Are You Exhausted from Trying to Be Stronger than You Feel?


beautyI saw a quote that said, “I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel.” And it really hit me; we live in a world that teaches things like “fake it till you make it” and “love heals all wounds” but the truth is that those lovely little phrases didn’t work for me. Pretending that I was fine and “believing” that LOVE would heal all wounds when the people who had done the wounding were telling me to “get over it” and “stop making such a big deal out of nothing” didn’t assist with the pain that I was in. It wasn’t until I realized what love really is that I was able to understand how love could heal my wounds. It wasn’t until I acknowledged where the exhaustion came from and how the wounds got there in the first place that I found healing.

I was exhausted too. I was exhausted from trying to be happy and from trying to be grateful for a life that seemed to be getting harder and harder. I was exhausted from being who other people wanted and expected me to be. I was exhausted from always trying harder and exhausted because nothing I did ever being enough.

I was exhausted because nobody heard me and because nobody cared that I was exhausted.

And I just couldn’t understand it. I believed that I might be the only person in the world that didn’t know how to make simple “gratitude” work for me; although I was practicing gratitude, it wasn’t working. I felt defeated. I felt stifled. I felt oppressed, I was weary and plain down to the bone tired. 

I believed that I had nothing to be unhappy about. And that made me feel guilty and ashamed of myself. I believed that I was living my dream; great husband, three amazing kids, ~ living on a huge farm/ranch with my own horses and the best dog in the world.

But I wasn’t happy. I was exhausted. 

I was 44 years old and heading into my 4th major depression since my first child was born. I was doing all the things I was told to do ~ I was getting outside every day, I was doing a little exercise, I was practicing gratitude, reading self help books, I was really trying but I kept falling down and getting back up was getting harder and harder.

I had been trying to be stronger than I felt for most of my life.

Trying to be grateful,

Trying to “let go” and “move on”

Trying to “Live and Let live”

Trying to “be me”

Trying to forgive people that denied they had ever done anything wrong. Trying to accept the blame for things that were never my fault, never my responsibility or my doing.

Trying and trying and trying… I was exhausted from trying.

Today I live in peace and harmony. I haven’t had a depression for over 10 years. I am excited to jump out of bed every morning and see what the day has in store for me. I love my work as a professional coach helping others find the freedom and wholeness that I found, teaching and sharing the ways that I found it. My kids are all grown up and have moved out of the house; they are all at different stages of beginning their adult lives but they come home often and there is a lot of laughter, love and celebration when they are home. We have real relationships based on mutual respect and equal value. My husband and have a partnership that is rarely experienced in a marriage spanning over 25 years.

So what happened? How did I get from exhausted to excited? How did I rebuild that missing bridge? How did I recover my self-esteem? How did I finally move forward in order to let go?

It turned out that I had been trying to put the cart before the horse.

I found a way to look at the roots of where the broken began. I looked at the truth about how I had been falsely defined by the actions and inactions of others. I realized that I had been objectified from a young age and it had been communicated to me though the careless actions and inactions of people that my purpose in life was to serve the needs of others. My actual needs were invalidated. I had been brainwashed to see myself as not enough, not worthy, not loveable because seeing myself that way enabled controlling and manipulative people to get what they wanted from me. I was exhausted because (as I was taught to do) I kept trying harder and it was never enough. I was exhausted from trying to prove that I WAS worthy, and that I WAS a good person, and while I believed that my heart was misunderstood, I was brainwashed to also believe that something was wrong with me.

I found a way to look at what happened to me. How did the depressions start? I realized my depressions were a way for me to shut down. They were like a fuzzy blanket of protection; a coping method just like the way that I dissociated was a coping method. Just like addiction is a coping method. And after years of coping I was running out of the will to cope. I was running out of the energy to keep trying. I was giving up on the road to conquering because I didn’t think there was actually a way to achieve it.

But there is a way. There is hope. And I found success! 

Finding a new way to see things enabled me to validate myself in all the areas and events that I had been invalidated. I found a new way to see myself. I found a new way to see my struggles and finally stated; “no wonder I was depressed! No wonder I was sinking! No wonder I felt like I was losing the fight!”

Because as long as I saw myself the way that I had been brainwashed to see myself, I WAS losing the fight! And the only way that I finally saw myself through the grid of truth about me was when I saw how I came to believe that I was not enough, that something was wrong with me, that I was somehow defective, that I was unworthy of love and that I was powerless and had no choice.

