My Mother Doesn’t Love Me but I am not Alone

my mother doesn't love me

Burial Ground for Harmful Beliefs

“You can’t solve the problems of today by using the same thinking that created them” Einstein

As I started to go through the healing process I realized that there were roots to the feelings of loneliness and that feeling of being alone. I felt let down in a world where I didn’t fit in and didn’t belong and believed I wasn’t worthy of the love that I craved. I believed that I had brought on my own problems that I created the life of depression that I lived in and believed that if I could just figure out what was wrong with me then everything would be okay.  I believed this stuff because it had been communicated to me through the actions of other people.

I started to realize that some of the things that had happened to me left me believing that I was somehow lacking and that I was somehow undeserving of the love that other people deserved. As I progressed farther into my emotional healing journey, I realized that my own parents had contributed to those beliefs and were still contributing to them well into my adult life. I was a disappointment to my parents and nothing I did was ever “good enough” and as I grew older I was beginning to comprehend that nothing I ever accomplished was EVER going to be “good enough”.

When I first started this website I never intended to talk about my parents as part of where the problem began. I thought I could just keep it about the belief system development resulting from trauma and I could just sort of keep my parents out of it.

As my confidence grew, I started to write about some specific incidents with my mother and father that caused some of the false beliefs about myself to take root in my belief system. And when I started to get really specific about the part that my parents played in the breakdown of my self-esteem, I started noticing changes in the traffic numbers and statistics here in Emerging from Broken.

One of the most popular comments that I receive in this website from first time commenters is “I thought I was the only one who felt this way” or “wow, I thought I was alone in this”. I get emails through facebook and through the contact form in this site every day from people who say the same thing; “wow, I thought I was the only one, I have always felt so alone”. Many specify “I thought I was the only one with a mother who didn’t love me”. And even more will say “OH MY GOSH, my mother didn’t love me!” And of course there are many who write the same things about their fathers.

Thousands of people read blog posts on Emerging from Broken every single day. Statistics in the back end of the website tell me how I am found and 80% of my traffic comes from search engines such as Google. Out of that 80% about 70% of those people find me because they are searching for information about difficult or dysfunctional relationships with family or parents and especially information about difficult mother daughter relationships.

The most popular post of all time article on Emerging from Broken is the article titled “My Mother doesn’t Love Me and the Process of Grieving”.  This post has been found through search engines more than any other single post on the entire website and has been the gateway into the most viewed category; the “mother daughter relationship” category. People are looking for other people that share this same experience of being discounted by their own parents. People are looking for validation that this happens and has happened to others and that they are not the only ones. People are looking for reassurance that something was wrong with the way they were treated by toxic or narcissistic mothers and in many cases the ways they are STILL being treated in dysfunctional mother daughter relationships and by other family members.

I found out a long time ago that I was not alone in suspecting that judging by the ways I was treated by my parents, something wasn’t right even though I had gone many years without ever examining that tiny suspicion for fear of the consequences.  

I think that my greatest fear of all time was that my own mother didn’t love me. And when I look at her actions, it seems easy enough to come to that conclusion but the rejection was just too hard to face. As long as I didn’t look at her actions, I didn’t have to see the truth about them, so I did anything I could to avoid looking at the truth that those actions pointed to, including arguing with myself and others, defending my mothers (and fathers) choices and actions towards me and against me and trying harder to change in order to become what they wanted me to be. I also spent a lot of time trying to understand my parents in order to excuse the disrespectful ways that I had been mistreated and disregarded.

I am not alone in the fact that my own mother and father abused and neglected me, objectified me and were more interested in what I could do for them or how my accomplishments and behaviour reflected on them.  However, dysfunctional mother daughter relationships or dysfunctional mother son relationships or even toxic relationships of any kind with either parent are not the most popular subject when it comes to open discussion.  They are often considered “taboo” in fact.

When I write about difficult and dysfunctional relationships with my parents the articles are shared much LESS in social networks such as Facebook  or Twitter than the posts about recovery that don’t mention mother and father relationship difficulties. There is a ‘facebook like button’ on this site and the number of “likes” is never as high when I am talking about child abuse or neglect at the hands of the parents as it is when I talk about PTSD or coping methods or something less revealing about parental involvement or responsibility for the childhood difficulties that the adult child is having. However, my traffic from search engines goes WAY up and the time spent on site by the people finding ‘emerging from broken’ also goes way up.

These stats reveal that hundreds of thousands of people are searching for articles about dysfunctional parents and abusive parents but most of the people searching don’t want anyone to know about it. I believe this comes from the fact that most of us in any given society were brainwashed to believe that WE are the ones that failed the parents and that the ‘character defect’ is within us and therefore the failure in the relationship is on our shoulders instead of on the shoulders of the abusive parents. And the loyalty to our parents that was drilled into us as our only hope for survival and acceptance is not easily overcome.

I write about this subject not to encourage more public sharing but to let people know how many other people are looking for info on this stuff. I want people to realize that they are far from alone in this difficult problem. I would never advocate for people going public about problems with their parents before they are ready. Many people will never share anywhere publically about any of this even long after their parents are dead and that is a personal choice that I will always respect.  

But the truth is that you are not alone. We are not alone.

It wasn’t and still isn’t easy to accept that my own parents didn’t consider my emotional health a top priority and that my father and my mother didn’t love me however it has been a huge part of the truth that set me free. I had to face the truth about the damage and where it came from before I could heal from that damage; regardless of the dysfunctional childhoods my parents may have had, the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.

It was in facing this truth, the truth about how I was discounted, unprotected, neglected, punished for the wrong reasons and mistreated by my own parents that I found emotional healing. I found freedom and wholeness by realizing how this mistreatment defined me as unworthy of love and by realizing that the mistreatment, including emotional neglect and carelessness on their part does not define me as much as it defines them, I found a way to re-parent myself and learned self-love and self-care which eventually filled all the emptiness within me.

Please share your thoughts about feeling alone, the fears of talking about abusive parents or anything else you want to share. Remember that you may use any name you wish in the comment form; only the name you use will be seen by others. Your email address is never shared and your privacy is very important to me. If you want to follow the conversation, remember to click the “subscribe to comments” button.

To read the related posts, click on the phrases in bold print.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken the 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 in the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing


Darlene Ouimet is a Certified Life Transitions Coach specializing in emotional healing (CTACC)

Categories : Mother Daughter



Hi, I find this article very helpful. I have to say that in healing I had to accept my parents just didn’t love me and that if there was anyone who really loved me, it was God. Reading the Bible gave me a lot of insides of why “THIS” had happened to me (without deserving it). We are all imperfect people,but what abusive parents, brothers and others have done to us when we were children can’t be excused. Knowing that they might have gone themselves through a lot doesn’t heal me. I even think that’s why there were so mean to me. They took revenge on me and I had to pay the concequences of the evil others had done to them. I rebel against fallowing their steps and I have decided not to act in the way they did. This brings me healing, knowing that now I have the control over my actions and that I can control who I am. It makes me very happy to chose to be a free person (free from them and from their evil), even though I have to pay a high prize for it.
* I don’t mean to offend the writer, but isn’t there a grammar mistake in paragraph 2 with the word “that”?.
Thank you.


Hi Liz
Welcome to emerging from broken! Yes, although abuse can go round and round being passed on from generation to generation, that is no excuse. It is the damage that we must heal from that is important to focus on!
Glad you are here and thank you for pointing out my grammar error! (I have fixed it now!)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, Wow! This post really hits home!I identify with so much of what you had said. I often feel let down in a world where I dont fit in. It is true, I am often trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and how to fix it. Despite the fact I can look at my dysfunctional family sistem, and rage against them, that core belief is still there, that I was and AM a bad person, that no matter what I do, it can never matter. That living my life responsibly, having a great career, loving relationships, is of no matter. The neglect and general ill treatment I received at the hands of my mother and father, has colored how I relate to others, what I think of myself.
I see my sisters, in where you talk about how people turn a blind eye to the bad treatment, refusing to see that their mother doesnt love them, or is abusive. But that still does not give them a free pass for treating me shabbily!
It makes me feel less crazy, that we are not alone, yet makes me feel so sad for others! How does anyone get anywhere in this world? I wonder what percentage of people are not damaged in this way?
I am tired of the hypocrisy in my family. I was turned into a “pariah”, rather, my pariah status was reinstated, when I spoke up about my sister leaving her son in the care of her intoxicated husband, and turning a blind eye to his drinking. Yet, when my dear mother called me, it was all about my younger golden child sister’s opinions on the situation, what Randy should do when he gets out of jail,all the goings on of the dysfunction in my older sisters home, etc, etc. This, from the person who told me she was just going to “concentrate on her own back yard”. Well, I think there is a pile of manure out in there……
And, Darlene, when you say ” I also spent a lot of time trying to understand my parents in order to excuse the disrespectful ways that I had been mistreated and disregarded”. This makes me wonder why absolutely no consession is made for the victim. Why no one is sitting around, trying to figure us out. Why we are hurting, or upset? Basically, no one gives a darn, at least not from the FOO……….
If you read my last post on the last topic, I am re-examining my relationship now, whether I want to live in such a relationship where I feel discounted by my partner over his children. I feel like making a totally new start somewhere,as I will be pretty much alone anyways. Going to get my finances together, and start thinking of a plan B…..

Hugs to All,


I can relate to the entire post, as usual! I wrote this about myself when I was 15: “A misfit does not fit anywhere except with misfits. There was something missing in me, and if only I could figure it out, I would figure it in.” It took me another 30 years to discover that of course I didn’t fit in the insane family! I grew up feeling lonely, but now I realize the loneliness was a longing for the soul that was being neglected, or worse, stripped from my own self. I think that we are ingrained with the commandment “Honor thy father and thy mother” and that prevents admission of how our parents hurt us. As recently as last summer, I read 7 book on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, seeing the application to my parents. I realized I was STILL trying to figure THEM out. I’m done with that. Thank you Darlene for writing truths that heal!


I’m in the long process of healing… My father died 5 years ago which hurt me. Then my mother died just last October 2011.Our relationship was always horrible. I thought the pain would die with her.. however it got worse. She was in a coma for 2 days before she past I knew she could possibly hear me. I really unloaded.. I told her I would forgive her but, it’s been hard… Very hard! I’m so thankful that I have connected with you.. how I relate to everything you write… Thank you.. And I’m glad I’m not alone… Barb


Darlene, many thanks for this and all the work you do. Our stories are very similar in that when I stood up for myself, my mother simply decided that since I was asking for a mutually respectful and civil relationship in which there was equal value, I was being disrespectful and she couldn’t be bothered. Even down the the infantile manipulative text messages, all of which were signed ‘your mother’ (a passive aggressive power play designed to keep me in my place) telling me that it was my actions that were the problem. Yeah. I blocked her text messages.

But at seven weeks pregnant and after dealing with her shenanigans and narcissistic tactics during my wedding and the holidays (and most days in between) I was just done. Burnt out. Tired of doing dog and pony shows for her and then, behind closed doors, being treated like shyte. The insult of my husband and unborn kid just sealed the deal for me. And it did make me realize that my only value to my mother was how good I could make her look to the audience around her. And that is not love. It never has been. Oh, my mother has talked a good game about loving me. But her actions, and her uncanny ability to denigrate and/or be dismissive to me when my problems and issues needed her attention – even to the point of her blaming me for the rape I suffered at the hands of my own cousin – tells an entirely different story.

I’m free now, but I do grieve. I grieve at how many times I fell for the mind games and manipulation. How many times, in the interest of being peaceable and respectful, I swept her bad behavior under the rug and told myself I was being ridiculous. How I shouldered the mantle of adulthood and responsibility while she sat in the back and took all the credit. I wish I had stood up sooner. I wish I’d seen it – and truly seen it; not the seeing it and pretending I didn’t – and cut ties sooner. I wish I had listened to my gut and the things it told me about the lack of love this woman actually had for me. I can’t get that time back – but that’s okay. I know now. And I’d rather know now than never know and keep believing in a false reality – holding up one side of a loveless mother daughter relationship.


Hi Janie
If there is consideration for the victim, the whole pecking order thing is shot and falls down. There is no equality in the dysfunctional family system. If you think about it, they don’t have to figure the victims out; they already know what happened to them because most of the time they were there! That is why it is up to us to listen to ourselves. It is up to us to validate the damage and to stand up to it and then heal from it. I had to tell myself that they didn’t have to agree with me in order for me to know it happened. (and eventually I realized that they knew.. they always knew!) And if the gave a damn they would STOP doing it and stop saying nothing is wrong with it. There would be hell to pay if we treated them that way!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lynn
Yes, the lonliness is a longing for what was missing. I think that the reason we can’t consider that our own parents are hurting us is because as children if we blame them there is no hope and if there is no hope there is no survival. (we can’t make them stop or change) so we adjust like they tell us too. That is the brainwashing. They convince us that it is us in many many ways. And as you say, there is no point and no way to understand them. We have to concentrate on understanding ourselves!
Hugs and thanks so much for sharing!

Hi Barb
Welcome to emerging from broken! I am so glad that you are here. I have heard many times that it gets worse when a parent or both dies. It might have to do with the death of the dream that one day our parents will suddenly realize that we are really wonderful and that they have been wrong, but the root of that dream is in the false belief that their approval defines us as good enough when the truth is that we ARE good enough and lovable already!
Glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Yasha’s Twin
You see it now. You are standing up now and listening to yourself now! That is all that matters. Everything you shared makes wonderful sense and is part of the realization so important to actually validating the damage. It is fantastic! I love to read stuff like that because I know where it leads!
I used to mourn the loss of my life prior to realizing the truth and I am sure that was the season I needed to be in for a while but one day I realized “oh my gosh, I have the REST of my life to live!” I am not suggesting you skip the mourning period, because that too is part of self validation but I want to encourage you that there are brighter and more wonderful times ahead!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, One thing I know for sure, if parents who abuse thought their kids would grow up and talk about what happened to them, parents would be more careful about the way they treat their children. One of the most important things I’ve learned at EFB is the power of victim’s voices. It has been such an important piece in my healing process and if anyone tole me two years ago that I’d talk about how I was treated as a child and about being sexually abused as a teen, I would never have believed them. In fact, I read that one sign of being well is the ability to talk about what happened in front of a crowd and I thought I’d never be able to do it. I am so much stronger for having spoken out and refusing to carry all those secrets. I’m free. Thank you for having the courage to write about your life, Darlene. Thank you to everyone else who comments here. It’s so important to know we aren’t alone, as our abusers are so effective in making us feel, and it is so important to be heard. I know I really could speak in front of a room full of people now. That’s amazing!



Totally agree with everything you’ve written. Especially the brainwashed ‘code of silence’ about the family. I am still lonely. Still have a problem making connections but I have made a few – and that’s what counts for me. I’m not the freak my family made and still makes me out to be. Far from it.

Also, I just want to say to readers here to remember it’s not that your Mother didn’t love you; your Mother CAN’T LOVE. Period. These people are disordered in some way and CAN NOT love like you & I. It has ZERO to do with you being lovable. In fact, your lovable/ likeable-ness is probably quite high. But you are dealing with an abnormal creature who can not love and is probably very envious of your like-ability.


Hi all,

I can so relate to the comments about lonliness and not fitting in. I felt alone for decades, and never really fitted in anywhere. I would try to change who I was to fit in with whoever I was trying to impress at the time, but it never worked. People sense when you are being fake and dont respect you for it. I was always searching “out there” for someone to fill the void, but perversely, some of the lonliest times I ever experienced, were when I was in relationships. Not surprisingly, because I could only attract and be attracted to abusive partners. I used to wonder why I couldnt find the “right person”, but I was attracting exactly the right people for the belief system I had at the time. I believed I was rubbish and “less than”, so of course, I got partners who also believed that about me. I believed that men were narcissistic like my mom, or emotionally and often physically unavailable like my dad, and thats exactly what showed up! Would it sound crazy to say that even though I was smothered by – and enmeshed with – my mother, I was an intensely lonely chid? I was only allowed minimal contact with other children and longed for friends. People used to tell me “Your mummy loves you so much, that she cant bear to let you out of her sight”. Bollocks! It was about control and manipulation. She didnt love me, and now I dont care. I really do not care. She didnt love anyone, maybe except for oldest GC brother, but it was a sick love and it screwed him up. Mom screwed eveyone up. She made a career out of it.


Like you, I also acheived “Pariah Status” in my FOO. Because I was too honest and that made mom, and her acolytes feel threatened. I did read your last post, and I hope things work out for you, you deserve better. My mom used to “rage”, slamming doors, clashing pots and pans, and generally creating a terrible atmosphere. I will never forget the anxiety I felt as a result of that. Good luck x

Love Sylvia x


It seems that the mother/daughter dysfunction has repeated itself through generations in my family. I felt scared and unloved from my mother. And one of my four daughters tells me she grew up the same way. Her voice and mine sound identical to the women who commented. I am experiencing tremendous tension knowing I was the abused and the abuser. I have validated my daughter that she did grow up in our home in a time of great stress in our family. I am so sad to now understand why she was so withdrawn as a child and teenager.


I think it’s so important to understand that understanding our parents’ defects and broken childhoods is not the way forward. I spent 3 years in therapy analysing them, and what THEY did and why, when the truth is that it doesn’t really matter WHY. What matters is how it affected me, where it created pain and disconnection internally, and accepting responsibility for healing after placing responsibility for the abuse on the perpetrators. We can’t skip holding them accountable because it makes us internalise the blame and outrage that was created by the pain and rejection we felt. I think I’ve learned that it’s okay to admit that my parents and siblings didn’t love me, and to look at that clearly so that I can accept and understand how it damaged my sense of self. Thanks Darlene for this.


So here’s the thing… I’ve realized my mom had some issues, and that they affected me growing up…She was covertly narcissistic and it’s sometimes hard to recognize. I’m trying to heal from the abuse, at this point I’m 58 years old. I have a hard time telling others about my mother, and the resultant issues I have due to this abuse that I still grapple with. I have questioned myself as to why I don’t want to go public. And what I find is a belief that I have that most people won’t understand. I have a trail of involvements, failed marriages and the like from trying to “fix” myself through others like my mother. So my question is really, am I just not dealing with the brainwashing I received, that I was never be good enough and fear rejection if people were told about my past, or is it that most people really won’t understand and will blame me… I hold myself responsible for changing the wrong beliefs long indoctrinated in me, and sometimes think it would be good if I could tell people about this…in fact, I do, just not “the whole world”. I am not so certain being willing to tell just anyone is a good idea….there are predatory folks out there, and I don’t feel strong enough boundaries yet to protect myself…Hope this makes some sense, or someone can help me out with the thinking…. P.S. This is my first post here, but I’ve been reading along for several months now..


Website stats are a great source of info. Yours do not surprise me. They are very helpful in understanding
how people find you and your use of them aids in determining what subjects speak to the majority of your readers. Posting about it helps others to understand the extent of this issue. I too have noticed the first time comments of ” I thought I was alone.” It speaks to the brainwashing and how successfully it taints young minds.

As a young child I knew my father was a crazy angry violent man. I knew my mother favored my brother over me and did not
treat me the way I thought mothers should be. I knew she had major damage to herself because of the horrible way my father treated her. I knew her coping was nuts. I knew I was inherently defective.
On a conscious level I knew all these things.

I NEVER connected their dysfunctional parenting and lives to my self esteem and emotional issues until this site. They always kept me looking at myself and the fact that I
was less than and would NEVER meet expectations. Our relationship was always about how they put up with having an emotionally defective daughter. I never considered that they were at the root of it. That is how successful they were in keeping me down. And I never looked any further than self blame. Anything bad
that happened to me was because I was defective and somehow caused it.

I have not had love or affection or simple concern from my mother (or father) for so long (at least 40 years) that being NC I don’t miss her. I feel less stressed not having to put up with the demeaning calls. But I am totally at ease with realizing her true feelings. I see that its always been thus. I guess you don’t miss what you have never had? What really angers me is her repeated attempts to pretend she cares about me when I know she doesn’t.

They made me hide all the bad things they did to me. What will the neighbors think? was more important than their daughter. She is still playing the appearances game. I sure don’t hide anymore. If you notice I use my first and last name here. That’s just me. The posts were seen by my extended family on Facebook. They did not know of my upbringing and called me quite concerned. I was upfront and told them was was up and what I had learned. They were very understanding. I am not hiding anymore. I did nothing as a little child to deserve that treatment and my FOO won’t silence me anymore.

I recently read an article that said that we are the strong ones in the dysfunction family just in surviving the “emotional desert” we lived in. We had only ourselves to rely on to get thru many terrible things and we did. I found that to be true in my case. I got thru many terrible things myself with no emotional support.
Wow. I never thought of it that way. I kept looking to them for love and feeling bad instead of to myself and saying..I got thru that horrible event, time, whatever with no family support. I must be strong!!
I think we are stronger than we have ever realized.


Hi Darlene,
Lack of nurturing when I was young has definitely been a primary factor in my life. Had it been there, there is a good chance, I believe,that my awareness would be filled with a greater degree of contentment than what is the case. But I do not necessarily lay most or all of the blame on my parents. While it is true that had they done things differently my life would have had less angst, it is also true that they were unable to have the awareness that it would have taken. They were also suffering, and unfortunately for both me and them, they did not have the awareness to do it any differently. At 12 years old, I made a vow that my children would never experience what I was experiencing. In the process of becoming responsible for my own life, I have formed some conclusions. The first one is that all this suffering is just the way it is. Suffering is a part of existence, and it is unreasonable and untruthful to believe that it should not be here. It is a “given” of existence. Unlike the Buddhists, though, I do not believe there is an escape from this suffering. What I CAN do, is choose to be kind, and not perpetuate the suffering by blaming it on others. I can identify where in my parent’s behavior and thinking they caused suffering, and not do those things, but I can also identify the root cause as BEYOND them, embedded in our culture, and subsequently have a measure of sympathy for them, as well as myself and all other sentient beings who suffer through existence. There is also beauty and goodness beyond measure, but we have to be kind to see it.


That’s the exact article I found when I first came to this blog. I Googled “my mother doesn’t love me” and I found it. It was comforting to find that I wasn’t alone and there were others out there who were able to admit the hard truth.

I personally think that people are so afraid of this subject because it creates even more isolation and rejection and judgment from others who are adamant about how all parents love their children no matter what, and the kids are responsible for being grateful for it. In my experience there has been a stigma attached to an estranged relationship with parents, which can smear over into my professional life. People want an employee that seems “stable”, and having a bad relationship with family is looked down on. I lie to bosses and co-workers about my family relationship, which usually comes up during casual conversations during luches or breaks or when someone is simply trying to break the ice. Family is seen as a “normal” conversation starter.

I think if you add this to some peoples outright denial of their own dysfunctional family (those who have a bad relationship with their own family but are in denial), it is easier to see why so many don’t want to let others know about it or talk about it or admit to it. It is always painful to feel rejected by peers, and extremely painful to be rejected by friends and family.


Hi Pam
So true; I was writing another blog post the other day and that is one of the things I said; If my parents didn’t do any of this stuff then I wouldn’t have anything to talk about, would I? There is a ton of power in our voices. I always say that victims/survivors ARE the majority and that if we all drew a boundary then the world would change. That is why I am an advocate for personal healing! Personal healing is going to change the world because once we see that keeping the secret is how ‘they’ get away with it and we stop keeping that secret, more and more people are empowered to expose the secrets! Pretty soon no one will be keeping the secrets and abusers are going to have a problem hiding. Thanks for sharing your own personal progression in the healing process and all that you share about your life here! It is empowering for so many people in so many ways when we share this stuff.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barbara
Yay for not being the freak that your family defined you as! It was so important for me to realize that they were wrong about me! They lied about me! It wasn’t me.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sylvia
Yes, me too! I thought someone else would be the answer because I had been asked to try harder all my life and was so hooked into thinking that only someone else could define me as OK or good enough. I can relate to the feeling of loneliness even when being smothered by a mother. (not what happened to me, but I totally get it) The YOU in you was never encouraged to be. YOU were not given the freedom to think your own thoughts and be an individual. I think it was the longing for me that was the biggest root to my loneliness. I was married with three kids when I went through my healing process. (well I still am married with three kids.. lol) and I never felt so lonely in my life! And I remember thinking that we are ‘all’ alone in this world.. but today I don’t feel lonely, I feel like I always have ME. It was not the healing that I did with my husband that changed the way I feel about me!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Stephanie
Welcome to emerging from broken!
It is never too late! It is fantastic that you have realized this even though I know you are in tremendous pain as a result of it! But you can stop the cycle in your own family and you can heal the relationship with your daughter becasue you see it! The healing process in relationship takes a long time so be patient with yourself and with your daughter. I am really glad that you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Fostered
Exactly! Knowing the answers to the why questions is not going to heal the damage. The healing always begins when the wound is cleaned, stitched and bandaged. Then it takes some time to heal and it is important that it is well tended in the healing process. If the wound is ignored, then it gets infected ~ well you get the picture!
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Rare Hope
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I too have a past and I was convinced for many years that since I was so imperfect that I had no right to talk about anyone else! It was like my broken self went on to do things that were nothing to be proud of and that became the PROOF that it was me who was the problem in the first place and that it really must have been my own fault that I had been abused and unloved (unlovable). In looking at the roots of my belief system, I realized WHY I did some of those things in the first place. I had NO self esteem and I didn’t care most of the time. But it was in validating the roots of how I lost my self esteem (or never had help developing it) that I realized the progression of my life.

We don’t have to be willing to tell the world in order to heal, we have to be willing to tell ourselves. For me I had to validate where it all began.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen
Wow, thanks for sharing this! Those are the kinds of ‘connections’ that I made that made my whole life come back together. It was like I had all the events separated into separate envelopes. (and that is how I see my dissociation now because having them all separate enabled me to not make those painful connections!)
We are strong and we are all amazing for getting through all that stuff!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robert
My parents were suffereing too. I get that part, but as I always say it is so important that I don’t discount the damage they caused me becasue of what happened to them. This is where my separation abilities came in handy! There were many things in my case that my parents did know better or they would not have hidden the truth and made sure I hid the truth from the world.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alice!
YES this is also a very good and true point. There IS a huge stigma attached to estrangement from parents. And if you think about it, that is part of the whole brainwashing in our world which enables people to keep the cycle of dysfunctional family relationship going. I have had a lot of ‘in person’ conversations with people about this whole thing. It is so interesting to me to hear the reactions that I get when someone says “but that is your mother” and I say “so I should accept her treating me like dirt and accusing me of attracting her boyfriends into my bedroom when I was 14?” ~ they just gape at me. The thing in my case is that I pointed out to my mother what was wrong in our relationship and asked her for mutual respect and she never called me again. It is interesting that society always thinks it is up to the child to submit to the parent and never the other way around and so even though my mother stopped talking to me, it is viewed by the world that I left her. That is the conditioning that we live with ~ the global false belief. Never Ever has one of those conversations I have had in person ended up with the person insisting that I need to go back to my mother; they don’t agree with me, and rarely do they EVER validate that what happened to me was wrong either, but they change the subject pretty fast. And that is what I call a “truth leak” about THEM.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. not everyone is me and in no way am I disagreeing with you about covering up the truth about your relationship with your family.


Growing up I actually had an awareness of how dysfunction and abuse works—the belief system, the resultant self-esteem issues. Oprah, Dr. Phil… the self-help movement was well underway when I was a teenager. My mom involved me in her issues. I hated the self-help stuff. I now understand that it was because my mom was a hypocrite. She talked the talk but that was it. I guess I believed that’s how the whole healing industry worked. My mom’s story was that the dysfunction and abuse stopped with her, that she was a wonderful mother and we had a really solid family. I lived my life as proof of that—it was my job. I believed her. I didn’t know I was being abused. I had a small, hidden, cynical, snarky voice inside me that hated her and thought she was full of shit—it was that voice that was usually the source of all my creative writing ventures (stories, novels) but I constantly struggled with self-censorship and wanting to destroy my work, or hide and lock it up so no one would see. I felt incredibly alone. No one knew me. I didn’t know what I was living through was abuse. My family had me believing that my issues were just natural to my personality. Even after my breakdown, when I was told I had been abused, even when reading self-help books (after my breakdown, I became desperate and set aside my cynicism toward therapy and self-help), even when I was reading through your site for months and months, connecting to it all, and even after I started posting comments, I still held onto some idea that it was still me at least to some degree—in the most crucial important way. Like it was really my personality but that my parents had made some (totally understandable) mistakes that were really more a matter of misguided parenting ideas that just interacted badly with my natural personality type. I really believed that my personality was just naturally predisposed to LOOK like someone who had been abused, so that when I was reading up on abuse and how to deal with it and overcome it, etc., I now understand that I was reading it AS IF I had been abused but not ACTUALLY abused, that these books, etc., would be helpful to me because my experience was somehow parallel to abuse but not actually abuse. This is what my family would have me believe. I think it was with your post on blame-sharing and on the definition of abuse that it finally started break through that wall… also connecting and communicating with others here has been huge, asking myself how is it possible that I can relate this much with people here if what happened to me wasn’t abuse. It’s still something I have to keep reinforcing, that yes I was abused and no, it wasn’t okay.

I am not lonely anymore. I don’t feel like I fit with my family but I fit elsewhere. I find the more confident I am with my story and the more understanding I have of pertinent details the more others believe me. I am careful about who I talk to about this stuff, though, and how much of it. I am still gathering myself. I know the ones who are safe to talk to and the ones who will stall me if I get into it. I personally believe in being public and open about who you are because it becomes an example for others and is reflective of an authentic life and an authentic self. Secrets reinstate the problem, are the problem. That said, it is a process, working with myself, my past and my present circumstances, and I want to be careful about not jumping into the deep end before I’ve learned how to swim.


I really liked this post until you finished it with a request for donations. It’s much the way my mother has treated me which is really interesting. So while I’m not about to make you a donation, I have learnt something.


