Honor your Mother and Father; Is Drawing A Boundary a Sin?

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“Putting up with abuse or abusive treatment is not love for the abuser. It is not love for the self. It has nothing to do with love at all. Finding out what LOVE really is went miles towards my recovery” ~ Darlene Ouimet

Long before I ever ‘emerged from broken’ I had this burning question about the obligation involved in loving my parents. I had been told/warned that it was a sin if I didn’t honor them, and I had honor and love all mixed up. I didn’t really understand what either word actually meant since I had never been taught the true meaning of those words. My real question was more about my right to ‘stand up to them’ and since I believed that standing up to them was not a loving action, that standing up to them was going against them which meant “noncompliance” I believed that love was putting up with unacceptable treatment.

Each year around Mother’s Day, I re-visit my belief system and the longings that I had in the past, the judgments that I made on myself and the roots of where they came from; In order to find out what love really is, I had to realize what it was not. I had to realize how I had been taught what love was and realize that that teaching was false and not based on truth or the true definition of love at all.

I had been told that love was the answer but I had not been taught what LOVE actually was. So I took my false belief about love and what I ‘thought’ it was, and I applied that false definition of ‘love’ to everyone in my life.

I believed that loving abusive people like my mother, until they could love themselves was equal to having a higher purpose. I believed that I was ‘the better person’ because I could take the abuse, mistreatment or disrespect and that would communicate that I could love unconditionally. I believed that accepting devaluing treatment in some way ‘proved’ my value; even if it only proved it to God. 

The truth is that putting up with the abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment only served to validate the way they treated me. It communicated my permission for them to treat me like dirt. How can that be love?  Sometimes I wonder if deep down they were laughing at me. I wonder if they ever thought “What an idiot this girl is! No matter how nasty I am to her she keeps coming back for more; no matter how I treat her she ‘LOVES’ me!”

I don’t think my acceptance of abuse did anything to serve any kind of higher purpose once I entered into adulthood; I think it served to communicate that these people (like my mother) had rights that I didn’t have which is really what abuse is; compliance to abusive treatment communicates to the abuser that they have more right and more value than the victim they are mistreating. So the compliance that I liked to think of as unconditional love, validated them. My compliance said to my mother and to eveyone else that I complied with “sure you can keep on spitting on me and I am going to love you. I can accept anything you serve up to me because I know what real love is and by MY example of love, I can teach you to love”.

But that wasn’t real love at all. The way my mother and others treated me didn’t communicate love or acceptance of me.  And my acceptance of them didn’t communicate love of them either.

Doesn’t it make sense that love, real love for self AND for the other person, would be to stand up to the nasty treatment? Doesn’t it make sense that if you want to express love for someone, that you DON’T validate that it is okay for them to treat you or other people in a devaluing way? How is love modeled through accepting abusive behavior? Isn’t abusive behavior wrong in the first place? And if it is wrong in the first place, isn’t it wrong for everyone no matter what position the abusive person has in your life?

Doesn’t it make sense that we can only model love by acting in a loving way? I had to look at what modeling love really looked like. I realized that accepting myself with having less value than them wasn’t love at all. (And it wasn’t the truth either!) Accepting abusive treatment in no way communicates love or unconditional love. It communicates that you will accept abusive treatment.

When I was a child there was no alternative but to accept whatever was dished out to me. I had no power and I had no choice. It had to live in survival mode. I was taught by action and inaction, words and other forms of communication that showing ‘love’ was about compliance and acceptance. But that definition of love and acceptance only applied to me and that was not how THEY showed love. They didn’t love me in the way that they insisted that I love them. They taught me that love was about obedience and about never questioning the authorities in my life which of course only served them and their desires. My compliance and acceptance served to restore their low self-esteem and fulfilled their own ideas about what love was and what it could do. And this is why abuse is a cycle. These false teachings are passed on from generation to generation, each broken child waiting for the time when they too will be loved either by the false definition of love that they have been taught (submission and compliance to everyone; in other words to keep trying to comply or submit believing that this acceptance of abusive treatment will eventually enable to communicate love to the abusive person who will then return your love) or by someone else’s compliance and acceptance of their unacceptable treatment which is falsely believed to communicate that the victim of their mistreatment ‘loves’ them.  

I am no longer a child. I have learned what right and wrong is. I have learned that love is not a one way street. I have learned that it is wrong to go along with the teaching that the one who gets loved is the one with the most power in the relationship.  I have learned that the proper use of power is to empower and the last thing that I ever was by my mother and father and these people who taught me this false definition of love was empowerment. They taught me slavery. They taught me obedience, submission, compliance and with those teachings they slayed my choice, my power and my individuality. I was not empowered and I was not taught anything about true love.

The most important thing I have learned is the truth about my own value and worth. I have learned that I have equal value to everyone. I have learned that I deserve the same respect that everyone else deserves and that I do not deserve to be treated as ‘less worthy than anyone else’. I have learned that real love treats everyone the same and that the rules of love are not different for children or adult children. I have learned that love is always about what is best. When people do not treat me with equal value, it is best not to accept that treatment. Refusing to comply with unacceptable treatment IS loving ~ both towards myself and towards the abuser. How can it be loving to allow them to continue their abusive behavior by accepting it as acceptable?

I have learned that victim mentality (believing that reacting in acceptance will eventually pay off and cause the abuser to change) will never be part of the solution but in truth will only serve to allow abuse to continue. And this is why learning to love myself first has enabled me to love others and be that example of love to others. This is why I see having no communication with my own mother is a loving action (to her, to myself and to my children) on my part.

This Mothers Day I do not miss the fantasy of having a loving mother. As I grow closer and closer to the truth about love, I wake up more and more in love….

Please share your thoughts, feelings, discoveries and ideas about love and what it really is when it comes to your mothers and fathers and how the thought of setting boundaries is really a loving action for all instead of a “sin” defining standing up to mistreatment as dishonoring your mother and father.

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

For additional articles on Mother Daughter or Family issues, please scroll through the Mother Daughter Category and the Family Category on the buttons above.

Related Posts ~ See the phrases through out the post in bold as well as: What If My Mother or Father Dies Before We resolve our relationship?  

 

 

 

868 response to "Honor your Mother and Father; Is Drawing A Boundary a Sin?"

  1. By: marquis (female) Posted: 28th March

    Davina,

    It seems people push bad behaviors/poor treatment of others in the closet or under the rug. I am glad it is ex-therapist, at least I have better support from my social worker at the women’s center than I did my therapist! I remember someone on another site said to me long ago that sites like these are great but doesn’t replace therapy yet they were the same people who hated therapy lol.

    I get more insight out of blogs like these than in therapy or talking to someone who claimed to understand abuse. I’ve always told people ‘I don’t care about the but’s your parents/family or it’s your family obligation comments. Save it for people who really care!’ Ex therapist and other people were furious that I “don’t care.”

