How Victim Mentality works in Relation to Family Secrets

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understanding victim mentality and famiily secretsWe are conditioned not to talk about family secrets. I was taught in so many ways that ‘some things are not talked about’ and I was so afraid of the consequences of bringing shame on my family that I ignored the solution to overcoming the mental health issues that I had. Rejection from my family when I was a little child would have meant death. I believed as an adult that it STILL meant death.  I had to overcome that fear.

Even when the family members are dead, the victims of dysfunctional family situations are very often STILL just as afraid to reveal the family secrets, which is very telling about just how deep this fear goes when it comes to the belief system.

People told me that they didn’t have a choice about keeping the secrets even when they became adults. I agreed with them because not taking my choice about telling enabled me to have an excuse to not have to do the work that it took to take my life back. I had to look more closely at what it meant for me to believe that I didn’t have a choice. I had to see that it wasn’t that I DIDN’T have a choice as much as it was just that I didn’t KNOW I had a choice.

This belief that I could not, must not tell was rooted in victim mentality and I had to keep in mind that this “victim mentality” is how I survived a childhood of abuse and emotional neglect. Victim mentality was my friend when I was a kid. It saved me. It was hard to understand that victim mentality was not my friend anymore. My mind warned me constantly NOT to see things differently, believing with all my heart that the only way to survive this life was to operate in that same child mindset that kept me “safe” from further harm.  Telling would have made things so much worse and I could not accept that telling (at least someone) was part of the answer now.

Victim mentality taught me to FEAR the consequences of honoring my choice to reveal those secrets. Victim mentality tells me that I am safer to keep the secrets and protect the perpetrator.  Victim mentality taught me to protect the person who covered up for the perpetrator, believing that I am less deserving than the perpetrator, BECAUSE that is what I was taught about myself through the actions of those who were in charge of me.  

When I first started this website I would have a fear related adrenalin rush when I clicked the publish button on certain articles especially if they revealed anything about toxic and dysfunctional family relationships. That was my childhood fear of going public with my past. It was not fear for what others would then know about me but fear of what the consequences would be if I “told” on the abusers and those that didn’t protect me or if I revealed the family secrets. I didn’t understand that fear based adrenalin rush then as well as I do now. I had to reassure myself that the consequences for talking would not kill me that I was no longer that helpless child anymore. I had to remind myself that hundreds of times.

Another huge fear that I had was that deep down I was sure that if I could love my mother the way she needed me to love her, then everything would be fine. Telling the family secrets was like giving up on the last thread of hope because I knew that if I told the truth about what had gone on in my life, I would burn my last bridge and ruin my only chance that my mother and possibly even my whole family would love me. “Telling” represented the death of that hope.  

I had to be willing to face the possibility of that rejection.

Today I see this so differently. Why was I willing to protect the people who never protected me? They taught me to believe that I didn’t have enough worth to have equal value to the perpetrators, the neglectors, the abusers, the withholders, the teachers and all the other adult gods in my childhood.  

I no longer care if the truth hurts someone else’s feelings. When I decided to heal and move forward with MY life, I had to stop taking care of other people’s feelings and finally validate MY feelings. When I finally put my own healing first, I began to see the dysfunction more clearly. I finally saw that I was contributing to the sick dysfunctional cycle by going along with it.

As I took those baby steps in the beginning and started to look at the dysfunctional family conditions that I had been raised with, I started to realize that in many ways I had in fact always been rejected. Not being heard is a rejection.  I had not been protected is a rejection. Not being valued and not having my human rights validated is a rejection.

When I began to see things through new eyes, I started to get a glimmer of hope that perhaps I could be good enough for me, and that if I could achieve that status, then others opinions including my own families’ opinions, would no longer matter. I began to realize that I had been agreeing with their rejection of me because I didn’t know anything else.  As I grew stronger I began to stop rejecting myself.

Perhaps the truth hurts, but does that mean that we should stifle the truth? I don’t think so anymore. It was important for me to look at who I was protecting and the truth about why I thought that they were more important than I was.

Please share your thoughts or feedback. I look forward to the discussion here.

Darlene Ouimet

NOTE: I did not reveal anything publically when it came to family secrets until I had several years of healing and I am not suggesting that you reveal your family secrets before you are ready. It would not have helped me to push myself too quickly and very few people choose to write as publically as I do. Please feel free to use a screen name. Only the name you use in the comment form will be seen by others.