Hi Cate
I would love to know what you learned.
Your comment reminds me of my mother too; she was happy until I did something she didn’t like. As soon as I displeased her, she used it as an excuse to shame me. I felt like she was always waiting for me to screw up so she could point her finger and scream “ SEE I knew you were the problem”.
Here is how I feel about your comment; I work very close to full time on this website. I spend around $200.00 per month to pay for the security as I pay someone to do the back ups and the updates on the tech side of things because I don’t know much about that. I spent thousands of dollars on my process, the process that I so freely share now. Then I spent thousands when I went back to school to become qualified to do the work that I do now, the work that I do for free but you think that not only should I do this for free, but that I should not even ask for assistance in paying the expenses that I pay out of my own pocket so I can provide this space. And I wonder sometimes when I get comments like yours WHY the heck I put myself through it. The stress and the hours that I spend and all the emotional energy that I invest in answering almost every comment, when I could just take a few more clients instead of doing all this for free.
Luckily it doesn’t take me long to remember the answer to that question. The answer is because I love. I didn’t know that there was healing and I do this to share that there is. I do this to share the hope that I KNOW that there is.
I can’t believe that you compared me to your mother. When I am not sure about an abuser I always look at the motive. So are you telling me that you have assumed that I do all this for money?
You are not alone in the way you feel. The comments go down every time I ask for donations. I barely get enough donations to cover my monthly expenses, but you know what, that isn’t what hurts. What hurts me is that people like you don’t think I should ask for assistance OR that I should be paid for the work that I do here. I can’t even fathom that.
Your comment reminds me of the dysfunctional system that I left behind.


Wow! I’m so sorry you were discounted that way, especially on your own website You only asked for your expenses to be paid, yet you don’t even get an overwhelming amount of support with that. For the number of people you help every single day, you deserve to not only have your website expenses paid, but to get something for yourself. With the work you’ve done here, lives have been saved and freed from the prison of the abusive system. What’s wrong with people turning around and saying “thank you” in more than just words? Would a thank you card pay the hairdresser? Would an appreciation note on Facebook pay the phone bill?

I know it’s not realistic to think that ALL your readers would think about your needs, but I’m glad you have those who do. It’s wonderful that you can focus on the people who seek health and wholeness instead of on the ones who demand more and more, especially more “proof” of your love. There are people who only want you to serve them. They feel owed by the world and look to everyone around them to pay back what they feel is due them. Those people aren’t interested in wholeness anyway.

Your love is evident on every page of your site and on every page of your life. Hoorah for you for not letting abusive people like Cate slow you down or stop you from doing good!


WoW Alaina!!!
“My family had me believing that my issues were just natural to my personality.”

Thats it! Thats exactly how I was and am being treated. Just put “defective” in front of personality.
I truly believed it all my life and acted out accordingly. The abuse caused emotional deregulation
which reinforced the belief that they were right. Thank you for expressing this so eloquently!


Cate – I have to wonder if you would pay for a therapist, or are you of the mind that it’s a scam? My family used that line of thought to make sure I thought I had no hope, that I was born crazy and it was natural and there was nothing I could do or should do about it. I was defected. My father is a psychologist, he uses it for his own personal gains and to discount me. I feel sorry for whoever ends up with him and can only hope they find someone else more suitable as I know he’s not the only therapist out there who shouldn’t be doing it.

I was bitter for a few years towards getting any sort of help, especially if I had to pay for it. I thought that if there was money involved there could be no place for honesty. I started my own research about the pain I was feeling and finally realized that not all professionals out there are fucked up, and I got help. I learned how to look for a therapist who was qualified, and I knew that if I didn’t like them I could find a new one. I do not regret it. I found a wonderful therapist who has validated me and helped me tremendously. I lost my job and she told me not to worry about making payments until I found a job again.

There really are people out there who have love in their hearts and want to help. They also need to eat just like we do. I’m sure if Darlene didn’t need this money she wouldn’t ask for it. I myself am not in a postition to donate any money since my new job is close to minimum wage and I am barely making my own ends meet.

Please don’t dicount the people out there who truly want to help others. I understand that money is not available to a lot of us out here, but the whole world runs on money and we are set up in a society which demands it from us (if only the world stopped believing in the power of money). I do hope you understand. Peace to you.


Hi Karen! And thank you for this, “The abuse caused emotional deregulation which reinforced the belief that they were right.” Yes! Being abused makes you sensitive and downright crazy sometimes (or often times) and then you, and others, see this craziness while the abuse itself is being hidden, denied or at the very least minimized and discounted… which makes you even crazier and gives more proof to others that it’s YOU and not them. There was a time when I thought if I let people see how messed up and wounded I was, then they would have to believe that something terrible had happened to me, that my parents had not been good to me because if they had been, how could I end up like this… I suppose in my mind it would be like stripping myself naked to show all the bruises that would prove that I’d been beaten and that everyone who saw would care and be mortified by what was done to me, would naturally feel love and concern because I was a human being in pain. Instead, so many people are so mortified by someone stripping herself naked (so to speak) that they can’t even see passed that. To those people it doesn’t matter that you’re bruised from head to toe, what matters is that you had the indignity to strip naked… and if you had that indignity, why then maybe you did something to warrant those bruises, heck, maybe you did it to yourself, maybe that’s just who you are… bullshit. Those are the people who I know now can’t look at themselves in the mirror, who are afraid of what they’ll see.

I had another realization this morning. Something happened recently (it’s a long story and a bit of a tangent, so I won’t get into it) that made me think about what Darlene said in one of her comments about how abusers KNOW. It made me think about my mom, how she’d treated me as a child, using me to take out her anger, and then how that shifted when I was a teenager to smothering, enmeshment, over-protection and spending too much time with me, not allowing me my own life, using me as a listener and “best friend,” etc. She made it known to me that she knew how she had treated me as a child was wrong but never actually apologized or took accountability or tried to help me… but it occurs to me that this shift that happened was actually hugely about her guilt, in trying to FIX the damage she had done. I’m not saying this to excuse, explain or justify away what she did, not to say that she felt bad and shame myself for not feeling and showing enough compassion/forgiveness for her. Instead, I’m gobsmacked by the reality of just how conscious it probably was and that her attempts to fix were not really about ME; they were about her guilty conscious and trying to reset her dreams of having the perfect mother-daughter relationship. If she’d taken accountability, admitted she was wrong and really faced up to it and had me know how I really should have been treated, deserved to be treated, she would have risked losing me. This was true later on, after my breakdown as well; she apologized some four years after I’d first brought up my issues to her, but I believe now it was more of a tactic. She was losing me. She still treated me the same way, despite apologizing and her apology was also quite vague. Furthermore, it was clear she still had expectations. There was a feeling like, See, I apologized, now you should give me what I want… I felt shamed by it and didn’t realize how it was still a control tactic. The fact is when you truly apologize to someone, you have to throw your cards to the wind, you have to let go and realize the person is free to decide how they wish to proceed. My mom has never been able to do that. Very few in my family have.

To Darlene and all the readers on this site,
Like many, the issue of donations triggered me at first. I think all of us coming from an abusive background probably have major issues about guilt and shame, and if you are like me, being asked for donations taps into that. We were wrongfully made to feel guilty and shameful; we were asked to bear the brunt of responsibilities that were not our own. So when anything happens (is said or done) that triggers those feelings, I think many of us feel ourselves fighting again with our abusers. For me, I felt that Darlene was edging toward martyrdom and it pissed me off because I have extensive experience with passive-agressive martyr type behaviour. Unlike those who think Darlene should not be requesting money just to back the costs of running this site, I thought that she needed to take control of this situation and make people pay some base amount and told her that I would probably leave the site if things continued this way because I did not want to support someone who I felt was martyring herself. I was wrong. This was, I think, back in June maybe, though it feels like years ago now. I’d written to her privately. What I came to realize was that I was trying to control things myself, that the donation issue triggered my own personal issues and I was trying to control Darlene’s behaviour. More and more I realize why Darlene has chosen to run this site by donation instead of at cost to readers (or subscribers, as I suggested). I now understand and respect that choice. What I am saying here is purely my own opinion. It is what I believe and people are free to agree or disagree. I do not wish to force anything on anybody. But this is what I want to say: the shame and guilt put on us as children was wrong. We did not deserve it. What Darlene is doing here is giving her own heart, her own time and her own money to help others, not because she wants money (after all she is losing money) and not because she wants prestige or to pat herself on the back and say look at all I do, how great I am, and nobody cares, woe-is-me (because she doesn’t have to because it is quite clear, at least to me, that she has a very healthy sense of self and high self-esteem so why would she need that? She has her certification and could do only her client work and could, if she wanted, find gratification elsewhere in her own life without cost to herself). She is not a manipulative “taker”; rather, she is giving and hoping others will only give back in return to whatever degree they are able (that is the beauty of a donation system). I don’t mean to be rude, but I feel that sometimes guilt is warranted, a valuable, fact-based emotion that we experience because something wrong is happening. It is about appreciation. If you support what Darlene is doing, appreciate it, find meaning and help from it, hope that she continues and do not wish her to lose heart or money over this venture, why not support her monetarily in whatever way you can? You are entirely free to choose if you want to or if you don’t and how much and when if you do. My personal opinion is that if someone is giving something away from the good of their own heart because it holds meaning to them and they truly want to help but on the other hand is doing it at personal cost and you are benefitting manyfold and have the resources to show appreciation, then it is the right thing to do; otherwise, you are taking advantage. It doesn’t matter if the person continues to give of her own volition despite lack of funding. She is free to choose to do that, just as you are free to choose whether you want to show (monetary) appreciation or not. Take my words for whatever they are worth—one person’s personal opinion. You may disagree with me, argue with me, hate me for what I’m saying, but it is what I believe. Darlene deserves to be paid for her work and if you are taking from this site and not giving back (whatever you can—you get to choose how much), just so that she can pay the costs, never mind making a profit, then in my mind, you are taking advantage of her, plain and simple. I hope that my words might persuade at least someone to change their mind and give, and if it does, then it’ll be worth whoever and however many might be mad at me for saying these things… and I suppose even if it persuades no one, it’ll be worth having stood up and spoken my mind. If you’ve made it through my long-windedness, I want to thank you for listening. I appreciate it. I wish peace and love and health and happiness to everyone here. My best, Alaina


I would love to get input from anyone here who would like to comment. A few months ago, I sent my mother an email requesting that she only call me in case of an emergency. I chose at that time not to have contact with her because the relationship is everthing this website describes. I didn’t accuse, blame, rant or rave, simply requested what was best for me, my peace and my healing. This last week, I have received two phone calls (I let go to voicemal) from her stating she wanted my address to send me dvd’s of video she and my father had taken of my sons when they were little (my sons are now 22 and 16). Below is a copy of the email I just sent her regarding her phone calls.

Hi Mom,

I received both of your voicemails and do appreciate the offer to send the dvd’s to me. If you would like to send them, you can mail them to me in care of (address omitted for this posting here).

I have chosen not to call you back because honestly, I don’t think speaking with you is something I am comfortable with. I say this with a heavy heart because I do love you but it is very clear to me that our relationship is not a healthy one. Frankly I do not trust that you have my best interest at heart. The most recent example I can give you is the fact that you allowed Max and his wife to come to my father’s funeral. It was insulting to me and completely inapproriate. The approriate action would have been for Max and you to understand it was important for Nicholas to be there and make the proper arrangements either through me or to simply drop him off and pick him up when it was time to leave. You never consulted me or asked my feelings about it, just left me to deal with it. Just so you know, Max and his wife have still not “allowed” me to spend any time with Nicholas since I have moved back to Texas.
I pray your health is good and the time without dad is getting easier.

Always with love,



Background info:

Nicholas, my son is 16
Max is Nicholas’s father who has used the legal system to control my time with my son. I left him, he punishes me.

I feel my mother is “reaching out” to me in this way because she is feeling lonely, not because she loves me. She didn’t ask or comment once in her voicemails regarding my health, happiness, well being. A big part of my heart keeps wanting to respond because I would love to have a relationship with her but the reality is that I am becoming educated and aware (it was not taught to me as it should have been) of what love really is about, it is simply not there with her.

Thanks for letting me vent!


Hi Christina,
Thank you for your comments and encouragement. You make a good point about the hairdresser and the phone bill. 🙂 I was struck by your comment about people who want more proof of my love ~ thats so often true. I also realize that comments like the one’s from Cate inspire me to fight against being ‘defined’ as selfish because one of my mothers fav things to accuse me of was that I was selfish. But the truth is that I don’t offer a solution IF people pay me for it; everything I have done is available to everyone already without any price tag. I am not asking for a free ride in this world and I would never want anyone to give me anything that they didn’t have to give, I just don’t think it is very self valuing if I have to pay out of my own pocket to give it.
Thanks for being here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alice
Thank you for ‘sticking up for me’. You bring up a great point when you talk about the belief system around getting therapy and how often abusers make sure we never seek therapy by making us believe that it is the “proof” that we are crazy. And I myself have been taken advantage of by people who I paid to help me; I really understand that the reaction I often get about donations is not about anything I am doing wrong but it is always tied in to the responsers belief system. Like I said in another comment, the thing about this website is that it is already here. I have already done it and each month I pay to make it available to everyone. (luckily I usually do get enough in donations to pay those expenses, but unless I ask, I don’t receive and if it were not for some large donations (100.00 – 200.00) every other month or so I would not ever meet the expenses.)
I really appreciate your comments.
Hugs, Darlene


p.s. to Alice
I also wanted to say that I appreciate everyone here ~ donations or not! I am really appreciative that you commented about this even though you are not in a position to make a donation. I am not trying to make anyone feel obligated; that is the old system.
Thanks again!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alaina

Your breakthroughs and grown spurts are fantastic! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing them with us! I LOVE your comments to Karen and the analogy that you use about the bruises. I hope everyone takes the time to read the comments you have written (in comment #31) there is so much great insight in them.

The comments about your mother and how she changed and how you suspect that it is tactical; I discovered the same thing with ALL controllers, manipulators and abusers. The changes were always just another way to get their way and not based on love or respect. Seeing all this stuff through the grid of truth had so much to do with how I saw myself. The more I saw myself as equally valuable, the more I saw the tactics other people used to make sure that I didn’t ever find out that I was equally valuable.

Thank you for everything you wrote about the donations stuff (comment #31) and for writing about the conversations we had privately about that issue a couple of months ago. (and how that got worked out and how much you have come to understand why I do this the way that I do. I really appreciate that!) Yes, the donation issues is FULL of triggers which is why I never used to ask! But I realized myself that not asking at least to have help with the website costs was not self valuing or self respecting at all and that I didn’t live in that dysfunctional system anymore. In a way I realized that my website and the readers and the way that I was thinking about things had become like a dysfunctional relationship if I was struggling to give all this information and go into debt to do it. So that has been a big part of my healing process in this area too.

The part that I find especially insightful and helpful about what you posted is your assessment of my motives. That is how I learned to spot abusers ~ by looking at the motive they had for their actions or requests. And that is what bothered me the most about the comment from Cate; There are over 350 articles in this website, all with discussions; My work speaks for itself. I took almost 2 years off of working with clients to build it. I have given and given without any expectation and when I get put down or judged for asking if some of MY needs can be met, that is just wrong! So thank you for taking the time to write all of this out, and for your appeal to others to support this site and my work. And thank you for your regular contributions both through comments and through donations ~ I appreciate you so much!

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lisa
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Thank you for sharing your story. This stuff is huge and complicated and it sounds like you have found the right website.
Learning the true definition of love has been one of the biggest keys in my healing and it has helped me to make a lot of decisions.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All!
Just catching up on my reading here! There is so much great sharing, I probably need to go back and read some again!
It does not bother me at all that you request donations to maintain your site. You DO put a lot of thought and love, encouragement and support into each response. You are so thoughtful! I am glad you speak up and ask to be reimbursed for expenses. And your time? That is invaluable, and you can probably never be compensated for all of that! Thank you!
So, Cate? I’ve got your back! For all of the learning and wisdom you had gained here, because you did mention you found some value here, I will make a donation now, in your honor. And in hopes that the judgement you may have internalized from your past negative, abusive experiences is healed…..
Now, back to my boring nursing paper. It’s a shortie, but I need to push myself through. I may be stuck, because it is basically an essay on why I want to obtain an advanced degree in nursing. Why, indeed? :0) My current disfunctional family type nursing job is pushing me to the brink. Having those thoughts again about getting in my car, driving, driving, until I find a new spot, get a job as a waitress in some podunk diner, and having some self respect and job satisfaction………..



I feel profoundly alone, being the daughter of a Malignant N mother and a N dad too. At 49 I’ve achieved peace and happiness in life, but there are certainly scars and lonliness is one of them. I have complex PTSD and will be in therapy for the rest of my life due to the trauma I experienced in childhood. Therapists call it torture, and they’re right, it was a home filled with emotional upheaval, all of the time.

Because of the insanity in my family my therapist told me at 12 to work hard in therapy and to stick with it, that it wasn’t my fault that my mother and father don’t know how to love me in a healthy way. Endless put-down, criticism and cruel words to this day are what I deal with whenever I visit them. With smiles on their faces. It’s a hugely lonely feeling to have parents that I could never truly open up to, feel really loved by. My guard has always been “up”. It has to be. I never had children and gave up on dating after years of choosing N men by mistake. So, I live alone. It’s ok to some extent, to have peace and nobody being mean to me but in a better world I would’ve loved to be a wife and mother. But there were no healthy role models to look to, I would never put a child through the torture of having an aggressive, bullying N grandmother and a cold, distant N grandfather. Life is good despite being alone because now I am able to live by my own rules, without someone making me explain why, how, etc..or negating my every action.

Therapy is a wonderful thing, and because of it, I have learned strong boundaries, and to like myself. I’m not a miserable person anymore, but someone stronger, with a career I love and a life I enjoy. My N parents live in misery, of their own making. I call it karma. There is life after being hurt so profoundly. And though there’s a little lonliness I don’t let it stop me from enjoying it.


Hi everyone,

I am sorry Darlene for the comment you received from Cate which were mean and agressive. I think you are right to ask for some donation for all the huge work you are doing here.

I put distance between me and my mother and I am going more and more better. I refuse to comply, to pretend everything is ok, when it’s not at all for me, to live a false relationship which is not based on knowing me, having a truely interest for me but only dealing with superficial subjects.
And the most important, I stop wait for a validation, a recognizing of my sufferings from her which probablely will never come. Because to recognize she hurted me, she had to question herself and see inside her and her despisable condition, she had to see that her father was a cruel person to her, which is impossible for her.
My mother has no personnality at all. She blindly supports abusers and complies to them. Poor looser.
And she soooooooooo hurted me.

Today , I feel ssssssssoooo alone.
I feel bad about having left my ex boyfriend, Nicolas.
I was in a relationship with him during 10 months and then, I met Pierre the “spiirtual high guy” and I left Nicolas for Pierre.

I suspected Nicholas was not nice with me, I complied over and over, i sacrificed myself for this guy who, in 10 months never accorded one romantic attention for me. And he convinced me to have sex while I didn’t want to and never learnt to do make me feel good. It was only about his own pleasure first.

But I feel sooo guilty to have left him in this way, for an other guy. I feel excruciating feeling of loneliness and abandonnement. I know nicolas was the perfect trigger to awake my past.
But before I left him, when I talked to him if we could be friends after an eventually broke up, he said he would never want to see me anymore which for me was terrible, that’s the reason I couldn’t leave him for nobody. It’s was too hard.
I realize I am totally dependant from my boyfriends and from him in particular.
I am so guilty, the guilt is huge.
I had a voice inside me who warned me about him, who told me he wasn’t a good man but it’s very hard to give credit to this voice.

Thanks for reading.


I can’t reply directly to your reply to me so I’m adding another response. You made a lot of assumptions in what you said, and I’m sorry if I hurt you. I actually never said a lot of the things you think I did, and actually I didn’t think them either. As I said, I apologise if you were hurt by my comment. That was not my intention.


Cate, What was your intention?



Janie #42

My intention was purely to express an opinion.

I don’t intend however, to engage in any further discussion on this page about the opinion I expressed. If the author of this site has an issue she wants to address with me, she knows how to contact me.


Thanks for your comments, Darlene! Words and money can’t express my gratitude for finding you, your site and all those here sharing in discussion. The impact on my life has been huge. I am so glad I came to trust in myself, in you and in the world you set up here, to speak and take that leap of faith to work my process. I am also glad that this is a safe place to make mistakes. That it’s possible to make them, admit them, learn and move forward, without risk to myself. It’s really true that if you can’t make mistakes, you can’t grow. They’re an integral and inevitable part of being alive. For many reasons this was simply not possible back in the old system (I love that I can now say “the old system”!!!). There is something very freeing in being able to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”


You are SO right. Others see your damaged self and it looks like thats who you are. They don’t see and most
certainly are not interested in the fact of the abuse that caused it. Again it is seen as another defect in you that you wish to talk about it. So you don’t and you feel worse.

I sent a letter like yours to my Mom. Respectful but I discussed issues. I said I wanted no contact because
it was not healthy for me. She completely ignored anything I said. Gave a luke warm general apology and proceeded to act like I had never spoken. I did this in Jan, then in April much more forcefully, then in Aug when I got the call and apology. Nothing changed. I am not heard or seen. I am something useful.
I am no longer going to be respectful if she calls. Thats the statis quo. I’m going to say No. No. No. Loudly.
She sees respect as obedience. As her right to keep me in my place. I guess I’m still following my old
training in that. If being rude is what will get her to leave me alone so be it. That is so out of
my comfort box. It is practically impossible for me to speak up in my own defense even in the worst treatment.
Aurele…you and I share the same guilt I think, when we speak up for ourselves. Its so hard. You are choosing good things for yourself even though it hurts. It shouldn’t hurt to love and be loved. You are in my thoughts.


I have recently read a lot about complex PTSD. Yes, being unable to escape the torturous home. I can
relate to that too. So wonderful that you got therapy. I am 58 and only realized about 10 months ago
the dysfunctional family training at the root of my issues. I too chose men that mirrored my N father.
I accepted bad treatment because it was so normal. Just thought I needed to try harder to be better and they wouldnt treat me that way.
I had a child with an N partner. I never saw that we
did to him what was done to me. It ended in his suicide. At the time (5 yrs ago) I said to myself its the drugs and bad life choices but now I clearly see our part in it. How we did not see him as a person. We were not
good parents. I should never had children. I could not cope or be the kind of parent I should have been.
I just wanted my own family but I really didn’t know how to do it.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t, just that I made a bad choice. I’m so glad you have found peace in yourself.
I am just getting to that now. -Karen


Hi Janie
Thank you for your support! (in all ways! I got a smile out of your donation in honor of Cate, thank you so much) There are days when I would jump at the chance to meet you at that diner, (maybe I don’t want to work there ~ I hate the visual of myself in one of those diner uniforms! ~ but at least for coffee and laughs!)
Thank you.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carolyn
Welcome to emerging from broken ~ Yes there is life after abuse. I am glad that you are getting and have received help. PTSD is almost always the result of abusive childhood or childhood trauma but by facing the messages that I got from the trauma and setting them back to the truth, I found healing. Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Aurele
I think that I was taught to feel bad about myself and that was one of the root things that I had to change. I could see that some of my behaviour was wrong and I was using it as the proof against myself that it was me, just like I had always been taught. But when I realized the roots of all of it, I was able to give myself a break and move forward. I don’t think I could have moved forward in healing until I understood the roots of where I had come from in some of the ways that I messed up in my life. (not to excuse anything that I did that hurt someone else, but to see the whole picture through the grid of truth) This was the process.
I like how you said “I refuse to comply, to pretend everything is ok, when it’s not at all for me, to live a false relationship which is not based on knowing me, having a truely interest for me but only dealing with superficial subjects” ~ that is huge to decide and for me that was the beginning of self validation. To say to myself “I deserve…” was huge.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


I only replied to what you said. The rest of what I shared were my feelings. Since you won’t explain your intention or where I misunderstood you, I am going to explain something about why I wrote what I wrote;

This is a website where I write about how I took my life back by standing up to the dysfunctional system. When dysfunctional stuff happenes here, I am not going to respond to it in the way that I used to respond to it in the past becaue that was dysfunctional. What you said was clearly a judgement about me making a general request for donations for the expenses that I have related to publishing this website. The fact that you will not actually explain what your comment meant is further proof of your intention. This is exactly the types of stuff that I write about in standing up to my parents and other people who treated me any old disrespectful way that they wanted. A comment designed to make me feel bad about something that I do not have anything to feel bad about ~ and if I just let that go here, then how would anyone really believe that I stick up for myself or that I don’t take those kinds of cryptic comments anymore? I would just be blowing smoke about how I live today. This whole exchange is exactly what we are talking about in the relationships with our parents. And they won’t explain anything either.

About your comment that I can contact you if I wish to engage? This whole thing happened HERE in public and it can be dealt with here in public too. Even the way you refer to me as “the author of this site” as though you don’t even know my name is insulting.


Hi Karen
I am stunned (in a supportive way) by your comments to Carolyn about your son. I don’t know what to say because I am sure it is a painful subject but I feel like I have to say something because what you share is so so so profound. That you see your part in it. That is so huge, so amazing and because your son is gone it is so painful and sad.
My husband and I sat our kids down many times over the years and admitted our mistakes as parents and the pressure that we put on them with our expectations. I have thought about the suicide factor in all of this stuff thousands of times.
Thank you for sharing so honestly and so deeply.
Hugs and love, Darlene


Darlene and all,
This statement hit home with me…. “I was a disappointment to my parents and nothing I did was ever “good enough” and as I grew older I was beginning to comprehend that nothing I ever accomplished was EVER going to be good enough.”
It takes years and years as you go about life, with inklings that something is not right, but you can’t put your finger on it. I’ve been struck by the number of people that are my age on this site. So do we all come to awareness near the same age? That’s probably reading into it, but I seem to see alot of 47-50 aged people. You finally see that this “problem” in your life isn’t changing, and never will. Why should I continue to beat my head against the wall to find love from someone who clearly doesn’t love me? (In this case it is my mother, and enabling father.) Having said that, going NC there is so much guilt that I’ve been programmed to feel. My mother more than once has said during an argument, “I have 4 children who love me. ” (Obviously I am one of 5.) To me this statement means back down and comply, now! Now that my sibs all have remained NC with me, I can see that they are making their choice. Their choice is to take her side and keep me as causing trouble yet again because, I CANNOT GET ALONG WITH MY MOTHER. Instead of, MOTHER IS INCREDIBLY ABUSIVE TO ONE OF HER CHILDREN. What they choose to think is their deal, I just cannot subject myself to her abuse anymore. I think this probably scared my sibs because they don’t want to see that she is abusive. Their rosy world could be shattered to think that I am onto something.

Thanks all for giving such great comments on this site. And thanks Darlene for all of the hard work you do. I am not turned off in any way with the issue with money, because there are costs associated with all that you are doing here. I completely understand. What you do on this site is priceless to me and many others…Peace all…


I just read this article and all I can say is WOW! I had NO IDEA that there were other people who felt the way I do about my parents, my mother in particular. When you said “I am not alone in the fact that my own mother and father abused and neglected me, objectified me and were more interested in what I could do for them or how my accomplishments and behaviour reflected on them” that’s what really hit home for me. I realized recently that I live and cope better when I keep my mother at a distance. However, I’ve had several people approach me and tell me that I should include my mother in my life more – she IS my mother, for heavens sake, and she’s getting ‘up there’ in age. I’ve had to quietly tell them that when they have walked in my shoes, they can tell me what I should or shouldn’t do and until then they should mind their own business. However, I do still feel a tinge of guilt. I think that is just the dysfunctional me peaking through. I was sexually abused by an uncle for many years. Right about the time my uncle stopped abusing me, my mom’s boyffiend started in. I told her right away and although there was a lot of drama (from her) I was told to never come out of my room unless I was completely dressed, etc. He lived with us for another 2 years but he didn’t abuse me any more.

Several years after it was over, my mom found out about my uncle and disregarded it as if it was ‘kids playing doctor’ failing to remember that he was 10 years older than me. Then 20 years later when it came up in conversation again, she acted like (but may very well have suppressed it) she didn’t know anything about it and it became a very BIG deal – all her drama – she disowned her brother and then started trying to ‘mother’ me. It’s all about her and her feelings.

My feelings about all this are very complex but I’m glad I found your site and looking forward to reading more.


I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for sharing your comments about your son. They broke me down in tears and I still can’t write these words without a huge surge of emotion. You have given me something I don’t believe I will ever receive from my family, nor would I expect it nor would I seek it out, for the pain of it is too huge.

My uncle killed himself over 20 years ago now. It is still painful. I don’t know how much family dysfunction played into it and out of respect for the depth of pain that the death caused and still exists, I will not go there—ever. I know that in speaking to others about the death, what happened to him sounded, and felt in hearing it, very similar to what happened to me. I know that when I talked to a therapist about it, she told me that he and I had been living by the same “script.” Why am I alive and he is dead? I don’t know. I think luck was a factor. I hope that doesn’t sound pat. I’ve thought of other reasons but there’s always a “yeah, but…” Luck is the only answer I can come up with where I can say, “yeah, okay.” I now realize the reason I believe my relationship with my mother is not likely to ever heal completely is because I don’t believe she could confront the pain that what happened to her brother (whom she loved dearly as a sibling and as a friend and whose death I don’t believe she’s ever been able to grieve properly) could have happened to me and that she played a role in that.

I thank you so much from every part of my heart for the words you wrote. There’s nothing I can say that can touch or explain how profound those words were, nor the effect it’s had on me in reading them. Thank you.


I’ve been thinking more about all this stuff and how in the past my mother spoke of having had misgivings when they chose to have a second child. What she spoke about was their financial situation and how they didn’t know if they could afford it, but my mom said that her step-mom (of whom she thought very highly) had said there was never a good time to have child, and that decided it for her. But I also remember how when she brought this subject up once, it was alongside the fact that when she was pregnant with my brother and her father died, she had done everything to hold herself together and not fall apart for my brother’s sake, but that when she was pregnant with me, she was unable to do that and was depressed and suicidal. She never stated whether she had been depressed and suicidal before she was pregnant, when they had made the decision to have me, but I suspect that she was. If not suicidal, then surely depressed, as well as after my birth—because her problems did not just go away with my birth. I have suffered from depression for so much of my life and can’t imagine being a mother in such a condition, certainly not a good mother. I don’t believe anybody could. She did not value herself or take her pain seriously. She did not seek help; she did not admit to needing help. Only in retrospect could she admit bits and pieces but never the whole picture and never taking responsibility for her healing. Always caught up in her pain and in the abuse her mother inflicted on her, on never being good enough. She was incapable of seeing me as a being in my own right. She was incapable of being a mother to me. She should not have had me. But she did and I survived. I’m alive and I get to choose how I will spend my time here on this planet. Karen, I am so sorry that your son did not survive. Please know that I am sending you my love. I hope that it is okay that I’m speaking to you about this, as it such a heavy, painful experience to lose a child to suicide, I can’t imagine, and I do not wish to say anything to disrespect or exacerbate your experience and pain in any way.


Hi Karen,

I was deeply moved by your words about your son too.
I imagine how it could be tremendously painful for you to realize this. It’s very courageous. Most of people (99.90%) will never have the courage to.
Your words bring me some relief and comfort.

