Domestic Violence Dream Triggers a Realization



physical abuse
Faded Hope

I had this dream the other night.

I dreamt that my mother threw an elegant cocktail party. It was attended by her well to do friends and it was very formal. The house was decorated beautifully; all dressed in sparkly Christmas decoration, Christmas flower arrangements and the type of decorating perfection that my mother has always been known for.  There were handsome waiters in beautiful black tuxedos quietly bringing around trays of fancy treats and beautifully presented drinks. 

My mother looked stunning in her black full length evening gown; She was happier than I had seen her for years.   

I felt as though I was not actually “at” the party but that I was observing it. I felt awkward in my professional style dress and wished I had thought to buy a new evening gown myself. I felt more like I was part of the “staff” instead of a guest. (In real life I always felt like part of her staff too ~ just a servant, her cook, her whipping post) I noticed that what had started off to be a slight tension headache was quickly becoming a migraine headache and I decided that I better take some Advil and get somewhere quiet to let the pain killer work before it was too late.

I quietly slipped upstairs to the guest room to lay down while the Advil took effect.  A few moments later my mother quietly slipped into the room.  She whisper/yelled “what do you think you are doing?”  I felt that same shock and bewilderment that I always felt when she asked me something in that accusatory tone of voice as though I was purposely doing something “wrong” and that I should not PRETEND that I didn’t know what she was talking about.  I was already backing away from her as I explained that I was getting a migraine headache, that I had taken something for it, and that I was going to stay quiet for a half hour while it took effect. I didn’t think anyone downstairs at the party would even notice. I could see in the dream that she was becoming outraged.  Her eyes were beginning to grow brighter and she got this “look” that I had come to know as “the warning look”.

I felt myself brace. I knew what was coming next.

She started to reprimand me. Her whisper/yell became louder and then she dropped the whisper. She was very angry with me. She said that I always found a way to ruin her plans, that I had to make everything “about me”, that I was selfish and self centered.  How dare I take the focus off her and her party! She said that she had gone to so much trouble for this party and that she had been planning it for months and that I had ruined it.

She started to hit me and while she was hitting me she continued to express her disappointment in me and her devastation over how I had wrecked her party. 

In my mind, although I was dreaming, I was shocked but at the same time I had this surreal feeling that “this verbal rant” explained a few things.  My mother had gone on these rants in real life accusing me of all sorts of things and bringing up every time in the past that I ever messed up in her mind. BUT she had not verbally spewed any of this detailed stuff while she was hitting me and she had never make it so clear that in her mind I had destroyed something that was so important to her in the way she did in the dream.  In real life when she went off on me as an adult, it was always more about the things that I did that made her so ashamed of me. I never connected those rants to the current event in event in her own life that she thought that I had actually destroyed or that whatever I had done had gotten in the way of her success or happiness.  

It was as though I suddenly realized that her rants and rages had their foundation in her belief that I had hurt her perhaps on purpose; that I had actually “set out” to wreck things “for her” and that I had control over those things.  I felt as though her disgust with me had to do with her false belief that I could make her world perfect if only I “wanted to”.  

I realized also that somehow I had believed that too, all my life; that I “could have been” the perfect daughter if “I wanted to.”  But I believed that I was a failure as a daughter, just like she said. And because of that “failure” that I took responsibility for, I believed it was my job to restore her order by taking abuse from her. Verbal abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.

In the post I wrote about when my daughter was born and how my mother made this big deal about wanting to “be there for me” and how hopeful that I was that she was “finally going to be “My Mother” and then how it turned out to be such a disaster to have her there, I give an example of how my mother raged at me for some unknown reason.  I used it as an example of our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship and her symptoms of narcissism.

Through this dream, I suddenly realized that in my mother’s mind, when things went off the track when I went into labour with my daughter, and all the anxiety that it “caused HER” I had destroyed the way she had envisioned the whole thing going.  She had this “plan” that SHE was going to be different this time. This time it was going to be about her, my mother, being there for me. This time (my mother believed) she would make up for all the other times that she had NOT been there for me.  She was going to be mother of the year and for once she was going to “be a great mom” and because of how it actually went, she was royally stripped of her grand plan to “make it all up to me” and it was all my fault, so she did what she always did and lashed out at me. She blamed me because things didn’t go HER way when I was having MY baby. This was actually how she justified her verbal and emotional abuse.

Putting dysfunctional events with my mother through this grid of understanding made many of the mental madness moments in my relationship with my mother more understandable. It is still pretty sick and dysfunctional. In the dream I thought to myself; “my poor pathetic mother. She really is a little bit psychotic.  Her thinking process is completely dysfunctional and abusive at the least.  She is freaking out at me because my headache interfered with the way she envisioned her perfect Christmas party”.  

When I woke up I didn’t feel so sorry for my mother; I was relieved that it was a dream!

(I actually threatened my mother when I was 15 years old that if she ever hit me again I would hit her back and it scared her enough to stop that part of the dysfunctional toxic parent child relationship we shared, so although this dream was about my mother physically abusing me as an adult, that never happened in real life.)

NOTE: Realizing this and having this insight into my mother’s thoughts, doesn’t change the damage that my mother caused to me, it just helps me comprehend how messed up her thinking is. Realizing her crazy thinking does not excuse her behaviour nor should it be used as an excuse for her behaviour. Using these insights as excuses for mistreatment and abuse got me stuck in the dysfunction for YEARS.

This little insight through the dream helped me to realize HOW she thinks (based on her reactions in the past) however it doesn’t change the fact that she is and was wrong and that the way she parented me and our mother daughter relationship was toxic and dysfunctional. She has always acted as though she believes that it really is my job to make things go well for her. Her actions inferred that life doesn’t happen, but that I “caused” good things to go bad. She acted like I had trouble with the birthing process just to wreck her plans of being the perfect mom for once. I could never get my head wrapped around her way of thinking. (and I no longer want to)

Please share your thoughts,                 

Exposing truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts~ My Mother Finally wanted to Be my Mother (this is the story I refer to when my daughter was born)

Categories : Mother Daughter



This is exactly what I realized about Ns in general and my NMother – they have a play or story in their heads about how things should be. Since everyone is an OBJECT to them we are merely players/pawns in that performance.

Of course we are REAL people and when reality intrudes on their trying to make their fantasy life real they RAGE. They can’t deal with anything but their own delusions. They hear what they want and see what they want – which causes a lot of WTF moments in us here in the real world.

On of my mother’s favorite mantras – which was said to me in some way everytime we were around each other for more than 15 minutes, was “I KNOW YOU LIVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE JUST TO HURT ME!” Years later I realized there was no way I could make her see how insane and unreasonable that statement was. I was an object, you see, and should not have needs or thoughts of my own. She believed I was out to get or ruin her with her whole being. That’s when the light went off that it was HER not me.

