Hoarders Illustrating Psychological Abuse and Protecting Abusers


Psychological abusers and hoarders“This notion, that parents must never be blamed no matter what they have done, has caused untold damage.” Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge


The other night I was watching the show “Hoarders” on television. The eldest daughter came home from University and brought her boyfriend along for a visit.  Even before they entered the house, she started reminding him not to “say anything.” Inside the house was a shocking mess. Her mother was a hoarder. The “hoard” in some places was up to the ceiling. There were slim pathways everywhere so they could make their way through the house. Before the daughter and her boyfriend arrived, the mother told the camera crew that her daughter was “happy” as long as she could sleep in her bed; that the stuff piled all over her bedroom didn’t bother her.  Again, the “stuff” was piled up to the ceiling in her room too.


There were bugs everywhere. There were mice and rodent droppings everywhere.  The boyfriend was pretty disturbed about it but she kept warning him not to say anything.  She reminded him, pleaded with him and she told him outright not to say anything.


The biggest concern that she had was to protect her mother. Her mother had a problem that was affecting the whole family, but the mothers feelings had to be protected.


The family cooked in the kitchen and the boyfriend said on film that he felt the house was unsanitary and disgusting. But he sat down at the table and he ATE there anyway. I was wondering WHY he would sit down and EAT in that house.  He would make an honest comment to her about his revulsion to the whole thing, and she would ask him to please not say anything.


I could not believe it when they went to BED in that house!


I was watching a typical abusive family system highlighted on television.  The youngest daughter, who was a teenager and still lived in the home, was not allowed to decide what she could throw away from her own bedroom.  Her room was a huge mess as well; she wanted to get rid of things and was not allowed. She had no choice.


For anyone who is not familiar with the show “hoarders” the hoarder always agrees to get some help and the helping crew comes in and organizes a cleanup process. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.


On this show the hoarder mother was in serious denial. She didn’t think there was a problem. They showed a scene where the mother was angry because the kids threw away an empty box and she wanted to keep the box.  She made it clear that she didn’t trust her husband or kids in the clean up process and that since she couldn’t trust them they could not make decisions anymore about what was garbage and what wasn’t.  She made it clear that the teenage daughter did not have a choice about what stayed or what went and insisted that the daughter was the one who was unreasonable.


It seemed that the mother who was the hoarder and the cause of the destruction and emotional devastation in the family, was excused because she has this “problem”.  Did the daughters know they had a right to be upset? Did they ever realize mother was wrong, or did they only consider that mother was sick? When all the focus is on the person who had the disorder, “sick” is communicated as a justification for what is in this case, psychological abuse. This communicates that the feelings of the person who is perpetrating the damage are more important than anything or anyone else and the dysfunction is preserved.  The boyfriend has a right to say that he didn’t want to be there. The daughter has a right to live in a clean and safe environment.


Please understand my point; I KNOW that the mother is sick. I know that hoarding is an illness but my point is that her illness doesn’t lessen the fact that damage is being done to other people.  There is major emotional damage and psychological abuse happening in that home because of the hoarding.  Everyone deserves to have help, not just the mother.  All the damage to each person should also be validated.  Just because the hoarder mother is sick and because hoarding is a disorder, does not cancel or excuse the damage that the mother is doing to the others in her family. Protecting her feelings enables her to malfunction, and it also devalues everyone else.


The people who live with a hoarder communicate that the hoarders’ relationship to the “things” is deeper than her relationship to the people in the family.  Can you imagine how painful that would be to a child of any age; the hoarder cared more about broken dolls, than she did about her own daughter.  That is mother daughter dysfunction and overall dysfunctional family stuff. That is emotional abuse and psychological abuse.  That does damage to the self esteem of the daughter and other children.  It sends a message to the child that embeds itself in the belief system and that damage must be dealt with too.


There is no difference between this dysfunctional family system and any other type of dysfunctional abusive family system where the “abuser” and the feelings of the abuser, are protected and the welfare of the others is not considered.