A lot of kisses.


Cariolyn, Karen, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD a couple of years ago. I have been doing a lot of therapy – individual, group and couples since that time. Two years on I can see the time when I shall leave therapy – it doesn’t have to be forever… I may at some point choose to do some more, but right now, at age 56, I think I can see that there is a healthy life for me in the near future. The loneliness and torture that was my childhood will always be there, but now I can view the past with a degree of perspective that is calmer and less painful. I was not responsible for what the adults did to me, said to me, thought of me….. I am becoming the self I was always meant to be, and in the process will change my profession, I no longer need to justify my existence by doing something to please others.
As part of my healing journey I have chosen to systematically review the past, and as part of my “dealing” with it I have systematically cleared out every last piece of stuff in my house that I connect with my parents. I have a few pieces of porcelain left – my next job will be to break them into small pieces….I AM EMERGING FROM BROKEN….and I won’t be bound to the past anymore:)))


Hi Darlene, sorry that you were being so rudely written to. Sometimes the child of a narcissist becomes a narcissist him/herself and if you can, just let them blow through your life and out the other side and take no notice.

If I may, may I plumb the depths of an encounter with my N? I took her to a presentation at the community center in another town, and on the way home I needed to drop a DVD in the book drop at the library. I wasn’t familiar with that library, so I drove around the corner from the library door looking for the drop, and there it was. There were also two garbage cans in the vicinity. My N asked me, “Are those garbage cans?” and I said, “Yes, they are,” and hopped out of the car and put the DVD in the bookdrop. Anyone with OK vision could clearly see they were garbage cans. She may as well have asked, “Is that a tree?” or “Is that a wall?” Later I thought about our evening together and the various ways she tried to control me, and realized that when she asked about the garbage cans, she was actually saying, “Those are GARBAGE CANS! I have to tell you because you’re so stupid you might put the movie in there!”

This sounds like I’m over-dramatizing things, and my friends without an N would find my interpretation of it ridiculous, but I’m thinking posters here know exactly what I mean. Every word, every tone of voice, every look has layers of meaning in it which has been carefully taught over years of dysfunctionally relating. All the times she called me “crazy” outright, and never apologizing for it, or saying that she thought I was OK mentally, left me believing (before I was healed) that yes, I was capable of doing really dumb stuff.

Now it only requires an “innocent” question on her part to make me understand that she has to watch out for me so I’m not doing anything stupid. (She’s 85 and I’m 51.) What she thinks happens when she’s not around to mind me I can’t imagine, but while I’m with her it’s a great way for her to remind me of my stupidity so she can feel her superiority.

It took a really blatant experience for me to understand the depths of her disrespect for me–she had put a letter in a window envelope in backwards so the address wasn’t visible. I showed her that, and she demonstrated how I had to open the envelope and turn the letter around. That left me stunned but now I realize just how much she disregards me. It still hurts and I WANT A MOMMY! (not a Mommy Dearest).

But I’ve learned to mommy myself and let myself know that I am loved, I’m smart, I’m capable and I’m a nice person (most of the time). It’s difficult to reject those old self-beliefs, but it’s possible.


Hi Melody

I do think that the age most people come out of the fog is because we do realize that things are just not changing and are likely not going to. For me I had to look for a different solution because I just couldn’t seem to “get it right” and it was in therapy that I first found out it wasn’t ME. I have come a long way since then. Your mothers comments are really revealing and manipulative. My experence is that the people in my life that had or wanted control over me did and said anything to get me thinking about my part in things (or what they wanted me to think was my part) so I never noticed what they were doing that was so pathetic and wrong.
Hugs, Darlene

All ~ Thank you to everyone else here for your supportive comments about me asking for donations. Today while I was outside for a walk I was thinking about this whole comment thread and the support here, and suddenly it popped into my mind about some of the most loving people in the world (like mother teresa) who worked full time freely giving of themselves in order to make a diffrence. And they lived off donations! Nobody judged her for it. I am going to keep doing what I am doing because I know that I come from love and not from abuse or manipulation.
Hugs, Darlene


this is the one last area i need to probe, my parents n granparents. mmmm being the one that at 17 said nah no way am i having this life anymore and striven to alter my perception to a more socially acceptable manner. yet as i learnt how to behave outside the home, the family dynamics from the past try to rear their ugly head, and it takes me all my time not to react in my old ways and stick with the newer ideas grows hard.
i agrue with my mother because i will not let her alter my feelings on what happened, because iin her version she is a saint who married for the daughter and stayed in domestic viokence cos it best for us goood- i thnk not lol- but i have changed and stood firm with my boundaries and hte peace is amazing cos i dont get much contact at all now.#thank you darlene to showing 2 yrs ago how i could seperate from her without feeling as i was letting her down, self preservation is necessary at times and withdrawing from the battleground gives us time to re-evaluate who the blame does live with


What you said about your family thinking, “I cannot get along with my mother” is exactly what my siblings assume. That is not true. The Truth is my mom has emotionally abused me since childhood. They are wrapped up in denial. The Truth is painful to see & they don’t want to see it! In the past, My Narc M has said to me, “Do you get along with anyone?”…What an abusive comment. I accept people for who they are & make friends easily, since I’m not abusive. It really is a projection of her feelings onto me that because we don’t get along, then there is something wrong with me. That’s been the Story of my Life with my FOO. I’ve been NC with all of them for about 2 months now & I feel less anxiety & sadness. I have PTSD so I have to be mindful of the triggers when I’m exposed in any way to them. It’s lonely sometimes, yet I have myself & my children who I know Love Me for Me & I love them for who they are. They are their own person & that is what I encourage & support. Not obedience & loyalty at all times. Obedience is not respect.


Hi Lucy
Welcome to emerging from broken! I would guess that there are millions! I have written all kinds of blog posts about the things that people are saying to you. Good for you for your response.
Something I wanted to point out about the abuse from your boyfriend. She put all the responsibility on you telling you to make sure you were dressed. (as if that has anything to do with it!) by letting him stay in the house, she send a clear message that you were not the priority nor were you safe. Kids don’t know that a person is never going to touch them again. We live in fear and terror about the next time even if we block that out. So if he abused you again or not didn’t change the fact of the hell and fear you were forced to live in. I am going to write a new post about your comment because it is so important for people to understand that just because it stops it isn’t over!
Hugs, and thanks for sharing,


you are doing some amazing work! This is the root of the messages that I am always talking about. Great insight etc. here and thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sonia!
Thanks for dropping in and for sharing your progress! YAY
Hugs, Darlene


We all have bits and pieces that we can relate to in each of our stories, which is continuing to be helpful to me. Going NC is painful in it’s own way, but we’ll see how things progress. Thanks again!


Hi Libby
I was so afraid to hope that there was real healing that I didn’t want to say there was, but it was in finding that hope and daring to believe in it, that I found total healing and freedom. Today I am sure that if I never believed I could do it, I could never have done it. I don’t think anyone has to be in therapy for ever either, but there are a lot of therapists who say things like that. We don’t have to believe them!
Thank you for sharing your victories and progress and for inspiring hope this way! I remember when I started to see that one day I would actually be free… it was scary and exciting all at the same time… and look at me fly now!

Hugs, Darlene


My mother wasn’t quite like this but I have heard about and seen so many abusers who do this type of stuff. I have been treated like I was stupid so much (mostly by others, not my mother) that I was stunned beyond belief when I realized in this process that I was actually smart. That is a really imobilizing tactic! So glad I woke up to it.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol!
It is cool to hear from you; you are one of the originals that has been here since almost the beginning of EFB! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Melody, I really identified as well with:“I was a disappointment to my parents and nothing I did was ever “good enough” and as I grew older I was beginning to comprehend that nothing I ever accomplished was EVER going to be good enough.”
I would like to add to this statement, and when I reached a goal society and others valued, obtaining degrees, getting promoted, having a healthy relationship, the achievement was always invalidated, ignored, or swept under the rug. I was never to recieve any kudos or recognition!
When I graduated nursing school, in Boston, the ceremony was held in a church in a well to do area. The school wasn’t in the best part of Boston, but we were well protected in our dorm, etc. So, everybody’s family came and picked them up to take them for the graduation ceremony. Except mine. I was told my father has a “fear of driving in that part of Boston, and I should ride with a friend, or get a cab ($$$$–I didnt even have money for a car yet!)”. So, I rode with people, I dont even remember who, feeling sick at heart and abandoned, on what should have been one of the happiest days of my life!
Because the “ceremony” really started with the recognition by your “loved ones”, picking you up, you were fully dressed and capped, they may give you flowers, or a hug. Isn’t that part of this special rite of passage?
It still makes me sick, the feeling of abandonment……….

Hugs, Janie


It’s nice to meet you! I identified with alot of what you said. I felt that as soon as my mother realized I that I was not going to march to her tune, be a perfect, quiet, little catholic “Moma-tron”, she effectively threw me on the dung heap. I was going to-gasp!- express my own opinion? Oh, the horror!! I have said before, I felt as though I was treated like a science experiment gone wrong, lol. Like I was some whack job, that they couldn’t predict it’s behavior! Oh My! What will it say or do next? After studying psychology in nursing, I realized it was NORMAL to want to differentiate yourself as a person, individualization.
My mother is 83 years old, and I am also told the same thing “you better get yourself right with mom, or you’ll regret it when she is gone”, and other various and sundry guilt trips.
My abuse that I can recall was by a stranger, when I was very young, in the hospital. I recalled all of the details around the event. Sadly I could not tell my mother about the event, b/c we all know it would be poo-poo’ed, denied, or I’d be, yet again, that crazy science experiment gone wrong. What I did was tell her I remembered being in the hospital at this age (2-3 yrs old), and described all of my surroundings, down to the little harness they kept toddlers in, to keep them in their crib (more reasons for my claustrophobia!). And she said, My! What a memory you have! All of that is exactly right! So, therefore, I can deduce that the molestation that I can recall while I was in the harness thingie, was true as well. My therapist said this was a very good way I went about validating it.
I am sorry for what you went through with your uncle and your mother’s rotten boyfriend. It is a shame, that she could never put your needs first.
I think you will find the road to healing here!

Hugs, Janie


Thanks Darlene!

I’m quite exhausted now but my brain won’t stop! I said in my last comment that my mother should never have had me, and that’s probably true, but since she did, the question is then why didn’t she do everything in her power to get over her issues so that she could be a mother to me? Looking back now, I see so many “truth leaks” where it’s clear she knew she had problems, that those problems affected her parenting, that her parenting affected me, and that I had problems. She lived in the “fog” but she still knew these things and swept them under the carpet, sending me the message that I wasn’t worth it. And why not? So she could be right, feel superior, be in control, and for fear—fear of pain, fear of abandonment, fear of vulnerability, etc. But again, if she really loved me, why wouldn’t she do everything in her capacity to be the mother I deserved and face all these things? I guess the only answer to that is that she didn’t. Not really. The same goes with my dad. He knew his passivity and fears stopped him from being a real father, so why didn’t he deal with them? So, no, neither one of my parents really loved me in the true definition of the word… But I’m giving them another chance. I’m not going to do anything but give them time. I’m not going to check up on them to see if they are really going to counselling like they said they would. Just time. They may never realize that it’s up to them; they may never take accountability or give acknowledgment for the past; they may never realize how much better things could be; but I can’t control that. They are showing me respect now. Things are friendly and working. For now, that is the main thing. Whatever happens, I know I will be fine. I can live without parents. I’ve done it my whole life and I’m learning more and more how to give myself what they never gave me. And now, this way, I can be an auntie! I can be in my nephew’s life and watch him grow and love him for whoever he is. I would really not be alive today if not for my aunts and uncles. Thank goodness! I only hope that I can likewise play an important role in my nephew’s life (but hopefully that he never has to experience anything remotely like what I have)… Love to everyone, Alaina


Thank you all for your sensitive thoughts and validation. Because of all of you and your openness in sharing, I am finding myself and dealing with family treatment of me that I have always just accepted.
I have never had emotional support ever. I was not permitted to express emotion even in critical traumatic
events. I learned very young not to express or show negative or strong feeling. It was an unspoken punishable rule. My mother and brother were openly chastising of me at my son’s service. No words of support or love were spoken from the event to the funeral. Nor was there any support emotionally in the months that followed. In fact it was a taboo subject.
Friends and strangers gave hugs and support. I am finally talking about it. It isn’t a trigger for me. My
silence about important emotional events and how I feel is learned behavior. I was taught never ever tell, never ask for help, never show your (crazy) emotions.

Janie… no one went to or celebrated my life events either. Its so hurtful when you watch the other loving families and you stand alone. Why I never connected that aweful behavior with
“they don’t care about me” is an indication of how very brainwashed I was into accepting that I was
a no-good nothing that needed to try harder. I saw their lack of loving behavior as my fault.

Alaina..I like what you said “I can live without parents!” I am glad they are showing you respect.

Today I am no longer the person I was (emotionally) 10 months ago, but find myself in a weird transition. I’m not yet completely where I will be so feel kind of in no man’s land. I think 24/7 about all the topics and comments here. Its almost obsessive. Its a peacefulness too. Not to be in the spin anymore. Not to have constant condemnation.
My mother writes me notes and postcards, chatty, trying to engage again and drag me back. oh no!! :0
Hugs to all!


First of all I would like to say I feel for everyone that posts on this site. I full heartedly support each and everyone of you. I am finally coming to grips with what has happened to me and really embracing the need to not hide what it is I represent, which is a lost,battered,forgotten child. Those are my roots that is where I am come from. It is not a fond memory that I look back on, it is not one that I like to brag about but it is mine non the less. Every one has a starting point mine unfortunately was not a good one I was tied up and subjected to hours locked in a dark closet. So I sat out on fun days at the park,or play dates with other children. This was my nurturing and upbringing that my mother gave me. She hated me and for the life of me I could never figure out why. I guess it was never up to me to find out,it was and still is her job to figure out, she had the problems ,all the evil stemmed from her.She allowed the generational curse to keep going on through her. I won’t let it continue on through me it stops right here and right now.My strength comes from knowing I am not alone in what I feel and say. And now that I am an adult I can see for myself none of what was done to me was my fault, that child had no idea what was going on. That child believed every lie that was told to her and she truly believed this was how she was to be treated. Well I am telling her the truth that her mother was a liar that she is not alone and that we will find the truth together, that she is a strong, vibrant woman and that she can grow and thrive in spite of her roots. Hugs jane


Hi Karen and Jane
Your comments reminded me of how wonderful it is to be accepted for me; to feel how I feel, to be encouraged to be honest, to be heard. Jane, your self talk is fantastic. That self talk is what got me to wholeness!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


I am getting ready to have lunch with my mother today in about an hour. always a difficult experience for me. As I said before, one of my abusers was her bf and she allowed him to live with us for another year or so after I told her – I was told to never come out of my room unless I was fully dressed – excuse me, I WAS fully dressed! I understand, Darlene, what you mean by she was sending me a clear message. There’s more but suffice to say that 20 years later she accused me of trying to seduce her husband, because I left a pair of panties on the bathroom floor. She’s a really drama queen and I’m sure I will get the little comments about poor me, etc.

Recenlty, she had my brother and I convinced that she was going to tell us she was dying of cancer – turned out it was heartburn and it was our fault for not including her in our lives as much as she thinks we should, according to her and her doctor. At that time, she asked our forgiveness. My brother caved but I stood my ground and just told her that while I can’t speak for my brother, I think that we are doing the best we can with what we were dealt. She didn’t appear to ‘get’ what I was saying although my brother got it.

I’ve had 2 therapists tell me they are surprised I have a relationship with her at all. Truthfully, I don’t know why I do except that she is my mother, the only one I’ll ever have…I’m only beginning to understand the she was also one of my abusers, not sexually but otherwise. I’m only realizing now how abnormal her behavior was/is – it’s really answering a lot of questions for me, actually. Thank you all for being here and Darlene, for creating this site!


All, I just want to say that Darlene deserves a lot of money for what she voluntarily, does in sharing her life and helping victims of child abuse to heal. She could charge each of us a fee for personal coaching. I don’t understand how anyone can feel offended by her asking for donations to fund her website. I take that back, I do understand. Abusers always expect others to give themselves and ask nothing in return. They seem to see themselves as being above others and believe that their victims should give them whatever they ask for and be grateful for the chance to serve them.

Whether you meant to hurt Darlene or not, Cat, what you said was very hurtful and inappropriate. Your words caused pain and you should publically, take full responsibility for them since you dished them out, publically.

Thanks again, Darlene for all you do and for all you’ve done to support me in my journey toward healing. You are one of the greatest blessings I have received in my life and your work is very deserving of monetary reward. I know you’re a strong woman and don’t need me to stick up for you but the big sister in me just couldn’t swallow that and remain silent.



I relate so much to this post & thread of comments!

First off – on the original subject of this post “My mother doesn’t love me …” Coming to the realization that my parents never really loved me (not in the actual TRUTHful definition of the word) has been rough on me these past few months. It’s like, I’m mourning the loss of something that’s never existed. This sad, disgusted feeling. I have ‘mother figures’ in my life who are nurturing … etc. But, it still hurts that my OWN (as I put it) “birth mother” hasn’t provided me with that my entire life,no matter how many times I’ve tried to ask for it. Saying “My parents don’t actually love me” is something that I wouldn’t share freely with others – It would make most (people that I know) uncomfortable and would be instantly challenged with statements of: “I’m sure they really DO love you, they just aren’t good at showing it.” But I am strong enough now that such guilting statements don’t con me into ignoring my own pain – and the actual evidence that backs up my feelings, for that matter.

@ Janie and Karen – I feel for you both so much, as I read your comments about having times that you (and your parents) should have been able celebrate and be proud of … crapped on by their not even showing up! … Though my parents weren’t absent for big landmark events in my life – they still were sure to crap all over the joy that each of those times should have held. Examples:

When the time for my graduation came, I was told by my parents: ‘If you want to celebrate your graduation with your friends, we will make a slide show of all your embarrassing pictures for everyone to see. So, do you STILL want a graduation party?” (I never did get to celebrate it. And, they say it’s my fault ’cause I “Chose not to have a party” – yeah, an insecure teenager threatened with public humiliation … what do you expect?!? What a cop out.) …

Then there was: “If you try to move out on your own and don’t live at home with us until you are married, we won’t pay for ANYthing in your wedding – no dress, nothing … ” (I moved out to live with one of my friends anyway)

When the board of directors at my job recommended that I be promoted and thus replace my superior because they liked my work so much and “had really shown (myself) capable of helping the company progress and keep up with the times” as they put it, I told my mother and she immediately responded with the self esteem deflating statement: “they probably just want someone who they can pay less for and knew you wouldn’t know the difference. Besides, it’s too bad that your husband can’t provide for you and makes you work. I’ve been able to be taken care of by your father without having to work secularly.”

When my friends wanted to throw a baby shower for my first boy my parents (and others from my FOO) said: “It is just greedy for you to have a baby shower” and “I don’t like that you’re having this baby shower before you have the baby, then your baby will die and you’ll be left with all those reminders of it!” (great thing to say to a first time mom. BTW: My entire pregnancy was healthy and therefore there was NO call for such a scary statement.) Then, they said “it will be YOUR fault that your grandparents don’t get to have a 50 year anniversary celebration, since you inSISted on having that baby shower” (I quickly said “There are 365 days in a year … my baby shower was one afternoon. It is not my fault you never got a party together for them.”)
These, and MANY other experiences like these, just made it difficult for me to enjoy my accomplishments and what were supposed to be ‘happy times’ … It felt like I had to fight to get to enjoy the feeling of pride that comes with celebrating accomplishments! Janie and Karen … I’m sorry, your wonderful accomplishments were not accompanied with the praise and presence of supportive parents! It’s ok to acknowledge that you definitely deserved better!

Also – I just wanted to thank you, Darlene (and other contributors and the many who comment on this therapeutic and incredibly helpful website). I truly don’t think I would be as far along in my healing were it not for the many insights, experiences and suggestions provided unselfishly from you! Thank you so much! (And good for you, Darlene for standing up for yourself, for your needs, and for the fact that you stated your absolutely legitimate needs! It is beautiful to see how many people responded with genuine appreciation for your continued loving help … All of them ready to battle for you! Please, keep up the wonderful things you are doing!)
Thanks again!


Thank you Kera for your thoughtfulness.
Sounds like your parents tried to take away your joy too. I
understand now that they feel better about themselves when they knock us down. Its just so twisted.
They don’t like us but they want to control us. Keep us in our place beneath them. Like its their right.
I always got put-down nasty sarcasm from my Dad. My mother just pretended everything was fine but
was absent.
She’s now being sweet to me and pretending everything is fine so I’ll come back to the fold.
Writing cards and leaving friendly voice mail.
When I don’t fold under I’ll be the bad guy. Vilified. I won’t do it. I won’t play the game anymore. EFB is a lifeline for me in this struggle to be free of my family’s abuse.
A place of “normal” that I have never had. A place of caring people.
Thank you all! Karen


Hi Pam!
I don’t mind having a big sister! Thank you for your encouragement!
Hugs Darlene

Update on donations. ~ All the support here about my asking didn’t actually generate much action (I got 4 donations but all but one of them were from people who always support me with donations) but because of a larger then usual donation I got a few days before this request, my needs for the blog for the month of October ~ the blog expenses are covered. This whole donation thing is a touchy subject.
Thanks eveyrone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lucy
Keep reading and keep sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kera
I can totally relate to what you are sharing about your mother. The first thing that I noticed that I didn’t miss was when I was all excited about something that happened in my work and my thought processs was “I can’t wait to phone my mother”… “oh ya… she isn’t talking to me anymore…” and then I played it trough in my head about how the conversation would have actually gone. She would have found a way to totally squish my happiness and made my news something dirty, degrading and devaluing. That is always how it went. I am glad that you see the extreem BS in the things that you were told about your baby shower etc.
Thanks for sharing this,
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you, Darlene, and all that are here sharing. Turned out, my mom was a no show yesterday – go figure – she claims she got the directions to the restaurant wrong and then was put out when I couldn’t be there since it was well past my lunch hour by the time we connected. Very typical behavior for her and, frankly, I didn’t mind missing that lunch.


@ Karen –
I have recently gone minimal contact with my parents (not total NC because I have a little sister who still lives with them who leans on me for emotional support – so cutting them off completely would then cut her off …) … BUT, I’ve noticed that these months and months of working on myself emotionally, and my having control over when and if they come into my life … I feel SO much better! My depression and anxiety isn’t NEARLY as bad as it had been before. Stepping back, now, I see the link: they’d make me feel like a worthless person, then they’d swoop in and claim to save me – and I felt like a failure (as a mom, daughter, housewife) every.single.time. Not just because I needed help (that’s fine, everyone needs help from time to time) but because the way they delivered the help was always with this tone and sideways comments … Their ‘rescuing me’ ended up making me feel like “It’s a good thing THEY are here … or else I could NEVER be able to make it on my OWN.” (This scenario just gave them their, but drained me of any confidence or self worth. It would happen like they got it from some script: “Convince someone that they’re worthless, then convince them that YOU are the solution. Repeat. You will have that endless cycle, then, to keep you supplied.”)

Funny thing is, now that I’m breaking the cycle, and they’re out of the picture … I have been unbelievably successful at taking care of all my responsibilities – and NEVER do I feel the need to rely on them for help anymore!

Seeing the distance between us, they have been starting to ‘play nice’ again – trying to drown me in kindness (as it sounds your people are doing to you too, Karen) … but, it’s the same old song and dance … just to get you back into their twisted system of things! Once you’re back in, the mask (and gloves for that matter) come off. I guess seeing that they ARE capable of being nice (“friendly voicemails” … etc.) just shows that they have always just CHOSEN to act otherwise!

We just have to keep reminding ourselves that it is OKAY to require the people in our lives to treat us with love and respect. And for those who refuse to have that kind of relationship with us … they cannot then expect us to actually WANT to be around them. It’s just dumb.

Stay strong! 🙂

@ Darlene … It’s kinda scary how we can know a person so much that we can actually know how a conversation would go – down to word choice and everything, huh? Guess that’s just part of our ‘early training’ so we can anticipate their needs … and it just kinda sticks with you. (Just a little side note … I think it’s aMAZing how you are so quick to reply to the many comments here … it’s such an encouragement to just see that our voice is being heard by someone who cares! I know that’s got to be a TON of work – just to keep up with replies. But, it does mean so much! Thanks!)


Darlene, I’ve just realized I don’t have a healthy template for what love is. Sometimes it feels like people in my life love me related to what I can do for them, be to them. Is that just the cold facts of life? Or is it reciprocity…..I just don’t know. Is it naive of me to think that some people could just want to help me, for me? I don’t know… feels like I’m not much without all the extras I try to give them. Teaching them things, sharing my knowledge, cheering them on, making them happy….it’s just so ingrained in me. I’d like to try to just be me…..just be me. Because I’m wearing myself out… the end many social interactions become a chore, a struggle….If I could just feel valuable the way I am. How do I get there….I don’t know.


Right On Kera! exactly. My achievements and news are always
pushed aside as unimportant and in the same breath my brother
is praised and honored.
I was an emotional wreck running around trying to help and please
them and both of them were belittling me in words and actions.
I see the truth. Thank you for sharing your similar treatment.
It reenforces that this is an abusive pattern of behavior not my
crazy imagination. Hearing the same story again and again
supports the realization that its not crazy thinking on my part but


Hi Maralee
That is pretty much what this whole website is about and it is usually the bottom line in my coaching practice too. The goal is to appreciate, love and validate yourself so that you don’t have to seek that validation from others. People used me because I didn’t know that I had a choice. I didn’t know that I was worthy of having a relationship that was a two way street. I had to start by learning what love was not and how one sided I had been taught it was.
Hugs, Darlene


I am glad I found this place. It has helped me so much in recent days. The pastor’s wife who told me I need to stop writing about my experiences regarding my ex-husband’s infidelity, abuse and abandonment of our family followed it up with a blog about the adulterous woman in scripture and how society wanted to stone her but Jesus said “Let those without sin cast the first stone”. She then said that we can learn a lot from the “silence” of Jesus and his desire to not cast a stone at this woman but instead to forgive. And we should never expose another person’s sin publicly. I really don’t understand why someone is spending so much time defending my ex husband. It seems to me that by harping on the subject she is in fact doing the judging. Judging me for having the gall to discuss what was done to my family. I also find it frustrating that someone who is happily married would feel a suitable person to give advice to me on how to handle my post divorce life?


You definitely are not alone!
After a very long journey of 38 yrs I still have a extremely toxic “mother”.
This is something I had to come to terms with, recently. I can not control someone, I can not make them love & care for me! I still to this day have no connections with her, this used to be under her control until I learned I could take the control from her & live my life. This took many years and lots of pain & tears later. But the only way to stop letting people abuse you is to take that control from them. All my life she rejected me, Ide call her several times from group homes & foster homes & she would always hang up on me telling me to never contact her again but as a child this is not possible. Then when I married at age 34 I called her again & asked if I could come over & she said no maybe in a couple months, this was her way of keeping the control over my life & my emotions, Threw that I eventually realized this was her form of control, so recently she sent me a friends request on facebook & I denied it & reported her request as spam, this might seem petty & immature but it was the only way I could gain the control so she could no longer control my emotions as many abusers do! But this also meant I could never go back to her in any form because it would only continue the cycle & therefor I would be surrendering the control back to her side of the playing field! I had to come to terms with this after, I had to realize that I had to love myself & accept the situation then set it free. Yes sometimes it still bothers me but I just reflect back on all the abuse & the hatred she carries for her own child. That gives me strength I need to keep trucking forward. I and the state/dhhs gave her many options & opportunitys to make it right but now she waits till shes almost 60 to come to me on her terms mind you, all because she is getting old and knows she will have to meet her maker and take her punishments. Her fear drives her to me but not her love. I strive everyday to rise above & not be like her as a parent, not always easy considering we share the same dna but we have separate hearts & minds! Destiny is what you make of it & yesterday feels like a faded memory. We can not live in the past nor can we live for tomorrow but we must live today & live for the moment, tomorrow is not guaranteed and worrying about it only robs us of our future! We are worth so much more & we must look within & embrace ourselves & learn to love ourselves.
We must learn to love ourselves, we deserved to be loved but we must first heal or we will only attract what we are!


Hi rdv2007
welcome to emerging from broken! Self love is a huge key and is one of the most popular subjects here. When I loved myself I was able to see that I didn’t deserve the treatment I was getting and was able to draw the necessary boundaries. The tricky part is breaking through the belief system which prevented me from self love in the first place.
hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

I felt so alone these days at I let my ex (the spiritual high guy) came into my life and confused me again.
I need your opinon about his sentences, because I don’t know if I can trust him or not :

– He said that as he is spiritually high (because he knows about reiki energy), he can kill a person in one shot. And I was terrorized listening about this.
When he saw that I was scared, he immediately said “you can do it too”(!!) because he considered me as spiritually evolved too.(although I am atheist).

– He repeated me “we are responsible for all what happended in our life”. That’s made me feel so guilty.

– He explained what happened to me (mistreatment stuff) with prior lives I had.

– He said to me that I want “uncounsciously killed the men”. Fantastic.
He also said that I was dangerous for the men like him who have a complex of savior.
– He also said that I am looking for be punished from men.
As I am hurt by his sentences, I explained to him that if we want to help others psychologically, we have to be kind, patient and not talk about painful realities and truths if the person is not ready. He answered in an authoriatarian way “there is no “have to”” and I could not finished my sentence.

– He pretended be able to help me but only if I am ok to listen to him.
– He said to me that I was crazy for having changed my phone number . (He and one of his friend called 5/6 by day). That hurt me he labelled me crazy.

What I like with him is when he gave a reiki care and that I can go out and can do funny thing with him as he seems to appreciate my sense of humor. (masquerade ?)

I don’t know if I can trust him, because sometimes he is very gifted to be kind, sweet and is very convincing.
And because after a reiki care, I feel better.

I’m so lost and I am afraid I gave him power again.

Thank you a lot.


Hi Aurele
I think you have your own answers; read what you have written here as though someone else is telling it to you and what would you say to them? I have huge red flags about what you are saying about this guy. The good stuff does not cancel out the bad stuff.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene for your answer.

Hugs too.


