Mother’s Day and Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship



mothers day

and then there is peace

Dear Mom,

Each Mothers day I am more aware of my freedom and farther away from the oppression that I used to be under. As I get farther away from the domination, I remember things that I am not so reluctant to remember and I am willing and able to talk about them with more freedom and way less fear.  I know what I was so afraid of and why It was so hard for me to admit out loud how dysfunctional our mother daughter relationship really was and how hurt that I was by your actions and reactions.

I remember that one time that Dad gave us kids money to go to the store and buy you a gift for mothers day. We walked to the department store by ourselves; we were just kids; we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. I don’t know why I remember this so clearly, I guess it was traumatic for me. I remember how hard it was for us three kids to figure out what to get you. We were totally lost! We looked at so many things, deciding and debating over all of them.  I don’t know why we settled on that set of new dishes. We had to carry them all that way home. They were so heavy but we were pretty excited that we had done this by ourselves. And we had done it for you.  I felt proud of myself.

I’m still sorry about that day Mom. It took a long time for me to realize that it wasn’t MY fault and that it wasn’t my failure, and although today I know that you felt justified in your reaction, you never realized how much damage it did. We were just little kids Mom.  We were just trying to make you happy.

I still remember how you opened the gift, and your face fell.  I remember my stomach lurched. I felt a bit of fear. And you were angry. You looked at Dad; I sort of knew that you were mad that he didn’t take us shopping to get you a proper gift, or maybe I just know that now. You told him to take the dishes back to the store. And you were mad at us. You didn’t even acknowledge us, or our efforts. You started to cry and you left the room.  I felt like a worm. What were we thinking buying you dishes?!!  I still feel the shame of getting you the wrong gift. I should have known better. I was the GIRL. I should have thought of something better.  You were devastated ~ as though the fact that we picked that gift proved that we didn’t love you and that it proved that we really were useless children.  I wanted to crawl into the floor.  The whole day was wrecked. You cried all day and you and Dad fought. I am not sure what you fought about; maybe about how stupid I was to have brought home that set of dishes for mother’s day. As a child, self blame had become a way of life.

And now I am a Mother. I have always worried that my reaction to a gift might leave that kind of scar on one of my kids. It has caused me a lot of anxiety around opening gifts. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, I have this fear of having the wrong reaction when I open a gift; what if I don’t like it? What if they can tell that I don’t like it? I hate that I think about my reaction so much that I don’t actually have a spontaneous reaction.  This continues to be something that I am working on.   

I have never had one mother’s day (since before I was a mother, or since I became a mother) that I didn’t remember that disastrous mother’s day from my childhood.

I suspect that you feel justified about the fact that we don’t have a mother daughter relationship anymore. I suspect that you wish that I was different and that you believe that this is my entire fault. You always blamed me for everything. I know that in your mind I am the one that hurt you. But that is not my problem anymore because I know the truth.  I was the child. It was not up to me to restore your value.

I remember when you “predicted” that this would happen; you said that your biggest fear was that I would use the kids as a weapon against you and that I would one day “take them away from you”. I realize that this was another typical manipulation statement so that I would think twice about standing up to you. To make me second guess my emerging thoughts about how strange our relationship really was.  

But in the end you are the one that walked away from them. Well I guess it doesn’t matter does it? I knew in my heart from the time that they were born, that the day would come when you would try to poison their minds against me, because that is your way. That is the way that you survived; by knocking everyone else down. All the gossiping and stirring up trouble, twisting stories just enough or leaving out the whole story to change it into something more dramatic. Always dividing all other relationships so that you would be seen as the most important one. I don’t miss that and I am relieved that my children don’t have to be a part of it.

I do not have a mother anymore, and you do not have a daughter. It seems so very sad and even ODD and yet… it seems honest and even right somehow too.  It seems like a fitting end to a very emotionally unhealthy and dysfunctional mother daughter relationship; as though truth, freedom, wholeness and recovery were born out of this whole thing. I am so thankful that something amazing came out of the pain. I came out of that pain. I found the real me. I emerged out of the dysfunction and I discovered who I really am. I am not at all who you always said that I was.

P.S. Do you ever think of me? Do you wonder how I am? Do you wish that things were different between us? I just can’t help but let my mind wonder in that direction once in a while. Especially now at this time of year when it is “mothers day”. Sometimes when I am alone in the dark, when I feel really discarded and really vulnerable and even a little bit all alone, I pretend that you are being forbidden to contact me. I tell myself that your controlling husband won’t let you make this right with me; that he won’t let you be my mother. I know that is just a silly fantasy, like a wish and a grieving process all in one because I know that you have a choice but yet it is so hard for me to believe and to accept that you don’t want to have a relationship with me unless it is on your terms and it is still painful to know that I was that disposable and that forgettable just because I said “no more mistreatment”.  

And I know that is not really about me……

                                                             and I still want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day

Your only Daughter,

Darlene Ouimet

Happy Mother’s day to everyone here; in a way we all have to become our own mothers and fathers in order to heal that pain of dysfunctional parents, to set in place our misplaced self esteem and value. Please share whatever you wish.  Hugs! Darlene

Related Post ~ please read my new post on the Survivor Manual Site ~ Survivors, Mother’s Day and Mixed Emotions

To read other related posts please visit the mother daughter category tab and the family category tab.

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Categories : Mother Daughter



OH, Dearest Darlene,
I would have treasured that set of dishes for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t matter what color or style they were, or if I even needed dishes. For my children to walk to the store alone, to pick something out just for me, to haul it home, heavy as it was… I would have treasured that. My children’s gifts always seemed to be what their father told them to buy for me. And I treasured those things, too. But a whole heavy set of dishes! How loving and thoughtful you were to your mother. It is her loss that she didn’t appreciate that.



Darlene, your story reminds me of the time that I picked a fistfull of lovely wildflowers from the field next door, for my mother. It was springtime, and all kinds of lovely little flowers were blooming, scattered all over the ground. As I ran around the field, putting together my little bouquet, I was picturing in my mind how happy and surprised my mother would be. There was no special occasion, I was gathering up the flowers for no other reason than LOVE.


That was my mother’s reaction when I presented my gift to her, with my big joyful smile on my face. I had done the wrong thing… again,



….many years later, when my 4-year-old little boy brought me a fistful of dried-up fallen leaves and said, “Mommy! I brought you some flowers!” ~ I treasured them.


Beautiful, Darlene. Though the story is different from any of mine, your mom seems so much like mine and also like my dad. My parents have very seldom responded to me as parents. They are like spoiled children who will do anything to avoid responsibility or to be the center of attention. I am getting stronger but my heart hurts at night too. I think the reason it seems right to have no relationship is because on an emotional level, I have always been an orphan.

I hope you have a happy mother’s day, Darlene. It’s sad that your mother doesn’t know what a terrific daughter she almost had.



I know I haven’t been a perfect mom either. I’ve had PTSD most of my life without knowing that was what was wrong. I couldn’t afford any counseling for a long time. I did try to improve but it has been a long hard pull and I know I made many mistakes along the way. I don’t think there is such a thing as a fully functional family but the difference between me and my parents is that I account for my mistakes, I appologize, ask for forgiveness, and do my best to change. That is something my parents will never do, not ever. There’s only so much stuff that can be swept under the rug and denied. No relationship can survive when one side demands to be held completely unaccountable for wrong behavior. I think that is why my parents have never grown up.


Dear Pam,
Wow, I could have written, almost word-for-word, what you said: “I know I haven’t been a perfect mom either. (me, too!) I’ve had PTSD most of my life without knowing that was what was wrong. (ME, TOO!) I couldn’t afford any counseling for a long time. (Ditto, again.) I did try to improve but it has been a long hard pull and I know I made many mistakes along the way. (DOuble ditto!) I don’t think there is such a thing as a fully functional family but the difference between me and my parents is that I account for my mistakes, I appologize, ask for forgiveness, and do my best to change. (YES!)”

Happy Mother’s Day to you, Pam. You are awesome in your honesty.


Darlene … Mother’s Day for me is bittersweet. I love that I am NOT my mother. But I hate that the woman who is my mother was incapable of loving me. Even though the circumstances are different, I cannot believe how alike our mothers are. Mine is the very same – if she didn’t get what she played out in her head, which was a complete fantasy by the way – she was disappointed – like your mother. My mother also used manipulation tactics with me to try to get me to let her see my kids and I feel the same as you – there is no way I wanted to put my kids at risk at being poisoned and abused by her. I know she would have turned them against me.

Darlene – we can celebrate today in that we are breaking free from our mother’s abuse and toxicity. We can make our lives better and the lives of our children better. God is breaking chains …. and for that I am so, so, so, so THANKFUL! … May your Mother’s Day be blessed and full of the love!!

I do hope I get to meet you one day … you are one amazing woman!


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Darlene, Thank you so much for sharing this experience. It makes it easier to know I am not alone. Enjoy your Mother’s Day with your children.
Love, Light, Grace, Peace, and Joy ~ ?


Thank you Darlene for posting your “letter to Mother”. I have wanted to do that now for a while. Over two years ago I set my boundaries down with my Mom and haven’t spoken to her since. I have two children. She went through my x husband to see them and still does, even though he was the source of emotional abuse for years, he keeps my children in compromising situation and completely ignores me as a mother, belittles me to the children and my mother was fully aware of all of this. So I put my foot down and the negative comments towards me and she acts like I am disposable and pushes me to the side and goes through the X. Humm the family (sister aunts and uncle) follow suit. At times they all say “see you are the problem”. My x said to me “even your own mother doesnt’ like you” and quite proudly I said “consider the source”. that did hurt me.

So here it is to my Mother, Marilyn

Dear Mom,

As a little girl I thought you were the world, didn’t you know that? What a shame, you could do no wrong. I only wanted your attention, your love. I was a gentle little girl, a pretty little girl, a sweet and loving little girl. It breaks my heart to know how those lovely qualities were scraped away. I know you were broken, I know you didn’t have your ideal life either. I was a child, a perfect little child, one you had created.. a gift you did not receive, a blessing you were not thankful for.. why? I was so wonderful.

I am sorry for the way things have turned out Mom. I have always wanted for you to get some help, some understanding of your life and mine.

I am thankful for the strength I have today, the ability to work through it all.

I wish we could have made the change towards a healthy future.

I wish you a peaceful life. I hope you are proud of me and that you have a peaceful heart. I am very happy and proud of me, I have done the work you were not able to do,that is a blessing to both of us.

I love myself more and more every day.

Good Bye Mom


Darlene, Thank you so much for sharing this experience. It makes it easier to know I am not alone. Enjoy your Mother’s Day with your children.
Love, Light, Grace, Peace, and Joy ~


Hi Lynda,
~ thank you for your kind words ~ my eyes filled when I read your messages. I feel that way about my children too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
~ It takes time to grieve the relationship we never had. I believe that the grieving process is VERY necessary to healing. It gets less for me with time, but once in a while that part of me, the abandoned and discounted part of me hurts.
You have a happy mother’s day too, Pam. I feel that I am celebrating the parent that I am to my own children and the parent that I am to myself now! (and my wonderful kids are such a blessing!)
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Paulette
ah yes, I hear you. It is the strangest thing to me that my mother never once tried to contact or to see my children. She never sent them a card or email or anything. I guess that even though I am glad that they too were free of the toxic mess, it hurt them too, and that hurts!
Your post today reminds me of a whole lot of other things I might blog about soon! LOL (and I am sure we will get to meet one day!)
Hugs, Darlene


This posting really hit home. I’m always trying to please my mother! I’m 65 years old! Same thing always happened in our family. I always remember making a flower vase at school for Mother’s Day. We were to bring a bottle. I was so young that I didn’t know that a beer bottle wasn’t appropriate. So, I brought it to school and decorated it. I must have been 6-7 years old. My mother laughed and rediculed that beer bottle for years – telling everyone she knew. I was thinking about it this morning in bed – before I read your post. I, too, have anxiety buying gifts for anyone – for fear they won’t be appropriate or good enough. These days I try to do something, rather than buy something. This year I took their car home and cleaned it inside and out! My son is having a Mother’s Day/ birthday celebration today at his house – my present husband, my grandson’s birthday. My ex-husband will be there. We have a good relationship but I hesitate to bring my 86-year old mother there because she will be disrespectful to my current husband of 13 years in her display of affection to my ex-husband. It’s all about her! My ex-husband left me after 29 years of marriage for another woman. My mother has said, “he didn’t do anything to me. Why shouldn’t like him?” She doesn’t understand that he hurt her daughter deeply. I don’t expect her to be unkind to him but she is “over the top” with affection for him – hugging, kissing, etc. She doesn’t do that stuff to me.


Hi Lee,
I can’t thank you enough for sharing your Mom Letter with us here on my blog today! I have to tell you that it really choked me up. I still have a lump in my throat. You express yourself beautifully. I believe that this is what we need to do to heal, just what you are doing and have expressed in your post. We need to realize the truth about what happened to us. We need to realize that it IS the truth that sets us free, and in this case the truth is that we were not valued as children so therefore did not learn our value. And now we can do the work to set our own value in place, by realizing the truth. It is true that our parents were broken too, but that is a separate issue that I had to view in a separate window, because it was just muddying the waters for my healing.
Thank you so much for being here and Welcome to E.F.B.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barbara
I can relate to the beer bottle story. Parents can be so unfeeling. I also understand your upset with your mother’s complete disregard for your feelings and pain over your ex and the pain he caused you. It seems as though some people go out of their way to make sure that their own kids know that they are NOT important and that they don’t really count. I am convinced that this is about constantly making sure that we try harder to prove our worth as well as our acceptance of them. I am so glad that I am done with that false system.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Welcome. You are certainly not alone! I was shocked when I began to realize the millions of other people who have struggled with this same thing ~ with one or both parents! There is so much healing in realizing the truth!
Hugs, Darlene


That was a brave post! The part about opening gifts wow ,something I never thought of!
God gave me a spiritual mother and I only think of her for mother’s day. My biological mom has my brothers. The one rapist crazy but genius brother is there for her but not her favorite my youngest brother is not so smart and worships her. Compared to the rest of the family he is more successful, better looking and has beautiful children and he worships her.
For me personally in general the only holiday I get excited about is July 4th (due to the fire works) which is also our wedding anniversary. Holidays are made up and I have always been counter culture and don’t really participate in things like holidays just because others do. In general I always felt many holidays are only celebrated by the hypocritical such as Christmas and Easter when all of the unbelievers go to church. I don’t bother with it. For me mothers day is about honoring those who have been there for me. If you notice on my FB page I never post happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas or any of the other traditional holidays. They are man made and mean nothing to me.
For me I never get upset at any holiday. I was a crisis counselor for a while and it was always the holidays when people become suicidal and that is usually due to expectations and when some ones life doesn’t live up to the stereo typical expectation of what they think it should be they get depressed. I am happy with my life now knowing I am living an authentic life not lying or living a lie. Many who seem to have the stereo type of a happy family I know from experience it is a lie and people are willing to pretend to seem to have a happy stereo type of a life. You Darlene are to be awarded and honored for living an authentic life and encouraging others to do so as well. I know this might sound a little arrogant but I feel my biological mom is not worthy of my time and I believe your mom is not either. In fact as I end this I will call my spiritual mom to thank her for her support! My spiritual dad passed away as many of you know just recently and I will get to thank him in heaven.
It is a culture of denial that would cause anyone to feel bad n a holiday because they were abused. I take this time and this day to honor those living an authentic life and those who encourage others to live in freedom. That is you Darlene!


Darlene (post #12) – Because of my mother’s abusiveness, I wouldn’t allow her to have relationship with my kids. And after I told her that – in writing – she goes behind my back to try to befriend my daughter on facebook!! I was SEETHING! And it showed me again that she is NPD to the core! And I know she’ll never change.

My kids haven’t seen their grandmother since my oldest was 4 years old – so they really don’t know what they’ve ‘missed.’ They don’t know what it is I’ve been protecting them from … and I like that very much.


