People who try to Silence Victims Interfere with Emotional Healing

Abusive people forcing silence

when silence serves someone else

I want to validate all the readers who comment here in Emerging from Broken. There is nothing wrong with talking about the pain of child abuse and neglect. There is nothing wrong with healing and becoming empowered by exposing how we lost our power and choice in our lives. We have everything to gain by doing this! I took my life back when I finally validated the pain of rejection that I had felt most of my life at the hands of other people. If the truth is what sets us free then it’s time to expose the truth and talk about it.

I think that fear gets in the way most of the time. Although there is a lot of personal fear when we begin to face the truth about what caused the damage to our self-esteem in the first place, there is also fear that comes up in the people around us too. There are people who can’t stand anyone else facing the truth or facing their fears in case they have to face their own truth ~ so rather than listening or simply ignoring, they have to jump in and try to STOP other people from achieving self-love and freedom from oppression by reprimanding them. Abused people use abuse tactics to keep other people in the prison abuse put them in in the first place.

Although it ‘seems’ logical that everyone would want to escape this prison of oppression , it is surprising how many are terrified to look past it. Fear of facing the truth petrifies many.  Such is the case when back in Feb of 2012 this woman tried to post the following comment (which I did not publish) on a post I had written in October of 2010.  This is a typical example of the lengths people will go to, to shut down the healing process of others in order defend their own choices and deny themselves true freedom and wholeness in their own lives.

Here is what this woman had to say to me and then to the rest of the readers here.  

“Why do you not simply move on? your mother’s dysfunction is NOT yours. Refuse to carry it! She feels inadequate and that’s why so many opportunistic men came through the front door. She was lonely and hungry for acceptance and couldn’t find it. When a marriage partner leaves, it makes the one left behind feeling like the most worthless piece of garbage in the world. (in most case people recover from this and move on)This is what drove your mom from male to male. It was easier for her to blame you for her inadequacies so she could feel some minute sense of worth within herself. This was HER problem NOT yours. Why have you not left the past? Do not view yourself as a victim of your mom’s dysfunction, but as a survivor and move on! We all have a way out, simply walk away. You alone have the power of who or what you allow into your life, into your very soul. Do not feed a bad situation by always going back to it. Move on.

I have been battered as a child and sexually abused, but I am a survivor, and I had to forgive so that I could move on to a mentally healthy life. The people who did that to me had their own baggage to carry. I refuse to carry it for them! I chose to walk away. Become involved with giving of your time to those who are less fortunate than you. This brings great personal fulfilment and satisfaction.

All of you on this site, stop now and move on. Refuse to be a victim and move on from the past. By dwelling on it you give it life and energy. Replace it by giving of yourself to those less fortunate than you. Try omitting the constant drama in your life, you can truly live a remarkable life without it. At first it may be hard as old habits die hard, but immediately tell yourself. “Stop it!” No matter how often you have to reprimand yourself, eventually you will realize a day has gone by without you having to monitor your thoughts. It works. Today and since my 20s I am a mother, grand mother, great grandmother. I have been blessed abundantly. I volunteer with children. They have always been a large part of my life. I worked, OB, Nursery, Pediatrics and today as with many years before I am still their servant. I came on your post because I wanted to recheck myself, that my decision was correct. I saw my daughter and her daughter in what appeared to be a very dysfunctional relationship. I refused to be drawn into it. I’ve made the choice to distant myself from it. I will help if needed, but I refuse to enable. Reading some of your posts has shown me I made the right choice. Thank you

You have, all of you, have allowed a bad situation to define your life, who you are. You have the power to remain as you are or move on and away from it, forgetting what is behind and do not look back.”

Does anyone else feel reprimanded by this comment??

This comment came in on the blog post “Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship Nightmares”.  The article is about my mother accusing me of doing things to “attract” her boyfriends when I was a teenager. The comments about sexual abuse got so graphic that I had to go back and add a warning to people. I have no idea what this woman thought she was going to accomplish by making that kind of comment addressed to me and to my readers and other commenters on an article of this nature!  She encourages “reprimanding yourself” as a way to stop the process of facing the truth. There is NO recovery in self-reprimanding. She actually tries to explain my mothers behaviour, as though if I ‘understood’ my mothers behaviour, that the damage my mother caused me would magically disappear.

I have come to realize however that this comment was about her, the way SHE parented her own kids and was in defence of her own mistakes and really not meant to help any of us in the least.  The truth about that, leaks out in the way she has to include so much about all her own accomplishments.

So many survivors of abuse believe that people who don’t understand or won’t listen to them have never “been there themselves” but in actuality, they don’t want to understand it because they don’t want to face the truth about either the way they were raised and or because they want the same silence and respect from their own children that was demanded of them by their parents. That is the cycle of abuse and how it works.

And her final slam; she writes ~ “I came on your post because I wanted to recheck myself, that my decision was correct. I saw my daughter and her daughter in what appeared to be a very dysfunctional relationship. I refused to be drawn into it. I’ve made the choice to distant myself from it. I will help if needed, but I refuse to enable. Reading some of your posts has shown me I made the right choice. Thank you”  At first this last comment sounded okay until I realized that she says that she read this painful accounts of child abuse and neglect to validate that she made the right choice in her own life. I find that really odd.

I don’t have to give a voice to abusive people in my website about abuse and abusive people. 

If I was going to respond to a comment like this here is what I would say;

 “Don’t tell me how to feel. Don’t tell me that I don’t have a right to my pain. Don’t tell me to get over it and move on. YOU don’t get to do that. I didn’t ALLOW a bad situation to define my life ~ people abused me, neglected me, mistreated and disrespected me and THAT is what defined my life. It wasn’t something I did or deserved. Don’t pretend you understand my mother and defend her! How dare you do that to me in my own website where I am talking about the abuse I suffered.  I am not a victim anymore, but only because I place the blame squarely where it belongs and can talk about this openly, with 100% confidence that I was terribly devalued as a person throughout my childhood and because it became so normal for me to be treated this way, I was also devalued and discounted well on into my adulthood. You advise me to “Become involved with giving of your time to those who are less fortunate than you. This brings great personal fulfilment and satisfaction.” I have the most popular emotional healing website on the entire internet! I am stunned at the level of judgement that you have heaped on me and the other readers here.”

But I didn’t have to write that stuff to her because I didn’t validate her voice in the first place.  And I don’t have to ‘prove’ that my mother was wrong. I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to tell her all the reasons I have a right to write whatever I want. I don’t have to validate everyone’s opinion; that is another thing that I was brainwashed about. My voice and the voice of truth was being squished but how dare I squish someone else’s voice EVEN if that voice was abusive. This woman was on the wrong blog! She needs to find a blog that validates abusers and abusive parents and you know what ~ there are LOTS of those websites; this isn’t one of them.

Please share your thoughts on abusive people who try to stop the healing process in other people and how it makes you feel. How can you empower yourself to override them when they try to shut you down?

Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

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


Related Posts ~ Dysfunctional Mother Daughter Relationship nightmares

Standing up to Damaging Advice and Unhelpful Trauma Directives

Darlene Ouimet is a Life Transitions Coach specializing in Emotional Healing .

Categories : Mother Daughter


September 20th, 2012 at 11:46 am

I’m just beginning to know truth; listen to my gut responses; and speak up. I’ve been NC for omver a year and during that time growing a ton in the knowledge of how abusive operate. I’m just starting to be able to spot them. I’m in my first bible study, and group of women, in almost 2 years, and I spotted one abused/abuser right away. It’s so funny though because she went on to say that she knows she is black/white thinker and says things the wrong way to people often. It was almost a non-apology. She already was rude to me twice during our first meeting. So, it’s interesting to me to begin using what I’ve been learning. Learning to be detached and protect myself if need be. Learning how to be less compliant than how I was brainwashed to be, and being less fearful to speak up. But what really made me take notice in your article, is the comment about you don’t need to say anything to the abuser. Do you mean it takes away the power from there words, and doesn’t give them more fuel to the abuser’s fire to be more abusive, if you ignore them? Is that the case the majority of the time, you think? To not validate and steer clear of them because they won’t change.


Hi Darlene,

Firstly WOW, I can not believe that she wrote that. Secondly I felt that my mother was talking to me in her rantings. I think it clearly shows her ability as a mother. She says in one breathe that she has moved on and has a great life. Than at the same time that her daughters are in a dysfunctional relationship however she will not get involved as she is not an “enabler” .. Well truthfully she sounds like a truly loving mother…NOT.

I totally agree with your comment that this is all about her issues which she has clearly not began dealing with. Had she dealt with her issues that she would surely be alot more compassionate with her words as she had experienced and conquered her demons.

I was beaten,humilated and sexually abused by my own family. And what has helped me move forward is listening to other peoples stories and sharing mine.That is how I learn.

Im greatful for your voice and the articles you post as they have helped me see myself and my life in a new light.

I encounter people like that in my life today and now I know to get up and walk away. I dont need to listen to anything that hinders or stops me from seeing my truth.

My mother would say that every day ” I did the best that I could ,move on and forget about it’ Im stubborn I always was. She prays that i have a daughter like myself so that I will fully understand what she had to deal with. I had to scream in her face and say I was raped as a 3yr old by my uncles than my father when I dared speak up. There was no safe place left for me. I was emotionally abandoned as I HAD to listen to heart ache and how it affected her.

Today I am glad that I know and am more aware . I would rather be AWAKE than sleeping in denial.

Love Always


Hi Giftedwithbrokeness
One day I realized that “proving to the abuser” that they are wrong actually fuels them becasue they realize that they ‘got to you’ in the first place. I also realized that I KNOW I am right, that they are saying nasty things and that their expectations of me are very mean, discounting and disrespectful and devaluing to me. I don’t need to “prove it” anymore by defending myself. When an abuser is ignored, (and they have ‘no impact’ it actually scares the hell out of them because they fear losing power over others more than anything else. You are right that most of them won’t change and it is proven when they would rather abandon the relationship then treat you with respect and equal value. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.
Hugs, Darlene


This comment reminds me some of the misapplied spiritual principes that make up New Age thinking… “if you focus on something you are giving it energy…” and then what, making it more real? So following that logic if I dont think about the Holocaust it didn’t happen? Or if I “forget” about being raped as a child it didn’t happen? Often when I discuss politics and global elite/global abusers amongst my more “spiritual” friends they grow uncomfortable. Apparantly, only fluffy bunnies and love and light are acceptable to focus on. I understand that I create and strengthen what I focus on. That is true. But it doesn’t mean IGNORING something that already happened or that is happening is intelligent! We can’t as individuals, or as a culture move beyond pain and trauma by pretending it never happened. True spirituality is being willing to take a deep look at everything, exactly as it is. And then choose action or non action, acceptance, or non acceptance from that space. I would guess that the above “commenter” has not looked squarely at what has happened to her, has not genuinely accepted it, and if I read her a recap of her abuse and trauma she would probably squirm with discomfort. Me on the other hand, I am NOT uncomfortable about what happened to me and I am also not condemned to repeat it… and I am not making it stronger or perpetuating it by talking about it to others.


Hi Sinita
Yes I noticed that too; she takes absoloutly no responsibility for the dysfunction in the relationships that she mothers and grandmothers over.
Like you it has been talking about the things that happened to me and listening to others and validating all of it that has helped me the most to overcome the damage the traumas caused.
I could write a whole new article about that horrible saying “I hope you get a kid just like you so you can understand what ‘I’ had to deal with” WHAT the heck! They know this stuff happened to us and half the time they contributed to most of it if not by participating then by not protecting us from it and STILL they insist that the child is defective! That makes me sick.
Thanks for sharing this. It is so very on point with what I am talking about in this article.
Hugs, Darlene


THis soounds oh so familiar. This woman sounds like my own mother….”I will help if need, but I refuse to enable”. My mother exhorted me to forget and move on. In her view she was helping. It was not, or I wouldn’t be here now. She most certainly did NOT enable – she did not enable my healing – and it was, in truth, her responsibility as a parent to have done so.
I think your writer was/is still angry, has not resolved anything about her experiences, has little real insight into how her life has been dominated by what happened to her, and how it has affected her own kids/grandchildren….
FOr myself, I have had such wonderful support here, I have learned so much, been enabled to pursue my own healing journey by acquiring new insights and perspectives….. What you have here, what you do – is the best way forward for me and others like me, who no longer have the capacity for living in the shadows. Bless you, xx


Yay Kylie!
Very good points and very well said! I was once part of that whole new age thinking and I tried for YEARS not to give any focus to anything negitive that had ever happened to me. (much to the delight of all the abusive people in my life)
Thank you for your comments! They are very important highlights to the point that I am trying to make in this post!
Hugs, Darlene


This woman is stuck. She is stuck in her own denial and wants to project her thinking on anyone who make’s her uncomfortable… and in doing so she is abusive.
Shaming doesn’t work and in shaming us she is actually digging her own pit deeper. There are many survivors like her in this world, and that is a very sad thing.
Im learning what my stuck points are and where they came from. They came from being raised by a woman who thinks this way. This kind of thinking did more damage to me than the sexual abuse that happened to me because of her neglect. My Mother was so busy trying to cover the past in her own life instead of dealing with it and in doing so passed the same kind of thinking on to all of her children.
Yes, these people like to get to us! It makes them feel like they are in control, and they actually have been in control but in a very unhealthy way. There are many people like her parading around acting like they have it all together…but the truth is they have never had the gut’s to face the truth themselves so they hide behind this kind of disguise…


wow, sounded like my mother there for a moment, especially when she disagrees with how my experiences have affected me. mmm. even in the same situation everyone would have a different version of it, because it has your take on it. a take that is unique and different for each person. took me years to understand that, and then to be able to try and not react when she tried to control me in the old ways. but to stick to my boundaries, that this is my life and as such mine to live HOW I please and not how she dictates. never went down well with her or my step father. but i stood my ground and still have very little or no contact with her and only seen him once in 5 years, thankfully. thank you for giving me a window into my life that i couldnt have seen, because i was so used to how she spoke and looked at me. has been hard but head-wise i know i am doing the right thing, and understand wht why’s and wherefores. i need to heart and emotions to join the learning my head has done, lol.