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th March

      Hi Marquis
      Sometimes I wonder what people mean when they say things like “it doesn’t replace therapy”. Why do people make statements that leave no room for individual choice? (because they are so insecure about everyone having an individual choice.) When people are furious that you don’t care, that is about them and their own feelings and fears. I have had good therapy (once) and I have had “nice therapy” that didn’t help at all and I have had useless and abusive help too. Hundreds of people have told me that their therapists print off things from my blog for them! 🙂

      The whole ‘obligation thing’ never helps. If you ask them what they mean by “but that is your family” comments and they can NEVER explain. Interesting.

      I like to think that different things work at different times and for different people. I like to believe that we all have what it takes inside of us to heal if we are willing to do the work. 🙂
      Thanks for all you share!
      hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Davina Posted: 28th March

    Marquis, I feel relieved that you’re calling this your “ex” therapist. It’s painful to hear ignorant remarks when you need understanding and comfort.

    I’ve never had much luck with therapists–most made me feel worse and only one was great but she died a few months after I met her, hopefully not because of me.

    There are studies showing that reading good self help books or blogs is as effective as therapy hour for hour. I’ve gotten so much more out of this blog and books than therapy or talking to friends, who usually make but-it’s-your-family remarks.

    It breaks my heart to read the things people on this blog have gone through, but heartwarming to know we’re not alone after all.

  3. By: marquis (female) Posted: 27th March

    “My mother’s actions make me deeply angry and splinter the whole family. Though we live 2,000 miles apart and I haven’t seen her in 13 years she continues to destroy from afar. There’s no solution,”

    I tried to explain that to people and ex therapist which they saw something different or whatever. She always uses ‘well, they are not here,’ my parents don’t have to be here, ever heard of how abusers still pull the strings from a distance? Amazing, this so called therapist has no idea how abuse really works! I always wonder if she is in some type of denial herself? Lies will spread across the field like pollen, believe me!

    I realized something by some of the people’s comments on here. What I’ve tried to explain to people in the past and ex therapist how it isn’t about the people BEING your parents or other relatives raising you, it’s about the actions meaning HOW you were treated as a kid. Everybody on here agreed that anybody can make babies, it’s having the emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial capacity to even take care these kids and want them as well. I told my ex therapist ‘we need to stop with the bullshit of “oh, they are your parents. How could you say that? She’s your mother, he’s your father, he’s your grandfather, etc.” Science on a man and woman having sex and making babies doesn’t equip them for parenthood. Science doesn’t talk about if these two are ready to be parents, we just know about the biological/DNA of a man and woman making a baby! When we realize, it’s not about two fools making a baby and calling them parents; the questions are: have they NURTURED the children? PROVIDING for the children? have they BEHAVED like parents? are they LOVING towards the child(ren)? are they TREATING the children like human beings and not the children are seen not heard bullshit? etc once we look at the actions, then people should serious actions and really take these kids away from the families for good and not letting them go back and forth. Once we do that, hey, the numbers of child abuse would significantly go down.’

    After saying that to my ex therapist, she just looked at me and I have said something similar to that in the past to other people. How could you argue that? You can’t really! People and ex therapist said ‘this isn’t about the way how you are treated, it’s about them being your parents.’ I said ‘it’s EXACTLY about how a person is being treated, doesn’t the Bible speak about actions throughout the damn book? You don’t need to be religious to know that, life is about actions and if you are NOT feeding your kids, taking them to school, being PROACTIVE in their lives, you are not TAKING ACTION in their lives and YOUR ACTIONS reflect on the truth about what kind of parent you really are! Stop with the oh I feel sorry for this kids’ parent who don’t take care of him, you have a it can never happen to me syndrome or it’s not happening with my kids; why should I care type of attitude.’

    Lots of people shut up, were enraged at those comments, and a small number agreed with me. Ex therapist got furious about it jumping down my throat ‘I never said I didn’t care,’ cut her off saying ‘sitting there in silence and enjoying it, speaks a lot of volumes to me!’ The saying is true in life ACTIONS speak LOUDER than words like someone else told me either on here or elsewhere that there’s more to life than putting a roof over a child’s head, that’s what your suppose to do!

  4. By: Davina Posted: 26th March

    Charli @ 503

    My mom enjoys splitting her kids apart also. As we grew up, instead of teaching us to be allies she encouraged rivalry and looked uncomfortable when we got along.

    When my golden child sister asked me to be her maid of honor, my ‘mother’ was clearly jealous of me. When my sister visited me in my home in a distant city, my mother said “Now don’t you girls fight!” with a smile in her voice, even though we were 42 and 39. My mother sounded disappointed when I told her the visit went fine.

    Growing up our fighting and rivalry were due to my mother allowing my sister to steal from and be abusive toward me and my anger at her blatant favoritism. For instance, I wore raggedy clothes and had one holey pair of shoes long before I could have worked to buy my own things, but mom gave my sister new outfits and often saved up to surprise her with a fringed leather jacket or beautiful boots. There was not once anything like that for me–not one time.

    I’ve been NC with my mom for 13 years now, but meanwhile tried to stay in contact with my brother and a cousin. My brother was head injured in a motorcycle wreck 40 years ago and has never been able to work or go to college. He buys groceries with money from social security disability and lives in a shack on a freeway median strip with street people. His life has been rough and he told me that he looks forward to my long letters and pictures. My mother once remarked that “he doesn’t have ANYTHING”, and I assumed that she’d not try to destroy my relationship with him. Yet in the last year he began to say things in favor of her and against me that were in her words exactly, and he gradually stopped writing though he’s been a prompt letter writer all of his life. The cousin also began spouting stuff to put me down in my mother’s exact words, and using a scornful tone of voice toward me. These are sick-making injections of my mother’s toxin that I want out of my life, so my last two family relationships are now gone due to my mother’s work.

    My mother’s actions make me deeply angry and splinter the whole family. Though we live 2,000 miles apart and I haven’t seen her in 13 years she continues to destroy from afar. There’s no solution, and so I find my self looking forward to the day she’s gone. But it seems like she’ll live forever, and she’s only 87.

  5. By: Kadeeja Posted: 23rd March

    Davina, “If your family is mean to you, you’re still alone even if you’re in the same town and you might be happier and safer moving away. It’s natural to feel scared but you can do it!” – Well said. Sound advice. I am taking it. I pray to God that it happens.

  6. By: Davina Posted: 23rd March

    Aurele @302 regarding the fear of moving away and being alone:

    At 17 I left my miserable family and moved 3,000 miles away to the other side of the country. The first few years were difficult and often lonely yet I knew I couldn’t go back. At first I visited once or twice a year but eventually even that became traumatic so 12 years ago I cut ties completely.

    I used to be very scared of being alone and tried to avoid it by adding people and events to my life. That helps, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and I’d face a weekend, holiday or birthday alone. But I realized that I got through it and that nothing bad happened when I was alone–the hours passed and it wasn’t fatal.

