Emotional Reactions and Fears Triggered in Times of Stress

low self esteem

the helmet after the crash

As many of you know, my 19 year old son TJ recently had an accident. He hit a deer head on with his motorcycle.  He split the deer in half, drenching him and his bike with blood and as his bike went down, something caught on his pants and they were ripped off his body, leaving his lower half completely unprotected from the harsh highway pavement as he skidded and tumbled for quite a way down the road.  His helmet saved him. His leather jacket protected his upper half which fared a little better than his lower half although he broke the bone in his wrist that is connected to his thumb. The cast which goes all the way up to his elbow and includes his thumb is cumbersome and his shattered middle finger on the same hand makes his left arm useless. Because he is a guitarist, he may have to have surgery on his finger. His lower half fared no better although there were no broken bones, he lost most of the hide off his butt.  His wounds were deep and had to be cleaned and bandages changed twice daily causing him incredible amounts of pain each time.  The first couple of weeks were really difficult around here both emotionally and physically.  

To make matters worse and even more emotionally draining, my youngest was starting in a new high school where she didn’t know anyone and my middle daughter was leaving for university all in that same week! I was trying to be there for everyone. My emotions were all over the place.  Fear, worry, and sleeplessness were my daily diet for the first couple of days. I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky he was and how he could have died.  As emotional exhaustion set in for our whole family, I began to feel a few other emotions that I wasn’t as comfortable with. Although I didn’t define the feelings at first, I later realized that I felt abandoned.  I felt like no one really cared. And it isn’t that “no one” cared, because I got all kinds of email and facebook messages expressing concern and well wishes, it was that some of the people in my personal life didn’t care.  Some of the people that I thought I was close to, didn’t ask what happened or even how my son was. They wrote on FaceBook ~ “glad that TJ is okay”.  Why did they think he was okay?

Nobody visited. It felt like rejection.

But my feelings of being unsupported and abandoned went deeper than that.  

These feelings felt familiar but I just couldn’t put my finger on where they were coming from. I searched my thoughts and feelings wondering what was wrong with me. I wondered if I was justified in feeling angry and hurt. I chastised myself for having “expectations” of others. I felt alone and I felt unsupported. I was hurt that these certain people didn’t ASK what happened. I kept thinking that I felt like I didn’t matter and worse than that, it was like people were saying that my son didn’t matter.  It felt like we were alone.  I felt like I was embarking on a self pity trip. I started to feel angry.

I felt that way for a few days, going from hurt, sadness, abandonment and anger, blaming myself and trying to avoid self pity.

Then it hit me.  I had gone back to my old default mode; all my life I had been defined by other people.  If they didn’t like me, then I wasn’t likable.  If they were mean to me, then I had done something to deserve it. If they ignored me, then I was just not interesting to them. I always believed it was me. I always let the actions of others define me. I never realized that their actions were about them.  

When TJ was five he had major kidney surgery and we couldn’t get any of the grandparents to help us.  He was in the hospital in the city for a whole week, and the doctors told us it would be a brutal week and advised us to get some support in place. We had a 3 year old daughter that we had to get part time care for so we could be at the hospital. We were advised that TJ would need both of us there as much as possible. I was baffled that our parents didn’t care. My parents both lived out of town, but they never even expressed a desire to help. Jim’s parents who only lived a few miles away, left for the second half of their winter holiday 5 days before the surgery! It never occurred to me back then that this was not about me; their lack of interest and lack of support was about them.  I thought that I had done something “wrong” to cause our own families not to care enough to help out in such a difficult situation. I even decided that they must have felt that we were exaggerating about what the Doctors had warned us regarding how serious the surgery was, and that was my fault too… I had always been an “exaggerator; I had been told that my whole life. And in survivor mode, I always tried to figure out why it was my fault. So I accepted their actions as defining my family and I of not being worthy of support. In my mind it confirmed that I was unworthy of love and now WE all were not worthy of love.  And I wracked my brains for years to figure out what I had done wrong and what I could have done better so that we would be loved because NOW I was convinced that my unworthiness had transferred on to my children! And it was all my fault.

All those same feelings were coming back the entire week after TJ crashed his motorcycle.  I was letting the actions of others define me and my kids again. The problem wasn’t that some people didn’t care enough to call, it was that I felt worthless because they didn’t.  I felt that their inaction made a statement about me. I felt that if I mattered, and if TJ mattered, that they would have called.  I had to remind myself that the actions of others don’t define me anymore. With all the stress and emotion around my son’s accident this week, I forgot that truth, and I fell back into that old way of thinking.  My old belief system came back and I felt all that rejection and all that “not good enough” all over again. I felt all those feelings that asked “what is wrong with me?” and “why doesn’t “anyone” care.  Truthfully, lots of people care but whether they do or not does not define me. Whether they “show” it or not does not define me either. It may say something about them, but not about me. I am not defined by what other people do or don’t do anymore and in weeks like this one… I have to remind myself of that!

The way that I am regarded by others is not the proof of my worth and does not indicate any lack of worth either.

Sometimes owning my new self esteem and living in my new belief system is hard. Life is hard. That doesn’t change, but going back to the old belief system, as scary as it was, was a great reminder for me; I don’t want to live in that old belief system anymore!

Please share your thoughts and stories.

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


Categories : Self Esteem



Hi Darlene,
I knew this was a tough time for you but I didn’t know the depth of it. My heart aches for you and I know exactly how you feel because I react much the same way. The hardest thing about living out my new view of myself and others and how we should relate is continuing old friendships. My expectations have changed but theirs haven’t. I used to just take it and still give my all and a lot of the time, there would be no relationship if I didn’t take full responsibility for maintaining it. So in a way, it was my fault when many of these relationships ended but they were one sided and not true relationships anyway. They needed to change or end. I have a couple of dear old friends that remain but in many ways, I’m starting all over.

In the past when I went through a trauma, I would think that I had to change and become another kind of person so that I wouldn’t be hurt again. I would cut everyone off and become a new kind of, Pam. I don’t want to do that again, now that I’ve broken with my family of origin, and I am making a point of reconnecting with people from my p-ast. This is something I always hated and would avoid at all costs because I didn’t want to be reminded of who I was before. Now I’m trying to reconnect to all those Pams I’ve been and reconnecting with people is a part of that. It is interesting because I know some are shocked that I’m not the person they knew. Others who saw the inner me despite the role I was playing,are easy to reconnect with and remark at how well I’m doing. The second type are pretty rare and the first type are disappearing from my life almost as soon as they reapeared because I have expectations of others in relationships with them and that was never true before.

This is hard to talk about and I feel like I don’t have the right terms to fully express it. I’m in kind of a lonely place right now and sometimes the lonliness pushes me backward. Sometimes it is just hard to do what you know is right and so much easier to go back to default mode.

I also think it is pretty common for people to think there is something wrong with them when friends abandon them. Anger and disappointment are the appropriate feelings, I believe, when something like what you are experiencing happens. We can’t really control our feeling though, they just come. I’m hoping that when my new way of thinking becomes concrete then my feelings will begin to follow my cognition but right now,my feelings often lead me backward.

It makes me feel angry that your friends treated you that way, so you be angry too. Is there such a thing as being mindfully, angry?



Hiya 🙂
Old habits, old emotions, I am amazed when they pop up out of what seems like no where, raw and fueled by some deficit from many years before.
I am glad to see that you are reaffirming the lessons that you have learned, because especially in stressful times, we need them the most. I understand that feeling of not having worth when the calls don’t come, when nobody seems to notice. It is a very lonely place somtimes.


I feel so upset about the suffering your son underwent and the stress it put on you to deal with it. I feel angry that there were people who disregarded your plight. But I also feel happy that you were able to achieve such a fine level of insight during such a difficult time. You express great truth and make a strong statement that inspires me to think carefully about what I am worth and not allow the actions of others to define this worth. Many blessings to you and your family. Sophia


Darlene, I could feel how terrible must have felt..needing the comfort, the warmth, the love and support when you were overwhelmed not knowing how to handle all coming at you..I could see how that would trigger you back to that familiar set of feelings from your youth..they are healed wounds but had been reopened by a repition of similiar circumstances..You had all the right tools though and you seem revealing all this to us.. how wonderful you come out and that you wanted to share that .. there will be times..when even those well past the healing of hurts will go back..but you were able to dig deep and pull yourself with all that you found worked before..

What you say reminds me of a very simple incident that happened just this week. I love animals and I really have a tender heart for them. I saw the neighbor setting her traps to catch the cats one by one that were outsid. .It so upset me. after she fed them herself and now was in the mood for getting rid of them.

Anyway ..last night the sight of two little feeble kittens crying out and looking so lost and helpless sent me back to my own feelings of beings lost and helpless.. Their mom was hauled away .. and there they were not even weaned completely..just a handful of fluff left to the evils fo the cruel world to try to nourish and care for themselves.

I cried and cried for those little kitties. I couldn’t stop crying. Then I asked myself, “why are you crying so much for those kittens, you never played or talked to knew them” .. But, I did know these kitties in a very different way. In those little lost furballs I was seeing me. I was feeling me. All my helplessness..which is still very present to me now..

I was back there in the cold nights..those helpless hours and days. when I felt abandoned by my mom .. instead of mothering me. .she was taken from me by all that she had become .. I had no mother. no protection and the coldness and feeling of being lost was so real. .

Seeing those kitties ripped over the wounds in my own heart. they were fragile, and bones.. I was like that.. no one cared that I was a child needing all a mother could give to survive.. just like the lady next door didnt care she was leaving to little kittens helpless.. without their mommy..

Those kitties will probably die or be the next taken. I have no idea where they will end up .. Kind of like my own life. I don’t know where I will end up ..after so much time in the cold and without every knowing a mother’s love but hoping in a positive manner instead of the older fashion of just thinking nothing good will happen.

Sometimes I still feel in the very depth of my being like those two helpless kitties.. They had no choice of what was thrown on them.. or what is yet to come

Two Orphan Kitties

Seeing those two little kittens whose mommy was taken
Caused some deep hurts to rise and awaken
How can I not cry at such a pitiful sight
Two little kittens without mom to protect them at night

Not old enough to know why their mommy didnt stay
Two little kittens learn quickly of life’s cruel way
Will they even survive without their mother’s love
Tragedy at their age will show what their made of



“The way that I am regarded by others is not the proof of my worth and does not indicate any lack of worth either.”

I am in the midst of a smear campaign on me by an ex-friend. She has PTSD also you’d think she’d know better. I did something she didn’t like, I apologized and offered to make immediate amends but suddenly I am being accused, labeled, smeared. She has made friends with a handful of others who don’t like me and the blogs & posts are popping up like dandelions. I am on more anxiety medication. She’s written to my estranged husband’s work. She’s emailed him at his work address. She has filed absolutely false charges about me and gotten children’s services & the police to my house. She tells people I send anonymous emails and am “stalking” myself. Mind you, this person has never met me in person or been to my home.

As annoying and downright disgusting this is and I determined to stick to my guns. I did ONE thing wrong; not all this other cr*p she’s laying on me. My new therapist mentioned that C-PTSD and BPD share behaviors overlap quite a bit. This explains a lot.

