False Normal Systems about Love and Self Love


The truth about love

I came across this quote, and at first I loved it; “If you put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price”. ~ Author unknown

And then I thought about it a bit more deeply ~ For the most part on “emerging from broken” I am not talking about the value that we put on ourselves, I am talking about the value that was put on us by others and that same value that we accepted. We do need to raise our own value however we can’t do that until we understand how we received our value in the first place.  There is a step that has to happen before we can follow the above quote!

The last blog entry was about a coaching session that I did with Carla Dippel about her belief system when it comes to the concept of love. In my recovery, one of the most powerful things that I discovered was about how these false definitions form and how discovering and changing my belief system contributed significantly to my complete recovery from depressions, low self esteem and so many other difficult struggles that I lived with.

We all have beliefs about many things that we don’t realize we have.  We don’t even really realize that we have these “wrong ideas” about certain things because we have had that idea for so long it has become our normal.  But for me, most of my beliefs were a “false normal” or a “false truth”  In the coaching session that I did with Carla, I asked her specific questions that enabled her to discover her beliefs about love and she discovered her “false normal beliefs” when it came to love.  These beliefs come from many influences, not just from our families. They can come from anywhere and from a multiple of experiences; we learn from teachers, neighbours, books and media. We learn our “normal” from many places and combinations of events…. continue

I had to look at what I believed about love from the different angles just like I asked Carla to do in the coaching session that I did her. I was taught that in order to be loved I had to be compliant. Obedience was a big thing. Therefore, I concluded that LOVE is obedience and compliance. The problem with compliance and obedience is that I learned to be those things at the wrong times and in the wrong ways. The authorities in my life taught me the rules as they suited them and not necessarily according to what was ever best for me. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be valued. I wanted to be appreciated and feel like I belonged. I wanted connection and I was taught the wrong way to go after it. But I wanted love, acceptance and connection badly enough to comply in the ways that I was taught. It was survival. I was too young to even question any of it. This whole system became so much a part of “my normal” that I didn’t have a clue that what I was going after was not really love.

Because this false normal system started so young it didn’t dawn on me that the ways that I had been “taught” were wrong.

The balance was all wrong. I thought and believed that everyone else was more important than I was. It was the absolute truth that I was taught in words but even more by examples and by actions. It didn’t occur to me that love is a two way street. Adults treat children as though we/they are not really people yet. As though children don’t know anything; as though children have no memories of anything, as though nothing affects children because they are merely children. I learned that I had to tow the line but the rules kept changing. There was an absence of real love and real acceptance. And if that is where the foundation was built, if that was the starting point of education and belief system, then what other result could there have possibly been other than to draw the conclusions that I was not really a person yet, that I was not as good or as valuable as everyone else?

If I had been taught, both in words and in actions, that I was equally valuable to others then the false belief system would not have been set in place.

If I had been taught, both in words and in actions, that my needs mattered then I would not have learned to discount them myself.

If I had been taught that I was a treasure and a delight as the individual that I was born to be, and if I had been encouraged to be that individual then I would have grown up BEING and LIVING as the individual that I was born to be and I would not have had the identity crisis that I had for so long.  

And Just When Was I Supposed to Become an EQUAL? In this pecking order system, it never happened.

And if these actual truths had been taught to me, I would not have found myself lost in a sea of one depression after another. I would not have had to re-parent myself in my early forties. I would not have had to learn the true definition of love and learn to love myself because I would have already known love. I would not have had those self esteem issues. And when I learned these things I was able to pass on the true definition of love to the next generation and begin to break the cycle that had continued for many generations in both my family or origin and my husbands.

It was very hard to realize these false normal truths though, because as I said in the beginning, learning to work for love and acceptance instead of being loved and accepted left me believing that love and acceptance was something I had to work for and not something that I deserved as all human beings deserve love and acceptance.  

It was the truth that set me free; 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


177 response to "False Normal Systems about Love and Self Love"

  1. By: Pinky Posted: 19th April

    @Paticia, I dotn know if you are on FB if so can you friend me, I am on Darlenes page and also Lynda’s under the name of Pinky Lew and my other page is Pinksugarbaby Lew. I would like to use your quote in a few days on my page when things slow down, what you just said. I have s many so called Christian friends in denial. I love what you just said!

