Are there Excuses for Emotional Abuse and Child Neglect?


Is there an excuse for emotional abuse and child neglectSometimes it strikes me that my blog may not be “fair” to my mother because I had two parents and the truth is that my father did as much damage in my life as my mother did. Although I want to write about my father, there just isn’t much to write. My father was emotionally unavailable and emotionally absent and by definition my father was emotionally abusive.

My father didn’t contribute much to my life at all. He didn’t pay attention to me, he didn’t affirm me, he didn’t communicate with me in fact I don’t know what role he did play in my life other then financial support while I was growing up. 

I think that my father is dissociated. The “disconnected from the world and from himself” kind of dissociated. Perhaps he has dissociative identity disorder and since that is what I had, I know a lot about it.

My father is passive and apathetic as though nothing matters and nothing impacts him. He refers to himself as easy going. I think that he is passive abusive and as I said emotionally abusive.

Why was my father so apathetic when it came to me? Why did he behave as though I didn’t matter and communicate that message to me through so many of his actions and inactions? Growing up, I didn’t think that it was about HIM. I thought that it was something that was wrong or missing in me.  Realizing that he was dissociated at first made me say “OH YA that makes sense” BUT it didn’t go any distance towards my freedom from the pain I had always had in relation to my emotionally unavailable father.

People say things like “well at least he didn’t beat you.” And I never knew what to say to that. That statement is a guilt trip. It is like saying …“well you should be grateful that he didn’t do anything violent like some fathers do”.  People say things like this as though the good about the fact that he didn’t beat me cancels the bad about the rest of what he didn’t do. Good does not cancel bad. Good is Good and Bad is Bad. Two different things.

In this blog ~ “Truth is Truth”

My father didn’t care about me.  He neglected me. He didn’t engage with me and he wasn’t interested in my life. I don’t remember conversation with him when I was a kid.  That is emotional neglect. I don’t remember any conversation with him that was about ME as an adult either. 

I found the following definitions of Emotional Abuse on the US Department of Health and Welfare site.   

Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is often difficult to prove and, therefore, child protective services may not be able to intervene without evidence of harm or mental injury to the child. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms are identified.

And These from the Department of Justice in Canada;

Neglect is often chronic, and it usually involves repeated incidents. It involves failing to provide what a child needs for his or her physical, psychological or emotional development and well being. For example, neglect includes failing to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter, cleanliness, medical care or protection from harm.3 Emotional neglect includes failing to provide a child with love, safety, and a sense of worth.

Emotional abuse involves harming a child’s sense of self. It includes acts (or omissions) that result in, or place a child at risk of, serious behavioural, cognitive, emotional or mental health problems. For example, emotional abuse may include verbal threats, social isolation, intimidation, exploitation, or routinely making unreasonable demands. It also includes terrorizing a child, or exposing them to family violence.

My father didn’t protect me from my mother.  I don’t remember my mother hitting me with a belt when my father was at home, so he may not have been aware of some of that physical abuse, but this one time she slapped me as hard as she could across the face because I was late getting home.  The truth about that situation was that my father forgot to tell her that I had called and that he had given me permission to stay later at my friends across the street. My father stood there with his mouth hanging open when my mother slapped me.  No one comforted me.  No one supported me.  He didn’t protect me. He didn’t say anything to her in front of me to validate me or stand up for me. I was hit and it was a mistake ~ but so what?? Who cares about Darlene? She is “just a child”. 

My father failed me. There is just no denying it and believe me I tried to deny it for most of my life. I tried to tell myself that he was busy and that he had an important job. I told myself that his mind was elsewhere and it needed to be so that he could provide for us. I was in effect telling myself that his actions were correct… that he had many things in his life that were far more important than I was and that I was the one with the problem for feeling unworthy and unlovable.  

But really, are there excuses for emotional abuse and child neglect?

The truth is that it doesn’t matter even if my father had some unknown disease that caused him to completely detach from me for some unknown reason… the damage was done and it is the damage that needs to be dealt with instead of excused by finding out the answer to the WHY questions.

Deciding that my father fits the description of being dissociated did not contribute in any way to how I was able to heal from the damage that his lack of interest and emotional neglect of me caused.  Like the above definition states ~  “Emotional neglect includes failing to provide a child with love, safety, and a sense of worth…” And that IS the damage that was caused by my fathers inability to have any kind of real relationship with me.

