Celebrating Fathers Day Without a Father



dysfunctional father daughter relationship

Since it is father’s day, and not all of us have a great relationship with a father, I thought I would write something about difficult father daughter relationships. I have a father who is still alive and sometimes I wish I could write more about him, but there just isn’t much to say. To put it bluntly, he can’t be bothered with me. This relationship that I had with my father is equally as dysfunctional and devaluing as the relationship I had with my mother, it was just “different.” I spent years as a child trying to get his attention, but I failed to capture his interest. I used to think that perhaps if I were a boy like my brother who was gifted in sports he would have noticed me, or perhaps that was only about the sports and not really about my brother.

My father is really into himself. He has this sort of happy go lucky personality and I always thought he was great with people but the truth is that he is really terrible at relationships. He is really only interested in talking about himself and in telling his stories. I didn’t notice that about him for a very long time. The way I saw it when I was younger was that my dad liked everyone EXCEPT ME. That he talked to everyone and he was interested in everyone but me.  I see it differently today. Today I realize that my Dad is pretty much an emotionally unavailable father.

My father isn’t connected to himself or to anyone else. Some people might think that he is narcissistic, or that he has some sort of attention deficit disorder, but I think that if you looked up the word “dissociated” there would surely be a photo of my father. None the less, the truth is that my father and I have a very dysfunctional father daughter relationship.

It took me a long time to realize that his disinterest in me wasn’t about me. It was about him. He isn’t interested in me. He never was. Why is that my fault? It was hard to realize my father’s part in the destruction of my self esteem and where he contributed to the malfunction in my life.  I didn’t connect that his emotional unavailability and lack of interest in me was in itself the problem. He just didn’t care. That is pretty devaluing. It communicates a lot. I didn’t have a father by ANY definition of the word other than it was his seed that helped to produce me and I suppose his money that paid the financial responsibilities. That isn’t exactly the definition of a great relationship with my dad.  It isn’t a very good or truth based definition of love. He wasn’t “there for me” he didn’t spend any “energy” on me, he wasn’t emotionally invested in me; this is the definition of a dysfunctional father daughter relationship and as I have said, an emotionally unavailable father.

It has been hard to face the truth about my father. There was so much glaring dysfunction when it came to my mother, that with my father, I just wasn’t sure where to start looking at our relationship. One day I found myself trying to remember good memories that had to do with my father. I remembered this one Christmas when I was too sick to go to the church Christmas party. My father stayed home with me. I was so sick that I was just lying on the couch watching him put tinsel on the Christmas tree. That is my best memory. That is the only really great childhood memory I have. Isn’t that a sad story? He never noticed me. He never talked to me. He never listened to me.

The truth was that I grew tired of always having to chase after his attention years ago. I didn’t even know that I had given up. I kept in touch with him because I thought my children needed to have a grandfather. That they “should” have a grandfather and that I OWED him that much. Where do these thoughts even come from?? My children “should” have a grandfather? I thought “I OWE my father that much” and “my father has a right to be a grandfather” But WHY??

Turns out he wasn’t interested in them as individuals exactly the same as he wasn’t interested in me and they are painfully aware of it. He used to act interested, but when they wanted to tell him something he cut them off and talked about his own stuff.  (He is still emotionally unavailable) So the cycle of being devalued, un-noticed and unappreciated as an individual, just continued.

Today I wonder what the heck I was thinking. I look back over my life and I realize that my father never “bothered himself” with me. This wasn’t something new at all. I was used to carrying the FULL burden of relationship with him. I was used to trying harder and harder for his attention. That WAS the extent of the relationship that I had with him.

Not having a father who is interested in me doesn’t define me as being “not good enough as a daughter” anymore. For years I thought that his disinterest was about me, that it was my defect and my fault. But now I know that it is about him, it defines HIM and really had nothing to do with me.

Today I know that I was a great daughter. My heart was always good; I just got ripped off in the parent department.

Please share your thoughts, your pain or your inspiration.

Happy Fathers Day, especially to all those who have to “Father” themselves!

Darlene Ouimet

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Related Posts: Passive Abuse and Emotionally Dysfunctional Relationship

Parent Child Relationship ~ what a confusing mess

Withholding Emotional Involvement ~ Passive Abuse



Categories : Father Daughter




I feel so deeply your emptiness in the presence of your father; it must have been awful having him present but not present to you. It must have been terrible wanting his love and not receiving it..

I so understand .. my dad was not present at all …He and mom met because mom needed cash and i was the result of an easy transaction. This is what have been told. .

I suffered immensely because of this knowing it was not love that created me. I was blamed so often by mom that he never stuck around .. was my fault for everything..it was my fault I came out.
Mom’s big mistake and dad’s shame.

I was the butt of jokes in school..the girl who scared her daddy away ..the girl who had no daddy..etc etc and some other words I rather not say.

I try to embrace and accept who I am ..that its not my fault how I came to be but it still hurts so very deep.. I find myself imagining what it would have been like having a dad.. how it would have been at school.. would things have been different at home.. would dad have stopped that terrible stuff…would he had loved me .. ?

I don’t know what he was like at all and yesterday I wrote a poem as I was in the moment..

Tomorrow is really Father’s Day

Tomorrow is really father’s day; last week i was ahead
So I am writing down again, dear dad, everything I said
How i wish I had known you and you hadn’t run away
I wish I had someone to hug and wish a happy father’s day

But as you can see I do not and write again with tears
For it hasn’t become any easier despite the passing years
I still wish you had been around and didn’t have to go
Would have been nice to say I had a dad who really loved me so

All the things the kids had said while I was growing up
Now Comes down in all these tears, that splash my coffee cup
It was terrible the names i endured for not knowing you my dad
but worse then all the words they said was the dad I never had.



Wow! I occasionally get to be the first one to respond to your posts. I am surprised that you don’t already have 30 or 40 comments here today. Maybe everyone else is off celebrating Father’s Day with their wonderful fathers. I wish. But that is a wish that will never come true. I can celebrate my own husband as the wonderful father that he is.

When I think hear you talk about your father, I see my mother. She was the passive, emotionally unavailable one. My sister who is 3 1/2 years younger than me, years ago, asked me if I raised her because she doesn’t remember our mother ever being there for her. Our mother was always there for us physically, just never emotionally. You would always find my mother sitting in the house reading a romance novel with a cigarette in her hand and a cup of coffee sitting near-by. She and my dad both chain smoked my entire life.

When I was 11, I was given the household chores to do. Maybe that is why I hate house cleaning. According to my dad, I never was any good at it. That might come from the fact that nobody ever taught me how. The few things I remember my mother teaching me were how to tie my shoes, to write my name and the alphabet when I was 5, and how to make bisquits from scratch when I was 11 years old. My bisquits were better than hers so I got to make them at least once a day for the next 8 years until I left home at 19. Everything else that I learned to do, I taught myself or I learned it at school.

My dad sexually abused me for at least 6 years from the age of 11-17. Most of the time Mother’s Day and Father’s Day both pass me by without any thought about either of my parents since they died back in Nov. 1998 and Jan. 2000. This year both hit me hard.

After Mother’s Day, I suddenly heard several different people online talking about doing inner child work. I did that years ago in the 1990s with the help of several different books that I read and one of my counseloring groups before the leader of the group was killed in 1992.

I decided that maybe it was time for me to see if I had any inner child work left to do so I bought a workbook by Kathryn Taylor. I have started reading it but haven’t reached any of the exercises yet.

Then Father’s Day comes along. Yesterday I spent a big part of the day on Facebook writing, talking and reading about Father’s Day. I will probably sometime today or maybe tomorrow sit down and write a blog post of my own about Father’s Day. Thanks for writing this post about your feelings about your father. Hope you enjoy the day with your husband and children.

I seem to be all over the place today with my thoughts trying to totally ignore what I have been feeling for the past few days. Sorry if I seem scattered. That is how I feel right now. Have a great day.


I am relieved that this Father’s Day, I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to pick out a card and trying to find one that isn’t just an out right lie. I don’t have to spend my time trying to find a card that doesn’t thank him for all the things he never did. I don’t have to ignore all the things that he did do and pretend that all is well and my dad is an honorable man.

I got a letter from my sister yesterday. She told me that statutory rape laws are ‘controversial’ and she’s decided that I wasn’t raped. She also told me how Mom and Dad were such great parents who ‘did the best that they could’. She completely ignored the boundary I had set and proceded to tell me the reality of my life. I felt myself choking, literally gasping for air, with the attempt to suck me back into this world where all truth is maleable. Especially, my truth. It doesn’t work anymore though. I really am free.


I understand that the recovery process – for everyone – is a process of “one step forward/two steps back.” But for me, it seems to be one step forward, TEN (or twenty) steps back. So I am always digging out from way behind where I need to be.

I have been away from EFB since March. Before that I was a daily participant in all the discussions, and while I didn’t feel huge differences in the way I felt, I at least felt that those differences were possible. And I felt safe in expressing myself in at least one place. So what did I do? I gave it up. I quit. And I spent April, May and most of June hiding from myself.

It gets harder and harder to do it. I cannot fit back in that box that I lived in before EFB. And trying to jam myself back in there is painful and demoralizing. But trying to live outside of it seems to be impossible.

My father is a son of a bitch.

Having said that, the worst thing he ever “did” to me was leave. He left while my mother was pregnant with me. I “reconnected” with him a few years ago and things were going great. I did have a lot of pent-up resentment as I got to know my step-siblings (the families [two of them] that he raised) because I really did wonder why, if he was such a great dad, why he could never have been there for us. I shared that sadness with him once, and he decided he would never speak to me again because I had broken the rules and brought up the past. So, he left me again.

Added to that, I have the joy of having my stepsister on Facebook, constantly posting about how awesome he is as a dad and what a hero he is to his country (he was dishonorably discharged from the Navy once and stole his education from the Naval Academy –graduated and then didn’t pay the time back, but God only knows what he’s told her). Like I said, he’s a son of a bitch.

But I don’t think he can be blamed (or my mother for that matter) for how I treat myself. How lazy I am, how much I abuse my body and mind with things that everyone considers acceptable. In other words, I don’t use drugs or drink to excess. I overeat and isolate. So people just think I’m undisciplined. Which I am.

Here’s an example: Yesterday, before noon, I had eaten an egg sandwich from McDonald’s, half a Family Size bag of Doritos with dip, four ice cream bars and two slices of leftover pizza. Meanwhile, I have a skin condition that is disgusting and excruciatingly painful, and, I believe, a direct result of a high fat, high sodium diet and being morbidly overweight. Not to mention what I believe is a physiological cause of poor emotional health. This skin condition contributes to my depression, and yet I continue to eat this way, knowing I’m making it worse.

And as far as my emotional health is concerned, when I start to feel emotionally better, use tools (like EFB), I quit. When I get a good head of steam going on working out at the gym every day, I quit.

So what conclusion can I come to, other than I must not want to feel better.


Oh, one thing I forgot to mention while I was listing my litany of foods. I’m eating all these foods, while letting good foods (like fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, vegetables–all of which I also like to eat) go bad in my fridge. And always complaining about money, while spending all my money on the wrong foods. And when I buy the right foods, I end up throwing them away.

This is no way to stop hating myself.


Its been a hard week for me. June 15th was the anniversary of my parents; my grandfather’s birthday; and the anniversary of my brother’s suicide.

I am apparently estranged from my sister, who I have not had contact with since 2009.

I miss having the chance for things to have been different in my family. I think of happy times with my family and I miss them terribly.

Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are hard. I feel sad and know I have more grieving to do.

I hope everyone finds a way to get through to the other side of their feelings.



Hi Joy,
Yes, all of that must have been so difficult for you. I am going to respond with how I see the truth about this; you got blamed because your mother prostituted herself and got pregnant? You got blamed because the “client” didn’t stick around… but what client of a prostitute sticks around? He paid someone for sex. So, how did the circumstances of your birth have anything to do with you in the first place? The truth is that they didn’t. You were the scapegoat. If I was in the presence of your mother today, I would say this to her. I would say “so you prostituted yourself, and you blamed it on Joy for the rest of her life? You told her that it was HER fault that the “guy” didn’t stick around?? Shame on you! ” That is what I would say.
Thank you for sharing, I know this is terribly hard for you. I admire you for getting all this out.
Thank you as always for sharing your beautiful poetry.
Love and hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia
I am celebrating my husband today too! Yes what a blessing it is when our kids have a way different and much better exp. then we had! yay for recovery!
I think that all this writing applies to whoever is the one in our lives who did similar things. Like my father was just like your mother, and vice versa. My father in law was much more like my mother too. Maybe I will write about him next year!
Thank you for sharing honestly with where you are at today Patricia! That is the most important part of healing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Ya, I did that for years too! well with my father, I really thought he was so awesome… it is weird now looking back. I had a harder time getting cards for my mother, but now I see clearly the truth about both of them. OMG about the letter from your sister… WOW. I can totally relate to being “sucked back in”, or the feeling of being sucked back in… and YAY that your fought it and that in the end it validates that YOU ARE free. !!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lisa!
Welcome back! I am thrilled to hear from you! Having said that, it is fine to take breaks too!
Oh my goodness, your share here has triggered memories that I forgot about… my fathers NEW family and all the dynamics around that. That for me was a whole other chapter of being devalued. I am so sorry that you got dumped twice! ouch, and shame on HIM.
about how you treat yourself, I think that when our self esteem is in the toilet from the lack of validation and love from our parents, we learn to treat ourselves the same way with the same disrespect. It was when I realized just what my parents HAD done to me, that I was able to take my life back, so to put it bluntly, I am glad that I went through a time of blaming them for my issues.

I quit doing the things that made me feel better all the time too, but not because I didn’t want to get better (which is also what I concluded but that was even more self beating up) , just because it was so foreign to me to even think about myself that it felt very unsafe. I was “OUT” of my survival mode when I took care of me. Over time, this got much much better. Today I take really good care of me. Keep hanging in here Lisa!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Evie,
Yes, it is hard. And lonely sometimes too. I know that these things are all part of the healing process, but that doesn’t make it any easier does it? I am glad that you shared from your heart.
Hugs, Darlene


Like you father’s day and mother’s day are tough but in a different way. My father passed to battle of lung cancer in 1981 when I was 11 months old. There is that unspoken emptyness and quiet resentment for dying and leaving me to do what would be a lifelong battle with my mother who has paranoid schizophrenia. Its difficult to hate him the way I have hated my mother. My father has never tried to kill me. He simply was not there to stop it. I don’t know him or his personality. I don’t know if he was manipulative, violent, or showed signs of being psychologically sadistic. I do know he had to have existed and died just in time, before the demons reared its ugly head. I can’t say I love him. I suppose I am grateful for his sperm in helping to create me but that’s it. That, deserves a thank you more than a I love you.it’s difficult to love a mystery but a mystery can’t hold you in their arms


Hi Celeste,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
Thank you for sharing the way that the father thing was for you. I understand what you are saying here; this stuff is tough. I think you might really realte to the articles in this blog in the mother/ daughter and family categories.
Hugs, Darlene


Kudos on another great article Darlene. Holidays in general are hard for survivors in so many ways.

Once you are “out of the box” you can never fit back in there. And who would want to? Some of my family still play that game and would love to have me back on board and back in the game box. NO Way!

I have my challenges, but they are clear, and they are honest.

And to Pam.. Let them say whatever they need to about the laws. (I had that battle too) It doesn’t change the facts, it only changes what they think they can get away with. And they already thought that way anyhow… grasping at straws to defend their house of cards, justifying bad behavior, pretending it’s all OK.


I got this great comment on my page,

Celebrate Mothers Day or Fathers Day by Treating YOURSELF! You have been a great parent to the child inside you, helping her (or him) to heal. Take yourself to dinner and celebrate your great work!


I have never in my entire life given my father a card for Father’s Day. I never will. He is presently 84 years of age. While I faked many things in my life, feelings for him has never been one of them!

I have the feelings of shame, self-hatred, distrust, lack of self-confidence, etc., and have bitl many walls up to keep people away, but I always knew those things were part of me for external reasons because of abuse from my father and many other perpertrators and even the phsyical abuse from my mother.

I grew up in a house of cold-hearted people who never said, “I love you”, encouraged you, congratulated you on an acccomplishment, or allowed you to feel your feelings. They criticized, taunted, humiliated, and make me the joke of the family in front of my other siblings. My sister was 15 months older than me. In high school, we were in the same Spanish class for three years. She told the students and the teacher that we were not related and even changed the spelling of her last name to prove it. She took her cues from my father. Does this person deserved to be honored today?


Hi Annie
I went back and forth for a long time about “what have I done, now I am OUT of the family” stuff… and concluded a thousand times that same thing ~ WHY would I want to go back to that? The alternative in my case is to be treated like nothing again.. and to have my kids in that same system too. NO WAY… but I think our desire to have parents, coupled with the fantasy we lived with our whole lives that one day they would love us and BE parents, is where that “back and forth stuff” comes from. It is part of how we were brainwashed.

