Escape from the Prison of Crazy, Sick and Tired

personal recovery emotional healing
The Journey Ahead

Last night I had a dream that seemed to carry on throughout the entire night.  I dreamed that for some reason I was in prison, except that it seemed more like some kind of hospital or institution. I was innocent however I felt that I had little chance of proving it. It kept going through my mind that since every criminal claims innocence, no one would believe me… maybe I should just stay in the prison.

Some of us were hanging out in the hallway and I noticed that one of the doors leading to the outside was open. It was night time. A guy told me that if I crouched down, we could crawl out of there without being seen by the surveillance cameras. So we did, and we were outside! I kept thinking that my escape was justified because I didn’t do the crime that I was being accused of, but I felt slightly guilty about leaving without permission. My heart was racing as I expected to hear the alarms being sounded but I heard nothing.  Next thing I knew we were stowing away on a cargo train. (just like in the movies) I text messaged someone using coded messages about being “out” and all the while was aware of the fear of getting caught by my communications being traced. It was cold and I was tired and the train ride was really long. My traveling companion disappeared.

Eventually I was off the train and in a motel room with a laptop and a television.  No one was looking for me and there was nothing on the news about my escape. No one seemed to care and as the dream went on, (and now it is a few days later) I started to feel safer about having escaped but at the same time I felt kind of mystified that no one was looking for me and the rest of the dream was about wondering why the heck no one cared, even though I was innocent and even though I had not done the crime I was imprisoned for and I was getting weary, wondering when I would finally make it “home”. *

When I first woke up this morning, I thought this dream was pretty funny, but as I was telling my husband about it, I realized that it was actually really significant and it painted a picture of my past and of my journey to emotional healing.

Deep down I thought that I had been falsely accused but yet I was filled with guilt and shame, so I lived in the prison that they made for me. There was an open door, but I did not think that I had a right to use it, because no one would ever believe my innocence.  Even I questioned it. When I made my escape into the scary blackness of night, I was surprised it was successful. I had the feeling over and over again that it was so much easier than I thought it would be.

Throughout the dream, I kept waiting to be caught, and to be proven wrong and then put back into the prison. I was sure that they would track me down and put me back in “my place”. As the dream went on, I started wondering why no one came looking for me. And I felt sad that no one cared that I had escaped. I felt really abandoned and alone. It was so great to be free, but there was something really sad about it too. There was a kind of “now what” feeling as though escape was only part of the healing journey, and I have found that to be true to my recovery as well.

It has been very difficult for me to accept that my mother did not pursue a relationship with me when she realized that I was serious about not living in the extremely dysfunctional mother daughter relationship that we had for so many years.  I was so sure that she would want to journey to the other side of broken with me. I was so sure that finally, now that I understood what happened to me AND eventually I understood also what happened to her, that I would be “worth it.” I would be worth her effort. But it didn’t’ happen that way. One of my biggest fears was that if I stood up to her that she would walk away, proving that I was unlovable. But in reality her walking away did not prove that I was unlovable. What it proved was about HER. It was not about me.

This dream represented an analogy of the past. ~I was trapped in prison. ~The hospital or institutional feeling was about feeling all my life like I was CRAZY. ~The door being open represented that I had a choice. ~The night represented that it was scary, dark, with unknown and unforeseeable things ahead of me. ~The cell phone texting represented my fear of getting caught and being proven “wrong” again and having to go back to the crazy and the prison. ~The train ride was long = the journey to wholeness and recovery ~my travel companion disappeared was about having help getting started but ultimately I had to do the work on my own. ~Being bored in the hotel room with mixed feelings about NOT being pursued; my mother just walked away. ~The feeling of okay now what, was exactly how it was. Fairly early in recovery I had to find my “now what” and learn to live in this new life of clarity and freedom. 

~Possibly the most significant part of this dream was when I found myself weary and wondering when I would finally make it home. This was not about getting to a “building”, but rather about getting home to ME. This was about finding myself, or rather returning to myself and the peace, comfort and wholeness that I have found in doing that. ~Eventually getting back on my lap top unconcerned about who found out OR if I got “caught” represented that I did find myself, and now my work with others and my blog and how I talk openly about my past and about my journey to the other side of broken.

Please share your thoughts about how this post resonated with you.

There is freedom on the other side of broken….

Darlene Ouimet

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Categories : Mother Daughter



Hi Darlene,

I have had some similar feeling dreams/nightmares, and some of them personally represent a sense of being “comfortable” with the family of origin dysfunction – that even though it was horribly abusive, it was something that was at least familiar. The pathetic part for me is that the abuse was so common, that it was thought of as “familiar”, and safer than the unfamiliar which could have been “escape”. So, we escaped through dissociation.



Hi Darlene–I was thinking something very similar to ur interpretation of this dream. It reminded me of how I felt in the first years after my sexual abuse stopped. Waiting for him to find me, being so free so unbelieving of that freedom and at the same
Time feeling so rejected that he was no longer looking out for me. Complex. Exhausing. Confusing. Blech.


Your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I cut ties almost 2 years ago with my family and to this day I still hope deep inside my mother will love me enough to deal with her narcissism and want to be a part of my life. This christmas I still hoped for a card, a call, anything. I can’t understand why she doesn’t come running for me even though I have learned so much about narcissism and how she is unable to love. I need to let go of the belief that it’s because of me and my faults that she doesn’t love me and truly know it has nothing to do with me at all. It is such a hard journey to go through but I do keep going because I know it will be worth it when I am able to find myself.


That is a pretty familiar story to me too. I don’t really know if I thought I had any reason to escape… I just didn’t know much different. Dissociation was a great escape and it was my best option for a long time. I think that is partly what this dream is about too. I was looking at that open door and thinking… should I go?? should I risk it. And for years I didn’t really think I should, ~ it is hard to explain! Thanks for your comment!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Splinty!
OH Gosh, this is another VERY good point! Feeling rejected by the abuser when they don’t need you anymore! I can see why my dream and mother stuff reminded you of that, and you have just reminded me of a whole bunch of other stuff too! Complex and exhausting, yes… but we forage ahead!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karenna,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken. I totally understand. Sometimes I feel so good to be free of it that I wonder why I waited so long, but other times I really wonder why my mother just gave up. I really KNOW it had nothing to do with me, but it is still hard to accept that she doesn’t even want to work it out. I am working on a post about subject. Not sure when I will be finished it, but it is in the works!
and by the way, it is totally worth it ~ hang in here! I feel very differently about me and my relationship with me now! So much better!
thanks for being here.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. there is a category with other mother daughter posts and there are some under the family heading that also might resonate well with you. The category buttons are under the header graphic at the top.