Hi Libby
Wow Thank you for your lovely and validating words! I appreciate you for what you have said to me and about me.
You are very right also in your conclusion that if your mother HAD helped you you wouldn’t have to be here. When I get comments like the one from this woman, I wonder HOW they got here! What the heck are they doing reading a website largely about overcomeing depression and the other manifestations of struggle as a result of childhood trauma if everything is just wonderful in their own lives!? Why do they feel the need to interfere in what is going on here, if they are totally healed in thier own lives?? Even if they think they know a better way, is it really appealing to others when you start off telling them that they are WRONG? (well actually, that is a whole other article because many vicitms of childhood dysfunction actually feel more comfortable being mentored by a meanie.. )
Thank you so much for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Calvin
Sadly yes, there is a huge problem in the survivor community when survivors abuse survivors. (I believe it is actually called survivor ON survivor abuse) and the reason for it is because as children we all learned that the one with the most power wins. Some of us stayed victims and never abused or even recognized our own power believing that was the safest route to go. Others become abusers believing that will keep them safe and that being IN power is the best position to be in. Both these views however grow from victim mentality. Some end up with a combo of both, searching out more powerful people to validate us and weaker people to restore our order and therefor also validate us. ugg.
The biggest challenge that I had in recovery was to learn to use my power to empower and to recognize when others were using their power to control. (and therefore disempower) The best way to learn that was by examining the motives involved.
Thank you for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Carol!
You also highlight something really important here in your comments when you talk about finding a window here that you could not have seen in before due to how familiar and “normal” it was for you to be spoken to that way. That is the hardest thing about writing this website ~ trying to break through that fog and denial that we all lived in for so long that we thought it was “right” and even that it was “love”. I had to relearn the definitions of BEST and LOVE and even of TRUTH; all big parts of the journey for me!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi all,

Oh My God, I dont know why I am suprised but I never fail to be when I hear rubbish the like of which this woman has spouted. Why, as Darlene said, do these people pretend to understand our abusive parents and implore us – the abused, who had no choice in the matter – to do the same? I believe that they are in massive denial and in fear of looking at the dysfunction in their own families. I have a friend who used to invalidate my experiences with pleas for me to “think about the good times”, and “they fed and clothed you, didnt they?, its not like they deserted you”. Erm, yes, they did desert me, or should I say, emotionally abandoned me. I eventually told him to STOP defending people he had never even met, and be a supportive friend to me, even if my healing journey was triggering memories of abuse in his own childhood. His father was a violent alcoholic. I said that he could either try to understand my feelings toward my parents, or alternatively, he was welcome to stay away, as I certainly wasnt going to pretend the issues I was dealing with didnt exist, so as not to upset him. Speaking out about my emotionally and verbally abusive parents is so important to me – I was gagged for years, silenced and invalidated, and I wont tolerate it any longer. Happily, he decided to start working on his own issues and now we are supporting each other. And oh yes, the “New Age” stuff. While I do actually believe in some aspects of the Law Of Attraction, I do not appreciate people telling me, that if I “focus on the unhappiness of my past, I will only get more of it”. We need to focus on what happened to us as long as it takes for us to lay the blame where it belongs – with our abusive FOO. In my opinion, no amount of focusing on rainbows, butterflies and angels is going to bring us anything good, as long as we are harbouring false, limiting beliefs about ourselves.

Love Sylvia x


wow, all she need to do was smack me on the head with a King James version of the Bible and I would have thought my narcissistic mother had risen from the dead! I have met people like this, not at all concerned about anyone but themselves and they KNOW what is beast for everyone!
I actually had a woman like this ask in a group if she could pray for me. Whatever she knew it wasn’t from me and I had never seen her before. She was there to make an appeal for a woman who just got out of prison where her husband still was. They had been convicted of child sexual abuse and incest with their 4 year old daughter who could describe in detail the most awful sexual acts. This woman claimed is was not true because her husband played the bag pipes! (Lordy) Anyhow people were praying in small groups and this woman took my hand and started to pray only it was all about how unforgiving I was toward my father, etc. as she prayed she twisted my fingers and wrist until I thought they would break. I was so panicked I didn’t know what to do, I was sobbing but could not speak. Took me along time to recover from what I know know was a deliberate, Satanic attack! I did come up with a reply after that. Forgiveness does NOT pay the bills. We were stiffed a good $250,000 for all the medical and counseling bills not to mention lost wages.The commenter needs to know that while she may wish it would go away anyone who has recent cancer treatment that they now list being a victim of child sexual abuse raises your risk for cancer 10%. Thank you Darlene for proving a safe place for us to feel safe enough to comment when part of our abuse was to make us shut up, be worthless and silenced. You are doing God’s work. The commenter and Satan wants you silenced. You are wise beyond years!


I don’t see what you do as going back…giving power to your abuser at all. I see this blog and others like it as helping others to heal. I am thankful that you share your broken road and your methods of healing. Apparently the writer didn’t take time to look at your whole website. I did and for every negative situation you discuss you always give a positive way to deal with it. I thank you for this. It’s so very needful!


Silence doesn’t solve problems, it doesn’t heal people or change the world. I think it’s vital to talk about what really happened to us in our lives instead of covering it up with moral platitudes. If people haven’t actually bothered with healing but just repeat things to themselves like “I’m a survivor, I don’t let them affect or define me!” over and over again, then I guess they would become very upset seeing people empower and validate themselves through openness and honesty. Just walking away from abusive situations and people without delving into the abuse to tear apart the messages didn’t work for me, I was just left with most of the same patterns, as I see this commenter is herself.

I’ve encountered many people like this, one very emotionally abusive person in particular would always go around saying “the personal is political!” as a form of attacking people, but in the case of our abuse histories she wanted to shut me up through any means possible. She didn’t feel this was ‘political,’ but that it should be kept inside a therapist’s office, and never spoken of in public.

It’s sick how morally superior this person feels they are compared to her daughter, granddaughter, and all of us. The way she appeals to us to help someone “less fortunate then you” is so demeaning, as it shows she believes in comparing people’s pain and has decided that not only herself, but all of us are unworthy and unimportant. This is a message I remember from childhood, like when parents shame their children for not eating foods their bodies reject because “there are starving people in the world.” She calls herself a ‘servant,’ apparently to workplaces she is no longer employed at, but couldn’t be bothered with her own children or grandchildren.

I’m so grateful for what you do here Darlene, it helps so many and facilitates immense healing. Thank you for keeping going even though you have to filter through such sick and abusive comments.


Darlene this woman really thought she was doing service. I felt bad for her as I read her post. She wants to control how others heal to escape the fact that she really hasn’t dealt fully with her own issues. Her daughters are reminding her of this. We who have been abused sometimes have strong resemblance but it doesn’t mean we have the same path to healing. There are times when our routes takes us so many different ways. But the most ultimate and most important is we all come to full and complete healing, which we all deserve. This woman is hurting and perhaps she just stumble upon the fact that she’s not as far in her process of healing as she hope to be. I don’t think none of us want to sit in our pain. Me I have to look at what happened to me and know that I have life beyond it. I suffer with dissociative amnesia and have flashes and nightmares of my parents raping me and grandparents. This isn’t something that I invite but I know God has allowed these events to surface. There’s no looking away for me. It wouldn’t be good for me at all. I have to face the darkness to get to the light. It gets tough but there isn’t a person alive can tell me that I’m sitting in my pain with a victim mentality. I’m winning as I face these painful truths and what it did to me. I hope the same for this woman and her dear children and grandchildren. We all can live victorious lives full of goodness and love, even if it takes us in different directions to get there…Love you Darlene and I appreciate your service….Will


Darlene, I love what you said about finding a website that supports abusers, there are plenty of them. I am so glad I found this website. It has really helped me in the last few weeks. I have removed a few people from my life, and even tho it was so painful at the time, reading your articles helps me immensely. While the abused have to walk away because we have been drained, beaten down, and have finally realized that it will never be better, the abusive turn their backs on people out of spite, to punish, to be ‘right’, to control, to force someone to conform to their twisted thought process. Recently I’ve had three of these, two friends and one mother. I was clinging to the idea that these people cared about my well being. I spent years healing from emotional abuse, most my mother, some my father (but we work on it, so he is still in my life). I had forgiven. Then as soon as my life began to improve, there they all were at my doorstep, demanding that I not be ‘well’, demanding that I abuse the one I love in the way they abused me and abused their significant others. I was spitting in their faces by not being a tyrannical bitch to others and emotional mess for their pleasure and they seemed to be jealous that I gave myself the time in life to become the person I wanted to be, and not the person they wanted me to be. It’s like they couldn’t believe that I had defied them by wanting a happy and healthy life.

So I wanted to say thank you. I don’t know if the last few weeks would have been as easy if it were not for the website. When first it was my mother, I missed a lot of work. Then my one friend, again, I missed a lot of work. But this last person, it was much easier. I didn’t miss work, because I could come home and read that I was not alone. And after six years, I can get back to my life. There is no one left to tell me I can’t be happy. And I also am much better at spotting abusers. Soon I will not be afraid to meet new people, but for now I will stay close to my heart until I know I am whole again.


I know from experience every time I tried to talk to certain people about what happened to me a wall appeared out of no where. I had some flat out deny that this happened to me,some laughed it off and tried to make light of it,others told me it was a long time ago you were just a child, I don’t think you have your facts straight.Some were flat out angry with me told me I was causing problems and to leave well enough alone. Still others told me snap out of it,let it go and move on, live your life you can’t change the past your an adult your not that child any more. I decided they were right I need to snap out of it forget about me get a job start thinking about others instead of myself. This went on for two years. I started to put all my focus into my job that’s all that mattered. Soon I had this mind set when I was at home all I thought about was work and when I was at work all I thought about was what are my daughters up to home alone.Pretty soon I started to fall apart at both places my house was a mess and my girls started to become unruly and I let co -workers walk all over me I was doing my work plus theirs. because I snapped out of it because I moved on with out therapy,without sharing what really mattered which was me my health,my well being my healing. Because I listened to other people, to just keep all these feelings bottled up inside and not share with any one what had happened to me. I want to move on I want to live a normal life but I have to work at it I have to be honest with myself and I have to let others help me do this I can’t do this alone I need support,I need validation if nothing else I need to have someone tell me I understand what you are going through I went through this or I am still going through this, we can help each other,and most important of all I believe every word of what has happened to you. You are not alone and we will get through this together. Because healing from sexual child abuse is not a one man show. I don’t want to do this by myself I have already been down that road and it doesn’t work. So keep sharing Darlene because we all need each other to survive.


Kylie/Darlene – thanks for confirming that this woman is way off base. I have a friend who wrote to me in bold capital letters “YOU JUST NEED TO MOVE ON.” Oh really – and how do you just “move on” from 21 years of being in an abusive home with 2 abusive parents, one of whom tried to kill themselves when i was 7 and then she threatened to kill me when i was 10 ??? How do you just “move on” from that ??? People dont want to face reality…the truth is, people cant handle the truth !! They dont want to hear it and they dont want to face it ! The truth is painful and its hard and our society always looks for shortcuts and the easy way out…no one likes pain but its a necessary part of the healing process…Kylie – I think about what you have been through sometimes and i cringe inside…i cant imagine how a human being could possibly do the things to you that were done and the things done to others that were done to them…i cant possibly fathom how people treat others the way they do. I love how at the end the woman used a scripture verse to back up her point saying “forgetting what is behind” – i have found many christians to be terrible at telling me to just move on and forgive…i did that for a long time…i forgave and prayed and prayed and my depression just got worse. So then i was told i had demons inside of me and i needed to be “delivered” from the spirit of fear and the spirit of depression…i was in bondage to christian men who kept casting demons out of me that didnt exist…i was a young christian and trusted them…i believed them because they would use scripture to back up their condemning me for being depressed because i was supposed to be “living in victory and i must just not have enough faith.” – so that made me feel guilty because surely if my faith were strong enough then i would be healed. I know i am getting off on a tangent again ! …i have a lot to say about this stuff…i finally told my counselor yesterday that i am not going to look to friends to validate me anymore…they just refuse to acknowledge my pain and the abuse i suffered. They wont talk about it. They wont recognize it. They wont even ask how i am doing with it all…they either dont care or they cant handle it…i am trying to learn how to be validated by what God says about me although its hard because right now its all in my head and not in my heart..i think i know why Jesus was so mad at the disciples when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane feeling like he was dying and said something like “you cant even stay awake for one hour and pray while i am practically dying over here.” – thats how i feel sometimes in regards to my friends – they cant take 5 minutes to ask how i am doing or to text or email me to see how my healing is going. Its hard enough going through it let alone going through it when your friends wont even acknowledge what you are going through…thats my rant for the evening !!




wow ! this post speaks volumes about the poster !
first of all , i don’t believe for a minute she was abused
she speaks in the typical ‘narcissistic’ style & my guess is that she is a very abusive person herself …
anyone who has had the courage to face the truth knows it’s only the first step ..
the real work is re-programming ourselves from the patterns of behavior (brainwashing) that we now have in our subconcious as a result of not learning or living any other reality as children ..
the process of learning to be ‘FREE’
anyway it was good not to publish her article ..
another abusive lying narcissist looking to lash out …..
another sanctimonious smug bullshit artist …


This is a wonderful post, on so many levels. Thank you! We are lucky to have such a healthy site to come to in our healing process.
This reminds me of my sister, reprimanding me, when, she decided to take back what she had said about my mother’s abusive behavior. My older sister knew I was at that time, going to a Christian website that was an attempt to heal victims of abuse and neglect. Both older and younger sister, had had bad experiences with my mother, when I went low contact,and she started lashing out at them.
My younger sister (YS), told me about the time my mother had her kids at moms pool, got drunk, and called my sister at work, demanding she leave work, and bring sun block. My sister kept telling her, check their tote bag, It is in there. She, mom, denied it. Then started haranging my sister over her kids being too thin, and screaming “you dont feed these children!” My sister left work, brought her some more sunblock (it was already at the house). My mother had a screaming fit, her predictable chest pain, rescue was called, and my mother was hauled off, wigless at this point, by paramedics my sister had grown up with, screaming “you dont feed these kids, youre a bad mother!” So, my sister was trying to have distance, and my mother began to say to whoever was there when my sister called on the phone “There’s Joyce, on the caller ID, I wonder what she wants now, babysitting or housesitting. She only calls when she wants something.” Said many times in front of, or to me, so I told my sister, as this is how my mother maligned me to others.
So, my sister had her gastric bypass, and regressed back to the angry, angry 20 something she was, when thin. She ranted and raved about how I “tried to turn her against her own mother”. How, I “better make amends with my mother now, as she is not getting any younger” How the theory of the narcissistic mother Didnt apply to my mother at all, and that I was the problem, I was the trouble maker.
So, I can see that my sister is projecting her own feelings and her guilt onto me. She doesnt want to face that her own mother is abusive and neglectful–getting drunk when you are supposed to be watching children at the pool, verbally abusive, neglectful. And lets not forget mean–calling her names, embarrassing her in front of her peers. And then slandering her every time she called on the phone and was seen on caller ID.
I think she even told my mother about me visiting these sites, by some sly remarks my mother has made to me. Tough. I speak the truth here!
My older sister told me –I dont want you to tell me any thing negative mom has ever said about me–and she did slander her in the community–at the gym they both attended at different times, to other family members. So, she could not deal, and did not want to see my mother for who she was. A self serving, attention seeking,bad mouther.
Also, when I told YS what my mother said about her calling on the phone, it was a week before her gastric bypass, and I was accused of trying to “upset her before her surgery”. Why not consider who started the problem?? The bad mouther?

