Emotional Healing and the Return of Self Esteem


Self Esteem RecoveryI talk a lot about realizing all the lies that were in my belief system.  I realized that I believed I deserved to be treated the way that I was. But that was a lie.  I believed that I was not good enough, and that I was unlovable. Those were both lies.  I believed that I somehow attracted the abuse and even that I asked for it… and that was also a lie. Because I believed that I had done “something” to either deserve it or attract it, I lived in fear of doing whatever it was that I was doing that was causing me to be hurt!


As you can see, this belief system stuff is complicated and takes some detective work to unravel.


A big part of the problem was that I was addicted to proving that I was worthy by doing things that would prove to others that I was good enough and that I was lovable. But I was addicted to proving it to others.  Add to that the fact that although I didn’t consciously KNOW it ~ I didn’t believe that I even had self worth. Deep down I believed that I was all that they communicated to me that I was.  Their words and their actions had defined me as unworthy, unlovable and not good enough. I thought that my worth would come when THEY validated it.  I thought that when other people agreed that I was actually worthy, that I would believe it too. I especially wanted to be worthy in the eyes of the people who controlled me and defined me the most.  I invested so much time trying to change ME so that I would be validated by others.


It didn’t occur to me to convince myself that I was already good enough. It never dawned on me that I didn’t need anyone else to validate me!  I had always been defined and invalidated by others ~ I was who they said I was… which was NOT good enough, unworthy and all that devaluing and discounting other stuff. When I began to realize all the lies that were at the bottom of my low self esteem, realizing that they were lies wasn’t enough. I had to change them to the truth.  That might sound easier than it really is though because those lies are so deeply rooted in the belief system and because I’d developed and accepted the belief SO DEEPLY, that I was the one that had to change and try harder to make everyone accept me.


This belief had its roots in the belief that their worth was greater than my worth.  I had no concept of equal value when it came to myself, which was also part of my false belief system.


The only way that I could unwind all this was to see it for what it really was by looking at the individual events that defined me as unworthy and that had convinced me that “they” were more worthy.  (I only had to look at a few of them) There were actual reasons that I had accepted guilt and shame that was not mine to carry.  There was a reason that I believed that I was responsible for the emotional welfare of everyone else. I had to dig down into my belief system in order to discover where the roots of those beliefs had their foundations.  Then I needed to clear them out and build a new foundation.  This was where my emotional healing originated.


I wasn’t born depressed. I wasn’t born broken.  I wasn’t born dissociated and with multiple personalities. I wasn’t born with low self esteem.


The truth is that I don’t need to be validated by others. The truth is that I was born valid. The truth is that I was born equally valuable to everyone else. I was born whole and emotionally healthy. That is the absolute truth. How could it not be the truth? I had to look at both sides; why I thought the lies were truth, and why these new healthy truths HAD to be true.


It was in finding out where I lost that knowledge (the knowledge that I was born with self esteem, that I was worthy, lovable and deserving,) that I found the keys to having that knowledge again. I took my life back. I found my true identity and I live in it today.  I found freedom from depression and low self esteem and I embrace my life and my individuality.  I am equally valuable to everyone else.


I live in that truth.  You can too. There IS emotional healing from abuse. There is life to the fullest. There is freedom and wholeness on the other side of broken!


Please share with the other readers and with me, anything you wish to share.


Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time;


Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book 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

~ For more information on Self Esteem Recovery see the Category above for “Self Esteem”


Categories : Self Esteem



Dear Darlene

you said ” I realized that I believed I deserved to be treated the way that I was ”

This is one of my biggest biggest struggles. I can applaud and praise others and build them up to the highest person in the world; but I cannot see myself worthy of anything. I am trying but I feel its so deep deep down in me that: by nature: I really don’t care about me. I really don’t give me a second glance. Everything that was displayed towards me become so much a part of my feelings and emotions and persona that I just assumed that is what was my due.

I was speaking to someone the other day and broke down crying.. I realized it all began back there.. when I was 6 when not only did I realize my mom hated me that she wanted me gone ,, that she beat me mercilessly but ..the big BUT… the church..GOD almighty’s voice ..put it’s infallible stamp of approval on what was being done to me.

That . at my tender age of 6 years old.. traumatized me in so many ways.. I thought ” if God doesn’t think I am worthy anything.. no one else matter’ . I began to accept that I was worthless deserving of the worst ill treatment. No one cared .. so I had to learn to live with it.

What is worse. later on in life. as I was being reabused by my boss . i cried out again to the ALmighty Church and again the same door closed in my face and pretty much sealed the deal on my hope for some sense of worht.

It isn’t just that people hurt and abused me but the belief system in which I invested my entire life. .rejected me and said indirectly I deserve no better.

I know I have a long way to go but I realize that my low self esteem comes form a long history of abuse and from the fact that the belief system I based my whole inner core on .. rejected and did nothing to help me.

I know it’s not right to think I am not just as worthy but I have a very huge scar inside me that some very Important people gouged there.

I hope I can heal. because I know its important that I see myself better so I can do all the things which are mine to do.




Yes, I can very much identify with that. I thought the same people who taught me I had no worth could/would restore my worth. I didn’t see any other option to be worthy and valuable. It was so amazing to find out that I didn’t need them to validate me since now I realize that they NEVER would have done that no matter how perfectly I performed. In realizing the lies I believed about them and me, I’ve seen my true worth and I’m free from the power they held over me. Great post!
Hugs, Christina

P.S. I wish I could be Canadian for a few weeks to be able to vote for you– but I’ll spread the word. After all the help you give to others, I’d love to see you benefit too!


It was only natural for you to believe that your parents decided your worth. You were born valuable, and you were born thinking that your parents would do whatevers good for you. They didn’t.

It is amazing how you managed to find your original self and started building from there. That is something to be proud off.


– Prozacblogger


Hi Joy
I know that this really hurts, but It is really great that you are getting to the root of this stuff. I know it is very hard right now, but you are making progress. Thank you for sharing this victory!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Christina,
What you have written is exactly right and I love the way you worded it! I didn’t see any other option either and my entire purpose with this site is to try and show people that there IS another option! There are answers, there is healing..!! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Thank you for supporting me in this contest! I really appreciate you sharing it with your friends and your network! Having support from everyone here will generate results even if not from Canadians. I am really excited that I entered in the first place! LOL

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene:

Hard and truly emotional .. I know writing it. even though I realized it a couple days ago has let loose all the tear basins. and am getting the buckets ready to catch the tears.

It’s very very painful ..but its consoling to know that its ok to cry now.

To think that not one of my family values me is a truly painful thought.

Thanks for all you do.



I can SO RELATE! I know and live in the truth NOW. It was a long and brutal journey getting here, but I feel a sense of lovce, peace and joy I’ve never had. I only feel pity now for those who tried to make me believe their lies about me. They are no longer esteemed in my eyes. I am worthy with or without them in my life. No one defines me anymore. I define myself and I like who I see.


Hi Prozac Blogger
It IS amazing that I achieved this level of healing, and I believe in it for everyone! I think the hope came first; that I could recover. It first came when I realized that something I always believed about myself ~ was not actually true. That first belief was that I thought I should have been able to stop a babysitter from molesting me. I was a small child! Then I realized WHY I thought that. The relief was so great that I KNEW I could go forward facing this stuff. That was the beginning for me.
So glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen!
Thanks for adding your voice and your victories here! YAY
Hugs, Darlene


HOW do you start validating yourself?? I know those feelings all too well. I haven’t figured out how to start believing in myself.



I agree..especially when people are still actively . makine one feel small as is my case .. I know they shouldn’t matter but I can’t stop being human or feeling emotions…


Hi Anne
This whole blog / website is pretty much about the HOW. The best way I can explain it quickly is that I found out where I got damaged and why my self esteem was low. When did that happen? What happened that hurt me and what Did I believe about myself because of certain events and messages or treatment that had been dished out to me. What did those things communicate to me? When I got an understanding of WHY I didn’t validate myself, I had something to go on. I could look at the truth about me. (most of what I believed from the events were LIES about me.
Other then that ~ read lots of the blog posts here! I overcame depression, low self esteem, dissociative issues, multiple personality, and a whole lot of other related issues!
Hugs, Darlene



The big thing is to know it doesn’t happen over night..It can be discouraging to read of others already being there but many times how long it took to get from point A to point B is not included.

I understand it takes time and lots of hard work . I am not doing my hard work alone. I have a Therapist and visit places like EMB

But it doesnt make things feel good when they should feel bad.. I am learning feeling the right feelings is part of the healing..

I am just at the beginning .. you will be fine if you remember that its a journey and it doesn’t happen overnight. If we took a poll how long it took those to get “THERE” most would say more than 2 years. !!

I am hanging in by a thread;)



Just spent time near the toxicity, and this time just didn’t announce our arrival or take the invite. More limited contact, that was more than enough to remind me of all the taxic elements again.