    Now I cherish being alone and take care to spend my time only on people and activities I truly enjoy. I also have two funny cats, a couple of nice friends, the gym, aerobics, hikes in nature, books, music, the internet, good food, wine, candles, root beer, chocolate, and even the faint possibility of meeting a nice man, more nice friends or even a puppy in the future.

    After so many years away from my abusive family I’ve grown unaccustomed to poor treatment and find that if people abuse me now I get them out of my life so quickly I surprise myself!

    If your family is mean to you, you’re still alone even if you’re in the same town and you might be happier and safer moving away. It’s natural to feel scared but you can do it!

    There’s more than one way to skin a ca… no–peel a potato so whatever you think might work is where you could start.

    Good luck!

  7. By: marquis (female) Posted: 23rd March

    I don’t want kids because I feel I will just end up being like my parents, I still have their nasty tendencies, growing up I was never interested in kids only the teens and college students because my siblings were in their 20s in the 90s so I was always with my sister’s friends, I don’t seem to have an emotional connection with kids meaning I never been around any in my family (only once in AL on my dad’s side).

    My sister has 2 teen daughters who my parents don’t even acknowledge anymore. My sister told me to tell mom ‘that my daughters are doing just fine without you and don’t care to know their grandparents anymore because they know the truth about you two.’ Mom had this stupid looking toad face and took a big sigh saying ‘I don’t know what your sister is talking about and she just brainwashed them like she brainwashed you and your brother!’ I said omg! I sent my nieces a pic of my parents and when they saw my mom, they said ‘ewww who is that man?’ I had to laugh they thought she was a man because of her size! I sent them pix of the house and its horrible living conditions, they both said yuck, disgusting how could they (grandparents, my parents) live like that?’ So, how are they brainwashed? lol They know the truth, they can ask me since I am still living at home.

    As far as my parents are concern, their granddaughters never existed if my sister didn’t “put lies in their head,” they would have a relationship with them that’s what my parents said. Their grandparents on their father’s side (BIL) are not any better. I told my sister ‘are we cursed or something? We have one set of shitty parents that didn’t work out for us, terrible to their granddaughters, my BIL’s parents are no different – is the pattern still repeating itself?’ Their marriage is on the rocks anyway.

  8. By: Davina Posted: 23rd March

    Alice, DSC, JJ and January at 213–217-ish

    My mother also thought that having kids and being a mom was the ultimate, even though she was supposedly a feminist and was by any standard a poor parent.

    I didn’t have kids for several reasons, one being that I knew she’d ignore or mistreat my kids in order to hurt me. My golden brother and sister both had kids and my mother acted like it was the most sacred thing. Both brother and sister are alcoholics with personality disorders–they made a mess of parenting and the kids have ongoing problems.

    I agree with January that having kids wouldn’t have done anything to bring you up, Alice, in your mom’s esteem–she probably would have ignored them or treated them second class to hurt you.

  9. By: Davina Posted: 22nd March

    Michele @ 165,

    Regarding phone numbers, I’ve given up land lines and just have Trac cell phones that allow you to buy minutes in chunks without contracts and change your phone number at any time, as often as you want. This has saved a lot of money and spares me from hearing the voices of cruel people from my past. Should someone get my number that I don’t want to have it, I call the 800 number and change my cell number with the click of a button.

    This system works for me but I have simple phone needs–no kids, a few friends and some business calls.

  10. By: Will Posted: 12th March

    I too was confused about this ‘honoring your mother and father”. My parents raped me when I was a child. They traumatized my life. They also were the very ones who fed me, gave me shelter and clothed me,so I felt to accept that they were total monsters to me was an act of ungratefulness and lack of love and honor for them. My grandmothers did the same. Groomed me with deceptive expressions of love only to molest my little girl body.Love doesn’t do these things.I learn to honor my parents by forgiving them but that does not include giving up my right to say no to them when it is unpleasant to say yes. Love stands up for right doing. I honor them with truth.

  11. By: marquis (female) Posted: 9th February

    I have been trying to find a blog like this for a long time, such a truthful blog!

    “Putting up with abuse or abusive treatment is not love for the abuser. It is not love for the self. It has nothing to do with love at all.”

    Agreed, been saying that for years. My “therapist” thinks just because a person is a parent, has absolutely no parenting skills whatsoever, putting a roof over the kids’ heads, etc did us a favor although abuse is involved. I told her what boat did you get off from?!? She asked ‘what do you call it if it isn’t love?’ I told her ‘a prison! what my parents did/have done has nothing to do with love, you heard the entire story from beginning to end, where in that is the love? I am very disappointed in you that you would say they did us a favor yet your a mom saying abuse is wrong and that’s the background you study for in college.’ Ohhh, she didn’t like that. I told her ‘you sound like everybody else, indirectly speaking, you are also agreeing with what abusers do and don’t gimme that “I have a background in abuse/trauma,” that means nothing. Anybody can get a degree as a doctor doesn’t mean the doctor is in the field for the right reasons.’

    Yea, she shut up after that. My boyfriend had nothing to say lol. I told my therapist this is why as women, we always end up with jerk guys all the time that’s who we always run after and leave the nice guy out to dry. You see on TV how the bad boy has it all, but they never show how he is not marriage material. My social worker said how the abusers have unhealthy love, but at the same time, it’s not real love – controlling a person no matter how old they are is not love!

    “I had been told/warned that it was a sin if I didn’t honor them, and I had honor and love all mixed up. I didn’t really understand what either word actually meant since I had never been taught the true meaning of those words.”

    Yep, I got told that garbage about not honoring your parents. My therapist and I got at it about this topic months ago and told her ‘what honor? There’s honor towards a person based on their characteristic traits, why are we honoring someone who never wanted us? That is abusing yourself.” Yep, she didn’t like that. I told her about blogs like these ‘your field should be teaching this using real life experience not your DSM-IV Bible which is filled with disorders and nothing about the real person’s life anyway.’

    I questioned all of this stuff when I was a kid, I knew something wasn’t right and it was so “artificial and phony.” People tell me ‘your parents didn’t have to have you,’ I said ‘yea, your right. Did I ask to be born?’ The looks on people’s faces! Nobody said a word not even my therapist, I said now argue that. They couldn’t, how could you argue did I ask to be born? Did anybody on this planet asked to be born? It shuts people up when I say that.

    “My real question was more about my right to ‘stand up to them’ and since I believed that standing up to them was not a loving action, that standing up to them was going against them which meant “noncompliance” I believed that love was putting up with unacceptable treatment.”

    Agreed. I told my therapist why do women always have to put up with unacceptable treatment for centuries? Our parents/grandparents time they absolutely didn’t question anything and believed everything that past society told them about life which is why they can’t leave those old fairytale lies and my therapist said ‘that’s what your mother knows,’ I told her that generation never bothered to change opinions and learn each time a generation passes! She had nothing to say to that!

