Judgementalism: A Cloud of Disapproval and Condemnation by Pam Witzemann

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healing from child abuseI am excited to welcome my friend and fellow truth seeker, Pam Witzemann back to Emerging from Broken.  Pam busts through the fog with this two part article about living under constant judgment and disapproval. Pam is a regular participant in almost all the discussions here in EFB and has her own blog; “Boomer Back-beat ~ Talking bout our generation”. Please help me welcome Pam by leaving your comments or by clicking the ‘like button’. As always I am looking forward to the conversation! ~ Darlene Ouimet

Judgementalism: A Cloud of Disapproval and Condemnation by Pam Witzemann

I could never please my mother, who was very judgmental of me. I grew up within a cloud of disapproval and condemnation that robbed me of self-confidence, healthy self-esteem, and the ability to self-validate.

“You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” That expression summed up my daily life in childhood. No matter what I did, I couldn’t please my mother. If I did something right, any praise I received was coupled with a reminder of how I’d messed up in the past. There were also, constant questions as to whether I would repeat any past wrong doing in the future. My mom viewed everything I did or didn’t do as a personal attack. She didn’t like me and I was pretty sure that she thought I was out to get her. I was my mother’s evil daughter destined to live a life that a mother could only, disapprove of. That was the life my mother chose for me and as a child, I was unable to see an alternative. I believed that I was a bad child, the black sheep, and I fulfilled what my mother expected from me.

If you have the name, you might as well play the game.” This was the logic that guided me during my teenage years. When I was 13, my math teacher told me that I worked awfully hard at being bad. He was right because inside, I wasn’t a bad child but no matter what I did, my mother saw me as her evil daughter. Everything she accused me of, I eventually, tried on for size. She accused me of using drugs, so I did. She never accepted what I told her as the truth so, I learned to lie. The only good thing she ever told me about myself was that I was pretty. My self-value was centered around my looks and the attention I received from boys was my only source of self-esteem. What I really wanted was my mother’s approval but I never earned that approval. My mother’s judgment of me was harsh and the cloud of disapproval she hung over my head, so dense that I don’t think she ever saw me for who I really am. When I’m around her, I forget who I am too. I tense up and protective walls are raised because the only way to protect myself from the condemnation that is sure to come, is to never let her get close enough to  see what I really think or feel. I don’t trust my mother and she doesn’t trust me. I speak of our relationship in the past tense, not because she is dead, but because our relationship died from a basic lack of trust. The truth is my mother never knew me and because she refuses to respect me and accept the truth about my life and our relationship, she probably, never will.

“Well, kick yourself in the butt and get over it! You’ve made your bed now, lay in it!” Judgmental people are miserable comforters. They love to be present during a crisis and offer their help in the form of pronouncing judgments on everything the injured party has done to bring misfortune upon themselves. In the cloud of disapproval that judgmental people cast around their target, perpetrators become reasonable and victims are to blame. Whenever someone hurt me, my mother would take their side and explain what I did wrong that caused them treat me poorly. My mother never had my back and I knew from an early age that it was me against the world. People get what they deserve“. When people hurt me, I knew that somehow, it was my fault and there was no one to go to for sympathy, in my house. For a long time, I believed what my mother believed about me and I was unable to make a simple decision without questioning my motives and ability. Just as my mother never trusted me, I learned not to trust myself. When someone hurt me, I immediately, turned my thoughts inward, and searched for what I did to invite mistreatment. The cloud of disapproval I grew up under caused me to think others always knew better than I did, as to what was good for me. I was incapable of making good decisions for myself. I needed a second opinion on everything. I became a follower and lived my life in hopes of pleasing others and gaining approval. I would do whatever someone asked if they showed me the slightest approval.

