Manipulative and Controlling People and some Control Tactics


control tactics of manipulative peopleSome people act as though they believe that there is not enough love in the world to go around. They act as though they need to make sure that they are getting all your love and no one else is getting any of it as though if you love anyone else these controlling people will “miss out” on some of your love.  In the past I put a lot of effort into trying to make these people feel like my love for them would never run out because I mistakenly believed that my love for them, could save them and if I could save them, they would love me back and that would save me.

And at the same time it seems as though these controlling and manipulative people also believe and go to great length to communicate, that if you love yourself, you will be spending your love allowance on yourself instead of on them. Heaven forbid that happens! This “don’t love yourself” concept is taught in tons of ways always with the threat of becoming a horrible selfish person if you do anything to nurture or acknowledge your own value.

They picked on the way that I dressed. They picked at the way I did my hair. They picked at me all the time to make sure that I was feeling bad about myself. To make sure that I was trying harder. To make sure that my self esteem was kept low. To make sure that I was always questioning myself and not questioning them. And all of it was presented as thought their judgement was “for my own good”. That this “picking at me” and criticizing me was going to make me a better person. This grooming started young. I was ready to listen to all new controllers and manipulators that came into my life when I entered my adult years.

We all know these people; they told me what to believe about other people. This is known as the “divide and conquer tactic” They warned me about certain people as though I was too stupid to make up my own mind. They turned me against my own siblings and picked at the character of my best friends. They discredited my co-workers. They insinuated that I was crazy and naive if I like someone they don’t like. They told me that I was “different” when I was around these other people making me believe that they were only concerned for my welfare, or my reputation.

But perhaps they have a different motive.

As long as I was questioning everyone else and hero worshiping and depending upon only “them” they had me where they wanted me.  As long as I was looking at myself and what was wrong with me, I would never look at the ones who were constantly picking at me! I would not listen to anyone who warned me about them, because I would not give any credit to all the people that they already discredited. I was so worried about all these “dangerous people” they were warning me about, that I never noticed that my oppressors, my CAPTORS were the ones that I needed to be afraid of in the first place.

It is easier for controllers to control if the object of their desire (ME) is discounting and suspicious; questioning all others including myself.

I think about this concept often. When I was coming out of the fog around the way that I had always been regarded as “nothing” and “no one important” I had this profound realization that the fear these people had was that if I realized my own value, I would simultaneously realize how PATHETIC they ~ the controllers and manipulators in my life were. If I realized that they were wrong about me, then I would see them for who they really are; controlling, manipulative evil and pathetic people. 

That was pretty much how it worked too. When the fog lifted and my eyes were opened ~ when I began to see things through the eyes of truth ~ that was pretty much the conclusion that I came to. Those people were pathetic. I was shocked and disgusted when I realize the tactics they used to accomplish their own control and manipulation over me. They were evil and manipulative ~ pathetic because their own self esteem was so low that they had to control me by insuring that my focus was always ON ME, believing that the problem WAS ME and making sure that I believed I was not smart enough on my own to realize who was good or bad aside from them. They were making sure that I never noticed the truth about “them”.

Today I have plenty of love to share and I don’t throw it away on people who only desire to own me for their own manipulative and controlling reasons.

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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 ~ I vowed I would never be like my Mother 

Dealing with People who talk down to me

Controllers and Manipulative people don’t question themselves

Evil Manipulative People and Emotional Damage

Categories : Self Esteem



Amen. How I yearned for their love. Even people I had no values in common. I made beliefs in common even when those beliefs did not already exist, just so I could hang on to their love. Now it makes no difference. If I need to manipulate my SELF to satisfy THEM it is not worth their so called “L-O-V-E.” I had to learn that L-O-V-E was not a competitive sport dependent upon conditions THEY wanted me to subscribe to. But I was once obsessed to obtain that love. Obsession does not equal sincerity. And it’s best to be authentic to my own one true spirit.


Kinda sucks when it’s your own parents you realize this about, don’t it?

Oh well. Very well described though! I’m keen to re-read when I’m less tired, as well as check out the links.

PS thanks for the comment on the other post Darlene (re “harsh”). Can’t seem to process right now.

PPS I was writing notes on my phone to myself a bit earlier; was having all these flashbacks to early school days – some of the most random detailed s**t I can remember from 20-25 years ago; then sometimes I have no idea what I did yesterday.

Ummm, my point is….?? Oh yeah, I was thinking that maybe my obsession w/books, movies, places etc from my youth is related to the abuse (and maybe porn habit too) in terms of getting “stuck” around that age or something. Or I could just be over-analyzing myself and talking complete crap! 🙂 Who knows??


Hi Darlene, I can’t help but comment on this one because it covers so much of my life. I began to be able to free myself from all of the controllers in my life when I realized that they are, in their present state, unable to love me or themselves. I don’t think they even understand love or feel it. They know I do and my love is what they used, and in one case still use,to keep me tethered to them. They pretend to be perfect but on the inside, they don’t believe they can survive on their own and they must have constant admiration in oder to maintain their illusion of perfection. They need me and others they control, to help provide for all of their needs, physical and emotional. They’re afraid that if I think too highly of myself or accomplish anything that is only for me and not them, that I’ll break free and won’t be available to take care of them. They are very fearful of being alone and their fear is the driving force behind their need to control.

Controllers, for whatever reasons, are hollow inside and they beat others down in order to own them and use them as a substitute for what they lack,self-love and love for others. They have no empathy, not even for themselves, thus they aren’t fully human. They desire to be seen as more than human and will do anything to obtain the admiration they desperately crave. The easiest way to free yourself from a controller is to with-hold that admiration;and they simply, fade away.:o)



This article reminded me of how I too was picked at about my clothes, appearance, hair … My abusive NPD mother would communicate to me the same as yours did, “that this ‘picking at me’ and criticizing me was going to make me a better person.” It started young with me as well. I learned at a very young age that they were trying to turn me into a better person – in reality, she attempted to make me into someone she wanted me to be. She didn’t want me thinking for myself – and when I started, then hell really broke loose!!

The abuser always turns things around to make everything seem like its your fault, not theirs. The abuser always wants you examining yourself and not examining anyone else. The teaching that ‘everything is your fault’ starts very young and when you don’t know what is right and true – you can go through life thinking that anything that goes wrong in your life is your own fault. This also translated to the abuser – if anything went wrong in her life, I was also at fault. Brutal.

When I started thinking for myself or would attempt in trying or discovering who I am – it was quickly kiboshed and I was ridiculed for doing so – often accused of then thinking too highly of myself, being accused that I thought myself better than everyone else. It was a horrible nightmare I no longer live!!


