Controlling Parents and the Questions Abusers Ask


child abuse, adult child abuse

The post “Psychological, Physical and Sexual Abuse Why Questions” generated a lot of interest, so I decided to do a follow up post asking the questions that controlling and abusive people ask us.  The response on the Emerging from Broken facebook page was huge.

These types of statements that controllers and abusers use are designed to keep us in a fog of confusion. Remember that this type of grooming begins when we are very young and becomes part of our definition of love. We are taught “if you love me you would not fight, argue or even disagree with me”. We may also be taught that compliance is respect and respect is a demand not a choice. The problem is that so often we end up respecting abusive behaviour and we are not sure what abusive behaviour is because it starts when we are so young.

The following ‘why questions’ abusers ask can be used to control and to cover up any type of abuse. They are used to guilt and shame us into looking back at ourselves and to question ourselves, instead of them. They are used to keep the victim in a spin ~ trying to figure out the truth and never quite putting a finger on exactly what the truth is. These questions are used to control. These types of questions are abusive. They don’t make sense but we so often don’t realize that because we have been groomed to accept these false definitions of love and respect since we were very young.

Here are some of the comments that came in on EFB Facebook, about typical questions and statements that are used to control, guilt and shame, force compliance, or cause to shut down.

~ “why don’t you just get on with your life and get over that? Why do you insist on destroying our family? Why can’t you let me forget that happened?

~ “Why don’t you spend time with me anymore? Why do you look so serious all the time?”

~ “Why can’t you forgive and forget?  And I am told I SHOULD love them.”

~”After all I’ve done for you why are you treating me this way? Why can’t YOU just move on?”

~ Why don’t you like me? Don’t you remember all the fun we had when you were a kid? (along with an answer ~ “no, I don’t remember all the fun and even if there was some fun does that make up for all the other abuse?.. NO”)

~”Why don’t you respect him? He was a good provider. (Is that what a father is?) You are going to have to live with the way YOU are treating your Dad.”

~ “If you loved me you would… or If you loved me you would not….”

~”You SHOULD be grateful”

~” Why can’t you think of somebody other than yourself for a change?”

~ “Why can’t you grow up and start acting like your Mothers daughter?”

~ “You MAKE me do this to you. If you would do things right the first time I wouldn’t have to….”

~ “Why can’t you see this from my point of view?”

~ “Stop acting like a spoilt brat”

~ “What is WRONG with you?”

~ “Why do you keep talking about this? Why do you blame me; your father did it. What the hell are you thinking, writing a book about it? Why are you so selfish? Do you think you are the only one that matters? What about ME?”

These questions are full of the twisted communications and insinuations hurled at people for the purpose of control. Love is not disempowering and it does not support lies. This system is very backwards and extremely devaluing. Most of these questions are what controlling PARENTS said to their own adult children. We are called selfish, because we want to expose the abuse? Because we want our lives back? We are reprimanded for wanting to have a voice, for wanting to have a chance, for telling the truth? It is more important for them to keep up appearances and to protect the abuser or the secret than it is to validate a child or adult child? Therefore we are the ones with the problem because we want to be heard? In this system there is no hope. When we do as they ask everyone stays sick. And the most difficult part to comprehend is that they would rather us comply, cover up and obey, then become the flourishing healthy adults that we were born to be. We are told we SHOULD love them but we are not taught love by them. Love has not been modeled for us. They do not love by their own definition of love;  the same definition of love that we are expected to love them by.

When I went back into my past to examine the events that originally caused my depressions and dissociative identity disorder, it became apparent that there were a lot of lies involved. There was justification by the abusers, there was blame towards me, when I was an innocent victim, there was covering up, ignoring, and “that didn’t happen” and “shush let’s just forget all about it”. This is where the mental illness accelerated for me ~ with the twisting of the truth; the not being protected and the misplaced blame. The illness accelerated because one lie breeds another lie. And when this type of control works, the controllers keep upping the ante. They want more control, more compliance.

 We grow up and we are often attracted to controllers and abusers…  it’s familiar; it’s what we know. By the time I was in my late thirties the confusion and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t see the truth at all anymore; I easily bought the lies, I conformed to the requests, I complied and I tried harder. My mental health grew increasingly worse. I had no idea what love was. This is how my belief system got so messed up.  And it was in sorting it out; realizing the false from the truth that I recovered.

Please feel free to contribute any of your own stories or the questions used on you.