The TRUTH is that I HAVE a choice and when I saw myself through the lens of what happened to me, instead of through the lens of what is wrong with me, I was able to take my choice back.

I took my power back. I took my life back and I got ME back!

I have energy to spare today and I am free of the oppression that held me back for so very long.

And You can have this too!!

I started this website over 6 and a half years ago and today there are over 450 full articles about how I took my life back with comments in the discussions totaling almost 42,000! Thousands of people have read my e-book (see the side bar here) and I have received thousands of thank you notes. I have worked one on one (see the coaching and consults info page) with hundreds of people all over the world helping them find what I have found. I am driven by my passion to tell others this amazing discover that I made. If you are able, please help me spread this message of hope and healing by sharing through the social media buttons and please feel free to comment.

Join me on the Journey to Freedom!

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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112 response to "Are You Exhausted from Trying to Be Stronger than You Feel?"

  1. By: Andria Posted: 2nd March

    Hi Megan and Nadia,

    What you both posted resonates with me. I know that by going NC with family was the right thing to do, but I still question sometimes what my role was in the whole mess. I know I am a descent person and kind. I realize I am asking questions that have no answer to them. Even if I asked my family what the deal was-why was I treated badly when I felt I did nothing bad; I would most likely not be given an answer at all or I would be told a lie. It was never about me. It was always about them.

  2. By: Nadia Posted: 2nd March

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to talk about this but I’m going to take a chance. I’m worried about using Facebook because I don’t want anyone tto see it and then report it to my family.
    My Father is in Hospital with pnemonia. He is at a stage in his Dementia where swallowing is difficult. I received this news from a relative BTW. I visited my Dad in the Fall at the nursing hom he was at. I hadn’t seen him in a year so it was difficult to see him at first and to realize that he didn’t know who I was. When I left, I was happy to have seen him and I felt at Peace. I received a letter from my brother in late January, telling me to step up and be there for my mother. He still hasn’t accepted the fact that I had to walk away. I spent my whole life trying to make,this woman happy and in the end it was never enough. I had a nervous breakdown the last time we spoke and I haven’t spoken to her since then. I have tried so hard to explain this to my brother but he refuses to understand and continues to bully me, and use his accusations and name calling to get to me. I use email to communicate with him because I am afraid to see him in person. I know it’s sounds childish and immature but I am afraid of him and my mother. They are emotional bully’s and they have no sense of accountability for anything they have ever done wrong. They just look at what I have done wrong.
    I sent out an email to my mother and brother stating that I knew my Dad was in hospital. I went on to say that I wish things had been different and that I tried but it was never enough etc… now that I look back it may not have been good timing but my emotions got the better of me. I didn’t get a response from my mother but my brother emailed me back, telling me off. I agree that the timing may have been off but the rest of what he said was uncalled for.
    So, I bought a card and sent it to my mother, apologizing if the email upset her and that Imwished her and my Dad well, despite the estrangement. I asked for forgiveness twice in the card. I also mentioned that I was not a bad person. I am a person with a mental illness, trying to work thru it.
    This is my dilemma. It am going over this in my head a million times and I keep questioning it. I want so desperately to write another email, even though I know that it will not make things better. I had to walk away. I couldn’t do it anymore, NOTHING I did was enough and I was not strong enough to put up with it any longer. Am I weak? Am I bad? Am I a coward? Am I selfish? Maybe I’m all of these, but I do know that I am also a wife and mother who had to walk away for the sake of her husband and kids and to save me from losing my mind.

    • By: Megan Posted: 2nd March


      Wow so much I want to say. I wish I could just give you my cell. I don’t have fb. I completely understand being afraid of people associated with your FOO (family of origin) stalking you and reporting back to them…or your foo themselves reading this and unleashing their wrath on you. For me it goes beyond just verbal/emotional/psychological abuse. I’m afraid for my life. My mother, father will physically hurt me and or kill me and the middle child brother would probably beat with his bare hands if he happened to run into me on the street or show up at my door. They want me dead because I refuse to cover up, dumb done all the heinous evil things they’ve said and done to me since the day I was born. I’m done taking there bleep. They never should have had children. They did because and I quote “that’s what you do”. They are both pure evil. Even tho I’ve been NC for a little over two yrs that is still difficult for me to type bc my reality is so unbelievable and hard to accept…I don’t have and never had real parents..and never will. My mother is a raging alcoholic/addict, narsicisit, never wanted me, as I grew hated me more and more/jealous of me because I’m everything she’s not and will never be. My father is a rageholic, lunatic, emotional/mentally several times physically abusive, neglect both of them neglected me..for my mom it was from birth, my dad from the time I was a toddler.