Mother’s Day is a totally excruciatingly painful day for me and because I have international friends I have to survive it twice every year.

There are no words for the trauma I feel about being so abused and betrayed by my own mother. To have had a mother who was so deliberately cruel and abusive and rejecting of me hurts so much. The pain doesn’t seem to get easier with the passage of time, it seems to hurt more with each one that goes by. What changes is how I cope with that pain.

The words “Happy Mother’s Day” are a contradiction in terms. There is something inside me which says those words do not belong together. Mother’s Day’s were horrific days when I was a kid. It’s hard for me also because I am a mom too – just my kids are in heaven, I lost kids when I was only a kid myself. On top of that I know I will never be a mom because of the damage done to my inner workings.

Your words – it is still painful to know that I was that disposable and that forgettable just because I said “no more mistreatment”. – say it all. The events of the past year bring everything into sharp focus. I saw her true colours and realise the only person she cares about is herself and the only thing that matters to her is image, image, image, image.

I’ve learned to cut myself a lot of slack on these days and not pretend to be anything other than what I am feeling what I am. Accepting the way I feel is much better and more healthy than fighting what I feel and doing the should/shouldn’t arguments.

All day I’ve been reading “Happy Mother’s Day” posts all over Facebook. I feel like screaming and writing in the biggest letters possible – stop saying “Happy Mother’s Day”, it’s a lie, it’s an oxymoron, it’s all false, there’s no place for those words. It hurts so much.

I know now that I am not what she said I was or made me to be. And I am really proud that I am not like her in any way, shape or form. But I don’t know if I’ll get to a point where it doesn’t hurt like crazy.


Dear Darlene,
I keep thinking about your childhood Mothers Day memory, when you and your siblings walked all by yourselves to a department store, agonized over what to buy for your mother, then lugged that heavy set of dishes all the way home… only to have your precious loving gift REJECTED.

I am reminded of a short story that I read years ago, entitled: “The Trip Was Part of the Gift.” This was a true story about a missionary teacher who was working in an remote area of Africa. One of her pupils gave her a gift for a special occasion… it may have been her birthday, or Christmas, I don’t remember for sure. The gift that her student gave her was an inexpensive little store-bought trinket, but the value and size of the gift wasn’t what mattered to the teacher…. she was humbled and amazed to receive such a gift, because there were no stores anywhere near that tiny remote village where her student could have pruchased such a gift. The teacher asked him where and how he had acquired this wonderful present, and he told her that he had walked… I’ve forgotten how many miles/kilometers he had traveled, in the desert heat, over rough and dangerous terrain, for the sole purpose of buying his beloved teacher a gift, but I do remember that it was a very long way… maybe a day’s journey, each way, or possibly even longer. When the stunned, and very appreciative missionary teacher exclaimed that he needn’t have walked so far, just to buy a store-bought gift for her, he said:


Your trip was part of the gift, Darlene ~ the BEST, MOST LOVING part of the gift.

Your story is really an analogy of the FAR GREATER, most PRICELESS gift that you ever gave your mother, and that gift was YOURSELF. YOU were the best gift,: the most loving, devoted, sweet, talented, intelligent, precious, eager-to-please little daughter that a mother could ever hope to have. YOU were the BEST GIFT, Darlene. And your foolish mother didn’t appreciate that gift, either.

With Love, & Tears,


Oh Darlene, my child self cried with yours and my healing self heard your words and sent you many long hugs. This is a strange Mother’s Day for me and I’m not sure if I CAN even write about it. So I’m in a haze, a daze and not sure about much except that it wasn’t my fault, that the stepping away was done while I stood still and that I miss the ‘what could have been’ with my Mom. Much love my dear and I’m sorry I’ve not been around EFB for a while – had to do some work on me before I could share again, and I hate to read and not leave a comment to let you know I was here. Love and hugs…Shanyn


In this last year, I’ve finally stopped trying to be a “good enough” daughter, because now I know that I will never be. It’s been so liberating for me, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I am not who my parents said I was, I am a much better mom than my mom was. I still have a relationship with my mom (thankfully we live 1000 miles away, so that makes it easier) but it’s pretty superficial. My mom misses the “heart to heart” stuff and tries to get me to open up to her again, but I know how much that hurt, and I’m just not tempted to share with her anymore. I would rather put my emotional energy into my husband and kids, who love me, then trying to create a loving supporting relationship with my mom, when that just isn’t ever going to happen.


Dear Fi,

Like you, I have many international friends on my Lynda Lee fb account, so I also have to endure 2 Mothers Days per year. And, also like you, the PAIN of Mothers Day only seems to get worse with each passing year.

I really related to what you said in your second paragraph:

“There are no words for the trauma I feel about being so abused and betrayed by my own mother. To have had a mother who was so deliberately cruel and abusive and rejecting of me hurts so much. The pain doesn’t seem to get easier with the passage of time, it seems to hurt more with each one that goes by. What changes is how I cope with that pain.”

Lord knows that I wish and pray with all my heart that I could just “Get Over It” already! I’m 58 now. Ny mother is 76. Yet with each passing year it just seems to hurt me more… maybe because with each year that passes, without any sign of a resolution, I am ever more aware that there will most probably NEVER be a resolution… and, what daughter doesn’t want a good relationship with her mother?

Fi, it really helped me to read what your 5th paragraph:

“I’ve learned to cut myself a lot of slack on these days and not pretend to be anything other than what I am feeling what I am. Accepting the way I feel is much better and more healthy than fighting what I feel and doing the should/shouldn’t arguments.”

But it was your final paragraph that resonated the most with me:

“I know now that I am not what she said I was or made me to be. And I am really proud that I am not like her in any way, shape or form. But I don’t know if I’ll get to a point where it doesn’t hurt like crazy.”




Hi Lynda

Thanks for commenting on my comment #18.

You don’t know how much I’ve been sitting here berating myself for writing what I wrote. Berating myself for not putting a more positive spin on things. Berating myself for being only who and what I can be – and that is the real me who is honest and not going to pretend anymore. I’ve had a torrent of negative thoughts since I posted my comment.

I’m glad what I said resonated with you. I’m glad I was honest even though it was so painful just to write that comment. I wanted to ignore this post just as I’ve tried to ignore everything I’ve seen about Mother’s Day today. The Mother’s Day we had here earlier in the year seemed to pass with less pain than this one for some strange reason! The pain of this Mother’s Day seems magnified for some reason.

Anyway, I think it’s great to recognise how we differ from our abusive mothers in positive ways and in so doing recognise what great, strong, loving, giving, empathetic women we are in spite of the abusive destructive mothering we experienced.

I think there are some things we never “get over” but rather adjust to the fact they happened and live with the pain. I’m 45 now and only began to speak out about my abuse about a year ago. My mother will be 71 next weekend and is still a cold, self-centered, selfish, calculating, self-obsessed narcissist whose entire life is built upon lies, more lies and damn lies. One of those lies being that I do not exist and never existed – she does not have a daughter and she never had one. Back in the real world however a birth certificate exists which states otherwise.

Funny enough as far I’m concerned she is dead to me. I do not have a mother! I never had a mother! I never will have a mother. The reality of that’s excruciatingly painful to live with but so liberating to acknowledge and state.


Susa > Fi:

We’re walking right beside you… Sending peace and comfort your way.



Dear Fi,
My heart goes out to you in such a big way! I want to encourage you in that for me, this got so much better. The pain is barely there anymore. The grieving process is a huge and very very important part of healing. I don’t even think I have finished with that part yet, the pain of my fathers disregard for me is not finished. It just takes some time, but I can’t tell you enough how worth it it has been to face the truth and face that pain that was deep in my heart and finally find some freedom, value, individuality and wholeness. They lost out big time when they didn’t see me or want to see me for who I really am. I am not alone anymore ~not because of my family but because I have ME. I have the REAL me… This process led to the most incredible discoveries. It did take a lot of time to rewire my brain that they had wired all wrong, but today it is like having a whole new house (body, mind, soul) the most incredible peace inside of me.
Thank you for sharing, your comments took courage. I understand your pain, that your own mother says that you don’t exist and never did is brutal! and it is wrong, and it is all about her, and it is mean and evil too.
Like you I am very proud of myself that I am nothing like my mother. Sometimes I am a little too obsessed with checking to make sure, (self blame comes as easy for me as it is hard for her) but that is okay! You are doing great Fi! I am really proud of you and totally relate to all that you wrote. I do know that it is hard to write this stuff because it is hard to SEE it. But the truth WILL set you free.
Hugs, Darlene

Lynda, thanks for sharing that beautiful story, and I love to see the support for each other that there is here.
Fi ~ yes it is very important for us to see our positive differences from that of our mothers/parents.

Hi Shanyn,
Great to see you here Shanyn. I went through times where I needed time to think and time to myself too. All part of this process. Thanks for leaving a comment!

Hi Young Mom
You already good enough anyway. Something that I had so much trouble with was that I didn’t KNOW that I could be good enough without my parents saying so or agreeing with me.
Thank you for sharing your victory! Hugs!! Darlene


Hi Pinky!
Thank you for your lovely words! I sincerely try to live an authentic life and my passion is to encourage others to find the truth and live in freedom.
Hugs, Darlene


Lynda, glad you can appreciate your children, Darlene, OMG what a cruel thing to reject a gift outright…. I understand about not being free and spontaneous, my mother’s criticisms did that to me also. and Pam, yikes. such horrible parents. My mom never apologizes [like yours] never takes responsibility for harm done, [like yours]…. except I am a guy. subjected to “emotional incest”. her confidante, her substitute therapist, at tender age, not free to just be a kid. wise beyond my years at great price.

treated as if I were a spouse sometimes. [yuck] NOT MY JOB. after living on my own for 9 years, circumstances forced me to move back in. NEVER AGAIN. would rather live in a tree trunk than do that again. Toxic, narcissistic, fault finding, impossible to please hypocrite who drives me insane. If I ever have kids, they will know when old enough why I keep them away from her. I hate what she did to me, [corporal punishment for merely challenging her supremacy, plus gross neglect that allowed a ten year old boy to become a victim…]

I cannot pretend anymore. No cards, no gifts, I do not love her. will not miss her when that day comes either. I miss things I never had.


I relate. Thank you for sharing.


Loved your comments on holidays, suicides, etc., makes so much sense now.

Love this: “As I get farther away from the domination, I remember things that I am not so reluctant to remember and I am willing and able to talk about them with more freedom and way less fear.”

I will look for this for myself, as time goes on.

So sorry for you pain… I do love this that you wrote: “I’ve learned to cut myself a lot of slack on these days and not pretend to be anything other than what I am feeling what I am. Accepting the way I feel is much better and more healthy than fighting what I feel and doing the should/shouldn’t arguments.” And that gift that you’ve given yourself is something I want for myself and my children. The best gift!!


Hi Susa,

Hi L.
Welcome ~ I am glad you are here.

Hi Ian
I hear you on all of this! I miss things that I never had too. But more importantly, I don’t miss being treated like nothing, being treated like something is wrong with me, being manipulated and carrying the entire burden of the relationship! I don’t miss having the joy sucked out of everything I’m excited about and out of every accomplishment. I don’t miss any of that.
oh and even girls can relate to emotional incest. ( and yes, isn’t that creepy!)
Thanks for sharing!

Hi Sheryl
Yes ~ the fog lifts in stages. I did not see everything all at once. I did not realize many things for a long time. I was very afraid to talk about it until I realized that the fear was another false belief. (I was afraid of the wrath of god.. and I had been taught that they were god. )
Thanks for your comments.
Hugs, Darlene


HI Susa, HI Sheryl, thanks so much!


I hear so much pain and almost a rant that ends with despite all, you her only daughter wish Mom a Happy Mothers day. Really?? I can see both sides as I am separated from my kids in large part due to parental alienation. My Mom dies in 99, months after my separation during the most hellish time of my life.
My Mom and I were not as close as I would have liked, and I did want to be a better Mom. In many ways I was, more open, more expansive, and showering affection. It took a lot of heartfelt study of relationships , to let go of the pain cause by her lack of attention, etc. That I feel she knew her brother molested me and did nothing, never even owning that fact, nor the molestation of her first born daughter, my step sister. I have delved as much as possible for her actions, more over inaction, and in the end I just had to let it go. She was very spiritual and I think she longed for death and died horribly. I now understand her loss of identity as a wife and mom , never knowing who she really was, or what made her happy. As a result I had no childhood and now give that to myself freely. The anger from the non relationship, the loss of that normal cycle of life, had to leave me, in order to heal. Anger takes a lot of energy,grief, and illness.
I have just let go of any hope of reuniting with my sons and grandsons. Such hate there, and I feel that it might have been a different story with education about my toxic years, on meds for a mis diagnosed mental illness . So much pain on both sides , after 7 years I finally see that I cannot make them healthy or rewrite the past, vindicate myself , in large part because of parental alienation , and that is a hole nother trip.

With the freedom of elimination of the anger at my Mom, and the surrender of hope, (or giving it to God) I have freed myself , and long ago, as I began to heal forgave myself, where I feel we must begin. We also can turn off those negative voices in our head as well as the experiences . We do not have to take that trip to the well of anger/sadness when we are willing to just look at the difference amongst our parents/siblings/children, honor them for their own gifts, and if their are none , nor any improvements in said relations then we have done our best.
We can reset the boundaries, give and expect respect. A re write is never too late. But all that said, I do strongly believe that family exist within the world we have many family, not just our birth family.
I wish I could have 5 minutes, 24 hours with my Mom who only shows up in spirit once in a while. She left much to early, so full of pain she happily surrendered. Doesn’t matter , so many things, she is gone forever


Thank you for writing this.. and Happy Mother’s Day. I believe that the dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship is so hard to overcome. Co-dependency that leads into c-PTSD. It is “nice” to be reassured that their are others who have been through this and are getting better.


Lynda and Pam, thanks for your words in comment #5, #6. At least we as mothers have the opportunity to recognize where we failed and try to make amends. It was interesting that on Mothers Day (my first since I have been alone), the older ones didn’t really acknowledge anything and there were no gifts or cards. Not that I expected anything – we are all struggling financially and some were not well physically either. But the difference between what happened there, and what would have happened if it had been my mother or their father on Fathers Day, is that I accepted it peacefully and didn’t punish them for it. My gift from them is them – without them I wouldn’t be a mother.

On the other hand, my younger ones remembered. The 8 year old actually made it Mothers week and tried to do things for me all week! And brought me breakfast in bed! So at least I know he has no hang ups! I am so happy for him that he will not suffer the passive abuse of a mother who silently witnesses his abuse and not do anything about it.


Hi Dona,
Yes Really! (although I am not certain about what you mean with your opening
statement. I am not in a dreadful amount of pain anymore but it still hurts
I am sorry that you have had such a difficult time.

~Here is my theory; (my belief even) ~ if my mother could face her own demons,
from her own childhood and heal from the way that she herself was discounted
and mistreated by her own parents and upbringing, that things would have
been and even still could be different between us. I do not hate my mother.
but she can’t abuse me anymore and she has a choice about that.

~About anger; I spent years trying not to feel it. Trying to deny my right
to have it. That is where I got so stuck. It was in validating myself and
my right to feelings that I had been denied the right to all my life, that I
was able to heal and then the anger went away. My beginning was not so much
in forgiving myself as in finding out and believing that I was a child and
the damage in my childhood was not my fault. But it was through that time
of permission that I gave myself that I found freedom and healing, and that
healing filtered down to my husband and children. Anger etc. were
necessary stages for me, but they do not have to be forever at all. Forgiveness
for myself and for everyone else came as a result of the whole process.
Hugs, Darlene


Good to meet you and hear your story. I can relate to all of that!!


Darlene, #35, excellent!!


