Archive for Therapy

 

Kylie Devi

I am pleased to have guest writer Kylie Devi writing about Unhelpful Mental Health Providers this week at Emerging from Broken. Many of us have been through the mental health system with less than wonderful results. In this post Kylie shares examples of how helping professionals failed her in her quest to overcome the devastation of childhood sexual abuse and how she emerged victorious in spite of them.  ~ Darlene

 To Shrink? Or Not To Shrink… by Kylie Devi

 I have been raped, repeatedly. I have lived to tell my story. I healed by creating my own support systems, and not so much from psychology or therapy. I am sure there are many loving people with good intentions in the field, but the “system” is not set up for healing. The “get better” industry doesn’t thrive on people “getting better.” So for me, I realized I was going to have to take it into my own hands. I did whatever it took. And it took a lot. Writing, crying, sharing my story, connecting with anger, releasing guilt and shame. Forming bonds with people who deserved my trust. Simple things that seemed complicated at the time. That is what allowed my healing to occur.

 I made FOUR solid attempts at rape and crisis counseling. These experiences are comical to me now, but at the time they were re-traumatizing, life shattering, and felt like a second rape. I was addicted to drugs, destroying my relationships, and hanging on to my will to live by a piece of dental floss. I knew that childhood sexual abuse and rape in my teenage years was the root of why I was creating my life in such a way. I reached out for help where I could. Free county rape counseling, student rape crisis centers, expensive psychotherapy. Every time it was so hard to find the courage to ask for help when the previous counselor had either failed to create space for my experience to be real, thickening the denial I already had to deal with within myself, or Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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emotional healing “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is YOU who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”  Les Brown

There is a critical fact that I had to DRILL into my brain in order to get the full benefit of the process of emotional healing.

EMOTIONAL HEALING DEPENDS ON ME

My emotional healing would not have been accelerated if my mother or father suddenly admitted their part in all the dysfunction that I grew up with. It would have been wonderful and today it might mean that we could restore our relationship and heal the damage there, but it would not be the source of my emotional healing. It would not be the necessary fuel.

Emotional healing would not have happened more rapidly if my parents sincerely apologized to me for the damage that they contributed to in my childhood.  It might have helped a bit but it would not be where the healing comes from. 

My emotional healing would not have happened faster if Read More→

Categories : Therapy
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This week I am pleased to have Lynn Tolson guest posting here on Emerging from Broken. Many of you know Lynn; she is a frequent commenter and contributor to the conversations here in EFB. Lynn is an advocate and the author of “Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story” ~ Please help me welcome Lynn and as always, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

~Darlene

Learning to feel feelings Isn’t Always Easy  by Lynn C. Tolson

In therapy, clients talk about their feelings. Therapists ask, “How are you feeling today?” Conversations with my therapist(s) frequently sounded like this:

“Lynn, what are you feeling?”   

“I don’t know.”

“You must be feeling something.”

“No, nothing.”

“Please, tell me what it feels like.”

“I don’t know.”

I shrugged my shoulders, which was not an acceptable answer to the question of “how are you feeling.” How should I know? I had no clue, no compass, and no map to lead me through the hot and sweaty tropical jungle of twisted emotional thorny vines that lay strangled with family secrets and lies.

My step-father had taught me to deny my feelings at Read More→

Categories : Therapy
Comments (100)

I am pleased and excited to have guest blogger Susan Kingsley-Smith sharing about dysfunctional relationships within the mental health system while I am away on vacation.  Susan is my friend and fellow truth seeker, as well as the author of  “A Journey” and I’m also blessed to have her as a frequent commenter here on Emerging from Broken. As always, please contribute by adding your own comments and feedback ~ Darlene Ouimet

Dysfunctional Relationship with Mental Health Providers by Susan Kingsley-Smith

I’d have never imagined that in my healing journey I would find myself healing from not only the original trauma’s of my childhood but that I would also be faced with mourning the life I lost to a second trauma; that of becoming victim to those I’d turned to for help.

