Judgement, Stigma, Depression ~ Come from Somewhere




stigma of depression

The Stigma of Depression

I believe that depression comes from somewhere and that it starts somewhere. I don’t believe that I was born with it, or that I was born with something missing in me that would later determine that I would struggle with depression.  I don’t believe that my mother, who struggled with multiple depressions, passed her condition down to me.  I believe that my mother had her own post traumatic stress and abuse that caused her struggles and break downs, and that because she didn’t have the tools that she needed to raise an emotionally healthy child, I too was placed at risk. I was not protected from the things that caused my trauma; both me and the trauma were neglected. My self esteem and personal value and individuality was never established.  

I would even go so far as to say that my depressions were a coping method. They were a way for me to shut down and to get through the overwhelming circumstances in my life. They were a way that enabled me to survive. 

That is what I have come to understand now ~ that is my NEW belief system, and coming to understand this and all my other false belief systems greatly assisted me in overcoming my constant depressions and in living beyond depression. That is what I used to believe about depression, so now what about the old belief system that I broke out of?

The Stigma of Depression

There is a huge stigma in our society about mental health struggles.  There is a universal judgment about depression and about the people that suffer with depression. We pick it up from movies and television, books, our family’s belief systems and jokes about people who see therapists. Even the people that suffer with depression have belief systems about depression that have formed from society and from little things we picked up from others along the way and the false beliefs that were passed down to us from others. I had a belief system that had developed about depression, but I didn’t even realize that I had it; I certainly didn’t realize I had the wrong definition!  

Where did I get my definition of Depression?

My mother struggled with multiple depressions as I was growing up.  As I grew up, I thought she was “fragile” and unable to cope. Sometimes I resented that she had these dark times of struggle because she didn’t have time for me and I ended up on some level feeling as though her depressions wrecked my life. I was afraid of depression. I was afraid of having “it”.  My first serious depression began when I was ten years old.

I also picked up that my mother’s “condition” was not something that we should talk about. I learned that it was best to pretend that nothing was wrong. This was all part of how I learned the “stigma” that goes along with depression.  

One of the worst things that also contributed to my overall belief system is that I learned that somehow I could help her if I acted a certain way or didn’t get in her way and didn’t  upset her. She had to be treated with kid gloves, or there would be a price to pay. I learned by her actions and the consequences of my actions, that her depressions were somehow my responsibility and even my fault.

So, because of the beliefs that I had collected along the way, and how I saw my own mother being regarded as someone who suffered with depression as well as her often out of control actions, I had this idea that depression meant that ‘the depressed person’ could not handle life. Nobody wants to be seen that way.

How I applied the acquired beliefs to myself and to my own depressions

Subconsciously, I came to the conclusions that If I could not cope with life, (and this is a biggie) then I had to let other people handle things for me. I had to agree with their opinions of me, (because they could handle life) and I accepted that I could not possibly have a valuable opinion. I couldn’t be right, I couldn’t know my own thoughts and feelings; I believed that I was paranoid, that I was over reactive and always wrong. 

And isn’t that exactly what certain controlling people in my life would want me to think and feel? Because when I felt that way, when I believed all of that, I willingly comply to their wishes, accept their opinions and direction and I always believed and easily accepted that any difficulty that I have with others was MY fault. It was My defect. It was what was lacking in me and what was wrong with me.

When I was medically diagnosed with depression it even proved to ME that I was all those things, because of the beliefs that I had accepted about depression along the way. It was pretty easy for others to get away with treating me even worse than before.  I easily accepted blame and I had no trouble accepting that the burden of every relationship was mine, because I believed that I was the one that had the problem.

Can you see how the stigma of depression starts and how even I affected myself with it?

Can you see how those established beliefs are then used for the purpose of controlling someone else? People WITH depressions even use it against others with depression, because in our society we learned that the one with the most control over others “wins”. Depressions are used as PROOF that we are “Not Right” and that our opinions are not valid.

I had to realize this belief system, as far back as it went and change the very roots of my thinking.

Please share your thoughts.

Shining light in new places;

Darlene Ouimet

Great Article by Jonathan Rottenberg on Psychology Today about the Stigma of Mental Health Issues

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


Categories : Depression



“in our society we learned that the one with the most control over others ‘wins’.”

This is the key, in my mind, is not caving to this constant pressure, but to find healthier ways to relate and be productive.


While I agree that part of the depression of depression is the outlook of it by society and by those immediately around us, and that it is also a coping mechanism…I believe (and I also believe there are studies to back up), that trauma at a young age can impact actual brain development and lead to certain types of issues…including “depression”. I also believe that we can be genetically predisposed due to our genetic parents also having had undealt with, or improperly dealt with, traumas in childhood which impacted their actual neurological development. The bad news is that I think medicines, especially the wrong ones, can make it worse…and the good news is that we can learn to deal with all of this more effectively beginning with identifying the traumas and also with redefining the stigmas such as “depression” and other “mental illnesses” which at one point in our lives were necessary for survival in the unfair world we lived in…without choice.


I have been told that I used to be bubbly and outgoing and everyone liked me when I was very young then something happened. I regressed inward. I know what happened but I kept it to myself while my mother was slipping, with what my father has told me, in manic depression/Schizophrenia and my father’s life was falling apart. I spent a good portion of my childhood and teen years, in my room.

I have come to a point where I am addressing my issues (I write about it) but I don’t think I was born with it.


the paragraph titled “How I applied the acquired beliefs to myself…” speaks volumes to me.
It manifests in my easy self blame.. taking on the guilt for relationship failures..I still live in that place.
With the mindset of easy blame I think the child’s boundaries must be
(have been) taken away as a preparation.
Personal boundaries were removed from me in my earliest years, from before 6 years of age, prior to boarding school.
It’s a tough thing to change


~ It really is a tough thing to change but the good news is that it CAN be done! For me, just knowing some of the things I was looking for, (like some of the clues you posted here that you discovered for yourself) made it so much easier to start the healing process.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jen
Welcome to EFB
Good to hear that you are addressing your issues and that you don’t think you were born with them! I agree!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Wendi
~don’t forget the learned behaviour on this list. (that we can learn the coping method of depression too)
Yes meds very often can /do make things so much worse. I am just glad that there is a solution!
hugs, Darlene

Yes to finding healthier ways!


Lovey, and I call you lovey cos its a sheffield term and thats how we address people we are fond of, lovey, i have just read this post and i want to talk to you about this further and when im not so tired, Ive been in leeds all day fighting for the rights of someone with learning diaabilities to keep her kids, im tired and want to respond to this in a really good way. I know what you are talking about here and I want to help to change the way MH services work with people who are the product of post partum distress. I am that child and I have worked for many years with that child as I elieve that most children suffer from this. we do not need to feel like we are marginal at all as we are the majority. this is a symptom of our society and all that has been, its consience that has made it important. we will talk some more soon . Kathryn x


When I’ve mentioned the word depression in the past, it suddenly implies that I’m ‘less than…’ because of it. I’ve been told not to mention it even when I was using it in the positive sense of having overcome it myself. Also I’ve heard people talking about depressions sufferers and non sufferers like everyone has it the same? And some people say ‘Oh I think that must be depression…’, that ‘sound’s like depression’ – like that solves anything! And it’s usually with a holier than thou attitude that this ‘kindly advice’ is dispensed. And loads of people take drugs for it. Noone ever suggests that depression could be because of huge trapped feelings – which is how I felt when I had it. Feelings with no route out because society says you should be a certain way – especially in the work place. Like you’re supposed to be a machine? I think people that really get through and out the otherside of depression become ‘real’. They’re the few folks who are no longer acting. And folks with depression are the ones realising a lot of the bad things about society and life – the power struggles and the victimisation. But you feel powerless to change things and thats whey the depression comes up. So brave to be a depressed person in this world. And I know now from learning here just how many reasons there are the depression arises, I’m sure I’ve not fathomed them all, but the few I have – wow! Unleashes some ripple effect when you start realising you aren’t powerless! Things ARE/were messed up! And it’s often with good reason. I think we get depressed to because we think teh fault is in us when it never was – it’s impossible to change what wasn’t broken/faulty in the first place. When the fault really lies outside of us


wow another biggie for me and abit of a soap box, lol. i totally agree with wendi about how the bodies physiclaly reacts to traume and then there is darlenes emotional healing. to me they both have huge impacts on my healing.
i started my healing journey when i was 18 or 19 yrs old, i forget now, was very angry and abusive as a person. with the help of therapy over the years and the realisation i could work on my issues better if i could cut some of the more destressing symptoms, which in turn left my emotional issues behind as i focused on the learned behaviour and finding ways to become who i wanted and not who they had trained me to be. when i was first had depression i was called into work while i was on the sick to ask why i was see in a grocery store. i lived on my own, the internet didnt exist and if i wanted something from the shop i had to fetch it. as i explained heatedly to the manager. god if i’d a cast or visiable injury it would off been fine for me to grocery shop? nah that wasnt fair or equal in my eyes. i was told to forget it by my mother as the past dint matter.mmmm that fact that it has given me a breakdown in the present then has no part to play then. im glad i stuck to my plan to learn as muach as i could and escape my past one step and issue at a time. 25 yrs later i still plodding along. last major depressive episode was when i started uni on a 2 year course and couldnt fit in with the other students because of my mental health issues. 1 tutor wanted me to used avoidence, something i was trying not to use, so that i didnt upset the other students. even if it was the students treatment of me andnot the other way round that was causing me the angyst.
ooo hve had so many run ins with authourity figures as they misunderstand my opinions and how i came about them, the behavioural outburdsts that i exhibit when under high levels of stress. on the plus side with amentor who actually gives a hoot, i am almost at the end of the 2 years then just gotta spend the summer biting me nails to see if i pass lol
thank you darlene you have helped me in ways i dont even realise


There is a huge stigma against depression, and I’ve had others apply it to me, and have applied the negative stigma to myself also. Society and families teach us to do this very well. I think there can be wisdom in depression, and people who have been through depression are some of the kindest I know. Great post Darlene


Louise, you wrote: “I think people that really get through and out the otherside of depression become ‘real’. They’re the few folks who are no longer acting.”



The stigma of depression… Recently my youngest, 30-year-old son, Stephen, and I were talking on the telephone. He was telling me about a new young coworker who was fresh out of high school. “She talks like a gerbil, Mom,” Stephen told me, and we both laughed. Then his voice grew serious. “She told me the other day that she believes anyone who has depression is crazy. I said to her, ‘So, you think I am crazy?’ ‘No, why?’ she asked, ‘Do you have depression?’ ‘I guess not…’ I told her.”

