“I Want My Mommy” and Re-Parenting Myself

overcoming parent abuse

the freedom and wholeness in loving me

A couple of weeks ago I was really sick with a terrible virus which lasted for 8 days.  Just before I came down with it, I had dental surgery and it took me 3 days to recover from that and it felt like I had been sick “forever”.  Have you seen the commercial for cough medicine when the guy is sick in bed and starts calling his wife?  He moans “Pam….. Pam….. can you call my mom?”  In response, she throws a bottle of NyQuil at him.  In the next shot he is shown sleeping like a 200 pound baby. It’s really quite comical and it got me thinking about that expression “I want my Mommy”… That expression (often used in jest) is a popular one for adults who are sick or in pain.  Mommy’s are “supposed to be” or typically believed to be a source of comfort.  That was not the case for me. Sometimes I don’t have the words to express my frustration with being sick.  I wonder if it because I can’t say “I want my Mommy” and even the thought of that sentence just bothers me.

For many years now that phrase “I want my mommy” has been on the tip of my tongue many times, but I never could say it because it was so false.  Even thinking “I want my mommy” just because of the popularity of the expression, feels like a lie to me. Wanting “my mommy” was not going to help me any; I already knew that!  I want “a mommy” or “I wish I HAD a mommy” may have been closer to the truth, but I didn’t know how to express those thoughts.

Sometimes I feel like I got totally ripped off in the “having a mommy” department.  

I remember being sick as a kid.  My mother did the “care part” pretty good. She just didn’t do the nurturing part.  I wasn’t going to die on her watch but today I realize that when people express “I want my Mommy”, they are craving the comfort and the love part of the mommy/child relationship which I didn’t have.  My mother was clinical.  She was efficient. But my mother was not warm and nurturing.

A huge part of my healing has been to face what was missing in my childhood and beyond and realize that it was (and still is) okay for me to acknowledge that that there were things missing in the relationship that I had with my parents. That is just the truth about my life.  The truth is that because some of those important things were missing in my growing up years there was damage done to me. There were consequences to my emotional growth and it is okay to acknowledge that too.

Validating that I got ripped off in my childhood and acknowledging to myself that I was not taken care of as a child in so many ways that really mattered, set me free to get on with the work ahead of me in recovery. Looking back, I realized that the way I fought NOT to accept the truth about my childhood that was a really big problem for me as an adult.  It was in the way of my emotional healing. Once I began to establish what had been missing as far as nurturing and comfort, I was able to start doing those things for myself.  I pictured myself as a child feeling scared or alone or being sick and I would comfort myself.  I told myself that it was okay for me to feel those feelings of loneliness and abandonment and that from now on I would take care of my needs.  By realizing that my pain had never been validated by my parents, I was able to stop wishing for that to happen. When I stopped wishing that “someone else” would validate me and my pain, I was finally free to validate myself and my own pain.

I also became aware of those voices that told me that if I was sick, I was useless. I acknowledged the thoughts that I had that told me I was faking or exaggerating and that I was just being lazy and I told those voices on my own behalf, that they were wrong. I did for me what I longed for my mommy to do for me. I filled in the missing gaps and I was able to move forward with my present day life.   

I became my own parent and I went back to those memories that I had stuffed so far down that I thought they were gone, and I did for me what should have been done for me back then.  I soothed and validated myself.  I call this re-parenting.

When I first started to do this type of self care it was uncomfortable and even emotionally painful.  I had to ask myself WHY this was so uncomfortable for me. I became aware that I didn’t actually like myself all that much and that if I was really honest, I didn’t WANT to nurture me.  I had to realize that those feelings came from the way that I had been regarded as “unworthy” when I was a kid and that I had just accepted someone else’s disregard and disrespect towards me as the truth about me.  I had to be conscious and intentional about self validation and self nurturing in the healing process.  It did not come easy. It was something new that I had to learn how to do.  Self validating and self nurturing felt conceited and uncomfortable to me; it felt foreign and even wrong.

 I learned how to validate, love and nurture myself by practice and persistence. For the first two years or three years of what I call “cementing my new belief system” I wrote 10 minutes every morning on gratitude and self worth. I practiced learning to love myself and taking care of myself by being aware of the self defeating voices and overcoming and correcting them. I was intentional about self talk and self nurturing. I pictured myself hugging and taking care of a little version of myself. I pictured myself loving me.

Today, being responsible for me is much easier. My family took care of me when I was sick a couple of weeks ago, but the validation, self love, permission to BE sick and healthy self talk, I can do for myself now.

Please feel free to share your feelings, thoughts and feedback. You are welcome to use a screen name if you wish not to be known by your real name.

Exposing truth; one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

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Related posts ~ Victim Mentality in Relation to Keeping Family Secrets

Rebuilding my relationship with me ~ Recovering from Dysfunctional

Categories : Mother Daughter



This pretty much describes my childhood also. My mother was not nurturing. When I got sick, most of the time, it was ignored. Only major illnesses like whooping cough at age 2 and Asiatic Flu when I was 7 got treated with doctor visits. At age 2, I was sent away to my grandmother’s so that my baby brother wouldn’t get the whooping cough and die. That was the beginning of my abandonment issues and also told me that my baby brother was worth more than I was. He was kept at home.

My mother was emotionally unavailable by the time I was 3 years old. That was the year that I decided to become her caretaker. I remember making that decision. I told myself that if I did a good enough job then she would love me. Those are heavy issues for a 3 year old. My mother couldn’t love me or anyone else. She didn’t love herself.

Like Darlene, when I started my healing journey, I had to learn how to reparent myself. I found several healthy role models and watched how they nurtured themselves and others. I started making doctor appointments and dentist appointments when I needed them instead of ignoring my symptoms until they were much worse. I used to ignore the pain of headaches and sinus infections until they were bad enough that it would take several months on antibiotics to heal them. Not today. Today I go to the doctor when I need to at the first signs of possible infection. I don’t ignore when I am sick. I stop and take care of myself.


This is exactly what I am going through today. I feel rejected socially and once I feel rejected, it means I am “bad,” or unworthy as you rightly called it, and once unworthy, then comes struggling with taking care of myself. Yes, it is truly hard to think my self is worthy of nurture. But, I am going to try. Deep down, I know I deserve it every bit as much as my children deserve it when I nurture them.


I have borderline personality disorder, and am currently doing dialectic behavioral therapy. While my childhood was different: there was neglect and abuse, the results were the same. I am at the beginning of my journey of learning to love and nurture myself. I am still trying to convince myself that I deserve to be soothed. In dbt, I am a part of a group of 6 women, led by 2 facilitators. I know they would love to read this, but I would not share someone elses story without permission. May I? I could do so either with or without your name, whichever you prefer.


All I can think lately is “I WANT MY MOMMY” but I never had one. There was no care or nurture. I got the chicken pox at like age 8 or so and literally got beat for it twice. Because I ruined everyone’s schedule being sick and I’d “better not” get any of them sick. 

Oh but did me as a five year old have to take care of my mother when she was dope sick? Yep. 

Was I forced to even sit and watch her eat a meal after I hadn’t been fed for days or beaten for not eating the rotten eggs from the fridge?

I am stuck because I’m not quite able to nurture myself yet. I can care for my needs sometimes but I’m still searching for MOMMY. It’s maybe been a little over a week now that I’ve had a literal baby screaming in my head and I can’t calm her. I can’t. I can’t reach her. 
So I spend my days overly frustrated because I have no idea where to start to even allow myself to be mothering. Everyone else in the world deserves it twenty times over. My own self worth is STILL in the negative although I’m good somedays at pretending it’s not. 


Darlene and Patricia, I am so happy that you have found light in all your sadness. Wow, I never thought about the abandonment issues with how I feel as I have gotten older. Interesting that what you both have shared could have been my own biography. Dr. visits were scarce, when I got sick I was put in my room, crying with ear aches, told not to cry.. learned not to cry. My daddy would come home and hold me. Rock me. But that even sorta ended when she would get jealous he was spending time with me. I had 5 sisters and our stories are similar. With 5 children i bet it was enormous the demands she had. I cant imagine. I still do have issues of unworthiness when I get sick, as I am now. I even worry my husband will take off.. probably because my father didn’t stay faithful to my mom when she became terminally ill when i was just 12. Wish we could just toss shake our heads and the bad stuff would just fall out. I don’t understand the reparenting, but maybe I am already doing it like Patricia. I do call the doctor, I don’t take no for an answer. I didn’t shove my kids off when they weren’t feeling well. They are all grown now. I snuggle with my hubby when hes not feeling well and he does the same for me. But the worthy issue.. hmmm that’s a tough one. You guys rock and I appreciate your time sharing your story!!! HUGS to you both, big HUGS~!~


Hi Patricia,
Thank you for sharing these details and adding your voice to this article! Yes… this is what I am talking about. Great points about taking proper care of ourselves re doctor appointments etc. In my case, my mother did not neglect that type of stuff, but my self esteem was so low that I neglected it in myself when I grew up. I had a lot of cleaning up to do when I came out of that fog!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Genesis
It is horribly tragic how often I hear a story like yours; kids that get punished and physically beaten for being sick! This is what I am talking about when I talk about how we learn to regard ourselves by the way we were regarded. I had to see this clearly before I could treat myself differently. One thing that helped me is looking at children, (my own or someone elses) and asking myself if that child would have deserved that and if not, why did I think it was true that I deserved that? Keep going forward with the process Genesis. YOU can be the mother to yourself that you want. You can answer the cry of your own heart.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Darlene…that commercial had us laughing the other day, and then it had me in tears. Why? Because why in the world would I call my Mom if I was sick? I’d have better support and care from Telehealth or an on-line nurse. She isn’t, wasn’t and couldn’t be that ‘Mommy’ you’d call. My friend has a Mom who loves to be needed, and if you don’t dramatically NEED her she won’t come help you. One daughter learned to be resilient and the other learned to call for her Mommy. They are adults and still do the same thing. When I wanted her, when I needed her, she wasn’t available in any way. She wasn’t even sorry that she wasn’t. It just wasn’t going to happen. I learned a false lesson that taught me I wasn’t worth it, I was useless if I was sick and I’d better just ‘suck it up’ and get my work done. Last week for the first time in a very long time I took a few days off because I was so very sick with a terrible sinus cold. I let the boys take care of themselves and for the first time let them take care of me. Amazing…I could rest and not worry. I could rest and not feel worthless. I deserved to rest. I deserved to take the time to get well. Amazing…it still shocks me the lessons I’ve been undoing. It humbles me that I have a chance to teach my son and the people in our lives differently. Thanks for this post…love you much my friend!