Hi Aurele,

This guy sounds really controlling, and I think Darlene is right that the good stuff dosent make up for the bad. When you have come from an abusive backround, you do tend to make excuses for someones bad points, I certainly did. I was so pathetically grateful if someone was nice to me in some ways, that I would ignore major warning signs that all was not well. I have said in previous posts that I tended to be attracted to Narcissists because my mothers behaviour was narcissistic. That type of person controls their victims by alternating charm with abuse, thats how they keep us in a state of confusion, and therefore thinking that we are the problem. For most of my adult life, I felt like a failure if I was not “with a man”. I tolerated the most appalling behaviour just to hang on to a guy, because I believed that I needed validation from “out there”. And of course, we attract people who will treat us the way we treat ourselves. I believed that I was defective and “less-than”, and of course, I drew partners who reflected that back to me. 3 years ago, I decided to get off the relationship merry-go-round, as I knew I needed to heal my relationship with myself, before I could ever have a healthy one with anyone else. I am still single, but I now have emotionally healthy friends of both sexes for the first time in my life. I would like a partner, but that will come when I am able to be totally authentically me – and proud to be me. And I am getting there. So will you, darling, take care.

Love, Sylvia x


D – this week i was wondering how your dad treated you because i dont remember you mentioning him in previous posts. I knew you were abused by your mom but i wondered about your dad. Now i know. I am really glad you shared that it wasnt just your mom and that you shared that it was both parents. I am really sad for you that it was both parents. What an awful way to grow up..I was also abused by both of my parents…i told my wife the other day that she was fortunate to only have been abused by one parent…for the first time ever in our marriage she acknowledged that the way her father treated her was abusive…she used to just say “he would get angry” or “he would get mad at me.” Finally this week she acknowledged that the way he yelled at her and treated her was was a breakthrough in our relationship because she just refused to be honest that her anger was in part coming from the way her dad treated her. She has been directing her anger at me and sad that it had nothing to do with the past or the way she was treated. She even told me “dont go back to the past because it has nothing to do with that”…i felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know that her anger stems from her childhood and i have pointed it out before in conversation but she refused to acknowledge it…

The hard part for me is that my mother told me she loved me all the time but yet would call me “stupid” or “a bloody fool” or tell me i could never do anything right or something similar…so all this time i thought my mother loved me well into my late 30’s but almost every day she verbally, emotionally and spiritually abused me throughout my childhood…i knew my father didnt love me…that was very evident. There was no gray area with him. He hated all of us…he was full of hatred and venom and spewed it out on us like a bomb exploding. my mother also had a very explosive temper and would lash out with no warning at me or my sister or my father…it was like living with 2 atomic bombs…just waiting to explode…no wonder i lived in constant fear and anxiety and depression. its no wonder i have no idea what true love really looks or feels like…it was like “i love you but youre no good.” or “i love you but you screw up all the time.” It was always “i love you but…”…or it was dependent on what i did or did not do…if i didnt do what she wanted then i was called a “fool” or “stupid”…

I think the shame that comes with all of this type of treatment is why people dont share more…i never realized how powerful shame is/was until recently…i was always ashamed of my parents and my family and always felt ashamed of who i was…so why would i want to share that with others ? What is redeeming about sharing how shameful i felt and how embarrassed and ashamed i was of my family ? that’s the other hard part for me. Shame has been my constant companion my whole life…i no longer live in fear but i do still live with shame. Its been the hardest thing to overcome. Shame seems to cut to the core of my being – like if you take the shame away then what will be left ? will there be anything there at all ? thanks for sharing this.



Sylvia – quick comment..i agree with you totally about the good part/bad part stuff..And i agree that this guy sounds really controlling. I told my wife the other day that if a person was just abusive all the time then it would be obvious to others and people would stay away from them. But when someone alternates between being nice and being abusive people tend to let them hang around or give them the benefit of the doubt because the person doesnt abuse them all the time…i told my wife that is how abusive people try and justify their behavior to themselves…they say “well i dont treat them bad all the time so i must not be that bad.” or something to that effect…my wife acknowledged finally this week that her father had been abusive to her when she was a child. In the past she just said “he would get angry or get mad at me.”…she would never say it was abuse…now she finally sees it as abusive. She is reading a book called “allies in healing.” My counselor gave it to me to give to her to read. Its a book for people who love someone who was sexually abused as a child (my situation)…

i have seen her father continue to abuse her mother and others in the family and no one will call it abuse…they make excuses or they say “he just had a bad day.” or whatever…its abuse. Period. He is angry and directs his anger at anyone who doesn’t agree with him or who doesn’t like something he says…you cant really talk about anything of any substance with him because he will start arguing and become angry and verbally abusive…but he does not do it every time so people put up with it…

anyway…i agree with you about that situation.



Hi Dave
I have written about my father in many posts. The ones specifically about him however are in the father daughter category (sub category of the “family” category.) here is the link:

~ The ‘family category button’ will also be helpful. And there is also the “tag cloud” at the bottom of the right side bar. You can click on any of the phrases in blue and they will take you to all posts that use that phrase in the post.
My father abused me in covert and passive ways. He was not a huge part of my life (which in itself is abusive) so I don’t write about him often in a main post.

Both my parents told me they loved me. It was when I looked at the proof or lack of proof about that that I was able to see things from a more ‘truthful’ stand point and begin to move forward from there.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave,

Its great that your wife is facing up to the fact that she has been abused. Its very hard for some people to admit that their parents werent Gods. It goes back to our earliest survival instincts, I suppose, when we really did need our parents love in order to survive. And yes, if abusers were abusive all of the time, we would KNOW they were abusers! The fact that they are capable of being nice and charming makes you think that when they turn on you, you are doing something to provoke it, and that their behaviour is justified.
I, too, grew up in a house with an angry atmosphere. My mother was passive-agressive, and her style was the silent treatment, but my dad and older brother had explosive tempers which, as you know, is an awful thing to live with. I developed severe anxiety issues as a result of this. I was terrified of “making” anyone angry, and would do anything to avoid it. Now, when anyone gets angry around me, I do not allow them to make it about me in any way. Like Darlenes, my father was abusive by way of emotional unavailability. He was just a distant angry presence, who was very rarely present at all! I am so “getting” that their behaviour was absoloutley nothing to do with me and was entirely about THEM!

Love Sylvia x


Hi Everyone!
I have published a new post about gratitude and when gratitude is counter productive as it was in my own life before I learned what my belief system was. This is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and to celebrate that occasion here is “Thanksgiving and Gratitude ~ when the little voice rebels”
Looking forward to the conversation!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much Sylvia.

Your words are very wise “3 years ago, I decided to get off the relationship merry-go-round, as I knew I needed to heal my relationship with myself, before I could ever have a healthy one with anyone else. I am still single, but I now have emotionally healthy friends of both sexes for the first time in my life. I would like a partner, but that will come when I am able to be totally authentically me – and proud to be me. And I am getting there”. It feels good to read them.

Now, I am in a state of anxiety, that he could phone me again.

I don’t know what to do, if I have to tell him that I doesn’t want any kind of relation with him and that I don’t want to see him anymore at all or, if I have to wait he calls me again and tell him this in direct.
He phoned me friday evening, (5 times I never answered, the 6th, I answered) and he asked me to go out and I refused. And he hung up the phone angrily and coldly.

I am afraid he became angry if I told him that I want to be no contact with him but in the other hand, I feel anxious if I know he will probably one day contact me again.

Fortunatley he moved to the south of the country (I only hope, it’s true).

Love and hugs to you, Sylvia :).


For add few details, we are not engaged together in a serious relationship.
Lately, when I saw him two days this week, I haven’t see him since 2 and a half months.


Thank you Dave for validated What Sylvia said about my situtation. In doing that, you validated me too.



D – hope you have a good week and enjoy thanksgiving and that its a blessing for you and your family !




Hi Everyone
Some of you will remember last January when Kylie Devi guest posted about the difficulties that she had when she tried to get help from so called “mental health professionals” for the abuse she suffered in childhood? Well there were some unexpected results from her writing about her abuse in public; her abusers found out about it. Today I have published the follow up post from Kylie where she shares how this contact from her aubsers caused her to shut down and how she overcame that. I am really lookin forward to the conversation on this new post!
You can read it here “Breaking through the Fear of Speaking about Child Abuse” by Kylie Devi
Hugs, Darlene


Hey all:

If I’m a little too honest, please bear with me. My mother abandoned me even though I lied about the abuse, I was 10 going on 11. At the time, I said it only happened once, but truthfully, my uncle (her half-brother) sexually abused me for 7 months (August 1984-February 1985). He’s two years older than me. He went back home and then my parents found out through the school. Anyway, March of 1986, my mother wanted him to come back into the house and I lost the fight. Well, the sexual abuse stopped, but the physical & verbal abuse continued. As I graduated HS, my mother & I would clash over what I wanted to do in life. I won and left home to join the military. Now, she bribes me by giving me money – I don’t know if it’s guilt, but I don’t care. I told her the truth in 1996 and all I got was why didn’t you say anything. She still talks to him while telling me that he doesn’t exist to her or my sister & I. I know she’s vulnerable now because she lost her husband (my father) 3 weeks ago. The day after he past, I told her that I had PTSD and she said “no you don’t. If you do, you should be in counseling.” I said simply I am. Then she’s like, is this why you have been harboring so much anger? I deflected the question by saying I had no other place to act out my feelings other than school. Oh, in August, she gave me my psychological evaluations and said, even though they diagnosed you this way (it said I had a mild case of mental retardedness), I felt I could do this on my own and that’s why I was hard on you. That diagnosis was 3 months after the sexual abuse. I am the oldest of the children in my family & my sister is the spoiled one.

When it comes to loneliness, I feel so alone. In August, my mother said that people who commit suicide are stupid (but she denied having suicidal thoughts January of this year). Late last year, I went through a dark spell and wanted to die. The cause was due to a breakup of a friendship – someone I wanted to marry, but she found someone else, my sister got married and no one cared if I lived or died). To curb my loneliness, apart from reading the Bible, I resorted to something I was exposed to by my uncle, x-rated movies. I saw my first one at 11 (this was after what my female cousin did to me – she’s also 2 years older than me). After watching them, I’m more depressed. I have battling with thoughts of my mind since elementary school. I just want to be free from the thoughts of my mind (especially these sexual, suicidal thoughts). Note: I will not do anything rash. People don’t want to hear what I’m going through unless they want to judge me or they cut me off (this is people inside & outside the church).


Hi Tremayne
I am away for a couple of days so my comment must be brief but didn’t want you to feel unheard. It sounds like you were totally unheard and unprotected and that the diagnosis (from childhood) was used to label what was going on with you ~ and then your mother hands them to you to “prove” you don’t know what is going on with you! I totally understand how difficult this is. And I understand the lonliness; that subject comes up a lot here! There is so much to that; the longing to be seen and heard for who we are is a huge part of it. Thank you for sharing. You are not alone here
Hugs, Darlene


It sounds like your mother doesn’t know nor like the truth. Many of our mothers on this site are that way. They deny and deny and deny until you back them in a corner. What happened to you wasn’t your fault. If you know what happened to you that is your truth. This whole site is about the truth. Sometimes when you find your truth that is when you get rejected because you are rocking the boat. My family is basically No Contact with me now since I told the truth. I’m now at the point that I don’t care what they think. I know that they are all my mothers puppets, that is their choice. I also understand the feeling of being judged, that has also been my situation with my family for as long as I can remember. But now that I’m not around I wonder if they will turn on eachother, who knows?

Darlene runs a wonderful site! I hope for the best for you.


Hi Everyone!
I have published a new post today and I answered the really popular questions ~ “how did I become my own best friend?” I have and “why do I look for validation outside of myself”?
You can read the new post here:

“On How to Become Your Own Best Friend”

Looking forward to the discussion on this one
Hugs, Darlene



In response to your post #102 (and thank you for responding). My mother likes to live in this “fantasy world” and deny anything that’s not a part of it. There’s something about me and when I look at her that really bothers me. It’s kind of like, I have to keep her at bay. Granted, there are times when she speaks where it’s like hearing a cat scratching on the wall. I’m trying to be a little sensitive at the moment because she lost her husband (also my father). My father had a role in it, but nowhere near the magnitude of my mother (considering it was her half-brother who violated me) and she cared more about him than the fact that she knew that I was violated.


I just found your site yesterday. I first realized that my mother did not love me about three years ago, when I was first introduced to the concept of malignant narcissism. Up til then, I had entirely blamed all of my pain on my abuse at the hands of a sadistic, psychopathic father.

Once I began to get therapy, I realized that my mother’s narcissism caused just as much damage, if not more damage, than my father’s cruelties. I can’t even begin to tell you what horrific grief came up with all of this.

It’s been three years and I am still having flashbacks of abuse. I have symptoms of complex PTSD. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to live a “normal” life, one without the severe IBS and insomnia and hypervigilance and nightmares and grief. I’d like to, but I am no longer young. These health issues, plus my coming out of years of using my coping skills of dissociation and denial, have created a deep depression. I guess I need to hear that there is still some hope of learning how to live a life without the dysfunctional family and the narcissistic mother.

One thing that confused me and angers me, though, is that realizing that my mother doesn’t love me, and that she never did, is making me feel as though I will die. I mean that I really literally believe that this will kill me.

I’m a smart woman, and I know that facing this truth will not literally kill me. So why do I feel this way? It’s awful…..just awful. I hate this inner emptiness and sadness and loneliness, but the worst of all is the constant belief that I won’t survive this.

Did you ever go through a period of time in which you felt that you would literally die without the mother?

How sad.


Hi Marore
I think it is very very difficult to come to the realization that both parents caused the damage ~ usually in different ways. My father was so passive in his abuse ~ he just didn’t care. I blamed my mother for everything and it was devastating when I realized that he had caused a huge amount of the damage too. He didn’t do anything to protect me either. Not from my mother or from any other abusers.
I went through a huge grieving process when I realized that my mother didn’t love me too. I think the belief that it would kill me is a left over from the childhood belief that rejection (being thrown away) would kill me since I could not survive on my own then. I had to do a lot of self talk assuring myself that I was an adult now and could take care of myself and I would not die without parents. I have written lots more about this in this site. (and give yourself time to let it ‘sink in’)
I have recovered from dissociative identity and major dissociative issues and all depressions etc by seeing the truth about the lies and the damage. My self esteem is restored and my whole life is pretty much 100% different now. There is hope!
Thank you for sharing. I hope you will visit often.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene for this article. It really resonates with me.

The most damaging relationship of my whole life has been that with my mother. Always has been, to my memory. I have NEVER met anyone like her. Completely oblivious to her hurtful words and behaviour, yet demanding of respect and attention from everyone. Even though my father was abusive too, I stayed away from her if I could. Bitter, vicious and cruel, never thinking before speaking. Calling me and my Dad “two fat pigs” when I was about 8 is one of the most painful memories I have. I remember I turned and looked at Dad, his head was down in shame. He should have protected me from her.

She threatened to take the toilet paper from us, we used too much, we could use our hands. Never happened, but she threatened. When they fought she regularly threatened to “go back to my people” in Quebec, alone, you always knew she meant alone. Who are your people more than your children?

But I have never wanted to think she didn’t love me…who am I if she doesn’t love me? Am I real? Emotionally, I am having a hard time with that…because I’m so early into healing, that’s the bottom line, Who Am I?

Darlene, what I’ve realized in the last 2 months is that what’s in my head, my perception of myself and others in relation to me, IS the very voice of abuse, and I have been so brainwashed. I guess I’ve thought I had an autonomous mind, one that knew my parents were hurtful but was now ‘naturally’ disappointed in myself for doing nothing with my life since.

And I never questioned whether Mom loved me, I thought she did but her mental illness prevented her from expressing it. But can you love your kids while you trash them for years? I always have made excuses to push away that ultimate pain. She did say once she wished I’d never been born, but I was a teenager and we were arguing…but she never apologized.

But I would rather know the truth, I am ready and strong enough for it now. Something in me, something quiet, just said inside that I know, and that is why (for the most part) I have drank and taken so many pills over the years.

This woman could not have loved her kids, they were things to her. We were only ok when we agreed with her or looked a certain way.
I’ve said for years we were satellites around their marital dramas, without thinking about what that meant…if we were ‘satellites’ we were at a distance and not in her heart.

If my mom asks my sister how auntie can still be crying for her dead son after he’s been gone 3 months, can there be any possible way this woman loves her kids?

Why is this so hard? Why can’t I just say it, and face it? The hardest thing to wrap my mind around is a mother not loving her kids.
That is insanely unnatural…

I have felt guilt for so many years because I rarely make contact with Mom, except for Christmas. I don’t miss her. I can’t forget the things she did. There’s an unspoken message in the family, as we ‘roll our eyes knowingly’ at each other, that her behaviour is to be excused because she’s our mother. Which is just the message she gave, “I am the mother”, therefore “I can do what I want”. But her standard of behaviour should have been the highest, not the lowest.

That is where I’m left now, who am I behind this unloving mother.



I’m typing this through my tears to tell you thank you.


Hi Doren
OH my gosh! It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I hear stuff like this, it still shocks me and disgusts me. I feel your pain!
This is a really huge process so give yourself some time. For me this was so much of the bottom line and I did have to find myself ~ MY identity and not the one that was defined by them and by abuse and from being discounted. The good news is that through facing the damage I did find the real me. I was able to pull those lies out by the roots once I found them and re-define myself. Keep reading. There is so much more about this topic in this site.
Hugs, Darlene

“A Real Person”
Thank you ~ I am glad you are here
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

big hugs and thank you for responding….I really like that, “pulling the lies out by the roots”—then we can replant with healthy seeds of self-love and respect. And it’s never too late!

Right now a part of me just says, “I want my mommy”. Even though I’ve distanced myself all these years and felt so detached from her…I’m surprised that’s in me. My sister called her Mommy once at Christmas last year, it shocked me and hurt me for her. She hovered around Mom but I felt detached enough to be ok with feelings of exclusion. Because I’ve been alone in that family more or less all my life.

I am really glad I found this site and will keep reading…I’m sorry I can’t donate right now I’m on disability… Thanks for all you do Darlene.

To “A Real Person”, I’m so sorry you got hurt, I give you cyber{{{{hug}}}}


For a few years that ‘pull’ or longing for my mommy came up for me too. I think it may be the longing for something I never really had.
I appreciate your note about donations ~ I would never want anyone to donate when they are short themselves! I appreciate your thought however and I am glad that you found this site too!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene. There’s just a wealth of information and validation here that would probably take years to acquire seeing a therapist, so I know this is an act of love from you, and a calling.

I’ve read where you talk about picking apart a memory and its messages…I haven’t really started doing that yet. What I do at times now is, I close my eyes and go back, so that I am there…I see my first home, our bedroom, I scan it, I try to remember all the detail I can. This goes for other rooms, places…I try best as I can to put myself back there, like I am walking through these rooms again in my mind. I try to remember the atmosphere, the emotional environment. Was there tension? Are we talking to each other? Are we interacting at all, and if so how? What am I doing? Just in describing this, I can see in my mind that I’m often sitting alone somewhere in the home, occupying myself.
I also try to imagine someone else in place of me in my memories. How do I feel when this stuff is happening to someone else. I find that more difficult though—more revealing.

It comes to mind now how mom talked about her experiences giving birth. She’d mention the intense pain (like being stabbed she said) and the prejudice she felt by hospital staff, her being French-Canadian in Ontario back then. But now I’m aware she never said anything about the joy of having us. The stories of our birth were always about her suffering. And I did feel sorry for her and never thought about the missing part.

Really, she was just ruthlessly plain about her disrespect, but from 15 to now I’ve had my head in some bottle or other and tried to push her away. All the while I’ve known she’s gone nowhere, she’s been like a ghost trailing me. She’s got Alzheimer’s and dementia now and is like a child so now I’m supposed to get over the past. I’ve thought to myself that I wish she was dead so we all could be free, including herself—but that makes her in control of my freedom, I have to free myself.

I hope it’s ok that I write multiple times, I am blabby this way and I don’t feel so alone

Hugs to all


Hey All,
This all resonates with me the grief of the loss of a mommy. It’s been barely 2 years of studying on Narcissism when I found out that mother didn’t love me. It is shocking because we were raised to be passive, obedient, little girls, who inevitably try to hold out hope that there is love in the mother/daughter relationship. The men in my family were favored and respected over the girls. When you finally get to the point, whatever your “rock bottom” point is,that you are sure there isn’t love there, it’s very depressing. Lately I have been going over and over instances in my life looking for love from mommy. (To see if I am really correct that she doesn’t and didn’t love me.) In my memories all that I keep coming up with is more negative events she had done. And life itself triggers memories, which can bring you right back to age 8 or 10 or 17 or 21 even. Ask me if I miss mother? No, I do not and generally I no longer call her mother, I call her by her first name. She tore up her mothers’ card long ago. I am still trying to get to the place where the little girl that I was can get the love she needed all along. I would love to go back and give her a great big hug because she deserved love… Peace all…


Doren, when you said..
“But I would rather know the truth, I am ready and strong enough for it now. Something in me, something quiet, just said inside that I know” I found myself saying “YES! Exactly!” I could have finished that not with drinking and pills but with the use of other drugs like speed and acid.

cyber{{{hugs}}} back. I’m sorry we all got hurt. As glad as I am to have found this site, and as glad as I am that I am not alone I’m sorry that there is a need for it at all! The lil kid in me screams “IT’s NOT FAIR! We didn’t deserve this!” and the adult in me says “Your right, it isn’t fair! (which is sooo much different than what it would have said once upon a time)”

Darlene, unlike so many others I didn’t find my way as a result of mother issues at all. It hadn’t even entered the realm of possibility in my mind. I ended up here through another site when I looked up triggers. I had watched the 1940 movie ‘gas light’ and had a landslide happen as a result. While I had always ‘known’ I sexually abused as a child I thought that, and only that, was the root of my problems. I knew my dad threatening my life when I was about 6 was wrong, was abuse… but I didn’t realize about my mother.

But it explains why i feel so relieved right now that she couldn’t fly out to see me after all. I hadn’t really wanted her to but she wanted to and I figured she’s my mom so of course I’ve gotta be ok with it. She wanted to come for my birthday (which is Sat. I’m turning 35). The last time she visited was for my birthday a few years ago. She got plane tickets and arraigned everything then told me. I felt I had to completely change plans. I didn’t know there was any other option (though my husband kept telling me I could tell her not to come if I didn’t want her here). This really bothered me because my husband had taught me years back that my birthday is all about me… it was the first time I realized I was worthy of having even one day all about me.

My birthday has always been a strange thing for me. Until I met my husband I had never gotten to celebrate it alone. My abusive older brother’s bday is 2 days after mine and so we always had to celebrate together, and my mom always asked only him how he wanted to celebrate. When I wanted something I was told that wouldn’t work with my brother’s needs.

I didn’t get to celebrate my 13th b-day (which I had been sooo excited about) because the week before our birthdays my brother and I were helping our mom bring in the groceries and he was “teasing me” relentlessly in front of one of his friend. I told him “shut up stupid!”… then his knee was in my stomach and my butt was through the hall wall into the garage. My mom told me “I knew better than to provoke my brother, specially in front of one of his friends” and she told us that she wasn’t having people over to the house to celebrate while there is this huge hole in her front hall (I coulda patched it the next day, I had plenty of experience patching holes the walls). She told us that we wouldn’t get to celebrate our 13th and 16th (his) birthdays. Although we didn’t get our family party and stuff when Thanksgiving rolled around my dad’s extended family brought my brother presents. They had been told I had caused a problem and that was why there hadn’t been a birthday party. The biggest rule in my house (spoken and unspoken) was to protect my brother (cause he was adopted… at birth 3 years before I was born, after 11 years of marriage and trying for a child and being told there was no way my mom could get pregnant. I was the surprise 3 years later that almost killed her and then was sooo much work ’cause I was allergic to milk, my mom thought breast feeding was disgusting, and they couldn’t find a formula I could keep in me, it came right back out the other end all over the place, so I almost died.), especially when it came to family. But I still tried to point out what had happened… and kept asking “if it was my butt that was sticking through the hole in the wall, how could it be my fault?” The answer, universally, was that I had been such a problem that I had obviously made my brother react that way.

The next year, days after I turned 14, came a new version of hell. There was a security guard at my school (I was a freshman) that liked the broken girls. But I didn’t wanna be “one of his girls.” A “friend of mine did though. I don’t understand everything that happened, but she talked to him, he gave me “a chance to tell him about the abuse from my parents or he would have to turn them in” I really didn’t want anything to do with him… next thing I know I was called out of class, taken to the office, where there was a sheriff and counselor waiting. What was really confusing to me was that as far as I knew there hadn’t been abuse from my parents in years… it was my brother that had beat the shit outta me so bad it hurt to move. There was the “strip search”, picture taking, evidence gathering first… which was soo humiliating. Then there was the bombardment of questions, but no one was listening to my answers. They kept asking “does your dad beat you” and I kept telling them no. It was the truth, my dad never laid a hand on me. Remember that I had been trained to protect my brother at all costs so I just couldn’t tell them what had happened. They told me my denial showed them that the abuse was extremely bad… they showed me my file that had been marked with suspicions of abuse for years… they pointed out how I was in the “at risk” program because of my “issues” with teachers (that was 1 place I could stand up for myself and others, with teachers who were abusive thanks to great teachers in my past). They “told” me what must be happening… again not listening to me and told me that by denying it I was making it worse. So I finally told them what they wanted to hear (My reality had been fucked with so much by my mom that I was used to giving in to alternate realities to please people). The sheriff went out when school was out to talk to my mom cause she was there to pick me up. She told me later what he said and asked me how could I do that to her… what he said went something along the lines of “Your daughter won’t be coming out today, in fact you’ll be lucky to ever see her again outside of court. You don’t deserve to have her. How can you sit back and allow your ‘husband’ to abuse your own child!” And stuff like that. One of my aunts was called (my dad’s sister, who lived near by and had been my favorite aunt) and told that they would be bringing me to stay with her… the social worker took me to her house and there was talking… my aunt was saying stuff like “I know your dad saw alot of things growing up he shouldn’t have, your (other aunt) and I both got pregnant and married young to get out of the house (15 & 16) away from our dad, your grandpa… you wouldn’t know this because your grandpa was such a different man by the time you were born, and completely different by the time he died) but I can’t believe your dad would do these things, I know he loves you, you mean everything to him. I can’t imagine he would lay a hand on you (he hadn’t, ever. He had been abusive when I was little but not physically… the one memory I have of his abuse is me and my brother being cornered in the bathroom with our dad saying “your mom’s not here ‘this time.’ I could kill you and she couldn’t stop me” I was about 6).

The thing about this day in particular… my extended family was going to see ‘phantom of the opera’ as it was in town. Many in my family, including me at the time, were into the performing arts and this was a big thing. They had gotten a ticket for me and this was how we were going to celebrate my birthday. The social worker left and my aunt told me she was gonna call my grandma (my mom’s mom) and make arrangements for me to stay there. Obviously she couldn’t keep me because she had to go to phantom and it wouldn’t be appropriate now for me to go. So my grandma picked me up.

At this point my grandma had been one of my main caretakers for years. She was, perhaps, who I was closest to in the world. Because my parents had come home to something strange happening when i was younger with the babysitter and her friends (sexual abuse, but I don’t know how much my parents know/knew only that they knew something… that occasionally my mom still fishes to find out what I remember but I won’t talk to her about it, she taught me not to). Grandma was the one who was there for me when I would get out of school… long after my friends could stay home alone after school grandma had to come stay cause I couldn’t be left alone with my brother, he couldn’t be trusted… but at some point grandma couldn’t protect me and my mom says she couldn’t put my grandma through it any more so things changed)…

I got to grandma’s and she cried and asked me “how can you do this to your parents?” and the like. I hated it. I felt horrible. I kept trying to explain that I hadn’t turned anyone in. I called a youth group leader from church (actually brothers who lived in my neighborhood whose family would take me in growing up when it wasn’t safe to be home… it was somewhat by spending time there that I had some idea what families were suppose to be like. I never talked to them about anything… all i ever had to say was I have no place else to go). This wasn’t my “family’s church” this is one that I found through the family I just mentioned cause my mom’s church knew my family so I couldn’t speak up). He didn’t know what to say, but he listened. He promised he would help anyway he could, that his family would, and that the church would… him and his family did but no so much the church.

The next day my grandma took me to school as she was told to do. I went to class and once again was called out. I was asked how it went staying with my grandma and I told them it was hard watching her cry and listening to her ask me how I could do this to my parents. I didn’t know what would happen by telling them this.

I was told I wouldn’t be going home with my grandma. That she had been told she wasn’t to ‘discuss the case with me’ or ‘make me feel bad about what had happened.” the social worker was called back in and i was taken to social services office. I spent my first night there. That social worker was a good lady. She told me there were no foster homes open that night but I knew what the ‘home’ was like… I had known people who had been in there. You might as well stick the kids in juvi… some say its worse.. kids got forgotten there. I refused to go there. I told her if she tried to make me I would run away (I had plenty of experience living on the street at this point and I knew I could make it work). I also knew there were some awful foster homes out there. I actually told my social worker she was to find me a good, safe, preferably christian family to stay with or I wasn’t going.

The next day she got me into a foster home that was willing to take troubled girls (with my school record it was deemed that I was troubled.. hell I was troubled). I remember the shock of getting there. It was close to dinner time… I was introduced to the foster mom, and the 2 other girls staying there (one younger than me and one a couple years older than me). I was told the rules of the house.. which included bed time, chores… there was structure and it confused me. I was excused that night from helping for dinner and I remember the younger girl telling me it was ok to talk about what’s happened to you here. That her mom used to whip her with the phone cord and etc… the older girl told me her story… I was invited to tell my story, but if I wasn’t ready that was ok to (this from a maybe 10 year old girl and a 16 year old girl). The 16 year old told me how lucky i was to be there, that she got to stay until she turned 18. After dinner I was told I could call 1 of the people from the list they had been given of safe people but the call had to be made in the living room. After the call we were gonna be playing a ‘family’ game of monopoly then it would be bedtime (I hadn’t had an enforced bed time since I was little).

I wasn’t enrolled in school right away, they said they would wait till after the first court date. I was expected to help my younger foster sister with her homework, my older foster sister & the foster parents would help me with mine when I started school. Halloween came and they made me a costume outta stuff that was just around… we got to go trick-or-treating but we had to have an officer escort us (I was still considered in protective custody, and had the officer not volunteered to go on his time off I wouldn’t have been able to go, it wasn’t considered safe enough).

Soon after that was the court date. The station wagon came to pick me up to go to the court house.. there were already a couple little ones in the car (both about 4 or 5) it was early morning and they were sleepy… they curled right up into me and went back to sleep (I worked alot with kids, in the nursery at church, as a mother’s helper, and as a ‘nanny’… taking care of kids, and keeping them safe was important to me… so this felt natural.) Its like these lil ones who had probably seen and experienced horrors beyond their understanding could tell when they were safe (something I had experienced) and took advantage of it to sleep safely.

