Giving and Receiving in a Healthy Relationship


Giving and Receiving in heathy relationship  “It is only when we feel deprived that we resent giving to others. Self-care does not mean you stop caring about others; it just means you start caring more about you. Start thinking about yourself more and others less. Since you have a choice between taking care of someone else, or giving to yourself, try choosing yourself sometimes.” The Right to Innocence by Beverly Engel

In a dysfunctional relationship, there is an imbalance in the way that each person is considered.  In a relationship based on equal value, everyone’s needs are considered. In a healthy relationship based on the true definition of love, everyone matters. I have tried very hard to teach and model healthy relationship in this website with the readers here.

Once in a while I post a request for donations at the end of a new article. This is the first time that I have ever posted a blog post about it on a main page about it. I hate asking for donations because sometimes I get nasty emails from people accusing me of doing this blog for money; I have been compared to ‘abusers’ because I asked for donations. This is very upsetting because for six years now, (three with this website) I have done everything to contribute to the healing of others without any thought to my own gain. And I have become aware that I discount myself in doing so. In order to ensure that ‘other people’ are comfortable, I have discounted myself, which is exactly what I did in the past with my relationships with my family and what I write about here in Emerging from Broken.

I have heard some bizarre things from people when I have requested donations at the bottom of a blog post. More than once people have said to me “well I WAS going to donate until you asked”. (I have no idea what that means! When I don’t ask no one donates!) Sometimes people stop commenting when I ask for donations. I posted a request for donations on facebook once and no one clicked the like button or commented, which is really odd because normally I get at least 80 likes per status update in the facebook page for EFB.  The message that I get from this is that nobody ‘liked’ me asking for my needs to be met… and that also reminds me of the dysfunctional family system that I write about here in Emerging from Broken.

Very often people send me advice about how to change the website to a membership site that people have to pay for. But the thing is that I don’t want to change the site; It works this way. It is free to ALL. It is helping people; whoever wants to access the information on it. I know that not everyone can afford to hire me to do one on one work, just like I know that not everyone who reads my work can afford to give a donation to it, but I want you to understand that free content is not free. I pay a webmaster monthly to do the security and back-ups and updates on this site. I pay for the auto responder and the hosting fees. The way that I developed this community was and still is intentional. I don’t do it for me; I already know all this stuff. This is my gift to a hurting world. I am working on a book and on some work books but meanwhile while I find the time to finish them in-between clients, all the email and comments, I am asking to have help with my expenses for publishing and maintaining this website.

In a relationship based on equal value, everyone’s needs are considered. My needs are important too. I give my heart and soul to this work because I have such a passion for the message of truth, which I believe is the only path to healing from childhood trauma. And I am asking for my needs to be considered. IF you can; If you are able, please consider helping with the costs of running this website.

Since posting my request for help 4 days ago in the previous blog post, I have gratefully received 5 donations totalling $85.00. 3 of them were from people who donate every month.  I was a little disappointed that my request was not ‘heard’ or validated in any way by so many. It costs me $200.00 a month to maintain this site. That is $2400.00 a year. When I don’t get enough donations, I have to pay them out of own pocket. And for the first year and a half, I did.

I spend a minimum of 6 hours a day on this website, answering comments, email and writing new articles. I paid thousands of dollars for the therapy and courses that I took in order to qualify me to do this work that I freely share with all of you. All I am asking in return is please, please, consider contributing to the maintenance of this site. It isn’t fair that I contribute so freely to this community and have to pay for the expenses of it too.  

If I were your waitress, would you tip me? Not because it is the ‘right’ thing to do but because I am worth it; because I go that extra mile.  If I were in your city, would you buy me a cup of coffee? If I had a self-help book, would you buy it? There are 370 articles all with discussions on this site. There are 22,500 comments in the discussions and tons of feedback from me in those discussions. I read every comment and respond to most. That is one heck of a self-help book!

If I had $20.00 for every time someone told me that my website has helped them more than any therapy they have ever had, therapy that they paid for, my expenses would be paid in advance for years.

I understand if you are unable to donate, my intention with this request is not make anyone feel ‘bad’. I am not trying to inspire any feelings of “obligation”; that is against my entire message of the real definition of love. If this post makes you uncomfortable, think about why. In all likelihood whatever feelings come up over this have nothing to do with me. I had to do a lot of work on where my money beliefs came from and I know many of us here have been taken advantage of when it comes to money but my work in this site speaks for itself about my intentions and about my character.

I don’t want people to stop commenting if they are unable to contribute to the costs of this work. I am just stating MY needs. Again, this is not a guilt trip.

Please help if you can. There is a donate button in the upper right side bar.

If you are not comfortable using pay pal to donate, please email me through the contact form and I will send you my snail mail address.

Here is the way that I would love to see this turn out. If you can donate, GREAT, I will do the happy dance; if you can’t, let’s just keep going the way we are; lets keep talking and sharing and I will still be happy that you are here reading this gift that I’ve always intended to give no matter what.  

Thank you so much for being part of this site. As well as financial assistance, I appreciate each of you and all your contributions in the form of comments and support of my work and for each other.

Thank you for reading this post. Please feel free to comment, share your feelings about this request for my needs to be met or your feelings about money in general.   

With Love,

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Self Esteem



Dear Darlene — I just donated $10 and I wish it was more, but I will send more soon. Thank you so much for this website. It is not selfish to ask for donations, it is healthy. Thanks for modeling health and wholeness. This is my first comment, but I always read your posts.

THANK YOU for being a voice for people like me.


Hi Lolo
Welcome to EFB!! (to the commenting part) ~ Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words and for you donation!
Hugs, Darlene


I have always been uncomfortable asking for money, my parents put labels on it that I’m still undoing. This must have been hard for you and I want you to know I appreciate you and everything you put on here. When I have it, you will definitely get one.
It was a year ago this month that I read your blog during the hardest part of my life and I’ms so thankful I found it. Have a happy holiday!


I’m not a commenter by nature, but thought it appropriate to say that I’ve enjoyed plugging into your website and therefore I just made a donation.

If you’re offering a worthy service then by all means you should ask for donations occasionally to help pay the expenses because some of us need reminding from time to time.

From Oz to Canada – blessings.


“In a relationship based on equal value, everyone’s needs are considered. My needs are important too. I give my heart and soul to this work because I have such a passion for the message of truth, which I believe is the only path to healing from childhood trauma. And I am asking for my needs to be considered. IF you can; If you are able, please consider helping with the costs of running this website.”

A very respectful & truthful request that should be honored even if $$ is not available. Honored by being polite, still emotionally giving to you in moral support if nothing else. I send you my heartfelt gratitude for your courage & wisdom despite my inability to help fund your work at this time in my life.