The real emotional healing came with self validation. I realized that just because my fahters actions and ill regard for me showed that I was invalid and unimportant in his life did NOT prove that I was invalid and unimportant.  The fact that my father didn’t hit me or even yell at me did not make him a good father.  The way that he regarded me fits the descriptions of emotional abuse and child neglect. The fact that he didn’t even bother with me is the fact that I had to deal with. The damage that he caused to me by his emotional neglect and passive abuse is what I had to face in order to overcome that damage.

My father was emotionally unavailable and emotionally abusive. His lack of contribution in my life was his fault and it defines him. NOT ME. 

Please share your thoughts about the subject of child neglect, emotionally abusive or emotionally absent fathers, focusing on the damage instead of the reason or anything else that you wish to share here.

This is the truth that set me free.  

Darlene Ouimet

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98 response to "Are there Excuses for Emotional Abuse and Child Neglect?"

  1. By: Amber Posted: 21st September

    First of all, I’d like to say thank you to all you who showed courage in posting their stories. I know from experience that it isn’t easy to do so.

    I can completely relate to your stories and add more to it with mine. My father was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. Although I escaped his torture 10+ years ago to find a better life, he still continues to mentally abuse me and my siblings by through abusing my mother and he isn’t ashamed of admitting it. He hated the fact that I escaped him at the age 21 and are now successful in life. He always wanted the worst for me and still wishes for me to be dead. The only crime I ever committed was being born in this family and the cost of it was far greater than I could have ever imagined.
    I am 32 years old now and have come to terms with the abuse I suffered throughout my life and realized that some people will continue to get pleasure out of controlling others’ and their minds, and that’s who my father is. I can’t help him but pray that someday this ends for my mother, my siblings and myself.
    On a more positive note, I am a successful professional woman, with a healthy family of my own and a husband who is truly one in a million. So there is always a happy ending to every story, but you just have to allow the good things to happen to you. It’s not your fault that your father did this to you; it is who he is just like you said. Stay positive and know that there are a bunch of us out there who are survivors of the ultimate challenge :).

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st September

      Hi Amber
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am so sorry that your father still finds a way to get to you and that your mother lives with it still. Thank you for sharing your victory story and for your encouragement to others.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Kim Posted: 20th August

    Hi Julie, i can totally relate to your situation. I myself had emotionally unavailable parents and it took me till the age of 30 to actually make the link that my parenting also led me to pick emotinally unavailble men in my life. After researching alot myself and studying a degree in early childhood and gaining the knowledge to understand how your brain and inner woking model is shaped in the early years throught the love, nurting anf interaction from your parents has helped me to change many things. Sadly thou untill you realise the dsyfunction you were brought up in and not accept it as normal then how do you begin to change?
    I am glad i had the insight to start looking deeper into my life and looking at myself as the common demoninater, i have always tried to raise my children differentely and i hope that in the early years i did enough things different to foster good emotional health in my kids but i now have the skills to guide them now and change the pattern of dysfunction that has played out in my family for many generations, my grandkids will be the most emotionally secure children and that pattern will be broken

  3. By: julie Posted: 25th July

    Thanks darlene I am coming to terms with the truth and have ostrasized myself from the abusers for 2 years. As a way of setting boundaries and to heal. Just wondering how long it took you to be a peace an forgiveness and to move on as |i am not there yet, Thanks julie

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Hi Julie
      It took me about 2-3 years in an intensive process of facing the whole truth. During that time was when I started to set boundaries. Each person is different though.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: julie Posted: 24th July

    Hi Darlene, Thankyou for acknowleding my post. As I still live in the fear of not being heard or believed. I occasionally repeat my sentences to others as if I am not heard. WHich I try not to do. I have also suffered from bullying as an adult because my low self esteem shines threw. I still to this day look at my dad and my siblings as wonderful people that \i love so much but feel as though \I am hated by them and invisible. I sometimes believe that they dont hate me an will come around one day and realize they love me and miss me but maybe that is my denial of the abuse. I wish so much that I could be a part of the family. BUt to go back I would have to wear the shamed hat and loser hat as \i did for 40 years of going to family get togethers which were the only times I saw them. I am 45 and have never been invited to my siblings homes or received a friendly phone call from them. My dad has never called me eather to just say hi. Only my mother who forbid me to talk about anything.\so i have lived with this black secret afraid to tell anyone for all my life.|I was afraid ot their reaction and I thought I was the only one in the world treated this way. After reading your post Darlene I felt a bond with you as It mirrors my own life in certain ways. I really like your comment on that it was not my faultyness but my fathers. I also found on youtube the love letter from God to help me alot and also forgiveness sites on youtube. You are |Darlene a courageous woman not a weak one who has helped other people and made yourself a wounded healer. God bless you Julie

