Ugggh….. partway thru reading, and just had vague flashbacks of my mother getting shitty if I didn’t say “I love you” enough… #%§¡£!!! Actually I think it was more of an expectation that if it was said to me, that I was supposed to parrot it back mindlessly… she’s like a f**king child.

Just went back to your post – the “how far can we push things” bit takes me straight to the turning point in me finally realising what a …………. my mother is (and somewhat ironically, this happened while I was starting to catch glimpses thru the fog for the 1st time, but was swinging violently between doubt/guilt that I was making it all up, it was my fault anyway etc)

Then my mother acted, and finally removed all doubt (although it came back, of course) Anyway it was the time of her saying she wanted to talk to me (hadn’t done that for ages). My senses were screaming at me to get the fuck away from her, but old habits die hard. Hesitating, I asked what about, she said…..

Hmmm. Getting tired. Also stressed. I’ve told this story before anyway. Complained my depression’s hard on them (my parents) because I don’t help around the house or interact with them as much as they want. Also head’s messing with me about trying to be all dramatic when writing things about my parents etc. Also imagining people I’ve wronged in my life writing about me that way.

Ok falling asleep again, better cruise. Have to finish the article later Darlene! It’s obviously got a few bits to get the brain going 🙂


Hi J.
All the “rules”. Perhaps these parents will be happy when they invent the interactive programable robot! (by the way J. the swaying is normal! I went back and forth for a long time! Eventually, it settled down!
Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, My mom’s thing was to always point out how I was difficult, angry, selfish, or anything that would show just how plain bad and deffective I was. I usually, took it in too but one day, I was talking about not being able to sleep the night before because of my husband’s snoring. She responded by saying, “Well!Can’t you breath with him and get to sleep?” Then I realized she was just digging at me and I realized how she looked for ways to point out to me how bad I was. I also, began to see how when I disagreed with her or I wanted to talk about an issue between us, she would start saying all kinds of hurtful things to make me lose my temper. Then the focus was off of whatever she had done to use or hurt me in the first place. My husband, out of the blue, confirmed my revelation and told me, “It’s like you are her evil daughter and no matter what you do, she sees it as evil.” I was stunned but that is the filter my mother views me through and the way she responded to me from that view taught me that I was “bad”, “selfish”, “angry”, and most of all, “defective”.


I can always count on my mom to put her digs in. While I was visiting my mom today, she blurted out, “You have been on unemployment for another year…that is wrong!”…First of all, why bring this up when we were not talking about my job situation and why in front of my sister….They both work, so it was her golden opportunity to put me down in front of my sister! I felt embarrassed & hurt.

I would have let this slide, but instead I justified myself to her, as she trained me to. I did say, “I’m not ashamed”- to let her know her judgement of being unemployed is not going to make me feel bad about myself. She turned it around and said, “It’s not you”…”They encourage people not to work”….Well that’s another judgement…everyone’s situation is different & there are lots of hard working individuals out of work, due to things that are out of their control, like a company going under and having to let their employees go????! and etc….

So, my mom’s message to me is I’m wrong for being unemployed and it should not be encouraged, which is the same filter she views others not working….It’s really None of her business what I do, as an adult. I don’t need her approval and I certainly don’t agree. Anyway, I did manage to steer the focus off of me and kept my cool.
Sincerely, SMD


Thank you for sharing this example. This is exactly what I am talking about in this post. LIke there must be something ‘wrong with YOU’ if you can’t sleep because of someone’s snoring! wow. These kinds of examples are the ones that escape the fog because they are just TOO obvious!
This is exactly what I was trying to illustrate; my mom could twist anything to make it look like I lived to get in her way! She pushed my guilt and failure button constantly because after all those years she knew exactly how to do it.
I had to learn how to defend myself against it; and I did that by seeing the real truth.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Another great example of how this “control by shame and judgement” thing works, and the point is as you say; it is none of her business.
I think what hurt me the most is that my mother NEVER approved of me. Even when I started to really fly in my life, (before I started this blog I was working for a seminar company speaking about my recovery and all kind of doors were opening) my mother sneered at me and found ways to put me down. That was when I could no longer live in denial. I would tell her about the latest amazing news and she would say something that was a major put down like “why you?? why did they pick you?” and on and on.
I don’t miss any of that!
Thanks so much for sharing this!
Hugs, Darlene


I love this! Not what happened to you buy your openness about it and what you have learned. I am starting to write out all of the details of my life and considering writing a memoir. What triggered this is finally realizing how far my mom will still go to try to control me. I am 40 and she still is trying with all of her might to control me. She is trying (successfully) to withhold my inheritance from me until I apologize for a long list of perceived “wrongs” I have done to her over the years. I pretty much told her she could keep that money. I am so angry and frustrated. I am finally over the delusion that someday we will get along! Sick of it and done trying.



Hi Gretchen!
That is such a typical trick! “to withold something they think you want until you do what they want” but it never ends! There are a million versions of this one too and very often they work! Good for you for telling her that the hoops you had to jump through were unacceptable. WOW I got sick of this too and I finally realized that relationship is not ONE sided… and I was tired of being the ONLY one who tried!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, Strange I found you today, after reading about your struggles with your ‘relationship’ with your mother I would like to tell you a small bit of my story. I am a survivor of abuse and spent years on the streets of New York as a trafficked girl prostitute because of all the abuse I suffered as a child starting at age 10 or so. I am 55 years old now and just yesterday I tried, key word tried, to communicate with my mother, Louise, about the abuse. I contacted her through emails, for many reasons mainly because I still can not bring myself to talk with her in person or even on the phone about what happened, although I have tried. It would take me several pages to tell you my whole story so I will try to make it brief. Yesterday she said at least 3 times, “Are you sure that happened like that?” Are you sure he tried that? Are you sure that really happened, you know little girls get touched sometimes its innocent” She said that to me. So here I am at age 55 over 40 years later after my abuse and my ‘mother’ still will not give me the honor of acknowledging my abuse even happened. So I asked her why would a 12 year old girl leave her suburban home and live on the dangerous streets of an inner city? She had no answer, why would I have runaway reapeatedly over the years until leaving for good at age 15 and not coming back? She had no answer. I think sometimes as abused people we try to look and search for answers and we want the abusers and other people to tell us things that we will never hear. Ever. Well just wanted to put this out there, hope you read this, take care, Barbara Amaya


I can relate on all levels. I have gotten to the point that I learned how to remove her control. My mother is a narcissist. No, she has never been diagnosed formally but she carries every single trait. Every thing is about her. If I have a cold, she has pneumonia, when they thought I had cancer, she “probably has it too throughout her body”. When I get something she wants, she tries to guilt me into giving it to her. She is the victim, I was a “terrible child”, and can never do right in her eyes. She condemns me every chance she gets whether it be my choice of husband, the fact I homeschooled my son, whatever I did/do, she doesn’t approve. She did some sick and disgusting things in order to control and manipulate me while I was growing up…I won’t even get into those things now.
She would goad my dad until he would beat me. When he beat me she would finally shut up for a while. It was ridiculous. Just here recently I quit talking to her. I went over 6 weeks without calling to check on her, she finally called me. She started with “well I could be laying here dead and you would never know”. I took control, told her that I am not going to listen to her sob stories any more, not going to listen to her put me or other people down, I was not going to tolerate the negativity etc. I also informed her that if she started I would simply hang up without saying a word. I finally learned to set boundaries with her, to not allow her control or the opportunity to inflict her venomous words. I have spoken to her twice since I laid down the ground rules, she knows I mean them. I really feel empowered now 🙂


Hi Barbara A,
Thank you so much for sharing. Welcome to emerging from broken!
It is so painful to be discounted and unheard in the way that you were. (both as a child and then again as an adult.) One of the things that I write about here is how I finally let that wish to be “loved” and heard by my parents, go. I finally realized that it would not be the answer or the solution. I realized that the healing was not going to come from anyone saying they are sorry or validating to me that it really happened. (I write a lot about this here) I can honestly say that finally, I no longer hope that one day I will be heard by them; a lot of this I believe happened when I was heard and validated by ME. 🙂 And here in EFB we hear and validate each other too!
It is great to have you here Barbara. I hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Gina!
Good for you! That is awesome! Thank you for sharing your victory! No one deserves to be treated or talked to that way.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene, I needed that hug today, It has been a long journey to even get to the point of sending those emails to her because I knew what the reaction would be. I have to say I thought I was not looking for her validation just information, but when she said at least 3 times that it did not happen, and I felt my reaction I guess I was looking for some kind of validation. I do not talk or email with her. I have gone years at a time without a single word with her. Thats why it meant a lot that I put myself out here and even sent the email asking her for information. I am writing my memoirs and essays and I have lots of gaps in my memory. It was just sad to see that once again all these years, decades later she still has the same beliefs. Thanks again, Barbara Amaya


It is VERY sad and disapointing, and almost unfathomable! (for years this whole thing was so unfathomable to me) I hear you and totally understand. I am looking forward to reading your future shares!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi again, I forgot to talk about this thought. As women, I think our relationships with our mothers are so interwoven in our beings. I have tried so hard not to be like her, in raising my own daughter I always made a point of not being like my own mother. Everything from my laugh to my hair color that reminds me of her bothers me. And my question is this-how do we love ourselves when we have these feelings about our mothers? It is a work in progress, at least to me. I would like to have others comments on that question. I remember the afternoon my mother said to me “Do you know what a narcissist is?” to which I replied yes why? although I had always thought of her that way, she said a counsler had told her she had a narcissistic personality. Nothing new to me..anyway thanks so much for being here, glad I found you, Barbara


Hi Barbara A
First of all, I know exactly how you feel. I am reminded of my mother when I look in the mirror all the time even though I look quite a bit different there are “certain things”. Learning to love myself ended up not having anything to do with my mother though. It had to do with overcoming the false beliefs about myself and why I believed that I was not lovable or worthy of love.
I have written tons about that in this site!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Just had a picture pop thru my head of having an EFB meet-up in real life (I think from reading about the ‘freedom rocks’ event, which I’d forgotten about).

Much easier said than done, obviously, but it felt nice in my head so thought I’d share it.

PS got thru 1st social occasion w/parents since moving out. Managed to make a few decisions that helped my comfort levels (basically, not hanging around them) after a shaky start (felt guilty at first, like it was my job to make them feel comfortable).

That’s messing with my head a bit now. Oh well. It was a big effort for me to attend, so I should be proud of myself.

Getting tired again but meant to say hi to Joy & Fi! (I saw you both in the comments in my email but can’t be bothered tracking down which posts for now).


One of my goals for the future is to have a live in person event ~ a work shop or seminar. Keep thinking those thoughts.. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, Barbara, I have to add to the thing about looking like our moms…I was showing pictures to my grandson and there was one old picture of me with my first baby and my mom. My grandson was surprised and said, she looks like you! I’m aware of this of course, but what it made me wonder is if my mom dislikes me because I look liker her. I’m sure she has body dysmorphic disorder. She thinks she’s ugly and sees her features much different than they really are. The only good thing she ever said to me was that I was pretty. All of that seems odd to me.

After my mom refused my request to treat me with respect and acknowledge that I’d been sexually abused, I died my hair brown. Unconciously, I think I wanted to be no part of my mom. She abandoned me again. Now I’m trying to go back to my natural color and also, working to accept that I look like my mom. Even when I have to tell my grandson that, “no, she isn’t dead. I just don’t see her anymore because she didn’t treat me the way a mother should whe I was a kid and still doesn’t want to treat me right.” He says, “Oh, she must not have loved you enough. I’m sorry, Grammy.” Wise for a six year old. It took me my whole life to understand that.

Barbara, My experience is simular and my mom and my entire family of origin refused to see what really happened to me.



Pam, It is interesting and so sad to me that as women our whole idenity is so tied into our mothers. And when it is a toxic relationship it just makes things worse. I too have a 5 soon to be six year old grandson, who doesnt even know his great grandmother. She is not in the area anyway. After I had my daughter I started to have a recovered memory experience. I would not even let anyone near my daughter. I visited parents when she was 3 months old and would not let anyone near her. One evening, at a gathering while I was there, my daughter was sleeping in a little bed in another room. I noticed that my father had gone into the room. My heart started racing and I went into the room, snatched her up and saked “What are you doing in here?” and heres the even weirder part, he didn’t even react. He just left the room, he didn’t say my goodness what’s wrong with you? Why are you acting like this? Nothing. No one seemed to notice this whole exchange my mother included.But I will always remember his reaction to my behavior.
Also I am not the only family member who has problems with my mother, I am the only one that I know of who was abused. The email I sent her a few days ago was the first attempt, besides a note I wrote when I was a child that I just found out about, to ever talk about the fact that I was abused. Also it was the first time that I addressed myself as abused and sexually trafficked child. She had in the past called me a teenage prostitute. As if it was my fault and something I chose to do. Have to say she seemed bewildered a bit when I talked about the fact that I was trafficked, I was abused, it sadly seems she has always thought of me as the person who chose those things to happen to myself.It was empowering to tell her that.
Pam I go back and forth in my mind, sometimes calling her Mother, and other times calling her by her name, Louise. I have so many questions like how does a child turn out that had a narcissist for a mother in the early years? How does that effect their self esteem and growth as a child? How can that person learn to mother her own child? I know for myself I tried to be the opposite of whatever she was. And there are times when I think I have to forgive her so I can move on…far and few between times though. I go back and forth between forgiveness and anger. Sometimes believing I have to let it go to grow, what do you think? Well hope this helps someone…take care all, Barbara


Barbara, Both of my parents are very narcissistic. They’ve never been to a pshychologist or psychiatrist, they wouldn’t dream of it, but when I read about narcissistic parents and the families they create, everything fits. It was important for me to understand how narcissitic parents assign roles to their children. I was the scapegoat and I too was the one who got most of the abuse.Or really, I can’t say that because a child that is expected to be perfect, the golden child, is abuse too but in a different way. In a way, I’m glad I was the scapegoat because it caused me to think I needed to change to make the situation better. I did need to change but not for that reason. I needed to make changes to get better. I was afraid I was a narcissist too and I did have some learned behaviors but I love people, I have empathy, and I’m not afraid to face flaws in myself. The rest of my family can never admit to wrongdoing and if anyone dares to point out anything they’ve done wrong, big or small, they respond with rage because anything that threatens the false self they’ve created is life threatening to them.

