To Confront or not to Confront; that is the Question


to confront or not to confrontThere have been some interesting discussions here in the comments this week on EFB about whether or not to confront abusers.  There are a lot of factors to consider. Confronting an abuser isn’t an easy decision. Many people think that this should be easy but there are dynamics that most people don’t consider. When a family member is the abuser, it may be even harder.

People wonder why survivors of abuse are concerned with “hurting” the abuser. I think that the history of the relationship has to be considered in order to understand that fear. As children we were taught to submit to adults, and to always consider their feelings and never consider our own. We carry this training/grooming with us as we grow up.

My motive for any type of confrontation is for self healing. MINE. But there was a lot of fear. I had to really look at why I was afraid to hurt their feelings and I had to figure out why I was afraid to say anything. Did I feel the need to protect “them”?  Why was I so concerned with the reactions of everyone else?

~I realized that I was raised to consider everyone but me.

~I was so afraid of my mother that I never considered confronting her all those years before I finally did. (I was in my early forties). And it is important to mention that I was not aware that I was afraid of her. In fact, I was shocked to realize that I was deathly afraid of her.

~I was also convinced that the things I was upset about were not valid things for me to be upset about and that I didn’t have any “right” to be upset.  This was especially true when it came to emotional abuse. As a child I believed that my life was not my own. As an adult it had not yet become my own.

~ I didn’t have all of my memories yet either (still don’t have them all) so I questioned myself AND I felt like I was “accusing” with the memories that I did have. All my life I had been told that I made up stories and exaggerated. I wasn’t sure if that was a truth about me, or not. I had a LOT of self doubt to work through before I was ready to stand up for myself. I had to believe my own memories. My mind wanted to deny the memories. They hurt.

~My mother also controlled me with her fragile state of mental health for years. She constantly warned me not to “upset” her. She told me all the time that she “couldn’t take it”. I thought I might send her to the hospital if I said certain things. So as you can see by these points, it gets complicated.

The first thing that I did to draw any kind of a boundary was that I cancelled a family reunion that I had agreed to host here at our farm/ranch. I cancelled it because I found out that the whole family was discussing my right to talk about my childhood with everyone in the world except ME. And for about 8 months straight, they had all been talking behind my back because of something I said to my sister in law.  My brother had phoned everyone to see if I had said anything about him. If he was innocent, what was he afraid I might have said? My mother had already threatened to sue me if I wrote a book.  I wonder what she was so afraid of too.

I felt SO bad about cancelling the reunion. I pride myself on never breaking my agreements and on being a very “nice person”. What would they think? What price would I pay for doing that? I was afraid in the same way that I was always afraid as a child. Afraid of rejection, anger and retaliation, but really, I suffered those consequences all my life when I complied!  What would change if I made them angry?  And I had been treating myself like crap forever but I never considered that cancelling meant that I was taking care of myself for once.

I was afraid that the abuser would be protected and I would be discounted.  We all know where THAT fear came from. That was my reality for years.

A long time went by without contact and then mom phoned me by accident. She told me that she pressed the wrong speed dial button and then she asked if I was willing to talk.  She wanted to work things out by putting them behind us. I said no; that if we were going to have any relationship that we had to talk about a few things first. (I wanted some new ground rules)

I told my mother just three things she had continued to do and say to me that were abusive, disrespectful, degrading and devaluing. I was well along in my emotional healing process when I finally had the courage to say those things.  I am really glad that I got to say them. I said them for me. I said them to HER out loud and with conviction. All three things were present tense things she was doing. The biggest and scariest thing I said to her was that she was no longer allowed to say “well Darlene, you did have a crush on him” in relation to her boyfriend coming into my room when I was a young teen and inferring that I had asked for it. I was shaking like a leaf, but it needed to be said. FOR ME. Today I wonder WHY on earth I was afraid to say that? WHY on earth was she still throwing that in my face?? And if she really believes that I enticed her boyfriend into my bedroom why would I want to be in a relationship with her when that is how she defines me, and regards me??

I had to consider that my mother never thought about anything that she did or how that impacted me. She put herself first at my expense. I am no longer afraid of the consequences of taking care of myself and I am willing to do whatever I need to do to maintain my emotional health. If that includes setting new ground rules or if that includes telling someone why they are no longer welcome in my life, then so be it.  And if that includes walking away without giving an explanation, then that is fine too. This is MY life now.

I did not confront anyone in an abusive way. I might be angry but I know that anger and abuse are not one and the same.  This is a very important point for survivors to hear; Confrontation does not make me abusive! I was so afraid that I would be “just like her” if I expressed my hurt and anger. Because she constantly expressed her hurt and anger towards me.

My mother’s reaction to whatever I say is not my problem. All my life I worried about her fragile mental health while she destroyed mine. Now I take care of me and doing so has been a huge part of my recovery. I don’t feel that I should have to worry about the effect of anything I do will have on her. I would not abuse her in anyway. But today I don’t think that saying those things is wrong. I don’t think that it is love towards her to pretend it didn’t happen and let her stay in her denial.  I think that if my mother actually faced her part in my life that she might also be able to face her own childhood history and emerge from broken. I honestly wish that she would find the same freedom that I have found by facing her own truth.

As time went on I felt better and better that I had finally stuck up for myself. I spoke the truth. What could possibly be wrong with that? All my life my mother had this whole song and dance routine about how I am this “ungrateful daughter”. That she did her best; that she “never wanted to be a single parent” as though that was the whole problem and that as though that statement explained and excused her from all accountability. What about BEFORE she became a single parent?  I finally said “whatever” I am not buying it anymore.  I finally stopped drinking the poison kool-aid!

And one last note; Abusers are not the ones with the blocked out memories about what they did.  Although most of the time they deny it, they KNOW what they did. All I am doing in confronting them is telling them that I know what they did too. I am making a statement; “what you did was wrong. I didn’t deserve it.”  I felt so alone with my secrets. I had been wronged and when I said those few things to my mother that day, I finally felt like she had to live with it too now. She could not stay in the same denial anymore, believing that she had a “right” to do whatever she wanted or treat me however she chose to.

Please share your thoughts;

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

~ More related posts ~ my coping method failed and depression increased

~Standing up to dysfunctional Relationship




Categories : Family



I thought it would be unusual for me to be the first one to comment on my own post… LOL but almost as soon as I pressed the publish button I had an additional thought! What kind of message are we giving to someone if we stay in relationship with them, but don’t ever say anything about the abuse? (and I am talking about ANY kind of abuse here) As long as I didn’t say anything to my mother, father, husband, mother and father in law……. (you get the picture) but continued to see them, I was communicating that I was OKAY with the way that they treated me. And as I came out of the fog, but didn’t draw boundaries, nothing changed!
And what about sexual abusers? When we are adults and we remember that happened, are we communicating to that person that “your secret is safe with me?” YUCK. Are we communicating that we won’t protect them from other children? I am not saying we HAVE to confront, I am just saying, when we stay in relationship without confronting, what are we communicating.

Great food for thought.

Hugs, Darlene


This post rings true, loud, and clear for me. My experience is your experience even down to the way our mothers responded to us. The words are different but of the same type. Denial and casting shame upon others. I also believe that my confronting my parents was the most honest, loving thing I’ve ever done. I too wish my family would embrace the truth and be healed. The lies that they do trust in are destroying them.


I can’t even begin to tell you how much I relate to your post, Darlene. Even in therapy today, I was talking about how much, not only my mother, but my father as well made me the parent! I’m not the parent of my parents or my siblings and I have refused to let them put me in the position of having to fix everything.

I know my mother knows what she did to me too – but she denies it which is no surprise because she is a professional liar. And as long as she denies it, she can keep the wool pulled over my father’s eyes and my sibling’s eyes.

I too was deathly afraid of my mother as I was taught that to confront my mother or disagree with her, it was construed as disrespect – talk about a warped idea of what disrespect is!! I think I still might fear her – but it is slowly dissipating because now there is no chance of her ever being in my life again. I don’t care to be ridiculed, humiliated, degraded, shamed, or rejected and hated by her anymore … and I certainly don’t care to have relationships with family who care more about not rippling the water where my mother is concerned instead of sticking up for me who was abused by her. Talk about dysfunction.

Great, great post, Darlene!! 🙂


Darlene – on your own post … SO TRUE and its a truth I have realized through my own therapy and I LIVE IT!


Another great post Darlene, and so much like what I went through this spring and over the winter with my family. Setting boundaries, hearing fourteenth hand that my speaking out, my writing, was bothering people in my family. So when I responded that it was about ME and MY healing, not THEM…but then with the door open I asked the question that was weighing on me: if you knew today something abusive was happening to your grandchildren would your response be different from when you knew it was your child or not?

You know what I got for an answer to that…NOTHING! An email listing the conditions for our relationship. As if…that one got ignored.

When I said what I knew, and wouldn’t be talked out of it, bullied or convinced I was wrong (this happened lots) then the playing field got dangerous for them. I knew things, and I wasn’t going to be pressured into not healing.

One of my cousins sent me a ‘helpful’ email listing all the reasons children NEVER really remember abuse, but ALWAYS suffer from implanted false memories. I just about laughed, but couldn’t because I was crying. I LIVED it! I was in it all the way through to the healing side.

I did attempt a number of times to confront the abusers I could – with varying degrees of success and closure. The hardest have been family because control, spin doctoring and denial are such strong pulls for them. It is insane to me that a simple acknowledgement and some healing could be accomplished but instead they would rather be cut off from us because they don’t see any reason to change, and all the reasons in the world that I am wrong for growing, healing and changing.

Oh and your comment – you are so right. When we try to maintain a relationship it’s like trying to communicate through a mask or a muzzle – it doesn’t work.

Thanks for this Darlene, it helped me determine what to blog about tonight on Scarred Seeker. Bright blessings…Shanyn


Excellent, excellent post !


Dear Darlene

I feel deeply your emotions that are in every word you wrote and I still have some memories that are unclear there is several years I cannot pull to my mind which tells me something happened there. IT was during the time we were taken away.. I never would have had courage to confront my mom had I not seen it one time somewhere written on here.

On seeing the title, I knew I had to grab the kleenex. I knew what i have to say is going to cause all my tear basins to turn over and empty out..but here is my story about confronting the abuser. It happened only recently and I do believe it was very unsuccessful .. and it had a ripple effect that is still so very painful to my heart.

I asked my moms some very pointed questions.. Why did you help my brother hurt me so badly..Why did she beat me so often and try so hard to get rid of me : pillow, boiling bath ,and scissors; and why does she still hate me..

I was only allowed those questions because my abuser… mom. said to me in response .”who the fk do you think you are asking me to give you reasons for how I raised you . You had a roof over your head which you didnt deserve, you were fed and sent to school and put in church.. You should be glad i didnt give you away , you know i never wanted you, I intended to abort you . so shut the fck up and remember I hold the power in this family and nothing you ever say will not mean anything to anyone.. because everyone hates your axx. “..

That was her answer and I didn’t continue the conversation .that was now over two months ago..but sits in my memory like yesterday .. After that call i got another couple with a few texts from family . .A cousin told me I should be ashamed of myself, my brother told me no one in the family likes me and never will and my uncle said its a sad day when someone from the familly behaves as I do.

I am seen by extended family as bad and according to that last call and my brother’s last text . no one likes me. from the family..

I feel completely undone to recall it as it reopens all the wounds that are still unhealed. . I am valueless to them. without a family. .never wanted. .and was suppose to be aborted.

Nothing mom e said shocked me as I felt in my child body how much she hated me and was hoping to make peace but it never happened and probably never will



@Darlene, I am glad you wrote this. It seems abusers all operate in the same way no matter what background they come from. As for me I had to confront my abusers and cant imagien ever remaining silent. But I was fortunate to move out in high school and stay with a teacher. Then at graduation I moved to another state.
The emotional black mail is what struck me as similar to every abuser I have known on one level or another. I cant imagine any reason for wanting a relationship with them. None whatsoever! It for me is about self respect about integrity and freedom, not to be sucked into their life of lies.There is such a huge resistance to truth of any kind it seems in our society. For me the best thing about your blog is that t is based in truth. Not denial or niceties.


Hi Pam
It really is sad. My husband said to me just yesterday about his parents ~ “you know they missed out on a lot by declining to work on having a relationship with us”. They didn’t just lose their son and their grandchildren. They could have had REAL relationship based on real love and equality. But they chose the lie. They really believe that love is worshiping someone else. (which proves that they themselves don’t love by the definition they believe in)
Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

Hi Rise
Thank you! It really is crazy isn’t it? I wanted SO badly to have relationships with so many people who treated me that way. People who discounted me and dismissed me. and today I live in truth and freedom! Thank you for being here and sharing!
Hugs, Darlene



This one is so HUGE for me right now…I have milled it over dozens of times of what I would say to my mother….all of these years I thought the sexual abuse was all that was the problem and the perpetrator of that is dead, so, I have thought…I’m cool, I don’t have to face anyone….but as I move forward on my path, I realize it was NOT just the sexual abuse that screwed me up…it was the mishandling of that and the ignoring of me and my needs as a human being that really dug it in….and for that I am pissed off..and I have every right to be ticked….my mom had taught us to disregard ourselves, since that is exactly what she did as a mother. I remember catching one of her creepy boyfriend’s having my baby nephew suck on his finger, like he was trying to see what kind of sucking power he had or something…I thought it was so fucking weird and I immediately became nauseous….I never told my mom about that incident because I know she would have made an excuse for her boyfriend or tell me I was a weirdo for thinking that….but her boyfriend knew that I saw him and I watched him from that second on. She always had creepy boyfriends…I never liked ONE of them. This just supports the fact that I will need to deal with her sooner or later…it’s just a matter of time.
Thanks Darlene.


Hi Shanyn
OH MY GOSH! (re ~ getting an email listing the conditions for the relationship!) WOW. I often wonder if my father told my siblings about my blog, because he knows about it. But if he tells them then he risks them reading stuff about him that they don’t know right? And he doesn’t know what I am going to write yet… and believe me, I have barely scratched the surface on this blog when it comes to writing about the dysfunctional family that I lived in.

Did you know where the theory of false memory syndrome actually comes from? Some mental health professionals had a daughter who said the father was abusing her… the mother somehow concluded that the little girl was mistaken; that her husband couldn’t possibly have done THAT. (well that is the story in a nut shell but you get the picture…) A whole bunch of people jumped on the band wagon. About your cousin, it is possible that she can’t face her own child history so denying yours helps her to stay in her own denial.
Thanks for sharing Shanyn!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy P.
I really understand your pain. Believe me it does get better as we get stronger. My brother said that to me too ~ that no one likes me ~ but I am a truth teller, so they don’t’ like me because I am a whistle blower. I hold THAT power and if they can keep me down, in depression, all messed up, then I won’t TELL their secrets. I don’t need them to like me anymore. Like I said, why did I want to BE with them when they regarded me that way? It took a while but today I am very strong and I know that I am so much better off without all that in my life.
Hugs, Darlene



It is still so raw . this post has cost me thousands of tears. It does hurt me because I keep expecting some miracle to happen and it doesn’t .. My family say that my speaking out shows how little I love God and that i who spent my helping the “chuch” am showing my true colors. .that I kept silent and all of a sudden decided . i didnt want to love God any more by speaking out. ..

