Connecting the Dots about Passive Abuse and the Truth about Lazy


emotionally unavailable fatherDeep in my subconscious mind (my belief system) I have always thought that taking some leisure time was the same as being lazy. When I started to learn how to do self-care, that little “feeling” constantly whispering to me that I was being lazy began to get stronger. I found that when I took time off to just kick around, read a book or watch a movie, deep down I would reprimand myself. I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it for a very long time.

If I was spending my leisure time with my kids are with another person I was not so hard on myself because I knew that was important to the relationships that I have with them, but if I was just doing something to rejuvenate ME, I got a little restless. I really noticed my conflict with this when my oldest two children moved out of the house to attend school this fall.

Because we are selling the farm/ranch I had spent the summer cleaning, packing, sorting, purging and organizing 30 years worth of accumulated stuff and as a result of all that hard work I feel really caught up on everything. I feel really good about having done all of this but emotionally it took a toll on me. It has been an emotional roller coaster to decide to let go of this life here and on top of that to have two kids move out of the house! Add that to the level of emotion that I invest in this website and with my clients and I found I needed some extra time for myself this past few months.

BUT when I took that time I realized that my self-talk was whispering some judgemental things to me.  I was hearing words like lazy and unproductive barely under the surface of my subconscious mind.

Within minutes of reading my clients homework, I get a glimpse of what is operating under the surface in their belief systems but when it comes to me it takes a little more work because I am up against MY OWN belief system.  And since our belief systems form in the first place as a way to help us survive, sometimes they are not easy to crack into.

I was journaling about this whole thing and as I was experiencing a deeper realization that when I take time off I feel guilty about it, I suddenly heard my mother’s voice talking about my father.

This is where it gets complicated.  My father, as I have talked about in other posts was emotionally unavailable. He was a passive abusive father and husband. He abused by his passive ‘whatever’ kind of attitude towards everything. My mother used to say that the house could be burning down and my father would sit in the middle of it playing his guitar and ignoring the emergency. As an adult today I can see why she said that. My mother could not get my father to do anything or even to ‘react to anything’ and I remember as a child thinking my mother was a nag with her constant pleas and complaints about my father and to my father but today I realize that my father’s attitude towards my mother left her feeling unimportant, unsupported, dismissed and devalued. In truth, my mother didn’t really have a husband.  My passively abusive father never let my mother have any impact on him and the success of a relationship, the whole basis of equality has so much to do with both people in the relationship having some impact.

So every time my father sat watching sports, (not engaging with anyone else and being emotionally unavailable and passively abusive) and every time my father zoned out playing his guitar (not engaging with anyone else and being emotionally unavailable and passively abusive) while my mother had to do numerous chores and fix things in the house by herself, I knew that these were the things that my mother was referring to when she called my father “lazy”. It was his leisure time. It was his interests that excluded the rest of the world that caused my mother so much emotional pain!

It is important to note here that my mother never actually called me “lazy” in the way that I call myself lazy. What I did however is I transferred her frustration with my father and her definition of lazy and applied it to myself.  Logically I know that I am not lazy but emotionally and somewhere deep in my belief system, I made the false connection and now I had this false definition of lazy; that taking some leisure time equals being lazy and being lazy always results in letting someone else down. And letting someone down THAT WAY would be passive abuse and the last thing I would EVER be would be any kind of ABUSER!

Boom it hit me like a ton of bricks!  Although I have been really good at taking leisure time for myself, I still had this niggling doubt about doing it. By realizing what was at the root of this niggling doubt, I was able to realize that I had my wires crossed about this whole word “lazy” when it came to me and that I related it to passive abuse.

This realization solved a bit more of the puzzle for me. Several times in my life I have pushed myself so hard that I got sick sometimes even to the point of being bedridden.  At the root of those times was my belief that being lazy would let others down and I could never let anyone down because my survival mode and victim mentality ‘survived’ by never letting anyone down! Clarity on this issue makes self-care a whole lot easier!

Please share your thoughts on how this may have worked in your own life. Have you ever heard a judgement about someone in your life and believe it to be a true judgement and a good definition of “a behaviour” and then apply it to yourself completely out of context? Seeing this kind of thing and sorting out where you have applied a true definition of a word ‘falsely’ to yourself is a little more complicated type of detective work but it is a huge relief when the understanding emerges!