Apparently she not only talks like a gerbil, she thinks like one, too.


Just to share a not-so-long-ago encounter:

I was doing my internship at an education counseling center in which my friend was a branch manager. I’ve always made it a point to not be ashamed of my past experiences (especially when, yes, they were in the past. So I shared some of them with my colleagues.

Not so surprisingly, my friend pulled me aside one day and told me to “be wise” because ’em idiots have been gossiping and trashing me behind my back, even questioning my friend’s decision to take me in for 1.5 months. Apparently, they didn’t believe that I could do anything. In fact, even people who are totally unrelated knew about it.

I honestly think that I sometimes really should “be wise”. But that will probably mean that I can’t combat this stigma like I will like to.


Depression seems to be an unfortunate residual effect of trauma… Having D.I.D., it is mainly concentrated in one part of me, but the concentration is very overwhelming in that one part. We are still working on a way to trigger a switch to a non-depressed part, whenever our self-persecutor part is triggered out. When she is present, the depression presents itself as a warm, toxic feeling of doom which travels from one end of the body to the other end… an overwhelming feeling of defeat and utter blackness. I remember her even having this when we were chronologically around 5 years old. What 5 year old thinks like this?

Anyway, since we totally refuse to take psych drugs, we are trying something that someone posted a link to either here, or on FB… Megadoses of vitamin C for our little dark one’s depression. We’ve been having other problems which have caused this part to surface more, but we’ll see if the vitamin C helps. Can’t hurt…



What an excellent post and it could not have come at a more critical time as I have been feeling on the brink of falling apart totally and this post helps me to see I might not be so mad after all. And Louise youre comments also had a dramatic effect on me and gave me such a boost. Youre words as follows are so significant and important

‘depression could be because of huge trapped feelings – which is how I felt when I had it. Feelings with no route out because society says you should be a certain way – especially in the work place. Like you’re supposed to be a machine? I think people that really get through and out the otherside of depression become ‘real’. They’re the few folks who are no longer acting. And folks with depression are the ones realising a lot of the bad things about society and life – the power struggles and the victimisation.’

This is such a help to me. Im learning to cope without meds and with an excellent counsellor Im reliving and healing childhood trauma.Its all feeling very raw,painful and scary but I am realising that my feelings and opinions were / are valid all along and I believe I can get through this and emerge stronger. However its hard and I realize I have to somehow rise above the advice from ‘well meaning’ professionals/ individuals/friends / family who choose denial and yet consider themselves somehow stable and superior. I know they themselves are driven by fear etc but its hard not to feel angry with their veiled and misguided put downs. Recovery is very lonely especially as its journeying into the unknown in some ways. So thank you Darlene and Louise and also all you others here who are so honest and brave.


Or your son could ask her if she knows someone who is depressed? It sounds she, perhaps, know someone!!


the thought occurs to me, that in some measure, we, when are children, are functioning MORE on feelings, for the purpose of assessing reality. The pain we encounter really is supposed to teach us something valuable that we take with us into later stages of life…

When we are older, we function more on intellect, but the feelings still need to be allowed to function in the present and speak to s from the past


Hi Louise
Great comments! The feelings of powerlessness to change anything comes from the years of brainwashing and those lies that are stuck in our belief systems. We can’t get them out because we don’t realize how wrong they are! But there is hope as soon as we realize that.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol
~I am so glad that you are here and sharing your journey!

Hi Ellen
Thanks for being here. There IS wisdom in all suffering, if only the world would stop shutting it all down!

Hi Kathryn,
I kind of like that you call me Lovey.. LOL I don’t thing anyone has ever called me that! I look forward to hearing from you again when you have more time. I agree that we ar the majority, and that is why I think this work is SO important.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jasmine
I can relate to your comments. It is as though “society” delights in finding what they have decided is a weakness, so that they can disregard everyone… all in an attempt to make themselves look “better”. I want to combat this stigma too, so I’m not going to stop talking either.
hugs, Darlene

Hi Layla!
~ You bring up interesting points ~ I so often see that society wants to keep us “down” where we are weak and easier to control and manipulate. I can see now such a huge shift in the way that I was treated when I admitted to being in a depression ~ even by my husband. It was as though they had “permission” to be superior! Like I said in the blog post, the diagnosis of depression became like PROOF that I was “less then them” It is such a vicious cycle. The only way that I know to break it is to go to the root of where it all began and change the lies that are back there.. we can empower ourselves and stop believing others who constantly want to keep us down.
I am so glad you are here on this journey with us!!
Hugs, Darlene


I’ve also experienced the discrimination that comes with being marked with the label of “mental illness”. Anyone who has knowledge of my history in the the mental health system automatically address’ me as though I’m somehow illiterate and incapable often talking to me as though I was a child. These are also the same people who get angry when I resist or reject being treated this way or attempt to exert my own power to say “no” to this interference. Its much like the change back messages I got in my family as I started to stand up for myself and establish healthier boundaries.

As I travelled my own healing journey, the drugs I was given were the source of the unrelenting and chronic depressions and other “symptoms” that just never went away – while I was on them. Prior to the drugs any depressions always resolved themselves with rest and other self care; but because I had not learned how to not take on too much (I needed to be busy and doing for others, getting approval from others to validate myself) or establish healthy boundaries the depression would return anytime I had overwhelmed myself and worn my physical self into the ground again. Depression became a teacher to me as I learned to recognize when I was taking on more than I was humanly capable of taking on for an extended period of time and that I felt powerless to do anything about it.


The bit that resonated with me was where you said “I believe that depression comes from somewhere and that it starts somewhere. I don’t believe that I was born with it”

I’d never thought of it like that. I’ve lived with depression my entire life. As a child I was depressed, withdrawn and a loner, socially inept and painfully shy.

Even though depression and I are bedfellows I never considered where it came from or that it is possible to live free from depression, depression has always been there.

I thought it backed up what my parents always said about me that I was nothing and never would amount to anything, that everything about me was wrong.

But actually thinking about it differently and suddenly I have hope that things can be different and I can live without depression being there all the time.



“I thought it backed up what my parents always said about me that I was nothing and never would amount to anything, that everything about me was wrong.”

That is the talk that causes depression, in my experience, anyway, before I realized it was a lie.


@Darlene, This is both on and off topic and more about misdiagnosis than actual depression. But also the way the medical community has treated it.
You may remove this if it is inappropriate. I do have somethings to add but I don’t want to wound anyone as I have strong opinions about this. When I first started reading your blog remember I told you several times that you say things I have always believed but never had any proof for it is just that I formed my own opinions not based on anything just my opinions. Because I can be opinionated and passionate you can remove this if you feel you need to. I have been busy since you posted this and really wanted to read it for several reasons.I just got to it just now.
Growing up my mom was hospitalized for “depression” , many times, had shock treatments took tons of medications and did everything but face her truth. As a young child I observed her behavior and spiral out of control. I of course could not possibly know everything going on in her life. However I did observe the direct affect her and my dads involvement with politics had on her. They were involved with politics and had mob ties and dark things used to go on. Mobsters were in and out of the house as well as politicians.
She even admitted only once and never spoke of it again that when her dad died at age 10 her uncles were having sex with goats (she lived on a farm for a year) in Memphis Tennessee.
Then her and my grandma (the sweet one )moved to St.Louis where my grandma opened a restaurant and bed and breakfast. St.Louis is the most dangerous city in the US for at least 30 years in a row. My mom was raped by a stranger and blames my grandma for working and not being there.
My mom was diagnosed with severe depression when I was about 10. Due to medication I saw her weight go up and down dramatically. I mean like 90 pounds to 300 and back to 90. She was violent and paranoid. I am not a mental health professional. But my gut always told me even as a young child she was really truly mentally ill.She had depression but I believe there was much more going on!
That depression was only one of many mental illnesses she had. I also believed at the time even then it was her refusal to face her issues that caused this. I believed that based on observation. I do not think the medical community knew that much then.
Unlike you we were not told not to talk about it. We were told it was a chemical imbalance that it was not her fault an illness like cancer and you catch it like a cold.
I think that is actually the main stream thought about mental illness at least people I have run across in general that it is just an illness and people can’t help it.
But based on what I observed I think it was far more than depression. I made a vow to myself to never let myself go there and I have not. I felt intuitively that she got that way by denial. She went from a beautiful, talented , successful intelligent sensitive loving woman when I was very small to an ugly violent mental vegetable.
We had a big blow out where she almost killed me when I was maybe 9 or 10.
My dad took her to the hospital they admitted her and said she was depressed. After that I pretty much stayed out of her way and said when I was old enough I would leave home.
I wasn’t bitter any more just resolved to leave which I did!
I never looked back. I just think in general what you said about facing your truth applies to her. I have no contact with her.
But I have contact with my brothers high school girlfriend who is on my FB page.
They are not in touch either. But they live in the same home town. My parents were paid as well as my brothers by a wealthy attorney to slander me in the news and now they went from poor to living in a resort community. Anyway so the ex girlfriend said my mom has my brothers and all of these enablers around her like a fan club. She is 30 years older than me. I am 48 so I guess she is 78 and she never faced her issues.
I think if she had taken responsibility for her own mental health my brothers would not live the way they do they would have to face their issues. It is too long of a story to cover every issue and I know your situation is different because you faced your truth and became well. She never did and I think she became sick by denying her truth.
This is one reason why your blog is so valuable. I do not know many mental health professionals who value the truth. They seem to value diagnosis or anything that will keep the patient coming in. So I know this is not the exact topic but this has been my experience.
I also have a 911 widow friend. She never loved her husband. She got rich when he died. She was happy. But maybe 2 years later she met a guy who moved in with her, free loads off of her and abuses her in more ways then one. I see the same downward spiral with her as my mom. I did try to talk to her many times about not letting this guy free load or abuse her. She won’t listen so I have cut contact.
Her parents and friends have all told her to dump this guy she says it is not him it is her depression due to 911. It is like the same story only the names change. It just seems doctors diagnose to get a commission off of the medicine and in both cases there are changes they could eaily make that would eliminate the source of their problems.