Girls get raped because they dress too sexy, or behave in a way that asks for it“. When I was raped at 14, it didn’t matter if I had said ‘no’ and didn’t want it to happen. I hadn’t fought hard enough. It was my fault. I knew it was because I was bad. The skirt I’d worn that day was too short and my girlfriend and I had been playing with makeup, when her dad and older brother came in. It was the way I was dressed that caused her dad to make remarks about how beautiful I was, as he told me to turn my face from side to side, so that he and his son could admire me. I knew it was my fault because of the humiliation I felt when he told me to stand up and turn completely around. It was confusing when my girlfriend’s dad wouldn’t let my girlfriend and I stay in the same room. Instead, I was to sleep in her older brother’s room and he was supposed to sleep with his little brother. When my friend’s older brother came into his room in the middle of the night, what happened was my fault because I was afraid her dad would hear.  I was intimidated, afraid that if I fought him and made too much noise, his dad would come in. I was sure all of it was my fault. I’d been taught that good girls didn’t ever let boys do those things. I hadn’t been able to stop him. I was a bad girl and I could never tell my mother what had happened to me. I did tell my sister but I described what happened the way I understood it. I was bad and it was my fault. The inevitable happened because I was a bad girl. My mother was right. I asked for it by wearing a short skirt (when my mother told me not to) and wearing makeup. The cloud of disapproval thickened and I hated myself. I couldn’t stand myself and a few weeks later, was the first time that I ran away from home; but I couldn’t run away from me. Since I was so bad, I gave myself over to being bad and ran away from myself by using drugs. For over thirty years, I never told anyone, besides my sister about what happened to me and for over thirty years, I understood being raped as my fault.

“You can’t outrun the past. God forgives you but you still have to pay the consequences for your sins”. “Your life lies before you, like drifts of pure white snow; be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.”  From the time I was raped at 14 until I was 19, I lived my life fully, under the cloud of my mother’s disapproval. I was a condemned child, a ‘bad girl’. At almost 16, a hebephile told me that I was a beautiful woman and he loved me. I didn’t know he was a hebephile or that it was wrong for grown men to like teenagers. I didn’t even know what a pedophile was or know the word. I thought there was nothing wrong with a man more than ten years older than me asking me to move in with him. After all, my mom was only 18 and my dad 28 when they were married. My mother told me that it was better to go with older men because girls mature faster than boys. I saw his invitation as a way to get out from under my mother’s disapproval, which was becoming heavier every day. Of course, I already saw myself as being bad so it didn’t matter if this man wanted to marry me or not. I didn’t expect him to marry me. As a bad girl, I had to settle for what I got. It made me sick to have sex with him but he had lots of drugs and there wasn’t much I couldn’t do if I were stoned enough. My parents did nothing to save me and I’m sure they thought I was “getting what I asked for”. They waited for me to get enough and come crawling home. I never once questioned them for doing so. For over three years, my life spiraled downward, as I fulfilled what my mother prophesied for me. I never thought of myself as having been sexually abused. I accepted it all as my fault, as what I deserved because I was bad.

To be continued…. (you can read part 2 here: “How Judgmental People define Other People”

Pam Witzemann

Please share your thoughts with Pam and I about living with judgment, condemnation and disapproval and the effects of that. Remember that you are free to use any name you wish in the comment form. Only the name you use will be seen by the public. Although EFB has a facebook page, your comments here will not be published there or linked to you in anyway. ~ Darlene

Pam Witzemann was born in Santa Fe, NM and is married, has raised two boys and has two grandsons. Pam and her husband have had their own business for over twenty years. Pam is a painter and a writer and hopes to make these pursuits more than a hobby in her later years. Pam authors the blog Boomer Back-Beat; a place where baby boomers find inspiration in the process of aging.

Related Posts ~ Pam writes about “the mind of a child predator” at boomer back-beat ( Pam’s blog is no longer available)

143 response to "Judgementalism: A Cloud of Disapproval and Condemnation by Pam Witzemann"