Oh, I got a good gift from one of mine yesterday. She waitresses in a family diner on Mother’s Day. She witnesses siblings fighting at the table, the verbal nastiness, “He won’t stop looking at me…MOM, MAKE his STOP looking at me…” So my daughter says, “WE never talked that way to each other, did we?” I got to answer!!! I was asked!! YAY!!! SCORE!!! “NO, we never talked to each other like that!!!”



I miss things that I never had also but this Mother’s Day was special because I am rich in the family my husband and I have created together. We aren’t perfect but we truly love one another and are honest. My biggest regret is that I didn’t figure things out sooner. I spent most of my adult life trying to fake a relationship that never existed. I left myself open to a life time of abuse. It is so much better to live the truth. It sounds like you are on the right track.

I’ve never heard the term ’emotional incest’ before but I know that I’ve suffered some of that with my father also. There’s no better word for that than ‘yucky’. Actually, ‘yucky’ describes what I feel about the whole mess. My relationship with my parents was perverted on all levels. Even if I’m 54 a new day is dawning in my life. I’m beginning to live a life free from the influence of that perversion.


So many of you have chosen to keep you children away from your abusive parents (and wisely so). I too chose not to allow my parents to care for my children when they were little because they couldn’t be trusted. However, when my children were teenagers, I did allow my parents to move their mobile home onto my property (pretty dumb huh?)and my children did attempt to have a relationship with them. My parents did all they could to turn my kids against me and they did cause some hurtful confusion but in the end, my children turned against them. It is my kids who have been the driving force for me to divorce my family. They are the ones who opened my eyes to the mistreatment that I was accustomed to and didn’t really see. My kids know real love and that is why they are able to spot the couterfit that my birth family offers. My youngest especially, treats me with new respect because I have finally been able to stand up for myself. None of us should ever feel any regret or guilt for protecting ourselves. That is an important skill to have to survive this world. It is one that was taken from me at an early age and I am glad to have it back. This was a happy mother’s day for me.


“My kids know real love and that is why they are able to spot the couterfit that my birth family offers.” Because YOU raised them!! Way to go!!


good that your kids could spot the counterfeits, Pam. kudos for that.

and thank you.

May 9th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

This is my first post here, I’ve only just discovered you in the past week Darlene and I am reading so many interesting things. Many years ago I had a therapist who recommended The Drama of the Gifted Child which I bought and read and I remember it really resonated with me at the time. I created distance in my relationship with my family. This was my first indication that the something that was wrong with me might not be just me… In time I got sucked back in to my family and forgot about my narcissist mother, accepted her I guess, and then recently this fact surged back into my consciousness. It was like I had completely forgotten about it! OMG! Right! That’s why I’m such a mess!
My parents have recently retired. They are already talking about returning to work. They have nothing in their lives except excess and indulgence (drinking, gambling, cruises) and despite having well paying jobs they are essesntially broke. They are exceptionally superficial, neither has ever done any work on themselves, they are seemingly satisfied with spoiling and distracting themselves. It was the image of the narcissist as “spoiled child” that brought my reality crashing back. My parents but especially my mother, are like big children. My mother always has passed herself off as helpless and not very smart so I have a hard time believing she is this horrible manipulative self-centered person but I KNOW she is. It’s the crazy-making stuff, and the clash of my belief systems. I need to get myself a good therapist.
I’m sorry this is so long, but it feels good to write it and just get it out. I was so angry about Mother’s Day and having to call her and send her a gift when I just want to create distance. She is so superficial and I really just hate her right now yet I’m playing nice because its complicated and I feel like I’ve been given a 2nd chance now that I remember she is a narcissist. I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy…
I am remembering little things. Like after my suicide attempt at 16, I was lying on a hospital bed after having my stomach pumped and she actually said “how could you do this to me?” I see how she never cooks at family gatherings or helps clean up. I remember how she bought me pretty dresses when was 5 for the start of school and had me model them for my dad and my friends and my dad got angry and told her to take them all back (in fact one of the friends I recently reconnected with and she reminded me of this!).
She tries to make me think she was such a good mother because her mother was so awful but really she only ever saw me as an extension of herself. She made sure I knew at a young age that I was an accident and days away from being an abortion. That my dad didn’t get to go to university and she somehow didn’t have the life she wanted because they had me. And she also tells me stupid crap about how I am so loved and lucky because she knows that is what a good mother should say?!!? Toxic stuff. But I am going to get better. I know what I’m dealing with and my life makes so much more sense when viewed through this lens. I’m not going to forget again.

May 9th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Wow. That felt good even though it is not up to my usual writing perfectionist standard!! Even not being obsessed with that feels good!Anyway, I wanted to say thank-you Darlene and everyone who has shared you stories here. It really means a lot and helps to know I’m not alone.


Hello Terminalcitygirl!!

Welcome to emerging from broken!
This is so crazy but I am reading the drama of the gifted child (by Alice Miller) as I write this! I had been told by colleagues and therapists/psychologists over the last few years that my work supported the work of Alice Miller and that I would enjoy her work.. and several people asked me if I had studied her work! ~ so finally a couple of months ago I bought a couple of her books. AND I just finished “The truth will set you free” also by Alice Miller and it is fantastic ~ I could have been her client! I could have been the “proof in her pudding!” LOL So it is cool that you posted here today about that book.
Don’t worry about how long your posts are, when you read a bit more you will see that lots of people write wonderfully long posts. So healing!

I am really glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Invisible321

Welcome to emerging from broken!
It is hard to overcome but it is also very possible! I am so glad that you are here!

Hugs, Darlene


i’m not a mom, but Mother’s Day was hard for me…. I cried a lot. i could so identify with your letter, Darlene. I think if I could write my mom I would ask her why she wasn’t more of a mother to me. Why she didn’t love me, want me, stick up for me, protect me against my father – even if she felt that her hands were tied. She had a choice didn’t she? I realize she didn’t think she did, but I still have the questions. I hurt because I am not welcome to see her or call her, etc.
I ended up avoiding facebook for the weekend, cause it hurt to darn much to see all the mother’s day wishes. I literally wanted to shout out that mother’s day is not a good weekend. I hate it alot. Does it ever get easier? I could relate with a lot of you. We weren’t really expected to get a gift for our mother, but I was expected to get her a card…. I hated that, we had to pick the perfect card saying all sorts of nice and loving things that i really did not feel. I always felt like I was lying. I don’t know how I feel about that knowing I did it to save my own skin.
I do admit to being glad that I’m not the only one that finds mother’s day painful. Thanks all for sharing your pain.


The rejection from our mothers makes Mother’s Day hard. Being I have children, I find it easier as Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning. This was the first year that I recall sending my mother NOTHING. And if it isn’t, its the first year I really MEANT to send nothing. She hasn’t been in my life for 11 years and for those 11 years, and even the few years before that, I could never bring myself to give my mother a heartfelt lovey card … because inside I didn’t feel it – I didn’t feel it for her just as I never felt or experienced real love from her. The cards I gave her were always very simply said, with no more than about six words in them.

One thing I don’t like being is fake and superficial. I do understand Kia though (in her lastest post #46) … it is amazing what we will do to keep the peace in the family, or hope that doing some kind deed will wake our mother’s up to love us. But it never works. It never works. I tried so hard for years to get this woman, who gave birth to me at only 19 years old (and only married for 4 months when I was born), to love me … heck, I would have even accepted mere ‘acceptance’ for who I was, but I didn’t even get that.

Abusers are awful people who like to feel as though they are gods in their own rights, their desire is to overpower and control. It’s just plain sick.


Welcome Terminalcitygirl!! I too had a narcissistic mother … and I only came across the term just before I confronted my father (as my parents divorced years ago) and siblings last August!! Everyone said, “We don’t want to talk about it and we don’t want to hear about it.” I took it as rejection which is exactly what I expected. It hurt, indeed it hurt … but what I never expected was the feeling of absolute freedom from the abuse of my mother, freedom from the denial of my father and siblings, free to finally be me. That’s when I sought a therapist – and I love her! Healing is wonderful. I hope you find a good therapist for yourself … you deserve it!!!


Kia, Paulette,

I hear you. My mother admits no wrong, and this year, not even a card. was done pretending.
last year I made a card from cheap construction paper, and nowhere on the card did the word love appear.
It was a stretch to even say “happy mothers day”. she remarks a lot how negligent my dad was, absent for many years after their divorce. and yes, it hurt. however, I saw evidence of his putting time, effort, money into becoming better person. Mom has not. Her studies in psychology did not make her a kinder person AT ALL. just “better” at rationalizing her bad behavior.

You are not alone here. [what a godsend to find other people who GET it.]


So sorry for all the pain…

I just read of something that happened; it is a good thin, in the lives of others that sheds light back into my earlier life. I am so happy for these people who didn’t conduct their affairs in the ways of the world, (or of the church-same thing), but did what they wanted to do and are obviously, by contrast, happy!! They didn’t have control freaks hovering over them directing their paths, alleluia, praise the Lord!!!!!


Ian … so true, when I found this site – I found it so validating … it is so awesome to be in the company of others who get it, who validate … and we can see we are not the only ones with mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorders!! Empathy goes a long way when hearts and souls are broken.


yes, grateful to be on healing side of empathy after so many years of it being avenue of injury.


Hi Kia,
Yes, it gets easier. I rarely feel the pain I used to feel. Even writing the “letter” was not really hard for me ~ I am not the same person anymore. I talk about this stuff almost every day and it doesn’t get to me. I am free!
The why questions are important! It is important for us to wonder that stuff because it it like me telling me that I was devalued. It is ME validating ME where no one else did.

Many people have mentioned “being expected to …..” I learned that “being expected to” was about obligation, and there is no such thing as obligation in love. And Kia, yes, we do it/did it to save our own skin, but what I learned is that I don’t have to be afraid of other people anymore. Those fears are from the past and I am an adult now. I don’t have to do things to “survive” anymore. That is a major benefit of doing this work. It took time for me to really embrace this new way of being without feeling obligated.

Something Paulette said;
About abusers feel as though they are god in their own right ~ what actually happens is that they set themselves up to BE god in the lives of children (forever sometimes no matter how old the child gets), and “we” learn to fear the wrath of that god… it all gets mixed up and I had to go through a process of realizing that THEY are NOT god. This is one of the lies we live under and it serves them ~ we are totally controlled and living in fear of them. When we grow up the fear is still there and we can’t remember why.

And this is not just about Narcissistic personality disorder, this is a system that encompasses many many family systems not all of which the heads of family are narcissistic. It is the misuse of power and control at it’s worst and can be seen in businesses, government, most organizations……..

Hugs, Darlene


From Darlene quoting Paulette:

“About abusers feel as though they are god in their own right ~ what actually happens is that they set themselves up to BE god in the lives of children (forever sometimes no matter how old the child gets), and “we” learn to fear the wrath of that god… it all gets mixed up and I had to go through a process of realizing that THEY are NOT god. This is one of the lies we live under and it serves them ~ we are totally controlled and living in fear of them. When we grow up the fear is still there and we can’t remember why.”

Abusers, churches, pastors, in my experiences, trade the word GOD for on of these, nad you have their actual meaning


Yes and all for the purpose of having POWER over others. All about control! And in the case of the church/pastors etc. it is really horrible because the message about giving up your power IS the message of Christ! So many in the church still don’t get it! they still think that they (or some) get to be the exception and they are set aside as being better or something… that they should have permission to misuse power and control. Power is a wonderful gift and can be used for so much good… but is most often misused.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


not when it is used over people, power it not a good thing

Yes, God’s elite club, in one form or another, you know, hierachy is more fun


I’ve been thinking a lot about that 10-year-old boy who escaped from the back window of the van that his mother drove into the Hudson River last month, drowning her two youngest children and herself.

How do you think MOTHERS DAY commercials and ads make that boy feel? How do you think all the MOTHERS DAY hype will feel to him, when he is 20… 30… 40…. 50… 60+ years old…. ??

MOTHERS DAY is a B*TCH for people who have had horribly abusive mothers. It doesn’t get easier just because some years have gone by and now you are older. People who don’t understand that are either very ignorant, in a great deal of DENIAL about their own mothers, or abusive themselves.



[…] Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood By Darlene Ouimet  After I wrote my Mother’s day post, the comments and emails inspired me to write this additional post. It is not my usual style; more […]


Hi Lynda,
Don’t lose sight of the goal. I know that it is hard in the process of getting through the pain, but remember, healing is not about them, it is about taking back what was taken from us! (OUR LIVES) Mothers day is not at all hard for me anymore. My Mother does not cause me any more emotional pain, even though I can still write about the pain, I don’t have much any more. I am a mother and mothers day is about my kids now. I celebrate that I escaped the dysfunction and did not raise my kids in the way I was raised with the beliefs that I was raised with. Even with horribly abusive mothers, we can have freedom and live full and amazing lives. The past CAN be past if we face it, realize the resulting damage, and do for ourselves what was never done for us by our original parents, whatever that may be.

My Mother’s day was amazing and perfect this year. My mother did not robb me of one ounce of joy or freedom. =)
Love and hugs! Darlene


Thanks for the encouragement, Darlene. I feel like I am about halfway there. My Mothers Day was GREAT, thanks mainly to my younger son’s phone call, and my daughter’s awesome FB messages/posts to me. But my Mothers Day was also depressing, because of old painful memories of my mother, AND because my eldest son is off-the-grid in my life, his choice.

I actually felt, this Mothers Day, like I had won a multi-million dollar lottery ~ the sweet loving messages from 2 of my 3 grown kids ~ while, on the same day, I was attending the funeral of a dear loved one who had died. It was that kind of a day for me… high high, low low.



I do think, though, that it is OK for me to feel the way I feel. I don’t think it would be right for anybody who hasn’t been in his shoes, to ever try to tell that 10-year-old boy whose mother drowned his siblings along with herself, and almost drowned him too, he just barely escaped from the van in the river… no matter how many years go by, if Mothers Day is a painful time for him, no one has the right to tell him it “shouldn’t” be! The only reason that my mother didn’t kill me and my little brothers and sisters, is because she couldn’t figure out how to override the safety shut-off valve on the gas furnace.

Sometimes it seems to me that people who have been badly neglected and/or otherwise abused by their mother, don’t like to acknowledge that some kinds of abuse are worse than other kinds… they want to lump abuse into one big category, and make it all the same: if yo ueren’t loved, if you weren’t wanted, then HOW your mother demonstrated that to you, doesn’t really matter, it hurts all the same…

I respectfully disagree with that. There ARE different degrees of abuse and trauma, resulting, I believe, in varying degrees/severities of woundedness, as a result, call it PTSD or C-PTSD or whatever label of brokenness. It doesn’t get much worse than having your mother actively attempt to murder you. Really, it doesn’t. I know this from personal experience. So if my trauma wounds go a little deeper, and if they take a little longer to heal… and if some of them NEVER fully heal…. GUESS WHAT. That is OK. I am OK, just the way I am. I am OK, even if I NEVER live to see a Mothers Day that does not hurt.

I see trauma, emotional, mental, abuse-trauma, as being like cancer, or like a stab wound… some cancers are very rapidily fatal. Some stab wounds are also very rapidly fatal. Some are not immediately fatal, but eventually are. Some stab wounds, some cancers, can heal, but only after lots of surgery and medicine and physical therapy, all of which is, itself, traumatic. Some stab wounds, and some cancers, are so minor, so “surface,” and caught so early, that they heal quickly and easily and with little or no treatment.

If a person is stabbed, they will bleed. That is normal. If a person is abused, unwanted, discounted, unloved, made to feel “less-than” as they are growing up, they will be “broken,” have PTSD or whatever. This is also a normal reaction to being abused/traumatized, just as bleeding is a normal reaction being stabbed.

HOWEVER, no two stab wounds are exactly alike. It all depends pon WHERE you were stabbed… in an artery? A vital organ? Was a major nerve severed? How deep and how wide was the stab wound? Was there just ONE stab wound, or were there many, multiple stab wounds?

Darlene, I do not think it is helpful for us to compare our truamas and say, Mine was worse, or less, than someone else’s…. nor do I think it is helpful, either, to lump all traumas together as though they are exactly the same, with the same prognosis, same path and means and timetable to healing.

