Love is Patient Love is Kind ~ a bit of a rant


Abusive love

Inspired by the comments in my last blog post “If love is the answer, what is love?” I had this bright idea to write a blog post about what I was raised to believe “love is” and I kept hearing  that bible verse going through my head… you know the one, “love is patient; love is kind” my kids had to memorize it in grade three I think…….. so I looked it up.

And my brain was flooded by so many abuse memories and SELF abuse memories that I felt breathless and a little sick to my stomach. Originally for this post I was going to write a list of what love is not, but it was nothing like this list at all. This verse is a foundational teaching, not just in Christian circles, but in many circles. This has been recited as poetry. This verse has been a standard guideline in the world and many don’t even realize that it has a biblical foundation. As with many other teachings, I made it MY guideline and used it to beat myself up with. It became the whip of “not good enough; no wonder I am not loved”. I am not angry with the Bible or with God. That was not the source of the deception. I am angry that I was taught this standard that NO ONE of significance in my childhood ever modeled for me and yet somehow I was supposed to grow up and “know this”. I even expected it of myself.

Here is the verse:

“1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud it is not rude it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I used to love this verse when I was in the fog of compliance and obedience. Did I ever really understand it then? I certainly never thought about it the way that I am thinking about it today.  I didn’t apply it to myself in the way that I suspect it was meant to be applied to me. Here is how I “read it” to myself back then; The translations are how I “FELT” about the definition. How it translated to me. How I used it to keep myself down, right where “they” wanted me to be.

Love is patient, love is kind: Translation: I must be patient, I must be kind. I must accept all mistreatment, disrespect and abuse and I must treat all abusers with love and kindness to prove that I am “good enough and worthy” (to be loved by THEM)

Love does not envy ~ Translation: I should be grateful just for the fact that I am allowed to take up space on this earth and NEVER wish that I had anything good that someone else might have.

Love does not boast, it is not proud~ Translation: How dare I think that I have anything to boast about. Nothing that I have comes from me, I cannot accomplish anything, I cannot have any ideas on my own, I have nothing to contribute in this world. I am hopeless.

Love is not rude~ Translation: NEVER speak up against mistreatment or in defence of myself for that would expose someone else and paint them in a bad light and no one but me is ever wrong

Love is not self seeking~ Translation: Love is not for ME. I should not seek to be loved but only to love. I can make such a great difference in someone else’s life if I love them so always try to love them with no expectations of love in return no matter HOW they treat me.

Love is not easily angered ~ Translation ~ I have no right to be angry. I deserved all the bad things that happened to me. No one is really wrong except me. Anger is a sin. Anger is wrong. Anger is NEVER justified. Something is wrong with me if I am angry and because I don’t want to accept mistreatment.

Love keeps no record of wrongs ~Translation:  Forget immediately the harm done to me by everyone else and NEVER bring it up again, never speak of it or reveal it or bring attention to it. If I ever do reveal those secrets, I am no better than the one who did it. Also see the forgiveness rant that I wrote a few weeks ago. 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth ~ Translation: I did not really know the difference between evil and truth.  No one really taught me the truth. Many taught me evil disguised as truth.

Love always protects ~ Translation: Love protects “them”. And I should protect “them” too. Love is one sided and I should not ever expect it (or “them”) to protect me because as I said above, love is not for me.

Love always trusts ~ Translation: Trust should have its own whole blog post. I tried and tried to trust people that didn’t love me by their own definition of love!  I felt guilty because I didn’t trust.

Love always hopes: Translation. Love and hope?  I hoped that one day I would be good enough to deserve to be loved.  I hoped to be saved by prince charming.  To be honest, I am not sure about this one. I hoped for love from people who by their own actions, didn’t care about me.

Love always perseveres: Translation: Keep trying harder to be worthy of love. Keep trying even with the people that treat you like garbage. Just keep trying because then you MIGHT be worthy one day. (and think about this: who did we seek love from? Even romantic love? So often we sought love from someone who (like our abusers) was not capable or emotionally unavailable)

It never occurred to me that by this definition of love NO ONE ever loved ME nor was I ever encouraged to love myself, in fact quite the opposite. (And since today I know that unless there is self love, there is no love then not being taught the true definition of love is a problem.) What did occur to me is that I was not loving THEM and therefore proving to myself and to the world that I was not good enough, I WAS the one to blame, I was BAD.

Everyone is welcome to contribute your feelings and thoughts about this topic.

Stay tuned as I continue in my next post with how I learned to love myself by finding out the truth about how I arrived at NOT loving myself.

Bright blessings wrapped in real TRUTH

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Family



I agree with your rant. WOW!!! It’s like you took these very words right out of mu heart…


LOVE this one Darlene! Speaking my language. In fact, I think we might have touched on this a few weeks back in the comments on your FB. I recall sharing how when I first became a Christian, I so desperately wanted to understand what love was. 1 Corinthians 13 was the model I TRIED to adopt and I found myself doing basically most of the things you described in your post today. Since I had no TRUE grasp of the meaning of love that was grossly lacking in my childhood. I was on a desperate search to understand what it really meant…intellectually.

So in my early twenties, the spiritual door had opened for me in my life, yet it was viewed through the filters and lens of what I knew and had grown up with. So when I would read 1 Cor. 13, it seemed to be a mirror of all the ways I must have failed to love and be loving. It was more about I had failed and less about how the family I was raised in had failed to model healthy love to me and for me growing up.

So it became like a measuring stick. Am ‘I’ being patient and kind enough. Despite how others were treating me. And on down the line just as you’ve shared. And then the final part of it….love believes all things, hopes all things, ENDURES all things…

There it is. Right there.

I wound up interpreting this to mean that no matter what, I am supposed to ENDURE whatever anyone dished out to me. And if could NOT endure it, I”m the one who was lacking in love. I was the one who failed in the ‘lesson called love’.

It has taken me nearly 20 years to understand and BEGIN learning that TRUE love is not without BOUNDARIES.

True love does not mean I have to stand still while someone ‘beats me over the head with a stick’. That could be literal but in my case as an adult, I mean that more figuratively. For years it didn’t occur to me that it was NOT unloving to exercise my RIGHT to act on my own behalf and remove myself from someone mistreating me!

As amazing as that sounds, for many who were abused as children, having the right to act on our OWN best interests and behalf is SORELY lacking because we learned we had NO rights but to ‘serve’ others and be what THEY wanted us to be.

Excellent post. 🙂



Wow. I’d never heard this and apparently neither had my parents or my perp. In reading it just now i was thinking Well THAT’S a crock of shit. Because i was told i was loved by many abusers. Don’t think it’s a good idea to delve further at
This moment because it is making me furious.