Hi Darlene I am sure we all know only too well the tactics our parents used to keep us feeling offguard and unsure about ourselves. My parents were lovely 😉 my father had a big thing about fat people and would say that my mum make him feel sick if she were more than a few pounds overweight. When I went through the plump stage as a teenager, first it started with the sponsored diets and then when I couldn’t look perfect enough for them it moved onto slimming pills. I spent my teenage years taking banned slimming pills and water retention tablets that were meant for old people on heart problems. It wasn’t until years later that I had to do some inner child work and realised that I wasn’t even fat in those days. When I asked my mum why she would make me do that she said it was the doctors fault. I remember for years sitting there with my brothers watching them eat normal food and having to eat salads and then on her days off when she was down and depressed she keep me home to make sure she felt OK and give me egg mayonnaise sandwiches and crisps. Not exactly healthy LOL. Talk about flipping between one unhealthy food to another. It wasn’t until years later when I pulled out a photograph of me looking thin even though at the time in my parents eyes I wasn’t still thin enough and was still on the pills that I looked up the tablets on the net and understood the long term side effects of having them and the effect that the water pills would then have on my bladder years later not to mention my mental health. This article explains how I felt when on them and yet my own GP and parents had me on them from the age of 12 until 19 ! Now I look back and see that I was perfect just the way I was and the reasons why I would never lose any more weight because the moment your come off of them you just pile one the pounds. I have been tablet free for 30 years but have struggled with the damage it caused to my body.



Another great post. I haven’t been on for a while. I remember you mentioning how sometimes we have to take a step back and I guess that’s what I did. The past year has yielded some very difficult challenges for me, and to be specific, one of my daughters is now being treated for a mental illness. I won’t go into details except to say that my days spent with her are mostly exhausting! Her dad has decided not to “exercise his custodial rights” at this time. He actually sent two letters! So, in essence, I’m stuck with her 24/7, 365. On good days, on bad days, on rainy days and sunny days. Day after day after day! No breaks! It’s wearing me out.

Well, I guess I don’t have much else to say except that this post rings with so many familiar chords of my daily life right now that it is eerie. (Not unlike 99% of your other posts I’ve read.)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May God bless us all.


Hi Lynn
I totally relate to your comments. When we grow up having to “earn” our love, that is what we take forward with us into future relationships. And as you say, that is NOT love
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Good points. And I think that it is a cycle, and if we want to break that cycle in our own families, we have to stop playing by those dysfunctional “rules”
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Rise
Yes exactly. And in the case of this article I was thinking not only about my mother and grandmother, but about all the boyfriends that I had that did this same thing ~ the method of getting someone in the spin of “try harder” to the point that you don’t even know who you are anymore is so typical.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi J.
It was very very painful for me when I realized that it was my own parents that discounted me and controlled me this way. My father in law was the first person that I realized fit this description. I was shocked to realize it. Then I began to see my mothers methods in all of it. Realizing this pattern greatly assisted me in coming out of the fog and discovering my own belief system though. That is what led me to healing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Sarah
My mother had a thing about body image that she passed on to me and she totally related it to value. She had this way of communicating to me that my best chance in life was through men, and that my looks/body was my only chance. Most of that communication was not in actual words but in actions. And to totally relate about flipping into the “treat food” which was all about her as well. I ended up with a majorly messed up belief system about the purpose of food and the purpose of my body.
I too was perfect just the way I was!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kellie
I am sorry for your daughter. To be sick and rejected by her father is a double whammy. I am sure this must be very difficult for you as well.
Thank you for your comments, my thoughts and my heart goes out to you and your daughter.
Hugs, Darlene


Another great post! I can really relate to these tactics from the abusive church I attended for 20 years. They hated any kind of outside influences and everything, even other ministries, were competition to them. They wanted to own each member completely. It was all about them and their position. The members’ job was to validate them and to serve their vision. They demanded loyalty, but it didn’t go two ways. They’d chew people up and spit them out when the person was so depleted that they couldn’t do anymore or give anymore. Then those “disloyal” and “unfaithful” were used as examples to keep others in line. For a time, I thought I was so stupid to be caught up in that system for so long. But exactly as you said, they keep the focus on what YOU are failing at, so you’re too busy to question them or to see THEIR failures. Thanks for sharing another truth!


I just learned that my 101 year old aunt passed away right before her 102 Christmas birthday. She had a long blessed life. She is the only person in my biological family that I have had touch with for almost 2 decades. Maybe more. . She died at home in her sleep in peace. Her name is Chris short for Christmas. (she thought it was corny and changed to to Christine) She did not get to be that age by being a weak old lady. 🙂
She was the first one who alerted me to the controlling tactics when I was much younger. They told her if she spoke to me or helped me or listened to me they would disown her. Anyway when they told her she was already up there in years and she said F them F them! I dont give an F what they think! She said I dont know the whole story I dont know what is going on but I know they are trying to control me! F them! She was hilarious and taught me by example not to let anyone control me.


Yes picking on clothes. Mom and my one sister, golden one, all that sister, had a running joke about my clothes. My sister had a wardrobe like a princess, I wore my brothers hand me downs. If I bought a nice top she liked, she stole it and Mom wouldn’t make her give it back, She said oh you know your sister. I heard them outside of a dressing room once cackling and talking about me and I came out and shot them a look that shut them up. Meantime I was married to a man who never gave me money and when I worked I had to buy groceries and the kids clothes, not leaving me a lot for myself. Last time I went home after Mom died I went clothes shopping with the one sister that hadn’t said unkind things that way. She was horrible. We went to a decent woman’s boutique and I had money to buy what I liked instead of what I could afford. She literally stalked me the whole time saying here is a Mary shirt, here is a Mary dress and had brought the tactiest clothes, mocking me cruelly and intentionally. I finally after the 4th time and already said enough, I wheeled around and said maybe I am moving away from that, excuse me. I was pissed. She had become haughty and a bitch like my other sister. She was in Mom’s will, I wasn’t, she acted way above me and she is a christain? None of them are any good now, I thought she was but she is one of them now.


Hi Christina
Yes, I am glad that you brought this up. Many organizations use these same exact tactics. When kids are taught young to try harder all the time, it is easy for others to just step right in and continue the whole pattern no matter what the age is of the target person. Victims even do this to other victims and round and round it goes.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pinky
I am sorry that you have lost your Aunt. Thank you for sharing a bit of her life with us and the difference that she made in your life.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mary
Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you for sharing this snapshot of how it really is for many. Your comments reflect just how this really goes.
Hugs, Darlene


This article hit right on a abusive relationship I was in… so many things were like that. He pretended he was perfecting me into the perfect girlfriend so I would find a good boyfriend (I was in an affair with him) Come to find out I found a wonderful boyfriend and everything the other abusive guy taught me was useless and counterproductive!! I couldn’t believe it! Now I’m stripping away all those corrections and picking ons


I spotted this interesting article, made public by a lovely lady. I, myself may have been ‘guilty’ of both sides of the equation and certainly a couple of ex wives does nobody any favours.

