My Freedom ROCKS! Emotional Healing and Self Love

freedom rocks self love self care
My Freedom ROCKS!!

I have decided to throw my Freedom Rock in the pond in our pasture right here on our farm over 1800 miles away from the child abuse that I suffered but where the emotional abuse of my childhood continued even as an adult and where my depressions increased until I no longer believed there was any hope for me. This is also the place where I did my healing. This is the land that I rode my horse on for hours and days on end, walked for hours meditating and contemplating what had happened to me and the false messages that I believed because of it. This is the land that I raised my kids on and the land where I took my life back.   

My freedom ROCK is going to be based on the following quote by Alice Miller

“The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our lives; with cruelty or with tenderness and protection.” Alice Miller

I made a decision quite a while ago that I was done treating myself the same way that I had been treated by others. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Enforcing that decision that I was “done discounting me” has been a whole other ball game. In the beginning I came to realize that I had put myself last so much and for so long that I never even considered what I might have wanted and when asked I didn’t have an answer. The learning curve on this one has been huge for me. Even in wholeness I didn’t listen to myself, just like I had not been listened to. I had to learn to listen to myself and validate what myself was trying to tell me. If I was tired, I had to learn to let myself rest. If I was hungry I had to learn to nourish myself with healthy foods. I had to learn to “catch” the con job that I was doing on myself, telling myself that something good, was not so good.  

In the process of emotional healing I constantly had to reassure myself that I was on the right track. I had to validate that I had been mistreated. (I had been blamed for my problems for so long that I believed I deserved everything that happened to me.) I had to convince myself that I deserved better than the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded for most of my life. I had to start the healing process validating that there was damage that I deserved to heal from. I had to learn to treat myself according to the true definition of love.

And that is a process that I also had to learn to apply to the way that I regarded and treated me.  

I love chocolate and potato chips and convinced myself for years that they were a treat and a comfort that I ‘deserved’. After I ate them however, I never felt good. My reward was really a punishment and I could see flashes of the past intertwined with the ways that I had learned to treat myself. Many of the “rewards” that I had received in my childhood were actually punishments too. Rewards that had “obligation” attached to them and rewards that had a price tag caused me to get my definition of “reward” mixed up. Sometimes rewards were a payment to make up for something bad that happened or a pre payment for something bad that was about to happen. Compliments used for the purpose of grooming me to be compliant made me very wary of compliments; even compliments from myself.  All these things went into the grid of my belief system.  I learned to treat myself the dysfunctional and disrespectful way that I had been treated by others.  I broke agreements that I made with myself, I lied to myself and as a result I no longer trusted myself.

This past year I have been getting deeper at the roots of the trouble I’ve had with self care. I have been looking at where it all began and my own history with “self love and self care”.  I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the way I’ve treated myself and the roots of that treatment and my belief system around that self treatment.  I noticed that I broke agreements with myself. I became aware of how often I lied to myself, conned myself or convinced myself that something that wasn’t good for me, was really not bad for me or that there was a “good reason” to justify it. I saw where I had learned to treat myself that way. I realized that just like with everything else in my life, I had learned it very young. I learned to discount me, just like I had been discounted. And I learned to try harder with myself just like I always tried harder for everyone else but in the end I was never good enough for me; in the end by my own actions, I didn’t show myself love.

About seven months ago as a result of paying closer attention to the way that I regard myself, I started to make some changes in the way that I treat myself and I have been learning to listen to myself when it comes to self care. In the first couple of years of recovery and emotional healing I learned to re-parent myself. I am taking that process to a deeper level now because my understanding is at a deeper level.

SO, my freedom rock is going to be about nurturing my relationship with me in a deeper way and letting go of “self abuse” and self disregard. I am going to take my rock and write my vows to me on it. I am done with discounting myself and my needs. I am going to continue to listen to myself and keep working on regaining my own trust.  

I promised myself that I would finish my book and create a companion work book so that I could generate an income from the full time work that I do here in EFB. The first book has been sitting on my desk waiting to be sorted through for almost a year because I put this website, my blog posts and answering the comments BEFORE myself and my needs. I take breaks when I am burned out instead of before I get burned out, and I spend over $200.00 a month out of my own pocket to support this website. I always told myself that it is my passion for wholeness that drives me to do too much and put the bigger projects that I always had in mind on the back burner but in fact it has been my expectations of myself that have gotten in the way of my completing those projects like my books. It is putting others needs before my own needs, just like I was always trained and taught to do in the past. It is a “left over false belief” that my value can be “proven” by my actions.

One of the readers here shared that she was going to draw a “box” on her Freedom ROCK to represent that she was no longer in it, and she was throwing that BOX into the deep. That really resonated with me as I so often talked about “the box” in the first few years of my emotional healing and could really relate to having been in the box that abuse, neglect and unreasonable expectations from others put me in for most of my life.

I am going to draw an empty box on my Freedom ROCK too.  My box is going to represent “the part of the box” that I still had part of myself in even in recovery. It is going to represent the letting go of unreasonable expectations of myself. It is going to represent that not only have I empowered myself to stand up to abuse and refuse to accept not being treated as equally valuable FROM other people, it will also serve to remind myself that I won’t accept it from ME anymore either!

My freedom rock is going to represent MY declaration of freedom and Wholeness when it comes to self care and self love!

Please share your thoughts and your Freedom ROCKS stories here.  If there are freedom ROCKS stories shared on other freedom ROCKS category posts I might add them to the comments in this post so that people can come and read them all in one place.

