Mar
30

The Unheard Invisible Child; Being Seen and Finding my Voice

By

 

Freedom and Wholeness

Freedom

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

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

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

That was the beginning of my depressions; that kind of “acceptance” was really like a kind of “giving up”.  It was a giving up on me.

My childhood relationships taught me not to expect much from relationships in adulthood.  No expectations equaled less disappointment.

Keep in mind the false definition of relationship that I had learned; I still thought that if I did what the other person wanted, then I would be loved so I kept trying harder to achieve love by “compliance to others wishes” And other people lived by this false truth too, enforcing my belief that I could “prove love” by compliance to their wishes however it was never enough.

Accepting that I wasn’t heard was a big problem when it came to my personal journey. Not being heard and accepting this “lesser value” had a major effect on the way I viewed myself and on the health of my self esteem. 

Not being heard and not being allowed to have an “impact” on the people that I believed were important in my life, is a common part of growing up with emotional neglect and psychological abuse. (And a part of every other kind of abuse.)

It is a very big part of the grooming process to be taught that (my) opinions, feelings etc. are not valuable. It got me “out of their way”. It got me to the compliance and obedience stages that they wanted me to be at. It got me “respecting” and sometimes even “worshiping” the very people who were causing me the most harm.  I didn’t question or oppose anyone as long as I accepted that my voice didn’t matter.

In the emotional healing process, I realized that in not being heard, I had also become the invisible child. Accepting that “I didn’t matter” defined me as unimportant. Not important enough to be heard made me feel invisible. Does a person who doesn’t matter, really exist?

Being the invisible child had its good points when I looked back through the grid of “survivor mode”. Being invisible seemed to be the right choice if I was going to stay safe. I realized that being invisible had served a purpose for a long time in my life, and when I began emotionally  healing, being visible was frightening.

I had to look at this conflict within myself.

Once I started to heal, being invisible and not being heard became a fear trigger that I didn’t always recognize or understand.  Being invisible was invalidating but being visible didn’t feel safe. I found my voice and was finally using it but I was not used to being so visible. It didn’t feel “comfortable”; being heard and being heard (visible) was really unfamiliar. 

Once I began to heal and validate my right to be respected, loved and my right to have equal value I found that I reacted to people who ignored me as though I was insignificant. I wanted to fight against being regarded as insignificant. But at the same time, being invisible was the only way that I had felt safe in the past so it was somewhat of a “default mode”. I had always lived by the thought that “if ‘they’ don’t notice me, ‘they’ won’t hurt me”.  When I took my life back, I wanted to be seen and heard. I had something to say and I had a right to say it. I wanted to have some impact on others but at the same time I was afraid of the rejection that was forthcoming whenever I had tried to have a voice before! It was complicated to realize both these thoughts/beliefs were operating simultaneously. 

I would say that learning to listen to myself and giving up on being heard by the people who silenced me in the first place was foundational in my healing. Finding my voice did not mean that I had to be heard by those that refused to hear me.

It was through looking at the history in my life that I was able to see all the aspects of these fears and overcome them. There was a reason that I was so shut down.  I was groomed overtime to “accept” that I didn’t matter; my voice was not important and my needs/wants were invalid.  Overcoming that false belief was only the first step on the road to emotional healing. I went on to realize that “invisible” had become something I hid in. Invisibility felt safer than visibility. Invisible no longer served me because I no longer needed to live in “survivor mode”.

Embracing equality and owning that equal value was for me too, was part of how I finally found, validated and reclaimed my voice.

Please share your thoughts through the comment form about losing or finding your voice or whatever stage of that process that resonates with you. Remember that you may use any name you wish if your privacy is a concern. Only the name you use will be public on this site. The optional URL spot is for if you want to share your blog or website.

There is freedom on the other side of broken,

Darlene Ouimet 

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

 

 

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness

163 Comments

1

reading this brings tears because can so relate–was never heard–let that be in any sense, tellling when things happen, try to prevent things, standing up for things–from childhood and even now–the trying to be heard has turned into further hurts, pain, punishment, degredation–but yes we yearn to be heard, really heard–and it seems like so many dont–even those that claim they care–and you do automatically, defensively hide so to speak–tired of the pain–tired of being invisible

2
invisible by choice
March 30th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

see it’s different for me … I was the invisible … I overcame it … I was heard … but by then I was so different from everyone around me that I don’t actually WANT to be heard by those people anymore … they’re all caught up in a world of capital gain, being famous for ALL the wrong reasons … society as a whole has gone to hell in a hand basket … so now I find myself invisible again … not because I don’t have the strength power or self-belief to BE visible … but because I look on the majority of society with nothing but disdain … why should I even bother sharing myself with such people? I carefully select the few people that are WORTH my light and love … and pardon my French here … but f%&^ the rest … leave them to their illusions of monetary importance and false perceptions of power … I want nothing more to do with them.

3

yes Darlene, the voice, there is always a reason for them to stop me and manipulate me when i talk the truth in everything, i was told by my eldest sister more than 10 years ago to stop talking because i am ”hated” more..i was always ignored and saw not taken seriously because there are occasions i was being ganged up subtly to “punish ” me because i am “different” being the first person to show disgust on how abuse is not dealt properly in our circle. i am still “punished” now, in their own subtle ways,i would see all of them together showing me..”see ?we are all happy and allright together?” –to show that i am not to be taken seriously.. until now if i expose the abuses and talk about my life, i am asked why do i have to expose my life to the whole world..whatever i do, they always have controlling tactics.G

4

Hi broken,
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be heard. For me I had to let go of wanting to be heard by those who had defined me as nothing and unworthy to be heard by them. I changed who I wanted to be heard by. I learned to support myself and to love and validate myself. That is the process. I got tired of being invisible too, and now I am not! There is hope and there is healing.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

5

Hi Invisible by Choice
I carefully select the people that I have in my life today too. I don’t need to be heard by “them” in order for me to be visible to me or to the people in my life today. I am valid becasue I am and I know it today. I feel comfortable being visible today, and I trust myself to keep myself safe from those with hidden motives. Being visible isn’t scary for me anymore, but that was a process!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

6

Hi G
It isn’t that you are exposing YOUR life that bothers them ~ it is that you are exposing their lives! My family didn’t care if I was hated, they were way more afraid of BEING hated if the abuse was exposed. I have that all straight now! I am doing great as much as they must just hate that!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

7

Two recent situations – I spoke the truth & stood up for me & mine, no delay! Yea, it’s working! Also getting better at choosing who to let in. Practice, practice,practice valuing me.

8

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

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

9

Yes! Life is too short to spend with people who don’t accept you as a person. Sometimes it’s worth giving them an opportunity for change and sometimes not. My personal rule is to not punish stupidity and to not tolerate put-down style relating.

Sometimes I think you just have to be very clear and intolerent “If we cannot play nicely together we will not play at all”. It’s the child in us that gets hurt and so it’s the child in us that gets a voice. Likewise “you may want to play with me but if i don’t want to play with you today that’s how it’s going to be”.

Outside of harmful relationships people find it easy to respect you if you demand respect by your actions. You also stop worrying about being ‘liked’ so much.

In my case a health-scare gave me fresh and brutal focus. Some people are worth your time and some are not. Some relationships are worth attempting to grow and some not. People have found out which category they are in….

10

Hi everyone.

Relate to the “not existing” bit. Actually can relate to most of the article, but as usual got no idea what to do about any of it. Been mostly ignoring parents’ calls/msg’s since moving out. Guilt still f**ks with my head real bad though. Feel like I’ve stopped caring about almost anything. Feel like I’ve just cut off from any part of me that ever gave a shit about them. Brain keeps putting up thoughts like “You’ll feel guilty if they (or anyone in my family) die”. Lately don’t even feel like I’d go to funerals if anyone did. Sometimes think I wouldn’t even call if I knew they were dying. Don’t know if it’s just because of how often I have to deal with thoughts of suicide, and the anger & blame at them for everything they’ve done to me that’s left me like this. Then often feel like the biggest *@%§ on the planet for thinking/feeling things like that.

Been feeling really bitter at them/the world for leaving me this way. Life is a chore. Only occasionally have a small flicker of enjoyment. (Distraction from everything might be a better way to describe it) Never lasts though. All the mental shit’s always right there waiting to land on me as soon as the distraction ends.

I’ve been feeling really trapped, helpless & hopeless. Sometimes I just want people to understand how hard the smallest things are for me most days. I want people to sympathise with me & help me somehow. There are lots of things I sometimes want to try (nearly all creative) but there’s so many things that can stop me. I don’t know where to start. And it feels pointless anyway cos it all takes money, and right now it’s looking like I won’t be able to maintain even this meagre existence for long. Brain jumps in with guilt for all those who never got anything from life, but I don’t care. There’s still a huge part of me that thinks I’m special, better than everyone else cos of my creativity, and wants the world to come hand me everything I need to be creative and then agree how wonderful I am. Other part’s terrified that I’d just be a whining, self-pitying laughing stock.

Actually the visible/invisible thing is a huge part of this – growing up I believed I had to be perfect and never do anything even a little bit wrong (parental brainwashing in the wonderful guise of fundamentalist christianity). I was so terrified of ever getting into trouble and having my parents find out I wasn’t the perfectly behaved robot I tried to be. (Not sure if this was due to my own thoughts or their abuse/indoctrination etc). I do remember a f**king “children’s” christian storybook designed to add to the terror of eternal damnation about a little girl’s “little miss perfect” persona being exposed.

Anyway, I’m now full of creative ideas, many of which are highly blasphemous & offensive, that I’m afraid to develop due to fear of “being seen” & having people come gunning for me. So, yeah. Fear of being visible. But tons of creativity in me, much of which would probably make me a target. Creativity’s about the only thing that ever excites me, but it’s so rare for me to have any energy to do anything about it. And the few times I do, there’s always fear or lack of money to stop me.

Weird – actually doesn’t seem like that much stopping me right now. I’d love to have a couple of people who could all help encourage each other in their creativity. Should probably try to look into that.

Hope everyone’s doing well.

11

Hi Fai
That is great!! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi SMD
What would you define as “being hurt again”?
I constantly hurt myself by accepting that treatment. Because I finally accepted that they were not going to hear me, I decided to stick up for me; not so that they MIGHT hear me but because I needed to validate myself. I knew they had a choice; they could try to hear me finally or they would reject me again. The rejection hurt, but standing up for myself was empowering. They had a choice just like I did. They could have chosen relationship with me, (with respect) or no relationship with me which is rejection, but it also proved my biggest fear; that they didn’t really care, just like their actions were pointing to all along.
Not speaking up for me was sending the message that they could treat me how ever they wanted and I decided that was over. But before I confronted, I decided that I had to take a chance on the outcome in order to live. Taking a chance did not depend on them finally hearing me.
Not easy. The fear was far worse than the reality in many of these times!
Hugs, Darlene

12

Hi Mike
Nice comments. I liked what you said about not careing so much anymore about being “liked”. I had to take a serious look at what I thought “love” actually was and if the people who were giving me all this grief fit anything even close to what might be called “love”. This was a big thing for me and I have written a lot about looking at false definitions of many words in this site. (love, respect, relationship etc.) and I had messed up beleifs about all of them.
Thanks for sharing.

13

this is my life in a nutshell. I feel like Darlene understands me better than anyone else i have ever known. Its like we were walking the same path at the same time just in two totally different places. I feel like i have so much to learn and unlearn. My fear is that i will never get there. Living out of fear for almost 50 years and being frozen and ashamed of who i am has been by existence almost my whole life. the deep shame that has been embedded for so long is what i have lived my life from. Ashamed of who I am. Ashamed of what i did or didnt do. Not only did i not have a voice. i felt so ashamed about who i was that i just shut down completely. I have lived ‘shut down’ pretty much my whole life. Its hard to put a lot of thought into this right now because the amount of emotional pain that has been surfacing has been about a 9.5 on a scale of 10 and its coming up every day. the pain just keeps coming and coming and its exhausting to deal with. I can read the blogs and totally relate to them but the amount of energy its taking just to work through the pain each day is overhwelming. I almost dont really care anymore that i dont have friends or people who care about me. I have pretty much given up on that. I am just trying to heal from all the brokenness and heartache for so many years. I am just trying to get to the place where my life is not defined by pain every day. I cried for about an hour this morning and then went back to bed for two hours because i was completely exhausted. I have to read this blog over and over again so that it sinks in to try and replace all of the lies with the truth that is shared here. I cant find one person in my life that i can share things with in a conversation. One friend that i had slowly started to open up to just pulled the rug out from under me and told me she could not handle “my deep emotional stuff” anymore. I had not even really shared that much. She is a safe person so i began sharing. Finding people who are safe and who have time to listen and who are willing to listen has been virtually impossible for me. I dont have any contact with any family at all. I cant seem to find support anywhere in which i can actually sit down and share some of my stuff. I am willing to share and talk about what happened to me and willng to be open and vulnerable but i cant find anyplace to do that. Its very hard and very frustrating. I want to share and open up and tell my story but finding someone willing to be there for me has been one disappointment after another. I dont try much anymore. I have pretty much given up on that. Thanks for reading !

14

Hi J.
I wish that I could say something that would comfort you and inspire some hope. When I look back on my life before I came out on the other side of broken, I realized that even if someone was willing to help me, I could not accept it. I was too messed up to believe that anyone would want to help me. This was not “a fault” but a lost-ness in me. I had to make that decision to live. I had to decide that I was going to fight for me. I write this blog/site to inspire that fight in others. My heart goes out to you J. There IS hope. I hope that you can see it too. You deserve life.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Dave
I am glad that you feel understood by me. That is a beginning. Some of what I said to J. also applies to your situation too. It was not a person that helped me so much as it was that I decided to fight for me. Then there were a few people who I let have a bit of impact on me, but it was me who decided to change my life. I know this feels cryptic; I write from a place of “looking back on what happened and how I moved out of where you are into where I am now” It is so much easier for me to see the steps that I took then it was for me to see what was ahead of me when I was back there. Everyday felt like a risk back then. But there is hope. I did this and so can you!
Thank you for sharing your heart. You are not alone and I am sure that both you and J. have made others who are reading this realize that these feelings of pain and hopelessness are not only inside of them.
Hugs, Darlene

15

Hi Darlene, I’m really struggling with all of this right now. Part of it is my age and wondering how much destruction of my previous life I can handle and rebuild. It is safer to be invisible. It is safer to go along to get along. I’ve had so much pain in my life already that it is really hard to invite more pain in. However, I can’t seem to help myself because I view myself so differently and I respond to life and the people in my life differently than I did bedore.I guess I’m having growing pains and I’m a little disappointed because I thought that by the time I reached the age I am now (of course,I didn’t expect to live this long)that I would be settled in my life. Instead, I find that everything in my life is in a state of flux from my marriage, to my friendships, to the economy and the uncertainty of my future that it is causing. Today, I feel like I’m too old for this stuff but I also, know there is a reason to it all. Today, I just can’t see it. Tomorrow, it will probably look very different. This is just a rough patch that I wasn’t prepared for.

