‘Make better Choices’ and other Directionless Directives

overcoming low self esteem
The New Deal

This week I keep running across sayings, posters and quotes that I find frustrating because they are all sayings and directives that I believed in and strived towards for so many years. The problem was that in reality I was spinning my wheels and not really making any progress with moving forward and away from my struggles, depressions, and oppression. Today I see some of these sayings as “directionless directives”. They sound great, ideal in fact, but they didn’t actually HELP me.

 They motivated me and inspired hope in me for about twenty minutes or even a few days before the familiar feeling of personal failure set in once again. I thought I was the only one who could not achieve the decisions these little sayings were meant to inspire.

For instance the directive “Stand up for yourself even if you stand alone”; No one ever empowered me to know how to do stand up for myself. No one actually even stood up for me. I was a victim in my own home for most of my life and as I grew into my twenties and thirties I tried to change the course of my life by trying to follow some of these directions but standing up for myself was not something I knew how to do or even felt that I had “the right” to choose to do. I had no idea where to even START standing up for myself.

My self esteem had to be repaired and restored first. I didn’t know that I didn’t actually deserve the disregard for my feelings that was my reality.  In my victim mentality I thought that the way to emotional health was compliance to the wishes of others and self sacrifice. The message that I actually believed whether I was aware of it or not, was more like “don’t stand up to anyone and you will be safe”.  

The directive “Don’t “LET” anyone abuse you” makes me shudder. It implies that we LET people do this abusive stuff to us.  It isn’t that I went around giving my permission for someone to treat me like dirt. Have you ever talked to a victim of domestic violence? The reason that most women have trouble leaving is because they have been convinced that they DESERVED the beating. I didn’t LET anyone abuse me; I just didn’t know that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I didn’t know my value. My self worth had not been set in place yet. The foundation for self esteem and self worth that should have been set in place when I was a child was missing.

Before I could “not let” anyone abuse me disrespect me, devalue me, define me or disregard me, my self esteem had to be repaired and restored.

What about this one; “Your life is a result of the choices that you make. If you don’t like your life it’s time to start making better choices.” I have a real issue with this one; I tried to “make better choices” for at least 20 years before I finally started to dig into WHY I made the sometimes disastrous choices that I made. The answers were not about “just change and presto all will be well”. The answers were in facing how I arrived at such a broken place.

It is so simple for people to spout off all these “oh so easy answers” to all of life’s problems but the HOW part of it is not so easy. And when I start talking about the “how part” many people run for the hills. There is a huge fear of facing the pain that facing the truth brings and I think that fear goes hand in hand with the fear of taking the action that comes right after the clarity and seeing the truth.  

I am so glad that I realized that I am worth the effort that it took to overcome the belief system that had been set in place for me by abusers. I didn’t know that I was worth it at first, but I kept going forward long enough to find out and today I know that I am worth every tiny, huge or medium effort that I put into my life.  

Before I could make better choices and before these little posters and quotes were actually uplifting instead of a reminder of “my weakness” I had to find out how I got to where I was. I had to understand and VALIDATE what had happened to me in the first place and the damage that it casued. I had to face the truth about the origins of the broken and I had to do the work to repair it. I had to fight for me before I could stand up for me. The solution was in changing the false messages that I believed about myself back to the truth. THEN I made better choices.

There was an order in this process of healing; and I didn’t start at the end. The solution was not in these deceptively easy sounding directionless directives.

Thankfully, there is a solution and that is what Emerging from Broken is all about.  

Please share your thoughts and perhaps some directionless directives that you have heard. Remember that you may use whatever name you wish in the comment form. Although Emerging from Broken has a facebook page, the comments here are not shared on Facebook.  The EFB community is growing every day. You are not alone!

Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing


Related Posts; another directionless directive is often found in the whole subject of forgiveness. I have already written about those ones and if you are interested, they can be found here; Forgive the Abusers? A bit of a Rant and The Confusion created around Forgiveness,

Also see: Love is Patient Love is Kind A bit of a Rant

Inspirational quotes that cause Harm

When Inspirational Material triggers Self Blame

117 response to "‘Make better Choices’ and other Directionless Directives"

  1. By: DXS Posted: 27th July

    wow, one year ago today this post was made. Glad Sue posted a comment so I could see this post, wouldn’t have known about it otherwise.