Busting through the fog,

Darlene Ouimet

43 response to "Controlling Parents and the Questions Abusers Ask"

  1. By: Michelle Posted: 13th August

    Darlene, I’m still half in the fog I guess. I was a member of a support group with whom I met once a week for about 2 years until the other day. We had a group page on facebook too. One of the members posted to the wall that she hoped I would stop talking about my abusive mother and put it in the past and be grateful for what I have and “move on.” I just kind of flipped out, like, how dare someone tell me to “move on” especially in a support group, you know? So I defriended and degrouped. The facilitator did not address the situation quickly enough and I felt like everyone was talking about me behind my back and they secretly wished me to be out of the group… I wish I could go back and do it differently. If I could have done it differently, I would have posted something to the group wall to help educate the fellow group member. Unfortunately, I guess I was triggered because this sort of thing went on in my family, where I was told to put things in the past and move on and my family was talking about me behind my back and eventually ostracised me. So now the group has been closed down and I think the plan is that they will start another one up again, but the people who were at the former group will not be invited back.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      Hi Michelle
      I can relate to what you are expressing; It is always easier to look back and say that I know what I would do differently, but that was how I learned to actually DO and say things differently. That is how I came OUT of the fog and a big part of how we apply what we learn about functional vs. dysfunctional. I didn’t start off by speaking my truth, I started off by realizing that things were being said to me in a mean and nasty way and how I wish I would have said such and such instead of retreating. Today however I DO say the things that I believe are right to say and I don’t retreat.
      It sounds like your truth was bothering other people. How nasty to tell someone in a “supportive group” to stop talking about the root of the actual problem! But this is part of global problem; if people honour your right to speak about your parents it makes it very hard to deny their own dysfunctional family roots. Easier to tell someone else, in this case you, to shut it up.
      Kudos to you! Thank you for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Michelle Posted: 13th August

    I like what Nick (#37) said about “sensitive”
    I was in a store the other day and I heard a small child (probably only 6yo) say to his mother “mom, you sound like you’re getting angry”. She had not raised her voice, but was a little stressed out at trying to shop and carting around the 6yo and a baby in the cart. His mom answered him in a calm voice. I thought to myself what a great mom she was. Her son was unafraid to tell his mom what he felt, he was able to name the feeling, without making the boy feel like he was embarrassing her, taking him seriously. She answered him without being short with him or hurtful in any way. Night and day.

    Karla (#38) – I feel your pain. What you are expressing is not a rant. Being unable to get it out of your head is because you have been traumatized.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      Hi Michelle
      Imagine what the world would be like if kids were all raised with permission to say how they feel, to ask what they want to know and to be who they are…
      Night and day…..
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Karla Reeves Posted: 13th August

    Dear Darlene,
    physically, mentally and emotionally abused me, daily, while I was growing up.I was slapped,hit mostly by my mother ,made to eat soap,locked in a closet, sent to bed with no food,told dont feel like that dont feel .get over it .the abuse wasnt real never happend my mother would tell you she was mother of the year (lie) her being a mother was so diffrent than she really was she builted her life’s on nothing but lies how she tought us to cook, i dont think she knows what love was . i rember her saying your to be seen not hurd. those words still ecco in my mind i was nothing . when i became a mother in 1993 , i rember my every move action tward my daughter i was living in her shoes ,was i like her yelling at my daughter was i telling her she was nothing? no i walked every day in my mothers shoes when she died i took them off i am nothing like my mother . she has messed my head up so bad about what kind of mother i am . i beat my self up over what my mothers done to me and my sisters . shes been dead over 1 year and i dont miss her i am so sick of people reminding me how mentally ill she was . they all enable her it makes it ok in thier minds evey thing she did to me . b/s my pain didnt matter then and it only matters to me ,ive seen so many people in my family just like my mother my mother in laws even like my mother always saying just get over it . i just want to scream.sorry if my rant makes no cents . i just dont understand why any of it . i was shamed and guilt tripped into being controled by my mother in law even , and she wonders why i dont like comming over on mothers day . well at least i dont have to see my mother on mothers day any more . iam sorry my rant is all over the place but thats where my pain is all over the place .

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      Hi Karla
      I encourage people to be where they are at, to express what they need to get out so bravo for your honesty. I didn’t actually think your post was “all over the place” but I want to assure you that whatever you post when it comes to your own story is just fine. I went through a stage of being half in the truth and half still in the fog and it looked like I was ‘defending’ my ‘right’ to be angry, and trying to make people see how I was right to be hurt and prove that I had in fact been treated really awful. Knowing my mother has some mental health issues was in my way for a long time and I let it be something that people used against me when I tried to stand up for myself. People don’t want to validate the truth if it means they have to face it in their own lives. I had to come to understand through this process that when people give me unhelpful directives (like get over it or put it behind you) that is about them not wanting to face their stuff and has nothing really to do with my truth.
      thank you for sharing, the things that happened to you are horrible and have nothing to do with LOVE
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: nick Posted: 27th July

    although I sense how awful things were for us all back then, being each one individually, it brings us close together for friendships and mutual understandings.

    in fact, I notice that each of us is very emotionally caring, and also emotionally intelligent, although I would have used the word sensitive, but that waS taken out of context by our abusers, and also by other people maybe feeling a little insecure..

    see, when I mean sensitive, I know that it was abusew we all here suffered, by our parents, and that it is something that has hurt us all deeply, we all feel so emotionally courageous and confident, and able to talk about things here. My heart goes out to you all, and also to those who haven’t or are as yet to see the abuse..