Darlene, I know I was made to feel that I had to be someone else if I wanted to be valid. When my kids became teenagers was the worst. I was so afraid they would do the things I did. I still viewed all of it as my fault. I responded by picking out people who seemed to be doing a good job with their teenagers, latching myself on to them, and trying to make myself over to be like them. I also had to make sure to please them so I wouldn’t lose them. All I did was make my kids wonder who the heck this woman was that had taken the place of their mother and that I liked other peoples children better than my own. It makes me sick to write this. I was in a very dark place and I despise what I became. The truth was that I had no set identity at that time or it was buried. I am more whole today but I still wonder if when I face something that reminds me of past trauma that overwhelmed me if I won’t do that again. I don’t think I will but I still have some insecurity about it. I was so trained to please others that it is second nature to bend myself to others. I have to be mindful to fight it. I backed away from all but a few friends for a long time, mostly during the confrontation of my past and my family of origen,and I’m just now returning to a more normal social life. It seems that I’m always asking myself if I really like something or if I’m just being influenced by another. I guess the good thing is I know what I’m prone to and I’m thinking about it. I’ll be glad when I get to the point of just being me without having to consider if I am acting as me or ‘like’ someone else. Thanks for this post, Darlene.


thanks for that admission. I can relate to that as I was raised by parents who did that too. I started out that way with my children, but it changed in the middle, later than I would have liked, though. They’ve seen me change on a lot of stuff, and it is an interesting journey. “Yes, nice to see you; let’s talk about other people” yeah, a strange life.


Hi Pam
Thank you for sharing this aspect of the way it often goes Pam. I have some of those “leftover” fears that tell me that I “might” do that again. I have some insecurity about it too, but I am pretty sure that I have changed enough that the feeling/fear is just a leftover. I ALSO have had to ask myself if I like something or it I just think I do because someone else does.. that happens less and less though. I am however still learn what I do like as far as social stuff goes!
Great comments Pam,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kate,
Welcome back! Hugs, Darlene


My kids have seen me change a lot too but there is a difference between change that is personal growth and what I did when they became teenagers. It was just reflex with me to change myself rather than have confidence in myself. I wasn’t aware of what I was doing and I really thought I was doing what was right for my kids. I sure didn’t give them a very good example of resisting peer pressure. They understand now though because they know how my family treated me and them since they are my kids. They are pretty supportive most of the time. The oldest especially. They both encouraged me to cut ties with my family. We are all better off than we were five years ago.

I’m glad you’re back. I was wondering about you.


i am here Darlene, sometimes words are hard for me ,there are times i am so low like today and do not know how to express myself in words…i just wish you all the best and am sending my big big hugs..i read your blogs everyday i check here.i am learning a lot:)


My self-esteem was doing pretty good until recently. Now I feel like I am almost back to square one. But I have a great new therapist who is helping me understand why the events of the past couple of months hit me so very hard.

I am relearning that I do not need to be 100% perfect or 100% healed, to still be a valuable and worthy person.

The past two months have been so extremely hard though, I thought for a while that I would not survive it. But I did, I am. I am not giving up on Lynda. Even if everyone else in the world turns their back on me, I will not turn my back on me.


Congratulations on competing in the tv show Darlene! I hope you win!

For me the most difficult thing was of course first realizing and recognizing when I was in self defeating mode and trying to be “good enough”. It was practicing this new way of seeing myself in relationships outside of my immediate family that helped me to find the courage to finally say “no” to my siblings and other distant family who still treated me as though I was invisible. The biggest challenge though has been with my adult children who have taken up their role in my family. I’ve spent the past few years beginning with creating distance and space between us; identifying some physical boundaries. Little by little I’ve allowed more contact with them and along the way established new boundaries. My daughter has been more open and receptive to the new me. My son on the other hand is very much not liking my new boundaries and at this time I’m working through the realization that I need to tighten up on how I allow him into my space because he is not so receptive to the new me that has been evolving over the past years. I can still get flustered and not quite know what to say or do. It was one thing to leave behind my siblings but this is my son so I want to be sure to approach this thoughtfully.

Coming to the realization that I may lose him has been hard. At the same time – I’m not willing to sacrifice myself to have him in my life. Learning to see the subtle and recently the blatant ways he discounts me has been interesting and his response to my continued boundaries has been even more interesting. Its hard. Seeing that this is the way things are going and I’m also grieving the loss of the relationship and hope that our relationship could be salvaged. At this point I’m hoping that I can love him from a distance and maybe with more time and continuing to hold my ground we can have that new kind of relationship. In the meantime I’m feeling very sad at the realization that we may not.

Thanks again for this space and the message you share Darlene:)


Darlene, I’ve been thinking about my identity and your saying that you dissociated from you identity. I think I never developed a true identity because I was treated as mirror from birth. I went through life reflecting what others wanted to see as a way to survive. I also used it as a way to cope with that which overwhelmed me like trying to raise teenagers when I didn’t even get to be one. I know I have repressed memories of the sexual abuse both that which was done to me and that which I did to myself. Anyway, I’m still confused about DID and what it looks like.


Susan, Your comment made me cry as I often have many of the same thoughts. Along with thinking I might lose the relationship with my son is the possibility of losing my relationship with my grandchildren. I also have to accept that I hurt my son in many ways and he has his own journey of healing. Some days are bad and others are hopeful. I didn’t see him for a few days after the one I shared here and I had to fight the urge to call him and smooth things over. I saw him a couple of days ago and he was very sweet. He knows he has problems and that I have problems and we’ve been through a lot of therapy together but we both slip backward sometimes. This healing thing is like always being on the edge of something new and not knowing what it will cost. I’ve experienced the empty space that occurs from time to time between me and both of my sons and I know they need those times for their own development and their own healing. I try very hard to let them know how sorry I am for some of the stupid things I did but that doesn’t have the magic power to heal all of their wounds. This morning I woke up realizing that if they need to break away from me to heal then I would have to accept that because above all, I want them to heal. They are men now and their personal healing must go beyond what we are able to do together. My new resolve is to continue to set my boundaries and remain steady without condemning them and without taking total responsibility for everything that happened but only for what truly belongs to me. My parents hurt me because they were so irresponsible. I ran in the other direction and hurt my children by being overly responsible. I have to clear my eyes of my own abuse so that I can see theirs. I have to allow them the space to take responsibility for their own healing. I’m walking a tightrope and when I read your comment, I know you are too. I am determined to keep my balance and make it safely to the other side.


Hi Darlene

You know what is so good for self esteem .. at least for me. is hearing someone say ..” I believe you , I understand, we will work on this together”

I know some have had negative experiences with therapists or doctors but I am so blessed to have a good experience happening .and it’s good and nice to know that the one helping me truly believes me and understands me and encourages me.

IT is also good coming here and hearing all you say you believe and undertand and are walking with me..

Knowing one is not alone. that one no longer has to carry the heavy burdens , the secrets, all by one self does something good inside.

I know I am working hard on believing I am important and worthwhile; but its also the intervention of others that is helping me feel better about me.

We need others. .no matter how introverted we are.. to understand. we need a human voice to say . it’s going to be alright .

Thank you Darlene for this place of healing and your constant support and I also will be sending special thanks to my “T” . I was a lucky person to find someone who is not going to make my condition worst but better: )

Love you all ..hope its ok to say!


ps i posted this before and it ended in some other spot on the


I know Pam. Me too. The thing is that over the past few years we have had some big time outs. I didn’t see my grandson hardly at all as I”ve gone through this metamorphosis. And now I can see these issues playing out in his life as my daughter and son perpetuate the dysfunction in their own lives.

Its hard I find for the simple reason that this is a new way of being and I sometimes feel that I’m guessing on how to respond to him and my daughter and not having anyone to guide me or model this new way of being – well…sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it “right”. Then I go back to the fact that this is a large part of the issues…wondering if I’m “right enough’ or doing things right enough or good enough to be accepted as I am. I try to shift my view from judging right or wrong in the doing of this stuff to asking if I am valuing myself and him. It takes practice for me to “get” how to “be” different in my family because it feels so crazy but – the craziness is what draws me back into my old role. So simply refusing to partake by defending, explaining or justifying gives me a sort of baseline to work from when he is coming from his place of his role in the dysfunction. I’m trying to have compassion for him without sacrificing myself. Being able to simply state “I don’t agree” allows me to let him have his stuff without making it my stuff. It takes practice. And I try to make sure that I don’t close the door myself but have clear boundaries instead. The cutting off that is my family pattern is another form of abuse and control that says “do what i want or I’ll cut you off”. So when I have to step back I just step back and trust that in time we’ll try again. Its hard and painful knowing that there might not be another opportunity but as long as I’m not the one closing the door I can hold the hope that things will work out over time. Sometimes they just need time and space to work their own issues out. Just like me.

It’ll be ok; part of it may be grieving losses but when I let go of trying to influence the outcome I feel like I’m always leaving a place for hope.


You discribed me to a T. I would never have been able to word it the way you just did but you wrote about every fiber of my being. Thank you for discribing ME.


Hi G,
I am so glad that you are here. Thank you so much for the big hugs and I am sending them right back to you too!
BIG HUGS! Darlene

Hi Susan,
(thanks for the well wishes on the contest!)
I found that healing and setting boundaries was the hardest with my kids. (I am still learning) So much of what got in the way for me was that deep down I thought that I had harmed them by being emotionally damaged ~ so I owed them more leeway then to others. And different boundaries applied to different ages because when I started this process, none of my kids were adults; one was pre teen, one was a teen and 1 was only 7. The whole thing has been a huge learning curve for me. They were used to “fragile mom” and they were used to “servant mom” and they rebelled against the changes. But I had to keep working on ME. I had to keep gently enforcing the changes and I didn’t accept disrespect anymore. I was patient and I explained to them lots of stuff like how it made me feel when they treated me a certain way. I had to teach them stuff they had not been taught (by my example) before. As they grew, I was able to change the way that I dealt with them. I always kept in mind that my life had taught them to be the way that they are in the first place, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t ask for changes now. I kept working on myself all along. My self esteem has reflected in the progress that we have made as a family. This is such a huge topic, but so worth pursuing.
Hugs, Darlene


I am slowly getting caught up after a trip away for a while.
I loved this that you said:
“I sure didn’t give them a very good example of resisting peer pressure. They understand now though because they know how my family treated me and them since they are my kids. They are pretty supportive most of the time. The oldest especially. They both encouraged me to cut ties with my family. We are all better off than we were five years ago.”