Hi El
Welcome to EFB
Once I made these connections I was able to realize that feeling rejected does not mean that I am bad or unworthy and BEING rejected does not mean that I deserve rejection either. You are exactly right in that you deserve it just as much as your own children do. Thanks for sharing! Glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Christeen
Welcome to EFB This is a professional and public blog so please feel free to share it where ever you like! Please do use my name. My purpose in doing this work is to get this message of hope and healing to the rest of the hurting world.
p.s. this entire website is about neglect, abuse of every kind, and every kind of depression etc. and how it can be overcome. glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Betsy
Welcome to EFB ~ Glad you are here!
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just toss our heads and shake this stuff out?? Since that isn’t an option, learning self worth from scratch by learning why I didn’t have any has been a huge part of the answer for me!
Big Hugs Back, Darlene

Hi Shanyn!
Exactly… I was laughing but inside I was really feeling it. That “why on earth would I do that???” feelings. And you have reminded me of a few other things that I didn’t write about… like the way I knew that if any family knew I really “needed” help that they would withhold it even more, just to remind me that I was not that important! Thanks for sharing your victory with your cold too!! Isn’t it fantastic to be able to live a healthy way instead of the dysfunction we were so used to!!
Love and hugs! Darlene


El Farris~ After I read your comment about feeling bad and unworthy when you feel rejected socially, I clicked on your name and read some of your blog. What you say resonates very deeply with me.

When I am feeling rejected, and bad and unworthy, I, too, struggle with the concept that I am allowed to be sick, to be weak, to feel my pain and feel my fear, and to need care, whether it be selfcare or other care.

I can’t even GO there, I can’t even joke that “I want my mommy” when I’m sick or injured. It’s like the horrible sick “joke” some people say when their kids are misbehaving: “I brought them into the world and I can take them out.” Years ago I was sitting in a college class and the female professor, whom I had greatly admired up to that moment, made that “joke,” and I burst into tears. “How can you even SAY that?” I cried. “No one has the right to kill their kids!” I gathered up my books and never went back… I mean I dropped completely out of school, I was so embarrassed. I didn’t know, then, that I had PTSD from when my mother tried to gas us all to death. But I did know how it had hurt me when my mother had used that idiot excuse: “I brought you all into the world, so I figured I have the right…” That’s what happens when adults think they OWN you. Like you are a piece of furniture they threw together in their woodworking shop, and they can chop you into bits and throw you in the woodstove if they decide they don’t like you and you’re just getting in the way.

Friday night, when I was in the ambulance with a hemorrhage in my throat, thinking i was dying, I did not want my momster! I wanted my husband, I wanted our dog, I wanted my grown children, but I did not want her. Years ago, though, before I gave up all hope, yes, I would have been thinking that, maybe even saying that, “I want my mommy.”

When I am loving and giving and gentle and kind to my precious grown children, to my 50-year-old “baby” brother, to my grandchildren, and to our sweet little dog, as I give them the loving tender mothering that my mother never gave to me, in a vicarious way, I feel like I am mothering myself, too. It’s like I am saying to the unloved unwanted little girl inside me: See? This is what your mother should have done for you, but never did. This is what you deserved to have when you were little. You deserved this love.” Even when I feed the wild birds, as I watch them hungrily devour their bird seed, I am feeling that motherly love. I love them and I provide for them, not because they have earned it, but just because they exist. Their existance brings me delight.

My existance should have brought my mother’s heart delight. I AM worthy. I sometimes forget that, too, when I am feeling rejected by society, or by anyone. But I AM worthy. I’m not perfect, but I am more than good enough, and I love me.


Yes! This was true of me too. I particularly felt this way after I had my first child (my mother has never visited me since I’ve had 2 babies – we live interstate – and as a narcissist, she expects everyone to go to her…) I got very depressed and was quite envious of other new mums who had their mums around to help them and help to nurture and love their babies. And when I am sick or my children are sick it has frequently been a source of great anxiety for me. I am now no contact and focussing on my own family and how I can parent in ways that differ from my own upbringing. At times I struggle with the responsibility and their neediness but I try to be kinder and more compassionate with myself and take comfort from the supportive role models I have in the form of friends.


as usual darlene hits it head on with the truth. The most important part of this process is to take to heart what darlene shares and incorporate it in your own life and in your own healing journey if you are not already doing it. darlene went through hell as a child and so did I. By reading her blog and doing the things that she suggests i am overcoming more than 40 years of depression, PTSD, panic attacks and terrible fear and abandonment issues. I no longer feel abandoned. I no longer have fear. I have faith instead. Working through the depression is a process but i know darlene is there for me when i need someone to reach out to. Almost all my friends have abandoned me during this process but Darlene has stuck by me. Even tho we dont always agree on everything you will always get the best from darlene. I have learned that i need to soak in her messages like taking a sponge bath. Its the truth that sets us free. Everything darlene shares is truth. Its working for me too. It can work for you !!


Hi Darlene,
This is a powerful post, and thanks for all you share here at EFB.
I’m in therapy today and it’s because of the things that you’ve shared here.

I’m in the process of re-parenting myself. I have a little doll and she looks like me. I talk to her and she’s starting to talk back, telling me of her fears, her emotions, and lately her ANGER at how she was abandoned, neglected and abused. I’m seeing that a lot of the repressions began when I was left in an infirmary for over a week by myself in an orphanage. My mother had abandoned the family and my dad put us in the orphanage. Then when I contracted the german measles, the nuns in that orphanage showed little concern as they left me there, in a room on the third floor for all that time with no one to talk to, and nothing to do. I had no idea of the trauma and damage that was inflicted on my soul and that little girl’s perception of herself. I emerged from that week convinced that I was pretty much unimportant to everyone, including myself.

Now, jump ahead 40 years later….I’m seeing how my depression, numbness in my feelings and attitudes of fear of abandonment can be traced to this experience.(as well as other issues)In fact, that little girl is still in that place inside my heart. I’m little by little telling her how she shouldn’t have been ignored and abandoned that way by everyone in her whole world. I’m seeing how gifted she is in her humor and talent, but we have a ways to go to release all of that in freedom today.

Saying “I want my mommy” doesn’t even occur to me…ever. I haven’t had contact with my “mother” in years. She was indifferent and selfish and overwhelmed and took off out of my life, not once, but twice. She’s never offered explanations, never apologized, never tried to make amends, never tried to keep in touch, doesn’t know my husband or children. Basically apathy and indifference is what I’ve experienced from her as her child. Those things are pure abuse in this subtle way that only today do I see as damaging. I don’t call her mom anymore. In my mind, she’s Mable. What a woman. Not even animals abandon their young like she did.

My little self, I call her CeeCee, and I are getting to know each other. She’s such a marvelous little soul. How could anyone not have taken notice of the special little girl she was? Be that as it may,,,I’m taking notice today. She’s going to emerge and what a delight it will be when the healing work is done.

I owe so much of this journey, at this point, to you Darlene.

Thanks so much again. You’re such a blessing.

Hugs, and love,
Connie and CeeCee 🙂


It is amazing to me how many of us were raised this way! My mother was cold and I dont ever remember feeling Love from her. I have always thought she didnt love me but I think because she is a mess herself and couldnt love herself. I dont ever remember feeling that comforting love from my mother. I do remember the name calling and the degrading speeches we got that lasted 30 minutes or more… But I dont remember feeling comforted and loved or even remember being hugged. I know she must have hugged us at some point but I dont remember that feeling from her at all.. anyway great post and thanks for sharing


Hey Darlene, I’m sorry you were sick for so long. I’m glad that the loving family you created took good care of you. I’m also, glad that you found the way to love and nurture yourself. I relate to this post on many levels and hardly know where to begin to comment. My relationship with my mom is like a tangled ball of yarn. I got more attention from my mom when I was sick than when I wasn’t sick but that attention meant I had to stay in bed. I was also given hot todies for “medicine” and a lot of other medications that made me sleepy. If I needed a doctor, I wasn’t taken until the last minute because my dad didn’t beieve in “running to doctors all of the time” and my mother couldn’t/wouldn’t stand up to him. I was sick and in bed for my whole fourth year of life to the point of having to learn to walk again. When I think about me as a little girl, the first memory to emmerge is being in a dark room, alone. I spent a good deal of my life wishing that someone would notice how badly I hurt and reach out to me and ask what was wrong. I think that was my cry for “Mommy” and I too, found my way to parenting myself. I did so on the spiritual path of recognizing that I have a true Father who loves me the way I am and wants only good for me and is always interested in how I feel. He never leaves me alone and His guidance is sure. I’m not talking about religion, just about me and God.

I hope you are feeling better.