I just wish they would understand. wish someone from family would understand . no one cares; no one does; they dont’want to because I am no value to them.



Hi Pinky
I was a little shocked to find out when I first began working in the field of abuse and the misuse of power and control how typical they all are. How similar they all operate to try and conceal the truth. It is really scary, but for me, realizing it was like cracking the code to freedom! Thank you for sharing your victory story with us! YAY
and thanks for the endorsement and encouragement!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jenny
You are spot on realizing what messed you up. We can handle abuse when we are supported, believed, protected ~ we can overcome it.
I hated all my mothers boyfriends too.. and she accused me of flirting with them! UGG My mother is really sick.
and about dealing with your mom, the time frame is up to you!
hugs, Darlene

Your family sure told you a lot of huge lies to shut you up. No one from my family ever understood and eventually I stopped wishing for that. They don’t want to. They would rather let me go then face the ugly truth. I finally let go of that wish and WOW there was a lot of freedom and burden lifted when that day came. Keep going, you are doing great.
Hugs, Darlene



It’s awful that your mother tried to place blame on you for that abuse on you . it’s terrible things she said to you. . like salting the wound.

I am a broken person. don’t have to say much to shut me up . I hope some day though that i wont be so afraid of what people say to shut me up ..

I feel am so far behind all you as my heart still breaks to think my family hates me . or that my mom never wanted me. Hope I get to that freedom of heart and spirit you all have..



Joy….don’t worry….you will get there….you are here and that is the first step….hugs



Thanks. but how does the hurt stop hurting and does it?



I don’t think I will ever stop hurting over my family or stop wishing that they would do what’s right. It is like when someone you love dies and that never quits hurting either but you learn to live with it and go on. It hurts me also to think my family doesn’t love me the way family should but I know the problem isn’t me, its in them. I will always hope for healing for them but my going along with their sickness won’t help them. What I’m doing is best for all of us. What you are doing is the best thing also.



Darlene, your blog post resonates with me on some levels. I trained my brain to “forget” what my father and brother had been doing to me in order to protect my mother. This was in my early journals, and eventually found its way into my book: “Perhaps my mother’s brain was as fragile as a light bulb, and required a continuous current of psychiatric power to keep from breaking down.” It goes to show how as a pre-teen I recognized her delicate psyche, witnessed how often she was in psychiatric treatment, and how fearful I was of causing another breakdown. Of course, father/brother used her mental fragility to their benefit: “If you tell, Mom will go crazy…” I was not deathly afraid of her, I was afraid of causing a breakdown that would lead to her death which would lead to permanent placement with my father, or step-father, and brother. Instead, I started with the suicide attempts as soon as it occurred to me to take entire bottles of Excedrin. It’s all so twisted. I often wonder at the irony of it all. I disclosed to my mother and confronted the remaining abuser (my brother) when I was 43. (There were others but not family members). My mother immediately told me of the incest she had endured as a child which caused me to deflect and feel bad for telling her. Joy, I just want to say that you are a child of God, and you have every right to be here, as it says in the “Desiderata” “no less than the trees and the stars.”


It doesn’t hurt me anymore. Not having a family does not hurt me. This is new. I no longer yearn to fix them, to please them, to be who they want me to be. I no longer wish I could talk to them, reunion with them, “celebrate” with them, holiday with them. I once hoped for reconciliations and actively worked to rebuild relationships, including with my brother, the most heinous of betrayers. I don’t miss them. I don’t think about them. I don’t feel lonely without them. I felt lonely with them. I felt misunderstood with them. Of course, they don’t understand clear simple pure courage strength truth love and light. How did this happen? I put them all in a group hug, put them in a hot air balloon, and sent them all into the universe, cause I don’t want them anymore. If I remember a mean nasty cruel hurtful painful betrayal manipulative lie they told me, I re write it for myself into nice kind compassionate healing hopeful words.


Thank you for this post, Darlene. I REALLY needed this right now. Every word you said hit the nail right on the head for me.

Joy P., your family is poison. It is a MIRACLE that you are the gentle sweet person you are! You are like a beautiful flowering tree that grew up in a toxic waste dump. Now you can transplant yourself out of that toxic dump, into your own beautiful garden. Your family doen’t want you because you are so beautiful and kind and wonderful, that their ugliness and hatefulness looks all the more terrible, compared to you.




Oops, I forgot to check the box to notify me of new comments, sorry.

I want to say too, Joy ~ those words I wrote to you in my last comment, they just seemed to come to me out of the air.. I felt strongly prompted in my heart to write those words, for YOU. I believe that what I wrote, is the way our Creator sees you… as a beautiful flowering tree, a tree that will one day bear much fruit, a tree that has miraculously grown in a toxic waste dump, and is now being transplanted into a beautiful garden, where you rightfully belong.

I believe that Christ is the only perfect human who ever lived. All of the rest of us are imperfect, and some are a lot more imperfect than others, especially the hateful toxic abusers! But, Christ was perfect, and yet, he was persecuted, falsely accused, arrested on a trumped-up charge, beaten, crowned with thorns, stripped naked, crucified, and mocked as he was dying. That is how the evil abusers in this world, treat people who have kind, caring, and gentle hearts.

Jesus said, if they persecuted Me, how much more will they persecute you?

In the letter I am writing to my mother, I am telling her that I am leaving her behind for good, and shaking the dust off my feet. That is Biblical, too! (I also wrote in my letter that if she will confess, and repent, and make some effort at making amends for her horrible abuses against me, then we can have a relationship based on equal respect. Sadly, I know the odds of that ever happening with my mother in this lifetime is less than me winning a multi-million dollar lottery, and getting struck by lightning, all on the same day.)

I am being set FREE from my horribly hateful mother, and I pray the same for you, Joy! I grieve with you, that your mother never loved and wanted you, even as I grieve that my mother never loved and wanted me. THE PROBLEM ISN’T YOU (OR ME), A BAD, UNLOVABLE DAUGHTER.. THE PROBLEM IS YOUR MOTHER, AND MY MOTHER ~ HATEFUL, ABUSIVE WOMEN WHO CANNOT LOVE!


I thought I’d copy my comment from Facebook to here –

I can so relate to this, when I went to the police and the police confronted them I in effect said “you know exactly what you did, no amount of lying can take away the fact you know, and I’m telling you that you had no right to do those things, you were wrong and you committed crimes against me, you can lie and deny all you like, but you know the truth and I know the truth and I’m not staying silent any more”, they lied and denied and got away scot free but they know the truth and they know what they did isn’t secret any more, and that somehow gave me a little power over them and put me in a stronger position and them in a weaker position.

Then I thought I’d add –

It was absolutely terrifying breaking my silence. I remember the terror I felt when I heard they’d been arrested, I asked the police officer how they were, and immediately thought “what a daft question why do I care how they are and how they reacted to it?” But I did, I really did care. I felt I was betraying them. I was also terrified of their anger and their lies and terrified they’d be believed over me.

Yes, they did get off because of their lies and denials but they got the message that I aint keeping quiet no more and they know they got off too. They know they got away with it.

I too had felt so alone with my secrets. Now those secrets are coming out I don’t feel so alone. I’ve been believed. Breaking my silence brought me the help I’ve so desperately needed for so long.

It wasn’t easy to do but now I don’t care a jot for them. They can rot in their own juices for all I care now but what a journey it’s been to get to that point. Although it still feels disloyal to say such a thing about them.


Dear Pam ..

thank you for sharing that you too ..feel the hurting wont stop.. or that you wont stop wishing they would change.. I know that despite all the hurt. in me is wanting them to become better.. and as you sa.. do what’s right.

I know too ..now.. that it’s not because of me. but I still so very badly.. that they never wanted me or that all my other siblings see me just the same way as mom does..as someone bad.. I know am not bad but when they are in my mind or dreams .. I feel everything they say of me very deeply.

Thank you for reaching out to me

gentle hug (if ok)


Dear Lynda

Thank you for your kind words.. I hear all you are saying and your words touch my heart.. It seeems so strange hearing such nice words to describe me. and am moved. I know time will make it that I heal . I trust the one who is working with my broken being and am grateful to all you who reach out to me to help me through all this.

You are so wonderful as is everyone here on Emerging from Broken. . No one can just stop feeling or loving or being who they are.. Thank you for understanding who I am . and pointing out the things you did..





Confronting my mother was so important for me as well. She sexually abused me from before I was 3 years old until puberty, and for years I felt DIRTY when my mother touched me or referred to my body in any way. I went no contact 2 years ago without mentioning the sexual abuse but it was eating away at me. I was having flashbacks and I felt dirty, ashamed and wrong. I finally realised that it wasn’t about confronting HER, it was about owning my truth, reclaiming by body and my life. So I told my 3 siblings and included her in the conversation only as a third-party. I told them to protect their own children, I spat out every toxic, vile, incestuous thing she had done to me, and I told them this was the reason for going no contact WITH ALL OF THEM. I couldn’t have anyone in my life who enabled or protected my abusers. I didn’t ask them to believe me, nor did I listen to what they had to say. I just told them my truth and that I would NEVER see or speak to them again for the rest of my life. Then I left. She was on speakerphone and didn’t get a chance to deny or retaliate, whatever she/they said after I left is none of my business. I felt really vindicated after that day, because I know SHE KNEW what she did, but as long as I kept quiet, I was keeping her secret. Yuck. Now it’s out there it’s not my responsibility. My siblings will have to make their own decisions about whether to confront her with their own issues, or carry on regardless. Either way it’s not my problem, and I have walked away from them all. They can live in denial if they want to, I choose to own my truth and to treat myself better than they ever did.



My siblings also see me in a negative light. They were taught to see me that way just as I was taught to see myself negatively. I am working to see myself and them the way we really are. I hope that someday, they will do the same. However, if they don’t, I’ll be fine and so will you because we can have confidence and stability in the truth. That is so much better than the instability and confusion that comes with trying to live according to their lies and prentenses. There is a difference also in pain that causes destruction and the pain that brings healing. What was done to you and I was that destructive pain. The pain we are going through now is the pain that brings healing. You are recovering from a very serious surgery, Joy. Hang in there, your beginning to mend, and you will be as good as new when your recovery is complete.



Hi Lynn
Yes, me too. Very aware from a very young age that I could possibly “cause” my mother to have a breakdown… and the consequences of that would be “losing my mother”. I know that my mother had a very hard childhood herself too. I have written about that, and how that knowledge interfered with my own recovery as I grew up. I took so much responsibility for her feelings for so long.
I totally understand what you are writing about and how your father/brother used your mothers fragile state against you (and likely against her too) .
Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Joy ~ It doesn’t hurt me anymore either, but it took a long time. (Years)

I told my mother that we could have a relationship if we worked it out. I told her no more sweeping it under the carpet and leaving all the blame on me. She even offered to go to therapy with me! I said yes. That was the last time I talked to her; almost as though she thought suggesting therapy would scare me or make be back down again. Strangely enough my husbands parents also suggested joint therapy with them. We also said yes.. and that was the last time we all sat down together too. My husband met with them a few more times, but they would not revisit the joint therapy idea. They just wanted him to admit that he was the problem.
Anyway, I think their suggestions were manipulative because when we said yes, it really scared them. LOL
Thanks for being here and sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


My mother made me her literal scapegoat. She accused me of things that I never did, which were things that she, herself, had actually done.

I will explain more about that later, I don’t feel up to getting into the details right now. But the bottom line is that my siblings all believed our mother. So, they grew up seeing me in the same false negative way, that my mother sees me.

Recently, one of my two brothers has come around to seeing things differently. He wrote me a letter this last month, it was his first letter to me in many years. In his letter he said that I am his favorite sister! That’s saying a lot, because I am one of 5 girls in our family, and there are also 3 stepsisters.

My brother will be 50 next month. It took him a long time to come around and open his eyes to the reality of who I am… which is NOT AT ALL the bad, crazy, unlovable person my mother told everyone that I was.

I believe that deep down inside, all of my siblings must know the truth. How could they NOT know, when I was always good and loving to them, and went out of my way to take care of them when they were little, and protected them from harm… well, maybe 95% of the time, I was good and loving to them, no one is perfect… but they have to know, on some level, that my mother has lied about me all these years. The problem is that when you are a child, your mother is like God ~ you HAVE to believe in her, because without her, you would die. When you grow up, it’s hard to let go of all those old false beliefs that she taught you, even after you are long grown and gone from your mother’s home. It was deeply imprinted in our hearts and minds when we were like blank slates, new to the world ~ relearning, reprogramming our minds to let go of the old false reality, and learn the new, TRUE reality, isn’t easy. Like Darlene has said before, it’s like our mind keeps wanting to go back to that old default position. It takes time to make the new programming, the TRUTH programming, sink down in and STICK.

You’re getting there, Joy. I can see it in the subtle changes in the things you are writing.



This is a huge issue for sure Darlene. Thanks again for helping us to look at how we can empower ourselves to find our best journey.


Fi, I am in AWE of you. You went to the police and pressed charges against your horrible abusive parents! WOW oh WOW. YOU ROCK.

Like you said, even though they lied their way out of it, they know the truth, they know that you know the truth, and other people believe you, too. That is so empowering. I felt empowered, just reading that!



Darlene, in comment #26 you said: “I know that my mother had a very hard childhood herself too. I have written about that, and how that knowledge interfered with my own recovery as I grew up. I took so much responsibility for her feelings for so long.”

With my history of severe complex-ptsd, going all the way back to my childhood, I wasn’t the greatest mother in the world, either. I know I did the best I could with what I had at the time, and I love each of my children, and grandchildren, enough to give up my life to save any one of theirs, if that were necessary. But, “my best,” as a very broken mother, was nowhere near good enough, nowhere near what my children needed, and deserved. For most of my life I knew something was “wrong” with me, but I didn’t know that the “something wrong,” was Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, until the year I turned 50, which was 8 years ago…. long after all of my children were grown and gone from the nest. OH how I wish I could turn back time and parent them all over again, knowing what I know now!

My younger son and I were talking recently, and I told him how sorry I am that his childhood was not what it should have been, and that I wasn’t the healthy, sane, loving, affirming mother he deserved. Stephen said, “Thanks, Mom. I wasn’t a perfect son, either. I know you did your best. I forgive you.”

