Lonely Holidays and the Lie that “You Reap what You Sow”



abusive family

The Lies are a Heavy Burden

I get nasty emails from upset mothers who think I am a spoiled trouble maker whining about some fictional terrible upbringing and discounting my right to tell my own story. The truth about what I am really doing is all right here in writing. I started Emerging from Broken because I wanted to heal the world. That may have been a lofty goal but I sincerely wanted to make a difference in the lives of other hurting adult children of dysfunctional, controlling and manipulating families. I wanted to bust through the false messages about ourselves that so many of us were struggling to accept instead of to reject.

I remember my mother saying to me that she didn’t know what she did to ‘deserve’ a daughter like me. (She may have used different words like “I don’t know what I did to deserve ‘this’ but the message was the same and it’s the message that does the damage. ) She said it as a judgment; she said it with exhaustion, despair and frustration as though she was at the end of her rope, exasperated by my actions and my attitudes; exasperated with me. And I felt so bad that I was such a disappointment to her. In the past I never questioned that it was me, I just tried harder to be the daughter that she ‘deserved’ and the daughter that would make her proud and maybe the daughter that would be good enough for her to finally love. Really I just wanted her to love and approve of me.

But when I came out of the fog I had been groomed to be in for most of my life, and started to question my beliefs about myself and the blame I placed on myself, I looked at her statement through new eyes. I started looking into just what she/they did to deserve the trouble she had in her relationship with me. I started to look at the details of the message her actions communicated to me about me.

Emerging from Broken (this website) isn’t about blaming blameless parents for the mistakes that they made. It isn’t about being mad because when I was a teenager my mom didn’t let me go to the school dance or because I got grounded for smoking. It isn’t about not getting my own way and not being allowed to use her car when I was learning to drive, it’s about being told in all kinds of verbal and non-verbal ways that I was not good enough. This website is about the fact that I had been given the message that I was a disappointment. It is about the way that I got broken down and the way that my self-esteem was formed (and deformed) and the damage of having lived under false definitions of love and respect.

Emerging from Broken is about self-validation after years of invalidation.

Emerging from Broken is about how I took my life back. It is about finding me and embracing myself and my rights as a human being. It is about embracing the truth about who I am (NOT who I was told I was) through discovering how I was not empowered to be who I am in the first place because it was through looking at all that that I was able to come out of the lies and emerge into the freedom of life in the sunshine of truth.

I emerged into the sunshine of truth by asking myself some key questions;

Did I reap what I had sown? And if so, HOW? What did I do that was so bad? Was it me who had caused the problems in my family? I was a kid when it all began so how could I have been the problem? I started to wonder why no one told my mother that SHE reaped what SHE had sown. I started to wonder about the truth in all of this; WHY was it my fault? Why did everyone want to blame me? Why was I told that I made my bed and now I had to lay in it?? What the hell did I do that was so wrong? My family taught me how to respond to things. My parents communicated to me who I was and how lacking I was. But does that make them right? Who actually made the bed that I was laying in? Was it really ME?

Did I really exasperate my mother? Was her exasperation really my fault and if so HOW and where did it start? Was there any truth to her question “what did I do to deserve this?” and if so, what is the focus of that truth? Perhaps as a parent she reaped what she had sown.

It was the answers ~ THE TRUTHFUL answers to some of those questions that got me started on the road to healing.

I was a quiet, moody and sometimes sullen child (or so I was told, all I remember is that I wasn’t very happy) but there was a reason for it. I wasn’t born that way. It wasn’t my personality. Something happened to me that caused me to be unhappy. And it was the resulting false messages that I got about me that were stuck in my belief system that kept me unhappy.

This was not my fault.

Knowing that being broken wasn’t my fault~ even just a glimpse of that truth was the beginning of my recovery. Then, armed with that tiny glimmer of truth, I was strong enough to move forward just a bit more. I kept looking for those false messages, examining them for the truth or the lies. Looking at the roots, looking at the belief, looking at the truth…. And so on and so on… rinse and repeat.  

This wasn’t my fault, but it was up to me to get to the other side of broken and that is what Emerging from Broken is all about. It’s about moving forward.

So now when I get nasty emails from upset mothers who think I am a spoiled trouble maker whining about some fictional terrible upbringing and discounting my right to tell my own story, I remind myself that the truth about what I am really doing is all right here in writing. I started Emerging from Broken because I wanted to heal the world. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of other hurting adult children from dysfunctional, controlling, abusive and manipulating families. I wanted to bust through the false messages that so many of us have about ourselves so that a greater majority of survivors of that dysfunctional family environment could move forward and live!

I didn’t make the bed that I had to lay in as a child, but I certainly have made a wonderful new bed for myself now! Doing this work for myself is the only action that finally set me free to be me!

My heart and my love are here in this site. It is for you. Each of you makes a difference to the success of this website and with each new truth discovered and embraced, there is a ripple effect going out into the world. Together we make a huge difference in healing the broken hearts! Thank you all for sharing my articles through different social media and for clicking the like button. Thank you all for your comments and for the donations that pay for the upkeep and continued publication of this site. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to achieve my goal of carrying the hope for healing and embracing life to the fullest to a broken and hurting world.

This year think about  what you really deserve; I finally have what I deserve; a life full of love, mutual respect and equal value, freedom, wholeness, peace and joy.

To sowing some new seeds and reaping the most awesome rewards ~Happy New Year to each and every one!  

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken BOOK is now available. You can get a copy of the EFB book by clicking the book image in the upper right side bar here or click this book title “Emerging from Broken ~ The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”. 


For related posts please see the family category button and the mother daughter button above.


Categories : Mother Daughter



Thank you Darlene for another great article that really resonates with me.

You said:

“I was a quiet, moody and sometimes sullen child (or so I was told, all I remember is that I wasn’t very happy) but there was a reason for it. I wasn’t born that way. It wasn’t my personality. Something happened to me that caused me to be unhappy. And it was the resulting false messages that I got about me that were stuck in my belief system that kept me unhappy.”

I was well-behaved. Even my mother would tell you I never ever threw a tantrum (unlike my mother who still does so to this day). Yet, I wasn’t good enough. I went from being ignored to all hell breaking lose when I least expected. One time because she realised I could not tie my shoes and she forced me to stay awake until I could do it, under constant humiliation.

I never dated until I was 20, I never went to parties, never smoked, I went to college to please, I was at my dad’s bed side whenever he was ill, bringing him tea, making sure he was OK. Loving him despite all the abuse he’d put me through. Trying to be good. Make it all better. I stood up for my mother against my grandmother (when my mother never stood up for me against her mother, who resented my very existence openly… and people outside my immediate family knew, as I found out later…). I took my mother into my home, a perfectly healthy woman, when my father died because she was scared of being alone. She got to my home and started to humiliate me as a housewife, as wife, that I didn’t entertain her enough…
And I’ve been told I am not a good daughter!

Thanks to you, Darlene, 2014 is the year I am going to cut the financial enmeshment. It’s another stepping stone (after telling her she could not live here full-time).I am scared. But if feels so right. All the best to you for 2014, and to everyone who has been posting on this blog, with horrific stories of what parents are capable of doing (enough with the illusion that becoming a parents makes you right and a good human being).


Dysfunction is hard place to come from it colours your world as does any experience you come from……we often hear messages from others that can cloud our preception depending on what we expect to hear ..our inner critic can be the harshest spoke person in our lives…..


Thank you for being the voice I needed to hear and for writing the clarifying words that I have longed to read….for what seems like forever. Hugs~and a very Happy New Year to you <3


Hi Suzy,
Thanks for sharing, and yay for 2014. It is hard to see the truth and when I saw it it was so logical, so obvious that I wondered what had taken me so long ~ (but I didn’t reprimand myself for that! I just kept striving to go forward from there..)
thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Mabellitowski
Well yes and I realized that MY inner critic wasn’t really me but rather the voice I adopted in my attempt to survive in the first place. 🙂
Welcome to emerging from broken! Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Leslieann Lee
Welcome to EFB ~ I am so glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene


Nasty mothers are writing to you, Darlene, and calling you a spoilt troublemaker? I think they are afraid that you are blowing their cover off! What you are doing here is splendid!! You have helped so many and given lots of hope for healing.

I too was a quiet and compliant child. And always told I was the problem. Amber screeches too much. Well, mom, did you ever try to find out why? My two brothers would tease me mercilessly, and wouldn’t stop even when I got very upset, so, yes maybe I would let out a screech. And then I would get punished because the noise annoyed her, while nothing happened to the boys. And I remember when I got older and my divorced Mom, married a very immature, freeloading man who had no interest in getting a job. They would stay up late, blasting the TV, arguing, playing music and when I dared to complain that I had to be up in the morning, my mother started complaining to people about how difficult, unreasonable, and hard to live with I was. I was expected to take all the blame. No matter what I did, how much I helped around the house, how good and compliant I was she complained about me. Did I reap what I sowed? No way! I was the scapegoat, the one to be blamed. I was afraid to ask for anything or do anything that would give her any work to do like having to go to the store to buy something I need. I made myself invisible. But not invisible enough for her to stop blaming me for things. If she was still alive, maybe she would think you are a spoilt troublemaker. Because her daughter is getting stronger and seeing through the lies, thanks to your website

Happy and healthy 2014 to you Darlene, and the many friends I’ve met on here. Hope it is a wonderful year of healing for all.


May 2014 see continued success for EFB and you Darlene! Thank you so much for doing this and being in the open as a guide for others. I still fear those angry comments and reprimands from “mothers” who have bought the untruth of their own upbringing hook, line and sinker – for I see no other reason why anyone would dismiss the cruelty so many have suffered at the hands that were supposed to care for them.

I have been unable to talk about my own (I now think, very probably narcissist-disordered mother) openly to anyone but a few, and even then my account has often been met with derision and/or noted by would-be emotional predators for later. This website has been key in allowing me to move past many lies about myself.

The 2 most hurtful and consequential lies that my mother fed me were that my own perception of events was systematically different from reality (her version of it) and that I myself chose to feel bad or see events in ways that made myself feel bad. In other words, my misfortune was all down to me, all my fault while the pristine “mother” stood there and told me she had “done the best she could”.

I wondered for years and still do why the label “mother” is so easy to hide behind. The time I started calling her by her first name she raged and my father punished me and told me I must call her “mom” for some reason (I can’t remember his reasons) I opted for “Mother” as a way of showing them I knew very well that they were forcing an affection from me that I did not feel.

Wishing everyone on EFB and its readers an excellent 2014!



Bravo, Darlene!! Who cares what the upset moms think? They don’t have to read this site if it makes them too uncomfortable. All of us cannot have your experiences resonate the way they do, and share our own experiences which are really all just a familiar retelling of the nightmare we all survived, without there being some truth there. A lot of truth, in my opinion.

Some of the most horrible crimes against humanity in history have been discounted Some deny that the Holocaust ever even happened. Doesn’t mean it didn’t.

I personally thank God every day for you and for this site, and I pray to lift up the hearts of all those who participate here. I pray for their courage and resilience and for their healing and for my own.

As I’ve stated before, I feel like I had done a lot of “prep” work before finding your site. I feel like I was just almost there. I doubt I ever would have achieved the clarity that I have gained so quickly without the help of you and the validation I receive whenever I read the comments here. One of the most terrific things about this site is that everyone seems to respect that we are all in a different place on the journey, and that sometimes we are going to slide back. If somebody needs to vent, they can vent. If somebody admits that they’ve been crying, or raging, or overeating, or not sleeping, or breaking things, then I can sort of see everybody nodding and saying, “yeah, I’ve done that too.”

Darlene, one of the greatest things about this community you have created is that you, as the moderator, don’t try to micromanage the discussions or lead people where they are not ready to be led. You don’t judge anybody, or say that if we all just make three easy payments of $19.99 all our problems will be over forever:) You’re just there to help guide and shepherd us, because you know that we all have to make this journey on our own and that we will all get there when we’re ready. I really appreciate that. I have been working on this for about 7 years and I’ve had people tell me that I need to confront when I wasn’t ready to confront. I’ve had people tell me I must forgive and forget when no forgiveness is possible or appropriate. I’ve had people tell me that I am the source of all the problems, which is essentially the same message given by my family all this time. Yours is the only message that has ever made any sense.

If that’s not good enough, I can tell the upset moms my own story since finding this site 2-3 months ago, talking with you on the phone one time and completing the homework assignment you gave me. I have set some major limits on the behaviour of my family. My marriage has become even more solid than it has ever been. My relationships with my kids are improving on a daily basis and I see a new respect from them and a willingness to listen to me and support me. I’ve lost 12 pounds. I’m drinking less. I’m sleeping better without having to take a pharmacy at night to get there. I enjoyed the holidays, for the most part. My career is going well. I’ve thrown out a bunch of crappy old clothes that don’t fit and literally were falling apart and spent some money on myself for a change. I wake up most days now looking forward to the day and the challenges I’m going to find there. I laugh more, I smile more, I give more freely to those I love and who love me. This is a tremendous gift, so I thank you!!

Darlene, you may not be able to save the world, but you saved my world. Thank you! You go girl! Don’t stop. You’re doing great things.


Thanks so much for this post, Darlene. My mother also screamed that at me, many times “What did I do to deserve this!?” Communicating to me that I was such a burden, such a distraction from what was “really important” in her life, that I should feel guilty for the fact that she “had” to take care of the children she brought into this world and that involves complex problems and communication. Was she the one being mistreated because she had to talk to me? As if all of her stress, alcoholism and mental instability would magically disappear if I wasn’t there. She made me feel so bad.

The fact is, my mother emotionally, physically, sexually abused and neglected me, which has consequences; but she still didn’t “deserve” a great person like me, as I did desperately try to adapt to her insanity and make her happy. I was labeled a “whiny, sickly, miserable” child; all of those derogatory terms underscore the fact that I was told it was my fault, and seen as the problem rather then the result of my parents horrible abuse. But I wasn’t really that ‘bad,’ and there were other adults (not relatives) who did see value in me at that time.

I didn’t deserve such a horrible mother, and I have no time for people that have tried to tell me that it’s so mean that I don’t talk to her anymore. Children act out for a reason, and adult children also cut off their parents for very deep emotional reasons rooted in trauma; maybe the root isn’t clear or even remembered so seemingly ‘superficial’ stories are brought up first in the digging. But it is valid. A kind, loving parent wouldn’t suddenly turn into a nasty self-righteous person just because their child wanted distance from them. Just like a really good friend wouldn’t spread fake, cruel rumors about you just because the friendship ended; the reaction says a lot about what kind of person they are, and gives clues leading to the truth.

I’m at a very transitional moment in my life right now, but I have a lot of hope for changes I’m making turning out well in 2014. I wish the same for everyone else here.

Amber, I was also punished for ‘making noise’ when my older sibling would hit me–our mother didn’t care about protecting me, my rights and boundaries, but just about us keeping quiet so as not to ‘ruin’ her weekend spent holed up in my parents bedroom. It is so horrible to treat a child like that.


I’m glad that you put all this in writing Darlene. It makes sense that I couldn’t make out of all the stuff that my dysfunctional family system gave me.

I’m still trying to figure out what is so evil about wanting attention. I tried really hard to fade into the background.


My mom never said that to me as a kid, but she is saying it to me now as I try to make her see reality and not “rose colored glasses” truth.

But what I did get when I was a kid was…. when I told her how I felt, her reaction was:
That’s the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard

Pick one.

She claims she wasn’t criticizing me, just what I said. But, it still was a criticism of ME! Calling ME stupid! Then she says, “oh you’re too sensitive.” I don’t think I’m that sensitive. She is just looking for an out to not have to take responsibility for what she says.

Alice, what you said about “forcing an affection I do not feel,” that is me. I feel nothing.

And Amber, what you said about “Amber screeches too much” well did anyone try to find out why? That hits home to me about “You’re too sensitive.” Well, did anyone ever try to find out why I felt hurt?

The last conversation I had with mom before N/C nine months ago, she said, “You make your own problems.” No, I don’t. Mom has issues she has never dealt with, and her issues rub off on me when she deals with me. Like her need to “hold my fork and knife because she doesn’t think I can.” This is a metaphor for her constant need to “step in and answer questions for me” when other people ask me stuff. I’m not kidding, she does this! Someone asks ME a question and she has to step in and answer it for me. It has to do with her need to “make the appearance” that something is what it isn’t. God forbid, my answer will spoil it!


Thank you!


DXS, I sometimes feel guilty that I do not feel affection for her (mom). For a while I wondered what was wrong with me. But then I do have experience feeling affection for my father, or other people. I also had a period where I just felt numb. Nothing at all. I wasn’t sad or anything. Just flat. I never knew what it was.

No, nobody in my family tried to find out anything. My parents and close relatives would just talk about what was going on with me (generally criticizing) without asking me. The one time I did tell my mother I was depressed and wished to see a professional she initially refused and told me I wasn’t depressed. She eventually gave in. The doctor realized at once what the problem was but didn’t offer a solution beyond stress-reduction techniques and waiting it out till I could leave, which I did.

And yes, I cried a lot too. Far too much as far as I was told. Momster told me “You would scream for hours. We just let you get on with it”. I never really grasped what that was about. When I was a bit older, she would refer to my crying as “hysterics”. I have memories of crying until I dry heave. Following her around the house to get a hug or comfort and her shoving me away.

And yes, it was very clear that her having kids was a huge burden. Taking care of us was a chore and a financial weight. Sadly, this is also how I see having kids myself. So I haven’t.


Seeing the article regarding the grooming process abusive parents use to invalidate their children has been incredibly validating!! This article gave a voice to the agony I’ve felt for what seems like a life time.
This is the exact the process I endured as a child – My mother routinely told me how exasperated/exasperating I was to her.
This is what I knew;

I knew I was nothing
I knew everyone was important – except me.
I knew I should be ashamed.
I knew I didn’t deserve anything.
I knew I was Bad.
I knew my mother didn’t like me.
I knew I was ugly.
I knew I was an imposition.
I knew I was a problem.

The grueling process of trying to piece together some fragment of self esteem or self love has been nearly impossible.


OMG, Susan, your “I knew….” List could have been written by me. Everything on the list is a false belief I picked up growing up with my mother. I would also add to mine: I knew I was inferior because I am a girl. I hope you find healing Susan. This website is a very good place to come to for ideas, validation and support.


I cried a lot too. In fact, I would cry myself hysterical growing up. I cried so long and so hard the next day my eyes would be so swollen I could barely open them. This started at about 11 years of age, the crying part. The harassing behavior by my siblings started earlier. If our house was a henhouse, I was the chicken the other chicks were pecking to death. My older Nsister trained the others to tease and humiliate me. She was the oldest and my parents’ golden child. When my baby brother was born, my sister wouldn’t let me hold him, and as soon as he could walk, they trained him to run away from me. As soon as he could talk, they taught him to call me names. My mother was right there. She heard it all, and never intervened. Never told the developing talker that my name wasn’t “Poopy.” When I asked for help against my bullying older sister and her flying monkeys, my mother never scolded her. I never heard her ever censored for teasing me. She never punished her. She allowed it. So after a day of being emotionally tormented, I’d let off shrieks and howls. When I asked my mother for help, she’d coach me…apparently I was all wrong. My personality was flawed. She would try to fix me, point out all my shortcomings. I should watch my older sister and try to be more like her. If a fight broke out, my mother would always blame me, “Whenever you’re in trouble, you’re in the middle of it.” Or, “this family could be happy if it wasn’t for you.” And yes, “What did I ever do to deserve getting a daughter like you” and “I hope one day you get a daughter like yourself.”

If I mimicked the behavior of my older sister and said one insulting word against a younger sibling that was reported, I was in trouble. Boy, big time. My mother would find new insults to cut me down to size, often regarding parts of my body or face she did not find attractive. In fact, I was regarded as the homely one in the family, but later I found out that some people considered me the most attractive girl. In my mind, I was hideous.

At one point, I was probably clinically depressed. I had started getting bullied at school, too. Not by all my classmates, so school was still easier than being home. I slept a lot. I often was sick and stayed home, where I could both be away from siblings and school, as mom began working part-time. One quarter I was absent 10 times. My mom brought me into her doctor and said I needed help.

The doctor told her that I probably didn’t need help so much as the whole family needed it. Hadn’t she shared with him some marital problems? That affects the whole family, you know. Perhaps my siblings also needed help. Perhaps some parenting courses could help, too. He would be happy to make referrals. “No thanks, Doc.”

The small town family doctor interviewed me briefly and asked me about my troubles. I sobbed, “My sisters and brothers and my mother are very mean to me.” That was all I could get out.

Wasn’t what mom wanted to hear. She took me in to be fixed and what she learned was that I was only a symptom of a larger dysfunction, and God forbid that they would have to examine their own marriage, my father’s philandering, and their parenting skills.

I actually on a few occasions begged to go into foster care for peace. Out of the question. However, I was such a “good” kid with such a conscience that I could not bear to do anything that would have gotten me there–though I considered stealing or running away.

Darlene, keep doing what you’re doing. After being told since a very young age for accepting what an inferior person I am, its a relief to find out that I was groomed for this role and I hadn’t earned it. I wish I realized this a very long time ago because I wouldn’t have had to walk around like the walking wounded my whole life. I wouldn’t have been such a target for abusers, either. Getting away from my family the last few years, I feel like a flower that has finally bloomed. I know, a real old metaphor, but I am free and they have lost their scapegoat once and forever more. I could feel at Christmas they know this now, that my chains are gone and I’ve been set free.


Finding your website incidentially is very important to me. I’ve received psychological treatment for more than 2 months but still find it difficult, especially to deal with my anger towards my parents. Today I just recalled that I used to hurt myself by scratching my scalp hardly, pulled my hair fiercely, and cut myself by a scissors. I was to angry coz mother scolded me whenever she want and most of it was not my fault. I was not allowed to express my anger but I was too angry and need a let out. So I have nothing to hurt in the House except myself.

Its quite painful that till today, I tell my mum all this, I tell her that more than one time in my childhood, I wanted to kill myself, and I wanted to kill her. I didnt tell before thought she would be really anxious and sad, but, now I think she has the right to know. Only when she feel exactly how painful I was would she realise how bad she had done.

I found that even now my parents r that as u mentioned’would sit down and listen’ type, I still feel big anger. Its really difficult to deal with all these pain and feel calm. I know its a road of my own now that even their apologize couldnt help me?Its like a war that I have to fight with my own ‘sense of worthlessness’ and my anger. Even they apologize, the pain r always there, the scars r always there and its my business.

I dont know how would I go? I think this is a tough road ahead and I think there isnt any end. When I feel the anger, I couldnt do anything? I read your articles and felt better but after that, sometime, the anger comes out again. I feel its really difficult..but something like an old friend that accompanies me all the time.


I would like to say thank you to u here.

I used to doubt myself that why I seems to have endless anger towards my parents. No matter how well I try not think about it, it comes out to visit me now and then. Friends said ‘at least they have done their best’ ‘ U shall be grateful’. I found their suggestions difficult for me to achieve so I cast my eyes on myself again. Am I born to hate others? Is it a deficiency of my character? —

Not until I visited your website did I realise that its not my problem. And, this helped me a lot, absolutely. I feel sorry for my friends’ suggestions that they think its not right to be angry at parents regardless of my pain for over decades. They think ‘they raised u up’ is all the excuse that no matter what they’ve done, they r not to be blamed.

Realizing ‘I am a normal human being and my emotions r normal human being emotions’ is a big progress to me. But still lots of things remain to solve. Gaining confidence from the seems’eternal’ inferior is quite difficult. But.. have to go ahead.


Oh man, I can’t count on my fingers how many times I’ve gotten from people of all angles about me supposedly making up fictional stories about my parents; being called an unappreciative child, brat, bitch, etc! Seems like the ‘children are seen, but not heard,’ still applies quietly today.

Why would anyone make this up? I told my therapist the reason why people call it lies and fiction is because they still believe in the white picket fence and Leave It To Beaver fictional story – that is fiction right there! I said to her funny how people wanna hear stories, but certainly don’t wanna hear stories of abuse!!

It gets to the point of why talk about the past? You will never be believed, you’re lucky if you are, but why keep having people condemn you for speaking the truth? I always told my story, I am just tired of being called a liar yet my parents are such saints! These people put on a high display of unfit parents on a pedestal and then complain when they do serious harm to their own kids and the same fools say ‘Who would do that to their own kids?’ Why are we still shocked in America? I always tell them, ‘Aren’t you the fool who believed these parents are parents who “love their kids always?” ‘ They don’t like when I point that out!

My “family” just live in denial nothing but lies and more lies. People could never understand why we are not close, I am only close to my two older siblings and that’s it. I always tell people why do I still have to call “my parents, mom and dad?” They NEVER functioned like real parents and never will. The “they are still your parents” bull crap is just society speaking and I tell people that is not life experience, use your own experience and think for yourself.


Hi Darlene,

thank you for another powerful article and all that you do.

I find it strange how the mothers think its ok for them to contact you about what you are doing here.

The only reason I can think they have sent nasty emails to you is that they have sons and daughters who are reading your blog and using the information to help them become stronger mentally. Maybe the daughters and sons are starting to question their “mothers” about their dysfunctional behaviour and upbringing.

This site has helped me take my life back and unravel the lies and false beliefs my mother put in my head.

Your website has shone the light of truth on those lies and broken down many of those lies and I personally thank you so much. I love to go on this site and find much strength from everyone here.

Heres to a healthy, strong, healing and joyful 2014 to Darlene and everyone here at EFB.

I hope the mothers who send you nasty emails hang their heads in shame because that is where the shame belongs, its their shame for abusing their children, not Darlenes shame for giving the information which is helping to heal adult daughters and sons who deserve the love they never had.


hi i read with great interest i see myself as a child and adult i was the oldest and responsible for everything my father lefted my mom 3 children he was so busy living a life of riley going places traveling great clothes not bothering to see us mom had to go to work i had to watch the other 2 not much of a childhood i felt like the adult i felt responsible for everything one thing i remember quite clear she told me i was selfish i will never forget it my sisters on the other hand did whatever they wanted i was the good girl help mom take care of the house and not get into trouble good grades and all my younger sister got whatever she wanted and was not nice to mom i even took care of my grandparents when i got home from school too they were to old to feed themselves so i use to feed them. i couldnt wait to get out of the house so i married the first person that said i love you. turns out he was an acholic and drug addict abused me tried going to a prist told me just get pregant and everything will be ok not. had to more children so i have 2 bouys and 1 girl all 3 i love very dearly and would give my life for, divoeced thank God but damaged is done. its been many years now my oldest is sorting his life out my second son is going through crap with his wife she is abusive. and beautiful loving daughter is not sure of her self. she has a wonderful husband but his family think they are perfect and are very crital of her and she got down on her \self most likely from me all those years of being down on myself its just not words all the time but they also see us and how we live are lives also i tried to be the best mom i could i have a good man now he has gone through crap his mom is also very crital and has put him down his whole life he cant do anything right and he will not amout to much say the least we have a thriving business and guess what his mother wont talk to him at all either will his sister guess who they blame me of course i finally realise im not the worlds problems and i am going on with my life and finally starting to learn that i love myself and i am ok its a process every morning i thank God and i thank God for me and my family and if i hurt them through the actions of my mouth or actions im truly sorry and im still working on me and its a life process


“You is kind. You is smart. You is important”
Whenever I watch “The Help”, this line brings me to tears…


To Darlene and everyone,

I hope you all feel stronger and happier each and every day. Best wishes for a 2014 filled with growth and connection to yourselves and to others. Thank you Darlene for this amazing website. You are throwing out lifelines for us.



Amber and Everyone! (about the nasty email that I sometimes get)

Sometime yesterday, the 30,000th comment was published here on the website! Thirty Thousand legitimate comments (over 4 years time). I used to delete the nasty ones, but I started to keep them in the ‘held for moderation’ folder. I have almost 100 comments in the folder, not to mention the private emails that I have received from people who tell me off. They don’t bother me because I know that this isn’t about me. First of all, what is someone like that looking for, when they find my blog? Either they say the post shared, or they were searching for something related on the internet, but either way, the landed on my blog, read something they didn’t like, and whatever it was must have hit a nerve. But that isn’t about me. There are always what I call “truth leaks” in those nasty emails that reveal exactly what the problem really is.

In the new year I am going to be publishing a post about parental entitlement that relates to this whole thing.
Hugs! Darlene


Hi Alice
Thank you for your best wishes! 2013 has been a wonderful year, a really full year, with ups and downs and difficulties and celebrations and most importantly, LIVING. Life just keeps getting better! And the whole judgement thing from others gets easier and easier as the truth gets more and more ‘cemented’ in.
Here is to 2014.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jane
I enjoyed reading your comments this morning with my tea. (picture me in my bathrobe with a large cup of tea, reading the comments on my computer almost every morning)
Thank you for sharing your victories!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Caden
Yes, that is the thing ~ who DESERVES a parent like that? That is the whole point. NOBODY deserved this crap. And the way we process it as children in order to survive is that we look for reasons that perhaps we DID deserve it. It’s our only choice as children. And that is where so many adults are stuck ~ trying to figure out what we did or why we were ‘so bad’ that we were not loved.

As always I love your comments! Thank you for sharing your growth here!
hugs, Darlene

p.s. to all ~ And it really doesn’t matter if these parents are narcissistic, depressed or psychotic, it doesn’t matter what their story is either because that is about what happened to them.. it is the damage that we have to realize, the damage that happened to US if we are going to put it behind us.


Hi Hobie
Children NEED attention. That is how they grow. 🙂 That is how they learn.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

Typical story. When we are kids, we can’t stand up to any of this stuff, we just absorb it. By the time we could stand up to it, we can’t because we have learned the normalcy of it. We learned to accept it. It is just the way it is. And they have learned that they can do it. They can justify anything they say or do. The whole thing has to be looked at through new eyes. That is the time consuming part, but I tell you, it is so worth it!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Susan
Yes, exactly!
I put it all back together by seeing how it all got broken in the first place. I looked for the truth in all that communication. Was I nothing? Why did I believe that I was nothing? I looked for those false messages. Each time I found a root, I found it easier to over turn that message and expose the lies attached to them. I started to love myself when I turned many of them back to the truth and built it up from there.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Eira
I LOVE your last paragraph! you said ” After being told since a very young age for accepting what an inferior person I am, its a relief to find out that I was groomed for this role and I hadn’t earned it.” YES it was all a huge lie about you and you were trained, groomed to accept that lie. YAY for being able to go forward with that knowledge!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Jiang
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I had huge problems with anger; it was more the opposite problem for me ~ I couldn’t feel it at all. I was unable to express it, and felt no permission to express it. It became so much easier when I realized that I had a RIGHT to be angry and that there is such a thing as justifiable anger. And you are right; apologies from your parents are not the answer. I am glad you are here, there is so much insight here, so much to read and think about as you journey on this healing path,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Marquis
Welcome to EFB ~
For me it became important to tell my story to ME. I had to validate myself and the damage and tell myself that it happened and I had a right to be upset about it. It doesn’t matter who believes me. I believe me. And for years I wasn’t sure if I was ‘right’ about being upset by any of it. That was/is the major difference for me today. They (whoever) can believe what they want, I don’t care. I know the truth and I don’t have to prove it to anyone.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Emma
Thank you for your lovely support and words of encouragement! For every nasty email I get, I get hundreds and even thousands of wonderful ones ~ it doesn’t bother me anymore. It is like these people want to justify their abusive behaviour by telling me my blog is all wrong. But that doesn’t make them right. Deep down I think they are filled with shame. Deep down I think that many parents know the damage they have done but that doesn’t mean they are willing to face it or do anything about it. That is why it is so important for us to do this work for ourselves. 🙂
hugs, Darlene

Hi Doreen
It is wonderful to see someone who realizes the damage caused to her and also how it was passed down to her own children and is willing to go forward with healing ALL of it. Thank you for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene for your many many words of wisdom and encouragement. Doing work on yourself and sharing it has made our work on ourselves a bit less of a burden. You have eloquently shown us the burden of proof in your own words.

I enjoyed when you said, “I know the truth and I don’t have to prove it to anyone.” I also liked the quote: “deep down I think that many parents know the damage they have done but that doesn’t mean they are willing to face it or do anything about it.” We are not to blame, but we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our healing.

Thanks again to you and everyone on EFB. This website is a beacon of healing and hope.



Hi Suzy,

I enjoyed your comment. I think that we could be twins! I was also the good girl daughter and nobody appreciated me. Like you, I tried so hard to please my parents. I think that I forgot growing up that this is MY LIFE and it’s not about being their live-in maid or slave! I was the same type as you, both simultaneously abused and overprotected. I was not allowed to date or attend school dances. I was not allowed to attend evening high school activities (chaperoned in a public place) like watching my friend play in her girl’s school basketball game. Being such a good girl, I too never smoked, drank, or did drugs. It was the good girl college bound path for me. Ironically when I was older in my twenties, living in a new state and attending counseling, that I was not even respected when I talked about my past. It seems like these lousy therapists could not respect such a former honest teenager like myself. They viewed me as being “too good” like some kind of a joke! The women with a past, not me, were more respected but not the good girl me. These so-called therapists could not respect such an intelligent, honest, and emotionally mature person. Fortunately, I never turned to addictions like many abuse victims, but I found the metaphysical Pagan path and it’s the spiritual glue that holds me together.

When I was a child, I was praised for being such a good student. I was always an academic and not much of an athlete. Whenever I brought home a school essay that the teacher read aloud in the class, my parents did not care to even read it. It didn’t make sense that if I was such a good student and did my house chores then why were they still both so mean?

Like so many abuse victims, I realized that I was nothing more to them an academic “robot” who could perform for them. There was one painful incident when I was in the sixth grade, attending public school and later private school, when I received a letter to be tested for the “gifted” students program. Mommie Dearest decided that I should test and join this program and special school. All that I could think of was losing my few girlfriends and being stuck with more homework, in addition to a full weekend of housework.(The actual group consisted of nothing more than group projects and busy work). I was their maid who did all the housecleaning on the weekend and even ironing my father’s shirts. There was a rule with the test that you were allowed to take the test only three times with the same test proctor. Guess what I scored for the three times taking the test? I got zero percent, yes zero! LOL! I purposely failed this test since I did not want to become even more of an object for my parent’s dog and pony show!

There is an older movie of my generation, about the same time 1979/80? titled, “The Bad News Bears”. IMHO, the best scene in the movie is when one of the boy baseball players was very mad at his father and wanted to make his father pay for his power and control issues. So, the boy purposely keeps holding his glove and the baseball (not throwing the ball as to strike out the other team’s players) and he allows the other team to make home runs to score points and win the game. The boy is grinning and happy for once. The father looks upset, almost pleading with his son to not let the other team win. I never forgot that movie scene since it shows a boy being able to rightfully stand up to his father. The actors were great and you could just feel the boy’s joyful victory in taking back his power.

I think that Darlene hit upon so much. Whenever my parents have tried to slander my reputation and gossip about me, it just falls flat! They really have NOTHING on me. I have worked hard for everything that I’ve got and I was never an addict, juvenile delinquent, teen pregnancy. When I was a teenager, I went to family counseling with my mom. For once in my life, I actually won an argument with mom. The therapist kept saying, “Mrs.G—–what is so bad about Yvonne?” She is not into drugs, drinking, boyfriends….and she is such a good student (honors student private high school). Few people have been able to stand up to my mom and win. My mom actually looked like she wanted to hit the therapist if she could. Fast forward to my adult life, I am NOT such a bad person! I have NO criminal background and I was an older student who put myself through college!

I am slowly taking baby steps with learning how to love myself. When I was younger, I would get angry reading all the self esteem books. It seemed like such an impossible goal. It’s hard when you have all of the negative abuse programming. I think I’m getting better all the time. My wish is to wake up one morning and NOT care what other people think of me. I wish to look in the mirror and love me for me, and not give one thought to negative parental programming. I wish to not care about others who belong to the “mother cult/father cult” who want to shame me for telling the truth about my FOO. I wish to be happier but I don’t know how. I know that I can’t beat myself up more with “am I there yet”, like a kid in long car trip. Being away from parents and FOO is the best gift that I have given myself.

I vow to work hard and play hard in the new year. I want to take chances and not worry so much about failing. I want to date more and force myself to go out more. I don’t want to care about what other people think. These are my new year’s resolutions.

Thank you Darlene for all your help and giving back your time and wisdom. It’s such a gift to connect with people who care.


Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


One of the things I am doing for myself is to pay attention to my body and my feelings. Pay CLOSE attention.

Tonight, the place I’m working at temporarily had a New Years Eve party using east coast timing. Party was 6:00 – 10:00 and at 9:00 PM we all said “Happy New Year” cuz it was new year’s on the east coast. I’ve only been working here for three months, and I felt more love from these people I hardly know than I feel from my own family. How pathetic is that? In my family, I never felt neglected. Mom did everything she was supposed to. But that’s the point. Everything had this “I’m supposed to do this” feel to it. Obligation. So to me, Love = Obligation. I don’t like Obligation.


Oh yes! This sounds like my biological mother. She was in tears moaning about why she had given birth to an ungrateful, sinful child like me. When I heard it for the first time as an adult, I got an insight into why I never felt any emotional support or love from them. Maybe she said that when I was young too but


Oh yes! This sounds like my biological mother. She was in tears moaning about why she had given birth to an ungrateful, sinful child like me. When I heard it for the first time as an adult, I got an insight into why I never felt any emotional support or love from them. Maybe she said that when I was young too but


Ah yes! This sounds like my biological mother. She was in tears moaning about why she had given birth to an ungrateful, sinful child like me. When I heard it for the first time as an adult, I got an insight into why I never felt any emotional support or love from them. Maybe she said that when I was young too but I do not remember that consciously. She made me responsible for how she felt and dumped the blame on me. Of course, by this point, I wasn’t taking any of her bulls***. She can moan however long she wants, nothing is going to change for her as long as she continues to put the blame on me. Stupid woman! That is all I have for her. Stupid woman who dances to a psychopath’s tunes.
I know I was bold to post these comments, apologise to anyone who feels offended by the language. It is simply a reflection of what we had to go through as children. There is no way any language can do justice for the way we were treated as kids.



I for one am not offended. The maddening deal is that we have still been treated badly as adults. Your mother feels sorry for herself for whatever crazy reason. It is not your fault.


Thank you Darlene
I appreciate you & your work. I can relate to much of what your “results” were even though my process of becoming broken was different. I have been working on a book regarding my story for over a year & am thankful to have come upon your website. Your boldness & courage help me reach for courage to speak up. Thank you.
My favorite line in this post is: This wasn’t my fault, but it was up to me to get to the other side of broken and that is what Emerging from Broken is all about. It’s about moving forward.
That is so empowering.
Moving forward


Happy New Year everyone!!

Welcome to all the new people!

I welcome 2014 with open arms! This is a year for me to accomplish whatever I set my mind too. This is a New Year, a new opportunity, a huge blank slate where I can paint my own canvass! I invite you all to think about the canvass that you would like to paint for yourself as you travel this path to healing and take your life back!

Hugs and Love, Darlene



Please don’t feel pathetic. You are not alone. Society keeps telling us we are supposed to be closest to our families. But many times this is not the case. Many parents are just “going through the motions”, and don’t really care. Who I feel bad for are the people who don’t like the treatment they are getting from their FOO and keep going back because they feel obligation. I am glad I don’t feel that obligation any longer.


She made me responsible for how she felt and dumped the blame on me.

Sahitha! I think you have lit up another light bulb for me. She made ME responsible for how she felt. Instead of asking me why I felt the way I did and trying to talk about what I was feeling, she made it be about her.

I’m a smart person. Why am I just figuring this all out now in my 50’s?


Join the crowd DXS. I’m 55 years old, and just started to wade through all this BS last year.


Susan post14 is exactly how I felt growing up. An A student I was never in trouble until thrown out at age 18 for angrily standing up for myself. Thrown out in the middle of the night no one cared what happened to me. I knew my only use was to please people. I was harshly treated and later it was the proof that I was what they said I was useless garbage.
I have been married 40 yrs have a great home and nice friends. Never been in trouble. But to this day they see me as garbage. Im NC for over 2 years.
There is much less stress in my life without them.
My goal this year is to work thru my remaining anger.
Im definately getting better. A successful New Year to all! -Karen


This site has lifted a veil off of me. I wish somehow I had gotten the message that it wasn’t about me. I thought I had to be close to my family. Once I thought to move away to a town just two hours north of here and my mother had a fit. She said it would be WRONG. Wrong? I was in my 30s, for God’s sake, and I cannot see how a little distance would have been a sin. But I believe she couldn’t let me go, not because she/they desired so much time with me, but because I would be out of their clutches and out of their control.

I realize I have taken abuse from various people because I expected it was how I was supposed to be treated…by friends, by colleagues. I was so nice. Whenever I’d protest poor treatment, from anyone, no matter who, I have always felt like I have been punished severely. I have carried myself as a victim and as someone who had no boundaries and who could be stepped on and come back for more, meekly apologizing. I thought this was what I deserved, even when I protested against it. I expected rude behavior. I usually got what I expected.

I think this is all going to change. I can feel it has already started. My self-worth has grown exponentially since I went low contact with my family and it is growing more every day.

I am almost there.


Whenever I’d protest poor treatment, from anyone, no matter who, I have always felt like I have been punished severely.

Eira, me too! If I stand up for myself, somehow, *I’m* to blame, or the issue escalates. Other people try to “define” you to be what they need you to be. It’s hard to break through this. Sometimes you have to move away. I moved 3,000 miles away and it was the best thing I did. The mistake I made was to move back to the state I grew up in. However, I knew that as long as I was staying 3,000 miles away, I was avoiding an issue. I came back to confront the issue only to find that mom didn’t want to be confronted. Didn’t want to admit. Didn’t want to discuss.


I too have lived my life trying to be a “good girl” and not offend anyone or make anyone mad. I also moved 2000 miles away from home and thank God met several friends with extended families who welcomed us into their homes and gave me another frame of reference about what a family should be. I also moved back to my home state because both my husband and I thought we could make things right with our families. We have learned the hard way that we weren’t ever the problem and that there is no fixing people like this.

I have regretted moving back here in the past, but DXS, after reading your comment, I realize I never would have been healthy and whole until I did. During the nine years that I lived away from home, I idealized my family and held them up as perfect, to others and in my own mind. I feel blessed that I finally was able to see the truth and deal with reality so that I can spend whatever time I have left on this planet as a healthy, whole and happy person and that is the legacy I intend to leave for my children.


Thank you for writing this. My mother use to scream at my
sister and I, and then as my sister became golden, just me, that
she wished we were boys. That really didn’t hit me until the last
time, and I mean THE LAST TIME, she screamed that at me four years ago. I was not being told I was loved, I was told that she wished
I was never born. She did not value me as her daughter and I had no worth. When SHE didn’t like what I said or did, then she just wished me away. I was also told I could only call her back when I didn’t “blame” her for everything. Blame in her world is me telling
her my thoughts and feelings. Being blameless is how she views herself. She has done nothing wrong. Ever. Everything is my fault. How do I know? She told me so.
It’s taken me these past four years to begin to undo and not believe the lies she told me about myself. Thank God! I am happy to be a girl. I am worthy and valuable. I’m sorry she doesn’t feel the same way but that is no longer my problem.


Hi Darlene,

I do agree with you that you need to speak out about your family and some sort of validation. I have spoken enough about my family which turned people against me. People would rather make friends with someone or talk to a person who came from a good home, I’ve experienced that a lot and lost friends because of my home life (still live there hard to get out).

I told my therapist like I always tell people, ‘we need to walk in our own truths whether it is good, bad, ugly, or indifferent because we are the ones who has to walk that path.’ As I told her (therapist) and other people, ‘I’ve walked my truth about my parents and don’t plan on shushing any time soon.’ Yes, in the past, I had to put out there about “my loving family” to please people because I know they would turn against me if I spoke ill about my parents. I had gotten into a number of verbal confrontations with people about my parents; telling me how dare I say such things that all parents love their kids and told them why are kids still being killed, neglected, etc? Why does foster care still exist if that’s the case? Look, how fast they zip it! lol

I also told therapist, ‘I hope you know and walk in your truth – you can’t deny truth!’ Silence said it all! I have told that to a lot of people and that definitely ended the conversation! I told her kids know when they are loved and when they are not; as my siblings and I knew we were never loved nor wanted, but strangers kept saying we are “misinterpreting” such baloney.

I want to ask you and everyone. Did you or anyone on here ever forgive your mom or both parents? If so, why? Who disagrees? I strongly believe abuse is not something you can just say I forgive you (whether you say it to them or to yourself).


I feel like your descriptions of your childhood and how your mother spoke to you and treated you were like you wrote out the script of my life.My sister and I are trying to help each other out as we emerge from our own brokenness and darkness living with a malignant narcissist mother. For years we were manipulated and lied to about each other so we had no sister/friend relationship until November of 2012. We still are trying to realize who we really are and move forward. You can read some of our stories at our blog
Because we have decided to have limited contact and just where we are in our lives we have yet to come out with our real names. The lack of trust we learned from our dysfunctional family has made it a big step for us to even share with our pen names.
You are a blessing and a great encouragement!


Marquis #49 – to answer about forgiveness, I think of it as an individual choice we make for ourselves. It doesn’t mean the abuse didn’t matter or they’re not responsible. I choose not to “forgive” because they stole my innocence, trust, safety, self esteem, faith, my Self! 18 years of toxic crap, then of course I was expected to scale the heights! Stupid jerks. Have been to hell and back, wouldn’t trade my life now for anything. I have real love, safety and trust, and I have ME. I’ll never give up on myself – I beat all the odds! Forgiving them seems pointless to me. My life is no longer about “them” in any way – but about the “me” that I had to make out of nothing. Took almost 30 years to create her. They are scared shitless of her decency and honesty! Anyway, I know it’s possible for me to heal without having to forgive. Thanks <3


You said:
” I was so nice. Whenever I’d protest poor treatment, from anyone, no matter who, I have always felt like I have been punished severely .”

This has always been the case with me along with the “you’re acting crazy again.” At the time of the incident, my feelings of extreme upset, hurt and anger only confirmed to me that I was the problem. Others seem to be able to cope with this treatment in an unemotional way and move on without the drama. Not me. This lead to lower self esteem and a confirmation to me that they were right. This has been my life for over 50 years.
Finally seeking treatment after my son’s suicide, I discovered the mechanics behind what had
been replaying, over and over in my life. Darlene gave me the final piece of the puzzle.

A got a dream job 7 months ago after a 38 month absence from working.
It was a floor management position in a thrift store PT. As higher managers left, my position became more
all encompassing, with more hours, full responsibility for the store, stress and abusive treatment. I saw it creeping up.
Whenever I tried to confront it, diplomatically, I was ignored.

It wasn’t only me. I saw my employees, many of them seniors being harassed and burdened.
I reached my limit last friday and walked out. Not the best solution, but I was well past my
endurance when one more critical task was laid at my door.
Within 30 mins of leaving I messaged my boss an explanation. No answer.
The next day I dropped off a letter formally quitting and also apologizing for leaving, offering to
finish out the week until someone else could come in. Again No answer.

Next I got a couple of texts from friends saying that I had been slandered by management.
?? I was never late, worked extra, never sick, ran on my feet every day. There were never problems with my work. I went above and beyond what was expected.

I sent a letter to the Director explaining exactly what had happened. I did not make accusations but told him exactly what had occurred and why. He always seemed to me to be a
thoughtful, fair person, who seemed to have an honest interest in the employees.
No reply even from him. I was shocked to be treated this way (punished) for standing up to
an abusive situation. I had a few bad days thinking wow, I must be pretty awful to be
treated this way in a Christian organization.
Then I looked at each employee and their reactions to abuses in the store and saw that everyone of them
were afraid to speak. They would blend into the woodwork to survive and keep their jobs.
I see that was their choice and mine was to stand up and say no more.
Management’s response to my departure after speaking up confirms to me that I was right to leave. Maybe I was clumsy about the way I did it, this is new to me, but I am no longer feeling badly about my choice.


I now see my mother for the evil, manipulating abuser she is. She did so much damage to me as a child. Up until I broke contact with her over 2 years ago she was still abusing, discounting, and belittling me. I’m 59 years old now. No, I know how much torment I went thru directly because of her. I have no intention of seeing her ever again and I won’t forgive or forget what she did to me.


Karen R, I also experienced an abusive work situation. I agree with you that others remain silent because they are afraid of losing their jobs. I had a boss that targets people and went after them, demeaning them, criticizing their work, and setting up conditions to make it impossible to do a good job even if you were a good worker. Once she crushed your spirit and got rid of you she would find another target to bully, and on and on it went. No one said anything as they saw her obvious abuse of me. It was a school and I held my ground not allowing her to push me out before the end of the school year.

Question for you Karen R. What were the mechanics that you said you learned and what was the final pice of the puzzle you got from Darlene? I want to see what I might still be missing. Thanks.


As always thank you for writing Emerging from Broken. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse having no one to turn to, no one I could trust, no support from my parents, I too felt broken. The reason I couldn’t trust anyone is because I could never do anything right in their eyes. I was nothing but a screw-up and that is the bed I had to lie in. I wasn’t really good for anything according to them and that is what I believed for nearly 50 years. I am slowly “Emerging…” and also have the desire to heal the world. That is my new bed and I am grateful for you and your writing.


Marquis, the question of forgiveness is one I have (and still do) struggle with a bit. At this point I don’t know what it means but I have spent a lot of time reading about it, trying to justify my position on it – whatever it is- which is, like anything else, that it can’t be forced. It’s entirely up to the person who has been wronged to determine whether or not they forgive (and I suppose what that might entail). None of this “but you HAVE to do it FOR YOURSELF” BS – which if you think about it, is a very strange angle to come at it from.

And then, does it (whatever it is) depend on the other party admitting to their wrongdoing? The “new” version apparently does not, so where does that leave the victim of said wrongdoing if admissions of wrongdoing are not forthcoming? Well, sort of as they were, both bearing the burden of their abuse, potentially also the blame for it and then to top it all the obligation to, well, to what, exactly? I mean before, it made me much angrier, this forced obligation and almost this kind of threat that you can’t heal if you don’t forgive. Well, why not exactly? I haven’t seen a lot about that. I *think* the idea is that if you don’t forgive you’ll be “dwelling” on the bad stuff that will in turn color your outlook and relationships but then so does a shitty upbringing, even without you “doing” anything at all.

Anyway, I don’t know, I figure if it’s appropriate it will come to me. If people ask me today whether I have forgiven my mother I will have to say “I don’t know”. Certainly I’ve tried to figure my mother out, explain her actions, perhaps see how she might have been mistreated herself (she says she wasn’t). She has not admitted to any wrongdoing either. I’ve also tried “forgiving myself” which the first time felt more like just letting the full impact of sorrow hit me, now it often feels like other things. Maybe it’s just a word that only has a very narrow application.


Alice – You have made a very good point! There are a number of definitions of forgiveness flying around in the world and a lot of them just don’t make sense.

A lot of the “forced forgiveness” is another way of saying “shut up because I don’t want to deal with it”.

In light of the blame that we’ve carried for the abuse that we’ve endured, it is terribly unrealistic and unfair for people to make a big deal out of forgiving our abusers before we can actually come to terms with the damage that’s been done to us. We really need to see who is actually responsible for that and feel all the feelings that come with that ugly reality.

I totally agree that if it’s appropriate it will come to you, and answering that you don’t know if you’ve forgiven your mother is an honest way to respond for your own well-being.

Personally, I think I’ve chosen to define forgiveness as simply not expecting the offender to make anything right. I see it as choosing to do whatever brings about my own healing without trying to get even, or becoming like the offender.

Under no circumstance though will I subject myself to further abuse voluntarily. If someone thinks I need to make myself vulnerable to someone who’s hurt me in order to forgive them, they will be disappointed and avoided.


“maybe it’s just a word that only has a very narrow application”. Forgiveness. That is so true, Alice. I agree with you on that, as well as on your statement that it has to be personal. For those of us who are still in any way involved with our abusers, it becomes very difficult. The meaning of it seems to constantly shift for me. Crazily enough, a byproduct of working with Darlene and spending time on this site has been that I am able to just really not care enough to think that my forgiving them is even important.

Because I think forgiveness sort of implies that there will be some ongoing relationship that has meaning to both parties and I feel like that ship has sailed for me.


One more thing: when reading Melody Beatty’s work on codependence, I noticed her using the phrase and recommending that you “detach in love.” And I read that, and I read it again and then I said “What in the hell does that mean?!!” It is only now that I am starting to get it. I was talking to my sister today and she was complaining about another sibling who has promised on numerous occasions to assist my Mom with a shower at the assisted living, which is really the only thing that the staff there doesn’t provide unless the person is actively in therapy. This sibling has repeatedly dropped the ball and I found out yesterday on my way out of town that my Mom hadn’t had a shower for four days. Today I told my sister, “You know, if the other four of us are willing to sit her down in a room and tell her that we all find this unacceptable, then maybe it might make some difference, but I am really sure that complaining about her to one another on the phone is not going to bring about any change in her behavior.” I am so clinical about it all now, which beats being nuts over it all the time, for sure!


