Emerging from Broken ~ The Greatest Adventure is Healing

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Healing from child abuse
freedom ~ my grown son T.

I was not always who I am today. I was not strong. I was not independent. I was not an individual. I was not often happy. I was not a voice in the darkness and although I always had a desire to advocate for others, I was not effective.

I had to become effective in my own life before I was effective in the lives of others.

I was a victim. Some would rather I say that I was a survivor but in truth when I started this process I was still a victim. I was still a victim because I was still oppressed. I was still under the law of other people. I was still compliant and obedient. I was still defined by those other people and my true identity was suppressed.

I was lost, withdrawn and depressed. I was owned by many and disrespected by most.  I had three kids and when my oldest, who was 12 at the time started to treat me like I was ‘crazy’ and started using my depression as proof that I was crazy ~  just like his father (my husband) did, I knew that I had reached the end of what I could cope with. I was giving up on the fight for my life. The only decision that I had to make was how I was going to end it. I had to decide if I was going to escape, or if I was going to fight to find the solution one last time.

At first I had decided to leave my family. I thought that my husband and my three kids would be better off without me because I believed that I was the problem. I believed it deep down in my heart and soul because that was the message that I had always been given, all of my life and I never thought not to accept that message anymore.  The truth had been distorted for me since the beginning. I didn’t even question the truth as I knew it.  I believed the problem was “me” and I really believed that if I left my family, their lives would be so much easier; so much better.  I decided out of love for them that I should quietly go. But something nagged at me and today I know it was a glimmer of “the truth”.  It was NOT best for anyone if I were to just go.

I realized that for a very long time I learned to do what others wanted because I had been so totally convinced that what they wanted for me was ‘right’ because I had been so manipulated all my life. This was part of taking my life back from my oppressors. I started to look at what might be right for me. I started to think about what I might want and what was ‘best’ for me. I learned that most times “best” is best for everyone and not just best for me; it always comes down to the motive. What had happened to me most of my life was never best for me; it was just what someone else selfishly wanted.

As I started to look at HOW I had come to believe that the problem was me, I began to realize that I had been controlled and manipulated all my life by people who asked me to “try harder”. Trying harder was a default mode for me. As long as I believed I was the one that had to “try harder” I accepted that success in relationship and whether or not I was loved was all up to me.   

I write about “Emerging from Broken” from real experience. I lived functioning at a fraction of the level that I function at today. I survived living under the oppression and suppression of others. I survived by believing that if I did what “they” want and if I am who “they” want me to be, I would be loved. I was so brainwashed in victim mentality (that if I did what they wanted they would love me) that I could not see a solution other than leaving the world that I lived in.

I found a way to leave the world that I lived in by facing the damage that had been caused to me. I didn’t have to “go” anywhere. I literally stepped out of it by seeing how dysfunctional and harmful that it had been and still was.  I learned to validate my pain and declare that I had a right to my feelings, I had a right to my voice, I had been wronged and it WAS NOT my fault.   I finally owned my truth and discarded the lies that I had been encouraged to believe my entire life by realizing exactly what those lies were and how those lies were all designed by others who wanted to keep and maintain control over me. I learned to take care of myself emotionally.  I learned to love myself. And through all of this, I found myself. I found the original me and I embraced myself. I welcomed myself into a whole new world and a whole new existence.

I stayed with my husband and my children and we rebuilt our lives. I took the lead even though it was a fight for the first two years. No one in our home wanted anything to change but I wanted healing and I was willing to risk everything in order to obtain it. In my victim mentality I had actually taught my husband and kids to disregard my needs and even my opinions by disregarding them myself. They didn’t trust that I could model “emotional health”.

My husband had to do his own healing work and he did; I finally embraced the truth that it takes two to have a relationship and I was finally able to communicate that to him. I was no longer willing to carry the burden of relationship all by myself. We repaired the damage that had been done to us all of our lives and that we had in turn passed on by accepting and living in those false definitions of love. When our individual healing work was underway, we worked really hard to repair the damage and dysfunction in our marriage relationship and then in the relationships that we had with our three children.

Years have passed since I made the decision to face the pain and take my life back from the people who stole it from me. I live, really live each day now. Our three children have flourished living in the truth and without the oppression of the lies that we all used to live buried under.