The hoard is just the symptom and the manifestation of what happened to the mother and the damage that has occurred in her life.  Who knows what the manifestations of what happened to the daughter will be.  Without help, the cycle continues.


Comments are always appreciated and make a difference to everyone here.  Please share your thoughts. Keep in mind that you can use only a first name or screen name if you wish.


Exposing truth; one snapshot at a time


Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Watch episodes of Hoarders on video

Hoarders ~ burried alive (the T.V. show)


96 response to "Hoarders Illustrating Psychological Abuse and Protecting Abusers"

  1. By: Lizz Broadfoot Posted: 14th June

    Isn’t OCD genetic? People are born that way. My little sister cried when there were wrinkles in her baby blanket. My sibling are clean freak OCD people and my mother is a greedy pig. I have tried to help my mother–she has panic attacks and tantrums while I clean. “OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN.” Whatever. I mean, it was a rat’s nest. The rat was 11 inches long. Something had to be done. Now, there are maggots and horseflies involved with the 5000 dolls. I’ve kept her dirty little secret–HER DIRTY HUMONGOUS SECRET–way too long.

    I finally told my clean freak sibling and they are so horrified–if they go in the house–they will probably need therapy for the rest of their lives. They are therapists, so they can afford it. My mother is selfish and greedy. I don’t care if it is a sickness. The woman was a therapist, too. She knows all the manipulative tricks. While I’ve ruined my life helping her, she has gone behind my back and told everyone that I have forced her to give me money. She brags about all the money she has and rubs it in my face–hoarding money. She is an extremely selfish human being, a liar.

    The shrinks say that hoarding is about anxiety, not anger. Well, THEY ARE WRONG. It is all about anger. Every stinky load of horse manure in her house is just a pile of self-centered anger.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th June

      Hi Lizz
      People have all kind of opinions about these disorders ~ there doesn’t seem to be any proof about where they start so here in EFB we try to focus on the damage that has been caused in order to heal from it. Thanks for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: SMD Posted: 17th February

    Thanks for sharing your painful experience. I always look forward to your comments & feedback. I’m learning so much on EFB!
    Sincerely, SMD

  3. By: SMD Posted: 17th February

    Hi Darlene,
    I agree with your statement that, damage is being done to others and the hoarder’s relationship to things is deeper than it is towards others. I remember an episode that stands out for me. This hoarder was an elderly lady who had 3 grown children- 2 boys & 1 girl. Her children were helping her get rid of stuff. There was a professional there to help guide & mediate the whole cleaning process, but the hoarder could not let go of her stuff and actually told her kids to get out & don’t come back in reaction to them picking up stuff & putting it in garbage bags. The Stuff had More Value than her kids’ feelings!….Needless, to say I was triggered- I felt angry about her mistreatment of them- she lashed out and they were not doing anything wrong- they were helping her clean up. They were not mean about it just proactive.

    Anyway, one of the sons cried, when she lashed out & told them to get out. He was the son who still lived at home in the garage, where he had his own apartment. He was under her Control. I felt such empathy for his sadness & devastation. He talked to the camera man about how he doesn’t get the Love he needs. I forgot his exact words but the message was clear- He was emotionally abused. I wanted to hug him- he reminded me of a broken child. I could relate to his feelings- MY mom has said & done similiar things- not about stuff but in regards to my feelings- “Don’t come here, if you feel the way you do” & blah blah blah….it goes on if I try to get my feelings validated.

    Well the show definitely illustrates dysfunctional relationships with family & others, who are involved. It’s intense & sometimes I can’t watch it- I end up talking back to the tv- saying, “Your not suppose to say that” & “How can you say that to your kids!” I called this lady a witch. I did not have sympathy for her ,after she lashed out!…Anyway, she was a difficult case and I don’t remember her house ever getting clean. They usually show the house, after the clean-up and I don’t remember seeing hers. I just remember all the stuff on the floors blocking pathways to rooms, bugs & garbage.

    It’s disturbing to see how anyone can live like this- I’m not judging but making an observation based on the unhealthy & unsanitary conditions. It is a sickness resulting from unresolved grief in some cases. They also have serious difficulty having real connections & relationships with others. So sad & lonely to live that way.