    I’m very glad I found this blog. This reminds me of a story I read about how Asians honor their parents. I read a story how this Chinese girl was treated like shit because she wasn’t a boy and her parents couldn’t wait to marry her off to someone else. She talked about not having a real childhood, her parents treated her like a burden, etc. She loved her parents but there was no love return to her, I read that thinking so why love them? Because they’re your parents?!?

    She was miserable in life, married to a guy she never loved, still had all of this mixed emotions about love and honor your parents. I believe Asian kids should speak about that especially the girls being treated like some burden because they are not boys. I have also seen how some of their parents throw in the honor as a guilt trip and to make them do what they (parents) want instead of what the kids want.

    “Each year around Mother’s Day, I re-visit my belief system and the longings that I had in the past, the judgments that I made on myself and the roots of where they came from; In order to find out what love really is, I had to realize what it was not. I had to realize how I had been taught what love was and realize that that teaching was false and not based on truth or the true definition of love at all.”

    I knew at a very young age how love and abuse never mixed together because they are polar opposites of each other. This is something my therapist could never grasp at all yet her education is in abuse and trauma! I can tell she has unresolved issues and projects her ideologies onto me all because she disagrees with a lot of things that I say. I told her ‘not your life, not your story, and not your experience.’ Which she didn’t like too much. Seriously, next week better be my last day with her!

    “I had been told that love was the answer but I had not been taught what LOVE actually was. So I took my false belief about love and what I ‘thought’ it was, and I applied that false definition of ‘love’ to everyone in my life.”

    Agreed. People are not taught what love really is and if there was more love, there wouldn’t be any abuse out there. That is a word we throw around and then add strings attached to it, how is that love? You see it all the time with women (as well as men) getting involved in destructive relationships especially women. They mix up love and abuse together and call it love in the end. I told my therapist months ago ‘you can’t tell me that our parents love us, when there wasn’t a love loss to begin with. You can’t take love and abuse, ball it up, and still call it love not when you are still getting constant threats, barrage of yelling/screaming, daughters being referred to as whore, our (you, me, boyfriend) generation filled with nothing but lousy whorish women who give up the cookies too fast (like my mom didn’t have any in her day), etc and still tell me that’s love and honor.’ The saying will always be true about actions will always speak louder than words, but nobody wants to look at a person’s actions and judge them. Everything we saw growing up was nothing for our benefit, always their benefit, they wanted kids for slaves/servant, they didn’t want to take care of our needs, no love/support, etc where’s the love? I keep asking people that yet nobody can’t give me a real definitive answer!

    Love should be the answer to a lot of things but not the way how people are using it only to suit their own selfish needs.

    “I believed that loving abusive people like my mother, until they could love themselves was equal to having a higher purpose. I believed that I was ‘the better person’ because I could take the abuse, mistreatment or disrespect and that would communicate that I could love unconditionally. I believed that accepting devaluing treatment in some way ‘proved’ my value; even if it only proved it to God.”

    I used to believe that to only for a short while and every time I tried to “love my parents,” my tummy was given me a lot of knots like someone was kicking my tummy 50,000 times! I was told a lot of bs how if I tried to love my parents they will love me/us and everything will be forgotten and that is the biggest lie to tell anybody! That is called dusting it under the rug! My therapist tried to use her parenting in combination with my parents I laughed telling her ‘you and them are very different and polar opposites of each other, why would you wanna merge your parenting with my narcissistic parents?’

    Honestly, I have told her and other people this how I can’t truly love them at all. I absolutely have no feelings for them and it wouldn’t matter to me if they fell off a cliff which my therapist said how “that’s very cold of me to say,” yea, I have gotten that a lot from people. I get told the usual bs because I am young and not “understanding a parents’ role and love,” that one day I will learn to appreciate them. I had to laugh at that since there was nothing but living in hell with them, what is there to appreciate? We should be appreciative of having narcs for parents? A woman who bore children to keep my dad around and a father who wanted a lot of kids so he can be like the rich Arab men and wanted slave children to do his dirty work.

    I was told if you love them, you can be the better person in withstanding abuse. I realized soon after being told that that’s a huge lie anything to cover up the truth. We live in a world and society in this country where we live off of false definitions and teachings and twist things to suit our needs.

    “The truth is that putting up with the abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment only served to validate the way they treated me. It communicated my permission for them to treat me like dirt. How can that be love? Sometimes I wonder if deep down they were laughing at me. I wonder if they ever thought “What an idiot this girl is! No matter how nasty I am to her she keeps coming back for more; no matter how I treat her she ‘LOVES’ me!”

    Agreed, how can that be love? funny, my therapist said it isn’t love and said to her you are contradicting yourself, you just said they did us a favor hence means they loved us to put a roof over our heads! I told her really listen to what you’re saying.

    “No matter how nasty I am to her she keeps coming back for more; no matter how I treat her she ‘LOVES’ me!”

    I am not surprised that jerk guys think this when they mistreat their girlfriends/wives.

    “I don’t think my acceptance of abuse did anything to serve any kind of higher purpose once I entered into adulthood; I think it served to communicate that these people (like my mother) had rights that I didn’t have which is really what abuse is; compliance to abusive treatment communicates to the abuser that they have more right and more value than the victim they are mistreating. So the compliance that I liked to think of as unconditional love, validated them. My compliance said to my mother and to eveyone else that I complied with “sure you can keep on spitting on me and I am going to love you. I can accept anything you serve up to me because I know what real love is and by MY example of love, I can teach you to love”.”

    True. We are taught by the wrong examples of life which is something people never understand. My parents said they never mistreated us, oh really??? When we are taught the very wrong things about life, we tend to believe that is the correct way to live life or treat people or animals. In my family, we never had rights sounds like the children are seen and not heard approach! I am an adult and still don’t have any rights because I live with them and my therapist said I can make my own decisions. I told her ‘not when you live abusers who still treat you like some slave with no rights doesn’t matter how old a person is.’ That seems to be a huge problem explaining that to others and tell me I just don’t wanna do this or that…

    “But that wasn’t real love at all. The way my mother and others treated me didn’t communicate love or acceptance of me. And my acceptance of them didn’t communicate love of them either.”

    Agreed. So much for “unconditional love” yet you still hear stories of how the children get mistreated for walking their own path yet they were told I will always love you unconditionally. I used to plead to people look at the mistreatment and the way they communicated to us, we were never wanted. They said ‘how come we weren’t put up for adoption?’ How do you want me to answer that? You gotta ask them that but my mom said she didn’t want us to be in foster care for fear of having white people raising us. They said ‘we must’ve been wanted because they kept us,’ that means nothing lots of kids are raised in homes where they were not wanted.