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

 

Related Posts ~ Overcoming that Nasty Self Blame in Dysfunctional Relationships

140 response to "How Victim Mentality works in Relation to Family Secrets"

  1. By: Ellie Posted: 18th March

    Yes, yes, yes! I can see where you are coming from with this…

    Still, I am somewhat inclined to agree with the comment from “Anonymous” who writes that we should be careful using the term “victim mentality” as it can come across as perjorative. WE do need to remember that people can be in total no-win situations when facing abuse. That abusers may manipulate matters at all times to make the victim look bad, unbelievable, or even crazy. That victims are in a double-bind where NOT speaking out results in perpetuation of the abuse, but if they DO speak out, they face abuse of a different kind – the ridicule, hatred and ostracism by their family that they have always dreaded.

    It is VERY important to remember that victims of abuse have been “groomed” by their abusive family members from a very young age. They are made to believe that they are worthless, useless, powerless, that nobody will believe them, that everything is their fault, that they are bad, that if they changed things would get better, and that if they tell on the abuser they will be punished.

    It is VERY important to understand that the fear victims feel is VERY real, and that their fears are NOT unfounded. Many victims of abuse end up with a so-called “victim mentality” as a consequence of the cumulative effects of YEARS of abuse. We should note that a child who is being abused CANNOT escape abusive parents on his/her own. Children must legally live with their parents until the age of majority (in most countries 16-18 years old). By then, severe damage has been done. In cases where a child DOES manage to speak out about abuse, unless the authorities, or the person to whom the abuse was reported to, know just how to handle matters, the child remains at risk. Even children who end up fostered or adopted to remove them from an abusive family home are NOT getting the best of solutions. Yes, they may be away from the abusers; but now they are in the care system, and have to live for life with the potential stigma of being a foster child, or being adopted. They have to face the fact that they COULD NOT stay in their parental home.

    Suffice it to say that for a child who is under the legal age to leave home, escaping parental abuse is near impossible. Children who DO manage to escape by being fostered or adopted end up having to face a different type of problem – one that may be just as traumatic as abuse. THEY have to live with the fact that they were fostered or adopted! Which kind of serves to highlight the fact that they WERE abused in the first place!

    Even when an abused young person reaches a legal age to leave home, escaping the abusers is far from simple. Abusers deliberately chip away at the victim’s self-confidence, and lead the victim to believe that he/she is no good at anything. So… if the victim tries to get a job, the abuser will remind them just how hopeless their job search is. If the victim gets offered a place at College, or University, the abuser may try to prevent them taking this. Or, the abuser may try to control where a victim is allowed to study, or what they are allowed to study. Or, the abuser may allow the victim to study, BUT only if he/she stays living at home, or remains financially dependent on the abuser (who will, of course, withdraw financial support at the first suspicion that the victim may be speaking out about the abuse). If a victim seeks to leave home via marriage or being in a long-term romantic relationship, the abuser will try to sabotage this. maybe refusing to condone a marriage. Maybe spreading rumours that the victim is unfaithful, has affairs, is sexually promiscuous, or conversely is frigid, or hates the idea of settling down and having kids – ANYTHING that may put the victim’s romantic partner off.

    If the victim manages to secure a job, or a relationship/marriage, or a home of his/her own which means that he/she can finally leave the household of the abusive parent, the abuser will do everything possible to sabotage this. EVERY time the victims sees the abuser, he/she will be reminded of past mistakes, or of past failings – anything to remind the victim that the victim is worthless. Also, the abuser may spread malicious gossip about the victim to anyone they come into contact with; this gossip may be complete lies, or else it may be a true event, but only the abuser’s version of the truth. The victim may find that the extended family (e.g. aunts and uncles, cousins, in-laws) are drawn into the abuse. The abuser will go to as many family members as possible to spread misinformation, or nasty gossip, about the victim; this represents the abuser’s attempt to ensure that the victim has nobody to turn to, and that the whole family believe only the abuser’s point of view. Also, an abuser may try to spread malicious gossip around the community in which the victim now resides, in the hope that such bad rumours may reach the ears of the victim’s romantic partner, in-laws, boss, colleagues, teachers, bank manager, etc… Indeed, the abuser hopes to be able to negatively influence the opinions of anyone that the abusers hears that the victim has come into contact with.