Inspiring hope, freedom, wholeness and celebration of life!

Darlene Ouimet                                                             

There are some great ideas for freedom rocks shared in the following related posts and their comments; Freedom ROCKS about page

The Motivation behind Freedom Rocks by Mimi 

What freedom rocks means to me by Lauralee



124 response to "My Freedom ROCKS! Emotional Healing and Self Love"

  1. By: diane Posted: 19th May

    I am so glad to read the comment that you had to be “self absorbed” for a while…because I am definitely needing that too…and this is one time I just dont care if anyone likes it or not! I HAVE to be in order to discover myself and my needs and my wants for my life. It may break up my marriage or not, and it may shake the boat in some of my other relationships, but this is something that I am willing to take a chance on. This morning I had a “tiff” with my husband who is so conditioned to put himself and his wants first that he completely blew me off! It is a simple story: we had discussed gardening projects for this morning and both agreed that would be fun (we discussed this last night)…but because I slept in an extra half hour over the time I usually do, he took off to play golf because he didnt want to wait for me. When he returned home, I questioned him about gardening and he said , “I have a golf lesson” ( in two hours!), and then as I began to speak, he rushed out of the room to “do his laundry”…leaving me completely ignored and blown off! I never used to make such a big deal out of it…why cause a fuss? But I challanged him about doing this to me and he apologized..BUT..began justifying himself to me about why it was okay for him to blow me off. So…now ,as I write this, I have informed him that I have errands to run and have to go right away. He would prefer me to fix his lunch before I leave, but something doesnt feel right about that , so I think he can fix his own lunch by himself. lol. It is interesting to me how many times this similar scenario or dynamic has taken place in my marriage, and you know what? I dont feel like putting up with it anymore! FREEDOM ROCKS for Diane today!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th May

      Thanks for sharing this kind of stuff. These are the “finer things” that I began to realize as I stepped out of the fog.. all the “double standards” all about someone elses belief system which was actually on the same track as mine; my husband thougth that I should do certian things for him and I agreed no matter the cost to me. I thought “love” was taking care of his needs at the expense of mine. so did he. 🙂
      BUT I am still married to this same man and neither one of us thinks this way anymore! We have equal value now and my needs are as important as his and he agrees! Life could not be more sweet in an equality based relationship!
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Melanie Smith Posted: 19th May

    Wow.I am blown away by what you wrote.I can idetify with so much of that.I hate myself, I really do, so I need to work on the self love. I have let truly awful experiences become part of my dna.Part of me. I have let truly dispicable peoples words become how I view myself.What I believe to be the truth about me.I have lost so much weight recently but I also cant take a compliment.Im seeking help at the moment because I am tired of hiding from life, being scared of life.Even now reading what Ive wrote, I thought I used the word “I” too much, will people think Im self absorbed?I really have discounted myself. Darlene, you need to publish that book!Thank you for your wisdom. 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th May

      Hi Melanie
      Welcome to emerging from broken. The self love comes through the process of healing that I write about in this site. This post that you happened to land on is about an event that we did last week. You might find much more helpful articles in the rest of the site (other than what is in the “freedom rocks” category. 🙂 I had to be “self absorbed” for a while in order to heal from being otherwise discounted and invalidated most of my life. I was “told” that I was self absorbed, but in reality the oposite was true.
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Kelli Posted: 16th May


    Ohhhhh I so know this one well. I see where I self sabotage and treat myself with disrespect and a lack of kindness. I have no one left in my life that is abusive, but that’s just fine because I can perpetuate it for myself thank you! UGH!

    In running the Path to Peace page, I find myself on burn out a lot. It is instinctive and intuitive to put others needs before my own. I love doing it, but I know that I need to take the time to focus on my own healing. It can also be a huge distraction.

    After reading this, I realized I don’t have a support system, like the support I try to be for others. That’s not a good thing!

    I have a lot of work to do yet. From all I’ve read of your blogs, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and frustrated that I’m not there yet, calling into question all that I am and do.

    Thank you for this post. Good luck with the book and workbook!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th May

      Hi Kelli
      It is very important to take time for you. And it doesn’t matter if you are not “there yet” it is all about being on the journey! I am not where I will be in another year either, but I am loving the path!
      Hugs, Darlene!

  4. By: Lauralee Posted: 15th May

    May 13th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Hello Everyone,

    Well, I did it!!! As my husband and I were driving to the roaring rapids I passed by my sister along the way, ha, now what are the chances of that?
    I found my spot and meditated awhile and thought and said a little prayer for everyone else out there casting their stones and then I threw mine!! It bounced of one rock and then into the roaring rapids. I felt so liberated and strong, with the sound of the rushing water, I imagined the rapids taking my rock and saying “everything is going to be fine, these “problems” are in my hands now. I am very proud of myself. Noone can hurt me anymore, I feel so free. I decided not to have my daughter’s atttend as I was not sure of my reaction. I felt very cleansed afterward, like all the toxic negative energy just went away. Freedom does rock, I have my video and will try and upload it on my Facebook page, my husband didn’t think my skinny little arms would be able to throw that rock but then again, I never knew I could be the little crab that could!
    Peace, love, hugs, happiness, liberation and Freedom to all of you,
    Lauralee xoxo
    P.S. Mimi, I thought about you

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th May

    Thanks for sharing your rock story here as well as on your own post Mimi!

    Thanks for sharing in both places Carole. That is a powerful story. I am glad you are here.