What bothers me about this post, what this woman said, to lose yourself in service to others, so, we were abused and neglected, and therefore sentenced to, a life of community service as some kind of sick medicine? Why dont the abusers lose themselves in genuine community service, not just the kind they do as lip service, to look good in the community? I think this is why so many nurses come from abusive and neglected backgrounds, their churches may have imparted the same message! Or someone did!



Also, I think the woman is emotionally neglectful, not getting involved. I wonder if this is how she raised her children, refusing to deal with their emotions, while engaging in all that wonderful community service, “look at me! I love children and serving the underpriviledged. look! look! look!” While her own children probably grew up with a mother who was as emotionally involved as a blow up doll…………..



Jane, Isn’t it interesting that when you bring up the abuse, people try to paint YOU as the trouble maker? And snap out of it, your and adult not a child? Well what happened to the chid shapes the adult. Why waste the enrgy white knuckling it past the meories of abuse and neglect, when we can use the same energy to heal? I am just getting to know you through the posts, but Iam sorry you went through being sexually abused. That is horrific.
My being sexually abused was by a stranger, when very young, alone in a hospital setting. I’m not sure what to make of that……It involves another abuse scenerio of being tied up and confined, and I feel so depressed sometimes, as i think I will never get over my claustrophobia problems because of it………




I love what you said about having to face the darkness to find the light. This is so true. I had to “go back in” in order to come out – and stay out – of the darkness.


Like you, I went through a phase of feeling almost murderously angry at myself for allowing myself to be abused. I eventually got to a place where I forgave myself for not knowing that an un-abusive way of life existed. And yes, I too, realised that I had spent years, decades of my life being controlled by “damaged children”. Not that being damaged is any excuse for what they did. I was a damaged child, but I didnt abuse my daughter. What I did do was be too lenient with her sometimes, and didnt erect enough healthy boundaries, which I suppose could be seen as a form of abuse. I just wanted to be the polar opposite of my parents and their harsh, destructive, unloving parenting style.


I have never really considered what it must be like for you to receive abusive posts like the above, on a website that you have created to facilitate healing. It must be incredibly frustrating. What are people like that doing here in the first place? If they dont like what they read here, why dont they visit I am sure that type of site must exist! Thank you for providing this safe space, and for working so hard to keep it safe for us. It has certainly helped me enormously in my recovery

Love Sylvia x


This website helps me understand the cycle of abuse and validate my experiences. It helps me understand that I’m not crazy, that all those people who tried to silence me in these exact ways are wrong and they’re perpetuating/defending the abuse. I can see that others have been told the exact same things I was, whenever I tried to open my mouth and talk about my experiences, my feelings.

I’m glad I can be reminded here of the nightmare that it was to be enmeshed with my FOO, and how going back is not an option. And to cherish the freedom I’ve been painfully and slowly regaining by distancing myself from them.

I don’t talk to them, I don’t answer their phone calls, messages, nothing. Some cousins have even been trying to reach me, but I’d rather be safe than sorry at this point. Maybe they’re not flying monkeys. Maybe they actually do care and are not just sent out to “herd” me back to my place. I don’t know. I just feel like I’m not going to risk it right now. To be hurt and invalidated again.

The truth is that they did know me/know of me throughout my childhood. So they should have some knowledge of what it must have been like. I certainly don’t need much information/time to see and understand that a child is unhappy, and with me it went on for YEARS. There was plenty of time, plenty of information to be had or at least glanced if someone had dared to poke into my FOO. If a child does not respond to you, is quiet when asked how she is, won’t look at you but looks constantly at the ground, escapes into her room or into fantasy land whenever she can, then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something might be amiss.

So yes, I’m angry, and I have a right to be. I actually think that if you knew me back then, and you want to have contact with me, the first thing out of your mouth should be, “I saw how miserable you were as a child, and how invalidated, and how difficult your life has been, and I’m so sorry, I didn’t know what to do back then, but please let me know if i can be there for you know. I really mean it. ”

I don’t know, I might give it a chance with my cousins when I feel a bit stronger, because I do know they’re not directly responsible.


Janie: “Why dont the abusers lose themselves in genuine community service, not just the kind they do as lip service, to look good in the community?”

Exactly! Well said! I needed to hear that. I’m not going to give a toss about helping the community to be quite honest, for quite some time, maybe even the rest of my life. That’s right. I’ve spent most of my life trying to save the whales, the tigers, the forests, the immigrants, the poor, the gays, the you name it, while suffering from depression and anxiety and not being able to save myself. I’m done with that now. If anyone should be guilted into community service it’s not the victims. I’ve got enough on my plate just being a nice person, healing and be good to myself after years of self blame and pain. I think that’s plenty.


Hi Sylvia
If the law of attraction worked when people could stay in denial and not deal with the past, it would be the easiest thing in the world to just “attract” all the things that you want! But that kind of stuff actually works when you clear the dysfunctional foundation up! (Have you ever noticed that people telling you that if you focus on the bad stuff you get more bad stuff are not actually leading any kind of life you would want in the first place??? ha ha) That is a cool story about your freind! Thanks for sharing that!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Kathi
Isn’t it weird when people even defend convicted abusers and have the nerve to tell you that you are the one in the wrong??
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Judy
Thanks! This writer actually commented on three of the mother daughter posts. (none of them were published) In one of them she ‘explains’ why my father LEFT my mother, sticking up for him and encourageing me to “fix it” with him. She really thought she knew!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Caden
Have you ever heard that story about the crabs in the bucket? They all climb on top of each other and pull the others down and back into the bucket and in the end no one escapes. I often see the dysfunctional relationship system that way. No one wants anyone else to escape to freedom ~ then don’t even want freedom and wholeness, but there is no way in HELL that they want anyone else to get it! That and the fact that when people do the healing work, they are no so easily controlled and pushed around anymore. People tend not to like that so much! ha.
Thank you for your lovely words Caden! I am so glad you share you voice here. (and I am a fan of YOUR blog too! ~ to read Caden’s work click on his name and that will take you to his blog)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Will
Yes, there is LIFE beyond it! I love that saying!
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Danielle
That is another common problem in dysfunctional family! The family does not want anyone to change. (like the crab in the bucket story I shared with Caden) They like the roles they assigned to us and they want us to play them. Thank you for sharing your victories! That is awesome!
Hugs, Darlene

Creating this webiste was like cultivating a whole new relationship with people. I ran into all kind of problems with all kinds of people just like I had dealt with in my life and healing journey. There are abusers who come in abusing ~ I used to think I owed them a voice. There are abusers who come in disguise and start abusing when they have been ‘accepted’ into the group or at least accepted by me. I have had a few people who try to take control and try to discredit me. I have been attacked verbally and it used to be really hard on me and trigger that part of me that wanted everyone to understand that I was a good person. I had a person write me through the comment form telling me that they were leaving EFB because there was “too much whine not enough suck it up”.. that one was funny..

I put a commenter in moderation once because he stood up to a woman who was posting about her “sick abusive good for nothing daughter” and I removed his comment and he asked me to explain to him why I deleted HIS comment which was the truth but I let her abusive comment stay. That was a heck of a week but EFB has never been the same since then! I restored his comment and we had an amazing discussion over it.
Lots goes on behind the scenes here, that is for sure! But I don’t regret doing any of this! I know that this message is a light in the darkenss for many many people.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jane
Those kind of responses make me sick today. “it was a long time ago?????” (to which I respond “what does that have to do with anything?”) “Snap out of it”?? to which I ask “what does that mean?” YOU ARE causing problems??? Really? and what about that horrible “leave well enough alone..” I wrote a whole post about that one. (“when leave well enough alone involves crimes against children”)
~What the heck is “well enough”? They are saying that it is “well enough” !!

Thanks for sharing your comments Jane! This is exactly what I am talking about in this site!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave
More great examples of what happens to children who ‘can’t seem to get over’ abuse that was never validated in the first place. This makes me sick! Men tried to ‘cast out demons’ and reprimanded (re-abused you) for not having ‘enough faith’ to overcome depression caused by abuse! JEEZE this stuff makes me angry. People are so careless, so thoughtless when they grind other people into the ground. Yay for not trying to get validation from other people. I really appreciate being validated however it is not what healed me. It was self validation and self love that came from that self validation that healed me. I could not accept the validation from others that I get today until I knew deep down that I didn’t do anything to deserve what happened to me and that I had NOT been the problem.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Madame
Welcome to emerging from broken
All abusers abuse out of victim mentality. One of the biggest problems with so many abuse victims is that they preach “get over it” or “you think YOU had it bad” just like it was preached to them. It is so important for survivors of trauma and abuse to fight back for their rights to FEEL and know that they deserve to be heard and not allowed to be told they are ‘wrong’ anymore, even if it is other survivors trying to squish our voices that we have to fight. I am glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Janie
It is a complicated thing to understand why siblings will turn on siblings when everyone knows the parent is the problem but it stems from the same childhood fear that victims of child abuse have of their parents. The childhood belief is very strong that if the parent rejects the child the child will die. So that in a nutshell is why siblings will defend the parents to other siblings even when they have suffered similar abuse disrespect and mistreatment. Also, parents will use the divide and conquer tactic to the extreme with their own kids to make them compete with each other for the parents attention. This is a sick thing parents do to ensure the attention is always ON them.
Thanks for your comments Janie!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Miralee
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
What you have shared is at the heart of how so many of us feel or have felt! I could have written what you wrote in your description of the kind of child you were. I too had to finally realize that I had a right to be angry that no one noticed something was very wrong in my young life. I heard whispers about how quiet and sullen I was, but didn’t anyone wonder why! I had classic symptoms of child sexual abuse including redness/rawness in the vaginal and anal areas, which my mother justified (dismissed) as “pinworms” and she made sure that I knew about that story well into my adult years.
Thank you for sharing and I am really glad you have added your voice here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

I have just realized how much I miss a real father and mother today.

My father threw me out of the house when I was 19 and he didn’t want I come back.
I have found a refuge at my grandparents home (who, in facts where not real support) and in the bording school after having spent some days and nights in the street.
I realized I make huge efforts not to feel this excruciating feeling of abandonnement and reject. This is this feeling I feel when I think to travel and when I am very sad just thinking about it. I just can’t travel or move to an other town (even if I desire it so much), because it reminds me the huge, tremendous loneliness I felt when I was rejected by those who were supposed to love me, my “parents”, especially my father.



I have a very strange relation with my father. I was as many of us here to serve him, to improve his life, to give him all he hadn’t receive by his parents.
He took the place of my mother. He represented all for me. He was the center of my universe. We were intensely close. It was a tragedy when he decided to hate me during my teenagehood. Suddenly, I realized I couln’t count on the person I trusted the most. This is was so heart breaking and an horrible betrayal at a so vulnerable period, the teenage hood.



Hi Aurele
Sometimes I look back and I realize how much energy it took for me to avoid facing those feelings. I totally relate to what you are saying here.
It is a huge blow to realize what our own parents were communicating to us by the things they did and didn’t do. But we can learn to fill those voids ourselves once we know where they started and realize the messages we got from them are lies. This was a huge part of my overcoming. There is so much hope!
Hugs Darlene


Though I am a frequent visitor to this and the Facebook page, I have not yet posted a comment, until now. I am not at the point where I am willing or able to include my real name, or even to verbalize much (if anything) about what happened to me… I know that day will come and I welcome it from afar. I know I am on the path that will take me there – to healing, to wholeness, to a whole new life. A new me. One step at a time.

I break my silence now to say, for the record: thank God for everyone who has the courage to speak about their own experience, even if it means becoming vulnerable to others’ misunderstandings and judgments. We are here to be lights in the darkness. Those looking for the light will find their path to fullness of life illumined; those who aren’t looking will run the other way.

Thank God, yes… because if it weren’t for others having the courage to be transparent about their own healing journey, I would not have the courage to continue with mine.


When I was 14, I visited my grandparents, and then my aunt, stayed several days with each. They all lived out of state so I missed them when they weren’t visiting and wanted time with them.

My mistake. My grandparents took the time to make some cruel remarks to me when we got into an argument during my visit with them as a way to “win,” and pulled some other hurtful things. By the end of the visit, they had stopped speaking to me entirely.

I tried to tell my aunt about what they did when I came to see her. She was their youngest daughter and from what I heard went through a horrific amount of physical and emotional abuse at my grandfather’s hands. I thought she would understand.

Instead she took my hands, shook her head with a smile and told me, “Just let it go, honey. Just let it go.” She then had me write them a thank you letter for their hospitality and threatened consequences if I didn’t.

I can still hear her syrupy “Just let it go.” I now feel that’s the nicey-nice way some people tell others to shut up. She was one of these people who you NEVER really saw get angry, so I always thought she was a good person since I wasn’t afraid of her flying into a rage. Now, I know that in her own way she was just as bad in respect to perpetuating the abuse.

On a side note, when my grandfather’s obituary was published a few years ago, I wanted to scream. It painted such a saintly picture of him and all these things he’d done… I have a strong feeling my aunt wrote it. My father (Grandpa’s son in law) finally confided to me several years ago that he felt my grandfather was just plain mean.

I fully agree that admonishing others because they won’t be quiet about their abuse or stuff their feelings is unhealthy (and definitely a reflection of that person, not you). I also believe doing it to yourself is unhealthy.

I do think, though, that the woman who left that comment sort of gave away a little about herself in mentioning she’s a great-grandmother. IMHO that reflects a bit of generational/societal/cultural thinking. Doesn’t make it okay, but it put it in clearer context for me.


