Little Lies Accepted as Truth and Belief System Formation



belief system lies
lies build on each other

When my son T.J. was a little guy, between the ages of 3 and 6 he was a big fan of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks Hockey Team. Jim, (my husband) always teased him that the Mighty Ducks played hockey with crutches and canes. His Daddy told him that they didn’t even have a real goalie; that Granny Smith played in net. It was a big joke in our family.  T.J. would wear his Mighty Ducks jacket and his Mighty ducks jersey and everyone would ask him if he was a fan and he would tell  that the Mighty Ducks were the BEST ever hockey team! And Jimmy would tease him and say “NO WAY… the mighty ducks play with crutches and canes, they can’t really compete with any other hockey team”….. and so it went for a few years. 

As you can imagine T.J. was really excited when Daddy finally took him to his first real hockey game to see the Mighty Ducks play against Jim’s favorite team, the Calgary Flames.

But when the two hockey teams skated out onto the ice, his excitement truned to confusion. T.J. was really shocked and in all seriousness said to his father “Dad…. They don’t play hockey with crutches and canes.. they have hockey sticks.” And still very serious he commented  “Dad.. there isn’t an old granny in the net. They have a goalie. “

TJ had already begun to play hockey himself and really loved the game. He had even begun to understand the game.  No one in our family thought that Jim telling TJ those stories was anything but teasing. Neither Jim nor I ever once suspected that TJ didn’t know that it was teasing but that he believed that Jim was telling the truth. And he was shocked AND confused to realize that it was not the truth. He had been told over and over for years that the Mighty Ducks played hockey with crutches and canes and that their only goalie was “Granny Smith”. That had become “the truth” to him.

And if you think about it ~ WHY wouldn’t TJ believe his father?  He had no reason to doubt him.

Perhaps you have been reading my blog and trying to sort some of the belief system stuff out in your own life. Perhaps you have discovered some of the foundations where the lies were born and you can’t seem to change the way you still believe them. People tell me all the time that that “everyone can’t be wrong about them”. And I say why not?

A belief system comes from somewhere. It is built through stories, experience, events trauma, joy, punishment; it is made up of everything true, false, good and bad. It becomes part of you. It IS your reality. The best way that I know to explain how I recovered from all this stuff is to look at how I came to accept the lies and how they just naturally settled in my mind and became the truth. A false truth.

Here is another illustration. Say you had lived your whole life in a secluded or segregated society that taught you that the color blue was called red, and when you are 35 years old you find out that the rest of the world believes Blue is called Blue… it would be very hard to accept and believe that blue is really not called red. At first you would argue that the Blue they believe in is really called Red.  You wouldn’t believe that this new society is right. How can they be? You might fight them and then fight yourself. You would call up your original society to see if they ever heard about it. They might get angry at you for doubting them. Maybe you would get the feeling that they HAD heard about it and hidden it from you. Maybe they refuse to explain the reasons behind why they call Blue, Red.  Maybe they wouldn’t listen to you at all.

If you did come around to believing that this new way of seeing Blue was in fact right, you might have to change the word Red to Blue in your head for years while you are trying to rewire that the society you came from was wrong. Changing a belief system is hard when it is established from such a young age. 

Finally you realize that you have believed your whole life the false truth that Blue is Red. You are sure of it now.  You have renewed strength to go back to prove it to the people who always told you that the opposite was true. They deserve to know the truth!

When they resist you, mock you, ignore you, laugh at you and tell the rest of the community that you have always been a little crazy and this just proves the point, once again, you may doubt that your new truth is actually the truth after all. (see **Note)

A belief system is very hard to change. The wires are all wired in the wrong way and there are a lot of them. But with some effort and determination, I completely re-wired my belief system and found the roots of that false truth and was able to achieve emotional healing. There is plenty of hope!  

Please share. 

Darlene Ouimet

**Note; you may mistakenly think that unless “they” believe you, that you must be wrong. I personally had a huge problem with this; I honestly thought that unless they believed me AND thereby VALIDATED me as being right, I wasn’t right. So, I was wrong and worse than just being wrong, I was USED to being wrong. That was part of my belief system too!  Darlene

Related posts ~ False Normal Systems about Love and Self Love

Emotional Healing and busting through brainwashing

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

99 response to "Little Lies Accepted as Truth and Belief System Formation"

  1. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 12th May

    Sid, cats are precious and so low maintenence. Unfortunately Stan and I are both allergic to cats. Our Lady-dog LOVES them, we suspect she had cats in her original home. She grooms herself like a cat. And when she sees a cat, she gets SO EXCITED.. she jumped straight over our 6 ft tall fence with ease, to get to our neighbor’s cat, that’s back when we first got her and she was skinny. Now she’s too fat to jump quite that high, thank goodness. One time I was walking her in the park, when a CAT appeared out of nowhere, and Lady pulled my shoulder halfway out of socket trying to run after it. No lie! So then, the following week, as I was holding her leash with my left hand to protect my healing right shoulder, she saw another cat, and took off after it at a dead run… I was standing still, looking the other way when that happened, and wasn’t prepared.. I had her leash wrapped around my left wrist and as she ran, before I could stop her, the leash tightened and simultaneously slid down my hand and… BROKE my middle finger! Again, No Lie!! So now when I walk her, I do it Hands Free…. her leash is looped through the belt around my waist.