Love,
pam

16

Hi Pam
I can relate to rough patches, that is for sure! I had to ask myself what the alternative would look like if I didn’t face this stuff. My answer was that my life would be the same life I had been trying to escape my entire life. Constant depressions. Constant struggle. For me it was not about being “visible” but about no longer living (and agreeing with being regarded as) invisible. I decided that I can handle anything (or at least I decided that I am willing to face anything! 🙂 ) because I want to live and I want to live in wholeness, truth, freedom and equality. The alternative is the type of death I had lived in my whole life before this. I remember saying outloud one time that I was too old for this, and I felt that all my years had been ripped off. I also remember the day when I realized that I have the rest of my life! I am going to life it to the fullest!
I know that this is just a rough day for you because I have seen you fight! Hang in there!
Hugs and love to you.
Darlene

17

Darlene – thanks – I love you !! I mean that with all my heart. You inspire me to go on. You give me hope that i can make it too ! You speak to my heart and i know that you care deeply. Even tho i am very much broken i have come a long way already. There is no turning back. I think i may start my own blog. I dont find men writing about this stuff hardly anywhere except on malesurvivor.org but that hasnt helped me much. Your insight and wisdom have been much more valuable than anything i have ever got from a book or counselor or a video. Its because you have been there and you KNOW what its like. thats the big difference. counselors havent been there. Or if they have they dont ever share it so you never make that connection like i have with you. Thanks again – looking forward to hearing more about your Hollywood trip soon !

18

thanks for sharring this it really its home with me
both my parents let me know just how much i didnt mean to them
by them both saying over and over K arla your to be seen not
hurd . what that has always said to me is KARLA your nothing to no one not even to your mother and dad. no wonder i suffred with depression
and still do and heaven forbit someone have mental illness like my mother ,all of us sisters have mental illness. my father was ashamed of us. the family and even friend when they say Well that was the passed
and this is now , when i hear that to me thier saying Karla that was back then we didnt want o hear about it and we still dont want to here your voice or abou what happen to you . and you know they still dont care what happen .well what did i really expect? they didnt care
back then why care now ? so I still am seen and not hurd that says it all.

19

Hi Darlene,
You asked me, “What would you define as “being hurt again”? Well, it’s about feeling rejected again, for standing up for myself. I’ve been voicing my thoughts & feelings, more often, over the last few years, and it does feel Empowering. However, I fear their reactions…I’m just admitting this to myself. I have been yelled at, put down, reprimanded and ignored by my family. It’s like you said, “I had to take a chance on the outcome”….Yes!….That is what I need to do and it does not depend on them “hearing me”! They don’t listen to me anyway, and they continue to hurt my feelings, which is not ok!

My mom once told me to stop hurting her, when I would speak up about her mistreatment of me. Well, I can now say, “I’m asking you not to say hurtful things to ME, just as you have said to me.” Using my assertiveness skills, I can elaborate by saying, “I feel hurt, when you……. (insert her hurtful comments)….I already know it won’t be received or heard, however it will make me feel better by Validating Myself & My Feelings. I will have this talk with my mom. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. Wish me Luck!…She has a choice to reject me again or hear me. My choice is to Stand up for Myself!
SMD

20

Hi Karla
To be seen and not heard is a terrible devaluing thing to say to a child or to any other person. It is such a strong way of defining someones value as NOT. I thin that mental illnesses and depressions are the direct result of being treated that way. Being shut down, being defined as not important and not worthy of even having a voice.

I had to start to see myself. I had to realize that them not seeing me and not hearing me was not my fault, and it was wrong. It was so hard for me to realize that they were not going to change but taking my own life back and validating myself set me free.
I am glad you are here,
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

21

Hi SMD
Sounds like you are having a bit of a breakthrough!
My mom discounted all of my feelings, my thoughts etc. I got really strong about this with everyone in my life that did that. I would say “I don’t care if you think I am wrong.” To myself I would remind myself that I had always believed them in the past when they said it was “me” that was the problem but now I know different. I don’t need them to agree with me anymore.
something to think about; the boundary is drawn in the heart. (when I got it, they go it) When my family and friends knew that I was no longer going to bow down to them, many of them withdrew. They didn’t want me to change, they didn’t want me to regard myself as equally valuable. I realized that there was really no relationship in the first place unless I was beneath them. That stung but it also clarified things for me. I was unwilling to live defined like that anymore.
Love and hugs, Darlene

22

Thanks, Darlene. Love you!

Pam

23

Hello
I think what helps the most is the fact that everyone here listens and really understands because
it happened to you too. No one says you are imagining things or you are overreacting. I always
just thought I was bad and damaged because that was just who I was. I always tried to do what
what was expected but always failed. No one asked me my likes or hopes or dreams as I was
expected to follow theirs. No one ever listened. I was told stop chattering. Dont talk. Be quiet.
That devalueing has hurt me all my life and until this blog I never even realized it.
Thank you all so much. I dont feel alone and crazy any more.

24

Karen
Your comments in #23 speak volumes! I am going to quote you here as I want to maximize the value of what you said:

Karen wrote:
“I think what helps the most is the fact that everyone here listens and really understands because
it happened to you too.No one says you are imagining things or you are overreacting. I always
just thought I was bad and damaged because that was just who I was. I always tried to do what
what was expected but always failed. No one asked me my likes or hopes or dreams as I was
expected to follow theirs. No one ever listened. I was told stop chattering. Dont talk. Be quiet.
That devalueing has hurt me all my life and until this blog I never even realized it.
Thank you all so much. I dont feel alone and crazy any more.”

Thanks so much for sharing this Karen. No one ever cared about my derams or hopes either. That was one of the most awful truths that I had to face.
Hugs, Darlene

25

hi Darlene,

I’ve noticed that my coping behaviours that I used in childhood are coming back. One of them is learning a musical instrument. When I was a child my dad brought an electric organ home. It had a book with it and I worked my way through playing each song over and over again. My mum insisted I wear headphones because it annoyed her to hear me restart a song lots of times when I went wrong in it. This weekend I downloaded a keyboard app for my phone and have spent hours on it playing the same song over and over. I’ve also spent hours on ebay looking for a keyboard I can afford. I have this sudden desperate need to learn and play the song. I used to spend hours doing that in childhood. It took my mind off the painful atmosphere. I think I’ve been very triggered this weekend. I watched the Vagina Monologues which was intense. I had a counselling session on Friday and a lot came out about my dad. Not just bad stuff – the way his eyes crinkled when he smiled. I’ve been feeling nostalgia for that because I’ve seen a couple of men smile that way this week and I felt a bit confused because I was so frightened of my dad but I also really adored him. His smile made my heart swell. This doesn’t seem connected with what you wrote about voice and not being heard but in a way I think it is. My voice wasn’t heard – we also had that saying “children should be seen and not heard” in our house. Playing a musical instrument involves making a noise but even then my mum wouldn’t hear it. She made me put the headphones on. I sang though. She said that was worse: hearing me sing without the music was worse. But if she’d spent time with me singing and giving loving attention then it would have felt different. I needed to make that noise. I understand that now. It helped me get away from the tension, from the dirtiness. I needed to stretch my throat, fill it with sound. She never bothered to find out why I needed to do that. She just laughed and dismissed it or told me off.

26

Hi Darlene,
I just confronted my mom about something hurtful she said to me. I used my assertiveness skills and she was quick to explain herself & did say, “I did not say that to be mean”. In the past, she would have been very defensive & blame me. Wow!…part of me believes this & the other part questions, that she is doing damage control. I was feeling shaky before & during my talk, but I was prepared with responses & I was not going to take any responsibility for her actions. Despite what she says, I know the truth that her intention was hurtful, because I trust my instincts. Anyway, I have less fear in asserting myself now & I’m going to continue doing that. Like you said, draw the boundary in my heart.

Of course, my mom dominated the conversation & was trying to quilt trip me into going to a distant cousin’s shower. I don’t even know this cousin and said that to my mom. She said, “She is YOUR cousin”. I said, “I’m not obligated” and she said, well I’m ordering her gift on line, so You will have to get Your own gift. Well if I go, she wants me to go with Her, my sister, and Aunt. Needless to say, She has to Tell me what to do & use her guilt trip tactic. I’m not buying it! I can send a gift or card and not go, that is my choice.
SMD

27

Hi Julia
It sounds like perhaps your returning interest in playing music might be triggering these memories. (I think triggers are a good thing; they let us know what we are ready to deal with) I think that all of what you have shared here is connected.
Music is a wonderful outlet, and can be a wonderful tool just like writing. I think it is wonderful that you returning to it and for me when I had these times of insight, (memories of being shut down and also good memories like your Dads smile) sometimes it was just a matter of sorting them out in order to get more clarity. Like a thought that is just on the edge of coming out of “the fog”.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

28

Hi SMD
Good for you!! Thank you for sharing this update! You sound really great.
Hugs, Darlene

29

Darlene – i know this is totally off the wall but what determines the color of the square up in the corner by the persons name ? Some are blue, some are pink and some are green – i know totally random but am curious ?

what did you mean by “cryptic” – i dont understand what that means ?

thanks for emphasizing Karens post. It really hit me over the weekend that the only people who can truly empathize with me are those that have been tnrough what i have been through or something similar. counseling is such a one way relationship. The counselor never reveals anything about themselves so you have no idea whether they can relate to what you are going through or if they are just using training they have learned through education to try and help you. There is just something about personally experiencing an event or situation that brings you closer together like a common bond does. Its like we are all working towards the same goal together from different places all over the world at the same time. We all have equal input and the ability to provide unique perspectives from our own experiences. there is the connection that is made here that to me is more helpful than any other connection i have made anywhere else. So thankful for the ability to come on here and share and learn and grow and heal !!

30

Hi Dave
I don’t actually know how the system picks the coloured squares. They are automatically generated likely according to the comment form that each commenter fills out because most of the time, my square is the same colour (dark blue) like yours is always light blue.

Your comments in #29 are excellent and I think you are right! About my use of the word “cryptic” I meant that my comment to you may seem to be somewhat mysterious, or hard to understand like “coded”. I felt like my process was similar to decoding my entire life! If it were easy to just explain all the stuff it takes to overcome all of what we work on overcoming, this website would be a lot smaller!

Hugs, Darlene

31

Darlene – thanks ! I have a place that i am looking at going to for some therapy/counseling. Its a trauma recovery program not too far from where we live. I would like to get your opinion on it if you have a little time to look at their website ? They do one and two week programs in which you spend 7 hours per day in one on one sessions and then have the evenings free. I am strongly considering going but would like someone i trust to give me their opinion. Are you willing to do that ? How do i send you the link to their site without posting it on here ? thanks so much !

32

Dave
You can send me the link through FB if you like or through the contact form here in the site. Depending on how much time it will take for me to look at the site, I will give you my opinion privately.
Hugs, Darlene

33

I too sought out friendship with others that had come from homes that were abusive. I always knew my group of closest friends thru middle and high school were also “different” but I never realized exactly
what set us apart. Now I see what we had in common. Why we had trouble fitting in. We did not understand that we had not been raised to interact in a functional way. My disfunction in the area of
relationships as simple as a common friendship was very debilitating in school.
I also knew not to speak of my homelife even to those close friends even though I realized there were similar
conditions in theirs I never in all those years put them on the spot.

34

Darlene – i will send it through facebook. Even if you could just take a look at the front page i would very much appreciate it !

thanks !

35

Hi Karen
I can totally relate to what you are saying! Excellent comments.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

36

Hi Folks,
I am going to need some major feedpack and support. I can feel the storm on the horizon. This is an excerpt from the letter I left for my mom tonight, Tuesday, April 3rd.
___________________________________________________________

I appreciate you helping me and giving me a decent place to live.

If you guys are sick, or need help doing anything,
I hope you know I will be there for you.

Right now, I think the best way for us to not have any more misunderstandings or disagreements is for me to not be involved in too many unnecessary conversations.

I do not like coming upstairs and having (Stepdad) look at me, walk past, and not even speak. That is so rude.
Respect works both ways. He is just that way, I know, I have been told that more than once.

When someone tells me or I know I have done or said something to hurt someone else, I know how to say I am sorry.
Some people make excuses and never see their wrong, only what someone else has done.

I am writing this, because I don’t want to be yelled at, or told my behavior or feelings are wrong. If you guys are going to be mad because I am telling the truth about how I feel. I guess I will pay the price for being an adult and sticking up for myself.

Please don’t tell me I am crazy or believing things that never happened or you don’t know what I am talking about.

Love D C

37

D.C. – good for you for sticking up for yourself and sharing how you feel. I applaud you for doing that !! Proud of you for being able to share your feelings honestly !

38

Hi D.C.
Welcome to EFB
Good for you for saying what you needed to say and for sticking up for yourself! Please share as often as you wish,
Hugs, Darlene

39

To J Creative outlet: How about starting a website and posting your drawings, art, writing, etc. and encouraging others to post visuals of how they feel?