I got thinking about Pams sister too. I love what you said Annie. I wonder why SHE (Pam’s sister) thinks that SHE gets to decide something so serious as that?? That is just plain crazy. (and very very hurtful Pam…. )
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ronnie
Good for you Ronnie! This is the bottom line truth about your father. He doesn’t deserve the title, or to be honoured or acknowledged on this day!
Thank for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


I always say, “You get what you give.” My father, too, didn’t acknowledge my existence. I could pass him on the street and he wouldn’t have looked my way. My mother thought it was a joke, always reminding us that he isn’t interested in us. This is a horrible thing to admit — when he died in 1998, it wasn’t a big deal to me. I didn’t feel anger toward him nor retaliation — just didn’t have feelings.


Hi Darlene

My mom didn’t blame me by saying its my fault that she prostituted said it’s my fault that my dad didnt stick around said he saw me and took off.. I dont know how that could have been ..

Its a very hard day..i didnt realize how much the name calling had become engraved in me but it was . kids use to beat us up… imagine being beat up at home then going to school to get beat up. we were always made fun of..kids with no daddys.. kids of many colors..as we were .. they use to call us b’words..

Guess its something I am going to have to work through sometime in therapy as its very hurtful in me..

I dont understand so many things.



Hi Barbara,
I always said that too, “you get what you did” BUT I didn’t apply it to my own parents treatment of ME for some reason until just a few years ago. My mother also said this same expression too, (what goes around, comes around or you reap what you sow and other related sayings) and I didn’t apply it even then. When it came to my parents, I only thought I was the one that needed to try harder. It is amazing to realize today looking back that I was so deeply fooled for so long.
Why is it so horrible to admit that when your father died ~ a father who didn’t acknowledge your existence, you didn’t feel anything? I think it is actually understandable and even logical!
Thanks for sharing Barbara!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy,
I am not sure what you mean in your first sentence of your response to my comment. Are you saying that your mom never said that? Because what I am trying to show you is that she may not have used those words, but that IS what she is saying when you bust through the fog storm that you have lived with. You said that she sold herself and got pregnant. And that she blamed you that your father didn’t stick around. SO.. what I am saying is that presented differently, she is saying that what SHE did IS your fault. And yes, this is a very important aspect of therapy. If I have misunderstood your first sentence, I invite you to clarify for me.
Love and Hugs, Darlene
p.s. I will only be here for a little while longer as it is time to celebrate fathers day with my husband and kids so don’t worry if I don’t answer till tomorrow.


Hi Darlene..

I guess am more sensitive to words and just not use to seeing the reality of what happen so bluntly. I try to cushion what happed.. but that is what happened. .just it makes me more ashamed seeing it that way…written out like: prostitution..selling herself.. It’s what I implied but haven’t ever quite used those words as am so embarrassed by them. that i am a child of someone who prostituted.. am all in tears.. You have not misunderstood. I as just trying to cushion things. but its ok. I don’t know if you understand where I am coming from but now am a mess all over..sorry.



My sperm donor was never there for me.He could have cared less when I was suicidal,he said he didn’t believe it.Then I was diagnosed with depression and he didn’t try to help me through that.All my life,everything I tried to do,never cared about.I tried playing sports,I wasn’t very good so instead of helping me all he did was yell at me,tell me I wasn’t trying hard enough and bully me.When I was in middle school,there was this kid who used to bully me.One morning on the bus,he told everyone I was gay.All the kids started laughing,then he spread it around the school.So all day,the kids laughed at me,hit me,made fun of me.They did the same thing on the bus ride home.I started crying when I got off the bus,my mother started to comfort me.The sperm donor yelled at me,said I need to stand up for myself. But I didn’t know how and I was scared.So then he tells me that if I can’t stand up for myself then I deserved to be picked on and made fun of and that I was the biggest baby. He never supported me financially either.He always let me go without food because he’s a gambler and that was always more important to him than taking care of me.I really don’t miss him on Fathers Day,I just turned it into a second Mothers Day for my Mom.She’s always there for me and has never given up on me or won’t let me give up on myself.I know she believes I’m worth everything in this world.I’m so glad to have my mother and my brother in my life!


Wow! Sounds a lot like my Father. I had to research what he has because I knew it was something. Narcisstic personality disorder describes him word for word! Textbook case! It helped a little to educate myself about what it is he has. I’ve talked with my therapist and she advises me to just accept that that is who he is and will never change. People with that never do, because they cannot see or admit that something is not perfect with themselves. I know that cannot change our chilhood or the effects it had on us… but we can choose to be educated and recognize, realize and work on any issues it may have on us resulting into negativity with ourselves or our loved ones. That’s why I am in therapy. I realize my damage and want to better my life for my loved ones and myself!


I totally understand; I should not have been so blunt. Sometimes I forget how brutal this whole thing is for us when we realize the truth. I am sorry that you are a mess now, and I understand. I am sorry for my part in it too! Please forgive me.
Please remember that this is not about you. the fact is that you were the only innocent party here and no one had any right or cause to blame you. You were the scapegoat. You are precious and the innocent party. You are needing to heal now. And you will! The truth, as painful as it is, really does contribute to healing…
Love Darlene

You are fortunate not to be in any denial about your father. I was in denial until I was in my 40’s. I am really glad that you have your mother and brother too!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


That is awesome Cindy!
Thanks for sharing.
The thing that helped me the most (both in and out of therapy) was realizing what I had come to believe about myself because of the ways that I was disregared. That is really what this whole site is about. Acceptance of the way it was was a very small part of healing for me. What really helped me heal and go on to live a full life was realizing that the things I believed about me (that I didn’t deserve, that I wasn’t worthy of love) were all lies and I had to get to the bottom of those beliefs and change the lies back to the truth.
Glad you are here! Darlene



My counselor told me the same thing,that my sperm donor is most likely a narcissist.When I was suicidal,my mother got me into counseling.That was 3 yrs ago.My sperm donor abandoned me 2 yrs ago and I haven’t seen him at all.I blocked his number so he can’t call me.And he has never sent me a letter to find out how I am doing.My mother was the one who always made Fathers Day special.She took me out shopping,baked him a cake and then we waited for him to come home from gambling to celebrate.And he never liked the presents I picked out,I never saw him wear anything from me.

Yeah,I’m very lucky to have my mother in my life.She’s a very strong person,she’s given me the strength to battle depression and feelings of suicide.If it wasn’t for her,I wouldn’t have graduated high school and be looking forward to starting college in the fall.My sperm donor tried to ruin things between me and my brother because he always treated my brother a little better than me.My brother is 8 yrs older than me and he has always felt guilty for getting treated better.But I know it’s not his fault,he had no control over the sperm donors actions.I’m just glad that we are closer now! Me and my brother have always been close to my mother because she really listens to us and lets us have an opinion and a voice. She never had that when she was growing up or when the sperm donor lived with us.And since he moved out,the three of us are a real family!


There is a lot of intense feeling going on here. I could write a thesis about my relationship with my father. I obsessed about it for years, until I came to a conclusion much like what Darlene has written. It wasn’t about me all along; it was all about him. After attempting many times, my father finally killed himself when I was 19. Here’s what I had to say in the recent aftermath (the more distant aftermath was different). ***I couldn’t wait to wash away the mix of relief and regret with the whiskey and soda.
Later I learned that my father left no suicide note. Even if he had, who would have recognized his handwriting? He never wrote a letter or signed a card. What he left was unfinished business, a mess of blood and brain matter for his brother Henry to mop up and emotional debris for the family to sort through.
I never wanted to see him again, dead or alive, so I refused to attend the funeral. Besides, how does an adolescent daughter eulogize her schizophrenic father? My brother Eric made the arrangements. It was too much of a traumatic task to ask of a twenty-two-year-old son. To bury his own father, a suicide, seemed cruel and unusual punishment for a son who had been subjected to the vast violence of this madman his entire life.



You have not done anything for which you need to apologize..It is me and my fragile heart and sensitivity that needs adjusting but its who I am at the moment ..You were just being you and you don’t have to apologize for being yourself.. I love that you.. who is strong .. I hope someday I can be that way..but right now am completely the opposite. I think though I will always be kind of sensitive that is where all my poetry comes from.

I pushed all aside to do some homework and now am back wrestlng with the rest of my feelings tonight. its kind of brutal indeed to think of it as the rest of the world would see it. I try so hard to say nice things and try so hard to cover up things.. thats still the old programmed me who was told to keep things under cover.. I think when finally I am all deprogrammed I will have so much coming out I will not know how to handle it. I am so afraid of hurting someone that I always sugarcoat what I say and tippy toe around everythign.. even though only person hurt in this case would be me and the other persons who produced me.

I have tears coming down and have to stop again. I am sorry, Darlene, you felt need to apologize.you did nothing wrong. I am to sensitive not yet strong like all you . i hope i will be some day..please forgive me for making you feel bad..

love and hugs



My mother has Alzheimer’s. She lives with my step-father in another state. He is 78. I used to go there 3-4 times a year to sort things out. Now I try to go only 1x per year, since she is in hospice (but at home.) Each time I go, I unravel a new piece of my history. Last time I found children’s cards. I found a card in an envelope “Dear Daddy…. Happy Father’s Day… xoxo Love Lynnie” and the envelope had been addressed to NJ at a time when I was living with Mom, Step-F, and brother in PA. The card had been returned with a “not at this address.” BTW, my father was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. I absolutely hate father’s day. I still have to make the obligatory courtesy call to my step f, who was too GD weak to protect me from my father and step brother. Make that too GD narcissistic. These days he’s paying it backwards by having to take care of my mother with Alzheimer’s and terminal cancer, whichever gets her first. But it’s still about him being a martyr about it. What got into me? To think I could only write a half-page in my journal this morning.


I was trying to say that my mother had saved that card for 50 years, the one that never got to my father because he was transient, like a gypsy, she would say.


After leaving my comment here this morning, I went to my blog and wrote my own Father’s Day post. I have felt nauseous ever since. Here is the link if anyone wants to read it and try to make sense of my thoughts. http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2011/06/today-is-fathers-day.html

My son and daughter-in-law are coming over later for hamburgers that my husband will grill. I don’t really feel like having company right now but it is my husband’s day so I will do my best to go along with everyone or I will go to bed if I get to feeling worse. The nausea has to do with the incest and my thoughts about it today.


Hi, Darlene! Yes, this is a difficult day for so many, present company included. Here is something I posted on my page today, and I think it’s a healing perspective for us all to consider. ~ In a sense, the tradition of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day may be as much about us as it is about them. Perhaps the call to honor THEM is what is ultimately the best for US! If we live our lives in such a way that those observing us would think that we have, or had, the best parents in the world, then everybody wins! Whatever sentiment Father’s Day brings for you, live honorably, and be encouraged! – Blessings, Thomas


Let me cry one more time for the child deep inside
Let me hug that little girl who still feels she must hide
Let me weep giant tears let me cry for all the wrong
That this little girl knew and held for so long

Let me not be afraid let me finally speak out
Let me jump, let me scream let me let my voice shout
All these big emotions that she had to keep in
The little girl’s letting out so healing can begin.



Sorry to hear what you all went through. I cringed when I saw the first FB post saying “let’s all put pics up of our Dads!” today and another asking why some people hadn’t done so.


I have not spoken to my father for almost seven years.

Today, while my daughter wrote a letter to her father, she asked me if I wanted her help writing one to my dad….or what about an email…or what about a phone call?

I explained, once again, the situation as best as I could. But she just does not understand (she is 7 and has a wonderful daddy). I feel like I am messing her up, causing her unnecessary worry and pain by not having that relationship. I also know that I am protecting her….but that doesn’t make the feelings (or her tears) much easier.


Oh, Darlene. . . once again, here we are: EFB… the Final Frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the lifeship EFB. Her on-going mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. You definitely continue to venture into new territory, and I’m grateful to be in such terrific company.

You continue to amaze me as you recount your life’s journey — your discussion about mother(s) and your brilliant commentary to all those who shared. Now, this astounding segue into the world of “Life with Father” or should it be “Un”Life or “Non”Life with dad. . . how gratifying to see how you shake the dust from your feet and leave those memories behind.

Hi, Lynn — in this household it’s my dad who has Alzheimer’s. And like you, Lisa, I’ve stuffed down the pain and hurt and the conflict with an Egg McMuffin and one too many french fries (only in occasional binges). . . to the point where my dad mistakes me for my mom (who passed away several years ago). He and my mom had the most bizarre passive-aggressive relation for almost 50 years. . . and he clobbers me with stuff he saved up somewhere inside. . . I know some of the vitriol is the result of his disease, but it doesn’t help the hurt.

Father’s Day for years I would bake him a lemon meringue pie from scratch.

All my life I dogged his steps, holding the flashlight, handing him the wrench, raking his yard, burning the leaves. My brothers were never around. My mom was in the house, reading a book or working a crossword puzzle. I kept hoping somehow we would connect . . . but he was always seemed to have better rapport with the folks on Fox News.

I have one vivid memory. My dad loved to sail, and he and I rebuilt a little Mirror dinghy with a gaff-rigged sail. Cute as a button and tons of fun to putter around in. My dad was known for his patience teaching folks about boats and boating. One day we were out near the local marina and were becalmed. I could huff and puff, and we were glued to one spot on a grueling hot afternoon. . . and my dad had a fit. . . I couldn’t set the sail; I couldn’t handle the tiller; Gee whiz — I couldn’t command the wind come back up. He reamed me up down and sideways; he called me those names that make sailors blush. Finally, I was able to catch the breeze and returned to the marina. He huffed up the hill and left me to batten things down for the night. The marina owner came to me and told me, Your Dad must love you a lot — he feels comfortable enough to loose his temper like that around you. Apparently his voice carried a loooooong distance, and if they hadn’t heard the story in person, he was happy to retell the tale of his daughter, the rotten sailor. Didn’t matter how hard I tried (shades of Darlene), I could never do things right.

My dad was a cop — and he was great at protecting everyone and everything in the whole wide world but me. . . go figure.



Thank you. I’m not sure manipulators can regocnize the truth after they have been at it for a lifetime. They look at facts from every angle checking how to move it this way or that, whichever works to their advantage. They hurt me with their lies but they are lost in them. I’ll get past the hurt and they will still be lost.


My sister is the golden child, the one who is required to have all the answers. She’s trying to fix it. She cares a lot about how things look and I remember when we were kids that what bothered her about our parent’s excessive drinking was not the way they treated us when drunk but how it looked to others. I think a family that looks right on the outside is just as good to her as a real good family. Somehow, she misses the substance of things. I don’t think she can figure out why I want to talk about something so personal, in the first place. Digging up something hidden doesn’t make sense to her. She doesn’t understand that the sexual abuse was exhumed by its own accord. She can’t admit that she doesn’t understand though because she has to be perfect and all knowing. She gets to decide because she is queen of the family…but, in my life, she has been dethrowned.:0/


Hi Lynn,
My goodness, it is great to get the pain out isn’t it? It is okay to be angry, to have things like this trigger, to be able to EXPRESS IT, I mean WhY NOT? Very often it is a comment that I read that spikes the next blog post in me. I remember a story and realize how much blame I took; remember what I was thinking back then, and it certainly was muddied thinking! but not any more!
What a lot of huge and horrendous things that you went through. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and the depth of the truth. There is so much healing and permission (for others to share) in your share.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy,
You are so gracious. Don’t worry too much, all of us fear that it will all come out too fast, but it never seems to. It always seems that the timing was perfect.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Thomas,
Thank you. I do understand what you are saying. I live in such a wonderful way but I have to admit, I don’t want ANYONE to think it is because I had wonderful parents. I did this myself. LOL I have to laugh though. Your post made me smile thinking about it and for that I am grateful for you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia,
I have been away all day, I will catch up with your post tomorrow. Thank you for sharing it here!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Joy,
Thank you for sharing another beautuful poem. You may cry all you want, every day if you need to. That is healing.