I am not who this woman says I am. I know it and I am holding on to that. People who truly know me have also told me they find these accusations against me ridiculous. Right now my PTSD and anxiety meds are being re-calibrated. But I stay strong because I have children I adore and genuine friends who have known me for many years and know my character a lot better than a crazy person who is seeing them through a crazy lens. I was reacting according to my old template of fear, abandonment and being gaslighted.

I dealt with my NarcMother’s view and smears and terrorizing and abusing me for years. I dealt with a couple Narc boyfriends smearing me because I figured them out. I dealt with a Sociopath boyfriend who tried to kill me while telling everyone I was crazy (btw – I was validated a couple years after I got away from him by no less than 7 other girls he’d dated that HE was the one stalking me and HE was dangerous to me). I know the truth and people I RESPECT know the truth.

Only people who are not worthy of my respect or my friendship would be so malicious as to believe or pass on the malicious smear.



hi darlene
it is normal and natural that in times of extreme stress our brains revert to type.the biggest thing i see here is your awareness and willingness to face why you felt the way you did. the training of our childhood is insinious and deep. it stays there hidden waiting for our self esteem to fall and then it slips out of its hiding place to damage us somemore. glad that you mamaged to stop it in its tracks. and though not nice for you, those of us who use here it is a good thing because it shows how even when we grow strong we stil have our weak moments. it how we deal with going back into our trained beliefs or we struggle to hold onto the newer less fixed beliefs that we did nothing wrong and as such we deserve better.
me personally i found that the past tries to reaer its head in some strange places these days. like tomoro i know i will propbably see the face of my dead grandfather everywhere on campus as i go to enroll, but i know he is dead and yet i stil see him. this is a measure of how insecure i feel and how vunerable to attack as i enter the main campud with all the students there. soooo not loking forward to that and thinking they being horrid to me, even if they dont even notice me.
so thank you for sharing


A brilliant insightful post and thought provoking-thank you for sharing.
After I was abandoned in the high street with my siblings by my mother, we all went to different homes. I was constantly told not to talk about or ask about my birth family/siblings, in case I get ‘a chip on my shoulder’. Consequently I find it extremely hard to allow myself ‘self pity’, and I found your mention of this here resonated with this struggle. Having others define who you are and dictate your worthiness is hard to shed, and I think we have to work through some ‘self puty’ first and have compassion for ourselves. I hope this ramble makes some sense! Again thank you. And I do hope your son makes a good recovery.


Wow. This is a great piece of writing. Strikes such a chord.


Hi Darlene
I am so sorry that you had to go through this and that you felt so alone. I have seen how my behaviour reverts to an earlier time when I am under stress, but until now I didn’t understand why – it makes sense now I have been in therapy for nearly a year. So I guess I can expect these old themes to re-emerge when I get challenged again. I think it tells me that this journey will be on-going for the rest of my life, the process is that, a process. I might wish it were different, but its the truth. And I know that I can lift myself out of it – and that it is easier and faster each time I practice it!
I am learning that my self esteem is MY SELF esteem, and although I have been set-up (taught) to feel bad, it is now up to me to do something about it- and I am trying. I see glimmers of who I really am, although I find that scary and uncomfortable still the alternative is worse. Far worse.
I have a (mostly) supportive husband – and good friends who are people who DO come round when times are hard, I feel very blessed in that way – even if I don’t wholly understand why they do it (there goes the self esteem again). I probably would embark on this journey to heal on my own – but it is so much easier having people around me encouraging me; it’s a first for me! And this weekend I am on my own – husband is away – after a very rocky week. But its good, spending time with my emerging true self. So the other lesson is: that I can be strong, even at the weak parts. Hugs


Thank you all 4 sharing. It helps to read other people’s troubles. It helps me tremendously, so thank you for sharing difficult issues you’re all the best


I had not heard about this until now. I am sorry. I do understand the amount of suffering that comes with such an event. I am beginning to understand why people shy away in the face of suffering. You are correct that you felt abandoned, because you were. It is good that you also re-understood that the abandonment had nothing to do with your worth. It would be a different world if others were accountable for suffering, and if they could come to understand how much evil is generated by their indifference and/or shying away from owning their shadow elements. Peace. RC


Hi Pam
I totally relate to and identify with what you are saying about people’s expectations of me and who I used to be. I am not angry anymore about this because I see where it all comes from now. I am disappointed in a few people, but I also have had to take a closer look at my personal boundaries. Because of how deeply I learned that my service to others was my only value, I set myself up to be in service to others without boundaries. I also present myself to the world as having no emotional needs. I learned that as a child too. This is what I am looking at more closely this past few weeks. I have come a long way in the past few years and I will come a long way in the next few years too! I will be writing more about this in the future!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sandy
Yes, one thing that seems to be consistent, in these life lessons, loneliness is a common feeling that we share. I think that I have learned my most important lessons in that place.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sophia,
Thank you for your compassion. I am glad that this post has caused you to look more deeply at your own life! That is why I write!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Joy
Thank you for your love. I am pleased to see that you are relating your tears for the kitties to yourself. That to me is a very good sign of connecting to yourself. I had to connect to myself in order to heal or even begin to heal. Thanks so much for sharing that story. Very powerful.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Cathy
Wow, I am sorry that you are going through all this, but you sound as though you are on top of it and getting the support you need. Please hang in here!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kath
Yes, the self pity thing was very hard for me too. (did you see the other post that I wrote about? I live linked in blue the sentence about self pity to the blog post about that)
I was so so afraid of “self pity” and that goes along with so many other emotions.
My son is doing much much better and should get his casts off in another 4 weeks or so. Thanks so much for sharing. You make perfect sense
Hugs, Darlene



Sending healing vibes for all of you, and hugs! This is a powerful post, because for me, it also relates to falling into the same old paradigm when I *am* receiving attention from others. I have to remind myself that it is nice to get positive feedback, but it has to start with me, and if that positive feedback were removed, it doesn’t change my worth.

Thanks for writing this.


Hi Carol
Yes ~ The process never stops. I have to be on guard for my old belief system, which pops up at times like this.
I think seeing the face of a dead grandfather would be a difficult thing too. Sounds like something that there is a deep belief attached to there too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Guy and Christine
Thank you ~ glad you both liked it and that it helps!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Libby
You sound great!
~About the process for the rest of my life stuff because some people find the thought of it ” so discouraging” I did reach a point in my recovery where I knew that the depressions, massive dissociation and those issues would never be a problem again so there is a turning point in that respect. This post is more about every day processing stuff that doesn’t send me to bed or back to the Dr. I just wanted to clarify in case anyone feels overwhelmed by this minor set back I am talking about.
Have a great weekend with yourself! Yes we can be strong even in the weak parts! Love that truth!
Hugs, Darlene


You put into words exactly how I feel! I can never put it into words…You just did!! I feel that in every inch of my body heart and soul. My family does the exact things, and say the exact stuff. Your right about it being there deal, yet the feeling of hurt doesnt get better or go away. Im going back into counseling mainly because I can’t see or feel my self worth. It IS defined by sicker people than I. It’s time. Thank you for giving my feelings a voice.


I know what you mean and I can really relate to the nobody cares part. There have been several. . .ok, many times, that I’ve been through that. When my children were born, birthdays, Christmas’s, health problems, I could go on forever. I just assumed these were things that “family” would want to be involved with. For a long time I thought it was me. I mean if it was just one of them I could say it was them, but it’s all of them. So I thought the problems lie somewhere in me. I eventually learned that it IS all of them. Sometimes I fall back into the old thought patterns of blaming myself, but I am really working hard not to allow myself.

Unfortunately I think it has transfered to my children. They can see that nobody wants to be a part of their life and it breaks their hearts. All I can do is reassure them it’s not their fault.


Hi Robert
Its funny, I was totally supported by hundreds of people online; blog readers, friends in other countries, etc. it was the people who I know here where I live that didn’t even phone. And when it comes to my value, another awareness that I have come to understand is that I can get 100’s of validations, but it is the invalidations that seem to carry all the weight. That is another left over from the past.
Thanks for being here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Veronica
Exactly! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Renee
For me this feeling had gone away with all my family of origin. This was like working on a new level ~ with the people who had since become friends of mine here where I live and it triggered those same feelings from before. And the feelings and hurt has gone away again now that I see where it comes from and have put it through the grid of the truth.
For me, that whole thing was like a reminder of how it used to be and that when I am not looking, the old default mode can come back. The way that my family is doesn’t bother me anymore for several reasons. (mainly because when I drew my boundary and they didn’t respect it, I didn’t let them keep doing it ~ they don’t get the opportunity to treat me like nothing any more) My self worth is defined by me (this incident was a reminder of that) and I really encourage everyone to know that it is possible to know our own value deeply and to live in wholeness and freedom from the chains that others put us in long ago.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lisa Marie
YES, this is exactly what I am talking about also. And I too feel so badly for my kids and the messages that they have received by their grandparents and other people in our lives. I strive to teach my children the truth about their value now too ~ and not to take this kind of treatment as the label for how important or unimportant they are. Other people just don’t get to decide that stuff.

Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I’ve been thinking about unconditional love this morning as I worked in my garden and the thought I’m chewing on is if we should expect uncoditional love or just be thankful when we receive it. It is rare, like a precious gem. I think even when we choose to love unconditionally, the power to do so comes from a source other than ourselves…just thinking…



HI Darlene..

So glad that it’s ok to say “love” without it being wrong to say..
I so appreciate your words of encouragement..I know you are right
with what you say.. I need to be connected to me.. and all weekend
long has been one big connection.. I am seeing ..all of me. .and it’s so
very overpowering and the constant feeling this weekend has been one of abandonment..I have known it in all kinds of ways by all kinds of people and in times where I needed encouragement, help, something to hold on to most.. Right now I feel like i am wanting just one time to hear some kind word, some loving word from my mom.. Its crazy.. why now.. yes those kitties struck a chord..but I am really feeling deeply the realization of how much I have never been loved.. I see all around me how much mothers who are good love their children.. how they support them..even how you love your son. and I omg was really deprived..why did it have to be denied to me. I really did all i was told yet that never merited any thing but beatings , slaps, hot water ,and bad stuff.. why did it all have to happen.



yeah seeing my mothers father is not cool. i never knew he had hurt her til i was 17 and in a state over flashbacks of the babysitter. i was so angry that she had sent me to stay with him on solo holidays knowing what he had done to her, even if she had repressed her memorires. she told me she had niggles of why she wouldnt move back close to him and how controlling he was ovr her if she let him. so i thnk she had clues but didnt want to see them. not cool for me as i thought the sun shone out of his backside for not shopping me smoking when i was 8 yrs old. well i was in his kitchen cooking with his 3rd wife at the time, so it might have raised questions i suppose, but as an 8yr old it was like being a god. someone who stopped my parents going off on one at me. mmm then to be told he had abused her and when i started therapy at 18, they siad i had repressed the meomories but due to me still seeing him so long after his death and having a fear of people in hios size and age groupings it made sense that he had probably hurt me. to this day i still donot have any details in my foreward memory. they are there tho as i have spoken about it in several conversations only to repress any detail of what i said except the start and the jolt back into reality hits me. so i know it there waiting for me to be able to confront those memories, but in the mean time it warns me whan i feel under threeat or vunerable to attack by strangers, as i still think he is waiting fo rme.mmmm it so twisted up in my mind


i’m so sorry to hear this Darlene… My heart goes out to you… I wish the world was a fairer place i really do – but it seems that life plays no favourites.

