Emotional Healing and the Causes of Low Self Esteem

psychological abuse

Let the Sunshine In

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding” Khalil Gibran

I struggled and fought for some sort of “place” in the world for a very long time before I began to find my way out of that darkness that I talked about in my last post.  I felt as though I didn’t belong; as though I was different then everyone else; as though I was somehow on the wrong planet.  My healing began when I was able to face the causes.

That was where I found the answers to all my questions about why I had struggled so long with low self esteem, depressions, and dissociative disorders. It was scary to face the truth about my past, but looking back what was scary was that I thought “the truth” was going to confirm what everyone ELSE taught me about me. And what I had been taught about me was NOT the truth. I had been taught through actions, inaction, voice inflictions, direct statements and indirect statements, inference and intolerance, nurturing or lack of nurturing as well as rejection and that others WERE more important and therefore more valuable then me, all went into a big melting pot that became the collection of all the experiences that made up “my life” in order to form my belief systems.

The ways that I was treated and not treated, communicated to me that I was not really a valid person

And then on top of being defined as invalid, I had been taught, mostly in non verbal ways, that I was the only one that felt that way. That “my problem” was something that was wrong with MY thinking.

I was not seen as a person with value for so long, that I ceased to see myself as a person with value. “They” didn’t see me until I didn’t see me anymore either. As though I silently agreed that I really was not valid. Not part of the “we” anywhere.

And when I thought about friends of mine, I never saw them as valueless. I thought that this problem was only mine.  I could not understand the low self esteem of others, could not understand why they believed that they were not good enough, because I could certainly see their worth! But even when they expressed these same feelings, I didn’t think that they felt like I felt. I thought they were WRONG about themselves, but I didn’t consider that I was wrong about myself too.

The way that I had come to see it was that I “must have” exaggerated all of my “hurts” and in my own mind had made them far worse than they ever were.  I believed that I was not able to cope with “normal life” like a “normal person”. I did not realize that there were actual definitions of abuse and neglect that would confirm my feelings and suspicions. I never thought that I was valid enough to even look for them.  And the truth is that I didn’t know what “Normal Life” was! I didn’t know what was acceptable or what was unacceptable and as long as I wasn’t talking about it, I didn’t find out. I was afraid to talk about it because I knew that I would not be believed. I wasn’t even sure that I believed me anymore! I was afraid to find out that “the truth” was going to be that they were right about me so I was afraid to look to closely at the past. Add to the bubbling melting pot, all the instructions that I had received for so many years AFTER I had already accepted that I was not worthy:

I was told “The past is the past, just put it behind you”

I was told “You can’t change it, just accept it ~ grow up ~ get over it”

I was told “Acceptance is the answer” ~ and I tried to accept the wrong things 

I was told ~ “You are too sensitive”. “You are so dramatic.”

And “I heard” ~ “you are not enough, you are wrong, you are not worthy of your feelings, you don’t know what you are talking about, you are unlovable”, and I believed it.

It was always about ME… I was always the one who was defective. ME.  They made sure that my focus was always on blaming myself and on improving me.   

All the while I was searching for the illusive key that would make everyone see me as good enough. I thought that there had to be SOMETHING that would finally prove my worth.

And I could never seem to catch even a glimpse of that key to freedom, until I took a real look at the causes of how I had come to that point in my life. What had happened to me? Why did I think I was so unimportant?  I took that chance that it might hurt. I faced the fear of what I might find. I had nothing to lose!  Looking back today I wonder if it dawned on me that I was already in SO much pain that even if it caused me more pain, it was worth taking the chance that it might also relieve the pain.  I embraced the hope for complete healing when I had my first break through in the first week of looking at the causes.

My worth was there all along, hiding inside me, covered by layers and layers of the damage that came from mistreatment, lies, psychological abuse and all other forms of abuse and emotional neglect. As I pulled those layers off, dispelling the lies and exposing the truth about what really happened to me, I was able to embrace the child that I once was and begin to see just how blameless and powerless I had in fact been. 

By taking a look at the causes, and exposing all the lies that were attached to them, I began the process of emotional healing, and the darkness began to lift. 

Please share your own discoveries and feelings. Don’t forget to subscribe to the comments or check back as we always have great discussions here.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet 

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



Darlene; this post is so great. Yes! It was in understanding there was a reason (which is different than an excuse) and by following my pain back to the beginning is how I began to see that I could learn to live beyond it. Awesome post! Thank you thank you for sharing your process!


wow, darlene. one watered all the way through that blog. that is how i have felt all my life. i was a drama queen making up my experiences for attention. why would i do that. i was once told that i changed when my brother ws born. i was 11mths old. i became attention seeking in by behaviour and very demanding of my mother. infact i made her life hell according to her. in our house it was i had my dad and my brother had my mothers attention. then a 3rd child was born and we lost out completely. my parents went thhrough a messy divorce when i was 7-8 and the emotional neglect got worse as my mother became a single parent of 3. excuses or explanations im not sure any more the lines blur when i think about these early years. i have a vivid nitemare from when i was 3 yrs old that has always stayed with me about a gloved hande with a sliver pistol from the ole cow boy movies pointing at me with the understanding i had to be silent, still dont know what triggered that dream or why it stays with me. but i still have a thing about curtains to this day,
mmm this has stirred up a sadness yet a numbness is slowly creeping across my forehead slowly closing ut the pain. how do i keep the shutters up long enoug to bring stuff back through properly.


What a great post. All youre words come back to me as Im unravelling my own thought process and beliefs/values. I find Im dealing with my fears, disassociation etc with more clarity than ever.I feel supported by this website as I reclaim/find my belief in myself.In a recent post you and Susan were also kind enough to tell me you too had to overcome isolation and that was very reassuring to me to the extent that I found the courage to join a garden project. All youre posts are helping me so much. As are yours Susan xx


Hi Susan
I’m glad that you pointed out the difference between REASON or as I said ~ CAUSE ~ and EXCUSE! That is a VERY important point!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol
Was that a “dream” or something that really happened? OR it could be how you always felt, like you knew that if you talked, you would die. (I can relate to that a lot myself ~ the gun pointing at me would signify just how serious it was to stay silent.)
Regarding your question; sometimes I don’t force the memories, I just let them wait, and I give myself permission to have more time. No one gave me much permission in my life, so now I give it to myself. there is no rush. There is no deadline.

You are doing great Carol, thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Layla,
Thank you for sharing your victories today and YAY about joining a garden project! Sounds very healing.
Hugs, Darlene


I really identify with so much of your post, Darlene. I am happy that you were able to overcome the lies that were taught to you early on.