You highlight a typical part of this whole picture. The way that “everyone” typically treats those that struggle with depression. Again, because we live in such a “pecking order” society and the stigma of depression is such that if it like an automatic reaction that the person who struggles goes to the bottom of the pecking order. And YES as you say, most people rebel when we start to get stronger, and I think it is at least partly because we are so much easier to control when we are struggling. Like one less person to have to have a power struggle with.
Thanks for these comments Susan!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Fi
That is why it is SO HARD to get to the bottom of the belief system on all this stuff. We are so accustomed to just believing that the things we were told are the truth, that it is hard to even see the NEED to understand it from a different perspective. The true perspective. Sometimes I think of myself as having this little ice pick and I am slowly picking holes in ice wall that guards the truth deep inside of people. The ice wall is made of huge lies, but we have lived with those lies so long that we don’t know they are lies. I was STUNNED to realize that all this stuff was at the roots of all my depressions and every single other mental health struggle that I had and the whole freaking world is brainwashed too, so it was quite the thing to undo!
Like you, when I started to see the light of truth, the hope was huge and the hope is what inspired me to keep going forward!
So glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pinky
I think that this issue goes so so very deep. You said that “if your mother would have taken charge of her mental health”… etc… but the thing is that this stuff is so complicated that most people don’t even know that they have the option of doing something about it. There is so much fear about facing it, some would rather live in the fog, some believe the lies so deeply that they don’t realize there is even a possibility of hope for a better way of life. I heard the same stuff about the chemical imbalance stuff. We knew not to talk about the actions that went with it. It doesn’t matter to me anymore if it was my mothers “fault” or not, and today I feel deeply sorry for my mother/father and everyone who has to live in that fog of horror, (although not sorry enough to accept being treated badly by them) ~ but I recovered by finding out how it effected me. I recovered by finding out what the lies were, about me, that I believed about what my worth was, about what was my fault or not, about my value.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


@Darlene, thanks, I did feel sorry for years but not any more. She made the choice to stay in he fog and just like you made a choice to find your way out she can too. But she refuses. With my adopted son I have seen thsi too. I had to cut contact with him. But his refusal to face truth was about the rejection he had from his biological mom. I was with him at her casket. I knew it was not the time to talk truth. But he said she was such a good mom she was always there for me. I stayed quiet but it was not true it is why I had to adopt him. Several years later I spoke to him suggested therapy gave him some books (his situation is far more complicated) with emotional incest and lots of family dysfunction and so on. I gave him the appropriate books suggested therapy or support groups. He resisted until he finally went into a total denial of reality and s now a drug dealer and has rejected his daughter and is spiraling out of control. I cut contact as I know it is his choice and the path he has clearly chosen. But my point is that nobody educated me as to my choices but I intuitively chose truth.So did you so can they.


This is such an interesting relevant post and discussion. Its helping me make sense of certain aspects of my experience. I have of late really been getting to grips with my own Truth and breaking down the lies that were at the root of my depressions. In the past, at different stages of my life, I did get so far in my recovery but issues resurfaced ( as they did for you Susan – due to having problems with boundaries and overloading myself in meeting the needs of others ). In the last 2 years Ive dug deeper than ever however and have found appropriate support is now available in the way of websites/blogs like this and also up to date books on recovery/coping without meds/Mindfulness etc.
The problem I have is that Im still feeling very isolated. I want to meet up with like minded people, truly recover and get strong and build healthy relationships but dont know where or how.Ive not worked for 10 years Ive lost faith in politics and never had in in formal religion. I no longer want contact at all with the psychiatric system and its token gestures of ‘support’ which only serve to keep you labeled and/or medicated.The trouble seems to be that alternatives are not even valued , never mind funded, in the UK or USA.
Some of you seem very lucky in having partners who have stood by you and worked through their own issues too. That hasn’t been my experience with partners/men and now feel scared of getting involved. It would be nice to hear from people on the specifics of how they made a fresh start in building a reality devoid of these lies – or does that only exist on the internet/blogs ?


@Layla no it doesn’t only exist on internet blogs. It is hard for me to articulate my thoughts as well as Darlene I am sure she can give the how/ For me it was a process that took years. I never had faith in politics I mean if history repeats itself it would be pretty stupid to think politics might be a hope for us and organized religion might as well be organized crime. IT is true that alternatives are not valued. I do not know where you live so I cant provide referrals but I live in NYC where alternative therapies abound so I have it easy in that sense. Some alternative therapies that have worked for me are acupuncture which recently there was a study out that it provides relief specifically for PTSD. And ant it doesn’t hurt in fact it gives you a buzz like you are drunk without the bad affects of drinking. Also certain fitness programs. Support groups which are usually free and easy to find in NYC. Not sure where you are. I always had unhealthy relationship until I became healthy. Now I am fortunate to have a great marriage! But I think for me the key was to become healthy first. Like attracts like. I have never taken any meds for any kind of disorder, I have been getting acupuncture for years now. It works for me. Support groups work for me. Darlene can probably provide more valuable information but I just wanted you to know no it is not just on blogs. For me the blog helps in many ways. One is I was court ordered not to talk about my own abuse or the abuse of others. What is happening to me is illegal yet allowed to go on. So I am on under a nick name but everyone knows who I am it is m own way of getting my truth out. There was a story about me that made the news that I was a whore a lair and falsely accused one of my abusers ( have 2) of rape. They have been in denial have attorneys to protect them (family) and got rich off of the slanderous story. So just because they say it is false I am telling my story to anyone who will listen and have been for years. I am under constant death threat by those attorneys and my family and my rapist brother also tried to kill me. So these blogs for me are my way of telling my truth in a system and society that would rather kill you than let the truth come out!


Pinky ~
I feel extremely blessed that I realized that there was a solution and that I persisted in finding it. So many do refuse, because they don’t realize that the survival methods that they have learned are no longer necessary and I feel sorry for them because they have lost their lives but I don’t mean that I feel sorry for them and excuse what they did to me or for the lies that they taught to me.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Layla,
Unfortunately, I have not found much support in the way of face to face support ~ at least not in the way that I have come to heal. This “truth method” is not for everyone. Most of my support system is online. (and I live in a very remote farming community where pretty much NO ONE lives out of the fog system… but that is another story) When I went through my process, I wasn’t really in any sort of online community, and only had one friend (over the phone long distance) who was willing to talk about this stuff this way and work it all through. At that time, even my husband was against my recovery, and he found it threatened life as he knew it. (that I was the compliant wife and he had things the way that he wanted them ) But doing this work has led to many new friendships, (not always people that I talk “recovery” with though) and new opportunities and most importantly, it has led to the freedom that I now have from the dysfunctional life that I used to live and I have been able to incorporate it into all of my life, I have friends that respect me for who I am, and how I am and I no longer accept being treated as “less than” anyone because I know that I am not! ~ and that is a wonderful thing!
Thanks for being part of this community!
Hugs, Darlene


“and I live in a very remote farming community where pretty much NO ONE lives out of the fog system… but that is another story”

TELL me about it!! Can’t wait for this story!!


I have been diagnosed with OCD and with generalized anxiety disorder, severe adjustment disorder, and anorexia… While I do not disagree with any of these diagnoses, I actually agree that my behaviors and methods of coping are right on track with these. I have a reason for all of them, they all help or helped me in some way when I had no other way to help myself and no other person willing to even let me say I needed help. Some of them I have let go to an extent, some of them I am aware of still using them. However, I have learned that they are not necessarily negative except to the extent that I feel they interfere with my life. One of my biggest concerns is that my children will get them because I have them…my family has warned me I will do this to my children…make them “like me” if I don’t “just quit.” My therapist laughs at this and says that my children are able to see that these are my issues, my methods of dealing with things…and as long as I am open and honest and own these behaviors they will understand that they have nothing to do with them. She did say that I, and them, probably have a genetic predisposition to some of them…particularly the OCD, but that I cannot make or un-make them, so to speak. All I can do is foster an environment of safety and love and acceptance where we are open and honest and accept each other the way we are…good and bad…and where we can work together to grow in ways that help each of us and all of us. I have not noticed my children taking on my behaviors…I have noticed my children calling me out on some of mine…which would have never been allowed in my household when I was a child…NEVER. For me, the biggest issues were that whatever was “wrong” with me was what bothered other people and therefore should bother me…I should change…I should conform…there is something wrong with me. But that is not true…there is nothing wrong with me. There may be behaviors that I would like to change about myself…and I can, and it is unhelpful for people to simply point out what I need to change…that would be their opinion, and while I may agree, them pointing it out is not in any way helpful or conducive to learning better coping mechanisms…it only causes me to feel the need to defend myself and to regress to even more use of these mechanisms. If they would just accept me and make attempts to let me be me and see how I would like them to help me, if I even would, things would work a lot better…I might not avoid them like the plague, or I might 🙂

I did not learn these behaviors…what I learned is that these behaviors, and even feelings, are not okay…and that is depressing. What I learned is that no one cares why I have these behaviors and feelings, they just care that I stop…and that is depressing. While I have no doubt that some of them may struggle with these same issues, no one would be able to detect it…because it is not okay to not be okay…and that is what I learned.


Love the last paragraph!

Wendi wrote: “I did not learn these behaviors…what I learned is that these behaviors, and even feelings, are not okay…and that is depressing. What I learned is that no one cares why I have these behaviors and feelings, they just care that I stop…and that is depressing. While I have no doubt that some of them may struggle with these same issues, no one would be able to detect it…because it is not okay to not be okay…and that is what I learned.”

And you are so right Wendi! We learned that!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sheryl

Yes I agree those words are a lie and are depression inducing. But that is not the main problem with those words.

Those words were used to control and manipulate me. They were used to keep me in my place. They were used to keep me from having any self-esteem or self-belief allowing them to maintain their abuse of me.


As far as abusive people in your life are concerned, have you noticed that any of your behaviors would pass their “test”?


in other words, your “will” (self-belief, esteem, etc.)?


They systematically broke my “will” very deliberately.



I’m not sure I understand your question…what do you mean? But, I was thinking they might have the worst OCD possible…obsessed with controlling other people’s behaviors instead of their own… If I fail, I guess they fail…that’s a tough standard to meet because you can’t really control other people and if you try, one day it’s gonna blow right up and really look bad.


Here is a shortened quote from the one Darlene quoted from you:

“what I learned is that these behaviors, and even feelings, are not okay”

What I am asking is “What behaviors would be ok with them?”