Then I told him: “You were a wonderful son! No one is perfect, you know, and you were just fine! I really appreciate you saying that you forgive me, but I want you to know that you don’t have to forgive me. You have the right to be angry that your childhood wasn’t what it should have been. ‘My best’ wasn’t good enough. You deserved so much better than the childhood you had. You have the right to grieve that, and to be angry about that. You were a wonderful little boy and you deserved a wonderful childhood.”

In the silence that followed, I could almost HEAR my son thinking: “Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?” LOL…

This isn’t about beating myself up, because I REALLY DO KNOW that I did the very best I could, with the terrible brokenness I had. I also know that I was never 1/100th as horrible to my kids, as my own mother was to me! But this isn’t about ME and MY childhood, this is about validating my 3 grown children’s right to grieve the safe, loving, stable, happy, carefree childhood they deserved and should have had, but never did. This is about their right to feel pain and loss, and even RAGE.

In my own trauma recovery, I’m learning that I need to FEEL MY FEELINGS, and GRIEVE MY LOSSES. Telling myself that my abusers were “sick and couldn’t help themselves,” or they were “doing the best they could with what they had,” stops me from feeling the pain and the sorrow and the anger that I NEED to feel, in order to get it all out, and heal.

Also, I’m finding that it really is very FREEING to stop making excuses for my mistakes! Denial, and cover-up, takes a huge amount of time and energy. In the end, it never works anyway, so it is all wasted energy. It truly feels so much better to just give all that up, and be open and honest and REAL.

I believe it’s called: Confession, Repentance, and Making Amends. Done in this way, it’s putting the focus on the hurt of those I have wronged, rather than on my “reasons and excuses” for the things I did that hurt them. It puts the focus on “how can I help to undo the damage I’ve caused you?,” rather than on “I want YOU to do ME the favor of forgiving me” ~ which adds insult to injury, when you really think about it!



Hi Fi,
Thanks for sharing your comment from facebook here! I LOVE what you said! That is such a “I’m taking my life back” statement. They know! They can’t make me think that I am crazy anymore! I can imagine the terror of reporting to the police with all the treats that we lived with as children. I was sick to my stomach just thinking about confronting them, never mind reporting! and I am also very aware today of how much the fear dissipated once I did say something. I used to jump when the phone rang in fear of hearing from someone I stood up to.

I love seeing the progression of recovery in yours and other lives. It is life sustaining to be a part of it. I felt that disloyal feeling for a long time, I even still get a flash of it once in a while, but I know it is the remnants of the old belief system… it take time!
Hugs, Darlene

I LOVE your comments to Joy in comment # 25
It is so true that our siblings are trained to see us in the same negative light we are trained to see ourselves in. Thank you for sharing that! I have seen this in organizations too. The non compliant people are rejected. This goes way beyond just family.
Thanks and hugs,


By golly, I believe I just wrote myself a new post to put on my own blog, 🙂


Lynda mentioned in one of her posts about how her mother figured she could read her mind – MY MOTHER DID THE SAME THING! It made me crazy. My mother figured she too could read my mind, know my thoughts, she figured she knew what I was going to say and do before I said or did anything – she even figured she knew what I liked more than I did – talk about having a god-complex … which really does fit with Narcissistic Personality Disorder doesn’t it??

My mother has gone so far as to even poison my sibling’s opinion of me – and because of the healing I’ve gone through, I can HONESTLY say now, “I DON’T CARE WHAT THEIR THOUGHTS OR OPINIONS ARE OF ME.” In my opinion, I am not important enough to them for them to get to know the real me and not the person my mother has portrayed me as. The truth is MY MOTHER HAS NEVER KNOWN ME AT ALL. I was her scapegoat – she blamed me for things SHE DID herself.

People like this are so TOXIC!!!! I am so glad I have finally reached that point where I can really say that I don’t care if I have relationships with her or my father or my siblings – I flat out DON’T CARE. They can live in their own misery and deceptions until the Lord reveals to them the truth.

Like I’ve shared before – I am happier for not having them in my life now. I feel like a whole and grounded person for the first time in my life, way more aware of my value than ever. It’s been a long journey, some of it hard and gruesome, but oh so rewarding – more rewarding than I ever imagined.


Hi Fostered,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken;
Thank you for sharing your victory! I relate to what you said about no longer keeping HER secret too, and I love the way that you worded the part about not being willing to have people in your life who protected your abusers. That is very bottom line. It took some time for me not to care about being believed. That was a very big stick point for me, but once I got there, WOW did I ever start to fly.
Thank you for sharing, I hope you will share often,
Hugs, Darlene

I believe with all my heart, that it is never too late to make a difference in our children’s lives. I love your story about the conversation with your son.
Hugs, Darlene


I wanted to confront my brother about some abuse, I was really angry and it was the first time I’d seen him since the incident. He had just arrived and was in the living room and my mom and I were in the other room and she kept the door shut, so I couldn’t leave. Then she raised her hand to me and I confronted her in a way that showed her I wouldn’t tolerate her abuse either: “Are you going to hit me?!” Like, DON’T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! She didn’t, but I kept quiet and just stayed in the other room until he and his new wife left. My mom always made me apologize when someone hurt me. I was raised to be compliant, obedient, submissive, so she could control me. NEVER AGAIN!


Hi Rise
There is something to that whole mind reading thing that I see differently today. My mother was very USED to me complying and reacting they way she wanted. (as were the other controllers in my life, including my own husband and his entire family) You are right that they never knew us or saw us for who we are. BUT I was predictable and easy to manipulate so when I changed, it was a huge shock to everyone. They all sort of panicked at first ~ scrambling for new ways to control me and get me back in “the box” that I had always been in before.
I laugh now when I look back and realize how shocked they all were that I was not little miss “do what ever you want me to do” anymore. It took me awhile to even see that for what it was and to see how they changed ALL their tactics to try and regain control. The sad part was that none of them wanted to work on an equality based relationship. They ONLY wanted control. I don’t miss any of it either.
And I know that they have a totally different story, but I don’t care about that either.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen!
I love this story! I was SO compliant that everyone was shocked when I stood up. I think I even shocked myself! LOL But like you stated “NEVER AGAIN” Me too
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


JOY: I am going through the grieving process right now, coming out of the fog of denial and it is excruciatingly painful. I feel for you. Rejection from family is the hardest to deal with and you feel so lonely and abandoned, but that’s because THEY are dysfunctional and ABUSERS. NOT YOU!! Just because your mother rejected you doesn’t mean you have no value and you aren’t worthy of love!! She was too wounded to see you for the person you truly are. She saw you through her own tainted and distorted lens, like all abusers do and tried to project onto you her own feelings of worthlessness. IT’S A LIE!! You need to be around others who can project the true reality to you. Your family is not safe! Sounds like a lot of your family members are in DENIAL and are refusing to change roles, but you are by becoming healthy and speaking the TRUTH. YOU GO GIRL!! Hang in there! You’re healing and it won’t happen overnight, but when you get to the other side and out of the darkness, you’ll be so glad you did all this HARD work! You’ll feel a peace and joy you never knew. I was always told “If you were a true CHRISTIAN, you wouldn’t NEED counseling!” Oh my gosh! That person was just intimidated by the fact that I was getting healthier and becoming whole! I just let it go in one ear and out the other. I don’t expect them to change, so I’ve given up that fantasy. It has taken me years to face this reality, though. I always waited for the ‘miracle’ that they might change, but that just made my heart sick. No matter how much we try to love some people, we can never love them enough. They are empty wells and I had to let this relationship go and move on with MY life. I’ve wasted too much time trying to FIX something that will forever be broken. Plus, I realized it’s not my job and shouldn’t ever have been! Only God can fix their mess.


P.S. Only God can fix their dysfunctional mess and it’s up to them to let Him.


Hi Darlene, Pam, Karen

Thank you for your support; I hear it’s not my mess and that what has programmed into me is lies; that I am not responsible for them. I understand this and wish .. my heart and emotions can line up with what my mind knows..but its a process and, as Darlene and so many have said, it takes years.

I also have 2009 monster nightmares that are mixing in. I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that i played into the hand of my employer by not taking care of me as a child..Because I didnt heal I was rebroken by someone who was suppose to be trustworthy: a former boss.

I am so trying to understand it all.. am really a big ole messy ball of yarn that needs to be untangled.

I am hoping i don’t get hurt again by anyone else. I have had many little hurts even since 2009. because I have trusted people who acted the part of therapists, friends, guides only to reopen my wounds and salt them once they got me to trust them.

I am afraid of my own ability to figure people out.. that am going to keep getting hurt because people figure me out .. as one who has been hurt.. before I figure them out.

Oh well

Such are my thoughts today.. thank you for helping me and being there for me and caring..



Hi Joy,
Just a couple of points ~ You are blaming yourself for the employer thing (which I know is what we do, but I want to keep reminding you to change your thinking when it comes to self blame) by thinking that YOU could have been in charge of your own healing from childhood before that employer thing happened. You played into his hand because that was how you were taught and brought up. NOT because you didn’t take care of your self as a child.

About not trusting yourself, looking back I am glad that I went through a few years of not trusting myself. It kept me on guard. It ended up being a very good thing! Trusting others takes time and my therapist told me not to trust anyone totally, not even him, because I was so used to giving my power to the wrong people. I took that advice and kept my guard up for a long time until I knew I was no longer in that old belief system/mindset from the past where I came last and somehow always trusted the wrong people.
More “time” stuff.
Hugs, Darlene


Karen – post #38 … I so agree with you on that one. And about being a Christian and not needing counselling or therapy is a lie. I tried for YEARS through prayer to heal – it just got worse. There is a reason why the Lord made us family through Jesus Christ … He made us to love and be loved, He made us to need each other, heal each other, uplift each other, to comfort each other, etc. When I found a Christian therapist, it was an answer to prayer – I look at her as an emotional healer of sorts. There are some gifts the Lord gives to other people to help other people to overcome and live victoriously. So often we forget that God influences us, heals us and teaches us through others, especially other believers. 🙂


It shocked me to realize the lengths that people go to in order to manipulate and control in order to get their own way. (although I am getting used to it now..) The truth leak in that statement “if you were a real christian you wouldn’t need therapy” is all about the fear of the people who say it! Like you said ~ jealous that you are getting healthy and leaving them behind in the crazy or like my family of origin and my husbands family ~ SO afraid of what I might say or do if I heal so why on earth would they want me to heal? (and look at what I DO now!) I thought all that stuff was true before, all those statements must be true that I was so bad, and even though I could not find it in the bible, (all the judgements that were dumped on me in order to control me) I thought everyone knew better then I did. But today I know those kinds of statements are lies, meant to control. And God knows it too… so I have nothing to worry about.
Hugs, Darlene


Don’t mean to be crude for being crude’s sake, but my exs did the same thing with ice cream cones as your momn’s bf did with a baby’s finger. I don’t think they are ever NOT thinking about it.


@ Joy….I don’t know the answer to that…however, every little bit of anger or hurt I shed tears over seem to lighten my load….and bring some clarity….I have been on this journey a long time…but the best work I have done is here…amongst people who understand me…I have always felt different or like I am on the outside looking in and here, I am accepted as I am…I have a deep appreciation for that…I keep hoping it will all be “over” someday joy…but perhaps the pain lessens to a degree to where you are a freed up to enjoy life more…I don’t think it ever truly leaves you….


@ Lynda

Yes I broke my silence of 25 years in March 2010 when I phoned the police to report my abusive family. I was interviewed in March and then a 2nd time in May at the request of the CPS. My parents were arrested and questioned in July 2010. They lied, denied and play acted all the way through and were released on unconditional bail till early August. The CPS extended their bail till end Sep 2010 because it was such a complex and serious case. The CPS unexpectedly out of the blue dropped all charges against my abusers late in Sep 2010. That ripped my life apart. I’ve been trying since then to live with that appalling decision. It’s been very hard to cope with such injustice and total lack of justice. Trying to live with that heartbreak has been so hard. I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces since then.

But in telling and being believed I began my long journey out of the isolation I’ve lived in for 25 years. I now have the help of several mental health professionals and have years of therapy ahead of me. At least I know now that healing is possible. It was terrifying breaking my silence but being believed was so empowering.


Hi Darlene,

About part of your comment in #11- about false memory theory. Of course I wasn’t taught to trust myself or my instincts. And even thought in adult hood I’ve managed to develop strong intuition and instinct, in the area of trusting my memories I remained 5. The adults remember things right, maybe I’m wrong because I don’t remember everything just enough to know there was abuse.

Recently a new memory came to the surface. I had to validate it by getting an old photo album out so I could see if my bed and room looked in the photo matched my new memory. Then I was talking to a friend about this who has done a lot of work around her childhood sexual abuse. She said to me- “After all you’ve suffered through… you have plenty of pain to go around if you want to go back to the past and feel miserable….do you really think that you’d make something new up just to upset yourself further? Come on, Kim!”

That made a lot of sense to me. This whole false memory stuff is a shame because I think that concept may have hurt a lot of folks who are processing.

I’m getting so much out of reading this blog and the comments from the community. Thank you!



@ Kate…truly a sad state of affairs…I think you are right…glad to be me and not one of them 🙂


[…] Here are the links to two awesome blog posts that fit with this topic. The first link is to Darlene Ouimet’s Emerging From Broken Blog, on the issue of confronting our childhood abusers: http://emergingfrombroken.com/to-confront-or-not-to-confront-that-is-the-question/ […]


As we are talking .. on the very subject ..the one piece of mail that come today . from her. from her. ..the abuser.. Tear tears tears!!! how dare i just try to drop out of their lives.. who do i think i am!



What I have regained in facing my past is the ability to trust myself. Not having confidence in my own perseptions made me very vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. That confidence was stolen from me by the way I was treated as a child. I was in a state of constant confusion because I was told so often that what I perceived as real was not real. A confused person is easily victimized. I believe that as you grow stronger and begin to trust yourself better, you will be able to do whatever is possible to do to protect yourself. None of us are totally immune to being hurt again but I believe that we can learn to avoid much of the hurt that comes to us on a daily basis. Also, as I learn to have more confidence in myself, I am less needy and it is easier for me to walk away from someone who might not have the best intentions toward me. I believe this will all come to you also. I see it beginning already.



You said it, the abuser, not my mother. Why would anyone not drop out of an abusers life? That is the only sane thing to do.

Hang in there, kid.




I am still to weak . I should not have opened it.. it look like a thin letter..thought it was my miracle instead it was a heart break . i am worthless to them.


I am not strong as everyone else here.. her words still hurt me and yes God is all over that letter.. who do I think i am dropping out of my family’s life who do i think i am just blocking everyone out of my life..