Hi Elaina
Yay for your statements that you are worthy! yes yes.!!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Dave,
Thanks for sharing your new found victories!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marianne
Welcome to EFB ~ I felt all those ways too. Today I look back at all that I accomplished with my own kids and I am proud! I did it without them, and I feel stronger. In hindsight I see all the manipulative things that they did and tried to do. (my in-laws were no different) I see all the ways that I tried so hard to be the way they wanted and do what they wanted and it was never enough. I was also very envious of other young moms, but today I am that MOM to my kids and they will never have to feel that struggle that I felt when my kids were small.
Glad you are here, thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Shauna
Welcome to EFB! ~ When ever someone shares that they don’t remember simple hugs… my heart always pains a little. We were children! I always knew that my mother was a mess herself and I came to understand that she didn’t love herself and that her mother was actually worse than my mother… but that was the excuse that I used to excuse her from the way she devalued me my entire life. In order to heal I finally focused on the damage done to me without making all those “understanding excuses” for her. (and the rest of the abusive manipulative people in my life back then) I found so much healing in facing the bare truth, and the more I faced it, the more the fog lifted and the more I was able to live in wholeness and freedom from all the mental health issues that had manifested in my life because of my broken self esteem and the way I was raised.
I struggle to remember hugs too… and I am also sure that there were some but maybe there were not… I remember the speeches! and the beatings. I feel sorry for my mother today… but not at my expense anymore.
Great to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Connie
Oh my gosh… my heart goes out to you and thank you so much for sharing that story ~ those are the connections that set me free! Making those connections opened so many healing doors for me. And what a great idea to use a doll to do this re-parenting work!
Thanks for sharing all of this, I love your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Thank you ~ I am feeling much better! I think that my mother gave me more attention when I was sick too.. because I noticed a pattern of getting “sick” when I felt scared in relationships… (and that is another story..) I had to stay in bed too, but I remember her coming in with heated towels to put on my vicks vopor rub covered chest and those kinds of things were all I knew about nurturing… it was so odd.
Thanks for adding your voice here… you describe being “devalued” very well. My heart goes out to you as well. What a horror all that must have been!
And yay for re-parenting!
Hugs, Darlene


Betsy and Darlene, thank you. In learning to reparent myself, I tried to give my children the nurturing and love that I didn’t get as a child from my mother. What I found was there is a fine line between mothering and smothering our children. Out of my own needs for nurturing, I had to be careful to not let my fears affect how I nurtured my children. Out of my fears, I became a controller. Controllers don’t delegate very well so I prevented my children from learning some skills they needed to learn. I experienced one extreme of mothering. My children experienced another from me. Healing means finding a healthy balance in the middle. Healing is so important because what we don’t heal in ourselves, we sometimes pass on to our children to either heal or pass on to their children. That is how generational dysfunction works.


Well said Patricia!
I made some of these mistakes too. The roots of those mistakes were in the false definition of love. I did the oposite of many of the ways that I was raised, and in doing so, made other mistakes that had to be righted with my kids. Balance is key, but for me, I had to find out the truth about dysfunctional before I began to understand what balance might look like. Such a process!!!
Thanks for adding your voice!
Hugs, Darlene


Patricia, I made the same kind of mistakes and the root of it was that I was trying to make up for what I didn’t have. My parenting was too often about my childhood and not about what my kids needed. My children know they are loved and they are very forgiving and I’m blessed that they are willing to work through some of this stuff with me. Even though they are grown, I try now to make my time with them about them. Be raised as the scapegoat, I thought I was responsible to fix everything for the people I love. Now I know I’m not and I am much less controling. Whew! What a relief! My son told me the other day that the damage I caused was very passive. It is sweet of him to understand that I never meant to hurt him but it is important for both of us to recognize that damage is damage. I hope to be able to undo some of the damage I’ve done by being a responsible parent, concerned about the well-being of my child and not my image as a mother. Healing hurts but it is much better to heal than remain a cripple.



I don’t remember ever being hugged either. Unless it was a performance for others and that was into adulthood. As a child, I don’t remember being touched by my mother at all really. It’s been said that I was so attached to her I was sent to nursery school to break that attachment. I was 3 or 4 so I don’t remember it. But, this what my mother told me. I do remember the school, but that’s it. Anyhow, I wonder how I ever became attached to a person who doesn’t know how to show affection. It pains her greatly to show empathy or support in the form of physical touch, or hugging. I’ve unfortunately struggled with affection as a result. My husband is very affectionate and I think he feels he was a little ripped off in marrying me, a person who literally feels fine with no affection. It’s my normal. I try to work on it so as to not push him away, but it’s uncomfortable for me most the time. I should just make a new rule. Daily hugs and kisses…. period!! 🙂
Peace to all,


Hi everyone,

just a quick check-in… feeling pretty stressed; got rejected for disability pension (form letter tells me my disability doesn’t rate high enough on their disability scale – also lists my assets at way higher figure than they are; or ever have been for that matter). so that sucks.

also got bunch of things happening like appt’s they’re making I’m supposed to attend, reports to do etc & I’ve just been ignoring it – sleeping/zoning out all day, awake most nights.

don’t know who to trust IRL (don’t really trust anyone) and not sure who I can turn to for help, or who I have to be very careful what I say to in case it makes things worse. just want to be left alone, with some money coming in, so I can try and build my own routine/life and see if anything happens. seems too much to hope for right now – it sure ain’t happening.

I’ve had this pressure in my sinuses for ages; keep feeling like I’m inches away from getting sick but don’t – just stays in this perpetual lack of energy; heavy & drained body etc, no motivation, don’t know where to start even if I had any.

feeling sorry for myself. and as to this blog post, well, it feels like a very very long time that it’s been much more the case of “i DON’T want my mother” – there seem to be very few bad things in life that she can’t find a way to make worse. *$&&@#&!!!

hope everyone’s doing well.

PS I just had a voicemail from a social worker (I think) at my new place; they rang a week or 2 ago and I ignored it. gonna try and ring back, but very nervous of how much I can say (eg haven’t been there much; people who helped me get the place have since turned and been pressuring me that I’ll lose it, so I don’t know who I can actually be real with. my psych agrees that I need LESS pressure, not more, but try telling that to the *@#&#! red-tape shambles that is welfare… (remember, I’m not “disabled enough”). bastards.

sorry about all the negativity. (again).


I’m in your court!! Just sayn!


I’m in your court!! Just sayn!


What in the world…. I don’t know why this posted twice…. forgive the glitch please!


Possibly the computer knowing how stubborn I am at believing the good/nice things, Mimi! 🙂

Just realised also that I already knew that (even if you hadn’t written it) from your many caring comments… but I still won’t argue with hearing it – much appreciated!

Hope all’s well your end!

PS here’s a “daily” hug to help with your quota! 🙂

PPS so out of it, almost forgot to say: I spoke to the social worker at my new place & he didn’t think I need to worry about gradual move-in, so I suspect I’ll find that’s a load off once it processes. Now if I can just get some progress with all the welfare crap….

(different organisation I know, but I’m now thinking of Homer driving past the IRS and yelling “BOOOOO!!!” out the window, and a funny-voiced little guy saying “Oh, boo yourself!” back at him!) 🙂

(Heheh, trust Simpsons to bring a smile to my face!)


Pam, I have worked hard to give up my controlling behaviors too. Yes, healing is much better than being crippled with dysfunctions for the rest of our lives. Both of my grown children read my blog and know about my struggles with healing.


Maybe you just needed an extra dose of compassion today. 🙂

LOL at the simpsons reference!!
Peace and love,
ps – happy to hear they’re holding down the fort until you’re ready.


This is so good for so many reasons. I have a very loving family but so many people do not. I am thankful this is being shared so that many who see it can be offered a new kind of hope and I will pray for this ministry to grow and be effective for the kingdom of God here on this earth. God bless you dearly for being so bold. You are doing the right thing.


In my 30s I got sick with meningitis. I lived alone with my dog at the time – my parents lived 100 miles away – and they DID come and took me to the hospital. Mum stayed for 3 weeks. She was a retired nurse by then. She was really helpful – totally practical – cooked, walked the dog, etc. But that was it. No emotional warmth or comfort. Mind you I knew she would be that way, as she always had been.
She just didn’t “do” emotions. Although all of my present day friends and family say I am very reserved and quiet (as I had been trained by her), she would say I wear my heart on my sleeve. She would totally disapprove of me now – she would be horrified that I have turned to mental health professionals for help (and she was one herself, as was I).
When I was so sick in 2010, I nearly died from an acute illness, only to be told I probably had cancer, for which treatment would be horrendous – I would probably lose my larynx. [How’s that for being permananently silenced?] I didn’t want to be bothered – I just wanted to die, and get it all over with. Until just last week I didn’t understand the idea of nurturing myself – comforting myself; an exercise in the group I go to brought that home to me very powerfully.
Learning to care for myself emotionally has been a really hard thing to do. I am still taking baby steps – but at least I am picking myself up each time I stumble – and I can comfort myself that it is getting better.


Amazing how brightly the light shines on your recovery, Darlene. I have goosebumps, because I can totally relate to this discovery of taking care of self. My family has a terrible track record with this subject. We are all pretty crappy at honoring our selves. I get it now, though….


Hi Lois
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for your comments your blessings and encouragement.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Libby
Thanks for sharing!
Self nurturing is empowering! It helped me to realize that I could replace what had been missing and that I could actually take care of me in a healthy way. I got a strange feeling when you described the cancer.. and when you wrote “how’s that for permanently silenced, I “got it”… !! YAY for picking your self up each time! That is exactly what I did/do too! I look at it as building a new response to life!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J.
Sorry you are struggling ~ I encourage you to contact your professional workers for support with all of this stress.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Deirdre
Yay for getting it now!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] night I read a very interesting blog post by Darlene Ouimet entitled “I Want My Mommy”. I was led to this post on Darlene’s popular blog, Emerging From Broken by a fellow Facebook […]


Oh wow, this is what I needed.
Just last week I realized that I still saw myself as “Bad”
I just went thought 2 emergency colon surgeries and saw how unworthy I felt that I couldn’t even ask or receive help. I am 35 n single mom.
First day home after almost dying my mom told me she wasn’t going to care for me and that she had a headache and couldn’t get me water. She stayed w me n my sister bcux she didn’t want to b home alone.
3 months and I went backwards in all I learned in therapy and an emotionally abusive exboyfriend from 10 yrs contacted me now im breaking free the web
I am working on it , but w him I amazed how hard it is to break away, I thought I knew so much about EMO abuse but they r good. I will be working on taking care of the little girl me. I have flashbacks of her all the time


Hi joan,
Welcome to EFB. Wow, your comments reminded me of so much. I understand how hard it is to break free! For me the biggest problem was with how hard it is to face the truth. It was like my mind kept telling me that I was wrong about how she was treating me.