    I was in the store yesterday, tescos, and I found this young kid asking questions, and the mother demanding that he not ask questions and not play up – i thought to myself, I know how that 3 year old feels, as the same thing happened to me when I was about 8.. I wondered if I should tell her a little story about things, but felt better not to interfere, still if there was anything I could have dcne rather than be a bystander i wish I could have known what it was – and save that child a lifetime of abuse!

    anyway, thanks y’all you’re all so caring and I empathise with everyone here… I would like to say that things have helped me are a self-esteem mp3 from glenn harrold, and a mixture of vitamins, and whole foods, sans meat dairy and wheat… ( I am now emotionally calm, although I still have a little soreness of frustration in my throat…)


  5. By: SMD Posted: 26th July

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Your right!…It’s a painful & freeing day today…I feel like I’ve been through the ringer & actually I was with my family’s game playing & control tactics. My sister does actually believe our parents are like her “lifes blood”. They feed off of each other & It’s Sickening!…I need time alone for awhile, to decompress & process my feelings. Sort of like self imposed isolation from family. I’m even considering going back to a DBT outpt support group to keep me on track. I present well but I’m feeling stressed out from the interaction. Time to regroup & continue coming here for much needed support…Thanks for EFB for being here!
    Thanks so much!

  6. By: SMD Posted: 25th July

    I so needed to read this post. I had exposure to my toxic family tonight. Instead of being in a Fog of Confusion, my eyes are open & I’m seeing through the fog! My sister & mom said so much, that all I had to do was observe & listen. They continue to triangulate & stir up drama by finger pointing & bad mouthing other family members. It’s okay for them to do this, but when someone else does it to them, they can’t stand it. I Don’t Accept my Sick Family’s Dysfunction! I will not make sense out of nonsense. I just had to get this out & not get into the content of what was said, on this post. I spoke my Truth tonight, even when being cut off & interrupted may times. My sister said, “My family is my Core” & I said, “Myself is my Core”….she spewed a lot about family being important & loving one another “Unconditionally”….What a crock!….She was trying so hard to get me into a Fog of Confusion & suck me back in. I maintained my boundaries by sticking to My Truth, even if I wasn’t verbalizing it at all times, I was thinking it. They are full of control tactics & masters at cover-up. My sister said, for the first time ever that I’m “brilliant & very smart”….Then when my sister left, my mom told me she was always jealous of how smart you are. Well, my response was, that’s something I needed to hear, in the past. My mom excused this by saying, we were so different growing up & she didn’t allow us to bad mouth each other. I don’t really believe that. She thrived on the triangulation & pitted us against each other. Now, my sister is her voice box. It’s sickening! All I keep thinking afterwards is “What a tangled web we weave”… A Web of Lies!…I can’t write anymore, I guess you can say I’m shell shocked into reality & feeling so sad!…. For now, I’m going to let the tears fall & sleep on it. Tomorrow is a New Day!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th July

      Hi Sonia
      YAY for seeing through the fog! I look back on when I began to really be conscious and in my minds eye those were almost “magical times” with the “fog” shifting and swirling to reveal the sweet and soul freeing truth!
      My family is all against that I have stood up to my parents. (I got a letter from my sister a couple of weeks ago too, and I intend to do a blog post about it soon) but I understand that they have to maintain their illusions ~ for some the core belief is that the parents are like “lifes blood” the belief is so strong that without them there is no life. When we don’t have any idea of what love and respect or mutuality (equal value) really is, then we don’t know any different anyway and fear of the unknown is HUGE!
      Thank you for sharing Sonia! You are doing great and I know it is freeing and painful at the same time!
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Michelle Posted: 25th July

    Actually Darlene, I need to clarify that my father was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive and sexually inappropriate with me and my mother was NOT afraid of my father. Yes, he disappointed her with his cheating but she was NOT afraid of him. I always thought she was afraid of him because I was afraid of him. I thought everyone was afraid of him. Turned out it was just me.

