Belief System Formation about Money and Worthiness


Belief system about moneyIt was bad enough that my parents divorced, but then they started fighting about child support. My mother had custody and my father paid child support. My mother said she didn’t have enough money from my father; my father said that he couldn’t afford what he was paying.  No one seemed to care about the difficult emotions that I was going through as a child whose parents had split up.  They only seemed to care about what it was costing them. 

Imagine the message I got as that child. I was 13 years old when the child support argument started. The message that they communicated to me was that my father thought I was a financial burden. My mother thought I was a financial burden too.  No one thought I was “worth it”.  I felt as though suddenly everyone wished I was never born because now that they divorced, no one wanted to be financially responsible for me.

My needing to be supported seemed to be causing a lot of fighting and anxiety and fighting and anxiety went against everything that I had EVER learned about survival.  As a survivor I lived by the rule “don’t cause fighting or anxiety”. Now I was caught in the crossfire of this divorce and it seemed that I was causing a very big problem. 

I started stealing my clothes within a year of their separation.  I would do almost anything not to be a burden to my parents. Stealing was like “my contribution” to helping out with the financial burden that I was. But stealing also made me feel really bad about myself and added to the growing body of evidence that I was unworthy, just like they communicated to me.

I still remember all the things my mother would say about not having enough money.  I remember the way she said “your father” as though it was my fault that he was the way he was. “Your father” was an accusation but I wasn’t sure what I was being accused of and I concluded that I was just not worth the burden that she had to endure over this whole thing. 

I got my period for the first time at school.  I was in grade 8 and I was 13 years old and it just happened that I was going to stay at my father’s for the weekend right after school that day.  I asked him if I could have some money so I could go to the drug store. I was so embarrassed; I didn’t want to have to tell him that I had to buy pads.  But he would not give me any money unless I told him what it was for.  The whole thing was just so humiliating because to me it was a reminder that he already paid enough child support and he didn’t want to give me a few dollars for anything else.  I felt like a beggar. I felt like an orphan. I felt like a NOTHING and I was reminded of how alone I really was.  I was 13 and other girls shared that “event” with their mothers but I had to tell my father who was really only concerned with what it was going to cost him.  I was reminded of all the feelings of abandonment that I ever felt. It was painful. It was one more time that I was discounted.

When I got home from that weekend, I told my mother that I had gotten my period and she was angry! SHE felt ripped off that she didn’t’ get to share that “special moment” with me. She continued to remind me of how hurt she was over it many times throughout my life.  I couldn’t win. No matter what I did it was always wrong. I was always in the way and always a burden. I couldn’t even start my period at the right time. 

People wonder why kids run away from home when their parents split up and get divorced but the truth is that rarely are the kids supported emotionally through any of it. Most kids feel like the divorce had something to with them and their failures.  I remember telling people when I was an adult that divorce is hardest on the parents! That was the belief I had struggled and succeeded in accepting. I don’t believe or accept THAT anymore.

It was communicated to me that the divorce was devastating my mother, but that it was not really my pain because I would still have a father but my mother would not have a husband and so as with everything else my feelings didn’t matter and I tried to convince myself that I was wrong to feel anything but sympathy for my mother.  I reprimanded myself for feeling that I had been rejected by my father too, telling myself that I was “being selfish” I told myself that this was “Not my pain” and think of what your poor mother is going through. I told myself “don’t be so self centered Darlene; I don’t think that this is about you ~ stop making this about you!”…

But the truth is that it wasn’t me that was making it about me. THEY kept making it about me with that fight about child support. And neither one of my parents ever tried to talk to me or help me with all that I was going through as a child of parents who were getting a divorce. They discounted me and my need for emotional support and reassurance so I discounted my needs too.  They discounted my need for financial support so I discounted those needs as well. It was communicated to me that I didn’t deserve to be taken care of properly, emotionally OR financially. Those beliefs didn’t resolve just because I “grew up”.  Even when it became my own responsibility to take care of myself, I had never been taught or shown how to do that.  My “self value” was not known to me.

This ordeal with the ongoing child support argument between my parents contributed to the already formed belief that I was not equally valuable to everyone else in the world and also thing led to the foundation of my belief system about my self worth when it came to money. (Spending it, making it; all of it.)

Another snapshot of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

76 response to "Belief System Formation about Money and Worthiness"

  1. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Oh thank you Mimi!!! I have been so absorbed today reading the archives. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband when he got home from work! ha! I told him I finally found women “just like me”. Looking forward to getting to know everyone and thank you Mimi for your wonderful words of encouragement and support.

    love and hugs

  2. By: Mimi Posted: 14th December

    Your gratittude and enthusiasm is simply contagious!! I’m so happy you came here too!!

