Inspirational Quotes that Cause Harm saying HOW you Got Screwed Up

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Damaging inspirational quotesI saw a poster on facebook.  It reminded me of the extremely foggy place that I emerged from.  It reminded me of the lies that I told myself in order to resist looking at the truth about my life. Believing this type of statement, (or trying to) became a big part of how I survived. It was also how I beat myself up. 

The poster states: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it’s supposed to be”

~ Survival thinking was: “As soon as I can achieve this standard and realize that my own thinking and expectations are the problem then, I will be able to put the problem (which is really all in my head) behind me.”

~ Self abusive thinking was: “I am a failure at getting over the past because I am the one who is wrong about it; I should be able to realize that my expectations are way out of line.”

Again, The poster states: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it’s supposed to be”

This poster is intended to be motivational and inspirational. The poster is inferring that “fantasy thinking” is the root of the problem. That unreasonable visions of how it should have been “screws us up”.  That this fictional thought in my head is what screwed ME up.

I have heard this type of teaching in 12 step programs, self help books, churches and religious teachings and from countless people.  I learned and tried to accept that my problem was that I longed for some sort of “perfect family” like we saw on television and that there is no such family. I learned to tell myself to “get real” and get over the past. Just “let it go”. I learned and tried to accept that my “expectations” got in the way of my ability to accept reality as though the reality that I was trying to accept was actually good.  As though the bad stuff wasn’t bad but that I had some unreasonable wish for how it was “supposed to be.”  I was conditioned and brainwashed to believe that I was making a big deal over “nothing” and that the breakdown of my mental health and self esteem issues were not only of my own making but also my own fault, my “failure” and my weakness”.  I learned that I had “a problem” instead of that this was all caused FROM a problem that had nothing to do with my choice.

The fact is that my reality was not good. If what screwed me up in life was the picture in my head of how it was supposed to be, then what screwed me up was that I thought I was supposed to be safe and protected. I thought I was supposed to be loved and even nurtured. I thought that I should not have had to live in fear of the next beating or the next sexual assault.  I thought THAT was how it was supposed to be. 

I was caught in a fog spin by these so called inspirational and motivational quotes.  These kinds of sayings and quotes were the things that I lived by. I would have posted this quote 10 years ago without blinking an eye. These so called motivational and inspirational quotes supported me in escaping the truth of what my life was really like.  As long as I was telling myself that it wasn’t “that bad” and that I had the wrong idea about what it should have been like, I didn’t face what actually had in fact happened to me.

And what had in fact happened is NOT the way it SHOULD have been.

It is not motivating or inspiring to try to convince people that they have a misconception about their own lives.  It causes further damage. It adds to the trauma that being mistreated and devalued already caused. It is not helpful when people or organizations try to encourage people to move forward before the actual truth has been validated.  It is abusive to invalidate the truth by teaching that facing it or talking about it is the same as whining and even the same as lying about it.

Facing the fact that things in my life were NOT the way that they should have been was one of the first things that gave me hope for recovery from the issues that I struggled with overcoming. Being told and then realizing myself that what happened to me was wrong, that is was child abuse and emotional neglect, and that it was not something that I should try to accept as being “meant to be” or something that “made me stronger” or fabrications and exaggerations that were “all in my head” helped to set me free. Understanding how much these beliefs held me back was like silky healing balm on festering wounds.

Overturning these beliefs became keys in the rusty locks of the prison I had been trapped in since childhood.  My childhood (and because of this brainwashing, continuing on into adulthood) was NOT the way it SHOULD have been.  It was NOT my weakness, my imagination or fantasy thinking that was the problem; it was that the things that happened to me were WRONG and those things CAUSED the problems. 

I was screwed up because of the way things actually were. 

I found wholeness and freedom by facing the way that things actually were.

NOTE: I spent over 25 years trying to change my thinking about what was wrong with me by accepting that it was ME.  It only took me 3 years to find freedom and wholeness by facing the root causes of my struggles.  

Please share your thoughts and insights with me and the other readers here.  Remember that you do not have to use your real name in the comment form. Your email address will not be shared and only the name you choose will show up in the comment thread.

Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet                                       

Related Posts ~ The Problem with Statements like “Get Over It” 

~When Inspirational Material triggers Self Blame

Emerging from Broken on Facebook

62 response to "Inspirational Quotes that Cause Harm saying HOW you Got Screwed Up"

  1. By: joy Posted: 30th November

    J

    No, I am not hiding from this site.. I am just hiding out from everyone in general till the case happens. I love everyone but am so nervous that I need to just back away from everything, I havent even been on facebook as much. I just need time to clear my head and rest.. because I have som very stressful days..

    I am sorry if anyone thought I was hiding from them or here..

    Thanks for all the support, Please pray for me

    Joy

  2. By: DisturbedAngel Posted: 30th November

    Yet another amazing post. Am so happy I happened upon this place the other day!

    I have been told by many people in my life that my expectations are/were too high and for a long time, I believed that. The thing is – and this post sort of confirms it for me – my expectations really AREN’T that unreasonable. Simply wanting to be treated with kindness and respect, to not have people who are supposed to love you purposely seek out ways to hurt you, or even to just be left alone if they can’t/won’t be nice is NOT that unreasonable a request!

    Thank you so much Darlene for this forum and your amazing insights!

    DA xx

  3. By: J Posted: 30th November

    My pleasure Joy…

    I’ve been on the receiving end here and I know how much it can mean. I wish you strength, hope, support, love & light…. and protection (in terms of being afraid of going to court).

    Did you mean you’re “hiding” from this site? I often feel worried too about letting all my negativity out…. this may not be a good thing, but I usually just do it anyway and figure it’s better out than in, and that people don’t have to read it (in fact as I think about it, sometimes I put a little “disclaimer” at the start of a msg before I post, so people can at least skip ahead if they don’t want to see negative stuff)

    Anyway the point I’m trying to get to is (from my viewpoint at any rate) if you think it would help you to be on here at the moment, I think you should just do it. Maybe others can pass some more positive energy on to you — and although I haven’t been posting here that long myself, it’s been long enough to know that you pass on a LOT of positivity of your own to others!! 🙂

    I guess that’s advice again. Or maybe it’s just an opinion. Hard to figure out what’s kosher sometimes.

    Nothing to be sorry about btw (I figure no such thing as a late response – everyone’s got their own lives going on). Any response is a good one, I reckon! 🙂 Thankyou very much for the birthday wishes too — I’d been so worried about things “coming to a head” in terms of my family being all happy & wanting me to play the dutiful happy son role, but it was definitely manageable. (I crashed pretty hard the next day though — hadn’t really considered the potential “comedown” after all the stress leading up to it)

    And while I think of it, I actually have some GOOD news for once 🙂 I got a letter today saying I’d be receiving a back-payment for several months welfare money, and just remembered to check my bank account — it’s actually in there!!!! (The number has three “zero’s” on the end — my bank account hasn’t seen that in a loooooong time!) 🙂

    So I’m thinking I might spoil myself with something I’ve been eyeing off on ebay for a while.

    Take care Joy – still thinking of you!!!

    Sending you hugs & wishing you strength!

    J

  4. By: joy Posted: 30th November

    HI J

    Thanks for being here.. still. It means so much to me .. all the support and love given here.. You are wonderful.. It’s very very hard for me right now.. so much so I am “hiding” .. afraid. . because am so nervous I might pass on the wrong energy.

    I am sorry for late response. I hope your birthday was beautiful.

    Joy

  5. By: Robin Posted: 29th November

    You know, if the 12-step organizers and church personel need proof that something real is happening to people, all they need to do is look at the scores of people who are suffering as a result of the abuse. If it wasn’t really a problem and was all in our heads then the 12-steps and the churches would have ‘cured’ it by now, right?

    People trip me out sometimes.

    Robin

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th November

      Robin
      This is such a valid statement you have made here. That is what I keep saying too. People are even in denial about that too; when I was in both those orginizations, I said it was the answer all the time. But then it wore off and I was back to hurting agian. I didn’t want to admit that I was hurting agian becaue I felt that I had found my last hope, so I lied to myself and beat myself up that “I couldn’t get over it”. I made sure that the true healing I found was NOT a band aid BEFORE I started this website. This time I am not whisteling in the dark to keep my spirits up. I am really living in wholeness and freedom because I finally got to the bottom of the dang problem!
      The truth and facing the truth is the cure. (and I know that is a HUGE non specific statement but I have written hundereds of articles about what I mean by that in this site…)
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: J Posted: 28th November

    Joy,

    just wanted to say I’m still thinking of you w/court coming up. Hope the deep breathing I remember you mentioning might be helping you ease the pain even a little.