    Sincerely, SMD

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th February

      Hi SMD
      The thing that struck me is that when I asked my mother for mutual respect (and asked her to stop accusing me of attracting her boyfriend into my room when I was 13 ~ which she was still bringing up to me in my 40’s) she walked away from me. Exactly what the hoarder mom did to her kids. She said that the stuff was more important than her kids and my mom said that keeping her dysfunctional memory of what happened was more important to her than I WAS. She broke up with that boyfriend but he was still more important than me.
      So sad.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Ellie Posted: 17th January

    Thank you for this post. I found it because, in a fit of anger, I googled “I hate my hoarder mother”.

    I am dealing with the fallout of her hoarding right now – well, of course I’ve BEEN dealing with it in various ways my whole life. Yes, it’s just one form of dysfunction that has an impact on everyone. Right now I’m in the process of trying to clean out some of the hoard while my mother is hospitalized.

    What a disaster. The place isn’t as bad as the ones on the show, but it’s bad enough. It’s going to take me months to wade through the mess (and find the important papers and the mementos and photos I’d like to keep, if I can ever locate them). My own life is on hold while I deal with her hoard, and the fallout from her hoarding behavior. Due to her need to hoard, she refused to downsize or sell the house when it would have been wise (and when she and my father were still able-bodied enough to clean it out). Now, we’re stuck scrambling to prepare for her eventual discharge from rehab to a house that no social worker would let her come home too until it was cleaned out by someone – oh yeah, that “someone” would have to be her only child. My father – sweet, but needy and enabling – has been enlisted to cooperate behind her back. He WANTED to deal with the mess and sell the house before they were too old to care for it, but oh no, Her Highness the Hoarder had to stay with her hoard, so she said “NO”, and so how here we are. It’s hard for me to blame him as much…I know he enabled, but it was primarily HER emotional problems that really got us here. And he keeps apologizing to me – I know she never will. And at least he was nice to me growing up – she was mostly just nasty.

    Yeah, I know – those hoarding shows tell you not to clean out behind the hoarder’s back. That would upset the hoarder! Well, you know what? I DON’T CARE. My parents are to old and disabled to clean this bloody mess she made, and I’m the only one. My father cannot continue to live like this. If I have to live here to help out until we can get an aid, then I have a right to not live in a mess. When they get a home health aid, then that person has a right to decent working conditions. And the house has to be cleaned because it has to be sold. So I’m doing it while she can’t stop me. If that “upsets” the hoarder and makes me a bad person, TOO BAD.

    I’ve lived with her crap – literally and figuratively – for too long. Hoarding is both a problem that has a direct impact on others, and also the symptom of underlying emotional problems, of which my mother had many. I’m tired of ME having to deal with the fallout from HER illness. (And honestly, I know my mother isn’t as bad as they come – I can’t even imagine how much worse it must be people dealing with stuff worse than I’m facing.)

    Thanks for letting me vent. It helps just to know that there are other people out there who have some idea of what it’s really like.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th January

      Hi Ellie
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      I no longer do things according to what the controller wants or according to what makes them feel “better”. I lived that way for way too long and no one ever seemed to think about my needs or what would hlep me to feel okay. This whole site is about stuff like that. I totally hear you on this subject. Good for you.
      Glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Renee Posted: 31st August

    I hope your son recovers quickley and mend with great speed! I had road rash on my legs when I got hit by a van. When It started getting infected a holistic healer took the infection away. Didn’t beleive in that stuff until it was used on me and I saw first hand that it works. Take care of yourself too.

  6. By: Ethereal Highway Posted: 29th August

    I love this post, Darlene. I understand it on so many levels. My mother was (and still is) a hoarder (and a plain ole dirty slob). What’s worse, is that I was the oldest child in the house and as such I was the ‘designated slave’. She wanted, demanded and expected me to be the one who made her nasty house into a real home. Of course I was just a little kid and could not deliver the goods. Especially since she would scream at me and say hateful things to me whenever I would throw anything away. Yes, I understand intellectually what made her this way, but she was so freakin’ hateful to me that I frankly don’t give a rip about her problems. To this day, if things start to get too messy or cluttered in my house, it triggers the littles and I end up in a really bad way because the penalty for living in a mess was horrible (she would send the father to attack me physically) and yet no one would let me really clean up the house!

