Dec
06

When Family or Friends say Mean and Hurtful Things

By

 

overcoming low self esteem

sometimes it has to be about me…

This morning I was doing research on dealing with dysfunctional family during the holidays.  Everything that I find about this problem has to do with advice regarding ‘acceptance of others’ and how we can’t change anyone else.

I don’t get it; it seems that the solution “out there” is always about acceptance of the people who are doing the damage, and then taking responsibility for YOUR part in it. It is always assumed that each person in the relationship shares part of the blame for the difficulties in family relationships. This 50/50 responsibility for the failure in relationship thing is rarely the way it really is. Think about it this way; in your life, does your family equally share in the success of the relationship according to the way that you were taught the ‘rules of engagement?” 

Even the articles about ‘setting boundary stuff’ are about ‘not engaging’ and not expecting them to change. I never read an article that says, if your family is abusive, humiliating, harassing, degrading or devaluing you, if your family or friends disrespect you privately or publically, then “stay away from them!”

No one ever says that you are RIGHT to have issues with abusive family and that it is okay to stand up to them. They say that if your mother comments on your weight because you are having a second slice of pumpkin pie you should just “let it go”… and “well, you know how she is”… (What does that mean?) Why can’t you say “mind your own business mom, that hurts my feelings” ~ It’s all about keeping the peace and harmony; as though the message is that love is acceptance of abuse! But where does that definition of LOVE come from? Why is it so important that we don’t rock the boat when it comes to ‘family’ no matter what they say? Why is it that it is up to the victim to learn to ‘let it go’ and accept people the (abusive) way that they are?  (The message comes from people who want to live in the system where the one with the most power wins. Just because that message is the most popular message out there, that doesn’t make it a truth based message)

I tried to do this type of acceptance stuff for years and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. Looking back I always felt like I was agreeing with them when I didn’t say anything. Like my silence was consent or at the very least my silence communicated consent.

One time my mother commented that it was a shame that my boobs were not as nice as they used to be before I had 3 children! Why couldn’t I have said to her, “OUCH! What a nasty thing to say MOM”.  What would be so wrong with telling her how mean that comment was?  But I was expected to show love and respect by NOT commenting, or by just letting it go because “you can’t change other people” and the ‘bigger person thing to do’ is to just accept the mean things she says and dismiss them as ‘well, you know how she is”.

And then there are the comments from others, saying “she doesn’t mean to hurt your feelings”. 

What the hell WAS her point in saying that then? What was her motive? Why would a mother say something like that to her daughter?? Did she think I just ‘needed to know?” Did she think it would help me get on with my life if I was aware that my boobs had lost their former beauty? Was her telling me this ‘for my own good’?

She told me another time in reference to one of the grandbabies, that it was ‘too bad her eyes are too close together, and so deep set too; like her fathers eyes’. Was that ‘just a comment’ with no ill will intended? A loving observation? Was that useful information? Was it meant to enrich my life? What was her motive in saying something like that?

What about the time at a family wedding she told my cousin when we were both 19 years old, that it was okay if he slept with me because I was ‘on the pill’.  What was her motive for saying that in front of the whole family? Why would she say that? What made her think she had a right to say something like that, and to my COUSIN which made it seem even worse.

When my son was 2 years old we took him for a haircut and then met my sister-in-law and her husband for dinner. When my husband took our son to the bathroom, she informed me that they had decided that they didn’t like our sons haircut.  HE WAS 2! I wish I would have said “SO WHAT?”  I wish I would have said, “you know, I don’t know why we call you when we are in the city. You are so mean and nasty every time we get together.” What was HER motive in saying that they didn’t like our toddlers haircut? Was it love? Was it to make me feel bad as a mom? Was it just a casual observation with no ill intent?

My mother told me once that my husband had a problem with approval seeking. Where did that come from?  Because he was so nice? Because he wanted them to be comfortable and happy while visiting us? What was her intention for telling me that? If I had told him what she said he might not have served her hand and foot (like the well trained compliant son his father taught him to be) anymore when she came for a visit so I don’t think that was her motive. Was it to make me wrong about ‘who I picked to marry’. Or was it simply to remind me that I didn’t have such a special husband and that I wasn’t as lucky as I thought I was?

I had been so brainwashed with “I am doing this (punishment) for your own good” and “I am telling you this (abusive hurtful thing) for your own good” that I accepted everything anyone threw at me even when looking at certain things ‘logically’, there was no way that the intention behind saying certain things, was for any ‘good’ at all.

My brother told me that my parents were old and they weren’t going to change. I said “SO WHAT?? Does that mean that I have to accept the way they treat me?”  Why do people say things like that; that they aren’t going to change? It makes no sense to me anymore. It used to make sense when I was under the false definitions of love and respect but today I know that it isn’t about them changing. It is about me saying no. It is about me having boundaries and self-respect.   

I don’t agree that people can’t change and until we say something to them about these kinds of comments, until we stand up for ourselves they don’t have any reason or motivation to change; they can have the relationship any way that they want to have it. My silence was consent.

But I am not asking them to change, I am simply deciding that I MATTER and I am not going to put up with the way that they treat me anymore. If they can’t (which means won’t) change, then I guess it is a good thing that I am not in any kind of relationship with them.

When I decided that I mattered, I didn’t stand up to people in hopes of changing them. I stood up for me. When I ‘don’t engage’ today it means that I don’t bother trying to convince them anymore. I don’t try to prove my worth anymore. I don’t have to because I know my worth. Those are the biggest differences. I stood up for me when I no longer cared about the consequences of doing so. Their rejection of me, that rejection I had feared so long, did not originate from when I stood up to them or when they walked away from me, it started many years before that.

I didn’t stand up for myself until I realized that my self-esteem depended on me and not on them. They might have broken it, but it was up to me to fix it. I found a way to restore my own value and today I know that these kinds of comments are not about me but are little truth leaks about the people who say them.  

Recovering from mean and nasty; this is my little snap shot of truth for today; 

Please share your thoughts!

P.S. and just so you know Mom, I am in my 50’s now and my ‘boobs’ are still fantastic. :-P

There is life and laughter on the other side of broken!

Darlene Ouimet

This website, the security and back-up system and other monthly costs are maintained through donations. You might be surprised with the amount of comments and the high traffic rank this site has, how few donations there are. If you are able,(and I know that many are not able and that is okay) please consider giving a small gift back to help me with the expenses. ~ thank you so much. Darlene

Related Posts ~ See the Family Category button above

All words in colour will take you to related posts

Categories : Family

280 Comments

1

This is interesting. It comes at just the right time for me too. I’ve cut ties with my neighbors recently just because of the fact that no one could respect me the way I am. I have been verbally attacked in parties at their house many times because of my nationality. Some of the attacks I let go of not being confident enough to know if it would be ok to stand up for myself or if by doing so I would be labelled the bitch of the neighborhood. With half of the people against me, including my husband (soon to be ex), I would’ve been once again rejected by everyone. However, one night, someone went WAY too far. I politely asked her to stop. She didn’t. So I asked again. She was still going at it so I finally stood up for myself and gave her a piece of my mind. I was no longer polite nor was I willing to be nice. The room cleared in a New York minute. My husband who was outside was called in to try to calm me down. Except he never tried before and he certainly wasn’t going to try that night. He did tell me though to drop it. What are you doing? Why can’t you just let it go? You love to argue and pick fights. The next day we had our block party for the 4th of July. The same woman came to me saying hi as if nothing had happened the night before. I ignored her. She sent me an email to apologize, which I accepted but I did tell her that I was born in that country, I will always be a part of it, and by insulting me, you’re also insulting my boys who happened to have dual citizenship. I know I’m going on and on about this but standing up for myself and actually letting people know about their disrespect is something I’m still working on. It’s horribly painful. Especially when no one else shares that passion to break through silence with the truth.

2

Darlene: I swear that all the words you speak are the words that are inside of me too. Everything you have gone through I have a similar story. I am in the very same place you are right now. Not speaking with my family has been a rebirth for me. Finally, I am number one now and now I speak my truth. I love this rant, as I completely identify with it, and it’s funny how paralleled we are with it! I am too in my 50′s and I too am living my life for me for the first time and it feels great!!! Hugs and kisses to you! <3<3<3

3

Darlene, this is so wonderful & insightful! Thank you so much for posting your thoughts on this touchy subject.

You wrote: “I tried to do this type of acceptance stuff for years and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. Looking back I always felt like I was agreeing with them when I didn’t say anything. Like my silence was consent or at the very least my silence communicated consent.”

I tried this too…tried holding back the hurt, just to get along, to not make any waves in my family. It always left me feeling hollow inside. It made me feel worthless too.

Why is it ok for the abuser to hurt someone’s feelings, but if that person says something back, that person is out of line, hateful, selfish, or worse? Is it to make the person who wants to have a healthy relationship look bad to others or the abusers? I would love to be able to understand the reasoning behind this…I don’t. It’s absurd, & it makes no logical sense. None of this should happen to anyone at any age.

Maybe this is why society has such a problem with accountability & being responsible for actions both good or bad, but especially bad. This could be the reason why no one is at fault except the person who happened to be on the receiving end. Seems to me that we have a huge problem with people who have narcissistic personality traits. Maybe that’s why when people go on trial for crimes for which they have been caught in the act of committing, they still will plead not guilty. In their eyes, do they really think they had nothing to do with it?

4

Another great post Darlene! Thank you for all of your encouraging words, especially during this difficult month when it is easy for some of us to just give in and be quiet because of our desire to be around family. But the truth is, while the desire to be around family will always be there, it is a desire to be around a healthy family. And my family of origin doesn’t fit that bill. So sorry guys, but I grew a backbone over the years. So long.

By the way, my mom gave me the boob comment when I was only 18 or 19. She looked me up and down and said “it’s a shame your breasts are sagging at such a young age”. And she also told me my elbows looked old! Crazy old wench. I felt self conscious about both for years, which I now realize was riddiculous. Neither were true then, and even now they’re pretty good for my age. The only person that had both of those things were her. Sometimes I wonder in general how often, if ever, she really saw me at all. Sometimes I feel like I was only a big mirror that she spoke out loud to. Problem is, she didn’t like herself very much, so she never said nice things to that “mirror”.

5

Hi Celine
I hear you! Sometimes it is really important to talk about this and it is important to ‘hear’ ourselves talk about it too. It is important that we see things through the grid of the truth. It seems that people think they can say whatever they wish (to some poeple) without consequences until we say something. (and then they are stunned). One thing for me that I always say is “the boundary is drawn in the heart” and that means that when I was practicing having a boundary, people still fought me. But now that I have it solid and cemented in my heart, very rarely does anyone say these insulting and blame shifting things to me anymore. That has been a wonderful bonus of doing this healing work!
Good for your for standing up!!
Hugs, Darlene

6

Hi Cathy
Welcome to EFB ~ That’s awesome! I am so glad you are here!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marla
In a snap-shot it’s all about power and control and the false belief that who ever has it is worthy. People believe in the pecking order system. (certain people rank higher than others~ and that is the root of the lie.
It is much easier to understand how all this works from the ‘other side’. When I took my life and my power back, it all began to make sense. I began to understand what motivates / drives the abuser and manipulator. (all of whom have thier own abusers and minipulators before them ~ thus ‘the cycle of abuse’. But as long as I was trying to figure out the abusers before I was healed, I was held back spinning about them.
Hugs, Darlene

7

Hi Michelle
I felt a little strange/awkward about adding the boob story. It seemed so unbelievable that my mother would say that to me. And almost trivial that I would write about it, but I know it is a typical example of the crazy and mean things that she said. So I am really glad that you posted yours! It’s validating to know that I am not alone in my hurt over that one. My mother had this way of saying things that would make me question everything about myself. And I seriously doubt that she ever saw me for me.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

8

Darlene, this is it EXACTLY in my family! This is the constant disagreement I have with EVERYONE else in my family!

“the message is that love is acceptance of abuse!”

And when I say “this is NOT love” they are offended and angry at me! For them to stay together (“enmeshed?”) with each other, they sit there with fozen smiles on their faces as the abuser goes off ranting and raving. When I say something about it, all fingers point to me and the anger is unleashed like a whirlwind! The tornado descends. And then I am accused of “bringing drama” to the “peaceful family gathering.”

“WE DON’T WANT YOU AROUND” is the direct message I am constantly being told. And when I don’t go around, I am “invited back” like a Trojan Horse and Greeks bearing gifts. I just re-read that story today and it makes so much sense.

I have just stayed away for most of my life. I had one “therapist” diagnose me negatively for doing just that: I “refused to accept that people had both good and bad.” And this was my refusal to speak to my father who beat me, sexually molested me, tried to kill me more than once and tried to have me put in jail or reform school when I told on him.

This so-called “therapist” was at Duke University Psychology Clinic in 1990! She determined that “I needed medication and hospitalization” at $1,400.00 per day due to MY EMOTIONAL DYSFUNCTION.*

Not one word about my abusive family. I was at fault because I would not speak to them! Can you believe it?

No wonder our “friends and family” all hold these ridiculous and damaging words. Abusers have held the purse strings and the control for far too many years. It’s time to change the rules and put them in jail, right where they belong. It’s time for THEM to “shut up” and let us live in PEACE. Amen.

* I left Duke University Psychology Clinic and brought a successful lawsyuit against them, and that horrendous experience was the biggest “trigger of my life.” But it cured me of shame because I had to talk in open court about what happened to me, and it brought incest and child abuse out into the open. The psychologists who all testified on the witness stand in defense of Ms. Schoenwald showed themselves to be complete and utter fools, as did she. And it showed me once and for all that “I was not the crazy one, or if I was, I was less crazy than they.”

Major changes had to be made after that. And finally psychiatry and pscyhology no longer aids and abets and protects these criminal abusers. Even a psychiatrist can be jailed for abusing their patients. Fancy that? And priests, too! What is the world coming to? Abusers are getting the justice they have earned. Family members who protect abusers and criminal acts will be held responsible next, as it should be. Their day has come.

9

HI,

Reading these articles feels like I am reading my life story! My father always has something to say and I mean always.. from telling me how I will end up on welfare for being an unwed mother even though I am a college graduate and make more than them. Then when my daughter was born nothing I did was good enough.. I did not wash her clothes good because they faded.. now I think back and I wish I had said.. dude at least her clothes are clean and that is all that matters. Who tells a new mother these things.. my father and my mother the enabler just stood by and watched. Now that he has chosen not to speak to me.. as the months go by I am totally beginning to understand this is probably the greatest thing that has happened to me in awhile!

10

HI,

Reading these articles feels like I am reading my life story! My father always has something to say and I mean always.. from telling me how I will end up on welfare for being an unwed mother even though I am a college graduate and make more than them. Then when my daughter was born nothing I did was good enough.. I did not wash her clothes good because they faded.. now I think back and I wish I had said.. dude at least her clothes are clean and that is all that matters. Who tells a new mother these things.. my father and my mother the enabler just stood by and watched. Now that he has chosen not to speak to me.. as the months go by I am totally beginning to understand this is probably the greatest thing that has happened to me in awhile!

11

Darlene, you don’t even know how I felt being validated like this. I want to cry. As being talked to with such a genuine way of care is so foreign to me it’s even hard to receive. Suddenly I wonder if I say something the wrong way or just say something wrong I’d get hurt wen more and the good treatment I just received would disappear. Boy! That’s a tough one to explain.
You said “the boundary is drawn in the heart” I LOVE THAT. I’ve been told that my heart is too sensitive though. I don’t make rational decisions because if that. I think by having a sensitive heart, I have the ability to relate to others pain on a much higher, much deeper level. So if it appears to be a curse to others, it is an absolute blessing for me.
The blame shifting thing you talked about is such a huge discovery to me. I had no idea how to call it. Darlene you’re a life savior. Literally.
Blame shifting (I’m loving this) destroyed the little tiny spec of self esteem I had.
The other day, I went back to the gym after not going there for 4 months. Exercising is very important to me. During my break I gained weight and so I was ashamed of going back in front of everybody I know there. I was on the stair master when one of my friends came up to me saying how nice it was to see me back. Then she proceeds to say “nice to see you back Celine, you have a lot of work to do” as she is looking at me from head to toe. I was devastated. As usual, I froze and couldn’t say anything back.

12

Darlene I want to tell you how I fell for that acceptance and bigger person stuff for many years before I realised that expecting myself (the one abused) to accept and forgive is another way of saying that it is MY problem and that is another way of saying that it is MY fault.
I had years of different counsellors and psychotherapists expecting me to ‘do the work’ ‘want to change”take power responsibility and charge’ by being the adult and accepting and forgiving . . .and I now feel that every time I listened to that stuff it was exactly the same emotionally for me as when my parents asked what I had done to bring bad stuff on myself – it is just another way to blame the victim – telling us it is because we dont think the right way (CBT etc)or believe the right things about ourselves is just a secondary attack on us and our sense of self.
I do not want to be all about shifting blame from them to me and back again.
I just want to be allowed to tell the truth about how I really feel and what effect people had on me without being told I should change it for the therapists or my parents or anyones benefit.

13

Darlene,
I’ve gotten to a point now, that it really doesn’t matter what my FOO thinks. I’ve been rejected since childhood & that has not changed. I used to try harder to get their validation by just being the better person, overlooking mean comments & doing much of the work in having a so-called relationship. My mom & dad have said many hurtful things to me. Commenting about my looks & my behavior. The message was that I had to be perfect. It never occurred to me to say, “That was hurtful!” I don’t just take it anymore & value being my own person. I now know my worth & validate my feelings. Also, what you said about hurtful comments…What are their motives? & Where are their comments coming from?…The comments speak about them.. Projection of their own negativity & insecurities. Abusers/Control Freaks know what they are doing & resent being called out on their behavior. An important step for me was realizing I can accept others for who they are, however, I don’t accept abuse. There is a big difference. Also, by choosing not to visit my parents sends the message that I don’t care what they think. I know that I’m taking care of myself by not going there! The consequences being that I’m the bad guy for ignoring them- that is how they think…The truth is my FOO has rejected me all along.
Sonia

14

OMG this is so my family. I had a son with Aspergers and TOurettes, often I get comments about his differences and his behaviour, they are not helpful or supporting they are judgemental and often mean. Thank you for this article.

15

tried to delete comment but not able to. what I meant in the message was I have a son with aspergers not I had. (second message made it even more confusing)

16

I love this post! I was dealing with this literally just last night!! My family dynamics have always been off and going over there is always a “joy”. Literally, I would have been much more respected had I been born a boy. So, I dealt with sly offhand comments, condescending tones, and inquiries about how I was doing that were just veiled attempts at seeing where I had possibly failed.

I’ve always tried to stand up for myself and always been labeled the bitch, psycho, or feminist for it. Those same comments of “just ignore it” were always sent my way and I agree with you it puts blame on the victim. How is it that we are to stay quiet and not defend ourselves (even nicely), but they can say abusive hurtful things?? You are quite right about this being a power struggle and an attempt to keep victims down and powerless because those on top like their power.

Though reading your blogs I am seriously considering cutting off major ties.

17

Catherine, You are such a strong woman for fighting back against a corrupt system. That must have been so much to go against!!! Thank you for fighting for all of us =) Maybe that scared the crooked doctor’s enough that we will get more of the good ones from now on.

18

Hi everybody,

I’d like to thank Darlene for welcoming me aboard earlier today. Not even 24 hours ago I discovered this website and quite scarily, I quickly saw that I was seeing my own life story reflected in the stories and comments of others.

I was raised by a “family” that parented by using guilt, threats, bribes, and conditional “love” to get the results that they wanted from me. My parents needed validated, damnit, and they were going to sacrifice my dreams and happiness to get what THEY needed!

At the time it was happening, I never knew that I could refuse the demands of my parents. Because I feared they would reject me, and that would be my demise. Now at age 45 I have removed my rose colored glasses and have begun to see these people for who they really are. Controlling, selfish, and very insecure.

I’ve been exercising a lot lately. Exercising the finger between my index finger and my ring finger. Not using it, but just getting it ready for deployment. You never know when it might be necessary to tell someone that they need to mind their own business. That their “advice” is not needed or appreciated, and that I am far wiser and in a better position than they are to make the best choices for the path of MY LIFE now. I’ve begun to take my life back, and I certainly will not be living up to anyone’s expectations but MY OWN.

I’m sure you all are aware, but I maybe just need to type the following for me. BOYS AND YOUNG MEN (and even adult men) are not immune from emotional abuse. To all the ladies out there, please know that us guys get put through the meat grinder too. We understand and share your pain. But we can also share with you the joy of our journey of recovery!

Keep doing THE NEXT RIGHT THING!

My best to all of you, always!

Charley

19

Thank you for saying it in an easy to understand format. I have mental health dx. It means I have no emotional skin so to speak. I am raw and exposed. I couldn’t attain stability until I was able to give myself permission to walk away from people who like to verbally poke me with sharp nasty words. No one can judge me as hard as I judge myself, no one has the right to pour salt on my emotional wounds, imagine the outcry if you went to a burns ward and started throwing acid around. Yet much of my treatment model suggests that I allow that to happen to me unchallenged. I have the dx and the disability yet I am asked continually by professionals to let it go, let it pass, understand the conditions of the people who hurt me even if they make no allowances for the things that I experience. I can only play by those rules with people who choose to play by those rules too. Some people and situations are toxic and I give myself the permission to put as much distance between them and me as I can. I give myself permission to tell them why if they are important enough to me to warrant it. If not I allow myself to remove myself from thier orbit without a word of explanation. I have never been given a reasonable explanation of the way I have been treated. What was the need to let me know “You better develop your brain girly cause no one’s gonna want you for your face” or ” You’re not pretty like your sisters but we love you anyway” ” You will never be beautiful but you are vivacious ( which at 9yrs of age I thought was a cross between vicious and ugly)” Well at 54 I can tell you I am stable, connected, in a committed and loving relationship, have parented successfully, tertiary educated, assertive, articulate, funny, creative, awake, alive, joyful,sincere, honest, have my integrity intact all despite your unwelcome, uneeded and unkind words. You act surprised that i have such a full life, real friends and people I love who love me. The reality is you have become the strange, isolated, lonely and bitter person you kept reminding me I was gonna be. It wasn’t that I didn’t tell you, ask you, beseech you to change. I did and you chose not to.

20

This is a brilliant post Darlene. I can’t believe that your mother just announced to everyone that your cousin could sleep with you! That’s so sick and wrong.

I remember one time when I was 19 my mother actually lifted up my shirt in order to look at my stomach so that she could comment on my weight, a subject that was surely none of her business. At those last few holiday meals I spent with my “family” there were always endless comments about the fact that I didn’t eat the same food as them, on account of my allergies. My mother would usually find some moment mid-meal to loudly confront me in front of everyone about what I was eating and make derisive comments about it. My sister also had seemingly no filter to what she would say about me, always finding little in-ways to make derisive comments about my hair, my shoes, the food I eat. Things I would never have said to her.

My mother also claimed that she was too old to change, when she was just in her mid-fifties. That isn’t too old, but even if it was, that still doesn’t let her off the hook for not changing when she was younger, like before I was born. Or was she “too old to change” in her twenties as well? Whatever.

21

Mean and nasty. People are mean and nasty. It goes farther than that too. It makes bullying acceptable, “they’re just kids, they’ll work it out”. It makes gay bashing normal behavior. It makes racism and extremists run of the mill. I deign to say that this is how things have been for a long long time. I just question why. When we can improve our species and learn and apply and not be ridiculed or put down for being honest about things that are wrong and should be questioned and changed, why not do that?. Because other people benefit from our confusion and our limitations
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” from the author Rita Mae Brown in her book Sudden Death on Pg. 68 from 1983.
“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
? George Carlin

22

Hi Catherine
I think a lot of therapists and mental health professionals, like so many other human beings, give advice through their own dysfunctional situations and denial of what is really best. I hear stories every day about pastors and therapists alike who have made the victim the problem and told the victim that he or she needs to ‘accpet’ things that in truth and by law, people should be put in prison for.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

23

Hi Amber
At least we can say these things to ourselves now. We can finally know that we were not wrong, that what had been said to us was wrong. The way we were ‘regarded and disregarded’ was wrong. Those careless statements that cause so much damage were not something we deserved.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Celine
I can relate to your first sentences where you said that you were afraid to lose what little bit of “nice” treatment that you got! That is exactly how the grroming process works. We beg for those ‘scraps’ of ‘love’ and we put up with such nasty treatment because we are afriad to lose those tiny, once in a while scraps. Then when we meet someone that actually does care, we often mistrust and freeze and fear before we can even take in a little bit of good treatment.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

24

Hi Di
Great points!! It IS exactly the same. It is a ‘re-abuse’ ~ first of all the abuse itself is not validated, it is dismissed, and then you are reprimanded for not getting over something that has NEVER been validated in the first place. (same with those horrible directives to ‘forgive’ ~ when the abusive treatment has never even been acknowledged!
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

25

Hi Sonia/ SMD
YAY that it doesn’t matter what they think anymore. (it makes no difference anyway~ they will think what ever they want) People say that I am ‘courageous’ for writing this blog but the truth is that I write it because I have nothing to lose. In other words no matter what I did I was to blame anyway; might as well live in the truth and in freedom and share it with others. Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marg
Welcome to EFB!
Yes, these types of people will use any excuse they can to be ‘higher’ on the totem pole and ‘rule’ over others.
Thanks for your comments.
Hugs, Darlene

26

Hi Meg
Yes isn’t it interesting how those ‘lables’ come about?? Because we stick up for ourselves or our thougths, we are called a ‘bitch’? This is so so common in dysfunctional relationship based on the pecking order system! I was taught that compliance is love and until I realized that I was not loved in the way that I was taught love was, I was stuck there.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

27

Hi Charley
Welcome (again) to emerging from broken)
You bring up a good point in highlighting that they think they know what is best for you. When I started coming out of the fog I realized what an insult it was that I wasn’t validated on any of my decisions or when I was sneered at for making my own decisions. I was frozen in the fear of making the wrong decision because I was so afraid of the rejection if I did. But I started to notice that there was no way to win anyway. The truth was that none of it made sense, which worked for them because I was always ‘off balance’ not sure of what was coming. As long as I couldn’t think straight, other people could pull me in every direction.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Coral
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
What was said to you were horrible things to say to a person. And when those statements begin young, they get stuck in there. They become the way a person gets ‘defined’.
I am so glad that you stood up to it and I love your list of qualities and accomplishments!
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

28

Hi Caden
I thought about saying that to my brother too when he said they were too old to change. I thought about asking him, well what about when they were younger then? They had us when they were young.
I broke the cycle and I don’t think that I am all that special or different, I think that I wanted something better for MY kids. (and myself!) and I found a way to stop the cycle of abuse. Because I was determined. Because I was sick of a funky system. I searched for over 25 years to find some sort of freedom from the pain I was in before I found ‘the truth’ that I talk about here.
I say “whatever” now too. It is great not to be around such oppression anymore!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Bipolar Bear!
Yes, there is the message of acceptance when those statements are spoken! Those statements ‘normalize’ abuse! and Excuse it! And it is so wrong.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

29

Wonderful article, thank you.

30

Hi everyone,

I want to tell you how it hurts to be rejected and hated by our family.
This Christmas period is very hard.

I ran away at 19 from my parents house because I was in danger due to my father.
I locked this pain deep in my self because it hurts so much and the damage they caused me is so huge that original pain to be rejected is a feeling that I forget.
But it hurts and everyday. There are always triggers in my present life who bring back this pain to the surface. I want to cry, for this little girl and baby who hadn’t the chance to have parents entirely for her.

I have problems to deal with the fact that I have to be on my own, to have nobody on who I could count, trust, who is truely interested by me. It hurts.

All people doesn’t suffer like that. There are people who have more chance with more normal parents and support.
It hurts.

Thank you for reading.

31

This is so spot on!! A lot of truth and wisdom. My mother was smart enough not to be so blatant with her put-downs, especially in front of other people, which made it even harder to stand up to. That way she could deny any wrong-doing on her part and accuse me of misinterpreting things. (For example, she would criticize my physical appearance from head to toe and suggest ways to ‘hide’ my physical flaws such as wearing long skirts to cover up my skinny legs, don’t part my hair down the middle because it draws too much attention to my nose, don’t wear my hair behind my ears since I inherited the big ears from my dad’s side of the family, etc. This, in her words, was constructive criticism designed to help me. Yes, that really helps a kid feel good about herself!) This is why it took me so long to really understand what was going on between us. We are told we are over-sensitive and over-reacting when we try to stand up for ourselves, not only by our abusive mothers but by family members, outsiders, even our so-called friends. This is why it’s so hard to fight back. This is why we get so depressed and escape the internal pain with substance abuse.

32

dmgo have you noticed how truly sensitive people would not describe someone else as over-sensitive. Only under-sensitive people have need of the idea.
You are precisely the amoount of sensitive that you are – that is -you feel what you feel . .and no amount of fancy labelling will confuse me anymore
in solidarity
di

33

I was a regular on the Facebook page and mentioned I wanted to start healing. Darlene suggested I might consider registering on the website for the articles. I am so glad. This is the first article I read and I must say it HIT a home run. The “they will never change” “you know how they are” are common comments” in my family regarding my parents as dismissal for humiliating me in public and private. I often have tried to emotionally detach however then they engage my 28 year old and it becomes a three way tag team…my adrenalin starts pumping and my fight or flight kicks in despite my best attempts to stay detached.
One of the most ironic things I have noticed is let an outsider of the family insult me and they are outraged anyone would hurt my feelings…what a dichotomy I live…what a mixed message, my head spins…
one thing i have some to realize through all of this is they may have broke my self identity, my abusive marriage may have not helped it but i am not dependent on their opinion of me..i will raise my value some how some way..and i believe my road may have started here with EFB..thank you Darlene. I am grateful!