    Now, I won’t plead that anymore it was nothing but devaluing, dismissing, etc towards me. Our communication towards each other was no real love, why is that so hard for grasp and why do I always get people putting me in the back burner? Oh, sucks that their “Leave It To Beaver” lifestyle got ruined, not your typical “American family traditions.” There’s no love if neither side have any towards one another – you won’t get that from a psychology book!

    “Doesn’t it make sense that love, real love for self AND for the other person, would be to stand up to the nasty treatment? Doesn’t it make sense that if you want to express love for someone, that you DON’T validate that it is okay for them to treat you or other people in a devaluing way? How is love modeled through accepting abusive behavior? Isn’t abusive behavior wrong in the first place? And if it is wrong in the first place, isn’t it wrong for everyone no matter what position the abusive person has in your life?”

    Agreed! The model on abuse and love is absolutely appalling to hear people say a ton of mixed signals and false teachings that it’s a shame nobody really knows how to love one another. This is something my therapist disagreed with me months ago, but oh well lol. We should be standing up to abuse yet I hear people argue about it saying oh no, he didn’t mean it (yes he did) and that person saying he abused her; well get over it, it could be a lot worse! I hear all angles of it and most people let them get away with abuse then complain that the person wasn’t held accountable for it gee I wonder why!

    “Doesn’t it make sense that we can only model love by acting in a loving way? I had to look at what modeling love really looked like. I realized that accepting myself with having less value than them wasn’t love at all. (And it wasn’t the truth either!) Accepting abusive treatment in no way communicates love or unconditional love. It communicates that you will accept abusive treatment.”

    Agreed. The problem is you don’t see modeled love at all. You hear people talking about it, but not acting on it. Maybe the hippies in the 60s modeled love in a good way. “Accepting abusive treatment in no way communicates love or unconditional love. It communicates that you will accept abusive treatment.” Agreed. Wow, I wasn’t the only person saying this for years. My therapist would partially agree telling me that it’s not about accepting the abuse nor is it about pushing it under the rug. I said oh? Why do we have to “love our parents then?” I never got a response. This is something mental health field (MHF) never says in their practices, it’s always the usual bs of ‘let’s move on, fix yourself, fix the other person, etc dust it under the rug.’

    “When I was a child there was no alternative but to accept whatever was dished out to me. I had no power and I had no choice. It had to live in survival mode. I was taught by action and inaction, words and other forms of communication that showing ‘love’ was about compliance and acceptance. But that definition of love and acceptance only applied to me and that was not how THEY showed love. They didn’t love me in the way that they insisted that I love them. They taught me that love was about obedience and about never questioning the authorities in my life which of course only served them and their desires. My compliance and acceptance served to restore their low self-esteem and fulfilled their own ideas about what love was and what it could do. And this is why abuse is a cycle. These false teachings are passed on from generation to generation, each broken child waiting for the time when they too will be loved either by the false definition of love that they have been taught (submission and compliance to everyone; in other words to keep trying to comply or submit believing that this acceptance of abusive treatment will eventually enable to communicate love to the abusive person who will then return your love) or by someone else’s compliance and acceptance of their unacceptable treatment which is falsely believed to communicate that the victim of their mistreatment ‘loves’ them.”

    Compliance, acceptance, and never question authority. Yep, that was communicated to me as well. That part my therapist failed to bring up as always. I told her Jesus didn’t say accept the mistreatment, did He? This is a huge problem in the MHF teaching false definitions to their clients and we wonder why the MHF needs fixing! I always hear how most people went to a professional for help and didn’t get the results they wanted. It seems these MHPs are using compliance and to never question them because they are the therapist, counselor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist/psychologist, CBT therapist, etc because “they know everything!” I agree this is why false teachings/definitions/lies keep getting passed down every generation, maybe if people would stop and really dig deeper into their brains and think about that: the answer was lying right there waiting for you to bring it out. This is why nobody uses critical thinking anymore yet this was something “taught” in schools.

    “I have learned that love is not a one way street. I have learned that it is wrong to go along with the teaching that the one who gets loved is the one with the most power in the relationship. I have learned that the proper use of power is to empower and the last thing that I ever was by my mother and father and these people who taught me this false definition of love was empowerment. They taught me slavery. They taught me obedience, submission, compliance and with those teachings they slayed my choice, my power and my individuality. I was not empowered and I was not taught anything about true love.”

    Agreed. I tried to explain this to my therapist about being taught slavery, taught how to be dumb and stupid, basically to hate people, etc yet she never got that! I told my therapist those false teachings/definitions is basically to keep people dumb and stupid, to be a slave and never question anything or anybody out there it is about control! She looked at me like always yet I swear this woman seems to live in fantasy land all the time!

    “The most important thing I have learned is the truth about my own value and worth. I have learned that I have equal value to everyone. I have learned that I deserve the same respect that everyone else deserves and that I do not deserve to be treated as ‘less worthy than anyone else’. I have learned that real love treats everyone the same and that the rules of love are not different for children or adult children. I have learned that love is always about what is best. When people do not treat me with equal value, it is best not to accept that treatment. Refusing to comply with unacceptable treatment IS loving ~ both towards myself and towards the abuser. How can it be loving to allow them to continue their abusive behavior by accepting it as acceptable?”

    Agreed. “How can it be loving to allow them to continue their abusive behavior by accepting it as acceptable?” Exactly, people don’t seem to know the difference between from their head and elbow nothing but lies upon lies and everybody thinks it is true. Like one guy I know said, “you have this preconceived notion that everybody follows and then another better lie comes along. Let’s follow that new lie and never mind that first preconceived notion. People follow lies wherever they go.” I do agree how everybody deserves to be treated with love, fairness, support, etc that’s how we learn and grow. We don’t learn/grow by having hatred or by putting up false beliefs/definitions.

    “I have learned that victim mentality (believing that reacting in acceptance will eventually pay off and cause the abuser to change) will never be part of the solution but in truth will only serve to allow abuse to continue. And this is why learning to love myself first has enabled me to love others and be that example of love to others. This is why I see having no communication with my own mother is a loving action (to her, to myself and to my children) on my part.
    This Mothers Day I do not miss the fantasy of having a loving mother. As I grow closer and closer to the truth about love, I wake up more and more in love….”

    Agreed, believing this is will repair the damage from long ago is not love it takes both sides to repair past damage. I saw the truth from long ago it helped me get closer and closer to it, it helped me not listen to such nonsense spouted by idiots out there in the public thinking they can persuade me to listen to the dogma out there on the fictional and artificial lies/happiness out there about life and family.

    Mother’s day (as well as Father’s day) I don’t really care for those “days” because it was nothing special. I got money out of it from my mom and was extra nice because of it. Neither one of them deserve shit from us yet they still wanna sit there and tell everybody how they are such wonderful parents. It still hurts to see how some people can talk about the wonderful things they do on those days and when people ask me, I hate making up a story about it. When I speak the truth, they don’t wanna talk to me and tell me ‘I should enjoy Mother’s day and Father’s day regardless of the abuse.’ Basically, that means to keep up with appearances.