I guess what I am wondering if any behaviors from you would be OK with them, in other words, they would pick on you or abuse you no matter what you did, so don’t get hung up on how you behave, in order to be “ok” or not “ok”. In my experience, this is how it has been for me.


oh…well, as long as I’m not doing anything that makes anyone look bad…even myself because if I look bad they look bad. I used to do anything and everything anyone said they wanted, or even that I thought they wanted…at the expense of me and my immediate family (spouse/children), until it just became too much and also until I realized that the csa I endured entailed more than just the csa…that’s what really got it all going…me questioning things I was not supposed to question…or making claims or accusations that could not possibly be said outloud. Now I must be sick or on drugs.


I don’t believe that any of us were born depressed. I believe, & this is just my opinion,that many of us who were abused found out that anger wasn’t a safe or acceptable emotion with our abusers. Neither was grief, which usually takes the form of crying, a safe emotion to feel and express if you were being abused as a child. Statements like, “If you are going to cry, I will give you something to cry about.” “Quit being such a cry baby.” “What are you crying for? Nothing is wrong.” All of those statements denied us the right to cry to remove any grief that we were feeling from being abused or neglected.

I believe that depression happens any time that we suppress those emotions that we aren’t allowed to have by our abusers. In my experience, depression goes away when we grief and when we feel all of the anger that we stuffed inside of us so long ago as children.

Taking a pill to not feel just adds to the depression. Taking a pill just numbs you more which allows the depression to build rather than be released. I believe that doctors who give their patients a transquillizer to get them through traumas such as funerals aren’t helping their patients. The doctors are actually prolonging the pain of grief by putting it off until a later date when they aren’t drugged. All of the above is strictly my opinion and may not be true for others but it has proved true for me. Depression comes about as a result of not being allowed to feel the feelings of being traumatized.


Yes, I can relate to this. Self-persecuting part. I’ve been feeling down this week and I really noticed it because I’ve had good things happen this week. I should be happy, but am feeling stuck in a gloom and worry that something bad has to happen. I’ve been a little paranoid too, distracted. I’ve never been diagnosed, so I’m not sure what to do. I’ve decided to start exercising more and see if that helps.


Patricia wrote: “I believe that depression happens any time that we suppress those emotions that we aren’t allowed to have by our abusers. In my experience, depression goes away when we grief and when we feel all of the anger that we stuffed inside of us…”

And: “Taking a pill to not feel just adds to the depression. Taking a pill just numbs you more which allows the depression to build rather than be released. I believe that doctors who give their patients a transquillizer to get them through traumas such as funerals aren’t helping their patients. The doctors are actually prolonging the pain of grief by putting it off until a later date when they aren’t drugged.”

I agree.


Wendi wrote: “…it is not okay to not be okay….. that is what I learned.”

There was a popular self-help book published in the 1970s, entitled: “I’m OK, You’re OK.”

I prefer: “I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK, and That’s OK.”

What I mean by that is, I believe that none of us were born broken. Those of us who were broken, by abuse and trauma and lies, are not at fault for not being “OK.” So therefore, it’s OK to not be OK… not being OK after being abused and truamatized, is NORMAL. Once we really KNOW this, deep down inside, then we are well on our way to healing from our traumas and being… OK!


Hi everyone,
I have had an accident fooling around with my son and a broken metal broomstick (long story and I should have known better) and I have cut two of my finger tips pretty bad… so I may not be doing much commenting this next couple of days but I wanted to mention something extremely important;

I would prefer that we stay away from offering opinions about the use of medication. This is really dangerous. We are not doctors and having worked in a hospital as well as in mental health, I can tell you that some people will have severe difficulties without their medication, and many times if they feel judged for taking meds, they will just “go off them” with disastrous results. I would really rather stay away from that controversial topic. If I could type more, I would but I can’t!
Thanks everyone;
Hugs, Darlene


OUCH Darlene… I’m sending you healing thoughts & a kiss-kiss for your poor cut fingers. XOXO

Thanks for saying that about prescription meds… I’ve personally had some horrible side-effects from Rx meds that did me far more harm than good (if ANY good). But, I have also had wonderful experiences with prescription meds that relieved me of debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, and saved me from a life-threatening depression.

THEN, after my moods were stabilized and I was able to clearly think and function, thanks to the help of those good meds, I was able to do the healing work I needed to do in order to begin resolving the issues and traumas that had caused my deep depression, anxieties, and panic attacks, in the first place.

I have recently been switched by my dr. from one antidepressant to another, because the old one, which had worked great for me for several years, suddenly stopped working, which does happen sometimes. Then I had trouble with the new med, so, I’m now having to try something else.

I hope that someday I may heal enough that I won’t need any prescription medication. But, if that never happens, that’s ok, too.

There should be NO SHAME in needing the help of Rx medications for depression, anxiety, etc ~ just as there is NO SHAME in needing a prescribed antibiotic if we get a deep cut and an infection gets in the wound. It doesn’t mean that we are WEAK, or in any way “LESS THAN” someone else who may have been injured, and didn’t get an infection, or only got a minor one, and didn’t need an antibiotic to help them heal.

Just like with prescription psychotropic meds, prescription antibiotics can, and do, SAVE LIVES…. but, they can also cause some uncomfortable side effects, and in a few people, the side effects can be really horrible and can even lead to death, in very rare cases. I have had my life saved, as a child, by a prescription antibiotic, when I was deathly ill with strep throat and pneumonia. But I am now extremely allergic to Penicillin, it could actually kill me, so now, if I have an infection, I am given a different type of antibiotic. i don’t refuse ALL antibiotics, and going around preaching that NOBODY should EVER take an antibiotic, just because I am allergic to penicillin, and in fact I even had a friend die, a few months ago, from a horrible reaction to penicillin. It was a horrible, heartbreaking thing… and yet, penicillin has saved far more lives, than it has cost.

We are not medical doctors nor pharmacists, and it is very dangerous for us to make blanket statements against prescribed medications. Each individual needs to decide for him or herself, along with the guidance of a trusted medical doctor, which prescription meds, if any, are best for them.

Darlene, you are the AWESOMEST. Please take good care of your precious self, you deserve it, and ~~ WE NEED YOU!!!!



I am sorry if I offended anyone with my opinion. I also do not want anyone to think that I am judging them for taking medicines for depression. That was never my intention. I know that medicines do help in some incidences. I do believe that they are used too much when other things might work with better consequences. I am not a doctor so please don’t think that I am telling you to stop taking your meds. I am not. I know how dangerous stopping some of them without doctor supervision can be. Again, I am sorry about expressing my opinion in too strong a manner. I only want to support survivors, not tear you down.


You know, Pat, I was/am in agreement with you about what you said, about taking a tranquilizer to get us through a funeral is just going to prolong our grieving process, and taking a pill “to not feel” will only deepen our depression. Like you, it’s a matter of degree, and is there really a true need for the medication? I’ve known people who were given a tranquilizer to get thru a funeral of a loved one, and really it seemed to me that what they needed to do was GRIEVE. They needed to FEEL the pain.

The right antidepressant/anti-anxiety medicine is NOT going to keep you from having feelings! We need our feelings, they are a very important part of what makes us human and ALIVE! So, Pat, when you wrote in your earlier post that “Taking a pill to not feel just adds to the depression,” I agreed with that, because NOT FEELING is NOT HEALTHY. I didn’t see your earlier statement as a blanket condemnation of antidepressants or other psychotropic meds, but as a matter of degree… we want to be able to grieve when a loved one dies, without becoming suicidal. We want to be able to feel our emotions, without… DROWNING in them.

Anyway, it’s true that we aren’t medical doctors and therefore we are not licensed to practice medicine! All we can do is give our own opinion based on our own personal experiences. If we have had mostly wonderful healing helpful results from medication, then we are going to be all for them. But if we have had horrible results from medications, we are going to feel very differently. I have had both kinds of experiences, and so sometimes I can get a little…. confused!

You are awesome, Patricia, and everything I’ve read that you’ve written has been helpful to me in someway. I mean that very literally. I’m so glad you are here!



Thank you Lynda. I appreciate your feedback. Everything that I share here comes from my experiences and from my opinions about those experiences. I understand Darlene’s concern about what I said and I am okay with that. When I said that it was my opinion, I meant that I am not a doctor. My opinion is not from a medical standpoint and I see all of us here as capable of making our own decisions about doctors and medicines, about what is working for us and what is not working.


Hi Patricia and Lynda,
Thank you both for your understanding;

I see it slightly differently then you do Patricia, in comment #47 you said that you see “all of us here being capable of making our own decisions” and that statement is exactly why I posted the request not to discuss the use of meds. There are hundreds of readers a day on this blog. Over 10,000 per month. (unique visitors, not repeats) Only a very small percentage of them comment in the discussions. From some of the communication that I get, I can assure you that not all reading the blog are capable of making their own decisions about anything and most have learned through years of NOT being allowed to think for themselves, that they look to whoever they see as an authority for advice and information and that is why it is so dangerous to post certain statements or even opinions. Patricia, you are one of the mentors here; you are someone who is seen as one such authority and that is why I posted the request. I am only thinking about the readers. I value your experience AND your opinion, and I don’t want you to stop sharing them, but it is just that in this case, I have to think about how certain opinions can be dangerous to the reader. I just wanted to clarify this a bit further.
Love, Darlene


Thank you for clarifying the discussion on meds.

I kept very quiet because it was making me feel very inferior because I know the difference meds have made for me.

I’ve been on several different meds over the last 20 years. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with meds that didn’t suit me, and the changeover time between meds when switching has always been very dangerous for me.

I’ve been on a very good med for 2 1/2 years now. It works by increasing the amount of Seratonin in my system and what a med it is.
It’s made a huge difference to me. I’ve been so stable on this med it’s unbelievable how stable I am. It carried me through the most traumatic year of my life last year.

I’m not saying I don’t have my moments because I do, especially when things happen which trigger me severely then I’m not so good.

This med does not numb me, it works with me. I still have my feelings and they take a lot of handling at times. When I get triggered the feelings tend to be totally overwhelming mostly because I really don’t know how to process feelings.

I know that without meds or between meds I’m very dangerous and all over the place.

When I first began meds I had a lot of people judged me but those who’ve known me for many years recognise how different I am on meds, and particularly on this med. There are times I do think “I wish one day I didn’t have to take meds to be stable.” But if I do have to, I do.

There is some mileage in the chemical imbalance theory because this med seems to have really sorted out that imbalance like no other med has. But I know there are other elements such as grief, anger etc which tend to get turned in on myself affecting my moods as well.