      I am so sorry incredibly sorry your parents and brother have emotionally abused you your whole life. I’m just writing from my heart and would be hugging you as I say the following!!!! Emotional abuse is just as bad as any other kind of abuse. Abuse is abuse. Abuse of any kind is evil, unacceptable, no excuse for it, and you didn’t deserve it!!!! You are not wrong. I’m sensing reading your words that you most likely have complex ptsd, which is a mental disorder BUT you have it because of them. They made you crazy. You were not born bad or crazy or with CPTSD for that matter. That’s one of the most gut wrenching parts of having this bleeping thing is it’s not your fault, your abusers did this to you.

      It also sounds like you are clearly still dealing with going NC. Like you said, unfortunate timing with your dad falling ill trying to navigate your new abuse free life. My heart really hurts for you and I’m so sorry your going thru this. You are doing the right thing. Keep being strong!!! You are breaking the cycle. For yourself, your children, and the sake of your marriage. Not many people do it or can do it. Keep being a truth teller. Evil hates truth tellers. I’m feeling better today but only bc I’m too tired from this horrid new job lol ugh!! The schedule really sucks. Maybe there’s another way we can communicate besides here. Hugs!!! Megan

  3. By: Nadia Posted: 1st March

    Megan I’m so sorry that you are feeling this way. You are not alone. We may all have different stories to tell about the toxic people in our lives, but in the end it’s all the same. We feel alone, and we feel like no one believes our side of the story. Some days are worse than others. Today doesn’t sound like a good day for you. I felt alone today as well. I went no contact with my family over a year ago and my sibling has been saying the baddest things about me. It’s hard to ignore the accusations and name calling. No matter how hard I’ve tried to explain why I had to walk away, the worse he treats me verbally. I can be in a crowd of people sometimes, and feel like I’m alone in the world. I feel different. I feel inferior and I feel like I don’t belong. The only thing I can say is to hang on the people that love and care about you. It’s the quality, not the quantity that is important. I hope u have a better day tomorrow,

    • By: Megan Posted: 2nd March


      Thank you ????

      • By: Megan Posted: 2nd March

        Nadia, sorry for the question marks. You can’t post emojis whoops! Those are suppose to be heart and peace signs emojis

  4. By: Sea and Sky Posted: 10th February

    Tundra Woman, thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reply! You are absolutely correct that social media exacerbates the feelings of inadequacy.

    Another thing that goes along with this type of relationship/parenting is that you only seem to get love or positive attention when you make yourself small and weak and compliant and/or take all blame and guilt upon yourself. That doesn’t set one up for healthy relationships down the line…

    • By: Megan Posted: 1st March

      Hi all,
      I haven’t been on your website in awhile Darlene because I noticed you stopped posting new blogs!! Are you ever coming back?! I notice you are currently commenting tho. Nice to see people are still communicating with each other leaving comments. That is really cool. I just happened to check it out here today hoping to see new blog posts…because I’m fighting dark thoughts and don’t know how to continue living.

      I’m all alone except for my husband and dog. Husband is gone a lot due to busy work schedule. I have no family. My entire FOO are my abusers. I’ve been no contact since dec 23rd 2014. The few friends I had before no contact choose my abusers. I actually managed to make a new friend recently, but sadly she is very busy and I never see her..let alone get to talk to her even on the phone. We met through volunteer work.

      All I do is try to get thru everyday…..everyday is a battle. I’m so tired of being alone. I have CPTSD. I tell my beloved husband his love is not enough to take away my pain…but oh how I wish it was. The pain of the past 32 years of my life as well as the current pain of terminal isolation….not to mention the hundreds of extended family memebers, friends of “the family”, the two friends I had before no contact..all choose my abusers.

      I do everything I can to stay sane and keep going. I volunteer, I have a care taker job, I’ve tried all kinds of therapy (don’t get me started on america’s psychiatric community!!!!!) but i still feel the same.