    This can continue well into a victim’s adulthood, and makes it extremely difficult for a victim to speak out in safety about abuse.

    I say this, because I have personal experience of it. EVERY time I have attempted to rebuild my life, my abuser(s) have ramped up their abuse. It is as though they cannot let go. As a result, I am now complete no-contact. Still, this does not make me feel secure – it simply leaves me concerned as to when the abuse will recur. I NEVER feel safe from the abusers, despite having spoken out. I attempted to tell the Police, to tell a Therapist, to tell Social Services… each time I attempted to get support, the abuse escalated. I even wrote blog pages online about my abuse. I so much NEEDED to feel heard, and validated. In my case, this merely caused a severe escalation of the abuse.

    We ought to be aware of the fact that some abusers also engage in what can only be termed STALKING behaviours, so that even when a victim no longer resides in the same property (or even same area) as the abuser, the abuser does everything possible to keep tabs on the victim. To know their whereabouts, their career choices, the people they associate with. Such abusers are, in my eyes, the VERY WORST as they refuse ever to let victims go. A victim of such an abuser can make every attempt possible to move on, and to build a life following the abuse, and the abuser will simply do all the is possible to break back into that life, and to begin the abuse all over again.

    I’d really LOVE to know what anyone has to say about how a victim (such as myself) might deal with former (and sometimes still current) abuser(s) who are family members, and also STALKERS? Someone who even though I am no longer in physical contact, tracks my whereabouts and activities via the Internet, Social Media, and via pretending to “chat innocently” to people who know me, whilst actually fishing for information? Am I to limit all my activities and live a restricted life? How do I live a regular life, and do all the things I want to do, when my abuser(s) are still out there, still eager to abuse me if they come into contact with me, and still actively trying to track the things that I do on a daily basis so that they have a chance to continue the abuse?

    By the way, I use the word abuser(s) to show that more than one family member is/was abusive. However, I suspect that only one may be the stalker.

  2. By: Anonymous Posted: 2nd March

    I think it is very important to be careful using the term “victim mentality” and make sure it is used in the right way. I like how you treated this phrase by pointing out it is self protection. I never though of it that way. But it is.

    The term can also be condemning for people who have been in total no win situations with abusers. That is the language my mother uses to define me when I don’t maintain a perfectly compliant mindset to hers. Which means I have no needs other than the one to fulfill what she wants from me. If I complain about how this affects me or that I am not feeling good about the family system (which she created to support this) I have a “victim mentality”. And she will unleash other family members to remind me they also think I do. See how that works? She wanted more than anything for me to cram my feelings down as far as they could possibly go. And be nice all the time and never complain. Then to bootstrap my way to being productive with no help from her on how to get along in the world. And still allow her the right to undermine my success at any point in time. In every way possible.

    She victimized me. And did not allow me to have original thoughts, because then she might lose control of me. She had an iron fist of control over me and used my entire family to make sure I would be a broken person my whole life.

    So how do you talk to a person like me when they have been taunted and accused of having a victim mindset?

    Ordinarily when I read those words they are extremely negative to me. But I found your treatment of it was kind. It puts the blame where it belongs. Not on the victim. But on abusers. So I thank you for that.

    I think it is very important that the world at large be able to distinguish this. I feel like “victim conditioning” is a better term. It makes people wonder who did the conditioning. And that is exactly where this belongs. On the shoulders of the people who hurt others.

    At the same time, there needs to be a way for victims to reclaim their power. Like you have. It is very hard. And I think there are a lot of people who never overcome that in life.

  3. By: johanna Posted: 28th January

    @mitzi, if its any consolation, you are NOT outcast by us. We understand, and I believe ones life is defined by what ones says NO to even more than what one says YES to. I think that after time when the scars of having been outrightly rejected by these unhealthy relationships, that new healthy ones will be attracted into your life. its an organic process somehow. wish you all the best

  4. By: johanna Posted: 28th January

    @suzy, yes it IS out of this world ! the degree to which our care givers are in denial about how they treated us, I can relate to your story (of course as many do) if I ever found the guts to confront my mother about the possibility that she had been too hard on me to put it lightly, she would manage to turn the story around to be about her all of a sudden and that shes SOO sorry she wasnt a perfect mother ( in a sarcastic voice ) so I was always left without a way of being heard even if I wasnt attacking her just wanted her to hear about my life under her from MY point of view. didnt happen, and I am still healing from the legacy from life under her reign. thinking of you, jo