    I feel like I had gotten very very good at putting on the happy face mask for most of my life and felt like I convinced most people things were good. It felt like a huge thing to ever actually reply to “how’s it going?” with anything even slightly honest. I also relate to what you mention about religion.

    Anyway keep giving yourself as much love and care as you possibly can while you get through this horrible time and know that I’m doing my best to think of you & wish you peace as often as I can.

    (My brain’s giving me some grief about being a “broken record” or trying to make myself seem like a “good” person by trying to be so sympathetic for others etc. But I’m not going to let it stop me posting this, because I know how much I’ve appreciated comments and support from people on here since I started posting).

    take care Joy!
    🙂

  7. By: joy Posted: 25th November

    Hi Darlene..

    It took me so long to come to a place where I can begin to open up to anyone what had happened to me. It was a grace the first time I could speak to someone the hurt that I had pushed so very deep down inside me into some very small hidden place.I use to believe that if I kept on . .no one need know what happened. I had everyone believing life was wonderful. I never dared say I come from a \totally screwed up dysfunctional family and I was probably totally screwed up and dysfuntioal to. I was doing so well at keeping it hid!!so well.

    then 2009 happend..something so traumatic triggered all the traumatic that was hidden deep down in me to erupt big time.. I was shaking and shaking the first time i came to admit to myself I needed help. what kind of person would allow another adult to take over their life and order them to do this and that.. I knew I was a very broken and hurt person. I was ashamed to admit I needed help .but tears were falling for the first time and I couldn’t handle the normal every day things because i was totally traumatized and re traumatized. now i had not just one traumatic time in my life but two ..

    THere are still those who are “CHRISTIAN” who are telling me just give it all to God .. tell it to God sweety …. etc etc.. Thing is all my life I was telling it to God.. but I was still so so broken.. God seems to be telling me now tell it to the doctors.. tell it to the therapists.. tell it to the world.

    I am shy . .and scared to say all but I am beginning to uncover all those things I had kept inside my secret place.. .. I have a wonderful therapist now and all you good people here in this group .. and Darlene who is so supportive.. How can I not begin to heal?

    Hugs..

    Joy

  8. By: Pinky Posted: 25th November

    @Darlene, The thinking for themselves to me is the most powerful statement in this whole thread. I do believe one of the problems with having expectations based on society pressures is that people dont think for themselves. I live in NYC but had the misfortune of living on Long Island for 2 and a half horrible years. The entire island thinks alike. Interesting child abuse is rampant there and people cover it up. There are some good people but most do not think for themselves which causes people to go along with it.I think thinking outside the box is one powerful defense against child abuse or any other kind of abuse. I do not think I would have been 100& healed of cancer if I did or thought what was expected. I am not in remission. Doctors say I am healed and they have never seen anything like it.

  9. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th November

    Yes Kate
    and part of the whole problem is how disempowered as children we are; how brainwashed that if we make the wrong choice, we will be rejected and that being rejected (as a child) equals death.. and that belief is still in there.
    Imagine if the world was full of empowered children who were nurtured to grow up and be individuals who learned to think for themselves??
    Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Kate Posted: 25th November

    21-
    Sort of reveals how manipulators work, doesn’t it? GREAT point about change! Anyone can do it.

  11. By: Sophia Posted: 24th November

    Something else occurs to me when I think about this phrase, this idea that it is a problem to believe that things could or should be different than how they are. Hey, people have change the world because they refused to give up on the idea that conditions should be different! This is what brought an end to slavery, or allowed women to vote, or created all sorts of changes socially, politically, spiritually, because some people DID think that having a vision of how things could be better was not a problem they should give up on, because they were not content with accepting the “reality” of the times.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th November

      Sophia!
      That is my goal. To change the way we think about love, parenting, equality and personal value. To expose the misuse of power and control at the root of it all. I don’t like the reality of the times; it kept me sick and stuck. I don’t agree with the way things are now!
      Great Points Sophia, thanks for sharing them!
      Hugs!