P.S. I am enjoying my leisure time a whole lot more these days!

Exposing truth, one snapshot at a time;    

Darlene Ouimet

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

Related posts are in bold print; just click on the bold print within the body of the article.  This post is also related to an emotional unavailable father : “The Deception of an Emotionally Unavailable Father” 

Please feel free to use the category buttons for specific topics of interest.

91 response to "Connecting the Dots about Passive Abuse and the Truth about Lazy"

  1. By: Mimi Posted: 30th October

    Anna is a one hit wonder?? I’ve noticed a trend on this website. It seems like sometimes people from distant circumstances come in, spew a new direction or light on things, and then disappear. My thinking is, why do they even bother using up their time on that? Do they think their one comment is going to completely change the path of the work being done here? Change your mind Darlene? Why do they waste their time? Seems they oftentimes don’t even bother to respond to questions posed to them. Hmmmm, perhaps they just don’t get it.

    Only my perspective!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th October

      Hi Mimi
      About ‘Anna’ I often think that people are not really talking to me or to ‘us’ when they comment on here but they are trying to convince themselves that they are not in the situation that they are in fact in. I made tons of excuses for the abusive selfish people in my life because I was so scared of the truth ~ that maybe I didn’t matter that much to them. So.. I made excuses for people. But it was when I shoved all that aside and started to see the damage that it caused me, instead of the damage about them, ~ that is when I began to heal.
      Hugs! Darlene

  2. By: Mimi Posted: 30th October

    All that competition orchestrated by our parents is totally confusing to me. I have experienced so much of that with my mother. I didn’t even notice (although, in retrospect I had hints, I just thought, no, not my mother) how competitive she was with me. So many times she bought cars, boats, different homes, etc. Usually about the 3 month mark after me. And ALWAYS bigger, better…. or so she thought. Her husband isn’t that bright and when we moved into the house we’re in, he actually said, “your mother is jealous”. He tried to add a humorous spin on it, but, the message was still there. I find it sickening. She’s been accustomed to me being the less fortunate one. The poorest one in the family. I was single the longest. She couldn’t really deal with it when she couldn’t feel above me in the financial arena. CRAZY!!

    Thanks for the comments Diane!!

  3. By: Alaina Posted: 29th October

    Marore, that was so well said!

  4. By: Marore Posted: 28th October

    Well, I have to be honest and say that your post was very confusing to me, Anna.

    I don’t deny at all that people have unique personalities. But the neglect and abuse of a child are extremely serious issues in our society. Thomas Edison may very well have been a very attentive parent, for all I know. But what has that got to do with anything really?

    No matter what one’s personality type or his/her “circuitry,” a parent’s responsibility is to provide a healthy, nurturing environment in which children have the opportunity to grow up without fear, to reach important developmental milestones, and to feel validated, wanted, heard, seen, and loved.

    And that’s the least they can do.

    There are no excuses for a parent’s being abusive or neglectful.

    I have zero tolerance toward adults who harm children……no matter what the “reason” or “excuse.”

    Sorry if I sound angry, but in truth, making excuses for child abusers does make me angry.

  5. By: Kate Kobylarz Posted: 28th October

    Hi, just wanted to say thanks for addressing these strange, but relevant matters. Today I received the results from an online scale/survey – on personality. Pricked my memory – things said to me in childhod which molded (could almost say ‘cemented’) my behaviors… I’ll go back to the other posting on “I’ll give you something to cry about” to get into more meaty comments.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th October

      Hi Kate K.
      Welcome to EFB!! I will answer your comment on the other post!
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Diane Posted: 27th October

    Anna, I truly did not understand at all what you were trying to express because I was unfamiliar with your terms. I looked them up and now I have a much better understanding. The thing that stuck out to me was your last paragragh about TE and the question of him taking care of his children…and being reluctant to call him abusive. Your comment doesnt really appear to have much, if anything , to do with this article and topic. Respectfully, it does seem that you are trying to convince readers that people in this world are lucky to have YOU as an individual to lead ….and that it is okay not to pay attention to children….as though however wired we are as individuals gives us that “excuse” , so to speak. That YOU are not self centered but that people can get upset if they have someone like YOU as a parent. I hope I have misunderstood this and if I have I am truly sorry , because this message you have written seems like you are trying to justify your behaviors somehow ….when this is a website that ppl who truly have been abused, neglected and rejected are struggling to heal and make sense of what happened in to them. Please explain if I have misread and misunderstood you? Thank you!!!