  3. By: Mimi Posted: 14th December

    I appreciate the support I’ve felt here so much. I appreciate you so much. Here are the things that ran through my mind when I read your post.

    ~I have no idea how much it costs to run the site, or how much you get from people. If two people contribute, is that enough? Do you need 100, or 300 people to contribute? My point is, I don’t know specifically what you need. I’m so uneducated that in my imagination it could cost $40 or $4,000 a month. I literally have no idea.

    ~I feel truth is what I seek now. That said, my truth is, I’m embarassed to send only $10.

    ~I haven’t seen a post on Facebook about money. I have only seen one post on Facebook period, and I believe even that one was a link I stumbled upon. I can’t say for sure, but none the less, it was only once; the very first time I came here. I’m sorry I did not see the one about your need for support. 🙁

    ~I did see the post that someone else wrote quite a while ago, pleading for money on your behalf. I was still pretty new, (again, if I remember right; things are pretty sketchy from when I first joined. I was in a total tailspin with my life and that always compromises my memory) Anyhow, I wasn’t sure where I was headed with respect to the group. The plea from what I perceived at the time, seemed like it was from a veteran, I told myself it was aimed toward other veterans. I know, handy, right??

    ~I do understand what you mean by people avoiding. I support a home that recently opened in my city. It’s a faith based, non profit home for women who need guidance when being released from prison. I have supported the home from the beginning with my own financial, material, and various other contributions. I really want to see it succeed. It is capable of housing six women. About 6 weeks ago I sent out a message to the group on facebook which consists of 168 members. I asked them to commit to a contribution of $10 a month because I know it’s hard for people to supply the $3,000 they need monthly for operating costs. I certainly can’t give $3,000 a month, not even $500. So, I did some quick thinking and realized if 100 of the members committed to give only $10 a month, that cuts their operating costs by one third. I am sad to say only about 7 people replied to the post. That’s not to say people didn’t make the commitment. I don’t know that. But, it seems like if they had, they would have likely posted it.

    ~Confidentiality is a concern. I wonder about linking myself with facebook and here. I am still friends with many of my family members on facebook and I have already had one scare since I posted here. I thought my sister had read and responded once and when I saw the post I panicked a little. The poster shares my sister’s name. I’m really not even sure I belong to this group on facebook. It seems like I remember seeing this blog through a group link called “hold my hand” which I do subscribe to. Anyhow, I got a little freaked out by it. A lot of things went through my head when I DID consider contributing financially. First was, you would know my full name. Second, you could easily find me on facebook and friend me, post to my wall, make comments or likes, or anything along those lines. I feared any innocent act such as those might lead to my family finding me here. I have given enough details about my life that if one of them did somehow follow a trail from my page to here, it wouldn’t be tough for them to figure out my posts. Random facts like how many siblings, my age, facts about my father and when he left, my sister, my mother, my aunt, etc. I apologize that I don’t know how it all works or if even if there is a trail between here and facebook, and that I’m so fearful of my family finding me here.

    ~I don’t consider myself a newbie so much now. I’ve taken up plenty of space on your blog and experienced support and validation that literally is invaluable.

    That said, I would be happy to contribute, and do so on a regular basis. I do have that lingering fear about my family though. As the administrator, you know all the intricate details and I obviously do not. Can explain it a little bit?? As in, how to avoid being busted out by my family on facebook if I give to the cause? Maybe it doesn’t make sense to you, and it’s entirely possible that I’m not making sense. It’s happened before!! 🙂 Anyhow, just wanted to respond to your inquiry and also let you know I was in no way offended. You have helped me beyond measure and to me that’s worth a whole lot!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th December

      I actually intended to turn this into a membership site which would provide some content behind a log in for a small monthly fee. BUT because I can barely keep up with the traffic that I already have, and because of the things that I have learned over the last year or so I decided against doing it. Moderating comments is so important and in a private setting even more important. There are a lot of reasons that I have not done that but I am going to set up small group coaching programs using that model which I think will be more manageable for me. Thank you so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it and thank you for your comments about the way the internet is ~ that is very true. I get hundreds of emails asking for help and hundreds of thank you notes too. Deep down I thought people would ‘want’ to give back. And I don’t think that they don’t want to give back I think that it is just something that is what it is. I am going to be setting new goals for this site in this new year!
      Thank you so much for your huge compliment at the end of your comment! I am so glad that you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Mitz,
      Thank you ! I appreciate that and I am really glad that you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Mimi
      It costs me close to 300.00 a month to run this site. There are monthly fees and I pay someone to do the back ups and maintenance stuff. But that is only part of it. I have been doing this blog for 2 years now and it is time for me to contribute to the support of my family again. I went back to school after my own personal transformation, and that wasn’t free. I never thought that EFB would get so big so fast. (EFB ranks in the top 200,000 websites for traffic. That is out of billions of websites world wide) When I asked for donations, I was just trying to avoid cutting back on the time I spend doing this because there is so much pain out there! This blog generates an average of 1000 comments every month! It takes me 4 to 6 hours to write a blog post. I try to produce one every 3 days. My heart is in the right place with this. Jen made some good points about the way the internet is though. (Although I understand what you said about being embarrassed to send 10.00 Please don’t feel like any amount is too small. One of the donations I got was 5.00 and I was grateful for it. I have over 100,000 readers a month. If a fraction of those donated 10.00 here and there, all my needs would be taken care of. Having said that, I am not going to shoot for that goal!)