I’d been conditioned from an early age to not question authority. To do as I was told; and especially to view my doctors and other health care professionals as the authority over my health. In hindsight though, what I discovered, is that my early life experiences of abuse had set me up to become a victim to any relationship or system that was based on my sacrificing myself in order to appease those in authority. Continued.. Read More→

Categories : Therapy
Comments (258)
Multiple Personality disorder

Beauty in the Ruins

Sometimes I get a comment that is bursting with questions that I just HAVE to talk about in more depth than just a comment back. In my last post “coping methods ~ trying to escape myself” I got one of these comments from Susa.

 Susa wrote: “Interesting perspective and I really appreciate reading your experiences with dissociation.  I suppose I could refer to switching as escaping myself, but the only problem I have, is what part of me is actually me?  Who is really “myself”?  I have always spontaneously deferred to a part of me who can more easily handle the specific task at hand, and have never had any control of that process.  At this late stage of the life game, I am finally starting to almost be co-present with some parts of me… and yet I, Susa, still struggle with the question of who, or which part is the real me, or the original me?  I know that I am not the original birth person, and have only been the CEO since 2006.  I suppose the real me would be a sum of my parts, but hard to pinpoint any specific part of me.” Susa ( To read the post and the rest of the discussion read “coping methods ~ trying to escape myself“)

As I read this comment from Susa, several things were going through my mind. One of them was that although I am frequently asked to talk about my experience with dissociative identity disorder, (the multiple personality kind) I rarely do talk about it other than to say that I had it and I recovered from it. I tend to stay away from the subject because there are so many different beliefs about what it is, and how it operates. My opinion is that it was one of the ways that I coped; first with the trauma and then with life, and that in the final analysis, it was no more or less important than any of my other coping methods. All of my coping methods were tangled together to form a huge armoured tank around all my issues, protecting me from the outside world, but in the end also shielding me from the freedom and wholeness that I wanted so badly. All of my coping methods served the same purpose; survival.

Switching was an effective escape; it was a necessary coping method that in the past I had come to understand was about escaping the trauma, pain and or emotions that I was experiencing at any given time. As I grew up I learned to switch at any perceived danger. It became automatic. Anything that was even remotely familiar to the feelings surrounding childhood abuse or trauma, caused me to “switch”, becoming the alter I most needed to be in order to handle the situation. This was necessary as a child. It was not so necessary when I became an adult but I had no way of knowing that. Dissociative Identity and switching alters had become the way that I did life. As an adult, the switching personalities seemed to become more about me becoming whoever someone else wanted me to be, but was still a survival method or coping method due to the fears that I carried with me from childhood into adulthood.

When I came face to face with my dissociative identity disorder, I had those same questions. Who is the “real me?; Which one is in charge?; how will I ever know?”  Will I ever find out which one of “me” is the original one? And I got really invested in thinking about all of that. So much so that you could say it became yet another escape. The “original me” quest however became very important to me as I began this healing journey.

I found out that all of them were me. Each fragmented self had arrived to protect me or to take the feelings and handle the fears for me. Each one held its own memories and had its own triggers. Each one had the job of protecting me from the memories, pain and trauma so that I could survive. Some alters were male, some were children, one was much older then I was. They took care of me. That was their job. And I had only even had or been glimpses of the original me or the core because the core of me was the sum of all parts.

I had a lot of fears about who I really was and about which alter was going to be the strongest one in the end. I was really afraid of one of them as I had gotten into most of the trouble in my life with her in the front. I tried to shut her down and one time when I was in intensive therapy I dreamed that I tried to kill her. I woke up from that dream with the profound realization that I had tried to kill myself in a dream. Through that dream I realized that I could not ditch one of “them” and  that I had projected most of the self hate, blame and shame onto that part of me. My therapist had a less known method of treating dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) and the method he used was instead of concentrating on which alter had which memories and emotions, we concentrated on the trauma events themselves and we began with the earliest ones that I remembered. I had lots of alters popping out in therapy, and my therapist just let it happen without giving too much attention to the individual alter. It was more like he treated me as though I was only “one” and then I came to realize that all of this trauma actually happened to me and not to the alters whom I believed were separate from me.

Dissociative identity disorder allowed me to separate trauma events and view them as though they happened to someone else.  Because more than one alter personality  would come out at each trauma event, I was able to detach from the event on many levels. I saw each tiny moment as separate from another moment. That was how I was able to deal with them. But I did the same thing with the lies that I learned. With all the memories fragmented, it may have been easier to cope, but at the same time I accepted the lies, shame and self blame because I separated those memories too. I believed that I must have done something to deserve what happened because I didn’t have one whole memory. So if someone indicated that it was my own fault or that I deserved it or that I was the problem, I remembered that as a single event too.

