Belief System Formation via the Message Received in Childhood

Messages recieved in Childhood

one step closer

I had a hard time with self love as long as I saw myself through the eyes of the people who defined me as “unworthy”.  I saw myself through their actions and through the way that they treated me. They treated me as though I was “not good enough” and not important.

For instance when I was in a crowd of family and trying to be part of the conversation but no one heard me. I would say something and sometimes I would be ignored. Sometimes I would get a cold blank look as if to say “you have nothing to contribute here”.  At least that is the message that I got.

Imagine a young child. The child is trying to get the attention of his mother. He is trying to tell his mother that there is a kite in the sky. But the mother won’t look.  She won’t acknowledge the child’s pleas for her to share the moment with him. He keeps trying; he keeps tugging her sleeve or patting her arm… “Mommy, look! There is a kite in the sky! Mommy LOOK!” The mother brushes him off. She is reading a book and doesn’t care about the kite. She shrugs him off at first, but as he becomes more persistent, she pushes him away. Eventually, she tells him to leave her alone, to go play, to let her be…. Never once acknowledging his pleas until finally he hangs his head dejectedly and gives up. 

There are messages attached to these actions. Communication is not always direct. He gets the message that books are always more important than he is. So is the phone. So is the television, so are her friends.  And over time, what message do you think that this child gets about himself?

Day after day, adults are too busy, too tired, too stressed about their own lives to listen to the child. What message does the child get from all that?

A little girl is being picked on by the teacher at school.  She is being humiliated, made fun of and criticized in front of the entire class. She tells her parents but they don’t listen. They ignore her. They tell her to respect her elders. They don’t believe that this teacher bullying is serious or harmful. Over time she begins to get sick.  If her parents finally notice her, then illness becomes the way to get the “love she desires”. Illness becomes the way that she will be heard.  Illness “works” for her so she manifests illness.

If both or one parent communicates that illness is a weakness, the child will try to hide the illness.  

But what is the message that this child gets? The actions communicated to the child are

“I am only valued if I am sick” or “I am even LESS valuable if I am sick”. 

And don’t forget that there is an original message;

~I am not worth being heard.

~The teacher is picking on me; she has a right to do whatever she wants because she is my “elder”. 

~Something is wrong with me because the teacher is picking on me and she doesn’t like me.

~No one cares about me.

~It must be me. I will try harder to be liked so that I don’t get picked on and then when I am liked, people will care. 

This is how a belief system develops. These are the beginnings of low self esteem. Children get messages from the actions of others about their worth. They are either loved, or they are not loved.  They get love mixed up with approval. They get love mixed up with whether or not they get attention or have impact.  Impact can be positive or negative.

Some children lash out. If they push their sibling down the stairs they have impact. They may even get some attention from doing it. 

All of this goes into what makes up the self esteem of the child. All other abuse or devaluing treatment is added to the grid that the child will see himself or herself though. All of this information forms the belief system that individual has about themselves.  The only way that I was able to change this belief system was to dig down inside and take a look at where it came from in the first place.

Emerging from Broken is about learning the truth about how I viewed myself so that I could see where I was stuck in a false belief system.  I looked at the events and then at the messages that I received through so many situations from my childhood. Were those messages the truth?

Whether I misunderstood them or not, the problem was that I believed them. I had to realize just what exactly I believed.

What were the messages that you got about yourself?

What did you believe about yourself over time?

Is this the truth about you?

Please share your thoughts and remember that you may use any name you wish in the comment form. No one will see your email except me.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book 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

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Categories : Self Esteem



Hi Darlene, Another post that rings true for me. The irony is that one of the things I was taught about me was that I had no self-respect. I guess my family thought I should be able to manufacture said self-respect out of the demeaning way they treated me from the time I was born…


Hi Pam
I think that many children are raised not to have self esteem so that they are more compliant, and easier to control. Then when they grow up, parents are ticked off when there are issues.. issues that they will never admitt having contributed to in the first place. I guess my parents couldn’t pass on to me what they didn’t have themselves. It’s the old definition of insanity.. keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, generation after generation…. ugg.
Hugs, Darlene



OMG . I know how that feels trying to get some attention some love..some sign that I am alive only to live without such signs of affection.. the only time I was noticed was when mom was beating the living daylights out of me. .. I was always that convenient person to beat up and take out all her frustrations on.

I would hide when i was sick . .coughing into my pillow as that would be reason for being beat.. if getting sick would have won me attention ,I should have been smothered with love

Mom had no sense of caring and nurturing. We could walk a long long way home from school and arrive home .. its cold as ever and cannot get in.she’s not there. .I remember how my feet froze and the biting pain .. of waiting outside in the cold without boots or warm socks.

I learned in my childhood no to care about me.. not to take care of my needs.. no one else did.

the beatings mom gave was the only time i got closer to her. .so closeness was being beat up .. i wasnt hugged or loved or told i was special..but told the opposite.

One has to learn to care for oneself somewhere but if it doesn’t happen at home. that means we grow up thinking we don’t matter.

Am crying because that hold episode a week ago pretty much made me feel just like i did at home . unvalued . like my feelings didn’t count.it’s painful

I hope I can learn to get over treating me like mom and other mean people have..



I learned from a very early age that i was a bother, that i was too sensitive, that i ruined everything, that my mother did not like me, especially did not like me as much as my sister.. i learned that i was not worthy, no lovable, nor was i likable.. i was clumsy, i ruined everything i touched, that i was stupid and the only way i could learn was to have it beaten into me.. My mother used those exact words, as i lost my pencil for school twice, so she tied a rope on my pencil, and as she hung it around my head, she hit me in the head with every word..” I (Thump) Do (thump) not (thump) Learn (thump) unless (thump) etc.. I (thump) will (thump) not (thump) lose (thump) this (thump) pencil… that of course was one example.. i was a very shy child as well.. which my mother hated, well hated in public, as it was embarrasing to her.. so i would get in trouble for that as well.. however at home, she did not want to hear me,.. i was supposed to be seen and not heard, well, usually not seen either… my mother just hated me.. when ever i walked into the room while my mother was spending time with my sister, i would hear her sigh, and say, well i guess we have to stop cuddling, playing, etc. cause Now Kelly is here… i guess we can’t have this treat anymore, cause Kelly is here.. which all this came about, as other family members, like my grandmothers, some brave aunts had brought it to my mothers attention that she was not fair in how she treated me.. which really, only made it worse, as she blamed me for them saying something.. So, i still feel some days, that i ruin things for other people just because i am alive.. I still feel that i can’t do things right, i still feel so stupid sometimes.. i mean it has gotten better.. i used to feel this way all the time.. i now have full days were i may not have any of these thoughts about myself… so that is a positive..


When I got sick, most of the time, I was sent to school anyway. Colds, flu and bronchitis were totally ignored. In first grade I was sent to school for a week with a bad ear ache that went untreated. Being sick didn’t get me any attention unless it was life threatening. Getting whooping cough when I was 2 years old got me sent to my grandmother’s to stay until I wasn’t contagious because the doctor said it would kill my baby brother if he got it. That was probably the beginning of my abandonment issues even though I don’t remember much except the awful coughing attacks that would take my breath and felt like they weren’t ever going to stop. I remember trips to the hospital daily for a week when I was about 7 years old and got the Asiatic Flu when did kill a lot of people around the world in 1957. I do not remember going to the doctor at any other time in my childhood. I had 3 fingers caught in the door of a car when I was about 5 years old. My fingers were cut and swelled 2-3 times their size. They were doctored with alcohol and wrapped in gauge. Nothing was ever done to see if they were broken even through I cried for most of the day from the pain.

The only value that I got was as the family hero when I made good grades at school and when the incest started, sex and love became entwined. My dad held the possibility of hurting my mom over my head to keep me compliant and silent. He used to tell me if I wouldn’t have sex with him then he would have to see other women and that would hurt my mom. He made my mom’s happiness my responsibility. I was my mom’s protector by the age of 3. When I left home, my dad threatened suicide if I didn’t come back. Somewhere I got the strength to not be manipulated by his threats of suicide.


Kelly, My mom played favorites too and it took about 50 years for me to quit believing that my sister was who I should be. It’s been five years now and I’m still trying to decide who the real me is and if I’m really being myself or trying to be ‘like’ someone deemed more acceptable than me. It is getting better and better though now that I’m not under the disapproving, demeaning influence of my family. It is good to live in an atmosphere where I am respected for who I am and not always made to feel that I need to change.

Patricia, I hear you on the medical neglect. I wasn’t the only one who suffered from that but my siblings also. I think my sister is very out of touch with her emotions because of a bad burn when she was two that was treated with medication meant for cattle. I think she turned the pain off in order to cope and her emotions were turned off in the process, also.



I understand where you are coming from.. my mom said everything bad happened in our house because of me. I ruined their happy home by tattling about the abuse .. when a teacher asked if we were afraid of anyone.. I ruined everything because after that they come to take us away .. and mom had to get help.. They put us back but things were much worse. ..i was the reason everything went bad.. I was not suppose to born. .how dare I come into this world!



I was reading the book, “Make Peace With Anyone” by David J. Lieberman, PH.D, last night, when this sentence leaped off the page:

“The reality is that no one ever argues over socks on the floor, what color to paint the kitchen, or where to eat. We argue over the right to be heard, the right to have our beliefs validated, and the right to be who we are.”

The right to be heard.
The right to have my beliefs validated.
The right to be who I am.

This is our birthright ~ every single one of us.