34

Great to see some more men commenting. I haven’t commented latley but I found it was very valadating to be heard. It’s great everyone can have a voice!

35

Hi Aurele
Yes, this time of year was really hard for me for the first couple of years. And you articulate ‘why’ very nicely. I learned to be for me what they never were for me and that is how I was able to embrace a full and happy life. It isn’t fair that this happens, I agree, but it does happen; they broke me, but I had to fix me.
I am glad you are here
Hugs, Darlene

Hi dmgo
Great example of exactly how sneaky this whole thing is. And it starts when we are so young, so it is hard to sort it out. If I had said to my mother and kind of critical critisim, she would have freaked out and frankly I would never have dared and yet when she did it to me, it was constructive. The clarity for me came when I saw the different sets of rules. One for her, another for me. That is not love or equality. And yes, yes yes… that is exactly why we get depressed etc. That is what my work is all about. Exposing the roots of the whole thing.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

36

Great point Di!

Hi Jim!
Nice to hear from you! (for those of you who don’t know, Jimmy B. is my husband and he reads here frequently.
Hugs (and kisses)
Darlene

37

Darlene..you make a very good point about a double standard.
I have always been held accountable and they have never been.

My family, usually only my family, have always said hurtful, demeaning, belittling things to me. They are very judgemental and don’t see that I have a right to be myself.
I was taught
very young by my mother to never respond to nasty, hurtful, demeaning statements because it
would cause more problems. Take it quietly no matter how hurtful and move on. Don’t question or talk back. Talking back was rude.

If a family member made fun of me they had cause because I was ‘different’. My
difference from what they approved of, was inherently “bad.” So then they were justified.
They are so far above me that they are “justified” in abusing me. Now there’s a thought.

I have never known that I had the right to speak up. I was taught not to.
I was the only one held accountable for my words or actions. They were and are not accountable for theirs.

Until I went NC, my brother would call once a month and always start a phone conversation with a derogatory remark about me. The conversation then would be him belittling anything I said I had done or enjoyed.
Politeness and never speaking up to any belittling remark has always been a norm for me.
I then resent how I was treated and depending on how bad the treatment was and my anger
about it, I would lose control of my emotions and self harm.
I did it for at least 50 years. This was just proof to me that they were right.

When last my brother visited we were heading out in the car to a new spot and I was checking the GPS on my phone for the address. I have a new app that speaks just like the dash mounted
ones and I was showing it to him.. his remark…”Does it say shut up Karen?” floored me. I sat
in silence and the conversation went on around me. I’m 58 years old, not 10 and I sat there and I never said a word. Although he is staying in our house on vacation and we are taking him to lots of fun places, he felt that that remark
was his right, because after all it was said to me. I think it was meant to belittle me. I have always been tech savvy and had the newest stuff and lets face it, his phone is just a phone.
When we showed him the new family room we built with the 58″ HD TV he looked at it and declared it “old technology” because our TV was 2 years old???
This post really hits home for me because those are the only things I hear from my family..
mean and hurtful.

38

Darlene,
I have to get this off my mind. The tragedy in England has be bothered & upset. The incident regarding the Prank call that was made to a nurse, who gave out confidential info about the Royal baby. Don’t know if you know, but what happened is that a DJ from Australia made a Prank call to this hospital & was transferred to the nurse. Whenupon, the nurse took the call seriously & gave out private info. Well, it got out & she was so ashamed/humiliated that she took her life over it. It’s heartbreaking. I’m arguing the point with my husband that the Prank was harmful & over the top. He came back that I’m always on the victims side….Yes, that’s nothing new…He knows me & I advocate for others who are victimized like I was. We can’t seem to agree on issues like this. It’s like he takes the abuser’s side. He has a point that the victim should of known better that the Queen would not call the hospital. Well, she thought it was real. A big mistake that got out of hand. It’s such a shame!…I think the DJ’s are responsible for their behavior, yet ultimately not her decision to end her life. It is a Tragedy!…I don’t know what can be done about this?…Maybe pass some laws about pranking…It overstepped the boundaries…Maybe the HIPPA laws are not strict enough in Australia like they are here. I don’t really know. All I know is that the whole incident is upsetting to me.
Thanks for listening!
Sonia

39

Hi Darlene, What your mother said to you about your boobs wasn’t just mean and nasty, it was weird. It shows me how much she objectified you in her thinking. My dad used to make comments about my body and I still cringe inside when I remember the things he said.

We live in a culture that values power and I believe that is why people side with the abuser rather than the victim. They view the abuser as having more power. This will never change unless, the cultural view changes and victims are seen as having the same inherent value as all others. However, the idea of inherent value seems to be waning rather than waxing. There’s a lot of work to do to change people’s attitudes.

Pam

40

Aurele, I too find the Holiday season especially hard. If I could skip it entirely I would. It holds no
happiness only bad memories in childhood. Later when my husband and I moved far away, my parents would come for a month long visit at Christmas and bring the unhappiness with them.
It is doubly hard seeing the TV portray happy families when ours were not. I would like to give you a big hug across the miles and say that I am happy to know you.
Karen Ranes

41

I don’t think gender has anything to do with who gets abused. David Peltzer has written several books on his mother’s abusive behavior directed solely at him, & he was the oldest of several boys…no girls. There are plenty of boys who get abused by either or both parents. I think most just hide it for various reasons. Isn’t that unfortunate too? No child should be abused. Children deserve to be protected & guided during their early years. Not systematically dressed down because the parent (or other abuser has issues). Nor do I think that abuse only happens to children…clearly, it can go on for as long as it’s tolerated. Obviously, we all need to recognize it when it happens instead of having a delayed reaction…realizing hours, days, or even longer down the road that so & so said something rude, abusive, etc. We have to catch the perpetrator in the act to turn things around..to make it clear bad behavior is not cool. They’re not going to like it…that’s upsetting the status quo. But too bad! We deserve to have dignity & to be respected.

I am no different. As a child, my dad called me some pretty mean names: fatty, fat ass, & even worse! Mom did too. What did I do? NOTHING! I let both of them get away with it…even though it hurt my feelings. I was just a kid, & was taught to respect my elders…even when they did not respect me. Dad still likes to call me names, & my husband too. He always comments on just how fat we both are. Those aren’t the only things he’s said that have upset me either. Funny thing is, my dad is not God’s gift to anyone…there’s nothing attractive about him…certainly not a winning personality. I’m tired of people like him making me feel powerless like a little kid all over again.

It’s like someone who gets punched in the face & then asked, “you were the one to walk into my fist…didn’t you?” There’s no apology or responsibility by the perpetrator, instead they act like it was not their fault at all & did nothing wrong. So much healing to do…to repair the damage that didn’t need to happen.

I think this time of year just brings out the absolute worst in some people. Yes, it’s a beautiful time of year for many with lots of opportunities to get together with loved ones. However, it’s also a great time for abusers who just love hitting people with verbal jabs. Why do we put up with it as adults just like we did as kids? We’re indoctrinated to accept it…brainwashed by those who should have protected us instead. If we do say something, that makes us the bad guys? Oh well then…that’s too bad. Too many of us go through life treading lightly because we don’t want to make waves or hurt someone else’s feelings, especially our abuser’s. But often times if we don’t stand up for ourselves (even if it does hurt the abuser’s feelings…it’s only because they got caught!) who will? Personally, I’ve been left on my own when it would have been nice to have someone else back me up instead of having to always go it alone. Seems like those of us who have been mistreated are our own best advocates though. Truth is if someone doesn’t want to be called out for his/her bad behavior, he/she should not have started the trouble in the first place. Too many are used to getting away making snide remarks about weight, appearance, personality, intelligence, or something else. It’s time to say enough is enough…if they don’t like it, then they shouldn’t dish out the abuse. The double standards need to stop. I

One nice thing is we may not be able to choose our family or if they’re healthy or not, but we can choose the kind of people we want to associate with. I have done quite a bit of pruning over the years & have cut off people who think I should be at their beck & call, but if I need anything, disappear until they need something again. Also gone are those who are not respectful to me. I am making healthier choices now….that doesn’t mean that dysfunction won’t rear its ugly head from now on out, but hopefully, I’ll be able to see it for what it is before I get caught up in the mess as I have in the past. I’d much rather get to the root of a problem & nip it in the bud before allowing things to get out of control which sends the wrong messages…I am okay with being used &/or abused. Maybe I can have good people surround me for the remainder of my time left on earth. I can only hope!

So thankful for this forum & subjects.

42

Thanks you for publishing this article. I just returned from an out-of-state court appearance that pitted me against a physical abuser, my brother, and the rest of my dysfunctional family.

I was more accepted by my family when I “accepted” the abuse and stayed silent. But the more I developed boundaries and refused to be abused, the more the fury increased.

It all came to a head a little over a year ago. I got into an argument with my brother and he grabbed me by the neck and slammed me into a brick wall. As I was on the phone with 911, my sister demanded that I hang up the phone. I was blamed immediately for what happened. They told me I “brought this on myself.” That was when I realized that no one in my family cared enough to protect me. After surgery to reset the five facial fractures and broken eye socket, I returned to my parents’ home and was left alone with my assailant. That was when I realized my family didn’t care at all about my emotional and physical needs. I filed for protection from abuse and left my family.

This past monday, my mother and brother-in-law entered the courtroom prepared to testify against me and saying that I am crazy. I prepared for court by reading this blog. Each post that I read gave me strength to stand-up against my abusers and not fear a trial. Thank you for a voice and for strength.

43

“I would like to give you a big hug across the miles and say that I am happy to know you”.Thank you so much Karen, a big hug from all my heart too.

44

Christina, I applaud your courage and self-advocacy in standing up for your rights and taking your brother to court! I was also physically abused by my older brother for a number of years, and sadly he just got away with it. Because my family, like yours, blamed me for it and took his side, tolerated the obvious signs and left me so invalidated and afraid that I couldn’t do anything back then. So, good for you! Breaking the silence and holding your own against them is so much in itself.

take care,
-Caden.

45

Aurele sweetheart, I know what you’re going through. That immense void inside that awaits to be filled. Yes, you’re right, not everybody hurts like this. And no, it isn’t fair that WE have to go through so much pain. Rejection is absolutely horrible. Trust me, I know, I live it every day :0( but you sound like such a wonderful person. I so wanna give you a hug too, hold you tight and tell you honestly that I’m here when you need to. Here on EFB I found kindness, understanding, care, honesty and the list goes on. It is such an important support. We all feel that pain. I will validate because I KNOW what it feels like. So don’t forget Aurele ok? We’re for you and each other. Much love.

46

Christina, I’m so proud of you. Standing up for yourself that way is an act of standing up for all abuse victims. Thanks you for not backing down and accepting your abuse.

Love,
Pam

47

Hi Karen
Realizing the double standard was really important for me. Although it was “obvious” it was almost shocking when I realized it. The different rules that apply to the ‘who ever is ‘on top’ or over someone else. It is so nuts! It was really hard for me to finally realize that I would NEVER be regarded as an equally valuable person ‘to them’.
Thanks for sharing Karen ! hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Great comments. Ya what she said WAS mean and nasty and weird too! When I came out of the fog I realized that TONS of things my mother said were weird. Not acceptable. Things that were driven by something other than love. I am glad that she can’t hurt me like that anymore. I think that many people side with who ever they are the most afraid of.
Hugs, Darlene

48

Hi Marla
I agree that gender has nothing to do with who gets abused. Isn’t it pathetic though that these people target children who are so defenseless and powerless? I mean these people who only go after anyone weaker (physically OR emotionally) weaker than themselves~ that is so pathetic. I remember when I became aware of how pathetic they were… my father in law was first on the list for me ~ I just couldn’t stop the disgust that came in waves and waves and I kept saying “wow, he is SO pathetic”.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

49

Hi Christina
Wow, good for you! Thank you for sharing this story! This is so inspirational to hear that you drew a boundary like this and backed it up with the law. And isn’t it disgusting that your brother did that to you and your family stood with HIM and called YOU crazy? What a mixed up world!
Hugs and love, Darlene

50

I love this post! My mother actually said that “it takes two to tango” after my husband of 27 years decided to abandon me. I was totally blindsided by my now ex., but nobody believed me!! Especially my mother. My sister always says…well she’s old and means well. No more, I spend my Christmases now with just me and my new hubby of two years. He has had similar family experiences and totally understands . I am blessed, but still get sad this time of year for what I have gone through. Joyce Meyer’s books and teaching have helped me a lot because she went through abuse as a child. I contantly pray and try to stay positive thoughts. It really helps!
This website has also helped me to not feel like such an outcast! Thank you Darlene!!

51

Hi Darlene, my Mom criticised me from the moment I remember. As an adult when I finally realised it said more about her than it did about me I started to push her into an outer (boundary) circle further and further away, the final straw being a rude personal comment about me to a stranger within my hearing, till basically our contact was minimal. She is now aged and frail and I found the gap was distressing me as her death would have given me huge regret for the loss of a close relationship.
So I made another choice … she seemed softer and more open to conversation and during our chats I slowly told her how I felt re the criticisms, laced with the good stuff and acknowledging how difficult her life had been (sexually abused as a child, wars etc). I told her what I needed and started saying “I love you” to her (so difficult at first). I got to know her and bought her back, not quite to an inner circle but very close.
My siblings and children are now saying “wow, Grandma has changed she says she loves me and is proud of me”. So many relationships have changed and improved and people have healed, including me.
I was careful with my Mom’s feelings, didn’t want to become critical which is useless. Time cannot be rewound but healing can start at any stage of a relationship I found.

52

Great post Darlene. Can relate. I have decided sometime ago to let people know that I don’t like what they say to me at times. Before I would shut up and say nothing. I now speak up for myself and in doing so I have lost a lot of friends and family members. I won’t be bullied anymore. Cause to me that is what they are doing. Is bulling. I’m not the good and quiet one these days and I don’t care.

53

Darlene. Very powerful post. I have lived with guilt because many years ago I found myself growing away from my family. I have viewed it as them not wanting anything to do with me more and more over time. Now I am realizing that it had a lot to do about being judged. After being sexually abused over years by an uncle, physically, emotionally and verbally abused by my father all my life, then neglected by my mother when I really needed her and told by her to leave home 4 days after high school graduation I am amazed at how many people have told me what I need to do to make the relationships right. [[[So it is my responsibility, just like it was my fault that I was abused and neglected. I need to take responsibility for all of it. They did the best they knew how. I should forgive them.]]] Once at my grandmother’s funeral I was taken aside by an aunt and she told me it was time to put all this behind me, to let it all go, to forgive my mother. She told me what a good person she is and I need to move on and stop dwelling on the past. I did not understand at the time why her comments made me so angry, confused, guilty and full of shame. I didn’t know what to do so I held everything in and did nothing. I am nearly 60 years old now and this post and the comments have helped me immensely. Thank you Darlene. As usual you have shown me that I am not alone and the feelings I have are legitimate and I can love and value myself. Thank you Darlene!

54

Suse,
Your story sounds so hopeful & I’m glad it worked out for you. Some parents don’t want to work it out & they would rather keep their false pride, before they would ever reconcile. I believe my FOO are the later. I sent out a message to my dad inviting him and my mom to my house for Christmas this year. Would rather have it here, than visit their house, where they can do & say whatever they want. They tend to behave at my house. Anyway, I did mention I will not be inviting my brother for he shunned my children & I last year. No card, no getting together & unfriended me on facebook. He has not tried to reconcile since then. Anyway, I’m drawing a boundary & if my dad comes back at me saying I need to reconcile (basically it’s my fault)….I will come back with the truth. I was shunned which I haven’t done that to him. He is the one who cut me out. I’m the scapegoat & I’m not going there anymore. It’s time to put shine the light on their behavior!…Sorry, this is a bit of a rant. Yet, I felt inclined to share.
Sonia

55

sounds familiar – I was told by family members that I was fat, not as pretty as my cousins (true, but did they need to say it?), that my kid wasn’t as adVanced or Cute as the other grandkids, etc. Ugh.

56

Thank you Céline :)for your kinds words, it moves me deeply.

Thank you Darlene too.

57

Catherine Todd at comment #8 said:

“* I left Duke University Psychology Clinic and brought a successful lawsyuit against them, and that horrendous experience was the biggest “trigger of my life.” But it cured me of shame because I had to talk in open court about what happened to me, and it brought incest and child abuse out into the open. The psychologists who all testified on the witness stand in defense of Ms. Schoenwald showed themselves to be complete and utter fools, as did she. And it showed me once and for all that “I was not the crazy one, or if I was, I was less crazy than they.”

Major changes had to be made after that. And finally psychiatry and pscyhology no longer aids and abets and protects these criminal abusers. Even a psychiatrist can be jailed for abusing their patients. Fancy that? And priests, too! What is the world coming to? Abusers are getting the justice they have earned. Family members who protect abusers and criminal acts will be held responsible next, as it should be. Their day has come.”

Yes, Catherine’s strength to go after the psychologist (who behaved exactly like malignant narcissists / sociopaths do), way back in 1990, is amazing.

More need to do that, and do it quickly, for statute of limitations exist. But, the dynamics of abuse dictate that the victim is in such a fog, for so long, when they come out of the fog to realize they have rights, there’s crimes that had been perpetrated, and they are now strong enough to do something about it, the statutes of limitation have passed.

A bad circular problem.

Solution: Spreading awareness, teaching young people, and maybe fighting to change the statute of limitations laws (rape is 7 years, I believe – abuse should be the same), for a window of time which would expire, in order to enact a cultural paradigm shift to stop this rampant aiding and abetting of abuse, and instead, replace it with helping victims, instead of shifting blame to victims.

58

Hi Julie
Saying things like “it takes two to tango” is exactly what I am talking about! And wow, talk about a slap in the face by your own mother! It’s horrible how many of our own parents NEVER take our sides and stand for us instead of against us!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Suse
Welcome to EFB!
Thank you for sharing your victory story with your mother.
Hugs, Darlene

59

Hi Denise
Awesome, good for you! It hurt that people ‘dumped me’ because I stood up for myself but as I grew stronger in the truth about the way it was before, I realized that I didn’t miss the way it was at all!
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Stanley
Excellent highlights! This is exactly what I am talking about! Your feelings are totally legit!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

60

Hi Mary
Welcome to EFB ~ NO they certainly did not ‘need’ to say that. That is a horrible thing to say and who says it is true? It is a put down statement meant to hurt.
Something that I found out later is that many of the people who say such nice things about others in the family, are saying just as many nasty things about them to other people. It all depends on the motive with ‘who they are talking to”.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

61

Hi Danna
Welcome to EFB
I think also that the more parents that come out of the fog and heal, the better chance that the young people and the future generations have. The more people who heal from the trauma they have suffered and are empowered to talk about it the more awareness and permission others will have.
hugs, Darlene

62

Update on donations;
Since posting my request for donations a few days ago, I have gratefully received 3 donations totalling $55.00. It costs me $200.00 a month to maintain this site. When I don’t get enough donations, I have to pay them out of own pocket. I spend a minimum of 6 hours a day on this website, answering comments and writing new articles. It cost me thousands of dollars for the therapy, schooling and courses that I took in order to qualify me to do this work that I freely share with all of you. Please, please, consider contributing to the maintenance of this site. I don’t think that it is fair that I contribute so freely to this community and have to pay for the expenses of it too. I understand if you are unable to donate, this is not intended to make anyone feel ‘bad’. I am just stating my needs. Please help if you can.
Hugs, Darlene

63

I haven’t been in any contact with my family for around two years, but I remember trying to stand up for myself, and trying to change , and a few times trying to point out things that could be changed so that holidays….and relationships might go smoother. I think now that I had such low self esteem that I caved and ended up trying harder to make things more cheerful and fun when I was around everyone, and they always took that for me being okay to be treated any old way they chose to treat me. The reality was that I always loved the holidays , but most of my family either didn’t, or they really felt they were doing their duty in the family to attend the big dinners…and that was also true of aunts and uncles. It was always a time for bragging amongst the adults…everyone was “expected” to be successful….with money, position, and possessions, so I never fit in. Being a nice person got you nowhere and wasn’t valued very highly based on my experiences. My family constantly had someone in mind to cut down and criticize for looks, low paying job, something they did that didn’t sit right with the family etc….so I tried to hide out in the kitchen and keep busy washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen for my Grandmother, who actually was the only nice person there. One year there was even more extended family and my dad said to me in front of a number of them ,”why are you so pale?! You look like you glow in the dark!” and then he turned and walked away. My aunt at the same dinner ….my dad s sister…..also said ” you look like a school teacher in that outfit!”. In front of other relatives, of course! I believe now that somehow I irritated them because I didnt make THEM look good in front of the visiting relatives AND I think that I was having a nicer time than they were because some of my cousins were ther who were my age. My cousins were horrified for me and couldn’t understand the behavior of my dad and aunt, but I think today that I made an easy “target” to project their anxiety and negative feelings onto. I will never know for sure, but what gave them that right to say those things to me? Nothing!!! I think it is so true that people CAN change if they want to, but I have found that so many people aren’t interested in stopping their unacceptable behaviors. They get away with it for too long and are blinded to anyone else’s feelings….they have little empathy! I never fully co frites my parents or brothers….or aunts and uncles for the very cruel things they did or implied about me be ause I didn’t have the courage and wasn’t in a place of healing and feeling my strength and feeling secure within myself to do so. That is all changed now! I don’t have any interest at all in ever trying with my family again, but I now don’t allow anyone else to treat me the way they did. It can be in very small, hardly discernible ways, but if I sense it is happening, I find a way to stop the person. I now am able to actually see how many people all around me that I used to believe were nice, but they just had issues I would need to overlook and put up with to remain friends with…..are actually no different towards me than my parents, except that they don’t physically abuse and neglect me. However, chronically unhappy, unchanging people want to one-up, play subtle put down games with me , and want all of the attention and praises and everything all on THEM and only them. It is so interesting to begin to see this and to stop it before I get dragged into it! It feels good to be free. Free of toxic family that didn’t appreciate me or like or love me….and to be free of being that sitting duck!

64

Hi Diane
Exactly! They had no ‘right’ to say those things. And yes, people can change if they want to! I have seen it even with mean and emotionally abusive people. They can change IF they want to.
I can really relate to your comments about looking back and realizing how much I overlooked in order to be ‘accepted’ in the past. Wow. it was always up to me to carry the entire burden of relationships with dysfunctional people! ugg.
YAY for being free!
Hugs, Darlene

65

Hi Darlene,
I was thinking of you this morning…then found this post…which fits with me right now. I have been thinking about silence and just letting things go and accepting that that’s who they are. But I asked myself today if the relationship continues to hurt me why stay in it? Because they’re my parents? So what? My current beef with them is that they live in another state, they are currently 30 minutes from me at my neice’s house and have been all weekend, this happens frequently and they try not to let me find out they’ve been here. One of the last times this happened I told my dad that it hurt me when they came to town and didn’t visit me or my kids. His answer was, “Don’t start this shit.” And so I let it go. But I thought at least they know now that this bothers me so maybe next time it will be different…again, hoping they will change. So my question to you, Darlene, is when you talk about speaking your truth does that mean I need to confront my parents about the abuse as a child, and the continued neglect? I’m curious about how that process works…thanks for your bravery in consistently speaking your truth

66

I finally have my emotional firewall firmly in place between my mother and me. Nothing she does or says affects me emotionally. Of course, this is a little difficult when situations would normally require feeling some emotion, such as a put-down of me or a complaint of something not suiting her. In order to keep up the facade that we are having some sort of a relationship, I have to resort to a breathtaking insincerity, chirpily exclaiming about how distressed I am about the troubles she is having without actually feeling distressed. This is the ONLY way; I have tried honesty and it gets me nowhere, always being the “bad daughter” who doesn’t care about her and I have tried just ignoring her and still being the same thing. This way it keeps the peace, and we’re supposed to live at peace with all people as far as we are able, right? The sad thing is, she doesn’t notice anything’s amiss, but there it is. If she has actually gotten to me, I express my feelings about it while she’s out of earshot, on my drive home. That gets me exactly the same respect (none) I would receive from her if I were actually talking to her, but it avoids the scenes, the drama, the tears, the recriminations, the shaming. So what’s not to like?

67

Dear Darlene,
this is my family and my in laws, this passed week my mother in law
rembered I after 7 years have a birthday (oh wow) I’ve been married to her son 7 years and now suddling I have a birthday, well she tells everyone we was exchanging chirstmas gifts too and she want to make this a terdishion my birthday/christmas gifts giving , this brought up more of my old passed hurt and pain from my family see when i was younger if i was lucky to get a birthday gift I want worthy of having a birthday gift by its self it was always birthday/christmas gift ,when my older sister got both she got birthday gifts on her bd. in sept. and christmas gifts at christmas ,so this hurt me so bad i almost started crying I wasnt born on december 25 it was december 5th,
she just has a way of contuning my mothers abuse even if shes my mother in law , it just hurt so bad.i know i need to just get over it lol I dont know how to deal with her abuse .I am i just too sentcive? to get upset over this ? then my husband tells me she was trying . no she wasnt and i call it for what it is b/s .I dont understand why he just cant and wont stand up to his mother , I have to be the bitch standing up for us ,she has torn him down so badly he cant stand up to her . please anyone got advice? i dont know how to cope with his mother shes abusive and a controler i want my pwoer back!

68

Karla, I really feel for you! It must be very hurtful to have your birthday lumped in with Christmas…..like you aren’t special enough! I am so sorry that has happened to you over the years! I don’t have any advice, but here is how I managed to get my mother in law to respect ME and how I took back MY control. It was very difficult, but I was desperate for change because my MIL would say snide things behind whenever my husband wasn’t listening or in the room etc, so I thought he never could understand. He would tell me “she doesnt mean anything by it”…..meaning that I must have totally misunderstood his mother. After 10 years of this treatment, and being called “lazy” and many other passive-aggressive things from her….and my husband passively watched and did nothing, I realized that nothing would ever change and I couldn’t deal with the stress she was causing me. I told my husband one day that she was HIS mother and from now on HE was going to do all of the phone calling, and planning visits….to leave me out of it. What had happened is that his mother put me in the middle , and so did he….so I was “supposed” to be the one person who made the relationshipS work…but of course, there were always complaints about whenever I did try to do anything. I had taken the responsibility for THEIR relationship somehow without knowing.. So I told my husband that all gifts would come from him, any visits with our daughter and HIS mother, he was going to orchestrate, and everything was now on HIM and HER. She wasn’t MY mother, so why did I have to be in the middle? It didnt work out at all be ause his mother didn’t like me and didn’t think i was good enough for her son….and she let me know in many many ways. So…she would call, and I wouldn’t answer. He wanted to visit his mom….he went alone or with our daughter. He missed her birthday and Mothers day a few times, but I didn’t allow myself to feel guilt. That was about 8 yrs ago, and it has been wonderful. She rarely calls me, but she DID apologize to me for being less than nice, and now when I do talk with her, she is very polite and respectful. We don’t even try to be a “family” now, and I love it! My daughter always has had her in her life and that has been a good thing. my husband was absolutely furious with me when I stood up for myself….he wasn’t used to it! Now he still struggles a bit because he wanted everyone to get along and be close, but their family dynamic wasn’t all that healthy to begin with and I used to be the one buffer between them, so when I backed out, they had to make a choice to either work on their relationships or lose them. They now talk privately…which my MIL thought would make me jealous, but I could care less…..and my husband just has to deal with the fact that I am out of the picture. I feel free, I feel on control, and I know that it wasn’t ME who was the problem or not worthy or less than good enough…..it was THEIR issues and THEIR relationship all along. If people can’t or won’t be close to ME when I am trying to be nice, then I drop out these days and feel much healthier for it. I don’t feel I have the time, energy, or health to be able to waste on ppl who just refuse to be respectful, kind and fair.

69

Karla….HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 5th!!! Hugs and best wishes to you!