I took web design classes and would be glad to help. D C

40

My mother told me I didn’t exist when she told me not to tell that my dad raped me. She was very angry with me when I went to her for help. She expressed this anger through hatred and held back any nurture and motherly affection I needed. My mom, dad ,and grandmothers went on to rape and molest me continually. I screamed, I tried to fight but it didn’t change what was happening. In all this I became invisible. I always knew I existed but looking at them and how they (my parents) treated me was so confusing to me. I thought they must not see me. Once I thought I wasn’t human. I thought I was something different but didn’t know what that different was. Somehow during all this I knew deep within I was valid and deserved to be treated better. I didn’t know how to put it together and I struggled with depression for years, searching for answers. The trauma of the sexual and physical abuse had caused me to have dissociative amnesia. As an adult now I experience flashes of these horrible events. As an adult my parents and siblings try to treat me as if I’m still invisible but I have confirmation that I’m not and never have been.I now understand better what I always knew even when they were raping me and that is I am visible and I do have a say so in how I’m treated and who I want to share my life with. I became the caretaker emotionally to my entire immediate family, only because my mother told me I had to when I went to her for help. I have been treated as less than human many many years and living with this illness without real understanding. But not anymore. I’m no longer their dumping bag for all the wrongs and emotional wrecks in their lives. I say no to them and my voice is heard louder than louder through my actions. I know that I’m not responsible for anyone’s emotional well being. None of what they did was my fault. I was afraid to stand up to them because I love them and my mother’s angry rejection from way back still lived inside me. I still felt her mean and evil spirit towards me when I stood up for myself as a little girl and spoke to her about what dad had did to me. I didn’t want to feel that kind of rejection anymore from my family so whenever they needed me I said yes and it didn’t matter if I was tired or needed some time alone, I would always put them above my needs. I was too afraid to say no. The flashes helped me, the flashes gave me courage, even though they’re very painful I’m thankful for them. They tell me my story, they give me confirmation and validation. I am visible rather they see me or not, and if they chose not to respect my visibility then they can’t be a part of my life,even as much as I love them. I’m still growing, still healing from it all and it still gets quite frightening at times, but I’m going to keep living with or without them…Visible, quite Visible.

41

20 yrs drug use from 17-37 went to rehab, i dont feel guilt or shame about bisexual behavior from 12-45

42

my uncle molested me at 12, and from 13-45 i participated in drugs use,pornography,incest,forced and consentual. now that im sober i see the sickness, and my girlfriends 16 son awoke me with my cock in his hand and mouth, saying all my friends fool around, dont worry mom knows im sucking your cock, i freak told him to stop, and he punched me,handcuffed me and sat on me,he is 6 3 im 5 11
his mom preaches, come on son make hyim suck cock they had this whole plan, very sick
i moved the next day, and her son came to my new apt, his mom threw him out i let him sleep on the couch, i awoke to him sucking me, i pretended to be asleep,he licked sucked and tongued me, i came in his mouth,hes a minor,its wrong, and i sucked him from 16-22 im 48 now and my gf is bi,im bi,and my whole family has sex
i dont feel bad, or guilty its normal in the home, not the real world. 12-18 friends had incest and bisexuality with some family member

43

my stepdad partied with me, put something in my soda camping, i was 14, he unzipped my short and sucked me, he asked me does that feel good, i said yes, and he put his huge cock up to my lips, suck it .and i didi

44

Hi everyone!!

Lots of things struck me as I read all the comments. The comment “what if she dies”, is the first that sank in. As a daughter, I know it will be part of my responsibility to do planning when my mother dies. She’s healthy as a horse, so if her health is an indication of her longevity, I have a while to get prepared. By prepared, I mean mentally and emotionally. I have no idea how her death will make me feel. I do know that if she dies today and our relationship is strained (which it is), I don’t think I’ll have any guilt, and maybe not even any remorse. I gave her 43 years of my life…. she was the manager of my feelings, actions, reactions, self-perception, value, etc. I see things clearly now. I have found incredible freedom in not being around her, and in holding her accountable. What I have learned with holding her accountable just in the last 3 months is, she refuses accountability, STILL!! Today, I’m okay with that. She can refuse, but I know the truth. As time passes, the truth inside me is more and more satiating. I need her approval and ownership less and less all the time. I feel very little toward her really. Perhaps I should be ashamed to say that about my own mother, but, it’s true. If she died, I wonder if I would cry. I cried so much last year over her, that I’m not sure there is any emotion left to come out. Seems almost like she died last year. If she was dead right now, it doesn’t change what I’ve come to know about her; it doesn’t change the abuse or abandonment, or disapproval I’ve known for so many years. Dead or alive, nothing changes the past. All that has changed now, is my approach, my inner value, my lack of regard for her opinion, my appreciation of her twisted web of lies, deceit, and manipulation. I don’t have that longing for her love like I used to. I realize she will never come to my aid emotionally, or otherwise. She PRETENDS every emotion or sentiment she has.

I can’t say I’m not floundering. I am a little. I haven’t learned the art of self parenting. I have learned not to expect her to do it though, and that’s a big relief. When I let go of that expectation that she would rise to the occasion eventually, there was tremendous relief. I’m not sure how/when that happened. I suppose over time as part of the process. Now, not only do I not expect it, I don’t even want it. Having her hug me or try to sound genuine in any way, would only sicken me. I feel better and I do better, without her. This was evidenced just recently. I had gone 8-10 weeks without contacting her. We were forced into having conversations because my grandma (her mom) got sick. I had to let all efforts of accountability go to the wayside and talk about the business at hand. During that 10 day period, I didn’t do as well. I slept for hours and hours immediately after the close contact ended. All desire to do anything productive left me. I was depressed, but I couldn’t really make the connection that it was her. Our conversations were pleasant and non-confrontational….. unrealistically pleasant actually. So, why would I feel moved at all? I can only conclude that her very presence in my life leaves a a bad taste in my mouth. Even if it’s a pleasant exchange. She had said I was angry just prior to my grandma getting sick. Her counselor said I was too. I don’t feel angry. Denial about anger?? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I can’t figure out why they both say that. Well, I can figure out why my mom does, but, not her counselor. My mom says it because she thinks it puts all the blame onto me. It’s just another means of manipulation with her. I have no idea what the counselor gained from saying it. The best part ~ I don’t care much either.

It’s been quite a while since I wrote here. I needed to take up some space apparently. Sorry for dragging on!!

Thanks to everyone who posted. Good reading!!!
xoxo,
Mimi

45

Hi Will
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for sharing ~ My heart goes out to you for all that you have endured. It is really great to read your victories and self respect in spite of the horrific sexual and emotional abuse that you lived with. I am so glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

46

Hi Mimi
Your comment struck a few things with me. (this is my feelings and I am not asking anyone to agree for themselves about this, I am just stating how I feel now) I have thought about “what if my mom died” lots, and when you said that you know it will be part of your responsibility as a daughter (to make arrangements or whatever) I reacted. I decided a while ago that I have no responsibility to my mother. She manipulated me for years about her will as though she could hook me with the promise of money or something and I got so sick of it. When I look back, my mother always saw me differently than she saw herself and I am sick of it. She would not take care of anything that I ever needed, and I guess that lets me off the hook too! My brothers have certainly been in judgement of my decision not to suck up to my mom anymore, so they can take care of all that stuff.
Thanks for sharing Mimi. I know you wrote a lot of other good stuff here, but I can’t comment on all of it ~ just one other thing about the counselor; I have noticed over the years that in our messed up society, even counsellors blame the kid no matter the age. That is one of the biggest things that I want to expose. I would guess that the counselor has issues of his or her own and just automatically believes whatever your mom says. ugg.
Love Darlene

47

Hi DC,

Thanks for your offer – I really appreciate that!
I don’t feel ready to put anything up though so I’ll pass.

Hi Mimi,
Your post got me thinking a lot too. I’m very tired, so not sure if I can follow the thoughts coherently!

One thing it made me realize is that I do still want them (parents) to take care of me financially. I’ve actually hoped they’d die at times (assuming they haven’t disinherited me already) so I could have money & not feel as helpless & powerless as I do now. Sometimes I don’t even feel guilty for thinking that. (Sometimes I feel like an inhuman %?@# too).

Sometimes lately I’ve thought about asking them to let me have my inheritance (if any) now. But I still don’t think I’d talk to them even if they did. In fact I’d probably cut off completely if they did. Sometimes feels like the main reason I haven’t cut off (as in, drawn the line & told them so — I’ve mostly stopped responding to calls/msg’s) is probably fear of being stuck with no options if I run out of money (which looks highly probable at this stage). So I guess I’m still holding on to the hope of financial help. But the bit you wrote about being sickened by hugs etc I definitely relate to. So I guess I’ve at least started to let go of some of the desire for parenting from my parents.

Man so tired… think I gotta go. Have to look over your post again sometime soon Mimi (when the brain’s at least mildly functional).

Hope everyone’s well

48

Darlene,
Thanks for your response. Re: the counselor ~ I and my sister have both emailed her, shedding some light on who my mother REALLY is. I even forwarded some stuff my mom had written herself. I saw the counselor too off and on for most of 2011, albeit for other issues initially. It came down to talking about my mother a lot toward the end of the year and beginning 2012. The counselor would often say, “she did the best she could with what she had to work with, or her knowledge at the time”. I can offer a measure of understanding when my sisters and I were really young and my mom was doing a lot of the parenting alone. I can’t offer much understanding when I was 14 and she’d already raised two other girls, and was treating me like a useless tenant of her household. I know in my heart, that’s not her best. The counselor can disagree…. many people use that excuse. I was so relieved to find other opinions here about that statement. My mom said it to me recently when she wrote me an email rebuttal for holding her accountable. She said, “I did the best I could, and I’m sorry if that wasn’t good enough for you.” Hahaha!! She will later call that an apology…. mark my words!!

I believe you’re right. The counselor has issues too. She talks about herself a lot in her sessions. I think she could have made some of the mistakes my mom made so it’s personal to her. She says I haven’t forgiven and I’m angry. I think to myself, “well, you don’t know me either!!” In addition, I feel my forgiveness is a process that’s to be worked out between God and myself. Not the counselor, God, and myself. I’ve never been one of the people who claims to have a forgivness switch they can flip off and on. It’s a process for me, and I don’t intend to skip a step, and then later have to turn around and hit it anyway. The counselor is Christian and she spent a LARGE amount of time talking about my forgiveness. Each week I would leave there feeling like it was her decision whether I had forgiven or not, and if not, I needed to do it right then, on her time. A waste really. I couldn’t seem to drive home the point that I felt I had largely forgiven my mom, but, that doesn’t mean I want her to be around her just yet. I don’t know why should couldn’t make that distinction. Who in their right mind WANTS to keep company with an abuser??

Re: the funeral ~ I have pondered the idea just today that I need to message my mom and ask her to have her business all lined out, all the way down to the flowers, music, and casket. If it’s left up to me, I’ll go for the value line!! haha! If it’s my money, I’ll DEFINITELY go for the value line. That’s what she’s done in my life. I figure I can return the favor. I won’t tell her that part though. I’ll just ask her to get it all together, and soon.

My mom and stepdad have also mentioned the “will” a LOT over the years. Stuff like, “we just spent your will money”. I get VERY sick of hearing it too. I know roughly what they have. They’ll be lucky to pay for their own funerals, if they live 20 more years. In addition, I don’t want a dime from them. What I want to say when I hear about the “will” is, “please stop talking about your will ~ there won’t likely be money left, and if there is, I don’t want it”. That should shut it down!! They act like they’re millionaires or something! PFT!!

Well, I typed way more than I intended to again!! EFB does that to me and I’m so thankful to be able to come here!
With love,
Mimi

49

Hi Mimi
One of the problems that I run into working on this stuff with people and even in this website is that if a person has made the same mistakes with their own children as were made with them in childhood, the parent (or counselor) will often say that the offending parent did the best they could and almost always bring “forgiveness” into it. Becuase THEY want to be forgiven. They want their own children to believe that they also did the “best they could”. SO they shove the damage under the carpet, both past and present, hopeing that their own kids can just leave it under there, and nothing changes. The damage rules generation after generation and we even have mental health professionals assisting in dysfunctional living! I stopped that cycle in my own life. I celebrate that!
Hugs, Darlene

50

Hi J,
I’m happy to hear you’re doing okay. One thing I decided approximately a year ago, was that I couldn’t accept anything from my mom and stepdad anymore, unless it was a birthday or Christmas gift. Anything else has strings attached. I couldn’t feel justified quite yet in refusing to do some ridiculous favor, if they had something they could hold over my head. And, that’s without a doubt the way they operate. I was just starting to uncover the avalanche of crap and felt an instinct to cut all things off in the form of favors or otherwise. My mom has offered to watch our dog while we go out of town. I just make prior arrangements to take him along. If I allow her to watch my dog, she will EXPECT it in return with hers. That’s how she plans things. She makes an offer, if I take her up on it, then I owe her something in return. I’m not all that fond of her system. So, I pulled out of the game as my suspicions of them came to life. I don’t regret it for a minute either. There is freedom in not having that looming thought that I owe my mom and her disgusting husband something.

I know not everyone is in the same economic state. You’ve mentioned before that they have contributed financially. It’s unfortunate if they’re anything like my mom and her disgusting husband. When I was younger, I was forced into the situation to support myself. My mom wouldn’t let me stay at home. She dropped me off at an apartment, and I think she paid the deposit, but, if she did, I know I paid her back. She wouldn’t do it without making sure she got her money back. Anyway, my point is, I didn’t have a choice but to figure out a way. I was young, alone, and in the city. I had a job before moving in there, but, I pinched pennies for sure and often didn’t eat. There literally wasn’t another choice, unless I lived in my car. It was a bedroom in a big old house. The owner rented out the whole house by room. I had one room and I shared a bathroom with the other upstairs tenants. I slept on a sofa in the room rather than a bed because there wasn’t room for a bed. The owner had put a sink and a double cabinet in for kitchen use, along with a small refrigerator. I came to love my home there, even despite the cockroach battle. I lived there for something like 3-4 years ~ until I could afford an apartment with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. Sorry, I just got to reminiscing there for a minute!! I’m not sure how I feel about my mom dropping me off there. I haven’t thought about that place for years. Of course, I was still expected to give expensive gifts to everyone for every occasion. Homemade ones were strictly frowned upon. Anyhow, I hope like heck something comes your way because there is freedom in not having to accept anything from the abusers. I hope you get to a place where you don’t need their financial support anymore. In my experience, the fewer strings, the better.
xoxo,
Mimi

51

WOW Darlene!! Good information!!! Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom and experience with this. It’s puzzling how this stuff just gets perpetuated. Particularly, when one little action such as a heartfelt apology, or a heartfelt ANYthing, would go so far in healing the relationships. Pride takes over I guess. But, even in my prideful moments, I found such relief when I let go of the pride and chose accountability or tenderness instead. Hanging onto pride is a huge load to carry all the time. I should know, I’ve tried it!! 🙂

Kudos to you for stopping the cycle in your life!!
Love and Hugs,
Mimi

52

Thanks for the support. I wrote the letter, because I don’t think right now I can hold up under a verbal assault. (I don’t want to say things I may regret because of my anger.) So Far, no response to the letter I gave Mom. My sister sent me a text to call her later. I told her to call me when she is done work. I’m sure Mom wants her to “Find out what is wrong with your sister.”
I will drop a few words if she calls, but she loves starting shit, because she is in CA not here in New England. I feel a bit tired, but not as depressed as I did earlier this week. D C

53

I hope I don’t have to move until I am ready financially. That is partly why I feel anxiety over confronting mom. I am not working yet. I have faith if I be honest,and fair, God will privide, and hopefully my family will change some of their ways. I have worked hard over the years to tame this saber-toothed tongue (lol), and recognize the button-pushing techniques controlling people like to use.