Oh thanks so much for this post. Really needed to hear it today. After the holidays were over I thought my sadness would abate but it seems to be lingering….and I think because I just automatically default that my mother/brother rejecting me was about ME.

But you are right Darlene, it’s about THEM. What’s wrong with THEM that they can’t take responsibility for thier actions? It’s funny, after a lifetime of debilitating depressions and anxiety, it was my MOM who threatened the family with suicide when she didn’t like “the letter” I wrote her confronting our old unfinished business. (She proceeded to forward the letter to the entire family first). My brother being the “golden child” had to take her side of course….(she also pays his mortgage).

But now that I realize it’s not my fault, there’s a lot of grieving to be done. You are right it’s sad that they can’t join us on the other side…but that would require some kind of reciprocity. And if you think about our pasts growing up with them as parents, it’s pretty obvious they didn’t have that attribute to begin with..(we just were lucky enough to get outside help).

In the end we have to save our own lives. We have to be our own hero….And in a perfect world it would be great for our kids to have all their grandparents and be there for the parents who lovingly raised us. But we weren’t raised out of love…we were raised as extensions of themselves…Think I’m finally getting what the narcissist thing is all about! 🙂 I realize now that the only way I could continue to develop as a person and “grow up” was to free myself from the need for her approval…because to her I would never be good enough.

I sent Xmas cards to all those jackwagons….I still hold hope they will see the light some day, but I won’t hold my breath. Mostly I just want them to see the healthy, happy family my husband and I are raising without their “help”…Independence is worth the struggle…also knowing that my kids will never be spoken to or touched like I was made it all mandatory for me.

By the way…ya’ll have GOT to go see Tangled and Black Swans….there ‘s a reason mean mothers are immortalized in fairy tales..(because it’s true)!

Power to our peeps!


another EXCELLENT post. I have long talked about my journey in terms of freedom and caged. I think it is some of the most powerful imagery to describe what happened to children like all of us here, and what is actually at stake – our journeys are not just about being happy, they are about being FREE! And not just about being free from abuse but being free from all the patterns, the emotional pain and the tangled web of lies about our selves that we were fed all those years. And it *is* a long journey which I used to find so overwhelming at times. But each day, one more step, and little by little, we ride out of prison to ourselves. We literally come to our senses. I wrote a poem just yesterday about the echoes that haunt us on our journey and it seems appropriate to share here, so forgive the liberty!:

Echoes from the Past

“Too little, too late,” “you’re never enough”
“To get on in life, you need to get tough”
“Why try, there’s no point – you’re just bound to fail”
Each barb hammers into my coffin a nail.

“We all know you’re useless, that you’re a mistake”
“Why pretend to be something? It’s clear you’re a fake”
“Why can’t you just get it? You must be so slow”
“Clumsy” “Pathetic” the hate-deluge flows.

And what makes it worse, what hurts more than this,
Is that long dead voices, these phrases now hiss
I heard for so long their poisonous sighs
that the smallest reminder now echoes their lies.

And in some ways they are true – I know I am weak.
My resistance is low when those voices speak.
I’ve listened for years, have believed every phrase
Though I know they’re not true, I get lost in their maze.

But I won’t let them win, I will fight every day,
‘Til each poisonous thought dies in the fray
As their echoes grow dim, and the truth starts to shine
I’ll hold fast to the Light, and make Freedom mine.


That question of “Now What?” I have asked several times within that past year but you know I have the answer I have been doing the “Now What” all along I just couldn’t see that … the Now what? is being able to get up every day not bent over in total grief or confusion and second guessing myself. I have had to work thru the grief, it was to the point I did have to make some choices to take a step back from a lot things and I did have to get in touch with the depth of the anger and hurt that I felt (to be honest i felt like I was going crazy getting in touch with my anger and dealing with the hurt) however once I hit that point of enough is enough and really started dealing with it that question of “Now What?” doesn’t plague me instead I know exactly “Now what?” and that is to give my own life the fighting chance to be who I am and the respect that I to deserve, who God created me to be, and that He has given me the tools and resources to live this life. That I am not alone and that there are people who do truly love me for me. I no longer feel as though I have to throw myself to the wind. Instead my goal this year is to be my own best friend. My new years resolution is to be just me!

Arriving at this point in the journey is well worth the struggle I know I still have miles to go with somethings however it is not an impossibility..

Your dream echoed a lot of the same feelings and concerns and fears that I have had to face but the good news about facing fears is that we can actually get to the Truth and though some of the truth maybe hard to deal with yet there is a lot of freedom and good about the truth.

Your dream is very interesting and you analyzed it very well. I think many of us can relate to that dream in many ways… thank you for sharing!


Hi Josi!
Great thoughts Josi! and very true. They just can’t. But it still makes me wonder how come WE can then? I wonder sometimes what made ME want to seek wholeness and have healthy relationship then. Why do people want to stay in that fog? And I know the answer to that one too…. it is the fear of the unknown and the familiarity of the way that it is. They know how to do sick. They know how to cope with abuse and the system.
And as you say ~ We have to keep on being our own hero’s, our own parents and our own healers. That is what worked for me!
Thanks for sharing Josi; great additions to this post.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Zoe!
Thank you for sharing your comments ~ they are so fitting. We DO literally come to our senses.
Thank you so very much for sharing your amazing poem with us too! It is an honour for me to have this piece on this post and on this blog! I love it and I am going to share the link with Emerging from Broken on facebook!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nikki!
My “now what” was very similar! At first I was scared to be free of depression and dissociation, it had a big part of my identity for so long! I was afraid that I would fall back on them; I was afraid that I wouldn’t. The truth really did set me free and although the first year or more of freedom was really scary, I got through that too! And now I have new things to look at, and more to build on and the fog keeps lifting, and I keep growing in wholeness, wonderment and happiness. This is living! This is thriving.
I am so glad that you are here Nikki! Thanks so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Zoe, I love your poem! I hope you don’t mind, but I posted it on my page, “Because I love you…”: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=180687311952063&id=119680164730814

Darlene, I can so identify with what you were saying about the desire to have a good relationship with your mom. I went through that similar experience with the person I had let go. I kept trying to make clear what the new boundaries were, but she refused to understand or even try.


No, I don’t mind you folks sharing my poem. Actually, I am honoured. 🙂 Deeply.


Wow…what a timely post! I had a dream about my family the night before last and when I awoke I was shaken to say the least. I lay back down and I let myself do some heart work and rewrote the ending a bit…and that felt much better! The dream, originally, was me back home and pulling out of a box all of the things that were important to me. Each one I held up and they shook their heads, sometimes sadly, sometimes with anger or disinterest, and I put each one back. At no time did they nod or indicate approval for the things that mattered most to me. In the end of the first dream I was put away as well, by their choice, and that wasn’t acceptable to me…so in my version 2.0 I waited until they were busy, packed up my box of important things, and I walked away. It was night then too, how strange, and I kept waiting for them to come for me, to follow, to say *something* but nothing…

That was the night that I explained to my son, with the the help of his Dad, that his grandparents were choosing not to be with us, they were choosing to not spend time with him. He cried because he didn’t understand why someone would choose to be away from love. I cried because I was sad for him, but angry too. Angry that they would reject not only me but him and my husband too. That was, as they say, the last straw.