      Can anyone relate to what I wrote? I would love to hear from you. I have never met someone who understands me or can relate to me. The only time a person can relate to me are the angels I’ve corresponded with on this website. Thank you Darlene. Your website saved my life. Sincerely Megan

  5. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 10th February

    Yes. But let me back up a bit before addressing “being forced by adults in your life to view them as perfect.”

    We are born hard wired to bond with our primary takers; that’s just science. By the time we are around 2 or 3, we understand without their protection we would not survive, our dependence upon them is absolute and our need for love, interaction, comfort etc. is so total the brain actually requires these kinds of interactions to allow many vital neural pathways to develop within the brain and limbic system-to actually potentiate them. So there’s this reciprocity between our “hard wiring” potential/need and the environment into which we are born-and particularly who we are born to: Cold, highly critical, addicts, mentally whacked, rejecting etc. parents do not make for a loving, safe, developmentally proactive environment for an infant or a little one. OK, done with that part of “huh…how come” fill in the blank ex: how come it took me so long to see this historically fraught relationship with my parent as not an inherent confirmation of my “badness,” “being too sensitive,” etc. but a reflection of THEIR “parenting.”

    When we are children, our parents are gods. They know everything. They are so much bigger, so much more powerful than we are and because we have no way to critically examine or compare our experiences, feelings, thoughts etc. we believe *just as they are our universe, our mirrors, so are WE to them.* So if a problem develops it’s because of us. We are pre-disposed to believe them without question. The process of placing a human being in a self-imposed prison begins with our burgeoning awareness secondary to their patterns of critical, isolating, etc. interactions. These reinforce our deeply held beliefs we are, well, somehow fatally flawed. We need to try harder, do something different somehow so mommy won’t cry, get mad, stop acknowledging me, hit me, withhold love, approval, acceptance because those will result in annihilation. We are inadequate because if we were “enough” they would love us as much as we love them and not continually or unpredictably withdraw that which we so desperately crave-and need.

    Terrorizing and terrifying your children into compliance isn’t a “parenting style” so much as a recipe to ensure that child even into adult life will never become critical or questioning of their “overlords.” Their disproportionate responses (waaayyy over the top-the “punishment” does *not* “fit the crime”) to our just being typical kids doing typical kid things is predictably unpredictable. It is every bit as horrifying as being ignored or treated with indifference: Both are extremely rejecting kinds of behaviors, shaming and blaming us for what, failing to “kid” or “child” the “right way?” Doesn’t that sound crazy?! It is. How can a child subject to this pattern of behavior ever feel adequate? How we respond to this type of “parenting” is as unique as we are: Our accommodations to these kinds of environments/people are just that. We are trying to “be good enough.” We are erasing the little bit of “us” that intrudes on this instilled belief system and deveoping adaptive responses that while not exactly great are a reflection that we are doing everything we can with the Tools we have available. And little ones don’t have many resources-nor should they. We become way too old way too young. Welcome to the only cohort that apparently “grows down” instead of “up” because as soon as we begin to even gently question, to act with automony and to recognize the onus for the development of this relationship resides with the parent-not the child-prepare for a disproportionate beat down. Guess what is a typical parental response, BTW?! “I know I WASN’T PEERRFFEECTTTT!” (Waaaa-and wtf, who said anything about “perfect?!”)

    Additionally, you are subject now to a constant bombardment of Image Management through a myriad of sources particularly social media. Does anyone ever publically post a serious mistake or gaffe they made? A less than photoshopped to oblivion picture of themselves, what they had for their “fabulous lunch” or any indication their life is anything but right on track and nearly perfect?<Interject a bit of false humility to further their presentation of self. So there's more reinforcement for a bad case of the "good enoughs."
    So there's my long winded welcome to the world Darlene and so many of us have struggled with and still do-but with our eyes wide open and requiring some "visual adjustments." 😉

  6. By: Johnny Posted: 10th February

    So tired of being tired. One of the real problems is my parents; I’ve tried so hard all my life to please them. Came to the conclusion that it’s never gonna happen.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th February

      Hi Johnny
      Thanks for sharing. You have found the right place for insight on this subject!
      hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Sea and Sky Posted: 9th February

    Hi everyone and Darlene, I have a question for you lovely people. When you were young (or maybe even now) were any of you forced by adults in your life to view them as perfect? Were you punished or harshly rejected if you questioned the adult/s or criticised them or implied they made some sort of mistake? This has been an issue for me because I still tend to see most people around me as perfect and so find it hard to connect with others as I feel inadequate in comparison. Any thoughts?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th February

      Hi Sea and Sky
      I would wager a guess that 95% percent of the thousands of people that have commented on this site can validate that this is something we can relate to.
      My e-book might shed some light on how to break out of that mindset.
      Thank you for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Lora Posted: 1st February

    Hey Darlene! great article and as usual you nailed it all on the head. My active healing journey started when I was 30 and I’m 53 now, and let me say for the record, I sure hope what I have done makes a difference to someone or something because it has been hell on earth.