  1. By: SMD Posted: 9th December

    Catherine,
    I could relate to alot of what you said in your coomment #136. Your insight into how your FOO are polar opposite like magnets, so resonated with me. I think my FOO & I are like opposites in that I seek the Truth & they live in Denial. There is no desire to change their ways or face their demons. I’m not loved the way that I’ve needed to be Loved & that has been painful. Although, I’ve chosen to have minimal contact with them. They don’t abuse me anymore, since I set my boundaries & limited direct contact. I really just want to be Loved for the person I am, that’s at my core. This awareness just came to me the other day when talking with my husband. He pointed out the Truth that my FOO has been rejecting me all along, which I clearly see, however he does not understand why I have not cut them out by now. Yes, I had to be honest with myself that I’ve been holding out for some reconcilation, which I now believe will not happen. They are incapable of admitting their mistakes & project their negative feelings onto me. Christmas is hard, since it brings up past memories & feelings. Not anywhere near the pain I used to feel, because of one important thing I know the “Truth”…My husband actually said to me, “The truth will set you free!” He has never said that to me. Didn’t realize he even thought that way. My husband & I are closer now, that I’ve opened up & shared about my FOO. I’ve been doing that for years, however, it’s like he gets it now, esp after being humiliated & shunned by my FOO. He saw first hand how they can be & he has walked away from them. I chose to support him, by cutting contact with my FOO on Christmas Eve,about 4 years ago. I did not have it in me to be pretend everything was fine. I felt betrayed & abandoned…the two most painful emotions in my opinion. My FOO takes sides & it’s usually with other mean/abusive people in the family. I’m not that way & you’d think they would be grateful to have a dtr like me. I’m realizing so much lately, that I deserve better & I’m worthy of love. I don’t need to grovel for it by being the bigger person or overlook their mean ways. I feel as if I have risen above their negativity, since it’s been less painful for me. That may have a lot to do with sticking to my no direct contact rule since this past July. Although I have minimal contact by FB, I can control that by ignoring them or choosing what I will respond to. I’m strong willed like my FOO, however the biggest difference is when I Love someone it’s real. It’s hard for me to cut all ties, when I have bonded with my toxic family. I learned to Love the Wrong/Unhealthy people- my FOO, while denying my own happiness. I’m happier since seperating myself from them. I feel like my true self & my own person. I value being an individual not a mindless clone/reflection of my FOO. I believe they see me as the bad guy, which is so far from the Truth! I realize my worth. I focused on their positive qualites, which they do have, they aren’t psychopaths, although it can feel that way with their rejection & nastiness. I’m a fighter & the more I push back the more resolved they become. They have chosen not to acknowledge my feelings & that is hurtful to me. I really thought they loved me, but whatever it is, it’s not real love. I have real love with my kids by accepting them for who they are & validating their feelings….They are worthy too 🙂
    Sonia

  2. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 9th December

    Thank you Marla… looking back before I got caught up in all this crazy “family” business (at my instigation, I might add), I think I must have had some “peace.” And I think I am finding my way back to it now. Finally!

    I am never sure I’ll be able to get my balance back, and always afraid that I might drown, but I never do and I come out of it all with a clearer picture each time. And truth is how we pick apart the twisted knots and put the puzzle pieces back together and the picture will emerge. We can use Occam’s razor if necessary!

    I was so depressed about upset about my family estrangement and rejection before all this happened, I don’t think I really appreciated the peace and tranquility I did have until I come back and that peace was completely shattered. “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry…” (singing here)

    But now I do have my balance back, and I am beginning to “see clearly.” What else can I do? Kill myself? Kill them? Run away for 25 years and avoid them at all costs? No. I don’t need to do anything like that.

    It’s time to simply look at the situation clearly, and look at every person’s comments, reactions and behavior. Including my own. “Just the facts, M’am” and the facts speak for themselves.

    As Darlene said, “The truth does not need a majority vote” and I don’t need validation or agreement from my dysfunctional family of origin. The more they invalidate me and attack me or react defensively, the more I know I am on the right track. With care and consideration, and a clear eye, a steady hand, and attention to detail, I can re-wire myself.

    All I have to do is avoid re-injury by not having any more contact. I believe that they won’t bother me if I don’t bother them, by emailing or asking questions as to why they have treated me the way they did, or if they want to try for resolution, which they might say they do but our family does not know how to resolve any conflict. So any answer will be a lie because they are the Trojan Horse with enemies inside the “gift” waiting to get out, or they are mentally ill will severe personality disorders that simply will not allow them to resolve anything. Mood swings, mistaken mental interpretations, twisting the truth, changing the facts, being the victim when they are the attacker… it never ends with any of them, and I get caught up in and I begin to behave this way. That’s the worst of it.

    My family is like a toxic virus that infects me whenever I am around them, and I have no vaccine to protect myself as yet. But the real vaccine is TRUTH and MEDITATION, and with both all will be well. I also realize that I am just as toxic to them as they are to me, as we are polar opposites and diametrically opposed, with one end for Truth and the other end for Denial. And never the twain shall meet! And my “truth” is as much an attack on them as their “denial” is for me. So I will let them rest in peace and I will go my own way.

    I did it before for 25 or 30 years, and never realized until my mother died how much I had been waiting for a “deathbed reconciliation.” I really believed this, and wondered for years when and how this would happen. Would I go if I were called? What would I say? Who would be present and would they attack me? I had planned to fly out there separately and make my goodbyes but even that was refused me and I was attacked for even wanting to. As recently as a few days ago, and my mother died more than two years ago! But I was still hurt and trying to find out “why.”

