I Thought my Mothers Dysfunctional Behaviour was Normal


toxic mother daughter relatiionshipI was 13 years old the first time I woke up hearing my mother having sex. My parents had been split up for a few months; I had never heard my parents having sex. By the sounds of it, I thought that the man my mother had in her bedroom with her was trying to kill her. And he could have been! How would anyone know? None of us knew him.

I felt frozen in my bed, terrified about what I was hearing and not knowing what to do about it.  Should I get a large object and go in there and club him over the head? Should I call the police? My frozen immobility and indecisiveness was making me feel guilty and then suddenly, those horrifying sounds stopped.  I heard normal murmuring sounds of conversation.  I must have gone back to sleep then.  Eventually, I figured out that what was going on in her bedroom was not murder or physical violence.

My toxic mother didn’t want to be a single mother. That was her answer to everything. It was even her justification for having very loud sex with men while three children slept in rooms very close by.

One of my brothers made comments about her night-time noise making sessions; she would respond “I never asked to be a single mother”.  I was left to assume the translation for that statement.  And I translated it according to my belief system.  My mother deserves to be happy. Men make her happy. I have no right to interfere with her happiness. I have no right to feel uncomfortable about hearing my mother doing this stuff.

I have no rights.

I translated her justifications into the belief that this situation was normal. I believed that I had no right to any judgements about my mother. I believed that I was wrong to feel scared, embarrassed and unsafe.  I believed that the uncomfortable feelings I felt when I came down to the kitchen in the morning to find those men sitting there at the table, were due to the fact that something was wrong with me. I thought I was different than other people because I thought I was having difficulty accepting a “normal divorced family” situation that I was unable to accept as “normal”. I thought it was just ME that couldn’t accept it as “normal.”  I thought I SHOULD be able to accept it. (As you can see, my definition of “normal” was dysfunctional and I was accustomed to accepting our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship.)

By the time I was seventeen I was calling myself prudish rather than accept that my narcissistic and self centered toxic mother was promiscuous. By the time I was 19 I suspected that I was “frigid” because I was not at all interested in sex the way that my mother was. I was always looking at the “what is wrong with me” part because my grid of understanding came from dysfunctional mother daughter relationship. My “normal” was not really normal at all. My toxic  mothers dysfunctional behaviour throughout my teen years messed me up a great deal and it took me a long time to realize that.

Understanding THIS truth has been one of the profound truths that set me free.

My promiscuous mother’s decision to have loud sexual relations with men was a decision made out of my mothers selfishness. Repeatedly stating that she “didn’t ask to be a single mother” was meant to justify her own bad behaviour while ensuring that her children didn’t blame her for anything. I didn’t know that and could not even suspect that back then.  I felt guilty and wrong that I was ashamed of my narcissistic mother so I turned it on myself.

When my toxic mother started taking me to the bars where she was picking up men, I didn’t know that was abnormal or dysfunctional mother behaviour either. Even though I knew that I was underage, and I had that adrenalin rush every time I ordered a drink for fear of being asked for I.D. I didn’t know that what my narcissistic mother was doing was wrong because she was my mother. She was the ultimate authority in my life. In my mind, my mother’s authority surpassed the authority of the law and I believed by then that my role in her life was to help her get through the terrible burden of being a single mother.  I felt the same way about her conduct in our home. It was my job, my responsibility to help her get through the terrible burden of having to be a single mother to me; I believed that I was the burden.

All of my mother’s promiscuous sexual behaviour and misbehaviour since I was about 6 years old had groomed me nicely to accept that my value was in sexuality, just like my mothers value was in sexuality. I was groomed to be ready to identify with sexuality as my value even though it scared me to death because of the abuse and trauma that I associated with it. This is one of the terrible conflicts these mixed messages cause that survivors of dysfunctional families face.

~And I wondered why I struggled with depressions continually.

~And I didn’t understand HOW I had become dissociated.

~And I constantly questioned why I had such low self esteem.

~And I beat myself up for my weaknesses with addictions and dysfunctional relationships with abusive men; when in reality I had been well groomed to accept dysfunction as “normal”. I had taught to reprimand myself when I had trouble accepting dysfunction as “normal”.

~I actually fought to accept that I was a failure in most areas of my life thinking the answer was in acceptance and surrender and never realizing that I was struggling to accept the wrong truth. 

These were examples of the type of damage that I had to face the truth about in order to overcome the ways that the results of that damage manifested in my life.

I HAD to understand that I was not the one that let me down.

The ideas presented in this article are not limited to the examples that I have given. This same “grooming process” producing other mixed messages can be applied to any dysfunctional behaviour displayed by a parent in order to see where you own belief system formed in a false normal way. I welcome you to share your thoughts on this subject.  

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


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Categories : Mother Daughter



My mother was frigid and hated it that I wasn’t. So she left books in which she had underlined and circled statements on my bed when I was a teen. I was supposed to get the message that any expression of my sexuality outside of marriage was PERVERTED. So I came to view myself as perverted in her eyes, and that she would never respect me because I was trash. She grew up poor and neglected, and I don’t know what all. But rather than be open and honest with me about her life and how she felt about it, she dismissed any of my complaints in life by assuring me that her life had been much worse, so I didn’t begin to know…I definitely felt like a burden to her. Her mother had told her that she didn’t want children and that my mother was to have been a boy. I think my mother had the same mindset toward me. She hated my feminine side. She hated that I had hair. Any expression of feminity was met with resistance at best, and scorn at worst. She made all my clothes until high school and it was like a war just getting control over my own wardrobe, and over my own hair, which took until about age 11. I was told what my name would have been if I had been a boy…a nice bible thumper name, Steven Paul, right out of the new testament, and their pulpit, etc. She told her mother that my grades weren’t good enough for me to go back to college after my first year in a Bible school. I was shocked when my grandmother couldn’t believe that I was going back to college and told me why. It always felt like she wanted me to fail. I don’t recall an honest compliment from her, ever. But I can recite many put-downs. when I was single with four kids, moved our of her house after four months and she started punching me and putting me down to my kids, we moved into a shit-house. My dad came over to tell me that my mother would have been thrilled to have a house that nice when she was growing up. Talk about nausea over a lifetime. And on the trip moving back into my parents’ house, my dad and I stayed in a shit-hole of a motel room and he was laughing himself into hysterics about the weirdness and crapiness of the room, and he said, “Your mother would NEVER stand to be put up in a room like this.” Yeah, I was a real burden.


I had similar experiences to this. My mother claims she dated men that she brought home from bars “for me,” so that she could “find me a father figure.” My father was the first abusive man she brought into my life, and she was rarely without a boyfriend or husband after they split (when I was seven). I didn’t know the difference between sex noises and beating and screaming noises, and I thought there was something wrong with me — that these men were more important to my mother than I was, or that these were the types of “father figures” I deserved.

I swore that I wouldn’t be like her and that I would never marry a man who beat me or abused me, because I knew I was worth more than that. What I did do was marry a man who ignored me, just like my mother did, because that was the safest experience of “love” I knew.

As always, thanks for sharing your story, Darlene, and for providing a safe place for others to share theirs.


Hi, Darlene!

As I struggle with the idea of finally putting my mom “officially” out of my life (by emailing my dad to stop mentioning it and let me move forward), I am struck by one question: “What exactly did she ever want from me?” For the life of me, I can’t answer that one thing. I mean, my mom went on and on about what a “perfect” childhood she had (total denial — there were lots of problems that she never acknowledged as actual problems in her childhood). Therefore, if she somehow had convinced herself that her life lacked nothing, why on earth did she push so hard to get some weird emotional need met by my dad, and later me (and I guess my brothers, but I didn’t see them getting the same kind of pressure). I mean, the perfect childhood with the perfect parents would necessarily result in the perfectly aligned emotional health of an adult, right? I mean, of course there is no perfect, but there are people who come from reasonably adjusted homes, and I know for sure that my mother was not one of them. She just always seemed to believe she did. It’s like she was protecting her parents’ image or something; unless that wasn’t convenient and she needed her dad to be the fall guy on several occasions.

I know I’m rambling here, but the short version is, what did she WANT from me? I mean, yes I had expectations for my kids that definitely did not come to pass, but I don’t hound my kids and demand that they meet my emotional needs. I know how messed up that is. Why would she do that? Stumped.


HiDarlene, The first time I remember hearing my parents having sex, I thought someone had broken into our house and I screamed for my parents, they never came to help me, the noise continued, and when it stopped, they still didn’t come. After that, I heard those noises often and I think I was 11 or twelve when I finally understood from their conversation during and after what was going on. After that, I wasn’t scared but disgusted. This was only one part of my parents emotional incest with their children. You were the one who gave me that definition. I thought it was the way it was for everyone when I was a child, even if it made me feel sick. It makes me sick thinking about it. I would be mortified if my children ever heard my husband and I and the weird part is that my mother can also, be very prudish. They really messed my head up when it came to sex.


Don’t know how much we can know about the why’s, but it is my observation that people do what they have learned they can get away with.


I wonder why my comments are not posting ??


I thought my mother’s dysfunctional behaviour was normal, too. After my parents’ marriage ended when I was 12, my mother began doing really bizarre things ~ like walking around the house wearing nothing but a pair of sheer panties, with all of the windows and curtains wide open. We lived on a buzy street with houses all around, but my mother said it was ok because we were in our own home, and it was hot, and we didn’t have air conditioning. She even made me do the same thing, strip down to nothing but my panties! I was so embarrassed, that I immediately went and crouched down behind a chair, with my arms folded over my budding chest. After I had sat there for about an hour, my mother said, in a very disgusted voice, “Well if you are such a prude that you have to cover up your chest and hide behind the furniture, you might as well go put some clothes on!”

I can still remember the mixture of huge relief and deep shame I felt when I scrambled out of my hiding place and ran to the bedroom to put my clothes back on. I felt ashamed for being a prude! I thought my mother’s “no shame” was normal, because she was my mother. Even when the boys on the school bus started teasing and taunting me with a sing-song chant “Elaina lives in a whore house, Elaina lives in a whore house,” I STILL didn’t get it, that it was my mother’s bizarre behavior, her running around in front of all the windows in our house virtually nude, that made the boys think it was ok to taunt me like that… I thought it had to be something wrong with ME, that made them think I was a 12-year-old whore. That’s how deeply ingrained it is in us, from birth, to believe in our parents, our mother most of all, to believe that everything she does and everything she says in Right and True and Good.

Today I know that my mother is, and always has been, as loonie as a bird. For the first time in my life, I finally got up the nerve to call her on January 2 and tell her exactly how horrible of a mother she has been to me, my whole life long. I have NEVER stood up to my mother and told her the truth like that before! But I did it. All she got to say was “hello” and then, for the remainder of the 9 minutes and 57 seconds that the phone call lasted until I hung up, I TOLD her EVERY major thing that I have been needing to tell her for decades. She was so quiet, I wondered if she was still listening… but a couple of days later, when I got the email from the one person in my family of origin who had my new email address, telling me how horrible I am to have called my poor old widowed mother and told her off… then I knew that she had listened. (Darn it, she hadn’t had a heart attack and died of shock, after all.) So, I sent an email back to the meddling relative telling her basically to mind her own business, because she didn’t have a clue of what she was talking about, and then I blocked her email. So now, I’m FREE from all of the sick Family of Origin Narcissist Clones that my MOMster has created in her own image. What a super new year this is!

Today our dog got sick, and we took her to the vet. Her symptoms were very scary and we thought we were going to lose her, but after a thorough examination, it turns out that she just has an infection, and already her antibiotic is making a big difference, thank goodness! While we were in the waiting room at the vet’s office, a young mother was there with a small dog, and her son, who was probably about 8. That boy was perfectly well-behaved, as far as I could see. But the mother picked on him non-stop, for every tiny move he made and for the very few and innocent words he quietly uttered. I was outraged at how harsh, hateful, and devaluing she was to him! She didn’t do anything or say anything “bad enough” to notify the child abuse hotline, unfortunately, but she was destroying his self esteem with every harsh word out of her mouth, and every hateful glaring look on her face. OH I was so ANGRY, and I HURT for that poor little boy! I wanted to say something to her, but I didn’t, because I’ve tried doing that with other hateful mothers in the past, and it seems to only make them treat the child WORSE. It’s as thought they cannot stand to ever be told they are doing something WRONG, and so when you try to tell them, they do it all that much more.

But I knew that I had to do SOEMTHING to try to help that child. I decided that if I could possibly figure out a way to do it, I was going to say something to that little boy, out of his mother’s hearing. I remember an elderly woman doing that for me. She took me aside and told me, when I was about that boy’s age, that she felt so sorry for me for having the horrible mother that I had, and that she wished she wasn’t so old, because she would love to take me and my sisters and brothers away from my horrible mother and raise us all herself with love and kindness, if only she could. Maybe that elderly woman should have done more for us, but probably she thought she couldn’t because, out in public, my mother’s behavior was mostly “normal.” But, just her telling me that, helped me. It was my first clue that maybe my mother’s behavior wasn’t always OK, after all; that maybe the problems in my life weren’t all MY fault, but HER fault.

After the woman’s puppy had been seen by the vet, while she was paying the bill, her little boy was looking at a huge collage of pet photos on the wall. I handed our dog’s leash to my husband and said, “I want to go look at the pet pictures, too.” As I was looking at the pet pictures, I leaned down to the little boy, and in a low voice, I said, “When I was a little girl, my mother was very mean to me. I want you to know that I think your mother is very mean to you, too, and you don’t deserve it, you are a very good boy. And, I like your freckles, too!”

Fifty years from now, he will probably still remember and think about the strange lady in the vet’s office who told him that he was good and that his mother was mean and wrong to treat like she did. I hope my few words help him, the way the elderly woman’s words helped me, more than 50 years ago.

I just wish I could have done much more.


(*Darlene, I’ve changed my pen name, because I was getting so much flak from my “family” on facebook, that I didn’t feel comfortable posting my truth on my blog under my own name, any more. I’ve also gone off of facebook, which has freed me up to do a lot more of the things I really want to do, like WRITE.)


Hi everyone

I would really appreciate your thoughts/prayers etc at the moment. Not doing too well.

Hope everyone else is going ok.


Hi everyone,

just tried posting from my phone but don’t think it worked. I’m really struggling at the moment — would really appreciate any thoughts/prayers etc.

hope everyone’s well


Got a portrait in the mail of my parents today. I won’t be hanging it. I have never been able to look my dad in the eye, even in a photo, without a sickening sensation. Does anyone else have that experience?


Hi Kate
Thank you for sharing the way it was for you. This is what I am talking about; only the details are different.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Elaina
Welcome back!! It is wonderful to see you and good for you for doing what you need to do in your own healing.
Thank you for sharing these stories; about the boy at the vet and about your mom and how you called her! WOW. How did you feel after you did that??! I am guessing you felt the winds of freedom blowing through your life?
Good to hear from you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi J.
I am sorry that you are having a tough time. Can you talk about it??
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for sharing, everyone. Ugh…do I ever remember the repulsive sex sounds! So disgusting and wrong, and I was terrified as a child.