  8. By: Michelle Posted: 25th July

    All these memories keep flooding … please allow me to vent this one out: At my father’s funeral, alone with my mother at my father’s casket, my mother scolded me for shedding a single tear on my father’s suit.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Hi Michelle
      I answered your question on another post but for the sake of the other readers I am going to post my reply about Narcissism here too;

      Hi Michelle
      I don’t concentrate on the diagnosis of the abusers (or on any diagnosis for that matter), controllers or manipulators. That didn’t help me. My mother has the “symptoms of narcissism” however I don’t think she is a narcissist because she can control it. She isn’t that way with everyone. She is sick but even understanding that didn’t help me heal.

      What has worked for me is validating the damage that was caused to me. Another thing that helped me was to look at my father and mother separately. I know that they impacted each other such as you saying that your mom was afraid of your dad but that does not change or alter the damage done to me and that is the key. SO I looked at it this way; My mother did xyz and my father did xyz. The only crossover was where the one did not do anything about the abuse caused by the other one which is also damage.
      I hope that helps

      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      That is a pretty nasty thing for a mom to do, isn’t it? The hardest part of the process for me was to face the damage and the pain that my own parents caused me. That is what the flooding memories were all about for me. Hang in there.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Michelle Posted: 25th July

    I keep wavering back and forth, was my M an N or not? I find myself numbing out, i.e., knowing it’s true one minute, then doubting myself the next. If I had any doubt before, it’s gone after reading this.

  10. By: Kylie Posted: 25th July

    Two statements by my abusers:

    “Who did this to you and why am I finding out about it in this way?”

    “A psychic told me that you have a chemical imbalance and everyone in the room kinda nodded their head in agreement when he said it.”

    Both statements contributed to a sense of questioning myself, my truth, am I crazy? etc…

    What a timely post, as usual. Thanks everyone for contributing and communicating about these painful and freeing topics.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      That psychic comment is common and comes in so many versions such as “god told me..” and when I was operating from victim mentality I never realized that these kinds of statements are SO freeking manipulative. What a bunch of crap and the motive is always for control and to manipulate. Always make sure the “victim” thinks they are crazy because if they realize they are sane then will finally take a look at the abuser instead of keeping the focus on questioning the self.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: nick Posted: 25th July

    Y’know the great thing about this is that I’m not alone!. I am speaking with my mother, and she tells em that she oly physically hit me once, and won’t admit that she did it so many times, that I don’t recall my childhood: only vague feeling that she hit me many times.

    I also feel, that I know that I’ve been abused. I explained to my abusers that they are abusive and one of them ‘doesn’t care’ ‘won’t change’ and will keep on abusing and is open about it – in fact he even said, ‘well you shout and are verbally abusive to people as well, so you can just… ‘ and on and on..

    sure, I willingly admit that I don’t know how to socialise as well as other people – and although I’m attractive, and have had many women come up to me and chat to me – because I don’t know how to love and how to talk to women, I ran away…

    My wife, my late wife, died from the stress of having to deal with my emotions. she died because i terrorised her; – I was flashing back to the times that I couldn’t run and hide; never ran never hid! as there was too much totalitarian big brother going on.. (yes I even became aware that my mother was always watching me! – even at school and on the school bus…

    So anyway, she told me that she did hit me once, but I deserved it!.. ???? I peed on the carpet because I wanted revenge for her hitting me all the time…

    and she also told me to shut the door quietly, repeating the closing door, until she was satisfied with me that I was ‘sorry’ for slamming it in the first place, for being passively aggressive…

    the dla appt came, and she explained to the staff member trhat I was ‘aggressive’ with mother, and that she wanted me to be passive!!!

    anyway, that’s all for now, I am just so glad after so many years, I have someone to talk to about it with – even my p.doc doesn’t understand or won’t acknowledge that I have transient did, with psychosis and ptsd!!! NOT sz!