  2. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th April

    Hi, Pinky,
    I actually made that one up one day, when my husband was talking with our neighbor friend about being right-brained or left-brained. I made it into a bumper sticker on my computer graphic program. I’ll post it on your fb wall in a minute, it sounds like you could use the laugh.

    The Christian psychologists who co-authored the Boundary series… I can’t think of their names right now, but they are good friends of my life-saving psychiatrist and author, Paul Meier, MD ~ they talk a lot about the importance of both TRUTH, and LOVE. Speaking the truth, in love… speaking the truth, with loving intentions. Speaking the truth, to save and protect those who are being harmed by lies, AND ALSO to try to bring the sinner to true repentence.

    I am praying for your church situation and your pastor. I know of him and I know he does have a wonderful heart, and I understand that at his age, and with his family’s health situations… that has to be very hard to deal with at this time, of all times. Isn’t that the way it goes, tho, we are attacked the most when we are the most vulnerable?


  3. By: Pinky Posted: 19th April

    @Patricia, thanks so much!

  4. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 19th April

    Pinky, my heart goes out to you and to your minister friend. You are seeing first hand how destructive denial can be. I agree with you on the matter of truth. Truth and denial are not partners in life. When truth exists, there can be no denial. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your friend.

  5. By: Pinky Posted: 19th April

    I want so badly to have time to read through all of these posts I wont get to it today or maybe not this week. I just want to share a few thoughts. @Lynda I never heard that are you in your right mind? no I am in my left! Hilarious!
    But I am so sorry for your yelling situation. I agree I do not have what it takes to stay. I am blessed with a good marriage but my husband is largely undamaged and most of it is good because of him. You and Darlene are admirable women! I have no words of advice just know you are in my prayers! I have a story about spiritual abuse that I want to share. It is not abotu me directly but affected me deeply. As I have said in my previous posts in my opinion and thee is no proof to this but in my opinion people are either truth tellers or deniers. The spiritual abuse did not happen to me but did affect everyone at my 10,000 member church. I happen to be in the inner circle , I don’t try to get into these inner circles but I am just always invited in. I have a world famous pastor and he is right up there with Billy Graham (who I worked for 9 years) and Chuck Smith. He is the real deal. I would not be who I am if it were not for him. I won’t say his name only out of respect for him as he woudl think it is gossip to share this. I think in this case it is not about good or bad or right or wrong in the sense or out right wrong just a different perspective. In his hart he is pure and wants to please God. But he thinks and really believes it would be a sin to expose a pastor it comes from an old testament mind set.In the old testament it says love covers a multitude of sins. He thinks it would be wrong to talk about it. Even sinful. I think that it is better to expose evil.
    Again the abuse happened to him. Rather than get into the whole story which is too long and complicated, I will say this, he was hurt and I mean on every level by another pastor. He thinks to talk abotu it would be to be sinful and not trust God. He is pure in his intentions and so loving and I know him. He is 80 years old and very fragile emotionally and always keeps the hearts of others in mind. A true gem I love him! However by him not exposing thsi evil against him the church has fallen apart and he is not able to see it as he is not allowed to and surrounded by a bunch of control freaks. There have been suicides at the church and splits and all kinds of nonsense. If he would just expose it it would put an end to all of the nonsense and pain it is causing others since they dont understand what is going on. Because he is older and fragile and my spiritual father who God used to rescue me I feel protective of him.
    My point to all of this is it is so simple just tell the truth expose it and let God deal with the fall out. But he thinks that would be sinful and show a lack fo faith that God is his protector. I understand his heart and motives. He is hurting deeply as he cant talk to anyone but his wife. Their daughter and grandson presently have cancer. So he doesnt want to burden his wife who is also 80. Their youngest granddaughter died of cancer in their home in his arms. I feel he could end this charade and nonsense. But really it is his love and pure motives leading him so he is not wrong in terms of motive but this has been going on for 5 years. It is like the emperors new clothes. IT would be much more simple to just expose the truth. For me if it was me or my biological father I would not let the charade go on. But i am not in the position to expose it. He believes God will. As I said I dont think he is wrong just old and set in his ways of thinking like touch not the Lords anointed and all of that.
    For me truth is the most important thing. For him love and purity are. I believe you cant have true love and purity without truth. It is only matter of perspective. I have known him since 1986 when I was a young woman. he believed in me and pout up with so much of my PTSD and changes. So I want to support him and not abandon him at his time of need but in order to do so I have to play along with the charade that this other minister is okay that nothing is wrong. For me it is not about forgiveness it is about truth.
    It has gone on for 5 years nothing has changed for the better but things get worse and worse.I did not sleep for an entire year due to this situation. The pastor has such a pure heart and is so well meaning. I know from my personal experience with him. He is also the first person to really believe in me for me and not for my perceived talents.
    For me truth is the best option and maybe I lack the grace he has to give others. But as I said people have died because of covering up the truth. He is unaware of it. I cant be a part of the charade but will continue to love him as my spiritual father. But him covering this up which he thinks is just between him and the other minister is really affecting thousands. That is why the bible says