  7. By: Anna Posted: 27th October

    Knowing there is different circuitry among people; Tribal, Collective and Individual, can be a great help in understanding why people can be so centered in themselves. My circuitry is Individual. It’s like I have a busy signal in my mind and I’m so intent and caught up in my thoughts that it can seem I’m self centered. But what I really am isn’t self centered, because I often think of others. It’s not always abuse when people can focus on a task, in fact, it’s a good thing to have a few people around who can do this. It’s just that one can get upset when they have one for a parent.

    It’s true that a person with Collective circuitry would make a better parent in that they strive to make everyone comfortable. But a person with Individual circuitry is like the song “God Bless the Child,” because they have their own way of entertaining themselves and keeping busy without the need of others.

    I hope you get what I’m trying to say. Because to try to force and Individual to be Collective would be like torture. They just aren’t wired for that.

    In the future the feeling of having to get married and have a family may pass, as it is now the appeal for a life like that is still quite strong and everyone feels like they should do this.

    Where would we be without people like Thomas Edison focusing on creating a working lightbulb over more than 10,000 tries? Do you think he paid attention to his children? Not a lot I think, but one would be reluctant to call him abusive.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th October

      Hi Anna
      The goal is not to understand other people because that never helps overcome the damage we are talking about. The goal is to heal from the damage. I don’t care how other people are wired. The law is not set up to care how people are wired either. Trying to understand abusive and neglectful people and making excuses for them is what kept me stuck in depression for so long.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Diane Posted: 26th October

    Mimi, I can totally relate to so much of what you wrote about your mother and the way she basically used you to meet whatever her “need” seemed to be at the time….if it was to make her look better and/or more “powerful” by spreading YOUR heartbreak about your husband and gossiping, or to make her look somehow like the perfect mother because YOU accomplished something wonderful. My “mom” was THE family gossip and after I became a little older and had had my confidences twisted and thrown into my face enough times, I learned to try to never tell her anything important about my life. What I marvel at now is that I tried so hard back then to connect with her that I would periodically go back and and tell her important or private things in the hopes that we could bond somehow. I was desperate for her love at that time. Of course, it was always twisted around and gossiped about. As for competing…I dont understand that either unless our parents were stunted and immature! I have ended up calling that part of their “head games” with me. My father always liked to one-up me when I would purchase something for our home. The one that sticks out is when years ago I bought a rotisserie and told him. It was a gift for my husband and my dad began to question me all about its size. I wasnt sure what size it was! Then he went on to tell me that he had bought one and his was the much larger size…larger than mine and could hold MORE. It was so weird, but typical. Those kind of things happened off and on no matter how old we all became! So…I dont fully understand except that it seems to go hand in hand with abuser/controller/narcissistic type people and family units. The good thing is that i have learned that I dont have to understand to be free. 🙂

  9. By: Cathy Posted: 26th October

    Thank you Mimi and Diane and most of all thank you Darlene for this wonderful website.

    FINALLY..for the firt time in my life I know I am not alone.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart~

  10. By: Mimi Posted: 26th October

    I agree with your post to Janie. Janie, it’s so reminiscent of how a conversation like that would be with my mother. And, Diane, you’re right. I can see, hear, and feel the envy in those conversations with her. I stopped telling my mother good OR bad news, even before the full truth came out about her. She couldn’t be happy for me, congratulate me, or offer support/praise in any way. I think because, since everything is always about her, it made her feel like a failure in some ridiculous way. Who competes with their own children? Sheesh, that seems so elementary to me and completely ridiculous!! I’ve learned it IS about her, not me. I can look at her competing with her friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and realize it’s HER problem, not mine. I know she must be miserable in that constant state of envy. It seems like to me that people like her must be in constant thought and mental unrest, trying to figure out how to outdo others. How to shine the most in the midst of a crowd of people, have bigger, better, more expensive jewelry, cars, homes. That’s my mother. I suppose it’s okay to be that way…. until it reaches your children.