I do not believe that anyone is HOPELESS, regardless of how severely traumatized and wounded they may be! Where there is life, there is hope, ALWAYS. Being told that someone is so wounded that they are hopeless, is abusive itself.

I’m just saying that what some of us went through, may have wounded us deeper, harder, in ways that are harder to heal. And we should have that right to not heal as quickly, easily, or thoroughly, as someone else has healed…. NO, I’m not saying that your healing was “quick and easy,” not by a long shot.

I am just saying: When I was a little girl, and my mother told me, several times, that she “loved me because she HAD to, because I was her daughter, but she did not LIKE ME” ~ that wounded me deeply. When I was a little girl and my mother ignored me, put me down, made fun of my fears, refused to take me to a doctor when I was sick, told my one best friend, in front of me, the one time she agreed to let my best friend stay the night, after all the times over the grade school years that I had stayed the night at my best friend’s house… when my mother told her, in front of me, that she wished that SHE, my friend, were her daughter, instead of ME< because I was "lazy" etc etc…. that wounded me, ALL those things, and so many other things, that my mother did and said as I was growing up, wounded me, even some covert incestuous stuff that my mother did, sexual type stuff, wounded me…

But when my mother sat me down and explained to my 12-year-old self that she had tried several nights in a row to gas us all to death while we slept in our beds, because she had "brought us all into the world and had the right to take us out of it," and also because "life was so horrible she would be doing us a favor by killing us," and when she went on to explain that after she gave up on trying to override the gas furnace's safety shutoff valve, that she was going to drive us all off a cliff and kill us that way… WHEN MY MOTHER TOLD ME THAT, THE PAIN AND THE TRAUMA THAT I FELT, WAS BIGGER THAN ALL THE OTHER ABUSIVE NEGLECTFUL UNLOVING HATEFUL THINGS THAT MY MOTHER HAD EVER SAID OR DONE TO ME, combined.

This isn't about me saying "i had it so bad, worse than anybody, OH POOR ME, I will NEVER be fully healed." This is simply me saying that no two traumatized people, in my opinion, are exactly alike, no two trauma histories are exactly alike, and therefore, we will not all heal on the same timeline.

…and SOME of us may ALWAYS feel some pain on Mothers Day, MAYBE. And, if so, that is OK.

PLEASE be aware that this is a very sensitive thing for me, what I have just said, Darlene~

Hugs ~ and thank you so much for being here,


Lynda, I think I know what you mean.

I wondered, for the first time this year actually, what it would be like for so many on Mothers Day – those like that boy you mentioned.

I only knew it was hard for those who had miscarried or lost children (only because I had lost a child and had conversations with similar mothers). I had never realized how hard it would be for many others. Don’t know why it is always glossed over, considering how many must be going through that emotional pain every year and don’t get acknowledged. And yes, some in a very deep way that others wouldn’t understand, never having been through it.

I guess it didn’t affect me because as much as my mother was abusive, she love-bombed me a lot, so I lived in a kind of happy denial that while she was neglectful/selfish/narcissistic, I still got along with her and that’s all that mattered to me. It is very different for my siblings were never received any affection/attention and only got the overt abuse.

I also empathized a bit more this year because all mothers were called to stand in front at church, and husbands and children were asked to go up to them to pray for them. Well, guess what? I was the only one standing on my own! I have always been the one known for being “family-oriented” (we were the perfect family) and there I was, just on my own. I had never been known as anything but a mother surrounded by her many kids and supporting her husband. So I think it must have looked odd.

Big hugs to you Lynda.



holy crap…. what a horrible thing to hear at 12 years old…. your mother is a sociopath. it is never okay to say such things to a child. that is beyond callous, outright cruelty. what denial and delusion she has to live in to justify such verbal assault. makes my skin crawl. It is amazing you can write about it. And your kids are blessed to be spared such a fate. You certainly deserved a happy mothers day. bless you.


Hello Everyone
~ I was inspired by the comments in this post to write a follow up post and I published it. You can see it by clicking on the “home” button, or click this link

~ Missing Self Esteem ~ It happens in Childhood

Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for this post. Mother’s Day has been exceptionally hard for me this year.


Hi Nicki,
I am glad that this post resonated with you. Mothers day can be such a tough time for so many.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I want to cry for the beautiful little girl that you were. I too would have treasured those dishes. When I was a teenager, I would take my lunch money and go to the Five and Dime store to buy a card for my mom on Mother’s Day and a card for my dad on Father’s Day. A card was all that I could afford usually. It meant that I didn’t eat lunch at school for a week to buy the cards. I would always write my brother and sister’s names on the card and make the cards from the 3 of us. I was the oldest. I would like to say that my parents liked my cards but I don’t remember. I do remember going hungry to buy them.

Most years since my mom died in 1999, I go through Mother’s Day without much thought or pain but this year is different. Mother’s Day thoughts and feelings are sticking with me. Maybe is it because my mother’s last sibling died just before Mother’s Day. I was sick and wasn’t able to go to Louisiana for the funeral. My mother was born on this particular brother’s birthday. He was the nice, gentle brother that was easy to love but he was so shy that you really didn’t know him well.

I don’t even know why I am crying, maybe for the hurting little girls and little boys that we all were so long ago. The tears have been near the surface but not quite ready to come out since before Mother’s Day. Something is wanting to break through the surface but not just yet. I am so glad that we can all be here for each other.


Hi Patricia,
I know what you mean… your comment brought tears to my eyes too. It is so very sad that this happened to us, we were innocent children.
What a lovely story that you shared here about going without lunch in order to buy cards for your parents. It strikes me how amazing that is, considering all that you were already going through at home because of your father.
I think that this “healing pain” is really necessary. It is like the pain is part of the breakthrough but for some reason the pain is what I always fear. No matter how much I KNOW that the freedom comes after the pain! I am really glad that we can all be here for each other too!
Hugs, thanks for being here,


Thank you, Krissy, and Ian, for your very kind and caring and affirming words.

I only just now logged back on to this comment thread and read your words…. something like 8 or 9 days have passed, since I left my last comment… I waited so long, because THAT’S how VULNERABLE I’ve been feeling about what I said in my last comment here, on the subject of Mothers Day.

Oh, how I wish that I weren’t so “thin-skinned” about this subject. I am 58, these traumas happened over 46+ years ago, and I have been actively working on my recovery for YEARS… so WHY am I not “over it” by now?

I am who and what I am. It doesn’t help me to beat myself up for not yet being “over it.” I am doing the best I can with what I have, hoping that tomorrow I will have something better, and then I’ll be able to do better.

Again, Ian, and Krissy… thank you so much for your kindness.



welcome Lynda, thank you for sharing.
learning now that my mother has aspergers. lack of empathy, deficit of nonverbal skills, co-morbid with OCD, very rigid controlling, dysfunctional, aloof, insensitive, dogmatic, unforgiving, the 2nd worst possible match for a sensitive, intelligent child to be stuck with. plus the covert, emotional incest.

we all have our days we need to rant. today is mine. the more i learn, the farther away i wish to get from my sick mother. for her neglect at ages of 7, 8, 10, 11 and beyond, and her abuses [verbal and corporal punishment] I feel I owe her NOTHING. my mother is a monster. excuses her own flaws, which led to lifetime scars, and condemns mine, many of which were innocent, or merely attempts at independence and autonomy.

This I cannot forgive. That she never apologizes, and will unfairly exploit any advantage, for this she has my utter contempt. My mother is incapable of changing, it is far too late for her. Without empathy, remorse, there is nothing for me to attach any hopes to. I had enough hopes dashed to bits. dreams that she would shoot down with unmerciful, knee-jerk criticism rather than ask “what if?”

so many dreams have died, this too factors in my depression, my cynicism, all products of HER. she isolated me for many years, all the better to keep me dependent, controlled, “docile” in her sick twisted mind games. This is still cause for anger, outrage, resentment, disgust and even hatred. She is not my mother anymore. more like prison warden.

had to say that, been sitting on this too long.


i’ve been thinking as i followed the comment thread here, and it crossed my mind to ask about fathers… do any of you have fathers who are control freaks, abusive etc.? How do you deal with it? what my mother did, i can’t accept, but my father was the main abuser in our family and has done huge damage… i can’t imagine wanting my father in my life again… what Ian said about his mother (comment 70) is what i feel about my father, i could have written that comment, using father instead of mother…


My heart goes out to you. The way that I got through all of this and came out the other side HAPPY etc. was to stop caring about all the excuses that my mother had for being the way that she is and start learning MY value, and re parenting myself.
Glad you are here!

Hi Kia,
I have father stuff too, but my father is a passive abuser. So passive in fact that in reality I feel as though I have not really had a father. I relate to whatever anyone writes the way it applied to my own life. So if someone writes something about a dad that was like my mom, I relate to it that way. Many on this blog have tons of issues with the father more then the mother.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I know the pains of mothers day only to well. There was a time in my life when I had patience with my mother. That was in the days I had repressed all the memories of child abuse.
Later in life I had flashbacks, then had a breakdown as I couldnt cope with the memories and surfacing emotions..
Part of me still loves my mother, but the abused part of me cant stand being near her.Being near her makes me anxious and fearful which comes from my inner child, but then I was two and half years old when she sexually abused me. That went on for about two years, which left me with permenant neurological pathway damage. Meaning my brain never developed all the links.
The one person I was dependent on, my father just didnt want me.
Now I just feel angry. I cant see my mother due to the anger and part of me doesnt want too, as she is manipulating my the whole family to save her own face. Labeling me mentally ill, taking the easy way out, saying its all in my head. That way she doesnt have to face herself.
However I know the value is in loving ourselves. Overcoming abuse is a far more worthy thing then just sticking a label on someone in co-herent avoidance. Sometimes their absence is better, I know it doesnt stop it hurting, but there are always more positive empowering people around. There is no point in putting oneself in a position to be damaged again, rejected, critised and devalued
Keep loving yourself, your wise enough to know you are worth loving and your doing a good job in building awareness with this site.


Hi Penny,
Welcome to EFB
I changed my neuro pathways. I didn’t believe that it couldn’t be changed. The mind is a very powerful thing! I am not saying that you are wrong, just that for me it was different. I had to develop all the links myself. (this past 6 years or so) I hope you stick with us and read more.. there are bits in each post about how I realized the lies that formed those neuro pathways and what I believed because of the abuse.
Thank you so much for sharing here and for your compliment.
Hugs, Darlene



Your words sound so much like mine on mothers day I composed a poem .. i write them daily of one type or another. I simply let my emotion come out at a better place now then on mother’s day but here is one poem.

the tears they will not stop
they flow and flow and flow
am crying deep inside
i have nowhere left to go
i wish i wasnt so wounded
i wish i wasnt your worst mistake
i wish i can undo the things
that make you hate and hate

I am sorry you dont love me
am sorry you feel so mad
i wish i had been more perfect
that my birth had made you glad
I am sorry for what i dont know
for those things you beat me for
am sorry i caused you sorrow
and that you dont want me anymore

i am sorry i am not strong
I am sorry i need to heal
sorry that the sight of me
makes you wish i werent real
i wish i could undo myself
remake myself just for you
I do anything to know why
you continue to do what u do


needless to say there was no communication between my mother and i on mothers day.


ouch… you deserved better mom than that, Joy.
mine is just aloof, clueless and merciless with criticism.
sometimes used corporal punishment for trivial offenses….
[like questioning her authority, or just being autonomous]
yours sounds worse. cannot blame you for cutting her out.


I know I didnt deserve anything that happened
I was a little child in a place that had no love
I understand now that despite her calling me names
and labelling me . am much better for not staying there
and am on the way to healing.
I dont accept that am a mistake..maybe for her but not for me
I dont accept all the bad words now..
I do know I will heal because I know no one deserves
bad treatment.. I didnt deserve ..i simply couldnt stop it.
and those who could left us in it.

Thank you Ian and I know you didnt deserve criticism
or whatever ill treatment you got. no child does.. am
sure you had sufficient pains

I never like to say one has suffered more or less
suffering of any kind that is imposed like that is too much
whatever amount



Hello Joy and Ian

Both of your posts this morning, (I read them together) brought tears to my eyes. That parents can do this to their own children. There is no “better or worse” Ian, all of it is wrong. All of it is life destroying destructive nasty horrible behaviour that no one deserves. There is no excuse. Healing is hard because it has so much to do with really facing it. and it hurts.

The whole mother / child relationship is a very hot topic. On mothers day this year, my last years mothers day post got comments too! There are millions of people out there that are so badly hurting from this kind of treatment from parents. I am glad that we can talk about it!
Hugs, Darlene


thank you, both of you.

still have all these old programs, from not only mother, but former friends too.

they could not see the abuse and neglect. and their stuff was “always worse than mine”.

okay, I have it “better” than Bosnian refugees, but PTSD is still PTSD.

more layers of resentment to go through. ex-friends had no clue either…. and seldom even tried to understand my end. am SOOO sick of their platitudes. “get over it” is one of the worst. one even compares my life to his Filipino wife and what she had to survive [abject poverty]. I had poverty too, near starvation more than once. wanted to strangle him. he could not comprehend at the time how disrespectful that was. and now that I see clearly how awful my mother really was, and is, …. well, certain friends have added to the denial until now.

they seem to think one solution fits everyone. NOT TRUE. made me so mad, but I had no way to explain why they were wrong. old pain I had forgotten until now. I just want a new life…. tired of people who don’t get it. just brush me off as lazy, because I had been depressed for so long, and living in fear. Was a virtual prison nobody understood.



Thank you so much for your comforting words and understanding .. you know and really can say you understand…knowing you care brings tears to my eyes….not use to having . care..


I lost all my friends on this new journey..and I understand how terrible it feels: the ridicule..the judgement ..the marginalization..but we have to cut ourselves off from that treatment..

My T is trying to help me create boundaries.. people still violate them and go around or find an open window but I am trying to close of the entrances that abuse can come through..

Its hard not having many people in 3d but perhaps its a good thing for healng.



totally understand that.

the isolation is very difficult.

good luck to you in therapy.

I have mine too.



Good luck to you too: I am so lucky to have a very patient psychologist..she is a psyd.. ( doctor )I sense she is very
caring and is slowly helping me to learn new ways..

Hope things become easier for you Ian.. its not something we
can just “Get over” and being compared to others is really unfair
as no one situation is the same. You are you and I am me . Whats
good for one is not going to work for the other..

I really am so sorry Ian..that people do not take time to understand you..hear you ..and feel your pain .you are a good person..I can sense..Depression is not easy



different treatments for different wounds, yes.
thank you. I have been in treatment for depression for 12 years now,
the PTSD was discovered during that time,
and I gained a lot of wisdom about relationships,
some of it earned through heartbreak.
[child of divorce with trust issues]
seven year troubled relationship ended in 2008,
found better girlfriend the month after.
much better match on all levels.
thanks for letting me rant.


Ian and Joy,
I was ranting on Facebook one day that I was SICK of people telling me that others had it worse than me. I know it is true but as i told them, it does NOT diminish my need to be listened to and understood for where i am right now and the pain i am going through… i want to share with you what my foster aunt wrote in response. She writes: “Yes, there will always be someone somewhere who is in a worse situation, however, that does not mean your situation is any less important.” this comment blessed me so much… i too had abusive parents- dad more than my mother. I don’t agree with the whole “get over it” idea. in my experience those words just made it worse.
Joy, thanks for sharing your poem. i cryed.. i so could have said the same thing just more geared toward my father. but then mother did not stand up for me, so i deal with anger over that…
I’m with both of you on losing friends through this… my friends told me that God knew that i would be born in that home and that the parents would be abusive, but that he placed me there so He would take care of me and I had no right to leave the home/family that God placed me in… needless to say, they deserted me when i would not follow their advice… Recently i cut most of my biological family from my facebook page because of the abuse… it hurt but i believe that is the only way i can heal… they kept telling me, “i love you so much…” and then proceed to give me a mini sermon on facebook… Is that really love? It is what i’m used to but i’m not sure that it really is.
there is my speal for the evening. Keep pressing on Joy and Ian… know that there are people that care. 🙂


Hi Kia,
I totally relate to your post comments to Ian and Joy. I heard crap like that too, that God knew and that it was for a reason and that in this life we have pain but in the next life… blah blah blah… I spent YEARS trying to accept it. Then I realized that I didn’t HAVE to accept it. BINGO. lights came on. Why the heck did I believe all that stuff? Well because I was brainwashed / taught and groomed from the beginning to accept it and believe it. (I can picture God being really angry that people tell other people that stuff. I picture God saying “DARLENE ~ wake up ~ get the hell out of there! That is NOT the love that I speak about!”) Well I listened…
Hugs, and thanks for sharing.