I was in a verbally abusive relationship for 4 years. Finally in 2010 I told the button-pushing MOFO to hit the road! He regrets all that has happened, and a part of his probation for physically restraining me from getting my house keys back is anger management classes. He can’t even look me in the eyes now. I could have been a real bitch,I did not press charges, the State did. I did not get a restraining order, and I told the DA when asked what outcome did I want I said he needs anger management classes. I even lent this guy my car and helped him out with food after he moved from my apartment. I know
I have a good heart, and can forgive, but now at 50 yrs old, I don’t want a whole lot of negative shit stealing my joy, peace of mind,or the good man I met in 2011 who loves me so much!

54

Welcome back Mimi !!! We missed you ! I can empathize with much of what you and Darlene both write about your respective mothers. My mother was very controlling, manipulative and narcissistic. she controlled my life for about 40 years. I finally put a stop to it when my father got ill about 7 years ago. She started lying again and telling others that i was the reason she had such a bad marriage and that i caused all the problems in her marriage. Finally i had enough and i told her to stop lying and to get the hell out of my life and leave me and my wife alone. I told her i hated her and that i never wanted to see her again. Well its been close to 8 years and i have not had any contact with her since. she has written a few letters which i did not open. I sent them back. she stopped writing a few years ago. I finally broke free. She almost destroyed my life and my marriage but i got up enough courage to tell her to get lost and i stuck to my ground and its the best decision i have ever made in my life. I have had more peace in my life and in my heart in the past 7 years than i ever had when she was in my life. I dont care what happens to her now. When she dies i will have no responsibility at all and thats exactly how i want it. I dont have any feelings for her anymore. she was toxic like poison to me. she was not a mother. she gave birth to me and then abused me for 40 years. thats not the definition of motherhood. there were some good aspects to her character but sadly the bad ones far outweigh the good. the only thing i would change is that i wish i had done it sooner. But i have the rest of my life and i dont have to worry about her interfering and trying to tell me what to do or what i did wrong or what i should have done. Liberation !!! My wife has been very supportive of this decision and has stood by me the whole time. I probably would not have been able to do it without her support. Now i make my own choices and decisions and i dont have to answer to her anymore ! It feels great !!

55

Mimi – i can say for myself that forgiveness towards my mother has definitely been a process (a long one) and that it has been between me and God and no one else. I work through the pain and hurt and i choose to forgive. I dont think its right of the counselor to try and tell you that you need to forgive and you need to forgive during that session. That sounds just like control and manipulation to me. I personally dont agree with that technique at all. I have done a lot of counseling and while i have had counselors tell me that i had some things i needed to forgive my mother for, never did they say i needed to do it right then and there and never did they keep the focus on my need to forgive or my lack of forgiveness. I just think that is completely wrong. It makes me mad that she would suggest that to you.

Darlene – NOW i know why you have done pretty much all the work yourself. I understand now. I didnt understand until just recently and the then the light bulb went on :). I always thought i needed someone else in order for me to be able to heal. Thanks for helping me to see and understand the truth and for seeing that i dont need anyone else to do this work and to get better (except you of course 🙂

56

Hi Dave,
Thank you for your comments, and congratulations on having the courage to boot your mother out of your life. My mother is toxic too. I am just sitting here thinking that Mother’s Day is on the horizon. I think I’ll try for the first time ever, not buying a gift and just sending a card. That will REALLY shake her foundation!! In her eyes, she should be showered with gifts. She seems to think she’s special enough that everyone should give her gifts, whether their heart is in it or not, whether they can afford it or not, whether they want to or not, etc. It will be another step toward making my OWN decision and honoring what my wishes are, rather than hers. I’m kinda looking forward to it!! 🙂

I want to clarify that the counselor never said I had to forgive during any session. Rather, she would spend the whole hour talking about forgiveness, as if I had made no progress toward that end, and she put a sense of urgency in there. She never came out and put time constraints on it. She put so much emphasis on it though, suggesting I wouldn’t heal until I forgave, that we were going to be stuck until I forgave, etc, that it felt urgent. So, at the end of the sessions, I would say to her, “do I have to do it today? Can’t it be something I’m working on, or in the process of?” Then, she would back off and say, “oh absolutely, no one’s saying you have to right this minute.” Although every other word she spoke suggested I did. And, also she seemed convinced I had not forgiven in any way; no consideration to being part way there, or 75% forgiven. It was either you have, or you haven’t. She failed to acknowledge the difference between lack of forgiveness and saying, I don’t want this toxic person to manipulate me anymore. To her, that meant unforgiveness. I hope that clarifies what I actually meant to say.

D C,
I always write things with my mom now days. For several reasons. She likes to rewrite history. If it’s in writing, she can’t do that. She likes to lie and deny saying things or point the finger at me and pretend I said something I didn’t. If it’s in writing she can’t do that. And, also, for the same reason you said. I’m not 100% convinced I would or could stand up to her. She’s had a history of rendering me helpless with her tongue. The flip side of that too is, I’m afraid if I started talking, I would end up yelling, and saying things I prefer not to say. I don’t like myself when I’m angry, and I can’t be totally sure I wouldn’t get that way. Years of bottled up crap has the potential to erupt. I just don’t want that. If I said something that was in poor judgment, it would be spread around like wildfire. I don’t want that either. And, lastly, if I write, she has no chance but to have it in her face. She can’t construct some immediate left field response that leaves me thinking WTF? I haven’t regretted my decision to keep things in writing as of yet. I hope I don’t, because years ago her advice to me was to never put things in writing. I think that’s because if you do, you can’t lie about it later. That’s her perspective anyhow. I don’t write anything I would need or want to lie about. So, problem solved.

Hope and love to everyone,
Mimi

57

Hi Dave!
YAY for the breakthrough (comment #55) You can do this work! I can hear such a change in your “voice” this week. I can hear that something has shifted. This is wonderful!
Hugs, Darlene

58

Yes! Love this. Love the work you are doing by working through your life and sharing it. Breaking out of bondage frees not just you but others. Bravo lady.

59

Below this letter I gave Mom April 3rd is an email response from her.
_____________________________________________

I appreciate you helping me and giving me a decent place to live.
If you guys are sick, or need help doing anything,
I hope you know I will be there for you.
Right now, I think the best way for us to not have any more misunderstandings or disagreements is for me to not be involved in too many unnecessary conversations.
I do not like coming upstairs and having (Stepdad) look at me, walk past, and not even speak. That is so rude.
Respect works both ways. He is just that way, I know, I have been told that more than once.
When someone tells me or I know I have done or said something to hurt someone else, I know how to say I am sorry.
Some people make excuses and never see their wrong, only what someone else has done.
I am writing this, because I don’t want to be yelled at, or told my behavior or feelings are wrong. If you guys are going to be mad because I am telling the truth about how I feel. I guess I will pay the price for being an adult and sticking up for myself.
Please don’t tell me I am crazy or believing things that never happened or you don’t know what I am talking about.

Love D C
___________________________________________________
First verbal contact from Mom since “The Letter” was Sat. April 7.
I got a call with her screaming for me to return something I borrowed right now. Then she hung up.

The following is an email she sent me Sat. In response to “The Letter”

D SEEMS THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH (Stepfather) AND DO NOT WANT TO COME UPSTAIRS ANYMORE,I SUGGEST THAT YOU DO NOT DO ANY MORE FIXING UP AROUND THIS HOUSE. I WILL HAVE THE CARPENTER OR NEIGHBOR TAKE CARE OF THINGS. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE OVER AND DO WHAT YOU WANT. EVERYTIME YOUR OUT SIDE AND (Stepfather) IS OUT YOU FIND REASONS TO COMPLAIN THAT HE IS ALWAYS AROUND. DON’T FORGET WHO PAYS THE TAXES AND WATER BILL AND ANY REPAIRS THAT ARE NEEDED.IF YOU ARE SO UNHAPPY HERE IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT. (Stepfather) HAS BEEN MORE THAN KIND TO YOU,AND ANYTIME YOU ASKED HIM FOR HELP,HE ALWAYS SAID YES.HE HAS BEEN TAKING CARE OF THE YARD FOR YEARS AND DON’T THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW A LOT OF NEW THINGS THAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO STAY OUT OF YOUR WAY.YOUR WELCOME TO STAY,BUT DON’T GET TO BOSSY. AND AS FAR AS YOUR NOT WANTING TO TALK TO ME FINE.

She signed her name, not Mom, guess she is telling me she is no longer my mom? All capital letters, very aggressive.
Well for now, I am not going to have to move.

60

Easter Sunday for some of us.

Friday, I really felt the unjust crucifixions that I have been sentenced to.

Saturday, I was in my grave of despair and depression for a while.
Then before I went to bed, this came to mind.

I know I can bear the crucifixion if I can bury the negative, toxic, deadly and shitty things with power and love for myself first, not a spirit of fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Sunday, I know my resurrection will come daily if I walk with and can see God’s goodness and mercy and know they will protect me.
Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life………..

61

D C,
2 Timothy 1:7 is my all time favorite verse. I used it often in prayer for myself and others. Fear can be crippling, and the enemy knows it’s my weak spot. UGH!

Blessings to you D C,
Mimi

62

To Mimi, Amen My Sister in This Suffering!

63

I am dying inside. My heart is so broken. I cant seem to stop crying. The pain just keeps coming and coming like waves coming in from the ocean. I am trying to get to a trauma recovery center next months for a week of in depth treatment/recovery. I am waiting to hear back as to whether they are going to accept me or not. I am functioning but the pain is about a 9 on a scale of 1-10. I can only cry so long and then i am wiped out. Its like my heart has been an iceberg and now its melting. Its like the iceberg (heart) is being chipped away and melted and my heart is in agony. I wont hurt myself or anyone else. I am way beyond that. I feel like i am at the deepest root of my shame and guilt and suffering. Its kind of ironic that its Easter because the part of me that is dying inside feels like i am hanging from a cross or tree. It feels like i have been abandoned and left to die. It feels like i have no feeling of anything except pain. the more pain i deal with, the more comes to the surface. I can only deal with so much during the week because i have to work. This am i cried for about 45 minutes and then went back to bed and cried some more. I can feel my back loosening up as thats where i have been holding the pain – in my lower back. its starting to loosen up and the pain is coming straight to the surface. I am not really having any specific memories associated with the pain – just a lot of feeling of shame and guilt and inside i keep saying “it wasnt my fault. I didnt do anything wrong.” I was punished and abused for no reason. Just because i was there. My mother controlled my life and manipulated me every chance she got. She was like a black hole. she just sucked the life out of everyone that got near her. She went from dr. to dr to dr. because they would pay attention to her. she was diagnosed with about 20 or 25 different illnesses or diseases and just spent most of her time going from one dr to another to get them to diagnose the next ailment or the next disease that she was going to die from. she had everyone fooled. Everyone felt sorry for her. She made our lives a living hell and everyone on the outside felt so sorry for her because of all the lies she told about her life. she had all the doctors and nurses wrapped around her finger. She went to 30 or 40 different “specialists” so she could get extra time and attention. She got a lot more attention if she went to a specialist. Meanwhile I wanted to go away to college but my parents refused to pay for it. All of the money went for moms “care”. they made me live at home and go to a local college (more control and manipulation). I did that for four years and almost failed out. I was so depressed and had to do a lot of stuff around the house because mom was “sick” all the time. I hated it. I hated my life, my family, my upbringing. I hated all of it !! I finally got away after 4 years. I got away physically but not emotionally. she still manipulated me and used me every chance she could. fortunately they moved to florida about 1,000 miles away from me two years after i changed colleges. the phone calls and the guilt trips about not coming to visit often enough continued for many years. Finally about 8 years ago i realized that she was ruining my life and trying to ruin my marriage so i put a stop to it. But the damage had been done. 40 years of her manipulating, lying, controlling and abusing and neglecting me. Now i am really suffering for it. Now i am reaping what she sowed into my life – all the hurtful things she said and did i had kept inside because i didnt have anyone to turn to for support or help. Now its all coming to the surface. Oh the joys of recovery ! Some days i dont know how i make it but i carry on. I hope that each day will be a little better and that the depression will ease a little. I hope that maybe i can squeeze 20 or so years of a decent life after i am finished working through the rest of the pain. I hope that I have something good waiting for me when i get to heaven. I know it will be better than this and that i wont have to suffer anymore but my goal is to get better and become healthy on this side of heaven. One step and one tear at a time.

64

Hi Dave
My heart goes out to you. One of the most important things that I did when I was in that kind of pain was to look at where it was born. (You say your shame is coming up) I asked myself what I was ashamed of? Telling myself it was not my fault did not change anything. I didn’t believe myself. 🙂 I had to find out why I felt it was my shame. That is what I mean by looking at the roots of the broken. What happened that made me believe that I was not worthy of better? What was told to me, done to me, what messages did I get about me. Through looking at those things I was able to realize that they WERE wrong about me. That the guilt and shame are not mine to carry. I hope that you are feeling better soon. I know this is so hard.
Love Darlene

65

Dave, I believe guilt and shame stab at the manipulators, liars and abusers more than you or I will ever know. They in turn hurt us because they feel so bad inside. I actually sort of feel sorry for them because they have such a festering hole of bitterness, mean words and actions that come from such an unforgiven/unforgiving place inside of them. I am so glad, I can still have joy love and some peace in spite of!…………

66

DC and Dave and anyone else reading;
~ it was really important for me to put “feeling sorry for them” aside until I was well into healing. I had felt so sorry for them my entire life, believing that I could somehow make them feel better about themselves, but it was always at my own expense. I paid a really high price for feeling so sorry for them instead of just looking at the plain truth of it all.
Hugs, Darlene

67

Dave,
I’m pulling for you to move through this trying time into more peaceful days. Shame is particularly insidious in my opinion. No one deserves to feel such deep shame about their very existance. It’s bad…. but, I believe you can overcome it.

