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.

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


183 response to "Mother’s Day and Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship"

  1. By: Anna Posted: 12th December

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th December

      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

  2. By: Laurie Posted: 25th February

    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.

  3. By: Laurie Posted: 24th February

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th February

      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

  4. By: Rose Posted: 23rd January

    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

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd January

      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

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

    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

  6. By: Sam Posted: 9th May

    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.

  7. By: Sam Posted: 8th May

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th May

      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

  8. By: Teresa Posted: 8th May

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th May

      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

  9. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st May

    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

  10. By: R Posted: 9th March

    “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 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th March

      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

  11. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th March

    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

  12. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th March

    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

  13. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 9th March

    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!

  14. By: R Posted: 9th March

    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.

  15. By: FoggedIn Posted: 28th December

    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…

  16. By: FoggedIn Posted: 28th December

    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’

  17. By: Krissy Posted: 4th September

    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.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th September

      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

  18. By: Kelly Posted: 3rd September

    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…

  19. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd August

    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

  20. By: Ian Posted: 23rd August

    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.

  21. By: patti r Posted: 23rd August

    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

  22. By: joy Posted: 30th May


    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.


  23. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 30th May

    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.

  24. By: joy Posted: 30th May


    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.


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