  12. By: Bipolar Bear Posted: 24th July

    I wish someone had answered my questions, instead I was ignored. If I asked anything I would just get a look, sometimes a faraway stare that basically told me that I was not being heard and my opinion meant nil. My parents were never angry and mean. It confused me even more. If they had at least yelled at me and gotten angry with me and told me to shut up I would have maybe gotten a clue that they knew what was going on. I was alone. I got no support from anyone in my family. They never said I was crazy. They just implied I was looking for attention (like that was a crime in real life, in my family it was considered selfish and rude.) While being bullied my siblings moved away from me or left me alone. No one else knew about the molestation and really no one cared. I knew if I said anything it would be treated like a lie or a cry for attention. I hated most of my family and yet I worked hard to get them to like me. I was a dual person, the confused, messed up kid that felt life was surreal and that everything I did was flawed, wrong or stupid and hid as much as possible. Or the harried scared self hating person that raced to make things right.
    I learned how to not smile and make myself unnoticeable so bullies would leave me alone. I knew the “safe places” at school and at the babysitters (where I was molested yet returned to for years,) and at home. No one cared what I did or why I did them. I was chastised for crawling into bed to sleep. Sleep was the only way for me to get peace. I wanted to die so that I did not have to continue running and hiding and lying and thinking. Childhood was not childhood, it was a holding cell where degradation was allowed to happen with out any comfort and with no way to escape. I thought that if I survived until I was 30 and my life hadn’t improved I would truly commit suicide. My life has not really improved except for the fact that I know that I do not have to answer to anyone anymore. I can leave.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Hi Bipolar Bear
      My heart goes out to you. This is also a familiar story. (my father never got angry or showed any emotion either and he didn’t pay any attention to me either. And I got the message loud and clear that I was not worth the effort.) Healing has been about overcoming those false messages. I love that you know that you can leave.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Nick
      The damage caused by this type of abuse is HUGE! It kills me that these “professionals” don’t try to find out why kids are acting out in the first place!
      Thanks for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Anne Posted: 24th July

    My mother physically, mentally and emotionally abused me, daily, while I was growing up(don’t laugh, she was a cabinet maker and really harsh and angry). She has broken me, shattered me, more times than I can count. My dad died when I was little, and I look and act just like him, so she took her anger and sadness out on me a lot. I never felt good, always felt like a bad kid, and so I started acting like one when I was about 8 yrs old. I smoked cigarettes, drank, and started having sex and using drugs when I was 13, which lasted all through my teen years. The thing that I’ve been realizing is, that the abuse from my mom led to me being taken advantage of by older men at a young age. I was 13, and men in their 20’s would get me drunk or high and have sex with me, and at the time, I thought I was cool for it. It makes me sick now, to realize what was really going on then. I never enjoyed the sex as a child, it was the acceptance that I thought I was getting, that’s why I went along with it. I felt powerful sometimes, when they would lie to me and try to make me feel like I was something special. I wanted so much to escape my home, that I was willing to do anything to be with my friends, and these men. I’m clean and sober now, with 3 kids of my own and am a single mother. I still struggle with anger and sadness, and loss. I’m learning how to be a good person and mother now, and have been doing the best I can. Some days, I feel good. Other days, I feel lost and like a little kid. I have learned to let go of the past, for the most part, or most days, I should say. There is nothing I can do about what happened, but I can do something about where I’m going and where I am, right here and now. Every morning, I wake up and if I’m angry or hurt, I acknowledge the feeling, and let it go. I think to myself that it’s a brand new day, and it can be any kind of day I want it to be. So I choose good, everyday. I want to have good days…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Hi Emmy
      You are welcome

      Hi Anne
      There is nothing to laugh about and I totally believe you. Many people here share that story of daily abuse. I too started to do things that I was judged harshly for by society, but the behaviour such as you are talking about it absolutly rooted in the abuse you suffered and the message that you got about yourself. Healing is about seeing what those messages are/were in order to overcome those beliefs. I totally relate to your story. Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: emmy Posted: 24th July

    Thank you.

  15. By: Ariel Posted: 9th May

    Hello, my name is Ariel, and i was raised a Jehovah’s witness. My parents constantly made me feel like a disapointment to them in many ways. They would get upset over my grades, my clothes, my friends. They wouldn’t let me out of the house after dinner time while i was in high school. I was not allowed on the computer at all, but my little sister was. I am now 18, and they kicked me out for standing up for myself. I live with them again now, and they still take things from me that i buy with my own money. They try to pressure me into going to church, saying it will improve my life and i need it. I wanted to kill myself in grade 10, honestly. My mom would tell me i need to lose weight, and that i needed to wear make up. She would tell me i looked like a guy.. i was a size 9 then. I just hope my sister dosnt go through the same thing as me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

      Hi Ariel
      Welcome to EFB
      Thank you for sharing your story. It isn’t easy to be in a situation like that. It sounds like a lot of the stiuations that we share about here so I think you will find community and understanding in these pages.
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 31st January

    Hi Sarah,
    The abuse or childhood problems that our parents had has nothing to do with what we have gone through. It is so damaging to be told that your abuse is less than someone elses. I am so sorry that this was the response from your father.
    Glad you are here, thanks for sharing
    Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Sarah Posted: 30th January

    I can really identify with this. I am 35 with a child of my own and my parents are still very controlling to me. I used to try to bring up the abuse they did to me and my brothers and my dad just said he thought it wasn’t anything compared to what he went through growing up. I’m still in therapy because on top of all I went through as a child they were instrumental in diagnosing me with bipolar disorder when I tried to leave the house at 19. My dad is a narcissist who is also a preacher and even though I’ve moved away from them they hate my fiance and always tell me I need to be in church and refuse to approve of my independence from them. I still keep in touch just to be nice but they still try to act like I’m 16 even though I’m pregnant with my second child. I’m in therapy still. I feel like they got away with murder, and I never confront them anymore about the past.