    I’m so sick of this “choose to be, choose to be, choose to be” stuff. YOU CAN’T CHOOSE WHAT YOU FEEL! I’ve been trying to “choose” what I felt for years from my mom TELLING me how to feel! What happens when you do that? You lead a “double” life! You are “authentic” when you are away from the abusers, but you revert to being what the abusers want you to be” when you are around them. It sucks. I think Darlene called it some “disorder” in another post…..

  2. By: Sue Posted: 27th July

    hi darlene,

    there’s a whole bunch of new women on this thread! my sister talks a lot about making good choices for me and my daughter and for herself but she is divorced twice and the latest fiancee walked out leaving her devastated. there’s a lot of motivational posters on fb about being positive, the thing is if you are actually having a hard time and you are exhausted and sick and broke and depressed and grieving, it is just one more thing to feel bad about. you’re supposed to be cheery all the time and there are so few people mature enough to listen to you without judgement, without just telling you to cheer up.

  3. By: TJ Posted: 14th February

    Mimi, I didn’t type it out, but copied it from an excerpt from the book that is on a website about brainwashing (the link is on my post above). And you are correct that this sort of abuse is so difficult to describe. When I’ve tried to describe it to people they always acted as if I was being petty and unforgiving about some trivial disagreement. They always told me that my mother was just wounded, and probably really loved me, and to not hang on to offenses but to forgive. I’d try to tell them this wasn’t a little disagreement, it’s not about a lack of love and forgiveness, it about ruthless power and control. It’s like an emotional rape. But no one heard me.

    And I agree with Catherine Todd about the accuracy of your statement “The actors are all scrambling to show their mother more devotion that their siblings. (except for me of course.)It makes me sick how they worship such a mean woman.” I find it sickly humorous that my outcast siblings that our Mom is dysfunctional and manipulative, but every one of them states that they saw through it during our childhood, and every one of them thinks they have overcome it without affect…unless they are being the “victim” who must be cared for because they are so wounded. I’m the only one who believes that I did NOT know what was happening in our childhood, and I did not get through unscathed. The others are still running after Mom. The favored ones idolize and loyally defend her. The unfavored ones desperately try to win her love and approval and will rush to her defense even though they, themselves, criticize her. Everything revolves around Mom, who manipulates everyone, including grandchildren, like a puppeteer. Two years ago, I finally understood that it’s ok to walk away from the abusive drama, and I will not have anything to do with them. (Although I struggle with guilt that I am being unloving and unforgiving for doing so.) Now I am trying to overcome the damage, and set healthy boundaries in my life, and learn to live in freedom and wholeness.

  4. By: Mimi Posted: 14th February

    Thank you for posting this information. It’s invaluable. For someone who’s suffered this kind of abuse, it seems impossible to put into words. I’ve tried to describe it in words to people who haven’t experienced it. I fail miserably. It’s so elusive and so difficult to pin down exactly what it is that has damaged me so. I love to read intricate descriptions such as this because it really helps to cement it in my mind that it wasn’t just me….. and perhaps wasn’t me at all. So easy to forget when our minds are trained so deeply. So easy to go back into questioning if I am really all the things she said I was. Then, I read stuff like this and I know. It was her. She is crazy!! (my mother)

    Thanks for taking the time to type it all out.

    Peace and Hope,

  5. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 14th February

    Wow. Re-reading everything here, including #108… this is one I’ll have to print out and post on my wall. Gracias amigos for all! Reading Again.

  6. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 13th February

    Melody in # 109

    “The actors are all scrambling to show their mother more devotion that their siblings. (except for me of course.)It makes me sick how they worship such a mean woman.”

    I can’t believe it… you took the words right out of my mouth! Now that my mother has died, the “beatification process” has begun! I just can’t believe it. And it is a “play.”

    Now to finish reading the rest. I’m going to look at the book “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People.” Thanks, TJ.

    Whew. So much to learn, so far to go. Gracias amigas!

  7. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 13th February

    Darlene wrote in #104:

    “For instance, a woman who is being beaten by her husband; everyone is so stumped by the fact that she stays. It isn’t because she likes it. It is because her self esteem is so shot and she is so brainwashed that it is “her”, she really believes that one day she will find the key to being who he wants her to be and he will finally love her.”

    This has stayed with me all night; even though I never allowed a man to beat me with fists, I have allowed them to mistreat me with words or actions. All my life. Because I was SURE that somehow, someday, I would “find the key” and they would “finally love me.”

    Husband, mother, father, friend, you name it. All I did was twist myself into knots and ties myself in Gordian knots that cannot be undone, without the swift cutting of a sword.

    Thank you Darlene. With your book and your website, you are going to be on the talk show circuit soon. You are saving so many lives! Get ready… here we come!