  12. By: Pinky Posted: 24th November

    HI Darlene, I agree it is always a good day to give thanks! I have been on my healing journey since I was 28 years old. I am now 48 and truth is very important to me. I understand the things my biological family did to me. Having said that, I used to volunteer for 9 years on a suicide hot line. We have to take a lot of information to figure out if a person is actually suicidal or not. Many are just lonely and call just to talk. From my experience on the suicide line and with someone I was once close to the majority are not always depressed but just on Holidays where they are told by society to feel a certain way. I agree with hat you are saying but there is also truth in the reason some are depressed is because of unrealistic expectations. Not saying they didnt have a dysfunctional family, just saying that society puts so much pressure and some give into it to feel a certain way just because it is a certain day and they expect to feel a certain way. I am talking about people such as my ex husband who was a drug addict who was only really depressed at the holidays or those who call the suicide line who think by a certain age they should be married with kids and commercials and society pressures them into thinking they are lacking. As far as abuse I think you know I feel it is 100% wrong on any level and abuser survivors suffer tremendously on all levels. But I do agree with the idea that many just get depressed for the holidays due to giving into society pressures and expectations. I always have been a nonconformist and conforming to peoples expectations has never been my thing. I have been physically sick. There are a lot of physical issues at once. But I am grateful for my life and dont expect because it is a holiday I won’t feel sick. My husband serves the homeless on holidays in spite of challenges he has with his family and life and I just feel expecting that because it is a holiday that all of the sudden life will be very different is unrealistic and just know from experience that some who suffer mainly on the holidays suffer due to unrealistic expectations. I am saying this all as an abuse survivor who has survived incest, rape physical abuse from parents and my ex husband,also cancer and physical illness , and I have faced it all in truth. Not saying I do not struggle not saying that at all just saying that there are real truths on both side of this and both can and are right in my opinion.

  13. By: Sophia Posted: 23rd November

    I just realized that these kind of sayings used to make me feel guilty and “backward” too! Same thing with people who would so earnestly tell me how they “understood” and “forgave” their parents for hurting them. I felt that I must really be some kind of monster for not being so compassionate, and I would beat myself up further. Now I realize I’ve changed, I’m not interested in what sounds pretty or makes someone look like some kind of saint. I’m interested in what WORKS.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Hi Pam
      There was an element of this the way that I raised my kids too, and an even bigger one in my marriage where I was willing to take responsibility for the results of everything that went wrong. I spend a huge amount of time on this in my healing esp. in the first year. And people LOVE to let others take the blame and it seemed like my life was just spiralling out of control until I wanted to leave home. (the beginning of my journey to real recovery started 8 years ago when I began to see that my kids were learning, agreeing with and contributing to the discounting treatment of me that I had actually taught them was acceptable by letting my parents and my husband do it! This is a huge subject, thanks for highlighting it!
      Thanks for your comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Sophia!
      Exactly what I am getting at here! Yay
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Sherie Posted: 23rd November

    I’ll see what I can do to clarify what I meant earlier, Darlene.

    An example. In the past, when an incident would haunt me, repeating through my head, I would be thinking about all the things that I could have done to keep what happened from coming about in an attempt to recognize my mistakes in the future and correct for them sooner.

    Now, I try to sit with the memory of the experience. Hold it, let it remind me of the feelings that went with the event. Then, instead of looking at things *I* could have done, take each and every one that my mind might try to throw at me and reframe it into something that someone else could have done instead.

    Or remind myself that if it hadn’t happened in the way it did, I wouldn’t have learned that lesson as quickly, and who knows how far behind I could be now if that were the case? Asking myself why? Why is it just this way? Why are these statements sounding so certain, when I know I was a victim? Why am I still looking at what *I* did, searching for my fault in there?

    All of those come into play too, but for me it has to start with reminding myself to find the root memory, live in it fully for a moment, and then ask why *I* am still looking for my own fault in something that was not of my making or under my control. Stopping that line of self-blame from continuing, and even being compassionate and comforting to the part of me that would feel better if it *were* all my fault after all, that all feels so very important to me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Hi Sherie,
      I have heard of this type of exercise; thank you for clarifying.
      My system and process of recovery were very different from what you describe here. I just look at the facts about what happened and what I believed about myself because of them without trying to do all that other stuff. For instance I looked at this trauma event where a babysitter sexually abused me. As I processed it, I realized that I believed I should have been able to stop it. That enabled me to realize that I thought I “chose” not to stop it. That made me realize that I believed that I had “consented” not to stop it because I believed I could have and did not. This was a HUGE revelation for me. Overcoming those beliefs was the process of seeing that I COULD not have stopped it first by processing how I thought I could have stopped it, and then by realizing how wrong that was.
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Kate Posted: 23rd November

    The price of mass education is high. It cost us our sanity if we try to follow it. It takes money from our bank accounts to support those who provide it. It divides us from others, who otherwise might have been our friends, but in these settings, end up being our judges.