    She’s an Australian Cattle Dog, aka Red Heeler, and seems to have a lot of Dingo in her, hence the high jumps and amazing vocals. She wieghs almost 70 pounds, so she keeps me in shape!

    Anyway, Sid, that last thing you said, about being gentle with yourself… I have found that is ALWAYS the best way for me.

    sigh…. Lady didn’t get her walk today, I was so busy. The sun set an hour ago, and now she is lying at my feet pouting and grumping and looking miserable. I can’t stand it. SO I will now log off this netbook, get the ballcap with the 3 led lights in the brim, hook the fur-girl up to my waist, and we’ll go do a night walk.


  2. By: Layla Posted: 12th May

    Some days I’m agrophobic. Here in the uk I phone samaritans and one day a lovely lady spoke me through getting out the door. She spoke to me about getting outside my comfort zone and realizing I, as an adult, could keep myself safe now. Some days it takes a while but I find by listening to, and reassuring myself Im making more and more trips. In many ways I realize as a child I was taught to be harsh on myself. Now Im beginning to see overcoming Fear is more genuine when it is gently mastered with kindness.
    By the way my dog is a bit scared of both my cats but loves them too, we all cosy up daily. Hugs xx

  3. By: Layla Posted: 12th May

    You just made me laugh so much. Its good to remember we can have fun and softness for each other on our journeys. Thankyou xx

  4. By: Sid Posted: 12th May

    Thank You Lynda! We’re not quite in the same boat as you were, but are really grateful for your positive reply. Both my wife and I are disabled, and have cats to look after, and they wouldn’t kindly accept a dog (which we couldn’t walk anyhow).

    We try to ‘think positive thoughts’ daily – it’s one of my wife’s strategies 🙂 She is very supportive, but also has her own C-PTSD to deal with. She says, ‘we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them’ as regards our home and income, but I worry myself sick over it all. I wanted to be able to look after my wife properly, as a good husband should. She tells me I’m good enough 🙂

    I have been told that this anxiety (agoraphobia) is a ‘normal’ reaction to PTSD, and not to dwell upon it too much. I’ll try that strategy for awhile, and try to calm down.

    Hugs back,

  5. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 12th May

    @Pinky, your comment made me smile ~ thanks!!

    When my hubby’s ex poked him on his fb, I was sitting across the room and he said, “Oh, NO! Guess who just poked me on FB!” He was upset, because this happened a couple of months AFTER we had gently set some boundaries with her… which she said she understood and accepted at the time, but, apparently not… it’s a long story, I won’t go into all of it, what the boundary setting was about and WHY it had become necessary. To bottom line it, it seems that the man she is now married to (whom she left Stan for, back in the mid-90s, after their 10-year relationship/marriage)… this new husband of hers is now in very poor health, wheelchair-bound, and from the sounds of it, he may not be alive much longer. So it became apparent to us, from the tone of her messages when she first reached out to Stan several months ago on FB, that she was trolling for a replacement husband, getting ready for when the current husband dies… posting on his wall about how she was “loving” the changes, etc, she sees in Stan, that is apparent on his fb page, and tripping down memory lane with him, all fond memories, of course..

    SO, when she went and POKED him on fb, after we had told her, a few months ago, that Stan and I had agreed to have no exes as fb friends, for the sake of the health of our union… Stan asked me, being the non-techie type, HOW DO I BLOCK HER? So we, I mean I, but at his request, IMMEDIATELY blocked her A**……… TAKE THAT, #3!! Number Five pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.


  6. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 12th May

    Hey Sid,

    I just read your latest posts about the C-PTSD, which is what my dr. diagnosed me with, and your anxiety about leaving the house. I have that anxiety, too.

    One BIG help for me with that is our rescue dog, Lady. We got her 4 years ago from a no-kill rescue organization, where she had been adopted, and taken back, “many many times” during the 6 months they had her, due to her behavorial issues. She had originally been found as a puppy, abandoned, injured, starving on the streets.

    It soon became apparent to my husband and I that our Lady-dog has PTSD. She has all the symptoms… startle reflex, panic attacks triggered by various movements/sounds/places, frequent nightmares in which she sobs like a child in her sleep, then moans and howls and growls heartbreakingly when we hold her and comfort her out of a nightmare, it is as though she is trying to tell us all about it. When we say, “Did bad people hurt you and make you cry,” she snarls and moans… it is so pitiful.