I am suppose to take all the hurt..that is what they say I am suppose to do.



ps.. I guess I dont know who I am…first I no one now who do I think I am just dropping out their life. .. .I am so confused. by them



It still hurts me intensely that I have no family and do not have any kind of family life that most people take for granted. It’s always hurt, but it seems to hurt more with the passage of time, rather than less. I hope one day it won’t hurt so bad.


@ Pam in #51….right on comment….being confused is how they keep you trapped, where they want you to be….this is how my daughter got molested by her father…he is a master manipulator and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants….thank god I got away from him.


Dear Jenny

Sorry for delayed response..am letting out some of those tears you mentioned on comment 45. I find it hard to breathe sometimes when i think of how much nonsense that can keep going on. the same ole methods to hurt and control.. I hope this is all healing as right now its carving deep wounds in my heart..



@ Fostered….your story inspired me!! Thanks for sharing 🙂


Joy….I understand….when I am going through the hard times, I take a break and just do self care things to make me feel better….like take a bath or watch movies…I reward myself instead of punish myself…we have all had enough of that…be good to you Joy…big hugs


Hi Joy
I am going to put a different focus on this letter thing. I am going to just put the truth in a little nut shell here. First she says that you are worthless and were never wanted and after the kidnapping she added; don’t you dare discuss your childhood with a therapist. And now she says “how dare you drop out of their lives?” I think that she pretty much TOLD you to drop out of their lives your whole life. What is she so upset about? If my mother asked me who I think I am I would tell her that I am a worthy human being. Oh and if you are the problem like she keeps saying you are, she should be having a party to celebrate that “the problem” is “dropping out” now.
I don’t intend to make light of this Joy. I am so sorry you are in so much pain, although I really do understand it. I know how much it hurts; I am just trying to assist you in seeing the confusion THESE kind of people create. That is the whole fog busting thing I am talking about.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

this is why am so hurt. as i saw the same thing all my life and worthless the worst mistake..most recently in an email should have been aborted.. I never answered. not feeding into them. then the phone call where she told me all that bad stuff and i ended the call. I didnt respond to her vulgarity. now I get another letter. .I SHOULD NOT have opened it. that just shows how much I keep hoping for a miracle. I opened thinking maybe she had change of heart since I am not answering her meanness but now am the one walking away from family and god..

God is still all over still the one who says i am bad. I have only to stop doing this or that.. How dare i block her number how dare i block my brothers number how dare i block them from facebook. .. its all how dare i and how i will be punished by God

She told me I was worthless to them . yet how dare i do what i did to not be hurt

I am so confused by her letter and everything they have been doing it is tearing my heart apart.. like i started all this. i should never have been born. .. that is all i ever here.



It is all I ever heard too Joy, that I should never have been born, was never wanted, was worthless and a total waste of space.

It was breaking the silence on my abuse and beginning to talk and share with professionals and other survivors that I was able to see past the fog of confusion and put downs and see them for what they were – lies that were designed to control, manipulate etc.

Being believed enabled me to begin to challenge those lies. It’s a process full of many layers. But there is way through. Walking away from family is always a very brave and hard thing to do but may be the best thing you could ever do for you and for your healing journey. Walking away from family does not equal walking away from God. God is not punishing you and never will. God has been severely misrepresented to you as he was to me too. If there is anyone God is displeased with it is not you but your abusers. They are the ones who are bad. How dare they treat you the way they have treated you. It’s good and liberating to turn all those thoughts and comments on their head and direct them back to your abusers.

You have the right to establish boundaries for your safety, wellbeing and healing. If that means blocking them on facebook, not opening letters from them or blocking their numbers then so be it, whatever it takes. Once the boundaries are in place you can begin to take apart the lies and find a way through the fog. As long as they are manipulating you, emotionally or in any other way, it will be very hard to bust through the fog of confusion and lies.

But whatever they say you are worth it, most definitely worth it.


At what point in our recovery do we go from talking about making amends to actually making amends to the people that we have hurt out of our own woundedness? I am not talking about making amends to my abusers. I don’t believe that I owe them any amends.

Amends begin with myself. Knowing that I have needs and learning how to meet those needs instead of expecting others to do it for me. Simply learning the things I like and don’t like. Learning that it is okay for me to have an opinion different than yours. Learning to love myself and surrounding myself with others who show me love rather than hate and abuse.

Making amends to those that I have hurt through my woundedness. If I get into a conversation with someone and wound up blowing up at them when do I tell them that I was wrong for blowing up at them rather than just telling my friends about it over and over again? Talking about it isn’t making amends. Saying I am sorry to my friends doesn’t tell the person that I harmed that I am sorry. Telling that person that I am sorry for blowing up at them is taking responsibility for my actions. Talking about it with friends but doing nothing action-wise isn’t healing. Making amends to the person that I hurt gives them and me the ability to heal and let go of any resentments that either of us may still be holding on to. To reword a 12-Step slogan, I need to walk my walk, not just talk the talk. Healing in this area needs honestly with myself and with the person that I harmed.

On the other hand, I don’t need to make amends to someone that I haven’t harmed, my abusers, for one. That is taking on responsibility that is not mine. If I am defending myself or someone else and only tell the truth, then I don’t need to make any amends to the person who was doing the attacking. The attacker is the one with the responsibility of making the amends or not as they choose. Figuring out what is my responsibility and what is not was a major part of my early healing. Seeing the lies and the beliefs that were the lies of my abusers is part of that figuring out what is my responsibility.



“~My mother also controlled me with her fragile state of mental health for years. She constantly warned me not to “upset” her. She told me all the time that she “couldn’t take it”.” — YIKES. DEJA VU.

“I felt SO bad about cancelling the reunion. I pride myself on never breaking my agreements and on being a very “nice person”. What would they think? What price would I pay for doing that? I was afraid in the same way that I was always afraid as a child. Afraid of rejection, anger and retaliation, but really, I suffered those consequences all my life when I complied! What would change if I made them angry? And I had been treating myself like crap forever but I never considered that cancelling meant that I was taking care of myself for once.” — YES!

“All my life my mother had this whole song and dance routine about how I am this “ungrateful daughter”. That she did her best; that she “never wanted to be a single parent” as though that was the whole problem and that as though that statement explained and excused her from all accountability. ” — AND, DARLENE, AS IF HER BECOMING A SINGLE PARENT WAS YOUR FAULT. OBVIOUSLY, THAT WAS IMPLIED AND NOT AT ALL TRUE.



Usually i dont open letters .. some dumb,ignorant moment took over me, was in some fantasy land..hoping. that there was a miracle inside. Only miracle was that which showed me how very far from reality I was thinking..they are not going to change. They want me to change. They want me to feel guilty. They want me appear the abuser now after all they have done to me. I am just so stupid . I threw away several letters unopened.. why I allowed myself that peek . pure stupidity.
hoping for something that is not going to happen



Yes Joy the hardest thing to give up is that hope that a miracle will happen and they’ll change, want you etc.

I’ve been there against the most impossible odds, given they abandoned me and left me for dead still a part of me held on to that hope for 25 years. It was liberating when I was finally able to accept a miracle is not going happen. I’m not going to be wanted or loved by my family. They are not going to change. The only person expected to change is me, but it’s not me the problem is with but them. It’s very hard to accept that hard painful truth but I could not do any healing work while I held on to it.

You’re right they’re not going to change.

Yes they want you to feel guilty and feel bad but no more huh!! It’s incredibly painful to let go of that hope, accept they’re not going to change and determine to go after whatever it takes to heal. But that’s a key to moving out of the fog of lies, confusion, emotional manipulation and so on.


When we expect our parents or our abusers to change, we usually just set ourselves up for disappointment. Most of the time, they aren’t going to change.



“The problem is that when you are a child, your mother is like God ~ you HAVE to believe in her, because without her, you would die. When you grow up”…it takes time to realize that you are not dependent on her anymore.

Darlene, #36,”they never knew us or saw us for who we are. BUT I was predictable and easy to manipulate so when I changed, it was a huge shock to everyone. They all sort of panicked at first ~ scrambling for new ways to control me and get me back in “the box” that I had always been in before.
I laugh now when I look back and realize how shocked they all were that I was not little miss “do what ever you want me to do” anymore. It took me awhile to even see that for what it was and to see how they changed ALL their tactics to try and regain control. The sad part was that none of them wanted to work on an equality based relationship. They ONLY wanted control. I don’t miss any of it either.”

I am NOT lonely…it is not a loss that there is no one to criticise my house keeping, or the fact that my husband and I work in the kitchen TOGETHER!!! I don’t miss having my children picked on by their grandparents, and told that they didnt’ measure up and weren’t good enough, OMG, I don’t miss this stuff at all. It is so GOOD to not have to hear those voices out loud, and less in my head as time goes by.


Hi Kellie
Feeling ripped off was a big part of my healing process. I never realized how wrong the ways that I was treated actually were. Realizing the truth about included accepting that I WAS ripped off. It hurt. I didn’t stay there too long; I kept moving forward and eventually that stage was not so acute. The pain got less as the truth also made me realize that I could take my life back. I could salvage the remaining years and LIVE! and I live so amazingly well now that I feel like I have already made up for those lost years! So take heart, there is hope!
Hugs, Darlene

The actual problem is that they DON’T want you to change. If you were staying the same old Joy, they would not be so upset

Hi Kate
You said it baby! Yahoo.
Hugs, Darlene



They have me so confused.really confused.. all along am told no one in the family likes me .. recently was tol that I should have been aborted and that i shouldnt have been born and this letter seems to flip it all upside down an make me look like i am the bad person. walking away from the “brady bunch” . how dare i.. I was almost tempted to say “how dare i” but i thought I am the bad one.. all my life. even with the case thats going on .. my abuser said I deserved all i got.. so why am i bad for putting up walls to protect me. she .. my abuser .. is making me to be the bad person and no doubt she made a copy of her letter to show how she addressed me as the bad person and I am going to “burn in hell”

I know . .they are mad.. because am changing. it still is all a big big mess . and I am so confused .




It is so interesting how once you see the abuse and the abusers for what it is and what they really are they fight tooth and nail to pull you back into that sickness….it is so obvious to me now, I can usually spot the bullshit from a mile away….I wrote something a while back about stepping outside of that circle that I would like to share…

She felt it in the pit of her stomach like a raging fire, a feeling that couldn’t be squelched any longer. This was it, it was her time to step out of the circle. She could let fear debilitate her if she thought about it long enough, so, she put her body in motion and awkwardly threw her foot out of the circle. The dark human figures tried pulling her back, their power almost as strong as hers, she forced them off of her in one brave push, except something still had her by the finger. She bit the ominous force and tumbled backwards shattering like a glass on a marble floor. Her finger still stinging with pain, she slowly lifted her head, intentionally taking stock of all that was around her. There was nothing left but silence, she was on her own. Her eyes filling, she made it to all fours and then to her feet, dusting herself off and what was left by the darkness. She had nowhere to go except forward into the light. A smile permeated her face as she took her first steps down the path meant for her.


Joy, it’s typical behaviour of abusers to make the abused person look bad and to turn the abusers into a victim. It’s all about trying to keep you seeing things the way they do. It is all about control and manipulation. They don’t want you to change, they don’t want you to realise they’ve lied to you, they don’t want you thinking for yourself, yes they’re mad, yes you’re changing, it is a mess but it’s not a mess of your making. You are not bad for putting up walls to protect you, quite the opposite but they want you to think you’re being bad and selfish because they will fight like crazy to stop you becoming your own person so they create this confusion of lies and emotional manipulation.


They want you to be confused. That’s what people who manipulate do. They twist everything good into bad to confuse you. Then they step in to give you direction as to what you should do which is really what they want you to do. They could care less about what pleases God. They abuse Him too by using Him to confuse and manipulate others. What they are doing is dispicable. They are threatened because you are breaking free and you also know how they really are.You are worthless to them because they don’t respect or value others as they should. They certainly don’t value you the way God loves you. He would never twist and confuse the teachings in the Bible the way they do. This upsets me and I feel a rant coming on so I’m going to stop. You are very loved, Joy. The God you pray to when you are alone loves you and wants the best for you. Listen to Him and not those who speak lies in His name.



That ‘mess’ is of their own creation,not yours. Soon you will be completely out of it and they will be left with the problems they’ve made. I’m glad you weren’t aborted and you are no mistake. You are a very tender hearted person who loves and deserves to be loved. I’m glad you are protecting yourself because I want you to be around to encourage me by showing me that good can triumph in the face of evil. You are very strong! You survived great evil by the hand that was set to nurture you. You not only survived but you have survived with your empathy and compassion in tact. You haven’t become like them. That is why you encourage me. Your doing great, just hang on.



For so long, I took all the anger that I felt towards my abusers and turned in on myself. I nearly destroyed myself in so many ways. I was the one who tried to murder me. When I started placing blame where it belonged instead of carrying it, all that anger started to flow outward and it made me stronger.It enabled me to endure the pain, anger is a great pain killer and the reason we have anger is for self-defense, and keep standing up for myself and doing the right thing. We have the power to use our anger and I feel that you need to let all of your pain flow away from yourself as you place blame where it belongs. Your value doesn’t depend upon them. You don’t have to feel sorry for them. You owe them nothing. They have shortchanged you.
I’m praying for you, Joy.



I am learning it’s typical behavior .. I only can see what behavior is happening . with the abusers in my life. They are torturing my mind and breaking my heart over and over..

I, however, should not have opened that letter..I was hoping for a miracle.. still living in my dream land .. but that has ended today. Enough is enough. I cannot keep allowing them to hurt me so much.

I think they are starting to feel the pain of how they have treated me because I have been silent so long. and they want to make me feel their pain ..

They have definitely done that




I am seeing through their lies .. their sudden shift of gears has got my attention..and i know something is not right for them to suddenly challenge me as though I am doing wrong and bringing the Almighty as their reason for challenging me.

I wont let them destroy me as I have learned a very painful lesson today. i cannot open any more letters from them . i have to leave them .. all them to their lives and to their ways and go my way ..which is towards healing.

I have to give up the idea of ever seeing, speaking to or writing them..and leave them to live their lives and me, mine.

I am not saying any of this without tears.. but I cannot continue on a road that seems to be an obvious dead end. They dont care for me they want to hurt me over an over. and it’s too much for my heart.

I have to say .. i give up . on that hope.. its painful .. its heartrending but i am embracing it . i have to forget them .. let them go.. somehow..