    What I know for sure is I jumped into a shit show (self hate into terror), not a family. Your work has helped me understand that nothing that happened to me was about me, it was about people who had no right to be bringing children into this world when they had as many issues as they had. I hope my family learned what they needed too because it came at high price to my self worth.

    Maybe I am grateful to people like you who helped me sort my shit out, but I have to say I am not grateful that I was invited into my families lives. I discovered I was born into a family of liars, cheaters and manipulators and this left me with a very wounded soul who believed she should never have been born. Sometimes when I have a tough day, I wish I would have died as a child and spared myself going through what I had to feel somewhat like a normal person.

    Learning to find my joy has been so challenging because I feel like my ancestors are sucking me into their misery. Sometimes I feel like I could be a form of birth control for those who are considering having children. I feel angry when I look around and see mothers who use their children as toys, weapons and fillers for their miserable lives. I realize how harsh this all sounds and yet I feel the need to purge it out of my body.

    No child deserves to experience what most of us have and I sincerely hope that in time, with the help of people like you, this world will become a more loving atmosphere to raise children in. I know there are good parents out there, I just wish there were not so many that are not. The ripple affect from child abuse is profound, all you have to do is look around to see that.

    Thank you for a platform to express myself with honesty; its what has given me the relief I need to acknowledge that what happened to me/us was unacceptable and thank god for all of us for showing this world what the affects are.

    It’s sad to me that people like us who endured the horrors end up being the remedy for others. This is what keeps me moving forward because I believe we are all worth all this love and healing. My heart goes out to all of us and I can sincerely say thank you to all of you for doing your own work. You make it worth it for me to move forward because I am honored to be a part of this kind of family.

    Well that’s my rant for today, it feels like I was guided here today to heal a part of me that still holds anger and hurt. I know I am a better version of myself and yes I do feel tired of putting in so much effort. I have a loving partner who I see as my reward for all my own healing. He taught me what unconditional love really feels like.

    Thank you Darlene and the Emerging from Broken family, for always being a safe place for me to grow in. Namaste!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th February

      Hi Lora!
      Great to hear from you and thank you for all your encouragement and validation on the work that I do here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: d ch Posted: 22nd November

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Safe Travels!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi d ch
      Thats great! I hope it goes well 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
      hugs, Darlene

  10. By: d ch Posted: 22nd November

    Well she NM did call. I told her we need to talk about how we have hurt each other. She told me a few things I have done, and I apologized, and offered a few explanations about the situations.

    When I mentioned a few things she has done, she did not remember.
    I said, why would I make up things like this?
    She said well if I have done thus and so, I am sorry.
    I said I forgive you.

    I told her if we are going to be talking or seeing each other,
    I want respect as an adult, no yelling and expecting me to do everything she wants, no criticising, no putting me down, no prying in my business, no accusations from my past real or perceived offenses.

    I brought up how she keeps reminding me of something from when I was 15, and told my dad about my mom missing him, and being so messed up about him leaving home. (she says he told his lawyer she was an unfit mother) She has never forgiven me for talking to him.
    I told her what he did or said was out of my control, and he never explained to her what I told him when he asked how she was.

    Anyway I told her I don’t want to be accused or hear about it again, she was not walking in my shoes as a teenager seeing her mother and family in such turmoil and sadness.

    I said let’s take it slow, and work on how we will respect each other and love. I hope we can continue to at least talk on the phone, and maybe next month I will see her (with my husband) on her birthday

  11. By: d ch Posted: 21st November

    Well NM has not contacted me yet. she sent me a friend request on Facebook, which I haven’t accepted. I don’t want her posting crap on my Timeline. I don’t share personal issues on FB, and I know she will be busy telling everyone her problems with me.
    I sent her another FB message.

    Hope to hear from you soon. Late afternoon, early evening best time to call me.
    I’d like to talk before deciding to see you.
    please don’t be upset if you get my voicemail. I will return your call as soon as I can.

