Exposing the Belief System ~ Coming out of the fog


Continued from my previous post, “The Beginning~Emerging from Broken

Once I began to realize the beliefs that were at the core of my belief system, I was able to start to understand that they were not actual truth. Once I realized this, I was able to take a look at why they were not true, (or at least not true anymore) and then I was able to start the replacement process. Replacing the lies with the actual truth is a fairly long process, because in my case there were so many lies I believed about myself and each new thing I encountered on the other side of the fog, was something that I had to look at through my new lens of truth.

Take this blog for instance. I had another blog several years ago. I wrote about the same message that I write about in this blog but I did not do anything to publicise it. I didn’t post my links on Facebook. I didn’t use key words or tag the posts so that I might be found by search engines. I was afraid that someone would actually read it! I put the URL in my email signature and I deleted it before I sent each email. I had little confidence in myself, and I certainly was afraid to own my message. This is a common problem for those of us who have a faulty belief system; our self esteem and confidence is compromised as we are told in so many ways that we or our feelings are wrong, and in many ways told that we don’t really know ourselves.

I was also afraid that my parents would read the blog and get mad at me. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings but deep down my fear was more about the fear of losing them. It was as though I had to pick between my truth and having them in my life. Somehow I believed that I could not live without them if they rejected me. I think that belief comes from childhood where it is in fact true and we carry that false truth with us well into adulthood. Another reason that I was afraid my Mother would read the blog was because she had threatened to take legal action if I wrote a book. (Why she thought that my book would be about her in the first place is an interesting observation in itself, although that is another story for another day.) Deep down I was afraid that my new truth was somehow wrong and on a slight level still believed that the way I was treated and devalued as a child was my own fault, that I was indeed still valueless and that I was a high maintenance and emotionally unstable person.  All these things kept me from sharing that other blog with anyone except for a few close friends.

I could not own my message because I still believed that I was not really as valuable as I thought I might be. My old belief system was still operating in that department. I was sure that others would think me vain if I were to write with such conviction. I was sure that they would sneer at me and say “who does she think she is, with that crazy message? It’s ridiculous.” Although on a conscious level I knew that my message of wholeness and freedom was valid, important and exactly what people wanted to hear, on a subconscious level, where my belief system operated, I thought it wasn’t valid. Below the surface of my mind there was a war going on!

I kept pursuing wholeness and freedom from the false truths in my belief system and I kept working on replacing the lies in my mind with the truth. When I started speaking in mental health seminars, and realized the impact that I was having on the people in those seminars, it helped me to accept that there were a lot of people who really liked my message and welcomed hearing it. Eventually I was able to unveil the war going on inside of me, and start to set it straight.

Fight the fog! Love Darlene

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41 response to "Exposing the Belief System ~ Coming out of the fog"

  1. By: SMD Posted: 14th March

    Hi Drained!

    Wow!…I can also relate so much to what you said, “I’m only beginning to come to terms with so many issues I’ve dealt with having been raised by a controlling mother and my ongoing dealings with her well into my middle-age”…I’m still dealing with my mom’s antics, along with other family members, and I’m 43. I’ve put up with so much grief over the years, but in the last 4 years, I’ve remained strong in keeping boundaries, limits & no contact with certain family members. They are all toxic/negative people. I don’t feel brainwashed anymore, but I struggle in breaking all ties.

    It’s going to take time to cut ties and when I think I’m ready, my mom tries to hook me back in, by being nice. I’m clearly seeing more of my mom’s pathetic ways of manipulating my feelings. What I’m struggling to face is what is holding me back from breaking my ties. Darlene’s posts speak to the false belief system my family taught me and I’ve started to dig deep into the roots of the dysfunction. It’s emotionally draining and exciting at the same time. I’m learning to trust my feelings & thoughts and I do feel better!

  2. By: Destiny Rose Posted: 14th March

    Hi Darlene: this is just what I needed to read this evening!! I have a blog that I started a year ago and I am still writing in that one but along the way I have left out the majority of my story. I just started a new blog and at first I was doing it under a pen name, afraid to do it as myself! But I hate secrets and so that didn’t last long at all. But the more I post about the truths of my story and what I lived… I am so tempted to delete it all and run for cover. Your post here really speaks to my heart tonight and I feel that I really need to look at the lies in my belief system that are working to prevent me from writing this blog. Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Destiny Rose

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th March

      Hi Destiny Rose
      I learned a lot about the lies etc. by taking a deep look at where those fears had their roots! It was a huge part of my growth. I was actually stunned to realize what those fears were and how long I had to reassure myself that I was not “that kid” anymore and that most of my fears were things that I could take care of now.
      Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Drained Posted: 14th March

    When I beat myself up for taking so long to come out of that fog (doubting my feelings, perceptions, value, and believing I was being stupid and misinterpreting my memories, etc.), I realized that the mixed messages, false truths, double-standards, and daily dose of confidence-crushing prevented any clarity of thought on my part. Of course it’s going to take a long time to come to any realization! That’s part of the controlling parent’s brainwashing style. Make the child doubt their feelings, intelligence, and perceptions so that the parent can maintain their control long after the child leaves home, and never doubt the parent’s bad parenting.

