Freedom and Self Worth ~ More on Family Dysfunction


the sun sets only to rise agian

I got a lot of emails and private messages about my last blog post “The longing for Family, Love and Self Love” some of our readers misunderstood me, and offered comfort and even therapy. I think the title was misleading.

I want to (hopefully) clarify a few things. I am not writing these blog posts from a victim’s viewpoint, but from the magnificent vista of freedom and wholeness that I enjoy and embrace in my life today.

I am sad that my relationship with my parents is what it is, but the message that I want to deliver is, that while I used to be very conflicted and held back by the knowledge that I was just not important to them, I am not held back by that anymore. I have become my own person and have risen above the need for their approval. I approve of me today; I define myself and believe my value to be equal to every other human beings value.

There is so much freedom in the acceptance that my parents are not likely going to change. They have their belief system, which is not related to mine anymore.  Their definition of love is not the same as mine. Their definition of family is not the same as mine either. There is even greater freedom in accepting that I don’t need them to accept me or approve of me or even for them to KNOW me in order for me to be valid, valuable or right. My existence does not depend on what they think or how they view the world with me in it. I no longer live under the rules of obligation ~ and respect is a two way street.

When I told my mother that she could not treat me with such disrespect if she wanted to continue to have a relationship with me, she dismissed me. That fact alone tells the story.

Freedom is no longer living with the expectation that one day I will do just the right thing and magically, someone will notice me and believe I am worthy of interest. I am worthy. My worth does not come from someone else. My worth comes from somewhere deep inside me; the acceptance and acknowledgement of my self worth grew out of the process and the work that I did to become whole and to overcome the mental health issues that I struggled with.

Freedom and wholeness is knowing who I am and living each day to the fullest! I like who I am today and my life isn’t missing a thing!

Please add your comments or suggestions! I would love to hear from you.

To your freedom and the continued pursuit of wholeness!

Darlene Ouimet

P.S. On this same subject, I plan to write some articles about the power we have as parents when we notice our children and the results we get when we love, encourage and acknowledge them for who they are. If it were not for my past, I would not be so sensitive to this issue, but I would also not be so knowledgeable about how to use my power to empower others instead of using it to control others.

6 response to "Freedom and Self Worth ~ More on Family Dysfunction"

  1. By: Ginger Posted: 5th February

    Calvin, you comment “Religious people are the worst and the most judgmental and damaging.” really struck a cord for me.

    My mother-in-law told me that I should go to confessional after I found out that my husband had been cheating. She reasoned that I was wrong to want to talk to anyone about something so personal that it should only be shared with God. She said this while refusing to acknowledge my hurt and confusion.

    My mother loved to remind me over the years that I need to honour my parents. This coming from the very person who has spent a lifetime of physically and verbally and emotionally abusing me. The very same person who treated my brothers as kings, while I was and have always been the servant. Acknowledgement my existence was based on only to service their needs and wants. And God forbid, I should ever have wants or needs……it really didn’t matter to them anyway, because their answer was always the same. The answer was always no, too busy, better things to do with my time.

    I tried to commit suicide soon after I discovered my husband’s infidelities. Not because of his betrayal, but because of my treatment by his family and mine.

    I was denied any emotional or physical support. I was stressed about how to cope financially and did not know how to support my children.

    My beloved sister-in-laws decided that was the perfect time to further make my life a living hell. My brothers, as per usual, were nowhere to be seen. My parents refused to help me when I asked if I could rent ….yep, rent……one of their apartments.

    As you can imagine, I was a little upset when I came out of hospital.

    My darling mother decided this was the perfect time to remind me that I was obliged to honour my parents……because it was their right as my parents to ignore my needs and I should respect their decision.

    I told my mother that respect is a two-way street, and until she could earn my trust, she was undeserving of my respect. I ceased contact with her for a few months.

    I have gone no contact with my brothers since my suicide attempt…. and that feels glorious. I have re-established limited contact with my parents, because my children are still young and they want to see their grandparents (and I am unwilling to allow them visits over without my supervision). My parents are on best behaviour at the moment. Have they earnt my trust and respect….never ever. Not in my lifetime. My husband’s sisters have finally been given their marching orders as well….and that feels like “freedom” as well.

    My husbands has regained some of my respect….and is back home, making good progress mending my fences. He hasn’t completed regained my trust, but is making good progress on the “respect” front.

    I cannot excuse his behaviour or decisions…..but I do understand them. I recognise that it had nothing to do with me. We both have issues with our upbringing/lives and we are doing a better job of recognising our dysfunctional thinking for what they are. My husband and I are so much closer than ever before.

    It took a lot of pain and heartache…..and there is still lots of healing to be done, but I feel it in my heart, my life is starting to feel better.

  2. By: Connie Posted: 4th February

    Right on Calvin, we do get it. Almost every post and comment I’ve read on this wonderful site could have come directly out of my mouth. We share a common experience with a diversity of circumstances.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th February

      Hi Calvin
      Yes, it does hurt but that hurt and seeing clearly what was really going on, is what set me free. Today I have real, mutually respectful relationships. And I believe that the more people who embrace ‘the real truth’ about all this dysfunction, the more that it will have to stop. The cycle will be broken when enough people draw their boundaries and start living by the rules of mutual respect and the true definition of love.
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Calvin Posted: 4th February


    For the past 18 yrs. I have gone from little contact to no contact with my Narcissistic Mother and my Golden Child siblings. People just don’t get it and most do not want to get it. The first reaction is they want to fix me and the last thing they want to do is listen and try to understand. Religious people are the worst and the most judgmental and damaging. That type of behavior is the very reason why I have had to go NO contact…and believe me I have tried and tried. I could never be good enough…and now the wicked witch has he flying monkeys to do her bidding. She has taken my siblings hostage and has them wrapped around her finger…money and approval are very powerful tools. I am finding my self separating more and more from unhealthy people who seen to have this same kind of group think…wolves in sheeps clothing.
    I seem to have chosen the same kind of controlling people and environments my whole life…because that is what I was comfortable with.
    Yes I long for a family and a community but now it is going to be on my terms…my trust needs to be earned. I’ve had people who were “friends” but in reality I was just a “ministry project” for them…I thought for all these yrs. they got what I was talking about and we did have a lot of good times…but then one day the true colors come out…it hurts…and it has happened way too many times. I have been a people pleaser my whole life, I have sold myself out way too many times looking for “love”…
    Thank God for people like you that get it !!! If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane …

  4. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you so much for your comments. This topic is particularly
    difficult for so many people, and it is a pretty hot topic. People long to be encouraged to stand up to their parents but at the same time, long to be discouraged from it, wanting to believe lies about issues of respect, parental rights, and all sorts of other stuff that inevitably leads to more mental health issues.

    Coming out of the fog where my own parents were concerned, was one of the big things that set me free and if I can help others get to freedom, then I will write about the truth and take my chances.

    In my case, the door to relationship is open, but it is according to my definition of relationship, love and respect and living by this truth serves me well in my life today.


  5. By: Sharon S Posted: 3rd February


    I just came back to this post and re-read again. I think your message is beautiful and inspiring to many who are struggling with parental issues and acceptance or even self-esteem.

    Can’t wait to read more on your blog!

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