There you have it.


Hi Darlene,

What a dream.. how you come to see things through it is amazing too. I never had any such dreams: but I have known the feeling of being put second to something less important. Like a pack of cigarette, case of pop, the clothes dryer door. Whenever something of lesser value broke, I got broken. It was saying my welfare was less important to my mom than some dryer, some missing cigarettes, some spot on a dish.

I know my mom was dysfunctioal.. her way of hitting me was to such extremes.. he way of treating me was nothing like that of a caring mother that I have heard of from friends..something inside her was not ticking quite right.

Mothers who give life shouldn’t spend so much time destroying my mom did through the daily beatings: physical and mental and emotional. Instead of takig time to teach me things to ready me for life she did all she could to rob me of it and she has in some way succeeded.. I walk wounded..trying to heal from years of abuse..

I know she was no where normal.. as I have seen and heard from “mothers” how they love their children. this only intensifies my pain.. knowing how it should be and realizing how it was..

I know though . I am going forward. .I have some good support. Thank you Darlene for this blog .. your continued support.. and frienship..



November 25th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

My histrionic mom seems to function in the same way. She has told me several times how she thinks I mean to hurt her. Really it is a way for her deflect the conversation. She gets so emotional and wrapped up in herself that she doesn’t hear me at all.

During MY divorce, my mom had to make it all about HER. She entirely made up her version of events about my divorce which she knew nothing about. Why didn’t she know anything about the truth of events? Because not once did she call, sit down with me, nor ask me in anyway about what was happening and what I was going through.

She does have perfectionist and outward-appearance (face-saving) tendencies so maybe it is why she has to create her own reality. Too bad that reality is based on
lies, and based on calling her daughter a liar. As well, as abandoning her daughter in a time of great need, all for the sake of not being able to face reality.

My maternal grandparents are extremely avoidant personalities, and I’m not sure how often this runs in the family of narcisissists too.


Hi Darlene,

this part really clicked with me:

“…..I realized also that somehow I had believed that too, all my life; that I “could have been” the perfect daughter if “I wanted to.” But I believed that I was a failure as a daughter, just like she said. And because of that “failure” that I took responsibility for, I believed it was my job to restore her order by taking abuse from her.”

It feels a bit strange in my head…. I think it’s kinda like it instantly felt important to me deep down, but my head can’t process it fully yet or specifically apply it to my own situation. Does that make sense? (I’m not sure if it even does to me)

I’m also feeling a bit weird from thinking about narcissism. It’s something I haven’t felt able to read/think about that much yet, I think because I’m pretty afraid it’s going to apply to me as well as my parents. (I suppose this could be a “depression” thought just messing with me. But I guess deep down I’m pretty afraid it’s true).

Not real sure what to do about that. Maybe I could try being gentle on myself for now and worry about it when I’ve got some stability in my life situation. Probably need to be away from the parental influence for a while and stabilize a bit more before trying to face up to the stuff I’ve inherited that I don’t want.

Hope everyone’s doing well!

PS Joy, thinking of you with court coming up. Hope you’re doing ok!


Hello Giftedwithbrokenness..

It must be terribly painful to have wanted to have your mom there understanding you and helping you during your divorce. . a time when having a mom would be so beneficial to you ..and knowing she would not be there. .She was too taken up in her own world . .She didn’t want to hear..and that’s sad.. How terrible that instead of holding your close and telling you how she loves she made you feel so much worse.. I understand those feelings in so many ways.. I am going through something that I wish my mom would be there for me as’s an awful feeling. .having a mom but not really having’s painful beyond words..



Hi J

Right now .. my days have been filled with many deep breathing exercise sessions….. Everything that can be imagined about what can happen is playing out in my mind.. I will be so glad when it’s finally over as my heart has beating so much faster and my sleep less cosistent.. All that being said, I am doing the best I can.



“I felt as though her disgust with me had to do with her false belief that I could make her world perfect if only I “wanted to”.”

Bingo. Hits the nail on the head. An “aha” moment for me too, reading that.


Their brains are in backwards, Darlene…sigh…I disapointed my mom terribly when I was six and she bought a pair of saddle oxfords for me and I thought they were the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen. They were popular when she was a teenager. I tried to flush them down the toilet because I hated them so much. I think she still hasn’t forgiven me for that. She was really angry with me when I became a teenager and wanted to spend more time with my friends that with my mom. I’d disappointed her again because she had a fantasy of my being her best friend and doing everything together. I was dumb-founded then and it still dumb-founds me now. When I was grown and they moved in next door, I saw with adult eyes, that she expected me to fill every need, emotional and physical, and whenever I didn’t give her what she expected, my name was mud. I know she’s sick but I also know that she’ll never be able to admit it and that she’d never do anything about it. I can’t make her better. She makes me sicker. It’s really just about survival.



If I adopted my children out, moved in with her, provided my own necessities, and waited on her hand and foot, perhaps that would make her happy…for a while. Then she would find something that dissatisfied her and I could end up sacrificing my life make her happy (she has a history of belittling my injuries and illnesses: if I hurt, she hurts worse). At my funeral, she would make sure the spotlight was on her.

I’ve taken to going to visit her Sunday afternoons, but even that little makes my stomach churn. Those snide little comments! I have heard that she brags on me to other people, perhaps to make them believe that she loves me and I love her and everything is hunky dory, which it certainly isn’t. I am an object to her, tolerable only in my service to her.

She tears down my sister to me, and I’m sure she tears me down to my sister. She must be doing the “divide and conquer” thing. The really pathetic thing is that she is doing this from a position of relative helplessness (walker, wheelchair on outings, lift chair) and we are still trying to make her life perfect.


Hi Joy,

I really feel for you with all that you’re going through. It really sounds like the sort of situation where just getting through is such a huge effort and takes such a toll on you in so many ways. Can’t really think what else to say except HUGS and a 🙂 for hope of better days to come.

I feel like I need to dump a bunch of my own stuff too. My 30th birthday is coming up fairly soon, and I wish it wasn’t. Bringing up a lot of s**t for me.

The current thing that’s had me stuck in bed for the last couple hours stressing is a voicemail from an out-of-town acquaintance on my phone last night (didn’t hear it til today). Basically said “I’m in town tomorrow, call me to catch up”.

The backstory – known each other from birth pretty much; family friends, etc etc. I’d kinda realized quite a few years ago that I didn’t really like him in many ways, and had basically stopped actively trying to pursue the friendship. He still usually calls to catch up with my parents, so since moving back home have seen him more from that.