70

Hi Kim
Great to hear from you! When I finally embraced the “so what” so much changed for me.
When I talk about speaking the truth, I am talking about TO ME. It was when I heard me that everything got better. When I stopped trying to see it through thier eyes and fix it according to the way they said it would get fixed. There is so much about this whole thing and the “how I came to these realizations” in this site.
Hugs, Darlene

71

Hi MZC
I love your saying “my emotional firewall” that is awesome! Oh I could write a book about the hurt casued from the lack of notice when we draw the boundary! But take heart, I believe that is just yet another tactic change.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

72

Hi Karla
Ya, thats pretty nasty and hurtful for sure! You are not too sensitive. That isn’t the issue. I agree that what she is doing is not actually ‘trying’.
About your husband; when I realized that my husband actually believed that his parents actually held his ‘life blood’ I began to understand his fear of them. BUT it was through my own understanding of how it was a lie, that NO ONE owned me or determined if I lived or died, that I began to heal and stand up for myself. He also saw the truth as he did his own work.
There is hope!
Hugs, Darlene

73

While I read this I cpould not stop thinking about X-Mas past….the little gabs, dry humor, gulliable, acn’t you take a joke and the cherry on the top “you’re just to senstive”. Last X-Mas was the first very, very hard X-Mas, home alone with only X-Mas past literally. I did not cry, a small gatheriung at church aqnd my apartment was given a gift spit gift a spit shine and after a long X-Mas day Jody and Quburt woke me from my deep nap for a belly rub, but I was not the joke of the family. Mom is gone X-Mas was the only time I didn’t have to stand the corner,no bloody nose. In 2010 he died, the master of sarcasm died but the sarcasm, the shame and guilt hold on, I call them everlasting haunting. Me the New Years eve child 1955 dubbed daddys little tax deduction. This X-Mas…Little sister called…what are you doing X-Mas, hey can you here my tears…damn…now what do I do…I really do not what to go…shit…I have no car…social security label…I said ok…stupid answer I just want to be alone…not in a negative way…I am not sure if I let myself fall into a trap. It is one of those times I become part of the wallpaper…I have gotten lost in my mind and so know I will finish hemming my slacks and try and figure away to stay home with Jody and Quburt to which I had planed for…Really…not out to prove anything but our X-mas was never anything but a date on the calender and mid-night service at “Church”. Go to bed so Santa will come. Our X-Mas were never about gifts…true gifts…just a day that they did not fight ands yell…I was looking forward to stay at home and watch the first verison of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” OH WELL…ISN’T THAT SWEET

m

74

@ Caden, I thought I was the only one whose mummy had a peek at her tummy. After I got home from the first semester of college, I had packed on a few “freshman pounds”. My mother made me change into every single pair of pants I had and come to her. She would lift up my shirt, look at my spare tire, and go off on a yelling, screaming, cursing rant. I don’t think she took a breath through several pairs of pants. She called me a pig and said I “fressed” (which, in German, means “eat like an animal” as contrasted to “essen” which means eat like a human). Things I would never say to my own children because I don’t want to hurt them. Did she think she was doing this for my benefit? Was she concerned about my health? No, because she is a narcissist, I am merely a reflection of her, and she didn’t like what she looked like.

75

If it weren’t for Darlene’s website, I would still think that the abuse I got/get was normal, that I wasn’t worth the space I took up, that I was alone in my experiences with abusive people. I’m going to be paypalling her at least $5 a month. Considering what some of my therapists have cost, that’s a bargain. I want it to be more, but we’re living on the edge (yes, thanks to people who have stolen my potential) but as I heal I will try to give more.

76

MZC, that’s so terrible that your mother put you through such a humiliating, hateful scene. In my case, I had put on weight due to binging on large amounts of food via my eating disorder, and she was lifting up my shirt to say that she didn’t want me to be any thinner. Because she had pried food on me as a cheap substitute for love and protection my whole life, she would try to sabotage any attempts I made to lead a healthier lifestyle and impose on me the way she felt I was supposed to look and be in my own body. She saw my body as hers, not mine. These are sick intrusions on the part of our mothers, and definitely not constructive or respectful in any way.

take care,
-Caden.

77

Dear Darelene,Daine,
thanks for your birthday wishesh and advice.
I’ve been thinking of what I should do about Christmas Eve dinner, last year that was the date we spend christmas eve exchanging gifts ,but this year we will just have the dinner sents this passed sat. ”my birthday/christmas gift givving ” and all that I am telling her to her face I am not spending my birthday /christmas with her I am telling her my husband and I have plans that week and we will see her christmas eve to give her her christmas gift , she might even get regifted things she gave me this year . oh i forgot to say while i was opening my birthday gifts ,from my sister in law (she gave me for my birthday a painting of Jesus) it was beautiful)my mother in law said while i was thanking my sister in her (her daughter) oh i want that! i said do what? she said regift it to me i want that painting. i told her i dont regift, then she said laughting oh i was just kidding Karla . I looked at her and said no you wasnt dont lie . i told her it was my birthday gift I am keeping it sorry. I know she wasnt joking .she is so rude . its like every hollyday with her she has to make drama. well shes having over her bf family her new family .so here we will go again with the icy chill in the air from people we dont even know ,god knows what shes told them .shes done this last year to us putting us on display . then her guest treat us like we are losers . I am so sick of her b/s . so bring on the christmas games .the reasion she wanted to have my birthday /christmas she said bobs family couldnt efford to get us gifts so she wanted to secperate all of us ,she thinks i cant see the mind games shes playing .then she starts talking about her furnal how shes got it all planned . I dont think I will cry when she passess. mm I might have the flu on christmas eve .why is it men cant see how mean thier mothers are to thier wifes? my husband always goes back for more pain from mummy dearest . he gets hurt from her and keep going back for more . oh she loves to tell her son how little shes payed for his gifts $3.00 . I dont think she knows what it means to love your son, i think she thinks used and mind games and controle means love . she thinks shes mother treasa .

78

Hi, Darlene….

OMG….is what you’ve written especially appropos for me this evening! I came here tonight, looking for a place to vent (and to seek a sense of being normal!)after a big argument with my husband. And the argument we had was exactly what you’ve written about…I’m not kidding.

My husband is often clueless, misses social cues, doesn’t listen very well, and hasn’t educated himself about parental narcissism, even though I’ve offered him my numerous books to read because his mother is definitely narcissistic (as is my own mother).

Well, I know I’m getting stronger inside because I no longer let him gaslight me and browbeat me into agreeing with him and responding the way he wants me to.

We had an evening meeting with his mother re some issues related to his future inheritance, which involves a house which will be passed on to him upon his mom’s death. I sort of feel that this is a matter between him and his mother, and that I don’t really want to play much of a role in their family business.

Well, his mother is a narcissist, so I always dread pretty much all interaction with her. She talks incessantly about herself, she never listens, she’s insensitive and rude, she’s a know-it-all, and she’s arrogant and pompous. I, for the sake of my husband, keep my mouth shut and always remain very cordial, kind, and gracious with her.

Tonight I was very proud of myself. I was as friendly and kind and open and warm as I try to be with every person. When she got to a certain topic, prefacing it by saying, “I’m not trying to be mean, but…..” I held my breath. What in the world was this going to be about? She has a terrible habit of pontificating, offering unsolicited advice, lecturing, and running on and on about subjects. So, I was steeling myself…….

She had spreadsheets and legal documents, etc. Fine. But then she handed each of us separately a document spelling out the money she had put into this house the past few months, and I’m thinking, “Okay….what has this got to do with me? I didn’t cause the sewer line to break……I don’t own this house…..I’m not responsible for the property taxes and insurance.” She owns the house; we don’t. What was the point of spelling out how she’s had to “take money out of her savings?” I wanted to say, “You own the house.”

My husband took the piece of paper and sat there with his head bowed as if studying it intently. I, however, didn’t accept the paper. I laid it on the table and said, “I’m not interested in looking at this. It has nothing to do with me.”

My husband, though, acts intimidated by his mother. He offers up all the excuses you mentioned, Darlene, about how “she’s old” and “she’s never going to change” and “you just have to be understanding” until I want to scream.

The woman has been rude and inconsiderate to me on numerous occasions and yet, for my husband’s sake, I have never retaliated. Not once. I have always been polite and kind to her. Always.

Well, we got home tonight and he seemed ticked off. Of course. All he ever does is make excuses for her. He never cuts me any slack at all. His expectations of ME far exceed any expectations he has of her, and I’m sick of it. I really am.

I told him tonight that I am entitled to my thoughts and feelings, and I’m entitled to like and not like whomever I wish. I also told him that I have always bent over backwards to be kind to her, even when she’s been an absolute bitch.

He pouts. He calls me names. He gets mad.

You know what? My husband has just enough of his own narcissistic qualities that I wish I could leave him. When I married him ten years ago, I knew nothing about narcissism, about boundaries, about emotional abuse, or about gaslighting. Well, now that I’m educated about those issues, I absolutely DESPISE narcissistic and controlling behavior……in anyone. And, I feel that it is vital to my well-being and to my healing to avoid toxic people like the plague!

He, however, doesn’t “get it.” He does nothing but make excuses for her. Also, he is clueless. He really is. He says that her behavior is “normal.” In whose universe? Maybe because he grew up with two narcissistic parents, he became narcissistic himself. I myself had one psychopathic parent and one narcissistic parent. Yet, I went the opposite direction. I am so NON-narcissistic that it’s detrimental. I need to learn more about self-care.

So, Darlene, what you’ve written about, I agree with 100%!!!!!

Why, oh why, does the world expect the victims of bullying, the victims of cruel and toxic people, to “rise above” and to “forgive” and to endure the heinous and cruel behaviors of rotten people?

Where are the people who actually take up for the victim? Where are the people who call the abuser on the carpet for what s/he does?

Listen, I could give you specific examples of the nasty and condescending things my own mother and sister have said to (and about) me. I could tell you things my mother-in-law has done and said, and even what my husband has done and said. All of it makes me so daggoned angry that I can hardly see straight.

To be honest, if I were financially in a position to leave him, I would. I would. I would flee from him and his entire narcissistic family. And from my own family, too. The trouble is, I don’t think I’d know where to go or what to do. It seems that I’ve been surrounded all of my life by toxic people and by narcissists.

To this very day, my mother will look at family photos and say, “Oh, that’s the best you’ve ever looked.” Uh, gee, thanks. I guess I look like crap now, right? My mother says things just as rotten and mean as yours does, Darlene. And I have now decided, like you, that I matter.

For that reason, I didn’t play my mother-in-law’s guilt game tonight. My husband falls for her guilt games all of the time, but I don’t. Don’t hand me a sheet of expenses that you shelled out on YOUR house and expect me to kowtow and genuflect and fall all over myself apologizing for! She wanted both of us to feel like crap, you see. She’s just great at that. Somehow, we were supposed to feel ashamed and terrible because she had to spend some of her savings to fix the sewer on a house she owns. It won’t be my husband’s house until she’s dead. I didn’t fall for it tonight.

I can’t even tell you how amazingly proud of myself I am. And I didn’t do it in a mean or snarky way, either. I was merely assertive. I am so glad that I stood up for myself. After all, my husband isn’t going to. Nor is anyone else. I am all I’ve got, I think.

Anyway, I realize that this is really loooonnnngggg, but I simply had to get my frustration and anger out. Thank you for allowing me to do so.

I do so relate, Darlene, to everything you wrote. And I absolutely agree with you. I’ve started speaking back to my mother, too, when she starts her narcissistic rambling. I bring her back on topic by saying, “I really wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about my daughter (or myself….or whatever).” I no longer just sit there and let her go on and on and on about herself, but I speak up now.

I’m learning. It’s slow, but I am learning.

Maybe someday I can get away from the narcissists. I hope so.

Love,
Marore

79

Hi Tlynn
Welcome to emerging from broken!
That “you are too sensitive” line is so nasty. These people jab and poke insults and then add more by saying that YOU are being too sensitive! (and there are lots of versions of that expression such as “you can’t take a joke” etc.)
Glad you are here, thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

80

Hi MZC
Thanks for considering making a donation!
Hugs, Darlene

81

Hi Marore
Re your comment that your husband says his mothers behaviour is ‘normal’ ~ it is normal “to him”. It has become his normal. That is what I am talking about when I say that I had to see the lies at the root of the damage and how my belief system had formed full of false beliefs. My belief system was that the abuse was ‘normal’ ~ it was ‘my normal’ and everything I write in this site is about trying to show how it WASN’T right or NORMAL just because it had become normal ‘to me’. And at the root of all of it was me in my child mentality; taught to survive by accepting this as ‘normal’ and believing that if I did not comply, I would surely die. (victim mentality, which is also taught by the actions of others, and is also a survival mode)
Thanks for sharing! The more the fog cleared, the more I saw the path to freedom! Slow is better than not at all! Your comments are really very insightful!
hugs, Darlene

82

Dear Darlene and Marore,
this sounds just like my husband taking up for his mother too and sometimes when i try to speak up for myself my husband will twist it around making its him that was the victom ,leaving me shaking my head saying what, the heck. my husband had two toxic people and narcissists
.well after hearing the smae old same old she wont change speach and you just have to deal with it and let it go out one ear into the other ear. i told him you have lived with your family all your life and you know how to let her bother you and hurt you any more but ive only been in the family 7 years i am sick of smiling and giving her respect that she doesnt desirve .why do the moma’s boys always defend mommie dearest? i dont understand this at all ,i love my husband but his love for his mother is greater for her than me i feel .I am even wondering has he become narcissists too sometimes i feel he doesnt empthise to my hurt and pain ,its like its ok for her to hurt me ,by him not standing up for us its like he feels he dont want to cause drama hes had it all his life ,but at the same time its ok for her to hurt me and i should just smile and be kind . my give a damn for her feelings is breaking breakinggg . well something to make me smile ive got a book for her for christmas a book on forgiveness and its autografted to someone elce , yup you guessed it i bought it at good will ,only spented 25 cents on the book mmm,just might tell her what i spent on her gift . i know its stooping to her level, but it would be nice to give her a little bit of what she dishesh to us .every year she never fails to out due her self with the stupid gifts , one year i got a presidental doll bill clintion , it was a insult ,things she didnt put any love or thoughts into . this christams /my birthday , my husband got a stupid raindeer that sang i feel good! yup another stupid gift you would give a 10 year old kid not a 50 year old son. well iam starting to do the same thing, oh and when my daughter and me was still setting at the table eating my birthday cake/christmas cake ,she kepted going back and forth to set with us and back on the to the living room where her son was she couldnt stand it my daughter and i would just stop talking when she would come back in i know that drives her nuts, well chritamas eve i will wait till she goes back into the living room and then runs back to see what iam saying to my daughter i will spray purfume ,she just hates any kind of perufum, i know that will run her back to the living room to stay . i rember one christamas her grand daughter was warring purfume and she made her take a shower and get off the purfume in front of everyone she told her grand daughter take a shower get the purfume off , well this sat i went to her bath room and guess what she has 3 bottles of purfume something thats shes allergice to purfum shes always told us ,my question then why does she now have 3 bottles of it ? she was raising all kinds of sand if anyone wore any kind of perfume she would just go on how she couldnt breath and just be so full of drama, now its seems like she was using the perfume allergy to controle all of us ,why would she now ware purfume, if she was so allaergic to it ? mm just gives me a another thought , maybe i should give the grand daughter purfume for christmas gift .what do you think? i see that my husbands not going to stand up to his mother maybe hes intamadated of her , but there are things i can do to let her know i can give her what she gives me .

83

Darlene,
I’ve just heard the “Oh she doesn’t mean to say things like that, she’s just old,” line. Like being old is just an easy reason to keep doing what you are doing. I’m expecting more comments after the holidays now that I will still be NC with the family. I truly don’t believe that age is a catch all to be rude and disrespectful. Especially since these same people can get it all together and be so nice and sickening sweet to certain other people in the family. As I’ve thought about my GC brother, I’m not sure that I would want to be him either, because he’s still so connected to the parents. I would probably be claustrophobic! I fully expect my my brothers to call or email me after my Nrents talk about me during the holidays. I swear my mother will badmouth me until the day she passes, it’s ingrained and she can’t stop, or won’t. I sometimes think that maybe I am actually the favorite in the family, with as much energy the woman uses thinking of me. (Even though it is always in a negative light.)

MZC comment #66 I used to do the same thing after a conversation with my mother, having to hold my tongue until I am out of earshot. It is kind of like talking to someone who has complete hearing loss. You just don’t exist to them during conversations. I had so many times after talking to mother that a sibling would call me out of the blue after not hearing from them for a long time. Finally I put it together that after any conversation I had with her, she then made the rounds telling my sibs all that I said. Any details about me travel quickly north and south, but the problem was all the details were completely distorted and shown in a bad light! Our stories all resonate pretty similarily..Peace..

84

I got chills reading this because you just wrote my life. I have had the most hurtful things said to me and each and every time it killed me slowly on the inside I was supposed to suck it up and take because she was my mother. Some of the hurtful things she has said has caused me to be depressed, angry, hurt, and confused. Confused at why I still tried to have a relationship with her. My rose colored glasses are off I have moved on because I MATTER

85

Dear Darlene, miracles of miracles, I just received some unexpected funds. I am going to set up a recurring $10.00 per month donation via PayPal if you are set up for that. If not, I’ll send $120.00 right now. You and this site is a GODSEND and it is keeping me sane right now, when I needed it most. I swear, with what is going on all around me, I would be sucked down into the undertow and drowned for sure.

I especially need to read all the “when family says mean things.” All these things just got said to me, by “well meaning” uncle and cousins. I’m too sensitive, I can’t take a joke, jab and poke until I am bruised and bleeding, and God forbid if I say “Stop, that hurt!”

I’ve got to get away, get away, get away… but most of all I have to let go of my ridiculous dream that these people are ever going to change, or even WANT to change! I’m the only one who wants them to change. They like what they are doing!

So I’m the one who has to change ME. And my stupid, unrealistic, naive and ridiculously innocent and naive ideas that mean people “don’t really mean it” and one day they will suddenly see the light after 50 or more years and put their arms around me and say they are sorry and want to be friends after so many years of scapegoating, blacklisting and outright punishing. They are controlling, sadistic and cruel.

And all I have to do is say “No More.” Just Say No. Amen.

86

Darlene,

My father once said to me with disgust and contempt in his eyes when I was a teenager that I was dirty, that there was some sweat under my breasts as if I hadn’t washed me during several days. Son of bitch !
Or he liked to make jokes about my nose which is a bit bigger and longer than average since I am a little child.

Or he said to me when I was a little girl that later, I will have a nice body but a face less lovely.

I think that the comment from your mother toward your anatomy is insane and even incestuous.

87

Hi Melody
You shine the light on a whole lot of truth when you say that ‘they’ can get it all togehter and be so sweet/nice to other people. That is a realization that helped me so much in this process. To realize that they could control it!
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

88

Hi Bri
Yes, it stabs like the knife that it is. In this site I write a lot about ‘why’ I continued to have relationships with people who hurt me. I am glad that I have moved on now too!
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

89

Hi Catherine
Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! (I will send you a private thank you note later)
Hugs, Darlene

90

Hi Aurele
There is no excuse for parents who demean their children in this way. I agree with you that this is insane and yes, many times these kinds of comments are incestuous!
Hugs, Darlene

91

Marore
My husband is also a narcissist. His mother was one. I have
been married 39 yrs and did not know it until a year ago. He
would say things like “95% of what you say doesnt require an answer”.
He is very entitled and has no empathy. His thoughlessness was
very hurtful. Since this site I handle my conflicts with him differently.
I am not to blame for his bad behavior and so instead of beating
myself up in anger at his bizarre responses I react in a positive way
towards myself and he has no response to that. He has his little
narcissistic rage fit over something and I use to be so hurt… now I
think how childish, walk away or speak up in an authoritative way.
I think he got a rush from my angry response. I dont let him bully or
disrespect me any more. I guess thats a boundry. Boy its hard when
you have always yelled back. Im NC with my mother and brother.
They disrespect and use me. Its all I have ever known from family.
Sounds like you’ve got it figured out too. I find it hard to keep
control of my emotions when attacked. But when I do it goes better
for me. Someone here mentioned how family had “stolen
their potential with abuse”. Thats what bothers me the most now.
What I could have been. Thanks for listening!

92

Hi Everyone
I have published a new post today! Please read it here; “Giving and Receiving in a Healthy Relationship” ~ I hope it will be recieved in the loving manner with which I tried to write it.
Hugs, Darlene

93

This was a good read. I was told to keep away from people who hurt me, including family- but they rock up to all the big events. You can choose your friends , not your family, as it is said. However it is ones choice to behave with courtesy. Family is trickier to disengage from than friends but it can be done. And those who support the abuser & who don’t acknowledge that it is mean should also be avoided. Keep your side of the street clean & walk on by. Life lessons I suppose.

94

Karen Ranes,
I can relate to all that you said about your husband & FOO. My husband would say hurtful things too & have fits. Since I’ve changed & told him he has to go with me to therapy, he has been behaving. I was doubting that his behavior would last, however it has and I know he loves me. He had a strange way of showing it & now he shows it. Actions speak louder than words for sure!….My husband is really trying to change his ways. A person can change, if they are willing & have the support. I’m supportive of his changes, yet i’m mindful of my boundaries & limits, which work for me. It’s the only way instead of stuffing my feelings & or reacting. I’m a lot less reactive, since I’m aware of my triggers. Although, if I’m directly attacked, my back goes up & what helps is to be aware and mindful of what I say back. Not to offend or insult the other mean person but to speak for myself. It’s really is about my self respect. It’s funny & ironic that my husband has said recently that he likes me speaking up. Never said that before. I joked & said, “If I had known, I would of done it sooner.”…..Although, not really….I wasn’t ready to & he would not have been receptive in the past. We still argue sometimes, yet we can talk too. I’m more inclined to talk issues & problems out. I’m being assertive. It does help with communication & being emotionally close. It’s been better. Yes, I agree with what could of been too. That was then, this is now & it’s much better :)
Sonia

95

Karen
I’m still the same person, just a better me :)
Sonia

96

Hi Darlene,
I have been struggling for years with the same exact thing. I now have daughter who is 15 months old and recently found a new voice I didn’t know I had. I will not tolerate this treatment to my daughter. I have seen the comments happening already. She is a baby! It kills me! It makes me want to cut ties with my family completely! Calling her names, refusing to change diapers, oh and she can’t spend the night until she could walk and is potty trained! (Requirements from her grandparents) and then they get mad and wonder why we don’t spend anytime overthere.
I asked my mother to watch her for me to take a class in the evenings once a week with my husband at our church and my father told me I would have to pay her for her time!!??!!
It just goes on and on! They buy gifts for her but they have to stay at their house, we are never there! So what is the point! And they are our only family here for her. Pretty sad! They can treat me as bad as they want, I’ve been damaged already. But they will NOT treat her that way!!! She will grow up with self esteem and be loved and never wonder if her family loves her!!! I promised her that the day she was born, and I will keep that promise till the day I die!
I will never let her feel the lack of love her family that I did!!

97

Hi Sarah
Welcome to efb ~ I was so hurt when both my husbands family and mine showed so little interest in helping out with our kids, like with babysitting once in a while and stuff like that, but today I am so glad that they didn’t! The things that you have posted in your comment are what I call ‘truth leaks’ and the truth leaks are about them. (and I would never want anyone to be in charge of my baby if they are adverse to changing diapers OR if they will not watch a child who cannot yet walk) ~ if this is how they are, then that is what they communicate to the kids too. How ever they treated me is what they communicated to the kids that I ‘deserved’ to be treated. And when I took it, I communicated something too.
YAY for you for making the decision you have that your daughter will never have to wonder about love.
Hugs, Darlene

98

Well said, Sarah… well said! I think a lot of our eyes are “finally opened” when we have children and we see a repeat performance of the patterns that damaged us so badly. Good for you for saying NO.

Pay grandma for babysitting? Keeping the grandchild’s “gift” at their house when you are never there? That’s a new one on me – make that TWO new ones on me!

When my own mother set up ridiculous or impossible rules for my visits with my own small son, I just stopped going there. But all these years I have felt so bad about doing that. Now I know I DID THE RIGHT THING. For my child and for myself. The less I’ve been around them all these years the more I have something to compare it to. And it is THEY who are sorely lacking.

IT IS THEY WHO ARE DAMAGED GOODS! Not you, not me, not any of use. I believe we are kind and good or we wouldn’t even be on this site trying to figure it all out and “make it better.” If we were like them, we’d be sitting at home figuring out more ways to harass the children we have.

I say get the heck out of there and the sooner the better. I’m not supposed to be giving advice, so take this as “what I did.” When I finally went back (had telephone and email contact) when my mother was dying of cancer, the toxicity and hatred and denial and conflict in my family had not only NOT abated, but I would say it had gotten worse. The wounds that they inflicted have still yet to heal.

They can go right where they belong, and I will stay right here. God give me strength and take away this pain and suffering in my heart. Heal the wounds that have not healed. Let the world shine again. Fill my heart with love for the wounded and for the sinners and saints, but let me keep give them wide berth, and “love them from a distance.”

I want to focus on the goodness that now does reside in my world. And to heck with all the rest.

Amen.

99

Karen #19 wrote to Marore: “I think he got a rush from my angry response.”

Wow. I never thought of it that way, but I think you are right.

“Someone here mentioned how family had “stolen their potential with abuse”. Thats what bothers me the most now. What I could have been.”

The good thing about NOW is that we can ALWAYS START NOW.

And it is NEVER “too late.”

I tell myself this every single day. Thanks for listening, too!

100

Some people do blurt out whatever is in their mind to say. Some people are rude; unfeeling, insensitive. Some people are deliberately hurtful and say things with malicious intent. Others say the most hurtful things in almost an offhanded way.

I do not know others’ intents when they say things…although speculating about it is interesting. A good rule of thumb for me is, if someone has said something hurtful, or ‘off’, and I ask them what they meant; or if I let them know it hurts me, is- their reaction tells me almost everything.

If someone gets angry at me when I ask or confront them about what they have said- or done- then that is a red flag.

If someone refuses to discuss with me what has happened that I am concerned about; that is a red flag.

If someone lets me know they had no intention of being hurtful, and is willing to discuss the issue, then to me that is a person who isn’t necessarily bed intentioned.

If someone is sorry that what they said or did was hurtful, and wants to prevent any further hurt or midunderstandings then that person is probably a caring person I want to keep in my life.

After being confronted, a person who continues to say and do rude, hurtful, malicious, dishonest, manipultive, deceptive things; is someone I know I don’t want in my life.

Once someone who says they care about you, has been told their words and actions are hurtful to you, and they make no effort to change or stop this, then if they continue to do this- they are probably not someone who had your best interests at heart.

The formula is simple; our wishes to be loved make it complex.

101

Hi Maddie
Welcome to EFB ~
Thanks for sharing these thoughts! These are very good points to consider in relationship based on equal value and very much in agreement with what we talk about here!
hugs, Darlene

102

They teach you to put up and shut up, to not rock the boat, to gloss over it and let it go, to tolerate it etc when it’s your family precisely because they are your family. Because otherwise you would have to walk away, or standing up for yourself would cause an almighty row that would alienate you or cause endless nastiness to pour down on your head form all sides. If you are already unwell that is the absolute last thing you need. To be alone, or alone and hated and attacked by your family. Staying and putting up with snippy comments is preferable to losing your world.
My sister is a pain in the butt, bless her. Insecure, greedy, needy and nasty with it. Everything, the whole universe, is all about her. She may have some sort of mental illness or she may just be selfish, we don’t know. But we have put up and shut up for years. Since she was about 3. It hasn’t helped her grow up and out of it for certain, but my Brother’s new girlfriend confronted her last year instead of the usual family line of tolerating and pretending it isn’t happening. Now the family is split apart, half pretending the others dont exist. Be very sure of what outcome you want when you stand up for yourself.

103

Hi Mation Jones
Welcome to emerging from broken. I have some different ways to view these things. Being alienated from a family that treated me like crap is actually an improvement in my life. I didn’t lose anything that was ‘best’ for me in that world. It is shocking to most when the outcome for drawing a boundary or asking for mutual consideration is abandonment, But it was still the truth that set me free from a lifetime of depression and struggle with what I thought were ‘my problems’ and ‘my defects’. Staying and putting up with snippy comments was absolutly NOT preferable to me when I compare it to the wonderful joyous and full life that I have now.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

104

I talked to my Grandmother on the 14th about me being molested by my father and telling my mother whom didn’t do anything about it. During this long conversation of hurt and pain my Grandmother tells me that I am GUILTY several times. She said I was ruining Christmas and threw other hurtful words at my face. I got drunk that night trying to release the pain of her words that still float around in my head. This Christmas has been the worst one for me. I know alcohol doesn’t help anything but this time it did help me release and cry about what she had said to me, I think. I came across this website in search for what to do with all my pain and here I am. My mother and father never paid for their crimes against me and my family knows what they did to me but still everyone talks to them. My two other sisters are going to spend Christmas with my mother. A year ago I told my mother if she didn’t leave my father I would try and send her to jail with him and that is the only reason my mother isn’t with him. Everyone tells me to just move on, get over it, let it go, and even stop picking up that pity blanket and wrapping it around yourself. I am 25 and I can still remember everything like it was yesterday. Whoever reads this please pray for me this holiday. I am very depressed and I just want to feel happy. I am not going to see my family for the first time on Christmas. I didn’t go to Thanksgiving and that was hard to do. I don’t know why I love my dysfunctional family but I do and I wish so much for those feeling to go away. I have my husband and he is supportive of me. I am glad that I have one person who cares for me.

105

Dearest Dawn……my heart actually breaks for you. I could have written your comment almost word for word. Please believe me when I tell you that life can get better, and it WILL get better once you are able to reach a place of knowing that YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. What your grandmother did to you was cruel. Very cruel. She is also lying to you. You are not at fault for what was done to you. Not in any way. Not even a little bit. Your grandmother is doing what so many abusive people and enablers do: blame the victim.

Of course you were hurt. It is normal and natural to be hurt whenever we are not protected and supported by family members. You deserved protection and support, but what you received was judgment, blame, and abuse. I am so very sorry, Dawn. You certainly deserve better treatment.