I know my family has a history of abuse, if the generations before me were any indication it wasn’t pretty. But there is also an awareness of abuse, and that awareness indicates (to me) a choice. A choice to change or a choice to stay the same. Just as I have a choice to walk away or a choice to stay and ‘keep trying’. I’ve chosen the former in both cases and I’m committed to not only breaking the patterns but also to speaking out against them.

Zoe – I love your poem. A very powerful piece there!

Everyone who commented – I found myself nodding and wishing we were all together with some tea or coffee for a real visit. Thanks for being here, the comments along with Darlene’s posts, really are strong supports in times where so many things seem to be breaking apart.

Bright blessings…


‘Fairly early in recovery I had to find my “now what” and learn to live in this new life of clarity and freedom’
I just read this and I realised recently I delved so deep into healing that I got a bit lost and wasn’t attending to my normal life. there’s a quote that paints this for me “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I’ve been so focused on sourcing what it is I’m struggling with, and impatient – that I’ve been paying a lot of life for it. Even in the times when I had very difficult struggles at least my coping mechanism or front self enabled me to go and have a good time with friends, or meet folks at a cafe etc. Since trying to full be present with my feelings I haven’t wanted to move, I’ve only wanted dreaming and sleep.

I haven’t got my old Sergeant major part of myself yelling all the time to ‘GET up and GET out’ of the house. Actually that part of me was always in charge of making sure I kept depression at bay by walking everywhere or exercising… or eating right, or volunteering so I had purpose.

‘Eventually getting back on my lap top unconcerned about who found out OR if I got “caught” represented that I did find myself’
Then when you wrote this it reminded me of how I have irrational guilt for being, like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to be ‘caught’. I have been like that all my life. When I was younger I had a period of stealing instigated by a friend and a gang I was in, I must have been about 7yrs old and eventually I admitted it because I couldn’t lie any more about where I got everything – I had a hot conscience.

I was never caught – but afterwards I was told I couldn’t go in any local stores for a year – In my little head I thought they had ‘WANTED’ posters of me behind their tills and that everyone knew. Of course, really it was water under the bridge, but that incident overlaid a lot of feelings I already had.

You wrote ‘unconcerned who found out’… I often censor my own thoughts and actions in relation to an anticipated shame of people ‘finding out’. When these thoughts or feelings are simply me being me. My own feelings that get squashed, and are nothing to be ashamed about. Just because I have big feelings about something does not mean they’re shameful. In fact when I start looking at things in the light of truth there’s not one ounce of anything to be ashamed about… so far as I can tell.

All this shame stems from before, in my very small years that I can’t remember very well. All these big feelings too. I know I’ll be healed when I can be ‘unconcerned who found out’ who I really am. When ‘I’ can be ‘unconcerned’ about others and not rehearse their judgement of me before I do anything. It’s like I’ve spent my whole life in rehearsal, I would like to improvise you know for the first time. Do a LIVE show. Exist spontaneously. Somehow there are all these walls still up though, only they’re getting thinner I think. Especially knowing what the view is from outside from folks like you who’ve escaped!


Louise, you wrote, “You wrote ‘unconcerned who found out’… I often censor my own thoughts and actions in relation to an anticipated shame of people ‘finding out’. When these thoughts or feelings are simply me being me. My own feelings that get squashed, and are nothing to be ashamed about. Just because I have big feelings about something does not mean they’re shameful. In fact when I start looking at things in the light of truth there’s not one ounce of anything to be ashamed about… so far as I can tell.”

I’ve been been very concerned over ‘who would find out’ because I didn’t want to fight about perceptions or facts or deal with the ‘get over it’ arguments from family and their friends. Now I am understanding that I’m NOT wrong, that I’m NOT the one who should be ashamed. Your whole comment really touched my heart…thank you for being here!


“One of my biggest fears was that if I stood up to her that she would walk away, proving that I was unlovable. But in reality her walking away did not prove that I was unlovable. What it proved was about HER. It was not about me.”

Darlene; I love the way your dream told your story about living in that dark place and the journey through the pain to the other side. One thing that I realized about those whom I thought would be excited to know about this amazing insight was like you said; their resistance had nothing to do with me – and it was all about them.

The sad part for me is that I realized that those who had hurt me and yet I loved were not “bad”…but they were still living in their own prison. At some point when I began to look at it from this perspective I was able to see that we each have our own path to follow and will find our way – or not – in our own time.

While its necessary to set those boundaries and learn to not tolerate the intolerable any longer, when they chose to walk away instead of accepting the new me, it is another loss that I faced as I realized the price of my freedom. There is the grief over the past, what my reality was outside of the denial I’d lived in and the lies I’d believed but this was a different kind of grief as I realized that I could not bring them along with me but that they would have to find their own key to unlock their own prison gate. Its been over 2 years since one sister walked away and many more years as I’ve just not heard from 1 other sister who never accepted me. A 3rd sister I’ve chosen to not be around because of the way she has always treated me and never owned the way she abused me and gossips about me behind my back. I do have 1 sister that I talk to occasionally but am slowly realizing that to me face she says one thing and acts supportive yet gossips about me behind my back like the others do. Its really sad that in the journey to find “me” that I’ve had to lose the only “family” that I’ve had. I still have those mixed feelings about them – they are my “family” yet they abused me, dismissed me, denied my reality of being sexually abused and labeled me “sick”. For me, this ambivalence has been a big deal and yet this grief has been a large part of finding “me” as I let go of who they wanted me to be.


Susan – your comment really resonated with me! “I was able to see that we each have our own path to follow and will find our way – or not – in our own time”

Well said and so true! I, too, have journeyed far to find ‘me’ and in the process have lost my family, well at least the one I was born into. I’m making my own family and my own life.


Darlene,I too made that journey. I too hoped that my mother would come along with me. Sadly, she chose to run away with her husband whom had molested my daughter. It was her first husband, my father that abused me. It has been a long and tiring journey. I can appreciate your journey because I lived it also. Thank you for the hope and inspiration you give to us all. I have gotten to my destination, ME, and I am enjoying who I am. Bless you!


Splint and Darlene; I really caught that one too…”feeling rejected by the abuser”. Without being too graphic – I remember after the initial abuse when I was somewhere younger than 5 that there was a day that my father just would not even look at me any more. He always had problems keeping his hands to himself and his brother(s) took over where he left off…but I don’t recall ever having a conversation with him. I felt so rejected and dirty; like something was wrong with me.