  18. By: Ian Posted: 8th May

    EXACTLY. I have the “symptoms” but mother was the problem all along !!!!
    cannot ask politely, always has contrived, fake smile, full of sarcasm and thinks
    she is being cute when she complains that the cat purrs too loudly.

    HAS NO BUSINESS with cats if she is like that !!!!! Is not my mother anymore.
    I am so sick of pretending…. made depression worse. will not do it anymore.
    she had a saying “if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing.”
    not allowed to complain, express anger, expected to put on good front all the time.

    nauseating. small wonder I had such difficulty with emotions of any kind.
    and why I developed an addiction. to escape overwhelming and uncomfortable emotions.
    thank heavens for treatment programs, therapists, my current girlfriend, and this community.

    WE ARE NOT ALONE. such a gift to find safe place with people who GET IT.

  19. By: nick Posted: 8th May

    My Mother told me that I had a faulty memory then she did the very same manipulative and abusive things to me as an adult!!!

    i hsve ptsd with psychosis, even though I’ve been diagnosed as schizophrenic, because they won’t listen to my past!. I have a counsellor who tells me that it is more likely to be ptsd with psychosis.

    Anyway, i prayed to god tonight. I kept on saying ‘will you ALLOW me to’ and now I realise that I am wanting to be autonomous and in charge of my life but unsure of how to go about it. Y’see I was in america with my wife, and she was emotionally abused due to the flashacks I was having, and I was so triggered by the mistakes I made, that I didn’t think clearly enough to see that she was different and her crying wasn’t like my Mother’s manipulative crying…

    When i said that i didn’t want any more contact with my Mother, she responded to the nurses at the hospital that she ‘would like to come and bring my things’ – how innocuous sounding, but in fact it was very subtle manipulation and a need to control…

    my dad asked me if I ‘had any problems son’? I hate this it really irks me!.Ihate the way he speaksa nd everthing about him….

    My point for writing ithis is to ask if there is any help out there? Medication, therapy, hypnotism anything! I heard you healed and that’s great pleaes share what you did to get your life back

    and btw my parents are now as good as dead to me, but I hear tham in my mind and am metahorically ‘mentally handicapped’ due to their control!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th May

      Nick, welcome!
      From what you have written, you have found the right blog and community! If you press the home page button, you will see the current posts. All my writing is about exactly what you are talking about AND I have fully recovered, so yes, lots of hope! What set me free was facing the truth about my life and what really happened to me in my childhood. There is freedom and wholeness! Hope to hear from you soon!

  20. By: SECarter Posted: 11th April

    I read the article and can relate. I am only at the beginning of this process. I am only now looking back at my childhood and recognizing that it was so abusive. There is so much that I took for granted and thought it was normal. I am suffering from depression, low self esteem, anxiety now. My question to everyone is “does it get better”? Is there really a way to heal so that I don’t feel so broken? Is there a way to be happy? I don’t know if I’ve ever been happy in my life.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th April

      Welcome SC
      It really does get better. If you read more of this blog and my story, you will realize that I was a mess struggling with multiple depressions and all sorts of other stuff and today I live a full life. I am happier then I ever dreamed possible and my family is happy and functional as well. My marriage is 100 times better and I have not had a depression for years now. In this blog I write about the healing process, how I came to live again, how I mended from a life time of broken. I don’t know that I had ever been really happy in my life prior either.
      Hang in here, keep reading and you will discover there are MANY here, (this blog gets hundreds of views a day and hundreds of comments a month) are also finding hope and healing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Toorsie Posted: 23rd March

    I was just reading your blog – on questions abusers ask and I’m speachless!! Bit background – there were incest in my marriage with our eldest daughter (husband and eldest daughter). I was not at all aware of this and the moment she came to me and told me I had him locked up. Then she started lying about a lot of details – seemed she just loved all the attention from the police etc. When I caught her out on the lies I asked her to please just tell me the truth because I was shattered and don’t know what to believe. My first impulse as a mother was to protect my child – no questions ask and here I was in this situation where I did not know who was telling the truth. In the end I could not figure it out, he was lying, she was lying and I was not there so I did not KNOW exactly what happened. This was 10 years ago – she still wants to talk about it – I don’t. When I wanted to talk and wanted to protect and wanted to be there she was not interested in just telling the truth (she was 14) I don’t want to go there – because I don’t know if I ever will know the truth and I feel its time to move on – its not going to change anything now anymore. BUT is this now abuse towards my daughter? She has a lot of emotional and pshycological problems and I am there for almost everything else, but not that chapter