    I’m only beginning to come to terms with so many issues I’ve dealt with having been raised by a controlling mother and my ongoing dealings with her well into my middle-age. This blog is helping me to clear the fog – I have a long way to go – but I finally feel I can make positive steps towards the healing and actually believe I (and my feelings) have value, and begin to actually enjoy my life without feeling the ever-present guilt, sadness, and fear that pervades everything I do.

    There have been a few stumbling blocks on the way (disapproval from those who don’t know the whole story, because as we all know, those controlling types are masters at putting on a different, believable facade to outsiders, or even other family members.) but I am remaining strong in my convictions and no longer crumbling from doubt and guilt.

    It’s going to take lots of time, persistence and work but for the first time in my life, I feel I can actually get better.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th March

      Hi Libby
      Yes. for me the fog is strange and I become aware of it when I am working on some new understanding. Usually the fog is related to dysfunctional roots and the quickest way to lift it is to dig into those roots and expose the truth.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Drained
      I realized that one of my default modes when I had a breakthrough was to jump to reprimanding myself for how long it took too. And then I realized that I had learned to treat myself exactly the way that I had been treated.
      I love all the things you wrote about in your comments! Excellent insights, thank you for sharing them.
      I am really glad that my blog is helping you come out of the fog! That was one of my goals when I started to write it. I even considered the name “fog busters”. LOL
      Hugs, Darlene
      Love your comments.

  4. By: SMD Posted: 14th March

    Hi Libby,

    I feel the same way about “days when I’m fogged- but generally less so”…I have a great counselor who keeps me on track too. I really trust her and that’s big for me!….It has taken the last 4 years on my healing journey to acknowledge & accept the root of my damage. For so long, I felt guilt, sadness, anger & shame for myself, like I was the problem. What I’ve come to believe is my family aren’t healthy enough, to acknowledge their problems. They’re certainly not deep thinkers…Glad you found a good therapist…In my experience that makes a big difference in so many ways!
    Sincerely, SMD

  5. By: Libby Posted: 14th March

    I could done with seeing this back in 2010 when you first posted it – I was SO lost in fog then, recovering from physical illness and feeling like I was going mad – I didn’t know why I was in that place and had no idea where to turn to for help. It took me months to plough through the first layers and ask for help from my family doctor; she was great, she was positive and compassionate – and referred me immediately.
    I still have days when I am fogged in – but generally less so – and I have somewhere to go with that – my therapist is a great navigator!

  6. By: Pam Posted: 21st May


    I’ve worked with children quite a lot and I have to agree with you. I’ve often thought that classes such as sex-ed or drug-ed should be for the parents so that they can equip the child. Programs for behavioral education should definately include parent education and counseling.

  7. By: Pam Posted: 20th May


    I am realizing that many of the problems in my life, my bad choices were actually my mother’s prophecy of me and my living it out. My 8th grade math teacher told me that I tried awfully hard to be bad. That is more true than he knew. I wasn’t ‘bad’ but I had been convinced that I was. My whole adolecense was based on what I had been taught that I was. Then the rest of my life was spent beating up on myself for having been what my mother said I was. I spent a long time repenting of myself when I really have never allowed myself to be!

    I wish all new parents would come here and read these stories. It makes it plain to me that the most important thing that parents do is teach their children who they are.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th May

      Yes Pam, I have a heart for children. Originally, I took my specialty with the intention of becomming a teen parenting coach. But I quickly realized that it had to start before the teen years… and then soon after that I realized that the problem very often lies in the “health” of the parent.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd June

    Welcome and it is great to have you here. I found the right kind of help when I was around 42; I felt just as frustrated as you. It took several years sorting it out before I started speaking etc. I am just turning 49 now; I figure I got the rest of my whole life to live, and so do you!
    Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Sunday Simmons Posted: 22nd June

    Darlene, Where to start is thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m a 44 year old woman, who for quite sometime has been trying to lift above the black fog and STILL haven’t found my keys,(yet). I’m grateful that you have done much of what I wanted to do in my life, ie: blogging, public speaking,helping others in the struggle, ect.. No faith in ones self can be disabling. I just wanted to say thank you and give you the respect you deserve for being a beautiful spirit and healer in the words you lay down. Amazing, still reading, thanks again. Sure you’ll be hearing from me again:)

  10. By: PunkOnFire Posted: 20th March

    “Valueless… high maintenance… emotionally unstable…”

    Stop describing me. 😉

    Great post. It is so terrifying and hard to unveil that battle. I too have a blog where I discuss much of my inner turmoil and struggles. And it is kept anonymous to protect those who’ve hurt me. It even sounds stupid to say it. But, somehow, I feel like I’m protecting myself by protecting them – I’m sure you understand what I mean by that.