  5. By: Tina Posted: 28th January

    Hi Darlene,
    I understand about learning where the pain comes from – I have been working overtime on that for the past 16 months – with a ‘hold nothing back’ ‘I accept nothing but truth’, ‘give me every book written on the subject’ attitude. I have a very complicated history. Every aspect of my life was used as a tool to control me – physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, spiritual. All of it very random. With a narcissistic family system the emotional, verbal, and spiritual control continued until I chose to end all contact with them a year ago. But the damage has been done and I am now my own worst enemy as I fight the rhetoric placed inside of me and playing loudly my whole life.

    I am just learning that I dissociated at a very early age and because of the pervasive, random nature and number of people involved in the abuse I didn’t ‘UN-dissociate’. I have been living dissociated for 45 years! I ‘came alive’ 16 months ago during a breakthrough crisis. So, I’m not hiding from the past – I plunge myself into it – facing each flashback, each memory, rewriting the script in my head. Demanding understanding, obtaining a vocabulary for what I am experiencing.

    But, it feels like the fear has not subsided. I numb out. I’m on high alert most of the day even with meds. Yes, it is way better than when things first crashed, but I feel like I am at a plateau. And I DON’T want to be stuck here forever!

    I guess what I am asking is how to manage it? I am in counseling and have an excellent team. Just interested in hearing from someone who has actually gone through this.

    Every aspect of life triggers fear. Creaking floor. Slamming door. A child crying. High pitched noise of any kind. People fighting or yelling. Shadows flitting across peripheral vision. People being behind me. The list is very long!

    It is discouraging to think that I have to take each and every ‘trigger’ (a.k.a. every single normal thing in life) and figure out why it is there and then desensitize. I will do what has to be done. Just wondering if there is an easier (yeah, I know – nice try!), more organized (no shock – I’m a control freak when it comes to keeping a handle on all of this – and I’ve failed miserably)way to walk through this! Thank you for your time. Your blog has been the affirmation that it isn’t me, healing can happen, and there is hope. When I feel like I am actually the one who is crazy I visit your website and read a few posts. Even if I don’t believe in myself, I can read words of other journeys and they sound eerily like my story which gives me the courage to believe that I am on a journey of breaking out of the dysfunction and into what life was meant to be all along!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th January

      Hi Tina,
      This is not a quick question to answer! I jut posted a comment to someone earlier that I am going to re-post here. The commenter was asking about this ‘feeling’ like someone was sitting on her chest, but I think my answer applies to your question as well. Finding out what the triggers were/are is only part of the whole thing. here is what I wrote, and I also applied this to the triggers.

      I found out that my fear was a left over fear from childhood, a fear that in a way helped me to survive most of my life and I was terrified to let it go because I so deeply believed that I would ‘die’ without that fear that kept me alive and helped me to survive in childhood. I wrote down all my fears related to that feeling, validated where they originated, and went through an exercise with them one by one about what I would do today (as an adult) if any of them happened. Some of them were what I thought at the time was crazy! I was still afraid that my mother would hit me and that people would sexually abuse me, but instead of calling myself crazy, I validated the reason that I had that fear and that freed me to look at what I could do as an adult if any of those things happened to me “today’. I made an action plan ~ for each fear, and it was fantastic!
      love and hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Tina Posted: 28th January

    Darlene, my question is how do you get rid of the fear? I experience flashbacks daily and it is exhausting and challenging to continuously be mindful and self affirming about where the pain and fear is coming from. I have my feet firmly planted in two worlds. The present and the past. It feels like I will never be able to distance myself from the past and the evils it contains. Learning to feel simply reveals an abyss of pain and fear that is bottomless. I want to be rid of fear!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th January

      Hi Tina
      I know it is hard to understand when I say this, but I got rid of the fear by seeing where it came from. The key to the present was in the past for me. Once I saw WHY I had the fear and HOW it got there, I was able to ask myself in the present day as an adult today, how that fear applies to me today. (the fear was different when I did that other stuff first) and then I was able to make a plan about how to deal with the fear when it came up. It isn’t something that happened over night though. This background work is the biggest part of the process but it is totally possible!
      hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Beverly Posted: 26th January