I didn’t see those FB posts today, and if I had seen one asking why I didn’t I would have answered~ it might not have been what the questioner was looking for though! eeks!
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Tracie,
I really understand what you are saying. I thought aobut this in relation to my own kids so often. And everytime I thought about it, I always ended up at the same place. I tried and tried, and they didn’t. Like you, I know it is best for my kids in the end, and that I am doing right by them.. but as you also say, it really hurts too.
things were a little different here; My kids did know all of their grandparents… but they have a lot of memories where they were devalued too becasue when we started to live in the truth, they also came out of the fog and started to see things differently too. Kids never cease to amaze me about the perspective that they have as they grow up. One day your daughter will understand.
It gets easier. Hugs, Darlene


YAY for dethroned! I did that to several members in my family AND in my husbands family…….. breathe in freedom!
Hugs, Darlene

Hello Ultra Lite
I might just use your opening statements for a promo! I got a huge smile out of that!
About the story of you dad and the sail boat.. my goodness. The marina owner said that he must love you a lot to have lost his temper like that around you??? Isn’t that a horrific belief system??? YUCK, if that is LOVE why would anyone want it?
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Wow where do I start.. I didnt fall far from the same tree Darlene.. To me I take it like another day.. a memory of my dad let me see sitting at my living room window watching every passing car go by and wonder is that him?? Nope never was.. He would call and tell me he was coming to get me that weekend but when the day came and went he was never there.. sometimes he would call with his excuss other time nothing at all.. He never came for me I never but one time did he come get me and that was just a few hrs to the park..He parents did for a while but that too stopped.. when I turned 16 I was on my 1st date and ya know what I did ya you guessed it I went to find my dad.. Poor date LOL I feel bad for that guy now 🙂 well I found him and my 3 half siblings we talked he told me he would be there for me as in coming to see me.. That never happened should have known but I wanted a dad so I thought.. then when I moved out at 18 oddly enough I move into the same place he lived when I was 16 but he was not there anymore I found him once more he did come to one thing my graduation WOW what a shock to me.. then I didnt see him again till I was 25or so oh and it was fathers day LOL I was with my ex and his family out to dinner and he is there with his family.. sat there across the room and he didnt know it was me.. talk about heart breaking.. we exchange #’s and I held onto his and took the paper out every now and then just to make sure it was there.. he never called till just after Easter then next yr.. I yelled at him for over hr how he make me feel growing up and if he wanted anything to do with me and my kids that he had to prove himself to me 1st we talked off and on when it was good for him and it was once a month for ten mins or so.. then after I got devoiced we talked more.. I actually stayed a weekend with him and he showed me what he was doing instead of being a father to me.. ya found a concert stub for 3 days after I was born.. thats the most of it but yr before last he forgot my birthday (hello its a holiday) I was going to let him suffer with not taking his calls 3days later when he remembered to call me.. well while still not talking to him his dad passed and he called my half siblings to be there for his passing and I get a text from one of them after the fact.. I was fit to be tied.. He would boohoo to me that he wanted his kids in his life and would ask me what to do and I told him time and time again what he should do.. he never did take what I said to heart.. I did call him when his dad passed but he wouldnt take my call and never called back so I was done have not talked to him since that,, no loss to me he was never ever there for me as you can see.. it hurt for a long time but I tried for far too long.. thank you for letting me get this off my chest..


I can relate to this post, only my father was the overtly abusive one, and my mother was the “nice one.” But she had no emotional investment in us.

I’ve never had a deep, personal, two-way conversation with my mother. I thought there was something wrong with me for not being able to engage her. I thought there must be something wrong with the things I wanted to tell her because she would not respond, or would change the subject as if I hadn’t even said anything.

This article is helping me come to terms with the fact that she was just as damaging as my father, and I don’t owe her anything. I always wanted to believe that she was the “nice” one, and that she was on the side of me and my brother, but it just isn’t true.

Annie O’Sullivan said: “I got this great comment on my page,

Celebrate Mothers Day or Fathers Day by Treating YOURSELF! You have been a great parent to the child inside you, helping her (or him) to heal. Take yourself to dinner and celebrate your great work!”

What a great idea! I live in Australia and it isn’t father’s day here until September but I always feel crap around father’s and mother’s days. From now on I’m going to reward myself for all of my hard work in getting over their abuse. Thank you!



Your writings touch my heart to the core. Did we have the same father? OMG I have never heard another person put in writing what I experienced my whole life. Thank you so much for sharing this with me, with all of us.

I also connected to your writing on Mothers Day, I think you and I may be soul sisters..

Love and Peace to you,
Thank you so much for giving your insight and sharing your heart with us.
Sincerely, Lee


Hi Darlene

Am getting ready to start my work day ..am less in that moment that I was last night.. am glad we don’t have holidays every day..

I think I do worry too much.

Thanks for all your kind words.. your blog is such a beacon of hope for so many . your story gives all us hope..

Thank you for being so kind and so generous with your time.



My husband remarked yesterday that Mother’s day and Father’ Day are for parents who have SO offended their offspring that they get no honor otherwise. the thought occurred to me this year to honor each of my children on Mother’s Day. Husband said why don’t we have son’s day and daughter’s day? Good question. “gravity” seems to dictate otherwise, power abuse wins attention.


Yes, I relate to this:
“I felt myself choking, literally gasping for air, with the attempt to suck me back into this world where all truth is maleable.”


Hi Nicole,
My goodness, thank you for sharing this history. I was reading it going “good grief” and thinking, people wonder WHY we have trouble with low self esteem, depression and all sorts of other things. People thing that depression and overeating etc. is a weakness?? When I realized (faced) the truth about my background, I was so shocked that I had never connected it to my struggles BEFORE! One of the other things I was thinking about is how much my father also says he is sorry and he will change.. but he doesn’t.
Thank you for sharing Nicole. I know tons of people will relate to that tragic story. He missed out on you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carolyn,
Yes, all this stuff can be applied to which ever kind of personality or person is discounting us. It is all devaluing. Being defined as “not vaulable” by the actions of someone else is very hurtful and difficult to come to terms with. We all thought it was really about a defect in ourselves and I am trying to bust that myth! Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lee,
Thank you. You know I was shocked (when I first started I was speaking in mental health seminars) to realize so many others had the same “secrets” as I did. The same struggles with parents, the same beliefs that it was them… and yet this subject is NOT talked about that much! I am so glad that we are all connecting about it here!
Hugs, Darlene



“and he decided he would never speak to me again because I had broken the rules and brought up the past. So, he left me again.”

When I read this line, a whole FLOOD of memories washed through my body. What a mindset, what a killer. This rings true to something in my past, but I am not sure what. It could be from someone else’s life and not my own, but someone who confided in me. I don’t know, but maybe it will come back.

This is such a great thought! “I hope everyone finds a way to get through to the other side of their feelings.”

what a telling line! “it’s difficult to love a mystery but a mystery can’t hold you in their arms.” And HOW many times and situations is this true!!!!

It sounds like you have awareness of your food choices and effects. It sounds like you ARE making progress. Get some good drinking water and drink half a gallon (or what the recommendation is for your weight), and drink at least two ounces every thirty minutes. See if this helps some.



“My sister was 15 months older than me. In high school, we were in the same Spanish class for three years. She told the students and the teacher that we were not related and even changed the spelling of her last name to prove it. She took her cues from my father. Does this person deserved to be honored today?”

What a horrible experience. I can only imagine and relate even though not completely. I felt the same attitude from my sister, and still do.


But why do we feel obligated to honor the payday of the florists, restaurants, and card makers, and candy stores?


Darlene said;
“what I am saying is that presented differently, she is saying that what SHE did IS your fault.” I see this as the point. She will word it in any way to NOT take responsibility for her own actions.

I feel deep shame when I expose the way my mother treated me, my first memories of that, etc. and then I remember that it wasn’t my fault, it is kind of amazing that those two truths do coexist together, I still struggle with that shame.


You are not alone in those feelings of shame. In my case, I was taught from a very young age that it was my fault ~ that any disapointment they felt had something to do with me. Going forward with that kind of brainwashing means that we feel shame about a ton of things that were never anything to do with us. That the confilicting lies (or truths) co exist with each other, is actually a great way to put it! That is why it is really so hard to un wind this mess in order to really see the truth at the root of it. I no longer feel any shame. Eventually I got so strong that I just KNOW it wasn’t me. Once in a while though I feel like defending my parents and minimizing the abuse,(another old default mode) which is a whole other blog post! But now I quickly remember where that belief is coming from. (more of their lies!)
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene ~ he did miss out and deep down he knows that he has with all 7 of his children and at least 10 grandchildren.. I let him know he would NEVER hurt my kids they way he did me, that he would not be given the opportunity to even try to .. My kids met him once and I would not let anymore till he showed me he was worthy to be a father to me.. He failed the only one that got hurt was him and part me but I couldn’t let him hurt my kids.. they lived with more than what they should have.. After I typed it up I couldn’t go back and ready it then when I did I saw all the sp errors lol but it really felt great to get that out.. I always felt bad for him and WHY what did he EVER do good for me?? NOTHING.. I tried with both my step dad’s to be “Daddy’s little girl” I would have done anything to get my dad’s attention as a little girl.. My dad being out of my life did lead to a chain of things that later in life happened.. I knew I was with an abusive man but part of me tried to make it work for the fact that I wanted that “Family to stay together” that I wanted my kids to have their “Father in their lives” Ya and now looking back really at what it cost me EVERYTHING.. My abuser has taken my kids from me.. I feel like I just started to live in the last year ~ after coming to know you Darlene and this blog opened my eyes to the dysfunction that I had lived for 31yrs of my life.. I pray that healing dont take as long but I will take on whatever it takes to be ME that being my God given RIGHT!!!
Thank you Darlene~~ keep touching hearts of those that need shown the light of real life.. GOD bless you


Once again, Darlene, your light and love are a beacon to our darkened hearts. It boggles my mind going from post to post the commonalities we share — and was it not minutes, or hours, or days, or weeks, or months — and yes, even years — since I was (we were) so alone. Look at how people here are holding one another up. . . it does my tired, tormented heart so much good. Every poem, every story, each jot and tittle. Everyone here is very dear to my heart.

So many tears after reading your thoughts on mothers and then fathers. I’m finding the tears are not all bitter — that’s a change. . . and a relief. That worrisome ache in my heart — for all the different-ness in my life. Thank you everyone — for sharing space with me on this page.

Darlene (and Kate) you mentioned shame. . . my constant companion. It’s interesting to me how someone’s comment triggers those awful, sorrowful, want-to-crawl-in-a-hole-and-die moments to be relived all over again (and isn’t it it interesting that simply adding an “e” to relived — creates relieved — because isn’t that what we are doing here as we summon courage to put finger to keyboard)?

Father’s, and shame, and haunting, tormented moments. . . I was carried back to being about 12 . . .that gangly, not child, not adult, awkward time in our growing up. . . no doubt dad’s done more than his share of drinking, and somehow there was a discussion of how much I weighed. . . and in the midst of family and neighbors, and dad’s drinking buddies, mom shows up with a scale and plops it down in the middle of everyone — and expects me to step aboard. Horrors. It was almost as bad as when someone noticed I had breasts. . . I cried, I cringed, I begged and pleaded . . . I groveled. . . I sobbed. Don’t make me do this. There was no way out . . . “117 lbs” my dad announces to the world — “No wonder you’re such a blubberbutt. . .” This humiliation has hounded me all my life. . .

Figures I went and married a man who would do the very same thing. . . and when he started turning that kind of talk on our kids — no way. When my ex started those sorts of exchanges with my son at the dinner table, I knew we were all in trouble. When he ran out of zingers for me, he started after our lovely, sensitive son. After he left the kids and I, it was years before my son could sit down for a meal at the table. And how do you explain a 10-year-old with ulcers?

No wonder my relationship with God is so difficult — Our Father, who art in Heaven. . . please show me the reality of a true father’s love and care — because I certainly don’t have a clue.


Hi Kate

I understand now what Darlene was saying as I explained . .I have been so programmed inside me that there are certain words ..ways of speaking..that i don’t use. I try to soften things ..so I don’t feel so much shame or do expose things too much. it’s my embarrassment. lack of humility.. whatever. that kept me from saying. .that mom did what she did. “prostituted” that I was result of that. .not wanted . no dad and really no mom since all my life i have lived with the label of “being her worst mistake” its such a terrible feeling..deep down. . knowing never was planned, never was wanted yet still here I am. ” who do I belong to?



Hi Nicole,
About the time frame for healing ~ I struggled for years with healing, by trying to “skip facing the truth” ~ you know being positive, not thinking about the negitive, getting “over” the past and leaving it in the past ~ but when I started looking at things the way they really happened, and went against ALL the advice about leaving the past in the past etc. it only took about 3 years to come to the day when (althoguh I knew the journey wasn’t over) I knew that the depression and fog WAS OVER. That is pretty quick considering that I was in my 40’s and that I had tried every other method of recovery since I was only 19 or 20 years old. This one (the one I write about here) WORKS! (although the abusers don’t much like me for presenting it this way!)
Hugs, Darlene


why do you have to belong to anyone? Just something to think about. I have both parents. I was wanted. They said they loved me, and yet I was totally devalued. Today I don’t think about parents that way, (that I belong to them) I would rather NOT belong to any person. (in fact one of the huge problems with that false system is “ownership” they think because they birthed me that they own me… which is just one more lie)
Again, just some food for thought.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ultralite.
Your post brought up some more for me too! What an awful thing to have happen to a young girl… (or anyone for that matter! can you imagine doing that to your teacher for instance? Pulling out the scale and everyone jeering and laughing? People don’t think aobut that in relation to others. They seem to think kids are not people with feelings) what a nightmare! Thank you for sharing and yay that you got yourself and your kids away from your EX too. 10 year olds don’t get sick like that just cause! I had two kids with issues caused by stress from school abuse. Even the dr.s said it was stress (and Jim and I were also in counselling at the time so that was also added stress for the kids) but that all got resolved when the stress was taken away. Interesting!
Hugs, Darlene



Part of the things kids use to say ” did you drop out of the sky” .. Didn’t dare tell them where I really come from. Not belonging not being accepted does mean something to me. but maybe some day it wont.. I am an alien from outerspace…no foo.. Here goes the tears again..but it pains me deeply .. belonging is not owning but having identity being a part of something…. . .knowing the rest are accepted and I am not .. is very very hard for me…I suppose I will come to see its not important but right now .. its still a very deep pain. .am sorry..


Thanks for the kudos. It is good to have a sister who has suffered like me.:0)


Darlene..ps.. I understand that i dont have to belong to be who i am but .. there is a part of me that wishes i someting to show .that says am still human… .. I feel bad for you that you had anad never felt wanted…I feel it deeply how you feel.. .i suppose we are same . only . people made fun because i had not . .even my own sibilings make fun of me now . .am someone no one wants around..:(



Just think how many of our cultural obligations, rituals, and tradiditons are occasions for and memories of trauma, disappointment, and abuse.


Joy, don’t be sorry, you have nothing to be sorry about.
The thing I am getting at is that YOU DO come from somewhere. You were born just like I was. There was an egg and a sperm, just like my beginning. I realized in my process of recovery that my identity (that was given to me by parents) was a huge lie anyway. They defined me as unlovable by their actions. and that doesn’t define me… so I shed that false identity. That is what I mean. I am part of something but it has nothing to do with the way that I was born or who birthed me or how.
I hope this helps clarify what I am talking about. This is all part of coming out of the “fog” that I always talk about. There are blog posts about this here on the blog.
Hugs, Darlene



I kinda know I came from the biological union of sperm and egg.that much i know but ..That everyone is denying i belong … denying me rights. .its painful. I understand i was born but any time possible its told me i was a mistake…over and over. seems its the theme song started by mom and carried on by siblings and on to extended foo. .that because i am a mistake i have no rights and because am a mistake am disgracing the famly.. if i wasnt a mistake bad things wouldnt happen to the family.

I know they are giving me too much credit that i couldnt possibly be the cause of all their problem.

I know am in this terribly thick fog and its scary but I know somehow am going am going to come out of this . I trust you Darlene and I know what you are meaning . and I thank you for ALL you do which is so so much.

Iknow I have an excellent T .. but wonder.. does she really know what at nut I am lol.. j/k.

I am going to be fine. thank you for taking time





“After he left the kids and I, it was years before my son could sit down for a meal at the table”

WOW, me too, with the crap from parents, married it, and then when it was done to my children, I finally got out.

And guess what, they also cannot stand to sit at a table and eat, not in my house anyway. And the thing is, that their memories at the table with me were good, at the table with me plus their dad, not good.

But after the divorce, they would not eat at a table with me anymore. I used to grind grains everyday and makde bread, coffee cakes, muffins, all sorts of goodies, we home schooled eight years, and our meals were a lot of fun, I thought. They took half the day to prepare, and my two oldest children were avid readers at age four, so they read books galore, gave reports on what they learned (this was not entertainment type reading) plus they learned to cook in the kitchen as well.

Yeah, their dad would bang his fist on the table and (I can’t believe I am typing these words) and yell that they weren’t holding their fork correctly. AND WHERE THE F___HELL WAS I to not say, “You are not holding your mouth right; that is NOT how you treat children…”
Forks are more important than persons? He even would lift the youngest two up by their shirt collars and act like he was doing them a favor by doing that to get their attention. I could throw up right now. They thought I agreed with this crap until I divorced him. Now it will take them years to sort it out.


this is actually the way that I really felt, that I was fooling my therapist into thinking that I wasn’t as crazy as I knew that I was… so kidding or not, I GET THAT comment! LOL Eventually I came out of the fog of that lie too!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene.am happy to finally be laughing at myself it really is quite funny how that all came out..lol . am thinking that right now if my T was to look at this she would be laughing a good hearty laugh at all my foolishness. ..there is no doubt that.my T knows me better than I know me…lol . i think..