As I looked at the memories, and started to connect the fragmented pieces, I realized how many false beliefs that I had accepted about myself in the course of my childhood. As I uncovered those lies and exposed the truth (to myself) I began to come together. As I realized how many lies that I had accepted about myself and corrected them, I began to calm down. As I calmed down, I became more comfortable. I felt like I was growing up. In the calming down, I felt like I was coming together. I was able to become conscious of when I had switched and soon I was conscious even before I switched and found ways of talking to myself that enabled me to stay one.

The trauma happened to me. The memories were all mine. Each personality was me and I was restored, by connecting, facing and accepting the truth about the past.

Please share your thoughts. We always have a wonderful discussion in the comments section!

Darlene Ouimet 

Note: It is important to understand that it was not the recall of the events that restored me. I do not have all my memories, and I still remember only fragments of certain events, but I remembered enough to realize how my belief system had formed and why. The key was in realizing how I had come to believe so many lies about myself, and was not about remembering all the events.

**This is an example of my personal journey. All processes are different. Many people need to dig really deeply into the personality of each alter; I am not discounting other ways of recovery. I am only sharing how it worked for me.

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

Categories : Therapy
Comments (97)
abuse, control, misuse of power
On What Authority?

Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else. This was a huge problem for me when I went into therapy because I was very willing to convince my therapist that the problem was me ~ I believed it so deeply. I went to therapy because I thought I needed help changing. I had tried everything I could think of, and now I wanted a professional to tell me how to change so that I could be acceptable to certain people in my life. I was fortunate that my therapist realized that I had been so devalued my entire life that I believed all those lies I had been fed about how I was the one that needed to change. He was accustomed to this type of victim thinking and he resisted my insistence that the problem was me.

One of the most productive, powerful and freeing things that my therapist and I talked about was the fact that “controllers” “abusers” and otherwise manipulative people never question that the problem might be them.  That concept stopped me dead in my tracks and caused me to think about the people in my life that had I had tried so hard to change for.  I scanned my memory for clues or indications that I my therapist was wrong about that fact. I think I wanted the problem to be me. I had learned to accept it and I was used to trying harder and If it wasn’t ME then that meant they had to change… and I had lost faith in that possibility.

It turned out that my therapist wasn’t wrong. Abusive and controlling people do not ask themselves if they are being abusive or controlling. What they do is demand changes from other people. They excuse their behaviour by blaming it on the defects or shortcomings that they have decided someone else has.

I could not ever remember a time when someone who devalued me, or someone who told me that I had a problem or that I was the problem had ever stopped to question themselves. The people who told me (usually not in words) that I needed to change somehow had ever looked at their own behaviour. I could not remember a time when one of those people had ever taken a look at themselves the way they thought I should take a look at myself! The only time one of the people in my life that mistreated me ever hinted at some sort of personal change, apology OR regret, was usually when they had a personal manipulative motive for doing so. Like if they were afraid to lose me as their victim or afraid that I was catching on to the one sided relationship. 

I spent a lot of time thinking about this revelation. It was eventually one of the major truths that helped me to see that relationships are not meant to be one sided and that I should not have to carry the entire burden of each relationship. The success of relationship does not depend solely on ME. Abusers do not ask themselves if they are abusing. When I realized this truth; that the controlling manipulative and abusive people in my life NEVER looked at themselves while they constantly pointed fingers at me, I turned a new corner in my process and entered a brighter and healthier pathway.

Please share your thoughts about this subject. Don’t forget to subscribe to the comments since this blog always generates amazing discussions.

Exposing truth, One Snapshot at a Time;

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken

Final note: Later on I realized that some people, my mother for instance, changed and adjusted for other people, just like I did for her, but she didn’t for me. That was the beginning of my understanding that there seems to be somewhat of a “pecking order” in dysfunctional family systems and in dysfunctional relationships. The key for me was to decide that I would no longer accept my place in the pecking order.