Then there were several/many/numerous adult men in my small rural community that abused me from when I was about 11/12 until I was 14 or so. When I was in the 8th grade I remember throwing myself at an adult male (in his 30’s? maybe?) and he rejected me – of course he was one of the few that knew it was wrong to have sex with a child but I took it as a personal rejection at the time. I of course did not understand why he didn’t “like” me. In my childlike mind I equated being likable with being raped. This is a real issue for many young girls I’d imagine. Feeling rejected when we are not raped. Wow. I’ve always known about this dynamic in these sick abuses of children but for some reason it came up for me today in a big way. Thanks for listening:)


Shanyn; I’m sorry that you’ve had to face this loss and yet – so happy that you’ve found you!

It really is a complicated dance sometimes to extract ourselves from these unhealthy dynamics. I always tried to start by setting some boundaries but if the abuse continued I learned to step back if they didn’t cut me off first. I was really surprised at the level of grief I felt when this part of the evolution process began and at first didn’t realize I was still trying to be good enough or fix things so they wouldn’t “leave” me. Some relatives on the other hand – I just have to let go and realize that perhaps they will find their way – or not – and that like you, I can choose my family now:)


The very person who said that they would be there for me until Jesus comes back was the very person that ignored me and rejected me in a HUGE sense when I started actually being me and standing up for myself. Sadly the person I had to stand up to was this person. The last words we have had to each other they clearly stated that I must not respect myself very much but that they did respect me more and that I should forgive and forget .. my response was I lost my respect for myself when I believed the problem was all me and that they had nothing to do with the issue at hand. And that forgiveness had nothing to do with forgetting but it is about moving on and letting go and no one can demand someone to forgive that forgiveness is often a process within itself.. thus they proved that they did not really respect me at all nor accept me for who I am..

Yes this wounded me deeply and the grief of it all nearly shattered my spirit completely because this person was the one that helped me to see that I had some value in the beginning but later they turned everything around on me then accused me of turning on my friends because I did stand up to them about the way they were treating me..

It has taken me two years now to go through the process of the hurt, the grief, the deep pain of it all … I have had to deal with some major anger over it all and really fight myself to keep myself becoming totally bitter towards life and everyone.

But by the Grace of God I have lived through it and now I am at the point of letting go .. it has taught me a very valuable lesson in so many ways.


Dear Darlene;

First I want to say that I am sorry for what you endured.
Secondly I want to applaud you for your bravery in facing the abuse and seeking freedom. It takes courage, and you are courageous.

It is very common that our abuser is someone that we love – leaving us caught in a double bind. And it is common that we go through a grieving process when we seek freedom and wholeness and the person that we have loved does not follow us on that journey. If they could not do if for themselves, could they at least not do it for me ?

I think there is something at the core of our souls that wants justice and reconciliation. It has taken me a very long time to realize that a person’s inability to love me says more about them than it does about me. I’m glad you were able to understand that about your mother.

In the hearts of those that love, sometimes I think hope springs eternal. We carry a flicker – a tiny flame of hope that the person who abused us (and we loved) will ‘wake up’.

I want to share this song with you – as I think it speaks so well to the heart of many who have been abused, abandoned, forgotten. We all want love to win in the end somehow. God Bless you my dear ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bgi2u-8-5w&feature=fvw


I am reading the comments and my mouth is just hanging open! This is one of the most powerful discussions that I have hosted on emerging from broken ~ in my opinion anyway.

Hi Susan,
For me it was a great sign of healing when I realized that the people in my life were really sick and stuck in their own stuff. But there is a danger there too. For many years I got stuck in trying to see them as sick and therefore didn’t draw my boundaries and I let that get in the way of my own healing! So there is an order to this part of the journey. So I realize that knowing they are not “bad” is really healthy now, but it was not healthy for me to see them that way when I was still being treated without value! I LOVE your comments! this whole thing about family is one of the most difficult areas of healing and one of the biggest stick points for so many of us too. I spent years going around about the “family” thing before I decided that abuse is abuse. I love you last line ~ as you let go of who THEY wanted you to be! YES. Excellent contributions here Susan, in all your comments. I am so excited about the things being said in the comments on this post!
Hugs, Darlene

Your comment could stand alone as a blog post. I hardly know where to begin to respond, ~ I could write a blog post about your comment! When you talk about “overlay” that is so much a part of my message of how we get so damaged when one messed up thing lays on top of all those other things, and we see ourselves through the grid of being defined by that thing. SO hard to explain, and so complicated. When my mother blamed me for her boyfriend coming in my room when I was barely 14, that overlaid everything in my life including abuses that I had endured when I was 2. Realizing the overlay stuff is huge in realizing and healing our belief systems. The shame is not ours, but because we have these little things we did that were not perfect, things we really are ashamed of, we own the whole shame bag! This is the stuff that once sorted out, sets us free.
This is such a fantastic contribution to this post Louise!

Hi Shanyn,
This is a wonderful comment too ~ Jimmy and I were both huge victims and we both eventually stood up to our parents. Both of us were rejected by them (as adults) and it has been really something for our children. This Christmas was about the 4th Christmas without “family” and my children spoke about it a lot more then in past years. And they really see it for what it is now. They actually understand that relationship is a two way street and that equality and value is not something reserved for the eldest of the group. They have a new definition of love today too. My mother in law sent them each $100.00 in the mail with just a merry christmas note. (one sentence) They like the money, but they are very aware that there is NO relationship. They have not seen them for several years so why bother sending money? My kids really know a lot more about “truth” today then any of us used to know. The truth sets everyone free. My youngest was around 7 when we started to set boundaries and the family problems began. Today she says that she was never loved by them. She remembers things that they said to her when she was alone with them that shocked me, that she was so NOT valued. She doesn’t miss them at all. When the definition of love changes, so does the way that we processed memories from the past.
Thanks for sharing Shanyn; you are doing amazing and you are aweseome!

I am on my way out the door, but I will finish responding when I get back!
Hugs, Darlene


Great post as always! What an amazing dream. How healing.
We have never felt the loss of our main abusers as they were setinto our DID system keep them close. What we did experience was the loss of our father. When our sister was born it was like we became invisible. He was nevr an abuser but he was the only nonabuser so losing him was devastating. When our mother died we were able to reestablish a warm relationship. We’ve mostly left the hurt of his rejection in the past after facing it.