It was my faith and my husband who taught me what unconditional love is and that it is the true definition of love. It has been gradual but I have learned to love myself and have confidence in myself. I’ve even learned to stand up for myself. I can’t share all of it in a comment.

I was sexually abused as a teenager too and I believe,one of my abusers sold me without my being aware of it. I was a pretty nieve kid and I needed love so bad that I’d do whatever someone who was halfway kind to me said to do especially, if they said they loved me. I carried the blame and shame for that part of my life until I was fifty years old then in a flash, I understood. Everything in my life has changed from that moment on, for the better. I did lose my family of origin but if they can’t treat me with respect, I’m better off without them in my life. Understanding what happened to me and laying the blame where it belongs has given me wholeness of self and self acceptance that I’ve never known before. I know it can happen for you too.



Hey Pam, I know what you mean I can not tell everything in a comment either, I also have a website that I just started, just click on my name, or go to barbaraamaya.com if you would like to. I like how you say family of orgin, can I steal that? It defines my family also. I am happy that you have a loving husband and that you have so much understanding into yourself and your feelings. I understand exactly what you mean about feeling like you were like them, but we are not like them because the very fact that we even wonder about that shows we are not..get it? I used to think I didn’t care enough but now I see I do. I too was afraid of being a narcissist but I know now I am not.I know I will probably lose the rest of my famly of orgin when I publish my memoirs, at least I think I will, but you know I don’t talk with them now anyway, and I have to be true to myself. I have records from hospitals and places I was in as a child to prove what I am saying is true. I knew that since I am writing a memoir, or essays at some point someone might ask for proof, sad but true.
Thanks for your thoughts and words, and good to talk to you, Barbara


Hi everyone,

Feeling lousy today (my head/sinuses seem even more clogged up). I hate colds! They can make you feel so bad even though they’re nothing serious. Very annoying! Sleep’s all over the place as well because of it. So should try to be gentle to myself.

Can’t even remember what I’d been planning to write about. Oh well.


This topic is exactly what led me to find this site. Recently I have become so fed up with feeling constantly guilty and just well, wrong just for being alive.

Thanks to this place I am beginning to see the where and why’s etc.

It feels good to have real hope for being able to change these feelings into something much more positive and soon.

You’re all very strong and couragous facing things as you are, if I had a hat I’d take it off to you 🙂


Money & food were two things I’d been thinking about… (of course remembered as soon as I posted last one!)

I was thinking about how I’ve always felt really weird about money. Never felt comfortable with work – always felt like I didn’t deserve to be paid. One job I had when I was self-employed I felt afraid to ask clients for money, and ended up with I think around $1,300-1,500 I never got. Then I’d feel stupid/beat myself up because of it.

With food, was thinking about the various nagging about food I got from my mother. She’d always say I was eating too fast. Later she’d tell me not to eat something because tea would be ready soon. Realized now that’s control & training me to ignore my own body – sometimes I’d be shaking with hunger, but it wasn’t about me really was it? All about having her way. Also cause I seem to do better with several smaller meals instead of 3 big ones (I seem to have a fairly small stomach space) I guess she didn’t like that or some shit. Or just wanted things her way. Who f**king knows??! So she’d give me shit about eating late at night & tell me I’d make myself sick. Then as I became more and more of a late-night binger (in retrospect, often just as a distraction when I couldn’t sleep/had shit on my mind etc) she’d start commenting the next day on how much I’d eaten, or next time people were over she’d say she’d been saving whatever I’d eaten for company (at least sometimes, maybe even often in front of them). Then she started hiding food in different places. I started finding it & eating it anyway. Then I started buying it & replacing it so she’d leave me alone. Sometimes I’d stress about it all week but couldn’t make myself get out of the house to do it.


Ok when I write all this out, it just seems like she’s been f**king with me intentionally. Money also comes into it, with both parents, cos they’d act all generous & often would pay for things, but even that just seems like ways to control. Like the food – my mother would say to write things on the shopping list if I wanted them, and would complain if I ate something she’d decided was for someone else, but then wouldn’t accept money if I asked her to replace something when she was going to the shops during a time when I hadn’t felt able to leave the house.

Swear swear swear. (I’m desperately wanting to unleash all the words I’m thinking about my mother. Asterisks just aren’t cutting it today)

Let’s go with adjectives instead & see if that helps… controlling, manipulative, cold, heartless, narrow-minded, delusional, hypocritical (and hyper-critical, for that matter), self-glorifying, self-martyring, lying, two-faced, abusive, superficial, self-serving, self-righteous

Well that helped a bit, but still needed some good ol’ profanity to really finish it off properly. Oh well.

Just realized cos my sleep’s so random at the moment the day’s are even blurrier than usual (in terms of knowing what day it is, remembering what I did yesterday or even being aware of if/when I was awake today etc) and that always makes me feel really weird & shitty. It’s strange because so often I seem to be wanting/trying to forget/not think about things, but I still want to have at least a vague idea (or memory, I suppose) of the days in relation to each other. I think it’s also cos the worse I feel, the more time seems to warp til it feels like it’s been forever since I felt even slightly human. Feels like that at the moment.

Oh well. Enough ranting for now. Hope everyone’s doing well

Hugs & :)’s all round! (Just because)


Sounds like your grandson has a lot more “permission” (to speak his mind) than we ever had! Sweet (and wise) little guy!
I wonder too about what was in my mothers head but I don’t look enough like her (esp when I was a kid) for me to remind her of me. (there are things more as I get older, but just little things) but I wonder more about the jealously stuff.. you know? Like the things that I had that she didn’t have. (My mother grew up very poor and her and my father were very sucessful) Her childhood was a nightmare, and I think as much as she wanted to do things differently for her own kids, she resented that we had it better off. She kind of missed the boat with her goal however because she only worried about the “visable” things; food, shelter, clothing, that kind of stuff.
Just my thoughts… hugs, Darlene


Hi J.
Your post reminds me of how I began to see that I had been very often treated more like a “possession” then a child/daughter. Controlling every move, every bite etc is reflective of “ownership” and really stifles the ability to think for oneself and listen to oneself. How can a kid learn to think for themselves if they are not even permitted to decide if they are hungry or not? I had to write stuff like this out too, so that I could see the truth about what happened to me.
Hugs, Darlene
If it is helpful and or important for you to write profanity, you can always do that in your journal. 🙂


Yeah for being fed up with all that! I can relate to that too. I was at the end of my rope when I finally tried looking at things the way that I now write about. I believed with all my heart that it was me and that my kids would be better off without me. Leaving them was going to be an act of pure love. (I thought) It isn’t that there was nothing about me that needed to be improved, it was that my whole way of interacting and my low self esteem came out of victim mentality and survivor mode and I had to see that. I had to see where all that happened and that wasn’t my fault! The improvements that needed to take place in me developed as I grew and learned to love and validate myself.
Glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Not exactly proud to admit that most of that food stuff I mentioned was still going on in last couple of years while I was stuck back in parents house.

I think I was just wanting to express that so much worse than what I actually do say that goes thru my head. Writing that I think is kinda an attempt to convey those feelings & be mildly amusing to myself & hopefully distract myself from the anger & hate that wants to spew forth. (Also there’s probably a part of me that wants to try & shock by spitting out all the really nasty shit).
Thanks for the suggestion, but this site is as close as I’ve come to journalling for a long time. Nearly always wound up feeling really depressed when I’d write stuff. Anyway getting tired again so gonna leave it. Hope you’re well!


Perhaps you are only trying convince yourself or to shock yourself into realizing how bad it was? None of it is shocking to me.
Hugs, Darlene


I visited my parents over the weekend, and was shocked when I realized how dependent my mother is on my father… the way he just talks down to her. My brothers and I stood up for her, encouraging her to get to a doctor for a medical condition that is making her totally miserable, but dad thought she should “give it time.” She couldn’t stand up to him and insist that she needed a doctor, but once the rest of us were there supporting her, he made it sound like taking her to the doctor on Monday was his intention all along.

I say all of this because it shocked me to SEE it… to see how I mimicked my mother’s way of behaving, allowing my ex-husband to treat me pretty much the same way. I had learned that it was my role to take whatever was given. To not speak up for myself. To let him be the big decision maker. And when I mentioned to a sister-in-law how it was obvious where I learned my behavior, she replied, “Well at least you can now SEE it.”

Seeing it is the hardest part… recognizing the pathetic methods people use to keep us where they want us… and learning to break the long-developed patterns. I don’t mean to say that an abused person is at fault, but I struggle with that somewhat because I have realized that when something happens to me, I am allowing it to happen if I don’t stand up for myself. And I don’t have to allow it.


Excellent comments! Very well said and inspirational! Seeing it IS the hardest part… because it all seems normal to us for so long.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

My mom has never gotten out of her way towards me of belittling anything I do.. If I ever did anything that I might be proud of she was sure to cut it down to nothing.

If I did well on a test it was because the teachers felt sorry for me; if I made some nice poem . .and people said something nice it was because people felt sorry for me.

She made sure I realized how encapable of any good I was .. in the past when I had the lines of communication still open she continued to stab and twist the dagger in my heart..

I tried to make peace on time and sent her some flowers and she said they weren’t even pretty. I ordered her some nice treats and they were not anything she liked and went on to tell me how much money one of my other siblings had spent on her.. It was to say .. I didn’t care enough to spend hundreds.

No matter how much I tried to create a good relationship .to forget what happened..she always would bring it up if I had tried to call.

Inside me I feel completely shunned by every family member no matter what I do .. am blacklisted, ignored and said to be bad.

Now that I stepped away from the old faith.. it’s fuel for all there opinions of me. I was the worst mistake the one who would never succeed..what can one expect from someone like me.. such was the litany..

I can’t understand why it’s me of all of us that has to be called the bad person but it is. nothing is good enough .. .. I guess if I would have done the bad things in life I would be accepted.

I no longer try to communicate.but it sure hurts me ..to not be able to have them in my life. Abuse was acceptable forms of communication .. before.. that is I allowed them to abuse me .. just so they would talk to me. now I .. have not conversations. and no abuse from them..

It’s hard.. as I haven’t given up the hope that one day mom will say she is proud of me and all I have done … I am trying to though.

Hugs to all



Joy, It helps me to understand that the way my family sees me and treats me has to do with the role they assigned me as family scape-goat. It has nothing to do with who I am. They can’t even see me apart from the purpose they have set for me.



Hi Pam:

I think I know they do this..that they are using me for a scapegoat. .. but what are they wanting to put on me….. that they haven’t already done.. I mean must it be a forever scapegoat?


Hi Joy
Yes exactly. and one day I realized that I would never fit her expectations because they don’t make sense. Even she doesn’t know what she wants from me. SO I had to fill the void in me that she left. I had to take care of me. The hope for me went away as I grew and no longer needed her approval. It was a natural thing, it just happened. Looking back I feel like I let go of a dream to have a loving family, I didn’t actually lose anything but the way they disregarded me. I hung to the hope and the dream but when I learned to fill my own needs a new world opened up. It takes time…
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. abusers, controllers etc. don’t like to lose their possessions… it makes them feel like they failed… like they are unworthy, like they are unloved…. but when victims break away, it breaks the cycle of abuse (in that family at least.)


Joy, If you aren’t there they can’t use you that way forever. I’m sure my family dumped a lot of “stuff” on me, behind my back, when I drew the line in the sand. However, if I’m not there they will have to find another scape-goat or change. I imagine the one viewed as weakest among them will take my place.

I guess we all hope that our famiies will see the light and want to change. I doubt they will but that is the only way they’ll have me in their life again. I refuse to be scape-goat-forever. I’m sure they feel cheated. I feel free!:0)



The selective memories of these long-suffering, selfless, sacrificing abusers raising ungrateful children that ruined their lives never fail to astound me!