Kia and Darlene and Joy, thank you for caring.

I cut my mother off my FB list too, and untagged myself from all her photos, and recently blocked her. I also set up an email filter that archives her messages and skips the inbox. and refuse to give her my cell number. It still feels “rude” to do so, that was part of my programming / conditioning / grooming to be “seen and not heard”. Her favorite maxim during my growing years was, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing !”

Which, to a child, sounds like: “SHUT UP, I don’t wanna hear your whining.” No talking back, complaining, anger not allowed, [Mom could be angry all she wanted, and is EASILY offended] She even says the cat purrs too loudly, GRRRRR. Cat deserves better than her. I deserve better than her. So yes, am waking up, and just trying to survive until I can get my own living space again. Hoping and praying it is sooner than 3 months.



The terrible thing about facebook is very little room is provided to protect yourself from mean people .

My best friends used facebook wall to explain my dillusions about family abuse and how I should get right with God.

Most recently in a group ..Friday and am still so shaken from it..someone handpicked a youtube video which they put my first name and my last name to saying hoping i can cut All the chords keeping me from being happy.

I listened to the video.. I was so triggered. So hurt that I cried for an hour. In the video was the words said “o sister whatever happened to you, why have you fallen from grace, soon that blackened heart will be set free…etc” The words echoed a couple times in the song. I was so upset as I knew the person in group was deeply religious. I felt I was being told I am still suffering because my heart is black am in sin. I asked on the board: “you are saying my heart is black :that means sin. .that I have fallen from grace?” The person come back and said thatI cannot move on healed because I am not with God.

I was so crushed : this is everything my mom, the minister and friends had been drillng in to me. I never saw myself as black hearted or fallen from grace. My worry about becomng so kept me from opening up. now am being told in a group to heal us broken people my problem is I am not with God.

My friends listened to the youtube video and told me its the most untasteful video anyone could have given knowing my story, they tried to console me but was unable to get that song out of my mind and that someone who befriended me was telling me I am displeasging god .. If I was with God I would have no tears. my whole prolbem is my black heart and that am away from grace.

I don’t feel one has to be inside a building to talk to God since He is everywhere and I really dont know what I believe any more since all the people of god who shoould support are reopening and salting my wounds.

I am ok now .. but still shaken.. the admin said she was so sorry she hadnt seen the video. Me being musically gifted and loving music listened to it and now it haunts me..


Kia, OMG

that is horrible, blaming a survivor of any kind for all of their problems…. you are right, WORST possible taste on the part of your associate [present or former]. under privacy settings, you can change who is able to post on your wall. I customized mine long ago, as I can be pretty outspoken on many hot-button topics. And on others, I use between an ounce and a pound of discretion….

have had enough criticism from mother, I have little tolerance of it from anyone else either. There is a very important set of prerequisites for “constructive” criticism : ONE, they must first listen, and ask with clear intent to understand, not merely to cherry pick flaws in logic or point fingers at character flaws, that will earn them a boot out the door.

TWO, no platitudes or pulling irrelevant quotes out of a jar…. THREE, they are not welcome to suggest in ANY manner, how I “should” behave, think, feel, live, believe, etcetera. FOUR: must show EMPATHY. This is why this Forum is soooo deeply appreciated. People who actually CARE. sorry for ranting, I relate to the feelings of hurt and anger when others tell us they know best what is wrong with us, and all will be right in our world if we just did what they [ask, suggest, yell, blackmail, demand, insinuate….]

that really burns me when people do that because their version of reality does not allow for our feelings to be valid on their own merits. GRRRRR….. that so-called “friend” has overstepped their bounds.
hope you feel better soon.


oh Joy! I’m so sorry this happened to you! I can so relate though. when i was 16 the preacher of the cult i left later, got up and preached at us by name… he then used a song, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”, to get his point across. I hate that song with a passion. Anyway, last night i was singing in the band of my new church and that was one of the songs… i know they did not know my history with that song, so i was ok with that but, i did sit out on it. I fought the images and words that returned to haunt me as though it was yesterday. All i could see was Brad (cult leader) standing in front of us saying that he mourned to us and now he was going to pipe to us. he said that he was piping God’s love – that was sooooo twisted up and so not love. and then they sang that song as part of the call to me to “submit and repent”. And yes, Joy, I’m still shaken too. Yes, these things are what they tell us. Yes, it hurts, but Joy, you are so much more than that. I fully believe you are so much more “in God” than they are. I was told all those things. I was cursed to hell when I left my family. It is my experience that the extremely “religious” people who were/are in my life are the most abusive and least understanding you will ever find. they are going to hurt you the most. Oh, Joy, your friends are so right about that video. You are right about God also. I am there too. Give yourself time to find out what you believe. I care about you, Joy.
Ian, thank you. THANK YOU! you just validated me. I was blamed for my mother’s bad health, when in reality i had nothing to do with it. if anything it could be the other way around. She had some things that are highly hereditary that she passed on to me. I’m now gluten-intolerant for one. Me, who said that i’d never go on a diet. Well, i am. those images and words are so hard to get out of my head. The hurt is so deep that it is hard to work through.


oops, confused Kia and Joy… SO SORRY for my oversight. you were responding to Kia, and I mistook….. was for you Joy. [and anyone else in forum that relates to that situation]


can relate to dietary issues too. I am celiac, TOTALLY get you Kia. hugs.


@ Ian
I have actually deleted and blocked that person from being my friend.. Really dont need more people putting me down in my life; I have quite a number doing so.. allowing people to do so on facebook would not be healthy for me. I am also trying to be less into the private chats and more into the general walls while of f/b as many things are too intense for me and are not helpful for my progress in healing…Thank you for all you suggestios..


Thank you.. my heart is pretty sore as a resulst of that music .. and have been playing other songs trying to make it go away from my mind but it wont go away yet.maybe because that stuff has been shouted …texted..and emailed me for so long..

I myself should be more careful as I am just beginnig and all opened up am so easy to be hurt by almost anything. I have to be the one to not go near places that are going to hurt me. I keep thinking i have put up enough boundaries..surely nothing more can go again.

Thank you Kia for encouraging and affirming me . it means so very much.

I know it must have been hard for your young age to be humiliated the way you were before all. Glad you are no longer in that situation any more..

hugs to both you and Ian..



I had an “ah ha” moment! (as Oprah called it) I’m new to this site and do feel that I get help from it. I am sometimes too busy to open and read each posting, but last night I happened across a post that really hit home with me. I came from a home of neglect, absolutely no show of affection from either parent, and being told that nobody likes me. In spite of growing up in this environment, I am now a 65-year old woman who strives to take the best care that I can for my 85-year old mother who has a fairly large net worth. It is to the point that my two sisters think that I must be getting something from my mother to make all of this worthwhile. Seriously, the only thing I have ever gotten from all of this is my mother did buy me a tank of gas last month. They have retained legal counsel and are demanding that I submit all banking, and investment records, etc. They hope to have my Power of Attorney removed.

Last night I happened to come across a comment on this site where someone was talking about the need to feel valued by the parent. Ah, ha! It is exactly what I feel! I do all of this so that, at some point, I will feel that I have value.

Even beyond the 13 years since my father passed away I have taken on care for my mother. At her doctor’s request I attend each visit with her, I’ve moved her into a care facility near my home and I provide all care with medications, insulin injections, laundry, miscellaneous shopping needs, increased emergency pain care for a newly developed Sciatic situation, management of her three rental homes (painting, cleaning, contracts, rent collection, utility/insurance/taxes payment, as well as over-all financial investments and personal bill paying, etc. Silly as this sounds, I do the same for her live-in male friend too.

There have been many times that I am alone and in tears as I am performing these chores. It feels so “alone”. But, why do I continue? I’ve expressed my feelings to my sisters with no reply – only that they don’t like to do these things. I’ve talked with my mother and asked her to help me to involve the other two daughters with her care. Her reply is, “I’m not getting involved.” I’ve been so frustrated – yet continue to do these things.

Why? My husband has suggested many times that I gather up all of my mother’s files, etc., take them to her and tell her that I’m finished. I know that it would set me free to do things that I would like to do – vacation, golf, … But, I can’t bring myself to do it.

In 1996 my husband of 30 years left me for another younger woman that he had met on his job. Again, my feeling of value went out the window.

I’ve finally seen the light. I’m desperately wanting to feel valued. Although there is little question in my mind that a judge would see no reason, it would probably be in my favor if a judge did take away my Power of Attorney! The threats from my sisters only addd to my feelings of worthlessness. But, now that I think I have identified my problem, what do I do to fix it? I have felt the lack of value as far back as I can remember. How do I help myself to feel valuable?


Kia, Joy and Ian,
Great conversation.. I love the support that is going on here! One of the things that I realized that helped me in relation to the whole mean people putting me down, hinting at me and trying to control me is that they are part of the sick system and are brainwashed by it possibly worse then we are!
When I took my life back, (a couple years into the process of healing by realizing the truth and drawing my boundaries) I noticed that people stopped doing this kind of thing to me. I stopped associating with the really blatant ones and everyone else ~ I think they knew they couldn’t get away with it anymore or something. But it was really about ME realizing that I did not deserve that and that something is wrong with people that have to put other people down this way. As my self esteem went up, my boundaries went up. The stronger that I got, the more respected that I have become. It is kind of a cool progression.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Barbara,
The truth is Barbara that you should be drawing a salary for all of this! Instead of having your power of attorney removed, maybe this will backfire on them!

Your question is huge but has a very simple answer. You asked “how do I help myself to feel valuable” and there really is only ONE answer. Value yourself. Realize all that you do and that you deserve to be respected and honoured. The goal is to learn to honour, respect, acknowledge and love yourself. Realize that your sisters are wrong and your mother takes advantage of you. You continue because you hope deep down that your mother is going to one day say “thank you, you are a wonderful daughter” but even if she does it will not erase all the pain, (although we think it will)
There is only one answer to how I helped myself feel valuable and that is knowing that I am. And like I write all the time, that is not done overnight, but through the process of seeing how things REALLY are and have been, we can expose the lies and see the truth.

Thanks for sharing Barbara!
Hugs, Darlene


It’s me, Barbara, again! I’m really trying to rid myself of the martyr feeling. It can’t be the whole world against me. I thought I would tell another story of something I learned about myself recently.

If any of you recall my previous posts – neglected, no affection. No physical abuse though.

We always knew that my mother had given a child for adoption. This was a result of an affair she participated in when I was 10 years old. She hid the pregnancy well and I didn’t know until she told me when I was about 17 years old. She refused to talk about it or answer any questions.

Since December of last year, she fell and broke her arm. She went to a rehab nursing home for a while. She lived about 25 miles from me at the time and I convinced her to move to a care facility which is very near my home so I could better care for her. My two sisters and myself then cleared out her home and prepared it to be rented (per her wishes). In this process I, very accidentally, came across her address book and many torn pieces of paper envelopes with addresses and phone numbers. I thought I would do her a favor and fix her address book up for her. I came across a name, a date, and a notation, “confidential, court-appointed intermediatory.” Something told me that it was about the adoption. I called the person and she filled me in on the details – the child had contacted my mother, wanted further contact with her – wanted information pertaining to her background. My mother refused.

My two sisters and I had always talked about one concern: We all felt that we had compromised availability for education beyond the basic high school. What would this person, who we assumed had all the advantages of life that any parents could give, have done with their life?

I’m 65-years old. After several conversations with the intermediatory I concluded that I am grown up and entitled to my own desires. I wanted to have contact but wanted to protect my mother. It would likely be very painful for my mother to remember and talk about this.

Well, the adopted child was delighted to meet with me. We had a great visit. She convinced me that she had no desire to even meet my mother – only wanted information. Basically, she always wondered what life would have been for her if she were not adopted.

The conclusion — we both had similar adult lives. Her adopted parents were very loving and supportive of her but had meager finances. They were not the very professional people that I had imagined that could afford to give her everything. We actually worked in the same profession — airline industry. She had lived next door to my cousins (from my father’s side). She showed me pictures of her birthday parties where my cousins were there. LOL

Lesson learned — It was me that made my lifestyle. I can be proud that I pulled myself up to be where I am today – a very self-supporting, contributing member of society. It wasn’t my parents’ fault at all.

And, the future relationship with the adopted sister? Nothing. She has a family and a sister. She’s happy with them. We’ll probably be somewhat distant friends in the future. She told me that she got the information from me – more than she ever thought she would get. I even prepared a current video of my mother talking to me about her family background. I felt very good that I could help the sister.


Thank you so much, Darlene, for your reply. I can see my value and know it. But the record keeps playing in my head that my mother even told me as a child that I had no value. The closest that she can come to make me feel valuable is telling me that individual friends tell her how lucky she is to have me. But it’s the part that she won’t stick up for me to my sisters that gets to me. For the past years she’s even “joked” to them about how bossy I am and how controlling I am. I try to tell her that it hurts my feelings that she would talk about me in that way but she laughs and says that it just a joke.

This is the second letter that I’ve received from yet another attorney. I think I may have finally gotten my mother’s attention that I really have nothing to lose if my Power of Attorney is taken away — she will lose! She did call the sister that sent the letter, left a message on her phone, if this continues she will change her will and leave that sister’s share to a charity. I did feel support for the first time in my life. I think we’re really asking for war now! This is a pretty large sum of money.

But, the concern is — I need to help MYSELF feel valuable.


Thank you Darlene

I know its important to see me as valuable. I know its hard .. I may be going through exercises that I have been given last therapy for telling myself positive things about me but I still need to get to feeling what I am saying..really believing it ..

I look in the mirror ..say the nice things my T has asked me to work on nice things to me and I burst out laughing.yea so wonderful.. all this stuff happened to me. . … what so wonderful about that..\

I go in circles complimenting myself and hearing the past voices saying if you are so wonderful.. why were you so abused..why didnt someone rescue you as a child etc etc..

I am truly trying to improve. got my boundaries up and all but . .deleting the taped messages from so many years is no easy task..



Joy, those people on FB are not your best friends. Best friends don’t hurt each other that way. Best friends understand that sometimes you are doing the best you can in working through your issues whatever those issues are.

I have recently come to the conclusion that people who are not themselves survivors of abuse just don’t have a clue as to what we feel or what hell we sometimes go through to heal. Some people are just mean in what they call their efforts to help. They aren’t helping at all in telling you to “get over it” or “just let it go” and the worst, in my opinion, telling you that you “have to forgive.”

For years, I asked God to do my forgiving for me until I could be in a place to do it myself. Forgiveness doesn’t happen at the beginning of your healing journey. Forgiveness happens after you have felt all of the pain, grief, hatred, self-loathing and hurt and let go of all of them by learning to love yourself. Once you can love yourself, you can start to forgive yourself for all of the lies that you believed as a child when you didn’t know they were lies.


Hi Patricia,
And I will add one more thing to you excellent comment; sometimes survivors are so scared to look at the truth about thier own childhoods, that they can’t stand for anyone else to even hint that they had a dysfunctional and painful one too. SO they do anything they can to shut you down. This is all part of the same sick system created when children are not loived in the true definition of love and not taught that they have value.
And don’t even get me started on the forgivness thing!! LOL
Hugs, Darlene



The thing is the video was not about forgiveness and I dont think I have arrived at a point of feeling anger towards my family..since I only recently let go of hoping they would change.. I don’t hate the ..I dont hate my mom..