Thanks for all.



wow this blog is so sad *hugs* to you all. I had two fathers the first ( Biological) I wanted to love me my whole life he and my mom were divorced when I was about 8 I hadn’t realized he had been molesting me since I was 2 until the dreams started I remember having strange dreams forever I just thought I was a whore like my mother had called me so many times then had a visit with him he took me out for dinner and drinks I remember being so happy he wanted a relationship with me finally !He kissed me in the car I was married and had 3 children I remember jumping out of the car and running ! I didn’t tell anyone I just went home and took a bunch of pills , because I knew I had to have done something wrong thats when the dreams started again I wound up in a hospital because again I was no good I never even thought he was no good I thought it was me I had an adoptive father I remember he would come to visit me while I was in hospital and bring me coffee but never not once in the 20 or so yrs that he was my Dad did he ever say he loved me he had mental issues of his own he wound up in hospital after he chased us down the street with a shotgun all the while trying to kill us he hired someone to rape me so my boyfriend he didn’t like wouldn’t want me I am talking totally mind blowing crazy Yet I loved my dad because he wanted me now I realize he wanted my mother and found some papers recently that since he married my mom and adopted us he got out of the draft What a crock of crap is that !!I have hidden all my feeling my whole life because somehow I was afraid to let anyone know the horrors I lived (I was afraid of people thinking I made it up ) I am learning from this blog I to take 2 steps forward and 20 steps back It is hard figuring this all out I am currently refusing to be treated poorly which is putting a strain on my marriage my husband and my 27 yr old bipolar son are currently not talking to me But for once in my life I don’t care about that I am caring about ME #1 I am working hard to keep that in focus I slipped back for a few hrs on Saturday because it is easier and more comfortable for me I am used to being treated like crap and I so want my husband to put me first but he has his own issues and I will no longer try to fix him because I really need all my energy to get by these days I also thought of deleting this site because reading all these posts takes a lot of work but here I am and I will not delete you I see everyone here working so hard and I truly think we will all get to where we need to be I am really glad I found a place where I don’t have to hide who I really am 🙂


Powerful post Darlene, and your Dad sounds in many ways like mine. I’m not sure if he is a poster child for ego induced ADHD or if he has so disassociated himself from any reality that doesn’t focus on him because of his upbringing. Either way when you are in the spotlight, it’s on and hot, and when you are not in it you are on the ‘sh*t’ list. Neither place is good, and growing up I learned to fear him and desperately wanted him to like me. In the process of healing I’m thinking that many times the lashing out came it was pushed by my Mom from the background so that he could only be the bad guy in those situations. Now that’s putting the fun in dysFUNctional! 🙂

A number of months ago I sent an email to my mother in response to her being upset at my writing, after those emails dried up when i stopped responding to the baits and digs the silence was both wonderful and shocking. Nothing. Amazing. I stopped fearing the phone, I stopped fearing them. For the first time in my life I didn’t fear them. I tested the waters on Sunday for a few moments on Yahoo. Nothing has changed, it’s like the Toby Keith song, “I wanna talk about me, I wanna talk about I…”

Am I happy about that? Not happy, but I’m at peace with it. Sadly at peace because it is entirely a choice, there is nothing here that isn’t able to be helped if someone wanted to work on it. But no matter how much I’ve tried, and even in quitting the trying, nothing makes a difference. It’s always about the golf, the work, the house, the motorhome. The dog. On the scale of important my little family comes after all of those things. That’s okay, I don’t WANT to be on a scale that puts people, machines and pets on the same measure.

Darlene I’m sorry this comment is so jumbled up. One of the truly shocking things my healing is showing me is how much my mother has manipulated things with my Dad and my brother and even back in time with my grandparents. It’s hard to refigure it all when the mystery factor (how did they know that, who could have pressured for that to happen, what is going on) is suddenly the person you previously saw (and who promoted herself) as an allie, someone to be trusted.

Almost 40 and finally I’m untangling this ball of wire that I didn’t even know was wrapped around my life, but I think this is the inside ball, the deeply tangled one that all the others were tied into.

Behind the curtain, no wizard waits.
Behind each betrayal a friendly face.
The hands that held also hurt.
The voice in public smiling,
Cut and bruised deeply
after the doors were closed.

Behind each heart breaking, “why?”
Behind each tear stained face.
The person who said, “I’m here”
Was the one who said, “There she is!”

That roaring sound?
The bus, running you down.

That cracking sound?
The myths shattering down.

That groan, that growl…
They are mine.
No words are left.
I don’t want to know
“why?” any more.
I just don’t.


or ego induced Attention Seeking Syndrome, ASS


YAY that you are not leaving in favour of doing the work! This is life saving, life changing amazing restorative work!
My goodness this is a very pain filled story you just posted. I want everyone who reads it to realize that this is how we come to believe that we do not have equal value to others. The actions of other defined us as unworthy, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a HUGE lie. We are worthy. YOU are worthy. Remember ~ all of us have equal value and don’t deserve to be treated “less than” anyone else.
Good for you Charlotte! So glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Shanyn
You remind me of me. I came through some of this stuff in the same ways with the same realizations, although I think it took me a lot longer to realize that all about him was a truth leak about how he wasn’t interested in me. I blamed my mother for the way my father was… but today I realize that he had his own choices. I blamed my father for things that were my mothers choice too. My father never protected me FROM my mother. I could go on and on. In the end, they are equally accountable for the all the ways that I was not valued. They have different details, different issues, different styles and different tactics, none of which I miss at all!
Glad you are here Shan, thanks for sharing!
Love and hugs, Darlene


Kate, I like that syndrome, ASS, does it have a treatment or support group yet? 🙂

Thanks for the love Darlene, it’s a blessing!


ASS!ROTFLOL!Boy, do I know some folks that need to be diagnosed!


ASS treatment is IGNORE–starve those asses!


Father’s Day, in addition to being bogus and a money maker, (why are we all so dumb?) it is a day, among many other days, to reflect on the importance/significance of fatherhood, what it is, and how can WE do better at finding and reproducing the qualities that constitute it?


Yesterday, I just didn’t feel up to dealing with Fathers Day, so, I didn’t.

Today I’m feeling better. I just read this post and all the comments, and now I am just so overwhelmed with COMPASSION for everyone who has written here. Also deep UNDERSTANDING, because, even when the details aren’t the same, the PAIN of being unloved, unwanted, ignored, falsely blamed, and made to believe that it was ALL MY FAULT that I was treated so badly… those FEELINGS are EXACTLY the same.

It helps, knowing I’m not the Only One with parents like mine, parents who treated me like I was unwanted, and less-than, and born worthless, crazy, broken, all of which were LIES… it helps, knowing I’m not the Only One, but it hurts, too.

I am one of those people whose memories started way back when I was 2, and even younger. I remember all of my life, pretty much, from age 2, on.

My mother barely remembers anything from before the age of 6, so she often questioned me, as I was growing up: “HOW is it POSSIBLE that you can remember the things that happened when we lived in Oakland, California, you were only TWO.” But even she had to admit that the vivid detail I remember are true… the little bungalow we shared with an older widowed woman named Doreous… I can still see in my mind the layout of the house, the little front porch, the small dirt yard, the yard next door that was all weeds, taller than my 2-year-old head…. I remember that the house had just 2 small bedrooms, Doreous stayed in the one bedroom, my parents’ double bed and my crib was crammed into the other bedroom. I remember, way too vividly, the things that went on in that bedroom.

I remember being left alone in my crib after my parents went to their jobs, and Doreous, who was supposedly being paid to babysit for me, as well as paid rent to share her house, she would leave me in the crib, wet, hungry, crying, for hours, the door shut, and me just staring at the wallpaper through the bars of the crib, and I wouldn’t be let me out until shortly before it was time for my parents to come home.

I remember the day that my dad came home a little early from work. I had been let out and was playing on the front porch with a couple of pennies that Doreous had given me. Dad said he was going to take me with him to get my mother at work. I remember how excited I was and how important I felt, getting to ride up in the front seat with my daddy while we drove to get my mother from her job.

We had to drive across the huge suspension bridge that goes across the bay from Oakland, to San Francisco where my mother work. There must have been an accident on the bridge that day, because all traffic came to a complete stop. After a few minutes of waiting in the car stopped in the traffic on the bridge, my dad started saying to me, in an eerie sins-song psycho-sounding voice, that he was going to throw me off the bridge. He made me look down and see how far down the water was. I can still see in my mind the boats so far down they looked like toys, and the sun shining so bright, reflecting off the water, that it hurt my eyes. My dad kept saying, “I’m going to throw off the bridge, Lynda, and you will fall waaaay down into the water and you will die! You don’t believe me, do you? I really am going to do it, I am not teasing you…”

At first, I thought he was teasing, the way he often teased me by grabbing one of my beloved dolls out of my hands and holding it out the front door, saying he was going to throw her outside and I would never see my doll again. I was two, so I would cry and plead and beg for my dollie, and my dad would get this look of immense satisfaction on his face, the more I cried and begged for him to not throw my doll away. Then he would always give the doll back to me, in the end, and I would feel such relief, gratitude that he hadn’t thrown her away, he was giving her back.

I thought this bridge thing was the same, he sounded the same, the eeried sing-song creepy voice saying over and over “I’m going to throw you off the bridge, Lynda, I really mean it, I really will.” I thought it was the same, and so I didn’t get too scared, but then it was like my dad realized that I didn’t believe him, because he had never really thrown any of my dolls away, and then my dad’s familiar teasing voice changed and he sounded very serious, as he said, “You think I am just teasing you, don’t you, like I tease you about your dolls. But I am not teasing you this time Lynda, I really mean it, I am going to throw you off the bridge way down into the water and you will die, you will be all gone,” and he started to open his car door to get out, and he was pulling my arm across the front bench seat, and then I believed him, and I still remember how I felt, I felt utterly powerless.

Just then, traffic started moving, so we got back in the car and drove on to mother’s work and my dad acted like nothing had happened. My mother showed me off to her coworkers and acted like a doting mother and bought me a package of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum out of the vending machine at her work, something she never did, but she was showing off for her coworkers.

Today, still, suspension bridges, and Juicy Fruit gum in the yellow package, make me remember.

It was shortly after the bridge thing, that my dad spanked me so hard, over and over and over and over and over he kept spanking me, hitting me as HARD as he COULD, because he had noticed that my feet were cold when we were sitting together on the sofa and he told me to go get my new slippers they had recently bought for me, and I could only find one slipper. When I came back out of the bedroom with just the one slipper, I said, “Daddy, I can’t find the other slipper.” I thought he would know where it was, adults knew everything. But he spanked me so hard that I couldn’t breathe, and then he told me to go back into the bedroom and look for my slipper and find it, I went back, I looked everywhere that a 2 year old could think to look, under the bed, under my crib, under the dresser, but I could not find it. I was afraid to come out and admit I could not find it, but my dad called me and told me to come out into the living room, then he demanded, “Did you find your slipper?” “N…n..no, Daddy,” I cried, barely able to get the words out, I was still crying so hard. And then he spanked me with all his might, all over again, hitting me over and over and over and over….

And this is what I remember. I remember my mother, sitting on the sofa, watching my dad hitting me with all his raging strength… and my mother was SMILING. A HUGE, ear to ear smile. I remember that I was as hurt and shocked by her smile, as I was by my dad’s beating my backside, for not being able to find one of my new slippers.

I also remember that Doreous’s bedroom door, which was also right off the living room, like our bedroom was, remained firmly closed.

It seemed to go on forever, dad spanking me as hard as he could, for as long as he could, while I struggled just to BREATHE through my sobs, and then sending me back to search again for the slipper, then calling me back to be spanked some more… eventually I gave up on looking, so when he would send me back to the bedroom to find my slipper, I would just stand there, struggling to breathe through my hiccupping sobs, just stand and wait for him to call me back into the living room to be beaten some more for not finding that damn slipper.

My daddy was so worried about my little feet being cold~ NOT.

And my mother grinning like a Chesire Cat through the whole thing.

And Doreous silent behind her bedroom door.

And Lynda was only TWO so she wouldn’t REMEMBER so therefore it didn’t MATTER, you could do whatever or say whatever you wanted to little Lynda because she was only a THING to be used to take your frustrations out on, and her basic childhood needs could be so frustrating.

My dad died in 1988 when I was almost 35. I do not miss him, ever.



Hi Lynda
This is a really horrible story! My gosh, what the hell kind of people DO that to a little kid? (well we already know that answer, don’t we.. sick malfunctioning, dysfunctional people) I am so sorry that happened to you. You know that this is legally liable today? He could have killed you. I am so sorry that you suffered all that horrific abuse when you were a child and beyond. And they think WE were the crazy ones!? yikes.
Thank you so much for sharing Lynda.
Hugs, Darlene



that description of that struggling to get your breath, oh my god,that does bring back some memories of what it was like to be spanked really hard. My dad did it with a belt, once, but once was all he had to do to make his point to me…my mother did it everyday of my life, not with a belt, but with anger, and I felt so worthless

And i can see why you would remember these things. I have memories from my life when i was pretty young.


AND it is hard to stand up to them when you are small and they are big…still in your mind, after growing up, you remember what it was like to be SMALL and they were BIG


[…] and I read her Fathers Day post, “Celebrating Fathers Day Without a Father,” http://emergingfrombroken.com/celebrating-fathers-day-without-a-father/ and I also read all of the many reader comments, and now I am feeling utterly overwhelmed with […]


Oh Lynda big cyber *hugs*


Lynda, adding my (((Hugs))) to those that Charlotte sent to you. I remember some things from the age of 2. I remember more from age 3, like my dad making my baby brother who had to be about 1 1/2 at the time smoke a cigar until he was sick and throwing up. My dad laughed and thought it was funny. I was horrified and afraid that I was next. At 3, I knew that what my daddy was doing was wrong. During that same time period, my brother was sleeping on an army cot while I slept at the foot of my parents’ bed between their feet. I have always wondered why I didn’t sleep at the foot of the cot where my brother slept? If anything sexual was done to me back then, I don’t remember it.

Yesterday is the worst Father’s Day that I think I have ever had with feelings running all over the place – anger, fear, confusion, sadness and grief. My stomach was tied in knots and I wanted to throw up. When I got dizzy around 4:30 p.m. I laid down for about an hour and even slept for a short time. Then I felt better.

I didn’t tell my husband, son or daughter-in-law why I was feeling the way that I did. Our son and his wife came over to celebrate Father’s Day with a cookout with his dad. I just let the three of them handle everything. Today I shared the article that I posted yesterday about Father’s Day with my husband. I didn’t want to ruin his day yesterday. I recently have started sharing more of what I write on my blog with my family. My daughter subscribes to my blog but my husband and son don’t read it unless I ask them to.

Today was a much better day. I think what is going on is that I made the decision recently to start doing some inner child work and I think that loosened the emotions that I felt yesterday. I am going to continue with what I have started. I will also be gentle with myself as I take these healing steps forward. Thanks to everyone for being here.


Ps. 8, “You have taught children and nursing infants to give you praise, They slience your enemies who were seeking revenge.”


the child and the nursing infant have memories, and those memories and questions come back later in life for the benefit of everyone


Oh Lynda. . . I am so sorry. Your story brings up so many memories. . . I know that bridge. . . and it is terrifying even for an adult. . . I remember being just a little kid, and dad took me out on a surf board and tossed me in the water to teach me to swim. . . One of several times I almost drowned.

And Kate. . . I know the horror of being spanked with a belt. We kids knew we were in deep doo-doo when dad would say, “Go — bring me Sam Browne.” He would start wailing on us with his police belt, always starting with me. And mom had a stick like a dowel that eventually warped in the shape of our backsides. Now a-days parents who treated kids like us would be turned over to Child Protective Services. . .

I remember my mom burning my brothers’ hands for playing with fire. She caught them smoking and made them smoke cigarette after cigarette so they wouldn’t do it again. She almost poisoned one with liquid dish soap, washing his mouth out after hearing him curse. . . And to her dying day she would never admit that anything she did came close to being abusive.

And whenever she was pissed and would say, Wait ’til your father gets home, I knew I was doomed. Because dad would come home and tell us to line up, and me, being the oldest, was always at the head of the line.