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd March

      I am not sure how to answer your question. Do you think you are abusive to your daughter? I don’t have enough information to answer that. I am not surprised that she has emotional and psychological problems, she has been sexually abused by her father. The exact details don’t matter if she was abused. That causes a lifetime of problems. When I wasn’t heard as a child, I constantly sought being heard as an adult. (Today it is resolved for me, becasuse I found a way to validate myself, but I understand what your daughter is going through still)
      I think that if you read more of this site, you may get a clearer understanding of your own questions. There is a lot of information about healing, abuse, dysfunction and relationships. I hope that my comments help a bit. =)
      Thanks for posting.

  22. By: carol Posted: 26th July

    this blog is the story of my life, unfortunately.
    both my parents had shit upbringings, both granfathers were paedo’s (1 convictd n 1 not)n the whole family dynamics were screwed before i was born but that still somehow made it my fault. i didnt ask to b born their actions caused that but i have been paying for it every day since. i have been trying to recover from my childhood since i was 17, n i am getting there, slowly but i will get there.
    i think the hardest thing as a survivor of all this abuse is the total lack of understanding from not only family but the wider society. when i went to uni i was told i didnt look like a person who had suffered all 5 catorgories of abuse yet that i should leave my past at the uni door so as not to upset the others on my course, i went nutz. how dare they belittle my past like that and i was very vocal about how they were not being fair to me and placing even more stress n negativity on my shoulders, nope they expected me to behave in a set way, a way i had no hope of achieving cos i had to keep silent about wot had happened to me. not now n not ever again will i be silent about how the treatment of me as a child has damaged me as an adult. how dare they say in all their literature that it is ok to speak out, unless it about family abusive situations apparently, as it might upset someone, hells bells they only had to hear not live it like i did, but no/ anyway ending of the story is that i have completed my 1st yr of a foundation degree in children, family n community health. and i passed it so far, so who is laughing now.
    telling ya it aint my parents cos i still pull them for what thye did n i suppose thats why i dont see them as much as id like. daft or wot yet i can take them for the people they are now n if they nice to me i can treat them like normal people it when they start with the judgements n making me feel like crap that i go off on one. i have learnt, n am learning loads more by using ur wisdom darlene, that i only have too watch wot i do n say as i am responsible for those but everyone else can swing cos i aint there puppet anymore

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th July

      Hi Carol,
      It is strange how people react to stories of abuse and I often wonder if they react this way due to their own denial. Very often when I speak about psychological abuse, people will react with shock, and tell me that they are so glad that never happened to them. They will often say later (often days later) and tell me that the same thing DID happen to them, like they suddenly remember. I think it is that they suddenly face it. The initial reaction (denial) is the way that we have survived ~ eg: “my parents love me, I am so glad that they didn’t devalue me that way” but then when they get thinking about it they can’t lie to themselves anymore. I think that there is a large part of the world that just can’t look at this stuff because there is such a lack of hope for change. It is easier to just deny it happens. When I recovered I knew that one of the biggest keys was how I had lost hope for healing over the years. Once I knew there WAS hope, I wanted to inspire others.
      Thanks for your comments, and keep striving! I love your determination!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Anja Posted: 25th July

    I recently had a huge trigger like this hanging with my family. They denied me my memories, saying I remember wrong (says who? If I could be wrong, so can THEY but apparently it’s so obvious that I’m the wrong one, the problem and the issue, cause, splinter etc… I got up right there and then, put on my shoes and left. This twisting of truth, that they can’t take in, is what makes the reality hell for us as we grew up. I remember the panic of feeling I had to record or write everything down that was said because afterwards, whatever had happened or been said, would be denied. Marks or not.

    What is interesting is how these questions and controlling mechanisms are all over society, work, social circles, not to mention church which has been active in making me feel guilty about not loving my parents enough. A child’s ‘personality’/self gets so twisted and torn, that I doubt anyone could ever imagine it. It makes me incredibly angry. And because I’ve been through abuse, and talk about it openly, others all over use it as a means to blame me for things that I’ve got nothing to do with, or push me to say I should be and look happier (after maybe just puked my guts out and not been able to keep anything down, after getting a trigger at work while I’m trying to do my job etc) or the group won’t accept me in the work place. It’s SICK. There has to be a stop to this, so no way I’m going to shut up. I can do my job, but you don’t ask a person in a wheel chair to get up and walk. To me it is the same, just that it doesn’t show on the outside. But I have a right to my own boundaries, to ask not to be touched at work, home or anywhere else, even if someone ‘means well’ and comes with disguised threats that I from now on will be treated differently, all covered up as well meaning, twisted concern. F**k that.