My parents never paid for their crimes of abuse, either. My siblings still, in fact, maintain enmeshed relationships with our narcissistic mother. I always wanted a family, but I have to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I don’t really have one. Not a healthy one.

It is difficult when you feel isolated and rejected by family. This is your first year without being with your family at Christmas, and it is perfectly normal to feel sad about that. But you are protecting yourself, and that is honestly a GOOD thing you are doing. You are finding your voice and you are standing up for yourself. You have the right to be treated with respect. People telling you to “get over it” or “just move on” or “let it go” are very unenlightened people who are not considering your feelings. You continue to protect yourself. Treat your own self with dignity and respect and protection. Nurture yourself this holiday season.

I have had to learn the hard way that my family members will never change. Ever. I can’t discuss the abuse with them. It’s impossible to have deep, meaningful relationships with them. I used to blame myself for that. I no longer do.

You may very well feel that you can’t live through the pain of not being with your family. I’ve been there. I know it hurts. But as Darlene and so many other survivors here at this site will tell you, life gets better once we have seriously limited or gone “no contact” with our family members who continue to hurt us. Getting away from toxic people helps us to gain new perspectives so that we can begin to move forward.

You say you love your dysfunctional family. That seems quite normal to me. Have you ever read about “trauma bonding?” You can find information online to read. It does explain how abuse survivors have been trauma bonded to their abusers. Once I understood that, I began to question whether my intense feelings for my family were actually love or maybe were more related to my having been bonded traumatically in order to survive as a child. It’s something to perhaps look into.

I will pray for you, Dawn. My heart just hurts for you, dear one. Keep coming here for support during the holidays, okay? We understand your pain. We really do. You are valuable. You matter. If your family can’t or won’t give you the love you deserve, we can be here to help you through your feelings.

Try hard to enjoy the holidays, okay? Do nice things for yourself!

Love,
Marore

106

Hi Dawn
My heart goes out to you too. This site is about overcoming this devastation and taking our lives back. Being told to ‘get over it’ actually makes it worse. It was facing it and talking about it that were the first steps I took toward letting it go! It is very hard to ‘get over’ something that has never even been validated and that is what I learned to do; validate it myself. I learned a lot about love; what it is and what it isn’t. All of that stuff is here in this site!
Hope you will share often,
Hugs, Darlene

107

Dawn,
I’ve come to a place where I realize I can have feelings of Love for my FOO, yet I can love from afar. Setting limits around contact & boundaries when I’m with them. It is hard to do. They have not been there for me, when I needed them the most. As an adult, I can be free of any close ties with them and I do feel better when I’m seperate. It is hurtful when your own siblings side & stay enmeshed with them, like another slap/rejection. However, they chose to deal with the drama. We all have choices. Family loyalty is strong, however, I’m more important. Who protected me?…Who was there for me?…I stayed loyal & when I had problems, it was my fault….Being sick was a result of the damage done by my family. They are in denial of that & will never admit that to me. I hoped they would realize the error of their ways & apologize but that is not realistic. I still feel sadness over this, but I’m not crushed like I once was. I believe I’m worthy of love & kindness and I get that from friends,husband & children who are my family & in my life. It’s about validating ourselves & our truth….not easy at all with all the mixed messages & false beliefs we learned in our FOO. Take care of you & plan ahead to do fun things with those who like & value you.
Sonia

108

Thank you all who are kind enough to say helpful words to me. I cried while reading them. Marore your right I am not guilty for what happened to me and yes she was very hurtful. Every word is to a ‘T’ on how I feel. I feel comforted knowing that there is someone out there who feels like I do and understands me. Darlene it does make me feel worse and I am going to try my best and validate this to myself. Sonia I do feel slapped and rejected from them and that hurts a lot. Thanks I really needed these supporting words. I am going to stand up for myself. I love myself and I don’t want them to hurt me anymore.
Hugs back and Merry Christmas

109

“When I ‘don’t engage’ today it means that I don’t bother trying to convince them anymore. I don’t try to prove my worth anymore. I don’t have to because I know my worth.” Darlene-I couldn’t have said this better. I am simply done with trying to prove my worth to ‘the mother.’ I am ANGRY and I’m NOT going to listen to ANYONE who simply tells me to ‘get over it.’ I tried that…it didn’t work!!!! I tried. I did. But I was the one left w/migraine headaches, stomach pains, depression, COMPLEX PTSD…ocd, mental health hospitalization and medications! Her? She walks around like she’s done NOTHING. Why? Because I’ve been playing by her rules. Well no more. Game over. I’ve let her know I’m done w/her…BY MY SILENCE toward her. And my refusal to respond to her calls, etc. We had a confrontation outside of my apartment but I spoke to her w/such clarity, that while my neighbors came and went from their apartments they never knew any confrontation was going on. I refused TO SELL MY HEAD TO HER once again and my calmness caused her to look like she’d seen a ghost. She knows…and I know what she’s done to me and allowed others to do to me. I’m mad! But you know what? Since I’ve been NO CONTACT with this woman (July ’12) I have not had a single migraine or a even a tension headache. I have blamed myself long enough. NOW-I lay the blame @ the owner’s feet. Her-theNarc. She can kick rocks for all I care. When it’s no longer meant for me to be mad-I won’t be. But until then-I am. Period.

110

Darlene, wow! I have a list similiar to that too! There is so much I could say about this but in truth the only thing I feel like saying right now is that I love you! Truly, your page presented the missing pieces that years of therapy and indepent searching and reading didn’t. You are so succinct. Maybe it’s because we share the same type of abuse that I have made the connection through you. Whetever the case, I am eternally grateful.

and one last thing…..as I read that, it hurt me to hear how you were treated, it made me cry. I am so sorry that you were subjected to that.

xoxoxo Fondly,

Cat

111

Hi Cat
Thank you! I appreciate your note!
Hugs, Darlene

112

I was told SO often that I HAVE to accept it.

Bull ****. I don’t have accept jack all. I’m a person. I was a child. I didn’t have a choice in the premarital sex my parents had. I didn’t have a choice to be born or a choice to be a part of their lives. It happened. If they were not up for the opportunity to raise me, they could have done abortion or adoption (I’m glad they chose life and do NOT devalue myself in any way).

They have NO idea what they have set in my heart. As an adult I have a choice to either get with the program and end the habits or to join in. I make choices EVERY DAY that I struggle to realize and make for the betterment of my husband, children and myself. Often I want to give into my nature and it’s so hard to not close off.

Waking up into a “normal” life is the hardest and most painful thing and even terrifying thing EVER. I have NO idea how to handle normal rejection, normal social situations nor do I really want to. I have to for my family so they do not go through what I did. Every day I feel like I fight a battle or disease. Difference is I KNOW I will make it. Cutting them all out was so hard, so painful. When I tell people that I don’t talk to my family they ask why. They assume I’m defective. I fail to realize their definitions of me and I move on. They either want to know me or they don’t. Their loss or gain….I have nothing left to lose.

People that assume because I share common genetics with people, I should be accepting and forgiving of what they have done to me. Blood is NOT thicker than water…

113

I am “glad” for lack of a better word to have found this connection. I am female, almost 60 and still dealing with the fact that I was not loved by my mom and older sister. She was jealous of me from my birth. I guess I was a beautiful baby, thus the trauma begins…
I can say my mom never bonded with me, my sister always had to have the attention. I was horribly abused, mentally. emotionally but not spiritually because that part is with GOD. I am accepted in the Beloved.
I was taunted by my siblings ar the young age of 8 repeated by my mom I was crazy and she was going to commit. She did for 6 months because I ran away from home for 24 hours but turned myself in. I spent 50 hours in county jail and then off to mental hospital where I spent my 15th birthday. I ended up getting legally emancipated by the courts to live on my own at age 16.
Of course this did not make my problems w/ being the family scape goat go away. I still kept contact with them and still do except my sisters who will not speak to me because I have learned to stand up for myself.. they blame me for everything, due to the slander of my mom and their deniel The latest they hate me because I left a manageble life in another state to return to my home state to be with family. It took incredible sacrifice, and has caused me more problems with loss of jobs, extreme financial issues, and decline in health only to have my family turn their backs on me again. I had a closeness to my dad as a young child, he died 4 years ago. The peace is I prayed for an anwser if I should move back and I got one loud and clear to move! That was over 13 years ago.
I have spent numerous holidays alone and this is one of them. My family’s treatment of me is now worse then ever. I still keep contact with my mom and tell her I love her. This is God!
I have learned recently due to my health to rest, and in rest I have been healed of the strife. I have and will continue to choose to forgive them.
I will never please my mom, especially now and applying for disability, she never asks about my finances, but my trust is in God. I am certain I would not be alive if it wasn’t for HIS Acceptance. I have suffered my entire life due to this, so many horrific experiences of abuse. lLeaving me in a car alone at age 3 and being sexually molested by a man in the parking lot, thank God he did not touch me or take me. This was decided by my 5 year old sister that my mom and her insisted I stay in the car alone, it was at Christmas time.

Fast forward to now and 56 Christmas later. I am still alone, physically yes. but not really I have the peace only God can give. I am not a vengefull person it does not work and only hurts me. God says to trust, he will repay. This journey has affected my entire life 2 marriages and relationship with son.
I have healed and will continue to do so, my mom is 89 and failing health, I wonder how that will work when she dies, will i attend the service when my entire set of relatives dislikes due to the slander being lazy, crazy, LIES, etc, through the years, about 40 people. I can only ask God for wisdom. I do honor my parents, thus why I have kept in touch through the years. I pray to be right with my God I will be rewarded for all the sorrow with no more tears when this life is over. In the meantime “I have peace that passes ALL understanding,”Jesus. I am still human and find it difficult to relate to others due to this burden, I have not experienced such common experiences my entire life as on this site. I have joy and peace reading about other experiences I hope for them and care! I share through my pain but with peace I have not strife. WE ARE NOT ALONE, there is light at the end of the dark,dark, tunnel for me GOD is as always was there. Thanks for reading, I have compassion for you all…I have been there and still am…but not GOD’S forgotten. Christmas truly is within. Prayers for all who post and Darlene who started this. Merry Christmas, love what God made, YOU!

114

Reading this post for the first time IS my Christmas present…! Thank you everyone for your experiences. We can heal while we reach out to others. I have never experienced this before, folks like me who were NOT loved by their own. I feel I am among family..The posts are not screaming hate, from what I read but love for others, understanding for exchange of always being blamed and mis-treated, denied,rejected, and mis-understood.

” Rejection is worse pain then starvation,” Mother Teresa.

We all have endured but have found each other, me just tonite or early A.M.!

God bless you all. Darlene I will support soon/able, it is worth it! So many therapies, tears more therapies, self loathing, not worthy of love years later brings me to this. God bless you all!

Please don’t give up: be better not bitter, it is the GIFT YOU give yourself! You creator does NOT make junk!
Love,Susan

115

Indeed , I needed it , thnx for sharing the truth

116

I like your words Jessie. There is so much strenght and resulution in it.
I understand very well “When I tell people that I don’t talk to my family they ask why. They assume I’m defective”. Most of the people are jerks, they are blind ; we have to look for the ones who have a heart.
For me it’s the same, I have any job and most people just think I am lazy, they don’t even know all what I have gone through in my early life.
The same when I say that I had to escape from my family.
Few understands what that means.

117

Hi Jessie
Well said! Thanks for posting!
Hugs, Darlene

118

Hi Susan,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
So glad to have you here with us! We are certainly not alone in this problem ~ it is shocking to realize how many people struggle with the whole dysfunctional family and how that defined us.
I have been sick this past couple of weeks and took some time off here, but I will publish something new soon!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

119

Thanks for your dedication Darlene and for this site!

I can hardly believe there is one like this. I googled last year yr. something like not being loved by family but did not find this; timing is everything.
Take time for you, I hope you are feeling better.
I will donate,everyone can give a little to cover your expenses and then some. Please send me your address when you are able.
Blessings,
Susan

120

Hi Susan
Thanks!
I just sent you a private email with my address. There is also a pay pal ‘donate’ button here on the site!
Hugs Darlene

121

Oh I love this one! It just hit that right nerve and started jumping up and down! My Mom has been deceased 33 years,yet this post wasas if we were getting dressed while I was there at her house before taking my Autistic Son out for a visit.He was the 1st of 4 children,and the 2nd was a baby sister who was in the stroller also. I got the “Boob” comment loud and clear an sharp asa two edged sword. “Well you don’t have much that’s perky anymore!” “Yours are very big,you don’t have much.” You ought to buy some padded bras” Then it went on to why was I wearing bikini underwear,didn’t I think my thighs were FAT? She critiqued me all the growing up years and honest to God no matter how I looked or what I did,it was never ever good enough.Not wonderful or great Job,nope just nver good enough. I walked onto stage at School”like a farmer’s assistant.” I have seen some nice looking assistants! You got a @$#^@%& run in your pantyhose!You can’t go barelegged! I was in my mid 20′s,married…She grew up without her Mom,who passed when Mine was 7. BUT,she was raised with alot of love and care and family and she wore a padded 32A! There Mom,nowI’ve told Darlene and whoever reads this comment. My Boobs at 57 are awesome!!<3

122

Hi everyone,

Well, Christmas and its joyfulness…

It is very hard. I told my intrusive aunt that I won’t go to christmas and she allow herself to insist through email using the argument my grandmother is all alone and needs to see her grandchildren.

But I don’t care !! did they feel pity for me when I was a terrified and alone teenager in mortal danger in her own home ?
I had to took everyone in charge when I was a kid and now, I can’t think to me for change ?

That’s makes me furious, I want to say them : go to hell !!!
So much attempt to guilt trip me makes me vomit.

Sorry for the rant.
Have a nice evening everyone.

123

Hi,
It began in 2007 my neice who I dearly loved wouldn’t call me back, e-mail, or text. I thought that odd, then I noticed others were distancing themselves, slowly yet still feeding me little morsels of endearments. I was on facebook and I would make a nice compliment with no responce, yet others would and there would be very nice comments back to them. Then all of a sudden my youngest sister wanted to come and stay with me “to work on our relationship”. I laid down ground rules that we both could live by. Then when I gently brought up some “behind the back” comments she made to my daughter she unleashed a torrent of horrible accusations. “Im mentally ill, delusional, crazy, need sever help” I stood there stunned! I said “D” how can you be so horrible and cold! Within the same breath she immediately denied just saying those horrible things!! i had a first time sever panic attack, my daughter took me to the emergency room, they said it was a panic attack and to go home and take it easy. While we were gone my daughter asked “D” not to say anything to anyone until we find out what is wrong. While we were gone she called a bunch of family saying “I had a mental break down and that im crazy”. My daughter was furious!! Because of that I no longer could see my nephew who I dearly love, and who I knew (he was in foster care and they let my neice have him) was being abused by her (I called CPS). She told me I wasn’t allowed to be around him because I was mentally ill. Then others began blocking me from facebook. My youngest daughter refuses any contact with me and I am not allowed to see, or speak to my oldest grandaughter. which hurts with undesribable pain. Then all of a sudden an older brother who I worshiped growing up began talking to me. We began working on our family tree. yet when I asked him about why the family was black balling me from the family he would cut the conversation off, or lie. No one is talking to me, no one will give me a reason why they are doing this, no one will answer any communication from me.
Then things began fall into place with some religious questions, and I began confronting through mail and facebook how certain people hurt me or my daughters and at the end I wrote “I FORGIVE YOU” I gave it to God and released that hurt. then I felt I needed to stop begging my family for little morsels of love and attention (which I rarely got anyway) and told them I no longer want them in my life, if they didn’t truely want to work on a relationship with me, even though I am in the dark as to what offence I made against them. I felt a huge release, I got one answer back, who asked for forgiveness if he offended me, he didn’t realize he did. Then he said ” some times a person has to let go, walk away and it may take years before those that hurt you realize what a treasure they let go” I cried because that was the first time any of my family viewed me as a treasure. I made the decision I will no longer except a tiny morsel of attention or love. I feel stronger, yet it hurts, I can not get anyone to tell me what I did to deserve this. Yet when I think back my older sister who purposely distroyed any type of relationship with any family members since I was born. My mom told me from the day I was born she (my older sister) hated me. It is hard to get closure when I don’t know what I have done so horrible wrong all my life for the WHOLE family to disown me. I feel good about letting them go, yet I have this wound that can’t heal because I don’t know the WHY. Does this make any sence to anyone? I want to close this wound once and for all yet I seem to think I have to know the WHY they have done what they have and are doing.

124

Renee,
I use to question why alot too, especially when I started my recovery from anxiety & depression. I wanted some reason why they were so mean & continued being that way. Their behavior is wrong & they will not admit any mistakes. I had to face the ugly truth that they are not normal or healthy, while I continued to look to them to get my needs met with no avail. Not until I started validating the damage & myself, my eyes opened to the dysfunction & lies. Abuse is about power & control. They don’t want to hear the truth, since it will make them have to look at themselves & make changes. It’s easier to point the finger. I’m aware of their tactics now. This has been painful & enlightening process. All the mixed messages, confusion & rejection now made sense, when I looked at the damage. I internalized their beliefs & that wasn’t my truth. I’m my own person…seperate from them…that is healthy!!…Abusive families want extentions of themselves…fitting in or else your out…Being true to yourself is not encouraged. Hope this helps. It’s just my opinion….
Sonia

125

Sonia said it best: “Abusive families want extentions of themselves…fitting in or else your out…Being true to yourself is not encouraged. Hope this helps. It’s just my opinion….”

Explains so much, and why the rest of my family “goes along” with the mistreatment of me when they haven’t seen me in 25 or 30 years! Brainwashed or will do anything to “fit in” and continue to receive “approval.” Makes me sick. Thank God I am gone, and I intend to keep it that way. Life was so peaceful before I re-established contact. And I can’t tolerate poison from these toxic indiviuals now any better than I could before… does time and distance nullify the rattlesnake’s bite?

No. So I will give them wide berth. I will take care of myself.

Thanks to everyone sharing their story, I can see it’s not “just me” and with God’s help we will all find our way Home. With blessings from above.

126

Darlene, we must have had the same mother. :(

Mine is 93 and still capable of cutting me to the bone. I’ve moved about as far away as I can get and visit as little as possible.

These types of personalities — a mix of narcissistic and borderline personality disorder in clinical terms — are extremely hard to deal with because they have no self awareness, suffer from delusion thinking, take no responsibility for the damage they do, and put all the blame on others for the distancing we do to survive their toxicity.

When I accepted that this is not the mother I wanted or deserved, and that I really didn’t have to keep trying to make the relationship work because it would continue to be at my emotional expense, that allowed me to deal with her more as a patient than a relative.

I just hope this is the end of the karmic cycle, and I won’t have to deal with this all over again in the next lifetime!

127

Hey Everyone,
I published a new Chistmas post ~ you can read it here: http://emergingfrombroken.com/christmas-with-or-freedom-from-dysfunctional-families/
Hugs and happy holidays to everyone!
Darlene

128

Hi Deah,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Great to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene

129

Renee,
Sorry to hear what you have been through. Although it does sound familiar. We don’t know why we are picked but we are, to be the least favorite. The above statements about fitting in or else you are out, seem to be true. This holiday season my parents are in town for the holiday, but I have been told about only one event, an event that takes place after Christmas. (So my family and I are not invited to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day anywhere with them.) They are playing hardball with me. I’m actually so done! Again it is so sad that we try to tell the truth with people who continually hurt us by lying and not being truthful. The truth derails their plans, it is not allowed. I’ve also had the same thing happen on FB where people lavish praise on comments from one person and ignore anothers posts. (Facebook is a double edged sword.) I try to stay off of it if I am telling my truth…None of my sisters contact me at all on FB or anywhere due to what my Nmom has said about me over the years. It is their choice to believe what she says about me, I can’t control it. But they are going to have to live with her and her nasty ways, I truly hope that they can handle her. Mother is just not a happy person, I’m glad she is not my responsibility at all anymore. Happy Holidays to you all! Peace….

130

Hi Renee,
This makes perfect sense to me. One thing that helped me a lot was to not seek solution in understanding them but to place my energy on understanding ‘them’. It is a dysfunctional system; it won’t ever make sense. In a nut shell, it is all about the misuse of power and control. Not about love. Focusing on learning what love really is, and validating myself and seeing the truth is what set me free.
Hugs, Darlene

131

Dear Deah, (#126), you wrote:

“I just hope this is the end of the karmic cycle, and I won’t have to deal with this all over again in the next lifetime!”

Amen! And the part about “dealing with her as a patient instead of a relative.” So perfectly put. I’m also glad to see you here! I haven’t had time to comment much lately, but am very glad to read so many similar experiences. We are not alone and we are climbing that “spiritual ladder” even if it’s in our own mind. That’s where it counts… finding peace, patience and prayer all in the same room. The room of heart and mind.

Happy Holidays!

132

Meloday, you wrote: “We don’t know why we are picked but we are, to be the least favorite.”

Many people have told me I was “chosen” to be the “bad child” and the hated child because my mother was the most jealous of me. I had (and have) many talents AND her husband “liked me better” (much to my detriment!). My sisters cowtowed (sp?) to her night and day and everyone but me “bowed down.” Me, I dared to question her – and “off with her head!” So I can see now why she hated me (I guess) but since jealousy is a foreign word to me, I don’t understand it. But when I look at other jealous people (including my sisters) I can see how hatefully they act, and I have to accept the fact that this is exactly how my mother behaved. And my sisters copied her completely.

You couldn’t have a pretty young girl walk by without my mother saying “She’s going to get fat very soon and then how good will she look?” and my sisters would mimic her completely. They all would always do the same thing wherever we were. Restaurant, church, airport, anywhere my mother or sisters saw anyone that looked nice.

It was really vicious, but because it was Saint Margaret, no one batted an eye. And of course no one would dare to question ANYTHING that she said or did, sainted mother that she was! Looking back on it, it was just plain vicious and cruel. And completely acceptable in my family of origin.

It was completely accepted in my family to do and say this to any female that looked nice or had any kind of accomplishment. And put downs were often prefaced with a compliment, and then wham! in would go the knife. To this day I can’t bear to hear compliments because my whole body stiffens waiting for the blow. That’s how they all do and it’s just horrible.

When my mother would put down some unsuspecting female passing by and say her mean things, everyone would get really angry at me when I would say “Why are you putting this girl down? You don’t even know her! She’s done nothing to any of us!” but that’s how this hateful bunch was (and is). So of course they must be doing it to me. I just didn’t want to see it or accept it because I want(ed) them to LOVE ME!

But they don’t and they won’t and they never will. If we weren’t related, I wouldn’t stay in the same room with them for five minutes. So it’s back to “no-contact” and peace again. Hallelujah!

I am so glad to be gone. And this is the first Christmas I have spent alone and in New York City as a Christmas present to MY SELF and I couldn’t be happier. I stayed away from “family” for many, many years, but was always miserable wondering “why couldn’t I visit and have a good time?” and wondering what I could do differently so that I too “would be accepted” by these cold and cruel individuals, but now I know just how lucky I am. Lucky to be completely rejected by these people as now I am free!

I call this one of the many Gifts of Estrangement.

I am sure I will discover more and more as I participate on this site. We were the good children and we are the lucky ones to be away from all that. They can fight their never-ending battles with the world and I will stay with my true friends and simpatico souls.

Gracias Dios! Feliz Navidad!

133

Darlene wrote: “Focusing on learning what love really is, and validating myself and seeing the truth is what set me free.”

And what exactly is love? I would love to have everyone weigh in on this. “Accepting without judgment” doesn’t quite cut it for me, as that would mean that I had to “accept” what they were doing to me, without judgment, and only God has that kind of unconditional love. In fact, the best explanation of God’s Love is that God does not Forgive, because there is nothing to “forgive.” God is LOVE and that is all that God is, so this God of Love exudes nothing but love to any and all around, in endless supply.

That finally made sense to me, as I could never understand how God could love a murderer equally as an innocent child.

But there are many Gods, and my family came from a God of War.

I choose a God of Peace.

I don’t want to forgive, and I don’t want to love without judgment. But I do want peace and I can give them “wide berth” and let them go their merry way. And I will do the same.

“The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails.”

Dear God, please show us The Way. Amen. Feliz Navidad!

134

Diane in #68: So much insightful experiences and decisions here! Wish I had known how to do this with my mother in law YEARS ago. Thanks for sharing!

135

Melody, I did NOT accept any “friend” requests from ANY family members on Facebook, and guess what? I am FREE there now. Why should I pretend? And there’s nothing I have to hide or for them to “report back” to the rest of them. I’ve learned recently that any overtures of friendliness or caring are really just “Greeks bearing gifts” and a Trojan Horse that will ultimately get inside and attempt to destroy my city, my life, my happy home that I’ve built for myself.

Just by ignoring them and cutting them out of my life and not asking for or wishing for anything from them at all, I am set free. It’s fabulous now.

136

Karla, #82 wrote: ” there are things i can do to let her know i can give her what she gives me.”

hahahahahahaa! This made me laugh out loud! Some people only learn this way, if it’s worth it to you to teach that person a (non-violent) lesson.

One question about the three bottles of perfume in her bathroom: were they opened and did she actually use them? They might have been gifts and she kept them there to look at, but didn’t use them.

I’m now allergic to perfume and I used to love it and used it all the time. But my mother used all her many allergies to control me to the nth degree so that I hardly ever went around her. She was actually ALLERGIC TO ME! She always had a “cold” so said “don’t come near her to give her a hug or a kiss when I would come to visit. Finally I said “Mom, you have had a cold for the last ten years everytime I come here” and that’s when I realized she really didn’t want me around.

The woman practically hated me, if not really hated me. It’s too bad and too sad that I didn’t understand about Narcissism and Borderline Personality before, as I went through so much misery and wondering “what was wrong with me” all of my life, and felt like a BIG FAT NOTHING for what good could I possibly be if my own mother didn’t want me?

I even said that just a couple of weeks ago, putting down all my accomplishments because they “meant nothing if your own mother didn’t love you.” When I heard myself say this outloud to my husband, I realized what a hold this person had over me, even after her death and my age at 62. That’s when I realized that she was an unhappy person who put her misery on anyone she could, and because I wanted her to love me, I was a pretty easy target.

Now I don’t care (as much) and I think I can finally “let her go.” And it’s been more than 2 years since her death. Time doesn’t necessarily “heal all wounds” but it can give perspective when we have the right kind of education that leads to understanding. And it’s websites like THIS ONE that are changing everything! Best Christmas present I could have gotten. Gracias, amigas!

Dear God please show me The Way.

137

Thanks Catherine and Darlene. :)

Many Merry good wishes to you all.

138

This is the best thing I have ever read on the subject!

139

Hi Christine
Welcome to Emerging from Broken ~ Thanks for your comment.
Hugs, Darlene

140

Hi Everyone!
I just published a new post continuing with this topic of dysufunctional family.
Here is the link: “Dysfunctional family and holidays ~ When you feel like the bad guy”
http://emergingfrombroken.com/dysfunctional-family-and-holidays-when-you-feel-like-the-bad-guy/
I’m looking forward to the conversation there. This one has a focus on my in-laws instead of on my parents.
Hugs! Darlene

141

What floors me is the conversation is going somewhat smooth, hope is on the horizon, things are better………. butterflies and flowers are floating to the beautiful violin music in the background, radiant sunshine all around…. you are getting lulled into a sense of well-being and……then BANG! THE BULLET SLAMS INTO YOUR CHEST!!

God Forbid! If you cry,or get upset…… you are just having a tantrum, a meltdown, or just trying to be dramatic for attention or sympathy.

If you cry and/or get angry, you need to check into the psych. hospital. You are overreacting, You misunderstood, took it the wrong way, having a bad day, something else must be bothering you, PMSing, Menopause symptoms,or the I DONT REMEMBER saying/doing that. ‘What do you mean? Why are you upset? What is wrong with you?
Why don’t you call? Why don’t you visit more often? Why can’t you stay longer?

You know what is wrong with you…………I (we)know what is wrong with you………… I (we) always knew you weren’t right in the head…….even as a child.

WTF? If I am not right in the head…..maybe what you mofos have said or done has something to do with it. ( I don’t have the courage yet to say all that LOL) Peace

142

Hi DC
Well said! That is exactly how it goes too. Saying this even just to yourself is a step in the right direction.
Hugs, Darlene

143

DC, you could have written the script for my family interactions – I can’t believe it! Word for word – where do these people get it? They are all reading from the same script! I can’t wait to find out what you DO say when you “have the courage yet to say all that LOL)”

Peace & Amen!

PS: This list is going up on my wall, numbered and in order. That way I can just check them off and date it. Then burn it in the yard with the rest of the trash, right where it belongs!