    So Lady is a perfect match for us, and Stan and I just about live to keep her HAPPY. Lady LOVES going for a walk all over town. So, almost every day, I take her, no matter how much my insides want to isolate in the house and stay invisible and “safe.” With Lady at my side, I boldy go where I otherwise might not be able to go, and I do it just to see her big toothy happy doggie smile.

    Lady also loves to go for rides. So we take her, at least once a week, if not more. Again, it gets us out of the house… FOR HER.

    We rescued our Lady-dog, and she is rescuing us right back!!

    Sid, you mentioned the possibility of losing your house, income worries, old age worries. I am 58, my husband is 62. Just over a year ago, we did lose our house. We thought it was the end of the world. I didn’t think we would survive it!

    Well guess what… it turned out to be, literally, the Best Thing that could have happened to us. Where we are now… PERFECT for us, for so many reasons. The best part is that our next-door neighbors are our new best friends. They are a couple our age, well she is 59, he is 66 today… (gotta go print the b-day card on the desktop, we got the cake already. They brought me a card and cake on my May 2 b’day.) This couple are like our hispanic twins, they are just like us, except not nearly so tall. He has PTSD from Vietnam, just like my husband, and she has C-PTSD from past domestic abuse, just like me. We all 4 have a problem with leaving our respective little houses… so, we help each other with that.

    Only problem… our female dog hates their female dog. Luckily there is a 6 ft. privacy fence between our back yards!

    As Darlene said in one of her recent comments that I just read, I, too, believe that we all have a “light” inside of us, that will guide us on the right path to the best place for us, if we will just be still, and listen, and then follow that light. My husband and I were praying hard… crying hard, too!, when we lost our house, and my husband said he felt a prompting in his spirit to look on craigslist for low-down, inexpensive, no-credit-check homes for sale. He found this place, that way. He had a “strong good feeling” about it, when he read the ad.

    NOT ME, though, I thought it was a SCAM. There are a lot of evil scammers out there, and if it sounds too good to be true…. you know the rest, right?! I was so leery of this place, I told Stan I wasn’t going to ride along the 200 miles to see it. But THEN, something inside of MY spirit nudged me to go. So I did. WOW. HOME! And so inexpensive, we will have it paid off in less that 4 years from now, paying a few hundred LESS than we were paying for a 30 year loan on the old place.

    We closed through a well-established, reputable title company, with title insurance and all, so we KNOW this is legit. We believe we were led here… ok, it’s not perfect, it needs a little work, but then, so do we! It’s a peaceful place.

    My point of the story is that, IF you lose your home, try thinking of it as a great adventure on your spiritual journey… you never know where you may end up, and it may just be the place you need to be, to help you end your isolating.

    HUGS to you and your wife,

  7. By: Sid Posted: 12th May

    Hi Darlene,

    Thank you for your kind reply. I’m about to read more of your blogs to see if they have any help for me.

    I’ll keep ‘noticing’ my subtle mindset that causes me to think that it’s a ‘difficult’ thing to do, and ensure I try to change that mindset each time I notice it. I keep trying to tell myself it’s ‘easy to leave’ but I don’t yet believe it. Maybe if I can believe it, I’ll just get up and go. It’s my strategy for the moment, but whether it will work or not I’ve no idea yet.

    Sid xx

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th May

      I am sure you will find lots more info and help in the other blog posts! I overcame so many things it is like I was re invented! My life (and the life of my family) had changed 100% ~ I live, really really live today. I thrive!
      keep sharing! I look forward to hearing from you,
      hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Sid Golden Posted: 11th May

    I had some terrifying shocks, and froze solid. I could not move a muscle, and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t move for a long time (I didn’t know about the fight/flight/freeze process in those days). I was traumatised not only by the shock, but the shock of not being able to move. Once I realised that I COULD move again, my mindset had become stuck in a groove of believing that moving was a difficult thing to do – it sort of left me with a kind of ‘agoraphobia’ but it’s not FEAR, it’s anxiety that’s the cause. I can’t seem to regain the normality of it, and yet I’m working daily saying to myself ‘it’s easy, not difficult to go’ – the trouble is, I don’t really believe what I’m telling myself about it. I haven’t gone, therefore it’s NOT easy, is what comes to mind – vicious circle! I can’t just ‘pull myself together’ and go.

    My wife has been supportive, but she doesn’t know all the answers either. She talks to me for hours and hours about my problem – and she says that talking about it only confirms my belief that it’s hard to go out! I stew in it, she says, and tries to stop me being so anxious by taking my mind off my problem for awhile. We live quite isolated, and have no other friends or family we can confide in.

    My counsellor said he’s taken me as far as he can go – he’s been good at helping me overcome the C-PT shocks, but he can’t MAKE me do something I balk at, and I can’t afford to keep going to him. I do want to get over this. I’m elderly, (actually old), but won’t make that an excuse. I’m living in fear about other things, like losing our home, and lack of income, and that’s stressful. But I need to get over this whether or not we lose our home.