I am somewhere in the middle of this with my own kids. But we are moving forward. your comment encourages me.


So your therapist is helping you “read” your past?


I feel your pain…
“At the same time – I’m not willing to sacrifice myself to have him in my life.”
You are not sacrificing yourself, AND you are NOT sacrificing him either, this way. What is good for you IS good for him. GOOD is GOOD. He will benefit from better ways of relating…period, he will.


Hi Pam
I totally relate; I never developed MY identity either, but I had one, undeveloped or not. I was born someone. Since I was convinced that I was “bad” and I “deserved” the way I was treated, I disconnected from myself. I think it started as a way to cope with abuse, but then I hated “me” so I disconnected from myself AND from the abuse events themselves.. I have written some posts about DID and how I came to understand it. I don’t see it exactly the way that most do anymore. It is a big area!
Hugs, Darlene

p.s. The thought of having teenagers terrified me so much that I swore I would never have kids. I had my first child at the age of 30.

Re: your comments to Susan, I feel that way too. Because of the damage that was caused to my husband and I, our kids were not raised with all the right definitions of love, relationship or even respect. There was a lot of the misuse of power and control. I have to allow them space now too ~ they are also on a life journey. I can’t “do it” for them. I want to, but that would only cause more harm. I love what you said about if they need to break away for a time to heal, then that is okay because you want them to heal more than anything. THAT IS LOVE! That is real love.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy,
The reason that I try to answer so many comments is because it was when I was “heard” that I found hope. It was when someone believed me, that I finally believed myself.
Thanks so much for sharing this,
Hugs, Darlene



“My parents hurt me because they were so irresponsible. I ran in the other direction and hurt my children by being overly responsible. I have to clear my eyes of my own abuse so that I can see theirs. I have to allow them the space to take responsibility for their own healing.”

A real timeline here! Thanks!!

Yes, people HAVE to have the support of others. SO glad you have found this. In order to break away from abuse, there has to be support.

Here’s onethat might interest us on a site concerned with sexual issues and their consequences:

Fornication is many things, in the Biblical sense, it is even secual abuse, but it is NOT what we are so often told! The ones telling us these lies have to do so, because controllers of groups must destroy the most basic of human relationships in order to maintain power over the masses.


Hi Renee
So glad this post resonated with you that way!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda
There have been times on the healing journey where I felt like I was “back at square one” but it is never so. We don’t lose the healing when we have those tough times, we just don’t feel it the same way. I am so glad that you are going to persist! you are worth it! of all the things that I am grateful for today, I think that MY persistence is the thing I am the most grateful for!
Hugs, Darlene


Susan,Darlene, My family cuts people off also. I was careful not to do the final cutting with my parents and sister. All I did was tell them they had to treat me with respect and that started with acknowledging my sexual abuse and that my parents were negligent when they did nothing to stop it. I did make this a requirement for continued relationship but they chose to close the door rather than be accountable for their own wrongdoing. They want to have their scapegoat and and eat her too. In the Bible, scapegoats were sent out into the wilderness after the people had laid their sins upon it. As long as they treat me as their scapegoat, my place is out in the wilderness and I see God’s wisdom in it. I’m much happier in the wilderness.

It is different with my children. It was my youngests problems with depression that got us into therapy (and some very bad psychiatric treatment)and was what forced me to really face myself and why I was the way I was. I taught my son to disrespect me by allowing all others to disrespect me. They also bore that disrespect. I’m not going to demand their respect but instead, I’m doing my best to be respectable and respect myself. I talk to them when ever they want to discuss thing s but I’ve kept most of my inner work the last few years to myself. I hope by living differently, they will see my example and relearn some of the bad things that I taught them. I too have let go of outcomes. I’m just trying to do what is right and live a truthful life. I’m putting my trust for a good outcome in the turth without trying to force an outcome that seems good to me. I had my time to talk and I taught them some good things but I blew it in other ways. Now is my time to hush up and love them while also, loving myself.


Kate, I’m really not sure who teaches who in the parent child relationship but I know it is a continuing adventure. We aren’t a perfect family but we do have a lot of love for one another and that does much in smoothing out a bumpy road. I’m glad that my words encouraged you.:0)



Hi Darlene; yes. For a long time I allowed him to treat me badly because I felt responsible for him being hurt to begin with. But he’s an adult now and almost 30 years old and he’s not interested in learning or supporting my changes so it all comes down to boundary work with him it would seem. He very much identifies with the rest of the family that still needs me to be the “sick” one. Its definitely a delicate dance to engage in. We seem to keep our distance then come together again and this seems to allow for some gently changing while I practice not being intimidated by him and holding my confidence. I also see the changes in us as a family in the broader sense as we have made some big changes by making small changes over time. Its just right now we seem to be in one of those times where we may need to step away for a bit. I always worry that we won’t have another chance to do more growing and changing because he is an adult now and I can’t make him talk to me or understand, listen to or respect how I feel. So I try to have patience and am grateful to be able to share here where everyone “gets” it and it helps to hear how you’ve dealt with these issues. 🙂


Kate; thank you for your encouragement:) I do believe that by insisting that I be heard and treated as though I have value that in the end he will benefit as will I. What I meant by sacrificing is that by not standing my ground I would be perpetrating the dysfunction and that would not be helpful for me or him. The journey is sometimes bumpy and I think thats where we are right now. As long as I keep working on me and let him work on himself I have a lot of hope. 🙂


Pam – I like the way you put that in your last paragraph. Me too. By doing my work and modeling this new way of being I think that is the best thing I can give them right now. I can’t fix what I gave them but I can now give them something different.


In Comment # 32 ~ that is almost exactly my story and my feelings about the whole family/kid thing too.
Thank you for sharing that…
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you, Darlene, for your persistence! I do have some good loving understanding people in my corner, I am very blessed to have that, after NOT having anyone in my corner, for most of the first 50 years of my life. My husband, he is always for me, no matter what. My aunt, who recently lost her only daughter, has been in my corner for the past several years. Since Elaine drowned, my aunt has told me that she considers me her adopted daughter. I’m not sure how I feel about that… of the two sisters, my mother and my aunt, I have always longed to have my aunt as my mother. But I know that I can never take the place of her only daughter, my cousin Elaine.

I guess I’m having survivor’s guilt. My therapist has helped me to understand that one of the reason my cousin’s death hit me so very hard, is because she was more like a little sister to me, than a cousin. As the eldest child, when I was 12 and my mother was doing insane things like trying to gas us all to death, I felt totally responsible for keeping my 4 little pre-school siblings out of my mother’s hair, and ALIVE. For the 2 horrible years between my mother’s first and second marriage, when I was 12 – 14, I truly felt that keeping my 2 little sisters and 2 little brothers safe, fed, alive and well, was entirely up to ME. My therapist has helped me to understand that I had transferred that caretaking feeling to my much-younger cousin. 4 days before her drowning death, my cousin Elaine told me that if she “only had the energy to do it,” she would kill herself. I immediately went into full big sister life-saver mode. I told my cousin that my husband and I would get in the truck immediately, and drive to her house to be with her ~ a 200 mile drive, which would take at least 3 and a half hours. Unknown to my cousin, my husband and I were both sick and on antibiotics at the time, him with bronchitis, and me with an infected tooth. We didn’t feel up to making such a long drive, and our budget at that time didn’t have the money for the fuel for the trip, we would have had to put it on our emergency charge card. But none of that mattered to me, or to my husband, compared to saving Elaine’s life! But when I told her that we would get on the road immediately to be with her, she said NO, she did not want us to do that, and she told me that she had a friend staying with her and looking after her. So I asked her if I could talk to her friend. I heard Elaine tell him, “Would you mind talking to my cousin? She is really worried about me.” Alex, her friend, got on the phone and told me that he had been staying with her for about 3 weeks and was keeping watch over her. I told him that Elaine had told me she wished she had the energy to kill herself, and Alex said, “I know, she has told me the same thing. That’s why I’m staying with her, and trying to help her.” So then I talked to my cousin again, and she assured me that she was NOT SERIOUSLY suicidal, she was just “having that thought,” and felt like she needed to tell me. She promised me that she would go for professional help within the next day or two, which she did do. I also got Alex’s phone number, and gave him mine, and asked him to call me at any hour day or night and told him we would be there for Elaine, it would just take us a few hours to drive there.

After I got off the phone with my cousin, I then called her mother, my aunt, and told her what Elaine had told me. I also told her that her friend Alex was staying with her, and that I had talked to him. I told my aunt that Stan and I were ready willing and able to go to Elaine, and had offered to, but that Elaine said she did not want us to do that. My aunt then told me that her daughter Elaine had also told her recently about having suicidal thoughts, but that Elaine had told her mother very emphatically that she really would not go through with it, and that she did NOT want her mother to go to her aid… my aunt lives in Michigan, about 1,000 miles away, and she has a fear of flying. She often drove from there to here in New Mexico, to visit her daughter, usually 2 or more times per year. But she was respecting her daughter’s wish that she NOT go to be with her at that time……. and, I also respected my cousin’s wish that my husband and I not go to be with her at that time.