Although your intention to help is an honourable one – that help can only be effective if there is a want from the ‘victim’. Am I misunderstanding this whole point? Can low self-esteem be ‘fixed’. As Me, I am complete crap. I understand this. I accept this because that has been the path of my life. I have no great achievements to speak of. Just a deadend job, with even less wages than I was earning 25 years ago. I am by most definitions puny, unfit, naturally I would go for ugly rather than devilshly handsome which I’m not. Basically too old to have anything of value to offer anyone should any lady look twice in my direction.

In contrast, online I can be the person I’ve always wanted to be, enjoying good music with ‘friends’, having popular, talented and famous friends is everybodys dream. Isn’t it? Being able to chat and sounding knowledgable (thanks Google) and general interaction that would never happen offline. Being somebody else is great, it saves me from having to be me.

However the crap me and the great me will collide further down the line. I know this because everything the crap me has anything to do with eventually turns to shit and then everything will be lost again.

I hope your information saves somebody worth saving. I’ll pass because no amount of positive thinking, pep talking or whatever will change what I know to be the truth inside. I’m crap and really not worth it. I wish you and those you can help all the best.


Hi Naomi
I am glad you got out of that one! Yay for stripping away all that stuff.
Hugs, Darlene

Hello “Justa”
Welcome to EFB ~ you are correct, the insight I share can only be effective if the “victim” as you say, wants to hear that there is an answer; that there is hope. I think that “the truth you know inside” is a lie. I have never met a worthless person. I am sorry that you have decided that you are crap. I could not turn my life around until I realized that lie about myself.
I wish you to discover the hope that is here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

There is a wonderful excerpt from the book: “In Sheep’s Clothing – Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” by George K Simon Jr PhD found on rick website:

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I check back and read this!

I think it lays out pretty clearly, some of these deliberate tactics and strategies that are typically difficult to squarely place a finger on when you’re on the other end, in the midst of being inundated by these very clever maneuvers.

Passing this information along…


Hi Brenda
Taanks for sharing this link. It is a wonderful list of abuse tactics
Hugs, Darlene


I went through ten years of this sort of crap directly with my father, from the age of 4 to 14 — from age 14 onward, it was ever so indirectly as he used my siblings to enforce his will on me .. and then, to make things worse, I ended up married to a woman who’s father was a control freak too .. I’m currently remarried and every year I find myself climbing out of the hole .. little by little .. a lot of bitterness coupled with some fairly estranged siblings these days, but I’m moving forward just the same ..


Hi Darlene,
I haven’t had a chance to read all of the posts, but I read your entry. I always get something from your wisdom, and I’m so thankful you’re willing to share it.

Also, I noticed you posted about Facebook. I was happy to see that too. 🙂


Hi Pinky,

Very sorry to hear of the loss of your aunty. Got a huge smile from her response to your family though – I love her already! 🙂 I hope you’re doing ok.

PS it just occured to me that she was alive during both world wars! That thought totally blew my mind.


Hi Alan
Welcome to EFB ~ It is interesting how many of us marry into a family with controlling in laws. I had so much to face when it came to my in-laws and the ways that they disregarded me as an individual.
Moving forward is the most important thing! Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


J Thanks about my aunt. Actually she was never sick a day in her life and went peacefully the past 2 losses I had close to me were gruesome so this brings peace to my heart! Thanks again! (All of my losses have been on major holidays but it helps me to celebrate life more!


I really liked your comment. It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about and dealing with. I especially liked the following quotes

“They’re afraid that if I think too highly of myself or accomplish anything that is only for me and not them, that I’ll break free and won’t be available to take care of them.”

“They desire to be seen as more than human and will do anything to obtain the admiration they desperately crave. The easiest way to free yourself from a controller is to with-hold that admiration;and they simply, fade away.:o)”

That was just excellent. Some of you may know from my previous comments that my father has been trying very hard to contact me. Well, aparently he’s been talking to my mother because she showed up unannounced and uninvited to my apartment yesterday. Mind you, I have never told her where I live and have not invited her anywhere near me. I wasn’t going to answer the door at first but then she started yelling my name and saying that she knew I was in there. What else could I do but let her in? When I opened the door she was all calm and cool like she hadn’t been yelling her head off a moment ago. I also acted calm and cool and asked her to have a seat and offered her something to drink which refused.

To make a long story short(er) she wanted to know if I missed the family and why I wouldn’t talk to them etc. I decided to answer with the truth because truth always wins over other people’s lies. I explained to her that I had lived my life for my family for far too long and had carried the burden of their decisions enough. I told her that I didn’t even know who I was and needed time and space to be good to myself and to love myself. She pretended to be so understanding of that which was just futher manipulation. But then she wanted to know if while I’m loving myself couldn’t I just have lunch with her every now and again or go to a movie. And this is where what Pam said hit home. My mom simply wants my worship and admiration. She never went to the movies with me or out for a meal when I was still in contact. She was always stuck up under her husband who ultimately left her. The fact that my father and mother are trying so hard to get back into my life says that I have something they want because they honestly don’t like me. It’s absolutely the admiration, and only that.

My mother also claimed that she wanted me to include her in anything that was happening in my life that was important because she wanted to support me. But that’s a lie. She has never supported me and really wants to use my accomplishments as a source of narcissitic supply. She would feel like my accomplishment was her accomplishment. *uck her!

She whined about the fact that I wasn’t with the family over thanksgiving and said that even my father (who is no longer married to my mother and is in fact married to someone else) spent the friday after thanksgiving with them. I have suspected that they are sleeping together and I believe that the way my mom talked about my dad and the way he has spoken about her before confirms it. He’s happy not to have to live with her or to be married to her but can still behave like they’re married. They often take trips together to spend time with my brother and his family.

During the visit, over and over again I just kept telling my mother that right now all I want to focus on is me. I am all that matters. Everytime I said it she would change her manipulation tactic – complete understanding, victimhood, martyrdom, anger, back to complete understanding.

Finally she asked if I wanted her to not contact me in any way until I contacted her first and I said yes, but you could tell she didn’t think I’d agree to that. She thinks I’m the same scared little girl that I used to be but I’m not, thanks in large part to Darlene, Pam and everyone else that posts and comments here. You could tell that my mom really thought that I still felt like I needed her. My mom finally left and I felt really strong after the experience.

It’s funny. My mom says she went to my church yesterday specifically to see me and was concerned because I wasn’t there and that’s why she showed up at my house. But I’m so glad things happened the way they did. The people at church are not supportive of me especially when it comes to my mother. They would be happy if I laid down and died for her. So I’m glad I dealt with her on my own turf. That was empowering and comforting. As I said, I felt very strong afterward.