Hi Cheryl
EXACTLY! Thanks for sharing this side of it. Many survivors of dysfunctional families do this. I went through a lot of boyfriends who were all abusive in some way, most of them emotionally abusive like the man you marries. As you say, it is all about that false definition of love and what was the safest “familiar”. I thought I was so much less “sick” than my mother! ugg.
Thank you for being here.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kellie
Here is what I think; parents who go out of their way to protect their own parents somehow think that if they ignore the dysfunction they grew up with, then their own kids have to do that too. My mother used to say all the time “well my mother wasn’t perfect, but we still loved her”… to which I now think “what the heck does THAT mean???” my mothers mother was a nasty mean woman. My mother was totally brainwashed about being obligated to LOVE her parents no matter what, so we had to also. I believe my mother wanted me to fill the void that her mother never filled. (I have written about this and explained it in my earlier mother daughter stuff.) The only nasty emails I get on this blog are from mothers who reprimand me for talking about my mother, and they always tell me how ungrateful their own daughters are. If they look at their abusive parents, then they might have to look at themselves as abusive parents too so they protect their parents hoping to also be excused. As for me, it is the damage that we need to heal from and I think my mother thought that I could somehow heal hers…. and that is not possible or right.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pam
Yes, all of my mothers dysfunctional behaviour (including telling me about the sex problems she had with my father and then all the danger she put me in with men) was all part of that emotional incest and messed me up a great deal. I am disgusted too. I too was scared to death that our kids might hear us and I was very very careful.
(My mother was the farthest thing from prudish.. )
Thanks for sharing Pam,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Laurie
Welcome to EFB. It is disgusting how many parents don’t think anything effects children! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


I am praying!! And, thinking of you!!! I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner! I hope you’re well.


Hi Darlene! ((((BIG HUGS)))).

How I felt after calling my mother and telling her off was….. F*R*E*E. I felt like a ten-ton weight had lifted off my shoulders, and steel shackles had fallen off my arms and legs. My husband was sitting across the room from me, listening intently to every word I said, with a proud smile on his face. After I hung up the phone, I did a great big victory YELL: “WOO-HOO!!!”

As I’ve shared with you before, after my momster sent me her unprovoked novel-length hate letter last May, I was trying to write a reply to her, to share my truth and reality with her… I felt like I needed to do that for MY sake, not for hers, I know she is hopeless. But the tragic death of my close cousin, which happened just a few days after my momster sent her hate letter to me, and sent copies of that horrible letter to my aunt and my siblings ~ the grief I’ve had after losing my cousin, was almost unbearable. She was like my little sister, she was my only blood relative living in this state where I live, we had many things in common, and we had been talking on the phone for about an hour the night before she drowned… talking, among other things, about the horrible letter that my momster/her aunt had just sent to me, and the copy she had sent to my cousin’s mother. My sweet cousin, who was an RN and also had a BA in Psychology, and who had known my mother/her aunt all of her life, said to me, in our last-ever phone conversation, that it would “explain everything” if my mother has narcissistic personality disorder. OH, WOW~ I felt so VALIDATED, Understood, Believed, and AFFIRMED, for the first time ever, by a blood relative! It was like a piece of heaven came down to earth for me, when my cousin made that observation!

We made plans to get together in about 3 weeks, my cousin and I, for what would have been her 39th birthday. But then, the next day, she DROWNED, and I still can’t quite fully believe and accept that she is GONE forever. My grief over losing my young cousin has been the worst grief I have ever experienced in my life. Her tragic death completely over-shadowed the huge pain and anger I was already feeling about my mother’s insane 62-page hate letter… and because of that, I couldn’t deal with the hate letter, in fact I haven’t been able to deal with much of anything in life, for months. I have been the definition of “basket case,” ever since my cousin drowned on June 3.

I was starting to come out of my grief, when the Christmas season hit, and that is always the worst time of year for me, due to trauma triggers. But I was struggling through doing the best I could do when, on Christmas Eve, my youngest half-sister, and her husband, who had been friends on my facebook for about 2 years and had never been anything but sweet and affirming toward me and my husband, posted some very mean hateful things on my wall and on their wall, calling me a sick crazy liar ~ all because I had asked my sister, in a very loving, PRIVATE message, to please stop passing on the messages to me, from our mother, that our mother says she “loves and misses” me. I told my sister that I am not asking her to choose sides, I am not even asking her to believe me when I say that our mother absolutely does NOT love me, that she in fact HATES me. I told my sister “it makes me want to scream when I read a message from you that says, ‘Mom asked me to tell you how much she loves and misses you.’ I know you mean well, and I know you are only trying to help the situation, by passing on a message that you think is good. But I am asking you to please respect my feelings on this, and stop passing messages from our mother, to me. I’m not asking YOU to pass any messages from ME, to our mother, or to anyone else. I’m only asking you to please stop passing her messages on to me. A loving mother does not write a 62 page hate letter to her daughter, AND send copies of it to everyone in the family. So I really don’t want to hear about how much our mother ‘loves’ me. I repeat, I’m not asking you to agree with me, I’m just asking you to please stop telling me this. You are a good, kind-hearted person, and I love you!”

I sent that in a Private Message, and about two weeks went by with no reply from my sister. Then on Christmas Eve, she posted a merry Christmas message on my wall, and said, that our mother had asked her to tell me how much she ”loves and misses” me. I immediately took that message off of my wall, and sent a brief message to my sister saying Merry Christmas, I love you too, thank you so much… but did you forget that I asked you a couple of weeks ago to please not pass these messages on from our mother? My sister immediately blocked me, her husband immediately posted on HIS wall some hate messages about me, “stirring up trouble on the day of Christ’s birth,” and saying that he was going “on the warpath” against me… and one week later, on New Year’s Eve, my sister unblocked me so that she could post ON MY OWN WALL, a long message saying that I am a liar and a hateful, ungrateful daughter, that I’m crazy and apparently I “can’t help myself” for being this way, and now that she has seen my “true colors,” she never wants anything to do with me, and on and on and on she went… I was SHATTERED.

This youngest sister of mine wasn’t even BORN until after I was already grown and married and pregnant with my first child. She doesn’t really KNOW me. I have seen her in person maybe a dozen times in her whole life, when I have gone to visit the family over the years. She is now 40, the same age as my elder son. So my point is that she wasn’t even alive yet to see what did or did not happen between our mother and me, before our mother married her father, my sweet step-father, who had a very stabilizing influence on our crazy mother. Yet my baby sister thinks she knows better than me, what is real in my own life! She had already told me, several months ago, that she had refused to read our mother’s 62-page hate letter about me. But then at Christmas time she suddenly flips out on my facebook wall because I had been so “horrible” and “selfish” in asking her, in a PRIVATE message, to PLEASE do me the favor of not passing on any more “I love you” messages from our mother.

And, that was just part of it… another sister, and 2 nieces, who had refused to friend me in the past, were also posting hateful things about me, on facebook, on the walls of mutual family friends! What could have possibly happened that had everybody in my family of origin stirred up against me all of a sudden? I believe this is probably what must have happened: Because I had not yet given my momster the satisfaction of responding in any way to the hate letter she mailed to me and to the family back in May, she was using her holiday visits with my siblings and their adult children, to badmouth me, to lie about me, in order to get the whole family up in arms against me. I was getting messages from family people saying things like “How could you ignore your poor elderly widowed mother, who went through hell 2 years ago when her husband was dying of cancer? Why can’t you understand that no one is perfect? Why can’t you just forgive her? Why do you still live in the PAST (hello ~ the 62 page letter happened RECENTLY, not in the PAST, and the lies being told about me and the hateful messages being posted about me are all happening NOW, not in the past, and furthermore, that 62-page hate letter was ALL ABOUT the very ANCIENT past… a lying warped version of the ancient past, that is.)

So, on January One, New Years Day, I ended my facebook account, for good. I had been hurt there ENOUGH already, both by “family” and, in months past, by a couple of “friends.” I had tried the blocking solution, but some of these people were finding ways around it, such as by making new accounts, and then posting hateful comments on the walls of mutual friends who were not blocked. It just got to be WAY too crazy and painful for me, so on New Years Day I said, ENOUGH!

ANYWAY… here I am, going on and on, again! But I know you don’t mind, Darlene, and I know that people can choose to read, or to not read, what I write, so it’s not like I am forcing myself on anybody, with my wordiness.

My point to all this holiday madness is that these are the events that FINALLY pushed me to the place where I could call my momster on January 2 and tell her MY TRUTH, for once in my life. All the LIES and all the HATE that had been coming against me, on facebook, from “family” who had previously been very friendly to me, obviously must have been stirred up by the things that my mother was telling them, when they went to visit her over the holidays. Because I had not answered her insanely long letter in any way, and Narcissists hate to be IGNORED, more than anything!

NOW…. it’s a New Year, it’s a New Day, and I Am FREER than I have ever been in my life! WOW it feels so GOOD!

Free At Last ~ Free At Last ~ Thank God in Heaven I am Free At Last.


Dear J,
I don’t know you or anything about you, but I do know what it feels like to be in so much emotional pain that it feels like you can’t take another minute of it. On June 27 of last year, I had to go to the emergency room, because I was in so much emotional pain that I was feeling overwhelmed by the urge to kill myself. I am so glad that I got HELP, and DIDN’T commit suicide.

I am praying for you, too, J. Please know this: you are infinitely precious, you are inherently worthy, of love, kindness, and respect, just because you ARE.


Darlene & all of the other posters – I thank you! I thank you for bringing the reality of my childhood & adolescents into words. I have always felt so alone & that there must be something wrong with me to feel that my mothers (ongoing) promiscuity has effected me so significantly.
As a 30-something year old, Wife (to a wonderfully understanding husband – Thank Goodness!), and Mother to 2 little ones – I find myself lacking any sexuality, desire & almost feeling sick when thinking of sexual acts. I feel as if just hearing, knowing & seeing my mothers promiscuity & the never ending trail of men in our home shouldn’t be such a lasting imprint on me. I was never sexually abused, nor (really) physically abused. I was most definitely emotionally abused.
I was raised by my single mother, never truly knowing my biological father, and my mother bearing a sister (with husband #2 of #6 (to date) who is 8 years younger than me. My mother had told me my entire life, until I turned 30 (and finally decided enough – I couldn’t deal with her chaotic, unstable, mean-filled life in my life – that is another story in itself. She has now convinced my entire extended family that I am a “Holier than thou”, judgemental & hateful person. Causing my extended family to not have any contact with me, my husband, or my two innocent children) that she had “been a single mother since she was 17 years old, and it is now her time”, ie. meeting & marrying husband #6, having nothing to do with me “her high maintenance daughter”, or her only grandchildren (only ages 4 & 2.5). Our 2.5 yr old has only met her maternal grandmother once – about a month after birth.

Sorry for the tangent – back to my thoughts that I have all this time been overreacting or allowing things (such as my mothers sexual escapades) to affect me in ways a “normal” child/women would be able to move past & not think about again. But I feel that it does affect me, it is negatively affecting my marriage (to the point of my husband & I not being intimate for over a year). I don’t know how to escape the memories of my mother having men her bed I’d never seen before (and would never see again), hearing her having sex so loudly I was terrified, screaming at me & disregarding my needs as a young child if I were to dare interrupt her sexual encounters, being terrified to have any friends over b/c I was sure they would hear her or see the men she was with walking around the house in nothing other than a towel. It disgusts me to even write these things. Things I haven’t told anyone – yet feel safe in this environment -as I believe other can possibly relate.
A vivid memory that I have is coming home from a trip (where I had gone to the easy coast (I’m from the west coast) for the 1st time with a family I babysat for – I was in high school & had been gone an entire week without contact with my mother). We had flown in late, and I had been driven home close to midnight. I remember feeling so excited to tell my mother of my amazing trip, and all that I had enjoyed over the week.
I walked into our home & into my bedroom (which was close to the front door & shared a wall with my mother & step fathers bedroom). No one had heard me come into the house. And as soon as entering my room, all I could hear were my mother & step father (again -a person to tell about another time. But was so disgusting to me – even at a young age – I would beg him to put clothes on when getting out of bed in the evening/night (as he slept nude) & would walk around in nothing but a small, thin towel – along with many inappropriate actions I now, as an adult, realize) having sex so loudly. I was saddened that my mother didn’t even realize until the next day that her daughter who she had not seen or spoken to in a week, who had flown across the country with people she had never met (Thank Goodness they were loving, kind & safe people) until the next day – late morning when she rose after having an all-night sexual escapade that I unwilling layed in my bed paralyzed, unable to sleep had to also experience.
Again, why are these times so vivid in my memory? Why can’t I let them go?
How do I even begin to repair my thoughts & beliefs surrounding intimacy?
And – how do I move forward into a healthy intimate relationship with my husband, whom I love & trust more than anyone in this world.
It’s as if even though I had the strength to end the toxic relationship with my mother, it is almost more difficult & I am hurting more than I was prior – when our relationship was superficial & nothing from the past was ever dared to be brought up.
Apologies for the length of this comment. I have been reading “Emerging…” for months & can relate to all posts – yet this topic is one that is so taboo – to the point that as I stated in the beginning of this comment – I felt that I was the only one who is still dealing with the “aftermath” of a somewhat (?) “sexually addicted” mother, who has always (even to this day) put men before her children – regardless of their needs.


Hi, wow..i do believe that GOD just puts something in your place that you needed at that time…im 19 and in absolute turmoil because i just recently just discovered that my mom is having an affair with a married man..not just any..but a family friend..i found out because she had sex with him so loudly that i could hear..(her room is next to mine)..that next day,that man walked around the house in boxer shorts…half naked..i confronted her and she told me that i should close my eyes and ears, and that she deserves this time becoz shes been a single mother for years..the mans daughter lives with us and im conflicted whether i should tell her becoz if i do, im not keeping anyones dirty secrets..however, on the flip side, my mom is abusive to me in every way,im afraid of what shed do..im planning on leaving home soon..when i go back to college..im not coming back for holidays anymore, i do part time vacation jobs..should i say anything?thing is im all alone, the daughter who stays with us is selfabsorbed and mean to me (she treats me like dirt and ignores me) and even if i do tell, il still have noone to see this from my point of view.il hav no one.please help


YAY ~ Free at last! That is fantastic! And good for you again doing what was/is best for YOU. I am sorry that your family was so mean to you on FB. That is horrible (and common 🙁 )
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ella
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I can tell by what you have shared here that you have found the right place! You are certainly not alone! I encourage you to read my other posts in the mother daughter category. You might find some insight and comfort as well as lots of answers to all the questions that you posted here today. (and as always here ~ lots of comments in every post discussion) This site is about how I overcame all this stuff and healed from the damage it caused me by understanding NOT the people who caused it, but by facing the truth about the damage. (well that is the “nutshell” version!)
glad you are here! Please feel free to share as often as you like.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lila
Welcome to Emerging from broken to you as well! There is lots of support here in this community. I encourage you also to read more of this site. There is lots of insight here that may help you to decide what you want or need to do to support yourself in this situation. You are not alone here!
Glad you are here, thanks for your comments,
Hugs, Darlene


Kellie – you may never know the entire truth but i agree with Darlene that your mother was trying to get you to meet the needs she had that were never met by her mother and maybe even her father. Those emotional needs can be a huge void. my mother smothered me trying to get her needs met. My father didn’t pay much attention to her and my mother was starving for love, affection and attention so she looked to me to meet all of those needs and i willingly obliged because i didnt know any different and i thought that was what i was supposed to do. No one ever said “this is wrong” or “this is not a good situation.” No one ever told me that the way my mother used and abused me was wrong until i started talking about my childhood and my mother in my late 20’s. By then the damage had been done. I have suffered with complex PTSD probably since childhood that has never really been treated.

sorry Kellie – did not mean to get into all of my “stuff” – i think the point about not acknowledging that there was anything wrong with the way she was parented or that her parents did nothing wrong totally lets her off the hook for the way she parented (or didnt parent) If her parents were not screwed up in her eyes then she wasnt either so that way she didnt have to take responsibility for anything she did or didnt do. Its such a self deception and lack of a reality check to live that way.