    Oh I totally realate to passing on things with bad vibes! I have to check with the kids about smashing the frog.. it isn’t actually MINE but I would not be surprised if my kids want to smash it for the same reasons! The whole thing seems to be a big reminder of the kind of dysfunction that we used to hang out with. =)
    Love your comments and the stuff you are sharing! It is really awesome, I am so glad you are here!
    Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Mimi Posted: 14th May

    Hi Everyone!
    Thank you for posting your very personal stories of Freedom! It is an inspiration to so many hurting people.

    I got my cement rock prepared by writing in red on one side, “mama, I no longer believe”. When I was very young, I called her mama. I had such deep love for her. I couldn’t stand to see her cry. It hurt my whole being. So, I chose to address her as mama, because that person whom I loved so much, is who I wanted to speak to. Beside it in black, I drew a sheep, to represent myself of course. And, a broken heart in red.

    On the other side, I wrote “I am healed” with a cross beside it. I wrote those words in blue.

    I tied a black ribbon around one end and tied a key to the black ribbon. I knotted it all so it can’t come undone and resurface. On the other end I tied a blue ribbon in a bow. Blue is the color of the sky and sea and is associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. I tied it in a bow so it can come undone naturally and release in me all the things blue stands for. It’s also why I wrote the healing words in blue. Black signifies death and evil which is why I tied the black ribbon in knots with the key ~ so it can’t come undone. Red is associated with fire and blood. I wrote the words to my mama in red. It’s a symbol of my once bleeding heart and the fire I have inside to heal. The little black sheep?? Drowning!!

    I prayed for myself and everyone here. I took some time to appreciate what each of the things on my rock meant. I had trouble throwing it in when the time came. I finally did and it felt like burial. It was good.

    Afterward I came back to the house and listened to a podcast from a local church on the wonder of water. It was a nice way to rap it up.

    The weather here was stunning. I really enjoyed my day and aside from throwing my rock, I had amazingly few thoughts of my mother ~ on Mother’s day. It was awesome!
    Peace, love, gratitude, and FREEDOM to all,

  7. By: Alaina Posted: 14th May

    Thank you, Darlene, Diane and Mimi. I’m glad to be here and really appreciate your responses.

    I have thrown away other things from my parents before but this one was pretty huge because of the “baby girl” stuff and because it was so clearly expensive. Both my parents grew up poor and wanted to give their children what they never had but it becomes an anchor and a guilt trip, all this “stuff.” I was going to give it away to a thrift store—I really dislike waste—but I didn’t want to pass it on, like it had “bad karma” or something. Anyway, when someone gives you a gift, since it has been given to you and is yours now, you should be able to do whatever the heck you want with it, including smashing it.

    So, yes, I think you should smash that frog, Darlene! And you are very right about smashing the confines of what others wanted me to be. I actually did have someone who encouraged me to be an individual when I was young—one of my uncles, but he killed himself (or most likely, as the circumstances were complex) when I was just about 8. That loss was immense, though I was numb for years. He was a wonderful person, with whom I identified myself greatly. (I went through a period of time, probably a few years, when I’d have these imaginary conversations with people, talking about him, and I would slip up and say, “He killed myself,” instead of “himself,” if that gives any indication of how identified I was with him.) It took years for me to understand how personally I had taken the death. Because of its nature, I believed that everything he had given me, everything he had made me feel about myself, was not true—as if his death took everything away from me. And instead I started to believe all the messages that my parents’ behaviour and expectations were sending me. A lot of my process has been about trying to shirk off all the junk that my parents put on me to try to access this pain, which I believe is, and certainly feels, much deeper than any other pain I’ve carried around, and ultimately to reclaim into my heart what he did give me when he was alive because I know now that it was the real deal.

    Diane, I, too, have gone into my past and interacted with my child self. It was always during the moment I found out my uncle died. The interaction was pretty complicated. There was fear on both the child side and mine. My goal was to hug her. I did eventually get there. Often my child self was like cardboard, paralyzed at just the moment before being told. One time she livened up and started beating on me while I hugged her; I was strong enough to take her punches, though. I remembered more of what happened afterwards as well. But another time I was deep into trying to access my anger. I knew I had a ton of repressed anger. And I went into that memory, just slipped into it, and it was unbelievable the level of self-hatred I experienced. My adult self wanted to break my child self into pieces, all her bones. It was as if I were three selves at that moment—the child, the adult, and another self, observing the scene. This was a couple years ago. Obviously very brutal, but I don’t really regret the moment (I mean accessing and observing the moment) because it was a level of anger and self-hatred that had always been there—something I did need to access, to understand, and to ultimately overturn… though it remains painful to feel how much I had wanted to hurt my child self, and I feel so sad and so sorry because none of what happened was my fault. I know you can hold that pain, though, and make choices to not be crippled by it, to learn, take care, grieve and move forward.