I could never bear to lay a finger on my kids when they were growing up. . . they could be disciplined in so many more positive and effective ways. Besides, you never saw June Cleaver beating the Beaver. . . You’d think mom would have noticed.


one of my children told the mediatior (divorce/relocation mediation) that he didn’t like it when dad spanked them all for what one did (left something on the floor–a childish move–he was actually getting back at me for not having the house clean when he got home–even though they were the ones suffering)HE blamed it on me that he did that–he blamed it on me to the mediator–he told her it was my fault–its so painful to me to think about it now


Yikes, Ultralite,
Reading this stuff just makes me wince! She bruned him! All those things today would absolutly be legally liable. I got the belt too. The thing I remember is my mother losing her temper and today looking back I know that we tried so hard NOT to upset her so that the temper wouldn’t flare. I believed that I was responsible for getting the belt or not ~ because I believed that I could make her angry or not. It was CRAZY!
Hugs, Darlene


I totally GET this! This is a whole other area of my training ~ the whole marriage misuse of power and control thing ~ but yes, the kids will often blame the mother for what the father does, (and the father often wants them to so that he can have more power over everyone in the house. This is a whole other area of what I talk about on this blog!) and this is a huge area.
Hugs, Darlene



That was horrible. I had the same experience. I thought that I literally MADE my mother angry and then, of course, I deserved whatever followed. The other message that went with that assumption is that I was REALLY a BAD person. Along with the other demeaning names and scowls, yes, I must have been a really BAD person.

I will never forget my third child, still around age 4-5, watching me yell one day, which I didn’t do often, it was sort of different to him, and he just watched me for a moment, and then kind of grinned and chuckled, and I thought, “good for you. You don’t fall for it, that it is your fault, he knew it was my choice.”


WOW, Darlene, can’t wait for more on this area. It is like my narc ex is getting back at his narc mom by cutting me to shreds, (but still LUVS up to her, and is supported by her sometimes)HE DOES NOT put her in her place, but instead, just created another like family so he could power over ME, the mom.

WOW, yeah, my ex was number five and he insisted we stop at four–got a vasectmoy.

And get this, HIS narc mom was the one who told him to beat ME, that would be the only thing I could understand.


When the irresponsible narc man goes to replace his narc mother, he chooses a submissive woman, (NOT a narc) that was me…tragic, and wish that someone would have put this into words before I had kids with him


My dad was also a cruel teaser. The point of all of it was to show me that he had complete control of me. My life was in his hands. What weak and cowardly men who have to feed off of the terror of their own children in order to feel manly. My mother alway sat by too and when it was over and I was scolded for crying, for being terrified, or angry and not being able to take teasing, she supported him in it.

Remember Lynda, they hate us for the things they have done to us. Otherwise, they would die from the sheer weight of their own shame.


My dad never spanked as part of dicipline. It was more like stepping on a land mine when I happened to do something that displeased him. I never knew what he would do or when it would happen. I don’t think the thought of any kind of dicipline entered his mind, it was only about him, what pleased him and what didn’t. It was never about teaching me anything. I had a record of Selent Night. It was my only record, a 45 and I loved it. I played it over and over again not knowing I was bothering anyone. He suddenly couldn’t take the annoyance any longer. He flew into a rage,broke my record in half, and broke the record player. I think I was five. My mother continually reminded us, “Shhhh!You’ll hurt Daddy’s feelings!” He was an emotional terrorist. I was punished with terror.


What you wrote about your dad is accurate for mine as well. To this day, any phone conversation or anything, which is why I avoid him as mmuch as possible.


I have not had a chance to read thru all the responses here, but Darlene between this post and your “Withholding Emotional Involvement – Passive Abuse” post that you linked to, I see both of my parents. I think that your relationship with your dad was like mine with my mom, and vice versa. My mom was/is emotionally unavailable. I think emotions terrify her. My dad was the one who told me how worthless, stupid and incapable I was. I just realized on Father’s Day that it is ten years since his death. Honestly, I don’t remember the exact date, but it was June or July of 2001. (I remember it was before 9/11) I could never understand why I didn’t like Father’s Day or why I felt I had to try to make myself feel warm, fuzzy feelings for him. It was not until after he died that I had the guts to even TRY to understand that whole mess that was my family of origin. As Lynda said about her dad, I have never missed him. I believe he had Borderline Personality Disorder, but your comments about your dad’s photo being next to the definition of “dissociated” makes me curious to do some more research regarding my mom.

This past mothers day, I called to see if she wanted to go to the movies. I really didn’t know what else to do. I’d been struggling, was tired, and was not up to making a full meal for just her, me and my daughter. I also knew it would be well beyond my mom’s comfort zone to sit, just the 3 of us at home, through a whole meal. So when I called, she told me she was going to a local theater performance with a friend. This gentleman usually takes one of her friends or her (widows), but the other ladies said they could not go because it was on Mother’s Day. So my mom said “No problem!” and she went – like she has no kids. It just felt so odd. She did stop by later for a special dessert I’d gotten for her, and we did have a nice visit, but brief, the only way she can handle. I have, I believe, made peace with knowing that I simply cannot have expectations for any kind of emotional relationship with her. It’s all pretty ‘surface’, and that’s all she can give. I am very fortunate and thankful that she has not been emotionally abusive to me (just unavailable, and I know there is a difference) though I’ve heard about remarks that she makes to my siblings. I get them occasionally, but honestly they are few and far between. I’ve always thought she was less prone to make cutting remarks to me becs she left when I (youngest of 4) was in junior high, and I was the one left at home with my dad longer than any of the others. So much still to look at there …

I loved what you said about the things your dad never talked with you about in the Passive Abuse post. It rang so true for me. I remember once, when my late husband (stepdad to my kids) was talking with my son, he said something to my son like, “You are growing up and the decisions you are making are going to affect the kind of man you will be. You need to think about what kind of man you want to be, and about the decisions you are making.” Wow! I had an immediate stomach ache and wanted to jump in and stop him!!! Why? Because you just don’t talk about those kinds of things, that’s why! Parents do NOT discuss those things with their kids. (?!?) But … healthy people do, they challenge their kids and offer guidance and instruction. This was just too dangerous a place for me, even as only a witness to the conversation. It scared me so much. How very sad. I think this is what real dads (and moms) do. I know my late husband talked with his own kids this way; they were adults when he died, and they miss him and love him still, every day. Such a foreign concept to me.

Lots of rambling; these two posts stirred up a lot for me. I know I don’t get a chance to comment often, but your work helps me so much. I have deep respect for you and for the others here. Sharing stories can be painful, but it is SO powerful and good and right. Thank you.


and I should clarify – I did not wait until Mothers Day to call my mom and invite her out/over; I called ahead of time and she’d already made plans ~ avoidance plans, I think.


Hi Pam,
I had to comment on your mom telling you to “shhhsh… you will hurt daddy’s feeling” Was that supposed to be a nice way of warning you that you would CAUSE him to blow up if you didn’t shush? I have heard so much about this dynamic where the one parent actually teaches the kids that they have the power to contribute to or SET daddy off (or mummy) OFF. Why didn’t she just stand up to Daddy?? or was she afraid that she would get the same if she did that??? (not real questions that I expect you to answer Pam)
Thanks for sharing this.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Monica
it is very common for the “my mom” to be exchanged with a Dad. I am just glad that people are reading the posts and relating regardless! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to comment. I think that emotional unavailability is just as painful as emotional abuse… in fact in my view today it still IS abusive. It still reminds me that I am not a priority, not important enough in my fathers life for him to be interested in me. I sometimes don’t think that any kind of abuse is different in the ways that if effects us.
Glad you are here Monica
Hugs, Darlene


Avoidance plans, yes, and another word that I have discovered in my own experiences, finally, is “lies”.


I’m still afraid of him, wary to be exact. I can’t look him in the eye either because of all his lies and I also don’t want him to see what I’m thinking or feeling.


Well, I get that. I couldn’t stand looking him in the eye either. And I still can’t. I never have been able to stand it.

I can’t stand looking at a photo of him. He always had to do this scowling thing for most photos (unless the church directory.) It was like he wanted everyone to know that taking pictures was a girls’ activity and it was beneath him. And I would NEVER point it out and ask why was everyone but him smiling? Why do you scowl in your photos? He would huff and puff and sigh everytime my mother wanted to take photos. It became an excuse to yell at me or my kids, etc., it was awful. How did that help get it done? I mean, when are this miserable, why did you have a family to begin with?

I had to live with them for four months with my four kids after a divorce six years ago. I got to the point where the mommy bear just came out in me and I blurted out many things that HAD to be said. It only helped me survive, and finally leave. He still managed to insult; he doesn’t do anything else, really. I used to think it was that he had certain standards, priorities, intolerances, or subjects, but that isn’t it.. What he has is arrogance and it has to come out.

I had to call there the other day about our house that they watch while we are not living there this year. (we may have a buyer for it this week, praise God!!) He answers the phone. My mother does emails. Neither one of them will do both. I won’t call because I can’t stand the way he talks to me. But I had to call about the house. He told me that he hasn’t heard from me in many months. I asked why he wasn’t checking his emails… and later in the conversation he said that he bets that I spend all my days in bed or on the computer. It was just sickening and disgusting. The recovery time from these conversations is just TOO great.


Pam, so IF you ever DO have to look him in the eye, the “mommy bear” is going to come out in you. The mommy bear that protects YOU. Don’t let down for an instant. Remain in that state of mind.



I married a new husband three years ago. We work together in the kitchen. We love this. We invent things, bake bread, etc., it is wonderful. My dad comes over, we had them over once or twice in the two years that we were there. My dad sees my husband in the kitchen cutting up peaches, and he remarks that obviously his wife has him under her thumb, or some such insulting remard. He acts like my husband must hate being in the kitchen, just insulting the integrity of our relationship, which is why we spend little to no time with them.

He wouldn’t bend a finger to help his wife until the day he retired and yet had the breath to BLAME my mother for NOT wanting company!!!! Well, DUH!!!!!

I made the mistake of trying to buddy up to their little church crowd in my early twenties. I ate lunch at my parents’ home and sat at the table talking to their guest. After a while, my dad comes up to me with a look in his eyes that would have killed me if he could have and told me to GET OVER THERE AND HELP YOUR MOTHER WITH THOSE DISHES AND THIS KITCHEN!!!!! In other words, HOW DARE YOU, YOU of all people, think that YOU can set here and enjoy yourself! Don’t you DARE think that again!! A simple, “would you help, or let’s help”, now there is a new thought. Imagine HIM helping!!!!!


He was always like that on Sundays, come to think of it. There had to be a blow up of some sort before church to remind us how unworthy we truly were, at least that is what it felt like to me at the time.

Let me say what it feels like now. Now that I know that my parents didn’t do much sleeping together, my mother never said “i love you” to her own husband, yet he supports her financially, giver her a home, etc., and he truly admires the women at church, for their godly vitures, and only certain ones, but it is really nauseating, we had a church split and he gave a woman a book to read to get her on the right page, and he had to tell me about her coming to him really pissed off about this book, I mean, WHY in the #$%^&&%$# did THEY need to be talking to each other about this crap? I smell something fishy. And I always have.


And then there was, day in and day out, PRAISE of the last sermon that he heard. “I’m sending you the tape, I want you to listen to it.” “Have you listened to that sermon?” Truly, the only thoughts worth thinking belonged to someone who didn’t live in our home.


The last realtor that listed our house, worked with my dad years ago. When she saw his picture hanging on our wall (I since hid it) she tood there and looked at it for a while, and finally said, “He looks so, she”righteous”. then we are convinced that she proceeded to trash the sale of our home. It was miserable what we went through.
NO more dealings with people who are connected to him in any way. I don’t even want to be at the funeral because i know what that personality cult’s liturgy is and I will not give them a platform again. They took WAY too much of my life.


Pam and Kate, I relate to the unpredictability (and so much more) you refer to when speaking of your dads. It was terrifying. I didn’t know it was at the time, becs it was all I knew and I thought it was how everyone lived. But in retrospect, I was so very afraid. When life is unpredictable – when you have no idea where the next land mine lies – how do you ever function? How does a child grow and learn and love? It’s not possible.

My dad’s tyrades could be done in front of others (family only, and NOT stepfamily later in my childhood), but the more terrifying ones were done in private, and there are still those who would never believe today what happened way back when. They never knew that side of him and I am concvinced could never believe it existed.

Boy, can I TELL you how thrilled I was when I finally got caller i.d. those many years ago? It was then very easy to avoid his calls and call back when I had had a little time to ‘prep’ myself. And he always asked why I never called him. I never had the strength to speak the truth to him. “Emotional Terrorist” is spot on, Pam. I don’t recall anyone ever telling me to shhh or I’d make daddy mad; I think I just instictively knew that from a very young age and always tried to keep myself in check. In his later years, he ‘mellowed’ and was great with his step grandkids. My brother says dad was much more calm. I suppose he was, but I never was able to trust it. Never. And I also know he would call me and have much different conversations than he had with my brother (for instance, demanding answers from ME about why my SISTERS acted certain ways. And *I felt GUILTY for not having any answers*! How screwy is that?!?!?)

“Wary” and “afraid” – I can relate to both of those. Ten years he’s been dead … and I can still feel those things! gah! A little secret? Last year, I took a small framed pic of him and my step mom and put it face down on a shelf in the basement. She died just after my husband, 5 years ago. WHY did I think I never had permission to do that before? IT FELT GOOD. It was just my own way of saying, “Things were not what they seemed, and I know it now. And I don’t have to pretend anymore.” Amen.


Yeah, my mother was mad at me when I was three, because I wouldn’t eat meals for two weeks. because for two whole weeks my parents and I stayed with college kids two states away at a camp. My dad is, guess what? Paying attention to his wife and daughter? Bet not! He is doing volleyball and sprains his ankle, and he is climbing up into the cabin, and my mother opens the door and knocks him down the steps. i just know that his attention was elsewhere and THAT is the reason i was not comfortable enought to eat. This trip is when I started being carsick while ridig in mountains. But to this day I have a longing for the mountains in TN…? It is a real physical phenomenon with me. I feel a huge relief w


when I am in the Smoky Mountains. Also, my dad’s dad reprimanded him for going down to that camp and playing with college kids when he had a wife and me to care for.


I’m like that when I get whiff of Pinion trees. All the tension just goes out of me.

I read all the rest and will be back to reply later. You too, Monica.

My husband calls me the “She Bear”…


Kate, Monica,

It’s silly for me to still be afraid of my dad. He’s 80 some and couldn’t hurt me. If he flew into a tantrum, as he did when I was a child,it would probably kill him. I know it is the little girl in me that is afraid.

My dad still plays sick to get attention. After I was an adult and he and my mom were living on my property, he developed cateracts. He played it to the hilt, claiming to be blind, wearing sun glasses inside and out. One day, when I went to check on them, we were talking and I impulsively stuck my tongue out at him. He reacted without thinking and stuck his tongue back out at me. Gotcha! Boy did that feel good!


ha! Pam! You stuck your tongue out – that’s awesome! Wouldn’t it be something to know the thougth process that followed on his part??? Did he realize he’d been ‘caught’? Did he step up the theatrics after that? Did it make him angry, embarrassed? Their minds can be such a mystery.

No, it’s not silly at all to still be afraid of your dad. It’s very basic and elemental to the way they made us, how they somehow wanted and needed for it to be. My dad would be in the age range of yours if he was still alive, and I’m still afraid of him even when he’s dead! ; ] I can’t imagine that I would have made much if any progress in my own mental health were he still alive, so great and ingrained was my fear of him.

My late husband and I were married in 1999 and my dad and stepmom came to our wedding. My best friend, upon seeing my dad, said to me, “Wow. From the way you described him, I imagined him much bigger.” To which I could only reply, “Me too.”

It’s what they taught us – fear. And it’s much deeper than physical fear or threat.

Kate, I am a very visual thinker and learner, so is it wrong that when I pictured your mom opening the cabin door and knocking your dad down the steps … I giggled? But I did! I suppose it’s kind of like thinking of the playground bully getting what’s coming to him. It’s not really pleasant to watch someone else getting hurt, but there is some satisfaction in seeing natural consequences play themselves out and see the bad guy get his. (This is the stuff of hollywood movies, after all, and why we like to see the good guy win.) I’m just sorry that you, as a small child, bore the brunt of it ~ and of so much else.


Here in Colorado Springs, we have plenty of fragrant Pinion Pine. I didn’t say it this year. After saying it for 50 years (I’m 57) I did not say Happy Father’s Day to my step-father, who is 78. His only redeeming quality is that he is caring for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s and terminal cancer, and she is at home. I called, as has been my habitual obligation for years and years. I even bought a rubber stamp one years so I could make my own Father’s Day cards. How do I look at that? The cards on display at the stores never got it right because I don’t feel the bond that the cards imply. The rubber stamp merely says Happy Father’s Day. But I gave the stamp away last year. This year, I called, and I couldn’t say the words. What kind of father was he anyway? I was … I can say it here… I was raped by my father and brother… set up for a lifetime of depression, anxiety, migraines, and PTSD. So what kind of father was my step that did NOT create a nurturing, nourishing environment where I could go to him for warmth, kindness, love, and compassion. His parenting style was “parenting by omission” of all that a father should be: hmmm, what should a father be? Maybe I need to read a card that never quite fit the “parent” I got by default. So, I called on Father’s Day, but I hung up without ever saying the words, after 50 years of choking them out! Yay! There’s power in what is purposely unspoken. Thanks for the forum Darlene!