I feel so guilty when I remember how relieved I was, that Elaine already had a friend staying with her and did not want us there, because of the fact that Stan and I were both sick, I was having a bad reaction to my antibiotic, AND we really were tight for money, so making that trip would have put us in a bit of a financial bind. Still, both my husband and I assured my cousin that we were keeping our truck filled with fuel, and were ready and willing to go to her at any hour of the day or night, OR to bring her here for a time, if she wished…

Four days later, my cousin Elaine drowned. Her death is still being investigated, due to what the state police call “suspicious circumstances,” and we still are waiting on the toxicology reports, before we can get a final ruling of the cause of her death. MEANHWHILE, I not only lost a very dearly loved precious relative, one of only from my family of origin, who was “on my side” and who saw my mother for the abuser she is….. in addition to losing the only blood relative I had in this state, and someone I loved so much, I FELT LIKE I HAD LET HER DIE, by not going straight to her side, when she told me during one of our final phone conversations, that she would kill herself if she had the strength.

This is why it hit me SO HARD. I truly believed that my cousin’s death, was MY FAULT. I am still struggling with this… I have another appointment with my new therapist in a few hours, so I am working on my issues ~ like you said, Darlene, the PERSISTENCE, not giving up, that is KEY. Life is life, there will always be set-backs and losses and people who shun us and bad-mouth us and block us on facebook or whatever… life is good but life is also hard, and we never know what is coming next around the corner. The key is to NOT GIVE UP, no matter what.


Susan, my heart is right there with you, in what you are going through with your son. I have 3 grown children, 2 sons and 1 daughter. My daughter is the middle child. My daughter and I, and my younger son and I, get along just fine. We’ve had problems in years past, when my children were much younger and they were apparently in survivor mode, and siding with the strong abuser against the weak broken mother. But we’ve talked these issues out, and come to a mutual understanding, forgiveness, love, and respect, which is awesome.

But my elder son…… yesterday was his 40th birthday. My heart aches because he is not in my life at this time. I have tried, and continue to try, to reach him, with my love and understanding and by making amends for my part of what has gone wrong between us. I haven’t given up on him yet, but, like you, I will not allow him to continue to be disrespectful or verbally abusive toward me.

It isn’t easy for him, I understand that. My eldest was born when I was 18, and less than 2 years out of that horrible state mental institution where my mother put me mainly to get me out of the way when she married my stepfather, because “no house is big enough for 2 women,” as my mother told me at age 14… I see now that she was afraid that her new husband, who was always a gentleman around me, might become sexually attracted to me, as my real dad had done, when I was 12 and didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t even know what sex was, then. So anyway, after 2 years in the hellhole institution, which has since been closed and torn down, I married an abusive husband when I was 16 to get away from my mother, and in that abusive marriage ~ I’m talking verbally abusive, physically abusive, and sexually abusive ~ me, a very broken teenager, became pregnant and gave birth to my now 40 year old son. I loved him and did the best I could as his mother, but my best was pretty lousy, I know that now. He has reason to be angry and resentful and hurt. But if he will not accept my apology and amends, there is nothing left that I can do. I will not allow him to beat me up emotionally and verbally, for things that happened when I was very badly broken and sick and in so much pain, 30 and 40 years ago.

Lately I have really had to fight against falling back into the default position of hating me and blaming me for everything. I keep reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes, by the poet Maya Angelou: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

That works for doing what you knew how to do 30 or 40 years ago, and it works for doing what you knew how to do, 2 or 3 months ago… now, with the help of my therapist and loved ones, I am not nearly so emotionlly unstable as I was in June, after my cousin died, and I thought it was my fault. I know Elaine would not want me to destroy my own life and relationships, with guilt over her death. I will not give up on me, not while I am still living on this earth.



I remember my disbelief and confusion last December while in a mental health assessment meeting when one of the people said to me “I wish you well in your healing journey, you deserve to heal”. I remember saying “what do you mean I deserve to heal?” It was quite key turning point in my healing journey. I keep going back to that when my self esteem gets knocked. But yes I deserve to heal – we all deserve to heal – and healing is possible. When I think of how far I’ve come during the last few months it is quite breathtaking. Thank you Darlene for the encouragement and hope in this post. Even just the title is so full of hope that it is possible to get our self-esteem back! Wonderful!!!!


Learning to love myself is when my real healing started. Letting go of the lies, surrounding myself with people who loved me and believed in me helped me to start to love and believe in myself. Getting the abuser out of my life because he was still toxic and willing to abuse if I let down my boundaries that kept him out was the most frightening, most healing thing that I did.

I am blessed that both of my children know my story and are accepting of the new, healthier me. They didn’t always understand what I was going through in the beginning of my healing journey and at the time, I didn’t know what I was feeling so I couldn’t explain it to them if they had asked. They were teenagers before I began to find some balance in my emotions. In each of them, I see some of the traits of dysfunction that I passed on to them, some of the same fears. Today, I am glad that I can show them that I have gone beyond the fear and the rage that I once felt and so can they if they are willing. I believe that most of what we teach our children comes through the modeling of healthier behaviors and the way that we handle conflict. It hasn’t been a gentle journey but I am worth it.


Patricia, As long as we keep trying and continue to grow, I think our children will see that and hopefully, be encouraged to keep trying and grow as well. That is my hope, anyway. On thing for sure, they know their mom is a fighter and that I never give up. I have a feeling that is true for you too.


Oh YES, Fi, you deserve to heal. As you said, We ALL deserve to heal.

I was thinking about this post topic, “Emotional Healing and the Return of Self Esteem,” as I was driving to and from my therapy appointment today. I was thinking about the false identity we are taught by our abusers in childhood, and how easy it is, during our healing journey, to fall back to that old default way of thinking that we are worthless and bad, especially when we make a mistake of some kind, as all humans occasionally do, particularly during times of severe stress, or when our trauma memories are badly triggered. As Susan recently told me, there is a difference between a REASON, and an EXCUSE. Understanding the reason for our mistakes does not excuse them, but it does give us a place from which to learn, and grow, to make appropriate amends if possible, owning our part of the wrong, and to work on not making that same mistake again.

Not only is it very easy to fall back to our old default way of hating ourselves when we mess up in some way, it also can happen when someone comes along and, for whatever reason, judges and berates us, perhaps because something about us has triggered one of their own unresolved issues, or because they have caught us in an error, and now we are a pure villain in their eyes. Some people can only think in black or white, all good or all bad, with no in-between, no shades of gray. They will put you up on a pedestal one day, telling you there is nothing whatsoever wrong with you that needs to be changed, and then, a week later, when they catch you in a fault, now they have decided that you are a very sick, damaged person, with a deep-seated, serious fault that you must acknowledge and change immediately. If you disagree with their sweeping judgment of your horribly flawed character, they may take it upon themselves to disparage and humiliate you among your friends and acquaintances, as a “public service,” to warn other people to avoid you.

When someone presumes to judge me in this way, I can do one of two things. I can simply say, like Susan said, regarding her son’s judgments: “I Disagree.” That is the healthy, grown-up way to respond to a character assassination.

But…. that old, sick, self-defeating default position of hanging my head in SHAME and agreeing with my accusers that YES, LYNDA IS ALL WRONG, ALL BAD, 100% AT FAULT, CRAZY AND WORTHLESS AND TOXIC TO BE AROUND, IGNORANT, AND TOO STUPID TO KNOW IT ~ when those old messages, that I learned as a child from my abusive parents, and BELIEVED for almost 50 years, start playing in my head like a bad horror movie ~ PART of me, the still-broken, unhealed part of me, wants to just curl up, give up, and DIE.

I thank God that today, there is only a relatively small part of me that feels that way. Today there is a bigger, stronger part of me, the healthy part, the part of me that KNOWS BETTER. That part of me, KNOWS that I am NOT worthless, I am NOT horrible and bad. On the contrary, I am a very deeply loving, kind, caring, compassionate, giving, and honest person. Yes, I know that I am not perfect. I know that I am not a SAINT. But, neither am I a HITLER. I can be imperfect and make an occasional mistake, and still be, overall, a GOOD, WORTHWHILE, VALUABLE human being.

When I realize, after the fact, that I have made a mistake, I always do whatever I can to apologize, to make amends, to admit my part of the problem ~ but, like someone here said, I will not take 100% of the blame in a situation, if I honestly do not believe that 100% of the blame is mine. I also am limited in my ability to say that I was wrong and I am sorry, and to make amends, if the person I am trying to apologize to, is refusing to talk with me ~ like my son ~ or has blocked me on facebook. In cases like that, all I can do is tell others who are in contact with the person I have wronged, and let them know that I am sorry, in the hopes that my apology message will be passed on.

But, the bottom line is: If someone, like my elder son, decides that I am worthless and bad, for whatever reason, and for whatever mistakes, real or imagined or grossly exaggerated, that I may have done ~ does that make it TRUE? My therapist asked me, “If I call you a refrigerator, does that mean that you ARE a refrigerator?” “Of course not,” I replied. “So, if someone declares that you are a worthless human being, does that make you a worthless human being?”

The answer, again, is: “Of course not.”

So…. now my question to myself is: WHO AM I? Am I a good person, or am I a bad person?