I think the thing that’s really f**king with me atm is that my mother seems to maintain her relationship out of obligation, and she also seems to expect us (her children) to be obligated too. It’s bulls**t. (Sorry, feeling pretty pissed about all this). I kinda wish I just completely hated/had no respect at all for the guy, so then I could just cut off completely and not care. Actually, I guess I don’t really have a lot of respect for him, but he can be fun to hang around.

I’ve been so scared with my birthday approaching, because it’s the first one since I’ve seen through the brainwashing of my parents & shifted the blame to THEM for all the effects their abuse has had on me, instead of believing their indoctrination that all the ways I struggle to function in this world are my OWN fault.

But they (of course) will only be concerned that they get to see what they want to see, and that I roll over and act like everything’s great and we’re a very happy family with no problems at all.

And of course, to some degree at least, that’s what will happen. Because they shoot down even the smallest attempts at standing up for myself (nip any potential problems in the bud), I refuse to put myself through even MORE s**t from them right now. So I’ll just take the path of least resistance. Or not. Maybe I’ll just say I don’t want to celebrate, or that I don’t feel well or something. Then at least I wouldn’t have to sit through some god-awful pretense of a celebration.

I really hate how hard everything is atm. Still holding on to the idea of getting out, cutting off, and giving myself the time & space to start healing and trying to get used to the idea that my life is MY LIFE. Maybe over time, I’ll then feel confident enough to stand up for myself and give them the option of changing if they want a relationship.

And maybe I won’t. 30 years is a long time. I’ve been feeling extremely bitter about wasting my life trying to be something simply because my parents think they own me and acted accordingly. I honestly can’t see either of them changing their way of thinking or acting (especially not quickly, or significantly). And if I choose not to even give them the chance of adding further to the abuse by cutting off completely and forever, then so be it. It’s MY f**king life. They’ve already f**ked up 30 years of it, and quite frankly, I strongly suspect I’ll be dealing with the after-effects (to some degree, at least) for the rest of my life. Some legacy.

Ok. I think I’m done.

No idea what to do right now. I can’t even trust my own thoughts. Another friend has offered to take me out for tea, and I’d like to, but I’m guilting myself re feeling like I “have” to see my out-of-town friend, or invite them along too. And even though I wouldn’t mind seeing him in some ways, it’s the expectation that I just automatically WILL see him, whether I want to or not, or whether it’s convenient for me or not (no mention in the voicemail of asking if I had plans, let alone any notice beforehand – just expectation) that makes me want to just ignore it (or actually say “no” if I find a backbone somewhere!). Which of course, will most probably lead to repercussions when the story gets back to my mother (which it almost certainly will. His mother and my mother both seem to thrive on bitching about other people and all the ways in which THEY get mistreated. Cry me a f**king river. Look in the mirror sometime)

Sorry for all the negativity & language (again).

Take care everyone.


I never used to dream – but since I began to heal I do. And they are very revealing. They have helped me to face the reality of the wilderness that my childhood was. My Mom didn’t rage – she was always very calm and calculating. AS a mental health professional she could be very adept at manipulating words – and me, and making me feel like I was a nuisance. SHe never said it, but I knew, that I had ruined her life. She had discovered, too late, that she didn’t want to be married, didn’t want to be a Mum, didn’t want to engage in family – didn’t like me. So she didn’t. She was there, she went through the motions, but it was always clear to me that I could never have a warm relationship with her and I never did. The closest we ever came to really communicating was just before my wedding and her death. Just the one time in nearly 40 years. As for my father, well I couldn’t have a proper father-daughter relationship with someone who was not mature enough to be a father, and as a consequence behaved like a bullying older sibling.
I realise that adults do not have babies for the people that they will become – but these two were so clueless about being parents, and so proud of being mental health professionals who were applying their professional expertise in my upbringing.
AS I go through therapy, I am often amazed when I express something that to me was “normal” and of little account – and the response I get from therapists is one of horror and outrage on my behalf – so then I review that memory – and they are quite right.
I now have no “family” left. I don’t miss them.


Hi Barbara
That is exactly what I realized too. I LOVE the way you put it!
Thanks for these comments!
Hugs! Darlene

Hi Joy
Hang in there my dear one! It hurt me deeply too when I saw other mothers “love” their kids through a real definition of love, but eventually that pain went away as I learned to love and re-parent myself. Today I appreciate SO MUCH when I see or hear about loving moms/parents. All of this takes time but it happened for me. There is hope for ALL healing.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Giftedwithbrokenness
Yes, it is a way to deflect the conversation!
Thank you for all these great examples of what I am talking about here!
Hugs, Darlene

Belittling injuries and illnesses is another great example of what happens… snide comments, yes. My mother was BIG on the divide and conquer thing too. With my mother I had to stop feeling sorry for HER and look at what it was doing to me and feel sorry for ME.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J
The “process” including realizing things we didn’t realize before, acceptance, clarity ~ all take time. Fear is very normal. I was so afraid to realize the truth about all this stuff. I was very afraid that I was going to find out that it was “really me” that was the problem and that I was going to find out that I was the one who was selfish and self centered. But I kept going. The truth shook out in the end. It wasn’t me. Hang in there!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
I got a huge smile at your story with the shoes! Thanks for sharing that!
I can relate to all that you have shared here. I love your conclusions! she is sick; she refuses to see it; you can’t make her better; she makes YOU sicker; this is about survival ~ YES
Thank you for sharing your thoughts here Pam!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Libby
It is so sad how many adults have babies in order to fill a need they have; they place all these HUGE expectations on these babies and children can not possibly fill the needs of parents. (and so many mental health professionals are only in that profession because they have a deep need to heal themselves ~ not the best motivation to be in the helping others profession)
Sounds like you have a wonderful therapist! So many of the them don’t’ react at all to these stories that “we think” are “normal”.
Thanks for sharing and for adding your thoughts here Libby!
Hugs, Darlene


HI Darlene..thanks am hanging in here.. today am a little under weather..maybe something I ate.. so I apologize for not responding sooner..

Its when you are not feeling well; or are going through something traumatic that one appreciates having a mom but. .when one is not present..going through such is all that harder. Moms, I heard, always know how to make you feel better: when they are not dysfunctional..

I know that, like for you , and for others.. things will become easier. I have great friends.. and great support and great therapist..