Hi Chris,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment! I am really glad that this resonated with you. (sometimes I write this stuff and I go… ummmmm is this just ME that thinks this way!)
Hugs, Darlene

This is great! Thank you for your contribution, your expansion, on my blog post! Exactly! That is what I heard too, and what I believed too, I was so sure that love meant that I HAD to endure whatever was dished out.
This fog busting needs to happen in every survivors (of any kind of abuse) life. There is freedom on the other side of this false teaching about love!
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Splinty ~
The people who TAUGHT this to me had never heard it either! I had heard this lots and lots during my life time and when I looked it up yesterday it made me furious too… just the deeper realization of what this type of thing did to me and how I ended up turning it on myself. (and whatever we learned from abuse we also easily learned to turn on ourselves.) I am glad that you posted what you did though. I feel like I have company on my little soap box!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darlene Ouimet, ANAPP and ravin, Splinteredones. Splinteredones said: RT @DarleneOuimet: New blog post: Love is Patient Love is Kind ~ a bit of a rant … […]


Thank YOU for bringing the topic up! It desperately needs to be addressed. There is so much fog busting that needs to happen especially for abuse survivors who find a spiritual path only to experience further wounding. (spiritual abuse issues) It’s a serious issue because it can really serve to quench hope inside of people if not only was the family on earth not safe, but when it crosses over into spiritual matters too, it’s a double whammy. So much can be covered on these things. Including how we, as survivors, have this tendency to also project the earthly image of a father onto the image of a ‘heavenly father’. That was also a big dilemma for me early on. I had no concept of what a ‘loving, forgiving, merciful’ father looked like or acted. So my conception of ‘God’ was once again, viewing it through the lens of my own projection of the father figures I grew up with in my life. It was more based on fear then on love. If I made a mistake, I was afraid that hall hellfire and brimstone would rain down on me. Or if I accidentally looked back at something I wasn’t supposed to look back at, I might be turned into a pillar of salt or something! (GASP!) I didn’t really interpret it literally, but having the sense that something ‘bad’ would happen to me was very much present. It was far easier for me to comprehend the wrath of ‘God’ instead of forgiveness, mercy, and grace. In fact, believing in the latter for others was FAR easier for me then to believe that it was available to me. No matter what anyone else around me did, I seemed to have all the faith in the world to believe that love and mercy was available to them. Yet, I did NOT have an easy time believing that love and mercy was so easily available to me. 😉

Ok…we have a ton of ideas for how many new blog posts on this issue? haha

Thanks again,


My grandmother died in 2009. She was 102 and a half. I was perusing verse to read at her service, and I came across the verse quoted here. I thought, “It is?” That is what love is? I had started a journey that helped me define what love is not, but it has taken a while to embrace what love is. Thank you for the exploration. PS It was difficult to read at the service in front of family that know all too well what love is not, yet have not yet learned what love is.


Really great points Samantha!
I think that this is the foundation that most of it is taught from… the human experience foundation. That most of the teachers themselves do not comprehend the truth of the message. (love, grace, forgiveness.. etc) My father was very passive, (translate: how could I have known he even cared = why would God care either?) I also had a sense that something “bad” would happen from the way that things were taught to me. I too had no trouble believing that all good things were available to others, my no so much for me. This is all fog that needs to be busted! Glad to have your fog busting contributions!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynn
I hear you on all of this Lynn (except that I didn’t question the stuff in these verses until a few years ago)! I did the eulogy for my grandmothers funeral.. and she was such a mean woman, (I think I dissociated to pull that one off) I had to concentrate on a bunch of grown ups that needed the funeral to be about them, and not about her… and they wanted to live in a sick fantasy world as well. I have always been crazy about not lying, so I somehow found a way to do all of this. I remember standing up at the pulpit looking down at my mother and her siblings and thinking that they were all just like 5 year olds. Still competing for mommy’s attention even at her funeral.

Good grief.. this brought up a few things for me ~ kind of just took a side trip on the topic of love… but you know since I am here I guess that in a way I was practicing the true meaning of love that day. Thanks for being here and sharing Lynn.
Hugs, Darlene


I have much to say and am forming my thoughts about it. But one line is missing…the next part of the Bible verse: LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Um, yeah. Right.

Love failed me from the moment of my birth…no, from the moment of my conception, which, I was encouraged to believe but never overtly told, precipitated my father’s departure.

I remember having to hide my face in a handkerchief to keep from laughing out loud the first time I heard this verse read aloud in church: “Love is patient; love is kind…” Really? My mother was enraged almost for my entire childhood…and when she wasn’t flying off the handle over something ridiculous or trivial, she was being sarcastic (funny) about someone she purported to like. Love is patient and kind? Really?

In my house, it was equivalent if you spilled something on the table or robbed a store or stole from teacher or skipped school (none of which I ever did; I was too afraid; but my siblings did); the reaction was the same: Rage. Love is not easily angered? Really? That so? Okay, if you say so, God. If you say so, Church. It certainly is contrary to my experience.

It’s funny – when I was commenting on your previous post about the definition of love, I thought of this verse. My feelings about love were always, “you can have it,” because I was told I was loved all the time by people who were hateful to me. You can have it, that is, until Prince Charming comes and sweeps me away and makes everything all better. 😉 But adult meditation on this verse is what I realize real love is SUPPOSED to be. Of course, it still is not my experience. Never has been.

Love is and always has been conditional. My mother taught me (and still does, to a lesser degree, but only because of distance) that if anyone ever gave me a gift, I was indebted to them for life. Her friend lent me $100 once (which I paid back within a month) and she will not let me forget it…it is as though I now owe this woman my life and freedom. And there is a piece of me that believes it too, or at least feels guilty for not believing it.

And as far as being grateful for taking up space in the world. Oh. My. God. That is how I’ve always felt. That I should never allow myself to speak my truth because it might hurt or offend someone else. It might make someone else uncomfortable. Nevermind that my silence is KILLING me! That’s fine. As long as it kills me and no one else. Then that’s okay. I should be grateful that my mother didn’t abort me. The first time she told me this, I was seven. (I didn’t know it then, but I do now, that an abortion would have been out of the question for my mother…she never would have considered it; she was a devout Catholic and she was married. But I didn’t know it then.) I really thought it was something I needed to THANK her for…by laying down my life…and I AM STILL DOING IT.

I’m sorry. I have so much more to say, but I’m not very articulate at the moment. This subject gets me a little fired up, in case you couldn’t tell.

Thanks for the post. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.


Hi Lisa,
Maybe real love never fails… See that is the thing about this, it was all based on the wrong definition of love. Love failed us because it wasn’t love! Most of the things that my mother ever did were NOT based in love at all. I am positive that my mother did not know HOW to love; I am sure that her own parents didn’t love her and she didn’t know a thing about love.
OH I can so much relate to everything you wrote here in your comments! When I came out of this whole nasty fog, I realized all those things that love was not. It is not obligation. I do not own anyone anything if they do me a favour ~ and if they thing that I do own them something it is their problem not mine. Abusers will do you a favor that you don’t even want them to do…. (oh but they insist because they are so nice) and then they use it to set you up to own them. Well that is not love OR friendship. That is abuse. An excuse to abuse.
It is good to get riled up about this kind of thing! Getting upset about it is what helped me to come out of this fog full of lies and take my life back. I could not understand anything about love that was outside of my frame of reference, until I realized what love was not. And most of my frame of reference was NOT about real love.
I am really glad that you are here and thank you so much for your contribution! (and please feel free to add MORE!=)
Hugs, Darlene


Oh my, Darlene,

I totally relate to what you are talking about here, though for me the passages of Scripture were different ones. I became a Christian in my late teens, from an unbelieving family. And without even realising it, I read everything in Scripture through the lens of the LIES I had believed all my life. I realized THAT nearly 10 years ago, and am STILL finding distortions that I have read into passages of Scripture to make them fit the LIE. Fortunately, the Lord has been gentle and gracious and I am slowly learning to redefine love and many other concepts based on Him, not those lies.
Oh, one more thing, regarding “love never fails”. Actually, I believe that, given the rest of the verse “But whether there are prophecies, they will fail, where there are tongues, they will cease… ” etc, that Paul’s point is that prophecy etc will no longer operate after a certain time, but that love will continue to be a part of spirituality throughout eternity. Hence “now abides these three, faith, hope and love” v13. Rather than a ‘if you fail, you don’t love’ approach. That’s my take on it, anyway. And I think you are both right – true love (ie God’s supernatural love) never *will* fail – we have Eph 3:18-19 and Romans 8:38-39 to show us that!
Darlene – I am grateful that you are willing to explore these deep, confronting areas of healing with us and I look forward to reading your next post.
Hugs, Zoe