Hi Anonymous!
Welcome to emerging from broken! You don’t need to use your real name here. It is major that you are even willing to post a comment. Every little step forward IS a step forward. Thank you for your encouragement to me and to the others here. I am so glad you chose to post!
Hugs, Darlene


Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Yes, she included that information to validate that “she knows what she is talking about” kind of like it ‘proves’ that she has the authority to makes these comments!
Thanks for pointing it out. These are the little things that we can look for as clues when people are pulling “rank” on us. Noticing things like that have been a big part of my “coming out of the fog” being defined as “less than” caused me to be in.
Thank you for sharing part of your story today
Hugs, Darlene


Wow. I wish I could say I was surprised that there are people in this world like that “mother” (and I use that term loosely) but I see that attitude all too often. A lot of friends and family have been uncomfortable with my telling what happened to me and a lot of them would prefer me to be silent (and broken) than to be open and start healing.

Another one I’ve been told is that I should ‘look at it from the abuser’s point of view and recognize that this person has hardships/is going through a lot of changes, etc. Whether or not that’s true, I still needed help and support to deal with the effects that the abuse had, and is still having, on me.

For me, being able to ‘move on’ has been like the wound that has to be exposed to the air in order to heal: until I ripped off the band-aid and had to look at what happened to me, I was stuck in old habits that made it so that I was existing rather than living. And even after doing that I’ve found it’s going to take time to replace habits I have had for most of my life with better ones. I wish healing was as easy as just moving on and deciding on the spot to let go of the past, but it’s not.

I am thankful to people like you who write about this… if people hadn’t started speaking up I never would have known that what was done to me was wrong.


hi darlene,
breaking the ‘norm’ has been hard for me. and i know i sound like a stuck record sometimes because i cannot actually face how i was treated as a child. heck if it was half as neglectful as i think let alone the abuse side of things then, mmm maybe there is still a reason i cannot find my through my defences enough to actually see the truth and then accept and hela. but whilst relationships and the power behind relationships still hold such power over me in the present, it hard for me to see how i can break through any more than i have. arghhh. to have these horrid suspisions and intellectually be able to accept why my childhood was the way it was, doesnt help me have a proper loving relationship with m husband or be able to accept sex as making love. this all stems from the lies and mistrust fostered by my birth family and upper generations. still i mourn the loss of my family, but reealise enough to know that if i let my mother in, not my father or brother so much, i will still be on that treadmill of reactive behaviour instead of proactive.
gosh i hate the way i regress when in her presence. i hate the way she still makes me feel unworthy and not quite good enough. should always try harder , do more. arghhhh i glad that i was able to remove some of the rose tinted glasses i used to wear, but whilst i miss the family i should of had instead of the one i got, i will stay stuck partially in the past.
how do i get past this part?


Hello Darlene/Everyone.

‘Why do you not simpy move on’. Oh dear dear. Just what people tell me to do. Such frightening reading as I sit here all alone in utmost terror. and I have the audasity to call myself a ‘SURVIVOR’?

So many people have put me down those who aused me in some way people passing me in the street saying ‘Cheer up it might never happen’ so many timeshis has happened. and then those I seek hel with such as a Helpliner even Nurses have drogatised me without even knowing the couses of my traumatic experiences.

Darlene I can best describe myself as being ‘Frozen in time’ I’m permanently braced for the next attack shoulders haunched head down hoping I dont see it commng. praying no not again why me. Permanent terror reliving grotesque attack’s and near death experiences I’m in permanent deep thought which peple pick up on when they mock me just for my facial expression while re living constantly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

After breaking away what is my blood Family I began an amazing journey of self discovery meeting amazing people who also had big issues then active within a community setting I was discovering the Paul that had been a prisoner of his own mind. but when I got the chance to meet other people I grasped it with all my heart I related to so many people and knew I had to speak out openly after hearing so many painful stories. speaking publicly has been both a terrfying and wonderful experience at the same time.

Sadly on this journey I have encountered some very unpleasant people in setting’s you would not expect But as I had discovered the real paul I was able to stand up to them for a long time but one set of people decided in my view to wage a hate campaign eight years ago on goin right now it’s my face can you tell it say’s abuse me abuse me yet In my outrage I angrily spoke out everyway I could and still do. yet for speaking out these very real abusers seem to punish me with more hateful neglect and no matter how much I challenge them they do it all the more some people in a position of perceived power over others seem to feel the need to target people in a bad way and with my face that constantly re live’s horror’s I’m an easy target.

Yes I have made astounding claim’s of many abusing me in different way’s but it happene’s to be true and the more incredible the story the harder it is to believe. and I paul go through a desperate life crying someone help please help with a profound need to ‘TELL’. TO BE VALIDATED/VINDICATED’.

I know I a’m Obsessive Compulsive and often Manic behaviour’s I have seen Alien spacehip’s in the sky and in my bedroom is this Psychosis anyone? No health professional has allowed me to talk about my experiences I begged I cried I pleaded someone listen please lisen. WHYWONT THEY LISTEN TO A TRAUMATISED MIND?

Yet Darlene everyone the abuse has been Oh so real I have fought it like a lion at times and other times the timid paul meekly submit’s then later my guilt is emmence and it’s this feeling of guilt and feeling’s of shame and ‘REJECTION’ That shows in my face and body posture that some people pick up on and for some reason they feel the need to harm me at times I have harmed myself to save them the bother IT’S MY FAULT I MUST PUNISH MYSELF, I have no right to be happy it’s like I live in a permanent trance in slow motion observing people abusing me in some way as it happens so often I have the uttmost feeling of ‘HELPLESSNESS’ This feeling Darlene is so dspeatelly profound. even when in safe company and doing amazing thing’s I’m still bracing myself in terror of horror’s to come.

Importantly when at meting’s I’m in terror of the meeting ending and have to walk out alone in to the world always alone alone alone. someone hold me please hold me hold me hold me I need to be held my mind tll’s me it’s the only way I will be safe.

I’m so very very scared every second of my life. Permanent terror.

Over the years I have super Manicly worked hard causing permanent injury with great pain and have Ostio Arthritis to also cope with and my does it show when I dare venture out.

I was born with a physical impairment with great shame and ridicule attached I’m in terror ot to tell you what it is. My mother was the first to derogatise me in front of all the family then my very best friend telling many kid around us what happened. over the years I endured the utmost dehumanising ridicule even when in a relationship. I’mnot able to trust people now but so want to but then it’s not safe to as I truellycant defend my self now I feel I can only get better with support and pu in a safe placewhere no ne will harm me.

DarleneI have wasted decades praying I would just scapeand NOT DO IT. At least now I understand what has been going on in my life. but I have made myself so ill with the warry and fear I just need to be in a safe environment.

I’m rambling on now med’s are making me ill must sleep.

I pray you undersand I’m tryingto getyou all in to this trumatised mind

Take care ALL.


My mother has the same attitude. Mom has the house on lockdown, to where there’s no privacy – it’s been like that all my life. My father – in terminal condition – will defend mom even if I’m right. So my younger sister is spoiled & I take the blunt of everything. I think she’s sorry, but she can’t face the reality of saying she screwed up. So, bribery and still treating me like a 5-year old continues. I’m still thrown the “get over it” card, and move on, while still acting nonchalant about how I was treated. I’m actually the oldest and has tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. My best friend’s mom is with us and we both know that dad passing will cause a serious breakdown & her attitude will get worse. It’s like she’s losing control over what she thinks she has. My sister actually lives across the street, but they are so alike, it’s unreal. I believe our relationship will be strained – it actually won’t bother me – when he passes. I guess trying to establish the boundary of respect my parents though they screwed me via neglect with no Vaseline. Oh, I have 37 hours left until I return to Florida.

My abuser says to my mother, she doesn’t exist, but will turn right around & call him telling him of my father’s condition. Mind you she doesn’t want me to communicate with him because if she doesn’t exist, my sister & I shouldn’t exist to him. She knew of the abuse and forced me when I was 11 to turn a blind eye, and accept him back in the house.

I get the forgiveness card thrown at me all the time. We victims are the ones who are told to forgive (which we should do), we end up in counseling, told to “get over it,” end up on medication while the abuser gets praise from the family for doing the crime. It’s always us abused victims who have to bow down to controlling mothers like mine. If I stood up (and if my father were well), he would take mom’s side even if I was right. She is determined to have everyone bow down to her. I’m trying to honor her, but I refuse to let her treat me like a 5-year-old. My sister is younger & spoiled and is not treated like a 5-year-old. When I leave from my short visits, she throws the guilt saying I’m lonely. Mind you my sister lives across the street. I’ll stop, there’s so much more I could say.


Hi Darlene,

Your posts always help me feel validated! And, the world is a better place because you are in it. Thank you for giving us, the absused children, a voice and a safe place to share our pains and our gains as we continue our own journeys to wellness and wholeness.

You are an amazing woman!



Hi Elsa
It is so sad that so many would rather see people silent and broken then open, happy and whole! I have written a lot about how damaging it was when I was always encouraged to understand or feel sorry for the abuser. ~ that changes nothing about the damage and actually re-abuses the abused by invalidating once again.
I like your analogy!
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Carol,
You might be at a point where you need to work one on one with someone. Some things are hard for me to do in writing just here in the blog. This is the kind of thing I do in my coaching practice.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Paul
My dear, I am so sorry for the pain you are in. Please know that you are not alone and that there are people who understand. Thank you for sharing your fear and your heart today and please hang in here Paul.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Tremayne,
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am sorry that you are in this situation. There are many here struggling with similar situations and finding solutions and freedom from dysfunction. You are not alone.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Victoria
Thank you! I appreciate your saying so and I appreciate you being here! Without all the commenters who contribute to these discussions, this would be a very different place!
Hugs, Darlene


I was friends with a young man in high school for two years. I held him while he grieved the loss of his innocence to sexual abuse at age six, and then the loss of his older brother (who spoke up for him and told the parents of the sexual abuse) at age 13. His brother was killed in an auto accident. This young man cried more times than I could ever count and I listened to him many times. (We were romantically involved, but he was ashamed of his sexuality–so, we didn’t last) Looking back I see that he had no one else to validate his losses. Now, I find him giving sermons online about NOT listening to abused people in the church because that is being friends with satan and PREVENTING their healing. It blows my mind how he could be so far from the truth of his own life, not realizing or validating what helped him. It was a counselor of mine that told me that he was healing while sharing his pain with me. He never told me that, not ever!


We should make an abuse vicrtim “Bingo” game for all those overused platitudes like “just get over it,” and “move on,” and “forgive your abusers.”


I’d also like to say that for those of us with PTSD after our abuse experiences, well that physically changes the structure of your brain and I read the other day it can alter your genes, so this “get over it” attitude is just ignorant. It’s kinda hard to just “let go” of physical changes to your body, now isn’t it?


” I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to tell her all the reasons I have a right to write whatever I want. I don’t have to validate everyone’s opinion; that is another thing that I was brainwashed about. My voice and the voice of truth was being squished but how dare I squish someone else’s voice EVEN if that voice was abusive.”
Thank you so much for writing this, and the whole post.
I’ve encountered many people who think like this and have said things like this, and it’s so shaming. Because of all the abuse I went through I can get confused, blindsided, angry, hurt, and scared. Feeling back in time, feeling like something bad is going to happen to me all over again. And ashamed. I am learning one foot in front of the other to recognize, listen to my feelings of shame and what is being said to me is shaming from another person. And I do have the right today to heal in truth and have a right to my voice. I do have the right to boundaries now. It’s a whole lot of one foot in front of the other. Thank you again this is incredibly validating to read. this.


My mother will pretend like nothing ever happened, but will spread rumors and gossip about my abuse to others if the subject comes up, like she had no part in it. She is constantly changing the past to whatever is easiest for her. She treats my abuse like gossip spread around an office. It’s very distorted and insane. She now adds blame and false stories about me and others who were around. She actually has created false stories of my own abuse while denying her part and blaming me. She likes to refer to me as damaged. I’ll hear stories about my childhood abuse from a sibling that never happened. The sickest thing here for me is that I have PTSD and there is a chance that some of it may be true but I’ve blocked it out. I think she does this to try to get a rise out of me so she can point at me and blame me for being an angry person and try to convince others that I was always an angry person, she’s always said I had a temper since I was a baby. I also think she does this to try to manipulate me through my PTSD. It sometimes amazes me how much hate she has for me. I can’t even hold a conversation about this with her (carefully excluding her part just to get some facts) because she will literally change reality as I’m trying to talk about it, and then change the subject in the middle of a sentence. If I do confront her, she goes into an infantile tantrum blaming me for everything and telling me how awful I am because she “tried so hard” to give me the best she could. I can count my happy memories on one hand with a couple digits left over, and she is not a part of those memories. When I told my mother I had PTSD from child abuse, she said nothing, gave me an interesting look of fear, and quickly started talking about her work life.

My father left the picture when I was 8. When I finally saw him again 10 years later, he claimed he couldn’t remember anything, nothing, nothing of his own children, and he laid a sob-story on me about how bad he’s had it and how badly his mother abused him, and how badly my mother treated him while they were married. He said he was sorry for whatever bad may have happened to me and that he hoped I could forgive him asap. I will never forget the time he told me he “wanted to have children”. I told him he already did have children, he said he wanted more so he could “do it right this time”. That hurt.

I felt like I was abused, but everyone in my life told me I wasn’t, that my parents had it worse, and that I should be grateful for what I was given. I blocked it all out because it was so confusing and painful. I always blamed myself for being too emotional and ungrateful because I resented what I had been through. I was always under the impression that so many others had it much worse than me. I was taught to deny and ignore my own pain because I was irrelevant in comparison to the abuse my parents endured. I was always told to “tough it up, it only gets worse when you get older”.

I did choose to forgive and forget what I had been through, using my parents past abuse as there excuse to make it ok. It made me crazier and didn’t change who my parents really are. They continued to be abusive towards me even into adulthood. Being around them was no different. I pushed it away and went through a couple years of asking myself what the hell was wrong with me, why can’t I be happy? Why am I so angry inside? Why do I do this to myself? The pain was so intense and I was physically and mentally exhausted. I thought it was my work draining me. It wouldn’t go away no matter how many hobbies I had or how much I committed myself to my work. I checked myself into therapy, and after a few sessions of being validated for the first time in my life, I was told I have PTSD, which took me another year to finally accept.