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th July

      The reason that I try to answer so many comments is because I felt that way too. I had NEVER been heard and my first steps towards the life and truth I live now were because someone finally heard me. Your story is so much like mine but I am free now. And that is what I want for everyone! It is possible!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: julie Posted: 23rd July

    Hi Darlene, you article helped me alot. I have lived in a fog about the abuse I endured growing up. My father gave me the silent treatment most of my childhood years,never initiated a conversation or cut my conversations short the few times he did acknowledge I was talking. I grew up terrified to talk to him because | I never knew if he would look straight threw me as nonexistant. I never experience violance grewing up or name calling just not being acknowledged. I also would like to mention that my other siblings he did not treat this way just me. |So now that I AM AN adult I have not seen or spoken to my father or my siblings in 3 years. My siblings copied him and treat me like I dont exist eather. So I have had to cut myself off from them. My mother who strived for the perfect picture family was an enabler and lived as though nothing took place. Even thou I am an educated professional my self esteem and selfworth had always been low. I also suffer from anxiety and panic disorder.\ thankyou again for you helpful article.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd July

      Hi Julie
      Welcome to EFB! There are so many kinds of abuse and what happened to you is absolutly one of them. My father was a passive abuser as well; I was emotionally neglected and the message that I got from him was that I didn’t matter. That caused a lot of damage.
      I am really glad that you are here! There is a lot of support and healing in this site.
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd April

    That is a common thing to decide, but it is not the truth. You don’t have fictitious disorder! 🙂
    Self validation came to me by looking closely at what happened to me and what it caused me to believe about myself. The false messages that I had been given and realizing that they were false was the key.
    Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Marina P Posted: 21st April

    Hi Darlene,
    Thanks. Glad to hear that I am not the only one although I would not wish it on anyone.
    Self validation is so important and great credit to you that you can do it. I seem to have internalised the invalidation and it is constant battle but hopefully with time it will change. Have decided I have factitious disorder and am making it all up! 😉

    You have obviously done really important work and come very far so credit to you.
    Great site.

  8. By: Marina P Posted: 21st April

    Last one! 😉
    To answer the question of the thread: there is never an excuse for abuse. We are all responsible for our actions despite what we have gone through or suffer with. That applies to your parents.

  9. By: Marina P Posted: 21st April

    Just realised I am the second “Marina”! :-/ I shall be “Marina P”.

  10. By: Marina Posted: 21st April

    Hi Darlene,
    You may not be coming back to this as it seems it is an old thread.
    I understand what you are saying and am sorry that your father never protected you and was not a parent for you.

    For a long time I was stuck in explaining my parents bad behaviour away. And it kept the anger turned in on myself and stopped me from healing. Understanding is different to acknowledging the damage and allowing ourselves to put the anger where it really belongs. That’s why I resent people lecturing about forgiveness. We need to work through the feelings before we can think of forgiving and even then it is a choice whether we do so or not. And understanding doesn’t change the damage at all.

    With my parents it was the other way around – my mother was passive and an enabler and my father more actively abusive.
    My father very emotionally abusive and mildly physically abusive.

    What brought me here is my confusion over feeling so devastated by the emotional abuse. As much but in a different way to the instances of r*pe and sex*al assaults that I experienced from another family member and others.
    It feels like I am insulting people with PA and SA for me to be so affected. Invalidation is a big thing for me and a result of the parents. It just hurts so much and I feel so foolish and weak. Explaining what happens in words just sounds empty and like nothing. And I can’t seem to get past it.
    One of the things my father said to me was, “if I wanted to hear from you I would flush the loo”. And the look of disgust and revulsion on his face is something I associate with speaking.

    I havnt looked at the your other stuff but keep fighting. I am over my v long term Ed now and trying to stop avoiding dealing with abuse issues.
    Take care.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st April

      Hi Marina
      Welcome to EFB ~ You have found the right website. Emotional and psychological abuse is just as damaging as any other abuse. A very common survival method is to question if our abuse is as valid as someone elses. Its an effective coping method in childhood. (to make excuses for the abuser etc because we have no choice but to put up with it so we have to figure out a way to cope and survive it) The way that I finally got past feeling foolish is to finally validate myself where I had never been validated by “them”. There is tons of stuff in this site about this whole thing and how I faced it and overcame it.
      glad to have you here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Jennifer Posted: 8th March