The one thing that came to me at the end of reading this post along with all the comments is, “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8) – His love is very different from human love. God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. the Love written about in Scripure never manipulates. He doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love. To love another with the love of God means that person is walking in Love, abiding in God. To love according to how Scripture defines Love, one must be following Jesus Christ, genuinely and authentically. Gods Love never fails. This has nothing to do with the ungodly who’ve manipulated us into believing false and conditional love. I also always associated love with being hurt. Therefore, I never questioned the teachings from my Catholic family that God would strike me with His fury if I messed up. That came from a twisted mind, not God’s word. But it is what was instilled in me. Therefore, anything looking like love was expected to cause hurt. Pretty messed up, huh? Well, thanks be to God for revealing what His love really is! Another thing about God and Love… it is never ending. When we love another with the love of Christ, it perpetuates itself like the ocean as it reaches across the earth. Blessings dear friends..


More thoughts on God’s Love –
God is the Creator of all things, and by His very nature, He is love. God says love is unconditional and sacrificial, and it’s not based on feelings; therefore, love is not an “intense affection… based on familial or personal ties”. To understand what true love is and to be able to truly love others, we must know God, and we can do this through a close personal relationship with Him. We can have that close relationship with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, who was God’s sacrifice of love for us.

As such, true love — God’s love — can be summed up in this passage of scripture: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11)

If you want to know this love – true love — get to know God. He is ready to pour out His love on you, and He wants to teach you how to love others as He loves you. He showed me and also continues to transform my understanding of love of self. Amazing!


Darlene, what a great topic. I was told by a therapist that the cures to all the problems in our emotionally abusive marriage was 1 Corinthians 13. Forget all the boundaries, setting limits, calling him on the abuse, etc. He said that marriages should just base themselves on 1 Cor 13. My ex was over the moon – he didn’t have to be accountable. It meant he could act all nice (as in the honeymoon phase of the domestic violence cycle) and I had to be nice and not bring up any conflict or call him to account. He expected that I would just forgive him, not talk about anything unpleasant, smile and be nice, cuddle up to him, etc. I was exhausted and just complied. The false peace lasted about 3 days. As soon as I said or did something that drew a boundary, he sulked, manipulated and got verbally abusive. And blamed me for not following 1 Cor 13.

I still feel guilty reading it, because I have had to be very curt with my ex and limit all contact, even though he has been pursuing me very hard and harassing me at every opportunity. He doesn’t think I am following 1 Cor 13 and his Christian counselor thinks the same. But then this counselor also thought that separation is always out of the question, even if children are suffering.

How did you eventually reconcile these verses eg, being patient and kind, with being cold and firm when trying to tell the abuser to go fly a kite? I guess I could say it is loving because if I engage, I give myself the opportunity to get resentful and end up blasting him and hurting him emotionally (and maybe physically) and that is not loving. But I still haven’t mastered the art of being loving and kind whenever he tries to manipulate me with his long, nonsensical, covertly blaming and shaming conversations. I just get so frustrated and irritated that I eventually roll my eyes and say “OK, I am not interested, goodbye” which doesn’t sound very kind, does it?


Hi Zoe,
I like the way that you put that ~ “And without even realising it, I read everything in Scripture through the lens of the LIES I had believed all my life.” That is exactly what we do and not just with scripture ~ with all false teaching about life and relationship. The bottom line for me has been to discover and uncover what was in my belief system, expose the lies, and change them. That all led to me replacing the lies with the truth, which set me free! The biggest lie of all was that I believed that I was unworthy, different, unlovable. That is never true for any one of us.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Justice,

Thank you for sharing your take on all this. One of the things that I found I could not do is skip the steps and jump straight to “God’s love” without doing the healing that had to happen deep inside of me first. I got VERY involved in Bible study for many years and I beat myself up with it exactly how I had beat myself up with everything else. I was never “good enough” I totally understand what you are writing about here but ~ that the problem isn’t the bible or God, that God is not the one that did this to us or to me and that it is people that did it. However for the sake of some of the spiritually damaged readers, I just want to add that I had to set the whole FAITH thing aside, because it was a mess on top of all the other messes in my belief system. It was way too much for me to have to keep all this other stuff in mind while I tried to sort the rest out.

I thought that I got to know God and I struggled intensely with guilt and shame for not being healed by my faith. I had to put the whole thing on the “back burner” and HEAL in a different way. God didn’t mind. He didn’t leave me. And maybe doing it the way that I did (I didn’t even pray or pick up a bible ) was his plan because that is what worked for me. I knew all these teachings BUT no one ever could tell me HOW (to let God’s love heal me) and today ~ because I have done the work to get the lies out of my belief system, and learned to love myself and believe that I am worthy and lovable, I am free and living in wholeness. BUT these teachings that you mention, are not what did it for me. I am not saying that you are wrong at all, just that this way is not the beginning for everyone. For many of us there is just too much baggage around God and Christ and human teachings that actually get in the way of healing and cause more struggle.

Because I set my faith aside for as long as it took me to do the work, I have a much more honest faith, a real working faith, and a clear understanding of God’s unconditional love. But before I never could have.
Thank you so much for being here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Krissy
I have a completely different view on all of this. (first of all read what I just wrote to Justice)
I reconciled these verses by finally understanding that at the root of everything my definition of LOVE was wrong. (and almost everyone was teaching it to me wrong too therefore most other people had the definition wrong) What you were taught to do in an abusive marriage was insane. Of course your husband could do what ever he wanted with that instruction. The perp wins again. There is nothing biblical about that.
I reconciled these verses by realizing that LOVE is not letting someone else treat you like crap. Who does that love?? Not YOU or HIM. Love is about what is BEST for everyone. Letting someone walk all over you is not good for the walker either. I had to think about all of this stuff. Saying that you are not interested ~ goodbye ~ in my view is VERY kind! To both you and him. He then has a choice, respect your boundary, OR get out of your life. If divorce is not an option, then we have no hope in a situation like that.
So.. that is my take on it. =)
Thank you so much for your share, and you willingness to be so honest.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Geez Darlene….I’ve got a post like this somewhere too! Its true…in religion and oppression of all kinds these words are used to make us tolerate the intolerable AND that we are not being “loving'” or are even crazy when we think we should be treated the same way with patience and kindness. Instead…we are reminded once again that in order to be valued, validated or “loved” we have to be or do good enough or right enough so we scramble and hustle to try to figure out what we did wrong to not be loved or lovable. This is such a twisted “love”. I sort of resolved this idea for myself by first “loving” myself and then no longer tolerating anything less from others, by setting boundaries instead of constantly trying to “work it out” when I was being blamed for problems in a relationship. The crazy making had to stop and only stopped when I stopped participating. Love is not all about me subjecting myself to being someones puppet in hopes that one day I’ll finally arrive and be good enough to be treated with patience, kindness…..:)


Susan, you made this statement: “The crazy making had to stop and only stopped when I stopped participating. Love is not all about me subjecting myself to being someones puppet in hopes that one day I’ll finally arrive and be good enough to be treated with patience, kindness…..:)” and that is exactly what I am talking about too!! I was so BASED in victim mentality. Victim mentality is when I think that if I am compliant, then the abuser will STOP abusing ~ but they never do until I draw my line in the sand. (which rememeber we are not able to do as children)
I Love your comment!
Thanks! hugs, Darlene


Darlene … I could so relate to this post in so any ways … I could almost use word for word the distorted love you experienced. For me I never grew up in a Christian home – but grew up thinking that love was earned – but here’s the problem, I could never do good enough or just do ‘enough’ to earn it. It was always unattainable. Always. I was 26 when God stepped into my life and showed me what real love is. I Corinthians 13:4-7

All the negative ‘love’ you got, is what I also experienced. But would like to add, the ‘love does not keep a record of wrongs’ – my mother kept record of every wrong I did so she could humiliate and embarrass me with them when in the company of others. She took great delight in it. Like you I didn’t know the difference between what was true and what was lies … until God stepped in.