Pam and Joy
the favoritism was so very difficult for me as a child too.. tried so hard, like you, to be my sister. But i am nothing like her, and really, i am happy about that.. when i see my sister, she does not look happy.. yes she has money, i struggle daily financially, i have to work a lot to pay my bills, she does not work.. she has a big beautiful house, i rent a small bungalow… but she is never happy with what she has, she is always striving to acquire more and more material things.. she is abusive towards her partner, she is an alcoholic.. she is and always has been bitchy, as she feels everyone should bow to her wishes, give her everything, pay attention to only her.. as this is how she grew up.. so in the end, she is i think less happy then me, as she is not willing to look at herself, she is not willing to try and heal from her hurts… i feel sorry for her… I moved away from them all about 12 years ago.. i see them, talk to them. but not often… I started doing better once i was away, and they all treated me a bit better, as they hardly saw me… i was just there for thanksgiving weekend, with my whole family.. i had a few rough moments, tears threatened a couple times.. but i would take a step back.. and see things for what they were, my mother trying to keep my sister from being mean to people, my sister trying to be the center of attention, my brother ordering everyone around… in the moments between all this, anyone looking in would think, what a wonderful family gathering…just as it was for most people looking in when i was a child.. My mother always had to put on a show for the world.. we had to be perfect, so that people would think my mother was a “good Person”.. she has always said, it doesn’t matter what is really happening in a home, what it looks like from the outside is what matters… sorry, i got off track… basically, these days, i am glad i am not my sister, i am still not sure who it is i am, but i am happy that i am not my sister… i still have many hurts to heal, many beliefs that were instilled in me to change and alter.. i still need to find my path… and with time and work, i hope to get there…


that sentence, what you wrote really hit me.. such a powerful thought..


Thanks for this post. More food for thought. I’m just beginning to realize how much I have internalized negative judgements about myself. Now that I’ve stopped drugging myself, I can hear the condemning voices clearly. I have no desire to go back to oblivion, however. I am committed to healing. I can see how much progress I’ve made already. But I hear so much criticism coming from within every time I am alone and quiet. What’s interesting, though, is that when I do my therapy and spend time allowing my emotional expression about the old hurts, then my inner critic seems to calm down and be replaced by a nurturing voice who expresses compassion and gratitude for my well-being. The problem is that I am still pretty resistant to giving myself the time to get in touch with this pain. Why, when I know that it is the path to healing? Is it that I’ve become so accustomed to stewing in repressed anxiety that I’m actually reluctant to let it go?


Kelly, My sister has problems too but she can’t ever acknowledge them because she has to be perfect. She is still living up to what was expected of her as a child. I feel sorry for her to and I know where you are coming from.


Sophia, I know all about that inner critic. I have one too and I think she came out of the cloud of disapproval that my mom kept hanging over my head for all of my life. I don’t like to face pain either. It is hard to envite it in even if it means getting better.All I know is when I finally faced the painful truth, I began to get better and I don’t hear the voice of the inner critic quite so often. I hope she eventually fades away completely. I hope yours does too.


Lynda, That reminds me of when my husband and I learned ‘how’ to argue. It made a big difference in our marriage when we decided to make sure that each of us was heard and it took the damaging effects of arguing away. Instead, it became a time for problem solving. I like your quote.



Our life was always a big show.. we all had these masks we had to wear for the world. we were perfect in church voluteered for everything…mom did everything so perfectly ..we had to do everything for the church…so no way would the pastor listen to me rambling about the sexual abuse and beatings i was going through.. he put me in my place.. that is he place of silence .. so i learned when people hurt me . my place was to be quiet..take it all in. shut my mouth..that is what my church taught me. not just when I was six but again when i cried out to them in 2009 .

I learned that my family didnt love me. My mom never wanted me. and the church said it was all ok as that was how you become a saint. .Oh i kept looking for wings to sprout and a halo to show for the longest time as a child ..none of that ever happene. I simply grew in my brokenness and low self esteem .. my nothingness..



Hi Joy
Thank you for sharing what it was like for you. Your childhood was really awful! This is what I am talking about… although there are differences, the message we got was so similar. My mom took care of me when I was sick. I don’t remember her being mean to me when I was sick. I got sick a lot! My mom was good at some stuff, but still the stuff she wasn’t good at left a deep scar.
I know you are going through a really rough time right now and that recent events brought up the same feelings of rejection. I had to look closely at the truth about the treatment I got from others. Their actions towards me, didn’t prove anything about me.
Hang in here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kelly
Thank you for sharing this example too. That is the deep healing work ~ to realize the message that we got and how we got it. AND realize that it was wrong. They were wrong and that the message that I got about me was all a lie. You were not the cause of all the problems. That is the message that a very sick person gave you and it got stuck in your belief system. I am so sorry that you had to go through all that! What a nightmare!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Patricia
Thank you for sharing your example of how the manipulation works! You were a pain when you needed attention, but you got attention when you did what they wanted. (got good grades) That became where your value had it’s foundation. This is not just done in words, but all sorts of ways (as you also shared) There is so much healing when we figure this stuff out!
Thanks so much for sharing this!
All these comments from everyone really work together!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sophia
YAY for realizing internal judgements. It was when I began to hear the criticism inside that I got the deeper clues of where to dig deeper with all this. I asked those voices what else they had to tell me. It wasn’t pretty, but I got so much information about what I believed about myself.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda,
I am not sure I agree with the quote part about nobody argues about those things… (where to eat or what to paint) but I agree with the part about wanting to be heard. I think many many of us gave up that arguement early on though. We gave up our rights as human beings in order to survive. Now we have that right back!
Hugs, Darlene



SO right.. the recent events reopened the scars of rejection and even added salt to the wounds..since the person knew better. .means she knew what she was doing.. cutting me all the more deeper!grrrrr.. be nice joy..lol

I know and believe its about her. because now I know it’s not just me it was done to . .and this doesn’t uncover the other who had this done but the fact that someone else knew this same awful feeling..

Truly i believe the person who hurt me may need more help than I do.. it’s so easy to hide ones quirkiness behind power.. Look at Adolf Hitler ..how crazy he was . .he was a leader of a country .. used his power to hurt thousands.. and he was quite off his rocker..yet because he was who he was people followed and believed him and hurt others for him..scary thing power is..

I hope I get better as I don’t want to create new oceans every time someone hurts me like that 😉

Hugs and love to all



Joy, I loved reading that little,grrrrr!:0)You’re right, there are sick people in high places and often, sick manipulative people seek positions of power.



HI Pam..

Glad you like it as am doing alot of it today .tears are all over the place this afternoon..such a mess ..grrr.. 😉

Love you



i had mutilpe health issues as a baby and my mother resent the fact she had to spend so much time on me, especially when she had my brother 11 months later. he to had health issues, we both had bad excema aand he had bad asthma, mine didnt strt till i was 7 yrs old. all my school life i have been bullied because of my skin and breathing problmes. they made me differetn. my parents re enforeced the embaressment by using medication as a way to control and punish us, all for our own good obviously. didnt matter that i spent nights all alone in my room with my hands bound by bandages and tape to help to cream sink in. goin gto the toilet was fun, not. not only that if my parents didnt wake up we couldnt us ur hands for anything. and if we woke them so we could play, well they didnt like that at all. ( im fighting that closed shutter feeling again). my mother always put the men her her life first but then blamed us kids when it all went wrong, an as an adult i find that very strange way of looking at it. i mean a child lives with the descions that the adults make yet the children are still to blame somehow. this has alwys made me so mad and has cause numerous arguements with my mother. mainly because i am not allowed to challlenge how she sees an incident. well i did and it lead to so mmany rows that we are having a break in contact again. which cool for me as it one less expectation i have to live up to.
parents can sure mess up their kids, and the older it is that a person strats to try to heal the more there seems to have to clear up. it hard to balance the right of the adult who had problems becoming a parent, and the childs right to have good parents. now if only those who have the money and the power would sort that out then maybe parenthood wouldnt be the minefield it is and may even help us all grow into healthy happeir adults in the long term.
see i diverted off topic again sorry must have gotten close to something. will find it when i re read ths aftr if posted it lol


Thank you for this… I am an adopted but raised by a family who abused me in many ways. To sum things up.. they took me to counselors until they found one that would label me as having a mental disorder. Eventually I became strong enough to break through what I call “brainwashing” and see that if “I” was the one with the problem they could feel like they did nothing wrong.Since I was adopted they could blame my genetics.
Hope that makes sense. I have not thought about this in a while but know I am still impacted by it.


I think biggest message i got as a child was that i was the dispensible one.. less worthy, and if my mother needed to sacrifice one of her children, it would have been me.. We used to go visit family.. the husband was a known sexual abuser of children.. my mothers youngest sister was abused by this man, and others.. but since his wife was my grandmothers sister, we had to visit apparently.. My sister was not allowed off my mothers lap the entire visit. I was not given orders to sit at the table, i was not told to sit by my mother and not move. I was basically, given to him, in order to save my sister from the abuse. This stuck with me throughout my childhood and up.. i knew early on, that if my mother could not save all her children, i would be the one sent to the slaugher.. i knew this was because i was unworthy, that there was something wrong with me, something so wrong that my mother could not love me, could not like me.. i knew it was because i was dirty and bad.. i knew it was because i could not ever do anything right. these were the things i knew about myself for many many years…


Hmm.. i can’t believe i actually wrote that and posted it.. That is one thing i have not told anyone about.. and had started to say it in my previous post but deleted this part.. i said it, i actually said it..and i am not sure how i feel about it yet..