    Today I have a carefree husband and three kids still at home. And you are right that it is abusive to take these kinds of personal problems out on the kids, whether it’s by hoarding or by not allowing children to keep their important things. I am pretty much a mess inside and if *I* can get a clue and refrain from burdening my children emotionally, then I just can’t imagine what kind of person cannot even see the problem and make some attempt to compromise so everyone can have a chance to feel at home.

    My strategy has evolved into engaging the children with how enjoyable a nice environment is and I go through periods where I ask them to give me things they don’t want or need anymore. I usually have the intention of donating or selling those things, but I don’t always get that far because of my problems. Sometimes I have to simply throw them out just so I can keep a nice enough home to not get too bogged down. I used to feel guilty about this, but I don’t anymore. I’m doing what I can do and I’m doing it with respect for every person in my house. That’s good enough for me and I DON’T CARE ANYMORE whether or not my ugly mother would approve.

    As for my husband — He is a really kind husband and a good father to the children. We love each other dearly, but don’t even get me started. 🙂 I have settled for having him keep his stuff in the garage and then periodically pointing out the need for a run to the dump (and nagging a bit until it happens). Some days, when I don’t feel like I can get out of bed and take care of my home and I cannot pinpoint something inside that could be tended to and healed by a retreat, I think of my dirty mother and it fuels me to get up and provide myself and my children with a better home than what I was provided when I was a kid. Maybe on those days that is exactly what needs to be attended and healed. It feels good to the littles inside that there are capable adults in here who can take care of them and make them comfortable in a nice home that their so-called ‘real’ parents refused to give them.

    For anyone out there who needs some help in their home, try this:

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 31st August

      Everyone ~ My 19 year old son crashed his motorcycle on sunday night ~ he hit a deer head on and I am taking care of him full time for a bit. I won’t be able to keep up with EFB for a while. He is going to be fine but he has a broken arm and no skin on his butt ~ he can’t walk yet and he is in extreem pain but he is going to recover so really I am so grateful.

      I am posting a guest post tomorrow and there may be a few more of those then usual.
      Thanks everyone,
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Beverly Posted: 23rd August

    Being raised in an addicted home, after generations of drunks, addicts (nicotine, food, drugs, rage, work) I was well taught the usual rules, don’t talk, don’t trust, and for sure do not feel! After came into recovery from my own alcoholism I was inspired and confronted by a wonderful sponsor, a woman who was younger than me, years of sober living, and so much wiser. She steered me to accountability for my actions, using the meetings, the workshops, counseling, prayer, books, whatever I could use to put closure on my own addictive and immatire lifestyle, I was 36 at the time. My sons were 12 and 15, they were far more aware and awake than I. With time in the healing process I ended up working in the field of addictions…..I had to work hard not to be duscouraged at the enabling of alcoholics, other addicts, and abusive people. With such a wise sponsor who was so good to me regarding cleaning up my life, making my amends and changing my life style I could not see why the same “principles” did not apply to those the courts were dealing with, other counselors. I continue to be in the Life Coaching field and what the majority of women are “recovering” from is lack of support, lack of validation regarding who they are, their value and worth……….the “others” in their lives are not in recovery, counseling, and they have great control through passive aggressive behaviors that include mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse. This had been a tough area for me, I see these women working hard on changing their lives, and I see many around them excusing the abusers they ar with. Why do we downplay what we know is wrong, unethical, and harmful to adults and children? What has happened to us who are in “rocovery”? ARe we tired, discouraged, needing to do more healing ourselves? Or perhaps all of the above. Sure enjoy your site here, and thanks for the chance to write from the heart. Bev