Welcome to Emerging from Broken; the greatest and most rewarding adventure of my life. I look forward to meeting you on the journey from surviving to thriving.  

This article has been an emotional one for me to write. Tears sprang to my eyes several times; my determination to face the pain, acknowledge the damage, heal and take my life back surprised even me. I did not know that I had this amount of strength and persistence when I started this journey but today that is how I know that you can do it too.

As always, please share your thoughts.

There is freedom on the other side of broken,

Darlene Ouimet

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

81 response to "Emerging from Broken ~ The Greatest Adventure is Healing"

  1. By: Diane Posted: 9th May

    Drained, thank you! I know …it is disgusting . I think because I lived in such a terrifying…to me it was!…home and everything was so tightly controlled, I learned how to serve. My dad also catered and served his control freak wife and I probably picked up some lessons from him. He used to be neglectful, angry,abusive etc with me, but I pitied him because of the way she would emasculate him. I HATE women who do that to men so I decided I never would do that to my husband. Because I didn’t understand myself and my unhealthy ways of believing, I ended up falling into that servant mode…and he had issues from his past that had him treating me that way too. I was so miserable, but at least we have that area mostly straightened out. I am like you now…he leans a bit too much back into that direction and I set him straight ! He still would love it if I served him all of the time, but I refuse. It certainly makes it difficult to just do something because I wanted to….but it is zoo much happier than it ever was. I don’t feel guilt nearly like I used to…in fact, I can get a bit feisty now too! My husband promised me to clean the kitchen floor and for about a week I waited and he still didn’t…even acted like I was burdening him. So I poured a can of sugary soda on the floor when he was gone and let it dry so it was nice and sticky….but I put down a “path” of foil for myself to walk on. He got home and walked on the sticky floor and that very night I had a very clean floor! Lol. So I do feel good about how far I…we…have healed so far.

  2. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

    Hi Diane,
    oops… I am glad that you realized that it was not cool to have to do that kind of stuff!!
    Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Drained Posted: 8th May

    Diane,
    Oh, how this attitude from men enrages me. We are supposed to be servants?!!! Rather than wives? But to them, that term is interchangeable. ARGGGHHH! No wonder I held off on marriage until I was 49. When my husband starts veering into that territory, “Wife, you are here to serve me”, I have to set him straight. It’s sickening what society, certain religions, and upbringing teaches us.

  4. By: Diane Posted: 8th May

    This article is powerful! I see so much of myself in this…and with my relationship with my husband…how it used to be all of the time, and how it is so much better…but still areas to work on between us. I am so happy for you Darlene that you did stay and that you fought to make the changes in yourself and with your family…and that you are all doing so well today! It is an inspiring message.
    I do see…yet not totally yet…how I have been trained and conditioned to carry the burdens of all relationships….and I am beginning to break off of myself the chains of that bondage. I never used the terminology that you use , so it is very thought provoking for me…..you give the words to the feelings I never knew how to define…or something like that!…and it is so enlightening! I never realized until I began reading these articles and comments from everyone how MUCH of a bondage I have been in. I really related to you about the guilt you used to feel for taking naps! Me too! Or guilt if my house wasn’t spotless or if the dimmer I cooked wasn’t quite what everyone else wanted, or if it wasn’t the right temp. Or guilt if I complained or even if I didn’t agree with what someone else wanted and I dared to stick up for what I wanted….and I would back down because of the way they treated me. The rare times I hung in there to get what I wanted, I was looked at like she is such a b—-. One “breakthrough” I have made with my husband is that now I refuse to accept responsibility for HIS happiness or discontent. He treated me…just like my family …as though I was the one who needed to be happy all of the time or he couldn’t be….or if I didn’t wait on him hand and foot when it came to his meals and how they were served to him (wanted me to put on his salt and pepper, but would complain if it wasn’t to his liking) (wanted me to butter his toast, pour his beverages, etc) . Anyway…what is amazing to me is how I have somehow recreated the same thing over and over in my life…and you are absolutely right…it is because of the lies I believed about myself…that I am still believing to some extent.