  16. By: Karen Posted: 23rd November

    We are 100% NOT responsible for other people’s actions or behavior. We are only 100% responsible for our own behavior. I try not to tell my son, “You MAKE me so angry.” No, instead, I CHOOSE to let his behavior anger me or I CHOOSE to remain calm. It’s MY choice.

  17. By: Pam Posted: 23rd November

    Hi Darlene, I watched a movie on Lifetime (I am on vacation)about a mother and father who were being abused by their teenage daughter. In an argument over what was happening to them, the dad told the mom that no matter what the kids dis wrong while they were growing up, she twisted it around until it seemed that it was her fault. I jumped when he said that because that is exactly how I was when I raised my kids and with some of the same result. I not only hurt myself by trying to accept responsibility for everything that went wrong, the way I was taught to, but I hurt my children too. One thing I’ve learned about inspirational teachings is that they seldom adress the needs of people from highly dysfunctional families. However, the Bible itself has helped me when I tossed out the way that cerain portions of scripture are taught and spiritually, applied them to my own situation. The truth is so important in healing and each survivor must find that truth for themselves. Trying to control the uncontrolable or taking responsibility when something goes wrong as the result of another’s actions, is a lie. Like you, when I quit lying to myself, things started to get better.Bearing the responsibility for my own actions only is so much easier and life is so much happier.

    Pam

  18. By: carol Posted: 23rd November

    i still get told t this day that the way i see things is wrong because it doesnt fit into how someone else wants me to see a situation. also because i now wont take what others say to me as truth and question ho wthings are in reality and not just in their heads, i am and have had abuse heaped on me. how i hate that my opinions of family life have been skewed by how my parents and their families treated me, but then to have someone tell me i havent a clue what im on about and am projecting my anger from my childhood into the present. and how am i meant to project my opinion then? if i cannot use my life experiences to state an opinion what do i have to use, the opinions of others – who might never have been in the situations i have been in and use words of academia’s giants to state my case. mmm why is my truth not as relevant as someone who has researched the issue but never been in the situation in reality. (got me uni head on). arghhhhh so who’s version should we agree is based in fact or fantasy, mine or theirs. it that horrible word perception that causes so many problems

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Carol
      I may be misunderstanding you; what you have written is a little complicated but ~ Why do they have to agree with you in order for you to be right? One of the biggest freedoms for me has been to just KNOW that I am right about MY truth and that “they” (some) are always going to say that I am wrong. I don’t care if they think or say that I am wrong. I dont need them to validate my “right” any more. AND I am free. I disagree with many many so called professionals. I get requests from therapists all the time who want to guest post for me. (they are trolling for clients) I have never agreed with a post enough to allow it on my site! What is funny about this is that I am the one with all the readers! NOT them!

      My daughther is in UNI now too, and she regularly disagrees with her psych proff and she doesn’t worry about who is right. I love to hear the stories about how they are taught this stuff. I don’t agree with much of it!
      Here is what I do know for sure. This process that I write about has set me free. The truth about my past and facing that truth is what set me free. I don’t care if it validated by the medical/psychiatric community because I am free. (and many of them don’t want to recommend facing the past becasue they themselves might have to do it too)
      Hugs,!
      Darlene