Related Reading ~Demonstrating Appreciation in Relationships

Categories : Family, Therapy
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finding self , who am I
Going Behind the Walls

In today’s blog post I am taking a look at motives driven by beliefs about ourselves that are not based in the truth.  In order to do that, I am going to post some food for thought questions.  You may answer them in the comments if you wish. You may share them with your friends. You may click the facebook “like button” or not. You have a choice. I want you to have a choice. The point of this post is not to make you feel guilty about yourself. The point is that in answering these questions for yourself, you will see some truths about your belief systems. 

How many of us hide our communication in facebook from our families and close friends? There is nothing wrong with using that option and I am not suggesting that you stop hiding your likes and dislikes or comments in facebook.  This exercise is merely an exercise in fog busting and truth realization. Everyone will have different answers. Some of us never use the hide button.  Some of us really must use the facebook hide buttons, because to neglect to do so would truly be dangerous. 

Having said that, here are the questions. Not all of them will apply to everyone;

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am going to define my own value from now on?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I participate in or read discussions about emotional and psychological abuse?

~Why do I use the hide button on some comments and not on others?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am reading a self empowerment blog?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am finding out that they were wrong about me?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I do not belong to them? They don’t own me; or do I   still think that they do?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I have a mind of my own? That I am thinking about forbidden things; that I am going to grow up without permission from them?

~Why do I feel like or believe that I have to hide my actions?

~In thinking that I am protecting their feelings, why do I worry more about their feelings then I do about my own.

~Why do I question myself and my actions, MORE then I question theirs?

When I stood up for myself and took my life and my identity back, I was not using facebook for any kind of self improvement type work. If my family would have been on facebook with me, I would have been terrified they might find out what I was doing. I would have used all the hide features. That is not the point of this blog post.

The point is that It was in answering these kinds of questions that led me to realize my own belief system and all the problems that were rooted in that system. When I asked myself why I questioned my own actions more then I questioned theirs, I was stunned. I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. These kinds of questions served as a giant spring board into the depths of my mind and greatly advanced my own process of changing the lies I believed, back into the truth.

Please remember that I am in no way encouraging you to stop using hide features or to start standing up to anyone, either family or friends. This is not about judgement. I am not judging you and I do not want you to judge yourself. This is an exercise in exposing your own belief system. This is not easy. This was what worked for me.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me and with each other.

Finding treasure in the darkest places;

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken on FaceBook

More on Mother Daughter Dysfunctional Relationship ~ there is a discussion in the comments that relates to this post

For those of you who are worried about privacy settings on Facebook, here are the instructions on how to set privacy settings:

Note: PRIVACY CONCERNS on Face Book

On Facebook, Emerging from broken is an open group. If you are concerned about others outside of this group viewing your posts, you can choose who sees your posts by following these links: Account, Privacy Settings, Personal Information and Posts, Posts By Me, then Customize. Choose who sees your posts from there. Please note that this option applies to all your comments, not just those on facebook pages.

For individual wall posts, below the ‘share’ button, there is a ‘filter’ option. If you click on that, you can choose who sees that particular wall post. This only applies to wall posts and not to the discussions or comments.

Categories : Family, Therapy
Comments (49)
one day at a time

“I saw the light” by Azelinn

I thought that my present could be resolved by talking about what was wrong with the present… but it turned out it was resolved by sorting out what went wrong in the past. And I had been told all my life to live for today so …… you can imagine the conflict!  

This is one of the most foundational messages that I have to deliver. It is one of those things I just didn’t realize. Living in the present sounded so right and so perfect, I strived for that ideal, never realizing that what was in my way was the unresolved past. We hear things that can back up our belief in these sayings, such as “you can’t change the past” and “live one day at a time” and “live for today” and my favourite of all ~ “If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are peeing on today”. When I look back over the years when I tried so hard to live by these sayings, I realize that they did me no good. I thought that acceptance was the answer, but I really didn’t know what I was trying to accept and so I accepted the blame and responsibility for abuse and for relationship difficulties that were there far before I was ever old enough to be a problem or even a factor in the demise of any one of them.

I got living for today and accepting the past mixed up with the realization that I can’t change the past, forgetting that the goal in healing from the past is not to change the past, it is to resolve it. The goal was to be ABLE to put it behind me in order for me to be able to live in freedom; to be able to LIVE in the present moment.