Hello, I’m posting all over this site having just found it a few hours ago.
My mother left my father when I was almost 4 years old. She was pregnant with their 3rd child but having discovered another infidelity decided he wasn’t going to change. This is her version – close to the truth I think, but I do ask myself what were her issues that she married such a rat in the first place.

He proceeded to ignore us – never a card/visit/letter.He also managed to underpay child support – never enough to spend time in prison but never the full amount on time.

At 28 years old when pregnant with his grandchild I met him outside court when he was applying at last for a divorce(my mother would not divorce because she was Catholic). He ignored me – walked straight past as if I wasn’t there. I can blame my mother for the verbal and emotional abuse as she struggled to bring up 3 children on her own but his abuse of his family is the root cause.
I apparently missed him terribly because he did used to play with me but I have frozen all feeling for him. He’s dead now so no chance to find out what he was like.

I have never celebrated father’s day – and have no feelings around it at all. I don’t even know where to start.


Hi Lynn
What a nightmare! Thank you for sharing, and for your courage. Thanks for sharing your victory on Fathers day too! YAY
Hugs, Darlene

p.s. I published a new post called “when children are not regarded as actual people” the readers of this post might enjoy it !!


Hi Jackie
Please feel free to post as much as you like! The amounts of pain triggered around fathers day and mothers day shock me. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I don’t understand how a father could just keep walking. Even though I know it happens all the time, to millions of children, it still shocks me. You were just an innocent child.
Thank you for sharing.
hugs, Darlene


He knew he was caught and he knew it immediately after he stuck his tongue out at me. He was embarrassed and the sun glasses weren’t on the next day. I know he did have cateracts but he was not as helpless as he was letting on. He’s like a little kid…



I so appreciate your thoughts and feelings on this topic. My father too was emotionally unavailable. The dysfunction runs so deep. My father died last year, he was an alcoholic, I gave up on my dad when I was 11. My parents finally divorced and it truly was for the better. I didn’t have the constant reminder that I was unloved and unwanted by him. I guess he tried in his own messed up way to try and tell us he loved us, but failed nonetheless. My father never hugged me, never told me things would be ok, never listened to me and barely protected me. The only thing he ever did to protect me was to pick me up after school in the fifth grade since I nearly got abducted by a stranger who followed me home, thank god I outsmarted the stranger and the only reason my parents believed me was because my older sister confirmed that it really did happen. The only good thing I can remember about my dad was that he was very generous to people and one day on my quest for god he told me, Jennifer it doesn’t matter what church you go to…god is always there, church is in the heart….I will never forget that….for that is true. Thanks for listening.


@ Lynn

I just wanted to say two thumbs up….way high up!!! 🙂


@ Lynda,

Your story brought tears a rolling. I have much compassion for you


Darlene, after reading your post and many of the comments, I have realized whether it be an absent father, an enabling father or an abusive father, the hurt and brokenness still occurs.

I begged my mother to divorce my father from the time I was 13 until I moved out of the house so the abuse would stop. In response to her stating she wouldn’t be able to support us, I told her I would quite school and get a job. In my 30’s I found out he had actually had told her he would kill all of us if she ever left him. He was a nasty man and I believe he would have. I still live in fear of him coming to my house some day and shooting me.

If he would have been absent, I probably would still have the raw, emotional brokenness because all we want to be is loved and cherished by our fathers.



I just read your poem, I love it, thanks for sharing!!!


Hi Jenny thank you . .I write sometimes two poems a day .. it is a form or healing for me. some poems are so light filled ..others are true expression of the moment I am going through. .am grateful to be able to write.

Do you write verse?

I am sorry you felt distanced from your dad.. and that he is now gone from your life.. I never knew mine and mom never wanted me.



Hi Joy,

I do write, yes, I don’t share it often. I am sorry that your parents weren’t there for you either…it breaks my heart to think of so many beautiful innocent little people with their hearts broken….I am doing my best as a mom to give my daughter the life I never had…hugs to you Joy.


Jenny ..no doubt you are so much better than many. I feel you are so good to your daughter..

In my heart, I could never hurt anyone for I have know what pain feels like in so many ways.. I think we who have suffered couldn’t ever raise our hands to hurt another..

I am saddened to realize so many others have suffered intensely from mean mother father sister or brother or relative..

I just can’t understand it all. When I do i break down into many tears..



Hi Jenny
Thank you for sharing this part of your own story. It has touched me I am at a loss for how to respond. (unusual for me)
Hugs, Darlene

Hello Hold Fast
Yes, this is very insightful. The hurt and brokenness always occurs.
Thank you for this highlight.
Hugs, Darlene


@ Joy,

Thank you for your encouragement….I know how you feel so hurt and baffled by other’s horrific behavior…the thing I just can’t wrap my head around is the fact that it only takes one person to stand up and protect a child….and yet, not ONE person in my family could come forward to protect us kids….that speaks volumes….I have stood up to quite a few people and I am going to keep on doing it….I am working on boundaries and I am going to succeed on having strong ones.

@ Darlene,

There is no way I have rendered you speechless….LOL…I am glad my story has touched someone…thanks….


Honestly, true story! LOL
Sometimes I feel like words just don’t do it… I mean I always try, but jeeze.. It is so great to know that we are not alone, not the only ones that all this happened to, but at the same time, like Joy is saying, it is painful to know just how common all this is. It is painful to feel the pain of others, and at the same time it is healing too!
(there.. I found words… LOL)


@Jenny I understand .. i had no one. my mom beat me daily and helped my older bro do bad things to me as a 6 year old. She who gave me life tried to take it 3 times.. and told me till I left and after that i was her worst mistake..every time i type this my eyes pour out the tears.. my daddy split as soon as they did the deed . i was the result of a need for cash. .she spent my whole time at home telling me how much she didnt want me and i asked her why didnt she abort me and she said she wanted to but she couldtn because of the church rules.. i live knowing all this . its’ terrible knowing the one who gave you life never wanted you to have life and tried so hard to take it..this is why i never consider suicide an option . iknow in my heart .. that many times i could have died in all that nonsense and didnt..

the church who should protect others hid all it knew and told me to keep quiet..

I find it all so hard so so hard to understand. .mom dad family church and god all approved the terrible things done to me.


@ Joy,

I don’t want to get all into religion or beliefs…although it is my belief that god does not co-sign that bullshit…it is evil people who use his name the wrong way….I have a dream to share…I don’t remember when I had it…but it has by far exceeded any other dreams I have ever had.

I went to heaven and met god….it was like this huge white, monstrous temple..like a greek temple and all of the angels were hanging around just a little above the ground..but floating….everyone was so happy and content…they welcomed me with smiles…there was no talking, just the sound of water and there was water covering the ground…kind of like a fountain….and then, there he was, god, just sitting in a chair….he had a long long white beard and when he saw me, he held his arms open for a big hug….I floated over and got lost in his hug….his heart spoke to me and told me he loved me and he was so glad I was home….I had never been more content in all of my life…I longed for nothing…I woke up that morning feeling on top of the world….and I have never shared that with anyone….thanks for listening.



hope your dreams come true for you . .thanks for sharing was quite



Joy…that dream is what I hope everyone gets to experience, pure love and acceptance….hugs


I had pretty much the exact same relationship with my Father. He died a month before I had my second baby when I was 28. He was 54. A part of me will forever miss him because like your Father he was good at chatting people up and personal relationships were dysfunctional. Another part of me feels relief and satisfaction that I don’t have to run that hamster wheel anymore and my kids won’t get caught up in it. I know that sounds horrible, but when he passed away, I didn’t grieve. I had grieved our relationship for years before. I was done. I grieved for those that grieved for him. I never cried and I just kind of wished the whole thing would be over. He was a very giving man, just not to me. He had a fantastic relationship with my younger sister who never fails to remind me that he was her “Daddy” and I better not mess that vision up. My Mother (a sociopath) seems to think he was better than her father and that’s a good thing. Life sucks sometimes….there isn’t anything you can do except change and be who you’re meant to be. It is what it is I suppose.


Hi J.
I totally understand the grieving thing happening for years before. I did that with both my parents. (they are still alive) I actually think that it makes sense what you said; to be relieved. Yes… why wouldn’t you be? I asked a therapist if I “had” to love my parents. It was a huge question for me to say out loud, but just the fact that I was thinking about it is very telling.
And about your sister, she may have just been in a more efficient denial then you were in. I have siblings who defend my father too.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Jenny
I love your dream. I feel that kind of acceptance from God in my life today. It was one of the bonus of getting through all this stuff… I got this truth based understanding of things that used to confuse me so much. I feel such acceptance from God… just like you described in your dream. It is so wonderful, I don’t worry about pleasing Him anymore.. I just feel so much at peace with it.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene



My pleasure to share and have that appreciated!! It’s funny because when I wrote it, I almost didn’t post it…I thought what will they think?? I’m I totally going off the deep end? I question myself alot but I do it anyway….I can’t let others approval or disapproval of me rule my actions any longer…


This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! YAY!!



Feels really good to say that!! YAY!!!!



I appreciate your dream..but my dreams of heaven are different ..am glad that dream makes you feel good . i think heaven for each person will be what makes each one happiest..


[…] By Darlene Ouimet trapped like a fish on a hook A couple of weeks ago, on the thread for the father’s day post in the emerging from broken facebook page, someone made a comment that bothered me.  Everyone was […]


Hi – I just found this site randomly. Ironically – I was doing a search on “I just had a fight with my daughter and I feel really bad”. I had scolded her this morning for playing video games instead of getting ready and it made me late for work but after dropping her off at grandmas I started feeling bad, knowing I had overreacted. I don’t know what I was looking for in that search, but this is what I found.

My father left me and my mother when I was a Jr. in High school. Apparently he had been cheating on her with a co-worker for about 8 years. I had absolutely no clue. I remember just sinking in the kitchen doorway as he left with his last bag and just sobbing (I have no idea where my mom was at the time – in some other room I think) – he ignored me completely and just left. The whole situation came as a complete shock to me – I was a teen in my own world and saw none of it coming. One day he was there and the next – gone. Things have never been the same since.

We had an “ok” relationship growing up. He had a horrible temper, I got spanked and slapped across the face a few times and he yelled constantly it seemed, but I can say our relationship wasn’t all bad. He could be fun and liked to joke around a lot.

When he moved out he moved into a house in the country. He had always fancied himself as a country boy so I’m sure this was a hoot for him. Getting to “make believe” and all. I visited him about twice out there, but it was just too strange – pretending nothing was weird. He came for Christmas that year – that was completely awkward. I remember wishing he hadn’t come, it ruined the whole day. Nobody fought – but everyone was just silent and very sad which was actually worse. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea to my parents at the time but it was too soon after the fact I think.

A few months later he moved several states away for a job. His home-wrecker lover followed him there (Which I am sure was the plan all along, we were in a small town, they could have never stayed here). My mom initiated counseling (as she had legal right in our state since had petitioned divorce) but that was all a waste of time. She got her heart broken – again. Meanwhile whore moves in with him and eventually they marry. I try to keep it in perspective that my dad is also a whore and a home-wrecker. His “lover” was also married with a family of her own. Her daughter used to baby-sit me actually. *rolls eyes*

After he moved that was really a big turning point. I hardly ever heard from him after that. The calls gradually tapered off to the point of non-existence. Now and then I get a call from him – I’d say it averages once per year. I haven’t seen him in person I’d say for 2+ years now. My daughter has met him about 3 times in her life (she is 7). Probably only one time that she can remember. She often asks me if my dad is dead and cannot remember his first name. I find this incredibly sad. But what can you do? He forgot her birthday for the first time this year. Didn’t even call or send a card. I called him for his birthday (which is about a week after hers) and he mentioned my daughter’s birthday and that “oh he had forgotten but was going to send something out next week” – he really had me going for a minute there! But nothing ever came.

I don’t think he does what he does with mal-intent. I think he’s just a fucking moron. He knows I hate his whore wife, he knows she is not welcome in our home (so yeah that makes it difficult for him to visit I guess?). Once he told me the only reason he didn’t visit more often is because his wife didn’t feel welcomed and that makes her feel bad. I told him – well your wife has really good percpetions because she isn’t welcome in our house and I don’t give a shit how it makes her feel. Note – I wasn’t yelling – just stating it matter of factly. He hung up on me and we didn’t talk for a year after that. And honestly I am ok with that. I don’t understand why he doesn’t understand why I want nothing to do with her – never have and NEVER will. She is not my family, and her family is not my family. I get sick of hearing about his grandkids and what they are up to when he can’t even take the time to give his real grandkid a phone call or send a card or in some way let her know he is even alive (because clearly she is questioning even that!).

Sometimes I wish he would just quite contacting me all together. I think it’d be easier for me if I just didn’t even have to stress over it. This past fathers day was EXTREMELY stressful for me. What should I do – should I call – should I send a card – should I ignore it – I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Eventually I ended up sending him an email around 11:30 at night. Saying some lie about how I had tried to call earlier but hadn’t gotten a response but wanted to say happy father’s day. ugh.


Meanwhile I have this “friend” who insists that if I don’t repair the relationship with my father that someday I will regret it. First, i don’t feel it is my job to repair anything. I never broke it in the first place. Secondly – my life is better when I am not thinking about him – not when I am.


I’ve thought about just telling new people I meet that my dad is dead. It’s easier than trying to explain that you have a dad who is too wrapped up in his new life to care about me.


Hi Christina,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for sharing some of your story. I know how painful that whole thing is. I think you will like this website. I talk about all kinds of stuff like this and how finally got over some of the damage this stuff caused by realizing what I thought about myself because of it.
I agree with you that it is not up to you to repair this. You are right you didn’t break it. He did. My tried several times with my father, always believing (like the world says) that it was up to me to fix it… but he wasnt interested in change. It is my choice now to do what is right for me today. I have no regrets at all. There was nothing to miss in the first place.

Please share often ~ hugs, Darlene


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


I don’t guess that anyone else still reads this thread, which is okay, because I don’t really want sympathy or advice. I just want to get it off my chest.

I’m 16, my father abandoned my Mom and I 4 months ago for my Mom’s (now ex) best friend of 20 years. She was living with us for a period of time, until my Mom found out what had been going on between them. He left shortly after one night when I was with my grandpa, Mom and my boyfriend. He left a note, nothing else.

I can’t say he was never there for me. But I can say as soon as I began forming my own opinions, around the age of 8-10, things went downhill quickly. He began to want nothing to do with me. Everything I did was wrong. I always “had an attitude.” I wasn’t respectful of him. Anything he could complain about when it came to me, he did. But he was very good at flipping a switch and turning into a different person when he needed to. One night he would be yelling and screaming at me. The next morning he would take me to work with him and show me off to his co-workers, acting like he had something to do with me when it came to parenting (which he didn’t). He was always just a provider. I can’t complain about that. He worked his ass off. But that’s all he did.

My Mom homeschooled me. She still does. He pretended like because she was at home, she didn’t work. Like being a parent wasn’t work. Taking care of a kid who was (and still is) always sick, all of the time, as well as taking care of a house wasn’t work.

After he left 4 months ago, he went crazy, I do believe. If he wasn’t before, he definitely became so after he moved out. He tried to kill my Mom and I by running us off the interstate one night. He won’t pay my Mom half of the time for things that we need (since they aren’t even legally separated yet). He lives in an apartment downtown, but he spends most of his time with the homewrecker.

I can’t help but think, why? Why couldn’t he have waited 2 more years? Or why couldn’t he have done this when we first began having real problems? What changed in his head that made him think abusing my Mom and I, and sleeping around, and trying to kill us, and outwardly calling me names, and all of the other things are ok to do?

I don’t know. But Father’s Day will be difficult. I’m happy he’s gone, in a way. His absence isn’t all that noticeable for the most part. But every now and then I will break down because I know this isn’t how things should have happened. That my father is capable of terrible things that I didn’t list on here. That I’m related to him. That scares me the most. I know I won’t ever become him. But the fact that half of his DNA is in me is unsettling. And the fact that he left, just left, and doesn’t think about me or my Mom or care about either one of us, just makes me wonder when he stopped caring and when he started pretending. I believe it was a lot longer ago than anyone in my family would like to admit..