Have a super nice day, Darlene, I appreciate your words:




Hello Darlene,

First I Thank you Darlene, for the courage to write about your mother. One of the biggest things I was taught was not to tell what goes on inside our home (Secrets, Secrets, Secrets). No matter what, and by you exposing your mothers NPD has helped me. This past spring, I went to family therapy with my mother hoping I would have a real mother (aka loving, kind, warm, etc. etc.)
By the 5th week I was becoming anxious, fearful, and very sad. Therapy basically was becoming hell, Sally our therapist allowed my mother to lay down the rules, in the 1st session, which was, I cannot talk about the past. So what is the point of going to therapy, right? My mother made herself a victim the 1st session, telling Sally about her childhood from hell. I feel Sally sided with my mother, so if I brought up something from my childhood I would be reprimanded by my mother, and Sally.
I don’t know exactly what happened but the night before therapy My spirit said to me “Your mother is narssistic”. I went online and read at least 5 different articles on NPD mothers. It ALL MADE SENSE to me now.
The next day in the session, I paid more attention to what she was saying, I did not realize what a LIAR she is to make herself look good to people even if they are virtual strangers or if it’s at my expense.
To make a long story short, I confronted my mother and told her I think she has NPD. Of course she reacted like ALL NPD’s with nonsense and RAGE, she SPEWED VENOM and LIES,at me . Thank GOD I KNEW what I was dealing with.
That’s when Sally said to my mother, “I QUIT, everything cannot be your daughters fault you do not take responsility for anything ” Sally looked at me with such sadness, and said “I’m sorry”.
As I walked to the bus stop, my mother walked up to me and said “I can get you some help” Just like the NPD mother she is, I looked at her and said, “I’m not the one who needs help”. That was the last time I saw her, or spoke to her. I now understand her, I have compassion for her, but I will not subject myself to her, not even on her death bed. I cannot take the chance of her hurting me.

From a Recovering Daughter



Hi Tracy
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for sharing this here. Wow, what a story and good for you for standing up for yourself.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J

I know that your birthday is this week and wanted to ask everyone to join me in wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
((it is really quiet online J. due to the American Thanksgiving weekend, so if you don’t get a flood of wishes, that is the reason!” ))

Birthday hugs!!


I’m 50 today. I am glad I am now healing, although I’m sad for all the wasted years.


Well, certainly, you had the temerity to pretend to have a headache, you rotten person you, so you could be the center of attention like you always had to be. Her perfect party was ruined, ruined! by one of her friends “having” to be concerned about you. Why did you have to insist on making her life so difficult? Her life could have been so much better if you only did everything she wanted you to do, read her mind as to what it was she was thinking and feeling, never argued or even disagreed with her, and were totally solicitous of her, never having feelings or thoughts of your own, and never pretending you were sick or hurt. Seriously, how little she asked of you.

Just being facetious and a little bitter. When I told my mother I had diabetes, her first response was, “Well, I DON’T have diabetes. My doctor told me so, and I am glad about that.” What??? It really is all about them. Their first response to anything is, how does this affect ME? But if they have any intelligence at all, they know what social expectations are, and she’s given me books on blood sugar control. Of course, she still offers me sugary stuff to eat.

I am so glad for this blog. My friends with normal mothers simply have no frame of reference to even be able to begin comprehending what I’m talking about. You all understand. Darlene, I’m so thankful you started this blog and OSA on FB. It’s brought so much healing. I know I’m not the crazy one anymore.


Happy Birthday! Welcome to the fifties!
Thank you for your humour and for adding some more context to this post. What you have shared is another example of what many parents do to make everything about them. I had to take my life back.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. ~ Just to clarify; OSA (overcoming sexual abuse) is not my facebook page or my site but a separate site sort of like a sister site to mine. We fully support each other in each others messages. I have the emerging from broken page on facebook.


I read as much as I can of the blogs and I am kind of all over the place. I find a common experience and so much truth and I do kind of jump around. Sometimes I think that since I was not hit or punched I wasn’t really abused. My material needs were met – I was a latchkey kid that developed narcolepsy when I was 14. I was smart enough but I just could not stay awake/alert in school. I was diagnosed at age 30 after many years of just thinking I was lazy and not trying hard enough. I am relating to the dream and the head-ache in the dream – (geez even in your dream you get a headache; sorry but that just sucks) I had a lot of severe headaches as a teen and young adult. I attended a conference in oct. for people with narcolepsy and found out most of them also had them before diagnosis and medication – that’s another story… The idea of offering sugary snacks to a person who is tempted but has to watch it reminds me of my mother who gets pissed off because I would nap too much or want some time away from them when I used to visit. (When I was a kid she always arose at 5:00am to go to work by 6:30 -she did not need to be there until 8:00am but this way she would not have to see her children in the morning)She exudes this weird moral highground about getting up early. I mean, who cares?I do NOT visit anymore. I used to come to town, clean house top to bottom, try to buy everything I thought they might need – put together outings with other siblings; etc. It was never enough. My parents always acted like they were “receiving ” love and having some needs met and all the while belittling, grumbling, fault-finding, complaining.They have never once acknowledged that I have Narcolepsy. I don’t need sympathy from them but just understanding. As kids,in the summers in San Joaquin valley they would want us to hoe tumble weeds from under the grapevines. It was HOT. Really HOT. I would fall down (cataplexy and sleepiness) I did not want to get up. I don’t know how my brother and my sister did it. By the way – my brother has MD and he was also diagnosed as an adult. As children our parents had insurance but would not take us to the doctor. I think my brother and I would have had a few years of our life a little smoother (crappy grammar but I am getting it out) When my brother finally got a diagnosis, he told my mother and the only reaction was” Oh no, your sister wants to have children – I hope she does not have the gene!” No, the “sister” was not me but my older sister who is, as my mother toasted at thanksgiving, her”golden child”. So glad I skip the family holidays now, but I do talk to my brother. If anybody got this far – I say thank you for “listening” Emergence certainly takes time….


Hi Tamara
My material needs were met too and some of the worst abuse in my life was not physical OR sexual. It was emotional, neglectful and especially that fact that I was so discounted. Not valued. That is at the bottom of ALL abuse. Not being valued. Realizing (as you are doing here in these comments) that by the way I was treated (by many) I was invalidated and not valued. My value was discounted. That left the deepest scars. That is the bottom line for me of what I had to deal with and overcome. I had to realize that “they” were wrong about me, and that having no value ~ is a huge lie. I have tons of value.
Hugs ~ thanks so much for sharing!


My favorite line in this article: “She has always acted as though she believes…”


WHAT a great story~ I am SO glad you could write that and DID write it!

Don’t give the opportunity for more hurt. YES!~~

“You are the one that needs help” I LOVE that!!


This dream is SO like an experience I had in 2004 when a relative through a huge politacal-religious-family bash and we all had to travel across the country to be there. The temps were freezing, and my ex-husband mandated that we were NOT buying winter coats for our kids to wear! I bought them anyway. Looking back, I can see EXACTLY why he said that. He would do anything to make ME look BAD to his family so that he could justify the divorce that was around the corner. CLEAR AS A BELL NOW!