I always thought that I was flawed, and was told that on a regular basis even by aunts and a grandmother. I never spoke, and didn’t laugh out loud until after college. I hated the sound of my voice, and cringed at the thought of my voice breaking the silence. Most parts of me still feel as though we are worthless… except for one part – my protector. He is gradually seeping throughout, trying to instill some self confidence even during this stressful time of losing a therapist. We deserved better – we didn’t deserve to be lied to and invalidated by her! There, I said it! The problem is that after the reality of “saying it” sinks in, we feel even more worthless for the “saying” of it… Were we wrong to speak out that we were being mistreated? Did we deserve the invalidation and lies? Some parts of me still say “yes”. At least we see that now. There is a fight going on in my head, but maybe someday, we can stay solid, and stop at the point that “we deserved better”. We are a work in progress…


I’m struggling with how long it has taken me to figure it out. I’m not young anymore. I feel cheated out of so much of my life, my potential. I’ve come a long way but I know I still have a long way to go and sometimes, I don’t want to go any further. I really just want to be able to quit thinking about it. I get stuck thinking about what my abusers did to me and it seems to me that I give them the power to hurt me over and over again. More than anything, I want to take that power away from them.


Pam, I will be 58 on this coming Monday, May 2. I didn’t begin to heal from my lifetime of extreme brokenness, until the year I turned 50.

I, too, have raged at the loss of so many years, wondering WHY DO I STILL HAVE TO SUFFER, AND DEAL, WITH THE PAIN OF MY CHILDHOOD? Why oh Why can’t I just let it all go, forget about it, and get on with my future, without constantly having to work on healing from the past?

I also wonder what my life could have been, without all the hell and abuse and trauma. With my high iq and multiple talents… what a WASTE.

But.. then I remind myself that I still have today, and the rest of my life, to live. I remind myself that, even if my whole life up to this point had been lovely and charmed, I would still be right on the brink of my 58th birthday, and all those lovely and charmed years would be in the past. IF MY LIFE HAD BEEN TOTALLY LOVELY UP UNTIL NOW, then I would probably be moaning about the fact that it is all going to be going downhill from here on out, as I age.

INSTEAD ~ I feel like the BEST IS YET TO COME!! That’s really a pretty AWESOME way to feel, at my age!!!



Darlene, you said: “sometimes I don’t force the memories, I just let them wait, and I give myself permission to have more time. No one gave me much permission in my life, so now I give it to myself. there is no rush. There is no deadline.”




thanks darlene,
yeah it was a dream, i think but from what i can remember i was awake and still seeing it which i think is why it scares me so bad and it was stickinh through the gap where they met and i ahve a bad thing about people seeing into my home after dusk and street lights are not allowed tp peep through. ive always thought it must have been soemthing really bad but through 25yrs of therapy of one sort or another it still stands there with no explanation just fear and acceptence that it always been there. managed to work on some of the outward signs but it still there inside. it like i threw my dummy (pacifier) away arpund the same time and started sucking my thumb. it mine they carnt take it of me, and apart from food and drink is the only thing i want in my mouth thank you very much. so all the signs point to somethng bad around 2-3 but i canrt get there. maybe it is still soul destroying for me and that why i cannot deal with how i was treated then im not sure anymore



Hang in there, and don’t give up. Even though my inside parts are MUCH younger, on the outside, I am chronologically 62 years old (although I don’t remember even a fraction of that time…), and I am still learning, still trying to develop a sense of self-worth and boundaries. They go hand-in-hand. I am making progress even though I have had major obstacles lately, but we will all get there in time.


Lynda & artcathartic,

Thank you, ladies. I’ve struggled with different layers of my abuse my whole life. I was fifty when I really got to the core of it. I’m fifty four now. I’ve lost my birth family because I tried to confront the sexual abuse my parents allowed to happen and allowed me to carry the responsibility for until I was fifty. Actually, they still place it on me but I won’t accept it anymore. I am not sad to be without my parents. I am sad to lose my neices and nephew who are confused about what has happened. I’m sad also to lose my sister who also suffers from abuse but refuses to name it and face it. It’s hard to lose your family in one fell swoop and not be able to mourn openly. It is all so needless. It is amazing the damage two self-absorbed people can create and have no remorse and no desire to make amends. The only thing they fear is having to take responsibility. Their taking responsiblity for what they’ve done would do so much to heal so many and I can’t think of anything that would be more healing for me…but it isn’t going to happen.

I woke up this morning thinking about it (as usual of late)and then it dawned on me that the only way I had to fight back as a kid was to remember. I would remember and hold them accountable one day when I was stronger than they. I’ve dont that now and I’m hoping that eventually, that will lead to forgetfulness; not the kind of forgetfulness that comes back in flashes but the actual death of those horrible deeds that were done long ago. They were evil and I want that evil that lives on in me to be cast into the abyss. I wish that for all of you also. A day of wholeness is coming. The struggle must be worth something just by the sheer effort of it.


Hi Pam and everyone;

For me that feeling of “it has taken so long” was a big part of the necessary grieving process. I had lost so much of my life to all of this! I spent YEARS trying to forget about it and just ‘get over it’ but my struggles didn’t go away. I was in my early forties and wanted to just give up. I felt the same way about giving my power away. It was in getting to the bottom of what my false beliefs were that I was able to STOP thinking about it. I write almost everyday about this stuff, but it has no hold on me anymore! I don’t feel any of the pain anymore. I live a full life today and I don’t even care how old I am, I know that I have the rest of my life ahead of me! I have taken my power away from them and I have it back now, but the only way that I could do that was by facing the causes and realizing what my false beliefs were.

If your parents were to take responsibility, it would only go so far towards YOUR process of healing because the damage is still there and it was still done. The belief system is still there and that is what brings the real healing.
Hang in here, thank you so much for your transparency and willingness to share so deeply.

Hugs, Darlene



I’m readinging a lot of stuff by Alice Miller at the moment – “The Drama of being a child”, “It’s for your owbn good” and “Thou Shalt Not be Aware” and “The Body Never Lies.

The basic thing is that how we are reared as children – especially traumatic stuff – stays with us and shapes us as adults. Even if we have no memory of stuff, if it was traumatic in some way we will repeat the patterns in adulthood, in the way we raise our own children and in the way we respond to authority and other figures.

I’m finding that the books are raising all sorts of issues from me that I’d no idea were in there.

All the times where “But they love me” overrides childhood instincts and truth. I’m remembering fights I had with my parents over various things, where my own truths were ignored or belittled. I’m remembering doing things because they were my parents, not because I thought it was the right thing for me to do.

In my day job I see how managers recreate their childhoods and become the parents of the children who are really their staff. I sometimes see acting out rather than management. I see staff become children and yield their adulthood.

The killer is that this stuff happens unconsciously because it is driven by a past that we want to forget, want to not integrate.

The whole premise of the books is that by identifying, reclaiming our childhoods and denied emotions we can break patterns and as adults behave appropriately, recognizing when our feelings are being denied, recognizing when we are being ‘abused’ or ‘traumatised’ as adults and respond naturally with appropriate and proportionate emotions such as spontaneous anger, such as fighting back and so on.