      Now about facebook; it is interesting that you brought that up because yesterday I added a line about this into my new blog post before you sent this comment. Your feedback is awesome and has really given me some fantastic insight!
      ~I never friend anyone on facebook when they are part of my blog. I leave that decision up to the individual. AND when people from here friend me, I never make personal comments (that indicate how we know each other) on anyone’s page. Half the people who friend me on FB use a different name on the blog anyway so no one really connects them to here even if they post on the EFB face book page.
      ~ about the EFB facebook page. That is separate from this. That page is just the facebook page. I get a lot of traffic from facebook, but I get more from google. This blog is not connected to FB in anyway. If you don’t post anything about EFB in FB then no one will ever know you have been here. None of the comments here are connected in any way to facebook nor will they ever be published on facebook.
      ~ as far as contributing here, I am the only one who knows who does what and even then, if you use a different name on the blog I don’t know who you are if you donate!. I don’t announce the contributions and they are private.

      I hope this addresses your concerns. Your feedback has been so helpful! I welcome anyone else who would like to share their fears/feelings about this, either here or through the contact form.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Speaking only for myself, I would be delighted to donate to help enable this blog to continue. Although, I am a new reader, one day, I feel from the bottom of my heart, I was MEANT to be here with all of you. You can expect my credit card on here tomorrow! : )

  5. By: Jen Posted: 14th December

    Hi Darlene,

    Though I haven’t been reading long, I do have some experience with putting extremely helpful information on the internet “free” to help others. I put “free” in quotes because like you, it isn’t free to me. My experience is that if you offer something “free” people will take it as such. I, like you, have a donation button on my page but it’s been well over two years since I’ve received a dime yet the specific page I’m referring to gets dozens of hits per day. I also get several e-mails monthly asking for help in regard to the info on said page. I think that people as a whole surf the net very impersonally and will take more often than they give back. I don’t like this aspect of the internet at all. I think you just need to determine your goals for this site and make them visible. For my, my informational site is linked up with my business web site so I pay one fee for all and the donation thing isn’t such a big deal because I have to pay for the business site regardless. My wish is ultimately to help others and most of the people I help are so deep in the cancer system that they cannot afford more than what they are currently doing. That’s fine. God compensates me in other ways for this.

    All of this said, I do know of a specific site which posts a lot of valuable material for public consumption but not all of it is free. There is a section of the site that is free where you can read and move on. There is another section which costs members a very reasonable $10 a month to read (different articles) and also allows them to participate in the discussion groups. They did this mainly so they would not have trolls and their readers had no problem with the fee as a prohibitive. I have read through some of the archives on your site in which there are warmings associated with the comments for sensitive topics and I wonder if this would be an area of this blog where you could make things “members only.” Just something to think about.

    PS, I wasn’t offended. I understand where you are coming from here.

    PPS, Every Christmas since my son died, God has given me a wonderful gift of truth and healing. This year it’s finding you. Seriously! I would be happy to pay a reasonable monthly membership here.


  6. By: Pinky Posted: 14th December

    @Darlene ,I didn’t think it was aimed at me I would have said just letting you know I wasn’t on. have been having some health problems. I know there are several free blogs on the internet so as for me it didn’t occur to e that it was a pay for site. Maybe the others thought the same thing. I remember thinking about the lady who was harassing me in spite of me sharing my problems with her and I thought of you and thought it was a free site like wordpress or whatever. Making your needs known is important I never would think you were harassing that other lady though really was and I shared with her what I was going through at court and hospital and I could not afford to give at the time. She got mad and I said then I need to leave the blog and asked her tot take me off the list (it was an e-mail list) and she refused so I deleted that account. It was really bizarre.
    But anyway as for as me I thought your site was free because there are free blogs of all kinds.I happen to see your news feeds more than the other blogs on FB which is why I log onto it more often than the others but havent been on line much lately except the last 2 days.