I’m so glad that you shared, though I’m sure it makes you feel extremely vulnerable. I, too, have felt about my mother how you feel, like if she could kill me to save my brother or herself she would. I couldn’t figure out what it was about me that made it impossible to love me. I know now that it’s her and not me, but I still mourn the lack of love. It just seems so unfair because I *did* sacrifice my own emotional health and peace to protect her secrets and her character from the judgement of others. Just thinking about it makes my blood boil.

Again, thanks for being so open and sharing. It really helped me.



And if you know that there was one other, I wonder how many others!
One of these days I will write about my own experience with abusive therapists. Although I still have things that come up for me that need additional attention, most of that stuff doesn’t define me anymore and I know it wasn’t about me; you will get there.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol
This is a great share! Something that motivates me is getting people to SEE that ~ that no matter what, kids end up being to blame and no matter how old the kids are either! This is at the bottom of so many mental health issues… I will expose this till the day I die!

I have days when I felt that the more I heal the more I find there is to heal..and it gets frustrating, but when I look at how much better my life is now that I have done so much of this work, I am so glad that I did it! The more that I grow, the better parent I am too. I am finding that lately Parenting is way less of a minefield! It has been all about sorting out my grid of understanding and the real truth.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kelly
Oh yes… the dispensable message! That is such a nasty one and many readers here got that one too.
This is a horrible realization and I know how painful that it is to look at… Thank you for sharing it. It may take time to sink in that you said it “outloud” but the truth is what set me free. It may take time for you to know just how you feel about it. Be gentle with yourslef..
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Deanna
Welcome to EFB. Thank you for highlighting another horrible abuse tactic; to prove at all costs that it isn’t them.. what a horrible thing to do to a human being. this is how we were defined… it was never “them” always us~ and that is wrong and has lifelong effects ~ which is what we are all talking about on this blog. I write about how I overcame those lifelong effects and took my life back!
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


You know, Darlene, I experienced the bullying teacher. Every single day of my second grade year I cried and begged my parents to let me stay home from school. My enabling father, who was president of the PTA and actually had some influence, finally went to the school and met with the principal, but nothing changed. I was so glad when the year was over. My family, especially my dad, all still joke about it and make fun of the fact that I cried my eyes out everyday. How cold can people be? For a normal *real* parent, such distress from a child would be a red flag, but not my folks. They probably believed I deserved whatever was happening to me.

The world seems so messed up sometimes…


When I think of my mom and I when I was little, I hear,”Nasty!Bad! Bad!Nasty!” It is a cloud that remained hanging over our relationship until it ended. Where there should have been love, there was only disapproval.


Thank you..


thank you and i will keep an eye on my thoughts and feelings as they come up in regards to sharing that.. i am not feeling too good about it or myself at the moment.. i am also very tired, i think i will head to bed early tonight and take a new look at it with the new day..



Hi.. yes I wish there was a way to call them out. I have some scaving “bloody ideas” how to get them out I “bloody do” .. so would love to hear your stories.. 🙂 thank you so much .. “cheerio”


Love you



Growing up I was always told I was less than my brother who died before I was born. I was never able to be myself because whatever I did was “less than”. My mom used the words “i love you” whenever she would do something violent. She permanently disfigured my shoulder as a child, all the while telling me that she was beating me because she “loved me soooo much”. To this day I cant tell anyone “i live you” and absolutely hate talking about my mom. Anyone close to me who tries to ask about my mom immeadiately gets shut down because I get so angry.


ps..sorry for being silly but I think I have lost it for the evening but guess its okay on occasion to laugh 😉



I learned not to feel good about myself whenever I said anything was “wrong” with someone else. That was part of the brainwashing.. the way that I was trained to be compliant. So much of this is learned behaviour and does not stem from love but from manipulation and control. My mother was raised the same way. I just don’t let that be her excuse anymore, just as I don’t use it as mine. hang in!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Junior
Welcome to EFB. I was shocked when I realized how much I didn’t know about what love was and shocked when I realized what I thought it was. I realized HOW I had learned the false definition of love. Words like I love you were manipulative for many of us. And had nothing to do with Love at all.
Glad you are here, thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

YES it is fun to be silly sometimes! I got a laugh out of your post!
Hugs, Darlene



So glad was able to make you smile. usually you are handing me kleenex..lol .. i havent had anything to drink .. but feel like i have;)



Junior.. I know exactly how you feel. and sure wouldnt want to trigger you by mentioning any word that would upset you. You will find lots of understanding people here..we have all had some terrible stories we are part of



Darlene, it’s funny you should say that, about not necessarily agreeing with the part of the quote that says we don’t fight over socks left on the floor, etc.. I had that same thought, when I first read it. I really do hate it when someone’s dirty socks are left on the floor. But then I realized that what it really boils down to, for me, is feeling disrespected, discounted, and not heard~ like I don’t matter, and what I want doesn’t matter. That is a lot more important to me than the socks issue, or whatever the issue is.

I like what you said, Pam, about you and your husband learning how to fight in a healthy way. My husband and I have learned that, too, it only took both of us more than half a century each, to learn that, LOL! In my case, it did not help that I was still in an abusive relationship, at the age of 50. I was literally being abused, one way or another, verbally, and/or physically, for 50 years~ so I guess it’s no wonder that I’m not a lot further along on this recovery road, even though I am 58 and 1/2.

When I met my best-friend-husband Stan, it was shortly before I turned 51, and he was almost 55. We still had some learning to do about how to have a healthy relationship, which only makes sense, because neither of us had EVER had that, before. I kept repeating the pattern of getting into relationships with abusers/users, which was what my abusive parents had “groomed” me for, and my husband had an almost-identical pattern of getting involved with women who liked to have affairs behind his back. We were both so gunshy when we met, so terrified of making yet another big mistake, that we spent most of the first year of our marriage almost baiting the other person into going ahead and breaking our heart, already, and getting it over with… it was like waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

But thankfully we had a great marriage counselor who guided us over that rough first year, and also Stan went into a 9-week in-house PTSD program for combat veterans during our first year of marriage, and the help and wisdom he gained there, which he has been able to share with me, truly saved our marriage.

HOWEVER, just a couple of hours ago I had to pick his dirty socks up off the bathroom floor! I thought about the quote from Dr. Leiberman’s book, and I decided that the socks on the floor is no big deal, all things considered. After all, I have No Doubt that my husband loves me, tremendously, no matter what… even though I colored my gray roots today, using a new hair color, and it’s now freaking ORANGE, with huge swaths of BROWN, a real disaster, I mean my hair is super ugly right now. For most of my life, ruining my hair with the coloring job from hell would have sent me spiraling off the deep end. If my hair was ugly, then I was ugly, and no one would like me if I was ugly!! But I KNOW that I am loved at long last, Fault and All, so my horrible hair just doesn’t matter all that much!

Stan doesn’t seem to care how my hair looks. I could probably be bald, and he wouldn’t care. Of course, I am going to have to do something expensive to make my hair all right again! But in the meantime, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. And I’ve got a cute back ballcap with sparkly cyrstal letters that say “Bad Hair Day” on the bill, I will wear that until I can get this disaster dye corrected.



Lynda, My marriage is a blessing and both of us have decided that it is good fighting that keeps a marriage together! That and making up!lol!


I begin to read this post and I feel so broken AGAIN! Crap I feel the stress slowly creeping up my back, muscles tighting. But it is not just me, My heart feels like it is breaking for my siblings, knowing they experienced this also breaks my freaken heart. Why can’t the pain stop? I can picture big tears rolling down my little brothers and sister face. It is one thing for me to go through abuse but when I picture my sister and little brothers man it’s painful!


Oh, Renee ~ I feel exactly the way you describe feeling about your siblings being hurt by your mother. I am the eldest of 7, the eldest of 13, counting my stepsisters and stepbrothers. I was the only child until about 2 months before my 7th birthday, so I was more like a mommy to my little sisters and brothers, than a sister. Our mother was always leaving them in my care, from the time they were tiny infants. I was a very maternal child, I loved my doll-babies, so when I had real live babies to take care of, I was in little girl heaven.

But the more children that my mother had, the more erratic she became. She clearly couldn’t handle the stress of having 3 babies in diapers all at the same time (my twin sisters, and my brother who was born 15 months later), and yet, my mother kept having babies! I don’t understand it. Not that I wish that any one of them hadn’t been born, not at all! But even one child was one too many for my mother to handle, so why she kept having babies is a mystery to me. It seems to me that my mother loved being pregnant, all the attention and pampering she demanded. She also loved being the queen bee with a bunch of little worker slave drones to boss around.

Today I talked with my brother Paul on the phone for a long time. He called me to tell me about the latest bizarre things that our mother is saying and doing. He had called me a couple of weeks ago, to tell me that our mother had recently called him, out of the blue, and had told him off up one side and down the other, for no reason that he could fathom. He said, “She said worse things to me than anyone has ever said to me in my life.” He became so deeply depressed by her horribly hateful words, that he had gone to bed for 3 days.

When my brother told me that, Wednesday before last, I became so FURIOUS that I couldn’t even sleep that night. HOW, and WHY, would our mother hurt him like that? My brother is severely disabled, he lives in a group home and can’t even do his own shopping by himself. He has a computer and knows how to do searches online, but he has not been able to learn how to email or how to do facebook, although several people have tried to show him how. (Our mother took someone else’s tranquilizers when she was pregnant with him, and she herself has said that may have been why Paul was born with 2 severely claw-like clubbed feet, along with his other problems.)