I remember crying every day last year for about a 3 month period, give or take. It’s a hazy memory now. It was all over my mother. I cried at the loss of who I thought she was, and who she should have been. I thought I was an endless supply of tears. I thought it would NEVER end. Slowly, I would have a better (not good, but better) day where I didn’t cry or I was able to accomplish something. Then those days would come more often, but very slowly. I wondered if I would ever be out on the other side. Months passed and without even realizing it, my days finally became free of tears and pain and shame and guilt. Now, I have reached a point that I rarely cry. The journey was the most pain I’ve ever felt. I learned so much though, and I wouldn’t trade it now.

I try to put into practice what Darlene says about getting to the core of it. The shame you mention. For myself, I try to rationalize why I feel bad/shameful, and do it from a more logical adult perspective rather than the child inside me that just accepted and beared it. We weren’t born carrying loads of shame. Someone placed it on us. Sadly, our young tender minds and hearts were battered by the people we love the most. That does incredible damage. INCREDIBLE!! The good news is, you know the truth now. You know you weren’t born flawed. You were born perfect, just the way God designed. This woman, your earthly mother, sounds brutal and calculating. I just told my sister this afternoon that I had given my mother freedom to manage my life and all it’s facets for 43 years. If I dwell on her now, I’m still giving her precious time and she’s had enough of my life in her suffocating grasp. I try to consciously put that energy back into myself. Not her. I’d rather burn energy on myself than waste it on her. I thought that seemed selfish at first. That’s part of her brainwashing. I no longer think it’s selfish. I think it’s necessary for my survival if I want to enjoy life from here on out. I spent so much of life worrying about how “anything” would affect her. As if it’s her life. No more. I deserve that attention now. So do you Dave. I hope you take the time to nurture yourself, realize it’s your mother’s painful infliction on you, and that you are WORTH gold in the eyes of our creator and in the eyes of your wife, etc.

I am going to pray for you as soon as I close. In my belief, our heavenly father doesn’t want our life to be filled with days of pain, shame, tears, depression, anxiety, etc. I feel that so strongly because a lot of the uncovering of my mother’s crap, was orchestrated by God. He put it before me in a way that couldn’t really be ignored. I know I am ordered to honor my mother. I also know she most likely wouldn’t have been “found out” if it hadn’t been for God doing his work behind the scenes. It’s up to me and God to settle into a place where I am honoring her in whatever way he suggests, without giving her a foot into my life. I don’t believe God wants you to suffer in this way. So, I’m going to talk to him and ask him to bring you relief. I hope you feel his presence, pouring his peace out over you Dave. I’m going to request that now…. boldly to the throne!! 🙂

In peace and hope,
Mimi

68

Darlene,
My mother is a princess. She looks good and acts like she has the world by the tail. She thinks all eyes are on her. She thinks she’s envied, and she expects that her presence is desired by everyone she knows at whatever event, and if she hasn’t been invited, she invites herself. I have trouble feeling sorry for anyone who’s so presumptuous. I know she’s a wounded child, but you’d never know it by her outward action. I have no pity on her. It’s hard to pity someone so intrusive and expectant, and presumptuous really. She has this tough outer shell that allows any and every thing REALISTIC to bounce right off. You almost can’t even insult her. It’s a little comical now that I think of it. Anyhow, I have no pity for her. I once did, but, she squelched it!! YaY!
love,
Mimi

69

Hi Mimi,

I Love your take on your mom’s behavior. You are right on with her Phony, Pretentious & Narc personality! It’s funny really, I was just thinking the same about my mom today. I saw her Friday night and it’s so obvious that she has to be one up on me & my sister. She has such a tough facade and I’ve felt sorry for her most of my life. Now, I don’t feel sorry for her anymore- she knows what she is doing and it’s NOT REAL. Phony…Bolony! Our Moms need to do the soul searching not us! All of this is much easier to write, then to say it out loud, but I’m going to say it out loud to myself anyway!..YAY to you too!
Sonia

70

Hi Dave,
I can empathize with your pain. I too went through a period of crying spells & I thought I was losing my mind. So much grief and stress was in my life at the time and I was suffering. Luckily, I had a wonderful Psychiatrist who recommended an Outpatient Program. It helped by teaching me coping skills, I did not have. My coping methods were not working. I was depressed & anxious most of the time. It is so hard to work through the pain. I felt embarrassed to cry, especially in front of anyone. I had trouble controlling my emotions, that it was interfering with my work. I had to take a LOA to get better. The scariest part was feeling powerless over my emotions. I was so mad at myself but that didn’t help.

I needed to step back use my wise mind and feel my feelings in waves. I was told to Ride the Wave- (observe the emotions and they will pass). So easy to say now, but so hard to do then. My feelings can still come to the surface, it’s just not out of control as it once was. I had to make changes and it was more than coping skills. I had to dig deep to see where the damage was, like Darlene says. That is the Heart of the Matter. Just in these last few months, am I facing my deep emotions of shame and guilt and realizing a lot of it was baggage I took on. I was the scapegoat in my family. It was easy, since I’m the nicest one in the family. I mean nice in respect to being sensitive to my family’s feelings. SO What anymore, THEY don’t really care about My Feelings, especially when I don’t Comply to their wishes! Sorry about rambling…Hope this helps you in some way. I’m routing for you Dave. Take Care…..
Sonia

71

SMD,
Thanks for the comment. I saw my momster on Saturday. My sister was here from upstate and stayed with me. We went to my grandma’s house and took lunch to her. My mom showed up un-invited, sat down and ate with us, and didn’t offer a dime to my sister who paid for it all. She just planted herself there as if it had all been planned ahead of time. Just makes me laugh now.

I am the black sheep too. Back last summer a friend of mine said to me, “mimi, have you ever thought that maybe you’re really the white sheep?” I haven’t ever wondered that because it was always known I was a loser. I accepted it too. I’ve never forgotten that my friend said that to me, and I’ve decidedly accepted that I’m the white sheep (in my own mind anyway). I’m the only one actively seeking truth and healing. One day I’ll shed my black wool and the white will emerge. Maybe you’re actually the white sheep too SMD!! My guess is you are!!
Love,
Mimi

72

Hi Mimi,
Thanks for sharing about your experience with your mom & sister. The dynamics are pathetic. It’s really all about them! They don’t want to hear the truth, but we know it…guess we’re one up on them lol….I like the White Sheep concept better then the Black Sheep. It fits better and is more empowering. I don’t care for the “scapegoat” either maybe I’ll come up with a twist on that one lol. Thanks for the compliment on being the white sheep. I smiled when I read it.
Love to you too,
Sonia

73

Oops…I just realized I said, “It’s really all about them”…I meant our moms not your sister & mom. Your sister seems to be on the same page as you.

74

Dear Darelen,
you are such a gift to us all you starting this web site
is such a blessing all of us on here have been so broken with being devalued and abused and told jst get over it . how do you deal with things no adult wanted to even hear about or even try to help with such issues of abused chilren , maybe I am wrong the way i see things
or warped but I feel when you know something is going on in your family like a daughter is being mollested by your husband and you know its ture and you stay married to him giving him excuese like my mother in law did well it was only oral . she devalued my sister in law the dad of my fatherin laws furnal , I called her on it , I told her it must have all been ok with you ,you stayed married to him,and lied to me when i asked you about it ,now comes the fake tears , i let her have it . telling her all she cared about was her big house and hainv her bills pay . i told her i can forgive some things but liying to me about it and me leaving my daughter over here to stay all night , you dont lie about things like that ,then she started in defending him well god took away his sexual drive , then i asked her about her granddaughter that she took away from her daughter and she lived under the roof of a mollester oh she wasnt never lefted alone with him ever. I told her she condoned what he did becalse shes got every exuces covered by lies . I told her i would never troust her again . and when i foudn out by the sister in law that her father did mollest her i made sure my daugter never stayed with them ever again. she could have done so much to help her daughter but choose her husband over her daughter . see my mother did the same thing but she took it a step father she told me i was my dads if he wanted me . my mothers annivercy of her death has just passed and its been one year and i feel such guilt for not crying and grieving for her. i beat my self up over my none feeling for my mother , my twin siter crys and breaks down and asks me why i dont cry and why iam so cold about missing my mother . so i tell her i dont miss her at all .my sister cant understand why i feel so empty towards my mother .I am wrong not to miss her ? i feel nothing for her

75

SMD,
Yes, both my sisters are aware of mother’s ways. They haven’t always been. They too sided with her for much of my growing up years. They were just being loyal to their mother. They didn’t know better. As grown adults, they see her for who she really is. Neither of them actually put any work into healing themselves though. But, I have more time to do that right now than they do. Maybe someday they will. The oldest is the golden child, so I really feel when you grow up in that position, it’s not quite as tough as the scapegoat where you bear everything for the abuser. I heard so much about the golden child growing up. How wonderful she was. She has been damaged since then too, so she’s aware now. We’ve all been damaged by her. Sick and crazy. She had kids to fill a hole in her; to have these little robots running around admiring her and hanging on her every word. Now, I only find her sickening and pathetic. But, I’m aware, and I’m thankful for that.

Karla,
Sometimes, I wonder if I would miss my mom too. I don’t think we can dictate to ourselves what our feelings should be. We feel what we feel. If you feel nothing for your mother, there’s a reason. For myself, I’m thankful I’m at this point where she can’t cause deep pain in me anymore. I don’t think what you feel is wrong. I don’t think anyone’s feelings are wrong. They are what they are. Even though my mother is still alive, I don’t cry about her either anymore. I’m not sure I could now. For me, it feels like any abusive relationship, where eventually, you stop caring. Eventually you want to flee and be free of it. That’s where I am today. Maybe that’s just where you’re at?? Blessings to you.

Love,
Mimi

76

I love how people here will jump in to comfort another reader. I love how the support happens. Thank you all so much for being part of this in that way.
hugs, Darlene

77

Hi Karla
Here is how I feel about not missing my own mother. ~ WHAT is there to miss?? I think I miss the fantasy of having a loving mother. I was convinced for so long that if I just did the right things she wanted me to do that would please her, then she would love me. The fact is that her actions towards me do not show LOVE. I don’t miss her constant critical words. I don’t miss her sneering judgement of my life and my decisions. I don’t miss her gossip and trouble making between my siblings and I and between her and the other family members. I don’t miss the put downs. I certainly don’t miss her saying that it was my fault that I was sexually abused by her boyfriend when I was a teenager. (she was still bringing that up when I was in my forties) I don’t miss any of that.

I know this is hard but keep looking at this; The truth set me free. I feel no guilt anymore. The guilt is not mine to carry.
Hugs, Darlene

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Mimi re: comment #68

I believe that both my parents were/are popular and that many people see them as really wonderful people. That fact does not make me wrong about them though. One of the greatest freedoms has been validating myself and not caring if other people think I am wrong about them.
I say YAY too!
Hugs, Darlene

79

Hi Darlene,
It’s always reassuring to read your words about truth setting you free and the guilt passing away. My mother is popular too. People think she’s wonderful. Thankfully, the people who think that are HER friends, not mine. Our family has dwindled as well, and the people in our family whom she spreads poison to don’t matter all that much to me. At one time it was so devastating ~ I was younger and all my family listened to her bawling around about me. Things have definitely changed. It still stings a little, but, nothing like it used to. It’s without a doubt been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome…. “what if they believe her?” Oh, that hurt so badly. I’ve struggled to find the TOOLS to get past that part. It seems like being a little calloused is what has helped, along with the fact that some of the people who mattered most are dead now. And, my sisters see the truth, so there’s no threat there. I don’t know if I could make progress if my sisters didn’t see it too. I’m thankful for that. Unfortunately, that fear of people believing her has spilled over into my professional life. I get incredible fear if there is “one” in the crowd who likes to stir crap and run to management. I become enraged at that if they tell lies about me. I know it’s going to be something I have to work really hard on and get resolved. I can’t let that weigh so hard on me. I always want to fight for my voice ~ be heard about the truth. I know the root of that is my mom always talking crap about me.

Thanks for the comment. I don’t care so much what my mother thinks anymore because I see her as totally twisted. Anyone else who believes her, I must let go. I stumble at times with that still.
Love,
Mimi

80

Wow,Darlene,I’ve been reading and discover in my relationships,especially marriages,I have married the “baby” of the family such as I am.Often these men were having some self esteem issues,had been beaten,whipped with a belt in one case,made to feel less than,some struggled in school,college.They didn’t keep jobs.There was some alcohol and drug abuse.No high achievers.Perhaps in their mind,and hopes.There was domestic abuse,Sexual abuse,verbal abuse to myself in all cases.I’m amazed that I only see this now.I appreciate you and the work you do for all of us.Thank you Darlene,and all who comment.At 57,I’m having amazement and understanding more all the time.Blessings on your day!

81

Mimi, Please Pray for me too! ( I am living downstairs from my mom right now.) DC

82

Hi Mimi
I hear you! This whole thing is a process. It takes time for each stage and then suddenly they all link together, and another stage of understanding starts. That is how it has been for me anyhow. Ever evolving. Ever growing stronger as more and more truth is revealed, exposed, sorted out and accepted.
Hugs, Darlene

83

Hi MaryMc
As long as you see it now, it doesn’t matter how long it took! YAY for new insight and freedom!
Hugs, Darlene

84

thank you all for your support and for your prayers. I did NOT cry today. For me that is a big deal. Only the second time in the past several months that i didnt wake up on the verge of tears. I did however cry a lot yesterday and didnt make it to church. I was exhausted from the pain and crying. We did go to a friends house for easter dinner which was nice. I really appreciate the feedback and the honesty of this group. I feel often that i am one of few men who are really truly working on getting better. I gave up trying to find a mens support group a long time ago and we live in a city with over a million people. thats why i am trying to get into a trauma recovery center for a week of therapy. I am willing to do the work, i just need time to focus on that and to get away from everything else. I never had a clue how damaged and broken i was. I knew something was wrong but i didnt know what it was. I have come way too far to turn back. I will win this battle no matter what it takes. I hope you all have the same belief. We are all in this together. Thanks so much for all of your support. I really appreciate it !!