I totally relate to an old belief system taking over in times of stress – I am glad that you pointed it out as it is something I realised too – i had so many fears and false beliefs but it was only at times of stress and stress for extended periods that this system, the fears took over and drove me to suffering – it made me get ill physically as well and then make the wrong choices because I was acting from a place of fear and false beliefs and it was only once i was out of the stress situation that i came to my senses and saw the damage that had been done – making me more angry and catapulting me into another vicious cycle… Im really grateful for your posts, even though the truth is sometimes hard to face and deal with – but it is the only way to begin to put a stop to vicious unhealthy and destructive cycles caused by false belief systems and fear.


I am sorry to hear about your son and the stuff and feelings you had to put back in thier place. I hope he recovers well and quickly.

I am in the midst of fighting my way out of the old belief system and thought patterns. It’s like struggling against a spider web that has engulfed me. When I feel as though I make progress, I then start the negative self-talk, and have to start all over.

I dont understand how to completely change my brains way of doing things.

I admire you, Darlene, and others out there who have fought your way out of the spider web and are willing to show and encourage those of us who are still fighting that there is hope, success and a brighter and HAPPY life on the other side.


Sometimes, it is in our greatest moments of stress that we can see how much we have grown and how much we still need to work on some issues. When we are that stressed out as you have been over your son’s accident, we are at our lowest with being vulnerable. Yes, it does hurt when our expectations are not met. Yes, it is okay to feel what ever you are feeling. Your value does not come from what others think, say or do but we can sure forget that in moments of stress. Congratulations on the growth that you are experiencing because of your awareness of your feelings. It took me so long to get to the point of being aware of what I was feeling and where the feelings orignially came from. Still sending Reiki to your son and to you too since you mentioned being sick a few days ago. Hope you both feel better soon. Sending love to you.


Hi Pam
I believe that unconditional love should not be something that is expected. I could go so much deeper then this post about emotional reactions and triggers than I have done here, but one subject at a time. 🙂 In relation to this post, I am not talking about expectations or even about love. I am only referring to the way that my old belief system reared up to “remind me” that I am not worthy. My friends, the ones that did not call me or my son, do not have to “prove their feelings” or concern for me or my son by calling or visiting. I just had this disappointment when they didn’t because it made me “feel” like they didn’t care and that feeling triggered that old belief that I wasn’t worth caring about. In the false definition of love, I was taught to “do things” to prove my love. Most of them were sick things that were totally unrelated to love. Again, another topic.
Great food for thought!
Thanks, Darlene

Hi Joy
I love love, when it is used without the baggage of manipulation or obligation. You are certainly connecting to yourself! Wow..
It isn’t crazy to long for love from your mother. That is normal. What she is doing is what is not normal. I was devastated to the very depth of my soul when I finally began to realize that the things that happened to me were not based in love. There is no answer to the why question. It just is. And we have the power to move forward, which is what you are doing.
Hugs and love, Darlene


Hi May
Yes, the truth is at the bottom of all my recovery. And not the truth that I always thought was the truth! That is where it gets so complicated. There was lots of sorting out to do, but wow, what an adventure!
Thank you so much for your post and I am glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Michelle
Thank you; my son is doing well. It has been 4 weeks since the accident and he is healing and getting around better now.
I used to think that those setbacks were like starting over, but I came to realize that I never once went all the way backwards. Those forward steps added up silently making me stronger where I did not realize that I was getting stronger… and then one day I noticed when something big happened and it didn’t set me back! It took time but it is doable! There is so much hope!
So glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Carol
What you are sharing is really very deep. I have memories that are like that too… just whispers of something horrible. Sometimes I know who, and sometimes I don’t yet but it is okay. They surface when I am ready and they are never as scary as I think they will be. Hang in Carol. There is a lot going on here even in this one comment that you just wrote.
Love Darlene

Hi Patricia
Thank you so much for the Reiki. You are a wonderful lady sending that gift to us across all these miles.
Yes, the old default mode is always waiting ~ ready to return… and for me in times of stress is when I have learned to become more aware. This time was extreme crazy stress with all three kids, so I am not surprised in the least that it happened and I am celebrating my growth yes!
Thank you so much for your love and for your comments
Love, Darlene


HI Darlene

Thank you for all your supportive words.. this weekend has been one thing after another inside me… Everything triggering ..the littlest of things.. Must be where I am suppose to be in my healing as everything is reall a wound stings really bad.. I am realizing more and more how much I really missed..

My love for people always comes from a grateful know if i say i love you it’s because am so grateful.. for your time.. Makes me feel slightly human if someone takes time to answer me..

All my life I have lived ignored so any kindness or consideration is for me like hitting the lottery..

THank you Darlene..

Much love



Darlene, I didn’t mean to go off course. Your post sent me off on my own tangent in relation to not getting what I expect from people. I think I sometimes set my self up to get hurt by expecting more than some people are capable of. Unconcitional love is true love but I think it is rare. Most people ‘love’ out of need that we fill. A lot of the time, I can’t tell the difference until I hit a rough patch in my own life. Then my true friends reveal themselves. I’m blessed to have a few true friends.


Ok, I see, the post is not about people in the present circumstances disappointing you by not “showing they care,” it is about you finding youself falling back into an old pattern of believing that you are not worthy of caring. Then you mentioned that in a sick definition of love, people are expected to prove their love by fulfilling someone’s expectations and performing certain actions. I understand this, but I wonder if you believe that there is any validity in wanting people to express concern, as for your son right now, and feeling disappointed if they don’t. I mean, is it wrong to feel disappointed that one is not getting one’s need for compassion met? Can one feel that emotion, without slipping back into self-critical behavior, and think that you have learned something about the limits of people who had been considered friends? Thinking, ok, maybe they are not such great friends? I mean, if we take the step to believing we ARE worthy of caring, do we then accept that people who don’t seem to care are not really our friends, and recognize that this is about who THEY are, not about what we are entitled to?


Pam, I was told in a 12-Step meeting that expectations of other people are resentments waiting to happen. Before that I often had expectations and would get my feelings hurt when others didn’t meet those expectations. I know, for myself, I would expect other people to be as kind and as caring and as helpful as I always try to be for them. More times than not, it just doesn’t happen. Other people are not me. They don’t act or react as I expect them to because they have different opinions and experiences than I have had. With my husband and children, I have learned to tell them if I want something specific from them rather than expecting them to just know that I want something from them. That way they are not left guessing and I am not disappointed and hurt because they couldn’t figure out what I wanted from them.



You wrote:
“The way that I am regarded by others is not the proof of my worth and does not indicate any lack of worth either.
Sometimes owning my new self esteem and living in my new belief system is hard. Life is hard. That doesn’t change, but going back to the old belief system, as scary as it was, was a great reminder for me; I don’t want to live in that old belief system anymore!”

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with this very thing, and coming to the same conclusion that you have, once again, come to: the realization that the way I am regarded by others is NOT the proof of my worth, and does NOT indicate any lack of worth, either. SO RIGHT!

In 2003, when, after years of searching, I finally found a really great therapist, for the first time in my then-50 years, I learned that I have worth and value ~ EQUAL worth and value. I found out that I am NOT bad, and I am NOT crazy. I also found out that it is OK for me to NOT be 100% perfect, 100% of the time, because no human being is 100% perfect, 100% of the time. It is OK to have faults. My imperfections do not make me any less worthy.

When I learned that great truth about my inherent equal value, back in 2003, after a lifetime of having ZERO self-esteem, my emotional healing happened so fast, that my doctors and my counselors were astounded! They told me, at the Meier Clinic, that they had never seen anyone heal and progress faster, than I was doing. Everyone who knew me, in fact, was openly astounded by the huge positive changes they saw in me! I flet like I was on top of the world!!!

But then, LIFE happened. LIFE, it seems, is always happening. In my case, the big thing that sent my new-found self-worth and emotional and mental healing crashing backwards, was the death of my grandson Kyle, in 2006.

I’ve been through a lot of pain in my life, but nothing is as terrible as losing a child, or a grandchild. Nothing. Then, when my cousin that I was very close to died in June of this year, that also shattered me, all over again. My elder son is 40, my daughter will be 37 next month, and my cousin Elaine was just 38, when she drowned on June 3. With the exception of my 3 grown children and grandchildren, she was my closest blood relative. When she drowned, less than 12 hours after our last long phone conversation, I truly felt ALMOST as broken, as if I had lost one of my own children or grandchildren. I have lost many loved ones in my 58 years, but only twice have I SCREAMED when I got the terrible news. The first time was when my grandson, Kyle Justin Thomas, died in February 2006. And the second time was when my cousin Elaine Tyler Stewart drowned on June 3 of this year.

Your title for this post is so right: “EMOTIONAL REACTIONS AND FEARS (are) TRIGGERED IN TIMES OF STRESS.” YES. In times of extreme stress, it is NORMAL that even the very strongest, sanest, healthiest person, will temporarily REGRESS. I remember being taught this in nursing school, years ago. When people are going through extreme stress, they regress. Adults begin to behave like whiney, helpless, clingy children. Elderly people call out for their long-dead mothers. Teenagers begin sucking their thumbs like infants, and go back to sleeping with a favorite old teddy bear.

I, too, felt very much ALONE and UNCARED FOR, when my grandson died in 2006. I felt that way all over again, 3+ months ago, when my cousin died. And, I, too, wondered what was WRONG WITH ME, that made people not seem to CARE about the huge PAIN I was in. Why were some people ignoring me? Why were some people being so cold and unempathetic to me? Why were some people, during that terribly vulnerable, painful time, sending me emails telling me about my faults and character defects? Why did 2 people go so far as to block me on facebook, when I was going through such intense PAIN that I had to go to the hospital, because I was feeling very strong suicidal urges? Why were these 2 people saying that the pain and trauma triggers I was going through was “no excuse” for whatever they had decided was WRONG with me?

Was it ME??? REALLY?? Or, was it simply that they have not ever lost a grandchild, nor lost a blood relative who was more like a child to them, than a cousin. I have lost a couple of other cousins to death, and their passing was just a mild blip of sadness in my life. But Elaine…. she was too much like my own child, to be just a mild blip of sadness. She had reached out to me for emotional support in her final days of life, and then, after our many hours of talking on the phone during that last week, and our long emails going back and forth, Elaine somehow drowned in water that would not come up as high as her shoulders if she stood on the bottom in the deepest part of the spring, and I felt like I had let her down, I had not SAVED her.