  12. By: Kadeeja Posted: 4th February

    Thank you so much Darlene (if I may call you that). Although I try to look at the good side of life and remain content and productive most of the time, it is hard sometimes, especially at certain times of the month when I am more emotional (u know). It helps then to talk to someone who really understands or to be in the company of those who know. Thank you again for responding. Hugs.

  13. By: Kadeeja Posted: 4th February

    This is an excellent article and just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much for being an instrument of God and helping me. For the first two decades of my life, my parents trained me to ‘love’ and submit to anyone who abuse me (primarily themselves). The next 2 decades, I have been trying to overcome that. It was a while before I learnt what love meant and only a year back did I really accept that mom did not love me at all when my psych (whom I consulted to find ways to cope with mom) told me so. I am married but my mom lives with us and that creates a lot of stressful situations everyday. My mom has befriended my mom-in-law so that they can torture me together. I also am yet to understand how to deal with my husband who I feel also disrespects me a lot. He was chosen by mom. I love him but he is very egoistic. Anytime I try to be assertive, they all try to pull me down. While I may just be stating facts in a very friendly tone like “I am not hungry now. May I have breakfast later?” and they are pelting out things like “You are so mean. You never listen. You must eat this to make me happy.” It is so funny that they resent me for peacefully standing up for the very rights they excise everyday without a thought. My mom, I can deal with. I can remain in my room or go out and do volunteer work (I am trying to finish my masters in psych which is very difficult to do as they do their best to drain all my time and energy before my exams to make sure I dont become independent). My son has been taught by my mom that it is his right to use me as his slave and that I am a bad mom if I say no to any of his demands. If anything goes wrong, I try not to tell anyone because then I not only have to deal with the situation but also their abuses and constant criticism. God is the only one who truly knows the truth and He suffices. I do honour my mom by never being abusive and I love her by drawing boundaries and respecting myself.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

      Hi Kadeeja
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      There is a lot of info here in this site, a lot of examples, stories, comments and solutions. From what you are sharing, I think you have found the right place! These kinds of situations are never easy because ‘everyone’ is ganging up against one person and that is so difficult. I wish you all the best!
      Glad you are here, thank you for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Amber Posted: 25th January

    Yes, yes, Wendy and Nicky, my mother showed very little interest in me while I was growing up, and did so much to crush my self esteem. Calling me ugly, treating me as inferior because I was female, blaming me for things that weren’t my fault, telling me I was an accident, hitting me with a belt until I got welts. She wasn’t interested in events that were important to me like she wouldn’t buy my kindergarten picture or my high school graduation pictures….too ugly…and she left the house when I was getting ready for my Junior prom because she had no interest in seeing me off or taking pictures. When I started planning my wedding she moved thousands of miles away, so I not only had to go elsewhere to live for a few months; I was left to do all the planning, fittings, flowers etc by myself.
    Then, years later when she’s old and still living far away, she starts guilt tripping me with how it’s a daughters duty to take care of her mother! And from cross country! And how my brothers have their lives to live so it’s all on me! So I’m supposed to act like a daughter and do my duty to her when she did her mother duty to me like I described above?? That was one time I really put my foot down with her. If you reap what you sow, she didn’t sow much, so nor did she reap at the end. She was okay with things being unequal in the relationship as long as she was receiving more. This reminds me of one of my favorite Darlene quotes. “But she is your mother!” “And I am her daughter”!

  15. By: Wendy am Posted: 25th January

    Hello Nicky,
    So well written, I feel I am there with you feeling your pain. My story is so similar.
    It appears so many abusive old parents suddenly think that we should start caring for them when they reach old age. I truly hope non of those abusive creatures who stole our childhood loose their mind and live forever with their thoughts.
    I wish you peace and happiness.Wendy am.xx

  16. By: Nicky Posted: 24th January

    Hi there
    Wonderful and moving to read all (well, not quite!) the articles and posts. I had to speak out. I’ve been working hard in the CODA 12 step programme to support myself and treat myself with more care and love, whilst protecting myself from further abuse.

    My dad molested me almost from my birth, and viciously tore me down verbally, nothing I did was ever right or good enough, I was called stupid, only good for one thing, and constantly criticized. My narcissistic mother became literally hysterical if she ever had to cater to any of my needs(she screamed for 3 hours when my periods started); she couldn’t bear for me to have friends yet bizarrely actively encouraged me to date multiple guys in my adolescence…maybe she was afraid I’d leave otherwise. They jointly stopped me seeing my first serious partner at age 17, telling his parents I would be off to uni soon…..and drove me to achieve academically….yet when the UCCA forms were being completed my dad told me he didn’t think I was worth supporting financially…..I could go on! I received no affection, ever, nor was I told that I was loved. My mother cringed if I tried to hug her.

    For years I was a shut down, self abusive, suicidal, depressed wreck, attracting abusive addicted controlling partners. I worked my way through many therapists, support workers and psychiatrists, and through it all was sunk in shame and self loathing.

    It wasn’t until my 40s, by which time sadly my depression, angst and instability had affected my own children, that I embarked on my first 12 step programme. Finally I found a framework to start painfully rebuilding our lives and learning to support myself and my children better.

    My father died after my daughters birth, my mum is still alive at 88, and 5 strokes have finally softened her to an extent. However she frequently tries to guilt trip me to become her carer. Reading what I’ve just written, she should consider herself lucky I have any contact with her, and several therapists have told me to sever contact with her. Now I can tell her what is and is not acceptable….I’ve told her very clearly there is no way I could ever be her carer. I email her which is fine, that works ok though she rarely replies;we speak on the phone;and I see her for a short time maybe 3x a year. I know now she has absolutely no right to say or do anything abusive to me, and if she gets tantrumy I laugh at her. I’m always ready to just walk away and I think she knows that.

    The damage in me still trips me up though, and when challenged my low self esteem tends to bite me in the bum. I daren’t even consider another relationship right now, but who knows what the future holds? I’ve started another big period of growth and insight, which excites me, and know my experience can help others. I would recommend CODA to anyone suffering after childhood abuse…..it’s programme, plus the writings of Melody Beattie, helped hugely.

    Thanks again for everyone’s honesty for sharing their pain on this site. Good luck, peace and love to you all.

  17. By: M Posted: 6th January

    To add to my post… I didn’t mention that I still continue a relationship with my mom. However, it’s estranged because of the situation. Which I hate, because I’ve always been close to my mom. She is very passive and doesn’t take a firm role in the family. She just expects it to sort out. It’s frustrating to me, because as I approach the idea of having kids very soon… I feel it’s the duty of a parent to always fight for their family and to keep it together. What’s the point of having it anyway?? It’s so confusing for me. I hope for the best, but I’m going into this new year with the realization that I’m just better off without them and their negativity. It makes me feel horrible, because it goes against everything I believe in… but I feel I have no choice. Thank you again for your writings, they have been a blessing.