85

Hi Dave
I don’t know about men vs. women, but I felt that I was one of the few people who was working on getting better. In my face to face life, I didn’t find people like the people who are here today. They seem to be few and far between. My blog is read in 122 countries! That shows how scattered all over the world we are. I love your statement “I will win the battle no matter what it takes” I declared that too; I fought and I won!
Hugs, Darlene

86

Hi All
I have a new post published; In this new post I take a look at how I convinced myself something really unhealthy was actually healthy in order to find some validation and approval. It is about coping methods and more belief system formation stuff. I hope you all read it here: “I avoided the pain of Abuse by Altering the Truth” http://emergingfrombroken.com/i-avoided-the-pain-of-abuse-by-altering-the-truth/
Hugs, Darlene

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Dave,
Progress was one day at a time for me too. A day without tears was reason to celebrate. I day I got out of bed was a day to celebrate. Although I didn’t celebrate at the time; I still didn’t feel “good”. But, I can look at it in retrospect and see that those days where I slightly functioned and without tears, were stepping stones. Eventually, they all linked together and formed the path I’m on now. I wish you the very best Dave, in your future days.

D C,
I have been praying for you as well. If I lived downstairs from my mother, I can’t say what would happen. I would probably be in her shadow again, struggling to feel things on my own, to survive her contempt, judgment, evil looks, silent treatment, rage, and nasty tongue. I feel for you.

Darlene,
It’s uncanny how you describe things; how they seem to fall into place eventually, even if I can’t grasp it at the time ~ most always it comes at some time or another. Thanks for all you do. I know I’ve said it before, but, I love this place!!! 🙂
love to all,
Mimi

88

Right now it is mostly the silent treatment which is good, when I don’t hear the negative voices telling me how wrong I am.

Don’t know how long I will have to be in this living situation.

I guess it could be worse!
I don’t like when people say that so quickly after they hear someone’s dilemna, or “God has been so good to you, you should not complain, just count your blessings” or, “you only have one mom/dad, don’t say bad things, he/she may be gone someday”
SHUT UP people who profess Christianity, yet ignore and shun and correct anyone who does not think or feel like they do!

So glad I found this forum to express what I am going through, and read other’s true experiences. How about a reality show? – Real Life Brokeness! LOL

A lot of folks would be shitting their pants over this show airing! LOL
Did some Gardening today. Want to help things grow and live not die!

89

Dear Darene,
wow so much of your mother sounds like mine all of it
my mother would keep us sisters fighting and apart so she could play her
minulaption games such hate she raised us with . the thing that really
cut what little love I had for her is when my father died back in1995
my daughter was 18 months old and we were at the viewing of my father
my mother boldly said to me as i carried my daughter in my arms to see her grand father she yelled I AM GOING TO MOLLEST LITTLE VICKIE (MY DAUGHTER )LIKE I DID YOU LITTLE GIRLS. no one said a word, and right infront of everyone I said so every one could hear me OVER MY DEAD BODY YOU BITCH and I carried my daughter out side and got a cigrett off one of my family,I dont smoke but I did that day .I am not one to show my butt like that .then one of my family members said oh hunny you know shes mentally ill. padded my back trying to devaule my pain again and I looked at her and said bullshit she knew what she was doing back then and so did everyone in the family they devalued us by not stopping her abuse and you all knew it! I am not one to speak like that at a furnal but I lost it when she said what she said every one did nothing back then and still did nothing but trying to give her enabling excuessess and I took a stand. they was all shocked by how I spoke to her they all gave excuessess why I was so disrespectful to her . well I havent spoke to them sents those that told me how rude I was for cussing my mother like I did. still devalued . but I stood up to the whole family and I dont regreat it to this day .I have done the one thing no one ever did for me stand up to all of them my mother and stand up and protect my daughter . this was a very empowering time for me even with shakie legs I held my daughter strong . no one will ever hurt her like i was hurt as a child they will go threw me first .thats what a parents job is protecting your children and shame on you when you do nothing about it! sorry to use such bad words but I cant belive how people still knowing what she did stood up for her .So this still shows me how I feel about people that do nothing about a child being abuse I still feel that when you do nothing you are apart of the problem all the excuesses in the world wont give you any kedios for just standing there keeping thier secret it keeps the abuse strong and when you do nothing you enalbe the abuser ! hear me people when you do nothing to help a child thats been molested you are enabling the abuser! and if a police man wont do something keep on going take the child to the doctor and report it !!!! getting the word out there that someone ones a child molester will help!! it puts value back on the child telling you matter to me!! I am wrong? tell me so if you think iam wrong. Thanks Darlene for all you do for us that dont have a voice but threw you darelen we have power and a voice thank you so much.

90

DearMimi,
thanks so much for your kind words ,it really feels good to think I am not alone in my feeling or non feelings of love or missing her or even greiving for someone I dont miss. huggsss to everyone feeling like I feel thanks everyone and most of all Darlene

91

Hi D.C.
Wouldn’t a reality show be fantastic!

Hi Karla
What you have written is so much more common then many realize. The ways that other people make excuses and cover up abuse. There is no excuse. Mental illness (if that is what it even is) is NOT an excuse. Thank you for shring your story and YAY for standing up for your daughter and against the dysfunction in your life. YAY for stopping the cycle of abuse!
Hugs, Darlene

92

Karla,
You’re welcome. People do seem to have the general opinion that we (like D C said) only have one set of parents, they should be honored, etc, etc. Well, I guess those people have no idea what went on behind closed doors. It seems pointless now, for me anyway, to even respond to that. I think to myself, “well, I suppose that applies in some cases… that our mothers should be worshipped ~ that there are actually mothers out there who sacrificed and loved. Mine is not one of them.”

D C,
Talk show… can you imagine how many people that would reach? Maybe the world would change!!

I’m stepping out of normal this year for mother’s day. It’s just expected that we give a nice gift. Well, this year, it’s a card only and sent in the mail. I’m excited about making my own decision on this. I don’t have to buy anything if I don’t want to. But, I always did because it was expected and I did NOT want to be in the hotseat AGAIN!! Now, I don’t give a crap. I almost welcome the hotseat. That’s when mother leaves me alone. She launches the silent treatment and I can hardly wait!!

On that note, I found a card, and I bought it. I don’t think I’ll be able to send it though. It says on the front, “the apple never falls far from the tree”. Inside it says, “that scares the hell out of me”!!!!!! Bahaha!!! I really want to send it and honestly, the only thing keeping me from it is, she will show it to EVERYONE and we are having a big 90th birthday party for my grandma 2 weeks after mother’s day. If I didn’t have that party to attend, I would send it.

I hope everyone is well!!
Love,
Mimi

93

Mom hates (and has let me know) when I buy a blank card and write my own Mother’s Day words. She likes the glittery $4.00 and up cards. This year I am going to buy a blank card and decorate it and write my own words.
She has called me twice this week about small stuff. She was very nice, but hung up as soon as she spoke and I answered her. That is fine, no unnecessary conversation to start the bonfire going again.

94

Mimi
HA ~ I love that card! That made me laugh right out loud.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

D.C.
Good for you doing what YOU want to do. There is no obligation in the real definition of love OR relationship.
Hugs, Darlene

95

D C,
I find it so funny and alarming how we know the expectations and what’s acceptable to these self entitled women. For me, it’s an “adequate” gift, for you, a more expensive card. I am starting to feel freedom in stepping outside those parameters. Each time I take a little stride like this, I feel a tiny shred of freedom settle into my soul. One day, I’ll be totally free!! I can’t wait!!

Darlene,
I know that card is funny isn’t it. I think everyone here should run to target and get one before they’re sold out!! I think for the first time, I realized all mother’s day card express some measure of mushiness. I don’t want to send that message at all. I was at a loss as I stood there looking for something simple, cheap, and with no fluff! I certainly found it!! Haha!!
Love to all,
Mimi

96

Hi Mimi,
Love the card!….Funny & True…Sounds like something I would pick out too. In the past, I’d pick out the mushiest, heartfelt cards, but I’m not seeking her love now….The rose colored glasses came off, when I started to see the clear truth.
Love
Sonia

97

SMD,
🙂

98

Everyone ~ I just published a new post. This one comes from my heart and was inspired by some of the comments here recently. I think I wrote it for me as much as for anyone else ~ I got emotional when I realized what I was willing to go through and my determination when it came to healing. Its a look back over the last 8 years. I hope you like it.
You can read it here: Emerging from Broken ~ The greatest adventure is healing ~
http://emergingfrombroken.com/emerging-from-broken-the-greatest-adventure-is-healing/

99

Mimi – i love the card ! Made me LOL too !! I got to the point that i could not find cards anymore that truly expressed how i felt about my mother so i stopped sending them. I could not find cards that said “you were a lousy mother and you treated me like crap – happy mothers day.” or “thanks for causing so much pain and hurt and suffering in my life – have a great mothers day or birthday or whatever.”

Maybe we need to start our own line of cards that tell the truth ! I bet we would sell them like hotcakes ! Once people found cards that truly expressed how they felt i bet we could not keep them on the shelves !!!

Dave

100

Dave,
I think that’s a fantastic idea. Cards that tell the truth. We should propose the “truth” line to Hallmark. Some cards for moms and dads. WooHoo!! Wouldn’t that shake the world up!!
Hugs and peace,
Mimi

101

Here is a card idea. lol

Dear_________
This card is for you to thank yourself for all the good you believe you have done, for the sacrifices you imagine you made for me that caused your life to be changed forever.

I hope you enjoy your day!
I am enjoying my day because I celebrate and love the TRUTH!
Happy Mother’s Day Fathers Day Birthday etc.

102

D C,
I love it!! It reminds me of one of my mom’s standby comments, “I’m sorry you feel I have hurt you….” The classic non-apology.

Celebrating truth with you,
Mimi

103

Mimi, I have never even got the “I’m sorry you feel I have hurt you….” Sad, sooooooo Sad!

104

Hi D.C.
My mom would say “well… I am sorry, but….” and then the but was always abusive. More abuse or re-abuse. More guilt, shame and blame. She was never sorry. I never remember an “I’m sorry” without a but. I don’t miss that at all!
Hugs, Darlene

105

D C,
My mother’s only said that to me maybe twice in my 43 years. She has said it to both my sisters as well though. Let me point out that the reason she’s only used her standby on me twice is because that is exactly the amount of times I’ve told her she hurt me. Once in my 20s and just recently I held her accountable and that was her response. My sisters and I all learned fairly early on, not to mention our feelings. It ended in disaster. It still is one of her standby comments…. so as not to be accountable. It’s BS!!
Love,
Mimi

106

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

107

Hi Everyone!
I published a new post today called “To Confront or Not to Confront ~ when Talking does no good” SMD ~ I am dedicating it to you although I am only saying that here in this comment. I hope you don’t mind that I used (and reposted) one of your comments as inspiration.
Here is the link: http://emergingfrombroken.com/to-confront-or-not-to-confront-when-talking-does-no-good/
Hugs, Darlene

108

I am sitting here with my jaw on the floor, THIS WAS ME!! Everything makes sense now, reading this, i felt I was reading my own life story. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this…amazing!!

109

Hi Amy
Welcome to Emerging from Broken (if you do not want your last name public, let me know and I can edit it out)
I am glad that you could relate to my post. Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

110

[…] who invalidated them in the first place.  I am always thinking about ways to communicate WHY hurt people seem to think that if the people who invalidated in the first place would finally validate, then […]

111

Do not show my name – you can call me #5 Thanks
This site has been my lifesaver. Along with reading self help books I am finally settling my nerves and stomach. Latest kick in gut from sibling (have 8 of which I am dead center) comes with total miscommunication of my feelings toward two sisters whom I totally supported and loved during their times of emotional unease. But as much as I could go on about this 9th or 10th time of being shunned by sibs I just want to point out how long this feeling of being along and lost has haunted me.

I have said out loud many times that throughout my childhood and much of my adulthood I would speak or say my name but I always feared nobody could hear me (spoke but no sound?) or want to talk to me, or worse yet that they would laugh or mock me. Just past couple of years started seeing that I was still always shut down and dismissed when in a family group.

I am in my sixties now, have been a widowed, remarried well, have a wonderful immediate family. I think I am finally strong enough to trust myself and the love of those close to me to be able to stop trying to be part of the “clan” and enjoy being me. It’s hard, I am devastated to be treated like this, I have loved these sisters but, frankly, I can’t measure up to whatever they think I should be. I have survived a lot in my life and now have the pride and courage to move out of this situation. When I am called upon to rejoin the family, I will refuse to re-enter because I cannot allow them to invade my space any longer.

112

Hi #5
Welcome to EFB (It is VERY important that you change your name in the comment form (next time you post) because you actually posted your full name but when I read the comment beginning requesting that I not mention your name I changed it for you. But the next time you comment, the form will automatically come up with your full name again so please remember to change it to #5 ~ after that it will automatically come up with #5 and you won’t have to worry about it)

Thank you for sharing your story and your victory that you are able to trust yourself and the love of the ones close to you! When I stopped trying to be part of the family that never accepted me for me, I realized where so much of my exhaustion came from!
Hugs, Darlene

113

I can’t express how good it feels to be able to talk to someone. I couldn’t believe how strong those feelings came back to me since this last incident – I really can’t allow it to happen again, life is too short and good to not live and be whole.
Thank you for being there – been in this state for several weeks but found the blog and it educated me a LOT.
Hugs back to you, Darlene, #5

114

I am really glad that you are here #5 !
Hugs, Darlene

115

#5,
The first number I’ve approached on this site. I like the individuality!! 🙂

I just want to share that I’m recently absorbing the reality about my sisters too. I chose them, I loved them deeply, I admired them, and did much for them. I was incredibly loyal to them. I realized the feelings were not mutual as a facet of finding out other truths in my immediate family ~ primarily my mother. I want you to feel the support and love I’ve felt here.

It shattered my inner insistance that family is everything. Nobody will ever compare to the blood and bond I shared with my sisters. That reality emerged that it just wasn’t true. I had to swallow the hard knot that of knowledge that I was alone…. they didn’t feel that way about me. I had no idea.

I have embraced the idea that anyone can be my family. There are people who think MORE of me than my sisters did. It was both painful and liberating to let go of my dream, to drown out the fantasy world I lived in.