They get the kids to the court house early in the morning, before others arrive… there is a special entrance that the kids are brought in where there is no chance of the kids meeting up with their abusers in the hall. We were taken to a room where there were books, toys, and a movie going. Being at the courthouse is an all day affair for the kids… you get picked up in the morning and taken back at the end of the day.. well I didn’t I went home with my parents…

I was in the room for a while, with a lil one on my lap, when my name was called and i was introduced to my attorney. Again I was asked alot of questions, but my attorney didn’t pressure like everyone else had. I was able to tell her my dad wasn’t physically abusing me, but still not what was really going on.

Back to the room of broken kids… then called again. It was time to go before the judge. My parents had brought so many people as character witnesses for my dad. They got up and said stuff, my brother got up and said that I was making things up for attention, that our dad had never laid a hand on us, my mom got up and backed my brother, my dad simply said that he hadn’t laid a hand on me but that this wasn’t my fault.

I said I lied… I agreed that I had done it for attention. I was told that this was called perjury and that I could get in trouble for it if I did it again. My social worker stated that she believed me when I said my dad wasn’t beating me but still didn’t feel comfortable fully just handing my back without someone checking in. It was agreed I would stay a ward of the court but that my parents would be given custody/guardianship of me. We were ordered to go to family counseling and for me to go to individual counseling. I was told my new social worker would be checking on me soon (as the one I had specifically dealt with the kids before court).

I left with my parents, who had been given the address to the foster home I had been staying in. They went there and I was told to stay in the car while they picked up my stuff. I wasn’t allowed to go back in and say goodbye.

We went home… my dad asked me to go for a ride with him. he parked somewhere and started crying. He told me he knew that while he hadn’t laid a hand on me, he was responsible for the abuse. It was his job to protect me. He was sorry. He told me that in the future he would be there for me more (he was… maybe not all the way but he actually tried and got better and better every day. He was one of the stabilizing factors later on in my life because he took the time to get to know me and be there for me in most ways. By the time he died when I was 25 he had become the dad I had always wanted… that’s what makes things so hard sometimes with my mom… if my dad could change so could my mom… right? but he wanted to change, and she doesn’t seem to think she has a problem, the problem is with everyone else.)

My mom… she got worse. It was all my fault. My dad’s family got worse… they started blaming me for everything (they blamed me years later when my mom left my dad… said it was because of all the trouble I had caused… they said it in front of my dad… he stuck up for me!)

She wouldn’t send me back to the same school (which I was happy about) after I went back to live with her… and we were to pretend as if nothing had happened. When we went to counseling… the hell continued. My brother went once and refused to go back. Both in individual counseling and family the sessions revolved around how I could do such a thing, my need for attention, and trying to get me to own up to the fact that I falsely turned my dad in for child abuse. The counselor had my file right there, I asked to see it… I showed them all where it said the security guard had “turned in” my parents… I told them what happened. Then it was said he had turned them in because I had gone to him in some sick twisted need for attention… and the sooner I could admit to that the sooner I could get better. My mom took this and ran with it… it validated what she had been saying all along after all… that my sick twisted need for attention was causing everyone’s problems.

I need to step away now and process.

I can’t believe I wrote all this! All of a sudden it felt like I was suffocating and if I didn’t just start letting some of it out I wouldn’t be able to breathe and I would die.I started to apologize for how long this turned out… but I’m not sorry. I didn’t intend to write this stuff but I’m glad I did. I didn’t realize how much my birthday triggers stuff… I feel like all the ick that I didn’t even know was there in regards to my bday can’t affect it as much now because I know what’s going on.

I asked my husband yesterday to arrange to take tomorrow off work. I’ve had a rough week, and our home is a mess. This fazes him not at all, but it bothers me. I have this thing about wanting my surroundings clean enough (which isn’t spotless by any means) when I wake up on my birthday so I start my new year with a fresh clean home. As I’m a homemaker I usually stay on top of it (I found that I love to take care of my home… its helped me learn how to have a home… it helps me feel like it belongs to me). He has tomorrow off, and is going to either help me clean up or clean up for me while I spend time with my pup (or what ever else I may want to do… my choice) then we head into the weekend that is mine to decide what to do with. I’m giving myself permission come here as needed (as I’ve found that coming here is a HUGE help) or not come here at all.

Somehow I feel stronger since I’ve found efb. I feel brave for putting my truth out there. I feel less alone. I also I know that my mind doesn’t let me ‘see’ things until I’m ready to deal with it. I feel strong enough for this. I think that’s an awesome bday present!


In the creepy way of the world… right after I posted my phone rang and it was my mother. I’m ignoring it. But it felt like she must somehow know I posted something about her… that I had been caught. It’s the way I woulda seen it as a kid. So I’m telling myself it was just a coincidence… ye gads her calling just now really messed with me. Is really messing with me. I didn’t know how else to not freak so umm here I am. I’ve just gotta get through the panic its inspired.

Sorry off topic but not. I was at dog park last night and this large group of people were gathering for something near by… looked like a party. Then we figured out it was some kind of support group (I suspect cancer as there was a call song where the response was “NO HAIR!”). We were getting ready to leave and decided to stay a few more minutes.. I’m glad I did. All of a sudden this large group starts singing together. All I really got out of it was the chorus (to the tune of the mickey mouse club song…) Sorry if this offends btw..

Shitty Trail (It’s fucked up!)
Shitty Trail (it’s fucked up!)

Here was this large group, getting together to travel a shitty trail… it kinda made me think of here (no offense meant, really). They weren’t hiding away, pretending that everything was ok, all sugar and spice and everything nice… no. They were acknowledging to themselves, each other and the world at large that what they were going through is fucked up. It just felt perfect to me.

My mom keeps calling… I’m sorry but I really have no idea what else to do other than be here right now. I don’t want to talk to her but I’m afraid if I stop typing I’ll answer the phone. If/when I talk to her later she will try to make me feel guilty for not answering. Recently I was in the middle of doing something when she called and I told her I’d call her back when I was done. Well I tried and she didn’t answer. I tried a few more times that day and she still didn’t answer. I tried the next day (I knew my mom was offended that I told her I was busy and couldn’t talk to her right that second… I knew she’d be upset). A few days later she calls. She tells me she had been upset with me because I didn’t call her right back and figured “fine, if she can’t be bothered to call me back then I’m not going to call her” and held on to this injustice for days… until she had to use her cell to call someone else and saw the missed calls and realized she had never turned the ringer back on after the wedding she had gone to over the weekend. Her first assumption is always that I am doing something to hurt her, against her.

It’s hard not to take her calls though because she is in charge of my grandma’s care, and I do care about my grandma. I need to find another way to find out about my grandma. My mom’s not so good at being in charge of anyones care (in fact one of the reason’s she left my dad was because he insisted on taking care of his mother as she was dying and that took the attention away from my mom). It’s lucky that we were able to get my grandma into a good assisted living home (my mom is so ‘helpless’ that I had to help from 1000 miles away). I didn’t like how my mom was taking care of my grandma once and told her “I will watch how you treat and take care of your mother and I will in turn treat you the same way when your time comes.” My mom got so upset so I asked her “Why does this upset you? If you treat grandma well you will be treated well.” My mom got pissed. I took this as proof that she knew she wasn’t taking care of my grandma well.

My pup is doing his job and is all over me with cuddles and kisses and “come on let’s play or take a walkie!” I think my pup has the right idea.

Sorry if this was inappropriate…


To “A Real Person”,

thank you for writing and for the {{{hug}}} back. This is your life and your story and we need and deserve to be heard! I often find I need to get it out—sometimes a little, sometimes the floodgates get opened. To me that’s the voice of that child we were demanding justice. You were treated very badly and Mom turned away—but YOU did nothing wrong. This scapegoating business really messes with the head and we (naturally as kids) take on other people’s self-serving distortions.

You are very strong and always have been….I hope you have a great birthday Saturday….


Hi Melody
Seeing all this stuff helped me to see that it wasn’t “me” and that is what helped me to see things through the grid of truth. Then I was able to do for myself (love, respect self care) those things that were missing in my life. In my mind I went back many times to hug that little girl (me) that deserved so much better.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Doren and “a real person”
It is so great to get this stuff out! Thank you both for sharing so much of your pain. It makes such a difference for others to hear from others and for you to get it out!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, Darlene. Thank you for your response; I really do want to move beyond my anger and learned helplessness.

As a child every aspect of my life was controlled by a rage-filled, crazy psychopathic father. He was perfectionistic, selfish, self-centered, and sadistic. I was his favorite target of all of us four children. I was the eldest, a very bright, sensitive girl who was quiet and conscientious, caring and loving. He hated me. He used to tell me he hated me. He often threatened us with his loaded pistols and shotguns. He almost blew my brains out the night of my senior prom, just for coming home one minute past his curfew of 11:00 p.m. That tells you a little bit about how crazy he was.

My narcisstic mother just lived in a la-la fantasy land of denial. She didn’t protect me, and she parentified me. I was taking care of my three younger siblings from earliest childhood. She would become enraged if any of us kids ever cried or begged her to leave our cruel father. Every day we begged her to leave, because we were terrified of him. Our household was a terrifying nightmare in which to live. We were all walking on eggshells 24 hours a day.

My mother was very self-absorbed, only thinking of herself. She never once ever hugged me, cuddled me, nurtured me, tucked me into bed, read to me, comforted me, or listened to me. Not once. I to this very day can only bring myself to refer to her as “Mother.” I don’t recall calling her more intimate, endearing names like, “Mom,” or “Mama,” or “Mommy.” She is not any of those……only a distant “Mother.” Just a lady I know.

The world at large, though, just thought my parents were normal, good-looking people! I guess appearances are all that most people care about. Both of them were glib, beautiful, charming people, who could talk their way of out any situation.

The fact that they mistreated and abused and neglected their children……well, that didn’t seem to matter to anyone.

I have nothing but bad memories, memories I can’t seem to get out of my head. There is no doubt but that I have Complex PTSD. I seem to have married a narcissist (he may possibly be a psychopath, but I am not 100% sure). My ability to recognize abusive behavior is very, very damaged due to my having grown up seeing so much horror, I suppose. Compared to the crazy, chronic, life-threatening abuse of my father, my husband looks like Billy Graham.

What really bothers me the most, though, is that I have tried and tried and tried all of my life to do the right things… be a good person… always treat others with respect and dignity. I was a good mother, I think. I never ever wanted to hurt people the way I have been hurt,

I am now coming to see how very, very damaged and wounded I really am. I have so much anger, Darlene, that I have become cynical and bitter. I look back at my life now and can finally see and understand how absolutely abused I really was. And it makes me enraged. Just enraged. I was just a kid, and a kid who did everything in the world to be good, to be helpful, to take on adult responsibilities. I was used, Darlene.

Used…….manipulated…….abused…….shamed……slapped around…..beaten…….threatened with loaded guns……verbally abused in the most vile, sexually shaming, disgusting ways. I have been called a liar by my own mother, as she says that I was “never sexually abused.”

I remember reading somewhere that you wrote about feeling like a little girl standing outside a window watching a loving family interact. I know that feeling, because I’ve had that feeling all of my life. Do you recall the little animated cartoon called, “The Little Match Girl?” I remember seeing it on TV when I was about five years old. The little girl in rags is freezing on the streets of a large city at Christmas, and the people are walking busily on the sidewalks, dressed in their lovely wool coats with warm scarves and mittens, laughing and talking as they carry their packages. She stands at the toy store window, in her rags, shivering, and watches a little girl about her age inside the store who is picking out a beautifully dressed doll. The little girls’ parents are smiling and talking, and they carry the doll to the shopowner so that they can pay for it. The little match girl has tears in her eyes. She has no one. Poor, freezing, hungry, alone. That was her fate.

Well, even at the age of five, I wept and wept when I saw that cartoon. Her story resonated with me, and I remember crying for her as if my heart would break. (My parents never saw me cry…..I learned very early to only cry alone. All of my crying I’ve done alone.)

I wish I didn’t have so many bad memories. I wish I could see a future. I wish I wasn’t consumed by “learned helplessness.” Having felt alone all of my life, I find that it is nearly impossible for me to think in any other manner. I don’t ever expect anyone to care about me. I don’t expect people to be there, I don’t expect people to like me or love me, I don’t expect anyone to care whether or not I live or die. Except for my children…..but I don’t burden them with my stuff. I don’t want them to feel burdened by having to take care of me emotionally or in any other way. I won’t do that to them, the way it was done to me.

I guess you could say that I don’t feel as though I have really lived. All I’ve done is to survive. I survived the horrors of childhood and adolescence by dissociating. I still dissociate. I don’t lose time or anything, but I feel quite numb most of the time. Whenever the numbness wears off, I feel so sad that I think I will die. Literally. Or I am so angry and bitter that all I wish to do is just evaporate into a million atoms and fly off into space.

Most of the time, I just wish I’d never been born at all.

I’ve spent so much energy in my life being there for others, as that is all I’ve ever know. That is how I was groomed by my parents, to have an outward focus upon them and their needs, never on myself.

I don’t even know how to live, Darlene. I don’t even know how to take care of myself.

I’m sick of life. I really am. Just sick of it.

All of my life, I’ve heard that saying that “life is a great adventure.” And I always think, “Are you KIDDING ME?? Life is nothing but a hellish burden…..thank God when it’s finally over.”

I used to think that way when I was a child, for heaven’s sake. No child should hate life. No child should wish she could just evaporate and disappear off the face of the earth.

I am so smart… smart. And people always tell me how gifted and talented I am. But I can’t seem to connect to anything but my sorrow and anger, and frankly I’m sick of feeling as I do. Just sick of it.

I can’t even imagine having a different life. I want to. I am desperate to move beyond the PTSD and the depression and the bitterness and hurt. I just don’t know if I can. It might be too late, I fear.

I hope it isn’t.


Hi Marore

I’m so sorry for what you had to endure, and that no one was there to help. All I can say is, IT IS NOT TOO LATE, it never is.

Just to write here and connect with others is an act of hope and healing. It means a great deal to do this.

I remember once telling my ex, “I Hate Life”. I didn’t, I just hated the pain and was tired of it. It’s all we can see and feel at times. But there IS more and you want it and think how this is the starting point 🙂 And I would say you know very well how to take care of yourself, you are here because of your own strength.

I think when we are ready, we say, ENOUGH, and we work to unclench that survival grip, however long it may take, and it is an act of power and speaking out like what you’ve done in writing.


Hi Darlene,

Sad that these experiences happened to you and so many other people. Me included. The family is still the most influential unit in any person’s life and if it dysfunctional for whatever reason, the child (whether they are adults now) is usually the bearer of most of the consequences not to mention the emotions it brings, and unfortunately, which also scars us for life. The stages of healing can be long, and for someone like me, with grown kids and a wonderful husband, and sometimes truly believe that I have risen above the misery of my younger years with my mother, I must painfully admit and acknowledge that I have not really gotten over it. I thought deeply when I just broke down during a conversation with my husband about disturbing dreams I had about my parents and sister that I have denied the fact that I am still affected, that I still hurt. If I cannot be honest with myself, then how am I supposed to really heal myself or understand myself? Maybe I felt embarrassed to admit to myself that at my age I have not learned how to forgive. Maybe I denied myself to grieve over the series of painful events in my life, that I decided to put up a pleasant, happy front. Maybe, being Catholic, I felt guilty for not being able to fully forgive lest I myself will not be forgiven for my own transgressions. Maybe I just wanted to erase that part of my life so I can fully enjoy the wonderful life I have with my kids and husband??? I don’t know. Maybe its all of the above. Maybe parts of the above are all true. But the bottomline is, the hurt and perhaps the anger are still raw at times, sometimes less, but always there, deep down. So I decided to just accept that part of my life, but honestly, do not really know what else to do when the pangs of pain strike again. I accept it, I acknowledge that it happened, I know I am sometimes angry, or hurt, or realize that a lot of my personality weaknesses may have been brought about by these experiences. I will try to forgive and try to forget. It hasn’t happened fully yet and frankly, I do not have full awareness of putting effort on it, but I know the will and the goal is to forgive because not only will it free myself but will also release my mother who has since passed on and my sister, which frankly I do not want any thing to do with. Its a disgusting feeling for myself, looking from the outside in, but that’s how I feel. Tough.

It is tough to know you are not loved by your mother, or that if she did love you, it did not quite translate to a positive experience. It is tough to deal with a sister who, herself experienced the same sad lack of love and affection, and then treat your younger sister with such selfishness and another kind of abusive behavior. It is tough to realize too that perhaps because I have been deeply affected that there are times that I find myself allowing my sister to manipulate me even as an adult! Why, I ask myself in disgust? Why do I allow myself to be continuously hurt and taken advantaged of? And I am only like that within my own family unit – my childhood family unit. I have not been able to get out of the pool of mud from that period of my life. What the heck is wrong with me, I ask myself. And then I get exhausted just thinking, and wondering.

Anyway, yes, there are not a lot of articles or discussions published about this subject. Maybe it is just too painful and heavy a material to discuss. And of course, no one wants to “attack” mothers. It destroys the “ideals” of a “mother”. Its horrible to think and know of mothers who can do these things and so people do not talk about it. Apart from being a “mother” though, these are just people too. The mother portion of their being people just makes them more responsible and the expectations are higher. Articles about this subject will point out failure and its hard to listen to it or know about it. Its just too close to home, unlike the CSI and the real life mysteries we see on TV. Mothers don’t hurt children. That’s what we know of. That’s what we want to happen and believe.

It does not happen to all sadly. And a platform like this, is helpful and refreshing.

Thank you Darlene.

My thoughts go out to all who are striving to be unbroken.


Sorry, the third to the last sentence should be:

It does happen to some, sadly. And a platform like this, is helpful and refreshing.



Thank you, Darlene, so much. Thank you for listening, for caring, for giving me hope.

I am working hard to believe. I will keep trying.

It’s been hard……….and so painful. I agree with you about life. Life really isn’t the problem, is it? It’s the pain of PTSD, with the memories and flashbacks, insomnia and hypervigilance………along with overwhelming sadness and anger………combined with feelings of having been oppressed (powerlessness)………that make life look and feel like a burden and a nightmare.

If I can somehow help myself get rid of what hurts, life will look better.

I just am not sure how to help myself.


There is so much insight and information in this site. I would take weeks to consume it all but it will serve as a way to see past the fog that keeps us stuck in the lies. I have been very intentional in the way that I write these articles, to communicate how I came out of the lies and took my life back. Sometimes we need a little extra help along the way too, but reading here is a really good start! Getting ‘rid of what hurts’ came to me by facing it and the lies at the root of that pain. That is what I write about.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sofie
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
It was hard for me to see the truth about my mother. Very hard because when I saw it I had to face the way she rejected me in favor of her own wants/needs/wishes. ouch. I had to look at the truth about love, the truth about respect, relationship, and forgiveness. I had my definitions of those words all wrong and had to find out the truth about them in this process. That helped me a lot!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, Darlene.

I’ve been delving deep into your archives, and have been obsessively reading everything I can find on your site………so, I will be printing some of it out to read and read, again.

I love how you say that you “came out of the lies”…..I thought a lot last night about what I’d written here, and about what you said. I think my healing will hinge upon coming out of the lies. So, so many lies in my family… much that I learned about myself, about life, was based upon the evil and dysfunction of my parents.

I’ve worked extraordinarily hard these past years, in therapy and out of therapy, and I never accept the status quo. I’ve done the hard work of grieving, and at one point I thought I would never be able to come out of the grief, it was so deep.

Never will I give up. Never. I was especially glad to find your site because so much of what you have written really resonates with me. I identify with your fears, your pain, your frustration.

Seems I am stuck, and I am working hard to move through the “stuckness” so that I can, for the first time in my life, actually live instead of merely to survive.

Yes, getting rid of what hurts is HUGE. Just huge. I guess awareness of what it is that is hurting me now is a big step.

I’m not afraid of facing the pain of the past. I’m willing to feel the hurt and pain and loss and anger. It’s so hard, but I do believe it’s necessary.

Hugs back, Darlene….


I’m sorry you’re going through this pain. It IS painful. It IS embittering. It IS torture to feel like “this is it? This is what life is about? Enduring pain?” What a complete letdown that is when we reach that point. The point that life isn’t appealing anymore.

I don’t want my life and legacy to be of pain, anger and bitterness either. I can look back over a year ago, when I found this site. I was just discovering the sneaky and narcissistic ways of my mother. In addition to that, I had learned early last year that my husband had engaged in a 4 month affair with a woman he works with.

All my “foundational” people were completely different than what I believed they were. They were disloyal, disrespectful, selfish, loveless, and straight out mean. I wouldn’t dream of cheating on my husband. I said my vows before God and that is HUGE to me. I thought it was to my husband too.

Near the end of last year, my oldest sister and best friend moved 500 miles away. We talked deeply and often prior to that. I went to visit her and I was asked to leave the area (where I was smoking outside) by her oldest daughter. She said a trickle of smoke had entered through the window and made her friend vomit because she’s allergic to it. So, she asked me in front of my two sisters to leave. I had no transportation. I was crushed. 1) She’d only known this “allergic” girl for a month. 2) We traveled 500 miles to see her. 3) Her dad said he couldn’t smell anything and he was sitting right inside the window. 4) My sisters neither one saw anything wrong with that treatment. 5) I was embarrassed, appalled, and wanted to run as fast as I could, back to my home. 6) An allergy rarely manifests in the form of vomiting. 7) The “allergic” girl lives in the same town and could have gone home. 8) The whole family decidedly catered to her, whom they’d known a month. They asked ME to leave, even though my home was 500 miles away, and hers was 20 minutes. 9) I was already outside smoking. It didn’t occur to anyone to shut the window if that were the case. It was preferred to create drama and hurt my feelings. For the rest of the night, I had to walk through the middle of my niece, her friends, and other family, to go to a different door, and go outside to smoke.

I understand how gross smoking is. It is my vice. I try very hard not to subject others to my disgusting habit. I don’t think I’m ever disrespectful with it. I don’t expect to smoke in other people’s homes or cars, or other confined spaces. I was already outside, but that wasn’t enough. I suppose by typing this out, I can feel some bitterness and resentment still. It’s been over a year since it happened, and I still feel ugly about it.

All this to say, I understand where you’re coming from. I lost 4 of my foundational people (emotionally) in 2011. And, honestly, they were my only people.

I have bitterness too. Actually, just recently, I’ve realized that bitterness is my undertone in thoughts, and words.

I haven’t lost hope Marore. I could pretty easily, but, I haven’t. The thing that keeps me hopeful is that I’ve come a very long way since early 2011. I can function now, and fairly hightly. I went through lots of emotions and phases, and no matter how deeply I doubted coming out of it, I always have. I don’t mean to say I’m not a different person; I’m very different. I still get hung up on things, I still get angry about past events, etc. I’m not stuck there for long though. When all the discoveries began, I dropped out of school, and quit working. I’ve been working again, and I’m getting closer to re-enrolling in school. I don’t spend days, weeks, months in tears, unable to go to the grocery store for fear I would cry in public.

Although I don’t get suspended in hopelessness or tears like I once did, a result of all those phases and emotions has manifested in some bitterness. A disappoinment in people, and in life. A fear of trusting anyone. If my husband and mother are disloyal liars, the people who should love me most, what is left?

I suppose this means I’m putting my healing on others instead of letting it rest squarely on my shoulders. I hoped I would have SOMEone in my court. It hasn’t played out that way.

On the upside, I just returned from a couple of trips with my husband. It did both of us good to be gone from home and reality. I am learning to view myself as an equal, as important as anyone else. I don’t have trouble expressing that with my husband anymore. If he leaves me because I am now an equal, well, so be it. I’ve lived without him before.

I hope you feel some relief soon from the sense of doom that envelopes us in times of pain. It’s a tough road. EFB is a beautiful place to share and I hope you continue.


That incident broke my heart. I haven’t been the same with my best friend/sister since then. We talk, but it’s shallow and really unnecessary.

I never want to go back to her home again. My niece who was 18 at the time, has very little to do with me. She’s been taught that she’s “above” me. I didn’t even know that until this incident. Both my sisters have been taught by my mother, that this kind of singling out is appropriate, because I’m less than human.


Hi, Mimi…..

Thank you very much for writing to me….I really understand and relate to much of what you’ve gone through. It’s good to know that I am not alone, but I am so sorry that you were hurt deeply. You sure did not deserve such poor treatment and abuse.

Yes, it is painful. I think living in dissociation for most of my life helped me a little because it kept me numb. But numbness certainly keeps one from truly living and experiencing a rich existence. I would rather feel the pain I’m feeling now than to go back into that state of numbness.

What you went through with your sister and niece so reminds me of similar experiences with my own sister and niece. My goodness….what a horrible thing to do to you. But I do know how you felt, as I myself have gone through similar put-downs and condescending treatment by my niece and sister. It’s horrible, and embarrassing and humiliating. Lots of shame always was attached to my being treated so poorly. I now am beginning to understand that the way they act says more about them than about me. It reveals their narcissism and sense of entitlement. It’s not about you and me, though I realize it’s very, very hard for us survivors to grasp the truth of that. But we can keep reminding ourselves that none of that was about you or about me. It was all about them and their rude, crass, nasty behavior.

I understand that it broke your heart. My heart has been broken, too. It’s pretty sad when a family treats one of its own so poorly.

I only discovered that my mother and sisters were narcissistic about three years ago. Until then, I had no clue. What an eye-opener! But very painful to see.

My foundational people turned out to be very different from what I’d always believed, too, Mimi. Pretty painful to realize.

What happened at your sister’s regarding the smoking is so rude and unbelievable. Even if they were bothered by your smoking, there is no way for them to rationalize treating you so abhorrently. No way. I am truly appalled, Mimi. I would never have treated you that way had you been my sister…..never. I really understand that you still feel some hurt and resentment whenever you are reminded of it. Actually, I happen to believe that’s a good sign. For years and years, I was so numb that I couldn’t even recognize when people treated me disrespectfully. My therapist was thrilled when I first started to feel and acknowledge my anger and resentment, because she helped me to see that in our anger lies our power to change our lives and our circumstances, including the people we choose to allow into our worlds. Anger is a natural human response to observing wrong and cruel behavior, whether the behavior is coming from a stranger or from a family member. Cruel behavior is cruel, and we should be angry about it.

I honestly had no clue that I feel bitter until recently. I guess I have been so shut down, so numb, for so long, that I didn’t know that I had a long-standing smoldering rage beneath my niceness. I think I earned the right to be bitter for a while. Of course, I don’t intend or want to stay bitter. I do understand you.

I understand the disappointment about life. I think it is compounded in my case because as a child I spent a lot of my time fantasizing about escaping the cruel parents, and I fantasized a great deal about how “fantastic” life would be once I grew up. Well, life is no picnic for anyone, I suppose. My fantasies are dying, and their death brings up more pain and loss. My dreams weren’t realistic, and now there is grief attached to their death.

I’m so thrilled to hear that you are moving forward, Mimi. I am, too, but it’s pretty slow progress. I’m like you in that I now tell my husband exactly what I think and feel; if he doesn’t like it, too bad. I’m not abusive or cruel, but no longer do I let anyone shove me around.

Thank you for encouraging me, Mimi. I do want relief from these feelings of doom and gloom which have been with me since my earliest childhood memories. I will definitely stick around here at EFB because I love the honestly and the directness here. People here are caring, and we are all struggling to improve our lives and to move beyond our pain. I love that……

Mimi, as for the incident breaking your heart, I understand. I had an incident with my sister, and things have never been the same since. She never contacts me anymore, and I did nothing wrong. She’s pretty narcissistic, so I’m sure that in her eyes she can do no wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault, always. She can be very cold and withholding. It’s hurtful. My contact with her is shallow, too. So sad, isn’t it? But on the other hand, Mimi, why do you or I want anyone to be in our lives if they do not fully respect us and treat us as we deserve to be treated?

My niece was also taught that she is “above” me and my children. So delusional, really. My sisters were taught their behavior by my mother, also, and my mother does the same things that they do. It’s all very dysfunctional. I want to stay away from it all.

I so enjoyed reading your comment, Mimi.

Yes, let’s stay in touch.



Hi Everyone
I have published a new post about passive abuse and how my mothers definition of LAZY got stuck in my belief system even though she never called me lazy! In this post I highlight a new way to look at the belief system and how it forms. Seeing this stuff is a big part of how I was set free from those false beliefs!
Here is the link! “Connecting the dots about passive abuse and the truth about lazy”
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you, Darlene. I just went there and read your post and commented on it. I can see how important it is for me to really dig in and start to recognize all of the lies from my parents.

Hugs back, Marore.

(P.S. By the way, I just had a little issue arise today and I’m dying to get advice from another survivor… you have a place here where a person can ask a question and get some input and insights from you and others? I am so angry, but want to be sure I’m not merely projecting, and that it’s not just me flashbacking to earlier abuse. Thanks!)


Thank you much Darlene! (her post below)
Hi Sofie
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
It was hard for me to see the truth about my mother. Very hard because when I saw it I had to face the way she rejected me in favor of her own wants/needs/wishes. ouch. I had to look at the truth about love, the truth about respect, relationship, and forgiveness. I had my definitions of those words all wrong and had to find out the truth about them in this process. That helped me a lot!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
I think it will always be tough for us to admit that our mothers hurt us this deeply. Of course no one is perfect but this piece, this hurt we are talking about is not about “common” hurts that happen. I believe we will all agree here that the pain we feel went over and above the ordinary. to the point that it destroyed a part of us. Again sad, and sadder because it was because it was inflicted (intentionally or unintentionally) by someone we expected to love and protect us. In a way, my experience and the lack of love and affection from my mother, gave me the determination to live a different life, to love deeply and give more to my children and my husband.I did not want to be like my mother. Maybe because in the course of my life, like you, I was able to define what love (etc.) is for me.

Thanks again Darlene and to all in this site who are unselfishly sharing their experiences with us.



Hi Marore,
Thank you so much for your kindness. It’s very comforting to come here and know I’m not alone. (and thank you Darlene).

The whole smoking thing I’m incredibly ashamed of anyway. I hate that I smoke. I feel like a slave to it though. The really nasty thing too, is that my brother in law smokes, albeit not very much, and secretly. He simply hides it from his family (my nieces). You’re right it is about them and it’s so easy to forget that, or to believe it in the first place, when we’re drowning in the sting of it.