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

    I hope this helps someone who might be in a similar situation. For anyone who believes please pray for this minister. He is hurting , I am hurting everyone at the church is hurting one way or the other. I cant be a part of this system any more. But I do love him deeply and know we are frail as humans even though we have the best intentions sometimes we hurt others.

  6. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 19th April

    Vicki, I don’t like the word “normal” either. “Normal” in my childhood home was not healthy. Normal was living with the effects of incest, alcoholism and codependency.

    Today I never want to be normal. I want to be healthy. Normal in my childhood was the kind of yelling and arguing that Lynda talks about.

    My dad only ever hit my mom once in their marriage and that was before I was born. He just yelled and cussed and called names. The one time that my dad hit my mom, she went and got his rifle, aimed it at him and pulled the trigger. The only reason he didn’t die that day was because the gun wasn’t loaded. My mom was a good shot with a rifle.

    I grew up hearing that story told. That story was a threat of violence which can be almost as destructive as the actual violence to the mind of a child. That story was one of the reasons that I didn’t tell my mom about the incest until I was in my late 30’s and she and my dad were divorced. The fear that if I told her, she would shot and kill him and go to prison for the rest of her life, leaving my brother, sister and I without parents and it would have all been my fault. Those were my main reasons for not telling her or anyone else about the incest when I was a child.

    Vicki, that was one of my childhood stories of “normal” in my home. That is why I don’t like “normal”.

  7. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th April

    Haha, Darlene, I am barely able to find the time to read all the comments, I sure wouldn’t be able to answer them all, either. I love your posts and that is doing so much right there. THANK YOU.

  8. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th April

    Fi & Jeffrey,
    I’m the same way when it comes to yelling, even when the people doing the yelling, and the people being yelled at, have nothing to do with me. It’s like hearing an uncaged lion roar~>>>>>>>>>>>> RUN!!!

    I’m one of those people who does NOT run the other way, though, when I see/hear someone being yelled at, threatened, or being physically hurt. Even though my instinct is to run ~ I’ve been through so much abuse in my life, when No One wanted to “get involved” ~ so when I hear or see someone being terrorized by a bully, I call 911 first, and then, if the danger seems immediate, I have been known to wade right into the situation, grab the victim, and pull them OUT to safety. Example: in the 1980s when my then-husband and I were living in Navy Housing, a huge screaming banging throwing things hitting FIGHT broke out in the townhouse directly beside ours. You could hear what was going on through the thin common wall, and it sounded deadly. I called the cops, but they were taking their sweet time getting there. I went outside where I could see right into the living room where the physical and verbal fight was going on, the blinds were open on their big picture window, and here were these two big adults screaming at each other, and throwing big heavy items across the room at each other…. AND IN THE CENTER OF THIS ROOM, DOWN ON THE FLOOR, WAS A 2-YEAR-OLD AND A 1-MONTH-OLD.

    Over my then-husband’s protests, when I saw that, I ran inside that condo, right into the middle of the 2 shrieking violent adults, and grabbed the infant with one are, grabbed the 2-year-old with the other arm, and ran out of the house with them.

    SHIVER I just got cold chills all over my body, reliving that memory. I took the little ones into my home next door, checked them over to make sure they were all right, and held and comforted them until the cops got there.

    When it comes to my OWN safety, when someone is yelling at me or physically threatening me, all I want to do is RUN AWAY, FAST. I have no desire to stay and engage in the argument, I see no point in trying to reason with someone who is past the point of being reasonable, I just want to get out, get to safety, to peace and quiet. But, when someone else is being endangered by people going ballistic, I will do what I have to do to help, even if it endangers me.