My son ended up feverishly ill, puking ill, in a basement room with me, and the royal highness host, herself, found little old me in that basement room with a sick son and basically told me to get back upstairs because “you are not going to want to miss what is going on…” I basically ignored her, after seeing how far the party room was from where we were. Then my ex ended up telling me that I ruined the night (it was inevitable–to be blamed for that–who knows what fool move he pulled on soneone while I was not in the room, and decided it best if HE leaves???? but blamed it on me instead)

The ex’s family who through this bash did not come out and say the things Darlene’s mom said to her in her dream, but the ACTIONS speak lies all the way around


Happy birthday, J. Hang in there, day by day. Sending you thoughts of health, strength, and truth.


This post is representative of the countless dreams I’ve had about my mother. She didn’t abuse to the degree you describe (in your dream and in real life), but emotional abuse was abundant I’m coming to realize. I have had nightmare like dreams for about 10 years off and on, and in each one, she was a ringleader, whispering, glaring, sizing me up in a conversation with my family members, giving the looks of disdain and judgement I came to know so well in real life. They are so realistic, that it nearly mimics what life has been like with my mother. Strange!!


Wow Pam #8 that shoe reference is a familiar one for me. SHE loved the saddle shoes when she was in highschool and I end up wearing them in 2nd grade ugly ugly..too funny. I wish I would have had the guts to flush ’em too. Also my parents in their late 70’s just moved into the same townhome complex as my younger brother. They spent alot of money, “lost their home” and rent a place now while my bro and wife saved a lot of money and paid cash for theirs. Glad I am far away.
Mimi One word you used “whispering” I still hate it when people do it around me. My parents constantly whispered wisecracks to each other based on any or all weaknesses of any of their 5 offspring. It always blew me away how they could be so “hurt” when confronted in a gentle direct way ie: when you/Ifeel; yet blast the hell out of anyone else when they were just being themselves. <3


One note on “reparenting” yourself. I happened to be reading a book on organizing your home in 40 days. I am hit or miss with this skill. Though this book is written with a good dose of humor the chapter I happened to be reading suggested to step back and be your own good Mother.


thanks Sophia, much appreciated! I’m trying to, but struggling pretty bad. hope you’re doing well!


Hi Tamara…
THAT is funny! My mother was amazing at keeping a beautiful home.. and I think that is why I hate housework so much. The “house” was way more nurtured than I was!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
Dreams have very often been clues for me. I look at the parts of them that I seem to have significant feelings about and find out what that part of the dream represented in my real life. I have made tons of connections through dreams.
hugs, Darlene


It’s funny. What happened in Darlene’s dream actually happened to me in real life. I had a migraine and my mother kept barging into my room to complain about her husband that had just left her. She didn’t care that I was in physical pain. I think it gave her perverse pleasure to keep me from getting the nap that would have helped. One of the times she came in she told me that she found out that my step-Dad had been sleeping with my classmate. (This turned out to be true, I found out later. If only that had been one of the many lies). The fact that I was trying to rest while she was going all over the house scrubbing it from top to bottom because she was too keyed up and crazy to sit down for 5 minutes, made her angy at me.

I’m so glad that’s not my life now. I went no contact last year and it was the best decision I ever made. She called me on Thanksgiving and I ignored the phone. If she really cared about me she would have called on Wednesday or Tuesday or Monday or the week before etc. She really just wanted to hurt me and ruin my holiday. But without her I found myself doing things that she had tried to convince me that I could never do. I cooked my first turkey and it was delicious. I celebrated the holiday by myself and *loved* it. It was the most peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.

My dad tried to call as well and I ignored his call as well. I found myself healing during the vacation where I didn’t let hurtful people in…No crazy parents, no crazy church people, no fake friends. I have no regrets.

And, since I’m all off subject anyway, let me add something else. I realized that my criteria for a friend was that a person had to be friendly and nice to me. But people like that can pretend and really end up being awful people. I’ve decided that my number 1 criteria for a new friend is that they understand me. Someone who understands you is more likely to be giving and compassionate.

Wow…getting off of soap box now… 🙂



Hi Robin,

thanks for your story! Helps give me some hope for myself one day. Very glad to hear you’ve found a better place for yourself! 🙂

Your story about the migraine gave me a vague flashback… I’m pretty sure my mother once got upset with me about something, then turned music up loud and (I think??) left the house without saying anything. I think on that occasion it was so loud I actually got the courage to go ask her to turn it down, only to discover she wasn’t even in the house. Strongly felt that she’d done it just to f**k with me.

This is very hazy. Not sure if I was trying to sleep, or had a headache, or even if this was before I’d specifically mentioned how much noise gets to me lately. (How the tables have turned – I always had music on loud as a kid; now their TV blares through the entire house… if not neighbourhood!! Have to just leave house regularly to get any peace).

I’m intrigued by what you said about “not letting hurtful people in”. As well as coming to realize just how negative basically my entire extended family is over this last year or so, I’ve kinda been re-evaluating my friendships as well. (I only have a handful left anymore; I pretty much stopped trying/bothering with most of my old friends over the last few years.)

Two friends in particular still keep in fairly regular contact with me. But even with them I sometimes feel like it’s fairly negative (and of course feel guilty for feeling that way — I’d be even more lonely than I am now without them; and I’m pretty f**king lonely right now, frankly). Anyway, I’m trying to be more aware of what makes me feel bad in relationships/friendships etc.

I think I already wrote about this, but an out-of-town “friend” (of my family more than me at this stage, although same age as me) left a voicemail just before my birthday saying “I’m in town, call me to catch up”. Our parents seem to have an “obligation” kinda friendship going, and seems like it’s passed down the line. My parents usually complain about his parents if they come over, his mother usually complains about her family when she’s over, etc etc.

Anyway although we can have a lot of fun & laughs when we do occasionally catch up, I haven’t really enjoyed the relationship for some time so have been trying to passively cut off. (Too scared to confront anyone). The voicemail reminded me of things that bugged me (the expectation that I’d automatically want to catch up; no asking if I had birthday plans; no prior notice etc).

Also had an unpleasant realization re a female (non-romantic) friend who I’d felt very close to. Long story short, we were involved in a project together, but I felt like I’d been the one putting in the bulk of the work/travel/time/money to try and make it happen. When we’d got to the first stages of actually starting it (having been preparing for several years), she basically did the very thing I’d been saying all along I was afraid of (despite having had years to make any opinions known etc, she turned around on the spot and said she didn’t like one section that I’d done).