    I’ve changed a lot of my old beliefs recently, (all part of my trauma counselling) so I know I can change this belief too, but HOW? I just want to get up and go out, as any normal person would.

    Sid xx

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th May

      Hi Sid,
      I wish that I could “tell” you how. I can only tell you how I did it, and my blog posts are reflections and accounts of how I realized where those beliefs came from. I had “freezing problems” too. I found out that they began very young and them that was a default way of coping. I realized the lies that I believed about myself in relation to the times that I began freezing. I realized that they were in fact lies, that it was not my fault, that I did not cause the event that caused me to freeze and that by freezing I was NOT giving permission for the trauma to take place. It was the process that enabled me to finally realize that I am not that young powerless person anymore.
      I can feel your desire to break through this barrier Sid. Keep going forward; in my case the persistence really paid off!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Pinky Posted: 11th May

    @ Lynda about the exes most of mine want to kill me LOL! So its not an issue and one is such a nice guy and a gentleman he would not. And he is probably in jail anyway. LOL! I am fortunate that my husband really does not have any exes. He is Chinese and grew up going to school and working in his parents and uncles Chinese restaurants and their laundry’s. He did not have time to date. MY advice is send the ex a scary crazy but non threatening message so they don’t contact him again! Or have a friend do it I will volunteer if you want. I have got nothing to lose!
    Just a comment not a question really. We have a friend who is an ex NAVY seal who is a genius but obviously suffering from very severe PTSD. I confronted him on it so he would get help he denied it then got caught doing crazy stuff and is making very positive changes to his life. He did finally admit to having a problem but is against getting help because he is pastor. I have known him for 34 years going on 35. He would never hurt or use us I know that from experience and I am not in the position to give him ultimatums. Plus he is one fo the few friedns I have that steps up for me when I need a friend.
    All I can do is pray for him. Your post gives me hope and he is starting to make very positive changes. And the posts on his page are not as crazy as they were.

  10. By: Sid Golden Posted: 11th May

    Hello again. Well done Lynda, I’m pleased you’ve worked it out – what more can I say!

    I wonder if anyone can help me overcome my anxiety about leaving home. I’ve had counselling and now can’t afford to keep it up (we’re on disability only). I know walking out is a NORMAL thing to do for most people, but I have had C-PTSD issues and I’m working through those with the help of my wife who also has C-PTSD issues of her own. I don’t really want to talk about my past traumas and grieving here.

    I want to go out, and I know I’ve nothing to FEAR, but I just can’t seem to get the confidence? or enthusiasm? or the right mindset? to go. I’m not really sure what’s wrong with my mindset at all, but I do know it’s a subtle anxiety feeling, whenever I think of leaving. I’m trying to be logical, and tell myself it should be easy, but! I have MORE stress to cope with in STAYING indoors just talking to my wife, who is compassionately looking after me, whereas I could lose ALL that distress and guilt feelings by deciding to go – why won’t I? Why won’t I even try? I can’t understand myself yet. I know I’ve nothing to FEAR, as I said before, so it’s not agoraphobia. If anyone has any bright ideas, I’d be grateful to hear from you.

    Keep up the good work everyone,
    Sid xx

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th May

      Hi Sid
      I can understand not wanting to talk about issues here, many feel that way. Lots of people use a screen name so they don’t feel so “exposed” but for others that is not helpful. I am so sorry that you are going to have to give up your counselling.

      The only way that I know about HOW to get through the process is to talk about the issues somewhere. There is something about “saying it to others, and getting it out of my head” that makes a huge difference. For me even more important then that, was to discover and talk about where the issues began. I discovered that all of mine had a root and there were lies attached to the roots. I wish I could offer you more solution then that!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Ian Posted: 11th May

    good for you Lynda.

    stalking exes don’t help anything or anyone. I certainly would not advise anyone to stick with a problematic partner, but very glad your effort [and Stans] paid off. That is a humbling experience, to know how bad things used to be, and how much work it took to grow into what you know today. and also something to be proud of. You both get the rewards of that hard work. I am still in middle of the process. [recovering from an addiction that has hurt my girlfriend a lot, in ways I am only starting to fully appreciate] I am not out of the chrysalis yet. there is a lot of fears to break through, old programs to dismantle … and the really hard part, revealing things I am still ashamed of, taking a risk to trust other people, after so much pain, rejection, abuse, neglect, and so much evidence of people who are not trustworthy.

    It helps me to know that this work pays off. Thank you.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th May

      Hello Everyone,
      I wanted to mention here that I wrote and publsihed a new post about how some of those lies that we hear, the lies that end up forming our belief system, manifest themselves in our thoughts and lives.

      You can read the new post here: ” Missing Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood”

      Great comments on this post too! Thanks for sharing everyone!