  7. By: Pinky Posted: 14th December

    Hi I was not on lien much for the past few months other than the past few days. I had no idea you had asked for donations. I already made out my holiday donations and will put this on for next year.
    I have appreciated this blog and also that you have not harassed for donations because some blogs I felt had to stop reading it was a constant harassment for donations from other blogs where the leader of the blog asked me for money and I had told her about my court issues and medical bills and she got all mad. It was actually at a low point financially as well. I feel she was only in it for the money and she completely ignored my situation so I left the blog and got harassed for leaving the blog as well.
    I also had to put serious boundaries on a few free loaders in my life to the point of cutting them all off but one and said I would not give any more.
    Probably what I appreciate about you the most is not harassing for money. I personally didnt ignore I just havent been on the blog.
    Will send something next year.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      Hi Pinky
      I was in no way aiming my comments at you or at any other individuals! I don’t think I have ever harassed anyone about anything. I don’t want anyone to feel like they “have to” or anything like that. The thing I found and find hard is that no one volunteered to give me a donation before I asked. I just kept paying for the site on my own thinking that one day I would have to go back to work but because EFB is the work I have paid for my education to do, it IS my work. Then one day a guy wrote me and asked if I would accept a donation and he suggested that I ask for them so I tried it. It was just an idea that I had to get help supporting EFB so I didn’t have to cut back on it. When I posted that stuff before, I thought it was more about asking for help or giving back but not out of pressure. I don’t want anyone feeling harassed or anything like that. And again, I did not mean you personally Pinky.

      To Everyone
      I am sorry that I posted the original comments now. I was intending to share ‘my stuff’ about how this blog post came about. I am not sure how my asking for donations is being taken but I suspect that some sort of “obligation” button or “strings attached” button is being pushed for many because the comments and the likes have gone down all three or four times I have talked about it. For survivors, those “buttons” are the worst ones because they have been used against us for most of our lives. I would never want to make anyone feel manipulated. To everyone in this thread who got my comments about donations, PLEASE do not feel like I was directing them at you. Obligation is something that I HATE with a passion. I know that everyone who subscribed to the comments button read what I posted, so deleting it won’t help, but please understand that I am not trying to guilt, pressure or bug anyone to help me with this.
      This blog and the participation of the readers is really important to me. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable in any way other then the way it feels to look outside the existing belief system. (which is usually uncomfortable 🙂

      Thanks everyone, and if anyone wants to share how my comments about donations made you feel, please feel free! I would love the feedback.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Pinky Posted: 14th December

    @Darlene, I think though I have been estranged from my biological family longer than I actually had them in my life the beliefs about money were the last I had to work on and unlearn.
    I lived with high school teachers the last 2 years of high school and then went out on my own. I was fortunate to have other role models besides my parents. I think that would be true if they were healthy but they were not.
    Attitudes about work and money the bottom line is always self esteem. My dad was an eye doctor but choose to work at a welfare clinic so we were poor. He could have made alot of money but chose not to.
    He did it due to religious guilt and low self esteem. My mom and him always had an argument about it. He implied that when he was younger he killed someone and would tell the story over and over about how when you kill someone you never get over it.I can still hear the story the sound of the trigger and on and on. And that was the foundation for his beliefs about money that he didnt deserve any.
    So he never felt worthy of money or of anything else. In fact he was a highly intelligent talented likeable person with social skills. But in my opinion it was his guilt and how my mom used and manipulated him with it to control him that kept him in prison. IT was his choice to be in her prison but it was the religious guilt and low self esteem that she used.
    He never felt worthy of money. I never bought into his religion and always thought for myself. But it still took me years to develop my own belief system about money. I was an honor student in high school. But flunked math and the teacher finally passed me due to her feeling that I was smart but just didnt get math and she didnt want to hold me back.
    There were quite a few reasons I was not good in math. But a few of them were the attitudes about money I saw. However I had better role models later. My husband who I have been with now since 1993 grew up working in his parents Chinese laundry and restaurants. He learned to budget as a young child and is a math genius. He has shown me how to budget but also helped me learn a new healthier perspective on money. He is not obsessed with money. I believe worrying and thinking about money too much which is what I tend to do without his influence is not healthy. My attitude was so unhealthy about myself and money ( I have been working since I was 10 years old) I remember being young and thanking a boss for my pay. I remember her saying I owe this to you you dont need to thank me this is yours. But I still felt I didnt deserve it.
    But then I went to the other extreme I learned to negotiate like Donald Trump and anyone coming up against my money negotiations would lose.
    That was years ago then I balanced out and faith in Gods grace towards me and my husband and other role models helped me. At 2 jobs I was forced to do pay roll which to me was a fate worse than death. But I learned and especially in the past year have calmed down about money and put it in Gods hands.
    I have always worked hard. Last year we were having financial trouble due to legal and medical bills. My husband had bought me a pink diamond eternity ring and we had to go to the diamond district here in NY to sell it.
    We got it appraised at 2000 but could only sell it for 200. However this year he got me a new pink diamond ring. I didnt want to post it on my page. I find some cant be happy for others just jealous so I dont rub it in. But in the past I would have felt I was not worth the pink diamonds. They cost too much. Now I know I am worth it! Yes self esteem shows up in our attitude about money. Good teaching. For me it was the last issue I addressed! Everything else came first then I had to address this issue.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      When I wrote this post about 2 weeks ago after I had written a post appealing to the readership for support with the expenses of doing this blog and also when one of my readers made an appeal on my behalf for donations. This post was inspired by the fact that I felt a little invalidated by the fact that only 5 people chose to help help me financially in this effort. People actually avoided the post. (please don’t let this comment make you uncomfortable! this is just my learning process. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to donate!) I put a little blurb on my facebook page and people ignored that too. That brought up my “I’m not worth it” issues. I am a professional who has not taken clients for a while now due to the amount of work that I put into this site. AND I have paid for this site and all of the expenses that go with it out of my own pocket for 2 years now. I am no techie so I pay someone every month to maintain the site that way. I concluded that it was actually costing ME to help others. And I noticed some beliefs coming up for me about money and worthiness. SO I did some work on that belief system. I came up with this post in that process.
      I realized that many of us do not think we are worth getting paid to help people, (which I thought was my issue, but I realized it isn’t) but I realized something else; many of us don’t think WE are worth paying anything for help either. I went around in my head about if this was “my issue” (that I was sending out “don’t pay me vibes” or “I am not worth it” vibes) or if it was the issue of others.
      It has been an interesting process for me and I don’t feel invalidated anymore. (and I am not trying to make anyone feel obligated or guilty or anything like that! I am just sharing my own stuff here.)
      In the process of publishing this ~ I totally forgot what motivated me to write it! Originally I was going to include it IN the post!
      Hugs, Darlene