  8. By: TJ Posted: 13th February

    Thanks, Melody!

    “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” described the tactics of emotional abusers. This really helped me to recognize many of the tactics that my abusers used against me. They used many of them, if not all, against me, keeping me confused and unbalanced and filled with guilt. I have observed that when I confronted an emotional abuser and they saw a tactic wasn’t working, they’d often very quickly change to another tactic, going from victim to seducer or villifying me, for example. It was like flipping a switch. To me this quick change when confronted is one indicator that I am dealing with an abuser. Here is a list of tactics from the book that is shared on the brainwashing site:

    Denial – This is when the aggressor refuses to admit that they’ve done something harmful or hurtful when they clearly have. It’s a way they lie (to themselves as well as to others) about their aggressive intentions. This “Who… Me?” tactic is a way of “playing innocent,” and invites the victim to feel unjustified in confronting the aggressor about the inappropriateness of a behavior. It’s also the way the aggressor gives him/herself permission to keep right on doing what they want to do. This denial is not the same kind of denial that a person who has just lost a loved one and can’t quite bear to accept the pain and reality of the loss engages in. That type of denial really is mostly a “defense” against unbearable hurt and anxiety. Rather, this type of denial is not primarily a “defense” but a maneuver the aggressor uses to get others to back off, back down or maybe even feel guilty themselves for insinuating he’s doing something wrong.

    Selective Inattention – This tactic is similar to and sometimes mistaken for denial It’s when the aggressor “plays dumb,” or acts oblivious. When engaging in this tactic, the aggressor actively ignores the warnings, pleas or wishes of others, and in general, refuses to pay attention to everything and anything that might distract them from pursuing their own agenda. Often, the aggressor knows full well what you want from him when he starts to exhibit this “I don’t want to hear it!” behavior. By using this tactic, the aggressor actively resists submitting himself to the tasks of paying attention to or refraining from the behavior you want him to change…Actively listening to and heeding the suggestions of someone else are, among other things, acts of submission. And, as you may remember from the story [I didn’t include the examples in these quotes], Amanda is not a girl who submits easily. Determined to let nothing stand in her way and convinced she could eventually “win” most of her power struggles with authority figures through manipulation, Amanda closed her ears. She didn’t see any need to listen. From her point of view, she would only have lost some power and control if she submitted herself to the guidance and direction offered by those whom she views as less powerful, clever and capable as herself.

    Rationalization – A rationalization is the excuse an aggressor tries to offer for engaging in an inappropriate or harmful behavior. It can be an effective tactic, especially when the explanation or justification the aggressor offers makes just enough sense that any reasonably conscientious person is likely to fall for it. It’s a powerful tactic because it not only serves to remove any internal resistance the aggressor might have about doing what he wants to do (quieting any qualms of conscience he might have) but also to keep others off his back. If the aggressor can convince you he’s justified in whatever he’s doing, then he’s freer to pursue his goals without interference.

    Diversion – A moving target is hard to hit. When we try to pin a manipulator down or try to keep a discussion focused on a single issue or behavior we don’t like, he’s expert at knowing how to change the subject, dodge the issue or in some way throw us a curve. Manipulators use distraction and diversion techniques to keep the focus off their behavior, move us off-track, and keep themselves free to promote their self-serving hidden agendas.

    Lying – It’s often hard to tell when a person is lying at the time he’s doing it. Fortunately, there are times when the truth will out because circumstances don’t bear out somebody’s story. But there are also times when you don’t know you’ve been deceived until it’s too late. One way to minimize the chances that someone will put one over on you is to remember that because aggressive personalities of all types will generally stop at nothing to get what they want, you can expect them to lie and cheat. Another thing to remember is that manipulators – covert-aggressive personalities that they are – are prone to lie in subtle, covert ways. Courts are well aware of the many ways that people lie, as they require that court oaths charge that testifiers tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Manipulators often lie by withholding a significant amount of the truth from you or by distorting the truth. They are adept at being vague when you ask them direct questions. This is an especially slick way of lying’ omission. Keep this in mind when dealing with a suspected wolf in sheep’s clothing. Always seek and obtain specific, confirmable information.

    Covert Intimidation – Aggressors frequently threaten their victims to keep them anxious, apprehensive and in a one-down position. Covert-aggressives intimidate their victims by making veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats. Guilt-tripping and shaming are two of the covert-aggressive’s favourite weapons. Both are special intimidation tactics.