    I guess it is the maternal instinct in me, I don’t know. Whew… I can still, after more than 25 years, remember holding those little ones in my arms and feeling their little bodies trembling, and smelling the horrible cigarette smell in their hair from living in a house where the adults smoked constantly. I wonder where and how those two little boys are today… last year I found their older sister online, she was 12 back then, and not at home when the fight was happening, but she lived through a lot of other stuff, in that family. Africa (yes, that’s her name, cool isn’t it?) and I talked online for a while, and then she gave me her phone number and I called her… ME, who is so NOT a phone person!… and we talked for over an hour. She told me how much it meant to her that someone would remember her from when she was a little girl, and think enough of her to look her up and ask how her life has been going. I wanted to give her a big hug… she’s the same age as my eldest son, she was friends with my kids, way back then. Anyway, she told me that a few years ago she went back to Virginia to that Navy Housing where she had gone through so much hurt and hell in her young life, and she said, “Lynda, it was like a ghost town, the buildings are all empty, no one lives there anymore, it was the creepiest feeling. I was there looking for some kind of closure, but there wasn’t anything there to give me that. Talking to you now, though, and knowing that you were there next door, and a part of my life then, and knowing that you remember and you care… that is giving me the closure I need.”

    WOW. Sometimes the smallest thing can mean the world to someone else.


  9. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th April

    Being in a left-brain mode today (Q: Are you in your right mind? A: No, I’m in my left) ~ I decided to look up that pesky word, “Normal,” on the free online dictionary. Here is the first definition that popped up:

    A town of central Illinois north-northeast of Bloomington. It is the seat of Illinois State University (founded 1857). Population: 50,700.

    Well, ok, then! I’m pretty sure that none of us here on EFB live anywhere near that town, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with NORMAL.



  10. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 19th April

    Hi Vicki – I hate the word “normal”

    What does “normal” mean?

    “Normal” is always someone’s definition. What is it measured against?

    “Normal” in my family was about incest and the most terrible things. “Normal” was about maintaining silence, towing the party line, instant obedience and compliance. Anything other than that was considered abnormal and dealt with severely.

    I’ve never felt “normal”, I’ve always felt different to my peers, have never fitted in and cannot fit in people’s boxes. I dislike being defined by people who know nothing about me and my history.

    So I am extremely allergic to the word “normal”

  11. By: Vicki Posted: 19th April

    Am I the only person around here who has a deep aversion to the word “normal?”
    I feel like I am, but I still have to refuse to be treated like somebody’s definition of normal. There are too many ways the word can be defined, and I hate the word anyway, b/c there’s not even a snowball’s chance in hell that I’ll ever qualify as normal, a new normal or any other defining characteristic of the word.
    My favorite song is ‘Minority’ by Green Day; words that say things like ‘I wanna be the minority, down w/ the moral majority, I don’t need your authority, down w/ the moral majority.’
    Well, some people would consider the song as being a reckless attitude about normal, but the standard behavior in my house included my brother beating me w/ a crutch and, although it was an accident, nearly killing my sister.
    Who the hell would want to be that kind of normal? But the entire society called ME WEIRD and my mom, who never believed us when we told her that about her biologically-born son, normal.
    Just b/c she could hide it from everybody else, SHE was the one they called normal.
    I hate the word for that reason and more, but that’s the one I think people will relate to best.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th April

      Hi Vicki
      and Everyone on this thread about the word “Normal”
      I agree with all of you; that is why I called this post “FALSE NORMAL Systems” The ways that most of us grew up; the ways that we are talking about that became our “normal” were very far from any kind of acceptable normal.
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 19th April

    Hi Lynda, I can’t cope with yelling either. Even if it’s out on the street and I’m in the house and it’s nothing to do with me it still freaks me out. I feel sheer terror when voices are raised and argumentative. It makes me want to run and run and run. Terrifies me. I don’t even know what gets triggered apart from that flight response. Anxiety levels shoot right up when I hear shouting, even if it’s not directed at me. If it’s something to do with me I feel terror right in the centre of my abdomen and prepare to flinch expecting the worst. It feels like my world is going to end probably because raised voices always led to terrible violence in my childhood. Raised voices often led to people walking out or me being kicked out. It’s an all or nothing feeling. A horrible feeling. Black and white thinking like you said.