    Now I know why: she did not want me there, never loved me, and had no desire to reconcile anything. Punishment and Rejection runs deep in our family system, and it’s too bad and it’s too sad, but I don’t have to be a part of it. I tried and I died but I’m still here, much to their dismay. But it’s all over now including the shouting, as if I have no contact they can’t shout at me any longer. What a relief!

    So it’s best to keep myself away and not get caught up in their magnetic field. Facing one way we are in great opposition, in the other direction we are slammed next to each other, impossible to remove. Just like powerful magnets that we used to play with as kids. Are the magnets “bad” or “toxic” in this situation? No, they are just enmeshed or opposed. And I chose to not be magnetized by them so I will keep my distance and save my self. Easy enough said and now easy enough to do. I hope!

    I guess this is one positive thing that has come out of all this turmoil since I returned. And I hope it will be the last!

    But there’s such an easy solution:

    “Just Say No.” And this time, it won’t be running and hiding to avoid them; it will be having given it my best shot and having the same unresolvable problems over and over again. So this time I can sincerely from the bottom of my heart say “Adios enemigos.”

    friend = amigo
    enemy = enemigo

    I really thought we might have a basis for a friendship, or at least “friendly / civil relations” with my family of origin, but in my case it is just not possible. It seems this will never come to pass.

    But the funny thing is, after trying for so many years, I have done my best and I can let it go. In good part due to our wonderful forum EmergingFromBroken.com, where I have – for the very first time – found true support and understanding, and a way to “put all the pieces back together,” based on TRUTH this time around. As Darlene always says, here we have a way to “re-wire ourselves.” I’ve always known I needed to do this and wanted to do this, but never knew how. Darlene and everyone on here has shown me how. And love and support is here every single day, 24/7.

    It’s changed my life!

    I’m going to post our email exchange in the forum, too, if you don’t mind. If not, let me know and I’ll ask Darlene to remove it. Thank you so much for writing. I can’t believe how much progress is being made, in spite of, or because of, these terrible responses I have been getting. But as Darlene says:

    “Triggers are your friend.” They really DO show us just what we still need to work on! And so I do and my guardian angels and all my friends, in person and online, see me through. Thank God for the internet, and miracles great and small.

    Happy Holidays! Your friend, Catherine Todd

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th December

      Catherine
      Please do not cut and paste personal email into the comment forms here. I just edited a comment that you made to Marla where you included your personal communication with her and her private email to you. By doing this, Marla’s full name was posted; something that she did not choose to do herself. (I have removed all of it now) Please be more careful in the future.
      Thanks, Darlene

  3. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 6th December

    Another excerpt from “Digging Graves:”

    I am so sick of hearing “there is no point in dwelling on it” as if the ghosts of the past don’t exist and don’t haunt us in unconscious and conscious ways. These very same people go on to express anger and grief and do everything in their power to keep the lid on the coffin… Sitting there having a glass of wine, drinking a beer or smoking a joint and saying “What coffin? I’m sitting on my couch!”

    I WILL lay these ghost to rest. Once and for all, they will be recognized for who and what they are, with their hurts angers resentments and fears from the past… They will be given a PROPER BURIAL.

    I have spent twenty years in the mountains and in the deserts on an archeological dig. Now I am digging graves. It’s time to lay all of of this to rest.

    DEAR GOD SHOW ME THE WAY.

  4. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 6th December

    “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

    Martin Buber

    This is one of my favorite quotes that describes the journey we are on. And by revealing our own secrets, we will find our way home. Thank you EFB. I could never have done any of this, these final breakthroughs, if it hadn’t been for you. Gracias to everyone here! Amen.

  5. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 6th December

    Thank you Pam and Darlene for DETAILS of “how you did it.” Everyone talks in generalities which I could never understand. NOW I can, when it is explained outright with simple details and examples.

    Pam wrote:

    “Yes, it really did all happen to me and the ball is the truth. I was stuck for a long time thinking that I had to reconcile with my family in order to find my own healing.”

    Darlene said the same thing. And Darlene states “Triggers are your friends.”

    Whew! You are right; everyone says we are to “avoid triggers” but how to do that? I have avoided my family for YEARS and when I finally came back in contact, when my mother was dying, all those TRIGGERS were right there, waiting for me. And you both are right stating I “buried these things as a child,” with a child’s viewpoint on all of them.