Everything else you shared about your version of the love passage are also things I went through and experienced without the knowledge of the love verse.

In everything else – it was required of me to be kind and accommodating no matter how badly I was treated. I was expected to put up with all the abuse and sticking up for myself was considered disrespectful on my part. Having an opinion of my own came across as betrayal. I was expected to be a door mat – ‘just lay down and take it.’ I grew up with a very warped idea about what ‘love’ is.

So glad I found out what real love is and that God showed me that I was worth more to Him than I ever would be to my own mother.

Great post!


I forgot to include too that I wasn’t allowed to be angry – I wasn’t allowed to stick up for myself. Sticking up for myself made the abuse even worse, so I learned to comply. It was awful.

It took me a long time to develop any level of self worth after omitting my mother from my life. It took me some time for me to really use my ‘voice.’ I learned that anger can be healthy as, as Christians, having a healthy anger over injustices done is normal and should be expressed or is becomes a big boil of puss that builds and builds.

Christians are not doormats, nor are we expected to be. Being loving doesn’t mean we take abuse or endure abuse, it doesn’t mean giving into the wiles of someone ‘evil.’ It doesn’t mean we have to jump everytime someone asks us too, especially when they are abusive.


All I can say is ditto.


I never believed a word of it, not one. I guess in my child brain, it was as simple as “love is patient” “bullshit” “love is kind” “bullshit” and because my experiences said differently, no amount of words made any difference in what I thought. I thought I wasnt worth anything and should be grateful to exist because that was what was expressed to me, not in a religious context, just in everyday life. I just assumed God didnt care about me, just like everyone else. So in my head, God was for other people, love was for other people, happiness and peace were for other people.

I assumed I was the only person in the world like me, because I was so isolated from everyone and everything and stayed in a book my entire childhood….so I just figured, eh Im the “weird” one, so why should I even try to measure up to anyone else…I knew it meant failure, so I never even bothered. Being “different’ became my identity of sorts, in terms of how I saw myself. I was all I had and it wasnt enough, but I was all I could count on, so I just accepted it and coped the best I could. I guess thats why it took 20 years for me to tell about the abuse in the first place, because I knew no one cared enough to actually do anything or listen and help, so why bother telling? and eventually it became my definition of love, because it was the most positive interactions with others I would ever have. Not until this year did I even understand that what I really had was a skewed view of love and relationships and that I “did” deserve love and respect and good treatment and companionship and that it WASNT FOR OTHER PEOPLE…it was for ME too! Abuse was normal, Abuse was acceptable, I was nothing and it wasnt for “me” to have goodness….I just took what I was given and didnt expect better, because I wasnt worth better….but everyone else was….and I didnt even know that wasnt the way the world works, till this year…and now that I am seeing bits of my life through the TRUTH (Thank you Darlene, you have been a HUGE part of that) I see where my ideas and thoughts and opinions are drastically skewed towards the negative….and so Im beginning to change it. I stopped beating myself up because you cant change what you dont know is broken….and I didnt know I was broken, I didnt matter enough to be broken. So when I finally believed that I DID matter, then I saw the brokeness and wanted to fix it….and things have gotten exponentially better in every area of my life since I realized that I am valuable and loveable and that God, love, respect, trust, honesty. loyalty, life is for me too.


I hear you ~ abusers NEVER love by the definition of love that they require us to follow. Love does not keep a record of wrongs ~ well I guess that proves what love is and what it isn’t. My mother threw stuff in my face too, and in front of others also, but I know today that my mothers treatment of me was not based in love. That was hard to accept, I suspect that many of us get stuck there for a long time, rather blaming something less horrible (like blaming myself) then having to accept that my own mother did not love me. Ouch.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Arja,
Thanks for stopping by!!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Amira,
This brainwashing about LOVE goes very deep. What if love really is patient and kind? Then we are left with the horrible realization that we were not treated in the true definition of love. That is really the bottom line about this.
Interesting that you brought up that you thought you were the only person in the world like you… I was just this morning thinking about writing a post about this very thing! I thought that too, and since I have been doing this work, I have found out that half the whole world feels this way! We have so many skewed definitions and understandings and acceptance of what never should have been accepted, and it all has to be discovered (as you say in your post) BEFORE it can be changed. That is the work. I love your comments about this. YES yes and yes. Thank you so much for sharing your wins with recovery and self love today. This is so awesome!
Hugs, Darlene


Well written Darlene! Truly and lovingly well done!

I was so ashamed of these verses for so long, ashamed that I wasn’t good enough for them, that if they were a light shining on my I’d fade away a failure. I tried to love like the Bible taught, but I was reading it from the perspective of a very strange place as a young survivor still not quite understanding that the measure of love which I was shown was NOT the love which was spoken of in the Bible. Even more confusing was the youth pastor who quoted this verse at youth group was also the one who sexually assaulted me – was THAT love?

I started to wonder where God was, and if we are supposed to love as the greatest commandment WHO did we model it after? I prayed it wasn’t after US, as people I knew very few who showed the kind of love these verses held up for me.

Reminding myself that I also grew up with the “I love you but I don’t like you” (I blogged about that on Scarred Seeker a while back) lie it wasn’t a surprise that these verses were like roses, drawn in by the beauty I was also stung by the thorns. Bloodied by my attempts I decided I was unlovable and unworthy. If you get what you give, even when I gave my whole heart it meant nothing, I started to believe I wasn’t good enough to give or get love.

What I have learned in the steps between is that love isn’t an action or an event. It isn’t a Love Mart or Love Fest but rather a cloak or a robe, a necklace of flowers, a thorny bundle of roses, which ARE and we carry them with us and they become part of us. We can become more like love not by doing but by being.

When I learned to love myself with gentleness I started to be able to share love more honestly. Gads but it makes me ache sometimes to see and hear people putting conditions on love, small print and exemptions. I’m no hippie (:-)) but rather than let my anger and pain eat me up I’m working on finding ways to touch love, even if it means reaching around the prickly people and the hurtful people.

Love is not a scale or a ruler that we have to measure ourselves against, thankfully!

Bright blessings to you Darlene!


My family was not religious…except when it was useful to them to throw in a bible verse…in particular honor thy father and mother (there’s another blog…) and the one about living in sin (when I moved in w/my boyfriend)…odd though I almost wanted to laugh anytime they used these things…I thought they were hypocrites. I always really was interested and drawn to religion (in particular Christianity), but oddly I was kept away from it under the guise of my parents having differing religions and disagreeing about where to take us. Ironically though after their divorce, neither really attempted to get us to church…and I used to ask them both to do so. Still, though, and to this very day, they will use religion when they feel it supports their stance and they most always have twisted it and changed it’s true meaning. Like how they say they are praying for me now (because I have distanced myself from them). I want to laugh and say…are you praying for me to find my way to peace – whatever that means to me, or are you praying I come to my senses and do what you want so you can feel happy and safe? I think the latter…

I have found great solace in religion…I think part being that it seemed to be withheld from me intentionally, so I felt answers lied there…and upon my own study of it…I find that they were withholding the truth from me in that too…they know me, they know if you give me something I will check it out, inspect it, break it down, and try to figure it out…I think that’s party the reason for all the lies and coverups…even the ones that seem so trivial…all small pieces of a puzzle I was never supposed to get be able to being putting together.