Emerging from Broken is a release of all that was false that suffocated us as children and adults from our family of origin. Recognizing the dysfunction is the release from that emotional prison and a start to learning who we really are and celebrating it! Enjoying life on our terms. Those that criticize do not understand the pain and struggle we have been through. And the joy we feel setting our own terms to live our life.


It’s interesting Jane, I feel as if I have sort of dropped the ball on forgiveness too. It’s not that I don’t admire people who do it, I do but I don’t think it should be obtained under duress – especially not the circumstances Hobie mentions which I think is what most people are referring to when they suggest its application to anyone else as this *active* thing to *do*.
I’m guessing that in circumstances in which people needed to continue to be in each others’ presence to survive, forgiveness was perhaps also a question of survival. And perhaps also a way to maintain power over. I’m not sure what the current version of it is intended to achieve.

I mentioned somewhere on a thread that I was apprehending my mother’s death due to this – pressure I suppose. And what pressure to put her under as well! (She’s nowhere near dead. She’s probably going to live beyond 100 because she’s so hard.) Anyway, by not insisting on forgiveness I feel a little more space and can let her be free to do whatever she feels appropriate – whether that means taking her hard-assed need to be absolutely right all the damn time to the grave or whatever else.


As with almost all of your posts, you give words, insight, a form to things I have not been able to see or accept my whole life. It is difficult to read your writing and experience (yet another) ‘ah-ha’ moment, pain crashing in, adrenaline pumping, mind numbing as body and mind fight to maintain status quo yet longing to accept truth as truth! Thank you for what you do. Your posts have been a lifeline as I struggle to figure out what is truth and what is lies in my own story.


Hi Marquis (49),

Yes, I have lost friends when I have tried to speak my truth regarding my FOO. I think that my problem came from a lack of strong social skills growing up. I KNOW that I’m not such a bad person, but I was raised in a home where I was both abused, along with being over sheltered and overprotected. In a word, I could be considered very naïve about many things in the “real” world. I wasn’t allowed a lot of visits with friends my own age.

When I was younger, I found it hard to understand the timing and pace of a friendship. I have been accused of both being a bit too pushy in establishing friendships, while also being called shy at the same time. I think that with certain people I feel more confident with them than others. I have also been accused by someone who said that, “I never learned how to wear the “mask” of an adult in the real world”. She claimed that I came across as being too young, too open, and not mature enough for my age! I do have a rather young face and I’m still single with no kids (real age 45 years old) but there are those who say I look like I’m only 30 years old! I have not been respected like average people my age.

Frankly, I’m such a peaceful person, and very quiet and reserved. It’s strange but I have had too many problems with mean and angry people in my life who just don’t understand me. I think they get more frustrated and really angry because they don’t understand me. The past classmates saw me growing up in a big, luxury house (without knowing the real truth about my abuse) and they were jealous of me. Many times, I wished that I had been raised in a smaller house with better parents. I feel as if I’m like a kind of a blank canvas that people simply project on me what they want to see, or whatever supports their own truth. Some people have said that I’m too shy and don’t project any confidence. On the other hand, some people have said that I’m snooty and think that I’m better than other people. Then there are people who know nothing about my life, since I’m so reserved, and they get very angry towards me like they want to insult me (I think they’re afraid of me?) They are afraid of whatever they don’t understand.

I used to believe that honesty was the best policy. In the past, when I tried to talk about my child abuse issues right away, I know that it scared certain people. I have lost a couple of potentially good friendships. Now I work really hard trying to check out the person in a new friendship. I think I’ve had some success. I met a new coworker girlfriend and I don’t lie or hide anything but I tried to talk about my past in a couple of sentences when we went out to eat for the first time. Then I tried adding more details during the next meeting to gauge her reaction. Slowly, but surely I have been building up this new friendship.

Regarding forgiveness, I get very confused with both forgiving and forgetting. I KNOW that I can never forget. It reminds me of reading about famous events in history textbooks where there is always the admonition of “NEVER FORGET” since history repeats itself. I can recall reading in one of those self-help books where the author stated that the acid test of forgiveness is not to totally forget the event, but when you remember the event there is no longer any sting nor pain connected with the memory. There have been times when I have recalled painful childhood memories, and I just wanted to go home and have a good cry. I think that I have made progress from the “me” of over ten years ago. However, I can’t forget these events and as much as I have sincerely tried to clear up all of the emotional pain I just can’t! According to the popular books, this makes me some kind of a failure since I can’t get over it and I should.

Since I’m a metaphysician (Celtic Pagan)I do believe in a spirit world where you go after death. I believe that you try your very best here on the Earth plane and then you let it go. I know that there are people who live everyday of their lives with tremendous pain and loss, but they do live! I think of people who have been hurt in an accident who must wear an artificial limb daily. There are those who must take a certain medication daily to live and they get used to taking it. Some women must wear a wig or dentures. Life can be hard and many people learn to live with loss on a daily basis. I think that I live with a certain level of emotional pain on a daily basis and I accept it. Because I live daily with constant bad memories and emotional pain, I know that it doesn’t make me a failure, nor a bad person since I can’t totally clear or forgive my past. Yes, there are those who live daily with limitations, but there is still so much joy and happiness in life to be thankful for. You can have good friends, a significant partner, an amazing career, and great hobbies. You can learn how to give so much attention to the good in your life while having limited mobility (or even child abuse issues) that if you only had 70% healing or whatever, then the small remainder that you will never get really becomes so unimportant.

I personally don’t give a hang about forgiveness. Is there a machine to measure forgiveness? I don’t think so. I may never totally reach the state of 100% forgetfulness and forgiveness and I don’t even care anymore. I think that traditional dogmatic religion is also to blame for forgiveness shaming. They want you to clear it now in this lifetime because they have power and control issues. Since I am a Druid and I believe in past lives and reincarnation I don’t beat myself over the head with this kind of thinking! I believe that when I die, then I will work with my spirit guides and teachers in the spirit world and finally forgive. I do get rather annoyed when others say that forgiveness is a choice. No, I don’t think so. I can say forgiveness affirmations repeatedly, but there is no real substance behind them. I choose to work on my healing and if total forgiveness one day snaps into place in this lifetime, well fine. However, I may just deal with all this when I cross over into my final transition. Anyway, I don’t care about what others think or feel about my own forgiveness. It’s not about me being in some kind of competition with others where they have reached the forgiveness state in this lifetime and I’m jealous of them. I’m just trying to learn and grow at my own pace.

My one true New Year’s resolution this year is learning to love myself. I will try harder not to care about what others think of me. I want to become more assertive and take more chances in all areas, especially job and social life. I think that it’s the fear of failing and the fear of being laughed at by others holds me back. I think that the non-abused do not have so many hang ups of what others think of them.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(



I agree. This survivor’s of abuse workshop I attended in Winter 2012 was awesome. The two facilitators said the same thing it is about an individual’s choice. I have read Scripture’s version of forgiveness and it does talk about forgiving the person and if they don’t repent – kinda like why be bothered with them? The Bible talks about forgiving, but doesn’t say how to forgive or when seems like it leaves it up to you.

I felt my therapist was “rushing me to forgive my parents,” I told her I am not in that stage and don’t feel like I ever will be. She said ‘forgiveness means you will be angry forever. You are so angry towards them.’ I told her ‘You heard everything I told you why I am so angry. I am still bitter because of the lack of parents we got growing up, the constant barrage of yelling/screaming/racist rants/name calling/no faith in us/no love/no support/etc didn’t matter if we were dead and they made it clear it wouldn’t matter. “Whores deserve to die for not listening to their parents,” according to my mom and I am like is this the 1600s?!? Of course, I am still angry because I still live at home, lack of job skills, and looking for a job so I can leave home and be a functional, self-sufficient adult. I never once had the chance to be an adult when I was 18 in 04, always treated like some slave child and still am today. I have nowhere to go and no one who can truly help as my boyfriend isn’t in a position to help me, I still gotta fight this battle on my own while trying to find a job in this horrible economy with a degree! My brain is physically stuffed and foggy because of can’t think/concentrate – well gee, how can you when you get a barrage of screams daily? How does a person concentrate/think? I am just angry because of the things I didn’t get that other kids I knew got growing up and had to settle for lousy, dead beat, unfit, abusive, narc parents! My sister forgave my mom and still is angry about her life, but she takes a stand and makes things work for her. I don’t know if my brother forgiven my parents as he never talks about it. 1st born half sister doesn’t forgive them at all from what I was told by 2nd oldest sister. I’ve always wanted to leave home, but with what? I am stuck here because of no income and don’t wanna pack up and go without the money. I believe the anger will be 100% released once I leave home, but as I am living in this hell hole environment, that isn’t gonna be possible – manageable but 100% complete.’

She (therapist) said you can grow from living in that kind of environment and asked her, ‘do you counsel abused women like this?’ The workshop, all the women were abused by ex husbands and boyfriends and some of them grew up with abuse; everybody agreed that you cannot thrive in an abusive situation/toxic environment until you are physically away from that situation and it isn’t healthy on the brain.’ I said thank you and therapist got so huffy about it, she completely dismissed it!

I gotta go to bed, will finish this up later. 🙂



I was very outgoing and made friends easily until that changed when we left CA when I was 10 and moved to AZ. The hell came and I was sheltered, well, I was still sheltered back home in Cali but I had my sister who I went out with all the time. Since then, my sister stayed in CA (she was in her 20s) and my parents had the opportunity to keep me from her. My parents hate my sister who stands up to them and treat her like she is evil, which she isn’t.

I had a hard time keeping friends because of my parents and anger issues. They felt I was “always moody and depressed” which I was, but it’s like ‘look at the situation I am in!’ You could say growing up, we were forced to become little “mini adults” and the way my siblings and I spoke to our parents was that of an adult verbally fighting with another adult – they didn’t talk to us like normal children. I am not a reserved person, I only became that way because of being fearful and knowing who to trust. I am relearning how to be outgoing again and I am getting better again feels embarrassing doing it again like I am 5 yrs old.

Yea, people have said how I am so “naive” about life. Let’s see, my parents sheltered me from the outside world not ever wanting me to know anything about life or people since they felt they were “telling me the truth about life.” I’ve had people tell me “having parents being overprotected is a good thing.” I said “there is a huge difference between protecting your kids from harm vs sheltering them from the real world and making them your slave – is that the same thing? My parents don’t want me to have a life, how is that protecting your child?” As always, a lot of people shut up and had other parents tell me ‘I don’t know what it’s like to have kids or protect them.’ I said ‘don’t need to be a parent, but I do know what it’s like being a kid right now (back when I was underage).”

Someone in another online support group said, ‘if we distance ourselves from our toxic loved ones, we are losing a piece of ourselves or denying ourselves about our families.’ I went off on that woman and she said how she came from a good family, ‘I wish people who have no idea what a dysfunctional family is to be quiet and stop speaking for others when they have no experience in living that environment.’

I told my therapist that ‘I don’t feel people should ask me about my parents.’ She said ‘You are dictating to what people should and shouldn’t ask?’ I said, ‘I am almost 30 not 15. Who wants to hear a dark story about child abuse? People want to hear the ‘white picket fence stories living in fantasy land.’ Therapist said the same thing how nobody won’t know anything about me and it shows I am either mysterious or hiding something. I told her ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them.’

I would like to make new friends because some of the old friends had similarities of my parents, but I can’t because I am looking for a job and who wants to be friends with someone who is unemployed where they have to feel “obligated to pay your way?” My parents got rid of my friends which they blamed me for the kind of parents I have.

My anger still stems from the past and told therapist that I spoke to a guy long ago who hated his father. he told me he never forgave him, but the guy had control of his own emotions and worked hard to improve his self-esteem and he went on with life without forgiving. He wasn’t denying his childhood like it didn’t happen, but he didn’t feel he needed to talk about it (I assume he has spoken about it before), but he found other ways to occupy his time. She didn’t agree with that saying ‘he was so angry’ not even true!

Everybody is at their own pace on forgiveness. I told people forgiving abuse shouldn’t be forgivable, imo, and I feel forgiving my parents wouldn’t do me any good as they never admitted to anything saying they were the best of the best and we are liars . I told therapist ‘forgiveness goes both ways, we operate in this world (especially in this country) on a one-way street and we wonder why people can’t fix relationships or we are the number one in divorce!’

My anxiety stems from people asking about my parents same goes with anger. It’s stuck within me which is why my parents has me to do grounding techniques.

” I can say forgiveness affirmations repeatedly, but there is no real substance behind them.”

True. Even if I say it like forgiving my parents from a distance, I could feel the pent up anger coming up and it wouldn’t be sincere. I know you can never forget it, but I have heard many different versions of forgiving and like someone else said on here about society says we should forgive because they are our parents. I knew from the beginning about what was going on at a young age, but never got credit for it by other people for recognizing it for being so young at the time. I have forgiven people for certain things that wasn’t the “ultimate betrayal.”

I agree with Hobie too.


“None of this “but you HAVE to do it FOR YOURSELF” BS – which if you think about it, is a very strange angle to come at it from.”


“I haven’t seen a lot about that. I *think* the idea is that if you don’t forgive you’ll be “dwelling” on the bad stuff that will in turn color your outlook and relationships but then so does a shitty upbringing, even without you “doing” anything at all.”

True, it doesn’t solve anything. My therapist would totally disagree with this, but I definitely agree with your above statement. She told me months ago about me not wanting to forgive is that she wouldn’t be able to help me since I “wanted to stay stuck” been “stuck for a very long time.” What kind of therapy is that?

“Certainly I’ve tried to figure my mother out, explain her actions, perhaps see how she might have been mistreated herself (she says she wasn’t). She has not admitted to any wrongdoing either.”

My therapist always told me it’s because of my mom and dad’s upbringing and like I always say, ‘it doesn’t make it right. I don’t care how many times you hear your own parents’ stories, why couldn’t they make a change instead of blaming their own kids or the white man(like my mom would say)?” I asked ‘why do you feel sorry for them? I don’t. It still doesn’t make the mistreatment/abuse any better or make it right – wrong is still wrong!’ Therapist said ‘look at their situations from when they were growing up, see if you can “bond with them better.”‘ WTF??? She said ‘they were horrible yet they did us a favor to somewhat decent parents,’ wtf?!?

She needs to get her head out of the textbook from college and listen to real life stories from real people – gain some life experience don’t care if she has kids or not!


It’s good you don’t need your mother, but I was told I need her because “she gave birth to me.” I always say ‘nobody on this planet asked to be born!’ When I am far away from them, I have plans on changing my name and never seeing my “caregivers” again – just wish I could be at that point right now.

My sister is 45 she is fine without our “caregivers.” I guess my therapist was hoping my sister would crack, since she doesn’t have a relationship with them. My parents have zero shame/accountability/responsibility/etc, your own children hate you yet we are the liars, whores, etc and they are always right! Therapist said I have this expectation of them I said considering I have no job or money looking for work, you tell me how I should get money with a barely existing work history? I never got an answer.


Marquis, i had someone the other day who actually wanted to know more about my upbringing but in testing the waters with a couple of comments I could tell right off that we would be in disagreement on some fundamental stuff. It made me wince but since I’m not looking to this person to validate my experience or the consequences of that or what I am doing about it, I could just put a soft end to the subject. In my mind a therapist is there as part of the process of validating the experiences I had. Not to continue undermining me because that’s the root of the problem, that my experiences of reality have been twisted and invalidated for so long that I doubted my own ability to see and feel reality, not what I was told or what other people said.

The “have to forgive” thing is I believe promoted by some therapists because there have been case-studies and some evidence-based research that it helps. It should be possible to figure out under what conditions this is the case. At least the therapist who you are paying (or who is being paid) to help you should be able to share their sources.


Forgiveness is a confusing thing. I don’t believe that forgiving someone because it’s best for me works. It feels forced. Could it be that I am just not ready to forgive? Or maybe I am never going to forgive certain things. Is it easier to forgive someone who yelled at you because they were in a bad mood? Even if the hurt inflicted was unintentional, it still hurt. A person with more power was screaming at a young, vulnerable child who then felt shame and guilt even though she ( me) had no idea what she had done wrong. Can I someday forgive my mother for that? I don’t know, but I am not ready right now.

What I find would be much harder than that to forgive are the deliberate put downs. Calling me ugly. Treating me as inferior because I was the girl. Making me do so much more work than my brothers, and treating me as undeserving. Ignoring me. Silent treatments. Getting angry if I asked for something, even if it was a basic need. And the belt. Whipping my butt until I had welts. My brothers got this punishment too but mine was always more severe. I was the daughter, and less worthy of mercy. Never listening to me or caring if I was upset about something. Not caring if I was clean or had decent clothing while she had closets full, and even used my bureau to store her overflow of clothing. Invalidating me and my feelings. These are the things I may not ever want to forgive.

I am certainly not going to try to force forgiveness. When and if I decide I am ready, it will ( or will not ) happen.


Amber, I think it’s confusing because it’s being put out there in confusing terms. The person in a bad mood but able to recognize it and apologize to the other person is a set of circumstances, the person delighting in another’s harm another, the parent ignorant of their own upbringing another, the person refusing to recognize wrongdoing another. I don’t think any of those are the same so treating them all with the same “have to forgive” brush is, well, stupid. “Therapy” has come up with a number of very stupid or even downright harmful ideas and methods over the years and I think this forgiveness thing is more theology than anything else.


Yes, Alice I agree that these things don’t carry equal weight, and that is why someday I may be able to forgive some things but not others. But if and when it happens it is not going to be forced. I will know BY THE WAY I FEEL when and if this is something I want to do. Right now I find that I get mad when someone says to forgive someone for yourself so you can move on. I can’t do that if it is not in my heart to do it. It’s my decision to do or not to do if and when I feel ready to.


I think that the concept of ‘forgiving’ because it is what is ‘best’ for me, is a con job and was invented by abusers in the first place! The original teaching of this was manipulated to make it be a teaching that served the purpose of the perpetrator and a whole whack of people thought it sounded good and spread it around. (and it works especially well with people who have been groomed to never think for themselves which of course starts in childhood) Just like so many other ‘teachings’ when you think about it. And just like the grooming process of how abuse works too. I wanted to believe the best about everyone because it was so hopeless to see the truth that so many people are not interested in what is best at all, but rather in what they want and how they can get away with it. manipulating the way that things are taught is a great way to do it too.

It doesn’t make sense that we forgive for ourselves, UNLESS the original meaning of forgiveness has been misunderstood all along. In my quest to find the truth, I have found so much NON truth in the way that teachings are manipulated. The true meaning of words, even simple words like love, respect and forgiveness have been manipulated to mean something that serves only one of the people in the relationship. And HOW can that fit the true definition of love??

I could write a lot more….
hugs, Darlene


Right on Darlene! The “forgive and forget” pablum is spewed out by people who don’t think for themselves whether they were groomed from childhood not to have their own thoughts or just don’t want the responsibility of thinking on their own.

I have had the experience of people getting down right didactic with me. Basically trying to “give me a lesson” on life on how to forgive and move on. I don’t take to that too well. That is one thing that started my rift with my parents years and years ago. They always tried to tell me what was “good” for me. They never tried to get to know me REALLY: yet they are going to tell me what to do. Just because they raised me in their house does not mean that I think like them or even care what they think!

Thank you Darlene for getting down and dirty and digging deep and questioning EVERYTHING! You are one of the pioneers in the healing field.



My counselor looked at me funny when I told her early in our relationship that I was having trouble forgiving my abusers.

She first asked if anyone had come and asked to be forgiven-admitting their abuse and with true repentance and desire to heal and change. I’m sure many people on this site have the same answer as I…No!

I was afraid to look at my past and redefine it. People asked me what good was it to look back? It just keeps you stuck back there. But intuitively I knew that looking back and understanding what had happened, finding where my inner child had been imprisoned was vital for my healing process.

Second, we explored what forgiveness is, what it accomplishes, and when it is appropriate. Again, I knew that it would be impossible for me to forgive while flashbacks, nightmares, triggers all brought back new pieces of the puzzle. It is a case of every day, sometimes every hour or minute having to forgive.

This concept led me to a final idea – growing up, my emotions, opinions, ideas, words were invalidated. I was trained to hide emotions, mirror what others were doing, and in general make myself the smallest target that I could. Sexual abuse seemed to be the validation of power figures right to control, use, ignore, harm me. Spiritual abuse – using God, church teachings to achieve compliance, fear, and silence-was an important aspect of all other forms of abuse. ‘Forgive and Forget’ was the first thing I heard when I was able to confront my abusers. ‘It was so long ago’, ‘how does this matter now’, and other such comments let me know that I was out of line.

Forgiving and forgetting to me – means shoving down all the emotions, memories, and ideas -invalidating them once again, willingly choosing to agree with those whose lives are made uncomfortable by my speaking out, telling my truth.

It takes courage to face truth. It takes time to process years of destructive behavior. The way I have it figured…for me, I believe in a God who loves me, who started this journey, who is directing my path. He understands my issues, the road I need to travel to get to forgiveness. I need only answer to Him! I am not worrying about my abusers and their feelings. I am not focusing on people who tell me what to do when their lives have not even a speck of what I experienced growing up.

Forgetting? NEVER! How can I be safe in a crazy world if I blithely trip along my daily walk without being mindful of my needs, my experiences, my intuition? Remembering is part of keeping safe.


Tina – I agree with what you wrote, and I think you’ve expressed it beautifully. I like your counselor too!


Darlene, I love reading all your messages and have learned so much from them. Every once in a while a message really hits home and sets off a really bright light bulb. This was the impact that your message 70 had on me. The part about forgiveness , and challenging that line that many people quote about forgiveness bring something that is what’s best for you, or you can’t heal if you don’t forgive etc. Was very validating for me. Because I always feel uncomfortable when people suggest doing this. Like I said before, it feels forced and unnatural, and as you said, manipulated to serve the perpetrator. Forgiveness to me has to be something I decide whether or not to grant, and on my own timetable. It will be based on my feelings. And I believe I can heal whether or not I grant any forgiveness.

Another big lightbulb moment in your message 70 was how the words love, respect and forgiveness have been manipulated to only serve one person in the relationship. How about the word “duty”? After a lifetime of being disregarded, ignored, neglected by my mother, she tells me in her old age that it is a daughters duty to help take care of her mother. Talk about serving only one person in the relationship, where was her sense of duty when I had needs growing up? I guess her definition of duty is that it is something that daughters are required to do, but not mothers.


Hobie, I am beginning to realize that not every counselor is a good counselor! I cannot believe some of the things counselors have said as mentioned on this blog!I have been blessed with not one but three excellent counselors spanning the time I was initially triggered into crisis up until today (all of a year). If I could make one wish – it would be to bless every hurting broken soul with the best counselor for them!


Darlene, so right on. I wish you would write a lot more on this #70 topic as well as some of the other erroneous ways victims of abuse are told they can heal.


Alice, here’s one. “You ‘ll feel better if you give to and serve others”. Giving to others is a noble thing and I derive enjoyment from doing this. The problem as I see it is that for some of us, all we’ve been doing is giving to others and we need to learn to give to ourselves. Because I am now giving to myself at a much healthier level, I can give to others (Users not included!!) without feeling resentful, unlike before when I felt like a bank where only withdrawals were made.



Yes, serving others. AKA being used. I am all for serving to those who are in need or who are deserving. There are too many users in families and it is impossible not to feel resentment when it is convenient to be “family” when they need you to do something for them. Good analogy about the bank. That is how I have always felt with my FOO and my husband’s FOO. I was just their bank where they could make their withdrawals of my time and attention. The ATM ran out of cash.


Amber, good one, I remember it being suggested to me as a good way to “take me out of myself”. As if me being in myself or with myself or just myself was the problem. Anyway, I can’t see myself giving when I have nothing to give. And remember internally thinking “F you!” When I heard of abused women being told to volunteer.


That it wasnt me. I wasnt what they said I was. They (my parents) lied and I believed them. I am not bad and no good. I am not “the problem”-someone so bad and aweful that I deserve to be abused. That the right way to behave is to be obedient and compliant to everyone I encounter.
To never speak up or express my feelings because it might upset someone else because I am responsible for how everyone else feels.
Growing up I was taught this. It was hammered into me from as young as I have memory. That I am
responsible for the feelings and actions of others. If they hurt me or are angry or upset its my fault. I grew up under a threat of blame if I did or didnt do everything perfectly. Darlene’s clear explainations of abuse dynamics were eye opening and frankly shocking to me. I was utterly convinced of my inherent defectiveness-brokeness and badness.
Now I know they lied.


Marquis: I was also very sheltered and extreemly naive. I had no social skills for interacting with others. I could not have friends for if I brought them home my father would yell or be nasty and they wouldnt come back. Is this “sheltering” keep them in
the dark behavior common in abusive families?
I had no understanding of boundries-personal rights-physical safety-my body as a woman nothing.
My mother said to me a couple of years ago she didnt understand my naive behavior as a teenager.
She said it as though I should have known better than to get into trouble at 18. I knew nothing about how to be an adult. I was never taught anything except how to be a docile victim and her obedient servant.


I notice everyone is talking about “forgiveness.” It’s hard to forgive when you can’t get the anger out of your heart. The anger over being told that red was green and that green was red. (Actually, I told my Mom that she tries to make people think she is a duck when she is really a goose. Or vice versa, it doesn’t matter, the main point is that she is all about “appearance” and not reality.) Am I supposed to forgive that? To me, forgiving that means busting boundaries. It means “condoning” it. I’m do not want to condone the duck versus goose issue. I do not want to condone being told red is green and green is red.


It is one sided giving in a relationship that I have the problem with. The kind that my mother would have me do for her without giving anything back. I gladly would give to people in need, to children, to animals, to charities and the only thing I would want in return is to see that I made someone else happier and or healthier. In a relationship it is different. That is why I made the bank analogy in my last post. If people are constantly making withdrawals and never depositing anything in return, eventually the emotional bank is emptied. This has been my relationship with some people. I was the giver and people gladly took, giving nothing in return. And I would keep giving to be liked better. Guess what, it didn’t work!

Karen R I can relate to being taught to be good and compliant, and still be told that I was the problem. No matter how good I was, to my mother I was a whiney problem child. Like you, I wasn’t supposed to say anything that might upset or offend anyone. So I stuffed my feelings and while everyone else got their needs and wants met, I didn’t. Karen, glad you realize (as I realize too) that we were fed a bunch of lies, and made to take the blame for things that were not our fault. I’ve come a long way in the 8 months I have been reading Darlene’s blog. I discovered the damage and the sources, and continue to uncover more. I am now working on being kinder to myself, and some re parenting. And the difficult task of re wiring back yo the truth. That is not easy for me. While I know what the lies are, because I believed them virtually my whole life, it is a struggle to re wire emotionally. For example, being told that I am ugly by my mother and then by some nasty classmates. I look in the mirror and I see a face that I may not call beautiful, but certainly it’s far from ugly, my natural reaction is to still feel that I am. I guess it will take some time.



I agree I had to test the waters with some people and could a huge verbal fight was about to happen, so I dropped it and changed the subject. Right now, I try not to say negative yet true things about my parents when I am speaking to people.

“In my mind a therapist is there as part of the process of validating the experiences I had. Not to continue undermining me because that’s the root of the problem, that my experiences of reality have been twisted and invalidated for so long that I doubted my own ability to see and feel reality, not what I was told or what other people said.
The “have to forgive” thing is I believe promoted by some therapists because there have been case-studies and some evidence-based research that it helps. It should be possible to figure out under what conditions this is the case. At least the therapist who you are paying (or who is being paid) to help you should be able to share their sources.”

True. It’s like therapist was trying so hard to prove me wrong yet I was the one who had the last word with her since she was always stumped with my very hard questioning about my parents, life, and the double standards of society. She couldn’t answer them at all and would get pretty mad when I had her in the corner. Since she said that reading books and reading sites like this one or similar is just another perception; she should have been glad I am very knowledgeable, I mean who wants a client that is/wants to be still in denial about everything? I told my therapist I have been reading stuff like this since I was 17, sounds like she is threaten by what I know.

I also feel that forgiving is forced and I think volunteering is helping me to not think so much about it. I told my therapist some people can forgive easily, but I am not a forgiving person and yes I have held grudges and let go of them long time ago.


“I think that the concept of ‘forgiving’ because it is what is ‘best’ for me, is a con job and was invented by abusers in the first place! The original teaching of this was manipulated to make it be a teaching that served the purpose of the perpetrator and a whole whack of people thought it sounded good and spread it around. (and it works especially well with people who have been groomed to never think for themselves which of course starts in childhood)”

Agreed. Forgiveness should be a two way street, I told my therapist too many people walking around in denial and how does that help both parties? If there’s no forgiveness, then there is nothing to begin with and still no family. I think a victim still feels empty even after they forgive because that person is still terrorizing other individuals.

My therapist thinks there is hope for these abusers. I said ‘wow, you really believe that? Not too surprised if you believe in the Easter bunny.’ Oh, she didn’t like that lol.

” Just like so many other ‘teachings’ when you think about it. And just like the grooming process of how abuse works too. I wanted to believe the best about everyone because it was so hopeless to see the truth that so many people are not interested in what is best at all, but rather in what they want and how they can get away with it. manipulating the way that things are taught is a great way to do it too.”

Agreed. All teachings always start in childhood like I told my therapist, this is where we get a lot of our beliefs from. My therapist said we are adults and should take responsibility for ourselves and teach ourselves what is right or wrong about life. She told me I am blaming my parents and told her millions of times that they ***** up our lives and they should be held responsible, I am not blaming simply stating the facts and it’s true they didn’t teach me this or that, these or those.

I tell my therapist all the time I am not someone you can convince easily, whatever you’re telling me better fit my situation and my ideologies and I don’t agree with most of the stuff you’re saying anyway as it may fit your life or somebody else’s; but don’t lump that with me or my life. As always, she got huffy with that.

My therapist told me what forgiveness is and like I said heard many different variations of it. It was interesting how she explained it, but it’s on my terms not hers or anybody else’s. She definitely got huffy when the women at the women’s center didn’t agree with her when I told her what I told them about what she said. I said sorry you feel that way, but listening to the other women, they must have made some progress otherwise they would still be stuck in their situation.


“Right on Darlene! The “forgive and forget” pablum is spewed out by people who don’t think for themselves whether they were groomed from childhood not to have their own thoughts or just don’t want the responsibility of thinking on their own.

I have had the experience of people getting down right didactic with me. Basically trying to “give me a lesson” on life on how to forgive and move on. I don’t take to that too well. That is one thing that started my rift with my parents years and years ago. They always tried to tell me what was “good” for me. They never tried to get to know me REALLY”

Agreed. There are a lot of people who would rather have society tell them how to think instead of questioning their own childhood, experiences, and form a conclusion – I can do that just fine lol. My therapist thinks otherwise, but oh well, not her life. I told her I had some friends in the past who told me ‘I never heard of a parent abusing their kids as I grew up with everything I wanted/gotten blah blah blah,’ ex friend lived in a bubble that was her problem yet she heard child abuse on TV and was like ‘oh poor kids, hope they get a new home soon,’ but when it came to everyday people, people that you know; she didn’t believe it nor did she want to hear it.

I had people who tried to give me a life lesson and was like ‘that’s nice, maybe that fits someone else but not me.’ Agreed, they didn’t bother to get to know the real me, they saw someone who “whines about being abused/mistreated and is taking out of proportion.”


“Forgiving and forgetting to me – means shoving down all the emotions, memories, and ideas -invalidating them once again, willingly choosing to agree with those whose lives are made uncomfortable by my speaking out, telling my truth.”

True. As my therapist would say, ‘it is not about shoving it under the rug, it is about taking responsibility as adults and forgiving our abusers so we can move on with our life regardless what the abusers does. We shouldn’t worry about them, but we should be able to heal and move on.’ My boyfriend told me that true healing won’t take place until you are far away from them.

Amber and Andria,

I agree too many users in families. I was told the same bs about “serving my parents” yet nobody told me to serve myself! All we did was serve our parents being their little slaves. Victims are giving out too much while the abusers are taking away anything possible.

Karen R,

I basically was asked by people ‘if my parents taught me manners,’ I told them no. I mean my god, my parents have terrible manners and show no respect, but they show respect to fool the public! It’s embarrassing how my boyfriend has to teach me about life when this should have been taught at home. Well, I am relearning everything and he does a lot better teaching me than my own parents!

I was taught the same thing to be a self-serving, obedient victim, and to be a dependent, worthless woman like my mom and be dependent on a man like her.


I love your analogy about the bank, I can see my therapist with her eyes rolling out of her sockets not understanding it! I told her my analogy: think of a quarter, one side the face of a past President and the side with the Eagle. With the President is heads and the Eagle is tails. Heads is the perfect life while tails is chiseled out, screwed up, scrapped, etc. People want to see the (Heads) perfect, happy family life but nobody wants to see (Tails) the miserable, terrible side of real life. Life is about two sides, there are two sides to a story, but you (therapist) seem to defend/understand the abusers better than the victims. Let’s chiseled out the bad side (tails) and cover that up showing Heads where we can pretend to live “in a fictional world.” ‘

That analogy about the bank was a great one, gotta use that one some time! I was told by my parents to never speak the truth, lie, and steal (my mom taught me to steal money out my dad’s pockets and she has stolen from him and her kids), etc.


I’m a bit late with this and it’s a little bit out of whack with the current stream of the conversation but I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone at EFB—the commenters, silent readers and of course, Darlene.

I wouldn’t be here without you… By here, I mean where I am in my life, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally. (Even just knowing there are 100s, 1000s of silent readers in some way helps, too… even though it’s also sad that there are so many in need of a site like this)

A friend/family member who was helping me a lot as I went along (but ultimately things fell apart because there were things that were messed up to begin with and all along) had taken to saying something the last while of our friendship. Looking back, in amongst support, care and encouragement, I can see things she’s say that held me back or even pushed me down. This one thing she was saying at the end was: “Shit happens to everyone.” And, yes, this is true. Shit does happen, eventually, to everyone—not in equal measures but it does… But every tragedy is a tragedy. It’s heartbreaking and terrible and cruel. And it matters. That’s what’s wrong with the statement “shit happens to everyone”; it flips it off like the number of people in pain somehow makes the individual pain less than what it is. It does not. It matters. The flip side is also true. To save just one person, never mind the whole world, to reach out and make a difference in someone’s life, a total stranger’s, is HUGE, is amazing, is more than enough. It was never required of you in the first place.

I am ever grateful to you, Darlene, and everyone who has shared and who has reached out and helped me here. You didn’t have to but you did and I love you for it… Just by telling your stories, by connecting and responding to mine, just by being yourselves, it has helped so much, more than I can say, that I can take back my own life and find myself in amongst the mess. You are all such a wonderful, honest, open, authentic, caring group of people. All enemies of bullsh*t, inequality and lies. You are everything that is best in humanity. Just keep going. We all just have to keep going. Much love to all of you in 2014.



Alaina, When your “friend” says “Shit happens”, what is she trying to tell you? That your pain doesn’t count because something bad happened to someone else? That it is a reason to ignore your pain? It is a very discounting statement. It’s just as bad as the people who discount your story because they think they topped yours with a worse story. Your hurt does not lessen because bad things happened to someone else too. This was an opportunity for her to be supportive, to offer ideas or, even if she didn’t have any ideas to offer she could have been a loving, supportive presence for you. Sometimes, I find that that is all that is needed….just to know someone else cares. But instead she just blew you off minimizing your feelings. I’m glad we have Darlene’s website, because there are always people to confide in here.

Marquis, your therapist does not seem to be offering up much that is helping you. Have you considered switching to someone else? You deserve support, someone who understands what you are saying and doesn’t just suggest the latest fad as a solution. ( forgive and forget no matter what the abuser did). From what you describe, I think I would need to go to therapy after one session of therapy with her. Something to think about…..


Oh, I forgot one thing in my list: you are all so amazingly BRAVE and STRONG to go against the current, to keep fighting even when it seems hopeless, when all that oppression is crushing down… They like to have us thinking we’re weak but no, that’s a lie, we’re not weak. We’re just really, really confused… but once you have the truth in your hands and you trust it and know with every part of you that it’s the truth, that’s when you start to feel how strong you are, how strong you’ve always been… and it feels really really good, no matter the price, no matter all the losses, it feels unbelievable.

hahaha… i feel like I’m giving an acceptance speech… Been given my award… Here’s your life, Alaina. A little statue handed to me and I can run off stage now… There’s this feeling of guilt that comes with it, too, which is stupid really because it’s an “award” everyone gets. My life. It’s something I should have had the whole time, something everyone should have had all the time from day one and never ever have it taken away. How the hell did they have me convince that it wasn’t my right?!!??!?! I mean, I know how but holy crap!


Thanks, Amber! That friend actually gave me all the caring and supporting words as well, gave me lots of info on par with what Darlene says, has a background in counselling, but there were often these other statements that undercut the helpful stuff. It’s taken me a long time to see this because it wasn’t very obvious. It’s like she was “almost there,” just not quite. Things ended quite messy with very hurt feelings, I think. She’s had a lot of pain in her life, a lot of losses, and I hope she is well. She’s strong, a real warrior. I’m sorry for how things ended between us. I hurt her, she hurt me, none of it intentional. I doubt it, but maybe one day we will reconcile. I can’t do anything to fix the problem, so it is what it is and I go on. And that’s okay. xo, A


Why do I feel such a strong impulse to defend and pretend? I know that every moment of my existence during childhood and as an adult (when I was in contact) was about proving that ours was indeed a loving family. A family that was supportive, emotionally available, and accepting of each member as an individual (I HAVE created this with my sons). The reality is that I was always on high alert status to answer whatever need my mother and father had. If they felt powerless, scream and belittle a child, power restored. If they were hungry, send child out with her money earned while babysitting to buy food, then have her make the food, clean the kitchen, and put younger child to bed; why? So they could watch TV…I can’t remember what they did while I was doing their job. I had a physical memory of walking through my house as a preteen and completely tensing up at the thought of my dad saying my name. What did he need this time?
So, given this obvious history, why is my first thought that “it wasn’t that bad”, “I should be grateful”, “I must not let anyone know”?!


WoW Alaina. How true. Confused. Feeling one thing and being told the exact opposite. Being told what to think and how to feel. Yes, Ive always felt confused. The isolation and control was so strict in my family there was no other example or input except my abusive parents.
“how did they convince me that it wasn’t my right?” (to have my own thoughts and my own life) really resonates with me.

I too am trying so hard to change my thinking and response to devaluing treatment. My brain wants to jump right back into “You are bad. You are no good” even when I know better. Knowing the reality of the abusive situation is good, but not having the skill to recognize it is the hard part for me. I try to be vigilant, but I am naive and don’t see the manipulative behavior until again I am the doormat.

I can’t seem to hit a balance of being an outgoing friendly person willing to help and the person everyone wants as a doormat not a friend. I’m not doing it right and every attempt has ended in failure. I don’t know how to learn the correct behavior to be accepted. The only input I have now is my Narc husband. No empathy there. He has always had a ‘ take me as I am or leave me’ attitude with everyone. Grandiose. He is not a good example of how to be. When Im struggling with this he’s all about get over it and don’t ruin my day with your problems.

I have made good progress in understanding my past and present abusive relationships, but standing up for myself has left me alone and isolated. I have tried to reach out, join groups, get a job, but I never fit in and feel like a freak. Eventually I just withdraw into isolation again. Even though I hate it, I hate being treated like I’m a freak even more.


Hi everyone,
I havent commented here for a while, but this site did me so much good, and gave me so much support in the past, I will always be tremendously grateful to Darlene and her amazing work.

A word about forgiveness.

Its one of those subjects that goes around and around, and will never cease to be controversial. Like others who have commented here, I believe its not something that can be forced, or something you feel you “should” do. I personally dont feel any real need to forgive my abusers. I have heard it said so many times, that forgiveness isnt for the benefit of the abuser, but for us, the abused. That it will give us some kind of “inner peace”. How is that, exactly? I feel that a lot of the abuse that happened to me in the past, was a result of me being TOO forgiving, TOO ready to let the mistreatment I suffered be swept under the carpet, TOO ready to accept responsibility for all of it, and that my lack of what would have been perfectly justified outrage, actually invited MORE abuse! This happened because I had been conditioned to believe that I had no right to object to the aforementioned mistreatment. I might have felt differently, if any one of the people who subjected me to horrendous physical and psychological abuse, had actually ASKED for my forgiveness, but the fact is – none of them ever has! Why should I grant absolution to people who obviously dont need it? People who must still feel that their abuse of me was justified and excusable? People who are living happy and productive lives, in spite of their trespasses against me? What I have done, is to accept what happened, work on myself, and my own healing, and to forgive ME for ever thinking that I somehow caused, or deserved this. Some of my abusers have now passed away, and another major insult to my intelligence, has been to be told I shouldnt speak negatively of the dead! Just because these cruel abusive pieces of shit have dropped their physical form, does not lessen what they did to me. Just because someone is is dead, dosent make them a saint! Well, at least not in this day and age! I think that to be made to feel that you should forgive, before you are ready to, is actually quite destructive. A great part of my healing journey, was to feel that it was OK and “safe” to be angry. If I had gone down the “forgiveness” road prematurely, what would have happened to that very necessary, very theraputic anger? It would have been internalised and invalidated. And I do belive, that to be told to forgive, before one is ready – if one is EVER ready – is EXTREMELY invalidating! I also resent the suggestion that just because I havent “forgiven ” certain individuals, means that I must be a bitter twisted train-wreck of a person. To the contrary, I am at long-last, seeing myself as a valuable human-being who did not deserve this crap! What has helped me greatly, is the belief that what goes around comes around…… F**k forgiveness! Love, Sylvia x



I agree with what you said about forgiveness. I also believe in the law of cause and effect called karma or what comes around goes around. Don’t speak badly of the dead. What would happen if you did- would they haunt you for the rest of your life? You made many good points a lot of us would find valid.




Thank you for your post #85. It made me feel very good. Hope you have your best year ever.



Karen, I know what you mean. I think all this stuff is a matter of skill. I do think most people out in the world are just pretending they know what they are doing, though. They’re just a whole lot better at it than I! (I’m caring less and less about it, though.) I read your comments about your job situation. I’m so sorry that happened. Sometimes I think that even though there might be better ways to deal with certain things in life, there really wasn’t any hope of it going down well, no matter which way and that ultimately you weren’t wrong, you know? That you got out is perhaps all that really matters. That’s how I try to look at things where I feel like I’ve screwed up, not so much in the “what” but the “how.” I think the best a person can do is try to learn something from it (if anything) and move onto the next thing. There’s a reason we’re not skilled at this stuff, so there’s no point in reprimanding ourselves, particularly when it was the other person who’s being unfair, etc…

I just moved to a new town in Sept. where I don’t know anybody, other than the people I work with. I’m getting to be more okay with how much of a hermit I am. I realize that sometimes I’m in more pain because of the idea that I’m supposed to be normal and have an active social life, when I don’t, than I am actually legitimately wanting a social life. I know this because whenever I do go out and socialize, I’m usually satisfied with that for about a month or so and want to get away from people. But then, yes, there will be too much isolation sometimes when I really do have to get out. There are people who will make me feel like less of a freak than others and there are people around whom I don’t feel like a freak at all. Finding a place where you belong can be hard. The world often makes it out to be an adolescent problem but it really isn’t. It’s like that with so many things. What we needed as children remains what we need as adults. That goes for everyone, no matter what kind of childhood you have.

I’m sorry about your husband. I know/have known people like that, too. It’s so frustrating. Mostly I just want to be able to tell them that I’m not asking them to change WHO they are as people, just to stop and consider some behavioural stuff, to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, understand how they’re feeling, and adjust how they relate to those people. It shouldn’t be such a huge deal. It’s not even personal… and yet so few people do listen or change. It’s like it’s some kind of threat.

Andria, Thank you! I’m glad it made you feel good! Hope you have your best year ever, too! (I’m pretty sure I will… knock on wood)

To add to this forgiveness thing, I saw a Korean movie a few months back about this woman whose son is murdered. She becomes a Christian in the midst of her grief and at one point gets swept up in this idea of forgiving the murderer. She decides to go see him in prison, tell him that she’s forgiven him, but when she does this, he is very pleased because he has also found god now in prison and god has already forgiven him apparently. This doesn’t go over very well and she has a whole downward spiral from that point. I think the idea was that forgiveness is something that’s probably best left to god (or whatever… I don’t believe in god but I know what I mean when I say that sentence and hope that it transcends whatever belief anybody might have). The thing I found interesting about it, though, was the power dynamic. Forgiveness as being a kind of power transaction. Being able to forgive the murderer gave her some kind of power over her son’s death, as did finding god, in giving her meaning to something senseless, but then he had already gone and forgiven himself before she even got there to give it to him, so it was like a popped balloon, her power gone and all she’s left with is again the grief of her son’s senseless death…. I think this “forgive them for yourself” idea can be like that, too, for people who actually do manage to apply it in that way. It gives them some kind of power but it seems false to me, like it couldn’t possibly satisfy other than on a superficial level. It can’t possibly substitute for the grieving process…. I think I’ve thought about forgiveness enough that it has no meaning for me anymore. I don’t really care. My parents don’t need me to forgive them. I feel like I’m at the point of acceptance and peace in knowing what’s up with them is not my business. If that’s forgiveness, great, whatever…. We’ve had enough pressure in life, why do we need anymore? And personally I’d rather not have that power in my hands—to decide what’s forgivable or not. I’ll leave that to whoever. I just want to live, thank you very much.


p.s. Karen, I just wanted to say because I think I wasn’t clear—I don’t think you screwed up with your job! Eep! I hope that’s not how it read! I think your manager screwed up! But I was meaning more in ways where I FELT that I could’ve done things better. (I felt that in particular about how I dealt with some of my communications with my brother and some other relatives, that I didn’t do things in the “best way” but ultimately they were doomed to failure, anyway, and that I certainly wasn’t the problem!)


p.p.s Karen, I think though we may not have some of these skills other people have, we do gain lots of other really great skills and knowledge from having gone through this process of dealing with our past… so we have strengths now that many others do not have… it just is not always so apparent right away, especially not on the outside… On another article recently someone brought up a question she was asked—would you want to be your friend if you saw yourself walking down the street? When I asked myself that, my answer was: “No because I wouldn’t know I was me.” From the outside and on first impression, I wouldn’t see all the great things about me because my survival personality is still on the outside (i.e. the doormat, the wallflower, the “please like me and be nice to me” person). I gather that the more I become secure with my new understanding of myself and my past experiences, the more that stuff will come out and affect the outside. I imagine it just takes time.


Simona Vaughn:
good one…. (the link)
7+9+10 especially in my case


Simona Vaughn:
good one…. (the link)
i find 7+9+10 especially true in my case


Sorry I’m writing so much but I just have to say (for me) that no, that friend I spoke about before was not a good friend. I thought she was. She certainly seemed like it. I’m tired of being scared of her, though. (I shared this site with her back in the summer time. When things were falling apart, she went off questioning Darlene’s methods, etc. It was weird, particularly because when I first told her about the site but hadn’t shared it, she remarked on the good it was obviously doing me.) Whenever I mention her now on here, I feel like part of me is giving lip service “just in case”. She offered so much love and praise. And I want to think she helped. There was no doubt I had lots of anxiety at first as I was forcing myself to open up to her (she’s my aunt with all this counselling experience, etc.). I was doing “my process” to please her. That’s what’s really weird for me. Doing something to please another was part of my “sickness,” if you will, but looking into my family and my past is what brought me here, so it’s weird… In the end, she could have done the right thing but she didn’t. My mom used her as a counsellor, just as I did (she reached out to me when I had a breakdown), but she never held my mom accountable. She told me about things my mom had told her because she felt I needed to know but then asked me not to bring them up to my mom. I felt trapped. I feel like that’s some shady dealing… Anyway, I’ve written about all this a while back, when it was happening, on another article. It’s just taking me a while to shake off. I guess it’s this “the good doesn’t cancel the bad” thing, though I feel pressure to make myself think that it does, even though it doesn’t. Again, it’s partly this lip-service feeling that she could read this, although she probably doesn’t give a damn what I write. She always said that she was giving me all the support, etc. from her heart, and that I didn’t owe her anything, but well it feels like that was only true as long as I was under her “tutelage.” She said I threw her under the bus but she’s the one who could’ve done something either to reach out to me before my breakdown or to call my mom out either before my breakdown or as things were falling apart this last with all the knowledge she had, but she chose to stay out of it. She knew the stakes. I was losing everything—especially heartbreaking losing my nephew… but in the end it was “shit happens to everyone” and all I can do is move forward in my own life…. Well, no, there was more that could have happened but it didn’t and that’s fine. I don’t think she was obligated to do anything but I shouldn’t have to go on making myself think she was a good friend when she wasn’t, not in the end. A good friend would go to the end of the line with you. She’d stand by you in solidarity. It’s the thick and thin thing. She believed in me. She said my assessments of my family were accurate… but then it was this “oh well” attitude. She recognized that I did everything I could and the only choice I had left was to move on… but I know what I would do for a friend who I believed in. It’s not about ganging up on anyone. It’s just that with the knowledge she had (that she asked me not to use), she could have addressed my mom on my behalf (my parents know that she was acting as a kind of counsellor at times with me because I got tired of all the b.s. and just told them). She could have also talked to my brother. She and my great uncle certainly have more sway with him than I. It’s not even that I think she would have been successful—I don’t think she would have; it’s that she didn’t try. I would have tried for a friend. I think that’s what you do for a friend. I think that’s what real friends do. They care about you and everything they do lines up with the fact that they care about you. So, no, despite all the good things that she may have given me on my way and the fact that I was in such terrible places at some points that I’m not even sure I’d be alive if not for her presence in my life (though maybe I would have found something else to cling onto), in the end she wasn’t a real friend. In the end I’m here because of the choices I’ve made. She may have given me much but without making the choices I made, I’d still be stuck where I was. She chose to stay back and not be a friend to me. I did not throw her under the bus. I did not. I have a right to walk away from a friendship if it’s hurting me, which it was and for a reason, not because I misplaced my anger on her (as she believes I did). God, I hate dependencies. She said I didn’t owe her anything but those are just words…. Anyway, thanks to anybody reading my rant. I think I’m just trying to shed the last of this crap that’s clinging onto me. It was one heck of a year full of drama.


I have gotten so much help from this website
Darlene I started therapy last year, my fiance says I am stronger happier, I am less, stressed, depressed, and have less contact with my ncsst mom. She has gone from furious to the subtle ways of insulting and demeaning me. It does not hurt like it used to.

I know what she is, I don’t expect her to change.
Outraged Mothers emailing Darlene are scared because their broken, messed up children have found a place to come together and get better!