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd August

      Hi Beverly
      I think that we down play it until we know something different. For me, I downplayed it until I realized the real roots of it. I had to face the childhood history stuff. As long as I avoided that stuff, I could not go all the way forwards with recovery. Avoiding the pain that my own parents caused me and the fact that they didn’t protect me from held me back . I agree that the biggest problem is lack of support, lack of validation etc… for me I had to find out where exactly that “lack” began. That is what this site is about. The roots of the whole thing.
      Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Renee Posted: 14th August

    My mom was a hoarder. Not so sever as what is on the show. I use to go over and say “ok Im here to clean” My mom use to tell me THIS IS MY STUFF!!! I would leave frustrated and nothing thrown away. When my mom moved and we kept the house I had 3 pickup loads of just trash! Not stuff I thought was trash but real trash! I beleive it was 2 reasons 1.she never had anything nice 2.She always thought she could reuse whatever. I couldn;t look past the STUFF. When I watch Hoarders I see things I was ignorant towards my mom. I use to purge my home. I disinfect everything. If closets get full or stuff piles up it will start bugging me until I clean it. I have flash backs of my mothers house.

  9. By: carol Posted: 14th August

    to me it sounds like she is in the angry stage of healing. it is hared as a parent who is trying to undo the wrongs done in earlier childhood, especailly if the children are already teenagers, but perserverence will get there. as hard as it seems not reacting to her actions in anger will help the situation in the long run, but if she like my 8 yr old she will jsut keep on till ahe gets her way and refuse to listen if i say no.i tried to be fair with my child but she still expects me to jump when she says, and because of how i was raised, that attitude irritates the hell outa me and pushes my buttons faster than anything. but i am learning how to finish an arguem,ent without screaming which is massive for me.
    also i think survivor parents are looked at by society the hardest, as we struggle to cope with our own problems, ontop of the normal stresses parents go through is it any wonder that we make mistakes. it would be nice for health care professionals to take on board that parents are people who had problems before the kids arrived and it only makes things harder while we are trying to undo and relearn new behaviours

  10. By: Krissy Posted: 13th August

    Thanks, Darlene. It is huge enough for you to post about your experience with that one day?? Your comments about your childhood, as well as those of the others when they speak about their mothers, really do help me see more clearly.

    I would hate the thought of her finding a forum like this and posting about how her mother was just like her dad, and passively never did anything. It’s not that I don’t want to help her, I can’t really find a way to do it without engaging with her, and I can’t engage with her when she shows contempt. I could anonymously send her a lot of what she needs, but I don’t think that will solve anything, but am I just being selfish in wanting her to communicate properly when she really needs material provisions. Maybe she is like a drowning child screaming and clawing at me and I am asking her to be polite. Or am I making excuses?!

  11. By: Krissy Posted: 13th August


    Thanks for sharing that. That makes sense in why my kids like to hoard. They probably think that those things are what they treasure that no one can touch. I noticed my daughter also eats sweets and saves half for another day. They also fight over food in the fridge and get very upset if someone else touches THEIRS. I think it is because their dad rarely valued what they had and treated their things dismissively while being extremely fussy about HIS things. We were always petrified of scratching the wooden floors – he had this knack of finding the tiniest scratch that was only visible at a certain angle.

    But I also now understand a bit more why my ex was a hoarder too. His parents rarely gave him anything of his own. His mother was a neat freak and he became just the opposite. I was always trying to clean up after him and strangely, he was always very harsh on the kids to clean up as well. Now that he has left, the kids are very averse to doing their chores, which has led to many tensions in the home, because I react to anything that reminds me of entitlement, and they react to anything that smells of child labor.

    Darlene, I have to remind myself not to repeat the mistake of your mother. I always toeing the line of my ex-husband in forcing them to treat possessions well (his possessions). They got the message that things mattered more to us than their lives.

    My problem is with the oldest one. I know she is still burying a lot of rage (I guess whenever it reared its ugly head she got into trouble so it came out in a lot of covert ways), and I am trying to draw a boundary with contemptuous, disrespectful behavior. But she obviously has a lot of rage against me, in that I was a co-partner in her invalidation. Yes, I have apologised, but I think she really wants her vengeance and she exploits me as much as she can to “take back” what I “owe” her. Maybe I need to “pay back” something, like a lot of money that she never had, before I enforce that boundary and say no to keeping contact until she can engage respectfully (if she even knows what that means).