      p.s. ~ I have decided that I need to finish my book so I can generate some income and I have also decided to take clients again once the book is done. I will have to spend less time here, but that is okay with me now. I had some belief system problems concerning that too, that I have worked through now. It is amazing to me that I learned so much from realizing the way my parents “taught me my worth” by the way they fought over (my) child support issues.

  9. By: J Posted: 14th December

    Hi Amira,

    finally got back to reply! Apparently head’s a bit hazy though; been sitting here for a bit & struggling to get started….

    I just looked back over my post you replied to. First thing to jump out was saying “not good at relating to people” — gonna call BS on myself there in retrospect. I’m actually really good at relating to a wide variety of people (and probably in particular people that some others might choose not to relate to). As I thought about it, the real problem re jobs (and life, really) is not having learned to stand up for myself. Kinda hard when you’re trained that everything’s your fault though (eg my mother’s moods, reactions, problems etc).

    And also having been trained that what I do = how accepted (or otherwise) I’ll be, I’d always be trying to make sure I didn’t f**k up, and feeling like I had to do things (like get people drinks etc) to try and distract attention away from my perceived shortcomings (I never really felt like I knew what I was doing, although I was probably doing fine in most ways).

    Damn, this has been sitting here for couple hours – not in the writing mood tonight apparently.

  10. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Mimi: ” My mother tried to do this with them the first time she met them at one of my brothers wedding. It is totally about control, ownership and manipulation. (and the divide and conquer tactic ~ if she can get them on her side BEFORE you seek support;”

    This just made me think of the times that my mother convinced me that if she had ill feelings towards someone, that I was expected, as a ‘good daughter’ to have the same negative thoughts about whomever she was mad at. If she saw me being nice to someone/anyone that she was mad towards, it was not only disrespect against her but against God as well, was her beliefs of which she tried to convince me of and this became MY belief system as well. There were thousands of times she would use the verse from the Bible “Honor thy Mother and Father…” Then one day I stumbled across a bible verse: Ephesians 6:4
    And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: This was my first step in allowingmyself to begin to dismiss her beliefs as MY beliefs. Needless to say, when I shared this with her, she was furious.

  11. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Darlene, Talk about getting a huge smile…I haven’t smiled this much for a continual period of time in a very long time!! Woohooo!! HOPE, I sure feel a whole bunch of it now.

  12. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Oh Mimi…YES Relief! I can relate so much to the feelings of depression, hopelessness, sadness, self loathing, etc. I used to try to explain it to my husband and my exact words were: “Imagine that there is a dark, ugly, black cloud that just seems to follow you wherever you go.” Even in a room full of people, I always felt alone. Now with my new found friends, today has been a day of hope with rays of sunshine emerging.