The passage you have presented here can be very misused as can most of the Bible…that is the hard part…even considering that people who “love” us would take something as sacred (to Christians) as the Bible and abuse it to meet their own ends…

To me, the passage that you have referenced when taken only in it’s context is very good…but for me the thing I try to remember is that love is not bad…so if it feels bad, gives you a strange feeling of bad…not love – I don’t care what they tell me. I’m in charge of me now and I’ll make those decisions for me now, whether it’s based on the Bible or based on feelings, or whatever…love does not abuse, love does not intentionally lie or inflict pain or harm and those who love that hurt us unintentionally will be willing to step up and work it out, love is accepting, love does not try to change us, love overcomes, love stands in the truth. And each one of us has the right to decide who we have relationships with…loving myself includes being aware of toxic relationships and honoring and loving myself enough to not have them even though that is HARD. I understand that most of the people in my life who have hurt me didn’t do what they did with that intention, and they really want to love me, BUT I was secondary and I was just a child; they put me and my safety behind their false beliefs and lived in denial in order to protect themselves and they were old enough to DO SOMETHING. I had no choice; now I do and so do they…but they still choose to continue to live in the lie rather than stand up and say they didn’t mean to, that they’re sorry for what they did or didn’t do to protect me, and to help me heal…acknowledge the truth, take the heat and walk with me in the truth and RESPECT MY BOUNDARIES whatever I decide they are…to me that is love.


Wish I had the time right now to carefully read through everyone’s comments– please excuse me if perhaps I am simply reiterate what someone else has already said! I am going to have to re-visit this page another day soon but for now throw out a few thoughts that come to mind!
Reading through the twisted understandings of love that you had as a child, Darlene, makes me feel very sad. Unfortunately, as children, we tend to interpret everything through our own experiences, and to see our own parents and families as models for everything– but when they are poor models, the result is very distorted understandings.

If what we are understanding from one passage of scripture does not line up with other passages of scripture, we need Him to “untwist” our thinking. I think that when children are mistreated they know that somehow it isn’t right– that’s why mistreatment by those who are supposed to love us causes so much hurt and confusion. When our experience doesn’t line up with truth and righteousness, the result is confusion and the stage is set for lies to take hold in one’s thinking. I believe that if the lies are not combatted with truth early on, the lies take root and form a stronghold in our minds that resist the truth.

When I was a child I did not experience enough of the true, God-kind of love. But once I was able to separate my own experience from who God is, those verses became a source of strength, hope, comfort and life to me.

It really helped me to learn that the scriptures also say: “God IS love.”– so– when His Word tells us what love is, He is giving a description of Himself! He is telling us the way He loves us! So when those around me are NOT being loving, I call to mind that there is One Above who Truly loves me, and He is not like them. And it makes me want to be more like Him. Not out of pressure or guilt or a felt need to earn anything. But just because He is so good and kind and He Loves me. I am drawn to Him by His love.

I Corinthians 13 tells us that God is patient and kind. He is not waiting to pounce on me for any mistake or sin I commit, so He can accumulate a list of them to use against me; He doesn’t quickly get angry and fly off the handle when I do wrong or make a mistake, He is quick to forgive me when I repent. He never gives up on me because as long as I am connected to Him, there is no such thing as a hopeless case; He is not egotistical or proud, and so there is nothing He says or does that flows out of His own self-interest or ego.

God is like the title of a sermon I once heard: “God is the Kindest Person I have Ever Met.” The scriptures teach us that God is wholly good– there is no darkness in Him and the foundation of His throne is righteousness and justice; all His ways are peace. So the things He asks me to do are not for any selfish or perverse desires of His– He hasn’t got any selfish thoughts or motivations, nor can He ever have any evil, perverse desires. Because He is good and kind and always has my best interests at heart, and because He only does what is right, obeying Him will always bring peace to my heart, never confusion or deep pain.

God is not envious or jealous of anyone or anything (wish Oprah had understood that one), and He rejoices when you and I “get” any of these truths concerning Him and His love for us, or any of the other truths He wants us to experience. He rejoices when anyone demonstrates His kind of love to a child. He is grieved and angry when they do not, and when they pervert the meaning of love.

He does not delight in evil– rather the opposite: He feels sorrow and grief and anger when evil is perpetrated upon you and me. Though all the people around me may hate me, or ignore, or treat me like rubbish, He never stops loving me.

How freeing to realize that you and I do not have to be “good enough” to be loved. No one can ever be “good enough” to “earn” God’s love– its not something that can be earned. He loves us because we are His special creation, and He is committed to us because we belong to Him.

When a psychologically, emotionally healthy mother has a baby, that baby doesn’t have to do Anything to earn its mother’s love– the moment the mother’s eyes light upon her newborn baby, her heart is flooded with a love that lasts forever. The baby cries loudly and often, continually dirties its diapers (and often every article of clothing as well), burps loudly without apology, regularly spits up over mommy’s clean top, and demands attention constantly, depriving the mother of needed sleep night after night. All these things day after day, while giving Nothing in return. Besides this the new mom is battling with changes in her body, various pains and inconveniences and adjustments. But Baby does not offer so much as a whiff of appreciation or a single thank you after any of its 8 feedings a day; It is certain that performing any tasks on demand is Not going to happen! But the mother loves her child and she is committed to love and care for that child forever, through sleepless nights and weary days, through sickness or health, through good times and bad, always. A loving mother or father will be willing to her very life for her child. And that is how God loves you and I. So that when our earthly father or mother abandons us or mistreats us, He is always there to pick us up, to soothe us, whisper His love to us, and give us hope– a promise of an eternity with Him in His kingdom where Love rules.


Hi Darlene

To think that there are so many people out there dealing with their own issues of abuse is mind boggling! I always thought my feelings were unique but they were not! from what I have read the feelings towards abuse are universal!

In a perfect world we would not even be talking about it, unfortunately we are! and you put it down so eloquently, I have never been able to do that. After living my entire growing years in a cult and sexual abuse by the very people teaching me God`s word were confusing to say the least.

I still have to deal with feelings of inadequacies and shyness, distrust etc. This post will help me so much! I thank you for writing it,



Hi Darlene–you know I’mmalways good for jumping on your soapboxes….zero tolerance pilicy and all ;).


You’re right–love is the answer, but looking for it in all the wrong places just leads to more pain. And we’ll NEVER stop looking for it until we find it within ourselves FROM ourselves.