  13. By: JefferyW Posted: 19th April

    Lynda – I am so with you on the yelling thing. I can’t take someone yelling – anyone verbally fighting – even if it isn’t with us. Could be the neighbors next door; the guy down the road. Doesn’t matter. Mucks us up; you know – the weird anxiety thing; the ‘danger’ reflex. So I can well understand your feelings. And yeah: a hit? No friggin’ way man – I’d be outta there faster than greased goose crap from a runny goose. NO ONE deserves to be hurt/hit like that. Despite my violent background – and even while a Marine – I avoided violence like the plague (through compromise and reasonable working out of things between warring parties.) Just hate it.

    Ditto my wife. She comes from an abusive background; violent husband and all. One of the things I swore was that WE swore we would never raise a hand nor voice towards her (except to save her life) – EVER. (Yeah, there reason in that promise: I’ve had to pull/shove people out of the way of danger; to make that promise I had to include the exclusions, LOL. Like a bloody frickin’ lawyer, LOL, my mind is.) It is unfortunate I/we/and us had to also promise to never make her completely happy despite we tried (and still try); nor give her some fairy-tale hubby. Just a recognition of real life events.

    You gots my sympathy; the docs long ago diagnosed: neuralgia, fibermyalgia, degenerative arthritis of the spine (c1-c7, thoractic), degenerative disk disease (that fall in the Marine corps); yup, 18+ car wrecks (I seem to have a knack for picking bad drivers to ride with) – other stuff. 30 years and the doc says “It’ll just get worse” but won’t let the knife doctors touch me; they said themselves: can’t do no better; probably make it worse. Was on the Fenytal 150’s for years plus about 35 other pain killers side meds mind meds, speed to pick me up from the depressants that put me down (sigh). Doc said in alarm: “If someone was to take all this s*** they would die.” but we had built that ol’ tolerance up there. Going cold turkey after the insurance ran out sucked, LOL, been there done that oh well we’re good with pain. (not that we like it; hating it, so life altering/robbing not our planned retirement).
    anyways nuff too much said about meandus and just want you to know yeah we understand about that yelling thing we can’t stand it at all and if the man lifts a hand to you run don’t walk you know the routines there eh? But on the other hand we can understand /see he is going thorugh a rough time right there? perhaps the meds are wrong eh? he needs to see some doctor maybe old tough marines hate doing that: nothings ever wrong that ‘we’ can’t take care of kinda attitude ya know but being manly men sometimes we gotta take care get off our butts and do something to fix ourselves. Maybe he’s in that position; must take care of him and YET we know keeping yourself safe is utmost importance; been there done that no dead rescuer here LOL!
    until later we gots things need to get done take care all and see ya later.

  14. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 18th April

    Patricia, I don’t even know what to say about your poor sister. It’s hard to understand why she would keep going back to that, when she had options.

    I can only speak for myself, I didn’t see any options for so long. There weren’t any women and children shelters anywhere near where I lived in the 1970s. When I called the police, they asked me what did I do that provoked my husband to hit me. Swear To God, that was what they said. So I learned it only hurt me worse to call the police.

    Despite having a high iq, my formal education ended early in the 9th grade when I was 14 and committed to a mental institution. It’s funny how people don’t want to marry someone with no education and a history of being locked in an insane asylum.

    So I had no where to go, no way to support myself and my baby, and, I had been taught from the cradle up that I didn’t have any rights or deserve to be loved. I remember telling myself, as a way of trying to comfort myself when my first husband would cycle into another one of his rages; that “a bad love is better than no love at all.” I left my childhood home believing I was crazy and not worthy of love. After my first husband beat me and cheated on me and yelled verbal abuse at me all during the years we were married, my self-esteem was even lower, by the time I finally left him, than it had been when I married him.

    Like your poor sister, I have permanent physical damage from the years of beatings. My nose is crooked from being broken, it used to be the most perfect straight nose. My jaw is also crooked, same reason. I had several concussions, so I’m sure my iq isn’t nearly as high as it originally was. In some ways, I seem like an idiot savant now, still very above-average smart in some areas, and in other areas, my head just doesn’t function AT ALL.