  12. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 10th May

    …one of Stan’s exes, Number Three it was, POKED him on his facebook the other day! That REALLY ANNOYED me!!!! OK, so maybe I was having a bad menopausal hormone day that day, but regardless, I do NOT want any of our exes POKING us, and Stan feels the same way. We don’t want them poking us on Facebook, and we also don’t want any of them poking us anywhere, anytime, ever again, with anything. The POKING days are LONG OVER…


  13. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 10th May

    PS~ Things got a lot better for us, too, when we moved out of that house and out of that town where he had lived with the wife he refers to as “Number Four.” Stan is bad with names, so he just goes by the number when he talks about any of his exes. Which he seldom does, thank God. Seldom talks about the exes, I mean…

  14. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 10th May

    Krissy, my hand WAS burning… that’s why I kept pulling it out of the boiling water and leaving. I don’t know how many times I left Stan during our first 8 months of marriage, before he finally went into the hospital and got the help he needed for his severe combat-related PTSD, but it was several times.

    The real question is: WHY did I keep coming back to Stan, during those 8 months before he got some real help, and made some real, healthy changes? The answer is long and complicated but to make it short and sweet, basically I kept coming back because I saw in Stan the willingness to really try to change, whereas with the others I had been married to, all I ever got was lip-service at best, with no real effort at any real, lasting change.

    I will also say this, Krissy: I was Brand New in my recovery from my lifelong Zero-Self-Esteem and Extreme Emotional Brokenness problems…. what I call my Complex-Post Traumatic Shock condition… and, because I was so new to the concept that I really do have equal value to anyone else, I wasn’t quite far enough along in my recovery, to avoid making yet another marriage mistake. In other words, if I had been healthier, back in July 2004, I wouldn’t have married Stan in the first place! The danger signs were there, before I married him, but I was still operating “just enough” under my old unhealthy conditioning, to either not consciously see those danger signs, or to minimize and rationalize them away. But, although I wasn’t yet quite healthy enough to not marry Stan, I WAS healthy enough, to not STAY with him, when he started verbally abusing me before the ink was dry on the marriage license.

    I am very glad, now, that I am married to my Best-Friend-Husband Stan! HOWEVER, if I were to meet him TODAY for the first time, and if he were, today, the un-recovered Stan that he was when I met him, I would not even date him, let alone marry him. Since it’s all turned out so well though, I have to say that I’m glad that I was still just “broken” enough, to marry someone who was also pretty badly broken at the time… if you know what I mean! I just thank God that Stan had reached a point in his life where he was FINALLY ready to get some REAL HELP, and make some REAL CHANGES… I am his 5th wife, and Stan was 54 when I married him, so it took him a lot of years and a lot of failures, to finally “GET IT” ~ and the same is true for me!

    My awesome, supportive 71-year-old Aunt, who is a newlywed now, after losing her first husband of 45 years to cancer in 2006, tells us that she admires our willingness to put into practice that old proverb that says “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again.” But I have to tell you the truth, it is EXHAUSTIING and EXTREMELY DAMAGING to go through multiple broken marriages/relationships. It doesn’t get any easier with each failure, either… it actually gets harder. It’s like going through multiple severe car crashes: each one leaves you more damaged, more scarred, more broken, more traumatized, and each one also leaves you even less capable than you were before, of finding, and maintaining a healthy relationship, because it is very difficult to attract a healthy partner when you are carrying a ton of baggage and covered in a mass of emotional scars.

    You know about trauma/PTSD flashbacks, right? Believe me when I say that you have RELATIONSHIP flashbacks, when you’ve gone through the kinds of failures that we have! It didn’t help, either, that I moved in with him into the house where he had lived with his previous wife. DUH! HINDSIGHT!!

    ANYWAY, my point is, that if Stan and I could finally get it right, at this late stage in our lives, despite our respective long string of multiple major car crashes…. ANYBODY can do it!!


  15. By: Krissy Posted: 9th May

    Lynda, thanks again for sharing yourself. I don’t think I had heard the full story about Stan. I just assumed that after all the horrible marriage experiences you had, suddenly this dream empathetic warm person came along, and voila – you are married, in a “normal” healthy relationship.

    Sometimes, though, I must admit I feel a tad guilty reading the great stories – how is it that you and Darlene had the wherewithal to stick through it? (Yes, Darlene said she had detached, but still found it “liveable” and “communicable” to be in the same house.) A lot of people also wondered how I stuck it out for nearly 25 years (someone apparently told a friend that she would have quit after one day with him!). In the end, I really didn’t care even about the theology any more – I said, “You guys debate the theology of marriage/divorce, I am getting my hand out of the boiling water because you are taking too long, and I’m about to lose my hand.” How come your “hand” wasn’t burning? (A rhetorical question, I know, because all our situations are different.)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May

      Hi Krissy!
      Good for you! I love your “Im getting my hand out of the boiling water” statement! If Jim had not shown REAL FORWARD MOVEMENT, I would have left. If divorce isn’t an option, then there is NO HOPE for change, healing or anything else. I did not keep my hand in the boiling water.
      I have worked with lots who chose divorce and I stood by them. Some abusers are NOT willing to change at all, not one bit. And that is their problem not mine!
      Hugs! Darlene

  16. By: Pam Posted: 9th May


    I too was trained to meet the needs of others and ignore my own. I think that is why empathy is so strong in me but I also think I lost empathy for myself. I now view my needs as equal to the needs of others. I have empathy for myself…on the good days anyway.:0)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

      Lynda ~ thank you for sharing your story with Stan and how you drew your boundaries!