Whatever I thoght of my childhood I find that delving into it elliptically and integrating these things is changing how I am as an adult. It’s making me comfortable in my skin, not afraid to stand up for my truth, for my right to exist and have feelings and emotions regardless of whether they are approved of or not.

Morover, I can see how the things that my parents feared are just that. They are fears that I learnt as natural but they are not and they don’t have to be my fears. I can recognize their alienness, I can recognize how they are unnatural. And then I can walk through them and see them for the lies they are.

The books are hitting home hard and I read them out of curiosity, not because I was awarew of shit that needed to be dealt with.

And that’s the point of her books, it’s the stuff we have repressed that drives us.

I picked up my books in some remainder stores out of curiousity. Now I realize I had other unconscious reasons for buying them.

Reclaiming the past reclaims the future. That makes it worth it.


Carol, the way to stop letting the numbing of your feelings take over when the pain becomes too scary is to notice what is happening. The first step of learning to feel is to see yourself numbing out. Next time, see yourself numbing out again as it happens. When you have that awareness of what you are doing with your feelings, then you can slowly start to change the way you react to feeling too much. Each time you catch yourself going numb, you can decide not to go numb as quickly this time. It is a slow process, not one that you can just say I am not going to go numb this time, not in the beginning. After awhile of watching yourself, you can start to stop yourself from going numb at all. Yes, feeling the pain hurts and that is the only way to stop numbing yourself is to stay with the feelings and feel them. In noticing that you were going numb today, you have started the process of learning not to go numb.

Don’t beat yourself up when you see yourself starting to go numb again. When you first started numbing your feelings, it was a protection mechanism that helped you to survive a painful childhood. You needed the numbing out as a child when you couldn’t protect yourself. Today, as an adult, the numbing keeps you from feeling the pain and it also keeps you from healing. Take it slow. Give yourself permission to feel as much as you can one step at a time. You can do it.


Mike H,
You said so much good stuff there, that I’m going to have to read it again… after I take my pesty dog for a walk, that is, the sun is getting low on the horizon and she’s giving me the “now or never” pantomine.

What you mentioned about the parent-child dynamic that happens all too often in the workplace… YES!! That was why, with my history of extreme childhood trauma, I couldn’t take most jobs. I would try, with such high hopes, loving the feeling of being productive, earning a paycheck, getting out and getting on in the world. Then, in my learning process as a new employee, some jerk would start treating me just like my mother had…. and I would start crumbling on the inside, and turn into a helpless broken little child.



Darlene, I so agree with you talking about giving yourself permission to have more time. I think this is such an essential bit of recovery, but one that is almost always forgotten and hence many people would settle for “partial” recovery.

I understand that struggle, because many people around me have tried to rush me through the process. In fact, just about everyone had asked me why is it taking so long – except for my therapist who simply would not give up and taught me to “trust the process”. I gradually realized that full recovery takes a lot of time and hard work, and I will have to be patient and persistent if I were to see it happen. I couldn’t explain to the people around me the justifications for needing more time, and so I just let it go and trust that one day I will get to the other end and they will understand why.

If this ever helps, this is my illustration of recovery – it’s like deconstructing a building built on a huge landfill, then clearing up the rubbish that has piled over the years, then laying a firm foundation. Once the foundation is laid, the rest of the building comes up really quickly.

That’s how recovery’s like to me. The initial part of tearing down, clearing up and building a foundation seems to take ages, and i fact…it seems like it’s getting worst because the land seems so bare. But nobody can see the work that has been done underneath the ground. But once the foundation is laid strong, the rest of recovery happens really quickly.

We cannot rush through the process. I’ve seen many people who tried rushing through their healing by denying that it was worth any working through – and these are the most critical people I’ve ever met!

We’ve come this far in life, not to settle for a less-than recovery. As long as you can know that there is an end to that journey, don’t be afraid of how long it might take. What we want to make out of our experiences depends on us. I was talking with a friend the other day who has been through horrific psychological and verbal abuse, and we agreed that the one thing that has brought us this far is the willingness to see the good in every pain.


Jasmine, I love your analogy of the recovery/healing process. I am a very visual, literal person, so I need a concrete example to help me understand things. That’s why the saying I have, that PTSD is a normal reaction to extreme trauma, just aa bleeding is a normal reaction to being stabbed, helps me so much.

It’s not enough for me to simply say, “PTSD is a normal reaction to extreme trauma,” because the next question in my mind is, “How do we know this is true?” But the visual analogy of being cut, or stabbed ~ yes, of course it is normal to bleed from a wound in that scenario ~ this visual, concrete example helps me to understand the reality behind the words.



What an excellent concise post! These words resonate very deeply with me. I love all the comments and each one is thought provoking.

I haven’t posted here on quite awhile. I began to feel uncomfortable about posting as it felt like too much exposure sometimes; and that is a comfort level thing with me. Then I was reluctant to post a comment because my daughter had friended my estranged sister on FB, and I was afraid through my wall she might see something I posted about the family on EFB. So many emotions I have gone through lately.

This blog is painful to read because its so true for me. It is the truth about my life. I think I have passed the intense part of the anger and have reached some kind of plateau with accepting that I didn’t matter in any meaningful way to my family. I apparently made it all up in my head at one time that I did, or that I could. I certainly kept myself in chronic denial about it for decades because its the core and the root of all the pain.

I didn’t matter. When you said, Darlene, that when you had friends with low self esteem you couldn’t understand it, because YOU valued them, that’s how I felt in my life. I didn’t understand either that the way they felt about themselves was the way I felt about myself, as you put it.I had this apparently pretend world where the people in it felt the same way about me as I felt about them. And it just doesn’t work that way. I love my family.I feel concern and caring for my family. Maybe I should learn to stop.

This last several weeks after my daughter friended my sister on Fb, I was curious to see if my sister would reciprocate my daughter’s interest in her. She didn’t. I haven’t discussed it with my daughter anymore, or pried, but my sister and my niece’s disinterest is not limited to me- it apparently extends to my daughter as well.Another rejection for her, and I can’t help it- I hurt on my daughter’s behalf. Co dependent, huh?

This past Wednesday we had a series of intense tornadoes tear through my community here in the tri state area of TN, GA, and ALA.I had left a post on my niece’s wall, saying I hoped the storms were not too bad etc…and we were expecting more here…I didn’t know at the time the storms were not heading their way at all but staying in this side of the state!

As the day went on, I was unnerved by these tornadoes, uneasy, and as I sat in my closet off and on during the storms, I wondered who, besides my daughter would even know or care if I got blasted away. The tornadoes came in waves, EF-2’s, 3’s, 4’s – six waves lasting 15 hours. I kept in cellphone touch with my daughter across town.

As I sat there I just became very accepting of whatever outcome was to be. I just sat in there with my cat, and played with my new hand crank flashlight/radio, on which the radio doesn’t even work,btw, listening to the things hit the roof and the wind howl, and the rain come down. It occurred to me that I’m tired of feeling like a lost black sheep.