Hi Darlene..

Thank you for your beautiful words.. It’s all in letting go and what is being let go really isn’t worth all that I have thought it was.. IT’s learning what really matters. . what matters isn’t what I was taught that matters.. but what enables me to be whole. 🙂 Being put down for wanting to heal is never a good thing to hold onto.



Hi Pam,

They are only in my memories and mind now. Because I kept silent so long its more painful to them that I should dare open my mouth now. it pains me too.. .. because I hear everything from yesterday as it was today.. it’s just a memory. I have to keep telling myself.



It is so amazing how I relate to so many words I have just read. I once read that every family has a scapegoat one person that is the scapegoat for the entire family, I always wondered if my mother was the scapegoat in her family. Joy, whenever, rarely when I would talk to her and would tell her something I had done would never ever say anything good , she would always just say something about herself, like if I said hey I lost 5 pounds, she wouldnt say great she would reply, ‘I lost 10’ or if I said I went to the Dr about my back, she would reply ‘I went to the Dr for my stomach’ never would she just even acknowledge that I had said something.
By the way she still will not answer my questions about the note I gave her as a young child, saying “he is abusing me, he is bothering me” which she says was about a teacher visiting our home, I believe it was about my abuser, not the teacher. Finally got the nerve to send her emails to ask questions and she will only answer the ones she wants to…of course.Frustrating, take care and be strong, Barbara


Isn’t that the truth! What an excellent way to sum it up!
Hugs, Darlene

In my case, there was not “one” scapegoat. I am not saying that I was the only one treated this way. Although I know this scapegoat thing is common I don’t think that every family has one. My mother was certainly not the only one treated this way in her family ~ there were 6 kids in her family and I saw all of them treated the same way by my grandmother. I know that in many families one person gets targeted the most and the rest learn to fly under the radar. Often they don’t want the victim to escape as they sense they will have to take his or her place. (and they will because the abuser gets their value from tearing down the victim, but only when the victim takes it! )
About this “one up manship” that you write about here, YES that is so very typical! This is so discounting.
Hugs, Darlene


Ok, I don’t think my last post worked….. I just frantically scribbled down what I could remember cos it felt REALLY important…..

(Apologies if this is a doubling up. Wanna try & get it out while it’s fresh)

So I realized that I feel like there are at least two separate “parts” of myself. (I’ve thought this thru in my head before, but feels like it either disappears every time and I have to think it thru fresh every time to understand/be aware of it; and/or like I’ve never been able to explain it to anyone else, or even write it down so that ~I~ can remember it or read it to myself & think about it & what it might mean)

Kinda feels like there are potential insights lurking on the very edge of my consciousness, but I’m not sure if they’re “right” or not…..

Anyway, it feels like there’s two parts – “me”, and a separate part of myself (or a separate thing altogether) that’s responsible for all the shit that goes thru my mind & torments me. The first part has to protect myself from the second part, because the second part just @#@^* with me, and ultimately wants me dead.

This feels weird to write. Thoughts of diagnosis-type words are going thru my brain (along with somewhat less technical terms like “f ing crazy”).

Ok. This feels important so I’m gonna try to push thru the fear of “exposing myself” so to speak. And I’m going to try to ignore the fear that’s telling me I should be in an asylum because I’m clearly a nutjob, and that everyone here will think that too if I post this, and that posting this will somehow lead to me being locked up somewhere.

Ok. A big part of the fear here is that I feel very confused by the fact that I separate these parts of myself, when they’re actually all inside me. My GP one time said something like “the problem doesn’t exist outside your head”. Right now, in writing that, it feels invalidating (cos I’m applying it to my parents), but I don’t think that’s what we were talking about at the time. At the time, it felt kinda enlightening in a way, because I’d never really realized that (in relation to my own thoughts). All the strange/weird/horrible fantasies my brain constantly constructs don’t actually exist.

Now I’m thinking of something I read (pretty sure it was from Julia Cameron) saying that having a terrible imagination could be seen as a GOOD thing in a way (eg a very creative mind, just that it’s not being used enough, so it “amuses” itself so to speak by constantly inventing horrible things to worry about). This was probably the first time I’d been able to reframe my brain in a positive light.

(topic jump)

Now, the part that feels new to me tonight is thinking about that “separation” in my mind, in terms of: is it a form of dissociation? Or just a protective mechanism? (eg not wanting to blame “myself” for all this, so needing to have something “seperate” to blame?) I know when I was first diagnosed (depression), it felt like the biggest relief of my life for just that reason. So I must have been previously blaming myself for my life being so shit, not being able to handle everyday things like so many people around me could (job, money, relationship, family, chores, moving out of parents house etc etc).

Actually, I KNOW I was blaming myself. I remember it. And I did see “the depression” as something separate to myself, like a virus that had invaded me & could use my own thoughts against me, or put new ones in that I didn’t want. This also helped me to not freak out so bad about the fact that at the time, as my first serious relationship was falling apart (with my sanity following close behind it), my brain would start to spin with thoughts until it felt like a literal, physical spinning, and the only ways I could find to stop it were punching myself in the head as hard as I could, or if I was driving, putting my foot down until the shock of nearly losing control of the car would jolt me out of the spinning feeling.

In fact, I would’ve done almost anything to stop that feeling of losing control of my mind, because it felt like falling into a spinning vortex that had no end, and I was afraid of it. I’m not exactly sure what I thought would happen if I didn’t stop that feeling. Maybe I thought it would lead to suicide. But my driving method of stopping the spinning looked like it was going to kill me anyway. (That didn’t feel like suicide in my head for some reason. Not in a planned way, anyway). Anyway, I didn’t actually want to die at the time (not consciously, anyway), and it scared the shit out of me how close I came every time the spinning feeling came over me while I was driving.

Feeling kinda ashamed of spelling out the connection, but I’m pretty sure this only happened when I was driving home from my girlfriend’s house. The guilt came from our fooling around, combined with her strong feelings about my porn use (which at the time I also saw as something separate to myself. At various times, I blamed it on my father, sex addiction, satanic possession etc)

Poor little me. It’s like I’m seeing it now as if it happened to someone else, and I just feel sorry for them. All the guilt, shame & repression over such a natural thing. I guess that alone would probably have been enough to fuck me up, but the added complications of being desperately in love for the first time (admittedly, it was often a jealous, possessive, largely selfish love, but there was a lot of beauty there too) and all the parental abuse (which at that time I was pretty much entirely blind to), and the fact of so much of the effects of the abuse playing such a part in the relationship falling apart, while simultaneously feeling completely trapped in it (believed I had to stay with her forever cos we’d fooled around, not to mention because I’d told her – and truly believed – I loved her with all my heart)…. actually kinda realized while typing that the abuse set me up to be the type of person who believed all those things & could be/feel trapped in that way

Not sure if this is making much sense. This shit is so raw, it’s taking a pretty big toll to keep writing all this time. Guess I’m stronger than I give myself credit for to be able to do it. But I’ve got a pretty rough headache from doing so, and only just managing to keep going (brain keeps straying, having to force it back — but gets harder & takes longer the more I keep going). Pretty sure I’m gonna feel utterly wrecked once I stop writing. In fact, pretty sure I already do, but manage to ignore it by keeping on forcing myself to write more anyway.

I’m worried it won’t post, cos I think the error msg from last one was different from the usual error msg when I try to post from my phone…. it’d seriously suck if I lose this, cos it’s been so hard to force it all out. Also feels like some connections I haven’t made before, so I want to be able to go back when brain & body have recovered to see what I can learn in hindsight. Also curious if it will seem relevant/important for me to you Darlene (or anyone else here whose opinion I trust/value)

Ok, time to bite the bullet…. finger crossed, knock on wood etc….

(PLEASE post, dammit!!)


The comments on this post inspired me to write about the cycle of abuse as it seems to have happened in my family. This highlights how my mother was a victim in her life too. NOT to excuse my mother or any other abuser, but more to show her belief system development.
You can read it here: Victims can become the Biggest Abusers ~ The cycle of abuse”
I look forward to your thoughts..
Hugs, Darlene


Well one out of two is better than none!

Darlene, I hadn’t seen the picture for this post (disabled pics on my phone to save data) – Rocket is gorgeous! Is he/she a collie?

Glad your bad experience didn’t sour you on all dogs! (I love dogs, and you obviously love Rocket – so I just mean glad you can still have that love despite bad experience early)

Hope you’re well!


Hi J
Rocket is a scotch collie (just like lassie) and sadly he is no longer with us. He died of old age almost 2 years ago now and we miss him. He was a wonderful companion. My husband loved dogs and I started getting over my fears when we babysat his mom’s dog when we were first married.. and then we got a puppy ~ which was attacked and killed by coyotes when he was only a few months old. That devastated me and I was afraid to try again… but Jim (my husband) talked me into it..
Rocket joined our family as a puppy when our youngest was a baby. I knew the lady who owned his mom and dad and she called us when he was only about a week old! They got to name him and his registered name was “Casori’s Rocket to the Moon” The kids got to visit him regularly until he was old enough to come home with us.
Thanks for commenting on my lovely pal Rocket.
Hugs, Darlene


I was reading other posts, when I decided to come back to this one. A memory was triggered of my mom being in the hospital, when I was in college. I was worried about her and wanted to see how she was doing after surgery, for a female problem. I took my boyfriend with me at the time, and I don’t remember the reason. Subconsciously, he may have been there for me as an excuse to just drop in. I was feeling very anxious to visit her. I was not able to identify what I was scared about.

Anyway, my mom was laying in the hospital bed and looked so helpless to me. I think that’s it!…I was not used to my mom being powerless. She was always moving & keeping busy in our house. She smiled when I entered the room and said a brief but polite hi to me & my boyfriend. I asked how she was and she responded in a bitchy way. I don’t remember her words but the message was clear that she was in a nasty mood. I changed the subject to what I was doing in school…a seemingly safe topic, however, she verbally ripped into me by saying, “It’s always about YOU & Your sister!”…something to that effect.

She was shaming me into thinking it was bad to talk about my life, when she was recovering from surgery. I doubted myself and ended up feeling hurt & humiliated in front of my boyfriend. I remember walking out of her room in tears. My boyfriend tried to comfort me by saying my mom was a “bitch”. I ended up sobbing at his house and his mother tried comforting me by saying my mom was not feeling well. That was obvious!…My boyfriend told his mom how awful my mom was towards me. This was one of the first times someone outside of the family had witnessed her being mean towards me. After I had a good cry, I excused her behavior as a bad mood from not feeling well, after surgery. Well that’s partially true but it did not excuse her nasty behavior towards me. She aso blamed it on not feeling well, after she returned home. The damage was done and she did not apologize.

I felt guilty for her sin….I thought it was good enough, that I visited her but not in her book. Looking at it now, she wanted comfort and love from me. It’s was never enough with her…..I see how I felt responsible for her feelings growing up. It was up to me as the child to comfort her, and if I didn’t at her time of need, I was wrong and I believed that lie. I don’t ever want to make my dtr feel ashamed for not responding the way I need or want her to! Anyway, another eye opening memory….I’m sure more will be triggered in my healing process…So stay posted lol….
Sincerely, SMD


Hi Darlene,

Sorry to hear about Rocket. Very sad when you lose a special friend like that! It looked like he had blue eyes – I haven’t seen that before! Also sorry to hear about the pup. That would’ve been devastating! Have you got any dogs at the moment?

Don’t mean to be pushy but did you get a chance to read my earlier post? I haven’t re-read it yet but it felt quite important at the time (new insight etc – or at least able to put it in words for the first time).

Hope you’re doing well!