Lila – sorry that you found out about your mothers behavior through such an awful experience. You sound very wise in wanting to get out of there and not return. I hope your college offers you counseling on campus so you can talk to someone about it if you dont find what you need here. I know most colleges have counseling offices for students that want to talk about issues or things they are dealing with. I used it a little at the college i went to for a group therapy situation and found it helpful. If i were in your situation i dont think i would say anything but thats just me. I cant decide for you or tell you what to do. I am still learning thats not my job ! I pray you find lots of wisdom as you make decisions going forward !


Your first two paragraphs are EXACTLY what happened to me, though I would have been maybe 11. I was terrified and actually called out to ask if my mother was okay! Not surprisingly, I got no response …


Thank you Darlene and again all of the other incredibly BRAVE commenters.
As I stated prior, I have not shared many of these “inner turmoils” with anyone else, including my husband. This past year (2011) has been one of many medical issues (including an emergency hysterectomy, 6 day hospital stay for a bacterial infection, severe migraines (which have resulted in hospital stays), and many more – not including the mental issues). I am thankful to have a wonderful psychiatrist along with a counselor who is caring, understanding & very supportive. Yet, I haven’t had the courage to even tell them. I don’t know if it’s due to feeling of shame & embarrassment (even if it’s not truly mine) or the fact that I have just now discovered my Mother’s promiscuity & the never ending trail of men (& their complete lack of appropriateness around young girls) to be a very deep issue in the hurt, pain, disgust, (at times) fear & feelings of being unloved that I have felt my entire life.
Nor had I truly realized (or maybe it’s just that I hadn’t admitted it to myself, due to fear or just wanting it to all go away on its own) the impact of all I was subjected to in regards to sexuality & rather than being taught about “the birds & the bees”, instead I was left to my own devices to figure it out- which resulted in being incredibly fearful & disgusted by any types sexual acts. I now, have no doubt, how this has played a very negative role in my own relationship with my husband & my intimacy issues with my husband.
I wish I had the strength (not to mention the words) to express to my mother all of the damage she has caused. She has never taken any responsibility for her behavior or hurtful actions towards myself & my sister.
My sister choses to have a very superficial relationship with our mother, but has expressed her disgust towards the way in which our mother has always treated us. As nothing other than the biggest burden she could ever bear.
Yet, my sister struggles with the fact that our mother is truly the only biological family member she has ever been close to. My sister (when she was in high school) came out, as a lesbian. In my opinion, I don’t think this is a choice she has made. I think it is a part of who she is (just as I am a heterosexual), but I do wonder how much our Mother’s sexual addiction & just pure addiction to men, has affected my sister. We don’t discuss it much. Although we both share our own hurts, painful pasts & disgust (at times) towards our mother – the mere fact that my sister chooses to have (I’m not even sure how to define or understand their relationship) a relationship with our mother puts a bit of a stain on our relationship. I don’t feel I can be fully honest with what I think of our mother, nor do I want to venture into discussions about her. It just seems best to hear nothing at all.
Like another poster had said, hearing how much my mother loves & misses me – is just hearing straight out lies. A mother who loves their daughter does not continue making their life miserable (or I should clarify, attempts to). She does not fill the minds of any person who will listen with incredibly hurtful accusations & lies.
I do not plan on working towards or ever having a relationship with my mother. She is the same narcissistic, sick person today that she was 30+ years ago.
She recently left a voicemail on my phone (after having no contact for almost 2 years). She called b/c she & my sister had gotten into a heated argument. Rather than being an adult & dealing with the conflict with my sister, she leaves me a nasty message claiming I have “brainwashed” my sister into believing she is a twrrie mother.
Once again – attempting to use me as her scape goat. Just hearing her voice (on the message) made me physically ill. Realizing she sees nothing wrong with her actions & even with no contact with me, my husband or my children for 2 years (!), she has made absolutely no changes in her life at all. She is the same sick, self absorbed, narcissistic, mentally ill, disgusting excuse for a mother that she’s always been.
And for her to actually think I would return her call? She’s living in her own distorted life, where she believes all will cater to her every want & need. I did that faithlessly for far too many years. I refuse to do that ever again. Even if just for the sake of teaching my own two children their value – which does not & never will include living their life to please me.


Ah yes, the scapegoat! It was my fault, bemoaned my father, that my sister did not want to attend a Christian college. It was my fault because I dared to complain about the Christian colleges I attended. We were brainwashed, beaten down emotionally, manipulated, and controlled in these places. And I complained. He didn’t ever care or want to hear it. My Christian schooling started in grade 2 and went through grade 8 and then college. My sister’s Christian schooling went through k-8. No, she couldn’t possibly have had her own opinion, it was my fault that my sister went to a public college and got a real education that trained her to perform a specific job. What a pity. She got more for her money than I did. He was such a pointless whiner.


Lila, I know exactly how horrible it feels to find out that your mother is having an affair with a married family friend. When I was 10 or 11, my mother had an affair with my dad’s closest friend. My dad was a minister of a small church, and his closest friend and mentor was an older man who was also a preacher. This man had a radio broadcast that my dad listened to faithfully. My dad wrote to the preacher that he had come to idolize by listening to him preaching on the radio, and they ended up meeting in person, and then the older preacher took my dad under his wing, so to speak, to help my dad with his little church. The older minister offered to come to our town and hold a week-long tent revival meeting each night, and while the older preacher was staying in our house during the day, while my dad went to his weekday job at the electric company, because the church was too poor to pay my dad an adequate salary, my mother had an affair with this older man. She ended up getting pregnant by him. My dad knew the baby could not be his, he said, because he and my mother had not been intimate for a few months, when suddenly she was pregnant with my youngest brother. So then my dad had a mental breakdown, because he was so devastated by what his wife, and his best friend and pastor, had done. My dad flew into a rage and came so close to killing my mother one night, that I thought she was dead. The preacher that my mother had had her affair with, almost lost his wife and 5 children over it, but then his wife decided to stay with him and forgive him. But my parents’ marriage ended when I was 12, and it was all because of her affair. What a nightmare it caused two families, so many lives were hurt and almost destroyed, because of her selfishness.

I agree with Dave, I would not say anything if I were in your shoes, because I would not want to be even a tiny bit responsible for what telling that would do to a whole bunch of people. But I also agree with Dave, that only YOU can make that decision, for YOU. We aren’t in your shoes, and we can’t know every detail of what has gone on in your life with your mother. Only you know everything that has been happening, so only you can decide what you need to do, for YOU. I have a granddaughter your age, so I have lived long enough to see what usually happens in the long run, when people are having extra marital affairs ~ what usually happens, sooner or later, is that the whole truth comes out. If YOU know what is going on, sooner or later, others are bound to find out, too, and you won’t have to say a word. But again, that has to be YOUR decision, what you feel like you need to do, for your own peace of mind!

Ella ~ I can so relate to what you are saying, too. These mothers do not change. This is what I have seen over and over again, these mothers do not change. If anything, a Narcissistic, abusive, neglectful, hateful, sociopath mother gets WORSE over time. My mother was horrible in my earliest memories, I can remember when I was 2, and she would have been just 20, because she was 18 when I was born. She was horrible to me then. She was horrible to me when she was 25, and 30, and 35, and 40, and 50, and 60… now she will soon be 77, and she is worse now, than she ever was. I have tried for most of my life to win my mother’s love and approval. I have tried over and over again, countless times, to have some kind of a relationship with her. She is hopeless, my mother. I feel kind of stupid that it’s taken me to the age of 58 to finally know that my mother is hopeless.

My own daughter is 37. She and I just talked on the phone for a couple of hours. I love that young woman so much! She is AWESOME, and I tell her so. I love her unconditionally. She has started telling me her secrets lately, some very personal things that she feels ashamed about, and I have told her that she is wonderful, she is fine, it’s ok that she has made some mistakes because every human on this planet makes mistakes. MY mother ~ if I were to tell her the kinds of things that my daughter has told me recently ~ she would be preaching hellfire and brimstone at me. Which just shows how really crazy and delusional my mother is, because she has done far worse things. But all she can do is project her disowned “badness,” onto her scapegoat, which is me.

I have read a lot of books on the topic of the Narcissistic Mother, in the past year, since I first figured out that that’s probably what is wrong with my mother. The best book I’ve read is: “Will I Ever Be Good Enough,” by Dr. Karyl McBride. Super helpful and elightening and very well-balanced book. I liked it so much, I’m going to read it again.


Hi Elaina,

I loved all of your comments, in fact I love everybody’s comments, each and every one of you!!

I especially admire all the women who have moved on to become wonderful mothers (particularly because you weren’t shown how to be loved or loving) and I loved what Elaina said about how her own daughter being AWESOME.

I have just confronted family members about bad behaviour and I really reacted in a positive and strong way, I actually said to someone today who said I should make it up with my mother, no shes not a mother, she is a bitch and I would never treat my daughter the way shes treated me, and no I wont contact her, she is a lunatic, a liar, a controller, a bully and a thief and no, she is not a mother.

I ACTUALLY FEEL PEACE. Thank you Emerging from broken, all members and darlene.

I confronted family member on loads more, but will just digest it all in my mind now and soak up the freedom vibes.


Thank you darlene for the warm welcome…i needed a place where i can just share my feelings who dont make me feel damaged..because therapy is too expensive…and coz that how i feel in life becoz everyone around me go on about how they love their mommies and how they are supported by them and how they plan their birthdays parties, when mine isolates me and abuses me, a friend of mine even said to me the one time,when i had cuts on my arm (i used to cut myself but not anymore,i lied and said i got scraped by a wire fence)she said thank goodness, she thought i was one of those depressing problem children with depressing problems..thanx dave and elaine for your advice…it makes sense to not say anything…its just…if i see that man again (he comes around often) im not going to act normal aorund him..the last time he came around (but his daughter wasnt there), he called me to greet him and i ignored him and turned around and went to my room…my mom later yelled at me saying the bible says that children must respect their mother and father and that i dont act like a child (how culd she says that,hes not my dad, hes got his own wife and children!and i hav my own dad,i know she hates him,but its disgusting say that,she even says my dad is rubbish)…whats worse is that she even given him personal information like account information and to the house(she once told us that we must keep it to oursleves, not even tell our dad)..im now even more convinced that i need to create distance between my mom and i…im feeling sick to my stomach..i wish this would just come out soon without me saying anything, so i can be properly angry about this…and the man wont be able to easily come around playing daddy if his family knows.what a blatant disregard for my feelings…i hate this ..i hate this..


Hi Ella
Great comments; So often I have to remind myself that “LOVE” is an action word. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad that you are here
hugs, Darlene

I am glad that you are feeling comfortable here!
Hugs, Darlene

WOW ~ about your friend saying that. People don’t think!
Regarding “advice” on this blog; Although we can all share our thoughts about what we might do in any given situation, please remember that only you can decide what is best for you as far as the action you are going to take. Understanding that we can make our own decisions has been a very important part of taking my life back for me.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated!

Darlene, it was suicidal thoughts. Still kinda unsure about what’s kosher in terms of sharing that here (feels different writing about it as it’s happening, rather than after the fact). Kinda lasted thru the night and into next day even after sleeping. (Not used to feeling that way in the daytime). So felt kinda worse than usual.

As to why, I think a combo – stress re moving, stress/guilt re bailing on friend’s wedding, old memories (my first love’s birthday/her sibling’s death this month. And about a year ago she said no more contact). And just s/times get so sick of feeling s**t and not being able to see any light/hope. Rang a phone helpline, and the guy was nice, but I just ended up feeling bad that I was exposing him to me at my worst (when my head has an answer for any attempts at hope etc). I realize that probably sounds stupid (that’s what they’re there for etc) but I’d managed to cry a coupla times while on the phone so felt a little better. Still can’t seem to let myself get to that stage without having someone there with me (even if on phone). Could be a protective impulse I guess.

Anyway feeling better since other day. (Comparitively at least). Another “dark night of the soul” endured.

Thanks again so much for thoughts/prayers etc.


Hi J.
I am glad that you called the hotline. Thank you for respecting my request that you do not post (present moment) suicidal thoughts here. This blog is not equipped to help with that sort of thing and it causes everyone to panic. It is a much better idea for you to call a help line.
I am glad that you got through it! Yay for you!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you darlene…how did u take your life back?mentally?ive been trying to read self help books..but i feel like they may not be enough…or like its too simple using them..i dont know..i want to build my confidence so i dont walk around being an open wound and i can be somewhat happy like other people.


I also understand that at the end of the day, i hav to make th choice for myself..but i just need to talk and hav people hear me out and not judge me…and tel me what they think..


Sometimes it feels like il never be happy..like il always live in fear or be treated with respect like people who come from happy families…it feels like people that come from good homes can express themselves and thus get what they want and need..ppl respect them..i,on the other hand, am treated like crap and i always settle for less,its a constant cycle..take my sister, she was in bording school therefore never raised with my mom, so she can yell at my mom and nothing will happen to her, she even walks out on my mom and tells her shes sleeping over at her freind place and she mustnt wait up..me?my mom will say things like il kill you or shell make faces and says thats what il look like when shes strangled me to death..


J ~ I am so glad you made it through your recent dark time. It’s scary as hell to feel seriously suicidal. When that happened to me back on June 27 of last year, I was terrified. I felt very ashamed, too, like I “should” be more healed than this, I “shouldn’t” be so weak. But I have since come to realize that my feelings weren’t bad or a sign of weakness at all, my feelings were normal for me, at that time, because of the horrible things that were going on in my life, and the way the new tragedy was triggering my old trauma. Having Complex PTSD, which I have been diagnosed with, as a result of severe trauma is normal ~ just as it is normal to bleed if you are stabbed. And I have come to appreciate, now, that it took tremendous courage for me to speak up last June 27 and admit that I was feeling seriously suicidal, and get help. Calling a suicide hotline is the best thing to do at those times, I believe.

Lila ! Good Grief. Now that you’ve shared more about your mom-ster, wow ~ she is horrible, as horrible as my momster. After my parents’ marriage ended with my dad’s violent attack against my mother, then she tried to gas us all to death. Most people, I have found in my life, when I tell them about my mother trying to gas us all to death, they do not want to believe me. It is a HUGE taboo in our society to talk about mothers that are that horrible and evil. But why would anyone make up such a thing? Sadly, you see it in the news several times a year, where a parent, usually a mother, has killed her child or children. Everyone knows that it happens, if they ever read a paper or watch a news broadcast regularly. Yet, when I tell people that my mother tried to gas us all to death, among the other horrible things she did, most people respond like they think I must be a crazy liar.

I just want you to know, Lila, that *I* am one who believes you without question, because I have been there. I hope you can get away from your mother as soon as possible. Whatever you decide to do about telling about your mother’s affair, like Darlene and Dave said, it’s YOUR decision. Now that you have shared more about your situation with her, I take back what I said about that if I were you I probably would not tell. “Mothers” like that don’t deserve any consideration, in my opinion. But again, it has to be YOUR decision. I hope that you will do whatever will help you to feel better. You deserve to put YOUR interests FIRST, after what you have been through. ((((Lila)))) ~ big hug.

Emma ~ YAY YOU for setting healthy boundaries. Feels great, doesn’t it? Thanks for what you said.


About mothers who are sexually inappropriate around their children… years ago, through my work, I met a woman who was physically very attractive and looked young for her age. Her boyfriend, who lived with her, was quite a bit younger than she was, in his early 20s, I believe. She had a teenage daughter also living with her. This woman loved to proudly tell the story of how she and her live-in boyfriend had met. She especially loved to tell the story, in front of her teen daughter. Her stomcah-churning romantic saga went like this: One day the teenage daughter brought her new boyfriend home to meet Mama. Mama says to her daughter’s boyfriend, with her daughter standing right there: “Huh-uh, no, you are not dating my daughter, she is much too young for you. However, if you want to date ME, that would be just fine.”