    Now I am a grown up adult and I’m clearing out the wreckage and digging my way out of the mausoleum that was set for me. But I made it through! I SURVIVED, and very well, I might add. I might have done better if I hadn’t been disabled for so many years, but even overcoming a disability or just plain learning to accept it and live with it in spite of having it can be of great benefit, and something to be proud of.

    I have been writing and writing and writing nonstop these last few days here on this website, on my blog, and to my supportive friends. If I stopped for one second I didn’t know what I would do, and I feared for the worst. I have never tried to commit suicide but I never know if “this is going to be the one.” That comes from being a child and wishing I were dead the entire time I was growing up.

    But my desire to ESCAPE from the prison I was in was STRONGER and I can see now that this is what saw me through. This is how I survived, along with the grace and power of God. My God inside of me; my guardian angels who watch over me. My Higher Self even though I don’t belong to organized religion or go to church. My garden is my church and my garden is me.

    Finally, after days and days of writing that I wanted to “jump off a bridge” and I was “hanging by a thread,” I “LET MYSELF JUMP.” I did it today; I did it in my mind.

    And the funny thing is, I was jumping with a bungee cord! Something I have always wanted to try, but have never dared to do. I’m 62 years old now and not sure that “something might break,” but I can imagine doing it.

    So today in writing to a friend, this is how I described it. And this sounds just like me! No “Leaping to My Death” and letting my enemies win. No, I became an acrobat and a gymnast just like I’ve always been. Who would have guessed it? That strength and will can still hold true?

    When I let mentally let myself “jump off the bridge” today, I swam underwater, holding my breath, far far away, to a place where my tormentors could never find me. I danced through the clouds and leapt in the sun and turned somersaults and grew wings and flew high into the heavens above. I came too close to the sun and I heard the siren song, and crashed back down to earth, where the ghosts of my past were waiting for me, haunting me with their keening song. They had been buried for so long, but their burial grounds had never been blessed. Their curses still held strong.

    And now I’m digging graves, and will give all these things a proper burial. I don’t know how long it will take, but I will see this job through. I will be free.

  6. By: Pam Posted: 6th December

    Darlene & All, I’d like to add an E. to that list.:0)Triggers are your friends. I’d always heard and read that people who had PTSD needed to avoid triggers. Here at EFB, I learned that triggers are avenues to a deeper understanding of the truth. When I learned to face them and take control of them, use them for my benefit, they no longer sent me spinning and reacting to things inappropriately. Onece in awhile, I can be caught unaware but I manage to reel it in pretty quickly. That in and of its self has given me much better control over my anxiety.

    The four things you listed + the one I just added, made a world of difference in my life. It opened a whole new world of understanding and relating. I’m really not a defect, after all.:0)

    I always enjoy writing for EFB and the conversations are great. It’s wonderful to be able to talk about things I kept secret for so long and to know that it helps others, is an added blessing that I never imagined. Thank you, Darlene.

    Love,
    Pam

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th December

      Hi Everyone~
      Thanks again to Pam for contributing TWO guest posts in a row.
      **I have published a new post today; some of it was inspired by the conversations going on this past week. Here is the link: “When Friends and Family say Mean and Hurtful things”
      Looking forward to the feedback on this one! It’s ‘a bit of a rant’…
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: SMD Posted: 6th December

    Darlene & Pam,
    Comment #129 resonates with me! Excellent points A-D! That’s what I’ve been working on & I have to honestly say I’m there after starting this healing process about 5 years ago. Still a work in progress but I’ve come a long way & the pain is a lot less these days!…Thanks for EFB!! Triggers are there yet I’m aware & can usually turn the negative thoughts around & take care of me.
    Sonia

  8. By: Pam Posted: 6th December

    Catherine, Yes, it really did all happen to me and the ball is the truth. I was stuck for a long time thinking that I had to reconcile with my family in order to find my own healing. Though we were in contact with one another and I even took my parents in, gave them a home on my property, and my husband and I did many things to care for them, I was constantly, over my lifetime denied any reckoning and there was no complete reconciliation. It was all play pretend and that can last only so long. I took care of my parents for 11 years and it became unbearable. I asked for help from my siblings and that’s when it began to unravel. That unraveling was a five year process during which I began to understand many things differently because I’d buried them with a little girl’s understanding and I was looking at them again as a mature woman. I did stick to the truth and my perception of it and because of EFB, I realized that I didn’t have to reconcile with my FOO to heal. I can validate myself and I knew the kinds of changes I needed to make to have a healthier life. I didn’t have to play pretend and be a part of the denial that made me think I was crazy. I’m not crazy. The way I’d been taught to view myself and others was crazy. It damaged me but truth healed that damage.