People who want to blame me or dismiss me are not worth my time. I have cut my family out of my life for good. I cannot set myself aside anymore. I have learned not to share any of this with others except my husband and therapist (and now this blog). I do not feel anyone in my life right now has the capacity to understand this and not say something dismissive. I have shared this with people in the past who patronize me or tell me to simply “forgive or else I’m letting my past run my life.” It’s not that simple. The nightmares don’t go away, the pain, the fear, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the self-hatred, none of that goes away by pushing it away – it makes it worse.

Thank you for giving me a place to share this without the fear of being dismissed or told I am wrong. It means so much. I hope it helps others as others posting here has helped me. I thank you all for having the courage to share yourselves here.


Hi Laura,
Yes there is no “just get over it” ~ that doesn’t work at all and is actually just more invalidation.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. It has also been proven that we can re-wire our brains and change those neuro pathways, which is what I write about in EFB (how I did that)~ It is really exciting to find the discoveries that are being made in Neuro Science that support what I write about here! This is so hopeful!


Hi Heather
Welcome to emerging from broken!
Yes, that is exactly what happens; we ‘learn’ to expect something bad is going to happen because it always used to. That is what a “trigger” is. The whole key for healing is to find those feelings and find thier roots. Then we can do the self care and self talk (like re-parenting) work that it takes to undo those false messages and set them back to the truth. I had to tell myself over and over that I was an adult now and that I could say no and that I could stand up for myself and not freeze. That stuff took time but in the end it paid off HUGE!
Glad you are here!Thanks for sharing ~YES you have a right to heal!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alice
Wow, what your father said was very mean and inconsiderate. I can understand why you felt hurt… his comments are so devaluing!
(re the stuff you shared about your mother) One of the things that was so hard for me to understand and even believe is that people will lie and go to any lengths to make sure that no fingers point at them if the truth is ever to come out. I have written several posts about how I came to realize that, through what I call truth leaks, for example years ago I told my mother I was going to write a book about my recovery process and she threatened to sue me if I wrote anything about she didn`t like… the truth leaks were
a) Why did she think it would have anything to do with her?
b) What did she think I was going to say (this indicates that she knows things that I had not yet realized were actually abusive and possible things that I didn’t even remember)
I could go on but like I said, I have written a lot about this.
Thank you for sharing some of your story. You are not alone and you will never be dismissed here! Iwant to encourage you; my nightmares have gone away now and I rarely have flashbacks anymore. My life is full and really excellent!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene 🙂 It’s nice to see others who have dealt with this same sort of mind-numbing conundrum of denial and manipulation. It’s an icky mixture of lies, blame, self-blame, hurt, anger…it makes it hard to decipher when you’re too hurt and angry to deal with even more abusive tactics.

Another thing I think is relevant to this dismissive “forgiveness” – I did not check myself into therapy because of my past abuse, I checked myself into therapy because the anxiety was so overwhelming that I thought there was something wrong with me and I needed to figure out what I was doing wrong so I could just make it go away and move on. It took me almost a year to even utter the word “abuse” in relation to my own past experiences. I couldn’t believe my therapist when she validated my abuse, I thought that maybe I was skewing my facts in an attempt for sympathy. It took many repetitious sessions to get it through my head and to accept that what I had been through was real and it was abusive and my mother should have gone to prison for what she did to me.

And I totally agree that was can re-wire our brains. I’ve read about this, too. We can re-wire ourselves to the positive thoughts and out of the negative thoughts we have been wired into. I think I remember reading something about our neural receptors and how through repetition our receptors become more familiar with receiving negative or positive emotions, and can even “forget” certain emotions due to no activity being sent from a particular emotion. It takes repetition and perseverance and determination – kind of like how our abusers were in wiring us into the negative, but we have the power within ourselves to re-wire our thoughts into a positive and balanced mindset.


Darlene. I couldn’t agree with you more! I have the right to my feelings and dealing with blame is to place it squarely on the shoulders of the abusers. My entire family many of which were also sexually abused would have me sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen. They all want me to simply move on!
~ Stanley


Hi Alice;
In order to clarify what I am trying to communicate in this site ~ it isn’t about positiive thinking in fact trying that without validating the things that caused the damage in the first place can actually be more harmful. It isn’t that I replaced negitive thinking with positive thinking. What I did was I found out what my fears were and where they came from. I found out why I reacted the ways that I did and the messages that were stuck in me as a result of the damage. I learned to reassure myself that those messages were all lies and really were not about me but about the ways abusers and abuse/truama defined me. In this way the negitive no longer ruled over me. I talk about my past almost everyday in this website and none of those emotions or triggers from the past get to me anymore. This is such an important clarification. I tried being positive for many many years and the depressions got worse.
Hugs, Darlene


I can’t believe I read the (unpublished) post of that woman and found myself nodding in agreement.

Very weird – never has anything revealed the internal voices of my past abusers , like someone pressed play on a well worn recording.

Took several paragraphs to press the stop button and find my own thoughts and feelings again.

Thank god for this place, feels good to slowly but surely be able to shed the self blame and punishment for what was done to me by parents and others.


Hi Stanley
Yes we certainly ALL have the right to our feelings and to having the damage validated. Poeple who have been traumatized by abuse have usually been brainwashed to believe that there is great danger in facing the truth. AND our minds are set up to help us survive, so as children we had to do something in order to survive it. Most often that ‘something’ is blocking out the truama or dissociating from it in order to cope. As adults that survival instinct confirms that it is STILL do dangerous to face the truth, although this is no longer the truth. So not only do we have to override our own belief systems, we have to deal with all these other people who a) don’t want the part they played exposed and or b) don’t want to have to deal with thier own demons.
Moving on without healing however kept me stuck in the pain I was actually trying to avoid for many many years.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi R.
WOW what a fantastic and honest contribution to this comment thread! That is an amazing thing to post and I can’t thank you and validate you enough for it. Before I went through this process I agreed with this kind of thing too! It was so dysfunctional but I didn’t know any different. And yes, it was the internal voices of abusers past and others and the ways that I believed I had to think in order to stay safe. Thank you for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


I think its sad Darlene that she would not only try to shut you down but also tried to tell all your readers what to do. I find it very hard to find anyone who will allow me to talk about what happened to me as a child because they say things just like this lady that I have to move on .. that i have to stop speaking of the past.. I realize I have to let go of hurts but I can only do so at my speed . Its sad when people come on here with an agenda to create problems instead of trying to be healed. or to be part of something beautiful.. Sorry you had this happen Darlene..we all need each other .. there is so much good that comes from sharing.

Hugs & love,



oops you know what.. I spelt my own name wrong. have really been burnt out lately but thats pretty bad.. jou is really me: Joy


This unfortunate lady has a LOOONG way to go in her healing process, as is obvious in the lack of knowledge that healing is NOT linear, you have to often go through the same part of trauma many times, on different levels to become a whole as possible. As well as the fact that you cannot skip around the trauma to heal from it. You have to plow head on into it and work your way through to come out on the healthier side. It is obvious that looking too deeply into that dark well of terror and helplessness is still beyond her capabilities.

As to her comment, “I came on your post because I wanted to recheck myself, that my decision was correct. I saw my daughter and her daughter in what appeared to be a very dysfunctional relationship. I refused to be drawn into it. I’ve made the choice to distant myself from it. I will help if needed, but I refuse to enable. Reading some of your posts has shown me I made the right choice. Thank you”. This is heartbreaking to see, as she is completely perpetuating the cycle of abuse and ENABLING IT!!

How many of us abuse survivors out here have had the trauma grossly compounded due to the abandonment of love, guidance, and empathy of those who were supposed to help protect us? Her daughter likely grew up witnessing behaviors she is now on the path of, but is being shunned for following the same footsteps and blamed for not being the one to break the cycle. If the mom, with her extra years of living and experience can’t manage it, why does she expect the daughter to have those tools? And really, how many of us knew there was something wrong and that the situation needed to be rectified when swimming in the midst of the sickness? It is akin to blaming a drowning lifeguard for not saving herself!

Love to all my sisters and brothers out there working to move beyond victims to survivorhood, and onto thriving!! What you are doing is NEVER WRONG!!


Darlene, I meant the negative feelings that persist even after figuring out where they came from and why. It’s not easy to believe I’m not a worthless burden on humanity even after I know why I feel that way. I did not mean to sound as if I thought positive thinking was a cure all, I was speaking in context to what goes on in our brains and how it is part of the process, for me at least. It is easy for me to be pessimistic and very difficult for me to be optimistic. I do not feel it is possible to skip over validation and go to positive thinking, that’s what this whole dismissing and skipping straight to forgiveness would be, and I don’t believe in that at all.


I find it telling and sad that both her daughter and granddaughter are struggling and she feels the need to back away.
Also, she basically tells survivors to ‘shut up’, carry on and be of service, and works in a ‘helping’ profession where people need to be heard. I guess she didn’t find much healing or peace yet.
Unfortunately there is a huge amount of this judgemental silencing in the world.


Hi R,#60

Like Darlene, I think your comment was wonderful. It was so courageous of you. I can remember a time, not that long ago, when I regarded people like those who post on this site, as whingers looking to blame someone else for their own mistakes and character flaws. Then I came out of the fog, and realised that I had been verbally, emotionally and psychologically abused as a child. Now, posting on this site helps me enormously, and the support I have found here has been crucial to my healing journey. But isnt it wonderful that we can now aprehend ourselves, when that old sub-concious thinking kicks in? It shows that we are becoming concious, which is essential to our healing. I wish you lots of luck,

Love Sylvia x


I love this site because it clarifies the issues of abuse which can feel so murky. I used to say that my mother did the best she could do. Now I think that she did not protect me completely. Even though she did many wonderful things for me and my siblings, she would have done better to deal with the elephant in the room: Dad. She died 9 years ago but Dad is still alive and zinging his zingers. His verbal abuse was debilitating as a child and it shocks me that nobody helped us as children. The other day as I was taking him out to lunch, albeit reluctantly, he said with a drink in his hand (at 10:30 am) lets go dum-dum. I realized that that is how he treated my mother and it was so repelling to me.


Hi Darlene it’s the comment “Become involved with giving of your time to those who are less fortunate than you. This brings great personal fulfilment and satisfaction.” that I have a particular beef with. It suggests to me that what happened to me is nothing compared to other people’s suffering so I should shut up wingeing and generally thinking about it and do some good works instead. I tend to feel guilty when I see comments like that, that I’m not trying hard enough. Helping other people doesn’t feel attainable to me currently, I think I’d do them more harm than good!


Hi Joy
Everytime I get a comment like hers I wonder why they think that sort of thing will be welcome on my blog. I can’t help but wonder if she really thought that I was “missing something” and that her life is so much better than mine but I can’t see it! And that just makes me laugh. I thought this comment was a good way to highlight one of the thought processes of people who cut us off in everyday life ~ the very type of thing that we have all exp. so very often.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Geri
Welcome to emerging from broken!
Very good points! Thank you for adding your voice here. I love how everyone is picking up different little “truth leaks” not just about this womans motives but about her own life problems.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Alice
Exactly! I totally understand that. When I clarified what I was saying I didn’t mean that you were saying positive thinking was the answer, I just wanted to make sure that other readers understood it too.
Thanks for clarifying ~
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jill
Yes, that is exactly why I wrote about this comment; to show a typical example of the way we are told to stop talking. When I look at this woman through my healthy grid of understanding, I know that her life is not something that I desire and so why would I listen to her? And if she achieved all this by just “moving on” and being quiet, then I guess that it the oposite of anything I want to do or to tell others to do. It clearly does not work! 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Elizabeth
One of the biggest freedom messages that I learned and try to pass on is that the good doesn’t cancel the bad. It is the damage that we have to face and then heal from. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I am sorry that your father treats you that way.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sam
This part of her comment struck a lot of people. I reacted to it because of the amount of time I spend working on this website. In the first two years I worked full time on it every single day of the week because it was so important to me to “tell the world” my discoveries about how I found freedom. I reacted to her in a “how dare you judge me that way when I am doing EVERYTHING to give service!” but actually the bottom line about what she said is exactly what you have highlighted in your comments. I could not do this before I was healed either your comments are dead on target about her true motive in suggesting we “help others”.
Thank you so much!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for the comments of my ‘courage’ – i was born with the ability to see and state the truth about many situations in life but above all I’ve always been able to be brutally honest about what I’m thinking/feeling including the more unpleasant parts of my personality/motivations.

Mmh, am struck by the thought of ‘stop bragging’ having just written the above but also wondering if my dubious ‘talent’ contributed to my mistreatment in childhood.

Anyway, the initial false agreement with the unpublished poster came from the shameful place, the one where talking about what happened to me left me feeling at fault and the old ‘shut up you whingebag or I’ll give you something to cry about message’ among others. To this day, whenever I feel tired/ill/in pain/something is too much to cope with , the first voice I hear is the harsh ‘cry baby’ one until I figure out that (usually) what I’m bothered about would have upset a lot of ‘normally calibrated’ people too and I’m not being at all unreasonable.

Amazing the twists and turns recovery takes, I’ve told myself many times to just quit rehashing the past and stop indulging my ‘navel gazing’ but still find myself returning here to read each new post .

Which always helps me realise that healing is far from
self indulgent, it’s essential.

Thank you Darlene for creating this space and all of the courageous posters who also refuse to meekly ‘shut up’ about the outrageous abuse they had to endure.


Darlene, thank you! I like that story about the crabs in the bucket–these destructive patterns do all come with inherent mechanisms that doom people to perpetuate them even when sometimes they think they aren’t.

Alice, my mother was like that too. She would deny that I was ever abused, that I had an eating disorder or PTSD to my face and then use these things as fodder for malicious gossip to discredit me to other people in the next breath. She treated the whole matter as if it was all about her, and therefore also hers to distort, define, and spread around in whatever form she wished, truly creating her own bizarre form of reality through compulsive lying. I’m so sorry you had to go through such manipulation from a completely insane and unreliable person. I imagine if my mother knew today I had recovered repressed memories she would also try something like that, but thankfully she and her gossip have no connection whatsoever with my life today. I’m glad to hear you’ve also cut your family out of your life by this point. Thanks for sharing,


I caved and let my Mother come down for a “holiday” for a week. I told her if she started her crap she could leave. First two days went by just fine. My son’s birthday was this past Friday and he turned 4. My Mother took me to the store to rent a movie for my children and my husband and myself. I put the movie for the kids on downstairs and went upstairs. The prior two evenings she never had a problem with it. I came downstairs 15 minutes later and she’s crying and saying she’s felt like she’s unwanted. I told her if she felt that way she can pack her crap in her bag and leave. She did just that. After my son was asleep on his birthday. She went to the airport and went home. So for the past 48 hours since she’s been texting, emailing, facebooking and phoning me NON-STOP!