  5. By: Mimi Posted: 25th April

    Sophia,
    I think you’re right. The mourning was beneficial. It always brings me a tiny step further when it’s over. I actually did take care of myself today. Some days, that alone is a victory!! Thanks for your comment.

    SMD,
    I’m reading a sample of the book you mentioned and thinking of downloading from iTunes. I would like to have it in audiobook, so I’m going to check amazon for that. I love audiobook format. I work on renovations in my house while I listen. It sinks in well that way for me. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Drained,
    That is something that has eluded me…. where did this anxiety come from? My mother would say I was born a nervous person. (I won’t mention what she was born as, haha). Then, there was instant upheaval when I entered the world. My mother says that’s when my dad went full tilt with alcohol and violence and sleeping around. She was pinned down with three kids. He became more free to do what he wanted to do. So, I think that tension and fear from birth must have contributed. As years passed it got worse. There was no energy to put toward nurturing or comforting, or loving each other. It seems like we were just in survival mode, my sisters, mother and I. I know all that contributed. When I got to be around 12 years old, my mother’s disapproval of me really started to emerge. I have few memories before that, so this is loosely stated. my dad left when I was 11. There was financial burdens, depression, coping problems, anger and fear, all lingering in our household. I know all these things were big contributors. I was just on the edge of my seat all the time. My mother’s hatred for me became more apparent all the time in my early teens, and my inability to measure up was reinforced on a regular basis. Of course…. I wanted to please her and that put me on pins and needles because I couldn’t do anything right, and she made sure I knew it. That disapproval from her and the nervousness that comes with trying to do something right, knowing you’re being judged and micro-managed… is a recipe for disaster and anxiety. I am so hopeful that as I become more accepting of myself just the way I am, the anxiety will melt away. If I know nothing else, I know judgment and disapproval from my mom played a huge part in my anxiety. She badgered me about it too. She would say it’s time to get my shit together. She told others I was doing it for attention, and I was impossible to talk to or deal with. That helped a lot… thanks mom!! Anyhow, I’m hoping that my brain chemistry isn’t so screwed up that I can recircuit things to a more peaceful response to life. It has plagued me long enough. I have given it and my mother the power to manage my life. I resolve to get beyond that and be my own manager, no matter what anyone else says. I hope through the processes, you too will be forever free of the anxiety.

    Love to all,
    Mimi

  6. By: SMD Posted: 25th April

    Hi Drained & Mimi,
    I can definitely relate to feeling morning anxiety & sometimes dread starting a new day. I’m slow moving & slow to process, in the morning. I’ve always felt better, as the day goes on. I call myself a night owl not a early bird. I have more energy in the afternoon, and I think that has been the reason I liked working 2nd shift, over the years, as opposed to 1st. It was suggested to me that a B-Complex supplement would be beneficial for the nerves & to increase energy. I started taking them a few weeks ago & I do feel more energized throughout the day. I also went back to taking a Multivitamin, Magnesium, Vitamin D & Calcium supplements to help with my overall health. My doctor ordered Magnesium for my chest pain/ arrythmia. I just chalked my chest discomfort to anxiety but after blood work, my magnesium was low. I’m feeling better, since taking it and will need to recheck my level again to see if my magnesium increased. Now, if I could only get my weight down, I’d feel a whole lot healthier. I’m not obese, but overweight by 20+ lbs. Yikes!…It didn’t come on over night & it certainly won’t melt away over night. Wish I had a magic wand though lol.
    Sonia

  7. By: SMD Posted: 25th April

    Sophia,
    Thanks for your positive feedback! I didn’t have a name for my feelings either, and that makes me feel sad. It’s just another example of how I was taught Not to acknowledge my feelings and Not taught the difference between healthy & unhealthy feelings.
    Thanks,
    Sonia

  8. By: Drained Posted: 25th April

    Thank you Mimi, Sophia and Darlene. Yes, I definitely have had anxiety and panic attack issues since I was 9 yrs. old. My grandmother was on “nerve pills” all her life and her daughter (my toxic mother) was on anxiety meds most of her adult life, so I don’t know if it’s a genetic curse I have, or learned behavior or just another side effect of having a Narcissistic Mother or a combination of all 3 influences. (Geez, I’m screwed.)