Ok, I have to finish my rant (even though I again already wrote about this when it was happening but I seem to have to say it agin)… when I was a teenager, I was around my aunt and my mom as they were basically doing counselling sessions in front of me. Underneath everything I now understand how much I hated them and thought they were phoneys, because everything was about my mom, helping her, and about abuse and the broken inner child and there I was invisible in front of them. After a suicide scare phone call from my guidance counsellor, my mom called my aunt who gave resources, which my mom did not follow up on because I told my parents everything was fine and they believed me. Everything was dropped. There were a couple more of these counselling sessions, focus still on my mom’s life, right in front of me over the course of that year and then I think my aunt basically got tired of my mom going over the same stuff without any real change. Fast forward 4 years to my breakdown, my mom again calls my aunt. Aunt reaches out to me with a nothing email that I knew was precipitated by my mom, so I started talking. Then my aunt, who is very exuberant, was all excited for me having this breakdown as an opportunity, how great this was, etc., and got me on this whole family history, past stuff, etc…. Our relationship ended this past summer as after going through all this stuff with my family, holding them accountable, all this anger and pain rose up inside me about those years when she was a counsellor to my mom in front of me. I told her how I’d thought she was phoney back then. This of course didn’t go over very well and she accused me of character assassination. Said she walked the walk, not just talked the talk, both in her real life and her professional life. I understand now that there was something phoney about our entire friendship, though I didn’t feel it that way at the time. I was forcing myself to open up to her because I thought that was “good” and what I was supposed to do. (I did this with a guy I fell in love with, too). There was this notion that this is what was going to “free me” so I forced myself to do it. In total honesty and a lot of pain, I told my aunt this summer how in fact I never would have chosen to be friends with her if this breakdown didn’t happen (because I thought she was in cahoots with my mom, even though that wasn’t really what was going on). Of course that was pretty hurtful for my aunt to hear and she accused me of using her, which is basically true because that’s what a dependency is… except that she said everything was given from her heart and that I didn’t owe her anything. Plus I thought I did love her, as the relationship went on. Why else would I be so heartbroken when the whole thing fell apart? I got to know her and wanted to think that I was completely wrong in my assessment as a teenager…. In the end, if she reacted differently, if she understood where my pain had come from in the first place and why I’d become so dependent on her, that I was just a screwed up girl who needed help, etc., I don’t see why we couldn’t have become real friends. We could have understood and forgiven each other (oh, there’s the forgiveness word). I got to know her and love her, even if there was that first falseness, and I would have stood up for her and by her in solidarity if some situation asked that of me. I would have. I know I would have. I’d do it even just because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t care that she thinks it’s not a matter of “right and wrong.” I think it is. I think that’s what you do for people you love. So maybe she didn’t love me either and the whole damn thing was a sham, I don’t know. Why the heck do I have to carry guilt over this? Why am I? I was a broken girl and someone came to help me. If you were on the edge of a cliff, you’d grab any hand that was reaching out to you. My family, including her, could’ve reached out before I was at a cliff… because they didn’t but put themselves out to be such humanists, that’s why I hated them. It was reasonable. I didn’t understand all this because I was confused, because I was in the fog, because I had to suppress my feelings, because I questioned everything I really thought and felt and imposed on my brain what they said instead. I told myself I was wrong. I’m sorry she got hurt, that I was a phoney, but this was my survival. I didn’t understand what was going on. And she could’ve saved this relationship if she wanted. She could’ve made it right. As much as I was telling her about my anger, I was apologizing profusely. I didn’t want the truth to be true but it was. What else can I say? It was better to be honest in the end than not. Better that it’s over. I was who I was because of what happened to me. She chose what she chose and I guess I can’t blame her, but I’m not the only one who made a mistake. Even if we still had to part ways, she could have understood that. She could’ve made more effort to understand things from my side. She could have heard my apology but what she really wanted was for me to just say I was completely in the wrong about her and that I was just dumping my anger about my family onto her for no reason (I was really just telling her my pain, not dumping anger). She couldn’t see that part of “walking the walk, not just talking the talk” is also standing up for other victims when they’re being thrown aside. … ugh… way back when, she talked about forgiving myself… in reference to what I’m not sure… People talk about forgiving yourself with this process in looking back at your childhood… for not being good enough for your parents? So, maybe I just have to take that directive and use it to forgive myself for this with her. Sorry about writing so much about this, considering I’ve already written about it once here on this site. Now I’m feeling like I’m “using” this site, everyone, Darlene, etc., even though that’s what we do here, right? It’s hard to know what normal relationships are, where there’s fairness, what’s “using” and what’s not. You have relationships with people usually because you get something out of it—connection, meaning, love, acceptance, belonging. It’s not bad to want those things. You “use” each other then to mutually receive these things to meet your needs. A good relationship then is one where beyond that, you also care about the other person’s emotional state, that they’re getting those things, too, that you can put yourself in their shoes and treat them equally as you would want to be treated as well. It’s not all selfless and it’s not all selfish. It has both elements and neither are at the expense of either person. It’s all equal and mutual. I can do that. I know I can. I can be a friend. I’m not a bad person. I care about people. And I care about myself. Equally. Why did everyone in my family have to convince me that I don’t? I do. It’s what my whole life was about, doing what my mom wanted so she’d stay happy. Why couldn’t they care about me? Why was that so flipping hard? Why does everyone have to protect my mom? I don’t understand the nature of her power. Is it that they too worry that she might kill herself like I worried? They abandon each other emotionally left, right and centre but they can’t abandon the surface level “everything is fine” appearance of caring for each other. It’s weird. It glues them together but it makes no sense. It just makes no sense… okay I think I’m done now.


Alaina, I have a few comments. About forgiving oneself. I think the idea is to forgive yourself for the ways is which you may have mistreated yourself. That may not always be obvious given that you (and I) were trained to accept it from so young.
I have often been so desperate to “heal” that I’ve done some really weird things (or tried to do them anyway:)). I think in the early years if anyone presented an open-hand I took it. Few did though. I was not always very discerning. I was also taught to always give the “benefit of the doubt” to others over my own perceptions. My own needs. Of course it was to their benefit. And for a while, even if I found myself in crappy situations with people I would just tell myself to work harder to change my attitudes and behavior to improve things, never did I ask them to change anything (the idea of doing so would make me freeze in fear). Again, I had been taught it was all down to me.

I’m also kind of wary of some people who insist on telling me how good they are. Or that I should trust them. In fact when people say that, it makes me wonder “why are you telling me this?” In other words why are you telling me how I should feel about you. Especially someone who has to SAY they “walk the talk”, isn’t that exactly NOT doing it?

How do you feel with your aunt potentially reading what you write on here? One of the things I decided when I started writing about this to Darlene was that I would be entirely honest, even if that meant showing myself or others in a negative light. Reading your post I got the impression you might be writing a little for your aunt still and defending her a little, even in your criticism. I’m definitely not suggesting you don’t defend when that’s true. But I read it that way.

On “using” people. I think I went through this whole balancing act with some people where I was always having to ask myself if things were reciprocal or if at any time they could pull that “after all I’ve done for you” line on me. That lead to me refusing things from people so I wouldn’t be somehow in their debt, or going on “giving binges” when I was more financially able as a way to pay back my end of the relationship. With the wrong people that didn’t work.



I agree. No, I feel if I continue with therapy elsewhere that I will “always be talking about my parents all the time.” I go back to the therapist in 3 weeks to finish up on assertiveness and then I will/should be done with her as there is nothing else she can teach me. My social worker suggested I stay with her because I built up a lot of history with the therapist and while I am working on assertiveness; this time, if I EVER have to go back to therapy, the therapist will only get at least 3 months and if they sound remotely ignorant – then bye bye therapist!


” I personally dont feel any real need to forgive my abusers. I have heard it said so many times, that forgiveness isnt for the benefit of the abuser, but for us, the abused. That it will give us some kind of “inner peace”. How is that, exactly? I feel that a lot of the abuse that happened to me in the past, was a result of me being TOO forgiving, TOO ready to let the mistreatment I suffered be swept under the carpet, TOO ready to accept responsibility for all of it, and that my lack of what would have been perfectly justified outrage, actually invited MORE abuse!

This happened because I had been conditioned to believe that I had no right to object to the aforementioned mistreatment. I might have felt differently, if any one of the people who subjected me to horrendous physical and psychological abuse, had actually ASKED for my forgiveness, but the fact is – none of them ever has! Why should I grant absolution to people who obviously dont need it? People who must still feel that their abuse of me was justified and excusable? People who are living happy and productive lives, in spite of their trespasses against me? What I have done, is to accept what happened, work on myself, and my own healing, and to forgive ME for ever thinking that I somehow caused, or deserved this.”

Agreed. I have always have to walk on eggshells with my parents and interestingly enough, when I “try to forgive” I get knots and kicks in my stomach. Seems like to me my gut feeling is telling me to not forgive at all. Victims still feel guilty while the abusers have it all made for them which I told my therapist ‘where is the justice in that?’ Typical, no answer from her.

Nobody causes their parents/whoever to want to abuse you and I have always looked at them as strangers. Like my sister used to tell me all the time ‘they were never parents just two strangers who gave birth to us and raised us – they have no emotions nothing emotional, physical, or spiritual at all. They are just “parents” by DNA, that’s it!’

“If I had gone down the “forgiveness” road prematurely, what would have happened to that very necessary, very theraputic anger? It would have been internalised and invalidated. And I do belive, that to be told to forgive, before one is ready – if one is EVER ready – is EXTREMELY invalidating! I also resent the suggestion that just because I havent “forgiven ” certain individuals, means that I must be a bitter twisted train-wreck of a person.”

True. It’s hard to let go, but my therapist expects me to let go of it soon yet she said “it takes time.” I am like what is this time’s up? lol. Here’s something so ridiculous that people have told me: “you only get one mom and one dad, make the most of it because there are lots of people who wish they had a set of parents; parents who loved them for them and you should be grateful for having at least some kind of parents. Think about it one day you will be grateful for having them.”

I hit the roof when people told me that! I told them “so, when the deck of cards were laid out, we ended up getting the joker; the joker being the bad, unfit, dead beat parents and that is what we are suppose to be grateful for (yea, my therapist said the above statement to me)? I said if that’s the case, I’d rather be raised by wolves, birds, dogs, lions, bears, etc or raise myself those would be the only two options I would want to choose from! Nobody asks on this planet to pick two idiots who are so unfit to raise children and are suppose to be “happy because at least they got somewhat decent parents!” That boils my skin when I get people telling me that!

People told me crappy parents was better than no parents…I’d rather been raised in foster cares if that’s the case! “Oh, try to see the viewpoint of your parents abuse and try to understand,” omg, such baloney then they should have fixed their issues long ago and there is nothing there to understand anyway. I would always go “looking for surrogate parents” to parent me that I didn’t get growing up and seem to be able to feel comfortable speaking to elderly parents I actually feel human when I speak to them. Therapist said why talk to them but don’t take the advice? Like I told her, I grew up not listening to my parents at all I mean who wants to hear screaming 24/7 they can’t talk like normal people? There was no love, no support, caring, etc that is why I looked elsewhere to find it.


I have seen with forgiveness that people seem to do it again as long as you “keep forgiving,” like a trick up their sleeve. My mom claims she has forgiven my dad and got her power back yet he has no intentions of changing (same with her) and still screams daily about how he was a sorry hubby/father, being with that hoe, frauding the gov and their “marriage.” People have told me how my mom is very weak as a mom and a woman that she has not taken any kind of her own power back!

I believe God should take care of it and I shouldn’t have to do anything. I tried to be “a good daughter,” tried to suggest family counseling to them in high school, nothing but tried this and tried that. Told people, boyfriend, and therapist that my parents can go burn in hell as far as I am concern!

My therapist felt I didn’t take enough responsibility and I believe I have. Yea, I had this expectation of them to be a parent that they should be and hated looking at my boyfriend and his mom having a real relationship yet that is something I never/still/won’t have with my parents and it hurt deeply and then I would treat him like crap because he has/had it better than me! I told her I have acknowledged this crap since I was child and very attuned to what was going on; it’s not like when I was 23 that I found out all of that crap.


Forgot to mention: with abuse, I always told my therapist and other people that evil is still evil like making a pact with the devil as everybody have said before very rarely do abusers change. My parents would sell us off if it meant free food or a place to live in that was zero dollars! Their needs always/still does come first we never matter to them and it’s a shame that a lot of people don’t understand that. I always tell them have you ever been an option in a relationship? If so, that’s the same feeling a child feels with their parents an option, a burden, etc same exact feeling.

I hate/still hate how people suggest do this and that with your parents to change their minds and told them that’s the definition of insanity. People always say ‘they don’t mean those things’ and it’s been how many years later, not one freakin apology a sincere one from them? Sounds like they meant it to me and then live in straight denial making you think you’re crazy that you came up with the idea to try to frame them? I can’t believe how people out there are so clueless about life don’t care how old they are.

I think someone in here said how their friend says ‘shit happens’ or ‘could have been worse.’ Yea, things could have been worse but it doesn’t matter if it was worse or not nobody asks to be born into a family of abusers. As far as I am concern, abuse/betrayal is far worse than anything else out there…..



Your words always reasonate with me, I find them so knowledgeable.

Coincidentally, last year I also had to walk away from an aunt. Sometimes relatives give such mixed messages. They say they “love” us and then they hurt us,or they betray our confidences when we ask their advice and they tell our abusers what we have said. They don’t defend us against abusers. They sit back and watch us be abused. They sit back and watch us cry, attempt suicide, have breakdowns, knowing what is really going on. They know the truth.

This has caused me such confusion in my life. I wanted to trust that the person who says they “love” me isn’t really betraying me or hurting me or lying to me. But sometimes they do things which are so obviously abusive, it cuts through the gaslighting and makes me face the cold hard reality.

Now I stick to my truth, now I don’t let people take away my truth by insisting on replacing my thoughts and beliefs with their own. Its like they want to take our personalities out and replace them with theirs.

I don’t have any family around me, I moved to another area which is different to where I grew up and am meeting new people and am feeling much more at peace. Being in areas which are different to where I grew up stops memories being triggered. If I drive to an area where I grew up as a child my brain recalls memories where I used to have a mother and father and brother and sister and aunts. It is better that I move away so that I am somewhere new and don’t have to be reminded of those people.

If it really was me who was the “problem” why is it I am happy when not around them and completely depressed, anxious and hyper-vigilant when I am around them.

Forgiveness for me means not wishing them any ill will, but not wanting to be anywhere near them. I agree with you, forgiveness is some kind of “power” exchange. I don’t want power over my abusers, but I have taken back my power over myself by no longer allowing anyone to tell me what to do, what to think, what to feel, how to behave.

They no longer have the power over me to take whatever it is they want to take from me, whether its power, money, time, attention, sex, anything.

I got told how my aunt was so upset. Guess what, I got upset too! That no longer hooks me in to feel their pain is more important than mine. They don’t have to validate me anymore, I do that for me now. I got accused of having “issues”, “issues with your mum, issues with your dad, issues with your stepfather, issues with your sister, issues with your brother”.

Thanks to Darlene and everyone here, I knew that statement was abusive as I had read very similar articles on EFB.

I’m glad those words were spoken to me because I pressed the delete button in my brain and said I will walk away now and never see these people again, and I wont allow them to put guilt, confusion on me for walking away.

As a person I was very good to my relatives, always pleasant, loving, kind, generous. All I did “wrong” was tell a relative that they had upset me by overstepping a very solid boundary I had put in place and all hell broke loose.

I understand that you are going over the situation with your Aunt Alaina, like you I loved my aunt, but I also felt extremely confused because we were close and yet she did betray me which is the mixed messages confusion.

Hope you meet lots of wonderful new people in your new home and enjoy your life to its fullest potential as that is my wish for me and everyone here at EFB.


thank you for such insite on this one ”reaping what you sow ” why is it the ones that really say that ”you reap what you sow” teach us to say that .we reap what they have sown.why is this the victim reaps what their abuser has sown? its the same as always the abuser blaming the victim ,its all backwards and toxic it dont let you heal or move on with a happy healthy life . my mother was toxic so is my mother in law the same way they both protected abuser and they also became the abusers as well .we had no value at all . we the ones in pain trying to heal just keep reaping the poo from the abusers shoes .healing from all this i feel ive pulled all my skin off only to have bone that makes me stronger .healing sometimes cuts me to the quick .I am the one who is alone even when I am in the room with my mother in law ,they remember past issues very differently they live in a diffrent world then the abused child . Sorry this is all over the place .it just seems like the ones that should do all the reaping all they get is all the family supporting them ,I am made to stand alone cause I choose to heal and speak up about abuse .but God has made me stronger .I will keep on healing and walking forward .thanks for all that you post .you are such a blessing .


Thank you for your rant Alaina. I agree with Emma. Your words resonate with me.


Darlene thank you again for sharing your words. You have such great strength to be able to Emerge from Broken and not let people knock you back down with their words and possible actions. Days that appear darker than most, please hold in your heart and mind the words of the so many people who’s lives you have touched in a positive way and know just how grateful we are to have a person like you helping us to emerge from our own brokenness. **hugs**



Since I didn’t have a chance to finish the other night. Like I was saying, my therapist thinks I live on “easy street” as many people seem to think so. She comes across as a know it all because she is a mom and I told her indirectly speaking that you don’t speak for my parents nor anybody else’s; all parents are not created equal and always had to remind her if we lived in a perfect world – we wouldn’t have these problems.

In 3 weeks, I go back and finish up on assertiveness and that should be my last day with her thank god! I have seen out there how people think life is like Cinderella and Ariel yet hate/abuse don’t exist. She always tries to impose her ideas onto me because she has a happy family and told her that’s your family not mine or the whole population’s!

I liked everybody else’s response on forgiveness very good different view points.


Hi Marquis(104)

I was so hard on myself when I was younger. I think that abuse victims like us continue beating ourselves up thinking that it’s always our fault. Many years ago, I had nothing but bad experiences from these so-called “therapists”. I really believed that they held tremendous power being an older, middle-aged person, having college degrees, and more financially secure than me. I wanted to put my faith in these shrinks and believe that they were safe to talk to. Well, not! My experiences consisted of nothing more than repeatedly arguing with them. I saw both men and women therapists, religious and non-religious ones, from both private practice and social agencies. Guess what? They were ALL cut from the same cloth! Their job consisted in nothing more than insulting me, arguing with me, and siding with my abuser parents. At the time, I remember talking with a couple of friends and they both sided with the therapist. It’s unbelievable how much people can give blind allegiance to an authority figure. “But they’re not good and they’re rude….”, I would say to these friends. These therapists are a part of the Mother Cult where you can NEVER say anything negative towards them even when it’s justified. It’s like there is some kind of invisible, magical, abuser card game in the sky where the rules state that a victim can never speak badly about their abuser, and the parents’ cards (king and queen) always win, the joker is the therapist, the child victim is like a lesser card with not much value. The abuser’s card hand always beats mine.

There was one really bad therapist, Julie, in my past. I talked to my metaphysical group friends about these experiences and they agreed that Julie did not understand my past child abuse situation at all! She wanted to constantly argue with me about everything including politics. This woman just wanted to earn secondary income for her family to go shopping every weekend. She must have picked psychology since it’s a very easy college major with no math or science, like engineering or nursing.I have found that many of these therapists want to push their clients really hard and fast with forgiveness. In my opinion, it’s more about stroking their egos than it is about “helping” clients. I can remember arguing with one of these therapists who was an extreme feminist who hated the fact that my mom was a housewife. She wanted me to say that I thought that stay at home moms were a “bad” lifestyle and that all women should work outside the home. I actually told her that I didn’t care if I had been raised by a pair of Lesbians as long as they didn’t abuse me! That retort really made her mad! These therapists feel that their client makes them look bad since they can’t change their client fast enough. Most of us here on EFB have worked on healing our stuff for years. I actually began to heal my abuse issues faster after I quit seeing these therapists. I view myself as a kind of self-healer by reading websites like EFB, and some basic books on Narcs, and personality disorders. Most of my healing came from having a good cry at home. I gained a lot of self-understanding from my metaphysical studies, astrology, and psychic readings.

If both my parents were so selfish and they only cared about acquiring their big luxury house then why was I born? If I was like some kind of mistake then why couldn’t I have been adopted? They hated me when I was growing up and I hated them. I was such a GOOD girl with good grades and no bad behavior. I think that a good family could have actually loved me and I could have loved them. But these pair of cruel sadists decided that they just had to have a child to fulfill the status quo. It was never about caring for a child since I was only the live-in maid in their luxury house. They enjoyed hurting me and they couldn’t let me go.

There was an opportunity when I was an older child about twelve when my engineer father accepted a job living abroad in a foreign country. (We lived for about 3 1/2 years in this country in the American community). My only good family member, father’s first cousin in my home state at the time, Cousin Dean, wanted to become my legal guardian and I would live with him. My Narc. mother would not allow it and she destroyed my only true happiness and chance for a normal home. I know that I would have been happy living in a mobile home, in a small town, attending public school, and not connected to my parents. (My Cousin Dean was a former school teacher, living on a disability, and single never married, no kids). But the Narc. parents have always shamed me with, “you don’t appreciate what we did for you and look at the sacrifices we made to give you the luxury house”. NOT! It was all for their own selfish wants and never what I wanted.

I have NO extended family to speak of, plus I’m single living alone. I spent the holidays alone in my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are distant cousins and so on far away in other states, but they are all perfect strangers to me. I don’t know if they would believe or even care about my real past abuse issues. My father is a perfect stranger to me. He cares about defending his wife (Narc. mom) and NOT me. I HAVE NO LOVE FOR EITHER ONE OF MY PARENTS!

I enjoy reading all about the forgiveness issues. I think that I have come to the conclusion that I am angry not so much about what they did to me (physical abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, mental cruelty) but it was about what I didn’t get from them. Why were they both so selfish to keep me around only as a maid? I never loved them and they never loved me. If only I had been lucky they would have given me up and I would have had a chance for a good family.


Yvonne, you said “But these pair of cruel sadists decided that they just had to have a child to fulfill the status quo.” And I am reminded of my own mother’s reasons (the ones she told me about anyway) for having kids.
“It was just what you did at the time”. It’s all about her/them. The child an accessory to keep up with the Jones’ Or to make her look good thanks to “motherhood”.

I have a question about NC when she keeps calling me and leaving messages as if nothing ever happened. What is up with that? I was hoping she would quit after the holidays but she has been keeping it up with more or less cheerful “Heard the weather’s bad, call me!” calls. Not one mention of my refusal to return calls or my silence or any of the reasons I told her. Does she think that by pretending I am not NC it will change anything? Does she aim to provoke me into telling her to go away again?
Is this a “typical” move? It’s driving me a bit batty. Suggestions welcome!


DO I remember correctly that you have been living as an expact in different countries?



my mother repeatedly said on numerous occasions (even when I was like 12), that if she had to choose again, if she got a chance to live in our times”, she would have never had kids.
I would never say that to myc hild even if that was sth that I truly felt.

But after all my sister and I were “ungreatful bastards”, “needy”, “selfish”, “cruel” etc


Sandra, yes, that’s right. My mother also said (while we were visiting friends of theirs) that she would never have had kids if she had lived in our times. I mean aside from the “foot-in-mouth-disease” part of it, it tells me again that it’s really all about her and that whoever those kids had been, it would still have been all about her/them. Who posted the post about the dear coathanger?


My mom also said “If she had known she would never had kids” once in a fit of rage. She has only said it once that I have ever heard. But my mom has said many times she liked having children but hated the “baby” stage. I wonder when she came to that conclusion, me or my siblings?


DXS, I wonder too what it was about babies that she didn’t like? Their total dependency on her when what she wanted was something she could depend on? I’m speculating.

I remember as a kid I would say that I didn’t like babies and I only liked kids I could speak to and who could speak back. I can’t remember why I said that. Could it have been copying? Although momster definitely seemed to prefer things that don’t talk back or express lives of their own. People often also shoved babies into my arms as if I *should* want to hold them. I hated it when that happened.

One of the reasons I’m not having kids (another one!) is that I would feel so terrible having someone else that totally dependent on me, perhaps because I still don’t feel entirely independent myself? Since I also don’t feel as if I really had a childhood, that (perhaps fantasy?) opportunity to depend on and surrender to others entirely – because it really felt like she was dependent on me – I don’t think I could stand someone else depending on me entirely. I wouldn’t be able to. I fear crumbling under it. I’d resent it. So I haven’t done it.

And arguably neither should have my mother if what she really felt was something else entirely. But she cleaved (it seems) to social convention and did it anyway.


One of those days when I feel I am unreversably damaged 🙁
I fear that even though I want to I will never be able to have kids because inside I am still a little girl whose needs have never been met 🙁


Hi Sandra
I know that those kinds of days are tough. I had to learn how to be my own parent and fill in those missing gaps so that I could move forward with my life. 🙂
hugs, Darlene


I was told by mother, she wished she never had us kids. She gave up so much……her life would have been better…. her health…her body…blah. blah. I never had kids…took care of neglected neighborhood kids…..did summer projects…he’d step kids for 6 years I know I could love and be a good mom as long as I did not repeat what what done to me by ncsst mother



my mom told us she wished she never had us as we are “selfish ***holes.” On top of that, she says ‘oh, how I love my children,’ so phony. We never existed towards my parents, just little annoying things to them.

Hi Yvonne,

“In my opinion, it’s more about stroking their egos than it is about “helping” clients.”

Agreed, more about the MHP than their own clients like you said it’s about their beliefs. I told my therapist ‘your beliefs doesn’t really matter to the client(s). Didn’t you have your life and “fixed your issues?” I told therapist ‘Obama said the mental health field needs changing and he left it at that.’ I said yea, get rid of those MHPs who just treat it like a 9-5 job, who are not helping, always wanna shove their ideologies down their clients throats when they don’t agree, etc – problem solved! then hire people who have real life experience not the textbook crap they just know from college!”

Oooh, she didn’t like that felt I was stabbing her “career that she loves.” If you want to help people and make a difference, great, but really truly listen to them. Hear what they hear, see what they see, judge as they judge, etc while they are telling you their life history that is how we are gonna truly understand/listen to one another, but we are not doing that that’s the problem. She just looked at me in amazement I am like does this woman have any life experience?

My friends used to tell me ‘try to understand your parents. you are making a big deal out of nothing and we are tired of hearing it.’ I said then don’t bother asking me what’s wrong! My therapist thinks she knows what’s best for me and I am like I am not your daughter! lol

“These therapists feel that their client makes them look bad since they can’t change their client fast enough.”

Agreed. Hence is why my therapist told me she wouldn’t be able to help me if I didn’t forgive. I told her that’s not your place whether I do or not and felt like she was using that to get me to agree. I wish I would have said something earlier 3-4 months into our sessions. I am gonna learn now that if someone says that, then there is no point of us continuing to speak to one another.

I told therapist you don’t have to agree with me, that’s fine, but don’t ever try to convince me to your way of thinking. Oh, she didn’t like that at all. I said you are breaking your own contractual agreement. Remember you asked me in the beginning about what is my expectation of you as a therapist and I told you? You are breaking the contract you have with me (she wrote what I wanted from her in my chart).

“If both my parents were so selfish and they only cared about acquiring their big luxury house then why was I born? If I was like some kind of mistake then why couldn’t I have been adopted? They hated me when I was growing up and I hated them. I was such a GOOD girl with good grades and no bad behavior. I think that a good family could have actually loved me and I could have loved them.”

Agreed. I told my mom ‘we were better off adopted somewhere since we are not wanted.’ She said ‘your lying as always, I always loved my children. That sister of yours is such a ***** and evil that she will do anything to make me and your father look bad and brainwash you and your brother blah blah blah and I can’t my 3 selfish ********* children anyway can’t wait for you guys to get out of my life!’ She pretty much screamed it as she never speaks in a calm manner never!

“But these pair of cruel sadists decided that they just had to have a child to fulfill the status quo. It was never about caring for a child since I was only the live-in maid in their luxury house. They enjoyed hurting me and they couldn’t let me go.”

Ooh love it! If you listen to our parents and grandparents, all they said was ‘in our days, having children was the right thing to do because that’s what our societies told us to do, we really didn’t have a voice in the manner, it was to look good or people would be suspicious of us not having any children.’ I said ‘omg, did you people not have a mind either as young adults back then?’ That’s all I heard was ‘what everybody else wanted.’ They pushed that crap for years have children and have children, I’m glad for being born in the mid 80s! My sister told me how that generation (she grew up in the 70s said the same crap about women and kids and cleaving unto your man) was such a huge people pleaser and so what if people thought if you were gay or not; you were adults and live your lives! Like you said, a status quo.

I’m gonna quote something to you, Yvonne. It comes from Mean Mothers, by Peg Streep. It’s this therapist telling his client how her mother never loved her growing up.
“Harrison returns to therapy, and perhaps the most extraordinary moment in the memoir takes place when the analyst looks up and says simply, “Your mother was a sadist.”

Finally, the therapist asks Harrison why can’t she let go of her mother – her enemy and adversary, after all. Her answer resonates, illuminating the central paradox of the unloving mother and the unloved daughter and letting us glimpse, through one woman’s specific experience, how the lack of mother love and the eternal quest for it can actually become the bedrock for a daughter’s identity: “Who would I be without my mother?” All my life I’ve understood myself as her child, as the child who strove to make her love me. Without her, there’d be all this… this room left over inside.” ”

“Nancy Friday, In My Mother/My Self, astutely observed that the myth that mothers always love their children is so controlling that the woman who can be honest about everything else will not be able to admit she does not love or like her own daughter.”

Quoting Yvonne

I have the exact same feelings yet therapist jumped down my throat for saying that. I told her growing up, it’s true, I never had real love for my parents as they were just there and just strangers. I have no real love for relatives who simply treat children like this in a “dysfunctional family unit.” This is a dysfunctional family unit, I reminded her not a real loving family! Huge difference between dysfunctional and functional (this woman went to college!).

I realized something last night. I can’t remember who said this to me about their parents sheltering them and overprotecting them. I just realized I said in here and elsewhere how my parents “overprotected me,” that it was not overprotecting, it was simply “keeping me as a prisoner when I was a child even up to adulthood now.” My mother is simply a prisoner in her life and that screwed up marriage. I realized now how people say they are just protecting you, no, they never really “protected us from harm or so called mistakes they made (what real mistakes from them?).” I knew they were beyond controlling, but protecting and controlling to the point the person is a prisoner are 2 completely different things – which people have/had a huge fight with me about “how a parent protects their children.” How is sheltering a child (or adult) from the world, not letting them have a job, a life, friends/boyfriends/girlfriends/pets, or any other life/social skills be considered “protecting them from harm?”

The number of irate people I have said this to and therapist immediately shut it after I got through with them! They simply cannot come up with a real definitive answer for that question/statement! I told therapist, ‘if love means simply to abuse, mistreat, imprison someone, etc, then the mental health field seriously needs to examine their heads and what exactly are we teaching victims of abuse? We cannot mix love and abuse simply and simply say ‘oh, your parents or whoever took care of you, they simply did their best. Although, they were horrible, unfit, abusive, parents, they still “loved you (or children) and simply forgive them.’

I told therapist that is simply sending people a very disturbing mixed messages and oh my god, she cut me off so quick lol gee I wonder why! Oops, didn’t fit her ideas and what she was taught in college therapy courses! I said ‘no abuser does anyone a favor, if we teach this, then it explains why people stay or keep communicating with their abusers.’ She didn’t like that too much but oh well!


Thank you Alice, Emma, Andria and Marquis for your comments. I meant to respond earlier but I’ve been exhausted.

One thing I reminded myself about was that when I had my breakdown, I really wanted to believe that I was going to get rid of all this “darkness” I thought I had inside me. All the kinds of depressing, fatalistic, cynical, destructive/self-destructing thoughts and feelings I had for so long—I was going to wipe that all out. I was falling in love with someone. I’d been numb. I wanted to feel. I wanted to live. I was starting to go through these massive mood swings. My aunt was offering me a way to grab my life and live it. I wanted to believe. I wanted to think I had been completely wrong, that I’d misperceived her when I was younger and the whole situation with my mom. I wanted to believe that they weren’t “in cahoots”. It wasn’t like I was ever thinking “I hate you but you’re the only one offering help so I’ll use you and then when I’m done, I’ll dump you.” It was that I’d been broken by my family’s dysfunction, that I’d learned my whole life that I wasn’t supposed to have problems, that I didn’t really count, that my mom would always be more important than me, but then there she was offering a hand. She said to me that all my bruises were on the inside but that if people could see them, people would care and would want to help. I wanted to believe her—not just that people would want to help now but the idea that they had never seen and that’s why they didn’t know. I wanted to be completely wrong to have hated her, but I realize now there had been real reason. She had been the listener for my mom as my mom talked about having taken her anger out on me for no reason when I was younger, stuff about control. She said earlier last year how she’d first known something was wrong with me by the way I’d walked behind my mom, hunched shoulders, and how my mom would always talk for me whenever I was asked a question—this was four years before my breakdown. And when she told me that, she said it with this kind of pride, like see how observant she had been, that she had known…. So the thing is she lied to me and misrepresented herself when she reached out to me. She had put herself out there as a person who had been there, done that, in terms of going through her own breakdown, her own process and recovery and now she was going to help me find the way and she was so happy for me to have this breakdown, an opportunity to deal with my past, to expunge the toxic waste in my soul and she was so proud of me for doing this work. She was the example, the one who would lead the way to my freedom. There was no hope of equality. It was like eating an apple with a worm in it. The only way it would have worked would have been if when she had reached out to me, she had been straight up honest about having known something was wrong all those years. I needed to know that I had deserved help, that my mother’s dysfunction did not take precedence over my wellbeing. She was a phoney. She lied to me. She could have given me the full truth right away so that I could have made an empowered choice even if I was in such a weak state. If someone in my life in my family had a breakdown and I reached out to help, I know the first thing I’d do is apologize. I’d apologize for my failure to help, that I knew something, I could see things but that I wanted to believe it wasn’t that bad (or whatever). I’d admit to my limitations—that I wanted to help, that I tried, but I didn’t know what to do—as well as my own dysfunction/sickness that held me back and kept me quiet. I’d say I wish I’d done this and that. And then I’d say something about my own life, what I’d learned, what I knew of things. I’d send a sincere wish that the person look into the family dysfunction. I’d give resources. In other words, I’d give all the info I had and then leave it to the person to decide what they want to take from it and if they are in any way interested in even knowing me or having me in their life. My aunt deprived me of vital information. She deprived me of the fact that I had been worth caring about no matter my mom’s dysfunction. She, like everyone in my family, had “told” me my whole life that I was secondary to my mom, and that ultimately they were willing to let me kill myself, should it come to that, rather than go against the dysfunction. They’d be okay with my suicide because “shit happens.” There was already room for a suicide because my uncle had already killed himself and that wasn’t enough to put an end to the dysfunction. It fractured the family and the pain still festers but they’re willing to endure that pain rather than face the full truth and work to overthrow it. They want you to adjust and work around the dysfunction and if you can’t do that, well… “shit happens,” whether that means suicide or estrangement or whatever…. and of course the victim is ultimately responsible for his/her own choices, so if you do kill yourself, then the final word is that it’s on you, it was your choice. Same goes for estrangement; if you can’t adjust yourself to the dysfunction, then your responsible for the reality that goes with that, all the losses and pain, etc. But actually it’s gross negligence. It’s no wonder I got so scared in the summertime. I’d written my uncle, begging him not to let my story go in vain, asking him to please take the dysfunction seriously because of his own kids and the stuff I could see there, that just because no one’s life was going down the same path as mine didn’t mean that there wasn’t damage, etc. Of course he pooh-poohed what I was saying. At that point I was so highly stressed, I was just glad that his response was kind. He said to me how he was just really concerned that I was isolating myself from all the family and people who love/support me (I can’t remember his exact words). I responded that I was isolating myself from everyone because they were scaring the crap out of me! And of course they were! What I was understanding, not so much cognitively but emotionally, was the fact that my family, not just my parents (as I’d already had come to understand), but the whole lot of them was willing to have me kill myself, if that’s what it came to, rather than do something to break the system. That’s horrifying. I was saying “look, how this almost killed me” and what I was getting back was pity that that had to happen to me but shit happens, it is what it is, you do what you have to do… and I’m yelling back “But I shouldn’t HAVE TO. You can change, you can all change. Don’t you want to? How many generations have to be inflicted with this and if you knew something bad might happen…” But everyone in the family believes “they’re not like that.” This person and that person is messed up, but not me… or, I used to be messed up but not now, etc. And they all talk about each other behind each other’s back with that mix of pity and superiority like they have all sorts of wisdom the other person hasn’t reached yet and maybe one day something will happen that the other person will finally come to understand this, that or the other. Heaven forbid people should call stuff out and take a stand. I’d say that if they knew what they were each saying behind each other’s backs, the whole thing would collapse, but I know that’s not true. No matter what, they’d be able to stitch up the appearances with that behind-their-back kind of pity and sense of superior understanding of what’s really going on. Everyone believes themselves to be more in touch with reality than the other—they know what’s really up—and they all wish the others the best. They all “care” and hope that the others can find understanding, as well as happiness, etc…. But I believe that the truth is that everyone has a piece of the puzzle. They all carry a truth that is the same but also distinct, the one from the other… but none of them allow for any of them to have any truth because each of them is negating the truth of the other. They can only try to guard their truth in secret, in themselves alone or in packs… That’s why sometimes I’d have the thought that if I had a husband or boyfriend, I’d be more capable of being around them because then I’d have someone on my side to help guard my truth, so I could stand straight. Alone, it’s shakier. That’s why I needed a date when I went to my brother’s wedding (when I was cut off from my parents but not yet my brother). Anyway, it’s all so phoney and it’s an illusion that you can guard your truth and have relationships with people who negate your truth. You’re always at zero, your life never progressing from where you are, whatever the baseline is. For some of them, it’s good enough; they’re okay with where they are, and the suicide and estrangement of another member is acceptable as long as they have a story they can tell themselves so they can go to sleep at night. That’s all that really matters, washing their own hands clean, not saving anyone from drowning… Funny, I said in my first comments that “none of it was required” in terms of saving anyone but now I’m thinking that maybe it is—not that you’re responsible for other people’s lives but that you’re responsible for what you have in you, what you know, what you can do, what you can put out to the world, once you know, once you have it in your hands. To keep it locked up inside is wrong. To let fear or anything else hold you down. If you can save the world, to whatever degree, to touch one life, just by being you, then that’s what you’ve been put on this earth to do. No more and no less. Being you is maybe the hardest thing in the world but it feeds you as much as it feeds others.

If any of my family was to come to me and say, “Alaina, I’m sorry that I was willing to be a part of a system that thought it was okay for you to kill yourself, that damaged you so deeply you lost most of your life and self for years, that forced you to estrange yourself from the people you loved (the very people who were doing this to you) and people you could’ve loved (future generations you never had the chance to know), that taught you that you were worthless and unimportant, and that cut off from them all that was good that you had to share,” I’d forgive them. I’d love them as a fellow human being, victim to the same sickness that I was victim to. Until that day, which may never come, I will walk forward in a world outside them that wants me and welcomes me because I, too, like everyone in the world, have something to offer that’s all my own because it’s me.

Much love, Alaina


Thank you Darlene


What I’ve realized is that I do love my family, underneath everything. They are worthy of life and love but that fact will never again be reason for anybody to abuse me (not them, not anyone). I’ve tried to reach out to the ones I could in the ways that I could with all that that entails, my own dysfunctions and limitations. The ones I can’t, I can’t. I don’t belong to the family anymore, so I can’t go back inside. There’s no trying again, no redo. I did my best. Only they can come out. But I can put myself out into the wider world, which they do belong to as well, and so I haven’t given up on them. I will not abandon them as they have abandoned me. I will not let them kill me.

Marquis, I wanted to say that in my opinion, when we go to therapists, we want and need them to see as we see, hear as we hear, feel as we feel, but it is not their job to judge as we judge. We can’t ask them that. It’s about freewill for one but also… If your patient is a serial killer, it’s possible (theoretically) to put yourself in their shoes and understand them, what drives them, etc., but it would be wrong to say that the therapist has to judge the victims as worthy of death, which is what the killer’s judgement is. Judgment comes through looking at things fairly in counting each person as equally valuable and worthy of respect and care, etc., so that no one has their rights infringed upon… The problem, as you and Yvonne and everyone here rightly says/knows it, is this idea that somehow because they are parents, they are above what should be a universal law—that we are all born equals.


I wanted to mention I just started reading a book by Bell Hooks. In it she talks a bit about the way abusive mothers get to fly under the radar because of the common assumption that they know how to love and care for their children by virtue of being female.
It’s called “Communion” and so far a great read.

Alaina, I think my family’s attitude towards me was very much one where any problems lay with me. As far as they were concerned they were spotless and my mother also said “I’ve always loved and supported you Alice” which obviously makes my experience problematic. As I often mention here her response to my “But that’s not how it happened or felt for me” is “That’s your choice to see it that way Alice” and yes the “choice” of estrangement is also mine. I find echoes of that in your uncle’s comment.

I also hold a probably not very popular idea that many (not all) therapists are in fact more interested in power and influence over their patients than anything else. In fact for a while I thought that I was uniquely qualified to go into such a profession. Now I just have to laugh about how crazy that would be.


Hi Marquis and everybody,

There are just too many good posts here….and I thank you all for your kind support. I feel like now that I have also had to heal the damage done by past therapists. I saw my last therapist over ten years ago and I’m so glad that I quit. I think the common sense in me saw through this woman. Since I am older now, I am so grateful for the internet with resources like EFB. Please check out great youtube videos by Daniel Mackler. He is an author and film maker who worked for ten years as a psychotherapist in New York and quit the field. He was too honest and realized how much of “therapy” is simply taking money for nothing. There are anti-psychiatry websites for those who want to study more about this subject. They target the very real abuses by these sadistic doctors toward patients.

I am mad and it’s because I was used like a pawn by both parents and shrinks. My “problem” was the fact that I was an unwanted and abused child in my home. These shrinks always sided with the parents since I was younger and not on an adult level to believe my story. I will repeat the statement that “why wasn’t I adopted if they both hated me so much?” You are all correct with the older generation having to raise children as part of the social norm. I had no safe home to run away to except for my one good family member in Washington and my mom wouldn’t let me go. Like everyone here, I was called every bad name like spoiled brat, plus curse words, along with the verbal abuse that I never appreciated anything. “Just look at our big luxury house and it’s all for you”. It was NEVER for me and it was all for them! I never realized how abused I was until I grew up and moved out, having survived serious physical, verbal, emotional, and mental cruelty.

Regarding books, there is a famous evil mother book, titled
“Small Sacrifices” by Ann Rule—famous crime writer. The book concerns Diane Downs, an Oregon mother who killed her kids in the eighties due to wanting to dump them to be with her boyfriend. Her other kids who lived actually testified against her in court. There is a movie starring Farrah Fawcett about this case. The other two kids who lived were partially paralyzed and the son is in a wheelchair. Then she had another baby (father unknown) before she went to prison who was adopted. This daughter grew up and is now in her thirties (adopted name Rebecca Babcock) and she has been interviewed a few times on talk shows. Apparently she was raised in a good, adoptive family but then she became curious about her birth mother. This daughter began writing to her infamous mother in prison. She got a couple of friendly letters back and then these letters became more twisted, insane and angry. The daughter realized how very sick this woman is and that she will never be friends with her biological mother.

I remember back when I was attending a Catholic high school (bad experience)and we had to take religion classes to graduate. When I was a teen, I think I always had problems with many of their social issues. I was a good girl and a good student, but I never believed in any of the religion. There was a religion class where the teacher was lecturing on the church’s definitions of love. A big part of this lecture was distinguishing between unconditional love and lust in the family. The religion teacher kept using the example of unconditional love of a parent (mother) towards her child and that the bond is always unbreakable. NO, NOT ALWAYS! I wanted to argue with the teacher that there are very sick people out there who should never have had children. Sadly, there are kids who die daily from serious child abuse issues and never get a book published or movie about their lives! Perhaps they are reported as “missing children” to the police while their parent(s) get away with murder.

I also think that many of these shrinks and therapists are narcs themselves, along with other disorders. If they had to seriously get along with other coworkers in an office they wouldn’t make it. For me, going to these past therapists was like being abused twice. I remember a joke between a good friend and me years ago where she was talking about her daughter. Her daughter was a divorced, young, single parent mom at the time wanting to go to college. My friend asked her daughter what did she want to major in? Her daughter replied, “Mom, I think I’ll major in psychology and become a therapist since they can make a lot of money for just sitting down and talking and they never have their personal lives together being such a mess behind closed doors!” Of course it was only a joke but they both understood how worthless is talk therapy.

Just wanted to also share an odd, but another true story also in the northwest. There is a famous true life crime case called the Hillside Strangler with two Italian name cousins. They were a pair of serial killers in California who moved up north to Bellingham, WA to get away from police in the 1970’s—another true life crime book and made for TV movie. These serial killers actually had the guts to set up a phony psychology practice in Bellingham. They rented an office, advertised, and made a fake diploma on the wall. Apparently, he was very successful in counseling mainly women who came for appointments with the usual concerns of getting along with their husband and so forth. These narcs, personality disorder types, serial killers always exude confidence and charm. They are great actors and they can get away with so much. Finally, the police tracked them and of course they went out of business! NO LIE! LOL! So, the moral here is that even an actor (or a serial killer!) can work as a “therapist” and do their job well!

I think that most everyone here could ironically be a good therapist. At least we have lived through most of these abuse issues and we are honest. We have empathy a quality that these cold narc therapists and family member will NEVER have.

I’m tired but I can’t believe how hurt I was with the “over sheltering”. Their protection was like me being a prisoner and I hated them for it. I wanted more friends and social activities but they were too selfish and disinterested in me to care. I want to say more later but it’s late….THX!

Blessed Be,



disturbing to see how internalised the reproachful mother becomes, even though she died a couple of years ago I still find myself acting out the needing to impress behaviour with people who I invest with qualities of authority whatever that means, has me feeling quite humiliated to watch my pathetic self demeaning needy behavior towards these people to whom I really mean nothing. its as though the old patterns of deep rooted low self worth will keep rearing their head no matter what. leaves me feeling rather depressed. and lonely , when do the internalised patterns ever cease?


@Johanna my experience in this so far has been that first you see this happening again and again without any ability to stop it. It’s as if it’s just becoming conscious. And god yes it’s even more depressing to see than it is just being depressed (if that makes sense?)
So many things about me stem directly from this, even down to my job, what I thought were my choices.

Taking it back to its origin is in my opinion the best way I’ve found to ease this part. By taking it back to its origin I mean remembering the event or typical event that created it in the first place. It’s why I write so much on here about the things momster (and a few others) would say and do.

After that, for a while, it takes a conscious decision to not follow what the immediate reaction might have previously been. And that can also be painful. Which is why I think so few people attempt it. Or stall part of the way (and then become therapists haha)

And then it gets a bit easier, just by being conscious of it. But I have to say that being conscious of it so often brings pain that it still sometimes feels preferable to avoid the pain. I’d say that this part for me is the key. And I still have sensitivity to very specific things because of the way I was raised but that’s actually not so bad.


Alice, just read your post, and I too have difficulty letting go of the ingrained immediate response to certain situations. One of the biggest stick points for me is the response of freezing up when someone yells or says something rude. I know this traces back to my mother who would yell, hurl insults, and use the strap. So I learned to shut down, cower in a corner and make myself as invisible as possible. The repercussions were too harsh if I dared respond with anything verbal or even a look she didn’t like.

Fast forward decades to the present, and My first reaction is still to freeze and shrink and become invisible when someone is rude, especially if they catch me by surprise. I’ve sometimes hone back to the person later on to talk about what happened, but I wish I could learn not to freeze. I know the freezing is from fear of further abuse, and I know where it’s from and that it is an old little girl coping method from the past that is outdated and no longer needed. But knowing something and stopping the old coping method in its tracks are two different things.



Thank you for your posts. You are a kind, caring, sensitive, and intelligent person. Your family should appreciate all these things in you and perhaps they do. I don’t know. I can just see that they have caused you so much pain. You are a truth teller in the family. A dysfunctional family does not like a truth teller. I know this because I am a truth teller. I don’t like games and false faces and general BS. I am sorry that you had a breakdown. I hope things just get better and better for you. It is a long journey out of the mire. I wish people in my family well, but I don’t care about them anymore because they showed me over and over that they did not care about me. There are a lot of people in the world. I don’t need to be tied to this one group because I spent the beginning of my life with them. People go in and out of your life. I have chosen to view it like this.

Best wishes to all.



Amber, I agree with you. And I’ve kind of come to this so far: so what if I freeze if someone is being as ass and insulting me? I’m not going to berate myself on top of their BS.
I think as long as I can take the correct action with regards to them at some point, it doesn’t matter if it has to be “right then and there”. And of course an abuser would say “why didn’t you do/say anything right away?”


Thank you Alice!! Actually, being able to go back to someone who insulted me later on to talk about it is a very positive step forward for me. Previously, I would have done nothing. I didn’t feel that I had the right to say anything…that’s how messed up I was. Now, I know I have that right; I just don’t usually react instantaneously. There is an advantage in going back later on. I can organize my thoughts and say exactly what I want to. What I don’t like is that feeling of freezing. It makes me feel that I am not in control of the situation.


Thanks for your comments! I think part of my problem is trying to reverse a feeling that I betrayed my family when I know they betrayed me. Yes, they really have caused me tremendous pain and I would really like to know other people and not have my family in my life for a long time. I think as I go on, I’ll stop caring about them because they simply won’t be here. No one is going to come around with a real apology any time soon, if ever. If some miracle happened and they did come around next week or something crazy like that, I am certain that I would still need to be separated from them for probably a long time, years, I’m sure, just to undo this mess and create a new life for myself that has no link to them whatsoever. I’d thank them for the apology and just continue on. There was far too much enmeshment and far too much pain. When I was thinking of any one of them coming around with an apology like that, I couldn’t even imagine it happening within 20 years and I don’t expect it to ever happen. When I think about my assertion of not abandoning them, I also see being truthful and holding people accountable as being true to them. I think Darlene is true to her mother, as weird as that may seem on the surface. I think not killing myself, not succumbing to their dysfunction, is in some way honouring them because I did inherit their genes and I carry with me what’s good in them but what has now rotted inside them. I care about people and I think I worry about the state of my soul if I didn’t. I don’t think that I couldn’t care, though; I just think that I’ll care about them on par with caring about the human species in general, or like I can think of a fictional person halfway across the world and care somehow, if that makes any sense… Like you wishing them well. I’m not so detached yet but I’ll get there… But I was also thinking a lot about my cousins who are younger than I and I wish I could do something now but I can’t. That’s hard to let go. It’s a long journey, as you say. Anyway, thanks again. I find solace in people’s words here.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, that’s how it felt with my whole family—my choice to view things like that. One of my aunts said to me that she thought it was my analysis of things that was causing me all this pain. I was just supposed to stop analyzing things and then apparently I wouldn’t be in pain and we could all enjoy our time together (that’s that same uncle’s wife). I was supposed to know that they love me and it’s not their intention to hurt me, so I’m just supposed to know that and not be hurt when they’re hurting me, like I can override reality somehow…. even though they have every reason to know I can’t (e.g. breakdown, etc.). My aunt told me that she’d never met anyone in so much misery as me. Her “solution” it seemed like was to tell me that she hoped I’d find a boyfriend who could love me for me. “And soon,” she said. As though it could undo what was going on.

I have a horrible kind of ingrained immediate response. When I feel uncomfortable around people, I become more friendly and understanding, aligning myself with their thoughts, feelings, opinions, even when I don’t agree (though I don’t usually know I don’t agree until later on when I’ve thought over the conversation). I understand this as my survival skill—I was my mom’s “friend.” It was a way to have some kind of control over a situation I couldn’t escape. Now, it causes me problems because it encourages relationships I don’t want and that are completely… phoney, the thing that aggravates me so. When I’m in new situations with new people, I feel like I almost empty out my personality just to see who I can be in response to the person and place. Once I’ve become more comfortable, it’s hard to change the dynamic because the person has become accustomed to this person I became for them. It’s definitely the combo of place and person, though. If it’s a new person in a familiar place, it’s much easier to not let this happen because I have something to hold onto. The other thing that bugs me about this is even if things work out that I can become myself, sometimes people take that as their influence on me, that they brought this out of me, are helping me to become stronger, etc., except that I know the truth that that’s not really the case and that put in a new situation with new people, I will undergo this exact same process again, even as I try to hold onto past positive experiences. I’m defining myself by other people, so I start again at zero with every new person I meet. I gain self-esteem with their approval but put me somewhere else and it’s gone. Perhaps not entirely gone but it certainly slips away to a large degree. It’s like I forgot who I am and trying to hold onto it is so hard. It’s like what you were saying about watching yourself doing things. Perhaps I’m getting slightly better at holding onto and asserting myself but emptying myself out for the other person is very deeply ingrained. I find myself so much easier when I’m writing. I’m so much more solid and connected. There are so many times when I’m with other people that I really don’t know where my “self” is; I haven’t even registered that my self isn’t there. I know who I am but it’s so seldom that I feel like I’m me when I’m around others. I have to be alone to have real contact with myself and preferably in my home where my surroundings reflect back to me who I am. I suppose at least I have that. It could be worse—to not have contact with yourself at all. That’s scary but it’s scary enough not having (much) contact once I’ve stepped out the door. There are people, though, who are easier to be around than others, where it’s possible for me to come closer to the vicinity of myself. I have a few friends, too, who know me and with whom I can be me or very close to me, just not where I’m living now. Anyway, it all takes time. I want to be good to me, to not pressure myself…. Thanks, as always, for the support.


Ok sorry. I will try again.
First I want to thank you for making this resource of help available.
I am just stunned. I knew knew I was physically and emotionally abused as a daughter — I just never thought other girls were treated the same way. I am overwhelmed this hurts badly I am flooded with flashbacks of down right cruelty. I am , I can’t believe anyone else but my mother did these things to their children. Thank you all for sharing and I am so sorry you were done wrong. I gotta process this. Ttyl.


Hi Alice and Amber,

It’s been a struggle for me learning how to deal with negative people in situations. I consider myself to be a peaceful, quiet, and reserved person. I am NOT a rude person and I have always believed that if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say it. When I was younger I, too, would freeze up with nasty people. It’s more like I didn’t believe that I had the right to stand up for myself, sort of like I didn’t have any value or worth as a person.

I have changed a lot and I actually enjoy verbally defending myself, especially in public. (There are good books on verbal self-defense and assertiveness on books and amazon kindle). I can pretend like I’m an actress on stage, wearing costume and makeup, and speaking my lines. Like an actor, the first few performances were not very good, but then I got better! I have tried this technique many times and it’s worked wonders for me. I get to act out my secret fantasy in front of my pretend adoring audience. I pretend that I’m up for a big award statue in the future….”and the envelope please!” LOL! These rude and nasty people are VERY SURPRISED that I am very articulate and emotional. I’m sorry that I never took a high school drama class since I think it would have been fun. When I confront these nasty people, I can pretend that I’m angry at my mom and it works like a charm every time. I have successfully defended myself with a rude, angry woman doctor. There was another incident with a college financial aid officer several years ago. In fact there are too many incidents that I can remember. I enjoy teaching these negative people a lesson.