The video was about me. personally being in sin and having a black heart.. nothing about anyone else..

I cannot understand how I can have a black heart since I have tried everything I could think to make peace even though I never had to.. it wasnt me who did wrong.. I just am not who my mom wanted..

I agree they are not my best friends and for me . I have deleted and blocked htem from my list but the damage already has been done.

As a child, I was told God wanted me to suffer in silence all the abuse..even the really bad things .. mom and bro did .. when i was six and confided to a priest was pushed aside and I was told never to speak of it as that would displease God..

Nuns told me to suffer in silence .that I was becoming a saint.. they gave me free access to books that taught me to be quiet to become a saint..

So when I finally learned that this was not right .. I was confused. .Why would people close to God tell me to be quiet and suffer silently..Allow myself to be more and more broken . .. its still hard to detach myself from the old way . I went to church daily…

If it was just isolated to my childhood I would say it was just that particular church but then again when I was needing the help in 2009 I was told to let things go. ..And when I asked help to the priest. .his response .. you got yourself into the mess get yourself out..

SO right now . .I am not able to handle hearing i have a black heart or am fallen from grace. since I have always tried to love God and though i was programmed wrong . i offered my sufferings and abuse to God. ..i just can not believe my heart is blackened..

If not going to a building to talk to god is sinful and blackens my heart then they are right.but I do good for people I try to cheer people ..i talk to god like anyone else just have given up the idea that sitting in a building will get me closer to God.. I think God is sitting inside each of our hearts so thats not so far at tall.

Patricia maybe am yet to get to the hating part and the anger part..perhaps i have to come to believe its ok to be angry about it .but i am doing all I can to heal.. I think. I try to do all I am told .. I do forget thing. .but thats because my mind is full of stuff..and am tired most time.

I appreciate your words Patricia and of course that of our good friend Darlene’s .


Hi Joy,
I hope you realize that these people are just plain wrong, and that you could not possibly have a black heart because they decided that. NO ONE can tell you that you are IN SIN. No one has that right.
It sounds like EVERYONE lied to you. The priest told you that speaking of it would displease God? What kind of God does he worship? The nuns told you that suffering in silence would prepare you for sainthood! Teaching children that EVEN GOD does not care about them?? this is sick.
Along the way on this journey Joy, I found the truth about God. He is not who I was taught he was. All of this is lies. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that. Keep hanging in here!
Hugs, Darlene


Joy, you do not have a black heart. You have a badly abused heart, body and soul.

hate spiritual abuse. It is so much harder to fight against when church people tell you to be quiet and don’t speak about something like sexual abuse when you are just a child or even a young adult. I do not for a minute believe that God believes that you have a black heart. My God is a God of love who cries real tears when his little children are hurt.

The person with the black heart is the one who sent you that video. If they really didn’t know what it said, they shouldn’t have sent it to you. People who use the Bible, God and spirituality to control and hurt others, those are the ones with the black hearts.

You were a helpless victim. You were blameless. You were a child that someone else abused. From what you said, you are in a stage of numbness with your emotions. I did that for years before I knew that I had to feel to heal. Don’t punish yourself for where you are and don’t let others punish you either for speaking your truth. The feelings will come when you are stronger.

Keep taking care of yourself and keep reading blogs of other survivors like Darlene’s that will help you to grow. Many of the people who comment on here have their own healing blogs as well. You can click on their names and it will take you to their blogs. My own blog is called Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker where I blog about my experiences as an incest survivor who is on the road to healing. I am glad that you are here.


Those people need help. But it is not OUR responsibility to provide it, it is our job to get well and get away from the abuse. Then, we can find happiness. Even have moments of it along the way. Which I did not think was possible before getting treatment. 99 % of it was with NO drugs. They did not work for me.



That is one thing I dont believe, I don’t believe i have a black heart or do I believe I am in sin because they decide I am in.. I understand all you are saying. ..I have been badly programmed for so long I sometimes am unsure of things. .about what is right and wrong. .I know wrong but some things that were taught in the name of God have confused me much . I appreciate you reaching out and appreciate everyone else too..

Receiving that video with my first and last name on it publicly was so humiliating . .especially after listening to it . .i was ashamed to go back to that group. . but after thinking .. am not feeling that way nay more and I thank you .

THank you too..The person who sent it did listen to it as she came and posted under my video i posted “how can anyone ever tell you .you are anything but beautiful” that she gave me that video so i realized how much I need to get reconnected with GOd. etc.etc etc. Which told me she did know what she was doing which crushed me again..
I know I couldnt defend myself in any of the abuses s/a e/a or p/a ..I had no way too. and even now I am afraid of my mom’s power. .
I will be visiting you blog too so thank you for posting.

Darlene and Patricia .i do appreciate your responses thank you…even though it happened Friday evening its still is in my mind and i have played many many youtubes. I think because it so closely matched everything the abusive people have been saying all along. ..that i am the sinner and in need of change. that its holding on to memories i havent healed yet..


To sanction abuse in the name of God, is SICK. the sanction of pedophilia is even worse. [referring to international news items] Anyone who does that is not our friend. You will heal someday Joy. Be good to yourself. This is something we all deserve. We know the pain, and are with you.


Hi Joy, I’m glad you don’t believe you have a black heart or are the sinner. I hate spiritual abuse and I hate how God and His name get misused. The only change you need to do is to undo all of that crass programming and heal and that takes time! And when you get triggered like you did with that video it takes some recovering from. I’m just glad you’re here because this is a really supportive community.


I agree is sick and its something very normal for the faith I have chosent to leave and yes I agree that person was not a good friend..perhaps they thought they were being a friend and trying to save my soul. I Know it didnt do anything positive though for me.I Trust I will heal all in due time I have an EXCELLENT Psychologist.. so in time.. I am so grateful to Ian and everyone here..its nice here..

It would be foolish for me to believe them when I dont know of anything I did to get it blackened..I will recover from the vidoe but I agree with you it will take a little time..Am so glad to be here with all you ..i agree its a very very supportive community here. thank you all



@ Joy,

welcome. I’m glad for this forum too. [thanks, Darlene]


Wow, I love to read the support that is happening between all of you in this blog! I am so blessed!
When I can’t keep up with all the comments I know that you guys / girls are all going to support each other. So healing, so validating, you are all so wonderful!
Hugs, Darlene


I have been reading the posts on the video and about the black hearts we may have for abandoning God.
So who is God, why did he let it happen?
My question all these years was “Were was god when it was happening?”

Its the abusers who were disconnected from the God within themselves.They are the ones who have failed to stay in balance, act in a godly loving caring way, instead of project their own hurt and pain onto us.
And as we heal from our wounds, we become nearer to God within ourselves.
Whoever God is to you, me, us.

Penelope Cake


I can tell you what I believe; God has nothing to do with this. This is all man’s doing. God hates it. I believe that God is broken hearted by all that happens in this world, but I can’t blame God for not stopping it. People have free will and ours was taken from us be others. We were powerless to stop their sick choices.

I love what you wrote here: “Its the abusers who were disconnected from the God within themselves.They are the ones who have failed to stay in balance, act in a godly loving caring way, instead of project their own hurt and pain onto us.
And as we heal from our wounds, we become nearer to God within ourselves.
Whoever God is to you, me, us.”


Penelope Cake

I was the one who received the hand picked video and it is still a very sore spot as its what the abuser parents friends church said to me when telling me to let go of things “o sister what has happened to your mind . .you once were so stable.. Why have you fallen from grace.. your blackened heart will soon be free” ..

I don’t know where God was when all this happened and its still a very big problem for me. .where was he when i called to him and his church in 2009 ..

I should have died when mom put the pillow over me and tried to smother my life out .I should have died when she threw me in the tub of hotwater. .or when she had me in the window as police came in and she had scissor in my neck. .. I “should have” but did not ..some how I think it was God or and angel or someone who saved me every time ..really of all three under the pillow i should have died..

I found that video so heart rending as I have tried my hardest to be good all my life and it was never good enough for my mom . She has never liked me no matter what I did and that song reminded me of her last words to me on the phone that I was going to hell that ..that I have cut myself from god. how.. by simply saying I need to heal…

I have asked myself a hundred times since hearing that song . how can anyone think my heart is black.but they do.. its a sad thing that people who claim to be friends say i have a black heart…


Your mother is wrong. She lied to save her own skin. If you are going to hell, where is SHE going???? People are sick. Who ever posted a video with that message to you is sick.
Thank you for your courage in sharing these horrible traumatic events with myself and the readers. My goodness, the things people live through!
Love and gentle hugs.


Anyone who says another has a blackened heart. Is coming from their own narrow mindedness and pre-conditioned selves as we are al born free of religoius beliefs.
It is them that need to open their minds and heart to the pain of another inners world. But then some people make comments like that just to dismiss what they dont understand or desire to know.
They are projecting their beliefs and limitations onto you.

Penelope Cake


@Darlene :

Yes she told me I was going to hell as did several other members of my family. .and the person who posted that video was a christian person .. She told me I needed to get connected to God. I can get my thinking straight. Thank you for the gentle hugs . i havent had many hugs in my life so do appreciate them even the virtual ones 😉 Joy

@Penelope Cake.
I thank you again . .I agree they need to become more intune to other’s pain. I dont know what is in their heart but if their actions are reflecting whats there it doesn’t appear too good..



Something that helped me a lot was realizing that just because someone says something doesn’t mean it is true. she “said” she was a christian…
your mother “said” you were going to hell. looks like both of them were lying!


My connection to God has always been a part of me and whether others can see that connection or not, it is none of their business. So much abuse goes on in the name of God and religion. I would not want to be those people at the end of their lives when they come face to face with all of the damage that they have done to others.


YIKES ~ I totally agree with you. I used to have a fantasy that I would get to watch and even stand beside God as he validated me to the ones who put me down, said I was nothing, didn’t protect me and harmed me. It was not a pretty picture, the way that they were dealt with… 😉
Hugs, Darlene



Thank you so much .. it hard for me to understand why people lie to me all the time . .. but i believe you that they are lying as I trust you .thank you : I would love them there to be there when I get into heaven ..but i wouldnt want to watch where they go to.


I agree it irkes me how much religion is used to hurt people has left me hurting something bad. I too wouldnt want to be in their shoes before God and though they hurt me bad I wouldnt want to push the button that sends them to hell. I wish people wouldnt have to be so mean and end up there.



Now I must come back here. to say the person who posted that video reacted to some poems. She made a turn around and said she is crying for not realizing what she had did ..that she didnt take the time to know me or my story and that she foolishly put the video and she said she was sorry and asked me to forgive her.

I told her I was waiting to forgive her and hoping she would stop to read the story I had posted. She apologized publicly for what happened and said publicly she has burst into tears over the poem depicting my childhood pain..

I am not one to hold a grudge and this is a sad story turned around . I forgive and so I feel peace.. she put her response under this poem..

In My Heart I Am Just A Child

In my heart I am just a child
longing to be free
Wanting to be friends with all
wanting to be me
In my heart I wont grow up
I’ll always be a child
Fascinated with simple things
running free and wild

In my heart I’m just a child
seeking nothing more
Then to enjoy the secret things
creation has in store
I don’t care about lofty things
or what other people say
My happiness comes from loving all
there is no other way.

Joy Pachowicz

I am sure glad she come to see. and glad I can forgive.


ps the above poem is not the painful poem its only the poem she apologized under



this is the turning poem for my former critic: that gave me the painful video; please bewared its painful

I was just a little girl

I was just a litle girl
but broken up inside
All the hurts i covered
And carefully tried to hide
The teachers they all saw me
With bruises black and blue
I wanted to cry out but
didnt know what to do
they asked me all the questions:
why and what and who
So I shook and I trembled,
was frightened: through and through
I knew I had to answer and
i knew I had to tell
Because i did mom beat me
I was hurting, stuck in hell
My mom was very angered
and cursed upon that day
when the people come to take us,
take us all away
Then they brought us back,
to our awful home again
beatings, slaps, and
abuses once more did begin
I’m much older now..
but still so small inside
ready to start uncovering
all the wounds I had to hide
painfully opening up
to the gifted caring one
who can calm that little child
who was once too afraid to run.


Thank you for sharing your beautiful poems, as haunting as it is, it is wonderful to have community with other. Thank you for sharing this victory too. We all want for others to really realize that they are wrong and sometimes they do! yay.
Hugs, Darlene


Joy, no dunce cap for you, young lady. Most of us do the one step forward, two steps back in the beginning. Then you move forward to two steps forward and one step back. Then you move forward for awhile and then have an occasional misstep but you continue moving forward and you learn to not be so hard on yourself because you are making progress. You strive for progress, not perfection. Perfection is just a way to beat ourselves up which we don’t need to do any more. You are here and on FB and you are talking. Those are big steps from hiding in the silence of abuse. You are to be congratulated on being here and speaking. Not everyone gets here to this step.



Well I always hope for the best in people and sometimes they do change. .;) THank you for all your kind words, good example and constant encouragement Darlene: I so appreciate you




I understand.. today 2 step backwards..tomorrow 2 steps forward…I think f/b has some problems with delayed posting .I see i have messages and then go to them and they are not there for 5 minutes sometimes..I dont want to perfect but want to be at peace with everyone and am learning that is not always possible. Thank you for encouraging me. . i know am making some big steps..sometimes i fail to see the steps am making I appreciate you Patricia.



Joy, very often, we are too close to see the progress we are making. I know how hard taking those steps can be because I have taken my own steps toward healing. There is a lot of confusion especially in the beginning. You are appreciated too.



Thank you again . i know there is lots of confusion..Los of fog busting to be done as Darlene says..;) Good to have people around who already know what can be expected in the fog..;) I am so grateful for all your help and kindness Patricia.



[…] Mother’s day, I have been writing a lot about specific ways that I was devalued, defined as unworthy and treated […]


Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to send a note about my fathers day post ~ the other half of the parent equation!

You can read it here:


My Mother was verbally cruel and all my lifem she continually told me how she hated me and was sorry i was ever born. She never physi8cally abusedf me except to slap me acrossd the face when she was mad. It really stung. Her mother my Grandmother diud that she gave me bloody noses almost every day! Nobody did. (this a long time ago)
My mother is dead now, Thank God! but she lived to be almost 90!
Even at 87 she still told how much I ruined her life by being born! (I was llegimate) I hope there is no after life bnecausde I never want to see her ugly face again! I still crin ghe when ever I even thin k about her . I hopem she is in hell! suffering


that is HORRIBLE….. no child deserves such abuse…. and no parent deserves to get away with it !!!!
This is not Sparta, and not outer Mongolia !!!! sorry you had such torment growing up, and glad you are here, good people in this community, we all understand [in our own ways] what you endured all these years. may the rest of your days be happier than what she put you through. hugs.