If I do a good deed ~ such as surprising my husband by buying him the motorcycle of his dreams, which I did a couple of weeks ago when he got some back money from his VA disability claim, and he told me that, out of love for me, he was going to use all of that money for “practical” things, like paying bills and making repairs to the house, like he knew I wanted him to do, rather than take the money and buy himself the nice 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle he really wanted…. when I made that decision, back on July 18, to sneak out of the house while he was asleep, go and buy the motorcycle I knew he wanted so much, even though I am afraid of them and don’t like to ride on them, and I despite the fact that I REALLY wanted to pay off our bills, and fix up our house, with that money, instead…. when I made that decision to put my husband’s desires first, ahead of my own…. does that single act of love and kindness, make me a Good Person?

WHO AM I? Am I a good person, or am I a bad person?

If I do something wrong, such as losing my temper and telling someone off who didn’t deserve to be told off, but at the time, I mistakenly thought they did deserve it, because my rape trauma was being triggered by the conversation, and I was recently bereaved and seeing the whole world through the distorted lenses of my grief, trauma, and pain, and in my temporarily distorted thinking, I misunderstood where the pother person was coming from, I thought they were being cold and snotty and mean, when probably they were not…………….. am I now a BAD, HORRIBLE PERSON, because I got angry and told someone off who did not deserve to be told off?

As I was driving to my therapist’s appointment today, I kept asking myself that question: WHO AM I? Am I a good person, or am I a bad person? As I drove along, I thought about some of the really bad things I have done in my life, such as having an affair with a married man, because I was so starved for love, and I told myself the lie that what his wife did not know, would not hurt her… yes, I did that. Yes, I was the horrible, evil, selfish, rotten, “other woman.” That happened many years ago, and still the memory of it will make me hang my head in shame.

But then… as I was thinking about how horrible and selfish I have been in my past desperate search for what I thought was love, I remembered something I did one time, that was the complete opposite of selfishness, something far greater, than giving my husband a motorcycle because I love him, and I knew he really wanted it, and most of all I knew that he deserved it, because he earned his War Veteran’s disability money the hard way, fighting for freedom.

The year was 1992. I was 39, which I now know was still very young. I was a brand new grandmother, and I was thrilled with my beautiful baby granddaughter. I was also newly-married (to my now ex-husband), and we had just bought a lovely 100-year-old, renovated Cape Cod-style house, overlooking a river, just a mile off the bay on the coast of Maine. I was driving our nearly-new sporty red car, with the sunroof open and my favorite music blaring, heading back to our charming new/old house, after an exhilarating day of shopping in the city of Bangor. Shopping for new things, for the new house. I was feeling on top of the world, loving my life.

I was driving along a long stretch of a 2-lane, 2-way highway. There was no shoulder along the road, and no passing lanes. The highway was hilly and winding, fun to drive in my sporty car with the 5-speed gear shift on the floor. A large tractor-trailer truck was a short distance behind me. We were both driving the speed limit, perhaps a little over the speed limit, flying over the hills and around the curves, with ease.

I came around a corner and up over a hill ~ and there was a school bus, stopped dead in the lane right in front of me! I have no idea why it was stopped there, there was no sign for a bus stop, there were no houses or buildings nearby, nothing but thick forest lining both sides of the narrow highway. I knew that if I stomped hard on my brakes, I would, BARELY, be able to stop my little car without running into the back of the bus.

But, I also knew that the big heavy truck that had been driving a couple of car-lengths behind me for the past 30 or so miles, driving as fast as I was, would NOT be able to stop in time to keep from plowing into ME, when it came around the corner and over the hill that I had just driven over. I knew that truck would be coming up behind me, within just a few seconds. If I slammed on my brakes, I could stop my car without hitting the school bus ~ but then, I was sure, the truck that was about to come around the curve behind me, would plow right into me, and I would be smashed in my little car, pancaked between the truck, and the bus.

It’s truly amazing how many thoughts can fly through your mind, in just a split-second of time, when you are faced with a sudden life or death situation! I instantly saw that I could not go around the school bus, because there was a line of cars coming toward me in the only other lane. If I tried to go around the bus, I would hit that line of 3 or 4 vehicles, head on.

Although there was no shoulder along that part of the highway, there was a narrow, shallow ditch, between the road and the thickly wooded forest. I thought that I could steer my car to the right of the bus, drive down into the ditch, and thus save myself from the truck that was sure to plow into my car, IF I slammed on my brakes and stopped behind the bus.

I could see several wide-eyed grade-school-aged children looking at me, out the window of the back door of the bus. If I saved my own life, by running my little car off to the right and down into the narrow ditch, the huge heavy truck that was close behind me, would have no where to go, but to plow straight into the back of the school bus….

In that split instant, when I was deciding what to do, I remembered a story I had head on the news a few years earlier, about a stopped school bus full of children, with a car stopped directly behind it, and a big tractor-trailer truck coming around a curve in the highway, and not being able to stop. The truck had slammed into the car, pancaking it almost flat, between the truck, and the school bus. The elderly couple in the car were killed instantly, BUT ~ none of the children on the bus were seriously hurt.

If I slam on my brakes and stop behind this bus, I thought, in a couple of seconds, the truck that I know is right behind me will come flying around the curve, and it will have no where to go ~ the ditch between the highway and the forest was much too narrow for the truck to drive into, it was barely big enough for my little sports car. If I slam on my brakes, and stop behind the school bus, I will have maybe 2 or 3 more seconds left to live ~ but, I may save the lives of these children, who still have their whole lives ahead of them. My one life, for their many lives. The life of one 39-year-old, in exchange for a dozen or more grade-school children.

I didn’t want to die! But, MORE than that, I didn’t want the children on that bus to die. So I made my split-second decision, slammed on my brakes as hard as I could, and stopped my car just inches away from the stalled school bus. As I stared into the eyes of a little boy whose life I hoped to save, by giving up my own life, I waited for the impact that I was sure would come any moment. I, the big chicken that I usually am, didn’t even feel any fear ~ there wasn’t enough TIME to feel fear!

One second, two seconds, and in my rear view mirror I saw the big 18-wheel truck careen around the corner behind me, and then….

The truck-driver immediately swerved into the lane that had the line of 3 or 4 oncoming cars. He apparently had made a split-second decision to drive his truck head-on into the line of oncoming cars, rather than hit the school bus ~ even with my car there to provide some cushion.

And, this is the truly amazing part: the line of on-coming cars immediately drove down into the narrow ditch on their side of the highway! The truck flew past me, flew past the school bus, flew right between us and the cars that had driven into the ditch, and no one was hurt, not even in any of the cars that had run off into the ditch, they all drove right back onto the highway and continued driving as if nothing had happened!

A moment later, the school bus started up again. WHY that driver had been stopped in such a crazy dangerous place, I have no idea.

I am not a saint. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I am fallible. I am human. I get angry sometimes when I shouldn’t. I have been very selfish in my past.

But, I am NOT BAD. I am a person who was born equally valuable to every other human being, born that way, not because of anything I had done or said to give myself value, my value was built into me, from infancy on, by my Creator. I am a person who was badly, horribly, broken by an abusive childhood home, and from there, groomed for abuse, I went into horribly abusive relationships and marriages that were doomed to fail before they began. In my brokenness and pain and confusion, I made a lot of mistakes. I made mistakes as a mother. I made mistakes as a friend. I made mistakes as a wife. I made all kinds of mistakes, and I still sometimes make mistakes.

But I have always done the best I could, with what I had. Maya Angelou said it best: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

WHO AM I? Am I my good deeds, or am I my bad deeds? Am I worthy, or am I worthless? Does my value depend on how good or how bad my behavior is on any given day? Does my value depend on how recently I have done a good deed, or how recently I have done something wrong?

I believe my value is inborn, God-given. I believe my value is EQUAL, to every other human being. I am not more valuable than anyone else, but neither am I less valuable. I was created equal. I may sin, I may do good. I may get angry and hurt someone’s feelings very badly, and I may, in a moment’s decision, choose to lay down my life, to save the lives of a school bus full of children that I don’t even know. I don’t think I am that extraordinary for doing that, I believe that most human beings with a heart and a soul, would have done the same thing.

I believe we need to have more compassion for each other, and for ourselves. We need to allow ourselves, and others, to be imperfect.

If I have learned one thing, I have learned this: We need to give ourselves, and others, a break. Give ourselves and others the benefit of the doubt. Forgive ourselves, and forgive others. Know that none of us is going to be perfect all the time, in this life. And know that that is OK.

Anger, rage, judgment… it needs to go. I need to let it go. God help me, I will never again post an angry response to anyone online. Not even if I think at the time that they deserve it. I will keep my anger to myself, write it in my private journal, share it with my therapist, maybe talk about it with my husband or a close friend. But no more anger written online, no matter how provoked or discounted or trauma-triggered I may feel. God help me to keep this resolution!


Hello it has been a while, I’ve missed you! I had a heart to heart with my oldest (Lisa)and I cried and cried. My youngest (Alena)doesn’t think twice about hurting me. My girls were raised the same yet they are as different as night and day. Why do I run toward a daughter that has lied,manipulate,and has stolen from me for years? I look the other way and have an excuse for every mistreatment. I have gotten hurt over other family members that would say horrible things about her, yet what they say in reality is true. I just can’t handle others voiceing the truth about her. Lisa asked me why do I cling to Alena when all she has ever done is disrespect me. I just can’t release Alena and let her go. I guess I don’t know the “why” question. Lisa will not have any thing more to do with her sister. I don’t know why I can’t, I wish I could. Every time I have a run in my chest hurts. She has denied me the right to visit with my beautiful grandaughter. She has brained washed her to the point my grandaughter now fears me, it breaks my heart. I beat myself up constantly because I must have done something so terrible wrong to make her so angry at me. I just can’t figure out what it is. I have asked her and she goes into a rage. So many people that she has lied to about me also hate or refuse to have anything to do with me. It hurts I just don’t know how to say goodbye and know I need to. This beats my self-esteem down and I feel so inadiquit as a parent. Which is not fair to Lisa who has been a very loving caring person.