Darlene, I have followed you for years, and I am one of those you have helped. If there was any way I could give you money as a donation I would. As I cannot I do my bit by promoting your blog and Facebook page. It is not a lot but it is my attempt at paying you back for your wisdom and kindness.


Darlene, I appreciate the comment from DYB about your work being honored and supported. This is true for me as well, what you wrote: “I had to do a lot of work on where my money beliefs came from and I know many of us here have been taken advantage of when it comes to money.” I’m sorry I can’t contribute financially, but I did want to acknowledge your post. Evidently, I have a block about money, but that’s for another post. Cheers, Lynn


Darlene ~
I read your blog for the first time last Thursday after my gf told me to lookup Self Validation on the internet. WOW! You are so eloquent and concise in your writing. I was so excited about your blog on that subject. For the first time in a long time, I felt validated! I even told my therapist about you and she has in turn read your site.

I wondered how you were able to devote so much apparent time to this blog and I was actually getting on here today to see what type of advertising was sold to support it.

What a coincidence that you would blog about this today.

Please accept my first donation of more to come. I value what you are doing and want to help you as well as others that may not be able to financially support your work on this site.

Merry Christmas,


Hi Coffee79
That is cool that you found this site one year ago! Thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Netty
Welcome to the commenting section, even if this is a rare thing for you! Thank you for your donation and for your validating comments too.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Carol
Thanks for your comments and thank you so much for sharing my blog and my page. That is wonderful! I totally understand that many people are not able to donate money! I appreciate the validation even of my work here! Thank you
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynn
Thank you for your comment too. The reason I put that line is was only because of the nasty comments that I have had in the past when I have brought up donations. (that it was about them not about me or what I was doing by asking). Thank you for all the support that you have given me over the years, guest posting here and with your blog too. All of that in my view is part of the contribution.
Hugs, Darlene


(sorry I put your name in the wrong place before in my comment that was meant for Carol; I edited it!)
Thank you for your gratitude! I appreciate it very much!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Cline
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Thank you so much for your comments and for your donation!
I don’t like to sell advertising becasue it is always drug companies or sleasy depression advertisments that ask me to buy it from me. I am really picky about what I endorse because this network is so huge and I have worked so hard to earn the trust of the readership. I do take clients for one on one work but if I take too many I can’t do this too and this blog for me is about the bigger picture.
Thanks again,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, Darlene…….I think it’s wonderful that you are honest about your expenses! Thank you for sharing that. I only found your site a short while ago, but I will be very glad to begin offering donations through PayPal. I keep a pretty tight budget, but your site is very important to me……a true blessing. I can’t donate until next Friday, December 21, but I am putting it on my calendar. I will donate then. You are offering such valuable help. I also will do my very best to continue donating monthly.

Love, Marore


Darlene, thank you for measuring contributions in ways other than financial. I was like Cline: I wondered how you could devote so much time (and heart, soul, mind) to your unique site, without obvious sponsorship. I don’t advertise on my blog either for the same reasons, but then, I don’t work like you. I post static articles, reviews, information, but when someone wants an interactive site, with REAL trustworthy presence, I refer to you. You are valued and admired.


Hi Darlene

I don’t usually comment either, I feel more comfortable just reading the posts and comments, but I wanted to support your request for donations to help you run the site.

I’ve always thought that compared to therapy, a small donation to your expenses is great value for money, and I’ve learnt so much more here than any therapy I’ve tried.

The great thing about EFB, is that you really get how it feels to grow up in a dysfunctional family.

Thank you very much!!!


I value & appreciate EFB. I’ve been reading & commenting for almost a year now and I have to say that it’s been life changing for me. This place has been my stepping stone to my recovery & healing. I have donated in the past & would really like to donate again. Yet, my finances are trully tight right now, especially with Christmas coming. I will donate what I can and you are on my Christmas List! For me, it’s about giving back to something I trully believe in. You deserve the support for what you give freely!
Thanks for your healing gift!


Hi Marore
Thank you very much, I really appreciate it. (and it is so great to have you here!)
Love, Darlene

Hi Ali
I greatly appreciate your consistent donations to this effort!Thank you for your encouragement and support today too. I have been told countless times by readers that their theripist refered them here! (but that therapist is getting paid!) One lady told me her therapist printed off 35 pages of this site for her to read…. I was thinking “hummmm maybe there is something wrong with this picture???” 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sonia
I understand that things are tight. They are for me too this year. That is one of the reasons why I picked the quote at the beginning of the post; I was beginning to resent ‘giving so freely’ when I could just take more clients and not give so freely. I agree, I do deserve support for what I am doing here! Thank you for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I am so proud of what you are doing. It is so needed. You certainly deserve support and I am glad you are asking for it.


I am not sure what to think. This is the very first time for me on your site, and this is the only entry I have read. Based on an outsiders view, the emotion that came through in this entry is:

It isn’t fair that I contribute so freely to this community and have to pay for the expenses of it too.  

My reaction to that is: You gave your time willingly; no one held a gun to your head. You contracted with providers to manage and maintain the site, and therefore accepted the financial responsibility. You control the content as author. You mention that the body of work is publishable. Wanting money to continue to maintain the site is your perogative. But UNFAIR?


Hi Darlene,

I love that you ask for donations. It’s inspiring for me the arguments you make. The comparison between exploitation in the family system and exploitation in the free market. I struggle with the same, offering a blog for free as I want to help others, but at the same time forget about me and what I get out of it? I posted less and less due to it. I’m still struggling to ask for donations. I admire you took the leap.


Tea wrote: “My reaction to that is: You gave your time willingly; no one held a gun to your head. You contracted with providers to manage and maintain the site, and therefore accepted the financial responsibility. You control the content as author. You mention that the body of work is publishable. Wanting money to continue to maintain the site is your perogative. But UNFAIR?”

Actually, I think by “it isn’t fair”, Darlene meant it isn’t “equitable”. It’s not equal to have one person do all the giving – that’s not balanced. Something I’ve been learning about this year is the concept of reciprocity and exchange of energy. The more I get out of something, the more I should put into it. This keeps the energy exchange equal. Dear Tea, if it’s your first time here, you probably haven’t had time to get the full feel for the blog, or understand Darlene or where she is coming from, or to yet feel the full value of the blog. In that case, don’t worry. She isn’t really talking to you. You can feel free to read and move on if it’s not valuable, or come back if it is. If you find yourself coming back a lot, perhaps give some thought to how much value it is to you.