I also began to feel VERY UNSAFE in the world, and not just for myself, but for ALL of my loved ones, my children, my grandchildren, my best-friend-husband…. ANY ONE of them could be horribly injured, or killed, at any time, on any day, there is no Magic Bubble of Protection. Then, in my PAIN and GUILT and my terrible feelings of vulnerability, I regressed very BADLY. I got ANGRY and then, suddenly, I was “NOT A NICE PERSON” in some people’s estimation. I decided they were right, I decided that I was no good, and I wanted to die. I regressed that badly, all the way back to Suicidal. I had not been suicidal at all, not ever, since my self-esteem was restored to me in 2003, until this past June, when I was so STRESSED, that I REGRESSED~

Darlene, because of my own pain and regression, I have not been here on EFB much at all, nor have I been much on facebook or anywhere else online. I have been hiding from life, since Elaine died. My house has fallen into a horrible mess, these past 3+ months, it is depressing to live here. I used to go on almost-daily half hour walk/jogs around town with our sweet dog, but since Elaine died, I have taken our dog for no more than half a dozen walks. I have been hiding, inside the walls of my home, mostly in my tiny bedroom, since June.

Because I have not been here, I did not know about your son’s motorcycle accident. I am so sorry that I was not aware, when it happened. When my eldest son was in his teens, he was badly injured in an accident. His concussion was very bad. In fact, he has never really been the same, since that terrible concussion. I remember how helpless and terrified I felt, when he was unconscious, and the neurosurgeon was looking at his xrays and deciding what to do. The whole world turned upside down, when my precious son was hurt so badly.I would rather be hurt a thousand times, than for one of my children or grandchildren to be hurt.

Darlene, you give SO MUCH of yourself, to help others. I am so sorry, that more people have not given back to YOU, in your time of need. You deserve it, if anyone does.



Yes….yes …Dear Darlene!!! Also for me it is exactly like it works for you!!! I am just Happy that you Feel also supperted from all of US ….because we LOVE YOU like you are …without no aspectation that you have to be PERFECT or that you have to be allready somewhere then where you are allready!!! All of us we are Perfect How we are right now, with all our difficulty meanly when LIFE it is so HARD still with US!! But now, thanking your bid EFFORT and GIFT , we are togheter ….and i wish with all my HEART that you feel like this!!! We don’t have aspectations from you. But only the fact that you EXSIST it is ENOUGHT …and all togheter we can shear these PAINFULL MOMENTS!!!! This it is a privilege!!!WE are no more ALONE!!!And do you know what it is my DREAM now??!!!That maybe one day we can REALLY meet all of us …not VIRTUAL but really seeing each other , and shearing and crying and loughing and hugging each other and let our BROKEN HEARS connect and feel only ONE BIG HEART!!I This is now my NEW BELIEVE…BUT now i really decide to BELIEVE IN THIS NEW BELIEVE, and to think that sometimes DREAMS can became REALITY!!! THANKS for your encouragment!! LOVE and LIGHT TO YOU AND YOUR SON!!! Roshani


You know what, I never really realized that the reason why I’ve been feeling so miserable in most social situations (especially those that went wrong) was because I had allowed others to define me. I guess I’m on my way to discovering that, but it was still a revelation. I guess it’s because I’ve allowed others to place a price tag on me my whole life.

Starting work hasn’t been easy, but I;ve learned one thing – to place responsibility where it should lie. I have a difficult boss who yells over nothing sometimes, and at other times, her temper is inappropriate. I can’t take people yelling at me, but I’m beginning to learn to understand that most often it’s not because of my deliberate fault, and sometimes it’s not even my fault. I’ve learned that it’s just her character, and it’s got NOTHING to do with me. It’s a HUGE step because I’m starting to stop beating myself up over nothing.

It’s still hard to think that it isn’t my problem when I can’t connect with others. I still allow other people to step on me while I just stay silent. Just a simple example – last Friday while having my blood taken at the hospital, the nurse was negligent…she didn’t wait for the blood to finish flowing into the tube before removing the needle. As a result, blood SPILLED over from the wound onto the table, and even onto the floor. I swear I went pale with panic. I have low platelets, which makes it even scarier. But I never said a single word. I just watched as if it’s meant to be. Everyone asked me why didn’t I complain about it.

Recovery is a journey that will probably never end. I’m learning to look at how far I’ve come, instead of just how far more I have to go. At the same time, being aware of our internal processes is crucial, though it makes us very vulnerable. My (previous) therapist calls it “growing up”. I agree.


Patricia, Yes, I’ve done that also and wondered why I didn’t get back what I’d given. There are also a lot of broken people in the world and I think most everyone is broken on some level. People can only give what they are capable of giving. My giving also has to be from a place of my own wholeness and security if it is truly unconditional love. However, that doesn’t mean that I place myself in a relationship that does me harm. Finding balance is the tricky part for me.


Hi Sophia,
There is of course validity in wanting others to express concern. And I absolutely did want that and I was very disappointed. I tried at first to deny my feelings ~ telling myself that they were wrong, but that never gets me anywhere. Although I had hundreds of emails and facebook messages and some of my very good friends from out of country and out of town called I got caught up in the ones that didn’t call. I felt bad for my son that none of our family friends called him. They didn’t ask him what happened. I am not trying to say that my disappointment was wrong; just that it went in the wrong direction causing me to feel those old feelings of not being worthy. As for the conclusion, yes, I decided that this was not about me.
hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda
One thing that I want to make very clear ~ this is not about my readers or my friends online. like I said, I got hundreds of emails and notes of support throughout this whole thing. I wrote this post over 2 weeks ago, and one of my hesitations was because I didn’t want any of the readers here or on Facebook to get the idea that they had let me down.
Thanks for being here and contributing to this post Lynda.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Roshani
Thank you! Your expression of love and hope is beautiful and has made me smile today.
It has been 4 weeks since my son’s accident. He is recovering quite nicely all things considered. Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jasmine
Yes, what a wonderful discovery! Realizing how I had been “defined” and how I accepted that definition has been and continues to be a huge part of my growth and recovery. I totally relate to the phrase “growing up” that is exactly what it is for me!
Thanks for sharing your story; it was when I started to realize stuff like that, that I did eventually find my voice to say something. Awareness is the first thing!
Thanks for adding your voice to this post!
Hugs, Darlene



First I want to say how sorry I am to hear about your son. I hope that he is recovering well. And I’m sorry that those who are closest to you didn’t support you the way you deserve to be supported. And I’m glad that you were able to re-evaluate what was going on inside to see that you had fallen back into the old thought pattern and were able to bring you mind back to the truth.

I’m going through something myself today. In just a few moments I have to meet with my mother (the woman who abused me) to take care of some business. I have fallen back into the fight or flight terror mode. I’m trying my best to stay calm and remember that she can’t hurt me, but the uncertainty of the situation makes me nervous and scared. I’ve tried to focus on the truth that her problems are not my problem and that *she* is not my problem, but the old guilt, shame, and feeling of responsibility have come back with a vengence.

I’d write more, but I have to go meet with *her*. Please pray for me everyone.




Has anyone ever dreaded a coming day or encounter that you know you simply can’t avoid.. you wished it could just not happen. not be part of the days that have to be..? Joy

The Waiting

The heart is breaking up inside
Tears are pouring down outside
The future moments yet to be
Stir up emotions inside of me

If I could stop the coming day
It would be passed over right away
But life doesn’t cater to our fears
It keeps on going despite our tears.



Hi Robin,
I understand what you are going through! One of the reasons that I realized that I would have so much fear over something like what you are doing today is because abusive and controlling people are so unpredictable. They change the rules and their tactics if they sense a new boundary. Another biggie for me was in realizing that my reactions were out of my childhood survival mode and belief system. It was in working on the awareness of that that I finally became much stronger. Logically, you are telling yourself that there is nothing to be scared of.. but there is no logic to emotion. Emotion is what it is and when it is based on the scary past, that is what is true! Awareness is the first key in recovery, so your awareness is a great sign!
I am thinking about you today, and look forward to the update if you can share it! Hugs and prayers.
love Darlene

Hi Joy,
I think you published this at the same time as Robin’s message came in! This is amazing… did you read the comment from Robin?
Thank you for sharing your poem. I love it.
Hugs, Darlene



No . i published it on my blog first.. I have some very painful moments ahead in so many ways..was wondering if anyone felt the dread of coming things.. like speaking about what an abuser has done or facing them



ps I have been given some court date which will happen in NJ and I am not sure if I have to appear..but feel I do . and that means looking at the guy who made me suffer so much.. have nothing .. basically no car.. no credit. no self esteem..

The only good thing that come from 2009 terror was I come to know my T who is helping me begin to heal from that and what enabled me to be victimized by him

I am terrified



ps.. also getting to Darlene and EFB blog/facebook



Hi Joy,
I am so sorry for all you are going through. I know it must be hard and I understand your terror. I hope that it will all be over quickly and that he gets what he deserves for his actions.
Hugs, Darlene



I am terrified.. All I keep hearing . .is what he said verbally and by email ..that he would kill me if I testify against him .that he would destroy me. .Now I MUST appear.. I have to go there. .. There is no doubt I will win but I am scared .frightened and any other word to desribed every wound re-opened.



I totally understand. This is a very normal reaction to a person who did and said these things to you. I would be scared too. This man terrroized you! But he is under the law now. He got caught. Try to keep that in mind ~ I know it is very hard and that it feels next to impossible and that it is bringing up and triggering all the fears and terror of the past.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

My heart is racing.. everything is playing before me. my hands are shaking.. by December 7 .. i will be a terrible mess. I thought it was all going to be over without me having to appear




People don’t realize how much emotional trauma can work on you. I Have tried to forget what he did but its impossible..i am afraid to go anywhere ..afraid to go out side. .afraid to move to get better..because of what he did.. I can’t drink coffee, take a bath.. without hearing his nonsense.. He has me traumatized and 2years already have passed!



I just wanted to answer your question, with Yes, definitely, there have been a few events that i wish i could have vanished from, not had to participate in.. One big one was having to go to court, as a witness to my ex (the father to 2 of my children) attempt at my life, along with the abuses throughout our relationship.. I live in Canada, and i was the witness, not the victim, as i did not press charges the police did… I did not want to face him in court, they tried, due to my emotional state and the extent to which he abused me, to have me testify by video, but the judge would not allow it.. (I was also offered the witness protection program….. but i didn’t take it, as i did not want to make my children go through changing who they were etc) I would have done anything to not have to testify.. i went into panic attacks etc.. for weeks leading up to the court date.. So i do understand how you are feeling at this moment.. and so wish you wouldn’t have to feel all this and have to go through what you are having to go through.. if you don’t have anybody yet, some kind of support system in place, please try to find someone you can trust.. someone who understands what you are going through, someone who understands the law and court system.. I had a therapist, who was with me throughout the process, the one therapist i had that i connected with, that i felt comfortable with.. She was a fantasic help for me..
This was just the prelimanary trial, i was on the stand for 3 days straight… at the end of it, out of the 21 charges against him, 3 were thrown out due to insufficient evidence.. so we were to go to court with the other 18.. on the day of jurty selection though.. he did accept a plea.. so i was happy with that.. as the preliminary trial was hard enough.. having to go through an actual trial would have been so difficult..