UGH. It makes my stomach churn just remembering that… and how her daughter looked so miserable, and so did the boyfriend, when she told this story.

My mother was not-quite-35 when I was 16 and married my 18-year-old boyfriend. On my 17th birthday, which was a few weeks after we had gotten married, my mother came over to our apartment, half-drunk, and, after telling me off, she sat on my husband’s lap, right in front of me, telling him how much she loved him and how sorry she was for not having warned him against marrying horrible me.

…That’s one of the many things I reminded my momster of, during my 9 minute 57 second phone call to her on January 2. She who writes insanely long hate letters to ME, complaining about the silliest misunderstandings that happened when I was a little girl, 40 and 50 years ago! (and she never once gave me the benefit of the doubt about anything, she ALWAYS jumped to the WORST possible conclusions in everything, she believed she could READ MY MIND and “KNEW” that my motives for every GOOD thing I did, was to gain something selfish and evil…. she, who made mountains of accusations against me, out of every little anthill of wrongdoing I ever did, and who also outright LIES about me, claiming that *I* have done things that I have never even thought of doing, things that SHE HAS done…)

OK, that’s enough wallowing in misery for me, for one day… I’m outta here for a while, I’m going to go do something FUN.


PS~ One last thing, about 2 months ago, both my husband’s, and my, facebook accounts were hacked. That’s when those sick porn videos were showing up on people’s fb walls and being sent through private messages on facebook. Someone posted a porn video on my husband’s fb wall, and made it look like he had posted it, which I know he would NEVER do, he has his grandchildren and our pastor on his facebook! And a day or two after that happened to my husband’s account, someone hacked into my fb account and sent something full of porn and cuss words out to some of my fb friends. I would never have known that had happened to my account, if one of my good facebook friends, who knew me better than that, hadn’t let me know about it. I lost a few fb friends at that time, for no reason that I could think of, other than they must have gotten either the porn video from my husband, or the curse-filled private message from me, and thought that we were doing it on purpose. I am no longer on facebook, I got tired of all the hurt going on there. But I just thought that I should mention this here, because while I was talking about my mother telling EVIL LIES to the rest of the family about me, that made me think of this….

YES IT’S HORRIBLE a mother tries, or threatens, to kill her own child, like my mother did to me, and Lila’s is doing to her. But ANY kind of activity that is done, to RUIN THE REPUTATION and the GOOD NAME of another person, is almost as horrible. It’s called CHARACTER ASSASINATION. So, whether it’s a mother telling LIES about her daughter or son and ruining that child’s reputation, OR whether it’s a computer hacker getting into someone’s fb account and sending out porn videos and hateful private messages… when someone is actively doing and saying things, on purpose, to RUIN your reputation, it HURTS you, almost as much, I think, as when they are threatening or trying to physically KILL you. My “mother,” sending her 62 pages of hateful accusations against me, to the whole family, hurts me almost as bad as when she tried to gas us all to death when I was 12.

The only thing I have found that works with such an evil hateful hurtful person, is get far away from them and have nothing to do with them. Because otherwise, they do not change, and they will still be hurting you, decades from now, if you let them.



It was so painful to read your post about how your mother behaved with men with you sleeping nearby. It was painful because I WAS that mother for a while. After my divorce, I too did not want to be single and told everyone “I NEVER SAID I WANTED TO BE ALONE!” I was married to a narcissist for 23 years and finally met a man that treated me like a lady, took me to eat, and talked kindly to me, and I left. My daughter and I lived in two shelters and then a transitional housing set up by the Catholic church.

I did the same thing your mother did, but the difference was, I constantly TOLD my daughter what I was doing was WRONG and that I wanted to STOP and I would but didn’t know how or when I would. I did not have LOUD sex at all, but she was sleeping in the other room or eating breakfast and she KNEW what I was doing with my boyfriend/fiancee. At the time, I felt very grieved about what I was doing, that I was violating even my OWN Biblical beliefs about sex before marriage, but I could not seem to stop doing it. The main problem was, I was on dating services where the guys would say “if you won’t “put out” don’t expect me to even DATE you!” I just wanted a man that would LOVE me NOT lust after me, but every man I met wanted and expected me to have sex with him. I did that with too many guys till I finally ended up with hpv and met my current fiancee whom I now live with and have for almost a year.

My daughter learned things in the shelters and from my sinful lifestyle that I used to shield my children from for the 23 years of my marriage. It was like I did a total about face and I felt extremely ASHAMED! The sex continued in this current relationship once in a while, but over time I have explained to my fiancee that if I can’t trust him to respect my “no” then there will not be a marriage. He and I have been reading the Bible and going to church together and he is gradually healing from his own past abuse. We are working hard with 2 counselors to be a family, a team, to set boundaries, to understand what TRUE love actually involves.

Would I be seen as a narcissistic mom to you too? I hope not, because I’m one that puts out the word against those types!



I encourage you to read more of this blog as I have written all the “how I took my life back” within the pages here. It was not an overnight thing, but I assure you that I felt like I would never be happy either. There is hope and what you are not alone with the things you are sharing that are going on in your family dynamic either. It all takes time,
Hugs, Darlene

Wow about the facebook hacking! That must have been awful!
I have had some experience lately with people trying to ruin my reputation too; one thing that helps me is that I KNOW who I am and what my motives are, (and lucky for me, I have this huge body of work that proves my character) But the big thing has been learning to validate myself no matter what anyone else says about me. Doing that and reminding myself of who I really am and what my intentions are (which are NEVER abusive) has been the most freedom achieving thing I have ever done!
Hugs, Darlene


If your daughter were here and she posted that your behaviour upset and damaged her, then I would view you through HER feelings. This blog is about the individual and the individuals healing process. I hope that I am explaining this well. I am not here to make people feel bad about what they have done, but rather to look at the why; how did you get to that point that you went against your own values. That is the stuff that I looked at in order to find freedom and resolution and self understanding and self forgiveness.
There were things that I had to make amends for and I am always willing to do that. Modeling health, love and truth is the most important thing to me when it comes to my kids. .
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you all for your supportive comments & own personal (difficult) stories. It is so helpful & comforting for me to know that I am not alone. I (made the huge mistake of) telling my Grandmother (my Mother’s mother – and the only biological relative I’ve ever felt close to & she is someone I always knew really loved me. But again, it is her daughter – my mother) a little my painful childhood that she didn’t see first hand. This was a little over a year ago, after my mother (along with all other biological relatives except for my sister & Grandmother) and I stopped any contact. I regret telling my Grandmother anything, as I know she felt torn & in the middle. At the time she was incredibly supportive & sympathetic. Sympathetic in terms of finally understanding (or so I thought) of all if the anger I have towards my mother. However, that support & understanding that I thought I was being given turned out to be false.
I, later became aware that she had shared my personal accounts of my past (in which my mother had been so damaging), not only with my aunt (my mothers sister & best friend. An aunt I had always been close to- yet, 4 months into my mother & I having no contact, my aunt decides she also can have no contact with me or my family as it would be betraying my mother. Huh? I felt like I was in a junior high feud & still do at times!).
Needless to say, my Grandmother who I love dearly and never would have imagined our relationship disintegrating – has done just that. I have always put her on a pedestal, feeling she was different than the rest of my family. That she truly loved me. Yet, it has only been in the past year (and much therapy!) that I have sadly come to realize she is no different. Even though my therapist had been telling me this for months, it wasn’t until this past summer, at the age of 31, I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Something that rocked my world (and still is) like no other. This is the time I thought just maybe, my mother would call. Call to see if I was even alive.
But she didn’t. I never thought my Grandmother would follow suit.
After the surgery & all of the gory details were explained to my husband – he called my Grandmother. Sadly, her response to him was “I am in my 70’s. I cannot be emotionally available to her (me) at this time”. When my husband shared this with me, as I was recovering & wondering why I hadn’t heard from her, I was devastated.
She didn’t reach out or speak to me for 8 weeks. It was after I emailed her 4x – the last email telling her how much I loved her and couldn’t bear the thought of her not in my life – did she coldly respond. We have never discussed those 8 weeks when I needed her (or any woman who was a part of my biological family so badly). Nor has she ever even mentioned the traumatic surgery I went through, that I am still (6 mo later, slowly recovering from).
She is now living in a lovely Retirement Resort, in which I visit her weekly. Our relationship has become one of pure surface – but I keep telling myself that is better than nothing.
Yet, is it?
Why am I allowing her to pretend that she has done nothing wrong? I can honestly say that whenever she has needed me (we chose the home we live in – as it is 3 min away from her home – so we could spend as much time as possible with her. Rather than the 300+ miles away we were living 2 years ago), I have been there. My husband & I have gone out of our way to be there for her, spend time with her, make sure she is doing well. Prior to her moving to the retirement center, I would go & clean her apt. weekly. Take her out to lunch at least once a week. We purchased her a cell phone, as I worried about her driving without one. These are all thing I WANTED & CHOSE to do.
Yet, what is it I have done, that even calling or sending me a card as I am laying in a hospital bed not knowing whether I will need yet another blood transfusion, or if the past 2 will be enough?
I just can’t seem to comprehend the notion of deciding when you want to be there for your loved ones & when you just don’t feel like it. I wasn’t under the impression this was a choice.
I apologize for the “rant” – I’m just struggling with how much more I can give to her?

J – I’m happy to hear you’re having a better day. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. You sound very strong & are making the best decisions for you. I’m proud of you for reaching out. Please please please continue to do so for as long as you need! It is nothing to be ashamed of, yet rather proud that you had the control to do that for yourself & the life (that no doubt is overwhelming at the moment) – but again you have the strength with however long you need to begin feeling the happiness & joy you deserve!
All my best to you. Please keep reaching out.


Hi everyone,

thanks again for thinking of me. It was a rough one. Actually I’ve done one thing for myself to make it easier to move into new place (accepted money from my parents to do so). I hadn’t wanted to, but it allows me to remove the main obstacle currently stopping me from moving in, so trying to see it as a good thing. Had lunch with a high school friend who I’ve only recently fallen back in contact with, he made a good point that it doesn’t have to be forever – just get things moving for now, and then can sort out the details (or find other options) when things have settled a bit. I hadn’t thought of it that way, so I’m proud of myself for choosing to do it now.

Elaina, I just read your blog – that’s so great what you wrote about your husband’s health! Really glad for you! And also, just the fact that you’ve found each other & are able to understand each other’s needs etc. Actually it was encouraging to me from the point of view that I can imagine myself needing to have my own room/bed/space etc even if I was in a long-term relationship. I’ve read a couple of books that describe that sort of thing, but it’s cool to hear first-hand that it can work!
I have a tendency to “self-diagnose” (or just see myself in every disorder/dysfunction I read or hear about etc), but I’m pretty sure PTSD was one of the things where I ticked off nearly every symptom (I think Borderline Personality Disorder was the other one). I always thought it was like one huge trauma (or a very serious ongoing one like war etc), but was reading it can be from ongoing emotional/mental trauma too. Can I ask what sort of things have helped you so far?

thanks again everyone & hope everyone’s doing well!


I commend you for your bravery and honesty. It’s not easy to stand up and own our mistakes. In my opinion, the difference between you and a narcissistic mother is, they never own their mistakes, or take responsibility for their words/actions, and they tend to assume the victim position. It doesn’t seem to me like that’s what you’re doing at all. I don’t think it’s ever too late to turn things around. Blessings to you for taking the time to share your story and for being honest. The truth will set you free, and you shall be free indeed!! A little scripture I stand on since meeting Darlene here on her blog.


I’m so happy to see you back and doing better. I’ve also sort of self diagnosed. I haven’t claimed it to be true outwardly, not even to my counselor. I do believe I have many of the traits that describe borderline personality disorder. It sickens me that mental illness is a result of my life, yet, I’m sort of relieved to have the resources available to study up, find truth, and take action to change it. Through following many links, I stumbled upon a book someone referenced. I bought the book and it seems incredible so far. It’s called “Out of Control”. It’s a workbook you can do at your pace. It’s designed to point out how our actions ultimately hurt ourselves, not others. (that’s what I’ve discovered in the first several pages anyhow). An example for me is, feeling overwhelmed and like things are at catastrophic proportions in my life. Even if the thing that happened wasn’t a catastrophe, it always seemed so in my mind. I have acted and spoken out of that catastrophic thinking at times. It is a damaging way of handling things, usually to myself. I think this book is going to help me realize I have to put forth effort to keep things realistic instead of catastrophic. It’s not that I ever enjoyed feeling overwhelmed and desperate. I had no idea how to change it though. I just knew I had to do something different after the events of 2011. There were some undeniable catastrophes for me, but, it led me to a point of desperation where the only way out was to start climbing and pour myself into finding the skills and coping mechanisms to effect permanent changes in my life. That’s how I landed here, and I truly treasure this place. I don’t pretend to have it lassoed!! 🙂 But, I think my footing is more stable, and I’ve got great new resources to continue the climb. I was having a rough patch too the past few days, but, I’ve been better in the last 24 hours or so. I’ve come to realize that setbacks will happen. It seems to be just a part of it getting to the top of the mountain. Maybe my foot slips a little and I slide back. But, I’m still holding on and I haven’t fallen completely back into the valley. That in itself is a victory. I hope you’re well J. I’ve been thinking about you!!


I can totally relate to what you are sharing. You describe the “system” that I escaped from perfectly. What I came to realize is that it isn’t that you can’t do enough, so much as it is the dysfunctional way that some people make decisions about if they are going to love or not. (which is not love, but I had to learn that) You said that you made a huge mistake in telling your grandmother about your painful childhood. I used to think “telling” was a mistake too. When I finally stood up to my family is was because they were all mad at me and the phone lines were burning up between everyone but me, because I told my sister in law something about my childhood. I was so stunned at the outcome of that, that I point blank told my mother and my brother that my life and my experiences were MINE to talk about. They did reject me, but it was because I broke their rules of submission. They would “love me” as long as I would do things the way they wanted, act the way they wanted, make sure that they were more important then I was. I was a “good victim” I tell you, but that didn’t pay off in the least. When it came right down to it, the first time I made a wrong move in their eyes, they spit on me. The decision that I have for myself now is that NO ONE spits on me anymore. I was able to make this decision by realizing that I had been taught the wrong definition of love all along.
I have written tons about this whole thing in this site.
Hugs, Darlene


Congrats J
on going forward with your move!

Mimi and Laura
Mimi, Thank you for what you wrote to Laura. I kept thinking last night that there was something that I left out in my comment to Laura, and that was what it was! There is a huge difference between a mom who recognizes what she has done wrong and tries to change it, and a mom who keeps justifying what she does.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi J

I just want to share that one thing I found out about traumatic experiences, is that, while we are going through them, they seem HUGE to us. This is because we DO feel like they will be FOREVER! Actually, I have been teaching my youngest daughter that, no matter how bad an experience seems, if she can “step outside” of it somehow, and realize that in the span of her entire life, it’s but a “drop in a bucket” then it helps her to get it into perspective and see herself as bigger than the issue at hand. My daughter is a very sanguine/melancholy type of personality, so even the tiniest of plan changes can send her into a frenzy!


Hi Mimi,

thanks for your thoughts! I did see your earlier msg too, much appreciated! I’ll keep that book in mind. I’ve tended to over-flood myself with input last few years, and I’m trying to be aware of that lately, so probably won’t check it out just yet though. But I do appreciate the thought!