What motivated me to give that little bit that I gave was the commenter who told Darlene, “I would have given if you hadn’t asked.” As a little girl, I spent many years isolated in my room, often after being severely spanked, where I was supposed to be “thinking” about what I did wrong. Often, I would fall asleep waiting to be allowed to come out, and NM would say in her mocking sing-song voice, “I was going to let you come out, but you never asked.” Other times (most times) I WOULD ask and she would taunt me by saying, “Well… I would have let you out, but you asked, so now you have to get back in there.” It became a game (in the bad sense) and I had to try to figure out whether this was an “ask” time or a “don’t ask” time.

So, that comment was a HUGE trigger for me and I thought, “OK – I don’t have much money but no matter what, I’m NOT going to sit by and let someone treat Darlene like that.” That’s abusive game-playing, and I’m not going to stand by and do nothing. Any little bit of support I can give is like standing up to the bullies who abused us for so many years.


This is my first visit & first post I’ve read. I appreciate your honesty & candor (although the use of the word “unfair” or likening the blogger/reader relationship to previous dysfunctional relationships in your life was a little dramatic, IMHO) but I think you are going about this all wrong. This is the day of free information where everyone has access to so much data for free, only the “elite” get to charge for information. I have quit attending several business networking groups because it seems everyone attending was a coach or consultant with some earth shaking lessons to teach me how to do everything better. What makes them the expert?!
So YOU, my friend, have positioned yourself wonderfully by providing relevant, eloquently stated posts that have gained you an AUDIENCE. There’s your ticket. You don’t have to give in to the slimy drug companies to be advertisers for you– you have an audience to offer ( and even if we are all “emerging from broken”, we are still everyday consumers!!) so the BIG GUYS will see value in those numbers and want to give you money for access!
So don’t waste your time on how to write the politically correct post asking for donations, or responding to everyone who has an opinion about your asking–stick to your great content, write more of it, stay relevant in the volatile arena of blogging, and GO ASK for what you want with a sponsor or partner who can benefit from your audience, add more value for your audience, and possibly position you & your blog to be the success you want it to be! (let’s face it, today’s donations only fix today, but sponsorships/partnerships have ongoing returns!)

Btw, I don’t sell information, so there’s no charge for my pearls of wisdom today 🙂
Best of luck to you on getting to the gold.


I am glad this not paid for site as my soon to be ex left me homeless and broke without even my clothes.Under those circumstances I never would have found you and your help so please know I am grateful and yes i Know that does not help pay bills.
I will just say even the price of a cup coffee is about what I finally have after i pay rent on my diability and I believe your help to my wholeness is worth a whole bunch more …:-)


by the way is there way to keep organizations and therapists from printing from here without paying…i realize that may be buying software..but it could be worth it in the long run???


Darlene, I know how hard you work and personally, I feel you are worth more than voluntary donations, used to maintain your site. I appreciate all you give to others for free. I am one of those who has found more healing here than in any therapy I paid thousands of dollars for.

Another way to look at it is that it is healthy for people who are helped here to give back. It helps maintain equality in a relationship to give as well as receive. Always taking makes people feel obligated and sometimes, resentful. My father-in-law used to say that if you gave a man a dollar a day for ten years, on the day you stopped giving, he would be angry with you. It is just as unbalanced to constantly be receiving as always doing all the giving. Anyway, just a thought and I don’t think you should ever feel bad for reminding people to donate. If you do at some point, decide to become a members only site, I would send people to you because the help I received would have been worth joining a paying a fee for. There’s absolutely, nothing wrong with you making money in return for giving of yourself and your time to help others.



Lolo, I also remember that sort of hateful, shaming manipulation from my mother-“I was going to/would have given you/let you do x” and always after the critical moment had passed, so she could make me feel and look stupid. Meanwhile, as my parent she was legally obligated to take care of my needs and shouldn’t have kept me walking blind over glass to try to get them met, or looking for any possible pretext to choose laziness and meanness over me.

Emerging From Broken is great as it is, and has helped so many people. If Darlene has asked for donations to help maintain it and not unsolicited advice about how she should run the website or her wider career, then I think we should respect that. Asking for help doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. I will donate again when I can for this amazing resource.


Hi Rochelle
Thank you.

I think you missed the point, but as you admit, this is your first visit to the site and the first thing you have read so I realize that you don’t know anything about me or about what I do here.


Hi Marc!
Thanks for your comments. You were the very first person ever to give me a donation and your words to me since have always encouraged me to finally take this leap! Thank you for being here on this post and for your friendship!
Hugs, Darlene

I could really relate to your comments. I became so aware of how with abusive people I was never right, I could never win and that my words, actions and even my thoughts could be twisted.
Thank you so much for “sticking up for me” and your reasoning was beautifully put! I appreciate it so much.
Hugs, Darlene



I just donated. You’re worth every penny and then some! And if you lived in my city, I’d buy you a whole latte. 🙂


Hi Pam
Thanks so much for your wonderful words of support and I love your thougths on giving back. Really that is all I am asking for; I could just say ‘whatever’ and take more clients. I make more in 2 hours than I get in donation for a whole month. I don’t feel bad for asking people to give something back to me. I am not sure what is in the future for this site, but I will keep you (and everyone) posted. Thanks so much for your thoughts and contributions, guest posts and friendship!
Hugs, Darlene

Thank you Caden
I appreciate what you have said too. Thank you so much and thank you for being here!
Hugs, Darlene


And I would love that latte!!
Thank you so much for you donation and for your lovely words!
Hugs, Darlene


I like the quote you chose. It’s about Self Care & that’s healthy 🙂


“It is only when we feel deprived that we resent giving to others.”

You know, even though I have so little money that I can’t make a contribution at this point, I don’t feel resentment at the idea of giving it. But this quote really hit home for me on an EMOTIONAL level. Really. I felt so deprived of emotional connection and validation that I often do find myself stewing with resentment at people and not wanting to give them a break in any way. I feel so self-righteously hostile sometimes that I have come to see that this is an important clue. I have still not fully validated the emotional neglect I grew up with. I still have a hard time going there long enough to feel the rage for the truly appropriate people who hurt me.

This quote is a helpful reminder.

Thank you again for everthing, Darlene.



Hi Darlene:
This site has been life changing for me. The abuse from my family
had intensified to the point that I had begun to self harm. I have
previously paid for counseling to better come to terms with my
emotional issues and the diagnosis was divorce your husband and
start new. I was always the problem even when seeking help.
You presented the option of healing, of discovering what
happened to me and dealing with it. I can not put a high enough value on your
assistance. Thank you.
Having freely maintained 8 websites for friends as an
administrator I can state that it takes a lot of time and effort.
Its a positive thing to say ” I need some help”. How does anyone know
unless you speak up? I think a lot of folks dont know how website
features work, what they cost or what is required to maintain a site.
This is a positive example of what we discuss here about personal
worth and speaking up when you have needs.


