhealthy fashion. I felt like a monster too. They made me out to be a monster. It will forever be my branding among my family’s opinion. I’m certain this what my mother is talking about right this minute. How angry I am because I’ve withdrawn and held her accountable without wavering. I’m okay if people believe it now. The people who do believe it don’t hold much space in my heart anyway. Every few months, just when I’m getting settled and feeling more secure and trusting of myself, my mother comes back with an axe in her hand. It’s so coincidental that she ALWAYS claimed that was my dad’s way. She said he would just let things barely die down, and he’d come storming back, stir up crap, then run. I think it sounds much more like her than my dad. In fact, my dad’s never done that to me as an adult. He doesn’t stir up crap at all in my presence. He doesn’t even badmouth my mother. He might be a drunk, but, at least he has the sense not to throw my other bio parent under the bus. My mom has never ever honored my sisters and I in that way.

Love to everyone,
ps – Pam, thank you for your supportive comments. It means a lot to me!!
pps – Sonia, I’m pulling for you!!


Hi everyone,

A painful memory came back into my mind, it was when I was 18, my father made his usual harassement and I told him (totally desesperate) that I feel so bad and if he continues, I will kill myself.

What he answered me ?
He yelled at me saying it’s ok, no problem, come on I’ll take you, we can go in the top of the building right now !!
He accused me to do affective blackmail in saying that I will end to kill myself.

So terrible and sick emotionnal abuse.

Love to everyone.


Aurele, i feel sad for you. i said the same thing to my dad whilst i had the razor blade over my wrist and he said “do it then….”


Hi Miralina
I smiled when you came back and answered your own question: “how our mothers become this way?” with “I’m not sure it matters that much. I need to be connected to my anger. I’ve spent so much time trying to understand. Whatever happened, it surely wasn’t my fault, but I had to pay for it”.
It was very very important for me to connect to the damage and the anger and stop trying to understand my parents and other abusers. I had to look at the truth about what happened to me, without excusing the people who did it. As the fog cleared I realized the ways that they tried to cover it up, proving that they knew it was wrong.
About your mothers family history, we don’t always know what happens in the life of someone else. Everyone thought my father was mr. perfect. I even agreed with that for years. We don’t always see the truth about someone if they don’t show it to us. Abusers hide in many ways, again proving that they know right from wrong treatment. Concentrate on you for now. I was amazed at how so many of my own questions were answered as I grew in clarity.
Hugs, Darlene


Your father makes me angry. What a sick and horrible thing to say / do to a person. And it makes such a statement and sends such a clear message about your value and importance. This is such a damaging thing to say!
Thanks for sharing it. I am sorry that happened to you.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Hurtinginside82
Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
My comments above to Aurele apply to you as well. What an awful and disgusting thing to say! Again the message is clear; Your own father is saying that he didn’t care about your life. That is what we are talking about here in this site. For many of us, the message was not so blunt, but that is the message that we must overcome in order to live in freedom and wholeness.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene



Thank you for your answer, it helps me a lot.
Thank you for your site too, it’s wonderful.
You are a great example and if I wish one day being able to do the same.


Thanks for your support & encouragement. I’ve stayed away from my FOO this past week & I am feeling better (less stressed)! I don’t feel obligated to explain or call them either. I’m actually getting more in touch with my anger towards their mistreatment of me, over the years. The family interactions & situations happening in the present are reflecting the control & manipulation, I experienced as a child. I could not understand or articulate what was going on in my family. Denial is Dysfunction & Minimizing the abuse is a coping mechanism. I see that so clearly now, more than ever! I realize their behavior is pathological & it was covered up, by looking at me as the problem. My anxiety & depressions were used as proof, that I was the problem & I believed that all my life. Despite that, I’ve gave them the benefit of the doubt and continued to have some relationship with them. LC has been difficult, particularly these past few weeks, with family drama & stress. They do that have the awareness & sensitivity that I have and it is not healthy for me to be with them. Although it’s hurts, I’m glad for this realization. I’m taking better care of myself in the process. I’m convinced I have PTSD, since any contact, leaves me in distress with new revelations of past pain & memories. It’s been a rough few weeks. I continue to verbalize my pain & not hide it from myself. I have been conditioned to minimize & present well, when I’m feeling badly. My goal is to be more Real & step back from family contact. I continue validating myself & the damage done to me. I’m Hanging in There for Myself & My kids.


Darlene, I think not knowing how to express emotional abuse is one reason that kids make up ‘stories’ of abuse. They aren’t really lying, there looking for a way to express what is happening to them and causing them so much pain. Thank you for helping me in the last year or more to really understand how I was abused and giving me the right words to acurately describe what was done to me.

All, I’ve read through the comments and I think I have it a little confused when it comes to who said what but in the last conversation I had with my mom, I felt emotionally, cut off at the knees and it helped me identify the source of the paralyzing depressions I used to have. Family relationships can be so toxic that it is impossible to survive if we remain in them. None of us would knowingly expose ourselves to poisons that make our bodies sick (or we shouldn’t, abusing substances is to abuse one’s self by ingesting poinson. It’s only common sense to remove ourselves from people who are emotional poinson. If they have no desire to change and become healthy themselves, there’s no other sensible answer than ending the relationship.



Pam ~ That is so true … all of it!!