    I’ve tried the herbal remedies which did nothing for the stress. I occasionally took the mild dose of Xanax which somewhat helped but made me so sleepy. Tried MANY anti-depressants but couldn’t stay on them because of extreme stomach issues they caused (they didn’t help my mood or stress anyway). I’m hoping with the revelations, support, healing and moving past the mother issues, that I can at least lessen my anxiety. I have found painting and drawing very therapeutic but sometimes I’m too down, angry or stressed to focus on it or feel creative. Nature and my animals seem to help. Thanks for your comments.

  9. By: Sophia Posted: 25th April

    Mimi,

    Sounds like your grieving spell was beneficial! I realized at one point that it doesn’t go on forever when I start to cry, the body and soul give it to us in ‘doses’, I think. Maybe clearing that out of your system helped you to get to that new level of self-acceptance.

    Hugs,
    Sophia

    Sonia,

    That’s very helpful. I have begun to differentiate between these various feelings without having a name for them. There are some urgings from within that want me to take action for my own benefit, and that is distinct from the implanted demons of self-hate.

    Thanks,
    Sophia

    Drained,

    I sometimes wake up feeling flattened and overwhelmed. Going for a nice walk helps, but since it often comes after intense dreaming, I think I need to examine and process the dreams more than I have been.

    Hugs,
    Sophia

  10. By: SMD Posted: 25th April

    Thanks Rise!..Hope it Helps!!…I just started reading it and it’s chock full of information. Also, we are all in different stages in the healing process, so what works for one may not work for another. It’s worth looking at though.
    Sonia

  11. By: Risé Posted: 25th April

    I like the mention of this book by Bradshaw about false guilt and shame … I need that!!

  12. By: Mimi Posted: 25th April

    Drained,
    I absolutely have experienced that first morning sense of overload. Not constantly in my life, but enough to recognize it as anxiety for myself. I struggled with panic attacks in my early 20’s. I became nearly housebound in a matter of days. I struggled for a couple years trying to get it arrested. It was horrible. I was on the maximum daily dose of xanax that can be prescribed…. just to function. I’m not advocating or discounting drugs for anyone else. I only know that at that time in my life, I couldn’t sit still long enough to process any behavioral modification. I had to get it under control before I could process it and know what it was for sure in order to handle it. I was successful in that I don’t have panic attacks anymore. I haven’t for 20 years. I do have anxiety in other forms though occasionally. It has morphed itself into something that will take me off guard at times. Still, it’s nothing like it was 20 years ago.

    20 years ago I also learned about G.A.D – generalized anxiety disorder. It is described as a lingering sort of below the radar sense of anxiety. With a panic attack it’s very much on the radar. G.A.D. just hangs around quietly right beneath the surface. I know I can succumb to that if I’m not self aware.

    All this to say, when I have struggled with anxiety, the mornings were always the worst. Anytime there is an abrupt change in my brain/mind’s activity, as in from sleep to wake, I am more likely to have anxious thoughts and feelings, and sometimes a sense of doom. Another example is waking from surgery. I wake in an absolute panic. I have never discussed this medically or psychologically with anyone to confirm the brain activity theory. I’ve just lived with it long enough and researched it so much, that this is my personal conclusion.

    I have found so much hope here. Since I had such bad attacks 20 years ago, it forever changed me. I’ve never been the same as I was before that time. I have read that Darlene completely overcame anxiety and panic. I have incredible hope that at the end of my process, I will be forever free of the uncomfortable symptoms.

    Also, when I was in the throes of all that anxiety, there was no way I could take a nap in the daytime either. I was usually hovering on the ceiling. It can be COMPLETELY overcome though. I know that now, and I’m looking forward to it.

    The way you describe waking in the morning is precisely the way I would describe my own mornings coping with anxiety. It always got better and brighter as the day went on. I got more relaxed as the day went on too. By the time evening came, I felt like an entirely different person. I hated going to bed for that reason. I knew waking would bring it on again.

    Best of everything to you.
    Mimi

  13. By: Drained Posted: 25th April

    I can never relax enough during the day to take a nap even though I’ll be too sleepy to keep my eyes open. I’ve been taking DHEA supplements and a Stresstab vitamin (lots of Bs) and I think that has helped the fatigue problem. Menopause & financial issues were contributing to the tiredness along with the mother drain.