This is such an awesome victory.

Robin 🙂


Robin, I’m glad you were able to stand up to your mom and not get sucked into the games. The tactics you described sound more like my sister than my mom and her reason for wanting me back in the family would be so that the fammily appears normal. Appearance is everything to people who want admiration.They’re great at faking love but when a situation arises that requires the genuine article, they’re blind to it and don’t even understand that they should respond to it. That’s one of the clues that opened my understanding of how my family thinks.

I haven’t heard from my mom since our last telephone conversation (though I did receive a couple of manipulative letters)which was probably the most honest of here life and I’m still unnerved by her venom against me. I’m sure she is playing it all to the hilt with the rest of the family and getting as much pity as possible. My sister’s thing is admiration, my mom’s is pity, and my dad will take any kind of attention he can get, at this point. I see all of them deteriourating with age and the cracks are becoming visible to everyone.

The people at your church are just wrong and I’m glad theri misguided opinions don’t sway you. Relationships based on lies are lies, even when it’s your mother.



Okay, I have an update. I just got a post on facebook from my sister in law whom I have not seen or spoken to in over a year inviting me to their house for christmas and gushing about how my niece and nephew miss me. They have tried to use those children to manipulate me the whole time. I had to separate myself from them emotionally just to protect myself. I had to kind of let them go just so I wouldn’t have that weakness which they will exploit. But now that I think about it, the *love* I felt for them may not have been exactly healthy anyway. I think I may have been too wrapped up in them because of my belief that service is the way you show love. Maybe what I feel *now* is real love. The kind that doesn’t consume you and that you can walk away from if you must.

Anyway, it’s obvious that my mom has spoken to them and that they are still trying to convince me to spend time with them. I’m so insulted by the whole thing. The more someone attempts to manipulate me and the greater the number of devices they try in the process, the more I am told that they don’t love me. You can’t love someone and manipulate them. I repeat, you *cannot* love someone and manipulate them. The two cannot coexist.

So the more ways my mother and others who have been in my life try to control me, the more clearly I see how little love, consideration, and respect they have for me. I would have to be some kind of moron to not be able to decide if I want to spend time with them or not. When I said no I meant no. For them to ignore it and to press forward is a rape of my emotions and will. No means no in everything.


Robin, I’ve been there and know how you feel. My family did everything except what I asked, respect me. It’s demeaning. Objects are for manipulating. People are for loving.



Hi Robin
As I grew in this process, and the truth became more clear, I realized more deeply just how much my feelings never mattered to my family. It was a hard thing to accept because it just seemed so hard to understand. I love your description of how your mom kept changing her tactics. Tactics she was using to get her own way and to get you back under her. So familiar to me. I often have a visual of the wicked witch in the wizard of oz screaming “I’m melting, I’m melting” when I think about how crazy it made the people who “Owned me” when I withdrew. This was the same for every one of them not just family. As though losing control over me was way more concerning to them, then losing me ~ which just kept helping me understand that there was something really wrong with them. Pathetic really. Thank you for sharing Robin! YAY for your victory re; the meeting with your mom!
Hugs, Darlene

Hey Pam
Your last comment says it all! My family refused to respect me too. I even spelled it out for her; told her that if we were going to have relationship that it was going to be based on equal value. She didn’t call me again. It was such a hard slap of truth. She said no to equal value.. and looking back over my life, she always had.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pinky,

my pleasure – I was surprised to see my post though; computer’s been stuffed for couple of days & I tried writing that on my mobile, it told me “couldn’t find page” when I posted so I assumed it’d disappeared! (I think I was getting withdrawals from not being able to come on here!) 🙂

That’s **SO** awesome to hear it brought you peace! I don’t think there’s a more positive way to be feeling at such a time. I’m very sorry to hear about your past losses. Any death is hard, but I haven’t had to deal with the added burden like that. I also love what you said about celebrating life more — again that’s such a positive way to see it!!! I really admire that!

I just started to write about my grandmother who died a few years back, and that just reminded me of a pretty amazing coincidence — in fact, despite my general grumpiness towards many aspects of religion, I’d probably go far enough to assume something beyond sight involved!

Anyway long story short, I wasn’t heaps close with her or anything, and didn’t go see her all that often but decided I was going to this particular day, and started heading towards the hospital she was in at the time. I couldn’t remember the name or address or something, so I got my phone out to call my father, then realized I hadn’t turned it on yet that day. Turned it on to discover a voicemail from my father saying if I wanted to see her I’d better get down there ASAP. (I was already pretty much there by this stage).

Bit graphic (death-wise) ahead – Pinky this bit’s more for me (getting it out) so feel more than free to skip! I’ve just had the idea to put an “end warning” bit, so if you want to just skip ahead to the next bunch of asterisks

Anyway the reason I originally started writing about this was to say I’d never literally wished for anyone to die before, but when I saw her I did. She was basically gone already; eyes rolling back, f**king horrible rattly gasping breath, and smell of death in the room. (Could’ve been something bodily-related, but never smelled anything like it before, and anyway that’s how it felt to me). Stayed for a little while (not sure how long), then went out to get bite to eat with my dad, by the time we got back (probably only 10-15 minutes from memory) she was gone, and I was relieved. My grandfather & uncle were there too, and even though I’m almost certain my grandmother was long past knowing or caring, it would’ve been f**king horrible to have to sit & watch your wife/mother in that state.

end warning (should’ve put “end warning” bits in before – will make it much easier to skip ahead I think!)

Anyway Pinky that’s so great about all the positivity involved in what is generally seen as anything but positive – thanks so much for sharing! (In case you did skip, it was about the first time I felt thankful for death as an end to pain/suffering – your positivity made me think of it)

take care & hope you’re doing well!


Hi “Justa”,

I was going to write the other day but computer’s been stuffed, and I tried using my phone it said “couldn’t find page” for the first post I tried so I didn’t bother. (Turns out it did post it anyway – stupid technology!!)

Anyway just wanted to say I related to a LOT in your post. (In fact I’m pretty sure I actually thought I was reading one of my own posts for a second!) But some bits I didn’t relate to at all, and I’m trying to figure out why. Could be as simple as it’s much easier for me to say to someone else “you’re not shit/worthless/whatever you think about yourself” than it is to believe about myself. But I’m gonna try & figure it out in the vague hope it may be useful for one or both of us somehow.

Well first of all, the “guilty of both sides of the equation” — definitely me. I’ve never married, but the only two serious relationships I’ve been in were both way too full of dysfunction. I’ve come far enough to be able to (I think) honestly say & believe that it was on both sides (for both relationships), whereas for a long time (1st one in particular) I think I basically lay the full blame on myself (even while realizing some of her problems — I think I believed my problems were “worse” somehow, or caused more damage, or something).