Joy, I would be terrified too but I’m glad he got caught. If you do have to testify, I know you will be stronger after you get through it. I sure hope he gets what he deserves.




My lawyer says I have to appear.. It’s a must. If he does not, we win by default. BUt, there is no doubt. of the wrongs he has done.It has opened up alot of pushed back emotions.. and fears and tears.. thank you Pam for your words.




Sorry for late response.. am a little flustered today after hearing that I have to appear in court.. It’s like a nightmare coming back one more time. .I have to go back to the very place I left 2 years ago.I don’t even know how I will manage it. I have no friends in NJ and the cost of a hotel for one night is almost as much as I pay for 1 months rent here..




I would have been frightened in your situation. . You are strong to have gone through what you have .. I admire you..



Please don’t apologize, i completely understand… I wish i could sit alongside you during this and lend you some strength. It is a very frighteningly difficult thing you have to do and i wish with everything in me that you would not have to experience this.. Is your lawyer someone you can trust? Will your lawyer be with you during this? help prepare you for the questions that will be asked of you? Part of what helped me was going through the steps, being reminded to take my time with answers, that they can’t force me to go any faster, to think and only answer the exact question asked of me.. as they will try to trick you.. which helped me to calm down, as i tried hard to focus on what was being asked, focusing on not allowing them to confuse or scare me… I am not familiar with your story or what the trial is about.. but they subpeona’d some of my therapist and dr records… so my childhood abuse, sexual abuse and rapes, were brought up in court.. and basically they were trying to say that, due to my past, i felt everything was abuse kind of thing.. basically saying i am crazy.. so i think for the first time in my life, instead of believing i was crazy, i worked to show that i wasn’t so in focusing on that is what kind of kept me going i guess..
You are strong Joy, So very strong…. He has already hurt you beyond belief… and you made it through.. He tried keeping you down, but you rose up, again and again, you rose up… He threatened you, because he is threatened by YOU and what YOU CAN NOW DO TO HIM. I know you are frightened, but so too is he.. He can no longer control you, you are in control now… You are on the side of strength now.. Use that strength to voice your truth… I cannot be with you physically, but i am with you emotionally.. my spirit is with you.. Keep your head up my friend, He cannot hurt you anymore..



I don’t know what the lawyer will doubt he will prep me a bit. I know no one in that state so am terrified. I have no family to support me as that the is the other side of my story. Its quite a pitiful situation really. .If he appears then more than likely more people will have to become part of the picture. NJ is so unaffordable so I i have no idea what to do in that regard I will probably seek out the shelter I stayed in prior to leaving nj or some other.. as I am terribly afraid of the being there .. You can read the story of what happened by going to type in Jerry Carter and read the first listing . which should read .. Hoboken Millionaire arrested. Originally it was a investigation but due to me being here and not there and having to prove 99.9 percent without a doubt the prosecutor suggested”For now” in take it to the civil court where there is less burden of proof needed.. so much has happened since then. I would put the actual link; but I don’t know if Darlene wants that here. .

It was a lot of trauma.. he asked me to move from wv to nj to help the company out and turns out was only helping him out working all hours . he took over my scheduled and threatened if I didnt do as he said he would destroy me etc.



That does sound very frightening and lonely.. During my court process my therapist was my support.. As my ex convinced my family ( well didn’t take much convincing) that i was crazy and all this was my imagination.. not sure how the staples in my neck and other places on my body where he had sliced and diced me was my imagination.. however, long story short.. my family was not there for me during that time.. With you being in the states, i am not sure what options you have.. we have victim support services here… which if you have that there.. if you can get in contact with the one in NJ, maybe they can help you, with support but also a safe place to stay while there… its important that you feel some safety while experiencing this.. It is not right that you have already suffered, and now have to go back to the place of suffering with no contacts, support or place to stay.. without having to pay so much money..


Hi Joy,
You may share the link to the story; that if fine with me.
Kelly has some great suggestions about how you can get some support while in NJ. As your lawyer about that stuff too. There are all kinds of advocacy organizations that help people in a situation such as that. You have a bit of time to get that figured out which is a blessing. Hang in there and take it slow!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

I am thinking about the shelter where I stayed that week in between being rescued and coming back to wv. I know I am so frightend that I do need a safe place.. it’s so scary not having anyone to be with me. Had I good loving family I could ask them to help me. but they are not that way.. I am glad to know ahead of time. Getting from here to there is another problem since I have no car.. I am sure somehow it will fall into place. I know I will be crying on the stand.. I cry when I am afraid.

Thank you Darlene.. I am sure you will hear me sobbing some more 😉

Grateful hugs: Joy

Kelly thank you again for your support.. even though you cannot be with me . knowing you are there supporting me with kind words and moral support is wonderful . everyone here on EMB . Darlene at the the lead. .are so kind and supportive.

Thank you Kelly .. I feel comforted.

Gentle hugs:



Link to the original story on it also appeared several places. Please understand.. that my boss threatened by email and in person . .He had his driver to deliver wine or deliver me places I was suppose to sit..

I still have all the threatening emails:



Joy, I know how hard and painful it will be, but I also know how strong you are. I’m in your corner.



I just read the article.. How horrible for you to have lived that.. I am so very sorry… i can understand the fear and reluctance to face him in court.. Having to face and speak against someone who chose to have such power and control over you is incredibly frightening.. i encourage you to speak to your lawyer about victim services in the area.. he should have that info for you, however, if he doesn’t, i am sure you can find it online. Even though the thought of facing him is terrifying.. once you do, i know you will feel the strength we all see in you..


Pam: ((hugs)) I am so grateful for your support..wish I “Felt” as strong as everyone is saying I am . .i have cried many times today:

Knocking on my door

Once again the past comes knocking on my door
And I am having to think of that time once more
How I dread the thought of going over there
Without friend or family or anyone to care.

Bravery is not a word that I’m wanting to hear
When all my being is shaking inside me with fear
How can I feel safe in a place where I was hurt
By a supposed “friend” who had treated me like dirt.

Again I’m being faced with life’s uncertain ways
And I surrender completely to the upcoming days
What cannot be changed must be fully embraced
The path marked out for me cannot be erased.




Every time he gave his orders. he would threaten to come and destroy me
some times he told me sleep with one eye opened.. He had the key to the apartment ..since it was “One of his many apartments” .. I tried so many times to escape and somehow he always knew when I was going out the door.. ONe time he called me after I got off the phone and said “who were you just talking to” He made me pull out all the phones when I was in the hotels. he wanted no contact with the outside world. He told me when i was to wake. he kept my debit card.. he told me when I could sleep.. i worked full day and then he ordered me to do 20 30 blogs a night.. without pay .. and if they were not done he said he would leave me in some bus station and “you know what happens at the bus station ..crazy people go there. ” he would say ..I built his company up . I brought in 3500 of his 5000 he had when he sold out. .i never saw a penny! . .rather he kept half my check. He would make me call restaurants daily to order food for him on my card. I had to poen credit cards to feed him. He told me he was poor and starving that he was dying .. etc. . and I believed him. only after I got to the shelter did i see what kind of home he lived in . he stole money by making me pay all his meals. he had me buy he gps. fruit baskets which I understood after from sources he gave to a mistress he had in jersey city ..while being married with 2 children.. He had his name put on my life insurance which he asked me to take out and which I paid for.. he started making me drink wine every night and never did before up to 5 glasses a night. and send pictures I know i was out and not sober from emails I see i sent during those times! . .he is an evil man .. and he told me if i ever went up against him .. he would destroy me. that I have no idea who I am dealing with..that he has his contacts. I am so afraid i wont even make it to the court house..



Hi Darlene,

I just wanted to give an update. I met with my mother and she wouldn’t even look at me. We were at the bank getting each other’s names off of the other’s accounts. The whole time she kept her face averted. When the bank teller was working she said out loud how much money I had in my account and I know that it was about 3x what my mom has. My mom started crying. I just knew she was thinking, “Why should you be doing so well when I’m not. You should help me.” And even I felt this way, too. I fell back into that mindset that she was my responsibility and I had to take care of her. But wait, who is the mother and who is the daughter here. Every decision that took place in her life (and mine) was hers. She made every choice. So why does she expect me to clean up a mess I didn’t make.

Honestly, I’m still so numb. Anytime I deal with her I get so numb in my emotions and I can’t even feel them. I can’t seem to get in touch with my anger. I hate this woman, but when I saw her I felt so sorry for her (which is what she wants). She looked so old. She had lost a lot of weight and looked sick. Even though she’s only 55 she looked just like her mother at 92.

Anyway, thanks for your kind words and understanding. I really appreciate it.



reflecting today…on my life…castration, sexually, emotionally, personally, done by the church, or whatever these “conquer-and-divide-little-social-hierachies are, they let their people sexually abuse each other and emotionally/spiritually abuse each other with “teachings” which PREVENT people from maturing



I feel similarly. I have moments where I sit and think about how much time, money, and energy I’ve lost trying to please church people that can never be pleased. These same church people tried to convince me to date men who I knew where controlling, like my mother, just because they saw me as less than because I was single. They convinced me also that because I was single all of my extra money should go to the church because I had no children or husband. It was supposed to be my reponsibility to “build the kingdom”. They constantly teach that we must obey everything that they say, even though they don’t, or God will be angry with us. They don’t want you to think for yourself and then make fun of you because they think you’re not as mature as you should be.


Hi Kelly,
I just re read all the messages here from yesterday. I am sick and my head is not bad in the mornings, but really fuzzy in the afternoons, so I thought I would wait till morning to comment!
Thank you for sharing your story (nightmare) here about what you went through with that abusive man and the court experience that followed. I totally understand the fear that you and Joy are speaking about really. Going through all that when someone has threatened you ~ threatened you with you life and what ever else you care about… and we have no choice but to believe that they will make good on that threat. And our old survival mode tells us not to take the chance. And victim mentality whispers to us that if we are “good” and compliant then we will be safe. But those are the lies that keep us in the prison that someone else constructed for us. I am so proud of you for going through the process and through the legal system to stand up to someone who for a time owned your life and you took your life back. That is awesome.. Thanks for sharing it here and for inspiring others!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robin,
Thanks for the update!! Wow… good for you. You had the “thought” but you didn’t act on it and you overcame it. That is belief system re-wiring in action! I totally hear you on all of this, I KNOW deeply what you are talking about. My mother somehow raised me to believe that I owed HER that it was my job to be something for her… and I can easily go back to that belief. That is the belief system.. that is what happens. But you did it! Numb is fine, that will pass but you didn’t give in to those old beliefs that you had to “take care of things”. Yay.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful victory!
Hugs, Darlene


Robin and Kate,
when I read both your shares today, I had the same reaction for both. And this system is not just in the church. This is the system through out the world. My mother did all that same stuff… I have been in organizations (yes including church but not church exclusively) that did the same stuff. I lived UNDER people and their rein. YUCK, it makes me sick now.
I was way more upset when I saw the truth about the churches I had been in (and the Christian school my kids attended for way too long) because I expected more from them. And I expected more from them because they preached and taught that THEY were better than everyone else… that THEY had the answers that they were under GOD himself… servants of God. again YUCK.
So glad that I am out of that system ~ and not just out of the church out of THE system.
Hugs, Darlene


The churches in my life served t ocontinue the lies that I learned at home, the lies that trap a person, the lies that we talk about here. And there is that big lie, Darlene, whether in church or not, that “we are better than everyone else” that entitled LIE that means FOLLOW us!! DON’T think for yourself, etc.