My brother is sweet and gentle and kind and caring. He is always so eager to please. He is always saying, “I’m sorry.” He is polite to a fault. I don’t even think he has a temper, to lose! He is like a poor pitiful little whipped pup. I can’t imagine ANYONE EVER feeling justified in verbally attacking him!

When my mother sent me her 62 page hate letter in May, I was CRUSHED. SHATTERED. DEVASTATED. Extremely Depressed. But when my “little” brother called me in tears to tell me that our mother had verbally blasted him all to hell for no apparent reason, I was SO ANGRY, I could scarcely breath. Paul is 8 years younger than I. He turned 50 this year. But to me, he is still my poor disabled baby brother, and I am the big sister who would fight the whole world to protect him!

Today when my brother and I talked on the phone, he told me that our mother had called him this morning…. and she talked like nothing had happened, like she hadn’t blasted him so bad a little over 2 weeks ago, that he had wanted to die. She just chatted away like everything was fine and dandy between them.

My brother asked her why she was talking so nice to him, when a couple of weeks ago, she had told him off so bad. She told him that their phone conversation of 2+ weeks ago had been accidentally cut off, “just when she was getting ready to say something nice to me.”

I’m shaking my head as I write this…. my poor sweet lonely needy brother, he talked like everything was ok now, because our mother told him she was getting ready to say something ‘nice’ to him, when her phone went dead. So, because she was getting ready to say something nice, all those horrible things she said, “telling him off worse than anyone else had ever done in his life” ~ none of that MATTERS, because she was getting ready to say something NICE!!!

My poor sweet brother. I have tears in my eyes, just thinking about it. How starved he has been all his life, for our mother’s love, that he will gladly settle for the most pitiful crumb.



When my brother called me today, he also told me that he had asked our mother why she sent me a 62 page hate letter a few months ago. My brother told me: “She said she wrote out everything that you ever did wrong in your whole life, every sin or every bad thing you ever did, and then, at the end of the letter, she told you that all you have to do is repent and turn to Christ, and you will be forgiven of all of those bad things. But you are already a Christian, aren’t you, Lynda?”

Hmmm. So the whole purpose of the 62 pages telling me everything that has ever been wrong about me since the time I was a toddler, was to make sure that I don’t go to hell for all my horrible sins??

EVEN if I could buy that warped explanation, it still doesn’t explain why my mother sent a copy of that 62 page letter which told about everything that was ever wrong with me, to my 71-year-old aunt. My aunt and I have grown very close over the past 15 years, and my mother, her sister, hates that. What possible motive would my mother have for telling her sister everything I ever did “wrong,” other than hoping to destroy our close relationship?

I feel strong right now. Because I know, I mean I KNOW, it’s NOT me, it IS HER.


That breaks my heart. I can’t tolerate people that take pleasure in hurting another. My mind goes back to that place and time when I see my siblings innocent faces tear streaked by anothers crulty, makes me sick and mad.


When I was 12, I was the only child old enough to be in school, the twin sisters and 2 brothers then living ranged from 1 year to age 5. Our mother would lock them my little sisters and brothers up in a single bedroom and leave them there all day while I was in school. Every day I would come home, let them out ~ they all had those tear-streaked faces you are talking about, Renee, every school day. They had to use the floor of the closet as their bathroom. They had been doing that for a long time, before I traced the smell and realized what they were doing. They had no choice, she wouldn’t let them out even to use the bathroom! I would let them out every day, the minute I got in the house, clean them up, get them all some water to drink, they would all be desperately thirsty, and then get make them some sandwiches or cereal to eat.

I am shaking inside right now.

BIG HUGE HUGS to you, Renee. ~ Lynda


Hi Renee
This was the kind of pain that I tried to avoid for so long. That was the pain that I was afraid to face on the healing journey.
Hang in there Renee!
Hugs, Darlene

Isn’t it funny how someone can tell you to repent and list all your sins, using bible references to support what they are doing against you, while ingoring how many times the bible instructs that same person NOT to JUDGE?? Of course it is about her. Great to hear that you are feeling strong!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Robin,
I too had that teacher in grade 5. My father was also on the board, my parents ignored me. I got so sick that the Dr. suspected something and he ordered my parents to get me out of the class. My parents didn’t want to “make waves”. I wrote the story here in my blog. (I can’t rememeber the link at the moment!)
The world IS messed up.
Hugs, Darlene


Thankyou Darlene for putting things into words on this site that are still too painful for me to even really think . . I can only just see what you are saying, and I am almost overwhelmed by the difficulty of accepting my feelings, trying not to deny them or split from them, but also not to be overcome by them. Thank you for feeling like its worth trying to communicate and get through some of this stuff.


Hi Di,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
I am so glad that you are here and that this resonates well with you! That is why I write it!
Hugs, and please feel free to share often,


Hi everyone

I’m stuck in the “will I / won’t I” dance about the looooong post I’ve written (and keep going back to/changing etc), so I thought I’d start over and see if I can ask the questions I want to ask before deciding if I’ll post the other one.

My positive (I think) bit of news is I’ve read all the other replies to this post. I’ve been afraid of doing that because I didn’t think I could deal with all the emotions from all the terrible things that have happened to people here. And even though it’s hard to read all those things, I’m choosing to see it as positive that I felt sympathy for everyone instead of spiralling about how s**t the world is. So there is a caring person inside me after all who isn’t just looking for other people’s help & sympathy without being willing to offer any of his own. (This is one of the thoughts that stops me posting).

My question is: Are there any rules about posting here? (eg profanity, negativity, talking about being suicidal?)

I think I’m also confused about what I want, or hope to achieve or get from posting here, and also about what other people want/hope for. I’m worried about offending people, or causing problems for other people if I post honestly about where I’m at.

I’m also afraid that I’ll react badly if people say things to me I don’t like. The main fear is that everything is my own fault. At a basic level, I don’t think it’s my fault that my parents did what they did to me. I’m currently blaming pretty much everything about myself on my parents. This feels like a step forward (instead of believing that I was to blame for everything, as I have for most of my life).

But I can’t see a way to try and take responsibility for my life now without re-opening the mental floodgates of “it’s all your fault”, “you’re not trying hard enough”, “you must not really want to get better” “you should be grateful you don’t have cancer” (this last one is a direct quote from my latest counsellor. it made me really angry because as far as I’m concerned that’s effectively saying that cancer isn’t the person’s fault, but my problems are).

So I guess I want to ask: do people find it helps for someone to sympathise/feel sorry for them about the things they write? Also I worry about hurting people’s feelings if I don’t write something specifically to them. (I think this might be something I’m afraid of in reverse – eg me getting upset if someone doesn’t reply to me, or doesn’t say anything in the first place etc. I’m aware this isn’t a helpful mindset, but I’m not sure what to do about it)

Also, I kind of want to post my life story, but I’m not really sure why. I think I probably just want people to feel sorry for me. And I go through all sorts of s**t in my head about sexual abuse being worse than what happened to me (emotional stuff) so I don’t deserve to ask for attention or sympathy when I could have had it so much worse etc. And I’m right in the middle of feeling hopeless and like I’m on a greased slope to suicide and I’m scared of my negativity/lack of hope affecting others if I write about it honestly.

And I’m also scared because I guess I’ve been holding on to the slim hope that telling my story will be the key to healing myself and being able to get support and move forward, and I’ve been feeling like all of the glimpses of hope I’ve been secretly holding on to (but intentionally trying not to feed because it just hurts worse each time you try something new and nothing changes) are getting chopped off one by one, and it feels like I’m running out of options.

OK I apologies if this is too negative or anything but I think I’m going to be able to post it (unlike the other one for now.) I’d kind of like to at least post the bits I wrote to other people at some point. Wishing everybody peace and love.



Hello J,
I am not sure how to answer some of your questions, so i will leave that up to Darlene and the people who have been here longer than i have.. i started coming here recently.. i just want to say that there is no such thing as one abuse being worse then another.. Abuse is Abuse is Abuse.. no matter how the abuse was delivered it still hurt, it still damaged, it still affected your entire life… I am so sorry that you have to endure the abuse that you did.. it was not right, it was not fair, it was not your fault… \
You are hurting, i am hurting, everyone here is hurting.. i have posted a couple times.. sometimes, i can’t post, other times, i take a breath, close my eyes and hit submit.. haha.. because once i post it, i receive the support of all these wonderful people. it helps me feel less alone, it makes me feel a bit better for getting out what was inside of me festering…
i need to go to work, but just wanted to let you know that i hear you, i can relate to what you are saying, i am happy you are here,
and you are so very brave for coming here and posting.. it is difficult to push that submit button sometimes, but you did it.. i am proud of you…



I can’t answer as far as the rules of posting go, but anything you need to talk about is alright with me. I too felt like my abuse was nothing compared to what others have suffered here, but everyone was very supportive and assured me, as Kelly pointed out, abuse is abuse. Everyone needs to be heard and supported in order to get healthy and the people here are very good at providing that. It’s a very safe place to unburden yourself.

I’m glad you posted and I hope you share what you’ve been going through just so that you can get it off your chest.

Robin 🙂



Your story really really touched me. I felt your pain as I read about you letting your brothers and sisters out of that room afterschool and cleaning them up. Having that kind of responsibility on your young shoulders could do nothing but hurt you.

When I glanced at the tag line after your name (out of the crazy closet) I couldn’t help but to think that you’re not crazy, you’re the sanest person I know. Even as a 12 year old you had better sense than the adults around you.

Sending big, big hugs your way.