I do not believe everyone is capable of making their own decisions. I am in certain situations but not in others and when it comes to taking meds I’d rather be stable than dangerously unstable without it. I’d rather be managing and coping with meds than not ok without them. Yes, my life is still severely limited but nowhere as limited as it was without meds or on meds that didn’t suit me.

I had never heard about the affect of Seratonin on mood before I was introduced to this med, that seems to be part of the problem for me as I’ve been so stable on this med.

There are a lot of underlying reasons for depression and if the only viable option for someone is to take a med that works with them and suits them then so be it. Better that than the other option!


Darlene, I do understand what you are saying. I know that some of our experiences are very different and depression is one of those areas. I have never been labeled with depression but I have seen the damage that some doctors do. Doctors on a whole do care about their patients and want what is best for them. I think that doctors trust the pharmaceutical companies to feel the same way and I just don’t see it. Some of the drugs that are being used today have such severe side effects that the cure seems worse than whatever disease they are being used to treat.

I won’t quit sharing my experiences here because I know that all of us that share do help those coming along after us. I will stay away from the discussions on depression. I will be careful with my opinions. Feel free to call me down if I go into dangerous areas again. I do mean that. I am only here to help myself and any others who may find value in my words. I would not ever intentionally hurt someone else by sharing. I do sometimes get passionate about my beliefs. Again, I am sorry if I unintentionally harmed anyone else with my words.


Fi, please accept my apology. I did not intend to sit as judge for anyone. I would never consciously do that to anyone. I know what judgments feel like. I am very sorry if my words made you feel that way. This is apparently one instance where my experiences with doctors has colored my judgment. Hurting you or anyone else is not what I wanted to do. I did not mean to cause anyone pain. I am fallible just as we all are. I am a wounded but healing person who still makes mistakes sometimes with words and actions.

Fi, Darlene and everyone else who is here reading, my grandmother, who in many ways was my mother after she saw me through whooping cough at age 2, taught me that it is okay for an adult to say they are sorry when they make mistakes. We all makes mistakes in our lives and this is a big one for me. I know the words “I am sorry” didn’t mean much coming from our dysfunctional parents. I have learned from their mistakes. I do not say that I am sorry lightly as they did. I won’t make this same mistake again. I will think more before pushing the publish button on my comments. That is my action after the words. My parents never did that. Their sorrys were meaningless. I don’t intend my words to be meaningless. I am sorry for hurting anyone with my words. Thank you for being here and listening. They do come from my heart.


Hi Fi,
I also used meds successfully when I needed them too. But I had good doctors that way. Many don’t. Many have doctors who don’t care about the person and just use meds to “get rid of the person” without proper consideration. That is the other side of the coin that we are talking about here and on Susans guest post. But the two get all mixed together ~ which is why it is a dangerous topic! lol

I am glad that my clarifications made you feel better.

You are so gracious and your passion is so wonderful. I am so glad that you are the way you are! I appreciate you here on this blog.

I feel frustrated because of my cut fingers and really want to make so me decent comments to everyone! but I can’t!!
Hugs! Darlene


Thank you Darlene and Patricia, I think this community is an amazing place where we can discuss these issues without people getting uppity or defensive.

I realise how far I’ve come that I made that comment.

In the past I would have just kept silent and said nothing. But there is a new me emerging, one who does have the confidence, from somewhere (!!) to speak up without fear of being putting down. I realise how safe I feel here.

I also felt I had to say something because the whole issue of depression and meds and how they are used and affect people is a huge one. I’ve not had a problem free experience with meds but I’ve been fortunate to not had some of the extreme experiences some people have had. I recognise the value of meds but also the danger of meds at the same time.


Hi Layla:) #26 My story is a lot like Darlenes. I’ve not found many who are tuned into this kind of work and while most of my support system is online I’ve learned to manage the isolation by slowly exposing myself to local situations in the beginning that felt not too threatening like volunteering, attending library writers group. Sometimes I just went outside at the park or downtown to people watch and reacclimatize after nearly 30 years in closed systems where I was isolated from the bigger world. Or a walk at the park where I could smile at others but not engage in any conversations if I wasn’t up for it. I viewed the bumps along the road as learning opportunities as I practiced being this new more confident me around others and breaking the isolation I’d lived in for so long. It was really helpful to me when I realized that each connection or relationship served a different purpose and if I could identify what I had in common with others outside of my healing journey that I had a pretty well rounded circle of friends and acquaintances and a safe place (online) to connect with others who were traveling the healing journey too.. EFB is a really great place to find the support that made such a huge difference for me. 🙂


Fi; I’m glad you were able to say something and just to reiterate what Darlene and even I have said…there is no shame or harm in using the meds if they are helpful to someone. There is a difference between therapeutic use of these chemicals and when they are used to control and the therapy is used to invalidate someone as a person. I’m glad you are here and that you’ve shared your truth on this important issue. Thank you for sharing your experiences:)


You know, in my post above I said I was feeling depressed and now I’m wondering if it was just pms. My pms has been getting worse it seems. I’m not sure. But, once I can get to a doctor maybe we can discuss it. Going back to work I think triggered something. Last night I dreamed people were attacking me in various ways: verbally, and someone even physically. Weird. Hopefully I will get past this. I’ve been discriminated against, bullied and sexually harrassed in work situations in the past. I was afraid that my old supervisor might be there. He wasn’t. They said there would be an HR person and that we didn’t have to worry about SH. Good! Our shift teams are split up evening into male/female, white/black/hispanic. So they seem to be on this. It probably will be ok.

Renee/A Resurrected spirit
April 24th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Hi everyone,
I wanted to comment on depression. My family uses the “F” word like any other word but when you say “depression” they act if you said the most horrible word known to man..Go figure! Secondly this is my beleif and mine only, When you are abused you emotionaly quit growing. There is a NON sientific test you can do to find out how old you are: when you have an arguement or are confronted about something at that very moment think to yourself”how old do I feel right now”. I have been doing this for years. As you go through counseling(because that is the only way I know how to emotionally grow) you will grow and get stronger and feel better about yourself. The girls and I wanted you to know how we figured our ages.
Thanks for letting me talk.


Renee, how fascinating, thanks, that makes a lot of sense to me, at some times in moments of stress or triggering I feel frozen in time and not always at the same age, different ages. I always thought it was a bit odd, why did I feel so small?

Renee/A Resurrected spirit
April 24th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Thank you Fi
I also beleive that when your frozen in that age you make decisions according to that age. That is the bum side of it. Yet like I said before, counseling will help you grow and before long you are at the emotional age you should be. I like to look back on some of the decisions and think Oh Lord I really did that! lol and yes I did! It just makes sence to me and answers a lot of questions. It also makes it clear why some friends and family would look at me oddly and not say any thing on choices or actions I had done.


Good question! “Why did I feel so small?” Because the situation reminded you of something simliar when you were much younger. I think you should take it situation by situation and not get too general about being “younger” emotionally. Just my take.


Fascinating subject, Renee, Fi… yes, “Why did I feel so small,” indeed! And making decisions, speaking and acting according to the age you are feeling at the moment.. THAT explains a LOT. Thank you, Renee, for introducing this idea. It certainly resonates with me.

Sheryl, I also like what you said: “…the situation reminded you of something simliar when you were much younger. I think you should take it situation by situation….” I agree!

I love reading your comments, Renee, Fi, Sheryl… everybody here. You make my day.



exellent post … thank you !


Lots of comments, good observations, which indicate that the sources of depression can range across a wide spectrum.
Judgement, Stigma, Depression ~ Come from Somewhere – gee, um, yah. But I think the order is depressions lead to misjudgement due to social stigma sometimes – and not just by society but by ourselves, that ‘stigma’ portion. We absorb it from the society we are raised in (just as ‘shame’ is dictated by social morals, values, law, and expectations.). We are not only a product of our parents; we think like the society we’ve been raised in, though (laughing pointing at me:) – there are always those ‘eccentrics’. (Okay, not rich enough to be eccentric; therefore, I’m as crazy as a loon.)

BUT here’s the deal as we/I see it: Depression = different. Different=something identified as a ‘potential threat’ becuz’ it’s different; therefore, “unknown”. Unknown items (persons) can kill ya (survival instincts are raging there, no?)

And therefore: tada: you are depressed; you are not ‘normal’, therefore you are an ‘unknown’, and ‘must be something wrong with you’ (attempt by society to ‘defuse’ or ‘control’ the threat by be-littling the thing.)

And we accept this and buy this because seeing all the depressed people around us we don’t know them – and they don’t know us – because we are all running around hiding our own depression.

Another reason: Animal survival. Predators prey on the weak. Depression indicates a weakness. And we want to survive. Therefore we are into ‘hiding it’. After all, must of us were ‘prey’ for long enough, no? yeah? whutever – you knows whuts we’s means.

Finally: Depressed, hon? Know that feeling. Played Spiderman with the artries in my arm. (really kewl for awhile, but got kinda tired of them.) But here’s the thing.
Got no hope? Then hang onto the hope for some hope someday. I know I did when we were / been trapped in the deep wide pit with no bottom, no top, and no holes to let any of the light in.
It comes, someday: that hope of yours. You just gotta keep on hangin – onto that hope for some hope of some hope of some happiness someday.

Been there done that thing and many others, but we’re getting better now 🙂 Hope you can do the same.

Renee/A Resurrected Spirit
April 25th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I disagree and that is ok. I have asked Phychiatrists and I haven’t had any disagree. Yet who is to say how we respond to trauma. There is such a wide scope of abuses and is different for each of us. I simply beleive that when an abuse occurs a person stops growing emotionaly. My youngest had trauma happen to her at age 2 she was called into the principles office and we had a conference with the teacher, counseler, everyone that had an investment in her sucsess. The teacher said she often acts like a 2 yr old. So when we had the meeting I asked my daughter what age does she feel when her teacher speaks about taking maternaty leave. My daughter burst into tears and said 2! I asked her why and she said that the teacher(her favorite) won’t favor her any more because the baby will be take her place. We reassured her that the teacher will still think highly of her and that her Phychiatrist will help her adjust and grow. To date my daughter is 27yrs old and emotionaly is 13. I can tell more stories but at least you get the jest of what I feel is true. All it means is that for me and others I know; need therapy to grow.
Thank you for letting me share.


What often happens is not only do I feel ‘small’ I actually feel like I’m actually acting and reacting like a 3-year old, 5-year old, 6-year, 9-year old. 13-year old etc would react and act. I actually feel like I’ve gone back to that age (whatever age it is I go back to from 0-20) It’s like I go right back to that frozen child and freeze there again.