I have something to add…I don’t know if it is the actual family we grieve for when we realize we have to let go….or if it is the idea we fell in love with…the idea of what a family really means…which is unconditional love and support…none of which ever came from my family of origin except maybe from my siblings…my parents never showed me the love I so deeply needed and wanted….I sometimes don’t even know if I truly know what “love” means….I do know that love leaves you with a good feeling though…not the anxiety and fear I was always left with…


I know it hurts. We all natually want our moms to love us, protect us,and be there when we need them. That isn’t always what we get but it is natural for us to want it and even expect it. I agree with Jenny,it is more the loss of what we want family to be that leaves us sorrowful. The family that you and I had never came close to our natural, inborn expectations. It is hard to accept the fact that one is an orphan even though our parents are still alive but in so many ways, we were always orphans. I know what it is like to think ‘mother’ and only find a black hole there as definition of what my mother has been to me. Your mother also tried to destroy you. If she feels pain now it isn’t because of what you are doing, it is the consequence of her own hateful actions. The last conversation I had with my mom left me feeling that I had been cut off at the knees. It hurt so much and I felt just like I did when I was a little girl and I needed my mom to hold me but I don’t remember my mom ever holding me and I know that emotionally, I was cut off at the knees for many, many years. Now that I’ve accepted the facts and moved on, I’m not only walking but I’m beginning to run. I’m not crippled anymore. Now is your day of acceptance and emotionally, you’ve been cut off at the knees but the tears will eventually cease. Tomorrow you will be stronger in your resolve and instead of fantasies of a family that will never be, you will begin to build your own life and quite possibly a new family someday. You have so much love stored up, waiting for someone to receive it. If you pour all of that love into the family that you will create in the future, you will have it returned to you. I know because I haven’t been the perfect mom but I love my children and I have poured my life into them and they love me back despite all my imperfections. My parents always wanted my kids to rebel and pay me back for how badly they said I treated them. They tried their best to hurt my relationship with my children but in the end, my children didn’t fall for it because they know how much they are loved. What I’m trying to say is that it hurts right now but you are undergoing a very painful, needful surgery and I expect a full recovery. You have a long future ahead of you and someday, this will all be left far behind. I have great faith and hope for you, Joy. I know you are going to go far.


Once again your words explain what I went through in my life too….I have just today wrote to my sister that I do not want any kind of relations with them as they always hurt and reject me. It was a bittersweet feeling to let go of wanting their love my whole life and never getting it and just letting go. I am still going to try to have a relation with my mother who abused me both sexually at an early age and physically later,,,but only because she is a quad and to hold up my obligation as a daughter for myself not to feel guilty. The horrid things she has done to me I know she knows but will never admit or emerge form broken and admit her own childhood to be free…..this I do wish she could do before leaving this earth….I want to thank you so much for just being able to identify with your blog.


Darlene, many of you guys know your abusers aren’t willing to do the work, or they get smoked out when therapy is suggested, etc. What is so difficult right now for me is that my ex-abuser has been insisting that he has changed, using all the right lingo, like “taking responsibility” for the past and the future, and having “his chains broken”, that he was not good enough, that he wrongly put other things ahead of his family, etc. His abuse is now spiritual and covert. They are in the form of verses, passages, insinuations that I am not doing God’s will because it is God’s will for a man and wife to be together, especially if he is changed, etc.

He knows that the church will not support a divorce, but they won’t support a reconciliation without change either. So he is doing his utmost to convince people he has changed by crying, admitting his responsibility, saying that he is giving me space, etc. But because his messages of blame are subtle, and his coercion is relentless, I KNOW it is not change. But to confront him and tell him where he is abusive now is to engage with him, which is exactly what he wants because he knows as long as I engage with him, he has wormed his way back into my life, even if it is in my headspace. But if I don’t tell him what he is doing wrong now, then he and his allies say it is my fault for not telling him, since he is trying his best and doesn’t know what he is doing wrong and he claims to not know in what way he is being manipulative. He is VERY willing to do joint therapy and accuses me of refusing. Since he reluctantly starting court-mandated therapy not long ago, he found out it could be fun, esp when you could manipulate the therapists.

If your mum had said Yes to therapy with you, then kept her word and went along with it, but was still abusive in very subtle ways, would you have known when to disengage and how to explain why?


Hi Jenny
Thank you for sharing your writing. It is hauntingly beautiful and I felt the breakthrough! And you are right. I realized in the grieving process that I was grieving the dream of having a loving family. Not the actual family I had.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam,
Great comments about anger. Thanks for sharing.
Great comments about abusers and some of the typical stuff around this whole thing.
hugs Darlene

Hi Invisible321
I am glad that you can identify with what I write.
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Krissy, you are wise to see through his manipulations and games. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Covert manipulation is the worst kind and many people don’t see it for what it is. Stay strongth for you.


Somehow I missed your comments yesterday and realized by Evie’s comments that I had missed something! Thank you for sharing about making amends. There is a LOT of great stuff highlighted in those comments ~ I spent an extra year in therapy learning how to live in my NEW belief system and much of it was about all that stuff. Recovery doesn’t just stop at a certain place. Life keeps going on and there are always difficult people and situations to deal with. For me, everything was new. Learning how to do relationships was ALL new. Learning to stand up for myself in regular situations was NEW in my case, I didn’t have a temper; I always backed down, so I had to look at the way that I did that too and I had to put a little more conviction in my voice. I got mixed up a few times.. and said the wrong things and had to realize that I needed to apologize too. LOTS to learn… Thanks for your comments.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Evie,
Your comments are very well written ~ I love what you have said. It is really hard for some people to realize that they themselves are continuing to abuse as they are trying to grow in recovery. I think it is related to putting the self first, which for many is such a new thing, that it gets put in place the wrong way. We think we are standing up for ourselves when we are really tearing someone else down. Yes, that is the abuse that we all were trying to escape in the first place. I had to learn to look at this whole picture and it was a tough one.

I have a dream to have a safe place for survivors where there is mutual respect and that we all use our “power” to empower each other and not tear down; it is very sad and hard when survivors attack other survivors and the whole pecking order system lives on. It takes time for each person to come to that wholeness point. I love your definition of healthy relationship. You are so right and that is the goal that I strive for. I had to learn to use the delete button in survival communities. I had to learn when to stop engaging. And I want to HELP everyone, so it was very hard for me to learn when to walk away. I also had a huge addiction to being understood, so I had a very hard time letting go when someone accused me of anything that hurt me. But I did learn to walk away. I did learn to take care of me. This process is so big. Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Krissy
Lingo is not action and change is. If my mum said yes to therapy I am confident that I would have know when to disengage because my husband said yes to therapy, and HE talked the talk and continued to change his abusive tactics and I had to learn to stay alert. I got sucked in many times.. and finally I drew a major boundary and also realized that people who have change don’t feel the need to SAY they have changed. They just LIVE the changes. I had to learn to stop caring what everyone else thought… and that was including my own kids, because they thought that Dad was changing and that I was a nasty mean woman. (just like he wanted them to think) In my situation, my husband finally did change and give up abuse and my kids also saw his true colours before he changed because I learned not to cover up for him anymore, but that took so much time!
No one can tell you that you are not doing God’s will. That is not up to him, that would be between YOU and God. As Patricia said, stay strong. Covert abuse is no less scary or wrong then overt abuse. When an abuser manipulates the therapist, THAT is a nightmare. I guess I was very lucky that my husband didn’t get away with that although he tried.
Hang in there!
Hugs, Darlene


Evie, thank you for commenting on my comment #64. I am disappointed that no one else has.

Over the past few weeks, I have discovered some areas that I need to work on healing. As I told a friend a short time ago, I still don’t always know what I am feeling. I still go numb sometimes. I still go into shock when I am verbally attacked for something that I said from a place of my honesty and truth.

If you ask me how you are doing in your healing journey, don’t expect anything but the truth as I know it. My truth may not be 100% accurate because it comes through my set of filters from my own set of experiences. I am not infallible. I will tell the truth as I see it. I don’t do it to hurt you but to hopefully give you some new awarenesses. I only do it if you ask me. Recently someone that I thought was a friend asked me about a situation that she started.

This happened a few weeks ago on my Facebook page. Someone attacked a commenter on something that I had posted. I had mixed emotions about the post to begin with because I knew that my commenters would probably be mixed about the topic. Some supported the person the post was about and some did not. One of my commenters took the position of stating that maybe the policeman was just trying to help by giving the advice that he did. I can see that as true.

I can also see it as blaming the victim which was the more popular stance. Neither opinion is all right or all wrong. Both has some elements of truth in them. When my commenter said she was playing devil’s advocate, which to me means she was willing to look at both sides of the picture, the other person blew up all over her, way out of proportion. I stepped in and said that the first commenter was not directing her comment toward the second commenter at all. She was stating her opinion about the actions of the policeman. I later deleted the post at the request of the friend that got blasted.

I was friends with both of these ladies. When the blaster asked my opinion, I told her that I was beginning to see patterns of behavior from her that she might want to look at as being unhealthy and even as being abusive to the other person. I have seen her go off on people twice before this incident. I also told her, because she asked, that sometimes friends have to be completely honest with friends even if it hurts that friend to know the truth.

I pointed out all of the stressors that this friend had been under for the past few weeks. I understood about the stress. I even sympathized with her over the death of her cousin and the horrible letter that her mother had written to her filled with hate. I understand that stress can overwhelm us and cause us to lose control of our emotions. I told her all of that. In the beginning of my healing journey, I often reacted out of rage before I could control it and not harm someone else with the explosion. That is one of the reasons that I recognised the pattern in this friend. I wasn’t attacking this friend in telling her this. If we don’t have awareness, we can’t change and we continue harming others with our behavior. It took me a long time to change this in myself and I had a lot of amends to make for my behavior before I was able to change it.

That friend went on to say that she became suicidal and it was all my fault that “my truths” were wrong and that I was no friend to her. She called me a stalker because I asked her husband how she was doing when she unfriended me on Facebook that day. I was concerned.

Several comments have been made directed toward me here on EFB without using my name but until this point, I have refused to respond. I don’t feel that it is appropriate for this person to be allowed to blast someone here in the form of telling her story and receive all the sympathy and care of others when she is in the wrong and her behavior is clearly unhealthy. When I say nothing, you are only seeing one part of the picture and assuming she is the one who has been wronged when that is far from the truth.

I realize that by “telling my side of the story” that some conflict may happen here. I am sorry for bringing this here Darlene but I am tired of hearing all of the facts distorted and one-sided as they are over and over again. The first comments about this incident happened on Lynn Tolson’s post on I think it was July 1 or 6, I forget which. Conflict can be healthy or it can be unhealthy. It doesn’t have to get nasty as the blaster’s comments did to me when she wrote me a 4-page reply to my answer to her original comment when she wanted me to tell her that she was right for losing control and blasting my other friend. When I disagreed with her, I was no longer her friend.

I would have been very upset with her if she had committed suicide but it would not have been my fault. We each are responsible for our own behavior. I take full responsibility for what I have said here today and for every comment that I have ever made here, now, and in the future. I won’t argue with this lady if she chooses to comment on any of this. It isn’t fair for one of us to tell our story and everyone to assume that story is the whole truth when it is not.

My other friend or I neither one have deserved the tongue lashing that has gone on here in the form of someone’s story. I am not blasting that other person. I am simply telling my truth. This is healthy for me. My other friend is one of the most empathic and sensitive to other people’s feelings that I know of. I hope that Darlene is not angry with me for saying all of this but I needed to clear the air for me. All of this started when I defended another friend on my Facebook page. Silence doesn’t help anyone heal. The wound will continue to fester if it isn’t given light and air to heal. I look at this as another step in my healing process. Good day everybody.


Darlene, thank you for your comment above. I appreciate you and your words. I hope that you feel the same way about me after you read what I was writing as you were writing your comment to me. I have been silent too long on the above conversation.


He still doesn’t care about YOUR feelings? AM I right? The whole church thing CAN be a real problem, from my experience, so excuse the intensity, but it is NONE of their business WHAT you do in your marraige. And I have had a lifetime of having those in my same house care more about what the “church thinks” than having a personal relationship with their own family memebers!!! HOW sick is that?



And he doesn’t care about your perceptions of your own relationship! MAJOR red flag. Using the church as a weapon, leave out the word GOD and insert the word CHURCH and you have the practical meaning of these phrases. Yo u can use the word GOD to YOUR own advantage, for your OWN sanity.

And as Patricia wrote to you:
” you are wise to see through his manipulations and games. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Covert manipulation is the worst kind and many people don’t see it for what it is.”


Just say “no” to abuse


Hi all,

At 5:15 last night I hit “send” on the email that told my abuser that he could no longer be in my life (he’s been back in my life for the last 2.5 yrs). This as a result of me not having full memories and not really recognizing him as my abuser. However my body did recognize him as the abuser and began to communicate to me.

I’m emotionally drained over what it’s taken to get to this point, but my soul feel lighter already.

I chose to tell the truth about what’s happened- that once he came back into my life that I began to experience flashbacks and nightmares and was transported back to the ages of some of my biggest trauma. My PTSD and disassociation began again and made me sick as my body indicated that having him in my life was a stress.

Then I told him that I choose me.

It doesn’t matter to me what he has to say. I know in my heart that I have done the right thing for myself.

Just wanted to share that.



I just found this comment written by someone else, and I think it is a good example of the brainwashing that goes on in and around “religious” circles. There are those who are trying to “fix” those who have been “hurt” by the “church” and really, all they are doing is still trying to control the minds of the masses who sit in pews by telling them how wrong they are for being screwed up by wrong doctrine. OK, I have had ENOUGH of another person trying to control be in a more perfect way.

“Religion has made the people of God so sin-conscious, so aware of their weaknesses and their failures, that it has given them a feeling of unworthiness, and seemingly the inability to break the power of carnality in their lives.”

Don’t you love it when someone can tell us how “people” feel and think? WOW, now for me, that is a HUGE red flag!!

So, I said in response:

“so you mean that people, or groups of people, rather, are being emotionally and verbally abused? rather than speaking for the effect that the words have had on the masses who listen, say what is being said by those in power” and identify their behavior as abusive, and even SINFUL, which is what you are accusing the poor listeners of being more aware of. WEll, if they were actually MORE aware of sin, they would get the hell out of these verbally/emotionally abusive “religious” centers.


that is like the best thing I’ve ever read!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
GOOD for you!!!! YOU listened to your body!! I LOVE THIS!!!!!
As someone in the helping field told me when I divorced a man with bipolar disorder, addictions, abusive behaviors, and I forgot the rest, she said that when these patterns have been established in a relationship (you and this other person, or me and my ex) that even with ten years of therapy where they learn to take responsibility, they MAY go on to have successful relationship with SOMEONE ELSE, but not ever with the person with whom the abuse was established, or entrenched, or whatever word you want to use.