Wow. I cannot even express to you, the impact this post had on me. My mother abandonded me when I was just 3 weeks old. Although I know, its different from your story, Being in prison for me, meant, not forgiving, not feeling loved at all. Nor would I ever let anyone love me.. I felt that I wasnt capable. If your own mom gives up on you….. You get what I am saying. But Thanks so much for the inspiration and the insight. You are so awesome!!!!!!!! Made my day


Been thinking about this for a minute before I responded…

There have been a few types of abusers in my past…
First group – my adoptive father who sexually abused me. I had no choice in the matter… When he finally “got rid” of me…I was nothing but relieved. There was a period of about 10 years following that I did miss him and wondered if there was ever a chance of having a “good” relationship with him. Odd that I never considered that the abuse was that bad, or that it may not be healthy to have, or even want, a “good” relationship with someone who sexually abused me beginning with grooming before my birth and actual abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual) until I was a teenager. I attempted to reach out to him under the guise of showing my respects at his father’s funeral…I was blatantly rejected as even being his daughter in front of an entire funeral home. Lucky for me it was a funeral so my breakdown, literally falling down crying, seemed related to death…and it was, just not the death of the deceased.

Second group – those who didn’t protect me from the above and who continued to control my activities (including continuing to subject me to the above after it had become knowledge) and outcome in ways that are both subtle and outright outrageous (but only to outsiders who would never know because I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal so I never would have mentioned it). I cannot seem to get rid of these people…STILL. There may be a few weeks that they will leave me alone…but they ALWAYS freaking come back. They are both not happy with what I am doing and unwilling to just walk away. They must control my behavior… I honestly think they do not see me as a separate person, but as an extension of them… Therefore, my “bad” behavior apparently makes them “bad”… When they do leave me alone I am hit with sadness that they don’t seem to love me enough to be honest and face the past with me…in truth. But that sadness is temporary and way outnumbered by the happiness that comes with no longer being under their control…or feeling as if I have to perform or live in a manner that will reflect them properly. But again, these brief periods of freedom (coupled with slight sadness) never get to last long as contact is always forthcoming…usually about the time the sadness hits I get to replace it with anger at another attempt at controlling contact.

Third group – those relationships that were abusive or toxic in my life that I CHOSE based on my past being the only way that I was aware of how to live, or escape. I take full responsibility for all these “mistakes” or bad relationships with other “damaged” people who also may have needed healing. However, I no longer feel the need to “fix” people and any sadness that these relationships are of the past are only the sadness that I put myself there, stayed for as long as I did, and didn’t have the proper support in the first place or I wouldn’t have probably been there at all.

In all, who knows how things would have been different if all things were different. All we know is what we know and I am thankful to know what I do now and pray that I continue learning and keep awareness…so that I can hopefully acknowledge toxic relationships or people and have the strength to walk away…thus eliminating all garbage. It is hard to see, even harder to do…but the freedom is worth it. No regrets…just lessons learned.


As usual, Darlene, t here is at least one line that just jumps out at me. This is the one:

“I kept thinking that my escape was justified because I didn’t do the crime that I was being accused of, but I felt slightly guilty about leaving without permission.”

And all I can say is how many times has this felt true to me?? More than I care to count.

I dreamed once that my dad sicked attack dogs on me, in their home, and why would I still have been there? I was no longer a child.

A recurring dream that my sister and I both have (there may be some thyroid issues behind this teme of unfinished business) is that we go back to high school and still can’t get all the work done, even though we both have college degrees now. She dreamed that our parents picked out her classes for her. I had more freedom in my teens that they gave her. She was more compliant.

Echoes From the Past,
yes, whether the words were spoken verbally, facially, body language, withholding love, etc., a bunch of ways that these messages are transmitted and retained in not only our minds, emotions, but in our bodies, as well

About a narcisist for a mom, yeah, and when I read that, I think about the soldiers dying on the field still calling for their mothers in their final moments, don’t beat yourself up for this longing, I think that God put it there, and God will fulfill it, if not in this life, in the next, He will fulfill those longings perfectly one day.

I would like to read more about dissociation (sp?)

I like your analysis of different abuse/abusers in your life.
I especially love this lesson learned:
“I no longer feel the need to “fix” people and any sadness that these relationships are of the past are only the sadness that I put myself there, stayed for as long as I did, and didn’t have the proper support in the first place or I wouldn’t have probably been there at all.” AMEN!!!


HI @Shanyn I’m glad my comment was helpful. I’m still uncomfortable with who I talk to, I figured I wouldn’t talk about ‘my stuff’ to anyone I didn’t feel comfortable with or trust to respect my choice to say what I can when I can. Until my memories come clear and my emotions around them are handle-able by me I can’t expect other people to just understand unless they’ve already been there or are on a similar journey. For a start ‘I’VE only just recognised this big disconnect between my feelings and reality. I’ve spent my whole life battling to fit in; battling because every ‘normal’ situation was out of my comfort zone. Give me a disaster though and I could handle it with flyingcolours. And this is something no one else could see or recognise unless I reckon maybe theycould if they were qualified. How do you ‘see’ someone dissociate? I mean they had trouble ‘showing’ that in films about survivors… It’s so subtle

@susan ‘In my childlike mind I equated being likable with being raped. This is a real issue for many young girls I’d imagine. Feeling rejected when we are not raped. ‘ Isn’t it awful and yet what you write here is related to a lot of shame I feel. I know that kids who are neglected except for violence sometimes provoke all they can because that’s the ONLY form of attention they get… Is it the same when there’s been no good touch and only bad touch I wonder… Plus I’m really glad you wrote this as it’s a difficult subject,a whole other layer

@darlene Wow, I had to write a lot because I had to break down the bits in your post that resonated so much. I had to re-read what you meant about ‘overlay’ (I was like where’d I write that lol) and you clarified myself back to me! Gave me another insight. Maybe I should blogpost these insights somewhere – The ‘Really long comments on otherfolks blogs Blog’ Lol! Thing is so many of your posts and the comments switch the lightbulbs on in my head. And when they get switched on and then you or otherfolk validate what I wrote, it does actually heal. Maybe it reflects the same learning process we should have had as kids i.e. See a simple action, behaviour; try and emulate it, get encouragement… reflection that we’re on the right track,feel validated! Low self esteem becomes HIGH self esteem 🙂 So often when I look for that in normal life people ‘shush’ me, don’t understand why I need the pat on the back. They can’t see the vast uncertainty and fear beneath my front self… Thanks Darlene for sharing this you’re GREAT with capitals see! 🙂