    Love,
    Pam

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th December

      Pam,
      Your last comment to Catherine is so fantastic; it’s the snapshot picture of how this works. I particularly wanted to highlight what you said here:

      Pam wrote: “That unraveling was a five year process during which I began to understand many things differently because I’d buried them with a little girl’s understanding and I was looking at them again as a mature woman. I did stick to the truth and my perception of it and because of EFB, I realized that I didn’t have to reconcile with my FOO to heal. I can validate myself and I knew the kinds of changes I needed to make to have a healthier life. I didn’t have to play pretend and be a part of the denial that made me think I was crazy. I’m not crazy. The way I’d been taught to view myself and others was crazy. It damaged me but truth healed that damage.”

      It is so important that I realized that
      A) I was not a little girl anymore, unable to survive without my family
      B) I didn’t need to reconcile with my family in order to heal.
      C) I can validate MYSELF and I used the TRUTH to do that.
      D) I am not crazy

      Thanks for sharing Pam and thanks so much for guest posting this whole week. I enjoyed doing a few other things this past week!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 6th December

    Pam, re-reading through all these comments, I keep going back to yours in #31. You wrote:

    “I really didn’t understand the full lack of regard and level of contempt my family had for me”

    That has surely been the truth in my own situation, but this really happened to YOU? But you are so well-spoken and so “at peace” and “centered” with all this. How could this be true? I just can’t imagine it, not one little bit. Not one iota!

    You wrote: “Hang in there. It does get better. I know there were times when I regreted bringing it all out in the open. It was like I started a ball rolling and there was nothing I could do to stop it. However, I kept my eye on the ball and saw it through.”

    Tnis is exactly how I feel: What in God’s name have I unleashed upon myself? And I was stupid enough to think these people would WANT resolution and to be FREE of blame, anger, hatred and fear. Boy was I wrong!

    And what was entailed in “keeping your eye on the ball?” What is the ball – “the truth?” Recovery? What is there to “see through?”

    I have been estranged from my family for 25 years. Until my mother was dying, I had no idea I had been waiting ALL MY LIFE FOR RECONCILATION TO OCCUR. I really believed this would happen! After all, isn’t that what always happens? Who ever heard of a mother who DIDN’T do this?

    Then to have my sisters go after me tooth and nail, and as someone else said “relatives coming out of the woodwork” against me (happening right now, and it’s two years after my mother died!) – well, I can tell you it feels like I AM THE SNOWBALL barreling downhill, out of control.

    The only time I ever felt like this in my life was when I was a first-time, rank beginner skier first time on skis, and was put on the Intermediate/Advanced slope and I was flying down the mountain and heading straight for the trees or a cliff and I had to throw myself down onto the snow to keep from going over.

    Ski patrol raced to save me as I lay crumpled in the snow and I spent the night throwing up blood and passing out in my room. It’s a miracle I didn’t have a broken bone or end up dead! But I came out of it and I haven’t skied since.

    But here I have to get out of that giant frozen ball of snow that is hurtling down the mountain side. I have to stop myself before I slam into a tree or go straight over the cliff. And there’s no ski patrol to pick me up after I throw myself onto the snow to stop myself. All I can do is read and write and read and write and educate myself and put my feelings and my experience into perspective. By picking apart everything that is going on and put the puzzle pieces back together and see the whole picture, pretty or not.

    And this I am doing, painful though it may be. Seeing all my own emotional reactions set in motion by these huge tremendous triggers that are coming my way. It’s like having atom bombs being thrown at me and going off all around me, as I sit here typing away and rereading everything I can get my hands on.

    I am seeing that my mother did not create the hell I grew up in. She was raised in a chaotic, conflicted and vindictive environment that knew little if any peace, and they have little if any peace now. And no conflict resolution skills, that is for sure!

    So I will go back and re-read your original discussion post. And all the comments. It’s all new to me so I have to read it over and over again but it’s my “homework” and I was always good about finishing homework and turning it in on time! So back to work I go.

    Gracias, amen.

  10. By: Pam Posted: 5th December

    You’re welcome, Tamara.:0)

    Love,
    Pam

  11. By: Tamara Gill Posted: 5th December

    …and Pam – of course, thank you for opening your life up to us in a way that helps us sort ours…..