144

Hi Everyone!
There is a new post on the homepage that has to do with this conversation. It is about when the phrase ‘what goes around comes around’ is used in an abusive way to foster FEAR of the future in the adult child. (a mother tried to post an abusive comment to all the readers who post here about thier mom problems)
http://emergingfrombroken.com/what-goes-around-comes-around-used-as-a-fear-and-compliance-tactic/

145

I am so grateful to have found this site. My Mother has always been extremely Narcisstic and full of mean remarks / comments. I moved across the country in my 20′s and she visited approx. 1 x / year. I knew that she was abusive and hurtful but felt that she was my main connection to my siblings, aunts / uncles, cousins, etc. I knew if I stood up to her it would be the end to all family relations. I still allow her to visit once / year and have stopped showing any emotion or reaction. She has now moved on to telling me judgements about my childrens behavior, bodies, personalities, my parenting choices & decisions, etc. If it was anyone else I would never spend a minute in relationship with them. The thing that is keeping me a little engaged is fear. I know thst she wields that Matriarchal power and that I would be completely ostracized. I am getting better and there is more & more distance with phone calls, visits. I keep everything superficial and short winded. I thought I was the only one who had a mother who was really truly this way. I thought no one would believe me that it was possible. This site has allowed me to see that I am not alone and other people are dealing with the exact same things. Thank you for all your honesty & sharing.

146

Hi OnMyWay!
Welcome to emerging from broken! you are certainly not alone! This site ranks higher than amazon for this subject! The categor for mother daughter relationship stuff is the most read category every month.
There is hope for overcoming the pain and damage that this caused and that is the most important thing. I am glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

147

OnMyWay, you wrote: “The thing that is keeping me a little engaged is fear. I know that she wields that Matriarchal power and that I would be completely ostracized.”

I know this is what happened to me when I stood up to my mother, but seeing it in black and white typed out on the page not only explained my sisters clinging to whatever edict was issued, and how she treated me. I am just stunned reading this.

And finding out that some other people have little if any connections with “the outside world,” means I am finally starting to understand what has been going on in my sick, sick, corrosive family dynamic, and why they went along with every punishment meted out to me, and no one ever came to my rescue, even though I did many times for them.

And apparently it isn’t my fault! Will wonders never cease. Here, for almost 63 years, I was told and it was forced down my throat at every opportunity that everything was MY FAULT. It’s NOT. I am just speechless.

I grew up in a concentration camp, and have been an “escaped prisoner” all my life. The more I see this, the more horrified I am. The secrets, the burdens, the grief I have been carrying around locked inside for ALL OF MY LIFE.

Now that I am peeling back the painful layers, skin by skin, layer by layer, like an archaeological dig, I have been accosted by a certain “Facebook friend.” Frenemy, is more like it. She actually had the nerve to write to me that I was “presenting myself as a victim” and I needed to “get out of victimology” and she was “just trying to help me.” And the lectures began.

I don’t write on FB like I do here, of course, but I have been posting a few of the EFB Facebook posts on my own personal page, and I made the comment that the girl who was repeatedly raped in Steubenville deserved justice and I was angry about this, and that child molesters should “burn” in the hell they created for others.

So of course the critiquing began. When I asked her to stop and said that her comments were damaging me, and why was she doing this to me, she responded that I had “asked for her opinion and if I didn’t want to hear it, I shouldn’t have asked” and more along this vein.

This is word for word the kind of c#$% I get my from my abusive biological family, that Darlene even covered in a post. I couldn’t believe it! Her defensiveness, anger at me and stubborness was incredible.

We went round and round and the more I tried to explain myself and my process for getting better and how necessary it was for me to go through the states and tell the truth about myself, the more she accused me of being a victim and “wanting to be angry and vengeful” and on and on and on. She was repeating all kinds of Buddhist sayings and excerpts from books I already have – that haven’t worked for me – and finally I just told her I couldn’t take it anymore, and that I was sorry and did not want to hurt her, but I was “between a rock and a hard place.”

I have to do what is right for me. She was very nasty and said that “we didn’t have to continue this conversation since I didn’t appreciate what she was saying and how she was trying to help me, but in her opinion I DID present myself as a victim” and blah blah blah.

I had actually removed posts I made on my own Facebook page telling her that I certainly didn’t want anyone to think that about me, and still she wouldn’t stop, and then I put up a note to tell everyone that I was closing my FB page for awhile “because I had work to do.”

I did this knowing I was letting her CHASE ME OFF OF MY OWN PAGE. She was chasing me off my own page!

This wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened with her, and for some reason I felt sorry for her! She told me in the past that she “didn’t have many close friends and didn’t reach out to many people and was surprised she was doing this with me,” so I felt obligated to remain “friends” with her, even though I wasn’t happy with a lot of the things she was saying to me. She is an interesting person with a lot of creative ideas, but the rest… well, I just didn’t know what to do. But this time was the last straw.

I went back on my Facebook page and told people that I was staying after all, and that I wasn’t going to be driven off my own page or “edit my posts” to keep safe from one person’s comments, and then I realized just how angry this person would become reading these comments, and even though I was afraid, I just DE-FRIENDED HER.

I didn’t tell her this, I just let my final message stand, and later on I deleted the entire conversation too. I don’t have to listen to this kind of c#$%T^Y^ and even though this person said I was “choosing to feel bad” when I told her what she was saying was hurting me, I realized AT LAST that I DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO ANY OF THIS, FROM ANYONE, EVER AGAIN.

And that was that. She wrote one more message to me saying she didn’t mean to say things that upset me, but she was right about me and being a victim and yadayadayada. I wrote back and asked her to stop psychoanalyzing me against my will, stop putting me under a microscope, stop trying to “fix me,” let me heal at my own pace, that I knew myself and what I needed to do… I also made sure to say that I appreciated her response and I didn’t want to leave things in a bad way or close the door on people, but I reiterated that I had learned in the 12 Step Al-Anon program about “not giving advice” but sharing one’s own experience and “what worked for them.”

Did any of this make a difference? Of course not! But I did the best I could and I won’t do anything more. I won’t waste any more time or effort on someone who is entrenched in their position which says I am somehow “wrong.” It’s just not true anymore. I don’t believe this and I won’t accept anyone else saying it to me. If they can’t respect me, they can go their merry way and find someone else to victimize. For that is what I think she was doing to me. It was the other way around.

However, this exchange held a silver lining: when I realized the gift of being brought to one’s knees and how peaking from one’s own experience and one’s own heart about one’s self really helps, and what it is that makes a real friend. Someone who really cares and is sharing. Not just telling you what to do. What an eye-opener this was!

Almost everyone I know has been in one of the programs at one time or another, and no one, and I mean no one, ever criticizes me, critiques me, tells me how I should be living my life, what I should be doing, what I should feel, how I should be … they let me live my life the way I see fit and they help me, when asked, along the way.

A friend of mine said the 12 Steps should be “required reading” and taught in the schools!

I remember that it took me awhile to get the hang of “not giving advice” when as a newcomer I of course did exactly the opposite, but I was gently told how the program worked, and it worked. I’m not necessarily recommending AA to anyone here, as the groups have their problems, but the steps and the notion of “not giving advice” and only “sharing what worked in one’s own experience” REALLY WORKS.

As painful as this exchange with a FB “friend” has been, it’s been an eye-opener for me. I felt sorry for her and didn’t want to hurt her, so I altered my own behavior and my own history to stop her from criticizing me. Then I almost let her chase me off my own page! Then with her continued defending of her own position, I finally deleted the conversation and de-friended her. For me, this was a drastic step, but I didn’t block her and if she ever alters her behavior towards me, we can resume communication. But until then, I have to be able to feel safe on my own page and I took steps to do this.

And the ONLY WAY I HAD THE COURAGE TO DO THIS was THIS PAGE and post by Darlene about “when family and friends say mean and hurtful things.”

I was safe here and with other friends, so why keep a “frenemy” in my life? Even if I felt obligated and sorry for her? That’s the manipulation at work and I don’t have to put up with it. I don’t have to twist and turn to get away from mean and hurtful comments. All I have to do is say “no more” and if it continues, hit that DELETE BUTTON.

Now if I can do this in the rest of my life, I might be home free. I think God sent this person to me to show me what my family was doing to me, as she spoke “word for word” the same abusive statements that Darlene listed on another post, and as much as I wanted to stay friends NOTHING is worth going through what she was doing to me. I started to feel ashamed of myself, after all these years of working to be REAL and AUTHENTIC. And let it all out and not keep secrets anymore and find the “real me” and the “good parts of me” and she was destroying it with just a few choice words.

I have no idea if she really meant to hurt me, but you know what? Just like Darlene said, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SHE MIGHT HAVE MEANT. I don’t have to put up with anything that hurts. If I say “ouch” and the person doesn’t realize that they have stepped on my toe or slugged me in the face and doesn’t apologize and stop doing it; if they say I “did it to myself” or I “chose to be hurt” or any of that other nonsense, well guess what? I CAN CHOOSE TO BLOCK YOU, TOO.

And that’s the end of this story.

PS: I am sorry for the length of this; Darlene you don’t have to post it if you don’t want to. I’ve stayed off for awhile “working on myself” as suggested, but this just happened and then here came the new post today and it all fit together so well, at least for me, that boom! Here I am again. This site is saving my sanity and my life. Gracias to everyone here! I wish I could write with just a few words like so many people do, but I can’t. But I will try.

148

DC #141 gave me the best laugh of the day:

“WTF? If I am not right in the head…..maybe what you mofos have said or done has something to do with it. ( I don’t have the courage yet to say all that LOL) Peace”

THANK YOU! I needed that! ROTFL!!!

149

Catherine Todd – I TOTALLY agree! Thank you DC!!! (Excellent comic timing….reading right through the page…..and oh. so. true.) Laughter is the BEST medicine!

150

Thank you Danna… I was afraid to come back and see what someone wrote because I was sure that I had “written too much” and I would be chastised for it (even though Darlene says there’s no time or length limit). I just got another response from the person I was having problems with on FB and she says ” It’s like I say one thing and you hear another,” “this is silly,” “we’ve already discussed this,” and finally “I don’t know where to go with this, because no matter what I might say, you might hear something else… and…??? What can I do with that?”

“I might hear something else.”

I have heard this from many of my family members, who while putting me down say I am “refusing to see that they love me and are trying to help me for my own good.”

I just don’t know where to go with this myself, because I am never around people like this any more and I don’t understand what their motivation is. Are they trying to help me? Do they love me? Do they care? Is it just their opinion and I can take it or leave it?

I don’t know and you know what? At this moment, I really don’t care. I think it’s what Darlene has said, that it doesn’t matter anymore. What they do or think or say has nothing to do with me. All I have to do is work on myself. That’s a big enough job for me.

To be told that I apparently don’t understand the English language and don’t “hear right” is just so patronizing and feels like such a put-down. I can see that this person is not perhaps intentionally trying to hurt me, but that’s what she is doing none-the-less.

Saying “this is silly” regarding the discussion we are having about her hurtful words tells me that I am “silly,” and I don’t believe I am. It’s more defensiveness, and she’s still sticking to her side and her spot. I just don’t want to deal with this anymore, and I won’t.

I have never “just said No” but this time I will.

I won’t engage anymore.

I hope I’m making the right choice. With everyone else in my life, we can say “sorry” and talk a little bit about it and move on. It becomes a small bump in the road or a blip on the screen. With her or my family, it becomes a matter of life or death, of the relationship, of the friendship, of the ego, or whatever else they are clinging to in “being right.”

She’s right and I’m wrong and that’s all there is to it. Apparently I can’t read or hear or listen “correctly” in her mind. But I know how this whole interchange has made me feel: sick to my stomach, all twisted and tied up into knots. And not an apology in site, and not a cessation of the argument. Just more of the same.

I don’t need this in my life.

I won’t be judged or critiqued or “helped” in this way. I just won’t. And I have the right to say NO! And I DID! This would be a first for me, because with my shaky ego I keep thinking “maybe I did make a mistake,” but then I come here and I read the tricks and manipulations other people are pulling, and I know that for once I have to “go with my gut.” And my stomach says NO. NO MORE. It’s happened twice now, and I don’t need a third time. I hope I’m not making a mistake because this argument is what my family used against me for so many years. Ultimately I came to believe what they were saying, and that I was the crazy one. Now I’m feeling the same way again. Two steps forward and a hundred steps back!

Thank God I can come here and read through everything and “try to get my bearings back.” Right now my mooring rope’s been cut, even if accidentally, and I’m completely lost at sea. The result is the same.

* * * *

I love DC’s comments: I know just what she’s talking about.

These people always lull me into a false sense of complacency and security, and then BOOM! They let me have it! It’s as if I’m a deer in their scope and they stay quiet and still, drawing me in, then they let off the shot, straight to the heart. Their aim is silent and true. And then when I’m laying there bleeding they say “What’s your problem? You are doing this to yourself! I had nothing to do with it!”

These types of people are hunters of a different sort. Like cobras striking their victims once you draw near. I can and I will simply “give them wide berth” or go get the shovel if need be.

I don’t need to be afraid to go out into my own garden, to be able sit by the fountain with the sun and the breeze. We actually had a copperhead nest in one part of the garden that the snakes had used for years and years. I hated to kill them, but when the children that came over to play were endangered, I had to put a stop it. I moved some of the snakes to a different location, but when they came back, the Latinos just killed them. They have no problem ridding our home and property of dangerous pests. And they know the difference between “good people” and “bad.” Buena hente y malo.” They have not been taught that we have to put up with abuse, or “understand” our abusers.

I want to be more like them.

Gracias, amigos! Amen.

151

@ Catherine Todd,
Sorry it has taken me so long to write back. Just getting back to normal after the holidays and stuff. Yikes!!!
Thank you for your kind words! :)
I have never realized how I accepted “damaged” as normal. My mother actually topped her crazy this year! She bought Christmas presents for my daughter, let her open them and then demanded they stay at her house!! Why even give them to her? Why even let her open them? Are you kidding me?? Even the things we asked for like silverware (the disposable kind for the diaper bag) she bought them for us, and then took them back and said she wanted them for her house because she didn’t have anything for her to use!
Not to mention the name calling by father. Stupid, idiot, retard! Etc! She’s a BABY!!!
We have been standing strong about not going over there to see them, and I have invited my mom over 2-3 times a week. She will say yes and then the day of she will flake! At this point I am ready to just cut ties all together!
Today was the last straw. I called my mom, who lives 10 minutes away(in traffic) and asked her if she’d want to come hangout with my daughter an I so I could get a shower?? A much needed shower! She said sure no problem! She would be here around 1. @ 2:30 I called her and asked where she was, and I got the run around… She then said ill call you right back! And 1.5 hours later she text me and said she was going to help friends do something else!!!!
Really!!!???? Why doesn’t she want to see her grandchild! The one she begged for, and kept saying she was never going to get grand kids, and kept harassing my husband about when we were going to have kids!!!! It was ridiculous!
We tried for 4 years to have her, and finally we have our miracle baby! And now she wants nothing to do with her! I just don’t get it! It makes me sick to my stomach!

I just never realized how much control my parents had over my life until I had my daughter, not only did she save me by making me the happiest person alive. But she saved me by making me see the horrible pattern I was about to repeat!
I couldn’t make life decisions without calling my father first! Not my husband, my father! When I wanted to buy a couch, I would call my dad! When I needed something fixed I’d call my father! It was a sickness. I was ruining my marriage by not giving my husband the respect he needed, because I was so brainwashed into giving my father all the control of my life. When I started giving it to my husband is when my father stopped talking to me and started being mean to me. He can’t stand it!!!
At the end of the day all that matters is that me, my husband, and my daughter are happy, safe and healthy!

152

Sara, all I can say is OMG. Reading all this makes me so glad I cut ties completely just recently. Talk about crazy-making! I didn’t speak to anyone for more than 20 years and came back when my mother was dying and it was WORSE than before. I always envied people who were “so close” to their parents, but when I read what it’s like, I just can’t believe it.

As far as the shower goes, I used to take my child into the bath in his little plastic bassinet / chair so we could both take a bath together, or keep him right outside. I can’t believe your mother would say she was coming and then not bother to show up. That and the presents and the mean words really “says it all.”

Then you wrote:

“When I started giving it to my husband is when my father stopped talking to me and started being mean to me. He can’t stand it!!!”

This is just unbelievable. This is so true! I don’t know how any of us ever made it at all. I haven’t been on EFB for awhile, as with everyone, there’s been so much happening “after the holidays.” Mostly decompressing. But I can tell you that the best thing I ever did for myself was staying away from those crazy types as I never know what they’re going to do or say next, but just as soon as I am lulled into a sense of complacency, BOOM! They’re going to get me with their gun.

That’s the one thing that’s guaranteed.

I’m going to try not to post so much as I need to let all this settle down inside of me… but in the meantime, I wish everyone the very best that God can bring. What you said means the most:

“At the end of the day all that matters is that me, my husband, and my daughter are happy, safe and healthy!”

Amen. Good luck. Let us know what you decide to do.

153

I feel like I am old enough to know better, but I am dealing with feelings I am having to overcome. My mother never approved of me and I was sexually abused as a child. I thought I was adopted by the way she said things to me. Nothing I ever did was good enough. She has passed away a few years ago. Everyone outside the home thought she was wonderful.

When I went to college and later married, I was very strong and secure of my self. My husband later was diagnosed With PTSD. It has been a very hard road. His mother has blamed me for everything. I had no control over anything. He even blamed me. I had nowhere to go. It wasn’t safe for me to leave. I just endured the abuse. Even our pastor said my husband was a wonderful man and I must be lying to get attention.

After many years, my husband has recovered and only has spells once in a while. We are in counseling and that has helped. I started going to a wives group and I was so relieved that I could talk openly. I released it all over a period of weeks but now I feel like I am being treated as if I am an outsider. All of my feelings of not being wanted or accepted has hit me like a ton of bricks and it hurts.

I just decided to leave the group. Actually I thought I would reject myself from the group before they did it.

I am so glad I found this site. I prayed for an answer and I found your site.

154

Hi Lo
Welcome to EFB
Please feel free to share often ~ the current discussions can be found by clicking on the home button at the top.
Hugs, Darlene

155

Why do you think that is? I have done that all my life. I have people and family do the same and it comes back to me, but why? What makes the boomarang effect, and it never is fair nor goes away?

156

I am diagnosed with Aspergers Traits, Major depressive Disorder, Post traumatic Stress Disorder and Borderline Personality disorder. I participate in one to one therapy, take my meds and have completed Cognitive and Dialectical behavioural Therapy. I live long periods of time stable content and reasonably happy.
I am caring and loyal. I am aware when those around me are unhappy and I try always to respond positively. Thing is I behaved like this before any treatment. I don’t accept mental illness as an excuse for destructive and nasty behaviour. I could not control the things and people who hurt me as a child. I am not responsible for the damage that was done, I was a small child. However now I am an adult. As an adult I take responsibility for the things I choose to say or do. My child abuse was emotional, physical and sexual. I have been betrayed and hurt, but that is no excuse to harm others in anyway.
All of us are responsible for the choices we make. That includes adults who have faced trauma and difficulty. As an adult healing I would find it hypocritical to inflict the kind of damage I have experienced. I know how much it hurts and try hard not to inflict that hurt on others. People who believe the hurt they have suffered should be dished out on vulnerable people around them deserve to find themselves alone. I have a rule of thumb, and that is ” you can say whatever you want to me or about me. However, I reserve the right to reply, and you may find that response very uncomfortable.”
I have family and friends that love and support me unconditionally,a wonderful man I am proud to call my son and I have the love of a very special man. I am not lonely not even when alone, I belong somewhere and am valued and encouraged. That is enough for me, the approval of all is not relevant there will always be critics, put downs and nasty comments. I choose to shake them off, they are untruths spoken by ignorant unhappy people. No one has the automatic right to evaluate and judge any aspect of my life. Unless they have lived my life they are unqualified to understand yet alone judge why I am like I am and why I behave in the ways I do.
I think we try so hard sometimes to maintain painful relationships, we keep forgiving and turning the page, hopeful that change will occur, sometimes it does and positives happen. Sometimes no change occurs,the hard bit is working out when enough pages have been turned and it is time to close the book and walk away.
I have read all the responses, and my heart has felt the pain, anguish and rejection you have all experienced often at the hands of those who should be loving and encouraging you. I am sad for your hurts and angry at the callous and unkind words and actions. But look here on this page. Look how many of us here are that do not hurt and harm those we profess to love. You are not alone, ever. You are among a group of men and women who are to be commended for your strength and courage. Yes we are sensitive, and it makes us empathic and beautiful. We can help heal each other and ourselves because we know what counts. Love, kindness, generosity, truth, integrity and connection. Thank you Darlene for making a safe space for us all to explore together. Have you added a paypal function to the site. I am a pensioner, but I can contribute to the costs.

157

Hi Coral
Welcome to EFB !
Very good points! That is how I feel too; Like so many here, I was hurt and decided NOT to hurt others. Thank you for your kind words to everyone here. Thank you for sharing and I hope you will join in the discussions here often.:)
Yes, here is a donate button on the upper right hand side bar here. Thank you so much for considering making a donation to this work.
Hugs, Darlene

158

I’m in therapy with my mother and our therapist is saying things like this. She wants me to “accept” my mother, and “forgive” her. My mother can say cruel and hurtful things. She will apologize only after lots of effort and push to get her to do so along with not speaking to her for a period of time.

I don’t understand where the therapist is coming from. I think she is aligned with Buddhist teachings. Now I’m going to look like the “bad guy” if I don’t accept my mother’s apology and can’t forgive her for something cruel she said in therapy. For me, it may have been the last straw for me. I’m worn out from this relationship and don’t know if I can open my heart to her any more. I can still have a surface relationship with my mother, but forgiving for me would be opening my heart and I don’t think I can do it. I dislike even being put in this yes/no position of “can you forgive her?”

159

Oh yes, and the therapist said she “didn’t think it was deliberate”. I’m not so sure about that. She doesn’t know even 5% of what I’ve been through – how can she even come to that conclusion?

160

Light
I refer to this kind of this as “being re-abused” ~ it isn’t helpful at all it causes MORE harm and once again the abuser is validated. I like what you said about her knowing nothing about your life. EXACTLY. She has no right/basis to say that it wasn’t deliberate.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

161

Hi Darlene. Yes, I feel retraumatized from the therapy. It is possible that the therapist and I are misunderstanding each other, but we’ve tried for several sessions to talk it through and it doesn’t become clearer or more comfortable for me. I feel stronger about myself when I read your website and more in turmoil and angry after family therapy.

Today my mother and I decided to end the therapy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write. You and your website are very, very valuable to so many people all over the world.

162

It was like you were telling my story! Just now getting out of this set of thinking… as well as other dysfunctional family characteristics.

I still find it very hard to stand up to my family and confront them then they say mean things. I’ve been this way and I’m in my 30s.

I am slowly setting boundaries and of course some of my family is not liking that. I even told a family member that they were being fearful in what they were saying… and of course they were upset I said that. They were just “concerned” about something that was none of their business.

Also been called weird for most of my life. Had family use God and scriptures against me.

I’m so glad I found this site, I have been reading through many articles this past week.

Thankfully I am in a strong church that actually teaches the Word and doesn’t manipulate it. That’s actually where I have learned that so much of my families dynamics are not healthy. Thankfully I am also seeing a counselor…

163

Hi LN
Welcome to EFB!
I was in my 40′s when I first started to stand up for myself and I shook so bad that I thought I might throw up! It isn’t easy because of the way we have been ‘convinced’ that rejection is equal to ‘death’.
I have worked with people who are in their 70′s! I am so happy to hear that you are in a supportive church that doesn’t manipulate you. That is so rare! Spiritual abuse is a very difficult abuse to overcome. (as are all abuses because of the psychological brainwashing effects!)
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

164

Wow, I could really identify with these post. Sometimes it sucks to be nice but its feels liberating to speak my mind and be in charge of my value and to not let anyone to make me feel like I’m nothing. They goe somewhere with that and try using their words to build not to tear down people.

165

Hi Tamara
Welcome to EFB ~ I like the way you say “be in charge of my value”! That is awesome
Hugs, Darlene

166

I have had an amazing insight/shift in thinking today after I had been on a rant on another section of this website. It occurred to me that the difficulties I have faced and still facing in regards to FOO are because of their hatred towards me. The reason they hate me so much is because they think/they know they are such losers and I come in with a winning attitude, oblivious to all this crap.

It’s not as if I have had an easy ride (especially being a child amongst these nut cases) but I persevered and attained my goals in academia. They hate me because I like to be a winner and have the attitude of a winner. I always have. I believe anything is possible if I put my mind and heart to it. They on the other hand, have never taken any risks, never come out of their comfort zones, never given their 100% to anything. All in all, they were aimless when young and hence were unable to achieve anything in their lives. This hurt them very deeply later on and they began thinking of themselves as losers.

In truth, no one is either a winner or a loser. We are all equal, divine children of God and they fail to recognise that. They are heavily stuck in their egos and they hate my guts when I talk about the things I want to do and achieve. It is beyond their imagination that I could come up with such outrageous dreams. They want me to be like them, feeling like a failure and a loser and worthless but I have been refusing to do that all my life. So they all hate me and do not want me to succeed lest the spotlight should turn on them and their failures. So they act nice to my face and give negative energy behind my back. I can feel this hatred and negativity in their minds for me.

167

Hi Darlene! I’m now 18 yrs old && Ive been dealing with this same abuse from my family since I was 8 yrs old. I was adopted when I was 8 along with my brothers and sisters. I really thought I was going into this loving home to my uncle and wife who cared about me but things took a turn when my uncle told me me my biological mom didn’t want me..its like what you said, Why is he saying this to me? What is his motive. As much as I wanted to cry and tell him off, his wife always said you know how he is arissa..don’t say nothing back. It was until I was about 13 yrs old when I began to stand up for myself & I felt so proud of myself to do that. Not only me but for my siblings too. I believed things got worse by doing so because my uncle & his wife told us they Never wanted us in the first place. They took us in for the Money.They didn’t have to say for the money because deep down we already knew. I remember I hated going clothes shopping because I wore a size 3 but his wife always up me 6 more sizes to where the pants where just baggy on me. This became a routine for her. she never did this to my other sister, just me. I weighed 130 at the time and I never payed attention to my weight until then. It was my olders brother birthday sep. 11 2009 and everyone went to richmond,Indiana to be with him but I couldn’t because sticking up for myself to my uncle got me in trouble so I couldn’t go. Just me and him in the house alone scared me more than I thought. I stayed in my room with my grandma who had alzheimers. I only came out to eat but when I did come out to eat I noticed my portions of food was off. usually I get a good amount of food to eat but not this time. He gave me a teaspoon of what he had made. He kept this up everyday to the point I just didn’t want to come out my room anymore to just get that tiny bit of food. I didn’t realise me staying in bed and not eating would do harm. I hadn’t ate for 3 days nd when I did get hungry I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich rather than his food. Everyone had came back from richmond and when I had gotten up from my bed I realized my pants were to big & the clothes that I had couldn’t fit me anymore. His wife noticed instantly but she made comments like I think I’m fat so I’m losing weight or that I’m trying to be like my sister and keep a size 3. Why did she say these things? to make feel worse? what was her motive? never told anyone what had happen I was just excited to see my brother and sister. From then on my weight was up and down.. everyone talked about how skinny I was until I just went into depression and excluded everyone from my life..I wanted to be alone. Tv became my bestfriend until my uncle told me I couldn’t watch tv anymore so cutting myself became the next. My family will never know how much hurt I been through and still going through today. I would love to ask them ‘ Why’? What was your motive to treat me like this? Was I hated that much? Even though I’m 18 I learned some great values about myself..Stand up for yourself no matter what cause later in life your gonna be stuck with wondering what if you did. Today I may still be skinny but I’m learning to love this skinny and the way I am. && just reading what you said darlene was nothing but the truth. I’m glad I read it. It made a huge difference so Thank youu so much. !!

168

Arissa, another wow, just wow. So sorry you had to deal with this. Money? Sounds like you were fostered. But at the age of 18 you are figuring it out! I wish I had. Good for you, stand up for yourself!

169

There are a few statements my mother made that stay with me to this day.
I remember one time as a teenager, sitting in the living room of one of her friends. This person was asking about me and my older brother, what we were up to, since my mom and this woman had not spoken in a while. My mom went on and on about all the great things my brother was doing- grades, extracurricular activities, volunteering. Despite the fact I made better grades than my brother and had my own interests, all my mother could say was, “she is our social butterfly”. It sounds like a compliment but when compared to what she said about my brother, it left me feeling insignificant.
Since then she has told me things like, “You would be so pretty if you lost weight” and “You could be so much more”, as if being a wife, mother, and full time social worker is shameful.
I don’t think she means to be cruel but she just doesn’t understand me or my decisions.

170

DD Silva, sounds like your mom had some “image” she wanted you to be. That was my impression of my Mom, she wanted me to fit some “image” she had. Only my mom was more “covert.” My mom never said, “You could be so much more……” Hers was more like….. “so and so is doing this, so and so is doing that…..” (with the “message behind the message” being, “We want YOU to do that….”). And, when she knew there was something I wanted, but she didn’t want me to want it, I would get, “So and so did whatever and they are SO UNHAPPY!!!!!”

My mom was COVERT!

171

DD Silva
Welcome to emerging from broken.
It isn’t so much the intent as it is the damage that is caused regardless of the intent. So although she may not ‘mean’ to be cruel, those kind of comments are hurtful and cruel. For me I had to validate the damage so I could move forward and away from the pain it caused.
Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

172

Hi everyone

I am new here, but I am glad to have found so many people in the same boat as me.

Everything written in the article is right. I wish to affirm you, Darlene.

I come from an abusive and violent family. I also had many conpetitive and abusive friends.

I want to share with you the few ways in which I healed from this. In fact, the very areas that I overcame, have now become my calling.