And I got so used to running from today that I didn’t know I was running.  I got so used to thinking that I WAS living in this day, and so accustomed to avoiding those feelings by using any number of coping mechanisms and escape tools, that my coping mechanisms rode piggyback on each other and every time I resolved or exposed and untangled one escape route, my cleaver surviving mind switched and adopted another one. The survival instinct is very strong and I got so messed up that I didn’t KNOW that I was even in survivor mode. I didn’t know that my coping methods were because my brain was so badly wired that it thought the escape tools WERE better and safer for me. I thought the problems WERE the answers.  

In order to live in the present I had to be willing to actually LOOK at what I was running from. I had to ask myself ~ why did I disconnect and dissociate. Why did I use food for comfort? Why did I go to bed for days on end? I had to ask myself what I was afraid of feeling. I had to become aware of my survival methods and look at where they came from; what they developed as a result of ~ and guess what??? All those questions led me back to the past.

But when I answered those questions one by one, month after month, over time I was able to stop using all those coping methods.  Little by little, as I understood the past and where my desire to run was born they just seemed to fall away and the more that they fell away, the more that I was able to live in today. And not just live in today, but LIVE. THRIVE.  Really live with the new energy that I found I had when I didn’t have to use all my energy to COPE so dang much. 

For the most part, I live in the moment today. The work that I do with Emerging from Broken is my chosen purpose and in order to shed light on how I found my own freedom, I write about my past almost every day in one way or another, however I do not live in the past any longer because my past is resolved. Today, the past is in the past and I can actually appreciate all those lovely quotes, understanding the true intention behind the sayings now.

Keep going, keep growing and please share with me and the other readers!

Darlene Ouimet

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

Related posts ~ “the problem with living one day at a time”

Related posts ~ “the problem with living one day at a time”

“tomorrow I will start to face the pain”

“self validation for emotional abuse”

 

 

Categories : Therapy
Comments (68)
psychological abuse, abuse recovery
Success is a series of small accomplishments

I wanted to know HOW I would recover from emotional abuse; how do I do it? What do I do?

As though knowing HOW would make it possible.

I wanted to know HOW the healing would take place, as though knowing how would make it real or as though knowing how would enable me to make the decision on whether or not I was willing to go through with it.

But the truth is that I didn’t ever get to know how. I didn’t ever get prior knowledge as to where the journey would take me.

I was held back on some aspects because I thought the pain would kill me, but the pain of recovery was never as bad as the pain of living broken. Unfortunately, we don’t know that for sure until we are on the other side of broken.

I thought that if I ventured forward but didn’t succeed, that the pain of another failure would kill me; so I hesitated about moving forward.

I hear this question all the time; “But how does it work? How will I do it?”

I didn’t know, I never knew, and looking back I don’t see how I could have even been told. Because it is different for everyone. Because it is a step by step process that takes time. Because on breakthrough builds on another.

What I remember is that I believed it was possible. That belief came because my therapist told me that there were others that had overcome and recovered from chronic depressions and dissociative behavior. I had not actually met anyone that had overcome, but when I started to trust him, I started to believe him and after I began to believe him and when I had my first little breakthrough, then I believed that I could do recover too. I finally had hope. I finally believed that if someone else could overcome ~ if someone else had recovered from dissociative identity disorder, sexual abuse, and a lifetime of psychological abuse, then maybe I could recover too.

I finally believed that I was worth taking the chance on.  I was worth the effort. And I also realized that the reason that I had not considered that I was worth it prior to this was because from a very young age I had been treated as though I was not worth it. As a child I had no choice but to believe that lie.

I dug my heals in and went for it. I just put one foot in front of the other and took my time looking at the reasons that I had been in this state of difficulty and struggle with my mental health for so long. All I had was hope and it turned out that was all I needed. Each little success, each little breakthrough no matter how tiny was what kept me going forward after that. My breakthroughs became my motivation and hope was my foundation.

Blind faith I guess you could say.  

I realize today that success is not the end result but rather a collection of accomplishments.

I took someone else’s word for it; that recovery was possible and it ended up being the truth. This is my biggest inspiration for writing this blog. I want to inspire hope as it was inspired in me.

I made the decision to face the pain. I made the decision to go forward but I didn’t know the answer to the HOW question. And in the end, it didn’t matter.