Her last messages:

“like i said what comes out of your mouths is your problem not mine u better do some reading on how bad some mothers are and consider u had one that did all she could the best way she knew how and bent over backwards and still wont ever be enough go find better i dare u
until u realize i am your mother and u have some respect dont bother me with your bull shit and dont ever use those kids against me u do it all the time but no more call me when u realize u want a mom and u sort out whatever shit u got to sort out im not your doorat no more messages now i delet my facebook”

What I sent back to her and it IS my final contact with her for all time. She is no longer welcome in my home or in my life.

“Well considering I didn’t say anything to you or to my children (if they even said something like that) it should be ____ you’re upset with and not me. You’re holding me accountable for something beyond my control. Story of my life. If you’re the best Mom I’m going to find then I’d rather be an orphan. Providing materially for me you’ve been a great Mother, but in the emotional or bonding department you lack. I don’t blame you. I can’t imagine what your childhood must have been like but you need to get help to heal from it. I understand you loved me to the best of your ability but you try to make me feel guilty for what little you did give me. That is not only unfair and mean but something you have been consistent in my entire life.

You left on Carl’s birthday. That is not normal. You talk of me using my children to hurt you when I am protecting them from what happened on Friday night. You are not welcome in my home ever again and I do not want further contact with you. I will look for whatever I need elsewhere because the price tag with you is way to emotionally high for me to invest in. I have nothing left in my heart to give to you emotionally, mentally or whatever else you think you deserve from me.

Respect is a two way street. I have been manipulated my entire life to be what you want, when you want it for whatever you need or wanted. I can no longer respect a dishonorable person. I am sorry if you disagree but if you go back through your social history I am certain you will find a lot of others that agree with me.

The day that really sold the idea to me how unrespectable you really are was the day I saw you flinging cat feces over the fence into Sonya’s kid’s pool and on their little princess chairs. You disregarded the fact that those children could and probably would get sick if I had not told her exactly WHAT you did.

You are rude, cruel and can be very mean when you feel you are right and correct. Even if people can point this out you deny it to yourself and to others. You then spread whatever mean and cruel stories about those people to others to the point where they have no choice to accept what you say or no longer care to make you cease on the topic.

You seek and crave attention and I can no longer supply you with it.

I have nothing left to give you except this: love yourself because in the end it’s all that counts. You do not love yourself as you currently stand and you need other people to fill that void in yourself. You deserve to treat yourself better.

I realize you are my Mother. I had 17 years until I left home to have it drilled into my head that I should respect you based on the fact I came from your vagina. A Mother is more than someone that gives birth to someone. They care for, love, hug, kiss, color with, cuddle, share secrets with, are bonded closely with, share each other with and are best friends. You are none of those things to me or with me. You are a person I survived my childhood with. I cried myself to sleep, was lied to, was taken along like a piece of baggage most of my childhood. You failed to protect my well being and did not love me the way a Mother should love a child. I felt unlovable, ugly and ashamed to bring people into my family because I knew I was different from most people that are considered “normal”. Our family was dysfunctional on many levels and I am sure that Heather can vouch for that. To me a Mother is someone that loves a child, takes time to be with that child for the sake of the well being of the child and loves them no matter what that child will give back to the parent. If a parent is a good parent that will reflect in the child’s temperament and treatment of that parent.

One last and final question, how would your Mother feel if I told her what you told me about her??? I have heard you refer to my Grandmother, whom I care about very much and miss very much, as a “bitch” by you on several occasions. Not only that but you said just as much about her behavior and her temperament in front of my children and my husband.

Until you realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you and you cannot twist people and make them surrender to what you believe as truth I’m sure you’ll continue on as you are alone and without companionship. One day in the not so far future you will take a look back at your life and you will remember all the people you stepped on to look better, all the people you hurt to feel better and all the people who had to suffer your actions because of what you thought was justice for you. That day you will feel the weight of everything you have done. I promise you it will not feel kind, happy or light. You will feel just as you made all those people (including myself) feel.

I wish you luck in your life and really honestly hope you will change one day. I’m just tired of hanging on and hoping. Love yourself, love life and love light by embracing the shadow of your soul. You have much to offer the world but you are too afraid to give it. I know you’ve been hurt in your life, but passing on that kind of legacy will do nothing but bring you pain and loneliness.

This is the last time I will contact you. You have nothing left I need or want. I know the difference and you’re grasping at straws. Take a long look in the mirror and discover who you are. I dare you.”

I have lost a few people that think I’m wrong and do not know my side of the story or care to know. Too bad I guess for them. I’m making it in my new life 1/2 a country away and it’s helping me to realize just how messed up my childhood really was.


Jessie, Wow! I am sorry you and your family had to go through all of that, but glad you came away learning what was right for you and yours. I would just like to say:you rock! That was the most awesome response to your mother’s sick attempt at manipulating you once more! And she had to create drama on her 4 yr old grandson’s birthday? Why, because it wasn’t about her? She was just being treated like one of the family, and that day was not her special day?
I have also come to the conclusion that I will most likely be leaving my brother behind, as the result of my sisters’ sick, sick mechanizations. And I needed to read what you wrote there, too bad for them. It hurts, but I need the peace of living my life at a distance, physically and emotionally as well. I have to remember that he is probably the most damamged of all, from this dysfunction. It is once again a case of me having no contact with an individual for a while, and they stop talking to me, or are very cold, as a result of the trash my sisters are speaking,once again.
Thank you for sharing all of that, and I wish you continued peace!



Kate – clearly that young man you speak of never fully healed from his experiences. Clearly he is being deceived. Pain has a way of coming forth in the church masked as “an attack from satan or being a friend of the enemy” or whatever you want to call it. There is a LOT of abuse and deception in the church in America. There is a LOT of false doctrine and deceptive teaching. The church should be standing up against abuse and neglect. Instead the church by and large is either contributing to it from angry men who misuse their power or its blamed on satan because thats what a lot of christians do instead of taking responsibility for their own lives and their own actions its much easier to blame it on the devil. I have a close friend who told me that i was being attacked by satan because i am crying every day from being abused. She immediately said “you are being attacked by Satan.” When i was struggling terribly with panic attacks because i didnt know what they were i was told by a sr. pastor in dallas that i had “a spirit of terror” attacking me and that i needed to pray against it…the abuse in church is rampant. I am sorry to hear about your friend Kate but it does not surprise me. Healing from what he went through takes many, many years. I cry ever day from the abuse that i suffered which went on daily for 21 years. I have been crying almost every day for over 10 years. No exaggeration. The pain and wounding and abuse was every single day, sometimes many times in one day. Trying to heal from all that now 40 years later is tremendously hard work. I have to work on it every day or i will never recover. I had PTSD undiagnosed for about 35 or so years. The church has done way more damage to me than it has help me. I have had many “so called demons” cast out of me when the truth is that my heart is broken from being abused, neglected and then betrayed by my parents and the rest of my family because i spoke up and told the truth. The church refused to acknowledge any of that and instead said i had a demon of fear and a demon of depression and other demons that needed to be “cast out”…what happened as a result is that i became bulimic. I already had self hatred to begin with so now i had pastors telling me i had demons inside that needed to be cast out so i started purging myself every day, sometimes more than once a day. I didnt recognize that i was bulimic until just a couple of years ago. I kept losing weight and getting sick and didnt know why..its because i kept purging myself, trying to deliver myself from all the so called demons that i was told were inside of me. I finally realized what i was doing and that i was not filled with demonic spirits and that what the pastors told me were all lies. They were being deceived and they teach that every problem has a demon behind it. I know many pastors that teach this way…so you cast out the demon and the problem goes away…but in my case i kept getting worse and worse and they didnt know what to do with me so they told me “you must not have enough faith to keep the evil spirits away.”…so it was my fault that i could not “get free” because of my “lack of faith.” somehow i finally saw the truth. It took me a long time. Sorry for rambling so much but i am so tired of seing men in churches abuse their positions and abuse their flock when they are supposed to be providing a loving, caring, supportive place for people to come and receive love and help. Sadly not much surprises me anymore…thank God for this forum and for Darlene and her truth serum !!!!


Hi Darlene, Just realizing #33 was directed at me. Yes,my mother does do divide and conquer to be the center of attention. Lately, probably knowing my brother does not intend to speak to me or call back, she delights in name dropping his name, how he called her, checks in on her, helps her, etc. And what my younger sister says,how great and fantastic she looks after gastric bypass, etc.
So, fear of abandonment drives them to ignore her abusive behavior, interesting!
I am low contact now, but even that is a struggle. She is so manipulative. I feel like I am leaving my father behind, though………



Hi Janie,

Divide and Conquer was one of my mothers favourite weapons. She pitted me and my 4 siblings against each other so severely, that we have all been NC with each other for many years now. I didnt even know my sister had died until, until 3 months after the event. Is this what my mother really wanted for her children? She had been very close to her 2 older brothers and was devastated when they died, why would she not want that closeness for us? The other thing I regret is that my daughter has never known her cousins. The family problems werent helped by the fact that one of my older brothers married my mothers doppleganger. My SIL had an almost identical narcissistic personality to moms, only she was also a violent alcoholic, something mom hadnt been. SIL was moms acolyte and after mom died, she carried on – and completed – the total destruction of the family. She wanted to keep my brother to herself. I only have one child but if I had more, my greatest wish would be for them to be close and supportive to each other. I truly believe that anyone who sets their children against each other is seriously mentally ill. And what Darlene said is definitely true of my mother and SIL. That they do it to get – and keep – the attention on themselves.


Congratulations and much respect to you! You stood up for yourself tremendously! My mom has been dead for over 30 years now, but her control and manipulation tactics poisoned my life long after her passing. We deserve better, and our children deserve better than to be exposed to this kind of dysfunction. I am sure your mother, if she is anything like mine, will attempt to make herself the victim in all of this, but you know the truth and as long as you live in that truth, thats all that matters.

Love, Sylvia x


Hi Jessie
Thanks for sharing this. There is something about seeing it all in writing when it is copied and pasted that just makes it so clear. The ways that these things are said are so twisted.
I really love your letter back to your mother. You are so loving towards her (in spite of everything) and you show genuine care but you’re also very clear about your own needs and that now you are going to love yourself more and that in order to meet your own needs and to take care of yourself the way you deserve to be treated, you have to set this boundary. I loved reading your letter.
Thank you for posting it here.
Hugs, Darlene



For someone to write as that person did, to order others to deny themselves, suck it up, etc etc, is truly so abusive and dismissive, but when I went and read the original thread, I was especially shocked to see that she was responding to comments from others graphically depicting such nightmare abuses. I was feeling the horror and my heart was bursting with pain and empathy for all that suffering. Thank you for not giving her a voice on that page and thank you for posting this as an example.



Hi Sophia
That was what outraged me too ~ that she was commenting on such horrific abuse stories with advice to get over it. And her comment was not one of the first ones either. There were a lot of really emotional comments before hers came in. AND she tried to comment on three other posts with the same sort of advice. Thanks for reading the original thread Sophia and for your comments about that here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
This is one of the most powerful posts you’ve written so far. It hits home on so many levels. This woman’s comment could have been written by my sister who more than anything, doesn’t want to acknowledge that she was abused. It is the comment of a golden child who has to maintain an image of perfection no matter the pain they carry secretly, inside. It is their method of survival and I believe, that when others dare to talk about what happened to them they perceive their survival as threatened by the truth. As the golden child, my sister completely dissociated from the truth about the home environment we grew up in. She had to because to grow up in such an environment would make her less than perfect. Every time I tried to reckon with the past, I became a threat to her survival because she survives by living in a fantasy world and carrying pretense. She has done this for so long that I’m not sure if she is in touch with who she really is, at all. Her words hurt like hell and they kept me from the reckoning with the past that I needed in order to leave the past behind but I also, realize now that she has suffered even greater personal damage than I have simply because her assigned role as the golden child demands that she carry an image of perfection. If that image is destroyed, she no longer exists because she was never allowed to be her true self, in the first place.

There was a time when the comment you shared would have driven me back into silence and hiding. Then there was a time when such a comment would have filled me with rage and propelled me to fight for my own survival of self. Now, I have a better understanding of the kind of damage a person has suffered to make such a comment. My sister and others who were assigned the rold of “golden child” have as much need of reckoning and healing as I do. I have empathy for them but I fully, realize that the best thing I can do for my sister and others like her is to heal myself and continue to speak the truth. No one can heal without reckoning with the trauma of childhood abuse. The woman who made this comment is in dire need of reckoning. Freedom isn’t free. It is expensive to obtain and requires diligence and responsibility to maintain but it is more than worth the cost and the effort.



Sylvia, I am sorry you went through this as well. That is so sad, that you didnt know your sister had passed! I feel as though my mother and my sister’s main objective is to keep just ME separate from everybody else, and pretend they are the happy little family, and that is the problem. I think that hurts more. I really find that I despise my own mother, for being so hateful and hurtful.
Jessie, your letter was great, letting your mother know exactly where you and she stand. And you did do it in a kind and loving way.. You wished her well, and wished her peace. That takes strength, and maybe a compassion that I dont have. When I am the target and she seeks to destroy and discredit me at every turn, you know what? I dont wish her harm, but I certainly cant find it in my heart to wish her well. Because to me that is like her getting away with it, scot free……..



Well, now I’m confused. Please help me. I figured the way the woman was putting forth her words was quite apt to be the correct way to go about dealing with these and many other issues. I’ve been ignoring much of my life because it hurts to my very core to hear or follow my instinct. I thought it was best to find healing through knowing other peoples issues were not my own and to let them go. I totally understood and can relate so well with this woman’s words. Why do I feel so backwards in my thinking now that I have read your response to her?