Because THAT is the whole point of growing up, we have our own choice that we do NOT have to explain to anyone else, to make them see it, to make them agree, to make them think it is doctrinally correct, politically correct, nutritionally correct, etc., etc., ad nausuem


So many of the religions(I call them towers of Babel)that people have constructed around Christ have the focus all wrong. We’re supposed to focus on Jesus not on ourselves. The Pharasees of Jesus’ day are alive and well amoung us.Those who make their living via religion and prone to the sin of controling their source of income. They are human but a pain in the coma se ama. My husband calls it “stupid human tricks”. I remember Jesus as he tells us how to handle these people by doing what they say but not what they do. They are manipulators and manipulators twist what is true according to their purpose. They seek to have us carry heavy burdens that they themselves don’t lift a finger to carry…I have known a couple of genuine, hard working men in leadership positions but they don’t have the appeal of the manipulators. Another stupid human trick is to be attracted to what hurts you and people are easily fooled.


In my experience, the words don’t end up having any real actual meaning. It doesn’t matter that they use words that refer to God, who is real, what matters is that they have control over you, and the words are USED to gain/keep control.


And in these “religious” settings, there is no honest relationship involved among the people or between the leadership and the people. It is not about caring how people/individuals feel or think about anything. Communication is not two-way. MY dad has told me more times than I could EVER count, that the words “I think” (and we would certainly NEVER be allowed to use the word “feel”) are the first problem, that whose words HAVE to go!! “It is NOT about what I think–the BIG I, the terrible I” I am serious. This is how he talks. As if he really lives this! HA! AS if anyone COULD live that way. It is a lie.


I’ve seen a lot of that too but not in every instance. People have weird expectations about church. There is such a high expectation of perfection that isn’t humanly possible to reach. We aren’t perfect and that is why we need Christ. Religeous leaders have to pretend that their families are perfect and that they have complete control over their lives. In a way, the people are guilty of forcing them into practicing pretense. People also are drawn by charisma more than what a person really is so few actually genuine people do well in the ministry. I really think the whole traditional set-up is wrong. Jesus is our leader, I don’t think we need human leadership. Everyone should contribute in church with no hierarchy. “Leaders” should serve not lord it over others. I also think it would tempt leaders to manipulate less if they had a source of income outside of the church. Anyway, I’ve got lots of ideas how it should be done but, you know what? No one’s listening to me!lol I just love Jesus and do my best to allow Him to live through me and pretty much ignore the rest. Have a great weekend, Kate.

I forgot, I want to address the issue of thinking and feeling. I’m with you when it comes to denial about what we think and feel. God gave us our brains and our emotions there are healthy ways to use those tools. I don’t cotton to the idea that Christians are another form of human being. You are right it is a lie and a very silly one.


I’m in situations where I could recommend confrontation or not. This is the uncommon insight I have been looking for. I’ve seen you address this in parts but this is a treatise. Thank you.


From the article:

“I felt SO bad about cancelling the reunion. I pride myself on never breaking my agreements and on being a very “nice person”.”

So, in other words,
“I keep family traditions, which I myself did not create, AND I never disagree with others.”

“I am caught in priding myself in an image, which means that I have chosen beforehand to NOT allow myself choices in situations.”

And when you think of images that way, they don’t hold the same appeal.


I can relate to the fear of hurting the other person and the scariest part is when they throw it back at you. I’ve started to see it as their defense mechanism more than the truth. It sure would be interesting if someone in my family took responsibility for their own actions … still waiting on that … but meantime any time I get close to exposing the truth (that we are not a perfect family) I can expect a litany of accusations and excuses.


HI . must share this victory. I see it as such. .I happened to come home from quick run to store and I notice pulling in my “former pastor” . and quicky I run down locked the door and then run up stairs and then ran to my back door and locked it.

I have already had several “confrontations” with my old church ..so I chose not to confront or be confronted. That he would come day after my loaded letter told me or made me imagine they are paired.

So I listened to him knocking. He knocked on the front door. and then he went to my back door and he knocked on my back door. I sat in the bedroom and watched till he drove away..

I had done this one time before .. and soon after the visit the phone rang. I no longer pick the phone unless I expect to go somewhere or expect a call . In the vm was ..lol the same fellow who knocked on the door saying he thinks we should talk.

I do think . after i think long about it . maybe I should write a letter stating I do not wish to talk to him.

I didnt trust myself to open the door to him. as I know how cowardly I am when clerical people come around so I kept him locked out.

I hope this is not wrong to share but I feel that this was my victory as I feel he was coming as part of the letter I got..



Kate~ Thank you for your post! I appreciate your supportive response.


I have been there. I would a file a restraining order if I thought that the best course. The Gift of Fear is a book you could read and determine some things like that. He has NO business being around you. View him as a predator. IF you write and say to stop contacting you, not that you don’t want to talk, but that HE/church is to NOT contact you, they continue, that is considered harrassment.


Joy, that is great. You have the right to say no to unwanted visitors. If you know you are not strong enough yet to deal with them, hiding is an option. Small steps moving forward are still moving forward.


I am so sorry that this is happening. I wish there were some way for me to prevent it, however I can’t police every comment, nor do i know which ones are true, or who is writing about who. I would like the readers to respect that because a lot of people from facebook do read this blog and comment on it, to please don’t use examples of problems you are having with those people in facebook conversations on my blog, but even when I say that, there have been problems that people have faced on FB that needed to be addressed somewhere… (not necessarily with people who are on this blog but who knows, and since they fit the whole abuse description, they end up here. So I am not sure what to do or if there is anything that I can do. I hope that you understand my position too. I am just trying to make a difference in the world with my recovery. I really don’t know what to do about this. I would welcome feedback if you have a solution. I am sorry that this is happening.
Thank you for posting your truth and I do understand your need to set the truth straight.
Hugs, Darlene


HI Kate

I have made a cut from them before but maybe they don’t understand and I am patient somewhat .. but i will write for the church to not contact me any more. I thought I had said that last time he called but he is old and maybe he didnt “get it”

It seems coincidental since my mom did mention in her letter that she was going to have someone talk to me. sense to me!

Thank you : JOY


THe visitor is someone I never want back as I don’t believe
I can accept my old faith. I see things so differently now
I see everything differently and am not ready to make any
selection of one faith yet . but I agree little steps .. am
no where ready for big steps although ..



I too have faith that recovery and discussions about recovery can be safe and productive for everyone, and that is my goal for this site.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kim
WOW ~ Good for you, that is great news and I am so glad that you feel better already! Thank you so much for sharing your victory and this story with me! (and us)
Love and hugs!

Hi mcprodigal
Thank you so much for your encouragement and support to day.
Thank you for your comment.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Chloe
Yes, isn’t it strange and yet validating that this whole thing is so typical? That the way it works (doesn’t work) in families is so similar?
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


This is awesome! Thank you for sharing your victory, I veiw it as one too! YAY. and I love the comments from the other readers in support of you!
Hugs, Darlene



Thank you: Yay.. am even havent a little laugh over it . here is meek little joy locking the big bad wolf out..lol



Abusers don’t do what you ask them to do. They control this way. So you just have to stop communicating.



You are right so I shouldnt bother writing any notes to ask the to not visit ?




I am not sure. I don’t know if you want to have a written record of your asking them to stop contacting you. You might ask someone at the courthouse about this?

Otherwise, or in the meantime, you could just stop answering phone and door like you have, and then maybe have some conversations with someone knowledgeable at the courthouse, and read the Gift of Fear book by De Becker and see what you think?

You should NOT have to be contacted by people that you don’t want contacting you, especially an institution. If you are not communicating with them or attending their services, they have NO reason to contact. It is ONLY for the purpose of control.


HI Kate

I have no doubt my “abuser” had something to do with the visitor. It is a saying in the old faith “once a xyz always a xyz” I won’t put down the religion’s name as I want no hard feelngs from those who may embrace it.

But I know in the loaded letter I got ..the abuser said she would have someone look into me. .. etc. as part of the final statements.

I will try to talk discreetly wth someone about this as I don’t want to cause an uproar in our small town. if you sneeze here eveyrone knows. so small it is . the church is just down the street from me “literally”

I am wishing I could move but am not in any position to move as I dont know where to. .Too many people minding my business here . .There are only 4 stop lights in the whole town and one foodstore. It’s small and so to keep a low profile you literally have to stay in.



Darlene, I understand your position. That is one of the reasons that I waited until now to address this problem. Nothing would have been accomplished if I had posted this on my blog. The person doesn’t read my blog. She blocked me on Facebook. Without names being said, this person is still blasting me with her words. Hopefully me commenting in this way will stop the abuse from continuing or from the person picking another victim that may be defenseless which I am not. I am strong enough to speak out and to take care of myself. I am also strong enough to say, “No more.” I am not the first person that she has done this to here. Hopefully by bringing it to a head here, it won’t happen again. It doesn’t feel safe to have people who are supposed to be in recovery doing this sort of thing. If I could have done this in any other way I would have.

Thank you for your understanding. I apologize to you Darlene and to any readers that I may have made fearful or uncomfortable. Sometimes keeping quiet just doesn’t help anyone heal. I did not do this out of anger or rage or even to “get even”. I didn’t start it. Turning our heads the other way just doesn’t cut it either sometimes because that allows the abuse to continue. As a child, I had no way to stop the abuse. My “no” meant nothing. Not saying anything felt like when I was a child and the abuse was out of my control. That isn’t true now that I am an adult survivor.


@Kate I really feel for you. I live in NYC and when somebody gets nosy here they usually get fired if it is at the work place if it is not they get stabbed! I have no had your experience but I know I have no tolerance for nosy people. There are nosy people in Long Island which is worlds away from NYC culturally and Long Islanders get into trouble when they bring their ways into the city. But in NYC it is not okay to be nosy. If someone gets hurt here being nosy there is no sympathy for them. But it seems to be more acceptable in smaller cities.
And I was close to my pastor who just died recently. The thing about spiritual abuse is people do not recognize it as such. He was a beautiful person and actually was like a father and protector to me. He protected his flock but not himself. He did not understand or receive wise cousel that he did not have to take the abuse heaped on him. It was so upsetting and sad for me to watch him be destroyed. His heart was innocent in the matter hed just did not know how to respond but to keep silent and take the abuse. There is some mystery surrounding his death and the autopsy is not being released to the public. He had cancer and I think he got sick from emotional stress. Spiritual abuse destroys lives.


PS- I am a little confused as to who my post should go to it might be Joy or Kate not sure. Sorry.



thank you for kindly advice so far on this blog ..everyone has been so super kind and patient and understanding. thank you for reaching out. While the journey is still so new to me, I am less afraid have such good friends. thank you




Joy and I both are from very small towns, where, as Joy indicated, if you want to keep a low profile, you have to stay in, literally.

I reported a teacher for verbal abuse, while I was subbing, and found my car tires out of air. I was not comfortable doing much in that town. I dated a guy whose daughter worked in the school and she and her teacher friend both said they didn’t want me in their classrooms. I left a pile of letters, pictures, and stories done by the students for this teacher all in favor of HER and she told the school not to let me back in her classroom. So for the last year of subbing, I hardly had any work at all. Don’t stay in a town that will not employ you.

LOVE what you wrote about NYC!! Thank you!!

and absolutely, abuse destroys a life, health, etc.


@Kate, Maybe you can move here? NYC needs teachers!MY neighbor was a teacher her entire career and just retired to Florida. It has been the safest large city in the US for the past 30 years. I have several degrees and have had 3 major careers as well as jobs. One of them was teaching. I love NYC kids and there is so much to do here. In my opinion it is the best city to raise kids in. Maybe if you got a teaching job here depending on the school they could move you. The only down side is the cost of housing and dealing with the parents. They act entitled. And extreme killer heat and humidity in the summer. Winters are relativley wild usually between 49 and 60 degrees except last winter which was the coldest winter on record in NYC, between the 20’s and 50’s. But anyway if not I wish you well in your career.


PS_ but nobody will try to get into your business or face. 🙂


All very interesting. I am really not a teacher, was just subbing while I was a single mom of four.


@ Kate so sorry here in NYC you have to have a teachers certification to sub.


I’m glad you shared your side of the story. Even though I don’t know that much about it. It is a reminder to me that when I am not part of something, I don’t know enough to judge that situation. I also agree that there is nothing good that comes out of not speaking up for ourselves when we are being painted as someone we are not or as having done something we have not done. I always enjoy your comments and am edified by them. I’m glad that you are still here and not at home hiding under your bed. I hope for a resolution that brings truth and healing to all envolved.


I am having a really hard day today and am just digesting the whole of the letter come to me the other day and just figured out what the abuser meant by her final words.. let go of her an let god heal you . . She was telling me to stop therapy .

I am realizing that even in her accusations of me leaving the family she is still wanting to control me and doesnt want me to heal . i have no value . at all . my well being is not important to her.

She told me to let god heal me and let go of “her”. .her is my T and I most certainly will not do that.

I am so upset about the letter. I was so courageous yesterday but really didnt “Get it” all .. all her meanness to I looked a second time 🙁



You do have value. I have doubts that your mom really values anyone. I know it hurts and I’m proud of you for letting yourself see the truth in what she says and that she is just trying to get control of you again. Of course, she wants you to stop seeing your therapist. Your therapist is helping you see your mother and the way others have treated you the way it really is. Your mother is threatened by your therapist.

It was hard for me to see that my mom cares little for me also. When I look back at it, I am amazed that I ever thought anything else. Our longing for ‘mother’ is really deep and that longing can deceive us into seeing what we want or thinking that underneath all of the hatefulnees, they really do love us. When you are a person who loves deeply, it is unfathomable that there are those incapable of love.

When I began to see my mom as she truly is, I had to just let myself go through the grief and pain. When it ended, I just felt happy and free. Someday, Joy, you will feel happy and free also. I don’t hate my mom, I just love myself enough now to protect myself from someone who is supposed to love me but can’t. I don’t think she will hurt from it for too long because I believe that when she says ‘love’ she thinks of someone who will take care of her. If I’m not providing for her needs, I think she will forget me soon enough. I sense that you also don’t want to hurt anyone even if they have hurt you terribly. Honey, they just aren’t made like you. We don’t owe anything to people who hurt us and aren’t even sorry that they’ve done so.

You are in my heart, Joy. I’m praying for you.



Hi pam

THere is no need for her to feel threatened by my T.. .I never have spoken anything of my T to anyone other then when i was first asked if I was going for counseling I said I needed to then all hell broke out.

In her letter she said let go of “her and let god heal me” but she is wanting control. .and I am not going to let myself go unhealed any more
I lost out on so many years already . I keep getting hurt as i dont know how to know who will hurt me. i need help.

I never felt any love from my mom not once as i was always told i was a mistake. .so you cannot be loved if you are a mistake…how i saw it.