    My neck was almost broken by my ex-husband when he was in a coked-up rage, believing, wrongly, that I was having an affair. He tried with all his adrenalin-hyped raging strength to break my neck in half, and he almost succeeded. My neck hurt so bad, I thought it was broken. As a result, I have very severe and constantly painful degenerative disk disease in my neck. All but the top 2 disks in my neck are herniated or missing altogehter, and there is a large bony over-growth at the base of my neck, from where my body tried to heal the damage on its own. This is what my doctor told me has caused that big hard lump on the base of my neck. When I had an MRI done 10 years ago on my increasingly unbearable painful neck, my doctor looked at the picture and said, “What happened to you about 25 or 30 years ago that injured your neck?” I thought, and said, “It was about 30 years ago that my ex=-husband was in a drugged up insane rage and tried with all his strength to break my neck. I thought it was broken…” The doctor’s face turned pale when I said that, then he said, “That’s what’s caused this, then. Whenever I see a degeneratied cervical spine as bad as this, when I ask if they ever had a really bad injury to their neck, that’s what I hear: “About 30 years ago I was in a really bad car wreck, or about 25 years ago I fell out of a tree, and I hurt my neck.” They always say something like, “And my neck hurt so bad, I thought it was broken.” So yes, what you are telling me, that is what has caused this.”

    The evil ex who did that to me, was cheating on me, I soon found out. SO he was projecting his bad behavoir onto me in his own mind, and punishing me, for what HE was doing. Now THAT’S what I call INSANITY. Also evil.

    Just typing on the computer hurts my neck like hell. Right now I have my neck propped with a roll of a pillow and a comforter, trying to ease the pain, but it never completely goes away, the pain. It’s a constant reminder of what can happen when a big, strong, ENRAGED husband starts YELLING at the top of his lungs, for no understandable reason~

  15. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 18th April

    Lynda, I understand. I haven’t been in a physically dangerous environment since leaving home at 19. If my husband ever hit me out of anger, he knows I would leave or he would.

    My sister today has arthritis from all of the beatings that she got from her ex-husband. She only told me about this in the past 5 years. I knew he was verbally abusive and tried to get her to leave him and gave her a place to stay with my family and me several times but she always went back to him. If I had known that she was being physically abused, I would have done more to keep her and her children from going back. He is supposed to be dying from cancer. As bad as it sounds for me to say it, it couldn’t happen to a better person.

  16. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 18th April

    JefferyW, Thanks for sharing your blog post about promises. As I said on your blog post, I don’t make promises either. By first grade, I had been disappointed by promises being broken so many times that I stopped believing in promises. The disappointment hurts too much.

  17. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 18th April

    BUT we had a good day today, my husband and our Lady dog and I. He cried a lot though, which is also not like him. I mean he was crying over a touching email that my aunt had forwarded to him. He never cries over things like that. Crying I can handle though, just not screaming and yelling. I have been physically beaten, more times than I can even begin to remember, in my first marriage it was the worst, my estimate, on how many times my first husband beat me, is anywhere between 50 – 100 times. I married him at age 16, literally just 2 months after we’d met, he wanted to get married to avoid the draft to ‘Nam, he was 18 and this was 1970, and I had been released from my 2 years in a state insane asylum just 2 1/2 months before he and I married… I thought that NO man would ever want to marry a person who had been in a nut house, so when he asked me to marry him I was ecstatice, I was in LOVE just because he loved me…

    Only he didn’t love me, as I learned within 1 month of our marriage. And he beat me all the time for every little thing……..AND ALWAYS THE SCREAMIING AND THE YELLING CAME FIRST, and then his fists would start flying.

    My husband today is 300 pounds and 6’ 3″ and when he YELLS, he is very intimidating. One time, when he yelled at me, he drew back his fist as though he was going to hit me……and I screamed bloody murder, and he didn’t hit me. I will not stay with him, no matter what, if he ever hits me. One hit will be one too many…. and when he started yelling last night, all those past beatings that always started out with yelling came flooding back into my mind. and my husband knows all aobut this. He knows that yelling at me will drive me right out the door, and he knows why. I have told him, “If the house is on fire, then you may yell at me to let me know. But if there is no emergency on a par with the house being on fire, Do Not Yell At Me.”

    Period. I am worth more than that. AND, even if I didn’t believe I was worth more than that, I would not put up with it. I have gone through too much, it took everything I had to break free of the horrible abuse I went through for so many damned years, and I, Lynda Lee Robinson, will NOT be abused again. Not by anyone, not for any reason. PERIOD.

  18. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 18th April

    Re: Black and White thinking…. I know what that is, and I know I’ve done that in the past, in other situations, but only rarely.. I seem to always be able to see about 5 sides of any situation, and all the shades of gray, so thinking in black and white/all or nothing is very rare for me, almost impossible for me, actually.