I’m tired of being nice and feeling concern for people who are indifferent. Their lives rightly revolve around them, not me, but this is such a bizarre feeling, to be essentially invisible to these people I called my family. I stopped trying to understand the WHYS recently. There IS no answer. It just IS. I didn’t do anything to them; some time ago asked my sister if there was something bothering her between us she might want to talk about;if she was angry about something from long ago or What…. she said ‘No.’ Its nothing. There is no reason my family doesn’t value me. They just …don’t…

I have been the lifelong jokester, trying to make them laugh all my life so they’d like me, but always on the outside, wanting to be included. I’m not doing THAT anymore with them; haven’t for a long time. Its a curious weird feeling to know that either they ARE holding something against me but won’t tell me what it is, or they are truly indifferent..like zombified indifferent.

After the storms passed because I had no power. I didn’t know the extent of destruction until I saw the newspaper the next day.They were being broadcasted off and on the news all day too apparently.It was national news.All day.I was horrified,relieved, and realized how fortunate many of us here were.

At no time did my sister or niece ever call due to the situation, and my niece never commented on my post on her wall. During the EF-4 tornado that came through that evening she was playing Farmville. My niece and sister live 100 miles- 2 hours- away.They never even asked how we were doing. Rank strangers were asking each other if they were ok during that day, but not my family.

So its dawning on mt at last: these people are so cold and …..indifferent, they could care less if either my daughter OR I, literally die. They just aren’t interested and can’t be bothered to act interested.

Under what circumstances would they be bothered to see if we were safe? Certainly not being in the middle of 6 waves of intense tornadoes going through…and if not that, then when WOULD they be concerned enough to at least check to see if we were ok? None.There IS no situation in which they would care. Ever. Period. That is the truth. Its cold, its creepy, and its very final.I’m grateful – again- for more demonstrations of the truth…This was extreme in my opinion. …My door is no longer open to them emotionally in any way.

I do matter and I will not make time or place in my heart for people like these…people. I don’t understand them, and don’t want to anymore. I spent all my life excusing the ‘family indifference’ thing, and I’m tired of it. They don’t deserve to have me loving them. I DO deserve to have me loving me. The door is closed now. Thanks for this blog Darlene…and for your insight.


I meant to clarify that I had thought that the tornadoes were going to be heading my sister’s way, on the west side of the state, and not just in my area. So while we were being slammed by these things my niece and sister were in an unaffected side of the state, and never even once called or posted on FB to see how we were. I am friends with my niece on FB, and my daughter recently friended my sister. Odd. I don’t want to unfriend my niece….because that is a statement imho that I’m done. Why do I hesitate to do that after this week? thanks…


Hello Mike,
I just started reading Alice Miller very recently because so many psychologists asked me if I had studied her work. (although I have since used her quotes many times, I had never read her work) and I am shocked that I had never read her work before! She talks about the same thing that I talk about here on this blog! when you say that the point of her books is that it is the stuff we have repressed that drives us ~ that is the point of this blog too.
Great comments,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jasmine;
YES. I get emails from people asking me to tell them exactly HOW I did this recovery work. People who read my blog but I guess that I haven’t written enough HOW in it.. LOL ~ I think they are looking for a shortcut but there is NO shortcut. I think I wasted lots of time over the years looking for the shortcut. I didn’t want to deal with certain past things. I didn’t want to look “that close” not realizing that in looking “that close” I would find the answers.
Your illustration of recovery is very much like mine. This really is a rebuilding process. I had to build a new foundation too. I had to go back and dig up the rotten stuff that was the foundation for my rotten life and expose it ~ I had to prepare the ground for a new foundation and then a new structure. I had to build the new structure. This is not a quick fix thing. But it really does work!
Thanks for being here Jasmine. You bring up some great points as always!
Hugs, Darlene


Lynda: I’m a visual learner too. Plus, my clinical psychologist used to use such illustrations and analogies to help me understand important issues. 🙂

Darlene: Indeed, there is absolutely no short cut to recovery. People who want the easy way out will either get “semi-recovery” or worst, sink further into denial. Whenever my friends talk about wanting to deal with their issues, I will have no qualms in telling them that it might be a long, painful journey…but totally worth it.

It always encourages me to read my clinical psychologist’s work (and now her blog!!), to know that despite being a respected professional in this field, she still hurts sometimes like I do. In fact, she calls herself a “wounded healer”. One of her best quotes is “I want to remind myself that I am only a sower, it is only the grace of God that can be sufficient to accompany the growth of every individual. We need to help within limits in order to avoid being a ‘savior’. We also cannot be afraid of being a wounded healer, but to refrain from being a perfectionist who does not realize their limits.” (translated from Mandarin).

Indeed, finding a right therapist may be a hindrance to many seeking help and I do consider myself blessed to work with someone like her (I just received an email from her, and her parting advice was to remember to not be hard on myself! – after 1.5 years of termination and many changes since then, she still “reads” me really well!). But sadly, that is a fact that we cannot avoid, just as there are good and bad doctors, teachers, AND psychologists. In fact, I think that psychologists are most vulnerable towards being “bad” partly because many of them have not or do not want to deal with their own issues but want to deal with others; and also because we place real high expectations on them sometimes.


Hi Elizabeth!
Great to hear from you!

It is not that I learned to stop being concerned or caring for my family as much as I learned to care for me. I had to learn to love myself and that included no longer allowing anyone to mistreat me or to devalue me. It was hard when my family didn’t care if I walked away. It was painful when my own mother didn’t care enough to even try. But that is the truth of it.
Elizabeth, your post is very haunting and it brought me back to so many familiar feelings. i had so many questions… I tried so hard to understand them, and tried so hard to search for the answer to why I was so unacceptable… and that is not about me, it is about them. When I looked closer, I realized that I was putting myself in danger to accept THEM. I wondered WHY I wanted to accept that treatment ~ yes I hoped that there could be restoration, but that had to include them changing, and they did not see any need to change and I had known for years that they were not going to change.. so why did I want to keep going being treated like nothing? I had tried and tried to change… but the bottom line is that they liked me trying. It was as if they got their value established by how hard they could make me try. It was finally time for me to take care of me. AND I am so much happier now!
There is a stage in there that was very painful for me Elizabeth… and it sounds like that might be the stage that you are in now too. But for me, I found freedom and real life on the other side of that sadness and pain. I finally realized that if I do not matter to them, it doesn’t mean that I don’t matter. They don’t get to decide that. They and the way that they regard me does not define me anymore. Realizing that, accepting that, (and it is a process, so give it time) ~ That was the sweetest freedom of all!