    If I do enforce that boundary, and have no more contact, she will have no home to turn to since she relies on me for transport when her bike breaks or her dad suddenly changes his mind to taking her somewhere, and she does her laundry at my place, and she even eats here because he has no healthy food in his house.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      The hardest part of recovery for me has been about the kids. The hardest boundaries to set have been with them. I have to remind myself everyday that I am trying to communicate love. The new definition of love, not the old one where love was “do what I say”.. but at the same time, I don’t want to be a door mat anymore either. This is a HUGE subject. Delicate.. Thanks for sharing Krissy.
      Hugs, Darlene

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

        Just thought of something ~ my kids used to do things out of fear and when they didn’t have that fear anymore, there was a lot of changes! Like they started talking back, all kinds of things happened… but it was an adjustment period thing. (took a few years too… ugg) but that might be what is happening with your oldest. My husband and I were tested for a long time… tested as though they were saying “does this new system work?” “are you really going to let me be who I am…. or is this a trick?” “do you really see me as equally valuable?” that kid of thing…
        Just a thought..
        Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: joy Posted: 13th August

    Hi Darlene

    Cleaning was something we kids had to do.. I remember dreading the chores..I had to do dishes and mom would hold a glass up to the light if there were spots ..beatings happened.. We all had to clean house when she went shopping ..like I had the kitchen.my sis the bathroom..She would buy these extra long tapes so that when she left she would have them recording us to make sure we were not talking to each other but cleaning. and I remember her checking with white glove the floors looking for any little spec.. one little spec and that was a beating… but seems if there was no reason to beat me . she would create one. .!

  13. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

    The key for me in what you said is this: “all these have led to behaviours that make sense in one way yet the way the knowledge was passed on was twisted….” YES. Everything was communicated in a twisted way, and in my case I was the one that was accused of being twisted or of having a twisted understanding. My mother was a clean freak and she didn’t have much regard for what I wanted to keep. I realized in my process that I had a resentment that her “home” was more important then I was and I had an intense dislike of the reminder of the perfection of her home.
    I also relate to what you said about her telling my secrets, and I think she did that to belittle me. She was pretty immature to have to do that to her own child.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: carol Posted: 13th August

    for mme personally, i think my hoarding comes from the toatl lack of respect my family had for my possessions. like the times my father threw out everything i own onto the front lawn because i hadnt tidied it to his standards. or the mother who told everyone my secrets yet i had to keep hers. also being forced to share things when the others had broken theres or eaten all their sweets. to this day i tend to eat sweets with a veiw of saving half for another day. this fear of not having something has led to some strange things, like not being allowed to run out of stuff in the kitchen cupboards or loo paper. little things yet when you actually look at them as a whole it seems to have steathily crept up and stolen so much control. especially when it was done to me as a child in my best interests. things like closing curtians at dusk, cos it saved heat, but it also stopped people from looking into the house when the lights came on. like having to scrub the kitchen sink before you can wash up in scalding hot water, because it had to be that hot to clean the dishes. all these have led to behaviours that make sense in one way yet the way the knowledge was passed on was twisted, which makes me be the opposite. for years i didnt realise why i washed the dishes in a bowl, i thought it was because it saved water, in actual fact it was so that i didnt hear my father in my ear telling me it hadnt been done right. all things that have led to me not wanting to let go of memories and paperwork or nick nacks that may have worth in the future. and as long as it doesnt over take i let it go because until i can find the off switch fighting it causes me more stress at times i dont need it. when the stress is less i go around and declutter as much as i can and my hubby does a concentrated declean every 6mths. which i hate but no he has to be allowed to do it. so progress in some bits n stabile but working on in others is about where im at,i think