    What I was experiencing last night, when my husband started yelling at me, was, for me, all about SURVIVAL. I cannot bear to be yelled at, it breaks me, shatters me, wounds me so deeply, I can’t even find the words to express how deeply it hurts. SO, I went NUMB. I shut down inside, shut down my feelings for my husband, so that I wouldn’t have to feel the PAIN.

    It’s not about forgiveness, either, Jeffrey. I know that my husband has his issues, his faults, his wounds from his own PTSD, all that stuff you said, and he has every reason and every right to not be perfect. To me, it’s not about whether I understand him or forgive him or see that he isn’t just all white or all black, he is multi-hued, as are we all, and that’s OK. To me, it’s about this thing only: I CAN’T STAND BEING SCREAMED AT AND I CAN’T LIVE WITH BEING SCREAMED AT AND IF HE KEEPS IT UP, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON, I WILL HAVE NO CHOICE, FOR THE SAKE OF MY SANITY AND MY HEALTH, TO LEAVE, AND LIVE ALONE. With the dog; she can’t stand screaming either.

  19. By: JefferyW Posted: 18th April

    Patricia: “all of the promises broken when I was a child. I never make promises to anyone”
    – wrote this on JUST that subject April 7.
    Here: http://wp.me/s1t0dv-promises

    I think you – and probably others – can relate.

  20. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 18th April

    JefferyW, someone recently reminded me of my own “black and white” thinking so we all could probably use the reminder from time to time. Thank you for your words of encouragement and understanding. My mind knows all of what you said about the church situation. My heart just takes longer to know those things. Feelings aren’t as clear cut as thoughts.

    When I do go to church, like yesterday, I don’t feel angry at anyone. My anger comes out in my resistance to going to church and in my resistance to sharing my feelings and thoughts with anyone there. I still consider many of them as my friends. I just don’t have the level of trust with them that I once did. Trust broken, for me, is hard to ever give again because of all of the broken trusts from the childhood incest – all of the promises broken when I was a child. I never make promises to anyone. As a child, I was taught that promises were always broken so why make them.

    Fi, I can feel for you with the church thing too. What they have done to you isn’t right. As I typed those words, I could feel your disappointment in them and I could feel my own disappointment in my church friends. They didn’t step up and take my side. They didn’t say “Stop this right now.” I know that they were afraid as JefferyW said. In my heart that doesn’t excuse their behavior. It doesn’t change how I feel. Thanks JefferyW and Fi. You have both given me some things to think about.

  21. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 18th April

    About the church thing – for 2 years from 2005-2007 I worked voluntary 1 day a week and Sundays as PA to the pastoral co-ordinator. On Sundays I wore a pastoral team badge but I was NOT allowed to pray for someone or pastorally support someone in any way because the leadership considered me to be too messed up to be of any help to anyone. When the pastoral co-ordinator resigned from her post late in 2007 I had meetings with the leadership who wanted my administration skills but didn’t want the whole package – a human being came with those skills but they couldn’t accept the person that came along with those skills. There is more to me than my admin skills. I was not prepared to submit to their requirements about behaviour etc and that is why I walked away from the church.

    I’ve tried other churches since but every time people start to get to know who you really are the should stuff about forgiveness kicks in and judgements start being made about my mental health etc etc. And it’s really hard having to cope with the questions about who you are, your family etc.

    You know it’s incredible how terrifying and intimidating the thought of going to church is. And that is NOT how it should be.

    Yes I am more isolated but at least there is no pressure on me to conform to things I cannot conform and at least I’m able to be who I am.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th April

      Thank you for sharing your experience with the church abuse. That you were “allowed” to do certain things, and “not allowed” to do other things.. that is exactly what I am talking about re: control and defining another person! What the heck is “Christlike” about treating someone like that???????????? They wanted your “gifts” with admin but not YOU as a person? This makes me SO angry.

      And yes this happened to me in a similar way with Church stuff when I was on the board of continuing education and when I was a youth leader but constantly put down and usually the credit for my success was somehow undermined or given to someone else (but not to the lord) ! and of course I was taught to give all the credit to the lord, so I felt guilty for even being upset about it! I never had any words to even define why I was so upset, or what was unfair to me because the way that my beleif system was ~ BUT today I do have those words.. and I intend to keep on writing / speaking them!