Hugs, Darlene

I was just introduced to the term “wounded healer” (and realized that I was one too) ~ this week! I love that term… I posted a video about it on the EFB facebook page.
I agree with you about professionals so often have not done their own work AND we give them positional power. Exactly!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] It was scary to face the truth about my past, but looking back what was scary was … signs of low self esteem – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Signs Of Low Self Esteem and tagged causes, Emerging, Emotional, […]


Darlene, thanks for the comment. This has been a very odd cycle of feelings for me the last few months. I have felt like retreating from the world at times to heal, have felt adventurous, have felt sad, and felt free and full of energy…I can feel this process of healing going on with its cycles and high and low points.

Your statement that the family seemed to get part of their identity by making YOU try to be accepted and ignoring your efforts. Sounds very similar to my family and I.

You said you found yourself putting yourself in DANGER to try to be accepted by them…I certainly feel it would be emotionally dangerous to try to be accepted by them.
I definitely didn’t intend to be in a physically dangerous situation the other day in order to be accpted by them or to test their feelings about me; nor did I try to manipulate their feelings to try to get them to feel sorry or worried. …….I am not sure anymore how to slot them – so to speak- in life. These are people who don’t give me the time of day. And I still send them birthday and Christmas cards? at this point this seems to be MY problem.

The tornado situation clarified any doubts I might have had: my family literally doesn’t care what happens to my daughter and I. We could be in danger of getting killed; and they’d just keep playing Farmville, or watching tv. Its not that they’re just dysfunctional. It borders on hostile. I will continue moving forward and continue
working on what’s best for ME. I do matter. I don’t need their acknowledgement to go on with my life. Thanks, Darlene.


patrica, thank you for you suggestions, i have noticed before what was happening but tis time i was trying to write on here and my head felt it was being squeezed till i just typed by rote rather than by concious thought. when i was younger i used to try and write about my memories and hope my hand would run away with me, and it did sometimes, but my handwriting goes through several changes when i am writing down thigns about my pasy. in ways that dont show when you typr it. i have seen anger and shame pain and guilt but then i see strenght and determination to get around these blocks, which i agree are holding me back. i have sorted the social side out now i need to deal with the emotional side of me, if i can find chinks in my armour to pry at.
darlene. thank you for talking about this as it has again given me a route to try thanks to patrica


Hello Darlene, others.
It was odd, reading this post; we were (are?) at the diametrically opposite end of the pole. I was told I had ‘value’ in that I was ‘smart’, a talented artist, etc. etc. ad infinitum. But each time I reached the bar, they would keep on setting the bar on higher. Everything I did had some problem or flaw in it. “Yes, it’s good, but – .” And then it would come. No matter what I did. And then repression of my ‘art syndrome’ in some ways. And, of course, just some very weird and abusive … poo. (okay, being polite here.)
However, everything was delivered without affection; instructional teaching turned to anger in every case; I remember catching a fist upside my head (right in the temple, where it hurts the most) at 9; sending me flying when on the 3rd time my dad declared I am too stupid to learn some math thing he is ‘teaching’. And it never occurred to them: shuffling me around from school to school, 6 times in one year: what else was I to do? Brilliant at other things: sciences, the essence of social studies (but never remembering dates); ‘wonderful and gifted artist’ (all too many teachers and others words), ‘genius level scientist’ (4 or 5 science teachers); other crap. But not in math; dumb-ass in math; there again: moving around all the time. One math class would be way ahead; the other way behind; never could learn a thing. Then when we got back HERE (in stateside) they put us in an advanced math class and a remedial reading – that when I’d been tested with Jr. College level reading/comprehension skills (7th grade) – totally asinine backwards.

But the punishments (shuddering inside) – were severe; grades were suffering; we didn’t care, but getting locked in a room for 6 weeks on end; nothing to eat hardly and then getting beat on the way to school (by our parents and not the other kids)

O’tay, (sigh) getting upset; gotta chill. Thing is: we weren’t ‘invalidated’ in the way you were; meaning in terms of ‘worthless’, tho’ we were told plenty of times we weren’t worth a (slang again for fecal matter); then worked our butts off…

Gee, this stuff really upsets me, LOL.

But just a different view, I reckon, of the several different ways that abuse can go. Since I don’t know ya’ll’s histories (except for tads here and there and Lynda I can understand a lot) – I have little points for reference. As you know Darlene, we had a bit of a ‘rough time’ of it when we were becoming a child, LOL, that’s a good way of understating it I’m sure.

But: Mike & some others: we are sick at heart of the ‘attempts to heal’ through ‘full integration’ the way the shrinks were having me doing; nothing against the approach; it’s been tried and failed pretty ugly and badly (again, shuddering). Great news for some folks; many find it a fine thing to do. However, we are trying another approach; saying “the hell with it; we’re gonna be who were are and make it a functioning and happy system.” And yeah, technically I know it’s ‘insane’ and against the social system’s rules (shrinks and docs and things); but I’m doing it with no pills; and while somewhat sad to say, all alone (I got you guys and gals and others – and, LOL, us MPD people are never alone anyway, are we? And ‘no, we’re not’, they are saying, laughing within with me.)

Sooo… considering that approach has been working well with me for the last 30 days or so (or 120 if you include Jeffery’s approach) – and I’m happier now in my life than I’ve ever been before (meaning ‘sustained happiness’ vs. those brief moments you have like sparks in a storm: you know the ones: a child’s face laughing; the purchase of a new item or two; or as in today, getting the deck done painted). It just instinctively FEELS right, and not ‘just by me’ but by all of my inner selves. So I say (and we all are saying): go for it.

After all: the end goal is happiness, pure and sustained; ability to accept (whatever); cope with (whatever); and ‘just get along’.

Just a different approach; not a rant nor rave: a ‘new’ way for us to be ‘looking into things’; and as it has worked better than anything over the last 30 some odd years: we’re goin’ for it. Sure there’s bound to be bumps and bugs (what ‘family’ doesn’t have them; and as far as I’m concerned, we’re an ‘inside’ family right now, working on ‘getting better’). LOL’ing, seeing my old shrinky-dinks sadly shaking their heads in stern disapprovals. LOL!


Self esteem… wow, you have tapped into the “mother lode”, or in our case, also the “daddy load” of causal cash cows of our history… Even old yellowed report cards with nothing but As on them were not good enough… this weird, silent, non-speaking thing of a kid was (horror of all horrors) an artist – not a musician like all knowing, all powerful daddy-dearest. She was instead bending toward the mother’s talent, and what a deleterious dilemma this presented. (Triangulation on steroids…) The kid ended up chasing the ever-fleeting dream of pleasing dear old dad, and accumulating musical instruments so that she could at least master one of them. We do it still… even though he’s dead… hoping to one day please him.


~ being “told” that you have value does not actually communicate that you
have value. You say that you were told you had value, but then you
tell the actions that you suffered. I don’t see any way that those actions
prove it at all. And we can only go on the actions; words don’t mean much.
I was told all sorts of things that lacked the actions to back it up. In the process,
I looked passed the words and looked at the truth. That was really hard, yes.
Thanks for your comments.
By the way ~ please don’t assume that you have knowledge about the ways that I was
invalidated. I am not even sure
what you are “getting at” but I find statements like that rather invalidating.
Hugs, Darlene


> Darlene:

I agree Darlene… I have adopted a phrase that I believe I heard here – “Show me, don’t tell me”. Just such a meaningful and concise combination of five simple words.