This really felt like the worst kind of betrayal; especially since I’d actually gone out of my way to have her present that day so she could feel involved (she wasn’t at that stage). When I said that to her later, she basically turned it around to make it seem like it was my fault for personalizing it. (Which I admittedly tend to do). I freaked out, had a minor meltdown and haven’t touched the project since (despite spending a TON of time over the past 5 years, and over $1000 on the specific day of the incident alone, with no financial input from her).

What’s ended up hurting even more is that I haven’t heard from her since. (Months and months ago). Made me realize that, although I tried to be there for her in her worst times despite what was going on in my own life, she’s not there for me when I need help — in fact, she became part of the problem instead at the worst possible time.

Haven’t really let myself think about this too much to be honest – too raw and painful. Don’t know what to do about it. This project was something I’ve been holding onto for years (one of the few true rays of hope I had), and I also thought we had a positive relationship where we could be real with each other and look out for each other.

So, yeah. F**king sucks.

I guess it’s made me realize that she’s out for herself first and foremost, and that nobody but ME can truly look out for MYself first and foremost, so I’d better f**king start doing it. Feels cynical; but maybe it’s a positive thing (in a way). Never really have looked out for myself. Just wish the lesson didn’t have to come in such a s**tty & painful container.

Alright, really late (as usual for me) so I’m gonna go. Apologies for the latest dose of negativity.

I hope everyone’s doing well.


I think I am going to have to think about this post. There are so many layers in my family that I am digging into. I talk to my own Mother (who I used to see as a martyr,) about her Mother who had serious mental issues. My Father has mental issues that were never diagnosed. I have outside issues with molestation and abuse. My center has been shattered and I am still collecting the pieces. Although these posts are great, (in that I can relate to many of them,) I have to separate which people where the ones who doled out which types of abuse. I thank you for writing about your personal experiences and hope to one day put my pieces together for my own peace of mind.


Hi Bipolar Bear
One of the things that really helped me was to look at what happened to me and stay with that. (I tried not to think of the family history stuff until I was well into recovery because it derailed me) So it didn’t matter so much which people did what, as much as it mattered what happened and the damage it caused. I tried to look at one event at a time. Eventually I realized where one even merged into another but I had to try to separate everything at first
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene and All,

Sometimes my dreams have really given me insights which have got me through my confusion and fog. I had a shocking dream that my mother turned into a possessed demon and that was before I even had any issues with her!!. I was still completely under her control and wasn’t consciously aware of the NPD she had.

I had dreams for many years that I was being chased by a huge great white shark ever since I was a child. Since I dealt with my issues with my family I no longer have such shocking dreams. Thankfully!!

Thank you Darlene for sharing your experiences of your dream, I also read your post about your mother not being there for you and letting you down after the birth of your second child. I was really disgusted by her behaviour towards you and I think if I was sitting in your house at the time I would probably have thrown her out the door and cooked dinner for all your workers myself!! (apologies if I am in the wrong saying that).

I think that the greatest gift is to be given the gift of a child and to be a mother is a blessing and it is such a shame that there are women who don’t understand how important and special every child is and it is that child’s right to be loved, kept safe and warm and if these women/mothers don’t get it, then its best we do walk away from these women as they do not deserve OUR love, they do not deserve OUR respect, they do not deserve OUR presence.


Hi Emma
I had a lot of crazy dreams before too. I had quite a few that kept coming back before I faced the truth about the past. I think that dreams have always been like “hints” for me. They were little nudges trying to get me to see the truth so that I could face it and be free.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Wow! This was a great post to read! In the case of the female narcissist in my life, a minister’s daughter who was a minister too (supposedly), I began realizing while staying at her home for several weeks, that she actually believed I would make her ministry flourish, that I was “the one” the ministry needed to make it all fall into place. When she finally spent time with me and discovered that I didn’t insist on having the highest level of everything like she did (I would gratefully accept Hershey’s chocolate instead of DOVE, I would use Dollar Store brand shampoo rather than refusing to use anything BUT salon-bought stuff), she decided that I would never “do” to accompany her in a ministry or on a mission trip anywhere. I didn’t “appreciate” the finer things of life but was content to just “settle.” That was a huge crime to her…not always looking perfectly manicured and pedicured, going out without hair product holding every hair in a popular style, wearing the “Wrong” colors together. All these things were for the “lowly” folks but never a minister’s family. I didn’t fit in so I wasn’t “fit” to be in with her and them.


Hi Laura,
Welcome to EFB
Good example of what I am saying in this site… it is always about what “they” think is acceptable and then believe that you don’t fit in IF you don’t see things their way.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Oh boy. So much of this stuff “triggers” me I can hardly read through the comments. It does help that it’s not just me, but I wish you all didn’t have to go through the pain either.


Hi Dominique
I have found triggers to be my friend. I am glad that you are here,
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks again Darlene,your sharing helps me to feel valued as in I’m not alone. Even though my journey is different,the sharing triggers insights & the steps seem the same.


I read your words about your relationship with your mother and I was finally able to realize that my mother’s bizarre behavior towards me was not my fault. I tried all of my life to live up to her unrealistic expectations …. Finally, at age 50, when she pitched a fit with me and drew a fist, I told her “No more!” I told her that she had talked to me like that for the last time in my life.

I left her house and my phone rang while I was driving. She had already called my sister and told a viscious lie, that I had called her a “f*cking bitch” … which I did not do.

I am now having the same problem now that my mother is dead from my sister, who has become the spitting image of my mother. My sister called my daughter and told her a lie … stating I never call her unless I want money. I have tried to call my sister, sent emails, texts … and when I do reach her because one of her employees puts the call through, … she immediately says she has to go.

I noticed on of the replies to your post stated the tactic was called “divide and conquer”.

I am really at a loss on how to confront my sister and what words to use to let her know how disappointed I am in her for calling my own daughter and telling a lie.

Why do people do this?

Thankfully, I have a great therapist who has a PhD in neuropsychology, who is helping me with deep breathing exercises and cognitive behavior therapy. He is astonished at so much of what I tell him.

I have always been truthful to a fault. I may think something but if it would be cruel to say it … I keep my mouth shut.

My childhoood caused me to be a “perfectionist” … thinking that maybe if I did everything perfect I would get my mom’s approval. I never, ever heard that woman say one encouraging word of approval in my entire life.

She did say one time the only thing she regretted in her life was when she hit me and I fell backwards out of my chair in front of all of my friends (when I was pregnant at 16). There was no mention of all the other times this happened. She regretted hitting a ‘pregnant daughter’ …. I only wish she had acknowledged the lifetime of abuse from her and my father and brother.

Thanks for “listening” … I have found a site where I can get to the truth of the matter and learn the tools to deal with the baggage/garbage.