Hi Jackie,
Welcome to emerging from broken
It might help you to read the original post and comments in order to understand more clearly why what this woman was saying was so abusive to the readers and to me. Here is the link. ~ this will I hope clarify what we are discussing in this post.
You are right that we do find healing in knowing that other peoples issues are not our own but that isn’t what this is about. This is about someone who puts others down and even shames them to shut them up and this keeps survivors of abuse and trauma squished down and silent.
This site is about empowering people to heal from this kind of thing by recognizing what it is.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you for the link. I did go read the post but not all the replies as there are so many. 🙂 I agree with the fact that there are so many people who put others down and shame those who wish to be free and open about the abuse suffered. Still, even after moving closer to my family to BE a closer knit family is impossible for my family. There is extensive damage within. Father and siblings are still, 35 years later, talking about the weather because it is a safe subject.
I, on the other hand, want to heal and have the open-ness, love, kindness and compassion in my life. I do not want to hide the fact that I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family unit. They run fast when I bring up any sort of thing from the past. I bring it up because I am the youngest of the family and have questions about “stuff” that happened. My memory is jumbled and this continues to confuse me as to why certain things happened and why some people left my life when I (thought) I needed them most. When I feel they were the ones I could depend on, they left me. The reasoning I have come to conclusion is because they were either sexual with each other and they should not have been for example; my mother having sex with my sister’s husband. Which meant, my sister leaving me abandoned because she hated our mother. I did bring the truth to my sister because it hurt when she left me there alone to suffer under the wing of our mother. Her reply was; because she had to save herself or die. I can understand what she meant by that and have since realised it was not only myself who suffered at the hand of our mother, father, aunts, uncles, brothers and sister. They were all a part of dysfunction and therefore create dysfunction for the whole family. They grew up in it and taught it.
It is especially difficult for me now because I am still hiding and running when I thought I had forgiven and moved on. The anger and disgust I feel is still coming back to me on a daily basis.

One day I wish to be free from all of those people who continue avoid the truth.

I apologise for the length of this reply. Also, this might be in the wrong place.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply. Much appreciated hugs.


Hi Pam
I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction I would get from posting this womans comment. The reaction that I did get makes me more confident about highlighting a few more comments that I have not published. I used to delete them, but then a while ago I decided to just hold on to them in case I ever needed them for something. I used to be overwhelmed with concern about how my writing would effect people, if it might cause them to panic or to stop reading and therefore miss the chance to heal. Today I just write what I know helped me and what I think will help others find see the sneaky ways that so many of us have been pushed around and pulled around by others.
I love your comment “freedom isn’t free”. And yes, it is more than worth the cost and effort!
(good to have you back!)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene!

Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad that you simply chose not to have it posted on that thread. That voice gets so much air space in society as it is. It’s good to have a place where it’s filtered out. (And then addressed separately, on its own terms for what it really is—a silencer.) Maybe some time in the future some new drama will set this woman off to “recheck” herself again and she won’t lash back. But she may never deal with her past. The fact is no one can force others to open their eyes if they are not ready or simply do not want to look. The cost is her self. Perhaps one of her children, grandchildren or great grandchildren will one day stop the cycle for themselves—for real and not just by saying “Stop it!” …Can you imagine if that’s all it actually took to have a rich, fulfilling life!?! Good lord. It’s one thing to know intellectually that it wasn’t your fault; another entirely to do the work to face the past, upend the abuse and to know from the centre of yourself, emotionally/spiritually AND intellectually that it wasn’t your fault. It takes however long it takes. Some of it you can control in the choices you make but a lot of it you can’t control. Seems to me it’s mostly a matter of whether you will say “yes” or “no” to the process, how you choose to move with or against it. There’s the truth that we don’t choose our parents, but there’s also the truth that we don’t choose ourselves either. We are as much “put” into our own body and character as we are put into our circumstances. We have to learn who we are and how best to serve that person’s needs (something our parents were supposed to do but failed to). We have to “work” with ourselves.

I was told once that helplessness is the hardest of all feelings for people to deal with. As children, we were dependent and helpless to such a huge degree. As adults, we don’t want to be “victims.” We want to overcome, to thrive. We want to be responsible for our own lives because we want to believe in our capacity to find happiness and to make our lives our own, so we run and hide from past and present helplessness, but in fact it is only by being able to sit with, touch, and become acquainted with our helplessness (past and present) that we can understand it and learn what we are capable of doing and what we are not capable of, what we are/were responsible for and what we are/were not responsible for. This is how we learn to navigate ourselves and our reality. It’s so incredibly unhelpful when people tell us not to explore our pain It is above and beyond everything an attempt to understand ourselves and our place in the world and our meaning. It’s weird that people don’t understand that—that it’s not specifically about the terrible thing(s) that happened per se, not the individual incidents; it’s the meaning we took from those experiences and how it formed us as human beings… but yes you have to talk about the individual incidents (usually over and over again) to undo and transform the experiences and their meanings, to understand ourselves, to change the narrative so those events no longer hold the power they once did.

I feel sorry for people like this woman. She may evade pain but she also evades herself.

On a side note, my trip back home was a success. My meeting with my parents went well—a casual, light get-together. I am a separate, adult woman, who is free to have my own life, my own thoughts, feelings and opinions, and free to choose what to share, or not, with them or anyone. This is new for me and something I’m sure I will have to repeat to myself more than once. For now we are acquaintances and that is good. I will deal with the future as it comes. The biggest thing is being able to have a relationship with my nephew, who is the absolute cutest little guy! (10 months old now.) It was also great to see friends I hadn’t seen in two years. I don’t have any friends where I’m living now, so that was really good for me. They’re all friends from when I was in a creative writing program (one of them had a book launch when I was there—and it was great to be there for that, to hold his book in my hands and see it being done). It was good to connect into that world again…. It’s also good to be back home again. And to be back to catch up and say hello to all you here on EFB, doing all this good, hard work.


I am not sure which has done more damage in my life – all of the abuse or all of the invalidation and and being devalued and the lack of respect and willingness of people to hear my story and just “be there” in the midst of my pain and suffering…the abuse was terrible. I was frozen for many, many years but now i realize that I have been devalued and discounted for many years also and the vast majority of this has come from so called Christians who now have pretty much all disappeared because they cant handle hearing my pain and dont care how my recovery is going. the people that i thought i could trust with all my hurt and pain turned out to be almost as bad as my abusers for their pat answers to “just turn it over to God” or “just pray about it” or “we will pray for healing for you” – i remember one time i went to a “healing service” desperate for someone to hear me and to listen and one of the older male pastors said “I know the routine” before i even had a chance to say anything…in other words…stop wasting my time and let me just offer up this routine prayer which God probably wont answer.” – he may as well have just said that because that is certainly what he implied…I put my trust and hope and faith in people in church because they all talked about grace and love and mercy and of course forgiveness. Everyone was full of advice but no one wanted to listen…everyone had 10 scripture verses they could quote me on healing or faith or whatever but no one was willing to hear my story…the pain of indifference is almost as bad as the trauma caused by all the abuse. I think we have become an indifferent society. I see no compassion anymore. I see no love and support and care for people. I see anger, hurt, abuse, neglect and addiction everywhere…its like we are destroying ourselves from within. I had so much hope that people in the church would be there for me and would help me heal from all my pain and now they are all gone and i am left with the damage..i wonder what God thinks of all that ???


Hi Dave,

I think the same about the society, it is how if we were self destructing with wars, exploiting nature, extermining species..:((


I suppose she was right on one point. It WAS your mother’s problem, not yours. Unfortunately, if your mom was like my mom, she made it YOUR problem. My mother bleeds all her drama onto everyone around her. She drags everyone in that cares to listen. It’s not enough to simply state it’s her problem. That statement means nothing when the mother covers her children, and anyone else, in her muck. I wonder how this writer would suggest a child escape that. Since the parents are our models and are supposed to be the wiser more responsible party, what is a child supposed to do? Are we supposed to have an innate ability and wisdom enough to know how to swim through it? AND, emerge from it without being covered in it? Doesn’t work that way. She’s shown her ignorance.

The last paragraph of her post says she walked away from the dysfunction of her daughter and granddaughter. She even seems a little proud of it, and suggests that’s the “correct” way. Wow, that sounds like careless abandon to me. She created her child, and reared her and taught her. If her daughter’s dysfunctional, there’s really only one (or maybe two) person(s) responsible for that, and that’s the genius telling everyone here how to go about healing and recovery. PFT!!

I agree wholeheartedly with Miralee in #27. I am not really offering myself to public service as much as I did a year ago. I wasn’t getting the fulfillment from it that people suggest we do. I couldn’t really figure out why either. Just another way I communicated to myself that I was defective. I understand now, that I have to take care of me first, before I can hope to help anyone else. If public service is robbing me of the time I need to work on myself, it lays the perfect foundation for feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and failure. At times, I even felt a bit of resentment for giving freely, while in the midst of such pain. I secretly wished someone would freely give to me because I was floundering all alone. I was an understanding and empathetic voice to others, but not to myself. I’m STILL working on that. It’s not easy reprogramming what we are taught to believe from infancy. I remember getting ready to go and conduct a meeting or mentor someone, and having to try to cover my swollen bloodshot eyes from crying for hours. It wasn’t a great situation, although I continued to tell myself it was, and that I was somehow benefiting as much as the people I was supporting. In retrospect, it was more of a burden at a time when I didn’t need extra burdens.

What I concluded from that is, if I’m disabled, I’m unlikely to be able to help another disabled person. I have to be able to stand on my own two feet before I can hold someone else up.

The post from this lady is maddening. It suggests she has perfected the art of healing and her wish is to reprimand (yes, I felt reprimanded) others into doing it her way, as if it’s the only way. I too wonder, if people don’t agree with the processes here, why they comment at all. An inflated sense of superiority perhaps? While having a strained and dysfunctional relationship with her own daughter and granddaughter. She doesn’t have the results to back up her science, therefore it is rendered BS. 🙂

Thanks for all you do Darlene,
xoxo to everyone,


Hi Alaina!
Welcome back! Thanks for sharing about your trip! Sounds like it was great! I love your affirmation to yourself. YES we are free to have our own choices, thoughts, feelings and we are free to share or not share ~ this was huge for me to learn too but it is part of my declaration of freedom today!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave
This is why I don’t preach here. There is so much baggage that comes with all those directives that even when they are said with good intentions they trigger the memories and feelings of all the times they were said by others in abusive and discounting/shaming ways. It is so important that we take the reins back on our own lives. Most people cannot hold anyone else up; most people struggle but there are a few who really make a difference.

Something about your comment discounted me. I think that there are many people such as myself that are not indifferent at all. I am filled with compassion but I am only one person and I get attacked when I tell people that too because so many people think that I should help them as individuals without any regaurd for my time. People try to shame me when I tell them my fee to work one on one even though I too have bills to pay and even though I have created this website and took over 2 years off work to do it; even though it isn’t free for me to do it. I have to ask for donations (Other than 3 people who recently started to send me something each month, I rarely get a donation when I didn’t ask for them) I have never had enough donations that I could use some to pay a bill other then to pay the costs on this site. And although I take more clients than I used to, I do not enjoy the full time income that I could enjoy because I want to make this difference in the world by doing this. I wonder sometimes how many compassionate people burn out because of the careless attitude that people have about what they should be like?
These are my thoughts as I read your thoughts. I am pretty sure that you didn’t mean to include me in your rant, but since it was on my post on this site and since I am so tired this week I guess I took it personally.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
Welcome back! You, Pam and Alaina were all away at the same time and things were just not the same around here!
I always wanted to make a difference for other people and I did a lot of stuff to try to help people but until I healed at the roots of where I got broken I never had the impact that I have now. That part is amazing! Learning how to balance my needs and my families needs with helping others has also been huge and I continue to have to make adjustments. I am a huge advocate of healing and learning slef love and self care before you try to give away what you don’t yet have.

I love what you said about “she doesn’t have the results to back up her science” ~ That is the proof isn’t it. This has been such a great comment thread because of the great example this woman provided for us to see the little manipulations, guilt, shame and misuse of power in the same ways most of us have been talked to in the past.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dave, I hurt for you and I understand how the pat answers that are oftened offered in church and by church people can hurt because they are so misapplied. It has made me feel so isolated and different from others in the past but now I understand that my experience in life isn’t so different and many of those people who offer those answers were abused as children. Many of them are still being abused or abusing others. I still believe God has the answers I need but I don’t look to the church for those answers. I just look to God and I try to love the church despite all of its defects. It’s sad that so many christians put so much effort into appearing ‘healed’ and ‘holy’ instead of opening their hearts to one another and actually, seeking true healing. Sometimes, too much is expected of christians and I think the tendency is to have an answer because it seems that one is expected but in reality, the only difference between a believer and a nonbeliever is faith in Jesus. We are all people who struggle with our own imperfections and none of us escape suffering in this world. I can’t know for sure what God thinks about all of it but I think it would probably please Him if Christians were real with one another. It helps me to look to go to God for answers and not others.It’s good to have EFB and to be understood by others who have walked where I’ve walked. I’m very thankful for that because it has helped me to find the self confidence I needed to make the really tough decisions that have brought needed change into my life. I know you are in a lot of pain a good deal of the time and this is a good place to pour it all out. There is compassion and understanding here.



Hi Pam
I appreciate your comments to Dave. I also see that this dysfunction and misuse of power is all over the world and not just in christian society. And I see see how hard it is to have “faith” when a person has been abused and taught a false definition of ‘faith’ and also when they are guilted and shamed for not having “enough of that faith” because the word ‘faith’ has been taught the wrong way in order for people to have more control in the first place. I think this is some of the disapointment that Dave and others are trying to express. Most people don’t know how to turn to God for answers becasue they have been abused (by people) even while turning to God. There is a lot of stuff to un-do and look at for a lot of people who have been abused and discounted while in a christian family or christian society. (not unlike any other society, but we are talking about the christian society and the false teachings and how hard it is to even sort out the true teachings from the false teachings) I had to set this stuff aside so that I could deal with the bare bones of what happened to me and the messages that I got from those events, many of which included false teachings in christian settings and even bible studies. I had to “come back later”.
so complicated but so relevant!
Thanks for adding your voice.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene! It was a really great trip!