I wrote another post about when my mother said she wanted to help me when my second child was born… and she made it all about her. Some of the comments on this thread have reminded me about that post. I really trusted her that time ~ I really thought she was finally going to treat me like her daughter…. you can read the post here, ” My Mother finally wanted to BE my Mother….”

Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone

Would appreciate your thoughts again. Still struggling. On the plus side, I tried talking to new support worker @ new place & he’s coming out for a home visit. So at least I’m trying.

Hope everyone’s doing well.


J ~ thinking of you. I want so much for everything that’s wrong in your life, to be right. Hurray YOU, for the positive steps you are taking!


thanks elaina, much appreciated! How’s your throat doing? Hope all’s well!


Hi Darlene,

Was just reading your old “passive/withholding” post (from recent comment list) and this one. My head started giving me grief about my current “withholding” of myself from my parents. (I only just woke up, feeling pretty out of it still).

Also remembered my mother crying because I’d said s/thing along the lines of not having any (or few) happy memories from childhood. (This was many years ago). I guess back then I didn’t realize that information would be used as a tool against me. Having realized it now, I guess I could see it as a positive choice I’ve made to intentionally “withhold” myself from them for my own protection. (Just remembered an old song lyric I love: “If I don’t wanna keep getting shot, why give them ammunition?”) Feels very relevant!

To jump topics entirely, my friend’s wedding is coming up (that I was meant to be in). I bailed on being in it already, now I’m realizing I probably won’t even go. Main reason: having only fairly recently told this friend large parts of the abuse from my parents & that I didn’t really want them 2b there (he’d already sent them a “save the date” pre-invite), he at first said he’d just not invite them, but later made it clear he still wanted them there. So I felt like he’d chosen them over me. (Have long feared that my handful of remaining longtime friends would do exactly that if it came down to it).

Trying very hard to validate myself that this is not cool, but of course head jumps in saying how “not cool” it is that I’m probably not going to attend my oldest friend’s wedding that I was supposed to be in. Oh well. (Trying now to remind myself that it’s my right to make my own health my #1 priority. But v.hard 2 believe that and act that way when I suspect I’m going to get plenty of shit heaped on me if I don’t attend the wedding.)

hope everyone’s well.


Hi everyone

More venting to do… (“processing” I guess would be a gentler way 2 describe it). So I’ve been in my new place for 4 nights straight now. It’s kinda weird. I’ve been getting some sleep, but pretty patchy & still at weird times, but it’s at least better than it was.

But I guess I’ve realized it (moving out) doesn’t change anything re parents/family etc. Already had a msg from my mother wanting to organise a “family” lunch (I assume this means grandparents as well) & then a voicemail as well. Haven’t responded yet. Still scared to ever stand up 4 myself & say anything about the abuse. Which I guess makes sense, cos the handful of times I ever did stand up 4 myself or say s/thing 2 my mother growing up, she’d cry & make me feel even more guilty.

Also afraid 2 cut off because I find welfare so hard 2 deal with, feels like just a matter of time b4 I give up or they stop paying me. Discovered I’ve got a support worker @ new place who says he’ll help re welfare, but still feels like I’m powerless & under his/welfare’s control, and I f**kin hate that feeling.

Also he doesn’t really seem 2 get/care where I’m coming from re abuse etc, and previous encounters w/welfare & their lies/bullying etc.

As for being in new place, guess I don’t really feel safe here. Don’t really like the city (and it’s not a big one by any stretch). Just been killing time any way I can, then emerging 2 get food (haven’t felt able 2 go shopping/try cooking here yet so only handful of stuff here to eat) and coming back again.

Something’s changed – not entirely sure what. I think maybe it’s to do with some of the dreams I’ve been holding on to (despite all evidence against them ever happening, or me actually wanting them/being happy even if they did) like being creative etc are kinda gone. Or at least being brought into sharper focus compared to the reality of my life as it currently is, and as it has been over the last decade or so. (Mainly in terms of not actually doing things, or finding it so hard/stressful if I do try, and not being happy/having peace no matter what I do).


Hello everyone,

That was me too Darlene, I remember throwing up and “mommy” telling me to clean it up myself. I had the flu and was so sick but she was too busy getting drunk. Everytime I see that commercial I think back to that moment. I missed out on the mommy department too. I was so pathetic I wanted to put up an ad to see if someone would adopt a 43 year old woman, LOL just to have a mommy to love me. I have my kids and husband, but it’s so different when you don’t have a mother. I will never understand how a mother can have a baby and be so cruel. I have to love myself now, and I have to realize that the mother I created in my head is not the mother I have, far from it!
Lauralee xo


I hear you!
I tried to become the mother (to myself) that I always wanted. After a few years of re parenting myself, I began to realize that if my mom had finally changed, it would not have helped me heal because the foundation was what had to heal; the damage had to be healed and she can’t help me with that.
and I try to be a really great mom to my own 3 kids, communicating my accepance of them and their amazing value!
We can make a difference by the way we go out from here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J.
Congrats on moving into your new place!! That is awesome. I know it feels strange and even frightening, but that is because it is all new to you!
Hang in there!
Hugs, Darlene


Congrats on making the move!! I sincerely hope it becomes “home” to you. I think as adults we need our place of refuge away from abusers. I hope the freedom will facilitate healing and courage, and that you find peace as you get more comfortable there.
Many Blessings J,


My childhood memories replay like this:
1. At the young age of 2-ish, my first solid memory is of my “mother” handing me to her father, who promptly put me on his lap and masturbated himself between my legs.
2. At the age of 4-ish, I was abandoned to unknown relatives with life threatening pneumonia for months.
3. At the tender age of 6-ish, my brother sexually molested me and I was beaten by my father for it. My mother was in the house and knew, but did nothing.
4. My whole childhood was fraught with beatings for absolutely no other reason than that I was a hindrance.
5. At 11, I was called a whore because I started my period.
6. At 13, I was in a state-run camp for ward of the state children and was raped by three black boys. Nothing was ever done about it because “I must have done something to deserve it.”

These are only a few of the things that I remember from my childhood. My mother was never around. She was having sex with brothers, uncles, her father, and whoever else would have her. My father was 70 when I was born and my mother was 30. Neither one had anything positive to do with me after I was born. I am one of 14 siblings. We were all treated like this, and the younger ones were treated like this by the older ones.

My parents gave all of us up to the state without shedding a tear when I was 5, but we were placed in the immediate vicinity of the family and were allowed visitation privileges. These visitations only resulted in more abuse.

I was told on a daily basis how worthless I was, and that I would never amount to anything. Not only by my parents and siblings, but also by my foster parents. I was told that I was just there “for the money from the state,” and not to expect to be loved.

I’m lost. I don’t know where to turn. I’ve spent my entire life searching for love and acceptance, and I know I’m not at fault for what happened to me, but I can’t get past it. Every time I feel that I have come to love myself, someone comes into my life and beats me back down.

Can’t afford counseling. Due to abuse by a church, I won’t speak to a religious leader, or even walk in a church door. My last psychiatrist asked me why I looked “so sexy” the last time I saw him. I find myself more and more just wanting to lock myself away from the world and wait for death. I am 52 years old and still hurting. I’m not suicidal, but I don’t care if I die, either.

Thanks for listening.


Hi Sharon
Welcome to emerging from broken
My heart goes out to you! I am so sorry for all that has happened to you! Isn’t it amazing what we live through! I am really glad you are here. I have written a lot in this site about the “how” part of getting my life back and overcoming the messages that I had about myself as a result of the abuse, mistreatment etc. There is hope. Please share often, there is a pretty large community here. You are not alone in this, that is for sure!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Sharon i am so sorry you had all that pain….you will come through I know you will..My own Mum was left alone from age 5 because her mother had to go out to work to earn money,….it was after WWI and my grandfather died from war injuries.. Mum had get her own b’fast… it took me 10 years into recovery from addiction to alcohol to learn this…..Mum repeated her history…went out to work when I (the youngest) was the same age.. she didnt need to.. was never there..after my sister left I had all kinds of injuries due to neglect.. the anger and pain I felt was turned against my own self and expressed by my body…i had to let myself in every afternoon with a key that hung in the shed but being absent minded I forgot to put it back and came home unable to get in. ..by accident broke a window banging on it in rage and sustained a deep cut requiring 30 stiches….by 17 I was nearly dead.. in hospital for 101 days after crashing in a car and puncturing my lungs….on and on it went…I had no idea how to self parent or self nurture…. as part of that accident I lost my front teeth and over time have had to have massive reconstruction work on my mouth which has been so painful.. as it was at 16 I had to wear a bridle like headbrace in order to correct large teeth that my mother didnt like.. they werent croocked just a bit bucked … anyway.. its minimal due to what others have suffered….the point is learning self care can be such a long slow road for so many of us who werent mothered… and we are so lucky to have this kind of site developed by you Darlene so we can share our experiences and let others know we can heal… today I am still in my pjs at 1 pm…. this isnt an indulgence just in the middle of a strong course of antibiotics for a tooth infection…… thanks so much for this article Darlene which helps me to understand and learn how important self parenting and self nurture is.. thanks also so much to all the others who comment and so honestly share their stories. Love Deborah


I totally realate to your comments to Sharon! The history repeating stuff and realizing that was huge for me. It became my goal NOT to repeat history and in some subtle ways, I was so I am glad that I caught this before it was too late.
Hugs, Darlene


Yes… i decided not to have children because i didnt want to repeat it…. that was sad and i did miss out but now i am grateful as its enough of a job just to heal and understand myself and what ive come out of.


I am so touched by your story, Sharon. Your parents never shed a tear for you – well I have. I get it about church. I love God but hate what people do to others “in His Name”.
Deborah, I agree history repeats itself when no one steps up to break the pattern. Of course I think you are the one in your family to stop the awful cycle. I too have a mum who is the youngest of 13. She was actually looked after but Her papa was old. She did not learn how to connect with people or care about them rather to compete with them or put them down. Thanks again Darlene for this wonderful arena to continue on our healing path…


This article just provided me with another ‘aha’ moment.