1. In the last 5 years, I lived, worked and studied abroad. The opportunity of distancing myself from my abusers is no. 1 step to my healing.

2. I forgave my abusers.

3. I learnt the truth. I am a Christian, so I learn that from the Bible. From that, I learnt what the lies are. This takes time. I had to be willing to invest time in pondering what had happened to me.

4. I had tremendous support and wisdom from friends and a healing ministry that has a lot of experience dealing with my issues. I seek out people who love me and bounce ideas off them. For eg, “this happened to me. What do you make of it ?”

Over time, i learnt that people who are wise and love you are NOT the ones who :
- Judge
- Condemn
- Confuse
- Belittle

They should be able to say something that will make you feel that it “fits” or “resonates” with you ? It should be like a light bulb that has lit over your head; you are illuminated, enlightened or feel released.

5. I worked on removing abusive behaviour from myself. I realised that having been abused, I had become a victim and an abuser, too. So I changed my ways.

6. I dealt with the issues from every facet – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. This took courage. I had to draw boundaries. It means distancing, cutting off certain ties, saying “no”.

7. What I am currently learning is to SPEAK UP and stick to my stand in the face of opposition. This is how and why I came to this website !

Xx

Xx

173

Friday is my mothers 79 birthday. Two months ago she told me that I think she is a piece of s_ _ t and I don’t love her. She said No matter what I do I will never convince her I love her. Then she changed her phone number. After a life time of emotional abuse from my mother that’s what it came to…..hurtful, hateful words from her. I missed the mark. I didn’t measure up to her idea of love and so with that she has cut me off and my brother who came to my defense and 6 grown grandchildren. Words that cut to my very core. I do not deserve this nor does the rest of my family but finally the abuse has stopped. I will not be acknowledging her birthday this year nor will my brother. It’s the first time in my entire life I won’t send her a gift but I feel like she said the hurtful hateful words. There are moments like tonight when I feel like I spent my entire life trying to live up to her expectations and failing miserably. But my support system, my husband, grown children, brother, sister in law and nieces keep me sane. I’m not sure the hurt will ever heal

174

I sent my brother a letter two weeks ago. In it I described how dismayed I am that he would not find a way to be understanding of me in the face of my mother’s refusal to stand with me (in light of my father’s sexual abuse). I didn’t ask my brother to take sides, just to be open to me and try to understand me. I also am disheartened that he doesn’t make an effort to spend time with me, which has been going on for a long time now. We used to be much closer.

He hasn’t responded. Sometimes it feels like my whole family is against me. My other brother isn’t really “there” for me – rarely calls, nieces and nephews seem wary since my siblings (their parents) are disconnected. An especially close niece left our relationship years ago.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. But my transgressions are no worse than theirs – and some of them have done worse things than me. They are harsh. They get treated with love and affection – and I am treated like a criminal.

It is so hard to live with so little family support. My mother and I are getting along better but deep inside she has hurt me to the core.

I am not looking forward to the holidays.

175

Kathleen,

I am sorry that your mother decided how you feel, and that she left you feeling like you don’t measure up. It seems like she put herself (and you) in a position where there is no room for reconciliation. It sounds like a harsh decision that she made for herself.

176

Kathleen,

A big part of false shame is shifting and elusive standards. You will never quite meet the standards of an abuser and thus, “never win”.

Thus the problem is with the abuser, not you. Hurts were sustained because we are wired to want to be unconditionally loved by our parents, but it is clear that your mum was unable to give you that love.

Partof that wonderful love is being able to give healthy guidelines and discipline to you when you were a child, not elusive standards as power play.

This night you have come to the freedom of giving up on those false standards.

Xx

177

Kathleen,

A big part of false shame is shifting and elusive standards. You will never quite meet the standards of an abuser and thus, “never win”.

Thus the problem is with the abuser, not you. Hurts were sustained because we are wired to want to be unconditionally loved by our parents, but it is clear that your mum was unable to give you that love.

Partof that wonderful love is being able to give healthy guidelines and discipline to you when you were a child, not elusive standards as power play.

This night you have come to the freedom of giving up on those false standards.

Xx

178

Kathleen,

One more thing I have learnt from my own journey and from stories of many others who came out of it:
The hurts may not heal completely, but as you heal bit by bit, step by step, you are on the road of success and become stronger than before. It can change you to be a far more caring and sensitive individual.

It may also transform the way you look at success, as a process, as a single step you take in the right direction. Not in meeting those false standards.

Hope this helps.

Xx

179

ArtistB: I like your description of how love feels in the presence of another:

They should be able to say something that will make you feel that it “fits” or “resonates” with you ? It should be like a light bulb that has lit over your head; you are illuminated, enlightened or feel released.

That is it, exactly, for me…a light, released, expansive feeling.

180

Light:

Thank you for letting me know it helped.

I read about your circumstances and applaud you and many others for facing your challenges. You should be very proud of that.

Unfortunately, there are many counselors who are not able to help with these issues, either because they are 1) ignorant or 2) unhealed themselves. (the latter, I found to be more common) These professionals and church leaders came to their positions through circumstances unrelated to the needs on hand. Eg, they had a degree in the field.

However, I encourage you not to give up. You need to be very wise and careful with choosing the source of help. The best source would be those who have undergone the same issues and overcome them. (Why would you otherwise ?) Darlene’s coaching is thus recommended.

Forgiveness is very important because unless you do so, you are stuck. It is not about opening your heart to being hurt again. Neither is it about excusing the wrong done nor necessarily about trusting that person again. On the contrary, if that person is an abuser, he or she is unsafe and you need to draw your boundaries to create a safe environment for yourself to continue forgiving and healing.

Forgiveness is about releasing that person from judgement and letting go of the bitterness in your heart. It is one of the toughest things I had to do, and am still doing. Personally, I find forgiveness is impossible except with the grace of God.

It is a process, but it begins with a cold-blooded decision to do so. (you won’t feel like wanting to forgive when you begin that journey)

Hope this helps.

Xx

181

I have a question for everyone.

your insights on this will help a lot as I have a problem standing up to opposition.

My million $ question: What has standing up to abuse – done for you ?

182

Light and ArtistB
Thanks for the kind words. One of my fears is becoming what she is. I am very aware of how I am wired, I am very shy and quiet, I think as a result of not be allowed to talk unless spoken to and I am trying to relax and just be me.
But who am I? So much of who we are and how we think of ourselves goes back to how we are raised and treated.Now at 55, I find myself trying to undo all of that and become the person I always wanted to be. Let me tell you it’s exhausting! Lol
Everyday is a new day and I just put one foot in front of the other.
Thanks for listening!

183

Kathleen
I had the same problem. I thought – all that I am (i thought i was defective) – is defined by how I was treated in my early years.

How can I change that ?

Unless
1) I return to my Mother’s womb before the damage began; or
2) someone wrote my scenario before that.

Through my personal faith, I discovered that God determined my identity before time began (way before I was conceived). If He wrote that, He knew me better than any one else, so i found the source through which the new me can emerge and the person who has the authority to wipe away those illegitimate requirements placed on me.

I dunno if this makes sense, as you may not share the same faith. I totally respect that. I am not imposing this on you, but I just want to enjoy the freedom of being able to write freely and also share with others how I found help.

Xx

184

My million $ question: What has standing up to abuse – done for you ?

More denial. Up the ante on how it’s my fault. I also have trouble standing up to abusers. I was in an RV park with my RV and someone else’s kids were throwing a ball and their ball kept hitting my RV. I asked them to quit, and all they said was, “we are allowed to throw a ball.” Then their SOB father proceeded to run me down instead of making his daughters apologize to me. I backed down as I feared it would escalate further, but that is what bullies count on, you backing down. (I feared the SOB dad would slash my tires or something….)

185

DXS, when dealing with abusive people who always think they are right, standing up to them usually leads to them escalating, in my experience. Standing up to a neighbor several years ago when her child was being a bully to mine, she responded with “kids will be kids”. Then within days after that, her daughter started destroying my bushes (bus stop was by my house) and when I spoke to her about that she became verbally very vicious, and then proceeded to malign me to numerous people in our neighborhood.
My mother, when I stood up to her when she and her freeloading husband wanted to “borrow” a huge amount of money from me (I said no) she cut me out of her life for over three years. But I was glad I held my ground as that was my sons college fund. Abusive people always seem to be right, in their distorted world, so when you stand up to them they think they’ve been wronged. A no win situation!

186

Amber
I totally agree with you that standing up to them escalates them. My moms fall back comment has always been
“I’m a big girl, I will make my own mistakes and suffer the consequences.” She did and she is…..she lost 2/3 of her family. BUT she is always right….. She has a warped view of the world to be sure.
Kathi

187

I see.

Thanks for forewarning me.

Xx

188

Hi All
I wanted to comment on the post from DXS about the RV park ~ There came a day in my healing when this didn’t happen anymore. The boundary is drawn in the mind first and is expressed through our words, but when it gets ‘cemented in’ to the heart, that is when people stopped pushing me and disrespecting me. That was when they knew (somehow) that I wasn’t going to put up with being treated like nothing anymore. It’s all part of the process :) but I wanted to reassure that standing up to abuse is worth it! It just takes a little time!
hugs, Darlene

189

Hi ArtistB
Welcome to Emerging from Broken ~ Thank you for sharing some of your story!
Hugs, Darlene

190

Darlene, I would like to know more about boundaries getting cemented into the heart. RE, your comment number188. Is this when a boundary is so firmly entrenched that you aren’t going to backtrack on it? If so, I think some of my boundaries are there but other ones seem to be weaker where I could slip into not enforcing them. And some, I may be still testing to see exactly where I want to set them. I’m very interested in the cementing into the heart concept. Thank you. :)

191

Darlene,

Thanks for welcoming me !

:—>

192

Hi, i am so thankful for finding this site. I am 33 turning 34 soon, and i have the most dysfunctional relationship with my family. Yesterday i was told by my father that i should have had children when i was younger, and that i am “too OLD to be having kids” i should have started 10 years ago, that way i would have a better relationship with my kids!!! and that it is hard for my father to be a grandpa because he is too old! he is 56 years old/ when did that become to old??? i was no way ready 10 years ago to have kids, and me and my husband have only been married for 6 years! i am pregnant with baby #2 and we are excited. we have realized in the last 2 years that my parents are just not grandparent material. they are too selfish and mean! They act like they are amazing grandparents to other people, my 1st born has spent 1 night with them in 2 years! we live 7 miles away from eachother, and she has only spent the night once! they buy her the most amazing toys, and clothes but they cant leave their house? she is never there, why would it have to stay there??? if we dont go to their house, they wont come see us. we have tried inviting them to our house for dinner or anything and they always say no. but if we dont show up at their house we get attitude?? recently we have noticed them buying us more & more things which we dont ask for. and then a few months later they complain about it, and they arent going to do that anymore. then a few months later they do it all again! my husband has made me aware of the nasty comments and the way the treat us. when it gets to its worst, they buy us something. like a we are sorry. but then make us feel guilty for them buying us something! i have noticed that i continue to make excuses for the nasty comments and behavior because of all the things they do for us. i have tried to confront my father several times about the way he treats me and i always end up leaving in tears and us in a massive fight. there is no communicating to him that he is hurtful, i always get the ” why are u so sensitive? or you need to growup and stop crying” my father has always teased and picked on me as a child and into my adulthood.” you know if you lost weight youd be so pretty. or your husband will eventually leave you, he is too good for you” and i continue to allow this. the hardest thing i have seen is him calling my 2 year old “stupid or chunky like her mom” i feel like i am failing as her mother for allowing him to be in her life. and i don’t know why i cant just walk away and not talk to them/ my husband and i have even considered moving away, because it would be easier then having to face them. we have tried and somehow the conversation always ends up that i am ungrateful and dont respect my family. it has gotten so bad, my mother doesnt invite us to family functions with other family. because they deserve a vacation without us. they just want to our families house in idaho, i havent been there since i was 15 and my husband and child have never been there. and we didnt get invited because my mom ” cant party & have fun” when we are around?? what does that mean? sorry this is so long and i am sure i am rambling by now, but i am just so hurt to see this all now. sometimes i think i was better off when i was blind to all this. at least it didnt hurt so much. it kills me that my parents who gave us so much crap for not having kids right away, guess we are never going to be grandparents, even teasing my husband and telling him if he needs pointers on how to make kids my dad could help im. we struggled for 3 years to have our daughter, and now they want nothing to do with her? so why say all those ridiculous comments about wanting grandkids, and well maybe your barren? i could go on and on with the nasty and hurtful things they say.it kills me when my child asks for grandma * granpa/ and i have to say “no they are busy honey” EVERYDAY!! she adores my mom & dad… and i feel like its my fault they dont spend time with her. i guess my question is does this get better>?? do u ever learn how to not take what they say personal? and is there ever a day when i can leave their house and not feel worse about myself then when i got there? and how do i make sure im not doing the same things to my family?? i catch myself all the time saying little digs at my husband. sorry this is so long, but it feels great to just get it all off my chest!

193

Hi Sam
Welcome to EFB ~ I totally understand your pain! It is horrible and discounting to be told the things your parents are communicating to you!
About your question “does this get better” ~ I don’t miss the crap that I put up with before. I don’t miss the putdowns, or judgements. I don’t miss the digs. I don’t miss feeling so bad about myself and constantly trying harder to be what they wanted when that ‘trying’ was never reciprocated. For me it got better than I ever imagined.
About kids ~ your kids are seeing people treat you like this ~ that isn’t in any way related to love. (and think about the message that this gives to your kids!)
In my case as the kids got older, the grandparents found things to pick on them about too and none of my kids miss any of that today either!
Thank you for sharing! Glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene

194

Sam
When I was your age, I did move….I had a 4,3 and 1 1/2 year old and off we went to a different state. We are now across the country. What I realized was the day to day stress of worring that the kids would act in away that would cause my parents to make negative comments was suddenly gone! So much stress living like that. Today I am
55 and have no contact with my mom and my dad has passed away. My kids are now grown and they have said “mom, you deserve better than what your getting from grandma” my one daughter likened her to cancer saying” it must be removed before it spreads” I feel much better about myself now and guess what? I’m a great person and without the day to day drama and insults I am truly happy now. I have just become a grandma for the first time. It’s a fresh start and I am now surrounded by real love.

195

SAM,

I have my parents telling me about having kids, getting married, nobody will want you, you are ugly, and no man will want you.

I am 41-42. I was so distressed each time I hear these remarks that I contacted my doctor who helps look after my female health.
he is a wonderful and nurturing guy, and shared with me that through hormonal management, his wife is doing wonderfully and his mum had a baby at 49.

To calm me down, he referred me to another of his patient who was happy to share with me her testimony of being pregnant in mid-late 40s.

So what your parents told you wasn’t true.

Xx

196

Darlene, you have became inspration to us all. Everything you wrote I absolutely agree with you. I have lived with guilt for many years. I always felt i was in the wrong and was always looking for ways to change myself. I meet my husband 19 years ago and come to realize I married someone just like my family. I didnt realize how much it affect my health. I was so depressed and confused an mad at myself for letting him enter my life and control everything about me. My husband would use my family against me by saying your own family criticised you. your own family dont like you just look at you. your nothing but stupid and dont understand shit it would just brake my heart and i would start crying I couldn’t understand why or what I was doing for them to feel this way about me. I’m a mother who work everyday took care our children and made sure dinner was on the table, he couldnt attend for some reason only he knows. Homework was done and made sure the kids stayed in sports to keep active. He or my mom wouldnt help to offer or attend.. my mom never seen anything good I did and I was the one helping her out and she would give all the credit to my husband when it would cause a fight between I and him for me helping her. I could go on and on with things thats been said and done but it would only bring the pain back.. For once in my life knowing i’m not wrong for feeling the way i do.. Thank you for your inspiring words!.. its been
very difficult times for me and my children..

197

Hi Darlene,
I have just recently (last night) stood up to an abusive aunt. It was tremendously painful. I have been in tears since. Confronting an abuser is a very difficult thing to do as there are almost other people that will get caught in the cross hairs. I have always been taught the whole “be the bigger person, and let it roll off you you” way of life. There are times in my life where that was definitely the best way to handle a situation. However when I have been repeatedly saying that in my head after being verbally abused, I always just end up feeling defeated and lost. I would always ask myself “what do I stand for”? And I felt like the answer to that question was..NOTHING..I do not stand for anything. Last night when the confrontation occurred, frankly, I was just already tired and a little crabby. I just simply did not have the energy to “play the game”. Today, even though I feel better about standing up for myself, I am suffering from a huge bout of guilt. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything back. Maybe I should have just let it roll off of me. I guess my question is, does this feeling ever go away? I am not feeling the great sense of relief or empowerment.

198

Ladies, I need help….

I am being literally blackmailed
I you have read some of my previous posts, you know that I was out of touch with my parents when I was 18-21, just with my sister, now (26) due to some horrible and eye opening events last year,I have decided I want all 3 o them out of my life for good. They are threatening me that they will notify a missing persons organisation just to emberrass me and will start contacting my ex boyfriends. (unfortunatelly they do have their addresses as I used to live with them)
Can i get a RESTRAINING ORDER??
It’s just I will look like an idiot now, asking or a r/o against my 60 year old mother and her ex husband.
They are officially using the word “crazy” to describe me now
They want war apparently.
I don’t. I want my life back. I do not want to deal with them anymore
Apparently I have a choice: Xmas cards and a meeting every now and than with my sister.
Since I finally saw my sister the way she as always been and discovered the game she is playing, discovered how jelous and malicious she is, I could meet her once a year perhaps. Put on my best clothes, meet her for an hour in a public place,game on! I am so pissed.
Send her a meaningless card for Xmas.
The truth is I do NOT need a show like that in my life.
What do I do?

199

that’s the unofficial deal: some form of contact with my sister.
N/c with all 3 of them is apparently not an option: they will ruin my reputation in exchange.
What do I do? Do I take the easy way out (“card contact” w/ my sister) or the war?
I now know her game, it would be much easier.
I finally grew up
I used to be her puppy; she kept on either ignoring me or kicking me.
I would wheep a bit and than come running back for more, wagging my tail.
Last year she kicked me so hard, I finally realized who she was.
She has been that person all along.
I just did not want to see it.
I wanted to have contact with her at least.
Maybe I would have realized all that earlier if we both lived in the same country.
Sometimes I wish I could still be delusional towards her.
But they say it’s better to know your enemy right

200

Hi Everyone!
I just published a NEW article. This one is about anger and how I discovered the roots of why I had difficulty expressing or even feeling anger. It is about how we learn to view emotions and can be applied to any emotion.
Here it is: “Are you having difficulty with Anger?”
Link ~ http://emergingfrombroken.com/are-you-having-difficulty-with-the-emotion-of-anger/
Looking forward to the new conversation!
hugs, Darlene

201

hi I think I needed to read this, thank you so much. I have a friend that always draws attention to my weight. Im overweight and am well awear of this. She says things like “she(another friend) would of liked having you as a friend cause everyone likes having a fat friend. OR another time I was telling her about my daughter who was depressed at the time. she said ” I wonder if she(daughter) is embbrassed cause her mothers fat”. This is starting to really get to me as I am a kind gentle person and am always shocked when it happens. I have decided to keep my distance and the next time she comments I am going to tell her how she makes me feel

202

Lyn, I can relate to what you are saying. I am still friends with my best friend from high school. I think she liked being in the role of the secure confident one who offered advice to me, the shy, insecure one. But as I started coming out of my shell, she felt that her role was being threatened and she started making belittling comments. One day out of the blue she said “I dated a lot more guys than you”. I answered back, of course you did! I met my husband at 19 and stopped dating others but you didn’t get married until 36. She didn’t know what to say. She would also ask nosy questions like how much I was getting paid at work. When I was 22 , I was intimidated and answered her questions. Later on I would ask “Why do you want to know?” Just because someone asks something doesn’t obligate a person to answer.
Lyn, I think anyone who makes belittling comments about a person’s weight or anything else is extremely rude and insensitive. Although I answered my friend with a snarky comment of my own about the dating thing, I like a method Darlene described in a blog about put-downs. She responds with questions like “why are you talking to me as if I have no feelings?” “Why are you speaking to me as if I am stupid?” My friend has almost completely stopped the belittling comments, but if She ever does it again, or if anyone else does Im going to try out Darlene’s question technique.

203

i am like a year behind, but finally someone understands and someone actually put it out there! thank you, now i dont feel so crazy. you know once you do stand up or question their motives the abusers always manage to some how still make you out to be the out of line one or the one being disrespectful. it is unreal and really makes you question your sanity. it is a horrible abusive cyclone feed by the enablers. what really got me saying “what, wait a minute” was i lost it one day just snapped and everyone was like omg you are just wrong and have issues (well no crap having you as my family) let me tell you it was not as awful as any of them act on a weekly basis and i was being disowned. after that i just saw how they could do no wrong and if i breathe it is wrong, all the reality of how abusive the whole family was hit me. how i have been deemed the bad guy, when all i have done is questioned their treatment and they dont want to own up to how they are, so it got turned on me. just like the lady who stood up to the neighbors about her nationality when you did stand up and your husband said you love to argue and pick fights, your whole story i can relate to so much. all you did was stand up for your self (which no one should have been ok with someone talking like that about your nationality) and you are the one who picked the fight,please the rude person talking couldnt have provoked it huh? anyways thank you and please more people need to be aware of this so thank you for putting it out there.

204

I keep getting drawn back to this site since discovering it yesterday. So many of the posts apply to me and I am so grateful to have found a site that doesn’t encourage me to feel sorry for the abusers and bullies in my family. In reading this post and some of the comments that follow, I can most definitely identify with the many hurtful comments and actions that have been delivered over the years. For example, last year I got a brand new dining table for the first time in our nearly 30 year marriage. We had inherited my husband’s grandparents’ table and it was antique and beautiful but we did an entire re-model and it was not only in danger of falling completely apart during a meal, it didn’t fit in with our new decor. The first time my family came over after the re-model was complete, I had some small, low profile tea light candles on the dining table. I set some napkins on the table and returned to the kitchen to get something else. When I returned, one of the napkins had been flipped over the top of one of the tea lights and was beginning to smoke. I quickly grabbed the napkin and said “I wonder how in the world that happened.” My oldest sister looked at me with that look I’m sure you are all familiar with and said “I think I may have done that.” She was literally trying to ruin my brand new table. That is not the only time she’s ruined or broken something of mine, not to mention all the hateful, hurtful comments. I use this just as an example. My husband’s mother is also an abuser. No wonder we were drawn to each other, I guess! She was more overt and it’s taken time to suss out the abuse from my own family, which is much worse since my Dad’s death 7 years ago. In any case, my husband and I have spent a lot of time working through to a healthier place and we’ve come to this agreement. We were discussing families a couple of years ago and he stated that he didn’t think they always intend to be hurtful. Without even thinking, I responded “The intent doesn’t matter.” And I really don’t think it does. In fact, it’s become a watchword between my husband and myself. If one of us is late and forgets to call the other person and claims that we didn’t intend to worry the other, we end up saying together “Intent doesn’t matter.” It’s what you do, it’s what you say. If you are an adult, you have to own what you say and what you do and it’s a complete cop out to claim that you didn’t “intend” to hurt someone. Thanks again for this awesome site!! Just knowing this site exists gives me faith that all of us are going to get there.

205

Hi Lyn
Those are extremely hurtful things to say! wow. I am so glad that you have decided to tell her how it makes you feel. When I think about this kind of thing, I can’t help but wonder what the heck her MOTIVE is to say mean and devaluing things like that to her “friend”. That is certainly not love.
Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

206

Hi Melissa
Welcome to EFB ~ Don’t worry about how old the posts are here ~ the discussions on many of them are current even a few years later!
One of the things that is really hard about this is that the when the person who has been putting up with all the put downs etc. for years, stands up to it finally, everyone reacts like they are NUTS and how dare you infer that WE are doing or saying anything wrong. I had to keep sticking to my truth that the way they were treating me was wrong and the easiest way for me to do that was to think about how they would have reacted if someone (like a friend or neighbour) treated them the same way. Was it OK for someone to treat them that way?? of course not.
Hugs, Darlene

207

Hi Darlene and everybody,
Thank you for 206.I have not been on EFB for awhile. Sadly my mind has thrown me into depression. This time last year I was pretty grim and then at Christmas hit on this site which was such a help.This last few weeks months whatever I have been worse than ever cry cry cry.With one thing and another I seem to have been a “personal punchbag” for friends, something that I have experienced at times all my life.That is unless it involves opening my purse and paying for them or entertaining in my home.Well the latest is that last year I helped out one day a week for a local charity for a few weeks.One of my neighbours who I thought a friend visited me the other day for some free fruit from our orchard. She told me about an evening out they had all gone to mentioning that the manageress who I know very well asks if I would help out again.I was hurt about being excluded from the evening out but thought I have not helped out recently so it must have been just the staff. Two days later a much closer friend tells me that she and umpteen others who have never worked for the charity and who never will also went.These are all people I know and would speak to in the street. That night I broke my heart crying because it was also my birthday and not one of them remembered it. The next day I was meeting up with another friend and was taking her to a local spa where I am a member using one of my complimentary passes for her. It was well enjoyed but not even a thank you or text never mind the birthday best wishes, nothing. My husband says treat them like they treat me. Well that is easier said than done.I would feel very uncomfortable not sending cards, be it birthday or Christmas but then think like my husband says,should I do like them? Now the latest is the manageress from the charity has left me a message asking if I will help out again for one day or more if possible. I have not replied. If I say anything then it will look like I am a trouble maker ,but surely I would be sticking up for myself.I find meanness nauseating.The friend who came for some free fruit came in her new car and I admired it like you would but mine is also new. WHITE instead of my other one which was BLACK.She never mentioned my car, so I did. She said QUOTE It doesn’t look any different.How different can it get from black to white.She has been in the old car enough times in the past when I have given her a lift to events. It has always been me collecting her. Never yet after living near her for 22 yrs has she invited me through her door.
This happens time and time again where people take me for granted and do not consider my feelings.Almost like I am not supposed to have any feelings.If I am not upset I am angry.My husband thinks it is jealousy but I have worked all my life like a trojan and been given nothing, not even love from my parents but plenty of ridicule, buckets full. My confidence has disappeared not in a good place at the moment.Sorry to go on but I need a hell of a long ladder to get out of this hole I am in.Any tips would be welcome. Thank you for reading Wendy am.x

208

Hi Wendy am
I totally hear you! I have felt the same way before I really healed. I had to see the root of this whole thing. Because of false messages that I received in childhood, my belief system formed in a very false way. I didn’t realize that deep down I believed that I was not worth the same as others. I was taken advantage of constantly by friends and family alike. Similar to what you describe here and it was so painful to realize it. It was really hard when I drew the boundary and no one cared then either but the good news is that after a pretty lonely time of healing and self validating and realizing the root of my beliefs about why it was always up to me to maintain the relationships etc. I changed so much on the inside that I started to attract and be attracted to new people! People who didn’t want me in their lives just for what I could do for them. People who actually like me and treat me with the same respect that I have for them. Healing the root of this whole thing is where the answer is Wendy!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

209

Hi Darlene and everybody,
Thank you so much for your reply. It is very much appreciated.You are dot on with what you write.When you drew a boundary and then they still didnt care the same with me.
I remember some years ago when I went to my doctor with yet again depression and I told him that I wish I could go round the bend so that I wouldnt have to be upset with others treatment of me. He did make me laugh when he replied QUOTE The only trouble with going round the bend is that before you get round completely you keep coming back,and that would be more depressing.Thank you Darlene. Wendy.am xx

210

I found this article while trying to figure out why my mother felt that it was appropriate, at my baby shower today, to tell me that I shouldn’t wear this dress anymore because it isn’t flattering. I truly don’t understand why you would tell a 7.5 months pregnant woman that she looks awful while she is the center of attention, getting ready to open gifts in front of all the ladies from her church. Would you walk up to a bride moments before she walks down the aisle and tell her that her butt looks big in that dress? Your article was a breath of fresh air because you are right, I didn’t feel as though I could respond by telling her how hurtful and cruel that was. I didn’t even tell her later at my house. But I’m thinking about writing her an email just to get it off my chest because what was the point? The ladies at church threw me a beautiful shower and were so gracious and sweet but the only comment I remember now or will probably remember in the future, is my mother’s. I’m trying to rewrite the script in my head but was I glowing too much? Was I having too much fun? Was it because she wasn’t the center of attention? It was cruel and pointed and painful and completely uncalled for. But thank you for your article. I’m sorry others are subjected to these kinds of comments too but it is nice to be understood. Thanks Darlene. Katherine

211

Thank you so much for that Darleen! Your an inspiration. I have recently thought that I need to discover my own identity and not take my identity from what others have told me to do/be like in the past. Now it feels like I should be stripped back to the bare essentials of my identity to discover who I

212

sorry, computers going crazy…

so as I was saying… discover who I really am. Are there any tips? Felling a bit vulnerable to be in this state at the mo!

Thanks

Jo

213

Hi Katherine,
I am so sorry that your mother made that comment to you at your Baby Shower. Why do people do things like this? I have a “friend” who managed to take any occasion that was joyful to me and try to drag the attention away from me and onto herself. She would also pass snarky demeaning comments which I believe were to take my joy away. I got engaged and married before her so she would put down married life.
Have you experienced this type of behavior from your mother previously? Is it when the spotlight is on you? With my “friend” I’m positive it was envy behind her behavior. Something to think about!