Pam , i wish no evil or hurt on anyone. I don’t care how much i’ve been hurt. i carried a fairy tale inside me that everyone would change and become kinder. .I even thought my abusive boss would change his tortuous ways if i suffered patiently that never happened.

I think i expect others to be kind as thats what in my heart and not everyone wants to be kind i guess.

I know nothing they say of me changes who i am so i will have to let the tears fall till i have no more to drop.



ps: i think i have the best “T”..I can feel in me that she is
helping me so so much. I really feel healing coming through her.
I see no reason . to listen to my mom regarding my T joy


Pam, thank you. I appreciate your words of support.

Joy, usually when someone is telling you to stop therapy it is because they are afraid that you might expose them as abusers to your therapist. She is afraid of you speaking out and sharing your story and pointing a finger at her as your abuser. She doesn’t really want God to heal you. She just wants to make you fearful enough to remain silent about your abuse. She is afraid of what other people might think about her. It is really hard when that person is your mother who was supposed to be the one to nurture and protect you when you were a child.

Like Pam said, you are not worthless. It is good that you see that your mother is just trying to control you. With that awareness you can stop her control over you. You can stop believing her lies that say you are worthless. You are not. You have a very high value to God and to your friends here.


Joy, learning to love yourself is the most valuable way to start to heal from child abuse. You are taking tiny steps to start to take care of yourself. That is good. Grieving doesn’t feel good but it is. Healing begins with grieving all of our losses in life. You will get through it. Just be patient with yourself.


I know that’s why.. she knows how to hurt me . after all she’s been doing all my life till now. She is a very hateful person mom is. and you are both right .. she doesnt like am breaking away ..

I know am not worthless but feel so helpless alot of time as mom never taught me things she only screamed things at me and never taught me anything of life.

Am trying to be patient..and grieving lots of that going on right now.. the letter is hitting home more today then the day it arrived..



ps.. I don’t think that healing me can ever be more painful than any pain I know.. the pains I experience through therapy are those of letting go of hurtful people and ideas and trying to see me differently then what i have been programmed to believe. .all this is just soul pain .not like the pain i knew as a child.
I am not going to give up because my mom tells me to.
thanks for all the support



Hi Everyone,
I am going to respond to the comments about the concerns and the shares from Patricia, Evie and the problems with some of the comments on EFB. Hopefully I can do this later on today; I just didn’t want anyone to think I am ignoring it. I want this to be a safe place. I want everyone to have a voice and know they are safe here. Evie and Patricias concerns are very valid.

I have just been so slammed and jammed for time this past week. It is summer, I have three kids home from school and all their extra emotional and relational needs. I have a daughter going off to university and she is getting scared. I have been painting bedrooms and the bathroom… There is a lot going on here but I will come back to this and respond soon.
Hugs, Darlene



I just wanted to say ..if ever I say the wrong thing..please let me now. I know I never mean to hurt anyone but as human nature is .. we can say things and hurt people without even wanting to..so if ever I harm anyone please don’t hesitate to let me know as I have so much to learn besides having so much to heal from.

Thank you



Evie/Elizabeth/Liz, Darlene and Joy, thank you. Conflicts can be handled in a healthy manner. Because we are human beings with opinions, feelings and abuse issues, conflict is going to happen. None of us learned healthy ways to handle conflict growing up with abuse in our families.

Joy, you are so afraid of hurting someone else that you will bend over backwards to not hurt someone else and may hurt yourself in the process. Conflict is about crossing boundaries. Sometimes we knowingly do that and sometimes we accidentally do it. There is a big difference between the two. I look forward to hearing what Darlene has to say.


Hi Everyone
First of all, I want to apologize to anyone who has felt unsafe or unwilling to comment because of the situations that are being talked about this last few days and I want to assure you that there have been VERY few situations like this here on EFB that were brought to my attention. The last one was taken care of quickly and all the offensive posts were deleted.

The situations that are being referred to by Patricia and Evie, are where someone has gone after someone else through posting details of a situation on Facebook where an argument started and it didn’t get resolved on FB so it was brought here. I don’t always catch it, because this blog is about abuse, so I don’t know “who” people are talking about when they post about being emotionally hurt or if they are actually talking about another reader here. And I certainly don’t know what the truth about the situation might be if I didn’t SEE the whole conversation on FB. I can tell you this: my mother would have a very different story from me if she read my blog. She always did. Because she threatened to sue me, I make sure that I don’t misrepresent ANYTHING that I say here. But I can only speak for myself. I have no way of knowing what is the truth and what isn’t when someone else shares.

I can’t delete comments just because they include facebook abuse, because there is abuse on Facebook. Lots of readers have shared that their family members trashed them publically on facebook. I don’t have any way of knowing it the family members are also reading EFB OR if the story has been told correctly here. All I know is that so much of my own healing has been because I finally HAD a voice and I was finally heard by someone. I have tried to give the readers a voice here the way that I found mine. and I try make sure everyone feels heard, and I never question if someone is exaggerating or twisting a story, because it was through being heard and not questioned, that I myself healed. SO, I have been unsure how to respond to all of this. Making “rules” would be really hard given what I just said. People who are really out to make trouble don’t care about the rules AND I am only one person. I don’t have a team helping me with any of this. I get 1000 comments every 4 weeks. My main concern is always for the readership. I don’t tolerate abuse on my blog, however I don’t always realize when it shows up. Even now there has only been one other time/problem that I have known about like this one, and two where people were giving advice and passing judgement on other readers and really causing problems by doing so.

Having said all of this, this time it was partly my fault. I had received an email about the situation on FB. When the comments came in referring to that same situation, I didn’t catch it. I didn’t catch on that this person was actually talking about 2 of MY readers, because I skimmed her comments. I want everyone to know that I don’t normally skim comments but in this case I did. For this I am very sorry to everyone. Because of the volume of traffic here, and the size of the comments, and the growing number of readers daily, I can’t promise that this is never going to happen again, but I can tell you that I will be more careful with this particular persons comments. And I am asking her to PLEASE keep facebook problems OFF EFB since posting stuff like that defeats the purpose of a having a safe place for everyone.

I am glad that the people who were targeted in this case told their side of the story when they were being misrepresented and the points that have been made about the ways we have grown up to accept abuse cannot be repeated here.

Finally, I would like to say that only a small percentage of traffic involves people from facebook . Lots of the commenters ARE on facebook, but this blog gets 500 to 800 views per day and is in the top 1% of internet traffic world wide out of billions of websites. ~ most people don’t comment. But if they READ the comments, I would hate for things like this to be the reasons that they decide NOT to comment. My passion for doing this work has always been about healing and inspiring others to wholeness. It breaks my heart when people leave this blog (which has happened) because they feel targeted by someone who shares here.

Thank you; ~ Hugs, Darlene

P.S added on July 21 ~ I am very sorry, I made a mistake with this whole thing. I finally found the comments that were in question and I was wrong. The person who was sharing on Lynn Tolson’s guest post was NOT repeating a situation on Facebook ~ she was in fact sharing her distress over what SHE had done on facebook. I am so sorry to that person for going and finding those comments BEFORE I wrote this comment. I have hurt her deeply by missing the truth here; She admitts her involvenment with the FB situation and regrets it too, but she did not do anything mean or even revealing against other people on this blog. I am so sorry that I messed this whole thing up. I will try harder in the future to keep this blog a safer place for everyone. Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene.. I had no idea what was what and being the child yet inside me began to wonder if i was to blame for something ..I even made a statement if I said anything wrong ever to tell me. . I am lost about everything but so glad you are here to make all things right..THis is a very nice blog..



Hi Patricia .

i don’t know i have always tried to be kind and since i know what pain and hurt is I dont want to be the one to cause another pain. I am always afraid and don’t trust myself only because no one really told me things at home and i was too shy as i left home to try to learn things and . didnt really have need . work I did never required my voice mostly i did whatever I am told so nothing required me to talk .. or speak or have a voice . I am afraid that not having much practice speaking ..due to shyness . etc. .I may say the arong thing . I dont know what the right way just saying whats in me. I dont know the right ways . i try to be kind to everyone and if i hear something I say hurt someone i try to undo it fast i can . if i know of it.



Joy, you are a sweetheart who is not to blame in any of this.

Darlene, thank you. I feel heard. I appreciate the way you have handled this. I am sorry that it had to happen on EFB. Your words help so many to start to heal their childhood wounds.


Hi Patricia

I was so afraid and worried .. I saw so much silence. I keep saying ..please tell me .did i do something, say something. I was always the blame at home for everything . I was waiting for it all to come out that i said something. I am so relieved I didn’t say something wrong. . sigh



Joy, you did nothing wrong. I hate that your mother blamed you for everything and made you feel this way. You are not to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world. You don’t have that much responsibility or power to control everything therefore you cannot be responsible for things being fixed. It is not your fault. I wish I could convince you of that.



Mom used to say where ever I was bad luck followed nothing good would come to a place that had me around. .:( I know am not responsible for all the worlds problems but many times if there are problems . and I hear of it I begin to get very afraid. Every time there was something wrong I got beat. even if I wasnt around to do it . I was to blame I am bad . am black sheep . .. so she said.



Joy, your mother was very wrong in the things that she said to you. You bring light to everywhere that you go. Your poetry brings healing to all who read it. Please don’t believe what she said to you.



I try not to; but you know a man i cared for took his life and he was buried on my birthday and john denver my favorite singer died on my birthday.. .. many bad things have happend on most my birthdays..coincidences?



What an unbelievably thoughtful & helpful article– thank you so much for sharing your path towards healing from trauma.



@Joy I did not read this whole thread but just read what was addressed to me and the sadness on your birthday so sorry to hear it! tears and hugs I thought I saw something addressed to me from Lynda but now I cant find it.
I actually signed on because I wanted to vent. Besides abusers and their enablers, there are so many “well meaning” people who are not directly involved but who cant think outside the box. I have shared before I had 2 abusers (sexually) my mom abused me but not sexually so I dont get into that here much but anyway one of my abusers made a carer out of sex crimes and went to jail not for raping me but others and he is out. His control tactic that he uses to control out mutual friends is she is still mad at me living in the past if she really moved on then we could be friends and people fall for it. Not wanting a rapist in my life does not mean I am living in the past but they all believe that. He is not a family member and we were never close. He just happens to be a popular guy and uses that against me. IT is beyond me why anyone would want to be friends with a rapist. Nothing I say to them gets through because they are so programmed to think like that. So I have to cut contact.


Hi Dave,
Thank you for your compliment. I am glad that you like this post.
Hugs, Darlene



THanks for your kindly words…and sorry for your pains and continued.. sufferings.. I feel deeply your hurt.. One of my abusers also was in jail for sexual crimes but is now out.

My criminal abuser is praised by my other abuser . my mom… He is hailed a saint and recipient of all my other abuser’s love ( mom’s love) It makes me confused how she can put me down the way she does while praising him as one of the best children.

It makes me feel awful. that my dysfunctional family sees immorality as good while a life lived doing good things as bad..

I am going through some hard times right now.


@Joy that is one reason why this blog is so healthy. There are many in our pasts who are so unhealthy and opposed to growth and truth! It is nice to get support for truth when we are seeking and living it!



So true.. there was nothing healthy about my pasts and am grateful for the healthy support and lessons in truth I get here..



Regarding my comment #136 ~I just put this PS in it for all those following this thread. I am talking about the situation where one of the readers here was accused of “blasting” other readers here on Emerging from Broken ~

I am very sorry, I made a mistake with this whole thing. I finally found the comments that were in question and I was wrong. The person who was sharing on Lynn Tolson’s guest post was NOT repeating or blasting anyone about the situation on Facebook ~ she was in fact sharing her distress over what SHE had done on facebook. I am so sorry to that person for NOT going and finding those comments BEFORE I wrote comment #139. I have hurt her deeply by missing the truth here; She admits her involvement with the FB situation and regrets it too, but she did not do anything mean or even revealing against other people on this blog. I am so sorry that I messed this whole thing up. I will try harder in the future to keep this blog a safer place for everyone.

If anyone wants to read the comments that I am talking about ~ they are on Lynn Tolsons Guest Post, comments #56, # 57, #58 and #60 ~ you are welcome to read them and form your own opinion. Everyone involved in this has corresponded with me privately, so please, if you don’t know what I am talking about, rest assured it isn’t about you.
Again, to all those involved, (or anyone who has followed this situation) I am deeply sorry for my mistake. I dropped the ball here, which has caused harm to a few people, and there is NOTHING that I try harder NOT to do then to try NOT to cause harm to my readers.

With Love and respect to all of you,


What a wonderful example of leadership you are. What wonderful example you are. ..It takes a very great person to say when a mistake has been made. You never cease to edify and inspire me .Thank you for continuing to light the way. We all make mistakes but to admit it on notice of the mistake is nobility of spirit.

Love you



Thank you Joy
This situation has been very difficult.
Hugs, Darlene


Dear Darlene
You know your heart, Darlene, you only are wanting to do for all us, the best you can; and even when we try to do our best things happen. I feel in your writing the difficulty and am sorry you have to go through it but I know you can because you have been through so much more. I am so inspired by you; and what you wrote to apologize: shows such a greatness about you . .you are so so good. am so honored to know you. I You have done all you can in this . situation . you are so so good



Darlene; I’ve followed this situation from a distance and don’t have all the details…and all I can say is I appreciate your consciousness of safety issues here while still respecting everyones right to self expression. I think the lines get blurry once we move from self expression to telling others what to do, think or say. Name calling is definitely not helpful and blaming others by justifying and explaining ones own actions is never helpful. It is never the place of another to speak their truth at the expense of another. Advice unasked for is not advice and is most often unhelpful. And that is the main thing I appreciate about EFB – that we can share our stories without being questioned, minimized or doubted. We don’t have to defend ourselves or explain anything. We are valued and validated. We are trusted to find our own way, we learn from sharing our stories of pain and of our hope. I know this situation has been uncomfortable and I certainly wish everyone concerned the best and that we can each see the truth within ourselves and let others see and find their own within themselves.


Hi Susan
Thanks for your support and for all the wonderful things you have said here about my intentions, my blog, my work and my heart. I feel understood and supported 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Dealing with this today as I received a text yesterday from the offending person — am I EVER going to talk to her again. “Please, just put my mind at ease with a yes or a no.”

I have been studying on this all evening and all this morning. My first thought is, “how has 7 months of complete silence escaped your notice?”

My second thought is, “You said you were ‘done’ with me, now just do what you said and leave me the *&^% alone!”