Hi Darlene,

I found EFB in September. It has helped me so much with decisions that I have made concerning my FOO. This is my first post on EFB. I just want to show my support for you and all your great work. I think that you are a pioneer for saying and doing things that are not the standard for our culture. That is why I nominated you for a WEGO Trailblazer Award. You received my donation last week. I will donate to you again. Thank you for being an angel and a voice of reason.



Hi Everyone
I got really sick on wednesday and fianlly have been able sit up long enough to post this note! I might be away for a couple more days yet.

Thank you to everyone who sent a donation as a result of this post! I will write thank you notes as soon as I am feeling better.
Hugs, Darlene


hi , I think you still have a little bit of low self esteem if you are uncomfortable in asking for money. ~ I have a huge problem around money and workmen and people who come to say, fix my laptop for me, or do a bad job, Im not good at trying to get back money, this again is to do with my childhood, my lack of esteem. my feeling ‘i dont really count.
~ recently a man came to clean my carpet, he did a dreadful job splashed and made it worse. I paid him. He was a complete jerk and yet i couldnt have the confidence to pay him.
i live in Ireland, I am presently living on invalidity pension and have very little money, I do not have a Bank account which means, i am paid cash weekly but seldom have anything over. Is there some way I could get money changed into Dollars to help you ? Your site has been an absolute help to me during this awful time of my break up and also a bad depression. Sending you lots of love xxx


Thank you for giving us a safe place to share ourselves. $20 for you, I finally got a decent paying job (that I enjoy!) a year after being laid off. Reading your blog over this past year has given me a stable place to come to when things get really dark for me. I couldn’t afford therapy, and I couldn’t afford to donate to you either. You always make me feel welcome here, and that is priceless. Thank you for being here to remind me to stay focused and determined.

Big Hugs





Hi Darlene, I am able to donate, so I did!.. I appreciate you reminding us,because sometimes I think some of us forget, all that is entailed in maintaining this website. It does not compensate for your time and expertise, which is priceless!
This post is a great example of healthy communication and asking for needs to be met! I am sorry some people see it differently. I am hoping it does not hurt your feelings when they say that. It makes me sad for you when others choose not to validate the important work you do.
I hope you feel better soon, sorry you are not feeling well!

#38, congratulations, Alice! That is certainly good news!



I don’t think it is ‘low self esteem’ as much as the whole belief system thing getting in the way. Asking for anything in the past was very very hard for me because I had been taught that I came last and that I was too needy. I grew to have such a fear of my own needs that I avoided them and discounted them myself. I have paid people for bad services too, out of fear. The fear was a fear left over from childhood and today I have caught back up to adulthood but that only happened by digging into the roots of where the fear came from in the first place and finding the lies about me that lived there and in a way, fed the fear. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene

This is my first day back on the computer since I got sick 4 days ago. I sent thank you notes this morning for the lovely supportive donations that I got and I am already exhausted and I am going back to my nest on the couch. I have read all the comments but I won’t be able to answer all of them.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, All I can say is thank you for all of your work! I had always thought that I was the “Crazy One” in my family until I found your site quite by accident. I’m a fire fighter in a large Ontario city and was felled by a double fatality and a near miss that nearly cost me my life. When I approached a counsellor to deal with significant symptoms of PTSD she suggested that there may be something in my past that had contributed to my work related issues. I started to dig deep in earnest and voila, realized that the lack of love and support from my family was, in fact, part of a larger issue of familial dysfunction. I have been scapegoated for my entire life! Your site and your tireless efforts to expose the truth seemed like you were writing about ME!!! My Son and I finally took a stand against these injustices and have been regaining our strength and drive to live a truely happy life free from discounting and total invalidation. In short, Thank You for saving my life and securing my Son’s future. May God Bless You and Keep You Always,



Hi Darlene,

I hope you feel better soon! I support what you’ve written here 100%. I think if you grow up in a world where you were deprived, where your needs were not met but in order to prove your love to the powers that be (and yes you HAD to prove your love) you had to say that that was okay, that you didn’t need to have your needs met, then this sort of thing can become a real problem—adhering to a faulty system that is more about the past than the present. Even when you’ve dispelled the old belief system, the habit can still be there, too. You give of your own heart, from a good place, but it’s still possible to end up in a scenario reminiscent of the old system. It’s good to speak up. I think it’s the right thing to do to take care of yourself and your needs if you do want to continue this work, to keep sharing the knowledge you’ve learned and earned over the years, to help empower others to reach that same place. It’s honourable and good. It’s admirable. However things go now, however you choose to move ahead, I wish the best for you.

I grew up knowing my parents had all sorts of issues from their own childhoods and also from day to day challenges, in their marriage, and also financially and taking care of my brother and I, wanting to give us more than their means (materially speaking), etc., plus a whack of deaths that occurred just before my birth and during my young childhood… underneath it all, I think I imagined that one day, if I kept being “good,” it would come back around. When they finally had gotten from the world (and perhaps more specifically from ME) what THEY needed and wanted, they’d give back what I needed (or at least give me permission to get away from their needs), and they’d do so lovingly and gratefully. Not so, of course. And I could also never succeed, anyway, as a child can NEVER fulfill the emotional needs of an adult, nor should she. There’s also no getting back those years, either. Yes, it was a lot on my parents’ plates, a lot to juggle, but to a great extent it was their choice what they were juggling (in that quite a lot of it could have been put down; they could’ve said I don’t want to carry this anymore, etc), and also HOW they were juggling it. For many years my parents were aware of the issues but simply kept going the way it was, knowing but turning a blind eye to the toll it was taking. Why—I don’t know that I’ll ever have an answer that will satisfy. I don’t think a satisfying answer exists. I don’t think anything satisfying comes from a dysfunctional system; I think it’s all disappointing and empty at its base. The only success comes from getting the heck out.

So, all we have is right here, right now, and what we decide to do with our own lives to take care of ourselves and be true to ourselves and our own beliefs and responsibilities (whatever they are and however we each define them according to ourselves and our own lives)—to keep moving forward in a real and positive direction.

All my best, I am ever grateful to you,


Hi Blair
Thank you so much for your note here and your donation! There was something about your words “your site and your tireless efforts” that brought tears to my eyes. Those words are so validating, and I felt understood and I feel very blessed. Your note filled with gratitude stayed with me all day yesterday. Thank you again
Hugs, Darlene
And thank you to everyone for the kind notes of support and encouragement! I have learned so much from doing this post. I realized what I have been avoiding saying and why I avoid saying it. The belief system dictates and undermines in so many places I can’t imagine ever running out of things to write about! But I am determined to persist in forward motion! (whatever that is going to look like!)


