My Mother Doesn’t Love Me and the Process of Grieving


grieving mothers loveWhen I finally drew my boundaries and make it clear to my mother that I was no longer going to accept her devaluing treatment of me, she walked away. She never called again. Oh she played her usual manipulative tricks including telling me that I could contact her “when I have thought about it” but I quickly told her that I it wasn’t up to me anymore. It was now up to her to decide if she was going to have a real relationship with me based on love, mutual respect and equal value, OR if she was going to continue to abuse me. (An option  I would no longer tolerate)

She wanted to just put the whole thing behind us and “start over” I said no and that this time I wanted to deal with it. This time I wanted my say.

She said “Oh Darlene, we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” and I responded “No Mom, in the past I have always backed down and let you have your way”. 

Always her way. Always a one sided relationship. Always her side.

That was the last time I spoke to her. I left it with her and she refused to bend. She refused to meet me half way.  She turned me down. My mother abandoned our relationship.

When I realized that she wasn’t going to contact me again, it cut me to the core.  I was rejected all over again.  By walking away from me she was saying “you are not worth it Darlene. I can’t be bothered working on having a relationship with you”

And that hurts very deeply. That is a horrible thing to realize and accept.

Not being worth it, had always been my deepest fear; I felt as though she proved I was unworthy of her love by not trying to work on our relationship.  But in reality, her actions do not make a statement about me; they make a statement about her. 

I questioned myself a million times about whether or not I had made a mistake drawing that boundary. But the alternative was just too devaluing. It was at the root of all my depressions and low self-esteem. I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself to her anymore.

The truth is that what my mother actually proved is that she either does not actually love me, or that she is incapable of healthy loving and mutually respectful relationship. (I suspect that both are true.)

I stopped using my suspicion that she was incapable of loving me or herself as the excuse to let her hurt me. There are all these “teachings” out there that when we are an example of “love” we teach love. And the truth is that I was not “being an example of love” by letting her walk all over me.  In truth I was sending her the message that she WAS more important than me and that I would accept her nasty behaviour no matter what because she was the more deserving one in our relationship. Like a dog that always comes home to the master no matter how the master regards the dog.

I had lots of grieving to do. In some of the most painful times, I had an image in my minds eye of the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz screaming “I’m melting, I’m melting” because sometimes it felt as though the pain of my mother’s rejection would kill me. It felt like I was dying.  

Eventually I began to accept that this was the way it really was.  I had to reaffirm my decision that I didn’t want to live by her rules anymore. I spent months reminding myself what the alternative would be if I lifted my boundary, and reaffirming that I didn’t want to lift it because the alternative was too devaluing to me.

Although I longed for a loving relationship with my mother, I had never had one in the first place; I had no frame of reference for what I actually longed for.

Standing up for myself was empowering. It was like saying “HEY, I deserve better than what you offer” and my actions proved that I believed it.  I made giant strides in the following months towards self-esteem recovery and personal growth.

There is no good answer for the question of why my mother doesn’t love me. She just doesn’t. The truth hurts but it has also set me free. I don’t wait around anymore for approval and love from places where I will not get it. Her actions state that she will love me only if I do things the way she wants.  She will love me if I do our mother daughter relationship the way she wants.

Unconditional love towards my mother on my part no longer looks like me accepting her devaluing and abusive actions and regard towards me. Unconditionally loving my mother is only possible when I respect and love myself in the true definition of love. Relationship with my mother is not possible when the price that I pay includes sacrificing my human rights, individuality and self-esteem.

Today I am free of that false system and false definition of love! I love in truth and equality. I see myself as equally valuable to all others. My self esteem is strong and healing more all the time!

For years I missed the idea of having a loving mother. I don’t miss that idea anymore. I don’t miss what I never had either. Standing up to the dysfunctional and toxic mother daughter relationship stuff went a long way towards my process of emerging from broken.

Please share your thoughts about toxic dysfunctional mother daughter relationship stuff or any other toxic relationship stuff that this post brings up for you.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time.

Darlene Ouimet

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

A very hot topic post this week was  ~ Adult Children and the Skewed definition of Respect 

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Categories : Mother Daughter



I’ve drawn the line this year with my mother who also left me feeling like a well trained mutt most of my life. In fact it will be a year this month since Mom first ‘tested’ that line forcing me to hold strong & not *come to HER rescue* again. I don’t think I realized in what capacity this was affecting me. I think abou her all the time, almost obsessively trying to disect our relationship. What was real, what wasn’t? What was manipulation & what was cautious parenting? Was there parenting? There must have been some … Why do I continue to pain over our lack of love & support? And so on…

Accepting what is and trying to grow from there is a challenge but continuing to wait for her to *wake up* is killing me.

Funny – her name is Darlene also. I wonder if she had tried to break the cycle of abuse & neglect would she be going through what I am? Maybe she just couldn’t face it. Who knows. It ends here.


Well YAY that it ends with you! I have two daughters and I work very hard not to repeat the dysfunction between my mother and I. I have written lots in this site about my Mom and how I finally was able to come to healthy conclusions and let go of what was not understandable. I sorted out many of the things you just mentioned and it has been a big part of the freedom I now enjoy in my life.
I am glad you are here! Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


What a powerful post, Darlene. It takes a lot of courage to face the truth that your Mother doesn’t love you enough to make any concessions to be in a relationship with you. But as horrible as that realization is, it’s almost better once you just accept it and grieve the loss and let go of the wish and hope that if you could just be good enough, forgive enough, love enough, your parent would treat you better/change/love you back.

Facing that reality, that my mother’s addiction to my father was more important to her than my feelings, boundaries and needs, was very difficult and painful. I felt true despair as I let it sink in that she did not love me enough to listen to me, respect my feelings, and change her behaviour. There have been other times where I have also faced this, where she behaved in ways that were so hurtful and I just could not fathom how anyone who claimed to love their daughter could act like that. I still cannot imagine treating my own daughter that way, ever. I couldn’t find any excuse for it, no matter what she had been through. There were times I could tell that she got some kind of pleasure or rush or power trip out of knowing that she could withhold from me something I needed badly – she was making me suffer and she liked it! It was like she got off on knowing that I needed her but she would withhold what I needed even when she could clearly see that I was desperate and vulnerable. It was really messed up. I figured out that I had to basically manipulate her into helping me out. If I really needed her help then I’d just mention it casually and act like I really don’t care one way or another if she can help me or not. She somehow gets hooked by my indifference to her and then wants to help me. But if I asked her sincerely and urgently for help, she’d goes into this weird, “well maybe I will or may be I won’t” game and would string me along right up until the 11th hour. She would never commit to anything and basically we’d just have to wait and see if she “felt up to it”.

When my second son was 6 months old I got pregnant again. I had had my son by cesaerean and was worried that if this next delivery got complicated, i’d have to have another C-section. The recovery time from a cesaerean is long and painful, and you’re drugged up and weak and can’t lift anything for a couple weeks, including your own baby, so it’s a very vulnerable time. Well my mother seemed to get weird with me whenver I was that vulnerable. Anyway, as my daughter’s due date came closer I asked her if she’d come stay with us for a week or more, in the event that I had a C-section and needed help with both my new baby and my toddler who was going to be only 16 months by then. But even though my Mom had to be out of her rental property precisely at the same time i needed her help, and wouldn’t be able to move into her other rental property for a couple weeks later, and needed somewhere to stay, and we were offering her a place to stay – right when I also needed her help, she would not confirm whether she would come or not. It was the most ridiculous thing! She basically turned my desperate need for her help into this bizarre game of withholding her support even though we both knew she had nowhere else to go! At no point did she just say to me what I was desperate to hear, “Don’t worry, honey, I’ll be there when the baby comes so put your mind at ease.” I was so stressed out that I went into a renal colic episode (horrible kidney pain and blood in my urine) a couple of weeks before the baby came. It was just awful. Of course in the end she came to stay with us and she took care of my sons while I was in the hospital, and thank god the delivery of my daughter went very well and I didn’t have to have a C-section. My mom was just awful after I got home from the hospital though – grumpy, complaining about not wanting to be at my house and wanting to be in her own home, she’d hold babies but did very little housework and didn’t cook at all. So I was up and about right away, taking care of things, and if I got tired or grumpy or weepy at all her fangs would come out and she would just ooze disapproval and make critical comments or angrily withdraw to her room. It’s almost as though my vulnerability makes her want to hurt me more, which I don’t understand. Anyway, the couple weeks she was there were pure hell. Had she not come at all and just told me to piss off in my time of need, that would have hurt a lot. But for her to come and then make me feel rejected, judged, and completely unsupported while being in my face every day was possibly worse. That was the kind of price I paid for needing her, for years. To her it was a weird game to manipulate and punish me for god only knows what – for not being stronger? For her own sufferings? I still don’t understand that weird dynamic at all.

Anyway, the day I finally figured out that needing her and letting her treat me this way in order to get what I needed (which I never did anyway – I got what little she would give me which was never what I needed) was NOT worth the pain and confusion and extreme, intense stress and the despair of knowing that your own mother would put you through such an awful ringer of BS – that was the day I really started healing. I stopped being willing to continue our relationship on her terms, just like you said Darlene. And I told her that. And then I stopped talking to her and told her I would not have any contact with her besides email until she would read what I had to say about our relationship adn respond to what I had said, not to attack me or tell me all the ways I was wrong about her, but a genuine conversation about it.

I refused to talk to her on the phone because it was very hard for me to hold my ground in person with her – she was good at turning things around on me and I was too good at feeling automatically guilty adn second-guessing myself and backing down. So the three months went by and she tried a few strategies to step around the issues, but I held firm. Thankfully she I guess needed me in her life more than it meant to her to hold on to being right, and finally she caved and met me part way. That stand off did change our relationship for the better. It never did become possible for me to point out (at that time) all the ways she controlled people and manipulated people with her various tactics (passive agressive), and just how bizarre her obsession with my Dad was etc., but at least she quit doing the things I had asked her to quit doing. And I got stronger, which is the most important thing. I realized I could survive without her and that gave me back the power in the relationship.

I had the same realization this summer with my Mother in Law. She is a cold, reserved woman – she values appearances over substance and is one of those people who puts lots of energy into having her life appear a certain way, because if it looks good then it is good. She is very closed emotionally and is really, fundamentally a selfish, childish, petulant, bitter person. I’ve never liked her and aside from our tendency to be domineering with our husbands, we have little in common. However, for the sake of family peace I had resolved to be more appreciative and accepting of my inlaws and less resentful. I was trying to look for the good and not obsess about the bad. So I found myself getting drawn into this game with her where I would go out of my way to do this or that, but it was clearly never adequate and no matter what, she is still miserable (unless she’s drinking) and grumpy. So finally I got good and sick of it and decided to hell with this crap. If trying all the time to be nice and pleasant and loving and thoughtful only results in me being looked down upon and thought of as weak, then screw it. I’ll just be a grumpy bee-yatch too and stop feeling guilty about disliking them as much as they clearly dislike me. It had caused me a lot of pain over the years that they didn’t like me for me, I felt rejected all over again. But I decided I was no longer willing to give them the power to hurt me and that I no longer care what they think, because they are not nice people. If they do not value the qualities about me that i feel are the most important – that I am kind and try to treat other people courteously and with respect, that I try to be happy and pleasant and upbeat, that I don’t have a chip on my shoulder against the whole world and don’t relish the failings of others in the family, basically if they are rejecting me and looking down on me because I’m a nice person, then they are NOT people whose approval I need. I have learned from my MIL that some people are NOT motivated by love and compassion. Some people are just angry, bitter, selfish, and miserable and they resent any one around them who isn’t that way too. So why did I care so much whether someone like that liked me or not? I like me, and I don’t like her, so I no longer care whether she approves of me or not and that decision has been very freeing.

It also changes the balance of power in the relationship when we stop basically leaving ourselves open to their abuse and rejection. It’s like when they know that they have something we want that they can withhold and hurt us with, that gives them a sense of power over us and they disdain us for our weakness relative to them. But when we stop playing and cut that chord of longing and just say YOU ARE A JERK AND I DON’T WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU, then we take their power away to hurt us. And in cases like your family, Darlene, sadly your mother loved hurting you and dominating you and treating you like crap but she has no capacity to actually love YOU. I’m so glad that you had the courage to stand up to her once and for all and get away from that, even though the aftermath of that was so painful for you.

It does hurt – acutely – to face the fact this stuff but it feels so much better afterward, when you realize that you don’t have to take their crap anymore.

I can’t say I know what it feels like to be stonewalled and basically cut out of the family for standing up to them though. That must be awful on top of awful. I was ready to do it though, I was ready to be done with my family. We moved a long way away from our families to give ourselves the distance we felt we needed to be free, happy, and safe to be ourselves. But I found that that freedom existed within myself most importantly. I had to decide to LIKE MYSELF and be 100% okay with who I am and where I’m at, and get past needing the approval or support of my parents and my inlaws or anyone else in order to be free. I had to decide that no one else was going to define my worth for me, and no one was going to be allowed in my life who made me question my worth in any way. Because I tended to attract people outside my family and play out the same crap with them too – the patterns didn’t end when I moved away. I just re-created them out there. And fell back into them when we came back home.

So, it’s all inside, that’s where the crucial changes have to happen. Thanks for articulating that so well, Darlene, and being such a positive example of what we can all achieve.


Thanks for the great post, stories of your life, etc.!!
I have that mother as well, and had to move in with my parents after 20 years of marital hell, a divorce, and LIVE with them and my foudn children. When I was 42, she physically abused me, they both verbally abused me, in front of my kids, talk about dangerous, toxic, sick, I don’t care if I never see them again, not even for a funeral.


While living with my parents after a divorce, with my kids, I needed straws to drink with due to permanent numbness from oral surgery when I was 19, and she knew this, and would HIDE the straws…my dad called my two youngest boys heathens at my beloved sister’s birthday dinner, and one son ran to the dictionary, read the difinition, and flung himself on the couch bawling for the afternoon. My parents are not in love with each other, but with whatever idols they can find, in their church and in the media. They do not love, but control those in their care. The last time I talked to my dad on the phone he said that I must stay in bed all the time (I am a stay-home mom-a busy one) and the last time I saw my dad with my husband, my dad looked at my husband, and said, “You don’t listen to her, do you?” Just that same attitude; it has never changed. He will literally stand there and look at my husband and tell my husband how WONDERFUL his OTHER son-in-law is! It is like he doesn’t even SEE the person standing in front of him. Unable to converse normally, respectfully.


Thanks Darlene for another great post!

Feels like I’m getting closer to being able to draw the line (just had my appointment to apply for low-income housing the other day). I think I’ve pretty well decided in advance that I’m just going to cut off all contact when I do get out (Ha! I said “when” not “if”! 🙂 ) at least to start with, becuase like you were saying Karen, I don’t think I’m able to stand my ground in person or even on the phone at this stage. I’ve always tended to just freeze when she starts on me, and even though I’ve been keeping myself out of the houose as much as possible and trying to avoid any interaction with her (damage control), the one time recently when I tried in the smallest way to assert myself she came gunning right back the next day and I just froze again and let her expose herself for the ****SELF-CENSORED**** that she is.

But I think that also helped in a way, because for the first time a couple of months ago I told my parents that I was probably going to need to be hospitalized for depression (and suicidal thoughts, but I didn’t specifically tell them that) and even knowing where I was at she told me she wanted to talk to me (instantly my every nerve and intuition were SCREAMING at me to get the f**k away from her) but I wasn’t strong enough — I tried though, I asked what about, she said “just some things”, I tried again and said “it’s not a good time for me at the moment” but she just said something like “it hasn’t been a good time for me either” and just waited for me to come and sit down and listen to her filth (sadly, like I always have done).

Then she told me how hard my depression is on THEM because I don’t interact with them as much as they’d like and because I hadn’t been helping out around the house much. (There’s a huge back-story here — while it’s true I often don’t help out much, she’s so f**king anal that she a) tells you to do something (never asks), then b) nags and nags that it’s not being done “the right way” or some similar shit, and c) gets angry and withholding if anything she commands isn’t done when she wants it done (which is always NOW).

My f**king hand started shaking while I was writing that. I f**king hate my mother. Kate, I’m so sorry to hear about your story – especially hiding the straws. That really got to me, becuase my mother simply cannot exist without moving things. I don’t know for sure if she intentionally hides things to f**k with me, or if it’s OCD or some shit, or just another way she distracts herself from her own miserable existence (actually Karen, your descriptions of both your mother and mother-in-law reminded me of my mother – especially the “appearance over substance” bit). But whatever the intent, at the end of the day, she constantly takes anything of mine that’s not in my room and moves it somewhere, and doesn’t tell me she’s done it or where it is. My memory’s shit (probably due to medication etc) so I have to leave things where I can see them clearly to be able to remember them. She even moves my fucking medication. (I am so full of rage right now. I really hate my mother. But I still feel sorry for her too. But I think finally I’m starting to feel sorry for MYSELF instead of just automatically excusing her for everything becuase SHE had a controlling mother, and paying attention to how thoroughly my parents have fucked up my life INSTEAD of blaming myself for it all (like I’ve always been trained to do).

(Sorry about all the f-bombs. Believe it or not, that last paragraph actually IS the censored version — at least compared to what I was thinking).

Leslie, I just went back and read your comment again. “IT ENDS HERE” is what I’m trying to get to and hold on to — from you and everyone else who has already made that step, as well as those who are still stuck in it at this point. Darlene, I’m so grateful to have found this site — I’m really starting to feel like I’ve found “my people” who understand the issues I’m going through etc. I think also it really helps to be able to keep coming back and be reminded that it’s all real, instead of just numbing out or pretending it’s all in my head and letting a f**king miserable existence keep dragging on.




Darlene, When I stood up to my mother, I did what she would never do, protect me. No one in my family, no matter what rotten thing my dad did to them, stood up to my parents. My mom didn’t commit the crimes but she certainly stood by my dad no matter what he did to who, even herself. I know they are sick but the only way for them to get well is to take responsibility for their actions. I’m the first one to do that and it is really late in the game. I believe that the boundary I set was a loving thing to do. God loves everyone but He has boundaries for relationship, so should I. It isn’t loving to knowlingly allow someone to abuse you and shield them from the consequences. That is what was modeled to me as love and it took me a long time to see what was wrong with that picture and what it did to me.

I am still mourning the loss of my family of origin. I miss my nieces and nephews, my siblings. I wonder how they all are and if anyone will let me know if someone gets really sick or dies. I hope that some of them see reality and at some point, make contact with me again but then I have to shut that down and move forward. Every day that I move forward it gets a little easier.




As I read the first part of your piece I was right there as your cheerleader hoping that you would realize you were not to blame…you are not unworthy at all. In fact, the stand you take makes you that much more respectable. Then I got to the website where the rest of your story unfolded and was cheering when you did set that incredibly hard boundary…and did the even harder work of “Letting it go”. I am not at home right now to see who wrote this piece of work…but I received it from my Life Skills class where we learn that sometimes people (no matter if they are blood related or not) do not stay in our lives forever…and that is alright. We won’t die because of it, but if they don’t stay they weren’t mean to and that we have to “let it go”.

This has definitely been my journey and the soul searching I have done since May of this year when I decided to “let it go”….my marriage, my hope that my spouse would become the man I wanted him to become, all of it. I had to learn the only thing I could do is work on me, set my boundaries and respect myself enough to keep them….and if he wasn’t willing to do the same, that I shouldn’t force him to keep trying, nor force myself to keep trying to fit a circle peg into the square hole. We both did as much as we could for the relationship…but it wasn’t what either of us needed from the other.

Wow, I have actually never written it that way before. That feels good to say it that way…especially since his ways still haven’t changed and the backlash and blame is growing whenever it has a chance. But I praise my training from Life Skills and growing closer to God that teaches me how to offer and extend grace to others where they are at…all the while keeping my boundaries in a healthy place for me.

Lastly, I am so excited at the path God is leading me down as I “emerge from broken”…and hopefully helping others to learn how to “Practice Joy” (find me on Facebook at this). I believe this is an all important component we miss all too often in our walks, in our journeys from being broken to becoming whole. I know there are many days where I just want to wallow in despair, sit around and cry and mourn my loss…and their are certainly times for this. Yet, I am finding that if I can bring even the smallest amount of celebration into my life daily…even the smallest reason to bring the lips up into a smile, or a slight laugh – something dramatically happens in my entire system…my mind, body and heart is elevated and reminded that all is right with me, all is right in the world….and that I am alright in the world.

I look forward to hearing more about your journey!


Hi Karen
Did you ever read my post “my mother finally wanted to be my mother” ? There is a story in that post about when my mom was going to come to help me when I was pregnant with my second baby.
(click the title and it will take you to that post)
You are doing some really great processing/clearing work here Karen. It is so powerful when there is sharing like this on the blog; it empowers many others to take a look at their own histories for the purpose of seeing the truth and sorting things out through a new grid of understanding.
Our mothers sound so much alike.
Something that really struck me is the way that you articulate the withholding your mom did. That is SO similar to the ways that things/ help/ time was withheld from me in every single abusive relationship that I have ever been in. I had to wait ~ it was as thought waiting proved my love and somehow that power trip restored their order. None of it was about me; all of it was about them. Great comments Karen,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Kate
Yes, thank you for sharing another example of cruel control stuff. (the straw withholding) That is such a weird yet typical abuse tactic! AND also how your father speaks highly of someone else in a way that puts down the one he is speaking to. That one is a HUGE tactic to make the targeted person “try harder” to win the high praise. UGG
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi J
OMGosh… exactly! My mother said and did stuff like that. Always about HER. Always her needs and my needs interfered with hers. This is a great share J. The memories went flying through my mind when I read your comments. This is the stuff that is not so easy to articulate but it impacts others so powerfully.
Thanks you so much for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pam
I still have days when I grieve too. Especially for the nieces and nephews that I may never know and I feel bad that my kids lost so much through it all too. It is hard. The price has been high ~ that is for certain. I am grateful that the rewards were even higher though.
And thank you for bringing up the points about love. Finding out what love really was and what it wasn’t was a huge huge part of my recovery.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Holli
Thank you for sharing about your marriage. What I wrote about my mother of course applies to all relationships. I love the way that you expressed your situation here! I went through this with my husband too; he ended up going to counselling and much to my horror started talking about his father in his sessions instead of talking about our marriage problems… but once he realized how abusive his father was, he began to see the way he treated me too and we eventually resolved things. (That is one of the reasons why I am such a huge advocate of dealing with the roots of the problem and not just mindset changes)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I am so sorry you experienced such a bad relationship with your mom and that she wasn’t open to trying to create something new for you to feel better.. but kept everything just so she could feel better.. you are such an inspiration in that you are able to move on from that toxic relationship into taking care of you.. even to the point of letting go of what you wanted so much : a relationsip with your mom..

I am not yet there completely .. as I always keep hoping for a miracle where my mom would finally take me into her arms and hug me and love me. .I never felt such things.or even to hear that she loves me from a distance..

I guess its a losing battle to want her to cross over and talk about all the hurt and damage I suffered since she believes she never did anything wrong.. we all lied. .according to her.. so nothing that happened really happened in her book..

Wish that were so..I wouldn’t feel so small next to others who had better families and loving parents..

I tell myself . .what she did doesn’t make me who I am but then I question doesn’t it? I feel so little confidence and still feel shame for all the hurting.. I know all that pain is gone…but the hope that she will say she is sorry for all that .. hasn’t yet died.. though with every passing day.. the hope dwindles down a little more..

I don’t hate my mom or my family. I love them but love myself too . enough to know I cannot continue to allow myself to stay in that type of behavior.

Thanks for the’s still kind of a hard topic for me.




Hi Leslie, Kate, J & Pam,

This is Karen – I decided to change my online name recently, but yesterday I was in a hurry and forgot to check before I posted. So, Karen = AnnaLyzza, FYI!

Kate – after my post I was thinking about how it’s easy to recommend cutting off your family to get healthy, but what happens when you really need a support network like what a family is supposed to provide? Exactly like your situation…you knew your parents were toxic but you didn’t have anywhere else to go. My heart goes out to those of you who can’t just cut and run.

And J, my heart goes out to you in the stage of the process you are in. I was so angry at my mother that I just felt sick with revulsion a lot of the time. She was just so impossible to confront in a constructive way. I felt trapped by the limits of her ability to see herself and change herself – Leslie I can’t tell you how badly I wanted her to wake up and how much it pained me that she couldn’t/wouldn’t. I drove me into deep depression actually.

J, I had to laugh about how your post was censored – I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to hold back the swears when I get going talking about my family! Your family would make me swear too. The whole “I need to talk to you” and all your intutitive warning bells going off – I can really relate to that. My Dad would call me up out of the blue and say “I’ve been missing ya’, let’s go out for supper/for a drive etc.” I eventually learned that this meant he was going to drop some sort of bomb or that he basically wanted some free counselling, or in a couple cases was soliciting my services as a mediator between he and my mother. I learned that he didn’t actually miss me or want my company, he actually needed something that he must have known at some level was inappropriate to ask of his daughter, so he had to pretend to both of us like this was really about he and I spending some good quality time together! What a load of BS!

Anyway, I’m so sorry that your mother is such a raging narcissist and that your mental health only matters to her in so much as it interferes with your helpfullness around the house. That is the thing with narcissists – we do not have needs or a function beyond meeting their needs. I have come to realize that my parents to a degree, and my MIL, truly do not “see” ME. I’m not sure how to describe this, but in some of the New Age stuff I’ve read, other people are mirrors in which we see ourselves (because we are all narcissistic to a degree, unless we are more evolved), and if we like what we see, if the other person – the mirror – present to us a version of ourselves that we like and approve of, then we love them, or in the case of dysfunctional families, at least we approve of them and perhaps treat them less badly than others. If we don’t like what we see, if the other person reflects back parts of ourselves that we hate or deny or consider weak etc., then we hate that person. In many cases, the narcissist will go to great lengths to destroy by whatever means what they see in the mirror.

I have observed that my inlaws tend to cater to and respect and kiss the a$$ of my husband’s brother, though he’s a demanding, tantrum throwing, petulant, snotty brat. My husband on the other hand is gentle, happy, eager to please, sensitive, considerate, and puts his needs last and everyone else first. Well, since my MIL is more like my husband’s brother, she esteems those qualities and respects him, whereas I think she punishes my husband at some level for being the type of person that she isn’t. And with me, I’m overweight and kind of schlubby in my appearance which is clearly upsetting to her (she used to suggest weight watchers a lot, then pretend like she didn’t mean anything by it – whatever), but honestly, when I first met my husband back when I was thin and strong and beautiful, i know i upset her more because she’s intensely competitive and compares herself constantly to others. She was very threatened by my strength and unfortunately I shut that down and made myself less threatening because I was afraid of her. I am still trying to recover from the many ways I have hidden my light and contorted myself in order not to threaten other people in my life, because when you challenge them through your very being – through how you look or sound or dress or talk or think or act or speak – then they will either disapprove of you (which I didn’t realize I was so very afraid of this much) or they will be even more aggressive and attack you/tear you down/try to break you. w wwill buy me clothes that she would choose etc. – I don’t think she can handle the thought that her son would marry someone so different from her.

I’m so sorry that most of you have parents who openly bully you, criticize you, talk down to you, torment you and brutalize you with their words, facial expressions, actions, and behaviour. I’m sorry that such people exist who take pleasure in controlling and crushing their children. I do not understand at all how anyone could behave in a consistently cruel manner to their own kids and not ever feel guilty or remorseful. There is something wrong with the brains of these people, that is all there is to it. Whether they can be “fixed” or healed or their hearts opened up or their eyes opened up – whether we can get them to wake up to us and to themelves I don’t know. Sometimes all that can be done is to get away from them to safety. I’m deeply grieved for what you’ve all had to endure and what you are either trying to escape from or have had to escape from.

Pam, I can’t imagine never having any contact at all with my siblings and their kids. I don’t know that I’d ever stop greiving that loss, even if I knew that it was a necessary and healthy decision. So HUGS to you, Pam. Hopefully as your nieces and nephews get older they will seek you out for help and support, because likely they will need it.


Sorry, I accidentally hit the Submit button before I finished editing, so there’s a little bit of text at the end of the 6th paragraph that I was planning to delete, so sorry for any confusion. Though it’s true, I know it baffles and upsets my MIL that her son would marry someone like me! I think she wonders why he wouldn’t choose someone more like her, and the possible answer to that question is more than she can cope with. So she tries instead to make me over in her own image, she buys me clothes that she likes and would wear, for example. Sadly I have not had the strength to hold on to myself in the face of her competitiveness/disapproval. I have been very scared of her all these years, I don’t know quite why. She can’t kill me, she can’t really destroy me because I am very strong, she can’t take my husband away from me. She is too concerned about appearances and is too approval-driven herself to disown us or cut us out of her life. She can and has made my husband feel like shit because he cannot stand up to her, even within his own self. He feels like a bad son for every displeasing her, no matter if her displeasure is unfair or unwarranted. But what can she do to me other than disapprove that I am so scared of? Why have I shut myself down for this woman????


My story is so similar to yours, Darlene, that I could have written this word for word, even the part where you said your mother said she wanted to just put the whole thing behind you and “start over.” No way was I going to do that either – to do that meant I was saying that it was okay for her to continually abuse me. No way was I going to let her do that to me anymore. I wanted her to ‘face the facts’ and she didn’t want to do that. Her last email to me, just over a year ago, told me that I was always so difficult to love. That was the END of the relationship for me. I was DONE. FOREVER.

My own little family knows that this is not true of me … difficult to love – no one else has ever said this to me, implied or insinuated this to me, so I know its a lie. She sees me as difficult to love because I won’t take her crap, or allow her to control or manipulate me or my life. Just as it was for you, it was the same with my mother, ‘Always her way. Always a one-sided relationship. Always her side.’ My views, opinions, feelings did not exist – only hers.

Great post!!


Thank you, Annalyza. I was a very involved aunt and it really makes me sad that none of them even want to hear my side of things but I’m sure they feel pulled and naturally, side with their mom. Everyone was so used to my always conceding in order to keep everyone together that my saying finally, that I’ve had enough is really confusing to everyone but they’d still rather let me go than talk about what is hiding in the closet.

You’re right, I don’t think I’ll ever stop mourning such a huge loss but I do know that it is the right thing to do and there was no other honorable thing to do. I just couldn’t swallow it all anymore. I had to be out from under the lies.



I have done this too Darlene… only she still calls. My brothers and sisters stand behind her. It is so twisted and painful. They need me to blame rather than look at the truth. There is not talking with them. They play a game called lets get Calv pissed off …then we can point at him and say See…we just can’t talk to you!!! It has been a long hard road and it has taken its toll …

Thanks for shareing this…


Sorry again, by the time I finished my epistle and posted it, Darlene and Joy had posted, so I didn’t mean to leave anyone out of my greeting – just hadn’t seen your posts.

Darlene, yes I have read your post about how your mother behaved while at your house after you’d had a baby. This was back when I just read things but felt I was past this stuff enough to not have anything to offer by way of posting. Ha! I’m not as past it as I thought I was!

It kind of shook a few things loose, actually, to read such a similar experience. It truly does help to know that we’re not the only ones going through this. I still don’t know what it is about me having babies that sets my mother off so. I know that her own birth experiences having me and my brothers were not pleasant. It was a different era of being strapped to gurneys and drugged out of your mind, of husbands being absent and she lived far away from her parents with disapproving inlaws so she did not have much support. I know all this because after my second son was born – the C-section – while still in the hospital, strung out on pain killers and changing hormones, weak as a kitten, my mom came to help with the baby while my husband had to go to class. For some reason she felt this was an appropriate time to unload all her stories of the hellish experiences she’d had as a young, naive, scared woman – basically she unloaded all her traumas related to her childbirth experiences, she confessed how she had post partum depression so bad after my younger brother was born that when he was about 4 months old and I would have been 17 months, we both got croup and she just couldn’t cope so she left us both in the hospital and went back to Utah to stay with her parents, and then she cried a while because she felt bad about that. She told me all sorts of very sad things – my father was a self-absorbed jack ass and she did suffer a great deal because of it. The story that she told between the lines – the story she will never admit – is that her mother was absent physically and useless the one time she did come up. My mom was isolated and abandoned at a very vulnerable time, but she doesn’t realize that part of it. Anyway, this is the type of stuff she unloaded on me in my state of vulnerability, and I feel at an energetic level that she downloaded her pain around all that onto me and was able to walk away feeling cleared out.

Anyway, I know that she often reacts aggressively to me when I exhibit any kind of vulnerability. I do not know if this triggers her own memories of her own vulnerability and how she was not cared for by her husband or parents or his family during her dark times and she cannot face that pain so she attacks me. I suspect that a part of her feels like nothing I am going through is as bad as what she survived, so I should quit being such a baby and suck it up. I also suspect that a part of her feels that if she had to go through crap alone, then why should I have it better than she had? Why should she come to my rescue when no one came to hers? Why should she go out of her way to take care of me when no one is taking care of her?

And I honestly think that a part of her is jealous of me any time I have better or more or easier than she had it. I truly do not understand how you would not want your kids to have it easier and better than you had it! Why would you not do whatever you could to help them through their rough times so that nobody had to ever feel as alone and hurt and abandoned as you had?

You know, since I posted about how important it has always been to me to understand WHY, I’ve realized that maybe I really don’t give a shit anymore WHY. Maybe my compulsion to always ask why and understand where my abusers were coming from was just me obediently listening to my mother saying, “Try to understand where they are coming from and forgive them.” I’m just carrying on her chosen coping strategy of always making it okay and finding a justification for why the people in her life hurt her or neglected her or scared her or abused her. I absorbed the belief that good Christian girls turn the other cheek and judge not lest I be judged and look for the good in people and forgive (and in my mother’s case blatantly ignore) the bad. So all this time I have been trying to find some reason to empathize with my abusers so I could forgive them.

Sure, there have been positives to this endeavor all these years, but just the past couple of days I am realizing that ultimately, the WHY does not matter. It matters only if it helps me learn something for my own benefit or someone else’s, but it should never mean that I let people get away with treating me poorly because I feel sorry for them and all they’ve endured.

There is no justification for cruelty to children. There is no good reason to continue in relationship with people who will not stop treating us hurtfully and hatefully. I feel we do them a great disservice by continuing to allow them to treat us that way. By not setting a boundary, we allow ourselves to be abused, and by allowing them to abuse we reinforce that their behaviour is acceptable.

Now I don’t say that to criticize anybody who is struggling with the process of disengaging from an abusive situation, because I know how very very hard it is to do that. I can barely stand up to my MIL, and the worst thing she has ever done to me is convey her disapproval and let me know that she can be unpleasant when threatened. She has never messed with my head or caused me physical harm to the degree that many of you have endured. I have no idea if I would have had the strength to pull myself out of an overtly abusive family. It is really really hard to pick apart and free your thinking from the toxic, messed up programming that gets into our heads from living in unhealthy families. I knew I had made really good progress, but engaging in these discussions has made me aware that I still have work to do – that I’m not done yet.

I commend you all for the journey you are on, for saying NO to abuse and for doing whatever you have to do to be healthy and happy. If you can be strong in the face of what you have endured, then I can damn well quit hiding my strength from my MIL and anyone else who disapproves of me.


Congratulations Pam for the great courage you have.

My deepest sympthies for your loss 🙁


As painful as it is, finally accepting and grieving the loss of something we never had but should have had..a loving mother; is freedom. Freedom from the never-ending longing that consumed us for so much of our lives. I am proud and you should be too! We have become the mother we never had to our children. That reinforces to me that the goodness and worthiness was there in me all along. I did not need my mother to discover that, I found it for myself and so did you. Much love to you and thank you for sharing this with others who have yet to make this discovery for themselves.:)


Hi Joy and EVERYONE! This is so important;
I want you to know (I want everyone to know this) that I hoped for that same miracle for YEARS and years. Even in my process when the fog started to lift and the real truth started to emerge about my mom and dad, I held on a few more years before I stood up to them. I am glad that I didn’t push myself. I am glad that I waited till I was really ready before I confronted. It is okay to BE IN the process. I told myself that for years too.
I think you are doing great!
Hugs and love, Darlene

YAY. I think many abusers ask for the slate to just be wiped clean… sweep everything under the carpet and lets start fresh. I was falling for that one anymore either. I finally got tired of tripping over the HUGE pile under the carpet!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

To everyone~
I had many others reinforce what my mother/father and childhood taught me about myself. Many men picked up where she left off including my own husband. Many situations including work and business relationships where I was willing to believe that it was me. That I was the problem. It was a huge thing to undo this belief system set in place in my childhood.



Every time there is a problem. I automatically blame myself even if I don’t know what I did because that what was assumed when I was growing up..

I don’t think confrontation will ever happen for my mom as they have now blocked me from the list of family members even as far as amongst distant relatives.. I am black balled . .cut off ..marked out as one to be avoided.

I found this out from a cousin who is afraid to associate with me lest she become that way..

I feel very much like the lepers of biblical times. like I should cry out “unclean” . since that is how they have, as a family, decided to label me.

I am not to be spoken to or contacted.. it is very painful. .since I don’t know why I am being treated in such a way. I have done all I could to be good and live a good life.



This is a huge abuse tactic ~ actually two tactics used together; one is the getting you pissed off so that they can say “see, I knew it was him” and the other one is that they band together to do it. People go to great lengths to stay in their cozy denial. But they also get to live in all that crap. It IS a long hard road and it does take a toll, but wow, for me it has been so worth it! There IS freedom on the other side of this! Thanks for sharing this today!
Hang in here!
Hugs, Darlene

It took me a long time to stop trying to figure out what motivated my mother to be so nasty, and concentrate on what her actions caused me to believe about myself. YAY that you are starting to realize that truth too! YAY!! I am doing the happy dance in my chair!
p.s. I stood up to my in-laws too, and I’ve stood up to many others. (and sometimes I still shake like a leaf inside when I do it, but I still press on) I own my strength now, and I KNOW the truth about right from wrong, which is all I am really trying to pass on here!
Love and hugs, Darlene


Hi Linda P
Yay! thank you for sharing this victory! That is how I feel too. Freedom. And yes, I am very proud of myself. I did this and I am making a difference because of it. It didn’t happen overnight. I had so much to sort out and put through a new grid of understanding; the grid of the real truth vs. the lies that I had been told my whole life about me and about how life works. (first step was finding the lies)
Thanks Linda for your wonderful encouragement today! It is great to have you here with us!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy
In time I came to see this from a different angle. What are they afraid of?? Same thing that I was afraid of. To be rejected/disowned etc. BUT they are willing to pay the price to be “in the family” and the price is conformity; the price is obedience and compliance. The price is to sacrifice myself, my mind, my life, my individuality ~ all of it. The price is just to dang high. SO they can have it! I can say “I hope they are happy with that” but I feel sorry for them. I could say “good luck with that”… but I think they need a lot more then luck.
Hugs, Darlene

p.s. Everyone… it doesn’t always have to end this way. My husband and I were here once too and we sorted it all out because HE was willing to work it out with me. as an equal. as equally valuable people. I know people who have successfully worked out this stuff with their parents too. But only when all parties are willing to have an equality based relationship and give up the misuse of power and control.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

I don’t know if this is wrong to say this or revealing too much my struggle but there are times when I have been tempted to give and just deny myself my rights. It’s not like it would be something foreign to do since I would just be sliding right back into the terrible way I had lived most my life. But then I step back and evaluate it from the healthy way I am learning here. .and say ‘no, it’s not worth sliding backward’

I cry alot and no one sees because I want to be accepted and its not something thats possible without sacrificing my rights and without doing harm to myself.

I know though that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that rain is a very good thing in our lives. I am constantly giving myself pep talks and drawing on words I read here.

thanks for the good words.




marc, Thank you. It means a lot to have someone say that to me.:0)



I fight those thoughts too, joy. In the end though, I can’t go back this time. I think differently about myself and I have too much self respect to live like that again. I was raised to be an emotional slut and it isn’t worth it to anyone, not just me, but all involved to continue in that kind of relationship. All I asked is that they acknowledge I was sexually abused and treat me with respect by also acknowledging that they broke the law when they did nothing to stop it. That really isn’t very much and it is all true. They are the only people in the world who would say it was all my fault (those that have all of the facts). At first I thought it was ignorance but it is willful ignorance at this point. Ignorance hurts but willful ignorance is just plain evil.



HI Pam,

THanks for your words.. what makes it hard is my siblings who may have had less to suffer since they ran away now take mom’s part saying she couldn’t help what happened.. I don’t recall her being ill at the time.. She inflicted so much pain and shame on me.. It’s all over I know but to say she couldn’t help it makes me feel bad like I am the bad person.. She denies ever hurting us yet. the scars I have are they make believe too?..Even after the treatment I get is like one who has done the worst crimes while I never did anything .. those who did crimes. .drugs.. and worse are hailed as good children..

I feel so much like those in the old testament who ask why the wicked prosper..why must I be punished for being good?

Everyone in the family looks at me badly..because I never spoke up about anything and now am .. 🙁

Mom would never admit to hurting me. she said we all lied.

Hugs and love



Linda, your post is so eloquent and true – “grieving the loss of something you never had” so well describes the pain all of us have felt in one way or another.

Darlene – glad I could bring on a happy dance! I’m pretty pleased with my recent epiphanies as well! Thank you so much for providing the setting, the safety to process, and the insight needed for evolving awareness to occur.


What is also very hard is I have to testify next month against a monster .. and have no one in the family to offer support or encouragement.. matter fact my mom had said I got what i deserved.. when I had first told her of the abuse I suffered from my former employer..

I am afraid of going back to the place where I was hurt .. How I wish i had my mother to tell me its going to be alright.. or that once its over .. it will be over. .but she is no where. .to help me..




I don’t know why your family would penalize you for being good. It doesn’t make any sense, but I have seen something similar happen in my husband’s family. They are not happy people, they seem to prefer being miserable and negative and ungrateful and jealous and to complain and find fault with life rather than appreciate all the blessings they have. So people who are happy and cheerful and positive and genuine seem to irritate my inlaws.

So maybe, for people who are truly miserable and unpleasant, being around good people who are loving and kind just reminds them of how good they are not, and this makes them angry. They don’t want to be reminded that they are supposed to be good, they just want to go on feeling like God approves of them being bad and mean and selfish and miserable. So they shun and punish good people as though they are the bad ones. So Joy, you are not bad. You are a good person who ended up in a family that felt threatened by your goodness.

I know it doesn’t make much sense because when you’re a good person, you value the good in others and have compassion for the bad and it’s not in your nature to want to hurt anybody. It is hard for us to understand why anyone would want to hurt us when we have no desire to hurt them.

What I’ve learned from Darlene recently is that there is no good enough reason WHY your mother treated you the way she did and why your family has turned their backs on you. There is something wrong with their hearts that they would do these things to you, Joy. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t deserve it, and it’s not your fault.

I know these reassurances don’t take the pain away of being treated so horribly by your family. I can imagine how awful it would feel to have your mother accuse you of lying so that she doesn’t have to face her own sins. My mother has made me feel like I must be crazy because she would not acknowledge the truth of my experiences – she is certain she’s a good person and not capable of the damaging things I have accused her of. She is in denial of the reality of herself. It was very hard for me to accept that my mother would chose her own warped view of the world/herself over my mental health and peace of mind.

Hopefully you can keep reminding yourself that you ARE a good person. I don’t know why God sometimes lets good people suffer and bad people prosper. I don’t know why God lets good kids end up in horrible families. But as you have said, there must be some sort of plan. Your goodness, and you choosing to be true to that goodness at all costs – even having to lose your family – is not in vain, Joy. Hopefully you can see the gains you have made now that you are free of them. But I am glad that you acknowledge and are processing the pain you feel over losing your family. Even if we know intellectually that we’re better off, it doesn’t lessen the hurt and the loss of “something we never had but should have been given.”

big HUGS to you, Joy. Your open tender heart is beautiful and I hope you appreciate all the good things about you that we can all see, even if your family could not appreciate you.


Dear Annalyzza,

Thank you so much for your very kind and supportive words, they mean alot to me.. I believe like you say : there are reasons that we go through things but we don’t know why bad people sometimes make out better than the good.

I know for sure.. that family .mom especially said I was going to go to hell if I leave the “Catholic Faith” which I have freely done.. I haven’t stopped believing in God but rather prefer a freer way to worship and adore God..

I can’t understand all the family beliefs: you have to keep abuse silent. .you have to go to a particular church. you have to appear other than what you are not..

I just don’t fit in with what they want from me. .and it hurts that they don’t love me for me.. but I can’t stop being me.

Love and Hugs..



As I read this blog I found myself putting my daughters name where you put your mother. It fit like a glove, and your truth spoke volumes of how my daughter treats me. I’ve had to let her go, this week is my gradaughters 9th birthday. Im not allowed to call her when her mother has her. I keep asking what went wrong? When did it go wrong? What did I do that was so horrible that she hates me so much that she doesn’t want me in her life or my grandaughter? I asked her for a healthy relationship based on truth not lies. She walked away. So like your mother she refuses to value, respect, and love me. It hurts, yet I can’t compremise on a healthy relationship.


Like I’ve had to say recently – “I miss having a father, a mother, a brother, a family – but – I don’t miss my father, my mother, my brother, my family”. It is excruciatingly painful but true.


Hi Joy, AnnaLyzza, and all
Try to remember that it matters not if the abuser “meant” to do what they did or not. It doesn’t matter if they were ill or if “they couldn’t help it” because whatever was “wrong” with them doesn’t lessen the damage that was caused to us. We are healing from the damage. It is so important to acknowledge the damage and heal from it regardless of the issues of the person who inflicted it.

Just my thoughts on the subject of God ~ I hate to think in terms of “god lets” this stuff happen. He gave man free will and free choice and abuse is the misuse of that power. If you think about it, Jesus came with the message to lay down your power and embrace equal value for all mankind. That message was not embraced by those in power or with power. The same is true today.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Renee
I am sorry that this is the situation you are in with your daughter.
Hugs, Darlene

I like the way that you put that. YES I don’t miss MY mother or father etc.
Hugs, Darlene


You took the words right out of my mouth. I came out of the fog this summer and it was a grueling process (when my mother cut me off once again) to realize she never loved me in the first place. Since I set healthy boundaries with her, she now has no room for me in her life. It felt as if someone ripped my heart out. The pain was so intense. I was too numb to cry. I was crushed to the core. I was an emotional zombie for days. My head throbbed. I vomited. The rejection was brutal, but I survived.

And I have no regrets. Well, perhaps one. I only I wish I realized the truth sooner. But at least I did and am free from her clutches now to truly live MY life.

For once.



I feel irritated when reading your story.

This might be my issues and I can be wrong but I think you do have great responsiblity in the fact that your daughter treats you badly and does not want to see you.

If you truely were a loving, caring, honnest, warm, helpful mother and always defended her from evil people and abuse, why would she treat you badly, want you out of her life?

Doesn’t make sense to me. I think you are not honnest about yourself and possibly to yourself.

Again, I might be totally wrong here.


Marc and Renee and all the other readers ~
I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I know what you are saying here Marc.

I have tried to tell Renee in my comments on other posts that I veiw my children differently then I view myslef when it comes to abuse or the way that they regard me (which for the most part has been resolved, but they had thier processes to get through also) because I am the one who raised them. I am the one who helped and hindered their self esteem in the first place. In much of the case until I got help myself, I passed on to them my false definition of love and my false belief system; the way that I understood it and the way that it had been taught to me. I also cringe when people write about how they are going to abandon relationship with their “abusive” children. It seems that no matter what age, the child gets blamed and in this site I try to speak to that adult child. But when it comes to my own chidlren, THEY are the children. So this is tough. My own mother abandoned our relationship because she says that I am the problem; that I am the abusive one.

I have been attacked by parents who are very angry with me becasue of what I write in this blog. My view of them is usually that they still believe in parent rights and that they OWN thier adult children. And they don’t want me to communicate how I took my life back from my abusers if those abusers were my parents. They tell me that I am disrespectful and that I deserved whatever I got and that life works best when we obey our parents. Even if those parents have broken the law and my self esteem. They say that I am the abuser. But I know better so I keep writing. when I hear about elder abuse (when adult kids hit their parents) I can’t help but wonder where they learned that hitting someone was the way to control them.

I have worked very hard to be an accountable parent, practicing what I teach, while at the same time working to draw my boundaries and take my life back and stand up to abuse and abusers. Although in the case of my minor child I have more authority then her and it is my job to protect her and teach/mentor is also my job to empower my children (including the adult ones). Having greater authority is not the same as having greater value. I do not have greater value than any of my children. I don’t have more rights. I strive to communicate equal value to them and to all others.

I don’t want to judge anyone on this blog, but at the same time, if silence is consent, then I can understand why Marc wrote what he wrote. tyhis is a very difficult area.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for posting this. It sounds so similar to my story. While growing up I thought my father was the abusive one…physically, emotionally, sexually. As an adult I realized that my mother knew about his abuse, stood by and did nothing. My mother is controlling and manipulative in a passive-aggressive sort of way. When she talks about when we were little, I wonder how my memories can be SO very different from hers. She remembers things that NEVER happened and seems to have forgotten all the horrible things she and my father did to me. My father is deceased now and after he passed is when I really realized that my mother too was/is abusive, but in a different way. My younger brother and sister are abusive toward me in a similar way as my mother.

I have talked to them about the abuse, how I feel, and waited for them to change. Finally after way too many years (I’m in my 50s) I have walked away from them. I have decided that I love myself too much to continue to subject myself to their abuse. They don’t want to change. They want me to continue to be their scape goat.

I now feel free. I am not defined by what they say and feel about me. I am a wonderful person, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. My hope is that all people who have been abused will find the freedom and healthy self-esteem that I have found.


Marc and Darlene,
I have done everything in my mind to figure out what went wrong, where it went wrong, how it went wrong. I have two daughters. One I have a very healthy relationship with. At the beginning “L” had a struggle it was every day issues. “A” at the age of two woke up went into her sisters bedroom and bite her so hard she drew blood and I had to take her to the doctor. From that day forward she was different. Until present I could never figure out. I took her to counseling, had meetings with her teachers, meetings with her youth leaders ect. When Darlene spoke on this blog this is exactly what I went through and I have a hard time with the greiving of that relationship. Just because she is a daughter and not a mother THATS what makes the difference? Holding adult children in a different accountability than something a mother does is that on a lesser scale? What she has done to my grandaughter I never thought of doing to my daughters. Marc it is easy to get pissed off or say things flipantly if you have never experienced what im going through.
If I was all you said I was then why, why is my other daughter so different? Wouldn’t she have experienced what “A” did? My answer is yes. Did “A” experienced what “L” had, yes every day of her life. So why are they so different, Marc? One daughter healthy with healthy relationships and healthy and well adjusted children and one not?

Darlene, If my expressing the frustration and acknowleging how I am treated by one daughter weither that is abusive (which I think it is)or not is offensive to you and others then I probably need to no longer be on this blog. I thought all abuses were just that ‘abuse’ and that wheither that be from a mother, father, brother, son or daughter it is the healing process is what is important.
Thank you for letting me share no matter what you believe, I have gotten a lot from this blog and appreciate the support your other readers have given me.


Darlene,If I would have followed what my parents and siblings advised, I would have thrown my son away when he began having problems as a teenager. If I’d done that, I would have neglected my duty as a parent. He wasn’t obeying what our husband and I told him but that doesn’t mean we were no longer responsible. We held onto him with all of our might and I’m very glad we did. At least, my husband was able to give him a way to make a living and we also, did all we could to get him counseling. He was very depressed and when the doctor put him on meds, he became a different young man, very violent and abusive. The system was of little help, that includes the mental health and justice system,and my family turned their back on him just as they turned their back on me as a teenager, just as they’ve turned their back on me now. Anyone who thinks adult children are obligated to obey their parents is way out of line. Also, there is no honor in doing evil at the bequest of parents. People who say such things have a very plastic view of things taught in the Bible and if keeping a tradition means lying or hurting someone needlessly, it is an empty tradition. There is no truth in it.

My parents were not there for me so, I was always there for my kids. I created my own dysfunction by doing the extreme oposite of my parent’s extreme. I need to take responsibility for what I did and part of that has meant my backing away and allowing my son to take more responsibility for his own choices and behavior. That’s where I made my biggest mistakes. I was trying to give my children what I lacked in childhood instead of giving them what they needed. We have come a long way in the last few years and even though I didn’t completely get it until late in the game, we remain a close family. We have problems but continue to work on them. I made some big mistakes but one thing my kids know for sure is that their dad and I value them, respect them, and love them unconditionally. They do the same in return.



Karen, When my mom did the same to me, I felt as if I’d been cut off at the knees and I understood in an instant,the the depressions I suffered that immobilized me were of this same emotional cutting off at the knees. Ever since then when I start to wobble in my resolve, I remind myself of how disabled my mom made me and I find comfort in the decision I made and I hurt much less. It gets better every day.



Renee,I know what it feels like to be abused by your child and I know what I did that caused my son to treat me the way he did. I over protected him, spoiled him, and allowed him to manipulate me because I still was so confused by manipulation and often didn’t recognize it as such. I was too good to my son. I gave up my life to serve him. At one point, I thought I’d raised my dad but things have changed. The last time he hurt me, he ended up serving a years probation and I had to tell the judge what my wishes were for his punishment. I drew a hard line but I never turned my back on him or threw him out and I’m thankful he didn’t do the same to my husband and I. I know how lonely it is to be hurt by your own child and how one can have very little insight as to why it has happened but also, know deep inside that somehow, it is your fault. During the time he spent on probation, my husband and I went to him, appologized for the ways we had hurt him and asked for forgivness. He responded by doing the same. There has been no more abuse since then other than occasional spoken disrespect. Don’t give up, renee. It’s not over until it’s over.




There is, in my opinion, indeed a fundamental difference between the parent and the child. When the child is abusive the parent is always responsible for that. However, when the parent is abusive the child is never responsible for that!

Hence a parent blaming their child of abusive behaviour and not taking responsiblity is in my opinion unacceptable, even when the children are adults.

In your reaction you continue to blame your child for her dysfunction. You continue to not take responsiblity. That is why I think I continue to feel irritated and angry when reading your response.


Dr. Phill says “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. If I knew what went wrong I would have some Idea as to where a starting point of healing can begin. I am my own worst critic, I am very no extremely hard on myself. I come from a sever abused background so to say I never made a mistake, yelled when I should have quietly spoken or I should have done acted where I may not have. I don’t know where to start. I love my daughter, I want our relationship to be healthy or even to just have a relationship on any level. But and it is huge I will not have it based on lies, or imaginary accusations. That is all I ask. I have a family that blames me for being raped, being sold at 9yrs old, and a vanerial disease because of it. I have everyone pointing that huge finger of blame that haunts me 24/7. You just need to take a number because everyone I know thinks like you, “Im held accountable and it’s my fault.” I get that I just needed to know what I did so I can hold myself accountable. If I hurt that child then I have to do what ever it takes to make it right. I don’t need you to point it out. I hurt because there is a void, a loss and I as her mom WANT to work on a healthy relationship. Reguardless of what you believe or think She is my child and I thought I did things right because I tried to do everything opposite of what my parents did. I wanted my girls not to know anything that was simular to my upbringing. It breaks my heart and I feel it is a death that Im greiving for her. I DON’T know how to fix the brokeness. If that puts me in the same group as the abusive moms out there then I guess I am. Yet this is one abusive mom that will do anything to do things in a healthy manner. That is accountable and will face what I need to. I want a relationship, I want things out in the open, I want to be able to have a relationship with my grandaughter. But like I said it has to be based on truth. Marc, reguardless of your anger I understand what you are saying, Im not hiding anything to keep things in a closet only keeps the hurts and all the pain covered and nothing gets resolved or healed. Im sorry I upset you, and you think im not being accountable, I believe I am. I want to be and I need to be.


Renee: perhaps your daughter has a serious mental illness and it’s something beyond your control. Marc: I don’t think it’s fair to automatically place ‘blame’ on a parent (or assume it’s their fault) when a child turns out to be a bad seed. They may just have been born deficient emotionally/mentally somehow. But I understand you are just voicing your concern, as well. Renee: I’m sure your heart is breaking over this situation and I wish you the best in your journey to healing.


All, When someone chooses to abuse another, it is always the abusers fault. They are the one responsible, no matter what happened to them. I think that someone who has been abused is likely to be abused by others until the person abused develops self-esteem and boundaries.Children will sometimes abuse a parent who was abused for the same reason that others abuse that person. Everyone makes their own choices. The parent is responsible for their choices and the adult child is, also. There is never a time when it is okay to abuse. Retaliation doesn’t heal anyone. Parents who are being abused by their child do their child no favor if they just take it and not make any provisions to protect themselves.

Renee, You know the truth of your situation. I think protecting yourself from physical harm is part of what a loving parent has to do in order for that child to begin to heal. Of course, adult children will only listen to however much they want to hear from us and we can only participate in their healing to the point that they will allow. Hang in there.



Well in my opinion marc as being the daughter L, of Renee I grew up in the same household as my sister A….I also greive for the loss of a sister who physically abused my two small children. Has showed pictures of my new born child stating (the child was her’s) to friend and family and tell them he was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver, she has stated to many people she has cancer to get the sympothy and money from others. The sister who will drug my children and her own so she can go party with friends. Who as resently a year ago believed she was my sister and would never lie or hurt me, but not true, and I still grieve that loss, she has lied to me most my adult life yet I am a single mother of 2 children, college, work full time, I am not a pathological lier or abuse my children but you state that my mother had to have a hand in this which I think is rediculas!!! my mothers mistake is wanting a father for her two small children and choose wrong. As a physically and sexually abused child myself I will lay the blame where it needs to be and that is with the men that abused me not the parent (my mother) that was also severly abused as a child, who was broken, did’nt know better and wanted what was she thought at the time was best for her two small children. Her fault was not the abuser but the one that was beaten down, sought validation and was devalued instead. She did protect us. We lived in a car for 2 weeks, cleaned ourselves in gas station bathrooms and lived at Denny’s. She went to all your help centers and was turned down. She went to churches looking for help and was turned down. My sister for what ever reason turned this broken mother into something hideous. Shame on her. If you think you could have done better I would like to see it. She is greiving I am to angry to go there yet. Yet to read your comments you are like those that have no understanding of what it is like to be severly abused then be accused of being an abuser. I know she is the first person that will step up and admit she has done something wrong. If I could only have a measure of her strenght and the love she has for my children and I, I would be a person to be recond with. Thanks for you time.



you said “When the child is abusive the parent is always responsible for that.”

this is utter bullshit. what if a child is raped by a priest? or mentally or emotionally abused by a teacher or other students? there are a million possible reasons why a child might start becoming “abusive” or dysfunctional in some way that are nothing to do with their parents. if a child was raped for example and afraid to tell anyone, of course they’re going to suffer severe consequences from that, and it’s completely possible that their parents are loving and wanting to help them, but if the child feels unable to tell them, what can they possibly do?

I’m really angry. In fact I’m shaking. NOBODY here has the first fucking idea of what’s happening in Renee’s family. But she’s here, and she’s trying to be open and honest. It is completely unfair to start heaping shit on her. Marc, if you don’t like what she writes, don’t read it. You do not have the right to make hurtful, blaming judgments on something YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT.

Renee, I’ve really appreciated your comments and (what feels to me at least) like a virtual friendship on this site. I really hope you don’t feel you need to leave, but you need to do what’s right for you. But for my two cents, I’d rather see you stay and Marc leave. He’s the one who’s attacking here.

And for a final thought, (Renee please note I’m NOT saying this is what I think or believe) but it is completely possible that Renee is abusive to her daughter, just as it’s completely possible that everything I or anyone else has ever written on this (or any other media) is a blatant lie, a totally one-sided or self-delusional view. BUT NOBODY CAN KNOW THIS – sometimes not even the person themselves. But the only thing I can see is that nearly everyone here is TRYING. And I think that’s really healthy, and it may well help people to realize truths about themselves that they were previously unable to see, and some of them may not be pleasant. Nobody’s perfect.

Marc, I’m probably going to feel very guilty and blame myself for being unfair or something. But all I can see is you getting upset at what someone else wrote, and then coming and attacking them. I don’t feel this is fair, and I hope you will stop. If you want to legitimately discuss your OWN issues here I’m sure people will be happy to interact with you. But right now I feel like you’re targeting one of my people and I’m not going to stand by and watch.


Thank you Pam and J
It is hard to know what I’ve done wrong. Time I hope will tell. And when it does I am willing to take it on and change it. My greatest fear and Im going to parahrase it ” Jesus said: Any one that hurts one of my little one may it be a millstone wrapped around their neck and thrown into the lake of fire”. I hope and pray that will never be my lott. When the time comes only Christ and I will know. J and Pam grieving has so many twists. I lost two beautiful gracious women last month and im grieving over my daughter. I have had the worst anxiety attacks I never thought that exsisted. I cry at the drop of a word and can’t sleep. I’ve lost weight (I think that has something to do with my gallbladder)and have to concentrate twice as hard. Grieving is very hard! My sister, and my two friends (one is closer than any sister) all died at ages 54,57 and 57. Im 55 and wonder if Im counting days only Christ has my due date. Makes things scary. So grieving pulls the deepest emotions from a person. I don’t want to ignore it but experience it and try to understand the process. Thank you so much for listening and being here. Jesus knows me inside and out he knows my heart.


renee, Yes, He does and He is the one who will judge. We all do things that hurt others and all we can do is take responsibility and try to do better.Responsibility rightly placed is a huge piece in sorting it all out.–I’m sorry you have so much grief in your life right now, renee. I wish I could make it all better. Life is so painful. I get so tired of the pain sometimes. I’ll pray for you renee and your daughter too.



While I have been away I see that there has been lots of activity on my blog and that there are some upset people over some of these comments. One thing I want to make clear is that I don’t think Marc was placing “blame” but rather expressing his own feelings about what Renee said. Renee said she was going to terminate her relationship with her daughter on my blog post about me being dumped by MY Mother. I know that my mother believes that I am the problem in our relationship too. She walked away from me… and Renee you are sharing that your daughter is just like my mother… but it is hard for some of us to hear that because in this case YOU are the mother. That is my truth about how it hits me.

