Evil Manipulative People and Emotional Damage


manipulative controlling peopleSome days are very difficult for me. I am always filled with sympathy and understanding for the victims and survivors of child abuse but on some days the whole subject just makes me see red. It makes me angry that so many children have suffered at the hands of manipulative, controlling and abusive adults. Every day I hear tragic stories from people who have survived very dysfunctional childhoods at the hands of horribly sick adults.  I get really angry at what so many children are enduring even as I write this and at what so many (now adult) children have had to endure.


And these same adult children have been expected to grow up “normally” after having a dysfunctional childhood like that. I was expected to function normally, and have high self esteem to the degree that was manipulated and convinced into believing that the low self esteem that I experienced was my own fault! And this expectation that I should “snap out of it”, “grow up,” “get over it” and take charge of my life, was often communicated by the very same people who abused and controlled me in the first place. First I was mistreated, devalued and manipulated and then I was blamed for having depressions and other difficulties in life!

 As Survivors of this manipulation and abuse we learn to accept those expectations and turn them on ourselves, believing that we SHOULD just grow up and be fine and dandy without ever having a chance to deal with the ROOT of the problem.  And the problem is that other people devalued and dismissed me and that there was damage was done. That didn’t start when I started needing help with situations in my adult life; it started when I was abused, mistreated and discounted and I didn’t get help or support. I was called an exaggerator and told I talked to hear myself talk.  I was told that I was mistaken and that I was wrong. I learned not to tell about the ongoing things that happened and I learned not to tell about any new things that happened.

 I learned that I was not going to be heard.  I learned that telling made things worse.

 Somehow I was blamed for what happened to me. As a child and again as an adult.  In order to cope, I believed that I MUST have done something wrong in the first place.

 I want to rip the eyes out of child molesters; I want to expose teachers who bully and tear down students, I want to fight in courts against adults who beat their kids, but I had to pick one area where I could make the biggest difference, and I have found that it is here through what I write. It is in the area of helping the survivors who have grown up but still bear the scars.

 Abuse sucks.  Abuse destroys. Abuse kills. Abuse makes me angry.  These evil manipulative and abusive people have no concern for the lives they are destroying. These manipulative people have no regard for human life.  I am not protecting them anymore.

 I have so often wondered what it is that makes manipulative people do the things that they do. Do they actually feel good about themselves when they hurt an innocent child? Do they get some sort of surge of power when they overpower another person? Do they feel so pathetic in their own lives that they must prove their worth by destroying the worth of someone else?  It seems pathetic that an adult would choose to disregard the feelings of an innocent child.  It seems unfathomable that an adult would use a child as an object. It seems incomprehensible that an adult would devalue a child in order to make themselves FEEL better.

 And they ARE pathetic.  It is unfathomable. There IS NO WAY to understand why people do these things; how can we understand these crimes against children which go forward to become crimes against those same grown up children. And what about the adults who assist in the cover up? What motivates them to keep such horrible secrets? Why do people seem to think that children are NOT human? Why do so many people think that children won’t remember? Why do people in general think children won’t be damaged and won’t suffer life time consequences for the behaviour of manipulative people who only have their own sick interests and self protection at heart?  I think that this is just as unfathomable as why the abusers do what they do.

 Since all of this is so incomprehensible and there are no answers to those questions I realized that in order to heal, I needed to concentrate on healing the damage that was caused. There is no answer or solution in understanding manipulative people. There is no healing there. I had to learn to stop trying to understand them in favour of understanding what happened to me. It seemed easier to concentrate on the WHY questions about them, but I had to realize and acknowledge the damage and how it manifested in my belief system, so that I could overcome it. I had to do the opposite of what those pathetic adults did to me.  I had to learn to consider myself.