I was a bit confused by your 2nd paragraph at first. I read Darlene’s response, and I think that confused me more at first. I think I wasn’t entirely sure what you meant when I read her post, but I think I expected her response to be different.

***I’ve just gone back to re-read both – gonna jump ship to Darlene’s post for a bit***


I think I feel uncomfortable with the part of your response re “wanting to hear there’s an answer/hope”. (I’m trying to figure out why as I type). I think I’ve been in places where that comment would’ve upset me a lot (if directed to me). I think it would’ve upset me because I would’ve seen it as further comfirmation that all the s**t in my life was MY fault, and mine alone — in particular because I would’ve taken that in terms of “I’ve been trying so hard, doing as much as I can of what dr’s/shrinks etc tell me to do, taking drugs (meds I should say! :)), and it turns out there IS help that exists, BUT it’s not for me because I don’t believe I’m help-able/worth helping” etc

I hope that explains what I’m trying to say in a respectful way. I guess I feel like, (even though in some ways at least I agree that if someone doesn’t want help, you can’t force them etc) perhaps for Justa (as I believe it’s been for me for years) it’s more about not having had any effective help before (as in, help that actually really changes things in a significant way).

Again I really hope this makes sense & that I’m sharing a “negative (or at least disagreeing) opinion in a positive way”, for want of a better way to describe it.

I’m actually feeling very proud of myself for choosing to say what I think instead of just moving on to another post! My brain is of course crashing the party with fears that what I write will upset you (or that what you reply will upset me), but I’m choosing to take that chance and see what happens.

Ok back to your post Justa….. where the hell was I?!

Ummm, trying to re-collect my thoughts a bit… lots of stuff going through the ol’ brain…

I think I’m feeling so drawn to reply to your post, because maybe for the first time since I’ve been posting here on EFB, I feel like what you describe is where I definitely HAVE been at times, but I’m not there right now (at least, not to the degree you describe, and at least not right at this second…. there’s still plenty of the same sort of stuff inside plenty of the time).

So I guess as I think about it, it feels like maybe this is the first time I can actually say to someone here from my own personal experience “I’ve been there (or somewhere very similar) and I’m not there to that degree now, so there IS hope!” (Literally as I typed that sentence, the song lyrics I’m listening to went “been here before…” – awesome!)


That was an unexpected realizastion for me (the hope to offer, not the lyric match-up 🙂 ), which feels very positive. Now, I’m also realizing as I type, that if we were reversed & I was reading this as a reply from you, I’m pretty sure I’d be either pissed off or further depressed as in “well that’s f**king great for you buddy, but you’re not me, and I’m still stuck here in s**tsville.”

I’m also worried I’m sounding preachy or snobby or some s**t. I hope not. I really do feel like I relate to so much of what you wrote that I hope something I write might relate to you somehow.

Anyway I’m gonna post now (still haven’t learned to write in word first in case power goes out or something) then come back for more.


Hi J.
I am not sure what you are refering to re my response to Justa. I was agreeing with his statement that if a person does not want help, that help cannot be effective. The first step is wanting to deal with this stuff and then believing that there is actually hope for healing.
Then I respond to his statement Justa wrote ~ “I hope your information saves somebody worth saving. I’ll pass because no amount of positive thinking, pep talking or whatever will change what I know to be the truth inside. I’m crap and really not worth it. I wish you and those you can help all the best.”
I am saying that I think “his truth” is a lie. He is saying that HE is not worth it. He says he KNOWS it. I don’t believe that and if I did, I certainly would have never come as far as I have come.
SO… perhaps you can explain what about my response upset you?
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

thanks for the reply. I think what I’m trying to say is that, in some ways, I still don’t have much hope for myself, but I’m trying to keep going (as in, trying things/going to dr’s appt’s/coming on here etc) as if I do.

I think perhaps I felt like, if that post were to me, it might have stopped me coming here again in terms of thinking “well what’s the point” etc. I guess I feel like Justa was on here, so at least he’s trying (even if he doesn’t have hope for himself).

Ok. I’m pretty sure I’m over-reacting pretty badly here. (Or at least not expressing myself very clearly). Or blaming you for things I’m taking from something (or think I would have taken if it had been written to me). Hard to tell. But I am feeling very strongly about this so I’m going to keep trying to explain.

I just re-read your last post. In retrospect, I agree that if someone doesn’t WANT help, it can’t be “effective” (I think I was taking it as “can’t work at all in any way”). I think also I was taking it that you meant Justa doesn’t/didn’t want help, and although I’m not trying to ignore what he wrote, I can relate to much of what he describes, and I guess I feel like maybe his being here was a “cry for help” so to speak, and I feel like if I’d written that while in a similar place, I would have taken your response to mean something like “since I don’t want help, there is no help for me, and it’s all my own fault, and there’s no point trying” etc.

I guess I’m thinking, maybe for someone who feels that way, it would be better to encourage them to “keep digging” so to speak (on this site, or anything else that feels helpful to them, or resonates with them etc). Rather than saying the change in beliefs has to come FIRST, before anything else can change.

I think I’m getting stuck on semantics here. (I just had to google the word “semantics” to make sure it at least roughly meant what I thought it did :))

I feel like I want to apologize; this may well simply be me taking my interpretation of one small part of your msg (which I largely agree with btw – eg not believing what Justa believes about himself) “out of context” or something. But I think I’ll stand by my view that change can come despite lack of hope.

I now feel like I’m blaming you for something you didn’t actually say. I guess I’m thinking if Justa took it that way (as in that he’s to blame for not changing his situation, because he doesn’t have any hope that he can), he might be hurting pretty bad. I don’t think that that’s what you actually meant, but that’s how I think it would’ve seemed to me, and I guess if Justa’s on here again wanted to say that (hoping it would be helpful for him).

Ok. My brain’s starting up on me again for starting this at all. But I can post this anyway. I hope I haven’t offended you with what I’ve written Darlene. This feels like brown-nosing after the fact, but I really do value this site so much & your view on things & the help it’s giving people (probably so many more than you actually hear from I’d imagine). I’m trying to remind myself that just because I respond to something a certain way doesn’t make it fact. Quite possible that nobody else on the planet would respond that way.

I think as I’ve been writing (this post & last one), I’ve felt like I’m trying to come from a good place, but that’s assuming a lot (as in, how Justa would’ve responded to your post, and that me identifying with this assumed response would be helpful to him….. goddamn this is starting to seem really stupid of me!!!) Anyway the point I’m trying to get to, is I may well have been dumping on you in these posts because in my head I feel like I’m trying to help someone else. But again, I guess that’s trying to “thought-read” you….

In retrospect, I think everything I’ve written in these last 2 posts is described in great detail in one of my books on depression in a section titled something like “unhelpful thinking styles” (or “distorted styles” or something).