    Thanks again, A

  8. By: Carole Posted: 14th May

    Thanks Darlene, I’ve been reading your posts and never commented on anything…I was just a quiet reader I’ve been through hell and back and dealing with so much stuff in the last 2 yrs. I have support from super good people and I finally found what love is. Well not 100% but I’m working hard on it and trusting. I’ve been encouraged by this one person for 2 yrs now that has changed my life around. I was alone before and tried to end my life 2 yrs ago…when I didn’t succeed my whole life changed. I just want to share a little about me… I hit rock bottom 2 yrs ago and since then I have come up so high…but I still have a long ways to go. I went to talk to a group of teens that where sexually abused last Monday and they were so touched that they have insisted that I go back tonight. These teens have been through hell also and I’m there telling them that there’s hope. After having 10 different people sexually abused me in my 44 yrs of life…I’m able to let them know that there’s hope and support out there. I know you don’t know everything about don’t know my past but hitting rock bottom 2 yrs ago and didn’t succeed to end my life…instead I needed to learn to walk, talk and love again. I felt so much alone and no one was understanding what I was going through…One person stuck with me and never lost hope in me… she’s been by my side since then and still is… she’s my earth guardian angel. NO ONE has ever stood by my side like she has. I am bless to have her in my life today. She went through hell with me but she believed that I was going to be ok. I was holding by a thread many times and she never lost hope on me. When I was in the hospital she was miles and miles away but I was allowed to have a laptop so I could communicate with her by chat. That saved me so many times. My dr was awesome to have let me have a laptop to chat with her as my family wasn’t allowed to come see me neither my husband… I was only allowed 1 person to come and see me and the laptop with just certain people that I could chat with as the dr felt the need to protect me from being hurt again and be upset. From June to Dec I was in the hospital…it was hard because after I was ok physically after my accident I was put in the psychoward as they figured out that I didn’t have an accident…it was on purpose. So doing this Freedom Rock this weekend was a good thing for me because I need to let go of the hurt and especially the anger inside. After my accident I started opening up a lot about my abuses and remembered things that was pushed down so far. Remembering more hurt was not something I wanted…but now in the last few months I’m seeing big changes for me and some much needed healing. Going to talk to a group of teen tonight again for the second time as they wanted to know more about me last week and we didn’t have the time. I told them about my gang rape but didn’t go into details but tonight I will be sharing a lot more…yes I’m scared but if I can give them hope and if they can see that I’m getting better and there is support out there and they are willing to give it a try it will be all worth sharing my hurt and anger with them and make them see that I’m surviving this and I will be ok. I’m in deep therapy at the moment…twice a week because I’m working on the feelings now…got the events out of my system but now I have to deal with the feelings and that is super hard. So doing the rock throwing yesterday DID make me feel better and released some hurt that I don’t want to have anymore. I’m glad that I read your post again and decided to participate. Thanks for inviting me to participate. Love to all xoxo

  9. By: diane Posted: 14th May

    Alaina….That picture was SO symbolic to you and your relationship! Your story reminded me of something I heard Dr.Phil say on one of his shows. It was about children who were born with a job to do. It sounds like you had a job to do from birth, and I cannot imagine the feelings you went through as you smashed that picture you had lugged around for so many years! I felt like applauding you when I read that you threw it away!( I actually laughed out loud because I was so happy for you!) Such dysfunction deserves to be trashed forever!

    Mimi…thank YOU…you have written so much here that has also helped me in my journey..and thank you for being so kind on here! The word “relief” is perfect for how I felt in finding this EFB site. 🙂

  10. By: Mimi Posted: 14th May

    All I can say is YOU GO GIRL!!! My mom pulls the baby girl stuff with me too. I have learned now that it’s her way of trying to reach into my soul ~ so she can stomp on it. Congrats and thanks for sharing your fantastic story. I took a step not so long ago that is similar to yours. My mother bought me a necklace I would never wear. I sold it on Ebay. It might sound trivial, but it was huge for me. I always held on to anything she bought me… because it came from my special mother. Now, I know just how special she really is. 😉

    Thank you for sharing. I live for these stories too and when I read ones like yours, how the truth has found its way into your heart, I am thrilled. It’s almost exactly how it happened to me. When I found EFB, I was floored by all the similarities, all the insight and wisdom, and caring people. I was and still am so very grateful. I was so desperate when I landed here. I still am at times. Thanks for sharing your excitement. Although it’s so painful, finding out other people have the same experiences is SUCH a relief!!
    Love to you,

  11. By: diane Posted: 14th May

    I cant get enough of these stories…so wonderful! Very empowering! I have decided to throw a rock on Father’s Day…maybe a few of them! My experience was freeing in many ways because it happened at the same time I reached a new breakthrough. I was up all night on Friday..and I had been in such turmoil! I was able to finally sit with my pain and discomfort and anxiety and feel it and allow it to encompass me…at a level that I have never been able to do before. This site and the encouragement and understanding and new revelations I have had this week have been unlike anything I have ever had before into my family dynamic and self. I would never allow myself to think on certain painful reasons for self hate or poor body image etc. But as I did, I was able to gain understanding in such a way and it clicked for me at long last! It was in that understanding that my parents were so sick and unhealthy…and my “mom” was mentally disturbed that caused the choices they made to harm me and my older brother that have given me this breakthrough because I realized all of a sudden that it could have…would have…been any child in the way of what SHE wanted. It truly wasnt about ME at all…and all of those LIES and EVIL words and ABUSES from them made so much sense why they did it all. I was able to FINALLY see that it literally had nothing to do with who I am or what I have said, done or spoken…or didnt do etc etc…that made them behave the ways that they did. I can now understand that they are to blame and not me. I dont feel responsible AT ALL for any of it…and I dont feel guilt or shame either. I threw my rocks into the trash and it was done. THEY were done! I also read something about the way a child is treated as a child is how they will treat themselves as an adult. That struck my heart. I took out a piece of paper and pen on Saturday and made a list of the various habitual abuses/neglect that my parents did. One of them was when I was a child I was not given new underwear or socks. My socks would get holes and I believed that our family was too poor to get me new ones (?) and so I sewed by hand the socks and went for years walking on very hard seams that sometimes hurt my feet. Even to this day I forget to buy myself new undergarments and especially socks. I will throw the old ones away, but I get to where there are hardly any left. I was not listened to…so I never expected or questioned why noone seemed to listen to me…even my own husband would tune me out when I would share something important with him. The list was about 12 specific things that I could think of and they all apply! So I had a long talk and explained all of this to my husband last night and even after that he didnt respond, so I challanged him on it and explained that this isnt going to work for me anymore in our marriage for him to keep doing this and I EXPECT HIM TO VALIDATE what I say. He looked surprised and then quickly did so! WOW! I am here to say that when I threw the rocks into the trash, it was powerfully symbolic of all of this! I can say today that I found a new wholeness that I have never had in my entire life before and when I visualized burning up my old houses and rescuing the little girl version of myself…however silly it may seem…it worked for me personally and I am no longer hoping to be free but I AM free. I have much more to work on , but now the work is something I look forward to…new discoveries of who I am and what I want and how I want to get there! This has been a journey to get to this particular freedom my entire adult life, so it didnt just happen overnight. I have been seeking this level of freedom for nearly 30 years. The healing process has been long and difficult for me…so this sudden change is as if the final pieces to the puzzle were handed to me and I ran to put them into place! I wanted to share this to hopefully be encouraging! Blessings and much much gratitude for everyone here who has shared and for the articles…for the safety to have been able to vomit out my feelings for the first time in my life and not ever be judged! I feel very grateful and appreciative!