 Understanding the roots of the damage caused by manipulative, sick, evil and pathetic people and healing from that physical, mental and emotional damage is what “Emerging from Broken” is all about.  Comments are deeply appreciated by everyone. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

 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


115 response to "Evil Manipulative People and Emotional Damage"

  1. By: Jacqueline Posted: 17th December

    I definitely can relate to this Darlene. I divorced my manipulative controlling husband about one year ago, but he still continues to manipulate, control and play stupid games with me using the children. I’m sure there are worse offenders, but my concern is my children and how this affects them. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether he means to do it or understands that he’s doing it. Ultimately he is doing it and it’s wrong. It affects his kids and he doesn’t care. I’m sick of dealing with his stupid shit and am trying to heal myself and my children. It’s all I can do.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th December

      Hi Jacqueline
      Welcome to emerging from broken
      I am sorry that you are in this horrible and difficult situation! I agree; it matters NOT his level of consciousness, he is doing the damage regardless and that is what you and the kids have to deal with. for me I kept being an example of “truth” and healthy relationship and just hoped that my kids would see that. They fought ME for a few years, as though they liked his manipulative controlling ways better! But in the end each one of them saw his true colours. My case is different because my husband did change but while he was in the process, I never let him off the hook just because he was “trying” I kept pointing out the damage and the message he was giving the kids and I.
      Hang in there!
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: J Posted: 17th December

    Hi Renee,

    I feel a bit guilty about thinking/saying so, but I laughed when I read the line “that took the smirk right off his face”!

    I believe your ex experienced what could be called a “paradigm shift” at that moment 🙂

    I guess I also just wanted to send admiration that you were able to stand up for yourself in such a strong way against someone who’d been treating you so badly – MUCH RESPECT!!!!!

  3. By: Renee Posted: 19th September

    Oh so true! I wonder often where these people get off thinking abuse is sanctioned by God!! I was told that so many times. One day I had enough and picked up a brick and told the ex that if he put a hand on me one more time I was going to kill him and threw the brick at him. He laughed and said I would go to prison and I told him yes thats true but you would be dead forever, It took the smirk right off his face!!! I would NEVER and do not encourage anyone to ever go to that length because it doesn’t do you any good and it would be more damage to your children. Leave and go to a safe house. That is what I did, my girls didn’t need me taken away but WE needed to get out of there and into a safe place.

  4. By: Krissy Posted: 18th September

    Annabelle, not only is abuse not of God, but the re-abuse by ignorant people in church is also not of God. If that pastor said to stay until you fear for your life, he has no idea of the women who died because they stayed. It is too late when you fear for your life. Most of the murders that happened had no prior history of physical violence, and the only indication was a high level of verbal abuse.

    Renee, it’s interesting that when it comes to people’s own kids, they react differently. I have heard pastors who speak out strongly against leaving abusive husbands give very good advice to children who have abusive parents. It’s like when it comes to marriage, they have a different standard because they have made marriage into this idol, as if God cared more about any institution than the welfare of a human being.

  5. By: Renee Posted: 18th September

    Hello Annabelle,
    I was told that by pastors and lay people. Then I watched a sermon on domestic abuse. The pastor is well known on tv and has a hugh church. This pastor showed scripture about how we are to treat each other, Then he set his bible down and picked up a bat and said ” As God is my witness if a man laid a hand or spoke violence toward my daughter I WOULD be the one answering the door!!! I never forgot that! Finally a man of God standing before everyone saying abuse of any kind is not of GOD! That made such an impact on me.
    Annabelle you need to do what ever you can to make yourself and your children safe. Children learn abuse from what they see, hear, and experience, and none of it is of God.

  6. By: Annabelle Posted: 18th September

    Thanks for sharing about the book “People of the Lie”. I’m going to read it. I’ve been dealing with emotional/verbal abuse from my husband since getting married over 20 years ago. I grew up very naive and didn’t know that people treated others like this. I cling to Jesus to get myself through. Once when I confronted my husband about his behavior with a Christian counselor present and used the word “evil”, the counselor said, “Why do you think that, he just has a passionate personality”. To me that seemed to minimize the abuse and almost turn it into a positive light. My pastor also told me “to stay with him until I fear for my life”. I don’t know if they are just as naive about abuse as I used to be or what. I don’t go by what they say though, I go by what the Lord says. I stay away from them and someday hope to be free of fear of my husband.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      Hi Annabelle,
      Thank you for sharing. Abuse is never solved when it is minimized, in fact it feels like being re abused. Being told to stay until you fear your life is very dangerous advice.
      I am glad that you are not listening to that kind of advice.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th September

    Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for adding your voice to this post! I think that the world will change when the victims and survivors heal and stop the cycle, because this is a cycle. Abusers learn not to love by not being loved. They learn the lust for power and conrol when as children they learn that the only way to have any impact is to overpower someone else. There is no equal value in thier lives becasue they had none as children. It all starts with self love.
    Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Brenda Posted: 8th September

    p.s. Though a bit off-topic in some ways…in other ways, not so much.