Hi Alaina
As always you have such wise words to contribute. I have learned so much from publishing this post. I have had deeper insight into my own belief system and what drives it when it comes to this site, this work and money and what I still need to work on when it comes to my own needs. And it is always (as you say) rooted in that old survival system. I don’t want to ‘upset’ anyone, or make anyone else uncomfortable and I don’t want to sound like I am using an ultimatum because ultimatums were constantly used on me. But today I see things much more clearly. Getting sick and having to be off the computer for the better part of the last 5 days has helped me to get a much clearer perspective on what I am doing, what I want, and where I am going. It has helped me validate my own “rights” and my own “needs” in all of this.
Thank you for being here Alaina and for your ongoing generous support in words, comments, encouragement and in donations. I appreciate you.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks, Darlene!

It’s interesting about ultimatums. In a letter from my dad (which was quite angry and really should have only been written as a journal to self and never sent to me), he said that was the one word that kept coming to mind when he thought of all my communication with them since our reconnection. And yes, of course that’s the word that would come to mind. But for me it’s about stating the facts. The old system was going to kill me, so of course I would have to be explicit. It’s just about working with what IS. I can’t change that. The fact that it comes off as ultimatums, I can’t really do anything about. Or the fact that needs also evolve from one thing to another over time… Of course you hope that your needs get met without having to say anything—that would be nice—but it’s not always possible and in certain circumstances, like my reconnection, it’s also dangerous not to. I made a choice to go back and considering that world almost killed me my first go-around, it’s certainly more than my right to voice my needs now (I think it’s more my duty to myself).

Also interesting, in this letter, my dad was quite upset with me that I didn’t accept their offer to fly me out for my nephew’s b-day. He wondered why I wouldn’t—if I saw it as manipulation or what (his letter was full of accusatory, insinuating questions, the worst of it seeming to question whether or not I love my brother and nephew). In fact I had felt that I was trying to be “bought” but it’s interesting that it made him so angry that I said no. It’s also possible to look at it differently. I never grew up with financial or material want. My parents worked very hard to come out of poverty and give me and my brother the childhood they never had on that level, and I am honestly grateful for a lot of that. Me saying no to their offer on that level could just be me saying no, it’s okay, you’ve done enough for me, and it means a lot for me now to be able to be self-sufficient—-and that IS the absolute truth of the matter, never mind whether or not I felt manipulated. It was, however, totally my right to say no, thank you, without having to explain myself… so I never did respond to that part of his letter. But, yes, interesting how angry it made him—as if it was my “duty” to be the receiver. There’s a lot of materialism and money issues in my family I was never even aware of until probably just this past year or two. I knew there were issues with my grandma but I didn’t see it before with my parents, though of course, yes, it’s very much there. Money is such a huge topic.


Hi Alaina

The longer that I am living in clarity, the more clarity I get. In the case of many manipulative people, they will say anything and present it anyway, in order to prove they are right. As you say, how could you explain what needs to change unless you state your boundary. I guess if that is ‘an ultimatium’ then I say “ya so? I guess it is” Ultimatum doesn’t have to be a negative concept!

I LOVE that you listen to and respect yourself.

Hugs, Darlene


EFB Rocks and you are such a shining example of continuous work in recovery. Good on you for asking for what you deserve and holding others to their highest as well.

Woo hoo!!!




Hi Kylie!
Hugs, Darlene


I was writing you a about a sencetive topic and I lost it, but it is probably meant to be. I want to let you know that I wandered onto your blog while looking for information on dysfuncitional families and the roles the children…I found that I was living the lies and all I ever wanted was love and vaidation… my parents are both dead…They parted after 3yrs. of horror…aleast for me…I pulled so hard…but the wire they placed me in the middle of just twisted the…anyway I am still alive…alone…did you have anyone ever tell you they have never had a friend…I mean never any kind of relationship at all… do you think there is someone for me to hold and to share together…I want it so bad…Can this be my destiny…it hurts as much as the parents still do from the dead releam hold the wire and twist…I was their 1960’s “bad girl” shame…
Away Darlene I want to donate to your blog, I only have a checking account. Please help help you!!! I have shared your blog with a local mental health rehab center. Just tell me how I send my donation and I am happy you are here for me…I often print out the posters or share thenm on facebook…Thanks So MUCH…Courage for me does not fill the twisted stomach.


You know, Darlene, I’ve been thinking that all I’m asking my parents to do is understand, identify and renounce behaviour and treatment of me that would have killed me had I not broken out of their system and worked so incredibly hard first just to hang on and then to understand, identify and renounce, etc… I think that’s pretty reasonable, considering also how much life I HAVE lost because of them. I mean, if they don’t do that, what on earth are they saying? That treatment that would have killed me is OK?!?!?!?!?!?! If this wasn’t “family,” I’m pretty sure anyone and everyone would agree that to return to people whose treatment could have killed me would be utter madness, unless there was real understanding and consequently real change (I’m doubtful that real change and real understanding can exist independently). If my dad wants to call this an “ultimatum,” he can, that’s just fine with me. As you say, “Ya, so?” You’re right that it doesn’t have to be a negative concept (though the word itself has negative connotations). In this case, with my family, what it means is my life, my freedom, my value and my (self) respect. That doesn’t sound negative to me! These are people who according to them love me the most! Words don’t mean a lot, though, unless you can actually stand behind them! I’d bend over backwards to understand and renounce behaviour that a loved one told me had almost killed them! I’d care and want that person to know I was willing to do everything I could to make things better, and I’d be VERY grateful for the second chance. I’d know that that wasn’t something OWED to me. Respecting that person’s boundaries (or “ultimatums,” according to my dad) would be the least I could do.

Anyway, thank you so much and happy holidays! I really appreciate and respect you so much!
xo, Alaina


Hey Everyone,
Yesterday I recieved the donation which fulfilled my goals for december! Thanks to all who considered my request! I am very grateful.

I published a new Chistmas post ~ you can read it here:
Hugs and happy holidays to everyone!


wow! I read your blog today and I was like that was pretty bold! It sounds a little harsh but I definitely understand where you are coming from. I have read a couple of your posts and I find them refreshing. I have shared them on my face book page and I do plan to donate because HELL YEA!! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!


“More than once people have said to me “well I WAS going to donate until you asked”.”

What in the world are these people talking about, and who in the world are they? They come here and avail themselves of “therapy” that I have paid literally THOUSANDS of DOLLARS over the years – tens of thousands, if I added it all up – and I get it FOR FREE. And for the first time, it WORKS!

Saying “I was going to until you asked” is the same kind of selfish, cruel, abusive comments I got from my family of origin. Are these people really so much the same? I can’t believe you would hear this and not block the person immediately! Darlene, you must be some kind of saint!

