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”


107 response to "Emotional Healing and the Return of Self Esteem"

  1. By: Renee Posted: 12th August

    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.

  2. By: Renee Posted: 12th August

    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.

  3. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 12th August

    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.

  4. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    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?

  5. By: Renee Posted: 12th August

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th August

      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

  6. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

    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.

  7. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

    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.

  8. By: joy Posted: 11th August

    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..


  9. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

    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.

  10. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th August

    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

  11. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

    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.

  12. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

    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.

  13. By: Allison Gamble Posted: 11th August

    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 alliegamble81@gmail.com. Thanks!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th August

      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,

  14. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

    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?

  15. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

    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.

  16. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

    That is a beautiful poem,

  17. By: Dolores Ayotte Posted: 11th August

    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. 🙂

  18. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

    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.

  19. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

    “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.

  20. By: Renee Posted: 11th August

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

  21. By: Kate Posted: 11th August

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

  22. By: Renee Posted: 10th August

    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.

  23. By: Renee Posted: 10th August

    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????

  24. By: Kate Posted: 10th August


    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.

  25. By: Renee Posted: 10th August

    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.

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