Hi Linda,
Thank you for sharing your decision and your victory ~ that you found YOU!
That is so great to hear Linda!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nikki
It is so hard to comprehend HOW someone who says that they care for us so much could ignore, reject and hurt us so much. So many people (friends included) don’t really want me to be me, they want me to be what they want instead. It is like they are saying “I will love you IF you do what I like” but I had to learn that isn’t love and I had to change the definition of the word love, because the way that I was taught it, was wrong. If someone doesn’t like the changes in me, that isn’t my problem. And then we both have a choice. so much of my life I was used to NOT having a choice. I was so used to it that I didn’t question it. I should write a post about this… there was someone in my life too that helped me to see the value in WHO I was, and then did a little damage. But in the end, I HAVE to see my value and own it for myself. It can never be dependant on another person. For me, this was an advanced lesson on of the journey!
Thanks for being here and for sharing this Nikki!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Judy,
Thanks for your comment and for your compliments. I agree with your statements. About love, I think that most adults in dysfunctional relationships with children teach us the wrong definition of love, and then they don’t follow their own definition, so there is confusion right off the start with the whole concept of love.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for sharing the song.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ravin,
That is great that you healed the relationship with your father.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Caitlin,
I am so sorry that happened to you. I see many similar things in the feelings that you have to the ones that I have had.
Thanks for being here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Wendi!
These are great comments, and I like the way that you broke it down into 3 groups. I had to break almost everything down in order to look at it properly, just like this. And as I broke it down, things became clearer in stages too. I can relate to a lot of what you have posted here Wendi, thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sheryl!
It is interesting the dreams that we have. I have a lot of significant ones that seem to show me things I missed about some struggle that I had. Dreams often show me some little thing that is buried in my sub conscious that is trying to come to the light of day. I have had high school dreams like that and the conclusion that I came for one of them was that “even if I went back and did everything in my life over again, it still would not be good enough.” Thanks for sharing Sheryl, I am glad that you are part of this.
Hugs, Darlene

The great thing about having this all in one place is that many people get to benefit from the insights this way. I love the long comments; I love to “see” someone work something out in this blog and then have a breakthrough. All of us work together. It’s kind of magical actually. Please feel free to post as much as you wish. Thank you for your wonderful insights and contributions.
Hugs, Darlene


I have had dreams similar to this, minus the train ride. Thank you for sharing your interpretation.


I have read and tried to absorb your post, Darlene, and everyone’s comments. I was especially struck by someone (I think it was Susan) talking about seeing that our abusers were sick. I know this is true. And as I’ve shared before, it always trips me up.

I am sorry that your mother’s rejection of you has caused you so much pain. But honestly (and I do not say this to diminish your experience in any way, so I hope it is not taken that way), my first reaction to that statement was, “I should be so lucky.” I know my mother is in so much pain. She has been for her whole life. And I also know that if I told her that I had found a way out, she would follow. She would want me to take her with me. No, she would expect me to carry her. To fix her, too. And I would want to. I would want to, more than anything. Because I want her to be happy. I really do. I’ve always seen her happiness (and unhappiness) as my responsibility. But if I brought her along, once again, my journey would be all about HER and not about me anymore at all. My overwhelming compassion for her has run me my whole life. It has kept me from seeing me at all. It feeds my self-hatred. And it doesn’t do her any good at all. Because she doesn’t even see it. She can’t see it, for whatever reasons of her own.

For the past few weeks, I have been pulling away…Nothing grand or desperate or final, just not calling. I’ve done this deliberately. Tried to tell myself that I will not call out of obligation. I will call only when I truly WANT to talk to her. And it hasn’t happened yet. Might never happen. I don’t know. (That’s where one day at a time comes in handy. 😉 ) But I think she feels my pulling away. And I haven’t even started–not really. I haven’t pulled away emotionally. She’s called me more in the past two weeks than she has in the past two years (or maybe ever). I’m usually the one who calls. And she can feel the difference in the calls. And I can hear the heaviness in her voice as she realizes that, even though I’m talking to her, she can’t reach me. And I’m so tempted to intervene. To tell her that it’s okay…that I (the me she knows, which is not the real me at all) am still here. That I haven’t abandoned her. That it’s going to be all right. But I haven’t. At least not yet. So far, I have resisted. A hollow victory so far, but it’s all I’ve got.

But there is something I realized while I was processing this…and feeling the grief of not even wanting to invite her along. I realized I don’t need to be cruel to her. I just need to pull back softly and focus on me. Make decisions – WRITE (as I’ve always wanted to) – without reference to her. Without worrying about her. And without stopping if something I do or say should hurt her feelings. And that will be a tremendous challenge all by itself.

P.S. I had a dream one time (years and years ago…long before I recognized my need for separation from my mother). I was in a big house. I was in the dining room (the start of many family battles growing up–although this was not our house, in the dream). There was no meal on the table…it was daytime, but not meal time. I could see the back door was open…lovely spring (or summer) sunny day outside. But the dining room was dark…blinds were drawn. My grandmother was there and she had a burlap sack with something writhing inside. She said, “Here, this is for you,” and emptied the sack into the room. It had several black squirrels inside. Terrified at having been trapped in the bag and now being trapped in this room, they started darting around the room, screeching (although I’ve never actually heard a squirrel screech) and then they were fighting with each other. My grandmother laughed and left the room. I could still see the back door open…lovely spring outside. There was a dog–a golden retriever with a butterfly on its back just outside the door, scratching to get in. And I knew…I KNEW that the dog was there to help me. But I was trapped in the dining room with the crazy squirrels. I kept reaching for the latch on the screen door and it was always just outside of my reach.

I woke up with my heart pounding and couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. I remember thinking about that dream for days afterwards. It wasn’t hard to analyze…my family caused chaos, in the midst of which I feel trapped. Help is there and wants to get to me, but I am too caught up in the chaos to notice or be able to reach out.

If only I could have taken that dream (20 YEARS AGO!!!!) as a turning point and actually started my recovery. Instead, I piled on 20 more years of misery and I’m just NOW starting to see what I need to do to get well.

Thank you all for your honesty and your willingness to share yourselves so openly with those of us who don’t yet have a firm footing in faith that it will be all right.

P.P.S. I still tear up when I think about that dream. And that dog, there to help me if I would only LET IT IN!!


Thank you Darlene. I saw hope in your dream.
In my life right now I feel so hopeless that I will find the freedom and healing I so desire.
I feel hopeless that I will ever be able to have a healthy family. But that’s their choice isn’t it.


Darlene, you always seem to write something that I am going through in my journey. What you and the others have said is something that really bothered me but I thought no one else would understand what I mean by being rejected by the abuser. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense in a rational way.

For me, instead of wanting to be sexually abused or raped to be loved, I am looking at his controlling possession of me as love – at least he (that is, someone) still wants me, even if it is creepy and over-the-top. What if he really gets the message that I don’t want to have anything to do with him anymore, and he just walks away? The only person to have professed undying love, give me constant attention and buy me lavish gifts doesn’t want me anymore. That’s all I had for over 25 years. And it was all a lie. At least now, he still tries to be nice but when he realizes that I am not going to get hooked, will the rejection be just too much to bear?