    A YouTube video of George Carlin back in 2005: (about 3 minutes):


    Noteworthy: “…They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking…”

    Critical thinking.

    “Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”. Margaret Mead ~

  9. By: Brenda Posted: 8th September

    With regard to the ‘whys’ of manipulators, more specifically, abusers, what I am about to say is along the lines of prevention in the future more than anything else:

    Many of them MAKE THE DECISION to do these horrific, CRIMINAL things because there are virtually no fears of repercussions.

    They do it because they can and because deep down, they count on the power imbalance and shame to keep the victim forever? immobilized.

    Add into that the “FOG” aka: “Fear, Obligation & Guilt” tentacles in the family “unit” and along with society’s focus on the “War on Drugs” rather than the “War on Child Abusers” and its not hard to see why they MAKE THE DECISION to take their chances and go ahead and abuse…would be my guess.

    But I am finding a trend the last couple of years of so on the web as more people who were abused as children speak out as they get older and deal (or not deal) with aging parents. Seems that many just don’t (rightfully) give a shit and why should they be ‘expected’ to care for someone in old age who made the decision not to care for them? Makes sense to me.

    Perhaps this trend is something (repercussions) these abusers of the future might consider beforehand!

    My two cents.

  10. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th September

    Hi Jenny
    This is so true. I have been taught and reminded myself over and over and over again that abusers NEVER question themselves. (so if I am questioning myself repeatedly I am usually in that spin again of trying to take the blame for something I didn’t do because my old default mode believed that if I was at fault then I could change it and be better and all would be well)
    Your goal is a worthy one Jenny!
    Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Jenny Posted: 8th September

    Amazing post Darlene….I too want want to rip the eyes out of child molesters…and put parents behind bars who beat their children…

    My mother constantly skirts the issues when I bring them up and denies them all the way….I have to be sensitive to the way I bring things up to her or they will be instantly rejected….WTF??…it is as though she is the child…and I her mother….I have walked on eggshells my whole life in order to not make mommy mad at me…so sad…I had to ignore my own needs to take care of the needs of my fucked up parents…..it is so interesting to me how normally “good” parents always are questioning whether they are doing a good job parenting…and the most horrible of parents never once question themselves….it is absolutely ludicrous how abused children are expected to live happy, well adjusted adult lives when their childhood was so full of invalidation and hurt.

    I think the sickness of abuse runs so deep that people who are in it and cover it up don’t even second guess it…it is what they know and for so many reasons they choose to stay a part of the problem instead of stepping outside of the circle and becoming a part of the solution…it doesn’t take any courage to stay in the circle…but it takes a hell of a lot of courage to step outside….with the possibility of being isolated all over again….the risks are great but so are the rewards….I choose to take my life back….I will continue to step outside of the circle….If I only complete one goal in my life…this is the one I must complete.

  12. By: Robin Posted: 25th August

    I’m so glad I happened upon this page. I am a victum of emotional and verbal abuse. I suffered through it even into my adult years because up until a year ago I was forced to live with my mother for financial reasons. The abuse last year became so great (mother acusing me of sleeping with my step-father, threatening to throw me out of the house on any whim) that I finally broke the silence and went to my pastor and his wife for help. They offered none. They took my mothers side and said over and over how sorry they felt for her. I practically yelled at them, “Why does everyone feel so sorry for her?” Their reply was that she was being used by the devil like a puppet on a string whereas I had Jesus and could just go to the alter and shed the pain. But the pain didn’t go away. Over the last year it got worse and worse until I considered suicide.

    I’m just now getting back to real life again. But my problem now is that I find it hard to talk about the hurt with anyone because I don’t really feel like I’ll be heard. The pain of being dismissed by my Pastor and his wife goes so much deeper than what I felt because of my family. The sense of betrayal is so much worse.

    But I’m glad that I can come here and talk with people who understand my pain and won’t judge me. That feels fantastic.

    I can only imagine how God must feel about being so badly misrepresented and about how His children are being hurt and abused.