You know, I’ve wondered at times if my niece was lashing out at me. The night before that happened, her and I and my sister were talking about something, and she made a statement and I questioned the terminology. She said, “the tree of life” and I asked what that was because although I knew what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was, I had not heard of the tree of life. Turns out she was referring to the one I was thinking of, but, she’d said it in a way I hadn’t heard it before. I’m sure she viewed that as an embarrassment/correction because she seems to regard herself as an “all knowing” Christian.

I’ve looked back on that and wondered if I had her seething inside because I knew something she didn’t. What a disappointment to herself, since she is the authority (in her own mind).

Anyhow, my point is that I know you’re right. It IS about them. I was just living in a fantasy for so long. One where I was as important to them as they were me. It’s just not true. It never will be. I’m not sure if I was ever numb as you say you were. I think it was just a fantasy world for me. I didn’t know the truth. And, you’re right that uncovering it is so so painful.

I agree, I would rather have the knowledge I have now, than continue in the fantasy. It’s been a tough journey, but it seems like I’d have to go through it at some time or another. I’m glad the worst is over. I’d hate to go back through it all again. Discovering that people are A-holes isn’t that fun!!

EFB quickly became my safe place. And, it still is. I’ve shared so much pain here. So many understanding (and hurting) souls. Makes me wonder what people are thinking.

My sister did apologize to me for the event at her house. She admitted it was a poor decision to have college friends there on a “family” weekend. There were 3 other college girls there, besides her three, my other sister, and her daughter. In a cramped apartment. Anyhow, she did apologize with sincerity. She chose not to bring it up to her daughter though. Which I feel like isn’t doing her daughter any favors. Her daughter is still aloof. She worships the “christian” people they’ve met there, yet has nothing to say to me, or even my other sister and her daughter for that matter. Someone taught her that. I don’t think we’re born that way.

After my sister apologized, she literally fell off the radar. I didn’t hear from her at all for what seems like months. I don’t know how long it was, but it was over 2 months I think. The message I got from that was that anyone can apologize, but it takes a true “feeling” and authentic human being to support the apology. My sister failed to do that in any way. Her silence spoke volumes.

Thanks for listening Marore, and I look forward to seeing your writing here again.

ps – I wouldn’t dream of doing what my niece did either. When I think of doing that to one of my own aunts, I think, OH MY GOODNESS…. that takes NERVE!! All out lack of respect. Also, my sister has had friends who are smokers. I know my niece wouldn’t dream of saying something like that to them. That alone sickens me.


Hi Marore
There is no set place to ask questions and get imput, but everyone does that on the post comments. You can post it if you like on any of the posts in comments. I ask that no one give advice so please word your questions as more of “does anyone have exp. with anything like this” . It works so much better when everyone shares what works or has worked for them. Feel free to share what you are feeling about what is on your mind.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow Darlene!
This was VERY helpful. You are correct. I would have “liked” “My Mother Doesn’t Love Me” however I was ostricized by my family and I wouldn’t want to feel ostricized by society. I am positive that all the others feel the same way. I am a piano teacher. We live on a cult de sac in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs. My students come from good families and I have seen first hand the love the parents have for their children. At first this was baffling to me, but after 20 years in this profession I have come to realize the norm for good parents. They have been fine examples for me raising my own children. But because I have to be a “mentor” and a good example to my students and their families I would never want to share my story with anyone. But this leads to isolation. The lonliness really gets to me at times. I am so glad I found this sight! God bless everyone who has had the courage to share! We are not alone!!!


Hi Elizabeth
I am really glad you found this site too!
Hugs, Darlene


I have been looking for a website like this for a long time. The relationship or lack thereof with my mother is very sad for me. I believe I am in denial and continue to try and try only thing is she’s not listening. When I try to have a conversation with her she rolls her eyes and say’s do we have to do this again. I was unable to have children and she think’s I didn’t try hard enough. She say’s nasty thing’s and goes out of her way to hurt my feelings. Yet she expect’s me to bow to her desires. When I first got married I lived in a new very small house, she would not visit because all my applicances were new and her’s weren’t. She constantly berates me for my decision’s, I can’t talk to her when I have a problem because that’s not her business. If someone hurt’s me, it’s my fault, not their’s. And she regards me as difficult, but that’s only when I don’t do as she wants. She is so controlling she went to a mutual friend’s house and told her not to speak to me again, I’m in my early fifties. Everyone I meet, she want’s as her’s, and people she knows, tell me she doesn’t want them to talk to me. My father is just as bad only worse. My parent’s are all about appearance, make it look good to the world it doesn’t matter what’s going on inside. It’s fake and I am not. I am very sensitive and this matter with them is so hard on me, I am like a sponge and I take in all the toxic from them. I’ve tried to limit my time with them but then the guilt set’s in. I love the rest of my family and we get together for holiday’s but this is so tough. How do I find my peace? I feel so sad and alone. I don’t know how my N. mom can be so cold. I keep trying to talk to her and all she does is blame everything on me, she doesn’t listen, period.

Our last conversation she told me, did you ever think maybe no one cares about your opinion or want’s to hear what you have to say. This was said after I helped her with something she NEEDED MY HELP on.

Nuff Said.


Cathy—I have been there and done that. I am sorry you are going through this. HUGS! We all have to continue on somehow. Good luck!


Hi Cathy
Welcome to EFB!
Sounds like you found the right place! Thanks for sharing part of your story with us. This site is all about getting that stuff out so we can see how much damage it caused to us. That is the first step to self love through self validation. The things you shared here are so invalidating ~ what your mother said to you is SO invalidating. Imagine replying with “did you ever think that maybe you say the most hurtful and mean things?”
Hugs!! Darlene


Thank you for your website and for everyone who has shared stories here its comforting to know you are not alone and that there is hope.

My Mother does not love me or her grandchildren or her great grandchild.

Just over a year ago after sitting at a dinner with my Mother and sister (the glory child) and taking all the negative comments and not dishing them back I decided to go limited contact with my family. There was no huge blow out and there have been no harsh words since. The pattern of dysfunction in communication though has existed since I was born amongst the narcissistic tendencies there have been times of harmony and happiness and maybe even love – the mixed signals always made my life confusing.

My sister rang me 2 weeks ago to say my Mum only had a few days to live i was required to meet a solicitor before seeing her which relinquished my ownership of any part of her estate. It was horrid. I went to see my Mum thinking this is the reconciliation and was filled with love. That evening my children also visited Granny and were welcomed warmly.

The following day we were emailed that she does not love us this is closure for her and we must never visit her again. My siblings promptly deleted us all off facebook and have since refused to answer any calls, texts or emails regarding how she is doing.

We have been devastated on the one side so full of compassion for her and on the other so totally destroyed at how her legacy is to finally turn everyone against us.

It hurts so much and its so painful and knowing that this is her way doesn’t actually help. Knowing that she physically and emotionally abused me doesn’t help. Knowing that she blocks out all important people in her life consistently aside my brother and sister doesn’t help. She has even blocked them out before as well but this time there is no time for a resolution. Her own sister is also on deaths bed in another country exclaiming – I don’t know what I have done? A nephew also ostracized and we were given strict instruction no contact or else this was the day after his Mothers funeral. Her family, my Dads family, all her neighbors, friends always blocked and forgotten eventually. Is this the part where I am supposed to feel sorry for her because of her failure to have any relationships of a meaningful level?

In her final letter to me as well as stating no love, she also got angry because the children visited (her grandchildren)apparently the invitation was for me and me only.

Closure for her. I have been praying for the phone call I really do love you please come even though I know it won’t. I just don’t understand it the last time we were all together was a mothers day lunch I organised and only a few weeks ago we invited her to a birthday day lunch which my sister replied would be nice.

Meanwhile she has had cancer and not told me and not only that she has had the whole family not tell me/directly lie and be manipulative – until they realised I owned part of her estate and needed some paperwork signed. If it weren’t for the paperwork I am sure we would not have been told.

Its hard to be forgiving and compassionate at the moment when I feel so helpless and betrayed. It as though its her legacy to make sure I continue to suffer even after her death.

Finally at the point of acceptance of our situation and behaving with dignity!

Fly fly free…. this to shall pass!


Hi Liza
Welcome to emerging from broken!
WOW what a horrible thing this has been for you! This is the exactly what we talk about here ~ abusive people will go to any lengths to prove they are right and you are wrong. I am sorry that you were set up and punished this way and that your children were hurt too. I am glad that you are at the point of acceptance now. You have found the right website; there is a lot of support here! The whole ‘parent thing’ is the most popular subject and there are tons of discussions on other posts too if you check the ‘mother daughter category’ button.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Hugs, Darlene


Cathy your Mum sounds like mine. It is so painful and so hard to understand. Especially when she is turning your family and family friends against you which is whats happened with us recently. I used to get the put downs constantly and my husband said breath in breath out and be a duck – let them flow off you like water off a ducks back and do not take them in – her perception is not reality remember all the people that do love and respect you. Hopefully it helps talking here because I know with me its been the shame and humiliation to discuss experiences with other people in case they think that I am the one at fault.

It would be interesting to see how your husband thinks because I know mine is very objective and he was reminding me the other day of the times when she would ring and I would be on the phone for an hour and get off the phone and realize she never asked about us how was our day? how are the kids? There was always something going on with someone…

One of my funnier memories was a time when my Mum moved to a country town and managed to alienate all the contractors working on her property to the point of having to get workers from outside the city. She had a little red sports car and apparently they blocked her in, pulled up a tip truck full of cow poo and threatened to dump it in her car. At the time I thought this was disgusting and to a certain extent still do but then she brought this hate upon her self all the time.

I know what you mean about keeping up appearances and have to say that its done me well in my work to be able to appear calm and happy when all crap is hitting the fan. But I have vivid memories of being yelled at, criticized, slapped and then told right now wipe that off your face and don’t you dare make a scene or else.

When you feel like a sponge start thinking about being a duck.

Hugs xx


I am 45 years old and my mother said just last week that I remember a lot of things that just didn’t happen. This makes me feel very invalidated, very much in keeping with my childhood and my relationship with her. I threatened and carried through a phone call to my sister asking her to confirm that we were hit with a wire hanger on a regular basis as a punishment for…what? We were really well-bahaved, obedient,abused and fearful children. My sister confirmed. Then my mother adjusted her story to say it wasn’t the way we remembered it, after spending YEARS denying it ever happened at all! Needless to say, this is only one of many instances of the abuser never changing her stripes, even though she wants to be respected, loved, and appreciated. REALLY?!


Hi Tamara
My mother does that too! Something I remembered also is that when I was in my twenties my mother started saying that her and her siblings all remembered things differently. Today I realize that was the set up process for her to be able to tell me that I am remembering wrong (just like her siblings all did with her mother)
It IS invalidating and dismsive. It is also called “crazy making”. Thanks for sharing and welcome to EFB
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for responding and so quickly! I’m currently having trouble staying awake, caffeinated and all, to do the work required to learn Chem 111. I’ve been sleeping whole days away and not having time to study, which was my fear when I started classes, again. I’ve been doing well, A’s, up until this class. I took it three times many, many years ago to eek by and obtain my undergrad degree. I’m almost devestated that I haven’t created better coping skills in order to “do whatever I set my mind to.” Granted, my mind is apparently several “helpers” that ARE NOT helping! Any ideas??? Thanks for listening.


Hi Tamara
This whole site has all the info that I gathered along the way about my process and how I went from coping to conquering. There is no quick answer but there are major solutions!
Keep reading!
Hugs, Darlene


It took me awhile but I had begun to see that my mother resented me and was very jealous of me, and i believe there are some really awful reasons why, ones i wont go into but I do think she felt as if everytime something good happened to me, it should of been her instead, even when, back in my contact days, I would go all out for her, have a guest room fully decorated and a full menu of her favorite foods when she flew in, it was just never enough, and then she would find something, anything that was wrong, I just could never do enough to make her happy, I was so clingy to her and would call her everyday and she would say to me, why did you call me today, again? Oh you only call your mother cause you have NO FREINDS!
I just cant believe what I tolerated and I am sure my body pains and diseases have much to do with it, even with no contact for years, she still have a negative effect on me, but talking about it, does help!


Hi Kimberly, I can relate to all what you wrote here.

My body still caries my non father’s poisonous attitude, I have chronic join pain and other hormonous problem.
Sure it is linked to our past.
We have to feel our repressed rage step by step towards our genitors and what they inflicted on us to feel better.

Know you are not alone, big hugs to you :).


I will add that your mother’s attitude is just disgusting and heartbreaking for a child.

My fenitor was very suspicious towards me, and extremely envious too.



what your mother said about “Oh you call your mother because you have no friends” was vicious. It says everything about her and nothing about you. Sounds like a very bitter jealous person who won’t face her own mess inside. No normal healthy parent will cut their child down at the knees like that. I’ve never had kids, my sister never had kids, we think due to the fear of being like our own Mom. But I imagine that a mother wouldn’t say such things because it would hurt her like she’s hurting her own self, or worse.

Abusers so often carry themselves with arrogance and of course are often authority figures, and I can now see in my own life, they fully exploit that power, just as they did when I was a little kid. It is truly sick behaviour. Only the weak prey on the defenceless because there’s no contest. The damage of course is none of this can we realize as children, and even as an adult with such a history it’s the most natural thing to want a mother’s love.

Good for you for breaking contact. There are people who cannot be pleased and they make it seem like that’s always your fault. I can remember every Christmas watching my mom open the presents I got her hoping she’d like them so much, and she’d be like, “Oh, whatever” about them. Never any enthusiasm. Like she expected diamonds or cars.

At least now we are getting in touch with the truth and our own sense of power.



(((Doren)))) thank you so much! I am having a kind if rough day and you know to come here and read this just really really helped in such a big way! I been beating myself up over various things that I shouldn’t and I am now so dizzy…literally can’t stand up.
I think I made myself sick! Anyhow… Thank you!
Hugs! Kimberly
You be shocked of all she said if you thought that was bad! That was prolly the least mean thing I thought she days to me!


Aurele.and doren..yes body pain hurts alot and I am sorry you have this too…when they attack us its all about projection…remember this please if you can…it’s about who they are…they make us wear who they are! It was never us as who were and who they are not. Jealousy plays a huge role…jealous people are dangerous people.


(((Auerle))))hugs to you too!


I can remember all my life crying so hard that I could not breathe..or talk…a kind of hiccup came over me and sister that our crying turned hysterical. I rember that part very well. I never cry like that today…I can remember my mom and sister telling me that I smelled bad. I used to wash myself constantly but I could never tell if I was ok or not. My mom used to say to me at age 14 when I had my first aerious boyfriend…well if you marry him kimberly your be poor! I was 14! He was a good person…told me to remove my hat and saves and hold my head Hugh! I was bald and yet he was the only one who said things like that to me.
My mom then says I would spend all day in a hair salon and let my kids starve! And not to have any! She was incinerating I was too selfish. I was 14!
Oh I could go on…on a roll here but my head us not just dizzy but hurting now…I will be back!
But look at this please and see how projection works and then compare it and see that it’s not us! It’s them! God it took me a lifetime to see this!


I am the mother who discounted and neglected her children when my ex husband abused them. I was a big part of the problem and I am trying very hard to come to terms with what I did, or didn’t do but should have done earlier on to protect them more. I realize now that I justified many things that I shoulnt have during the course of my 12 year marriage to the abuser. I remember taking the kids and leaving the situation with the intent of getting away from the abusive relationship for my kids’ sake, and ironically, my daughter (the one he sexually molested) cried and begged me to go back home. I was so confused. I now realize how weak I was and how horrible of a mother I was for listening to a child! I should have been the adult! I blame myself for going back and staying in that relationship which only caused further damage to my children and myself.


Hi Kathie
In my early work in this site (you can use the archive button to find it) I write a lot about the fog that we live in in order to cope and that is what leads to these mistakes in the first place. I had to take a look at the roots of this dysfunction; I had to find a way to put my shame and self blame aside just long enough to see what happened to me in the first place, NOT so that I avoided accountability, but so that I could heal and make amends in a healthy way.
I hope you will continue to read the articles here.
Hugs, Darlene


Oh how I wish I could have read some of this when I was a teenager and young adult!! I wont go into the details of my experiences yet but it has been so good to relate my feelings to someone (all of you) who really understands. I too felt such extreme loneliness all my life and never felt I fit in anywhere no matter what kind of situation I was in. I accepted my mothers’ not loving me way back in my early 30’s thank god. However, I never put the effects of her not loving me and the abuse she independently orchestrated within my family against me. Pretty much every single lost thought I have had about myself was discussed by others here on this site. What a relief! I definitely don’t feel so alone! Very liberating!! Like I said I wish I could have had access to all this years ago.


I haven’t read everyone’s comments but I truely understand the “lonely” aspect of these type of relationships. I wasn’t worthy of love nor could I ever imagine and still struggle with love of self. What is it that a person can “love” about themselves without being selfish or being above everyone else? I recently was told that I “never do anything wrong”, and I am “Miss Perfect”. I am far from perfect yet I was perfectly made by God. It is hard for me to imagine as a mother saying that to my child but not my mom she spit it right out there and repeated it again! People tell me that I am so pretty and I have been told that I do not even know it and they are right. I look into the mirror and see what I have been told for years emotionally and physically. I cannot stop reading this website and I beleive that me finding you was God driven! I want the next 40 years to finally be mine, the one that I have worked hard for and that God has blessed. I am really going to concentrate on this topic of feeling the loneliness because I am really feeling like it ties in completely to the love of self. HUGS TO ALL, Taz


Hi Taz
Welcome to EFB
I’m happy that you are here! This whole site is really about how I found me again and I how I came to love myself through this healing process. Without self love, we cannot love others, so there is nothing selfish about self-love. I had to relearn so many false defintions of words that had been taught to me all wrong.
There is so much hope!
Hugs, Darlene


I am happy I have run across your post. I can relate and I have also felt for many years that I was the only one that has felt this way and had such a hard time adapting as an adult. I am 36 this year and things still haunt me now worse than ever. My mother was extremely young when she had me. My “real” dad was actually my grandmother’s boyfriend when he got my mom pregnant and they ran off to another state. He beat her and she came back home with me only a year old and I got the attention from the family. My mother then married a man when I was about three that already had a couple boys and an ex-wife. He was abusive to them and to me. He did horrible things that I still remember. Then, after they went back to live with their mom; his attention fell on me. It started slow at first, then became a daily struggle. I was fearful of going home. I actually wanted to go to school because then I wouldn’t be afraid of the next swing that might be coming my way. My mother would take me to relatives and drop me off for undetermined amounts of time just so she would not have to deal with it and so she wouldn’t have to leave ‘her husband’ and he would not go to jail for the way he abused me. She even said at one point, she would sign papers to give me away if I wanted to go. She would call me ugly, useless, worthless and tell me I would never amount to anything. She even went as far as to tell relatives that I had no common sense, was always doing stupid stuff and made their lives miserable. I was sick a lot as a kid and they claimed I was somehow making myself sick. My mother once put a gun to my head and told me I should just pull the trigger and get it over with. How can anyone have any self-worth being raised in an environment where you are not only abused and neglected but told on a daily basis that you are a waste of space and better off dead. What would ever make a person think they are worthy of happiness and love. To simulate a normal life.. I create a hard exterior so that people think I am a confident person and that I’m sure of myself. When in reality, I am always afraid people will find out that I’m nothing, that I came from nothing and will always be nothing. I push people away. I have a hard time in relationships. I have been married three times and once every few months my husband and I get into an argument that I always fear will end with him leaving me. I always end up blaming myself for being so worthless and regardless of the fight, (whether I’m right or wrong) I feel like he has every right to leave because I can’t imagine how anyone would want me anyway if even my parents could not want me. I have turned to god throughout life and honestly between him and my three beautiful children, that is sometimes the only thing keeping me going. I have not stepped foot in my parents house in over 11 years and I have not had a real conversation with my mother in about the same length of time. In fact, at least for a few years, she tried to pretend to be a grandparent and see the kids once a year for about 30 minutes. But, even that has ceased. I have not seen or spoke to her now in over two years. I even called to tell her I was deploying to Afghanistan in 2011 and I still do not know to this day if she even knew or cared that I was gone. And like I said, even after all this time, it is hard to lead a normal life. What’s normal…? I wish I knew.. and I think only God can show me.


Hi Spirit
Welcome to EFB
Wow, thank you for sharing your story here. The things that happened to you were so very wrong! I hope you will keep reading some of the other articles in this site; there is so much that I talk about that relates to what you are sharing and how I overcame. Going no contact is so often ‘better’ but without the repair work it isn’t the total answer. This site is about ‘that total answer’ I am so gald you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow. A lot of these cruel comments hit home. It was really triggering to read one of the comments because I found myself remembering something my mother said to me maybe 1-2 years ago, after I asked her why she wasn’t paying attention to me/was going to leave

I was in crisis and had to take a lot of convincing to get her to visit me. Once she came down, my aunt had paid for two months of an apartment- it was free for her, she stayed 2-3 days and then just drove off-I don’t know why I expected her to be there for me. I was literally out of my mind and had almost died from xanax a few days before and when she came down we went out to eat and she was on her phone the entire time. This was the first time I’d seen her in months, and she didn’t seem worried. “Don’t you ever have to focus on your friends? That’s all I’m doing.” she said when I asked if she could pay attention to me as this was the first and only time we’d met in a long time. To me this is like going to a job interview with a book and reading and then telling the interviewer, “Don’t you ever just need to take time to read?” WELL YES, BUT NOW IS NOT THE TIME. How have I not realized that I have been in the background the whole time? Is denial that powerful? She tells other people it’s all about me, but when she was with me, I remember trying to hug her, and she squirmed away. And she tells me, “As a baby you just didn’t like to be touched.” Wonder why? Maybe because you wouldn’t touch me?

I don’t know if this was on purpose. Then later, she said some things that triggered a anxiety attack because they were related to sexual abuse, which she ackowledges. However, instead of stopping, she kept repeating herself though I explicitly said that what she said caused my PTSD to flare up. Its as if she gets a kick out of seeing me this way- scary.
I am really starting to think the “she can’t help it” people are wrong. Now that I think about it, she had done this more than once. I specifically ask her to not talk about something because it upsets me, to the point of retraumatization where I can’t function for days- but not only does she repeat herself, she amps it up, tone and loudness, and she keeps going, doesn’t stop until I really lose it. My father does this too, in a bit of a different style. Through his actions more than words and over a longer period of time. I couldn’t believe it when I had to change my phone number because of my own FATHER.

She said, “Honestly, I can’t imagine any one being able to be your parent.” It was really the most hurtful thing to say to someone. Like, no one could possibly love me. Thanks to the support of some great women who are like mothers to me, I simply don’t see that as true, along with the fact that my brother had to leave the home at 17 because she was harassing him.
But in the moment I thought, for a short while, that is true.

It’s hard for me to imagine how someone like that thinks, but like Darlene always says, it’s not really what’s important. It’s also hard to ‘imagine’ or believe I guess is a better word that this isn’t all my fault.

It gets better and easier though. I think the more I write the more clarity I get. I have been writing up a storm, kinda isolated right now. But it feels like the good kind of isolation- not a panicky crazy kind, more like the calm, necessary-for-growth kind. I would guess many people on here have/will go through this. If I was busy or getting a gazillion opinions, I feel I would not have this clarity of thought or ability to process which is incredibly draining yet its also like rebirth.

Thanks for listening,


You are rapidly coming out of the fog this week. Please try to think about some ways to nurture yourself; coming to all these realizations can be exhausting. 🙂
About your mother being on the phone when you were out with her; When I came ‘out of the fog’ about the way that I had been treated by so many people, I realized that some of them took great joy in ‘defining me’ by the way that they treated me. It was about them though. Some (sick) ppl. can only feel okay about themselves when they devalue someone else; IF that person will put up with the mistreatment it serves as proof about who is the most important. ie; if I did to my mother what she did to me, she would have never seen me at all. But I took it from her and ‘restored her order’ with my compliance and in the way that I tried so hard to serve her needs.
I totally relate to the ‘re-birth’ thing when it comes to this process! I found me at the end of it. Finally I had MY identity back and the freedom I felt to be me for the first time was like nothing that I ever imagined.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi! Just commenting one more time so I can subscribe to followup comments (which I have to re-comment to do).


I realized, as a very small child, that my mother just did not like me..My mother’s family, church family and family friends treated me like a little piece of gold..They showed me much love and kindness..I never could figure out why my mother did not like me. She would tell me that she did not like raising a girl, she preferred raising boys..Everything that I did irritated her..I have two brothers and she was always very loving, kind and close to them..

I was nominated as Property Manager of the Year, wanted my mother to attend the ceramony, she would not go…My mother’s sister agreed to go and my mother was livid…My second child was born, we LIVED NEXT DOOR to my mother and father…When I came home from the hospital, I would not go to her house and stay, went to my house.. For three months, my mother refused to come to see her grandchild, was angry with me because I did not come to her house and stay…My inlaws came from another town to visit. My mother would not come over to see them. They were visiting us for 4 days. I could go on forever…I think that I have overcome this hurt and then it all comes flooding back..This has handcapped my emotionally…

Gilbert Santiesteban
March 19th, 2013 at 8:18 am

Im a 16 year old Guy in High School. I dont know if my mither truly loves or not. I have to admit that my grades are terrible and often me and her argue about them, but the way she treats me just because of my grades in school is often really cruel. She’s beaten me with anything from her bare fists to kicking to hitting me upside the head with a broom. She repeatedly calls me a dumbass, moron, retard, good for nothing, a piece of sh*t, etc.
Im not a bad person, at least I dont think I am but the things she says to me often make me feel like a failure and a loser. She continuously makes me feel like garbage. I have a lack of self-esteem and I often hide my problems behind sarcasm. As a kid I had no real role models aside from comic book characters primarily SpiderMan. Ive always tried to take responsibility for my own actions and do whats right but I often feel like all I do is disappoint my mother and Ive given up on having a relationship with her. The woman couldnt even tell me what my favorite color was when I asked her. What I want to know is if my relationship with my mother is my fault, my mother’s or are we both to blame. I dont know and im not sure if ill ever have a good relationship with her, I guess im just looking for some kind of confirmation that not everything wrong with us is my fault.


Hi Gilbert
Welcome to emerging from broken.
It sounds like you may have found the right blog 🙂 and while you may be one of the youngest commenters, you are certainly not alone in what you are talking about here in your comments. I encourage you to read the other articles in the ‘mother daughter category’ (which all apply to mother/son relationship as well) By reading the articles and the comments/discussions on them you will be able to decide for yourself the answers to your questions.
The way you describe that your mother beats you is child abuse and child abuse is illegal. It is tragic and horrible that you are treated that way.
Thank you for sharing, hugs, Darlene
p.s. I see that you have included your last name; if you would like me to remove your last name please let me know and then the next time you comment, remove it from the comment form and it won’t show up again.


Hi Everyone
I have written about a lot of things to do with my mother and how she blamed me, but one thing I haven’t written about yet is how after she blamed me for her boyfriend coming in my bedroom, she started to treat me like her competition and started flirting with MY boyfriends. I just published a new post about what it was like for me as a teenage woman to go through that. You can read the post here: “Was my mother a Cougar? More toxic mother daughter relationship”
This subject matter applies to all actions that devalue or disrespect the child.
Hugs, Darlene


Gilbert I want you know you are not alone. You need to know that there is no excuse for the way you are being treated. If it wasn’t bad grades it wold be something else trust me. I also want you to know that when I was in high school and middle school my grads were very bad also. When I finally graduated high school and moved out of my mother’s house – after a few years I went to collage and I loved it. Dean’s list every semester. I have a successful career in the medical field and am happy now. My mother was still not satisfied. So I guess what I’m trying to say is hang in there! Your future is bright! Just by posting on here you have shown a maturity and an intelligence beyond your years.


Something I need to say here to all of us who had a narcissistic or toxic mother, like I did:

Yes, your mother didn’t love you but – THAT DOES NOT ME THAT YOU ARE UNLOVEABLE. In fact the victims of toxic parents I have worked with? Are usually the MOST empathic, caring, loveable, smart, funny, compassionate and helpful people I know. It has ZERO to do with you. Unfortunately we did not get what we deserved so now, we have to give it to ourselves.

Your mother didn’t love you because she COULDN’T. She wasn’t wired right. Call it mental illness, a personality disorder or what I do – EVIL; there is no help, no cure, no rehab. No matter what your mother attempts to make you think (that you can ‘fix’ it) she simply is NOT fixable. She never loved anything other than herself. To her – you & everyone else in an object to be used in the drama that is her life. Control, manipulation & intimidation is all she knows. Love is nothing real to her.

But YOU are real! You can give and receive love and she knows that. Her hateful envy of you stems partly from that.

I found out, in my 40s, there was NOTHING wrong with me. For years I thought it was me but no it wasn’t. And having and mothering my own children has been tremendously healing. I make sure they know how much I love and care for them as people as well as my kids. I maintain healthy boundaries with them and I have gotten trust and love back from them 10-fold.

You can’t get blood from a stone, and you can’t get the love you deserve from these ‘mothers.’ Not because you are unloveable but because you are INFINITELY loveable.


Barbara: you hit that on the nail. Thank you so much for typing that. Considering I have one. It’s funny because before my father passed, he said to me that it feels like he’s married to a narcissist. Under my breath, I said you are. I will treasure your post as I am healing from PTSD and the neglect my mother gave me when her half-brother abused me.


Hi Gilbert-

I hope you stay on this site! It has really helped me. 16 is such a hard age anyway. I mean, for me it was hell.
I was talking to my roommate last night. She had an abusive divorced mother, but was able to advocate for her father having sole custody at 16 and thinks it was what saved her. I, on the other hand, really fell apart at this age- my parents owned me, locked me up it just got worse. I feel it was a time that if I had had another family member, I would not have had the majority of the trauma I had. It took me until about the age of 22 to totally feel safe relying on my aunt to be my ‘parent’.
We both just discussed how getting out of the home is so crucial at this age, if the parent is abusive (which it sounds like yours DEFINITELY is). When I was your age I hated my father, thought he was a jerk, but never would have used the word abusive. So you are way ahead of most people your age.

Is there any non abusive family members you can go and live with? I really regret not at least looking into living with another family member at 16. I was too scared, but now that I look back on it, it would have been better (if I had chosen a non abusive one- we have both abusive and non abusive relatives).

Also, you might want to check into the book “People of the Lie” by Scott Peck. It talks about kids around your age with abusive parents, how these people function, and there is even a story of a 16 year old guy who ends up living with his aunt. Sorry if this comes off as overly passionate. I just wish someone would have told me what I’m telling you at 16 (not saying that your situation is like mine but I just figured I’d put my thoughts out there).

I hope you find what you need. You do not deserve to be treated this badly.