Hi Patti
Welcome to EFB. This kind of verbal/psychological and emotional abuse does just as much damage as any other kind of abuse. It tears a person down, it destroys self worth and self esteem. This is exactly the kind of devaluing and discounting that I am talking about in this website.. Facing it was what set me free to re-build my self worth and take my life back.
Thank you for adding your voice here.
Hugs, Darlene


After i left my abusive husband, through out my adult life, i attempted to fit in to the “normal” world. But, what was normal? i wondered what does a life of peace feel like.. As a child, growing up being abused, i didnt have the knowledge of what normal was. Apart of me thought that “normal” was what my mother tried to portray to the world when i was a child… Perfection, then, was “normal”? where was peace if perfection? I really wasn’t sure. But i stumbled through.. hoping, soon i would say, and now i feel peace, normal. The abuses as a child, the rape when i was a teenager, The abuse from my childrens father, all added up to me just feeling lost, confused, hurt and alone and so very far from peaceful. I also couldn’t take time just being single, to focus on myself and my children… As normal people want to be with people, so if i wasn’t with someone, people would think there must be something so wrong with me, that no one wanted to be with me… so, i always had to be in a relationship… I lost a lot of who i was, or just never found who i was, because with each relationship, my focus was to be whoever that person wanted or needed me to be.. In short, even if i was in a relationship with a non abusive person, i pretty much turned them into an abusive person by my actions… hmm.. no that didn’t come out right.. in a relationship, i still acted as an abused person, i always bowed to their wants or needs, tried to be who i thought they wanted me to be, always deferred to them, didn’t make decisions, for fear it would be the wrong one, always wanting them to make the decisions… in doing so, i was not the mom my children needed and deserved, they in turn could not find peace… i didn’t parent the way i would have parented, mainly due to the fact that i did not have the strength, the strong base of who i was, in order to trust myself to be a good parent. So i parented how my partner felt i should. Which was so unfair to my children.. It messed them up, messed me up.. i failed my children, just as i was failed. That is my biggest regret, the thing that keeps me from peace.. is that i didn’t parent my children, did not show my children the love they deserved to feel.. I look back at the last 15 years with such regret and guilt, for not being strong enough, healthy enough to raise my children the way i would have if i had stayed single til i was healthy and peaceful enough to handle being in a relationship while still mothering them the way i should have. I love my children more then life… it hurts me that i allowed this to happen to our relationship.. I now stay single, by choice.. i am happy being alone… I know i cannot make up for what i did and didn’t do in the past.. but i can openly love them how i choose to now.. and now that i am a grandmother, i will not let anything get in the way of me grandmothering the way i want to and feel i should. I will not let anything get in between me and the time i spend with her, nothing and no one will ever take me or my attention away from her or my children again… And as i do this, i am also learning more and more of who I am, what i like to do. I am finally taking the time to say, yes, its ok to be single if i want to be, there is nothing wrong with that me for choosing this.. there is nothing wrong with wanting to love my children the way i love them, there is nothing wrong with me wanting to love my granddaughter the way i love her… there is nothing wrong with me, wanting to love me and learn more about me… It has taken me years to get here.. but i think maybe, just maybe the day will come when i can say.. and then there was peace…


Thanks for sharing that, Kelly. So many common elements in my life story. Like you, my biggest regret is parenting the kids according to how my ex-husband wanted me to. I could never stand up to him, and they were frustrated that they were not protected. I justified by saying that if we didn’t honor him as head of the house, then we weren’t doing the right things in God’s eyes. I also thought that if I ever stood up to him, he would not back down and we would have to part ways, and since we had been taught that divorce is not the way out, I couldn’t go there. But we parted ways in the end, because there was no way we could continue and live. It’s always been either his way or the highway. He still wants his family back, but doesn’t understand the effect his abuse had. He thinks he has changed but doesn’t understand the core of abuse. Faulty thinking.

I think the best way to make it up to the kids is to wholly reclaim who I am. To be the best me I can be. I don’t need to cater to anyone. They cannot use me as a scapegoat and bully me because they think I can take it or that I deserve it. If I play that role, then it is still the same role as before and it is not doing them any favors. They, too, need to direct their rage at the right target and reclaim who they are.

Thank you Kelly for your story of your relationships. It further cements my desire not to re-partner. I am very happy to be single and for me, there is no stigma. I used to think it was an awful thing, being a single mother, but I think it’s just a picture or label society has propagated. I am so much more independent and free. I still have the ex-husband breathing down my neck, but at least we are not living in the same house.


Hi Kelly
I love your message ~ this is so inspirational! We can only move forward from where we are at. I also had a huge problem with believing that other people defined me, that if I was alone, it meant that no one valued me and therefore I was not valuable. In fact I am in the process of writing a new blog post about this very thing! Finding myself and healing has made the biggest difference in my relationships with my kids. I have regrets too, but I live differently today and that is the most important thing.
Thank you for this post today!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Krissy
YES! Wholly reclaim who you are; yes.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] I don’t miss her disappointment or her false definition of love that wrapped around the whole Mothers day, birthday, and Christmas gift giving […]


The gift thing is bonkers isn’t it. It’s like life is all about walking the tight rope with my mum. I recall several painful occasions where I had chosen a gift for her and had her basically turn her nose up while looking down it at me and scoff.

When I was about 5 I brought her a blown glass fish ornament. I’ll admit it was kinda ugly (now that I look back) but mum hated it, and made that clear. As a newly out of the home teenager I made her a card full of photos and gushy statements (I admit I wrote them for her benefit and to pelase her, they were all things I knew she thought I SHOULD feel but I didn’t feel them in my heart)she looked at me like I’d slapped her and she was wondering if this really was IT. She’s actually kept this card and trotted it out to me recently to show she’d kept it…that was nice I guess…funny that I only saw it as ‘that card I made to shut her up on Mothers day’.

Then later on in life working minimum wage and living in a rented property by myself I had stretched myself to buy her what I thought was a beautiful broach. Silly me – it was made of silver and paua and she hated it. She looked blankly at me and then said, you know I hate paua…I thought she hated paua jewellery, as in necklases and earrings. I’d picked it because she’s into wearing flouncy scarves and the colours she tends to wear I thought would look really pretty wih the broach. She told me to take it and get my money back. EFF YOU I THOUGHT.

I’ve always had trouble buying her presents and I always felt anxious handing them over. Thankfully really this is no longer an issue. She doesn’t buy me presents anymore for my birthday or christmas because she says ‘it means I don’t feel pressured to buy her anything’ – I know it’s actually because she hated the gifts I was giving and didn’t feel they measured up the ‘quality gifts’ she could afford to buy for me.

What’s odd about the gift thing too is that I was trained to NOT show any kind of less than rapturous reaction to any gifts I got. So it was ok for her to behave like a mean spirited ungrateful bitch but I better bloody not do the same!

As I sit here I realise that I feel sad and a bit hard done by that my mummy ‘doesn’t want’ to get me even a small token of a gift for atleast my birthday…then I hear her voice in my head saying words to the effect of “If you expect things you won’t get them” and “If you ask for things you won’t get them, you should just wait until maybe we want to get you that thing” (mindreaders eh? No wonder I have trouble asserting my desires and explaining what I like or want at times.) oh and then there’s the other messages I got about myself – I’m selfish, self centered, spoilt, have a sense of entitlement and I’m ‘very lucky to have what I had – she didn’t have the lovely things I had when she was a child’.

Darlene this part of your post struck me right in my core…

“I hate that I think about my reaction so much that I don’t actually have a spontaneous reaction.”

I feel just the same about any gifts I get (which is not many so the practise is not as regular as needed to fix this ;P ) and it’s awful.

I feel my anger rising again. 2012 is going to be an interesting, tough and I hope healthy year.

BTW Sherie here – wanting to protect myself as I sort through all this and gear up to do the work required. I could just imagine the fall out if mother got hold of this website and twigged that I’m her Sherie’


Actually on another note – how’s this grab you?

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 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…


I know it’s an older post and it’s nowhere near mothers day yet but I’ve been battling a memory from mothers day recently which still holds so much pain.

I remember this so clearly, I must have been about six and my little brother about three and the two of us were secretly making mothers day breakfast. How I worried and fretted I’d get it all wrong (had no clue what we were doing in the kitchen) well, I say ‘we’ the three year old even less so, the only guide was watching the adults do these things before that day.

Anyway, managed to out together instant coffee, cereal and toast with cold meats, put in on a tray, negotiated it up all the stairs without spilling any and was so happy.

Parents ate what was there and then later on that morning I was called into the kitchen where I was told by both of them never ever to touch ‘family’ food again because i was nasty and unwanted and dirty and they would have to throw away any food i had touched in future because i was just a disgusting ‘thing’

The way they explained this so matter of fact and with so much earnest concentration is so so painful even now. It took a while for it to sink in what had just been said to me because of the way it was presented.

Like it was an absolute fact that everyone, including me was well aware of and they were being helpful in pointing it out.

Unbelievable to me even to this day – if I had a child who had made me anything edible I would eat it even if it was less than enjoyable and smile broadly while eating it followed by a shower of praise.

It got worse from there culminating in the declaration that the family dog was now they’re daughter and the other way around.


I’ve been revisiting this article because it is Mother’s Day in 9 days time.

My mind is turning to the cruelty of my mother and how she does not deserve to be called a ‘mother’, she never was a mother.

I’ve reached the point in my healing where I’m able to begin to see that I was not responsible for her dysfunction although she did everything to make me think and believe I was.

There is immense pain and hurt there that my mother was totally incapable of loving or even just accepting me. Nothing can or will ever take that pain away or fill that empty void but at least I am able to begin to understand that it was about her not about me, although it’s going to take some time for that to really filter down deep, it’s a beginning anyway!


Hi R
What your parents did to you makes me sick. I am so sorry that this happened to you. This is exactly what I am talking about when I talk about the messages that we get, that get stuck in our belief system until we face them as the lies they are and get them out.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Fi
I know that pain well. I don’t know if I will ever comprehend HOW a parent can do this to a child… their own child.
~I have to say that it is hardly present at all any more and quite faint now ~ I filled that empty void for myself. It took time and it was a big process, but there is hope! you are on your way Fi! )
Hugs, Darlene


If you are still around, I have no idea why I didn’t see your comments in December. I am so sorry, if you are still around, I can answer them if you email me. It must have been because it was between christmas and new years and I was so busy. Again, I am sorry
Hugs, Darlene


“Nothing can or will ever take that pain away or fill that empty void but at least I am able to begin to understand that it was about her not about me”

Yes, very true and thanks to this place I’m able to let go of asking the why questions more and more and accept it was never about me but about them. Evil twisted bastards!

Some memories are such that they have really imprinted themselves on me – they are very clear and there is a compulsion in me to air them publicly.

Every time I do share one it lessens its ‘colour’ in my mind and heart, literally like something is being taken off me which is really nice.

I talked about a lot of my history when I was in counselling a couple of years ago but I recounted it all very matter of factly which confused the hell out of my counsellor.

The more she looked at me and pushed the box of tissues at me with an expectant look on her face the more I fought and thought ‘bog off, tear vulture, you’re not getting one salty self indulgent drop out of me’

Rambling now but it’s just so amazing to have finally found the permission I so badly needed to give myself to stop being so detached from it all.

Never thought it would happen to be honest 🙂


It is great to read your shares about how the “lights are coming on” and you feel so much permission ~ that was huge for me too. Finally I could say it, speak the truth without fear of accusation, and without restraint. (well that part too a long while ~ and I used to be pretty scared when I fist started to write publically in this website! I had to keep asking myself what I was afraid of??) For me the detachment was a huge part of dissociation ~ I had disconnected all that stuff from myself. So talking about it was like talking about someone else… It was painful when I re connected and realized HEY that happened to ME!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone!
I want to point out that we have a new page on emerging from broken. I am introducing a new EFB and survivor community event called “Freedom ROCKS” You can read all about it on the freedom rocks about page (button under header graphic) to see what it is, how it came about and how you can participate!

I have also created a new category (called “freedom rocks”) for this event and all the posts, stories and comments will be found in that category. I hope you will check it out. The first post by Larualee is published and can be viewed here:

If you belong to or run a survivor community or if you have a like minded blog of your own, please share this positive and self-empowering event!
Hugs, Darlene


I’ve wondered myself why it is they leave when the daughter finally stands up for herself. At the heart I think it is an energy thing. These “mothers” need relationships where the energy is always coming toward them, feeding them. (In other words, they are takers). The mothers need this to maintain their delusional reality. When/if a daughter outgrows that role of supplier, and demands something more reciprocal, the game is over. The jig is up. The delusional consciousness cannot endure the light of truth or authentic reality. It is too threatening. And so the daughter is cast aside – not being of any real use any longer. And then the mother sets about demonizing the daughter, minimalizing her to the point of being completely inconsequential.


Oh gosh Mothers Day again, (the UK one was in March), mine doesn’t deserve the title ‘mother’. I didn’t even get conditional love, there was no love in my childhood and I had to be ‘good’ in order to be accepted. There were no hugs and I always felt like no-one would put up with me for long, she would say “you’ll wear out your welcome”. I retreated into a fantasy world to try to meet my needs. For the last 8 months I have been telling a clergyman about my background but I keep expecting him to ‘pull the plug’; I have reached a crucial stage now and I keep worrying he’ll say he’s had enough though he tries to re-assure me. I too, realise it’s about her rather than me but this feeling of impending abandonment is awful, the sooner I can self-validate the better. It’s so good that other people on her know what it is like as I often feel like I shouldn’t be complaining.


He Teresa
Very well said! Yes, it has to do with exactly that. It has to do with “ownership” too. This happens in all kinds of relationships. Many of the people that I drew boundaries with walked away from me, as if to say ; if I can’t walk all over you then what is the point??
And that is why it hurts. My mother in fact was saying to me “you are not worth it” ouch.
Thank you for sharing this
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sam
Mothers day is the busiest time for this website of the entire year! (what does that tell you?)
Keep hanging in Sam, self validation is a process but it will happen!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene. It is becoming easier to believe that mother was wrong and I was (am) ok because of a couple of things I remembered today. I recall her talking to my father about me in front of me referring to me as ‘it’ and seeming rather pleased with herself about it – now what kind of a mother does that?, reducing me to the status of ‘it’? I know that happened more than once. Also she told me years ago that “you weren’t an accident, you were a mistake”; at the time I didn’t know what she meant; when I had my daughter I felt like I’d made a terrible mistake as I couldn’t bond with her then so I thought she meant that she had that feeling. However looking at it now it sounds like she was saying my whole life was a mistake and I’m annoyed that my life is a mistake on her say-so, what right does she have to spout such rubbish? Such outrageous stuff makes it easier to see the other lies and easier to believe that there is nothing wrong with me and it’s all to do with her.


OUCH… that is nasty. You are right; she has NO right to define you in any way.
Good work and great insight Sam!!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, my first time on this site. I have to tell you that I am in tears. reading that story and so many comments that I can so very much relate to. It’s painful, it’s a deep pain in the pit of the stomach. My mom has now been passed away for 8 years and I still trying to deal with all the hurt and the lack of a loving mother daughter relationship. I am in counseling and this is the first time I have ever talked about this to anyone other than counselor. I want to say to all of you I truly feel your pain and I am so sorry what you have went through. I struggle daily with the damage. I am unable to have a healthy relationship and and trying so hard to heal and come to terms with a mother that did not love me and did many of the things mentioned in the story. I did honer my mother and was there for her when she was sick until the end because I felt it was the right thing to do and it was. But I never got an apology for the abuse etc … nothing. I dont have any kids of my own and I am 45. I have raised lots of pets and I can tell you I have treated my pets way better than I was treated. I have went back and realized my mom had a disfunctional family and her dad was abusive to her but I just can’t seem to get past allthe hurt. I want to forgive fully, I want that so bad. God Bless you all. Rose


Hi Rose
Welcome to emerging from broken
You have found the right website!! This whole site is about “how” I got over this pain and took my life back. I learned to fill the voids that were left by my parents, I learned to validate the pain that has always been invalidated by everyone, I finally let go of the idea that because my mother didn’t love me, I wasn’t lovable becasue it was about her and not about me but that is only a part of the process. There is so much hope Rose, I hope you keep reading.
Hugs, Darlene


I am that mother. I did not want to be like that. I wanted my family, my whole life I wanted a family. I am so sorry. My heart also is crushed and broken. My tears keep falling. I never meant to hurt my daughter’s NEVER!!! There were times I couldn’t help myself. I responded to the emotions that churned inside of me, I never realized or saw the damage being done. I feel I deserve to be cast off…yet my heart is in a million pieces. I don’t know how we got here or how to heal. But I know I love my daughter’s with all my ability to love. I do not blame them, although they think I do. I do not have great expectations of them beyond what they can truly achieve…but they think they can never please me or that they are never good enough. Truth is that is how I feel. I can never please them and I can never be a good mom. They share my failures with me continually. I am never good enough for them. I tried to change and be for them what they asked and never was it enough. What I realized reading this, is damage is done to souls and hearts without knowing intent. Yet, it courses a lifetime of pain. To my daughter’s I am sorry, I let you down so badly. I was not what you expected a mother to be, I tired to do my best, I had limited tools and no manual. Forgive me all the pain and hurt I have caused you. Forgive me that I too was broken. But know I am proud though you may never hear me say it that you have chosen to break the cycle and make a better life for your children. That hurts so bad to not be with my grandchildren. To be separated, but I understand your reasons and looking at myself agree with them. Try hard I ask you to think of one time, moment, day or event when we laughed together. When we said I love you and really meant it from our hearts. Hold it close to you and may it replace the pain I have caused. Forgive me ….Forgive me.