I have donated $10.00 per month, all at once, $120.00 total because I didn’t see a per month donation amount. Do you have a section for that on PayPal? I do the same thing with a number of very worthy charities so why not here, now, for me? This is the first time I AM GETTING WELL and it’s all because of you and all the people on here, and your critical editing out the mean ones who come to cause us more harm.

I still can’t get over that “Cathy” that came and was so vicious and unkind. I actually felt SORRY for her, even while she was damaging us at the time. And I could see just what sucks me back in to that Trojan Horse that my sisters and niece “offer me,” that ends up doing so much damage to me.

So once again you saved my %^&*I. And I am having the best Christmas present I could have, which is being alone without family but with friends! And no useless “missing them” and wondering “what did I do wrong” and “what could I do different” and it’s all because I was rejected once again and I was able to turn it around and chose to “gift my self.”

God works in mysterious ways, for all things large and small.

Thank God for the Gifts of Estrangement.

I hope everyone donates a small amount, even as you put it “the price of a cup of coffee” or a few dollars a month to keep things going here and help pay your expenses for this site. I hope people realize that you get paid NOTHING FOR YOUR VALUABLE TIME, which is INVALUABLE TO US ALL.

Gracias, amiga! Happy New Year and looking forward to many more. For the very first time! Love to all, Catherine Todd


Darlene, why don’t you start a subscription service? Let people read for free, and comment over a certain number of times if they contribute a few dollars a month. That might seem hard but just as newspapers have to charge something to keep going, even though people expect everything online to be “free” it just can’t be.

Or how about a “membership” to keep the site going? List members on the sidebar with whatever name they wanted. Or do an annual fund-raiser like Wikipedia. I donate $2.00 a month to Wiki and they work on a shoestring, just like you, and it’s changing the world, just like you.

Normally I donate $10.00 per month, $120.00 per year to the best charities that work towards what I believe in. And you are not a charity. You are helping ME. This is money I am spending on ME.

How about a downloadable pdf book we could purchase for $20.00 and it could be on Kindle and Amazon as well?

A book of all your posts? This would be GREAT.

You could also run an annual fundraiser year-round. Use a bar to show how much has been raised and what the goal is. People could have a paid subscription to get to other areas of the site; something to raise money for your expenses. Make it clear that this site has expenses that have to be paid.

It’s not just for “you.” Plenty of therapists charge a pretty penny for their time and energy and writings, and you do all of this FOR FREE. That’s why I say you are a SAINT. But the time has come for all of us to chip in!

I am just horrified that anyone would say “I was going to donate until you asked.” Speechless really.

They sound just like my abusive family where I heard this nonsense and trash all the time! They taught me to never ask for anything, no matter how much I needed it, and it’s ruined my life in far too many ways. Too independent and not being able to ask means I could never receive. Time for that to change, too!

You should not have to “beg and plead” or even explain that there are expenses needed to keep this site running. What would we do without you? And like you said, if people contributed “$20.00 each time you’ve heard this,” you would have your expenses paid in advance.

I am making another donation of $10.00 today and I hope you put up how much has to be raised to keep this site going, and how much each person could donate to stay online. Otherwise they will be mighty sad to come back here one day and find it all shut down. Too many people will avail themselves of anything that is “free” but never contribute anything of their own at all. What kind of progress and freedom is that?

None at all. Here we are to learn about caring and sharing, and that means tithing, too. How much do you need per month to keep things going? How many people to donate how much: $2, $5 or $10 a month?

Let us know and that will be our Christmas gift to YOU!

Yours in gratefulness and honor, and in Christmas Cheer, Catherine Todd


What is “Tea” doing here? Sounds like “Cathy” under another name. She sounds just like the abusive females in my own family. I can’t believe it. Maybe Darlene should just start charging to keep comments like this at bay. I will be the first one to sign up.


Kimberly wrote: “is there way to keep organizations and therapists from printing from here without paying…i realize that may be buying software..but it could be worth it in the long run???”

Instead, how about asking professionals to PAY FOR PRINTING these pages? They are making $60.00 to $100.00 per hour or more, and they know what it is worth.

How about asking people to donate like any other charitable service is run? How about making this a nonprofit 501-c3 since that is really what you are doing here? How about providing a printable pdf and Kindle book that we could purchase for $10 to $20, and do your fundraiser year round? Show how much you could raise if every single person gave $2.00 each a month, just as Wikipedia does in their fundraising efforts?

Ms. Magazine had the same dilemma when they were publishing their magazine, especially after major beauty advertisers pulled their advertising dollars when Ms. Magazine ran an article about the carcinogens in beauty products. They went to an “advertising free” format and the annual subscription was $30.00 per month, and people were invited to purchase for others who could not afford it, and for Homeless Shelters, Women’s Centers and more.

I think the answer to this dilemma is to make this site and information accessible to more people, and on a paid basis. Darlene, I think you are a writer of the caliber of Dr. Susan Forward, who wrote the books that initially saved my life. Put your work into a PUBLISHED BOOK. There’s plenty that have done this and literally made millions of dollars. It’s time for you to consider this, too.

You have all the information needed right here at your fingertips and you wrote it all, too. You have gleaned so much from comments that this could be very valuable, as have been a couple of the comments you have published “after the fact” to show us how ridiculous some persistent attitudes are.

How about asking everyone to contribute $2.00 per month via PayPal and asking others (like myself) who would contribute for a few other people as well. I usually don’t have any extra money but I came into a tiny bit and I can’t imagine spending it on anything better than this site.

So “needing money to keep the site going” and getting so little means it’s time to treat this like the full-time job and business it is. And that means you GET PAID. Not just for the site expenses, but for your time too. I would love to see a book of all the articles you have written and I will be the first one in line. You could sell hard copies, signed by the author (you) and even hold a couple of seminars. Have you thought about that? What an eye-opener that might be. This all goes far beyond a blog or a website, and I can’t imagine anything that would be more valuable. When you hear that therapists are “printing out 35 pages for their clients to read” that spells BOOK.

How about it?


Hi Everyone!
I just published a new post continuing with this topic of dysufunctional family.
Here is the link: “Dysfunctional family and holidays ~ When you feel like the bad guy”
I’m looking forward to the conversation there. This one has a focus on my in-laws instead of on my parents.
Hugs! Darlene


I totally understand what you are saying about the costs related to running a website, that is obviously pretty popular. I mentioned in a previous post that I loved the name of the blog “Emerging from Broken” and would like to put it on a t-shirt. I use graphic design as an escape from having to interact with people in my family, so maybe I could create a t-shirt design that could be used to create revenue. I don’t know if people would be open to wearing the words “Emerging From Broken” across their chests, but there may be a more subtle way to depict those words through graphics instead of words. Having a hundred white and black t-shirts made up with a screen print design is relatively cost effective if you could get people to buy at about $14.99. Just a thought.