I feel for you, such a drain. I feel like just creating a peaceful place for myself and staying there.


Thank you Lynda for your compassion for my circumstances with my son. I do have to tell myself, as you do, that I did the best I could and now I can do better. Doing better now is about being a good example by living my new life and hope that he too finds his own path to healing…and maybe that will include a healthier relationship with me but that is only possible if I keep working on me and not enabling his abuse to continue.

I’m so sorry to hear that you and your children have struggled. Hold tight:) It will be ok. I’m always glad we can share our truth here on EFB and support one another through the journey.

Hugs to all here today:)


Thank you, I wish I could reach her heart but I cant. I have prayed, bullied, asked, pleaded,begged, and I just set myself up for pain. I have been running and trying to catch her since she was born. She is so different and nothing like her sister or me. I have lost hope that she will ever want a relationship with me. I cant figure out why nor a way to get through to her. I know I need to stop it isant fair to those that know me and love me and see the truth.


Maybe this isn’t where you want to go iwith this topic, in conversation, here, etc., but did the dynamic that her father brought to the table have anything to do with her or bear any resemblence to her?


Hi Everyone!
Great comments. I am having trouble answering all the comments again lately but I am reading them all.
~ We do deserve to heal and heal fully. There is hope and the hope was the first key for me. To actually think that I might be able to recovery my self esteem and then even my identity. Hope that I might be able to live without the baggage of the past and all the manifestations of that baggage! And I did it, the hope turned out to be true, and that is why I write these articles!
Thanks everyone for being part of this!
You encourage me every day!
Hugs, Darlene


Renee, no matter how much it hurts, you can’t have a relationship with someone who doesn’t want one with you. That is especially hard when the other person is your child. Some people don’t like us as we get healthier. I am sorry that you are being hurt by this. You have to take care of you.


I dont know if you are repremanding me because I am talking about my daughters. I wrote in hope that other readers had simular situations. I don’t trust my intuition, gut feelings, etc because everything is warpt. I have no baraometer or any way to distinguish between what is the correct way to look at things. I have had many years of therapy. That has helped me function and to the out side world look “normal”, I beleive this is the place where I need to be to speak. I have no where else to go. No where else I can be heard or grow. I read and learn from other bloggers here. I am sorry if I have offended you or any body else that was never my intent.


I totally identify with your experience. Yes, I have the same thing in my life. I was just looking for a way to somewhat explain your daughter. I only have one daughter, but more than one son.


Thank you Pat. You are right I beleive I am beginning my new journey. I have to learn how to let go, I don’t know how. I know it is what I have to do. It is like learning how to walk. Part of me doesn’t want to go on this journey the other says it is time. I know it is time, I will have to look at myself, It will be hard but like my other journeys it is also about self discoveries, I will be stronger for it and maybe that is the answer Im looking for.


I left black and white thinking behind years ago when I was taught about it in my 12-Step days. Black and white thinking is a characteristic of adult children of dysfunctional family. It is a life of extremes with no balance. You see life as one way or another with no shades of gray. Today I see all the colors of the rainbow.

I have found balance in my life today. No one person is all bad or all good. We are a little bit of both. Forgiveness isn’t given just so that you can take it away with your next words of blame and shame. Anytime that you say, “I forgive you, but this is what you did, this is what you said, and on and on and on.” That isn’t forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn’t happen as long as I am still angry and defending my actions. Forgiveness comes when I have felt all of my feelings of anger or rage, disappointments, abandonment and grief. Forgiveness happens when I feel no ill will toward the other person or myself when the forgiveness is self-forgiveness.

A friend was talking about projection of feelings this morning in my library group. He said projection is when we project what we are feeling onto another person so that we don’t have to admit to what we are feeling. We are all guilty of doing this in varying degrees. We project our shadow side on to others. What we don’t like about ourselves we project on to others. The way to end projection is to acknowledge and to accept our own shadow side. Then we can choose to change that about ourselves. I have learned to look at what others say about me to see if it is true or is it a projection of something in themselves that they just don’t want to see. I have also learned to look at myself to see what am I projecting of myself on to others. If I see it, I can stop projecting and heal that behavior.

We all have our stories to tell. What we need to remember is that we are not our stories.


I hope that you are not offended, I was not trying to be judgemental.


It made me cry but I am over it. I am very sentamental right now so saying boo would make me burst into tears. It will be fine I just have to do some painful work thats all.


Sorry that it made you feel that wayI didn’t know how to put in into words in a better way. I struggle in converstion with women some because my mother told me (part of the liturgy in my life) that she didn’t to hear my mouth, and it was very hard to know what to say in som many settings in my life growing up. This year, the “year of withdrawal” the menopause year, the year of reflecting, I have been reliving my childhood, the first memories and getting a better perspective on my whole life, so I feel more awkward communicating sometimes. Sorry.

I guess I was groping after a conversation I had last night with my daughter, and it was also about her dad, and his personality is so in my face these days through my kids. I kept saying to my husband, “Did I cause this?” you know, those types of questions. He said that I did not cause this, so that helps me in moments of intense frustration.


I cried and got over it. I have a very hard time how to communicate with any one. I was isolated much of my life. I came from a large family 11 kids. You would think it would be hard to isolate a person with that many kids! It was easy, though my parents did their part with abuse it was my siblings that did the isolating. I really dont have the communication skills and I dont know how to gain it. I read a lot, I’ve taken college courses but the skills are learned skills from life.Kate it could be from her dads side. Im not sure. When he found out I was pregnant he told me to get an abortion and kicked me in the stomach and that was the last time I ever saw him.



Wow, I am so sorry. that could certainly have an impact upon her somehow.

I was one of two children and my husband the youngest of 7, and we both struggle in some ways to communicate. He has so much negativity to tune out (the sibs/dad) and I had more negativism directed at me, so I feel very awkward if I don’t believe that a person really wants to hear what i have to say. My mom, dad, and sister were all negative toward me my whole life.


I have never told her any thing about what happened. She does beleive that she is unloveable. Not from me, I have told her all her life that I love her and I have always wanted her. She has never bonded with me or her sister. I was in a very unhealthy time in my life. I had a nervous breakdown when I was pregnant with her. What her father did to me shattered me. I can’t go back and fix all those things because I am sure, that where I was in life created the horrible person she is today. I wish it were different; I am responsible no matter the condition I was in. I just answered the “why” now Lord what can I do????


Kate, and anyone that would like to read my memories my link is:
I did that blog because I needed to voice what happened, other than to the therapists. When I first started talking my family treated me far worse than they do now. I beleive it was because I quit talking about something they didn’t want to hear. I needed support and to get the elephant out of the closet, they were busy trying to shove it back in.


I just read the opening paragraph to your blog, and it is so well stated! LOVE that!


Thank you Kate,
I had to lean very heavely on all the therapy I have ever have. Years seperated from the abuse helps also.


“There are more abusers in churches than in mainstream America.”
Renee, HOW true! How true!! I just feel myself relaxing reading these words of yours from your blog. The guilt can go; it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t bad. It was loyalty in the wrong places, the wrong people, the wrong one. He was my dad; he should have loved me. And the sea of words they used against us and me. The words don’t matter at all. They have no meaning, other than to control others, but not me. I don’t hear the words anymore. Praise God! I am free.


There is another voice I hear now,
Not the accuser, not the abuser,
The voice of love is calling me home
Home where there is peace and sanctity,
Home where all are loved.


Good morning everyone,
Thanks Darlene for bringing it to my attention that my guest on “A Woman’s Voice” may have written a post that could be of some interest to your readers. Diane Viere and her partner have some great insights that can benefit a number of people. Bright blessings to you Darlene and thanks again for your support. 🙂


That is a beautiful poem,


Lovely poem, thank you for sharing it here.

Everyone ~ to read the article by Dolores about enabling click on her name or click on this link ~


No it is not your fault! For years I heard those words, but did you know even when I said those words my young body would betry me and react, and the words that were much louder said yes it is. I would beat myself up even harder and physically harm myself. Slut, whore, prostitute!!! I had to learn to force those words to be quiet, silence them some how. I did, I had to recognize which voice was whom’s. I had to teach myself with the therapist to except my body and put the emotions aside until I learned to except me as a person not as a thing. I had to acknowledge the persons in me as a valued part OF me. I had to look at the simplist things and see beauty so the bigger parts of me could be excepted and I saw the beauty in them to. Until all of me was excepted as a beautiful piece of art God created. and not what the abusers made OF me. Hope this makes sence to all of you. I am hurting real bad right now and cant quit crying. My youngest daughter denied me again to see my granddaughter. I feel broken and shattered.


Sounds like a wonderful therapist? but I don’t take that for granted. Have you always felt good with t his person or was a mixture in terms of comfort?


Hi, I’m sorry to leave (another) unrelated comment, but I contacted you a few weeks ago to ask if you would be interested in having a guest poster. My name’s Allie Gamble, and I’d love to pitch some ideas to you. Please drop me an e-mail at Thanks!