Hi Artcathartic,
I was thinking about this a bit more and I got to thinking that it is amazing how brainwashed we get about the “words”. Like someone saying “I’m doing this for your own good” or “you know I love you”… what does that mean? There are so many phrases that I realized in my recovery had NO meaning. They were just words; statements, meant to put a blanket on how much pain I was in, a cover up for the truth. This is such a huge area where the truth is masked with empty words that we, as children, are so hungry for, that we don’t realize the lies that the actions give proof too.
I like your “show me, don’t tell me”. Yes… that works!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene: didn’t mean to make you feel invalidation; LOL, gotta give words credit: they fail sometimes to convey proper meaning – but at other times they give a lot. For instance, you pointed out that “You say that you were told you had value, but then … the actions (invalidated those words).” Had not really thought about it like that: just saw them as ‘setting the bar higher and higher’ – always just beyond grasp.
However, we know of the other form of invalidation: the constant belittling, the ‘you are stupid’, ‘you are worthless’ type of things – the constant pounding down of ego and things. My brother (older) was good at that one; so was mom sometimes; dad, too. (guess I got it from both ends). And I’ve known children grown into adults who faced that kind of music for all their own lives; even moving on into adulthood abusive relationships with ones who were like their mothers and their fathers: the constant pounding down and wearing away of ego and things. Very bad IMO.
And yes: the “Show me Don’t Tell Me” – ooh yeah. They considered they were showing love by (and this is from their own words) “feeding you, keeping you clothed, and a roof over your head.” That’s it. Nothing about ‘hugging and kissing’ or any other display of affection. That wasn’t happening, didn’t happen, and ain’t gonna happen now (tho’ my dad, realizing his mistake, has tried ‘patching’ things up again: however, WE are refusing him: he is still the same old arrogant sadistic SOB closet sadist type (and we’re thinking pedophile, tho’ we have no proof in this: just that DEEP down and darkening feeling that’s something he did while he was overseas and in Vietnam; and why WE felt his becoming a child advocate over HERE was a wrong thing to do: very bad and very scary for some kids I’m thinking (yuckyuckyuck).)
O’tay, nuff for now; we gotta git … don’t know why; just something lurking in the background (we don’t wanna go there).
Until later.
Jeff & friends.



Thanks for letting me know that there will be a day when things are better. I long to be fully present in the moment without the other track of thought in the background. I call it my secret world that I’ve kept hidden inside of me for so long (or tried to hide, it surfaced in many unhealthy ways). I relate to your posts because I see myself when I read how you were taught to think of yourself. Thank you for sharing and for being willing to talk even when you’ve gotten past it.



“it is not just dysfunctional, it borders on hostile” rings so true. I was thinking the same thing last night and my term for the way they seem to feel toward me is ‘malignant love’. It is not love at all but it seems to be all they are capable of and it is poison to me. For them to feel loved by me requires that I live under their degradation and tend to all of their needs. I know they believe that this was the reason I was born.



I also wanted to say that I am sad for you and your daughter in having to deal with the new trauma of the tornado. I can’t imagine. My prayers are with you and with everyone who is having to deal with the devastation.


Susa > Elizabeth

I just wanted to say that I understand on a visceral level how you feel being invalidated by family the way you were. Sometimes, we have to create our own, new families when some branches of our familial tree become gnarled, and diseased, and are no longer healthy for us to associate with. I am so glad that you’re safe, and that you are here posting.



artcathartic, thanks for saying that. I appreciate it. Yes, being ignored in such a major way finalized on a very visceral level that to my family of origin- my sister and my niece- all that’s left- conider me already dead. I am nonexistent to people I unfortunately still love. And there is no explanation for it-. It apparently just is what it is.

That is what I was trying to say in my above comment: that if the situation I went through-my daughter and I- and we received not even a call to see if we are ok, then apparently we are already considered dead to them anyway. That is freeing in a way; but I feel sad. It feels final.

Yes I am working on creating more family, and that is alot harder than being born into one..lol. I am finding out who is a friend of the heart and who are the ‘drama queens’. lol. oddly, the ‘drama queens’ and the emotional vampires seem the most popular!

And thanks – yes we are ok. I feel very fortunate. I have seldom been as frightened as I was last week.


Pam, I meant to say thanks to you as well: I really resonate with your words. My sister and niece are capable of showing love; i’ve seen them do it.

And I know of course, that a quick call, or a message – even if they dislike me, would have been a reasonable thing to do, under the extreme circumstances. I think I must have had some expectations- I feel like I’ve been ‘killed off’ by them in some symbolic way, after last week-As I said stranger were and are helping and being concerned about about others and I had family are more interested in Farmville than to see if we were ok. Go figure. lol.

as I said- I am finding out who needs to be in my new family. People who expect AND get attention and emotional energy when they have a bad hair day are NOT in it…lol


Susa > Elizabeth:

Sometimes, it feels as though we give 200%, only to get a mere crumb of caring back in return. For us, it is a boundary issue, and we are working non-stop on that. I can see where some who were in our life before have begun to fall away, sensing that we are starting to develop somewhat of a sense of worth from the inside. It is a tough journey…. lots of hills…

Wishing you the best,


Oh and its curious, something I have observed: People who want all attention to be focused on themselves will resent anything going on with you, that just might take the focus off of them. You will be ignored. IMHO that may be part of what is going on with my sister…who knows….and it just might be what is going on with some others I am acquainted with. Recovery has caused me to be come a more astute observer.


[…] Related Post ~ Emotional Healing and the Causes of Low Self Esteem […]


I was considered the family hero. I was the one who was responsible, got good grades, was teachers’ pet at school every year, did what my parents told me to without arguing, protected my mom’s feelings, was the sexual partner of my dad by his choice not mine, was confidant to both parents, did all the housework age 11 on, etc. With all of this, I was still never good enough for my parents, especially my dad. They used words like stupid and idiot; cuss words (country for curse words)and face slaps and spankings with belts and switches. Shouting was part of the discipline in my house, regretably I still haven’t completely broken this habit myself when I am angry or fearful of something. My dad was a dictator so I never learned how to make decisions or choices for myself until I had been an adult for a few years. Then I learned what worked by trial and error. None of this taught me to have self-worth as a child. I have self-worth today only because I worked really hard to build trust and honesty inside myself. Your sense of self-worth affects everything in your life, especially your relationships.

Jeff, I can relate to a lot of what you said about what I did or said never being good enough for my parents.


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To JefferyW,
How perfectly Whole you actually are. I see the utility–perhaps the absolute necessity, of the presentation of the various selves, but I delight in the careful, wise, completely complete person you actually are. Funny, isn’t it?