I was thinking about that while talking to my friend yesterday (eg feeling overwhelmed / catastrophising [spelling??]). He was talking about not letting what other people think bother you. I’d mentioned how my sweating problem can stop me going out at times (or at least increase stress when I am out). He was sorta saying to just not care if people do say anything. Problem is I tend to freeze if someone does “attack” me (even verbally etc), then kinda get flooded with extreme thoughts (like wanting to hurt them physically or something) and will remember it for ages.

Also I tend to feel like everyone “betrays” me. Still not able to decide for myself if my thoughts are true/worth getting upset or angry about, or if I’m over-reacting etc. Very confusing. Also, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like a relationship (even a very “surface” one, like someone I only know from a cafe I go to or something) has suddenly become “negative” or “stressful” and then I want to avoid them.

suicidal thoughts discussion next paragraph

I’m also kinda thinking about what brings me to feeling suicidal. (Trying to anyway – pretty tired). Hmmmm… nope. Too hard right now. I think lately it’s not actually “feeling” suicidal (as in wanting to), but more just when I feel reall s**t already and suddenly have a thought of something that could be used for that in the house (that normally I wouldn’t think of that way). One thing I did realise is that I’m really scared that I’ll never have peace in this life or any other. That’s not a pleasant thought. But on the other hand, I’ve had times where I felt like if I did believe there was peace on the other side, I’d do it in a second. (And now I’m worried that that’s not ok to say here).

anyway thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I really appreciate it.


Hi Mimi

Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m a born-again Christian so I know about “free indeed” for sure. The hardest thing about being married to a narcissist, was that my one daughter turned out to be like her father. She was absolutely cruel from the time she was very little. She was physically abusive through biting, kicking me in the shins, and other things at about 3 and a half years old. I tried everything I could to help her and took her to therapy. Nothing worked. I did find out she had an allergy to red dye #40 which somewhat helped things, but overall, even to this day, my daughter’s patterns are “love em and leave em and then blame THEM for leaving.” I had to raise my children pretty much on my own even when I was married, until they were much older and could become “cheap labor” for my ex’s brother in law’s business. It was a horrid existence for me, for three of the children, but for 23 years it was my reality.
If I was narcissistic at times, it was probably because I had picked up some awful tendencies from the narcissist I had married. I think sometimes we clone ourselves out of survival mode or something.
In the end, I got my bachelors degree in Psychology (Child Development focus) and am again going back to school for my Masters, but in the Public Health field this time.
Nope, I sure didn’t stay in the mode I was in. In fact, I was very ashamed and repentant to God and my children for my part in things…the neglect, addictive behaviors, and basically just carrying out the abuses that were done to me, though not as much physically. It’s still WRONG and EVIL and I am just glad my daughters were able to forgive me (except for the N child. She just tries to “use” me as it suits her, like she does with everyone. She is also a pathological liar).


Hi Mimi

Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m a born-again Christian so I know about “free indeed” for sure. The hardest thing about being married to a narcissist, was that my one daughter turned out to be like her father. She was absolutely cruel from the time she was very little. She was physically abusive through biting, kicking me in the shins, and other things at about 3 and a half years old. I tried everything I could to help her and took her to therapy. Nothing worked. I did find out she had an allergy to red dye #40 which somewhat helped things, but overall, even to this day, my daughter’s patterns are “love em and leave em and then blame THEM for leaving.” I had to raise my children pretty much on my own even when I was married, until they were much older and could become “cheap labor” for my ex’s brother in law’s business. It was a horrid existence for me, for three of the children, but for 23 years it was my reality.
If I was narcissistic at times, it was probably because I had picked up some awful tendencies from the narcissist I had married. I think sometimes we clone ourselves out of survival mode or something.
In the end, I got my bachelors degree in Psychology (Child Development focus) and am again going back to school for my Masters, but in the Public Health field this time.
Nope, I sure didn’t stay in the mode I was in. In fact, I was very ashamed and repentant to God and my children for my part in things…the neglect, addictive behaviors, and basically just carrying out the abuses that were done to me, though not as much physically. It’s still WRONG and EVIL and I am just glad my daughters were able to forgive me (except for the N child. She just tries to “use” me as it suits her, like she does with everyone. She is also a pathological liar).

J, J

I just want to share that one thing I found out about traumatic experiences, is that, while we are going through them, they seem HUGE to us. This is because we DO feel like they will be FOREVER! Actually, I have been teaching my youngest daughter that, no matter how bad an experience seems, if she can “step outside” of it somehow, and realize that in the span of her entire life, it’s but a “drop in a bucket” then it helps her to get it into perspective and see herself as bigger than the issue at hand. My daughter is a very sanguine/melancholy type of personality, so even the tiniest of plan changes can send her into a frenzy!


If my one daughter were here, she is a narcissist, so I’m sure she would paint me in a “wonderful” light (sarcasm intended). I would not be shocked if the entire group believed every word of what she said either, because, until she showed her true colors to her daughter’s father’s mom, his mom thought “I” was a terrible mother to say such things about my own child. I basically warned her about how my daughter would use and throw away guys and that her son was most likely next. True to form, that’s what happened, and his mom came back to me saying she was sorry and would believe me from now on! To this day, my daughter uses her 4 year old as a “pawn” to manipulate people when she can. My granddaughter is mostly being raised by her father not by her mother, my daughter, because her dad’s mom has seen how my daughter neglects her and she pretty much has told me they might push for custody if she doesn’t change her ways.


My mother says the exact same about me that you are saying about your daughter… You shared that you did some things that you are not proud of raising your kids and you seemed to be accountable, but now you are calling your daughter a Narcissist and a pathological liar and you also claim that she got it from her father (through no fault of yours?) and indicating that you think she was born that way. I have a problem with this line of thinking because it comes from the old system that I was so stuck in for so long. Kids are not born with personality disorders. They develop as a result of dysfunction. My website is about the ways the dysfunction in my life resulted in mental health issues. This particular blog post is about my mother and her abusive regard for me and somehow the discussion has turned into one about an abusive daughter. So, if your daughter came to this blog, would I be expected to stick up for you? (just like my mother expects everyone to stick up for her?) The problem that I have with this is that this is the system that we are all trying to escape. People share here about finding their voices and standing up to abusive childhoods. When a parent comes here and posts about their child in this way; that they are the victim of that child and that grown child is selfish and self centered and cannot be trusted (just like so many of our mothers have said about us) it conflicts and confuses everyone.


I have decided to withdraw from this forum due to personal feelings about some things. I hope you all continue to get the word out about the abuses and abusers as I will on my youtubes.
~DD (Laura)



I wanted to comment on you post (#17). I have experienced a lot of what you described – the mother who “misses you” and the other family members who pass along those messages. I think a lot of narcissitic mothers have this dynamic in the family, the golden child who can do no wrong and will defend the mother at all costs and the scapegoat who can do no right(in the eyes of the mother). Darlene wrote a post about abusive people who want worship and I think that’s exactly what your mother and my mother want. That’s what they miss. You said that you feel that your mother hates you. I feel the same way. So why would they “miss” us? They don’t. They want our time and attention. If we use our time and energy on them they will feel validated. They’re angry to have lost the control and that source of narcissitic supply (worship).

*Sigh* Anyway, that’s my two cents. I have to say that I’m glad to encounter someone else who has experienced what I have experienced. It’s comforting and validating. Thanks for sharing your experience.



Awww, Laura. I hated reading what you wrote about your 3 1/2 year old daughter kicking you in the shins and biting. I don’t know if you will even see this, but, if a 3 year old has that much anger, it’s the parent’s responsibility to MAN UP and figure out what caused the anger, even if that means taking a hard look at yourself to see if you have some responsibility in it. I agree with Darlene that people aren’t born with mental illnesses, the same as people aren’t born murderers. Those are just my beliefs. My mother talked about me too. She spread things to everyone, much like you speaking to your daughter’s boyfriend’s mother and “warning” her. OUCH!!! If she’s a liar, there’s a reason. If she is abusive, there’s a reason. You said yourself you made mistakes when she was young. Perhaps all this developed as a result of those mistakes?? I believe that because you turn things around, are forgiven by God and others, it doesn’t free you of any lingering consequences necessarily. Such is the case in murder. If you kill someone, yet know you’re forgiven by God and the victim’s family, you’re still going to prison. There are still consequences. I don’t pretend to know your situation or the details of your life. All I can say from what you describe is, maybe your daughter needs some love and to be able to trust someone, and to be heard. That’s what I needed at that age.


It always bothers me when someone withdraws from my blog because they don’t like something I said… It makes me question myself; am I being an abuser? am I insisting that I am the only one that is right?” That is the grid that I was taught to put everything through. I was taught that if someone was upset that I better figure out how to fix it.
I realized that writing what I wrote to Laura, (and I have written things like that to others too) was like standing up to my mother all over again. The fear of speaking the truth because someone might “leave me” comes up. The fear of being rejected, or misunderstood. The fear of stating the truth. The fear of other readers leaving because it is “too much or too hard” to look at things this way. The fear of the truth… I had it for years… But I just keep going back to the freedom that I found in facing the truth.

I love the points you made Mimi

~Laura, you don’t have to leave. You have the perfect opportunity to look at the truth of what is being said here and grow from it. I am not targeting you, I am targeting this type of thinking; this type of attitude and belief system. for the purposes of emerging from broken, I prefer if we share about the damage done to us as children, and not the damage done to us by our children. Our children were not born dysfunctional.
Hugs, Darlene



One of the last things I told my mother before cutting off contact was, “You’re the mother here. Grow up and learn to act like it. Don’t blame me for all of your irresponsible mistakes. You’ve reaped what you’ve sown.”


My mother’s favorite words went like this ~ you made your bed, now lay in it!! I foresee her reaping that reward someday. 🙂



That one was always a favorite of my parents and other useless people in my life. It was their “excuse” to not have to be helpful to their children.


Oh my goodness!! So true!! It’s funny because as I was writing the phrase, I was recalling a particular time when my mother said it to me. I was 18, had moved out at 17 and she wouldn’t let me move back home when my BF and I broke up. So, I found a little room in a two story house that was for rent. I didn’t even have my own bathroom. I shared with 3 other tenants. It was all I could afford though. She came with me the day I moved in. I remember her walking out and leaving me there in the City where I’d never lived before, and not in a particularly safe neighborhood. I was also devastated with the break up with my BF. I think this might have been one of the very few, if not the only time she gave up a little money for the deposit. ($100 or less) Only so I wouldn’t have to move in with her, I think. I remember her saying at that time that I’d made my own bed, and now I had to lay in it. What you said about having an excuse not to help just brought me incredible clarity!! That’s what it was…. an excuse not to help me except for what little bit she threw in to make sure I couldn’t go home. Other people’s perspectives are so meaningful sometimes, so thanks for posting your view!


Laura, I was raised by narcissists and when I understood this, I was afraid I was one too. I did have some learned naricissistic behavior but the difference was I wanted to change. What I did have to come to terms with was my co-naricissism. I was raised to serve naricissists and after I left home, I gravitated toward them and they to me. I did their bidding and even continued to live my life the way the narcissists in my family directed. One of my children learned to control me in the same way he saw naricissists controling me. We’ve both had to unlearn all of that but when people want to change, they can. People who are hard-set in naricissism see their way as superior and will never change or admit they need to. They can’t because it requires them to acknowledge that they aren’t perfect and they are totally unable to deal with shame. I had to end all of my narcissistic relationships in order to free me and my child. The turth hurts like heck but it is the only way to be free. Die doesn’t make children narcissistic. The behavior is learned and it can be unlearned if it is caught soon enough and their is a desire to change.

I hope you’ll stay.



Mimi & Jen,

I can relate to you both in so many ways. Especially in regards to our mothers making statements to us, that imply we chose or meant to make the (minor, in comparison to the HUGE mistakes made by them) “mistakes” or “unfavorable choices”. Yet, we were children! I’m sorry, but even as a young 18 year old girl, you are still a child, in many ways. There is still sooooo much to learn at the tender age of 18. It saddens me that your mother would leave you in an apt – not knowing whether you would be safe, have food to eat, clothing, blankets & heat to stay warm. All b/c she would rather go back to her home, where she didn’t have to be a mother. I am so sorry you went through this.

Jen – I absolutely love what you had the strength to tell your mother. “you’re the mother here. grow up and learn to act like one…”. I cannot tell you how many times this exact thought has gone through my mind. And as a Mother myself – no matter how old my children are, I will always be their Mother – and treat them with the love they deserve no matter what!
Throughout my childhood, I played the “mother” role. I took on the responsibility of trying my hardest (which for the most part, rarely worked – not without MUCH effort!) to make my mother happy. I never dared to question her “wacky & bizarre” behavior. Deep down I knew she wasn’t a mother how I saw other mothers treat their children – but I thought she was doing the very best she could and at any time she would become the mother I so dreamed of (let alone, desperately needed). If I just continued being a good girl, submissive, never questioning her, never telling her secrets, and of course, always welcoming the “the man of the moment” (& usually within weeks/months) the man who would become my newest stepfather. I knew never to tell him a thing about my
Mother than was not entirely positive on her part. I also learned that regardless of how long this man had been in my life, I was to treat him as my new father (unless, of course this was something he did not want – most cases-), I then tailored my behavior & personality towards him & my mother to the best of what I believed would make them happy. As my belief was, if the man in my mothers life was happy, he could magically make her happy. Something oil had desperately tried to do myself – but never seemed to succeed.

Even in the last phone call I had with my Mother (June 2010) in which she screamed horrific profanities at me, calling me names I wouldn’t dare to even repeat, and accusing me of being a horrible daughter, wife & mother – I found myself profusely apologizing! Apologizing, not b/c I believed any of the horrible things she was screaming to be true), but b/c I honestly thought that by apologizing I would make her happy.
I have just now begun to understand & realize her (or anyone else for that matter, besides my young children – who thankfully are incredibly easy to please!) happiness is not my responsibility.
I have wondered if she knows how to be fulfilled or to feel joy in her life? Joy that comes from herself – not a man, a job, money, etc. Unfortunately, I’m not sure she has. The very brief times in my life in which she seemed to be the most happy (which is not the joyous & pure happiness most of us think of, rather a small lift from her incredible anger, depression, erc.) is when she has a new man in her life (as they don’t tend to last long. She seems to find flaws – any flaws – that for the most part most of us could learn to deal with and/or work along side our partner to work through any type of “flaws” that may be affecting others negatively. So, yes, I’m speaking of incredibly insignificant things, that again wouldn’t even be noticeable to most), the new man is best is he is well to do financially, no relationships (or very surface, superficial relationships) with family, and when on medication (sadly, even when abusing it, to the point she herself has called it an addiction). This is when she seems to experience the most happiness.
So again – her “happiness” has never included myself, my husband or our children.
She has stated (to me, at times & other family members) that being a grandmother is the best thing in the world to her. Yet, I do not believe this. She has no contact with my children (her only grandchildren), since cutting all ties with me. This, I think is what hurts me the most. They are amazing little people who exert nothing other than love, joy, kindness & curiosity.
Yet, my mother choses to have nothing to do with them. She has never acknowledged them at holidays, their birthdays, etc. Not even a card in the mail that in no way would she have contact with me.
They have no idea who she is (which I try to tell myself, is probably for the best).

Yet, my son who is 4, has recently begun inquiring about Mommy’s Mommy. As he sees my husbands parents being loving, caring, kind grandparents who truly show their love to our children, spending as much time as possible with them. All because they want to! (they are moving across the country next week – to live 20 min from us – I think that in itself shows their love for our family!).
I apologize for this Huge tangent – I think what I was attempting to say (not all that well!) was that, just as Jen so bravely stated to her mother – is something that is so encompassing & the words hold so much meaning (that unfortunately many of our mothers refuse to accept). That being, regardless of your children’s age/s “you are the Mother. Now grow up and act like one!”.