I have found such rich support here. I hope you come back and share. Abundant peace sent your way!!
With Hope,
Mimi

116

Mimi – I think being #5 of 9 makes me very centered – lol.
After getting courage and support on this blog yesterday I felt great.
And then this morning doubts about my situation and decision crept in to my mind. Thoughts like – the rest of the family had issues and maybe I will make them feel bad, some of them are sick, how can I be so mean, etc.
Then more of my past bubbled up:
1. as young child I often had long, frequent, conversations with the neighbors dog while sitting and crying on the front porch. I told him all my troubles and he loved me back.
2. all through childhood and teens – reverted to clinging to hope that, if one child that was stillborn a year before I was born, had survived he would have been my “friend” in the family.
3. a couple of years ago I connected to the “Pecking Order” concept in families and worked hard to not respond to some of the really aggressive sibs.
I think these three forgotten areas have surfaced to reinforce my decision of take my self back and out of the mob.
Hugs, love and peace to all, #5

117

Darlene and this site are a god send. I likely never would have been able to heal from my past had i not found this site. I have tried everything else with minimal success. I have found more healing since coming to this site in the last 6 months than in the last 20 years of trying to overcome a lot of childhood abuse.

hugs,

Dave

118

Thank you Dave for your lovely commemt and endorsement.
Hugs, Darlene

119

Darlene,

I can really relate to being or feeling invisible
To my family and church family growing up.
We all were very active in church and rarely
Did we encounter individuals who didnt know
Our family name. I was always Pams daughter,
Or Bills sister, etc, even though I was just as active
As my family was. I could deal with that ok until
Churchmembers would stop asking how I was, only
How my mom, brother, or father was. I dont remember
Any physical abuse other than feeling like I had to be
Everyone elses cheerleader. I actually started to believe
That it was indeed”all about them”. I didnt think my true
Thoughts or interests mattered. I was meant to be there
For “them” and that was it. It wasnt until I grew up and
Got married to a precious man that helped me see the truth.
I have tried to talk to my parents and brother about how I was
Treated but none of them even acknowledge it. For years I
Felt alone and mentally ill because it must have been ” all
In my head”. My husband has helped me feel validated and
Worthy of love and interest in my thoughts and desires. What
Id like to know is how do I get my family to realize their role
In this abuse so I can move on? I tried with my mom amd
Brother already and almost lost them both. They just feel like
Its just my baggage to deal with and that it wasnt true. I just
Want life to fimally be about me and my husband and kids ins
Tead of them. I have to always adjust my life and plans for them.
Who cares what I had planned or thought. They disregard my
Rules on parenting, breastfeeding, marriage,etc and do
What they like. (to just mention a few things). Please help. How
Do I deal with this?
Sharla

120

Hi Sharla
The answer is not in getting them to see their role. That is not how you will be able to move on anyway. Facing and healing from the damage and first acknowledging that damage is how we move forward. I finally refused to adjust for them and that is when things changed the most. I have written hundreds of articles in this site about all the “how” parts and this is a very active community also.
Welcome to emerging from broken,
Hugs, Darlene

121

Dear Sharla,
Your life is about you, your husband and your kids. Take if from there and do not lose sight of the fact that in the future they (your babies) will relate to you, not anyone else. It is important that we take control of now, not give up on ourselves because of what we have been dealt by those family members who don’t give a darn about us. You are meant to be there for your own family (husband, children) and if you do your best you do not need their (siblings, parents) approval. Deal with your own space and make life beautiful for your family (husband, kids, pet!). Losing people who don’t care about you isn’t losing anything or anyone, they arre the losers. #5

122

Thank u Darlene and #5. I really appreciate your thoughts and this wonderful site. I believe tje Lord has wanted me to deal with this for years but I simply didnt know how or where to even start. Here I go! One of the hardest journeys I will ever go thru! Im fortunate to have my husband who has brought much healing in my life. But, my parents and brother come quite often to my house making and healing like the scab ripped off the proverbial wound–again. I am sure you will be hearing from me again! The biggest hurdle right now is being validated. I did see the article out there so I will study it again. 😉 Thank u again!
Sharla

123

Mimi
Hi Mimi, In one of your notes in April on another of Darlene’s sites you said:
My response to my sister’s text was, “thnx”. I am not engaging any family member in any way right now. It only kicks me in the butt somehow, eventually.
I am still hurting over sisters and your statement just helps so much. Sometimes just knowing and hearing how and what to say validates feelings.
I think Darlene is a saint and I feel as though she has thrown a life jacket to me. Had another stomach and mind twisting morning about the sisters, I miss contact but if they call I don’t want to jump right back into the frying pan because they are really cold and insensitive. #5

124

Hi #5!
I’m sorry you’re suffering this pain. It’s even worse when it effects our physical being. UGH!! I get physical stuff in my guts too. No fun.

During the time of processing my sisters’ lack of mutual love for me, there were a couple times one of them would “throw me a bone”. I would feel relief, even love and hope that things weren’t as bad as I thought. Then, after a period of time, (a day or less) reality would creep back in. I would mentally jump back in with both feet. I felt love for a minute, I felt that fantasy world I lived in, and it was comforting. I was like a moth to a flame. It gave me false hope.

In the days thereafter, when reality came back, I would mourn a little again. I finally, after several months, have settled in the reality. It doesn’t hurt so much anymore, and I’m not tempted to nibble if there is a bone thrown in my direction, which is seldom anyway.

I credit EFB and Darlene for saving me. I was a mess this time last year. I know it will get better for you. If I can come out of the disaster I was in emotionally last year, I have hope that others can too. It took what seemed like an eternity. Days seemed like months. But, before I knew it, a little bit of light was shining each day, then a little more, and a little more. I even have joy now. I never thought that would return.

I know how hard it is to believe there is hope ~ that the pain will someday not consume you. It’s true though. There is hope. For me, it just took a lot of time.

I hope the pain of it all starts to ease for you very soon. It will get better, even if you don’t see it now.

Love and hope,
Mimi

125

This entire post resonates w/me. I want to make new friends and family BUT I’ve become a recluse. Once a social butterfly now I’d rather stay indoors or close to home. But I have began studies @ one of the local universities to earn my bachelor’s after eighteen years of initially starting it. I love learning and being on campus and in class is forcing me to socialize w/others. I want a social life but have just found myself secluded to only my hubby and kids. I have this internal battle going on but I am determined to be patient w/myself and work my way back to having a healthy, social life. Thank you.

126

Hi ButtaFli
There are hundreds of articles and discussions here in this website about HOW I overcame the past and how I worked through it to emerge on the other side with a healthy and full life full of happiness and balance! Gald to have you here!|
Hugs, Darlene

127

“Being invisible was invalidating but being visible didn’t feel safe. I found my voice and was finally using it but I was not used to being so visible. It didn’t feel “comfortable”; being heard and being heard (visible) was really unfamiliar.”

This is where I’m at right now. When I commented on another article it was the first time I’ve ever “spoken up” and it made me wanna run away and hide (actually I pushed submit comment as fast as I could and as soon as it went through shut everything down). So I took my pup for a walk and allowed myself to take some time before coming back. When no lightning struck (or the equivalent), and I worked my way through the fear I realized how much better I felt and came back, and even commented more!

Being visible still really doesn’t feel safe for me, even when I know it is a safe environment. Like you Darlene invisibility kept me safe for so long. Really for my entire childhood and into my 20’s. Even when I first felt ready to begin the healing process it was hard because I was still physically needing to hide from a stalker.

Eventually my husband and I moved out of state and the physical distance (from the stalker, my family of origin & my so called friends)has really helped, though it’s taken me another 5 years after the move to get here. I still have to be more careful than the average person because of having a stalker and that seems to make it even harder for me to find the line.

I want so badly to be heard, not so much to be validated by others but because some part of me has always said “What about me! Don’t I have a right to tell my truth too!?!” I want to be able to tell that little girl inside me, “yes, you do have a right to tell your truth. You have a right to be alive. You have a right to be loved. You have a right to exist” and really mean and believe what I am saying.

I’ve been working on putting my truth, my past, into words. I want to write it out. This is a huge thing for me as writing anything personal after having my journals stolen by a “friend” and traded to the stalker for drugs has been incredibly difficult. Before that writing is all I had to keep my truth and my sanity. I want not only to write it but to have the courage to share it with who I choose. This is my goal, and part of how I work towards healing. I’m starting to actually believe it is possible.

128

Hi Darlene

“Being the invisible child had its good points when I looked back through the grid of “survivor mode”. Being invisible seemed to be the right choice if I was going to stay safe. I realized that being invisible had served a purpose for a long time in my life, and when I began emotionally healing, being visible was frightening.”
Yep, yep, yep I like being invisible as it does feel safe and I’m not ‘got at’, (I was bullied so much at school that it seemed like I only had to briefly raise my head above the parapet to be ‘shot at’), I don’t like the idea of becoming ‘visible’ at all – sounds very ‘exposed’. It’s weird, I’ve obviously experienced some healing but still want to be invisible – guess I’ve got some way to go yet!

129

Hi All,

Sometimes I think that I have found my voice and then it disappears again. I find this really frustrating and confusing. I often feel inarticulate, that I will say something or that no one will listen. Sometimes when I speak, I feel invalidated, or not heard and this is how I felt in childhood. I was not allowed to speak up and if I expressed unhappiness, I was told I was ungrateful or that what I was feeling was wrong. Overtime, I learnt to keep my mouth shut and to question my own feelings. I now find it really hard to trust my voice as it can be inconsistent and changeable. I find that I am always second guessing myself and so find it hard to listen to my own voice with any confidence. How do I learn to find and listen to my voice? How do I know the difference between my voice and all the negative programming I have had because there have been many times when I thought I was listening to my voice and I actually got myself into messy potentially abusive situations?
I think that I am slowly learning to validate myself but I also still yearn to be validated by others.

I also want to say that I love this site and am already beginning to feel connected

Thanks

Rosie

130

Hi Rosie
This is what happened to so many of us. We were denied our voices, and our feelings. We were silenced and squished. Learning to validate myself took time, but out of that learning the need to be validated by others lessened greatly! I still like and appreciate being validated, but I don’t ‘need’ it the same way.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

131

Hi Darlene,

Thank you for your response and I am glad I am here too. Did you find anything particular that was helpful in finding your authentic voice?

Thanks

Rosie

132

[…] http://emergingfrombroken.com/the-unheard-invisible-child-being-seen-and-finding-my-voice/ Rate this:Share this:FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPrintDiggLinkedInRedditEmailGoogle +1PinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: Benjamin Spock, Child, Emotion, family, Father, Home, invisible, invisible child, Mother, Parent, rejected by parents, unwanted child, unwanted children, visible […]

133

[…] studies and the neuroscience my oldest daughter studies.  All kinds of information was shared and everyone had a voice. There were jokes and stories; everyone at the table was equally […]

NEW post on EFB ~ Darlene

134

Would like to share a poem I wrote about My Voice. I found the words of the article so true…

My Voice

I want to climb on the highest mountains and scream
I want the world to hear my voice
To know that I am
But mainly I want to find my voice
What does it sound like
What does it say what is it

Somehow I feel that my voice is me
Finding my voice is finding me
That voice that comes from the deepest part of my soul my mind my body
That voice that God gently and lovingly put in me before I was born
That voice that is my identity
That voice that is me

Then life happened
Did my voice ever have a chance to express itself
Before it was suppressed oppressed
I can’t remember for it’s been so long

I do remember the laughter in that voice as a child
Was it strong then full of confidence
Was that voice ever taught how to express pain to heal
Not to others
So it talked to its soul

Now I feel the need to express my voice
Who I am what I need what I give
I have so many dreams that need a voice a strong voice

My voice is the identity that God has given me
It is unique
It is my brand
It is my soul my thoughts my actions my body my words
My voice is my legacy

135

Hi Kenza
Welcome to EFB
Thank you for sharing your lovely poem! Very strong and deep and full of conviction!
hugs, Darlene

136

[…] a two-way street or that I deserved equal value and respect. I didn’t even understand that I was on the same playing field with the person who had set themself ‘above […]

137

[…] because it is my story and MINE to tell. I celebrate the permission I give myself to tell my story after years of being silenced. It is validating for me and for others to hear the benefits of living in truth. Finding, facing […]

138

[…] the only problem was me, just as they always did. There was no place for my voice but none the less I HAVE a voice; and I have a choice […]

139

Yes, this is me. My mother allowed my father to put OTHER THINGS before her. So, she communicated to us that it was OK for us to be ignored. And that we should be ok with being ignored.

140

Thank you for what you wrote, Darlene. And thank you for all of you who responded. Healing is a long, hard road and I sometimes feel like I am never going to get out of it alive. Seeing that I am not alone in the struggle is more comforting than you know.

I am currently struggling with my terror of being visible (standing up for myself, having my opinions heard) and my outrage at being invisible. It is a constant roller coaster for me. I want my voice to resonate in me and I want the world to hear it yelling…but I also want to remain safely tucked in bed.

I want so desperately to stop people from discounting me and treating me as if I am a foregone conclusion – that I will go along with whatever everyone else wants … or being ignored and isolated if I don’t. I guess finding my own voice is being okay with isolation for a while – maybe being alone will free up more space for healthy, kind people to enter my life. It’s probably the only shot I have at finding any relationship that values me.

Thanks again for all your comments.

141

Hi Harvey
I totally understand what you are expressing here. I too wanted people to stop discounting me so badly that I went along with whatever everyone wanted ~ the problem with that is that not only was I discounting myself in doing that, but I was giving them the message that they didn’t have to treat me any differently because I went along with it! I too concluded that it would be a good idea for me to spend some time with me, and I was right! Today all my important relationships are mutually respectful and based on equal value.
Hugs, Darlene

142

Thank you, Darlene. You give me hope that one day I can find relationships that are mutually respectful and equal. Sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes I feel too defeated to let myself hope that it will ever change. But, I have come this far in my healing and my life is already better for it. So I am not going to let hopeless get the last word. Hugs right back at ya!

143

I’ve been compliant my whole life. I did things the way others wanted, I followed their rules. I was suppressed. I’ve been doing loads of soul searching and I feel as if the self validation floodgates have opened as I’ve explored the different kinds of mistreatments I experienced. These things happened to ME and I’m letting go of a lot of guilt and blame I’ve carried around for years. Guilt and blame that I never should have owned in the first place.
My question is that, on the one hand I feel like I am breaking out, (maybe it’s my way of saying emerging from broken!), but why at the same time do I feel some kind of force pushing back at me which seems to be trying to keep me suppressed and compliant? Wh is this happening and how do I push past this?

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I feel very daring writing on this site even though no- one knows me.