214

Thanks Amber. I did write her an email and her response was that wasn’t how she meant it and she was sorry. First apology I’ve ever had from her so I’ll take it. But if that isn’t how she meant it, I cannot figure out any scenario where that is a positive things to say. Sadly, yes, she is known for cutting remarks but we have always had to walk on eggshells because calling her on them just makes it worse. However, being pregnant has apparently made me bold so I called her out in a big way. I intend to keep calling her out. Maybe letting her get away with it for so long makes her think it is okay. But it isn’t okay and I refuse to let my child grow up in that kind of environment. So thanks for understanding. I’m sorry your friend always steals the joy because that is just so wrong. She should let you have your moment in the sun and celebrate with you.

215

Katherine, I’ve gotten the “I was just kidding” “You are so sensitive” “Can’t you take a joke?” Type of responses when I’ve called out people like my mother and that “friend” I told you about when they made rude remarks. I find that to be very dismissive and a way for them to avoid any accountability for their nasty words. You bring up a good point. Why would she say those words she didn’t mean to be nasty? Something to think about. It’s like the person that gets caught doing something wrong and apologizes. Ba would they have apologized if they hadn’t been caught? When I overheard some college girls talking badly about me in the dorm years ago, They apologized when I let them know I had heard them. I asked them if they would gave been sorry if I hadn’t heard them. No one knew how to respond to that.
BTW, my friend stopped stealing the joy and making snarky remarks to me several years ago when I stopped letting her get away with it. Maybe things will be different for you because you are now calling your Mom out on her cutting remarks. Good luck! :)

216

“You are so fat” aged 8 (I was a waif)

“You should be grateful I kept you instead of letting you be adopted” punctuated throughout my childhood

“I would be better off having a dog instead of a daughter, a dog is easier to discipline” constantly told this

“You should count yourself lucky that your step-father took you on, cos if he didn’t you’d be in a children’s home” regular reminder

“You should not have met your husband and got married at 18, you should have set up home with me so I could leave your stepfather” after 26 years of happy marriage and on the day I became a grandmother and congratulated her on becoming a great grandmother

At 28 my mother phoned me to tell me I needed to get my head straight, all I ever did was cause upset for her marriage and she no longer wanted anything to do with me and my 3 children.

After councilling and years if guilt I realise that it was the best thing to happen to me and I have been free to bring up my children without her constant critisms.

I recently welcomed her and her family back into our lives, and in just two years I am already being told that I am ungracious and disrespectful of my mother and I should make more of an effort.

So I will, with the upmost effort I will ensure they and that woman who does not behave like a mother, are not able to interfere or criticise or cause upset to me or mine.

Many, many thanks for the positive emotional reminder.

Barbara (47, happily still married to a fantastical supportive husband, 3 wonderful well adjusted and well loved grown up children, 2 joyful grandchildren)

217

Hi Darlene,

I just found this article because a friend shared it on FB.
There are so many responses to read but I wanted to add
my thoughts now, before I forget what I want to say.

You ARE practicing acceptance.

You are accepting the fact that your mother is a cruel narcissist.
You are accepting the fact that it is not your job to change her,
or to humor her for the sake of peace in the family, or to allow
her to insult your husband.

One way to deal with a narcissist or with a borderline person
(assuming you wish to deal with them at all) is to say very firmly
“I cannot continue talk to you when you address me like that.”
And then, unless they change their tone or their message, turn to
someone else and start a new conversation, or leave.

Kudos to you for taking control of your life, and of your
self-acceptance. (And I’m sure your 50 year old boobs
are wonderful!)

218

Amber, you are exactly right about those dismissive responses. Had I said it in person, that is exactly what she would have said. By taking the time to put it in email and craft it to say exactly what I needed to say for me to feel better, I received an appropriate response. Thanks for your responses and encouragement. May your days be blessed.

219

And yours too, Katherine! Think about that beautiful baby you’re going to have! :) :) :)

220

Hi Joan
Welcome to EFB ~
I smiled at your last line! LOL
Hugs, Darlene

221

Hi Barbara
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes, this is about love and respect. It isn’t right that parents receive the right to devalue and disrespect their children and that those children (any age) are expected to accept it. It is wrong behaviour. It isn’t love for us to let them treat us that way, not for them or for us!
Thanks for sharing! hugs, Darlene

222

Hi Jo
Excellent! That was the beginning for me!
hugs, Darlene

223

Hi Katherine
Welcome to EFB~ Yes, being a mother isn’t a licence to be cruel. There is a truth, a plain truth and when I realized that truth, (that there IS no excuse and it is just plain wrong) the healing began!
hugs, Darlene

224

Just a small aside. I have been following this thread for over a year now. It has provided me with encouragement, insight, material to reflect on and some laughter and humour as well. I share it with the women with a lived experience of mental illness I mentor and advocate for. I admin on two large online resources for people with mental health dx and I teach art as therapy.Today when I turned the computer on I was pleased to see there was more to read.
Then someone on this thread said something cruel and unkind and directed at myself and my peers. You see I am diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (as a child of ten post serous suicide attempt), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( after being held at gunpoint and assaulted at work), Borderline Personality Disorder (after 6years of one to one psychotherapy to address sexual abuse from aged 6-15 by extended family) and finally some Asperger’s traits.
I am one of the lucky one’s. I live in a country where free public mental health treatment and subsidised medication is available. I have had access to both dialectical & cognitive therapies and live the majority of my time in recovery, I rarely have enough BPD symptoms to make the diagnosis anymore, in fact those symptoms only come up at all when I am in a depressive episode (every 12-18 months and decreasing.)
Two thirds of those with a BPD dx have had severe trauma as children, one third have a family with several or more with the dx. I copped it both ways trauma and untreated BPD in the family. But I went on to survive and then to thrive. My BPD has always been described as quiet, high functioning and atypical. This has now been disputed as new research shows how many people are affected(2-5%of the general population)I am someone with a BPD dx who has been able to access the best treatments available (the ones people with BPD like Marsha Lineham have designed and developed. Minimum of two years talk therapy and a behaviour changing therapy DBT, CBT, MBT)
Those of us who are not as visible, not in crisis or chaos tend to pass undetected. Where those acting out tend to be labelled.
Today someone on your thread made a generalisation about “Borderlines” and it hurt that in a kind and open forum it is still acceptable to BPD bash. Even sadder it is coupled with NPD in a sentence. People with BPD dx are often sought out by those with NPD dx as partners or children singled out for negative attention because we make such willing and loving victims, because we are so loyal and stay for so much more abuse. They are often the abusers that cause enough trauma to ensure we develop BPD. Yet still people with a dx of NPD are struggling themselves with a horrible set of symptoms and I must acknowledge their pain, while never condoning their actions and trying to support those being harmed or hurt.
I am not a Borderline. I am a person with a serious and difficult to beat dx. I am a daughter, wife, mother, aunt, great aunt and friend. I am not a Borderline I am a tertiary educated, consumer consultant, mentor, advocate and peer educator.
I did not choose this path, it was chosen for me by genetics and nine years of child sexual abuse. I can’t change the past but I have chosen health and insight as my present. I can and do take responsibility for my actions. I can and do share with my peers with a BPD dx every day information and resources to tackle BPD head on and make positive changes. I do stand up when stigma and generalisations are being allowed to slip past as dialogue, rather than being challenged as inaccurate and damaging.
All human beings make mistakes, poor or bad choices, cause hurt and trauma. If you have had a bad experience at the hands of another I can relate and want to help and support you if I can. Please don’t use terms that wound me. Please don’t judge my peers or myself without knowing all the facts. I could be a new best mate you haven’t met yet.

225

I forgot to add, I have a wonderful man as a partner and at 55 there is nothing wrong with my boobs either !

226

Hi Coral
So sorry that you were hurt by what someone said here. I want to address this sentence that you wrote: “Today someone on your thread made a generalisation about “Borderlines” and it hurt that in a kind and open forum it is still acceptable to BPD bash…”
It isn’t that it is acceptable ~ First of all, this website isn’t actually a forum because I can’t moderate all the comments anymore, (there are almost 1000 per month) ~ I can’t read them all. I work one on one with people a lot more now in my coaching practice and that time has replaced the time I used to spend 8 hours a day on this site.

I personally don’t advocate for diagnosis in any way because it never helps with the damage and it is the damage that I focus on here in order for recovery to take place. I never want anyone to get hurt or judged, but I can’t control it the way that I used to try to. I hope you will understand.

Thank you for your comments. They make sense and again, I am sorry that you were hurt.
hugs, Darlene

227

Hi Darlene,
Thank you for your kind and quick response. I understand you can’t be responsible for the content in the comments of others. Indeed I understand that the person commenting may have had a bad experience with someone diagnosed with BPD.
There is a world of difference between what is believed about BPD and what has emerged from research over the past 15 years or so. The truth is much less sensational than the media portrayal.
There are significant areas of difference in brain structure between people with BPD and those without. Organic differences measurable on a MRI. There are also differences in reaction to traumatic events. A person with BPD experiences huge surges in electrical activity in the brain in response to emotion. Some on a level comparable to epilepsy, anti epilepsy medications are now used in conjunction with other meds and therapy in about one third of those diagnosed with BPD.
Ever considered jumping in and telling someone having a seizure to stop. People living with this complex diagnosis are told to sit down, shut up, stop what they are experiencing, grow up, get over it, stop attention seeking and manipulating. Mostly they are told to leave, and they do, hurting and confused, ashamed and embarrassed, isolated and shunned.
BPD often comes with another diagnosis or more in tow. Those who have had symptoms that required inpatient treatment have a completed suicide rate of up to 22%. One in five. Can you think of the outcry such a death rate in any other illness could generate. I can. Their families and friends can.
BPD is diagnosed in 2-5% of the population. More than Bi-Polar and Schizophrenia combined. There are a lot of people impacted when you take into account loved ones, lost education and employment opportunities, as well as scarce treatment resources and research money.
BPD is a complex diagnosis with high risks. Many in their teens and twenties take their own lives. Too many.
However it is far from hopeless. People like Marsha Lineham who live with BPD have developed treatment models specific to BPD. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy has positive results for more than 85% of participants who engage in it for at least a year, alongside at least two years one to one talk based therapies. Medications developed for schizophrenia (atypical anti psychotics) and mood disorders have been useful in stabilising symptoms as well. Anti epilepsy meds can be useful as well.
So more and more people are getting to the point where they live in positive recovery from BPD over longer and longer. We are now seeing the expression recovered more often. I am one of those people who has developed the insight into my dx that saw me engage in enough treatment to be well. It’s no easy process, it requires training our minds into completely new patterns of receiving and processing information, but it does work. If I am assessed today I do not have enough of the symptoms or the intensity of emotion to meet the criteria of BPD dx. It hasn’t disappeared, I have been taught skills and strategies to minimise and extinguish the symptoms to the point where I live a healthy and stable life. I have good friendships and relationships. I have little crisis or chaos, but understand I must make sensible choices about self maintenance to keep things on an even keel.
I see parents now with teenagers who make the decision to pursue modern treatment. I see how those young people can and do turn BPD around and gain good control. I see degrees or college finished, I see families hold together. I see potential being explored and developed.
Mainly I see relief. Hope is real. Hurt can be soothed. Help can be found. If you want or need to know more. Facebook sites like “healing from BPD” “The Buddha and The Borderline” and “BPD Recovery” are helpful start points. Help and support is out there and others living with BPD are making sure the message gets out.
The work you do Darlene is important for the two thirds of people with BPD as a result of childhood trauma. The easy to access language you use is a powerful tool against that abuse continuing to impact on us as adults. The strategies you describe teach people to reclaim their personal boundaries and sense of self. I do quote you and refer people to read you.
Again thank you for taking the time to reply.

228

Darkened – pitch perfect. Ilast year i decided enough was enough based exactly on your reasoning here. SO I said ‘ F off ‘ basically in so many words.Family stayed away, boycotted me etc. GUESS WHAT? It was what they did in so many ways anyway all the time. ONCE I said ‘ Stop’ all that happened was I was no longer a weekly living target for their rejections, poor treatment. NOTHING has changed – they are the same. EVERYTHING has changed – I am no longer available to be abused, my life is happier, peaceful, abuse free. It’s not as painful as I had imagined – it’s a relief to no longer be hoping anything with them would improve. I rarely think of them. I just work on the life long rejection impact with my therapy but I was doing that ANYWAY! I wish I had removed myself from their rejecting dynamics years ago. Celine – I can relate to your story – when I finally say No – I get labelled as trouble maker, looking for a fight. Now I say ‘ indeed ….now F off or I will show you I win any little game you set in motion …. Get this…I DON’T CARE what you think’ and walk off. The gift for me is I don’t do this as a default – just to people who try to pull abuse dynamic with me. I don’t rage – I say it coolly calmly coldly. I don’t forgive in so far as I won’t allow the person to think I will ever be a friend again at any level BUT I don’t actually bear grudges , don’t wish the other any harm – Why? Cos once I identity an other is actually abusive, gamey, narcissistic and really is no friend – I actually DON’T care! Whether they live or die, are happy or unhappy – people think I am hard – yes I am, when it comes to making decisions to cut the rotten dynamics out of my life. Those I can call real friends know how deeply loving, kind and great humoured I am too. I love the shocked surprise of abusive, manipulative people who thought I was an easy target!! It takes a lot for me, like Celine, to finally let em have it and that in itself is evidence of what an easy going good natured person I actually am. WHERE nasty people finally realise I sometimes add ‘ so you’ve discovered I am a bitch TOO – you learn something new every day, well done- ‘ . I DON’T suffer fools gladly.My task now is to try to identify what it is that lets people think they can target me – possibly being ‘ too nice’ to begin with but I am not going to become a total random bitch to everyone just to avoid being snared by the handful of bitches that pop up in my life from time to time. I don’t blame myself or think ‘ attract’ it so muchm but I do think it’s something to do with messages from childhood, self esteem issues at very fundamental level – more how I am totally taken by surprise by unwarranted psychological attack-I have more to learn about myself but refusing to take the crap is at least 50% of my solution. Best to everyone here. x

229

* Darlene sorry- predictive e text got in before i saw it:-( Great site – just found it today. I Will donate via paypal too – I just read your post. ITS hard work and considerable commitment maintaining a site like this and helps so many people to make that next best small or big step in their personal healing – it’s all significant. Happy Christmas to you and Jim and family and THANKS again.

230

Hi Una
Welcome to EFB ~ YES everything has changed because YOU are no longer available to be abused! love that!
and yes, it was in finding the roots of my belief system, the beliefs that resulted from the messages that I received in childhood that has been the finishing touch when it came to my healing and freedom. Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

231

p.s. to Una
Thank you so much for considering making a donation to my work here in EFB! I will keep an eye out for it.
All help that I get in the way of donations is very much appreciated!
hugs, Darlene

232

Wow, I feel so much better after stumbling across this article and incredible comments.
This is me!!!!

I have been struggling for a long time in regards to my feelings and how I’ve dealt with terrible things my family have said or done to me.

Most recently my 57 year old sister said the following to me, each on the two occasions I saw here in 2013:
1) you think you’re so great, but you’re nothing to look at
2) you’re no prize
On occasion 1) I told her if I don’t think it no one else will.

However I’m still haunted by her extremely hurtful words to the degree I’ve let it impact my self worth.
This on top of my younger sister who has graduated my constantly rolling her eyes at me, or grinding her teeth and rolling her eyes at me.

I seriously believe there is something wrong with me, that I am nothing.

BUT this has instantly made me feel my old heppy self again. Wow, the power of the internet and sharing our thoughts and feelings.
I’ve book marked this page and will read it regularly.

Thanks to all…….I feel incredible today.

BTW, I have chosen to minimize the frequency of time to see my sisters to that of perhaps Christmas each year. And I feel liberated. Thanks again!!

233

Hi Trish
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Those are very nasty and hurtful things she said to you. Something that I learned along the way was pointing that out to the person saying them. The biggest and most healing thing I realized is that it isn’t ME. It isn’t that something is wrong with you and doing this work is the process that led me to understand that. I hope you will keep reading!
hugs, Darlene

234

Reading this article for a second or third time, I’m struck by the sense that people who may tell us to “let it go” when abusive comments are directed at us, would NOT “let it go” if it was happening to them. That would especially be true if we called them out on abusive comments they were making to us!

Another thing that comes to mind is that I’ve been told that just because someone says something unkind to me, it doesn’t mean it’s true, as if believing or not believing it is what makes the comment hurtful.

I often feel hurt by comments because I KNOW they aren’t true. And in any case, allowing anyone to speak to another human being in a cruel and contemptuous manner, doesn’t make much sense.

It seems that some of us are expected to take it, and some are allowed to get away with it. I’m not sure how that happens.
Hobie

235

I had everything,,from your boobs are too small..you have no waist…you need a nose job,,Ugh you look SO like your father..to admonishing me for breastfeeding my son..(that was an insult to my mother?)…to ignoring me..invalidating me…putting me down every chance she could..

I ended up having severe panic attacks age 17..because I had no safe place to fall…Thankfully I managed to get brilliant cognitive therapy..which helps you face triggers that make you panic..and you also learn where they come from..and why…

Now I’m an adult..I’m now panic attack free..I now know that all that negative undermining was leaving me feeling like the world was unsafe..But thankfully..I learnt that it had absolutely nothing to do with me..that it was ALL about my mothers inadequacies..damage and regrets..it was ALL her damage..and I learnt to refuse to own any of it..any more..

Thanks so much Darlene..for being there..and for understanding..when the people who should have been there..never could..or were..x

236

Reading all the comments helped me and was validating. It seems I’ve been caught up in dysfunctional, emotionally toxic or abusive relationships one way or the other all my life. My temperment is gentle and empathetic. By nature I’m not combative, and perhaps that is the problem. I embrace my personality and have framed a way to love myself for who I am, but that doesn’t mean I “fit,” because it seems all families and groups of people I encounter have some dysfunction.

My family of origin certainly was dysfunctional, and I married, but then left, an emotionally abusive man after 16 years even though it hurt me severely financially, from which I have never recovered. I have two grown daughters who initially stood by me, and now, although they heard the abuse when they were young and help me out financially today a little, they respect and love their dad dearly and seem to plan their holiday social schedules around him. (He was never abusive to them, just me, and I always had to be the “bad guy” when it came to putting my foot down to discipline them. I had tried to help them forgive their father as adults by forgiving him myself. Now I wonder if this was a big mistake. He was never held accountable for the way he treated me. Also, he has money and ability to travel, buy them nice gifts, and take them on trips, etc.)

Years ago I campaigned for he and his wife to co-celebrate my daughter’s birthdays to make it less difficult time-wise for the daughters. That worked for about 2 years, but ultimately it became too uncomfortable for me because of hurtful remarks and rudeness from his new wife, who seems to have a vendetta against me. Looking back I wasn’t taking care of myself in trying to plan co-celebrations.

More recently the wife’s daughter is planning co-family holidays for a similar reason, but it trumps my own holiday invites, and I get “invited” to hers, which seem to get 1st priority. I’ve been trying for about 5 years to have 1 or 2 quiet little celebrations in my home and realize we would need to rotate. But I never get a turn which makes me very sad. And now one of my daughters is now praising their “step sister” for doing what I tried to do years ago but had to stop because of her mother.

More recently I tried to reach out to some long lost extended family, but at the reunion dinner I was criticized several times by several of them about my parents’situation as if it was my responsibility. I had made peace with my childhood past on many levels, and I came to my mother’s defense; but it caused me to withdraw from some of them and not attend the 2nd reunion. One sent a humiliating email to me and cc’d another. Some of the others now either don’t answer my emails or stopped sending Christmas cards or both. I think it’s because I didn’t go to the 2nd reunion, although they probably don’t remember the derogatory remarks or know about the email.

So you see, there is a pattern. I withdraw from the abuse and rudeness, of a few but become resented for it by everyone. It matches the patterns in the postings above. “If you take care yourself and respond or withdraw, you will be blamed and judged, not those who were hostile in the first place.”

I’m emotionally starved for extended family and don’t know what to do about it. I’m just lost. I’m in my 60′s with limited means and need them more than ever as friends, to exchange information, as online companions,confidants, for mutual support, and to visit on occasion. And of course, I need to be close to my daughters and miss their companionship and close relationships more and more. They seem to be drifting away and are the only nuclear family I have left.

237

Hi Allie,
Welcome to EFB ~ you have certainly found the right ‘gathering place’ so to speak. I was emotionally starved to be heard and validated, and once I found that, I began to rebuild my life. I began to realize the ways that I discounted myself in all my efforts to make everyone else happy as I had been taught to do my entire life. Things are so much better now and it took some time but all my relationships today are co-creative. (mutually respectful, equality based on equal value for me as well as the other person) and life is completely different and really wonderful now! Thank you for sharing and I hope you will stick around. There is so much insight here.
hugs, Darlene

238

Thank you Darlene.

This website is going to be helpful to me, I’m sure. Thank you for hosting it. I admire the all the courage expressed here.

239

Awesome post!..keep standing it becomes you…thank you for sharing

240

Hi Allie.

I feel pain and sadness when I read your post. I, too, have complex family relationships with people that have been slowly drifting away, drifting away over the years…..

A lot of the themes you mention I am faced with as well. I don’t know if it helps you to know that you are not alone. The strained relationships, the talking about you, the hosting of gatherings (or not), the not being invited or not getting responses….all of these things are happening in my life as well.

When I first came onto this board, I thought I was the only one with a “unique” family situation, and I had trouble even identifying what the core issues were. Now after months of reading Darlene’s posts and the comments I see how many of the same themes come up over and over, right down to the random details – my situation isn’t unique at all!

I am close in age to you, and while I don’t have children, I have several nieces and nephews. One in particular I was very close to, but her mother (my sister) and I don’t get along well anymore, and my niece essentially left me. I have had to severely cut back on the relationship with her mother. I feel like I get hurt over and over again by my sister…almost like she WANTS me to leave the family and be estranged from her daughter.

I know what you mean about feeling lost. My identity was/is pretty wrapped up in my FOO, even though in retrospect most didn’t seem to care as much about me as I did about them. I’m in limbo myself and trying to evolve into a new “me” with my FOO on the periphery, and only in reciprocal relationships with those who want one. Right now there is a vacuum where I want my new family and friends to be.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be with your daughters. I wish I had words to help you. I have a therapist who helps me and gives support and she is helping me get through this. All the people on the board, and especially Darlene and her posts, are a lifeline.

Thinking of you, Light

241

Dear Darlene,
There are so many posts that resonate with me but this one really hit home. I never felt safe at “home”, when the opportunity appeared to escape the FOO I took it and moved oceans away. During the rare visits “home” as an adult child, my mother’s and golden sister’s hurtful comments caused recurrent depression so I visited even less. My mother pits the siblings against one another. There is no good will in nonsensical things she says. It is not even the content of her comments anymore but the motivation behind those unnecessary comments that truly wounds me because I see now that what they say ‘love’ is not love at all. True love does not hurt, not intentionally. I have been reminded many times about improved techniques of rhinoplasty when I visit, see my mother does not ‘approve’ how I look. Yet she projects her thought as if I have a body image problem and when that backfires she labels me arrogant. They don’t know what self love is! I have been criticized about my physical appearance as if I’m not in the room, that I find bizarre and demeaning. My mother would talk about my physical features to my mother first in a complementing way, she knows that will make my sister more insecure. My mother gets pleasure in this. And in the next moment she would add “but don’t worry Mittmitt’s legs are crooked and she has cellulite, disgusting really”. THIS IS ALL HAPPENING WHEN I’M SITTING NEXT TO THEM!” Its sick, they are sick. Who cares about cellulite, I’m your daughter. The disbelief about me having a relationship with someone they deem as good looking adds more to injury. I hear ” he is with YOU? out of all people, he must be really desperate” I’m done giving them excuses because the answer to the question WHY they do that is pushing me into depression. I no longer feel guilt for going low contact. I used to think I was a psychopath because I never missed my family, not even once. Thank you for giving examples from your life. They all operate the same way. Making others feel small and bad to raise themselves is a pathetic way to live. The denial of their intent is insulting to our intelligence.
Love, Mittmitt

242

I am glad that I have found this site. I have struggled with family relationships my whole life. At this point in my life it is the “relationship” with my sister I am finding the hardest. We have had some fun times together but those times do not make up for the nastiness I have allowed her to direct at me. She has done some very hurtful things to me in the past, and now she is going through a very nasty belittling phase with me. She puts me down frequently in front of the family and includes the childish head shaking and eye rolling. She is 40! I have tried everything. Over the last 10 years I have tried “letting it go”, being defensive, keeping quiet, looked at what I have been doing “wrong”, put boundaries in place (she ignores them) etc etc. On the rare occasion that I have lost my tolerance and reacted she seemed to be happy and satisfied that she finally got to me. The family knows that she is a cranky moody person and they just put up with it. My mother even suggested that there must be something wrong with me for her to do it!! I am the older sister and I am the only one she directs the hurtful comments at. On the advice of my doctor I am stressed and so I am seeing a psychologist. I have so far limited one on one contact with her and only see her at gatherings or in the company of other people. This still does not stop her. She just belittles me in a more subtle way. I am tired and confused. I do not understand how or why she treats me badly. I have always done my best to be a kind supportive sister. She has been all take and no give. This has all only recently surfaced for me. I have broken up with boyfriends for much less than what she has done. Because she is my sister I feel I cannot just dump her. She also has a 10 year old daughter and we are close. If I cut my sister out of my life then I will not be able to see my niece. I am reaching a point though were I feel I must get her out of my life so that I can continue to be happy.

243

Hi Maria
Welcome to EFB ~ This is such a hard situation. I had a few people in my life like that, but my sister in law comes to mind when I read your story. The most horrific thing for me to accept was that she didn’t actually CARE if I drew a boundary. (I think she cared when my husband, her brother drew one though, but I don’t think she expected that to ever happen)
Something that really helped me was to think about this word “family” more deeply. I concluded that family isn’t the point. The point is that I don’t deserve it. If a co-worker was doing it, I wouldn’t hang out with them after work. The point for me was that I had to draw boundaries for myself with certain people in order to flourish and grow in my own life. They have a choice as well and they could have chosen to see how destructive their behaviour was. There are consequences in this world and I decided that I wasn’t going to be the only one that had them.
Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you will share often.
hugs, Darlene

244

What goes around comes around… i see my relatives who have made fun of everyone are now without friends and stuck hating each other yet with each other pretending they care. Every week a different one hates and not talking to this or that one. One is only talking to them to keep foot in door for inheritance and admits it to me. Im checked out. Im never around but the topper i heard is one sister literally googled white trash and put in my mothers face to read after telling her shes white trash and not normal. Of course since then shes crawled back being sure she stays in loop for money too i am sure. Mommy dearest bails themall out. But me. Shove your money. Id eat dog food before id degrade myself like that. One even secretly recorded the other to use against the other. Nice people. There is NO LOVE in that family and ive found more love from strangers and animals. They dont know how to love. They cant give what they dont have. The only thing to get from them is pain and abuse.
See ya- wouldnt wanna be ya!

245

Hi Linnea
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
This is what the website is all about, and the ways that we have found to overcome the damage.
hugs, Darlene

246

Thanks Darlene. I can feel you have a sweet and caring spirit. The darkness cant snuff out Gods light- with His love we are overcomers!

247

Is there anyone on this site who lives in the Sacramento CA area? Be nice to starta local support group.