Truly, I am NOT trying to convert anyone here to my metaphysical beliefs (and I respect all positive faiths) but there are good books on “energy vampires”. Basically, these are people who emotionally drain your body’s energy. These people are typically angry people who get even angrier dealing with happy, fulfilled people. It’s like you have something that they don’t have and want from you. There are protection techniques for these people, and if you’re highly sensitive, empathic, you tend to attract a lot of them. I know that I do NOTHING wrong but there are just too many negative, evil people in the world. If psychology calls them narcs. and metaphysicians call them energy vampires, it’s kind of all the same. I have learned many metaphysical techniques to keep them away from me. It can be done but you can never totally clear these types away from you!

The major problem with narcs. (and assorted a*******)is that they cannot feel anything. They can’t feel true pain, nor can they actually love. I no longer try to understand my parents or the narc. people. The only thing I can do is to avoid these types and put up good shields around me. Plus, I cleanse and bless my house metaphysically after these people come to visit.

Thank you for reading my above long rant. I felt like I just wanted to scream my head off and let it all out! When is it really over? I live in the same state as my parents and in a different city, but they still try to contact me. Alice, I understand wanting to keep them away. What do they want from me? Is it a curiosity about my lifestyle? Do they want to micro-manage my life more? Does mom want to dump her emotional unhappiness on me? Does she want to use me to gossip/spy on other cousins? They keep busy with their neighbor friends for dinners and we have an almost zero relationship. But these narcs. cannot let go of their own power trip and they just have to harass you, even as an adult. But I keep them away to the best of my ability. I know I have to hang on just a bit longer—they’re in their eighties now. Thanks all!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Yvonne – what metaphysical techniques do you use to keep away the energy vampires?

Alaina – your post 133 resonated with me. I have that same ingrained response of being even nicer and more understanding with people whom I feel uncomfortable.

About standing up for myself: I’ve learned to do it, and I’m improving, however in my family I often get “I don’t want to talk about it”. So I can say what I want, then get a non-response. To me, that is essentially saying “I don’t want a relationship with you, I don’t want any conversation” (which is a form of negotiation), or I might get “I don’t have a response”. It’s infuriating and so rejecting.

The other thing that happens if I stand up for myself is the other person will flip the script and then say I am being too critical…it becomes all about them feeling criticized rather than the issue I brought up (some crappy thing that they said or did).

I am going through a lot of anger right now, furious with two of my siblings — both are behaving in extreme ways. I’m having physical symptoms and don’t know how to deal with this anger.


Hi Yvonne,

I hate getting into arguments with these so called MHPs. I used to believe that they studied this topic on mental health in college, have degrees, and were very educated/non judgmental on these things on abuse etc. I realized later on, that having a piece of paper means absolutely nothing. Anybody can still be dumb and stupid, the paper shows nothing only that you completed the coursework and graduated.

My therapist said about my parents having wisdom and told her “anybody of any age can be dumb, stupid, ignorant, full of crap, and clueless. They say with age comes experience, but age and experience can’t go hand and hand if you did nothing to gain experience, believed a lot of lies, and have nothing to back it up. I don’t care if my mom was 200 years old, what life experience does she have? She is a hermit crab and everything/everyone is out to get her; she has accumulative of 2 yrs of work experience from the 70s or 80s and hasn’t worked since. So, what life experience does she have to back up?”

My therapist also said ‘your dad paid for your college education in 04 and at least he did something for you.’ I looked at her and said ‘I was looking into grants after high school, but how was I gonna get grants since they want to see your parents income whether you live with them or not until you are 24 and 6 months after your bday; then you are an independent adult.’ I said I didn’t ask my dad to pay for it, my mom MADE HIM PAY FOR MY COLLEGE since he did nothing for my brother and sister and he told my mom that I would “just fail” in college like I did in high school (graduated high school).

I found out recently by my sister that another reason why my mom didn’t divorce my dad is because I needed a dad and who was going to pay for my college? My sister told her either you can pay for it, she can work her way through college, military, or get grants which my mom blew up at my sister that got ugly.

I said to therapist, ‘so I am suppose to be grateful for him paying for my college when he never gave me the correct amount of money for the tuition then screamed at me claiming I can’t money yet he was always short? He did that on purpose all the time and always had to blame someone for his mistakes which he never took responsibility for it. He did that when it came to buying the books for my classes. Therapist looking like a clueless mouse as always and I told her look, if a parent who hates their kids, finds them to be a burden, had them for the very wrong reasons, and top it all off; their needs (dad’s mistress) was away more important than us and had to force them to be a parent, where’s the gratitude? That’s not love if a parent feels you are a bothersome and had/have to take care of you.

He never wanted to do anything for us, that whore mistress of his was/still is important to him – she always came first and foremost. Therapist had nothing to say, I said there’s a huge difference between doing something for your kids out of love because you love them vs I just created you and have no choice but to do it because “I’m a parent and hate what I have to do.” ‘ My parents have always been part time parents, whenever they felt like it.

I told therapist, ‘if I had some life threatening illness or became disabled, my parents would “contemplate” whether or not I needed the medical treatment. If I had disability money, my parents would spend it and not give me a dime of it! 1st born half sister is being used by mom’s side of the family and her real dad’s side of the family as she has no backbone and her aunt (real dad’s sister) takes her SSI check whenever she wants money. Not like my mom is doing anything about it as she has no money to go back South to fix the problem, hasn’t seen her first born in almost 34 years.’ Asked therapist, does that sound like loving parents to you? Parents with wisdom?’

Anytime my parents had to do something for me, I should be grateful and shut my mouth because they did something! That’s what people have told me and I said what about the sincerity behind it? Silence said everything lol.

“I also think that many of these shrinks and therapists are narcs themselves, along with other disorders. If they had to seriously get along with other coworkers in an office they wouldn’t make it. For me, going to these past therapists was like being abused twice. I remember a joke between a good friend and me years ago where she was talking about her daughter. Her daughter was a divorced, young, single parent mom at the time wanting to go to college. My friend asked her daughter what did she want to major in? Her daughter replied, “Mom, I think I’ll major in psychology and become a therapist since they can make a lot of money for just sitting down and talking and they never have their personal lives together being such a mess behind closed doors!” Of course it was only a joke but they both understood how worthless is talk therapy.”

LOL!! Yep, narcs in disguise! Like I always say, I feel my therapist has skeletons in her closet not sure if she has fixed them or not in her life. She does get argumentative with me on certain topics we talk about and I would watch that closely thinking ‘is this some unresolved issue that she can’t take care of?’ Ohhh, how I wanted to tell her that to her face and I bet she would blow up. Talk therapy is mostly talk not enough action for me. I mean sure, you let out your feelings and why you felt this way or that way.

“These narcs, personality disorder types, serial killers always exude confidence and charm. They are great actors and they can get away with so much. Finally, the police tracked them and of course they went out of business! NO LIE! LOL! So, the moral here is that even an actor (or a serial killer!) can work as a “therapist” and do their job well!”

I always told therapist people can grin in your face and aren’t who they say they are. She called that negative thinking, I am like omg! Where have you been in life?!??!? lol

“I think that most everyone here could ironically be a good therapist. At least we have lived through most of these abuse issues and we are honest. We have empathy a quality that these cold narc therapists and family member will NEVER have.

I’m tired but I can’t believe how hurt I was with the “over sheltering”. Their protection was like me being a prisoner and I hated them for it. I wanted more friends and social activities but they were too selfish and disinterested in me to care.”

Agreed. I wanted more friends and do fun stuff, but every time I wanted to do that, I lost friends. My friends back then felt they were my babysitter and we got at it. They wanted me to go somewhere, but I always had to be home at a certain time and that pissed them off like they wanted to go to a movie that was late at night. My mom came up (same with dad when he was home but hardly was) with how my friends were gonna rape and kill me, always came to that probably wished it happened to me already. She always accuses if there’s gonna be boys, it was me and the girls and if the boys were there; I didn’t tell her nor was I interested in them.

Everybody was out to lynch me, rape, beat me, etc. People call that a “protective parent” I said that’s a train wreck of a parent! I got at it with these friends and one girl told me how she felt like I was her babysitter and need to tell my mom to **** off blah blah. Here’s the funny thing: my parents refused to meet my friends and their parents to get to know them. My mom knows my best friend from college, met one biracial friend I had, knew one guy from high school after I graduated, and had a black friend she really liked until she screwed me over. She met my best friend’s stepdad that was it. My parents had this outrageous ideas about people saying crap and didn’t know anything about them and my mom said ‘she doesn’t need to knowp eople because that’s how people are and who cares anyway.’

Social activities was trying to “get away from them,” I said no kidding, you just now figured that out! lol they wanted us to stay home and listen to them scream/yell/curse each other out about the same usual stupid arguments for over 40 years about fraud, money, dad and his hoes, mom being/doing that, the same song and dance that I still see today which hasn’t changed. Who wants to be around negativity daily? My therapist said how I am negativity I said who do you think I learned it from?

The usual answer I get is ‘oh but you will get one mom and one dad, big deal!’ lol I would like to make new friends, but am afraid by hanging out with them and boyfriend that I will lose the friends again. My mom was trying to get me to get rid of boyfriend because she hates him, he was nice towards her (wasn’t a huge fan of her), yet said all kinds of lies about him.


@alice post #128, thanks for the feedback I appreciate it. sometimes it all feels so futile. I need this understanding support when I see how deep the patterns of my childlike craving approval continue to plague my thoughts and behaviour. sometimes I just feel so lonely for the kind of intimacy that a primary giver should have offered safe nurturing etc and have always shied away from this because it is so tainted with fear of too many things, end result is persistant loneliness which rears its head louder at times too loud to bear.thanks for listening, johanna


Yvonne, Light, Marquis, Alice, Alaina, Re: Standing up for yourself, as I said earlier, this was very difficult for me and I can think of atleast two reasons why. Like you Yvonne, I would freeze up and still sometimes do that today after years of adulthood. I also felt I didn’t have the right to stand up for myself. I felt inferior so to me this wad one of those rights other people had but not me. Another reason I had difficulty standing up for myself was because I only had to do something just slightly annoying and my mother would slap me and/or verbally tear me down. So I had a fear of punishment even if I just disagreed with someone. She would also give me the silent treatment and act very cold towards me, so speaking up was equated with rejection. I couldn’t even speak up when classmates ridiculed me. I was an easy target for them. Shy, withdrawn, unkempt, dressed differently than the others. So kids would laugh at me and exclude me and I would freeze and say nothing.

I’ve gotten better at defending myself but still sometimes freeze. This is usually when someone catches me completely off guard with an insult. I know the freezing is an old coping method from childhood, but I’m wondering why it still happens sometimes and how yo get past it. It is one of my biggest stick points now. I’m wondering if When someone is rude now, if I consciously remind myself that I am an adult and I don’t need to fear being slapped and that rejection by this person is not going to devastate me, if that would help unfreeze me. The freezing is a gut reaction to consequences I once had to worry about but either no longer exist or don’t have nearly the impact that they would have when I was a child.

Light, I know the frustration of people who “don’t want to talk about it” or turn themselves into the criticized victim when you try to talk to them about a problem. It’s like running into a brick wall that you can’t penetrate. Sigh.


Alaina, I think there are facts (e.g. Momster locked me outside in the dark) and analysis. She said “that was just the done thing” and I say ” you mistreated me”. But let’s be clear and state that it was not my analysis of the experience that caused me pain it was the experience itself. It’s why attributing intentions or feelings to these people never works because they can always claim differently (lie, basically) such as “it was for your own good/because I loved you”. Who knows what their experience of “loving you” ever was? I have to say I don’t know.

I can also relate to defining myself with each “new” person and the reason for that was because I believed that “this time” that “this person” would finally be one with whom a relationship could prove to me that my mother was wrong and that I am loveable because look, THIS person loves me. But all along this was the biggest mistake, to look outside to someone else for this when I should have been looking within to myself. But because momster had me trained from scratch, that’s what I did. This stops when you validate yourself.


Yvonne, I don’t know what she wants. Control? Maybe. For a while I really felt as if she was trying to call me to heel. I have really had to resist.
Is she trying to avoid the reality that “her” daughter is estranged? She put so much stock in that word “mother”. And if I am honest, so have I! I have been obsessed with her, with our relationship. It has fucked up everything in my life.

If I am estranged it says something about her that she does not wish to acknowledge. She has spent my life telling me what a good mother she was. At some point, I wonder if she worries that the game will be up, that other people will notice my continued estrangement and start asking questions. Start questioning her. Or maybe no-one ever will. I’ll be scapegoat forever. Who knows? It kind of exhausts me to consider these things.

And I relate to being “vamped” by people. It’s interesting to see them try it. An example would be bringing up a negative experience you told them about at a time when you are feeling good. I think the way out of that is the same as I just wrote in the previous post. If I’m not looking to them for validation then they can’t vamp me.


Now I officially diagnosed my mother and my sister. My mother is a 100% N to the point it makes me sick, literally and my sister the golden child either inherited Momster’s genes or is mimicking her behavior since she has been always covering up her abuse plus she acts more and mroe like her towards me (and her husband as well, that poor bastard. I just hope my sister’s secong child is not a girl, she will fuck her up).

oh God this is some twised stuff…. I analyzed a lot of thigns from the past and now it all finally makes sense. IT just makes me sick. I know I never had a mother and that there is no way she will change. N will never change. N is a psychopath and a dangerous person.


My mother made sure i would not go to college. meanwhile behind my back she can be teling everyone (i don’t care) that i am a rebel and a difficult child and what can you do.


I find out more and more things that worry me.
I did not know that anxiety and PTSD destroy cells in the hippocampus. Which exlains why my memory has been so bad…
Even worse news:
Brain scans of people with relationship or developmental difficulties, learning challenges, and social interaction issues reveal similar structural and functional irregularities to those suffering with PTSD.
For people with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or chronic depression and anxiety, the brain has no ability to recover from damage caused by the enzyme.
Which means that when we say that an N is f**** with your brain, this is actually literally true!


Sandra, do you believe that diagnosing her is helpful? For me, in some ways it was, and in others, whatever she had (whether that be illness, pathology, whatever) didn’t change the effects of it, of her on me. Do you think the brain can heal? That we can cure PTSD? I am hopeful that it is possible.


hi Alice

I think knowing that in my mother’s case it is being an N and not e.g. bi polar helps me b/c I know she is actually dangerous and uncureable. (which she proved many times by doing what she did last year, by stabbing my father with a kitchen knife when I was 14 and so on). I know I have to stay clear forever at all costs for my own safety. It is like a witness protection program 🙂 I am planning again to disappear this time forever. A person who is an N is not capable of feeling guilty, loving etc therefore unable to change EVER. They are full of anger, rage rather and jelousy. They feed off your energy, it does not matter if they push your buttons, make your cry or love them. Any attention is better than none. also you cannot cure an N with love. Just the contrary, once they see you feel for them, care about them etc, they just feel disgusted with your “weakness” which cause them to start actign out. And every time you think she/he changed, her behavior is for purpose (you usually find out when it is too late, you are bitterly disappointed), they are either short of their N supply and afraid of losing you or they want to use you for sth. They are very well aware fo their actions, which why often times they act different when there are “witnesses” around.

As for PTSD, healing brain etc. I went through a major nervous breakdown this past year, 6 months of PTSD as a result. I am okay now, once again like in the past my brain is blocking out the painflu memories so that I can move on. I am just happy I finally have no instrusive thoughts and can laugh again. Sb took away 1,5 years of my life but I cannot undo the past. I just know that from now on I have be very careful and put myself and my own health as a priority. I now know how fragile I am and that people who experienced depression and abuse in the past, especially during their formative years are more prone to having another onstet later on. Which happened to me. I cannot afford to have a 3rd episode of depression, my life is too precious.
As for brain damage: I hope my memory gets at least a bit better once I get back on my feet, get a job etc. I highly doubt it though. I always need to write down everything otherwise there is no way for me to complete anything. I have a plan and a to do list for every day.


Alice, I think I know what you mean. You wanted to say that no diagnosis justifies her actions towards you right? I agree, completely!

Also time does heal (provided that it is time AWAY from your abuser) but the fact that we get better does not erase our abuse.

Also b/c I was n/c with her and I managed to have a decent life (not an easy life but I liked it and b/c when I am truly myself I am super positive person I was extremely happy), I almost forgot how it feels, almost erased the past. HUGE MISTAKE. It led to what I went through last year.
I was better and I am getting better now but only b/c she is not in my life.
Now my greatest hope is to get her out of my head.


Also I have been recovering at home and leading a bit of a hermit lifestyle recently. Totally unlike me “before the break down. (also b/c of my current financial situation). anyways now I fear that once I get a new job I will be stressing over every little thing just b/c I am no so used to being at home. I am afraid that getting used to a normal life again, going to an office etc will be very overwhelming for me at first.


I saw some people were talking about memory issues with abuse. When I was a kid, I had a great memory when it came memorizing names/faces, phone numbers, email addresses, dates/days of the week, etc but when it came to academics I didn’t have a good memory for that and still don’t.

After being told between 12-13 years old by my mom how she wished she’d smothered me, killed me, gave me up for adoption (that would have been nice), etc. I remember having this nervous breakdown that I was crying so bad, my computer was still on, and I went to go lay down on my bed on my side in fetal position. I was rocking myself back and forth, then everything turned white and the sound around me was gone. My eyes became very still while the tears were rolling and I saw my room, part of the hallway, and bathroom with a window looking like I was in a mental asylum and I was in a straight jacket on my side.

I don’t remember how long I stayed in that position. I do remember blinking my eyes and everything turned back to normal and my hearing came back. Like I told therapist and others, did I get an apology from my mom? No, never did. My parents don’t apologize for anything and say, ‘suck it up and deal with it.’ I told this to my therapist and she said ‘yea, sounds like a nervous breakdown.’ I told her what child should have to go through a nervous breakdown? Nobody should have to go through a nervous breakdown…

I watched a documentary on PBS this past summer on male child sexual abuse, which was a great documentary. This one guy in the film named Glenn said abuse alters your mind and he said how he has violent outburst and his wife is a counselor where he was getting help. He has a son with her and is very protective of him which he doesn’t want his son to be sexually abused like he was when he was a child. The documentary was talking about how men are now coming out about being abused too.

I strongly believe by being abused and having constant verbal abuse all of your life, you tend to have memory issues which is something I brought up with my therapist. I don’t remember much about a lot of things and it takes me much longer to remember what I needed to remember. I was having dreams one time of something that happen back in CA where I was upset about something and my mom threw me down on my bed with my arm behind my back, yelling ‘do you want me to kill you? do you want me to kill you?’ Yea, she did say that I remember that like it was yesterday and she said I never said that. I remember it was in my room and dark at night, I was wearing my frilly, pink shirt and black spots on it. So, how am I lying according to her?

I hate having to write stuff down makes me look like a person who has Alzheimer’s. Also, after that nervous breakdown back then, I felt something severed in the back of my head hearing that. My mom and dad were nasty and mean to me before 10 years of age. I guess that’s why people don’t understand why I am so fragile which they feel is an excuse, but whatever. My boyfriend, sister, and me thinks my mom is very bipolar and I think so too with my dad, we know they are true narcs!

My therapist said I have symptoms of PTSD, way too much trauma and telling someone a bunch of lies all of your life; would confuse anybody about what is true and what isn’t true. I did some reading a while back and read how lies are very destructive/powerful/and can come across as the truth when it isn’t. I have seen how my parents just lie to people with a straight face and when I speak the truth – I am the one who is lying!

I can do memory games by matching the title and I am superb at that, but when I read something, it goes away and only remember a small percentage of what I read. My therapist asked me how do I know if it is 14%? I said, well, I believe it could be that number but I just know it is a very small number of things that I can remember.



“Also time does heal (provided that it is time AWAY from your abuser) but the fact that we get better does not erase our abuse.”

Agreed or my therapist would say ‘you can heal while you are with the abuser(s).’ I told her who heals in a toxic environment?!



Now if I were like my “mother” I would say:
Exactly you finally admitted to your issues. There is sth wrong with your had, your memory your brain is not functioning…maybe it is the way you eat or you are haveing an onest of…mental illness perhaps? I have been telling your sister about it.

Now my bad memory is actually doing my “family”a huge favor.
But when I do remember sth,m trust me, id DID happened.
Having a bad memory means not recalling everything right away, NOT making up things.

ps: I don’t like you therapist

ps: the last time I spoke w my sistser (im n/c now) she drove me nuts. Whatever I said, she was like : mom claims otherwise, mom says it is not true, in a flat, calm voice. Than she said: “maybe you have gluten intolerance and that’s why you are emotional”
You get the picture?


Sandra, yes that’s what I meant. Knowing or suspecting momster is a narc (which I think she is) hasn’t changed the following:

– other family members taking her side
– her denying she ever abused me or lied to me
– her continued attempts to get me back into contact
– being told to “just get over it Alice” by other people
– questioning myself over whether what happened was really abuse or just some harsher version of parenting
– being told to “forgive” by all and sundry

Marquis, that therapist needs to be put out of business! I’ve found a good parallel question is to ask whether these people would still say the same thing if the “parent” was swapped for “husband” or “wife”. Or any other “adult” role.
I’m pretty willing to bet that therapist would be dialling battered-women shelters if so.

Today I woke up depressed. I guess there are just some days. And then I felt angry that my mother could even pretend that what she put me through was not abuse.


marquis: I don’t want to be judgemental but why haven’t you ditched your therapist yet? She sounds clueless.


sorry to hear that. you are currently n/c with her and the rest of your family or just her?


sorry to hear you are not well.( I also started posting too ealry I guess that I was finally free of intrusive thoughts. I have doing fine the last few days but today I read an article on NPD and it triggered LOTS of unpleasant to say the least dialoges) you are currently n/c with her and the rest of your family or just her?


Tony Sopranos’ mother was a typical N 🙂
The director’s mother was the prototype
Most of her signature lines were hers 🙂


this message is to your therapist:
How can you cure cancer without cutting out the tumor first?

The Buddha taught four Noble Truths:

a) The omnipresence of suffering;

b) its cause, wrongly-directed desire;

c) its cure, the removal of the cause; and

d) the Noble Eightfold Path of self-development which leads to the end of suffering.


I have ever been a religious person just by the way and I do not follow any specific relgion. Besides Buddhism is not one, it is a philosophy.
So I am not preaching 🙂 Just my 2 cents 🙂



I’m sorry to hear that you woke up depressed today. Yeah, there are those days. I can relate to the depression and the anger. I used to wish that I could explain the behaviors of family members and how they just did not give a rat’s ass about me even when I did so much for them. But there is no good reason I could find except they are lousy people that don’t deserve my time or attention. But it is tough knowing how easily people can disregard you and then discard you like it is nothing to them. I believe if it feels abusive to you it is abusive. There may be different degrees, but it all hurts.


I heard that Tony Soprano’s mother was modeled after the director’s mother. She was a real nasty woman in that show. It was nearly unbelievable what she would say to him. If she was not his mother; he probably would have had her killed for disrespecting a mob boss like him!



I have one more day with her next week and that will be it with the therapy. I am not into Buddhism, but I do see the point. I look at it like if the virus (abusers) is causing you so much pain and harm, then the solution to the problem is to remove it. A person needs to remove themselves from the contaminated virus so it doesn’t spread any further and cause them even greater physical/emotional problems. The cure is to heal the affects of the virus that has caused you all of those horrible side affects.



I actually did say that to my therapist. I said, ‘let’s switch parent for hubby/wife/pimp/or some other adult and you were seriously abused either emotionally, physically, sexually, or all of the above; what would you do? Find the nearest person to help you? Find the nearest women’s shelter or women’s center who can help you?’ I never got an answer. I told her this is not rocket science, these are simple questions (that people can’t seem to answer) having you to think if you were in that situation; what would you do?

I said to her ‘what’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?’ Yep, she didn’t like that lol.


Hi Sandra, thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes I’m NC with the lot (explained in each case somewhere on EFB). Andria, thank you too. Yes we’ve talked before about it coming in layers. I’m now just feeling bleh,exhausted. Wondering what a nice thing to do for myself would be. Maybe a good book and an early night.

Marquis, good for you for sticking up to this “therapist”. That these people are not screened for the basics before they take on their profession kind of beats me, except perhaps it says more about our societies that they don’t and are still allowed to be in “healing” professions.

I now also have a purely mechanical relationship with my GP because he insisted that I should take care of my aging mother after I’d told him that she had been contributing a lot to my stress. Yeah, right. “Do no harm dude”.



I agree how they should be screened before they become a professional in the field. Oh yea, society says a whole lot about how things are structured. I gotta finish reading the materials that my therapist gave me and tell her what I learned and how I utilized them in certain situations.


Something I’ve been asking myself today: how can I love people who would treat someone I love the way they have treated me? And by “someone I love” I mean me. It seems like having compassion, even from afar, for their sicknesses and the parts of themselves that were genuinely victims, does something to undermine my capacity to care fully for myself. Maybe just as I think forgiveness should be left to “god,” maybe the same should be said of love. Maybe it’s just too much to ask of myself as a human being. Maybe there are limits to how much contradiction you can carry inside yourself and if you have to chose between loving them or loving yourself, then I choose myself. It’s they who forced me to make such a decision; I never would have otherwise.

I was writing a friend today and I asked him at what point does a person become their actions? Or is that all people ever are, that you can change but essentially bad is as bad does and good is as good does. I was accused of “black and white thinking” not that long ago but I feel like I’m not a black and white thinker at all. I feel like it was something said to shame me away from the truth I’d stumbled upon. I can’t look at what’s happened to me and believe that there’s a grey area, but I don’t think that makes me a black and white thinker. I think grey areas tend to exist when things haven’t been fully defined, when you haven’t taken a truth to the end of the line and tested it out. When you have and the truth remains what it is, it’s not the fault of the person who sees it, feels it, knows it, if the truth is stark. I don’t even really know what the expression means anymore. Also “all or nothing.” That was also used to shame me. What, that I wanted to be treated entirely with love and respect and not one ounce of abuse? Oh, so sorry. I don’t even know because the person did not explain these words, just flung them at me, saying that my words were full of black and white and all or nothing thinking. I try to look at things from many different perspectives but I can’t help if the truth is what it is.

Anyway…thank you for your responses, Alice and Light (from a while back now).

I think you’re absolutely right, Alice, about facts versus intentions… I really wonder what intentions are worth anyway when the consequences of their actions/inactions are visible and they choose to look the other way and claim otherwise. The feeling I get is what they’re trying to say is that their primary reason for their actions isn’t to hurt me; it’s just hurting me is an unfortunate byproduct of doing what they want, that I simply have to put up with. I’ll buy that; my family isn’t sadistic, but so what?! If it’s the road to hell, it’s the road to hell. And the point at which that is made clear, what they are saying essentially is intentions be damned; they don’t care as long as they get what they want.

Light, I also received variations of all those responses you got from your family. At one point my mom basically said to me “maybe later we’ll talk about this.” She wanted to wait till “we” felt safe in our relationship to discuss my outpouring of pain as the result of her mistreatment of me. My experience amounted to “accusations” and yes she was also the criticized victim…. I’m really sorry about the anger you’re experiencing, though I know being angry is also a vital part of healing. It’s knowing you don’t/didn’t deserve to be treated the way they’ve treated you. I think maybe the more you make choices that show yourself how wrong they are and what you really are worth, the more the anger dissipates…. as it takes you away from the past and all the rules of the past that keep you locked up in their devaluation of you and into self-love and respect. I struggle with anger sometimes as well but my emotions tend to swirl a lot now in the aftermath of confronting my family. I’m primarily sad, hurt, and exhausted these days, as the reality sinks in that my family is not likely going to come around and the truth of what they are and were always willing to sacrifice in order to preserve their dysfunction.

Sandra, that’s interesting about memory. I also have problems. I’m always forgetting simple things, even literally after a minute or two of reminding myself… “Don’t forget to do this, Alaina” I tell myself and then I proceed to forget. I want to think it’ll come back when my mind and spirit aren’t so occupied in this business of saving myself. Dealing with this stuff is pretty taxing on one’s nerves.

Take care everyone.


Alaina, I think you’ve nailed it. I also don’t (want to) believe (which boils down to believing anyway) that my mother intentionally set out to be cruel to me but she wanted what she wanted and saw my not wanting it, or being hurt in the process as something more of an inconvenience, or in the way, or just plain “difficult”. The expectation was that we just “went along” with whatever the family was doing. Whether that was fulfilling or not. Not doing so got you accusations of being troublesome. Of taking up too much space, of wanting “special treatment” something “just for you” and of course it was “selfish”. The ultimate sin. And of course it was punished.

My take is that she somehow didn’t attribute personhood to me (I think) or if she did, it wasn’t with the full consciousness that an “entirely different from you”-being sits there in that space over there. Except she’d talk to me as if I had it when it suited her (for example when I did things she didn’t want) but in the same admonition tell me what I felt and how I ought to. It seems like a way of “educating”.

Like some people do with animals. In fact my mother had a preferred phrase that put animals and children in the same category of things that shouldn’t see certain things because (one assumes) they’re too stupid to understand the final product, or the outcome of the process. Especially if that process is a mess or painful.

I think that in order to be able to deny children rights as people you have to diminish them somehow, like the idea that if they fall over they won’t feel as much pain (they have a lower centre of gravity) or they just cry all the time for no particular reason (for how painful would it be to feel whatever is at the source of that crying?) But what’s also strange about this is that momster made a big deal of me looking like her. Some kind of mini-me. How twisted do you have to be to see your child as a half-object that is “just like you” and nevertheless mistreat them? How hateful of yourself do you have to be?


When I look back, it feels like others were allowed their rights, just not me (nor my dad… incidentally I was pinned down as being “just like him” but my mom never said that with malice, just as a fact, because she fully believed she loved him, even though she was unhappy with him and treated him badly). She seemed able to see the rights of other children being denied but not mine. It’s like I was “special” in a way, a bad kind of special. Other children were their own people, but I was definitely seen as an extension, something that belonged to her, that owed her constant “love,” joined at the hip kind of thing. I was “for” something. I had a job. I was simultaneously not a person and more than just a person, if that makes sense. I really was made out to be special as long as I was being what she wanted, reflecting the reality she wanted, but at the same time I was being denied my rights as my own person. Believing in my special status was in the past a way that I could avoid the more painful truth that I was nothing unless serving her.

Most everything you said in your first two paragraphs could be attributed to my mom. It was interesting how suddenly when I was standing up for myself about the past, I was now according to her “in the driver’s seat of my own life.” Okay, lady, after you deprived me of my own agency my entire life, now I’m in the driver’s seat… when did that happen? This was about her “hoping that one day I’ll come to peace with my past” I.e. my choice to look at things the way I do, to get hung up on the past… I’m in the driver’s seat and so I can choose not to be dragged down by the past. I can choose to move on and have a healthy relationship with her. If I choose not to have a relationship with her, that’s my prerogative as I’m in the driver’s seat…. as though it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she wasn’t taking responsibility. But no, I’m in the driver’s seat so if I choose to hurt the family by cutting off, that’s on me. There was this subtle inherent victim stance. Not that she says these things straight out. She’s very good at saying things without actually saying them. In part she will let others say them for her (my dad or brother) and act like she has nothing to do with what they’re saying when they make her out to be the victim of my totally unreasonable perception and mistreatment of her, while she claims to be sorry for certain things that suit her vision of the past and otherwise acts like she doesn’t understand what I’m talking about when really my mother is not a stupid woman… or else it’ll just be the unspoken implications of her words.

It is very strange, though, when people seem capable of understanding the concept of human rights as it applies to just about everyone else in the world, except when you try to explain it as it applies to you and suddenly there’s no capacity to understand at all. Like there’s just this complete block. It’s maddening. You think, these people have brains, why can’t they get it? But they can’t. They really think I’m completely unreasonable.


Yes! 🙂 You can read about it online. The creator of the Sopranos spent a half of his life in therapy. And “you can’t tell” by looking at him as some would say… (whatever that means. ppl expect us to look like poor little orphans or what?)

Actually there was one episode in which Livia tells some nasty lies to Junior so that the “family” would kill Tony for alleged betrayal. The news get to Tony who wants to suffocate his mother with a plastic bag while she is the hospital 😀 That doesn’t happen though. He just cant do this (it’s his Mother!)and instead says something like: “I’m gonna have a long happy life and you can’t do anything about it”. In response he just gets that famous N Smirk from her…
TOny’s therapists sugeests to him that his mother might be an N.

It makes sense… I read so much literature about Ns recently. If sb is a full blown N, the ultimate N- high for them is to drive sb to a suicide. I spoke with my father last year, for the first time in 12 years after he left me all alone with the psycho b**ch despite me asking him to take me in (I was terrified especially after I witnessed my mom stabbing my father in his palm in an N rage), he said he wanted to commit a suicide at some point b/c of her. I believe him. I told him :” well me too”.
And I believe that a grown 50 year old man that he was at a time wanted to kill himself b/c of her. First off he was tired and brainwahsed, second of all it was sheer craziness. He was a doctor well know in our town and she was his wifey. HE knew that he could not take me away from her, she would not let him, she would set him up, tell the judge some lies that he was a pedophile or whatever, he would be done, she could stab him with a kitchen knife (he can’t fully move one of his fingers even today and he used to be a surgeon) and he could not touch her to protect himself ….we know why, 911: “oh my God, my husband is trying to kill me, help!”
I actually feel sorry for the guy. Everyone is familiar with the topic of domestic violence but it usually involves women…and what about guys? i know why he had to lead a double life. b/c if he divorced her, he would have never ever seen us so he wanted to wait at least until I am 18. Well the truth about his mistress came out unexpectedlyearlier than that ( 14 years! he got involved with her right after I was born, I was supposed to rescue their marriage as I was told many times as a kid, I was not supposed to be born, that is why there is such a big difference between me and my sister- 6 years). My mother as an N was outraged. She never loved my father, married him just for the status and money as we were told many times during family dinners (imagine hearing that as a husband every day?) but the very thought that he dared to trick her, to cheat on her (there was no sex in their life naturally) outraged her. She was so controlling, (like with all of us), spying on him, interrogating, manipulating us to get some info from him, calling him 5 times a day at his work, following him, and yet he managed to keep it a secret for so many years. She was so furious. This is all she can talk about until now. (of course she is playing a poor puppy….oh that poor wife, left all alone with the children, abandonded by her sex crazed husband) So I was 14 when on top of being the scapegoat I had to witness wicked fights, listed to her and find out waaaay to many details for a teenager. Than after he moved out, whenever I went to visit him, I would get questioned at home afterwards (Which did not last long anyways, he was so terrified of her, he did not invite me for his wedding, he was afraid she would get the info from me, show up and ruin it). I understand my father more today, I know he was tired and afraid she brainwashed us (which she did in case of my sister) but I can’t forgive him one thing: how could he think I was brainwashed? He knew and witnessed many times her treatment toward me (protected me maybe 1-2 in a lifetime, another thing I am angry about, he knew I was a scapegoat, I cried so many times and asked him to let me live with him, than I left and went n/c with both of them (with her for 2,5 years) with him until now. I was furious b/c when I enrolled and sent him a confirmation I was in college he sent me an empty Xmas card with some legal documentation inside stating how a parent has a right to refuse paying child support to the child if the child is acting in an unacceptable way (according to him, going n/c is unacceptable). I never met his new wife. I don’t want to. It speaks volumes to me that she never tried to help me, get involved, that she is with a man who would send a letter like that for Xmas to his 19 year old daughter. I dropped out of college and never finished it but I don’t complain, I did not have to, I must have been lucky. Anyways I never saw any money from him. you are not in college- I don’t have to pay you according to the law. Inthe States students who can’t afford to go to college are not screwed like in my country- they can always get a scholarship or take a loan. In my country – no such thing. Eductaion is for free, true BUT you need money to live, right? And the child support from my father is just ridiculous, it is enough to pay the rent. And if you don’t work you cant take a student loan at a bank or you need sb to cover for you. That’s it. No food, no books, not to mention clothes. So obviously I had to work. But if you work full time you can’t go to college. It was like a vicious circle. But guess whatI turned out just fine. Maybe one day I will get back to college b/c I have always been very curious, I like learning, I don’t care that I managed to get to my industry without a degree, I just regret all the things I could have learned if I went to college. oh well. I read a lot anways on any topic I am interested in. I did not meant to write all this but now i have to post it… 🙂



I remember now. I am asking b/c I am curious how you solved your problesm with yoru sibling(s)?
I don’t have any extedned family as momster isolated us from them when we were kids so it was just the 4 of us. I’m n/c with my parents and with my sister the contact is not even luke warm. Actually after the things I found out this past year about her and finally saw her for who she really was, I went n/c for 6 months. Than we exchanged emails on Xmas. That’s it. I want to go n/c with her as well but as I mentioned before here I am afraid together with Momster they will do sth to embarrass the s*** out of me, namely I will see myself on TV as a crazy depressed missing person.


Also trying to embarrass an N, shut him/ her up, show her that you know who she/he is makes no sense. Talking back, saying “don’t you ever speak to me like that” etc makes no sense. Not b/c, like in my mom’s case, she will get insulted, start crying, say: “how do you talk to your mother?” (that’s a good one), or simply: “you are too sensitive. what did I say? People will not like you if you stay so oversensitive” (cause nobody speaks to me that way. “that’s b/c only family can be honest with you” etc pong, ping pong)……so apparently if sb is a full blown real N, the best way you can do is IGNORE him/ her. Ingoring means no attention- that drives them crazy. They don’t care what kind of emotion they get from you, its about attention. That I did not know, I must say but it makes sense now.



I have been accused of “black and white thinking as well”
Or looking at just a part of the story instead of the whole…
these are the same ppl who will tell you “but they’re you parents”



Sorry there goes my memory 🙂
tony doesn’t kill Livia b/c she get a stroke not b/c he feels bad for her 🙂


I’m so sorry you grew up with such a crazy mother and that your father abandoned you to wrestle with her on your own when you were just a kid and then would reject you so badly with that Xmas card. He had as much responsibility to take care of you as your mom did and they both more than failed you.

My dad pushed me on my mom; he is dependent and idealizes her, even though she treats him as less than a person. He abandoned me (emotionally) and betrayed me as well, despite the fact that he used to be pretty fond of me. As long as I stayed inside the lines, I guess.

I think this accusation of black and white has to do with the fact that we look at the bottom line. I’m aware that in any given scenario between people, there are lots of nuances, details, and layers of reality (the past often superimposed on the present, for example), but that doesn’t make the truth untrue. It doesn’t change the bottom line. To me that’s just smart judgment. But painting you as a black and white thinker makes you out to be less “wise,” less “knowing,” etc.

You were asking Alice about siblings. I don’t have a relationship with my brother. He made it clear that he disagreed with me and lined himself up with my parents and then wanted us to just forget about that and have a relationship as if none of that mattered. We’ll just talk about other stuff. As if this wasn’t the context of my entire life. Even if I’m to heal completely, my life will still always be in context to where I’ve come from, what I was able to take away from it (i.e. learn) and it’s a past that he completely denies. It’s just an impossible situation that would keep me stuck under his thumb basically, no different than my whole life being stuck under my mom’s and everyone’s. I can’t have a relationship with any of them. They require me to be someone I am not and never want to be again. I lost a nephew and that was very hard. It was very hard to decide to confront my brother. We could’ve gone on in silence of me never bringing up any of the issues, just talking about what he wanted to talk about, at the same time there being unspoken hostility coming from him the longer I didn’t fall back into line, and an obvious sense that he thought he was the bigger person, the patient older brother waiting for me to understand the real truth of the matter (instead of just “my” truth) and then all this anxiety on my side. Essentially the relationship was keeping me stuck in the same patterns that my parents kept me in (same goes with all extended family, just variations on a theme). So I basically put forward what I knew about my life, about how the family operated and told him that it was impossible for us to have a relationship if he couldn’t recognize this stuff as truth. I needed him to be a real “brother” to me, everything you would think of when you think of an older brother—someone who cares about you, who stands up for you when you’re being beaten down—but he couldn’t. He of course saw me as trying to control him and force my opinions and perspectives on him. To him that was unfair; he has a right to view our family the way he wants, which is true, even if his view isn’t accurate. The problem is that his view does damage to me. It’s simply unhealthy. I understand he’s in denial but the outcome of his denial is harmful. There was nothing I could do but walk away. If he ever understands, he can find me, I suppose. I don’t expect it, though. The truth is perhaps too brutal for anybody who doesn’t “have to” see it. I had to or it would kill me. The paradox of it, though, is if my family did recognize the truth, the truth would probably stop being true (the past would remain what it was but the present might change).


Sandra, I don’t have a relationship with my brother and to be frank it doesn’t bother me that I don’t. I explained somewhere here on EFB about an event that made me decide to no longer speak with him.

Growing up, we were not particularly close. I was given the role of looking after him a lot when he was small and I didn’t appreciate it. He had issues with kids his own age (a lot of fighting) and so I was expected to replace his friendships, bring him into mine, have him tag along all the time, that kind of thing.

He used to hit me. And I used to find ways of hurting him that didn’t involve strength. My memory is that he was momster’s preferred kid when it came to our fights because my way of fighting was worse (it was “clever” whereas his was just brute force).

He was also black sheep for a while (before the family reversed our roles). He also suffered from an eating disorder and migraines as a kid so I wonder what his experience was. A while back I heard him say to momster “Do you remember how difficult I was as a kid?” And I genuinely felt sorry for him.

Following my father’s death my aunt told him “You are the new head of the family” and I said to myself there’s no way I’m going to accept this BS, especially since we had been brought up in a relatively egalitarian manner (I had thought). In fact, with age, he got to be really offensive in his attitudes towards women and would say things about them that would make me angry (the rare times we saw each other).

When I told him to show some respect towards women and show some respect towards me on one particular occasion he went nuts (that’s the event I’m referring to). He’s also very big which means that if he gets into a rage, he can pretty much take anyone down.

So he crossed my bottom line for violence. Momster apologized/defended him. I don’t care what the relationship is or has been, if you put me in physical danger I will no longer have anything to do with you. No-one else in the family seems to understand this or find it legitimate. Somehow, being a “family” means you get to do this to me and then all will go back to the way it was. The last time I saw him he also behaved as if nothing has ever happened.


Alaina, you said: “I don’t have a relationship with my brother. He made it clear that he disagreed with me and lined himself up with my parents and then wanted us to just forget about that and have a relationship as if none of that mattered”.

YES! exactly! There is this big pink elephant in the living room and lets just pretend we dont see it.

In the past I actually brainwashed myself into thinking: “Or my poor sister she wants to maintain a good relationship wi/ my parents and me, she is between the two of us. YEah right. And whenever we talked real life issues, she would go nuts. Besides I finally saw this 2 faced, materialistic b****. Her real self. The way she talks about my father to me and works as a rat for my mother and than turns out my father has a pile of cheesy Hallmark cards from her at home. All she wants is money money money. I wrote in one of my earlier posts what exactly happened to make me see her finally for who she was.
Un- be- lievable.


My mother sent me a text this year saying: “It is hard to go through life without a family no matter the kind”.
Say what?
Same rule applies to relationships: so it is better to be in a “relationship” with an abusive person rather than be single, safe, content, happy, relaxed and giving yourself a chance to one day meet sb who is worth you?

Alaina & ALice: sorry to hear about your brothers.

I finally see the whole pictures. I think that if I continued to be in touch w/ my mother and sister I would end up with another break down. Nothing changes. There is always sth. Later on it would probably be me being single (nobody can’t stand you), or being with the wrong guy (he must be nuts that he is with you), or my kids or the lack of them (you should not have kids, you are so immature- that’s actually what my mom told me. of course- she would lose the attention), or my job (what did you do to get that job?…i heard that on numerous occasions), finances, appearance, if I manage to look good when older they will be probably implying plastic surgeries etc, if I don’t- they will destroy me completely. Having said that: my mother has been obese for years, blaming the pregnancies (yeah Mom didn’t you have like 26 years to lose all that weight?), the only movement she does is from the living room to the kitchen, has no sense of style and fashion, manners only outside, at home she burps and farts around us (can you believe that?).


You are supposed to love your kid no matter what.
YOu can suggest sth in a delicate way when you see sb is slipping
but when you look at your daughter who is young, attractive, fit and actually has a good sense of style, don’t you think that all the evil comments make you look envious and ridiculous, mom? of course you do, that’s why you say these things only when it is me and you.
I am n/c now with her, but I regeret today that I never said anything to her, I guess my manners did not allow me.


I am just hoping to get them out of my head. I used to well, had my own life. Now I just keep replaying all their ridiculous comments in my head, over and over, i can’t help it. I mean my mother is so wacked, if I recorded her and let sb listen, they would sent her to a mental institution, seriously.


Sandra, it is also very probable that my brother will end up with lots of money due to his continued service to her and that I will end up with nothing. In some ways I think he deserves it.

How much is my freedom worth? As that stupid credit card ad would say “It’s priceless”:)

Ultimately what belongs to momster (and others in the family) is hers/theirs to do with as she/they see fit. Even if she (or they) might have come by it by less than honest ways – or given away some of their own freedom, or put up with abuse to get it.


Same here. But guess what: I just do not care, I really don’t 🙂
my sister is literally like a prostitute to me, doing what she is doing right now, words cannot describe it. She is pulling the “mother with a child” card all the time now 🙂 Out of my way, there is a mother with a child coming! 🙂


#97 Alaina
Great thoughts Thanks. After speaking to others at my job it turned out to be a bad situation for them too. I am so happy I got away when I did. Its gotten much worse and no resolution in sight. Thank you for the validation they also said it was not bad that I respected myself and chose to leave. I came away with lots of valuble experience. It was a shock at the time but now I see the truth. 4 people either walked away or were let go for no good reason.


#121 Marquis
My parents did overprotect me to the point of being a prisoner. I could only have a job if I worked with my mother. Boyfriends were not approved of. No license when all my friends had one. Living at home was given as the only choice. College but only if I lived at home. Everything I knew came thru their filter. To what end? I was my mothers personal servant. Even when I married she kept that dynamic. Even punishing me when I chose to be with my husband instead of her. But there was no love or affection just that I was an obligation and her problem. My brother was her choice to have. The boy she wanted. I was never her choice so she found ause for me … a personal servant. The prisoner aspect definately makes sense to me.


“It is very strange, though, when people seem capable of understanding the concept of human rights as it applies to just about everyone else in the world, except when you try to explain it as it applies to you and suddenly there’s no capacity to understand at all. Like there’s just this complete block. It’s maddening. You think, these people have brains, why can’t they get it? But they can’t. They really think I’m completely unreasonable.”

I agree seems like people want to be dumb and not care about understanding another human being.

Someone in here mentioned I think about their mom’s assets and their brother/relatives can have it. My mom always threatened us about assets, her lack of assets and dad’s assets he is the one with the money. My sister said you can do what you want with it and mom said she would leave it all to her wonderful son; which he would give us our share. However, my sister said fine, but I can still sue your and pops’ estate and still get my share. It was a nasty argument on the phone as my parents always dangled “invisible money” to us.

Hell, we never saw this money they are claiming. Since my dad and his hoe mistress are frauding the gov, who knows where it’s really going?

Karen R,

Exactly as I feel. I was told to have a job to be an adult and in the same sentence to never have a job as it is being selfish and “everything is paid for.” How could a person say all of that in one sentence and expect your adult child to get it?!? I wanted to use scholarships and grants for college, but no, ‘the white man was gonna make us look bad,’ according to my mom! She said ‘it looked better that a parent is paying for their kids’ education,’ who are you pleasing?!? Nope, I couldn’t pay my own way even if I wanted too.

If I wanted to go to college back home to CA or another state, who was going to pay for it? Certainly not my parents as they said they “needed to keep an eye on me.” I asked people (including therapist) how is that “normal parenting?” Can you explain that, mom? She just looked at me lol. My god, if that is not abusive or keeping someone a prisoner, I certainly don’t know what is!!

I tried to explain this to a lot of different people in my life. OMG! Too many never got it saying “children are never a parents’ slave, where the hell did you get that from? It’s teaching you responsibility.” What! My mom walks on her knees and on the sides of her feet! Something can be in front of her and makes me or my sister pick it up same with my dad! Right in front of him he wants you to pick it up claiming they shouldn’t have to bend down to get it as they always had to bend down for us! What is this?!? There is absolutely no giving, there is a hell of lot of taking on their end!

Someone told me ‘maybe your mom is incapable or your dad.’ They are not incapable, they don’t have limited mobility! My mom is/looks like she is 400lbs, if she can eat all day and walk to go to the bathroom, then she isn’t incapable of moving!! If my dad can get up and go back and forth to his car to get something, then he isn’t incapable either yet he is almost 300lbs!! My brother had no problems picking something up for her off the floor, the brainwashed one!

What are people trying to defend? My mom hates all of our relationships, even her wonderful son’s wife. Not our fault she couldn’t pick better for a husband and hates women to a T. My mom never liked any guy that I liked especially if he’s white! She expected her daughters to be single forever with nobody to love. My siblings are married and hates their marriages (sister’s marriage is on the rocks but parents don’t know that they would gloat if they knew) and she wants to move to CO to live with my brother and move his wife out of the picture. He doesn’t want her living in his house with him and his wife but mom doesn’t know that yet! lol

I asked people ever heard of child slavery? They said yea, I said same thing going on in a family. If a family treats the children (or adults) like some personal maidservant or slave, don’t you find that strange? They said think of Biblical times and I said we don’t live that way anymore not with the foster care system and other bizarre crap; there’s no way we could stay home “serving the family.”


Light (136)

I read:

“Energy Vampires: How to Deal With Negative People
by Jennifer O’Neill (Amazon Kindle & book)

“Empath Basics, 2nd Edition” by Sandra Martinez (Amazon Kindle)

“The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide” by Ted Zeff
(Amazon Kindle & book)

“Dancer Between Realms, Empath Energy, Beyond Energy”
by Elizabeth Y. Fitzhugh
(Amazon Kindle)

Marquis ( 161)

I have also argued many times with these therapists and friends over my parental abuse issues. I know that the mother cult is alive and well and one can NEVER say anything bad towards a biological family member. Yes, if they were anything else, like a husband or boyfriend then you would get respect. “You poor thing to put up with abuse from that man!” However, say your father, mother, brother acted out on you there is NO empathy.

I wanted to share a very hard and painful experience from like over 20 years ago. I actually did run away and spent some time in a domestic violence shelter for women. These domestic violence shelters are about the only shelters for women, except the ones for the young and the pregnant. I honestly explained to this intake person that my problem was NOT an abusive husband or live-in boyfriend. I was living at home with my parents at the time as a young adult, early twenties, and of course it was bad. There was physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse. I suffered serious power control issues. There is a regular EFB member here, Linda, who wrote that when she was a young woman and she worked as a nurse that she “surrendered” her paycheck over to her parents since she lived at home. I could not get financially ahead with enough savings to move out. Plus, there were no other decent family members, such as a half-sister, aunt/uncle, that I could run away to. There was an incident where I actually received a small estate check in the mail (a few thousand dollars) from my only good relative after his death, my Cousin Dean. Well, after I went to the mailbox, my Narc. mom actually took this envelope (with check to me) right out of my hand! She screamed at me saying that since I lived at home under her roof, then this money was hers! My parents are not that poor living in their big luxury house and this was a power and control issue! My Narc. mom was terrified that she would lose her live-in maid and emotional punching bag (me)! To make a long story short, one day I loaded up my car and I just wanted to run away. I had no where to go. My older woman friend, who had done volunteer work for this local woman’s domestic violence shelter, told me that sometimes these women’s shelters will take in women with abusive domestic situations without having an abusive husband. So, amazingly I did get into the shelter since I qualified (did not have the sexual issues) and I had NO HUSBAND just came from a very crazy family!

It was a very bad experience. I was very discriminated in the shelter and no one took me seriously. No, you must have had a bad HUSBAND to get any respect or sympathy. They really didn’t know where to place me. I finally made the transition after a couple of months being there to a women in transition home, mainly older women who were recovering alcoholics. I was treated without respect since I am a childfree woman and my only issue was that I was BORN into abuse! I did not marry into it nor choose an abusive boyfriend. There was a social worker who told me that I should “just get pregnant” because then they could place me into a BRAND NEW BEAUTIFUL apartment building just for young, single, mothers with problems. In addition, I would receive food stamps, free medical, free bus pass, job training, and free counseling! Plus, I would be given a voucher for a thrift shop to buy good used work clothes! I felt as if I wanted to cry right then and there given the message that apparently young, single, childfree women with morals and high standards who were abused basically get nothing from the government! Since I am such a metaphysical person, I was NOT willing to pass down this negative family karma to my child and I made the right decision! I am sorry for the married women with children who were abused by husbands, but they CHOSE their husbands! Again, I was BORN into my situation and as a child I couldn’t get out. With them being grown women, they could leave and run away to their sister’s or parent’s homes. I know that these women claim that they were unsafe and I’m sorry. But I was also unsafe and NO ONE gave me any understanding! Here I was as a young woman, childfree, wanting college and a real career. They had on average like three kids by different fathers, minor criminal backgrounds, some drug and alcohol issues. I guess that if I were not such a good girl, then I would have been respected, too! I never envied these women and I thank the gods that I never became one of them. They were all mean and jealous towards me. The point here is that society selects certain groups and problems as being important and others not! Those of us with child abuse issues are just not valued like women with abusive husbands.