Hi J.
Believe it or not I still catch myself saying “oh my childhood was not that bad! It could have been WAY worse!” etc. One of the ways that I learned to survive was to keep telling myself that it could have been worse and that I had nothing to complain about… OH and don’t forget that I was constantly told that too.
About Rules
~ I have never posted them as I have never felt the need to. I have asked that serious profanity (like using the F. word in caps and stuff like that) be kept to a minimum and I have not had much of a problem with it here.
~About negativity, I think that it is important that we share what is real.
~The Suicide question is a little tricky. I will remove any suicide threats ~ we are not equipped to deal with them online and it just freaks everyone out. My thoughts and responses are always with the greater good for all in mind.
~Reading or responding to comments is optional. It is unreasonable to expect that everyone will read every comment or to expect yourself to read every comment. Some posts go well over 100 comments. In fact, I get 1000 comments per month on this blog and although I try, I can’t respond to all of them.
~We all think that it may have been our own fault. I have written tons about that through out this blog. I huge part of the process is reversing those lies by seeing that they ARE lies.
~If you (or anyone) reacts badly in writing here, to what other people say to you, I will delete anything that is harmful to others and you will be placed in “moderation” which means that I have to read and approve of your comments before they are public.
~I had to open the “mental floodgates” in order to get better. I had to face the truth. (and although I was afraid like crazy that I would find out that it was my fault (like I already believed it was) I was wrong. I found out that it wasn’t.
~ People do find it very helpful to be heard. It is validating when others sympathize and hear our stories. It was the beginning of recovery for me. (again I have written a lot in this site about that too)
So it is really up to you. You can read and comment as much or as little as you like and try not to expect that you will have a lot of feedback. Try not to let the feedback or lack of feedback define you as worthy or unworthy. That is really what it comes down to.
(This might be a good time to mention that I am going on holidays to Mexico for 2 weeks next week and I am not going to be online much at all.)
I look forward to your participation here!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks so much Kelly & Robin. Already got tears in my eyes.

I’m going to go backwards to see if that can get me started…

EDIT: I was intending to try and be positive, but ended up being pretty open about where I’m at, and it’s a pretty dark place. Gonna post it anyway, but just wanted to mention early in case anyone would prefer to skip

I watched an episode of Boston Legal last night. One of the cases was a murder trial for a Haitian girl who’d been sold as a slave at age 7. She’d finally snapped when the male owner said he was going to sell the slave’s unborn child (from his rape) and killed him. The victim’s wife was there, and she came up to the slave and got angry with her, saying that she (the slave) knew the owners had loved her and that he didn’t deserve to be killed. The girl was eventually found not guilty due to temporary insanity.

The bit I didn’t see coming was after the verdict, the female owner came up and said something like “you have your freedom now” and walked away. The girl suddenly got frantic and upset and kept saying something like “but I am slave”. (They used the Haitian word I think; I forget what it was). I think the implication was that in her mind, she was still a slave, and would go home with the female owner. She hadn’t even considered being set free, because she’d never had freedom and didn’t know what it was. So when they told her and she realised what that meant, she was inconsolable because the only life she’d known was being a slave.

This feels completely over-dramatic, but that’s kind of how I feel too. I feel like my whole life has been spent dancing to whatever tune my parents have wanted me to. I now believe my parents were (and are) emotionally abusive and actively brainwashed me to believe that I was at fault, and that my current state of mental, emotional and (to a smaller degree) physical torment was of my own making, rather than the legacy of a controlling, emotionally abusive, manipulative, fundamentalist, and sexually repressed upbringing.

But now that I finally believe this (I still struggle constantly with fear/doubt that it really IS all my fault, but I think deep down I now blame them instead of myself), I feel completely trapped. At this stage, I’m completely financially dependent on my parents, and have very little support. I’m very creative, but I’m afraid to start saying what I think through my art (or in any way, for that matter) because it seems quite probable I’d be out on the street. I spent years blaming my fear of jobs, hatred of authority figures, and various other problems on myself, but now feel like it’s all just flow-on effects of my upbringing.

It’s really hard because I feel like someone explained how the magic trick worked, and now I can’t go back to how things were. And I’m fully aware that my life sucked before, but when I try to look realistically at my current situation (something that feels like I’m doing more honestly since I changed from blaming myself to blaming my parents), I have very little hope for myself.

In my view, my parents are living in a complete fantasy world — desperately trying to maintain the illusion of a perfect, happy, well-adjusted family for the outside world at any cost — and god help you if you should dare to do anything that threatens their illusion (like suffer from depression and suicidical thoughts). I think my father has at least some comprehension about what’s going on, but lately I’ve come to hate him even more for being complicit in letting the abuse happen (my mother was the main perpetrator). My mother actually thinks she’s my friend, when quite frankly I wish she were dead. I hate saying that, and f**k knows how I’ll survive the guilt if she does die before me of ever thinking it, but it is what it is.

And I don’t even really mean it. Or do I? Maybe I do. I read an old guest post where the lady said she’d had fantasies about slashing her mother’s face. Not long before reading it my mother was standing near me while I was holding a cup of boiling coffee, and I had the strongest urge to throw it right in her face. My greatest fear is if I ever confront her, that she’d laugh and tell me she knew exactly what she was doing the whole time and that she intentionally did it to break me so that I’d never learn to fend for myself and then I’d always be around for her to control. I’ve been holding on to the hope that she did it because it was done to her and she didn’t know any other way (the controlling mother shit has been passed down at least 4 generations). It’s my greatest fear because I think I would snap and hurt her if she told me that it was intentional.

OK. Gonna try and pull myself out of that mental spiral.

The upshot of all this is that I’m living in a house where my parents only concern is that I continue repressing all my pain and pretending everything’s fine so that they can continue maintaining the illusion to the world (and themselves) that our family is perfect and always has been. I actually had the thought recently that if I did succumb to suicide, once they got over the shock they’d go right back to convincing themselves (and actively telling others) that I always was troubled and that they did everything they could to help me but it was no use because I didn’t want to help myself. I’m sorry to be so morbid, and despite being extremely prone to depressive thoughts (that I know usually aren’t true, or at least not balanced) I can’t shake the feeling that this one’s how it really is.

I’ve been breaking down pretty regularly and just crying uncontrollably, and have been close to hospitilisation many times the past year or so. There’s been several times I’ve just given up completely and wanted to die. I used to be able to console myself with the thought that even if I did get to that stage, I’d never have the “guts” (that feels so heartless but I can’t think of any other way to say it) to actually do it. (This is going back almost six years to just before I was first diagnosed, when I thought I was losing my mind becuase my head would start spinning and I thought I was going to die because if it happened when I was driving I’d just put my foot down until I nearly crashed. I also started punching myself in the head as hard as I could or punching through walls or glass a couple of times when it happened. It was several years before I realised that these were the only ways I had at the time to feel like I had any control over the spinning feeling in my head, because adrenaline or pain both stopped it. That helped me to understand why I’d done what I did.) But now I sometimes get a feeling like a vice is slowly crushing my head. This has kind of replaced the old spinning feeling, so now it’s more like a pressure. I don’t self-harm anymore, but I’m worried because I haven’t found many ways to relieve that pressure, and now it feels like that’s what’s going to push me over the edge.

And even if I don’t lose my mind and try to kill myself, when I look at my life and think realistically about how fucking hard I’ve been trying for years to learn about mental illness and figure out what’s wrong with me so I can get better, and then have to admit the reality that it’s only getting worse, and add that to the fact that the only way out I can see is cutting off from my family completely (which I’m certain would lead to active guilt and shaming tactics from them and their entire circle of friends), AND pay attention to the fact that I’ve been slowly opting out of life as much as possible the last few years (this wasn’t a conscious process at first) to the point that probably only last year I pretty much felt like my family was my only support (apart from the handful of dr/psych relationships I’ve been able to find that at least don’t further the emotional abuse), and have to realise that to start trying to actually live and start paying attention to even the basics (it’s almost impossible to do anything for myself around this house without my mother getting shitty because it’s not being done her way, so I’ve largely just given in and let her do whatever she wants) is going to increase the pressure exponentially…. well, quite frankly, I don’t know how I’ve managed to keep myself alive. There’s obviously a stubborn streak buried somewhere inside.

I’m also afraid that if I could be so blind to what was going on for so long, that there’s still other things I haven’t even imagined. I think basically I’m afraid of being proven wrong — as in, if I did decide to write a book / website etc under my real name, that someone would eventually convince me that I was lying / exaggerating / passing the buck because I didn’t want to take responsibility for myself etc, and that I’d be forced to blame myself and have to kill myself anyway or something. And I’m afraid to try and connect with people, becuase I don’t feel like I’ve ever learned how to have a mutually respectful relationship (friendship even, not just romantic relationships) where I have to be what the other person expects so that they’ll ever want to be around me. And there’s so much of my mother in me (black and white thinking, controlling tendencies, impossible standards, blame, hatred, sulking, etc etc etc). Even some of the relationships I thought were most positive in my life have revealed themselves as one-sided lately. I think becuase I was so used to emotional abuse, I see it as normal and manage to attract it to myself / subconsciously seek it out becuase I think I deserve it or some shit. The handful of serious romantic relationships I’ve ever had have been unhealthy, and I stayed in them for several years despite that. I’m desperately lonely, but I feel like seeking any new friendships/relationships is unfair because I’m such a mess.

OK. So there’s my shambolic life in a nutshell. (Ha, now I’m thinking of Austin Powers “No this is me in a nutshell – help!! I’m in a nutshell!! How did I get in this bloody great big nutshell?!”) Apparently my sense of humour is still kicking.