Once again I will state that this is a HUGE area. It won’t be solve in a few blog posts or comments.

Renee, you are free to share what you like here. I see you as willing and even longing to work this out with your daughter and I see your pain too. I do not wish for you to leave this blog.

Pam, I agree that abuse is always the fault of the abuser. If one of my adult kids hit me, I would not sit by and do nothing. I would call the police as well.

I wish that I could sort all this out, but again, I am rushed for time.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dallas
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I share the same hope that you do and that is one of the biggest reasons that I write this blog. I am glad you are here and I hope that you share with us often.
Hugs, Darlene


All, The subjects we discuss on this site are highly emotional and all of us are kind of feeling our way through it. I think it is important to try not to blame each other and give one another the benefit of the doubt. I would hate to see anyone leave. I think there is room here for everyone to learn from each other and sometimes, learning comes through disagreement but it doesn’t have to be personal. All of us are subject to triggers and we need to leave room for each other to work through the feelings that are unwittingly triggered in others when we share our stories and express our feelings. We are also at different stages of life. When I was young, I sure didn’t think I’d raise a child to abuse me but now I know it can happen even when you’re trying really hard to do the right thing. It’s a rough world out there too and kids can have something terrible happen that a parent doesn’t know about. Drugs are everywhere and they can make anyone abusive in the right circumstances. There are so many variables and none of us can tell from a few comments what the reality of another’s life truly is.

I am taking sides in this, I’m on everyone’s side. I’ve stepped on toes that I never intended to, also. We need to give one another a break.




I’m so sorry to hear about your anxiety attacks and the loss of your friends and your grief over your daughter. I have a lot of anxiety symptoms but have never experienced full-blown attacks — it must be horrible.

I fully relate to the crying, not sleeping, and concentration problems though — I’m right there with you at the moment.

Take care of yourself as best as you can, however you need to.

PS I’m a very bitter ex-christian, and I’ve tried several times to write about what you said about the lake of fire etc, but keep deleting it. I will say that my understanding is that christianity /god/jesus was meant to be about love and forgiveness, rather than terror, shame, condemnation etc. So I wonder if you could try and think of it in that way for yourself?

I say this because I know in my life, the fear (in fact, it often felt like a BELIEF, rather than just a fear) that I was going to hell — which I can’t ever remember not having — has caused me unmeasurable mental torment, and I don’t think anyone should have to feel that way. Also I really can’t imagine that any higher power actually wants that for anyone. So I guess I’m wondering if there’s a way for you to hold on to the parts of your faith that strengthen you, and try and minimise any parts that don’t?

(feels like I’m getting close to giving advice again. apologies if so)

take care Renee and I really hope things pick up for you real soon.

PS I either didn’t read the post from your daughter before (or just didn’t realise it was from her) but it sounds to me like you’ve got a HUGE amount to be proud of about yourself! (even just keeping going under circumstances like that is a huge achievement in my book!)



Hi “J,”

I read your PS about being “a very bitter ex-christian” and it made my heart hurt for you. Dear one, the bitterness only hurts you and not those who have hurt you. The only release from the prison of bitterness is forgiveness. Yes, bitterness is a prison we put ourselves in. Forgiveness does NOT mean that the incident never happened, nor does it excuse the behavior. It simply means that you release the offense to be dealt with by a higher power. In my case, it means I release everything my father, mother, younger sister, and brother (and anyone else) have ever done to me to be dealt with by my GOD, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the GOD of Israel. I no longer want to get even or wish bad things onto them. As I forgive, the hurts minimize and my freedom increases.

I know that my abuse is not my GOD’s fault or doing. All that I have gone through has made me stronger and now I am able to help other people recover from abuse they have been through.

An excellent book about the power of forgiveness is “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere.

I wish all the best to all who are walking the path to freedom after abuse.


To L, the daughter of Renee,

I am deeply sorry for what happened to you when you were young and defenseless. To be physically and sexually abused must have been extremelly hard and painful for you 🙁 I am so sorry L.

However, I hope you are able to see that your mother is also responsible for that. Obviously she totally failed to protect you and even brought these man into your life. She IS accountable for that and by allowing it to happen she was a co-abuser.

I know these are hard statements, but I bring them to you because it’s crucial for you. As long as you live in denial about this I don’t believe you can heal. Seeing the abuser is the first step.

Again, I am deeply sorry for what you went through 🙁


This blog is becoming very bad .. its not suppose to be about tearing people apart and putting people down and am sad by all that I saw here last night. I have seen it before and its sad it takes out the healing element and instead starts putting salt in wounds. .no one has the right to judge anyone and I don’t think people should be taking sides either way : this is all too much for me



Dear Renee I may not come back to post any more but I am sorry for the hurt you feel I am so sorry. I love you and am behind your healing Renee..


ps I love everyone else here too but cannot accept people using judgemental language. I am too broken and this kind of stuff only breaks me more ..


I appreciate the level of honesty that takes place on this blog, even when it gets hard. My feelings about parenting and having children have changed in recent years. I now see that I was the product of generations of ingnorance, sentimentalism, and abuse, and I was very much unconscious of just how deeply this affected me. Even taking a vow to be different from my own parents was not enough. I wish I could have understood that it would have been better not to just decide to be different by an act of will, but to have done much therapy and healing and becoming aware of the depth of my traumas before I had children, if indeed I should have had them at all. I realize now that it was poor decision-making on my part to have conceived them so unconsciously, it was partly acting out and partly a need to fill a void within me that no child should be expected to fill. I don’t think my children should be expected to understand that I was broken and then excuse my actions. As Darlene pointed out, there is a difference between deciding to be different from what went before and actually doing the work to uncover how deep the damage goes. I think that we can continue to hurt our children without having conscious knowledge of how we are hurting them, but we are still responsible. If we later become conscious, we can act more humanely, but I really don’t know if we can necessarily expect that our children will be able to benefit by that point. My daughters, who are now adults, each have indications of trauma in their lives, and each of them actually deny quite vigorously that this is the case. It might be too much for them to face. I live with this knowledge and it is something I have to accept as a consequence of my actions. I often wish to urge people who are not yet parents to think very very carefully and consider at least two years of therapy before they decide to procreate. Don’t the children deserve to be the result of conscious conception whenever possible?


Forgiveness is NOT the answer. Instead of writing a huge comment about why I don’t advocate forgiveness is the answer, I will refer you to another blog post that I wrote about forgiveness. Tellling people that forgiveness is the answer carries so much baggage and very little solution since it comes as a bonus of doing the actual healing work. It isn’t something that a survivor just “does”. This kind of advice is dangerous and not helpful for most survivors. Please read my other blog posts for the reasoning behind my request that you don’t tell someone that forgiveness is the answer here.

Here are my blog posts about forgiveness (and there are many other writings in this site about forgiveness.) Forgive the abusers, A Bit of a Rant
and The Confusion Created around Forgiveness Issues


I have removed the part of your comment that gives advice to Renee’s daughter. It is not helpful to write things like that to other people. We all have our own realizations to come to and it works far better if we come to them on our own. I write this blog from a personal perspective. I talk about what happened to me, and how it impacted me, and how I discovered my belief system and how it formed because of this abuse. That is what triggers or impacts others to realize their own truths about their own pasts. I encourage all the commenters here to do the same and to talk about your own life and how you came to your own conclusions and healing. That is what helps others. In my exp. it is the only way that helps others. When we start making judgements and telling people what they need to accept and do, it only cause more harm and triggers the pain that so many still have inside.

I have reinstated the part of Marc’s comment that I had removed. I have realized that he is actually right and that a huge part of my own process was realizing where I had let my own kids down in my process of healing in order to stop passing this whole thing on. I will write a follow up to this in another comment.

EVERYONE ~ This thread is triggering many here. I am sorry that I let it go on. I was trying to take a day off yesterday from noon on and we went out until the evening. didn’t pay close enough attention to the depth of what was being shared and I am sorry that it went this far.
Hugs, Darlene

I am behind the healing of all others. I am really sorry to everyone who has been hurt by these comments. I have been struggling for several months now to keep up with everything in this blog and sometimes it just becomes too much for me. I am only one person. I don’t think that this is becoming a “bad blog” I think that everyone is human and everyone is hurting and all have been hurt and broken and that is a very difficult pool to swim in.
Hugs, Darlene


I was angry at God for so long, and conficted and confused. I had a dream and God showed me (it doesn’t happen to everyone, it did for me) what was going to happen within a 3yrs period. With my ex and everyone involved. Well it came to pass, everyone believing his lies, all the deception, being homeless, the brokeness I felt and me going through the fire of hell. He promised he would show my ex as the abuser he is, he laid it all out. Everything God showed me came to pass down to the littlest detail. Then one day I just broke I was pissed at my God and I couldn’t understand how he could forsake me when through all of the crap I stayed the path and at great price did what I needed to do to get my girls to safety. I went down on my knees and poured out all thr anger, doubt and bitterness asking him why did he let me down. In a still quiet voice he said I full filled the dream. I said you didn’t. You (God)didn’t show my ex for the abusive piece of crap he is. His answer was “yes I did”. He said Man has free will to choose to beleive what I revealed or to look away. They chose to look away, I can not force my will on them they have to choose what they want to believe the truth as I showed them or a lie. They chose the lie. After that I realized I could not hold him accountable and that I needed to release the negative feelings I held against God. Just saying J he reveals the truth and it is up to except it or look away.


I just read your other post. I use that scripture to keep me in line. And to know that, is where my abusers and my daughters abuser will be going at check out time. In society they say if youve been abused it is highly likely you will become abusive. I disagree but just in case that picture is in the back of my mind and is a great deturant for me in case I get close (which I haven’t yet)to hurting someone, anyone.


Hi Sophia,
Thank you for your comments and the generations of ignorance etc. That is so true and it really takes an open mind to take a look at this stuff that deeply and being willing to look at things this way has contributed greatly to my healing. I vowed to be different from my parents and I was, but at the same time I made many mistakes anyway which I am accountable for. I did not physically or sexually abuse, but I certainly had some crazy ideas about love and respect when my kids were little and those crazy ideas did some damage which I try to mend each day. The reason that I write about the formation of a false belief system is becasue that was the only way that I was able to realize what I had actually passed on. That was the ticket to my understanding everything and my ticket to healing and to helping my kids and my marriage heal too. And many people stay in denial of the trauma in their own lives because they are just too afraid to face it. Denial is like a warm blanket that feels safe but really all it is is a coverup. I had my share of denial too.. and I know people can’t be forced out of it.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene and Pam,
My intent was not to get anyone angry. It was to go through this grieving period. It is not just my daughter but 2 very dear friends that should not have passed. My only intent was to go through this grieving. I got slammed by grief and I have to figure it out also learn from it. Sadly it is a life lesson and Im trying to embrace it with dignity, instead I find myself face first in the mud and mire. Im lousy at grieving.


I know that you did not intend to get anyone angry. In my view your post just caused a discussion and the discussion got out of hand. No one is at fault. Feelings were triggered which is not a bad thing at all. Triggers in my opinion have assisted me in my healing more often than not becuase I can look deeper at what happened. Grieving is so hard and usually something that we don’t have a choice in. It takes us. But it is healthy to feel. It is healing to feel. I know that this might not comfort you today, but maybe oneday it will. I am not great at grieving either.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh Joy I hope I haven’t caused you pain. Please forgive me if I have. You are precious and beautiful. You are important and your posts have helped me. I in no way wanted anyone to feel pain and that includes Marc. He doesn’t know me or my past and we all go by what we write here.


I got your whole post and am stunned. Do not give advise you know nothing about. You see through a peep hole and refuse to see the whole picture or the truth. You are a poison that wants only to hurt.


If I removed Marc’s comments because I viewed them as harmful or unhelpful, what makes you think that I should leave yours? Why can you call him a poison and judge him as only wanting to hurt, and tell him that he can’t speak his mind and then you speak yours in a similar way? I have to be consistent. There is a problem when we think that we can say/do things that hurt but others are not supposed to do the same.
Please everyone, please think of everyone as equally vaulable. None of us are perfect. We are all trying to heal. Please do not throw knives at each other. None of this will help anyone.


Renee I never saw you do anything .. am not hurt by you but I don’t feel its good for me to watch others being put down.. I love everyone and would not ever feel I should say one word to put another down.. I feel we are all needing healing and knowing that should make us slow to make judgement since we don’t know what the other is doing .. I am sorry you are getting wrongly accused am sorry anyone has felt bad .. i dont like to see people suffer and dont feel its for me to judge .. i rather back away and leave such things ..The bad language .. the heated words.. they are all triggers for me. .so it’s about me not being able to handle such things. .i wish everyone well..

love and prayers



Dear Darlene

Am sorry wrong choice of words it’s just what is happening is bad for me to be part of .. It is nothing against anyone but all this reminds me too much of the home … I am sorry for saying it’s becoming bad . should have said becoming bad for me since I am very sensitive. and i dont like anyone being hurt.



remee, You owe me no appology. I don’t think you or marc were trying to do anything. Feelings get triggered, hurt, and things get out of hand. I hope everyone can work through it. Consideration for everyone here including, Darlene is important.



I expect to be treated equal. What he wrote is far from the truth. Making accusations over and over again and telling my daughter what HE thinks I am without knowing my past or what I did to PROTECT my girls is assuming he has the right to make that harsh judement. I made a post about grieving over my daughter and that I identified with your post. I didn’t realize I was going to be attacked or accused. I would never have posted. It has triggered people and hurt people. I want to get past this and learn how to grieve in a healthy mannor without accusations.I don’t need more pain I just want to get through this.


I had posted here to help others on their journey of healing from sexual abuse, or any abuse for that matter. I am shocked by the viciousness of some people toward others here.

I learned many years ago that to stay on my path of healing, I had to walk away from toxic people.

In order to remain on my path of healing, I cannot participate in any forum such as this.

I wish each of you well and I hope you will ultimately make it on your path to healing.


Hi Dallas
I am really sorry that this is the post you landed on the first time you arrived here on this site. It is very rare that we have this kind of thing go on here.
Hugs, Darlene


Amazing article ! Darlene your writings are very helpful for me to read. It truly helps to know we are not alone in this area. I am still grieving the person I would of been and who my mother should of been to me. Everything and emotions I feel evolves around the mold of a person she made me and it is a shame for what was done to me by her. Ignorance is NOT bliss. To be over fifty and still dream of a nice mother is sad.

Patricia Jankowski
November 7th, 2011 at 4:25 pm


Thanks so much for posting this. Even at the age of 58, I am still so confused about the meaning of “love” and I am still much of a loner, even in spite of loneliness. I am also still often in shock at how horrible life is for most people, and feel I will never totally understand how any “God” could allow such agony. So often, the only thread keeping me alive is that of reason, because I am so overwhelmed by my own emotions and by the murderous rage I sometimes feel toward my very narcissistic mother, who is now 89.

I must often remind myself that she is now a little old lady, weak, feeble, and nearly blind, because she still seems like the evil demon who almost stole my soul from me so many times. I will never understand her, I suppose. But at least, maybe I can let her go.

Your writings and posts are inspiring to me. I don’t know if I will ever reach the level of healing you have achieved, but I will certainly try.

Thanks for all you do.



Great post Darlene.

I have the exact same situation with my adult son. The roles are reversed with him being the abusive, boundary trampling one. I no longer pant after him. I no longer walk on eggshells with him. I was doing all the work trying to keep a relationship going with him. When he married 18 years ago, his wife joined his little band and added to my misery. They have 3 children I’ve never met. They live less than 15 minutes from me. I will not be held hostage to a relationship that doesn’t work and I won’t allow them to use their children to hurt me. I told him how I felt and he chose to estrange himself from me for good. I went through the same range of feelings and emotions you have described. But, we are better off without users and abusers in our lives…no matter what relation they are to us.


I think you touch on some of the core truths of abusive relationships – the onesidedness, the pain, the grieving for what should have been. And it hurts, of course it hurts. I never got to have that conversation with my mum – she died whilst I was still sorting it out in my head. But when I had that conversation with my dad, it sounded identical to the one you describe here. And to think, I always thought my dad just followed my mum’s lead. I still grieve for this loss at times, though it has been 9 years since I saw my dad, and 10 since my mum died. I think I am healed, I think I am over it, but then something else comes up and shows me another area of their bondage that is still encircling me, and I grieve all over again. And I don’t think that people who haven’t experienced this kind of thing will ever really understand it in that depth. But the freedom, oh goodness, it is worth every second.
I needed to read this today – thank you so much, Darlene.


As for my “mom.” She was jealous of my looks, jealous boys/men looked at me, jealous I got attention, etc., etc. She said things to make me feel small. She wasn’t ugly but not my bouncy blonde looks at all. My “dad” I hate. She allowed his abuse to go on and had that proverbial child so knew it wasn’t right. Yeah, I have no use for her or him. Everything had to please my useless piece of crap father. I made peace with these two losers by saying they weren’t good enough to be my parents and moved on. If they are dead, I wouldn’t send a card. Wouldn’t waste the time it took to go to the mailbox.


Hi Invisible321
Thank you for your feedback. It gets better! hang in here!

Patricia J
There are keys in the truth about your feelings. I went deeper and deeper and allowed those feelings of rage towards my abusers and figured out what I believed about myself becasue of the crimes against me including neglect for my feelings. That was where the keys were. Thanks for sharing

This is very hard.

Yes this stuff can come up again until all the roots are exposed. That seems to be the way it works. Just as there are layers of pain, recovery and insight happened for me in layers too.

Hugs all! Darlene


It is so interesting to read all these comments. I am quite surprised by how many descriptions of your relationship dynamics I can relate to. The one main thing that sticks out the most is that there is a power imbalance. I feel mothers have so much power and can do anything to their child. It is so easy for them to abuse us because we are so vulnerable.

My mother has always been there for me in many ways. But there are also plenty of ways she has disappointed me and made me feel abandoned. When I express this to her I somehow turn out to be the guilty one and she reacts angrily and aggressively exclaiming how “she’s not good enough for anyone and that all I ever did was pinpoint her flaws and why can I not see all the things he has done for me.” but the fact is there are some good things shes done and also bad things. accusing me of not accepting her for the way she is, is simply unfair and completely confusing. Apparently I am not entitled to express pain because I will hurt/ damage my mother. I still fear being left alone though by her and hope some day like the rest of you I will be strong enough to claim the power that I owe myself in my relationship with her.

Thank you all for sharing. I recognized myself and my mother in a lot of these posts and I know I’m not alone.


Welcome HurtandConfused
You highllight a VERY important point. My mother is the same way as are many parents. It is as though because I survived childhood, and was fed and clothed properly, I have no right to have ever felt pain. It is as though the “good things” cancel out any bad things. And that is not reality at all. My point here in efb is about healing from the damage. I had to bust through all the “rabbit trails” that had to do with the excuses for the damage and the brainwashing that I had nothing to complain about OR that I was causing damage by complaining or even commenting about my own pain.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


I feel confused about something. I just had a conversation with a man I know (who is also a survivor of child abuse) about abusive relationships and emotions and setting boundaries. He kept saying that spiritual beings like Jesus and Buddha tell us that we shouldn’t resist anything, and that it is our CHOICE whether or not we allow ourselves to get upset about anything anyone does to us. He says no one can hurt us, we choose our responses. I don’t even know what to say to this, but it sounds hard to take. Interesting. I wonder if he developed this philosophy in order to shield himself from his own feelings about his own abusive past. What do you think?


Sophia, It sounds like a good way to become a malignant narcissist. Ii does sound like a coping mechanism. Interesting. Jesus took many actions to protect himself. He allowed himself to be crucified only because that was the mission appointed to him by God. That’s according to the Bible anyway. I don’t know as much about buddha. To me, turning the other cheek doesn’t mean to allow others to hurt you. It is not seeking revenge or retaliation.



My brothers are like the man you spoke to. Every thing is rosie and it is out choice to be happy or sad. It is our choice to also rise above the abuse and we and only we choose our path. BS, I stopped trying to reason with them since more than half the time they are drunk or stoned.


Thank you Darlene
You re absolutely correct. My mother always retaliates by reminding me of how she used to take me to doctors and come to my school when I was little. The initial feeling I get in my gut is that description fits pretty standard parenting. Am I supposed to be emotionally indebted to her and not be allowed to voice that I feel disappointed and abandoned. I didn’t know that caring for me in my childhood would turn out to be something she would hold over my head now. I have a feeling our mothers are cowards Darlene, and they are angry at themselves and will project their issues out on whoever is there and willing to take it. It is sad as I remain guessing about my mothers love for me. Why she is capable of making me so miserable instead of wanting to make things right with me. All my childhood she’s been depressed and emotionally unavailable and I took it hard. But there is no reason in the world as to why I should feel guilty and ashamed about how I feel. If anything Darlene our mothers cannot be responsible for their own emotions so unfortunately it becomes up to us to be the grown ups. I admire the steps you have taken. I am working to reclaim the power back just like you Darlene. I know eventually I’ll be strong enough to lay it out really true and blunt to her without fear of being left alone. I try not to always think of her negatively — I also worry about her because she’s depressed. I am still at a point where I’m battling this internally. I look for ways to justify what she says and want to find how I’m wrong, because then at least it would give me the control to make things right. My heart is with you Darlene and everyone on this post. I wish you all peace and happiness. Life is complicated on this Earth we live on.


I also wish you all the love you deserve !!!


I apologize to all the readers here for what took place in this comment thread. Sometimes I forget my core message and I get afraid of the fall out and this was one of those times.

Marc spoke the truth in his comments and I felt that they were harmful even though I agreed with them. And in doing that, I watered down my own message. I deleted his comments (which have now been restored) and I let some other abusive comments and denial stand unaddressed sending the message to the commenters and to the other readers that the line of accountability is fuzzy when in fact I know that it is clear. My post was about my mother leaving me when I stood up to her. Renee posted that her daughter was “the abuser” in their relationship. That offended and confused people. Without getting into a discussion about elder abuse and kids that beat up their parents which I know is abuse, the discussion here is about the accountability of the parent in the situation. You don’t have to be the abuser to be the co abuser; for example, I am really angry at my father for not protecting me from the abuse that happened to me. He is a co-abuser because he stood by and did nothing and actually LEFT me and put me in abusive situations and didn’t do anything about it. My needs were not taken care of; I was disregarded as a person. I used excuses for my mother my entire life (like she did the best she could and she didn’t know any better) and I struggled with depression and could not seem to cope with anything until I SAW the truth. And until I saw that truth, I did not recover or move forward in my own life. When I got help for all of this, I saw what I was passing on to my own children (my false belief system, and allowing their father to emotionally abuse them) I stopped it and made amends to them. I am still making amends to them and so is their father. We did not protect them from mean grandparents because of our own fear of our own parents but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t take part in the harm that was caused to our own children. We have had to be accountable for all that if we are going to succeed in stopping the cycle in our own family.

Renee’s daughter posted a huge horror about the abuse she suffered in her childhood (which I am so sorry that all that happened in your life L.) and excused her mother from any responsibility. I did that same thing for years and it kept me so sick. Even if Renee was not the abuser, what Marc is saying is that she did not protect her daughters from abuse; (and according to her daughters post, there was indeed a serious level of abuse) that makes her mother the co-abuser. . And it is clear that Renee believes that there is NO reason her other daughter wishes to have no contact with her which is what didn’t sit right with Marc, myself and other readers. BUT the comments that were directed at the truth were attacked and I made the mistake of “understanding those comments” hoping that it was for the greater good of all, if I didn’t correct the denial and even the abuse. By doing so, I let down everyone; the people struggling with denial and the people trying to see the truth.

But in the end it will be the demise of my whole purpose if I don’t consistently stick to MY message. The bottom line is that this blog and my mission are about exposing the truth about abuse. I want others to find the freedom, wholeness and JOY in life that I finally found. I have to stick to speaking and writing about the WAY I found it.

I am sorry Marc, for the way that I devalued you in order to keep the peace here. I am sorry to all the readers who got confused about my message because of the way these comments got handled.
In my heart I really only want what is best for all and sometimes what is best is not pretty.

Thank you for reading,


WOW. Really, great, AMAZING!!

I haven’t been here on EFB for a while. Today, I saw a link to this post on one of my fb friend’s wall, and decided to read it. I have two things to say:

1. Darlene, this post is SO RIGHT ON. I relate to everything you wrote.

2. The comments!!! WOW!!!! I’m seeing such GROWTH here! Sure, people are being triggered. This is a mega-triggering topic. It wouldn’t be normal if people weren’t being triggered on this site. (It would be NICE if no one was being triggered, but not NORMAL.) We have ALL been wounded, some more than others, and we are all at different stages on the hard but hopeful journey between total brokeness, and total healing. Sometimes, new traumas and painful current events can temporarily knock us several steps back on our healing journey, which happened to me earlier this year. But the GROWTH I am seeing on this blog, is so beautiful and encouraging! The open dialogue, the deeper insight! WOW!!

Yes inded, what is best for all is not always pretty, nor easy to swallow. I am learning on this journey, and I expect to be learning my whole life. I, too, am learning that *I* need to take a parent’s full responsibility for my 40-year-old son not wanting anything to do with me. yes, I did the best I could with what I had, as his mother…. but my best was Not Nearly Good Enough. My son has every right to be angry with me, because he deserved a safe, loving, healthy childhood. He deserved a sane and competent mother. My son did not have those things. It’s not HIS fault that I was so horribly broken by my own childhood, that I could not be a proper mother to him. I never did 1/10th the abusive things to my children, that my own mother did to me. I was never in any way sexually abusive to my children, as both of my parents were with me. And I certainly never even thought about, let alone tried, to gas my children to death, as my mother did to me and my siblings while we slept in our beds.

BUT…. the fact that I went through so much worse than what I put my children through, DOES NOT LESSON THEIR VERY REAL PAIN. The fact that I was a basket case as a mother, through no fault of my own ~ this does not mean that my own children should somehow not allow themselves to be affected by my poor mothering of them! They had the right to have a good loving safe sane childhood, and they did not have that. The reasons WHY they did not have that, really don’t matter. They have the right to have their pain heard and acknowledged. They have the right to be ANGRY. They have the right to cut me out of their lives if that is what they feel safest in doing. They have the right to hear me tell them that I was WRONG about a lot of things ~ without hearing all my “excuses” about WHY I was wrong, or the fact that I was doing my best. If you’re doing your very best on a job, but your best is incapable of doing the job right, you are going to get fired! As a parent, I have the greater responsibility. As a parent, I should have been fired! It’s not about how I did the best I could, it is about how MY INNOCENT CHILDREN SUFFERED, and they should not have suffered, period. They did not deserve to suffer.

It has taken took me a lot of years to finally GET that. I thought that just because I was not nearly as bad to my own kids, as my parents were to me, my children should respect and appreciate me. I thought that just because I really truly did my very best, despite being a very broken mother, my children should not be angry and hurt over the many ways in which I let them down.

***I WAS WRONG.***

It takes COURAGE and a genuinely CARING HEART to be able to say that. To take the rightful consequences for my failings… that is the LEAST I can do, NOW, as a loving mother.

I’m so loving you, Darlene!!!!!

Even when the Truth Hurts, FEAR NO TRUTH. The truth will ALWAYS set us free.



Hi Lynda
Thank you for your post, for your encouragement and for sharing your own example of being accountable as a parent. This is what I am talking about.
Hugs, Darlene


Maya Angelou said: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

It does not help my children, nor does it help me, if I beat myself up for being such an unfit mother. I did the best I knew how, then. My best was not good enough. But beating myself up is not going to make anything better.

Now that I KNOW better, I can DO better. This is the “better” that I can do: I can take full responsibility for my poor mothering, without minimizing, denying, or making excuses for why I was so bad. I can acknowledge that my children deserved much better than they got, and accept the fact that they have every right to be angry. I can tell them how deeply sorry I am, and NOT freak out with anger, if they won’t, or can’t, immediately forgive me. They have the right to be angry, they have the right to not forgive me. I do not have the right to demand that they forgive and respect me!

I am not talking about allowing my grown children to abuse me, that is a different matter. I am talking about accepting their right to be angry, and to choose not to forgive me or to have a relationship with me. That is their choice, I have no right to force myself on any of them. My 37-year-old daughter and my 30-year-old son have forgiven me, and we have a great relationship, for which I am deeply thankful. My eldest has not forgiven me. For a long time, I resented him for that. Now, I accept that it is his right. I hope some day he will forgive me and let me into his life again. But if not, I accept that, too.

This is what I am doing, now that I know better. Not beating myself up. I can forgive ME, while allowing my 40-year-old son to NOT forgive me!

Hugs to you, Sweet Darlene


Darlene, When I think about my relationship with my parents, I don’t hold them responsible for anything I did after age 18. Even if some of the poor choices I made were the result of how I viewed myself and related to others because of the abuse and neglect that I suffered. I also hold myself responsible for the things that hurt my children when they were under my care and I was legally responsible for them. I do my best to hold myself accountable because I know that I never would have been able to overcome anything in my life if I didn’t take responsibility. However, I tended to take too much responsibility and my doing so was very harmful to my children. Legal limits on responsibility are important as guidlines to setting boundaries. Abuse always violates those important boundaries and shouldn’t be tolerated. It is abusive to allow a child to abuse but I see parents do so out of guilt over divorce, substance abuse, and any number of things that parents should feel shame and guilt for in regards to their children but allowing themselves to be abused because of it does the child no favors and actually, causes further harm.

I don’t know enough about anyone’s situation here to make judgements any deeper that what is shared. I saw both sides of this but like you, believe the greater weight of responsibility belongs to the parent. What I never like is the abused being blamed which seems to happen more often than not in every abusive situation. I know there are extreme cases where children are pushed to violent action in self-defense but I would never dream of abusing my parents in retaliation for their treatment of me. I wouldn’t even do that to the men who sexually abused me. There is no healing in retaliation but only further damage. It’s complicated and beyond being worked out in a few comments online. My comments come from my own experience and not in judgement of the comments of others. Really, I think all of our comments should come from that place. I appreciate your standing firm and clear in your position.



I think it is not for us. to blame anyone.. but it up to the individual to own whatever responsabiity is their own. .. I know most of us love scripture and one of my favorite ones of all is when a crowd brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery..she was guilty as heck..they wanted him to condemn her.. like they were.. Jesus bent down and started writing in the sand and said “you who are without sin..cast the first stone”..I like to believe as Jesus wrote ..there were named one by one the sin of everyone who held a rock to stone the lady. One by one they walked away till there was just Jesus and the lady.. The ONe who could cast a stone..did not condemn her.. rather said go and do this no more.. I think love is like that.. real understanding of our own weakness of who we are will make us not want to cast any stones at anyone.. we are all on the path to healing.. everyone of us here.. I would never say I have the right to look at someone else here and say you did wrong , you should have did this .. you should have done that.. Somewhere else in the bible it says.. say only those things which will help the spirit .. that which will build up one another..

a person knows one’s own sin well. .and already suffers immensely due them.. one does not need others to come and rub in the hurt more salt..

I like to think I am so imperfect that i am more wanting to excuse than accuse anyone .. I love everyone .. .and feel that in what happened is we forgot to examine ourselves. we are here to heal ourselves . and lashing out is only a sign of how much healing we stilll need.. me being number one in needing so much healing..

Peace, love and hugs to all



Thank you Pam
I appreciate your involvement and contribution to emerging from broken and the friendship we have developing. Abuse is wrong. period. I understand what you are saying. Just because we may have “learned” to abuse by being raised abused, does not excuse abuse that we do to others.

One of the things that I have come to realize is that my mother had the same opportunities as I did to overcome her past and stop devaluing me. She isn’t sorry she beat me with a belt when she was in a bad mood. She isn’t sorry she took me to bars with her to pick up men when I was underage. She says that I wanted to go… and I did! because I didn’t know any better. She raised me that way. She has never been accountable because “she had a hard life”.
I had to learn a new way to live and to think and so could she. I didn’t have “more opportunity” then she had. (I didn’t do recovery on the internet either ~ which many people seem to think is the advantage we have today.) I wanted a better way. I sought truth and understanding for many years before I saw things the way that I write about here, but I still sought for a better way all that time. and I was willing to see the funky ~both theirs and mine and see where change was needed. My kids have benefitted greatly by this and their kids hopefully will benefit even more greatly. and the world will heal. (well that is my dream!)
Hugs, Darlene


Please remember that I have a mission here. I do this for a reason. I am not condemning anyone and this is not about casting stones.

Love is sometimes helping others see where they are wrong. Love is reporting child abusers and standing up for the truth. Love is taking a stand against abuse.
This was not about casting stones. It was about standing up for the truth. Jesus was (in my opinion) the original truth messenger and messenger of equality.

I believed that if I loved my mother by never saying anything mean to her, but doing what she wanted etc. that I would “MODEL” love to her… but I was wrong. I have had far more power and impact by telling the truth. This is not about “rubbing salt in the wound”. My mother never admitted her sin. If I understand what you are saying here, then I will have to stop writing about my mother and all the other abusers, in case I hurt their feelings….

What I am saying in my apology is that I can’t devalue the truth for the sake of not hurting feelings. The truth is empowering and the only real path to healing.
Hugs, Darlene



My words were not for you but I can see that I should not come back.. I felt hurt by the way some things were hurled at another poster here.. no matter what her guilt may be . I feel we all have some.. she never said she was not guilty but the manner in which some spoke to her was not kind..

I am sorry. .but I don’t feel people should gang up on someone who is really trying to do better..

I love you dearly and everyone here .but I cannot .understand that not even in the name of truth . love is not hurtful..there is a tact that is needed even in correcting the wrong doer..

I see things differently I wont post any more as I don’t want to upset anyone




Darlene, It is the same with me. I always wanted better and I was always working toward that goal. My mother hurt me by never taking any responsibility and I hurt my children by taking too much. My youngest, being a normal coniving teen,;0)decided to get what he wanted by treating me the way he saw my family treat me. For so long, I didn’t see what was wrong with the way they treated me. Things are better now and I can’t believe the difference in my son that has resulted from my demanding respect from my family. I don’t know if we’ll ever get there but I just keep moving toward the goal.



Not once did I say I am innocent. When I found about the abuse I fled with my daughters. We went homeless, We went to the police, we got into counseling. What marc did was read into a few things and refused to see the whole comment. In no way did I ever want my girls to experience what I went through. Did you read the part where I want to take resoncibility for what ever I did wrong? I did my best to do the right thing. I don’t care who believes me. It is not for you or anyone else to judge me. I came for healing not for your accusations. Thank you for what I did receive prior to your and marc’s judement. It triggers and is causing a lot of damage to the healing that I have had. You can keep your judgements, your critisism because the condimnation and the deep hurt, I already feel only puts me in the dark whole of suicide.


I met my mother once
I had become one.
For as long as
I had then lived,
I was sentry
At an open gate.
Waiting, hopefully.
Faith kept me
Why hope finally left,
I Wonder naught.
Unfulfilled hope
can not be sustained
by faith alone.
Neither Hope nor I,
Can wait


I think that you are still missing the message. This is not about attacking you. In my apology I was still talking about my mother and my feelings and about kids having a right to still be angry. This is about where the abuse started. I have read the comments over and over and what Marc is saying is that he was upset that you are calling your adult daughter the abuser. And you are saying that my post about my mother, fits your daughter. And he is asking; how did she get that way. I realize that this is very upsetting to you and I hope that you can realize that this is not meant to tear you down but to help you understand. and as always to help others understand. I think that Lynda gave feedback which shows understanding about what we are trying to say here.
I hope you don’t leave before you hear what everyone is trying to say out of LOVE not hate and condemnation.
Hugs, Darlene


I’ve been in both positions. I’ve been the mother with children who are angry with me and I’ve been the daughter who was angry with my mother. My mother abandoned me to my sexually abusive father when I was a child and treated me as though I was invisible. As an adult, I knew the hurts from the past were weakening our current relationship and out of an effort to become closer, I confronted her about the ways she hurt me. Instead of hearing me out, she threw everything back at me. She sarcastically apologized for not being perfect and insisted that I needed to honor her. She didn’t care anything about my pain, only in defending herself.

I set out to heal from those wounds and the more I looked into the ways she discounted me, the more I saw the ways I hurt my own children. Seeing the truth about the way I was treated showed me the truth about how I treated my kids. As painful as it was to face my own hurts, it was even more painful to know the hurt I caused my kids.

One of my children was in denial about how much pain I caused and the other was distant. The one who was distant was at least acknowledging my part so he was closer to the truth and to healing. Even though it was painful to me, it was best for him to maintain a distance until he felt safe with a closer relationship. I didn’t have any control over his process, but I did everything I could to be the safe mother he needed. I confronted my own issues and continued to affirm his chosen boundaries. As I’ve seen the ways I hurt him, I’ve communicated those things and apologized and tried to make ammends. Now, we have a very close relationship, but it’s taken time.
With my other child, I knew she was afraid of abandonment if she acknowledged her anger toward me so I created a safe place for her to be able to be honest with ALL of her feelings. I talked with her about the ways I failed her as a mother and invited her to talk about her feelings. I also modeled healthy behavior to her by acknowledging my own feelings about my mother. Last year, she was finally able to allow her anger to surface and to face that. For a time, she was distant. I was both sad and elated. I greived for both our losses, for her pain and for mine. But I was also grateful that she was making progress in her own recovery.

As a mother, I understand how painful it is to lose a relationship with a child, but as a daughter, I also understand the pain of not being heard or understood by my mother. I think I would have lost both my children if I hadn’t faced the truth. I truly hope that you can work through your own pain so you can support both your children through theirs.


That is exactly my goal. My daughter “L” and I have that relationship. Through this she had triggers and had a melt down. I told her There are issues we need to work on and that it is ok to be honest and I will do what it takes to resolve those issues and that I was so proud of her. I told her not to hold back because what stays in the closet can not be resolved.I hope she never comes on this blog again. It hurt her to see what was written about me. We have some work to do, we will be better for it.


Renee..wish you well..both you and your daughter.. Sometimes we need to take a breather..step back.. I am super sensitive to things because I know how it to feel how you do .. . I wish things could be better but we are all imperfect beings.. ME being the most imperfect.. I feel like I don’t fit in. .am not ready for the solids yet..gotta keep with the baby food as I get too easily moved by things.. and it’s no one’s fault but mine.. Love you Renee..and everyone else.





thinking of you. Give yourself as much care & love as possible. (Hmmm, I guess that counts as advice… but oh well, I don’t really care right now.) This thread has been hard just being on the outside; I can’t imagine just how hard it must be on you.


I’m sorry if I contributed to you not feeling comfortable. Obviously you need to do what you need to do, but I’d be sorry to see you go. (I don’t mean that as a pressure for you to stay. Just that for me personally, I would greatly miss your unique, positive & beautiful voice in the comments.)

Hope everyone’s doing ok.


Renee, I am deeply sorry for the pain you are feeling. When I wrote my 2 comments yesterday, I had not read any of your comments about your daughter, I had only skimmed down through some of the comments, and in doing that, I had somehow missed entirely what you had written. Yesterday, when I wrote my comment about the problems I’ve had with my grown children, I had read only Darlene’s and Marc’s comments on the subject. My comment about me learning that I need to take responsibility for my son’s angry attitude toward me, was in response to Darlene’s comments, not to yours.

Now that I have read the comments that you’ve posted after me, I realize that I was very wrong to jump in with my comment, without knowing the whole story. I should have read all of the comments here, before I jumped in with my lengthy story about how my attitude toward my angry son changed over the years. When you read my comment, you had no way of knowing that I had NOT read your earlier comments about your daughter, so you must have felt like I was slamming you ~ and I was not.

I still have not read ALL of the comments here, it is just too much for me right now… but I have gone back and read enough to realize that I should not have said anything here, without having read all of the comments. I only knew part of the discussion, when I jumped in with my 2 cents worth, and I am deeply sorry that what I said about my situation with my kids, hurt you.

There is no “one size fits all,” in dealing with children, grown or otherwise. There are, for example, situations such as in divorce, where one parent brainwashes the children into hating the other parent. There are numerous websites about this huge problem in our society, it is called “Parental Alienation.” There are many cases too where there is an abusive marriage, and the children will wrongly side with the “strong abuser,” against the “weak victim,” because the children are just trying to survive, and they do it by aligning themselves with the one they see as strong ~ so then you have the children learning to be abusive to the battered parent.

As mothers, we have a huge impact on the development of our children’s personalities and behaviors ~ but we are not their ONLY influence, by any means. There is the influence of the other parent, and influences from other relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. There is the influence of school mates and neighbors… the list is almost endless. There are genetic influences, and things that happen to hurt our child that is beyond our control, which can then affect the child’s personality and behavior, such as the bad head injury that happened to my eldest child when he was 13, and his personality changed for the worse and he has never been the same sense that head injury. *I* did not cause that!

Renee, the bottom line of what I am trying to say here, is that I knew only a small part of the story, because I had read only a small part of these many comments, when I made my comment yesterday. I had not read ANY of your previous comments when I wrote what I did, and therefore, nothing that I wrote was aimed at you. I am deeply sorry that I made the huge mistake of jumping in with my opinions, when I knew only a small part of the issue that was being discussed here.

Because of my own personal experiences with my abusive parents, who wrongly blamed everything on me, and my personal experiences with my 3 grown children, who were hurt by my less-than-perfect parenting, I have come to believe that in many cases, probably most cases, the parent has the greater responsibility if their relationship with their children is not going well. BUT NOT ALWAYS. Everyone is different, every situation is different, there are many variables… and for Me, or ANYONE, to jump on a bandwagon and say that every child who rejects her mother is innocent and the mother is guilty, is just flat out WRONG.

We cannot rightfully judge ANYONE besides ourselves, because we have not been in their shoes. Only God, who knows the heart, can judge.

Yes, abuse is abuse.

No, one size does not fit all, when it comes to parenting.

I was wrong in presenting the experiences that I have had as a mother, as though my way is the only way, my experience is the only “right” experience.

I think it is important to tell our own experiences, but to not judge others, and to not give advice… but it is HARD. ESPECIALLY when there are so many triggering things being talked about here!

For those of us who have been BLAMED BY OUR PARENTS for our parents’ abuse… it is triggering to read about someone who is being mistreated by their own child… we are going to be triggered by that, back to the deeply painful memories of when our own mother and/or father mistreated US, and then blamed it on US being bad.

One final thought, and then I will stop: Darlene does a HUGE amount of work on this blog, and she does it free of charge. She is only one person, and she is imperfect and limited, as are all of the rest of us. I don’t know how Darlene is able to handle all of this, without melting down. I could not do it. I am not strong enough to do what Darlene does. No one is perfect, no one knows all of the answers.

We need to allow each other to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to be human and real. This is a HARD, but overall, a greatly HELPFUL site. I have been helped here. I have also been hurt here. AND… this morning I am deeply grieved to realize that I have also, in my ignorance, hurt someone else here. I didn’t mean to do that. I didn’t know the whole story.

I am sorry, Renee.



PS Remember that Darlene’s 19-year-old son was hurt in a motorcycle accident a few months ago? Well, a couple of weeks ago, my wonderful best-friend-husband Stan had a motorcycle accident, and was injured.

This awful experience, of seeing someone I love more than my own life, black and blue all down his entire right side, in terrible pain, unable to get around and do things for himself, and realizing how close I came to LOSING HIM… this really rocked my world. I kept thinking of how it must have hurt Darlene, to go through this with her son.

Life is HARD sometimes. Life is dangerous and unpredictable. We have already been wounded and traumatized by life, most of us have, from the time we were very young. Then if we are lucky we begin to heal and grow and to “EMERGE FROM BROKEN.” That is wonderful and good. But, even as we are growing, healing, and emerging from broken, LIFE KEEPS HAPPENING. I was devastated beyond words, when my very close cousin drowned on June 3. In my 58 years of living, no other death has hit me so hard. I still cannot accept that Elaine is GONE. I was already reeling from my mother sending a 60+ page hate letter to me, UNPROVOKED, a few days before my cousin drowned, and my mother sent copies of that insanely long letter to my aunt, and to my sisters and brothers! NOW, in 4 days, my mother is scheduled to have a large part of her colon removed, which is not a minor surgery by any means, for a 76-year-old woman. I am having ALL KINDS of complicated emotions, over that one. Then there is my precious 37-year-old daughter, who is dating a well known NASCAR driver. His very close friend was killed in a horrific car crash at a racetrack in Arizona, about 3 weeks ago, and now, this weekend, my daughter’s boyfriend is going to be racing near there…. my daughter is scared, and I’m scared for her, and for her boyfriend.

My point is that WE ALL HAVE STUFF HAPPENING, ALL THE TIME. Life is HARD. New truamas, and new worries, trigger old traumas. It’s not easy for ANY of us.

We need to be gentle with ourselves, and we need to be gentle with each other, because we don’t know what the other person is going through, and has already gone through.

With LOVE to EVERYONE here,


YIKES!!! I just went back and read a few more of the comments that came before I posted my comments yesterday, I only could bear to skim through SOME of them, and they were too painful to me keep reading.

OH! So much PAIN here. My heart goes out to EVERYONE here, who has been through so much PAIN. I did not know until just now, that sexual abuse was involved with Renee’s poor daughter~ how awful.

I guess I should not have commented ANYTHING here, not without reading ALL of these many comments. I should not have posted anything yesterday, and I should not have posted anything today, either, because I still do not know what I am talking about, I have read only some of the comments, and what I have read, has me totally confused now.

I’m sorry to ANYONE I may have hurt, by commenting on a thread that I had read only a small part of.


I would actually rather that the comments (from everyone) come from your own reaction to the blog post instead of being based on other comments. I thought your comments about your son were really good, really fitting and healthy. I don’t mind the conversations and processing that goes on in here between the readers but I don’t want people to NOT post or to say something different then what they would say because of the comments.
This site is about HOW I overcame chronic depression and other mental health struggles and powerlessness in my own life. I didn’t do that by keeping my truth to myself in fact that was what kept me sick. Always making sure not to offend or upset anyone at the expense of my own health and identity. I hope that everyone considers this when commenting. This is about your personal recovery and yes we are on this journey together but not at the expense of our personal growth.

When we comment about our reactions to the blog post based on the comments instead of based on our own reaction, we are living in the old system again. Through out this whole thing I heard my mothers voice screaming “stop it Darlene, I am going to have a breakdown if you don’t stop it”. All I was doing was trying to defend myself against her verbal judgements. She made me responsible for her life and wellbeing by silencing me. That was never fair, right or true. In taking my life back I had to overcome my fear that speaking MY truth was going to cause someone else to die or fall apart. That is how my abusive mother got away with abusing. She made sure that I put her life before mine.
Sometimes love is not gentle and soft.
Hugs, Darlene


I understand, I should never have commented in the first place and this would never have hurt so many people. I am responsible and hold myself accountable I never said I didn’t. It is hard for me to expess myself so people get the RIGHT message Im trying to say. That has to do with childhood issues because of being isolated most of my life communication is on very poor. What I learned in expressing myself is what I learned at school.
Darlene has helped so many people I do not want others to leave and miss out, they need to stay and continue with their journey.
When I found out about the abuses of my girls I acted imediatly. Not a week, not a month not a year or years imediatly. To say I allowed it to happen, or did nothing about it is a huge lie. This Marc refused to read ALL the message and took a piece and ran with it and took others with him. That is what Im upset about. My daughter periodically gets on and reads the post. That night she saw how upset I was, read it and the next thing I knew she fell a part. She was there she knew what happened and how it was handled. We will work on it and we will get past it.
I hope all of you will understand my daughter and I NEED to get through this and by leaving it will give us that much needed space.I am very protected of my daughters yes I said daughters. When my other daughter is ready to rebuild our relationship if she chooses, I want to be ready and healthier to take on what ever I need to answer for or what ever she needs from me. It is all I can hope for.
Thank all of you Pat, Pam, J, Joy, Lynda, Darlene, and all others that have posted and I got the pleasure of learning from you. Darlene I have a forever list that I have. I put there names on it that I am forever grateful to who have blessed me, helped me and or have loved me for just me, you are on that list. Thank you


I wasn’t going to leave because of anyone but only because of me.. I couldn’t understand ..what I felt was a wrong judgement being passed on Renee..when I felt Renee really is doing all she can do .. maybe .. like all of us.. she isn’t perfect..but she is all of us trying..

I get very anxious and feel deeply when I feel another is on the receiving end of misdirected words.. . I could only see from all the comments..and replies..that someone was really getting hurt..that some were making judgements..and upset was happening..

I know Darlene does the best she can with her blog and comments.. .but cannot really take in every event that happens. here..

I am triggered by . anything that looks like hostile exchange of words.. My growing up was filled with people talking at each other but never really hearing each other.. People can talk at each other and never accomplish anything because no one listens or takes time to understand because everyone is trying to get their point out..that was my family. .one constant motion of angry words..flying fists.. and i was always somewhere at the bottom of the pile.. somehow the cause of all the upset..

I just like peaceful things.. and I only wanted to say . .I fead what was written by Renee and her daughter and feel in my heart and soul..Renee is doing her best right now.. what’s in our past is no longer us..we are now here. in the present.. trying to go forward with all our broken pieces..

I suppose I am too broken to understand all that was going on but I did see one person crying out for understanding and compassion.. that is all I was trying to say .. we all need understanding .. we are all broken and all have failed in many ways.. so because of this .. i rather not say what one should do..since I have so much in me that needs to be fixed.

I AM SO VERY IMPERFECT!! only me am I judging.. I am sorry if I upset someone but I am sensitive ..I always get sudden desire to talk when I feel someone is somehow being misunderstood. If I did wrong or spoke wrong I am sorry..

Sorry for the long post.

Love and hugs..



This is what I am talking about, the anxious feelings… where do they come from, where do they have their origin? What is it about the comments that cause you to feel this way. And why would you want to run from the answers. This isn’t your family, it just feels like it is. No one here is blaming you.

You use the term “misdirected words” which I don’t agree with. Misdirected because someone felt uncomfortable. I was VERY uncomfortable when I faced my past. Triggers so often led me to huge truths which led me to escape the pain I lived in. I was hurting very much but it led me to freedom.

I think that much of what happened here in this thread has been misunderstood by many. I have written and written my thoughts but the misunderstanding remains.

I oversee this blog. All of it since day one. I have a bigger picture to make my decisions from then anyone else here. I always try to put the entire readership first and in the way this thread was going, I realized that I was NOT putting the readership OR the truth first. I try to consider what is best for all. I did not see how the way this was going would assist anyone in busting through the fog to reach the truth. And my purpose, the purpose of EFB is about that. Understanding will not happen when the truth is hidden from the eyes of the ones trying to understand. This is not about bashing or harming although I know several here think that is what went on.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, and everyone!

I read each post. I think we are all hurting and during these times our emotions are so close to our skin that it doesn’t take much to make us bleed. I know that’s how it is for me. I am still thrilled to have found this blog. If I ever feel somehow offended, I hope I will see that the good of the site and the revelations and compassion I’ve experienced will outweigh the offense. I really need people who understand. I’m in a place of floundering. I don’t know what my next steps should be. So, this has really helped me sort through some stuff. The statement I’ve read several times about getting to the roots and giving offenses back to their rightful owners is HUGE for me. I will always be grateful.

Next subject – to anyone: I am just floundering. I am different in that I was never sexually abused. I can’t hold my mother accountable for turning her head or allowing someone to mistreat me. She never did that. The only mistreatment I remember is from her. There was terror in our house because my dad was an alcoholic and often yelled and became a little violent. Aside from that, the abuse I feel was most damaging came from my mother’s mouth. It wasn’t near what some people have suffered, I see. However, I still have this incredible pain that I’m struggling to work through. It could be because this year there have been other traumas, I suppose. I am just in pain. It seems like I have a good and productive day, followed by a day of nothingness. Inability to really even care for myself. Yesterday was one of those days. I sat around in thought and stared at the walls. Useless. I wrote my mother a letter and stored it on my computer so I could go back and edit periodically. I don’t know if I will ever send it, I just thought it would be helpful to write.

I don’t understand why I feel such deep hurt. How I can’t function at times. I didn’t go through what some of the people here did. My mother’s actions and words were more subtle. I don’t remember her ever calling me names. I don’t think she ever really abused me physically aside from one time when she used the fly swatter on my legs and it did leave a bruise and little imprints. Certainly that isn’t what caused all this sadness. She’s very sneaky and so hard to pin down. Her tactics are such that she can easily deny any wrongdoing. She can believably say it was not her “intention”. An example would be always pointing out to me how some other female is doing so well, or losing so much weight, or somehow outshining me. Another recent thing (last 8 years I’d say) is doing or buying something I did first, only going a step further. For instance, a car, or boat. She’s done both of those. I bought a boat, she bought a bigger one. I bought a car with navigation back when it first came out, she bought one with navigation + dvd players for backseat riders. Each time though, she advertises it to me. Makes special trips to my home to show me, etc. Recently, her and my stupid stepdad went on a one week trip to a beach. My husband and I did that same thing in August. We shopped for homes there. When I got home from that trip, she asked how it went and if it would be a place of interest for her. I told her we looked at a home we loved. SOOOO, on their recent trip to a beach, they put a bid on a home there. One that they knew would be disregarded, but still, they had to do it to say they went a step further than my husband and I. That’s how it seems to me anyway. When I bought my car several years ago, my first choice was vanilla, but hubby helped me choose Navy. :o) A year or so ago, my mom bought a new SUV. It is vanilla pearl. She called to tell me that. She not only announced it was vanilla, but one step further, it has that pearly topcoat. Who gives a piss!! That’s how I want to handle that situation!! My mother’s never been a water person, but when they were at the beach on their recent vacation, she texted me pics of how beautiful it was and how long they laid on the beach. She knows I’m a big water person.

These are subtle things. There is a laundry list of not so subtle things however. In my younger years and 20s I was lazy, just like my father, going nowhere in life, manipulative, impossible to talk to, attention seeking (when I had horrible panic attacks), immature, needed to do something with my life,etc. In other subtle ways, she planned my time without my permission and still does. She recently came to my home and looked over a credit card bill I had lying on the island in the kitchen. She gives the silent treatment at her own will. It may last months. She has the gift of rewriting history. Her memory is alway different than mine. She goes into all out rage if I share any painful event where she was the cause. I learned not to do that in my very early teens. She allowed my step brother who is 6ft 7in tall, punch me in the chest when I was 13, he was 16. Told me I deserved it because I’d fouled him in a game of 1 on 1 basketball. I was half his size. It knocked the air out of me and left a bruise. She let my step dad say she didn’t love me anymore, she loved him now. She heard it and said nothing. I was 11-12. She told me my whole life that my dad didn’t love me, nor did his family, and basically said I was stupid if I ever believed they did. She made it clear as far back as I can remember, that she was the only one who loved me and the only one who’d ever be there for me. She had complete meltdowns in disappointment of my choices, ie, sex at a fairly young age, although I had heard her and my stepdad doing “it” when I was about 12, and they were unmarried. More than once. She expressed her disapproval of me for many years consecutively. She also spread that around all my family and laced it with a lot of tears and stretches of the truth. For years I was the outcast. I actually caught her talking about me two different times, to my sister and once to a group of family. That was so painful to hear. The problem there is, I heard it, but she denied it or said I took it wrong. I have two older sisters who were easier to raise. I was the black sheep. I was also clearly never as bright as my oldest sister, although I have a 4.0 GPA right now (haha…. even my oldest sister didn’t have that in college) Yes, I’m an OLD college student. My oldest sister was always so brilliant according to my mother. “Things just came so easy to her” In addition to these sort of subtle things, she never offered affection, encouragement, praise, or money. In my brokest of broke times, with not a penny, she told me, “well, I don’t know what you’re going to do”. I hadn’t asked her for money, but was telling her some people at my apartment stole my last $40 until my next payday. When she references my upbringing, she refers to it as “all the things I did to her”. Once I woke her up in the night and apologized to her for OVERHEARING HER BADMOUTHING ME TO MY SISTER, which I confronted her about. Yes, I apologized to her. She said, “you should be sorry”. And, that was one very EVIL look she gave me. She’s said I’m impossible to live with. She made it clear she was all I had, yet when my stupid stepdad came onto the scene, which was what seemed like a few days after she kicked my dad out for good, she and my stepdad BOTH made it clear she was choosing him. I was 11. Her excuse, “well, when you girls grow up and move out, I’ll be here alone”. Well, it seems to me she checked out of motherhood that day. She still had kids to raise, but basically threw that aside. It was a vulnerable age for me, and my dad who never loved me had just left. When I got my voice and got full of anger for the way things had gone under our roof, I started doing whatever I felt like. I was angry. I drank, smoked, smoked pot, had sex…. all in high school. I did that to her. My sisters had done none of these things. My choices were an unbelievable disappointment to her and she made it abundantly clear with drama and tears. After the initial drama and tears, she then spread it among everyone she knew, including close and distant family members. Every family event I went to was incredibly uncomfortable, knowing my whole family had heard her version of how terrible I was. I literally had no one in my court, no defense whatsoever. She arranged it such that people felt so sorry for her. I, was nothing. Nothing, but a huge disappointment and was going nowhere in life. She predicted I’d be pregnant by age 16. I’m 43 and I’ve never been pregnant. She told me I better get my shit together I don’t know how many times. 100s. She would prance around at gatherings, spreading poison, while I sat in all out discomfort in my very own skin.

Okay, jeez, sorry this got so long. My point is, why do I have so much pain?? Are these trivial things that every child endures?? Are they reason to be hurt and angry?? If not, then why am I so hurt and angry? Why do I consider severing all ties with her? Recently, she’s had a fallout with my uber intelligent oldest sister. Now, if she texts me, she always ends it with, love you miss you. HUH?? Who the hell are you and what did you do with my hateful mother?? Is this manipulation?? It’s hard not to fall into it because inherantly, we love our mothers, right? Does she mean it?? Is it because she needs me in her court because she fell out with my sister?? Where was this “love” when I really needed it? Say, about ages 11-42?? I don’t think I even heard her say that ever until I was in my mid 30s or beyond. And, another thing, she always withheld money. It was just known that we don’t ask her because she won’t help. BUT, in the past 10-15 years, when I haven’t NEEDED any help, she loves to announce how she helped some young struggling couple by slipping them a $100 or something. YUCK! Oh, and btw, she only does that if it will bring her glory. No other time. And, she likes to share that she was generous. She wouldn’t DREAM of giving without attaching her name to it. Anyhow, sorry so long. That’s my story. Any and ALL comments are welcome because as you can see, I’m a little lost.


Your question is “why do I have so much pain?” My answer is ~ re read what you have written here. Read it as if someone else was writing it. (and please consider posting again after you have done that)

The type of abuse has nothing to do with how much damage has been caused to us and it is the damage that we are trying to heal from. It was in seeing the damage and how it was caused to me that I was able to finally draw boundaries against allowing it to continue.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Becky,
Thank you for your heartfelt poem and for sharing it here!
Hugs, Darlene

Thank you so much for your brilliant contribution to this post. (comment # 104) I appreciate your courage and honesty so very much.

Hugs to all, Darlene



a (very) belated thankyou for your comment earlier (#62).

I couldn’t even finish reading the one you were responding to. Even now it’s taking a serious effort to hold back the flood of venom I feel like unleashing.

Seeing your comment meant so much to me. In fact it was probably the only reason I was able to restrain myself.

Thank you so much


I am so glad that you read that comment then!

The author of that comment was offended about this entire thread and she says that she will not return to this website. But if I had kept silent about my feelings about offering a false solution, the damage would have been done and not just to you but to all other readers who stumbled upon the directive that she gave about forgiveness being the answer.

So often, we don’t mind people standing up for what we agree with but rebel when it is a concept that makes us uncomfortable. (refering to the other comments in this thread that caused such a stir.) What I am trying to do here in EFB is stand up for the truth no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Hugs, Darlene



I already apologized.. I do see things from a different side and I can’t ask others to see my way just can say its why I respond the way I do.. I don’t want to hurt anyone as I have been hurt in the past.. so with that said.. am sorry if any of my words hurt anyone.. I do try to think it over and over and over before writing down and still some times they come out wrong..

Thanks for all your patience.

Love and hugs..



The author of the comment is not you. The author of the comment that J is talking about is Dallas.
Hugs, Darlene


I find myself thinking about the words, “the process of grieving” in the title of this post and all the sadness I have about my childhood that I have yet to feel. I realized that I had found it easier to hide behind a protective shield of anger and bitterness than to feel the vulnerability and anguish of the girl who was betrayed. Day by day, moment by moment I have to consciously examine my feelings to see what lies beneath the surface. It’s hard to breathe sometimes! First I had to feel the anger, but I realized I was actually comfortable with rage, and I have been misplacing it on the wrong people, including myself, for a long time. It’s the sadness and anxiety that scare me and I find myself pushing them away with a host of avoidance techniques. Does anyone have any stories of how they have learned to open up to their grief?


I had none of these emotions at first, they all came in stages and to different degrees. I pushed all of them away for a while too. I think it has been in really accepting what happened to me and how my life was so unsupported, that I have been able to allow all these emotions. It helped me sometimes to think of what happened to me as though someone else was telling me about them. My feelings for someone else helped me apply that emotion to myself. It is a process, that is for sure!
Hugs, Darlene


I just published a new post about a break through I had directly related to the comments in this post. This post goesa little deeper about how events can settle in the belief system and dictate how we view other events without our ever realizing it. In this new post I explain my comment about hearing my mothers voice which ended up dictating my reactions to the comments themselves.

I hope that you will read this new post: Feeling Responsible for Reactions and Outcomes

Hugs, Darlene


Wow! When I get behind in reading this blog, I really miss out on a lot. There are so many different directions that I could go right now with my comment to the post and to all of the comments.