    I do love you and hope we can talk about how to have a good relationship.

  12. By: Cathy Perkins Posted: 16th November

    Great article, Darlene!

  13. By: Andria Posted: 16th November

    d ch

    Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. By: d ch Posted: 16th November

    Mom contacted me via facebook messaging. She is back on FB now
    (I have been NC since March 2015)

    she thanked me for my love, then said she wanted to go for lunch sometime. said if she doesnt hear from me by Thanksgiving, she wishes my husband and I happy Thanksgiving.

    I replied,”Thank You, I hope we can begin to work on having a good relationship. Call me if you want to.”

    She is also in touch with my brother on FB. My brother disapproves of my NC with Mother, says it affects his relationship with me. I told him it should’nt, we are adults and can keep our conversations about us, not her. Well, he does not want me to contact him too often, wants to take it slow. I am respecting his wishes.

    I am going to be very cautious and take time to talk with her via phone before any face to face contact. If she does call me.

    I plan to suggest us going to a family therapist if she does call me.
    I will also bring up forgiveness and boundries.

    Dont know how this will play out.

    I hope she will not post shit about me on FB.
    I am not allowing her to post on my timeline.

  15. By: Yvonne Posted: 2nd November

    Hi Kristina,

    Thank you so much. It seems as if our lives are more confusing than what I call the ‘average’ people. My excuse for not attending my father’s service was that I could not afford to buy the new tires needed for my car and was not driving a long distance. I believe that I did the right thing.

    I don’t like to place labels on me or others, but when I was younger I might have had a bit of PTSD, but don’t know. I was insulted and verbally attacked by nasty people and authority figures for being “too emotional” and always “on edge”. I know that I’m a polite person and called “shy” by others. When I was an older college student (1995-2000) anytime that I had to speak with my instructor it was hard. Sometimes I just wanted to look down at the floor or gaze at a picture behind the person, but not make direct eye contact. I could never trust anyone, ever. Often I would hang at a cafe to study and be surrounded by people, but never engage in conversation. It was enough work just being surrounded by people, and I had boundaries and could not talk. If I had to talk directly to an authority figure, I almost wanted to cry. I had sleep issues and nightmares, too. But I was grateful to be an older student since for the first time in my adult life, I had my own studio apartment where I lived alone without roommates. Everyday when I returned home, I tossed a pillow on the living room floor, played music lightly in the background, and turned on a timer for two hours just so I could pound my fists into this pillow and have a good cry! It felt great to have such a release! Yes, I have healed myself in a rather unorthodox manner through books, websites, youtube channels, minor counseling, spiritual groups and self-understanding by psychics/astrologers/mediums…

    There are times when I feel good but then sometimes not good. Lately, I have had serious sleeping issues. I have past memories of my father and they are all unhappy, embarrassing, or angry. I am working hard on my own to heal and clear these issues. My routine consists of reading a good book or listening to music to help me sleep.

    It’s odd since my NMom is still living but I only deal with occasional phone calls from her. She was my abuser and father had issues too, but a lesser extent than mom. It seems like the finality of death brings up more stuff in people. Once my NMom ends up in a nursing care home—like next year—then she is on her way out. In my mind I know that I am safe but I still don’t feel safe from them. Will I ever truly feel safe from parents? The only thing I can do now is keep really busy and always doing something with my hands like crafts or reading or music at home. I moved to get away from parents and I terribly miss my friends. Since my abusive NMom will be gone soon, then there is no excuse for me NOT moving back home! I will be very happy!

    The holidays are coming up and I know that many abuse victims become more depressed. Maybe I’m just weird, but I actually enjoy the holiday season. I really have no family anymore, but I enjoy walking through the mall and going to local events here. It’s the only time of the year where the focus is on thinking of those less fortunate people. I am grateful for all that I have and things could be worse in every way. I do things like cookie baking for a local charity…I know that New Years is around the corner and there is hope for a better year. I have made up my mind to move next year so lots of big things will happen then.

    Stay strong!

    Blessed Be,


  16. By: Kristina Posted: 26th October

    Hi Adria (comment 48) !

    Thank you for your support on the anger issue.
    It has been some time and I must say that anger is a good thing.
    It helps me with PTDS. When I manage to pass over some border with the anger, I feel much better afterwards.
    The neighbourghs don´t show up when I am there, they had not stolen anything since that time.Even the NM has some kind of “respect”
    (I guess fear) of mine.
    In the meantime when things do not work that well with the PTDS, I try not to forget to be gentle and fine with myself.
    I am not an evil or a hysterical bitch when I am angry at people who had hurt me, hurting me…
    I don´t need to be that strong “not to be angry”.