Sandra and Alaina (170)

Sandra, I too was accused of “black and white thinking” by that horribly, incompetent so-called therapist of mine named Julie. They really do not understand anything, nor do they even care. That was like ten years ago since the last time I ever went to one of these therapists. I am so very grateful that I quit seeing them. I have had to heal and clear the verbal abuse and mess by these therapists. I have to come to realize that I’m more of a self-healer. Sadly, I could do their counseling job better than them (and I think most of us here on the site also!) LOL! but I don’t have their silly credentials. Then I have also argued with past friends about these therapists. There was one past girlfriend who kept arguing with me that I was trying to do “therapy” on the therapist and that I was in no way qualified! OMG—-LOL! So in other words she was saying that I have a zero IQ level and that my life experiences count for nothing! These are the type of people who blindly give their allegiance to an authority figure with a title without questioning anything. At least I’m not like her and I can see others quite clearly so they can’t hurt me anymore. Wow, I think I have just spent another couple of hours reading the posts on this site. Very addicting, but great here!
Thanks everybody.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(



Which is why I still have a very hard leaving home and I wanted to when I was between 18-22 yrs of age. My mom thinks I should turn my paycheck (when I had a job) over to her and told me she would cash it. I told her go ahead and I will send you to prison for fraud and that argument was bloody with words you’d never believe.

Actually, a lot of people couldn’t believe the language we would use towards one another yet they still said ‘oh never mind your mom, she still loves her daughter.’ If a parent or any relative is controlling another adult who works and gets a paycheck, makes them turn it over, it is still abuse – don’t care how old they are!

” I know that the mother cult is alive and well and one can NEVER say anything bad towards a biological family member. Yes, if they were anything else, like a husband or boyfriend then you would get respect. “You poor thing to put up with abuse from that man!” However, say your father, mother, brother acted out on you there is NO empathy.”

Exactly, people out there are such hypocrites about that issue. Abuse is okay with relatives, but never a friend/hubby/boyfriend/gilrfriend/coworker. Other relatives I have zero relations with and don’t know anything about them. They are just as bad as my parents and too Southern for me. I can see my brother and I getting at it about my situation, he did say months ago, how he was sadden to see me “still stuck” in this situation. I am like I have been stuck since I was a kid!

Sister is on Naval base with her active duty hubby in another country. Old friends dropped me and blamed me for my kind of parents. I did make some calls 3-4 months ago talking to transitional housing agencies. Two of them I liked, but one told me I need to already have a job in order to be part of their services. The 2nd one told me I would have to go to a DV shelter for a month then see if I could get transitional housing.

Who has time to wait?! Right now, these shelters are hurting for money and resources. If you can’t find a job within 6 mos to a year, they kick you out and then you will be bouncing to one shelter to another! I told the employee that I wanna have the money to leave because without my phone and car, I would be SOL.

It was a very bad experience. I was very discriminated in the shelter and no one took me seriously. No, you must have had a bad HUSBAND to get any respect or sympathy.”

Wow, I have heard that from some women who have been shelters in the past. I told people about it and I got the “how could you still be abused as an adult? Go get a job and leave. Not so simple when you are codependent.

“I was treated without respect since I am a childfree woman and my only issue was that I was BORN into abuse! I did not marry into it nor choose an abusive boyfriend. There was a social worker who told me that I should “just get pregnant” because then they could place me into a BRAND NEW BEAUTIFUL apartment building just for young, single, mothers with problems. In addition, I would receive food stamps, free medical, free bus pass, job training, and free counseling! Plus, I would be given a voucher for a thrift shop to buy good used work clothes! I felt as if I wanted to cry right then and there given the message that apparently young, single, childfree women with morals and high standards who were abused basically get nothing from the government!”

Go get pregnant? What!!?? What are these people suggesting? 1st they complain about preggo women or women with kids who are “taking advantage of the system and getting free stuff with taxpayer dollars,” and now they say “go get preggo and we will take care of you?” My mom told me some women “had to get preggo in order to get real help from the gov.” I said that is stupid, they should help regardless if you have kids or not.

I have no kids at all and I can’t find a place who will take a childless person like me. I did my calling to these transitional places and one lady told me from another city to never give up. I said every place has their little requirements, how can I pass them yet nobody wants to hear me out? How can I get to the end of the tunnel and see the light, when I have nothing lined up for myself?

“I was NOT willing to pass down this negative family karma to my child and I made the right decision! I am sorry for the married women with children who were abused by husbands, but they CHOSE their husbands! Again, I was BORN into my situation and as a child I couldn’t get out.”

Oh, my therapist and other people have told me “you do have a choice to leave your situation.” I told them ‘people also choose their partners’ and I agree with your comment. I always told my therapist ‘my mother and dad chose trash – each other. She should/could’ve chosen better for a husband instead of blaming everybody for her terrible choice in men. She seems to attract trashy men and my dad trashy women. They both had choices to leave one another, but they didn’t as my dad claims he holds his wedding vows only so he can do whatever he wants is what he means!!’

“The point here is that society selects certain groups and problems as being important and others not! Those of us with child abuse issues are just not valued like women with abusive husbands.”

I totally agree with this one! I asked people ‘who inherits abuse? Who wants to be abused?’ Silence is golden! lol

“Then I have also argued with past friends about these therapists. There was one past girlfriend who kept arguing with me that I was trying to do “therapy” on the therapist and that I was in no way qualified! OMG—-LOL! So in other words she was saying that I have a zero IQ level and that my life experiences count for nothing! These are the type of people who blindly give their allegiance to an authority figure with a title without questioning anything”

I agree. I was told how my life experience didn’t count for anything and I was “too young to understand anything in my household.” No, we were not “too young to understand,” we understood perfectly well what was going on. I told people ‘fine, you can use my age against me, but do not tell me my experience is lying to me that I am telling myself a bunch of fables!’

My therapist said ‘you don’t have a degree/qualifications to speak about the MHF.’ I said I don’t need a piece of a paper (degree) to tell me what my parents are and what they are not. Life experiences speak on more volumes than a piece of paper ever will! Ohh, she hated that and got even more furious with me!

About people giving their allegiance to their authorities. I have seen people do that all the time and ask people, ‘The Germans should’ve questioned Hitler about his ideas instead of kissing his ass! He is not blonde and blue eyed, so why did he say that is the Arayan nation and the Superior race? He should have been questioned by his followers/believers about his dark features, but nobody did. I wonder why…’ Always ask questions and challenge them as to why they believe this or that and what have they done to lead by example….



I was very interested while reading your account of your experience trying to get help in a domestic violence shelter. I am sorry that you had such a horrible time with it, but I was really intrigued by the fact that your problem was perceived as lesser than because the abuse was coming from your parents and not a partner.

I never really gave much of a thought to the “mother cult” until coming to this site. Yes, there definitely is something to that phrase. I think we all have heard someone saying to us, “she is your mother and she loves you.” It is like someone becomes a mother and then a magic wand goes over them and they become this lovely and loving person. They make a transformation somehow by becoming a mother. That doesn’t make any sense.

I understand not wanting to pass down negative family karma to another generation. There are many of us that feel this way. I agree with you that EFB is addicting and great!



Andria, my mother relied on that whole “I’m your mother” thing to justify anything and everything. Swap that for “I’m your husband” and there would be an outcry!

Also heard from others “She’s your mother” as if that alone should be enough to make me come to heel, to discount whatever I went through, as an insidious way of suggesting I might have similar leanings or ideas baked in by virtue of descent. I went through a whole period of fearing I was like her (after all she had spent my childhood insisting I was, that I looked like her and glowing when other people told her I looked like her) and trying to be not like her as much as possible. But still there are people who say women will never escape being at least a little like their mothers (and meaning the negative traits). I don’t believe that. I believe it’s more BS to define you and put you down.

More recently I’ve realised I’m nothing like her.



Yeah, I always tried not to be like my mother. I believe that comment about not escaping your mother’s negative traits is hogwash. It is a put down. You never emulate a person that you don’t care for.



I came to realize that often times a self- help through books, and places like EFB is so much better than jumping from one incopetent therapist to another one, getting frustraied with having to start from scratch with a new one and having to tell him/ her your story all over again. Of course again, this is a very individual thing.

Also I have a reason to believe that many therapists used to be abused as well (which is why they ended up studying psychiatry/ psychology)but they are stuck w/ their abusers and try to defend their choices through projection.

Also, I think it was Darlene, I am not sure though, mentioned in one of her posts, very accurately, that the people who understand her choice of being n/c are usually people who come from NORMAL households, and for them such stories are absolutely unacceptable. People who are in denial or aware but frustrated with the choices they have made for themselves, they are often times the ones who will give you the “black and white”, “but it’s Mother’s Day today” BS….. they want to defend their choices make themselves feel like a “Forgiving and loving”.

When will people understand that verbal and emotional abuse is just as horrible as physical abuse?
Do we really have compassion only for people who were extremelly physically abused? Starved, beaten etc?


Marquis (184)

Everything that I gave you about my DV shelter experience was true. It was a very humiliating event in my life and it took me many years to get over it. I never believed that in my wildest dreams growing up that I would have to move to another state with my parents and they just would not let me go. There was more than just a little verbal abuse going on in my home—I had verbal, emotional, physical violence, (everything except incest), and severe mental control issues where I felt more like a prisoner growing up than a daughter. We lived in a big, luxury house in an above average neighborhood, so of course nobody believed my story about how bad my parents were. Plus, I was an only child girl with no other witnesses in the house.

I don’t know what to tell you about your shelter idea. I can tell you that my experience was over twenty years ago when I was just 23 years old and now I’m 45. Back then there were no computer records and it was all paper. When you left the DV shelter after like three months maximum, then your paper file was stored in the basement room and kept for a total of seven years before being destroyed. You were required to attend an evening adult group meeting and then meet three times a week for an individual counseling session, plus a daily house chore. Most of the time was spent working at your job and/or social services interviews. They took copious notes on all the women. I was actually very afraid of the man counselor since I swear that he was a complete idiot! No, I’m not just saying that to be spiteful. I remember there was one woman who refused to work with him, since she too thought he was an idiot and she demanded to see the other woman counselor. I kept trying to change the subject and talk about different issues like politics, sports, and just about anything but my family. I was afraid that this idiot man (working on his Masters degree) might not understand me and label me for life with a “psychological illness label”. I was fearful for future jobs and apartments discriminating against me. There is positively NOTHING wrong with me, aside from the fact that I was an abuse victim! I do not hear voices, etc. and I have NO criminal background, nor am I an addict! These DV shelters are not a luxury spa vacation! Another problem I had there was being bullied by an “old” woman who was in her early thirties with kids around ten years old. This woman was EXTREMELY jealous of me (childfree woman with NO husband) and wanted to badmouth me to the others and fight with me every opportunity she could get. I talked to the idiot man counselor who suggested that the three of us could all sit down and talk about our feelings! Yeah, right! LOL! If this woman had had the chance I think she would have beat me up. Don’t get me wrong, I have NO criminal background but these shelters are a little like a low-level women’s prison. You have to guard your things and be careful with your purse and keep NO cash or valuables in your room (locked in your car!)They will ask you about your work history and if you have any bank accounts or any money at all–of course, just say no! (Before I went there I had to sell my gold jewelry and valuables for cash since I had nothing!)

After spending time in the women’s DV shelter, I got placement for a “Women in Transition” house, basically older women coming from an alcoholic rehab clinic. It was an older house near the university, originally built as a boarding house, and now owned by social services. It was a two story house, with several furnished bedrooms, one bathroom on each floor, and a kitchen and main living room. All the women qualified for food stamps and medical. We had a rotating chore list and weekly group meetings. We all paid a nominal monthly rent and you had to be either working, student, or volunteer for a charity and job seeking. It wasn’t such a bad place and the next transitional step was a very low-income apartment building downtown. I NEVER lived in the low-income downtown apartments since I worked very hard to find a better apartment on my own. But the point was that I was able to get back on my feet and away from my parents! I’m only sorry since there was NO INTERNET back then, and if I had had good online communication, then I would have probably found my way to move far away to a brand new state. Currently, I live in the same state as my parents, but in a different city. I have a BA degree, job, and I became a first time homebuyer three years ago (foreclosure house). Yes, dreams can come true with courage and hard work.

Sorry, but if you do have a small bank account then your best bet is to withdraw your money and perhaps keep cash in a bank deposit box? You can also set up a paypal account to keep cash, like a bank account. I would also suggest getting a PO box at the post office, like no more than $50 year?, so you can safely get your mail. If you move in the future, then a friend can forward your mail. You can use the public library computers if you need to for email, if you don’t have a laptop. All you really need is a cell phone and laptop(if you have one). Trust me, way back twenty years ago, I did not even have a cell phone (not invented) and I made phone calls from pay phones. When I was in the DV shelter, one of the women suggested that I use the pay phones in a hotel lobby during the day when it was slow for privacy. If you do run away, make sure that you bring copies of all important papers (birth certificate, school diplomas, health records…) and luggage, clothes, cosmetics, pillow/sleeping bag/bedding and a couple of boxes of personal momentos. I also bought myself a footlocker trunk (with a padlock) to keep my important belongings locked when I got a future roommate place. Later, I had two of these footlocker trunks. The important thing is to travel light in your car so you can quickly get out if you have to.

Have you looked online for social services programs in other states? Sometimes other states have better programs–you never know. You can always phone long distance on cell phone to ask questions or email them. There are people who have had to go through a few shelters across the country in different states just to get to their final destination.

The only other suggestion I have if you could place on ad on Craig’s List for a live-in helper. I have personally worked as a live-in companion years ago for an elderly lady. You are not working as a nurse or a medical person, but you live in her home just to drive the lady to her doctor appointments, shopping, etc. and cook and clean. It’s really not that bad. You can also check out living in a disabled person’s home in exchange for room, board, and a small salary. There are also many house sitting jobs in Arizona (think guest house on a big,luxury house property for a “Snowbird”)—again a Craig’s List ad. I hear that you want vocational training or college, but it sounds like you are ready to run out of the parent’s house any day now! I think you need to just get out and first live in a safe place. Then you can get more clear about financial aid requirements and future college. Since you are a single, low-income adult I’m sure you would qualify for the maximum financial aid (age 24 years and older without parental help). Anyway, I am NOT trying to tell you how to live but I think I understand the DV shelter system and what you’re trying to do. Please don’t give up. Do more research and keep your plans quiet from your parents. You will know in your heart when it’s the perfect timing to get out. If you don’t make a plan now, you could be trapped with parents for years and I know you don’t want that. You can do it!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Hi Andria (185)

Thanks for your comments. It’s so nice to have people really listen and understand here. If I could change one thing about society’s perception of child abuse it would be the erroneous belief of the “Mother Cult”. I think they would have more compassion for us, but they are brainwashed by that cult mindset. I don’t know much about the psychology of “deprogramming” and where to begin. It’s amazing that there is so much material on true life crime stories of mothers killing their kids by driving their car into a lake and so on, that society just doesn’t get it! I honestly don’t know which is more frightening–these child abusers or the brainwashed “Kool aid Cult”….go figure!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Sandra (188)

I had the same exact experiences like you with these incompetent so-called therapists. I tried “therapist-hopping” with different ones hoping to find the magical one who could help me. I saw both men and women, religious and non-religious ones, ones who accepted insurance and those who did not. I felt so very bad about myself and began to believe that maybe there was something truly wrong with me. Was I so abused that I was actually beyond the point of help? I tried to rationalize that there was NOTHING wrong with me but I had been VERY ABUSED by a****** parents! I would argue and scream back at these a****** so-called therapists who delighted in arguing and insulting me. These sadists would never admit that they were wrong and they knew nothing about child abuse.

I have always believed that psychology is nothing more than a VERY EASY college major, not like engineering, accounting, nursing…., and it’s all about reading texts on opinions written by so-called experts. The DSM-V(2013) is the latest version of the famous Bible of psychiatric disorders. The main problem with psychology is that there is NOT MUCH SCIENCE to any of it—nothing more than opinions and observations. I remember watching a TV documentary on the PBS channel about the DSM meeting in Canada back in 1970? Apparently, there was a lone, male shrink who just happened to be gay. In the old days, homosexuality was included in the DSM as a psychological illness. This gay doctor actually wore a clown mask and attended the yearly meeting and screamed that being gay was NOT a psychological disease! They finally voted homosexuality out of the DSM due to the majority popular vote. The point here is that there is NO SCIENCE and these disorders in the DSM are listed in the book due to a popular vote at these meetings! It’s true and most people don’t know the truth! I have heard that the latest 2013 version includes everything but the kitchen sink in terms of disorders! So, psychology can become like a witch hunt where you just have to open a page in their famous DSM Bible and if someone vaguely resembles the symptoms of an illness then they’re branded with a label! But these elite doctors have the upper hand and can easily control and destroy someone’s life with labels and drugs.

In my humble opinion, I agree with you that many of these so-called therapists were abused themselves. They are seeking healing themselves and they really have nothing to give back. I think that many of them if they tried to go into a more normal profession could not make it in the real work world. It’s easy to sit in a chair and zone out and get paid to fall asleep. However, I believe that the general public is starting to wise up due to sites on the internet regarding the dangerous side effects of psych. drugs on kids and adults. There are alternative healing modalities with sites like EFB, a few decent books, and support groups. I don’t believe in taking anti-depressants since there is the natural healing route, like taking St. Johns wort, and herbal teas….I hope that these shrinks go out of business in the future and I feel that they will when people know that there are alternatives out there. Just my two cents worth….

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(



I agree.

Re therapists: another thing: ADHD. It is a bit off topic but I believe a vast majority of kids gets misdiagnosed!! My kid is misbehaving, I need some peace and quiet at home, can we please drug him so that he can just sit there, numb and without any emotions? Thank you doctor. I finally have my much needed silence at home. Hey kids can be noisy. Didn’t you know that before you got pregnant?

Of course there are plenty of kids who have problems with attention but again…how about we get to the core? Why is the kid having problems? Maybe it is not ADHD, maybe it is: gluten intolerance (yes, seriously), PTSD, bullying at school, dyslexia?

Just like there is a reason for depression; in reality it is very rare that it came out of nowhere and is just a chemical imbalance. Just like panic attacks are rooted somewhere (unless it is a phobia, than that’s different). How about we listen to Mother Nature for once? That’s the way our body is telling us: sth is off, this is not right. A 10 year old who is not abused neither at school nor at home is very unlikely to suffer from clinical depression.


@Andria post #187, re your comment about not emulating a person you dont care for.. I agree of course we would never deliberately copy someone we dislike, unfortunately despite my best conscious efforts I have seem alot of my mothers worse traits in my own behaviour at times and after some thought I believe this is because of two things, 1. primary care givers are role models whether or not we like it and children are sponges who soak up what they are taught,and 2 because of our abuse we (I) often adopt compromised behaviour to deal with pain of abuse and neglect and its myriad of problems. its a it of a double whacker! It has only been through intense self scrutiny that recently I became aware of a particular trait used as a response mechanism for any perceived criticism or attack where I would take the comment personally whether or not it was meant as such and then crucially I would act this out by the way I treated the other person. This resulted in much conflict and fracturing of relationships. Of course sometimes comments or actions are directed personally at me, but it is only when it is absolutely clear that this is true that I will then allow my self to feel the hurt or sadness of this, rejection or whatever and still I dont attack back. I may decide to not respond anymore to allowing that person in my life as a friend adjust the closeness , but for me the acting out was always a way of avoiding feeling the hurt and I dont think reacting to this by counterattcking the other person helps at all, In fact I think it is also a way of avoiding feeling my own buried pain from years of having had my mother continually attack me personally, verbally, and find fault which while I can see now wasnt personal in a way as she was in so much pain herself that she was not deliberately attcking me, it was her coping method, nevertheless as a child it is very personal to feel so afraid of your mothers anger and her fault finding attacks. Now I choose whether or not I want contact with anyone who directs personal attacks and if I do choose I will speak to them about how their words affect me and whether or not they are aware of their behaviour. If they dont want to come to the party in this , then I withdraw the relationship as I choose to be respected in all my encounters with people. In short I could see that despite everything, I had wittingly inherited some of my mothers worse traits which I work hard to overcome through the practice of awareness,honing in on my core feelings which underpin the tendency to take everything wishes from me.


Alice and Andria,

I agree.


I just couldn’t believe how they told you to get preggo and everything will be okay! I don’t understand the jealousy you got from the other women, were they mad because they had kids and miserable while you were childless? I could never understand why people couldn’t get that I was like a prisoner in my home and was never treated like a daughter or how a real child should have been treated – a human being.

I was told by people that I wasn’t treated like that and said how do you know that? I got the usual stupid answers ‘because I am a mother/father and I know how parents out there treat their kids.’ I asked ‘when did you become God?!?’ Ohh, how they hated when I said that! lol Oh, how I love when they told me ‘people have it worse than you.’ I asked ‘what is worse? How would you describe worse?’

Some of the transitional housing agencies told me you would have to attend group therapy and the last one I spoke to said group/individual therapy was optional – which was good. They also told me they don’t give you a living allowance and you had to pay your own bills, I am like how many people are actually working?!

I was told by people there is no such thing as parents abusing their children or adult children (really?) and if it is so bad, then leave! My sister argued with me to go to a shelter and my gut instincts was right, when I told one place about parent-adult child abuse, there was silence on the phone. I was told why can’t I get a job? I said when you are held prisoner and have no money, it is still hard to get a job anywhere.

They told me this place only helps women who’ve been in abusive relationships with men – wtf!!!? My therapist (oh it gets better) told me months ago, how I have choices to make as an adult. She said “if you can get up and leave the house freely, then you are not held a prisoner.” I wanted to slap that ***** so hard across the face to the point where she goes flying through walls!!

I asked her “you mean to tell me I can walk out of my face to sit outside and eat a piece of fruit? any time I step outside to do xyz, I get such interrogation questions about why I wanna go outside, who am I seeing, is my boyfriend hiding out there or any friends, what is outside so badly that I wanna go xyz, etc it’s like the FBI, Mafia, CIA, MI5, etc interrogating about why I wanna go outside. Who questions somebody like that just because I wanna go outside and eat my fruit in the nice sunshine?”

As always, I never got an answer from the therapist! I asked ‘how is that “freedom” to talk outside any time you please? Woman, get a grip and get some experience!’ ohh, she cut me off when I said that and felt I was “rude towards her.” I wonder why, maybe if she used her life experience it would be helpful all I hear out of that mouth of hers is textbook knowledge!

The woman in her 30s with children and talking crap about you to other women, were those women there to get help or start a clique like in high school? You should have told her ‘this is why we are not here for this nonsense. Who cares if I or someone else is childless, what does that have to do with getting help for our abused situations?’ When I attended the abuse workshop at the women’s center, I felt embarrassed in 2012 saying I am an adult still living at home, still being abused, blah blah. I did say some things about myself, the rest of women had abuse issues with their exes and some said they grew up with abuse and ended up dating/marrying abusive men.

It was a very pleasant support group, one I found great and others were downright abusive themselves would never go back.

” We all paid a nominal monthly rent and you had to be either working, student, or volunteer for a charity and job seeking.”

Yea, that’s what I was told on the phone. If you couldn’t find work, they kicked you out. They had job counselors to help you, I am like how about employ me?

With parents, we never lived in a low income apartments as we lived in a nice neighborhood in CA and not like my dad is broke! However, when we moved here in 96 (10 yrs old back then), I couldn’t believe he chose a run down, low income neighborhood with problems (not as bad in the past) but we still have issues that aren’t addressed and this new owner won’t do anything about it just begs the other tenants to clean!!

We are still in that dump, it is nasty we had a huge roach problem in 2013. Our unit had it bad (my parents brought roaches from CA, our old unit, and this current unit we are in), another unit had it bad too and everybody else didn’t have it so bad. My dad can’t move because the economy is bad (oh, but he pays $4-8k for a nursing home for his whore mistress, who knows where the money is going elsewhere). My mom said she can’t move because she needs my dad to move her (oh, but she has almost 30k in the bank and she said she doesn’t wanna give up her marital benefits and so what if my dad is causing fraud!).

In May 2010, after my college grad, that Saturday evening; a fire broke out in the attic in my room between my room and the next door neighbor’s living room made a hole in the ceiling. The previous worker put in the thermostat in wrong and boyfriend and my sister both said it is my mom’s fault for the fire because she kept turning the a/c on and off multiple times (it does have very old wiring) and if she would leave it on auto only turn it off if you are gonna be gone all day, you probably wouldn’t have the fire. That old apt unit of ours never got a new A/c, I don’t know about now.

Previous owner did nothing, my parents had no agreement but we were on a lease and nothing in the lease stated anything about natural disasters. Previous owner and his family moved into our old unit after he fixed it up and said we would be back in it within 2 weeks, but we are still in this one bedroom sardine can apartment with absolutely no ventilation! No screens in the windows, it does have a/c units, our screen door keeps getting taken off by the neighbors and put back on, now my mom has it in the house behind the couch!!

I sleep in the sardine can bedroom, dad sleeps in the hallway in a corner, and my mom sleeps on a love seat which now has a big huge hole because of her weight! She has ruined every single couch we owned including my sister’s old couch she broke! The whole apartment bldg is over 50 years old and hasn’t been remodeled/renovated.

So, I ended up spending my little bit of money I saved back then during the fire incident on both bank accounts and so I have maybe $5 in a savings right now with this credit union I am with now. PO box depending on the size was like $35/year, but that was for my sister who wanted her mail to be sent in AZ while she is in JP, but she didn’t like the way how the Post Office changed the rules lol. My dad gives me a measeley $125/mo, that pays for my cell phone, and the rest I use it on gas for my car (bus pass is $64 for a monthly pass). I travel more with my car because everything in AZ is so spread out that you do need a vehicle!

Once that is gone, there is no more money left. I spoken to a financial adviser in 2012, he told me there is no way you can budget on $125/mo especially since the economy is bad plus the rise in costs unless you have a job or some other kind of income coming in. I do have a computer, laptop, desk top, all the bells and whistles. My cell phone is my life which people say I should get rid of it and asked them ‘how are employers suppose to call me? My boyfriend’s phone is still out of service as he is still looking for a job.’ He can’t hold my mail for me anything, his mom doesn’t want the house cluttered.

I couldn’t live with them because his mom can barely help him and she got even more tighter with money since she came back from FL after caring for her mother. I don’t have any friends as they dropped me a long time ago, they told me to fend for myself.

“Have you looked online for social services programs in other states? Sometimes other states have better programs–you never know. You can always phone long distance on cell phone to ask questions or email them. There are people who have had to go through a few shelters across the country in different states just to get to their final destination.”

No, I haven’t. Do you know how they work? Would they be able to help me while I live in AZ? How much more info they need, ya know? lol I hope it isn’t like DES! 😛 I have a student loan I still owe and didn’t finish the program yet (already have an AAS degree was working on a BS), but also wanted to check out this new place that opened up in Chandler, AZ it is a community based training (not connected to the government). My sister told me long ago to join the military not everybody is military material, I know I am not!

A live in helper? I will check into that, it would be easier if I knew the person. That is a good bargain, you do what they ask in exchange for room and board – hey just like the old, old days lol! They do that in Japan, well, in Asian studies I have read, they always did that gave someone room and board in exchange for something to help out.

“Please don’t give up. Do more research and keep your plans quiet from your parents. You will know in your heart when it’s the perfect timing to get out. If you don’t make a plan now, you could be trapped with parents for years and I know you don’t want that. You can do it!”

Yea, that is what someone told me don’t give up! I think either you or someone said, if I don’t keep finding a plan, I will always be stuck in my situation. I know how “stuck” my mom is/has been all of her life with my dad and refused to fix her problem, but she spread lies about everybody and told them off which is why the relatives want nothing to do with her. I only talk to my boyfriend about my plan (he doesn’t come to my house anymore not after the fight my mom had with me and him), but I had a plan that if I did leave, I could fib and tell my parents ‘oh, I took a job somewhere that is giving me room and board, the company is paying for it. I still need my stuff here until I figure out what I can do with it.’

I told my boyfriend how my freedom (and a job) comes first and foremost to me as you will never understand what it is like to be a prisoner in your own house! I will continue to do more research, I was told by other agencies and some people ‘oh, there is nothing we can do. Just find a job somewhere and move out.’ Always forgetting how bad the economy is when looking for a job especially in AZ, a red state! Someone once told me ‘the fire is still within you.’ I have told someone long ago that ‘I’d rather live with a stranger (hopefully not a crazy person lol) than my own parents!’


had a “lightbulb” moment today. I was thinking about my siblings, and why we don’t talk unless we have to. My siblings are not close. I don’t have a problem with it, it’s just the way it is. But I was thinking about “why.”

It was what Darlene said. “we had to survive.” My siblings were all affected differently than I was, due to our different personalities and birth order. The meaning of what Darlene said, “We had to survive” became clear to me today.


Sandra (192)

I agree with you that we are living in an overmedicated and misdiagnosed society. There is a good website:

and the group is called the Anti-Psychiatry Coalition. It’s a really excellent site with articles on over-drugged kids by these modern shrinks and how the drug industry controls these shrinks.

Back when I was a kid (1970’s in Seattle) I attended public school, and later private school as a teenager. There was NO psychological screenings in these schools and they handled things differently. If a couple of boys were loud and misbehaving, then they were each made to sit quietly in a separate corner of the classroom to calm down. They would usually get bored with this treatment after like ten minutes or so, and then they rejoined the class. Now, these so-called professionals like to pick out the loud kid and the quiet kid and slap them with a label. Then these kids must be medicated and counseled.

There was a true story on an anti-psychiatry board(Dr.Peter Breggin?) about a woman with three kids and her son who was misdiagnosed by a school shrink. The boy was forced to take a psych.drug and his mom tried to stop it, but she was actually sent to jail! Unbelievable! The boy was placed in a foster care home, and even worse the other two kids were also placed in foster care homes. The family was separated for over a year. Now this woman finally got a good lawyer and she is working to change the laws!

I feel like I want to start personally making small contributions with whatever I can afford monthly to these anti-psychiatry sites. I believe that young children are not allowed to grow up with normal human emotions and allowed to work out their own issues. It seems like this society has become so afraid of normal human emotions when appropriate. Say that your dog dies or grandma dies and you’re not allowed to feel some level of depression and mourn your loss! You’re no longer allowed to have a hard day at work and have any anger at all—NO, YOU NEED ANGER MANAGEMENT! LOL! I don’t know what to think except when does this end? THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO TAKE BACK THEIR OWN POWER!

Also, here in the USA the tactics used by many of these shrinks such as forced medication and threats against freedom can be considered UNCONSTITUTIONAL!! YES, THAT’S RIGHT!! Currently, that is where all the focus is with the public challenging these shrinks. I think that with enough exposure that the public will no longer give such blind allegiance to these authority figures. At least I hope. Thanks.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Alaina Post 172 (and anyone): What you wrote so eloquently about your brother parallels my experience with my brother. I don’t know if you’ve followed my story at all but this past year I confronted him. It took me several years to get to this point based on interactions from a few years ago with him. I thought I could just go along and accept his point of view, but like you, it kept me stuck. I couldn’t just forget about it and pretend the chasm didn’t exist. I wrote him a heartfelt letter last summer (not unkind, but straightforward) to which HE NEVER RESPONDED. This is humiliating and infuriating. This was a few months after another earlier letter, where I was trying to reach out, said something conciliatory about his point of view (which was a stretch), and got very little in return. Just a repeat of “forgive and forget” and “Yes, life is hard”…but never clearly joining with me and being understanding.

Like you, my brother made it clear to me years ago that he didn’t agree with me (so painful to not have the validation), and then “let’s talk about other stuff and pretend that our disagreement doesn’t matter”, along with what you said about the feeling conveyed that he thought he was the bigger person…. he actually said to me “forgive and forget, that’s what I would do but that’s just the kind of person I am” Emphasis on “I am” and said condescendingly.

His wife called recently and said that he “doesn’t do words” but that he cares about me. If he cares about me so much, umm, what about RESPONDING to my letter and saying two sentences to validate my experience with my mother (she spent decades not standing with me in the face of my father’s sexual abuse. My brother would not validate my pain over that).

I thought I could do the Christmas holiday with him, his wife and assorted family members, but I left early and had physical stress symptoms. It may mean that I will lose my nephew too (their son)…your comment about that resonated too.

When you said if you went along you would be stuck under your brother’s thumb: I’m going to be thinking about this. I never realized this/saw it this way and I think it may be a profound shift for me. If you want to elaborate at all I would be very interested.

Thank you for writing your post, and I am sorry about what you went through.



Thank you for taking the time to post your reading resources! I look forward to doing some reading.


I understand about bad therapists. I’ve actually had good and bad. It is so retraumatizing to be vulnerable with a therapist who rejects or puts you down in some way. Right now I am very, very, very lucky to have an excellent therapist. They are few and far between though. My guess would be about one in 12-15 are really good. So it takes a lot of exhausting shopping to find a healing one, which is especially hard to do if you are already finding it hard to cope.



I lost my comment earlier since my session ended at the library earlier. About the house sitting, are you talking about finding a company or someone in the neighborhood? I just remembered: when I was 17, I put an ad in Craigslist (CL). I got a response from a college girl about it and she asked me how can I move out at 17? I told her I want to leave at 18 after graduation and she asked me how could I pay for utilities? I said I am looking to room with someone in exchange for whatever they wanted me to do as long as it was legal and wasn’t against my will. With the exchange, I will look for a job as well.

I did learn how to really clean from my boyfriend and his mom on using the right cleaning tools when she was out of town and helped my boyfriend take care of the apartment while his mom was in FL to take care of her mom. Cooking, I haven’t mastered that yet at all just very basics of it but with hair and bugs in the kitchen at my house, forget it lol!

Then, the responder said ‘I don’t think you should move out. You need a job in order to pay for utilities. I can’t be responsible for someone who has no job/credit. Parents can be annoying, but I love my parents and you should love them too. They are not abusing you, they just want to protect you.’ I did tell her about the abuse, who wants to be abused emotionally for 24/7? I looked at it as it’s better living with a stranger (hope they are not crazy lol), learn something from another person, and actually learn how to be a self sufficient adult. No, I had people tell me “I am not ready for that yet,” am I suppose to stay a child forever??!

I got furious with her and told her off in the email saying ‘you do not speak for me nor know anything about me. Get your facts straight before you blurt out about how someone is hurting deeply. Would you liked it if I killed my parents?’ After that, I blocked the girl. Since when are people mind readers?! I asked these people ‘what the hell is wrong with freedom? Who wants to be trapped as a prisoner/slave in your own house? Who wants to “turn the other cheek” and pretend crap isn’t happening?’ I hate when people ridicule and belittle me when I ask for help and then they tell me ‘I should be or do this or that,’ I said sorry if I never got the tools to do or be this or that, isn’t it better to learn now rather than much later in life?’ I also told the girl from CL before I blocked her how nobody isn’t willing to help me. Why is it so wrong to ask for help? When I don’t ask for help, people complain you don’t ever ask! Yes, I do then you don’t bother!

Then, people say ‘why are you so selfish? Why don’t you stay with your parents? Who wants to pay for bills for the rest of their lives?’ WTF??? Then they got the nerve to call me a lazy and useless adult! I said ‘wait a minute, you said free rent at home right?’ They told me ‘I wish I never had to pay a dime and be like it was when I was home before I moved out. You get a lot of responsibilities you don’t want.’ I told them ‘what did you expect when you became an adult with responsibilities??!??’ I said ‘omg, I can’t believe I am hearing adults whining about responsibilities yet my situation is “glamorous!” You are walking on easy street that nobody else ever had – wtf!!?? So, it is better to stay in my situation to be miserable because “I get free rent?” What sense does that make?!?’ These people told me ‘you got it good, you shouldn’t hurry and rush to be an adult.’ again, WTF?!? lol What am I hearing out there?!? That is the exact same crap my parents tell me ‘oh, everything here is paid for. you are so selfish for wanting to be on your own and you got everything right here. So what if people don’t agree, blah blah.’ That is a huge control issue and can’t believe people out there didn’t see that!

For 4 years in high school, I was always in chatrooms. I was on there to find someone who I can run away with and live in their house (I know sounds desperate and pathetic). One guy back then told me I could “live rent free, if he got sex when he wanted/needed it.” I hurried up and blocked him!! My sister told me to join the military, but not everybody is military material and I am not not!!

I always/still get the “you’re not ready yet” crap! However, I stopped using chatrooms a long time ago. My boyfriend’s mom have subsidized housing but she has an income from her long time job. I was told you could get free housing depending on income and so far, there is hoops with that too. However, I was told these places want you to have income to pay the utilities. I am not sure, it would be nice if I could get info from someone about this and I would feel silly contact the management of the property asking if they’d take someone with no income until they get a job – I don’t know.



I understand what you are talking about. I had some traits like my mom. I fought to get rid of them. Yes, you live with someone 24/7 and you pick up their mannerisms, etc. What you described was something my mom did a lot in her life. Take stuff personally. She did it to the nth degree. It was hard to have a conversation with her. You would be talking about something that you did not even think was related to her or her life and she would turn it around and make it personal to her and then somehow take offense. It was not fun talking to her because you had to think thru everything you were going to say and try to guess if it would set her off. It was exhausting and it was just easier not to talk too much.



Thanks for the link!

The story you described is horrible.

People forget that kids are future adults and they already have their personality: they can be introverts, extroverts, they can be shy etc.
Now let’s just seperate them into 2 groups: ADHD and autistic 🙂
And now we can drug them all and finally have some peace and quiet.
(the truth is, we don’t change that much as humans, we have a certain personality, than add experience, circumstance and specific conditions and that’s us today. When I think about myself as a kid/ teen, I know that I have the extact same personality I used to. I gained some knowledge and experience, I developed some skills, preferences and habits but the core is the same. I know I will never be aggresive, I will never be attacking people. It is like in an animal kingdom: if you were born an antilope, you probably will never win with a cheetah, if you are a seal, stay away from sharks, learn how to avoid them, how to run away, how to spot them, but don’t fight with them because you will never win).

Now coming back to the issue you described; I know that the social workers were probably trying to do “the right thing”, meaning “intervene” when a child is neglected.
So we have this ridiculous thing going on, and somewhere at the same time there is a kid being seriously abused but nobody is doing any intervention from fear (the parent is high profile etc).

I know life is hard and nobody said it would be easy.
But in today’s world it looks like people are going from one extreme into another….


Marquis, there’s a lot said on this website about searching for validation everywhere but the ONE place it needs to be consistently found, inside oneself. And that asking the very same people who invalidate you, mistreat you, do not love you, do not respect you to validate, treat you with kindness, love you and respect you is a losing battle.

I think that it is valid to need help, to want help and also to get it AND I think we need to be careful about identifying the right sources, as so many of them either can’t help (to your point about DV shelters, if the only DV they recognize is domestic-partner, then it’s going to be difficult (if not pointless) to try get them to recognize other types) or see an opportunity for exploitation (the offer of lodging for sex).

I moved out at 17 but I went to college so it wasn’t at all seen in the same way (funny how the goalposts can get moved or the frame can get changed as much as anyone wants.) And when I didn’t come home for vacations or left the country entirely, everyone could still pretend that I would at some point. I was just off being silly and would calm down and be back to “do my duty” at some point. And it did take a long time before I finally went NC.

Now people live at their parents until their mid-twenties and that is much more to do (I think) with the economic situation than anything else.

You seem to me to be pretty clear about what you want and need to do as well as the skills (like cooking) that you’ll need to do it. I’m not sure how this sounds, but at some point you don’t ask people if you can legitimately move away from a bad situation, you just go.


Hi Light,

Your brother sounds similar to mine. (I have followed your posts in the past as well.) I’ve heard this idea about people caring about me so many times—it drives me a little insane. Or a lot if I think about it. People who finally believed that, yes, I’m walking around with this much pain inside me still have their own ideas of what that pain is, where it comes from and how I should heal it. But they can’t be the boss of my pain. I can’t even be the boss of my pain. The pain is the boss. It is what it is and it needs what it needs. Fighting that only makes it worse. Some people will make your healing easier. Some won’t affect it one way or another. Others will make it harder and others yet will make it impossible. I knew that my brother would make it impossible.

I suppose I’d be under his thumb because he would be the one who gets to choose what matters. I’d get to keep my truth quietly to myself in the course of my own life but in any interaction with him, he’d still have me cast in a role lesser than reality, lesser than what and who I am and there would be no escaping that. It’s hard to fight silence. I think the condescension really got to me in particular. If my mom hadn’t had me to lean on, would he have had the freedom he had in his life, I’ve wondered. Does he know anything about the kinds of pressure that was put on me? I’m sure he has his own issues and it isn’t his fault our parents used me the way they did, but he has no idea the disrespect he levels at me by not recognizing my experience. In response to another relative’s issues with controlling parents, my brother said “They’ll get over it,” because for my brother, that was his truth. He was able to live the life he wanted and whatever he did that may have gone against our parents’ wishes, they “got over it.” So he could give advice like that. I kept my mouth shut. I would have said something else but I felt my relationship with him was on thin ice, so I didn’t push saying something that he might have disapproved of (that may have been a worthier piece of advice to my young relative). In that way, too, I was under his thumb. I could say some things but not others…

I had to be someone for my mom. I couldn’t have my own life. I needed to keep her happy. She put her depression at my footsteps, not my brother’s. He knows nothing about that and doesn’t want to because to know about that means going against the denial my mom (and the entire family system) necessitates. In my brother’s eyes, what happened to me was a combination of perhaps some mistakes (on our parents’ part), my misunderstanding/misinterpretation and my sensitivity that culminated in creating such a deep and lasting impact on me. Basically I’m just supposed to “see the light” of how wrong I’ve been and all my pain will disappear (but he’ll be a “good brother” by patiently waiting… as long as I don’t find fault with him, of course…). Not only is this completely off-base, it’s also downright insulting. And to keep a relationship with him would have meant having to live inside this identity. He’d see me this way and I’d never get out from under that. I’d be playing my role within that view or else I’d be constantly “picking fights,” which I wouldn’t be able to handle anyway because of how badly I handle (or can’t handle) other people’s anger… He completely rejects the idea of inequality as it exists in our family. He feels sorry for my pain but won’t recognize the abuse from which it comes. If I want a relationship with him, I have to submit myself to a view of myself and my life that is so false and so damaging to me that it’s just impossible. I think this idea of being under anyone’s thumb has a lot to do with identity–with them saying “this is who you are” and invariably, it is lesser than the truth, and most definitely lesser than they see themselves, but if you want to interact with them, you’re agreeing to it just by… interacting. They won’t let you be more. It never really works, trying to hold your own ideas inside your head, independently of whatever they’re thinking. That’s what I’ve found anyway.

I don’t know if I really added anything new here to what I already said. I had to either accept him, how he treated me and the way he wanted our relationship to be, or I had to walk away. I chose to walk away, leaving him with what I knew I needed from him in order to make a relationship work (for him to recognize how the family was set up to meet my mom’s unmet emotional needs at the expense of my wellbeing, etc.)… I expect this relationship will never be repaired primarily because I chose to walk away from his son. He’s 2 years old and there’s nothing I can do, but I imagine the only way he’d “forgive” me for abandoning his son is if I completely lowered myself, relinquishing my truth entirely… But if I had stayed, I wouldn’t have been able to be a particularly good aunt anyway, if I could even survive within that system at all. Not that that makes me feel any better. All I know is that I can only do as much as I can do and I did that. Ultimately I’m not the problem and I don’t want to spend my life as if I am, trying to bend to others to make things work, swallowing myself and living inside their denial.


That’s great! I’m glad you got out when you did then! And that others could back you up in your understanding… It’s helpful to get validation from people who were there alongside you, I find. And it does say a lot about you, your self-respect, that you wouldn’t stand for mistreatment and walked out! I always want to avoid being “dramatic,” so in the moment, if I were in your shoes, I could see myself cringing at myself after doing something like that, but in fact I really think you did something to be proud of. 🙂


Hi Light,

When I read about your experience with your brother it reminded me so much of my “brother”. I wanted to write down my experiences of him to see if it resembled your own experience.

Also, Alaina, I wanted to see whether you could also relate to the brother experience to see whether there is a common theme here for you too.

Hope my comment isnt too long, but thanks for taking the time to read it.

I once asked my brother what do you think of me as a sister and his answer was, your a pain in the arse, which he disguised as a joke. I often tried to connect with him on a deeper level, but he always pushed me away. He never wanted to have any kind of discussion regarding how he felt about his relationship with me as his sister. The only time he ever offloaded onto me was about his own pain. We would talk about his problems for hours, whether they were financial, emotional, relationship, career. However my pain was never addressed. I remember crying on the floor and he literally stepped over me and said “you’ll get over it” and walked into the next room and left me there. (I had just lost a baby and a relationship at the same time).

I used to apologise to him for hurting him (even though I could not think of anything terrible I had done for him to be so disinterested and rejecting of me). I once sent him an email asking if there was anyway we could improve our relationship. I waited a week after not hearing from him and telephoned him and asked him did he receive the email he said, yes. I gently asked him what do you think about my email and he said “its all mind games” and just changed the subject.

Sometimes if I rang him he would just put the phone down on me and then tell other people that he did not put the phone down on me, that I always “take it the wrong way”, that his mobile phone was not working. In the end I just shut up and never spoke about such things again.

There were times when my brother would contact me. There was often a reason for the call such as if I could give him money, get him a job, introduce my friends to him. After I had given him what he needed he would not ring me as much and if I got upset at his treatment he would slander me to my friends. He would not see me but see them and they would ask after me and he would slam me to them. Thankfully my friends knew me and said Emma has a good heart, you should’nt treat her like that.

One of my friends who is a buddhist was introduced to him and started to laugh and giggle. (in hindsight I can see he’s very wise and he could see the relationship dynamics). Afterwards my buddhist friend would say to me and how is your brother!! We both looked at each other and just burst out laughing and giggling. (In hindsight, needless to say my brother did not want to be friends with my buddhist pal who could see right through him).

In the end I sent him a text saying how nice it would have been to have had a brother call me to meet up rather than call me to meet him as I had just given him £3,000. He took my money and never answered my text. I was fed up with being used by him, being slammed by him to my friends who are my rock. He told my father that I have “too much baggage” and that is why he does not call me.

He emigrated abroad to live with my sister and did not contact me and my aunt told me he had gone.

For some reason my brother takes any opportunity he can to show me that I am unimportant and nothing to him and not relevant to his life.

My first love cheated on with me a girl who started a relationship with my brother. This girl had tried to seduce my first love and would not leave him alone and instead of my brother not wanting to be around this girl out of some kind of “loyalty and protection of his sister”, he decided to go out with her and bring her to my home. He then ignored me for 6 months because I would not apologise for asking him to finish his relationship with her.

He broke my heart again over and over for years and years.

When I became older in my forties, I gave up the ghost and decided to start my life fresh.

I remember thinking carefully before speaking words in a conversation with him rather than just connecting with someone and letting me express who I really am and just communicating in a non restricting way. It was all about restriction and being defined and in the end I was sick of it.

I used to cry for a brother, I used to beg him to want to know me (that is no understatement, I really believed that there was something so deficient in me that no wonder they don’t really approve, or accept or think I am good enough to be in their clique).

It was hard enough dealing with parents who continue to be dysfunctional and abusive, but there are also siblings who add to the abuse as well.

Hope you can relate light and alaina and everyone here.


Hi Emma,

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yes, there is a lot I can relate to – both with my brother and with another sibling. One of your last sentences…..

“I really believed that there was something so deficient in me that no wonder they don’t really approve, or accept or think I am good enough to be in their clique”

…..really resonated with me. I constantly feel that way at family gatherings. I am outside of the clique, like an acquaintance.

Taking opportunities to show I am unimportant, putting the phone down without goodbye, simply not responding – I have been on the receiving end of all of this as well. It all seemed to start because I was angry with my mother for not standing with me in the aftermath of my father’s sexual abuse. They were loyal to her and stood by her, while I was furious with her which of course leaked out with irritation, outbursts, etc. They saw one angry person who was not being nice to mom.

I admire that you finally “gave up the ghost”. I hope to be there soon. Are you no contact? I have to say that I struggle with self-esteem and still feel that there is something deficient in me especially if I react to being ignored, or blurt something out that is a criticism. Then I end up feeling that they are right.


Hi Light,

I think that when I started to show distress at my treatment was when I was “punished” even more, but in the end I gave up and after my brother did not answer my texts or emails I realised that I couldnt carry on.

In my eyes you cant make someone love you and I said to myself would I let a friend, or boyfriend treat me this way and the answer was no.

I am no contact, but not through want of trying so hard and doing whatever I thought they needed from me to make me acceptable to them. It was not hard going no contact with my brother because he never related to me in the first place and I realised I did not miss him because what was there to miss.

Yes I have struggled with self esteem, because family leave you with so much blame that is so out of proportion that it is easy to fall into brainwashed thinking that its all our fault. I am just working on accepting myself and not worrying about receiving acceptance from outside of myself, but I definately feel much better about no longer being re-abused and broken hearted over and over.

I am sorry your family did not support you in the aftermath of your fathers sexual abuse.


Hi Light,
This stuff is hard; I had to keep reminding myself that just because the majority didn’t support me, didn’t mean they were right. I had to remind myself that I had a right to my anger and my pain. And the thing is that for me it was easier to remind myself that they were wrong and that they were causing me even more harm, when I removed myself from the constant reminders that it was me who was the problem.
I am not saying that no contact is a must; I am saying that there are some benefits to it that I didn’t see or experience before I did it. There is a chance that people can actually see the harm they are causing when we finally draw that boundary. The flip side of that was my fear that if I did draw that boundary, they would not care.. and that was exactly what happened, but that truth did not kill me and in fact it set me free. My self esteem went up way faster after I stood up for me by setting a boundary.

Hugs and love, Darlene



“Marquis, there’s a lot said on this website about searching for validation everywhere but the ONE place it needs to be consistently found, inside oneself. And that asking the very same people who invalidate you, mistreat you, do not love you, do not respect you to validate, treat you with kindness, love you and respect you is a losing battle.
I think that it is valid to need help, to want help and also to get it AND I think we need to be careful about identifying the right sources, as so many of them either can’t help (to your point about DV shelters, if the only DV they recognize is domestic-partner, then it’s going to be difficult (if not pointless) to try get them to recognize other types) or see an opportunity for exploitation”

I agree about seeking invalidation from abusers. I wasn’t asking people if I could move away, I was asking them if I could get a place to stay in exchange of doing some kind of legitimate work. I am not the type who would get up and go, go with no money and sleep in my lemon car? That’d be too extreme for me. I have read/heard stories of people doing that and it worked out for them in the long run, which is great, but for me there doesn’t seem to be any organizations out there who can be helpful for me. I am looking to have a plan behind me before I do anything else.


Hi Marquis, I must have misread I think, it did seem to me that you were in a position of seeking validation from these people. My apologies.


Thank you Emma and Darlene. Yes, my family relationships are changing.

With the one brother who didn’t respond to my letter I am now on very low contact. Only when needed. Our relationship had been suffering for some time, I was telling him what I wanted and needed, but he didn’t really come through. It’s a sad thing that I can hardly think about, but to go along with his silence now and pretend his view of me is OK would somehow accept his characterization of me and I’d be “under his thumb” as Alaina put it.

My sister has told me that she wants low contact with me. She sees me as the ogre and herself as the victim. It’s as if she wants to keep me down. Often her zingers seem to happen when I feel light and free and happy….then BAM!! If I say anything, then she flips the script and says I am criticizing her (and that is why she wants low contact). I find with her that there is no level playing field; our relationship is not a negotiation, it only works for her if she’s “on top” and “winning”. She doesn’t want to have any conversations about our interactions.

My other brother has said or behaved badly towards me, has rejected me, again because of his loyalty to my mother, but our relationship has improved. He is more respectful. Our relationship isn’t as close as I would have wanted, but our interactions are better.

Nieces and nephews and sisters-in-law are variable. The kids see how their parents are responding to me and they often follow along. Breaks my heart.

Overall I feel a lot of rejection. My experience might be a little different than some here because these are people who used to love me. They really loved me!! Then they changed when I could not tolerate my mother’s denial. This has affected my ability to trust others, because in my experience people who love me DO leave me.

My mother has since admitted the sexual abuse – it was a long time coming and only happened fairly recently. Even though our relationship can be challenging I find I want to spend these final days with her…she is quite elderly.

I am really torn about leaving (moving) or staying. Part of me deep inside thinks I should go…be in a new environment, start over, be free of other people’s definitions of me. But I have two very good friends in the area, and all of my doctors, my therapist….I just can’t see leaving. If I could figure out how to afford it, perhaps a middle ground of going away somewhere warm in the winter for a month or two would be a good way to transition.