Dare I say, we’ll never even be able to receive love from God until we can love ourselves. That goes against everything I was ever taught at church. That’s fine if you’re shown true love from the beginning of your life and recognize God as the source. But for me and for those who learned the false definition of love from the way we were treated, those lies have to be undone first. Until I drilled out all the reasons I thought I was unworthy, love was just a word. Once I discovered the truth, I loved myself. Love was the fruit of discovering the truth. THEN I could accept love from others, including God.
Speaking of love– I LOOOOOOVE your posts!
Hugs, Christina


Hi Shanyn,
This is also what I am talking about, the ones that taught us love, the ones that stood up as teachers ~ there is no way for a child to sort that out. And we don’t “grow up and grow out of the abuse” either. It is complicated and at the very heart of my message I am trying to say that there is a way, that there is recovery. People did this and we were also taught to love those people as though they were more important. It becomes so complicated that many of us fall into the pits of depression or have fractured personalities and the list goes on. WE have trouble functioning because of the lies and the thorny bundle of roses.
I love your imagery. you write beautifully, the imagery reaches the depths of my heart and sooths it. Thank you so much for being part of this.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Wendi
So many things are used the wrong way ~ so many phrases. Your family sounds so much like mine. my mother would remind me to honour her.. I knew she didn’t have a clue what the even meant, but she used it against me in order to control me. For her gain. You are right, when we did what they wanted, they felt happier and safer. (and today I realize that it is not love for me to enable their fantasy life of abuse and mistreatment of others)
I like thinking of this passage in terms of God describing himself. That sets well with me.
Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy ~ welcome to emerging from broken
Unfortunately, my twisted understandings of love went well beyond childhood but I am happy to say they are no longer twisted. I am going to re-post what I wrote to Justice earlier. it isn’t that I am disagreeing with you at all; it is my deepest wish for others to understand my true intent with this kind of blog post. This is not about a bible teaching, but about healing from abuse. And some have been abused with the bible, God, Christ, and false teaching in general, and those people will never read (or hear) what you have written until they find some foundational healing from the lies first. Please see what I wrote to Justice Writer in comment #14
Thank you for being here and posting your heartfelt comments.
Hugs, Darlene


Patricia W.
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
I have also found so much healing, freedom and recovery realizing how many others have lived through this. It is hard to sort through all those lies and set them straight, but it is possible ~ together we can do this work. So glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Great to have a feisty woman on my side! LOL

Hi Christina
AMEN ~ you said it sister. I had to find love for me. That changed everything, absolutely everything. (and I found it by drilling down……… ahhh but I’ve said that a zillion times.. LOL)
Great points about God and God’s love too. That was how it worked for me as well.
Thanks for being here! I always LOVE your contributions!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, Thanks for your clarification in your responses to myself, Justice and Joy. That’s exactly how I have felt. But I don’t hear it from many other sources. I look forward to your next post to uncover more.


I cried when I read this. I think you are absolutely right about this Darlene. I had unconditional love in the home. Sure there were mistakes, some of them quite huge, but love does heal all wounds. I realized the importance of love when I went to an IFB girls home. There was no love, just humiliation and pain, twenty-four hours a day, every day. Without love, you start to despise yourself. You begin to see yourself as the trash they treat you as. Though I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness, today I am stronger. Today I have found the strength to face the fears of the past. But I am the woman I am today, primarily because through it all, I knew my momma loved me.

It is that understanding of the true nature of love that has led me to see a loving God. After I left the girls home, I assumed that if there was a God, then he despised me. On the other hand, if God didn’t exist, then he didn’t exist to hate me. If he didn’t exist, then there was nothing to fear … nothing to hurt me. Thank you for this one Darlene. I knew the importance of love, but I had never managed to put it together as you did.


Thank you so much for posting your thoughts. This is so helpful to me.
Thank God someone is helping me think better!


One of the things that made such a big difference to me in my process was finding out that so many others had the same feelings and thoughts that I did, but I had never been validated. Being validated was like getting sunshine for the first time and because it made such a huge difference to me, I am passionate about validating others now.
Hugs and so glad that you are here!

Hi A.J.
Welcome! Thank you for sharing this important view point from someone who did know that she was loved and the difference it makes.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Emily,
Great to have you here too, glad that this is helping you!
hugs, Darlene


Darlene, thank you for your kind comment back to me. I realize that what you say is true, the foundational lies have to be addressed. I guess I was just concerned that because Bible verses have been twisted and used to abuse, some people might close their hearts to a very real and deep source of healing, which is what the Scriptures are when they are rightly understood and applied. This has been my experience:) Thank you for helping us sort through the differences. Hugs back to you!



I understand what you are saying. I thought that “love” had falied and rejected me too. I thought, all of my life, that God hated me. I never thought that God could love me, for how could he if I wasn’t thought well of by members of my own family? We are abused by those closest to us. By those who have access to us. I can’t speak for God. I don’t know why evil, for whatever reason, seeks us out, but it does. All that I do know is that as for me, my belief that what i was living through and with in my heart wasn’t the Lord’s will for my life. I knew and know now, that the Enemy wants to destroy us. And just as much as I know these things, I also have come to know that God seeks the best for all of us. He does (Agape)love us for real. The “love” that you and I were shown isn’t God’s love. It can’t be, for if that were true there would be no point in living this life. Evil perverts the things of God. Just as we suffered from the hands of perverted men and women.


Hi Joy,
I am so glad to know that you came back to read my comments! I share your love for real healing. I just sort of come through the back door if you will.. LOL I was able to return to the REAL meaning of the scriptures and sort out those lies, and I know that others can too. God/ Christ/ and the Bible didn’t do this harm. People did and all too often in the name those three. Thank you so much for understanding where I am coming from AND for sharing your experiences!
Love Darlene

Hi Chris,
Yes, what happened to us was nothing related to God’s love at all. I had a lot to sort out when it came to that.
Thanks for your comment,
Hugs, Darlene


This is an absolutely phenomenal post, it truly is, I can relate to pretty much all of it.

I find it impossible to put into words what I feel and think each time I read this and I’ve read it many times since it was published. It’s like you describe my own thought processes/reactions, and that’s just a little spooky!!

Anyway, I mentioned this post on my blog and put a link to it because it impacted me so much.

Blessings Darlene, keep writing and keep telling the TRUTH as it is, as it REALLY IS!!


Hi Fi,
Thanks for this note of encouragement! It is great to be understood. I have a leftover from the past about not being understood ~ it still bothers me when I am misunderstood, because I always was! (because I was not really ever right back then) So even someone saying that they “get it” that they can relate to what I write, is awesome.

Thanks for being here! Hugs, Darlene
p.s. If anyone would like to read Fi’s wonderful blog, just click on her name in the comment from her and you will be transported to her writing.


[…] tried to LOVE by the definition of love in the last post “Love is Patient, Love is Kind ~ a bit of a rant” but I was not valued for that because I (whatever I did) was never good enough. How could I have […]


OOPs I put my rant and rave under Nov 16 and I meant to under Nov 18 …so here it is again with slight modifications.

I am going to expose deeply felt convictions that immediately surfaced when reading the excellent points brought up by Darlene Ouimet. The two articles from Nov 16 and 18 we should think about deeply so to defeat false beliefs. This may not be the appropriate forum for what I am going to write, but she hit a nerve and this is I what is coming out… “..

This is a great example of the fact, that for well meaning people who trust scripture, scripture is the tool Satan will use for them to have dumb, idiotic, and evil ideas which can lead to dumb, idiotic, and evil actions towards themselves and others. (Personally, I have had and will have false beliefs, unwarranted feelings, and unwarranted emotions. I hope many are defeated by Truth)

Check out the temptations of Jesus and read what Satan used there…Scripture. Don’t you think Satan was pulling out his most powerful weapons on Jesus? I do. Matthew 4

This is also an example of letting scripture help us in understanding other scripture. Check out Jesus responding to entrenched evil in the temple. Jesus was angry and he went after them! He drove them out with a whip! This does not look like image painted in I Corinthians 13, hence I Corinthians 13 it is not a complete picture of how to be in all situations with all people.