I’m going to try and be gentle on myself. One final apology if this has felt “un-gentle” on you.

And thank you for your response (esp. if my post did upset you) – your reply is very non-defensive and mature…

Ok tears are starting to come now.

(I think from reading your “hugs” at the end of the msg)

Hugs back to you. Thank you for being gentle in your response. I feel like I haven’t shown you the same courtesy. Hopefully I can do better next time.


PS it’s very late here again (nothing new there), but I only just remembered I had a welfare appointment earlier today to try and get disability pension (for my depression). The lady was lovely, and I had my support worker there with me, but I still started crying almost as soon as I sat down.

Also told my parents about having my new place today. Was very scared about doing that. It went well, but was very wound up about doing so, so that coupled with today may help inform my over-reacting etc. (I’m writing this to remind myself of this as much as you I think).

More hugs! (because I can) 🙂

Time for me to sign off & stop trying to think & process.

Hope everyone’s doing really well!



Hi Everyone
My new post on Self Blame is published!
You can read it here ~ it is the lead in to the next two posts aoout the dysfunctional family ghosts of Christmas past.
Overcoming that Nasty Self Blame from Dysfunctional Relationships


Hi J.
Thank you for posting “more hugs! (because I can)” I got a big smile out of that one!
Hugs, Darlene


I didn’t get past Rises post before feeling compelled to respond. The bit you said about ‘when I started trying to think for myself all hell broke loose’ I’m there with you! Mums often said to me – things were fine when you were little, we were really good friends, why don’t we have that anymore’ always accusatory and never any accountability on her part. Umm hello we got on (her definition of it) because I was a baby, I didn’t know any different AND I was fearful!!! Get it?! Hat is not love and it is not a foundation for any kind of friendship! Stupid, mind blind, narcissist.


Pennies dropping all over the place!!!!

Robin this cut right through to me! “Appearance is everything to people who want admiration.They’re great at faking love but when a situation arises that requires the genuine article, they’re blind to it and don’t even understand that they should respond to it.” I’ve felt this womanly times that I avoid even bringing stuff up. I made the mistake of trying to talk with her about my first visit to my dad in jail next week and the impending parole hearing where I’ll be making an oral submission in support of him NOT being released. She dismissed it and changed the subject to a high profile child attack that happened in another city! Cricket I wanted to slap and shake her but instead felt completely unimportant and unheard – what about THIS thing going on in your own family with your only child and only grandchild. Evil, ignorant, uncaring bitch!

Worse thing is I didn’t say anything I just retreated in side as per usual. I hate her


Darn auto correct! I didn’t mean womanly I meant ‘so many’ lol


test testarooney – my comments don’t seem to be showing up anywhere…

I’ll try once more with this: Feedback on whether this seems strange to others would be appreciated as I try to sort through my feelings and what I have a right to be upset about and what is just me being a selfish little sook….

Recently I offered to repair my baby album. The pictures were all falling out as they were only stuck in with cheap cellotape folded over to act as double sided tape. I offered to remount every picture in the book for her so it would be good as new. I offered because I wanted to do soemthing nice and I wanted to sit with the pictures of my babyhood for a while with myself. I got a very long lecture about how special it was to her and that I was to treat it very carefully and take care of it…like what the heck did she think I was gonna do with it??

Anyway a couple of the photos that weren’t stuck in were pictures of me as a toddler with my half sisters and brothers. I had only recently had them find me through facebook and I was very excited to have made the connection as were they. They had sent me a few photos of themselves as kids and I scanned a couple of the pictures of us all and posted them to a private album on facebook.

MUM hit the roof! Those are my photos and they are precious to me. I am disappointed you shared those publicly. So I asked what I knew she wanted, do you want me to take them down. She said Yes. I was hurt and bewildered by this and couldn’t understand how photos of ME had all of a sudden become her sole property that I had no right to even just share! I finished reparing the album and promptly returned it. She thanked me ‘for respecting her request to take them down’ and followed up with the line “when I die you’ll get them then anyway”…

Geez I don’t remember signing a model release to enable her to have exclusive rights to pictures of me?! argh crazy mean woman – but perhaps I am being a brat? Feedback would be great to help me figure that out…


Hi FoggedIn
When you changed your info, you went back into moderation. All first time comments are held in moderation ~ (one of the ways that I keep EFB safe) and then as soon as the comment form info is changed, I have to approve it again. All of your new comments are now published.
This story about the photographs you found is a great example what I am talking about in this site. That extreem control. It’s more like ownership than love. I don’t think you are being a brat. Perhaps you could ask her what the probelm is with sharing pictures of yourself on FB?? (and the real work will be in asking yourself why the prospect of asking her that makes you feel _______ (fill in the blank)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Foggedin,

seems to me there’s an argument to be made only if it’s a photo of the actual person you’re posting online (eg your mother).

Hmmmm…. it also seems that the brat in ME is coming out now – I’m picturing posting pictures of your mother on your facebook! (For extra fireworks, use photoshop or something to “adjust” them first).

(This is obviously not a helpful solution – meant as a joke. I often use humor for myself when thinking about these sort of difficult/annoying etc situations; hope you don’t mind!)

PS I love the phrase “Mind blind” you used in one of your posts – sounds like a song title or something!


Sherie, that’s what I hate the worst – retreating into myself when I’m attacked and not saying anything. Even though I’m angry at the one abusing me I get so furious at myself for “letting them” do it. I have to remind myself that it’s not my fault that I was hurt. It’s their fault for hurting me.

I’m really sorry that your mom isn’t acknowleging what’s going on in her own family and is not giving you the support you need and deserve.



Darlene thanks that makes perfect sense re the name change and moderation 🙂 my pc has been slowly dying on me so I was sure it was my end playing up…you know ‘my fault’ – geez that’s so ingrained 🙁

Ownership is right – that’s exactly how I felt, and no she wasn’t in the pics I chose to share, just me and my half siblings. And your question was right on and the blank was ‘scared’ – I’m 34, married and have an 8 yr old being scared sounds so dumb to me but even as I type this I fell anxious and my heart races.

J – I think we have the same brat inside!!! Though my ideas of revenge and retribution always stay just fantasy – made me smile though thanks 🙂

Robin yup I end up angry with myself too, come to think of it I know that’s a trained, conditioned response that actually just adds self abuse to the equation. So I might have not incurred her wrath by shutting up and retreating, do instead I beat myself up for it…I’m doing her dirty work for her!