      Layla ~ good points about breaking the cycle of abuse and lowering crime! I also think that so much of the help that IS in place focuses on the wrong things. I went to some really bad therapists.

      Pam ~ I LOVE your comment so I am going to re-post it!

      Pam wrote:
      “I too was trained to meet the needs of others and ignore my own. I think that is why empathy is so strong in me but I also think I lost empathy for myself. I now view my needs as equal to the needs of others. “

      YOUR NEEDS ARE EQUAL to the needs of others. All of our needs are! That is one of the most important components of equal value!
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Ian Posted: 9th May

    Lynda, WOW, what a “big man” to project his insecurities on someone he is supposed to love and honor…
    you are right, yelling is not talking. good for you. nobody needs that nonsense. and the 911 call, LMAO…. maybe not so funny, I know a few things about depression, but wowww….. grats for standing your ground. That takes courage. I was in bad relationship on-off seven years. She had chronic case of the gimmes. complained for hours on end about things I had heard a dozen times already, yet refused to DO anything to change those situations, [okay, I’m a guy… took long time to learn how to just listen, she was no help in that department. is long story.]

    glad your husband got help. IT IS hard work, even when we sign ourselves up.

  18. By: artcathartic Posted: 9th May

    Susa > Lynda:

    True… You sometimes have to go through quite a few to find a compatible one, but then that is true no matter what they charge… I found that out the hard way… UGH.

    I also read quite a lot, and have many books – especially about dissociation and PTSD. I may even have the one you mentioned. I find that I start reading the books, and dissociate, and don’t remember a thing, though. I have to read, and re-read over and over in order to absorb things throughout my system.

    Richardson, Tx was where I was inpatient back in the late seventies for the better part of a year. (But not the same clinic).

  19. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 9th May

    Hi Susa,
    Yes I’ve tried that, with results ranging from hellish to somewhat helpful.

    My biggest help, besides the Meier Clinic in Richardson, Texas, where Paul Meier, MD, was my personal doctor… but VERY expensive… is this blog of Darlene’s, her posts, as well as the readers’ comments, and a book that really helped me to understand myself and my whole “crazy” life, which is entitled: “Trauma and Abuse,” by Harvard Clinical Psychiatrist Judith Herman, MD.

    It is a pithy, scholarly book, not an “easy” read, but I’ve read it several times and intend to read it again. In Dr. Herman’s landmark book (which has a longer title, I can only remember the short version of that book’s title), she coined the term “Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Her premise is that PTSD, and C-PTSD, are perfectly NORMAL responses to horrific trauma experiences. (Which makes me wonder why they can’t go ahead and lose the word “Disorder” from the name of this condition?? Why not: Complex Post-Traumatic Shock?)


  20. By: artcathartic Posted: 9th May

    Susa > Lynda:

    Have you considered a therapist who works on a sliding scale? Some will see clients for anywhere from free, to whatever you can afford to pay.

  21. By: Layla Posted: 9th May

    Hi Lynda. Very interesting and touching to hear about how you had to build your’e relationship with your’e husband. Also appreciate hearing about Darlene’s experience with Jimmy. You are both so honest.Ive had two marriages and a few relationships but haven’t met a man who’s willing to do the work yet – though I hope to, as I get healthier.
    I agree with you totally Lynda that there should be help with PTSD programs for non veterans too. PTSD is the most significant issue in most societies and if adequate, long term care, education and support was adequately funded then maybe we would make some headway in building healthier communities and in breaking the cycle of abuse and in reducing crime.

  22. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 9th May

    Hi Krissy and Darlene,
    You are right, Darlene, it is a tough process. Within 24 hours after I married Stan, he was bullying, yelling, verbally abusive, and trying to convince me that, as a Christian wife, I needed to submit to his demands. He said if I didn’t, then I wasn’t really a Christian!

    I told him: 1. Only God and I get to judge my heart and decide if I am “really a Christian,” 2. In my opinion, a misogynistic MAN wrote that scripture about wives submitting to their husbands, not God… HOWEVER, if my belief about that is mistaken, God will deal with me about it, when the time is right, in His own loving and merciful way, No Screaming Involved, and 3. Even IF that part of the Bible that tells wives to submit to their husbands is truly from God, right next to that scripture is a verse that commands husbands to love their wives, as Christ loved the Church, enough to DIE for her. THEREFORE, I said, Here is my bottom line is: If you aren’t dying, I am not submitting. End Of Discussion.