248

Hello Darlene,
Thank you again for this site.When I first found you I was actually Broken but now I am soooo much better and improving every day. At first I was always crying and felt like rubbish and ending it all. How things have changed.
Last Christmas Eve was the turning point for me which I have already written about.
The latest being that I have not seen my father since then although he has tried a couple of times to wind me up without success by telephone and today when I visited my mother in her care home.
She has relatives in Austria and announced to day that she has spoken to her sister who she has not seen or heard of for 65 yrs. Mother tells me that her sister who father has invited over to England can stay at my home.Nobody has asked me if it is ok which of course it is not.I told her that I do not know her and why do they expect me to put her up. They have bad mouthed me all my life and now this.
My husband says it is my father trying to take control over me again because he thinks I will not dare to say no.The thing is it will cause us great inconvenience and expense. The sister, my aunt is in her late 70s and will need transport everywhere. To me my father is completely out of order and is probably wanting some response from me. If I say no to what he is organising once more it will look bad on me making me look mean and unloving, which of course they have held against me all my life. I can see what he is at. How do I get round it,without me contacting him which is what he wants.My husband suggests that father can arrange taxis and hotel accommodation and let him pay, he has the money. All my life any achievements have been rubbished even the size of my home, but wont it be convenient to play happy families and for me to put on a big party in our horrible big house.
Yet what is so sad is that my mother says so pleadingly please let her stay with you.
Any replies will be welcomed although I pretty much know what will be said. Thanking you all. Wendy Am

249

Darlene – thank you so much for your article. I googled “family told me mean things about myself” this morning and found you. I just need to write out my experience as I’ve been carrying it around for over two years now, with no where to talk about it. I am 54 and I married a man 4 years ago who has two grown kids, 30 and 34. This man’s daughter, the now-34 year old, (his son, the younger kid, does not figure in to this), carries enormous power in the family. I am his third wife and considered very low on the totem, downgraded as poor white trash against a backdrop of the perfect Italian family. The daughter exercised her considerable power over me one day when she came by for lunch because she said she had some things to say, and while she ate, she laid out for me, publicly, in front of my husband, her father, all of my sins, faults and failings.
I can’t scribe every detail, but some of her choice highlight comments included that “I did not know how to behave with family at gatherings and around the holidays, that although her father’s previous girlfriend, “Cindy”, wasn’t perfect, she was a joy to be around at the holidays. That she didn’t like the way I walked or came into a room, she felt I “had to make a big entrance,” that she didn’t like the way I took my dessert over to the coffee table and sat there when everyone else was at the table, that she was considering having holidays and gatherings at her house with her then boyfriend, (who became her fiancé but she spilt with him 6 weeks before they were to marry in Hawaii which we had spent 10k on to make sure we were there in style to support her, and instead she hooked up with a girl at a retreat, which needless to say did not last, and just FYI: she was married once before to a guy with OCD who was sending her crazy scary anonymous letters and who ended up hiding in their dark kitchen with a gun as he had some problems, so she got a divorce – I know this is all an aside but she’s not perfect and she’s caused her dad and many others significant distress) – he said when I went and sat at the coffee table with my dessert she rolled her eyes and that put her over the top with me in terms of my not being able to act appropriately, (and I only sat a little apart from the scene so I could view the pleasant – or so I thought – family picture, as I grew up in a bad situation and I love the idea of being part of a family so I enjoy watching it as a scene), that she thought I acted like an alcoholic, (although I don’t drink and I go to AlAnon to recover from a childhood scarred by alcoholism in my family), she felt that because I had to jump up and leave that made me seem like an alcoholic, but I only have to leave because I run a horse-boarding facility and I have to excuse myself and run down there, 5 minutes away, to feed thirteen horses no matter what day it is, as they always need to eat, no matter what. She said she was considering moving events to her house to control the “flow” so I couldn’t disrupt it by leaving, that now that I am married to her father I’m selfish and just interested in myself, and that she had told her boyfriend/fiancé at the time that she was coming over to set me straight and lay out all these things to me in front of her father and he said, “well good luck with that”, implying that I couldn’t take it, (the guy she was with at that time called himself The Wisdom Keeper, it was actually on his phone message and he thought he was some sort of a Métis person, whatever that is, and he had some very strange beliefs and he sort of spooked me a little with his operating style, which is why I had gradually backed off and distanced myself a little from my step-daughter, along with witnessing the disaster of her first marriage, and she and this new métis guy were into nude public bathing and public sex and hitting trees for anger management and then offering the tree tobacco which seemed a bit goofy to me), and THEN, after all this, (all the while she was casually eating her lunch, throwing chips in her mouth and looking to her dad for approval), she asked me how I felt about everything she had said and how I would like to respond. I just said “I’d like to take it in, think about it all and that at the moment I had nothing to say in response.” Then she got a little angry with me and said “well she knew how she would feel if she had just heard all that”, and then she got her dad, my husband, to try and pry me open, and my heart was racing, and my adrenaline was pumping, I felt totally unsafe, and she hung around for a couple more hours chatting casually with her dad, and we went outside in the yard and he was telling her she had to accept it if I wasn’t going to talk, like I was the failure for not catering to her feelings at that time by not responding, and before she left he asked me couldn’t I throw her a bone or something and respond, he made it clear he felt I was being cruel and unkind by not responding. The whole incident was particularly devastating to me, trying to be a wife for the first time in my life, having family, being taken apart publically at the seams, “for my own good”, etc. Ever since that day I have felt totally different in the situation I am in, I have never felt the same. Nothing was ever resolved, every time she comes over I just sort of shrink and get through it somehow, I feel what she did to me and the way she did, with no regard for who I am or my feelings, was very verbally and power abusive, and it’s just amazing how damaging it’s been for me in my budding attempts to create or have a good life in this circumstance. My husband adores her, he lives for her really, she carries tremendous power, she’s the major domo of the family, and I am just here somewhere over on the side, eeking out my happiness in little bursts in nature, with my horse, taking care of the horses, enjoying vacations and “in-between” times, meaning in between “visits”, living my life ‘on the side’ so to speak, since then. She was over yesterday, she brought yet another old boyfriend, who is now married, so she had his wife and baby over too, (whom she refers to as a “Mexican,” although the lady is lovely, well-educated, she’s a vice-principal and was super with her baby, she’s an intelligent person and a good mother, I spent time with her and enjoyed it, although I felt shy talking and wondered what the step-daughter had told them before-hand about what a social loser I am. Anyway, I am winding down here. There’s no good cure or easy way out of this one, I just wanted to write it out somewhere objectively in the hopes of starting to get it out of my system somewhat, as my husband doesn’t want to hear about it – so thank you for creating space for me to write it out here. God Bless You – Hilary

250

Hi Hilary
Welcome to EFB~ Your husband doesn’t want to hear about it? You are his wife. If he approves of the way that his daughter is treating you, his silence is consent. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. I could tell you what I would say to them, but it wouldn’t help..
Glad you are here, I think reading more of the articles and comments here might help you see things through new eyes.
hugs, Darlene

251

Darlene, I wondered how you would respond to Hilary’s comment!

Hilary, I had the same reaction as Darlene. This website has helped me to become a stronger person. Welcome to you.

252

Dear Hilary. God bless you. I can picture myself in your situation easily because it reminds me of mine a long time ago. I was married to someone who cared much more about pleasing his controlling and verbally abusive mother and family than he cared about me. Some people spend their entire life trying to please others, even strangers, before their loved ones. They are both 1)emotionally abusive to their loved ones by expressing contempt and 2)treat the loved ones with disregard by not standing up for them when under attack. The consent of silence in the presence of emotional abuse from other family members is emotional abuse in itself.

It’s like they don’t have a spine at all, no substance, ghost-like, like you could stick in your hand to touch their spine, but it would keep going, all the way through and exit out the other side. One wonders if they have any self-esteem at all. They may actually hate themselves, and as a result, are “toxic” to others because of a psychological defense mechanism called “projection”—to deal with one’s own perceived inadequacies that are too painful to bear; one projects them onto others without realizing it.

It sounds like that’s what the daughter is doing. And it sounds like she has plenty of material from which to draw in the way she is living her life. If someone challenged her, her display of power might vaporize or melt like the witch in Oz.

Some people spend their entire lives living for the approval of others, I mean, that’s what they are all about. They have little or no self-love or self-respect, which is really, really sad. Can you imagine? What a tragedy that they spend their lives that way only to realize in the last few hours on earth that they have never cared for their own heart and continually sold themselves out for everyone’s approval but their own? To me, that would be the epitome of despair.

Anyway, I finally got out of my marriage and am suffering from it severely financially, especially today, now that I am aging. But you know what, the person who I spend 24/7 with respects, admires and cares for me, for my heart and my emotional well-being—that would be moi—ME. It gets lonely, but if I, too, sell my own self out, I truly am alone.

I haven’t yet solved my living situation, but I have a way to keep my inner integrity intact, and that is to spend as little time as possible around toxic people, even if it puts my physical well-being at risk. Toxic people will break your heart over and over, and make you really sick inside (and physically, too) if you come to believe their verbal abuse. I may not make it, but am at least now on the right path. I pray God that I will make it.

I try to remember that if you give toxic people “enough rope, they will eventually hang themselves.” I’ve seen that happen royally with a neurotically jealous, abusive boss about 8 years ago and at other times in my life.

I think it was great that you responded calmly to the daughter, because it sounds like she was feeling challenged. You could have even gone further by standing and saying in a matter-of-fact or pleasant voice “I’ll see you later,” or not saying anything at all, and just leaving the room calmly to go outside or to tend to something, like she wasn’t even there and you hadn’t even heard her.

At that response, she may have become completely unraveled. That’s what I mean by “giving her enough rope to hang herself”—by leaving the rope she threw out to hurt you on the floor and walking away—leaving it for her to trip all over and get tangled up in.

The purpose of doing this would not be for revenge, but 1) for the other family members to really “see” the person they so admire, and 2) for her to see herself, as if in a mirror, and 3) for you to show that her disdain doesn’t matter to you. It would be the same as looking at her calmly and surprised and saying, “Do I look like I care what you think?”

Good luck to you, Hilary. Writing this helped me too.

253

Dear Light. I just now read your response to my post in March 29th, the post signed Allie. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. Thank you so much for understanding and letting me know that my situation is not unique. To know that I am not alone brought me to tears. Yes, that is very important to becoming stronger.

I am thinking of you too and wishing you the best in trying to get to a new place with the FOO in the periphery. I’ve been thinking the same thing a lot lately. I know what you mean about feeling like a loved one just WANTS you to leave. I’ve had that thought quite a few times, and the vacuum as well. I don’t really believe it’s true that they really want us to leave, except momentarily they may feel that way.

I know there are several reasons my family and I are drifting apart. The grandchildren have more activities, and our political views and philosophies are shifting and changing away from mine, and the daughters are beginning to have time-consuming health problems as well as me.

Their Dad’s extended family is getting more and more involved in their lives while I am becoming less and less involved. They have the money and the means. And within the year, I will have to move out of the area because of the cost of living here, so that is what I’ll work on for awhile.

That may bring some new horizons for me. I am trying to look on hard luck also as new opportunities.

Needing to move I feel like is evidence that I haven’t taken good care of myself, but that’s beating up on myself, and THAT I will not do. There is a lot out there not in our control.

God bless you for your response and comments.

Allie S.

254

Heartbreaking, and heart-healing. So many responses, I wanted to cry at the thought of so much pain that is similar to mine. I could barely stand that I was scrolling past 200 responses. And this is just a sampling of what so many have experienced, or experience still.

None of us is perfect. Therefore, why does FAMILY think they have the right to judge its members and to berate them? Even after suffering so many hurtful words from my own family, I cannot imagine repeating such filth to hurt them. I won’t lie though. Sometimes I fantasize about it… about making them squirm at their own imperfections. But it just isn’t right. I would rather have nothing to do with them than to give them what they’ve given me.

And so, I applaud the bravery to love ourselves when family does not. We must become that nurturing source of love from God who provides in abundance. This is the only way that I can receive the love I need. I hope to share it with a family that finds me, or that I find, some day. (I can honestly say that I tried desperately to share it with the family I was born to.)

I’ve been emerging for years, and it feels right, if not always that good.

Love to you all.

255

Just by the many responses above, it is once again a proven truth that people hurt other people, people who we are supposedly “friends” with, and family members can be most hurtful in that we have privately established a false safety net about these people.

Hurtful words and behaviors should never be accepted.
The people who are the rudest and cannot deal with conflict, are almost always the ones who create it.
I have found that discussing, face to face, in an attempt to be heard and resolve feelings of hurt have never been productive, nor have I ever witnessed this so called face to face verbal resolution by anyone else. It all escalates into worse name calling and defensiveness.

When someone has said or behaved in a rude and hurtful manner, I write a letter. The letter specifically targets the behavior I am responding to, asks if there is something I have done to instigate such behavior. I cannot change the past, but by telling me what I did, if anything, to make one say or make hurtful accusations, it is important to offer them the opportunity, by telling them it will help you change the future.

I try my best to express my love and intent, and let them know I would not write a letter if I didn’t care, and I would not write a letter if I thought that I had any chance of being heard and respected in a mature way.

EVERYONE seems to say it is wrong to attempt to resolve your conflicts in a letter. Most everyone seems to be extremely threatened by the written word, but has no problem spewing nasty words and hypocritical behavior with words.

A letter serves me well: I AM HEARD for exactly what I need them to know: Do not continue to speak to me disrespectfully in the future. If did not care so much about you, you would not be getting a letter, I would simply back off, never write or call and let t e relationship fizzle out.

Sometimes people apologize and say I am happy to discus this further with you anytime, but not in an email. That “sounds” good….but I have yet to witness a mature elevated discussion by such people, and I respond back by saying, Thanks for the apology, as it was point specific I have no further need to discuss, but if YOU do, by all means feel free to do so whenever you wish. Thank you again for your apology.

Living a clean life also means learning to give up people in your life who are toxic, a word hat has been coined now for several years. I used to have a great many friends, unaware of their own agendas and perceptions of me, since I don’t think about what others think about me, unless I am treated rudely to people I treat fairly.

Most times, comments and behaviors of rudeness and abuse come from extreme self loathing and deep seated envy….nothing we can do about that except eliminate those once loved ones from your life. I would rather be more solitary than the victim of anothers’ dysfunction. Indeed, life has so much more potential, and we are not only what we think , but we are also defined and influenced by those who we choose to socialize with. People are not necessarily meant to be in our lives forever. It’s ok. The more you care about yourself, the easier it is to give up these relationships, be alone, and miss who they once were but acknowledge that they have changed and you absolutely do not miss who they are now.

So to anyone who thinks letters are wrong, think again. Think about why you think they are wrong, and more importantly, think about the people who say “face to face” is better: they are the ones who fight and scream and criticize and demean others verbally. Of course they would be intimidated by a letter. They have no control. But, you have been HEARD, uninterrupted, and they can choose to respond anyway they want. If they get out of control, you can simply say, I wrote a letter because I do not want to “hear” these kinds of words anymore from you in my life. It is up to them to change…and this is why they really think letters are wrong….because they can’t change them; the written word serves as direct evidence of what you said and meant and cannot be manipulated.

256

Hi Jardin
Welcome to EFB ~ Great to have you here! Something that I notice with dysfunction in family is that the rules are different for ‘them’ than the ones they teach us when it comes to them. I agree with you ~ I am not interested in treating them back the same way, I would never lower myself.
hugs, Darlene

Hi Deborah
Welcome to EFB ~
Thank you for sharing your letter writing ideas. I am glad that this works for you. I have written a lot more letters that I didn’t bother to send than one’s that I have sent. but I respect whatever ever works for each individual! I have not found that dealing with people is quite as simple as the way you have presented it, but again, I am so glad that it works for you!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

257

Dear Jardin, Light, and Darlene, I am the same in that I need to nurture myself from the source of love from God. And I too try to uplift others rather than tear them down. Also that no one is perfect and it’s not my place to pass out judgement in return – to stay around and get drawn into hurting back is lowering myself to that level.

258

Ah. Letters.

Deborah, thank you for sharing. I’m sure others might find letters helpful. But my father didn’t.

My father dealt with the dysfunction in my family by writing boxes and boxes of letters. I’m not exaggerating. He wrote hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands. (A letter for each day of his existence in order to exist?)

What I saw happen to his letters has influenced me NOT to write them (to MY “family”). His letters were shared among the very family members he reached out to. His letters were mocked, criticized and dismissed as nothing more than evidence of his own weakness.

It is clear to me now that if someone is set on putting you down, that it doesn’t matter if you talk, write, email, scream or sing your feelings to them. They are NOT LISTENING. My family is brutal. They just don’t respect you unless you fall into line with their lies. Ironic right? Lie, and I will respect you? Damn it!!! Living in this family is like living as a trapped animal in a cage. (I’ve finally escaped. But the cage is still there.)

You can victimize yourself again and again if you reach out and no one listens or respects what you have to say. My words are honorable and precious. I will not write them down to be mocked. My father continued until his death writing letters. He died an alcoholic and heroin addict -smiling all the way to the end next to boxes that were filled to the brim with his letters.

Love to you, Daddy. I wish the letters had helped. I also wish you had been stronger. From you, I have learned the value of strength and self love.

To everyone, honor yourselves. Always.
And thank you Darlene for your kind welcome and shared work. I continue to emerge.

259

Oh Jardin, yes! If someone is set on putting you down, it doesn’t matter what you do- talk, email, write, argue, beg. I have been in this situation numerous times, and the thing that worked best was getting away from these people. Otherwise it is nothing but frustration, talking to an unyielding brick wall.

On the subject of letter writing ( or journaling, which I’ve done) it does help me sort out my feelings and releases some stress and helps me better understand situations. So it is helpful, even if the people I’m writing about don’t change because it helps me internally.

260

Jardin, I wanted to add that maybe in some way those letters did help your Dad, even though it may not have been visible to you. It may have helped him to sort out feelings and/ or help release some of the stress. If he wrote so many of them, Im thinking that he got some benefit from writing them, even if he could not change the dysfunction in the family. I’m sorry to hear that others mocked his letters. It says a lot about them.

261

Amber, thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful and sage words! I never took your perspective before, and if course it makes perfect sense. I don’t think he would have continued writing if there weren’t something to gain. And even though drugs finally took his life, he might not have lived as long as he did. I always wondered how he stayed alive for so long. Perhaps writing really did help. Thank you.

Namaste and all that is good (and emerging)!

262

Thanks Jardin! What is so helpful about this website to me is that I do get lots of new ideas on things. I was in a thinking pattern so deep ( from all the childhood grooming I received) that I never even considered other perspectives. Like thinking things were my fault. And that something was the matter with me. This website got me to question these things as well as lots of others. I also got many ideas from other peoples messages on here. So I am very happy that my message was helpful to you.
I know that writing about feelings has helped me a lot. So I figured that since your Dad wrote so much, he had to be getting some internal benefits from it even if he didn’t shard the letters with the people they were about.

263

I was wondering, how many of us are “overweight?” And I’ve always wondered if fat prejudice starts in the home, continues in the larger society, and contributes to continuous bullying by others, including family. Here’s a quote from a study:

“Another study showed that overweight people who get bullied are more likely to stay overweight than those who don’t. So that bullied fat kid everyone hates is going to probably stay fat and bullied and hated for the rest of his life.”
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/09/27/10-frightening-ways-we-discriminate-against-fat-people/

Seems to confirm what I’ve always suspected. Most people hate fat people so much that they will even attack the fat people in their own families.

264

I love this post! Finally someone who gets that silence can be interpreted as condonement. I love how you said that the mean person already rejected me years ago. That when you stop caring about the consequences of standing up for yourself , you stood up for yourself!!!
These have been my biggest road blocks. That my silence appears as condonement and that I am still afraid of consequences. That is the little girl in me.
Thanks so much for validating this whole idea for me because my self esteem has suffered greatly because of my lack of courage to stand up to my abusers and those that enable them. It’s like a double punishment . All messages I have gotten have suggested I overcome, rise above. Why should I have to put myself through that? I really need help to not fear the consequences. I am terrified of conflict. The manipulators in my life are pros at turning things around. My father. My estranged mother in law. Their enablers (my mother ) & (my father inlaw).

265

Jardin, I think people bully overweight people as well as others to change the focus from on themselves to the other person. They somehow, in a sick way feel better about themselves by lowering someone else. It’s mean and it’s sick. Overweight people seem to be a convenient target for bullies. I bet society’s adoration of thin people and it’s pressure on people, especially women to look perfect, has instilled in peoples’ minds that heavier people are not acceptable. And it seems that people use society’s impossible standards for looks as some kind of entitlement to make rude comments about weight. I think that is awful. I know some very wonderful people who are overweight, and I would be missing a lot if I rejected them because of a number on a scale. But I would never do that.

With regards to bullying of anyone got any reason,notice that the people who pick on others are not happy people. I look at the bullies from my past and a couple from my present. In elementary school the most vicious two people were a boy and a girl who both had issues about themselves. I was an easy target becauseI already felt bad about myself from my own mother, so these two kids zeroed in on me. In my current day life, I can think of two people who are less than kind to me. One is a neighbor. Another is a former classmate who used the internet to spread vicious and untrue comments about me as well as other classmates. I Had decided to defriend her on Facebook due to several incidents of drama and gameplaying and she began sending me copies of very personal private emails another classmate had sent her. I decided I couldn’t trust her and cut contact. Her response was to spread malicious lies about me via the internet to other classmates, one of whom informed me of her conduct. I know this person had been bullied in high school, she ended up becoming a bully herself. I was bullied too, but I look to healing myself and not to hurting others for that very temporary fix that bullies get when doing their thing.

266

Screw all these sickos and go live a good life! They arent worth the time you even talk about them!

267

Linnea,
Your comment is another form of invalidation. People here are “talking about them” as a part of finding their voices and healing. It is fine if you feel this way, but it’s actually harmful when we direct others in this way.
Hugs, Darlene

268

Hi Social Mom. Just read your comment number 264. I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your reaction to people who say mean things. I too always had a great fear of horrible consequences and rejection if I were to say anything at all back to the bully. As a matter of fact, I would freeze up, and I don’t think i could have said a word if my life depended on it. I know I learned this behavior as a child with my mother, and of course back then, I had to depend on my mother for everything. Talking back would have had serious physically and emotionally painful consequences in my early years.
Did my silence make it appear that I condoned the actions of kids that bullied me at school and even a few adults tha bullied me once I reached adulthood? Perhaps they did look at my silence as permission to continue. I still sometimes freeze up when someone says something mean. Other times I am able to find my voice but, wow, does it shake at times like this. Still other times I have hone back to the offending person later on and told them how I felt about their offensive behavior. Will I ever be able to stand up for myself in real time without trembling? I don’t know, but it is on my wish list, a goal that may be obtained as I sort through and rid myself of the garbage pile of false beliefs and obsolete coping methods.

Social Mom, as far as “rising above ” goes or ” be the bigger person” I too have attempted hose and it doesn’t work for me. To me it is rolling over and playing dead, giving in to the abusers, completely surrendering myself and my wishes and feelings while the abuser gets it all. People who advise this know deep down inside that the abuser is mean and irrational and that I am the more rational and easier person to deal with, so that advice is given to sweep the problem under the rug and not upset the abuser because he or she is going to fly off the handle.bi no longer take that advice because it doesn’t benefit me in any way and in fact it completely invalidates me.

269

What a breathe of fresh air! I, too, have always struggled with the notion that hurtful people “probably don’t mean it.” And I get tired of feeling slings and arrows from one particular person who looks loving and fun on the outside. I feel like peeling back the phony exterior and revealing the mean passive-aggressive inside! Yes, there are 2 sides to every story but they’re not always equal!

270

I agree how disconnecting from the abuser and the abuser’s reaction being more distance and boycotting etc…As just a continuance of their chronic dismissive behavior .
It helps me to reframe and it explains a lot about my current situation.
Thanks.

271

Hi Mae,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I have done some of that peeling back and exposing; most of the time it doesn’t help ~ people seem to like to live in the fog and ignore the messy truth, but what does help is that I know the truth. Knowing the real truth about the way people intentionally treated me went miles towards taking my life back. I can stand up to that now, no matter who goes along with me or not.
Glad you are here, I think you are going to like this website!
hugs, Darlene

272

Thanks for the warm welcome! As I mentioned, I have a long history with a ‘frenemy’ who I can’t totally disengage from for several reasons (ex. We’re all part of a larger group of friends) but I’ve had to distance myself. Since the dynamics of the group have changed she’s become very passive aggressive towards me. I could cite many examples of this – and mostly I’ve tried ignoring the behavior. Recently, though, she’s managed to come between me and my good friend of many years and this really hurts. On the surface she acts warm and loving to others – and she tries to monopolize the group in these ways, sometimes being loud, talkative, and overly friendly. Sometimes I feel like the hard bitter one in her presence – like I’m left with the anger from her manipulations and she’s the original earth mother. There are times I feel so irritated I could spit! I’d appreciate any advice from members as to how to respond when she gets snarky in a group. HELP!

273

Hi Mae! I have a friend I have known since we were 14, and she is a very competitive person. I’m not talking about in sports; she is competitive in life! I did not pick up on this right away, and I think I know why. I was the shy one who always ran to her for advice when we were in our teens and twenties. I think that made her feel important and also gave her a feeling of superiority over me. But as time passed I have grown more sure of myself ( most especially this year!) I don’t run to her for advice, and I valued her friendship, but things shifted where I was looking for a more equal relationship with her. Then I noticed she became competitive with every aspect of our lives. Comparing our homes, who went where on vacation and where did you stay and for how many days? Even down to her asking me what, if anything I bought, if we went away. I’m not interested in playing these competitive games. All I want is an equal, respectful friendship, but she seems to have a need to try to surpass me in multiple areas, and this all started when I became less dependent on her.
You mentioned that your frenemy is passive aggressive and also gets snarky in a group. My frenemy has also become more snarky. Again, I think she is trying to level me because she gets her security ( a weird kind of security if you ask me!) from feeling she is above me in different areas of life.
A couple of times I was snarky right back to her, but lately I have really cut down on contact. I have also called her out on what she is doing by saying ” what is this, a competition??” Or ” why are you so interested in how many days I will be away for, or what house projects we are doing” She backs off when she realizes I am on to what she is doing.

274

Amber, I met my frenemy at 14 too! Her husband and mine are best friends which further complicates matters. This woman is all emotions and feelings hence her incredible ability to sick people in by being “nice.” But I learned long ago there’s a catch – and it’s getting good caught up in her world of BS. I’ve come to understand that she’s not genuine – the type that says one thing to one person and something different to another (depending, I think, on which emotional need she needs filling at the moment). I also now realize that at the core of all this people-pleasing is a profoundly self-centered and selfish person. Her husband and adult (?) daughter are her main defenders, blaming everyone else for her hurt feelings and interpersonal problems. It’s all so sad…… thanks so much for your input – I really really appreciate it. Not looking forward to seeing this person next week – this is something I can’t avoid…….

275

Amber continued… sorry spellchecker – suck people in, not sick..and not getting good caught up in her world… but just plain getting! Lol!

276

Amber and Mae,

I’m starting to honestly evaluate some lifelong friendships. I have gotten inklings over the years of how resentful a few of them have been with me. I was the ‘little sister’ who was socially awkward, yet when I was just my normal self, it drew people in. One friend leads her life based on her sensuality and sexuality and was so jealous once in highschool when one of the popular jocks took an interest in me, that she decided to speak with him about treating me well. This was almost 30 years ago, and I still remember at the time how pissed I was.

I see it now for what it is. Desperate women think that if you have ANY kind of edge, there is nothing left for them. Recently, I’ve pulled away from a few of them, just to get my bearings and begin this leg of my healing journey. Sometimes I miss them, then other times I’m like…they may not like the real me, because the real me is not beneath them…hope that makes sense.

277

Yes, it all makes sense AND rings true! Facebook has created problems too especially when this person is constantly posting ‘feeling’ messages – ex. I just love everyone, kindness is the key, I’m so grateful for loving friends, blah, blah, blah. It comes across like preaching and I suspect many are planted there to annoy me. Seems like there’s always an agenda with her and her family of defenders! I ignore these posts but wish I could respond in an way to let her know I’m onto this ridiculous game. Wish I could think of something funny to post to shut her up!!! For reasons I mentioned before unfriending or blocking her is impossible at this time.

278

Oh I was just talking with a friend today about Fake Facebook posts! I love the EMB facebook page, but I mainly use facebook to wish people happy birthday, and to talk to friends during college football season. Those ‘feeling loved’, ‘people don’t understand when you are trying to help them’ and ‘they will miss you when you’re gone’ posts annoy me to no end.

You know, you don’t have to unfriend her…you can ‘unfollow’ her so that her posts don’t show up in your newsfeed. Just a suggestion :)

279

Callynt and Mae, I’m enjoying this discussion. I have hidden some people on my newsfeed so I’m not continuously exposed to their posts, and they don’t know I am not reading them. The only downside is if they write something and I don’t respond because I don’t see it.
Mae, your frenemy sounds like a chameleon who changes how she acts depending upon who she is with. The problem is that no one knows who people like that really are. I’m not sure what the solution is. It is hard when you can’t easily drop someone because a spouse is friends with their spouse, or you have to work with the person. In cases like this I don’t have any more contact than I absolutely have to.
Calling, yes I noticed too that some women don’t want you to have any edge over them. The ” friend” I described in an earlier post is like that. They must be insecure if they fall apart if you surpass them in some area.

I did have a victory of sorts this weekend. I was a very socially awkward girl growing up due to the treatment I got from my mother who made sure I felt ugly and insecure. I was bullied a lot in school. I went to my high school reunion this weekend. At previous reunions some people treated me like there was still a pecking order with me at the bottom. I think I still based my value on what the annointed in crowd people thought at those earlier reunions. I think Darlene is absolutely spot on when she says that as you go through the process, break down the lies and false beliefs, and start giving yourself love and self respect and treat yourself better, that other people pick up on how you value yourself. I felt much more self assured this time around and must have given off vibes that I am not going to be shoved into any pecking order anymore. I was treated very well, and did not detect the slightest bit of disrespect or condescension. But I also now know deep down inside that my value does not come from what any of these people think of me. So I believe I could have handled it if anyone did talk down to me. Thank you Darlene for being the guiding light in the process. This weekend showed me the progress I’ve made this past year and a half. Still more work to do, but it’s good to know that the process is working! Love you Darlene!! :)

280

I get that competitiveness vibe from my sister. Lots of comparisons about how we stack up physically, with belongings, with family attention. Sometimes it’s outright and verbal, and sometimes I can just sense it and feel her seething. She’s asked me how much I spent on items, compared the number of wrinkles we both have, got involved with a boyfriend after I had a boyfriend (I was told that I spurred her on), and compared who was the “better” daughter. If I were to sit down and make a list there have been 100+ instances of comparison and competitiveness. She also attempts to undercut me, and I’ve seen her sabotage my birthday and my graduation.

Leave a Comment