I think I’m just going to hit submit because I strongly doubt I’d ever send this if I read back over it. I actually started this instead of going back to the earlier post I’d started because I was worried I’d been too negative in the other one. (Hmmm. This one doesn’t exactly reek of smiles and puppies, does it?) 🙂

It felt as I was writing this like I’ve tried to be real about where I’m at but without completely giving into the bitter, hopeless venom that’s been coming out when I’ve tried to post earlier. (Frightening isn’t it – this is actually a comparitively positive version of me) 🙂

It also feels kinda wrong to be making bleak attempts at humor amidst all this, but hey — if you don’t laugh, you cry (and I’ve already done plenty of that lately, so what the hell!!)

thanks for reading.


Just saw your post Darlene after I submitted mine – apologies if I’ve caused any problems



Loved your post. I saw a lot of myself in what you said. Though I haven’t let out my venom here on this blog, I’ve written some really horrible things I’d like to happen to my mother in my journal. I would never do anything to hurt anyone, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel that rage and just want to see her suffer. J, I believe that what you refer to as negativity is really just you being honest. A positive spin on what you’ve suffered would be a lie and wouldn’t help you.

I realize that this may not be the right place for completely letting all the stuff inside of you go, but I suggest that you get some paper and write out every bitter angry thought and feeling you have inside about what’s been done to you. Every day write about whatever mean messed up thing that comes back to you. It has helped me tremendously.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that the feeling you have in your head, the dizziness and pounding etc. is stress. You’re frustrated because you’ve gone so long without an outlet for your feelings and it’s overwhelming you.

I also have had that hopeless, bottomed out feeling like I wanted my life to end, but I’ve gotten better and I don’t feel that anymore. There is hope. Give yourself time and express yourself.

I also lived with my abusive parents for a long time and it was hard. Just remember that they are not King and Queen of the universe and they don’t own you. And even though you need their help at the moment it doesn’t give them permission to control you. I struggled with that alot.

Thanks for sharing,



Hi J, Thank you for sharing. I don’t know if it is so much the sympathy that has helped me but moreso, knowing that others suffer as I do and that there is hope of becoming better. Truth is the most important component in untangling the effects of abuse. I know what it means to be made helpless. I found it is possible to get better and not be dependent upon those who crippled me. It is about learning to walk but on an emotional level.



Hi J.
You are doing some great processing. I know it feels all raw and scary, but what you are writing is what I call “the fog lifting” We start to see the way it “really” was and not the way we have been brainwashed to “think” it was.
I also know exactly how you feel about “now I can’t go back to the way it was because the “trick” has been exposed. That was a tough stage for me, but it was also the beginning of freedom!
SO… keep going forward and things will become more clear. This process is not a quickie thing.
P.S. I found nothing wrong or harmful to others in your share, so no worries there!
Hugs, Darlene


You expressed yourself really well, i can relate to many of the thoughts and feelings you wrote about.. Thank you for sharing with us..

Have a wonderful vacation!! It is a much deserved time away for you.. so glad you get to go away and have some you time.. you are a treasure and blessing to me and to many others i am sure. I will miss seeing your name pop up here, but the thought of you relaxing and having fun warms my heart.


It looks like you are testing the water for sharks. My intent when I post most to clear some fog and to give encouragement. We all do that, give encouragement. We cant give advice but we can support and share our memories. I found a statement that my girls and I like. “Anger and bitterness distroys the goodness of the soul”. It takes a while to get to that point. It is working through a lot of abuse. People that are suppose to love us have never heard of that statement. Yet we can choose goodness and change the tide of abuse.


Thank you for your well wishes! I do need this vacation and I am looking forward to 10 days pure relaxation by the sea with my daughter and some of our friends who live in Mexico.

Thank you for posting the one RULE that I forgot to post!!

I forgot to say that I don’t allow anyone to give anyone else advice. As Renee said, encouragement is wonderful, but advice, (directives) causes problems. I ask everyone to share their own stories of what worked for them when trying to support someone else rather than “telling them” what to do. eg. “well you need to find a therapist or you need to go to church or you need to stop smoking or stop feeling sorry for yourself”. There are many other harmful “directive type” statements too such as “stop seeing your parents” or quit your job ~ Those things don’t work.


thnaks darlene, im a bit overwhelmed at the moment, what with starting my studies in a new place to finish the degree. and as i grow in some areas i seem to be seing slips in others, but im taking that as a sign that im not totally blanking my reactions as i usually do. mmmtopics are fairly easy to me if i can get the reading done, lol. and then hopefully i will be one step closer to thriver


Hi Everyone,
I just published a NEW post related to the mixed messages that contribute to the ways in which our belief systems get messed up.
You can read it here: “We are taught “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape”
Hugs, Darlene


I would like to hear form any of you that has family that keeps score. I had a run in with a family member and he told me I was to blame a 100% for his vacation turning out not as good as it was suppose to. He brought up all the things he did for me. Said alot of F bombs. I couldn’t go because I am steadily getting sicker with intestinal and staomach problems. He asked me when did I know I wasn’t going to go with the group. I said Friday. I just kept getting worse and felt it was best to stay close to home. He said it was all bullshit and he holds me 100% responsible I was to notify him, I told my sister, she knew. For once I stood up to him. I said when you make plans with people it is written in stone, except for when you want to change something. When he changes plans he tells no one, we find out after the fact. I told him he wasn’t as perfect as he thinks he is and he lives a double standard. He brought up the list of what he has done for me and you know each time he did something I thanked him constantly and really do appreciate what he has done. I had always thought once you thank them show appreciation the debt is paid (like it was a gift when he did those things in the first place)
Blogers when and if you went through this how did you get through it through your experiences was it ever resolved?


Hi Renee
I don’t put up with this anymore so in my view, it is resolved. If that means “no relationship” then I am willing for that to be the end result. The thing is that it can only be resolved if BOTH parties are willing to work on it through the grid of truth. My family was not willing, but my husband was, so I have exp. both ways.
Hugs, Darlene



(( warm hugs)) if ok.. I have been told I was the reason why the family had so much problem back when. I wasn’t told by percentages but I was to blame for the feds coming to take us away to foster care. .the blame or my mom running out of cigarettes..blamed when the little sibling fell .. blamed when she was sick. I blamed for all the bad luck in the family and recently was told that since i left all the bad luck was gone 🙁

So I kinda know the feeling but . am so use to that.. terrible to get use to that isn’t it?



ps.. maybe that’s why my t dropped me . she thought i was bringing her bad luck?? hmm .



After a fight with my sister and we calmed down we had a heart to heart. My brother didnt do WHAT he had promised and because I and my daughter wasn’t there he couldn’t pawn it off on us. It made HIM look bad in front of HIS friends and his siter. An awha moment for me because I refused to take the blame. It wasn’t mine to take it was HIS!
Another awha moment is that im searching for validation from others like I use to do. It’s an ugly trap and I don’t have the strenght to get out of it!! I hate myself.


Hi Renee,

I just wanted to say take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself! (So much easier said than done, I know — I think it for
others so easily but have so much trouble being gentle with myself!)

I’ve hated myself too at times for being so easy to break, and I think even blamed myself for “letting” myself be brainwashed/indoctrinated etc. But I was a child!! And I never SAW another way (let alone a healthy way) of how to relate to people.

Just re-read your post — for me, I now believe I was TRAINED by my mother to seek her validation, and to blame myself for HER moods etc, which would explain why I have such trouble still re seeking approval, trying to please people, and getting angry when I feel like I’m being taken advantage of (yet too scared to try and stand up for myself).

Hoping some of this might be relevant for you. At the very least, I fully agree that it IS an ugly trap, and I’m right there with you at the moment in feeling like I’m not capable of removing myself from it.


HI Renee

I love you with sincere love you dont need to prove nothing to anyone .. just love yourself and those who don’t love you let go.. that is what I have to do<3



Do you mean like kick ass and take names later! I appriciate you you are awesome, so why can’t everyone in my family see any value. It is like they break me intentionaly. I had so many awha moments today. The one and only time I was happy was when I lived in Ogden Utah of all places. I had friends that saw the genuine total person I am. They saw me in every situation and were true friends and no one ran and nor did they devalue me. And I like hugs:) just not real ones (I have to really trust a person to let them hug me).


Hi Renee.. OUr families cannot see our values because they don’t want to..they like where they are keeping us; giving us value would mean they lose control over the effect they are having over us…. so to value us would be letting go of the fun they are having..

But we cant counter their fun by not allowing them to know how much their craziness is affecting us.. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt but that we are not going to let their nonsense into our space..

I learned this about boundary making .keeping bad out and our good away from the bad.. not “casting the pearls before the swine”

Don’t know if I am making sense but am shocking myself with the words coming out of me ..lol

If ok..love you .. Renee. but wont hug you because you “kick ass and take names later”..lol




that should have said we “Can counter” their fun.. i mistyped above..


I do re-read not just once but twice. I don’t know what you mean. Did you mean like re-read and watch what I say or did you mean re-read to make sure I made my point? A little more explaining will help me understand what you mean.


To funny! Actually I am known for how I fight. Except I black out and don’t realize what Im doing until way later.


Renee.ha ha . I never even thought you fought was repeating something you wrote but it’s ok . if you have the gloves on and your in the ring;) tee hee..