I call what you are talking about (finding things to worry about etc.) “the spin” and a huge part of my process was to learn to stop the spin. I learned to ask myself “is this helping me to reach my goal or is it contributing to the problems that I already have?” Focusing on the detalil of the past for the purpose of seeing the truth is hard. I found myself wanting to escape in any way possible. (which I had been doing my entire life and my dissociation WAS an escape) Spinning was not the same as processing and I had to figure out that difference in order to teach myself to stop the spinning part of it. The spin was actually a way of prolonging the pain, I just did’t realize it. Our survivor mode minds tell us that facing the truth will be more painful but the truth for me was that I had lived in huge pain most of my life and trying to avoid it, when facing it finally set me free.
Hugs, Darlene


So many memories of both my mother and my grandmother flashed through my mind while I was reading your comments… I was given those messages too. That is such a big part of how my mother got to keep me beneath her when I was an adult.. she put me down, she reminded me that I was beneath her in so many ways and I always believed her. One of the biggest things for me has been to overcome that belief and replace it with the truth that I am NOT beneath her or less than her.
Thank you for sharing this.
Hugs, Darlene


When I was a child the best response I could expect from my parents to my thoughts, desires, achievements and opinions was to be ignored. If what I said was annoying to them I was
made fun of or I was discounted as “chattering”. (I am still treated this way!) If I spoke up or disagreed or made a choice that was contrary to what was expected or chosen for me I was punished. Mostly I remember always being punished.
And not in a way that taught. It was done for maximum effect and cruelly. Example: I had one thing of value. One thing I loved. My bicycle. (Although it too was chosen for me) If I forgot
and left my bike on the lawn instead of putting it away, instead of being grounded, the bike was taken and I was told it was sold. This caused me terrible distress. I was 8 or 9 yrs old.
Eventually it was taken and sold. I was told..you left it out, you didnt want it anymore.
When I finally left home, got an apartment and a job, I had to walk 2 miles back and forth to work. That bike would have made the commute much easier. Complaining or speaking up, I was always given
a reason why what I said or thought was incorrect. I learned not to speak up. I just felt hurt and resentful and angry and if I acted out it was “proof”of my badness. Proof that I was NG “No good”. I was never encouraged or praised or made to feel special. Just the opposite.
It is so amazing to realize that I am not alone. I truly feel for the many others posting here.
I always assumed that my family was the only one that treated others so and that everyone else had
loving relationships with grandparents and cousins and friends that could come over and play and Happy holidays and praise and presents and hugs and
validation. That they got to pick what kind of ice cream they wanted and didn’t have it chosen for them.
Such a little thing but I never got to pick but had to be VERY VERY VOCAL AND VERY GRATEFUL
over and over that I received anything or I was NG


Hi Karen
I started off speaking in mental health seminars… I was stunned by all the people at every single seminar who told me that they thought they were the “only one” so I decided to create this site. (and wow I have a lot of readers all over the world! We are certainly NOT alone!)
We were sort of “trained” to think we were the only one who “thought” we were treated unfairly. That is part of what kept us from standing up to it.
Thank you for sharing this story. This is a horrible thing that happened to you and a really great example of just how it all “works” especially for “them”.
Hugs, Darlene


I don’t know how this post got past me, but I just now saw the pic of you above. Your doggy looks EXACTLY like mine!!! 🙂

I will read and post later.
Happy Day to everyone!!


Rocket had one blue eye and one brown. The blue eye is caused by the gene that makes him the colour he is. (a fairly new colour for this breed) At present we don’t have any dogs.
I answered your other comment on the other post.
Hugs Darlene


Now I have read the whole story. I had a german shephard growing up too. She stayed with us though and lived to be 18 years old. She was an amazing and loyal dog.

In related news…. my mother was allergic to cats, and still is. She always expected that none of her kids or step kids would have indoor cats, no matter how far away they lived, or how often she visited. I was a cat lover from birth it seems, so I think she knew her “rule” wouldn’t fly with me and I’ve nearly always had a cat since I left home. 🙂

She didn’t complain to me about my cat in my home, but, she never missed an opportunity to complain about going to visit my stepsister who had 2 indoor cats, and driving their motor home for the 2 hour trip, so she would have a place to sleep. Talk about drama. She didn’t want to do anything about it, like an inhaler, or oral drugs. She preferred to show how badly she suffered and the sacrifice she had to make driving and sleeping in a motor home.

Peace and hugs,


Hi Mimi
This is something for me to think about… I am deathly alergic to cats. (my kids have barn cats and even have to change their coats for playing with them) and I will not be able to stay with any of my kids if they have indoor cats either… I hope I don’t make any of my kids feel bad with that decision though if any of them decides to have an indoor cat! For me this is self care and self validation and nothing to do with their choices later. I hope that I communicate this properly if I need to in the future! (and actually I am really hoping none of them has a cat if they live far away!..)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
I need to get something off my chest about my mom’s behavior. I was visiting her and my sister this evening. While my sister & I were talking about parenting our kids, my mom was very quiet and that’s not like her. She usually interjects some negative comment. This time, she was actually defending my son’s bad behavior (throwing rocks at one of his friends). She said, “he wasn’t the only one”. Well, it’s still wrong, even if he was with a group of friends. What kind of friends are they?! I told her, it’s Bully Behavior. My mom can be a bully too with her put downs & pushiness.

Well, I’m sending a message that it’s not ok! I gave my son a consequence of 2 weeks restriction from playing with this group of friends. I don’t buy into “Boys will be boys”…Yes, they make mistakes & they get too rough- but they have to know the difference between playing around & inflicting harm.

Anyway, my real issue was how my mom started acting after this. She was slurring her speech and she wasn’t even drinking…So, I automatically thought it was her blood sugars dropping. She has had dangerously low blood sugars before. What was weird about her behavior was she went to the bathroom and my sister & I heard a big bang. My sister & I ran to the door and my sister opened it & asked if she fell down. I asked if she knocked into something. She wouldn’t answer the questions, just said “it’s nothing”.

It was obvious to me it was something. She came out and started playing with her insulin pump and not getting a reading. Well, she knows what to do, if her BS goes low. She was doing nothing. I’m thinking, “Is she just embarrassed in front of my sister & I, that she is covering up?” or Is it her way of getting sympathy & attention?….

Whenever, I talk to her about my 6 yr old dtr’s Graves Disease, she always mentions her Diabetes. She hates being sick and especially when she is powerless. Her BS’s are up & down, despite her compliance with diet & medication. I don’t like seeing her suffer but she will not ask for help. She blames her disease & the new insulin pump. It’s pathetic to see her this way, and she tries so hard to cover her suffering. My sister & I know what’s going on, but she won’t talk about it and that’s what’s frustrating!….Is this an example of Narcissistic Behavior?…Her behavior was so weird…..I’m embarrassed to discuss this but, I’m more bewildered and worried…Is this her way of controlling our feelings?
I know this post is confusing, I went from rocks to my mom’s condition..Just trying to connect the dots again and Is there dots to connect in this example?? Sorry about being long winded….


Your post isn’t all that confusing to me. You are trying to work something out exactly how I would try. By writing al the details. I suspect you will soon connect those dots for yourself; by what you posted here, you are very close. I call the process you are in “fog busting” I lived in a major fog for most of my life, seeing things the way manipulative people wanted me to see things.. seeing what they wanted me to believe was the truth. Coming out of that fog shows the real truth. (and it is a process) and it can be shocking) You are on the right track!
Hugs, Darlene


I want to share a poem.. it’s been a while since I have but feel others can relate.. No doubt if I didnt recognized my need to heal I might have been on the path to becoming an abuser: thank God I am not going to be one..

The Shy One

I was too afraid to think about what they were doing to me
Questioning or speaking out would never be taken lightly
So I learned to silence all the pains I felt; & tried not ever to cry
Living in such a world of fear caused my childhood to pass me by

I didnt ever think about whether being beat was wrong or right
I wasnt ever allowed friends around to shed on me some light
I became a silent child in school who others labeled as “really shy”
But no one ever tried to help or took time to ask me “why”

Being brought up in the never question land didnt prepare me for
What would retraumatize me again leaving me so wounded sore
A cycle of being afraid to speak has brought me down through time
But I have begun a new healing stage even as I write this rhyme

(c) joy


Thank you so much for sharing your lovely poem. I LOVE your last line!!!
YAY for new beginnings!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene..thought it would be okay and yes yay but you know what..healing is not easy process.. no no no..sometimes it has to hurt before it heals.. youch..lol

<3 hugs..




I can relate to your poem…I was painfully shy too!…Your right on when you said, “Being brought up in the never question land”..It was their way…. just comply & obey was the message. Then, when I grew older, I started questioning and I was told by my mom, “not everyone is as open as you”. It was said as a put down, however, it just validated how closed off she is!…Aha moment…
Peace Out,



My shyness was really an armor before it was a fact.. i learned to keep quiet “or else” …Am so sorry that you also visited the never question land. Did you find it hard to question because of that? I am still not very courageous in that department.. it has been why I have been hurt so much..something about those who order freezes me and puts me back into my scared child mode….. It’s hard to be an adult when one has never learned to be a child..




Hi Joy,

I did find it hard to question because I was scared of my parents’ reactions. I was always afraid they would yell at me or tell me something was wrong with me. I was always given the message that I was different & that my voice wasn’t heard. I was so painfully shy through my childhood, that I literally shut down my voice- I whispered when I talked….There was real fear and it was painful. Of course it was all my fault for being “too shy”, “too quiet” and you can be in the group if you tried!….It’s a lonely and sad feeling to not be valued…I’m teary eyed now to say that. My mom dressed me like a doll & wanted me to act a certain way- happy, obedient, loyal & compliant….sounds like a dog to me!….

Oh and my mom is getting a new dog and is already telling me that he will be a “very good dog” & will be going to “obedience training”….not a surprise…can’t wait until he pees on her floor…How dare her good dog do that!….Dogs make mistakes too, it is what it is. Sorry for going off track- I just wanted to comment back on your question, “did you find it hard to question?”…Yes, I was terrified as a child. My voice was a whisper…..



I am still that way “whispering when I talk” A carryover. I knew if I questioned I would be sorry . painfully so 🙁 .

Mom had her ways of keeping up appearances.. when we went to church we had do kneel just so .. and volunteer for everything .. snuggle up to the priests and nuns.. appear like everything was just so with our familly.

All the while we are being beat .. mishandled and kids are running away. We lived in two worlds. some of us. I had my third world.. 🙁

I don’t like looking back and realizing that it was such a show we had to put on while we were living our own nightmare on ash street 🙁



Hi Joy,

I still have a soft voice but people can hear it now..I speak up but my inner child still gets scared, although I encourage & speak the truth to her. I don’t beat myself up like I used too. I use to hear a lot of my family’s beliefs, in my head. I’m working hard on busting the fog, as Darlene says. My family, with the exception of my sister, are not deep, so a lot of their behavior is on the surface and about what they have to show. I’m not out to be better than anyone. I can’t stand pretense!…



I hear you ..even if you are “whispering” Pretense is a very turn off for me. As a rule, I would much rather be thought less of then superior to anyone. I know that may not be too healthy either ; but like you . I don’t want to be better than anyone else..

My inner child is still so very scared. .she wants to be heard and wants to be completely free..but things take time. I have begun writing more of those days to see if this helps in calming my little child inside.

Since I am just starting the hard therapy work. The old tapes are still very loud in my head and some things set them on constant replay…

Just in case I havent said it here.. I am nobody special. I am just someone trying to be healed. and am so grateful to places like these.. Emerging from Broken that give some virtual meeting places where survivors can chat..

Hope you have a nice evening.



I just love you, Darlene ! I’m so glad I found you !


I don’t understand how emotional abuse can give someone Asthma. When I got MINE, it was because a doctor was carrying the antibodies for a flu that he’d been vaccinated against but I hadn’t, then got the flu and almost died. My temperature went up to 105 degrees and I ended up in the hospital with sepsis. My lungs were damaged from the flu and that’s what caused the Asthma.
I work in health care, but I’ve never heard that you can get Asthma from emotional abuse.
So now I feel kind of dumb, b/c it’s supposed to be something I should know about, but I never knew it.


Hi Vicki,

How could you know that you can get Asthma from emotional abuse, even if you work in the healthcare field. I worked in the Mental Health Field and still learning new things everyday, when it comes to abuse!…The trauma & the dysfunction in the family system. They say, depression is a higher risk factor for cardiac problems….I’m concerned about this because my doctor just told me I have an abnormal reading on my EKG…I told her my chest gets tight for minutes at a time. I thought it was indigestion but she wants blood tests done and a referral to a cardiologist if the Blood tests are negative….This is scary- I don’t have any major physical health problems, except for bouts of bronchitis and sinus infections….I’m praying it’s not cardiac related. It can be due to a deficit of magnesium & potassium, which can be treated with supplements. Sorry about rambling, but there are health connections to abuse, that are not common knowledge and then again, it’s not always connected to abuse either. It’s complicated to say the least…..


There are many things that cause health problems. I am not saying that the only way that athsma is caused only by trauma.
Hugs, Darlene


I am really glad you are here too, please feel free to share often!
hugs, Darlene


Oh good. I was worried that the question would come out offensively, b/c it’s almost impossible to set a tone over the internet. I have a friend who has a Master’s Degree in Writing, and she said it’s true. That’s why they invented emoticons, which I didn’t know. And that’s why I put a smiley face at the end of some comments: because she told me she does and, even though it may look silly doing it, it helps people know your tone.
But I forgot to put an emoticon at the end of my entry.
I really like when they have 3 lines of emoticons to choose from, but I don’t know how to get the feature on my computer. Blog TV has them.
Anyway, thanks for understanding.


My mom recently (3 weeks ago) got pissed off because my boyfriend “is trying to take over” by offering to pay 1/2 of the furnace repairs. I asked her why she is mad at someone trying to help financially (He pays rent, and we help out doing maintenance etc.) We live downstairs from her and my stepdad. Then she said she does not want her “taking his money held against her.” I asked why is she feeling suspicious about his good intentions. She said that is how she feels. I said I don’t understand why she is angry at him for telling them about the furnace problem and offering to help. She is pissy now. She visibly becomes hostile when I mention his name, won’t do anything with the 2 of us. I don’t think she likes me being happy with someone who is smart, a hard worker, and truly loves me. She always complains about her marriage. She is not happy, and wants me to be unhappy. I have limited my visits and conversations with her, because I am tires of the f king drama. I am 50 yrs old, unemployed, and hoping to be able to move soon. A Pastor told me londg ago about toxic and narcissistic mothers. She has never said I’m sorry, everyone knows my business, different standards for us 3 kids, called places I was trying to get a job. Tried to get me fired from 1 job. My supervisor told her she was being reported to the union, and possibly the police for stalking and harassing me. I think she is glad I am bumming out about being out of work. (I don’t tell her about job interviews when she asks me, and I keep my business and feeling to myself around her.)