Hi Micki,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
It certainly sounds like you have found the right place!! Your examples are exactly what we are talking about here! Please feel free to share often!
Hugs, Darlene


I would hear God what have I done to deserve such a ad daughter?
And your just like your father a cheap liar. Keep eating you fat pig


Hi Joan
This is a horrible thing for a mother to say to her daughter. (see how the blame comes out though?? See how these statements “define” you? I had to look at all this stuff to realize how I got so broken.)
Hugs, Darlene


It has been so helpful to read all of this and thank you so very much to all who shared… at the moment I am worried as I feel if you had a narcissitic parent could it also be likely that you had elements of narcissism.. I am just coming out of the fog.. I started reading on NPD when I was in my last relationship….because I was suffering a lot of symptoms but also see that in my own intense self preoccupation I could at times also be unavailable….still with my ex if I couldnt do something for him or be somewhere he would get really upset and sometimes rage at me…my health wasnt good and I wasnt sleeping that well due to accidents sustained.. when my marriage ended because I could not move forward….and away from my narcissistic family… both of my parents lost their fathers at 7 and so worked really hard but it was always about having the great house… having the right clothes …. we werent cuddled or listened to… i felt basically unseen, unheard and that i must take myself away and deal with my problems on my own as otherwise i was too much of a bother.. even now its hard to ask or reach out… last week i made a big step and actually called a friend and cried…..and she came over immediately……other times when I was in AA I attracted other friends who could/wound never be there……so am ending that pattern now…

I can really relate to those healing at 50 as turned 50 a few weeks ago and feeling an enormous sense of loss over all that has been taken by being raised by emotionally unavailable parents….50 is the Chiron return in astrology and when our deepest wound can hurt so much it leads us to the necessary healing and as a lot of this is multigenerational its only apt now that those of us who are 50 are facing it..

A while back when I went into total isolation at the coast I began work on a book.. emerging from the chrysallis and then I found this site….. the chrysallis may be where the inner child goes to hide and find self protection and learn about feelings they had to bury because no one was there for them to mirror or reflect.

One question is about how Narcissists turn their own defects back on you.. when he ended it my Narc partner accused me of lack of empathy when I went away for Christmas since he had raged at me the Christmas before and then asked if he was missing me.. my friends say I am a very empathetic person… and his family say he lacked empathy…..still its hard to hold onto this truth.

oh one of my earliest dreams is about my mother turning into a evil nasty which… I had that at about 5 years old.

thanks for the opportunity to share all of this.


Hi Deborah
What worked for me was that I looked at all the roots of where I “got broken” and discovered the messages that “lived” within me because of trauma. Then I sorted the truth about those messages from the false of those messages. Once I began to understand my belief system, (LOTS of stuff in this site about this) I realized where I was acting out of that false belief system in my relationships. The changes in me towards came naturally, as I grew in self love and self esteem.

Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene.. I am and will keep trying to do that.


Hi Darlene,

I just wanted to thank you so much for your website – I’ve been reading for hours. I haven’t spoken to my mother in about 2 years – and these have been two peaceful, happy and healthy years. But I always feel guilty about the separation anytime she crosses my mind.

I’m going to have a baby girl in a few months, and my first reaction on finding out it was a girl was to panic. I found myself hoping that she would be a better person than me, so that she and I could have a good relationship. That’s how far removed I have been from any thought that part of the problem could be mom 🙂

It’s liberating and validating to hear yours and others’ stories, and recognize pieces of my own life from them. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do about what mothers SHOULD be like, but I’m certainly going to be a better one than I had.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.


Hi P.
Welcome to EFB!
Congrats on the upcoming birth of your baby! I went through that stuff too; all the doubts about myself etc, so I hear you! This website is about how I took my life back from all that. I still have to watch my “default mode” which is to search myself for the fault that is mine in relationships.
I can tell you this for certain. I am a better mother than the one I had (and two of my kids are adults now) and I was a better mother even before I faced the things I write about in this blog because I knew that my childhood was not quite right and I wanted to do things differently. I didn’t have all the answers yet, but I sure knew that there had been a problem and that was a major beginning on the road…
Great to have you here!
hugs, Darlene


I feel like I am in a really good therapy session every time I read an article and everyone’s stories and comments, and for some reason I feel comforted even though it is all about trauma and abuse. I am appreciating everything I read so much! It helps to put words to memories…secrets..thoughts and feelings that I have felt that I needed to work through all alone or never tell at all. From the age of 4, after my dad remarried…the woman who was meant to replace my real mother ….IMO…wanted to create for herself her own family, so my older brother and I were consistently made to feel devalued, unloved, rejected and put neatly out of the way as much as she could arrange it. The types of things she did were kind of strange…she forced me to drink my milk at every meal from a plastic cup that she only used to put her hair conditioner in when she would wash her hair. I wasn’t allowed to complain or ask for another cup…just told that I better drink it! It tasted terrible! I did wonder why I couldn’t use the other glasses or mugs or cups. She put tape over my mouth and taped my hands behind my back for half a day and stood me in a corner for a few hours. She would buy cookies and put them into the cookie jar and later take them out and count them to see if I ate anything. I was locked in the basement when three cookies were found missing one time and then brought upstairs to be hit with a stick to try to get me to confess, which I was too terrified to,so back down to the basement and hit again over and over until they got tired of it since I wouldn’t admit it. The list goes on and so do the years of coldness and neglect. The type of things I read on here are so similar to the way she behaved….as though I were an adult who should automatically process and reason and behave as a perfect adult…and never ever interrupt her in anything she did. I know she was horribly treated herself as a child because she would talk about it, but it certainly seemed that she was doing the same things that she had hated. I do believe she would have psychotic episodes and had rage issues and control issues. I know now that she was sick…is sick…and I
can’t be around her or my family because it only brings negative…and I am finished with living that way! The head games were some of the worst damage I think I went through. She would ask me questions that I interpreted to be interest in me as a person…only to totally twist what I had meant and then she would use it against me. I look back and the one word I always think of to describe my childhood is nightmare. For me I felt stuck and trapped in a nightmare that I could never wake up from. I used to plan to run away, but I was too scared. There is so much that I could keep going on and on about, so I will end it with that. It IS comforting to know that I am not the only one parented by sick people….