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Hi Margaret ~
I totally understand. I felt like I was doing something wrong, and I felt liberated and I felt validated and I felt scared ~ all at the same time!
hugs, Darlene

146

Thank you for reading and replying to my comment. I am trying to push on through a difficult situation these days. It helps to know there are many others in the same boat though, of course, I’d rather they weren’t .

147

Reading this article was a major breakthrough for me today. I once again ran into a situation where there was some oversight at work that made me feel invisible and unrecognized. I realize the anger that I feel is not actually an over-reaction (though that’s what I am sometimes told if I reveal how I feel). It’s an indication that I am healing and that I am no longer going to accept this kind of treatment. I don’t have to push it down any more. Now I finally understand why this is one of my hot-buttons. It happens whenever I feel I am not getting credit for something, or when recognition is given to someone else but I was ignored for doing the same thing. Of course I realize that other people should get recognition and deserve it, but I can’t help feeling my blood boil when I see it happen after I have been taken for granted time and time again. Maybe knowing the source of my anger will help me deal with this situations more rationally, without it messing with my head and self-esteem.

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Hi R.
Welcome to EFB ~ Anger was a hard thing for me to even begin to allow but it was a big part of my process. It was self-validating for me to get angry at the things that happened and the ways that I was treated. Once I allowed anger and looked at it’s origin and triggers (journaling helped) the fear that I had of anger went away. The magic was in doing what you are doing and validating that there was something to be angry about in the first place. Then the triggers didn’t trigger in the same ways.
hugs, Darlene

149

Wow.. Blown away by your insight and ability to put this into words.
Congratulations on the deep work and growth you have done – I am so happy for you :).

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Hi Anne
Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you, I am so happy for me too!
🙂
hugs, Darlene

151

I was raised to be compliant and to do what everybody else wanted. Most of my 54 years of life I’ve not been in control of my own life. Being the youngest of 5 kids, my voice was never considered and I suffered significant emotional, spiritual, social and physical neglect. I wasn’t prepared to be able to function in the real world and didn’t know much about how to interact with other people. I’ve spent my whole life going along with what everybody else wanted just to be loved and considered. What did it get me? More abuse, not validated, used/taken advantage of and alone. I didn’t know that I had any choices because I was programmed to ignore myself in favor of taking care of everybody else. When I tried to speak up about the abuse and invalidation to my family I just got more of the same. My older sister told me to let the past “die” and that I was expecting too much to be invited to see her more than once every three years. This is after pursuing reconciliation with her and other siblings after over 25 years. I was the only one trying though. The three oldest siblings have always kept in touch but when our “father” dumped me when I was 15 in favor of his new wife and her 9 year old daughter, I guess it was their cue to do so as well. And they did. But I’m not supposed to be hurt or ask why they did that. I don’t matter to them. So, I’ve gone no contact with most of them. My other sister has always been emotionally and physically abusive to me and has been troubled her whole life as the “black sheep” of the family. Suddenly she’s welcomed by them with open arms and I’m chopped liver. It’s because she tow’s the FOO’s dysfunctional family line that my “father” (not hers-different dad) was this fine upstanding guy. So, now I’m all alone. But, I guess I always have been. I’ve also left so-called “friendships” where I did all of the work and was expected to act certain ways in order to be acceptable but never my true self. I feel so empty, afraid and alone in the world. How do you bridge the gap of being totally alone in the world (except my two daughters) and make new friends (real ones) and find REAL love (between equals and loved for my true self? I don’t think I’ve ever been truly loved for just me. Am I asking too much? This spot I’m in right now is very painful but I know there’s no going back to the way things were. That was excruciatingly painful. I know God loves me but I want to experience healthy relationships with other people too. This is just so painful right now. If it weren’t for my daughters and my sweet kitties I don’t know if I’d be able to keep going on. Is this temporary and a part of the process? I can only hope so…

Thank you for listening.

152

Lynne I always feel a special bond when someone on here writes about being compliant, doing what everyone else wants, and in return, gets the short end of the stick. I feel that bond because that was my life; daughter of an uncaring, emotionally and physically abusive mother, and very restrictive, perfectionistic father. I was groomed to serve others and not to make trouble, and to be agreeable to everyone else. My wants and needs were not important to anyone and I grew up lonely, bullied, unkempt, fearful, awkward and painfully shy and submissive. I feel I lost myself due to the way I was groomed. So I feel a special kinship with you reading your story because of so many similarities, not so much with the specific family dynamics, but the treatment and messages received from our family treatment.

Like you, many of my earlier friendships were unequal. I was the doer and the other person was the taker. I felt something was the matter with me and that much more was required of me to earn (or buy) a friendship. It didn’t just happen for me the way it seemed to effortlessly happen for others. In fact in fifth grade I even gave a girl a dime to be my friend. I actually felt I had to pay for a friend. It was all wrapped around my self worth or I should say the lack of it. Others deserved friends. I had to earn them through giving in or buy them! I was also a magnet for bossy, bullying type women; the kind that you have to agree with them, and never have an original thought or they would fly off the handle and turn on you and drop you as a friend, then viciously gossip about you to others. These women look for submissive types to always side with them and to do their bidding.

You certainly can be loved for yourself. I am still in the process of discovering this and I have found that Darlene is spot on in that it comes from within. I am part way through the process she describes in her blogs and book. Never had it occurred to me that what I was groomed to believe might actually be false. It takes a lot of self examination and going back to the past, and I am seeing that a large part of what I was raised to believe about myself was false! I am not inferior, my role in life is not to be a servant to others, I am not ugly, there is nothing wrong with me. I do not have to participate in unequal relationships or accept disrespect. And I don’t have to purchase friendships. I have many good qualities ( some of which I was put down for as a child and falsely thought they weren’t good), and for just being me, I deserve friendships that are mutually enjoyable and respectful. These realizations have come to me through. Untangling the maze of false beliefs I grew up with and I am anxious to see what else I will discover as I continue. I can tell you that you are deserving of love and friendships and that you are not beneath anyone. I hope you will continue the process. It is not an easy thing but what I am discovering is certainly worth it. Best of luck, Amber

153

Amber,

Thank you for your encouragement and friendly words. I, too, felt like I’ve had to do more in any relationships because of feeling so unworthy of any time or attention from another. I have attracted controlling, bossy, bullying type women for friends who have viciously turned on me when I didn’t do or think what they wanted me to. One “friendship” I had with a woman for 25 years (off and on at her whim) where I was always made to feel at least one down to her. I always felt judged and that her life was so much better than mine. I was always to wait until she wanted to invite me to come over too. The few times I called her to see if it was “okay” for me to come and visit she was abrupt, cold and off-putting. I put up with it I think because I was desperate to not be dismissed or “fired” by her again. I finally did some things she didn’t like (purposely I believe) so she would finally get it over with and “dismiss” me for good as I could actually feel it coming. I didn’t feel sad that she just quit responding to my emails, etc. and never called anymore. I really didn’t feel like I was missing anything anymore. I think I was relieved.

I do believe that I deserve mutually enjoyable and respectful relationships. I just feel so isolated and tired and don’t know where to look. I’m overwhelmed by the breakneck speed with which the realizations of the false beliefs that have I been programmed with to believe keep coming up. It’s been very beneficial and simultaneously grief-inducing. I feel like crying everyday for the losses. For the injustices done to me and for only now, at age 54, finding all of this out. I’ve tried everything under the sun to find a way out of the depression, fear, pain and loneliness. None of the “professionals” to whom I’ve paid so much money have come close to the core of my problems. They wanted to re-program the way that “I” erroneously viewed life (being “negative”). I had to stumble upon EFB (which I’m eternally thankful for) and begin reading in order to finally find out how to heal. I’m sorry for rambling on so much. It’s just so overwhelming right now.

And you’re right on that it has to come from within and that it takes a lot of going back to the past. The same past that I’ve been hit over the head with (figuratively) by others to “get over” or “let it die” or “you can’t change to the past, so move on!” But that’s where all the keys to healing lie so I must go back whether anybody else likes it or not!

154

Lynne, I had to learn to disregard other people’s advice like to get over the past or forgive and forget or move on and all the other things they say. When you think about it all these things seem to be more in their best interest than ours. They may not want to listen to us talk about our pain, or they may feel guilty about something they did, or they may want something they did to stay hidden. When people say these things, I never feel it’s with my best interest in mind. For a while I was also caught in a couple of false belief traps in regard to people using these cliches. I was used to doubting myself and my thoughts after being invalidated and told that my ideas were stupid, so when someone would say you can’t change the past so move on, I falsely believed that that person must be right because I didn’t trust my own judgement. And there was the compliance and people pleasing aspect too. ” If I don’t listen to my friend’s advice She might get upset.” I had to break through these walls before I could do what was best for me.

It sounds like you are doing well in cracking through the false beliefs you were groomed to accept. Yes, I too found that it was simultaneously informative, beneficial and liberating; and also very painful. I felt deep grief in facing that my mother was not interested in me and my life, and that time after time, I had sacrificed my own needs and wants so that she could fulfill her selfish desires. It very often felt like the roles were reversed and that I was the parent doing what was best for the child who was really my own mother. I felt great pain from having missed out on so much, but most of all from realizing that there was no love from my mother. I was a useless inconvenience to her as a child, and a vehicle to be used to meet her own needs ( a one way street of course) as I got older.

I’ve never been to a therapist. My feeling is that I would want something very specific and I would not want to be reprogrammed as you found was common in your experiences with these professionals. I’ve read numerous self help books and tried things like affirmations in the past. By far, the most valuable advice and guidelines have come from this website, and now, Darlene’s ebook. It is the first time I feel I am on the right path. It honestly feels right, deep down inside me. And it has already been very beneficial to me.

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[…] because it is my story and MINE to tell. I celebrate the permission I give myself to tell my story after years of being silenced. It is validating for me and for others to hear the benefits of living in truth. Finding, facing […]

156

I have a perfectly fine name. It isn’t the name itself that bothers me. It’s when it labels me. Naming suggests I exist and I hate that feeling. Without a name I have another way to be invisible. This is one of the things that I’ve started thinking through. I get so uncomfortable when people call me by name, so uncomfortable in fact, that I try to avoid calling others by name. I think I assume they hate it too. But I don’t think that is correct. I actually think most people want to be called by name– or something like their name. I can’t even begin to explain the depth to which being addressed by name makes me want to hide… I wish this wasn’t true.

157

I can relate to everything that was said here. I can see that the protective behaviors that I developed when I was growing up are behaviors that I do not need anymore. But I still want to be seen. I still want to be heard. And I want to be heard by those who didn’t do that for me in the past. My mother, my sisters.I want them to hear what it was like of them to put me in a box and not care about my hope or dreams. I want them to know that what they did and are doing was and is wrong and it was and is hurtful. I know in the end they will tell me that I am a baby.

How does one mange the need to to close that door?

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Hi Michelle
Welcome to EFB ~ We all want to be seen and heard but the solution is not in being seen and heard by the people who rejected or defined us in the first place. I was able to close that door by seeing and hearing myself. There is a lot of support with that on this website. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. you also might get a lot of info through my e-book on the right side bar.

HI Gin
Keep looking into where it all began. When I really looked at the reasons for my distress and where the originated, I began to realize the way out of the reasons that I had shut down in the first place.
hugs, Darlene

159

Gin, I can relate. Some people will call up a customer service number and instantly announce themselves. I won’t. I keep my name to myself, because I fear, “oh, it’s HER….”

160

I grew up in a big family, I was #5… Married at 17, Mom at 18, Husband was a bully, like my sister. My sister really made sure that Imwas invisible. My father called me Princess due to a near fatal seizure that required a touch and go situation. My sister to this day says she is writing a book” The Princess, the Boys(our brothers) and ME(my sister) ..
She has been passive-aggressive with this kind of behavior until this year when I put my foot down to,yet another family member that I will not take blame for things I had nothing to do with.
My second marriage, after 4 years, was to someone who was goaled oriented. We met in college. Little did I know what I Thought was a caring kind man to my 5 year old and I was actually just a very damaged alcoholic who I knew if I worked hard through nursing school and became successful he would quit drinking!!! My next 31 years produced three people who degraded, bullied and ignored me… Never took an interest in me, what I did to,provide for them.
As long as I did for them, picked up the slack at home and paid the bills. Well, I walked out! Learned new boundaries.
Started to enjoy things that I always wanted to do. No one cares that I did this. Their father walked years before I did, and they bend over backwards for poor Papa! I am trying to understand …. I am learning to enjoy my own company.
I am in therapy, trying to learn what is wrong with me that these kind of people are related to me……..
My friends would never do such hurtful things to me……. Ugh!?

161

Hi Joyce,
You have found the right place here! Welcome to EFB
Hugs, Darlene

162

This has brought a lot of insight for me, thank you.
I was brought of as the second child in a family of four children. The oldest a beautiful chatty girl, me , an adorable cuddly girl and finally the wanted boy came along.
I was taught to be quiet, invisible, and to not have wants/desires. That I was not good enough to deserve to have wants/desires.
Late in my 14th year I had a report card that came out where I had made a C in math, with mostly A’s in the other subjects. My parents were angry and ashamed of me again. Later that day they left to run an errand and I thought, through tears, how much better off they would be if they did not have to be ashamed and worry about me and my awfulness. I packed up and ran away. I was gone for 4 weeks— how I don’t know now. I was so young. I ended up back with them. Life was worse for them and for me. They were more ashamed, I was more shamed. I ran away again about a year later and when dragged back my parents sent me to boarding school. This was my punishment. This is what they now proudly tell people, in front of me, “fixed me”. “We had to send her to that school to straighten her out”.
WOW! My life did change, a huge turn around. I was heard, accepted, and was no longer invisible. I learned how to make, have, sustain relationships with my peers (girls and boys) and teachers. I learned what respect truly was/is. Yes, I was sent to boarding school and yes it was the best thing in the world and yes indeed it did “straighten me out”, but not in the way my parents think.
Now as an adult of age 45 I have begun to enlighten my parents and stop the invisibility. Firm but not winded and grounded in that I am a professional with a world of people that respect me and seek my opinion. Occasionally, when I don’t visit them every three to four months when I do go they fall back into the old pattern. I have to bring them back each time. The behaviors are very ingrained, more entrenched.

Thank you for your article.

163

It felt like I was reading an article about my own life. I have always been told how to think and feel by multiple people and its only now, in my 30’s, Im finding my own voice.

Im also used to being invisible and im starting to be seen, which is hard to adjust too, but I don’t feel im fighting myself so much anymore.

Thank you for a great article:)

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