Thank you all again, for sharing your stories (although I know painful, I hope each & every one of you realize how your stories, comments, encouragement are helping others in ways bigger than them solely gaining the bravery to comment on this site. You are giving them the words they (I’m speaking in the 3rd person – yet this all very much includes myself – if not anyone else) hold in their minds, but maybe do not yet have the courage to speak. I’m hopeful that by continuing to be an active reader & commenter – that someday I will be able to say outloud all that I have held inside for too long & has caused to much hurt.
I also think in reading these stories, it has allowed me to realize all of the incredibly false beliefs that have been ingrained in me since I was a child (& still are as an adult), and allowed me to realize & process all the wrongs I have been dealt. I try to not take on the victim role – and that is one of the things I appreciate most about your writing, Darlene – along with those you chose to be guest writers. We are all able to make huge changes in our own lives, and are able to stop the abuse cycle, that for many of us has been in our families for decades. We are all capable of anything, regardless of our pasts – as we’ve all heard “our pasts in no way define us”.

Thank you for this site, thank you Darlene, thank you to the guest posters & mostly thank you to the commenters.
You have truly given me the strength to really begin sorting out the truths & falsies of my life.
Big Hugs to you all!
(again apologies for the length – no matter how hard I try – I can’t seem to write a small well thought out post …, practice, that I will!).

Ella (not my real name – but I am hopeful with time that will be something I will gain the bravery to change – to my real name, that is).


The way u have described your mother sounds exactly like mine!
I too have endured the DISGUSTING msgs left on the answering machine, for YEARS my heart would be in my throat EVERYTIME the phone rang. It surprises me now to think it took me so long to change my phone numbers, (and make them unlisted numbers). It would have saved me years of stomach knots and severe anxiety. I just couldn’t do it, I felt I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to. I felt it would only give her more ammunition to use against me.
I know now that I couldn’t do it because of the fear of rejection from her. (even though she had already rejected me plenty of times before that) but she kept coming back for more. She once told me that ‘I was the only problem remaining in her and her husbands life’ (her husband, is my abuser ) how sick is that ! She also told me around the same time that she was’praying to god, so god could help her make me ‘dead to her’ ….
Sooooooo twisted, sick, and the ultimate rejection. Yet I was scared to CHANGE MY PHONE NUMBERS!!!!
A classic example of how well she was able to manipulate me any way she wanted. Kick and scream and abuse and cut you to shreds with her filthy sarcastic mouth, and destroy your soul so are rendered useless for your own children and husband.
She gave birth to me, but she is not my MOTHER.
I still live at the same address, but if she turned up here, I will call the police, and shut the door in her face. (her husbands AVO – apprehended violence order) will expire in two years, so I can probably could expect a visit by then, who knows? I’m not sweating over it though. She really is DEAD TO ME now. And I didn’t even have to pray for that. She’s done that all by herself.
I have had no contact with her in about three years, and the only way I could stop my stomach from coming up into my throat was to change my numbers. Unfortunately she has called my siblings on occasion and upset the hell out of them, ( my brothers numbers are plastered all over his business equipment so she can call him) If I was in that position I’d hang up as soon as I knew it was her… She’s been told by him several times NOT TO CALL but, he said last time she called him(she ‘just wanted to know if we were all ok’ yeah right) ‘you hurt us EVERYTIME you call.. He said… BAM! There it is, he told her EXACTLY what she wanted to hear. That she can still hurt us.


Hi everyone

Just saw an interview with Daniel Johns from Silverchair about anorexia, he said doctors told him he was going to die several times when he got to 50kg (110 lbs). Just looked up his height (5’10). I’m same height and about 10 years ago weighed 115 lbs (52kg) after getting a virus and not eating for a while. (Had weighed 132 lbs / 60kg for years).

The thing I remember is that I didn’t even notice I’d lost weight. When I first stepped on the scales and saw 52kg I read it as 62 (I’d sometimes be 61 or 62 if I’d eaten etc). And probably still thought I was fat (legs/thighs/bum at least – always seemed to have more female proportions). Don’t even know why I’m writing this. Just another thing that weirded me out when I realized it.

Couple of years later I started anti-depressants, and had doubled my weight within a year. Don’t weigh myself anymore, but I’m probably somewhere around 275-285 lbs / 125-130 kg. I think I’ve blamed myself for putting on so much weight, but I try and convince myself it was the pills that really did it (or at least messed with my metabolism). Didn’t feel like much changed in terms of what I ate. Also I guess wondered if I had some form of body image disorder when I was so skinny but still felt fat.

Meh. Probably just self-diagnosing again. Just felt kinda weird about being almost same weight as an anorexic who was told he’d die.

hope everyone’s doing well


Hi Pam
Great words of wisdom, thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Again I totally relate to what you have shared and the pain of it all. My mother also withdrew all ties with my children, which I felt SO bad about, and it hurt so much but today I see it all very differently. My mother is toxic. My two older kids had already caught on to her toxic, and they told me around 6 months after no contact. I was shocked that they knew! I always had this awful feeling that the kids were “next” but I ignored it… telling myself that she would never regard them the way she regarded me, but I was seeing things through a sick grid of understanding, thinking that perhaps I had deserved it as I had failed her so badly, and my beautiful kids would never be the target of her meanness… When the fog lifted for me, I realized that my mom had started her critical judgements of my kids when they were very young. I also noticed that she had started her grooming process of turning them against me when they got old enough. Two of my kids are no longer minors… I am really glad that my mother did not pursue relationship with them. (although I would not have allowed it anyway ~ I just wanted her to pursue it, because I thought that would “prove love”… )
p.s. we have had many many truthful talks with our 3 kids about the sick system and the way that it was for us with those sick control freaks we called our parents. I felt weird about doing that, but the alternative was for them to get sucked into the same system of victim/abuser. These talks were age appropriate. (my youngest was only 6 or 7 when I began this healing process)
Hugs, Darlene


Holy smokes!!! You are sending out some powerful examples and some deep truths lately!!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I wanted to share my new post: “Psychological abuse: I was dying my whole life I just didn’t know it…”
So much of this new post has to do with the fact that I didn’t KNOW that anything was dysfunctional in the first place… I mean, how would I have known?? SO in looking for healing, I didn’t know where to start because I didn’t know what the actual problem was! It was my normal..
Hugs, Darlene


J ~ I am responding to what you said in comment #43, which you posted on the 17th. I’m sorry I haven’t been back here for a couple of days, so I didn’t see your question about the kinds of things that have helped me, until now.

Periodically reading Darlene’s Emerging From Broken blog, which I first came across a little over a year ago, has helped me a lot. I’ve read dozens of self-help books, too, some of which have helped tremendously, and some of which have not. I am now in the process of putting a list together of the books, websites, and therapeutic techniques that have helped me/are now helping me, the most. I will post that list on my blog in the near future.

Of all the things that have helped me the most in my recovery journey, the number one thing that helps me, is to stop thinking of myself as “sick” or “mentally ill.” My response to severe trauma is… was… NORMAL. If someone stabs me, I am going to bleed. It is NORMAL to bleed if you are stabbed. Bleeding from a stab wound does NOT mean you are weak, sick, ignorant, or in any way defective, bad, or abnormal.

However ~ even though it is normal to bleed from a stab wound, this does not mean that you want to continue bleeding! We are not at fault nor are we to blame when someone has stabbed us and caused us to bleed. However, now that we have been wounded, we are responsible to search for ways to heal. If I am in a situation where I am being wounded again and again, where the scabs are continually being ripped off of my healing stab wounds, then I need to take myself out of that situation. If I am in a relationship with a person or a family or a group of people where I am being periodically attacked and put down, called “crazy” and “bad” or in ANY WAY MADE TO FEEL LIKE I AM “LESS THAN” other people, then I need to leave that person or that group of people, who are treating me in that contemptuous way. For example, I needed to leave my family of origin, because they had all been poisoned by my narcissistic, lying and conniving mother. I have been her scapegoat for over 44 years! I have tried, again and again I tried, to salvage and restore my relationship with my family of origin, because I love and miss them. But my best efforts failed. I finally had to give it up as a lost cause. I wish it were not so, but it is the only way I have found to have any real peace and health in my life, and that is to stay totally out of contact with everyone in my family of origin, with the sole exception of my one brother, who was our mother’s secondary scapegoat, for his unforgivable “sin” of being born looking like our father, whom our mother hated.

J, I know what you are saying about diagnosing yourself, and seeing yourself with the symptoms of many different things. I did that a lot, too. I have diagnosed myself, and I was also diagnosed by various doctors and therapists, with many different things. At age 14, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In my early 30s, I was diagnosed with DID (Dissociate Identity Disorder.) In my late 30s, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In my 40s, one therapist decided that I had borderline personality disorder. ***By the way, I was given most of these diagnosis after only a few minutes of conversation with the diagnosing therapist or doctor.*** After a brief conversation, they had me All Figured Out. Or… did they?

Almost 9 years ago, in March 2003, which was a few weeks before my 50th birthday, I checked myself in to a psychiatric clinic and, over the next week, I was given a full battery of both psychological and physical tests. The psychiatrist who administered my tests was one of the 2 co-founders of this nationwide string of psychiatric clinics. He has authored or co-authored over 80 books, several of which have been best-sellers. He has been an expert guest on the Oprah Show several times, as well as on many other tv and radio shows. This doctor is the one who, after I took all the tests, told me that I am NOT and NEVER WAS “MENTALLY ILL,” in his opinion, but that I have had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for most of my life, stemming from my numerous traumas, beginning in my early childhood.

Paul Meier, MD, of the nationwide chain of Meier Clinics (formerly called the Minirth-Meier Clinics) is the one who diagnosed my PTSD in March 2003. He told me very emphatically that PTSD is a perfectly NORMAL reaction to extreme trauma, just as bleeding is a normal reaction to being stabbed! WOW!! Imagine that! I had believed, since I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 14, that I was inherently and intractably mentally ill. To be told by such a renowned expert in the psychiatric field that I am NORMAL…. was fundamentally and absolutely Life Changing.

Like Darlene Ouimet, I do not think that mental illness labels are particularly helpful. Basically, when we are traumatized, abused, neglected, lied to, lied about, and/or UNLOVED virtually from the time we are born, we are going to react by becoming broken in some way. We Emerge from our Brokenness, as we beging to leave behind the lies and the wrong-thinking and the abuse and the people and the situations that broke us in the first place, and that have kept us broken.

For each one of us who has been broken in some way by life, I think the answer to our best method of healing from brokenness is: Inside Each One Of Us.

What do I mean? I mean: When I am thirsty, I know it, and I get a drink of water. I don’t need anyone else to tell me when I am thirsty, or to tell me when to drink or what to drink. *I* know when *I* need to drink water, *I* know when *I* need to eat, *I* know when *I* need to rest. I know when something, or someone, makes me feel better, healthier, stronger, happier, and I also know when something, or someone, makes me feel WORSE.

I have learned to let myself be my own guide. If I am reading a book, if it is helping me to become more enlightened and to feel healthier and better, then I keep reading that book. But if it is confusing me or making me feel bad about myself, I stop reading. If I go to a therapist, and he or she helps me to become more enlightened and to feel healthier, then I keep going. But if he or she is confusing me and/or making me feel worse, then I don’t go back. It’s the same with support groups, whether they be online or in person, the same with blogs, etc ~ if I feel healthier, happier, better, and more positively enlightened, then I keep going there. Otherwise, I do not.

If someone gives me criticism that is given in a loving, and constructive manner, with an attitude of understanding and kindness and compassion and acceptance of who I am as a person, when the criticism or advice is given to me as from one hurting imperfect human trying to be helpful to another hurting imperfect human, in a respectful way, leaving me free to either accept all of the advice, or reject all of the advice, or accept part of the advice and reject part of the advice, and it is all OK, the person giving me the advice doesn’t get bent out of shape if I do not choose to accept all of their advice, or perhaps I am not ready to accept their advice right at that time… if that person allows ME to choose what to do with their advice, then that person is helpful, and I can receive from them. But when someone preaches at me, with the attitude that I am beneath them, and if I don’t 100% agree with them, then they treat me like I am no good and must be forever shunned… that person, whether they know it or not, is being Abusive to me, regardless of their position or title or level of education and experience. Even if everything they are telling me is RIGHT ~ and even if they truly mean well ~ if they do not respect my right to choose whether or not I will accept their words, and if they have pre-judged me as being somehow less than they are, then I can not receive their words, even if their words are true.

So again… the answer to my ”problems” may be ”out there” somewhere, but the gauge of what is good and helpful to me, and what is not helpful and may even be harmful to me, is INSIDE ME. If something or someone makes me sicker, I don’t go back there again. If something or someone makes me healthier, then I keep going there. I let my own God-given inborn instinct, guide me.

Although I do not like mental illness labels, for me, the description of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder fits me, and my life history, far more than any other “label” I have ever heard of. (I am currently working on a post for my new blog, which describes what CPTSD is.) Borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia, are common misdiagnosis, for people whose life history, and “symptoms,” are more accurately described as CPTSD. The best book I have found to explain this, is “Trauma and Recovery,” authored by Judith Lewis Herman, MD. She is a Harvard Psychiatrist, and she coined the term “Complex PTSD.”

I hope this helps. ((HUGS))


After I wrote my last (eeek.. very long!) comment in reply to J’s comment #43, I went back and read all of the other comments that have been posted since. Wow.

Like Laura, I have at times been HURT to read a post or a comment that goes into a lot of details about the way someone has been wounded by their mother, and realize that *I* have done or said similar wounding things to my own children! Nothing Hurts Worse than Not Liking Myself. HOW do I reconcile the need to like myself, with the reality that I have done and said some really wrong things?

The best way I have found to stop hating myself for my past wrongdoing is to get Honest. Admit what I have done wrong, to the person or persons I’ve wronged. Make ammends if possible. Tell them how sorry I am for hurting them. Ask them if there is anything I can do to make it right, FOR THEM. DON’T make excuses for what I did, or minimize or rationalize my wrongs. DON’T make my apology be about ME, ie: “Will you please make me feel better by forgiving me?” ~ but rather make it all about THEM: “I hurt you. I know that now. I was very wrong. HOW can I take away YOUR PAIN?”

I’ve been doing this, with my three grown children, during the past year. More than anything else, THIS BLOG of Darlene Ouimet’s, Emerging From Broken, THIS is where~ over the past year~ I have been forced to face my own mothering mistakes!! Painful?? OH YEAH. But WOW it has been so HEALING and FREEING for my kids, AND FOR ME, to face this painful reality!

FEAR NO TRUTH ~ because, Truth Sets Us Free. Even when it hurts, facing Truth, ultimately HEALS.

I used to think that my daughter, and my elder son, had some narcissistic-types of personality problems. I used to think they weren’t showing me the proper respect and consideration that children “should” show to their mother. I used to be really hurt and angry about some of the ways that I thought my adult children weren’t treating me right. But then, I started reading this blog. I started reading about the ways that Darlene’s mother harmed her. I saw a correlation between the ways that Darlene, and others, have been deeply and grievously wounded by their mothers, and the ways that I have been deeply wounded by my own mother. That helped to validate my own pain and brokenness. BUT… I also have seen in some of Darlene’s posts, and some of her readers’ comments, reminders of the ways that I have been a bad mother to my own children.. and seeing that, HURT!