Hi Allie,
You are welcome to pitch some ideas, however, I have a certain criteria. Most of my guest bloggers are regular participants in my blog so my readers are familiar with who they are.
If you are not a regular commenter, then do you have a website and if so what is it about and can you send me the link?
Please contact me using the contact form button at the top of the page.
Thank you,


Im not sure what you mean. I have had years of therapy, most of it was with one therapist. I have had equestrian therapy, group therapy, different therapist because I moved. Then every three years I would have a mental check up to make sure I was balanced. During these check ups if I had issues or was way off track I would stay in therapy until I became centered. I don’t beleive I will ever live a “normal” life, that was stolen from me but I can live a life that can come close, one that is balanced, and a life where truth, integrity, love, laughter, and respect is a main part of my world. I cherish little things, I try so hard not to take things for granted because I had to work so hard to get what I have now.


Did you always feel that your therapist was working with you, not against you? Did you feel that the person was trustworthy? Did you feel like the person really listened to you and talked about what was important to you? How much control do you feel during therapy? Or do you feel you are just going along on someone else’s “ride”? Sorry if too many questions. I have opinions about therapy and have had some myself, and have an four-year psych degree, so it inerests me. Anything you could share about how your therapy has been a good thing would be helpful.


Hi Kate
Kate, it works a lot better if you share your thoughts here instead of only asking all these questions. Asking so many questions without sharing your own thoughts makes me feel uncomfortable. I would really appreciate it if your share more about your process too. I am afraid that all the questions will make some people afraid to share anything for fear of being asked questions, esp when you mention that you have a psych degree. Please share your opinions about your own exp.
I hope you understand and thank you.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene.
Kate, Darlene is right. She has ground rules that we are all to abide by. Thats what makes this a safe and caring place to be. We share and it helps everyone that blogs here. There are just readers here that are going through therapy, or they are in a place where they are just beginning and everything is unsure and fearful because they have never felt safe. Then there are people that feel safe to share their memories. This is that place Kate, we have boundries that need to be in place for ALL of us.


HI Kate:

I like to tackle your questions because I do have therapy: My T is always working with me..not against me.. and I trust her 100 percent . I know My T listens to me completely..In therapy we work together “control” really is a trigger word…since control was something people wielded over me to make me feel as bad and it is.. not needed in therapy; and since I am shy my T helps when I stumble for words.

I am ever so grateful that I do have therapy and that my T helps me to understand why I react to certain things.. .she is very good at explaining..patient, kind and an answer to my prayer!

I feel very much at ease with my T ..we connect very well..



I have had a mixture of bad experiences with therapy and religion. Whether it was from the religious school where I got my degree or religious therapists that i have had along the way, I have had many bad experiences and I don’t even know where to start in explaining or telling about them. I always felt betrayed somehow. It was always about the religion, the denomination, the guru, the fantasy of some type, but it was not about me and words coming out of my mouth. It seemed to be more about thier own entertainment. And I am trying to move beyond that. So I was interested in what has made good therapy for some who have benefitted from their own therapy.


I had to seperate Religion and having a relationship with the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Two total seperate beleifs. I would have gone crazy or made more attempts of suicide if I hadn’t. Also I had Christian therapist and those that weren’t. I wouldn’t have gone if I felt unsafe, and when I didn’t feel that person was right for me I would quite. It was actually good for me to leave one and find another that suited me better. Why? Because I HAD a choice and I had to do what was best for ME. It was the first time I made the choice and not what I was told to do.


Hi everyone,
I have been telling you about the delema with my daughter. Many have not weighed in and maybe it is because it hurts to much, I understand that pain. I’ve been thinking, it was something Kate said that hit a nerve; she said maybe this isan’t the place to discuss this subject. Well I think it is; my reason is and after many long hours of thought. This subject is about emotional healing and the return of self-esteem. Sence I have never had either until I got healthy I wonder if this delema with my daughter is a wake up call? Am I strong enough to let her go? How does this effect my emotional health? Will I be healthier with out her hatred and disrespect? How does this effect my self-esteem, can I let her go and still love my self? Will the pain of allowing her to die in my heart cause me death, and will I still live? After many hours of anguish my answer is for my self I have to release her and go through the steps of greiving. I can’t run after a person that doesn’t want to work on a healthy relationship. It will help my granddaughter who is only 8 yrs old and she won’t have to listen to the lies and be forced to hate me. This is my journey I hope you all can support me because griving a lone really sucks. I know someday a person going through what I’m going through right now, well it might just help them to.

I have one more thought and this thought is for Darlene and Pat. Many years ago I was reading a book about Jews in the hulicost(sp wrong)and it said ” If you save one child you save a generation”I wanted you to know you have saved many children with your blogs and thank you seems so inadiquite but that is all I have.


I didn’t mean that this wasn’t a place to discuss that subject. What I meant was that I was allowing you the space and freedom of not wanting to discuss it here, and I didn’t want to you to feel pressured because I brought it up. Sorry! I would hope that we could discuss a wide variety of topics related to our purpose on this site. I guess that I didn’t spell out clearly what I meant. I just didn’t want you to feel trapped by my question, which I think had to do with me wanting to possbily relieve you of any guilt over your daughter by asking if her dad brought any dynamics to her life that could be effefcting her?


Renee, thank you. Reaching out to other survivors is why I write my own blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker. Much of my own work, especially in the early days, was done alone. Today, we can support one another and love one another with our words of comfort and with cyber-hugs thanks to the internet. I haven’t commented much but I have been reading all of these comments and Renee, I have watched you reach your own conclusions as you have talked out your feelings here. That is as it should be. We each have our own answers waiting inside of us for the time that we listen to our own selves.

Darlene has many many more readers here than commenters. Some are shy or afraid of saying the wrong thing or just not ready to talk yet and that is okay. Our words are being read and taken in by many more than we are aware of.


I know about the blog readers, I think it is awesome, Why, because I beleive God wants his children to gather just the way they are. I beleive thats where healing comes in, nothing is expected but all is given.


Hi Renee
I have been trained not to give directives, both in my training in mental health, and in my training in coaching. Directives do not help anyone. All subjects that come up on this blog are okay with me since I agree that this site is about emotional healing. Discussion is one thing, asking people to weigh in is a different thing. Weighing in can often be like directives/advice. I don’t share much about difficulties with my children. Since this is my blog and they are free to read it, I think it would be unfair to them if I wrote about them. I feel differently about my children then I do about other abusive people because they are my children and their lives were in my hands for a very long time just as mine was in the hands of my parents. I think about the ways that my kids would take what I write too. If I were to agree with you, that you should separate from your daughter ~ and my daughter read it… what would she feel? Would it scare her? Would she fear that I might do the same to her? I think about everything when I write or comment. I try to consider the effects of what I say. I think about what it says to the commenter, to the other readers, to my family. I think about the “message” I am communicating all the time. I think about it because of how I came to understand the effect that my parents words had on me.
I support everyone here and I invite you to keep sharing about whatever you want. But I might not offer an opinion on everything.
Thank you for your lovely compliments. Your words are totally adequate.
Hugs, Darlene


It’s ok I have to handle things a little different and read things a little different. I hope some day you will feel free and safe to share your memories with us.


You are right. I am trying to figure this out. It’s like asking for directions when your lost on a trip. I ask every few blocks others may ask every few miles! I will get it figured out. I don’t want what I am writing the reason why others aren’t writing. I am always scared of causing someone to trip up. Or have negative feelings toward me because im speaking. I am always aware it could happen and I could get hurt because I spoke.


Hi Renee
One of the things that I have learned along the way is that people have a choice. They can choose to write or not. I don’t think that most readers here read all the comments anyway. (There is an average of 1000 comments per month!) Don’t worry about how others feel about you. That is their problem! Shareing is for you. Not for anyone else. You are doing fine. This is a huge thing to work out and I invite you to work it out anyway that helps you.
Because of my training, and the role I take on this blog, and my ultimate purpose and passion for the healing message that I try to delever, I have to think about things in a “whole picture” way. I am not asking anyone else to think that way. Having said that, if I feel a commenter is causing harm, I will step in. But sharing your own stuff doesn’t cause harm to somoene else.
Hope that makes sense.
Hugs, Darlene
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone!
I published my new post last night and it has a fantastic discussion going on already! (20 comments) I use an episode of Hoarders to illustrate Psychological and Emotional abuse and how the abuser so often gets all the sympathy and none of the responsibility. The comments are not so much about hoarding as they are about facing the truth about the damage.

Please read it here and I hope that you leave a comment. Hoarders ~ Illustrating Psychological abuse and Protecting Abusers

I think I could have come up with a better title.. but oh well!
Hugs, Darlene


I am working through reading what is on your blog. Biographies are so instructive, I think. WOW. Thank you for writing!


This was my birthday day post! The day where you get valued! I had loads of people wishing me happy birthday and I baked cake for everyone else… and lots of happy birthday singing and hugs and perfect presents including a card from everyone and chocolate hearts. Felt really valued and cared for and for once was able to receive it! Thanks Darlene for all your hardwork


Thanks for sharing this! That is awesome! I am so glad that you are a part of this whole thing and that I get so see all the wonders and changes and watch you grow!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I’m not sure if I’ve read this one before. It’s very late here & I’m very tired, but I’m still trying to figure out the whole “work” thing & don’t know if I’m missing stuff, or just can’t get my head clear enough to figure stuff out, or if I’m just trying to do everything at once and getting stuck or what’s going on.