    Guilt-tripping – One thing that aggressive personalities know well is that other types of persons have very different consciences than they do. Manipulators are often skilled at using what they know to be the greater conscientiousness of their victims as a means of keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, and submissive position. The more conscientious the potential victim, the more effective guilt is as a weapon. Aggressive personalities of all types use guilt-tripping so frequently and effectively as a manipulative tactic, that I believe it illustrates how fundamentally different in character they are compared to other (especially neurotic) personalities. All a manipulator has to do is suggest to the conscientious person that they don’t care enough, are too selfish, etc., and that person immediately starts to feel bad. On the contrary, a conscientious person might try until they’re blue in the face to get a manipulator (or any other aggressive personality) to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, to absolutely no avail.

    Shaming – This is the technique of using subtle sarcasm and put-downs as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in others. Covert-aggressives use this tactic to make others feel inadequate or unworthy, and therefore, defer to them. It’s an effective way to foster a continued sense of personal inadequacy in the weaker party, thereby allowing an aggressor to maintain a position of dominance.

    Playing the Victim Role – This tactic involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstances or someone else’s behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities usually can’t stand to see anyone suffering. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Convince your victim you’re suffering in some way, and they’ll try to relieve your distress.

    Vilifying the Victim – This tactic is frequently used in conjunction with the tactic of playing the victim role. The aggressor uses this tactic to make it appear he is only responding (i.e. defending himself against) aggression on the part of the victim. It enables the aggressor to better put the victim on the defensive.

    Playing the Servant Role – Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause. It’s a common tactic but difficult to recognize. By pretending to be working hard on someone else’s behalf, covert-aggressives conceal their own ambition, desire for power, and quest for a position of dominance over others…A good example comes to mind in the recent true story of a well-known tele-evangelist who locked himself up in a room in a purported display of “obedience” and “service” to God. He even portrayed himself’ a willing sacrificial lamb who was prepared to be “taken by God” if he didn’t do the Almighty’s bidding and raise eight million dollars. He claimed he was a humble servant, merely heeding the Lord’s will. He was really fighting to save his substantial material empire.

    Seduction – Covert-aggressive personalities are adept at charming, praising, flattering or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and surrender their trust and loyalty. Covert-aggressives are also particularly aware that people who are to some extent emotionally needy and dependent (and that includes most people who aren’t character-disordered) want approval, reassurance, and a sense of being valued and needed more than anything. Appearing to be attentive to these needs can be a manipulator’s ticket to incredible power over others. Shady “gurus” like Jim Jones and David Koresh seemed to have refined this tactic to an art. In the story of Al and Don, Al is the consummate seducer. He melts any resistance you might have to giving him your loyalty and confidence. He does this by giving you what he knows you need most. He knows you want to feel valued and important. So, he often tells you that you are. You don’t find out how unimportant you really are to him until you turn out to be in his way.

    Projecting the blame (blaming others) – Aggressive personalities are always looking for a way to shift the blame for their aggressive behavior. Covert-aggressives are not only skilled at finding scapegoats, they’re expert at doing so in subtle, hard to detect ways.

    Minimization – This tactic is a unique kind of denial coupled with rationalization. When using this maneuver, the aggressor is attempting to assert that his abusive behavior isn’t really as harmful or irresponsible as someone else may be claiming. It’s the aggressor’s attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain.

    I’ve presented the principal tactics that covert-aggressives use to manipulate and control others. They are not always easy to recognize. Although all aggressive personalities tend to use these tactics, covert-aggressives generally use them slickly, subtly and adeptly. Anyone dealing with a covertly aggressive person will need to heighten gut-level sensitivity to the use of these tactics if they’re to avoid being taken in by them.


  9. By: Melody Posted: 13th February

    Thanks for the definition of manipulators. This fits everyone in “The Play” as I call it right now. And it is a play, you never know what the actors are going to do on a daily basis. The actors are all scrambling to show their mother more devotion that their siblings. (except for me of course.)It makes me sick how they worship such a mean woman.
    I can completely identify with every single person telling you that your mom loves you. Since going no contact almost a year now, each member of the family keeps saying mother loves me. My question would be if everyone is saying it but not her, then why is it true? That’s the key! My Ndad has said this to me for years usually when the mother had her worst most hurtful behaviors. I can’t even count how many times Ndad has said “You know WE love you.” Many times with my mother sitting right next to him, during an argument with me. It finally dawned on me that she is not saying it, he is! I expect more people to defend Nmom now that I am co contact, so I am backing off the subject and will only discuss it with people that I trust.
    Once my mother called me crying saying she was so sorry for favoring my oldest sister and on and on. My heart soared with the thought that my mom actually loved me and was sorry. Later on I heard that Nmom had a fight with this sister and they weren’t on speaking terms. Eventually they started speaking again and I was right back in the doghouse. She is like a leopard, which will always have spots and eventually you will find them, they never go away. I am truly sorry for what you and we all have gone through. But I am very thankful for the truth and Darlenes’ trailblazing website…Peace!