All through growing up, whenever I plucked up courage to tell someone I wasn’t feeling well I was immediately called a liar and shouted at for making up stories to get out of doing any work.

The truth was that I kept my mouth firmly shut until whatever i had got too painful or worrying or uncomfortable to avoid creating an unnessesary drama.

If I got hurt/injured in any way while at school the teachers would say ‘thank god it’s you R, your parents won’t kick up a fuss’ (had forgotten about that until today) – it used to make me feel proud when they told me that, FGS!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, despite not having received any nurturing ‘mummy make it better’ type of caring when ill, I’ve always been very good at giving it to others.

Which others, especially men I’ve lived with have only been too happy to be on the receiving end of my nurturing when ill, upset, depressed etc.

Different story when the tables were turned though when suddenly I was classed as making things up, exaggerating, trying to get out of doing things and basically ignored until I was back to my normal self.

Now I realise I took it because I’d been programmed to since childhood.

Amazing how something can be right under your nose sometimes but still be hidden from view.


Hi R.
Yes. Abusers don’t love by the same definition of love that they apply to others. And yes, we h ave been programmed since childhood to accept that one sided relationship as “normal” but it isn’t.
Hugs, Darlene


I want to express my gratitude to those who posted here. I have experienced sheer terror during times of illness. Now I know I am not alone.


Hi Patricia
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I am glad you are here. Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

What a powerful post. I was medically neglected when it came to serious issues. My mother liminted her nurture and care for my siblings. Not for me. She projected the hatred she had for her own moths onto me. I now believe that my mother did not access medical care for me because she knew I was being molested by my stepfather at the time. She knew I would tell. I now have a chornic illness diagnosed eight years ago, but with symptoms increase last year. I avoid doctor appointments like the plague. Sometimes I make them, then I’m too afraid to go. I’m not sure where the fear stems from, but it is present. I have a great therapist and we are working on this stuff but it is slow going for me. I’m still in a place where I minimize the abuse done to me with “I have no reason to complain. Others have been hurt so much worse. I can’t validate myself, let alone believe the abuse was that bad. I second guess my chronic illness all the time. Maybe teh hold out for me, is a level of self hatred. Thanks for the article.


Hi Kelli
Welcome to EFB. Abuse is abuse is abuse. I told myself the same thing; that mine was so much less then others, but I finally realized that in telling myself that I was invalidating myself just like I had always been invalidated. I had to find a way to validate my pain and aknowledge that “this happened to me” . That was a major beginning in recovery for me. I thought about if I was told by a kid the exact story of what happened to me and how it made me feel. Would I think it was no big deal if it happened to them? That helped me to see things from a different view.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Patricia,
I too am terrified of illness. Specifically if it involves vomiting. I don’t know where my terror comes from. I was never sick much when I was growing up. When I do get sick, I worry that it won’t go away. Even if it doesn’t involve vomiting, I still worry it might not go away. I don’t have a clue where it stems from. Just wanted to share.


Love this article. Very healing for me. I want to share this affirmation video for survivors with you all. It is helpful for me too as I recover from childhood trauma. http://youtu.be/_m81P0po8wk


Hi Mimi I have a phobia a bit like your fear too but only when I’m in public. Now that I have pulled down my false belief system I can see more clearly what drives my phobia. It is one of the areas in my life which needs the ‘re-parenting’ but I find it very hard; I get quite annoyed that I have to fix what my parents did wrong but if I’m honest with myself I still want someone else to fix it – a nicer parent, (not mine) and I find the ‘correct’ self talk feels weird but I know it has to be done. Darlene I am re-assured that you felt the same way.


Hi Sam,
I haven’t been sick for a few years now. I have thought about how I would handle it if I were to get sick. I hope somehow the phobias will melt away with all the healing work. I’m not so sure that will be the case though.

I am not all that good at reparenting yet either. I believe it will come. I also have some of the public thing mention. I used to work in a vision center in a Walmart store where all the people walking through checkout could look in a big glass partition and watch me work. It was during that time I had the first onset of panic attacks, although the work wasn’t what caused it. I remember going to the bathroomm across the store in such a rush that I felt like everyone knew the terror inside me ~ as if I had a ticker on my forehead displaying my every thought in bright colors. I would walk as fast as I could with my head down and try not to look “suspicious”. Once I got to the bathroom inside a stall with the door closed, the anxiousness would melt away. I would have a chance to regroup, and go back to work. Something about that tiny little space was so comforting to me; away from the crowds of people. I often thought I might puke on the way. And, what a horrific embarrassment that would be. I
never did though, thank God.

I don’t have that kind of thing too much anymore. I learned to talk myself through it.

When it comes to vomiting though, I’m still pretty shaky if I feel like I might. It’s bizarre and I have no idea what it comes from.
Hugs and peace,


Hi Mimi
I’ve had this phobia for 33 years and despaired of ever getting shot of it. I too, hope that the healing work will loosen it to the point where it finally collapses. I find it very difficult to talk about as I’m rather embarrassed by it which doesn’t help matters. I’m pleased you managed to find a way of dealing with panic attacks which I know can be very debilitating.


Hi Sam
Oh yes, I went through this! I am happy to say that one day I just accepted that it was up to me. (part of the process I am guessing) I was really angry that I had to “fix” what they broke and that they just walked away (Or so I thought, although today I highly doubt that and I would not want their lives for a billion bucks)
Hugs, Darlene


I was always terribly embarrassed during the time it was happening especially. Of course, I thought I was going crazy. I don’t tell a lot of people about it either. It just seems to carry a stigma in my mind. Like another big light above my head that says, “CRAZY”!! Only people that I really trust are privy to that information….. and EFB of course. I don’t know where I would be without this place to come to. Hope to see you here again.
Peace and Hope,


I’ve been really grappling with anger lately. I’m angry at my mom for designing my life in such a way that people naturally regard me as a “less than”. Without even thinking, they just put me on a lower shelf. I’m so angry about that right now. I know it will pass, I’ve been angry before, and it eventually lifted. It’s with new discoveries it seems. The anger rises to the surface. I wonder if I’ll ever be free of it. I don’t want to be seething inside for the rest of my life. I keep thinking if I allow myself to HEAR my own suppressed voice, that will be enough, and the anger about not being heard will subside. Will hearing myself ever be enough? It’s such a rigorous process. I want to be FREE!!
Hugs and love,


I am reading and able to relate to so many of your writings Darlene…and they are putting words to the very issues I have felt and known in my life but didn’t know how to express them…or maybe I learned to shut down about them…but I am learning so much! I have read about some of the feelings you have about church or religion or the Lord..(and it made me sad that you would have been given more confusion and pain)..but because of my personal faith, I just think you have the very heart of God for helping people the way you are!
The crying for mommy is something that I used to feel for my real mother who died when I was three, but I never felt love from the woman who my dad married a year later…and who legally adopted me. It is very very sad to read these stories because these WERE the real mothers who treated their children so hatefully and cruelly. I almost feel like I had it easier if only in the sense that I always knew that she was not my real mother. We never were close and she did her very best to make certain that we never would be. I read what you wrote about re-parenting ourselves and I have never tried that before. I understand it now that you explained it, so I will begin to! I have a beautiful teen daughter and I had decided before she was born that I would parent her the way I wish that I had been parented….so I did….still am,in fact….and it has been very healing to my heart. Being to her what I wished my mother could have been to me really gave me a purpose and joy and so many wonderful memories! We are very close and I know that is a miracle and I feel grateful. I still never learned how to care for MYSELF though, so this is my season in life for that. I do neglect myself….and haven’t felt worthy,but I want that to change. This website has actually given me real hope that I can change in this area of my life! Thank you again and again…and for everyone who is brave enough to share their stories!


I learned to shut them down because I was told all my life that I was always wrong. And I had no choice but to believe it and that has been a huge part of the brainwashing that I have had to bust out of.
I am really glad that the re-parenting stuff resonates with you! One of the things that I realized about my own kids is that although I too made a decision to parent them differently than I had been parented, I also modeled to them a lack of self care and self respect and self neglect is not what I want to teach my kids is okay! SO the reparenting actually really helped them! They saw me take my life and value back.
I have written lots about this too
I am glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


No hugs from Jean ever. She only did what was necessary. I never went to the doctor, as any injuries were
down played and you got a bandaid. I had a skin rash for 2 years that got worse and worse and because
it wasn’t visible ..just don’t worry about it . What?? Im glad I never broke an arm. I honestly believe they would not have taken me to a doctor or hospital. My Dad was a government employee and had great medical insurance. So they didn’t care. It would have been upsetting to Dad for me to have a problem or an issue or an injury. You NEVER wanted to upset Dad or be in his line of sight. His entire life, love and concern were for himself. His needs, his wants, his dreams. I was less than dirt. Talk about compliance and obedience. I never saw (Im 58) that I was groomed. Thats the correct term, groom to compliance.
Never got any love, or approval for my perfect behavior and obedience. All my life criticism and belittling
and “not good enough”
Ah but today I see..I really see. He’s dead thank goodness so I don’t have to deal with his nastiness
any more but she’s still around. For the past nine years since my Dad died I have shown Jean love,
and tried to be the best loving daughter a mother could want..
Same old treatment. Try harder cause your not good enough. So I did and ran around and around.
Last fall I stopped. I just had to stop it was making me so upset every day just to be in contact.
Then I found you thru Facebook. And I saw the light. I threw out some questions to her and got my answer.
When I recently asked Jean (I no longer call her MOM) why no hugs she blamed me. I was too wiggly as a child.
She blamed me, the child for not being huggable. So I said “what about when I was 10, 20, 30??”
No answer to that.
I wrote a couple of letters stating my case basically. She ignored my questions. No answer to even the simplest question. But the belittling continued. Very subtle but always there. After
each phone call I felt bad about myself. I felt bad about myself. That says it to me. Wow.
I have been no contact over a month now and feel lighter. My neg self talk is much better.
I used to just say..”you’re not a person..you’re not a person” Really. My Nasty nasty family.
I was never me. They told me it was me and I believed them.
I am working on the self esteem and sleeping better too.
I am not alone and that is so immensely helpful to know. I am not bad. I am not crazy. A bit broken,
but I am working on it.