Remark: I have not done this, but I have just had a thought to throw out there. We should teach children (or anyone) this. If we see that we are in an abusive environment where there is a power differential real or even perceived and/or to personally fight back is not wise and will just cause more harm to themselve then flee! Find a safe place! Then get as many powerful people as you can, to go after that (you can fill in your own blank.) Tell more than the police. Tell everyone that has power and is for you. Entrenched evil must be driven out. Power is necessary.

Back to main idea: WE can also see from the article that scripture must be interpreted in context. Paul was writing about motivation and was giving a picture of Christian ministry in the body of Christ.(Even in that we cannot assume it is complete.) We can respond and be like this to brothers and sisters in Christ who sin and fall short even as we sin and fall short of perfection in our thoughts and behaviors. Read I Corinthians 12

Remark: The scripture is also clear that if a fellow Christian sins against you in a way that keeps bugging you, you need to go to them and clear the air and work it out. Living in grace does not mean extending cheap forgiving grace. Loving confrontation, confession, and forgiveness is appropriate. The general teaching on “just forgive because Jesus forgive you …is not complete and often taken in a doormat sense. Study the life of Jesus. He was not a doormat!

Bad teaching and even “this is what yo ought to do” focused teaching at “church” is a source of many problems and heart ache. Children have no resources to fight the bad teaching. It is my opinion that if you go to a church with gross amounts of bad teaching, leave. If you are a teacher take the job seriously. Work with the scripture rigorously and carefully. You should have a little fear about teaching. It will energize you to do good work.

I think a person is better off in no church than a bad church. Find a Church that always goes back to Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. There was only one triumphant Christian, Jesus. He and what He did for us should be the focus.

God is Love, but he also Holy and Just, and will pour out anger, wrath and judgment against sin and sinful people, evil and evil people. You can rest assured that in the end, if these sinful evil people do not repent and trust Jesus to save them, God will get them. God will pour wrath and judgment on sin. Hell is well… hell.

This is the reason for the cross. For those trusting in Jesus the wrath reserved for them, (the wrath of God against me), was poured out on Jesus and Jesus’ perfection given to them. It was a gift. Thankfulness and a thankful life is the appropriate response.


Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I am going to post a response to your comment, but meanwhile maybe you would like to read the next post in this “love series”. In this blog I try to explain some of the reasons that we are so stuck with all of this and how much it takes to undo the brainwashing by exposing the roots of the brainwashing ~ the depth of the brainwashing, and as you can imagine, (from what I gather from what you have just shared) this is no small task. It takes a LOT of time and my little blog posts are really just little snapshots ~ as I try to punch little holes in the fog that we have been trapped in for so long.
I appreciate your comments and I am happy to have you here,
Hugs, Darlene

Here is the link to the followup post everyone! ~ From self blame to Self Love ~ Finding my Value


my mum used to tell me she loved us so much that it hurt. i dont know why she said that. even then, as a child, i used to think ‘but how can love hurt?’ i never understood that. now i realise she had no concept of love. she thought she did, however the evidence clearly proves otherwise.
the bibles definition of love is spot on, in my opinion.


Hi Michelle,
My mother had no concept of love either. I like what someone said in the comments on this post about This bible verse being a description of God’s love for us. We can strive for that kind of love, a love that is best for all. In dysfunctional family life, love is all messed up and has all kinds of obedience and compliance mixed in with it. With my mom it was as thought the compliance was the proof that I loved her. That isn’t love either.
Glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hey Darlene…I pretty much can identify w/every translation…what is weird is that my sick sense of humor was popping up while reading it…I found myself laughing but realizing just how sickening and true these translations are to me and my beleifs…You can almost see how unnoticeable we are in every translation but that the abusers get all the love/light…while we stay in the dark…not worthy of nothing…I’m going to post each translation on my walls ea. day to see what kinda response I get from them….thankyou, for all your work Darlene…I truly get so much from you, 😉


I know! I had that same exp. I would fight my therapist on some point, saying that I didn’t follow that or believe that… (whatever it was) and then realize that in reality it RAN my life! But that fog I lived in was the fog that kept me safe. (or so I thought, and maybe it did when I was a child, but as an adult I needed to get the heck OUT of it in order to live. ) Hugs Patty!


Just a question ? I have just found out about this site. Everything that I have read so far mirrors my life exactly ! I was sexually abused in a very angry and traumatic way, and no one has ever taken it seriously in my family. Denial. I am 53 yrs old and thought there was never any hope that there could be some healing from these kind of wounds. I feel like I have been walking and living in a black hole my entire life, just trying to please others and find out who I am. Well this year I finally got fed up with pleasing others and have started to speak up a little bit.It has not been easy but it is like growing some wings. Survival. My question is this. If one has never been taught how to love, or was not felt loved, then how do you love yourself , so that you can sincerely love others ? I am sure this has been answered , but I am just talking now. I have never talked about the abuse or how it has caused my life to be hell for so very long. Just trying to find out who I am. Must be DID.



. Hi Jim,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am currently writing a new post that addresses this very question! (should be published this week) It is a process, not a simple or magic fix but a real process of digging deep down into the foundation, realizing what was right and what was wrong, and validating ourselves for the things that happened to us that we were not validated for in the first place. (Well that is part of it anyway)
Talking about the abuse is the first step. Talking about it, connecting to it, really knowing that it happened to you, that it was wrong, that it was life changing, that you were blameless, all those things were so life changing for me. Read the next few post after this one, (there is kind of a love series going on here, and read the comments too) and give yourself time. Share often; that is a great healing thing too. And just keep seeking. I also recovered from DID. That is also possible when we embrace the truth of the past.
Great to have you here,
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene and Michelle,

Your comments are “spot on”! People tend to use the Bible to prove their point where family and love (and other things) are concerned. Love cannot be proven…only demonstrated. In my belief, Jesus Christ is God’s perfect expression of love toward mankind or humanity.


Oh wow, just read this after reading your forgiveness post! This is another one of the bible verses my parents threw at me when I had the audacity to raise the truth. Thank you.


Ugh. I know I’m commenting on an old post but I feel that it’s important to make a small point with this scripture. Like another post says, ‘God IS Love’ and it is more a description than a guideline on how to behave.

About envy, pride and boasting: love does not envy, is not prideful or boastful because those emotions all imply that either you or someone else can not have what another has. And as we know from the Bible, it is God’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. It is like putting limits on God, and God is limitless. God is all powerful, He can do anything. So when we envy another person something, we are saying that what one of His creations is capable of deserving, another is not. Since we are OF God and created in His image, we are also putting limits on ourselves which is just downright silly.

I used to really resent that scripture because it was taught to me the same way you interpreted it as a child, Darlene. I felt that I wasn’t even good enough for God to love, because He’d stuck me with such a horrible family to be tormented for years. What I didn’t realize until later was that by convincing myself of this, I’d cut myself off from Him and no amount of signs to the contrary would help until I started to BELIEVE that He was love, and I am/was of God. Of course he loved me, I just couldn’t see or feel it because I didn’t believe it.

I don’t blame myself for what my abusers did to me, but I accept responsibility for not using my God-given free will to change my circumstances. I know that I allowed it to continue for years after I learned it was wrong. Now I feel blessed that I can view my experiences from a loving perspective, I see it as a cycle that I’ve broken and I’m able to enjoy a life free of false guilt and full of happiness.