  13. By: Mimi Posted: 14th December

    I know how you’re feeling just now. It’s such a relief, right?? I felt the same little celebration inside when I found Darlene’s blog as well. It has meant so much to me to come here, write, read, feel, mourn, celebrate, cry, etc. The confirmation that it’s not ME. It took a little while to really believe it, but, after coming back so often, always being supported, always identifying with others, I know the truth now. More than ever in my life, I believe it is the truth that sets us free. I’ve never been a person who could brush it under a rug and pretend it wasn’t there. I succeeded in brushing it under the rug, but the hurt and pain was so deep, I could never pretend it wasn’t there. I always felt it…. in everyday life. The self loathing, self sabotage, depression, hopelessness, sadness…. all of it. It hung over me like a black cloud, all the time. Even in times of joy, which were becoming fewer and fewer, that black cloud was still there lingering, dictating to my heart. I’m so happy you found freedom here too. I’m celebrating with you; because I know the feeling!!

  14. By: Jen Posted: 14th December


    I tend to think of healing as gardening. You find a weed and you remove it planting something healthy in it’s place. It takes awhile for that new plant to root and grow well. You must nourish it especially well in those first weeks before you can trust that it’s established. Sometimes the weeds are so big that pulling them out damages the soil and good plants next it them so it takes time to repair those things as well. Patience and attention to ourselves is what is called for here.

    Hugs and many thanks. Looking forward to your next post. Reading the archives while I wait.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      I love your analogy about gardening! I totally relate to that one; thanks for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Helena Posted: 14th December

    Ugh, fighting over child support.. I grew up with it nonstop for 20 years now, basically until I somewhat recently ended the situation as it got very nasty towards me personally in the end, by officially refusing to accept money I’d actually legally should get.. definitely not the way it should be! but it worked out relatively well so far.
    At least by denying to accept money my father never wanted to spare for me anyway, I don’t always get reminded that I am obviously worth much less than a certain amount of euros to him, which is kind of sad, but I am ok with this indifference.

    Unfortunately though I have these strong and stupid believes (“who doesn’t work should not eat!” or something like this) about financial income & status equaling worthiness implanted in my head.
    And I know that the belief is false, that the lack of income does neither make you worthless nor that I was and am nothing but a financial burden.. also I know exactly when these thoughts & feelings started – yet I haven’t succeeded in finding out what exactly caused them, and can’t get rid of them. So I kind of still feel like this self-discounting ideas are just my own creation and fault. (which they are not, I know which people made me feel unworthy & like a terrible financial burden, but I can’t get to the root entirely yet..)

    As I am physically ill and have, umm, lots of healing work to do as well (it takes time and lots of effort after all, doesn’t it) I currently don’t earn money, and even though I have valid reasons for it, it’s not enough for me, I’m very ashamed and feel like a terrible burden. Sigh.. I wonder when I’ll have worked through this.. well I’m on it.

    xx, Helena

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      Hi Helena
      I had some of those beliefs too! This stuff takes time to sort out. The realizations did not come to me all at once. I had been in a huge intensive process for several years before I started this site (2 years ago)
      MY fav line you wrote here is “well I am on it!”
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

    Yes, that is exactly what I mean! LOL

    Jen, LOVE the way you wrote that comment ~ “Now it’s just a matter of letting it sit in my consciousness and take root inside me”
    That is exactly how it works for me with each new discovery.
    Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    December 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm
    Darlene – are you sure we didnt grow up in the same household ? My God darlene my family was exactly the same way ! Except my parents never got divorced. they fought all the time over everything. My dad had a good job but my mother convinced me and my sister that we were “poor” but they funny thing is Mom got everything she wanted !! fur coats, jewelry, tv’s, shoes – he bought her everything she wanted but i could not even ask for a fishing rod for my birthday without getting yelled at and having it thrown back in my face. I think around age 11 or 12 i just stopped asking.

    OMIGOSH!!!! I just read this and am actually sitting here dumbfounded!! I used to think the exact same thing..that we were poor, because my older brother and I had to wear the same clothes, same shoes, etc. I could never understand why my mom had the best wardrobe of anyone we knew, being that we were poor and all. (wink) My dad spoiled her to no cars every year, etc. I just can’t believe how much we all have in common. I can’t say it enough times…..THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE..I AM NOT ALONE ANY MORE!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      You are going to continue to have this reaction; you are certainly not alone anymore; like I said, there are thousands of us just here in this site alone.
      I am getting a huge smile out of your comments today!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    To Jen and Darlene:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I know I have a long journey ahead of me, but after today, I have more hope because of you’s. I now look forward to the journey with a feeling of profound hope because I honestly know I am not alone!!! Big hugs!!

  19. By: Jen Posted: 14th December

    Hi Mitz.

    My heart goes out to you. I know the hurt of rejection from my entire family as well. I am also aware that all of my family’s friends who knew me growing up have rejected me as the “bad egg.” I just want to encourage you as you grieve this loss that I did not truly even begin to heal until all contact was cut. When I was finally able to stop worrying about seeing them, speaking to them, what if things, etc, only then were the pieces of the puzzle finally exposed so that I could put them together properly.