How about blaming us kids for ruining her life by stopping her from doing all the things she wanted to do? Because of me she gained weight while pregnant with me and never lost it. I have a few extra pounds and mom reminds me about my extra weight, yet gets pissed if I don’t want to eat meals with her and my stepdad, cause I am eating later.


Hi Deb C
Welcome to EFB
I am glad that you are here. Thank you for sharing and I hope you will share with us often. There are lots of us here who have dealt with or are learning to deal with this dysfunctional mother stuff!
Hugs, Darlene


my mother was by far the most controlling and manipulative person i have ever known. My sister became just like my mother and learned how to use men to get what she wanted then she would discard them like trash. my mother would tell me anything to get me to show her love and affection. It was the whole jekyll and hyde routine that kept me confused and numb for so long. One minute i was the apple of her eye and five minutes later i was “a stupid sod or a bloody fool” – my mother is british and the british can be brutally cruel with their words and extremely harsh. This was my whole childhood. I lived with her for 21 years and rarely was there a day in my life where the pendulum didnt swing all the way from “you were the answer to my prayers” to “whats wrong with you – why cant you do anything right – look at you – you stupid sod.” – I thought this was normal. No one ever told me any different. Today i have almost no significant relationships at all besides my wife. I have no family, no children, almost no contact with any of my wife’s family (also very dysfunctional). I work alone from home so i have no co-workers, and almost all of our friends are married with kids and we almost never see them. My life feels empty and lonely. I used to have a lot of friends but once i started working on my healing and telling my story – they all ran away as fast as they could. No one can handle me sharing what i have been through. they change the subject or say – oh well thats in the past – you need to live in the present. I cant really share anything from my past with anyone. No one really cares or wants to hear about it. I have shared some of my deep hurts with two of our male pastors at church and neither one of them make any effort at all to see how i am doing or to check in with me. Only the one female pastor bothers to check on me and see how i am doing. The men wont even ask me in church when they see me. they avoid it like the plague. I feel very lonely and sad. We had a failed adoption last month that was devastating. we tried to adopt a 16 year old girl who has been in foster care since she was 4. It came down to us and one other family and they chose the other family and we have no idea why. they have not given us any feedback at all yet. It just hurts to go through the whole process and out of hundreds of families to get to the final 2 and then bam – the door just gets shut in our face. We have not been able to have any children. We have been married ten years and have had a lot of fertility issues. My wife just had surgery for endemetriosis 3 weeks ago. I dont know where i am going with all of this but i guess i just feel like i need to share with someone. I dont know where else to turn or who else to turn to for support. I feel like Job – “where have all your friends gone Job ?” I have realized that some people were only my friend because i made all the effort. Actually the vast majority of people i have been friends with made very little effort to keep the friendship going. I had to do almost all of the work and communicating. I cant do it anymore. I dont have the strength or energy and i dont want to. thanks for listening.


Hi Dave,
I am really sorry that you are struggling so much right now. I had to find a way to stop depending on the people around me to help me or support me. When I began to heal I lost many of the people in my world but it was not so much because of what I was talking about, as it was because of how much no one wanted me to change. This journey is very lonely. I sometimes think it is because there is so much that only we can do for ourselves. No one else can validate me the way that I needed to validate myself.
Hugs, Darlene


Dave, I spend much time alone, or with my boyfriend. I socialize when I want to. I am not working right now.
I have trust issues with females (my older sister is like my mom, and loves creating drama/conflict.) Since I told her (my sister) 3yrs ago I can’t trust her, and will not confide in her anymore, she does not call much. When she does, she does not ask me about my personal life. Most comments I make when we talk are questioned, devalued or criticized. I text my sister, more than I phone. Sometimes I cannot stand her voice!!!!! My mom does not remember telling me, my brother or sister things that caused us kids to be at odds with one another. I pray and depend on God for healing of mind heart and soul. I do not engage in organized religion. Many Christians can do more harm than good with their rehearsed answers, phony testimonies, and fear of the “truly broken people.” We who talk about our brokenness cause others to think about their brokenness. “Good Christians” must not show any anger, hate or doubts. Bullshit!! Jesus was verbally and physically abused, hated, envied, betrayed, mocked and killed. He hated the sin, but loved the person. I love my mom and sister, and will be there if a true emergency, illness or crisis came to be.
I can love, and keep my distance to protect myself (Somewhat harder since my mom lives upstairs. Sister is in CA). God understands this more than I do……………….


Thanks Darlene and Deb – I appreciate the feedback. Keep reminding me Darlene. For some reason i just dont think i can do it alone. I dont know why but i keep thinking i need someone else (besides you 🙂 to help me get through this. the pain has been so long and so deep and so much that it gets overwhelming. I cry every day. I grieve the abusive childhood and the childhood i never had and the loss of family and not being able to have children and the loss of many friends. I just continue to grieve the many, many losses in my life. I had no idea how much pain and anger i had inside me. No clue. It just comes up every day now. Its pretty much right there every morning when i wake up. I have no choice but to deal with the pain. I pretty much just eat, pray, work, spend a little time with my wife and dog and try and journal and work on my stuff. I have to get better. There is no way i can just continue on like this the rest of my life. there has to be an end to my pain and grief and suffering. Its been a very long, difficult, painful road.


Hney Dave, (and everyone else) I had endometriosis and was an infertility patient because of years of abuse too, my organs were very messed up. I had treatment for the edometriosis in June and I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter in July. Just wanted to tell you it can happen, keep the faith. I have been busy lately and ‘lurking’ not posting much guys. I will be speaking tommorrow, Monday, night for the first time about my past. I was asked by a Standupforkids.org, an organization that works with runaways, like I did so many times when I was young. It will be my first time speaking in public and I am so nervous, but I feel a real calling to do this. I want to tell my story so I can help others. Please say a prayer for me ok? Dave, I know you all can have your baby if that is what you truly want, take care, Barbara


Hi Barbara
That is excellent! I will be thinking about you at your speaking engagement. I am sure that you will be great! Amazing things happen when we are willing to share our stories and victories with others who are looking for a little hope and encouragement. We are not alone!
hugs, Darlene


barbara – thanks for sharing ! Hope your speaking engagement goes well tonight. When you say you had “treatment” for endemetriosis do you mean surgery ?

Are you saying that endemetriosis can be caused by abuse ? Do you have any other info on that ? first time that i have heard of that. I dont think my wife is aware of it either. She did grow up in an abusive home environment(verbal and emotional abuse) and she was date raped in college. No one has ever linked the endemetriosis to abuse. Her ob/gyn just said that her body produces excess estrogen which in turn causes endemetriosis. Her ob made it sound like this was definitely the cause. My wife has a LOT of it. She had to have a filopian tube removed during the surgery and she still has more that the dr was unable to remove because of where its located. any more info you have on this would be greatly appreciated !! Thanks !!



Hi Darlene, Dave and all, speaking went so great, it helps me and others, yes Dave I did have laser surgery, and no I do not mean that endometriosis is caused by abuse, sorry if it sounded like that. I am not aware that is is caused by that. I had lots of pain from it though and I was not able to get pregnant because of it and scarring I had also. It sounds like your wife is greating great treatment, and I hope you guys will have your wished come true of having a baby. I know my daughter who is 23 now is a great blessing to me every day. I am grateful that I have her, and now my little grandson who is 6 in my life. I am exhausted from sharing my story of abuse and living on the streets of New York as a young girl, take care, good night


YAY Barbara
That is so great! thank you for sharing your update about speaking.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Folks,
I am going to need some major feedpack and support. I can feel the storm on the horizon. This is an excerpt from the letter I left for my mom tonight, Tuesday, April 3rd.

I appreciate you helping me and giving me a decent place to live.

If you guys are sick, or need help doing anything,
I hope you know I will be there for you.

Right now, I think the best way for us to not have any more misunderstandings or disagreements is for me to not be involved in too many unnecessary conversations.

I do not like coming upstairs and having (Stepdad) look at me, walk past, and not even speak. That is so rude.
Respect works both ways. He is just that way, I know, I have been told that more than once.

When someone tells me or I know I have done or said something to hurt someone else, I know how to say I am sorry.
Some people make excuses and never see their wrong, only what someone else has done.

I am writing this, because I don’t want to be yelled at, or told my behavior or feelings are wrong. If you guys are going to be mad because I am telling the truth about how I feel. I guess I will pay the price for being an adult and sticking up for myself.

Please don’t tell me I am crazy or believing things that never happened or you don’t know what I am talking about.

Love D C


Hi D.C.
Welcome to EFB
Good for you for saying what you needed to say and for sticking up for yourself! Please share as often as you wish,
Hugs, Darlene


again I let her get to me!I set myself goals to keep me focused on a trip I wanted to go on. Cleaned the porch,all closets,my job had ended which gave me time to go(private nursing) patient died,so im free.Set up a family reunion with my dads side of the family.My 48 year old sister died in Nov. her son(my God child ) is graduating from high school.AND I have a grade school reunion.and fit it all in a week in Cleveland.Spoke to my brother-in-law,was going to give me some money for the trip.My mother and brother are driving up for grad. and family reunion.I wanted to drive up with my mom and brother and take a greyhound back for 89.00$ My mother,who I’m assuming did not like this said no to going with them! What? are you kidding? I am so upset I ant see strait. She did it again,God forbid she be nice to me. She stated she never says no ,but the fact is she never says yes to me!This is the mother,that at my sisters funeral said to my brothers”I’m so glad I have you”I know we never get along…everything is a competition with her and I. this time she won!!!It’s not very comforting to know you are the child she would have rather had die than either of your sisters.She said she was so upset at me for asking,the shaking from her Parkinson had kicked into high gear and she had to go…I cant stand it! help


Hi Kelly
Accepting the truth of this is very painful. As I grew stronger and saw the real truth, I realized that my mother/family didn’t win; they lost. They lost me. I won my life back! I don’t have to compete anymore. I don’t have to get frusterated or constanly be reminded of how I fell so short of her expectations.. and maybe she is having a party; her problem (which in her view was me) is no longer a problem!
Hang in there Kelly!!
hugs, Darlene


thank you so much Darlene..i really needed to know someone know what I was feeling.you hit it right on the head! again thank you for the comforting words..hugs back to you.


I can relate to your commments regarding telling people about your family and abuse. I have friends who have “run” as well. No one wants to acknowledge abuse in families. (Especially my own FOO) Since the truth came down and hit me hard in the past year, I struggle with telling or not telling people about it. I tend to be the truth teller, which I think is a big reason my Nmom hates me and always has. I talk about secrets that she wants to keep hush hush. But mother has done these things to me and I realize that it is abusive now.If my sibling cannot relate it’s their problem, they have their own truth. Since she is so sneaky and no one is ever in the room or on the phone when she abuses, she just labels me a liar for everything I say. (Every truth.) There is no winning in this scenario, everyone believes her because she plays the sweet little martyr. She is not sweet to me. She growled and snarled at me last time we spoke she was so angry. Then the last thing she said was “If you are so bothered by everything I say then maybe you should stop speaking to me.” OK, so that’s what I did, stopped speaking to her. My Ndad was also abusive and competitive my whole life. If my husband and I got something nice they would try to up us, if we had a favorite show and told them they would claim that it was their favorite. If we went to a good restaurant they would make it their favorite and on and on. Who competes with their own children? It is sick. These are just symptoms of the whole disease of abuse. I have stopped contact for now and do not expect it to ever get better, the games that were played on me and my family this year makes me want to vomit. But, at least it is clear now it was abusive, manipulating and controlling all along. Had I known and had support as a little girl my life could have turned out better I think. Instead of wasting all of these years struggling against abuse, I could have turned my back on it sooner. I suppose I can’t change the past but just go forward with knowledge.
Strength and support to all…Peace.