    Thank you for this post Darlene.
    The fantasy of the family getting together and being totally honest about what occurred in the past has diminished as I recall the truth for myself.
    I now after years of recovery begin to realise I have to let go off this childish wish for everything to be put right.
    It is extremely upsetting but if I had not remembered I would be the victim for the rest of my life.
    Today I have accessed the truth of the horrors I was subjected to and my true character . And I have clearer understanding of the situation I was living in. It is a long and lonely path to recovery just as it was a long and lonely path being the scapegoat as a child. I have exchanged lies with the truth sifted through the debris of the aftermath and now I am taking responsibility for my own recovery facing the grief and losses and dong my level best to understand what was going on in my childhood. So far I am the only one speaking out the only one in my family searching for answers. Breaking away is allowing maturity maturity I need to enable me to do for the first time what is right for me. The psychological binds though invisible have been powerful restraints your mind has to literally break free by untangling a web of deceit.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th January

      Hi Beverly!
      Thanks for sharing! I am celebrating over here and cheering you on. I am excited about your comments today!
      hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Londiwe Posted: 26th January

    You write from my heart!

  9. By: Susan Latimer Posted: 25th January

    Thank you Darlene, Our kids are all adults also and sadly I role modeled being a victim for them and they have also been victimized by the same offender, my step-father. The good news is we are open and healing together. This cycle has ended and our 2 grandsons will be protected. My large family has turned on me and supported the offender even though they were also abused. I took the stand, no longer silent and now my kids and I are seriously healing. Don’t miss anyone who would side with an abuser over the abused trying to heal and protect their children.

  10. By: Suzy Posted: 25th January

    This year, thanks to this site as well, I had one mission: ending financial enmeshment with my mother. So far it’s going well.

    Another one was to be brave and start helping a cause close to my heart: fight against animal cruelty (a family secret).

    My mother has now changed her position when it comes to animals after several years “being forced” to be in close contact with our dog, so I have to acknowledge that. She never mistreated them either but nor did she protect them.

    I was relaying a story to her of a case I was following and she said “how can people do these things?”. She said it often before and each time she does my heart races. This time she ventured further and mentioned how my dad had them in a chain but never mistreated them. I relate to the adrenaline rush Darlene mentions. Everything inside of me started to shake. I confronted her and I asked if she truly and honestly believed what she’d just said. If she did not remember my tears (the only time I’d cry as dogs to me have always been sacred). She denied remembering any episodes. I felt sick. I know she was lying. Her voice quavered. I said “mum, I am sorry, I am not going to gloss over the past”.

    Then she said to change subject and she tried to compose herself, which again, tells me that she remembers.

    This stuff is out of this world.

  11. By: Susan Latimer Posted: 25th January

    I made the choice to live my life and face the rejection recently. Not as bad as I had thought it would be. The healing is beginning for my kids also!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th January

      Hi Susan
      Welcome to EFB~ That is awesome! I also found out that it wasn’t anything as bad as what I thought it would be. The ripple effect, (kids healing and the cycle stopping) are rewards that I didn’t even think about at the beginning but WOW ~ today our lives are so much more wondrous! (and two of my kids are grown ups now)

      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  12. By: debra Posted: 7th August

    we need to tell the family secrets im ready !!

  13. By: debra Posted: 7th August

    Hi Anna,
    I like this article. We allow others to victimize us, they are not more important than us

  14. By: debra Posted: 7th August

    Hi Anna,
    this is great article

  15. By: anna Posted: 2nd August

    I have literally been threatened by one of my brothers for telling. It is cruel, very cruel….

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd August

      Hi Anna
      Welcome to EFB ~ Isn’t it interesting how people will defend illegal action with more illegal action. When all this started with my family (when I started to tell) I had to remind people that it was MY STORY to tell and that I wasn’t making anything up. None of them were accusing me of making anything up back then, but they were really upset that I was talking about it.
      The system is pretty sick but I am not supporting that system anymore!
      hugs, Darlene