Thanks for your comment #170. I was told today, by my counselor, that she suspects I have PTSD. Actually, this makes so much sense to me!…It explains a lot of what I’m dealing with. The pathology is toxic! The ability to function becomes impaired. Yes, a sensible answer is to end the relationship. I certainly don’t want to revisit the trauma. My goal right now is to stay away from FOO, until I do more healing on myself. I have an intake appt set up this month to address my issues 7 problems. This is so hard to acknowledge that I need more support, because I feel I’ve done hard work & made progress. Yet, the pain is still remains. My counselor thinks that I can heal more & then have family contact without getting hurt. Well, I don’t know if I believe that for myself. I just know I need to go no contact at this time! I’m Scared & Hopeful at the same time.


I meant issues & problems in post #172….


Yes, that is what all abusers or anyone who sees themselves as “above” the other person will do; they don’t let you come up for air long enough to ever see that it is them by making sure that you look at you all the time. When I first admitted that I had depression it was the proof that everyone used against me and I went along with it! Even getting involved with the “wrong boyfriend” when I was younger was used as proof and before that, people talked about the difficult birth that I had and that the dr. had to use forcepts which damaged my eyes…. and perhaps my brain… and I accepted that too. GOOD GRIEF, its great to be out of that fog!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam,
Hugs, Darlene


I went through fearful times too. The further I got from my mom, the more clarity I found. Because she had such an inivisible hold on me, being in her presence seemed to hinder the clarity. Then, like I said, every couple of months she would do/say something that made my head sort of spin. Even though I could identify it as one of her tactics, I still was touched in some way, and that would mess with my clarity, even if only a little bit. After the last few exchanges I had via email, when my stepdad intruded, it was like I was handing them the rope, and they eagerly accepted. Their words screamed dysfunction and screwed up definitions of honor, love, respect, bullying, etc. They both got to a level of desperation that I find so evident now. It has really helped me to see them for who they are. That I could remain calm and speak as an adult, but they failed to do so. That is a relief to me. The road goes both ways. Once I put the pressure on them, they got angry and unreasonable. I suppose since I used their own methods on them, now I get the honor of saying they have anger issues ~ that they’re monsters. It proves to me that when buttons are pushed, people react. It doesn’t make me a monster, it makes me human. And, it makes me NO DIFFERENT than them in terms of angry reactions. What a relief to catch them up in their own BS and see how THEY handle it. All these years, I’ve bought into it. They stood over me like vipers holding an axe, ready to strike if I had a thought of my own or showed a hint of anger. Bullying because they could. Because I was weak. Because I needed them.

My husband, and people here, etc. have pointed out that it keeps a person stirred up to respond to their desperation. My husband suggested I route their emails to junk folder. As much as I still have some morbid curiosity to see what they have to say, I know it’s best to not even know what they have to say. It unleashes some strange paralysis on me for a few days. I’m sick of that roller coaster. I want to get past that two month mark when she comes back with some new crap. I want to see what happens past that. I wonder if I’ll continue to improve and gain more insight about myself and how to reparent, work on self esteem, etc.

I understand that pain you refer to. It is so painful. Revelations are just painful, no other way to describe it. At times, it’s been debilitating for me. I remember wondering how my mom could NOT love me, her own child. I don’t think she does. I don’t think she loves anyone but herself. I am relieved that she’s angry and withdrawn now. I need this time. Right now, I don’t think I ever want to see her or my stepdad again. I’m not sure I can keep my self care intact if I have contact with them in the future.

Thanks for listening, and I hear you. I know some days have passed between posts lately because I’ve been blessed with extra work. I know now that I can still function in a work capacity. What a relief that is. Anyhow, I have read everyone’s comments, and I’m thinking of my friends here. I’m just in a time crunch lately.

Much love and peace to you Sonia…. and everyone!!


Thank you for sharing this! Sounds like you are having some victories!
Hugs! Darlene


Thank You! I do have more clarity when I’m not around my FOO. The LC has not been working, since I was was still distressed. Well, feeling better with 2 weeks NC… Yay for me!….Doesn’t sound like much, but it is for me, since my kids want to see their grandparents & cousins. NC has not been my first choice, yet it’s the only way to maintain my clarity & peace. Thanks for the Love & Peace!
I have gained in awareness & that has been a blessing!


Hi Everyone!
I have published a new post about the letter I have mentioned here that my sister sent to myself and my daughter accusing me of poisoning my family (my kids) against my father.
You can read it here! http://emergingfrombroken.com/the-deception-of-an-emotionally-unavailable-father/
Hugs, Darlene


love and you will be loved sounds like one of those fairy tale endings that like most endings, one does not question. For many of us, love is not based on equal terms. If I say ‘i love you’ to my mother and she continues to treat me like she always has, do i love her more ? did my love fail ? according to everyone it did fail. Also as children, it places the horrible expectation that we should know how to give the kind of love that gets us love in return. How did I exactly know how to love my mother the ‘right’ way and imagine the failure I felt when not only it was not returned to me but I was met with what I now know is venom and rage. If as children, the love isnt there what do we do ?


Yes, the failure belongs to the parent not to the child. When a parent mistreats a child that isn’t LOVE at all. It is mistreatment and it breaks the self esteem of the child. And children have no choice; they depend on their parents for their lives. So we learn to survive and accept the unacceptable just in order to survive.

As an adult I realized that my life no longer depended upon these adults who mistreated and disregarded me. I flipped all those lies over and changed them back to the truth. That has been the only thing that has enabled me to heal from the damage that this false message of “love” caused.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] got a comment today on an old Christmas post preaching love and forgiveness and using all the ‘guilt and shame’ tactics that I write about all the time here in EFB. The […]

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