Hearing so much negative addressed to you as a child is what caused you to feel unvaluable; It is what I believe what caused my low self worth. Nothing I ever did was congratulated or acknowledged. Even though I may have been always good in school or made things nice in school, never did I hear anything like “you did a nice job” or “how pretty” Never did any my coloring pictures go on the fridge or even when I sang did mom attend to hear.

In her mind I was totally worthless, only words I ever heard were am ugly, am stupid, am clumsy, am her worst mistake. To this day, if ever anything comes from her way. .its to demean and remind me I was never meant to be..

My low self worth comes from the one who gave me life but says she needed money or I wouldnt even be here.


Hi Joy,
All of it, the words, the actions, the “looks of disapointment, disgust, or whatever”.. all of it communicates a message. The message is that YOU ARE NOT VALUABLE. so it isn’t that it causes me to feel unvaluable as much as it taught me that I wasn’t. (I know it is a small difference, but those small differences in the way that I realized what happened were really important. I am so sorry that that all happened to you. No one can decide if anothers life is important or not. No one can define someone else that way. They do it, but they are wrong. It is so very wrong.
Hugs, Darlene


Another great blog.

RE: “It was always about ME… I was always the one who was defective. ME. They made sure that my focus was always on blaming myself and on improving me.”

Someone very wise on another site I used to read/post on said it this way: “THEY try to make YOU WEAR….who THEY ARE!”

With that in mind, I’d like to add this short, amazing video: (a picture is worth a thousand words):


(You’ll note that the crab struggles but then finally emerges backwards and for a short time…in the dark before setting itself free.)

RE: “My worth was there all along, hiding inside me, covered by layers and layers of the damage that came from mistreatment, lies, psychological abuse and all other forms of abuse and emotional neglect. As I pulled those layers off, dispelling the lies and exposing the truth about what really happened to me, I was able to embrace the child that I once was and begin to see just how blameless and powerless I had in fact been.:

Yes. The worth and beauty had been there…all along, hiding beneath the surface until conditions were ripe to finally re-emerge.

With this in mind, here is an article/blog about the transformation and bloom of death valley in 2005:

This extraordinary example in nature never fails to choke me up!

Perhaps the ‘rains’ (metaphorically speaking) are the compassionate tears which must finally be shed for that little child inside of you, inside of me, inside of all of us in order to finally ‘bloom’.


Hi Brenda,
My blog would not let me approve the comment with the second link in it…(my blog only allows one link per comment and this time even I could not over ride that!) SO here is the link that Brenda posted for the Death Valley Bloom. http://preilly.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/technology-transformation-the-death-valley-bloom/

Thank you for your comments Brenda. Yes, I was born with my worth, we all were. It is not us that hurts it. Hugs, Darlene


“I felt as though I didn’t belong; as though I was different then everyone else; as though I was somehow on the wrong planet.”
Ooh I know that feeling very well. I always felt like I was “on the outside looking in”, not fully there somehow like there was a large pane of glass between me and other people. In the end I began to wonder if I had Aspergers
“My worth was there all along, hiding inside me, covered by layers and layers of the damage that came from mistreatment, lies, psychological abuse and all other forms of abuse and emotional neglect.” Yep haven’t quite found my worth yet due to the layers and layers to work through but I think I am making decent progress. I don’t have a therapist just me working through these blogs with the support of a understanding clergyman. Darlene your blogs are life savers I wish I had come across them sooner!


Hi Sam
Thanks for these comments Sam. I am honoured! And YAY for “decent progress”. Finding my worth was like digging for treasure that I wasn’t sure was even there ~ lots of work and that feeling of doubt… but it was there! I found it and it was a bigger gem than I ever imagined possible!
Keep striving!
Hugs, Darlene


It is amazing to me as I now read these articles and comments how much I see the truth for what it really always has been all along, but I couldnt face it! This article is right on about everything! I always used to believe that it was me who was the issue and problem and that I could never be normal or function normally in the real world. One thing that I am being hit with over and over now is how many many times my parents…and extended family…would behave these ways to me as a child and even as an adult. And all of the different ways that they expressed these messages…and what I truly suffered as a child. I feel so free now that it is like looking back and marveling that I even made it through! But I didnt understand how truly abusive and hateful and degrading it was….but now I remember more and more and it is disgusting because I cant even imagine treating my own daughter with any measure of disdain and dislike. I realized that my parents treat their cats BETTER than they ever treated me and especially my older brother. Wow! That is so weird to SEE that they treated animals better than they treated children! Literally! As I read everyone’s comments, that same thought hits me….the animals are treated better than the sweet little kids…and that is a horrific thought to me!


Hello there, Recently while looking over the past mixed in the now, I see many causes as Darlene mentioned for feeling not valued. Growing up with seven brothers and sisters being the oldest, also a twin, I felt ignored kind of like I was invisible except when I proved a valuble labor asset in taking care of children…feeling just like My mom would look through me not seeing me at all. It is so hard to peel the layers back and see all the damage. Just like you said Darlene It is facing the pain and acknowledging the damage is difficult too. But the greatest challenge for me was leaving an abusive relationship with little money,the most horrific thing was leaving my 16 yr old daughter with her father, who brainwashed her to believe horrible things about me, told her before he left on a deployment that I had a mental disorder which she blurted out after he was gone. I couldn’t believe my ears..It took me yeas to get the knowledge and courage to leave this abusive man. I had stayed thinking I was doing my daughter a favor…all the years listening to him discount and blame me telling me that our home was not mine and that he was giving me a place to live!!!! dealing with crazymaking behavior and his cycle of anger and abuse put me in a state of shock and conditioning. There was no pleasing him ever…he is a master of parental alienation, manipulation and control. I finally had to leave our beautiful historic home and my daughter who needed to stay in a good school district and familiar surroundings and not a one bedroom apt in the the slums..the only thing I could afford. the first two years I cried to no consoling on Mothers Day for my daughter whose perception of me was completely controlled by my husbands brainwashing…I was a stay at home mom for all those years doing everything to make sure she had everything and supporting her exta cur. activities. The pain is beyond description. I had her at age 39 after years of infertility with my loving first husband who died of cancer after 10 years of marriage. then I met the man who is my daughters father, Sir AbusesAlot….I could not take care of the huge home on my poverty salary and he made good money and used financial witholding for years …My daughter is in college now, still at home under his manipulative abusive ways… and we are still not divorced after 2 and half years….still going on. My daughter goes in and out of seeing me, she is always welcome at my apt and I supporrt every event she is involved in as always. I am hoping that one day she will have an adults perception of who I am and not all she has been manipulated to believe over the years from her father. I finally had to leave and protect myself from his unending verbal abuse and physical as well. My husband has always treated our daughter like a confidant and wife and me like a child… Last night I took my daughter to the symphony… we were in our historic home so she could change clothes…on the counter in front of me was a picture of his new woman who is thin which is what he always wanted…I gained alot of weight over the 20 year marriage to cope with the abuse, he constantly down graded fat people in front of me or anyone else,… as I stared at the photo at first I was so angry because he had flown her to Colorado… saw the mountains in backround… and then it hit me….as soon as I left him…his narcissistic supply was gone( i was the cook, gardner, lover maid etc) then my daughter filled in starting where I left off…conditional love…I will love you maybe maybe not if you do whatever…nothing pleased him…ever..AND NOW he has chosen the new narcisscistic supply in the form of SKINNY ENABLING FRESHLY DIVORCED WIFE OF AN ALCOHOLIC husband co dependent…. for real???? he is so not awakened and I am so glad I left his controlling shell of a man… he will never do the work to heal his raging pain that he is not even aware he has..OMG the picture a reminder that I took the first step toward wholeness and self respect the day I left him and his abuse. Every day I pray that my daughter will someday be completely away from his narcisscistic personality and begin her own healing and self awareness. He disregarded my needs and opinions, our marriage was about how I can serve him and so does everyone in his life. I am so happy to have made the difficult decision to leave because of the heavy opression I was under but those tearful days were my first steps toward freedom and the beginning of of my journey to see how validated I am and to no longer tolerate his false definition of love and my false beleif as well. i am taking back my life from those who stole it it…thank you Darlene soo much for all of your insights and unbelievable courage you have had personally and for this amazing emerging from broken site that has just made me smile to know others get what I am going through, support is a thing of beauty..just like the raindrops in Death Valley bringing back life to cracked parched souls..so grateful, so very grateful to you Lynn