  16. By: linnietea Posted: 9th March

    Not only was I afraid,I’ll be 60 soon and still the family scapegoat.I lived with family violence and had no idea they hated me.one Christmas I was the only patient Who didn’t go on pass,my family didn’t want me.when my s-dad died I wasn’t considered family/funeral home refused to allow me access.my siblings have loved the money they stole/but I was called “less than an enigma”‘ rejection is all I know and I just want someone to allow me to be who GOD says I am. I actually love my siblings/I disagree with their behavior;I have asked why …with no response/ they want to destroy me,I am a Christian that has learned FORGIVENESS,not yet to grasp rejection.I never heard I love you, growing up.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th March

      Hi Linnietea
      Welcome to EFB ~ I had to learn how to be who I was/am without anyone “allowing me” ~ I just did it myself. That is what this site is about. Glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Kathryn Posted: 15th February

    I was so brainwashed and dissociated I didnt know what to tell on who or who is bad guy. I used to know.. maybe at around age 13-14 i lost it into complete dissociation of what is real. I used to know, i used to be angry, feel my parents and family no just. Even as they beat and scred the truth from me I hid it deeper and deeper. At age 11 i was a seething pit of hate for my mother and father. I vowed to keep my belief deep down, that I would never be broken entirely. I will hide it deep enough for them to never get it. Then I built a wall around me to protect me and forgot the painful truth. But my seething rage never died and would hurt my skin, maybe in the act of getting the truth out.
    Fast forward 20 years of total dissociation with only my skin issue warning i have a major problem with something. I went into therapy and had no idea to tell on my parents. I thought it was all somehow me. I forgot the truth, it was buried so deep. And no thanks to dam supposively best shrinks in the world. I did not get asked anything about my parents. Then years into the dam therapy I relate some story about my mom that I didnt really like and my shrink says oh your mom is a narcissist. And than it all started.. the truth came out one by one.
    At first I felt ashamed to let people know what my family is. I also was scared they will reject me. My shrink warned me not to tell people everything because they will get scared. Maybe it is the shame that I wasnt loved that also stopped me from sharing it with others. Maybe it was the brainwashing that the shame belonged to me. At one point in my healing, having the fanciest of world published shrinks helps to feel correct, I have turned my finger smack at my parents.
    If you wanna see shame look at those dumb people, i have nothing to do with it. I have no shame in disclosing my name for public consumption. I allowed a newspaper to print my name as success story graduating from dv violence.
    The main reason I wouldnt publish my last name would be my career related, not parents related.

    In my overall campaign to regain power for good and kill the evil forces of my parents, I pledged myself to my brother since I was a child, that I would love him no matter what. My brother is quite screwed but he has managed to stay sane enough to be on my side. I constanly battle my parents assualts on our relationship. But he is still on my side. Both of us agaist them makes them nothing!! It gives me ultimate power to blackmail my parents to any memeber of family. All I have to do is say.. look my brother feels the same. And I sure use it. I have also begun a campaign of slowly telling the truth to our closest living relatives. In effect I have now prevented those relatives from visiting my parents couple of times. haha! I am isolating them from family like they did to me. If i still feel like it in the future I will continue to destroy their reputation with their oldest friends. If I choose I will have people looking a them like freaks, just as they did to me. I took me and their son from them. Now I took my cousins. It can be done, to beat a snake, be a snake and its doable because in the end they are quite stupid people.

  18. By: Tracy Posted: 25th January

    When I told my family secrets I lost my whole family. At the time that was devastating. Not because I list my family but because I lost all hope of them becoming what family should be. I am so much better without them. I am free!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th January

      Hi Tracy
      Yes, losing hope of resolving with my family and being loved and accepted by them was very hard. Like letting go of what drove me to be the way that I was. It felt like I was losing me. But none of that was the truth. I am free today too.
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Jerrold Zocco-Hochhalter Posted: 25th January

    Darlene, thank you for sharing. I’ve begun my own blog dealing with virtually the same issues. For far too long, the “secrets” in my own family (although not related to my own childhood personally) are very similar. My first wife grew up in an environment similar to yours. The demands she placed on keeping things under wraps were sometimes very tough to deal with. She ultimately took her own life following the tragedy at Columbine High School, but her “legacy”, if one wants to call it that, continues in our daughter who does not want me to share our story for whatever reasons. It’s a very difficult decision I’ve had to make, but I will continue to share if it helps even one person with their own journey. Thanks, again, for sharing.

    Ted Zocco-Hochhalter

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th January

      Hi Jerrold
      Thanks for sharing and for being here.
      Hugs, Darlene

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