    I also told my husband that, at the age I was then, 51, after all the abusive hell I had been through in my childhood, and then in my previous abusive marriages, that I had gone through too much hard work to ESCAPE from all of that abuse, to ever again willingly stay in yet another abusive relationship ~ not even for one MINUTE. I had healed enough by that point in my life that I no longer NEEDED a man. I no longer NEEDED anybody. All I NEEDED, was myself, and my Creator. Period. If I had to live in my car, or under a bridge somewhere, all alone and homeless, then that was what I was going to do, rather than continue to stay in a marriage where I was being yelled at and BULLIED.

    And then I left him, immediately. I didn’t stay to argue, I just packed my things, and left. With him running behind me shouting after me, “That’s it, go ahead and RUN like a BIG CHICKEN, instead of staying and talking it out like a grown woman! You came here to New Mexico to RUN AWAY from your ex! That’s all you know how to do is, RUN AWAY!”

    WHATever! It didn’t matter to me at that point, what Stan said, I was not going to allow him to BAIT me into staying and taking more of his verbal ABUSE. Screaming and yelling at me at the top his lungs, is ABUSE ~ it is NOT “talking things out.”

    If the house is on fire, I told him once, you may yell at me to warn me f the danger. But, with the exception of a life or death emergency, Do Not Raise Your Voice to me, EVER. I refuse to stay in the same house with someone who is literally SCREAMING at me.

    I left and checked myself into a hotel. A few minutes later, he was calling my cell phone, crying that he was going to kill himself. I told him, “You have had 4 wives before me leave you. If you were the type to kill yourself over something like that, I suspect you would have done it a long time ago. But, just in case you are serious, I am calling 911 and telling them that you are threatening suicide.” So I hung up, and I called 911. They sent a couple of cops out to his place to check on him. I know he didn’t like that!

    After the cops left, then he was calling and cursing into my cell phone. So, I turned it off. The next day I found that he had left several screaming cursing verbally abusive HATEFUL messages in my voice mail. I saved them… just in case.

    A few days later Stan called me in tears, OH he’s SO sorry, the problem, he says, is that he had not taken his prescribed antianxiety and antidepressant and mood stabilizing meds since we had gotten married, because he thought that he was “so happy now that he didn’t need them.”

    “I finally called my psychiatrist at the VA hospital and told him what was happening, and he said that coming off all those meds all at once had given me a really bad withdrawal reaction. So I am now back on my medication. PLease forgive me! Please come home!”

    I agreed to come home… but ONLY if we first went together to see his doctor and therapist. We did, and then I felt like it was safe to come home. But first, I told Stan, “Before I come back, I want you to listen to yourself, to the messages you left in my voice mail.” He listened, and he turned white as a sheet and started shaking. “I never knew I sounded like that! My God, somebody should shoot me! I sound just like my crazy brother!”

    I told Stan that I didn’t care what or who he sounded like, or WHY he was sounding that way… DO NOT EVER TALK TO ME THAT WAY AGAIN. I will not stay married to you if you do.

    Everything was lovely for a little while… and then some stupid thing that he didn’t like happened, and he was screaming again. I’m talking about idiotic stuff, like walking into the living room where I have my Bose stereo on, and I am happily singing along with an old Beatles song, “Hey Jude,” while I’m doing some housecleaning…. and Stan YELLS at me that the Beatles were druggies and commies and anti-Christian and how DARE I be singing along to one of their songs! Brilliant arguments, like THAT, was what we were having.

    So, once again, I immediately grabbed some clothes and stuff, and I was out of there.

    We went round and round like that several times, over the course of several months. Sometimes when I left, I checked into a hotel somewhere. If I didn’t have the money for that, then I slept in my car, with a sleeping bag, even when it was below freezing at night. I would sleep in one of the Walmart parking lots, where the lots were patrolled, and there was food and a restroom handy, 24 hours a day.

    One day, when we were tentatively trying once again to make it together, and we weren’t even arguing at all, I noticed as he was getting ready for work one day that Stan seemed unusually guiet and subdued. So I asked him what he was feeling, just before he walked out the door. And then he told me that he was seriously considering running his motorcycle into a pole on the way to work, to commit suicide, because he “knew our marriage wasn’t going to last, just like all the others,” and he figured that I would be better off with his life insurance, than with him.

    I could see that he was serious, so I told him, “You are going to the VA Hospital Emergency Room, right now.” He didn’t want to go, but I told him it was either that, or I would call both his psychiatrist, and 911, and let them force him to go. I then called a buddy of his, who is also a Vietnam Veteran with severe PTSD, told him what was going on, and he talked to Stan, and told him he would meet us at the Emergency Room, which he did, and he stayed with us for the several hours of observation that the ER drs did, until they decided to admit Stan.