    God bless all of you and I pray that His healing will touch us all.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th August

      Hi Robin
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
      I understand where you are coming from. My answer when people say stuff like what your pastor said to you is “So what?” even if what they are saying is true, it doesn’t help YOU to overcome the hurt. The hurt she caused YOU is very real. It is like people always blame the kids (no matter the age of the kids) as though it is the kids job to put up with whatever parents dish out. Being heard the first time was one of the first glimmers of hope for healing that I had. That is why I started this site. To give others that same hope. So glad you are here.
      Please share often,
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Renee Posted: 23rd August

    You have a very good point. There are a lot of ways to express anger. Yet it boils down to two ways the proper way and the crazy way. The most important lesson I learned while going to Equestrian counseling was the way you can effectively get your point across. People see anger in another person and they run for the hills!! But when a person expresses themselves in a way that is controled it transfixes the on lookers. You also keep your power and the abuser crumbles. This has been my experience, it is hard to learn yet it is very effective.

  14. By: Krissy Posted: 22nd August

    Joy, I don’t want to be another voice trying to tell you what to feel or think, but I am wondering if all those people in your past who tried to make out like a good person should not hate knows this Scripture: Psalm 11:5 “Those with violence He hates with a passion.” So if we want to be Godly, we should hate with a passion.

    One day, when I was watching a Youtube of a presentation by Lundy Bancroft on domestic violence, I was really struck by these words. “The proper, right response to domestic violence is outrage.” Why are the only ones feeling the right response (that of outrage/hate) the victims? And occasionally, advocates as well. Lundy Bancroft is not a Christian – why does it take someone like him to speak out and encourage a response of strong anger?

    Yes, I too was told by my nice well-meaning friends that victims may be the nicest, most compassionate people when they meet their abusers, but they think they have a right to turn into husband-haters and spread poison and bitterness against their perpetrators. They should, instead, not express that anger, leave it at the Cross, and forgive. What baloney! Not only should they be allowed the right to express that anger, but people shouldn’t stop them, but help them express it well, and join them in expressing it!!

    Now that would be validating for a change, wouldn’t it.

  15. By: Katie Lee Posted: 22nd August

    Hi Joy.
    Well, I think it’s OK to hate, and I hate what they did to you (so senseless, so uncalled for, so DAMAGING!). I’ve gathered from here and elsewhere (I’m thinking like in Susan Forward’s Toxic Parents book) that anger is a normal, healthy reaction to mistreatment, and that extreme anger is a normal, healthy reaction to extreme mistreatment. It’s telling us (me) that what was done–was WRONG.

    And what I think this blog (and other true “healing” modalities) is all about is using our feelings to recognize the damage, and then doing the things (like arranging for support from others) that we need to do to heal this damage.

    My 2 cents.

    hugs back to you,


  16. By: joy Posted: 22nd August

    Hi Darlene

    It’s so hard for me to allow myself feelings. .so so brainwashed about what is sin and the fact that thinking can be a sin..makes me afraid to feel or even think..

    I have let go of that church but so much of that stuff is still stuck in my head.. its scary to have been so badly brainwashed.



  17. By: joy Posted: 22nd August

    Hello Katie Lee

    You know, I don’t know what’s ok but if its ok in your heart I believe its ok .. what do you think ? I was wanting for so long to ask someone if it’s ok to have emotions like hate..since its such a strong emotion.

    I am still in confusion as to what I am allowed to feel about what happened and what was said to little me. .I am afraid of doing the wrong thing..

    Hugs to you :


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd August

      Feeling isn’t wrong Joy ~ feelings are not wrong. Anger and hate are not wrong either.

      We were taught that our feelings were wrong ~ that was the foundation of my “stop crying or I will give you something to cry about” post. I have had feelings that scared the crap out of me, but acknowledging them enabled me to take a look at them. Taking a look at them lessened the fear greatly!
      Hugs, Darlene

      p.s. everyone ~ I have published a new post related to this one ~ you can read it here: My Parents did the best they could According to WHO?
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Katie Lee Posted: 22nd August


    Thanks for sharing what you did from M. Scott Peck’s work (especially: “ . . . their dedication to the preservation of their self-image”). Your statement “But he was no less evil by M Scott Peck’s definition, which includes characteristics like the preservation of self-image, the use of scapegoats and the intolerance to criticism”, and your interpretation/summary of Peck’s work is enlightening and satisfying to me as well.


  19. By: Katie Lee Posted: 22nd August

    I’m new here. Hi. I’ve been reading your posts. I hope this is OK to say: I HATE YOUR MOTHER and that priest who told you those things. (What lies!) (What filth!)