It takes a lot to bring myself back and ground myself and remind myself I’m not a child but an adult now, I’m 45 and I’m safe.

It sounds really crazy and it feels odd when it happens. I don’t know what a psychiatrist would make of that. But that’s how it happens. I may be physically in a 45-year old’s body but I very rarely feel like I am that age emotionally.


Wow, thanks for sharing that, Renee. It helps me understand…

I think that in my case I stopped growing emotionally at age 12. There were traumas before that, going back to my earliest childhood memories, starting at age 2… BUT… I think there was enough normality in my life, surrounding those earliest traumas, that I continued to be able to grow, albeit maybe with my growth a little crooked.. like a tree that has to grow sideways on the edge of a cliff where there are frequent intense gale winds, but, grow it does…

When I was 12, the traumas and abuse in my home became so intensely severe, that no amount of “normalcy,” at school or anywhere else, cold counter-balance the horrors in my family life. And so, for most of my life, I have felt emotionally like I was about 12.

However, like Sheryl suggested, there are certain situations that remind me of the traumas that happened when I was 2, 4, 8, etc… and when those situations arise, then I temporarily feel like I am one of those much younger ages. So, I actually agree with both of you, Renee and Sheryl…. I think that, overall, I did stop growing emotionally at age 12 when, a few months after my father came so close to killing my mother, that I truly believed she was dead… in the depths of her depression resulting from that terrible night, my mother confessed to me that she had been trying to gas us all to death each time the pilot light on the gas furnace went out while we were sleeping in our beds, and only the safety shut-off valve was keeping us all alive… So then, she told me, she had finally given up on the gas idea, and was going to drive us all off a cliff, because she had brought us all into the world and therefore believed she had the right to take us out of it, and, because life is so hard, she thought she would be doing us a favor, by killing us…

When my mother told me this, so calmly and matter-of-factly, like she was telling me what she was going to cook for dinner that night, something inside me seemed to die. Or freeze. Everything inside me just STOPPED, and stayed RIGHT THERE, frozen in that moment in time, in the winter of 1965-1966.



Hello Sheryl, Renee, Lynda and Fi

I have been keeping up with the comments although I have not been able to keep up with the replies with my cut fingers BUT I just wanted to say that there are many ways that assisted me in recovery and we all find our own ways; so me do work better then others and some work for some people better then they worked for me, and vice versa. The “emotional age thing” that Renee talks about is quiet well known in recovery circles. And it is fine for Sheryl to not wish to do it that way too, but that doesn’t mean the idea is wrong. I think it is so important that we just share what works for us (such as Renee has done here) instead of indicating that others are wrong or advising others to NOT do things a certain way. Our whole lives have been about being told we are wrong, that we are dysfunctional, that we don’t have a clue. The last thing that I want this blog to be is anything like that!
Sharing our own answers is very very powerful and can be so empowering in a world where so many have been disempowered for so long! I find so often that many ideas work and that in order for me to be right, someone else does NOT have to be wrong. =)

Thanks for sharing everyone!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Calvin,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Thanks for leaving a comment!
Hugs, Darlene


Just one more Comment that I forgot to write

Hi Fi.
You reminded me of something with your comment about freezing in different ages. That is so common in the arena of DID. I found that doing this belief system work was what enabled me to go back and re parent myself through those things at those different ages. And I was able to see what had happened and how I was still reacting in the same way; then I could coach myself through it, and finally grow up from those areas/ages where I had been stuck for so long.

On a side note; I still never feel my real age either, and maybe I don’t really want to! Being this age might be a drag! (but I am no longer stuck in child modes, which is really what I am trying to say!)
Hugs, Darlene


DARLENE… per your latest comment… you need an award for that. Not only for typing with your poor painful cut fingers, but for being so BRILLIANT and diplomatic!!

I love what you said: “Our whole lives have been about being told we are wrong, that we are dysfunctional, that we don’t have a clue. The last thing that I want this blog to be is anything like that!”


“….in order for me to be right, someone else does NOT have to be wrong.”




….I’ve been thinking about my mother. Trying to write the letter I want to write to her, and it’s Not Easy…

From the moment my mother confided her horrible secret to me, about trying/wanting to kill us all… along with her stern warning that if I ever told anyone, she would be sent to prison for life, and the 5 of us kids would go to separate foster homes and never see each other again, which to my 12-year-old mind was a fate worse than death, so for years, I did not tell a soul, and keeping that secret, and worrying day after day and night after night that she still might decide to go through with killing us all, literally BROKE ME….

….from the moment my mother BURDENED me with her guilty secret (“I just have to get this off my chest, but I can’t think of anyone I can safely tell it to, other than you, Lynda” ~ gee, thanks, mom, for giving me YOUR CROSS to bear)…. from that moment on, my mother treated me like she abso-freaking-lutely HATED ME.

She had never been the most loving mother to me before, but she hadn’t been too terrible… well… not terrible, ALL the time. But after she made me her confessor, from that moment on my mother treated me like I was the worst thing that walked. She acted like she hated everything about me from then on, and, in any situation, my mother somehow managed to think of the MOST HURTFUL thing she could say to me, and that is what she would say.

When I finally began to fall apart emotionally 2 years later, with what I now believe was PTSD, but since Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was not a known diagnosis in the 1960s, I was diagnosed with the catch-all mental illness of the day, “schizophrenia,” the Broken Mind… then my very Unloving mother, who has just married my stepfather, and had warned me to keep my blossoming young woman’s body far away from him ~ I guess she was afraid he would be sexually attracted to me, like my real dad had made it widely known that he was, starting when I was 12, but my stepfather was never anything but a perfect gentleman and a proper father-figure around me, and as for me, I was a shy, extremely modest, GIRL…

But my mother, with her “no house is big enough for two women” philosophy, JUMPED at the chance to have me committed to the worst Insane Asylum in the state… ignoring her new husband’s pleas to not do that to me (he actually went to a lawyer to see if he could stop her and was told that, because he was not my “real” parent, he had no legal way of stopping her)… my mother also ignored the advice of the first psychiatrist she had sent me to, who insisted that I was “not that bad” and did not need to be committed… after all, I had not committed any crimes (other than some petty shoplifting, which I regret), and I not ever in any way tried, nor ever so much as thought about nor threatened, to harm myself or anyone else… I looked and behaved perfectly “normal,” the only problem was that, after I’d gotten involved with some kids at school with another girl’s oui ja board and seances, I was having nightmares and waking up in the night thinking there was a ghost in my room, and, yes, I was hearing some voices, and they were scaring me.. but it wasn’t like a “Son of Sam” thing, the voices weren’t telling me to do anything bad in any way, and, as I say, I was still perfectly in control of myself and always behaved in a normal, socially accepted manner… but because I was dissociating, after becoming fascinated by the seances because I’d wanted to contact my paternal grandfather, who had very recently died, and who had seemed to me to be the ONLY one of my parents or grandparents who truly loved me for ME, unconditionally…

… my mother found another psychiatrist who was willing to sign papers to have me committed, based on the fact that, after getting involved with those childish seances, I was hearing voices, and had told this to my mother, hoping she could advise me on how to get rid of them… and for this reason ALONE, I was, at the age of 14, Thrown Away. Everything I owned, all the toys and treasures and gifts from family and friends, and school projects I had carefully saved from babyhood on, were all hauled off to the dump, because: Lynda was NOT COMING BACK HOME again EVER. In the 1960s, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the odds were less than 3% that you would ever be released from being committed to a mental institution ~ that is what the psychiatrist in that institution told me, during our very first meeting, his form of verbal Shock Therapy, I guess it was, and when he saw the look of disbelief on my face ~ my mother had told me I would only be in there a month or two at most, so they could “help me,” the shrink said to me, “If you don’t believe me, go ask the other patients on the ward how long they have been there.” I did, and the SHORTEST answer I got, was 8 years!! .. So, at 14, my life was OVER. (And when I ran away from that hell hole, and was caught and brought back, I was then put on the Maximum Security ward, with the criminally insane, violent murderers, and all. THAT was where I spent most of my almost-2 years in the institution. NOT a FUN teenage experience.)

WHY did my mother treat me like she HATED ME, from the moment she told me that she had tried to gas us all to death in our beds?? I had no clue of why she was suddenly being so hateful and mean to me, way back then… but now I look back and I realize that she hated me, because I knew her hateful secret. It was as though, from that moment on, my mother projected all of her “badness” onto me. She also began to systematically tear me down to the whole family, telling her parents and everyone else all about my misdeeds, exaggerating, and even telling lies about me, which I now believe was her way of setting me up in advance, in the eyes of everyone who knew me, as someone who lied and couldn’t be trusted, so that IF I should ever tell my mother’s horrible murderous secret, I would not be believed.

Indeed, that narcissistic strategy of my mother’s worked beautifully ~ for when I did finally try to tell, I was not believed. I was INSANE, after all….

Going back to my comment #66, where I wrote: “I think that in my case I stopped growing emotionally at age 12.” IF my mother were to read that… not that I think she will, at age 76 I don’t believe she even has a computer ~ but if my mother were to somehow be reading this…. being the hateful kind of mother that she has been to me, ever since I was 12, my mother would stop reading right there and nod her head knowingly and say, “YES, that’s RIGHT, Lynda never grew up right, she is CRAZY just like her father….” To my mother, it was always about how WRONG and how CRAZY I was, and never about what had been DONE TO ME, by my mother and my father, both, that had caused me to become so badly broken. They broke me, and then they used my brokenness, as justification for them to put me down, and shun me, and finally, to throw me away.

Imagine if my mother had STABBED me with a sharp butcher knife in the gut. And then, because my blood and guts and the stinky disgusting contents of my intestines are spilling all over the room, she is yelling at me for being so gross and stinky and disgusting, and telling everyone in our family all about how gross and filthy and disgusting I am, and then locking me away for life because I am just too horribly gross and disgusting to live with…

THAT’S how society as a whole has long treated our “mentally ill.” They break us, then they despise us for being so grossly broken, and, by that deeply painful rejection, we are broken again.

Now, THAT’S CRAZY! Truly, I would rather be broken than hateful and hard.