  12. By: Alaina Posted: 14th May

    Eleven years ago my mother gave me a framed photograph for Xmas. The photo was of a bronze statue of a little girl dressed up in women’s clothing (one would presume her mother’s). On the back, my mom had written, “You’ll always be my baby girl!” One might think that’s sweet, but I don’t. It’s been an incredible burden to me. The framing itself was professionally done, obviously expensive and tasteful. The photo was blown-up, though, a bit fuzzy, and quite creepy, if you ask me. When I first got it, I hung it up on my wall (like a good baby girl), but I’ve moved quite a few times since receiving this gift and have been lugging it around, only to keep it in closets. I always knew it was there, though, like something nagging me at the back of my mind.

    I found my rock. I took that damn thing out of the closet and cut off the backing. I dismantled the matting and ripped off the photo. I cut the photo up, took a section of it (the strip of the girl’s face—just above the eyes, cut off at the mouth) and taped it onto the backing where my mom had written her “baby girl” message. On the other side of this, I wrote my declaration of freedom. Then I taped that around the rock, ready to throw it in the river. Except, I didn’t want to; it didn’t mean much to me. So, yesterday, instead of throwing a rock, I took the frame apart, smashed the glass, and threw it all in the dumpster. It was very difficult. It’s taken a lot work to get myself to a place where I was capable of doing this.

    My existence was almost entirely about my place in my mother’s life. Her feelings, thoughts, opinions, needs, wants, and personal issues dominated me. I had very little room in my life and in my mind for my own identity. I was totally engulfed, totally controlled. (My father encouraged this, my role in the family). To her, this was love. To me, it was sickening and was slowly but surely killing me. I had a breakdown when I was 22 and broke off contact two years ago. It was the best decision of my life—absolutely necessary to take back my life.

    And so I have smashed her baby girl. I feel for her because it was her dream. Also, her illusion. She’d always wanted to have children, believing that was what she was put on earth to do. She had been suicidal when pregnant with me, but it was that dream that pulled her through. It seemed always my job to sustain her emotionally, to provide her with her dream relationship, in part–I believe–so that she had proof that all the dysfunction of her own past was over and that she was nothing like her own mother. And of course, as her child, I wanted to be loved, liked, approved of, etc. But it was all a lie, and I learned that being loved meant being used and that giving love meant giving your spirit/soul/self away.

    No more will I live that way. I am committed. It’s a hard road, and you do slip back, but you do your best to take care of yourself. No one else can do it for you. Nor should they.

    Strength and courage to all.

    Darlene, I’ve been reading since last fall and I very much appreciate your work.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Alaina
      Welcome to (the comments part of) Emerging from Broken!
      I love your story. I love the visual that you shared and how you made this so perfect for you! That is what it is all about, being an individual in a world where for so many of us, we were never encouraged to be one. Even your smashing ceremony was about smashing the confines of who someone else wanted you to be! I love that!
      There are so many ways to do this whole thing!
      Last night I was sitting on our deck and we have this garden stone (one of those flat decorative things with a frog on it) that several years ago my kids fought for in a chinese christnmas war, and my brohter in law and his wife fought really hard to make sure they didnt’ get it! They were kids and I wanted to include them in the stupid chinese christmas thing that year. I think that my brother in law took the dang frog stone away from them to prove that they were too young to be included in that stupid game! The following year, he had the nerve to bring it back to the game! One of my kids got it (not that they tried to win it but this time got stuck with it) and I HATE that thing! It is a bitter memory for all. I was looking at it and thinking that it would make a fantasitc freedom rock! We could smash it as a family and sink that sucker! HA… and today you poted about smashing a “thing” that was significant baggage for you too.