  10. By: TJ Posted: 13th February


    A couple years ago, I found an excerpt from a book (which I went on to buy) called “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People.” The excerpt is on a website that deals with various forms of brainwashing. It has helped me greatly. It was the first thing that ever verified that maybe it wasn’t all me. The types of manipulation that is described accurately describes the sort of abuse I have encountered. It can be very subtle and very powerful. Here is a portion of the book quoted on the website:

    “For a long time, I wondered why manipulation victims have a hard time seeing what really goes on in manipulative interactions. At first, I was tempted to fault them. But I’ve learned that they get hoodwinked for some very good reasons:

    1. A manipulator’s aggression is not obvious. Our gut may tell us that they’re fighting for something, struggling to overcome us, gain power, or have their way, and we find ourselves unconsciously on the defensive. But because we can’t point to clear, objective evidence they’re aggressing against us, we can’t readily validate our feelings.

    2. The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they’re hurting, caring, defending, …, almost anything but fighting. These tactics are hard to recognize as merely clever ploys. They always make just enough sense to make a person doubt their gut hunch that they’re being taken advantage of or abused. Besides, the tactics not only make it hard for you to consciously and objectively tell that a manipulator is fighting, but they also simultaneously keep you or consciously on the defensive. These features make them highly effective psychological weapons to which anyone can be vulnerable. It’s hard to think clearly when someone has you emotionally on the run.

    3. All of us have weaknesses and insecurities that a clever manipulator might exploit. Sometimes, we’re aware of these weaknesses and how someone might use them to take advantage of us. For example, I hear parents say things like: “Yeah, I know I have a big guilt button.” – But at the time their manipulative child is busily pushing that button, they can easily forget what’s really going on. Besides, sometimes we’re unaware of our biggest vulnerabilities. Manipulators often know us better than we know ourselves. They know what buttons to push, when and how hard. Our lack of self-knowledge sets us up to be exploited.

    4. What our gut tells us a manipulator is like, challenges everything we’ve been taught to believe about human nature. We’ve been inundated with a psychology that has us seeing everybody, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or “hung-up.” So, while our gut tells us we’re dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened or wounded “underneath.” What’s more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people. We hesitate to make harsh or seemingly negative judgments about others. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. We’re more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator’s character.


    This is the type of emotional abuse I encountered. My abusers all seemed like caring, honest people. This is how they drew me in. As long as I was compliant, they continued to show this sort of behavior to me…while in reality they were stealing my self-confidence and identity. When I recognized it and began to fight against it, they began to lie about me, blame me, reject me, and turn others against me–all while I’m sure they seemed very caring. I’m sure many heard such things as “Poor TJ. Her husband has turned her against us, and we need to pray for her…” which are the types of things I heard about a couple of my siblings in the past. In reality “Poor TJ” was fighting to escape THEIR control. If I tried to pull away, they became “sweet” again until they had drawn me back in. There were many times when my husband and I visited my Mom, and we found ourselves agreeing with things she said. As we drove home, we’d say to each other, “Wait a minute! We just agreed with things we KNEW weren’t true. Why?” It was spooky. My Mom could make lies sound absolutely true, and she could lie without saying anything that was technically untrue. It was an important step when my Mom accused me and I defended myself to her.

    My relationship with my Mom deteriorating when I got engaged and refused to let her take control of the decisions I felt were my and my (soon-to-be) husband’s to make. I felt that her behavior was not about love or struggling to let her daughter (me) go, but about power and control. However, my Mom’s (and others) tactics kept me off balance, confused, and filled with self-doubt. I began to wonder if it was “me.” Maybe I was the unloving, uncaring one, who was to blame for our relationship deteriorating. Maybe if I had been better, had not done this or that…..

    I believe that I would have escaped the abuse much sooner if somebody had listened to me. But every single person in my life told me and my husband that my Mom really loved me, that she was just wounded and needed to be loved. When I tried to describe the emotional abuse I was experiencing, it sounded petty…because my abusers were subtle. Every single person told me I should stop hanging on to wrongs and judging them, that no one was perfect and everyone has weaknesses, and that I had to start forgiving them. This made me doubt what I knew to be true, and I re-doubled my attempts to love more and reconcile. I think these people who would not listen were co-abusers, joining their voices with my abusers.