Sorry Renee,

That was poor writing on my part. I was just saying that I had just “re-read” your post (as in I’d just read your earlier post again), and that made me think of the next part I wrote (about being “trained” etc)

I didn’t mean at all that YOU needed to read your post again – but I’m very glad you wrote because I hadn’t realised that it would come across that way! 🙂

I’ve just realised that if I’d been in your position, I quite probably would have just gotten upset but not said anything — so thank you also for giving me a good reminder that things AREN’T always meant as a negative (even when it looks like it at first)

That just made me think of something the psychologist I see told me – he said there was a study done to test memory for both depressed and non-depressed people by having them try to memorise a list of “good” and “bad” events. It showed that depressed people’s memory was significantly worse overall than non-depressed people, but also that depressed people were much more likely to remember mainly NEGATIVE things than positive things, whereas non-depressed people were more likely to remember both.

To go back to my last post, I was wondering if your approval-seeking might also have been something that was drilled into you from a very young age (by parents, or teachers etc). I think I was assuming that most people on here had some form of that happen to them, and was hoping that it might help you to not blame and hate yourself for something that was probably being done to you long before you had a chance of understanding it or stopping it.

I hope that makes sense. I felt really sorry for you hating yourself. I hate myself too at times. I really hope that changes for you soon because it’s a horrible way to live.


Thanks J you me me cry. It’s ok I question myself constantly because I am constantly told I am a liar, I exagerate, I am dulusional, I am sick in the head (with them doing the cirlce thing around their ear) I am full of BS (full words) My memories don’t count because it is different than theirs on and on and on.I am not allowed to bring up the past because it is inappropriate and no one wants to hear it. If it is a stunt someone pulled or a trick played on another those are fine but I am not to share at all. To tell you the truth I don’t like my family. I hate the way they treat me and I hate the fact im the sacrificial lamb period.
I experienced happiness once and yesturday I finally realized why. Other than my daughters and a short trip once in a while to visit my neice, I had no communication or saw any of my family and the friends I had respected me and were truely a blessing in my life. For six months I was truely happy. Never before and certainly never after.
Thanks J I do like to read your post as all the rest it always gives me food for thought and tidbits of things that I can take away and use or practice with.



I admire you for standing up for yourself with your family. I haven’t got to that stage yet. But it’s not too hard to imagine getting similar treatment if I did. I don’t really like my family either. One of the hardest things for me is that I’m only just having that realisation now – I spent my youth telling people how much I loved my parents and how great my family was, and thinking that people I knew who argued with their parents were bad and sinful. And most of all, I’ve come to hate the self-delusion that they alone are perfect in this world, that they all perpetuate and attempt to force everyone to buy in to.

I also admire you so much that you have a good relationship with your daughters – I’m terrified that if I ever have children, I’d turn out just the same way. Probably not so much now, but my first serious girlfriend and I wanted to get married and have kids, and at that time, I was still utterly brainwashed. Much as it pains me to say it, I’m glad it didn’t happen, because I probably would’ve just kept the same s**t passing down the generations. I’m really glad you’ve got your daughters and your niece. It sucks that you’ve only had such a small glimpse of happiness, but at least you know that you CAN be happy. I really hope you can keep finding ways to get yourself back there! (And for that matter, I wish the same for myself, and for everyone else on here).

It just really sucks that I can’t see a way of finding happiness that involves my family. I guess at some point I have to decide to value myself more than I value them. Easier said than done, I suspect.

Thanks also for your kind words – I’m still getting used to the idea of posting on a website (never really done it before – let alone about such personal and painful stuff!), and got quite a lot of doubt/fear etc about doing it at all. Take care of yourself!


Thank you, I have a really good relationship with only one daughter. We both agreed we wanted to work on issues we both went into seperate counseling. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. My youngest has cut all communication which is sad because I have an 8yr old grandaughter…it breaks my heart. Especially now her other grandmother is dying from a brain tumor. “L” is a great woman, we have a lot in common. She has touched thousands of little ones as a teacher 1-3 grades. My grandaughter got to spend 2 months with her this summer and Im happy for that.
Anyway sorry I got off on a different subject, she is on my heart today. My youngest has always made it very hard to have a relationship with her since she was little beleive it or not. She is very stuborn.
J….How I was able to do it was I got layed off and moved around from place to place. I told my daughter next place I move to Im not leaving for a year or two (I hate moving). I wound up in Ogden. Its a place none of my family would never go, yet it wasn’t that. It took me about nine months to get the fog lifted and get from underneith the lies. I was forced to make my own path, make friends, and do something I haven’t ever done. Then one day as I was heading to work it dawned on me, I felt “happy” content. My life wasn’t perfect, My job paid the living expences and $20 for the 2 weeks of food. I was flat broke, yet I was able to pay my way and I felt happy. It was awesome! Im afraid if I go back that everything will have changed and I wont like it. I really don’t have to go back, it wasn’t the place as much as it was me realizing I didn’t need that family to survive just the oposite! I am the common denominator whether I am happy, sad, or all messed up. It is me that has to grow and learn if I want things to change in my life. It is totally up to me and all I have to do is show up and do the work! I know I will have to fight the demons that have damaged me and I am scared and I am lonely, and I do hate myself. That just makes me realize all the more that I need to get back into counceling, Im going to try and find someone today.


One of the legacies of childhood emotional abuse and neglect has been an inability to believe in myself. It has been as though there was no foundation internally on which to build a strong belief in my integral value and worth. So my focus the last several months has been to explore how to develop that internally. If that wasn’t monumental enough a pursuit recently I realized that I had not been able to believe internally that other people really valued and perceived me as a person of worth as pertains to my professional career. There was clearly some resistance or block that prevents me from internalizing and from allowing myself to feel good and confident about who I am on a consistent basis. I recalled some teaching I have been learning over the last several months on what it means to believe in one’s heart and the transformation that can take place which is less likely to occur with just mental assent to a belief. The belief that I am a valuable worthwhile person and that others find me to be so has not found its permanent home in my heart. I realized that there must be some obstruction of my heart that prevents the internalization of healthy beliefs. This was no surprise to me since I am so aware of the pattern of emotional freezing that has characterized my life at times when my well being has been seriously threatened by others. I prayed more about this situation and started to experience an opening of my heart to be able to let in the good will of specific people I trusted. I was able to begin to believe and internalize to a degree that certain others valued me and believed in me. This was a new experience and one for which I was deeply grateful. It was as though a wedge of good will made some inroads into my heart. My hope is that as my belief in myself and the belief that others value and support me in ways that are meaningful to me is internalized in my heart that the wounded little girl will begin to feel strengthened, supported and encouraged. So she will not be afraid to step forward into life because the love and support she needs will give her the necessary assurance and confidence that has been missing until now.


[…] That was the beginning of me starting to look at the beliefs about me and my life and realising it is possible to begin to believ… […]


~I am not worth being heard.

I was just told to shut the hell up.

~The teacher is picking on me; she has a right to do whatever she wants because she is my “elder”.

I heard that garbage in the church. Reason why I have no use for organized religion. Respect your elders garbage. Sin.

~Something is wrong with me because the teacher is picking on me and she doesn’t like me.

Teachers were mostly nice to me.

~No one cares about me.

Still have that thought.

~It must be me. I will try harder to be liked so that I don’t get picked on and then when I am liked, people will care.

Did when younger. Now, I don’t let alone treat me bad.

This is how a belief system develops. These are the beginnings of low self esteem. Children get messages from the actions of others about their worth. They are either loved, or they are not loved. They get love mixed up with approval. They get love mixed up with whether or not they get attention or have impact. Impact can be positive or negative.

Some children lash out. If they push their sibling down the stairs they have impact. They may even get some attention from doing it.

-Remember beating a few bullies butts in school.

All of this goes into what makes up the self esteem of the child. All other abuse or devaluing treatment is added to the grid that the child will see himself or herself though. All of this information forms the belief system that individual has about themselves. The only way that I was able to change this belief system was to dig down inside and take a look at where it came from in the first place.

Emerging from Broken is about learning the truth about how I viewed myself so that I could see where I was stuck in a false belief system.

I looked at the events and then at the messages that I received through so many situations from my childhood. Were those messages the truth? Whether I misunderstood them or not, the problem was that I believed them. I had to realize just what exactly I believed.

What were the messages that you got about yourself?

-Useless, worthless, stupid, etc.

What did you believe about yourself over time?

-Parents, sex abusers, and the church people that let everything go on were useless wastes of humanity.

Is this the truth about you?

-Nope but accepting it and “feeling” it are two different things. Wasn’t allowed emotions. 🙁


******* WARNING: this post gets pretty dark, just so you can avoid if you want *******

Hi everyone,

I’ve just been jumping around a few old posts under the “Freedom & Wholeness” menu. Lots of interesting things; but my brain’s feeling a bit boggled now.

I’ve wondered for a while if I have dissociative disorder / borderline personality disorder. I can’t remember if I’ve asked my GP about them. I was also convinced I was bipolar (the type with the low level of mania) not too long ago (with all three disorders I ticked off many, if not most, of the symptoms I find mentioned online).

I mentioned it to several of my workers and they all just said “no” but never explained why, or actually discussed it with me. Finally my GP explained that he thought what I was seeing as low-level mania was actually just the few brief moments when my depression would lift slightly. In fact he said that for most people, what I thought was mild mania would probably rate as an average-low mood. So that at least made sense to me (pretty depressing though).

I can’t remember what the symptoms for dissociative/borderline disorders are now. Pretty sure I checked off nearly all of them. The problem is that I always forget who I’ve asked, what they said etc. I keep losing track of what I think. And I don’t even know if it’s important to find out.