Thank you so much for your comment, for recognising my nightmare for what it truly was, a nightmare.. One that from time to time i relive through flashbacks… I have not really spoken about it all to many people.. As the court process made me feel raped and abused all over again… opened me up and laid me bare for all to see, so after that other then my therapist i never really spoke about it.. I also had difficulty talking to therapists after that, for fear that for some reason it would be shared with people again.. My ex was even allowed to read those records with his lawyer.. Anyway, it was in the past, hopefully it will remain there now..


Your fears are valid ones, based in reality.. Do not ever let anyone else tell you differently.. This was your life, your nightmare, You lived it, You survived it.. It is so important to find safety for you in this process.. Talk to your therapist.. see if she can help get you in contact with victim services.. so you have a support system in place… they can also find you a safe place to stay during the court proceedings and may even be able to help you with transportation… you have a couple months to get this all set up, but its important i think for your well being to get a jump on all this as soon as possible.. so that you are able to find people you feel safe and comfortable with to guide you through it…
You are stronger then you think my dear.. If you were not strong, you would not have made it this far… If you were not strong, you would not have made it through that horrible experience.. Trust in your strength, while you lean on ours in the moments you feel you need too.. You are in my thoughts..


Hi Kelly

The bad thing about all this is that the trial is in another state..I will be going into a place that I know no one. The only memories I have from there are all bad ones. Nothing good happened there. I will talk to my T about it all . but I don’t see how she will be able to know what is available in another state .. I do trust her and so will let her know it all . I am terribly terribly frightened. I shake just thinking I have to go back there. I have talked to he lawyer several times he said I have to talk, there is no way out of it.

I have had people online telling me things about Faith and how faith and fear cannot be together. I didnt ask for any sermons but I guess I should expect some will say that I lack faith

Its scary not having anyone around to share my fears with.. Very scary knowing I will be going where he threatend. I am so afraid. I am told he goes everywhere with his “bodyguard” .. He told me he would destroy me if I went up against him . I am terrified.



Joy, sending you prayers for strength and courage. You have both in you to carry you through this trial. It is okay to be afraid. The two times that I stood up to my dad, I was shaking inside and out. Being afraid doesn’t mean that you are weak. Anyone would be afraid in your shoes right now. You have the courage to do what is necessary in this case.


Lynda, sending you prayers and Reiki for healing. Holding on to resentments can keep us from healing.


It may be in the past, but I would suspect that it played a huge part in your life. Don’t be surprised if it is still part of your present. I understand you feeling exposed and naked ~ I would feel the same way. And it IS like being re-abused and raped all over again when we are questioned and doubted like that.
Hugs for you my friend! Share when ever you need to here!
Love, Darlene

Hi Joy,
Your lawyer should be able to help you with this or Search victim/witness advocacy programs in NJ. I know you are scared, but maybe being proactive will help with those fears. Find out what is available to you in the way of support and talk to some people who work in those areas. Call the old shelter you have spoken of and ask if they know how you would go about finding victim/witness support services.

About the people that are telling you to have faith… in my opinion, that is abusive and people say that because they don’t know what else to say. Here is how I take it when someone says that to me; I hear that they are reprimanding me AGAIN, instead of supporting me. It angers me. This is not the proper way to support or assist anyone even if there is nothing you can do to help them. Those kinds of statements tear people down.
Hugs, Darlene

Here is the website for advocacy services in Newark NJ. They will at least be able to tell you who can help if they can’t.


Joy, I hear that you are deeply afraid to go testify because you will be in a situation where you don’t know if you’ll be safe and where you might not have any support and you have to return to the scene of all that horror. My heart goes out to you. I honestly don’t know if faith or courage are terms that can help you or not, but your willingness to be honest is remarkable. You are in my thoughts. I wish I could be by your side. HUGS, Sophia


Yes, Darlene you are completely right, in it still being a part of my present.. i tend to try and deflect, convince myself it is my past when i feel things coming up, i guess trying to protect myself or re abuse myself by saying it should not affect me anymore.. when in reality, it can’t help but be part of the present..

Yes, exactly what Darlene said.. thats what i was trying to say, but not finding the right wording.. Thank you Darlene.. all these services for victims/survivors, know of the existance of different services.. and would know more of who you would need to talk to.. The fear is going to be there, you can’t help but feel fear… however, in being more proactive you may feel more in control of your life, therefore, more control of the fear…


Hi Patricia :

Thank you for sharing how you were afraid to testify. I can see myself just crying and cryng. I hope by time the day comes I am not so afraid. I wish I could “feel” like I have courage. My heart is racing when I think of it. I guess one doesn’t always feel courage .. maybe its there and I dont’ know.. Hugs:


Hi Darlene:

I am afraid that my lawyer is only going to do that which is good for him. I told him I am afraid .he offers no support or suggestions I told him I need to find a place to stay .. he offered no suggestions . .. I am glad you say its normal to be afraid. I know I have to go through with it and will make sure I get there one day early and leave as soon after I can. I hate having to relive it all in front of those who will hear it.

Hugs :



I wish you or anyone who is safe could be by myside; but, I have no one. I can only hope by time i get there i have it all worked out . I just don’t like the idea of gong back there he whole state everything ..the hotels. .places to eat .its all one big trigger.

I will be truthful and honest. but am afraid .. what if he follows through and has his contacts hurt me.




You said it all just fine! I just added to it!
Hugs, Darlene

Did you see the rest of my suggestions? I left a link to a victim/wittness advocacy link in NJ in my last comment too.
Hugs, Darlene


HI Darlene

Sorry.. didnt see rest. I was called as I was answering and should hav read it better. I am so sorry Darlene.. Lady on phone is 85 and has been talking an hour.. without taking a breath.. she is a she must need to talk ..

I am so grateful for this link .. I will definitely use it. I am going to visit it right away!

I simply missed the end as the phone rang.. I sometimes let the old folks talk to me. .as they are lonely. .and she talked a whole hour .

Thank you so much: Love you



Joy, I didn’t testify against my father. It never went to court. I confronted him over the phone when he went into hiding when I told people that I needed to talk to him. Then out of the blue, months later, he called me. I have no clue what he called me for. I told him to shut up and listen to what I wanted to read to him. I read the letter that I had written to him before he disappeared with nobody having a forwarding address for him. The statute of limitations would have been long passed to take him to court when I first started working on my incest issues and doing the healing work on myself.


Hi Patricia: tnank you for both comments. am having lots to deal with. .tell you after i comment. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do what you did. I dont like to confront people face to face or by phone. .I have found when I do. .get that sudden burst of courage. .whoever is the recipient of my courageous acts cuts me down and I end up crying.

I admire you courage and am sorry you had a long journey ahead of that confrontation. I wish I didnt have to go to court.

The only good I can see from it ..after all the trauma and tears ..will be putting .. THE END..on that chapter of my life. at least with the people who hurt me. I am sure. i will need to work through reopening all these wounds..

Last night i found it hard to sleep and gong to the bath . .brought back all those terrible things . .his crazy commands. .he was one craz guy. wanting pictures of bubbles in the bath.. so I prove i took the bath at the time he said. .If the picture I sent wasnt at the time and date it should be he scream over the phone and tell me to get in tub again . I never understood why he got out of me sending all those pictures of bubbles. .they all look the same to me!

Perhaps it was knowing he had me doing his commands was the thing. I dont know

Today the lady who squirted my cats and me is calling me with the hose and who ultimately was responsible for my cat’s death.. is calling me bad names. .she is calling me crazy and a nut. .she called me a lesbian and said .. only lesbians get down on their knees to talk to cats. I thought How insulting and ignorant she is .why all of a sudden is she throwing that name at me. And.. insulting people the lesbian community by saying they are known to always be on their knees..

She is the lady who i emptied my pantry for.gave money for the casino bought lottery tickets for and now she is inventing more insult ..i don’t know how much more ugliness i can take.. I don’t do bad to anyone and . .she has made it her goal to hurt me..

I never did anything to her. .Just because my house is no swarming with men . .doesn ‘t mean anythign.. I have no one .. not male or female over here.

She said you couldnt get a man if you wanted.

So while I am dealing with the trauma of the upcoming court case I have a crazy lady next door who is bent on calling me names. I can’t understand while all of a sudden she is calling me names.. And if I should choose one sexual orientation over another . .she would be the last one I would talk to!

She has a big trap and is hauling any outside cat she catches away. i fear what she is doing with them.

SHe says only nuts talk to cats. am crazy!




I especially like what you said “being afraid doesn’t mean you are weak”
am rereading to make sure I didnt miss important points..


Dear Everyone ..thank you . I feel so much love and support here. you are all the best and greatest friends .. thank you so much :

Love all:



I am so sorry you were verbally attacked like that and your precious animals are in jepordy. After my sister had an argument and she called me horrible names to, I realized our fight was done in an old shoe dysfunctional way. There is a healthy way to have a disagreement and there is a dysfunctional way.
I just got out of the hospital today and my sister picked me up. Guess what? She looked absolutely pissed off! OMG go figure. So Joy sometimes you could be innocent and still get treated like your the worst person.



HI: I was minding my own business trying to get the little kittens to come to me so I can take them in and care for them and she started to insult me.. I don’t care she called me names but the connections she made was insulting not just me but a group of people who are already insulted beyond what they should be.

I was just talking to the kittens and yes i was on my knees as I learned when working so long in nursing homes that you should not bend your back but bend your knees as that saves your back.

The insults like I am crazy . .am a nut .. etc etc. If I was looking for either a man or a woman . I would not be publicizing my business to anyone .. I am a private person .. whichever way I should go.. and for her to mock the lesbian community by saying they are always on their knees is appalling and hurtful and caused me much disgust.

I was so good to her..everyone who I have been good to in my past has turned around and stabbed me in the back and gave a good twist besides.

I dont understand why a person who is genuinely trying to love everyone and help every one . I love everyone .. and right now I don’t feel love for her. and I feel bad about it. as she insulted me called me names and insulted people like the rest of society does.!

Thank you or your kindness and reaching out. I so appreciate you words, Renee.

I have no one in my house just a cat!




What is Reiki?


No one has the right to demean another person. Whatever your sexual preferance is only your business.
I hate it when people think they have a right to attack and treat another less than what is right.


If you get a hold of the domestic violece advocate, which the DA would know who they are can get you that info. They also can get you a hotel at a reduced cost or free. Your attorney may beable to get info from his(her) contacts. Same for protection.
I had to go through that route in colorado. I was told be my advocate that is becoming the norm to have resources out there for women.