    Happy to find this website. It’s comforting to see that there are others who have suffered from this kind of confusing abuse, even though it’s sad that people have suffered it in the first place. My parents had me when they were young, 19 and 20, and I always tried to say that was their excuse for treating me the way they did. But that actually isn’t THAT young, and even still, it isn’t an excuse. They didn’t even try the best they could, even though that is what they like to say. They left us with pre-teen sitters from morning til late at night til we started school, while they went out and partied. Then I just remember kinda floating through life as a loner, til my dad suddenly became obsessed with a crazy religions cult when I was 8 and mom took off when I was in 6th grade. Then my dad and step mom were breathing down my neck about everything in the universe, at every waking moment for about 5 years, til they finally sent me away to boarding school across the country. When they couldnt afford it anymore, they took me out and disowned me and I was up for grabs, at age 15. My cousin (one of my pre-teen sitters from earlier in life) volunteered to take care of me but needed money to do so, and my dad wouldn’t give any. My absentee mother refused to give up custody so she said I could live with her at her boyfriends house, where I was kicked out of not much later. I have since been on my own. I am 31 years old now but it took me several years to NOT be homeless. They wouldn’t even let me sleep on their couch or give me a sandwich. They are currently still for the most part absent in my life, unless I contact them myself. My mom likes the idea of us “being friends” … that kind of disturbs me. She treats me like a next door neighbor. A little small talk, and then she starts telling me all about what she is up to. My dad is just in la la land, I think he has BPD or something. Not sure what to do about these relationships now that I am an adult. Any insight? Thanks for your site.

  12. By: marina kamen Posted: 6th March

    Good article. I have been raised with his type of father situation which increased after the death of my mother in 1990. I am a Lifestyle & Musical Fitness Weight loss expert for television in NYC. I have raised 3 grown children, married 29 years and have lost 100 pounds. I constantly reach out to my father still who deals with me in this manner. Perhaps this is what has created me to be a survivor. The emotional emptiness it leaves is tough to deal with. Much respect for all here on this board:)M

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th March

      Hi Marina
      Welcome to EFB
      Yes, it is very tough to deal with. This website is about how I learned to fill the emotional emptiness for myself and how I found freedom and wholeness after a lifetime of struggle. It was all about being good enough for me. I hope you will read and comment often,
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Brenda Posted: 24th February

    Hi Darlene, What an education I’ve gotten since i’ve been reading your post for about a month now…This one in particular is very interesting to me. My parents kicked me out of my home when i was 15 because i became pregnant with a young of 18. I was ostracized from everyone in my family of origin grandparents, aunts, uncles… and even forbidden to go back to school my tenth grade year…They gave me a choice to give the child away or forget i ever had them as parents…I didn’t think twice i knew that is not something i could live with even though i never planed to become pregnant… The reason for their unreasonable stance was because the young man the father of my child was a black man. I know this because a few years later my sister 2 years younger than myself became pregnant at the same age she was supported in every way possible by my family of origin because the father of her child was white… Well, long story short the the planed for me to get married to this young man I was 15 at the justice of peace had no idea that i was going to be married that day..with the cloths on my back that was the last day i went to my house… I went to the young mans families home..I was so scared…It was a home with a single woman raising 8 children on her own in a small north eastern town…She welcomed me to the best of her ability. I’m sure she was devastated as well but i had a place to sleep. Before my son was born we got our own apartment this was 1973 you can imagine what that was like for a young interracial couple without much support from family absolutely none from my side…i never have found out what they told everyone about where i was and what happened to me i can only imagine it was something to make themselves look good and me bad… Well the marriage lasted not more than two years… Then the people who took me in his family was their for him and my son but not me. I guess the reason i’m writing all this is because just recently I am coming to the realization that…and this may seem obviously to others but I needed someone (family) to love me. That what seemed at the time to be loving support was really not that at all. The young man the father of my son turned against me too… This was a nightmare to me. Didn’t realize it then now i’m starting to see I ran away from that place as far as i could get the other side of the country… I remarried my son came with me but always wanted to go back… Summer time visits weren’t getting it anymore..Summer of 82 he moved back with his dad..that was the hardest thing i have ever done in my life even harder than leaving my parents…It’s still had he’s 39 and i have 3 beautiful granddaughters on the east coast and i’m on the west coast… I’ve kind of lost track on what i set out to write here, but thanks for letting me get my story out part of it anyway… I’m still emerging from broken… oh,yeah this is about mothers and fathers…so much to try and get straight from my mother to my myself my son’s mother and his father… I know i’ve caused him so much pain because of the distance between us and i am so sorry for that, but there is nothing i can do to take back the past… He worships his dad even though i know he also has some responsibility too. I’m going to close this for now because seems like there is just to much to figure out. Thanks again.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th February