  18. By: M Posted: 6th January

    Your writings have helped me so much. I feel like your experiences with your own family is really spot on with mine. I am now a 27 year old adult and I am still struggling with my family and the issues I’ve endured growing up with them. I too have fallen victim to what they pin against me, and start to wonder if I am the “crazy one”? I went to therapy in part because of this. That’s where I learned the “truth” that you speak of.

    Like you describe so wonderfully, it’s amazing to know this truth and to be “free”, but it’s never easy. Some times I wake up and I know it’s going to be an emotionally depressing day… like yesterday. That’s how I came across your articles. I was searching for something… anything that related to what I’m feeling.

    I currently have no communication with my own father and sister. They completely ignore me through holidays… anything important. Nothing matters to them. I have tried to reach out and hold a line of communication, but they choose to only see me as the person they have built in their heads. My sister completely ignores me… it’s been the most hurtful experience. I’ve been there for her as much as I could with how much she let me in… and she totally disowns any of that. Mind you I have lived out of state for over 4 years now… I really can confirm that they have no idea who I really am today. It’s really sad and pathetic that they think they have it all figured out. I try to fight with kindness… and be the better person… believe in family values. My own dad laughs at me for “playing the family card”. We aren’t talking because on mother’s day last year I defended my mom from his nasty attitude and got called the “B-word” several times. Mind you, I came from out of state that trip to help them move… and I did not get one thank you… just him calling me names, storming out like a baby, not saying good bye and ignoring me for almost a year now. That’s the role model I got to grow up with! Like your mom, my dad probably says I’m the one that stopped talking to him. He has serious mental issues… serious… he’s got my little sister up against me, and that’s the worst part of it. I don’t feel like I’m there for her as I should and she’s taken a dark path in life. I have no way in because of him… I absolutely hate him for it.

    I know I’ll get married soon, as I’ve been in a long relationship and I fear the position I will be put in. Nobody should fear a day that should be joyous… but I do. At the moment they don’t deserve to be at my wedding, and I won’t allow them to be there to spoil it. I’m just living in this constant fear of reality of what everything has become. My heart wants to be so close to my family, but my own family won’t allow it. It DOES make me feel worthless. I do think I’ve found much strength through it all… which makes me not feel as worthless… but there is always this empty hole in my soul. This Christmas was difficult as my mom, dad and sister continued to have Christmas without me. Going home for Christmas was always important to me. My boyfriend and his family have been amazing support and family to me… if I didn’t have that I think I would be in a very bad place. My family goes against everything I feel family should be. I’m just so sad and sickened by it. Thank you to everyone for relating… it really helps to much when things are difficult to get through.

  19. By: Margaret Posted: 14th December

    My mother brought me up to believe love was a negative thing. Those who wanted or needed love were weak, selfish , stupid and, unlike her, defective in some way. When middle- aged , I became a Christian and struggled for years to accept the God’s good and perfect teaching on love. Sadly, unlike many who write on this site, I did not become a good mother myself, often being too harsh. For this I have apologised frequently and, by the grace of God, have changed a lot . My mother is nearly a 100 , was diagnosed with a personality disorder when I was young , and thankfully my lovely daughters see right through her and her manipulating , lying ways.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th December

      Hi Margaret,
      Welcome to EFB ~ I admire a mom who can see her own mistakes and try to make up for them! I know from my own exp. with my own kids that there is so much healing on both sides when that happens! My kids see through a lot of people today having grown up in a more functional truthful system in relationships! It’s awesome.
      hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Jane Posted: 29th November

    hi healing from & growing forward, I like your comments and I have to say that this is a topic of great interest to me. My sons are 15 and 13. My concern for my ongoing relationship with them is leading me to face some issues in my own FOO. Although my sons are a little bit older, it sounds like, than your kids, I have found that being really open and honest with them is critical. For example, when I found this site a few weeks ago I was going through a really tough time. I shared some of Darlene’s comments with my kids as they related to some family conflict that has been going on around my elderly mother’s care. My older siblings are a real handful, long story short. Anyway, a few days later one of my boys was giving me some pushback on something and he was being pretty disrespectful. I just looked at him and said, “listen, bud, you know that I am working really hard to learn how to handle all the crap your aunts have been dishing out. I gotta tell you, if I’m gonna learn how to handle this kind of behavior, it’s going to apply across the board. This means that they can’t disrespect me, you can’t disrespect me. I have line now, and you just crossed it.” My son stopped in his tracks, nodded slowly a few times, and said “you’re right, Mom. I got you.”

    I think just the fact that you are so mindful of this is huge. It sounds like you are trying to strike a good balance and really, what is parenting but a constant high wire act without a net? You keep going. Good for you for loving your kids so much!!

  21. By: Healingfrom&growingforward Posted: 27th November

    Hi Darlene,

    I am so thankful for your site. It is like you are reading my mind and my family dynamics from childhood. I never realized before, how many “beliefs” were behind the cycles of abuse in my FOO. I also never realized how many of my own struggles, insecurities and anxiety stem from my childhood abuse. I moved out at 17 and made different choices for myself, so I thought I was healed. Now, in my thirties and with children of my own, I’m realizing I have a long way to go, but I’m ready and I’m excited to keep growing!

    I would love your advice either here or in email. I’m sorry this is long, but I wanted to explain my question:

    I am realizing I grew up with this false idea of love/honor/respect/obedience/submission and I was groomed and discredited. As an adult, I’m attempting to live an emotionally/mentally healthy life, and most importantly to do so as a parent, so these issues are particularly important and yet are difficult for me to navigate. Because of abuse and trauma I experienced regularly as a child, I also have trouble trusting my own “gauges” of whether I am right/wrong or somewhere in between and so I doubt my perceptions and reactions.

    My question is this: Do you have any advice, phrases, thought-processes, conversation tips or book recommendations, for how to teach my own children this concept of what true love and honor is, vs. just compliance? I want them to be willing to stand up for themselves and express themselves and yet, I also want them to follow our household rules and not argue or fight about each and every request.

    I want to (and have) taught my kids to speak respectfully to me and to obey and follow our family rules. When they don’t and talking or reminding doesn’t work, we use time-out or a privilege is revoked. I just feel fearful and unsure of how to allow them to express themselves emotionally and allow them to disagree with me, while still teaching them to be respectful and to follow our rules.

    Is yelling and expressing emotions okay (for them) or should they be expected to express emotions calmly? I am struggling to find the balance between allowing expression of emotions and disagreements vs. setting up unhealthy habits, like arguing, refusing to obey, yelling or fits. We do keep in mind age and development, because obviously expectations are different for each age, but as my kids hit grade-school and older, it becomes harder for me to know what is healthy/unhealthy. Probably because this is really the age where I did not have a healthy role-model and there is so much more verbal interaction between us to try to keep healthy.