  11. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th March

    Well Benni, I am thrilled that you stopped by and honored by your comment. It is great to see people visiting here who work in the parenting/children department! I have such a heart for kids, and at first had decided to work in that area when I got my certification, but as I got more involved in speaking, I realized that my gifts were better used to break into the fog that people live in and help them see the truth beyond it ~ a fog that developed when THEY themselves were children.

    I look forward to making a difference together with all the other “difference makers” in the world such as you! Have a great day and I hope we connect again!

  12. By: Benni Heaock Posted: 18th March

    I was deeply touched, Darlene. I don’t share your history, but I do share your commitment to speak the truth. Your message, so poignantly and courageously written, will make such a difference in the lives of people who are alone with their pain, and shame that does not belong to them. As a psychotherapist, I commend you. As a human being, I am deeply in your debt. Thank you. Benni

  13. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th March

    Hi Susan, I’m so glad to meet you too. Welcome to Emerging From Broken. I am glad that you can relate too. There is so much power and healing in revealing all this stuff and sharing it with each other. Hope you visit us often and I look forward to you input!

  14. By: Susan Posted: 17th March

    I came across your blog via Coming out of the trees…and so glad I did! I am looking forward to following your work…so far in just this one post it sounds like you are of course, telling my story. So so happy to have met you!

  15. By: Carla Posted: 15th March

    Thanks Cindy~ I’m glad that we can encourage each other! I agree with what you say about our parents not really knowing what they were doing- or more importantly, not doing! Understanding love to be a more active, intentional thing rather than a feeling of fondness is a really important part of me understanding what happened to me in my childhood, even though it is hard to spot… I’m glad you have an excellent counselor to work with in uncovering the layers, and that our blog is an inspiration to you. That is awesome!

  16. By: Cindy Leigh Wilson Posted: 15th March

    Dear Carla,
    Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. It helps tremendously! Darlene was very perceptive in seeing where I am coming from and I appreciate her encouraging you to reach out to me. Your experience sounds close to home for me. Though I have experienced some hardships in life, I am beginning to realize these were not the only reasons for my depression. I see there might be something deeper at the root.

    I grew up spending part of my life trying to just be a kid and the other part struggling to find something I could “tell my Daddy about” to get favorable attention. The absence of being affirmed just for being me from my mom and dad has really left a number on me as an adult. I am seeing this clearer now as I read Darlene’s posts.

    I am in counseling with a great counselor who is helping me pick through the layers of who I am and how I came to be that way. Darlene’s blog has given me a lot to meditate on in-between sessions. Your note helps me know that I am in the right place even though I may not have had more severe abuse in my life. And on that note, I have to say at this point that I don’t think my parents were aware of what their actions were doing to me. I do believe they loved me then and now…but I am coming to understand that love doesn’t always win out in our actions. In other words, though they love me, because of their own baggage or stressors in life, they react out of their own brokenness instead of the wholeness of a healthy love.

    I don’t want to take up too much space on Darlene’s comment’s page…believe me I could fill it up quickly! I just want to say a big thank you to you and Darlene for going the extra mile in responding to my comments.

    Grateful to you both,
    Cindy Leigh

  17. By: Carla Dippel Posted: 15th March

    Hi Cindy,

    Thank you for sharing this comment Cindy- I can really relate to what you are saying. Darlene and I have talked numerous times about how different our abusive pasts were, and she invited me to share my perspective. She has vivid memories and more obviously catastropic events in her story than I do in mine. If I were to tell the story of my past, it would probably sound very normal. But still, I sought out counselling at age 26 because I was so debilitatingly depressed- just like you say, “crippled.” And I could NOT figure out why! I really believed that it must just all be my own fault because logically, I couldn’t figure out a reason for it. Through my counselling I learned about the huge damage a passive, emotionally withdrawn home life can have on a child and into adult years. And in a nutshell, how confusing and devaluing it is for parents to take advantage of their children in ways other than physical or sexual abuse, the damage of which can be just as crippling- for example, being valued only for being “good”, or fulfilling my parent’s dreams for my life, or being subtly boxed in and dissuaded from reaching my full potential, or simply not being engaged with (emotionally, mentally) as ME. All of those things teach a child that they are not valuable for who they are, as they are, and I had carried that belief with me all through my life, even though it was deep deep down and I never really understood it or could articulate it.