Thanks for the reminder that the rejection has nothing to do with our value. A person who is incapable of loving or showing empathy is not the person who should be telling us how lovable we are. He never loved anyway – he just hoodwinked me to believe that it was love. Love doesn’t scare others. Period.

I too have been having disturbing dreams lately, more than when I was going through the separation. It’s like he is featuring more, rather than less, in my life. Perhaps it is me struggling with regaining that power and facing that fear of really letting go of any obligation towards him. I just don’t know why he has that much power over me.

If only I could really go No Contact. I still have to respond to his texts because it is about the kids or shared assets. And shared friendships – still getting people calling and giving me their opinion, etc. Still, I can sense that I am slowly gaining ground toward freedom because I actually feel a lot lighter and my mind justs get clearer and more at peace. Tomorrow he comes to pick up the kids. I will remember this post about walking out of prison. No more getting sucked in.


thank you for sharing this very real struggle. It sounds like a big part of my life as well. For now, a step toward more freedom for you, try only allowing communication with him that is directly necessary, like the children, or the assets as it would be legally necessary for you to discuss this (if that makes any sense) but when it comes to others’ opinions, my experience was that was never a good thing, unless, of course YOU are asking someone for it! So do whatever it takes to start drawing that boundary line with him, whether it means telling him directly or not (depending on how manipulative he is) that you will not discuss certain things with him anymore, and the opions of others is one of those, don’t respond on the phone about it, delete the emails, texts, etc., and replace that time/space in your mind and heart with some other benefit to your life, simple as it may be, a favorite food, something enjoyable for you, books, friends, whatever supports you in where YOU are going.


Hi Lisa B.
I know what you mean about the “I wish”. I realized one day that my mother did me a favour. I didn’t have to constantly stand up to her and fight about it with myself. In the “old system” it would have been up to me to pursue her ~ in the old system I would have had to “restore her order”, but in the new system I don’t do that anymore. So I really understand what you are saying about “i wish”. My mother did try to “get me back” but again it was on her terms and I was strong enough to say no. In real relationships there are two people, each with a choice. I knew that if I made my choice that my mother also would make hers and that hers might not be what I want, but my will to live in wholeness became stronger then my desire to have a mother. Even if my mother wanted to come along I would still refuse to carry her. My definition of relationship has changed dramatically.
Thanks for sharing your journey with this. One of the top search phrases for this blog is “dysfunctional mother daughter relationships”. That means that people are looking for info on this! It is not one of the most popular topics for comments, and it does not get as many “likes” on the face book like button, but when I post about my mother stuff, I get a lot of traffic. We are not alone in this whole thing, it’s just that most are really afraid to talk about it.
Hugs, Darlene

Welcome Christina and Jenn ~ Great to have you with us!
I started this blog because I had lived in hopeless for so long and when I escaped, I wanted to tell the world that there is HOPE!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Krissy,
I have been thinking a lot about this topic about being rejected by the abuser. My mother was pretty much an emotional abuser. She stopped hitting me when I was 15 (because I finally told her that I would hit her back next time and I finally meant it) I really understand your statement about seeing controlling and possessive behaviour as love. And it comes from the very core of our beliefs about ourselves and about what love really is. (which it really isn’t) We see acceptance (if he finally realizes that you are not going to get hooked) as rejection. It’s really mixed up. We think that everyone’s actions towards us are about us. But they are about them. I had to start looking at why I was so willing to have that treatment in my life and why I thought it was love in the first place. .
Hang in here Krissy, you are doing awesome!
Hugs, Darlene


This blog brings up so much for me! It takes me back to the night I finally told my secret and prayed to God that I had never told! I would have rathered continued being sexually abused then to endure what I did that night. My parents did not believe me and I was abused worse that night then anytime of my life. The saying of being in prison…I was so broken and torn that I told and was called a liar and beaten that I wanted to stay in that prison of holding the secret!
As I have been working in my healing this is the one memory I still can not talk about or even allow myself to go back there. I have done a lot of work but there was just so much damamge done to me that night it’s really hard to even mention on this blog. I will get there though. I have a lot of work ahead of me and this just opens my mind that maybe it’s time I work with my therapist on this.
Thanks Darlene for this blog! It really hit me in a good way!


Hi Kathy,
This is brutal and horrible. I am so sorry that it happened to you. (all of it) It is wonderful however to hear the sound of hope in this post, and the determination that I hear you express when you say that you will get there; sounds like you are willing and that is HUGE when it comes to forward motion!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


I just wrote a post about some of the things we have been talking about in this thread ~

it is called More on Mother Daughter dysfunctional relationships
and there will be an even more direct follow up about why we feel that rejection when they walk away coming up later this weekend.
Hugs, Darlene


I feel this too. The boredom, not knowing who I am, waiting for them to value me, feeling incapable of doing something different than I was programmed too.

I grew up the oldest in a Quiverfull fundamentalist family, and in the last 2 years I’ve rejected most of what they believe and started to separate from them to avoid the pressure and judgement from them.

In many ways, it’s like I’ve lost my value. When I was their prisoner I meant something to them. Now, I find myself unsure of what I want out of life, feeling guilty whenever I have desires for anything that the family system never allowed, and feeling lonely.


Hello Young Mom,
I think I know how you feel; here is how I look at it today. I felt like I lost my value but in actuality I had the wrong understanding of my value. They gave me my value and they defined me and that was all I knew. Recovery for me was about discovering MY actual value, my real value, not what they had decided, and it was about sorting out why I felt guilty etc. and what the real truth is.
In the religiion and system that I was raised in they didn’t practice or follow what they preached anyway. The rules only applied to me, (and others) but I never questioned that until I took my life back.
Hang in here with us!
Hugs, Darlene


When I started the grieving process, one of the things that I had to let go of and grieve was the fairy tale image in my mind of my “healthy, loving parents” and the family I always wanted us to be but we never were. I grew up watching The Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best and wanting to be part of both of those “perfect” families where the kids knew even when they got into trouble that they were loved. I didn’t know that in reality the dad in Father Knows Best was an alcoholic in his real life and Kathy, the youngest daughter, was in reality being sexually abused in her real life. Reality vs. Make Believe.

I really love the healing that comes about through our dreams. Dreams can give us such clarity, vision, and understanding. Thanks for sharing this dream and your interpretation, Darlene.

Susan, I remember when my younger sister told me that my dad had abused her too. I remember being angry that she was hurt too. I also remember being hurt and sad because I wasn’t enough for him that he had to touch her too. I thought I was protecting her from him by being so compliant and I wasn’t.