PS~ In true Narcissistic style, from the day my mother had me committed me to a mental institution, she told everybody who would listen ~ me, included ~ that locking me up was the HARDEST THING SHE HAD EVER “HAD” TO DO, that the pain and guilt of it almost destroyed her, that it caused her to become horribly depressed and miserable, and all she did was cry, and PRAY FOR ME, from that day forward. So, once again, SHE was the poor pitiful VICTIM, the loving, LONG-SUFFERING “mother.”


Man Lynda I see some of my mom in yours.


Lynda, you will write your letter when the time is right for you. The words will flow when they are supposed to.

Your mother acted like she hated you probably because she was afraid that you would tell her secret. Fear can create hate in a person, especially if that person is a bully.


I think it is great to get all this out. I think that Patricia is right too, and that your mother did all that stuff out of her own guilt and fear etc. The trick for me was to take those details and find out what I believed about myself because of them. (and there are a lot of details so this is not a quickie) Where did I believe that I had caused the problem, or where did I think that I did something wrong, something to cause or contribute to that abuse and mistreatment? and then I was able to look at the reality of the situation. It was not enough for me to figure out the people, situations and motives that resulted in me being devalued and discounted. I had to figure out how it formed my belief system. That is where the truth was, and that is what set me free in the end. Good work Lynda!
Hugs, Darlene


I wasn’t meaning to disagree, just adding the way it might seem to me if I felt younger or less mature, which I do sometimes. I wasn’t really meaning to say that it is one way or another, just adding my perception of it when it happens to me.


Darlene, you wrote (with your sore fingers, ouch): “The trick for me was to take those details and find out what I believed about myself because of them. (and there are a lot of details so this is not a quickie) Where did I believe that I had caused the problem, or where did I think that I did something wrong, something to cause or contribute to that abuse and mistreatment? and then I was able to look at the reality of the situation. It was not enough for me to figure out the people, situations and motives that resulted in me being devalued and discounted. I had to figure out how it formed my belief system. That is where the truth was, and that is what set me free in the end.”

My belief system….. what I believed about myself because of my trauma and abuse…

I believed.. I was a mistake that needed to be erased.


Jeffrey, I’m so sorry you had a mother like mine.

Last night I finally noticed that you had left a comment on my blog about 10 days before… and then I wrote a reply. I’m so not like Darlene, when it comes to keeping up with comments on my blog. And I don’t have any cut fingers.


Believing that I was a mistake that needed to be erased…. meant that I had NO RIGHTS, not even the right to exist.

I wanted… I wanted to LIVE, I wanted to be loved, I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be free. But I BELIEVED that it was selfish and wrong of me to want any of those things, because I believed that I didn’t even deserve the food that it took to keep me alive.

I was told that. Told that I did not deserve the food that it took to keep me alive. And I believed it was true, because I believed it was a mistake that I had ever been born.


Sometimes I still want to reconcile with my mother. I remember the GOOD that was/is in her… yes, there is some good, she wasn’t ALL bad. And I want to forgive and forget everything that hurt, and reconcile, and have a relationship with my mother.

But every time I have tried that, tried the forgiving and forgetting, tried to just start fresh from NOW and have a good relationship with my mother, every single time I have done that, sooner or later she had hurt me with her hateful cutting words, and by lying about me to others, discounting me, making me feel wrong, making me feel small. The last time she did that, in Feb. 2006, when she was such a *B* when my precious baby grandson Kyle died…. that was the last time, of the many many many many times, I have tried to have a relationship with her.

Yet I still sometimes want to try yet again! But when I write these things, when I remember how badly she treated me, how horribly she hurt me…… then I hate her. I just hate her.

Neither feeling feels good. Longing for my mother does not feel good. Hating my mother does not feel good.


hi Lynda
and how could that be true? These were things that you were told, even that you did not deserve the food that it took to keep you alive, those are the lies. It was very hard for me to re wire those lies into the truth, but one of the ways that I did it was to see myself as though I was one of my children. Was it true that I was unworthy? No of course not. I had to set the record straight and realize that what happened to me was wrong, that they don’t get to determine my value. that they never had the right to determine my value in the first place.
Hugs, Darlene


Feeling much better. It is strange how the symptoms of pms can seem so much like depression!


Hi Bonnie,
Glad you are feeling better. I still have to be aware of that stuff; For me it isn’t so much depression anymore when it comes to the monthly stuff, it is insecurity and I can imagine that my whole world is crashing down and that everything is going wrong. YUCK

Hugs, Darlene

Renee/A Resurrected Spirit
April 26th, 2011 at 8:31 am

It’s all good! We each have our own path to walk. We all have heard about the TRAIL OF TEARS, I feel that is how we the abused have to take to get to our place of healing. Broken, defeated, trusting those that betrayed us, being over powered. Just my feelings right now.
Lynda and Darlene when I made my relationship repair with my mom I told her how it was going to go, I set the rules. Then I put it into action. I would hug her and she stiffen like a board. It took me a year to break through. Then when I felt it was safe I set a new set of rules. Then I followed through with those. I gave her no choice. I was connected to her by birth which gave me the right as a person to be treated like she wanted to be treated. It was extremely had to stick to those rules but I knew I wanted a life long relationship with her, and she helped distroy me so she had no voice in the rules I set. I hope this helps It hurts to read your pain, yet you have to do it and I am grateful you do.


Hi Renee
I am really glad that this worked for you. You are fortunate that your mother allowed you to even see her in order for you to carry out your plan. For the sake of the other readers I have to say that it takes two people to have a relationship; I would hate for other readers to believe that they did something “wrong” because the outcome for them was different. Your mother allowed you or went along with you when you set those rules and she had no voice etc and it worked for you however for many (and I mean MANY) the parent (or significant other person) will walk away. If the parent or other person walks away, there is nothing anyone can do about it. I know many stories of parents who don’t care at all about “your rights as a person” and they just simply say “good bye” and it is important that we look at both sides of the story here. In my case, I told my mother the new ground rules, and she said “no” and there was nothing that I could do about it. That is not my failure, but hers. and I don’t have to trust those that betrayed me or abused me when they are not willing to give me equal value to themselves.
There are many ways that we heal and healing does not depend on having a relationship with any one other person.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


If depression is crazy then most of the population is crazy because I know few people who have never suffered any kind of depression. I do know quite a few who suffer and deny it. I think they are afraid to appear weak and I think that is where most of the hateful and stigmatizing remarks come from, fear of weakness. As in all instances of any kind of abuse, it is not what is wrong with the abused that matters. The abuse comes from what is wrong inside the abuser.


Exactly Pam!
Welcome to EFB

Hi Everyone ~ I just posted a new post that has a bit to do with the recent conversation in the comments here. You can read it here:
The “One Day I’ll Show You” Fantasy

Renee/A Resurrected Spirit
April 26th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

In no way what I did was easy, it was one of the hardest thing I ever did. It broke my heart when the fist or 10th time I hugged my mom and it wasn’t resipicated. Yet I had to keep doing it. When I said I waited until I felt safe before I set another set of rules down, I knew that I was taking the chance of her walking away from me. I took the chance and am glad I did. I don’t want someone to take what I did and their mom walk away. I was only recounting what I did and what my out come was. By no means was it a happy ever after because we had to constantly work on it. My mom finally wanted to work on a relationship. Out of guilt or just because I will never know. All I know while she lived her final days here on earth it was worth it to both of us.


Hi Darlene re your comment #68

I’ve never dared to mention my freezing at all sort of child ages in all sorts of situations. It’s an aspect of DID which makes me feel very wobbly and unsure. Although I’ve done a lot of work to accept my child parts and understand the dynamics of DID I’ve not come across anything that addresses this aspect. I began to think it was just me and all I needed to do was keep telling myself I am grown up and safe now, but that doesn’t work. It’s hard feeling like a child locked in an adult’s body and an adult’s mind.

I’m so glad I mentioned it and thank you for kind of ‘normalising’ it for me and for giving me hope that there is a way through it.

Renee/A Resurrected Spirit
April 26th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I think you misunderstood what I meant about the trail of tears. Thats ok, I didnt mean that we trust our abusers I was discribing what the Indians felt as they marched the trail of tears. I felt the distrust, as a child I was dependant on those that abused me, I felt defeaded and lost with no one to turn to. I was comparing how the Indians felt verses how I felt when I was a child.Helpless,and hopeless.


Hi Renee,
Thank for clarifying that about the trail of tears!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Fi,
Ya… I had terrible issues with the freezing thing too and didn’t want to tell anyone either. Because I was told that I was old enough to know better a few of the times when I froze, I believed it so I believed that I had participated or that I was defective and part of the problem. Telling myself didn’t work either, but what did work was doing the work to realize exactly why I froze and finding out exaclty what part of my survival method it was, etc and then reparenting myself and eventually I stopped freezing. A process but yes, there is a way through it!

Hugs, Darlene


“…something inside me seemed to die. Or freeze…”
Quick little tale: (and cautionary trigger warning)

me & bro are running ’round & round the house in a big circle through the house with nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. Mom is right behind us with the butcher knife, pounding after us screaming “I’m gonna kill you!”. We were 4 or 5 years old. Bro & me running. Bro says: “Lets get behind the door” (meaning our bed room door). I go in KNOWING it’s a death trap; but I go in anyway, following Bro. Bro gets behind the door in the corner nearest the hinges; the furthest from the death that’s coming. I get the outside corner. We stand there silent, door pressed against our noses. We hear the screaming going on. Then it stops. Me, I know I’m not stupid like my brother’s been telling me; I know she’s coming – no way out now. Stupid bro, and he’s my big bro, too, LOL! Not so cunning, trapping us behind this great big door in a room with no way out.

WHOOSH! Door jerks forward, so hard and fast it sweeps our hair forward … and that’s when I became 2, LOL! (Okay, not really, but it REALLY put a big dent into our survival quota, if you know what I mean? That along with about a dozen other things).

It’s also really a funny story in some ways: you know how us survivors are; but also pretty damn terrifying. To this day it sends my heart racing and I get … shortwinded? (Damn smoking, that’s what that is more than likely a part of me is laughing.) Either way – yah. Frozen in time that one is; pretty much so. Permanent fracturing I’m thinking; there or just a little bit after.

Who knows? At least I’m happy(er) with what I got; could’ve been worse, could’ve been better – I’m still trying to live with it all (which translates to ‘deal with it all’) and having all of us in a crowd – well, that just makes it funnier sometimes, and sometimes sad.