  12. By: Tamara Gill Posted: 5th December

    I have not been on this page in a while. I am still so blown away by the similarities. Catherine, you are writing part of my story and I am so thankful. I still struggle with getting the words written. I must admit the holidays still weaken my resolve of “no contact”. I know I am much more peaceful now. I almost caved to the pressure of thinking “one sibling will get me”….I live a few hundred miles away from my family…I must keep it that way.

  13. By: Pam Posted: 5th December

    Catherine, There are a lot of people in the world who are used as scape-goats but that’s not what God intended for them. We can all learn new ways of seeing ourselves, others, and how we relate.

    Love,
    Pam

  14. By: Aurele Posted: 5th December

    De Nada Catherine ;-). Thanks you too for the infos about Freud which I didn’t know, very enlightening !

  15. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 5th December

    Pam, re-reading your comments, I see the value in learning a “new language” in how we respond and how we think about ourselves. I can hardly believe that YOU were a “scapegoat” before. I thought that role was reserved just for me! If you’ve got out of it, maybe I can too. Say a prayer and cross fingers for me. I’ve got so much to learn.

  16. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 5th December

    Aurele #115: thank you for the confirmation about Freud. He WAS an abuser and a cocaine addict who gave his patients cocaine and had an affair with his wife’s sister. God only knows what he was doing to children at the time, if he found 5 year old girls to be “behaving in a seductive manner.”

    I’ll take a look at the Alice Miller books you suggest. Gracias amigas!

  17. By: Marla Posted: 5th December

    You’re welcome, Catherine! 🙂 It really sounds to me like your family is doing everything they can to make you miserable. Maybe they’re miserable & can’t stand the thought of you being happy? Just a thought. People like that will put on a front…to make themselves appear so special & wonderful, but beneath the surface is a HUGE train wreck.

    Mobbing is a form of bullying…the ringleaders are trying to get your whole family to join in. Hope you don’t cave into their desires. You can’t be a target if you ignore them, & don’t listen.

    Hugs!

  18. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 5th December

    Marla, thanks for your response. Honestly, I didn’t feel that any of your comments were unwanted “advice.” I must have missed that completely! In fact, your comments made me smile for the first time in days. You wrote:

    “I’d let them all go down with the Titanic…cut them loose & let them go (but that’s just me!).”

    STILL MAKING ME LAUGH! And Lord I needed that. I am just shattered. Can hardly get out of bed. How in the world can people that I have never seen in 30 years, or seen only ONE TIME and would NEVER have “struck up a friendship with” practically PUT ME IN MY GRAVE?

    I will never understand this in a million years. I know it must be “triggers” but I swear, I am hanging by a thread. It’s a good thing there are no cliffs or bridges around here right now. And thank God for this and other websites like it – where I can keep some semblance of sanity, and see the world “come back into focus.” I feel like I’ve entered the funhouse with all those crazy smoke and mirrors, where everything is distorted and everyone is cackling and laughing at me, pointing fingers and blaming and shaming me, and it’s “all my fault” and I’m such an awful person, and I will “destroy their family visit” and they don’t want me to come and it’s complete and total rejection due to “my issues” and “my drama” and on and on and on and I run screaming from that circus funhouse out into the light but the ghosts of the past are chasing me and there is no safe place…

    Dear God save me now. I need you now. I am not in good shape but I can read through all the discussions here and pick it all apart piece by piece and most of all stay away from those flat-out hateful people… I swear, I don’t know anyone like this in my own life, for if I do, I get the heck away.

    For the life of me, I don’t understand how there can be so much anger and hostility directed at me by such “well-meaning individuals” who are ‘DOING THIS FOR MY OWN GOOD.’

    I am 62 years old and I have NEVER been subjected to anything like this, being mobbed and more, in so many years. It’s just unbelievable. And if you read their Christmas letters, everything is ‘JUST FINE’ and all this anger HAS TO BE BECAUSE OF ME.

    You can read all about it from both sides of the family now. So it HAS TO BE TRUE. I have NO WAY OUT. At least, at this moment, while I am bleeding and broken, this is how it feels.

    I am in the HUNGER GAMES, and I am THE TARGET.

  19. By: Marla Posted: 4th December

    Hi Catherine…sent you a personal email today.