And I thought this was going to be a short post!! 🙂


Has anyone tried low or no contact even though you live near family members? How would that work?


I may be repeating myself, I may have said this already not sure.

“I agree of course we would never deliberately copy someone we dislike, unfortunately despite my best conscious efforts I have seem alot of my mothers worse traits in my own behaviour at times and after some thought I believe this is because of two things, 1. primary care givers are role models whether or not we like it and children are sponges who soak up what they are taught,and 2 because of our abuse we (I) often adopt compromised behaviour to deal with pain of abuse and neglect and its myriad of problems.”

Agreed. As children, we mimic everything that our parents/siblings do whether it is good, negative, bad, ugly, or indifferent. It doesn’t help in any environment especially a bad one that you still mimic the things the person does/say. I have adopted a lot of negative traits from my parents yet people think I can get rid of them so easily – not true!

“I had wittingly inherited some of my mothers worse traits which I work hard to overcome through the practice of awareness,honing in on my core feelings which underpin the tendency to take everything wishes from me.”

I inherit mine from my parents and told my therapist months ago ‘what do you want me to do about them? It’s not like I am in a place where I really start getting rid of the bad traits – you gotta be in a good/better place before you can do that. Just because my sister was completely different from them and me, – she had a different spirit than me.’

Therapist told me I can’t keep using that same line all the time and told her ‘I can as long as I am still in this hell hole I can use whatever I want and think people should be more gentler towards me.’ She just looked at me.

“Yeah, I always tried not to be like my mother. I believe that comment about not escaping your mother’s negative traits is hogwash. It is a put down. You never emulate a person that you don’t care for.”

I don’t want to be like my parents. I told people how my parents have huge amounts of excuses. I am gonna use Alice’s bank example but take it a bit further. Instead of withdrawing, my parents excuses about everything (deposits) has been growing and growing for years (interest) that they projected those excuses to me. My mom told me you gotta take responsibility, I always ask ‘are you and dad doing it? how could you two idiots sit there talking about taking responsibility/accountability, solving your problems as adults, etc yet you are certainly not the prime example of doing so!’

She blew up telling me ‘as parents, we don’t have to be the prime examples to our kids. It’s the children’s problem that they gotta figure this crap out on their own and we shouldn’t have to do the work to teach you anything or better yet don’t bother learning anything about life who gives a **** anyway!’ Yep, that’s how my mom sneered it at me.

So, their deposits of excuses is probably like 50 mil and still growing like a never ending bank account, you can put as many deposits as you like and will always grow and grow!! When are they gonna withdraw their assets (excuses) and utilize them as adults to make things better for themselves? Never!

Like I told therapist and people, ‘that’s my own piece of identity I have of myself and don’t know anything about myself. Remember, our childhoods were robbed and we were force to act like mini adults with their tyrannical rants towards us and had to learn how to scream back like adults – adult vs adult. It’s a negative piece of identity, but that and some other things I cling onto for when I have to defend myself against people (including you). When you are robbed of yourself as a person, your whole image, what do you have left of yourself? My parents have no image of themselves thus not wanting us to have one, isn’t it obvious they are just like their parents?’

Yep, that’s when she got defensive lol. I told people ‘I wouldn’t be using those rants if I was at a better place and I would be learning to drop them.’ My therapist said about our history that it makes up one part of us that is not everything about us. I’m sorry, I am not sure if I agree with that. I feel that doesn’t explain it for me and my situation.

I told my therapist ‘I never was an introvert, always was an extrovert being around my sister and her friends and the friends I had. All of that was lost when we left Cali and came to AZ, then all kinds of crap thrown in my face and i started being some kind of hermit not sure who to trust, etc. I didn’t choose to be some kind of introvert, ever heard of brainwashing? I don’t want to be something that was NEVER part of my history and why should I accept it?’ The usual silence!

I told my therapist ‘when you have been brainwashed and had constant screaming/yelling/threats and being told “I wish you were dead, should have smothered you as a baby, etc” that would put you in fear and make you not wanna talk to anybody.’ I told my boyfriend duh!! That is not rocket science!


Darlene, thank you for this insiteful article. I have.not contributed for a while. My illnesses have caught up with me. My mother has never wanted anyone to think she cared for me. My grandmother told my husband that I had multiple childhood diseases. One story she told him was that when I was around ten years ago, I had a strept throat with a 105 degree temperature at Christmas. Because she wanted no one to think she was not a good mother, she threatened me that if I told, she would make sure I would never embarrass her again. With a fever that high I was delirious and have no idea what I said to set her off. She and my father waited until we got home.. He raped me almost to death and she ripped out my hair while hitting me in the face.

How my grandmother found out, I never knew, but she rarely spoke to my mother after. My husband thinks they would have killed me. I only know things went from bad to worse.

But my mother continues to deny she or my father did anything wrong. She truly believes she is perfect.

I just know I am very tired and appreciate everyone here.

Prayers ti all,


Thank you Darlene for saying what even I couldn’t articulate. Even while hating my parents I still can’t shake the guilt at making their lives miserable like they always complained. Now that I’ve gotten married they changed their tune and tell everyone how much “better” I became and who would’ve thought that I’d be able to get along with a husband, run a house, and take care of children. It makes me sick when I hear it and I myself don’t exactly know why.


Linda, I am horrified by your experience and the brutality that you went through. What awful, awful, awful people. I hope that you still have a spark of the innocent child inside to nourish you and help you grow and heal. I hope you feel better soon. Not that you asked, but I have found having a pet (a cat) to be very healing for me. I am so very sorry you went through that.


Hi Linda,

What awful evil people. It would not surprise me if your mother knows exactly what she did but she wont give you that, as that would be giving you something, which is the truth and validation that you went through an horrific experience. So sorry you went through that.

I agree with light, I have a pet cat who is the most loving gentle creature who sits by my side. I find beauty in her and safety in that we are the best of friends.


@andria #201, thanks for your comments, I appreciate your input.


All I wanted to say is that I really like your posts – they are really helping me in my struggles with distorted reality my family have bulit around me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!


Hi Linda

Welcome back. I hope you feel better soon. All my best wishes to you.
There are not many people out there who would survive the things you went through and were able to create a great, loving family themselves. You must be such a great and strong person!

“This never happened,you are crazy and evil, making things up”. This is probably your mother’s method.

best wishes


Johanna post 193: What you are saying is food for thought for me. My sister and I have had painful interactions and our relationship is fractured. I think that what you are describing is what is going on. If I ask her what she meant by such-and-such (said in a level calm way), she takes this as a direct criticism. However, I felt criticized by whatever she did that left me feeling like I had to bring it up in the form of a question to try to hash out with her. For instance, out of the blue she simply might not respond to me. I know she heard me. If I bring this up and ask her about it, I am now criticizing her and it’s all my fault. Bottom line we can’t seem to resolve this at all. She does not want to talk about it.


More about Johanna’s post 193: Yes, how could we not absorb some of the traits of our role models? This frightens me. I don’t want to be like the family that is rejecting me and reject others that want to be close. Or take on the notion that I am “rejectable” and it’s all my fault. I find that I am quite guarded as I go through each day – I am probably keeping joy at bay while I am protecting myself.


Linda, it just occurred to me that your parents brought you out somewhere at Christmas when you had a 105 degree fever. That in itself is horrible.


Linda, I am so sorry these evil people (for that is the only word I have for them) did this to you.


Light, my thoughts are that in doing this work the negative and positive traits get revealed. I was so scared of being like my mother that I went the opposite way entirely. She wouldn’t listen? I practically couldn’t speak for myself unless the other person had been listened to enough.
Her mind is closed? Mine is so open I’ll entertain anything as an idea.
I found her betrayals so painful I would be as loyal as I could.
She didn’t care for me when I was upset? I’ll be that person who does.
She wasn’t kind? I’ll put others first.

Not that any of the above taken to the stupid extreme I did really helped anyone. And all it did for me was got me used and trampled on.


Hi Zehava,
welcome to EFB ~ I shook that guilt by finally looking deeply into the truth of it all and then I was able to see that it wasn’t my guilt and it never was. I was so ‘brainwashed’ to believe that if only I had been different, they would have loved me and my life would have been fine. That was never the truth.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Linda!
Nice to hear from you! There was a period of time in healing for me that was very hard; I believed that in order to recover or heal, the people (or at least people who knew my mother) that had abused me had to admit it. I was really wound up about that issue ~ I wanted an admission and for some reason just knowing for myself wasn’t enough. (today I know that it was because I was taught/brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t think for myself and that I was insignificant and that if I were different, I would have been ‘loved’. That period of time was the most difficult and it felt hopeless. I had to work on hearing myself and validating myself. I had one client who downloaded and printed out blank police reports and filled them all in as though she charged her perpetrators and had them convicted. Doing that exercise helped her to move forward with self-validation ~ it was very powerful.
What your parents did to you, they should have BOTH been imprisoned for.
hugs and love, and thank you for sharing,


About no contact ~ I had to think about my rights as a person and as an adult. I have a right not to be in the same room/house as someone else. I have a right to say no to disrespectful treatment. I don’t own an explanation. I don’t need them to agree with my rights or with my decisions for taking care of myself. In the case of my children, I finally realized that I am not HURTING my children by drawing boundaries against toxic people who do not act towards ME in love.
It really helped me to ask myself what I was afraid of ~ and there turned out to be many things ~ all of which I could overcome by looking at the truth about them. That was a big process, but it truly helped with each person I was afraid of drawing a boundary with.
hugs, Darlene


I wrote a new post and published it today! “Communication through Dreams in the Recovery Process”

I have done a lot of work with my dreams in recovery. I realized that sometimes dreams are trying to tell me something ~ and I when a dream is ‘significant’ I take a look at it and it is almost always something that is going on in my life. The dream I am writing about in my new post is about seeing some of the HUGE and positive changes that I have made this past few years ~ this dream points to the successes and the fruit of this journey to wholeness. Looking forward to the discussion.

Hugs, Darlene


Light and Emma-

Yes, cats do make such agreeable friends/family. I have loved all of my cats so dearly. I am also blessed to have horses in my life. All animals are healers. It is extremely helpful to me to be able to care for them and have them care for me.



Hi Andria,

Yes I completely agree, all animals are wonderful healers! I love my cats and they bring me much joy and love in return. I love creating a safe home for them to sleep and relax and play.


I am the youngest in my FOO, and had no pets when I was a child except for brief stints with a fish and a turtle. No dogs or cats were allowed…no pets that were interactive and could show emotion, that I could bond with.

Finally, as an adult, I got my first pet (a cat) a few years ago. He is a joy and I think he picked me as much as I picked him. I had an inner fear that I wouldn’t be competent enough to care for him! (Never mind children – I lacked confidence).

He is so interactive, a love, and a little feisty too. I have so enjoyed caring for him, being sweet to him, getting him all set up with his favorite things…..I think in some ways I am being the mother that I never was, and part of it is I am taking care of the child (him, and maybe me?) in ways I did not receive. I feel most myself when I am with him – a no-judgment environment.

I do know that it is very, very healing. Just the tactile sense alone calms me and science shows that petting an animal reduces blood pressure. The companionship is also immeasurable since I currently live alone. Having another being in the space really matters to me – I don’t think I would ever go without a pet again.

One of my family members is also an “animal person” and has commented many times about how my cat has really come out of his shell and is so much more relaxed. I think several people in my FOO are surprised that I could have such a positive effect on another being, and perhaps it irks them a bit because it is an in-your-face example of how I am NOT an unloving, bad person.


Emma and Light-

I enjoy hearing about people and their animals. Animals recognize kind people right away. That is funny about your FOO being surprised Light. Animals can change a lot when shown love and kindness.

I think I was able to survive my home life as a child because I had many pets that were all outside and I spent hours out in the barn with them. Animals like me. When my husband and I lived with his parents for a short while the family dog would sleep with me. My mother-in-law said the dog thought I was the daughter that did not live in the home anymore. She could not stand the fact that her dog liked me. The dog was not stupid. He knew who I was.

I am happy to hear these cats bring both of you such joy. Light, I am glad that you found confidence to take care of another being. I know that I can’t live without pets in my house. I am also a childless woman. Animals are nonjudgmental. People who love animals are not unloving or bad people.



Hi Darlene and everyone,

I feel that I am in the stages of finally accepting just how bad my childhood was.For some reason I am the only one in the family who thinks that we had an abusive mother and a highly dysfunctional family.I believe that I was the scapegoat and my siblings all agreed with mother that I was `not right` and that I was weird.They still call me weird now and we are in our 40s and 50s.I am in therapy now with a very able trainee therapist.He is the very first person to ever validate my feelings and childhood experiences.I was convinced that I was `not right in the head` and that I had made it all up.I read books just to get by on a daily basis because I never learnt what it was like to be normal and have your own thoughts and feelings because everything that I was was criticized, corrected and downright humiliated.I believe my mother to be Narcissistic.She was utterly cruel and always threatened to get rid of me and was always regretting why she hadn’t dumped me somewhere.I was petrified for my life and I always lived under the threat of being disposed of.

The trouble is that now she is all sweetness and light.I have confronted her about the way she treated me as a child and the first time she got aggressive and disowned me but the second time I went with my aunt and uncle and she apologized profusely for `whatever she had done to me`.I dont really keep in touch with her regularly but all my siblings think the sun shines out of her bottom.I am still treated as the one who is mean and nasty to our `lovely` mother.My siblings have big issues including alcohol misuse and yet we are such a wonderful and caring family.

Now my mother has been diagnosed with cancer and she is refusing surgery which could save her life,instead she has gone all morbid and is talking about dying and joining our father who was such a long suffering hen pecked man.I feel so guilty talking about her like this.I seem to completely forget how much she hated and abused me.

I need all the support I can get to acknowledge the abuse because there is a part of me that says its all not true and I have made it all up because I am a weak person who couldnt deal with `you know what mum is like` crap!

Please send me support and encouragement to love ME.thank you so much.




You are not alone here. I am the scapegoat in my family. My sister does not think our family is dysfunctional. I always felt like the weird outsider. I was also criticized and humiliated. When confronting my father about how I felt about our family he was always passive-agressive in his response. I never got anywhere with him because he just did not give a damn. My parents did not treat me as well as they treated my sister. My dad was also long suffering with my mother and I don’t think he was sad when she died in 1999.

Please don’t feel guilty about talking about a person who showed you no love. It does not matter. Sometimes you have to say to yourself, “it makes no never mind that they are family.” You are not weak. You don’t have to deal with “you know what mum is like.” If you don’t want to be around her you don’t have to be around her. It definitely won’t be better if she is ill. She will probably try to make you feel guilty.

I hope this helps you. I have come from a place where I thought it was all my fault that there is something wrong with me. I could not understand why my family and my husband’s family did not care for me. I know that it is not me and it is them. They are uncaring and unkind. I have given up on them.


Thank you Andria for your response.

I think this is the most painful part of my process,to realize that I wasn’t loved at all and that I have spent my life kidding myself that mother was really kind and loving despite all my memories and even ongoing events.

It is very painful to finally realize the truth that I wasn’t mad after-all,that my mother was mad.How do you live with the fact that the woman who gave birth to you didn’t want you and wished that you had died.She was really mad.

I am glad that you have come to a realization about your family and that you are out of the self blame mode.I hope to reach that stage soon myself.

Thank you so much for caring enough to write.



Londiwe it is painful to realize that you were not loved. We are taught by society that all parents are loving to their children and it is not true. We even want to convince ourselves that our parents love us. Many of us do a great job of convincing ourselves that they love us. When we come to realize that we were bullshitting ourselves it is very painful. Good luck to you in your healing journey.



I strongly believe pets make great healers/companions. I wasn’t taught as a kid how to properly raise animals and I didn’t do a good job yet my parents mistreated them. People forget responsibility was never taught in my family it was viewed as “being too responsible.” I can be responsible at times away from home, but it’s hard to break negative habits especially when you get them from bad parents and their bad parenting. I still get blamed for not being responsible to not taking care of my pets in the past, I was under 10 yrs old, how was I suppose to know how to take care of anything?!

I told my therapist my “parenting” came from the TV. My therapist told me animals are great, but can’t replace human love yet my therapist has a dog herself! I told her ‘well, that’s as close to real love that I ever got as I certainly didn’t get it from my parents. So, please tell me where was I suppose to get it from?’

Animals bring such joy, happiness, and all the good stuff. I love being at other people’s houses with their pets. It makes me feel like a whole person and I love reading animal stories of how they have changed people. I mean, my therapist is not an animal expert, she works with people not animals! I can look up info from animal experts. I would love to volunteer at an animal shelter but right now I am gonna put that off.

I would love to have pets when I get my own place, but thank god I don’t have any in my parents’ home because they mistreat them and they have a very bad aura.


@Light post 221 &222, Just thinking about how you talk about your mother’s sensitiviteis. Mine similar, to say that she took everything personally would be to put it mildly, family gatherings or any contact was excruciating as you would not know what you would be accused of doing that would be reason for her to be aggressive and launch into her accusations. This is the main trait that I have found it useful to be cautious of as to whether or not I am also acting out of that pain and reacting to any perceived “slight” by anyone. Because of a flash of insight which revealed to myself how much I had adopted that trait of my mother, I still dont trust myself entirely when it comes to my responses to others, so to err on caution, I dont react at all, but take time to relflect on whether someones behaviour felt disrespectful and now I wait for more evidence before taking action, and this usually means withdrawing contact. On the subject of going low or no contact when living in close proximity, I did try this and it was difficult because my mother would know I had been in town and not visited and there would be hell to pay. Only free to visit my own town now, after my mother died. Wish I had had the guts to go n/c completely before she had died, it would have been empowering for me. And on the subject of animals, I wonder how many survivors like us have a special affinity with animals? They sort of saved me from losing all contact with my humanity by having a creature to really love, almost taught me what love is.
I want to express a heart felt thank you to everyone writing their stories here, it means so much to feel REALLY understood and listened to . I appreciate you all. keep on healing x johanna


Hi Londiwe
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I think that there are many reasons that our siblings stay in denial about how it was. I had to stop caring about what anyone else thought. I realize looking back that because I had been so carefully groomed to believe that I couldn’t think for myself, that I had trouble believing I had a right to even be upset about what actually happened and I couldn’t understand why no one else seemed upset about it. All that sorted itself out in the healing process when I put more of my energy on me instead of on them.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much Darlene for your response.It has been so painful to walk alone with not even one sibling standing with me or by me but I am beginning to realize that this is my journey and that I don’t have to have my siblings walk with me.There are countless other people who want to walk with me and it’s really time to stop accepting them.

Thank you to all the people on this page who make me feel and realize that I am not alone.Its a hard journey but I would rather be awake than in denial all my life.

Thank you Darlene and May God bless you



Welcome Londiwe. As Andria said, you are not alone here. I have several siblings and I am the scapegoat. While my mother never said she wished I died (how horrible for you), I was not planned and she admitted once that she “just wanted to get through raising me”. She was done having children, and then I came along. She celebrated when I went to school and that turned into a family story and “joke”. Mix in sexual abuse by my father, alcohol, and neglect, along with utter silence and no ability to discuss feelings, and my childhood was hell. The emotional disconnect almost killed me. There was subtle and not-so-subtle favoritism toward my siblings. When I stood up for myself in the face of my father’s sexual abuse, it led to years of my fury toward my mother because she didn’t support me. My siblings perceived me as not being nice to mom, and I became the problem. These are siblings who used to love me very much when we were children, but rifts happened over the years.

I’m so glad you have a good therapist that you feel comfortable with. They can be so hard to find!! (You’ll find discussions about that topic on this website). For me, this website feels like home and that I am with “my people”. Time after time, someone will write about a specific experience or dynamic and I will be amazed that the same is true for me. Before coming to this website, I actually thought that my experience was unique. Now I know that many people here are going through the same thing.


Hello Light,

Thank you for welcoming me into the group.I am scared to open up fully but I know that I have found brothers and sisters who will accept me because we have all been in similar situations.You sound like such a brave lady inspite of what you have been thru.Today I got so distressed and rang the National association for adults abused in childhood and spoke to a lovely lady who really validated my feelings.I live in the UK and there is currently a story about a little boy who has been murdered by his mother.This has triggered me so much as I lived in constant fear for my life with my sadistic mother.
It is today that I have finally accepted that I was abused! I think that this is the beginning of freedom for me.As for my siblings , perhaps it’s time for me to let them go and for me to have my own life.I have so many friends who love me but I was too guilty to love them back.I feel so much better for this acknowledgement .

Thank you for sharing your story and I love your name.It is so hopeful.


Hi Londiwe. It sounds like you are reaching out for help which is a good thing. One habit that I am trying to develop is asking for help. It’s a blind spot for me, not asking for help, because all through my early years my only goal was to endure. Now I automatically assume, without thinking, that I must endure hard difficult things without help from others. My therapist is helping me with this.

I’m glad you have friends who love you, and that there is a hotline for adults who were abused as children.


I feel my brother is in some denial since he says mom did a good job, but my sister told me how my parents yelled at him like he was some slave yet he is suppose to be their “golden child!” He told me how he couldn’t stand them and he would go over to his best friends house when they would argue (before I was born), so in what freakin way did mom do a good job?!? I mean he knows everything, he knows she talks about the same thing about my dad and he is 41 years old – nothing hasn’t changed with them!

He seems to talk a bit like my dad hence is why I could never ask if I could stay with him it would be like ‘how come you didn’t do this or that 8 years ago?’ or “how come you can’t seem to have the money this and that?’ It’s like omg, never mind I don’t need another narc dad – don’t need my brother to turn into our narc dad!

He is way successful than our parents as my parents had plenty of excuses and blame people for everybody. Brother doesn’t really talk about his childhood at all, I wonder why. I mean, I know him and my sister don’t wanna talk about it because it’s in the past and they don’t care about our parents’ issues since it isn’t our issue to begin with!

In NY family court in the 70s (before I was born), parents wanted my siblings to lie about the physical abuse that 1st born half sister endured by my dad (not her real dad) and my 2nd oldest sister told the courts that they (parents) wanted them (her and brother) to lie but she refused yet my brother was the good kid and told the courts what my parents wanted to tell them. I found out they wanted to take brother and sister away from my parents for child endangerment yet my parents told one of the most magnificent lies and after that the courts didn’t know what to do like OMG!!

Parents went to NC to stay with my grandma, so NY wouldn’t take 1st born half sister away from my mom claiming mom’s lawyer told her to take half sister out of state lines and don’t tell the courts because I will deny it – wonder how much of that is true.

“One habit that I am trying to develop is asking for help. It’s a blind spot for me, not asking for help,”

Me too. I was told all sorts of lies about asking others for help that ‘it’s other peoples’ ways of trying to get into your business,’ ‘we don’t need help from those people,’ ‘you gotta figure out your own problems, ‘you don’t need anybody do it yourself look at 400 years of slavery,’ ‘parents don’t need to help their kids, it’s not our problem,’ etc. My mom never asks for help, I take that back: she asked her side of the family for help on her “lousy marriage” and her brother (uncle) told her ‘why can’t you back to work (this was when my mom was in her 30s-40s back then)?’ She said ‘you’re my brother and it’s a family’s duty to help their relatives without paying them back.’

He didn’t give her any money and my mom cursed out my uncle. She lied on everybody including my 2nd oldest sister (the one I have a bond with) and cursed out everybody in the family – both sides of the family want nothing to do with my parents. My mom wanted her mom (my grandma) to give her money and that was always a nasty argument. One year, my grandma sent her $700 and my mom sent it back after she made my dad apply for his social security so she can get his share of it since she doesn’t have enough credits in her social security.

My brother tried to help her as he spent $2k in 97 when my mom was filing for her divorce and decided to not go through with it which I found out last year how she told my sister that “I needed a dad and I can’t seem to do this on my own without your father. It’s money he owes me and will get it!”

So yea, my mom is such a very poor example of asking for help. Hell, I have been asking for help for years and nobody wants to help me even right now. It’s the usual bs of ‘why didn’t you do this or that 7 yrs ago?’ I told them that’s the past, how is that helping me now? It was back and forth arguing with people and siblings. I just wanted to escape the prison, why is that such a problem for people?

She always talks about do it yourself blah blah yet she certainly isn’t the prime example of an independent person! I always told my parents be the damn example, don’t speak these things just because it sounds good to the ears! You gotta walk the walk if you expect your kids or people in general to listen and follow.

I always felt weak by asking for help and people told me for years everybody needs help sometime – can’t always do it alone. Oh, did my mom hit the roof hearing that! She said that is all baloney and people trying to twist my brain around.


Andria and Light (233)and(234):

I am also a childfree woman and have always been a cat person. I had a few cats when I was living in my former apartments. The cats liked to follow me around the apartment parking lot to my place and tried to come in! Now that I own a house (live alone) I have seriously considered getting a dog. It would be a first for me and I know absolutely zero about caring for a dog. I do have a big back yard with a concrete block fence and wooden gate (southwestern style) and a 3 bedroom/2 bath one-story house. My issue is dealing with all the pain and loss that comes after a pet dies. It’s always been so very hard for me after a cat’s death. I’m also thinking about maybe renting out one or two of the extra bedrooms for extra passive income? If I take on boarders they may have a small pet and I don’t want any conflicts.

When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to keep a pet in our house. The first one was a small dog (dachshund) and he tried to run away a few times. My dad finally gave him away to another family in the neighborhood with kids. Then there was a succession of a few cats in the house. It’s weird but true, none of them lived very long. Each cat ran away or died of a disease. I went to a gifted psychic reader as an adult and she said that the energy was VERY BAD in my childhood house that even these animals couldn’t stand living there! I remember my father saying that he “would NEVER buy another pure-bred dog again since they were dumb!” Anyway, the psychic reader said, “no the dog was NOT DUMB BUT VERY SMART!” This dog understood the fact that he was still young and cute and he could run away to a better home with kids! Wow, wish I could have done that! LOL! The reader also said that these cats absorbed so much of the negativity in the house to protect me from the bad energies there that they all ran away or died! Go figure!

I want to be in a new relationship with a good man sometime and if we have a strong, living-together relationship, then our animals may not get along? So, I’m kind of waiting to see how things happen and my plans are up in the air still.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Hi Yvonne,

Yes, there is a lot to think about before getting a pet. I’m so glad I did, and wish I did sooner but oh well. For me, I’m glad I got a cat because I have some health issues and even keeping up with him is a chore.

If I settle into a real house, I would consider a dog. But perhaps one that is not super active. I have heard that rescue Greyhounds can be a good choice. And I like the idea of helping a rescue have a better life.

That is an interesting (yet sad) story about your childhood experience with pets. I deeply longed for a pet yet was not allowed one.


My experience has been that of a friend of an emotionally abused teenager. Judging by the articles and comments I’ve read here, it’s off the beaten track, but I hope you or someone in the community might still have insights to share with me.

Background: my parents were not abusive, although my older sister was (when they weren’t looking). However they were severely stressed and “checked out” during my childhood; my mother has since apologized for this and makes it a priority to “catch up” in the present. She was emotionally neglected as a child and her mother (my maternal grandmother, who was emotionally abused by *her* mother) was needy and controlling to her last breath. Mom did draw a lot of boundaries with Grandma such as “you can’t scold my kids.”

My dad remains emotionally absent to this day. He has never recognized that wives and children have needs. I believe he is numb to his own feelings due to childhood trauma. While at times he has defended us from other people, he is usually afraid of rocking the boat and has a hard time calling people on bad behavior aka boundary violation.

As a family we have a history of entanglement with “needy greedy” people. The best example is when a church grandma asked us to help her daughter Betty (not her name). Betty had broken her ankle, was divorced, and had small children. She also had a disibility and was in constant pain. Well, it turned out that dear “Christian” Betty had a boyfriend, the father of her youngest, who wouldn’t lift a FINGER to help but still showed up for booty calls, and a “friend” who magically appeared when Betty’s pain pills were delivered and was never seen otherwise. Finally my brother talked Mom out of enabling this woman. He was able to reason through the situation without any adult help and conclude that we were wasting our time.

Ever since then, we have become better at spotting red flags and exiting bad situations. We were not encouraged to do this by the church we attended at the time, but we did it anyway. I also stumbled on “Foolproofing Your Life”, “Moving Beyond the Myths”, “Big Girls Don’t Whine”, and “Smart Girls Think Twice” by Jan Silvious and “Mere Christianity” and other works by C. S. Lewis, all of which helped me form a new if fragile understanding of boundaries.

So, that’s my BG in brief. Now for The Situation:

We met this family when they attended our church for a while. I was in my late teens and still very much unboundaried at the time. The parents were both recovered alcoholics and had several stephildren in their lives plus two children from their own marriage. I knew the youngest one literally before she was born as her mother was carrying her at the time.

I did not have much to do with this kid until she was, I don’t know, nine or ten. She got dumped on me while the family was visiting (“here, play with this kid until they go home”) and to get her off my back I threw drawing supplies at her and said “Here, copy the picture off this calender.” She had a real affinity for drawing, so I started to teach her what I was learning in my own classes and we bonded over that. This went on until she was fifteen or sixteen.

She was smothering and I didn’t know how to handle that. I actually used kung fu blocks on her when she was twelve-ish to keep her from clinging to me, and she was constantly calling and wanting to come over. I let her talk as much as she wanted, although in retrospect I should have told her to call back later sometimes just on principal, and I should not have let her come over so much — but at this time (I’m in my late 20’s->early 30s by now) I still had trouble applying boundaries to real life situations. Sad right? Plus there were family members telling me, “Aww, poor SoandSo, invite her come over” and I would cave, even though I was tired from work and wanted my weekend to myself.

By this time I had introduced her to the drawing class I was taking and had given her drawing supplies. She wanted me to come to her place too, and I went a couple of times, but I wasn’t comfortable around her parents.

One day after I had yet again invited her to come over her mother called and told me not to invite SoAndSo unless I had asked permission first. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, “Uhhh, okay.” It took me 45 minutes to get mad: I always prefaced invitations with “if it’s okay with your parents, check with them, etc.” I SHOULD HAVE called back and said, “Look, I wasn’t aware that your child wasn’t allowed to receive invitations, therefore I am withdrawing the one you are referring to. I invited her over because she specifically told me that she wants to come. Please talk to her about that, not me.”

I was still partially running on Dad’s old “Don’t rock the boat; don’t call people on their bad behavior” script. I got mad, did nothing, and let it slide. “Aww, forgive the mom; she’s had it rough.”

Shortly after SoAndSo called me asking me for my opinion on a TV series. I told her; then she wanted to know where she could get it, so I took a look online and said (factually) that downloads were probably the only source. After we hung up, I did some digging and found a set used, so I called her back to say I would get it for her legally if she wanted it (I had a job and she didn’t). She said “My mom wants to talk to you.” I handed the phone to MY mom because I somehow knew that SoAndSo’s mother was going to scold me again. I was right: this time it was “don’t offer to buy my daughter gifts unless you clear it with my husband first.” My mother explained that it was not my intention to buy SoAndSo expensive gifts but to allow her to get the series she wanted legally rather than illegally.

Yes, I should have been able to take the call myself. But I was not capable of dealing with this woman at the time and the smart part of me knew it. I was not “allowed” by my old belief systems to make a character judgement, but I knew that she was brusque and disrespectful every time she talked to me and that this was not going to be a fair conversation. She was older and a parent and in her mind that made her “right,” not just about her decisions but about her assumptions.

Later our mothers had a few talks and it came out that she was scrutinizing everything that happened in our home via her daughter’s visits and criticizing me to her daughter. She told my Mom that it gave her satisfaction to see me “come down a few notches” in her daughter’s eyes. I had told her daughter that I didn’t have any friends and that I would probably never marry because I had standards; the context was a conversation about dignity, boundaries, and mate selection (for want of a better phrase). I had talked to SoAndSo about what I was learning in Silvious’s books, how God gave us boundaries and Jesus loved us and didn’t want us to allow abuse, and given her copies. She told me about boys who were bothering her at church and I encouraged her to go to her parents about it because “they love you, I’m sure they don’t want this happening either.”

I had also mentioned unschooling. Her mother was a pretty rigid homeschooler, and she may not have liked that.

Her mother apparently told SoandSo something like “If you listen to her, you won’t have any friends either, look at her, she told you so herself.” She also told SoandSo not to read the books and insisted that I confront her (the mother) personally or I wouldn’t be allowed to see SoAndSo any more. She had her husband call us, and my Dad took the call (I am thankful for this) and said “My daughter hasn’t done anything wrong, your wife is making things complicated, and if you don’t want SoAndSo coming over that’s your choice. You leave my daughter alone now.”

I had never, to my knowledge, done or said anything to undermine or criticize her parents. I encouraged her to respect them and seek their advice. I didn’t hang out with her parents, but they would often dump an assortment of kids and step-kids at our house and I would help babysit and mediate fusses until it was time for them to go; it was only later that contact with me was suddenly a problem and everything I said or did was viewed with suspicion. Her parents never attempted positive contact with me; it was either “Watch my kid for free” or “Don’t hang your jacket there.” SoAndSo often specifically asked me to ask my parents to ask her parents if she could come over, which should have signaled communication problems to me, but I wasn’t wise enough to catch these clues.

Anyway, I should have bailed completely, but I did the next best thing. I sad “Fine, have it your way, no visiting, and I’m getting on with my life.” I had enough to deal with as my work situation was becoming unbearable and an ailing cat was keeping me up at night (funny how these things happen in clusters). We had also changed churches due to an unaddressed immoral situation in the previous church, and people from the previous church would call wanting us to come back or at least visit with them, which ended in us saying “Look, now is not a good time” and them calling us racist. This after twenty years of “friendship.” That hurt.

A few months after the visiting disconnect, SoAndSo wrote me a cute letter with a drawing. (I should have taken the ending “You don’t have to write me back” as another clue.) I said “That’s sweet” and put it aside, but a family member urged me to get a Facebook account so I could at least keep in touch with SoAndSo online. I override my better instincts and did it, and she accepted my friend request. FTR, this is about when I had enough at work and quit my job (not an easy decision to make). Same song, next verse; it came out that she wanted an anatomy book that the teacher had showed her at class. I asked if she was allowed to have anatomy books. She said “Yes.” And I, like an idiot, went and bought it for her, shipped from an online source.

After that I was removed from her Facebook friends list (along with anyone else in my family who had a Facebook account). She left a short note saying basically “Thanks for the book, but I’ve decided not to talk to someone who won’t talk to my mother.”

During the course of all this it had leaked out that her parents were drinking again, screamed at each other a lot, that there were relatives that SoandSo intensely disliked seeing but had to see anyway, and that she might be cutting herself.

I went physically to her class along with my sister, and we asked her if she was being 1) inappropriately touched 2) emotionally abused. She said “No, no.” I gave her a hotline number to call if she changed her mind, said that was all I wanted to know, and left. I haven’t seen her since nor do I want to. Her mother saw, and honked, but didn’t get out of the car to confront me.

Strangely, SoandSo continued to send me Facebook “pokes.”

After the shock wore off, I deleted my Facebook account because I had only made it to keep in touch with her and it was now a bad memory. A few weeks later, she began “following” me on an art community she knew I frequented (I had introduced her to it and she had an account there, but it was a lot easier to avoid people there than on FaceBook). I wavered but ultimately blocked her. I reasoned that whatever was going on, I obviously had not been able to help her; that she had already shown that she would relay anything I did or said to her mother, who was looking for sticks to beat me with; that I had already spent too much time and money on her and needed to focus on my own emotional safety.

Looking back at all this, I still sometimes feel that I must have done something terribly wrong; otherwise why would her mother be upset at me? In my world I was raised in, parents were usually right, and when they were wrong they were not very wrong, and even then one could rest assured that their intentions were good. Who did I think I was, hanging out with a kid fifteen+ years my junior? Maybe I was really an emotional predator in disguise, subtly sabotaging a tender mother-daughter relationship. On the other hand, as a single I was constantly hearing “If you don’t have your own kids, it’s a sign from God that you are meant to help other people with THEIR kids. Volunteer, mentor, babysit.” I wax sarcastic but not by much; people didn’t know what else to do with unmarried singles. At work I got along well with students k-12 and beyond. Now I avoid minors because I don’t want any more accusations.

I have left out a lot because I don’t want to write a novel here, I want to heal and move on. I know I made mistakes and was unwise and I regret that with all of my heart, however the older women in my life (excepting my mom!) did not help me but rather turned on me. Even Mom didn’t understand what was going on. I still don’t understand what was going on. I strongly suspect that emotional abuse was at work. Maybe if I had been wiser, more alert, I could have “saved” SoandSo but I wasn’t and so I failed. On the other hand, I tell myself: “No authority, no responsibility.”

I have not shared my tangled tale outside the family (excepting that I told the teacher of the art class that SoandSo wasn’t allowed to talk to me anymore so I had decided not to come to class anymore because it would be awkward for both of us). But I feel like here on your website I might gain some insights beyond “Children should obey their parents, and parents therefore have every right to yank a child out of a friendship whenever they see fit, no matter how much said friend has mentored or how much they gave before the door was slammed in their face.”

Thank you to anyone who made it this far. If you have any insights to share, please do. One of the things that made this so hard to get through was that I never heard of something like this happening before, though I suppose it must sometimes. Couples break up, parents abuse children, but this is not either of those, I’m just the weird age bracket friend who didn’t know when to run. I wouldn’t post at all except you all seem gentle and accepting, not judgemental. Thank you again.
Jan 28, 2014 10:39:24 AM


Hello Darlene, I posted back in Oct on your other thread, haven’t had time to visit regularly, but just did a brief skim here and at the Broken/Grooming thread. Congratulations to all for their brave and life affirming courage. Heroes are here. Darlene, I asked you about the book “People of the Lie” by M Scott Peck – to refresh. This problem is complex and layered, and I appreciate your insights which align with my own. It is like we have some generations here who are lifting the soul of the planet upon their shoulders by becoming their own healers, and rejecting an old paradigm. For every person who fearlessly shakes off the shackles of this crazy making mind game, ripples of energy are released restoring in all directions. I encourage everyone to keep pushing through, never feel alone, even though it may look that way, think of others who are doing their work too. Take strength from knowing it is your right to find your truth, the love that was hidden from you. You were innocent and with so much love to share and for many reasons and the conscious choices of others, it was corrupted. I am thankful there is a way of sharing in a common language. We are always our best selves – we are always the culmination of all we have been, learned, loved. That is quite considerable, and something to think about. Intentions matter, and I always remind myself I would rather be in my skin, than in theirs, the abusers, and those who choose to believe them!


Darlene, I agree, to put all your resources into yourself and the journey to seek genuine skilled helpers, and this is not easy, because in the beginning when your head has been in a washing machine – choices of people are perhaps not the best, how could they be! You need to find out who you are. I recommend body work, writing, any creative pursuits, walking, or other exercise you enjoy, swimming in salt water, aromatherapy, homeopathy, massage, deep breathing, detox with herbs and steam baths. I agree that you must reparent yourself, validate your own intuition. Remove yourself every time you find a connection where people are not respecting, or using, manipulating you. I agree some therapists and new age guru types can be abusive, so get away quickly! You may find your loves are drawn to you to do the same thing! It’s energetic – and a pain to deal with! Those abusers (starting with your abusive parents, with yr siblings helping to scapegoat you) always have helpers, they always need back up. I pay no attention to social conventions like family holidays – it’s all programing you know, to keep you repressed and obedient. What if you just stopped, and gave yourself a break from the relentless rules and expectations of others. Breathe!


Oh yes, I forgot to mention the “forgiveness” and “don’t blame”, and the “you chose your parents, before you came into this life” claptrap!! Make you feel like shit?? Well dump it! People who commit overt crimes against others end up in jail – a covert crime is still a crime! If someone had a crap childhood – would you go and torture a defenceless child or unsuspecting adult to cleanse yourself?? Some would, we would not. If deliberate damage has occurred you need to deal with it. In the way that suits you, to regain what was lost to you. Passivity will be another cost. Get away from any abusive person, regardless of the relationship. Get a strategy, if there are strings. Your wellbeing depends upon it. Do not let your future be robbed by your past.


Welcome to Emerging from broken ~ there is a ton of info and support here in the pages of this website. I am glad you are here,
hugs, Darlene


Darlene, my mum died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. I believe her early childhood trauma, and taking on part of her abuser’s personality, created a fractured personality. It is like the waiting room I feel, to open up Pandora’s box, totally freak out, and then when they give up responsibility, and the stress of living with a false persona – they are free to process and with honesty and no fear see what happened and what they did. I was her scapegoat, but also her healer, and at the very end the only one who saw things from a different perspective. I spent time with her, although she could not speak. The others thought this a waste of time. As always only judging from a standpoint of shallow ego. She was a paradox, riddle, puzzle.


I do not celebrate milestones, and events the way others do, as I have no use for them to define me or keep me anchored in a programming. I am respectful of others who do, as theirs’ is their own journey.


Thank you Darlene. (Changed my pseudonym to be less negative.) Looking forward to your future articles. 🙂


Yay Nativehelping!
The old one was self-abusive! hugs, Darlene


Darlene, just before my mother’s alzheimers was truly obvious, I was doing a lot of personal growth work, reading, doing meditations and working with people to help me see and sever the cords of control and paralysing guilt my mother still held over me. It was immediately after some breakthroughs, adjustments in thinking that she changed for the worse. It was as if I had reclaimed my sovereignty over my life, body, mind. I severed the cords that were draining me, and allowing her to feed from wounds of the past. She owned me and felt entitled.


Thank-you for posting this article! I don’t usually see the “you reap what you sow “happening to those who continually display bad behavior(to say the least). I am the scapegoat child of a narcissistic mother, and was so glad to have found your blog, and others like it.
My mother also told me what a burden I was to her, so I always have felt like a burden to everyone. She also told me she didn’t want me and she wanted to “adopt me out”, when I was about 10 years old. Nar mothers can be so cruel. I always thought everything was my fault, until I started reading courageous woman like you and others who are paving the way for the rest of us…
You are right, I didn’t sow anything to reap…She did.
And Ashley – Someone also gave me that line “you picked your parents”!I was thinking “I must have been really stupid!” I’ve never heard of anyone else who has been told that..It’s hideous..
I look forward to reading more and posting.
Peace to everyone…


SO WELL PUT! In my 50 years my mother only one time admitted an inkling of the problem to me when she said, “It wasn’t your fault. A third child was just too much.” I was that third child. They adopted me after having 2 boys of their own so they could be certain to get a girl. My oldest brother use to joke that “Once they figured out they didn’t want you it was too late to send you back to the factory.” Amazingly, much of my healing came through step-parenting, and loving my brothers’ kids when I ended up not having any of my own. I learned compassion for my mother’s challenges in loving a child that wasn’t hers, and realized how much I loved these kids that weren’t my own by birth, and how I deserve to be loved for the sweet, innocent child I was from birth. Not the “snot” I was regularly told I was. There has been much healing, but to this day, the subject is still off-limits. Thank you for validating my reality as a child. Blessings to you!


Darlene, I’m so glad to have found your site. What do you do with a mother who did a lot for you all of your life, but was also controlling and manipulative? She was a war bride from Italy, escaping her hard life and harsh parents right after WWII and coming to America only to, as she puts it, be taken advantage of by her mother-in-law and other in-laws. She and I had a great relationship until I married and moved away….suddenly I “had changed, got cold, and abandoned” her. Seems my maturing and starting my own life was a big “hurt” for her. Thirty-six years have passed since I left…..I’m now 58. She is 92 and very, very angry with me for not moving close to her. My husband and I found a wonderful area in Florida to retire to, but my mother thinks we should have “waited until I died” to come here. She is incensed…I don’t come home enough, I don’t call enough, her sister in Italy has a daughter and son that do “everything for her”….she instead is abandoned…. I don’t know what I’ve done except live my life! She isn’t “abandoned”, as my 67-year-old brother lives in the same town with her. Her opinion is that “your brother probably resents you (he says he doesn’t) because he is having to do for me. I have TWO children. You aren’t doing anything for me.” She still lives alone, cooks for herself, cleans a little (but has a lady in to clean periodically), does her own laundry. Essentially she is still independent except that she cannot drive. When I visit, I try to do things for her. She doesn’t want me to clean or fix anything….after I leave, she tells my brother “When she comes here she doesn’t do anything.” She accuses me of spending all my evenings with my in-laws (not true). She told me she should change her will because “your brother does so much for me and you don’t do anything. Oh, you send me nice things, but what I need is HELP”. She is critical of nearly everyone in her life…. In short, she is a negative, critical, miserable person. What I struggle with, though, is that I feel sorry not to do for her since she IS elderly, and also I remember that she did work hard when I was growing up. She cooked, gardened, canned, etc. She made me clothes, gave me jewelry, tended to me when I was sick, and did show a lot of affection mixed in with all of the manipulation! She loved me(fiercely). So, you see, it wasn’t as though she was a jerk all my life. On the contrary. However, the conflict arose when I exerted my independence. Before that, I was a very good, compliant, obedient child who never gave her or my father any trouble. All through my married life there were times that she erupted and my husband wanted to stand up to her; I begged him not to, as it would only cause a volcanic eruption! He did as I asked….but now, after 36 years, he is tired and so am I. The proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” was her intense tantrums when we moved to Florida. Am I wrong to be sick of this, sick of her? There are truckloads of guilt for me too, you know. I feel like I should go up to see her more often…like I should call her more frequently…. I love her, but I don’t like who she is! What on earth do I do with all of this!???


Hi Elissa
Welcome to EFB! 🙂
What is wrong about wanting to be treated with respect? What is wrong with saying ‘no’ to being picked on, judged and criticized? I finally decided that there was nothing wrong with what I was asking for which was simply the same respect that I give them.
to answer your question “what do you do with all of this” you keep going forward looking at things through the grid of truth instead of through the lies we have been brainwashed to believe was truth all our lives. (keep reading my articles, there is a lot of fog busting going on here!) My mother had a choice; I gave her a very loving choice. I told her all I wanted was to be treated with equal respect and since she has never called since, I guess she said ‘no’. It was her decision. I was willing to try.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Joanna
Welcome to EFB~ Thanks for sharing your story!
hugs, Darlene


Thanks so much, Darlene….I WILL keep reading.



Thank you so much for this. I have been ill and am trying to catch up.

Hugs to all,


To Light #218 and Light #217,

It is so true about pets, especially cats to me. My younger brother fell on a very young kitten when I was about 16 and broke its back. It dragged its hing legs behing him until he finally died two weeks later. Then I had a 17 year old Siamese that my little bitch of a sister insisted on my leaving it with her and my parents when I married and left suddenly. He died of kidney failure and drowned in his cat pan. He was in the part of the kidneys failing where they pass massive amounts of urine until they finally stop completely. He was so old that he could not get out of his pan and drowned in his own urine.

Now my sister and mother laught that they both hated cats and conned me into giving it back to my sister who “cried” because I had selfishly wanted to take him with me but I felt sorry for her and left him in their care. They both think it is very funny that they got the best of me and played on my sympathy.

I have had cats since. Right now one is a 15 year old little barn cat whose mother left the nest and Munchkin is a runt and the only one that survived. I got her when she was two days old and I was the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes. She imprinted on me and is a dear loving little thing. I bottle fed her and my husband and I have been through health problems all the way up to intestinal cancer with her. She is a survivor.

I have a long haired male who is a Birman…basically a long haired Siamese with four white feet. He is a doll and Oh so sweet. They are sweet furred little babies now with our boys grown and gone. They are such much company and kept me sane with my husband away with the Navy and my mother and sister trying to drive me over the edge.

We have have many furred little animals in the 43 years we have been married. When they pass, my husband makes wooden coffins for them with their names and dates of birth and death carved in the top. He has always done woodworking and that is his way of dealing with his grief.

It is true that loving animals is an excellent way of dealing with the grief and anguish bestowed on us by our “loving family”. I recently told someone that families are made, not born. Love trumps blood relationships. My sister-in-law is more my sister than my blood sister is. My daughter-in-law is more like a daughter than any one else.

My mother and sister seem to think that the only reason my husband and sons do not like them is that I have been “lying” all of these years. Of course, they waited until my grandparents died and my father died before they started the accusations. There is no one to refute them. Little do they know that my father told others the things he and my mother did to me.

Everyone here has been so supportive and my husband and I appreciate it more than you could possibly know. For those that have read my story before, I appreciate your patience in hearing it again. I know I keep repeating myself and for that I am so sorry. I have nightmares and things keep repeating. Thank you for listening. I will be 65 in April and I had so prayed that it would all be resolved by then.

But thank you again and I am happy to listen to everyone. Your comments are so helpful. All my prayers and hugs to everyone.

Love and hugs to all,


Hi Linda!!

What your mother and sister did is just plain sadistic and just turns my stomach. You have every right and reason in the world (not that you need one) to turn away from such cruelty. Poor kitties.

I don’t mind at all when you repeat. My aging brain needs repetition, so it’s actually a good thing! It helps me solidify your experiences more completely.

Did you mention on another post you’re not feeling well? I hope you feel better soon.


Linda, message 266; please tell your story as many times as you want to. Sometimes we need to tell it again and again to process it and let the feelings out. Another thing I’ve found is that I’m beginning to see what Darlene means about peeling away layers, and for me this has happened by going over some things multiple times and digging deeper into them. Another thing is that when you share things with others on here and people comment back it could lead to new insights. So share and share as much as you want to.

I’m sorry that you have been ill. I hadn’t seen you on here for a while, and have been wondering how you are doing. I’m glad you are back!

Take care, Amber


I posted the following on January 27th, 2014 at 8:58 pm on another part of Darlene’s website. I had been ill from before Thanksgiving until after New Years’s. At some point the website had gone down. I went back to read again what I had said to see if I felt the same way. After reading this blog about reaping what you sow, I thought it very appropriate. I don’t know what others think about what I said here.

Even though I could “forgive” my father, I still cannot find it in my heart to forgive my mother or my sister, who is turning into a replica of her. Since I no longer have contact with either of them, they have turned their focus on my sister-in-law who is younger than my sons. She has cancer, but my mother has moved into an apartment less than two miles from their house.

She calls them every day, now goes on trips with them and they cannot even go to a movie without my mother tagging along. Of course, she is working like a fiend to trash the reputations of me and my husband. She has gone from saying that I stole drugs from my grandfather to swindling an old pickup from him that my brother wanted. She has kept records of every dollar ever spent on meals or gifts from the day I was born until everything spent on me, my husband and sons until now. That is money that I “owe her”.

My failing now? I talk about my sons and grandbabies all the time? Even though I have only spoken a one word comment to her at the funeral…”Hello”…evidently others say that I talk about our sons and grandbabies…which they think is great, but my mother thinks is awful.

According to her, I am selfish beyond belief, but because I gave my niece a Christmas gift and birthday gift, I am only trying to buy their love. It’s called “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”.

My two brothers keep making excuses that she is getting old, but she has always been this way. I can remember back to the age of three. Sadly, some people who were abused block the abuse. I cannot remember anything good, only the abuse.

The following is the last thing I posted in January. If someone thinks how I feel is inappropriate, I am so sorry. I cannot find forgiveness in my heart for her. As far as reaping what you have sown, my husband and I try our best to help others. I prayed every day growing up that I would be rescued from the house of insanity that I lived in. When I met my husband, he proposed three days later and we married six weeks later. That was 43 years ago. My mother says that the only reason he does not speak to her is because of all of the lies that I have told him.

If you ask him, he will be happy to tell you that he did not like her from day one. The only reason he would even speak to her was because she was my mother. When I told him everything she and my father did to me, he said that it all made sense and he never wanted to speak to them again. But she thinks so highly of herself that she has told people that she would be loved by my husband and sons if I were out of the picture. They would be better off if I would just disappear.

This is my January post. I hope it does not offend anyone. I know I have been lectured on the ability to forgive:

“I was able to forgive my father for the incest. I never saw him again after 1997, but over the years we communicated. I wrote to him telling him about the harm he had caused and to talk to him about how absolutely inhumane my mother was. For whatever reason, he seemed to “get it”. Over the last ten years, he told me, my husband, and many members of my side of the family how badly he felt for causing such pain and discord.

He never saw his grandsons again or spoke to them. He never ever saw his two beautiful great grandchildren. He finally seemed to realize what he had lost. I have heard from him and others how he felt about my mother. She seemed to be as cruel to him as she was to me…except for the beatings, etc. Her concept of “love” only included herself. She absolutely does not care for anyone else.

My father called us when my husband had cancer and said he prayed for us. Only God knows how sincere that was. But put with my mother’s reaction, I believe it was sincere. He asked for our forgiveness for everything, all the pain caused.

I could and did find forgiveness in my heart. I did not go see him ever again, but I could forgive him. He took a regular nap one afternoon and just didn’t wake up. He was 92, but had been in relatively good health. He just died very peacefully.

I didn’t cry. We got dressed up and went to the funeral. It was a military funeral. Me in a new outfit. My Navy captain husband in dress blues. I sat next to my aunt. They handed me the flag. My mother and sister did not even dress up. My sister was in ragged jeans and a T-shirt. She is a drug addict, but she looked like someone who smokes crystal meth.