Hi Liv
Welcome to EFB
What happened to you is extreemly hurtful and I understand what you are expressing here. I think you will find some of the answers you are looking for here in this site. I have written a lot about this kind of stuff.
I understand the pain you are in over this. Please feel free to share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
I’ve been sorting out a lot of my beliefs & feelings about family this past week & it’s been so hard. I find my stomach is in knots when I think about seeing my family. This reaction is so much stronger now, since my dad is showing interest now. I have a face book account & he responds to most of my posts & my son’s. He expresses interest in seeing my kids. This all sounds like it’s good but my gut is literally telling me to stay away. It’s like the clearer I get with seeing the family dynamics of control tactics- it leaves me confused & sick to my stomach. I like to believe in having a relationship but the track record is it’s one-sided in that is I conform to what they want & don’t talk about anything that will get under their skin, we can have get along. I do believe it’s more about his need to have all his grandchildren in his life.

My husband told me the other day that it makes no sense to see my kids being happy with their grandparents, while I’m not happy. So true, however, I struggle with the same thoughts you had, about my kids “should” & “deserve” to have grandparents. What I’ve come to realize, after reading this article is that my parents don’t show any real interest in me. My neighbors show more interest & talk with me, more than my own parents. I know it’s not just me because I will try to strike up conversations, however, I’ve stopped even trying, since I was doing all the work. Now, I have less desire to even want to make conversation. I don’t know what I will do for Father’s Day. I’m considering posting on his FB wall- “Happy Father’s Day”, due to thinking it’s the right thing to do. It is easier then visiting him & pretending we have a good relationship. Anyway, these special days are always hard for me because it brings up past memories & the thought of family get together’s. I have to be honest with myself, “What do I miss?”…The idea of a loving family???… I’m trying to get to the root of the problem & confusion sets in again. Am I missing something??? Do I need to ask myself more questions- like what am I getting out of visiting my parents???…I’m not looking for Love or Acceptance anymore, so what is there???…I’m digger deep & I can answer these questions in different ways, depending on how I feel on a particular day.


Hi Sonia
Learning to listen to my gut has been really helpful in my recovery. My intuition serves me quite well. We live in such a society of “don’t rock the boat” (re your husband) but in reality you are not the one that rocks the boat, you are the one expected to STOP the rocking by compliance etc. It was really important for me to stick to the truth in all this. I was not the problem in the first place.

If my parents (and my husbands parents) are not willing to respect me and treat me with equal value, then they have actually chosen the way things are now. They brought this on themselves. I am not going to take the blame for it anymore. They lost their kids and grandkids because they were not willing to respect my husband and I. They would have loved to just move on with the grand kids (and repeat the same dysfunctional relationship with them) ~ but I couldn’t get past the action which screamed “you are not worth the effort darlene” That is the truth leak in all this. The truth is that they couldn’t be bothered with respecting me (and my husband) as a human being. They insisted on invalidating me by their actions. I didn’t like that my kids wittnessed this treatment of me (and my husband) I wanted my kids to wittness us standing up to the dysfunctional family system so that the cycle could be broken.

The truth is that I didn’t make any decision except that I would no longer be treated the way they insisted on treating me. They stuck their feet in the sand and refused to move off their decision that I was NOT worth it. I moved forward in my life with my self esteem healing and my self worth in tact and I no longer have to “be reminded” of the way they regarded me. My children have come along very well (2 of them are adult age now) with their own understanding of what happened. They knew that there was total disrespect going on in both sides of the grandparents. They saw how they too were expected to comply and conform. They came out of the fog the same way that we did.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank You


My father didn’t get it until he was on his death bed. He called me a few weeks before he passed away and wanted to see me. He paid for my flight across Canada and when I finally arrived at the hospital, in the hospice wing, to his room, I was now looking at a frail, skin pulled over bone, human being. We had not seen each other or really spoken much in 24+ years. I sat on the edge of his bed, grabbed his frail 67 year old hand and said, “Thank you for calling me.” He said, through tears, “I’m so sorry for treating you so terribly all these years, I’m so sorry.” He rolled his head into my lap and I held head in my arms and he cried like a baby for what seemed like an hour. Dad: “Will you ever forgive me??”
Me: “Already forgive, it’s water under the bridge dad”
I kissed him on the forehead and dried our tears and for the first time in years we sat together and just held each other.

I spent 6 days with my dad and had to head back home. He passed away 2.5 weeks later. I’m so glad i put aside my years of anger that I was holding onto and went to see him. I don’t think I would have ever forgiven MYSELF if I hadn’t.

The anniversary’s/holidays come and go….it still hurts, but I know he’s in a much better place than hear on earth. I freely cry, the pain of being abandoned is still raw for me. I know, perhaps one day it will melt away with the tears. In the meantime I pray that God will hold me gently and help me along my path of healing.

I am so glad I choose to forgive my father, really forgive him and also was at peace with giving him permission to let go of this world and move onto something much more wonderful. With all the pain he was carrying around it was no wonder he didn’t know how to be my father.

Dad, I love you and I miss you so much….Happy Father’s Day ?


Hi Christine
What a wonderful story. I think so many of us dream of a situation like that but for most it never happens. I am so sorry that you didn’t have any relationship with your father for all those years but it is so awesome that he made such a great effort to make those amends.

In my case I have no issue with forgiveness. Forgiveness came as a result of the work I did in my process of healing. I had to heal from the damage that my parents (and other adults) caused. It wasn’t about understanding thier pain as much as healing from the damage that caused my pain. (Please understand that I write this mostly for the people who are reading because forgiveness and understanding the abuser is where most of the readers here get stuck and I don’t want to cause any further difficulties for anyone here. I am not disagreeing with your exp. )

Thank you for sharing your exp.
Hug, Darlene


Darlene, you are so right….that IS the exact point that I used to be stuck on! I also used to feel cheated. I totally understood my dads pain and I forgave him, BUT it didn’t help me heal, and I couldn’t figure out why. The pieces to the puzzle of my life didn’t fit! I had to heal ME to be whole inside and yes, I did get understanding along with the discoveries I made, but one thing didn’t have anything to do with the other. It can be a fine line! I do forgive my father, but what he did to me and didn’t do for me were wrong, and he didn’t truly love me. He was filled with his pain, and self pity and his obsession with his own life and wife and the TRUTH is that there was not a place for me in his life….and when I was in his life, it was the same old crap…year after painful year. He can regret things all he wants, and I am sure he does to some extent because he isn’t an evil man, but he was an abuser who also emotionally abandoned me and neglected me. I was not important to him….I was an after-thought and an obligation that he didn’t want. Once I could face that….because in my life, that was a huge reason why I was so broken…and I didn’t want to admit that fact to myself. Once I did….and faced the truth about how I became damaged and torn, …and the truth…that is the moments that I became healed….and that is a miracle still! 🙂


Thanks so much for commenting on my post #144! My intuition is stronger lately, when it comes to family. I’m beginning to believe my parents are pathological not just dysfunctional. The drama & stress they create is over the top. I walk away feeling more anxious & stressed, after seeing them. I get reminded every time I have contact with them. I accept them as my parents but I do not accept how they mistreat me. They are not evil but they are abusive. I’m sensitive to the littlest things they do such as the harsh tone of their voices & the way they discard others’ feelings. I’m remembering past memories of what my dad used to say to me & how he talked about other people & it was mean. Today, on Father’s Day, I found his voice in my head in regards to his criticism of others. He commented about others’ looks, personality & intelligence a lot. I find that strange to think about now, Why say these things out loud to your daughter. Keep it to yourself like the saying goes, “If you have nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself”. I was told this, but witnessed my dad saying whatever he wanted. My husband reminded me of my father again today, when he got angry over me forgetting something. You would have thought I committed a crime, by how he was seething with anger in his eyes & started reprimanding me for it in public. I did not take it personal, but I sure felt demeaned & embarrassed by him!…I know he overreacted, when the security guys looked over at us. He stopped & walked away then. My son actually said to me that he has the right to be angry. Well, of course he can feel angry but seething with anger & taking it out on me is wrong….I told my son that his father was too worked up. In the past, I would of shut up & put up. Now, I can speak up & talk about it.


Good for you! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Diane
YES exactly. Who the heck wants to admit that to themselves?? My own father didn’t bother getting to know me! My own father wasn’t the least bit interested in me unless it made a difference in HIS life? OUCH! that sucked. I lied to myself my whole life about my dad to avoid facing the truth and it was the truth that set me free to actually live.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Emmy
You are most welcome.
Hugs, Darlene


This is the exact relationship I have w/my sperm donor-NO relationship @ all. One exception…he never lived w/us. He was married to someone else. I’ve moved on. It took therapy to help me realize it but nonetheless, I moved on. He doesn’t know me and never has. I stopped wasting energy on trying to get him to be a part of my life. He’s dysfunctional and a total Narc as well. It’s all about him-his life-his music-his problems, issues, drama and whatever other trouble he’s drummed up. And he would often make inappropriate sexual comments about his sex life or mine. I learned eventually that he’s a real LOSER. I’ve been NO contact w/him for over four years now. Don’t regret it @ all. I still want a Father in my life but just not him. He’s toxic and totally UNAVAILABLE. Life goes on…


It is so important to heal from the damage that having a parent like that casues. I have moved on too and I dont miss what I never had. I think sometimes I wish I had had a father, but I have learned to fill that void in my own life.
Glad you are here and thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


My dad is very similar in that he is completely into himself. He literally cannot have a conversation because he talks to himself with you next to him. I have said, Dad did you hear what I said? His reply, Yes. And then he will go right back to whatever he was talking about. People think he’s crazy because it has gotten so much worse the older he has gotten.
The big drama in our family is that I am the youngest and the only girl. So all the years I was growing up he sent money for all sorts of normal childhood activities, music lessons, clothes, school trips etc. Keep in mind that my mom and I lived in a trailer and she cleaned houses for a living. However, according to my brothers who were all young adults while I was growing up was that I was spoiled.
My dad pay for college (he is very well off) but I endured his rantings and ravings just to get the checks. My brothers and mom encouraged me to contine to take the money and endure the abuse. Just so I wouldn’t be in debt after college. Crazy!
Now that I am healing and I no longer have contact with my dad or brothers….guess who is the bad guy?? Yep ME!
It took me depression and panic attacks to realize that I didn’t have to subject myself to the abuse any longer. My mom is so used to being abused she makes excuses for my brothers and their behavior. We just had a conversation as to why I wouldn’t be coming for Thanksgiving. Her response, well 2 people have some issues to work out and I am staying out of it. Well by basically telling me I have issues and I need to resolve them with a brother who is very viscious…it was just too much.
My husband says that they are all very jealous of the comfortable life I have created for myself. We both work hard and enjoy a modest but comfortable home. We enjoy a full life…one of our own design.
I have worth. I am important. Subjecting myself to their abuse to eat a meal at my moms is not worth it. I deserve to enjoy my holiday and create a good memory for my life and NOT create heart burn and heart ache.


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


My dad scared me to death and still does. I am afraid to speak to him- afraid when I hear his footsteps coming down the hall; when he enters a room. My mom was silent but always giving bad looks as if I had done something wrong. She never gave me a hug or told me she loved me- neither did my dad. IF I ever asked her for anything she would say ‘go ask your dad’- I never would because I was terrified of him. (she may have known this and this gave her more satisfaction?)
Maybe she was the voice behind his abuse of me- I don’t know. she never intervened to try to stop it or say anything just let him abuse me. It was only when I finally had had enough and FOUGHT HIM BACK at 17- that she came to the doorway and said ‘Len, let her go’
and I limped out the door and in to town. I was gone for a week living with a house full of guys who said I could stay there if I cleaned up after and cooked for them. I missed the Aerosmith concert, I had bought tickets and been eagerly waiting for. But I found out my abuser and his border patrol buddy were going to be there looking for me. Days later, when I ‘heard’ my abuser wanted me to come home I decided to go home- I was numb but scared. When I walked in through the door ‘he’ was standing in the kitchen holding a newspaper up so it covered his face- pretending to ‘read’? more like hiding? I walked past him and said I love you Dad. He nor the newspaper never moved. He never said anything and never talked about any of this ever…
but he never hit me again either. Not until after my husband had left me and our 3 children(my abusers just happened to be in my home the night my husband leaves???) He raised his fist to hit me in the face when I said he was not getting any of my children’s child support nor could he claim on his income tax. He stopped when I said I was calling the police. They came and validated HIM because it was HIS house and he could basically do what he wanted to me there. This invalidated my first attempt to stop the abuse as an adult. Does it seem even police and other adults in domestic violence agencys or even Ministrys do not see abuse of adults as abuse? For years and years the first words out of ‘dad’s’ mouth whenever he would first see me were “So how much child support are you getting?” I never told him. I would just say- ‘your not getting it Dad’ These past months again he swung his closed fist next to my face when I said he was doing what he was accusing me of doing…this infuriated him. He stopped short of hitting me in the face when I said- are you going to HIT ME again? I will call the police. He then began ridiculing me for saying I would call the police. His patterns of abuse- physically-emotionally- spiritually-psychologically- are repetitively the same so I know he has not changed. I thought he had- with his prayers in Jesus Name. But recently I remembered that when I was a child he had prayed at dinner about Jesus. I think that was part of the anger that grew in me as I got older-his praying to Jesus- then beating me up- throwing me across rooms. pulling my pants down when I am 14, 15, 16 and spanking me across his knee bare bottomed!! I felt such SHAME every time his hand touched me there. I can barely stand to write this – I am getting sick to my stomach again. But I cannot QUIT this time. in the past whenever I have pursued healing I have gotten very dysfunctional and had to stop as I had children and a husband to care for.
Now I MUST continue the healing process- now to be healed completely in my emotions and soul. I am nervous about the abusers return this week and for the face to face abuse to continue. What I will say or not say- react or not react- where to GO to escape. I do not drive- and am 25 MI from a town in the mountains. But I can walk out the door and go for a walk..just make sure I have a house key! They have already locked up all the possessions I have left. They begin screaming viciousness at me when I ask for my things. or my son to have his.
What is a shocking painful revelation is my mother screaming such hate at me. She was forever silent growing up. We never knew what she was thinking or what we had done wrong just always had the ‘look’ -like I had done SOMETHING WRONG. she must have done what I have seen her(and my NS do now)- childed him behind closed doors until he does whatever SHE WANTS- and that results in more of his horrible screaming at my son or me about whatever she has imagined or wants him to believe or whatever. This beginning revelation about her has been very painful. I knew she lived in great denial. I never knew she hated me so much but I always wondered why she treated me like a nobody. never inviting me to go do any of the things she does with my sisters(which she also would seemingly flaunt in my face) It doesn’t matter who is around, they actually engage all family members in gossip, tearing us down with their lies – my nieces nephews my own daughters, probably their church members too- in their negative comments and thoughts about us. She has tried in vain to get me to feel jealous of my sister; to try to cause divinsion within my own family- actually she HAS been successful at times with this. She caused division with her 11 brothers and sisters. and dads family of 12 also. It is a pattern. Why does she not want unity. I remember writing a letter to them as a child asking if we could please have a loving close happy family. I stood for truth and love and would intervene in their fighting. I bacame the scapegoat- I think I accepted the role if it meant so one else would get hurt. but for years I have tried to step out of that role- reject it. But not without huge abuses from siblings and them..and then I separated and went NC to save my children and myself from their abuses. Then I would reach out and then the patterns would repeat. I am sick of it all. and now beginning to SEE the TRUTH. I wish to God I had accomplished what I am just starting- sooner.
I first saw ‘mom’ gas light?? me last month- they then left town and I cried all day. My son tried to stop me- but I was just so sad and injured myself because her hate was so painful- I must have projected her hate toward me onto myself that day?
Since that day more and more has been revealed. I ‘found’ this site. I do wish I was more articulate like many of you but am unable at this time to put my words in order-I apologise. I used to have a ‘way’ with writing- but am having trouble even forming words in my brain. There has just been so much- all I want is peace. It’s been horrible what has happened since my sons medical crisis four yrs ago- and unimaginable how some family has ‘dis owned’ us- thrown us to the gutter so to speak-since the crisis.
Sometimes it is too much to continue to just survive. We have to have a break through- and I have to believe it IS coming!
I am absorbing everything on this site and am often overwhelmed but cannot seem to stop. I so want to be FREE and am thankful for you Darlene and all for being here..you all are instruments in helping me to move out of the fog. -Thank you.