    Hi L,

    I am sorry.
    I also have the PTDS. Don´t give up. It is 100% possible to heal.
    I read the blog “healmyptds”…maybe it could be some help to you.
    Me, I had a therapist who particularly drawed me into the PTDS.
    I found first here that I am not making it up when some mental health professionals do not help, even the opposite.
    Please share if you know any source of information on PTDS.

    this sounds good to me that you did not attend the service of your father and felt safe !
    One can come some other time to his grave.

  17. By: Yvonne Posted: 24th September

    Hi Everybody,

    Once again another great article by Darlene. I can’t believe just how exhausted I am from trying to be strong. I can’t believe just how strong I was as a little girl growing up in a family home filled with total and complete chaos. Then I tried so hard to be such a strong teenage girl. Finally, I grew up and put one foot in front of the other in order to get out, but it has never been an easy path.

    I realize now how tired I am of everything. The most horrible expression in the English language is, “I’m trying to be happy.” The translation being that you are not happy whatsoever and you are only pretending to be happy to socially please others. Recently, I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT happy living here for the past seven years in the major city. Every religious holiday that comes along(Druid/Wicca), I cannot celebrate with the groups in the park for a big public festival since I’m not there. I am missing out too much and just terribly unhappy. Of course I have other hobbies and sport to keep myself busy but it’s not the same. Nothing here is the same as my former town (2 1/2 hour drive away)and it’s almost as if I moved far away to a different state, but not! Then I ask myself why I moved here to begin with and it was about a job opportunity, but that’s not the real reason. I moved to get away from my abusive parents and cousin!

    Since my father died last year things have changed. I must deal with my crazy NMom and NCousin who both live together in mom’s house. She is not doing well health-wise and will soon end up living in a nursing care home. The thought struck me that I am a grownup and my NMom will pass away. When she does end up in a nursing care home, then it’s all downhill for NMom. I am almost free from these people! I have made up my mind that I will move back home to my former town! For once in my life I feel free and alive! If I’m truly not happy living in the major city and all my friends are back in the other town then why not move back? I am not a slave to my house or job or this city! I have no kids or pets. I have actually changed my online profile with the dating club saying that I am moving back to my former town and seeking a relationship there!

    I know that the nasty people who don’t understand abuse victims would laugh at me and call me a loser but I’m not. I don’t regret any of my life choices since I chose to protect myself. When I took the new job and moved over seven years ago, it was the highest and best plan for me. Thank the Gods that I was not there in the hospital when my father died! My crazy NMom would have blamed me for my father’s death although it was his time being 87 years old. I did not attend my father’s service (full military veteran memorial service—with his name on the wall) and I felt safe. My excuse was the driving distance, plus I didn’t have the means to buy new tires for my car at the time.

    The issue that I have with trying to protect myself has been one of becoming too overprotected and building walls to keep people out. Sometimes when you have too much protection—(I moved to get away from it all)—then there are walls that keep out the good, too. I miss my old circle of friends everyday and my new acquaintances here are not the same. I think of all the excessive damage in my life caused by my parents, including almost losing childhood friends due to them not understanding the crazy scenes by my NMom. No one could understand my deep pain of being an outsider and wanting to fit in. In my adult life, once again I had to put part of my social life on hold due to moving to the major city, same state. How much can these parents rob from me? I tell myself that this nightmare will end soon. There is a rainbow coming up for me and I will move back home to my former city. Even basic Law of Attraction work states that it’s easier to attract financial abundance, a good social life, and better health when you are truly happy. No one attracts good when they are “trying to be happy” or “trying to be strong”. Thanks for reading.

    Blessed be,


  18. By: L Posted: 17th September

    Dear Darlene ~~

    Thank you.

    I’m so happy to hear your story.

    For you.

    And it gives me hope.

    I am really struggling with hope right now.

    In many ways I understand in my brain everything you are talking about. I understand cognitively. I know I need to set boundaries, to go after what I want, to create a new story. But it feels like too much. I have been trying to work on all these issues. But I’m exhausted from that.

    I still suffer from PTSD symptoms (trouble sleeping, nightmares, panic, etc)… On top of that, feeling like I need to recreate all of my relationships and myself. It’s too much.