Let me add this… I do feel verry badly for the woman in this picture. She has absolutely no idea of what is in store for her with this man. I wish I could stop her but that is not my job. We can only bring change and healing by our own choices. My heart breaks for her because after he sinks his claws in and hooks her..the abuse will step up and there can never be a mutual relationship or authentic communication with a controller and abuser. Sometimes we choose and are attracted to what we feel most comfortable in..and sometimes that is an abusive relationship, Those days are over for me.


I am in trouble now. My mother contact me to go to restaurant this day with my sister and grandmother. But I refused the offer explaining that it was too painful for me and that bring me back bad memories.
But I also justified myself telling that I feel totally misunderstood.
They see me as the one who is oversenstive, overdramatic and rebellious.

My mother answered “I have never closed the door” and “come to visit us”.(she included my sister).

But the way I escaped my “home” at 19, was very tramatic for me and I can never forget that she did nothing for me.
I finally found the courage to escape myself for one night. Then I returned one morning because it seems too dangerous for me to escape ; my father saw me and kicked me out of the house.
He said horrible things to me (that I have to pray him down on my knees he forgave me and that I have to tell to my mother she must take me by the hair to the door otherwise he would threw her out of the house too) . When he was me in the house again, I was standing up on a chair and he took me and made me fall on the floor with all his strenght.

And finally I left and never came back.
But I have kept a huge terror in me, huge.

My mother never called the police or do something. A few months later, my genitor threw her out of “his” house too and asked divorce.
And until today I am so confused because my mother is also a victim but I can’t have pity for her because I remember another scenes where she clearly took aside with him and agressed me too.

So fuck off mummy, I hate you too.
The least she could do now, is to give her testimony to the police.
I don’t know if the justice could condemn him, I could feel better.

Thank you for reading, hugs.


Sorry, I would like to say “when he saw me in the house”


Hi Aurele
Just because my mother is a victim that does not cancel the damage she did to me. Healing for me has been about validating that damage with NO excuses for the abuser. I can feel sorry for my mom today but it took me a few years of healing before I could do that without excusing her! I don’t excuse her part in the abuse I suffered.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lynn
I am really glad that you are here!
Thanks for sharing your insights. You are not alone.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene:)


[quote]I was told “The past is the past, just put it behind you”

I was told “You can’t change it, just accept it ~ grow up ~ get over it”

I was told ~ “You are too sensitive”. “You are so dramatic.” [quote]

My experience has been that when someone says, “Leave the past alone” that they are trying to hide some deep dark secret, or that they are trying to save face from something.

I also got the “you’re too sensitive and too serious” crap. IS IT A FREAKING CRIME TO BE SENSITIVE AND SERIOUS? I found my sensitivity to be a gift. But my mom tried to beat this gift out of me, probably so I would not be able to “catch her in her crap.” One of my ex boyfriends had this same “sensitivity” gift. He didn’t teach it to me, I learned from him that I had the gift, I should use it. It took me years to fully develop this gift. Which is why I am now seeing the truth!


Dear Darelne, if it was not for your post of this, I would have not found the reason of my suffering until now. Being systematically insulted, criticized, and bullied by your younger ones, parents, friends, and even siblings’ friends- Imagine what a torture! Since it was never my way to fight or win by back answering or going with tit-for-tat techniques, I just continued to take in the dirt (often not realizing it was), until now when it really hit me hard on the face, that its not ‘ME’ who isn’t valuable, but I have been shown what I was hiding deep inside me…

Im glad I stepped on all the dirt I was thrown at, to rise up and get out of the well, I was intended to be buried in! What a relief!


For everytime my Dad called me stupid, my self-esteem declined dramatically. As a result, I could hardly believe it when classmates and teachers at school could see my potential, to the point that some of my teachers even said: “Why do you doubt yourself so much?” or “Your work is great, I see nothing wrong with it.” (Funnily enough my “loving” father also through me these questions along with a 5million yr lecture on positivity.

I also became a perfectionist in the sense that nothing was ever good enough for me to show to my teachers or to my fellow students who needed my assistance, for I was in fear that I will severely compromise them.

Furthermore, I became scared of asking people for help whenever I had problems, for I pre-determined that their reactions will be similar to that of my father. Ever since the abuse, I slowly started to find ways on how to solve my problems, so I no longer have to be a “burden.” I guess the people in my culture (Filipino) could say that I have consumed a lot of “pride” chicken due to my inability to ask for assistance in any kind of situation I encounter haha

In my journey of healing, not only do I intend to change all of the lies about me, but I also to build some self-confidence within me. The healthy kind and not the “Me, myself and I” or “The party don’t start till I walk in” kind of confidence, if that makes any sense.


Thank you for these posts. I am stronger. I am ready for a change, to walk away. I have struggled, my entire family shames me for saying what my former step father did. Said he was an alcoholic and didn’t know any better. Told me they would never choose me over him. I’ve been with my husband since I was 14; he is a diagnosed narcissistic personality with sociopathic tendencies. Now at 42, I am done, tired and broken. I just need to feel like I’m allowed to go if I want to. So close. Thank you again for sharing.


Hi V.M.D.
Welcome to EFB ~ Sounds like you have a pretty clear idea of how wrong this is and how unfair and horrible this is to YOU on all counts.
I am glad you are here! Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Yes. I definitely felt exactly like this:

“I felt as though I didn’t belong; as though I was different then everyone else; as though I was somehow on the wrong planet.”

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