Hi C
It takes time so hang in here! Hope for healing was the first key for me and I try to pass that hope along here.
Thank you for sharing. I am really glad to see you reading the older posts and seeking info to help move yourself out of that fog! What happened to you was wrong and knowing that what happened to me was wrong is what helped me to find peace.
Hugs, Darlene


All I know is, after doing tons of work on myself is that once you/we are in command of ourselves, all the pain, and loss, and hurt will not matter. This may be harsh, but in 100 years, none of us and this will matter. I just want everyone to grab life, each hour , each day and start living for yourslves..ourselves. NOW! THIS is what I am successfully doing albeit that no one knows what is happening to me on the inside. Life and living is a skill and an art. We have to take control of ourselves and not let any of this crap destroy ourselves and this gift of a life we have. Our time can be taken too if we let it. I truly believe the families, parents and people in our lives who have been unable to love us are part of the horrific legacy of dysfunction that has held mankind captive for 1000s of years. The traumas of the cruel and barbaric global societies of the recent and ancient pasts created disorders or the heart, soul and mind. All these parents were not fully human and in my mind, ill or disabled , their genetics disordered etc. When I see it like that, I am truly no victim or any of them. Parent, boss, neighbour or so called friend. The majority are all on a spectrum. But me, I recognise that I am a glorious, gorgeous ,loving , wise and caring empath full of life, love and wisdom and I care and respect Darlene and you all for going so within and sharing. I am able tolive forme now. Finally. Age 45!!!In my world,I cannot talk to anyone about the abuses I have suffered, although I have tried. No one could think it possible what my soul has endured, but maybe only people connecting here. Please live and love yourselves and know people like me are out here, grateful that you do exist and express your truth. LOVE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Hi Darlene! Thank you for an opportunity to share on this subject. You pretty much described my father to a t.

I guess the best memories of my dad have been in my 40’s when we went out for breakfast once every 2 to 4 months and we would just chat about things going on in our lives. When I got into my healing journey on a deeper level I started getting braver and asking more questions about my child hood and confronting some issues I would never dare ask before.

The truth finally revealed itself and it was like a deck of cards that came following down. My dad admitted that when he got my mom pregnant that he didn’t want to keep it, he had other plans but he was over powered by my mom’s mom to keep it. My mom (for whatever reason) wanted another child (me)and once again he did not want another child.

It’s like it all became clear to me…this man that I put on a pedestal for being such a great provider and having to deal with my mom and her mental illness was really no different than my mom, he just expressed it differently. My mom had children to fill the emptiness within her which is a whole another story of dysfunction that I had to unravel, but my dad was just this guy who had to full fill a duty and obligation placed upon him by two over bearing women.

It occurred to me that I have been chasing a father for love and approval while he was trying to run away from responsibility. He did his part by providing food, clothing and shelter but other than that we were my mom’s responsiblity to take care of.

My whole life started to unravel along with all the lies and betrayals. I can’t tell you how humiliated I felt when I heard the truth even though on some level as a child I knew something was terribly wrong. I thought it was me that was wrong, everything about me and my personality was wrong and that’s why he wanted nothing to do with me. The lengths I went too for his attention just make me cringe now as an adult.

The saddest part for me was this was my pattern with men. I kept choosing emotionally unavailable men and would continue this same dysfunctional pattern with them.

You bet I feel ripped off when it comes to be part of a loving family that truly wanted to have children. I felt like an inconvenience most of my life or just a puppet for my mom to play with when it served her needs.

I found a spiritual mentorship that is my new soul family and it’s there that I am learning about unconditional love and what it means to really honor my own soul. I feel very grateful that I have a second chance to be the version of myself I’ve always wanted to be instead of the lost, confused, wounded child I was.

Words cannot express my gratitude for the difference you have made in my life and many others. It’s through this wed site that I found my courage to have a voice and to express how I really feel. Thank you Darlene and for all fellow souls who follow the path of healing and love. Namaste to you all!


Thanks for the post, Darlene. My father died from cancer a few years ago, and there was only ONE overwhelming emotion that I had when he died – RELIEF! Waves and waves of relief. Like you, I can only find a couple of happy memories of my time with him.

Thankfully I am moving forward, healing as I go. Today I can be happy for those who celebrate their father on Father’s Day. I don’t sense the deep well of loss that I did at first. I lost my childhood. I never had a happy childhood, but I am okay now. I’m enjoying my freedom and healing every day.


Wow. I read this and your other post about emotionally absent fathers. wow. My sisters had a better relationship with dad because they had animals at the fair. I did not participate in this, thus, had ZERO relationship with my dad. Not good not bad, just ZERO. I wanted my dad to talk to me so bad, so I went up to him and asked, “why do guys just want to get in your pants?” Dad just gave me this “look” of “why aren’t you asking your mom?” I don’t even remember what he said. All I remember is how uncomfortable he was at this. I didn’t have any brothers. Mom keeps saying that Dad “really wanted kids.” But yet he wanted MOM to do the “parenting.” Dad did NOT want to “parent.” My whole childhood was a lie……


This resonates so deeply with me. My parents got married because my Mom was pregnant with me. Divorced 10 years later after a very chaotic and violent marriage. My father was military and he would sign up for every and any mission there was. Gone for 6 months at a time and when he was home, he wasn’t there. After the divorce my father would get us during a month in the summer. He would work while were there and then come home and spend time with his new wife and her kids. We were an afterthought. I too went through the strain of trying to keep up a relationship because my children ”needed” a grandfather. I have since left that notion behind. My children joke that there should be a section at the Hallmark store for Dad’s that just weren’t there. Thank you for writing this and sharing and making us all feel like we’re not alone.


Silent Queen
Welcome to emerging from broken
Yes, I believe that this cycle of abuse and dysfunction began all those years ago too.
Thank you for sharing, Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lora
Your post reminded me of how painful it was to face the truth, but then how freeing it was to have done so! There was already so much pain and looking back I gained everything from allowing myself to face the truth and feel those feelings that I had avoided for so long.
Thanks for your post!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Amy
Yay to enjoying freedom and healing! There really is LIFE after all that horror. Yesterday we celebrated fathers day here. We celebrated family, connection, love, acceptance and freedom. We celebrated US. We celebrated Jim (my husband and father of our children) and his commitment and success as a father. We are so blessed!
Hugs, Darlene

Yes, all the fantasy I had was all a lie. And breaking out of that lie and into the sunlight of the truth, as hard as that was, has been the best thing that I have ever done! I don’t live in that lie anymore and that is amazing! It feels great and I feel great! I know finding out this stuff sucks but there is freedom on the other side!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Josee
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I had so much difficulty around the whole “my kids need grandparents” and I was in such a deep fog about it. When I look back for me it was part of the same fantasy; that I could do something (produce grandchildren) that would finally make them love me! I never thought that they might discount the kids as much as they did me! (and my inlaws were the same way) Yay for letting that notion go that my kids might need these dysfunctional and unloving people in their lives!!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Just read comment 129 from 2011. Wow. I didn’t grieve at my Dad’s funeral, either. My sisters got mad at me and said, “you don’t have to be strong.” I wasn’t being strong. I just felt nothing. So, to appease them, I thought of the saddest thing I could (losing a pet) and managed to cry for that. No one was the wiser.

I’m sure you are familiar with the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson (and all this time I thought it was a Grimms Fairy Tale). Well, I’m the little kid that says, “mommy mommy, the emperor isn’t wearing clothes.” Discovering my truth was about the “emperor not wearing clothes.”


Love the blog.

” I didn’t connect that his emotional unavailability and lack of interest in me was in itself the problem. He just didn’t care. That is pretty devaluing. It communicates a lot. I didn’t have a father by ANY definition of the word other than it was his seed that helped to produce me and I suppose his money that paid the financial responsibilities. That isn’t exactly the definition of a great relationship with my dad. It isn’t a very good or truth based definition of love. He wasn’t “there for me” he didn’t spend any “energy” on me, he wasn’t emotionally invested in me; this is the definition of a dysfunctional father daughter relationship and as I have said, an emotionally unavailable father.”

Agreed thank you for saying that! I have been saying that for years about my “father” being extremely emotionally unavailable and was “never there for us” like a real loving dad should be. My ex therapist said ‘he pays the bills,’ I said ‘a lot of people pay bills, since when do you deserve respect because you pay the bills?’ Ooh, she didn’t like that! I asked her ‘since when is that the definition of real love?’ I never got an answer like always.

It is devaluing to a child or anybody for that matter. Like I said a lot, my dad is all about himself. My brother seem to have somewhat better treatment because he is a male yet was also mistreated by him while he was growing up. Brother wants nothing to do with him at all. I told people and therapist ‘what does being there for your children mean? I am not talking just sitting there physically in front of the tv – that is not putting energy towards your children.’ The part where you said a father is just his seed producing you – that’s exactly what my sister says our parents are just related to us by DNA, nothing physically, spiritually, and emotionally about them.

It’s true, my “father” never invested any time for us all about his whore mistress or any other whore out there and screwing people over. My sister has 2 teen daughters and doesn’t invest time in them anymore, he did for a short while when they were little – even when they were little, they didn’t like his aura. They sent him something from Japan and he just tossed the gifts like a POS!

We knew growing up how our “parents” never invested any real time emotionally, physically, and spiritually with us. Why is that hard for people to understand is beyond me. I told ex therapist ‘just because you made kids, pay the bills, put a roof over their head(s), etc is not the real definition of love – like you said not a real truth based definition of love. I told her and people ‘please explain/provide a definitive argumentative answer on a truth based answer of what love really means and guess what? They couldn’t!!! lol I asked ‘cat got your tongue? Is this a very hard question? Wait a minute, you are suppose to be a parent and should already have those answers for your own children since you and other parents share a lot about parenting!’

Yep, therapist and other people didn’t like that at all. I have asked every hard question out there and nobody has the brains to use critical thinking out there! When I was a kid, I cried because I didn’t have a dad that didn’t spend time with me. Guess what? I was told to “suck it up and deal with it,” yet my mom did absolutely nothing about it nor did she bother to invest her time with me! Yes, I had such absentee “parents” it isn’t funny! Oh but wait! I have a dad and mom according to people but I am not “an orphan,” or have “absentee parents.” Actually, I have always felt like an orphan being raised in a foster care household where the “parents” are unfortunately related to me (sounds strange I know).

There has never been any real physical intimacy towards them and us growing up. We don’t have any real feelings for our parents and they don’t have any for us like my sister said ‘two complete strangers raising us as there is no empathy, physical, emotional, spiritual, unconditional love, etc from them.’ We never had a real parent/child relationship, again, we were treated like slaves, servants, and were produced to keep dad around! So, why do people get irate when I tell them I have no father or parents? He never wanted to do anything for us, we have sat at home with no food or electricity in the house. People say ‘he couldn’t afford it,’ I said ‘yes he could! He was (retired now) a software engineer at a semiconductor plant and you’re telling me he couldn’t afford it?!?’ He made a lot of money to afford it!’ God, people don’t know when to open or close their mouths before they look stupid!

I never had any real feelings for them and still don’t now at almost 30! My ex therapist asked me about any “good memories” with my dad and told her ‘we went to Disneyland every Saturday which always turned out to be a disaster because he never wanted to spend any money on me. Do you know how many times I’ve watched parents especially dads buy their kids food, drinks, and sometimes souvenirs while I had nothing? I did get a Goofy hat but lost it on the ride and never got another one. It was humiliating to go somewhere with him and I had to pay my own way (I was just a kid back then).

I hated when my mom made me go with my dad here in AZ to places and it was the same BS routine, nothing but arguments in the car over something he should have been specific about, threats, blah blah blah. Who wants to spend time with someone who does that all the time!? Oh wait, my mom does that it’s her daily dose of drama medication!!

Not having a father defined me as “a lousy daughter who wasn’t good enough to measure up to a man,” I had someone who said this to me long ago (person I met offline, but was chatting with him one day before I stopped talking to him) made a stereotypical comment about certain races of kids always growing up with no dads and I told him ‘the color of a person’s skin has nothing to do with why their own dad (or mom or any relative) wants nothing to do with the child. It’s basically poor upbringing on the child’s parents for choosing a dead beat and the child will always suffer in the end.’ My god, this guy had no kids claimed he wanted to be a dad in the future but made a stereotypical comment. I told him ‘what control does a child have when their own relatives/parents want nothing to do with him/her?’ He said ‘they must have done something….’ It’s always the “they must have done something which is why their parents want nothing to do with them,” wow if that isn’t hateful I don’t know what is!

I hate father’s day and mother’s day don’t care for them at all not all “parents” deserve to be recognized – don’t care how many kids they popped out. Father’s day was bad long ago, gave my dad something and he didn’t appreciate it – that was the last time I gave him something. Same thing happen with my nieces they gave him a grandfather’s present and he treated it like shit that was it for them too. My dad knows nothing about them and they (nieces) don’t care to know him or my mom at all.

I know some things that happen to my dad but we don’t know everything again more family lies/secrets! He talks about how he “loved his mom” but my mom and sister said he treated her like garbage, but near the end, she tried to make things right and he refused. I told my sister ‘his mother should have done a lot better when him and aunt Debra were kids,’ but she didn’t. His mom was an alcoholic and when she died in the early 90s, he cried like a big baby and “protects” his enrage alcoholic mom when you speak ill of her.

Yea, it was nothing but an emotionally, unavailable, narcissistic, sociopathic, professional lying lack of a “father” we have…..


Hi Everyone! A new post related to this subject of ‘Fathers Day’

I just published a new post on the home page! This one is called “When Dad enables Mom in Emotionally Abusive Family Relationships” and it’s kind of a joint message this time! I write a bit and then Carrie H. shares about her relationship with her father as he defends her mother. I am looking forward to this! link ~ http://emergingfrombroken.com/when-dad-enables-mom-in-emotionally-abusive-family-relationships/

hugs, Darlene


Haha my father has always been into himself so much (I remember one time when he was all high and almighty when he managed to convince my cousin to change his career direction because of his “words of pure gold”. *Gives his old man an award, along with a round of applause*). I was never allowed to be my own person when I am around my “loving” father. Growing up, I was always hailed as “his junior” which I guess, meant that I was expected to follow his footsteps. Throughout my early years, my father did everything to see to it that I would live by this “junior tag” by pressuring me in doing the following things being:

(I) Attending karate classes (Because he’s a martial arts enthusiast)
*If I decide to say anything, he’ll try to get me to fall back in line by asking questions like, do you want to be confident? do you want to look good?
(II) Doing I.T. related stuff (My sister is into that stuff, but he tried to push me to be into it to. Matter of fact, he complained when I never told that I was studying graphic design in high school).
(III) Only doing “guy” related things
*So basically, every time that I listen to a song from any female artist or girl group, I would be given the death stare along with names like girly-girl. (Funny enough, he listens to songs from (of course he has a right!) female artists as well)
*If I decided to enact a dialogue by a female actress in a movie just for fun, I would also be called out for that (I am guilty of laughing when he does the imitations *gives self the biggest face palm*)
*I couldn’t cry whenever I was abused (Oh I meant cared for sorry typo right there)
>Don’t worry pops, next time you “care for me” I’ll hold a grand party with a sign encased in gold saying THANKS FOR ALL THE “GREAT THINGS” YOU DID DAD 😀
(IV) That I couldn’t consider the bad things that could happen in anything I am venturing into (But when he’s feeling down, I am the shoulder to cry on).
(V) That my mindset should be the same as his
*Anti-homosexuality, anti-this, anti-that etc…
(VI) That I should always understand my elders (Because when I make a mistake, it’s actually my fault as to why I got myself in that situation).

I am just so glad that I finally woke up, because from the age of 22 and onwards, I am no longer living by the “junior tag.” Don’t worry my old man, I am not going to get involved in drugs or murder, though don’t expect me to embrace what has been preserved in our family for several generations now. I am not you so stop living through me in order to carry out the dreams that you failed to pursue.


I can’t even begin to believe finding this blog, at this time, it was meant to be. My “father” is a narcissist to the core. My entire life I was NEVER good enough, never smart enough, never pretty enough. As a younger child in a very large family, all I ever was, just another girl. He only values men, and even then the only brother I had became just like him. There has never been a kind word from either of them my entire life. And all of my other sisters are either in denial or don’t speak to him as I don’t. He called me names, said I was fat, dumb and that I would never amount to anything in my life. I needed to be smart like the older siblings…and some such bs like that. My mother did nothing, she did what she could I guess. Just laid low until another one of his temper tantrums blew over. He never gave me a birthday gift much less a card. There was no relationship at all. He would barge into the bathroom when I was in taking a bath, then laugh at me. He left my mother when she got sick, and when she filed for separation, he went back to her and was conveniently back in love with her. He cheated on her for years and bragged about it to my (ex) father in law. He is such a horrible excuse for a human and an even worse excuse for a father. I have not spoken to him for 9 months…should have been 9 years. I am living a much more peaceful life, but having a hard time figuring out how to move forward in a healthy way, in loving myself so that maybe someday I will be able to have a healthy relationship with a man. How do I trust?


To my dad I was just a little girl to have sex with. He may have told me he loved me but it was his lying manipulation to seduce me. My mother never told me she loved me so neither one of them were there for me. And they still aren’t. Not that I would want or trust that now.
Going to church on Father’s Day is so difficult hearing others speak about how great their father was.

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