    I guess it’s good that you didn’t interpret my words wrong then…because it was never my intention for them to be a “you have to do (fill in the blank) in order to (fill in the blank). One: That never works…no one should feel led to do something. Two: Everyone’s situation is unique even though there are similarities & what works wonders for one person would be detrimental to another.

    I am so happy to have stumbled across this website. So much valuable information. The internet is so wonderful for validation.

  20. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 4th December

    Marla wrote: “Also my sincerest apologies…sorry Pam for suggesting Catherine *should* do certain things. ”

    Marla, I don’t like people telling me what to do or how to feel, but I didn’t see this in any of your responses (or anyone’s, for that matter) – I must have missed it completely! So no worries there.

    I am going to try to limit my comments but thank you Pam for understanding. I was absolutely BLINDSIDED by four relatives mobbing me; people that I “thought” were “friends” or at least on a friendly basis. I was going to visit them for Christmas! But thank God the bleeding has stopped and with the responses here I can start to see their responses in a different light.

    I don’t care who contacts me. I’ve been attacked so frequently by family members (now on both sides of the family) that I will save their emails and use them in court too. I love the law because even though it can be peverted, it really is a place of truth and justice. And that’s what I am after.

    But you make a good point, and whoever is in charge can remove my email address if you want to. It doeesn’t matter either way, and I won’t post it again. Thanks for the warning.

  21. By: Aurele Posted: 4th December

    Hi Catherine,

    I agree that Freud was totally wrong with his theories of fantasies, which is in reality a way to protect abusive parents.
    This theory (and the oedipe complex), is a way for him to preserve his deny from his own abuse.
    Alice Miller wrote about him and she wrote some books very interesting showing how much society protects the parents and how the society is blind to the plight of the child.
    Her books helps me too so much, because she is an unconditionnal lawyer of the child mistreated.

  22. By: Pam Posted: 4th December

    Marla, Thanks for understanding. I knew your intentions were good.:0)Believe me, I’ve had my problems with saying things in a way that isn’t appropriate for the work being done here. I find that learning to state my concerns differently has also, helped me in my 3D life. That’s an unexpected blessing. Mutual, equal, reciprocal, equal-value are all new relationship words that I’m learning to consider and use to negotiate my relationships and life. It’s a very different point of view for an old, former scape-goat, like me.:0)

    Love,
    Pam

  23. By: Marla Posted: 4th December

    Hi Catherine…thanks for the compliments! I’d be ok with sharing emails, but I don’t want to post my email addy here. Maybe there’s another way to do that? I think Pam is right about not sharing stuff like that in a public forum. Can’t be too careful who might find it, & I have plenty of people who would dearly love to hurt me even more than they already have. It’s happened on Facebook earlier this year to me, & I just don’t want anymore drama in my life. Life is too short, & I am too old for such childish nonsense. It’s bad enough stuff like that happens all through school, but in the adult world too? That’s just wrong on so many levels! Like you, I was blindsided by people from my past whom I haven’t talked to in a very long time. They came out of the woodwork to spew garbage & make some pretty bad accusations…stuff that they really don’t know about me or the situation. It upset me pretty bad too. You’d think people could at least get both sides of a story before they go around pointing their fingers at someone. But no, it’s much better to grind salt in an old wound & blame the abused since they seem to get some perverse pleasure in causing more pain & anguish. Sad isn’t it? I can’t stop them from being on Facebook, but I did block them from my profile. Hoping that’s the end of that mess!

    As far as the judging goes…they will get their turn with God. Then & only then will they have any clue how bad it can be to judge. He will be the Great Decider in getting to the truth. I dunno if I’d really want to be there…I hate courtrooms anyway but that’s another story.

    Also my sincerest apologies…sorry Pam for suggesting Catherine *should* do certain things. I will have to be a bit more discerning in my words in the future as it’s never my intent for anyone to do something that they really don’t want to do. 🙂 That’s not cool either.

  24. By: Pam Posted: 4th December

    Catherine, You are free to do what you want with your email address but I want you to understand that everyone in the world can see it if you post it here and you may end up with a mailbox full of stuff you don’t want. As far as the long posts go, I understand what it’s like when you’re processing a lot of new information but if you want responses that are more specific, more succinct comments are easier to address. However, there is no limitations on length of comments here.

    Love,
    Pam

  25. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 4th December

    Let’s put these abusive judgmental individuals on the stand and let them be judged by a jury of their peers. It will be very interesting to see how a case like this turns out.

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