Some important healing tools that I have learned over the years are:
1. I can’t fix someone else’s problems but I can listen because sometimes a good listener is all that is needed.
2. If someone else’s words upset me or make me angry, I need to look at where my reaction is coming from. What wounded part of me is feeling the angry, hate, fear or confusion?
3. Don’t attack someone else because of what I am feeling. This one is hard and I sometimes fail miserably at this one. Progress, not perfection.
4. Look at my own feelings and where they are coming from. What do I still need to heal?
5. Share from my own experiences rather than offering advice. Advice makes me sound healthier, stronger, wiser – whatever superior word that my ego likes to add to make me appear better. I am not any of those things. I am equally wise and unwise, healthy and not so healthy, strong and weak in different areas, etc. I don’t need to feed my ego to be the person that I am. I am better than I was and I still have a long way to go to be who I want to be.
6. When I attack others, I am coming from my own place of woundedness which is something that I don’t want to do. Rather than attack, I try to look at what is going on inside of me. Again, sometimes I am not so good at doing this one in a healthy manner.
7. My truth is my truth. It may not be yours. I don’t have the right to use my truth as absolute to attack you with. I don’t know your story. You don’t know mine. Even when you share a part of your story here, it is just a part of your story so I can’t or shouldn’t make judgments about you or your story.
8. I am just as human, just as fallible as everyone else.
9. I may be further along on my healing path than some others but it only takes one trigger to make me feel like that hurting, frightened child again.
10. If I leave at the very first sign of trouble, how does anything get resolved.

These are just things that have worked for me. I may need to do a blog post of my own with the list that I wrote here. Thanks Darlene for all that you do with your blog.


Part of my own process of grieving was to let go of and grieve for the fairy tale family that I created in my mind – the normal, happy, healthy family that would one day love and accept me unconditionally. Unconditional love is what we all long for but don’t find in our dysfunctional childhoods.

On my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker, I deal mainly with the abuse of incest and how it affected me then and now. What I like about Emerging From Broken is that it deals with a broader aspect of child abuse, not just incest, as mine does. The effects of child abuse, whether it is emotional, physical, sexual or spiritual, are all damaging to a child. Child abuse is always the responsibility of the adults involved.

Sometimes out of my own woundedness, I wounded my husband and my children. My children are adults now in their 30’s. I can see, and I accept responsibility for the wounds that I inflicted on my children. What my children do with their pain as adults is their responsibility.

Before I started working on healing from my incest issues, my daughter was sexually abused by one of the boys at the group foster home that we worked in at the time. Very recently, I got an angry email from my daughter about her own sexual abuse when she was 11 and about the bullying that happened in her teen years at school. As devastated as I felt over the email in which she blamed me for her abuse. As her mother, she felt like I should have done more to protect her. I couldn’t see what was happening to her because I had not yet opened my eyes to my own incest issues. This is not offered as an excuse for the abuse happening. It is the truth of why I didn’t do a better job of protecting my daughter.

Our own pain can leave us blind to the pain of others. The most important thing that I was able to share with my daughter was that she had a right to her anger at me. I didn’t know about the bullying at school. She was too afraid to tell us. She was afraid that we would be killed if we did anything about it. All I could tell her was that if I had known about the bullying, I would have done something. I was asking questions but she was too afraid to tell me.

I can’t change any of what happened to her but I can let her be okay with her anger without blaming her. I can accept that she is angry at me. What she does with her anger is her responsibility, not mine. I can accept that I didn’t do a good job of protecting her. I don’t need excuses and neither does she. She needs to feel what she needs to feel. That is much healthier than I was at her age. I was 38 years old before I started healing from incest. Before that age, I was in denial. Out of my own denial, I didn’t see that my daughter was being abused.

My words are not directed at anybody else. These are my own experiences as a child and as a parent.


Thank you for your contribution to this information. Thank you so much for adding your own story about your daughter and her resentment and how you realize that she had a right to have it and all that you included with that.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, you are very welcome. Talking to my daughter and not getting emotional- angry and hurt- was very difficult but I knew that I needed to do it in order to not deny her the anger and hurt that was rightfully hers. Any excuses that I could give her for not protecting her wouldn’t help her to feel what she needed to feel. I was more hurt by your silence about the abuse as a child than I was by her current anger. Because of my own silence as a child of incest, I understood her fears. It isn’t easy being a parent, especially when you have your own hurt inner children to raise.


This is what my I have done and will continue to do with my own children. Like you, when I understood my own reactions as a child i was able to understand others so much better. This is why I so often write about doing our own work and facing our own pain from the past. It has only been through doing my work that I have been able to stop the cycle of abuse. I can now validate and empower my children in ways that I would have never seen how to before. This is why I so often refer to this process as “re-parenting myself” too.
Thanks again for sharing your process.
Hugs, Darlene


I just found this site today and boy am I glad. Reading the comments makes me feel a little better about my situation. I wouldn’t say that my mother hates me, and she probably wouldn’t say that either, but she does have a way of enjoying making me feel terrible. Way back in my teens, she would condone everything my best friend did and thought she was great even if she was doing the wrong thing. Because she was my best friend, if she was doing something wrong, I would be punished, but my mother would be talking and laughing it up with her like everything she did was fine. This continued thru the years. I learned to live with it. Then other things were thrown my way. How I was constantly called by my paternal grandmothers first name when my mom thought I was being mean or bad because my mother hated that woman. How she would take the side of my brother or my sister in our adult years just to say I was wrong. I would have to listen to her and my sister talk about this person and that person and then be sweet as pie to the person’s face. This would upset me, since I was a direct type of person and didn’t have to talk behind people’s backs. So then I was labeled for always “freaking out”. What they called freaking out, I called having a confrontation with someone explaining to them my feelings of a situation. I was always an upfront kind of person and feel as though I’m punished for that by my family. So I decided to seek medical help thinking maybe everything was my fault. My doctor told me that the best thing to do was to find somewhere else to live since I was still living with my parents. Yes, I stayed with my parents until my father passed away with lung cancer. I adored my father and we had a wonderful relationship. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, we were all devistated. I tried to do everything I could and everything he asked of me to make him more comfortable. When he would have to go in the hospital, which was 1 1/2 hours away from our house, I missed him terribly. If I was working and he would call me to say he was having a test done and he wanted me there, I would leave and go right to his side. My father died almost 6 months to the day he was diagnosed. When he died, It was my mother and I with him in the hospital room. My brother and sister were there earlier in the day, but had to leave. I was there when my father said his last words and took his last breath. After his death, I didn’t realize how much of a buffer my father was between myself and the rest of the family. The first Christmas without him, My mother, brother, sister and aunt and uncle decided to go to Florida because it was too painful for them. They all knew I couldn’t get time off from work, but they went anyway and asked me to watch their houses. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend, who lived 2 hrs away from me, I would have spent that first Christmas alone. Then things like this started happening more frequently. They would make plans together, I wouldn’t be a part of. They would all go away together. At this time, I was still living with my mother. It wasn’t even a year after my father’s death when my doctor suggested I write her a letter to tell her how I was feeling. When I gave her the letter, she was so angry over it she told me I had two weeks to get out. So I found myself a place and was all ready to move. She waited until the last day I was picking up the remainder of my things and asked me to stay with her. I told her that I couldn’t and went on my way. She acted like she never told me to get out and would come over to my new house constantly and was always trying to help me out. I was very confused, but told myself I would never live under the same roof with her again. Then one day my mother called me to her home to tell me she had stomach cancer. Apparently, I was the last in the family to be told and she already knew where and when she was going to have surgery. She told me I was to do nothing. The doctor would relay all information to my sister in law since she was a nurse (not to mention I’ve only worked in the healthcare field for doctors for about 17 years) which is longer than my sister in law has been a nurse. Funny, since for years my mother would state how she couldn’t stand my sister in law and couldn’t believe my brother married her. Well of course, I was crushed. She told me my sister and sister in law were going to see the doctor with her and it was ok if I wanted to join them. I was so hurt and crushed. I just walked out of my mothers home. I was later told by her not to come to the hospital. When I abided by her wishes, it must have backfired on her with everyone asking where I was, and she lied to everyone and told them I had to work. My brother and sister were so mad at me for not going to the hospital they stopped talking to me. I texted them a message saying fine don’t talk to me just pretend I’m dead like daddy. Well, of course as time went on I felt terrible. I had not see me family at all for 2 yrs. I contacted them all one day by text, my mom, sister, brother, and sister in law saying that I know I did things to hurt them but they also did things to hurt me and if we could all just move on a be a family again. Two days went by and the only one who text me back was my sister in law telling me she was sorry things couldn’t be different. That last message was sent to them June 2011. I think of them all everyday and drive myself crazy thinking everything is my fault. I know my father wouldn’t want the family like this, but I feel as though there’s nothing else I can do. I truely love my family and miss them!


Reparenting myself has been a big part of my healing work also, Darlene.


I think reparenting yourself is a very important part of healing. I know it made a huge difference to me when I began to parent my child parts. It’s not easy to do though when you haven’t the first idea of what being a good parent is.


Hi Kelly
Welcome to EFB
Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry to hear of your struggle with family. There is lots in this site that may help your go forward on your journey that you may relate to.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Fi
I got my some of my ideas about how to reparent myself from what I thought others had ghad and from what I wished it had been like. It isn’t easy and I am still learning better self care as in both cases, old habbits die hard too.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


I did go back and read my post as you suggested. It does seem like so much of what my mother did was behind closed doors and so elusive. I’ve read some other sites about narcissistic mothering. My mom is very crafty and cautious. To try and read it from another objective is difficult, and it almost sounds like I’m just a whiner. Then I think, why have I gone through this incredible pain?? She has spent much of my life badmouthing me to anyone who will listen. I was the black sheep. Although, I may have earned that title if you compare me to my scholarly older sisters, specifically, the oldest. I don’t know Darlene, I’m still in the process of figuring out things and what is acceptable parenting vs what isn’t. I believe thus far, that I have a deep wound that is labeled, “not good enough, no value, no self esteem, not accepted, not loveable, unable to make good choices, manipulative, impossible to talk to, etc.” I think I contradicted a few things in my post above. She did call me names, and she didn’t protect me from my stepfather and step siblings. It just wasn’t to the degree of sexual abuse. It was verbal and emotional. Everything she does is incredibly easy to deny though. An example would be monopolizing my time. If she’s having a holiday dinner, she will wait until an hour or two before we’re supposed to be there and text me and ask if I’ll go get my grandmother (her mother). Her husband is there doing nothing but watching TV, yet she waits til the last minute to text me. The real “catch” is, if I say no, she will make it out like I don’t love my grandma or I’ve neglected her. Then she will tell my grandma and anyone else she can get to listen, that I was self centered, neglectful, etc, because I wouldn’t go get her. The point is not that I’m unwilling to go get my grandma, the point is, she had 364 days prior, to ask me to do it and she waits until a few hours before. I caught on after several events where she did this, and came to realize she’s going to do it every time there’s a gathering. I started making arrangements with my grandma well before the events and before my mom could ever get involved. I really thought she would have some sort of feeling about being put out of the middle. She surprised me though. She’s thrilled it’s not her responsibility anymore. One time she did this only she asked me to pick up fried chicken she’d ordered at a grocer. I texted her back and told her I would. She somehow missed that text and sent her husband to do it (three blocks from their house) so when my husband and I walked into the grocery store, I got a text from her that said her husband was picking it up. Well, if he was able to do it, why didn’t she ask him to begin with??? 3 blocks away?? I live across the city from them and the grocer. It’s subtle manipulation such that if I don’t go along with it, she will spread like poison how I refused to do that simple favor. I don’t have a voice. I don’t get to say MY feelings or I’m hurting her feelings and everyone she knows will hear about it. UGH!! I hate the thought of going into a crowd of people knowing my mother’s been there bashing on me. It’s the worst feeling.

Kelly, I’m sorry for the loss of your father. Especially since he was your defense at times. (it sounds like anyway). My mother also kicked me out, but she kept kicking. We hadn’t had a falling out, she just said I had 30 days to get out. She never begged for me to stay or anything even close. Honestly, what she did was sit and watch me carry loads of stuff to my car with a heinous glare. She didn’t move a muscle. She’s ABOVE physical labor. Always has been. Although, she would say what a hard worker she is. Makes me laugh!! My sisters and I had to start detassling corn at a young age to start saving to buy our own cars. We all three did too. We also babysat for neighborhood kids, mowed lawns, etc. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to teach kids the value of money and what it takes to earn it. What I think is ridiculous is, she’s almost 70 and I’ve never seen her push a lawnmower. She never worked in cornfields at 98 degrees in the summer. It was just known that she’s above that. And, I’m allergic to corn pollen and grass. Didn’t matter. She had to come get me from the corn fields one day because my eyes swelled shut. I really want to call her an idiot right now!! Sorry, didn’t mean to make this all about my mother. I did intend to offer my condolences for the loss of your father and the pain you’re enduring at the hands of your family. My family has crumbled this year also. It’s been incredibly painful and I miss my sister and nieces. I just keep trying to remind myself, one day at a time. I have really felt so much relief here, typing out my sorrow among people who understand. I hope you do too.


Who’s voice do you hear calling you a whiner? If it is yours, where did that belief come from in the first place?
Your comments are very good. I think you are seeing things or at least beginning to see things quite clearly. I think that you are in pain becasue of all of this. I am so sorry that all of this happened to you. One of the things that helped me SO much was no longer needed to prove that my mother was doing all that stuff. I finally believed me and that was a huge beginning for me. I know my mother has a “but” answer for everything and that isn’t my problem anymore. We are talking about the truth here.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much. I think I’m still struggling with believing it all…. inmeshed in the confusion so many people speak of here. It is terribly confusing. I start to think about something mean she said or did, but then I think, there was that one christmas that she bought me a rabbit fur jacket I was dying for…. was that out of love?? How crazy I must sound!! I really go back and forth daily about whether she loved me or not. I mentioned I have a letter to her stored that I can go back and edit. I realize I orchestrated it during a time of anger. Now, I think, I have to be nicer if I plan to ever send this. It’s such a roller coaster.

If I’m truthful and address the question you asked, that whiner belief comes from my mother. I’m still working on the “believing me” part you mention above. I’m scared. I have no idea why!! Thank you for your correspondence with me!!


Mimi, One thing that helped me understand whether or not my mom loves me was looking at the way she expresses what she calls love. My mom is very immature and irresponsible. She loves as a little girl loves, out of her need for nurture and protection. She’s never matured to the point of being able to give me the kind of love that should come from a mother, that of protection and sacrifice of self in order to give her child what she needs. When my mom says she loves me, it means she is looking to me to fill her physical and emotional needs and she is completely devoid in feeling that she should fill any need that I have or even that she should acknowledge that I have needs, also. I don’t hate her for it but her need sucks the life out of me and I can’t fill it even if I try. She also expresses her love by giving me material gifts but they are just ways of assuring that I’ll be there to take care of her.

I’m not saying that your mom is like mine but taking a close look at her definition of love and how she expresses it, helped me establish my own definition of love and gave me the knowledge I needed to back away from a situation that was terribly unhealthy for me. I wish she would do something to help herself but I can’t make her. I can only help myself.



Just like many of you I trawl the internet as a way of trying to come to terms with my mother’s behaviour. She ran off with another man 3 1/2 years ago. I’ve not heard from her since, she has no idea where I live or if I’m even alive. I’m in my thirties and feel I should be stronger at times. I shouldn’t let what she’s done bother me or blame myself.

If I talk to others they usually ask me what the relationship was like before she took off. Yep, it was crap but sometimes I feel people say this as a way to make me think ‘hey well it was crap before so what are you missing’ or ‘hey, if it was bad before then no wonder she didn’t stick around’. (does that leave me partly to blame?) I still miss that motherly love and support though even if I never did have it. It doesn’t stop me missing the mother I never had and feel robbed of. How do I heal the scars?

When you’ve had an abusive mother you blame yourself. Mothers are meant to love you, so it must be you. She’s called me to her friends- how horrible I am. Due to her I feel bad inside, like I’m evil/horrible/black or something because she always told me I was when I was growing up.

Growing up bad behaviours were normalised and it seems now is my time to realise that what I thought was normal was far from it. Sometimes I wish it would all just go away.


Thanks for that insight. Although I do struggle with her “love” for me, another thing that comes to mind is, my lack of desire to see her or talk to her. I feel like she is toxic on some level. I’m happier when I don’t see her, and I don’t really miss seeing her if we go long periods without contact. By long period, I mean, a month or two. She doesn’t go any longer than that. If I think of her love with respect to how you gauged your own mother’s, I do see that she usually wants something in the form of a favor. She continues to ask me for favors I believe, because it solidifies in her mind that I’m still hooked or hanging on, under her thumb, etc. She’s only begun saying she loves me in the last several months and I suspect it’s because I’m all she has left in our city. I’m her scapegoat. She doesn’t EVER shower me with material things though. She’s what I would say middle class and if she shared much, that might mean a sacrifice on her part. She’s not really down with making sacrifices, PARTICULARLY if it’s monetary. She’s proud to say she gave some young family money here and there, who she’s deemed as needing a hand. Wonder what the heck she was thinking when I needed a hand. And, there were many times. She only likes to give if it’s something she can announce with pride to me, or brag to others about. Just another subtle message that I’m not worthy of her giving, and I never was. She’s so sneaky!!! It’s easy to deny these kinds of tactics. Anyhow, thank you for your help in sorting things out. I so much appreciate it. Each time I read a post I feel there is more insight and clarity. I thank everyone for that!!


Hi Helen
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I think if you read some more of the blog posts in the mother daughter category you will get some deeper insight about why we are not stronger until we look at all this mother/daughter relationship stuff through a new grid of understanding. This is not about shouldn’t feel so much as it is about validating your right to feel. We have all blamed ourselves for the fact that our mothers did not value us but that does not mean that it is true that the blame rests with us. There is healing here and answers too; I hope you read more. I don’t feel the pain anymore. There is hope. Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Kelly,

I just read your post (130) and I’m very sorry that your family has treated you this way. Sounds to me like you are a direct, honest person who does not play games, in a family of people who are caught up in your Mom’s games of manipulation/drama/passive aggressive behaviour. By telling you not to come to the hospital, my guess is that her actual intent was probably something like “Come to the hospital anyway, but come in a panic and be all distressed and beg for my forgiveness and attention – feel the brunt of my rejection but come anyway…” But you took her words at face value, expecting honesty and forthrightness – which are healthy things to give and expect from people, which I’m sure was very aggravating for her. Same with the whole, “Get out of my house” response to your letter of honesty, then at the last minute trying to manipulate you into staying, then being hurt and angry that you took her at her word the first time and respectfully moved out! It probably drives her nuts that you listen to and respect her actual words and don’t agonize endlessly over the hidden intent that she won’t come out and say. My mom does this kind of thing – being underhanded and unclear and giving mixed messages and NOT being direct means she can say and do things she doesn’t want to admit to herself she’s doing, and that she doesn’t want anyone else to see that she’s doing…if she doesn’t come right out and say what she really thinks/wants then I can’t call her out on anything because she can always come back with “I never said that!” or “That’s not what I meant!”

Doesn’t sound like your family is capable of honesty and forthrightness. Your unwillingness to play the stupid, passive aggressive, indirect and manipulative games is probably why your Mom is excluding you from the family – she can’t get away with her mind games if you’re around – you do not play them and by not playing them, you inadvertently reveal them. People who control others through these sorts of mind games DO NOT want the game to end because they get off on the control.

Sorry, I hope this isn’t an upsetting assessment. What I mean to say is that it IS NOT YOUR FAULT that these people have chosen to stay mired in their dysfunctional dynamics and have excluded you. It doesn’t sound like you have it in you to engage in this kind of crap, which is probably very threatening to them.

And I totally relate to being accused of “freaking out” for simply trying to raise an issue or share your feelings. Doesn’t matter how calm or gentle or reasonable I would be when trying to confront my mother about something – I was always reacted to as though I was hysterical and brutal. In my experience I have noticed that BEING HONEST is sometimes the most threatening thing you can be, if you are surrounded by people who are deceitful and steeped in denial. My father warned me that “no man will be able to handle” me and my honesty – my “sharp tongue”. He told me I was “too honest” and “too smart for my own good,” so basically my ability to see right through other people’s BS and my integrity and courage in pointing it out makes me an undesirable candidate for marriage. It certainly made me very unattractive to him, he was quite clear about rejecting my strength because it threatened him.

I get it that nobody likes to hear things about themselves that they don’t want to know/believe – I have come to learn that very few people are open to honesty. Even if my honesty has no judgement or intent to harm, even if I’m just talking about my feelings and explaining how I see a situation, if I point out some truth in my parents’ behavior that they don’t want to see, then they either circle in and lick each other’s wounds and shut me out or they attack. For some reason, me being honest = being horribly and unfairly critical and not understanding/forgiving enough. So, like you, I learned that being my honest, aware, sensible, no BS and no games self was a liability in my family. And I’ve learned that my “gift” isn’t much welcome elsewhere either! There seems to be nothing more insulting to people than telling them something true about themselves that they did not want to know about or admit!

My family hasn’t shunned me, but that’s partly because I shut myself down and have behaved acceptably. There was a time when I did have to stand up to my mother and shun her until she stopped the worst of her nonsense, but since then I have “held my tongue” and withheld my anger and other feelings so as not to provoke trouble. I’m just realizing lately that I’m doing this and I need to reconsider this capitulation to the family code. I do woner what will happen to the family dynamic if I start being more vocal and honest. Not sure if they would ever shun me, because they need me so bad and don’t seem to want to carry on without me. My brothers and their wives don’t provide whatever nurturing/affirming/comfort or whatever that i provide so I have not been expelled from the family. My younger brother, though, he is more blunt and a smart ass and will say things that need to be said in a joking way, but his frankness and his lack of shame around calling my parents out on their BS annoys my parents. They don’t shun him outright but they have their passive aggressive ways of making it clear that he’s being punished for being too outspoken. I’m only just realizing the extent of this as I write…it’s amazing to me how much of this nonsense you just kind of get used to until someone helps you see it in a different way. So thank you for helping me see some things I needed to see.

Anyway, I am very sorry that you are suffering and that your family is shunning you, seemingly without remorse. I admire your integrity and your unwillingness to let your mother yank you around, but I am very sorry for the price they have charged you for not playing their games. It must feel awful to try to reach out to them and not get any response. That is so beyond mean – please no that there is NO good reason for her to treat you this way. She is punishing you just for being you, because being you illuminates her dysfunction and she can’t allow that. I’m sorry that you are having to endure this kind of rejection. It is BS and not fair and NOT deserved, but it still must be incredibly painful.

This is a great place to come and share and find comfort and perspective – read your way through Darlene’s blogs and responses and you will see that you are not alone in being put through this kind of hell. I have found this blog/discussion very comforting and illuminating, and hope that you can find that here too. : )


Please be careful about analyzing other peoples situations. I completely understand that in these comments, AnnaLyzza, that you are only trying to support and encourage Kelly but since we don’t actually know that much about the details about others situations, it is dangerous to add our conclusions. There is also the unhelpful element of “figuring out someone else’s abuser” which is even harder than figuring out the abusers we actually know! So it really is best to stick to our own situations. I find the most powerful way to support and encourage others is to talk about my own past and the things I have learned. Then people have a choice about the conclusions they come to about their own families or abuse. It is fine to share your story that is similar and the conclusions we have come to about our own families or other people. Again, I know that you (Annalyzza) were really trying to be supportive and that you meant absolutely no harm.
I hate to post these reminders as I always fear hurting someone’s feelings, but if I don’t post them it gives everyone permission to post comments all about what is wrong with someone else’s family or life.
Hugs, Darlene


No worries, I appreciate your feedback Darlene. Being new to this forum I really don’t know what is appropriate or not to post, nor do I know what is helpful to say to someone and perhaps not so much. Since you’ve been at this “providing support” thing longer, I appreciate your guidance and perspective. I have my way of coping with my situation, which is pretty obviously to analyze the hell out of it, so I assume I’m helping other people when I share that coping strategy with them. You’re right though, I know next to nothing about Kelly and her family so my assessment of her family dynamics is just a guess based on my own experiences. So Kelly, I apologize for you for taking it upon myself to analyze and diagnose your family.

And Darlene, I appreciate you sharing that you find it most helpful just to share your own experiences and observations. I would like to be a help to people and hope to one day work as a counselor and/or survivors advocate, so I really appreciate being able to witness and be a part of the amazing work you do here. I am grateful to learn from you – and everyone here – what is actually helpful and what isn’t when it comes to recovery. And I’m grateful to learn what elements of my coping strategy are actually NOT helping me heal – such as always deferring my pain to my mother’s by empathizing with her. So please don’t hesitate to provide me with this kind of feedback – this is your message board of course so you have to regulate it how you know it needs to be regulated. For those of us who are new to this forum and really new to this level of group sharing, we will not know what is okay or not okay to do and say here and will need this kind of guidance and reminders. Which reminds me, do you have a “Rules of Engagement” type overview somewhere on the blog? That might be helpful for us newbies to be able to read your philosophy, guidelines and do’s and don’t’s before we start posting.

I can get my feelings hurt like anybody else – probably like many people here I am sensitive to criticism and sensitive to feeling rejected or unwanted, and I get embarrassed when I unintentionally violate the rules, it’s true, but I also genuinely appreciate being advised what is helpful and what isn’t. I do NOT want to upset people or traumatize anyone or shut anybody down or make anybody feel judged, so I thank you for letting me know if ever something I write or the way I process might cause problems for people or the board.

I will stop feeling bad about always talking about myself, and just stick to what I know from now on! I was actually worrying that by talking about myself all of the time, I was demonstrating that I was only concerned about myself and not showing enough awareness of or consideration for the experiences of others. I’m afraid of being/revealing myself as a self-absorbed Narcissist, like my parents/others I’ve met – you know the type of people who can’t listen to anything you say without having it remind them of themselves and then they talk for ever about them and forget all about what you just said. I feel frustrated with myself when someone else’s post will remind me of something and off I go, all about me. I feel “guilty” about posting about myself all the time and not taking the time to read other people’s posts and respond to them, and focus on them. But I guess that is the point of such a forum, to share about ourselves and NOT give advice to each other. And I guess this reveals that I am taking my conditioning to feel responsible to “save” my parents and projecting that onto everyone here. (I was providing my parents with marriage counselling at the tender age of 10 – and I was pretty good too! I’d suggest that they took turns listening to each other, encouraged them to try harder to really understand one another’s feelings. This happened after I got sick of listening to them fight from my adjascent bedroom – I stormed into their room and basically said “Now see here, both of you stop talking over each other and try listening to each other!” My parents thought it was cute. Not sure it did any damn good though! But I apparently made it clear that I had some skills, because by my teens my Dad would seek me out and say, “What should I do about your Mother?” so I would think and read and ponder so I could advise him, then he’d basically blow off my advice and suggestions (because they always involved him changing his attitude and behaviour toward her, being more considerate, being more demonstrative etc.) and just complain about her some more. I think he really wanted me to tell him it was okay to just divorce her, that it was all her and there was nothing he could do. I did come around to believing him that this was true, eventually. So I got to feel the fun guilt of having betrayed my own mother – that was fun!

Anyway, the point is that I was conditioned at a young age to be responsible for my parents’ marriage and individual mental health. I have been feeling responsible to give sound advice to my parents since I was a kid! No wonder I feel drawn to this sort of work and like I must “help” everybody I find who is hurting, and no wonder I imagine people need this from me! Phew. Maybe it’s time to rethink going into a counselling or support profession. Is that really what I want or just what I am used to doing?

Anyway, I don’t mean to excuse myself at all. You are right of course, if you allow people to start throwing around their two bits about what is “wrong” with each other and each other’s families, that could lead to some very unhelpful, harmful conversations. We don’t need to be judged here, we just need to share, compare, relate and commiserate. So again I apologize to Kelly and the rest of the contributors for crossing that line. Thank you, Darlene, for gently correcting me on this.


Thank you so much for your understanding AnnaLyzza
And you made great observations and insightful comments in this feedback comment too!
I too was very very sensitive about doing anything “wrong” and you are right, all of it comes from the way we learned to survive. Doing something “wrong” was used to confirm that I was less valuable; just like their actions towards me indicated. And I did everything to avioid offering “proof” of my lack of value!
Thanks so much for adding these comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi AnnaLyzza,

I understand where Darlene is coming from, but I know you didn’t mean any harm and I did take your comments as support. I felt so much better after writing my story on this site. It’s funny how you can think this is only happening to you until you hear someone else’s story.

I did want to let you know that I do have a wonderful man in my life who accepts me for the way that I am. He also would encourage me to try to make contact with my family when he saw how distraught I was. However, after all the attempts and no response, he told me I was better off with the love of him, our daughter, his immediate family and our friends. I can honestly say that when it is time to lay my head down at night, I have no guilt. However, every now and then I feel so low and depressed that there is no communication between my family and myself. I can be feeling perfectly fine then whether it be a song that reminds me of the past or something that I see, I start to feeling so low and want to try to reach out again, but all the while knowing, I tried so many times before why should this time turn out any different. Especially this time of the year around the Holidays it is very hard for me and it makes me think how could they not want to bury the past and move forward?

My daughter is 10 and can’t understand why her “Grandmother” is mad at me, but doesn’t talk to her. It’s hard to explain to her, but I always tell her if she wants to call her grandmother, she can and if she ever runs into her anywhere, she is not to be disrespectful. I don’t think my mom would shun her if she approached her. She just doesn’t make it a point to contact her directly.

The thing that really upsets me is that my dad would not want our family to be this way. I think that is why I tried reaching out so many times to try to fix things. He did not have a good relationship with his mother. Well I guess its like they say, history repeats itself.

Thanks for the support. It means alot! 🙂


Thanks for posting this Kelly. I’m glad you have a good husband – I do, too – I don’t know where I would be without him. Probably still very very angry and very shut down emotionally. He helped me feel safe enough to open my heart back up, and he taught me through his example how to be loving and nurturing. It was always in my nature to be those things, I had just shut those faculties down because, I now realize, my parents had been exploiting my loving, caring nature for years and I guess I got burnt out.

Anyway, I’m glad you have your own family now, but I also understand the grief from being shunned by your mother and siblings. I think it’s really healthy though that you allow yourself to feel those feelings and process your grief over it and then carry on. It is hard to explain to kids why adults behave the way they do – as your daughter grows older it’s good that she has you to help her process the rejection and confusion she likely feels because your mother makes no effort to be a part of her life. It’s really crappy that your mother is causing her this pain. It’s hard enough for us to understand, as adults, that is isn’t our fault, that we didn’t do anything to deserve this kind of treatment. It’s unfathomable as a kid why anybody would be so cold and mean – it just doesn’t make any sense does it.

November 18th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

What hurts the most is that I can be discarded by my own mother when I was at a point of needing support and love the utmost – during the abuse and separation and almost divorce of my husband.

Instead of the support and love that I needed during the lowest point in my life, I got clarity about the dysfunction of my family in origin.

I had already started recognizing and naming some of the unhealthy behaviors of my mom just prior to my life going from bad (an abusive, alcoholic husband) to worse (homelessness with two toddlers and the abandonment of my husband whom I hoped would want to work on his stuff rather than throw away our relationship of 16 years).

Part of the problem with me being unable to process the dysfunction in the family is that it was more covert, as far as I can remember. To my knowledge (I say this because I don’t have much memories from my childhood), physical abuse was very minimal and there was no sexual abuse. The dysfunction instead reared its ugly head as emotional neglect that has since led to total abandonment by my family.

It’s shocking to me that I was so blind to my mom’s dysfunction. She has a ton of histrionic-type behaviors so she tends to outwardly portray and think of herself as perfect. I was always an extension of her. She always told me that we couldn’t communicate nor get-along because we were “too much alike.” I don’t think I really deep-down believed that, but for a long time I struggled with if that were true. I don’t any longer. I don’t believe it for one bit.

On the other hand, I could always see the dysfunction in my brother and sister, and father, all of which I never had any sort of real relationship with despite my best attempts.

So, when my mother ultimately abandoned me and rejected me by:

not calling nor ever being a support of any kind; re-victimizing me by claiming I was “never abused by my husband because she never saw it;” criticized and lied about me saying “you were always disrespectful to your husband, everybody said that;” and siding with a step-dad who physically abused my 4-year old son and threatened me with physical harm as I was protecting my son in both of our presence,

I have just been in shock and a world of grieving and hurt.

My first reactions, I admit, have been the same as they have always been – to make excuses for my abuser(s). To chalk it up to their past or what they have had to deal with.

But thank God that the dysfunction is so apparent this time around and so unforgivable that I can put an end to excuses. Instead, I’m getting the opportunity to say it doesn’t matter why; I’m angry for valid reasons and I am not a victim and none of this dysfunction is my fault. Family has no right to treat others this way regardless of their dysfunctions and patterns and histories. I will not be disrespected and abused time and time again. It is not my fault my mom feels hurt. I did nothing wrong. I spoke truth. And my trials and traumas in my marriage should have never been about my mom. All I asked of her (Blatantly Asked) was for her to be an empathetic listener and give me unconditional love.

The two patriarchs in my family hold all the power right now and both have told me outright that they do not want to change:

++My maternal grandmother gave the excuse that she is too old to change and she is the way she is. My mother has said that I am the one that should be sorry for taking her grandkids away from her and talking bad about her (both of which are Huge Lies), and her apologies are the fake ones.

++My mom has always been one to use fake apologies that are used to try and guilt the other party. I started calling her attention to this problem, but to no avail. I speak very clearly to my mom about her abusive comments/behaviors, but she both ignores me and never ever addresses the specific things brought up and, as well, she will actually repeat exactly the same hurtful, critical lies about me over and over again.

So, my only option is to walk away from the abuse.

I can see the truths and I see some of the keys to these maddening cycles of abuse and dysfunction, but right now I’m the only one in the family that sees that these behaviors are wrong. And because I’m the one committed to truth and committed to putting things out into the light so that things can be fixed, I’m the one with the problem.

The family obviously doesn’t do problems. Well, I guess that’s what they think from their choice to always avoid at all costs. In actuality, that is a recipe for problems and brings problems and unhealthiness into their lives; rather than the reverse of that which they so desire by avoiding at all costs.

Now I understand why I have an uncle out there who I don’t even know because he went no-contact with the family years ago. But it was always him that supposedly had/was the problems too; no one else. The family is good with spreading around blame and guilt. It’s never the fault of the perfect “goldens” in the family.

I am just so mad that I have to let go and do these really hard boundaries with my family. No one should need protection from family members. It’s not right. I just think it’s so sick that my mother would attack me over and over again when I’m going through a divorce and homelessness (I’m not going through either now). I bet she would treat a stranger better than her own daughter.

It’s hard to because I very rarely got to glimpse this side of my mother. I’ve lived across the country from her for 10 years before moving back recently, and I can’t remember my childhood much. Her abuse is so covert that as I said before, I am just in a lot of shock. As an adult, there have been a few conversations with her that have been red flags.

For example, she told me a few times how she talked down to her old boss telling him what a lousy job he was doing. The way she said it was so mean and rude. Just because he was struggling in bringing in business, and because her boss before him was rich and paid big bonuses to her, she was going to put him down like that. It made me sick.

Also, red flags were seeing over the years how she handles conflict with me. She was always like a child in fits. You could never talk about anything with her, or else it hurt her feelings. She would lie on her bed and just bawl, and it was always my fault. And she could say whatever she wanted, but if I ever lost my temper or said anything about her critical and unkind remarks (aka my feelings), she would make it all about her and how I hurt her. Certainly red flags of unhealthy behaviors, but none could prepare me for total abandonment by her.


Hi Gifted,

thanks for sharing! Very sorry to hear of all the pain you’ve been through. Great to hear that you have a home now! I can’t imagine homelessness in general, let alone with small children as well. MUCH respect for making it through!!!

Despite quite different circumstances, there were a few parts of your story I related to. I liked your description of “clarity about the dysfunction of family of origin” during the worst times — a very positive spin on an extremely hurtful thing.

I’ve found the same thing this last year or so, as my long-term depression has been at its worst, and similarly found instead of support, the abuse seemed to intensify. This has at least helped me to begin to come through the brainwashing of all my problems in life being my own fault to seeing that pretty much everything can be traced directly to how my parents treated (and still treat) me.

Also related to the shock/disbelief at how blind I was — particularly as I’ve been into “self-help/self-awareness” type reading for many years now. Turns out brainwashing from birth is (unfortunately) extremely effective.

Also the part about your uncle – there was a period of my uncle cutting off from his parents for some years. Of course, both they and my mother regularly bad-mouthed him in front of me, blamed him, blah blah blah. It was yet another indication to me of how powerful the brainwashing was, when I only recently had a “light-bulb” moment and realized that even now, having FINALLY started to see through my parents’ (and grandparents, now that I think about it) brainwashing, I STILL had the implanted belief that my uncle was a bad person and 100% to blame for the estrangement.

I guess when things have been hammered down your throat as facts for so many years, it’ll take quite a while to be able to identify the various beliefs/automatic thoughts etc that have been implanted, and aren’t actually my own. Not to mention then re-adjusting my mindset to decide for MYSELF what I choose to think/believe!!

Damn this emotional/mental s**t is so complex and far-reaching.

Here’s a win for me — my brain actually went somewhere positive after thinking that!!! (Along the lines of “sounds like a good reason to be extremely gentle to yourself!”)

Well I think for once I’ll end a post on a positive note! 🙂

All the best for your journey Gifted!



Emerging from Broken has been having technical difficulties this past 18 hours and no comments have been allowed through. This problem has been resolved now; please try to post comments again. (I got notices about the posts people were trying to comment on)


What a wonderful website. Thank you so much for your time and devotion, Darlene, and for standing up for the truth as you have done so courageously.

I have gradually come to terms with the fact that my mother doesn’t love me. After much pain and anguish, I stopped trying to bang my head against the wall and ceased contact with her. She has never bothered to contact me since, 3 years ago. (She’s living the high life with her 2nd husband – cruises, jewelry, huge house – everything she’s always longed for.)

I mourned for a year or so the loss of my idealised, fictional mother. The pain was at times actually physical – an ache in the pit of my stomach. I have passed the worst, now, but the loss will never leave me and I know I’ll never have the carefree self-confidence that those with good-enough mothers enjoy.

But learning to go easy on myself has, I think, been the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way… That, and avoiding invalidation of the kind which has been mentioned, such as “just forgive her” “don’t let it bother you” “you were fed and clothed by her and you should be grateful” etc etc. Such invalidation and double-whammy hurting are generally given by those who a) haven’t suffered this particular anguish themselves or b) have suffered and are keeping a lid on their pain, pressure-cooking it and denying it and taking pride in the fact that they have a “stiff upper lip” or have “forgiven and forgotten”. Those who have genuinely gone through all the lengthy processes and paths to the light of forgiveness would have so much more compassion for those of us still finding our way in the caverns of our pain.

Thank you so much also for the link to the Forgiveness and Blame youtube clip. It is like balm to my soul to hear such wisdom.


Hi Amanda
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Thank you for sharing your story here. This is so similar to my own story.
Don’t give up hope for that carefree self-confidence ~ I have it now. Realizing the truth, a process that happens in stages, leads to amazing places and amazing recovery that I myself never dreamed possible. Today I don’t need to have been loved by either of my parents. I have done the reparenting work for myself and I can go forward from here. It takes time but it sounds like you are on the road!
I am so gald you found this site.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene


I am dealing with this issue right now. But it is a more broad spectrum for me. I just faced rejection from one of my biological brothers who accused me of a lot of things. I blocked him from my facebook account and he is incredibly mad at me – having just found out. He told me that he was very pissed that i would cut my own brother off of facebook for such a silly reason as being tired of being negatively scrutinized and critisized. I told him it wasn’t silly and he demanded to know specific examples of what he did. I do not think well under pressure and told him that i could not think of anything right off the top of my head. He said fine, he doesn’t need to talk to me anymore and hung up. He also gave me the blow of calling me Kent Brubaker (my bio dad). I have lost sleep over the question am i really like him?
I don’t want to be like him. I abhor the thought. Now looking back i realize that Kurt (my brother) has never called to see how i’m doing or to chat. He has always had an agenda. Every time he calls i quake in my shoes because i know that he has something to confront me on. I have tried to give him a chance, but i have no trust left for him. I don’t trust him. I don’t think i even care if i never hear from him again. I don’t want to talk to him.
However, it is really hard for me because it is another peioe of my family that is gone. The longer i am out of the cult, the more of my biological family rejects me. I just wanna cry over it, but i can’t.


Hi Kia
I understand what you are going through and my heart goes out to touch yours! Abusers say exactly what they know will hurt the most. They do that so that you will get off the actually topic and question yourself as you are asking here when you ask if you are really like him?”
I LOVE your “looking back” stuff. YAY for the breakthrough. That is what I refer to as “the truth about the whole thing”
Hang in here Kia. I know this is very hard.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Kia,

just wanted to second Darlene’s comment about your “looking back”…. it can be so hard to see things like that! I really hope it helps you to see the agenda behind your brother’s phone calls, and helps give you strength to do what’s right and what works for YOU!

One time when I was house-sitting I got a call from my mother, and for some reason being in a different environment seemed to make it really stand out how s**t I felt afterwards. Not even any “active” abuse/nagging etc from memory; more a realization that she’s just in her own little world, and how far that world is from where I want to be.

Anyway take care of yourself & thanks for sharing! 🙂


Well, another holiday has come and gone and no contact from my family. Thank god for my husband and daughter. It’s so funny because my husband and I owe my mother money from a loan and pay her back a set amount each month. The only time she will contact me is if she doesn’t receive the check when she thinks she should have it or when she does receive it, she’ll text me “thanks for the check. xo”. So again this week just like clock work, she received a check in the mail from us and sent her monthy text message, but then on Thursday when it was Thanksgiving, absolutely nothing! I wonder if she really knows what “xo” means?! Probably not, since I said to her one time that we are suppose to love each other unconditionally and she said undonditional to her means only if I don’t freak out.

Why can’t I get over this completely?


Hi Kelly
I got over this completely when it didn’t define me anymore. When I knew (and a lot of this was based on the work I did that showed the evidence of the real truth) that her rejection was not about me but that it was about her, and that her rejection does not prove that I’m not good enough, it proves that stuff about her then I was on my way to being over it. When I loved myself enough to KNOW that I was worthy and when I validated myself enough to know that I what happened to me was wrong, and that my past issues had a root ~ that I did not cause them to myself. When I took my life back and owned that I was wonderful and that I had just as much purpose as anyone else in this world… THEN I was over it. Don’t lose hope!
Love and Hugs! Darlene


My mother died of a freak accident yesterday. This is what I wrote trying to deal with the situation.

The Love Of A Mother

No one understood our relationship, you and I
We did not understand it.
I spent my childhood trying to protect you, out of love
I gave up so much trying
I endured even more
Because I loved you
I was told a Mother always loves you unconditionally
Except mine
All I have ever wanted in life was to be loved by you
Now I never will

I spent years in counseling
Trying to find out what was wrong with me
Why couldn’t my Mother love me?
I came to find out that dysfunction was hereditary
For many generations before
Through counseling and education I found out what healthy was
I wanted that for my life
For my future children
To be Healthy and Happy meant difficult decisions
I was determined to stop the dysfunction
To raise happy children and have a good marriage
That meant Honesty and admittance
You can not change what you do not admit
Admitting is difficult, very difficult
You would not join me

I never wished anything but the best for you
Forgiving did not mean forgetting
Deep down inside, I always loved you
Only those you love can truly hurt you
I was done being hurt
My walls were high and thick
Protection at all cost

I found that life I wanted, Healthy and Happy
I am not rich, not even close
More like the opposite with no complaints
I have made a difference in the world to at least a few people
My children are amazing
I brought them into the world to make a difference
I know they will
I tell them I love them at least once a day
Especially when they do wrong
I never run out of love for them or their father
I hug them when ever I can
I promised to read to them no matter how old they are
I sleep on all decisions, to insure they are right
I tell the truth, even if it hurts
I call those out that do not
I rely on my Faith to get me through
He above, has never let me down
I know He never will

Despite the love of my husband and children
Despite marrying into a great family
Despite making a difference in just a few lives
Despite the happiness and joy I have experienced

Nothing makes up for the love of a Mother
I will take my void to my grave
But, I will never pass it on…


Dear Brenda

I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s death. What a beautiful poem – “Nothing makes up for the love of a Mother, I will take my void to my grave” – so true.

Wishing you all the best


Hi Brenda
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your lovely heartfelt yet haunting poem here with us.
I know that many here feel that same grief.
AND YAY that you will not be passing that void on!
Hugs, Darlene


Brenda, I feel sad for your loss. I know what it is like to have an emotionally unavailable mother. I grieved for my mother long before she died when I finally realized the truth that she had never been there for me emotionally. She probably wanted to be there. She just didn’t know how. I had to let go of the hope that she would one day change and be there for me.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem. You said my thoughts and feelings about my mother very well. It is always good to know that we are not alone, that someone else understands what we are feeling.


Hi Brenda,

Thinking of you at this time! I imagine this would be a huge trigger of painful memories and conflicting emotions.

I really liked your poem. I could relate to the early parts, and I found hope in your sharing of how far you’ve come & how you’ve been able to break this generations-old pattern! Thankyou so much for sharing.

I felt at the verge of tears for most of the poem. The line that actually affected me most was “…especially when they do wrong…”. I think it just spoke to me of what it could be like when a mother loves as unconditionally as it’s possible for us imperfect humans to do.

Also, the final line about not passing on the pain is just so beautiful and inspiring.

Take care of yourself at this difficult time & thanks again so much for sharing!



My daughter thinks I do not love her. She told me many of the same things you wrote. She told me last May 2010. I apologized for being the worst mother in the world, and then I decided if this is what she thinks, what is the use in me trying to hold a relationship of any kind with her, any longer, it would just make matters worse on both of us. So our ties are now severed. In the future, if she wants me I am here, she knows where to find me. I will not seek her out and ruin her life any further, that is exactly how much I love her.


I must say that if my mother apologized to me for being “the worst mother in the world”, I would perceive it as a non-apology. If she hugged me and said, “Mimi, I’m so sorry I’ve hurt you, please help me understand so we can mend these broken pieces”, It would be perceived in a much different light. If she stated she was the worst mother in the world, I would know in my heart that the comment could be interpreted to mean, she’s refusing to take any responsibility for her part in damaging the relationship. Just my perception if the same thing were to happen in my relationship with my mother.

December 1st, 2011 at 10:25 am


I also feel non-apologies (such as “sorry I’m the worst mother in the world”) come out of a mindset that there is nothing that can be done today and in the present, and that the problem is with the child for having too high of expectations, and that thinking that by doing the best you could/can means that you have no accountability when there are things that you did wrong that most likely are continuing unhealthy patterns currently. A non-apology often stems for apologizing about how someone feels rather than apologizing for one’s own wrong actions. No one needs to apologize for another’s feelings.

Regardless, when past hurts and dysfunctional/unhealthy patterns are brought to light it is not to cast blame as so much as to plea for change and for betterment of the relationship, if possible.

What I’m dealing with my mom is unwillingness to change her harmful and destructive patterns (such as guilting, being hyper-critical, discounting truths and feelings, etc.).

A truly honest apology can be helpful in the start of the repair of the relationship between my mother and I, but it will never be enough if she chooses not to change. I am not vague about what verbally abusive things she chooses to say about me that need to stop; so in my case, it’s entirely about the disrespect that she displays towards me regardless of how many times she verbally says she loves me. Actions speak louder than words.


What truly boggles my mind, is how my mother refuses to acknowledge truths and responsibility. You know what I’ve found to be so rewarding in my own life and dealing with others ~ the minute I own my part, give a genuine apology, take action to back up my genuity, and treat the situation with the careful attention it deserves, I feel so much better. And, so does the other person(s) involved. So, why is it so difficult for my mother to do this?? Even SHE would feel better if she tried it. It’s unchartered territory, and she’s not about to set foot on it. Truly sad because I believe it keeps her unhappy too.

December 1st, 2011 at 11:20 am

Just wanted to revise my last statement “actions speak louder than words” since I don’t necessarily believe that is true. Both actions and words matter. So I’d like to replace that comment with: Words and actions need to match otherwise words are not sincere.


Hi Angelina
Welcome to emerging from broken. I winced when I read your comments that you apologized for being the worst mother in the world. I don’t know what your voice infliction was like when you said that to your daughter, but my mother has said stuff like that to me and it was mean and meant to make me feel bad. I would not shut the door on my mother if she wanted to sit down and communicate with me honestly without blaming it all on me or without defending herself with things that continue to point the blame at me. Your comments seem like a put down to your daughter. you say ” I will not seek her out and ruin her life any further.. that is exactly how much I love her”. That really doesn’t sound like love it sounds like self pity and it sounds like your pain.
The only way that I found healing and was able to be the parent that my kids needed was to heal my own pain. Then I was far better able to understand the pain my own kids were in.
I hope that you understand the loving intention in my comments.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
I gave up on figureing out my mother and others exactly like this. I believe it is about how they regarded me with less value then they themselves had so why would they listen to me?? I told my mother in our last conversation that she could live in this freedom too. That she could overcome all the abuse from her childhood and she could live the rest of her life in the wonder and truth that I had found. She listened to me, I could tell she was listening… but then she didn’t call again. I really want my mother to find what I have found but not at the expense of sacrificing myself anymore.
Hugs, Darlene

I love the way you re worded that! I have used that expression tons the old way ~ but I like your new way better!
Hugs, Darlene


WOW!!! WOW!!! I am literally breathless after reading these posts! Darlene, words cannot express to you how grateful I am that you had the courage to start a site like this. I honestly felt like I was alone in this world..that no mother/daughter could have possibly ever had a relationship like the one my mother and I shared.

There is so much I want to share, to get it off my chest with women who truly understand how demeaning this can make a woman feel. The one person in our lives, as women, that society has proven should be there for us, is the one person who tried to destroy each of us!

I look back and can’t remember my mother ever showing me true love or compassion. Her emotions/reactions to me were solely based on whether or not I did exactly what she wanted me to do. She had a different plan of personalities for me each individual person in our lives. For instance; her younger brother (who was molesting me at 12 years old) I was expected to act as if he was the most handsome man on earth. She had a script set up prior to him showing up at home to visit and if I did not follow that script to the letter, there were dire consequences. However, one of her sisters, who I adored, I was scripted to treat with disrespect. She was a hard working single mother who had really progressed in life, but my mother was very jealous of her, so basically, I was not allowed to “love her”. Same with my father’s sisters. She had horrible relationships with them, so if I showed any type of affection towards them, I would be punished. She even controlled how I spoke to or treated my own father.

Leaving home at 15 years old was to me my escape. However, I continued for many many years later to give her permission to abuse me. She actually would become physically abusive towards me even when I was in my thirties. I ached for her love.

It has been three years since I have seen my parents, but just recently, a few weeks ago, I was informed by my father via telephone that neither of them ever wanted to see me or my children/grandchildren again. Although, it had been three years, I still had held onto “just maybe” one day she and I could be close. I am 50 years old and she is a 70. I hoped and prayed that someday she would “snap” out of it and become who I needed as my mother. No matter how old you become, it is natural to crave that close relationship with your mother.

I am not willing any longer to be her puppet and I would never allow my children to see or think that that is the way a parent/child relationship should be. Although, I ache inside and I miss what I thought could have been, there is a huge part of me that is beginning to be grateful for the freedom from her. For now, because I know my children are safe from her influence and one day I hope to heal enough that I can totally accept it all for what it is. I realize that I must grieve this loss and it will be a process.

I must say though, that after finding your site, I feel stronger about the process.

Again THANK YOU from the bottom of my “shattered” heart. <3


Hi Mitz
Wow, thank you for sharing some of your story! I love your honesty!
I have written in this site about the kind of “punishment” that you are talking about here. (when your father called after three years to inform you that they never wanted to see you or your children again) I totally understand the shock of that! They were the abusive ones, and they punished YOU for drawing a boundary! For me, this kind of “action” was all about ownership. I dared to stand up to my parents and my husband dared to stand up to his parents. And they were so outraged that they walked away from us. They never wanted to sort it out.. it was just “over” I was in shock for well over a year when it happened. BUT when the fog lifted and the dust settled, I could see the truth SO much more clearly! And Wow did the truth ever set me free!
I am so glad you are here! this is a really great community and we have some really healing discussions about all of this stuff.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for feedback, Darlene <3! You have no idea how grateful I am to have found your blog. Although, I believed my journey of self worth/self forgiveness/acceptance, etc. had begun, I now realize that I was missing certain tools and you are supplying me with so many of the missing ones!


i am so glad others could relate to my poem. It came from the heart. On the way back from my mother’s funeral I had a lot of time to think (11 hours one way) My brother and Uncles blame me for not trying harder. They accuse me of lieing, something I do not do. They have disowned me. My mother put in her will that I am left nothing and I know why. I was close to home when I realized— Nothing changes for me. I went back to the life I knew before she died. I am far away from my side of the family. My children are loved and amazing. I have a roof over my head, food in the house and a job that pays the bills. I have no regrets. My mother’s boyfriend told me I should. Whatever. All the drama, secrets and lies proved that I had done the right thing all those years ago. Children do as we do not as we say. Putting up with that !@#$%^&*!!!! is wrong. I never want them to accept that stuff in their lives. They,unfortunately, got to see why I was not in contact with my mother. As hard as it was to do, I did the right thing. I divorced my mother. I never wished her harm or ill will. But to have a healthy relationship with me, meant honesty and facing truth. I learned through much education and counseling that you should not make the same mistake twice. Ditto with arguements. You need to find the problem, face it head on, and correct it so it does not happen again. My mother could not do that. She made her choice and I made mine. I did the right thing and at 45+ years of age, I realized I am not a bad person. Just because my mother could not love me does not mean I am a bad person. It meant she had her own issues.


Brenda – your words touched me just now. It is so empowering to realize that those that did us wrong as children do not have to continue to be part of our lives as adults…no matter how hard it is to separate ourselves from them. I wrote first about my abusive husband in relation to this post…but I too had an abusive “mother”. She was a guardian, one that didn’t come into my life until 10. Her and her husband had moved out to California and I lived in Indiana only 4 days after I graduated. She never called me that summer, and when I reached out for help financially getting ready for college – she got one last power play in denying me any real assistance. I hung up the phone knowing I was done with her at that point.

Once I became a Christian at 19 I thought she was part of my “old life” and that she had no jurisdiction over my life anymore. However, after “waking up” in an abusive marriage…I realize how much she was/is still part of my life in my negative thought patterns. It is taking some work, much work…but I am getting over her and regaining the power she wrongly took from a vulnerable young girl to benefit herself. (I had lost my own mother to cancer at age 9, but even before that because she had been sick since I was 4.) Even now I can feel the urge to get bitter, angry and resentful at the guardian “mom” …yet I know that only gives her the power I so desperately want back from her and my ex husband. I know, having recently heard about the suicide her only son committed this summer and the alcoholism that has captured her life even more – that she has her own issues. And it makes me sad…sad that her and her husband’s issues have caused the death of a person I once considered my brother. Sad that they are still in denial and still “killing” those around them with it.

Any who – thanks for your brave words and for listening to my story. God bless you – and I hop you will visit me at my post sometime!


Hi Brenda, I am new to the forums, but am finding that everyone who comments and shares any part of their own story makes me realize with each written word how “not alone” I am anymore.

I, like you, went from having an abusive mother right into the arms of an abusive man. I ‘escaped” from my home life when I was 15 years old and because I had disgraced the family by moving in with a man, my mother ‘forced’ me to marry him. On our wedding night, he raped me and beat me and then continued to abuse me every single day for the next six months. He moved me into a run down apartment in the Detroit, never allowed me to have money, not even to eat and would start each day by pouring a hot coffee on me. (this was my cup of coffee for the morning he’d say) He would actually pinch me and twist my skin until I bled on a daily basis.. Within the first two months of our marriage he introduced me to a co worker of his who had a side job as a pimp. (pink suit, pink hat with fur, whole nine yards) I was terrified. Although he never made me take that avenue, he threatened me with it on a daily basis. I was literally terrified of him.

After six months of daily beatings, I asked him for a divorce. That last day he began beating me at 6 a.m. and stopped that evening at 6 p.m. He drove me to a wooded area where he showed me the grave he had already dug to bury me in. The only reason he stopped and did not kill me was because I pretended that I had made a mistake and loved him with all my heart and begged him to forgive me and “take me back”. It was the most humiliating experience a child (of now 16) could have had to do. It took me many many years to heal from that. When he got into the shower to wash my blood off of him, I called the police and they came and took me. I remember being terrified that he would hurt the police.

The reason I didnt leave him, was because I would sit and think when I was alone and weigh out which was worse..the beatings from my husband or the emotional/physical abuse from my mother. I chose the beatings. I had no where to go but back home to live with my mother, which eventually did happen. The few months that I lived back at home, I actually thought of going back to my abusive husband because I honestly couldn’t distinguish which was worse.

After reading a lot of posts from the women on here, I think the majority of us chose, unconsciously, to enter into abusive relationships and once there felt that we did not deserve anything better. When Gary would beat me up, I would always think to myself, “I deserve this because I used him as an escape from my mother and this is my pay back”. In my heart of hearts of truly believed that.

My mother’s reaction to his abuse was “What did you do?” She confirmed to me that I deserved it. However, she put on a big front in front of other family members, acting as if she felt such compassion for the suffering I had endured.

I went into many other abusive relationships after that. The more horrible a man would treat me, the more ‘in love’ with him I was. Even the man I am married to today was emotionally abusive to me in the beginning of our relationship, but I set my boundaries and we both sought help. Today he is my Rock!

I look at my daughter today, who is the same age as I was at that time and am filled with such a protective force for her. From that experience and from the many years of therapy that followed, I have learned how to guide my daughter by teaching her self love and respect for herself so that she never has to make the kind of choices I did.


Brenda B.
I absolutely related to your poem. I just want to offer my condolences for the loss of your mother and your family. If your heart is aching, please know I was very impacted by your honesty and your story, and that I’m thinking of you, with hope that you find comfort.
Most Sincerely,


Hi Brenda
Controlling/manipulative people will say anything to deflect the blame off themselves. My life was a constant put down before I embraced the truth. And now I am free from their judgements and lies about me.
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mitzi
Thank you for sharing this story. It is powerful and revealing about how we think these things through when our grid of understanding is messed up and we think things through by the dysfunctional history. (That is the belief system that I am talking about)
Yay for the changes you made with your own daughter too!
Hugs, Darlene


I too went through some abusive relationships after I left my mother’s home. They were no where near what you endured, but emotionally and verbally abusive, and at times physical. My dad had some violent times as well; a raging alcoholic. I think when I got out on my own, I had decided to draw a line SOMEWHERE, just not close enough to myself. I did let a few different men get abusive, and it lasted several years. It was not like my father had been though. Or, perhaps it was, but because I was an adult, I didn’t have the fear I had as a child. I was positively petrified of my father. Anyhow, I admire so much the people here that turn it all around and raise their kids with conscious decisions to make a change in the patterns. I’m happy you have a nice supportive husband and beautiful daughter to raise!!


Hi Mimi and thank you for your kind words. My dad was not “mean” he was just totally unavailable, absorbed in catering to my mother who to this day has such powerful control over him it is pitiful really.

I am learning, at times such a slow process, to take the things that happened in my own life and make certain that these things NEVER happen in my own children’s lives.

Much love,


New to this site but here I go. I had been out of the “family” for the past ten years. On October 30th, 2011 I got a call from my aunt telling me my brother passed away. Then my nother called me, and my other sister. Next thing I knew I was back into the family. I missed my mom so much and hoped this time would be different. I paid for my brother’s funeral, he had no insurance, stood there by myself greeting guests while they all sat inside. Finally I went to get the priest to start. I was the one who spoke at the funeral for the family as well, nobody else said a word. My mother was supposed to sit beside myself and my sister, only she decided to get up and sit with my son who does not talk to me because of all the crap his dad told him about me. I managed to stay composed, and at the end of the funeral I was left with everything while everyone left for my sisters place. I helped moved my mom and stayed with her for almost 2 weeks to make sure she was ok. The only boundries I set with my mom was that I did not want to hear about my son, it is too hard for me, he believes what his father has told him, his father turned him against me. Could she do it? No, she had to tell me she was going to his place for dinner. I lost it. I shut the door again. But, seeing I am a sucker for punishment I called her, only to hear the same BS I always hear. Turing it all on me, that I will never be happy if I can’t let go of the past. I have an older sister whom fights with my mom everyday, yet mom still loves her. And another one who hardly bothers with her, yet mom still loves her. All I wanted to hear from my mom the last time I called was “I don’t care if your sister doesn’t want you around, I respect your boundries and want you in my life” instead I got “I’ll have your books dropped off at your aunts” “Take care of yourself” “I love you”. I truly don’t think this woman knows what love is, she ripped my heart out all over again, it is so hard to grieve for someone who is alive and only lives 20 minutes away from you. How do you do it. I did it for ten years, always wondering, does she ever think of me? Does she care? Why am I the only child she doesn’t like? It makes me suicidal at times. I feel like I’m up against an army, the three of them and then me. Does the hurt eventually go away? I just don’t know what more I could do? Has anyone else ever had the whole family against them and not know why? My in-laws say it is jealousy, I have more than them but it was my choice to find a very good job to provide for my family so that they didn’t grow up to be drug addicts and alcoholics. I feel like I am being punished for it. I even hate the thought of Christmas, my sister who told me in early Nov that she hated my other sister, invited her over for dinner with my mom. All one big happy family. And me, well, who cares, I have my own place to be I guess. It hurts, it hurts so bad that sometimes it is so very hard to go on.


Hi Lauralee
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
My family all turned on me. I have found total freedom and have overcome all the obstacles related to my past including the pain of all that. I don’t think much anymore about it my parents or family ever think of me. I don’t know if they really ever did. I was only good for what I could do for them. I let all that go in order to save my own life.
But first I had to go through the process that I write about in this site in order to get be able to put it behind me. It is not a quick answer process.
I hope you read more. There is tons of information about how I did this. There is lots of hope and insight here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lauralee,

I am so sorry 🙁

I feel the pain and disappointment when reading your story. 🙁

It is typical within abusive families that they will contact you again when they feel they have a strong weapon again such as someone died. Only to abuse you again. I am so sorry they did this with you. 🙁

I really like what Stefan Molyneux said on this: why would I attend their funeral? I didn’t love them when they lived. Why would that change when they die?