But good ol’ mom: meaner than a rattling snake towards anything resembling persons – the closest she’s ever come towards admitting she abused us is this:
“Well, thank god that was then. They’d arrested us for child abuse now.” (as if “then” was a time when it was ‘okay’ to be beating and abusing children.)
or this one:

“Well, you turned out okay.” (No I’m NOT, MOM, I’m friggin’ INSANE now I’ll have you … no, wait: WE’LL have you know – and then laughing my collective asses on off).

“At least you’re not in jail.” Okay, that’s a big plus in my book. Plus you wouldn’t want me to go to jail anyway. I’m not good in there. We got a part that looks at that kinda confinement in a military POW sorta way. LOL, ask hubby, Lynda.

And oh yeah, lets not forget the ‘love’ thing – I remember someone bringing that one up. Let’s see, the last time I remember my mom saying “I love you” to me or giving me a hug is when …??

Um, never. Ever. Even unto this day.
And I told my dad to quit giving me hugs when I was 7. You’d think he’d of known something was wrong that day. (I can still remember this evening very well; lots of pain in it for me, even AT THAT TIME I did not want him to stop giving me hugs; he was a closet sadist for sure, but – he never ‘did’ anything to me – aside from mistreating the crap outta me an my brother.
But it was because we’d started becoming abused in another way, by a so-called ‘friend’ and authority figure of ours (placed there in that position by both neighborhood wants & desires, and our own parents). Of course then he was the pedophile as well; oh well, go figure . . .

Lots of ‘clicks in time’; shatters, gutters, margins and errors. LOL, that’s one way of doing it: comparing it to a manuscript; one both beautifully and badly written.

Anyway, ya’ll have fun. I’m off to look at some clouds. 😀


Yes, our mothers were similar in a lot of ways, Jeffrey. It has only been within the past 8 years that I have been able to live in a house that contains a butcher knife. But, I still cannot use a butcher knife myself. If something big needs cutting, my husband must do that job. How many times have I sawed away at a watermelon with a dull table knife?

Of course, my mother/butcher knife story isn’t exactly the same as yours. But close.

The terror and the freezing/breaking, though, that was the same.


[…] “One of the worst things that also contributed to my overall belief system is that I learned that somehow I could help her if I acted a certain way or didn’t get in her way and didn’t upset her. She had to be treated with kid gloves, or there would be a price to pay. I learned by her actions and the consequences of my actions, that her depressions were somehow my responsibility and even my fault.” http://emergingfrombroken.com/judgement-stigma-depression-come-from-somewhere/#more-2578 […]


[…] That was before I found out how I ended up in that swamp […]

~My new post has points in it relating to this post! Includes the feelings when it came to depression and more about how depression comes from somewhere ~ Darlene


D – i have never thought about my trauma being neglected. I have thought of me being neglected a lot but not my trauma. I didnt even know i had PTSD until about 5 years ago. I am still struggling with how to treat it, what to do about it, what type of therapy i need, if any. I love getting your perspective because again its like we grew up in the same home. My mother was also abused and had PTSD from early childhood. I grew up trying to meet every need she had and fill that “black hole” within her that could never be filled. my father paid little attention to her. He had severe depression and had PTSD from WW II that never was treated. So not only did i have a narcissistic, abusive mother who was a train wreck, i had a father who was checked out and basically angry all the time.

I still struggle mightily with getting my needs met. Its very difficult as a male to find healthy relationships with other christian men. There seem to be very few of them in our society. If Jesus is our model (and he is) then why are so many men so screwed up and unwilling to seek change/help/growth in order to become more like christ ?!


Hi Dave
You may find the answers to all those questions in some of the writings here and also through your own healing. Many of these types of questions I had always had became clear to me when I did the work I had to do.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] of the consequences of bringing shame on my family that I ignored the solution to overcoming the mental health issues that I had. Rejection from my family when I was a little child would have meant death. I believed […]


“…and that because she didn’t have the tools that she needed to raise an emotionally healthy child, I too was placed at risk.”

This resonates with me greatly especially since I am in the field of early childhood education and the most profound influence on a child’s emotional intelligence is how their parents handle and deal with their own stress and negative feelings. Processing emotions in a healthy manner is a learned skill picked up from observing those in your immediate environment and those children who grow up in homes where there is psychological dysfunction are at risk of developing coping mechanism as a way to adapt to their troubling environment. This is something I have had to deal with personally myself, with both parents unable to process negative feelings and instead employ denial and invalidation as a tool for ignoring those uncomfortable emotions. I’ve had to explore my own wounds about being raised in this environment in order to not treat my own children the same way and it is a grueling process, learning to think so differently but very much worth the effort.


I too believe that depression starts somewhere. Amazing though, that in our society today, its rampant. Can it be the because of the breakdown of the family unit where people are more concerned about their work, careers, etc. instead of people?? Just asking, because I don’t know – its a guess. Gone are the days where ‘villages’ raised children – I remember when society would aid in correcting kids when they were caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing – now, everyone turns blind eyes … especially where there is abuse. ESPECIALLY where there is abuse. How is it that we have been conditioned to not get involved in someone’s welfare, especially the welfare of the child? Neglecting someone – their needs and time of need – is so damaging … and abuse does it well.

My depression is linked to my mother’s abuse and neglect of me. I am attempting going off meds right now … its been a little over a month now and is going well. But there are days I want to start again – but I stop, breathe and talk myself out of reaching for it. I think depression always has a cause – a start place. Maybe the lack of seratonin (sp?) in the brain is decreased not because it just happens, but because something happened. I firmly believe I struggle with it because I don’t know who I am. I’ve been discovering who I am – but some of me is still foggy. All the anxiety I suffer stems from a very critical and degrading mother in my life. It’s no wonder that anxiety and depression snuck up on me and clipped my heal.

Great post, Darlene!


Hi Rise,
I don’t know if a return to the past is the way to go. In my mothers generation the silence was worse! My grandmothers was worse again. I don’t think people got involved back then either. I think depressions were just as bad, just not as known or talked about. Not as much treatment either. Neglect was accepted back in the old days. uggg… Depression comes from somewhere alright!
That is great that you are able to go off meds! That was a tough time for me ~ be gentle with yourself.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Wolfmother
Welcome to EFB ! Yes this is another factor; learned coping methods ~ I have written lots about this as well. It is so helpful when we look at all these factors in order to re parent ourselves properly on this journey!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


“I don’t believe that any of us were born depressed. I believe, & this is just my opinion,that many of us who were abused found out that anger wasn’t a safe or acceptable emotion with our abusers. Neither was grief…”

Yes, in my family the “bad” emotions of anger, grief, or hurt and disappointment were unacceptable and denied, but also the “good” emotions…excitement, extreme joy over an accomplishment, any show
of any emotion was unacceptable. I never could stop myself from expressing however and always expressed the good ones…and was always punished and punished and punished for being abnormal.
I have had a major episode of clinical depression, actually quite textbook, but at the time I didn’t understand what was happening.
I stupidly went to my parents for a break for some get away time. They decided the best thing would be to treat it with alcohol. Bought me vodka and told me to drink it when I felt upset.
Never consider that I might need real help. It was another sign of my defectiveness to my family.
After showing them that weakness the “distain” was much worse. Not just a drama queen but
crazy too.
I recovered my balance alone, went back to work and hoped it would never happen again.
After my son’s suicide all the self doubts and esteem issues and depression have come back..
Quite in the bottom of the pit, I found this blog a couple of months ago.
Wow!! Darlene’s posts and all the amazing responses have shown me that it wasn’t me..it really wasn’t..
I was carefully trained, demeaned and abused. Even when I broke away, I was still or should say am still
punishing myself for my “badness”. But now I see. Each day I try to take control back consciously, defeat my
depressive thinking..they really are just MY thoughts putting me there. But I always Believed in my
complete badness. Small steps now towards taking back my life. Thank you all.


Hi Karen
I agree; not being encouraged to feel healthy emotions is a huge part of how the “shut down” happens! Being punished for having emotions is a breeding ground for depression! And yes, my family also used my depression as “proof” that the problem was me.
I love your victory sentences at the end of your comments! It really wasn’t YOU!
Thank you for sharing Karen!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

For me, I had to carry the burden of the depression of my father.
He convinced me that if he wasn’t feel good it was only my fault.
This processus helped him to feel better and to avoid the real causes of his depression and to see he had a problmem.

And of course I thought he was right.I thought I was responsible of him. I thought his anger towards me was due to my fault, I thought I was responsible and guilty for his sadness. I thought I was a bad person.


Hi Aurele
I totally relate to that! It has been a very big part of my process to UN LEARN that stuff and to realize how wrong it was.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] in the first place? Here in Emerging from Broken, I always talk about how everything has a root. Depression starts somewhere. We are not born with low self esteem. And it is the root of both those things that makes setting […]
New post on Emerging from Broken.


Totally agree. Being a man, most men view it as weakness, as I did. Thinking I am weak because I am depressed makes me feel more depressed and weak. Violence is a tell tale sign of a depressed man, not a macho man. Thanks for your article, it helped a lot.


Hi Paul
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for your comment. Hugs, Darlene


Depression. After reading all the posts, l know that l’m not alone. I’ts a horrible thing to have. I was finally diagnosed with Dysthymia. I notice there’s not much said about it, but l hope to raise some awareness around it. I have been stuck in a feeling for so long, that its just depression. It’s treatable. Then l wonder why l still feel low most of the time. There’s no sense of enjoyment left. I lost faith in doctors and specialists, as the psychic pain simply doesn’t go away. It’s a real struggle getting by day by day, some days being worse, other days, not too bad. It gets scary for me when suicidal thinking becomes the norm. It’s not something l’m very open about (there’s that stigma), yet it seems to be a normal way of thinking. I deny it when asked hoping that having the issue raised will somehow knock some reality into me and make me forget all that thinking. But it doesn’t. Then l get to thinking of all those who could not cope with life and it often makes me despair, that no-one really took the time to understand them. But then maybe, they didn’t open up and couldn’t see any hope for their future, and ending it all, was the only option. Depression like dysthymia is a very real medical condition. I thought l was just making excuses for everything and l needed this to be validated. Depression is agony and if you know anyone suffering, please listen empathically to them.


Hi Kylie
Welcome to emerging from broken!
You are certainly not alone! I struggled with deep depression for many years until I found the root of it and addressed that root. I am really glad that you are here. There is a lot of support in this site. There is a lot of discussion about finding those “roots”.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene,

I certainly will keep reading your blogs. Very inspiring and thought provoking. Looking forward to being involved with everyone in here.

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