When I began to see these very painful reminders of my own parenting mistakes, I had a choice. Acknowledge where I screwed up as a mother, and try to right my wrongs. OR deny, minimize, excuse, and blame others. Blame my kids… just like my own mother blames me ~ OR ~ give to my 3 grown children the great gift that I wish my mother would give to me: admit to them that I was WRONG. Don’t excuse my wrong, don’t minimize my wrong, don’t tell them how much worse my own mother was to me, than I was to them. Even though that’s TRUE, it does not change a thing, where my children are concerned. My children deserved a happy, loving, secure, sane, safe, childhood home. They did not get that. They got a very broken, screwed up mother, instead. Telling them that “I had it much worse” does NOT help THEM. All that does is invalidate their pain!

Another big DON’T is that I don’t ever tell them how THEIR own failings or faults “drove” me to do or say this hurtful thing or that hurtful thing. It’s bad enough that I hurt them, I don’t need to twist the knife by blaming them, for the ways I failed and hurt them. Making ammends to someone that I realize that I’ve wronged, is about making THEM feel better, not about making ME feel better. But the amazing thing is that when I admit where I was WRONG, and tell them that I would truly give the world to be able to undo the things I’ve done and said that hurt them… without minimzing or excusing.. then I feel better!

None of us are perfect. None of us is without sin. We all screw up. The difference between the redeemable and those who cannot be redeemed, I think, is whether or not we can admit that we have done wrong, and apologize, and make ammends, and then… DO BETTER from now on.

Maya Angelou said: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

Thanks in large part to this blog, I know better, now. And I’m doing better, now. As a result, my daughter and my younger son and I are on wonderful terms, today. We are closer than we have ever been. My elder son and I aren’t there ~ not yet ~ but I hope that will change when I can see him and talk to him in person, later this year.

My older son was in prison, 12 years ago. He was in prison for a year and a half. I refused to go see him while he was in prison. I thought my hard attitude toward him was justified. I know better, now. I know, now, that if ever a person needs their mother’s unconditional love, it is when they are in prison. I screwed up with him, big time. I let him down when he needed me the most. He has every reason to not want to talk to me when I call, and not read or my emails or letters. I let him down. Not visiting him in prison was just one of many ways in which I let him down. I was wrong. I need to tell him that, to his face. I need to tell him that he deserved his mother’s uncondtional love, always, even when he was in prison ~ especially when he was in prison.

If my mother could only own her sins against me, and tell me she is sorry for how horribly she’s treated me, and acknowledge that she does not even deserve to ask me to forgive her, let alone expect me to honor her, and love her, after all the terrible ways she has hurt me… if she could only admit it all, and not try to minimize, and not make excuses for her behavior, and not try to spread the blame… if she would only do these things, then I could so easily forgive her, honor her, and love her! Even though she tried to gas us all to death, when I was 12… even though she literally threw me away, when I was 14… even though she got involved with my first husband… for all those horrible unspeakable evil things, I could forgive her, if only she had the courage to OWN what she has done! But she will not admit, she will not repent, she will not even attempt to make ammends. Instead, she projects her disowned “badness” onto me, her scapegoat. She lies about me, rather than admit the truth about her.

I cannot go back and reparent my 31-year-old son, my 37-year-old daughter, and my 40-year-old son, from infancy on. But I can start RIGHT NOW to heal the wounds between us, by simply giving to them what I would love for my mother to give me: admit the truth that I failed them, admit the truth that they deserved so much better than what they got when they got me as their broken, crazy, screwed-up mother. I have no right to demand forgiveness or understanding or even respect, from them. Now that I know this, now that I am acknowledging this, NOW they are loving me and forgiving me and showing me genuine respect! Well, 2 out of 3 are… so far.

FEAR NO TRUTH. When we face the truth, then we can deal with the truth. When we face the truth, then we are set free. Even when the truth hurts, the only way to deal with it in a healing way, is by facing, and admitting, what is REAL.



“amends” ~ I keep putting two M’s in that word. I need spell check.


Hi Elaina
Thank you for sharing your story and the way that your recovery impacted your family and kids. My kids were much younger when we went through all this, but I looked at things the same way. I had to realize that even though I had not physically or sexually abused them, and even though I was worlds away from the kind of mother that my mother was, I still modeled dysfunction as normal to my kids. And I had to model something different if I wanted them to feel differently about life and about themselves. The phrase “teach only love” went through and still goes through my head constantly. That is my goal and my mantra.
I am glad you are here and I agree ~ FEAR NO TRUTH
Hugs, Darlene


elaine thank u so much and im sorry to hear about ur experience with ur momster trying to gas you and slander you…i hit a low 2 days ago when i felt suicidal because of my situation..i know i made new years resolution to myself that i was going to focus on myself and leave home..i want to leave but i told myself that i needed to be emotionally ready by the time i leave..i even hav 3 selfhelp books but it feels like so much work to do…i keep procrastinating becoz it feels hard


Hi Elaina,

just wanted to say thanks very much for your reply. My sleep’s gone completely off again (very frustrating – it had settled down for a couple of days & I thought I was over the worst of it!) & I haven’t felt like coming on here much, so apologies for late reply.

It’s almost sunrise & brain’s not moving too quick, but as I re-read your post, this bit stood out:

“*I* know when *I* need to drink water, *I* know when *I* need to eat, *I* know when *I* need to rest. I know when something, or someone, makes me feel better, healthier, stronger, happier, and I also know when something, or someone, makes me feel WORSE.”

I realized a little while ago that I’m not good at these things. I’ll be gentle to myself and assume I was trained to be that way. Food especially. And probably sleep too. I remember my father telling me over the years that if you don’t do anything, you’ll end up sleeping 18hrs a day (or something). I’m not sure if that was an intentional scare tactic aimed at me when I was nocturnal, or just a random comment. Anyway I usually feel bad when I sleep during the day. Also only recently realized I’d usually eat myself sick if it was put in front of me. I’ve started being more aware of that, and trying not to. So that’s probably a good thing.

Anyway that’s all for now. Hope you’re well & thanks again


Hi everyone,
Today I first time started to looking into some support group. I have found Overcoming Sexual Abuse on FB (but that is too public place to share my soul there) even I love that place, and the all comments are so common with my experience. I have found there your post and its why I stopped by here. Thank you Darlene Ouimet for forum when we all can open share.

I was sexual abused by my father and uncle.
…my mom was constantly living in place I was was not able to name when I was child. Now I know she was constantly on place her own pain, depression, gilt totally out of present moment, totally out of me and my needs. She was my biological mum but never my mum if you understand what that mean.

I will cat long story short only one example her way of rinse me. When I was 5 or 6 she decided to teach me obey. That day I wanted stay in friend home (last a few nights I have slept there coz decoration at our house) she came forced me to go out and joged. She was walking 100 meters before me I was crying but I was not as quick as she was in walking. She didn’t explained, didn’t discussed.(She always tortured me by silent days). When I get home I found all my cloths packed and one bag hanging on door handle. Door were close, my cry my shout was not successful. That day I beg her all my heart, beg for forgiveness my my bad behaving and please for allowed be back home, I have promised myself and her I will never put her down, I will do everything to make her happy of me….. well, it when and why I have started implicate on me false hope …”if I only” ….I develop so easily denial of needs in order to not get mad.

My mom hated dad but she never was strong to divorce. She is so devoted Christian she would never forgive herself to brake promise to God. They always argued so deeply hurling each others. I hated that and I run of house for study.

Month ago I took my courage to skype my mom. Finally I reached the point in my self rediscovering I was abused by my mom. And that relationship is too toxic and too painful for me. I have ignored all my life my body signals. I have forced myself to visit her twice a year coz my son love hear and farms animals.. I always come back ill emotionally coz she will find any occasions to show me I am nobody. And how wrong I rinse my son and how my brother and sister are wrong. And she is write coz she following bible. And God made her life.

So I skyped and first time I told her I was sexual abused. I have explained why I am not gonna force myself to contact. She didn’t understood, why I am so bitter if so many years pass. And of course she love we as she can. And she sweared her life all life and she will not to it anymore. She said she want speak with me, but she never call. And one day letter come. Of course she love me, she was all life proud of me ( of course coz I dedicated my life to please her, have done study, was musician in church, served many ppl) of course she is aware she was bad mom but 20 years ago we all give life to Jesus so everything now is new. So I should forgive. …She said I forgave myself I didn’t told you I love you and I didn’t hug you when you was ill or any time. She proclaim she is new beginning in Jesus so she expect I will apologize her for call her toxic mother. She don’t understand why I can consider her as toxic in present moment. (actually not many change)
aaaaaaa And if I want be blessed by God I must respect parents.
I respect her but I can’t keep my mouth shout and pretend nothing happens any more.
I am sick be people pleaser all my life, busy buddy who is scared express herself, scared of fear I will again be rejected and forgotten.

Do you experiencing abnormal fear; fear I will lose something I have never had actually. (as mother love, as lover love etc. )

hugs to you all


Hi Meerkat
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
The fear that you speak of is a huge part of this whole thing. I was terrified to lose her. But when you are a kid, rejection is death… (just like your mother threatened to kick you out of the house when you were too young to take care of yourself) and when I grew up I still believed that if my parents left me I would still die. It was a process of realizing that was a false belief. (and there are MANY false beliefs I had to expose as false in order to be free)
Knowing that you fear losing something you never actually had is actually a very good sign! I was in this process for a while before that fear went away. I guess it went away when I finally realized how one sided “the love” was and how one sided our relationship was. It was all about her. And that is not love.

Your comments show a very dramatic example of how a controlling abusive parent can groom a child into compliance and in your case it was done in a very brutal way by showing you that if you did not obey, you were not welcome to stay. What a frightening thing for a child to live through! I am so sorry. Very glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


“struggling to accept the wrong truth” – that is the heart of it for me, Darlene. No amount of prayer, meditation, acceptance, forgiveness, discipline, willpower, compassion, anger, therapy, etc etc etc will ever work until you realize that you have been attempting to accept the wrong truth. There it is. The journey in a nutshell.


Hi Teresa,

I hear you!…”Struggling to accept the Wrong Truth”…that is the Truth of the matter….Well said!


Hi Teresa
Yes.. that was the heart of it for me too and it took a long time to realize that. I base a lot of my writing on this one thing. To find the “real truth” I had to face that I had been taught the wrong truth. (or what i thought was truth!)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Teresa,
#76…. very well said, and something to think about. Thanks for your comment. It blessed me today!!


On a few accasions ive asked my mother why she never talked to me about the birds and the bees her comment was something like this “I thot u learned it already” refering to the abuse i endured as a child.


Hi Morider
Welcome to emerging from broken
That is a horrible answer that she gave to you! And it makes the abuse sound so “normal” or “acceptable” which it certainly is not! Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,
I just wanted to share a memory that came to me recently.

I had panic attacks fairly severely when I was in my early 20s. I was thinking of a question I was asked several years ago, by a counselor. He wanted to know when my first panic attack was, as in, did it happen in childhood.

I asked my mother at the time, when she thought it could have been. She didn’t know, but said she thought I was born with it because I was a nervous child. (not that she’s making sense here).

Anyhow, I tried to figure it out myself recently. When WAS my first panic attack. I always thought it was in my 20s. Now, I recall a time when my mother took me to the movies, just her and myself. I was 11 years old. I remember my age because it was the time my parents separated, and finally divorced. It was a tumultuous, scary, and worrisome time. It was chaotic, their divorce.

For whatever reason, my mother thought it would be fitting to take me to the movie “Kramer vs Kramer”. At first I questioned if she was really dumb enough to do that in the midst of our own family’s upheaval. So, I checked online to see what year that movie came out. Yep, she was dumb enough. I was 11 years old.

When the movie was over, I started crying in my seat. It escalated quickly and I could not control it. We left the theater with my crying hysterically. My mother directed us straight to the bathroom where I continued to cry uncontrollably. She kept saying, “what is wrong with you?”, “what is the matter?” There were several people coming in and out of the restroom since the movie had just ended. I remember them all looking at me. In retrospect, I bet they were thinking, “what is wrong with that poor child?” At the time though, I felt like a huge spectacle. Then I went on to imagine what people might have thought about why I would be crying so hard. Would they actually think my mother was an idiot for taking me to that movie?? Did they imagine we were going through a horrible divorce right then and there, and that’s why I was crying??

I tried to put myself in their place ~ right now. Imagine the same scenario, but I am an outsider…. one of the people in the restroom observing a hysterical 11 year old. I don’t know what I would think if I approached that same scenario in a theater, with a similar or the same movie.

All this led me to wonder…. what in the world was my mother thinking?? Was she TRYING to damage me, screw with my head?? I liken it to losing a faithful family pet, then being dragged to the movies with my mom to watch “Old Yeller”!! What the heck???????? I don’t get it. It was mild torture, and I can make NO sense of it.

Anyhow, I was thinking perhaps that was my first panic attack. Age 11. Thanks mom!!!

Peace and hope,


I remember the sounds of my mother and step-father having sex and it still disgusts me. As a teenager, she would tell me how important sex was and all about her porn videos. She even offered her porn videos to me. It always made me sick the way she talked about sex. She was always flirty with my boyfriends as well. Something is wrong with her, and it took me a long time to quit believing her lies that I was the messed up one.


Hi Sabrina
Welcome to emerging from broken
Those memories still make me shudder too. I am really glad that you know it isn’t you!
Hugs, Darlene


My mother is a N. My father is a sex addict and had affairs and sexual encounters with other women constantly. My mother discussed everything with me like I was her best friend expressing her intimate feelings with me. They had sex with doors open every time. She would use me to help her find evidence that he had been cheating.We would drive to his office at all hours of the night and I was better at finding things than she was. When I was 9 she played me a recording of a phone call my father made to his friend boasting that he had sex with 2 prostitutes earlier that night. She made me ring a woman and told me what to say. She would give me freedom to go out with friends if I gave her information.
She convinced me up until my late teens that we were the only normal family. Every day she would talk about how he ruined her life. Every day, all day! They fought constantly. I figured if she had enough proof, she would leave. When it suited her, I was her confidante and when Dad returned from his ‘business trips’.and I hated him for what he was doing, She would tell me I was a cruel and nasty child and she didn’t like me. I was so confused. When I was 11 he moved out with his secretary for 2 weeks. She said her family would disown her if she took him back. He came to stay for a night and I was sobbing as they both headed for the bedroom.
My sister tried to comfort me and Mum told Dad to sleep downstairs as I was so upset and comforted me in her bed. When I awoke,my dad was giving her oral sex. I went to get up, disgusted, and she pushed my head back on the bed and held me there til they were finished. I hated her. She has never told me she loves me and denies everything.She hasn’t been in my life for many years. I know I can’t be happy if she’s in it and I’m going to get councelling to hopefully one day maintain a somewhat healthy,loving relationship.


Wow Tory,
That is quite a horrifying reality for you. My heart goes out to you. You did not deserve treatment like that. I wish for you only good things in your future. I will pray for your healing. God Bless.


Thankyou Connie.I’ve always felt different to everyone even though I’m adaptable to most situations. It’s almost like some part of me ceased to progress and mature. I always knew I’d never have a ‘grown up’relationship and I’ve maintained quite innocent and child like when it comes to the opposite sex. My mother made me feel dirty and called me a prostitute when I wasn’t having sex. Sometimes I think I should just stay on my own. I’m not bitter. I’m happy. I have 3 beautiful children from a relationship identical to my parents If I can’t have a normal relationship, with trust, I don’t want one at all. I didn’t have sex for 7 years. No sex drive. Too scared. I ended up doing it just to prove to myself that I can.But I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe


Hi Tory
Welcome to EFB
Oh that is really horrible to have had all that going on in your childhood! That is exactly the kind of stuff that I am talking about in this website. Those things leave a big mark and carry a lasting message to the child. You have found the right website!
Thank you for sharing, there is hope for healing and for living life in wholeness and fullness!
Hugs, Darlene


Wow, some of the things you just said I can so relate to. I have never been able to have a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. I had a daughter when I was 24, but her father was never part of her life. I finally got married for the first time when I was 44 years old (when my daughter was grown), but that only lasted about 4 years till I was divorced. I’ve not had a sexual relationship with anyone for almost 6 years now, and I feel as you do, no desire, no trust, incapable of a healthy relationship. It’s comforting to know that I am not unique. We must keep striving for healing for our children and grandchildren….let’s not perpetuate another generation of dysfunction. Peace and Love to you Tory.