    On the flipside, although she could never boost me in any way, she would be thrilled to use my success or failure to garner attention for her own benefit. Soaking up all the glory or pity for MY success or failures. For these reasons, even if we were on speaking terms, she’s no longer privy to my private life. The last mistake I made in this realm was telling her my husband had an affair early last year. She told a handful of people, within minutes of finding out. And, she ADMITTED it. She thought she had a viable excuse for sharing that with at least 7-8 people, so she had no shame in telling me she did it. Then, on the heels of that, she would vehemently claim she can be trusted and even came out and said, “you know you can trust me, I never tell anyone anything you (and your sisters) tell me in confidence”. Bahahaha!! HUH??? Okay, I bet I didn’t tell her to keep it a secret, my husband’s affair, so therefore it was a free for all. But, isn’t that something that’s private enough you wouldn’t give any thought to whether it’s acceptable to share that private information in your own daughter’s life?? Wouldn’t you just instinctly KNOW it’s off limits. It wasn’t HER story to tell. But, again, she made it all about her and cried to her friends, coworkers, prayer group. My husband and I know most of those people.

    Thanks for sharing Janie, and thanks again for your love and support Diane!!


  11. By: Diane Posted: 25th October

    Cathy, I am so sorry that you have gone through cancer with little to no compassion and empathy from your own parents! I felt a twinge of anger hit me when i read about your parents responses to you about napping. I think you must be right! Only narcissistic, selfish people would treat their own child who is fighting through cancer that way. It makes me think that you must have been neglected and devalued your entire life for them to respond to you this way with such a serious illness…..and I am so sorry about that! I think people who judge others….especially their children for something like taking a nap are REALLY miserable on the inside. I am glad to hear that you take a nap when YOU feel you want or need one. Resting is healthy, not lazy. It is always interesting to me to hear of these different ways ppl try to control others….such as naps are being “lazy”. It seems like the controller or abuser is sooo miserable themselves that they actually feed off of making someone else just as miserable! So backwards and unhealthy of the. Peace and comfort and joy….and lots of rest and naps to you!! Diane

  12. By: Diane Posted: 25th October

    Janie, the first thought I had as I was reading your comment is that your mother comes across as a woman who feels threatened and jealous of your plans and achievements. The way she deliberately did not understand you or know your plans…and she was unable to even bring herself to express any pride or give you encouragement…in fact, she was trying to make sure that you knew she could care less. But she did care! When ppl act bored with good news it is clearly a sign that they are unhappy in themselves and in my personal experience, they end up coming across jealous and narcissistic. I feel for you for having your own mother behave in such a childish and hurtful way! Your heart for wanting to help people and the valuable education you are going for is a beautiful thing and I am happy for you and wish you the best!! I hope your back feels much better quickly and you don’t suffer too much….and that all the rest of what has gone crazy in your world recently becomes peaceful again for you!! Diane 🙂

  13. By: Mimi Posted: 25th October

    So familiar!! No naps in our house growing up either. And, no sleeping in. My mother ruled with an iron fist. It was crazy. Even though she took a 20 minute nap every afternoon. PFT. I think it was about a year ago, when my mother and I were still on speaking terms, I remember being in a little turmoil about taking a nap in my own house, at the age of 43, because I thought she might show up or call. She’d mentioned it earlier or something. I was stressing myself out and trying to make it appear like I hadn’t been napping. I can’t remember the details of it, but, I do remember suddenly thinking, “what the heck am I doing, I’m a grown woman, and I do not live under her direction and haven’t for years”! It’s alarming how deep those ridiculous messages reside in our minds. It’s alarming when the realization hits that it’s crazy to still live under those rules. I had allowed her to be CEO of my life. Not any more!! I don’t care if I’m called lazy now. If I need to sleep, there’s generally a reason, and it doesn’t matter now who says what about it. I love a nice nap!!