Hi Renee,
I am sorry to hear that your sister acted like that when she picked you up from the hospital. That is nasty.
Hugs, Darlene



Thing is I have never ever spoken of my personal sexual
preferences to anyone. .I don’t think that I am anywhere near
that stage of my journey where i need to worry on that .. But
I get highly defensive when people attack others whether for
race, religion, sexuality or gender. .

Its not that she called me one thing or another but she
has no basis to assume anything about me merely because
i never have anyone over and moreover that she attacks
a group of people with degrading words. .

I have been so good to her. that is why it hurts so much.
Calling me names.. taking my own cat away.. squirting me
with a garden hose. .what else is there left for her to do
to me?



Renee, hope you are doing well. Reiki is a healing energy from the Universe/God/The Creator whatever you want to call God.


That’s why I only had one kid: and my emotions were still all over the place. B/c I planned on the NORMAL stuff happening during her growing years, I didn’t expect a plane-load of total assholes to run a Japanese-style kamikaze raid that would kill her dad and plunge me into a world roughly 10,000X WEIRDER than the one that existed when Alice followed the hare down the rabbit hole.
Suddenly, I was utterly and completely alone in everything I did with her b/c people like my mom wanted me to tell her to snap out of it and get on with her life, which really was my mom’s most honest attempt to help in the situation. It’s just that it didn’t really help, not that it ever helped me when she said it to me through the part of my childhood I was allowed to spend with her.
I haven’t really lived anywhere, to be honest. I mean I lived in 3 separate places, and how’s that supposed to help a kid know where she really lived? Every time they ask in those keepsake books to talk about growing up, the book always expects you to have done it with one person. Certainly not two, and DEFINITELY NOT three. So I always leave it blank, and it becomes annoying that the only thing people think will sell is stuff where you lived with the same parents for 18 years. I don’t too many people who have anyway, b/c they usually never want anything to do with someone who was rejected twice and then put in an orphanage and, when the staff said I was ready to leave, told there’s “nothing back home for you.”


I am joining the ranks of those who have been hurt by therapists. i was such a believer ..i spilled my whole story out then to be told she is not going to work with me no more.. All i did was mentioned the court date. .yes the lawyer was not perfect but i have acontract with him I cannot drop him because I dont like him . I got dropped when I needed help most!


she dropped me when i mentioned the court date. I am no longer a believer in therapy!


thanks darlene, the sad thing is i speak and think about it as if it happened to someone else and now it dont hurt half as much. but i know i have to get to the bottom of this properly befoe i can truely say i have gotten past my past and can live for the future.
i dont rage bout how i was treated anymore that has past but it left me in a kind of limbo where i was healed on the outside but not on the inside, mmm. and apparently i have so much i should be angry about but i havent the energy to waste on hating stuff, i need it to go forward so i try and let hate go. one less emotion to disturb my weird and wonderfull life


Good morning Darlene; I caught this post in (of course) the stream on FB and can totally relate. When my life was falling apart I made the mistake of allowing and inviting my “family” back into my life. Mind – I’d walked away and done my best to stay away. But when the church turned on me, rejected me and shunned me, then my in – laws literally told me to stop telling these lies about their brother (my abusive husband) and then I was incapacitated by the “medicine” the psychiatrist gave me, I lost my job, my children started acting out their own emotional pain from their father abandoning them, my house went into foreclosure, my husband was stalking me when I finally got a restraining order….well, I believed deeply that something was wrong with me – not that something was wrong with the way I was being treated when I had asked for help and support.

I knew things were difficult for you and could only imagine how deeply your levels of stress your were feeling around all that was going on in your life over the past weeks….Its good to see you talking about it and I’m so sorry that you did not have the support from those who it would have meant the most to have it from. I know how those old feelings can crop up and color todays experiences and its no fun to go through it but its great when the light bulb goes on, so to speak, and we can put things into perspective.


OH MY GOSH ~ that is horrible! And extremely unethical. In fact I believe that therapists agree NOT to do things like that. I am speechless. I am so sorry that this happened to you.
Please keep sharing. Get it all out.
Again I am so sorry that this happened.
Hugs, Darlene



Its like i got all excited had someone to listen to care. i did my homework. yes i am slow. not bright as others but i did all i was asked everything.. except didnt drop the lawyer.. there is two people on the case. it’s not just me going against my despite any craziness the lawyer had I put up with it because my friend is also in the case.

I am getting so use to taking abuse .. and hurt .. that i dont expect any kindness.. All along she said “i would never just have you come to therapy one day and drop you” ..well she did just that as I was telling her I must go to court on dec 7.

I have relationship problems because i have been pulled in by a series of people who get me to total trust and then drop me..

I told her and begged her i would do anything to improve and she was straight face and said no i am not continuing this. Said I need to learn to be more assertive and develope communications skills but I have never had anyone say they dont understand me.




Thank God you are here and for your blog i dont know what i would do right now .it’s a nightmare i cried all night! havent eaten my breakfast so shocked am i by this



Hi Susan
Thank you for adding your excellent comments to this thread! It is really really great when the light bulb goes on; I have put SO much more into perspective this past few weeks through the deeper understanding that I am writing about in this post.
Hugs, Darlene

I know just how you feel.. that was my life before. This woman DID pull the rug out from under you. She did say she would be there for you and then changed her mind. Legally, that is wrong! I understand that you are putting everything through the grid of “if only I had not done this or that, she would not have left me” but the truth is that she left you and it sounds like it is because you didn’t do things her way. and please keep in mind Joy, this was a therapist. (not just a “friend”, but someone you paid for service from) She should NEVER have done this to you. Not at any time. This is totally unethical. I encourage you to keep reminding yourself as you process this that SHE is the one in the wrong here.. not you. Please try not to blame yourself.
Hugs and love, Darlene



I so admired and loved her ( in the right way ) . I know her schedule is busy but i would have adjusted, done anything, to not be dropped. I had my therapy late at night…I allowed for the long waits for email.. I felt her new lifestyle was causing her .. difficulties. but she should have told me lets do less sessions . I would have been ok with that. even with once a month but just to totally drop me. .like all at once it has left me with my heart bleeding…She knew all about my case . it was nothing knew. .she knew i was slower to communicate that i was a mess but never said that was a hindrance to us going forward.. last night in less then 10 minutes she cut my life support and left me in an ocean .i have no one. . i trusted her




ps: hugs and love back. Thank you for being here. for allowing me to be here and for all your support..some day i will be able to help EMB

love and big hugs




I didnt have enough money to be worth her time of day . this is how i feel . when she was in her other location she alwayshad time the new job. she put me last even though she took me on before the new job. i am a poor mouse and can’t hold up enough green to be seen of valued



Hi Darlene and everybody,

I just wanted to take a quick minute to share something that happened today. Sometimes it feels like ‘when it rains it pours’. Just when I was feeling like myself again after dealing with my mother I ran into an issue with a church person. This female minister that leads our singles ministry is having a girls getaway at her house this weekend. I decided that I didn’t want to go and I really felt like anything these “church people” want me to do, I don’t want to do just for spite. I want to break every rule and disappoint everybody because I don’t owe them anything even though I felt for a long time that I did. And this woman in particular is very controlling and behaves like she owns me because she’s older and I’m younger and so accomodating.

So last week I emailed her and told her I wasn’t coming. She emailed back asking if anything was wrong and that she really wanted me to come. I didn’t email her back because i was overwhelmed with dealing with my mom and I didn’t go to church on Sunday because I was too depressed to get out of bed, again because of my mom.

So today I received the following email:

“I am making my appeal for you to please come and be a part of what has been planned. I am so very excited about our weekend this year and I want all of the ministry sisters to come and receive what God has for each of them. I believe that Jesus the Christ the Son of the living God presence will be among us as He has been before. Please don’t disappointment me I will be expecting your on Friday at 6:30 PM.


Mama Pam”

Can you believe her? It’s just like you said before, Darlene, whether it’s in the church or any place else the system is the same. When an abusive controlling person wants something from you and the first tactic doesn’t work, they threaten with a facial expression, a tone of voice, or in this case a strong expression of disapproval. And then she had the nerve to say that she loved me, and called herself “mama Pam”. I have always refused to call her that because I don’t feel that kinship with her. She gave herself that name. This behavior is *exactly* the way my mom treats me. My *no* is not enough for them. It’s their way or no way. Also like you, Darlene, I expected more from them, the church people. If I didn’t love God so much I would probably give up on Christianity. These people are the worst kinds of abusers and hypocrites and they use God as an excuse.

I know that Darlene has many articles that deal with this issue, and they are coming to life for me today. I always wanted to be able to say that these people, who I really want to love, are not that bad, but the proof is in the pudding. I’m so disappointed in them always being so disappointed in me. I get the distinct impression that they don’t even like the real me. They only like the compliant do-gooder people pleaser. That doormat makes their life easier. But the confident, independent woman I’m growing into, they do not like.



That is terrible that she just dumped you like that. I’m so sorry. When I said earlier that I admired you for being willing to speak the truth I was actually referring to your ability to say you are afraid. That is a good step, in my opinion. I don’t know if this will help you, but over the last year, because I can’t afford a therapist, I began to do self-therapy with the help of a book from a former therapist. As I began working through my issues (and I still have a long way to go), I slowly began to realize that even at those times when I don’t seem to have anyone else on my side, I HAVE MYSELF. I really feel like I can be there for myself in ways that I never was before.

Hugs, Sophia



Wow, that church leader DOES sound extremely manipulative and it is great that you are able to see what is really going on. I reflect a lot on how many people try to use the power or spiritual or religious truth in order to feed their own power needs.

Hugs, Sophia


Robin, controlling people never want to let go of those that they think they control. In their eyes, it diminishes their power. Congratulations on standing up for yourself. With my dad who was a dictator, I had to run away from home at 19. If I had not gotten the courage to run away, I would never have gotten out from under his control.


Hi Robin
This is awesome! I love your comments and how you processed this “event”. YES… there is some misuse of power going on there! Total manipulation to get you to do what she wants. I whole heartedly agree with your assessment of what is going on here and love your insights! I can “hear” that this is coming to life for you!!
Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hugs, Darlene


HI Sophia: what can I say . my life has been a series of people entering into it grabbing my confidence, creating hope and then pulling out dasing everything to the ground: making sure they leave me feeling worse than when I first started with them. I feel completely broken.

Thank you for mentioniong : using a book. I do have the book “courage to heal” and the workbook. I will take one day at a time and see what happens in my healing process .. I just know trust has been run over by by a bulldozer and now i need to see if I can get it back into shape.

I don’t feel brave at all .but thats because am crushed in spirit. I still operate in my brokenness.. so one step at at time . I will try to reach my goals.

Hugs: Joy


If you told them all that stuff about your son that you mentioned at the beginning of the article, I don’t see how they COULD think he was okay. But I learned all that stuff about motorcycle accidents being more serious than car accidents when I was in Paramedic School. I can’t relate to the information from a layperson’s viewpoint, b/c I just know it takes weeks to recover from almost ANY motor bike accident.
And, after looking at the helmet, I’m surprised they didn’t cut it off him.