Oh I forgot Jean also modeled to me “a lack of self care and self respect and self neglect “.
She was my role model, also lots of bad coping..she morbidly obese, ran around with her boyfriend and other very bad things when I was 8-15. Then she wondered why I had no self-confidence! Dad groomed me with the compliance and obedience and you’re no good and she modeled a dependent servant.
How was I supposed to get the self confidence? What really screwed up people and yet I was blamed for
everything. You guessed it. I now know I was the scape goat and my brother was and is the Golden Child.
Thanks for listening.


Karen Ranes,
I identify with so much of the stuff you said here. My dad was altogether different than yours, but my mom sounds very similar. My dad wasn’t engaged at all, he was drunk. Then he left when I was 11. His family then disowned my sisters and I. But, I don’t think that’s what really caused most of my injuries or pain. I know it caused fear, but the lasting and sometimes debilitating injuries were at the hands of my mother. She brainwashed my sisters and I to believe she was all we had, and all we’d ever have. In addition, I was the scapegoat, so I got the special treatment of verbal, emotional, an psychological abuse. I was the youngest and she really did a number on me, and still is trying to. I was blamed for everthing too Karen. All of my mom’s issues, were projected onto me, and then I was blamed for it. Double whammy!! I was a no good loser in her eyes, she convinced me I was, and told me my whole family agreed with her. I was really a child (it started a year after my dad left from what I can recall), and it lasted well into my 30s. Constant reminders of how bad I was to raise, etc. I was a good child until she turned on me and basically checked out of motherhood when her boyfriend came along. Then, I started acting out after being in a state of abandonment for a couple of years. She destroyed my sense of security, my self esteem, and the result was years and years of self loathing. For the past year, I’ve been processing all of this and I have uncovered other truths about her since then too. She’s a pathological liar. I had no idea. It’s all been devastating, but, I am determined to be free of her ball and chain, and be healthy….. someday!!
Good luck to you Karen!


Beloved Darlene !!!!How much I have missed all of you , in these long and desperate months , in which I had no more the possibility to communicate with all you !!!I have missed you like if I would not have no more my breath for my broken Heart!!! I missed your schearing ….your way to communicate all ours Pain and difficulties in life , that otherwise it is no possible to shear with no body else in this world , who had not a similar experience , in this life time !!! But now I have managed, with all my effort, to have back the connection with my I Pad …..so at least about this I am VERY HAPPY TO HAVE MENAGED!!!! And it is incredible for me , that I immediatly open your sito, I read the beautifull Poetry ……and I start to cry ….I cry ….I cry and I would like never to stop ……how it is possible that she express exactly the way in which I feel !!!!!I would like to be in her presence …..and hug her ….and thank her for her GIFT to all of us !!!!After a while i stop to cry , and i begin to feel much better then before …..i don’ t feel anymore so ALONE , how usually i feel , in these last months!!! Again i feel togheter with ALL OF YOU , and when i i feel this togheterness…..i feel also that i have still a possibility to TRASFORME this BURNING PAIN OF SEXUALE ABUSE !!!!Than i go on to open your article, and i read your PERCIOUS schearing about your relation with your MOTHER!!!!It seems incredible to me ……because are six or seven months , that I am processing this CONFLICTUAL RELATION OF LOVE – HATE ,that i had with my mother , during the seven years of abuse from my cousine , untill she deed when she was 49 years old and i was 23 years old !!!!!!This conflict started after i have managed to communicate to my mother what was happening to me since years…..and my mother said to me :” Anna……this Pain will take my to the grave ” …..and after 12 years she dyed!!!!I had BELIVED THAT I HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG and for this now my mother would not have LOVED me no more …..but because for me was too much PAINFULL to feel this pain that my mother was not loving me anymore like before, I have started not to LOVE HER ANYMORE , beleving that would have been less painfull…….BUT NOW I NOW that it was not true ….because it has been very painfull also to go AGAINST MY HEART ….in my heart i was still LOVING my mother …..but at the end i have been really able to KILL MY FEELINGS towards her ….for the fear to be DIscriminated as the part of her family has done!!!!Now i am here by myself in this world , with this unresolved pain … and i am very SAD that since some months , i am processing this relation with my mother, projecting all on my DEAREST GIRLFRIEND and also my SPIRITUAL GUIDE , since long time and with whom also i live togheter!!!!I I am in fear to waste our frienship, because i express to her also a lot of hanger with terrible words, that i would never like to adress to her with my heart!!!!I don’t manage to stop all this ,i accuse her that she does not love me anymore…..i am in a co- dependency and that i speak is not what i wish to speak ….but comes out of my mouth like if it would be another person in me doing all!!! It is a terrible and painfull situation for both of us ……and she does not deserve to be treated like this ….even if i have been sexuale abuse!!!I know ….she is not my mother ….but she is just a good friend with whom i had the prevelige to share my Path …..my now my unconsciouss pain soffocated for all my life ….comes out so violently ….and i am also shocked of this part of myself that i did not known that i had!!!!!I I only wish , with all my Heart, that can turn on soon in me , THE LIGHT OF CONSCIOUSSNESS for my self and for all the love and gratitude that i have for my friend!!!!!THANKS TO BE !!!love and Light! Roshani


TODAY I FEEL like to have came back HOME …….finding again all of you !!!! I FOUND AGAIN WHERE I BELONG!! LOVE ! Roshani


Hi Roshani!
Great to hear from you! About your friendship; it is so important that you write (or talk to someone) about your anger and pain caused by your mother and history in order to stop aiming that pain at your freind. I think that so much abuse comes from unexpressed anger and pain in the first place. I think that the articles here might help you with too. A huge part of my process in healing involved not taking my frustrations out on innocents.
Glad you are back!!
Hugs, Darlene


THANK YOU so much….Darlene for your precious WORDS …..I shall try from this moment on , with all what i have , not to take my frustations out on INNOCENTS as is my dear friend KAVITA !!! i want to manage this for myself for Kavita and for the ones close to me !!!! LOVE AND LIGHT! Roshani


Beloved Darlene! I hope not to be too quick to tell you , what it is even difficult for me to find the right words to express all that!!!Your last shearing with me about what i am DEEPLY processing since some months in relation to my mother,with my dearest FRIEND, it has STRONGLY affeccted me and in specific these precise words: ” A HUGE PART OF MY PROCESS IN HEALING , INVOLVED NOT TAKING MY FRUSTATIONS OUT on “INNOCENTS” “. Yes ….this simple word ” INNOCENTS” has deeply touched MY HEART and I hope and I feel that this can really help me to STOP this terrible repetition of every day….it is a kind of OBSESSION ….it is a kind of CANCER OF MY SOUL that has to find the way to EXPRESS ITSELF , TO COME OUT ….but i know that this is not the right way!!!II. I know that to stop this i need urgently to develop AWAERNESS about my BIG PAIN I have suffered with my mother …And I feel that your Honest and truth shearin it is helping me in this process of growing CONSCIOUSNESS….even if i think it needs time!!!But I want to START to BREAK this devastanting repetition!,
It is incredible how sometimes the RIGHT WORD in the RIGHT TIME can really help the TRASFORMATION!!The word INNOCENTS has made my cry…..i also was Innocent when my cousin strarted to missuse my INNOCENCE, like it has been for all of us ,and unconsciously what i try to do now as adult never looked at my past,i try to harm in other ways,the persons close to me and that i love! it is really absurd and terrible all this!Itry to give back whath i have received!!!!So DARLENE once again THANKS ….and i promise to you that i shall manage!!!! FOr now it is just a little seed …..but very important for me …it has to grow….and every day i have never to forget to give water and sun and care!!!This is my WORK now!!!THANKS TO BE ! Roshani


Hi Roshani
I am glad you are writing. For me my attitude changed 100% when I faced the roots of my pain. I sometimes would rant and rave about all my frustrations and all that stopped when I sorted through where it was coming from. I never had a voice in any part of my past. I was always shut down, constantly devalued and that was the root of all of it. I had to validate myself, hear myself, so that I could stop spinning around out of control all the time.
Hugs, Darlene


Yes …..Darlene again you found exactly for me the right words, to express something that you have also gone through !!! I am trying to learn with all of you, this unknown language for me , to express my PAIN now and to find the bridge of all this , with the pain of my PAST!!!! AND if someone has worked a little more on herself , reading how she shear herself , I can learn …..and this it is so PRECIOUS for me and i think for all of us , in order to became aware of all the lies we had to belive in our childhood !!! I think that only seeing the TRUE we can HEAL our SOULS ……but the absurdity it is that after so many years of being forced to belive the lies, at the end i was really beliving all that and for this i think now , seem so difficult for me to accept the TRUTH …..even if i see that , it is clearly here in front of my eyes every day!!! But i think that i need time and i need a lot of patient with myself!!! I am so happy that i can shear with you again…..you can not belive how much you count for me and how much i i missed you all these months!!! THANKS AGAIN for your effort and your commitment in this life time !! LOVE ! Roshani


I remember feeling what you describe when I first found Darlene, and EFB. It was like I was home…. finally!! There was a REASON I was angry, and in pain. There was a reason for all of the emotions I had dealt with, the depression, anxiety, confusion, etc. I was so relieved to find that I wasn’t alone. That there was hope for healing. I was uncovering a lot of truth in my mother at the time. I had no idea how to process it. I was lost and suicidal.

I am so happy to say that all that has changed now. I am still very much in the process of healing, but, I don’t dread the light of day anymore. I have the tools now. I have the support of everyone here. It is priceless and has saved me.

Those days of revelation and uncovering the truth of my past were so incredibly painful. I don’t want to go back, but I can say for sure, there is hope for getting through it. There is hope for the myriad of emotions you’re feeling.