This has opened my mind . I didn’t realise until now that my issues with sex in relationships was also part of my toxic relationship with my mum. I had around 20/25 sexual partners in my lat teens/ early 20’s but never enjoyed the sex and thought it was because there was something wrong with me. Now I can see that I was just trying to find someone to love and someone to love me, but they were not the right people, so instinctively the sex wasn’t right cos it didn’t feel right. I have always berated myself for my promiscuity but at the same time felt that non if them really counted because I was just moving on from one to the next to ‘fix’ my problem with sex, because I didn’t really want to do it.

Sadly, I found the right one recently but I’m not the right one for him…. But the good thing is I get it now.


Hi Ginette
Awesome connection Ginette. Thanks for sharing it with me.
Hugs, Darlene


I’m new to this forum, so the first thing I want to say is thank you, because reading through your honest, moving posts helps me feel not alone.
I hope you won’t mind me posting my long story here. I’m at the stage where I realise I have to face these problems and reclaim my life. I’m 45, never married and have no kids.

My Mum has always had boundary issues. They manifested fully for the first time when I was 8. She was having an affair behind my Dad’s back and didn’t cover up the signs – to me and my older sister. We’d come home from school and they’d just be getting out of bed. She’d say ‘don’t tell your Dad’.
Finally he found out and they separated. So we’d go to visit her at weekends. Her new boyfriend at this stage shared a flat and had one room to himself. It was a large room with two single beds and a sofa. I was given the sofa. During the night I woke up because I heard noises. In full light, on top of the covers, my Mum was having sex (from behind) with her boyfriend. They were playing music quite loudly too. I stayed quiet though I needed to use the loo. I stayed awake until they switched the lights off, then after a long while finally went to the loo. This behaviour continued over several years when we visited. Mum divorced Dad, we stayed in the house with Dad but visited her at weekends. She’d walk around naked and leave the door partly open while she had oral sex with her boyfriend. I’d hear her ‘talking dirty’ to him.

He hated me and at one point actually went to attack me but my Mum intervened. Inevitably I started to mess up at school. My Mum became violent with me on one or two occasions and tried to pull me around by the hair. She also tried to throttle me with a thick chain I wore as a necklace. When I shouted at her she told my Dad, and when I was back at his house he came into my bedroom in the middle of the night when he was drunk, pulled the covers off me, prodded me in the chest and said ‘don’t you ever call my wife names again’. They were divorced by this time. Other than this my Dad has been consistently kind and protective, if a bit spineless concerning my mum. He never knew any of this was happening.

Finally her boyfriend had an affair and she threw him out. By this time I’d been placed in a children’s psychiatric home as I was severely withdrawn and didn’t go to school. I left the home when I was 15 and decided I wanted to mend the relationship with my Mum. She hadn’t bought me a birthday present in years so I bought her a silk scarf and asked her to tell me how things had gone wrong for her.

We started to ‘get on well’. I.e. we covered up the cracks and it seemed all was well. Though she was deeply resentful and jealous if boys flirted with me and also when I started to date. She’d say ‘It’s me they’re interested in’. She tried to turn my sister against me by saying I was probably trying to have sex with my sister’s boyfriends. She was never ever there for me when I was confused or hurt, or when I was sexually attacked in the street, she blamed me and the clothes I was wearing.

Fast forward to my late teens and early twenties and her sexually inappropriate behaviour continued. When I was dating a new boyfriend she’d say things like ‘Oh, can I come and sleep on the end of the bed with you both?’. Or she’d ask to come along on a date. I never challenged it until I was about 30. I said ‘Why did you have sex in front of me when I was only 9?’. She replied ‘You shouldn’t have been looking’. I tried again a few months later, I said ‘I want you to apologise for having sex in front of me when I was a child’. She then apologised.

Her weirdness didn’t stop though, during conversations she’d stare at my breasts and often make sexually inappropriate remarks.
Also she was deeply resentful and cold towards any new men in my life. The only man she liked was the one who abused me, the worst relationship of my entire life. It’s no surprise that my happiest and longest term relationship happened when I was living away from home for four years. He and I moved back to my home town and within a year the relationship was finished. I also started smoking again.

For the past few years she’s seemed more normal and I was beginning to relax. The boundary issues were more about her expecting me to socialise with her and her friends, which I was not interested in. I’d say no and she’d guilt trip me. For her 70th birthday my sister and I organised a lovely party for her. I took her to the shops and helped her choose a lovely outfit. I bought her a bottle of a rare perfume she loves.

What hurts right now is that she abused this. At her party she leaned her breasts into my face and went to give me an open mouthed kiss on the lips. It was horrific. Her face had an expression of lust. When I recall it, it’s like it’s in slow motion and it makes me feel utter disgust. I feel completely betrayed. It was as if she felt I’d done all these nice things, and helped her look beautiful for her party, in order to be seduced by her. She seemed to want to share her self confidence and the fact she felt good about herself as a woman, with me, but in the most horrible way

That was three weeks ago and I’ve not wanted to see her because she makes me feel sick. I had to see her today with the rest of the family and it was difficult. She was trying to make me come to dinner and guilt tripping me. I don’t want to be around her, and at the same time, I feel pity for her because she will be devastated by my distance. She’s incapable of forming intimate relationships with friends and hasn’t got a partner. My Dad still loves her and they’re quite close friends now and see each other regularly.

A good friend came round tonight and I talked about it, which helped a lot, my friend’s a lovely caring woman and a brilliant mother to her children, so she just couldn’t understand how a mother could behave this way.

I now know I have to do the hard work (that all of you have either done, or are doing) of facing this head on. I have to seek therapy to support me while I begin to properly challenge my Mum’s behaviour and face the problems that will cause. I might not have a family after I do this. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. But I feel emotionally crippled and I’ve had enough

What’s hurtful, is that I have to face the fact I don’t have, never had, and never will have the loving protective mother I would have wanted, and deserved. I don’t know how to build a romantic relationship and that’s difficult because it’s lonely. I know you all feel this pain about your Mums too. I also know that some of you have experienced much worse and I can’t tell you how sad that makes me feel, but also hopeful when I read this forum because sharing and acknowledging what happened is the first step.

I wish all of you love and support while you deal with your ‘Momsters’ and move forward to the free and happy life you deserve.


Hi Golddust
Welcome to EFB Thank you for sharing your story. The abuse you suffered is no less than horrific than what anyone else here shares. Please hear that, it is so important to your healing that you don’t minimize it.
Not having a family was not the horror I imagined it to be. This year I find myself already excited about Christmas; each year it gets better! With each year that passes, I have a deeper awareness of the absence of the anxiety I lived with. I don’t have to ‘brace’ myself anymore.
The truth for me is that I miss the fantasy of what I could have had more than anything else. I longed for a different kind of mother, and I thought that I could love her enough to make her into that person, but it wasn’t about me, it was about her. 🙁
I am glad you are here,
hugs, Darlene


Love this article very much and it sure brings clarity to a once messed up mind. I can see so clearly now how I went to extremes in my behaviour to find some kind of order and balance in my life.

My parents both had completely different ways of parenting which I discovered once they split up. My parents had this us against the kids kind of mentality. I used to do the why thing too because it was my way of giving them back what was theirs. Now I see that I just need to focus on my part and their stuff just falls away naturally. I wanted them to be accountable for their part but they never would, they preperred to through us under the bus than own their crap. I love the truth, the truth is freedom and empowerment. It’s not so fun unravelling all the crap but the reward is well worth it.

Thank is not enough to express what you do here. You have no idea how much you have helped me grow. Namaste sista!


Oh holy cow–I can not believe there is another person out there with my story. My dad left my mom when I was 2 because she was having an affair because she wasn’t getting enough attention from my workaholic father. My mom continued to drink and bring men home and sleep with them and then stay in bed until noon (when I would make them eggs, toast and take it to them). From age 2 until I went to live with my dad at age 15–some times mom would take me to the men’s home and I would sleep in the guest room. Some times we would go on trips and they would screw in the next bed over in the same room. I hated those men and was seen as “a difficult child” because I didn’t unconditionally accept them in our home and jump on board with them taking time my mom should have been spending with me. I knew what they were doing was “bad” and I knew it because my grandparents disowned us because of her behavior. I knew it because friends teased me. I knew it because it was different than other families. I knew it because when I begged my friend to stay at her house for the umpteenth time her mom finally said in a judgemental way “where IS your mom?” Like I was somehow a freak. And I knew it because there were icky feelings swirling around in me. So, when I grew up and it came time for me to have sex–hormones raging and internal hating of sex–how could I possibly merge those conflicts and “do it”? Alcohol! Yep that gave me the lube to get me past all the internal bells of uncomfortable that went off whenever sex came up. And then when sex wasn’t on the table, alcohol was discovered as a way to numb out what I’d done on alcohol and how to deal with ALL bad feelings because god knows no one else took the time to teach me how to deal. Until 3/6/97 the day I stopped wanting to live and tried to stop. That day is also the day I stopped drinking. Coming up on 18 years. So, alcohol (my coping mechanism) gone. Now what? Therapy. Lots of therapy. Antidepressants. Diet. Exercise. Self help. Now… Buddhism and meditation and more therapy and vitamin supplements and exercise. The battle wages on. For 2.5 years now I have not been able to bring myself to have sex with my husband. Reading this post reminds me that I’m angry and it seems I will never get past all the damage done. That it has scared me for life. That I’m messed up and that I should get over it because life is ticking away (I’m 51) and because other people had it worse and because I should turn my focus to more positive things. Ugh. What a life.


My goodness. This is so eerily similar to my own story. Except, my mum didn’t take me to bars with her, didn’t talk to me about men, didn’t teach me about being feminine or how to even what sex was. My mum went on and on about her rights. My mum, would make conversation about my sisters and which one was really more attractive and could do well in finding a mate. She said absolutely NOTHING about me. My middle sister would be the prettiest, but her ‘hippy-like’ fashion sense made her ugly. Little sister was the prettiest then. My mum called me gay because no one was knocking on my door to date me. Never mind the fact that I had been molested when I was younger and BOTH of my parents did NOTHING to help me. Never-mind the fact that men seemed to scare me. I have a disfigurement, there weren’t a lot of guys asking me out. I am not gay, not that it matters. I was almost 23 when I first had sex. and I am STILL married to that same man. I really think I shocked my whole family when I did get married and did have children. I honestly think they never suspected it would have happened to me. Meanwhile, my two sisters have since divorced and remarried. They had their first sexual experiences at a really young age. It’s interesting to finally understand that sick and unhealthy are so obvious once you get past the dysfunction of looking at my life through the lenses of my sick family. Thanks Darlene for pulling the wool away from our eyes. You are wonderful.


Hi Darlene,

I have similar memories of hearing my mother having loud sex in the middle of the day when I was younger. I felt the same way in that I thought there was something wrong – until I got a little older and realized it was sex. Although I don’t remember her having a lot of different partners, it was embarrassing. Her main partner in this was her boyfriend who lived with us for most of my childhood – my parents divorced when I was 4 and he moved in when I was about 6. He was a manipulative, disgusting tyrant. My brothers and I hated him. In my memory although I’ve learned they were there beforehand, he brought the drugs into our home. Because the drugs were there, I was always told to never talk about it to other people and I could never bring friends home – something I still struggle with today even though I live in my own home. I would die of embarrassment if I had friends over and they heard her having sex!

When I was about 11 years old, this man molested me. I told her right away which is weird because I had been molested by my uncle for years before this and never told her. I think because her boyfriend lived with us (and my uncle didn’t) empowered me to tell her. While my mom was very upset, she immediately instructed me to protect myself by never, ever coming out of my bedroom or the bathroom unless I was fully dressed and keeping my bedroom door closed at all times. He wasn’t home at the time but got home late that night. I heard her confront him and heard him telling her that someone must have convinced me to lie to her. Some time after that, my mom started therapy. After about a year, she kicked him out of the house. Then I had a few therapy sessions but I was so screwed up, I couldn’t open up to the therapist.

Years later, I confessed to someone I trusted about my uncle who immediately told my family. My family pretty much brushed it under the table. NOT ONE OF THEM ASKED ME ABOUT IT and I never heard any repercussions.

About 15 years later, the information about my uncle came out again and THEN, the family decided to take action! Their action was to have a ‘family meeting’ where some family members grilled me for details about the abuse until I was completely fractured. That was about 18 years ago and over the course of that last 5 years or so, I realized that I was re-victimized by that ‘family meeting’.

I read somewhere recently that we can’t expect ‘normal’ responses to disclosure from dysfunctional families – I think it was a quote from Allies in Healing. This made SO SO much sense to me. It doesn’t make it right but I understood. Nowadays, when my mother complains that I don’t allow her to participate in my life as much as SHE’D like, I just tell her that I’m doing the best I can with what I have.

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your insight, experiences, and knowledge, for letting us all know that we are not alone and that we CAN HEAL!


“My mother deserves to be happy. Men make her happy. I have no right to interfere with her happiness. I have no right to feel uncomfortable about hearing my mother doing this stuff. I have no rights.”

Wow, wow, wow. My mother treated me as though I had no right to speak up to a man who emotionally abused me and physically assaulted my brother because she “deserved to be happy.” I spent my entire life accommodating their dysfunction in more ways that I can count, including making myself appear less educated and less intelligent, validating her husband, making him feel smart, and never ever speaking up about how he shamed me all my life for just being. No matter what I did, it was never right. I was never good enough. It was healing to finally shift my perspective and realize his developmental level was that of an adolescent. I was an adolescent when he entered my life, and I can see now how incredibly bright and talented I was as a twelve year old. He was and is jealous and remarkably resentful. He never has been able to control me, to influence my decisions. Which fueled his efforts to shame me further. I am about to graduate with a Master’s degree in Social Work, my dream come true, and I’m sure he’s inflamed that he had no influence, no say, no involvement in it. In therapy I realized that all these people, including him, who have abused me… they needed me far more than I needed them. My presence in their life was far more beneficial to them than their presence in mine. I am a healer. I inspire and motivate others. I care about people. They benefited from having me around, not just as a punching bag, but as someone who is sensitive to how other people feel. Now that I have extended my compassion to myself, they can no longer hurt me. I no longer let them. I believe I deserve protection now. I believe I have a right to speak up now. Through this site, I learned “You don’t need people to validate you. The only way to heal is to validate yourself.” Thank you so much for that.


This post really validates me…after my parents got divorced when I was 8, mymother started taking me to bars, and bringing home men….not only could I hear loud sexual activity from my bedroom, sometimes I would actually be in the room while she was having sex with them…..one of them she eventually married…he would touch me in sexual ways in front of her and she did nothing to stop it….and that was just the tip of the iceberg….to this day she can admit no wrongdoing….she truly believes she’s perfect, and that I am completely responsible for everything that happened to me……


Hi Everyone!
Welcome to the new people on this thread! (and my apologies for the late reply)

Cherie, I am so sorry that this happened to you. They should have both been charged. Children are never responsible for horrific illegal behaviour like that!
hugs, Darlene

It is really great to have all of you here and I hope you will consider joining the more current conversations through the home button.


What a sick disgusting witch!!!!!!! That makes me so freaking mad!!!!!! My mother was a witch too!

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