    Does anyone else have the problem of the morning brain overload of worrisome thoughts? When I wake up in the morning, it’s like all my worries are super-intense, as though they’ve been building up while I sleep and then dump on me the moment I open my eyes. It’s an awful feeling of dread and negativity and it’s hard to drag myself up and face the day. It dissipates once I’m up, but that morning wake-up is ROUGH.

    Speaking of those worrisome thoughts, I was feeling a moment of peace outside with my dog. It was quiet, I was enjoying nature and then the flood of worries came over me. I’m thinking that this is a result of more bad programming again in my upbringing. Whenever I found an activity I was enjoying: Reading, art, writing, playing piano, watching a movie… mother would intervene and find some chore for me to do or ask if I did my homework (or whatever). Especially if I was giggling or laughing, she figured whatever I was doing must be bad and it must be stopped. I’m trying to get over the guilt I feel for participating in joyful activities. Anyone else have that feeling?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th April

      I Drained.
      I have had those problems. I would say take more of those moments outside with your dog! I spent huge amounts of time outdoors in my healing process. I rode my horses for house, waked my dog, sat in the garden… And I had to teach myself not to feel guilty. I had to realize where those messages originated, and override them with new truth. I had conversations with those voices in order to get through all that.
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: SMD Posted: 25th April

    Darlene,
    A new book I’m reading called “Healing The Shame That Binds You” by John Bradshaw is so validating & differentiates between healthy & unhealthy guilt & shame. It has a chart showing the “Shame-Guilt Contrast.” Healthy or Appropriate Guilt is accepting adequate responsibility for our behavior & the “felt sense” is “I made a mistake” & “I feel bad”…Unhealthy guilt is “I can’t make a mistake”…I was taught toxic/unhealthy guilt- perfectionism & the false belief is it’s terrible to make a mistake, which is not logical!…We are all human & make mistakes.

    With Healthy Shame, is knowing we have limited responsibility & power The power comes from “knowing limits.” the “felt sense” is “I can & will make mistakes”…”it’s normal & can be remedied”. Toxic/Unhealthy Shame is “No responsibility & failure of choice”. The “felt sense” is “I’m a mistake; it’s hopeless & I’m worthless”. After reading the differences with shame & guilt, I realize I vacillate between healthy & unhealthy guilt & shame. That is a big part of my struggle & faulty thinking & feeling. I do turn my thinking around but find myself programmed into feeling unhealthy shame & guilt, which comes from my family!

    My conclusion is that the toxic guilt & shame is at the core of mental health problems. This occurred to me with doing my own healing work but this book validated I was on the right track. I also realize that I’ve been teaching my kids healthy guilt & shame with their bad behavior. Toxic Shame is the sense of being bad but healthy shame is not internalizing the feeling of being bad, but that you will make mistakes. I have to remind myself of this…Automatically feel the unhealthy definitions. Wow this is eye opening! & again my tendency is to call myself stupid for NOT knowing this, but How could I know this, since I was NOT taught this for myself. I’m so glad I’ve been teaching the healthy way to my kids. Now, I have to focus on myself!…This is so important in my recovery!….Just wanted to share my discovery with others who are struggling too.
    Love,
    Sonia

  15. By: Risé Posted: 25th April

    Sophia, it makes sense to me too since reading your post. So often, those of us who are abused are taught that its selfish to do anything for yourself – and this has been the hardest mindset for me to overcome. I still struggle with guilt when I treat myself well. It’s getting better, but its always a struggle – even getting a nice haircut or buying myself clothing (which doesn’t happen often) is a guilt-stirrer and it shouldn’t be. 🙂

  16. By: Mimi Posted: 25th April

    Hi everyone,
    I have some guilt for taking naps too. I’ve had to try to give up the guilt… not always successful, but I do sleep when I need to. I think mine could be allergy related too. A combination of things really.

    When I sleep that deep, where it can last hours and hours, I always have vivid dreams, not necessarily good or bad, just vivid. The sleep is so deep it takes a near earthquake to wake me up. In class, there would be times I couldn’t stay awake. I am not that kind of student at all. There were a couple of days in each semester where it was like I had narcolepsy. Staying awake was almost impossible.