  19. By: Sophia Posted: 23rd November

    Thanks again, Darlene. I also found that all those years of trying to change my thinking didn’t help, just made it worse it seems. But the last two years of simply finding and facing the truth, the truth that it was not my thoughts that hurt me, but abuse and neglect on the part of others, and then feeling ALL the emotions that came up as a result, has truly changed me and my life. I have moved beyond long-term addictions of all kinds, and I am becoming confident and effective in ways I never dreamed possible. I still have many rough patches, but realizing the truth gives me the tools I need to cope with them.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi Libby
      Yes I agree ~ many of these seem like ways to just not look at reality and without meaning to, they inspire a deep down guilt and the feeling that the reader is the only one that doesn’t “get it” and the only one that can’t move forward.
      I love your comments. Fantasy thinking sustained us all as children. It was such a gift… but it got in the way when I was trying to live as an adult.
      and You are right, it was the responsibility of others to believe YOU. And I love the rant…so don’t be sorry.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Sophia,
      The longer that I live in the truth and discover more truth, the more freedom and happiness that I experience.
      I love your victory comments here! Thank you so much for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Libby Posted: 23rd November

    There ae tiems when some of the posts on facebook feel like a slap in the face. Glib, trite phrases that are trotted out to “inspire” – or perhaps they just let someone off the hook, so they don’t have to look at the reality of some peoples’ lives. Another recent post was about how “wonderful” families are. Not mine – not yours either. It was like being punched in the stomach.
    I remember dreaming about a different family, trying to think myself into being “better” so that I would get better attention and care – it never happened. So then the thought process develops that this is all tehre is, this is what I “deserve”, that it will never be any different. Workshops I have attended over the decades told me variations on the theme that if I only BELIEVED enough/properly then I would be healed. Another lie. Or give myself over to a higher power – Hmmm – in my childhood, the “higher power” was my abuser. So I was not about to go there again….. Religion – well, in my mind, where was God when I was being hurt?? He was no more present than my parents when it came to protecting me, punishing my abusers. SO much psycho-babble and B……t.
    It was not me who needed to “believe” – it was the responsibility of others – parents, teachers, etc, to BELIEVE ME when I told them I was being abused. The truth is setting me free – I am slowly discovering what REALLY happened, seeing the reality for what it was – memories are emerging from the depths – having been repressed for decades. Each week something changes – sometimes I am reeeling from the shock and horror, some days I feel awake and alert, somedays I am just shattered. Today is one of the latter.
    Fantasy thinking sustained me as a child – it was the only “hope” I had. I won’t have it belittled by some half-assed pseudo-guru who thinks a poster will help you to “get over it”.
    Sorry Darlene, that’s MY rant for the day!

  21. By: J Posted: 22nd November

    Hi Darlene,

    thankyou for yet another oh-so-important message! It would be very interesting to one day go back over the many “self-help” style books I still have (many of which I don’t read anymore because I found myself feeling worse when I read them — an unfortunate quirk of mine is that I find it EXTREMELY difficult to trust my own judgment and get rid of things that don’t help me — I strongly suspect this is something to do with my indoctrination that everyone knows better than me etc [ESPECIALLY if they’ve published a book, because everyone knows that books are always 100% true and verified fact, rather than just someone’s OPINION that publishers think they can sell])

    (That last part was sarcasm at my own unhelpful views, btw… only just woke up & not sure if I’m making much sense…)

    Anyway, point was that I suspect going back over many of these books I’d find a whooooole lot of similarly pseudo-psychological crap that is, as you say, not only wrong but actively HARMFUL for those of us who have been “screwed up” NOT by our own thoughts but by CHILD ABUSE.

    My brain wants me to try and “balance” things out here by trying to imagine if the “screwed up by picture in our heads” statement COULD be true/helpful for people who didn’t suffer child abuse. But I suspect this is a form of my long-term abusive training to automatically blame myself and automatically defend, write off, or find excuses for everyone who hurts me.

    What a f**king mess. Stupid parents!!!!!

    (That seems an improvement from saying/thinking “stupid brain!!!” as I often tend to do. I’m going to choose to see that as a big positive!) 🙂

    My birthday is creeping ever closer. Already chosen to turn down one offer for dinner from old family friends. Was actually honest and said I didn’t feel like celebrating at the moment. That friend has depression too, and understood fortunately. Not expecting the same understanding from family. Oh well.

    Thanks again Darlene. I think it’s only been a month or two since I first found this site (at least since I found the courage to start posting) and I’m already applying for welfare, low-income housing to try and get the hell away from this dysfunction factory (ie my family home). Much of it feels like luck/chance etc, and finding it pretty difficult to reconcile that my father was the one who suggested the people who are currently helping me with the applications (given that I’m still planning to cut off if/when I do get out, at least to start with), but hey.