Hi Laurie
If there is a way to communicate this to your daughters that is what most of the daughters/sons here want. They want to be heard, validated without being asked to understand the parent. I want my mother to really know what happened between us and to see me as a person without her ‘buts’ ~ for me it isn’t that I don’t remember ‘one time’ it is that my mother wants those times that were good to cancel the things that she did that were so discounting. The good will never cancel the bad. They are two separate things and it is the pain and damage that the child needs to have validated. My mother wants the fact that she was ‘broken’ to excuse her.

~The cycle does not have to be broken through separation and no contact. In the case of emotional abuse the cycle can be broken through healing initiated by the parent when the parent sincerely wants resolution and seeks to really hear the son or daughter and to see the pain that they have caused.
I hope that you can communicate that to your daughters. Please be patient as this healing is a long process and the child needs to be allowed to take all the time they need. I admire your admission here.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


I sincerely appreciate your comments Darlene. I have heard my daughter’s and felt the agonizing truths of their anger. I have tried to validate them and admitted to them how wrong I was. Their pain is still to great for recognition of my attempts to try to bridge the ‘wrongs” so for us, I feel the best thing is to bow out of their lives and give them opportunity to heal. I also sent one a link to this site and asked she would send it onward to her sister. My hopes are they will find a place to grow, heal and share.

As for the “broken” mother excusing her behavior, I do not see it as an excuse, but an explanation. If a person knew better, they would do better. I know I was not the mother, my mother was, although she did her best. She lacked things I needed. Most mothers want the best for their children. They often just can’t express it in the best manner. I am sorry that your mother was such a source of pain for you. Only you can decide if it was intentionally evil or just a lack of an ability to express herself appropriately. As for the good to erase the wrong. No that was not my intention or thought pattern when I wrote it. But a balance, yes there were times, I unintentionally hurt my girls, and am now just realizing the depth of their pain, but there were times I tried very hard to be a good mom. I WANTED to be a good mom. I may have been, as far as they are concerned, a bad mom or a mom that didn’t understand them, or a mom that wasn’t ever there for them. But, in my heart, I WANTED to be a great mom! I just failed miserably at it. Thank you for allowing me to express myself.


Dear Darlene,

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday as I was looking for tools that could help me deal with my low self-esteem, which has recently led to anorexia, depression and marital problems. I was struck by how similar our stories are, and this Mother’s Day story reminded me of the time – I must have been about 10 years old – I wrote a poem for my mother and proudly presented it to her on Mother’s Day. She started crying, and asked me why I didn’t think she deserved a real gift like other mothers receive. I was so ashamed that I had managed to upset and disappoint her once again, and I was crushed to hear that the love I had so painstakingly poured out on paper, picking my words carefully and making sure everything rhymed, had no value at all.

Thank you so much for sharing your life and the lessons that you’ve learned, you have no idea how good it feels to hear someone talk about the damage inflicted by emotional abuse. I’ve often wished my mother would have hit me instead of treating me the way she did. People understand physical abuse much more easily than they understand emotional one, and most people don’t seem to think that it’s possible for a mother not to love her children. Well, you and I know different. I will keep on reading your blog as it gives me hope that I too will be able to come to terms with my dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship and make my way towards healing and happiness.


Hi Anna
Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you for your comments! How tragic that your mother couldn’t see the beauty in your poem; a far greater and more valuable gift than one purchased! When my son was 10 he learned to sing and play a song on the guitar for me for mothers day. I was so touched that I cried and he beamed with happiness. It was the most amazing gift!
thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene,

My heart is racing as I type this…still working on not feeling like I’m in “trouble” for speaking my truth. Your words are so validating and healing to read. As far as ‘gifts to Mom’ go, nothing would work. If I somehow arranged to wrap a basket of flowers that had doves and butterflies released when opened she would complain about the bird poop. My mother would (no contact 1.5years) either turn up her nose at the gift or literally give it back to me and say, “You need this more than I do.” I just recently threw away a robe I was using that she had handed back to me one Mother’s Day and bought myself a new one. Wow, that was liberating!!! Now everytime I put my robe on, I wrap myself in love.


Hi Simona
I totally get that “fear reaction” ~ I once had another blog that I published and then hid from the world! I was terrified that my mother would read it. Today I use my birth name and my picture! I have come along way with overcoming the fear of my right to have a voice!
Thank you for sharing here. I celebrate your robe with you! yay
hugs, Darlene

Leaving dysfunction
March 30th, 2014 at 6:56 am

I’ve always wondered why I hate giving gifts because I’m afraid of how people will react or if they will like it. Though I don’t know if it has anything to do with my mom.

I always feel odd when Mother’s Day comes, because my mom is ill but also because we pretend the relationship is ok. It’s the same for Father’s Day as well. I don’t have “those” types of relationships with my parents. It’s sad.

I’m glad you have been able to be healthy for your own family and be an amazing mom to your children. I bet you don’t over correct and spoil them, but be what a mom is supposed to be.

I’m still walking out of the dysfunction and I’ve been married 8 years. Breaking patterns can be quite hard, but it’s doable and I want my kids to have a relationship with me when they are teenagers and adults.

My sisters and I do not have close relationships with our parents. My parents still give us unsolicited advice (my mom gives it on things she doesn’t do herself).

I will be 33 this year, but I don’t feel that old. Thank God I got married or I might still be living in my parent’s basement. I had no goals because my mom made decisions for me. It’s still hard for me to make decisions on my own. I still often feel way younger than my peers and that I’m not as smart. Also feel like no one really wants to hear what I have to say. These are all experiences of rejections from my childhood. Not being heard or not caring to be heard. Not having good grades in school (tried hard for good grades). I must have been a pretty big embarrassment amongst my moms friends (being a mom is a competition). I read my moms journals and she was annoyed with me a lot. She never really knew why… I guess she thought being super critical was a good motivation. Really it crippled me.

You’re not alone, none of you are! We all have some sort of sad childhood experience.


Yow Darlene! I can so feel your pain in this post….. I could have written it myself! In my case, though, we bought mom a beautiful white straw purse that had a box of Whitman chocolates in it. Dad took us shopping, and we could buy whatever. Needless to say, whatever I had a hand in picking out was always wrong …. and this one, like your dishes, was way wrong and the horrible feelings associated with that present are still there…. 55 years later! Hugs to you, Darlene!


Almost every gift I gave mom would be met with a sneer & nasty comments like; “Why did you get me get me this sh**?”…”I hate perfumes &scents”..”I hate flowers..these have bugs!”…”I would never wear THAT!” ..
“I never watch damn TV..(she does!) Asks my sister “DO you want it?..Take it!” ..and she took it. :/
All gifts were given RIGHT back to me with never even a glance to see how shocked & hurt I was from it.
The rest of the visit she would be quietly seething with disgust…..she has been this way. Always.
This type of rejection has been an underlying currant from her my ENTIRE life.
She would tell others relatives or friends what worthless &$*% kids she had while praising their children…..never once her own to this day.
This type of reaction made it unbearable for me to ipen gifts from anyone nor did I want to send them gifts out of fear of what you wrote..that uncomfortable feeling of not having the right reaction was terrifying..even if they did like it I felt uncomfortable. Takes the happiness out of giving & receiving and no one should feel that way. :/
I found myself overly exaggerating my response of thanks to anything given me whether a gift or a card..or a complement..NEVER wanted one person to feel rejected or that I was ungrateful like I had been my whole life.
I now give gift certificates..much less anxiety and plead to not get me anything.
Even sent my mom via email the same..IF she got them in person she would find a reason to hand them right back so I took that chance away from her.
It will be one year since I went no contact other than a one “minute” phone call last week in which I was tricked into calling her so she could “attempt” to get the last word in from my last letter…she didn’t but it allowed me to see my sisters in a much more clearer light & now not speaking to one sister ever again-(found out what “flying monkey” really means!)
Lies upon lies and I can not have that in my life…the absence of ALL that toxic shame & madness has NOT been missed for one second in the last year.
My circle of family & friends are down to a few truly loving & honest ones.
I breathe 10X better leaving the old roles behind & will never be in that position of being dumped on ever again or allowing someone to SUCK the joy out of me!
A friend told me a quote I love..”My scars can’t CHANGE how I see the Sunshine.” 🙂
You have helped me tremendously more than you know Darlene…many heartfelt thanks..sincerely! <3


This made me feel very sad and hurt for you Darlene. I’m always amazed at how I can feel for other people but not for myself. Maybe it’s through feeling for other people we learn to feel for ourselves, I’m not sure but what I do know is that it does connect me to my own feelings.

It brought back my own memories and how I dreaded mother’s day. I tried so hard to make it the perfect day for her but she always found a way to tear it all down and I would feel like crap. She had this uncanny way of making me feel like the worst daughter. I could never get things just right for her and it made gift giving more of a chore that a joy.

I can see more clearly now why buying gifts for people stresses me out. I feel awkward receiving them as well as giving because I don’t know how to respond in a natural way. Like you I think so much about how I “should” react instead of just letting myself relax and just be.

Unlearning behaviour is so challenging but it’s worth the effort. I never really thought about it before until you broke it all down. I know for me I need to see how messed up something is before I can bring clarity into the situation. This is why support has been invaluable to me. A fresh perspective does wonders on breaking through the dysfunctional thinking process.

I am so grateful that you do what you do and I really wished more mothers understood the gravity of their bond with their children. I chose not to have children because I was so scarred up believing I would do the same damage to my own children. I never thought of this before, but my choice for not having children comes from a wounded place. I take responsibility for my choice to not have children, but a part of me feels sad for the reasons I chose not too.

What gives me the most peace is knowing I didn’t abuse my children. I don’t know if I could have lived with myself if I did. It’s difficult enough facing what I am facing, never mind adding to what I did to my children. I just wished more mothers would take accountability and do this work so they can help their child and themselves heal. I believe the healing process would move along quicker and be more effective if they did work together. I’m just grateful that I could do this on my own, otherwise if I depended on my own mom, I would be just as sick as her.

Thank you for all you do Darlene, Namaste!


Hi Leaving Dysfunction
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! Thank you so much for sharing. The hypercritical parenting style is so much more about ‘them’ than it is about you. Realizing that in my heart helped so much. As far as my own kids ~ I have one teenager and 2 adult children and this process of breaking out of brainwashing has been nothing short of amazing for all of us!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mandi,
Welcome to EFB ~ I hear you! One cool thing that did happen is that today I realize that her reaction was so much more about her that it ever was about me. There is so much freedom and healing in knowing that!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Shelley
I TOTALLY relate to your comments. I had so much anxiety at Christmas when my own kids gave me gifts. I was so afraid of hurting them the way I had been hurt. My life is 100% different today since I worked through this stuff and validated the pain it caused me. Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Lora
I know what you are talking about!! I don’t miss any of that anxiety of trying to do something special for my mother and the dread that it would not be ‘good enough’. ugg.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


The last few paragraphs brought tears to my eyes when you wrote. Not because of the fact that you no longer have a relationship with her, but because of the fact that you were never worth her time to CHANGE. And never worth her time to truly repent and apologize. It’s hard for me to accept that a person like your mother will go to Heaven–as much as she displays she is a spiritual person. She reminds me of my mother. We are always the problem, but like you said, we never were the problem. THEY were the dysfunctional ones we just broke free from it.


Darlene!! Your mom is a sociopath!!


My mother was never please with any gift. We were very poor so birthday or mother’s day sometimes mean just a card and a flower and hugs but she will ALWAYS pushed me away and tell me—if you really love me be a good girl and do what I say—this happened anytime I will try to hug her and tell her that I loved her. The couple times I was able to effort a rose she throw it to the floor and asked me to be a better daughter in stead, that she would appreciate it more.I always felt inadequate and stupid. And of course she always make sure I feel that way!


Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to bring your awareness to a new post on the home page today! Guest Author Carrie shares the grief over being ignored by her family of origin when she drew her boundary. This post is beautifully written and so full of emotional honesty. I hope you will share your thoughts with Carrie ~ here is the link: Self Love and Navigating the Waters of Grief by Carrie H
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sariah
Welcome to EFB and thank you for sharing. I think that was the most painful part of this whole thing for me, but once I saw the truth, I was able to accept, grieve what I finally realized I never had, and take my life back.
It’s awesome!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Nancy
My heart goes out to yours! What an awful way to be treated by your own mother! It is wonderful that you can see the truth about her now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


I found out 2 years ago that my mother lied to us for forty years. A huge family secret that destroyed our family, caused the divorce of my parents, and wounded us all. She kicked my dad out of the house, said the divorce was all his fault, and kept us distanced from him. On his death bed, he told us the truth.

She had multiple affairs, had a child by another man, raised us strictly religious, emotionally abused us, beat us, and accused us of being evil when we were just little children with no idea of the evil she lived herself. DNA has proven the truth and she still denies she had an affair. I have asked five times if we could talk about her abuse, so I can get closure on my past and give forgiveness. She doesn’t want to discuss it, and now has turned my siblings (even the illegitimate one) against me.

I am done. No more reaching out, trying to mend the past. I will not subject myself to her lies one more time. She will face the end of her life without me, and I will not be persuaded to attend her funeral by anyone. I am no longer grieving over her wrongs. I can’t changed what happened to me, with or without her. I’ve accepted it and have raised my children with love and honesty.

This Mother’s Day will be pain free. I’ll spend it with my own children, and we will love each other honestly and openly. No more abuse. It ends here.


Oh, crud, another mother’s day coming up.


My mother rarely appreciated anything I got her so now I don’t get her anything. I could, I suppose, use my gift as a weapon like she did with mine last Christmas–she handed me a carelessly wrapped present of three of those birds you get in the craft department to put in floral arrangements. Must have cost her all of a buck. I smiled, said thank you, and gave them to my daughter who enjoys tschotkes like that. One memorable year she gave me a vase with fake flowers that were stuck in an acrylic base that was supposed to resemble water, I guess. It was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. She got it for me, and this is a quote, “Because it was on sale.” I only heard, “I despise you.” I did buy her a present this year, I suppose–I bought the German edition of *For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence*” Interesting to see how that goes over. Alice Miller could have been writing about my mother in the description of the abused child, especially since she was writing much about German child-rearing.


Hi Francine!
Yay for raising your children with love and honesty in spite of what happened in your own childhood!
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


The thing I struggle with is Mothers Day is to honor your mother for being just that. How do you show gratitude toward someone who has abused you? Who says your PTSD is all made up in your head. Who continues to devalue who you are as a way to protect her own false image of YOU being the problem? How do you get past the guilt that you should be honoring her?


^^^ I meant honoring your mother when she has NOT been that.


Hi Jessica
I had to think about the true meaning of Honor. I asked myself why it WAS honorable to show acceptance for being treated that way? I realized that it isn’t love for my mother to accept and there by give her permission, to treat me the way that she did. It isn’t love for me or for her. I have no guilt today since I started to look at what those expressions really mean.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I just published a new post for the Upcoming Mother’s Day it’s called “The Dreaded Mother’s Day Card Purchase” Hope you will stop by and read it, share it and maybe leave a comment!
hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene, that is a very true point 🙂

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