    One way I have tried to bridge the gap in the past is by encouraging our kids to express emotions as long as they are not yelling or calling names or hitting and by telling them that if we ask/tell them to do something, they may offer an alternate idea or ask not to do what we have asked, but may not just refuse when we have asked them to do/not to do something. I just feel so unsure at times of how to empower them to feel comfortable being strong and saying “no”, while still teaching them to speak and act with respect and follow rules.

    There were many, many times as a child and a teen that I felt no power to say “no”, so much so that the idea that I could just say “no!”, be “rude”, do something someone would not like or that would hurt someone else’s feelings was not even on my radar. I always thought I had to have a reason, an excuse or an escape route, rather than just confidently saying my thought, feeling or refusing to do something I didn’t want to do. I am fearful that I have inadvertently passed on a lot of my own false beliefs that we have to please others, appear happy and cheerful and calm no matter what and that children need to obey parents without question or they are wrong. I don’t want that for my children, yet I don’t want a household with no boundaries or consequences. There is much more I could say/ask but it would be too long. Any advice would be welcome.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th November

      Hi Healingfrom&growingforward
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      This is a huge question! 🙂 Not one easily or quickly answered, but it is great to see someone thinking about this. I think that after healing, this is the biggest ongoing growing thing in my life. I only have one child left at home but even with the two who are young adults I have to always think about the definition of best and the message that I am giving them with my actions! (and that is the answer in a nutshell)
      I do consults on this subject if you are interested. Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Cori Rice Posted: 14th November

    The Bible is an abusive parent’s favorite book to justify their abuse and disrespect toward their children minor and adult. “honor your father and mother” is their favorite line because they think it means they have a free pass to treat you however they please, and we just have to seat there and take it. The other scripture doesn’t matter to them about how parents should treat their children. The way parents are portrayed in society is the reason why so many people do not come forward about any abuse they have experienced out of fear of being invalidated or others will not believe them.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th November

      Hi Cori
      It really helped me (just for me) to know that the bible was taken so horrifically out of context in order for people (not just parents) to get power over other people. It helped me to realize that people will use anything they can to have more power. Every single thing I ever learned the actual truth about, helped me to overturn the lies that I had lived under and helped me to stand up to those lies and the people spewing them.
      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Sophia Posted: 1st November

    Wow. Reading all these makes me happy my “mother” finally drank herself to death! I was so relieved when she finally died and she was only 64! OMG when “Mommie Dearest” came out I was like “that’s my mom!”. Except we weren’t wealthy and she wasn’t a HO. But so psycho and manipulative! She chased me with belts and made fun of me. I got slapped in the mouth one time and it pissed me off so bad I slapped her back! I am sort of freaking out bc I just thought it was normal. But it is hard to put into words. Seems as though I am surrounded by people who pretend to be normal. I am not really sure where to get the words. Just wow. My dad was treated indifferently by his mother and acts like it is no big deal. Yet it had a profound effect on him as the head of our family. He serially cheated on “mother” and then decided he just didn’t want to be there anymore after 22 years (I was 18 and “in college for a month). Me watching as a child felt like they we in a business relationship and he used to talk to me about their relationship telling me of his misery when I was 13!! He is emotionally detached I guess. And when I get upset about things from the past he tells me I have to wake up each day and CHOOSE to be in a good mood! So I am not supposed to have emotions? So my “mother” played the martyr for years when they were only separated. Finally we just told her to leave his ass. And she did. But then the drinking kicked up a notch. She would appear sloppy drunk at functions! If you tried to talk to her she acted like she had no idea what you were going on about and said stupid things like “I appreciate your concern”. Sometimes I think she did it out of spite for my dad leaving her. She was a devoted SAHM who was a “first born son” as she called it. Apparently it’s a syndrome where the dad really wants a boy so he treats his girl like the son he never had. She was quite a piece of work. A pretender I called her. I like to dwell in reality and she did not. So when I called her out about being a drunk she would sign bday cards with “God Bless” or “Many Blessings” instead of Love Mom! Her love was always conditional, but it wasn’t love. She projected this image of perfection. Everyone LOVED her and her fake bullshit! Made me sick for them to all think she was so great and perfect when I knew how horrible she was. I had already gone NC bc it was so hard to watch her be a drunk and slowly kill herself!!! Who does that?! So she got cirrhosis and TOLD NO ONE! We didn’t figure it out until her last year bc she was bruised all the time with yellow eyes. What a waste of a lift. She left 2 girls that she claimed were oh so important grand daughters. She could have lived to see them get married but couldn’t be bothered. Too wrapped up in her revenge. So at a late age in life I had a kid and suddenly she starts calling me weekly. I never called her but would allow her to see the child. Her con man boyfriend of 13 years built a mcmansion and couldn’t afford it. SO she finally got fired and “retired” to drinking with him all day. They blew through 200k in under 2 years leaving NOTHING for her beloved kids and grandkids. This woman had 2 of everything so my brother and I wouldn’t “fight over stuff” when she died. Matter of fact she had to be out of her apt the day before the baby was born. I am about to pop sitting in a trashed apt. bc she had done nothing to prepare to move and put it all on my my bro and husband. Frankly it was like a ton of bricks off my chest when she died. I thank the Lord she did not live to be 90 like some of your “mothers”. I would NOT have taken care of her either. Matter of fact the she told me I had anger management issues and should see someone! HA! Ok go drink some more whiskey. So in h igh school I was a drug peer counselor and it took me 20 years to figure out the problems of being the child of an alcoholic. Maybe that is why everyone always leaves me? All my friends and a few family. The friends I didn’t even have a fight with and they just left me for no reason without even a goodbye. One friend came to me a few days after I was raped and said she couldn’t be friends with me anymore! I had poured my soul into these stupid high school friendships and every one of them ditched me for no apparent reason! WTH is wrong with people. We all came from messed up families we loathed and vowed to be our own family. We even talked about retiring like the Golden Girls together. We were “sisters”. But they are all gone. And of course I trust no one so I just don’t have any friends anymore. I try and then people don’t show up or do what they say they are going to do so I gave up out of fear of being hurt and just plain not trusting anyone. Plus I was given booklets onPMS as a teen so there must have been something wrong with me from the beginning. God help us all. SO sorry for the emotional vomit I needed to get out apparently. Thanks to all of you who share and shed the light on stuff I thought was “secret”.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd November

      Hi Sophia,
      Welcome to EFB ~
      Thank you for sharing your story! There is a ton of info and sharing here to go through for additional insight into how this all works and how we can overcome the damage that these kinds of dysfunctional family systems cause.
      Glad you are here,
      hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Amber Posted: 28th September

    DXS, I have seen many similarities when I read your posts.

  25. By: DXS Posted: 28th September

    Amber, you sound like where I am……

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