Hi Melody
Dysfunctional people compete with their own children. Yay for going forward! You sound really good!
Hugs, Darlene


I too have a very controlling mother and earlier this year, I had to walk away and shut the door on contact. I am 52 and she is 70. Her husband (my dad) is dead, but when I was a child and a teen, he was an alcoholic who was often out of control and always unpredictable. I was the first child and I guess I was supposed to be the one on which they piled all their hopes and dreams…
My mother was the codependent enabler, the martyr, the “look at me I work so hard to care for others and neglect myself” type, the “Good Catholic Wife,” and nobody can hold a candle to that, right? Everyone called her a saint, I kid you not. I’d hear, “Your mother does so much for others, she’s such a wonderful person” from other people who did not know how much of a hot mess she really was at home.
My dad, what a drunk he was. He’d beat her up and she’d take him back (actually, she never threw him out). She’d drag him out of bars, with me in tow. She’d take him to the hospital when he drank to the point of coma and internal bleeding and took pride that she “kept him alive.”
He’d stay dry for a few months or years, and I was supposed to “get over” the bad times because of this.
Then he’d have another blowout- more calls from employers, the cops, the hospital, her pulling vodka bottles out from under the car seats, the whole nine yards and if I, God forbid, said something about it, I’d get smacked across the mouth. “Your father puts food on the table and keeps a roof over our heads” she’s scream.
I can barely contain my rage these days.
She of course now denies much of this narrative, saying “It wasn’t so bad.” “That didn’t happen.” “You made that up.”
She has enlisted my brother, who is a divorced, dysfunctional mess himself, against me.
She did not visit me after the birth of either of my kids. She had an excuse each time. “Taking care of your father, your grandmother, bla bla bla.” I even offered to pay for a plane ticket, how can someone not want to be there for the birth of her first grandchild?
She did not congratulate me after I graduated from college as an adult. This was about 10 years ago. So…whatever. To heck with it. I gave up, and I refuse to try anymore.
She is just a bitter old harridan steeped in her own denial and after some final nasty exchanges I essentially told her where to get off, and how to do it. Then, I was finally able to rid myself of my other crutch- antidepressants. She can have them.
I’m glad I found this site. I know I’m not the only one, and it’s good to read and share other people’s experiences.


Hi Jackie
Welcome to EFB!
You found the right website! There are hundreds of articles about all this here, all with discussions. Controlling manipulative people will go to any lengths to shift the blame on to someone esle in order to be right. I found my freedom by seeing the truth about the damage that had been done to me and setting the false messages that I was brainwashed with, back to the truth. There is freedom on the other side of this! Thank you for sharing and please feel free to share often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene-

Found your site last night and have read a few posts. Very helpful and validating stuff here.

I have just really truly realized how controlling my mother tries to be. Looking back I never realized what a lot of that behavior was. Mine uses guilt, as in, if others are doing certain things then I should certainly be doing my part. And if I’m not a selfish, uncaring, callous individual. (OK now I’m putting words in her mouth, but she definitely has used the word selfish to describe me…now I realize it was self preservation.)

I’m awake from the FOG but I think I’m in shock, afraid to feel all of it. Thankfully I’m in therapy. I also think it’s a process too, since some things have clearly gotten by me and then BAM, one day it hits me…”Oh that’s what that was.”

I have also come to realize that my family triangulates. My father and brother and my mother and sister. It’s creepy and manipulative.

I believe I’m in the midst of PD’d people and at the moment I’m biding my time so I can make a safe exit.

Anyway, thanks for the blog. I’ll be reading.


Hi Annie
Welcome to EFB (Yesterday was a particularly busy day for the blog so if I already welcomed you, please forgive me. I think there were over 60 comments that came in yesterday all over and I have lost track!)
It is totally normal to have a fear reaction when we start to come out of the fog. I think I faced fears for over 2 years in this process, and then a whole other set of fears when I went public with my story ~ but it was well worth it.
Sounds like you have found the right blog. I look forward to your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I just published a new post about the process of changing my thinking and drawing boundaries on the healing journey; when where and why the fear would come up when I DID shift my thinking.. You can read it here: “Shifting my Thinking on the Journey to Overcoming Emotional Damage”
As I always I look forward to your thoughts.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello everyone. I have yet to share on this site but I wanted to say how much I appreciate coming here and hearing from everyone else. In my case it was (and still is) my father that was abusive in the ways you all were abused by your mothers… I am hoping to be able to post about it all soon.

Dave, you are NOT alone. I promise you, I understand the feeling that one is completely alone in the world but please, every time that idea pops in your head, tell it NO I AM NOT and delete it. You are not alone. We are all here for you – if not in person, then in spirit and just by sharing here, you ran miles towards recovery all in one fell swoop. Keep your chin up, your thoughts positive and continue to share. If people won’t listen, keep a journal. Write a letter to you abuser and let it all out then burn the letter. And if you need a hug, hug yourself. Seriously, wrap your arms around yourself and say to yourself” I love you, no matter what anyone else says or thinks, I love you”. Your wife loves you. And the child that will come to you will love you too. You are not alone.

Blessings to you all. You are ALL greatly appreciated!


Hi Darlene! Wow! does this subject matter ever bring up a lot. The layers I am peeling back just from this are amazing. It’s heartbreaking to discover how untreated, unhealed wounds turn people into monsters. My Dad told me awhile ago after him and my mom were separated that my mom said she would take me and he could have my sister. He then told me that my mom was meaner to my sister than me (like that made me feel so much better)once again “I” my abuse was dismissed. I realize how much in denial he is and I’m sure on some level he realizes he did not protect us the way he should have. I know he feels guilt etc for what when on and once again I find myself thinking…hello, did anyone even no I was in the family. Once again I realized how my mom used “me” as a weapon against my own sister. I now understand my sister’s jealousy towards me because she must have felt so unloved and that she was in competition with me. This hurt me too because I never realized how afraid of my mom I really was. I did whatever she wanted me too just to keep peace in the family. I didn’t realize how much I “worked” at being a part of my family. It was exhausting trying to figure out the rule of the day in order to cope. If my mom was triggered by something “we” did well all hell broke loose. It was all about what we did wrong so trying to figure out what would keep mom calm was a real challenge. Not having needs seem to work best which is what I’m dealing with today. I now understand why giving to others is easier than “receiving” love. I’m in a place now where I am letting love in more and doing lots of energy work (Reiki etc) Who knows what else lurks beneath me still and I’m getting stronger at facing it because of this support and counselling etc. Excuse the language but the F$#$# anger that I am plowing through is so intense sometimes I go numb. I’m learning to let it out slower to release it all. I love that I can express my feelings like this with people who really get how challenging this work is. I struggle with my emotions because I was taught to suppress them. My Dad tried to over compensate the negative by being “too nice” he always asked me to understand what the other person was going through and for me to be more understanding. He has no idea how F$%$ up this made me emotionally. I learned to discount every feeling I had and I blamed myself for having them. The shifts I am making right now have created all this positive energy in me and it’s taking time to adjust to it all. I feel safer in my own body. I understand my suicide attempts better now. I was trying to escape my own body from the abuse. I actually had an out of body experience as a child but thought who the hell would believe this. I have been drawn to information that has validated this experience and I just can’t believe what my sister and I endured. My sister was my protector most of my life and at times she would abuse me too. I was the lowest on the totem pole so I felt like the family garbage can. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be validated for what I went through. I finally feel compassion for “myself” and I just cry for hours sometimes. I just want to give everyone in this group a big hug and tell you I love you. You are so worth this healing and I really hope you continue to love yourself the way you deserve. Keep plowing through the crap because it really does get better and the best part is you discover what an amazing, loveable person you really are. Journey on, love you all.


Boy oh boy do I relate to this one. I got so tired of being blamed. Of course I married a Narc who to this day blames me for everything including the weather (we’re estranged) He does it in front of the kids now who just look at him as if he’s lost his mind; which is validating. They’ve learned he’s a blamer and I can see them being careful what they reveal around him because of it.

My Narc mother blamed me for everything. If my GCBrother stepped out of line or caught her doing/saying something – somehow I was to blame for ‘making him’ do that. I dated guys who were blamers too. One of them blames me for his actions towards me to this day. Actions which were traumatizing, heinous and inexcusable.

Back when it hit me that it wasn’t me and was never me I felt relief and anger. That blame stole from me, that brainwashing stole from me. MyNarcMother routinely said things to me like:

“you’re a freak, no man would ever want you”

“you smell bad”

“you’re just doing this to upset me” (being ill or hurt)

“you don’t know how to dress”

“you’re an embarrassment”

and her MANTRA: “I know you live your whole life just to hurt ME”

Now I know all of that was complete B.S. I spent years trying to figure out why my NarcMother thought that and now I know it was all part of her self-serving delusions and to control me be making me feel “less than.” It came from hateful envy, projection and selfish control. None of it was real because to her I wasn’t a person. Any steps I did make towards personhood were roundly rejected and scorned.

She wondered why I moved 300 miles away. I think the topper was when I found out she took out life insurance on me so she could “bury me” since I obviously wasn’t going to make it on my own. A few years after I moved she sent me papers to sign so she could cash it in. I realized many years later, she’d forged my signature on the original documents but didn’t want to take that chance on the cash in. She was angry I was still alive & thriving and she never got over it.

I took a lot of healing steps towards personhood but it wasn’t until her passing 12 years ago that I felt safe to feel the rage at what had been stolen from me. No more. And my children are treated by me with love & respect. At 15 they have yet to give me any trouble, either Darlene.



Hi D
Welcome to EFB
I was abused by both my parents I just write less about my father. The current post (if you press the home button) is about my father and there is a ‘father daughter button” if you put your mouse on the ‘family category button’ a drop down menu will appear.
Thank you for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Realizing all this stuff is huge. (and valuable!) I know it can also be exhausting and I am very glad to hear that you are showing yourself compassion! That is HUGE too!
I had some out of body exp. when I was being sexually abused, and I clearly remembered them. I thought if I told anyone that would “prove” that I was nuts, so I kept it to myself. When I finally told a therpist I found out that it is the most common coping method for kids under 6 ~ and that once it starts, (called dissociating) it can become the favorite coping method, which it did for me although I don’t always remember leaving my body, I just ‘checked out’. My process of healing involved a lot of learning to ‘stay’ with myself. Thinking of it as ‘staying with myself’ instead of just staying present helped me a lot.
Thank you for your comments! Lots of great insight and self support in them!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Barbara
Thanks for sharing! My mother said similar thing too. It was ‘always all about her!’
Love your comments about “my children own me nothing!” I feel the same way about that! (and that goes for ALL children! Love is never about obligation and children who are loved, will reciprocate that love, NOT out of obligation but out of love!)
Hugs, Darlene


I was reading all of this and I thought I was the only one who had to go through all of this with my mother. She basically let me do anything I wanted to when I was a teenager and I do mean anything. I now realize that is when I needed her to be my “mother” the most. I am now 49 years old and having to live in her home because I am disabled and cannot take care of myself. No matter what I say to her, she says I am being hateful to her especially when what I say is not what she wants to hear. Her famous thing to say is “One day you will be sorry for the way you have treated me” and “Don’t come to my funeral when I die”. She really lays it on thick. Her husband has sexually assaulted me and she blames it on me. She thinks that I am sleeping with him and between the two of them, I am about to loose my mind. I have no where to live. I am so tired of defending my self and feeling like I have to beg for love. I will never make her happy. She is the same with my brother and sister but worse with me. For some reason, she is jealous of me. Lord knows I don’t have anything to be jealous of. I know I sound like I am rambling but I have never written any of these feelings down and it’s just coming out randomly. She now says that she has been a wonderful mother to me and I should be ashamed. Most of the time, I try to keep my mouth shut to keep the peace but that doesn’t work all the time. I can say I feel really bad today and her typical response is, “You don’t know what it’s like to feel bad”. I see a psychologist and a therapist and I am on medication for depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. But, no matter how much medicine I take, that empty undeserving feeling never goes away.


Hi Belinda
Welcome to EFB
Thousands of people read this site every single day. You are certainly not alone!
Please feel free to share as much as you like. You don’t sound like you are rambling to me. It was really helpful for me when I got those feelings out, it was a big part of my healing.
Hugs, Darlene


After dealing with my mothers ways for years, I finally decided to google “mums who make their daughters feel guilty” and found your helpful page. i’m 21 and still living at home, I can feel the things mum says to me to be effecting me emotionally and i’m scared for how I will be in the future to myself and to my future children. my mum makes me feel worthless and undeserving of love and happiness outside of home. she still doesn’t think I’m old enough to have a boyfriend, and I have to give reasons for when I go see my friends or do things that aren’t with family members. it’s always “I don’t understand why you have to go out?!” I feel so stunted in a way. I don’t have my license, many friends or even a life. she makes me feel like a child who needs permission for everything. I worked up courage earlier this year to tell her exactly how she makes me feel and she cried and said she had no idea. then after she went back to her ways like nothing happened.


then after she went back to her ways like nothing happened.

Same with my Mom. Five years ago, when I brought this all up to her, she said “she had no idea I was so upset…..” Then a few weeks later, she said, “Our relationship has really improved…”

HUH? NO IT HADN’T! She took the attitude of “now that we have talked…. my daughter will see the light and be what I want her to be….”


Hi C.A.
Welcome to EFB ~ I totally understand what you are sharing here. I am sorry that when your mom appeared to have heard you, she returned to the same devaluing actions and treatment. That is way too often the way it goes. I hope you will keep reading this website for more insight and support.
hugs, Darlene


That is exactly how it works! (in their heads!) They think that we will see the light and conform to their way of thinking because that is what we always did before. At the end of the day, healthy functional relationship is only possible if both parties see each other as equally valuable. That means that when they HEAR you, they actually HEAR you!
hugs, Darlene


I am still struggling with what happened to me this past year.
I am reading about the so- called quarter lifer crisis 🙂
I do not know if that’s what it was or was it a major break down.
I am pissed because even though for instance I have always had a hard time with saying “no” to people, I had my ways of getting exactly what I wanted (I just kept quite most of the time).
I am so pissed at myself that last year could have been my F break through and it turned into a nightmare that I am still living now. I do not know what happened to me, I was for the first time in a long time so vulnerable, like a child. I let them steer and manipulate me. I keep beating myself up for it.