    So then Stan spend several weeks on the VA psych ward. The medicine they gave him at first made him like a zombie, with his tongue jumping all around in his mouth. I told the nurse, and she immediately gave him a med to counteract that dangerous side effect, and called his dr. and got his meds changed to something that finally helped him to settle down.

    But, it still wasn’t enough to stabilized him. So his doctors told him that he really needed to go to a 9-week in-house VA program for combat Veterans with PTSD. He did not want to go. I told him, “You go, and maybe our marriage will work out, if you work the program and get the help there that is available to you. But if you don’t go, I will not be home when you get out of this psych ward.”

    SO, he went. And, 9 weeks later, my husband came back a genuinely Changed Man.

    This all happened within the first year of our marriage. If he hadn’t gone through that program, and really WORKED the program, we definitly wouldn’t be together today. (When he was being released, after his 9 weeks there, his doctor and counselors all told him how proud they were of him, because they had thought that he would be one of those who would NOT make it through the program~ that’s how bad he was when he got there!)

    It wasn’t easy for me, though, when Stan came back home. I kept holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to fall, and all hell to break loose once again. But, with the very rare exception of when Stan’s drs have changed his medicine and he reacts badly, we have been getting along beautifully ever since he came home from the PTSD program.

    That was 6 years ago. Stan is making plans to go back through the PTSD program again soon, for a “tune-up.” We are also going to go together later this year, as soon as we’ve saved the money for the trip, to a couples PTSD week-long retreat in Angel Fire, New Mexico, at the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is located there. This retreat is free, and open to all combat veterans and their spouses. Since I also have PTSD, I am really looking forward to this!

    OH how I wish, with all of my heart, that there were good solid helpful and AFFORDABLE programs out there, for non-veterans, with these kinds of issues. I know how scarce good help is… I had to take my divorce settlement money from my last divorce in 2003, which was enough money to pay cash for a decent, modest house, and I used most of that money to pay my way through the renowned mental health clinic where my PTSD was finally diagnosed, and where I got some good helpful therapy at long last. They saved my life there, very literally… but, unfortunately, because I had lost my good health insurance in the divorce, it took most of my thousands of dollars, to get the therapeutic help that I have so desperately needed since I was 12 years old!

    It shouldn’t have to be that way, in my opinion!


  23. By: Krissy Posted: 9th May

    Lynda, I am so truly happy for you. Bet you never thought that you would have someone who would love you for who you are! I must admit I often wonder if such people exist!

    I just got another note from ex full of platitudes, promises and pleadings. How can someone be so self-deceived? He proclaims his changes and vows never to revert to that abusive, harsh person he was – but who declared him changed anyway? I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, but when I read it, instead of being excited, I feel guilty and manipulated. I guess I have heard these promises before.

    The other red flag (I think) is that he tells me that we both have to submit to God and His presence so we don’t have so much stress and arguing. But I hardly ever interact with him, so how can we have arguments? He pleads with me to sit down and talk, because he is now changed. I have refused. What he means in arguments is that he is not getting what he wants and gets angry.

    Why is it that others are so quick to believe his lies? I guess for the same reason that I was, for many years. I guess people like us are trained to believe lies as truths. If others of authority say something, then it must be true. If they question our opinion, then we must be wrong and they are right. It is amazing that there are so many that are so easily hoodwinked into believe irrational statements, eg that just because he says he is sorry, I have to try harder; if I am non-communicative, then I am cold/bitter and God has to warm my heart; that if I cut off contact, we lose out on a chance to see what God could have done with a changed man in our lives, etc.

    Sometimes I do wonder, though, after seeing Darlene’s and Jimmy’s experience, whether one ought to hang on? I mean, if Darlene had detached herself, what would have happened?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

      Actually, I did detach myself. I just didn’t kick him out, although he knew that was an option. I didn’t believe that he had changed until he proved it for a while. If your husband is getting angry because he isn’t getting his way, then he hasn’t changed yet. It isn’t that he can’t, but he might not ever believe that he has to. If Jim had not changed, I would have divorced him. I made that very clear. He had to do his own work though, and at the heart of the problem was that Jim really believed that he WAS more important then me. He believed that because he brought in the money, that he got to make all the decisions; he thought that because he was tired from work, he could be moody and yell at the rest of us and we should just understand. (I could go on and on about this) And he had to change that way of thinking. And if people change, they don’t have to keep saying it. They just DO IT.
      And I told a lot of people that they are not GOD so stop playing the “God Card” on me. Using God as a manipulative tool is really dirty if you ask me.
      Anyway, Jim said he was “sorry” too, but everytime I accepted his apology, he went back to acting like he should get his own way again. And everytime he did something that actually was a change, he thought he should get a reward. It was a long tough process.
      Hugs, Darlene

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