    I do all the healthy things too. Exercise every day, eat well, try to sleep well. But I can’t get the relationship stuff right. With myself. With others. I try in therapy. I feel like that relationship isn’t working either. The therapist before that, I felt like wasn’t treating me respectfully either.

    I’ve been trying for so long. I am 31. I just lost my partner. I have no family support. I am afraid to overburden my friends with my struggles. It’s too much.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st September

      Hi L
      Welcome to EFB ~ I hope that you will continue to read the articles and the comments in this site. There is so much insight. For me I had to learn to look at things differently. (through a more truthful lens than the one I had been brainwashed to see things through) I was not able to set boundaries before I saw how I came to believe I didn’t deserve to have them.
      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Hope Posted: 14th September

    Hi Nadia,
    You are so welcome and you certainly are not alone. I know all of us here go through our ups and downs. It’s the real rough patches that make our lives difficult due to not learning the right formula as kids to deal with these times. I find that I take each situation by giving myself the time to think how I want to deal with it and NOT how I was taught to deal with it. Also, things come in three’s (for me), and then the tornado dissipates. I’m not sure if I am helpful at all as I am still sooooooo far away from healing myself, but I know exactly how you are feeling and what you are going through. I still can’t believe how much mess I am in due to my NM, and how many times I have to pick myself up from all the chaos she causes in my life (it is a lot worse than I can write on here). So, from one bruised soul to another, I wish you the best of luck healing your inner self.
    Cheers Hope xx

  20. By: Nadia Posted: 14th September

    Thank You Hope. It helps to know that I am not alone. I just feel frozen. I have no motivation and I’m scared of what my future holds. I imagine what I would LIKE to have in my future, but Im not confident or strong enough to make it happen. I do know, however, that this feeling will pass and that I will keep trying. I just hope this EPISODE doesn’t last much longer.

  21. By: Hope Posted: 13th September

    Hi Nadia,
    I am so sorry for the way things are going in your life with your children and the deaths. Try to take things one at a time, I find a bit of self talk helps in these tough times. Good luck xx

  22. By: Nadia Posted: 13th September

    Last week was a very difficult week. A lot of changes going on. My eldest has moved out West and my youngest has moved away for University. Thank God I have one more that is still home! Hubby and I are on each other’s nerves.
    A lot of changes going on and I am having a hard time coping, my anxiety has never been this bad.
    There have been two deaths in our family, on my moms side and my dads side. That caused a lot of anxiety because I was so afraid of having to talk to any family member on either side. I managed to be there for the first funeral and avoided my mother at all costs. It was exhausting and so I did not attend the other funeral. I felt bad but I could not face anyone or anything that might throw me off the edge. I want to move away. I want to run away. I want to press Stop And Restart.
    Yesterday I decided to start reading your Book Darlene. I’ve read the first two Chapters over and over again but I wasn’t ready to do the work.
    I’m so tired of being tired and I’m lost right now. I don’t know what to do now. Kids are grown, and my life has nothing else right now. Hubby has his own issues to deal with and I am stuck.
    So, I’m going to read the first two Chapters again. When I get to the 10 necessary changes, I’m going to take one at a time until I know I am ready to move on to the next change. I have no one to turn to anymore but myself.

  23. By: Melinda Posted: 6th September

    @Alaina…that was beautifully stated! Sometimes the self-help quotes are annoying because it’s easier said than done.

    @Darlene…I really needed this. I broke down the other night in front of my husband.
    Trying to be strong all the time is draining. Having to fake a smile, never show my true feelings, and be “normal” is hard.

    I wish I could be where you are now in terms of self-esteem and happiness. I know it took you a long time to finally achieve that. I was doing well a couple of years ago and now I’m back down the hole of despair.
    I can also relate to what you said about trying to forgive people who hurt you, even if they deny it and they aren’t sorry.

    My abusive ex died this year and I still have mixed emotions. On the one hand, there is no point in me still being mad at him.
    On the other hand, I still feel intense rage over things that happened years ago.
    I’m still angry with people who damaged me…the fact that they could move on like it never happened.

  24. By: d ch Posted: 4th September

    Lol the heeling healing is never ending….always some ignorant uncaring a$$ wounding and hurting.

    The tounge is a small but mighty instrument.
    Power to do damage or good.

  25. By: Hope Posted: 4th September


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