I believed the lies too Roshani. You’re not alone. It will get better. It is so very hard to accept. So painful. I hope you know there is hope and so much help here. I wish you the very best and as much peace as possible during this time of acceptance.
Peace and Hope,


Thanks……Dear MIMI for your beautifull words ….I need so much this kind of shearing , like all of us here we have the COURAGE AND THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY ,to do!!!!At least just for this opportunity to meet here, in this life time , I feel that it is a big gift of exsistence!!!Now I am inside …right in the core of my PAIN of my childhood….this DEVASTATING FEELING …..this TERROR…..THE FEAR not to be loved nomore by my mother , because all the rest of the family , after years of sexuale abuse by my cousine , made me BELIVE THE BIGGEST LIE and betreyed that a child can receive …..that means that if this happened to me , was my FAULT …..I was the WRONG ONE ….not my cousin ….and i have been descriminated from allthe family …..not considered nomore part of the family!!!!!THIS IS THE UNTRUTH that i am seeing now , that I am UNCOVERING !!! Because the most DRammatic part of all these belives that a child has to take , he has no other choise, it is that at the end unconsciously i also BELIVED THAT I AM WRONG !!!!All my life i have tried hardly to cover up to the others that i am wrong, trying to BE EXTRIMELY GOOD WITH THE OTHERS …regardless!!!!!But now i know the TRUTH….I am not WRONG ,,,,,but instead I HAVE BEEN HARMED!!! But now ihave to dealt with all the devastating consequences of having tryed to bilt a LIFE on a Lie…….that seemed to work for a littlt while in my life ….but it could not work long ,because it has to arrive the time where the TRUTH comes out from under the snow!!!Now i understand a lot of things about some my Strange behaviours in relations, the most with girlfriends that i had in my life!!! They come all from my past and from the MISSUNDERSTANDING OF LOVE , that the sexuale abuse carries with itself!!! But the PUZZLE it is very complex and complicated ….and it seems always to me , that if it seems that a piece now it is in the right place …all the other pieces go out of their place!!!! But MIMI you are right …it is a taff time of ACCEPTANCE to go trought …..but if it has been possible for many of us …. I WANT ALSO MANAGE!! THanks to be!!! LOVE AND LIGHT! Roshani


Hi Darlene,

it was so great to find your post, when I was researching ‘Reparenting yourself’.

Obviously you have gone through the process of becoming aware of the cause of your feelings – what you missed out in childhood.

In the last few years I have more intensively worked with my inner child and I write to her and reassure her and give her what she needs. (I grew up with 4 sets of foster parents until the age of 7)

It is so good to know that a lot of my feelings are because she is activated.
At this stage I am creating vision board movies for my inner child and in the process allow her to play with colors on Gimp to create the picture affirmations for the vision Board.

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Love and Light


Hi Yorinda
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
I use writing a lot too and I learned to play close attention to what had been missing in my childhood to understand what I was still longing for as an adult, in order to do that re-parenting work.
Thanks for sharing and glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, is there a system or therapist or book that you would recommend to help someone who knows they need to embark on self-parenting but doesn’t know where to start? Thank you.


Hi Marie
This blog is like a book that is constantly updated. There are over 300 articles written by me all with discussions. This is my system and I am trying to get it into some workbooks and downloads so that people don’t have to read it all online like this but a lot of the’how’ questions are all answered here. I also work one on one with clients over the phone. (currently I only have one opening) ~ Starting can be the hardest part!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene. I’ve been searching for an answer to my struggles and I found it! I pray that my 30+ years of struggling with my heartache will now be coming to an end. Thank you.


Hi Amy
Welcome to EFB! My heartache finally ended! I write about ‘how’ I overcame and took my life back within the pages of this site,
Hugs, Darlene


Dear Darlene

I visited therapist and he diagnosed I suffer from childhood neglect
and suggested me to self-mother myself.
I searched through the net and I found this article , the problem is that I don’t remember anything about my relationship as a child with my mom.
can you help me how to mother myself?


Hi Elody
Welcome to emerging from broken
There are many articles in this site about how I learned to re-parent myself. The quickest way to find them is to type “emerging from broken re-parenting” into google or ’emerging from broken’ with any key words you are interested in that I may have written about. Hope this helps.
(Other than that, I do work with clients one on one on the phone or on skype, although I have a waiting list; if you are interested in that option, email me through the contact form and I will send you my rate.)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene! I am amazed at the layers there are to this healing work and re parenting. I’ve made myself into this never ending project that I feel I need to “repair”. I look forward to the day where I can just “be” comfortable in my own body and accept who I truly am. I know as each day goes by more will be revealed and I am very grateful for that. Sometimes I get stuck in feeling like the “sickness” will never end. My whole relationship I had with my mom was based in her mental illness so needless to say I was pretty screwed up when it came to loving myself. I realize that everyday I will be learning how to love myself and expanding that love outwardly. I’m so tired of the insecurities I still feel inside and I thank the Universe for sending me guides and support to help me. It sure takes a lot of commitment to move through this stuff and yes it is worth it. I don’t want to die an old bitter woman…I hope to leave this planet feeling at peace with myself and that I fullfilled my Soul’s purpose. I know on a deep level that everything happens for a reason and I know I can turn my life around for the good, it just takes time. I am so grateful for your web site and all that you and others share. You are certainly an Earth Angel to me who has brought great comfort. Thank you for being “YOU”, Namaste!


Hi Lora
Welcome to EFB
The whole process was very overwhelming at times, but wow, I never expected the final result to be this amazing! The layers of healing are certainly as huge as the layers of destruction were. There came a day when I ‘knew’ with all my heart and soul that I was changed; that I had done the work and that I was never going to ‘feel’ those ways again or fall into deep depression again. I still keep going forward but I have never felt overpowered by that lost, lonely and dark place where I came from. I found me, and I am me now.
Glad you are here, thank you for sharing,


I have been seeing a therapist who is incredibly capable, she has drawn me out so well and we’ve done so much work. we get on very well Is it a negative or more to the point inopportune thing that I love her to bits, she knows this but doesn’t comment it. I want her to mother me, even if I try the mothering myself as well. I don’t really like the fact that I ‘want’ something from her and I realse that she’s not my mother and can’t mother me, but that’s what the sensation is! I would like to become friends when we complete therapy, I have no intention of rushing through it because of this, though.


Hi Jane
Welcome to EFB
It is common to feel this way about a therapist or someone who helped you ~ I felt that my therapist was the first model of a healthy parent that I ever had and there is nothing wrong with that ‘feeling’ or longing for them to be that parent. But there came a time when I was strong enough to take over and learn to parent myself. And I had to do that because what had been missing in my growing up years was the encouragement and validation for me to become an individual able to think and make decisions completely on my own. I had to learn to validate myself and re-define myself and that was where my freedom and wholeness ultimately grew from.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


I actually think that my mother was less abusive during my childhood years (though she was still largely unsupportive and uncaring) than she has been since I’ve become an adult. However, my reaching adulthood also coincided with HER divorce and it was really at that point that all H-E-double-hockey-sticks broke loose and she became extremely abusive. At first towards both of us and then in later years, she almost seemed ‘sorry’ for abusing my sister early on (I remember that mom and the boyfriend had taken my then-19-yr-old sister’s bedroom door off the hinges simply because she opposed my mother’s decision to move us)but mom never seemed sorry for abusing ME because I afterall, ‘deserved it’. After her second relationship fell apart, I think she just plugged my sister in as the codependent crutch she needed for her own self esteem and value and my sister, who had gone through her own regression at that point had decided that a cushy lifestyle was worth having no respect as an adult and she was all too happy to take on the role. I always call them the ‘perfect storm’ because together, they are.

The first time I really remember her discounting a sickness was with the depression that I was treated for after their divorce (which had less to do with the actual divorce, as I never had a relationship with my father so his absence wasn’t really marked, than it did with the life upheaval that came with it). We moved from my childhood home in a nice house in a nice suburb where all my friends (I was 19!) still lived to a small apartment in a dirty, dangerous city (to be nearer HER boyfriend). I’d left my friends, my job, my college, my lifestyle and everything I’d known my whole life behind and I was told ‘too bad, deal with it’. To this day, she really believes that the divorce was her issue alone. She even says ‘it was MY divorce, not yours’. She really believes that the dissolution of a marriage and 22 years of life affects only the people who’s names are on the decree. How selfish. But I remember her telling me that my depression was a ‘cop out’ and a ‘cry for attention’ because depression in general is ‘fake’. I remember her telling me that I was ‘weak’ because I’d opted for anti-depressants and that therapy is a joke and just a way for people to get addicted to drugs because ‘all therapists do is prescribe drugs so you don’t have to deal with life’. Her reason for my being in therapy was because I ‘couldn’t deal with life’.

The abuse has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and she must think I ‘m made of titantium because every time I mention an illness, pain or concern for something, I’m told that I’m a ‘drama queen’, I ‘make things up’ and I ‘want everything to be serious’. If I say I have a cold and am feeling tired and rundown, she says ‘oh its just a cold, get over it’. If I say I’m tired, she says she is more tired because she got up earlier. I say ‘well, you also get home at 330pm where I am still at work until 6PM) and she says ‘well, I am also twice your age’. If I have a headache, she does too and hers is always worse.

Two and a half years ago, I collided heads with my dog and broke my nose. I knew it broke, I felt it snap and I was in a sifnificant amount of pain but with no health insurance at the time, I didnt go to a doctor for it. Every time I mentioned it after the intial moment it happened (she wasnt around, we dont live together), I was told that I was exaggerating and it wasn’t really broken because if it was, I’d have been in more pain (she knows what type of pain I WAS in, apparently). She was in for a surprise because when I did finally have insurance again and I did go to a doctor, she came with me and he told me it WAS in fact broken and he was surprised I’d lived with it that long. Any small validation was priceless to me.