I plan to not attend their funeral, even though it is ‘not done’.

Again, I am very sorry for what you had to go through 🙁



I am shocked to hear the abuse you went through. I am so sorry 🙁

You were almost killed 🙁

In retrospect you did what you needed to do to survive another day.

That you have survived and were able to get here is an amazing achievement. Many have died or became very abusive people themselves. My hat goes of for you.

My deepest sympathies for what you have gone through. It must have been a horrible nightmare for you 🙁


Thank you Darlene and Marc for your kind words of support. It took me ten years to finally find peace with everything and yet here I stand again. I loved my brother, regret not being able to say goodbye, he went so fast, he too was an alcoholic. Sometimes I wonder if my mother resents me so much because I got off the Merry go Round or I should say never got on it in the first place. I was the baby of the family, and said to myself I never wanted to live like them, on social assistance, I wanted a good job and a house etc. and that is exactly what I did. I was sexually abused by my dad for 3 years and finally took him to court later on in life where he plead guilty. He is dead now, and that I feel is behind me. As I said, I was away from the family for ten years and the only reason I went back was because of my brother. I know I wouldn’t go back of someone else died, not even my mom. I have to stop myself from picking up the phone, this Christmas will be difficult, I hurt deep in my heart, knowing they will all be together and I will be with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and girls, but just when I thought I was done with all that crap I have to start over from 0. I guess what we expect our mother’s to say to us doesn’t always happen in the real world. I was looking for her to acknowledge me, see me, love me, but instead I got something else. And why me? How is it that they (my two sisters) can do anything yet my mom will still talk and love them, but when it comes to me she doesn’t care? I know I am strong, despite my suicide attempt when I just couldn’t handle it anymore, a place taht I hope to never be in again, I just feel numb and so hurt today, I sure hope it goes away. I will continue to read this site, I have to say that it brings me great comfort knowing that I am not alone, I am not losing my mind, that there are more people out there than we think who have mother’s who don’t love us or care for us. I raised myself since I was 13 years old, being the baby of an alcoholic drug addict family, 1 brother, 2 sisters, and vowed never to touch the stuff, and I made it, why can’t I get through this door, this part? I even survived breast cancer, and was never once called by my family to see how I was. They say now that if they would have known they would have been at the hospital but I don’t believe it really.
Why can’t I make the hurt stop and get through this if I got through of all that? Does the hurt last forever? Do we go on forever wondering what they are doing, if they are thinking of us, if they even care? Please tell me sooner or later it goes away, because this sure is a sad way to live.


My heart goes out to you. It’s so incredible the pain that people can cause. Specifically, the people we love and should be able to trust, and who should also love and protect us. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I have felt suicidal at times too. I have felt like the loss of my mother, rather, the loss of the image I had of my mother would literally kill me, and I questioned if it would ever go away. The pain was excruciating. I cried every day for what seems like several months. I journaled a LOT. I cried and wrote and sometimes that would be all I could get done in a day. I felt a lot of guilt from that on top of the horrible way I felt anyway. Darlene and everyone here have really helped me so much. I read a lot of posts and see that so many people have pain and I’m not alone. That was pretty huge for me. I thought I was alone and no one understood. Even my counselor makes lame excuses for my mother…. because she knows her personally. I have gotten so much comfort here and I hope you do too. The value of the words written here is priceless, for me. I hope you continue to come back and that you find some comfort very very soon. That feeling that comes with thinking about suicide is horrific. I feel like I’m totally spent, and can’t imagine enduring another moment of the pain. Somehow, I have. Somehow, there was still a little flame that didn’t want to be blown out. That’s when I found this blog. I have found immeasurable refuge here. It’s my safe place. I hope you feel that way one day too. I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in. Please hold on….I have hope that it doesn’t last forever.
with love,


Hi Lauralee
My heart goes out to you. I had some similar grieving stuff with my family too but it gets better. The hurt in my case did go away. I don’t wonder “why” any more. About my siblings, they are totally in the fog, which means that they are no threat to my parents. I am a threat because I know the truth. (and I expose it, therefore I expose them but even the threat of being exposed can cause a person who lives in that old system, to reject)
I had to ask myself exactly what (about my family) I was missing. I asked myself that so many times and each time I went deeper I realized that there was not much to miss. In looking at that question closely, (this took a while) I saw the truth. I saw the damage and the rejection more clearly. I saw how little regard for me that my mother had. I saw how it was all about her. That HURTS, but the truth is what set me free. I don’t have that pain anymore.
Like Mimi said, I grieved mostly for what I never had.
I am so glad you are here. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly and deeply. There is hope and healing.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene and Mimi,

Something you said Mimi clicked in with me, the “image” I have of my mother, I guess the image I am missing doesn’t really apply or exist to anyone except my sisters. I keep hanging on, hoping and waiting when I am literally throwning time away just for them and they don’t deserve my time or head space. It is so easier said than done to just ignore them, and forget about them, like they do not exist, if only. The hard part is moving on, and I have to move on, for my family but most of all for me. You can’t force someone to love you, you can’t make someone who you want them to be and I believe they will never change. I think that they use me as I am the only one who never got on that Merry go round.I pray everyday for strength, stregth to go on, to move forward but most of all for my heart to mend, to stop hurting so much. I am so glad to know I am not alone and losing my mind, I don’t know another person who’s mother is like this, it’s sad!
Hugs to all of you, Lauralee


Omg so much of this relates to me it’s unreal!!
I am like Darlene in that I do not miss my mother at ALL anymore, she has squeezed every last drop of any ‘love’ I ever had for her. The last drop fell when she clapped when ivread my victim impact statement in court, when I took my horrible step father to court for sexually abusing me. It was a slow, sarcastic clap. Oh, and she also called me a liar and hypochondriac THROUGHOUT me reading it!! (my niece, adult daughter, MIL, and husband were sitting right in front of her in the courtroom as that was the only place I could see while I was up in the stand read the statement so they heard everything) my husband had to physically restrain my 21 yo niece from tearing up to her, he didn’t succeed at the end, she managed to go up to her and said ‘ you have just made it SO much easier for me to hate you!’ and even then my stupid mother looked puzzled as if to say’what have I ever done to you?’ . (which she has asked my niece before.. And THAT is a whole other extremely heartbreaking story).

So yeah, I never had a mum, always wanted one, won’t get one now coz I learned to ‘mother’ myself.
I don’t even get sentimental about her anymore, YAY for me! she squeezed that last drop out..

Love to all xo


Hi Michelle,

So sorry you had to go through the abuse as well. My mother didn’t even come to court, even though she caught my dad molesting my sister when she was a baby, instead she just had more kids with him. I don’t understand, nor will I ever. I have to say these last couple of days of reading this site have given me hope, and so have your words. I believe that my mum too took every last drop from me as well, along with my selfish sister. I hope that one day I will be able to stand up and not get emotional or teary eyed when I speak of my mum, even though I know in my heart she never was one or never will be one. Too bad you couldn’t find a place called “Adopt a Mom”. Maybe I should put up an ad in the wanted colums, WANTED: A mother who will love you unconditionally and who will respect your boundries.
I’m happy for you Michelle that you are in a place where you can feel nothing at all towards her. I too hope that one day I will get there as well, one step at a time they say, one little baby step.
Hugs to you,


Michelle and Lauralee,
You’re in the place I want to be in!! Actually, I can say I’m honestly not doing so bad nowdays. A few months back I was a wreck though. This site has helped so much. I had about a 3-4 month mental hiatus in the spring and summer this year which was centered mostly around my mother. I cried all day some days; many days, and wrote so much in my journal. I look at that now and realize it was so therapeutic, incredible pain, but therapeutic. I see that what I went through was like a high intensity boot camp where I didn’t stop until I was done. It WAS intense, and it was every day. I remember wondering if I would ever be out the other side; if I would be sane again. Buckets of emotion and pain and tears poured out onto the pages of my journal. I thought it might never end. At the time I don’t even think I realized I was doing the work of healing, because what it felt like was torture. I remember reading a line in a book at the time that said something like this ~ you’ll know you’re done when you get sick of yourself. It’s true. Although it didn’t happen all of the sudden for me. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and I knew I was done. I slowly regained the ability to concentrate again, and remember things again. I didn’t really even realize I had climbed out of that pit. I guess I was done. Again, my heart goes out to you Lauralee and I hope you’re finding a little ray of light here.


Oh sheesh…. I failed to address who’s place I wanted to be in on that last post opening line. I was referring to Michelle. Sorry about that!


Thank you Mimi,

I know that one day I will take back my power. Right now I am basically giving them my power, every time I cry about them, or feel like I don’t belong. But what am I missing really? The drama, the lies, the whole act they put on, the lack of trust?? Sometimes I just want to shake myself and say read what you wrote Lauralee, wake up. It’s been this way since I was 13. I have raised myself, been to hell and back again, but I have to be proud of myself, no high school diploma but I landed with persistence a very good paying job in the Gov’t. The rest of my family stayed on the merry go round and have nothing, no house, no car, no life insurance. I guess for me it was hard, I was used again, my own fault though, lost over 4 grand in the process. I should have known that people like that just don’t change. I lost my brother and they took advantage of me. I have to keep telling myself that the image in my mind is not who my family is. It’s not easy, especially during the holidays. They are all going to be together and I will be with my family. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but it hurts deep to know that to THEM I am not good enough. I let them know via mail that the next time someone dies not to call me, even if it is my mum. I do not plan to attend their funerals, that might be mean but if I am no good now then why would I be good then?
I have to say I do see a ray of light, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time I don’t think it’s a train! My therapist will be proud of me! Thank you for your encouragement, every little bit helps!
Hugs and luv to all, Lauralee


The reason I say ‘love’ in that way, is because I never really knew the HEALTHY AND CORRECT definition of love. I was not brought up in a truly loving and nurturing environment. My mother used to say she ‘loves us so much it hurts’. (I was so young when she said that, I left home when I was 15 and she had already been saying that for years… How inappropriate!) I don’t recall the context of what was happening at the times she would say that but it was more than likely one of the many times when I was consoling HER over one of her many dramas, emotional or otherwise. (our step father used to beat the crap out of her as well as us ours of course was disguised as discipline)
Since when did love HURT, and no wonder I’ve been a mess being brought up on that definition of ‘love’


Hi lauralee
How many times I’ve gone from person to person looking for someone to replace the mum I never had!! (only I didn’t realize I was doing it at the time). I used to wish that someone would ‘take me on’ as their ‘daughter’ and that I could have a place (besides my own) that I could go to that felt like home. You know, like dropping in on mum and dad and staying for an impromptu dinner, or borrowing something if u needed it. In the years I was still in contact with them, anytime we would go over there I’d end up making dinner for everyone and cleaning up, never felt comfortable eating their food (mum would tell me that my stepfather resented supplying food for us uuggghh) so I would take heaps of food over with me so I basically supplied my own food anyway.. And yet he was the one who abused ME! And I was trying my hardest to ‘forgive him’ and carry on as a normal family.. I was sooo sick in those days, he didn’t even admit to what he had done in this days either and I was positive I had to be a ‘good christian’ and forgive, all the while I kept myself AND MY FAMILY in that toxic situation. I was absolutely convinced I was doing the right thing, I honestly thought I could never live without my ‘mother’ in my life.. They were so manipulative they had me right where there they wanted and needed me, all to give off the impression that they were now good Christians and I was a hypochondriac and even a liar! I am so glad to be rid of them. I would probably be dead now or they would be well actually my younger brother committed suicide amongst all that so called ‘happy family’ stuff so it really did kill someone after all. He never stood a chance my litlle bro, the stepfather used to make him wear girls underwear and stand outside if he had an toileting accident… He was just a kiosks boy, 5 years old, and if you heard and saw what was happening in our house at the time you’d probably mess up your pants as well..
I’m getting a bit upset now I better go I hope I haven’t upset anyone I haven’t really ever dealt with my little brothers death, it’s still a bit raw for me….


**I meant he was just a little boy… Not kiosks, that’s the autocorrect!


My dear Michelle,
I do hope that one day you will be able to put your brothers passing behind you. Believe you me, I can tell you things I experienced that no child should have so I know where you are coming from. My mom used to ride with the bells angels, a bunch of child molesters, I’ve been molested so many times by so many people your head would spin. I wish you all the best, I too am still grieving the loss of my brother and it’s hard. Remember, you truly matter, you deserve to be happy, and one day you will feel that happiness again. Don’t give them your power, I know easier said than done but try. You matter in this world, maybe not to them, but that is their loss. I wish I could give you a big hug, and tell you that it will get better, just take it one day at a time, I wish you happy holidays and again remember you are worth it and important, I believe it,
Hugs and luv


Lauralee got it right! Don’t ever give up! It has taken years of counseling, education and reading to get where I am. My childhood would leave many people in disbelief. I do not complain nor preach it. I would not be the person I am today had I not lived through the garbage I have survived. But, I take responsibility for who I am today. I do not blame anyone else.
Noone should be abused, hurt or molested. Never give up, getting away. Seek counseling, there is free counseling out there. Read, Read, Read. The internet was not around when I was a kid. My library was my best friend back then. Had it not been for alateen/alanon, I would be a mess. Alateen helped me learn how to have a “healthy” relationship and life. I owe that organization so much. I am shocked how many people have had the lousy relationship with their mother as I have. Somehow, knowing I am not alone, makes it a little easier. I wish I could just hug every person whose Mother does not love them. You need to get your self worth back. For every negative thing said to you, you need 3 positive to counteract it. Stop your negative thinking. It is not true. Every human being has the ability to love and be loved. If you did not receive it from your family, it does not mean you don’t deserve it. Never give up trying to find your way. The light at the end of the tunnel is not as far as you think it is.


Thanku lauralee and Brenda. It really does mean a lot to read your encouraging comments.
It has taken me a long time and a lot of pain and a lot of work along the way to even start to accePt that I deserve to have happiness. It was just a foreign concept to me. I spent so much time forsaking my own likes and desires that when I realized I should have my own likes and opinions and desires it took even longer to figure out what they were!! So so sad. To not be encouraged as a child to explore and DECIDE FOR MYSELF what I did and didn’t want. And to be criticized and constantly manipulated when I started to try and assert myself. I remember as a teenager telling my friends different Stories my mum had told me about her experiences with drugs. LSD especially. I would tell my friends about her hallucinations and PRETEND IT HAPPENED TO ME! I felt popular and rebellious. those stories about her experiences were desperate attempts to form my own self Identity, I know that now..the only stories I had to tell were about how I was left home alone a lot of the time to look after my siblings while they were out drinking and drugging themselves and goodness knows what else, then they’d get home and he’d start belting her and she would call out to me to come and save her.! I was 10 years old, the eldest of four… I couldn’t very well tell my friends about all that now could I? What a pathetic pair they were. And we were/ are expected to react to none of that. They wouldn’t remember half of it anyway they were ALWAYS drinking or taking drugs. My ‘mother’ told me one day she had smoked 60 cones of marijuana, and it was apparently strong stuff… She actually used to ‘spin out’ as they would say, and I had to ‘bring her back’ to reality. I can’t remember the number of times I did that. I would have to try and ground her and convince her that we were real that we were indeed living in a reality, that’s how stoned she was. Today I understand that she was indeed having psychotic episodes.
I always felt it was my responsibility to save her. I know now that I always hated him, but I wasn’t allowed to hate him back then so I didn’t realize I hated him until recently. Does that make sense? I think once I continued to assert myself I realized JUST HOW MUCH I hated him, then when I realized I spent the next couple if years in a haze, broken only by periods of extreme feeling of disgust and putrid hatred of him. It took me years to quell the anger once had once I realized MY true feelings. It made me physically and mentally ILL the emotions I went through then. I would only have to drive past a street sign with his name on it (unfortunately his name is a very common one) and I would be triggered all over again.
I say all this in past tense. Its not like I like him now or I’ve forgiven or forgotten I just no longer gave any emotion as far as they are both concerned. That’s not to say that if I did happen to see them I wouldn’t have a massive panic attack or start vomiting, but I DON’T see them, and I WON’T see them whilever it is in my control. They really are dead to me. I used to think I would go to her funeral, to say my final goodbyes etc. But I really dint think I will. I am even making progress as far as being concerned about what others think of me. They already think what they think, and they are gullible enough to believe the BS both of them have dished out well so be it. Why would I even attempt to get any validation from them. (other people) IT DOES NOT MATTER!
Sorry for rambling… The whole mother thing gets me going, I’ve just got so much to say about it .. I hope some of it is helpful to someone!

Love to all xo


I think it’s fantastic you were able to pay for your brother’s funeral. Even if you lost money, such an honorable act for your brother. Praise to you for stepping up and doing the respectable thing. I’d be proud of myself if I were in your place. You did your BEST!! And, you can always know you did the respectable thing, despite the pain and drama you’ve endured. Kudos to you.

I often wonder about funerals too. I wonder where I’ll be in my relationship with my mother when that day comes. I am still in light contact with her. This is the first year I’ve said I’m not going to her family gathering for Christmas, and I didn’t go on Thanksgiving. I am approaching the place, or maybe I’m already there, where I don’t care anymore who she influences, who she lies to about me, and what those people’s opinions are as a result. Part of what empowers me though is that my sisters and I are in agreement. So, I’m not completely alienated in my views. I stand to lose an aunt or two, maybe a cousin. My mom’s brother is onto her too though and he hasn’t spoken to her for 10 years. Knowing there are people who understand what I see, and what she’s done to my sisters and I, is incredibly helpful. For so many years she had my family convinced that I was evil incarnate. I would be the world’s biggest outcast at family events. I knew it too. People believed every word she said. My sisters even believed her at that time. I was truly alone; against my whole family and extended family. I was always the black sheep. My friend recently said, “have you ever thought that maybe you’re the WHITE sheep?” I welcomed that statement. Maybe I’m the normal one!! It runs so incongruent to what I’ve always believed though, it’s hard to even imagine that. My mother has always had such control over my sisters and I. I don’t know how she got away with it until we were all in our 40s. She did the ultimate act of selfishness this year. It’s too long of a story to write here, but I basically set her up and she didn’t even know it. She fell in hook, line, and sinker. When she responded, it made me physically ill. I knew then, that all my suspicions of her selfishness were true. That I didn’t really matter to her. I then went through the pain of trying to figure out if she loved me, or ever did. It was excruciating. Then I think in that process, I realized it didn’t really matter. I was wasting time deciding if she ever loved me and if so, to what degree. I do think I had to go through that as part of my grieving and subsequent healing process; but as of today, I don’t wonder if she loves me. I only wonder how I will handle her from here on out, and what I should do about possibly approaching her about her offenses. The jury is still out on that one. History has been such that if you say how you feel, or approach her about hurt feelings, or something she’s done, she goes into a rage. Then, the consequences are usually brutal. Much of the time, she will launch the silent treatment. This time though, I welcome that!! haha.
Hope everyone is doing well today!


I have been enjoying the conversation going on here and I feel so much empathy for the pain that is being shared. I know that pain. Thank you Mimi, Michelle Lauralee and Brenda for the depth of sharing and honesty in your comments. I have so much that I could comment but I am shorter on time this week. I did want to say in response to Michelle and your statement “since when did love hurt?” well when you are being beaten or sexually abused and being told that you are loved, that kind of love DOES hurt!

A few other points…
Michelle, when I read about your mother clapping in court I felt sick. That is horrific. When I read about your stepfather and your little brother that brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that was your life. OMG what is wrong with people? Thank you for your courage in sharing all of this here. I am honoured.
Hugs, Darlene

I think that it is important to see the tears over the lost relationship as validating your own pain instead of seeing it as giving them your power. You deserve to feel that pain and to express it. It was so validating for me to finally own my right to feel hurt and cast aside. That hurts and what happened to you is very wrong. What they did and what they allowed to happen to you was very wrong. Thank you for sharing here. This conversation is very healing and validating for anyone who reads it.
Hugs, Darlene

My mother lies about everyone. It is how she kept everyone in the spin of worrying what everyone was saying instead of realizing that SHE is a trouble maker. My in laws do it too. When I got through the tough part of this process and really saw the truth about everything, I stopped caring about the lies. (this was such a freedom!!!) The way that I see it today is that people who automatically believe lies from people like that ~ it makes a statement about the person who just “believes it”. I don’t care about the people who believe the “lies about me anymore because they have already made their judgements about me anyway. I have nothing to prove. I had huge issues with having to prove that I was right and that I was not mean and nasty and punishing my mother as her story goes but when I finally validated myself about what the truth REALLY is, I stopped caring what their version of it is.

Thanks everyone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All,
I just published a new post related to the Mother Daughter Dysfunction stuff.
Here it is:
Overcoming that Nasty Self Blame from Dysfunctional Relationships
Hugs, Darlene,
Founder of Emerging from Broken


Thank you Darlene,
You actually just wrote the same thing that my doctor said. I did not understand it at all when she told me I had to go back to sad, I needed to “feel” it. You see I have mastered angry pretty good, but allowing myself to be sad always seemed weak to me. Driving home from my appointment today I thought my doctor may need a therapist herself, lol and to my surprise I hear the same from you. I promise, that no matter how much it hurts, no matter how awful all of this is going to be, mourning the loss of my only brother, and the pain I feel about being cast aside and out of the family, it will be very difficult, but if I want out of this hell I am in then I am just going to have face the sad part. Thank you Darlene, they say that when the student is ready, the teacher will come, thank you so much for validating what I couldn’t see or understand, you don’t know how much I appreciate it.
Hugs and luv to you,


I’ve not heard that before; the statement about the student and teacher. I think it’s true. I was ready (more than ready really)when I found this spot and all the caring hearts here, who were willing to share wisdom and experience, compassion and love. I’m so grateful for that.
Love to all,


Hi Lauralee
Thank you for your lovely words; they choked me up a bit.. I get mushy these days around the holidays. I appreciate you so much too. It might be difficult but it is also the most worthwhile thing I have ever done in my life. There is a way out of that hell. I am so glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene and Mimi,

Mimi: I wish you much success and I know that one day you and all of the other’s on this site who are going through this will get out of the hell hole. We are human beings who don’t deserve this, but sometimes it happens, and the only thing we can do it lock the door and throw that key away, tie it to a rock and throw it in a river, lake ocean whatever, and throw the memories, (bad ones) away with it. I am proud of myself, I’m almost there, and yes it hurts, but there are people who care about you, I don’t even know you and I care for you. Family doesn’t have to be blood, family is what you make it. They say that you can’t choose your family, true in a sense, but you can choose to not accept the behaviour. My throat Chakra was blocked for years, this year it is open. When I hear something I don’t like I say ” I didn’t appreciate that comment and please don’t say it again thank you” of course the person turns red and doesn’t expect that from me. Too bad, if you can dish it out you can take it too. My prayers are with you, I know one day we’ll all get to our happy place, even you.

Merry Christmas to all and may 2012 be much better for all of us, and help up to let finally let go of the image we have of a mother who is really not that image at all,
Hugs and love to you all Lauralee xoxo
Darlene: I know the holidays are hard, but think of how far you’ve come, you should be so so proud of all of your accomplishments that you have made, I know I am proud of you! If it wasn’t for you none of us would have this, and that is a very special gift that you have, God Bless You.


Hi Lauralee
I may have given the impression that I am still hurting from the past but nothing could be farther from the truth. (It is hard to get everything into every blog post) The holidays are wonderful for me.They haven’t been hard for years now. My family and I are having a wonderful time this year. I am very proud of all that I have accomplished. Thank you for your lovely words.
Hugs, Darlene


This blog post inspired me to write my own blog post called Healing Tools That I Have Learned. Part of it comes from what I wrote in my comments here on this post. Here is the link for those who are interested in reading it.


Wow wow wow

I’m well into the process of trying to get out of the fog…but it’s very very thick and I struggle with self doubt and the ingrained unhelpful backing track in my mind that continues to tell me that it’s all my fault and I’m ungrateful and mean and she loves me and would do anything for me and other protestations!
It’s so hard to get things straight in my head – so uch manipulation, lies and twisted sick thinking.

I had initiated no contact late last year or a total of about 2 weeks. I felt sick and anxious the whole time…the worst thing was that at the time my son had just disclosed sexual abuse at the hands of my father, I dealt with that with the trained soldiering style I’d honed being mums kid and while the turmoil I was in and the pain in my husband and son and I the overriding anxiety causing element in my life was my bloody narcissistic mothers expectations of me and response to my going no contact. I buckled, I felt like I needed her support…when will I learn? She CAN’T give me that.

I instinctively knew she would be of little comfort but still I went there. Her first response was as expected “NO”…at this point I was thankful I hadn’t said anything until after I got the call from the cops saying he’d been arrested and I was even more relieved that I could tell her straight up that the cops said he’d confessed to it. I knew she wouldn’t believe me, she hadn’t believed me when I tried to tell her about being raped as a child.

She went on a tirade at me the next day about how “I’d chosen him over her (she has to have NPD and I’ve always been closer to dad)and he went and did that to my grandson” – as expected here she was making it ALL ABOUT HER.

Now, I’ve said that to her enough times now that she ‘qualifies’ her comments by saying – “it’s not all about me but” – reminds me of when people say “with respect” before dropping insults. So yes her qualification was there and it was a clear signal to me that ‘she had permission’ to say whatever she felt like without any thought to the impact that might have on me…the ONE NEEDING SUPPORT.

Since I discovered this site two days ago I’ve been overwhelmed with aha moments and hideous memories. All the situations and heartache that’s come flooding back to me as I’ve read stories similar to my own describing mothers that sound like mine to a tee are now being re-examined with a very different lens in place.

Despite all this I feel like I can’t say she doesn’t love me, she’s told me gushingly so many many many times that she does.

Anyway I’m struggling with that and yet in a part of my soul I KNOW it to be true.

I’ve taken to writing about mum in the blog I’d originally created to process what my father did…now I recognise that I struckout when it came to parental units I have to reprocess my whole childhood and try to work out what was real and how the hell I’m left at the end of all this new knowledge…will I even be me anymore – hell do I even know who I am anyway??

If anyone is like me wondering/self doubting and voracious to read as many examples of what dysfunctional mother/daughter relationships look like to help them perhaps understand their own situation – you are very welcome…

I wish each and everyone of us peace and love and happiness – I hope I get there myself in the not too distant future. xx


Love is an action word. Love is recognized by the action that comes with it. My mother and father both profess to love me. But the action isn’t there. This was a big stick point for me. I also was well cared for, food, clothing, shelter ~ as a child. Those needs were met. But that is only a small part of love. I was not safe, I was not kept safe, I was not heard, I was invalidated; I could go on but the rest of it is all over my website here.
I struggled with who I was and in this process I finally found myself. I didn’t know who I was because I was never allowed to be ME. I was afraid that I would not like the real me when or if I ever found me. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I love love love me.
Hang in there! There is hope.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene, what you say makes perfect sense and again I recognize those same behaviors. I feel like I’ve been confused and self blaming for so long part of me is resisting the truth and can’t fully own it. Then I think about all the hideousness and particular more recent situations and I feel really angry and it feels doable to stand my ground again. I guess it’s a Long journey back to ME and there’ll be many bumps in the road. Xx


You actually discribe pretty much the way the process goes. I always felt it was very much a back and forth type of thing. But the forward motion won in the end! Hang in there!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene that helps to know that.


It’s really hard for me to sort things out too. One minute I think my mom loves me, the next, I have no idea. Sometimes I think confrontation is best, other times I think any myriad of approaches is best. Earlier in the year I wasn’t functioning, honestly. I’m thankful that I can function again on some level, although I know I’m not there yet. I journaled a lot. Seems like three months of the year are a blur where I did nothing but cry and write. It was very liberating but in the midst of it I wondered if I would ever come out the other side. I know I have so much work left to do, but, functioning without crying every day has been a very welcome relief. This is the first time in 43 years I didn’t spend any time with my mother for Christmas. It was a relief. We spoke, I still bought her and her husband gifts, and she did me. Not having to go to her house was a relief and I can’t say for sure why. I’m still sorting through that. I always thought I had fun there. Lots of family members, etc. But, I didn’t miss it at all. Instead I cooked for my grown step children and grandchildren on the same day my mother had her gathering. She’s very wrapped up in my oldest sister and her kids right now, so that’s how I got off the hook I believe. It’s a heartbreaking reality for all who realize their mothers aren’t really cutting it. I’m sorry for your pain, but happy to see you come here and share ~ I’ve learned so much from contributors like you and it’s not easy to bare our souls. Thank you for that.

You’re so right. (AHA moment!) Love is an action word and I never really thought of it like that. I’ve wondered at times if maybe love isn’t really a feeling you have but rather, a behavior. This makes it easier to understand. Thank you for all you do Darlene!!
Love to you both!


Oh Darlene,
I have missed the usual activity here over the holidays more than I missed my mother!! SCARY isn’t it?? I truly seek refuge here on a regular basis. Thank you for all you do!!


Perhaps that is a sign of health! Just sayin………. 🙂
Hugs, and thank you for that amazing compliment!

There is a really great conversation going on about mothers who didn’t like their christmas gifts (or any gifts) on the home page blog post by the way!


Thanks Mimi – I know it’s going to be a long road and that it will take time. I feel like all I’ve done this last year is cry. After I found out my dad had been sexually abusing my autistic son and went through the process of putting him away I feel like I should be due an emotional break! Then I think perhaps the stuff with my dad might be useful in terms if strengthening my resolve about what treatment I accept from my mum going forward. Btw I too find this place a comfort. I’m very impressed with the contributions and the moderation. Thank you Darlene you ARE doing amazing work here.


I just wonder why there’s so much pain in the world. Can people just try to act right, care for each other, have some compassion, etc. All the people in tears is heartbreaking. And, to think…. for a while, I thought it was only me crying. Although I hate that there’s so much pain in so many hearts, I have found solace in knowing I’m not alone. That’s huge!!
love to all,
ps – Darlene, I think you’re right ~ I’m a little healthier!! 🙂


Hi Mimi,
Some people just don’t know how to love I think. I’m not making excuses for them, but I truly believe it. I am hurting less everyday, I miss my brother still everyday since he passed Oct 30th. My so called family was supposed to have his girlfriend over for dinner at Christmas but have not called her since his death. I picked her up and brought her to my house cuz she was all alone. They are incapable of love, too bad for them, they have to live with themselves. I will NEVER get on that merry go round again. I am proud that I did not turn out like them. We can’t control other people in the world, but we can control and choose our reactions to what is going on around us. I choose to be happy and loving and compassionate. And I choose to start off the New Year knowing that I am a good person despite what my family members are, their actions or lack of do not define who I am and never will. God bless you Mimi and everyone on this site. May you all find love, happiness and peace in your hearts in 2012!
Luv Lauralee xoxo


Thank you Lauralee. I think you could be right, some people just don’t know how to love. Or, they love themselves more than what’s considered healthy.

So nice what you did for your brother’s girlfriend. Poor girl!! She’s hurting too I’m sure.

I’m trying to start off 2012 with a clean slate and ready to dig in and accept what I find. I want forever healing, not a bandaid.

Thanks for your blessings and the same to you and everyone else.
Happy 2012 everyone!!


It is a sign of health when you realize and are proud that you are not “like them” and that their actions do not define you (and never will) YAY.
What a beautiful thing you did for your brothers girlfriend and a beautiful way to honour him too.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene, hugs to you,
It sure does feel good, I was actually in a store today, and this girl said “that’s Bon’s daughter to her friend when she introduced me” and I said “actually, I’m not part of that family, I am my own person, and happy to be my own person besides it”! And then I put a big smile on my face, and my heart felt so good and I walked away. Now they may think I am crazy, but the only important thing is how I think of myself, not anyone else. Only God can judge! I feel like I’ve moved up a level since the death of my brother, it’s like I am looking down and watching them shaking my head saying, it’s too bad you’ll never live a happy life, but I sure will!

Hugs to all, I hope and wish everyone will get there someday, it takes time, but like I said, when the student is ready the teacher will come, and you did Darlene, and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart! God bless you for creating this site! xoxo


I’ve read a lot of the stories above, and a lot sound like my mother. I really need some advice, and thank you in advance to anyone who might offer some.

I am getting married in June, and was very reluctant at first to have a wedding, bc of the way my mother is. She has let me down many times in my life and done things very hurtful to me. I am 28 years old now, and since I was 13 and she left my father (a good man btw), she basically decided she didn’t want to be a mother to me or my brother either.

She showed this to us by neglecting us as kids. Never any food at home, wouldn’t give us rides anywhere, would tell me when we had a fight to pack up and move out and that she didn’t want me anymore even though I had know where to go. She would act as I was a burden. When I wanted to just sit and talk with her, or ask for help with homework she would tell me to get out of the room, or that i was interrupting her tv programmes. Actually, many times I was trying to do my homework I couldn’t concentrate because of her and my brother arguing so loud downstairs. I just gave up after awhile bc know one seemed to care anyways if I did well in school or not. I failed nearly every subject freshman year of high school…my brother ended up dropping out at 17. My mother would have different boyfriends, and take trips with them, or go to dinners, and leave us alone with no idea what was going on, and no dinner ourselves. She wouldn’t teach me to drive because she didn’t want me to mess her car up, or wreck her car “bc I had no experience”. This is how she was to us, as a mother, when we were teens.

She’s owned a business since I was a small girl. She was always working, and never at home since it grew. He business was always more important to her than me and my brother. She even made comments that she would rather just sleep there sometimes, than to come home to us. As I grew into adulthood, her business continued to be above us.

She remarried when I was 18, and then her husband was more important than us, as well as her business. I was accepting of him anyways, for the sake of her happiness. I went into work in the same industry as her, and we were not able to work together after she married her husband bc he was so jealous of me working there that he would treat me badly to try to run me off. He would treat my like a little made servant, and not pay me on time. I finally quit. When I quit, he acted as if I sabotaged the family business (which btw my father helped start when I was 4 years old, with his retirement savings). Her husband became abusive to me, calling me all kinds of names. I would stay quiet bc I didn’t want confrontation. She never did anything to stop it either. One night he and I had a huge fight, when I was 22, and I became so angry with his name calling over several months, and ignoring him for so long, everything had bottled up and I threw something at him. He then came after me and punched me in my face, and my mother was there through it all. She said nothing, did nothing through the whole thing…and after it happened she said to me, “well what did you do to him to ask for it”.
These are just some of the few things my mother has done hurtful to me, as a daughter. She has let me down so many times, and still I try to fix our relationship.

I could continue with stories and instances, but I will get to the point. So when my fiance and I originally decided to try to have a wedding, we involved my mom, since “traditionally” the brides parents pay. We made a spreadsheet with the cost involved in having a very very small, but decently nice family wedding. It was going to amt. from about 3500 to 4000. My mother agreed to it..only she was going to try to enlist the help of my father, who is so sick he is unable to work. We were told he would only have a couple months to live and that he needed triple bypass surgery just two days after our engagement. We didnt think he would make it even. He lives on a small fixed income, cannot work bc of his illness, and all extra money goes to medications to keep him alive. Still my mother wanted to make him help with the wedding financially. I told her he would not be able to. Meanwhile, her husband does not work, sleeps late every single day, drives a new BMW…all paid for with the money from her spa business. Her husband never worked since he met her, and only had a low paying sales job before they met. He is a migrant, from Turkey, and never had good jobs here or any money. So he just quit working and lived off my mom ever since they married. He claims to help with her business, but does nothing but act in charge and boss people around, including my mom.

Aside from it all, my mom AGREED to pay for our small wedding. I gave her time to be sure of it before we started the planning. She agreed stating that it doesn’t cost much and she will have several months to put money down for things..bascially its not all at once. I asked her, are you sure. She said yes, and we began planning. I saw it as a great opportunity for her and I to work on our relationship. We actually began doing so. We found where we will do the ceremony and reception. We started spending time together some Sundays (which her husband also got jealous over). My fiance and I told family of a date, and made our own “save the date” cards to save took us hours to do, and they were perfect. His parents picked a beautiful place for us to have our rehearsal dinner. I even picked out my bridesmaids dresses. This week, I was going to send out our save the date cards, when my mother bailed out on me. Everything was fine, and she just said, I’m not paying for the whole wedding. I’ll give you guys a part of the money, and your on you own from there. She came up with a million reasons why she “couldn’t do it” “wouldn’t do it”. Everything from “I don’t have it” to “Its not fair that its all on me”. Meanwhile, my fiance and I are trying to start a life together, and we have so many new expenses, that the notion of it plus the wedding costs is not an option for us. We are very conservative with our spending. I was going to get a very cheap dress, cheap cake…my mother was aware…but she still pulled out on us. So my fiance and I decided that day to call the wedding off. Realizing what she did, she changed back again, and said she’ll just give us 3000 and we can do what we want with it, but she’s out of it. I told her that I wanted her to be my mom, and its not just about the money. That i was looking forward to us doing mother daughter stuff together. I live in her house right now too, until my fiance move into ours in a couple weeks. I’ve been staying here for just a few months while transitions. That was another one of her reasons to not follow through on the wedding “you live at my house for free”. It is very very uncomfortable here. She doens’t speak to me, I don’t speak to her…and her husband is just evil. He told her from the beginning to not ever help me with anything. He sais things to me like, “we dont want you, and have been trying to get rid of you for years”…and she doesn’t say anything at all when he talks to me that way. He tells her I’m using her…but I don’t understand, bc I’m her daughter, and I haven’t taken anything from her. I never asked for much of anything. I payed for all my cars myself, my college expenses, my apartments and other expenses…

Now my mother left me a letter telling me she will give us the money, and will help me pick out my dress and things if I want. I feel like she might just be trying to save face. I am very hurt and distraught.
I don’t know. Should I give it one last shot? I don’t really care abt having a wedding. Its not all that important to me. My fiance and I will get married one way or another. I feel hurt over my relationship with my mom, and it is really interfering in what is supposed to be a joyful and happy time btw my fiance and I. I think I should cut my ties with her completely now. This was the last straw I think…but then I second guess myself. What to do…


Hi Jennifer
Welcome to emerging from broken;
No one can tell you what to do here; you have to decide what is best for yourself. There are lots of articles in this site about difficult and even dysfunctional mother daughter relationships stuff, perhaps reading a few more might assist you to decide your course of action. Understanding what was going on greatly assisted me in putting a stop to the misuse of power my mother held over me.
I ask that no one give advice on this site. It is always healthier when we come up with our own answers.
I know this isn’t what you were looking for in an answer, but I hope this helps a bit.
Hugs, Darlene


I was going to Negril to get married. Just my husband and I. My mother talked me out of it and talked me into having a medium sized wedding. My husband and I paid for everything. I look back and wonder why I listened to her. I don’t regret the wedding we had. But, I did all the planning and arranging and centerpiece making, etc. My mother did nothing, after insisting I have a wedding here. I told her I would have it here if she could find a church and venue for the reception. (at the time my husband and I weren’t church goers). She didn’t do any of that work. She visited a few reception locations with me, but that was it. At the same time, I appreciated she had no REAL control because she wasn’t paying for anything. I walked down the aisle alone because my stepdad is a disgusting pig. A few weeks before the wedding my mom said, “are you sure you don’t want your stepdad to walk you down the aisle; I just want you to be sure”. The truth was, she knew how it would look to others if I refused to let him do it, and she didn’t want others to see the truth about our relationship. She didn’t give a crap about me and what I wanted for my wedding day. It was about how SHE would appear to others. In hindsight, I’m so glad I didn’t give in to her. He didn’t pay a dime and neither did she, so why would I give anyone the impression they did. It all ended well, but when my husband and I went to step down from the altar and walk out as newlyweds, my mother in the front row said to me, “you’re supposed to wait until the music starts”. We took a few steps before the music started, which I bet no one even noticed now that I look back. BUT, she had to say that, and I was a little hung up on it the whole evening. It kept entering my mind that it was a huge botch and everyone noticed. That’s my mom!! Just a little something extra to try to put a thorn in my side. And, it worked, I hashed it over plenty during the reception and such. It all worked out though, and I was happy we did it the way we did. Good luck to you!! And, congratulations!!


Does this ever remind me of my mother! We had a fight about the fact that I refused to let her husband walk me down the isle. Same whole story!
One thing that struck me about the way you worded part of your post is that you were glad that she wasn’t paying because that meant that she had no real control. One of the huge things that I learned in this process is that when people (including parents) give money or offer to help with things like weddings, it doesn’t GIVE them any control. That is the obligation law that we live under and another one of those fog things. I lived under that law for most of my life but not anymore. Just something to think about everyone. Money, favors, etc… should not come with strings attached unless that is the deal in the first place. (eg: I will trade you this for that, or I will pay for this IF YOU let me control the whole thing… LOL)
Hugs, Darlene


My step niece is getting married this year. She is particular about what she wants, (according to my mother, and what bride isn’t particular?). Anyhow, I said to my mom, “well, it IS her wedding day, she can be picky if she wants”. My mother’s response was, “yes, but her parents are paying for all of it.” I understand there needs to be some form of understanding, as in, say my niece wants to get married on the White House Lawn. I guess they have to draw a line somewhere. I think if I had a daughter, I would hope I would say, “this is how much I can give you and it’s your choice what you do with it”. That seems like a liveable answer. I don’t have a daughter though, so who am I to say? 🙂
Peace to all,


YES. that is the system they live in; they teach this obligation because they believe in it! (best answer I have found is “SO? what does that have to do with anything?) I had to learn all this stuff and see how it was applied to me. THEN I had to see what I was passing on to my kids. This was not easy because there was a small part of me that was looking forward to being the one who finally had some control. I had to give that up in favour of embracing and modeling the real definition of love. Things are SO different with the way that we do this whole relationship thing with our kids. That is exactly how we do it with are kids ~ exactly what you said. This is what we can give, you decide how to use it. I might write about this stuff one day.
Hugs, Darlene


The only thing I liked about my wedding day (20 years this year 🙂 ) was that I was taking my husbands
name. ( and marrying him of course ) My mother made us all use the step fathers name soon after we moved in with him.. Because she didn’t want it looking like she had kids from three different fathers. ( which she did). I ABSOLUTELY HATED having his name.

And yes.. He walked me down the aisle!! I felt so obliged and did not stand up for myself and say no. My mother even manipulated me by saying things like ‘ he’s the best father you’ve ever had’ etc etc you get my drift.. Walking down the aisle with him you know what I was thinking? ‘yeah, you ARE the one that should give me away, because you were the first to have me…’ HOW SAD IS THAT? But as I said I was soooo happy to be marrying my man, he is a normal caring husband, father and person. Of course we’ve had our fair share of hard times, who hasn’t? But we are still together and have raised kids that know how to speak up for themselves and I am so glad about that.

When planning my wedding I asked my mother to be matron of honor.. She said no, and did she really have to help out with the wedding arrangements? ‘cant I just turn up on the day’ she said! She also asked me if I would feel contaminated sleeping with my husband AFTER we were married because he didn’t belong to the same religious group!!!! ( the step father converted before they were married but that’s aWHOLE other story..)

SHE ASKED ME IF I WOULD FEEL CONTAMINATED? and she was sleeping with the person who violated her firstborn, belted us all and most likely Sexually abused my brother too… (we will never know coz he suicided 3 years ago)
On our wedding video the videographer was asking people if they were having a nice time
Etc.. When he came to my mother this is what she said ( in a sly self righteous and flirtatious manner) ” I am not going to comment on the grounds it may incriminate me” and then smiled sweetly. What a b**tch! I didn’t even see this video until years later, I couldn’t watch it because of the stepfather ‘giving me away’. When I saw she had said that I was in disbelief! She could not have been any more twisted than that ( i thought back then, that was 16 years ago when I watched it, I’d already been married 4 years..) boy was I wrong..

To summarize… I wish I had my wedding the way I wanted it. I wish I had the guts to say no to the stepfather ‘giving me away’. I wish I was assertive back then. IT WAS MY WEDDING!


Sorry he was in the process of converting, he wasn’t a baptized member yet until after they got married. You can’t be sleeping together and be unmarried in my religion..


Michelle, on our 25th Wedding Anniversary, I had the wedding that I wanted. I wore turquoise, which is my favorite color. A Jamacian friend gave me away. Friends helped me with the reception afterwards. I read a poem that my husband wrote me shortly after we were married in 1972. My husband didn’t know I was going to read his poem. I didn’t know that he had written a new one and that he was planning on reading it. Our minister was the only one to know about both poems. The surprise and the laughter was amazing. Our daughter was my one of my brides maids and our son was our husband’s best man. It was truly a family occasion. Both of our families of origin were invited and none of them came. My mom, sister and brother were invited. My dad was not. He gave me away in the first wedding because I hadn’t come out about the incest yet (was many years from doing that in fact) and because it was expected. I didn’t have the courage to tell my husband about the incest until we had been married about 8 years. A friend recorded the renewing of our vows ceremony. I haven’t watched it in a few years. I think I will. You can still have the wedding of your choice. Happy 20 years. My husband and I have been married and best friends for 39 years now.


Hi Michelle
Oh my gosh.. this is so sad. I hate that whole “give me away” concept today. My mother gave me away when she didn’t protect me, and believe me way before I got married… now the whole giving away thing implies OWNERSHIP so bigtime to me it makes me sick to think about it. I asked a very close friend and mentor of my husbands to walk me down the isle because my father did not attend my wedding. (another story) When the minister asked “who gives this woman”… my mother AND her husband answered “we do”…. I was 29 years old… this makes me sick now too. Especially the WE part. Like I said, my mother gave me away long before that.
Thanks for sharing. I am thinking about all kinds of new stuff now… LOL Hugs, Darlene

Thanks for sharing your new wedding story! What a wonderful day that must have been! I loved reading about it.
My husband asked me if I want to have another wedding. I don’t want to yet but I love your story and find it inspiring!
Hugs, Darlene

Everyone ~ I just published a new post about put down statements designed to burst your bubble… it will a suprise to no one that my mother found her way into that post too.
please read it and comment if you wish;
Put down statements designed to burst you bubble


Hey Everyone,
Wow, all this talk about weddings, on the day before my wedding, when we were in the church, and my mother was to walk me down the ailse, she wasn’t even talking to me. (My father was not invited, he raped me and mom knew about it, but swept it under the carpet like normal abusers do. My whole family left the wedding early, and after that she asked me to choose between her and my husband. Needless to say and very proud to say I am still with my husband!!! Over 15 years to be exact! Surprised he stayed with a woman who had such an insane dysfunctional family. His was sooooo normal. Like the Waltons, seriously.
This site has given me so much strength you can’t imagine, no longer do I feel all alone, I feel so powerful, as in my other posts, I found it very difficult to deal with my family throwing me away and using me after my brother died on Oct 30, 2011. They used me for my money, over 4 grand of it, ok, sure, I’d probably do it again, and then the abuse started with my mom.
I’ve closed the door and tied the key to a big rock and threw it in the river (I plan to really do this as a symbol for myself in the summer, kinda hard now, the river is frozen) and there it will stay. I’m done, and every day it feels more and more freeing. This site has taught me alot, and maybe I’d still be “stuck” in that dark twisted place if it wasn’t for the support I get here.
Have a happy day everyone,
Lauralee xo


Hi Lauralee
I LOVE that imagery! I have used “key analogies” in a lot of ways. This “closing the door and throwing away the key, tied to a big rock” is just fantastic.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


I love the idea of throwing the key away too. I might just do that with you!! It must have been incredibly painful for your mother to give you that choice. On some level I wish my mother would be so blatant. But, she’s far more sneaky and I’ve wasted so much time in life trying to put my finger on it, validate myself and my feelings, etc. I find myself wishing she would give me an ultimatum. I would be free of any guilt she likes to pour on, the sappiness, mixed messages, etc. I’ve (this sounds bad) wondered how I could pi$$ her off bad enough that she would abandon me. Isn’t that horrible? I feel like if she made the choice, it would be easier on me. But, after reading your story, I see it would likely be devastating either way it happened. I’m sorry your mother hurt you so much. I’m sorry for all of us here in pain!!


Hi Mimi, hope your well today. The more I think back, the more I see how blind I was. I mean, I too always wanted my mother to validate me, I would have done anything for that, and then one day someone said to me, do you even validate yourself? And you know what? I didn’t. I was too busy worrying about her validating me that I didn’t validate myself, I wasn’t proud of myself. It was like an aha moment, if I don’t validate myself how then do I expect her or others to validate me. So I did it, I even wrote it out, I wrote: I Lauralee am important, I am more than just a human being on this earth and I matter.
The visual of the throwing away the key to me is so liberating, everytime I think of it I can’t wait for summer to come. It’s my way of saying “I’m done, I’m done with letting you continue to abuse me in any way possible, and I am done caring what you think” We waste so much of our head space, time and energy caring about what Mommy thinks or doesn’t think, I just had enough of it. There are no guarantees in life, and if I die tomorrow I don’t want my tombstone to say “Spent all her life trying to get Mommy to “love” her”. I want it to say ” Lived her life regardless of the opinions of her family and was dam happy doing it”. In the Spring if you are ready to throw away the key we can plan a day together even if we are not in the same province or Country and just do it! I know in my heart that one day you’ll get there and be happy and content! God bless you Mimi,
Lauralee xo

Thank you Darlene, like I said it is so liberating, letting them all go! God Bless you, Lauralee xoxo


Well, I have to say, I think April Fool’s day would be a fitting choice! haha!! We could do it together, I love that idea!! If April fool’s day seems a bit of a jinx I would be happy with any day. We live on a body of water so it’s as simple as walking out to the front yard. YaY!!! God’s made this easier than I expected, LOL! Anyhow, we haven’t really experienced winter here, it’s very unusual. I think by April, though, all water will be thawed if it ever does freeze. Probably even by mid-march. Anyone else want to join?? (hope that’s okay Lauralee) We could do a HUGE celebration of throwing away the keys!!


Mimi and Lauralee;
Mimi, I was just thinking the same thing. Lauralee, what do you think about doing making this an EFB wide event? I could promote it. (Perhaps you and Mimi would be willing to write a small paragraph and send it to me privately and I can use it for a post for the event just before the designated day? Then everyone could post their comments.
It could be a “declaration of Freedom Day” or something like that? Each person closing the door and throwing away the key could choose what that means to them. For some it might mean just taking their lives and choices back ~ closing the door on being controlled by the past type of thing.
let me know your thoughts.. (I am not trying to “take over” Lauralee, I will give you all the credit for the idea it’s just that we have a pretty big platform here if you want to go public with it and if doing this publically makes you uncomfortable PLEASE tell me and I will leave this idea here in this tread.)
Hugs, Darlene


I LOVE it. I want freedom for others too. 🙂


You all can’t see me but I am jumping up and down with happiness. Doing this all together at once? WOW United we stand they say, alone we fall. We sure are united thanks to this site. (Thanks again Darlene) Just imagine the freedom you’ll feel after you tie your key (not your mother’s house key even though you want to LOL) to a big rock (that you can lift and throw) and toss it into the river, lake, ocean and then step back, take a cleansing breathe, smile your biggest smile, FEEL the freedom, no more guilt, memories, sorrows, and turn away, and don’t look back. I can’t wait to do this. I think it will be not only the most liberating thing that I’ve ever done (besides bringing my father to court for rape, that was very liberating) but I truly believe that it will heal in a way I’ve never been healed before. You are a smart girl Mimi, thinking of doing this together, look at what amazing things can happen when we all stand in one. They don’t call it the “UNIVERSE” for nothing, as UNIVERSE stands for “One Song”. Way to go Mimi, you should be so very proud of yourself, because I sure am proud of you!
Love and Hugs to all
Lauralee xo


I am grinning! This is going to be great!
I have made a note in my agenda to start planning to promote this in March. Lauralee, did you like Mimi’s idea to do it April 1st or the week of April first in case some people can’t do it on that day?
Hugs, Darlene


As long as I have a river with running water which they way we are going I just may, April is fine with me, it will be the best birthday gift I could ever give myself. I plan to have all the ones closest and whom I love the most in my life behind me (with my luck I’d hit them in the head if they were to stand in front of me LOL) and then I am going to release ALL the negativity, so many years worth.
What do you think Mimi? Is April good for you?


Lauralee and Mimi
I am thinking about this a little bit more and very often here in Canada the rivers and lakes are still frozen in April. (although Mimi ~ your idea was so fantastic to do it on april fools day) I wonder if May 1st would be a better time to plan it if it is going to be global?


FANTASTIC!!! I’ll post more later when I’m at home! So excited!!!!


Any month would be fine with me, as long as the river is water and not ice. I already feel the liberation flowing through me. It’s about time we stood together and said “no more”. I mean, they do it with bullies, rapists, AND if a mother can throw away her love with ease then throwing away a key with whatever meaning it may have to you should not be that difficult, especially if everyone is “united”. Imagine, just knowing that on the same day, on this same earth, this whole Universe, somewhere out there, someone will be thinking of you too because they will be doing the exact same thing!
God Bless
Love and Hugs Lauralee xoxo


Darlene and Lauralee,
I am very excited at the idea. I don’t have a preferred day. April Fool’s just popped into my head, but I would certainly enjoy a sunny and warm spring day to make the occasion even more, well, SUNNY!! Even if it’s 10 a.m., I might even enjoy a glass of bubbly in my finest waterford crystal goblet. I think I might!!! I don’t even drink, but it will be something to raise a glass for!! And, when I do, I’ll be thinking of all the others who are there with me, and me with them. In love and hope for each other. This was so brilliant Lauralee. I can’t wait. Darlene, I’m not sure what kind of content you’d like in the paragraph. Could you elaborate a little?? I would be happy to do that and broadcast this as a global celebration!! YaY!! I am a little fearful of being found here, however. I just need it to be spelled out a little, please? I’ve never even looked at an alternate way of contacting you. I’ll have to go to the homepage and see how to do that. I’ll try it now!! 🙂
Thanks so much to both of you! This is a spectacular idea and I’m looking forward!!
Love by the truckloads,


Mother’s Day? Heehee!!


Mimi, I am so proud of you!! I can feel you energy through my screen, it’s catchy, I too am excited, I would say anytime in May however perhaps a weekend day when less people are working?? It could be like the second Sat in May.
Funny, had some spare time today and asked my self this; I said “Lauralee, how would your life change at this moment, at 43 years of age and years of abuse, if your mother finally decided she loved, validated and accepted you and all your flaws” I thought about this for about 20 minutes, going back and forth, outweighing this and that and I always came up with the same answer, “it WOULDN’T change at ALL. Ha, I would still be me, and I matter to people in this world, I am loved by other people too, she is the one losing out. And I completely forgive her for it all. That does not mean approve in what she did at all, but most of all I forgive me. And I am dam Proud that the years I do have left in life, well, it’s time to live like I was dying!! So liberated!! It feels like Heaven and I wish for all of you visiting this site, and it wasn’t just a coincidence that you fell upon it, that you all reach that place of eternal bliss, because you all deserve it too! Hugs and luv, Lauralee xo


I’m 43 too! I think I’ll always refer to this year as, “the year of hell and freedom”!

I can’t wait for the rock launching ceremony!! 🙂
I am going to find a nice flat rock and write on it, either with paint or a permanent marker. Then tie the key to it. There is very little current in the water right in front of my house. My rock will sink, and stay there. In the future, I can look at that body of water from my living room for as long as I live here, and know that rock lies there in the bottom, with the message and key attached. I can revisit what it means as often as I need to in order to move forward, or even mourn if I need to. I am very much looking forward to it! It feels like a burial to me ~ death to the dream of having a mother who really truly loves me, and every emotion that ties into that. But, with death comes new life, just like in Springtime!! (I might tie some dead branches to my rock too, lol). Sooooo looking forward. I might have to start looking for a boulder very soon. I got a lot to write on it!! heehee! Thank you for this brilliant idea Lauralee. And, thank you always Darlene!
Peace and love,


Mimi, you always bring a smile to may face!! I just luv ya to bits!

I haves asked my family Husband, two daughters and two other people who are important and love me unconditionalally to be there because to me this feels like a graduation! (Another thing I couldn’t so cuz of my Mother, she shot me out to work to pay their habbits when I was 16) I am going to have them video tape it for me too. So many people in the world can use this to their advantage for any situtaion. I’m writing on my rock too, but at this point I’ll need the great wall of China! LOL It’s like that breast cancer run, when everyone did it together on the same day it made it more real, there was more meaning to it. I cant wait either, liberation here I come, and you’d better be ready cuz I am coming for force ahead! I may even get the news media involved in some way but I going to talk to my newest guru Darlene, cuz if I had not stummbled on this site that day, I may not even be here, that’s how bad I “WAS”.
Let me know your thoughts, funny huh, 43 years too!
Hugs and Love Lauralee xo


I feel the same. I was at a deadend for sure and if I hadn’t came upon this site, I might not be here either, although, I think I’m really too chicken to do anything toward that end. But, it scares me when heaven sounds so much better than earth, and I started to get scared of what I might be capable of.

I love that you’re broadcasting for others to see and getting your loved ones involved. I might cry at my ceremony and I want to experience it all. I’m afraid I won’t do that if I have anyone but my husband with me. And, my dog and cat! 🙂 I don’t have kids, so it will just be us four. Looking forward!!

ps – LOL at the great wall of China!!!


Hello Mimi and everyone,

Mimi: There is such a fine line between wanting to die and actually going through with it. I should be dead now, I did get to that point, it was very hard for my family to understand. But my mother is not worth it, I still at the time did not get it, it took awhile, and then one day I was admiring God’s creation and I said to myself, Wow, you could be dead right now, all for her, what it have been worth it? My answer was no. I am such a stronger person and I am getting better and better everyday. I do not sit there and dwell on mommy doesn’t love me anymore, it’s like I couldn’t tell you what I feel, I guess I feel nothing towards it, no anger, no pain, no sadness.
I may cry to at the launching of my rock, who knows, but I am giving my whole body, my whole entire mind PERMISSION to let it all go, and if I cry, it will be the happiest tears for I know that there will be myself along with many others out there, and I will especially be thinking of you on that day, that are on their way to a more chaos free life, no more prison, just liberation. And I want to film it and watch whenever I start to have any negative feelings creeping up at me. We have given ourselves a very special gift, that noone in the world could ever give us, and it’s gonna be the gift that keeps on giving, I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God bless you all,
Lauralee xo


Hello Darlene;

I was wondering, if this all comes down to a global event, maybe the media may want to get involved?? Just a thought, I have no problem with going to the media, it’s not like my mother can hate me anymore really…..

Let me know your thoughts

Hugs and luv,



Lauralee and Mimi

I had dental surg. today (well yesterday now) and I am a little behind in this thread, but I think it would be excellent to get the media involved, (not that I know how to go about that)
I am going to set up a facebook event page too. Then I can ask the other mental health and recovery advocates to help promote it.
I am thinking that we should think about doing it over a weekend instead of just for one day. I am going to make a page and category in the blog where people can come and share their exp. of that day and of casting their “freedom rock” into the depths…. (what do you think of the name)
I like the idea of writing on the rock and I am going to promote it for people with environmental concerns that they can even draw a key on the rock.
I love all the ideas coming out!
I have contacted you both by email (Mimi, I got your reply) so that we can start planning this for May.
Hugs, Darlene


I thought the readers of this post might be interested in the next post in the mother daughter dysfunctional relationship series…
My new post is about how I thought my mothers sexual behaviour was normal. This was something I NEVER thought I would write about when I started EFB. I thought writing this would be “crossing the line” but today I see it as just more truth telling in order to explain the belief system development.
I hope you read my new post:
I thought my mothers dysfunctional behaviour was normal
Hugs, Darlene
Founder of Emerging from Broken


Hello everyone,

Wow, just got out my singing machine, and sang the song from Sara Evans “A little bit stronger”. I applied this song NOT to a boyfriend or husband, but to my family. I sang it 4 times, feeeeeeeels great! I’m done letting them drag my heart around, thinking they’ll change, the words are so powerful, and if you can’t sing, who cares! LOL Watch the video on You Tube, she is talking about her ex but you could put anyone in there. I put my whole fake family in there! And it’s true, everyday it hurts less and less, and everyday I am getting a little bit stonger and stronger! I wish the same for all of you!

Hugs and Love to all Lauralee


Hi Everyone!
Darlene and Lauralee,
I think the name is great; whatever you two decide is fine with me. A weekend is good too rather than a day so we can encompass as many hurting people as possible.

Lauralee, I’m going to go to youtube and see the video. I need something that represents freedom right now.