What are your thoughts on the “HOW” question? Please share them with us in the comments.

Exposing Truth ~ One Snapshot at a Time

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Therapy
Comments (64)
romantic love,
What makes love real love?

Everything had a double meaning in my mind; almost all definitions that had to do with relationships had two opposite meanings to me and when I found this truth at the roots of my belief system and began to sort it out, I found some real freedom. I found out that I had learned to accept a lot of false truth about a lot of word meanings.

Take love for instance;  I believed in fairy tale romance, and believed that there would be a prince charming saviour type guy ride in on his trusty steed and sweep me off my feet and then life would be good. Then I would be good enough. I would be loved. Life would begin! Maybe I got that idea from fairy tales, I am not really sure, but I certainly held the belief inside me somewhere. The belief that I could be rescued and that love would be the cure for everything.

But there is another side to what I believe about “love.” For the trauma survivor or the person who suffers with depression, we also have a whole other different belief system about “love”.  Some of us have been taught (in words or in actions) that love is dangerous, frightening and hurtful.  Some of us have been taught (in actions or in consequences) that love is physically painful and terrifying.  Our personal reaction to being loved by someone else largely depends on what our belief system has become about the words and the emotion of “love”. And about how we feel about ourselves as a result of our past experience with it.

In my case I had polar opposite belief systems about love. In my fantasy world, love could cure all evil, love was the answer, love was all I needed. Songs like “If I had you…; you’re the only one that I would ever need “ or “I can’t live is living is without you”; “you are the sunshine of my life” or “All I need is the air that I breath and to love you” oh yeah baby, he (his love) would be the answer to everything.

In reality however, at least in my reality, love hurts, love is mean, love means nothing. I love you means obligation, ownership, disrespect, putting up with being devalued, manipulated and accepting that I am not as important and my needs are not important, but only the person who says that they love me, is important.  This is quite a mixed message and makes love a word charged with many different feelings and fears that are triggered just hearing the words.

My therapist told me that he loved me. I felt extremely uncomfortable and wanted to leave. I thought love was physical. I was sure that I had no choice about it. When I was very fragile, I felt powerless to say no to physical love. In many ways and for many years I didn’t know that I had a choice. I also believed that if someone loved me (even in the wrong definition of love) it was my fault. So good or bad, I believed that I brought everything on myself. Quite an illusion of control, which I thought kept me safe, but also quite a burden of responsibility which was not safe at all.

There was so much really bad stuff around the word love. My mind had been conditioned to believe that love was the most wonderful thing and the answer to everything, but the truth was that most bad things had happened to me under the disguise of love and “I love you” and “because I love you” and “I want what is best for you”. I also thought that romantic love had a lot of physical obligation attached to it. Sex was the price that I had to pay for love. (but was it REALLY love)

I love you is a phrase that is thrown carelessly around; When a child wants love and acceptance so deeply it becomes easy to ignore the red flags from some people and it is also very easy to accept the wrong definition of love.

It helped me immensely to realize that I had the wrong definition of love all along. It also helped me to realize that controllers and abusers NEVER love you with the same definition of love that they want you to follow when it comes to them. 

I thought about the things that I had to do to prove my love and thought about it “they” ever “proved theirs”. I thought about this a lot. If love means that you do what they want, then when will they do what I want? The truth is that love isn’t about doing what someone else wants. It isn’t about being who someone else wants either. I had to learn about what love really is in order to sort myself out. This was one very damaged area in my belief system that was full of lies.  At the root of this was the KEY fact that I did not love myself at all.

I started to ask myself; If love is doing what is best for the one loved then what would that look like in practice? (Remember that self love is a key part of the healing process. Remember that you may also have to think about the definition of “best”.)

 Looking at these complicated and yet logical viewpoints got me a long way out of the love fog I was in and really helped me to realize who loved me and who didn’t. It also gave me some practical application tools when it came to my relationships and with my children.

And when I was able to apply the true definition of love to myself, everything came together.

Please share your experience with the false definition of love, or how you came to feel about the concept of love.

Another little snapshot.

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts: emotional abandonment, rejection and recovery

                             Invalidation ~ when the truth is not true

                              The problem with Love ~ Fi MacLeod from “you can fly with broken wings”

Categories : Therapy
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