  15. By: Gabrielle Posted: 13th August

    You really hit the nail on the head with this post Darlene. My mother was a hoarder as well as a narcissist and the parent who allowed the CSA to go on over 2 generations. I was that daughter bringing my now husband to “help” her clean up and being abused while she chose her stuff over me. I watch that show too and I noticed a pattern with the hoarders. They are almost all nasty and abusive to their family and are always married to either passive or passive-aggressive partners. The kids most definitely suffer the most damage. Great post- thanks!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      YES, I notice patterns with it too Gabrielle.
      And I also notice that in all dysfunctional families there is a pattern that the family doesn’t realize. (because it is the “norm” for them. )
      Thanks for sharing your personal exp. with this!
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: joy Posted: 12th August


    My family hates me . I wish they wouldnt but my abuser calls the shote. .what she says goes. I am the one bad apple..get rid of me and no problems.


  17. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    the nature of abuse: the abuser has kidnapped you from reality, from your own mind and ability to find your own reality; he has stolen you from the world, and created an alternate world, a prison in which to live

  18. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    “being abused for exposing the abuse has a lot to do with :

    the nature of abuse, which is to redefine the reality of you and the abuser. The abuser creates a reality in which you and he exists, the difinitions of words are changed to create and maintain the reality.

    abusing you again. IOW, your perceptions are wrong, as is everything else about you.

  19. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    being abused for exposing the abuse has a lot to do with abusing you again. IOW, your perceptions are wrong, as is everything else about you.

  20. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    Pam made the comment about scapegoat to you in a previous post. Your family uses you as the scapegoat, AND they seem to say the worst imaginealbe stuff to you, it doesn’t make any of it true at all.

  21. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th August

    Being hated for breaking the silence has a lot to do with training you NOT to break it again.
    I am sure we all made a few mistakes along the way like Kate shared about repeating what her father said about the woman who talked like a bird. I remember my kids saying things (repeating things) that were embarrassing, but we thought it was cute. We were not training them to keep evil secrets either. When there is something “funky” going on in a home, the kids are trained not to repeat anything because it is just safer that way. It is hard to teach “well you can say that, but not this”.
    But this whole system is dysfunctional and destroys lives.

  22. By: joy Posted: 12th August


    On #32 I didnt understand why you said “make me the scapegoat and move on ”

    Regarding #33 it makes sense how you explain the teaching asking me the question that caused me to break the silence my family wanted me to keep..I didn’t think far ahead so I didnt think answering it would lead to everything that did follow. I never think far ahead enough . .I simply answered as did other children . .the question that was posed to the class. I dont know how many times i repeated this to my mom after.. It never mattered. I was hated for breaking silence on the bad thing.


  23. By: Vicki Posted: 12th August

    I meant to say I WOULDN’T wish it on anyone else: except, maybe, for Osama bin Laden. But never mind.
    I just don’t want to think I’m different with how I’m reacting to abuse. Which, currently, I’m having trouble understanding even though I work in health care, and so believe I ought to understand at least a little.
    But maybe it’s different when you’re the one going through it.

  24. By: Vicki Posted: 12th August

    I didn’t see it in there about the opposite. I’m sorry. I don’t know how that keeps happening either, b/c I read the whole thing, but I bet I went, for lack of a more accurate description, unconscious, during part of the reading.
    It’s that fog I mentioned in another post, and I was hoping I’m not the only one who has that issue. Of course I would wish it on anyone else either, b/c I actually black out; I mean it feels physical, so I’m going to have to tell my therapist about it. I hope I don’t have to tell my medical doctor about it. I hope it’s more psychological than physical, but it FEELS physical.
    O well. Thank you for pointing it out.

  25. By: Kate Posted: 12th August

    When I was six, my dad took me over to his (“friend’s) boss’ house where boss and the wife were home. We had just moved to this town that year from three hours away. I knew this boss from before we moved as he had been to our home in the first town. I felt comfortable. I pointed at the boss’ wife and said, “My dad says you talk like a bird.” My dad didn’t end up keeping that job for a long time, maybe a year or two after that. WHY in the WORLD would my dad TALK that way and expect me not to repeat it? I was to just know better? I have felt that my dad is angry at me about this for the rest of my life. i am 48 now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.