Sorry I’ve been MIA. For whatever reason, I’ve been struggling the past 3-4 days. All my resolve for the New Year in discovering truth is arrested right now. I look back at the letter I wrote on New Years Day to my sisters and my mother. No one responded except one sister who said, “praying you through”. I feel hated. I should not have expected a response, and honestly, I didn’t even KNOW I did until just now in writing. I look at my emails daily, even hourly sometimes in hope that I will hear from someone. My middle sister and I text each other quite a bit, but honestly, she’s removed and sort of aloof also. My oldest sister who moved away that I was so close to is the one praying me through! At least she responded but it was generic. Cookie cutter response. I had some deeper conversations with her via email a week or 10 days ago. I apologized to her for what happened back in September when I went to visit her new place 500 miles away and she treated me like dirt. I was angry, I acted fine while I was still there, but, when I got home I sent her an email. She apologized genuinely. I sent her another one and told her our relationship didn’t have to end, but certainly the dynamics would be different. Anyhow, I was apologizing (last week) if my emails caused her any pain, etc. She didn’t acknowledge my apology. She didn’t even respond to the email in any way. Just dropped out of the conversation. I woke up in a bad dream about her this morning. I miss the person she was to me. My very very best friend who I thought loved me. I suppose somewhere in there, I expected her to do more to salvage our relationship. She did little. She offered a genuine apology, but after that, nearly nothing. So, what does that say about her apology? (sheesh, I hope this makes sense). I feel like I really blew it. Although, maybe it was meant to be BLOWN. As in, was I supposed to uncover her lack of real commitment or loyalty to our relationship?? That she wasn’t on the same page as me?? It’s painful still and although I go days feeling fairly good, out of nowhere I have days like this. Broken, hopeless, alone, shattered, wondering if she even thinks about me. I don’t know why it’s been so hard to get over. I truly has though. I want to already be at the place where she doesn’t matter anymore. It can’t get here fast enough!! On Jan 1st when I wrote to them all, I spelled out that I was glad 2011 was over, that I have a new plan of action ~ truth. That I am screwed up more than I realized, and that I was sorry if my actions/words ever hurt the three of them. They don’t give a d*mn what my plan of action is or my emotional state. It’s painful to try to accept that. From one, maybe, but ALL of them. They have been my only family really for all my life (except my mother’s parents who were always wonderful to me). My sisters and mother and I seemed to be in survival mode for so many years that I thought nothing would break that bond. Then I learned my mother is a liar and fairly narcissistic. That blew the first hole in the works, and it’s gone catastrophic since then. I just want to be okay without all of them. But, truly, it hurts without my sister(s). I feel alone in my world except to be able to come here and share the pain and victories. I would love to be able to fully rely on my husband. He is good to me. He supports me fully. He also had a four month affair in 2011, so relying on him TOTALLY for emotional support is very scary. I stopped working so I could work through all of this for the first 6 months or so of 2012 ~ however long it takes. I didn’t take any classes either. He supports all of that. But, that doesn’t make him trustworthy. The pain of it all is just overwhelming some days. I suppose the past few days are a means to the end of suffering and the beginning of freedom. You know how when you’re in the pain though, it’s hard to imagine it being a vehicle to health and happiness? Thanks for listening. Hope you’re all doing well.
Love to all,


Hi Mimi
Have you read my post about “when the abuser withdraws?” Your comments reminded me about that article. I am due to write another one on this same subject ; I will use your comments here as a jumping off point. (I won’t highlight your comments though, don’t worry) What you are feeling is really normal!
Here is the link to that other post for now; Conflicting feelings of rejection when the abuser withdraws
This post is about my mom but it applies to when other people withdraw too.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh my!! I’m so happy to know this is normal and to have a new article to read about it. Again, as usual, it feels like I blew it because I was forthright with how I felt about my sister hurting my feelings. I did want her to do more. I thought I mattered more. She walked away. Thank you for the new resource. I didn’t know it was here, but I’m going there RIGHT NOW!!


Hi Mimi,
Here for you if you need it, I’ve been there and back again many times, we might be twins!! LOL Some days are rough, and if they are for me, then so be it, I give myself persmission to have a bad day, big deal, I give my mind permission to think, be sad, but most of all I try and nourish it with happiness, reading about how others finally withdrew from their imprisoned worlds, I mean, I got out, went back in for a month after my brother died, and they were the same people I left 10 years ago. I am glad I have to experience that, because for 10 years I waited, and hoped, and wished, and beleived. But when I finally did go back, it was like I never left, and I asked myself once I was thrown away and everything was paid for, what did I wait or why did I just waste 10 years of my life wishing, hoping, dreaming??? It’s all the same crap except it’s a different way. Did you get to go on You Tube and listen to that song. I also like Today is your Day by Shania Twain, I dedicate that one especially to you Mimi, because one day WILL be your day, I truly believe it, sometimes we have to go through the rain to get to the sun, but you will get there, there is no “set” time, everyone is different. I never believed I would get there and I am there more than ever today. I have to say I didn’t really think about them much today in a long time. And that’s a good thing. You deserve to be respected, loved and to be treated like a human, when people abuse us, it is THEM that are abnormal.
Take care, I hope you listen to the song, you’ll love the words, I play it almost every day and when I am real down I play it too.
Hugs and Love Lauralee


Thank you Lauralee. I’m feeling a lot better the past 24 hours. I did watch the Sara Evans video. Good song!! Thanks for your support and sharing your experiences. I have to go now and listen to the Shania Twain one since you dedicated it to me!! 🙂
I feel honored!! Thanks for everything you’ve done!!
Much Love,


I guess there are many daughters who are broken and yes I am one of them. My mother married a man she didn’t love because she had to she was pregnant. He was 20 years her senior. She had 5 children that she treated very differently. She once told me that she wished she only had one child and repeatedly has told me how rotten her life is because of us. To bad birth control was considered a bad thing for catholics maybe some pain could have been spared. She blames her children for her family not being close. All of us left at a young age 16 to 18 some returned some not. I visit once a year and usually regret the visit. My mother makes me feel guilty about everything. I think I need to eliminate her from my life. She is a toxic woman who is fake around others however people who really know her know what she is all about…


Hi Anne
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I can relate to what you have shared. These things are painful. (and how could children be responsible for a family not being close?? that is a lie) I write a lot about these kinds of lies and how they get inside our heads and take root and cause all sorts of havoc.
I am glad that you are here; thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Your last sentence is a carbon copy of my mother. She has a lot of people snowed. But, not her kids or her siblings. Only people who’ve had the honor (lol) of living with her are onto her tactics. Everyone else is oblivious!! It’s so frustrating…. like beating your head on cement!! Hope you are doing well.


Thank you so much for this post – you’ve helped me see that there is a way to accept that my mother will never love me the way I truly want her to (unconditionally) and that as hard as it is to accept that things will be better for me after I do, whenever that may be and however long that might take.

I’m only 19 and I still depend on my mother for a lot of things (the roof over my head for one) which is what makes this so hard – I feel as though on some level she must love me because of this, but I think this is all part of the false hope I have that one day she’ll see the error of her ways etc. I’m trying to depend on her for as little as possible, but there are some things that I just can’t do myself – for example, I cannot afford to move out while I am studying. The other thing that makes this so difficult is that it means isolating myself from the rest of my family, which I know is inevitable. My dad tells me just to tolerate her and my brother is her golden child (I am glad that he won’t have to feel the way I did growing up) so they just don’t get it.

I will probably always love my mother because my childhood by most people’s standards was good- in fact, I think from the outside most people would probably think that I’m a selfish and ungrateful child – my parents provided me with everything I needed except the one thing I always wanted – my mother’s unconditional and supportive love and hoping that one day she might is making me more miserable that I could have ever imagined. Waiting for her to support my choices in life and accept that my life is mine and mine only is a lost cause, but there are some things you can’t help but feel!

At the moment, we are not talking or communicating at all (it’s only been a week, but feels like much much longer) really even though we live in the same house (with my dad and brother), but for the first time in months, I actually feel like I have a clear head. I’m not happy that we’re not talking, but at the same time I am, because it’s a chance for me to do what I want, when I want. I’m studying to be a doctor (something my mother didn’t really want me to do) so I am pretty much spending my time in the library/with friends until it’s time to go home, make dinner and go to bed – I feel like a stranger in my own home at the moment, but I guess I’ll get used to it. Living with her, seeing her get on with life like there’s nothing missing from it, seeing her with my brother, the way she praises him and loves him absolutely kills me, but I know that her love for me comes with conditions that I am not willing to accept. Knowing that however doesn’t make seeing it any easier, but it will all come with time I suppose.

I could probably go on forever about this but I won’t! Thank you again Darlene for writing this post and everyone else who posted in the comments with their own stories – it gives me something different to hope for, something that is actually achievable. Just knowing that I’m not the only one that feels this way provides some comfort 🙂



Hi Asha
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am so sorry that things are rough with your mom! I hope you read a few of the other mother daughter posts in this website ~ one of the things that helped me was to understand what LOVE really is and what it is not… and it is not obligation or ownership. You are not alone,
Glad you found us!
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Anne and Asha,
It’s so nice to have you here. I wish you didn’t have to go through what you went through, but there is alot of support here. I’ve been to hell and back again with my mother, believe me, raised myself since I was 13 years old, the rest of the family are and still are drug users, alcoholics and a child rapist (my dad) who is thankfully dead and can’t hurt anyone else. So, as you can see, I’ve got lots of “experience” with the wrong kind of love under my belt.
I’m on the recovery road, funny, not too long ago, Sept 23rd I was reaady to throw in the towel, that was it for me, but the police caught me ahead of time thanks to my daughter God bless her and stopped me. And then on Oct 30th something happened that changed my life, my brother who I had no communication with passed away. So, after mommy dearest found out he had no insurance, she called me and I fell for it. I paid for the funeral like an idiot thinking I would make mommy proud. After 10 years things were the same. BUT….I am glad I was sent back there, because it made me realize that I wasted 10 years of my precious valuable life waiting for mommy to call, waiting for mommy to love me, waiting for her to be proud and tell me. I soon realized that was not going to happen at all. Things were the same, like I walked in the door and had not left. So you see, I was wasting my time and didn’t even know it, cuz mommy never cared anyways.
Now, it doesn’t hurt me anymore, I am feeling free everyday, from all of them.
I hope that you will be able to get something from this site, anything helps, and that one day the both of you will be writing to say that you are on the road to recovery, that is my wish for the both of you, and for peace as well in your hearts,

Lauralee xoxoxoxo


My mother didn’t want me to go into nursing either. She made other career suggestions as I was about to embark on nursing school. Two things have come to light since those days. First, my mother said, “I just can’t see you being a nurse”!! Well, that showed how little she REALLY knew her daughter. I can’t imagine doing anything different. It’s definitely my calling. Second, it wouldn’t have mattered if it were the most noble career choice available, she would have discouraged it, lest I out perform her, since she has no college education. It simply would not have mattered, she was out to discourage – period!! My oldest sister was always the golden child. It was painful for me too. I wanted to be loved like she loved my sister. Mother spent much time showing me and telling me how my sister’s lifestyle and decisions were far superior to mine. Yet, she discouraged the good decisions I made. Wow, what twisted messages. What I have finally taken away from all that is, she needed me to be a failure, someone she could verbally abuse. It explains BOTH sides of the double message. “Why can’t you be like your sister and make better choices?” “This honorable decision is not a good one because it doesn’t “fit” you”. It was very very painful.

We also went for weeks without speaking in the same house. MISERY. She made it clear it was her house, so I was walking on eggshells in fear I wouldn’t be able to stay there if I made a mistake. She also made it very clear that she was doing me a huge favor LETTING me stay there. Geez! I replay that in my head and I think, well, stick your house up your A$$!!! I don’t need to live under her roof anymore and that is an amazing feeling. As a matter of fact, since I have my own home with my husband now, I don’t even have to answer the door if she drops in. It’s my house, and I get to make the decisions!! Last weekend, I decided not to answer the door when she showed up. It was truly liberating. I would be doing HER a favor now, LETTING her come into MY house!!

Okay, this resembles a rant. My intention was to support you Asha, but as you might also learn if you keep coming back, it’s sometimes your own writing to support others, that you find answers within yourself. I love this place and I hope you will continue coming back for support. You are in a tough place. Don’t lose hope, you can make it!!
Peace and love,
ps – Hi Lauralee!!! :o)


Hi Everyone ~
I just published a new post that I think will be interesting to the readers of this post ~
It is called
“I want my Mommy” and RE-Parenting MYSELF ~ Hope to hear from you there!
Hugs, Darlene


I’m back already!

Darlene – thanks for the welcome and I definitely will have a look through all the articles – you are right about love not being about obligation – while my mother has done a lot for me, I don’t owe her everything in life and I certainly don’t owe her anything at the cost of my own sanity and happiness – in fact I owe it to myself not to live my life the way my mother wants me to.

Lauralee – I am sure that I will probably fall down a few times on my path too, it’s only human nature to hope! I think what will most likely be my downfall is the fact that my mother still does things for me, it’s her words that she uses to cut me down. I am very happy for you for managing to break free from all of that bad love and I hope that I’ll get there too someday. Stay strong!

Mimi – your mother and mine sound like the same person. It is like she wants me to fail and when I do, she doesn’t hesitate to tell me how terrible I am at it and that I am lazy etc. (I failed my driving test a couple of weeks ago and I am still hearing about how I didn’t “try hard enough” when in reality I made a silly mistake out of sheer nervousness that SHE perpetuated by telling me that I was going to fail.) Her wanting me to fail though only makes me more determined.
Living with her is impossible if we are on proper speaking terms – I just find myself too upset and angry most of the time and I am sick of hearing how lazy, selfish blah blah I am when I know for a fact that I am not. She did try and talk to me today, but we weren’t even two sentences into our conversation before she started berating me, but for once I held my ground and told her if she didn’t have anything good to say then she just shouldn’t bother talking to me which kept her quiet for all of 5 minutes before she started up again – I’m just keeping our interactions to an absolute bare minimum. It is a tough place to be right now, but it’s even tougher trying to get her to “love” me and support me.

Thanks again for all the support – you’ve all helped more than you can imagine 🙂 and I’m sure I will be back here often.



Helllo Everyone,

It’s been awhile, I’ve been so busy these days. Well, mommy and the whole family is up to their old tricks again, trying to turn cousins and aunts against me, lying, it makes me sick. When will it end. I can’t say I feel anything for them cuz I don’t. They are pathetic lunatics. They all stick together and gang up on people, my sister can’t fight for herself so she gets my other sister call people up to defend her. Last night she had them call one of my cousins cuz she befriended the weak sister on facebook, I mean really??? Are you 5? And of course my name was brought up again, blaming me, it never ends. Thank God I’m out and got out when I did. It just goes to show you how misery loves misery. It’s all so toxic. My mother always protected my oldest sister, she always will till the day she dies. I can’t wait for freedom rocks, so many names to go on that rock I’ll need part of the Berlin wall LOL. I’m going to hang in there, expecting a call from them too as they usually do this, but this time I am going to just hang up on them. I have nothing left to say, it’s over.
Lauralee xo


Hi Larualee
I finally decided that whoever wanted to believe what someone else said about me, without asking me, that was their problem. I don’t make my judgements by what I am told anymore ~ today I have a mind of my own, and they all have that same choice. I don’t fight for myself that way anymore, trying to convince everyone that they are wrong about me. I finally realized that they made up their own minds long ago and little old valueless me (in thier minds) is not going to change what they have decided. I don’t miss any of it!
Hugs, Darlene


I’m ready for rock day too. It’s unfortunate what you’re going through. It seems like a sticky place to be if you want to maintain contact with SOME family, but not others. Seems like someday at some time, you’re bound to get dragged in somehow, or at least subjected to the crap being said about you (me). I hope to have your courage and strength, like Darlene said, it’s their problem, not hers. It still infuriates me for my mother to talk crap about me. But, I am working toward not letting it ruin my day(s). I think I have such a deep wound from this going on so many years, and people who should love me believed her and treated me as an outcast. It was painful to have no one, and it started when I was young, still a child really. Each time she does this, it just rips the scab right off that wound. I get filled with anger. Someday I suppose I’ll be at a place where it doesn’t matter anynmore. I think at the crux of it all, she’s had the power to take people from me. I have a fear she can still do that. She will take whomever she can from me. It’s happened time and again. She even tries to squeeze herself into my friendships these days. I am guarded about telling her anything about my friends or our gatherings. I’m not sure she would bash me to them, but she wants to be the hinge in the relationship.

Looking forward to the Freedom Rocks!!


Hello everyone,

Thank you Darlene and Mimi, I know that it is going to happen again and again, but it hurts less and less, if those people want to believe what she has to say, that I am heartless, well, so be it, what good are they in my life. I only want to surround myself with positive people. I guess they have nothing better to do with their time but gossip about me. They are jealous cuz they have nothing, but that’s not my fault, I didn’t turn to drugs like the rest of them, I turned to God. They own nothing and are jealous cuz I have a house, car and money. I worked hard to get where I am and I am very proud of myself. My feelings for them are numb. My youngest sister called up my cousin to yell at her for befriending my oldest sister (she’s a coward and can’t call herself) on facebook, imagine, are they 5? LOL You see people are starting to see the truth, and the truth hurts. Did they honestly think it would never come out? Wait till I am done my book LOL they are all getting a copy and I will personally autograph it for them! Boy are they in for big surprises. After reading it some may wonder how I made it out sane.
I too can’t wait for FREEDOM ROCKS!!! Bring it on I say, my mother can’t swim either so I know she’ll be staying at the bottom for sure, LOL I give up trying to understand people like that, being so hateful that they have to spend their time trying to turn each and every person against you. But Darlene made sense, I’m not going to sit around and try and prove them wrong, if someone wants to believe a bunch of lunatics, then they can go ahead and do so. I don’t need people like that in my life. Thank you and Darlene for your support, it means alot, and I know in my heart you’ll get to a place one day where you’ll say “whatever” when your biological baby carrier (new name for my mother) gossips about you to other people. They are cowards, that’s all they are.
Love and Hugs, Lauralee xoxo


Sometimes I use that visual of a bucket full of crabs and how they each try to use each other to get higher up the side of the pail to escape… but they end up only pulling each other down. No one wants to let anyone OUT of the sick system because if that someone gets out, it looks bad for the one’s still stuck who are not willing to make the effort it takes to live in freedom! I think that they might actually suspect that there IS freedom. They put so much energy into getting eveyone to agree with them… as though that makes them right?? LOL When I got out, it was easier for everyone to reject me than to face the same truth that I faced… it is always about avoiding the pain and also them not being willing to give up the control over me that they had. But in the end it was up to me! I said no more and they gapped and didn’t believe me. Not speaking to me I think was a punishment but it back fired …. and they realized when they said “how dare she?” I actually showed them how I dared!

And now I am free and finally loving life!

I am thinking about making “freedom rocks” a bi annual event. I think that when we do it in May that people will hear about it after the event and a whole year is a long time to wait so I thought one in spring and one in fall would be really cool!
Hugs, Darlene


My mother can’t swim either!! Just sayn! 🙂

Darlene, I love the idea of bi-annual event. For me personally, I feel like I’m really at the beginning of the process. Having more opportunities to “drown” some stuff (or people, haha) is a welcome thought to me.

I loved the visual of the crabs in the bucket. I daydreamed a little when I read that. I got an image of the loch ness monster emerging out of the water where I throw my boulder at Freedom Rocks!! I’m thinking repeated throws should quiet that monster!! 🙂

Thanks for your encouraging words Lauralee. I will get there one day. If for no other reason than my mother is running out of people to run and lie to. I hope to have a different mindset though; that they just don’t matter and their opinions in no way define me.
With love and thanks,


Hello Everyone,

Darlene: I never thought of it that way, now I see myself as the little crab who got away, haha and I am now looking at all of them in the bucket trying to get out but pulling each other back in, that really made me feel great! Thank you, you should be writing a book. Your words have comforted me and helped me in so many ways. Geez, I may just need a bucket of rocks to throw in the water! The sign of the crab just happens to be the sign for Cancer, deadly…just sayin. I’m going to keep that visualization in my head. I picture myself getting out of the bucket and running as fast as my little crab legs can take me away from them all! haha
Mimi: You are welcome, I feel that you are such a kind soul, and you don’t deserve that kind of treatment. The truth always comes out, so don’t worry, one day Karma will come back to your biological baby carrier and bite her you know where. That’s funny that she can’t swim either, then you know for sure she won’t be coming back! haha
Hugs and Love,
Lauralee xo


Thanks Lauralee!
I am writing a book! and then I am going to create a “work book” to go with the book. (I like your visual too; the little crab that got away.)
Hugs, Darlene


Hello again everyone,
Darlene, I was so amused by the crab, picturing myself running with my skinny little legs as fast as I could across the beach that I totally forgot to comment on Freedom Rocks. I agree that we should should do it again in the fall. I think that this is going to catch on big time and grab alot of attention. May even put the psychiatrists out of work, LOL. I plan to contact the media in April to see if they will be willing to write a story about it. I’ll keep everyone posted,
Hugs and luv,
Lauralee (the little crab that could) haha


Hi everyone!!
Lauralee, I love that…. the little crab that could. I am excited to see what develops with your contact with the media. Thank you for the sweet comment that you feel I’m a kind soul. I feel the same about you and Darlene, and many other people here. Sometimes, I feel like EFB has the only kind souls I know right now. I feel so blessed by everyone here.
Love to all,


Thank you for writing this, it is extremely nice to find others. I just realized all this about my sick relationship with my mother. I have PTSD. I’m thinking this is a huge cause of it considering it is the reason I endured the abuse and neglect as a child. Just the thought of this, wen I really start to think about it, my body literally refuses to let me, it’s like I can’t handle it. Thankfully I put myself in therapy almost a year ago, and I think I’m finally allowing myself to accept the truth, but it is hard, and I am going to need my therpaists help to enable myself to even process this effectively without just shoving it away. I didn’t really think I had PTSD until now, even though I’ve been in EMDR sessions for months now (of course it couldn’t be that bad, right?). I almost passed out at the thought of my mother really not loving me, something that I had wanted so badly my entire life, knowing she really didn’t love me and still doesn’t to this day, after unwittingly giving her my unconditional love even after growing up, it’s like I want to die and my body’s reaction is to shut down. I feel like a lunatic. I know she loves me the best she can, but that just seems fleeting to me and it doesn’t make anything feel any better. My mother is incapable of love. She plays mind games with me an my siblings, and she has effectively turned both my brother and sister against me becuase I represent the truth. My siblings are also victims of her conditional love, they just refuse to accept the possibility, can’t say I blame them, it’s very painful. They know that shining a light on the truth will get them exiled from mom’s “love”, that’s what she’s taught us, and I think she’s used me as an example for many years now, because I was always the kid who always spoke up.


Hi Alice,
Welcome to EFB ~ being treated this way as a child causes our minds to figure out ways to survive. One of those ways is not thinking about it, and then when we grow up as adults, that survivor method is still in place. Our minds are actually warning us not to face it! (although it is no longer necessary to live in that survivor mode) I had to keep in mind that this process is not about HER anymore.. so it doesn’t matter if they are doing their best or not. It is in facing the damage that I found healing. I had to acknowledge that this damage happened to me and that was the beginning of validating myself which was the beginning of healing.
I hope you read more here and share as often as you like.
Hugs, Darlene


Welcome Alice, I’m Lauralee, the little crab that could. I say this because Darlene gave me such and interesting visual yesterday that uplifted me in a way you cannot imagine. Our stories are pretty much the same, even yesterday they were at it again, calling a cousin trying to turn her against me. That’s a sick game they play, but I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. It hurts and the pain is deep but I am past that now and I hope that gives you a little bit of hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train! Healing is harder than we think it is, for us there is no sign of a wound such as a broken arm, or leg so people don’t understand sometimes. I stumbled on this site somehow, don’t remember how but it has helped me in ways you can’t imagine. There is so much understanding and support here. Darlene has a way of helping you see things in a different light and I’ve often like yesterday had an “aha” moment as Oprah would say. I no longer have any feelings for my sisters and mother, my brother passed October 30th and after 10 years they called me back into the family only to pay for the funeral and then I was shot back out like a rock in a slingshot. It hurt me at first, but then my eyes opened up and it made me realize that for those ten years I wasted my time hoping, wondering, wanting mommy to love me when she never did. I don’t need her or anyone else like that in my life, I cut the cords, and when May comes around I’m taking a rock, inscribing all their names on it and in the water they are going!
I really hope this site helps you and that you will come back, remember, you are not alone, there are many many of us out there who have mothers who don’t love us or are incapable of loving even themselves, you can’t give away what you don’t have, and if you don’t love yourself then how can you love anyone else.
Hugs to you,


Thank you both for your kind words. I tried reading the comments but I had to stop when I started reading Mimi’s, it hit too many triggers and I just need to step back and take it to therapy. I feel your pain. I’ve blocked a lot of bad memories out so it gets really confusing when I read something and it triggers an emotion and I don’t really know why unless I’m lucky enough to remember – which is coming to me easier the harder I work on this, and I’m feeling pretty raw right now. I read the book Toxic Parents by Susan Forward before I found this blog, I found it highly insightful and productive in helping me understand and process the abuse and the self-defeating feelings associated with it. I’ve also been reading a memior called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, I’m half way through but I highly recommened reading it. I had to put that down and take a break because of the similarities, it’s too emotional. I’ve been writing a lot and crying a lot more but I feel it needs to come out, some stuff is just easier to deal with and remember than other things. I had to look online and make sure you guys were out here, and sure enough here you are! I will certainly be back. I’ve been fighting this longer than I’d like to think. They try to suck me back in for reasons I still can’t figure out, and I’ve been trying to pull out of it for literally years now. I couldn’t really understand why I kept coming back to the insanity, but now I do. I like the crab story 🙂 For a long time I thought that maybe if at least I would accept a relationship while she is drunk for the rest of her life, she would love me. I was willing to settle for her drool. I tried it and nothing changed. They all wanted me to help them then would undermine me when I tried, then join together because I’m too angry to have a relationship with. Everything still went crazy, and I was an adult watching it happen this time, and I still refused to see what was being handed to me on a silver platter, the little girl in me couldn’t believe it, it hurts that much. Thank you so much for giving me a place to put this.
Giant hugs,


Hi Alice,
I’m happy you found EFB. It has given me immeasurable validation and support. I’m not sure where I would be if I hadn’t found Darlene and the people who comment here. I see that one of my posts had a lot of triggers for you. I wish you weren’t in so much pain right now. I went back and read my very first post on this thread. It was in early November 2011. I can’t tell you how far I’ve come since that post. I know that each person’s healing and progress is specific to them, but, I do want to emphasize how much better I am since that post. Back when I wrote that post, I too was a basket case. (give or take a few months because it’s a little fuzzy). When I was in the depths of despair, discovering my mother has strong narcissistic tendencies, questioning if she ever loved me, going over each memory of painful events and even the loving events, and processing it all, I was all but disabled. I cried every day. I journaled sometimes for the whole day. I was in incredible pain. I said give or take a few months, but honestly, the majority of 2011 was debilitating. I think I’ll always regard it as the year of great pain and discovery.

I am out of those painful days now. I don’t mean that I never have them, I still have moments, or even a few hours when I cry and reminisce. I still try to journal, although it’s not something I HAVE to do to get the poison out of me. If there were a new event, I would have to journal it, but things are fairly peaceful right now.

I say all this in hopes you will know that it’s possible to come out on the other side. Darlene, is a shining star of evidence of this. She’s an enormous inspiration. So are many of the commenters. I didn’t know if I would ever emerge from such painful days. But, I can say my days are volumes better than they once were.

The benefits of EFB are twofold. Not only have I found people who have succeeded and offer hope, I’ve also found people who are in the process. To have that understanding from others, and know I’m not alone has meant so much in my process.

I hope that despite triggers, you will come back and share. There is so much hope here. For me, so much relief in typing out my pain, and always having someone acknowledge it in some way. I hope to see you again.
Peace and love,


Thank you Mimi!
Both for your supportive attitudes towards others and your appreciation for me and this work! I feel like a shinning star! LOL
I found a journal that I wrote in 2007 when I was coming out of my “Mother fog” !! I am going to make a blog post out of it this coming week!
Hugs, Darlene


I know one day I’ll look back at my 2011 journal and be in AWE!! There is so much anger and tears on those pages. I should probably burn it, lest someone find it and read it. 🙁

And, you’re welcome! 🙂

Love always,


Mimi, I have never gone to much effort to hide my journals. I figure if someone wants to read them, they will search and find them. I also figure if someone opens my journal then they are meant to read what I write. What they do with the information is their business, not mine. Odd thing is nobody has ever read them without my permission.

I remember doing some major writing when I was in several 12-Step programs in the 1990’s. That writing was as complete a picture of my life of incest and living with my dad’s alcoholism as I will ever write. My mentor at the time told me to tear it all up after sharing the highlights of it. I did and I have regreted it ever since. I can’t get it back. That writing showed the depth of my pain and my healing of that time period in my life. I took weeks writing it. Be sure that if you burn your journal that you won’t regret it at some future date like I do.


I am so gald that I have not thrown any of it out! It is my record of my process! It tells the story of the pain and struggle, as well as the victories! It shows how hard it was to see clearly what the truth was… it is the proof that it took time but that it is possible. I agree with Patricia!

I found a blog post that I wrote for my old blog in 2007 about “I knew this guy once ” but it was actually about my old boyfriend; I was afraid to write that it happened to ME! (I never published the post but I am going to make it into a new post for EFB. It was amazing to see the lengths I went to, to tell the truth but in disguise! I have come a long way baby! LOL

I don’t care who finds that stuff today! (I guess everyone here already knows that… )
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi,

I have never burnt any of my journals because I think/hope that when I look back on them in the future (whenever that may be) I’ll see how far I’ve come and how much I have achieved. Having said that, I have written a lot of my most inner thoughts on sheets of paper and then burnt the sheets – for me, it has always felt like a way of unburdening myself of those (often negative) thoughts and feelings, but I always do it for myself – not because I’m afraid someone else will find them. Like Patricia said, if anyone does read your journal, it is their responsibility to do what they want with the information not yours!

Hope everything is going well 🙂



Greetings and Happy Saturday,
The sun is out and it’s beautiful! Wow, speaking of the dreaded journals, I have more journals than a library has books!! I flip through them and feel so sad for the girl I was back then who wrote them. Boy was I miserable, the sexual abuse, must have 5 of those, the alcholic mother and drug addicted sisters, must have 11 of those, the when and why won’t mommy love me like the others. I’ve come a long way since then. Now my journals are filled with grattitude, thanking God that I Lauralee, the little crab who could, got out of the bucket and ran accross that beach like there was no tomorrow yelling “I’m free, I’m free!!! Meanwhile, they are all still in the bucket. When I did go back to the family while they used me for money they said they never had a journal, ha, no kidding, you can’t write what you don’t want to face now can you. And God forbid someone find it and all the secrets come pouring out. I am sad about my brother’s death, but God had a plan I think, and now the lid on their bucket is slowly peeling off, and the truth is leaking out everywhere, and they are scrambling and scared. Meanwhile, I am in recovery mode, enjoying every single minute of my life, and when I feel a downer coming on, I think of the little crab that could and did! I really can’t wait and wish for all of you to get there someday, it’s a freeing and wonderful place to be, feels like I stepped out the door into heaven. Now not everyday is perfect, they are still up to their old tricks, but I don’t let it get to me, cuz I imagine myself at the beach, looking into that bucket staring at them shaking my head saying “you will never get out of there will you’s”.
Thank you again Darlene for that aha moment, my kids all call me the little crab that could now, LOL
Lotsa luv and hugs to you all,


Hi everyone!
Lauralee, since you’re the “little crab that could”, I’m longing to be a crab too. Perhaps I should…. and I shall change my name to Patty!! Crabby Patty!! 🙂

On the serious side, I’m happy to read so many comments about old journals. I do not intend to burn mine. It has my soul in it. I want to look back at it someday and see proof of how far I’ve come. It is proof of pain, in case I am ever tempted to think it wasn’t so bad.

However, I’m happy to read these testimonies so if I ever would have considered destroying it, I know not to for sure.

Peace and love to all,


Greetings everyone,
Mimi, I like that, Patty crabby LOL run little Patty run! Well, heard some news last night, mommy dearest is at it again, she is now spreadng rumours that I went to my father’s every second weekend cuz I WANTED to. Ok, so I wanted to be raped and molested every second weekend, just what a 13 year old dreams of. I guess she has to find someone to blame, that’s how it goes. Now years ago, I would have called her up right away and told her off, defending myself, but at this stage of my recovery, I just laugh cuz she sounds so imature. I have no feelings nor do I feel like I have to justify anything to her anymore. If people are stupid enough to think I WANTED to go there and be molested cuz I liked it, then so be it, I don’t need people like that around me. Can’t wait until she stands in front of the big man upstairs, yikes!
She’s still going in the water anyways regardless. I asked myself, “when will it ever end, when will they finally leave me out of their conversations” but I know that will never happen, oh well, since I am such a hot topic at least while they are talking about me they are not talking crap about anyone else. My two older sisters are right there with her, agreeing with mommy dearest. I’d sure like to watch that show ‘Throw Mama From A Train” right now, LOL.
I’ve come so far, and I am proud to say I am very proud of myself! I’m here in heaven and them, well, we know where they are, in the bucket still. I guess there isn’t much to do in the bucket but talk when you can’t climb out now isn’t there?
Oh well, while they are all stabbing me in the back they can all kiss my behind while their at it! LOL
Hugs, Luv and peace to all of you, and Mimi, I feel it in my heart and soul that one day you will get there, where I am, I just know it. Remember, it took me years (I’m 43 now) so just be patient, good things ALWAYS come to those who wait!
Lauralee xoxo


Hi Everyone!

Lauralee, thanks for the boost. If I look back over 2011 and where I am now, I’ve made fairly measurable progress. I remember the days of being nearly disabled. I don’t have those anymore to speak of. Maybe half a day of crying at the worst, but, those are really far apart now. I’m so thankful to be coming out on the other side of it all. You and Darlene and many other commenters give so much hope, I know I’ll get there. I’m so thankful to have come to EFB!! I’m sorry your family is at the same old tricks. I applaud your strength!!

In my own saga, I sent my mother a letter (I’ve posted it, but a reminder here) that explained I was aware of some lies she told in 2011. The first time I’ve held her accountable, and I was direct. I hadn’t heard anything, it’s been over 3 weeks now. Today she texted me and asked me to watch her dog later in the month. I’m so happy with the freedom I feel ~ I told her no. Here is what I wrote,

“Bella’s never been a problem to watch, but I’m not ready to see you until you are ready to explain the lies and apologize. When you are ready to do that, let me know. For now, it would be best if someone else watched Bella.”

I really hope she keeps the distance. It’s easier for me for sure!! I’ve accepted that she has a choice to own it, or walk away from a meaningful relationship with me and she will likely choose not to own it. I’m okay with it. I feel a huge pressure off my shoulders. I’m so thankful that the circumstances have been designed such that I have something to hold HER accountable for. She’s so sneaky, that’s been tough to do in history. Now, the choice is hers and I feel so thankful to be able to put that on her rather than carrying the weight of walking away…. as MY decision. I have some leverage, and that feels good. It feels like I have some power finally. Thanks for listening.
Love to everyone,


I cried when I read your post, I am so so so very proud of you. Look at how far you have come, you are in control, and good for you!! Doesn’t it feel like freedom when the weight of the negative lunatics are off your shoulders? I am so happy for you I could just hug you, sending hugs your way :o) You will still have your down days, but count how many more up days you’ll have, it seems to me that Patty Crabby if half way out of the bucket, now you just need to grasp on to the edge, throw yourself over and run like you’ve never ran before yellling “I’m free, I’m free” Mimi, you are a precious soul Mimi and I am so glad to know you through this site. You can do this, believe in yourself because I sure believe in you!!! Good for you to writing to your mom and calling her out, you should have told her at the same time she was going to drown in May. LOL Kiddin, well, maybe not, haha
Hugs and luv to you,
Lauralee xoxo


Lauralee and Mimi
Lauralee, I was really saddened when I read that you mom is telling people you went to your dads because you WANTED to. How devaluing! What ended up happening with me in my situation is that everyone stopped talking to me, (we live in a sick system of “picking sides”…) so I don’t know what they are saying about me anymore… and I don’t miss that at all!

Good for you! Wow.. This is very similar to what I did too and it is what led me to total freedom from the sick family system. I told my mom that we could work it out if SHE was a willing participant in the healing. I wanted to be heard for once instead of just letting it all go for “her sake”. I was totally willing to have those talks and to listen to her, but not to be invalidated any longer. it was her choice to walk away from me. SO yay for you. I hope your mom wants to work things out rather than lose her daughter! (at first I thought my mom was only holding out to see if I would stick to my decision… but it has been a few years now so in my case my mom picked “lose her daughter”.)
Hugs, Darlene



You Go Girl!…Good job standing up to your mom!..You deserve better than what she gives…Hopefully, she will respect you enough to have a relationship. Just protect yourself… like an old counselor told me, expect a “Dog to bite that’s what they do” LOL…I’m in your corner! Your Friend, SMD


Wow…. thank you so much for the outpouring of support. 🙂 I love this place!!

I know my message to mother dear was very direct. I have tried much more subtle ways in the past few years… just in getting a point through to her, not necessarily talking about the “big stuff”. She doesn’t get it. Or, she chooses not to. She turns things around in her responses, or makes something up that doesn’t even follow along in the conversation, insults me, etc. So, I did resort to being very frank. She’s oblivious otherwise. She did not respond to my text. I’m grateful.

Interestingly, mother has never denied the lies. She just dropped out altogether. I think that is a strong indication of guilt, you?? I think she’s thought if enough time passes, it will be forgotten. I’m not letting go of the reigns though. She might be discovering that by now.

I felt some anxiety surrounding her message. Until I responded. Then, I had the very best day I’ve had in months. I had to stop and think about why I felt so good. Then, it hit me…. I’m climbing the bucket walls and even if it takes some might, it also repays me in the form of building strength.

Mother still bashes to her mom. But, thankfully, my grandma never lets it dictate how she treats me. My mother might be down in the bucket alone. Her circle has diminished considerably over the years. She can only try to win my grandmother, some church people we both know, my counselor, and her friends. It infuriates me when she cries to my grandma. I’m working on letting that go. It’s because there is a wound there from years of her winning people against me, and I’m aware that the wound needs some cleansing. This space from her has helped me be able to focus on things in my heart instead of putting my energy into how I will handle her. It’s sad to say, it’s been a welcome relief. I’m not sure this is the way God would want it, but I’m willing to take the risk.

Thank you all so very much!!
Love to each of you,


Hello everyone,
Darlene: Thank you for your kind words, but I am used to being talked about and all my biological baby carrier needs is to put the blame on someone else, I mean, who catches their husband with their child when the child is only a couple of years old and then has 3 more children with them? She can say whatever she feels she needs to say about me, I’m out of the bucket now so I don’t care. Now they are going around saying that I told my cousin that my aunt has breast cancer. I don’t even talk to that aunt in the first place, but whatever, this is nothing new for them. They can’t hurt me anymore, for my heart is guarded now and I am at peace with my decision to close the door and throw away the key.
Mimi: I read somewhere that there is always a reason why the people from your past did not make it to your future. Do you think God is sitting up there with a smile on his face watching your Mother basically slamming you every chance she gets. I don’t think so, and one day she’ll have to face that, I am a strong believer in that.
We can’t let these toxic people drag us back down into the bucket over and over again. We have to get off the merry go round and stay off. I have no immediate family as my two sisters side with my biological baby carrier and say I’m the one who is nuts. That really makes me laugh, but like I said, cowards will NEVER face the truth, they sweep it all under the carpet and expect you to do the same. I did it for years, until the carpet had holes in it and sooner or later it all comes out. And with the passing of my brother, God rest his soul, it did all come out. It was like an explosion, like a nuclear bomb went off. Sure they got $4000 dollars out of me for the funeral, and they had me make all the arrangements, but they will never ever have my love, or support ever again. Like I said, that door is closed, so they all better go out and buy a life jacket because come may they are all going for a little swim, and I can’t wait! I am happy Mimi that you had a “happy” day, good for you, I wish you MANY more happy days!
Peace and love everyone,


I treasure you. Just sayn!!

I once heard a pastor say a similar thing about sweeping things under the carpet. His words were, “you can sweep things under the carpet, but mark my words, eventually, you will trip over it.”
So so so true!! You just can’t keep stuffing it under a rug.
The pile will become so enormous that one day you won’t even have a choice but to totally trip over it!!

Hugs to you,
aka ~ Crabby Patty!!


300 comments! This is a new recoord on emerging from broken! Thanks Mimi!!


Wow!!! I feel like I won something!!! Well, I did. I’ve won a life of freedom and truth…… well, actually I’ve won a lot of knowledge from EFB, but I’m still in process!! Thank you for all you do Darlene!!


Hi there ..
I just wanted to say that after reading all of your comments, I am amazed at what strong individuals you all are.

I am in a similar boat .. However, I’m only sixteen with a twin sister who I’ve had to compete with to have a mother’s love .. I never had a connection with my birth mother; however, I saw another woman as my mum; she saw me as her daughter (her daughter passed away through miscarriage – she has 3 sons in their 20’s) .. I finally had felt what a mother’s love was like; however, I 2nd guessed it because it was too good to be true, if you know what I mean? Instead I got jealous because my twin sister was receiving good attention from this woman too! (My sister has a healthy mother-daughter relationship with my birth mother) .. In the end, my world came crashing down – I started an arguement with the woman I saw as my mother and my sister because I wanted to be that woman’s number one. (sounds selfish but i craved a mother’s love for such a long time! I’m only 16 but it’s been so hard to go through high school without a mom!) .. The argument got so bad that she became violent; pinning me to the ground and slapping me across the face as I tried to get up .. My sister watched me get bashed …. but she didn’t mind – she sees that woman as a mother figure (not a mother – i hope).. That woman has filed a restraining order against me and I can’t talk to her ever again :'( The last words she said to me was that she never loved me and just like my birth mother told me (I told the woman everything, especially the cruel words my birth mother said to me the last time we spoke), “No mother wants and would ever want a daughter like you” .. I’m not bad, I swear .. I have mood swings & am not perfect but i did everything in my power to make this woman love me more than my sister .. I would try everything to make her feel special and appreciated .. I haven’t spoken to this woman for a few days and even though my body aches and the bruises and wounds can still be seen, i miss her so much .. I thought I deserved a mother’s love; a mum .. I thought God had given me a second chance .. The woman also told me I wasn’t worth it .. That her meeting me and seeing me as a daughter was the biggest mistake she had ever made in her life .. I’m 16, in my final year of high school, STILL wanting that woman to love me although contact isn’t allowed (she still talks to my sister 🙁 & told me that she sees my sister as her daughter), and I am stuggling .. I don’t think I wanted anything more to be honest .. I put this woman before ANYONE – even my own Dad! (my parents are divorced – my twin & I live with dad – i love my Dad, but i guess he wasn’t enough during this stage of my life) ..
I go to therapy – Mental Health actually ..
Saddest thing – each night i cry myself to sleep; hugging myself hoping that someday my mom (the woman who I see as my mom) will cuddle me again and tell me that I’ll be okay .. Even after the bruises, cuts, scars, and emotional abuse .. I made her my everything .. I don’t talk to my Birth Mother at all .. Last time I spoke to her she told me that no mother would want a daughter like me & that she’s finished with me.

But I just wanted that woman to call me her Baby girl like she used to; to tell me she loved me .. But I guess it had all been a lie.

My Birth Mother & my Momma Bear never actually loved me. Or loved me enough to want me.


Wow, what a story. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. I want to encourage you to keep coming here. Sometimes, for me, I had no one else. It was in those times I could come here, night or day, and type out my struggles. There is literally always someone who understands, or offers support, etc. I was amazed at all the people who share the same type of pain I’ve experienced. No one even has to know but you. I am pulling for you and I hope you find some peace in your heart and begin to feel your worth, despite what others have said or done.
With much love,


Hi Hadie Louise,
Welcome to EFB! Don’t be too hard on yourself. In my own life I looked deeper into where these issues came from in order to be able to understand myself ~ that got me unstuck from self blame so that I could heal from whatever caused me to want to be number one or whatever the issue was for me. You might find some insight here in this site and you will certainly find others who understand your feelings!!
These woman are wrong about you and the things they are saying to you are very hurtful and cruel. Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Mimi & Darlene,
thankyou for your kind responses .. 🙂

It’s definately a struggle to get over it & cope; considering I’m in my final year in high school I need to quickly find some sort of distraction so I don’t fail anything.

I don’t think I’ll feel worthy of anything anytime soon .. And this situation has made me realise that I shouldn’t trust anyone so easily .. Is it bad to want a Mum? (It’s not like I looked at a woman and said – hey, i want her to be my mum) but I just wanted to be wanted I guess? Because I am young-ish, I am surrounded my fellow teenagers at school who talk about their graduation/prom/formal and how they’re mum has already contributed a lot in it! (and it’s at the end of the year!) .. The woman I viewed as my Momma Bear said I would look ugly for my Grad because no mother would be helping with hair appts, etc.

I wanted to be the woman’s number one girl. Especially over my sister. I literally don’t even class my birth mother as my mother, let alone someone in my life. My Momma Bear was my mum .. And even though I still have bruises and am emotionally stuffed, I miss her 🙁

I just want the pain, hurt and “need” to feel a mother’s love to stop!

– HadieJaneL.x

I can’t even say that I love my own children the way my mother never did – I’m kind’ve too young to even consider/think about that or have children ..


I read everyone’s stories on here, and am over-whelmed and amazed at the amount of people who have gone through this & how they’ve/they’re currently overcoming this. You are all so strong!



It is amazing when you find out other people are going through similar pains at the hands of the people who should love them… the PARENTS!! I continue to be amazed.

I would like to point out that when I was at your age, and my mother and I were at odds, I wasn’t strong. In fact, I haven’t been very strong at all in life. Not against my mother anyway. I wanted to believe what she told me about how she was all I had. I DID believe that. It’s scary to believe that but at the same time I had a “knowing” that she really didn’t want me. I was just in her way. She was working on keeping a relationship going with the man who is my stepdad now. I was left to flounder at the age of 11 when my bio dad left. Mother checked out of motherhood, and into smitten girlfriend status.

Anyhow, my point is, I think it’s incredibly difficult to be strong at a young age when the people you’ve come to rely on end up causing great pain. You have a right to your hurt feelings. You have a right to feel them. I don’t think you have to be strong right now. With time, the pain will ease, and strength will emerge. That’s been my experience anyhow. I thought the pain wouldn’t end either. I truly did. But, somehow, I started having fewer pain filled days, then fewer, and fewer. All that pain brought tremendous knowledge. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I can say I’m very thankful to know what I know today. The knowledge has been liberating.

I had that same “need” for my mother’s love. I remember during particularly upsetting times in my life, I’d be thinking, I wish someone would just hug me and tell me everything will be okay. Now, I realize, I have to be that someone. I have to learn to self-parent and be kind to myself. This is something I’m just now touching on, but Darlene has written a lot about it. I know that unfulfilled longing was just a form of treading water. I’ve had that thought so many times over the years. Now, I have to change it into learning how to comfort myself. Not easy, but I know it will be worth it. It has to be better than sobbing and wishing for something that won’t happen.

I hope you can find a way to take really good care of yourself during this time, realize it won’t last forever, and it’s okay to feel this longing for a mother. I did too. An enormous amount of other people here did too based on their stories. It will get better. It just takes some time. I can look back over some old posts and realize how far I’ve come, how much clarity I’ve gained, etc. I’ve made some friends here too who always offer support and kindness. At times, there wasn’t anyone but EFB. If it feels like there’s no one, there’s always your friends at EFB. I know we can’t do a group hug, but, I sure would hug you if I could. Sometimes, just writing here can bring relief. I hope you continue to do so. There truly is healing on these pages. I look forward to reading your future posts if you decide to.
Pulling for you,


Hi Mimi,

thankyou for replying 🙂

I believe that there was a time when I did try to mother myself; however, I don’t know how to love myself, if that makes sense? I mean, if my birth mother or my Momma Bear couldn’t, how should I know how to love? I’m still trying to understand why this whole mother situation absorbs my mind so much!
This has consumed me so much that even at school with female teachers I struggle to concentrate in their class; I don’t want to concentrate! I don’t mean to sound up myself? However, I am known to be a “bright” student, well, was a Bright student. Majority of my teachers are female so when they tell me they’re proud of me or say “Good work! I knew you could do it”, etc. it almost bothers me .. Why couldn’t my mum be proud me? All I did was try to get approval & impress her .. (well, both in my case – just at different stages) ..

I’ve reached a stage in my life where I want to just be free. To move to a big city and follow my dreams! (Probably sounds super silly) .. But I can’t find who I truly am or follow my dreams without the understanding to why I wasn’t good enough; why I couldn’t be my Momma Bear’s number one Girl. Her Baby girl all over again.

I almost won’t move on until I know why.
Do I sound super silly expressing my thoughts/feelings the way I do?
Sorry if I do.

– H.x



It’s never silly to express your feelings. You don’t sound silly at all. I view EFB as “my private sanctuary” where I CAN put everything out there – all my feelings. There’s never judgment here; only encouragement. That’s been my experience.

I believe feelings aren’t silly. I believe they have a purpose, and they don’t develop from nothing. There’s always a reason. Just my belief.

I don’t really know how to love myself either Hadie. It’s a part of my process as well. You’re aren’t alone in that struggle. Lots of people here are in this process. It’s a difficult concept when the people who SHOULD love you have dropped the ball. Makes me wonder how I’m even loveable, if my own mother doesn’t.

That’s a pretty big sticking point UNTIL you realize it’s not you that has the problem. It’s our abusers. I do realize now that there’s something horribly wrong with my mom. I think it’s vital to remember that it’s their problem, it’s not you who is messed up, or has done something to make yourself unloveable.

I have had problems with concentration too. I think my emotions became so raw that I couldn’t think straight or concentrate. It consumed me as well, to the point that I have taken this semester off from school and I am not working either. I decided, I just need to bear down, do some hard work to overcome this, and then pick up where I left off when I feel ready. I was consumed, nearly disabled by the pain and distress of discovering all my mother’s “stuff”.

When a person acts out in the way your MB did, from the way you describe it, it seems like there may never be a way to figure her out. I did have to give up that part. I tried to figure out my mother and spent a lot of time doing it. I’ve finally realized that she’s ill, and a person who doesn’t share that illness, will never figure it out. I can’t understand her thought processes. I’m very analytical, but I had to let this go. I was wasting valuable time when I could have been working on hearing my own voice, getting to know who I am, and trying to learn to love myself. Dear, you may never find out why, just know it’s not your fault, and nothing you did. No one deserves to be beat. PERIOD.

I encourage you to follow your dreams. You are young and have time on your side. You are worth it. Take good care of yourself. Hope to see you again here!


Hi Hadie Louise
I didn’t know how to love myself either! That was one of the biggest things I learned in the healing process. Trying to understand “them” is where I got the most stuck in my life. When I was 19, I moved to the other side of the country in an attempt to “be free”. It didn’t work because the damage that had happened to me, followed me. It was when I looked at “how” I got hurt and where my self esteem was damaged that I finally found freedom. To this day I do not understand my mother and how she could treat me that way. BUT I found freedom and wholeness and live a wonderful full life now!
Thank you for sharing. You don’t sound silly at all!
Hugs, Darlene

Love your comments too Mimi!
great words of wisdom there!!!!! Love Darlene


Wow. That was powerful to read. I cried through half of it.

I’m not a women, but a young teenage boy who had a breakdown with my mother about a year ago now. Since then she has spent less than a few hours with me and has told me I brought it upon myself and she could never love someone like me.

Reading that made me feel a lot better, that there was hope I can be happy again. Thank you so much 🙂


Hi Connor,
Welcome to EFB ~ I think it is great that you are looking at this so young. I know it is really painful but yes, there is hope! Many of us here have seen through the lies that we were told and moved forward!
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Everyone, Welcome Hadie Louise and Connor,

Wow, your stories just blow me away, you are both so very young,I was only 10 ut being a mother to myself the whole time as my parents and all siblings are drug addicts, alcholics and my biological sperm donor who is now dead thank God molested and raped me for 3 years straight. Even being that young, not having anyone to tell you they love you, it’s so hard. But, may my story give you a little stregth and confidence that you can make things better. I went to hell and back many times, but left home when I was 16 just to get out of the drugs and booze. I wish you both nothing but success and peace and to be happy. Now is the time you are supposed to be happy, you have your whole life ahead of you. It’s not at all that you are not good enough that your Mother doesn’t love you, these people don’t even love themselves, and you can’t give away what you don’t have, and for them that is love. They sure can’t give it to you if they can’t give it to themselves and believe me deep down they are miserable people.
I hope to see you both back here again, this site has helped me in more ways that I can count. Just last week I had an “AHA” moment. Darlene told me to look at my situation as if I was a crab in a bucket. All my family are in the bucket, all climbing all over each other trying to get up, but I got to the top of the bucket, threw myself over and ran as fast as my little crabby legs could take me. Needless to say the rest of them are still in the bucket. My only regret is that I lost my brother, my friend in all this. He died on October 30th, 2011 and the family used me to pay the funeral, and while I though “hey, maybe they do love me” I was shot back out of the family like a slingshot faster than I could know. I good now though, because I’ve done alot of hard work, I was where you are, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it ain’t no train!! LOL My wish for you is that you both get there someday, please don’t give up. Everyone on this site is loved, everyone, stay strong.


This exact thing has happened to me recently over the last several days or so. I finally ONCE AND FOR ALL set those boundaries with my mother and let her know that I would no longer tollerate her abuse.

Of course she is so in denial about any of it, that she actually had the nerve to call me a LIAR, and try her very best to manipulate me and humiliate me into recanting on my feelings about the abuse by threatening to emotionally abandoning me forever, which SHE has chosen to do, NOT ME! I would not budge this time!

I WANT TO DEAL WITH THESE ISSUES, but she refuses to, and I have finally realized that there is not anything I can do about this. I have spent the last 42 years of my life wishing and hoping and dreaming that one day I could feel the love of my mother without conditions and without the emotional abuse and psychological abuse, but I have come to the conclusion that is just not going to happen and it is not my fault.

I DO deserve more, and deserve to be truly loved by my parent. It has been doubly difficult for me because I never knew my biological father either, so I have never truly known the love of ANY parent and this makes me very sad, and IS the root of all my depression and sadness.

My first step father was a monster and was very violent and abused me horribly both verbally and physically…not to mention sexually. My second step father was the center of my mother’s world and universe, much like my brother who was produced from that marriage. I have always been the one that she held at a distance. I have always been the liar, the bad one, the one that was never good enough…and I have spent a lifetime trying to figure out why.

It has caused me so much grief and pain that I cannot describe it. The best way I can describe it is like there is this huge emptiness inside of me that absolutely nothing can fill. It is the worst thing I have ever felt! Not only did my mother emotionally abandon me long ago when I was a little girl…she has also taught my siblings to do the same to me, making me the outcast of the entire family so that whenever I desperately needed emotional support or unconditional love from anywhere or anyone, she made certain it was unavailable to me.

She doted on my brother who is the youngest of us four. I am the oldest. In her eyes, he can do absoutely no wrong, and she will be there for him at the drop of a hat for anything he needs, but not so for me. I have had to live my entire life parenting myself, or at least that is how it has felt.

Luckily, I did not repeat the pattern with my own children. We are very close, the 4 of us. I have wonderful children who I love with all my heart and show it to them and tell it to them every single day. As well as not being there for me emotionally or otherwise, another thing that really hurt me deeply is that my mother also refused to love my children. They are her only grand children so far, and are 21, 20, and 14 now…and she has missed a lifetime of closeness with them, as well as ignored my pleas for her to be a part of their lives.

Now my sister is pregnant for the first time and all my mother can seem to talk about is the new baby coming. I am so happy for my sister. I love her so much. Yet, it hurts me so badly…feels like someone is stabbing me in the heart with a knife when my mother says things like, “I’m going to be a grandma!” as if it is the first time! It is truly as if I and my children are invisible, and well, frankly…I just got tired of it and threw it all out there in the open.

I did not do it in a mean and hurtful way, but she of course, made it out to sound like I did…finding the wrong in everything I said. She blames ME for everything, and will NOT take responsibility for anything she’s done. To go so far so to outright call your own child a LIAR is just horrid to me! I will never understand it, but it was empowering to finally put my foot down and let her know that this was HER COICE now and that I would no longer tollerate any of her abuse.

So now she is making the coice to walk out of my life forever…NOT me. She can no longer blame it on me…this is ALL HER now! Thank you for writing this. I needed to read it today more than you could ever know! It is good to know that I am not alone because most times I feel like I am.


She has also said to me, “When you decide to act like my daughter and stop this nonsense, then you can give me a call…until then, I am out of here!” In other words…just like you have described in this article, if I do not conform to HER way of thinking, then I am not worthy of her love…which is UNFAIR AND NOT TRUE! It is so painful to deal with and I am having a difficult time, but I know that I will overcome this, as I have overcome so much in life already. It does leave a scar though and a very painful one! =*(


Hi Christy,
I’m sorry you are in pain. I’ve had similar pain with my mother. I can say, it gets easier. I’m not out of it yet either, but, it has improved dramatically for me. I did cry for about 3 months. Every day. It’s horrific, and I’m sorry you’re going through it.

I’ve had some new developments in my relationship with my mother lately too. It had been quiet because I pointed out some lies she told in 2011. She has done everything she knows to avoid the subject. Mostly, she’s sent sappy emails, text messages, etc. On tuesday last week she sent me a cloth napkin (hankee) that had been anointed with healing oil.

Yesterday, I got hate mail from her about the lies I’d brought up 2 months ago which she had ignored until now. She said she refuses to own any bullying or anger from my lifetime (which is something I’d recently said because she wanted me to make a list of ways she’s offended me…. bahahaha.) When she addressed the lies I had brought to her attention she wrote out some long unrelated story about events that happened. It was BS.

The secret is, in the timespan between tuesday and yesterday, my sister invited her to come to her home 500 miles away. My siblings and I were all fairly estranged from her in the past several months. When she got this invitation, she immediately turned on me. She feels there is power in numbers, and being invited to my sisters house meant she was back in favor with my sister. She doesn’t need me now, she has someone else. Now, all the mushy emails and texts will stop because she has someone on her side (or so she perceives).

Amazes me, in three short days, she went from mushy to mean. What that tells me is all the mushy stuff of the past few months were a facade. All it took was for her to get someone on her side for the real “mother” to come out. Thankfully, I was not sucked in by any of the mushy stuff. I knew what she was doing. And, now, she’s proved it.

My mother did the same in my younger years. She coerced everyone, my two sisters included. I was the outcast. I was alone with no one to turn to. She made sure I had no one. When you’re growing up, it’s the worst feeling and it created big wounds in me. I need not question if I had any allies. She made sure I didn’t. She also abandoned me emotionally when she met my stepdad. I was 11 years old.

Interesting what you said in your last post #316. My mother’s note yesterday said, “when you can have an adult conversation about this, then we can talk”. SLAM!! There was nothing childlike in my previous correspondence. It was direct, and to the point. That must equal childlike behavior to her. It’s an easy way to try to put it on ME!!

I’m not finished yet. I will proceed as my heart guides me. With some time, I know things will get clearer and I can formulate an appropriate response.

I wish you the very best of luck Christy. It’s so hard to go through the pain. I believe it will get better for you. There’s hope, and you can always come here. It’s my saving grace!!
With Hope,

It’s a tangled web of mixed messages, lies, manipulations, power struggles, and pain. My mother


I don’t know how that last line got in there. I must have jumped around too much. I’d be happy to finish the thought…. but, like many well intended thoughts, it’s already gone!! 🙂


Hi Christy
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
You are certainly not alone! And you are right, you do deserve to be loved by a parent, we all do! You are also right that you can’t do anything to MAKE your mother deal with these issues with you. You have found the right website! (not just about parents but about overcoming and recovering from all things that are at the roots of struggles like this)
Thank you for sharing so honestly ~ I can really relate to what you are talking about. My mother made it clear that it was her way or the highway too. This was really painful but I found so much more freedom when I saw the actual truth about it.
Hugs, Darlene


Welcome Christy,

I feel your pain beautiful soul. I cut off all ties with my family and created my own family. Mother’s should show an example, not tell you to act like a daughter. How dare she say act like a daughter when she can’t even love you like a real mother should. You deserve to be loved, but some mother’s for some reason are incapable of loving. Good for you for standing up to her. My mother used me mostly for money, the rest of my family are alcoholics and drug addicts and I was the only one who worked, and the youngest and stayed away from all that toxic crap. I swore I’d never become “them”. But I was always called goody two shoes, or something else because I refused to get on their merry go round of drugs. They are all miserable, but I am at a point of peace, love and happiness now, I know that sounds kinda corny but it’s true. And I wish that for you one day. You’ll get there, it took me 10 whole years but hey, I did it. I’m not sure why my mother can’t love me, or won’t love me like she does my sister’s, but I am done wasting my life away wondering why. I did that for ten years, cried at Christmas, birthdays, wishing and hoping mommy would call and say I love you. No more, the door is shut and a beautiful window of peace opened up for me. Have faith that you’ll get there, and when you do, let me tell you, it feels like heaven. I no longer have any feelings for them whatsoever. It’s strange but I don’t. I guess you get hurt so much that you become numb to the pain.
I hope to see you back here, there is so much support on this site, and Darlene is the best! She motivates you and makes you see things in a different light. I’ve had several “aha” moments on this site.
So welcome to the site, I hope to see you back and God bless!
Hugs to you, Lauralee


Great posts by everyone. Like most of you probably were doing when you stumbled upon this site, I was looking for something to help me cope with my relationship, or should I say lack there of, with my mother.

It started when I was about ten when my mother cheated on my father and my parents divorced, I stayed with my dad. My mother always had a man after that and hardly ever wanted to see me she was too busy with her “men”. Now, back in January my mother got diagnosed with a mass on her brain stem, lost all movement to her right side. I take my dad, mothers boyfriend, and I two hours from here where the hospital transferred her. I missed work and school for three weeks (3 semesters away from BA in psychology) to stay with her and take care of her to the best of my ability. She kept asking my dad and I not to leave so we stayed in the hospital room with her. Soon enough she was transferred to a different hospital 3 hours away from our hometown and there I stayed as well until her whole family decides to step in. Huge family arguement in which she didn’t need nor did she ask the others to leave. I came home, they got what they wanted and stayed. My mother got to come home about three weeks ago and still has yet to contact me and recently married her boyfriend in which is an alcholic and used to hit her before she got sick and uses her for her money. She didn’t bother telling me that was or did happen either. Anyways, all I can feel is pain right now and I have questions as to why I’m not lovable or why she doesn’t want me. I’m so confused and should know it’s not me, but still those questions remain. I just don’t understand and it is really getting me down and needed an outlet, someone to talk to.