      I am really glad that you are here! Thanks for the wonderful gift.
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Carole Posted: 14th May

    Hi Darlene, this is the first time that I was throwing a rock to symbolize freedom. I have wrote letters and burned it but nothing like this. Yesterday, at Mother’s Day, I got up and went for a drive. Went to my parents cottage to take a rock from there as for me it meant it was a specific rock from where some of the hurt occured in my past. I drew on it there but took it to another place to throw it in the ocean. I drew a black door and a black broken heart and put (=)and then drew a white light and sun. To me that’s what my black door and black broken heart ended up with all the work I’ve been doing come up to a white light and sun. I also wrote (depression, hurt, anger, dad (as he was my first sexual abuser), husband and then I also put others as I have 10 different sexual abusers that hurt me in my whole life. I took a pic of the rock and a pic of when the rock hit the ocean at the peer. I also took a pic of the rock at the bottom of the water as where it dropped it wasn’t that deep but enough for it to not float up again 😉 I took some pics of the ocean where I was also as it was beautiful seeing all this water. NEVER I thought that I would reach this point in my life where I could feel actually some hope. I’m glad that I took the time to do this with so many on this special weekend. I didn’t feel alone.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Carole
      Wow, anohter amazing story! This is so powerful. Thank you for the visual on this one too! When I read your post here I thougth about a feeling I had when I did mine. I felt like I was by myself but not at all alone. and that is what healing is like too. We have to go through this process as an individual, that part is very often lonely, but we are not really alone here!
      Thanks so much for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

      I feel so different today ~ more solid in what I let go of yesterday! I am seeing a difference in myself already.
      When I created my rock I thought that I had put more on it than I did. When I went to review it before I threw it, I realized that the whole rock was about another layer of letting go and a deeper understanding of my belief system; a system that still needed some changing. And even though I was a little unsure if I was ready to tell the world that I was ready, in case I really wasn’t ready, today I know that I AM ready!
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Lori-Lynn Posted: 13th May

    As I have journeyed through this life I have gather some rocks. Some were given to me; some were thrown at me, and some I have picked up myself. These numerous rocks now seem to be a part of my life. I have attempted before to set them down or to walk away from them but this often results in my returning and picking them up again or in my just picking up another stone to replace the removed stone. I am unsure if it is that I miss the weight of it, the pain of it or if I just feel compelled to fill the hole with something. Either way, the result is my journey being painful and weighed down by these rocks. I have recently realized these rocks (the hurts) don’t have to continue to be carried with me on my journey that I, with the help of God and other people who love me, can remove these rocks.
    I recently found some information on-line regarding the “Freedom Rocks” activity to help me with the process of removing these rocks. On the surface, it may sound simplistic and silly but believe me when I tell you much thought and reflection was a part of this activity. It involved throwing the rocks of my life into a waterway of some type releasing them, drowning them and or allowing them to be carried away and no longer encumber my life. Allowing me to no longer be hindered or weighed down or limited by the rocks.
    I have been pondering this idea for weeks and become focused on do all I could to participate in the fullest possible way. I gathered the rocks. I identified exactly who what or when each stone represented and even labeled them. Then I began trying to figure out where and how I could get to a waterway to throw them away. I considered a pond but the idea of these rocks, which had so deeply affected me becoming part of stagnant muck, which may have to be cleaned out by someone else made me sad. I finally decided it had to be a river or an ocean since I had no way to get to the ocean the local river became the goal.
    I rose early this morning dressed comfortably and prepared for the trek to the river I put the rocks I had identified in my pocket and grabbed my music player and headed off to find the water. I prayed as I walked. The song that began to play spoke to my soul powerfully and I knew I was fully participating in an important life moment. I felt compelled along the way to pick up still more rocks and as I did I was amazed each of these clearly had a name or a feeling or an event associated with it. I put them in my pockets and walked on toward the goal. The weight of them was noticeable and it made me think of how the abuse, words and hurts the rock represented had felt and affected every step I had taken in my life up to this point. I found an entrance to the park and headed toward the river. I arrived to find it was a narrow muddy bank and someone was already using the path. It did not seem right, but I thought to myself just do it and then it will be done and I can go home. As I walked closer to the bank looking for a place to get to the water I began to feel frustrated. Then I looked up in prayer for some peace…above me I saw a bridge over head and I thought it would have been the perfect place from which to throw my rocks. Unfortunately, I also realized there was not easy access from my current location. As I stood there, longing for more I realized how this moment resembled some of the cycles in my life where I get so focused on a singular path and idea of how a task must be accomplished that I often miss there in fact might be another better way for it to be accomplished. So I decided to find a way up onto the bridge.
    As I turned and walked back the way I had come, I realized it felt like a less frantic and driven walk. I was much more mindful of my surroundings. I now was truly seeing the beautiful nature around me. I watched a white butterfly fly over the black iron fence toward the bridge and I knew despite my wrong turn that I was now onto the right path to my goal.
    I made it back to the road and was delighted to see there was a clearly marked bike path, which I could walk down to the center of the bridge. When I reached a point in the center where the trees above parted and I could see the river water rushing by below I knew I had reached the place. I reached into my pockets and with withdrew all the rocks and lined them up on the rail of the bridge I was surprised to see how many rocks there were….I paused a moment whispered a prayer and began throwing the rocks one by one into the river. At first, it was just a gentle toss but as I continued the action took on more purpose and power until I finally I launch the final rock with all my might as I listened for the loud splash it made as it hit the water. Then I just stood and listened to the sound of the water rushing on below me . I turned and began the walk toward home. The first thing I noticed is how much lighter I felt physically and realized I was also much lighter spiritually. I know this was just an action to help me mark the decision to no longer be burdened by the rocks of hurt and abuse in my life. I also know this does not mean I will no longer be affected or impacted by these things but it means I can recall this event and chose to make different choices today to move forward in my life journey feeling light, free and blessed. I am free and no longer weighed down I am free in Him who made me, free to become whoever and whatever it is I am to become….free to come home be greeted by my happy dog . Free to sit in a chair on my porch with my dog on my lap and fall asleep feeling deep in my soul a renewed sense of freedom.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      I love your rock story! What an awesome visual! And wow about the peace signs floating to the top! Thank you for sharing your rock throwing story!
      I feel really solid today about what I let go of with my rock!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Lori-Lynn
      Wow, this is awesome too! I totally relate to what you are saying. I love the way you express yourself and how you said it was just an action to mark the decision! Absolutly! I am going to use that expression in the next freedom rocks event to help explain what this really is.
      Thank you for sharing your rock story!
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Lauralee Posted: 13th May