    We just have to say no, and I’m so glad to read the stuff you guys share on here. I don’t feel alone anymore, and it provides strength and resolve for me to pull through. I may not be married and have the perfect life on the outside, but I’m taking responsibility for myself and being well adjusted to societal (or family) norms, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re healthier or innocent, or right.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Thank you so much for sharing your deep insight ~ you make so many absolutely true points! The problem IS everywhere.. I have often thought I should write everything down and I was convinced that it was ME because I was told so many times that my memories were wrong!
      SO good for you for your determination to stand up for yourself! That is how the world will change, when those of us who can talk, do, and we can empower others to do the same. Little by little others will realize they too can stand up for themselves and in this way we can all make a big difference.
      Thanks so much for posting these comments and for being willing to contribute in this way!
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Patty Hite Posted: 25th July

    Wow, this really spoke to me, and I never realized just how sick it is.

    They abuse, then deny they abused, they make you feel like you lost your mind, you get angry because you feel like you lost your mind, and then that gives them justification, to say you have lost your mind.

    Sick, sick, sick. It is a conspiracy. Plain and simple, and the more people they have on their side against you, the more games they use to put it back on you. Whewwwww. Time for Chocolate.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      You just summed it up perfectly. YES EXACTLY that is the cycle of abuse in a nutshell. And this is the cycle of ANY kind of abuse even subtle manipulation!
      Thanks so much for coming over from OSA and posting this very insightful comment. Such a great summary!
      Hugs, Darlene

  25. By: Nikki Posted: 25th July

    Very well written a lot of what you said here I could very well identify with in so many ways. I was never truly allowed to vent my own grief when I think back I remember several times in my life that I really needed someone to believe me instead I was made to feel as though I was a fool that was just seeking attention. For instance I kept telling my parents for years that I couldn’t see out of my left eye (When I was around five I was diagnosed with a “lazy eye” in my left eye and I had to wear really thick bottle cap glasses) my parents didn’t believe me until they took me and my sister for an eye appointment when I was around 14 years old. They new my sister needed glasses but when the eye doctor started examining me he looked at my parents and said “You know she is legally blind in that eye”

    I was never really taken seriously .. I remember in my tenth grade year of high school I wrote a suicide note and one of my friends found it and she and another one of our friends turned it into the school counselor … the school counselor had me pulled out of my algebra class (I was taking a test at the time) and she told me that she had not called my parents yet (which I found out later was a lie because my dad told me she had called him and he laughed about it because he thought I was just writing one of my many creative writing stories that I like to write) I pretty much went with the joke .. because I was made to feel like a joke not just by my dad but by the school as well.

    And when I tried to open up and talk to my mom she would always say you need to talk to your dad simply because she didn’t know how to deal with me … but what she didn’t realize was my dad was the problem to a certain extent..

    Just this with this year (I am now in my 30’s) my mom has started realizing or should I say allowing herself to admit the truth and facing it for what it is. But until now I was always to blame.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      This is what I am talking about. Those kinds of things that make us feel unimportant and even invalid. The kinds of things that are said to us that sting, but deep down they also make us wonder if we ARE worth it or not? The child wonders “why”? Why wasn’t I believed? The child looks for reasons that are the child’s fault and the child grows up with the same thoughts, doubts and questions.

      Its great that your Mom is realizing some of this stuff now and allowing herself to admit and face the truth. it is really hard for someone to realize that stuff ~ it is much easier to keep attributing the problems of the child to the child, grown up or not. The excuses that my mother has to declare that it isn’t her fault, are hurtful. When she says things like “I am sorry about such and such, every singe time she adds “but YOU” and places the blame right back on me. It does take two to mend a relationship and there are two sides to healing. In my case I noticed that I had to really take a look at the truth. My mother claims that she did the best she could, and I am fine with that. What I am not fine with is the “but” at the end, and that she won’t give me equal value to herself. It always comes down to “my fault”.

      I am encouraged to hear of your Mom actually looking at this stuff with you. That is what my husband did in order to heal our marriage. That is what we do with our kids in order to heal with them. Nobody does this relationship thing perfectly, but when we participate in relationship in this way, it is bound to get better.

      Thanks so much Nikki for sharing this today and for being a part of this blog!
      Hugs, Darlene

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