I also am one of those Google searching articles on abusive mothers today and the last few days. I am now in my mid 30s and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago I started to realize my mother was not just “in a bad mood” or I pushed her buttons somehow but she was taking her problems out on me in an abusive manner. It took me this long to realize it and it took distance as I moved out of the country five years ago and we talk on the phone and Skype mostly. A couple of years ago I called her I remember on a lonely Sunday I just needed someone to talk to and I called her to say how are you mom, what are you doing, lets just chat. She answered already in a “bad mood” and I thought oh oh, but I didn’t expect for her to tell me “fuck off” and hang up the phone when I simply proceeded to ask her how she is and how’s it going. That’s when I finally realized I’m too far away to be the cause of her mood, I haven’t done anything to her or said anything to her, I haven’t not cleaned up my room or I haven’t made a stinky meal in the kitchen. All the kinds of things I made excuses about to myself before and would just say “she was in a bad mood” that’s why she lashed out at me. When that phone call happened I was shocked because she rarely had outbursts of swearing at me so it came very unexpected, and I was also shocked because I did NOTHING and KNEW I did nothing wrong. That’s when I realized there’s a big problem with her treatment of me.
And I stopped being silent about it. I realized that she treated me this way when and where there were no witnesses. No witnesses saw or heard her shocking “fuck off” to her own daughter. No witnesses saw or heard her in her car on the way to the shopping mall years ago in my early 20s, when I asked her to come along shopping with me, and on the way in the car she went crazy, cursing and telling me noone will ever love me I will never find a husband, telling me things that made no sense and no provocation about myself about how awful I am in a very mean and devilish voice like I was an agent of the devil himself. That was probably the worst outburst of hers that I suffered. The only sense I can try to make of it is that she hates me because my father abused her emotionally and physically and so she never developed a love for me. And she got and still gets harassed verbally by bullies at her workplace but says she is too afraid to lose her job so she doesn’t speak up about them to her supervisors. So she suffered this abuse by my father, and continues to suffer from her coworkers and I think she learned somehow to deal with that pressure and pain by using me as a punching bag.
There are other examples of abuse but those two stick out for me, it was because I know I did nothing even remotely possibly could have caused her hatred of me at those moments.
And somehow in the past almost year she hasn’t been too abusive when I’ve talked to her but a few weeks ago she again showed her ways though not to this degree, but I was glad my husband was there as I finally had myself a witness. because she doesnt do this to me where there are witnesses. Especially my older half sister who she is not abusive towards. She tried to say something that I was a bad person for making fun of her, when I never made fun of her and my husband and I proceeded to explain that to her on the phone for a good twenty minutes. But she went complaining to my sister who never saw or acknowledged or wanted to hear anything about my allegations that she abuses me. And my sister automatically without asking me what happened writes me a lecturing email about how mom is upset with me and how its my fault. So she has herself a sidekick and I am the bottom rung of this triangle.
Like so many of us, I too suffer from low self esteem and I am beginning to see how my mother’s rejection of me, of supporting me in a loving mother relationship could be the root cause.
Its funny how all these years I attributed her behavior to her “bad mood” from a tough job. But distance can really make you see clearer. She never did this to my sister. Its me she showed her hatred, her constant complaining, her lack of support. And she has taken away the chance at a supportive relationship with the only sibling that I have, my own sister, who always jumps to her defense, doesn’t hear my words or want to, because she never witnessed her abuse of me not the meanness she’s shown to me in private. And my sister and I have a surface relationship we never get down to discussing feelings. But about two years ago when I was having other personal struggles, she was not there for me and just got really rejective of me for lack of a better word simply because I would not travel and become godmother to her child, when I am not that Catholic while I pray to God, I am not that religious and had a right to refuse the role for that reason and also other reasons why I couldnt travel. And my own sister because of that started writing me that she’s replaced me with her friends. And all these other things and made me feel really alone. And what did I do just refused to travel. And I felt shame to tell my husband my family is rejecting me, because he doesnt have these problems with his family, they are warm people. And I was dealing with my mom and sister at the same time and I remember it was the first time I realized my mother doesn’t love me and my sister doesn’t want a close relationship with me just a surface one and I went through a grieving process. For two months there were many nights I couldn’t sleep. I would be driving somewhere and just start crying, bauling, I had an ache in my heart, and I was angry that a mother would enjoy herself abusing me emotionally when she thinks she is a great mother always on mother’s day she expect a card and flowers and a present and dinner and I thought she’s not this great mother she has herself believing. I felt all alone. It was terrible but after I went through that acceptance process I did feel better. I felt I am an adult an independent adult and I didn’t do anything to provoke their behavior, and I don’t deserve to be abused. And if I have to stand alone so be it I am scared to contact them, especially my mom and receive more of her abuse, and my sister receive just more of her lectures.
And now in the past year there have been no incidences until three weeks ago and all these negative feelings came back. People don’t change and they will always eventually have an opportunity to bring you back to that place. And I’ve had trouble sleeping again and think about the situation all day long. I’m right back to where I was that couple of years ago although I know if I go through this process I will feel better again because now I am just reminding myself my mother doesnt love me, and now I’m finally speaking about it to my husband who has been a witness.


Hi Teri
Welcome to EFB
I can really relate to your comments. It was actually shocking to me when I first considered that it might not actually be my fault that my mother treated me the way that she did. Shocking!
I am really glad that I persisted with forward movement and went through this process. There is freedom and wholeness and living on the other side! These people CAN change, but they don’t want to. Nothing I can do about that but I can make new choices for me. and I did!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh I am so like your story as in “She does it when there are no witnesses.” It’s very calculated and sneaky and can make it so confusing to us as the victim. Why would anyone want to face a reality that their own mother dislikes only one of her children? Because then you go on to the Why me syndrome. Having said that even if all of the family rejects me over her opinion, I can’t try to get them to love me. It’s all of their choices and if I am left alone I really won’t be. I’ve created my own wonderful family that I raised with love and support for all members. That is my great source of pride. I know that my NM can’t truly say that. She’s miserable now and didn’t even enjoy parenting either. Her self centered ways got in the way of loving her children. So even her favorite GC I don’t think got any true love, she’s just not capable of it. Moving forward now with new insight that there are others out there just like me. Peace all….


Thanks for writing back to my comment. Sorry it was such a long one! I didn’t realize I was writing so much and I hope I made my situation understandable.
It took me so long to realize about my mom’s lack of love and using me like a punching bag because I wasn’t classically abused, Most people tend to think of abuse as sexual and physical and severe verbal. But when your mother withholds love and affection and isn’t concerned with your happiness and rejects you many times and blows up on you for no reason that is also very damaging and just wrong.
I will soon be a mother for the first time and can’t think about or phathom being less than supportive and loving and do anything but spoil my daughter with love. At the same time I have a little fear of becoming like my mother in even any small way and I’m scared of my mom treating my daughter badly which I will not tolerate. Isn’t it a shame that I have to already think about my mom treating my daughter like she did me and not trust her.
I am really happy to hear about the people who had bad mothers but ended up themselves being loving and supportive to their children. I do have inlaws who easily show their love and support to their children and I feel grateful to be able to see that.
Another point I want to bring up is shame. When my mother did those things to me I couldn’t make sense of them and I was ashamed to discuss them with anyone and so I suffered in silence. But now I still feel the shame and like the author Darlene mentioned people don’t tend to reveal these bad mother relationships on Facebook or social sites and I would not be brave enough to do that either but I have begun to tell my husband the situation and I’ve tried to reach out to my sister but she will either never get it or it will take her much time to finally believe me. I also have an aunt I talk to once in a while and I told her a little bit of it including the “fuck off” phone call and she was just shocked and I think she didn’t even believe me, because again my mother does it when its just me and her around, and I was the one she chose to mistreat, not any others…


Hi Teri
Abuse is abuse. All abuse has it’s roots in psychological/emotional abuse. Withholding love and affection, and rejection is horrific abuse to a child. It is very damaging and very wrong.
Thanks for your follow up comment; don’t worry about the length of comments here ~ please feel free to write however much you need!
Hugs, Darlene


This sounds SO much like me:

“I …. can’t think about or fathom being less than supportive and loving and do anything but spoil my daughter with love. At the same time I have a little fear of becoming like my mother in even any small way and I’m scared of my mom treating my daughter badly which I will not tolerate. Isn’t it a shame that I have to already think about my mom treating my daughter like she did me and not trust her.”

I was scared to DEATH to have kids. I was so afraid that my children would feel as negatively about me as I do about my own mother. But, the difference between my mother and I is this: I am actually open enough to the idea that becoming like my mother is a possibility – to the point that I’m willing to look into the painful truths of my past and make the connections, and finally be able to discern enough about the situation and actually take the time and effort to mend myself – thoroughly. (rather than what my ‘mom’ did … deny deny deny “I am NOTHING like my MOTHER!!!!” without being willing to acknowledge the negative similarities and actually make the needed changes.)

I had hoped that her abuse would stop with me, that she wouldn’t continue her ways upon my children … but, the second I saw/heard her say some very familiar and painful things to my little ONE YEAR OLD! (about my 1yo being SO fat and seriously needing to lose weight or my baby would be ‘fat like your grandma, and you don’t want to be unhappy like me’ – this is a little BABY we’re talking about here … AND is right on target for age/weight range) Hearing her say this stuff just flashed me back to all growing up and the terrible body image issues they passed on to me … I snatched my baby out of her arms SO fast and immediately said “that kind of talk is not allowed, it messed me up terribly and I’m NOT allowing you to do that to my dear children!” … (after several of such experiences – and for many, MANY other reasons, we have gone low/no contact) The thing is, Teri, much like how you described your mother … my mother always, always, ALWAYS makes sure that what she says is away from others, – ones who would stand up to her and make her uncomfortable, or at least ones whose view of her would be greatly altered by her behavior – Either that, OR she ensures that her words have JUST enough plausible deniability to make it sound like I’M the crazy one for “taking it that way” …

We’re all going to make SOME mistakes as parents … it’s part of being human. BUT, being honest with ourselves, and humble enough to admit our mistakes, respecting our children’s feelings enough to listen to how we are effecting them, and making whatever changes necessary … then we are leaps and bounds ahead of our own parent’s ‘techniques’. And, at least I feel strongly for myself, THAT is what will make my relationship with my children different. There are moms who comment on this site who have found out their need for changes when they were well along into parenting… But they showed enough humility to genuinely apologize to their children and do whatever they could to make amends. That just brings such a smile to my face, to know that there are new parents out there who are already anticipating how they WILL NOT pass on this legacy of abuse. That there are parents out there who are stopping an already existing pattern of behavior with their children, and then working to make needed changes. And that there are ones, whose children have grown and left – and that … even though the damage may have been done, they are STILL open to the idea of apologizing to their grown children and making things right! These are the things I wished to see in my own FOO for so long … I’m happy, for the sake of other children out there, that some parents are actually doing this!

I wish you the best as a new mom, Teri! Take care!



Thanks for all your replies. It makes me feel good to know someone has heard me and can relate…
I used to never understand how so many people “see their families once or twice a year”, during holidays mostly. Even if they lived on different coasts, its not so difficult to get on a plane for a long weekend. And I have known people with four or five grown children for example, who spend their holidays alone or with neighbors. I just couldn’t understand it. But now I COMPLETELY understand. You just dont know until you walk in people’s shoes. My mother continues to be only a source of stress and disappointment to me (I’ve talked to her recently), rather than supportive and loving which is the role of a proper mother. Why should I strive to talk to her when after a conversation my day is ruined, I cry and get sad, I go through bad memories and previous mishaps and start thinking about how a mother should be etc…I just feel like sharing birthday and holiday cards and an occassional superficial phone call or visit once or twice a year, are quite enough of her for me.

Bronwyn - South Africa
April 27th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Darlene – you put things so brilliantly. You say the things that I have felt for years and years and years. From time to time, I am still amazed at the understanding that my parents never really loved me; were not bothered about who I was or what I was feeling and that they have never liked me or anything about me. From time to time this realisation hurts – but then I know that there is no other explanation for the way they have treated me in the 54 years I have been on this earth. The healing from this is going to take time. I feel very sad – and then I feel accepting. I swing between these two constantly – and that is okay. It is all part of the process. I don’t feel the need to go down the road of what they did, when they did it, how they did it. I have the self worth and self esteem to know that it definitely happened. Not my imagination. And that is okay. The truth has set me free – but first it is pissing me off! thanks for being there. Love and hugs. Bronwyn.



This is an amazing website. Thank you so much for starting it and maintaining it. I first came across it a few weeks ago, googling something about my mother not loving me. I was stunned and elated to find this post which perfectly explained why I’m not in contact with my mother. I always assumed it was a unique situation. I started to learn a few years ago about “toxic” people and then recently about “narcissism” where I started to consider that I wasn’t alone in this completely, yet I still assumed that the style of it was unique to my weird family.

I’m American-born with immigrant parents, so I’m predisposed to think that I’m the one that’s off either because of my “foreignness” outside of home or my “Americanness” at home. I thought my parents’ behavior — though it didn’t sit right with me later in life — came from our culture. So as I was defending my mother’s behavior to the death, I was probably also defending my heritage in some strange way. I bought into the idea that being criticized made me noble, kept my head in check. It kept me from being arrogant. It was my identity, being the “perfect child,” completely self-sacrificing.

Imagine my shock later in life when I made the teeny tiny career choice of taking a year off from school between college and grad school in order to work, and my parents called me “arrogant.” I was confused. I didn’t take my parents’ advice but I was taking my professors’ advice. Wasn’t that logical? How is that arrogant? I defended myself my explaining how the decision didn’t come from me. I wouldn’t dare be so arrogant as to fully think for myself. What?!!

Fast forward a few years, I remember yelling at my mother, “Get out of my head! I have no idea what my opinions are! I have no thoughts!” This was described as my belated teen-age years. I was “emotionally immature” for having experienced it so late, for just starting to rebel then. That was my father’s assessment of me.

It’s funny, the past 14 years of soul searching have been all about my mother. Even my father’s death had everything to do with how I’m going to deal with my mother. I broke with my mother a few months after my father died — the greatest gift he ever gave me was that freedom. I’ve come very far since. As I started reading this blog, I was proud of myself for how far I’ve come, how many truths have been uncovered, how the idea of being unloved doesn’t seem so tragic anymore. Many of the posts remind me of my own journal entries throughout the years, but I didn’t feel compelled to write more. I thought, “Am I done? Could it be?” Like one blogger said, was I finally “sick of myself?” For the moment maybe. I expect to relapse here and again as seems to be my pattern, but that’s the not a surprise. The surprise is that my take-away from all this reading is thinking about my father.

Do I want to go there? Would that help anyone? Does it make sense to think harder about the parent who actually loved me, though in a flawed way, and whom I’ve idealized to some extent? To think how he enabled my mother and yelled at me for upsetting her? Is this a useful journey? Would it help my brother for him to understand how he’s been affected? Does this mean that my mommy issues are over? or at least asleep? Am I addicted to self-help?

Forever grateful for this site,


Hi Malina
Welcome to EFB
I can relate to what you are expressing here ~ the bottom line was that I couldn’t win no matter what! The messages that I received were always contradicting of each other.
About “going there” with your father, for me freedom has been about facing the damage in order to figure out what my belief system was, and how it was wrong because of the messages that I got about me. (that was the damage in a nut shell) So when the focus was on doing the work for the purpose of healing, it was and is always worth it, because it is the truth that has set me free!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you, Darlene!


Teri-your post hit home for me since my parents are immigrants as well. And there are whole other issues that you go through with these parents such as them over-relying on you to communicate for them (calling bill companies, insurance etc) because you know the language better and all that, that kids of american born parents dont have to deal with. (though many immigrants are independent but unfortunately my parents have always been dependent on me and my sister for helping them with their issues/ their problems related to anything where good-language contact with americans is required). I think you know what I mean unless your parents were not overly dependent on you as mine are and throw their problems and dealing with issues my way (my stressful father/my mother hardly asks me for help I think because she doesn’t want to say the words thank you to me, she always relies on my sister who is very stressed about it and somehow gets angry at me because she is always helping my mother, but its not my fault, but I still get this anger and resentment thrown my way)…
But on another note about mothers not being loving…I think love and respect of your daughters or lack thereof is universal and you can’t blame it on their culture because you see bad mothers and good mothers everywhere. In my case it has more to do with how her mother raised her, I think she lacked attention from her mother and I don’t know about love, but I do know that they did not have a tight connection and my mother had a lot of siblings and I think its difficult to love all your children equally when there are so many…
The thing culturally though that sounds like you experienced is that your parents would say things to you that sound completely foreign and you wonder where the hell they came up with that from and sounds like something americans dont say to their kids. Like the year off from your studies, big deal. And there are many things with me like I have an advanced graduate degree and have worked professionally before I moved abroad, in a prestigious position though I didn’t get a high salary. But I never was the type to expect my parents to say “i’m proud of you.” But the thing culturally with them both is that unless you make high salary, have a good job, are married with kids, you are still missing something and a failure in their eyes, and even then my mother will find something to complain about. Especially its more important for my parents that I have a job (I have none right now) that pays well even if that job was with just a high school education, they don’t value a higher education over money. And there are other things which are cultural but this post is getting long. LOL 🙂
Anyway the bottom line is I don’t feel loved by my mother and have to accept that and how long should I spend analyzing the situation? Its not going to change that fact. Some people will like you in life and others are not capable of it though you are perfectly loveable to the normal person especially a good mother. Only thing we can do is lower, lower our expectations and just reflect on how we can be more loving mothers to our children. And keep talking about it to your spouse or your friends don’t suffer in silence.


sorry, I mean Malina not “Teri” that’s me 🙂


Thank you, Teri! It’s so nice to be heard. Yes, we were your brand of immigrants, me making all the phone calls for my parents. It probably helped me gain the kind of independence that was later resented by them. I like your point about being perfectly lovable to a normal person. I’m starting to think now that my mother is incapable of love, but as a child, I thought she favored my sister. I thought I was boring, because I didn’t get into trouble. All of my mom’s happy stories were about a nasty prank she pulled in college or my sister making such a mess of things it made my aunt cry. It’s funny that I never considered at the time that they were mean. Ha ha! Funny now, the people who love me often tell me I’m sweet and they mean it as a high compliment. Gotta change your audience when things aren’t working for ya.


Hi Everyone!
The discussion page is up for the free guide (in the right hand side bar) to getting unstuck on the journey to emotional healing. (If you didn’t get one yet, please grab one!) The guide addresses a lot of parent issues too.
Here is the link to the discussion page:
Hugs, Darlene


My new post is published and it really relates to this one and to the comments on this one. It is called ~ “Honor your mother and father; is drawing a boundary a sin” ~ hope you will visit there and perhaps leave a comment!



I often felt that my own mother was cursing me and wishing bad things would happen to me. When I would not finish up my dinner on some nights because I was not hungry enough, she would curse me using bad language and say that I would beg for food when I was grown up.

I do not know if curses work but that negative energy was so wrapped up in me, that feeling of being cursed at times in life because it was so difficult for me emotionally. I had this awful feeling that I was cursed and nothing in my life worked. I am sure it had something to do with the negative energy she hurled at me as a child and made me shiver with fear. I sometimes have this feeling that something very bad is pursuing me and bad things happen to me as a result.

I do not know if anyone else had these similar experiences? Being abusive is bad enough without having to send such negativity and ill-will towards someone. I guess I absorbed this negativity as a child and hence, have these unhelpful beliefs that no one would like me, everyone is out there to get me or no one would want the best for me.

I cannot explain in words the impact her abuse had on me. It was more of negative energy given out with such force that it made me feel as if it were a curse. It was as if I had wronged her in someway, robbed her of something so precious that she was cursing me to pay for my actions. The problem is she never told me what I had done to deprive her of something, what wrong had I done to her.

I do not know if she meant this personally or she just used me as a punching bag but boy! I certainly felt all the negativity behind those words.


Gilbert, My heart goes out to you, and I am concerned that you realise NOW that it is not about you! PLease dont carry this burden long into your life when it becomes harder and harder to turn the low self worth around. Please have the courage to look really honestly now about how your mother is as a person and grieve or do what ever you can to disentangle the truth. The longer you leave it the harder it is to disentangle, like hair that has been messed up and unbrushed for a day as compared to years!
hugs, johanna


Let’s be honest. Our mothers (toxic/ dysfunctional however you want to call them) do not represent a so -called “difficult love”, as I was told by someone. “difficult love” is to me having a parent who does love and care for us, does not abuse us verbally, emotionally or physically, but has a hard time expressing his/her feelings, saying “I love you” etc.

I do know that weird feeling of loneliness… when I split with my bf, and got back home…I got a panic attack. I felt as if I had no one which was not true. Beside we still have US, and we are our own best friends (or sometimes the worst enemies), if we only choose to.

My mother’s behavior never had anything to do with love. I remember someone else telling me “once you become a parent yourself, it makes you want to forgive your parents everything”. I so do not agree. I cannot imagine myself doing any of the things that were done to me by my mother.

I made a decision to cut myself off from my parents once again, this time for good this chapter is closed. However I still have yet another choice to make. I am considering also cutting myself off from my sister. She was the only reason I got back in touch with my mom. I wanted to believe my sister was the only one I had left out of the entire nut house but I came to realization this past year how delusional I was. I discovered she had been lying to me (basically I guess she thought I was a retarded 5 year old), it turned out she has been taking money from both of my parents all these years until now (they stopped supporting me on the other hand when I was 18). I am now in a bad financial situation and she refused to help me, it is unbelievable. I cannot believe the person she became…or maybe was all along, I just chose living in denial. All the things I was telling her in confidential were naturally later on discussed with my mother. We recently had a fight on a phone I think she was angry that for the first time I dared to say no (later on that evening I received a text message from my mother: ” you must really hate your life if you are now even against your sister”..). I said no to coming and watching her kid ( she came to visit for an entire month as she lives abroad. Whenever she comes over she stays at our mother’s place which is an 1hr away from the city I live in). During that entire month she did not find time to meet despite me asking several times. A day before her departure she called and had a nerve to ask me to come over to our mother’s house (I would have to get there plus she knows I am not talking to our mom) to watch her kid while she is packing her suitcases. Now isn’t that brilliant? That way we can meet! How respectful.
she was always the “good” daughter and I was labeled the bad one.
She never used her situation to help me, to protect me. I am not saying it was he duty but I know I would have done that for my younger sister. She used to tell me :” do not take seriously anything Mom says you know how she gets…” that’s all. Now (I guess money changes perspective doesn’ it?) she keeps telling me: “I really do not know what you meant, I cannot and could never see Mom treating you badly”. Or whenever I tell her something she just replies: “Mom says it is not true”. I say: “so you are suggesting I am lying?”. she just shruggs it off and says ” she says it is not true”( well of course she does! Most of the abuse has always been done 1 on 1, she is a great actress, a sociopath, a manipulator). What do I expect thought? My sister inherited passive agressiveness after my father and an ability to express or I would dare to say have any feelings. I remember when we were teenagers witnessing our mother stabbing our father with a kitchen knife in his palm and pushing his out of the door. I was terrified asking them to stop, crying. My sister just said: “gove it a break come watch some TV” while sitting on a couch ( I guess it was her way of coping maybe?). Oh my heart wants to keep my sister in my life….but my mind says: you have had enough, she is not respecting you, all your conversations are only about her pushing you to be in touch with your mother, she showed who she really was this past year, don’t do this….It is so difficult


Anyone else who had to make a tough call and isolate yourself from your entire “family”? I mean not just from your parents if they were your main abusers but also from your siblings? How did you feel about that at the beginning?


Hi Sandra,

I can relate to all what you said here.
I cut my mother off too one year ago and due to physical problems which handicaped me, I was obliged to ask her help too. :-(. That was horrible.
I had doubts and regrets about my decision to cut her off and hoped she changed, thought that I must be wrong, but whe I confronted her recently about my past, and it was terryfing.
And now, I know, there is nothing to wait from her.

For my sister, I have doubts she is not nice with me but because of my health I asked her some help too. As I have noone in my life on who I could rely.
But each time I know I will see my sister, I feel very bad.
I think she is selfish, talks to me the same way my genitors did.


Sandra, I did. I wrote a letter to my siblings and I said, “I have no issue with you, but I do not want you to be stuck in the middle and have tension.” One of them understood and just said, “I’m here if you need.” The other one, well, I don’t talk to them much anyway unless a family event is coming up…..

One of my siblings knows of what I speak of. That sibling is just playing the “it is what it is” game and putting up with it. I think the other sibling knows, too, but that siblings issues were way back in high school. And, that sibling now has what they wanted for years, so that sibling is sucking up to Mom, although not overtly.

I get the “she is getting old, why are you doing this to her?” I think Darlene has addressed this one, I’ll have to find this post.

When I was in my 20’s, I went to a psychologist. The psychologist’s diagnosis was that I had not been “validated.” At the time I thought that was psycho babble. Now I KNOW what it meant. It was true!

Bronwyn - South Africa
August 25th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

For me the feeling of isolating / no contact with my parents was absolute devastation. I shook constantly and wanted to vomit! It was awful.

These feelings have passed and I am left with a sense of freedom that I haven’t had in years.

From time to time I am sad because I am grieving/mourning the loss of a parent – but I know that this is the right thing to do – for my own mental health.

I go to a clinical psychologist who is helping me deal with all of these feelings and I have an incredibly supportive husband – and some of my relatives are also supportive. They feel the same way about my mother – so we have a common bond.

Those who don’t feel the same way, we kind of step back from them, but if we are in their company, we are kind and courteous.

Thanks for letting me share.
Love and hugs


DXS, thanks for sharing.
The most frustrating part is that a normal conversation is not possible with her…or my sister. I am the bad one just because, they always have the last word.
I just got a text message from my mom saying how ungreatful I am and that I do not appreciate people who support me. Go figure… 🙂
I am changing my phone number today, I was going to do it after sending my “last words” in a form of a letter to my “family” but hell, Iam doing it today. She already managed to ruin my day, it is unbelievable.


Sandra, my observation is that a lot of people just buy into what they are told, not what is actually happening. I believe that I was given the “gift” of “seeing what is.” My mom has the “rose colored glasses, believe what people tell you” thing.


@DXS: this is calleb being naive. I was like that until recently. I was surviving thanks to my good intuition and luck, I guess. But it is hard to use your common sense and intuition because you always want to believe that one day they will change. But the sooner you realize that the abusers will NEVER CHANGE, that they always need to have the last word, that they will never apologize or admit their fault, the better for you; you will move on with your life quciker. We are not living on this planet to wonder why they are the way they are or give them yet another chance or put up with their abuse.

We are here to be our own very best and if they are getting in our way- they’d better move aside!!! 🙂

Do I sound pessimistic? Maybe it is my experience and finally being realistic.


@DXS: thanks for sharing with me how you cut yourself off from your siblings….it gave me strenght and proved me I am on a right track. I must say I like how one of your siblings reacted, very fair. I doubt my sister is going to react that way. I rather expect her to behave the way your other sibling did.

I want to thank everyone who is posting on Darlene’s site.
You make feel “normal” and whenever I read your messages I do not feel so lonely anymore. I know I am not the only one going through this.


RE: 191. The process with my sisters (2), it has been a roller coaster. They were both a part of the discovery of my mother’s abusive ways. It was the three of us together in the beginning. There was even talk of having a meeting with our mom, altogether in order to back each other up, and not allow her to refuse accountability. That was almost two years ago.

There have been times of contact, and times of no contact in the past two years. I did have a lightbulb moment about a year ago where I realized I was largely alone, despite my sisters reassuring me that I wouldn’t be. My mother was lightly aware that my sisters and I were on the same playing field. She sensed that I was the one who would hold fast to my convictions. As a result of that, she saw a weak spot in both my sisters, and she slid into that spot like a snake. She planted little seeds, and they’ve grown quickly. Back in June, both my sisters told me my mother had changed. I was reluctant to believe them, but, I gave her a chance. She totally blew it, and treated me like a dog.

What I know now is, she HAS changed toward my sisters. She absolutely hasn’t toward me. It’s frustrating because they’ve been hoodwinked and are benefiting from better treatment, all the while ignoring the fact that my mom has actually become MORE abusive toward me.

I’m at a point where it doesn’t matter much anymore. They can either see it, or refuse. I KNOW the truth. I don’t expect much support from either of them because they choose to protect the flawed system, and it’s more important for them to be a part of her life, and be treated well, than it is to support me. It was painful to accept that…. VERY painful. But, time has helped tremendously, and of course journaling. I think I’ve reached a point where I want to live fully. I know there’s a possiblity for setbacks and I know it could be painful. Until then, I want to live fully, and try to find the good around me instead of trying to cultivate good where there is none. I am a believer that acceptance comes eventually. I think I’m approaching that place, or am already in it.

I had a revelation back in June. It was that living well IS the best revenge. I saw my mother squirm at the fact that I’m happy and despite her very best efforts, she hasn’t destroyed me. It makes her FURIOUS. THAT makes me fiercely determined to be happy and live well. She has witnessed my destruction so much over the years…. at the hands of her own self. Now, I admit I enjoy stealing that power back from her. It just turns her inside out, and you can almost see the disbelief in her face…. disbelief in herself, that she somehow wasn’t slick enough to maintain power over me. Maybe it’s my vengeful nature coming to the surface, but, I feel a sense of joy when I think of her squirming at her loss of power, her visible disgust at my happiness. Living well in my scenario is absolutely the secret. Absolutely!!!



Mimi, Wow! this is amost exactly how it played out with my two sisters! We had gotten together, had a meeting, and discussed the sick things my mother was doing, how they were also being mistreated as they were trying to assert their independence. She then yanked their chains and pulled them back in, as she sensed a shift in the wind, as well. She played upon my sister’s guilt, and she sucked up to my other sister, as she went through all of the drama with her alcoholic husband going to jail.
My mother is also furious that she can’t control me, and very angry that I am having success in life.
On father’s day, i went to the house. My mother, who has said she hates my BIL (the one who is now cheating), went into a soliliquy in front of a visitor, singing his praises, wow, he is working on father’s day! (at an illegal, under the table job–he collects disability and works two jobs), how they had just had a 16 year anniversary, and what a wonderful father he is (she has fought like a dog with him over parenting issues,invoking her fake chest pain when she is losing an argument). All of it was a jab at me. If I pointed out that he was a lousy system cheat, that would be meanspirited. But what it really was, was a reward to my sister, for playing her game.
They are all so dumb, they don’t realize. they are only in her good graces when they are jumping through her hoops, and performing as she wishes, so she can keep up the APPEARANCES of the happy family life.