My mother was angry, saying we were trying to show off. After 36 years in the Navy and the places we have been, that is who we are. My mother talks about that even now, how selfish and evil I am. Why? Because I did not let them destroy me? Because I can forgive him and not her? He violated my body, not my heart. She is still trying to destroy my heart.

Yes, for better or worse, I could find forgiveness in my heart for what he did. There is no excuse for it, but I could forgive it. He knew what he did was wrong. She will never admit she is wrong. She will die from emphysema before too much longer. She is on oxygen 24/7. It is a miserable way to exist. No one wants to take care of her. I do not care. I have not talked to any one else who cares. Everyone says the wrong parent died first. For all the talk I think everyone sees through her charade.

She will die. I will not go to the funeral. I do not care. I cannot forgive.”

Love to all,


Linda. I am sorry you have been sick. Are you getting better?

I understand what you are saying, feeling, and your thoughts. I try not to judge or somehow “decide” what is “appropriate”. It’s not my place. I think each of us reading/commenting here is entitled to all of our thoughts and feelings. And I think that forgiveness is an individual process that may or may not happen – I personally don’t have any “shoulds” attached to forgiveness though I know that many in our society do.

Mostly I just feel heartsick when I read your story and read about other people’s experiences as well. I wish for you and all of us the strength to keep going and create a beautiful life.


Light, Amber, all of you. You are all so sweet . I think everything caught up with me. I keep trying to not worry my family, but one day I had a fever of 103 degrees, fainted and did a pirouette into the tub, shower curtain and all.

I scared my husband half to death. My doctor said that the stress of dealing with my mother on top of the damage to my body that she and my father caused years ago with the neglect and abuse left me with not much residual strength to overcome illnesses when they occur. Their smoking, the poor diet, the beatings, the poor care, everything they did and did not do evidently takes its toll over the years.

I’m not complaining. I love my little family so much. Everyone here has been so kind. I know my life now is what I prayed for. My body just needs to get the message. Thank youall for listening.

Hugs to all,


Hi All
I have published a new post today called Verbal Theatre: A lecture from an abusive Parent”
The comment came in from a reader who wrote about the way he was spoken to as a child and it is very very powerful. I hope you will read it and share your thoughts there.
hugs, Darlene


I just turned 46. My parents were and still are, at least the one remaining, critical, psychotic, controlling, manipulative. She calls me up to 50x a day to verbally vomit on me. The other one is dead, former drug abuser, alcoholic, dismissive, absent and emotionally unavailable. Every man I was attracted to after that was patterned after him.

This legacy taught me that I was a survivor. At the time I didn’t know it. I struggled, like many here, with my inner messages.

“You’re going to be something that the little boys shot at!”
Meaning: You are worthless.

“I can’t wait for you to grow up and get out of my house and get your own family.!”
Meaning: You’re not worth my time and energy and I don’t like spending time with you.

“You will always be nothing because you are a girl.”
Meaning: Males are better and worthy.

“You will never amount to anything because you are a certain race. This other race has Everything!”
Meaning: You are genetically ugly and flawed and you cannot change anything or anyone, least of all, yourself.

My messages led me to a man who controlled and manipulated me for 18 years. I thought it was love, because he had perfected what I experienced at home. It was home. And it was familiar. I was broken. I looked back at every relationship and realized that I was recreating my home life in every situation. How could I escape? My mind had set the trap for me and my emotions locked the door. Even with time, and behavior pattern recognition it seemed almost inescapable, these same people coming into my life. Different faces with the same agenda and me allowing them to do these horrible things to me like some weird robot. I was once told, “You’d make a great submissive.” Really? And the thought didn’t turn my stomach entirely. Good grief.

A divorce, therapy, reflection and conscious choice has helped for a time and talking helps often. I still am afraid of people, new circumstances and situations. Normally, I shut down and stop talking. It’s debilitating. I never know what to say or how to say it. Others seem smarter, quicker, and better.

These are the messages I got that I wish I could forget.


Hey Ann, I think you expressed yourself very well on here! And you sound pretty smart and sharp, and have pulled through and survived some difficult things. I agree that those messages we get growing up have a huge impact on us. I also got the message that I was inferior and not worth much because I’m female. I was also told that Im ugly, over and over again and internalized this very deeply. I was made to feel that guys would not be interested in me and that pretty girls deserve more. I was treated as someone that should give to others but that I didn’t deserve to receive back. That’s not for ugly girls. So I thought my fate was sealed.

It is so hard to undo the damage from these very negative messages. They get so deeply ingrained. But it’s not impossible. Keep looking for the truth, keep challenging those false messages. When I look in the mirror I don’t see a raving beauty but I also don’t see the ugly girl my mother wanted me to believe I was. I also challenge her assertions that girls aren’t equal to guys, and are less intelligent and capable.

Ann, I got to the stage where I just decided “No more!” No more being a servant to the rest of the family, no more being used by people, no more being accepting of demeaning comments and put downs and unfair treatment. Once I decided this, there’s more work to do. Have I gotten to the other side yet? No, but I have made lots of progress and keep moving forward. I’ve challenged lots of falsities and can see through most toxic people now. Where I fall short sometimes is that the old fears sometimes rise up and I can still freeze in response to a rude remark. I still fear the punishments I got as a child if I dared try to speak up, even though that’s now obsolete. This doesn’t happen all the time, just some of the time. So I still need to work on this, by reminding myself I am not in danger anymore and trying to push past the old fear.

So Ann, best of luck in challenging those false messages you got. Sending you hugs and strength, and remember, “You rock!!”


Hi Ann
Welcome to EFB ~ I think you have found the right place to share. There is a ton of info here about how I took my life back first by seeing the truth etc. and there are over 31,000 comments from others in the discussions on the over 400 articles.
I am glad you are here, thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


“Did I reap what I had sown? And if so, HOW? What did I do that was so bad? Was it me who had caused the problems in my family? I was a kid when it all began so how could I have been the problem? I started to wonder why no one told my mother that SHE reaped what SHE had sown. I started to wonder about the truth in all of this; WHY was it my fault? Why did everyone want to blame me? Why was I told that I made my bed and now I had to lay in it?? What the hell did I do that was so wrong? My family taught me how to respond to things. My parents communicated to me who I was and how lacking I was. But does that make them right? Who actually made the bed that I was laying in? Was it really ME?

“You made your bed and now you are going to lie in it” these are my fathers words to me as he walked me down the church isle on my wedding day.

I had severe asthma as a child that improved as I got older, though an occasional attack still occurred. I was 20 when I got married. That day I has a terrible attack. The wedding ceremony was a six pm. I drove myself to the doctors office. Several questions haunt me. Why didn’t my father take me? Why did my mother take all me sisters to enjoy a salon day but excluded me? The nurses completely forgot about me and I sat for two hours waiting to be seen. It was actually the doctor, a friend of my parents who came looking for me. I remember him scolding the staff. He too would be at the wedding, in fact my wedding was about my parents and their friends, not mine. Dr ray gave me an injection and told me to “let it work for a few minutes, then I could leave.” I made it out to my fiance’s car, remember starting it and heading down the driveway, then I woke up on the floor boards with traffic stopped in both lanes. A young boy and his mother helped me back up into the drivers seat repeating ” are you ok?” I don’t remember driving home. The next thing I remember was waking on my mothers bed in my parents room suddenly aware of my mother screaming about my not being ready and ruining the wedding. It was 5:30. My father screamed back, for Christ sake, she fainted! Like a child, she dressed me, angrily, pulled my hair up under the cap and veil and shoved me into the car.

The music began to play, I felt weak and scared that I ‘d make a scene feinting. Just a few steps toward the alter I said to my father… “I’m scared,” and that’s when he sneered… “You made your bed and your going to lay in it.”

I’m 63 now, still married to the man who witnessed my parents narcissistic abuse before our wedding and all these years since. He was not spared collaterally or personally. We tried many kinds of therapy even attempting to make new and happy memories with them which was a suggestion of one therapist. It boggles my mind how much we spent in time money and effort only to hear soul destroying comments. For the 36 years of my fathers heart condition my mother manipulated occasions and events using the guilt trip that it might be his last holiday or anniversary. I didn’t wake from the fog until I was in a near fatal accident, a month in the hospital and six months in rehab…. They never came to see me…. Airfare and time out of their retired schedules just could not be managed. Two years ago my 35 year old horse died in my arms; we coddled the pregnancy for 11 1/2 months, rejoiced like new parents the moment she was born, and for 35 years devoted EVERY life decision on her well being. We could not have children. When I called my mother, grieving in pain… She said sarcastically… “She was only a horse.”

My father began a rapid decline with end stage heart disease in November. All 11 siblings visited him during the holidays. Despite the very possibility that he could die en route he managed to get my brother to drive him to Fla from Ohio. His health deteriorated from January til now. With half the family with him at his side he demanded to go back to Ohio and signed himself out of the hospital. Knowing he could die enroute causing my mother and siblings emotional and logistical nightmares the least of it to fly a dead body back to Ohio, selfish to his last breathe, that was their decision. He died in Atlanta yesterday. My father talked to nearly every sibling every day… He could call them, but not me. My mother never called though I tried to call her many times. She finally called later yesterday at the request of my mother.

I woke up this morning hearing the words… He can’t hurt you anymore. It will cost us 3K to go to the funeral, airfare, car, motel, plus boarding for all our pets…. Would they do the same for me? Is this a fair question to ask at this time? Are my boundaries secure enough to protect myself from the slights and Snarky remarks from the favored siblings? No visit home ever resulted in anything less than profound hurt…. Am I selfish or inconsiderate to give myself permission NOT to go to the funeral?


Hi Maureen
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I think throughout your entire comment you answer your own question. (the question that you ask at the end “Would they do the same for me? Is this a fair question to ask at this time? Are my boundaries secure enough to protect myself from the slights and Snarky remarks from the favored siblings? No visit home ever resulted in anything less than profound hurt…. Am I selfish or inconsiderate to give myself permission NOT to go to the funeral?” If you were my client I would ask you, “If this is the way that they have been with you, why would you want to go to the funeral? What would your reason be? What are you afraid of (if anything) if you don’t go? How would it define you (rightly or wrongly) if you don’t go?” Those are the questions that I would ask you to think about.

So what do you think?? Are you being selfish or inconsiderate to give yourself permission not to go to the funeral?? My answer would be “HELL NO”. 🙂 I think you are giving yourself permission to live. I think you are giving yourself permission to stand up and be counted as a person with VALUE and worth.

Having said that, I want to validate that I know how hard this is and I do understand.

Love and hugs, Darlene


Omg… I’m so humbled and grateful that you took some personal time to express your viewpoint to me. Thank you so much. Thank you for understanding. It’s such a catch 22. Damned if I do and 1000% damned if I don’t. The gas lighting has already begun. The flying monikers are forming their detail. It hurts deeply to know my decision will result in being completely and irrevocable disowned and shunned…. And much effort will be made to let me know that I will be cut from the will and worse. I have to be ready for total estrangement even from the two of the 11siblings who were civil with me prior to hearing that for my own well being I choose not to go.

Thank you for the validation!
Love and hugs right back at you!


Hi Maureen: I’m sorry to hear about your painful family relationships. Something that I’ve started to do with my family is to tell them that “my doctor wants me to reduce my stress levels…for my own health it is best if I do not attend/only attend for a short time/reduce responsibilities/etc. etc”…..add in what you want/some variation. I talk with my doctor about family issues and she supports this. Somehow it seems to have more clout when it’s presented as not just coming from me but from two of us, and I have a person of authority on my side that I’ve talked with. It also frames it as a health issue and perhaps they don’t take it quite as personally. The strategic part of me doesn’t want you to be estranged from the two siblings who are civil, or cut from the will (though you may not have much control over that, if any). At the same time, I completely understand that your mental and physical health are a priority and it may be best not to attend.


I did everything wrong this morning. Total self sabotage. My mother finally called me actually waking me from a mostly sleepless night, her words pushed a thousand ” you are less worthy than your brothers and sisters who are with me” buttons. I lost it and told her I am doing exactly what you did to me when I lost the most precious being in my life… Nothing! No cards, no flowers, no nothing from this family…. You’ve hurt me for the last time…. You shove everyone else’s significance and importance to you down my throat, when is what I’m going through (regarding my dad’s death, a daughter grieving) going to matter???!!!! She topped it off saying ” I’m going to pray that God forgives you for this.” And I answered I’m going to pray God forgives you” I ended it with “What do you want from me!!?? You tell me for decades how cruel and mean “Dad” was to you, not to mention to his kids, and now you talk about him like he should be canonized!!! I think we both hung up at the same time. I feel bad enough for loosing it, for every horrible abuse both my parents and pain of being shunned by my siblings for getting therapy and telling the truth. Now one of my siblings is texting “happy smiling” photo’s of me with my happy smiling parents… I don’t drink. I take no drugs prescription or other, but I wish I had something to silence my thoughts and heart. The pain is relentless and I made it worse.


Maureen – maybe you didn’t do anything wrong! I think you told the truth. The part that hurts is that you’re not being heard or respected. I’ve done some of the same kind of thing recently and I’m really not as upset with myself as I used to be. I definitely don’t feel like it’s up to me to mend the relationship.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to be somebody that my mom could love, and over time I’ve added my siblings, their spouses, the whole extended family and now I even have to include my children. I never have and never will be someone they can love and it’s not my fault at all.

Because: They don’t let me know what they want from me – I’m just supposed to know. I’m not sure that THEY know what they want from me, unless it’s to be the one that they get to feel superior to, and they’d never admit to that. The game is designed so that I am the loser no matter what. And it is a game. It’s not a relationship.

I think you may have done just the right thing this morning. You treated yourself like someone who mattered enough to be angry about being treated badly! Good for you!

As for God, He is in the forgiveness business. But I have to believe that your mom needs a lot more than you do, because you care about right and wrong, and she is unlikely to check to see that she’s done wrong.

You know the truth. You’re on your way to healing.


I lose it frequently with my mother. I feel bad about it, yet my therapist points out that I am treated with disrespect and not heard and then it’s denied. Sometimes when I read here on the boards I wonder if I’m the one that’s being abusive. Yet I know there is a huge amount of denial in my family and I’m seen as the one with the problem which is angering. Denial, disrespect, rejection, and neglect are abusive too.


I have lost it with my mom and dad too a lot, which did nothing at all. Lashing out at how we are such asshole children, just like my dad, etc told my mom off which left me even more pissed off than before while she went on with her boring life like it was nothing! My parents think they are such Saints like they have the right to make you feel like crap and they get to enjoy the good life.

“I feel bad about it, yet my therapist points out that I am treated with disrespect and not heard and then it’s denied.”

My now ex-therapist said that to me yet went in another direction saying ‘my parents did me a favor that there needs to be respect from me to them.’ Told her ‘respect goes both ways.’ The woman was so freakin clueless!


Thank you Marquis, Light and Hobie, I do know the truth, I know that I am the bearer of truth in an incredibly complex mega large blindly in denial toxic dysfunctional family…. M.Scott Peck, People of the Lie. I did phone my mother back and tell her that she did not deserve my lashing out, no matter how true or painful when she just lost her husband. We both cried, but of course the damage is done, compounded by three siblings who overheard and witnessed “verbally beating up my mother at her darkest hour.” The funeral director is an old high school classmate of mine. He just posted on FB “if you’re worried about people talking about you, your in big trouble bc they already are.”

My mother has 11 out of her 12 adult children with her helping her to prepare and cope with my father’s funeral tomorrow. I will be the only one absent. I am heart broken on every level, because I mourn the father he never was, because I mourn the years of beatings and verbal and emotional abuse until I left home at 20, because of the vicious lies my mother told him about me which die with him and was always the wall between us no matter how many new adult memories I tried to form with him all these decades.

The family shunning has begun…. As they all feel their own anger albeit cloaked in denial, they will target the blame for all my mothers additional pain at this time because of my absence . The hate is already palpable. God help me get through this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me to help me get through this.


Hi Maureen
I agree with the comments from Hobie too. You told the truth and you stood up for the truth and for yourself. Like I say about my own situation; All I asked for was mutual respect. And that was denied to me. And it was finally up to me, with my new understanding of love, that if mutual respect is denied to me, then I have a choice. I know this is horrific right now, but eventually I was able to look back and know that I made the ONLY decision that led me to life; my life.
I am really glad you are here, and I love the way you are expressing yourself; so honest. That will pay off, believe me. hang in there!
hugs, Darlene


I can relate to what you said too. Something that helped me whenever that little voice asked me if I was the abusive one was the following two things.

a) What is my motive?
b) What is their motive?

hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene for your comment. I know my motives have been pure and underneath the discord there has been a quest for connection and love. It is so very hard to detach, especially when my mother can be loving AND cold.


Thanks, Darlene for writing this article. Some of the same words were spoken to me and I was a sullen child at times. As an adult, I found out a cousin’s wife who saw me as a sullen child tried to cause me problems as an adult. My dad used to say “If you made the bed, then you must lie in it”. I’m happy that you have survived and are doing so much better than you were some time ago. My problem is that a couple counselors blame it on my personality, but I am happy to see that you did not believe it was your personality. That gives me hope and I hope it is not a false type of hope. I am trying to emerge from broken, but I am wondering if I will ever get it right so someone can love me just for being me. At times I feel that I am at the end of my rope, but I refuse to give up when I see that things can be turned around. I just need to get more positive people around me and stop making decisions that help others and not myself (it is isn’t too late).

Thank you so much for caring to share your story with others.


Hi Faith,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
I hate it when so called professionals blame instead of trying to help! I realized a while back that they are only human after all, and many of them are/were attracted to the profession because of the damage caused to them in the first place. It was never my personality, and I am happy to say that I have calmed down so much since I recovered because of all the truth that I have embraced (and I realize now that trying to prove that they were wrong about me took up a ton of my energy and made me seem ‘crazy’) and my personality is so much more “me” now ~ I am full of energy, I am dynamic but I am calm and loving and reasonable too. It is NEVER too late.
hugs, Darlene


I went to my father’s funeral. I have no regrets. But, his smear campaign against me must be a pretty intensely awful and horrible one because my family is shunning me. My mother knows the truth but will never come clean for me because it would mean UN-canonizing my narcissistic father. I began weekly therapy after the funeral because of the pain and anguish due to the collective rejection. I am healing. I am not interested in any relationship with any of them today, but maybe some day. And maybe not.


Hi I see that most people here are women. dont forget us guys that had depressed ,narcissistic mother. all was ok till I turned around 6 . about 2 years after my brother was born and continued till I was about 18. almost every sat morning as I was eating my cereal she would start her ” saturday morning lectures. the first few years I took them to heart, but later I was just angry . for telling me those horrible things. No siblings were old enough to remember anything. the brother that was the onslaught of her depression and he was her favorite( even till today) he is under her spell to but he does it willingly. th eyoungest brother became diabetic very young so he got no dicipline cause it ” broke her heart to spank him” gave them a world of trouble with drugs and the law. I was the care taker of the family. my folks in 5 years with new children came to visit their grandchildren only once. . I was always being threatened and told God doesnt like me. cause I was a bad boy. I was raised when they said “children should be seen and not heard. my dad always said if you have nothing nice to say dont say anything. he never ever said anything. weve still never had a 5 min conversation and I had to understand him . Thats who he was…. what a crock of crap/ he was a pastor and at 7 I knew he wasnt raising me like the bible said to. especially not my mother. I resented her for years until I had a major melt down in the army. I was in Germany and I called them begging to come there they could stay with us and visit Europe. ( I felt I needed to give them something selfish to come over for, cause I really knew they wouldnt come for ME. and they didnt. Everytime i needed them the church always came first. I recently put a short blog on facebook cause I was triggered so bad I needed to finally tell my story . now the family is very clearly divided and everyones memories are conveniently disappearing. they all said I do nice things for others. but Im too angry and selfish. I really don care for any of them. I was financially set for my wife and I to retire. my mother lied about my fathers heart trouble and they had this house that my youngest brother begged them to but for him. well after a few years he flew the coup. the house wasnt fit to be lived in. so after a year of fixing it My wife had to work for another 7 years and we moved here to live in the house. Turned out my father knew nothing of this and instead of saying thanks he yelled at me saying dont put this on me. she tried to write me an email disguising herself as my father. I could easily tell. When my daughter in law posted a pic of the Bi**ch holding my grandson I lost total control. now everybody hates me. but because of all of you I really ok with that. I need to get out of this city soon. my wife has one more year to work now. Im looking forward to being in the bush with her and say to hell with everybody. they havent got a clue as to the damage they’ve done. they just think Im angry all the time. Im not, only when I have to deal with them. which through the miraculous FB I can unfriend anyone. They still spy on me through others accounts but like I said I couldnt care less. if they were on fire I would pee on them to put it out. I had been fine ( so to speak) for years before we moved here. since coming here my arthritis has blossomed cause its so humid all the time winter and summer . My anger is waining again. but I NEED to get out of their clutches. Im even seriously thinking of changing my name too. I have a list of physiologists to call for more help. but i cant find it now. Im so easily confused no( I was hooked on painkillers and became an addict since moving here. I had a terrific Dr help me see the harm I was doing to myself and Ive been clean for 3.5 years now. But boy do I crave when Im loosing it. I cant drink alcohol so all i had was pills. every single decision I made in life was a direct result of trying to win their love and expectations . never ever worked . now Im physically broken from the outrageous amount of work I did to try to get their attention. Im so tired of all this bs . When I move They wont be able to pop over uninvited( which my wonderful wife tells them not to contact me. they never listened in the past. but they do now. I have even more hate because Of the things I pushed my body through to hopefully please them. I did go for a couple road trips this year and I realized the humidity was killing me(and the daily stress)within 2 days my knees, back and neck started to hurt again when I got back I am at my wits end. I really didnt do the writing on FB for revenge or anger. after I wrote it I realized I just wanted them to be my loving parents. Im 55 and because of my age and ptsd I cant get re-trained to do anything. so I just sit here everyday watching tv and on the computer. its hard I cant stay focused on a movie cause it requires too much concentration. At lest when my wife is home I can use her as interference if I go out. I cant leave the house except to go to Dr appointments. My psychiatrist always asks me what Im afraid of when thinking of going out. This got me to introspect and ask my self that question . then one day I realized I was afraid of someone yelling at me or making fun.sounds so childish. I had to try to figure out why I can let that stop me. Im 55 I should have it all together by now, but Im too broken to even try hard anymore. The first years in the army were absolutely fantastic I worked my but off and used my expertise to do more and more. I was recognized with a very early promotion. and as being a leader to those above me. then I went to Germany. where despite being such a beautiful country was where all hell broke lose. my wife was unfaithful( I really didnt get her back till a month ago)and my boss also was a master manipulator and saw my weakness. he would make it sound like if I worked harder I could get another promotion. I was again put in a leadership roll even more that 2 ranks above me. but he actually destroyed my career. writing secret messages to the promotion board. I didnt find out for 2 years after I left Germany. I also had a good friend die at the hands of my superior. he always tried to make Jimmys life hard. Jim was so peaceable but they worked their butts off trying to GET him. I had night terrors about those years for so many years. then they began to disapear. but they were replace by terrors about my mother. they still continue today.


I’m not sure I belong here. My “journey to me” began when I found myself in my 3rd or 4th abusive relationship at the age of 53. It was every kind of abusive and I had been so sure I was inoculated by my past experience. I am not even sure if I should count the rape by a uncle figure as one of those, or the relationship with a married man 25 years my senior. That went against my core values and threw me for a loop as to why I would do such a thing to another woman. He lied but I was old enough to know better. Why do I keep making these awful, selfish and generally destructive decisions?

So I began to deconstruct and analyze all that had happened to me so I could be sure it would never happen again. I kept coming back to strange feelings about my mother. Was she abusive, or narcissistic? Or am I just crazy. I began to list out the qualities of narcs, the behaviors, patterns. I could easily apply those to the men in my life. That was a start but I needed to figure myself out. That was the hardest. I never know what I’m feeling. I have to work really hard and found myself throwing out words to see if they fit. Am I hurt, angry, sad? I was told by my mom that feelings were bad and weak and I should control them. So I just stuffed them down and instead got (and still get) migraines and depression. I began to tell my mom that, feelings are just feelings. They are not good or bad and we can’t control them, only our actions. This explained why I was so angry and rebellious all my life. Yet I am most commonly described as nice or calm or zen like by friends and coworkers. While I study yoga and meditate, it’s not that I’m so wise. I’ve just learned to manage the angst I have when I feel emotions, especially so called negative ones.

I’m still not always aware I have a feeling, much less a name for it, but I’m getting a little better. If I feel a migraine, I ask myself what happened. How did it make me feel? I try to cry, if that fits the emotion, i.e. sadness, and I notice that often helps. And I don’t always get the migraine. And sometimes I feel better after. I’m trying to love and accept myself. That’s hard too.

But here’s the strange part. I am drawn to your page and yet I don’t think I’m a match. My mom taught us children to make our own breakfast and get ourselves to school at a very young age. I walked to and from my kindergarten. My mom’s reason was that she is not a morning person. She never went to any school events that she could possibly avoid, even my sister’s extracurricular events, such as band and drill team. She taught us to be tough and independent. To negate our feelings. I read a quiz, yesterday, I think it was. It was one of those things where the qualities or behaviors are listed out and numbered. I got through maybe half saying yes, yes, yes. And then when it came to the more nasty, physically abusive ones, I answered no to all of those. She never yelled or hit. She lectured until I remember wanting a spanking because it was quicker. And the fight went out of me for the rest of my life. I felt it was easier to concede than stand up to the incessant lecturing. I joked about my second marriage, saying, I didn’t marry my father, I married my mother. And that husband was a bona fide narcissistic sociopath. But I didn’t know it until my daughter pointed it out recently. You see, if I loved someone, I excused every one of their faults and mentally turned it into a gleaming quality. My kids used to go nuts, saying to me, “mom, why are you friends with so and so? They’re a horrible person?” I’ve learned to listen to them because they’re almost always right. In fact, I can’t think of a time they were wrong. Especially the last horrible violent boyfriend I had.

Back to mom. If my brother and I do the exact same chore, his results are a work of art while mine are not mentioned, but she does say thank you. However, she has to supervise to make sure I don’t screw up. My mom’s dog mourns my brothers departure more than mine, etc. he is the golden child. She has always been obsessed with her looks. She had the first plastic surgery when I was 15, then a face lift in her 30s, and on and on. She doesn’t like anyone to see her unless she is”dressed” , full makeup and hair, etc. and now she looks younger than me in Terms of facial wrinkles, etc. I remember my mom criticizing fashion magazines model’s flaws. She would literally look for these flaws. I recently decided to go natural, hair gray, etc. my hair is short. My mom thinks longer and blonde is so much prettier on me, but that’s okay. I only have to be happy with myself. Part of loving myself, exactly as God created me.

I recently wanted to remodel my rooms that I rent from my mother. Especially the carpets which smelled like urine. I carefully researched and provided photos and explanations of how this all would be done, to get her approval. After much time and effort, I got her permission. I kept her posted on developments, as they arose. When I told her the work was beginning, she said how could I spring this on her with no warning. She went down and hung around the workers while they packed my belongings. My corkscrew went missing. I think because she hates alcohol and thinks everyone is an alcoholic, since she is a recovering alcoholic. She moves things around in my Apartment when I’m not home, closes windows when I open them, etc. she went to supervise the workers every morning, in spite of her not being a morning person and stayed with them all day, bringing lunch for them. She called me at work to tell me how they didn’t know what they were doing and were botching the job. . I told her I would sign a contract stating that I would put everything back the way she wanted, at my expense when I moved out. She almost shut down the renovations but my worker kept her calm. She gets along well with men. Then I tore my hamstring at work and was out of work, out of my apartment for a few weeks and had to stay with her in her place. She said this couldn’t possibly work because my brother was coming home and needed the good room. My mom has a 5 bedroom house but all the rooms are used by her and the only other room was a cat room and my brother has allergies, so I said I could get a hotel but she said no, that I would sleep in the cat room and she didn’t have time to clean it. I couldn’t physically move in that room, as my mom is a bit of a hoarder and everything was covered in cat hair. My daughter felt sorry for me and came and cleaned the room for me.i guess I could go on, but I sound whiny to myself. I read the comments by your readers and they suffered horrible physical, sexual abuse. I think I can’t really compare my situation. But I thank you for your writings because it helps me apply those same principles.


“You’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it.” Really? What if I just make another bed, eh? What if I just leave all you who don’t love me in the dust and find people who truly respect and love me and don’t want to use me for their sick agenda?


“The game is designed so that I am the loser no matter what. And it is a game. It’s not a relationship.” That’s it. Wow. Thanks for that Hobie. Yes, with a mother who is all about control, it is a game for her. She always has to win. ALWAYS. She always has to be in control ALWAYS. I have a thousand examples from throughout my life (not ending when I became an adult) of when her need to be in control or win was far more important to her than my well-being. In fact, my well-being was a tool that she could use to increase her control over me, and she did, denying medical problems, not allowing me to eat, sabotaging my efforts to look after myself when all she did was ignore me and make my life more difficult. She wanted me to be in a position of weakness (illness, poverty, unhappiness) so that she could be in a position of power and so I would need her. I say this in the past tense, but it’s still true.

Maureen, it’s so hard to separate from an abusive family. So, so hard. I haven’t been successful in doing that yet. I am getting better at realizing what’s going on and spending less time with family members, but that’s about it. I don’t have an answer for you, but certainly send you lots of support long-distance. Good luck navigating this awful situation.

And remember, if you are the family’s scapegoat, it doesn’t matter what you do. You have your role and it became your role for reasons that have NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Nothing you did or didn’t do could have put you in that role, and nothing you do or don’t do can take you out of it. We are taught to blame ourselves for everything as well as accepting everybody else’s blame, and that is a very hard thing to get untangled from.


Maureen ~

I just read your post #276, and my response is the same as Darlene’s. My parents didn’t include me much in family stuff either especially in the latter years (I always felt like I was on the outside looking in growing up and even when I was grown up) and my mother with her NPD almost killed me on the inside. When I said ‘good-bye’ to my parents – to my mother 14 years ago and to my father and siblings 4 years ago; it was final. My parents, to my knowledge, still live. My husband asked me a few years ago if I would ever go to their funerals when they died and I said, “No way, I’ve already said my good-byes and they have obviously said theirs to me.” I never felt like I was a part of my family of origin – why would I create family drama (which I hate!) by going to their funerals after not having anything to do with them for so many years. For me, there is no point. They caused enough pain and I don’t need to experience more pain by making an appearance. I think showing up for something like that would only incur more drama, more gossip and more smearing. I think its wise to not go and put yourself through even more pain. You deserve more! {hugs}


I think we have no duty to go the funeral of a person who mistreated us. It is a personal decision. I would hope we could do what feels right to us, not what we think other people expect of us. Those other people don’t support us anyway, and our decision one way or another will not change that fact. As someone said earlier, deciding to LIVE is the most important thing, and I support that.

I said goodbye to my father several years ago. I paid my respects after my stepmother died, and he treated me abominably anyway. It took so much out of me to travel 3,000 mis. out of compassion for him. That was enough. If I had never gone out there, that would have been OK too. He does not deserve to subtract one more iota of energy from me.


One more thing….I went to father’s funeral to pay respects. A month later I received an envelope from his attorney stating that me and my children were fully EXCLUDED (narcs punctuation) from his will. Oh well.


Celia ~ Your comment above reminded me … my father had me listed as his executrix – I do hope he’s appointed someone else for that job. I also FULLY expect to be excluded from any inheritance – which I do not want. Sounds like from your post that you weren’t all that surprised by the exclusion?? I sure fully expect to be excluded and I am completely okay with that. <3


Being adopted adds even another layer of loyalty issues and makes it extremely hard to come out of the “fog”. We get the “deer in headlight” looks when we speak about our truths or desires to know ourselves. I am proud of you for speaking out.


Welcome to new commenters Celia, Mike, Lori and Samantha. (Please forgive me if I have missed anyone!)

Mike ~ Men are always welcome here! (and there are more of them here than you may think) Thank you for sharing some of your story and it sounds like you have found the right place!
hugs, Darlene

Celia ~ It is very hard to face all this stuff, but the more I saw the truth about it all, the more I realized and remembered that they will say what they say, and do what they do, if I am in their lives or not, so I am free and happy without that.. There is really nothing to miss. 🙂
hugs, Darlene


Hi Lori
It sounds like you belong here to me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Samantha,
Yes, being adopted adds another layer but I have worked with adoptees and they have great results too!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Maureen,

My mother has pushed the “God button” on me for all of my 65 years. All I can say is she has never followed Him herself. She has gone to church every Sunday, very prim and proper even while my father was daily raping me from age four.

Even our minister said that she always seemed off to him, when my husband and I finally told him my history. I had not seen my parents from 1997 until my father’s funeral last May. My father had asked for forgiveness from me and my husband for the last ten years. My mother only stepped up her abuse after the funeral when there was no one left to say that she was the liar, not me.

I will not give the time of day to go to her funeral. I do not care what anyone says about it. If they can’t live with me, then they can live without me. No one supported me or defended me except my husband and sons. Why should I expect them to support me now?

We are all about helping others and giving back but not to my other family. I hate it when I have God thrown in my face by people who do not know God.

The people here have given me more strength than any therapist has and my love goes to them. Take care of yourself.

Hugs and prayers,


How appropriate that this is what is being discussed right now as I got into a conversation with an in-law who has NO FREAKING IDEA what I endured as a kid from my mother and when it came up today about funerals (we have a family member that has become ill and the subject just happened to come up), I told her that I would not be attending my parent’s funerals. I got the impression she thought this was awful of me. I told her that in the case where there is abuse and rejection, I have no obligation to attend their funerals. What would be the freaking point?? She tried to use the ‘what you dish out will come back to you kind of thing’ and I almost lost it – I told her, “I think that when there is abuse – that karma thing does NOT apply.” I was so angry – why is it that karma applies to us who choose to not be abused and yet NO ONE EVER says these things to abusers???!! Does this infuriate anyone else??? Grrrr!


Reply #303,

I agree. My ex-therapist got furious with me because I won’t go to my parents funeral whenever they die and I said why? You abused me, humiliated me, ruined my life, etc and I am suppose to go to your funeral? remember the story of Scrooge? How the Xmas spirit showed him the future in his grave and how the town acted like he never existed. His own nephew was glad that he was gone, his grave was filthy, and people were glad he was gone! That is true life I always remind people of that story and they always change the subject!

I got the whole ‘what you dish out will come back,’ nope, I would want people to say nice things about me at my funeral. Like you said, that doesn’t apply when you were abused especially if you took the initiative to change your life around. Why do you keep kissing the abuser’s asses? I never get an actual answer every time I ask that. Told my ex-therapist this is what they call dogma and control – controlling the victims to force them to “accept” these false lies/definitions and make them feel they have “an obligation to the abusers because they are family.” Oh, she didn’t like that!

People need to start telling off these abusers which I told my ex therapist how Steve Wilkos tells off the abusers and doesn’t pick sides. He doesn’t brainwash the victims and told her, hey let’s be honest, when you were a child, you are the victim because you didn’t ask for that mistreatment. This woman is a mom and married herself yet speaks completely different.


Marquis ~ I feel EXACTLY the same. I so hear you! I would have said the exact same things! There is thinking that has to change out there in society – just because they are parents, and in my case an abusive mother and an enabling father (although I am now wondering if he too wasn’t also one with NPD), I’m supposed to pay them ‘my’ respect when they die?? Do people ever stop and consider what they’re saying or asking of us?? I swear, when people say this, they are just repeating what some other person said – its just lip service without any real thought to what they are asking of us. I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way. They have not asked my forgiveness – in fact, I was told by my family of origin that “we don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.” That says right there that they have no intention of reconciling … and then I’m the one who should pay my respect by showing up at their funerals???

Abuse is abuse no matter who is doing it. It’s just like how I recall an in-law on my husband’s side asking me some years ago how my mother was. I said, “I can’t know – she hasn’t been in my life for several years.” He replied, astonished, “But that’s your mother!” To which I calmly replied, “You don’t know my mother.” End of conversation. What is it that when you say a parent is being abusive no wants to talk about it or discuss it. It’s like they all want to put it back into the closet and pretend its not there. It makes me so angry.

In this discussion I had with an in-law today, she also had the audacity to tell me that the abuse I endured was not worse than hers (and she had something of a relationship with her mother before her mother died.) To me, mine was far worse – I LIVED with a mother who did NOT love me, who was insidiously abusive, and it was made very clear in how she treated me that she did in fact hate me. This other person (the in-law) was abandoned by her mother – granted the pain of that would be great – but to tell me that my abuse was not worse than hers makes me furious – people who think they know what you’ve endured, who were not there, really pisses me off! I would never say something like that to her – her pain is a pain I cannot know just like there is NO WAY she can know mine! GRRRR. Furthermore, I told her that my going to a parent’s funeral will just create tons of drama I can live without. She clearly doesn’t get the ‘amazing’ dysfunction that is my family of origin! If I showed up – the can of drama and smearing and gossiping would be poured out … NO THANKS! I am so NOT enduring that freaking mess! She can think I am heartless all she wants – while not once has she considered their heartlessness!!!! … Thanks for letting me vent … I’m still fuming about it. I get so angry when people assume they think they know what you’ve been through (or not) when they have, not even for one step, walked in your shoes!


I get what everyone is saying about funerals. I’m not expecting to go to my mother’s funeral at this point. My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I attended his, but that’s another story. Right now, my siblings aren’t speaking to me, and I’m not interested in seeing THEM when my Mom passes. Just when I really needed support – the whole stinking family gave me hell and turned their backs on me.

But what drew me to respond here is that karma thing; what goes around comes around (you reap what you sow). I haven’t heard that myself in a long time, but I think if I do I’ll answer that my Mom is getting off easy if all I’m doing is not attending her funeral. If I actually paid her back in kind, my absence at her funeral would be the least of her worries.


I have said before that I will not go to my mother’s funeral. The things my father did to me were reprehensible, but they were physical things. In his own way, he was emotionally supportive.

My mother, on the other hand, was both physically and psychologically abusive. I have gone into some detail here about the physical abuse, even to her giving me a black eye when I was 37. But she has always been psychologically abusive.

And when she could no longer pyhsically touch, her psychologic abuse increased logarithmically. This last year, since my father died, she has gone systematically to each family member and said that I lied about the almost daily rapes. I owe her money for every meal and “room and board” when we went to visit after we married. She said that she kept my two sons for two weeks in 1986 and she has “proof”. What proof? On the time in question (my husband was in New York for the Statue of Liberty celebration with the Navy), my mother-in-law came to stay with us for two weeks and has hundred of photos to prove it.

My father had told my sister-in-law about the incest and how horrible he felt about what he had done. He had also beaten my almost daily, on my mother’s instruction, with a leather belt (buckle end) and wooden rods. He also said that my mother had always treated me, her parents and her own brothers badly over the years. How can she deny all of it when others were told by my father? I am the liar?

But in her reaping what she has sown, I could not say that she would be safe in a room alone with me (no, I would never actually do anything to her). But if I did give her back some of what she dished out, her life would be shortened and she doesn’t have much left, as it is. My drug addicted, alcoholic sister is following in her footsteps.

I believe that my husband and I have stopped the cycle of abuse from continuing on into our family. Both of our sons are remarkable men. And my husband is the man who saved my life.

I would not go to either my mother or my sister’s funerals. They are not worth my time. If I heard that they were sleeping in cardboard boxes under the interstate, I would not lift a finger or give them a dime. I do not care any more.

I have another brother who will not speak to me because somehow he thinks that now that my father is dead, I should have “closure” and come back to the family. I am the oldest by 8, 14, and 16 years. What does that say? They want me back because I am the only one who could afford to keep my mother in the syle she is accustomed. They could not “live my and support me (emotionally)” before, why should I try to live with them now?

I am 65 and I would like to live a little longer to be with my husband, sons and grandchildren. If I go back to that insane, toxic world that is my family of origin, I would die, literally. I have heart problems from elevated stress levels for far too many years. I have esophageal problems from vomiting for years with PTSD.

The things done to my by that woman from the day I was born have had forever lasting effects. I may be an evil person, in some people’s eyes, because of how I feel about my mother, but I cannot help it. She hated me in the womb and she hates me now. Why should I care?

My heart goes out to all of you,


Thank you all so very much for the warm response. I honestly did not expect it. I, like so many others became, used to being dismissed, ignored, or punished for expressing anything. I had become used to being voiceless, used and invisible. Thank you for reminding me that I do matter and that my voice is heard and has meaning too.


Hi Everyone!
I published a New Post! “Feelings and the Trigger Connection ~ No longer a powerless child”

It’s about feelings of helplessness or powerlessness as an adult and where they have their roots and the difference between being a powerless child and owning your power as an adult!
looking forward to the conversation!

Hugs, Darlene



I agree. I told this to my ex-therapist months ago that my parents never asked for our forgiveness, there is no forgiving for one end and nothing on the other end – forgiving is a 2 way process! This therapist totally disagreed saying ‘it will make you an angrier person for not forgiving at all,’ told her met some people who never forgave and were happy yet they were not dwelling on the past!

Ex-therapist clearly has no life experience, but believes she has a lot of unresolved issues.

“Abuse is abuse no matter who is doing it. It’s just like how I recall an in-law on my husband’s side asking me some years ago how my mother was. I said, “I can’t know – she hasn’t been in my life for several years.” He replied, astonished, “But that’s your mother!” To which I calmly replied, “You don’t know my mother.” End of conversation. What is it that when you say a parent is being abusive no wants to talk about it or discuss it. It’s like they all want to put it back into the closet and pretend its not there. It makes me so angry.”

Agreed. I hated how my ex-therapist pointed her damn pen at me saying ‘they are your parents no matter what,’ are we talking about her parenting or my lousy parents??!! Told therapist ‘not a lot of people have parents and did fine without them.’ I got the usual ‘she/he’s your mom/dad,’ I always tell people the same thing ‘you don’t know them nor were you there.’ The best answer I got was ‘I’m a parent, so I know how other parents think/feel when you’re a parent, then you will understand!’ Classic, got something like that from my ex-therapist. Abuse is abuse no matter who is doing it, I told that to my therapist yet she got the nerve to tell ‘there’s worse, yours isn’t that bad.’ I told her ‘I’ve been in these conversations with people before, when did this get to be a contest about who had it bad/rough/terrible/etc?’ She just looked at me.

I told her and others ‘that’s fine if you think my parents are Saints, but you weren’t there in my household. So, if you want to walk around with blinders and be lied to, fall into deception constantly, and be in ooh and aah over their lies; that is up to you but I know the game way too well.’ Yep, ex-therapist didn’t like that all. Proves she hasn’t been around liars enough in her life. I told her and others ‘if my parents die, oh well, not my problem.’ I am the youngest, I wish someone would tell me why people think “it’s my duty/obligation” to be a part of my parents’ lives when they were never a part of mine? Why does the youngest have to do the work not the older siblings? Ex therapist said ‘because they already been through it and don’t need to go through it again.’ WTF?!?! So have I!

“She clearly doesn’t get the ‘amazing’ dysfunction that is my family of origin! If I showed up – the can of drama and smearing and gossiping would be poured out … NO THANKS! I am so NOT enduring that freaking mess! She can think I am heartless all she wants – while not once has she considered their heartlessness!!!!”

Agreed. I told my ex therapist ‘you wouldn’t know narcissism and drama from my parents until after it was too late. We have parents that never wanted us and hated us what more proof do you need?’ Yea, I get so fired up too because I hate when people like her (therapist) and others throw this type of shit in my face, been like this since age 10 and I am now 28! I always had to defend myself from their illogical minds from society.

“I get so angry when people assume they think they know what you’ve been through (or not) when they have, not even for one step, walked in your shoes!”

Totally agree with you. I hate how people come across as nice and understanding, then condemn you for speaking the truth and wanna burn you at the stake for speaking against “family values.” Getting a beating, sexually abused, or emotional abuse is NOT family values! I had people who were understanding and went off the deep end, lost all trust with them again and again. They claim I can understand abuse of physical and emotional, but never with a family member. I said omg, why do I bother? Ex therapist got huffy saying ‘well, these people probably didn’t have that experience and their perception was that there a lot of good families out there.’ I just looked at her and said ‘is it that hard to ask questions to understand people? Walking a mile in someone’s shoes is walking all the way there not five steps thinking you know everything about their situation. Walking in their shoes means you feel what they feel, see as they see, judge as they judge, actually feeling and placing yourself there from their story and being able to truly understand that person – that is what walking a mile in someone shoes means.’ She definitely had nothing to say just pure silence in her office – even my boyfriend was shocked as hell when I said that.

Told ex therapist ‘why do we say “try walking a mile in my shoes,” when we clearly have no idea what the quote exactly means? I’ve heard it out there thrown around like a ball because “it sounds good to the ears,” so we quote things without knowing the meaning/background behind it.’ She didn’t like that but had nothing to say about it. I have that to other people nobody couldn’t argue that! How could you argue that?


Marquis ~ Totally agree with you on all those points! BOOYAH!! 🙂 I am so glad this is an ex-therapist – doesn’t sound like she was much help to you at all. I am so amazed at some of the stuff she told you. I’ve been certainly through it with my parents, even siblings. The only thing is – some things I had to piece together because I have so very few memories before grade 5. So few. I think whatever trauma I may have suffered (for lack of memory) is probably not worth unearthing.

I truly thought that when I had children of my own I would understand my mother’s ‘treatment’ of me. I knew that how she treated me was wrong, well – at least felt wrong. I saw how she loved my other siblings, especially her favourite. She always had me thinking that her lack of love for me was actually my fault. Trouble was I could never bloody earn it. I was turning 28 when I got married. I was 30 before I had my first kidlet. And when that baby came, then second baby came … I was like … ‘What the h*ll??!!’ Who ‘treat’s their kids like they hate them? I expected this amazing epiphany when I had my own children, that I’d suddenly realize how great a mother she was. … Yeah. The opposite totally happened!! Confusion. Hurt. Anger. How a person can not love their child amazes the hell out of me. I omitted my mother from my life when I just found out I was pregnant with my third baby. I could not have her around me or my kids anymore. It was getting increasingly toxic. I was 34 at the time. (I’m now 48.) …

And like you, if I am hearing you right, is that I too hate people who pretend they understand while really they think you’re just full of bunk. My mother-in-law told me yesterday that she didn’t think my abuse was that bad – I almost lost it. I thought to myself, ‘How the hell would you know?! Were you there?!’ I hate it when people belittle what other people have gone through!!! My mom-in-law was abandoned by her mother and I get that must have been very painful as she was only 8 years old and her mother dropped her off at an orphanage of sorts and forgot about her. I get that this would be a painful experience, but to say to me that my abuse is no more severe than hers really pissed me off. I would never presume that I knew what being abandoned would be like … just like she has no idea what its like to actually LIVE with someone who rejects you to your face every day. She doesn’t know what its like getting the looks that kill – the awful silent treatments that came with cold stares – and my mother never seemed to have a reason to treat me this way other than (the last thing she ever told me was), “You were always so hard to love.” (I was her Cinderella if that tells you anything, and yet she’d tell me I was lazy – I’d just shake my head) – she did this for the hell of it I guess. My mothering-law never knew what it was like to be humiliated, belittled, or berated by her mother in public and private settings. I’m sorry – but having been through what I’ve been through, I think I would have rather been abandoned at a young age even though neither circumstances are ideal. Having a loving mother would have been ideal.


Rise and Marquis, I am reading your discussion and two things come to mind. First, people who say stuff like “but they are your parents” as if this is an automatic right of theirs to be treated with respect and to expect you to cater to their every wish. My thoughts on “but they are your parents” are: DID THEY BEHAVE LIKE PARENTS? Did they nurture and protect us? Were they there for us? Did they meet our needs, including physical, emotional, educational, financial? Did they build up our self esteem? Were they available when we needed someone to talk to? The list could go on and on. But if they didn’t do these things for us then where do people get the idea that they have the automatic right to certain things because they are biologically our parents.

The other thing is why do people try to one up you when you describe your situation. Even if someone else’s situation was much worse, it doesn’t cancel out the pain you felt in your situation. I think it’s horrible if someone discounts and dismisses your heartache because they think they have it worse than you. Pain is pain. Don’t invalidate mine because you think yours is worse.

Marquis, I am glad to hear your therapist is now your ex therapist. She sounded like a real piece of work!



“The only thing is – some things I had to piece together because I have so very few memories before grade 5. So few. I think whatever trauma I may have suffered (for lack of memory) is probably not worth unearthing.”

Agreed. I don’t seem much anymore growing up, but when I sleep, I had dreams showing me the past and would wake up crying or having nightmares. I don’t need to remember now, what good memories? Mostly bad anyway. My ex therapist told me one time ‘there must have been some good memories,’ yea, good memories that only applies to my parents not to us.

I knew too that my parents treated us like dirt shit growing up and that is just pure wrong. Some people felt it was wrong others felt it was “good parenting,” omg, that’s how your children end up hating you! A lot of people never got that part, but oh well.

“And like you, if I am hearing you right, is that I too hate people who pretend they understand while really they think you’re just full of bunk. My mother-in-law told me yesterday that she didn’t think my abuse was that bad – I almost lost it. I thought to myself, ‘How the hell would you know?! Were you there?!’ I hate it when people belittle what other people have gone through!!! My mom-in-law was abandoned by her mother and I get that must have been very painful as she was only 8 years old and her mother dropped her off at an orphanage of sorts and forgot about her. I get that this would be a painful experience, but to say to me that my abuse is no more severe than hers really pissed me off.”

Yea, that’s what I am saying about people treat abuse like it’s something else. I always have to tell people, especially other parents, ‘were you there?’ Same stupid answer of theirs ‘I don’t have to be there because I am a parent and I know how parents feel we are all connected by our children and we all want the same things for them.’ Talk about watering it down even more! I have told other parents ‘when did you get to be an ambassador for my parents? You are not an ambassador for them, you don’t speak for them – I do since I am unfortunately related to them, etc.’ Oh, they didn’t like that answer I was “disrespecting my elders and ungrateful kids should know better.” I said ‘ohh, the children are seen and not heard BS. Thought that was over and done with?’ They got real quiet when I brought that up…hmmm wonder why!

” I would never presume that I knew what being abandoned would be like … just like she has no idea what its like to actually LIVE with someone who rejects you to your face every day.”

Agreed. I never presume anything about a person’s life which is I don’t ask them much about their families because you never know if they are on good terms with them or not and if they are not, I don’t probe to ask why because I would already know – the same shared experience. I had to put my ex therapist in her place about this telling her ‘you may be a mom, but you loving your children vs my mom who hated her children especially her daughters is two polar opposites from you and her. Why would you say a parent who never wanted kids or only kept them to keep my dad around would you wanna associate your motherhood with theirs?’ OMG, talk about deep silence in her office! Pretty sad, how this “therapist” couldn’t answer the question! I told her ‘I thought you’re a mom and so married? You should be able to answer the question. I have answered a lot of crap you threw at me, which is the same crap I heard for years so I know how to answer and deflect the questions and turn it around on you; let’s see how you can answer the question(s).’

Yep, she changed the subject that was the end of that particular session that one day lol.

“She doesn’t know what its like getting the looks that kill – the awful silent treatments that came with cold stares – and my mother never seemed to have a reason to treat me this way other than (the last thing she ever told me was),”

Oh yes, the silent treatment, the cold stares, the evil eyes, etc. Glad you mentioned that because when it comes to talking to people that I don’t know, I have a hard time giving them direct eye contact. It gives me the heebie geebies, I believe it’s mostly from the horrible looks my mom gave me like the ‘I should have killed you a long time ago,’ type of look. When I was a kid, she gave the same looks but I didn’t have fear of people’s eyes. I tried to explain to ex therapist and other people, omg, it went over their heads seems like it is hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it first hand.

That’s the problem with ex therapist she didn’t get you have to “experience” something in order to back up what you had to say. She (ex therapist) tried so hard to “convince me” that my “perspective” is so wrong and she is right. I told her ‘you’re problem is you are having a tough time trying to convince to your viewpoints,’ she really shook her head and got huffier about it! lol

My parents just never loved us, why is that so hard for people to get? I told my ex therapist ‘why do you always look shocked when I say my parents never loved us? I know you’re a mom, did you know rape, murder, stealing, etc exist? If you’re going to have your head so far in the sand or up your ass, then other issues happening in the world; you’re basically saying it doesn’t exist and that is devaluing, dehumanizing, discounting, etc.’ Ohh, she disagreed well somewhat agreed about rape and murder does exist, told me some other BS I just rolled my eyes at her. Yea, I did a lot of eye ball rolling and sucking my teeth at her lol.

“My mothering-law never knew what it was like to be humiliated, belittled, or berated by her mother in public and private settings. I’m sorry – but having been through what I’ve been through, I think I would have rather been abandoned at a young age even though neither circumstances are ideal. Having a loving mother would have been ideal.”

Agreed. I have told people even my ex therapist how life would’ve been better if I was raised by a loving family or animals that would be my only choices! You know how baby turtles are born and have to make their way to the ocean, survive on their until adulthood? I’d rather do that if that was possible for human babies to do that!