So I say that too when I am sick or injured…that I want ‘a mommy’ not ‘my mommy’. My mommy has been good for very little when it came to comfort and concern. Even now, her very favorite words are that she put everyone else’s lives ahead of her own and now she is doing what is best for HER, taking care of HER needs. She sacrificed for everyone, all the time, her whole life and now its her turn. Perhaps that’s true on a material level to some degree but I have to say, it also comes with the territory of having kids. My parents didnt have money to clothe us all but my sister and I always had new school clothes every year, even if it meant she didn’t get anything. That always bothered me a little because while I certainly was appreciative, I also always sort of felt like we were HER choice and not the other way around. She did what any real parent would’ve done there yet she felt she should have been (and still should be!) revered for it. However her mental and emotional needs always came before anyone else’s. They still do.


Kelley A, great points, your description sounds exactly like my mother. Often when I was in pain or sick or sad, she would answer in a rage, “Well, HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL? When (insert reason why she has a ‘right’ to be more sick, upset, or weary then I and why I should thus shut up.) I didn’t know I had entered some ‘contest’ with my mother over who was suffering more, but everything was about her and she came first. If I had a problem with someone else, she would blame it on me and also try to ‘prove’ that I was to blame for anything else bad that happened to me. A wholly unsympathetic, self-righteous monster. My mother also felt she ‘sacrificed’ a lot but she was never selfless, never interested in anyone else.


My mom made sure my two sisters and I were well dressed until we were able to work (age 11). Then we saved our money and bought school clothes. We were dressed well, but, it was because she feared people would suspect we were poor, or because she might look like a bad parent if she didn’t keep us in decent clothes. It was always about her.



Hi Kelly A
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes, they make sure to remind you that ‘you deserved it’ and ‘you brought it on yourself’ ~ this is part of the brainwashing and when started young enough, it is hard not to just ‘accept it’. For me this was the most important part of the healing process; realizing where it was NOT something I deserved or brought on to myself. For them, they have to make sure you are always looking at yourself to see what you can do to improve because deep down they know that if you EVER start looking at them, you will quickly see how pathetic they actually are. (and then they lose all power they have over you)
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Caden, I have said those words myself ‘it’s always a contest’ and I have even said them to HER. She always replies with the same: ‘it’s not a contest, wait till you’re MY age’ or ‘I raised TWO kids’ or ‘I’m 64 yrs old AND I’m still working’ (mind you, she did not work my entire childhood and was home from birth till the time I was 16 at which point she got a part-time job). Somehow those comments justified a perceived ‘win’ for her. It never occured to me before I found this blog to ask her if she enters into the same contests with her co-workers or friends. It never even occurred to me that I don’t do that to HER! If she says ‘oh I’m so tired’, typically, the next words out of my mouth are ‘oh, how come?’. But then again I’m not a self absorbed person…

She’s quite the martyr, even to this day. She touts how much she’s sacrificed for us (which to the trained eye is very little…she did the basic, bare minimum)and for some stupid reason she usually GETS the reverence she’s looking for from strangers and even her own equally dysfunctional sisters. ‘Oh, that must’ve been so hard for you’ ‘do they even APPRECIATE it?’…it really makes me want to vomit.


I really believe that the motive behind the fact that she ‘sacrificed’ what little money we had for us was entirely self serving too. It was likely to ‘save face’ as you said. Always the martyr, her real motivation for making said sacrifices was the cheers and reverence she got both then and now for having made them. It really wasn’t ever about the stuff. It was about how great she got to look (and subsequently feel) because she DID it.

Hugs to all.


Hi Kelly
Yes, it never occurred to me either until one day I just saw a little tiny ray of truth and that started the whole healing ball in motion. Just one little crack in the carefully crafted relationship model based on power, control and ownership. I remember the first day I realized that some of the things that happened to me were against the law and that these people were NOT above the law! I remember how stunned I was that I had completely accepted this “parental entitlement” teachings. I remember thinking “wow… if my mother had hit her friend the way she hit me, she would have been charged and convicted of assault! It was a moment of clarity for me that began a whole huge sunbeam of freedom, wholeness and healing!
hugs, Darlene


Thank you for posting this, thank you for doing the work.

I am so full of despair and loneliness right now.

I want to be wanted, nurtured, loved. HOW am I supposed to get that from myself? There have been times when I ddo well with this, and then cycle around to feeling like this again. I want to be held…my skin is screaming…it’s so strong that my brain doesn’t really work.

I know that I’m supposed to stop wishing, hoping, expecting others to be my mother…..but i cant…my spirit is so stubborn and prevents me from moving forward into healing. Or maybe the healing path is about going through these cycles. It’s so painful….like being covered from head to toe in tiny burning papercuts.

I don’t know how to nurture myself….i want to hide in a dark corner and cry until someone finds me…and if no one comes I can die there.

But instead I am going to get up, go to work, and try my best to make it through the day.


Hi Bridge
Welcome to EFB ~ It wasn’t my spirit that was so stubborn, it was my belief system. I believed that I could only move forward if someone loved me because I had been brainwashed to believe that I was only as good as “they” said I was. It was in seeing how that false belief system was set in place that I was able to break out of it and take my life back. That was when I was able to see how to nurture myself. I hope you will keep reading.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Bridge,

I am sorry you are in so much pain. You described it well with the papercuts. I wish I could take away your pain and mine too. I am in less pain now, and some days feel a lot of energy and light, so it does seem possible.


Hi Bridge,

I am sorry that you are in so much pain. Sometimes I want to jump out of my skin too. We weren’t given the right tools to know how to nurture ourselves. It isn’t our fault but we can learn how to do it ourselves. When I learned how to stifle that inner critical voice is when I was able to start giving my own self the warmth and compassion that I deserved and that helped with alleviating some of the feelings that you are describing in your post but what I also found out for my self is I was suffering from multiple disorders at the same time that needed to be treated in different ways and until I figured out which characteristics fell under what disorder I was spinning my wheels because they needed to be treated in different ways in order for me to heal from it.

Don’t give up. Keep reading. I journal about how I feel and it helps me figure out all the things that Darlene talks about on her website here. You have a great support system here. Keep posting!!



The decision to re-parent myself is one of the hardest things I have ever attempted, alongside my vow to never be like my douche of a father. I am not only fixing some aspects of my personality that I don’t like, but I am also trying to oust all of the labels I have been given throughout the years, comforting myself, second guessing myself on what is wrong and what is right, phew it’s a lot of work! (Can I be excused for the fact that I have just started?)

Sometimes, I kind of feel a little guilty when I neglect my father. But knowing that his parenting style is not what I would exactly call parenting, was when I learnt to let go of that desire to run back to him and be the “kid that he wants me to be” all over again. I think I’ll stick to me or at times, my mother thanks.


Really needed this article today. I know that my mother wasn’t nurtured by her mother growing up and in turn, didn’t nurture me. I always thought it would be so nice to be one of her friends or a pet, they got the best of her. The version of the mother I was given is not a warm, hugging, kissing empathic mother. My mother was always concerned with her social life, how wealthy she is perceived to be to her peers even if it’s a sham. I cannot have in depth emotional conversation with her. And now I feel numb about her. I had come to terms with the fact that she did the best she could, she didn’t have these things herself, she will simply never be able to be the mom I need….or so I thought. Today however, I realized that I’m still angry and I’m still very distressed that I was overlooked in the mom department. Recently she had a surgery, and for her entire stay in the hospital I was visiting regularly. Now, she’s been out for a month and a half and I haven’t gone to see her at home once. Everyone assumes I’m a shitty daughter that doesn’t love my mom. Honestly, I’m so numbed out about her. I tried today to have a come to Jesus meeting, get everything out…and yet again, she is clueless. I haven’t tried re-parenting myself. I’m a parent now. And I might just hug and kiss on my 8 year old more than he would like. But at least he can’t say that I wasn’t warm, huggy, and kissy. Lol


Hi Rachel,
Welcome to EFB ~ you are certainly not alone in all of this.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Sharon (47) Wow–you went through horrendous abuse and I am so sorry. I know you wrote your comment four years ago but I hope you are safe now.


i know your post is old but i still want to react to it, when i read your site i read the comments…sometimes things click and there is an aha….this post did that….the oh my moment was seeing that yes, nurturing my self, showing kind regard has been uncomfortable…i had thought that this was because i had been told any sign of self aporoval, happinees or accomplishment was selfish and wrong….oh why are !you! smileing??? as if happiness was an evil that needed an excuse, or who do !you! think you are??? etc. etc.
it had not occured to me that my self talk was a round of accusational appraisal, sort of like an art critique but with a negative slant….all pointing to the fact that i was fundamentally flawed, i could accept the horribleness of me with humility, i could forever strive or endeavor for constant continuous improvement, i could one day maybe figure out why i was so gosh darn wrong….this to me was self love….i see you have a problem there, figure it out, buck up, roll you sleeves up, do somerhing about it….you sick? you should have taken better care if yourself, as if i had broken someone elses toy…come on now think of a plan, how can you do this better???? if for no other reason than if yoy are sick you are no linger being useful, you are not doing your job, you are inconvient.
funny how mercy, love, aporoval, and the whole slew have been verboten!!!!
i am making my way free but i do get these realizations, sometimes over and over. i am learning in my process of unlearning. how nice it is that i can smile now, freely, just because that is how i feel, and that is okay because happiness is not a stolen pie, or something to feel guilty and ashamed of and neither is being kind or loving to my self with no good reason! just because! just because being kind and living feels good!
it is still a little difficult to drop the assessment though….i think this is because self evaluation, honesty, goal setting are an important part of life……i think this is the hardest part of all the lies…so many of them have some bit of truth i do not want to eradicate entirely. the lies are either missing the part that would have made it truth, or have twisted it so to fit the use they had that it is deformed.


I just found this little gem of an article. Makes me want to say ‘we should be friends’… just because this is EXACTLY how I’ve felt and unable to put into words. I’m embarking on this re-parenting journey now after a painful divorce and realize how much my past had affected my marriage. I thank you for this article…

I would love to hear an update on how things have been going for you.


Thank you everyone for your comments. I am not alone in this and that comforts me. For me, my least favorite part is that nauseating panic feeling in my chest when I go to therapy and re-experience my childhood feelings. It sucks that so many people don’t know how to parent. Let’s break the cycle. Let’s look at our past, ourselves, heal and make changes so we can be the parents we wish we had in our childhood.

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