I think I invalidate myself, because I believed that my actions defined me. (eg swearing, being interested in sex/porn etc, choosing to reject christianity). The sex thing especially is very confusing. It probably was my parents & the church that convinced me that sex is evil, but I don’t really remember it specifically happening (it was probably just early & constant indoctrination). I remember a childhood friend having playboy magazines before I found my father’s hardcore porn on his computer, but I suspect the training that it was “evil” pre-dated even all that.

Anyway I guess the point is that I don’t know how to get rid of that belief. Also, having got into hardcore porn as I did has only complicated things further, because I feel like I have no concept of what a “normal” (ie non-porn-addict) would class as “normal” sexual desires etc, and what would cross the line into perversion etc. I used to believe that you had to only ever have one sexual partner (the person you married), and that if you had sex even with them before you were married you were probably going to hell. And there’s probably still part of that left now. I don’t know if that belief is why I’ve remained so obsessed with my first serious (eg sexual) relationship, or if that’s just something separate.

Ok feeling pretty depressed now so gonna stop. Hope you don’t mind me writing about all this stuff.


You are really making progress J.
It takes time so don’t get discouraged. The belief does not alwasy dispell just because we discover it. Most often it takes time and there are layers to it and the layers lift slowly. There are many “theads” to a belief that need to be exposed too.. but you are on the right track!
Hugs, Darlene


Joy: Glad you understand your feelings and its source. We will heal someday…


Oh my word you hit the lies and abuse and how I had always felt about myself right between the eyes. Thank you so much for sharing…your thoughts are always uplifting. just me ging


Yesterday was a very bad day for me. I’m not sure why but I was consumed with sadness and could barely breathe.
I started thinking about my belief system, what exactly was it? I stayed up most of the night thinking about it. I was taught I wasn’t good enough. That there are people in “another league” that I shouldn’t try to associate with. I was told from the start I wasn’t smart. I started kindergarten at 4, clearly I should have been held until five but that would mean my mother would have had me home an extra year. School was tough, I never had help from my parents and I clearly remember once in science class thinking “I am not smart enough to do this” and felt horrible. I was told I wasn’t smart enough for algebra, for the SAT test and certainly not for college. I was told there are two kinds of people in this world chiefs and Indians and I was an Indian. Indians could never become chiefs, case closed! Never speak unless spoken to, that’s one that has caused me enormous problems and combined with the whole Indian scenereo I had no self esteem and often found myself with that horrible aching feeling in my chest in social settings. This morning I feel much better acknowledging this! What a bunch of crap I was taught and shame on them! To raise kids to not have dreams or hopes? What kind of parents do this? I am lucky to have found is website and I am busy clawing my way to a healthy normal existence.


Anyone here ever tried EMDR therapy?
(Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing)
Thanks in advance for any insight.


I feel like I lost my ability to erase bad memories.
It is true that it is so much easier to bounce back when you are younger.
When I was 18 I decided to take action and not dwell on anything. I LITERALLY ERASED most of the memories from my childhood. That allowed me to flourish beautifully. As some of you know from my earlier posts,it was to the point that I felt so strong, positive and happy, that I gave in to my sister’s requests. I thought I could be able to let our mother back to my life (in a form of a limited phone contact and rare visits. They would be destructive, naturally, but the effects lasted a day or 2 maybe, I had my own life and was coping well).

Now, I am not going to repeat myself here (Darlene, are you rolling your eyes yet? 🙂 ) but last year as an adult, 25- yeard old woman I introduced my mom to my life in 100%.I still cannot belive how that happened, I was not being myself at all! I fell for her tricks, guilt trips etc, I ALLOWED her to abuse me severely as an adult! This is something I cannot forgive myself. I feel angry and embarrassed. Than I found myself in an extremely abusive (5 months “only”- thank God) live-in relationship with an awful guy. The truth is, I know that would have NEVER happened if I did not got myself into the mother-daughter relationship FIRST (I never had a history of any abusive romantic relationships, in fact I have been very lucky with people other than my family and extremely intuitive, able to spot “the bad seed” from a mile away).

Now all these events triggered what I think might be a PSTD.
I am literally a mess. The memories of my childhood which I thought have been long forgotten, are now comig back to me with insane speed, everyday something new. It is like “holy sh**** oh yeah and that, I remeber that” and than there is a very vivid scene of what happened in front of my eyes, I can almost hear the dialoges. But I do not want to recall any of these events but I cannot help it. They are like an invasion.
Which is why I have been doing some research on EMDR therapy. I know it is not a magic wand, it is not hypnosis and will not make me forget. I came to the terms when I can finally accept what happened last year. What I now want is to forget just as I did when I was 18. Otherwise I will never get my personality back.

I am hoping to soon get a new job (I am waiting for a feedback).I am now enempolyed also as an indirect result of those events. I am hoping that once I am back on my feet professionally things will speed up. I keep repeating myself that the reason I am beeing sucked deeper and deeper into the past, is because there is nothing good happening in the present. However my fear is that once I get a job, I will screw up, that I will not be able to focus at work, that I will be dissociating.

I am normally an early bird, always physically active.
Now… I have been trying to force myself back into jogging and yoga but is is not too frequent (used to be everyday), I sleep 12-14 hrs a day and just cannot get back on track. I do not want to start my new job as an emotional and physical wreck. I cannot focus on anything I cannot watch the news, read a paper. I basically think the entire time I am awake. And no I do not want any anti- depressants!
How do I get back to my old self? It saddens me because I know that I will never be the same way I was before 2012.


Darlene, you FB post today…so true:“Most survivors reach points in their healing where they want to move on simply because recovery is such a painful process. When you’re motivated by the fact that you don’t want to face your rage, your parents, your abusers, or your vulnerability, moving on is an escape, not a liberation. Authentic moving on is a natural result of going through each step of the healing process.” The Courage to Heal by Bass & Davis

Which would mean that my past “moving on”, my espace was exactly what it was….just an escape. Maybe this is where the flashbacks are coming from in my case…maybe my body blocked out and denied so many emotions for such a long time that there we go…a big boom…


I just realized that …escaping my abusers did not rid me of the poison planted within me: Fear of being judged,fear of being ridiculed, guilt, gratitude, inability of confrontation, escape as the only coping mechanism.


Sandra: I have heard of EMDR, not really sure what it is. What I need is “noise desensitation.” When someone YELLS at me in a loud NOISE, I react. Mother, Supervisor, any type of “authority” figure. Or even if you are just a jerk I encounter, if you talk to me with “noise,” I “snap into compliance with whatever.” And when I see people who aren’t affected by “noise,” I wonder how they do it.


DXS, you were probably groomed to jump into compliance when someone yells at you. I’m the same way. I did get yelled at a lot as a child, and I did comply. So of course they would use this tactic again and again because it worked for them. Hard to overcome this, even far into adulthood.

Sandra, sometimes I just need a break from thinking about all this stuff. I don’t abandon it altogether; I just give myself a little break. That happens when I feel overloaded like Im trying to process too much at once. So I slow it down a little. It works for me.


@Amber & DXS: oh my God! I am the same way! It is like in the army. I freeze, my stomach feels like a stone and I “obey the orders” like a robot, regardless how stupid, damaging and non sense the requests are.
You nailed it….and I thought only I act like a child at this age.

EMDR is supposedly proven to help with trauma. You don’t forget bad memories but you sort of finally “digest” them.
Here’s how it is supposed to work:


I think that healing enables us to blossom and be able to face the world. But there is no such thing as facing the abusers after the healing, being strong enough, setting boundaries etc.

I belive weO can only fully recover and heal if we remove our abusers from our life permanently, no “limited form of contact”, nothing.


When my father didn’t like some of the stuff I wrote on my essays and projects, I copped words like: “Stupid” “Learn to read” During those times I was given martial arts training and I couldn’t deliver, I also had the same stuff dished out on me. When I spilled a glass of coke “on purpose” in our apartel I was treated like a criminal by my maternal grandmother and father. Verbal abuse also came with an additional package of other things like being hit on the face for not being able to do certain things like opening the packaging of an overseas adapter, during the holidays. As a result of all the abuse I have received, I learnt to be careful to ensure that I won’t ever spill a glass of water, either by accident or on purpose, I made sure I was organised, I started coming up with strategies on how to address certain situations to avoid being hit, bottom line is I made a lot of adjustments for the sole purpose of “protecting myself.” Although I must say, at least my essays don’t sound as bad anymore, I am solving most of my problems by myself, I am avoiding my “loving” father, my being careful will ensure that I won’t ever flop at work and best of all I no longer believe whatever it is that was dished out on me.

It’s just sad that I had to be broken before I could do all of this. That I couldn’t have blossomed to be the best that I could be within the family that I had always thought was the best for me. No pain, no gain as society has so badly embraced. Whilst I am appreciative of the things that have come out of the hurt, that will be the last time that I am ever going to get something good out of their “loving” intentions. Sadly though the workplace will have its share of people like that of the mother-in-law and son-in-law tandem from hell, but it’s okay I have already received “formal training” first hand. I have my coping mechanisms and survival tactics on full blast for people like them ha!


Carlos, I understand. I grew up being called ugly and I was told I wasn’t as important as my two brothers. I was criticized a lot, and called moody, silly, selfish and many more things. I felt worthless. I’m sorry you went through awful stuff too.
From reading your other posts I see that you are young. I am glad you are working on trying to heal now. You have your whole life in front of you and I am wishing you healing and lots of good years ahead. You are worthy of this no matter what anyone told you to the contrary. There are so many false beliefs to overturn. They were wrong in how they treated you and how they labelled you. You rock, Carlos! ?

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