Thanks for sharing Patricia,
I think that I lived in a fantasy world most of my young life ~ well even for a good long while in my adult life too. Fantasy became a coping method that I had to deal with along with the rest of my coping methods.
I think that dreams are a part of our subconscious, trying to help us sort out our conscious minds. I have learned a lot from my dreams over the years.
Thank you for sharing about your Dad and your Sister. These kinds of feelings are confusing, but also very common and so many need to know that they are not uncommon.
Hugs, Darlene


It’s like we’ve met! I have just left the prison. No one is coming after me, and I have that sick, sad feeling of not being wanted once again. Just starting on my journey to healthy living without and abusive parent standing by. I appreciate your willingness to share you journey with others.

Here’s to you,


Welcome Kellie!
Yay for your victory. I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Hugs Darlene


[…] of my life, people complimented me when they had a motive. Something bad was surly going to follow. I could not trust anyone because I had never learned that there were people that were trustworthy. To make matters worse, I was comfortable and even attracted to the familiar abusive types who DID […]


[…] Weeding out the lies that are rooted so deeply that they sprout up all the time. I have to stay on top of them ~ I have to keep weeding and tending my garden. […]


Thanks for sharing this dream. It triggered a dream I had, when I was first realizing the truth of my dysfunctional family, I had a dream about a Big Old House with never-ending rooms and hidden passages. Every room had slides and obstacles to climb. I kept going and felt frustrated and scared, because I could not find my way out. Every room led to other rooms on different floors. It was a maze!…I began to feel trapped.

When I entered one room, I saw my sister & my sister-in-law laughing together and jumping over the obstacles. There was actually holes in the floor, which I stayed away from due to fear of falling through. We were on the top floor of the house and it looked like an unfinished attic with bare wooden beams and fiber glass on the walls. I was warning them about the dangers. What baffled me was I finally found a way out, down a slide towards the light. I remember calling to my sister & sister-in-law to come with me, but they ignored me. I felt left out but also very excited to have found my way out. I looked back at the house with regret, that they did not follow me. There was a security guard standing at the bottom of the slide, where I came out and I felt like I did something wrong and asked am I “breaking a rule” and “Where am I?”…He said the “Mall”- that’s when I saw my sister & sister-in-law walking together into the mall which was separate from the Big House I just came from…I was so confused…Upon awakening I remembered the dream vividly.

What struck me were my feelings of happiness & sadness, when I broke free from the house. I was grieving the loss my sister & s-i-l and I felt lonely, but I was so excited to be free!….This dream happened a few years ago, when I started my healing journey, by looking at the truth of my dysfunctional relationship to my family. I was seeking a way out but my sister & s-i-l chose to go a different way & by doing so they rejected me. Well, I suppose I rejected their way too- I did not follow them and found MY own way out!

So many different incidents with my family have happened since this dream, however, when I think of this now, it was a turning point for me in breaking away from the dysfunction. The House with all it’s complicated obstacles and hidden passages represented my struggle to get out of the dysfunctional system. My sister & s-i-l must of represented my family in my dream and I was having issues with them, at the time. My sister favors my s-i-l and will ignore me, when she is around. So, they went off on their own without me.

I think this dream represented my mixed feelings of grief, loneliness, & anxiety in breaking away from my family, but also my realization that I am separate and finding my own way! So much symbolism & feelings in this dream…confusing! Perhaps, I’m missing a different message, since I’m not looking at it from the outside in. Would appreciate any feedback you may have…Is this part of the recovery process?…It was a light bulb dream for me! Sorry for my wordiness…it was hard for me to describe the dream….
Sincerely, SMD


Wow, this is awesome! Thank you for sharing it. I had many house dreams… all of which I realize represented things about my life ~ frustrations and freedoms… or indications of where I was stuck.. I had progress dreams in the process too! I had 2 major reoccurring dreams (house dreams and hotel dreams) for most of my adult life and throughout my 3 year process and they have stopped now for over 4 years!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for sharing that you had house dreams too. This is validating in My recovery process! It’s a slow process, but knowing I’m on track is encouraging me to move forward….Thanks for all that you do!…I’m usually a private person but since coming her, I’m opening up and it feels good!
Sincerely, SMD


Every single word in every single line in every single paragraph on every single page resonated with me. It could have been my story and you put it so well. This is what happens when we break free of our prisons, and everyone else is still inside.

“Now What?”

We shall she.

And the journey continues… with diamonds and pearls.

Wow. I am just speechless after reading this. Diamonds and Pearls, diamonds and pearls, unearthed from digging all those graves. Time to string a necklace with our diamonds and pearls.

Love, and thank you Darlene. Your friend Catherine Todd


“We shall she.” correction: “We shall see.”


#44: “Self Esteem and Seeking Validation from Others :: Emerging From Broken, April 15th, 2011 at 7:56 am

“[…] of my life, people complimented me when they had a motive. Something bad was surly going to follow.”

Exactly! To this day, my stomach still tenses up if anyone pays me a compliment – I can’t bear it as I’m waiting for the blow to follow.

How is it that every single person on this site is telling MY STORY TOO? It’s like we are all reading from the same sick and twisted script.

But we can write our own script and quit that sick theater play. And I intend to, and reading here is how I am learning how to do it. I’m in Drama School, except it’s for a Drama Free life! What could be better than that?!


Yes, it is like the abusers have a script. And if you think about it they sort of do because this is how they were raised as well. That is the cycle of abuse and we are breaking it. Isn’t it exciting!
Hugs, Darlene


Very cool analogy and dream interpretation, Darlene! So spot on. Thank You for sharing….


Somehow I rediscovered this post and also my comment I made about 5 years ago. It is amazing what 5 years and lots of hard work can do. I no longer feel hopeless. Not because my family has changed but because I have changed sooo much. I feel free and vibrant and love my life like never before. I have learned healthy boundaries and no longer feel responsible for ‘them’. I have tons more growth to discover but thank God I am on that path of discovery and no longer stuck in a rut.


Hi Christina, Thanks for sharing that. I, too, would like to share how much life has changed for me in 5 years. I have attained 3 tertiary qualifications since 2012, and am about to embark on postgraduate training to be a clinical psychologist, which is very exciting. I can’t say that things have improved when it comes to dealing with the abuser, but at least it’s not the only thing going on in my life now. I have to unfortunately still have interaction with the abuser because of the children, even though I managed to get sole parenting rights (which he obviously doesn’t accept and unless I go back to court I cannot enforce it). I also still have to deal with rejection from the community (because of his social abuse) but it doesn’t affect me the same way anymore. Knowing that others out there are going through the same things, and constantly growing and emerging stronger, really helps!


Sorry, that was supposed to be a smiley face not a ? …. 🙂


Hi Christina,
This is super cool!! Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for sharing this. It absolutely resonated with me and I felt teary while reading the latter part of the dream explanation. I am going through the journey right now and your story is inspirational to me.

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