I’m sure I read that for bipolar at least, it’s commonly misdiagnosed as depression, and that some of the treatments (I think it was talking about drugs) actually harm rather than help if that is the case.

I vaguely seem to recall similar things being mentioned for BPD/DID, but I’m not heaps sure about that. I wish I had someone to be like my “manager” in terms of health — like someone who could keep track of the big picture for me (I get confused so easily & have to stop thinking about it all. Or I just forget anyway) and what my diagnosis is, what symptoms I show for various disorders, and what treatments are meant to help them all etc.

Because whatever is going on, nothing’s working. Things just keep getting worse. I’ve tried to hold on to the thought that this year’s been so terrible because I’ve started to realize the depth of the brainwashing/indoctrination my parents inflicted (and still try to inflict), which was almost a complete blind spot for me (apart from some small areas that I could recognize from when I was much younger).

Actually, I think the real killer (but I really hope it’ll help lead to freedom in the longer term) was shifting the blame for my current life situation from 100% my fault to 100% their fault. (Already got the guilt voice going in my head — “you’re just trying to avoid taking responsibilty for your own mistakes” etc. Blah blah f**king blah. Stupid brain!!!)

I say “killer” because it’s unleashed so much anger & rage at what was done to me (both the original abuse, and perhaps even more so at the covering up & brainwashing to the point where I’ve spent decades believing that I’m a f**ked-up useless waste of space that is utterly incapable of functioning in this world). Also so much sadness and regret at all the wasted years and the hell that I’ve had to live through as a result of it all.

And finally, it feels like I’m now seeing myself so much more clearly than I ever have before (I feel like I was basically blind to how much I’ve checked out of life over the past few years; even though in some ways I was aware of it) and even though I’m now trying to shift the blame for all the dysfunction in my life from myself to my parents, it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve spent three decades basically in survival mode and have almost no resources for coping with life.

Seeing the depth of my dysfunctions and how ingrained it all is has been so brutally hard. I think it’s the reason why I’ve been having suicidal thoughts so often over the last year or so. It feels like it’s shifted the balance from before (when I was afraid at times that I was losing my mind and scared that I’d kill myself during a time when I didn’t feel in control of myself, but never thought I’d be able to actually kill myself even if I got to the stage of wanting to) to now, where I’ve had several times this year where I’ve broken down completely and told whoever I was with that I didn’t want to live anymore. The old feeling of losing my mind was when my head would start spinning (felt like a physical sensation). The new feeling feels more like a vice clamping down on my skull. Both are f**king scary. I used to punch myself in the head as hard as I could at times to try and stop the spinning feeling (this scared me too, but now I look back and realize it was the only way I could find to be able to control the spinning sensation). Breaking down crying is the only thing that seems to relieve the new “pressure” feeling, but I can’t seem to do that by myself — I need to have someone there with me (or on the phone) who I feel cares about me and is understanding. (It can be phone counsellors who I don’t know, but it’s so hit & miss when you ring those places if they’ll be gentle and understanding. Sometimes they make it worse).

This has been pretty scary, because I really can’t see any hope for me being able to function enough to support myself in this world. And even if I could get to that stage, I can’t imagine ever being free of the emptiness that’s always waiting in my mind whenever I’m unable to distract myself from it (pretty much every night when I try to sleep).

Some time ago I realized that this (just before sleep) was my worst time, so I started intentionally staying up doing things until I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. The problem is that sometimes I’m awake all night.

(By the way, I know a lot of you guys are christians, but I’d really appreciate if you could refrain from anything along the lines of god fixing the emptiy feeling I mentioned above. Even if it’s worked for you.)

Ok think I’ve written myself out of steam for now. Thanks for listening (well, reading!) and hope everyone’s doing well.


PS – Hi Allie, sorry to hear about all the mess you went through. That’s great you’ve been able to change your belief system! I’m still working on that 🙂

Wishing you peace & happiness for your journey of healing!


I am really sorry that you feel this hopelessness. There was a time I felt that way too, so there is hope of overcoming and having a full and functioning life again. I hope that you can find some help that will support you through to a better place.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene.

I guess for now I’ll just have to hold on to that hope of knowing that others have survived these sorts of feelings before. (Of course my head kicks in to remind me how none of that matters for me personally. STUPID BRAIN!!!!) >:(


Hi J
One thing that really helped me was becomming aware of how often I put myself down. I would HEAR those thoughts and address them. I had always been put down and it was natural for me to continue to do so; to pick up where others had left off. Something that helped me was to speak back to that thought… eg; stupid brain ~ asking the thought itself ~ “why do you think that I have a stipid brain?” and go deeper with that thought/statement/putdown against myself. I did some amazing work that way.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] back then. I am sure that this event had a major effect on me and that it settled somewhere in my belief system and added to my beliefs that if I upset someone they may end up in the hospital and everyone knows […]


New Post on Emerging from Broken going a little deeper about how events can settle in the belief system and dictate how we view other events without our ever realizing it.
Read the new post here: Feeling Responsible for Reactions and Outcomes


Hi again Darlene (and everyone else!)

Weird coming back and seeing what I think was my first post here… brought a tear to my eye. (I think the “greased slope to suicide” / “every last hope being chopped off one by one”). Haven’t felt quite that way for a bit, but pretty worried if I get canned from moving into the new place for taking too long that that’ll trigger a pretty bad meltdown. Oh well. Worry about it if it happens, hey? (Easier said than done unfortunately).

Why did I start writing again? (Had to re-read the original post! Stupid short-term memory!) 🙂 Oh yeah, the “being ignored” and “phone/tv etc more important than me” parts. Noticed so sharply the other night how much my parents (mother in particular) just blatantly speak over other people when they’re already partway through talking. I think it stood out more cos she kept doing it to my sib’s partner – and not just the sort of ‘both start talking at the same time and one keeps going’ kind of thing, but he’d be well into a sentence and she’d just blatantly start talking right over the top. Bitch.

Oh yeah, and the “phone more important” bit reminded me of the angry glare I’d get in childhood if I dared come looking for her or entered a room while she was on the phone. Double bitch.

Ok seem to have declined somewhat from “hint of positivity lurking under everything”, to just plain pissed off. So I shall leave it here & not add further venom about my mother here (think I’ve probably done more than enough of that in my EFB career thus far).

To end on a positive note: hugs!

(That felt really forced/blatant. Oh well. At least I’m trying. Hope you’re doing well & feeling better from your tiredness Darlene)


Hi J
Good work. Have you looked at what exactly is holding you back from moving in?
Hugs, Darlene


I found your article enlightening. But how does one know if our parents are wrong or we are ?
My life is a mess. Every day my mother tells me how as a kid I was a very good child, obedient, smart, intelligent. And now how I am just a joke, a fool , a Loser.
Since a child I have looked for approval from my parents. I call them when I reach/leave a place, I tell my mother my whole day, I ask for guidance.
But my emotions feel conflicted, I feel she has hated me as a child. I remember being hit by a belt so many times for small reasons, for being threatened “I’ll throw your books out, no need to study” when I would not want to go to school or recently appear for a competitive exam (I felt I wasn’t prepared for the exam, I felt I should give it in the other attempt.) She calls me a failure, a coward.
I don’t know if I am wrong or if she is
I want help. I feel my life is not worth living. I am not perfect but this emotional rollercoaster; where one time she shows love and otherwise a hatred so deep is driving me mad. I want to know. I am tired of such an existence. If i have to live in want a sane life.
I have no friends, she says I am a bad person that is why. That I hurt people.
I have never even in school had confidence to be friends with people. I would talk a lot if someone spoke with me cause I felt happy. I never had any so anyone was welcome.
She made me cut-off from everyone last year saying that they will continue bullying me till I don’t make something of myself.
I can go on & on about every action of hers blaming me for something; making me look bad (but after every incident I feel it was like she tried showing she is good). I feel manipulated by her. Like she tries blaming me for all wrong in life(even if I did something which she advised me to do)
Please help.


Hi A
Welcome to Emerging from Broken. Keep reading. After you have read some of the other articles and discussions in this website you will get a lot more insight. There are 450 articles here all with discussions ~ and there is my e-book also available here. Use the home button to find the most current articles and the category buttons to find articles specifically about what you are interested in.
Thanks for sharing, you are not alone ~ there are millions of people that can relate. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Here is one of my false beliefs: I am guilty even though I did nothing wrong.
When I was 9 I went to a store to buy my mother a gift for Mothers Day. I found a very pretty floral handkerchief, I held it and looked at it knowing that I liked it but I was trying to decide whether She would like it. The saleswoman saw me and somehow interpreted my holding it and maybe looking confused as me trying to steal it. She yelled at me and told me I should be ashamed ( which was exactly how I did feel at the moment, though I had no idea why I should). It came down to an adult said I did something wrong so I must have.

Just two months later I went to a classmates house to ask her to return a Barbie doll outfit she had ” borrowed” from me a couple of months earlier at school. She said it would just be for one night, but Never returned it even though I asked her several times at school. So I figured the best thing was to go to her house. Her mother answered the door and I told her why I was there. She had me go upstairs with her and her daughter, her daughter took out her case of doll clothes and the mother told me to show her the outfit. Which I did. She then started yelling that SHE had bought it for her daughter and I was lying! I froze up and couldn’t speak. And the daughter was sitting behind her mother on her bed smirking at me because she knew she was getting away with something. And I remember feeling guilty. An adult says I’m lying. I’m actually not, but because she says I am, I must be guilty anyway.
So, there I was, nine years old, and I learned to accept guilt whether I was wrong, or whether someone else was. wrong.

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