Hi Diane
I am so sorry for what the way you were brutalized. You asked why she would not let you drink from a different cup ~ because it was her way of reminding you that you were nothing, that she was everything and she was in charge. The constant degradation is a way to keep the control on. It is such a sick system. It is as though the only way they feel good about themselves is if they have someone who jumps through ever hoop they set up. My mother hit me more often when she was in a bad mood than she did when it was really about my behaviour. Abusers will even look for things to hit for (counting the cookies) if they need to take their own angst out on someone else. They are truly pathetic!
Thank you for sharing. I am glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


For 2 decades I was told that I was a mistake, that I ruined her life, and even how she would kill me b/c she she brought me into the world and could take me out, but she wouldn’t b/c going to prison for killing me would only allow me to ruin her life from the grave. What kind of mother tells her own child that? Mine did! 🙁 Over and over and over again. Now, I have 3 children, and my first one came a bit sooner than planned but I have always seen him as a blessing (and I even have to put up with my ex-husband for another 8 years because my older 2 children have the same dad). As a single mom for 4 years, I put myself through college. I am now earning a PhD and still consider all three children blessings. There was no reason she could not have lived her life. But she not only blamed me for ruining hers, she also ruined my childhood. I was very talented in basketball and volleyball, but was not allowed on any sports team. I was told I wasn’t smart enough for them to pay for my college, so they paid for my younger sister, instead. I wanted to go to school dances and was told I wasn’t pretty enough to go anyway,so why should they waste money on a dress, but my sisters were all given the chance to go.

I thought I was healed form this long ago, but I’m finding that I’m not quite there yet. I am so glad I found your site. I think this is truly what I need.


Hi Daphne
Welcome to emerging from broken.
Sounds like you found the right website. I found that I did not completly heal from all of this until I realized the parts of it that were stuck in the roots. I had to dig out the flase messages about me that I still had from the actions of family. Your mother was so wrong and what a shocking message that she communicated to you!
Hugs, Darlene


Well once i dared to tell my mother i would hit her back she bitten me up soo hard for even saying that! you are lucky!


Nobody who has been through ANY kind of abuse is “lucky”.
Hugs, Darlene


WOW — this one really resonated with me, especially this part:

“I realized also that somehow I had believed that too, all my life; that I “could have been” the perfect daughter if “I wanted to.” But I believed that I was a failure as a daughter, just like she said. And because of that “failure” that I took responsibility for, I believed it was my job to restore her order by taking abuse from her. Verbal abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.”

The unending feeling of obligatory love that you can never seem to reach or fulfill in them. That I was always the source of her “poor status in the family” (not that she was pregnant out of wedlock with my oldest brother, that she was forced to marry the physically abusive man that got her pregnant, nor her lack of professional success in her non-existent career that was just a joke her father kick-started just so he could get her to move out of the house and attempt to be an adult/parent on her own). It was always MY short comings that “made her look bad” or “were a poor reflection” or “broke her heart” … I didn’t dress good enough, I didn’t cook the right food item for the party, I didn’t cook enough, I always managed to bring too little or too many people that embarrassed her for whatever made-up reason, my car wasn’t nice enough or if it was nicer than hers I was showing off and showing her up on purpose, she was never to call me, I had to call her at her request of twice a day or “I didn’t love her” or “I was a bad daughter” even though she only called in her emergencies of needing help to me…

I always felt that if I did MORE I would make her happy. I would show her that she was maybe being unreasonable. I literally took responsibility for how she felt 24/7. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “You made me think…” or “You do/don’t .” to explain her irrational thinking and behavior towards me. Even if I could possibly verbally prove to her that what I was asking for our of respect was LESS than what she demanded of me, it was always an irrational, “Well you made me think you didn’t love me” or “You hate me, you don’t love me” or “You love to see me fail.” Even if it was 100% her action, she was still claiming that it was something I had done to elicit that type of response. Maybe if I did X, Y or Z enough or more or less or another way, maybe she wouldn’t have acted the way she did since I caused it. (I always thought, “Wow, what power I have, to crack open your skull, dump thoughts in, seal it back up again and MAKE YOU THINK a certain way — if only!!!!)

I luckily grew to be athletic and played on the basketball team. My mother was of imposing height and stature but when I turned 15 I was tired of the physical abuse. She raised a hand to me and it was not a smack or a pop, she balled up her fist and punched me in the temple for setting a plate down on the table incorrectly and it almost knocked me out. I didn’t cry (for once). I held my head, stood up, stared her right in the eyes and told her, “If you EVER do anything like that again, I promise you, I will return the favor.” She was in complete and utter shock. Of course this happened in private and she ran around telling other family members “I threatened her” and that “she was afraid of me.” That was the last time she was physically violent with me (on a daily basis), was when I was big enough and strong enough to not tolerate the abuse anymore. Ever since I can remember as a child I was smacked, kicked, beaten, dragged around the house by my hair, had my limbs twisted and had objects thrown at me. She realized I wasn’t the defenseless child she once abused — but found another way to exploit standing up for myself by demonizing me to everyone else. She even went as far as to contact the school and told them “I was becoming violent at home” so anything they can do to punish me, to do the harshest punishment possible. (Luckily I had an AWESOME guidance counselor who looked into the matter and researched my behavior before professionally telling my mother she was a liar.)

This was reinforced by an equally evil member of my family, my mother’s sister, who used the same abusive nature to gain control over people in the family and to pit family members against one another. She told me in private at 16 that “My mother told her she never wanted me, I should have been an abortion.” WHO DOES THAT TO A TEENAGER??? Even if it was true (I will never know if it was or was not actually said to her), why would you say something like that to a child? Needless to say at 16 I moved out, I had enough, living on the street was a better life than being abused at home. I tried to stay in touch with my “family” being that we grew up in an Italian household, that word is thrown around to no end and we were taught no matter how bad family treats you, you take it because they are related to you by blood. Such warped values. My family was taught they had a free pass to treat their relatives like garbage because “we’re family.” I went in and out of contact with them, wanting to be back in the Hallmark family around the holidays especially, then being accused I only wanted gifts (yes, that shallow) and being pushed away. I finally cut ties 100% with them. It saddens me there are children in the family I will never meet, weddings I will never attend and birth announcements I will never hear about. But it is not worth living unhealthy. No amount of money could make me go back. But again, now I am the fourth and final child to “disrespect her with leaving” — she disowned my three brothers when they were tweens because they wanted to live with my dad after the divorce which “was the ultimate disrespect” to her (and the entire time tried to groom me to hate them for their actions towards her, even though they were just kids being used as pawns in a nasty divorce of two psychotic people).

So glad for this site and the fellowship I am finding here! No one likes to talk about toxic parents and even more importantly the toxic family dynamic where people use money or family relationships as power against others.

Ever since I cut ties with her, I have gotten my degree in Web/Graphic Design and own my own Marketing Company, my husband is earning his 2nd degree, we just built our dream home and for once in my life I feel like I don’t have a 250 lb anchor around my neck with her name on it! =)


Hi Christine
That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

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