“abusers and controllers (owners) will always push to see just how far they can go to get you back in line with what they want you to “do” and how they want you to feel”

It is soooo true…they just keep pushing and pushing and if you do not object they will finally kill you.

I had a melt down last year and I ended up in the “care of” my mother and sister for a few months. They must have been shocked, for the first time since childhood I gave them power. I now know I had signs of depression, a major breakdown: anxiety, panic attacks, inability to make a decision, no boundaries, no sense of time, forgetfulness.
My mother who used to be a nurse knew very well what was going on. I felt I was going insane and wanted to go to see a therapist, she said it would be a waste of money, that money is all they want etc.
oh if I did go to therapy than….maybe it would have saved me from future disaster. Most likely even the most lousy doctor in the world would diagnose me easily. Why in the world a good looking, confident looking, smart 24 year old is having panic attacks, can’t make up her mind, can’t keep a track of her spendings, and all of a sudden feels like she is going nuts? And especially right after she got the job of her dreams? IS it really just because she broke up with her bf? And why does she keep saying “but my mom says”, “but my mom says I am stupid if I stay in this job”, “but my mom says I should not be with him”, ” but she says I am ungreatful (sic!) if I take this job and I should already be making serious money by now (really?where was she at the age of 24??), and she says who is going to take care of me”, “and she forbid (sic!) me to call my sister, I am supposed to talk just to her because I worry my sister too much”.
Misery by Stephen King anyone?


I keep telling myself that I have been so great all along anyways.
That my father has always been abscent, left me alone with a psycho depressed mother who has always hated me. I was 14. than at 18 I stopped talking to both of my parents until last year (6+ years). I had no real guardian, nada. And no money from them. I am a self made woman.
I do not have one thing that they purchased for me, nothing.
I realized that just past this year…I had a lot of time to think. TO me it was normal, I got used to that. It had to be that way. Nothing odd in the fact that my sister went to college, did not have to work, it was a private school, fully paid tuition plus all her living expenses, and turns out she is still getting some pocket money from both mommy and daddy (she is 31, married with a kid). My sister never asked me(she is 6 years older) how I was when I was 18, 19, 22…. whether I needed money or not, what my plans were. It was normal that I was working. Who cares if I liked it or not, if I had enough money, if it was my dream job or not, if I was going to go to college or not. Funny thing is, and now I see it clearly…I have been more successful than my sister even though she got everything. Maybe there is a bit fairness in all that. I remember how hard it was for them to swollow when I told them where I was going to work. That’s why they had to ruin it. I was like a sheep…totally unaware. I knew my mother hated me for some reasons though I belived last year that maybe she changed a bit, I wanted to believe that, but I did not realize how mean my sister was.


My bf claims it was not a quarter life crisis..he says that it was a built up of the last 7 years when I have been totally on my own with everything plus our split plus a new job in 2 different countries plus being an expat in a country I did not like plus worrying about my finances plus my ambitions etc etc that when finally something unexapected happened, sth totally awesome, I was so worn out, so drained that I collapsed. Also I believe I was simply overstimulated, anger, fear, sadness, surprise, happinsess, fear again all withing 2 motnhs…and there we go. I keep explaining myself but still I am just so angry for not being strong enough 🙁 🙁


My ex bf claims it was not a quarter life crisis..he says that it was a built up of the last 7 years when I have been totally on my own with everything plus our split plus a new job in 2 different countries plus being an expat in a country I did not like plus worrying about my finances plus my ambitions etc etc that when finally something unexapected happened, sth totally awesome, I was so worn out, so drained that I collapsed. Also I believe I was simply overstimulated, anger, fear, sadness, surprise, happinsess, fear again …and there we go. I keep explaining myself but still I am just so angry for not being strong enough 🙁 🙁


IT is unbelievable…..Darlene’s article (thank you again) and all these posts… so much in common.
It is always the same pattern: we are trained to explain ourselves constantly, we explain our choices even before we make them (because we are prepared they will be critisized naturally), and guilty, we are gulity 24/7, what is next, oh we are trained to believe we are selfish, simply evil, wrong about everything, but most of all selfish and it is actually THEM who are selfish, big time!


Hi to all, I was spending my day once again thinking of my childhood past. I don’t really think i’v been hard done by but mainly my 2 younger Brothers. Where do I begin, by the time I was 11 years old Both of my parents were full blown alcoholics and us 6 children ranging from 12 down to a 1 year old. My parents didn’t work so we lived on the welfare, with 6 children it was a fair sum of money, except as children we lived in poverty for they drank and smoked nearly every dollar. An example of how we lived, my father would go to this bakery and get a boot load of bread for 3 dollars, this was put in the freezer along with 10 kgs of luncheon processed meat, we as children lived on sandwiches made of stale bread and processed meat. We did’t think life could get any worse but eventually we had no food we were basically living off shop scraps while our parents were in the local pub drinking and having counter meals. Sometimes they would take us with them only to have 6 children wait in the car from 6pm until mid night, the youngest brother was on formula to which I had to mix this in the toilet area. We were so neglected so staved for food and love but we didn’t know what to do. My Mother in her drunken pilled nights would threaten us children that if we told anyone we would go into a home, thus we feared this, now I wish we would have gone into a home, it would have been better surely. Everynight it was parties booze and a houseful of drunks and then the arguing would start and the physical fights, my parents would start on each other, we as children would hide, we would pretend we were asleep, my mother would be yelling out ” you kids come and help me your father is killing me”. We never moved from our beds, shaking in fear, and the thought of what will tomorrow be like. My mother left us 6 kids and ran off with another man, this made my little brothers distraught, my father went on a bender and we never had any food, nothing to take to school to eat, so we basically left school. I loved my Father but he was living on what the Government gave him ie the welfare to which was to provide for us children. We had nothing, us older children would collect coke bottles to cash is to buy food, anything rice mainly, bread with butter and sugar, this was our pathetic life. Somehow we grew up, but we all haven’t weathered the storm well, one of my brothers killed my father in 2003, to which he is in prison, my favourite little brother suicided in 2011 to which nearly killed me, im still recovering. My mother is nearly 70 and a hateful woman, she is not at all remorseful for how she treated us as children, she actually believes it was her god given right to drink the welfare money and with my little brother she said “well he isn’t suffering anymore” she has no soul, truly anyone reading this probably thinks im exaggerating, fact is im minimising what happened. My mother did awful things infront of us children, one day she grabbed a bread knife and cut her wrists in front of us all, my little brother was about 3 years old, that day the 6 children ran and hid in some bushland, escaping the madness. I am months off turning 50 and I am still struggling, especially with the loss of my little brother Jamie, he was 37 years old when he committed suicide, he was male model material, beautiful person inside and out but he saw life as a burden, I tried for 20 years, he was in and out of mental hospitals having shock therapy and I know why he was so depressed, Jamie saw way too much, I was 11 years old and I sort of coped but Jamie was a toddler, exposed to way too much way too young. I just hope my Jamie is at peace now, I at times feel like going to the authorities and trying to expose my mother and to have her pay for the neglect and abuse she created. 6 childrens lives are ruined forever but she sits in her chair and whines that she had a bad time. I don’t feel sorry for me, I feel so deeply and cant forgive what she did to my 2 little brothers. I hear from my mother about once a month and its all about her, how hard she had it, yet her childhood was very upper class, her parents didn’t drink or smoke she was taken on holidays to France, and very spoiled, I look at her upbringing and wonder how could she treat 6 children like animals. Infact worse than animals, its a wonder we didn’t all suicide for we were living off the streets, I look back and cry for I can remember the look on my little Jamies face, the look of fear and I feel so bad that I couldn’t do more to protect his as a baby. In conversation with my mother I said to her “how could you just up and leave Jamie who was just a baby” her reply was “God he wasn’t a baby he was 18 months old”. See il never get an apology from my mother, she has no remorse and infact she does see Jamie as an animal for as she said “atleast he isn’t suffering anymore” well I said that about my old dog that died last year, he was 15 and a half and he was in such pain that the only thing was to put him down and even then I held him and cried as the Vet gave the injection. I am at a loss cause I don’t know anymore if I am wrong for disliking my mother, I am so abused mentally that I some days believe whats coming out of her mouth, its narcistic personality disorder at its worst – she can at any time still play us grown children against each other, and she ravels in delight when we are detached from each other. In 2003 my mother told me that my older brother hated me, this was when my Father was murdered. The stories she told me were awful and I was gutted to the point I didn’t answer his calls and then we lost touch for 10 years. 2 months ago my brother found me on face book, emailed me then phoned me and we just cried that both of us were poisoned against each other. My Brother who suicided is another horror story. My brothers were trying to find me to tell me about Jamie, my mother told them that I knew Jamie had died but didn’t want to go to his funeral, I find out 3 weeks after his death, what happened, my mother denied me of such information. If you girls think your mums are bad, my mother is pure evil, I truly hope God frowns upon her when her time is up for its not fair, I live everyday in grief and this woman ravels in my pain.
I know this is a huge letter but today well in 17 more days is the anniversary of my brothers suicide and im missing him like crazy. Thanks for reading and if anyone has any advice please please help me.
thanking you Judy


Hi Jude
Welcome to EFB ~ I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will read more of the information here about how so many of us have taken our lives back from abusive family dysfunction.
Hugs Darlene


Everything my mother does for me, she always makes it obvious, by mentioning it outloud saying that she “sacrificed” so much for my brother and I when we don’t want her to “sacrifice” for us. In fact, we will feel happier if she didn’t. But she doesn’t listen, thinking that what’s she’s doing is always “the best” for us. My brother and I always feel so guilty whenever sh does that.


Hi Angela,

I know what you mean when you say you got things from your mother that you didn’t even want. My mother bought me so much junk that my house no longer felt like my own right along with my Christmas tree full of all of HER ornaments!!! We have been virtually NC for 3 years now yet she wanted to see me at Christmas as if the last 3 years never happened and when I refused to do that she sent me a letter filled with all the things that she did for me since I was in kindergarten wanting to make sure that my therapist had the full story about what went on in my childhood because she just cant believe that my problems were caused by living in her house where I emailed her back telling her that “you seem to be worried that my doctor doesn’t have a clear picture of what all you did for me so I want you to know that I did share your letter with him so I hope that eases your mind but unfortunately the diagnosis is the same!!!” My mother did the same thing to me as your mother did. Trying to guilt trip me into doing what she wanted me to do and when that doesn’t work she resorts to the “blame and shame” game by saying “after all the things that I did for you”!!!! But this time it didn’t work because this time I knew that the only reason that she bought me all of that junk was to make her own self feel better trying to use me to fill up some empty void inside of herself that can only be filled up by her.

The day I said no to what my mother wanted me to do is the day I got my power back and she lost control over me and that is why she lashed out at me with this letter still trying to get from me what she needs to give to herself. Once I figured out the sick dynamic behind all of this I no longer felt guilty for wanting to have my own things in my own house and since then I have managed to get rid of most of her junk so now my house feels like mine instead of hers. It feels good and what’s even better yet is I no longer carry around all that guilt and shame that really belongs to my mother. She gets to deal with it now not me. There is so much freedom in that.



J- I totally understand that “separation” part of your post – of feeling like you’re two separate people – one who wants to thrive and succeed, and the other who wants to ruin all of your joy. I had that, too- there was a part of me that felt glee every time I caused myself misery, and would sabotage any happiness I found. I just felt so guilty all the time, so I think that was me punishing myself. The way I’ve dealt with it was by doing Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping on acupuncture points), and reading “A Course in Miracles.” Both have been incredibly helpful. I’m still working through these issues, but the need to punish myself has become much fainter. I used to be so backwards – feeling happy/satisfied when something bad happened to me, and really uncomfortable when something good happened. When I had a recurrent breast cancer tumor, I could barely suppress a smile at the dr’s office when I got the bad news. As a child, I had been the scapegoat for all of my dysfunctional family’s issues. I was “selfish, evil, greedy, bad, a troublemaker, a bad influence on my younger siblings, and always made things difficult for my poor parents.” Btw, I was an honor student. But my mom only saw me the way she wanted to see me. She hated herself so she unleashed all of her bad feelings onto me.


Another great post! It hit home. I’m always defending myself! My choices, my ideas, my actions. Everything. And I’m always wrong. I find I even have to defend my children. They don’t work hard enough, put enough effort into school, don’t have enough activities. Good grief, this is enlightening. And scary. What do I do with all of these feelings? How do I let it all go?

To see so many comments and know that there are so many mothers out there like this. I have 3 of my own and I promise myself every day that I will never be anything like my mother. I will never do to them what she did to me.