Hi Kimberly
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for sharing your story. It isn’t that you are not lovable, this is about her, not about you. It takes time for the fog to clear about this stuff but I hope you will keep reading here, there are over 300 articles about how I overcame the dysfunction that I came from and all the ways that it impacted my life and my health, and how I got over all of that too. (and the mother daughter category might be of special interest to you to start with) There are answers and there is hope. Glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene


No one can know the pain you’re describing here unless they have experienced it for themselves. To allow yourself to truly know, and experience, a mother’s lack of love, requires serious courage. I can still recall the time frame in which I ‘took down the veil’, so to speak. I allowed myself to see the truth in my mother’s attitude and behavior toward me – and I saw a life time of hostility, not love. I recalled Oprah saying, “Love doesn’t hurt.” And I realized for the first time that I had never been loved, I had only been tolerated. Damn, it hurt. I thought I would disintegrate.


Hi Teresa!
Welcome to emerging from broken!
I hear you! I am really glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Lauralee Hunter Rivet
March 20th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Welcome to EFB Teresa!

I’m glad you stumbled on this site, or perhaps it found you. But you’re here and that’s good. The pain does run deep, right to the core, I’m at a new point now, where I’m numb towards my whole family. Guess I was the black sheep, so out I went. Went through some terrible things but I am so proud of who I have become, and who I am now. My heart is locked up in a place where my family will never be able to hurt it again. Took me years to get here, but I made it. You’ll be inspired by the comments on this site and you may even get a few “aha” moments. I wish you all the best and hope to see you back here soon,
Hugs, Lauralee

Mimi and Darlene: The ice is melting away!!!!! We are getting closer to freedom Rocks!!! If there is anything I can do to help Darlene let me know. Mimi: Did you pick a rock out yet?? I think I will this weekend, I may need a dumptruck to bring it home just for all the names, haha
Peace, hugs and luv, Lauralee


Hi Lauralee
The ice isn’t melting where I live yet. (I am in hollywood today, so not at home) I will start thinking about freedom rocks when I get back home.

Lauralee Hunter Rivet
March 21st, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Hello to all the newcomers!!! and welcome!! This site is amazing, many aha moments, sad that there are so many mothers out there who don’t/can’t/won’t love there daughters/sons. I wish you all the best and hope that you can take alot of knowledge, happiness, and peace from the posts on this site, the people here are very supportive, and you sure realize very quickly that you are not alone. We may all be on different paths or in differents stages, but we all have one thing in common, we’ve all been there.
Hugs, Peace and luv, Lauralee

Christy Feddersen
March 21st, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thank all of you for your kind and encouraging words. It feels nice to know I am not alone, but at the same time, very sad. This kind of pain is like no other I have ever known, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

After the ‘confrontation’ several days ago, my mother first deleted me from her friend’s list on facebook after I confronted her and stood up to her, then she blocked me from her profile! THEN she proceeded to blast me on facebook, telling all kinds of lies about me and calling ME a horrible mother to my own children and saying hateful things such as: “Maybe if she was the mother she should be to her children, they wouldn’t have turned out the way they have.” on her profile for everyone to see INCLUDING MY OWN ADULT CHILDREN who she knew would relay to me the ugliness she was spewing to hurt me, and at first it did.

My 14 yr old daughter is going through a lot emotionally…dealing with childhood trauma which includes severe sexual abuse from several different people, and has taken a turn for the worse in her decision making. She has landed herself in the Juvenile Detention Center, but I know the true cause of her pain and I am standing by her side every step of the way to help her overcome this some how some way! She has been through a lot of pain, and I know she is a very strong young woman who will eventually overcome these past issues and will move forward in her life. I will be there to do everything I can to encourage her and to love her and to cheer her on in the right direction no matter what that takes. It is not MY fault for these issues. It was not because I was a bad mother. It did not happen because I was a bad mother. My mother was trying to play on my already overwhelming guilt for the things that have happened to my daughter because she was angry that she did not get her way.

I could not BELIEVE my mother did that to me on facebook in PUBLIC, but I realize it is only because it was her last attempt to control me and my thoughts and what I say and what I do. I REFUSED to allow it, and did little to defend myself because I am tired of defending myself when I have done NOTHING WRONG. Instead, I allowed her to just go on looking as desperate as she truly was to have some sort of/any control over me. I did contact her through email to tell her how hateful it was of her to do that to me, and that is when she blocked me completely. I also left a voice mail on her phone and told her that she really should think about taking those horrible lies down off of her facebook page, because even though I suffered YEARS of abuse as a child inflicted upon me BY HER….I never ONCE blasted her in public on facebook.

She was, of course, trying to play the victim…remain the victim…at any cost. It was like she was so desperate to remain the victim so everyone could say, “Oh poor mom…look what that evil daughter of hers is doing to her again”, and it was so important to her that she remained the victim that she was willing to REALLY hurt me, even by dragging my own children into it when she knows how much I love them and how much they mean to me! SICK!!! It just reinforced every reason WHY I put my foot down to begin with. I do not need those kinds of toxic relationships in my life! MOTHER OR NOT! PERIOD!

Now she has ‘unblocked’ me…probably to check up on me to see if I am wallowing in self pity over how hurt I am about the fact that my mother remains emotionally disconnected from me, and to see if I am in so much pain that I am consumed with it by posting continuous status updates about it, but that isn’t the case. I go on with my life as normal, and it’s more than likely REALLY getting under her skin because she CANNOT STAND to not have control, but I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that life goes on. I have my own family to be concerned about. My own daughter needs me, and I need to be there for her right now.

I suspect that she will eventually make another attempt to get me to “fess up and recant my stories of abuse”, but I will not cower for the hopes of her love any longer. I am done. She will either take responsibility for her own actions or she won’t. It is no longer something I need to concern myself with because it really is not my problem. I did tell her though, in the email message, that I did not only have bad memories of childhood. There were many good memories inbetween the abuse, too. I think we all have that to a certain degree. That does not, however, make the abuse any less painful or less traumatizing. It is just something I will have to work on continuing to cope and deal with…one day at a time.

I am so very grateful I found this website! I cannot even tell you! For a minute there, I truly thought I was going INSANE!!! Now I know that I am not alone and that gives me the strength and the courage to move forward in a positive direction and be the best mother to my own children that I can be…to be the mother that my mother never could or would be to me.

Thank all of you from the bottom of my heart…


Hi everyone!!

Lauralee, you’re so funny. I haven’t picked out my boulder yet, but it’s been in the 80s where I am. My lake has been calling me!!

Darlene, enjoy your time in Hollywood, and safe travels to you coming home.

Christy, I’m so glad you found EFB too. It wasn’t until I came here that I realized so many people had experienced the pain I’d been in.
At the time, I wasn’t even sure my mother was doing anything wrong. I still questioned whether she really ever hurt me, although the pain was there. After several months of coming here often, I knew. The fog Darlene speaks of began to lift and my mother was being exposed, one lie at a time, one drama filled family upheaval at a time. She was at the root of all of the things going on in my life and family, which involved several people at several different times, just in 2011. She was the common denominator. Coming here….. I can’t explain what it’s done for me. I have found the courage to stand up to her. I have exposed her and began to see her for who she really is. I question if I could have ever done that without this website. I was also nearly suicidal. The confusion, and “fog”; unbelievable. Now, I see her for who she really is. She doesn’t have the power to hurt me anymore. It stings a little at first if she corresponds, but, I recover quickly and hang on to my worth and value, if only by a string. That’s more than I could do a year ago by a long shot. Uncovering the truth was incredibly painful. But, I’m thankful to know the truth now.

Recently, my mother’s mom got sick. I’ve been forced to correspond with my mother a LOT. I had to put all issues aside to focus on my grandma’s needs. But, it’s not over. When the time is right, whether my grandma is living or not, I will continue in pursuing truth and confronting my mother when she presents lies or fronts.

I’m a little fearful that this new forced contact will somehow make me lose ground. That she will be taking from me emotionally, without me even knowing it. My self value was so low that at one time, I could hardly even care for myself. I don’t want to go back there. I’ve gained new knowledge that I am worth something, and it doesn’t hinge on her approval. I don’t want to backslide, and I’m trying to be active in preventing that. Dear God…. I don’t want to go back.

Thanks for sharing your story Christy. Sharing is what feeds our hope. :o)

Love to everyone,

Christy Feddersen
March 22nd, 2012 at 5:31 am

I will share with you ladies the truth of how it came about that I stood up to my mother. It is an even sadder story than just her not loving me. For many years I have dealt with addiction in many forms to try to numb the pain of childhood abuse and neglect. Not only was my own mother abusive and singled me out as a child as “the evil one” of the family…I never knew my biological father. To this day, I have never even met him. I do not know what his face looks like. I have never even seen a picture of him. My mother sat me down at age 7 and told me the whole ugly story of how I was conceived in the back of a ’57 Chevy and how my biological father denied being my father when she came forward to tell him she was pregnant. There are many pieces to her story that do not add up, and I have picked the story apart over the years, but was not allowed to ask any questions about my father because my mother would become very angry growing up…so even though I had questions and pain over it, I stuffed it inside for many years. When I was around 14 yrs old, she came to me and handed me a piece of paper. On it was a name, an address, and a phone number. I will never forget her exact words to me that day, “This is all the information I know about your biological father. Your grandfather has been keeping tabs on his locations since you were born. Here is his address and phone number and I don’t want to ever hear anything more about this. This is not my problem anymore, it is now your problem and if you want to find him, then that is something you will have to deal with, not me. I will have no part of it.” Then she walked away, leaving me standing there stunned.

How could I do anything at 14 yrs old??? I began writing letter after letter after letter and sending them to the address she had given me. Some got returned to me simply saying: RETURN TO SENDER. Others never got returned, so I held on to the hope that somehow my father was reading my words, and hearing my voice through those letters. I had prayed my whole childhood every since that day my mother told me the truth (or what she “says” is the truth anyhow) that he would ride in on a white horse and save me from my horrible rotten life. Well, that never happened. Here I am…42 yrs old and STILL searching for the other half that created me. I recently had a conversation with my oldest daughter about it. She is 21, and such wisdom that young woman has. She hit a nerve when she asked me, “Mom? Why on earth does it matter to you so much? I just don’t get it.”

I tried to explain myself, but she wasn’t hearing it. Not in a bad way either. She pointed out that I had my own family (her and her sister and her brother) and could not understand why I couldn’t move forward sometimes. She said, “It is almost like you get stuck once in a while, and I don’t get that.” I begain to cry hystercially and try to explain how I feel like my whole life is a puzzle with so many missing pieces that don’t fit and that I never feel whole. She says, “Mom! YOU ARE WHOLE! Who cares what your mom thinks?! Look at all you have accomplished WITHOUT HER AND WITHOUT KNOWING YOUR FATHER!” It was nice to have her point out the good things I’d done in life rather than the bad. She could have said, “Look at all the horrible mistakes you’ve made in life due to the pain you have suffered.” because there have been PLENTY of those, but she didn’t…and she was right…it didn’t matter. What matters is what I have before me in the here and now. This moment is all I have. I have worked so hard at teaching my children that, and it was quite a shocker to have my own daughter throwing it back at me in a way. It helped me realize what wonderful children I really DID raise!!!

So this whole thing with my mother started because of my addiction. I have struggled with different things for many years…had 6 yrs clean and sober before my heart surgery in 2008, and have been spiraling downward every since then pretty much. First I began taking more pain pills than what the doctor said to…then I began drinking Vodka again…slowly it crept up on me and ended up in me drinking nearly a 1/5th a day. I got tired of that after a while, and even though I was told by doctors not to stop cold turkey…I did anyway in March of 2009. I somehow remained clean for a while after that, kind of white knuckling it until beginning of 2010 when I would take a few pills every now and then to feel good. It went on like that until Sept of 2010 when my youngest daughter first came out about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Then I completely lost it!

Every since then, I have been battling my addiction to pain medication again…it’s slowly progressed to what it is today, and I am up to taking sometimes 40 pills per day of 10MG hydrocodone. My health is deteriorating quickly and especially with my heart condition, I know that if I cannot find a way to stop soon, I won’t be here much longer. I cannot describe the guilt I feel for my daughter’s pain. It has consumed me, and I have not had a single soul to reach out to for emotional support. Certainly not my mother.

Every time I ever reached out to her in my addiction in past times, she would use it against me, and say hurtful things. So I became a master at hiding it from the world. In 2002 I put myself through rehab and managed to stay clean for SIX SOLID YEARS afterwards, and that didn’t even get my mother’s attention. She was no more a part of my life then so it’s contradicting when she says things now like, “I cannot be a part of your life because YOU ARE A DRUG ADDICT!” She never was before either…so I know it doesn’t matter what I do!

I came forward and reached out to my mother for help with my addiction recently and that is what started this whole ordeal. I offered to pay for a hotel room, pay all expenses, if she would come and stay with me for 10 days to help me detox because I am having trouble finding a rehab I can afford. I really hoped she would, JUST FOR ONCE, be there for me emotionally and prayed she would say yes. What happened instead was horrifying!

***The rest of the story will have to wait until I return home from taking my oldest daughter to work. I hope no one here minds my very lengthy comments…I feel like I need to tell someone so I can process this pain I am in or I don’t even know what I will do! Suicide looks like the bright side sometimes for me! But I have children to be here for, so it’s really not an option. I will continue with what happened and lead up to this confrontation with my mother when I get back……….***



Thank you so much!

You have finally given me a reason to cry, really let go and I feel so much better for it.

It start when I was born and my mother was left home to take care of me, my father came home from work to find my mother smacking me as a very young baby, he also later found that she was seriously neglecting me and sleeping with men for profit at are home behind his back. My father kicked her out and raised me by himself. My mother was gone for a few years no sign except for sending bills to my father for things like television and medical. she later came knocking on the front door demanding me, I was 3. My mother had taken my father to court accusing him of sexually assaulting me and beating us both, as a big man people believed my little mother of my gentle giant father. after $20 000 of lawyer fees my dad played it smart and told my mother she could have me knowing she would say no. After my father was given full custody of me my mother fled again.
In given time my father let her see me every now and again only to find me being neglected and ignored buy all my friends at school mothers, Mel had told them that my father would beat her and myself. As a child I was always told buy fellow pupils that there mum said they where not aloud to play with me, you could only imagine how this made me feel.

coming into my early teens my fathers side of the family started to ease me into some of the things my mother had done to me and my family, at the time I was seeing my mother every second weekend, but they soon turned into once a month to twice a year.

one of my worst memory’s with her was when she made me sit on a chair while she told me how ugly and fat I was and how no one would ever love me. She called this her way of braking me to become the daughter I should of been. other times she would lock me in a room for hours, poison me and fill my head with lies about my father.
not all experiences where bad with her I had great times with her too, one of the reasons I always went back. she would call me and say I was beautiful, making me feel special to her for once.

But when I hit about 14 I decided I needed to take control and that I would not let my mother hurt me emotionally any more, I was stronger and smarter then she was. I hit her, I wanted her to know that she couldn’t hurt me any more. (that was the first and only time I have hit someone)

It had taken me over two years to cut contact, what held me back was the love I had for my half sister. I become depressed and physically sick for the stress and guilt I had/would face when I decided to cut contact because cutting contact with my mother meant cutting contact with my sister because I knew mum wouldn’t let me see her.

years have passed since me and my mother have spoken. I know she doesn’t care and it hurts but because of you writing this down for people to see is my first step to healing. I don’t want to look in the mirror and she a fat ugly mistake she would never love, I want to she a girl who is happy and shines because the people that matter do love her.


Hi Christy
Welcome to emerging from Broken!! Thank you for sharing some of your story! it really helps when we “get it out there”. Not only does it help us to see our own words, but it helps others realize that this stuff HAPPENS and that we are not the only ones who lived in such dysfunction, hurt and rejection.
Please feel free to share often. There is a really great supportive community here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alana
welcome to EFB
It does hurt. Thank you for sharing this part of your story! We don’t have to accept the messages that these dysfunctional parents communicate to us. There is hope for complete healing, happiness and “shineing”.
I am glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alana,

I was teary eyed reading your comments. I can relate to holding back from cutting contact with mom. I’ve limited my contact & reduced visits over the last 4 years, but what’s holding me back is I know the love I have for my sister & her kids will be cut off as well. The only time I see my sister and her kids is at my mom’s house. When I’ve called my sister or left messages, there is no response. I asked to have her kids come to my house, so my kids can play with their cousins. She had me go through her husband, because she would be “working”, during the winter vacation. So I left messages with her husband with no response. I was ignored. It’s not the first time for that!….It sends me the message, that contact outside of my mother’s house is not going to happen.

That is not the way it is with my s-i-l, who she sees regularly & knows I don’t like her. There are so many triangular relationships going on- (Sister, me & s-i-l), (Sister, me & mom)and (Mom, me & s-i-l). It’s a tangled mess. I just know based on my experiences, that I would have no relationship with my sister, if I had none with my mom. That is painful!…My kids love their cousins and it would break their hearts. I’m physically sick from the stress and I don’t want to continue doing what I’m doing. I feel stuck being the one doing all the work. It shows how controlling they are. It’s their way!…So my options are limited…I would appreciate any feedback…How did you do it Alana?…I know it takes time, since I’ve been brainwashed and starting to really bust through the fog…Thanks for listening…..


It took a while for me to see things through the truth. Sounds like you are in that process. I finally realized that if I had to do things the way THEY wanted, and if they put conditions on our relationship, that there was no relationship. I was sick and stressed and in this “spin” and never realizing that I have equal value and that relationship is two sided. I finally decided that I would draw my boundary and let them decide about their half of the relationship. I did everything out of fear of the consequences instead of through the grid of what was right or what was best. Everything I did was what they made me think was best (for them) and it became obvious that I was not considered. (as though they were saying “I don’t care about you or your feelings, you are pissing me off so get lost…… unless you want to do things MY way again) I finally started to think about me. (I had never done that before)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Your comment really spoke to me…You hit the nail on the head, when you said, “I finally decided that I would draw my boundary and let them decide about their half of the relationship”…”I was sick and stressed and in this “spin” and never realizing that I have equal value and that relationship is two-sided.” You speak the truth….I realize I need to set stronger boundaries with my family. It’s been very hard to do that, because I believe my kids need family too- cousins, uncles, aunts & grandparents. I know they don’t treat me like an equal and I’m angry about that. Limited Contact has been the best I can do right now but I am determined to set stronger boundaries in the near future. For me, I think it’s about deciding How to do it and when….(I’ve never set strong boundaries with my family before)….it’s new territory lol
Thanks for listening & sharing your wisdom!
Sincerely, SMD


Dear SMD

Your situation will never be resolved unless you make sacrifices. It wasnt easy for me, I spent two years being deeply depressed and suffering anxiety, my hair would fall out 4x as usual and I could not complete my schooling. The answer that was on my mind was ‘Do I risk my health and happiness for my sister’ and the honest answer is no. I understand how much it hurts and how guilty you will feel but the most important person in the world is you. If they are not willing to at least meet you halfway then you need to move on. I see your sister has children and that they are inoccent in this situation but as the grow they will make there own decision in life, they will understand and you can build your own relationship with them. For me leaving my sister was the hardest thing I have ever done and it broke me but what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. YOU are the most important person, YOU matter! start thinking about you and the best outcome for your mental well being. I am here if you need me please email me on I would love to have the support too.


Hi Alana,

Thanks for your support. I believe I’ve made some sacrifices by limiting contact & reducing visits. However, I realize I’m still tied in, by maintaining some contact with my family’s one-sided relationship. Your right….I am the “most important person & I do matter!” I will e-mail you soon….


recovery happens in stages. I did not draw my boundaries overnight. I am really happy when I look back, that I withdrew at MY pace and when I was ready. Today I know that all the decisions that I made were mine and I don’t question if I was “influenced” by someone elses advice. I knew that I deserved better, before I enforced that belief with the family members in my life. This whole thing takes time. You are doing great!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Thanks so much for your encouragement…You brought tears to my eyes, with your whole comment. When you said, “I knew that I deserved better, before I enforced that belief with the family members in my life.”…that is so validating to me…it is a process for sure!…Thanks a lot Darlene,


Hi everyone!

I hope you come back and finish your story. This is a place of healing and hope. There is support here and so much relief in talking it out/writing. I hope to see you again.

Darlene, Alana, SMD,
So much of the last several posts is familiar to me. Recently, my mother’s mom got ill and has had to have family support/caregiving. I’ve had to spend time with my mom which is not what I’d like to be doing.

Just about 10 days ago, she sent me an email response to one I sent her pointing out lies she told from 2011. She has ignored the need for explanation by every means possible. But, for the most part, for two months, I’ve been free of her. It was liberating, and powerful, and enlightening, and freeing. In the last two years, since her sister passed away, she has really gone off the deep end and gotten sloppy with her lies and manipulation and triangulation. She’s been off on vacations while I and my uncle are home taking care of her mom. She is my grandma though, so I’m okay with it. BUT, my mom has sent me text messages that were questionable in terms of motive. One morning I was at home and she sent a msg from 500 miles away that said, “so you have no idea if anyone is with grandma right now?” I thought, well, I do have an idea that YOU’RE not since you’re off on your second vacation within a week’s time. Jeez. In a 4 day period I spent 85 hours with my grandma, staying all night and being with her during the day. Her son came too, but I did the majority of the time with her while her daughter was running around the world on vacation. Of course, she offered to come home, but, I know that offer was empty because she knew my grandma would say NO…. finish your vacation. She’s coming home tomorrow finally.

My problem is this…. I was doing well and feeling the freedom of being out from under her power. I felt freedom not seeing or speaking to her. I needed more space to continue to develop my defenses against her. Now, I have to be in her presence and maintain communication because my grandma will not likely be at the place of independence that she once was. My mom was home for a few days and then left again. During those few days I spend about 6-7 hours with her at grandma’s house. She pretended like all was forgotten. She HOPES all has been forgotten because I had held her accountable. And, it has to be put on the back burner now, for my grandma’s sake. I see so many people longing for the love of their mothers here. I mourned the loss of her last year. It was horrible, but, I believe that’s why I can feel like I don’t want her in my life now. I felt the freedom that comes with little to no contact. I held her accountable for lying. She’s never addressed it. I was hoping we were getting to the point that if I put enough pressure on, she would choose to let me go. And, I think we were reaching that point. Then, my grandma got sick. I will care for my grandma and help her and do what she needs done to be able to stay alone as long as possible. My grandma’s been good to me. When I think about my mother reaching an age where she can no longer be independent, I imagine dropping her off at a nursing home, making the $200 downpayment (which was approximately what she paid for the deposit on my apartment) and saying, “you’re on your own” like she did me when I was 17-18 and she wouldn’t let me stay at home. She took me to an old house that had been made into apartments. Each bedroom was an apartment upstairs. So, I had a room, and I shared a bathroom with 3 other tenants. It was cheap and I lived there for years. She never offered a dime of money, never a shoulder to cry on, or any kind of emotional support whatsoever. She just wanted me out of her hair. Then she had the nerve to call and ask if I was dating a man of a different race. I should have said, this is my home, I’m on my own now, and that’s none of your business.

Wow, I had a lot to say this morning I guess. I’m just frustrated because I felt like I was finally getting the freedom I deserve. Now, she might find a way to weasle her way back under my skin, if she hasn’t already. It’s so elusive, I can hardly even tell for sure if she’s weakening me; playing me; wedging herself into my tender parts. I don’t feel angry toward her really. I just don’t want to see her or talk to her. I want to be done with her. When my grandma goes to heaven, I WILL be done with her. But, I’ll make it her choice. A choice of accountability that will make her so uncomfortable she will flee. Looking forward to that day.

Thanks for listening, and blessings to each of you!


Hi Mimi,

It IS hard to be with your mother, when you know the truth of Her dysfunctional ways. I feel the same way…I have my radar on & my back up, when I’m with her!…My mom has her tactics too & she can be Nice, The truth IS I don’t Trust HER behavior. I don’t want to see my mom lately either, especially now, that I’m seeing the Truth of my family- sister, brother & father included.

I DO better when I’m not around My family. I will be done with my family too sooner than later. I want to make it their choice with some real accountability NOT just sweeping it under the rug by them saying, let’s not have any hard feelings & blaming me. I really doubt that’s going to happen!…Anyway, I’m in the process and I still feel anger towards my mom & brother especially. I also look forward to that day, when I’m free!…

Also want to tell you, that you are a Kind & Caring person to take care of your grandmother, in her time of need. You send your mom the message that you are a good person, despite her meanness. Your mom IS selfish in leaving her own mom. I can only imagine how painful this is for You. My prayers are with you Mimi. You WILL rise above!…

Blessings to you Mimi,


Hello everyone,

Yesterday was a real bad day for me, memories hit home hard. My so called mother kept my sibblings on her side, my brother and I were close but he passed away in October and of course I had to step in and take the “mother” role for the alcholics and drug addicts, then out of the family they sent me once again. I had a flashback of my brother from the last time we seen each other, it was hard, I cried for hours. Miss him so much, I hate her for it, I didn’t even get to say goodbye, she took that from me too and I will never forgive her for that at all. Today I find myself still resenting her, funny, I thought I was done with all that crap, I thought I was on the happy road to recovery and bang, I get hit in the face with that. I will never in my life understand how hateful my mother can be, being the baby in the family you’d think she’d care a little more. Instead, she just throws me away. The others are her angels, they are all drug addicts, I’ve never taken drugs, or drank, (saw enough of it with them) and have always maintained a very good paying job despite the fact that my mother sent me out to work at 16 to pay for the rent and food. I hope this feeling goes away soon, I can’t stand it. It’s so depressing. I talked to her sister and her sister doesn’t even talk to her. She told me that I was her family now, along with my sane cousins. It still hurts, I just want to be at peace, that’s all I want. I’m a mother and I would go to the moon and back for my girls, I would never turn one against the other and I would never ever treat them like that, I love them more than anything in the world.
Trying to keep it together, Lauralee xo


Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. I’m in the same boat as you it seems. I too am so aware of what’s going on in my mom’s presence. I question her every motive and word. I see her so much more clearly now, and, it’s sickening to see how she manipulates people in my family, and most of them have no idea. I just sit and watch as she brings on the tears or guilt trips, then she’s off on a plane across the country in the next minute. My grandma asked her on Monday night if her sister in law might be able to stay with her a few nights. My mom said, “no, we can’t take advantage of her. She’s down in the back also, and she can’t really get around that well right now”. Well, that sounded viable. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my mom was flying out on thursday morning. She needed grandma’s sister in law for the weekend while she was across the country. If she had asked her on monday to stay for example, wednesday and thursday night, who would stay the weekend while she was gone? So, she strongly discouraged it Monday night and on Wednesday morning she was on the phone with grandma’s sister in law asking her to stay for the weekend. Despite being down in the back, etc. She cried on the phone while talking to her. I was sickened by the whole thing. I am not pained by her tactics too much anymore, but, I still get a little shocked when I see her in action. Disgusting!! I think part of what’s so shocking is, she’s done it for 43 years and I had no idea it went this deep. No idea the lengths she would go to. I don’t feel angry, but I do have a fairly bad attitude about it. Maybe that is anger in disguise – I’m not sure. I feel like telling her to take an effing hike!! But, not in anger really… (I don’t think). Just so I don’t have to sit back and watch/hear her twist everyone and everything to suit her own incredibly selfish needs. I don’t tolerate people like that very well. Even friends. At the first sign of these characteristics emerging, I am GONE!! It just so happens my mother is one of them. UGH!!

Hi Lauralee,
I’m really sorry to hear you’ve been blindsided. I’ve had days similar to what you describe. It feels like a total setback. Like, I’ve lost all the ground I had previously worked to gain. It makes me wonder what happened to the power and freedom I was feeling just the day before. Then, it fades away. It usually lasts a day or two thankfully, but, it always feels like an emotional avalanche. It comes from nowhere and really throws me off guard. I am happy to say I haven’t lost ground because of it, no matter how strongly I feel I have at the time. Despite the failure it feels like, I always come out okay on the other side. They’ve just been a part of my process. And, probably, a necessary part. It is depressing to spend a day sobbing, or more. From what I’ve seen, you’ve made incredible progress. I hope this doesn’t make you feel like you’ve somehow backslid because I don’t think that’s what it means at all. I also hope you let it flow and take as much time as you need to let it out. For me, those days really stink, but it seems like when it finally lifts, I’m propelled into a better place than I was before. This is my hope for you Lauralee ~ that when you start feeling better, you will have gained a little. I am going to my place to pray for you right now. I hope you’ll keep me/us posted on how you’re doing.
In Love and Hope!!


Hey everyone,
Thank you Mimi, I still feel like I took one step forward and two steps back. Dam my biological baby carrier for doing that to me again. And we don’t even speak! The pain of losing my brother is intense these days and I can’t figure out why. Today was a little better, I look like hell I’ve cried so much, I had to put and ice pack on my eyes. She took so much away from me, and there was nothing I could do to stop her. Everyone was always on her side. It was like going to a gun fight with a knife. I can’t let myself go back to that dark cold prison again, I did it for far too long. It makes me sick to see how many people on here are going through the same exact thing. Why do mother’s have children if they don’t want them? And what makes them choose who to love and who not to love? She just adores my siblings, perhaps because she has more in common with them, booze and drugs. I told her I was sorry but that is not my thing, I want things in life and I have things in life because I took a different road and yet, I get punished for it. They make comments like ‘oh look at princess, she just bought herself a house” but I worked hard to do that. I never once said ” why don’t you spend your money on a house instead of booze and cocaine?” My biological baby carrier would have killed me. That is her new name by the way, she does not even deserve to be called a mother. I hope these blah days get better soon, and thank you so much Mimi for your support, you are a special beautiful soul!
Peace, hugs and love to all,


Hi All
I am out of town this week (in hollywood having an exciting time) and not able to respond to all the wonderful comments on this particular post. I am happy to see the continued sharing and community here!
Hugs, Darlene


Enjoy yourself!! Sounds awesome!

You said, “everyone was always on her side. It was like going to a gun fight with a knife”. Those words hit so close to my heart Lauralee. It was exactly that way for me because I was the black sheep. It never occurred to my mom that when I started making unwise choices, it was immediately following her emotional abandonment of what little emotion she had for me to begin with. I was always a good child. At 11 my dad left, and my mom was immediately with another man whom I still don’t care to be around. She protected that relationship fiercely, and checked out of motherhood altogether. At 14, I smoked marijuana for the first time and she found out. I wonder if I did it to deaden some pain?????? That didn’t occur to her. It was because I was immature, stupid, I couldn’t make decent choices, and I was an all around ENORMOUS let down, bad person and huge disappointment and embarassment. From that point forward, I was nothing but a loser, lazy, just like my drunk dad (although I didn’t really drink at that point), going nowhere in life, waiting for my ship to come in, thinking the world OWES me, would be pregnant by 16, (I’ve still never been pregnant), and on and on and on!! I would go to family gatherings where I knew mother had spread poison to everyone. I was looked down upon by everyone there. I felt such incredible shame. I still battle shame to this day. Perhaps this aspect of her nastiness was the most painful….. that she could win over literally everyone, and I was 14 with no one to defend me, or be in my court in any way shape or form. Not even with my sisters. I was alone in the world. That continued for years and years. Probably until I got married at age 33. She finally took her foot off the accelerator because I had a husband, and if she continued, he might fight for me. She didn’t know his character well enough to take the chance on being up against someone besides just me. She could take me down in a heartbeat and she knew it. She did it for so long. Suddenly, she let up though. She might not be able to take my husband down. She might not win up against me if I had a backup. Typing this out reminds me of just how crazy and deep her twistedness goes. No wonder it took 43 years to figure it all out. You have to be pretty sharp to see through a “professional”, and that she is. When it’s your own mother whom you love, it’s particularly hard to see. I really believed I was constructed of nothing but the poorest fibers on earth. I had no good to offer anyone. Period. No question in my mind. I believed it!! If she talked to me like that now, I can’t say what I would do. I might smack her face like she did mine at age 17. UGH!! I want her away from me…. that’s all I know for sure!!

Thanks for posting Lauralee. I’m sorry you’re struggling and I hope you’re doing better. I didn’t intend to make it all about me, yet, I did. If I know you, you’re probably okay letting me ramble…. your words spoke to me and opened it all up!! Thank you for that!
In hope and love,

Christy Feddersen
April 4th, 2012 at 12:34 pm


So when I asked my mother for her help with detox, her response to me was this…”Cry out to Jesus” which she wrote in a facebook email and sent it along with a religious video…and said, “That is about the best I can tell you to do.” My mother is retired, and not working right now. She has absolutely nothing to do with her time. She lives with my sister in a town 15 minutes from where I live. There is no other reason for her NOT to help me other than she WON’T because well, SHE CANNOT LOVE ME the way I deserve to be loved as her child, as her daughter. It cut me deep to get that kind of response, but a part of me was also expecting it.

So…my response to her’s was this…”Okay mom…that is what I will do, I will cry out to Jesus”, and then I proceeded to type out a very lengthly prayer that went a little like this, “Dear God…PLEASE hear me crying out to You! PLEASE reach into my mother’s heart and let her know HOW VERY MUCH I NEED HER! PLEASE let her know how much I love her and NEED her to be my mother and be there for me and help me and support me emotionally.”

She didn’t like THAT kind of “crying out to Jesus” and she then proceeded to DEFRIEND me from facebook and then BLOCK me all together. Not surprising either, as my own sister (the one she lives with) de-friended me long ago, as well, and so did my own brother. My other sister remains on my friendslist, but rarely contacts me and sits back in the shadows not saying much to me probably for fear of retaliation from my mother, other sister, and brother. So not only has my mother turned her back on me…she has made CERTAIN that no one is available to me for emotional support, not so much as a shoulder to cry on when I need it. Yet, they are all there supporting eachother openly and that is so very hurtful.

My sister and I do discuss my mother at times (the sister my mother lives with), but my sister makes excuse after excuse for my mother’s behavior and even tries to lay guilt trips on me about my mother’s health and tells me that I need to “let it go” and basically just pretend that nothing ever happened because our mother is not well and we don’t know how much time we have left here. She is the same sister who is pregnant for the first time and is due in August. She also sees the posts my mother puts on her facebook page about being a Grandma “for the first time” , but I’m like, “HELLO??? YOU HAVE THREE GRANDCHILDREN RIGHT HERE! YOU HAVE BEEN A GRANDMA FOR 21 YEARS!” My oldest child was very hurt by one of her most recent posts that made HER feel inisible as her grandchild and that is WHERE I DRAW THE LINE!!!

Hurt ME all you want, but do NOT EVER hurt my children as a way to try get to me! She did this FULL WELL KNOWING that my children would see that status update and that it would hurt them, in turn hurting me! She did it because she was angry that I recently sent her an email that said this, and yes, I know these are harsh words…but these are my feelings and I AM SICK AND TIRED OF MY MOTHER MANIPULATING EVERYONE AROUND HER INTO BELIEVING THAT SHE IS THE ONLY VICTIM IN ALL OF THIS! My email said:


Please stop sending me useless emails that I don’t have time to even look at. I don’t care about any videos or pictures or any of this stuff. I will continue to RESEND this same exact email every time you send me something…maybe one day it will sink in…not sure, but not my problem.

I do not really want to have contact with you unless you are willing to sit down and talk to me SERIOUSLY about everything. If you are not willing to do that then I really do not wish to hear from you.

You have made it very clear that you believe I am a liar and also that you are not willing to emotionally support me through anything in my life (good, bad, or indifferent) and that comes as no surprise to me really because you have kept your distance for years. You can use the excuses right now at the moment, that it’s because of my addiction or whatever you wish, but that is all they are is just piss poor EXCUSES!

If any one of my children NEEDED me for whatever reason, there is no way in HELL I would ever turn my back on them! I understand the times I went back to Jeff because there was nothing you could do about that but if any of my own children ever EVER cried out for help from me as their mother who loves them more than life itself, there is NO WAY I would ever deny them if I could help them in ANY WAY POSSIBLE!

You have your own issues and CHOOSE to remain emotionally shut off to everyone around you and that is your own choice, but I will no longer have any part of that. I choose to be open and work past my own issues in my own life regardless of whether or not I have your emotional support or not. I understand you may feel resentment towards me because you were raped or whatever really truly happened (and I will probably never really know the whole truth), and I have always felt that you had bitterness towards me for my whole life, but I DO know that I do not deserve that as a human being.

You may be my mother, but that does not mean that I have to accept your attempts to manipulate me into feeding into your excuses and fabrications of what has happened in the past when I know VERY WELL what was reality. You can continue to choose to believe whatever you wish and remain in denial until the day you die and there is not a thing I can do about that.

You can also say stupid shit like “It’s the drugs talking…it’s the drugs talking…” But for SIX SOLID YEARS that I was sober, you treated me NO differently than you do today, and even though I moved half way across the country to be near you in hopes of building a relationship with you, you continued to CHOOSE to remain distant and emotionally unavailable to me OR to your ONLY grandchildren. You had some sort of relationship with Zak when he was there for a while, and that was great, but it seems that if my children are connected to me in any way…you want nothing to do with any of us whatsoever.

Yes, it will probably crush me when you ‘ooooo and ahhhhh’ over the new baby when it is born as if it is your only grandchild because you have shut yourself off to me many years ago and I can’t help that it hurts me that MY OWN MOTHER has turned her back on me from childhood. It will not, however, crush me to the point that I will continue to make any excuses for my OWN behavior or try to use this as an excuse to keep myself from getting well. I have done everything else in my life WITHOUT a mother…there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to continue doing whatever it is that I wish to accomplish without a mother…or a father for that matter.

I am sorry you experienced your own pain as a child and I am sure you can relate to the feelings of knowing that your own mother who gave birth to you resents you and that because of that resentment, you feel as though you disgust her in some way because of the things she says to you or how she treats you…(in your case “treat-ed”). I know you had issues with your own mom and that pains you and I am very sorry for that.

What I do NOT understand though, is why you would not then try even HARDER to be closer to your own children in knowing how that felt, but you are just so shut off that you won’t. You REFUSE to see things for what they are and take no responsibility for your own actions, always choosing to remain the “victim” in every way possible and frankly it’s just getting old. Don’t you think it’s time to change all that? Don’t you agree that it’s time to get past your past someway…somehow??? Why would you want it all to allow you to remain so shut off that you cannot even be close to your own children? I don’t get it!

I can see it in your face when I see you in person that it literally PAINS you to even be near me…that you cannot WAIT to get away from me…that you have felt that way for all of my life. You do not want to be close to me or to anyone else and there is nothing I can ever do about that. This is what YOU choose and I cannot make you decide to do things differently. So you can remain in denial about what is the truth, and I can do nothing to ever change that…only you can.

It is the same with me and my own issues and my own problems in my own life that I have caused. No one can change them for me. I have to change them. But the one thing that makes no sense to me is knowing that you KNOW the pain of having your mother resent you and yet you did nothing to try to be different from her. I KNEW that pain VERY WELL, and so I made it a point when I became a mother…ESPECIALLY as my children grew older, to be as close to my children as possible and we have very close relationships now because of that and because I made CERTAIN that I was ALWAYS emotionally available to them no matter what!

It is true, many bad things happened to all three of my kids along the way in life, through bad choices that I made in life, and as a mother, but they are fine. Alicia and Zak are wonderful young adults and turned out just fine. I will not turn my back on Lacey the way you did to me, so she will be just fine, too. I have no doubts about that.

It is so sick and wrong of you to say that maybe if I had been a better mother that my children would have turned out better. How can you even have the NERVE to say that? I could turn that right back around on you and say the same thing! LOOK AT WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH! MAYBE IF YOU HAD BEEN THERE FOR ME EMOTIONALLY THEN I WOULDN’T BE SO FUCKED UP IN THE HEAD AND SO TRAUMATIZED! But I won’t say that, because the choices I make now as an adult are MINE and mine alone and I blame no one for them.

So anyway…please stop emailing me these emails that are pointless and please stop commenting on my facebook page “I love you no matter what”. I know what your intentions are with that saying, as I have told you before…and I have also explained to you how it makes me feel inside when you say it, but again…you disregard my feelings and play the victim as if you are innocent of doing any harm or wrong. I have told you time and time again that it makes me feel like when you say it that you are putting conditions on your love for me and that you say, “I love you no matter what” as if only to say, “I love you…even though you disgust me.” “I love you…even though you are a liar.” “I love you…even though you are not acting like MY daughter”. Do you have any idea how many times you have said that in my lifetime??? “You are not acting like MY daughter!!!” Do you have any idea how emotionally and psychologically abusive that is? If one of my children expressed to me that something I was saying a certain way made them feel hurt, I would immediately change the way I said whatever it was and try my very best NOT to hurt them! PERIOD!

I don’t think you understand truly the depth of the verbal and emotional and psychological abuse that you inflicted upon me as a child, and I do not think you ever will…nor do I believe that you will ever admit to any of it, because then you couldn’t be the “victim” any longer. In your mind, you have and could do no wrong, and I will probably never hear you say you are sorry for hurting me and that is just something I will have to learn to deal with I guess.

Well, I have told you MANY times how sorry that I was for hurting you…for all the times I made your life a living hell growing up…and I AM truly very sorry for all of those things. I always loved you…always needed you…was always trying to do whatever I could to reach out to you…but you never SAW me…you never HEARD me…and sadly, you never FELT me.

It sickens me that you would call me a liar now about things that actually happened in the past…like being on the cheer leading squad and then say that it isn’t true that you flat out told me how much you couldn’t give a shit less about basketball when I made the team and you REFUSED to take me to any practices and NEVER came to a SINGLE game I played in. You will probably say, “I didn’t have the gas money.” or use some other excuse, but you sure did have gas money to go out to coffee every single night with Calvin while you left me at home to do your job as a mother and care for my sisters. You found time to spend with him and you overlooked the people who needed you most…YOUR OWN CHILDREN!

I understand you cannot go back and change things and I’m sure that we all have things we’d like to go back and do over, but can’t. I know I sure do with my own kids. We have had many discussions about such things, and I tell them how sorry I am and apologize for hurting them with choices I made and ask for their forgiveness for my selfish behavior. It is not BAD to say you are sorry. Yet, I have NEVER heard those three words come from your mouth once in my lifetime, “I am sorry.”

Don’t you realise, that I did all those things for YOU???? Don’t you understand that I did all of those things to TRY to make you proud of me so that you would notice SOME GOOD in me??? You never did though. You were too busy seeking out and pointing out my wrongs…my defects…my flaws. You never saw me for the AMAZING WONDERFUL SMART LOVING TALENTED girl that I truly was…and you never will until you CHOOSE to. I am tired of begging you to and will no longer beg you. I am tired of hanging on to a thread of hope that you will ever “notice” me or ever be there for me emotionally in any way, shape, or form.

I will no longer tolerate your hurtful words or your emotional manipulation or abuse anymore. Until you can sit down with me and face all of this, admit your wrongs, and apologize for the things you have done wrong, please stay out of my life completely.

If you cannot love me up close and personal and feel that because of your own need to be in control that you can only allow yourself to continue to love me “from a distance” than please do not attempt to love me at all because that is not true love, mom. True love means that you are a PART of someones life…that you make yourself emotionally available to them and talk to them and listen to them and spend time with them and laugh with them and cry with them and hug them and feel things with them and talk to them and ask them how they are doing and think of them and show them that you care about them. You are either there for someone or you are not.

You spend and have spent MONTHS without contacting me…it’s always been that way with you. How can you even live with yourself? I cannot go a SINGLE day without talking to every single one of my kids! It kills me that I only get to visit with Lacey once a week and am not even allowed to touch her or to hold her or to hug her and kiss her and wipe her tears away. I always want to know what is going on with them, how they feel, what they are doing, if they are safe, if they are sad, if they are happy, EVERYTHING.

Your love is not unconditional…it is very selfish and you only show love or pretend to show love when it is convenient for you, and it doesn’t work that way or it isn’t supposed to when it comes to the CHILDREN you gave birth to! As a mother myself, I will never understand and I guarantee you that when Karmen has her baby she will not understand either because she won’t be able to EVER IMAGINE a life with no connection to her precious child!

Your estranged daughter”

Then my sister tells me that the email made my mother cry and that she was hurt by my harsh words. My mother did not respond to the email except for on facebook where she posted a status update that said this, “Email attacker strikes again, but I am not going to let it bother me. Didn’t even read it!” AS IF SHE IS THE VICTIM AND I AM SOME STRANGER EMAILING HER AND NOT HER DAUGHTER WITH FEEINGS AND HER PRECIOUS CHILD WHO IS HURTING!!! UGGGGH!!!

So then my mother wants to take ONE LAST STAB at manipulating and controlling me and sends me a friend’s request again on facebook. I reluctantly accept, and I think about what my sister has said about the harsh email so I pray long and hard and go and retype another one and try to be as compassionate as I can with my words and the new email says this:

“I just want to say a couple of things and then I will stop sending emails……

First, I was wrong and out of line to lash out in my email before, and I am sorry for hurting you. I feel so strongly about things and am so intense about my feelings that I come off as harsh and do not really mean to be that way. I was only trying to explain to you AGAIN how much I have been hurt by you over the years. Yes, I know pain goes and went both ways…and I AM truly sorry for all pain I have ever caused. I am accepting responsibility for the pain I have caused others and facing it and learning to forgive myself slowly but surely, believe it or not. I only wanted you to do the same about the pain that you have caused. I just wanted you to recognize that you caused it, own it, and then to hear you say you were sorry for it, and I’m not sure you realize how much it would mean to me if you could do that. I understand though, it is not something I can FORCE you to do…so I will no longer continue to try to. You will decide for yourself what you will do I suppose.

Second, I am not some stranger or the “enemy” as you try to make it seem to others. The truth is..I am your child. I am your child who has been hurt and has feelings and emotions. I am not “the email attacker”. I am the daughter you gave birth to and named and once held in your arms. Somehow, somewhere along the way in life, you let me go and it is a pain like I have never known and I cannot understand why because I cannot imagine doing it to any of my children. Maybe it is because I am just different than you…I don’t really know. I just know that you disconnected yourself from me sometime in my childhood and it effected me and impacted me in a very negative way both emotionally and psychologically. It was way before Jeff, way before I could even understand it…but it almost felt as though even though you were right there physically, somehow you had abandoned me completely and shut yourself off to me and I became invisible. It might not have even been your fault or done on purpose. I don’t really know. I believe you did the best you could and I truly meant no ill in the other email…was just trying to get my point across about how I “feel”.

What I have realized is that it doesn’t really matter how I “feel”. It will never make you be the person I need you to be or want you to be, nor will it make me the person you want me to be or anyone the person we want them to be. I am me. You are you. Each person is their own person. What I will try to do is just love you for who you are and where you are at and not place expectations on you any longer. That is the best I can do for now.

No one knows how much time we have left here, so I want to make things count. I don’t want to “pretend” anymore that things are ok or act like nothing ever happened, but again…I cannot FORCE you to face your own demons. I can only work on facing my own and do the best I can to right my own wrongs and take out my own trash without going back to dig around in it. I do love you, mom, and no matter what you ever do, no matter what you ever think of me, no matter what you ever say about me, nothing in this world will ever change that. I would LOVE to have a relationship with you and be a part of your life more than anything, but just don’t feel like I can right now because the pain is so very raw and no amends have been made or attempted to be made. Perhaps one day I can work past that but for now…I just can’t handle and don’t know how to handle continuing to be held at a distance as if I am a leper with a contagious disease whether I am sober or not. That was the reason I said what I did about you staying out of my life all together. For me, I guess that would just be easier to do.

In thinking about it and also thinking about the first statement of the above paragraph, I realize that might not be entirely true. It might not be easier. I really don’t know one way or another. So I just wanted you to know that I DO love you very very much, I DO know you did the best you could in raising me, and also want you to know, that if you need me, I will be here for you. I will also do my best not to judge you or to drudge up the past any longer as it isn’t doing any good because I am obviously never going to be able to force the outcome or result that I feel like I need to come out of it. Maybe it’s not what I really even do need at all. Maybe I just need to find a different way to process all of this pain and figure things out from there. That is kind of my goal. That is what I am trying to do. It is frustrating and difficult for me.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to say. I pray for you every single day and will continue to do so. I love you every single second of every single day and will continue to do so. I think about you and miss you every day and will continue to do so…and I can only hope that one day…someday…just maybe…we will have a relationship with one another.”

I sent it without any expectations at all really, but when I then saw her new facebook status update I was shocked yet again! It said, “Don’t ever apologize for something you didn’t do or apologize for something you didn’t cause.”…something to that effect, cannot remember the exact words, but what it was telling me more or less was that I was NEVER EVER EVER going to hear an apology from my mother because she ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to accept any wrong doing…PERIOD! At that moment, I said outloud to my son, “That is it! I AM DONE! NO MORE OF THIS CRAP! I AM DELETING RE FROM FACEBOOK FOREVER AND BLOCKING HER!” but I wanted to see if she responded to my more “nicely worded” email first…JUST IN CASE…STUPID ME…STILL FEEDING INTO IT…STILL HANGING ON TO THAT HOPE…and this was her very direct and PURPOSELY STABBING reply:

“I never stopped loving you…ever…I do love you forever, no matter what…..LOVE MOM”

REALLY??? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? EVEN AFTER I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH IT HURTS ME WHEN YOU SAY THAT…YOU KNOWINGLY REPEAT THE SAME EXACT WORDS TO ME AGAIN??!!! I couldn’t believe it, yet I could…if that makes sense! It is her way of keeping me right where she wants me and that is to continue manipulating me and controlling me by HURTING ME PURPOSELY! I have given her chance after chance! I didn’t really expect her to accept responsibility for the pain she’s caused, but as a MOTHER, she could have at LEAST said, “I am sorry for your pain.” but I didn’t even get THAT MUCH! What I got instead was like a SLAP IN THE FACE! “I love you no matter what…even though you disgust me.” “I love you no matter what…even though I can’t stand you.” “I love you no matter what…even though you are not acting like MY daughter.” SAME ‘OL SAME ‘OL!

So my son (20 yrs old) says to me, “Mom? WHY do you keep feeding into this with her? DELETE HER! BLOCK HER! AND BE DONE!” My children are very angry that my mother continues to try to hurt me in any little way she possibly can and then go under the radar and undetected by everyone else in the family who makes excuses for her behavior and sees HER as the victim, but we all know there is nothing we can do about it. So…I did not respond to her last email and I DID delete her and block her and that is that. I gave her the choice and left it at that…and she did what she did by responding to me with those hateful and hurtful words KNOWING how much it pains me so she said it all!!! There is no more I can do. I MUST move on with my life somehow and start this process of healing once and for all.

I am happy to report that since my last post here…WITHOUT THE HELP OF MY MOTHER…I have cut my pain pill intake IN HALF and will continue to wean myself off and am planning on getting back into my meetings and surrounding myself with positive people in recovery again so that I can get back to where I need to be in life. My mother will never be the mother I need, and I know in my heart that one day she will regret that. In the meantime…there is absolutely nothing more I can do to try to get her to mend this broken relationship. SHE has to make that choice…it is no longer up to me! I AM NOT TO BLAME AND REFUSE TO BE HURT AND MANIPULATED AND ABUSED ANY LONGER NO MATTER WHAT!!!


***Sorry for my VERY VERY LONGGGGG posts…I am so grateful to this site who has helped me to ‘vent’ and get this out in the open, because it was truly KILLING ME in thinking there was something really wrong with me that my own mother didn’t love me! It has helped me BEYOND BELIEF to know that I am not alone and that there are many others also suffering my pain! Thanks to ALL OF YOU who have supported me here and have taken time out of your life to read about my story.*** =)


Christy, your mother’s words might be true in that she does love you -in her way. The problem is that her way isn’t healthy or helpful to you. Her way is hurtful and not the kind of love that you need. Letting go of the fairy tale that our parents will some day love us in the way that we need to be loved does hurt and is often necessary for our own healing and for our own peace of mind. I am glad that Darlene has given all of us a safe place to comment and to “let it all out” when we need to. You don’t have to apologize for the length of your comment. Your mother is probably never going to hear your pain because she has never dealt with her own pain. I don’t say that as an excuse for your mother. She has plenty of her own excuses. It is a fact that many of us have to face. They can’t see our pain though their own pain. My mother was the same – numb to the pain of those around her. We can’t force a relationship on to another person if they don’t want it. Your son is wise in his words to you.

Christy Feddersen
April 4th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more, Patricia! That is exactly what I feel is that she cannot see my pain because her own gets in the way! I do have to do what my sister says and LET IT GO…just not by “sweeping it all under the rug” and pretending I was never abused. For me, that is not healing and I just cannot do it. It is like there is a big gaping hole inside of my spirit that I have got to fix, you know? The root of all my anguish is the abuse I have suffered in childhood, and at least now in knowing this I can FINALLY BE FREE from it once and for all if I choose to be! It feels good to take my own power back and decide , “NO MORE!”. It does not change the fact that I will always love my mother…nor does it change the reality that I will certainly always want a good relationship with my mother. Now though…I don’t have to hang on to that thread of hope in believing that if I do “just this one thing right” that she will finally somehow miraculously turn into the “fairy tale” mother I have always needed. In a sense, by just letting that hope (which is not truly hope, but manipulation that controls me) by letting that go…I can than begin this journey to recovery in so many different aspects of my life. My adult children are VERY wise and I am so proud of them, and am so thankful that I have such close relationships with all of my chidren! I love them more than anything! They have been the ones to be by my side through all of this, even as young as they are, and they are just amazing people. Like I have said to all of them since they were little, “I love them as BIG AS THE SKY!” I think in watching them grow up and become adults makes me want to process this pain even more so, because someday I will become a grandma (or “gamma” as I make it CLEAR that I want to be called) and all of this is helping me to work harder because as much as I feared being the same kind of distant abusive mother as my own mother…I fear even more being the same kind of distant grandmother as my mother.


Hi Christy
I don’t mind long posts. Please feel free to write whatever you need to get out. Writing things out often has a way of clearing “the fog”. Sounds like you are on the right track in trying to find some clarity. It might help you to read the other “mother daughter posts” *(use the category buttons at the top of the site under the header graphic) and the posts under family too. I have written a lot on this subject.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Thank you for your responses too. Excellent comments from you.
Hugs, Darlene


Christy, you will be a great “gamma” rather than a distant one because of the awareness that you have about your relationship with your own mother. I just posted this morning a new blog post on the resources that I used at the beginning of my healing journey back in the 1990’s. One of those books was on learning to love myself. I think it would be of benefit to you now. Here is the link for my post: . Learning to love myself and to be my own mother were very important steps for me in healing. I know that you can do it too.


Hi Christy,
I’m thrilled that you came back and added to your story. There is so much wisdom and strength here, I am happy you found EFB, and have written out your personal struggles. Each time I come and read other people’s stories and write about my own, I feel a little weight has been lifted. At first I was in awe of what I was reading. My mother had me so blinded. I thought all mother/daughter relationships were built on pain, lies, suffering, accusations, ownership, control, guilt, etc etc etc. How enlightening it’s been.

I de-friended my mom on facebook a LONG time ago. The first time she said she had to quit going on facebook because it was too painful, I thought, well then she won’t notice if I de-friend her. I did, and it’s never been mentioned. I blocked her too. I didn’t welcome her peering into my life anymore because I view her as an intruder now. Like the tazmanian devil, causing destruction and disaster wherever she goes.

Even though I was the child, and she the adult, she has always played the victim. She has reminded me more times than I can count of, “everything I did to her” growing up. She also uses the excuse she did the best she could. If that’s true and she didn’t KNOW she was being abusive and controlling, how did she know to let up when I got married? (not entirely, she just wasn’t as blatant as she’d been before where she could corner me when no one else was around). That’s my question to her. Even though her counselor reminded me that perhaps she did the best she could at the time with what she had to work with, what’s the excuse now? 43 years later? She doesn’t directly insult me now (usually), but her insidiousness is still there in the form of lies to me and about me, manipulation, guilt trips, indirect insults, triangulation, mutilation of relationships, etc. She plays everyone. Always has.

I also confronted my mother about 3 months ago. I asked her to explain some lies she told in 2011 that were particularly destructive to several relationships. She has done everything in her power to ignore being accountable. She flat out ignored the email for a long time. Then, my sister asked her to visit 500 miles away. Within 3 days of that, she shot me an email that said she wouldn’t own any bullying or rage (because I had mentioned that too), and that no one has ever told her who she “supposedly” lied to back in 2011. Well, I don’t have to tell her since she knows already. It was just a way to put off ownership. An avoidance maneuver.

I see through it all now. She’s had 43 years of loyalty and unconditional love and respect from me, without reciprocating, even though she was the parent, I was the child. That has ended now. I don’t know if I love her anymore. I know I have little respect and I call it like I see it now. Pretending she is something she’s not got me nowhere but living a life depleted of joy, energy, and zeal. She doesn’t get to drain me now. I want her to leave me alone altogether, but just yesterday I got an Easter card from her. She knows I have uncovered her secrets. She knows she’s on thin ice. Her biggest fear is that she’ll be “found out”. She knows somewhere inside that I’m there. I have found her out. Now, she’s making efforts to sweeten things up so I won’t RAT her out. It just makes me see how pitiful she is. So much so that she has to suck up to ensure I keep her secrets. It’s disgusting.

I was always the black sheep who couldn’t make decent decisions, and who failed and disappointed her in every way. My feelings on that now are, she can kiss my A$$. I don’t need her approval or love for survival anymore. I need her out of my life more than anything. It’s peaceful and free without her. There is trouble everywhere she goes, no matter what circle of people she’s with. She always brings trouble to the event. I want peace now. I have had to accept that in order to live peacefully, I can’t allow her to be around me stirring up crap. That’s just the truth of the matter. It also sickens me to sit back and watch her manipulate the family members who aren’t aware of her motives. She can bring on the tears in a hearbeat when she wants something. She views herself as the princess. I view her as an idiot who can’t pull her life together because she’d rather maintain a life of destruction and abuse. That’s her choice. I don’t take any responsibility for that anymore. I also don’t want to be a part of it.

I want to congratulate you on the progress you’ve made with addiction. You can do it!!!!!!!!! It might be hard to believe in the place you’re at, but, have you given thought to the blessing it could be that your mother refused to help you in this time of need? I think I’ve realized that my mom’s presence “keeps me down” rather than helps in any way. I’ve realized I want to medicate MORE when I’ve been in her presence. Anything to stuff or dull the pain. I’m just learning about this in myself in the past month or so. I don’t want make a solid claim that my instincts are right, but it sure seems like it so far. Maybe it’s a blessing she refused to help. Particularly if she continues to put conditions on her love for you, acceptance, etc. Who needs that when they’re trying to make incredibly difficult strides toward self improvement? Your mom’s track record speaks for itself. She wouldn’t likely be of any help this time either, even if she accepted. When I think about my own situation, it feels like dragging around a bag full of bowling balls. Heavy and burdensome. Maybe your load will be lighter without her. I sure hope that’s the case. And, for every painful event, there is knowledge. It was perhaps the worst pain I’ve ever felt to realize all these things in my mother. But, I wouldn’t trade it for the knowledge I’ve gained, ever!! I’m so thankful to be enlightened. When I’ve drawn my strength from God and from within, the rewards were sweeter as well ~ and the effort less grueling. Truly, you have strength, you have power, but perhaps it’s been stifled so long, you don’t even know it. You can do this, with, or without your mother. She’s not offered any strength in the past, so really, you don’t need it now. It’s the fantasy and longing that she can somehow bring something to the table that will enable you to be sober. She’s never done it before from what I’ve gathered. You don’t need her to do it this time either. You can DO THIS!!! I’m full of hope for a very rewarding outcome…. without your mother!! That will be something to really celebrate, and I hope you do!

One last thought…. in my own struggles with various vices, I think I’ve FINALLY come to realize that in some twisted way, very very deep inside, I have tortured and abused myself because I was living the labels my mother put on me all my life. It’s like she designed me to be a certain way, and carefully implanted labels (sometimes without even speaking) and I reciprocated subconsiously by living out those labels, as if I was supposed to live within her design. I’m free of that now. I can live a life of power over my own actions and thoughts. I can overcome the labels of weakness, mental illness, angry, worthless, lazy, etc. Just because my MOTHER said those things, does NOT make them true. I’ll never forget the day that really sank in and took hold of my brain. I don’t have to live out those labels. PERIOD. I can construct my own labels of good enough, worthy of love, etc. And, live by them. Please understand, I don’t pretend to be a pro at it. I am still very much in process… of ALL of it. But, I’ve made noticeable strides in approx. one year. I don’t cry every day. That in itself is a HUGE stride I wondered if I would ever overcome. Yet, I have.

Anyway Christy, I wish you the very best, and buckets of strength as you manage your vice(s). I believe you can pull this off. It sounds like you have a sweet little network of support in your kids, which is awesome!! The best of life and hope sent your way!!


My mother doesn’t love me either, was abusive and still is (she has been harassing me for years after I ended contact with her; interestingly, my only option to attempt to stop this, according to the police, is to have her arrested and face her in a courtroom, duh). But that’s another story…

I’m a mom and I’m pretty sure my daughter doesn’t love me. She’s 18. Her father, my ex, taught her to mistreat and abuse me in the same fashion that he did, and her treatment of me (on top of my past traumas) resulted in my having a nervous breakdown. We had a few pretty good years when she was little, but for most of her life she has seen me as the embodiment of disgust: unemployed and ill, a worthless person. I’ve been too broken and intimidated to accompany her and my husband on vacations, and no longer plan any family activities or holidays. I especially loathe my birthday and mother’s day, which have been either “celebrated” with extra contempt, or ignored completely.

Yes, I know “it’s my fault, she’s a child, she needs love and support, etc.” but I simply cannot do it. The issue with her father was only recently discovered and we are making progress, but I’ve come to understand that she really doesn’t have any interest in or affection for me. She “uses” me, only politely instead of hatefully. Having her in my home is like having a stranger as a house guest: all cooking, cleaning, and good manners. Every day out of bed means only that I am expected to do more for her in the way of housework and moral support. I’m feeling that I simply can’t keep going like this. The fact that she will soon be at college is not helpful, because anything short of an genuine affectionate relationship is my heartbreak. It’s all I ever wanted for us.