    I also stayed in an abusive situation with one of my sisters. This sister was an outcast, like me, and had always been rejected by our Mom. She became very narcisstic, excusing hurtful things she did while viewing every imagined offense others as a “deliberate attempt to hurt me even though you know I am wounded.” I accepted her behavior because I knew she really was wounded and I wanted to help her. But her behavior toward me became more and more intolerable. I think I first angered her when she found my blog in which I had written about the abuse we had experienced. She leaped to my Mom’s defense because “No matter how she treated us, she is still our mother and they are still our family.” I couldn’t please her after that. I would help my sister if I could, but I eventually realized that a person who refuses to see the truth about herself and her life cannot be helped.

    I believe I finally could shut my abusers out of my life because I asked God to teach me the truth, I was willing to face the truth about them, myself, and life, and I was not willing to give them total control over me. However, standing against them has taken it’s toll and while the abusers are not in my life now, I am still fighting to overcome the affects of the abuse.

  11. By: Catherine Todd Posted: 13th February

    Darlene wrote in #104: “It is not the fault of the victim is they don’t leave an abusive relationship. They don’t leave because they are so brainwashed in believing that the reason they are treated the way they are is their own fault.”

    That’s a good way to put it. This must be why my sisters married and stayed in very controlling, abusive relationships. I would NEVER allow any man to put a hand on me, as they did, but I DID allow a man to negate me for years by ignoring me, not respecting me, and turning me into an illusion who had no rights to wants or needs. I know it was because I really believed that I had no rights or value, other than the work I produced and the money I earned. That all went back to my childhood lessons that I received.

    I will never forget the day I was getting married, in my upstairs room getting dressed and two of my sisters standing there in the doorway saying “We never thought you would get married; who would want to marry you?” They just kept tormenting me until I threw my hairbrush against the wall (just like I did once when I was ten years old) and said “Get out of here! Leave me alone! This is my wedding day!”

    I have remembered the pain of that day for 30 years, and the pain of that arrow in my heart is still there; the barbs have yet to come unstuck. I heard that message all my life and I fight every day to believe that those awful things they still say about me are simply not true. Every single thing in my life, no matter how much I have enjoyed it or how much good I have done, has been an effort to NOT believe that I am those horrible things they all said about me from the top down: mother, father, sisters and brothers. It’s just too terrible to see how damaging WORDS can be. “Sticks and stones” really doesn’t apply. We don’t remember the bruises we receive, but we remember the words people say. Those can wound for the rest of our lives.

    But I still say those people who hurt other people don’t necessarily do it because they are hurt, they do it because there is a part of them that ENJOYS IT. And that makes them a SADIST.

    I am not a masochist and I won’t allow it. Maybe people who don’t have enough belief in themselves can’t see that they are masochists, and I agree with you on that. But everyone has to believe at some point that they don’t deserve to be beaten down with words of fists or fear, and at some point they have to stand up for themselves, or they will be forever enslaved. That’s what the world is really about: the dominee and the domineers. Survival of the fittest in a cruel, cruel, world. We talk a lot about love and support and companionship, but I’ve seen so little of it, or it is so short-lived. It seems to last just long enough for people to get what they want and then move on.

    I’m sure this isn’t the “right attitude” to take, but that’s how I feel right now. Please feel free to correct my thinking. That’s what I’m here for you all to do. Thank you in advance! I’m going to re-read what you said about victims don’t realize they don’t deserve it. I KNEW I didn’t deserve what they were doing to me, at least I didn’t deserve the outrageousness, the extreme punishments, the drama and the lies.

    I knew enough to fight back and I did, and I finally got out. I was the only one out of 8 children. They are all sick and twisted by years of staying in that poison pool, as far as I can tell, and I feel sorry for every single one of them. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t take the coward’s way out. And they have paid the price. I won’t. I might have never believed that I have any value, and it’s still hard for me to see or say it, but I won’t let anyone devalue me if I can help it. I do enough of that to myself.

  12. By: Connie Posted: 6th February

    Another Correction toward healing:

    FB NICE: “Never pass a chance to say I LOVE YOU to the people you care about because we aren’t promised tomorrow.”

    CORRECTION: “Never pass a chance to SHOW the people you LOVE that you Value and Respect them. Because we aren’t promised tomorrow.”

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