Hi Julie
There are over 450 articles all with discussions here so lots of insights and answers!
I am glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow I never knew that this sort of thing existed! Honeslty, I never saw my mother as controlling, but I have now realized all the sign! I’m an only child who grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional marriage. My mother had always been giving, she bought me everything I wanted as a child and never failed to give me affection during most of my childhood. That’s all dandy, but one day she changed with me. Once I hit my preteen years she would do the same “buy me what I wanted and appeared to be a generous mother.” It came with a catch. If she noticed her friend’s daughters were getting better grades and working while studying she would ask me why I didn’t do that. Even though I was on the honor roll most of my school years, I would occasionally get a “C” here and there. For that she would make me feel worthless calling me a “mediocre”, that I would never be anything in life, ect. And her common manipulating line has always been ” I’m only in this country for you to study and be successful, if not I have nothing to do here and will leave you and your father! ”
It got worse once I hit 18. She started making even more rude comments such as
” why do you wear bangs to the side, only someone with BAD SELF ESTEEM does that”
” you’re too emotional, men hate that. If you don’t change you’ll never keep a relationship”
The problem is I never saw my mother as controlling, because she still buys me what I want and other times will be so nice to me. I think she may be bipolar.
Recently, I was diagnosed with GAD. I have frequent panic attacks, am on medication, and had to drop out of school for a while due to lack of being near crowds. This has made it worse! Now the comments have gotten worse and I fear that most of my anxiety is due to her emotional abuse. For weeks i’ll be fine without an attack, then something triggers it (usually a comment she makes) and all she has to say is “you’re like a crab, all you do is walk backwards” ” you purposefully don’t want to get better to have an excuse and lay arround all day ”
I help arround the house, I tell her everyday that I appreciate and love her. I am planning to go back to school. I AM TRYING. On Mother’s Day I bought her a cute gift and sweet card. I do what I feel most teenagers these days don’t do with their moms. Everywhere we go SOMEONE comments on how “it must be nice to have a daughter who wants to HANG with her and is so close to her, because most girls this age just want to hang with friends and boyfreinds”
I feel I try my hardest with my relationship with her, but as most of you mentioned I always find myself giving explanations to her on everything I do and she guilt trips me too. Always saying ” look at everything I do for you” “it’s only because I love you” ” I sacrificed so much for you and it wasn’t worth it”
ACCORDING to my mother, it’s my fault that she’s still with my dad ( I told her already if she gets a divorce I will understand!)
It’s my fault that we rent such an expensive house (we were forced to leave our old home, it was a small house that had no sink to wash dishes, infested with rats and roaches yet it’s still my fault.
It’s my fault according to her that if she has an argument with my grandma ( her mother) it’s only because I insisted she come stay with us for a while ( my panic attacks for so bad they were lonely related, I needed company :/ mind you I am an only child)
Eveything is my fault according to her and she guilty trips me by doing nice things for me and then rubbing it in my face as me being “selfish” or “unapprecive”. I can never win. How do I deal with a mother like this? Does this makes her controlling? Sometimes she makes the guilt sound so real I actually feel and for her. She does guilt trip though ?


We got a puppy (my dad’s idea I’m guessing) and my brothers and I loved it, but I think she only stayed a few weeks till my mother decided that she couldn’t handle it (walking it was too difficult with a bad back was her reason) so the puppy was taken back. I didn’t even think about that being a sad story till I told my husband and he was horrified and sad for me because he got to keep and love his dog growing up and is a very happy memory for him. It made sense that he got a dog and kept it when I recently found out that my mother in law shared my experience of getting a dog and then it taken away again when she was a child.


I don’t know if my mom has it but sometimes, when there’s an argument I always feel sad and end up crying in the shower praying to God to make me smart so my parents wouldn’t be miserable with me around. Just today, my day was starting great until my dad told mom that we had to throw away bread cause it was had gnats and there might be eggs in it. Mom just got back from a doc’s appointment and it only made things worst. She yelled at me and dad for doing it behind her back and said next time keep to yourself. For the rest of the day I would quietly go to her room as she cleans up and ask if I should help her. As always she quickly says no and I had to leave. Then she would complain about the gnats in the house, the cats bothering her as she reads the newspaper and when it was time for a movie and the rent day was over and we couldn’t see the movie on the DVR she just left and didn’t care even though it was her favorite movie. Then she was almost down my throat when it came to me finding a job. I’ve applied nearly 4 times and it’s just the waiting game at the moment. I don’t think my mom’s sick but one philosaphy is true: If the child is happy, the parent is miserable. If the child is miserable, the parent is happy.

I hope my mom isn’t sick. She’s just been that way since I’ve gradutated college and she’s unemployed too and would gamble a lot now it’s up to the point when I’m scared of my own mother and this whole thing started over bread. If there’s any tips out there to prevent the future from ending up like yours, I’m all ears. Just so you know, I would never blame my mom cause she grew up with an abusive dad, WW2 vet, and the second oldest of 9 kids. Any help I will gladly take.


Hi Ariel
This isn’t about blame, it is about honesty validating the damage that has been caused (to you) so than you can move forward. I hope you will keep reading this website. There is a lot of insight here.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for this website. I recently went through a big change in my life. I left a job where I was being bullied/harassed by a co-worker. I sold my house and moved back to my home town. I have been looking for work ever since. My allergies have also been really bad this year. Stress may have something to do with that. In other words, I have been feeling sad, lonely and depressed lately. My mom was just over here and I could hear her sigh after everything I said. When I asked her about it, she started in on me telling me I am complaining too much and how I should be different. She constantly tells me how I should say things. She has never been a very compassionate person. She is very controlling even with my dad always telling him what to do and how to do it. I used to take the brunt of everything growing up. She blamed how she was feeling on me being because I was a very strong independent child. She even belittled my feelings towards my first love/high school sweetheart who was killed in a car accident when I was 18 saying it really wasn’t love/true feelings because we were so young. I was devastated. I know her father was an alcoholic and she often brings it up. When ever anyone tells her something, she is very defensive and turns the conversation around and says it is your fault. I just told her that I don’t want to be around her right now because she just makes me feel worse about my current situation. I feel bad, but I need to surround myself around people who are positive, uplifting and do not constantly criticize me. Thank you for making me feel like I am not alone. I feel better knowing it is just not me or all in my head. Take care, Susan


Hi Susan
Welcome to EFB ~ That must have been horrific not only losing your sweetheart, but being told that it wasn’t love. That is SO brutal, dismissive and discounting. Thanks for sharing here,
hugs, Darlene



I know this is from 2013, but I feel compelled to reply. I hope you see now that it was all worth it, because who you’re now, is truly spectacular. You realize that your parents are flawed, their parents were flawed etc. And it’s up to every generation to take the time to understand their family, themselves, because that’s where change happens. I could relate on the deep anger that spewed out into or onto the wrong place/person. I have suffered from depression on and off my whole life. Much of my life was spent in my room bawling my eyes out. I remember feeling like I wasn’t going to make it as a teenager. Part of me laughs, the other part is grateful to have pushed through. You may look like you have it all together, but the truth is always in the eyes and with the vibes. Your life becomes self sabotage and it’s regular for you. But alas, there will come a day. You have to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. You have to spend lots of alone time with yourself. You’re your own therapist! You have to work on your mind everyday, all day long. Set small goals and go for it. I feel so deeply for everyone and everything, I think most of us who come from such situations or worse are the same. Maybe our job is to heal ourselves, so we can help others find their way. I could feel your sincerity jumping out through the screen!! It inspired me, made me feel safe, and really good! I want to be able to create that for others as well. So thank you for that!


Hi Darlene, this really hit the nail on the head for me. This was the first year we had my mom and my mother in law up for the holidays and the first time they met. My daughter knows my mom more because she lived with us for a year, and my mother in law less because she lives on the other side of the United States. It’s unfortunate but the way it works. My daughter was very clingy to my mom and not my mother in law which cause my mother in law to fly off the handle with how much we don’t appreciate her and we use her and she just can’t do it anymore. She gave us a $3500 wedding gift check.. something we didn’t ask for and something we greatly appreciated. She threw it in our face and told us how all we do is take and we aren’t appreciative. My mother does the exact same thing. Is it us? Or did we just happen to have two mothers who guilt trip us when they buy us things. I’m so confused and feeling like this is all my fault.


Hi Chystal
How could it be you?? There are so many dynamics here; first of all, a gift that has obligations attached to it, isn’t a gift. If there is guilt thrown at you after someone buys something for you, it wasn’t a gift, it was a BRIBE. But the rules of engagement in dysfunctional family relationships are never clear because that would give the controllers less control.
I hope you will keep reading the articles and comments here. There is a lot of fog busting happening!
Hugs, Darlene


I relate to this article so much! There is never a time when I am not constantly being sniped at by my parents. They always have something to complain about and some snide comment to make about me. None of my siblings ever have to face the treatment I do. My mom is always telling me how much of a failure I am, how I’m so ugly, how I’m so obese that I need insulin shots. It’s out of control now. I never eat lunch or dinner, and I always stay up at night, crying and wishing it could all come to an end. I’m just a bad child to her, one who will never amount to anything. I feel sick all the time, but I’m helpless because she has control over my boss, my therapist, and even my friends. I just don’t know what to do. I’m tired of being the black sheep.


Hi Kat
I will never understand how a parent can treat their child this way. This website and my book are about how we can realize at a heart level, that they are wrong about us and that those labels they put on us are mean and destructive but that they are not the truth. l
Hugs, Darlene


This post resonated with me too. My mother never approved of my life choices and she never liked my husband much. I think she hated that there was a man who wanted me as when I was young, she snidely said to me, “No good man will ever want you!!!”

‘Love’ in our home growing up was the same as yours Darlene – it was all about performance and being submissive to my mother – being at her beck and call. Like you, my mother felt that she knew what was best for me better than I did. She’d even go so far as to presume what I was thinking! ‘Love’ was a taking thing, never a giving thing – unless of course there was something for her to get/gain in return.

My mother hasn’t been in my life now for 17 years this month. My family of origin hasn’t been in my life for almost 7 years … and the smearing I have endured is insane. Because she is not in my life (my husband’s or my children’s lives either), and I have told her years ago why she isn’t – because of her abuse – this is something she would never disclose to another person as she would never risk her facade being exposed – so do you know what she does tell people? She tells people we aren’t in her life because we’re in a cult – and does she ever win sympathy with people over that one!

The wisest (and most hardest) decision of my life was omitting my abusive mother and all family of origin (who abused by proxy) from my life … but it was also the most right and best decision of my life. Breaking the chains of generational abuse is a legacy I (well, husband and me) can pass down to our children that we can feel good about.

Darlene, I remember how I found your blog about 7 years ago and I will never forget how, for the first time in my life, I felt less alone in my suffering. I met so many others here who came from ‘narcissistic families’ like mine! It was like finding family you didn’t know you had – a ‘family’ bound by common experiences. Your blog had/has helped me to ‘see’ and to heal so much!! I pray that many will continue to find healing for their broken hearts and shredded souls.



Only through her death was my psyche freed from Stockholm syndrome. I always could feel her hatred of me. Now it all makes perfect sense.


I can relate to all the above and have been reading your website for over a year now. I will not relay my story but what I would like to say is…. I have not forgotten but I am in the process of forgiving as in having understanding as to why my Mum treated me the way she did.Women in the older generation did not know any different there was no counselling or anything.Somehow instead of being angry and holding this place within my own body and spirit I have an understanding and with comes a form of forgiveness…. For me to mull over and over and over and over again does Not liberate me form my shackles from her. I a protect myself when I am in her company and know not to approach issues that ignite the old stories.This ia how I have survived and still a have a relationship with my Narcissistic Mother.My wounds have helped me gain much insight and empathy. Yes as a child I was a victim to her…but I am no a victim as keeping myself in this position will not Ever help me move forth into the brilliant awesome woman I am today at 53 years old.It has been a journey probably the biggest in my life…..

Carol Anne Burke
May 20th, 2017 at 7:27 am

I would like to say on Mothers day my sister and I were visiting her . She told us we were worthless because we couldn’t do anything for her . My sister has a brace on her leg and I have COPD .She said we did this to ourselves .She acted mad .My sister fell and I use to smoke .She said we were useless because we didn’t give her step-sons or grandsons . She said they could of done things for her . I have a daughter that she doesn’t like . My sister and I never married . Mom has two sons . One her own and one adopted .One won’t talk to her ( real one ); and one just started doing things for her .She said he was the best thing that she ever done in her life . That is find with me . I am happy she loves him . But her telling us we were useless and he was the best on the same day . Is a bit much for me .He only moved home a few weeks ago from out west . He was gone about 20 years . I and my sister was always here for her . It meant nothing .She doesn’t care for us . We know now . She did a lot for us but looks at that as us being worthless .I was upset and crying . She denied it but then asked my sister and she told Mom the truth . Mom never apologized or anything because what she said , she believes it is true . I believe that love should cost nothing to get. Love is the best of everything .Love is more than things and money .Love is supposed to be shared and not cost . I am heart broken and so disappointed .All the things she was doing for us was a lie ,she never loved us , all long .I did many things for her too . She thinks were a burden . What can I do and how can I get over this?????

Leave a Comment