    Peace and love,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th October

      Your comments about naps reminded me of something; when I was a kid I had to have naps long after I didn’t need them anymore and I also remember having to go to bed at night so early that I couldn’t get to sleep. But then when I got older my mother had huge judgements about sleeping stuff too! It was all about control. (when I was a kid it was all about getting rid of me) ~ My mother woke me up one time when my son was about 5 months old and my husband took him out so I could sleep in for once while we were visiting my mother and I had been up all night with the baby! And she woke me up saying “don’t you think youve been in bed long enough?” good grief! When I told her that I had been up all night with the baby she said something about ‘being in her house and living by her rules’ ~ I should have known then it was hopeless!
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Mimi Posted: 25th October

    CONGRATULATIONS ~ EXCELLENT work. You should be very proud of yourself. And, that’s all I wanted to say. (wanted to shower you in support and praise, since your mother failed to do so)!


  15. By: Cathy Posted: 25th October

    OMG! I can so relate it makes me cry. My Dad used lazy like it was his primary language. No matter what I did I was always lazy and did everything half-assed, which by his standard was unacceptable. Now in my fifties and married over 28 years I’ve come to realize my parents were both narissitic people. Nothing was ever done right in our house. I have spent a better part of my adult life trying to prove to them I am a hard worker, responsible and I am not lazy. My father was a public figure in our town and highly respected only I wish he would have given more to us kids during our growing years then to our town. We could never do anything right. Several years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and although I worked when I could during my treatments both my parent’s thought I was babying myself too much and maybe I didn’t need all that sleep. What? Really? I even gave them books my doctor gave me on what to expect and they questioned the books, saying maybe that won’t happen to you. Then and now I still questions an afternoon nap as being lazy, but, I do it anyway.

  16. By: Janie Posted: 25th October

    This is a great post! I am constantly pushing myself. This past week, my back “went out” again. I am in the last 4 weeks of a very intense class, my last one, and had over booked myself at work, trying to earn money for a trip. I tried to work a few days, but my back locked up. I worked last on monday night, when I had discovered when I went to work that evening, that I had also signed up for the night shift, then forgot. It was very slow, yet the charge nurse would not release me till 3 a.m., and I walked around,my back in a spasm, wanting to cry, with “this is not fair!” running through my head!
    So, the doctor put me out until saturday. So, I thought, well, I will work on my project for school. Strangely, my internet service went out, so, I could not work on my paper. I could not watch my political shows on the Roku, b/c that was out as well! LOL, forced to take a rest! And I did feel guilty, thinking I would mess up school, throw it all away, lose my job, etc. My guy brought me a big bouquet of flowers, and I thought, I dont deserve these!
    So, interestingly enough, I was talking to my mother on the phone this morning, and she had to ask me 3 times, “what class are you taking again? Why are you taking it?” I explained to her, my whole plan, how I was 4 weeks away from completed my BSN,and had a 4.0 average, and planned to start my masters degree in the fall. And why I was getting my masters degree. And the whole time she was making a strange noise, like “mmmhhh”, kind of in her throat. Could not say “good job”, or anything complementary. She said “well, you certainly have your plate full” and “well, at least you have a plan….” meaning: you will never get your masters degree! (I did counter with: four more weeks and I am done with my first part of the plan)
    I told her how part of why I wanted to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner was to help veterans, who are returning with PTSD and such. She then tells a story about how someone she goes to the gym with, works at the VA, and the ward she takes care of is all just sick homeless men, dirty, etc. I explain to her, that I would be working with the vets hopefully in a theraputic environment, prescribing medications, etc. And she was making that noise again “mmhhh, mhhhh, mhhhh”. And I pushed on, telling her how I had work hard to keep my grades as high as possible, so I could get into the Masters degree program of my choice. And she said, “Oh!! Like yhe civil servants exam!” It was very clear that she did not want to hear about my plans or achievements, even more so when some clicking went on, on her end of the line, then the line went dead. And if the phone’s not ringing back, its probably my NMom, lol. It hurts, but I can laugh about it, as it is so predictable.
    I dont need to get another degree. I have a great paying job. But it is not worthwhile, and I want to help people in a way that matters to me. I guess my mother doesn’t want to hear about that…………


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th October

      Hi Janie
      It was conversations just like this one you had with your mother that helped me see the truth about our relationship and how dysfunctional and one sided it really was. And that is the stuff I don’t miss!
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Cathy,
      Welcome (again) to emerging from broken! It was ‘crazy’ when I realized how much of my life I had spent trying to PROVE that I was worthy to my own family! There is something really wrong with that picture! Realizing how dysfunctional that system was helped me move forward in leaps and bounds with getting my self esteem back!
      Glad you are here, thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Diane Posted: 25th October

    Mimi….It is such a good thing that you are staying on top of your overall health and you know what is going on in your body as you go through it! I know it might feel slow to get off of the anti depressants and then to have to turn around and deal with other health issues, but I think you really are very brave to tackle this right now! You are learning to be gentle with yourself, and to really care for yourself in these ways. More virtual hugs and peace, comfort and caring sent to you now!!!! Diane

  18. By: Mimi Posted: 25th October

    Thank you so much for reaching out. It means so much to have support from people who understand.