    I really understand the struggle you’re talking about as it can feel so vague and hard to put your finger on. But I also came to know through my counselling that the evidence that I had been devalued was very strong simply in the fact that I struggled so much with depression. I believe that God doesn’t create anyone “faulty”, so my struggles had to have a real reason. Accepting that truth has gone a long way in affirming me and helping me in my recovery. Because I was so close with my family, that was also very scary for me too. But along the way I was able to make small steps and decisions to seek out the truth no matter how others in my life would respond to it. In some cases relationships fizzled, and in other cases some of the people I was close with decided to seek out help for themselves too.

    I wish you all the best on your journey to find the truth of YOUR story Cindy, as it is such a valuable one. Thank for sharing it with us here.


  18. By: Cindy Leigh Wilson Posted: 15th March

    Oh my goodness! I just cannot express the feeling I have when I read your blog and the comments. I just can’t wait for the next post. I read each word looking for help to come out of the pit I find myself in so often. I sooo agree with Spinteredones about the cycle of coming out of the pit only to return again and how tiring that is. I take comfort hearing you report it is well worth the hard journey.

    Two things have kept me from really exploring what has caused me to feel crippled in my life. One of them is addressed in this post. The first is the fact that I have not experienced some of the catastrophic things that I assume your readers have had to bear (ie. sexual molestation, alcoholic parents &/or spouse, physical abuse etc.). The second, and probably most powerful reason, is the fear of exposing my family and hurting them in some way. I did not realize until I read the comments today that so many others have this same battle. I find comfort knowing I am not alone in this.

    I am so thankful I have found you Darlene. You are having an impact on my life in such a positive way. I also want to send out kudos to your readers for sharing their comments…they are encouraging as well!

    Thanking God for your gift and for sharing it with us,
    Cindy Leigh

  19. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th March

    Catherine! Thanks for the amazing encouragement.

    I believe there is awesome power in these comments. When people come and read my posts, and then they read that other people feel the same way, that others have buried this stuff way down deep too, that others thought they were crazy and had to hide the secrets still having the same fears they had as children, that the recovery process can happen faster because of the support and validation. The comments validate my words.

    Thanks so much for your comments and to all the contributors of comments!

    Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Catherine Posted: 14th March

    You’re writing style is brilliant Darlene! You communicate the message in such a powerful way. Your word have literally painted vivid pictures from my past! The blog has triggered several early childhood experiences that have remained buried til now.

    I applaud you for exposing the many layers of deception that have kept so many from finding freedom in truth. I agree with Splintersdone, that it is a lot of hard work…and with you! It is indeed worth every painful step to emerge free at last.

    Like Dan, I kept my writing, poetry and blog posts in secret for years! Boxes filled with my truth have remained hidden for years! How liberating to have found my voice, and to look truth in the mirror every morning!

    Hugs, Cath

  21. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th March

    Yes Dan,

    This is exactly what I am talking about and thanks for adding your example ~that you walked away from a publisher! Somehow we are convinced that we remember things wrong and or that we are nuts, and that everything that happened to us was normal so why are we upset about it?
    It is CRAZY how deep this stuff goes and I am so glad that this is hitting others as the real truth!

    Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Dan Hays Posted: 14th March

    Way to go Darlene, for addressing how strongly we are taught to doubt our truth, our message, our value! And of course, we can’t talk about it, because that is a strong inviolate rule of the family – don’t tell anyone what went on in the house! I totally relate!

    When I started writing my first book in 1985, an autobiography about growing up with alcoholics, I did it in secret because I was afraid someone might tell me I was crazy and it was all my imagination. When one of the leading publishers of books about alcoholic families wanted to publish it, I walked away – just couldn’t break the family rules!

    Well said and courageous for confronting this issue!


  23. By: Carol Welch Posted: 14th March

    *goose pimples*

    And a hearty “YES!” to freedom.

    ~carol (aka @1person)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th March

      I love this comment! I can’t ask for more endorsement then “goose pimples” LOL

      Thanks for visiting Carol and hope you return often!!
      Have a great day! Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th March

    Hi Splinteredones,
    Yes, this is exactly the process. And yes.. it is extremely tiring. BUT it is the most worth while thing I have ever persisted with in my entire life because freedom is on the other side! Be encouraged by this though; it does get easier as we get going along. The fog lifts in layers, but once I realized that the truth wasn’t actually going to kill me, I seemed to accept the fog lifting process a bit easier. I also wasn’t as concerned with the depth of despair as much because I knew that it too was part of the process and that it wouldn’t last forever. It wasn’t speedy quick, but it happened over time, and for me, that was enough!
    So happy that you are sharing with us!
    Hugs, Darlene

  25. By: Splinteredones Posted: 14th March

    Yes. Fighting the fog. We seem to have this pattern in which we are able to see important truths then get completely saboutaged and end up in the Black Pit, a dark place filled with the self-deceits. Then truth pops out, then back down again. We assume that this is progress but my god it is tiring.

    We just love the say you write. The Process. Understanding it is mAde much easier with every post of hours that we read. Thanks again.

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