    Right now, I’m going through a period of inibility to sleep well. I’ve been hitting the caffeine pretty hard, so I know that is a large part of it. It’s also that I don’t want to sleep. I hate being so fatiqued I can’t function. Feels like life is passing me by if I’m lethargic and sleeping.

    I’ve had a new reality blindside me in the last week. I sobbed and sobbed. On the upside, It only lasted about 4 days…. the sobbing part. Now, it’s like I have a hangover from it. Like I wake up to my new reality a little shaken, but determined to move through it. As I type, I have rollers in my hair, haha!! I’m meeting a sweet friend for the afternoon. And, the temptation to ignore self care isn’t really that strong (surprisingly). Not nearly as strong as it’s been during other events. I think I might be learning how to bounce back a little quicker. Either that, or I simply don’t give a crap anymore. I just want to care for ME!! I’m happy to even have that desire!!

    Love to everyone,
    Mimi

  17. By: Sophia Posted: 25th April

    Risé,

    It makes sense to me. I feel like the combination of good sleep, good nourishment, and exercise are essential to supporting me in the healing and learning process, and I am learning not to feel guilty about giving myself these.

    Blessings,
    Sophia

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th April

      Sophia and Rise
      YES Sophia ~ or to put it another way, I am PROUD of myself for giving myself this kind of love and support! For almost 2 years I had to “give myself permission” to have a nap in the afternoon if I wanted or needed one. Sleep in the day time was something I always felt SO guilty about and beat myself up over it so much. We farm and live in a farming community. How dare I get more rest than anyone else! I hid it and I was so ashamed that I wanted extra sleep and when in depression sleep was one of my greatest escapes/coping methods. So when I began to heal and got so tired all the time, I was afraid that “sleep was the proof” that I was once again in depression and I fought it! Finally I started to look at it from a self care stand point; I told myself even if it was “a coping method” there was nothing wrong with it; it was not going to hurt anyone. I assured myself it was self love and self nurturing. Sometimes I pictured big arms holding me while I rested. Eventually, I would go to bed in the afternoon, and not sleep! I only needed to rest. I am sure today that it was due to giving myself permission to do whatever I needed to do to take care of me, that enabled me to come out the other side of this! I am a huge fan of self care!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Risé Posted: 24th April

    Sophia … I find this interesting … maybe this is why if I sit longer than 5 minutes I start falling asleep … could it be that my brain just wants to rewire itself?? 🙂 I’d like to think so.

  19. By: Sophia Posted: 24th April

    I just want to add that I also go through periods of seeming to need a lot of sleep. I once read that this is a common reaction for people who are recovering from brainwashing! Interesting.

    Blessings,
    Sophia

  20. By: Libby Posted: 23rd April

    Mimi – there was a time in 2010 when I could’ve slept (and sometimes did) for 20 out of 24hrs. As memories and flashbacks intensified, so did the fatigue. Two years on that has stopped – mostly. I can’t relate it to specific events like you can, but it went on and on for months. I think it improved after I got into therapy, and had an outlet for all of the stuff that was fogging my brain and sapping my energy.

  21. By: Missn Posted: 22nd April

    Hi Darlene;

    Have written on this site before and it is good to talk to you and see how you are still trying to help people work things out. I have been in a situation for the past few weeks with someone who is “disabled” a woman who is a few years older than me but because of a long drug-related background, she is barely able to function. So in the time I have been here, I have been trying to do the same for her as I did for my mom, caretaking kind of stuff, sometimes pretty heavy and other times I feel bad for being here. But you know, it hit me tonight that I was allowing myself to be manipulated, again, the same behaviors as my Mom, almost exact, and to get out of the situation it is going to be really important to detach and make sure I keep my own health up so that it is possible to leave. For example, she smokes over a pack a day and I, being an ex-smoker, will have one once and awhile probably because I am so surrounded by the tobacco smoke (codependence?)– it has been hard to say no. Anyway, it is crucial not to become part of their dysfunction so that we can remain separate from the situation and take care of ourselves. At first it seems like they are being kind to you but after awhile, you can see it for what it is, then it takes your own strength to pull out. I have not taken care of myself since I got here and many times have been emotionally and physically exhausted…the situation repeats. I think it is true that lessons repeat themselves over and over again until we learn what it is we need to learn.
    Take care