Connie, I was hoping you would suggest the printed T-shirt idea! I will be first in line. I don’t mind something BIG but more styles could be offered, depending on one’s mood that day. A big butterfly of course “emerging” too, from their broken cocoon… and something more subtle or elegant than that, too… and a nice t-shirt with more delicate cap sleeves and jewel neckline; not just a clunky man’s t-shirt used as a coverup. A few different styles, and maybe even a baseball cap!

Darlene, like it or not, some of us want to raise money for this site! I’m working on formatting a book and hope to have something ready soon.

So Darlene, what do you think of the t-shirt idea, or a Coffee mug? Now that’s a thought, and there’s plenty of online places that will print relatively cheap. Connie is on to something here!


After finding your website, I actually wanted to donate, and when I saw I could send money through paypal, I was THRILLED to know you were willing to recieve. You are doing good here and you deserve the help.

I can’t understand people who think it’s bad for needing to meet our basic survival needs, or any extra for the extra efforts. You’re not crazy at all. These people with their ill-will or animosity make reasonable, loving, inspired, sensitive, perceptive people question themselves. If they can’t or choose not to give, then they can simply…not give. I think they need to question themselves. I wonder what planet they come from where every thing they think and expect just happens in accordance to their ever-changing judgements and ideas? Send me the link if you find it so I can learn how to handle them….or where NOT to vacation.

January 11th, 2013 at 5:43 am

Darlene, THANK YOU for the wonderful gift of sharing your website. I’m just passing through, if I had a donation, I would provide it. Of course.

This is a completely separate note. Nothing to do with your original comment. I noticed Someone commented about fairness being equal. However, Fairness does not mean Equal. (Fairness is better defined as everyone gets what they NEED and not necessarily equal.

Thanks for letting me comment and pass thru.


Hi Justpassingthrough
Welcome to EFB
Thank you for your comments! Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I am sorry that I do not have the money to donate to your site. I am one of the “have nots!” I have never reached this level of financial hardship before and it is taking its toll on my mind and emotions.

It is unfortunate, but true, that many people feel entitled to your services. “Why should I pay for her” they say to themselves. Shame on them.

I wanted to comment on this topic because it rings true for me in a different way. I am in terrible financial hardship, and in spite of the fact that I have told my sister how bad things are for me she never has any words of compassion or understanding. I emailed my nieces telling them that I can’t visit them for the holidays, and also see my dad, who is in a nursing home near them. I can’t because my dad’s car didn’t pass inspection. So I have yet to see him since the day when my sister paid over $2,000 to transport him to NJ three years ago. So what kind of response do I get from my sister, two nieces, and one of my nephews? The silent treatment. When I did visit them about four years ago I was in shock when looking at all their expensive homes, multiple high definition televisions, high tech computers, hummers, etc. My sister owns a beach house for weekends and lives in a house in the suburbs during the week. Plus, she sees a therapist 2-3 times a week at $100 per session. No discounts.

But I am grateful for what I have because I would be living in a shelter. But to not have the money to buy groceries and actually eat a meal is something I never thought I would experience. I go to a food bank once a month. That’s all they will allow. I also have a dog I rescued nine years ago. She has anemia, which is a disease where your immune system starts destroying its own red blood cells. The vet said she never saw a dog live with this disease. Well she sees one now! I neglect my needs so that I can keep her fed. People may think that is stupid, but I didn’t rescue her from the animal rescue league, who found her on the streets dying, to let her die now. She is all I have right now. She treats me better than my family. Everyday I say to myself, “how can family members be so callous and indifferent?” It’s like nobody wants anything to do with me and they don’t even know me, or want to try and get to know me. My sister, who is six years older than me, admitted that she wanted to be an only child. I never realized why I never liked living. It dawned on me that maybe it was because I was not wanted or even liked by my sister. I was left with a passive father who had been molested at age 7 by his maternal uncle, and his family never defended my dad or reported what happened. My mother had depression and was verbally abusive. She had a dysfunctional family, also. To be honest, I feel damaged beyond repair. I never knew what it was like to date because I could not believe someone would actually love me in an unselfish way. I have felt used and abused when I do reach out to some people. So please forgive me if I have doubts about emerging from this existence that people call “life.”

That’s it for now. Thank you for your selfless dedication in helping people emerge from their brokenness. You are one courageous woman!




Janice, I have been coming to this website for almost six months, and the feeling I get from reading the hundreds of lists on here is that people are very very grateful to Darlene and very appreciative of what she does. I do not get the sense that they feel “entitled” , nor do I feel that they deserve to be shamed. We don’t know what kind of position people in this community are in financially, unless they indicate it here. But no one should be trying to shame anyone on here.

The “shame on them” was a trigger for me. I was immediately transported back several decades to undeserved guilt trips and shame and blame being heaped on me by my mother. The difference is, I am much stronger now and realize that I do not have to accept guilt and shame and blame that is undeserved. And so I won’t.

That being said, I empathize with your situation and hope there will be better days ahead for you. I especially appreciate how much you care for your dog. I am a big fan of dogs, and I think it’s wonderful that you rescued your dog and are sticking with your commitment to your canine even through very rough times. Best of luck, Amber


Hi Amber,

I am truly sorry for using the word “shame.” And I want to apologize for how it triggered flashbacks. I have a deficit when it comes to social skills, even with the social media. But the people I was referring to did not include those who interact on this website. I was thinking of the person who said to Darlene that she was going to give a donation until Darlene brought up the subject. Maybe I should have said “inappropriate” instead of shame. There are times, Amber, more than I care to mention, when I have interacted with people who took pleasure in making fun of me, and they showed no signs of shame or remorse. So I think that those of us who are so sensitive to different words that cause flashbacks have been deeply hurt by many who appear to feel no guilt or remorse, and we are the ones who suffer. When I worked at a State Hospital my heart went out to the young people whose parents were not supportive of them. I’m not blaming them, but I do know that one young man had a breakdown because his adoptive father couldn’t accept him. That blew me away. I thought to myself, “They locked up the wrong person!”

Thank you for being so gentle with me, Amber, in pointing out my terrible choice of words. I will be more careful.



Awww, Janice, I really appreciate your response to me, and thank you for the apology. I can definitely relate to not always choosing the best words to explain something. I can also relate to being the target of bullies. That was a way of life for me, especially in late elementary school. One girl was especially vicious and so were several of the boys. I was a shy, withdrawn child (trying to be invisible- that’s another story. That type of kid is a magnet for bullies. Anyway, just like with you, not one of them ever showed remorse for their cruelty, or apologized. I have been at several class reunions. Some of these people were there. This would have been a perfect opportunity for these alleged adults to own up and take responsibility, but not one ever said “I’m sorry”. This makes me even more appreciative of people who do own up to things. And I try to do that too if I hurt someone else.
So, let’s start all over…..friends?? Hugs to you. And give that precious pooch of yours a big hug from me too.