    Like Susan and the others have said, you are so worthy. I am sorry that the things that happened to you, happened to you.


    Hugs to you.

  20. By: Pinky Posted: 21st August

    Thanks. Yes I see how the belie system changes especially for those in recovery.

  21. By: Pinky Posted: 20th August

    @Krissy and Darlene, I have been thinking about that book it is one of the books that started me on a journey to light. (I dont know how else to phrase it.) I agree with and understand what the author said but didnt know if I could post it here. I was actually just rethinking the very things you posted that I learned from the book. People have differing opinions and I try to be sensitive but I believe that what that author said was true about evil people.I think I may still have this book in storage. I think in his writings about my mom ,about spiritually abusive pastors about abusive attorneys who knowingly defend serious child abusers. I love this book thanks for posting and Darlene thanks for letting her post it. In a blog like this I am not always sure what I can and cant post and what crosses the line.It seems to be a common belief that evil does not exist. I live in NYC and right after 911 the subject of evil came up. So many people do not believe it exists. So many believe if we just talk it out with the poor misunderstood terrorists they wouldn’t kill us. It is this thinking in my opinion that keeps the culture in denial about evil about abuse and about the fact that abuse is a choice. All forms of abuse are choices people make. But in trying to talk sense to people who believe poor abusers and poor terrorists they just cant help it , you get no where! Thanks for posting the truth!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st August

      Hi Pinky
      I understand what you are saying ~ when it comes to people saying that there is no such thing as evil, it makes me wonder what their definition of evil really is.
      Don’t worry about crossing any lines here… I believe that communication means that we can say what we think, (and I said lots of stuff in my process that I don’t agree with today but i needed to hear myself say it so that I could eventually see where my belief system was messed up!) and as long as it doesn’t cause harm to the readers or lead them in the wrong direction, I will let it stand OR I will offer a different opinion. That is relationship.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Krissy Posted: 20th August

    Darlene, I know what you mean when you say that it isn’t helpful trying to get to the bottom of the whys. But as I saw the title of your post, it reminded me of the book on the psychology of evil by M Scott Peck, “People of the Lie”. There was something quite enlightening to me in it:

    He said that unlike psychopaths, who had no conscience, the problem with evil people is not the absence of their conscience, but their dedication to the preservation of their self-image. They intensely desire to appear good, but their goodness is all a pretense. They deceive themselves and since self-deceit would be unnecessary if the evil had no sense of right and wrong, they are attempting to cover up something.

    The essential component of evil is not the absence of a sense of sin but the unwillingness to tolerate that sense. At one and the same time, the evil are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the awareness. Rather than blissfully lacking a sense of morality, like the psychopath, they are continually engaged in sweeping the evidence of their evil under the rug of their own consciousness. Evil originates not in the absence of guilt but in the effort to escape it.

    That really satisfied me, cos I was pretty certain that the abusive figure in my life was not lacking in conscience. He could show empathy for the suffering at times. He was not always cold and calculating. This is what confused me – he didn’t fit all the categories of a psychopath. But he was no less evil by M Scott Peck’s definition, which includes characteristics like the preservation of self-image, the use of scapegoats and the intolerance to criticism.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th August

      Hi Krissy
      “People of the Lie” is one of my favourite books. I totally relate to what you are saying here. I feel that way about certain diagnosis’s when they are used like an excuse. Towards me, my mother is a total narcissist, but she isn’t like that at all with her husband therefore, narcissism doesn’t fit for “what is wrong with her” M.Scott Peck definition certainly fits her though.
      Thanks for adding your voice to this conversation!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Karen Posted: 18th August

    If you haven’t heard the song “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato check it out on YouTube. I dedicate it to my Narcissistic Borderline Mother!

  24. By: Lynn Posted: 18th August

    “I had to learn to stop trying to understand them in favour of understanding what happened to me.” This was a tough lesson. When I was considering what I wanted to do with my life, if I lived through it, I thought I wanted to be a psychologist so I could fix my family. No amount of psychology is going to fix them! It took me decades to figure out what you said here, Darlene. That the time comes when you, the survivor of abuse, have to be aware of and understand the effect of the abuse that was done to you. It didn’t just happen like some random fender bender on the freeway. It was deliberate, premeditated abuse.

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