      Thanks for sharing this Fi. I know I am behind on the comments, but HAD to post something about this one.

      Everyone ~
      I have reached the point where I can’t keep up with all the comments. I do read them, but I have run out of time to answer all of them! I appreciate each one of you and love that you respond to each other!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: JefferyW Posted: 18th April

    Patricia: The church thing; the people in it – and remember this is an “IMO/IOO” thing, o’tay?
    People are afraid to ‘stand out’ or ‘stand up’ for someone when they will be (or think they will be) – in the minority (and thus be attacked). Psych/Sociology studies show: in a crowd there may be many thinking the same thing, but until someone ‘brave’ enough steps forward and states that thing, the other folks will just ‘follow the crowd’ (sit still) – even if they think the crowd is wrong. It’s a ‘survival’ mechanism for social groups – the odd man out gets pecked to death, so to speak.

    BUT: when that ONE voice steps out and speaks up – it often emboldens others to step forward and support that person. We have DONE this in crowds purely as a psych experiment – and it works. Jeez, monkey see monkey do and all that sorta mess.
    I can understand your hurt. But with understanding sometimes comes compassion and/or a certain amount of so-called ‘forgiveness’. And understanding these people on a deeply subconscious ‘caveman level’ ‘feared for their lives’ (by appearing different, and never mind their lives were never in danger; they felt they would be ‘threatened’ by stepping forward. (Can you say: chicken?)). Sad but true? Perhaps . . . sometimes … the victim can step forward, state their feelings – and if done right (not condemning the chickens, but encouraging them by saying you understand their ‘fears’) – you can rally troops to your side as the chickens see the other chickens aren’t pecking you to death. (and if they do: remember this: apathy is a wonderful thing: if you don’t care what they think, then they can’t hurt you with their thoughts, eh?)
    Just a thought … from US with hugs and children’s kisses.

  23. By: JefferyW Posted: 18th April

    Hi ya Lynda,
    Patricia Said: “What I hear from you is what Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families would call “all or nothing” thinking.” Gee, Patricia – I’m glad you said that!!! This is a ‘trap’ us survivors often fall into: one ‘hurt’ and it’s ‘all or nothing’. I NEED THAT REMINDER sometimes! (someone kick me in the butt with it every once and awhile, please?)

    Lynda: That’s something “we” gotta remember: apparently normal folks can ‘scold’ – and “we” see it as an entire system condemnation – when what they may have been doing is a critique. BUT!!…

    Not with your dear hubby. A therapist once warned me – over and over and over again: Be CAREFUL in your relationships with other abuse survivors (we were close to cutting the cords here with wife and running to CA to be with a fellow survivor – forever) – Survivors can sometimes ‘feed’ – and ‘feed each other’s’ pains, triggering the triggers, and dragging both (all) down into some bad place or pit.

    BUT it sounds like hubby has some problems with his dosages; whatever. I hated switching ADP’s – 6 weeks wait, never knowing. We finally got off the ADP’s – numb ain’t good, and … gee, hard to say it: but shutting off our ‘selves’, the ‘voices’ did us more damage than good, delaying our recovery for years. I really feel for hubby – and Lydna? Remember: he’s a survivor, too – and as you know, we often do things that we don’t want to do – even as we’re doing them. Your hubby feels remorse; this indicates he wasn’t quite ‘in control’ perhaps? Sometimes ya just gotta step back, see the ‘whole picture’ (your whole husband, your years together) – and realize ‘this point in time is unimportant’ in relation to the whole – an anomaly. And I don’t speak for him, but I gots me parts that ‘hate’ my wife and life – well, hate perhaps too strong a word? – But we’re okay with it (meaning working on it.)
    This is a really rambling post (got other crap on my mind; wanna write ‘Being Beat Animal” and jeeeezz! hard – push to do, dread of doing, eh?) So to be short: just forgive him? Understand it’s just drugs? Realize he knows? Ya’ll will ‘take care of it”, address this, his ‘new’ issue?
    And, BTW (cuz’ we’re curious critters) – what, perchance, was the idea? (LOL< wondering if it is something I've been thinking, LOL!!!) Don't share public unless comfy; or you can always email me/us: we have no problems with stuff it seems (switch-a-roo, someone else can do, LOL!)
    Until later, the guys with flies for brains: Meselves myselves and I

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