    Hi everyone,

    Darlene, if you are able to post my small video up you can do so, I’m not sure how it works. What a great day!!! God bless us all!!

    Peace, hugs, love and happiness and most of all FREEDOM


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Lauralee
      If your video has a link then post the link and others can see it too. I have too much traffic on this site ~ if I post a video it would take up too much bandwidth and crash the site because of the amount of hits I get per day! (I need to get a separate hosting account for video which I might do when I either get some donations or get my book and workbook finsihed and for sale so that not all of this expense comes from my pocket.

      Speaking of Donations ~ I got two this week and I would like to say “thank you” to the two ladies who gave me a donation. One quarter of my expenses for this month will be covered by those donations and I am sincerely grateful!! Prior to these two donations it had been over 2 months since the last donation.

      I saw your video Larualee and it is wonderful! Thank you for posting it on my facebook page! Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: SMD Posted: 13th May

    Hi Everyone,
    This Mother’s Day was beautiful in the upper 80’s, where I live. I live in new England, USA. The first place I went to today, was my local park where there is a big pond. Many trees, scrubs & a dirt path circle around the pond. I walked down the dirt path, whereupon, I found a clearing to the water’s edge. The sun was shining and the ducks were floating in the water. My spot was secluded with trees & scrubs on either sides, with the water in front of me.

    I held onto my rock for a few minutes, while trying to light my tea light candle, which kept burning out from the breeze. While holding my rock & felt some self-doubt about throwing it in. Something was holding me back, but when I thought about it, I realized that I’ve been carrying the pain of my abuse for so long, that it became part of me. I looked at the rock & said out loud, “The Shame & Guilt is no longer mine to carry!” So, I’m going to throw it out! and into the water it went. While in the air, my colorful, sticker peace signs blew off my rock like confetti! At first, I was slightly disappointed, until the realization struck me that it was symbolic.

    The ROCK with the TOXIC SHAME & GUILT went down, while the peace signs floated to the top of the water. WOW!…It was pretty to see them sparkle & float, while they moved forward, into the big pond. Maybe I’m getting too deep here lol, but I saw this as PEACE coming out of the PAIN & RISING to the SURFACE! I did feel peaceful as I walked away and went home to my children.

    I had an awesome day with my kids & husband. I took pictures of my rock before throwing it, but did not think of pics while I threw it. Anyway, it is a good visual memory to hold onto, especially when I’m feeling down. Certainly did not expect a life changing experience but I walked away with Hope & Peace! That’s more than good enough in my healing journey! I haven’t read the other posts yet, but looking forward to hearing all about others’experiences!
    Hope & Peace to all! Freedom Rocks!!

  17. By: Diane Posted: 13th May

    Wow…I LOVE what everyone is doing…has done with the rocks! It feels even more powerful and meaningful to me since we are doing it together!

    Darlene, it was so wonderful to see your ceremony and to hear your voice too! I understood what you meant by the box inside the other box..I also now understand the layers of feelings…and how you can be totally free in most ways, but fall back into the victim mentality when facing or being thrown into a new set of circumstances or the unknown. I personally feel excited for you! It sounds like you are READY and AWARE to tackle your future dreams now. Not that it matters what I think! But I do understand risk taking….my husband has been a risk taker when it comes to his work and career. He has branched out many many times in his field of work to keep growing and to do research and development on various projects. MANY ppl were threatened by that and some attempted to hold him down and back. He never let it stop him and now is GM of the company he works for and there are patents on a few things that are all because he was gifted in this particular way, he was afraid and he was uncertain but he didn’t let that dictate what he did. He followed the path that he knew he needed to ,and it did offend some folks who didn’t understand or felt threatened, but he went with his heart. My point in sharing is that even if you choose to set EFB free. And to set all of us free….it will all be GOOD and even more of a gift to a broader range of people . And you can help support your husband, farm and yourself financially too! I love the risk takers out there…and ones like me who are the cheerleaders on the side!….and so I hope you do get to it so that I can buy your books and workbooks for myself and for others as gifts! You have so much to share and I feel happy for you to move FORWARD. I can’t tell you how much I have learned and grown and caught up with myself during the short time I have been here. Freedom Rocks! I hope it hasn’t been inappropriate to say all this to you…..forgive me if it was!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Diane
      Wow, thanks for your feedback! The belief system is such a powerful thing and when we are kids it is our survival system too so sometimes our minds are actually whispering to us “don’t go forward, don’t go there, too risky!” and it has been huge for me to overcome the stuff I did and then this past year to find out there is more! But I found out about the box within the box, and threw it in the river too!