    Like you, a lot opened up for me in finding this site. Reading so many similar stories, I know I’m not insane which helps a lot. I also see truth neatly spelled out and easily taken in as it is “my” truth. A truth I never could put into words because I was afraid, “I” was the one at fault. Well, not anymore. Now it’s just a matter of letting it sit in my consciousness and take root inside me. That takes time and it requires grieving the losses. Both to your family and as you say, your children’s as well.

    I believe you will be better off even if you cannot see it yet.


  20. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    This is really only the second time that I have read one of your posts and I must say that I am floored by the similarities in our lives! After reading this, I realized that at least one other person in this world was raised by a mother like mine. I, as you, felt worthless. Although my parents didn’t divorce, my dad worked so much overtime he was hardly around, so my mother was the one who made rules, enforced rules, criticized, taught me a belief system that took years of therapy and work to let go of. When my father was at home, all my two brothers and I heard were the screaming fights. My dad spoiled my mom, giving her any and everything she ever asked for, trying to keep her happy. In the process of all of that my older brother and I were not given very much at all. I left home when I was 15 to escape the physical and emotional abuse of my mother.

    Although, I eventually, got married, had my own children, for decades I allowed my mother to continue to criticize me and I gave her the power to control me.

    It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I took a stand. As nicely as I could, and upon a therapists advice, I tried discussing our unhealthy relationship, hoping that we could mend the broken pieces. Instead of healing, she now has so much control over my father that she has chosen to convince him that their lives are better off without me in it. This has left me with 3 wonderful children of my own and 3 grandchildren that are devastated and can not possibly understand. I had no choice but to be 100% honest with my children about their grandmother.

    To sum it all up, because of my mother’s self-centereness and narcissism, she will never know her grandchildren or great grandchildren. What saddens me the most, is that she doesn’t care.

    Thank you for creating this page and I will begin reading your posts daily now.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      Hi Mitz
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken! It is always so cool to get a new reader that gets that total “I can relate to this!” reaction. Keep reading, you will find that there are thousands of us in this site alone who had a mother like that. You are not alone!
      I understand the shock of having a mother who doesn’t care if she sees you or not. That is my story too but eventually I truly realized that this is about her and not about me and I also realized how much better I am now. I never have to deal with her craziness anymore. My kids are so much better off.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Mimi Posted: 13th December

    Do you mean your mother tried to win over your half sisters who are paternal halves? Not your mother’s own children?? Maddening if so. Same kind of crap my mom has pulled the last several months with her NON relative. So crazy I don’t even know where to start to approach it with her. I do want her to know I’m onto her tactics and that it was one of the most selfish acts I’ve endured. Not sure how/when to unload that on her though.

  22. By: J Posted: 13th December

    Thanks Darlene.

    Yeah, I’ve had a lot of that lately. I’m going to try to keep in my mind what you say about that BEING the path to freedom (even if I can’t easily see it/imagine it yet). I guess that “overhaul” bit is always going to be scary, but maybe an easier way to look at it for me is to think of it as “giving people a chance to prove themselves (or not)”. As in, if/when I do start standing up for myself/setting boundaries etc, I can try and see it as a chance for people to either be understanding & start a dialog etc, or to get shitty BECAUSE I’m standing up for myself, and that will probably make it easier to set stronger boundaries, or choose to move further away from those people.

    Not sure I’ve explained that heaps well, but it makes sense in my head at least. I think my brain now starts in on the whole “what if people start doing that to me?”, but I guess either they already have, or at the end of the day, there’s not that many friendships left to lose. Sometimes I kinda wish I was just a total “free agent” so to speak, and didn’t care what anyone thought, and said what I really think etc (probably thinking particularly with art/creative ideas here). But I guess just life as well. Be less afraid of what people think or how they’ll react, and just follow intuition etc & pursue people that I like/admire etc.

    Darlene, I was just wondering if you’ve done any specific posts re the “overhaul” process (eg mindset in doing it, what helped, what didn’t etc). I just thought of it then, and too tired to go trawling through the archives right now.

    Mimi, thanks for the response & your kind wishes! It will be a very gradual move I think. Still kinda thinking I should basically be ready to go (as in actually able to stay there) before telling my parents, just in case my mother reacts badly. And my brain starts the chorus of “not fair on them” blah blah blah. (Well, *#&$& to you brain!) 🙂 Gotta do what I gotta do.