What hurts the mmost is having had such a hard time opening up .. having emptied all my secrets out then having her drop me ..without warning. Without talking it over. I was led to believe all things were fine.. etc etc..I didnt see it coming. It has been so hard to trust people in my life because things like this happen. YOu really don’t know who you can trust. Now, with her have so much education I thought surely she would never hurt me. she told me we would work together .. .. never led me to believe dropping me was going to happen. 🙁 JOy


They had to cut his clothing off. Thank you for your comments.
Hugs, Darlene

Yes it does hurt. What she has done is wrong. She never should have dropped you as a client like that. That is very very unprofessional. Please remember that none of this is your fault. What she did is inexcusable. I am so sorry,
Hugs, Darlene



If she felt she was not qualified after “over 20 years” treating people with trauma she shold not have taken me.She knew i was a person traumatized and had a lawsuit .. She knew I feel awkward when talking and am a mess when she took me on. I am sorry i take longer to untangle than others but she knew all this and said no problem . it hurt really bad because I trusted her .. like her . bragged on her promoted her.. she didnt ask me to but i was so grateful ..only those you realy care about can hurt you so deeply. My eyes are darkened from tears.. She told me distance was never a problem I believe she found something else for that time slot she gave after moving and it pays more than I can. I was interrupting her day. but I didnt choose the time ever . I just went along

I am tryig to see it not my fault but I wish I would have known that the world lawyer or court was a trigger for her.




Thanks for all you have said. little by little am going to get through this storm. RIght now I don’t feel strong at all : I feel trampled on, let down, broken.

(( hugs )))



I can honestly say I know how you feel. Everyone says your strong and you will get through it. Yet you feel a lone, cold, empty, and just lifting your head takes all you got. You lay in bed and it gives little comfort. You wonder constantly when will this end? Will it ever end? Will I survive it? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel because where Im sitting it looks dark and scary.
With that said I encourage you to go back to the basics. Breath, shower, try to eat. With that done give yourself a mantra to repeat to get through the day. I use to say ” I can do this, over and over. At the end of the day look back on your day and chose one pleasant thing you saw or felt that day, the sun shining, the cat doing something cute, ect. say to yourself, ok one day down and I made it.
Sometimes we are so stressed, so scared you have to just go back to the basic of living. Thats ok, if that is the only thing you can do sometimes thats enough.
Im here for you.



Thnk you for putting into words exactly how I fell. I have been hurt many times in my life but nothing so wounded my heart as this one. .Others were done by people who were not “professionals” people who were dysfunctional. this was done by someone who said she would help me heal. yet how she left me was more broken then when i Started by the very way she chose to drop me i am some piece of trash or lifeless being without feeling .I am sure she treats her dogs better than she treated me. .You don’t traumatize the traumatized and expect they will fair well afterwards.. She has changed my whole ideal about those having phds being better.. I have received more comfort in my illness by those who have no degree..

I am trying to slowly eat. .slowly convince myself I am not trash or some inanimate object like she handled me in the end.

I am trying to breathe ..and quiet my mind and deal with the terrible heartless thing she did

I didnt deserve it..



Joy, no you did not deserve to be treated so heartlessly by someone who should know better but obviously doesn’t. Just because someone has a degree is in a place of authority does not mean that they are healthy.

Many people who become doctors, nurses, psychologists, teachers, counselors, therapists do so from a desire, not always consciously, to heal themselves. It doesn’t fix them unless they are willing to do the work on themselves instead of trying to fix others. I worked at two different group foster homes before moving to where I live now. I thought that if I could work with children who were abused that I could make a difference. I didn’t realize until afterwards that I couldn’t help those children until I faced my own incest issues and fixed me. I would be a much better parent to my own children and foster parent to those foster kids today because I am healthier now than I was then. I was unconsciously looking for ways to fix myself without really looking at my issues. It didn’t work. Some therapists are healthy and some are still trying to fix themselves without coming out of their own denial.

Trust isn’t a given just because someone says they are trustworthy. Trust has to be earned. I am sorry that you have been so badly hurt. I hope that you have learned from the experience. The lessons we don’t learn will be repeated over and over again until we learn them.


Hi Patricia:

I appreciate so much your words and that you reach out to me at this time of healing for me. I do agree with what you say; some do become doctors etc as they want somehow to help others who have gone through what they themselves knew as children; and yet are not yet healed themselves.

In all my hurt and upset ..I came to think just as you wrote above.. That some just haven’t yet been healed of what they need to heal of and so something happens .triggers them and they lose it. or something like that?

I loved my T and I feel so bad about the way things happened.. since I didn’t expect it.. I was coming out of myself ..had told all my secrets and felt I was making progress. Perhaps not going to win a race and am crawling like a turtle but am going forward..

I think the fact that she said “I am not like everyone else, I would never do that to you” really made it sting to the core when she turned around and joined the ranks of those who heartlessly cut me off when I needed them most.

I know. like you say. thats her humanity .. her own brokenness and I feel sorry that she is not able to give completely due to her own need to heal. I really had come to trust her. and i dont trust easily. it took time and now it’s back on the floor..trampled under all the upset.

I keep lighting candles hoping for a miracle but perhaps the only miracle will be that which takes place in my heart. .I hope I can learn something .and not allow it to happen againg.. I think I am more afraid to trust . since the pattern of bad therapists is growing.




My “T” turned on me, I felt humiliated, filthy, and I had done so much good and healthy work to have it crashing dwon and made into nothing was so painful. Then I made my LAST appointment and this one was for ME not the abuse I had suffered. I grew balls and went in there and I confronted her and asked her WHY. My daughter was seeing a pediatric therapist, and the plan was she worked with my daughter then we would all gather and do therapy. Little did I know my precious daughter was doing what she always did, lie through her teeth. She told horrific abuses I commited on her and my oldest. Her therapist contacted mine and thats where the change came from. I asked my “T” if it would help if she spoke with my oldest, since she already knew her. She said she was sorry she beleived what my daughter was accusing me of.She made it sound so honest and true(my daughter). To this day my youngest tells the lies, it has effected every family relationship I have. Im to tierd to fight it any more. They will beleive what they want.



Sorry for late response..was doing some school work 😉 I am sorry you were hurt and abandoned by your T.. there is nothing more painful then having one’s T just turn on or abandon one. I Feel your pain and I cry with you completely. . I know that devastation that feelng of betrayal. how dare that T hurt you .shame on her. Being a professional she should have better handled the situation… THat T is bad news and if she don’t believe you .. you are better off without her. I am sorry for all your sorrow. I believe you I believe you didnt do anything your daughter said >. I am so sorry. am handing over a box of virtual kleenex they come in handy for these tear jerking posts. you are so courageous. to not let all that keep you from healing. you are an inspiration to me.. thank you for reachig out to me. and sharing your story . (( hugs)) if ok



Wow, I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to be falsly accused. My parents had a good friend that was a pastor who had that happen to him and he actually did prison time for it. We all knew he never did anything he was accused of. It’s got be hard when it’s family. Sending you lots of love and hugs Joy.


Had to go back and reread this. It has been a stressful time for me. We have in an old building with water damage. We have been renovating since 2008. Contractors in and out, we have to leave our apartment when they are there and at first the building paid since we pay 200 a month in maintenance (we live in NYC) They stopped paying and we have to pay.
Moving is not an option right now as everything in is expensiveness. We are hoping to move once the mortgage is pad which is another 1500 per month. We are really stressed as we are not even allowed to sleep some nights due to contractors and so on. Yesterday was like a circus and a night mare all in one. I will spare you the gory details but it was extraordinarily stressful. So anyway due to the helplessness of the situation not having our building help and what went on yesterday which was so bad it was almost comical, I just really hit bottom. I had a PTSD episode and flipped out on the maintenance men who did the damage which we now have to pay for but that is not the bad part. It was o bad but funny at the same time, I yelled at my poor husband who is the best husband in the world and didn’t do anything wrong I just was on over lad. I feel really bad now but at the same time when we talk about it we both laugh. He had nothing to do with this or the money he is actually a numbers genius and if it wasn’t for him we would be in a bad spot. So anyway I yelled at him (though he had nothing to do with it) and said were are in this mess (he is Chinese and cooks me homemade Chinese food) I said we are in this mess because you blow all your money on vegetables! LOL! Right after I said it I started laughing so hard I was crying. He is easy going and never gets mad at me. Some husbands gamble or drink mine cooks me homemade Chinese food and I yell at him for “blowing” his money on vegetables! 🙂
My point is that I was so in the past which is where I always thought everything was a fight. I was really not thinking clearly just reacting. Just when I think I am in a great place I do something stupid to let me know I really have not arrived! It is a journey and things are better but I am e and my history is what it is. My hope though is that one day I will not face the amount of opposition that I do now which I face in court in our building , everywhere but in my marriage.I have that one place of rest in my life. He is the last one I should have yelled at.


I meant to say we live not we have


I also meant to put we pay 2 thousand a month in maintenance not 200 (which is pretty bad considering they wont fix anything) they said it is for snow removal in winter and tending to the outdoor stuff


This is PRECISELY where I am stuck right now in my healing process – what other think, how they treat me, directly affects my view of my own self worth. That they don’t ever seem to care, that they can’t ever seem to be bothered, and now that I have a son, that they don’t seem to care about HIM as well, must mean that I am somehow NOT WORTHY of their time, caring, affection, concern, etc. I feel as if I am somehow fundamentally flawed or bad and I have NO idea how to go about righting that. Logically, it makes sense that it’s not me, that it is all of them with the problem. But what I believe inside, how I FEEL at my very core, is a totally different matter.

My N family was always saying to me things like “You know how you are” as evidence of my ‘badness’. Another favorite was, “If you have problems with multiple people in your life, you need to figure out what the common denominator is. The common denominator being YOU so maybe YOU are the problem.” Of course the heavy implication was that I WAS the problem. They certainly never made it much of a secret that, clearly, if it weren’t for me, their lives would be so wonderful, that it was only when **I** came into the mix that problems began and life went to s**t. My NM even said as much to me once in a therapy session. My T just sat there, stunned, that my NM could be so cold and cruel.

I wish I knew how to overcome these feelings of being “bad” or “flawed” somehow. 🙁



Hi Darlene,

I just noticed this post – I think I saw it when I’d just found the site for first time or two & didn’t feel able to comment

anyway just wanted to say I hope TJ is doing much better and recovering really well from his injuries


Ouch!! (that “common denominator” line! I’ve thought that about myself on more than one occasion. F**king harsh to actually be told it.

I often struggle with the feeling that because it’s many onto one, that the one (me) must be the problem…. made me remember something I wrote one time (not specifically about this, but feels very applicable): “just because millions agree with you, doesn’t make you right”

wishing you strength and hope for your journey



Thank you J.
My son is almost fully recovered. He has some body strengthening left to do. Dr’s say it will take a while.
Thank you for your thoughs.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow this is what I am feeling today. Losing a job I loved and was dedicated to for 8yrs. becuz of health reasons.
when I was recovering from 2 emergency surgeries lots of ppl who I thought cared never came either.
This helps A lot . Thank U


I am glad that this is resonating with you!
Hugs, Darlene

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