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd April

      Hi Missn
      Nice to hear from you! Over the years I have seen myself drawn back into similar situations too, where I was somehow being taken advantage of again and although the details were different, the bottom line (that I was being treated as less valuable) was so similar…. All of that is such good information though; today I rarely get sucked into any thing related to dysfunction. The more awareness I have the quicker I see those little red warning flags and make sure my boundary is in place. Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: SMD Posted: 22nd April

    P.S. I too get more tired after contact with Family. Sometimes I feel it for days afterwards. It comes in waves & can be triggered by stress. I have to set boundaries & limits in order to cope. However, the healing work is so important too! Sorry for the rambling again…I just can’t seem to leave my comments short lol
    Sonia

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd April

      Sonia
      When I first came out of the fog that surrounded the way that I veiwed my family, I was exhausted from encounters too. It was like my brain was working in overdrive trying to process whole years of things in a few hours!
      Hugs, Darlene
      p.s. long comments are very often where the breakthroughs live..

  23. By: SMD Posted: 22nd April

    Hi Darlene & Mimi,
    The same thing was & is happening to me in regards to needing extra sleep! Last year, I was sleeping the morning away & still going to bed at night, before midnight. I was exhausted all the time & definitely chalked it up to a symptom of depression, however, I was processing a lot in therapy and still managing to take care of my childrens’ needs.

    I was in survival mode, but after this past year ended, I feel like the fog has lifted slowly in uncovering the truth. Lots of sorting out & putting the pieces together of my past & how that relates to my mental health and the damage done to me, by my Family! It’s been an eye opening process this past year and definitely more so, since coming to this site. I feel supported & more grounded. Writing truly makes a difference in getting the feelings & thoughts out of my head & down on this site. Also, continuing to work hard with my own writing & in therapy.

    Even though, I get so tired, I’m also finding more spurts of energy for longer periods of time, throughout the day. My sleeping schedule has been altered, since I’m writing into the night & early morning. You could say I’m obsessed lol, but I know it’s part of the Healing Process for me. After the kids are asleep, is a better time to focus my energies on myself. I’m glad I have that time. I think this has something to do with rewiring Darlene talks about. I realize I didn’t get damaged over night & it’s going to take some time to heal! Like you say Darlene, it will be “Worth it”! I look forward to recovery!!
    Sonia

  24. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd April

    Hi Mimi
    YES that is how it was for me too. The 8 hour nap not so often, that was not possible with kids, but I could sleep for 2 or 3 hours in the day and then sleep 8 or 9 at night. I could not believe the exhaustion! Sleep was one of my biggest symptoms of depressions too, so it scared me when I was that tired in the healing process. For me it had nothing to do with contact with others, it had to do with how much I was processing and comprehending… how hard I was working on healing… in short it had lots to do with breakthroughs, but the breakthrough was the bonus at the end. (although most of the time the breakthrough came with some extra energy.

  25. By: Mimi Posted: 22nd April

    Darlene and Libby,
    I have been wondering about exhaustion myself. I know at one time Darlene, you said you required more sleep in the first few years. I can look back at 2011 and realize some extra sleep was needed in the really dark times of last year.

    My question is, there are times when I lay down to take a “nap”, and I wake up 8 hours later. I am so puzzled by it. It can happen when I don’t seem to have anything really eating at me. Perhaps it’s eating at my subconscious mind. Then, after being up a few hours, I can go back to bed and sleep all night. An extra hour here and there is easy to understand. But, like 14 hours of sleep in less than 24 hours?? Is this the way it happened for you? I am trying to keep track if it happens directly after contact with my mother. Two instances have happened after being in her presence. Now that I haven’t seen or talked to her in two weeks, it hasn’t happened. I am puzzled as to how or if she drains me THAT much! It’s incredible the sleep I get sometimes. I don’t like it very much. I am about keeping moving and having energy. Anyhow, just curious.
    Peace and love,
    Mimi

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