Thank you for saying that! That was always a knock out fight with other people and my ex-therapist. I did ask ‘did they behave like parents?’ When you said that, notice behave is an action word and descriptive? The question is asking about a show of action. I told my ex therapist and other people ‘listen to what you’re saying, you keep saying action orientated words so obviously there was no action from my parents on actually loving us, raising us, teaching us, etc because they felt it was “our duty” to parents ourselves!’ People’s eyes just popped out when I said that and told them ‘do we have a clue as to what we say in America? The stuff that comes out of my mouths is atrocious! We say things that have so much fluff but don’t bother to find out what’s the real meaning behind the fluff!’ Yep, they didn’t like that too much.

“Did they nurture and protect us? Were they there for us? Did they meet our needs, including physical, emotional, educational, financial? Did they build up our self esteem? Were they available when we needed someone to talk to? The list could go on and on. But if they didn’t do these things for us then where do people get the idea that they have the automatic right to certain things because they are biologically our parents.”

Agreed! I can never get a definitive answer from people when I ask these questions and if I do, they come up with some dumbass, scientific answer to counteract my answers which never work because I always had them shut up in the end! I told my ex therapist and other people about my lack of parents and how is a person a parent if they don’t:

– nurture their children
– take care of them and love them
– provide for them (like you said, medical, financial, educational, roof over their heads, food, etc)
– Do fun activities with the kids

A whole sleuth of stuff a parent should be doing with their kids. I asked ex therapist and people how come they won’t do that and why they feel they don’t need to do that? Ooh, the silences from people!

– Did they BEHAVE like parents?
– Why is it always the children’s fault?
– Did they protect us?
– Did they allow us to have voices like human beings?
– Why did they treated us like slaves/servants?
– Were they there emotionally, physically, and spiritually? You can’t say they are parents and they don’t have all 3 of those qualities plus other qualities too. How are they your parents when they are not connected to you emotionally and physically yet they treat you like some stranger or just some kid they have to take care of? It’s like being born from a pair of strangers and you (the kids) aren’t connected to them either because there isn’t any kind of freakin love or any emotions to begin with! Like Darlene said, if there wasn’t love in the beginning, how could there be a love loss?
– Are the parents a living example and role model to their children? Not they say some fluff because it sounds good yet say it doesn’t apply to them as it may apply to you or whenever you feel like it (that’s my parents).

All of the above questions/statements show that my parents (or anybody else’s terrible parents) are terrible idiots who never wanted us and abandoned us they are so into themselves, if that’s not a narc I don’t know what is! Our needs were never met growing up only when they felt like it. They contemplated our needs like it was some game and tried to explain that to ex-therapist she had a different view point. She got the nerve to tell me ‘you don’t agree with a lot of things and you always disagree,’ yep! Why should I agree to something that isn’t true, doesn’t fit me, doesn’t fit my situation or parents, etc? If I have to agree to it, then I am lying to myself and what’s the point of being in therapy if I am just gonna lie to myself and agree to what you say all because you don’t agree with what I have to say or like what I have to say? Yep, another round of silence! There was more silence in her office than anything else.

You know, the list goes on. I told people and ex therapist all of these questions about not taking care of your kids because you brought them into the world yet you treat them like garbage answers a lot of the questions I’ve asked you. They couldn’t even answer all of those questions I asked – there’s a lot of how come they didn’t do this or that, they did nothing us so why should they get respect? Like you said, it doesn’t constitute respect because “they are your parents.” That is the most biggest and and ridiculous lie people can tell themselves but when you ask them if that was a friend or coworker, would you respect them? Look at how fast they answer that question to no lol. I’ve asked people how does not taking care of your kids = love? Nobody can’t answer that and they wanna change the subject hence is why my ex therapist failed at every arrow being thrown at her by me and she is a mom she should have answers to these questions – any real parent out there should have answers to these question(s).

I agree with you about there’s no automatic right because they are parents. I always ask what constitute being a parent? Omg, I had many different answers some were good, others mediocre, and the rest bad and made your hairs stand up! This is why I don’t respect my parents at all, I can’t respect two idiots who put a lot of lies into my head and get told I should be grateful because they produced me – again who asked to be born? Who’s idea to bring a child into the world?

Yea, pain is pain and it doesn’t discount your experience we all experience pain sometime in our lives. People asked me about my parents and tell me I “whine too much because it’s worse out there for other people.” Yea, that’s when I blow up at them. I said ‘don’t tell me what’s worse and what isn’t. I am sorry that my worse experience of 45% is not so bad compared to your horrible life at 98% – is this a game we’re playing? Did you want brownie points for having the worse life more than me?’ Those were knock out fights and at times they would shut up or just tell me ‘you had it better than others,’ I said ‘how did I have it better?’ My sister would tell you we didn’t have it better. I mean, why did my dad molest my 1st born half sister and not us is beyond me. We still got shit treatment regardless if we were touched or not.

I told ex therapist ‘doesn’t make it right nor does it make it any better.’ She said how I shouldn’t be complaining about my issues and I said ‘the reason is it still hurts even though I am still stuck at home wanting to escape. I hate it because I compare it to other people’s happy lives that’s something we never experienced nor will we ever get from our lousy parents. I have more of a right to be upset than a therapist who doesn’t seem to have any feelings!’ ohh, she didn’t like that!


My mother would say, “go outside and blow the stink off” and “I will be glad when you are grown and on your own”. And so I did go outside and discover a beautiful kind world in nature. And I did get out on my own, marriage at 18, barely 2 months out of high school………I am strong. But sometimes I am really, really sad because of those messages that live on in my head. I am grateful for a New Thought religious outlook that tells me “you were born in original blessing” and all the work I have done to nourish my inner child with the mantra: “You are enough, you do enough, and you have enough”. It is a daily/weekly job to recover from 2 parents who were not “really parents” but instead went about the Universe reacting to life “unconscious to the Truth”…..


Hi Eva
It is sad that we received those messages in the first place! A child should not be told by a parent that the parent can’t wait until the child is gone from the home! That is a horrific communication to a child. It is rejection to a child and it harms all self worth and self esteem and it does all kinds of other harm.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

marquis (female)
March 30th, 2014 at 1:24 pm


My mom would say stuff like ‘I can’t wait until you are grown because I am so tired of taking care of you. Why don’t you have your friends take care of you?’ Not my friends’ job to take care of me. I always told people and my ex therapist how she always wanted to relinquish her “lack of parental responsibilities” onto someone else. Hell, she also said she wanted to sign the papers in middle school I think to sign me over to the state! For one, you just don’t grab parents and a sign a child over, that’s why you go to court! Then, says to me ‘you have a good thing going on at home.’ WTF?!?!? What good thing going on? Being called every name in the book and yelled at 24/7? Being called a hoe/whore? etc Who is grateful for “having something like that at home?”

OMG, the dumb responses people gave me were ‘ohh, your mom or dad is simply having a bad day and let it go for now, until they are ready to talk.’ Who’s parents are you talking about? Anything horrible they say is like water off a duck’s back and they moved on while I am still pissed!

Mom should have done me a favor and sent me to the state probably would’ve had a better life! She said ‘I don’t want you to be a statistic where people feel sorry for you.’ Hey, kids in foster didn’t ask to be a statistic nor did they have a say so when the state put them there or when their parents gave them up to the state.


I agree simply that’s something my ex therapist couldn’t pick up on how that communicates to a child. When my mom said that, it was a sword being thrusted into my stomach and I felt rejection. It proves right there that I was not wanted to be their child, which I never wanted to be part of them anyway. What part do people not understand? Oh, it’s sad when another child is not wanted but either you yourself never saw you were wanted by your parents or another child in the family isn’t wanted and you are turning a blind eye! Ex therapist had the nerve to say ‘well, you’re trying to deny your DNA.’ Huh? I might as well lol my sister simply says ‘they are just two fools who share the same DNA as us and raised us poorly.’ I think we’ve been rejected since birth! Tells you something right there.


Dear Darlene,

The very last time I saw my grandfather before he committed suicide by letting a cancer grow in him that he could have had removed he had alot to say to me. He told me that I was not an idiot like the rest of my family and that I should RUN not walk away from these people as soon as I grew up and could hold a job. He said that they were trying to emotionally murder me. So when I turned 18 I went to nursing school. I will always grieve my grandfather in some way. I don’t consider malignant grieving. I don’t have a shrine or anything like that. At least one person knew the truth about this family but instead of coping with it he ended it sadly. I was alone and always alone…spent holidays and birthdays alone. I am married now and have a child so there is no alone there anymore but part of me is never endingly always slightly angry at these people. I never deserved what was dished out. I never deserved to suffer because my parents suffered from bad childhoods. As I got older and figured all this out and I am genetically made up of both of my parents I couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t figure it out. Now both are dead. I wonder if on the other side God sat them down and told them what they were suppose to figure out..Did Jesus sit there and look at them and tell them that He gave them a gift and they threw it away. Again if I can figure it out why couldn’t they? Why was my mother so abusive with that mouth of hers. Why would she want to make up stuff incriminating me for things as a child I never did?…I don’t have a relationship with my siblings. My grandfather told me one more thing…That my siblings would never get a clue…that none of the kids got that what was going on is called emotional abuse…My grandfather scratched his head and told me he didn’t know how I was their child…I was nothing like the family I was put in…Well God Bless grandpa for at least giving me some truth to hang onto…Nothing like going threw your life knowing from Day One that you are the most hated criminal in your family..I don’t have alot of friends…The art of pushing people away is my specialty but my husband refused to be pushed away…My daughter is not abused…before I open my mouth everything is double and triple checked…They say that like an STD you can pass this stuff on..Not ME…I flat out refuse too!! I hope my nieces and nephews fared as well…Anyway I can’t Thank You enough…


I don’t know where to start. I’m slowly starting to see the truth about my family. Even typing that last sentence, I feel afraid, like I need to put up a wall against the discrediting comments to follow. That’s my family talking in my head. That’s what I grew up with. If something wasn’t logical or factual, like feelings, they weren’t true.

Starting when I was a kid, I would wake up at night shaking and feeling like I was about to throw up. Terrified, I woke up my mom and she sat with me and gave me water to drink until the feeling passed. I never threw up. From there, I developed a fear of vomiting because I associated it with those feelings of panic and for years I drank a few sips of water before going to bed to make sure I didn’t feel “nauseous.” It gave me a sense of control, but the water wasn’t actually doing anything. Looking back now, it had nothing to do with vomiting. These were panic attacks. So starting at a young age my body was trying to tell me that something was off. It’s been probably close to 20 years since that all started and I’m just now realizing why. I still have a lot of anxiety and have been quite depressed in the past during which I had thoughts about hurting myself, but instead of trying to push it away, like I have my whole life, I’ve decided recently to accept it and let it be and listen to what it has to say.

When I try to think of pleasant memories with my family where I felt truly loved and accepted, I come up with a blank. Yes, my family has done plenty of nice things for me, but the true sentiment behind it always felt missing. On the surface everything looked dandy, but…

– My dad always says he “doesn’t have time” for me or others, but then he goes and plays on the computer for hours or watches movies until very late and then complains he’s tired and can’t do this or that for anyone. I’m moving out of my apt in the next couple weeks and out of nowhere he tells me he’ll only be able to help me move on the weekends, not the weekdays because he “doesn’t have time” or is “too busy” but really all he’ll be doing is what I mentioned before. So, that’s his way of telling me not to expect too much of his support. Ok, noted. I actually just got out of a relationship with a man who did the exact same thing. I had been trying so hard to get him to express his feelings for me but he was emotionally unavailable and it was futile and I gave up. It was a relief and breaking it off helped me understand I deserve better. I’ve now also decided to give up other things that are holding me back.

– I recently got a new job that I’m excited about and when I told my mom about it she said, “as long as you’re happy,” but I didn’t really feel any genuine happiness coming from her and something felt off. A few days later, my brother told me that she said separately that my job “isn’t right for me.” Ah, so that’s why. That’s more along the lines of what I was expecting.

– I think my dad only got married to my mom to please his mom, my grandma. Then he moved to this country only to please her and he has been unhappy for many years because he’s living for others. My grandma is very manipulative and will lie, pit people against each other, deny things she said and steal. It helps me understand my dad, and feel sorry for him that he had a mother like my grandma. And then I wonder what kind of family my grandma had…

– On my mom’s side, she had a mom who was constantly “sick,” and had to take care of her family from a young age because she was the only other female in the family when her mom was in a different city getting treated, which I understand was often. I think my grandma’s sicknesses, which continue to this day, are anxiety and panic related and are ways to get attention, as she almost instantly feels better when someone is attending to her. Both of them are major people pleasers and martyrs, something which I have also picked up but am working on dropping. My mom’s brother is an angry man, and has had outbursts where he has grabbed my cousin (his daughter) by the neck during an argument or destroyed a VHS tape of a rented movie that he didn’t like. And even in just regular conversation, I feel a lot of tension in him.

I still have a lot to work through and some boundaries to set and enforce and some inner wisdom to get in touch with, but I feel like I’m on the right path.


I found this site and decided to share my story.
I do not think I was ever able to overcome the emotional trauma of dysfunctional relationships with the only person I have and had – my mother. I have no siblings, no father (they divorced when I was 2 or 3). Grandparents were gone when I was 13.
I have no clue, why the person who put me in this world would be so indifferent to me, never really showing any love or affection, trying to get rid of me any possible way. I was put in boarding school for 5 years when I was 9, then my mother re-married and for 5 years of her marriage I had endured lots of abuse from step-father. I was always told that I am the absolutely terrible child (later person) with no heart. On regular occasions I was called diminishing names, my mother told me she disowns me. I am the worst daughter to have. She forced me to abort my very first and second child from my first legal marriage….Then I divorced and re-married, and she put all her effort to break my second marriage, telling that I am good for nobody, that no person would tolerate me.
I had absolutely no self esteem and always had to prove to the world that I not complete write-off.
I am in mid life (47) and it still have problems to let go. I tried to forgive her. I tried to liberate myself of this baggage. I think the scar is too deep and at times I forget about this, but any rough dealing with my mother would ignite old feelings.
But my dilemma is much bigger now, since my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was hoping that possibly now is the time to heal our relationships, somehow to straighten everything for her and for me, so that when she is gone I have no guilt and she rests in peace. And I was hoping to rebuilt myself from this unworthiness somehow. But, no it did not happen. I do come to help her, semi-automatically as I should , but no, there are no feelings , no “love”, no compassion. All that is there is a sense of deep sorrow that I never was able to connect with her. And yes, guilt feeling that I have no “love”, compare with all other “perfect” people that love and value my mother very highly and see me as “cold” person. Is it possible she made me be with no heart ?
It is very difficult to become wholesome person having such or similar experiences in life. And as in my case it takes life long journey to recover , heal and to somehow live with my “heartless”-self. I am still on this journey.
I do have a family now (third), and 3 kids from all three marriages: 26, 19 and 6. My husband is very supporting and understanding, but I just wanted to talk to outside world and may be to pick up some good and encouraging words
Thank you


Dear Victoria (319),
You will never change the MNPD not now not ever… And I wouldn’t put myself through what you are doing by being with someone who is dying yet is still selfish and uncompassionate. You do not owe MNPD anything, not your time, your love, your companionship, your heart, she still has a very great potential to hurt you very badly if you are there with her alone… I’m very sorry to say this but it’s not a good place for you to be, she has absolutely nothing good to give you only bad, please stay away.
Live your life use these sites read read and read some more.. You will understand why you are so torn about the MNPD in your life. Learn NC – Non-Contact – for those Narcissists in your life including MNPD.
I have gone completely NC with my MNPD and the feeling is soooo FREEING and NICE and HAPPY. And NO I do not feel bad about going NC with her because she will NEVER change.
I’ve read lots about NPD this disorder cannot be repaired or changed in any way according to all of the med & science & psychology information that I’ve read, they are what they are, mean, nasty uncaring, unempathetic, & will continue to degrade whoever they meet or are with…
My Hopes are with you!


Boundaries learn these, too! A lot of Us Children of NPD’s were never ever taught Boundaries, I know I wasn’t! It is against all of the rules for NPD’s control. NPD’s will not let you have them and even if you tried they stomped all over them…


One Christmas, my 2 narcissistic parents were on their worst behaviour.They just couldn’t stop yelling and insulting me.I stepped out of the house and went to a local park.When it got dark outside i watched happy families loughing around a huge chrismas tree decorating the park.I just sat there silently, wishing i was born in one of those normal families.Tears fell from my eyes, but nobody saw them, as it was dark.
maybe it’s not related to the topic of the article, but typying it felt liberating.Thank you for your wonderful site.It’s like a shelter for all victims of abuse.Your kind words would help me if you answered.I really need it.


Hi Laura, I’ve had similar feelings when I would see mothers and daughters happily shopping together and other similar things. I did write you a response on the Toxic Mother/ Daughter article. Glad to see you are reading and posting. This site has helped so many!


Hi Laura
It is very liberating to share this stuff! It is the beginning of getting your voice back.
Hugs, Darlene


“Darlene Ouimet

Well yes and I realized that MY inner critic wasn’t really me but rather the voice I adopted in my attempt to survive in the first place. 🙂

I just realised what you are saying here a few days ago, after asking myself this question “What else do you need to see to realise it is not your fault and there is no way to make her understand and change and be a little sorry for the pain she has put you through?” and then I just stopped crying when I remember what she has done or not done as a good parent should.

and then I found your blog – cannot be a coincidence. 🙂


Hi Maria
Welcome to EFB! That is awesome! Glad you found us!
hugs, Darlene


My last xmas at my MNPD’s place was particularly Nasty as she used a tactic that I didn’t even recognize until I read these articles and this one xmas came up and hit me like a ton of bricks, it was used to seduce my x… My current Husband and I went to MNPD’s xmas and He got a really nice expensive gift while she gave me a box with 6 bars of soap in it… I knew I was not going back there that day but didn’t know why at the time, now I know! Now I really understand what that MNPD’s xmas’s were all about they were to show the world how wonderful she was, what a martyr she was, how she made supper and would feed anyone, had extra presents for anyone who showed up… All things to make it seem like everything was ok… I was Hurt Severely by these xmas’s but didn’t know how, Now I know! No more xmas’s there, ever!!! xmas’s there now include my x’s family, his whole family, but not because they’re particularly wanted but needed to abuse me some more. I am not falling for it, ever…


— I can relate to some of these words– I can relate to being the cause of all that was wrong. And it’s tricky. There is a huge break between what my head knows and what my heart believes. My head KNOWS it couldn’t have been my fault. But my heart refuses to believe that truth. I’ve spent so much time gathering info– learning what this ‘stuff’ that ‘stuff’ and all the ‘stuff’ was– but I can’t feel it the way I think most people would or do. Logically, I understand but I can’t make my whole self buy-in. I come back to the fault being that I was born–that I exist. And I know that’s illogical, but I can’t believe that. Head vs. heart. A huge break for me. And I’m learning and trying but the process is terribly slow. I’m patient but I desperately want to stop being so abnormal and so horrible and I just can’t make myself buy-in.


Gin – I’ve seen a quote that says to longest journey in the world is the 18 inches between my head and my heart. I wish I knew what it was that made a difference for me. I’m inclined to believe that it was God working when I was ready.

Just know that you have a lot of company in that struggle to get what your head knows to a place where your heart can believe it. You really aren’t horrible and it’s not your fault that you were born. Keep gathering and learning – I believe it will all come together for you soon.



I have been following your fb page for a few months and it is like a breath of fresh air. All of these things that I can’t put my finger on normally really jump out at me when I read your page. I see you have responded to some readers and I would really like your input on breaking ties with my immediate family. I have been struggling with this for a few years. I feel like it is the best thing to do yet I get suckered back in every time. My mother is very showy. As long as everything looks nice she is happy. She rarely initiates contact with me unless it is something someone else will see. I grew up fundamentalist and deconverted, she feels everything in life now is my punishment. She withholds love (I’m not sure it was genuinely ever there to begin with) and periodically shows up with something expensive to woo me when I get indignant. Our financial situation was very, very difficult for a couple of years and she seemed to always dangle the things we needed terribly in front of me when I was about to cut contact (food, clothes for the kids, etc). My grandpa died a while back. I hadn’t talked to me in months but she showed up, took me shopping for things to wear to the funeral and I was so excited because I felt good in her company but when all the family left town she disconnected as well. She is very involved in my sibling’s life and contributes to their family financially, cleaning their house, cooking for them, babysitting… I can’t get her to spend any time with me or my children and we live 5 minutes away. I am not allowed to have a relationship with my aunts or grand parents because she gets jealous and I think she worries I won’t tell her stories correctly. I know I need to break contact but I don’t understand why I’m hung up on the idea that there needs to be an incident or something bad enough to justify it at this time. What is wrong with me? I’m the strongest person I know, I don’t understand why I’m struggling so much to make this move. I fear deeply that if I allow her to stay in my life she will manipulate my children against me eventually. If I didnt have that fear I’d probably be more willing to co-exist. Do you have any advice? How can I explain the timing when this crap behavior has been going on for so long?


I should add that she enabled my father to abuse me horrifically for years and made no moves to protect me until she thought I was going to tell someone. She has made such a show of being my savior and thinks she has me fooled along with everyone else. Compared to the years I lived at home with her she is much better now but I still feel the need to cut contact. Am I a bad person for choosing this now instead of years ago when things were awful?


Hi Ann P – Darlene is very likely to respond to you soon, but I hope you don’t mind if I do too.

I have already chosen no contact with my family and I’m still having some of the same doubts that you are having. My family of origin has already influenced my adult daughters against me and while I hope they’ll eventually see their ways clear, I am currently no contact with them as well.

If you do decide on no contact, it has to be something that you’re ready to do and not because someone else says it’s what you should do.

However, I can discourage you from feeling bad that you didn’t remove yourself sooner. It is really difficult to be in the position that you’re in. And I can tell you that I’ve felt so many similar things to what you’ve expressed.

The very fact that you ask if you are a bad person is a strong indication that you are NOT a bad person. I’ve been asking myself that same thing most of my life and finally recently I have been able to just tell myself “no” and move on to something else.

Emerging from Broken is a HUGE help! Keep reading and posting. I’m sure you’ll find better responses than mine!



Hi Ann P,

I am sorry that your mother treats you badly. It is hard to break away from family when society tells us that family is everything. I have been NC with my sister and was NC with my father. Right now I am LC with my dad. My similarity to your story is that my father and sister rarely initiated contact with me. Months would go by and I would not hear from them. My parents were never involved with my life, but were only interested in my sister. My mother died in 1999. My father moved just a couple of miles from my sister and her family. He would babysit and cook. When he became ill, I was driving 300 miles every six weeks to stay and take care of him. My sister and brother-in-law did not help him. After months of doing this, my husband offered to have him move into our home. He really did not want to do this, but he saw no other choice. Long story short: he stayed five years. He never trusted us and I don’t think he liked us either. He moved back near my sister. He lives in an assisted living facility. My point I guess is that you can do lots of things for your parents, but in the end they will treat you how they want to treat you. If we don’t like how we are treated it is our right to be able to leave the relationship.

I don’t understand how you are not allowed to have a relationship with aunts and grandparents. Is it that she acts jealous and then cuts out contact with you? There is nothing wrong with you. You are a strong person. This is a very hard move to make. Even when you make the move you will question yourself. I think if you tell your mother everything you have said here it is a good enough explanation to me. She most likely won’t understand, but that is not your problem to fix. You said it in your post: this crap behavior has been going on for so long.

In your next post when you talk about your abusive father, she did not step in until she thought it was going to effect her. Then she makes a show of it? You are not a bad person. It does not matter that you did not do this earlier. You are thinking about doing it now.



I like the comment you made about “the very fact that you ask if you are a bad person is a strong indication that you are NOT a bad person.” I have asked myself and my husband this question. I have even thought that there must be something bad about me because family does not care about me. I like how you have told yourself “no.” That is real progress!


Andria, I find it very interesting that there seems to be a common theme on here that the child who is treated the worst is the one that parents expect to take care of them when they are old. I was the child my mother liked the least. But when she needed something done there were always excuses made why my brothers shouldn’t have to do it. In my case I know there is also thrown in the “Its a daughter’s duty” crap. My mother never liked me and showed it. But she never passed up the chance to use me. In fact she got a perverse enjoyment out of actively trying to protect her sons from having to carry the burdens of eldercare, and then laughing with relatives about how it’s ” all on Amber”. When my brothers volunteered to help she got angry and told me that they are ” living their lives” and that it is MY job. She vehemently resisted the idea of them taking any of the load off of me. I really think she enjoyed seeing me miserable and doing all the work.

Ann P my mother was a puppeteer, always trying to pull my strings whether it was to do work to make her life easier, or with relationships with relatives. She loved to pick fights with people, particularly her extended family. And when she did, we were ordered not to see the relative she was fighting with. As a child I had to put up with it. My cousin lived a block away, but when Mother fought with Auntie, us kids couldn’t have contact with our cousin or aunt and uncle. My mother tried to pull this crap when we grew up, but finally at 18 or 19 I decided to make my own decision about who I could see. And my mother got enraged the day of my 20 th birthday because I called my grandparents who she was fighting with at that time.

There is nothing wrong with you Ann. That’s the message they try to give us, but we don’t have to accept it.


Hi Ann
Welcome to EFB!
You are entitled to change your mind OR make a new decision any time you wish. I had those doubts too but they were seriously related to the “brainwashing” that I had been groomed with since a very young age. The fact that she ‘is much better now’ is not the most relevant point. Withholding love simply IS NOT love. I can’t tell you what to do, (it never works unless YOU decide for yourself anyway) but there is a ton of info in this site and my first book in the right side bar contains the entire foundation of how I began to heal. I think you are going to love being part of this community!
Glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene


Amber, I am not sure why this seems to be true. In my case it was probably my father feared the wrath of my sister if he asked her to do anything for him. His relationship with her was way more important than his relationship with me. My father always had excuses for why my sister behaved badly. She is quite selfish, and never wants to be put out by having to do things for others. I thought he might care about me if I helped him, but I got tossed aside.


Andria, I too thought I would gain love through giving. This applies to my mother as well as many others in my life. I was the giver, the caretaker, the holiday workhorse. As much help as I gave my mother, did she care more? No! Still the same self centered woman , still the same one sided relationship. Sad that the givers are not respected and get tossed aside. I had to learn to say NO. I’m getting better but still have a ways to go.


Don’t ever for a second feel anything different than your true feelings…. I also try to understand why people don’t get what it truly means to be without a child hood, raised with love or compassion. It’s been 5 yrs and I still have NO Mother and NO Grandmother for my children or Self.
I go thru the Cycles of Grief…. over and Over ( endlessly) .
I greatly appreciate your site…. It’s is a Gross Truth that society just sweeps this type thing under …. And if you do open up and share your truth it’s unbelievable to most.
So Thank you for giving (Abandoned Adult Children of Abusers!) a place of Comfort.
Again…. Unbelievable to most, But for people like us a website is a lot of times the only place of comfort and healing.
So those who think they have the Knowledge of what it feels like to be one of Us….. you have No Clue. You couldn’t even begin to imagine because you didn’t live it! So don’t Judge another for what you don’t have the experience to understand.


Yeah Amber, it sure does hurt when you give and give and only get the one sided relationship. Both my sister and my husband’s sister are self centered. These are the only siblings we have between us. It has always amazed me how children from the same family turn out so different. They both thought they could say whatever they wanted to me, and it was okay. I let it slide for many years. Then I got verbally abused again and said to myself NO MORE. My husband was done with my sister many years ago. It took me a while to convince him that his sister was not worth the effort to try to include her in the fabric of our lives. He even would tell me that she liked me. He was just trying to smooth things over with me. Finally, one day when he was talking on the phone with her; she made a comment that she was privy to their parents’ conversations about me: the parents said I never did enough for my husband. She made a big boo boo in telling my husband that statement. And here I had taken care of both their parents while they were sick and dying. My my. That is certainly a nice remark about someone who in your words Amber is a “workhorse”. Well this feels good telling this story here. I have told some friends this story, and they gave me good feed back. Like Jennifer B. put it ;if you have the experience you can understand it better. You had to live it.


Wow, Andria, is that ever biting the hand that feeds you!! You were doing all that work and still people complain. I know, I have been there done that too. My mother was a big one to complain while I was helping her. My last visit to her, which was 3000 miles away we had to take her to the emergency room. She was transferred to a regular room and I went up to see her while my husband waited downstairs with my special needs daughter who has a hard time with anything medical. After visiting awhile I said I had to go because they were waiting downstairs. My mother accused me of lying to her to get out of staying there with her. She turned away from me and refused to talk to me. Here I had done so much for her, had been with her most of the night before, and my family was waiting downstairs as to not expose my daughter anymore than necessary to the hospital atmosphere, and my mother is manipulating he with a fight, accusing me of lying. I just said that I had to go and would be back that evening. She was no longer in any danger at that point, and was sure strong enough to argue, and kick the person ( figuratively) who had been helping her.


Amber, that is exactly what I said to my husband, that is biting the hand that feeds you. Yep, that sure is a doozie of a comment your mother made to you while you were helping and being with her in the hospital. It is all about them all the time. Calling you a liar, refusing to talk to you, manipulating to try to make you feel guilty. She could not even think about any one else. Not even her granddaughter who had challenges too.

This reminds me of the last time I saw my mother alive. She had triple bypass surgery. After she was out of recovery and awake to see us, she says, “I guess it takes me to be in the hospital to come and see me.” I don’t think I acknowledged the remark. Just glossed it over. I travelled to see my parents at least once a year. They were retired. My husband and I were both working full time, and were just trying to squeeze days off with each other. I would ask them to come down to visit us. They would sometimes, but it was really up to me to make the trek. Of course they would go to visit my sister.

It took my parents a year and a half to come and see our house we had bought in an historic district in Louisville, KY. It was not a spectacular house, but it was nice and we were very proud to live there. It hurt my feelings to know that when my sister bought her first house they were there immediately helping with the yard and other things in the house. When my father lived with us, I brought this story and others up in his face. He said some platitude crap, but he didn’t give a damn.

The last fight I had with my sister was about the same thing my mother brought up when she was in the hospital. My sister and her family were visiting us and she started spewing about why I had not been up to Chicago to see them. It was true that I had not travelled up to see them since our father moved into my house. But I made sure I told my sister before dad moved in that I was NOT going up to Chicago to see them. If I have dad in my house you make the effort to come down here and visit him. I reminded her of that statement I had made to her years earlier. I did not care if she remembered me saying it or not. It is what I wanted to do. Why should I schlep up there to visit them? She probably would have liked me to bring dad along with me too! Like I didn’t need a break from caring for him. That would have been convenient for her. She would not have to bother to make the six hour drive south. Again, it is all about how they want things to be. My family just did not care about my needs or wants.

I guess I am letting it out today! Amber, we worked really hard to get some love and appreciation for our giving and sacrifices. We didn’t get what we were looking for from our family, but we are happily retired workhorses! What I like to say is that I have a clean conscious. I went above and beyond the call of duty. I don’t think anyone in my family will ever ask me for anything, but my conscious will be clean and clear when I say no.



Andria, I am glad you are letting it all out today just as I am. My mother is gone almost 3 years now, and that incident I described happened during our last visit. She lived three thousand miles from me and wanted me to fly in a t my expense of course every 6 months to take her to her doctor appts. Keep in mind, an aide from her assisted living could also have done this. She didn’t want either of joy brothers burdened because they were ” living their lives”. One of them lived in the as me state as her, not close by but much closer than me.

In my mothers healthier years she never once, not once came in to help me with my special needs child or my other child. Sh basically stopped coming to visit the year my daughter was diagnosed with disabilities. Before that she and her freeloading husband would come in and use my house like a hotel and pick fights with relatives and try to involve me. When I tried to stay neural she would rage at me. I’m giving this background because despite how little she was willing to do for me, she liked to place enormous and unreasonable burdens on me. She loved to see me do the dance, and to sit back and tell everyone how the burden was all on Amber. Yet she never gave anything of herself to me.

She was a nasty mother while I was growing up. I can’t count how many times she called me ugly. She acted like she was ashamed of me. She bought both of my brothers graduation pictures and displayed them in the living room. She wouldn’t buy mine because she thought it was ugly and told me she would only pay for wallet sized ones that I could give to friends but she didn’t want the big one to display. I also remember going to a carnival at the place where she worked. A co worker approached her and she introduced my brother to her, but not me even though I was right next to him. She didn’t want the co worker to know I was her ” ugly daughter”. She ignored things that were important to me. She wouldn’t even stay home to take pictures and see me off to my Junior Prom. She timed her divorce poorly too, heading to Mexico for a quick one on the day I was leaving for college for the first time. Then in the middle of me planning my wedding she picked up with her freeloader husband and moved 3000 miles away leaving me to deal with the things most mothers love to be around to help with like dress fittings, choosing flowers, catering menus music, photographers etc. I was young and timid and scared doing it all myself, but on the positive side, I did it and did it well and gained some confidence from it. But I always felt the hurt of her lack of interest. Fast forward a couple of years and guess who had NO interest in her grandchildren?? And THIS is the woman who thought she could demand anything she wanted from me in her later years. That’s why I didn’t feel bad just walking out that day when she was in the hospital and accused me of lying about my husband and daughter waiting downstairs, and then giving me the silent treatment. By the next day she was home and fine and ready to make new demands. The day after that as we were checking out of her hotel she accused us of not helping her with everything she needed. She wouldn’t let us take her to do her banking when we first came, then when we had to leave she yelled at us and said we had to stay because she wanted to go to the bank. Since my brother was going to be there in the next couple of weeks I told her she could wait until then since what she wanted to do wasn’t urgent.

Whew, that was a lot, but a once I started typing I needed to get it all out.
HAPPILY retired work horses that is a great expression Andria! This workhorse quit her job when her mothers demands got ridiculous and highly manipulative.


Sorry about all the typos in my last post! I was typing fast to keep up with the feelings that were pouring out and while the spelling was poor, the feelings came out clearly!
Andria, As I said, I am so glad we both got to vent today! I see a lot of similarities in the things we both dealt with. Up to and including not getting any appreciation for all we did. Have a good night, ” retired workhorse” from your fellow former workhorse!


My mother was the over controlling, helicopter mother, I was marionette, she pulled the strings. It will be 6 years of no contact soon, in August 2009, I issued an ultimatum after years of attacking me after I finally stood up to her about 4 years before going NC. After going to counseling for 3 years, this Mother’s Day I finally have no hate in my heart for her. I just figure she is lonely and sad, angry, but, hey that’s her choice to feel that way now. I choose to feel happy. I do still feel a little sad at times and miss her, because there were some good times, but she went full attack on me after I decided to have a relationship with my dad, 7 years after they divorced, and that’s is when the controlling behaviors kicked in full swing after my daughter was born. After I stood up to her because she kept nagging me about all sorts of things, and hated that I had a relationship with my dad, she went full throttle on me after I told her off. That’s when the evil came out and I was shocked, devastated, and severely hurt, depressed and even had suicidal thoughts, which I struggled with on and off for a long time. Counseling, prayers, understanding friends, and some relatives on my dad’s side, this is the 5th mother’s day without her. This is the first time I feel so much better. My daughter still feels the effects, and partly my fault because she had to see me go through that and also my mom tried to manipulate her as well, grooming her to hate me. I wish I could get back together, you know, because “absence makes the heart grown fonder”, but it also makes you forget. She never apologized for anything in her entire life. Ever. Everything about the divorce, my life with her before the divorce was, in my mother’s exact words “through no fault of my own” because she believes she is the perfect mother, the victim, and can’t admit that she is broken, imperfect and her grandiose pride keeps her from truly seeing how messed up she is. Sad, because she has married a man who is so narcissistic and materialistic. But she sacrifices her own self esteem to live with this man who is all about image, money, status, and power. I feel sorry for her. She doesn’t scare me anymore. She needs serious help se is a severely broken and lost soul, no friends, just the few family members that believe her sob stories and lies. 2 out of 3 children don’t talk to her. THe other is too afraid and has married a wife just like his mother. She has torn the family to shreds. Still walking around. I just pray one day she will turn around and see what horrible things she has caused for her children and grandchildren.


And at least admit her wrongs in some way to me before she dies.


Chris, my mom won’t even do that if I SPOON FEED her the exact words. I really don’t want to spoon feed, I’d rather she admit with her own words. Therapists tell me this will never happen, but I guess as long as she is alive, I still have hope.


Hi Chris & DXS,
I had the Most exhilarating experience since going NC with my MNPD 3yrs ago, that evil NPD walked right past both of her daughters without even a blink… She could care less and would rather not have us around because we cause her grief, hah… She walked right into a restaurant with her friends like she didn’t even have us, know us, was even related to us. I am SO GOOD with that I FELT NICE. I FELT HAPPY. Not resentful happy just plain HAPPY, her and her issues do not touch me anymore.
I will not ever have anything to do with another narcissist they will never change no matter what is don, shrinks, psychologists, counseling, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to change these horrible people they have and always will take everything and anything from their “victims” alive or dead. they don’t care never will care never will feel anything for anyone EVER. They are all about themselves and what they are owed what they want what they get and who they destroy doesn’t matter to them. EVEN IF YOU SPOON FEED THEM THE WORDS IF YOU BELIEVED THEM COMING FROM THAT FACE YOU WILL BE FOOLED AGAIN OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THEY WILL TELL YOU WHATEVER YOU NEED TO HEAR SO THEY CAN HAVE YOU BACK IN THEIR SHOW. THEY WILL HUMILIATE YOU THEY WILL FEED OFF OF YOU THEY WILL DO WHAT THEY ALWAYS HAVE DONE. WITHOUT ANY COMPASSION OR REMORSE!!!!!!
Really don’t let them have that kind of POWER.
kelly Really Free and know it!!!


Chris 346
I am truly sorry that you need to have the kind of validation that comes from someone who probably never validated you from long ago.. I too was looking for the validation that yeah someone should take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions and reactions and intentions.
A TRUE NARCISSIST Does not regard any of the Universal Conditions for other people like Actions, Reactions, and Intentions. They have no regard, no remorse, and of course no conscience. Without these they can never be a part of a World of Compassion.
They will destroy before create. The words that you are looking for come from the create side of life. Where the NARC is totally part of the destroy side of life.
YOU don’t need the words from your NARC you need to be able to TELL YOURSELF The words of Compassion and Love.


Hi Everyone
I can’t keep up with all the comments anymore therefore I am closing comments on all posts over 150 days. This will be done automatically and I am sorry if the comments shut down in the middle of an active conversation.
Please feel free to share anything you wish on the more current posts.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Chris,
Welcome to EFB~
Thank you for sharing, you are not alone. I hope you will join the conversation on the more current posts. 🙂
hugs, Darlene

Hi Everyone
I can’t keep up with all the comments anymore therefore I am closing comments on all posts over 150 days. This will be done automatically and I am sorry if the comments shut down in the middle of an active conversation.
Please feel free to share anything you wish on the more current posts.
Hugs, Darlene


I was expecting this to be an article about confronting abuse during a family holiday until I read it. But I seriously have no idea as to where else this particular piece of mine would fit. I must admit, I have not been able to stop posting since I came across EFB so again sorry for the flood of posts and sorry for the many more countless sorries to come. Anyway here we go.

Holidays, a time of joy and happiness. Well why wouldn’t it be when this is the time in which the stress of packing up your bags and booking flights and hotels, was truly worth all of the strenuous effort. The times in which you could potentially be in awe of the majestic view of Santorini in Greece, eating escargot in Paris and sushi rolls in Tokyo etc. However, what if I tell you that behind the scenes of taking photographs and enjoying the wonders of every country’s respective versions of Disneyland, come the abuse of which, could have at least remained where it came from, parents and other family members have decided to bring along using their extra luggage allowance. The one thing that you thought that could possibly be gone for at least a week or so has latched on to give you an unexpected kiss on the cheek, saying nah I don’t think so. From being hit on the face for not being able to open EU adapter packaging in 2014, to being treated like conducting a criminal offence over spilling a glass of coke by “accident” in 2008, I honestly can’t recall a time in which any of my holidays were just fun filled with joy and happiness.

To add to what has already been said, let me take you all back to 2011, when we were in Tokyo. My father, mother, sister and I have decided to start the day off by having breakfast at McDonalds. Mom and sis sat separately from us, so naturally my Dad and I were the buddies. Dad, whilst a self-confessed hater of taking pictures of himself, decided to have some shots of himself having a McDonald’s style breakfast (so family back home in the Philippines could get a glimpse of Japan). So I was relegated to the role of photographer, which I don’t mind as it’s not as if he held me at gunpoint to take his pictures. What got to me is this particular scenario. We had at least four shots taken, however father dear forgot to have a picture with his trusty McMuffin so he’s like okay one more, just as I was about to return the camera in my bag. I gave a bit of a “seriously” look, but I was still willing to take the picture. But instead he took notice of my facial reaction and was like fine don’t take the picture then Jesus, I was only asking for a favor! Of course he had to tone it down a little as we were not that far away from the table where my mother and sister were just having a good time eating their breakfast. Meanwhile, just when I thought the hostility was over Dad was like: “You ungrateful fool, based on the reaction you gave to my request, you must be an ungrateful faggot as well.”

Outside of Mcdonalds, the torture continued as we took the bus to Studio Ghibli. When we reached the said place, pictures outside of the building were a must. The “victim” proceeded to enthusiastically take pictures of my Mom and sister, but obviously to avoid letting them know of our little McDonald’s fiasco, Dad in a bellowing voice exclaimed: “Join the picture then.” Thought that was the end of it? No this guy is obviously going to milk every single opportunity to make me feel as if I have yet conducted another criminal offence. As we were inside Studio Ghibli, admiring all the various animation workshops and whatnot, I tried to approach Dad and talk about our situation. “Dad are we okay, am I still in your bad books?” the child like innocence of my voice in my then 17 year old self said to my Dad. To which he followed up with: “Son never did I think that you would be such a difficult person when it comes to my favours, do you want me to stop doing favours for you?” He threateningly said. Followed by a no from me, the “victim” continued: “It’s okay son, at least now I know not to ask favours from you from now on. One day you’ll experience what I felt when you become a father and you will know that I was right.” (Justifying your actions I see) Fast-forward five years later: “Carl can you do me a favour my beloved son”? “You know what I am glad that you’re helping around the house and that you’re helping me when I need you.”

So from Carlos’ perspective, he is never allowed to have drama to be absent whenever he is on holiday. That’s like the third holiday with drama that I have survived and you know what come at me bro to all those next couple of holidays where abuse and drama will continue to be an additional piece of turmoil in our luggage compartments. Rumor has it that we’re going to Hawaii/or New York for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve seasons this 2016 and you know what I don’t really care anymore if I get hit for not opening packaging again or be called an incompetent criminal and what not. Because I now know for a fact that I was not and never will be whatever shit they called me out for. I’ll be quite surprised if this particular holiday will be stress free, but honestly I am prepared for the storm that is to come.



Again, so sorry for the way some of your family treats you. Please do not be sorry for the many posts. This is why Darlene created EFB! We are all here to tell our stories, and to be heard while telling our stories. This is the place to let it out man!

I really took offense to your dad calling you a faggot! Happy holidays to dear old dad! He enjoys wielding the control over you because he is spending his money on taking his family on spectacular holiday vacations around the world. He is very sly in hiding his abuse to you from your mother and sister. I personally would be interested in hearing what your mother and sister say about how your father treats you. Have they ever witnessed the abusive behavior or have you ever told either of them how your father treats you?

This abusive man has you walking on pins and needles where he does his own interpretations of your facial expressions and body language. Just waiting for what his next outburst will be is in itself a type of abuse. I know about these things because I walked on pins and needles around my mother and sister.

I hope you just keep posting and posting and tell your story. Your story is very important. Not only to you, but to others trying to heal on this life journey. Best to you Carlos. Please take care of yourself.

Big hug,


Carl/Carlos, firstly I am so sorry that you are having to put up with such abusive treatment from your father but I am glad that you know that HE is the problem and not you.

I must say that I LOVE the way that you express yourself.You are simply gifted in writing .Have you thought about starting a blog? I would definitely follow you .

Best wishes and keep writing xx



Like Andria, I’m also wondering if your mother knows what’s going on. If she does, why didn’t she do anything to protect you and your sister from him, even if it meant getting a divorce? Why is she still married to him today? And why does she allow her abusive mother to live with you all?

In my book, a parent who stands by, and lets the other one abuse is no better than the abuser.


Hi Andria, Londiwe and S1988,

Yes I actually have made some of my family members hear me out on some of the abuse that I have received like:

My sister

-She knows my history with my Dad and in some of those occasions, I cried especially when I told her my fears about being a father someday. She provided me with comforting words and told me that she’ll be on my side if ever my father decided to bring his toxicity towards my, yet to be or better yet, never will be born children.
-However she still is somehow close to my father (well she’s the favoured child I can’t change that), so she still sees him with a pair of rose tinted glasses. Of course they’d be close as my Dad is an Information Technology enthusiast and my sister recently just got accepted into a Bachelor’s degree of the same field in a prestigious University. But bottomline is, she knows, she cares and that’s good enough for me.

My cousin

-My Dad’s dream son, who happened to be around when I got hit over the European adapter packaging (He was my roommate for half of our trip). I didn’t want to involve him in any of this, but when he heard me crying, he was like: What’s wrong pal? So when I told him everything and I said that I will never forgive his uncle, his image towards him forever changed. He was like: Why would he do that do his son? From then on, we both talk about our respective problems from our families, but if we can avoid it, the topics are usually about video games or his countless girlfriends (oops sorry cuz).

As for my Mom, she has comforted and defended me in the following situations:

When my maternal grandma said I was worthless

When grandma said that she should have just recruited me in a restaurant ages ago, my Mom came to my defence (Though it was quite embarrassing) and said: “Mom my son is studying an International Studies degree and will eventually get something out of that! If he wants to work as a kitchen hand whilst studying, I don’t mind! What’s important for me is that he’s getting work and experience! Some people I work with are studying medicine and they work part-time in a deli, I don’t go telling them: “Why are you studying medicine if you’re working in a deli!?”

Of course my grandma lost this battle to her daughter, but to somewhat still seem as if she’s the one who was the victim, she was like: “I didn’t say that about him, I was just looking out for him geez!”

I am still embarrassed that my Mom came to my defence, but no words can ever express how thankful I am for what she did to her own mother.

As to why she’s living with us? Grandma doesn’t get along with my mother’s brother (Actually she doesn’t get along with either of them as she knows that she’s been proven wrong so many times by both of her children so no surprise there). Furthermore, my Mom handles all of my grandmother’s financial commitments (At times she’s had to pretend she was my grandmother, just so the latter doesn’t have to deal with all the stress). What does my Mom get for this? Every time my grandma talks to her friends and other family on the phone, she makes it sound as if she was doing all of her paperwork (Should I give her an award for that), and my gets not even a simple thank you.

The glass situation

-Regarding that glass of coke I knocked over by “accident”? She comforted me and told me to dry the tears. But bottomline is she didn’t just stand by and condone those two.

My Mom and Dad have been on the rocks for quite some time and she has opened the possibility of a divorce (My Dad told me all of this). But my Dad, who felt as if he needed to be a saint, decided to stick with the marriage because he doesn’t want my sister and I to suffer and he couldn’t risk seeing us not living under a stable roof (Okay, I am thankful for that, but I am still angry at you Dad). So the current setup? Mom and Dad sleep in separate bedrooms, and only I know the real deal between the two (My sister would be devastated if she found out).

As to why my Dad has been a bitch? I apparently remind him of my Mom whenever I have a certain facial reaction to a certain situation or when I react to him (It’s pretty clear that my Dad likes to get his way, and I am afraid that I am starting to show some of the same traits as well). I know Mom can be difficult at times, but that’s no reason for him to do whatever shit he’s put me through. He calls my Mom a control freak, yet he made me bend to his will for a couple of years (Hypocrite).

The overall situation? All five of us still live under the same roof, with only three people successfully seeing through the self-righteous and narcissistic nature of those two. My Mom, sister and I may have had our differences, but they were not as severe as what the other two have done. To end it off, I really do hope that this never ending real life soap opera, will eventually have its final episode in which no one has to get hurt but at the same time no longer trying to relive what was once “good memories”. (Of course that’s too idealistic of an episode, which is why many soaps always have the villains look like the victims *cough* Once Upon A Time on ABC being a prime example).

Thanks again for the responses guys,

Kind regards,



I once asked my mother why she stayed with my father and didn’t divorce him (after the sexual abuse came to light) and she said “I didn’t want to go through the trauma”.

Thanks a lot… so that meant I had to be around him for every holiday and every visit. What about MY trauma?



I view my mother just as responsible if not more then my alcoholic father because she is the one who did everything in her power to cover the whole thing up including brainwashing me into thinking that my fathers abuse was ok that ended up abusing me even worse. I knew what I was getting from him as sick as that was but she was a whole other story. Betrayal upon betrayal upon betrayal that I am still trying to dig my way out of now.


That sucks Light. It amazes me just how much our mother’s are willing to let us suffer as long as they don’t have too. Recently my mother wrote me a nasty gram filled with all the things that she did for me since kindergarten, trying to prove what a great mother she was right along with accusing me of how I am still holding a grudge all because I refused to see her at Christmas and act as if the last 3 years of NC never happened right along with my diagnosis of DID!!! In that letter, and I quote, “when I married your father, I really took my vow very seriously-“till death do us part”. I am not a quitter and I try very hard to mean what I say.” She talks about everything but how my father abused me and how she sat back and not only watched that train wreck happen but participated in it by brainwashing me into believing that the things that were happening to me right in front of my face really weren’t happening, causing me to second guess my self my whole life.

If she would have been honest with me instead of trying to cover up my father’s abusive behavior things would be so different for me now. I wrote back to her and said:

“I am not sure why you felt the need to discuss the reason why you stayed married to dad but since you did this is how I feel about it. In my opinion you can marry who you want and be married as long as you want but what you can’t do is have it be at the expense of your own children’s well being and safety without thinking it will cause them problems later that they are going to react to.”

I know it will fall upon deaf ears because staying in denial is more important to her then anything else but at least I got my truth out.

I am sorry your mother was so thoughtless of you too.



Hi Darlene and everyone,
I am still quite new to this life challenge (with an NPD mother, enabling and brainwashed father, a very sick sibling and me the scapegoat) and I know this thread is really old but to me it is still fresh and very painful.

I was so aggressive and angry (till recently)at me, at the world and at my family for all the things that happened to me. Now I realize it is also ME who did not learn to deal with this situation from a young age. I really do feel so sad for taking this long to figure it all out. The signs were there but I was blind to them.

I am sure that my brainwashing and controlled upbringing did not allow for me to learn these things earlier. I feel so much pain and internal hurt for having a mother who did this to me (apparently intentionally which hurts even more). My anger, my aggression, my loss of interest in everything I thought I was good at, my reluctance to succeed in everything in my life all due to one person, the person who was supposed to be happy that I was talented and social, my NM. And the worst thing is that my friends loved me and I pushed them all away as they just didn’t get me in the end. Now I know it was my growing pains that pushed them away (and my NM’s gaslighting). I wish I could take them back but I can’t. And now I am almost alone and find it extremely hard to trust new people.

I go through fazes of happiness that I am NC with my FOO and then I go through days of just crying that I can’t have them all close to me as they give me constant grief, for NO reason. I just don’t get it.

I just wish the pain would dissipate. I can’t live with them, but I just can’t stop thinking about them (although all negative). I feel so much stress and anxiety all the time just thinking about everything and everyone. What is wrong with me? Why do I beat myself up like this so much?



I believe that it is normal to be angry and aggressive when these things are happening to you. In many ways, your are fighting for your life! Do not blame yourself because you did not learn to deal with the situation at a young age. NO ONE learned any of this stuff at a young age. Many of us here are middle aged and older. I am 57 years old.

You are in the company of many people whose parents did not care about them. I am sorry your mother gaslighted you, and your father just going along and enabling. I am sorry too that you lost friends, and are finding it hard to trust new people.

It is normal in the beginning of healing to go through fazes of happiness that one is NC with your FOO and then feel sad that your family can’t be with you because all they give you is grief. Yes, people seem to do it for no reason. I didn’t get it either. I just had to accept for myself that my family did not care for me and treated me badly. I was scapegoated as well.

You have to be patient with yourself. The pain will dissipate, but it may take longer than you like. I still think about my family. I am sorry for the stress and anxiety you feel. This is a very hard thing you are doing by going NC with your family. I am NC with my family. I don’t think you have anything wrong with you. Try not to beat yourself up so much. Tell yourself how strong you are for doing this difficult thing.


Hi Andria,

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I feel so anxious all the time and now my NM is calling me and acting like everything is fine. I turn 40 this year and have wasted so much time on negativity.
I am taking baby steps to heal, even though I feel even more out of place for doing so. Cheers 🙂


YOU helped me toooooo much!!!!


Hi Asia
Not sure what you mean when you say “you helped me too much”.
Hope that is a good thing!

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