    I really think that the most important part of your message (for me, at least) is just the clarity/validation around BEING CLEAR and HONEST about what was done to me, and NOT just automatically blaming myself for every single dysfunction/mental ilness/difficulty I have in my life. I think that’s what’s really helping me to try and make changes and remove myself from the negative influence of my parents after all these years, rather than just sinking further and further into the stagnation that I’ve been drowning in. FINALLY started to kick back! (even if in very small, and mostly private ways for now)

    🙂 (that’s gotta be worth a smily, right?!)

    wishing everyone peace, love and light

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi J
      I love that you are realizing some of the forward steps that you are actually taking in the midst of the pain you also having. That is so valuable! YAY
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Sherie Posted: 22nd November

    I saw that on facebook too, shared it even. I’m at a place where I’m struggling with what *is* right now and the divide between that and what was *supposed* to be. Reminding myself that stepping back and analyzing is a good thing, is a good thing. Especially when I’m struggling like I am at the moment.

    I’m fully aware that I did not cause the reality of the situations. I know how totally wrong it was that I had to have that dysfunction in my life. I still am feeling a whole lot of (totally reasonable) anger and grief at the moment for the things that *should* have been. I’m having lots and lots of trouble with remembering that *I* am the one to create my own perception of reality, and that even past events can be reframed. Seems like that’s not nearly so easy as it could sound though, grin. For me, the power doesn’t seem to rest in knowing and repeating that it was wrong and not my fault, that I didn’t cause the hours and hours of interrogation and constant deprecation to my Self. It’s something more. Reminding myself that my framing of the past and my expectations of the now are MINE, and thus subject to change at will… feels so much more powerful to me.

    Obviously it doesn’t always work. When it follows that I feel put out with my inability to reframe, *then* I remind myself -again- that it’s not my failure. It’s his failure, years ago, to treat me like a person. It’s his bad behaviour that has caused my tendency to beat myself up over things far beyond my own scope of responsibility.

    It’s not any single glib phrase that got me to this place, after all. It was much more than one single statement repeated to me over and over that took my power from me and created a sense of self-loathing and the belief that it was my responsibility to make others happy, or else. If it helps me feel powerful, I’m going to give it a place in my arsenal of defense for the next time I start hearing a voice, saying something belittling, start up in my head.

  23. By: Leslea Tash Posted: 22nd November

    I don’t think the quote is meant to assign blame. I think it was someone’s revelation. I know I’ve held onto bitterness lately. Been trying to find some peace, somewhere between what I know is right, and what actually is. My instance isn’t about child abuse. It’s a completely separate context. When it comes to my mother, forget it. I am done sharing her blame. But when it comes to other relationships, I do need to check my expectations. It’s all relative.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi Mike
      Sad truth though isn’t it? (that some professionals don’t have a clue about the solution)

      Leslea Tash
      I don’t think the quote is meant to assign blame either. I write a lot about the way things impact the belief system and the development of that belief system. All I was attempting to share here is the way some people “hear” a quote like this.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Sherie
      Would you mind defining “reframed”?
      having asked that, remember that the belief system formation is not a fault. It is what it is. The way that I overcame all this stuff was to see things as they were and realize what my beliefs were. I had so many beliefs that were false and that is what needed to be changed.
      I look forward to your explaining what you mean by “reframed”
      hugs, Darlene

  24. By: G Posted: 22nd November

    “NOTE: I spent over 25 years trying to change my thinking about what was wrong with me by accepting that it was ME. It only took me 3 years to find freedom and wholeness by facing the root causes of my struggles. ”

    this is the same for me Darlene,only the 3 years on your finding freedom is just starting for me.. will be back later to comment.. G

  25. By: Mike Blane Posted: 22nd November

    The quote is kinda pseudo buddhism. Sometimes life is messed up andishing it is some other way is a very healthy thing. Sometimes how things are is how things areband recognising that is a good step.

    Today was one of those days where i just had to take time to work on how things actually are and how i wnt things to be because both are healthy as is seeing the gap and wanting to close it.

    Today i remembered how a bunch of trauma qualified shrinks didnt want my money becase they couldnt cope, they couldnt forsee a solution. Sometimes things are messed up. Sometimes that means doing something about it. Glib phrases may not help in real life…

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