Thanks for the support everyone i feel I’m growing in strength quietly inside. So much so that in my first visit to my dad since I put him inside for molesting my son I’m going to tell him I want nothing further to do with him ever! This is a big step cos he was always my ally and we were great friends and the daughter in me misses her daddy. BUT I don’t believe Pedos can be rehabilitated and there’s no way I’m allowing him to be around my son ever again.
Still despite myself that makes me cry – I was hanging onto getting answers to the why questions I have…I don’t care why anymore all I care about is safety! Given he’s told everyone he thinks ‘I’m great and over it all now’ tells me has little notion that what he’s done is unforgivable. Argh – if we really do ‘chose’ our parents then I must be se kind of sadist


Hi Darlene..

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try to learn to discern about people, places, and things. I have not always made the right choices because most my life these things were done for me . I had no idea that it’s part of our human rights to choose or not to choose something.. I was raised to believe I had no rights and my life continued in a pattern where rights were not honored. So, this year I am going to work on learning to think for myself..and developing healthy habits that are good for me. Just because something is or is not good for someone else; doesn’t necessarily mean the same applies to me.

Hope you are well.

Love and prayers.



Hi Joy
YAY for thinking for yourself! I was also raised to believe that I had no rights, and it was not the easiest false belief to break out of but it is possible! We all have choices.
I am very well thank you,
hugs, Darlene


Oh don’t be so stupid! How many times I heard that. It was a standard statement no matter how minor or major an event or matter it was to me. It dumbed down any further discussion as it was mean to. Or don’t mind her she is over-reactive when I was a child and upset and crushed by them. Or “I can’t handle it!” when you wanted to ask about anything.
I am changing the message to there was nothing stupid about my feelings, only those who refused to validate them at any time ever. I wasn’t overeacting I was reacting to over-abuse. From her “I can’t handle it” to I can handle the truth. From I was wrong to they were not right.
I was never convinced of their lies gratefully, but I did waste energy trying to be understood at any level no matter how small. If you said one thing it was another, I could never get it right, not according to them. Now I care about getting it right for only myself and my children.
My daughter said she never knew I had it so rough,she said she is beginning to put the pieces together. I never went into detail but I did teach her from birth who not to be alone with. She understands more now by my siblings and their actions since Mom died. They are in their own world and they shut me out of it, TG! They insisted my daughter’s family had to come to their xmas party. They did and were ignored the whole time they were there. I said yes that’s them. I could go a year without seeing them and it was like it I was invisible in a room with them. They talked over me and cared less about my input.
I don’t miss anything about them. The only sister who was close and we shared insult, ridicule and a bedroom when we were little, jumped ship when she was blackmailed by the will if she didn’t co-operate and go along with writing me off too 17 years ago. I haven’t felt the commaradery since though I tried. I threw myself at our perps mercy for my siblings but they have forgotten. It will catch up with them when the money is gone and they are empty again. It is bound to. I feel sorry for them, not hatred. Hate only wore me down. I don’t know if it ever was hate. Shocked, flabbergasted, frustrated, hurt but I don’t think it was ever hate. I always had some hope not hate.
Now that I am becoming freer I can see progress and my energy devoted to what matters and not wasting it on unfeeling people. I wish I followed my instincts that told me there was no use long ago.
There was no hope of getting anywhere with them. I wish I could get that through to other survivors who are confronting the same thing and save them years of grief.
Going through it in childhood is bad enough, but they make sure you have nothing left before you realize you need to release them. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my adult life and made the choice to break long ago. I did for ten years but was etitced back for even worse abuses from all of them. (Don’t make that mistake, if you go no contact make it stick, they will lie and beg to get you back where they want you!) But this is now and I want to make up for lost time. Love more those who are nearest and dearest and deserve all of me, my children and grandchildren. I am relevant in spite of what my abusers tried to make me think otherwise and I only need to prove it to myself and those who do matter.


Yay Mary,
Great comments and great share. Love the determination at the end!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] news and when you went to tell family, co-workers or perhaps your friends, you were met with a put down or some version of a put […]


You help me Mary when you say you were enticed back only to experience more pain worse pain. I have gone no contact and only connect with a younger brother now. I had a sister that I connected with until a New Years eve call – we have always had fun/real phone contact;etc. I found out later why she was so weird on the phone and not truly present. Momster was in the room and my sis did not tell me. We have been drifting for years but this sort of sealed the deal because her loyalty was to mean mom. I have more peace in my life w/out speaking to my parents. I will heed your “warning” and not be enticed back!! I’m not sure how to deal with my sister…


So much abuse seems to stem from power and control and from distorting truth and reality. Ergo, he/she that controls the “truth” rules the world of others.

My mother was the manipulative controller. One of her tactics really undermined my understanding of reality was to constantly call me a liar. This was very confusing for me. Because I was so cowed and controlled by my mother, as a child I was certain she even knew my thoughts so I couldn’t conceive of actually lying to her. The effect of this was confusion, frustration, and ultimately self-doubt (I must have it all wrong). The thought “if my own mother doesn’t believe me and if I have it all wrong, who is going to believe me” became part of my belief system.

I also believe that the parent does this for a couple of reasons: 1) to undermine the credibility of the abused child, 2) to ensure that the child constantly turns to the abusive parent for confirmation of what is “true” and 3) to avoid detection because no one will believe the child.

I truly believe that abusers know exactly what they are doing–deliberate control and manipulation.


Hi Victoria
These are excellent comments! I believe the the root of abuse is based in the misuse of power and control. I love your saying “he/she that “controls the truth” rules the world of others” YES great statement!
I can really relate to you share… I was called a liar too, and sometimes a gentler form of the word such as “story teller” and “exaggerator” The confusion and self doubt was huge for me too. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] related posts see highlighted words in colour  also see: Manipulative and Controlling people and some control tactics […]


[…] in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others. In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY […]


“that’s what I hate the worst – retreating into myself when I’m attacked and not saying anything. Even though I’m angry at the one abusing me I get so furious at myself for “letting them” do it. I have to remind myself that it’s not my fault that I was hurt. It’s their fault for hurting me.”

That’s me to this day. But now I am thinking back to the many times this has happened and have played thru it in my mind in a better way. How should I have responded that was good for me rather than feeling
crushed. How should I speak up to the person that disrespected me instead of cowering in silence.
That way I will be ready to speak up when it happens. But boy it’s hard to speak up to family not because Im afraid, but the result is worse devaluation to my response. I get the “you took it the wrong way”,
“i was joking” “you’re too sensitive”. Then If I say no I’m not, I get the raised eyebrows like “really” Huh.
They want to keep me down and they have a systematic response when I speak up.
My voice has been silenced. It has been ignored. It has been made fun of. I could never reconcile my
actual life to the way I was viewed and treated by my family. I’ve always been viewed and treated as
a failure. But I’m not. And I have struggled with the treatment for years and have never understood
why being more talkative, active(scooter girl) , athletic, need I say colorful (pink hair) is truly “bad”.
If you don’t exactly conform to their “perfection” you are “bad”. Anybody else struggle with their idea of perfect?