I’m pretty much wiped out as a person, I have no hopes or aspirations for myself or for our family. I am surviving day to day. Obviously, in this state I am not a person that anyone wants to be around; I’m usually flat, sometimes anxious, and sometimes worse off than that. My daughter has had an unhappy childhood but I don’t know how I can be held responsible for that in this situation; it’s her father who should answer that charge and she still maintains what appears to be an affectionate relationship with him despite the (now open) fact that he turned her into a skilled abuser. I’m afraid of her.

I also don’t think I’m capable of cultivating love in my child because I think I have no more love at this point.

I don’t know what a loving mother daughter relationship is and I have this horrible sense that I never will; it will be pain for me until the end. I hope I’m wrong.


Hi Jyn,
Welcome to emerging from broken. I want you to know that I understand what you are expressing here. The most important thing that I did in my life in relationship to my kids was to go through this healing process for me first. That is what this website is about. I was getting blamed for the dysfunction in my family too. I was the one who was getting picked on. When I decided that I had to fight for my own life, (not fight the kids) but to stand up for myself and face how it all got this way, face the relationship that I had with my own parents and how the dysfunction all started ~ that was when I saw how the dysfunction started with my new family. It took time for me to heal, and then it took time for things to change in our home between my husband and I and then between me and the kids. BUT I did it. It is possible. When I faced everything, drew my boundaries, and learned to love myself, everything changed. Today I have a wonderful relationship with all three of my kids. (two of them are adult age now) I hope you will spend some time reading what I have written on this site for YOU.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All
I have a new post published; In this new post I take a look at how I convinced myself something really unhealthy was actually healthy in order to find some validation and approval. This is the next article in my mother daughter dysfunctional relationship category! I hope you all read it here: “I avoided the pain of Abuse by Altering the Truth”
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for posting this.


Hi Pam
Welcome to EFB ~ glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

Jyn: I walked in your shoes and I feel your pain and sorrow reading your post. I have a son who’s father turned against me. I look at it as though he must have hated me more than he loved his own son to manipulate him and to turn him against his mother. At my brother’s funeral last October my son passed right in front of me, didn’t even look at me. It felt like a knife went into my chest. But my health is more important. I can’t make myself sick over this. I know he hates me, my “mother” turned him against me as well with the rest of the family. It’s pretty hard to say this but I don’t “feel” anything for my son anymore, I’m just too numb now, he left at 12 years of age to live with his dad and that was it. He is 24 now, and has a baby girl, but I don’t feel like he is a part of me. I guess he hurt me so much that I guard my heart now, I refuse to let him do it again. It’s normal to feel that way when something like this happens. Dealing with an ex is twice as bad. Believe me I know. We do not speak at all. No need to now anyways. I do hope you come back to this site if only just to read the posts that are here, please know that you are not alone, there are many of us who are going through the same thing, only some of us are at different stages. I wish you all the peace and happiness you deserve Jyn.
Darlene: Welcome back from Hollywood!!!!
Mimi: I’m searching for a rock, still cold out but we are getting there!!!!!!!
Hugs, Peace and Luv, Lauralee


Thank you for sharing what you have shared about your son. My mother tried to turn me against my father. It worked for a while because I lived with my mother and was afraid of her rejection. I asked to live with my father when my mother was starting to really scare me, but he said no… it was really all about survival for me. I carefully thought out with whom I had the most probability of surviving. Your ex didn’t show any love at all in this situation not even to his son. Thanks again for sharing this. There are so many sides to this whole thing.
Hugs, Darlene


EXACT same thing just happened to me three weeks ago. So devastating, but at the same liberating because I am empowered for the first time by anger… a protective self-righteousness I’ve never had before. I stood up to my mother for the first time in my life at age 42… I wanted to have a talk. I wanted to tell her how her actions–her neglect mostly–affected me. I did not want to roll her through the mud, all I wanted was to have a voice when speaking to her. I wanted to let her know that all that stuff wasn’t “cool.” That I am not, and never will be cool with all that abuse.

She was always very very very loving, even in her neglect and abuse. This very fact caused the knife to go into me further, as it was near impossible to see her as at fault. It’s like the person you are closest to, the one you run to for comfort, is holding the rope to hang you. Very twisted, very hard to decipher.

Finally, after years of abuse, failed relationships, depression, ptsd and the like–I entered therapy. That was this past January. Today I feel like I no longer have a mother, and I’m grieving. I don’t ever want to go back to submissively dismissing her abuse. I don’t ever want to be disregarded again.

The fact that she walked away from me when I tried to confront her (via email) is so odd. It was the first time I ever let her know she hurt me. All the times before, I smiled through the pain… taking care of her emotions at my expense. All those years of chasing her down to get an ounce of attention.

Never in 1 million years would I ever dream she–SHE–of all people would neglect me, walk away and abandon me. I bought into the lie that she did that to me when I was a child because she was so young. But today? Just because I was coming to life and needed to meet her toe-to-toe, adult-to-adult, equal-to-equal, she easily walks away?


I know enough about human behavior to know that nobody walks away like that from someone they love. Nobody. She is always right by my step father’s side… but me? Just because I wanted to share the truth in my heart? Just because I wanted freedom to, “tell her how I feel at any time I needed to,” she says sayonara?

And then I could for the first time clearly see the difference between my false self that protected her from the repercussions of her abuse toward me, and my new empowered true self that is starting to rise. It’s still hard to believe that such a nice lady could be that cruel


Hi LadyBug,

Yes, it IS Cruel how mean your mother can be!…My mom is the same way. I protected her feelings all these years but what about my feelings! The times I really needed her emotional support she withdrew from me. It is hurtful and I’m angry with her for that! I could not imagine myself walking away or withholding my support & love, when my daughter needs me. I’m so glad I’m nothing like her! Feeling abandoned & betrayed by your own mother is painful. I’ve come to realize my mom doesn’t Love me the way I need to be Loved…I’m talking about Healthy Love with respect, caring, equality, and value!…We deserve to be valued & worthy!
Sorry for my rant but I needed to get it out…
Peace, Sonia


The hardest thing about my mom is that she is so darn nice. In my late 30s, I figured out a way to get her undivided attention, and that was to downgrade myself, and my condition. So long as I was struggling relationally, emotionally or some other way, she was the best cheerleader on earth. Scary good. I came to rely on this “validation.”

But, it was a double-edge sword. Anytime something good came my way, she would distance. It started to become obvious to me as I started waking up at 40.

It was almost as if she was measuring her self-worth by my misery. I can’t be certain, but this is what it seems. If I started doing good, she stopped taking my calls as much. (I say “taking my calls” because she rarely called me, I always ran after her.)

And in the most important moments, even of my despair, she would not validate me. I tried, oh how I tried to get her to give me the complete thumbs up, but to no avail. I would go so far as to sabotage myself–I think this is what I may have done–in order to get that attention. She would only validate me when I was down.

Now I have these weird feelings for this lady I thought I knew. She was at once my best friend. We were super-close… I see now that was possible because the relationship was one-sided. My true self was not invited to the party. Every book I read and all the signs point to some sort of Narcissism. 🙁


SMD thank you so much for reaching out to me. This blog commenting can be therapeutic. Sounds like God used the same mold over and over for lots of mothers. :-/ Heartbreaking.


Lady bug
~ you said “Now I have these weird feelings for this lady I thought I knew. She was at once my best friend. We were super-close… I see now that was possible because the relationship was one-sided. My true self was not invited to the party. Every book I read and all the signs point to some sort of Narcissism”
You are on the right track when you say that you can see it was possible because the relationship was one sided.
One time my mother said to me “Darlene, we have always been able to sort out our differences” and I said “no mom, we haven’t; what actually happened is that I backed down”. I always let her be right and I always just gave up and when I didn’t want to do that anymore, she didn’t want me in her life anymore.
Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Darlene

p.s. about your comment “sounds like god used the same mold over and over again for lots of mothers”; I don’t think god has anything to do with this.


Hello everyone,

Thank you Darlene, it was tough to share the part about my son, I always felt like I didn’t do enough to get him back, but I had so many people against me, I still can’t believe my own mother poisoned his mind against me, but then again, she couldn’t even call after my tumour was removed to see if I was dead or alive. I’m so glad that the communication is done, I don’t have to put up with the abusive behaviour. She recently told my aunt that I went to my father’s every second weekend not because she was drunk and sent me there, but because I WANTED to go there. Now what 13 year old would want to visit a father who raped her every second weekend for 3 years? And no, my mother never did anything about it. I brought him to court at age 32 where he plead guilty to all charges. And he thought it was all under the carpet, well guess what, I may be small, but I am alot stronger than he thought I was!

Little Lady Bug: Welcome, your name puts a smile on my face! It’s sad that our mother’s can act the way they do, almost like they have no feelings at all, there are so many of us out there going through the same thing, and it hurts. Good for you for confronting her, even though her response was not what you wanted to hear, but then again, I would not have expected anything different. My mother turned the tables on me so many times I lost count. I thought I was the one who was nuts. But, I’ve accepted that she doesn’t love me, won’t love me and can’t love me. I don’t even believe in my soul that she even knows me. So I shut the door on her again for the very last time in November after the death of my brother. I am 43, soon to be 44 yikes, haha and it’s time for me to enjoy the rest of my life, regardless of what she says about me to others. It is my right and your right to be happy and at peace. I wish that for you more than anything else. I know it’s hard, it’s like we go through stages, and one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is mourn for a mother who is still alive. I won’t go to her funeral, that may seem heartless, but if I am no good to her alive, why would I be any better when she passes?
SMD: Hello there, you are very correct when you say that we deserve to be loved in a healthy way, it’s sad our mother’s don’t know how to do that with us, I used to think she loved my brother and sisters, but as I look deeper, she’s just playing her game with them and they are just following along like puppets. As Darlene put it, I am the little crab that got out of the bucket while the other’s just pulled each other back down. And guess where they are, still in the bucket! I also wish you peace and happiness, and don’t worry, I have two beautiful daughters and two little grandbabies and once we’ve been through what we’ve been through with our mother’s we tend not to repeat history with our own children.
Peace, hugs and Luv to all of you,


Thanks for your support! It is sad our mothers don’t Love us in a healthy way. You are right on, when you say, “we tend not to repeat history with our children”…I’m determined to break that cycle of abuse and WE are already doing it! It’s awesome to have support from others who have been there & done that.
Peace & Love to you too,


Thank you for your supportive comment, Darlene. I’m feeling better today…

I really have not had the personality development (ego structuring) in childhood and youth that would have enabled me to create and maintain interests, friendships, etc. I have a strong sense of self but it’s “cloudy,” not manifested in many hobbies or a career. Since I moved from abuser to abuser until recently, I never got my feet under me or had cultivation through healthy relationships, then I became a mom and started bleeding out all my vitality on that responsibility over the past two decades.

Since reading your comment, I recognize that there are things that I do and would like to do; I actually see myself now as a bit of a “Walter Mitty” with a lot going on – but it’s all inside (safe).

I’m an unconventional person and my interests and tastes are usually ridiculed or devalued by society, so that makes branching out hard, even if I was emotionally healthy…

I talked to me daughter and my husband over the past few days and to my surprise they were supportive. I just said things like “Sometimes I feel that you don’t love me, I guess I feel like a ‘nobody’ in the home, and I want to feel that my family loves me all the time.” And I tried to be completely calm about it, whatever the response. I also have done some things for myself, like reading more and making a few little craft projects that I had abandoned. I realize that I have to demonstrate to myself and others that I am more than a housekeeper.

Also, miraculously, my daughter’s father has made a positive change in his life in the past week that ends the power structure that has existed for all these years and it has brought tremendous relief.

I know that the mother I was and am is greatly influenced by my past, including my marriage to her father, but I hope that my daughter sees the strength through my weakness and gains understanding and compassion for me and herself and the world at large. My aim has been to transfigure myself and nullify the abusive patterns that existed in my family (and in my ex-husband’s family too as it affects our daughter), for the good of my child and all of humanity. I would be a different woman if I had propped up my ego with blame, scheming, and denial (yes, I lied to myself about all of this for many years as well). I may have been healthier on the outside but sicker inside than I am today.

Thank you for opening this venue and for your time and care in maintaining it, I can see that you are helping many people!



We have a lot in common!

I was also raped by my father, while my mother worked nights and she knew it because I got an STD at age 6 🙁 Yet she did nothing and I was raised by the two of them until I left for college. I was used as a pawn in their marriage emotionally and psychologically as well. I didn’t realize how much my first husband was like my father (why on earth would I have married a man like that if I wasn’t traumatized out of my mind!)

I decided when my daughter was very young and I “woke up” to the truth that “It ends here, even if it costs me my life.”

I also went numb and often still am (such as the day I first posted). It helps me to think of the many many people who have suffered and do suffer in all sorts of ways: tsunami victims, holocaust survivors, labor camp prisoners… My story isn’t over yet and I’ll be d*mned if I go down in dishonor. It’s the only thing I really can do for myself when nothing else feels possible.

Living well in the best revenge…

The Lord of Karma says: Dance!

Peace and love,


One of the things I look back at was how willing I was to believe that people would NOT lie to make themselves look better AGAINST their own children! It was huge for me to finally accept that as a truth. Abusers have to cover up abuse and they will do anything to do that. I am so sorry your own father did that horrific stuff to you and your own mother blamed it on you. And I know how it feels…
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jyn
I will never stop being horrified by these stories of abuse from parents. (I never want to be numb! ~ but every time I hear one of these stroies I think “HOLY SMOKES ~ how can people be so sick? and how can people be so nasty and cruel to their own children?”

Thank you so much for sharing.

YAY for you ending the cycle when it came to your own kids. I did that too. Yay for open communication. Yay for increased clarity!
I am really glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


I tried to fool myself into believing that it was not that bad… but I realized when things were going smoothly, it’s because things were going HER way. I had no voice, no opinion, no input. As long as I caved in to her way of thinking and doing things, the atmosphere was calmer. Since I couldn’t deal with confrontation and chaos, I caved too much.

My brother was the Golden Child. I bought into her programming that he was better because he was the boy, the first-born, smarter and more practical than I. I was just the silly little overly-sensitive artistic GIRL, and therefore less valued. (Plus, I reminded her in some ways of her mother, whom she had buried resentment towards, but that’s another chapter (!))

I justified my mother’s self-centeredness because I bought into those false beliefs that she programmed into me. She came first because she was THE MOTHER, and I was just the mere daughter, as though she owned me. I must obey and do as she does, believe as she believes and never, ever defy her. No wonder I’ve dealt with depression, self-loathing and zero confidence my whole life. Toxic outsiders spotted that a mile away and just reinforced those negative feelings I had for myself.

I wish I had the guts to stand up to her, to draw those boundaries and stick to them, but those false beliefs were so engrained and I never learned the tools to defend myself or value myself. It’s too late now to change our relationship. Mother is 89 with dementia. Half the time she doesn’t know who I am. How do I get my 55 years back?


Hi Drained
You can’t get the last 55 years back but you can have the next 55 years and go forward! What your mother does or does not do does not change the chance you have for freedom and wholeness. That is one of the primary messages that I want to communicate! It is never too late!
Keep reading and keep sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Isn’t it incredible?

I remember how my brother was ‘perfect’ in my mother’s eyes. He could do no wrong, say no wrong, be no wrong, because he was a boy, boys were everything and girls were the lowest of the low, also it was because he was compliant and never asked questions.

Whereas I was too much of a problem because I was a girl and because I always asked questions and therefore was not ‘compliant’.

I had it deeply programmed into me that I was ‘a problem’, I was ‘defective’, I was ‘trouble’ and so on.

It’s only now after 46 years of life and a few months of counselling and being believed by my support workers that I’m beginning to revisit that programming and see it for what it was – lies that kept me in my place and enabled my abusers to abuse with impunity with all the focus being on me and my faults and on the ‘perfection’ of my brother in stark contrast to my ‘badness’ rather than on them.



I said “God” tongue in cheek. Didn’t mean it literally. Frankly, I’ve lost all site of God, at least the one I’ve been devoted to since 1995…

When I was 25 with no self esteem and filled with self-hatred, I reached for God and the Bible as a way to be “okay.” I preached on the street, and quoted the Bible word-for-word… I was so into that world that I wouldn’t dare go to a worldly counselor. God was supposed to take away all pain, and I was supposed to always be loving and nice to everyone, and pay my tithes. If I was depressed, it was my fault. Perhaps I needed to be more Godlike… I couldn’t figure it out.

Finally, after my Pastor-husband ran off to take drugs in my 30s, I woke up to see beyond that Christian Bubble. It took years, but I started loosening up and be okay with just me. True freedom. It was only then that I could bring myself to a counselor, so as to see the truth and to stop blaming my lack of spirituality for my sadness.

If I were still in the church, I would not be able to heal. The church way is too structured for my mentality. I took things way too literally–to the extreme. There is no room for psychology in the church at large, and I think that blocked my healing.

So today, I am backed off of my old faith. God as I’ve known him in the past no longer resounds. I know there is something watching over me, but not convinced it’s the same as I thought… Maybe this will change. I’m open for anything, but not putting pressure on myself to be any way or believe any thing.


Thank you Lauralee. You have a sweet spirit, and Darlene. I like it here. Think I’ll stay awhile. 🙂


Hi Fi
Those things were programed into me too ~ not just about males and females but just everything about me ~ I just didn’t make the grade. Isn’t it wonderful when the fog clears and we begin to see the lies and come out of that nasty foggy darkness that defined us!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ladybug,
I totally relate to what you are saying. I too went through all that disappointment. Turned out that many christian people were abusers too… and I had to put all the things I had learned (from others) aside as I faced the whole truth about that too. I had to leave the church in order to heal as well. I am coming back to the truth about that stuff too. In a nutshell, I love the actual teachings in the new testament. I detest the way that Man has twisted it all around to use it to control others. Abuse is always about power and control.
I am really glad you are going to be sticking around awhile!!
Hugs, Darlene


Hello all,
Little ladybug: I’m glad that you like it here and are going to stay, I get alot out of reading the posts, it’s so sad that we have mother’s like that. It makes me sick, but I shut the door on my family for sanity reasons, and they call me nuts, HA! I hope to see you back again, Peace and Happiness to you always!

Jyn: I;m so sorry you had to go through what I went through with your dad, you are supposed to trust your father, wow, I`m glad I took him to court later on in life, I showed him that I was no longer going to be the one who walked down the street and if I saw him put my head down, it was his turn. I truly believe that everything that happened in my life, has made me a much stronger and commpassionate person towards others. I am whole again, something I could not be around my family. I got off the `merry go round`at age 16 and moved on my own. Still, I had to put up with family crap, until the age of 33 where I turned off the switch, shut the door and had no contact for 10 years. I beat cancer, which my mom knew I had but never bothered to call to see if I was dead or alive. We got back in touch in October 2011 because my brother whom I love very much passed away. She poisened his mind too against me. They never called me until they found out he had no life insurance. They are drug addicts and have no money, that`s why they called, but I thought they called cuz they loved me, boy was I wrong, $4000 later, arranging the whole funeral myself and being in `mother`role again I got shot out of the family once again like a sling shot. Now the door is closed for good, and soon the lock will be thrown away in the water where it will sink to the bottom never to be found again! I`m done with them. I`m worth more than that and I believe so is every single person on this site.
Wishing all of you peace in your lives, happiness and luv,


Hi Everyone!!

Ladybug, I have a little story to tell you. I just want to share it because it’s so dear to my heart, and because your name is ladybug. When I was really young, my dear grandpa would tease me and stick his fat little finger in my ear and say, “you got a bug in your ear”. It happened so much that at times, it got on my nerves. He was like my father though and loved him dearly!! He got sick with cancer 10 years ago. I helped take care of him. He was in an unconscious state near the end. I took his temperature one day in his ear, with one of those ear thermometers. I said, “grandpa, you have a bug in your ear”. He got a huge smile on his face, although he couldn’t even open his eyes at that point. I know he knew it was me, and he remembered all those times he did it to me. Anyhow, he passed away about 3 days later. When he died, my husband got me a pair of ladybug earrings because I have single piercing at the top of my left ear. He said I could wear one of the ladybugs there and always have a bug in my ear from my grandpa. That was one of the sweetest gifts and gestures I’ve ever known. It is still up in the top of my ear, 10 years later. I never take it out…. not even for surgery!!! Grandpa is with me everywhere I go. Anyhow, I just wanted to share something uplifting, and dear to me. I love ladybugs now, and I have a little collection I’ve gotten as gifts. Happy to see you here sharing Ladybug!!
Peace and hugs,



Thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes… I wish I had something like that for when my grandma passed last December. I guess I got a gift from her, because her death was the start of my awakening. Anyway, I like Ladybugs because their pretty, helpful and peaceful.

Have a great day!!!

PS: My name is not really Ladybug… haha


Awww, I’m sorry to hear about your grandma… so recent. I still miss my precious grandpa. He was just the best. His grandkids were the apple of his eye, and we all knew it!!

It’s weird how certain things trigger our awakening isn’t it? At the time, I wondered what was the meaning of all the pain and revelation. Now, I know. Now, I appreciate the knowledge that resulted.

Hope you have a great day too.

PS: my name is not really Mimi either, haha!! I only wish it was!!


today again, my mother,as she puts it (just couldn’t do it) It is a running theme with us…I ask she says no..Today my daughter woke up with lockjaw and had to be seen asap.. mom was 1/2mile away. I had a flat and asked her to take her.Dr office is between our houses.of course the answer was no”there is a raccoon getting in my roof..was why.Roof man wasn’t coming til 3:00! After Dr. I drove to her house acted like nothing was wrong.and used her for gas money,toilet paper and food.Thought she owed me,and felt good about it,now I regret using her.but this is a reoccurring situation.I need something, she says no..I feel bad.But know she will say no.I keep putting myself in that situation hoping one day she will help.This now has been going on for years…when am I going to learn..


Hi Kelly
I did that too and it was based in my false definition of love. I wanted my mother to prove her love. It was as though as long as I did that, she could hurt me by withdrawing her support. At the same time she made me try harder for it which I think made her feel better. Like I was begging for her love. Healing and wholeness for me has been largely about learning to take care of my own needs. I notice looking back over all of this that when my husband and I stopped asking for any support of any kind, that was when they actually noticed us.. it seems as though the needyness is what they thrived on.
Hang in there!
Hugs, Darlene


Everyone ! I just published the “About Page” for Freedom ROCKS ~ an event that was born right here in these comments on this post!
Hope you read the page and promote the event! Sign up through the right side bar button for updates etc. for info and future announcements about this bi-anual global event! You don’t have to go far to participate!
Hugs, Darlene
Here is the about page link:


Hi Darlene,
I went to the page…. it’s AWESOME!! Thank you so much for your hard work!!


Hi Darlene,
Love the “Freedom Rocks” page. Count me In! I’m going to throw my rock into the pond, in my parent’s back yard!…Symbolic for me…I used to ice skate on this pond as a child, where I had many good memories! I’m going to take back my power by throwing away the unhealthy guilt & shame from my past abuse. I’ll keep you posted on my Freedom Rocks experience! I’m looking forward to this!


I know a lot of us here share the same understanding of “things”. Seems like many are in the forties or older. I’ve met several people who are 43 (my age) and I was thinking you were one of them.

Now, I read your post above and memories came flooding in. We too had a pond that my dad dug and we spent many summers swimming in it and many winters ice skating on it. Good memories. (I think)!! It’s where I learned to swim and ice skate both. I’m glad you get to throw your rock there!! I’m going to throw mine in the lake we live on. I can sit in my living room and look out right where it will be forever. There is no current to speak of because it’s a cove like area. I imagine looking out and remembering all the things I’ve buried there. Makes me kind of weepy right now for some reason. I guess burial is never easy.
I’m so happy you’re going to join us!!
Love and hope,


Yes, I am 43 too and we do share similar experiences & understanding about our moms & siblings. It’s funny you say, “Good memories (I think)”. That occurred to me as well, as I was typing my comment. I believe I’m going to have to throw the rock, when my parents are not looking- I’m considering going over, when they aren’t there. If they were to see the rock & me throwing it in, it would raise questions. I don’t want to explain to them. This is my private moment and they don’t need to know. They would have some snide comment and think I was crazy anyway. I really don’t care what they think because I’m doing this for me. I’m empowering myself not seeking their acceptance. Just the opposite, I want to rid myself of their toxic influence…Sorry about rambling, but you probably already know, I don’t have short comments lol. I’m also happy to join you all too!
Thanks Mimi- Your a sweet heart!


P.S. Mimi, I love your idea about the lake & being able to “look out right where it will be forever”. That is empowering & symbolic! Your right, burial isn’t easy…For me, it’s about letting go of what we falsely believed to be true & having the courage to move forward towards freedom!


Thank you for your comments!! I am doing it privately too. Well, as much as possible with the neighbors. I’m not sure what kind of emotional mess I’ll become, so I’ve decided to do it alone. My husband might be with me, but, other than that, I’d prefer not to go into the ugly cry with a big crowd, lol!!

I am very excited for the weekend to get here. I’m excited to throw all the crap away for good. Along with that, the hope of things ever being different will be drowned at the bottom of the lake. That brings some sadness along with the celebration of newfound freedom. I expect to have a lot of different emotions, but I know it will be cleansing and liberating. That’s the part I’ll be celebrating!! I imagine in the future when I start to waver, I’ll look out and remember that I buried it. Wavering is a part of the process for me. (maybe everyone??) Sometimes I take several hundred steps back it seems. I don’t like to do things halfway, lol!! Thanks again for your comments. I’ll be thinking of you on the day we throw our FREEDOM ROCKS!!
ps – I like long posts… mine are usually pretty wordy too (again, nothing halfway, haha). I find wisdom and insight in other people’s posts, so I’m thankful for all of them, long and short!!

Christy Feddersen
May 1st, 2012 at 4:58 am

I honestly think in some ways this article saved my life! It at least helped me to know that I am not alone and made the pain a little easier to bear. Then I started thinking…why do “I” need to be carrying pain in the first place??? I have made my own amends for things that I have done wrong, and they were not accepted really…so why am I still carrying around this hurt and pain over the past that I cannot change???

I just got the email about “Freddom ROCKS” and am so beyond excited to be a part of this…so excited that I shared it on facebook. About a month ago, my mother friended me again. She has been treading lightly, and I have not been doing ANY begging. BUT I wonder what will happen when she finally reads this article (which I KNOW she will because I KNOW my mother) since I shared the link to “Freedom ROCKS” on my page so that others may share in the letting go of their truama by throwing that rock…or letting go of whatever personal thing in their life is holding them back from being truly FREE. I wonder if my mother will fall right back into the same old behavior and pattern. I wonder why I care or why I wonder. There isn’t anything I can do about the fact that she refuses to face the truth or doesn’t “remember” the truth in the first place. It isn’t my fault and it isn’t my problem. Still, I do not have to tollerate being treated like I am the only one who has ever done anything wrong or like I am the cause of issues within the family because I will not sweep the past under the rug and let it be, along with letting people (my abusers) off the hook.

It will be interesting to see her response to my posts here. She has already gotten very angry and lashed out at me publicly on facebook, as well as messaging me calling me a down right LIAR! Though I am in a way bracing myself for her reaction…this time it is different. I WILL NOT RECANT ON MY WORDS! I WILL NOT SWEEP THE PAST UNDER THE RUG AND LET PEOPLE OFF THE HOOK! I WILL KEEP MOVING TOWARDS HEALING AND RECOVERY TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY NO MATTER WHAT! So, with that being said…I am READY and anxious to throw that big ‘ol rock into the Galveston Bay Ocean here in Texas and know just the PERFECT spot to do it, and I think when I throw it out there with all my might…I am going to yell at the top of my lungs!!!!

Whatever my mother decides to do is on her and not me. I have no control over her or her decisions or her actions or reactions or her life…just as she has no control over mine anymore. She is either going to face the truth or not and that is not my issue anymore. It is my job to love myself and heal from my injuries so that I can move forward in life, being a better person to myself, for myself and also a better mother to my own wonderful children. That is all that matters now.

I still have my days where I fall back into the self loathing and blaming myself and carrying around guilt and shame that don’t belong to me…but it’s getting easier to drop it now. I am finding courage within myself that I never knew existed. And as I move forward in my recovery from my addiction to pain medications, I am also finding a new found hope and freedom and clarity that intensifies the will to be free and live a happy life to begin with. (Hope that makes sense)…LOL! I am looking into an outpatient rehab while my 14 yr old daughter is away at her own rehab until June, and then if I need, I will enter into an inpatient rehab once she is home this summer. So things are looking up in that aspect of my life. In other aspects it’s not so bright…things that have nothing to do with this article or my mother…but the point is that throughout this healing proccess…everything is getting easier to handle and I don’t feel so bombarded and overwhelmed as I once did.

I appreciate everyone’s stories here and their feedback on my posts, too. I just cannot say thank you enough to you espeically, Darlene, for sharing your story! Until this website, I thought I was going crazy, and I felt so completely alone that I contemplated suicide many many times because it seemed like the only way to make the pain stop, as it consumed my life. Funny how a few people can lift your spirits and make you smile, and that be all it takes to give you the courage to stand again. ***TOTALLY CRYING RIGHT NOW*** because I am just so full of grattitude for all of you wonderful people here. =)


Hope everyone has a beautiful day!!!



I’m happy you shared freedom rocks on facebook, and so happy you’re going to join in the celebration of freedom. Your post above is powerful and determined. I find it so disturbing all the things we turn to in order to escape. I also find it so revealing. Would we need or want to escape if we had fairy tale childhoods (or adulthoods)?? I wonder why my mother never stopped blaming and ridiculing long enough to find out what was bothering me, why I “changed” almost suddenly when I was a kid. Why I sought refuge in alcohol and marijuana at age 14. She thought verbally beating me into submission was the way. I only fought harder. I look at that whole time period and think, wow, what an idiot my mother is. She never bothered to ask what was wrong, what made me want to escape. She was too afraid of the answers.

Your post is awesome and I wish you strength and power in your journey of shaking off the desire to escape. I feel in my heart that you are going to WIN this battle!!

All the best to you,


Hi everyone and Christy, Mimi and SMD
I am excited about Freedom ROCKS too. I am going to write a post about all my thoughts so I won’t publish them here. Later on today I am going to publish Lauralees guest post about what freedom rocks means to her, and we can start the discussion about this project (community event!) there!
Thanks for sharing everyone!
Hugs, Darlene


Good for you, Christy. Continued healing to you! You mentioned your mother friending you again on FB and “treading lightly.” Remember, this is how NMs operate, so be careful not to let your guard down and share too much. I did that too many times with my N mother and N sister-in-law (the fake friendliness and fake praise sets you up to confide more and then BAM, it blows up in your face.) I berated myself for being so stupid, but it was my misguided belief that they had seen the light and were becoming kinder more compassionate people. WRONG. I so desperately wanted to trust them, but you have to accept the fact they are incapable of genuine kindness because it’s all about how YOU can serve THEM.


Lauralee’s post is published ~ you can read it here ~
Please share this event and help grow the excitement!
Hugs, Darlene


You spelled it out. My mom was sending me loving little text messages or notes in the mail after I held her accountable. Then, my sister invited her to visit her in another state. All the mushy stuff stopped, abrubtly. Thankfully, I expected that. She has someone else, she’s free to toss me aside now. And, I’m free to let her. I wasn’t all that fond of getting mushy crap with no REAL meaning anyway. It sickened me really. She did respond to holding her accountable in hate mail after my sister invited her to come visit. She felt empowered to do so then. It was exactly 3 days later after waiting over two months for her to respond. Crazy!!


Hello everyone,

I hope you have all had the chance to read the “Freedom Rocks” post. Darlene did a wonderul job and put alot of hard work into getting it on in time for Mother’s Day. If you have not read it I can assure it’s an interesting read, I can’t wait for it, liberation at last.
Wishing you all peace, happiness, love and most of all FREEDOM.

Lauralee xo


It’s so bizarre how this happened to me just a few weeks before I found this article. I don’t believe that is an accident. It was so validating!!! What a blessing the internet is… Also, your blog has inspired me to start my own blog, although, I’m not quite as transparent as you online, Darlene, I am a work-in-progress…

I must say, today it’s been over 2 months since my mom chose to walk away from me, and I’ve never been better. I have hurt, I have cried, I have experienced much pain, and much REVELATION. Now that she’s away, I can see the truth clearly, and her emotional abandonment at my hour of need was proof positive that she has a problem… and with that knowledge, I have been able to shatter all the other falsities that were holding our relationship in tact–namely, me. I was holding us together, she was half-way out the door.

Finally I let her go, and though it hurt, now I can grieve. I have been grieving my whole life, but now, when I hurt, I can direct it to the right cause. What liberation!!! It still hurts just the same, but pain with clarity sure beats pain with confusion. I’d rather be clear…

I feel so much better now that I know, and am facing the truth.


Little Ladybug,

You are now the little crab that could. I am so happy for you that you are able to reach that place of liberation. Yes it hurts but having the strength and courage to finally say enough is not easy and you did it. I wish your future journey to be one of peace, love and freedom. On Mother’s day as you may have seen we will be having Freedom Rocks weekend. Funny, my mother always told me not to throw rocks, how appropriate of me to think of picking up a rock now. haha You are more than welcome to participate. I’ll be thinking of you, keep your chin up,



AMEN…… pain with clarity is so much better than pain with confusion!! It’s like being on one of those rides at six flags (or wherever) that spins and the floor drops out but you stay stuck to the side from the centrifugal force. You just keep spinning and staying stuck when the floor drops out of your life. Clarity is such a relief!!! I would shed the tears all over again for the revelation and clarity I’ve gained. I don’t want to, but I would. Blessings to you, and I hope you join us for FREEDOM ROCKS!!
With love,


Hi Ladybug
Congrats on starting your own blog! I remember when I first began to realize that the burden of the entire relationship with my mother was up to me! She wanted me to be the one to call (she said she didn’t want to inturrupt anything if she called me and lame excuses like that) but that is a minor example. I didn’t know that relationship takes TWO! I had to learn that but now that I have my life is very different and so much better!
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, Lauralee & Darlene,

I cannot tell you how much your support means to me. It sucks! I’m having a particularly difficult time today, and I saw your messages and it really helps…

It’s hard for me because I’m pretty sure my mom is a “covert narcissist,” which means that all the abuse was very, very, very subtle… I literally thought I was the selfish one and felt a lot of guilt about that.

I am single, and trying to date and deal with all the fear and uncertainty, and occasional rejection is almost unbearable… I’m also trying to heal at the same time… Not dating full force, but every once in a while, I have an opportunity… and I am reminded of how far I have to go. It hurts so badly.

It’s like I ache for the love I never had constantly, with each new relationship, on top of that, my mom is no longer there to turn to… (even though it sucked, it was often better than nothing) So I have to create new ways of being and it is very, very hard. Like 24 hour PMS–worse. I am a very positive person, but these are very heavy burdens to bare.

Thanks for being there… Yes, I will participate in “Freedom Rocks,” and yes, the floor is gone, and I’m clinging to the sides of my wounded heart… new situations open old wounds. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Crawling along,



Little Ladybug,

Nothing in the world wothwhile is ever easy, and it seems with our situation it’s even worse. Sometimes it’s like the hill we are climbing is a mountaion when all along it was just a grain of sand. Please know that you are not alone, when I say I’ve been to hell and back, believe me I have, but for some reason I always knew deep inside, I’m gonna make it, I did and I am and I believe that for you too. We are all here on this wonderful site, and I thank God everyday for stummbling upon it, and we are all here to be a shoulder to cry on, to listen, to NOT judge for it is not our job and to offer our words of support for each other and comfort. You are dealing with so much right now, a little bit of this, and that, something I learned along the way was that I couldn’t give away what I didn’t have, and if I didn’t love myself, then how could I love someone else, or even have someone else love me as a partner. Our mother’s made us feel loveless, but trust me, we are lovable and we deserve to be loved back, peace, love, hugs and freedom to you,


I’m glad for this site, but I’m afraid I’ve abandoned religion and god(s), I mean, isn’t “god” the one that dumped this burden of a N mother on us? I don’t know. If it works for you, great, but whenever I prayed for strength, or help in coping with this situation, I only got more trouble, as if to say… Oh, you think you’ve got it bad? Well how about THIS. I feel like I’m continually punished, like my N mother did to me.


Religion is not mandatory; there is so much abuse around that too and it was a huge thing for me, but blaming god doesn’t help with healing because the blame is still in the wrong place. The blame goes on the person who devalued, mistreated and abused you and whoever didn’t intervine to stop it. I think that God is broken hearted at what some of these people have done with that choice.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Ladybug.
I looked for “love” everywhere and it was when I learned to love myself that I found love with others. This is the biggest part of the process however!
Glad you are here and YAY that you are going to participate in Freedom rocks!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene! I have just discovered you. You are an amazing woman and I am grateful to hear of your journey and healing and impact on so many other hurting women. God is using you in an amazing way and I praise and thank Him for this.

I started reading a couple of other posts (and the many responses) when I came across mention of the keys and rocks. I couldn’t believe the date for this is only five days away. It’s not too late for me to join in this symbolic celebration of throwing off the evil and dysfunction that have nearly destroyed the lives of so many women. Incredible! I would love to join all of you brave women this Saturday, May 12th. That happens to be the first day of our vacation on Maui. WOW! I plan to take an old key and a Sharpie, then find a beautiful rock for this uplifting ceremony I will share with hundreds (thousands?) of other women who are Emerging From Broken. Thank you for your idea, Lauralee. It’s wonderful.

Very brief intro: I am 60 years old now. Last year was the most traumatic of my life and I started spiraling down into the deepest pit I had ever known. I finally gave up hope of ever being free from the incapacitating fear and self-loathing that has been with me my entire life. Physical, sexual, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse at the hands of my blood-related family members was so debilitating I was barely functional at times.

The first time (of countless times as I lived with her until I was 16 yrs old) my mother abandoned me I was only two years old. The last time was last year. Although I hadn’t seen her for twenty years she managed to insert herself and her evil lies (via a letter) into a guardianship court proceeding where her lies were instrumental in removing our very young grandchildren from our safe and loving home (the only one they had ever known). Consequently, our precious and defenseless grandchildren were returned to their incredibly abusive parents. She did not even know what had happened to them at the hands of their parents as I had long ago determined to keep my little boys safe from her and my step-father when I discovered they were being exposed to things not appropriate for their ages.

But God! (My two favorite words in the Bible.) All was lost, but — at just the right time — God pulled me up and out of my misery and my life-long desire to die. He gave me hope and faith and trust in Him like I have never had before (although he saved me when I was 38 years old). I finally believe that God truly loves me which makes all the difference. I am free at last! I love myself now, because He first loved me and showed me I am lovable and worthy of love. Imagine that!

Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being there. I hope to be part of this family of healing, loving women for a long time. May I be a blessing to all who are here, no matter the age, color, culture, beliefs, abilities or any other thing the world identifies as reasons to separate us from one another. We humans have so much more in common than we have differences. And, hand in hand, we shall go forward stronger and richer because we have each other. I have seen this in the journeys already traveled in this special place.

May God bless and keep you all safe in His loving arms.




Hi Gayle

Welcome to EFB!
That is so cool that you will be able to do freedom rocks in MAUI! ~ that is awesome.
I don’t know how many will participate; this is the first time we are doing it ~ but Emerging from Broken averages about 1500 readers a day, (Not just women, there are lots of Men too) so it could be thousands who participate! I hope you will share your exp. of throwing the rock on one of the current posts for freedom rocks!

Thank you for sharing~ it’s great that you had a revelation about hope and healing!
Hugs, Darlene


I was directed to this page of comments from a post of FB this morning on Self-Esteem. After reading the blog post, I kept digging, because I related so much to what I’d read.

I have learned that moments like now are not a coincidence, but often are part of a plan my God is directing in my life. A plan for my own healing from my painful childhood.

I find this site today, just 4 days away from MOther’s Day, 9 days away from my own mother’s birthday (deceased 2004). I have been working a recovery program and making my amends with family. In doing so, I am making amends with myself. I am being healed by becoming freed from the things that have bound me up for years. I do not think it is a coincidence that the “Freedom Rocks” event is just a few days away.

I will be turning 50 on May 30th. I have every intention of participating in this event and entering the next part of my life without all the pain and doubt and guilt and lack of self esteem. I choose to be free and deserve the love that I have from many.

It is not a coincidence. It is what my God has always known and that I am finally hearing and believing. I am worthy and it isn’t my fault that my parents weren’t able to love me the way I deserve to be loved.

See ya by the waters edge….where FREEDOM ROCKS.



Welcome Gayle,

I know the pain you went through, I too was sexually and physically abused. I am free now, and I am so happy to hear that you will be participating in Freedom Rocks, I will be thinking of everyone this weekend, peace, hugs, love, happiness and Freedom always to you, you deserve it,



Hello Mayladybug52 and welcome,

Isn;t is funny, when the student is ready the teacher just suddenly appears? God does work in funny way, tell him your plans and he laughs. I am so glad you found this site, I am working on my rock right now, writing on it. The first word was MOM of course. I look forward to Mother’s Day, mama always said “don’t throw rocks” so this is kinda ironic! I wish you peace, love, hugs, happiness and Freedom in your life ,



Hi MayLadybug52
Welcome to emerging from broken!
This site is all about healing! Love your saying at the end of your post ” see ya by the waters edge ~ where freedom rocks!” YES indeed!
Looking forward to hearing about that day!
Hugs, Darlene

I forgot to post here that Mimi’s post on freedom rocks has been published! Please read it here And leave a comment there for Mimi!!
I am getting emails from all over the world from people who are going to participate this weekend! Its catching on like crazy!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jen
this is all so very complicated, how this cycle of family dysfunction gets passed on; that is why my major healing focus here in EFB is about changing the belief system. Don’t give up though! There is hope and it begins with you. Your daughters father may be the one responsible for the damage but it goes deeper than that. WE are responsible for our kids, and letting my kids be mad at me just because I was part of the dysfunction (EVEN if I didn’t know any better) has been a big part of the healing process in my family. Remember also that people (not just kids) will often take the side of the person they are the most afraid of. (and of course you must protect yourself from abuse if it is from your child. I am not saying that abuse of any kind is ever right) Give it all time and in the meanwhile, HEAL you and for you. That is what I did.

Everyone ~ I just published my mothers day post for this year. It is about my daughter and I and our relationship vs. the one that I had with my mother.
you can read it here ~

Hugs, Darlene


Lovely post Darlene on your Mothers Day posting!I released my toxic mother and cousin to their own paths. I have no siblings, and my daughter who is 40 this year, has been estranged from me, and with my mother since she was 18. I adore my daughter, and we had such a wonderful relationship until she turned 17, and then it went south. I was still trying to be a part of a family i thought and lost my daughter to my toxic parents. When i told my mother that i would no longer allow her toxic treatment, i lost my daughter and the rest of the so called family. I have done this without support except from my husband, and of course this site, and Toxic Mom Toolkit. I just knew it was time if i was to save myself and stop the anger. The hurt was without words..almost unbearable to realize my own mother hated me. But, i now know, she has her own demons, and i released all of them with gladness in my heart and sent them all love for their journey, from my heart. No anger, it just does not look good on me anymore! I decided to let my hair go completely gray, i removed the acrylic nails, i am getting certifications in grief coaching and relationship based coaching. And today i realize, i had been healing in layers, dealing with it all carefully, so as to not go insane, and here i am, i can see the end of the tunnel! oh yes, i still have healing to do, but now, its so much clearer to see, the healing is for me!! My toxic family must find their own way. I AM SO THANKFUL GOD GUIDED ME HERE, AND BLESSINGS TO ALL!!


Hi All
My freedom ROCKS post has just been published!
You can read it here ~ My post has a focus on a new level of self care and self love. I am going to be throwing a freedom rock letting go of “putting the needs of others before my own”.
Hope to hear from you there!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for sharing your life with us!

This is the first year that I will not be contacting my mother on mother’s day. It has been a very hard journey for me. I am a 28 year old woman, been on my own since 17, live more than 1,000 miles from my mom, but she can still make me feel like a child every time we speak. For the first time, I am allowing myself to have true feelings about our relationship. I have always felt so guilty for not being good enough, but I am finally learning that I am not defined by my mother’s opinions of me.

Thanks again for your posts. It is comforting to know that I am not alone and that I will get through this.


Hi Jen,

I’ll be thinking of you and many other’s tomorrow, it will be hard for some of us. I gave up finally, trying to win my mother’s love, compete against my sisters and brother. All the sexual abuse, and you are 100% right when you say that your mother’s opinions of you DO NOT define who you are. My wish for you is that you are in a place of peace, happiness, love and freedom one day. We are doing freedom rocks, not sure if you read about it yet, but you are more than welcome to join in, or perhaps you’ll want to wait until fall comes around, it’s up to you.
Being on our own at such a young age, wow, did we ever have to grow up fast. We all became the parents of our parents in most cases. But no more, it ends at this very moment, it ended the last time I hung up on my mother.
I am proud of who I have become and everything I have accomplished in life without any help whatsoever.
Don’t ever feel guilty for being not good enough, you’ll never meet up to their expectations of good enough anyways and furthermore, they’ll just keep you in the abusive cycle.
Wishing peace, hugs, love, happiness and most of all Freedom from your dark prison,

Lauralee xo


Hi Jen
Excellent comments! You are not defined by anyone; that is the empowering truth that set me free!
My mother had that same power over me too. I found at the bottom of it that I actually feared that her love (or lack of love) determined my life or death. I had to replace that huge lie with the truth.
I hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow, such a long thread!
I haven’t read all yet, but I was wondering about “excuses.” What I mean is, is any answer except ” mea culpa, I’m sorry” any good at all? Not for abuse…but for a particular event. There is a difference, sometimes, between an excuse and a reason.
When my daughter left for college, I held back my grief except for blinking back tears. I wanted her excitement to be the main thing, not my empty nest sorrows. This was her day, all about her! Of course, I told her how much I would miss her every day, even before her moving-into-the-dorm day. I was open to any fears or tears she might express, but tried to take my cues from her, and she was brave and excited. I saved the big cry until I got back home. I kept my sadness to myself through her 1st year, hoping to encourage her to spread her wings, hoping not to give her any guilt-trips (a fave control mechanism of my own mom’s.) She found a job which she liked, but it kept her at the college most weekends. I worked every other weekend. So our times to get together were few, at the college or home. Her job allowed her to rent an efficiency off-campus, which she liked much more than cliquish dorm life. I told myself when I felt sorrowful that she would be back home for the summer. But she did not come home for the summer. She kept her apartment, she kept her job, she stayed. I did not tell her how heartbroken I was by that decision. I couldn’t afford to pay for her off campus place in addition to her other college costs, and she said if she gave it up for the summer, she would have a hard time finding another place in the fall, which I knew was true.
It was not until 15 years later that she told me she had felt that I didn’t care if she came home or not!
I told her the reason: I put on a brave front so as not to discourage her, so as to help her spread her wings, so as not to make her first year in college “all about me,” so as not to “guilt trip” her into coming home for my sake. I told her the truth, my reasons, and that I cried a LOT from missing her.
Had she said “I don’t want to hear your excuses!” then she would never have understood my reasons, and would have continued to feel that I did not miss her when she stopped living with me forever at only seventeen.
It turns out she was being brave for me, while I was being brave for her sake. Both out of love, both holding back for the sake of the other.

My point is that reasons and excuses are not the same thing sometimes. My point is that when you are trying to resolve issues, sometimes reasons are the only thing that can mend the hurts.

I was abused by my mother as a child, which I did not face until 10 years ago. By this time my own daughter was grown. We are close now, though we are not able (military reasons) to live close. She texted me just yesterday and said, “I love you! You are the best Mom!” This was in response to a brief discussion regarding her grandmother’s
(my mother’s) recent behavior, and my withdrawing from relationship with her (long story.)
I texted back:
“I do so appreciate your thinking so and saying so! But I am sure I made some mistakes, maybe whoppers, along the way. I was taught how not to mother by my mother, but I had no model for how to mother. My point here is, if you ever feel I failed you as a mom, big deal or small, you might be right. If so I am willing to talk and most of all to listen. If I give a reason, I hope you hear me. If I give an excuse, I hope you call me on it. You matter. Your voice matters. Your ideas and opinions matter. I love you.”


Hi Karenina
Welcome to emerging from broken.
How sad that this misunderstanding between the two of you took so long to come out in the open and be mended!
In my case, (and in the case of many of the readers here) my mother was not willing to talk at all. She wanted to just put it behind us (and keep treating me like nothing)but remember that I am talking about abuse, not a misunderstanding although I am sure there were also misunderstandings but I am looking at the whole picture. Reasons and excuses or whatever, she is not willing to talk to me about any of it which is really my point; her actions and inactions both now and all throughout my life, prove her true feelings.
I am glad that this in not the case for you and your daughter!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hugs back Darlene!
I understand what you mean about your mother! Mine also will not listen, is never wrong, doesn’t even try to make excuses, much less give reasons. She prefers to denigrate and blame, avoiding any possibility that she could have erred ever at all. She draws in her subservient children and grandchildren, my kin, and tells them about my cruelties whenever I say “No” to any unreasonable demand she might make, and certainly whenever I refuse to stand for her until very recently ongoing verbal abuses and utter disrespect for me.
In February, I cut ties. In June, my daughter, son in law and three grandsons will come to visit my husband and me.Yay! During their brief stay they will also go to my mothers house for a day, to get a car that belonged to my daughtere’s birth father and now is hers.
The vehicle is at my mothers house because 25 years after my 1st husband’s (daughter’s birth father) and my divorce… (he began abusing heroin, taking our daughter to drug houses, etc while I earned our living, so I finally divorced him following serious issues including verbal abuse and threats of abuse.)… my mother had him move into the house she and her new husband had for rent next door to her. Yes, that’s right. She did that to spite me, and to get my daughter to visit her more, since her father was there. Spite and manipulation, Moms forte.


sorry for 2nd post, hit submit on my iPad by mistake…
So sometimes even when we finally break free, we still have to deal with the one we need to break free from. Because she is my daughters grandmother, and because she manipulated my daughter, me, my daughters birth-father (now dead of brain cancer) and my wonderful current husband by offerring help (from the goodness and mercy in her oh! So forgiving! Christian heart!) to a heroin addict abuser who no longer had any place to go through his own misdeeds in life. Saint Mildred, I call her ‘Dred for short.


I am having such a hard timw drawing this line with my mother.Due to both my sisters dying in the last5 years and my father 30 years ago.I NEED her.I als have to see her due to having to pay her rent, this means I will always be indebted to her for letting me live here.I can’t break the ties.Both my brothers have stepped up to help her..I was told at least they DO things for her.I am on disability and have a money problem at this time and need to occasionally need to ask for gas money. With the disappointing sigh of disapproval and a lecture on getting a job,she reluctantly will give my 20.00 every now and then.My daughter was in the hospital last week for stomach mother 20 minutes away did not even bother to call.My daughter had to cal her on mothers day just to talk to her,I finally asked her to please come and visit her,as she was getting depressed.I got”she shouldn’t have company” WHAT? she is 21 and scared!I’m fed up but can’t break ties.So I just have learned to distance my feelings from her.I take an anxiety pill before I see her so i can remain calm and removed,but with a smile on my face.


Hi Kelly
It is very hard to set boundaries when there are these circumstances present. I am sorry that you are in that situation.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Everyone,

Just finsished watching a Dr. Wayne Dyer show, he’s a motivational speaker, and here is one of the things he said. People were given 5 pieces of cardboard and were asked to write down 5 chapters of their lives. Here is what one lady wrote: CHAPTER 1: I walked down a street, there is a big hole, I fall in, I’m stuck and it takes hours to get out, who put this here, how can they be so dumb? CHAPTER 2: I walk down the street, there is a big hole and I fall in, here I am again, stuck in this dark hole, I can’t belive it’s still here, it takes forever to get out. CHAPTER 3: I walk down the street, there is a big hole, I fall in again, it’s my fault! I knew this hole was here, I get out right away. CHAPTER 4: I walk down the street, there is a big hole, I see it and walk around it. CHAPTER 5: I WALK DOWN A NEW STREET!
I just love this, hope you all enjoy it as well, and I hope it gets ya thinking, wishing you all a wonderful rest of your day,
Peace, love, hugs, happiness and Freedom
Lauralee xoxo


I love Chapter 5!..It speaks to me & I’m sure for so many of us on EFB. It definitely gets me thinking, that you have to find your own way out. It’s up to the individual to make NEW CHOICES! I like Dr Wayne Dyer…My husband is reading one of his books called, “Wishes Fulfilled”….I saw him speak about this on tv recently, and he is passionate & motivating! It’s really about turning our thinking around & believing.
Peace Out,


Hi SMD!!!

How funny, I was watching the same show on PBS and ordered the whole Bananna (the whole package) and am reading the exact same book. I ordered all the cd’s and DVD’s too. I find he really motivates me, gets me thinking in a different way and has helped out a great deal. I seen him at a conference I went to in Toronto “We Can Do It” and the pictures I took were full of orbs around him too. He is great, and nicer in person. I hope you are doing well, I know that this is a tough time, I can recall being where you are, and it’s not easy. Why we were the “chosen” ones I don’t know. I used to often think “why not my siters, why does she love my sisters and not me?” Now I don’t care, now I say “why not me”. My throwing of my rock gave me great comfort and freedom, it was funny cuz my rock was so heavy it bounced off another big rock and then went in. It was like “YES”!!!!
I wish you peace, answers, and happiness along your journey, but please remember you do not walk your journey alone. We are all here to support one another, and we have our Mama Darlene, thank God for her, checking in on us always helping us up when we fall with her words of wisdom.
Peace, luv, happiness, hugs and freedom to you Sonia!


Thanks!…I remember Dr Dyer taking about the “whole Bananna”…He is funny & such a caring man. Wow! He actually had “orbs” around him. I believe it!..He is a spiritual being with a higher consciousness. He is inspiring! Thanks for the support & validating it is not easy for me right now. It is hard with my family & it will always be that way, cause I don’t see them changing. Well, maybe there is hope for my dad. His eyes seem to be opening and only time will reveal the truth of that. My counselor paid me a compliment by saying, my parents could look at me to show them the way. There is Truth in that!….In the mean time, taking it day by day & trying to turn the spin around.
Peace & Happiness,


Hi everyone!!
Lauralee, is this the Doctor that wrote books several years ago about child rearing? Has a real sweet tender voice, like he’s made of heaven, haha!! I get 3 PBS channels, so maybe I should try looking him up. Sounds like he has good stuff to say!! I’ll check into him.

Thanks for posting his words above. Great insight.

I have thought of you a lot in the past few days and sending you strength and self love to get through these days.

Love and Hope to all,


Hi Sonia,
I used to go around for the past 10 years saying my family will never change and you are right, some just don’t. But then I changed the way I looked at things and the things I looked at changed. I didn’t feel so responsible for “their” stupidity anymore, I acutally started to feel sorry that they all have to live miserable lives. It must be pretty pathetic to live that way. I’ve wiped them all out of my lives and closed the door. Now remember that took me 10 whole years my friend, in time, in time thigs will be different. I would not even attend my mothers funeral if she passed. Because I will never get back onto that miserable merrry go round. She was supposed to protect me yet she let my father molest me every second weekend for 3 whole years just so she could go and get drunk. Now that is not the definition of a mother. I just have a knowing that you’lll get there, and when you do, you’ll feel the most beautiful peace in the world.

Mimi: Hey my friend!!! Yes he does write childrens books as well, he has no hair, is 71 years old and he is the best motivational speaker I have been to up until now. You’ll catch him on PBS. What’s real funny is that I came across him during a real low point in my life, and it did pick me up a little and I have been his follower ever since.
Hope you are doing well, sent you a message on FB, my sister of all things likes a link on her FB Page, Mine from Freedom Rocks. Now you can understand when I say they are Coo Coo. I mean it speaks of her and her name was on my rock, guess she loves swimming but I’m thinking she likes the fact that I’ll never show up in my mother’s life again therefore leaving her all to herself. Good for her, I was furious at first but now it’s just plain funny. Gotta be nuts to do that.
Well everybody, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day, be kind to one another,
peace, love, hugs, happiness and freedom
Lauralee xoxo


Mimi & Lauralee,
Thanks so much for your encouragement & support. It means a lot to me that I can come here to process & vent. Lauralee thanks for saying that you know I’ll get there in my healing. I can’t wait for daily peace & happiness. Can I send you a FB friend request? I usually post inspirational messages & pics.

Wow! I’m touched that you are thinking of me. I thought of you too, over the Holiday weekend. So glad you missed that family reunion. Unless you miss family drama & tension haha!
Staying Strong & being gentle to myself.
Love, Sonia


Lauralee, I saw your pic on FB of you holding your big boulder!! I haven’t posted pics of freedom rocks. Too chicken I guess.

I’m floundering since the weekend is over and everyone has gone home. I couldn’t wait for it to be passed, now, I’m having left field emotions! Nothing really heavy, just lost in thought. A little sad that I believe this is really it. It’s all over. Like a giant funeral, for all my family whom I may never see again. How silly to go back and forth like this. I just have to accept it.
Love and peace,
SMD, here’s to self LOVE!! 😉


Hello Ladies,

You and anyone else can find me on Darlene’s page on FB and add me, I would love that. Unless you can find me yourself, everyone has trouble finding me though with just my name, not sure why, LOL. I guess I just have this inner knowing that sooner or later with time you’ll be at a spot, I can almost picutre it. You smiling full of peace and happiness. I’m praying for you, and I’ve had miracles happen in my life alot, God always listens to my prayers, sometimes he doesn’t answer my requests but there is a reason for that and later on I always say “Oh tht’s why” Peace and love to you, can’t wait for you to find me on FB!

Did you laugh when you seen it, I bet you did, hahaha. I am sorry you are going back and forth like a ping pong ball with your emotions and family. It’s hard work, but you too will get to a place of total peace one day too. Remember Mimi, you DESERVE it. We all do. It’s not silly to go back and forth, I did that for 10 whole years remember? It takes time, and when you are ready to let it all go completely you will, be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time, give yourself permission to do so. I was having a down day today, but I think it’s the concussion I suffered last weekend when I flipped over the coffee table at my husbands family’s cottage at 2:00 am and knocked myself out nearly killing myself. I was bleeding inside my head but not enough for them to do surgery, now I am on bed rest for 3 weeks, blah. Just wrap me up in pool noodles, I am a danger to myself, haha
wishing everyone peace, love, hugs, happiness and freedom, and an extra hug for you two ladies!!
Lauralee xoxo


OMG, Lauralee ~ you crack me up!! Thanks for making me smile and for reassurance that back and forth is okay!! I am so thankful for my EFB peeps!!
Much love,


I happened upon this site bc of fb. Very interesting to learn that I am not alone. I am still battling the consequences of the way my mother’s behavior and neglect have impacted my life.

I often get angry with myself for not being able to overcome the brick walls i hit. intellectually i know i am whole and i am worthy, but i still can’t seem to get past the fear of trying to accomplish goals. im so stuck. dying to emerge from broken. :'(


Hi Cat
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Understanding this “logically” is only one part of the solution; for me it was by understanding the belief system that had formed in me as a result of the way I was regarded that I was able to change my beliefs about my own value. I know you will find some insight about this here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Cat,
I see a tear in your smiley face. I hope you come back and get the insight I’ve gotten here. It has saved me. So much valuable information. You are not alone!!
Hugs to you,






Thanks, So much of what I read here is just so familiar. Including the freedom rock idea. My similar idea has always been to take the “bad stuff” and put it in a box. Then take the box out to the ocean and sink it. Maybe the sharks would even eat the monsters in the box!

I feel so frustrated because Ive done the therapy, read so many books and I understand what happened and what it’s done to me. When I was reading the post about PTSD, I thought that made so much sense to me. Then immediately I felt that I dont qualify. That is for people who have survived wars and incest and torture. I know i suffered trauma. My sisters always tell me to “get over it”. They were a big part of “it”.

So what should I be reading or doing to get a healthy level of self esteem and confidence. my whole life, those have been the two most harmful and defeating areas of my life. so often ijust dont try. im smart and qualified and exhausted by failure and rejection in all facets of my life. some days i can barely emerge from my bed, which makes me feel worse about my self.

Open to all suggestions. Too old for this &*%$. But Im still trying to sort it out and have a fulfilling life.


Cat, I feel the same way. Too old for this s**t. I kick myself for being so “stupid” and going back for more abuse and not seeing the reality of the situation. I did not suffer incest or extreme physical beatings, but I got the psychological abuse for DECADES. Our siblings didn’t get the same treatment so of course they wouldn’t understand.

No wonder we questioned our perceptions. The trouble is, we were optimistic. Kept thinking, our mother wouldn’t do such a thing to us. She wouldn’t hurt her own daughter. Or, she’ll change. She’ll realize she made a mistake. Well, now we know better. She doesn’t know any better because she’s so f**king screwed up in the head, or cruel, or stupid. Her stealth abuse fed her own narcissistic need to control, abuse and dominate us. She crushed our confidence and self-esteem so she could keep us close and easy to dominate. NOW we know. Now we won’t be so naive. We were good, sensitive, empathic, and trusting daughters. THAT’S why it took us so long to see the light. Now we have to accept the reality, and move on.

We were abused on a very secretive, stealth level. We weren’t stupid like she wanted us to believe. We were too kind and trusting. Understand this, accept this reality, and then move on.


I didn’t suffer molestation, or frequent physical beatings. Everything my mother said and did was in secret, however. She carefully planted seeds in the minds of my family, both immediate and distant. She planted them in my mind too. I believed I was nothing, and she was most important. I believed her lies and that she was all I had and even despite staring the truth straight on, I believed what she said instead of the truth. She had that kind of hold on me, that despite all things contrary, and in the face of facts, I still believed her. Like Drained said, I feel stupid for going back for more too. I feel stupid that even though I know I’m relatively intelligent, it still took 43 years for me to catch on to my mother’s insidious, abusive, destructive ways. How she ever convinced me that black is white, I will never know.