    I’m much better than I was a few days ago. My brain will go through a variety of little things as it gets acclimated to a new dose. I am fine for the most part (with the reductions). I started taking this several years ago for something in my life that was causing stress (can’t even remember what it was). My only excuse for still being on it is, I was scared to get off of it. I know it can be grueling. I know that because I’ve missed doses before, and I get the same effect. Consequently, I’ve never looked forward to the day I’d have to muscle through it. It’s not too bad as long as I take it slow, and let my head adjust between reductions.

    I’ve had some new health struggles as well. Nothing serious. High cholesterol, and triglycerides. The doctor wants me to go on a statin drug which I’m pretty apprehensive about. Blood sugar has been high as well. Kind of a bummer, but, thankful for nothing more serious.

    Thanks again Diane!! Your post meant a lot to me!!


  19. By: Diane Posted: 25th October

    Mimi….my heart goes out to you! All of your comments have been about how much and how hard you have been trying to heal in all ways in your life. I think it is amazing that you are cutting back on the depression meds….and very courageous. I never took them, but have friends who have fought like crazy to get off of them or to balance the dosage, and I have witnessed how difficult of a process it has been for them. One girlfriend had the issues with anger too, but in her life it was because she had frustrated pain….she didnt know how to deal with all of the pain in her past. She learned some healthier coping skills and really worked to heal…and I have to say that she has a much freer and happier life than she did back then…in a major way! It is amazing! I wanted to comment on this to just let you know that I send you hugs and support and hopefully encouragement right now!!! Here is to defending yourself for yourself!!!! 🙂 Diane

  20. By: Mimi Posted: 25th October

    Thank you for your comment. I am getting there when it comes to experiencing justifiable anger. I still, at times, have that embedded teaching that anger is wrong and I’m a brutal angry person. My work for the coming days will be embracing any anger that arises. And, sorting through it. My fear is, I might never get over it, which is a reason I still try to avoid it too, or beat myself up for it.

    It is worth noting that, I am still in the process of weening myself from an antidepressant. I think even the strongest most sane person on the planet could get symptoms from that. Usually, about 4-5 days into a reduction, I have about a 24 hour period (give or take) in which I’m hopeless, tearful, and a little angry. My last post was during that timeframe. I feel better now that I’m over the hump. I am taking the weening thing incredibly slowly. Even though it’s slow, I am at half of what I was taking about 6 months ago and I don’t mind stretching it out, so long as the symptoms are minimized. I find that after my brain adjusts, I’m okay. I’m still looking forward to being drug free! (I should post an update on Pam’s post).

    Here’s to defending myself…. in my thoughts!! Thank you Darlene!

    Peace and Love,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th October

      One of the biggest reasons that I was so afraid to take anit depressants again was because of the withdrawal I went through the last time I took them! (and I guess it was a good thing because if was the begginning of my searching for another way to deal with the whole thing and that led to me doing what I share here in this site now!)
      It took me a long time that last time to get off them and to stop feeling the leftover effects of them. Thanks for the update Mimi!
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Mimi Posted: 24th October

    Hi Everyone!
    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Valuable information for me in the post and in the comments.

    I am a little confused about whether my mom actually called me lazy, or if she just referred to it or insinuated, etc. She is crafty in her ways. She could convince me of something without ever using the “word”, then she could always come back later and say in an angry fit, “I NEVER said that!” This kind of manipulation and crazy making is particularly heinous and confusing for a kid. She would also say I lied about something, then when I’d follow that up with her calling me a liar, she would always respond with, “I did NOT call you a liar”!! On that I feel like, “HUUHHHHHHH?” The really sick part is I believed her BS. I excused her of saying things like that on the basis that the word might have never came from her mouth. I think these specific types of messages and twisted BS have really caused me problems with trusting my own inner voice. Making decisions is a nightmare. In addition, she convinced me that I consistently made poor decisions and was basically incapable of making mature and worthy decisions on any level.