Karen ~

I can so relate – this happened to me to with my mother. I was discounted and made to feel I was the one ‘not right in the head.’

I was never allowed to express myself in wearing my hair the way I wanted or in wearing the styles of clothes I liked. I was ridiculed. My sisters got to ‘experiment’ this way, but for some reason I wasn’t allowed to because it wasn’t ‘acceptable’ in their eyes. And I wasn’t wanting to dress provocatively or anything, I guess you could class my style as more ‘artsy’ than anything – but I got made fun of for it.

I too seemed pressured into measuring up to their level of perfection … thus creating for myself this idea that if I’m perfect then I will be accepted and loved. What a lie! And its been hard to let go – but as the years go by, it gets easier. No one should have to achieve perfection to be accepted and loved. Ever.


[…] Some people act as though they believe that there is not enough love in the world to go around. They act as though they need to make sure that they are getting all your love and no one else is getting any of it as though if you love anyone else these controlling people will “miss out” on some of your love. In the past I put a lot of effort into trying to make these people feel like my love for them would never run out because I mistakenly believed that my love for them, could save them and if I could save them, they would love me back and that would save me. And at the same time it seems as though these controlling and manipulative people also believe and go to great length to communicate, that if you love yourself, you will be spending your love allowance on yourself instead of on them. Heaven forbid that happens! This “don’t love yourself” concept is taught in tons of ways always with the threat of becoming a horrible selfish person if you do anything to nurture or acknowledge your own value. They picked on the way that I dressed. They picked at the way I did my hair. They picked at me all the time to make sure that I was feeling bad about myself. To make sure that I was trying harder. To make sure that my self-esteem was kept low. To make sure that I was always questioning myself and not questioning them. And all of it was presented as thought their judgement was “for my own good”. That this “picking at me” and criticizing me was going to make me a better person. This grooming started young. I was ready to listen to all new controllers and manipulators that came into my life when I entered my adult years. Darlene Ouimet […]


[…] in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others. In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY […]


Had booked marked this site a month or so ago. Today thought I should see what this about. Started reading & couldn’t stop till the last period of the last comment. I have been able to identify & correctly place 2 major issues that have been happening in my life. As well as see very clearly how my family I’ve created is a replica of my family of origin. I’ve been dealing with these disfunction’s for years as well as continually searching for their true source & identity so I could work on the authentic solution to getting this junk out of my life. So today, most unexpectedly, I have discovered what I have been looking for so long. All at once I have a concise understanding of all of “it” & the correct words to explain & absolute identity of who’s who as well as the effects these relationships have had on myself & others. Clear as day. It’s been impossible to address solutions to miserable problems that continually change & disguise themselves. I have been left feeling so many times that it has to be me. It was just to hard to look at my loved ones behavior as being able to cause me true harm & certainly wouldn’t choose to cause me harm. I don’t even have to think about that anymore. Now I have clarity & now I can find the clear & correct answers to solving problems in my life. I am full of hope again with renewed motivation & determination to be the person, women, mother, friend, enjoyable human I truly am. I know I have work to do yet I’m so excited to finally see how to get to where I so desperately want to be!!!! So to everyone here & all those on other sites & blogs who have bothered to share- thank you.


[…] in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others. In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY […]


[…] in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others. In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY […]


[…] fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY […]


This website is fantastic. I’m in separation mode sine summer. Very controlling, manipulating narcistic husband. The less I’m around him, the more I can see his tactics. The more I’ve come to realize life’s too short to be under the same roof with him. Pardon the following term…he invited me to watch a movie then treated me like it was actually booty call of which I left the scene. He’s mentally sick…heads up to all, pleas be safe and conscious of these people.


Hi Marie
So glad you are here and welcome to EFB! Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


I had a profound ah-ha moment concerning this recently. The event happened in 1994. When it happened I thought what??? but dismissed my gut feeling as I had been taught. I think it was what Darlene calls a truth leak. Having pulled myself out of clinical depression, I was now the office mgr of a small company. Having not seen mother in 2 yrs I picked her up at the airport. After 5 mins of conversation she turned to me out of the blue and said surprised…”you have self esteem”. I thought what???
She has belittled and invalidated me all my life. But that comment was a realization to me that the abuse was deliberate. Premediated. A moth later she started calling me at work a couple times a week and belittling me to tears. Kept it up for 4 months ending with a Christmas cut down meant to show me what a nothing I am. I finally said to myself “no more.” Wrote her and said no more and clearly stated why. No response of course. I broke contact after that for 9 years til my Dad died. Resuming contact to her meant I was back in the fold. Day one she dismissed my feelings. No amount of modeling love and respect on my part made any difference. She chooses to belittle me. I choose now not to accept it and am now permanently no contact.
My choice is to respect myself.


Holy Smokes Karen R. !
This is a pretty profound realization and exactly how the whole thing goes!
Thanks for sharing! AND YAY for your choice today!
Hugs, Darlene


Karen, I saw that you had put a comment here and after reading it, I was blown away! I am sorry that you were horribly treated like that…but so happy for you that you recognized what your mother was doing to you and that you have chosen to respect yourself and not take it any more! I also think you were extremely brave to have told her the truth…no matter how she chose to respond to that. What an empowering change you are making! 🙂


Yikes Karen!! That astounds me that your mother said that to you and what a truth leak! Then she follows up with a campaign to belittle you when she realized that she hadn’t gotten the ” results” she wanted. Wow! My mother was a belittler too and probably had the same goals yours did but stopped short of commenting on my self esteem. She did however make nasty comments if my husband showed any feelings towards me in front of her, like putting his arm around me. I guess she didn’t love me and didn’t want anyone else to either. That’s a truth leak as well.


This reminds me of Tangled. (Sorry my daughter watched it all the time for years) But at the end when she says to Mother Gothal, “It was you all along. You were the one that I should have been afraid of.” It was a very profound moment for me. 🙂


Wow, memories, smashed between the pages of my mind. lol It was a difficult existence. The constant picking, advising, critiquing. Me too, what I wore, the way I did my hair. Even the distance between my kneecaps when I sat down. Not only from my parents, but also from my older sibs. The truly pathetic thing about it was me. I would take it all in as consultation on what I could do to make them like me, love me. Now that I am older I realize that that what an impossiblity. They werent capable of Love. They loved the picking, advising, shaming, blaming, critiquing. And at our older ages, with Mom and Dad both gone, the game is still afoot. Only I no longer hung around to see what I should do next to get the love, support and approval that would never come. Thanks for the message Darlene


Irene, I too took all the criticism and altered myself to become more lovable. It didn’t work of course. As you said, it was impossible.

Heather, yes, Mother Gothal for me too!

Finally Free I second everything you wrote to Karen!

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