      Hi Brenda
      Thank you for sharing this, I know it is painful. (very painful) and it is really hard to comprehend how parents can reject their own children that way, isn’t it! Don’t assume that anything is obvious, I was in the fog so long that I was stunned at what I didn’t see and the connections that I didn’t make that SEEMED so “obvious” when I made them. That is the survival system, that is how we got by.
      But it was in seeing the type of stuff that you are sharing here that got me moving from surviving to thriving!
      hugs, Darlene

  14. By: silent Posted: 30th January

    is there a EVER a reason a father would raise a fist to his own daughter?

  15. By: Laura Posted: 1st December

    If I didn’t know better I might think I had written this myself. So many similarities. My father is dead now.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st December

      Hi Laura
      thank you for your comments. Welcome to EFB

      Hi Zincky
      I gave up trying to figure out why they don’t realize it. I know one thing is that they don’t see other people as equally valuable to themselves.
      There are no excuses. hugs!

  16. By: Zincky Posted: 1st December

    Why is it tha people do not realize that what they didn’t do is as bad as any abuse.
    So sick of all the excuses people make for abusers, neglect is abuse often of the worse kind.

  17. By: Tamara Posted: 30th November

    It’s weird, I reread the post and I realized that I omitted the part where my mother actually said “that is what your father wants to do with you.”
    Even when I face it I avoid it.haha.

  18. By: Tamara Posted: 30th November

    Darlene – Thank you once again for expressing and clarifying some subtle and not so subtle ways that emotional neglect can affect us.
    I love that – “well at least he didn’t hit you” No but my Dad threw and broke things, yelled so loud that when someone raises their voice around me to this day I fight the chemical reaction in my gut and brain. I have to practice deep breathing and affirmations. I don’t care who you are if you yell at me for no reason I will get the hell away from you!

    Ok – so here is an issue that I keep trying to resolve in my inner-(wo)man…When I was 14 I had a job after school at the place my mother worked. I cleaned several bathrooms and a few offices. Nepotism means nothing to me!! I could not be promoted out of Crapper Duty(Dootie).
    One day as I was taking out the trash at work, my mother brought up the subject that was on the Geraldo Show that week. I did not even think she watched daytime TV. She asked if I saw the show that featured Father’s who wanted to have sex with their daughters and the strain that it put on their marriages; etc. I was not a Geraldo fan but I did happen to see that show. I remember because I thought to myself,”At least he ignores me and I don’t have the issue those poor girls do” when I saw it.

    I am not in denial. My Father NEVER showed any hint of sexual abuse nor perversion towards me, my sister nor any of my brothers. I even remember my Dad avoiding us girls because my mother would pout,whine or bitch if my Dad tried to play or even show interest in any of us children;or any body else to be honest. I realize that this creepy and untrue suggestion of my Mother’s is just one more mean and sabotaging remark that she easily made to everyone, but it damaged me in a way that I still am trying to unravel.

    I know my Dad has a part in the emotional neglect, but he did/does not seem mean-spirited to me – just immature in his emotions. If he hurt us with his words or actions he would always come back and apologize and hug us even try to hide his tears but he would comfort us a little (as children)He’s pretty hard now.

    My mom just stayed mad all the time – I swear it is amazing that she didn’t stroke out. I have not ever brought this up to my mother or father, I would like to hear from others on the subject.
    I still struggle with a false sense of responsibility.

    I know Thanksgiving is past on the calender but not in my heart. I am thankful to be alive and breathing – moving forward and feeling a little more free each day…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st December

      Hi Tamara,
      Something that really helps me is to concentrate on the damage instead of the intentions when it comes to my past and the way that my parents were. Then I can look at what the events communicated to me about me and when I find the lies there, I can begin to heal from them.
      Keep processing this way, I found these kinds of realizations very helpful. (and yes, it is interesting that even when you tried to face it you want to avoid it! I totally relate to that though!)
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Deirdre Burnside Posted: 25th November