My third thought is, “Why is it MY job to put YOUR mind at ease?” and this is where I settle. This person left my life in a huff and made sure that any mutual acquaintances would have nothing more to do with me by telling a vicious lie about the situation. I was content to rest with the person finally away from me and had no need or desire to set her house on fire the way she did mine. Besides that, she told me all the reasons I was a bad person and said she was, literally, done with me. So, here she is, back again, begging for my attention and all I want to do is be finished with the whole situation. It isn’t the first time she has hurt me deeply, lied about me or to me, and/or falsely accused me of wrongdoing toward her. Well, I guess it would help to know that this is my mother we are talking about. Years and years and years of inappropriate behaviors, lying, manipulation, and finally, the last straw and she was done with me! Haha. It sounds a little funny when I think about it. She was driving me crazy! And she was done with me. Well, I am satisfied with that conclusion. But, now the childish behaviors — texting me and calling my house and trying to force me to talk to her again. What for?! So she can set me on fire one more time? (I do not mean a literal fire.) So she can introduce me to more nice people only to later tell them what a toad I am and how mean and cruel and heartless I am. I feel like I’m being used to garner some form of bizarre sympathy from people outside our family (pretty sure our own family is onto her). Sympathy for what? She talks about having the “perfect childhood”. What in the world does she need me for? I’m sick of it! I just want to be left alone.

I didn’t respond to the text, and this morning, I blocked her number (again — she had cleverly switched cell phones with my dad a few months ago and it took me a few texts to realize that it wasn’t him any more). I don’t know why a parent feels it is their child’s responsibility to make them feel good about themselves. It isn’t. The Lord did not put me on this earth to make a hero out of my mom (and believe me, she’s no hero). I just have no words for the level of frustration that I feel and also I hate that I feel a little dirty for not wanting to talk to my own mom. I think that’s just a result of years of conditioning. But, I am determined to stand my ground. I’ve already lost so much to her — why should I risk more? Nothing that she brought to my life made having her in it worthwhile. I hate to say that, and I hate that the world at large would condemn me for it, but it’s the truth and I have to put it down somewhere besides my own private journal.

Darlene, you talk about apologies that don’t really say I’m sorry. This is a twisted one indeed. For all the years of being used and sometimes abused, and then she’s done with me, and now she just can’t have peace of mind unless I say out loud, “I don’t want to talk to you any more.” Bull spit! I am so angry!


Hi Kellie
Well GOOD FOR YOU! In most cases it is just best not to engage! I agree. You don’t have to let her off the hook about any of it. You don’t have to give HER closure.
Thank you for sharing. I consider this to be a victory post!
Hugs, Darlene



I can relate to everything you are saying.

No.We don’t have to give them closure; play the games, go through the triangulation with them and other people, where one day you think people have one stance, and the next they switch their opinions and actions. One thing I have discovered when dealing with some people; with the best of intentions, I sometimes wind up being the ‘villain’ of the piece, and don’t know how I got there.

WE get to do closure in our time and our way. If other people want to play games, they can go for it. For me, as healthy as I believe it is to be transparent with people; I have decided only with a very few I trust will I do that anymore. For those who have not been open or transparent with me, while saying they were, I owe them nothing.


Well once again Darlene you spoke as if you were telling my story! When I finally quit allowing the family member that had sexually abused me in my life there were so many different feelings that came along with it, but all in all, after 2 years have passed now, I know I did the right thing. I quit allowing him in my life which meant, I quit allowing him to think that it was okay for what he did to me. In the process, I lost ever single family member. I was even told by my own mother that I was just trying to destroy his marriage. His youngest sister said that she knew I was lying, and remembered how often I had commented on how handsome he was. My very best friend, his other sister didn’t admit for over a year that she knew it had happened. But without saying it out loud, I know she blames me. She actually convinced me, for the sake of his marriage, to call his wife and tell her I made it all up, which I did. So now, the whole family who didn’t believe me in the first place has been given complete validation by my own words. It just made me sick. I feel sick just writing this, knowing that once again I was manipulated to excuse his behavior. I can’t even write any more..this is bringing me to tears.


Hi Mitzi
Well you are not alone with this either. I am heartsick for what you have been through and for what you were forced to do; all of it was abuse and the misuse of power. Being called a liar is a re abuse. Being convinced to take your accusation back is yet another re abuse. You have been abused all the way around. It makes me sick too, but it isn’t your fault. Time for you to validate you Mitzi. You can get past this. All these people live in and support a sick system. The very one that we are leaving behind because we know there is a better way now.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing that. I know this is extremely painful and hard.
Love Darlene


[…] Related posts: To Confront or Not to Confront; That is the Question […]


I haven’t confronted my mother about her abuse because she’s flat out crazy and it’d be a heck of a lot like picking on the mentally handicapped. It might make me feel better for a moment, but she’d be absolutely devastated and would just not understand my feelings. I think in some cases the abuser needs to be confronted and action taken. Were I in this state of mind as a child I would have called DCF and documented the abuse, but now that her previous actions don’t haunt anyone but her I’m letting it go. I ended up on this site trying to find a way to discuss with her why I am refusing to marry in the church, and after reading all these posts I’m reminded that it really doesn’t matter what she thinks, I’ll just tell her I don’t want to be married and left the man in question and she can then choose whether or not to accept it. Either way it isn’t going to be any skin off my nose and I don’t want to confront her when it wouldn’t do a damn thing for me but cause a crapstorm (sorry for the language) in our very large, very *outspoken* family.


Hi Rose
It has been so important for me to validate the damage that was caused to me and to heal from that damage. It doesn’t matter if she understands or not ~ OR if she is handicapped or not. I had to learn to be there for me however that looks.
You are right, it doesn’t matter what she thinks, it is your life. I had to find a way to take my life back.
Hugs, Darlene


My therapist says there was abuse (psychological) throughout my childhood. My sibling disagree. I an sure there was even though i do not remeber much ( or the worst of it) I need to confront my dad this week since i have dbeen putting it off for the last 5 weeks due to huge amounts of fear. fear due to him possibly telling my mum and she telling my 2 bros and all denying and she retaliating. she is the poblem i an scared of her even though i always feel huge guilt to think badly about her.
She causes huge hassles between me and my wife since she manages to twist me against her.
My wife isnt easy either but she tries so hard to make things work. her mum is much much much worse than mine but at the moment i am the one in therapy. So we are woking on me. She is next since our kids need non toxic parents. It is so difficult. i wish and cry that finally I can break out of this toxic circle.

You people are so brave. Thanks for this blog which has helped me immensely.


Hi Trave
Welcome to emerging from broken
It doesn’t matter who agrees or disagrees with you if you were abused. It only matters what YOU think. And I didn’t have many memories when I started and when I realized just how much I HAD been abused and neglected.
She causes problems between you and your wife… that is enough for you to know something. Keep reading here. There are tons of insights and answers to HOW I healed from all this stuff.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, this is kind of late, but my mother died, and finally realized that she was a narcasttic. my mother cut me and my sister out of the will. I want to confront the golden boy about this, he thinks he deserved everything, because we disconnected a few years back, never mind the fact we put up with her abuse for years, that he has forgotten. I swear my mom’s soul is inside his body. I don’t want the money, I knew I was out of the will years ago, she loved to tell me that. However there were some things from the house I would like, like some pictures, and some things my children express interest in, nothing of value, something to remember my dad mostly. Mostly though I want to tell him I am sick of the way he is treating us, but if I do that, surely I will get nothing. Double edged sword, and I can’t do both. sometimes I feel like I should just drop it. What do you think I should do?


Hi Donna
Sometimes we have to fight for what is right and sometimes we are not strong enough, only you know. I can’t make any decisions for you about this but I wish you strength for doing what will be the most supportive of your needs and feelings here.
Hugs, Darlene


My sister stole my sons big screen TV along with my sound system that just happens to be connected to it. She has a long standing history of taking whatever she wants and getting my parents to go along with her. We have been asking for our property since January and at first she agreed, then gradually became more difficult and then accusatory and abusive. With each of our request for our property, my life long abusers were called by her repeatedly. She began accusing my son of theft (because that is what SHE DOES and is DOING) in entrapping others into her lies gave her more ammunition and power. Now ALL the family is believing her lies and the accusations, gossip goes on and on. My son finally gave her what she wanted- his TV. SHE WON AGAIN.
I know he was trying to just end all the abuse screaming lies and grief (he saw me enduring – all this had gone on for years in my adult life- they have all been stealing from me. And I have been the scapegoat – the BAD one- the difficult child- and NO ONE likes me- and now they think my son is bad.) because they find it easier to believe the lies about me so why not my children too? It is so hard for me to see him give in and be afraid to confront- but WHY- when the is what I have done also- but as I begin to come out of the fog I find myself wanting to protect him from them- I don’t want my children to have to go through most of their lives to see these truths and break free. My mom is a master at dividing..my sister and brother are very abusive people. My dad is too. My mom enables their abuse as does my dad. They have my daughters fooled. They buy gifts and put on their lying faces and just don’t get it. My own daughters are not treating me well. My sister has been a big part in dividing and conquering and taking what is mine- my ideas, friends, children, property. I am so sick of my birth family. I want my children to stand up and see the truth.
I so wish we could all move far away from my birth family. I pray my childrens eyes are opened sooner rather than later. My abusive parents and siblings have done enough to try and ruin my family…


Long story short,my mother got upset that I was moving out of her and my stepdads (a-hole) house,and yelled”I Never wanted YOU,your father raped me!” I was NUMB. Didnt know how to respond. Just kept packing and never looked back. My sister was living in LA at the time and ran me down to see how” i was doing?” What do you say to that? She said mom called me and told me what she said.I was 22 at the time,I am now 48 and it still makes me hurt inside,knowing that the ONE person on this earth that would always be there for you wants nothing to do with you.I have been with the same women since I was 21 I am a father to a now 19 year old boy. He has never seen us fight ,be abusive,or drink,we dont smoke or do drugs of any kind. When he sees his friends parents “act out” he cant believe people actually live like that. Dont get me wrong were not perfect,we are however Catholics (raised) but dont practice. That was my moms response to not aborting, Catholicism,and it was the mid 60’s blah,blah,blah. I have NEVER and would NEVER say something that hurtful to anybody!She and my step father and sister and her 16 year old daughter live in Vegas they support them because shes divorced and stepdads well to do. So I get to hear ALL the stories through family how shes got a BENZ,doesnt work,bought grand daughter a horse and keeps it at a stable,private school,etc. Which angers my wife to no end, when we both work 60+ a wk. we recently lost my mother- in -law to a heart attack, as I was telling my father in law that I was closer to them than my own parents and started to cry,he said ” I love you as if you were MY own son”. Months later we talked about the night she passed,he said “dont feel bad for me,I got the perfect ,wife ,mother,partner,for almost 44 years,thats pretty good!” “I feel bad for you!” I asked why .I didnt know my wife had told them after it happened,and my mother in law cried throughout the night.He said “I feel worse for you, to have a “religious” mother, to sat that to her only son, is unforgivable”! Hes old school Mexican,strong willed,tough exterior,gruff,but an old -softy,he started to “tear-up” and walked away. He came back a little later and just hugged me and sobbed! He said ” I wish I could hug your pain away mijo”! And just held me , this coming from a 68 year old vietnam vet,who is not my blood but loves me as if i was.I dont understand how my own flesh and blood could say and do the things they do and be ok with their actions and the go to church. Frosty ( mother) likes to call to hear how were struggling and say “K GOTTA GO !” Were meeting people at the club for dinner. Then I hear through family shes told what we discussed,THEY show concern and offer help but I wont give Frosty the satisfaction. Isnt that SICK! To relish in your own childs struggles/hardships. Just like to hear from some REAL MOMS. HURT TIL IM IN THE DIRT IN MONTANA.


Hi Scott
Welcome to EFB
I hear you! So much of your story sounds so familiar! This entire site is about how I took my life back and healed.
you are not alone! Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


What would you say if you were molested by your sister at the age 3-4. For over 50 years she did all kinds of nasty talk about you but you would still close your mouth. Once after 50 years she would decide to prove to her husband how crazy you are so she would call you ( having her husband next to her)and tell you the whole world knows how crazy and dirty you are because you told everybody that you were raped by your father. So you would say my father never touched me. She would ask in a rude manner that who then did any thing to you and you would say YOU DID. What was the reply then OH YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY. She then hanged up the phone.


Hi Mitra
I personally would say that your sister is abusive and sick. I would say that it is really important for you to reject the ways that she has defined you.
Welcome to Emerging from Broken ~ I hope you will read more of this website. (there are 450 articles and my e-book that will help you to move forward by seeing the truth.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so so much love you.


Dear Darlene,

I was finally coming out of the fog, and finally could verbalize one of the heaviest burdens I had carried around for 35 years, which was being blamed for being the cause of my mother’s suicide attempt. (Nobody else knows that she blamed me one day, in fact very few people are aware (incl my two brothers) that she attempted to take her own life (or set it up to look so, which is bad enough). I have very little contact with her now, but we do sometimes send Private messages via FB. I finally had the courage to bring it up with her. My heart was pounding and all the blood drained from my face, when I hit the send button on the message about that terribly heavy burden. I was afraid of all the usual reasons. But I also felt a huge relief. I HAD VERBALIZED to my abuser, what her abuse had left in me, her only daughter. I was afraid she would rail against me, afraid she would deny things, afraid she would ignore my message; but I did not expect her response: ” I don’t recall anything from that time, so I can’t help you!”………..Nothing about being sorry for all that pain it seemed to have caused me (no need for her to have a memory of it, as I just told her, what it did to me….she didn’t take my truth as truth for me…she had to remember in order to be able to validate my feelings, not that that would ever happen!!) It was degrading , dismissive, devaluing……so deeply disappointing. I did not expect an apology, but I did expect some sort of ….I don’t know….i just didn’t expect that reaction, or lack thereof. I had been thinking about, if there was ONE thing I would chose to bring up with her while she is still alive….and I had picked that. I was very brave to tell her; but the story ended on a flat note (again, again, again) confirming and reconfirming her complete disinterest or lack of interest…..sad! Thank you dearly for all you do, your posts keep me going.


I understand a lot if your pain. My mother claimed my father raped her. Now I honestly find my father to be one of the best people I know. I can’t say if he did or didn’t and I can’t say he wasn’t worse back then and had a change that changed him for the rest of his life. All I do know is when they were married he had plenty of health problems cause by the anxiety my mom gave him and the brainwashing she did. She even tried to make me believe my father touched me even though I have no memories of this and I also feel happier and more comfortable around him than her. I know he never did anything to me. I love my mother but she nearly mentally ruined me by telling me she “could have aborted me”. I retorted instantly “why didn’t you”. I was finally angry because I had done everything she had ever asked of me and I would get crapped on in return. It was one of the first times I realized my mom wasn’t the person she made herself out to be. I still have her voice in my head telling me I’m useless and worthless etc. Its a difficult thing to change.

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