Mimi, just be on guard, because there is usually some kind of hurtful backlash they dish out,when you are in defiance of their sick, twisted wishes. Not that it matters, but I am always shocked when my nmom does it. It just never stops.

I am so glad you have discovered living well is the best revenge!!!



@Mimi: is it possible my Mom has a twin sister??? 🙂

I can soo relate.. with one exception: I have always been alone in my battle. My sister had a different childhood and never stood up for me, just the contrary: she has been bullying me as well, and with age nothings changes. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one out of my “family” who is not a sociopath…by the way: any known research in regards to whether it is genetic???


btw: does your mom also love to boast about the positive traits of her character (that actually do not exist) and twist everything to her advantage?
(“My worst trait is the fact that I am overprotective and I would give EVERYTHING away to others”- she would say things like that as you stand there speechless after listening to her monologue full of hatred towards you. Do not even try to protest, she will burst into tears and say “how dare you treat me like that? This is how you show your appreciation?”)
I could write a list with her favorite, ridiculous phrases she pulls off on any occasion.


Hi Janie,
Weird isn’t it?? That there are so many people whose stories are nearly exactly the same. Just proof that the dysfunction is alive and well, and abusers, even though there are differences, often operate on the same level. Same manipulations, etc. So crazy. I also think my sisters are kind of dumb. My middle sister swears she just doesn’t care about anything. As if mother’s jabs just roll off her back, and she’s suggested I just need to get to that place. However, she will protect mother. FB for instance. She won’t do anything at all on my posts if she fears mother will see it. LOL…. well, that sort of blows a big hole in her “I just don’t care” persona. I still speak to my middle sister about a variety of things. None of which involve my mother or other sister. The oldest, golden Nsis, is not speaking to me right now. I have no worries with her because there’s no contact. If either of them are issuing backlash, I really don’t have a way to know about it, and that suits me pretty well.

I am not currently adhering to a no contact “rule”. My rule is ignoring and living well. Ignoring her attempts to hurt me and stir me up, even get me angry, is the best approach for me. It pains her deeply to be ignored when she’s tried so hard to get me to react. That’s exactly what Narcs want…. a big overblown reaction, with as much drama as they can create. Ignoring it is vital for me. The other rule, as I said, is to live well. If I get the opportunity to smear that in, I will. Accepting that literally everything is a game to her, and she doesn’t know a thing about love, I feel more prepared to make certain she knows she has no effect anymore. I might come home and cry and journal, but, she will NEVER know it. I don’t mean that I plan to contact her because I don’t. I feel in my heart there will be future contact, at which time, she will be left with no question that my life has gone on, and even despite her most desperate attempts, she in no way dictates my happiness or lack of. Since knowing in my heart of hearts that it’s a game to her, I will play along if she insists, but this time I won’t lose.

The dynamics in my process have continuously changed. I suppose there could come a time when I decide the no contact rule needs to be enforced. I have come to a place where I realize dang near anything is possible. I am leaving that door open for my own sanity, and if I need to go no contact in the future I will. For now, it’s not a rule, it’s just an existance. I don’t contact her, and she doesn’t contact me. I’m good with that too.

Good to see you Janie!! Thanks for the support!!

Hugs and Hope,


Oh no…. I was very alone in my battle when I was about your age (from age 11, to 29, I was alone). My oldest golden Nsis took a very big part in the destruction, right along side my mother. My middle sister moved 4 hours away right after high school, so she wasn’t as much a part of all that. I am the youngest, and for a very long time, I was alone. My mother made sure I knew that too. It was one of the tools in her arsenal to tell me that everyone agreed with her. She didn’t have to say it about the golden though, because her treatment was just as brutal as my mom’s at that time. Public embarrassment was her specialty. She learned it from nmom!! 🙂

Peace and love,


Public embarrassment…in 2011 my sister got married. I flew over to her and stayed for 3 days. She treated me like shit. I could not believe. I now know she envies me many things. I was not aware of so many things back than, I was like a naive puppy, getting kicked all the time and still coming back with that “love me love me love me ” sign in the eyes. ( I was trained to think she was smarter and better at everything which actually is not true and all. She is furious because even though I had it harder as nobody helped me, my life turned out more successful)

She was poking fun at me at the table in front of people I met for the first time in my life. I kept telling myself that it must have been the stress and the hormones (she was pregnant at a time) but on the last day I bursted into tears. We had a fight (my mom was informed later on about my “scandalous” behavior and an argument with a poor pregnant sister. Btw: my mother did not bother to attend the wedding)

I was very upset…of course I forgave her and a few months later I flew over again to see the baby (every time it was me paying for the flight naturally). Her husband who for some reasons (I do not know what she told him) has never even tried to like me only muttered: “Next time you come here you should think of a hotel, this house is too small, I need to get my good night sleep”). Oh our dear families 🙂
But this is normal, I’m just oversensitive


The fun never ends. Truly, it doesn’t ever end. I’m sorry you’ve endured all this.



I just realized I didn’t answer your question about boasting. My mom isn’t one to really blatantly boast. You have to sort of know her to realize that’s what she’s doing. Understand that my mother is 71 years old, and still has the body of a 25 year old. I would guess her measurements are nearly perfect. One of the things she does like to boast about is how embarrassed she is when she sees pictures of herself and how big her boobs have gotten…. “they just stick out so bad”. LOL!! Oh my goodness, I just crack up inside when she says that.

Other times, her boasting is more about taking someone else’s brilliant idea, and pretending it’s her own. That’s pretty sneaky and unless you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you’d think it was her idea. The truth in those instances only really comes out if you’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to the REAL originator of the idea. I’ve caught her at this several times, and at least twice, she was using my idea.



MIMI, GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! (at your mom stealing your ideas……)


Lol….. It rolled off my back. It was enough that I caught her. Just confirms she’s kinda whacko! There’s a little consolation in discoveries like this. It helps confirm what we suspect.



thanks for all your answers.

My mom is 60 but she has been acting as if she was “a poor old retiree” since I can ever remember, even when I was a teen, and she was like 40 something 🙂

As for the looks, my mom does not treat hersekf well, she claims it is my fault she got fat, because she put on weight during pregnancy 🙂 (she had 20+ years to lose that weight 🙂 ). I do not remember her doing any physical activity other than walking from the couch to the kitchen 🙂

She makes fun of the fact that i have always been following a healthy diet as if it something good, she is trying to make me feel guilty, can you believe it? (“I do not spoil myself the way you do….the food you buy is so pricey”, “you treat yourself as if you were some kind of an atress” as if only celebrieties had a right to be fit or ma favorite: “no man will ever be able to stand you. you need some REAL food”). Well maybe if she cut the amount of food she consumes or started reading labels, the price of fruits and veggies would not be such a turn off for her, or how about you put the frozen pizza down and but something else instead?



[…] truth hurts, don’t it!” It took me a long time to admit that my mother didn’t like me even though, I always sensed it. Because of her disapproval, I grew up not liking myself. However, I […]


I couldn’t agree more that people who suffer from neglect and emotional abuse feel like they’re all alone. The few times I brought up the topic of my relationship with my mother with friends from work, I could tell they were all judging me, thinking I had to be the one with the problem since all mothers have unconditional love for their children, right?! Only my husband and very close friends, i.e. those who actually know my mother, know that it’s not all in my head. They don’t tell me to let go of my anger and frustration, and they don’t ask me to forgive her for what she’s done. But still, even if some people understand, I didn’t know anyone else was in the same type of situation until I came across this blog.

I’m still at the beginning of my journey towards recovery, but two things that I know will help me move forward are to know for sure that No, my mother didn’t love me, and Yes, I was a victim of emotional abuse. Sometimes acknowledging the truth, no matter how painful, helps a lot, so thank you!!



I am right in the throes of accepting that I have never been loved my entire life and this is so painful but there is something inside me telling me that this is the path to freedom,that from this ,I will stop blaming and criticizing myself for being an unlovable daughter.What stumped me is that out of 6 siblings I have been the ONLY one saying that this family is very ill and dysfunctional and that mother is at the centre of the dysfunction but oh no,she is an angel,so say all my siblings,right in the middle of their own dysfunction.I do feel that accepting and acknowledging this reality is my way out of the fog.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Darlene for being the sister I never had,for being the one to acknowledge my pain and the truth.


Such a wonderful blog as always!

“These stats reveal that hundreds of thousands of people are searching for articles about dysfunctional parents and abusive parents but most of the people searching don’t want anyone to know about it. I believe this comes from the fact that most of us in any given society were brainwashed to believe that WE are the ones that failed the parents and that the ‘character defect’ is within us and therefore the failure in the relationship is on our shoulders instead of on the shoulders of the abusive parents. And the loyalty to our parents that was drilled into us as our only hope for survival and acceptance is not easily overcome.”

My mother never loved me…yet I am the crazy one according to people. My therapist told me months ago how my parents “did love us they just didn’t know how to show it,” I told her ‘actions will always speak louder than words yet where’s the real love?’ I never got the real answers from her!

The quote above, I agree with because people out there expect us to “fix our parents/families.” They say ‘it’s your fault for believing the brainwashing/lies,’ I told someone long ago ‘I was a little kid, you are gonna blame an innocent child?’ They said yea, because kids need to know how to function like an adult. Wow, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

I knew at a young age, my parents never loved us. Nothing they ever did showed any kind of real love for their own children. How does a barrage of yelling/screaming, terrorizing/putting someone in fear 24/7, damaging your kids’ self-esteems, calling then names, etc is any kind of real love?! Too bad my therapist and other people couldn’t answer that!

“It wasn’t and still isn’t easy to accept that my own parents didn’t consider my emotional health a top priority and that my father and my mother didn’t love me however it has been a huge part of the truth that set me free. I had to face the truth about the damage and where it came from before I could heal from that damage; regardless of the dysfunctional childhoods my parents may have had, the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.”

Agreed. My parents never called about our entire health period yet nobody couldn’t understand that! “the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.” I totally agree with this yet therapist and other people told me “to heal the damage is to understand them,” which is full of baloney! There’s nothing else to figure out about them and why should I care? People keep making me to care about them and the truth is I never did growing up!

I told my therapist ‘if you were counseling an abused wife because her hubby beats her everyday and calls her names, are you telling me she needs to “understand him?” IF she’s lucky enough, she probably got some info about his childhood and how he blames her or women for it, but why does she need to keep understanding him? When will the damage ever be healed for her? The women at the women’s center definitely would not appreciate that from you as a woman.’ My therapist agreed how you could sit here and ask the why questions about why the abuser did what he did and I looked at her like that’s basically what I am saying indirectly speaking and she contradicted herself!

“However, dysfunctional mother daughter relationships or dysfunctional mother son relationships or even toxic relationships of any kind with either parent are not the most popular subject when it comes to open discussion. They are often considered “taboo” in fact.”

Agreed. It is still taboo I don’t know why. This is why we can’t go anywhere as a country/society because we refuse to talk about issues that happened in the past and the issues that are still currently happening right now! How long are we gonna keep dusting crap under the rug? Doesn’t the floor have a giant hole by now?! It’s sad how these things are taboo and people can’t seem to come out and share their stories without the public trying to humiliate them or throw things at them. It’s like ‘shut up and don’t speak ill about abusive people. Let’s keep things the way they are while I bury my head in the sand and pretend these things don’t exist because when I was growing up in the 40s, these issues never existed nor were they discussed!’ See, that’s the attitude from that past generation that still lingers today!

“I want people to realize that they are far from alone in this difficult problem. I would never advocate for people going public about problems with their parents before they are ready. Many people will never share anywhere publically about any of this even long after their parents are dead and that is a personal choice that I will always respect.”

Agreed. I have met a few people who never speak about their parents/families which my therapist would say “they are such angry people.” Nobody shouldn’t be force to speak about it if they choose not to but I get angry people towards me when I don’t say anything about my parents. I used to have friends who got mad because I knew stuff about their families yet they didn’t know anything about mine; other than the fact that they knew I have a brother and sister, a 1st born half sister whom I don’t know because she is old enough to be my mom. I mean what is there you want me to talk about?


Hi Darlene,

Regarding comment 26 and funding,

You should be paid for your work on this website as well as for its upkeep. “Nonprofit” doesn’t mean that you work for free or pay upkeep from your own money. It’s clear that you do this work to help people, and that it does. Anyone who accuses you of doing this for money doesn’t know what they are talking about or deserve a response from you.

I hope you find a dependable and ongoing way to fund the site, either an annual fund drive, memberships or grants. As it is now, some people donate money, but most don’t give at all. Probably the people with the most money aren’t donating much, and those with the least money are donating the most. Statistics prove this phenomenon–see Google. (And it reminds me of MY foo, where I was overly responsible and did housework while no one else lifted a finger…)

Memberships: If 2,000 people per year use this cite and each paid $10 per year, that’s $20,000 per year for you to maintain the site including paying yourself decently, not minimum wage, and any staffers for time worked. You are also probably legally entitled to recoup money you paid for startup and maintenance along the way. A small fee per year per user is really nothing for all but the homeless; just give up a few bags of junk food per year and there’s your membership. You could always offer the first month free or give free memberships to the needy.

Funding drive: Each year, Wikipedia posts a message at the top of each page saying that they need money to keep running and that if each user donates just $3, their funding needs for the year will be met. A few weeks later, they have the year’s money, and the sign at the top of each page changes to “thanks, our funding goals were met.” Anybody who doesn’t like that Wikipedia needs money to stay up can go away, and any nasty comments about their need for funds isn’t even answered.

Grants: There are specialized grant writers who will find and apply for grants for you, then take a portion of the proceeds as pay for their work so that you don’t have to pay anything up front.

You are intelligent, articulate, and have unique expertise. If you become so drained that you break down or can’t care anymore, none of us will have a place to go. Thus I hope you find a dependable, less stressful way to fund the site, perhaps hire a helper, and pay yourself too.

It warms my heart to know that your FOO can see what you’ve done!


Hi Davina
Thank you for your ideas, they are great and I have looked into several of them. EFB is actually set up to become a membership site, however, technically it isn’t so easy for a non techie like me. And so it takes money to get it all going AND a lot of time to maintain. 🙁 (time and money again ~ the very things I am short on) so that idea remains on hold for now. When my youngest graduates highschool, I will make a new plan.
I appreciate all the wonderful supportive things you say about me! Thanks so much!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] who was spiritually abused and told that even God is disappointed in you. I am reaching out to every human being who was taught to believe that they were less valuable than any other human being and to anyone who […]


I just found your blog last night by searching google. It amazes me that people just don’t talk about this topic! I truly feel that most normal healthy people do their best to be good parents, but some of us are born into the arms of abusers? Why is it recognized when children are abused, but when we become adults our feelings are dismissed by society? Do people not realize that abused kids become adults at some point and we are still stuck with the same parent who wounds us? Thank you for having the courage to write this blog. It helps to know I am not the only one going through this.


Hi Everybody!

Woke up later in the morning today. Ok, because I had worked well into the night (crazy hours!!)
I heard my mother’s voice singing this song, she used to sing, when she thought we were sleeping too late. It went something like, “Lazy Susan, won’t you get up, won’t you get up….”
The thing that spooked me, was that there was such hatred in her voice. I hear that now. As a child, I just felt a lump in my solar plexus, hearing the song and the sound of her voice.
Now, I can see, she was jealous of us for just being children. For having carefree summer days. For not having to get up early like her.
She resented that we could have been carefree kids, and she was having none of it!!!
Now, I can see, its okay I slept late, as I worked late, and my body needed it. I had a moment of tension, before I was fully awake, “hearing” that song in my head. Awake, I am free to enjoy my day, without an angry, resentful child-hater running the show…..



Hi Darlene, Thank you so much for what you are doing here on EFB. My mother did not love me at all, as far back as I can remember I felt in the way and a bother, no matter what I did. My mother was a narcissist in every sense of the word right to the bitter end. My mother died less than two months ago, I was there when she died. The moment she died I had a feeling of anger, huge anger and I was shocked at myself. I tried to have some closure with her but she would not have anything to do with that, she really did hate me and saw me as competition since I was about 14. The last visit I had with her was at her house, I went for a visit and when I was leaving I told her I loved her and went to give her a kiss, she turned away.
Last mother’s day was the very first one without her and to be honest it was a relief. My mother never found happiness in this world, where ever she is now I hope she truly found her peace. As for me, I am not upset she is gone really, you cannot miss something you never had.


As I read some of these post, I was in awe! Because I thought I was maybe the only one that was going through this. I have had such a hard time dealing with the fact that a mother ( my mother) has never really loved or cared for me no matter what I do or say it’s just not enough. When I ask her (why) her answer is well my mother didn’t love me, but I’m not willing to accept that answer because I my self am a mother of a 34 year old son and he means the world to me! My question is how hard is it to love a child that you give birth to? How can a mother turn her back on her child?


Hi Diana
Welcome to EFB ~ you are certainly not alone! It is heartbreaking, but there are in fact thousands and thousands that read this site and literally thousands who share their journey here.
Glad you found us,
hugs, Darlene


Diana (221) I can so identify with you. My son is 27 years old – he is my light and my energy – and has been from the moment he was born. I could never understand how my mother could not have felt the same way about me. She didn’t. She made my son the golden child and me the scapegoat and attempted, for years, to play one off the other. Fortunately she never succeeded. We are now both no contact with her. We are in recovery from a relationship that was toxic in every way. Recovery is long – but it happens. Thinking of you with love. xxx


Hello there. Do you think confronting my parents is worth it? I haven’t spoken to them in almost 10 years, with only a few words over the phone or email.
My husband sees me suffering from their lack of love and care and he keeps telling me to go and speak to them. I dont really want to. What if she is not sorry for what she did and I feel worse? I don’t know.
What do you think?


Hi Babsy Sue
Welcome to EFB ~ This is totally your decision. Only you know what is best for you. Confrontation is not the only way to healing the suffering caused by this. Something I often wonder about my mother is that IF she is sorry, why hasn’t she contacted me?? Realizing that my mother wasn’t really ‘sorry’ has actually helped me (it did hurt for a while at first) because I was able to see the truth the way it really is, not the way I had been raised to see it.
Lots of info in this site ~ and you might enjoy my ebook which is available on the right side bar at the top. 🙂
hugs, Darlene


How many are adoptees??Just curious.


I posted a long reply here in August. Maybe you didn’t like it or thought it was inappropriate because it has disappeared! At the time of writing, I wrote what was in my heart (although I’ve forgotten now what I actually said). It took me 62 years to figure out that all my relationships had been abusive: with my mother, with my husband, with my “best friend” and even with my children (I tried to apply my “learned” family values). At 66, following counselling and a kind of grieving process and (since last June) constant positive affirmations from Emerging from Broken, I no longer see the world as my enemy (although I have issues with the way the world is run and I’m a political and environmental activist). When all is said and done, I I still feel sorry for those unlucky people who are unable to love, unable to feel guilt, unable to live their lives any other way. Everybody posting here has survived and has finally seen the light; our abusers will never, ever see any light. I must be one of the few people who actually looks forward to a happier old age!


Hi Paula,
When all is said and done, I too feel sorry for those people unable to love and unable to live their lives.
If I “don’t like a comment” I place the commenter in “moderation” which means that their comments can’t get through without me reading them first. I have a comment from you in September ( on a different post but I didn’t delete any comments in August. The only time I don’t publish comments is when the comment is abusive.
hugs, Darlene


I am 43 years old. I was just searching for something to help me get past the pain of my father not wanting me when i was a child, abandoning me after my parents divorce…well, not right after. I was about 10 years old and both my mom and my dad didnt want me. They acted like they were playing hot potato…me being the potato.

I just had a long hard cry with myself… i envisioned that that little girl (me) was standing before me. i could feel all of her pain, her little face so sad and confused…and i hugged my pillow and rocked and cryed envisioning that i was holding her (me) tightly, consoling her …letting her cry, telling her I loved her…

and in the midst of this my own daughter…the one that i abandoned…my little girl. How Ive hurt her. How i miss her. How Ive been living in a living hell…and that i diserve it. we use to be so close…we couldnt wait to snuggle each other…my poor baby girl. How could i have screwed up so bad…something this important…she is an adult now. she wont talk to me. Her dad died when she was 16…she begged me to let her stay in her “home” with her step mom. At the time i thought itcwas my chance to get to know her…SEE HER HUG HER…SMELL HER SHELBY fabric softener SENT…but everyone told me not to be pushy. we made plans to see each other but she canceled it. She gave me her cell number and i sent her text messages every couple of days letting her know how much i loved her but i never got a responce…the last time i was able to make contact with her she said she didnt want to know me and to consider that conversation the last time we would speak. I still feel i should have been pushier to see her before she turned 18… i know once she sees me…oh my… i was almost confident enough to say that she would melt. i dont know…Everyone who knows me…who has had the experiance of being my company around the hollidays or espeshally her birthday…i am just a basket case. Ive always been told her and i would be together again … i dont know


Hi Ipopolos
Welcome to EFB ~ I am so glad you are here and thank you for sharing some of your story with us. Sounds like you have found the right website for talking about your past with your parents.
As for your daughter ~ I find that when we work on ourselves many people do get the opportunity to mend relationships with our children.
Hang in here with us!
hugs, Darlene


I am so thankful for the reassurance that I get from your articles Darlene! I spent over 40 years caught up in the dysfunctional relationship with my Narcissistic mom, my 3 abusive stepfathers from her serial marriages, my Golden Child brother, my malignant Narcissistic aunt, and the extended family who were poisoned against me through the lies that my mom spread about me! My mother was a textbook case of a narcissistic mom. She was selfish, self-centered, emotionally immature, non-nurturing, emotionally and physically abusive, selectively abusive, and etc.
Even though I left home at the age of 18, when I was forced out of my mom’s home, and I lived far from her for the next 21 years, the suffering that I endured continued. I suffered from her rejection and the sadness of feeling that I would never be good enough.
I had been married several times and had children, and I was trying to establish a fulfilling life away from her. I wasn’t in therapy, I had never heard of PTSD, and I had never heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Needless to say, my life kept falling apart and ending up in failure; my marriages ended and I was not able to become successful in a career.
The destruction that child abuse causes can last a life time. Many people will continue to live in their suffering and will continue to live in denial that there was anything wrong with their parents. They will continue to dwell in that horrendous hell of believing that they were ‘never good enough to deserve their parents’ love’!
We are truly the fortunate ones who have found our way to the clues, the answers, and the healing.
Thank you, Beth
Intentional Healing


PS Happy Mother’s Day, Darlene!


Even today, when I read this article and comments, my reaction is overpowered by what my brother would say if he read them which is “Get over it”, “Quit making excuses”, “Dad doted over you”, “That’s all in your head”, “You’re just pathetic and looking to blame someone fir your failure”. I could go on for hours, but I know NOT ONE Of those comments is accurate.

I’ve witnessed the horrors others went through with emotionally immature, completely narcissistic mothers, and my heart breaks for those of you who had a mom like that.

That was not the problem with my mom. She simply was pissed that I was born because her plan was to go back to work and start a career after my brother who was 5 years older than I started grade school. I ruined all that.

Her resentment was prevalent in almost all my interactions with her. I didn’t realize that the way she felt about me was due to resentment until I was an adult. It’s not just in my head. She would say things like “even though abortion wasn’t legal yet when you were born (1970), I still could have had one because I almost died several times because of you”. There are many other things she did that, until I was an adult, I didn’t realize were due to resentment. As a child I had no idea why she was treating me like that. I just knew that she wasn’t like the other moms, and I figured it was my fault.

If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, my relationship with my mom was very similar to Meredith’s relationship with her mom.

I stopped the cycle of abuse the only way I knew how. I chose not to have children.

I can’t imagine putting a child through what she put me through. I have a brother who she felt was almost perfect. He has a daughter. She couldn’t haved beared to see my brother emotionally torture his daughter the way she emotionally tortured me. She couldn’t have beared to see him beat her for even 5 minutes the way she allowed him to beat me throughout most of the years if my childhood.

What I suffered was real. It was criminal. If it happened today and someone found out, the police and DCFS would be called.

My prayers and thoughts are with all of you who suffered. If you, like me, made the decision not to have children in order to assure the cycle of abuse would end, you deserve an honor greater than Mother’s Day! THAT is TRUE SACRIFICE.


Thank you for all of your writings, Darlene! I have been reading them for a while now. I grew up as the only nondisabled sibling to 3 siblings with autism. Because of my parents focus on my siblings, I experienced high levels of emotional neglect. I was also seen as a tool to meet the needs of our family situation and had very high levels of responsibility. Shame, guilt, and criticism were used to control me and keep me meeting my mothers needs. Our family lived in chronic stress and crisis. My mother believes that God placed me in my family situation to serve my siblings (that often meant serving my mother as she met my siblings needs). As an adult, I began finding myself in relationships with people who had addiction issues, unhealthy dependency, and/or were abusive and emotionally unavailable. After a few of these relationships I figured the common denominator was me and I sought information and help to find out why I was having these relationship issues. As I educated myself about healthy relationships and family dysfunction, I came to understand that I had been neglected, emotionally abused, objectified, parentified, traumatized, etc. I came to understand that my mother had issues related to abuse she had experienced in her childhood and that many of my experiences with her weren’t because our family had children with autism but because she had never healed and she was a covert narcissist. On the surface and in public she appeared to be the most selfless and loving person ever but at home she was not always loving or nice. It started to seem that she deliberately kept her life set up in ways that added to or allowed problems to continue so that she would always need help and could have others helping and serving her. I became more aware of how critical and blaming she was of everyone around her and was reminded of the critical and belittling ways she always treated my Dad. I started to understand that she had a narcissistic wound and felt highly criticized by anyone who didn’t express unconditional positive regard for her and everything she did. If this wound was triggered she verbally lashed out at those around her (only in our family). This kept me traumatized into watching her moods and trying to fix everything around her to keep her happy and protect everyone in our family from dealing with her upset. I have been in recovery for about 5 years now. It’s been a struggle to understand what parts of my childhood were unavoidable difficulties related to our family situation and which parts were created by my mother and her issues and beliefs about why I existed in the world. I read once in a book on healing from emotional abuse and neglect that, “unintentional or unavoidable though it may be, the results are the same.” I’ve come to know that it doesn’t matter why I had the painful childhood experiences that I had, they are valid and they created a sense for me of not being loveable, interesting, or deserving other than for what I could do and have to help others. I have spent several years finding and feeling layers of pain and fear stored from earlier experiences, focusing on self care, giving other people’s responsibilities back to them, removing myself from relationships with people who have agendas for me or treat me poorly, and identifying my own wants and needs. It’s funny how these basic ways of healthy living can be so unnatural to me and take such awareness and discipline to do. Two of my brothers have now passed away and although I miss them very much, it has helped me be able to identify the real needs that existed vs the issues that stem from my mother/parents. Their passing has also opened the door to much grieving about their disabilities and their pain and how we were all impacted by this situation …and it has given me the space and down time for my own recovery. Thank you again for all of your posts and for being a voice for recovery from childhood neglect, abuse, dysfunction, and trauma. You’re right, it helps so much to know we aren’t alone!


Darlene I would like to thank you so much for been so brave and taking the steps to be open in validating your self.
I love this letter because this speaks to me so personally with the relationship that I had with my mother.
After so many years of been living in a mental prison, after so many years been stock in all the lies and misbeliefs that were penetrated on my soul and in my heart. Am starting to believe in my self, learning how to put the pieces together is a great awakening and comfort. But am also going thru the hate or angriness, any one feels like that? For al the years that were rob from me for all the poorly decisions that I made while I was living in that darkness. I hated my self so bad, I didn’t believe in my self for nothing. Always sabotaging my self.
And now my mother is going to start chemotherapy this week once every 6 months, and I offer her my help and that she could stay in my house for only one week after she gets the treatment because she lives about an 2hrs away from where she is going to receive the treatment.

I just spoke to her yesterday I told her my rules, like please mom get your self a bed, so that I don’t have to sleep in the couch and you can only stay few days after treatment that’s all I can handle because other wise she will suck the life out of me. A part of me is telling me wtf am I helping her why, why. But I feel that if I don’t I’ll never be able to forgive my self..


Hi Paula
Welcome to EFB ~ I am so glad to have you here and thank you for sharing.
You are certainly not alone!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Wilzie!
Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you so much for sharing some of your story.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi NotAMom
Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry that you went through all that and I am really glad you are here now!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your strength. Reading some of your posts, they do sound eerily similar to mine. I had also believed for years the problem was me. I was, way, too, sensitive! But once I went into counseling I started understanding the dysfunction of my family of origin. I too, doubted it was them, for the longest time. I kept trying to make things better between us. I didn’t want to see that my mother didn’t love me. I didn’t want to be without a family. I was terrified of being alone, without their love I felt I would be alone. So I continued to be the pleaser to her, until I just couldn’t take it anymore. Then after our seperation, I felt so horribly alone. None of my family members would have anything to do with me. My mother had made sure of that. I thought I was the only one experiencing this kind of family pain, until I found your site. Hearing your story and seeing the responses for so many other women is empowering. By writing some feedback on your Facebook page I am beginning to have courage to tell my story. I am so grateful to you for sharing your story with us, & for my friend who showed me your site. Thank you so much!!!


NotAMom, I applaud you. I am also sorry for the horrors. I agree, child abuse.

Wilzie, you did not get a chance to be a child. I am sorry for that on you.

I had also believed for years the problem was me. I was, way, too, sensitive!

And it’s all your fault, your feelings don’t count. Your feelings don’t count because your feelings are “too inconvenient” for your mom. You aren’t supposed to have those feelings, only the feelings your mom “allows” you to have. The “alternate person.”

And I’m getting the “does it make you happy to say these things to your mom?” My mom is clutching at straws to flip it back to me because she doesn’t want to see her own issues.


In my case, another sign of my mother’s hypocrisy was “I’m allowed to be angry and have hurt feelings, but you’re not.” She didn’t literally say this; it’s just the vibe I get from her. If I were to have those feelings, I either needed to “snap out of it” or I was a bad girl with an attitude who shouldn’t forget her place. Sigh. No wonder I have a lot to heal from.


S1998, EXACTLY! You’re not “allowed” to be hurt and angry at your mom. You bad, bad, person. (just kidding, I get that, too….)


Hi Linda
Welcome to EFB ~ I can relate to your post. I had those same deep fears and one day I realized that I WAS alone.. it was stunning to come through all of this and see it the way I do now. I am so glad you are here! We are not alone!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I can’t keep up with all the comments anymore therefore I am closing comments on all posts over 150 days. This will be done automatically and I am sorry if the comments shut down in the middle of an active conversation.
Please feel free to share anything you wish on the more current posts.
Hugs, Darlene

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