You are absolutely right!! We were just trusting, loving children. We were loyal to abusers out of our sense of child-like love. Kids love without limits. It’s sickening and heinous that someone would have the desire in their heart to squish that. To rob a child of self worth and esteem, simply to soothe themselves, is the ultimate act of selfishness. We carry that burden throughout life, while my mother specifically, pranced around like a princess, supported by her elevated sense of self esteem, which she stole from me. She had a double dose ~ because she stole mine!! Just ugly!
Love and Hope,


(Everyone ~ I just returned from a much needed vacation and there have been tons of comments while I was gone so I will not be able to answer all of them.)

Hi Cat ~ When I first started EFB I included writings from another author (Carla). Carla had never been physically or sexually abused. The oppression she had suffered had all been emotional and psychological and it was stunning to me that the damage was exactly the same as those of us who had been abused in other ways. My writing and my work is about discovering what the damage was/is and healing from it. This site can be overwhelming at first but if you stick with reading it (and commenting when you wish) eventually clarity will come as self validation (of the damage) and self love grows.
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, your comment #440 is something I could have written word for word! I related to everything you said and you explained everything perfectly. How our NM crushed our confidence and self-esteem just so they could stay in control and feel superior. THAT was their priority. And all those seeds they planted in others, and they followed her lead with their disrespect of us. Same thing in my family. And my Golden Child brother and his N wife planted those seeds of contempt in my nieces. The sad cycle is perpetuated.

Re-reading my comment #439, I realize how much anger I was feeling when I wrote that. Ah, well, at least I bleeped the swear words LOL. So many emotions, come and go in waves, all part of the healing *sigh*


My brother is the “Golden Child” too his Narc wife planted seeds of contempt in my nephews towards me & my husband. It’s a sick cycle. My 7 year old dtr is seeing the difference between my sister’s kids & my brother’s. She has a relationship with my sister’s kids & not her boy cousins (my brother’s kids). There was a serious disagreement between my brother’s wife & my husband that caused a big rift in the family. My own parents sided with my s-i-l and did not consider or believe my side of the incident. It was a big betrayal & it has left my brother & I estranged. I’ve suffered depression & anxiety over family problems and I’ve been mourning the loss of my so-called family. I do accept it’s not going to be functional or mutual. I have no desire to see my s-i-l and I guess, if I’m honest with myself, I have contempt for her. She is a mean & spiteful person! I know she has turned her kids against mine. They repeat things to their other cousins, about not wanting my kids around & other hurtful comments. It’s a perpetual & vicious cycle. I’m done with that crap! phew…had to get that out.
Thanks for listening,


The family N spreads that poison, plants those seeds, tainting other family members including younger generations, and on and on. I’m not sure what the answer is… it seems trying to defend yourself has no effect.

The Ns are master manipulators, liars, and creators of believable facades because they have no conscience and have a lifetime of mastering these “talents.” Disentangling, disengaging, avoidance, no contact, is about the only way I know of for the family scapegoat to emerge with sanity intact and any hope of attaining any kind of mental healing. The problem is, we are so deeply into in before we realize the true situation and so much damage to our psyche has already been done, making the transition to good mental health that much harder to attain. But if we are persistent and stay strong, I think we can get there.


Thanks for your support & encouragement!…We need to stay strong & rise above their nastiness. I recently read somewhere here, that the best way to deal with a Narc is to avoid, disengage, and not give them eye contact. Basically, ignore & not give them attention. They thrive on attention & will seek it out. They are charming & dangerous. It’s a little easier to avoid, when it’s not family. Although, if a co-worker & boss are that way it is hard to deal with. It’s important to stay low key though, or else deal with their wrath. Standing up to them usually doesn’t work either from experience. They will only push back harder because they have to win at all costs. Knowing & then doing is a whole different thing. Being the scapegoat in my family, I’ve always tried harder to get along & appease the Narcs but I’m stepping back more & more. I don’t need their approval nor do I need to fuel their narcissistic ways!….Sorry for the Rant but I’m needing to spill my guts lately!….
Peace Out,


Welcome home and I hope your vacation was fantastic!! I’m glad you’re back and hope you feel rejuvenated!!

I’ve had my share of angry posts as well. We’re never judged here though! Isn’t it great!!?? Instead of being accused of being angry when I’m really not, I can actually BE angry, and spill it here!! That’s a true blessing for me!! I get so sick of my mother telling me and everyone else how angry I am. I’ve expressed anger that was out of control at times, although not all that many, and it wasn’t like I threw tables or anything. Because of that, I’m always angry and that’s one of the first tools my mother uses against me! I sometimes wish I could say, “well, I wasn’t angry, but you’re pi$$ing me off now!!” 😉 I believe the TRUTH is, my mother is seething with anger, just under the surface. I’ve seen it come out, and it’s NOT pretty!! She’s in absolute denial that she’s EVER had an angry moment! LOL! That cracks me up now, with the memories of her swatting my bare legs with a flyswatter. AND, there was no reason. I think at the time she said, “you are NOT going to make me feel guilty!!!” We hadn’t been fighting or anything. She just came into my walk-in closet and starting swinging. CRAZY!!

I’m happy you spilled your guts. My goodness, it feels good doesn’t it?? It does for me. Sometimes, there isn’t an event, just disappointment hanging over the day. I suppose it’s at life’s unfairness ~ At the new reality that’s been forced into my path. I feel better after spilling here!!

Recently I read something about acceptance. I don’t even remember where, but it went something like this…. the happier people are ones who are accepting of others and have low expectations of others. I’ve tried to see how that could fit into my life. Should I just accept my mother, and not expect anything of her that resembles a REAL relationship? Would that make me happy? I think the damage inside is too deep and real for me to just accept that she’s flawed, and this life of hell is the result. Does it mean I treat her like an honorable person, yet don’t expect her to reciprocate? Just let it continue to be a one way street; to be trampled on? How could that make me happy? There must be an element to this that I’m missing?? Perhaps the happy accepting people have already drawn lines that others aren’t allowed to cross? Perhaps they don’t care about anything or anyone? If I could be that person, I would.
Love to everyone,


i was going through the post in the website
i couldnt beleive many of us are going through same scenario.
i m a doctor from india married leveaing with my husband. i m youngest in family . i have one elder brother and sister. during my teenage i used to think these are my teen problems may be i need some kind of help to come out of the most ugly relationship with my mom. she used to abuse and hate most in front of other sibblings. i didnt not like medicine profession i took it up just to please my mom coz she likes medicine. though it was very tough for me i cleared and now i m practising. i never got the respect or love n affection as other sis n bro. she tries to hide all the things from me and i been treated like an outsider, these things i can neither tell to my hubby or my colleagues. when ever i see my friends mom who care for them very much i will break down, i always think that wish i had got chance to talk about my parents in front of them. the suitations which i had faced from childhood is not pleasent to share . i feel i am having one cursed life. i hesitate while making friends coz i feel when i m not wroth to be loved my mom who else will love me. i m 30yr old now i thought of conceive so that i can come ou tof it but god had cursed me in such a way that i m not able to conceive even after two years of try. also i have a disease called pcod in which i cannot conceive ….i hope all mothers love their kids and nobody should be i my place. god please bless all


I’ve often thought of just being accepting of others too. In particular, my Narc Mom & dysfunctional family of origin. Would it continue to be a one-sided relationship? Will I have to be like my sister & take what I need like babysitting service, pool privileges, dinners & by staying in my parents’ faces, until they give into my demands. I realize I don’t want a relationship based on using them. I sometimes wish I could just let all the abuse go & accept that they are damaged. However, that’s not going to happen! Like you Mimi, the damage is too deep in more ways than one. My sister used to say, our parents are there and you just have to ask. Well she doesn’t ask, she pushes herself on them. In the meantime, she deals with their negativity, because there is a pay off for her. I think that is her motivation in a nut shell. I wonder why I can’t be like that? & Would I be happy using them? I’m not a taker but a giver and I would feel phony doing that. I’ve wanted a REAL relationship that involves give & take. That’s not happening, however, my dad shows some signs of reciprocity with me lately. There are usually strings attached though, so I need to keep my eyes open & guard my heart.
Love, Sonia
Hope Everyone is doing well this weekend!


Hi Savi
Welcome to emerging from broken!
I am really glad you found us here. There is hope for total healing when we stop believing that the answer lies in the person who did the damage in the first place. The solution is within us! Learning to love and validate ourselves is where all the power is.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
I have heard stuff like this too and tried to “do it” but it always seemed to lead me to avoiding the truth so what I concentrate on now is accepting and validating the damage that was done. That includes placing the blame where it belongs. Just because people say that you will be happy if you do things “a certain way” doesn’t make it so. Think about how the abusers taught us to comply in the first place; many of these statements don’t apply to every situation either. In a nutshell; I was mistreated and devalued. I accept that truth today. I no longer allow anyone to do that to me and if that means no contact, so be it. No relationship is better than an abusive relationship anyday!
Hugs, Darlene


YES a REAL relationship. Mutual respect and equal value. I accept people the way they are. That is not the problem! The problem is that people infer that acceptance means letting them treat me like dirt! I accept that they won’t respect me and therfore they don’t want to have a REAL relationship and I am no longer willing to have anything else.
Hugs, Darlene


Welcome Back! Missed you being here…Sounds like you had a wonderful time on vacation. Thanks for clarifying the difference in accepting people the way they are vs accepting the way I’m mistreated!…That is it exactly! They need to respect me in order to have a real relationship.
Missed your words of wisdom!


Thanks Sonia
My vacation was really great; I really needed to spend some time off the computer just relaxing and seeing frineds and that is what I did.
Hugs! Darlene


Darlene and SMD,
I can’t express how much wisdom I find in you Darlene!!! AHHHHHH!!! You said it so well. That’s exactly it. I DO accept that my mom is the way she is. That doesn’t mean she still gets to get away with it!! Thank you for this clarity!! And, SMD, thanks for your input and support always!!
It’s going to be a good day!! Hope it is for you too!!
Love and hugs,


Hello everyone and thank you so much to everyone for sharing your stories, so many mirror my own experiences and feelings its both really comforting knowing that im not so alone but its also really freaky that there seems to be a rough blueprint somewhere for the production of toxic mothers. There are so many stories that I can relate to, and your successes give me the confidence to start on what I know is going to be a really painfilled journey.
My mother hasnt spoken to me for over a week because I jumped to my sons defense when she chose to make a sniping remark to him. All I said was “Mother!” and she stormed off and that has been that. I am feeling just as I have been trained to feel, guilty, sorry, responsible etc etc but after reading all your posts I am remaining strong and determined that this time I draw the line. She has these episodes with amazing regularity every couple of months or so and has driven everyone away that has ever cared about her.( My sister is 47, and has addiction problems and wont have anything more to do with her and her other two children she abandoned when they were little as she was being phycially abused by their father.) I am all she has left(and my son), you would think that she would take better care of our relationships. I feel so torn also, much of the time my mum is very helpful (she looks after my son after school, during the hols etc- there is no one else to help as I do not have any friends) and comes across as quite caring (although we havent had much physical contact except by accident for about 35 years- this was my fault, she stopped kissing me goodnight when I was a child because I hurt her feelings), i still have to watch what I say and be who she wants me to be in order to keep her happy, but she is manageable. But then there are rumbles and a slight change in mood and I know one of her episodes is on its way. I never saw this one coming or maybe I just didnt see the signs this time- Ive been pretty much self absorbed these last few weeks or so. I started a new job which I love. Im working with some great people in a role that is filling me with confidence. Maybe I am answering some of my own questions here!!
Why does my happiness threaten her so much? And does it matter anyway. Does being able to psychoanalyse your disfunctional parent help or hinder your efforts to move on?
I wish i had a magic wand and make her love me. Ive always known that she didnt even when I was very small. When I was about 6 or 7 I deliberately got myself lost in a crowd whilst out shopping, hoping that I would be “stolen by a bad man” and killed just so that my mum would finally realise that she did love me afterall. Obviously I wasnt abducted but I have never shrugged off that feeling of being completely alone and unloved. Why does life have to be so painful?
I sound like such a pathetic victim its embarrassing!



Welcome to EFB

I realized that this kind of thing was wrong. My mother also felt that she should be able to say whatever she wanted to my kids but then I also realized that no matter my age, she still said what ever hurtful thing she wanted to me, AND I was not permitted that same mean spirited attitude. Why?? I realized that there was NO reason that it was acceptable and I had to learn the true definitions of both LOVE and RESPECT. through this process I learned to love and respect myself which includes NOT accepting mistreatment from others no matter what title they hold in my life. Figuring out or analyzing my mother hindered me from moving on. There is no solution in understanding her and one of the things that I realized is that SHE if she can control herself, (she doesn’t do this to her friends) then she doesn’t have some strange disorder. The rules she applies to me are not the ones she lives by. Learning to love myself enabled me to stop accepting her ways. The choice to have relationship was then left up to her.. she chose no.. but I am free. There is nothing pathetic about what you shared. You are hurt and what has happened to you IS hurtful. I am glad that you are here.

Hugs, Darlene


My situation with my mom was one of neglect and indifference sprinkled with contempt and annoyance and the occassional bad mouthing of me to my never could do no wrong sisters.

Im still a little afraid to write freely for fear someone might find out. As if! None of my family members would ever do any soul searching so they would never end up here. But still the fear. Fear is a constant running theme when you grow up like that. Fear of getting sick and noone to take care of you. Fear of expressing a thought and being judged harshly. Fear if asking for something to eat and being told you are a pain in the ass. Fear of being ridiculed for just being you.

But I did grow up, and I have a daughter in college. shes beautiful and perfect just as she is. I love her and would crawl across broken glass for her. The best job I ever had. She is happy and knows who she is. If the world ended tomorrow, I would be ok knowing that she has had a wonderful life filled with opportunities i could have only dreamed of.

I struggle, she thrives. I want to thrive too. I’ve been to therapy twice a week for 3 years. That was a long time ago. I’ve noticed certain running themes in my life i just cant shake. I read a lot. Wayne Dyer, John Bradshaw.

I havent been able to find a good job where i am respected despite the fact the i have an associates, a bachelors and a masters degree. Im making an entry level salary and have to do something. I am so afraid of rejection I just dont even try anymore. its so humiliating. to be stared at, questioned, judged. Im bright and articulate and always passed over. im so tired of it.

the other battle is my weight. i was always skinny growing up. Ha! thats funny. how could i not have been. well now I’m not. so i decided to do something about it. I read The Lean. I realize that the reason Im in this shape is because i dont cook and prepare meals for myself. in fact i tend to resent the effort. Gee, I wonder where that came from. So I am now learning to overcome that. a basic primary need. to feed myself. I need to love myself enough to do that. I am getting there.

The other thing is that i need to go to Drs and take care of myself. I might as well climb Mt Everest. So I’m draggin myself kickin and screamin. You can guess I didnt get the idea as a kid that i was important enough to actually be taken care of by a Dr. After all, that cost money. So I called and made a GYN appt today. I havent been in 10 years! and of course Im afraid they will find out all kinds of bad things are wrong with me. But I called from my cell fon and saved the number into my contacts. As I scrolled through, I realized that all of my mother’s Doctors names and numbers are in my phone. None for me. I had been taking my mother to her appts week after week after month after year after she treated me like shit for so many years. So since she went for an overnight to my sister’s out of state and hasnt returned in 5 months without so much as a courtesy call from either one of them, I am deleting her doctors numbers from my phone and entering mine. And do you know that I hesitate. Guilt! What if we need her records, or she needs an appt. here or comes back!!???

Still!! I still put my hand in the fire. Still bang my head against the moon! Still do the right thing!

My birthday just passed. Not even a phone call. So I don’t think it ever really goes away. She is not welcome in my home anymore. She is not a part of my life. How sad for her. Her loss. I am a beautiful human being. Wanting so little and giving so much. She missed out.

So my goal is to get all my Dr appts done and a clean bill of health. Leave my shitty job for one that is worthy of me. Take care of my daughter and have some fun while i still can. Maybe one day I will even allow myself a real vacation.

So grateful to have found the authors i read, the little girl my mother abandoned and this site for validation. I dont want to just dump and vent here. I want to be a positive voice in the midst of so much pain. I still cry all the time. But I AM getting stronger every day.

Thanks….. 🙂


Hi Cat!
Wow. this comment is excellent! You are certainly a postitive voice! I noticed all those same things as I came “out of the fog”. I had those same fears. I had to push myself to learn how to take care of myself, love myself, do for myself what had not been done for me. I had such huge fears of standing up for myself that I had to get through by questioning where they came from and what their roots were. And I did and still use this method to “grow myself up” whenever I feel “stuck”.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


One of the things I’m noticing lately is that now that I’ve become aware of the whole NM, Scapegoat, Golden Child dynamic in my upbringing, I am more tuned in to the N behavior I see outside of my family. The more I learn about Ns and their sinister behavior, a red flag comes up whenever I come across these traits in others whether it’s in person, or online. Now, rather than overlooking it, or “taking” it, I’ve learned to nip it in the bud before I get dragged into that “web.” I immediately distance myself and not engage. I’ve learned that you can’t reason with these types, and engaging with them only inflames the situation. I’m not feeding their sick addiction at the expense of my self-worth and mental health.

I’m currently attempting to distance myself from my N sister-in-law, and she is sensing this and amping up the phone calls and emails. I’m committed to this and staying strong. My Golden Child brother married an extreme N who came from an abusive background. She immediately picked up on treating me with the same disdain, disrespect, inconsideration, and ridicule that my brother gave me. After he died, I felt the need to continue the family relationship with her out of respect for him and my nieces. My nieces have picked up the same disdain and disrespect for me (2 of them are Golden Children and one is the Scapegoat, still trying to win her NM’s approval), no doubt influenced by their parents. It’s a sad realization that the cycle has continued, but there’s nothing I can do about it except let it go, and distance myself from it. She is currently using the same sweet-talking, fake-praise tactic that Ns use to reel you back in for more abuse.

Now that I’m better informed and validated, I feel I can stand up to it. Thanks to EFB, and all the research I’ve been doing on this victimizing personality, I feel much better equipped to deal with it. I still stumble, but in time I think I will handle this with confidence.


Thank you Darlene, having my experiences validated is so empowering. 45 years of my mum making feel wrong leaves a big groove i find difficult keeping out of.
Putting my son down is to me absolutely unacceptable. When she comes out with a put down towards him I feel it as a physical pain. Its my own pain Im remembering I think.
I phoned my mum today to arrange childcare over the next few days. And it was wonderful. I felt free of aching for her to love me. I felt strong and armoured. I cant express how much you and your site has helped me over these last few days. I discovered it by total accident and because of you and the hundreds of people that have bared their soul and shared their struggles and triumphs, I have moved some pretty hefty mountains.
Another thing I have discovered is that my mother has all the characteristics of a narcissistic personality. The denials, the scapegoats, the put downs, the rages, the control through fear, the jealousy, the gaslighting- I could go on and on. Its been a revelation and a freedom in itself.
I do agree with you, my mum does know right from wrong and there are few people that she would reveal her true self to outside the family. And I agree with Drained- being better informed particularly about Ns is empowering and validating. I dont feel bad or wrong any more.
I have had an eating disorder for sinceforever, I weight 20 stones presently. Im hoping that at the end of this journey I will be able to get a handle on this too. My weight has always been one way my mum would make me feel disgusting and repulsive and weak. Not directly commenting on my size but exclaiming things like “Good God look at that!” when ever someone heavy but often smaller than me came into view, or comment how much weight a particular celeb had lost in such a way that would leave me feeling inadequate and useless. I sometimes think that I have remained fat as it excused her not loving me. Take the fat away and what excuse would I have had???
My sister and I shared a flat many years ago, my mum was in hospital and her then husband met my sister in town and they went for a few drinks. He had one too many and came back to our flat to stay the night on the sofa. Some time during the night he walked into my sisters bedroom and then into mine completely naked. Of course he was rejected and scoffed at by both my sister and myself. We told mum of course. My sister was blamed for her husbands behaviour for “going out for a drink and trying to steal her husband” and my experience was ignored. I was neither blamed or vindicated of any wrong doing as my mum couldnt imagine her husband wanting to have sex with her fat daughter and said he must have made a mistake.
Well thank you again Darlene, words cannot express how much your work matters.


I’m with you on handling the Narcs with confidence! The more informed & stronger we get their nastiness will not matter anymore. My radar goes up when I’m around these people. Their actions & comments may rub me the wrong way, however, I don’t have to believe what they say is true. Most of the time, they are far from the truth & their perception is their own projected feelings & thoughts. I continue to have NC from my brother & his Narc wife, who is very much like my Mom. My brother married his mother…Yuck!
I have no desire to have any relationship with my s-i-l anymore. I went through feelings of guilt & obligation to work things out and continue a relationship, but I’m glad I stayed strong. It is one sided and she has not tried to work anything out, over the years.

It’s pathetic that Narcs are incapable of honestly admitting their mistakes to anyone, let alone themselves. It would show they are real, not pretentious or phony. I’m also referring to Abusive & Controlling people too, not just Personality Disordered Narcs. My Psychiatric APRN told me recently, that Personality Disordered Narcissistic Individuals, can control their behavior sometimes. I tend to believe that’s true. She has treated many of these individuals. They can be charming & fake praise to get what they need, based on my experiences with my Narc Mom.
I liked all your comments about the roles assigned to children in a dysfunctional family. I was the scapegoat & perfectionist. Performing to get the approval/validation I needed. A person doing not being. No wonder why I was this way, my mom conditioned me to be like her & that was not real. Stay Strong! I’m with you on that.


Thank you so much for this! I have never understood my own mother until now. I come from a bitterly broken home where I was reunited with my mother three months after she chose to leave my father. I have two brothers, one older, one younger, and was the only child claimed by her after the sepertion- the result of a pleading letter from my father who said that he could not raise a girl. Years of constant emotional abuse of “you’re useless”, “why did I bother”, “you are not my daughter” later, I moved into my father’s house and gave up connection with her I( I had been there from 7-13 y/o). however, my younger brother did move in with her between his ages of 11 and 16. Although this is not about him, he suffered the same as I. He ended up in an institution after trying to commit suicide (my mother influenced this by purchasing a bottle of scotch for him and encouraging him to kill himself). After 13 years I did re connect with my mother and we began a friendship that I believed would heal the wounds of her abuse of myself and my brother. This relationship was based on forgiveness- however, it seemed that she had so much more to forgive us for than we did her! Her sexually abusive partner, her emotional abuse, her irresponsible actions towards a potencially lethal situaion were all blamed on me. She blamed her mother’s cancer on me, her last child’s teeth rot on me, my brothers suicide attempt on me. She blamed the bad ‘vibes’ of her house on me! I had left her care at 13 yrs, yet apparently I was responsible for everything negative in her life. INCREDIBLE! And yet, after rescuing her daughter (who I did not know) from her in 2009 after a dramatic call for help, I have re-established contact. I know that I may be mad, but I still go back every time. She has hurt every person in her immediate family… why am I still forgiving? My younger brother will not have any contact with her and thinks I am self destructive. I will not ever contact her again, for any reason. We do get along and can speak about many things but this just draws me in so that she can reject me later. I will not speak with her again beacuse of this,her manipulation of events and circumstance has destroyed my self esteem and self worth, she is a monster. Unfortunately you cannot chose your parents, I am lucky to have my dad (who didn’t originally want me) and my grandmother who is the most significant mother figure in my life. I pity this woman for her actions and her beliefs and have given up all hope of her acknowledging her actions, her behaviour, her responsibility.


Hi Kristy
Welcome to EFB ~ For me the reason I kept trying was because deep down I believed that the answer was in getting her to love me. she defined me as not good enough and I believed she could define me as good enough if only I found the right key. It was in finally taking the reins back on my own life and re-defining myself, reparenting myself, learning to love and care for myself, that I was able to let go of the idea that having a relationship with her would make any positive difference in my life. I let go of the idea that having “a mother” was important.
Hugs, Darlene


My mother has a many of the NPD traits. I believe she can control her behavior all the time. I don’t know if the label fits her ~ as in, she’s never been diagnosed. My own research is what led me to realize she fits the mold. Whether she’s clinically NPD, or not, or something else entirely, I feel she can control it. If not, how would she know who to manipulate in what manner? I believe she’s ignorant about some of her traits, but I think she truly does know what she’s doing when she lies, triangulates, manipulates, etc. If she didn’t, how would she know to deny it? I mean, if she didn’t know somewhere inside that her behavior is wrong, how would she know to refute it? I don’t know, it’s a little confusing to me ~ what she is aware of and what isn’t within her control. I can say that after all the mourning I did over her, I don’t feel inclined to care whether she can control it or not. Perhaps that sounds cold hearted. It probably is cold hearted. What’s worse, I don’t care if is!! 🙂 I so love this place ~ I can admit anything here and not be judged or spoken to like a dog. I feel like it was her that stomped out that last little flame of love that flickered in my heart. I’ve accepted one thing for sure, it was never my fault. I had a realization recently. When my dad left (I was 11), she turned her contempt toward me. I was her new punching bag. Although my dad was physically angry and drunk, I think the dynamics were such that he could never fit into her mold either. I believed until last year, that their divorce was ALL his fault due to alcoholism, anger, and betrayal. Now, I wonder what kind of constraints mother tried to put on him, and did she treat him with the same contempt and judgment that she unleashed on me. Although I can’t say for sure if I was ever an alcoholic, I can say that when I lived under her roof, I eventually started drinking vodka straight from the bottle to escape my reality. I never did a 12-step or anything to stop drinking. I just lost interest. It was a coping mechanism when I was in her house. If I’d been married to her, I might have stayed drunk too. There was no way to please her, and trying became a nightmare. UGH!! I hope I never live under her roof again.

My circle is still fairly small. I haven’t branched out much, but I know I have my eyes open for the next narc…. I hope I’m able to detect it like you now are. I think being a scapegoat and/or living in the conditions we lived in, has made me a little more hypersensitive to everyone around me. Not just NPD. I have a fairly keen sense about people and their motives. I just didn’t know it came from watching my mother perform since I was born. I feel that’s where the innate sensibility comes from. I don’t trust it as much now though because I was totally blindsided when I discovered so much about my mom. I think what an idiot I’ve been to not see this in my mother before age 43. That alone has thrown me off balance and weakened my trust in myself to pick “them” out in a crowd.

Love to all,


Hi everyone,
SMD, my older brother,(17 yrs my senior) also married our Mom. My sister-in-law is a vicious, violent NPD/BPD alcoholic. My Bro met her when I was about 10 yrs old and she hated me at first sight. I was “in the way”. She adored my N mom,she licked her arse and of course NM loved this, a new source of supply! She beat me up when I was 15. It had been arranged that her and Bro would pick me from a dance – they arrived, drunk out of their skulls and she attacked me. On finding out what had happened, NM said I deserved everything I had gotten, only a slut would want to go to dances anyway. I think that was the day that I started to tell myself I must be a piece of shit, not good enough for anything or anybody, or why would my own mother stick up for those who had abused me. She had also not taken them to task about driving me around when they were drunk. If anyone had behaved like that with my precious daughter, I swear I woulda killed them. Needless to say, I have been NCfor many years. NMom and Enabling Dad are dead now, I am glad they never knew my daughter, she hasnt missed anything. Love to all xx


Hi, Sylvia again,
Just to say , it is SO possible to recover from having these SHIT parents, who cause us to attract more shit people into our lives. And to thrive BECAUSE of them. I am training to be a counsellor, I want to specialise in the family system. I am also training to be an EFT therapist and have just enrolled on a Hypnotherapy Level 1 course. I absoloutley refuse to be beaten by any of it. In a way, I am thankful for it , cos I wouldnt be who I am without it xx


And in a funny sort of way, that is sad . I am who I am because I was an emotionally, verbally and sexually abused child. Why couldnt I have been someones Princess, or even been validated in some way. Here’s a laugh, I went back to college to get my O’levels in my 30s when I shoulda gotten them in my teens. My elderly N aunt said:” I never realised you had any brains, Sylvia, why could you not have been happy just using your hands to make a living????? Oh yeah Auntie , I did that and then some, cos I thought I worth nothing else…….


Hi Sylvia,
Your s-i-l does sound mean & spiteful! Of course, our N moms would stick up for them, they have so much in common ha ha! My mom did the same thing, when their was a serious family disagreement, she quickly sided with my s-i-l & my Enabling/Controlling Dad bought into what my s-i-l said too! I’m done with her tactics & remain NC for about 5 years now. Your elderly N aunt sounds like a piece of work too! How insulting is she…what does she do for a living??? Is she successful?!…We are worth a lot more than they realize or want to acknowledge! They are Pathetic…


Hi all,
SMD, The joys of family life eh? Your experiences sound very similar to mine and its lovely to read your kind and validating comments, thank you. Coming from a family of origin of this type, is like living in Topsy Turvy Land isnt it? What should have been, wasnt, and what shouldnt have been, was! It is almost laughable. I have come to realise that they are SCARED by our potential, they have to try and put out our light, blow out our candle before we outshine them, or , heaven forbid, expose them. I am so glad my daughter hasnt had to go through this, or as little as possible, due to me limiting contact with them. Her father is an N but as she had very little contact with him until she was in her teens and knew what was what, she remains remarkably unscathed by all of it. Oh and by the way, Eldery N Aunt never did a days work in her life – she had an enabling husband who waited on her hand and foot! Thanks for letting me vent,have a great weekend everyone, Love Sylvia x


Hi Sylvia
(in your comment # 465 you mentioned that your daughter didn’t miss anything by not knowing your parents. That is something that I realized although my kids knew all their grandparents in their young lives, but now do not have contact with them. I felt SO bad that I was taking away grandparents but one day I realized that I didn’t miss anything by not seeing my abusive mother anymore so why did I think my kids would “miss something”. I can recall many examples of how my kids were just as devalued by their grandparents (and so can they) as I can about the way I was devalued so why did I think having “grand parents” was so dang important??? Nobody that treats another human being as less than deserves to have such an esteemed title as grand… It has been quite a journey busting through societies false beliefs! Hugs, Darlene

This is a great discussion~ Thanks everyone!
Hugs, Darlene

p.s. there is a new post about neg. self talk and where it comes from and the damage it does on the home page ~


Hi, Darlene and Sylvia (and all) ~

I can so relate to both of you (and maybe many others here). My children did not see their maternal grandmother (and step-grandfather) after they were 4 & 7. This was because (when I was 38 years old) I finally told my mother (and step-father) that I was sexually abused by my step-father (as had been my older sister, which my mother did know about).

I kept the secret all those years (although I think my mother really knew what was happening) because my s-f said “It will kill you mother if you ever tell her.” In my gut I literally believed him for 35 years.

However, when I suspected that my s-f could be molesting my sons, I had to take the risk of “killing my mother” by telling the truth. In fact, my mother did die to me after the exposure because she didn’t want to ever see me again unless I said I was lying. I was done with lying, no matter what happened.

It took many years to overcome the pain of her final rejection, no matter how many times it had happened before, no matter how sick our relationship had been and no matter how much pain she had caused me in those first four decades of my life. Her gift of making me feel unworthy of love and acceptance by anyone has stayed with me until this very year (I turned 60 in March).

For years I felt guilt for depriving my children of time with their grandparents before it occurred to me that we were all much better off not having them in our lives at all, grandparents or not. I have believed and still do belive that children are blessed to have LOVING grandparents in their lives. However, it is a curse to have emotionally or physically destructive grandparents in their lives.

We have all been made to feel guilty in our relationships with our mothers. It’s an inner child sort of thing, you could say. It took me a long time to help my “little girl” recover from what my mother did. I had to tell her many time that her biological mother loved her as much as she could. My mother was damaged, too, by her sick mother and maybe ad infinitum. I told my “little girl” she is lovable and worthy of being loved, and that she is precious.

Sadly, it was impossible for my “little girl” to believe me until this year. I described the reason for that change in my first message to this group early in May.

I pray that those who are still struggling will find the peace and joy I finally found. There is still hope…even when it takes 60+ years to get there. (c:




Hi Gayle
Thank you for sharing this and for posting how you believed he would kill you until you were well into adulthood. That is such an important thing for others to hear too because so many of us believe that we are alone in that.
Thank you for sharing your hope too!
hugs, Darlene


Hi, Darlene ~

I am glad to share anything as it may benefit someone, somewhere. Otherwise, what good can come out of such evil?

I do have one correction to what I wrote. I had written that my s-f told me “It will kill you mother if you ever tell her.” Typo! I meant to type “It will kill YOUR mother…” I can see why you couldn’t understand what I wrote. Regardless, I did believe my mother would die if I told her, though I didn’t know how. I guess I just thought she would up and die right in front of me the moment I told her.

However, I did live in fear of my brother the psychopath. He threatened me often and I feared him until he died. Of course, his legacy of fear and unworthiness lived on in me until this year.

These things don’t just go away by themselves. We have to work at, but there is hope in that. And your blog gives so many women so much hope. I thank God for you!



I found this site while going through some emotional termoil. Some helped lots just knowing Im not alone in feeling the pain from a Mother who cannot love you, but has all the love in the world for the two younger siblings. I go through cycles as my Husband calls it. I get hurt write a letter and tell her I no longer want to see her or talk to her. 2 or 3 months pass and I am back doing it again trying different tactics thinking it is going to work. Today was one of those days I just flat out asked her why she hated me. She just looked at me like I was crazy,but with a mean look as well, like I had no reason to ask her this question how dare me. I have been told many times that I need to work on myself well without getting into a long drawn out what happen to me, I so relate to many of these post. I want to so bad to cut the emotional roller coaster and move on. Just do not know how to. Its like I keep thinking its goin to change.“The true meaning of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.” I must be insane. I just can’t stop.. Im going to work on that though.. Thanks for all the post they have helped me think this out and know I am not alone.


Hi Susie,

Our stories are very similar. I was once where you are right now, going back and forth fighting with myself too. I had to just let it happen, naturally and it did. It was hard, but I did it. Never again, I returned after 10 years due to the death of my brother where they just all used me to pay for the funeral. After 10 years I STILL thought there would be CHANGE. But guess what? Change wasn’t there, I just stepped back into the same role I stepped out of. So in Dec. I cut them all off for good. It was killing me, but I’m worth way more than that. I deserve to be loved and treated with respect like the others and so do you Susie. You will get there one day, it just takes time, give yourself permission to “take the time you need”.
Peace, hugs, luv, happiness and freedom


Hi Susie
The way that I worked on myself was to look at how I had been treated and how that effected me. I took a look at the damage that had been done and validated it where it had been invalidated my whole life. I was not crazy. I had been taught to keep trying to fix everything in relationships. I am really glad that you are here. You are certainly not alone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hello All,

I have not been on in awhile, have been in bed for the past week most days all day. My youngest daughter and I are no longer on speaking terms. I have gone out of my way and maybe too much always bailing her out. Sent to her to private college so she could get a good medical job. She was never a close child, and was always negative with everything. Didn’t like the sun, or the rain, or the snow. What she loved was mommy’s money though.
So I called her up at 11:am on her day off as she wanted me to pay for her phsio. I said “goodmorning pumpkin face, when are you brining the papers over” “I need more sleep” then click. She hangs up. This is not the first time, but the last. I told her I never wanted anything to do with her negativity and never wanted to see her again. Some money which she still owes me is to be paid by June 30.
I guess I am having mixed feelings, did I turn in to my mom and where did I go wrong. I gave them everything I never had and more. Struggling with all this has proven to be very difficult for me. Just trying to hang in there,


I’m really sorry to hear this about your daughter. This is in no way my area of experience. Unfortunately, I have little to offer except support, prayers, and a virtual ear. Just know I’m thinking of you and hoping all things work out well, and very soon. Very best sent your way!!
Love and Hope,


Hi Lauralee
The whole parenting thing is extra hard when we didn’t have a good example of it ourselves. I had to look at the way that I considered my kids in a whole new way after I sorted out all of the belief system stuff I had learned from my mom. Being a parent who was not raised properly caused a few extra problems for me when it came to my own kids even though I knew that I loved them. It takes time to apply the truth that I learned with regards to my own mother when it comes to my kids and I AM the mother. I still had to set boundaries but they are different boundaries. Paying for everything for my kids (the opposite of what my mother did for me) is not necessarily the best thing for my kids so I had to make adjustments, consider what is best. This was really hard but it came down to my belief that they would love me if I did what they wanted. (and I taught them to expect that I would give them what they wanted so getting mad at them for expecting it seemed wrong; I caused the problem.) And that is exactly the same belief that I had when it came to my mother. (that she would love me if I did what she wanted) and that is not the definition of love I am working towards or believe in anymore. Always a learning process. I know how hard this is but I came out the other side with my kids so there is hope! Lots of communication, lots of time helping them understand why my original ways with them were not a good plan anymore and talking about how I came up with those ideas in the first place. Doing the opposite of what my parents did was not the answer so I had to find the actual answer.
Hang in there!
hugs, Darlene


I posted not to long ago about my Mother not loving me like my siblings and so forth, but now I have a delima. What would you do?
The day I wrote the first post on here was a very bad day for me, that was when I aske my Mother why she hated me, well now since I have so many emotional problems (according to her) she has passed the word on that she would be willing to do anything to help me, she will even see a counceler with me. Im really not sure how to take this. I feel like since she almost got caught being nasty to me by my Dad that she is doing this to manipulate the situation, and I do not trust her. I have asked for the letters that I know she has saved over the years that I have written her so that I can take them to a counceler and use them to help me explain things, and she has not responded, for some reason she is holding on to them, I did not keep copies so that is why I have asked for them. I feel like if she gives them up to me that she would be showing me that she really did care and wants me to find peace and happiness. I also explained that I would see they got back to her the same shape I got them. Im really having some trust issues since this has been going on all my life, she is 74 and I am 52 you would think we were children.
Having Trust Issues.


Hi Susie
I can’t tell you what is right for your situation but I can share my own life; My in-laws offered to go to counselling with us too. We said sure! They didn’t bring that up again. My husband brought it up to them though and they ignored him. Interesting; I call that a truth leak.
My mother also suggested that her and I go to therapy together. I was thrilled and said YES. She aslo never mentioned it again, in fact she never called me again. I think it may have been some sort of game that they never thought we would agree with doing! Another way of suggesting that it was all me and my problem and that I would not want to see a therapist becuase a third party would surely point out that it was my issue. Agreeing to go scared them! I think they saw suggesting it as a threat to me but I didn’t see it that way.
If she won’t respond about the letters you wrote, that it a truth leak too.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Susie,
When I first read your post, the thing that came to my mind is, if your mother’s anything like mine, she’s holding onto those letters because they contain truth that she doesn’t want to come out to a counselor, or anyone else. My mother would also just ignore the question.

Last year my mother and I were seeing the same counselor, but separately. My mother was open to having a group mtg with her and I and the counselor. I was not open to it. I wasn’t strong enough yet to stand up to her, and she had the counselor completely buffaloed. In her mind, she was safe having the meeting because she believes she’s slick enough to fool literally EVERYone! And, I’m sure she knew she had the counselor snowed.

If I put my mother and myself where you are (from what you describe), it would have a lot of hidden meanings. First of all, my mother is good at telling someone else she will do anything (and usually tearfully), or something specific (like going to counseling with me) if it will make her look good. Her words to me would be entirely different though. She wouldn’t suspect that I would even know she’d told someone else she was willing to go to counseling.

For my mother, getting “caught” is the worst scenario she could possibly imagine. She will go to any length to pretend she’s someone she isn’t among other people. If it makes her look like the loving doting mother, she’s all over it. Again, with me, she’d be entirely different.

I don’t trust my mother either, and I have good reason not to. I don’t feel bad about that at all. It was HER that blew it. Not me. If she was a friend or acquaintance, I would have dropped out many many years ago.

If the sitution you’re in with your mom, were to arise in MY life, I would stick to my guns. I would demand the letters and not move in any direction until I had them. That’s just the way it would have to be with my mom to really reveal her motives. She’s a tough one to pin down, but I have her number now. I don’t let things go without having my OWN say in the deal. I have very little respect for my mother, if any. It’s been her way or the highway for 43 years. Now, it’s my way from here on out, and I don’t care if she doesn’t like it. I come first now, not her.

I can tell you how I knew without a doubt that something was awry back last year when I was first in the discovery stages. I would read things online about narcissism. When I could go through a list of traits and select nearly every one of them regarding my mother, I would get a knot in my stomach and feel sick. That knot was telling me it was true.

I think our gut is a powerful tool for discovery. I bet your instincts are correct.

Whatever the outcome, I hope you are at peace with it.
With hope and love,


Lauralee, I am so sorry for what is happening between you and your daughter right now. It is so very heartbreaking.

I can relate to your feelings. I did everything I could to raise happy children after my miserable childhood. Like Darlene, I decided to do the opposite of what my mother did. That didn’t work out well for me at all because some of the things she did were right. Then I decided to follow the wisdom of the day: children are born perfect; it’s parents who mess them up; if we just allow them to do and have whatever they want they will grow up to be happy, productive citizens. Ummm…it doesn’t work that way, but it took me years to figure that out. We were all miserable as I gave our sons everything. We didn’t require them to treat us with respect, so they didn’t. They didn’t appreciate it or me; they used us. Our oldest one used us into the poor house and left us. It’s painful. We are still estranged from him and don’t expect to see him again, unless he decides there is something he wants from us. We have no intention of getting involved with him again. He is not a safe person for us. We’ve had more than enough of unsafe people in our lives. We are moving on.
Did you turn into your mom? I doubt it. You and your mom are very different people.

Lauralee, please believe me. You did the best you could with what you had. You meant well, no matter how things turned out. You didn’t require your daughter to respect you so she doesn’t. Your daughter has her own personality, too. She is not turning into you.

You need to forgive yourself and move on. I suggest you decide for yourself under what conditions you will have a relationship with your daughter in the future, if at all. You make the decisions for what is acceptable and what is not. Every person deserves to be treated with respect, no matter what. Even you. Even me. If we don’t require that we will just continue to be treated disrespectfully by those who don’t care about others.

One last thing, like Mimi mentioned and I reminded her, Everything is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. Don’t give up. You are a terrific lady. And you have so many women here who understand your pain and want to hear from you.

God bless you, Lauralee.



Thank you all so much for your support right now, it still is a very difficult time. I don’t get much sleep, but right now there is nothing I can do but let time go by. Darlene, Mimi and Susie, thank you thank you thank you, and I won’t give up on myself, I promise!
Peace, Luv, Hugs, Happiness and Freedom



Thank you so much for your words of comfort. Yep, all that sounds like me up there, but right now I’m stuck in a hard place, but I will get out, life has to go on,

You’re a beautiful soul Gayle!

Hugs, Lauralee


This post was a blessing to find. I’ve been trying to draw more final boundaries with both of my parents, and the toxic element they’ve brought to mine and my siblings lives, from day one. They’ve been divorced since childhood, but have brought chaos and heartache separately for years.

Having to deal with their inability to love me has been hard, and just seeing that I’m not alone is helpful. It is possible to put up these communication boundaries and eventually learn to cope with what that entails, and it’s comforting to see your example.

I wish all of these commenters good luck with their situation. And thanks to you for your post.


Hi Eleanor,
Welcome to EFB. There is a lot of sharing here (in many of the posts and discussions) about dysfunctional family stuff. You are certainly not alone. I am glad you are here. Please feel free to share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene and so many others that have the exact same issues with their mother as i do!! no self esteem, feel like a worthless fat piece of crap because of her body image issues that got passed down, like having a man i what makes you a woman, so i failed miserably there too!! lol but it has been so good not to see others suffering but to hear that im not the only one! i didnt think this was a common thing since most of my friends have good relationships with their mothers. the problem is i love her and im not ready to let go completely but i am trying to distance myself, and if i still feel that she is putting me down i will have to break the ties all together. i suspect that she doesnt know how to love someone either. thanks for letting me know im not alone in this journey.


Hi Elaine
Welcome to EFB.
Yes, you are NOT alone and there is tons of info in this site about this topic!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

I am in the midst of trying to deal with the loss of a relationship with my controlling mother. I have told her I am not going to allow her to ridicule, judge and undermine me anymore. She can choose to change her ways or lose out on our relationship. This, unforunately means that i cannot have a relationship with my sister because she is still under my mothers grip and thinks I am in the wrong. Its extremely hurtful and I’m trying to cope by seeking counselign and reminding myself I am a good person. Its nice to know there are others who understand what I am going through.

Thanks, Melissa


Hi Melissa
Welcome to EFB
You are certainly NOT alone! This is a really great community; There are many articles here about exactly what you are talking about too. I know that this is very difficult and hope you will share here often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Everyone,
I’ve been very busy, but lately I keep having nightmares of my mother and I don’t know why. Now she is even haunting me in my sleep. So confused and hurting. Sometimes I wish I could just move far away by myself where nobody knows me, no questions, no having to explain. I feel like I am losing my mind. I was on the road to recovery, but here we go again, when does this end or does it? When do we get peace? This is heartwrenching, I feel torn apart, and it is affecting my whole life. I know I can do it, get back to a somewhat normal life, but when? God help me!!


Dear Lauralee, my heart is breaking for you. I know that pain, I know that fear. God WILL help you. Rest in Him. Take three deep breaths. Repeat after me: “It’s going to be okay. I am still on the road to recovery. God is in control, not my mother. It’s going to be okay.” Then keep breathing, go to bed and go to sleep. Baby steps, my dear. Baby steps one at a time. It’s going to be okay.

Love, Gayle


Hi Lauralee
I understand. I have felt those same ways too. As you know I only know what worked for me and I had to fight for me for several years before I got that peace and a normal life back. There is hope for healing. There are good days/weeks and bad ones. There is a time to fight hard and a time to rest in between fighting. Maybe it would help if you join the current discussions here? This particular post is really old now and there are great discussions about all this stuff that are currently going on. You might not feel so alone there!
Hugs and love, Darlene


Thank you for your kind words and compassion. I feel like everything is coming apart. It’s so hard to feel so alone. My husband just thinks it’s my bipolar acting up, I hate it when people try and blame it on that cuz it’s not. Ths is a tough one. I pray I will make it through but I don’t know. I have had nightmares every night so far.


I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. I remember such pain at new discoveries. I wondered if I would ever come out on the other side. I always did. There is hope my friend.

I’ve had bad dreams (I wouldn’t say nightmares really) about my mom for oer 10 years. My sister chalked it up to God preparing my mind for the big reveal….. the truth about my mom. Then, I started having them about HER. (just the past year).

I have woke up crying or been woken by my husband when I was crying in my sleep. It’s always the same scenario, and it’s always just like real life. My mother/sister talking about me in my presence to the people who should love me ~ my family. Or, they’re in a group of people, laughing at my expense, sneering, whispering, glaring at me.

I don’t believe it’s God revealing truth to me. I already know the truth. I believe it’s my own mind releasing things I haven’t released in my “awake” time. As if my mind is like a pressure cooker and it can only process so much at the conscious level. Then, it spills over into my subconscious and is released in my dreams. That’s just the way I’ve looked at it for myself. Who knows if I’m right. Dreams are so mysterious and difficult to figure out.

I’m sorry again that you’re going through this. I believe it will get better. Maybe just a bump in your process that hasn’t been dealt with yet?? I tell ya Lauralee, nothing would surprise me now I don’t think. All this information and new reality business has me braced for the next big boulder, rolling down the hill in my general direction. I don’t want to say I’m paranoid and negative all the time. I HOPE I’m not. I feel like I’m realistic though. I’ve been hit by those boulders before, and often. I don’t think I’m invincible anymore. Ignorance does have a hint of bliss. Unrealistic bliss at that.

I hope you are feeling better soon. Each setback for me somehow ends up in a bit of progress. I’m praying this for you Lauralee.
Much love,


I was just noticing this post is reaching nearly 500 comments. Wow, that says so much about our world and how many people are hurting over this subject specifically. So many people whose mother’s don’t love them, or at least it’s their perception. Sad! And, to think it’s likely just the very tip of the iceberg.


I know! I like to keep track of the stats. For me it is part of “market research” to know what people are looking for and what is popular etc. The mother daughter posts are the posts most searched for and found here! (they are not the most shared in social networks and they don’t always have the most comments, but they get the most traffic) And I mean thousands and thousands of people read them!
It is a bit sad that there are so many hurting out there, but on the other had it is great that we are talking about it!
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi & Lauralee,
I notice that my dreams are more active & vivid, when I’m processing past pain & issues in my waking life. I really agree that dreams express what we are dealing with on a subconscious level. Sometimes it makes no sense & it’s like I’m releasing a lot of negative energy with different people in my past & present. I was dreaming up a storm last night and I can’t begin to explain it all! LOL. All I know is, I have some emotional stuff going on in my life right now & I’m trying to process it all. Like Mimi said, “it spills over into my subconscious and is released in my dreams.”
Lauralee, I hope you feel better soon!…Hang in There…This too shall pass
Love & Peace,


Hi!! I agree…. it’s like there is too much for my mind to handle, so I tuck it away into my subconscious where it comes forth in dreams. They are ugly dreams too.

If I ever had to question my mother’s abuse, I needn’t go any further than to look at my dreams. They are telling!!

Love to you,


I need help letting go of my mother go. Darlene, we must have the same mother…. I can’t go back to her any more. It hurts so bad but I know it’s best. I want her to hurt like I do. She lives this fake life with her new “family”. I don’t want her around me and my family any longer. She came from out of town for my son’s 1st birthday and left the next day early in the am without saying bye and I haven’t heard from her since. My sister was here also from out of town with her daughter (16) that My mother has not been able to be around since she was very young. My sister has had no contact with her for over 10 years due to her awful behavior. My mother left my home the next morning because the visit with family she hadn’t seen in years didn’t go her way.( My fault) I assume. It’s been since the weekend of May 18th 2012 I have not gotten a call or anything. It hurts but not surprised at all. I can not keep going back to her and the kick in the face I’m the yougest daughter and my sister is 4 years older. When my sister had her children she keep tring to keep a relationship with her and couldn’t. Now that I have my own family, husband and 14mth old son I can see where she was coming from. I’m grieving and it hurts. Nicole


Hi Nicole
Welcome to emerging from broken. You might be shocked to know how many thousands of women had “that mother”. You will find understanding and healing here in this community. We are really open and caring. I know this hurts but it sounds like you are ready to heal from the damage.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. it might help to get you started if you read the other articles in the mother/daughter category
hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene!!
I’m realizing that she really has never loved me. She is NOT able to love me or anyone. She always treated my sister awful and babied me (manipulated) into her puppet. She lived her life through me. Here is just a FEW wonderful things she has done. I got married, she would TRY to get in between me and my husband by pulling him aside and asking if things were ok. My husband after the third time told her to STOP. I caught her doing one time and told her she would never come in between him and I. She was shocked that she got caught and I was 6mth pego. I remember as a child, teenager, young adult that when I became close to a man, relative, friend anyone besides her she would cause problems with the relationship. She went as far as to write a letter to my boyfriends mother about how annoying I was and I had a learning disability, I wet the bed until I was 12. God awful things so the boyfriend’s mother wouldn’t like me. The boy friends mother loved to pieces and was wowed by the letter and never told me about it until many years later. She did the same thing with a relative with whom I became close I was 20. I moved to another state to try and get my own life. She called the relative and told her I was spreading lies and calling her names around this small town she had lived all of her life. The relative believed her and never had anything to do with me again. She tells me as a adult that if I don’t make myself up everyday and wear makeup my husbands going to leave me. Told me my husband didn’t really love me. I can’t wrap my brian around why I even care if she’s in my life. Why do I care if she ever calls me again?? Why does it hurt even after 37 years?? Why would I want someone like this around me. Why would a “mother” do these things to thier own??? I need to MOVE ON!!!!! . Sorry for the poor writting….



Hi Nicole,
It does hurt. It hurts really deeply when the realization that our mother’s don’t truly love us, is in our face.

I was so lost when I first came here. It didn’t take long before I realized this was where I needed to be to start to unravel things. There is so much wisdom and compassion among people here. It has been an enormous refuge for me. I understand so much more. I was so caught up in the confusion that a psychological abuser causes, I couldn’t figure out the basics of life anymore. There is hope. A painful process, but at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I saw no light when I first came here. Total darkness ahead.

I hope to see you here again.


You sound as if you have a good head on your shoulders! You seem to have realized your mother’s manipulations at an early stage in life. (I kept making excuses for mine, and even let her talk me into paying her to babysit my child every day instead of daycare while I worked. Now I really wish I had faced her manipulations and had not done that!)

It hurts a lot at any age to face dysfunction in a mother. It might be especially hard when you are a new mom yourself.

Moms should not tell lies, or even humiliating truths, about their daughters. You recognize that this is wrong, so that is really good.

I hope you will find some good friends here, and maybe some good guidance. I hope you are comforted and strengthened.

carolyn carriere
July 13th, 2012 at 7:53 am

Darlene, I appreciate your soul-searching attempts to resolve issues with your mother. What comes to my mind is that mothers are people like us, some broken, some prisoners of their own pasts. Some have never learned to accept themselves and a certain child may remind them of themselves which they don’t want to acknowledge. I had similar issues with my father, always seeking his approval and now that he’s gone, it doesn’t matter any more. I have learned that self approval is what matters. Your mothers is what she is and you’ll never change her but you can still love her in your own way.
Just my few cents worth.


Hi Carolyn
Welcome to emerging from broken! This website is about healing from the damage caused by these “mothers (and parents) who are people just like us” and not so much about trying to understand them. I don’t want to change my mother, but I have wished she was different. Either way, I don’t accept her abusive ways the way that I used to. It would not be love towards her or me if I did. My definition of love is not about acceptance or compliance anymore, but about the action of love itself. Self approval IS what matters just as you say and I didn’t get any until I stood up to disrespect and abuse.
Hugs, Darlene


I want to commend you on this article. I have been fighting this battle for many years with my mother. I am going to be 43 tomorrow, and just about 4 weeks ago I wrote to my mother again to try and make Peace with her and my own demons. I wanted to try and understand why I wasn’t good enough to be loved, appreciated or accepted. I felt she owed me an answer. It ended with her telling me I needed to be seen by docs, shrinks, and psych doctors, but she did admit she was cruel to me as a young woman and as I matured. I was angry at first because I gave her the power again,I had no desires to call her mommy but I did have the desire for her to help me fix the brokenness I thought only she could mend. I did learn quickly though to take control of my emotions and the power I gave her to have a hand in my feeling she would break or make me, so that makes me smile .I now know that I had to love myself before I could even understand all the issues with her that existed and make them less important. I used to ask myself,How can you miss really what ya never knew,& HOW COULD ANYONE TRULY LOVE ME IF MY OWN MOTHER COULD NOT. Well the answers are irrelevant now. I have a great life with my small family unit. I am content for once.What I thought I missed is no longer a factor,nor is her acceptance.It is funny she states she is a God Fearing woman but I believe many, like her are more religious than Christ-Like. They make face for many and hide behind the words they preach.I now know after years of fighting we all can change its our choice to choose happiness and just because someone gives you life, doesn’t mean they are going to continue to whisper those words of encouragement when needed. I had to grasp my own value, with or without her love or acceptance. I know I will be ok. I had to set my wants aside and though saddened by the years wasted, I am happier to be able to think of her and no longer be angry and to finally be grateful for what I have and who I have in my life.


Hi Patricia
Welcome to EFB
Very well said! I came to many of these same understandings and conclusions too. I had to learn to be for myself what my mother never was in my life and today I am at peace living a wonderful life! Thanks for your comments.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi there 🙂

From what I’ve seen, you are all female adults and I thik that your stories are truly inspiring. I’m 16, 17yrs old in a few months and I was 12 years old when my birth mother decided she didn’t want me as apart of her life.

I have a question – it’s a little off topic, but I have no one to turn to and it just gets complicated …. Anywho, my School Formal/Graduation is coming up in November, and I’m finding it really hard to get ready for it because I don’t have a Mum to help me book appointments or go dress shopping & to tell me I look beautiful if I try on a really nice dress .. You know what I mean? Do you females have any advice or anything to help me prepare for this event? To me – it’s very emotional. I cry every time I think about what I have to do to get ready, bookings, etc. 🙁

Thankyou, & sorry if this comment/question is too off the mark.

– T.Ryn


Hi Ryn
Welcome to EFB. I understand how difficult this must be. Most of us here are dealing with some kind of rejection from one parent or both too. I am not sure how to advise you on how to handle this particular event, ~ could you ask a friend or go with a friend and her mother? I understand how emotional this is for you. I didn’t go to those kinds of things myself, I shut them out so I am not the best one to say how to get through it. I talk mostly about healing the damage that this kind of thing causes.
Hugs, Darlene
Perhaps some of the other readers here have some ideas for Ryn??
(Ryn, this is a really old post now so if you don’t get much response, click on the home button and join the more current conversations. There is lots of emotional support in this site)


Hi everyone,
I’m posting this here because I don’t know where else to put it.

UGH… that’s the best way to start out this comment. I got email from my mom today. She sent it to my sisters and I. She wrote apology in the subject line. In the content she did apologize but not for lying, which is what I had called her on. She said she couldn’t fix what she didn’t know about. She wanted to know what else she needs to do. I have already told her numerous times to leave my grandma out of it. She continues to do it. I am feeling like I am headed to the place where so many people are here…. completely no contact with anyone. I texted with my oldest sister. She seems like she’s already forgiven. I smell a rat about the apology. Maybe because I just don’t trust her.

I feel some guilt because this isn’t what I wanted. I want her away from me….. STILL!!

I’m very confused and I don’t even want to think about it. I was just feeling the freedom really settle in. I was feeling more peaceful all the time. Why don’t I want her in my life still? Even after an apology?

Ah, well…. I’m going to go to bed and hash it over for a while.

Peace and Love,


Hi Mimi,
That is unsettling! After she walked away from you, she is coming back. My first reaction would be of distrust by thinking, “What is she up to?” or “What does she want now?”…I wish I had an answer for you, all I can say is Stay Strong & Listen to your Intuition. You have been doing very well, without her in your life. This may be a control tactic to hook you back in. It was very confusing for me, when my dad started coming around & reaching out towards me & my kids. I decided to just continue with my boundaries & limits, and in the meantime don’t feed into the drama, which is easier said then done. I haven’t got the “The Betrayal Bond” book yet, but I think that will be an eye opener in understanding this push & pull dance with the controlling parent. Wishing you Peace & Clarity!


Thank you so much for responding. I needed someone to share their perspectives because my emotions are definitely in the way. Thank you for that.

My first reaction was panic. I started going over in my mind all the ways she could be using this to her advantage. I thought exactly what you describe… what is she up to? It occurred to me that she will be 70 in october and no one is doing anything for her birthday. That might be part of the motivation.

She recently sent an apology to her brother whom she hasn’t spoken to in 10 years, while simultaneously dragging other, more distant family, into that drama (between her and her brother). In doing that, she told some more lies, about me, and her brother.

The fact that she’s making more messes behind the scenes, tells me this apology is BS. It does seem sincere in the way it’s written. But, she fails to address things I’ve already pointed out to her, and has stated AGAIN that she wants to know what she’s done.

I don’t understand, and I don’t know what she wants from me. It has occurred to me that she sent it to all three of us because she senses my sisters will cave, but I won’t. Then, I will look like a big piece of crap because, after all, she did apologize.

I don’t know what I’m going to do Sonia. I’ve already succumbed to dwelling and imagining future events/scenarios, etc. There’s really only a small percentage of me that wants to believe her. The rest of me wants to continue in this “no contact” fashion because of the freedom and peace I was feeling.

I agree with everything you said. There are certainly red flags here. I don’t know how to set boundaries I don’t think. I guess there’s a first time for everything. There is so much about her that I don’t accept. Her very personality is unacceptable. The envy, manipulation, control, the way she defines love, the abuse, the lies…. I don’t even hang around acquaintances that possess these characteristics. How do I say, “mother, I don’t like very many things about you, if any”?

Anyhow, after three hours of sleep, I’m back up, thinking!! UGH!! I can’t believe how quickly the old ways of managing/coping came flooding back. The destructive thoughts and how I will somehow come out smelling like SH*T, and she will come out smelling like a rose. Beating myself up for I don’t even know what.

My sister said in texting that mother finally admitted things she had brought up a year ago. She also said that I should name what I want her to do differently, and keep the pressure on…. that it might take a couple years for her to really realize I’m not accepting these ways. It seems like my sister is worn out. She even said she doesn’t care much anymore. That almost sounds like she’s willing to overlook any future behaviors… because she no longer cares. At the beginning of these discoveries of my mother, my sisters said, we need to stick together. Hahaha!! None of that came to fruition. We’ve all gone our separate ways.

I will pray and worry some more and see what I come up with, haha! Worry solves everything, said no one, ever!! 🙂

Thanks again Sonia. I so appreciate it!!


Thank you all for what you are, strong, wonderful people.

For me it’s very hard to bear being all alone.
I had never could built normal relationship because my non father had totally screwed me up.
I was a scapegoat at home and at school so being with people and having a relationship is very challenging for me.

I live in my brithtown and it’s hard from me. I am sometimes sooo desperate.
I have agoraphobia and and a lot of fears.

Even working is so hard. I also have chronic pain in all my joints and especially in my jaw which makes life horrible.
My body is talking to me. Is it my anger towards my nonfather ?
That handicaps me a lot to walk, to move, to be independant.
My non father doensn’t want me to be independant, to be alive, he prefered I would rather stay under his control, under the influence of his horrible and unfair treatment. He prefered I would have gave him my soul and then died of it.

I have no contact with him since my 20, but I am so damaged.
However, I left my boyfriend which whom I had a relationship of submission which is a quite positive thing.

Thank you for reading.


Listen to your self, your intuition.

If they come out smelling like roses, could it be that they smell like roses because they ARE roses…in the garden of denial? In the family garden, where the gardener snips and trains their psyches to the arbor over the gate concealing the family secrets? Whose garden is this? Is it being fertilized with BS? Who chooses what to prune? Whose nose is judging the odors or perfumes? Are these roses on a coffin, are they bioengineered to have no natural thorns?

I do not mean to suggest answers, only questions your own words brought to my mind.

Perhaps your references to BS, smelling like roses, smelling like sh.., are from within your inner self trying to tell your conscious mind something?