Thanks for sharing this:
“Love keeps no record of wrongs ~Translation: Forget immediately the harm done to me by everyone else and NEVER bring it up again, never speak of it or reveal it or bring attention to it. If I ever do reveal those secrets, I am no better than the one who did it.”

Also, because they “forgave” and asked for “forgiveness” it should be TOTALLY forgotten.

However, the mind is a powerful force – I cannot forget!


Hi Teresa
EXACTLY! I love your translation!
And I don’t want to forget; everytime I tried to just forget, I would get abused again. It was like “forgetting” was giving permission or agreement that I accepted the harm done. Remembering is part of the way I protect myself today. And usually anyone who asked for forgiveness in my life was actually just manipulating me even more. We are not talking about bringing up the time I put the wrong colour shirt in the wash here! I could ask somoene to “forget” about that. The subjects we are talking about are all serious stuff.
Today I put all my memories to very good use. The resentment, anger and pain is gone so I think “forgiveness” was a part of the process but first I had to hounour myself, my pain and validate the damage that was done in the first place.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh my goodness, you just described exactly what I thought! Darlene thank you so much, you have such wonderful insite. Wow your comments sure have shed a new light on things for me.
The funniest thing is that I did not know I felt that way until you spoke of it, makes me wonder what else lurks deep down.
The truth really is setting me free, you have no idea how much you have helped me Darlene, thank you so much for being you! God bless you.


Hi Kelly
I didn’t know that I felt that way either.. this whole process has been about huge discoveries about how I really feel! And yes, that IS the truth that set me free too. And believe it or not I struggle to communicate it knowing that so many others also don’t even know they feel this way so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to write in a way that ‘breaks through’ that barrier we don’t even know is there! So, I really appreciate your feedback on this today.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene! This post is so flip’n awesome! Amazing to me that those who survived abuse and dysfunction could see love any other way! I too shared your very same perceptions… I believe many of us did. It was the accepted way of life. To dare dispute it would make me an instant evil enemy. God forbid I had an actual opinion!
Through my recovery work, I HAVE discovered I matter… But I had to matter to me first.
Applying these famous words of wisdom today it would look like this.
• Love is patient, ~ I practice being patient
• Love is kind, ~ I am kind
• Love does not envy, ~ I am not jealous
• Love does not boast,~ I do not serve my pride
• Love is not proud,~ I do not serve my ego
• Love is not rude,~ I treat others as I want to be treated
• Love is not self seeking,~ I am concerned about others
• Love is not easily angered,~ I get angry, I do not react to the feeling of anger
• Love keeps no record of wrongs~, I forgive and not hold it against you. But I am wise enough to have learned my lesson from broken trust.
• Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.~ I do not use manipulation, lies, or gossip to cause harm, rather I practice radical honesty with myself. I can stand in my own truth.
• Love always protects,~ I am responsible to protect my mind, my heart, my emotions, and my spirit… me, I am responsible to protect me.
• Love always trusts,~ I trust my intuition, my feelings, my instinct I place my trust in those who have earned it. It’s not a free gift.
• Love always hopes,~ I look at life through a positive lens and the possibilities I have before me.
• Love always perseveres,~ I am determined, strong, and have overcome enough evil in my lifetime to continue moving forward and carry a message of hope.

Thank for for sharing your healing with the world!
((Hugs)) Suzanne


Wow! This post is the story of my life with my “family”. It took so many years for me to figure out what abuse was and how to have a good self esteem. I earneed mine the old fashioned way. By hard work and perseverence. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving that I will spend away from my parents and imediate family. I found out that I was “not invited” to the family Thanksgiving, however I wasn’t planning on going anyway. Still it just makes my own realizations and observations more vivid. Although my Dad has never known that I exist, I cried today because deep down I thought he would call me and try to make things right. I believed that he meant well. Please say a prayer for me. I will spend a quiet Thanksgiving with my husband and my 16 year old son. My older son is in the army so it’s just us. It hurts to keep being rejected when all I ever did was GIVE. The more you give the more people treat you like garbage.


Hi Suzanne
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I love it!!!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Elizabeth
The disapointment that I felt when I realized my family was just going to let our relationship go was a whole other kind of pain; I know what you mean. Even though I had made up my mind and I was solid in the decision that I was no longer going to accept being treated like that, I was still shocked that they didn’t really care and that my own mother would rather walk away from the relationship then TRY to make things right. But that pain eventually led me to see the truth and it helps me even today to see what it was like back then and what it is like now. I am not missing anything. The fact that she wouldn’t even try speaks volumes about her beliefs (that I am the problem and that it is up to me to fix this and to respect her on the one way street) and how they are not going to change. Having said that, the process of acceptance of this reality and the process of grieving and pain is very painful.
hugs and love, Darlene


What an extraordinary, beautiful post for Thanksgiving! I am giving thanks that you are there, explaining things so well and in a context that I grew up with, particularly in Bible quotes. This is a brilliant example of how I was taught to interpret and to submit.
Thank you so much for what you’re doing with this blog, you are helping so many.
Much love today and always,


Hi Colleen
Welcome to EFB!
Thanks for your comments! I found that realizing the HOW I was taught these false meanings of relationships and how they worked went MILES towards helping me draw my boundaries!
Hugs, Darlene


Wow….so I am not the only one that has problems with this. I guess that maybe that’s where I got off track because the God I was taught about was a mean, demanding God that would accept only total obedience. Just like my mom. And if I offended him, I was shunned…just like my mom shunned me whenever I violated one of her commandments. To this day my mother will use her religion to tell me what an evil, mean person I am. How she is on her knees every night praying for my soul. Last time I ever talked to her I told her my soul was fine however, she really needed to worry about her own. I told her that if God and heaven existed as she believed that one day she will have to explain all of her abuse to the big man upstairs. As for me…all I have to explain is why I let it continue as long as I did.


Dear Pam,

I can’t believe you let this go on as long as you did either. Just as I can’t believe I put up with the crap I did from my “family”. But I think you are on the right track. If you have figured out how not to give a shit please let me know. I still cry over things I have no control over. But I applaud you for having your guts.



Hi Pam
yes, that is how it is taught so much of the time. (and who would really want to ‘worship’ or trust a god like that? and the truth is that our parents are god in our lives and what ever they demand is what we believe.)
I love to turn the tables on these people with their false teachings ~ imagine them thinking that ‘they’ were safe from the hell fire they preached at us!! ha
Hugs, Darlene


I was always taken aback by the first commandment of the Jewish God: LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, and the second commandment :Love your neighbor as yourself.
What does ‘As yourself’ mean? That was m question as I was growing up a Catholic school girl.
Then, when I was reading some self help books in college, I wondered: “Shouldnt the first commandment be to love myself, then love others?” because the theory goes that you need to love yourself before you can love others, right? So didnt the commandments and Jesus leave something out?- That is, to love yourself?
And that is what bothered me about my religion and caused me to search for a different religion. And that is why I have turned to the Buddhist philosophy.


I am recently separated due to a dysfunctional and abusive relationship. As I am finding out the hard way, as if I’m not confused enough about how I ended up here in the first place, that it is definately one of those “you stabbed me and then pretend you are the one bleeding” scenarios. I’m the bad guy? Wait a minute, how did that happen? Lbs A lot of days, I feel somewhat relieved that I’m away from the dysfunction, but I still have my bad days and the last 3 or 4 have been pretty bad. For some reason the phrase “love is patient, love is kind” popped into my head earlier, so I looked it up and ran across your page. I just wanted to say thank you because your explanation of the phrase “love is patient love is kind” pretty much summed up ho

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