    The procrastination subject was particularly interesting to read about because I have not generally been a procrastinator, it seems like with age, I’ve become one. It was so refreshing to read these perspectives. I too will sit and ponder something for quite some time. Part of that is because I’m afraid to make the wrong decision (creatively) and will have to do it all over again, and part of it is that the idea hasn’t come full circle yet. My planning is incomplete. I have been pondering this particular part of our yard (in terms of landscaping) for 5 years, lol!! I have been so stumped by it. I still fail to come up with an idea that I think will make me happy after implementation.

    I have been gone a lot and unable to read much, or write much. My husband and I took some great vacations. He is about to begin training for a year, so we took back to back vacations. Anyhow, I’ve missed staying caught up here and reading your work Darlene, as well as everyone’s insights. Now that we’re home, I’m floundering a little. Indecision about career paths. At 44 I still don’t know what I want to do!! Funny, my mother started ribbing me about figuring out what I’m going to do with my life at age 11-12 I think. AND, of course it was all to say, “you better get it figured out, your sister knew when she was 9.” Imagine that…. what a loser I was to not know my life’s path at 12 years old. My sister also decided all on her own to get baptized at age 9. Imagine the horror when, at 27, I still hadn’t committed. Several years of complaining toward that end too.

    I’ve been angry at mother lately. I saw her about a week ago coming out of a store. I don’t know if she saw me, but, I just kept walking like I didn’t know she was there. The anger I’m experiencing is a direct result of replaying her words or judgments in my mind, and wishing I could point out how little sense she’s making, or call her out on some of the insults from years ago. Stand UP for myself. I know this life I’ve lived has put a little spark in me that imparts anger when I’m not allowed to defend myself. It hasn’t ever left me, even though in my intellect, I know defending myself against people of my mother’s mentality is futile.

    It’s great to be back at EFB and the insights on this post are amazing!!

    Love and Peace,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th October

      Hi Mimi
      I had such a problem embracing my anger. I tried to avoid it for SO long but when I finally saw it as justified, so much changed for me. I got mad at all those things I was seeing too. I got angry about how much of my life had been wasted by being depressed and swamped/bogged down by the manifestations of the abuse and not being valued. I found out that while it may have been futile to defend myself to her and to ‘them’ (although sometimes it helps to say it to them for YOU and not for them to hear it) it was extreemly helpful for me to defend myself to ME. It was part of taking my life back. It was part of self validation and reparenting. It was a big part of recovery for me!
      I am so happy that you are back! I missed you a lot!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Melody Posted: 24th October

    Hey all,
    Within that same line of thinking, I cannot and do not ask for help often. (Except from my husband.) In general we do things on our own, due to not having to owe anyone then. He is the scapegoat on his side also. Almost like I’m not worthy of being helped, or too proud. It’s sort of like having a chip on your shoulder , “I’ll do it myself” attitude. I’m sure it is because of how I was treated as a child. My sibs got Nmom’s love and help, and that includes pity also. No matter what happened to me in my life it was not worthy of pity. My mother and father would always respond, that’s nothing, so and so had this happen to them! A long lost cousin, or great aunt or someone always had it worse than me. I got used to never expecting sympathy or pity, because it never came. I also have trouble with compliments or praise, I generally try to deflect it away. Other people relish praise, I try but then get very uncomfortable when I get it. I truly need to work on letting people help me and accepting praise! Thanks for the thought provoking posts! Peace all.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th October

      Hi Melody
      These are excellent comments about getting used to being rejected when you needed help which led to never asking for help. I had to replace my belief that I was not worthy of getting help with the truth that I am worthy of all good things including having equality value based relationships. Having trouble with compliments and praise had its roots in only having ever gotten them from someone with a motive that was based in something that had nothing to do with love for me.
      Thanks for your comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Diane Posted: 23rd October