    Brain’s slowing fast – I think I’ll have to re-read your post later too Mimi. And just remembered Amira, I’ve done the same thing again sorry! (Always tend to read the bottom ones first & start replying)

    Thanks again everyone

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th December

      Hi Mimi
      I started to write a post about this “not enough love to go around” thing. That is why I used that expression! And you just highlighted interesting points! I have 2 half sisters. My mother tried to do this with them the first time she met them at one of my brothers wedding. It is totally about control, ownership and manipulation. (and the divide and conquer tactic ~ if she can get them on her side BEFORE you seek support; that sort of thing. ) This is all about them. And it doesn’t make sense unless you view it through the grid of their OWN low self esteem and their belief system about what makes them feel better about themselves… great comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi J.
      Most of my posts indicate in some way the “how” part of all this. Sometimes it is just the way that I highlight HOW I came out of the fog and then once out of it, I saw things differently. Sometimes more specifics,, but . no I can’t really point you to a specific post. I have written hundreds… (and they are being compiled into a book which will make navigation easier. )
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Mimi Posted: 13th December

    Oh Darlene,
    I meant to comment on the beliefs you mentioned with your mom in that she seemed to think there wasn’t enough love to go around. My mother is the textbook image of that. We have also reunited with a couple of my dad’s sisters the past couple of years. Gradually, deceptively, and very dishonestly, my mother has wedged herself between our paternal aunts and us, stating she needs someone to talk to, a family friend, although she divorced that family 32 years ago. She has my dad’s sister (the one who lives locally) wrapped around her finger because she started planting all her pain in their hearts before we ever knew what was happening. She successfully drove a wedge there and now any hope of that relationship really flourishing has been shot down. I keep thinking, she had her father and mother and all her paternal and maternal aunts and uncles her whole life. Why does she need mine all the sudden? That still angers me a little, but earlier in the year when it was all uncovered and she proved she would put herself before me in that relationship, I was stunned, appalled, angry, etc. I sobbed for what seemed like weeks, that my mother was so selfish she would try to rob me of a relationship with my paternal aunt that I have gone without for 32 years. I can’t tell you how selfish she is in my eyes and how much that changed my entire view of her. UGH!!
    Thanks again for all you do Darlene!!

  24. By: Mimi Posted: 13th December

    I was asking myself the same questions as I read the post with the list. (the same questions Darlene posted). Just want to say I was also isolated, but, I think for me to sort things out, I needed that, and even welcomed it. I didn’t want people to see me the way I was, crying all the time, angry, etc. You’ll still have all your friends here and with the new people you met at your building today, well, there you have it. I know it’s tough for friends to replace family, but I’ve had to face that this year as well. I sobbed and mourned the losses. I haven’t cut all contact, but I’ve made it minimal. Long story, but, anyhow, I wish you the very best of times in your new place. I hope the fear vanishes and you find comfort there. I’m patiently waiting for a post about your first day. 🙂

    There hasn’t been a lot of “caught between” my parents because my mom had us so brainwashed, and my dad made no effort for years. He’s older now, slightly more feeble, and I think he looks back on his life with regret. I can talk to him now and see his points of view from HIM rather than through the filter of my hate filled and deceptive mother. It’s strange, although my dad checked out long ago and offered us nothiing, missed all our birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. ~ I have more contempt for my mother than I do for him. I think because I’m older, I realize time is ticking and I can choose to be hung up on all that stuff about him, or I can embrace the time that’s left, get to know him a little and learn some things about my heritage. I have completely forgiven him. And, I think that sometimes, people don’t automatically love their children in the way we expect they should. I do believe he loves me on some level, no matter what the past says. No matter what my mother says.
    Blessings and thanks!!

  25. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th December

    Hi Mimi
    Your comments brought up lots for me! There is so much to all of this; my mother also was bent on proving that my father never cared. And that was about HER. It was another way that she got her self esteem boost. Her belief seems to have been that there is not enough love to go around, so she wanted to make sure he didn’t get any of hers… or something. In the end… she may have been right; judging by the actions of my father, he didn’t seem to care at all. BUT those are two separate things. The way she turned us against him and all her manipulations about money etc., and the way he didn’t care. Lots of processing there!
    For years I was caught between them. And then I finally separated the truth about both. That was where I found my freedom from all of it.
    Thanks for sharing today Mimi!
    Hugs, Darlene

    Hi Kate
    Interesting how so many have stories about “what the rest of the world would think” and then acted accordingly to that belief! There is so much at the bottom of that whole thing
    Thanks for sharing
    Hugs, Darlene

    Hi J.
    Yes, that is what I meant too. (about gifted)
    There is a painful middle to all this coming out of the fog / recovery stuff. Realizing how much life was lost and damaged, realizing our own faults because of our learned survival mechanisms, all of that stuff is painful but it IS the road to freedom and wholeness.
    For me my entire life and all relationships under went a huge overhaul! And I got past that painful stuff and went on to find freedom on the other side!
    Hugs, Darlene

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