      I don’t think I am going to set EFB free. It is the foundation that I built for my work, but I do need to go to the next step so that I can reach more people and pay the bills too. I could take more clients again, but I keep feeling that I am working towards a bigger picture here.
      Nothing you said was inappropriate! I appreciate your feedback!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Mimi Posted: 13th May

    Kim M,

  19. By: Casey Posted: 13th May


    I went to throw my rock in the river near my house. It felt heavy not because it was very big, but because of all the things I wanted to get free from like shame and guilt. I drew two yellow stars to symbolize how far I have struggled by myself for years without any real help and how much I have endured all the pain, struggles, inconvenients, the lack of sleep for years, anxiety, depression, etc and economical and relationship loses, the more wounds one receives from other people, professionals and the lack of help of my family. It was hard to promise to myself to recover, anyway I tried. Also, I drew some circles in blue and a rainbow to symbolize hope. At the back of the rock were the names of the persons who have abused me and the name of the attacker. A heart meant the self love and self care that I need to do on myself, to remind me to put myself first and not neglect my needs to please others who are not even aware of what I am going through or don’t even care about me only in themselves. I think I have to throw more rocks with separate thoughts in each of them.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Casey
      Welcome to e.f.b.
      I love your rock story! I love how you made the decision to heal even if you are not sure you can do it! The decision to try is the very first thing, even just to hope that it MIGHT be possible went such a long way for me!
      I am really glad that you are here and thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Kim M.
      YAY for throwing the rocks in the trash!
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Kim M. Posted: 13th May

    Shortly after 12PM here (2PM est) I gave each of my jagged little rocks a short, not so sweet speech for the intended parties and tossed them in the trash to be picked up tomorrow. I will take the dumpster out to the curb shortly and bid farewell. Mimi: you are a scream 🙂 Thanks for everyone sharing their stories and have a good evening.

  21. By: Mimi Posted: 13th May

    That was FANTASTIC!!! I love it!! I didn’t think to videotape, but I got a few snapshots. I think I will upload to snapfish or something similar so people can see my pics. I’ll try that and then I’ll put a link to them on my final post later. I haven’t posted about my event yet, I’m absorbing the beautiful day and enjoying my husband and animals and yardwork. It’s all a part of the freedom, right?? 🙂
    Love to you,

  22. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th May

    Hello Everyone!

    I just got back from tossing my rock in the pond. I took a video but a lot of my voice was lost to the wind. I will see if I can get it uploaded to YouTube anyway.

    Drained ~ I did it at exactly 2:00 est also. It is a beautiful day here and the ducks were swimming on the other side of the pond. I could hear birds singing and it just seemed a fitting day for this event!

    I reviewed the things that I put on my rock ~ my realization that I had put myself in another box, that I was putting my “passion for the healing of others” before my own needs and neglecting some of my own needs ~ just like I had to learn to stop doing in my personal life.

    It was a great feeling to throw the rock! My husband and I then sat together on the bank of the pond, and I reflected on what I had just done. I felt strangely odd. After I thought about it for a few minutes I realized that this was a feeling of “doubt”. This is exactly what I felt like when I finally made the decision to take my life and my power back a few years ago. Self doubt and Questions like can I really let this go?? Can I really put myself first. Do I really believe that people can love me NOT for what I can do for them but for me. My family walked away from me so there is some fear in letting go too. It is good to see and feel all this!

    I think that I will be ready to put these thoughts all together in a few days. This exp. has given me increased insight into the way my mind works; the healing stages and for that I am excited!

    I feel peaceful. I look forward to further insights as this whole releasing the rock and what I put on it sets with me a bit!

    Hugs and Love, Darlene

  23. By: Drained Posted: 13th May

    Well, I threw my Freedom Rocks at 2 p.m. Eastern time (Darlene, I thought about you :))! I chose to walk to the spot thinking the fresh air and exercise would be added cleansing. Took photos of the water. The rocks didn’t go very far out due to a bad shoulder, grrr, but, at least they made a satisfying PLOP when they hit the water and sank. 4 mini-rocks with names on them. Before throwing each one, I spoke softly and said good-bye to the power these Narcissists had over me and good-bye to the pain they caused.

    Interestingly, the spot I chose to throw the rocks had a pile of rocks, bricks and broken cement nearby. I chose a pretty rock to bring back as a souvenir of my ceremony and will write “Freedom Rocks, 2012” on it and keep it at my desk as a reminder of sending their Narcissist power away forever.

    Hope everyone has sent their rocks away and taken another step towards healing.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi Drained
      I love the idea of taking a rock back as a souvenir!
      Before I made my video ( )
      I thought about all the others who were throwing rocks this weekend. I thought about the energy around doing this with others. It is amazing to me how many different stories there are and the meaning behind each exp. I think it is just wonderful!
      Thank you for sharing your story too!
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Paul Davidson Posted: 13th May

    Hi everyone Darlene.

    I have been blogging away all day raising awarness with special people others picked up on my firs part and commented so I got interactive while you were all gone for a trip to the pond and the trash bin wow how diverse and uniquewe have all done it. so special.

    Mimi yes such Pain, Paul is an awarness raiser the general public will notice what we do so they need to see why we do it. so they can better understand Myrocks had all the pain in them now the pain is trapped in the depth’s of the North Sea. when you see my photos you will understand better and possitively so. I’m so overwhelmed with emotion reading your stories your amazing support and care for each other even ME WOW You are all amazing.

    Got more brillient photos Darlene and can tie them up nicely Poetry and trauma together as in First I dug away the pain. then I wrote away the pain. now I have THROWN AWAY THE PAIN. Forever in the deep blue cold north sea. you need to see the bottom of my poster to fully realise it.


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