    Darlene, I would love to read your thoughts about sneaking and stealing! It would be very interesting! I cant relate about feeling an “imposter” but my dad actually had a huge fear of sucess…even though he was extremely sucessful. He used to buy motivational tapes and books about it. I think with some ppl, it can go hand in hand…the fear of failure which is actually …like my father…the fear of suceeding….it was almost as though if he suceeded, he didnt feel worthy of that. He didnt feel worthy of praise and being as intelligent as he was. I think he never felt like he “fit in” or might have felt a bit like an imposter too. He was raised by society parents and I can trace back some of my dad’s anger issues and abuse issues , and lack of empathy, etc. This same thing passed down to one of my brothers for sure, and he has spun his wheels for most of his life …almost a self fulfilling thing. I dont know if this is what you are referring to about feeling like an imposter…and I am sorry if I misunderstood! I guess I still have the tendency to look at ppl who have been gifted, have such abilities to impact people around them and feel so happy for them that it is difficult to understand the fear of sucess! I was so trampled in my self esteem that I used to never feel like I had a self, and I really am enjoying my SELF for the very first real time in my life. I only understand the fear of failure…to try and then have to give it up. I am working on that, and getting more and more enlightened about it! you really have me thinking this last couple of days!!! 🙂

  24. By: Diane Posted: 22nd October

    I know I am commenting a lot, but I didn’t realize all of the things that would be swirling in my mind from this article…..and one of them all day long has been tearing apart the word “lazy” , and how it applies to my life….and how i believed I was rebellious in some ways against exercising. However, as I have thought about this , I am beginning to see that I am actually immobilized by the fear of failure! I had not realized how much I actually rebel against doing certain things in my life because I am scared to try and scared to fail. I think being criticized and abused and made fun of etc etc by my parents …along with very little training and zero encouragement….along with those mixed messages….made me afraid to try and to fail in specific areas of my life! It really hit me today that I am rebelling on exercising regularly because my expectations are far too harsh and unrealistic….that black and white thinking….and if I start, I KNOW I can’t meet them, so I would fail….again. It is a cycle for me. I am going to keep trying to figure this out!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd October

      OH and Diane ~ ditto for the fear of failure which for me is much more about the fear of being proven to be an “imposter” and that it will be discovered that everyone was ‘right about me’ that I really AM worthless.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  25. By: Diane Posted: 22nd October

    Darlene…I read your comments and two words stuck out to me…”steal” and “sneak”. I think they stuck out to me because I used to steal and sneak as a child and even an adult….because I didnt feel worthy of receiving anything…and because people just usually didnt offer things or time or affection or healthy attention etc etc. As a child, I was seldom allowed to eat sweets unless they were doled out in controlled amounts. I am sure some of that was a good thing, but as a child who was strictly controlled on most things, the sweets were something that I craved more than almost anything and I never felt I had enough. We were locked out of the house in summer for hours for my “mom’s” naps and I would go to the local store and sneak and steal candy! I was terrified but it didnt stop me. As I got older, I was sneaking and stealing food….from the kitchen. I stole out of classmates lunches in 3rd grade…and even as a married adult, I would buy sweet treats and hide them in the house and sneak them out later so my husband wouldnt find out and be horrified…or want some! I know that even with time, I would sneak that when we were first married out of guilt because I was home with the baby and my husband was hard at work. I can relate with that so much! I used to steal my brother’s money out of his dresser drawer as a teen…and he was so sweet to me he would literally beg me just to ask him…not to steal it. I would feel guilty, but I was afraid to ask for what I wanted or needed from anyone! I did not feel worthy and I seem to have learned early on that it didnt matter to most people…even my husband…if I wanted or needed something…so I learned to sneak or steal it! I learned and healed more and more over the last 9-10 years or so of marriage how to stop most of feeling the guilt or sneaking, but I am not even ashamed to say that I still sneak sweets from time to time …but this time I do it because I dont want my family to pounce on them! lol. I dont struggle with feeling that guilt for receiving any more….and it is becoming more and more that way ….the more healed and out of the fog I have become and am becoming! I dont feel entitled or grateful for any crumbs that happen to be thrown my way like I used to either. I just feel good about it now. I am happy to receive and happy to give and when I sneak the sweets…I am happy about that too! lol. I think it was for survival as a child and before I had understanding and healing. Very interesting to think about those words!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd October

      I totally relate to what you have shared about the sneak steal stuff. Oh I have so much I could write about this! perhaps in a new post!
      Hugs, Darlene

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