    Surprised at my strength this Thanksgiving, blessed for having found healing power, I am overjoyed to find myself here at your blog. I so resonate with you and your stories. Your description of your father was almost dead on for me, emotionally. Our stories different yet same. I hear and understand your pain, your emergence. This is magic for me. Your stories keep me from believing & accepting a past less then perfect. To wake up one day and to realize that this is NOT your story, just a layer, a veil that shrouds the real you. Peeling off the layers, one by one, I find that the pain is really no worse, just the same. Instead of anguish I feel relief at the truth. Finally, some truth. Seeing through all of the smoke and mirrors of humanity’s coping. Oh, to relax the stomach muscles, to let go… I am a weeping willow bending in the wind, yet I stand tall. I am reading The Courage to Heal. Amazing to find that you are not alone, anymore….
    Namaste, Deirdre

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th November

      Hi Deirdre!
      Yay for new strength and hope! I am so glad that you like my work and that you have found out you are not alone! We are certainly NOT alone!
      Thank you for your comments and encouragement!
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Tat Posted: 24th November

    In a way I think emotional abuse is much harder to cope with than physical, because most of the time you don’t even realise what’s going on. It took me long after I got out of a toxic relationship to figure out that it wasn’t me that had a problem. It would be even harder for a child to work it out.

    Thank you for sharing your story, all the best to you.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Hi Tat
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      Yes this is true. I never once as a child suspected that it was NOT me that had the problem. In fact I didn’t really think it was them until I started to look at the truth about it all. (under all that brainwashing I had lived with my whole life)
      Thanks for your comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Wanderlust Posted: 23rd November

    Hi Darlene, what a sad story but powerful realization on your part. The thing with emotional abuse is that there are no physical scars or violent incidents to point to, that act as a demarcation or confirmation of abuse. But it can leave such deep scars, as you experienced. You are an incredibly strong person for exploring your past in this way, questioning what happened, doing research and essentially healing your wounds and setting yourself free. I’m just amazed sometimes when I see the strength and beauty in someone who came out of such a unhealthy situation and wonder, “how did they do it?” x

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Hi Wanderlust;
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      Thank you for your comments and encouragement. It was powerful for me to realize that after all the years that I focused on only the physical violence that my mother inflicted, that my father played a role in it too by his non action. Realizing that when one parent is a witness to domestic violence and does nothing, that is STILL abuse, was like finding another piece of the puzzle in the healing process.
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: invisible321 Posted: 21st November

    I was told by my PTSD therapist my parents didnt need to fight they took it all out on me….My mother would use the “wait till your father gets home” after she had started a fight with me and had emotional and phyically abused me and he couldn’t wait to stand me up against the wall legs spread and beating me with a belt sexual violence…it was the most horrible ignorant parents anyone could ever ask for.(in my eyes) . Ignorance is not bliss,,,,, and I used to feel sorry for them cuz they must be mentally screwed up but they really should of tried harder. Thanks as always Darlene,,it is sad to say but it is nice to come here and find out we are not the only ones.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd November

      Hi Sophia
      Great breakthrough! Thank you for sharing it here.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Invisible321
      I am so sorry that you went through this horror. Yes, we are not alone. In fact it it astounding how many adults have this stuff in their backgrounds and we thought that we were alone!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Sophia Posted: 21st November

    I have been going through a quiet revolution for the last two days. Like you said, Darlene, in the original post, I’ve always talked mostly about the damage my stepmother did. Now that I am deeply processing what you and Patricia have said, I am opening to the thought that a passive neglectful parent, like my father, does the worst damage. And like Patricia says, it is covert, not recognized. Is it that passive betrayal, that inability to defend me and guide me, that had really put me in the emotional limbo I inhabited for so many years? Not that I really want to let my stepmother off the hook, but I AM SO MAD right now at that man who defended HER, and made excuses for HER. He even stood up to HER father to defend her against his insults, but I was not worth it. If he honestly never saw the damage she was doing, if he wanted me to be like him and just try to tune her out and go numb….. aarrrgghhh! I keep wondering what it means that of the all the women he dated when he was widowed, she struck him as the best possible person to marry and bring to us, his children, as a mother. It means something about him that belies the image of being such a wonderful man and father. So all these years I’ve been beating myself up because I haven’t been able to recognize a main source of neglect and abuse. I didn’t know that it wasn’t right for him to act that way and that it wasn’t my fault. Whew, this is gonna take some time to assimilate, but it is really a relief to get it.

  24. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st November

    Emerging from Broken has been having technical difficulties this past 18 hours and no comments have been allowed through. This problem has been resolved now; please try to post comments again. (I got notices about the posts people were trying to comment on)

  25. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th November

    Hi Patricia
    Very good contribution to my post! Even today I too find that those scars go very deep and that I constantly have to remind myself that they don’t get to define my by the way they regarded me.
    Hugs and thank you ~ Darlene

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