Friends, dearest Amber. And I will give my dog, Hope, a hug from you. The staff asked me to name her that because they saw her when she was dying. So Hope it is.

Thanks Amber for responding so quickly to my post. I was feeling terrible about hurting you. But with help from people like you, maybe I will get some social skills.

Your friend,



“Hope” is a great name for your dog, especially given her circumstances. And it sounds like you’ve given her much to hope for.

Janice, just for the record, When I read your original post, number 64, I interpreted it as being directed towards the whole group that reads and posts on here; not specifically towards me. Yes, it did trigger memories of my mother throwing undeserved guilt, shame and blame on me, but that is an area that I still need to work on. Just because she tried to blame me for so much does not mean I am blameworthy. That is a completely new way of looking at this for me and I am still processing it and trying to re- wire my thinking as Darlene puts it. So part of this whole thing is the way. I react to things. And that is not something that you are responsible for. Just wanted to clear that up.

And also, from your posts, I did not get the feeling that you lack social skills. We all say things that, looking back, we wish we phrased it differently. And some things we say do trigger reactions in others due to things those people have experienced. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t caring and empathetic people. I sense that you may be too hard on yourself. Think of how good you have been to your dog, even through extremely difficult circumstances. It takes a special kind of person to be that dedicated and loving. I wish more people had those kinds of social skills!


Thanks, Amber, for sharing with me. You are right about my being hard on myself. As you said about rewiring of the brain, so I need that also. Thanks for explaining your thought about post #64. That helped am, a lot. I believe I have empathy for others, as you have empathy, also. Now, I need to give myself some of that empathy!

Many hugs,



Mrs. Ouimet,

I just made a small donation through PayPal to your website. I am commenting here about it because I had to use a relative’s credit card to make the donation (I gave them the money; they let me make the payment with their C.C.), so the last name of the PayPal contributor is the same as mine, but the first name is not.

I had wanted to make a donation to your site since the first few weeks of my reading it but I didn’t have the means to do so. Your website more than any other has consistently resonated with me on what exactly had happened in my childhood/youth to cause me to grow up into an adult the way that I did. I am indebeted to you for the clear understanding that you have related through your words.

I think I can move on now and deal with what I have to deal with.

When I am able to make a further donation I will do so.

God Bless You,


Charles Browne


Hi Charles!
Thank you so much! I got your donation and I appreciate it more than I can express!
Hugs and love,


Hi Darlene,
I Value this site more than you can ever imagine…
I have for the past 2+ years been on disability because of a chronic depression. Half wages don’t help very much especially when you’re down..
As soon as I am able I will be donating to this site, I think you help people more than they want to admit…
That “other” site before I found your’s was all about “Just Plain Money Grab” from someone just looking for a buck…
Your site has been quite specific in the “Respect” for other people and their circumstances. You are very specific in asking for the funding to run this “Site” and I DO NOT see anything wrong with what you are asking for. And you are absolutely correct in saying “people pay a small fortune in Psychologists, therapists, etc., so how hard can it be to send a little bit of money… to run a site for US Children of NPD”… I am now seeing a Psychologist @ $200 bucks a pop and she really doesn’t delve into my past at all, she’s having a hard time with me presenting her with the MNPD and asking for help, she said she didn’t diagnose so she really can’t comment. Very Confusing, might just start keeping that $… Decisions…
Thank You For Every Word & Comment & Note that you have written for Us Children of NPD to help us see a new a beautiful future 🙂 !!!


Hi Kelly
Thank you for your validating comments. I just did my taxes for emerging from broken and I broke even for expenses. I think that might surprise people. I am certainly not making any money by doing this and since I went back to taking more clients so that I could contribute to my family, I have not been able to write as much here.. which saddens me; I love the one on one work and I love my clients, but I have a passion for reaching large numbers.

About your psychologist; My opinion is that she doesn’t HAVE to diagnose (them or you) to be able to help you! She could take you at your word and go from there! In my coaching practice I think validating people by not telling them I can’t comment is likely the most powerful aspect of the whole process! Maybe ask her what you are paying for or how she intends to help you.. if you are paying for the service, you deserve to know the answers to those questions at least. 🙂
hugs, Darlene


I found this site and all of the information by stumbling onto another site that was ‘SHUT DOWN’ because it was a so-called CofMNPD writing like she was a “Professional”, she was hocking stuff to those of us who tended to be very naive & vulnerable…
That site sent me to Here & Darlene! She really deserves to be recognized for all of this great work and the help she has “Freely given from the Heart” who struggle to become Complete, Functioning, Whole people with or without the MNPD’s & NPD’s in their lives…


Thanks Kelly,
I really appreciate the shout out!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Your work here is a gift to me and so many others who suffer from decades of bad treatment in unloving relationships. Your stories and encouragement are so appreciated as we struggle to find and define normal. Please keep this up. Thank you so much.



Hi Kathryn
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment, encouragement and support!
hugs, Darlene


I’m actually really glad and this is a weird synchronicity that you’re asking for donations and standing up for yourself.
I appreciate your openness and support which I would never want to take for granted in any way. This kind of website and you offer more support than I’ve ever found anywhere. From now on I will donate appropriately what I can, when I can.


Hi Hope
Thank you so much for your consideration and appreciation! (and thank you for the donation! That is awesome!)
Hugs, Darlene


To All:

Speaking of donations (post 79, 80) will you please consider making a donation of any size to Darlene? She gives so much to us: her valuable time, her vast knowledge, her warm caring and support, her wonderful way of writing to our hearts, and her deep understanding.

Our donations help her to continue this website. I know I’ve gained so much strength and camaraderie from the writings of Darlene and of the many posters here. Thank you Darlene for all that you do! You are a beautiful person!

It’s easy to donate: just click on the yellow button “Donate” on the right hand side of the screen and follow the prompts.


oh my gosh
Light! Thank you!
I just got your donation and I don’t get many anymore, so to get yours and the ones from Hope all in one day is like christmas morning! haha! I really appreciate your thoughtful loving consideration and your appeal to others. This blog post is a few years old so for it to be reactivated like this is pretty cool!
Love and hugs, Darlene


You are welcome Darlene! It is my pleasure. Your words on this blog are such a comfort to me, especially around the Christmas holiday season.


I was getting an error on my end saying something had gone wrong so I’m really glad they went through. 🙂

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