You know, I felt kind of similar to you when I read Dave’s comment. I understand his frustration… and yet it was difficult to read some of it. I recently ended a friendship because I’d simply reached a point where I’d put myself out to help so many times, sharing my own experiences and trying to encourage him to start his process, but nothing had changed in four years. I no longer had anything to give and felt drained by his depression, anxiety and self-absorption (all of which was the product of very real pain). I have compassion and understanding and I wish him all the best but honestly there comes a point when you feel like you’re being used (and that was most definitely a recurring theme in my life beginning with my parents) and it all gets very tiring. I don’t mean to imply that this is what’s going on with Dave—it’s just the thoughts that his comments sparked for me personally. I do think, however, that not being able to handle hearing another person’s pain is a valid statement. If you find your life negatively impacted by someone else’s pain, you should be free to assess whether or not you want that person in your life and what kind of obligation you have toward the person, particularly if you have your own problems to deal with (which generally speaking everyone does). There’s a definite balance that has to be struck here and it’s all a very personal, individual matter. With my friend, I know that I did what I could and I possibly even saved him from a suicide attempt last year, I don’t know (it sounded a bit like that), but I eventually reached the end of my rope. It wouldn’t surprise me if he, or any other person I left behind for similar reasons, felt betrayed by me, thinking that I can’t “handle their pain and don’t care.” Again, Dave, if you are reading this comment, I want to be clear that these are all thoughts about my own experiences trying to help that were simply spurred on by some of your comments. I will also add that in the past I had the same done to me. At the time, it hurt like hell because it triggered all sorts of prior pain in my life, but looking back I realize that it was their prerogative, that they did not owe me anything to begin with. It can be difficult to be friends with the wounded.


Hi Everyone
A new comment has come in on the post “forgive the abusers a bit of a rant” ~ (see comment number 229 by “sincerely” ~ and my response) from someone who once again misses the whole point and gives judgement and advice masked in a point of view but still full of unhelpful directives. Another great example of the ways that people are not really encouraged to express emotional pain but rather just “get over it”.
here is the link if anyone is iterested…
Hugs Darlene


Hi Alaina
I really appreciate your feedback here. This is a very valid point as well. Something that I was thinking about in my own healing process that came up for me when I was reading this thread was that I had to pay a lot of money for the help that I got. There was no site like this one or self help books that I had found at that time that got me through any of it. There were no people willing to help me either. My life was over run with abusers and controllers by then and I was lost. I had let go of the hope that someone would help me long before I paid for the help that I got. The reason that I do this website etc. is because I had been abused by many of the people that I went to for help before I finally found someone that actually could help me. In the end though, it was really up to me. I had to do the work. (and in the end the person who helped me so much and the person that I paid thousands and thousands of dollars to help me, took advantage of me and it set me back a bit. I had to do the work on my own then too ~ but that all empowered me to know that I CAN. We all can.)
And you are right, there is no shame in needing to withdraw from an extreemly needy person. Sometimes the drowning person pulls the other person under with them.
Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene
I am sitting here with silent tears and NOTHING to write and I ALWAYS have SOMETHING to write as I just realized that I have allowed this:
(as you describe below)
“……with 100% confidence that I was terribly devalued as a person throughout my childhood and because it became so normal for me to be treated this way, I was also devalued and discounted well on into my adulthood.
….to carry on UNTIL TODAY as I have NEVER felt accepted, acknowledged, good enough, JUST SIMPLY ………..not enough to anybody!!
I have healed every part of my life BUT the self-hate, self-doubt, self-loathing, disregarding myself and now that I face it I will nurture and heal this from today! Thank you for your hard work and devotion!!! Fond regards


Hi Elna
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
Thank you for sharing your ‘break through’ moment! That is awesome!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alaina, Hi Pam, Hi Darlene, Hi all,
I didn’t realize we were all vacationing together. I had a rough start ~ right before I left there was a little drama in my marriage, but I am happy to say that our trip to the ocean was amazing. My stepson got married on the beach in a beautiful secluded stretch of ocean. It was beautiful. After the ceremonies, my husband and I checked into a hotel that overlooked the ocean. I was so one with God and nature and all He’s given us to enjoy. I had some epiphanies there as well. I needed to be out of touch with my reality and have a chance to take in beauty and greatness.

I am battling the same thing you mention Alaina. I have a friend who knows no only a few people here because she’s from a different state. I won’t go into all the details of how we met, but, it seems as though I’ve become her mother. It gives me the “willies” (for lack of a better word) because she reminds me of my own mother at times too. She sort of blends herself with me, as if we’re one. An example is she knows my husband and I have date night every friday night. Two weeks in a row she texted me and asked, “so where are we going for date night?” Something about that (perhaps innocent) statement gave me the willies. I struggled to even respond. Each time I said I don’t know. She’s somewhat invasive. I spent quite a bit of time with her in the beginning, because I did enjoy the company, and I thought she did as well. It swiftly turned into her texting every day, multiple times, and she often asks me for favors that almost feel like she’s taking advantage. She has no transportation. She takes the bus everywhere, but, instead of taking the bus to my house, she will ask me to come to the bus station and pick her up. The bus stops a block from my house. I was getting a little fed up with that since gas is $4 a gallon and she never offered to help with that. Each time we spent time together I had to take her home across town as well. She could easily suck up days because she’s on disability and she really has no concept of time re: housekeeping, being a wife, working, etc.

It’s turned a little weird for me. I feel bad sort of brushing her off, which I have recently begun doing. I’m in healing stages also and I need my time alone still. Also, I have a hard time mothering her since I’m still learning to mother myself.

She has blurred the boundaries as well. I asked her not to post things to my facebook page because some would be a little risque’ and I am friends with my young nieces. When I asked her to stop, I told her don’t post ANYthing to my page. The first time, she didn’t hear any of it and she continued posting. I asked her again, and the second time she only heard the part about my nieces. So, she did clean it up, but still, everyday I would have about 10 pictures/posts and I couldn’t even see my own activity without scrolling. I asked her a third time, and minutes later she posted something, so I blocked her from posting to my page altogether.

She asks me if I’m mad. I say no. I’m not mad at her. I need to figure out how to say these things to her without hurting her feelings. She wanted to know exact dates I would be gone on vacation. I evaded the question.

On July 4th, we took her and my stepdaughter and her family out on our boat to watch fireworks over the water. She made a crude comment about my husband and I’s sex life in front of my husband’s daughter and son-in-law, and their 10 and 4 year old daughters. I felt embarrassed and wished I’d had a sock to stuff in her mouth.

Sorry for going on about this. It’s really not that big of an issue. I do relate to the struggles of being friends with someone who can’t seem to help themselves. It’s a tough situation and hard to know how to handle it. I don’t want to abandon her since she only has a few acquaintances here. I’m having a hard time being committed however.

Love to everyone,


Darlene – i would NEVER consider you to be indifferent. My comment was about people that have been my friends (in person not online) that have all but disappeared as i have struggled with trying to overcome my pain. I know virtually all of them from church. I thought that because they were church friends that they would be available for me and help me through struggling to overcome the pain of being abused.

YOU provide more help, compassion, support and love than anyone else that i have been in communication with in the past year. I love you dearly Darlene. Sometimes my comments are misunderstood and sometimes my emotions get the best of me but i love what you do here and i dont want to ever discount the value you bring to my life and to others here. You make a big difference Darlene. Sorry you felt discounted. My apologies :(. Hope you get some rest. Sounds like you need it. Thanks again for all you do here. I appreciate you and sorry for bringing the “religion thing” up..i had a bad experience with a pastor recently that just triggered a lot of the stuff from the past that i have experienced. I will try and remember not to bring that stuff up here unless you specifically write about it in your blog.




Mimi, Just hearing how this woman has barged into your life makes me feel violated. Probably, because I’ve gotten caught up with people like her. I think of one person in particular and I wish I would have paid attention to all the red flags that popped up early in our relationship. I didn’t and I lived to regret it. I wasn’t the only one hurt. My entire family was hurt by this abusive woman. Someone who doesn’t respect your personal boundaries in seemingly, small ways will not respect your boundaries when it comes to bigger issues in life. I’m not telling you what to do because if I did, I would be disrespecting you but I do encourage you not to ignore your feelings. Our first obligation is to our selves and our families. There is a difference between being kind and taking on someone elses problems.

I spent time at the ocean too. It is a good way for me to put things in perspective. It reminds me of how small I am and my problems seem to shrink in comparison. The ocean fills me with peace. At home, the sage brush sea that is the high desert and the mountains do the same. I need to spend more time with nature, I think. It’s easy to get sucked into our electronic world and spend too much time disconnected from nature.



Darlene, I understand. Everyone has their own process and I was only sharing mine and not really recommending it. I believe that Jesus lives in me and that faith is so much a part of me that I really can’t distinquish looking to God from looing inward to myself because they seem one in the same. I’m not saying that I’m Jesus or that I’m perfect, far from it but I have what I need within me to give me the validation I need. I know now that I could never heal completely, without that self-validation but even reaching that point was a part of my process. As long as I looked to others for that needed validation of the crimes committed against me, I opened myself up for more hurt and abuse. There is also, validation here in one anothers stories and in your coaching but it is still secondary to self-validation. I value that support very highly and appreciate the added support to my ability to self-validate. Sometimes, the right words escape me but I very much appreciate all that you do, Darlene. I also, appreciate everyone who is brave enough to share their own experiences. I know you don’t get the money you deserve but the work you do is very valuable. You are making a difference in lives and in the world. That is priceless.:0)



Hi Dave
Thanks for coming back to clarify. I guess this triggered me personally too. I don’t think it is fair for you to decide that I need some rest, but I appreciate your apology. It isn’t that you brought that stuff up Dave, I reacted to the way you shared “everyone” in the world as though there is NO compassionate people and it was right here on my site! You can share whatever you want ~ the beef with religion is a huge subject here but please be careful about generalizing. I think Pam is a wonderful compassionate loving christian who does her best to be an example of the life christ taught us to live (actually I feel that way about myself too, but enough about me! ha ha) and when you say “there are NO compassionate people” it hurts the ones here that are trying so hard. I really appreciate your apology Dave, thank you.
Hugs, Darlene


I think you misunderstood my comment; I didn’t think you were “reccommending” anything ~ I was adding my thoughts about the frustration people feel over the whole thing. As far as self validation goes ~ YES that is one of the most important keys! No one can fill that void for another person. That is ‘the work’ that each of us has to do. Having said that, being validated by each other is another part of the healing balm that I think helps us to move forward, empowering us to do the work ourselves.
Thank you for your validation about the work I do. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
One thing that stuck out to me in your comment is that you said you needed to figure out how to say things to her without hurting her feelings. What do you think is hurtuful? Once again this is about making excuses for someone who is causing damage.
When people don’t respect my boundaries, there is a problem. It doesn’t matter if she said a crude comment in front of “whoever” the problem is that she said it. period. If you had to block her from posting on your page, there is a respect problem that she refuses to hear you about. I think it actually IS a big issue. It was huge for me to see what I put up with from others through a grid of truth. Family was only a part of the problem for me. My self value was at the root of dysfunctional friendships. I had to look at why I was willing to let this stuff slide even though I was so disapointed all the time.
Hugs, Darlene



I have just read your comment with great interest, and a whole lotta sympathy! The person you are having problems with, has a very similar personality type to the people that I had a tendency to attract in the past. I will describe one situation, but I had several variations on this theme.
I became aquainted with a woman who was part of a crowd of friends I had started going out with socially, after splitting from a long-term partner. After a while, the crowd dwindled for various reasons, and this person and myself began to socialise, just the two of us. At first we had a great time, and I was delighted that we seemed to have so much in common. About 3 months in, however, things began to change. I became concerned about the amount of my time she was monopolising. As well as going out socially with me twice a week, she would ring me every night and want to talk for several hours. Then she started to get upset whenever I spoke to other people, while we were out, and caused several embarassing scenes. She wanted to know my every move and became extremely possessive and controlling. If I mentioned my daughter or any of the other people in my life, she would change the subject. I eventually found the courage to stand up to her and attempt to set boundaries, which was when the fun really started. She began gaslighting me whenever I challenged her, accusing me of being mentally unstable and needing therapy. She was also an ace at playing the victim, turning on the tears about the bad childhood she had endured, etc. She seemed to think it was my job to re-parent her, and make up for for everything she had ever been deprived of. Things reached a head when I started dating someone. She accused me of betraying her, letting her down and trying to dump her, when I was in fact, spending just as much time with her as ever, if not more, just to keep her happy, and make her feel reassured. Can I just add that she wasnt a lesbian, she was divorced with 3 kids, and had had several other relationships with men. I eventually ended the friendship when she started ringing my house during the night and leaving abusive and threatening messages. The stress of this situation made me physically unwell. As I said, I attracted several individuals of this ilk, before I realised they were very similar to my mother. I believe that these people are displaying traits of a personality disorder, if not the full blown P.D. itself. They prey on people who have been trained into submissiveness, and who have weak boundaries. I was conditioned to put the needs of others before my own, so I was a target for this kind of shit. I still encouter these folk occasionally, but now I instantly recognise the symptoms, and do not engage with them. Good luck,

Love Sylvia x


Hi Darlene – the reason i said i hope you get some rest is because in post #96 at the end you said “i am very tired this week.” i was trying to be empathetic with you. I was not trying to decide anything for you. I was merely acknowledging your comment about being very tired. I think when someone says they are very tired that its appropriate to say that i hope they get some rest. I am sorry if my comment came across as inappropriate. I feel like some of what i say gets misinterpreted sometimes so i need to come back and clarify my comments. I know there are some very loving, caring Christians on here. I was trying to reference people in my own life that have been my friends. I should not have said everyone. That was not the best description of what i was truly feeling. Sometimes things dont come out the way i mean for them to. I too am very tired. I am dealing with tremendously deep pain that keeps surfacing continuously. Its overwhelming me and we are having a lot of financial problems and are getting close to losing our home. I had to quit my job because i just could not do it anymore. the pain is too overwhelming. Its very hard because i just want to get better and to heal and i have been working on it for a long, long time but still dont see that i am getting to the other side. I suffer every day and cant seem to get any relief from the pain. This is one of my few outlets and then i come on here and i screw up by saying something wrong so that just makes me feel worse. I am going to see a counselor today. Hopefully she will provide some answers/help. I feel hopeless and that my only reason for existing is to suffer. Thanks for reading.



Pam – thank you so much for your message in post 98. I truly appreciate you and your feedback and your support. I value what you have to offer and i soak it up like a sponge. I need to learn how to self validate because i dont know how to do it. I guess i need a “how to self validate” manual because everything i have tried so far does not seem to have had any lasting results or brought any real change. I guess i need to understand a lot more about it and how to do it for myself. Thank you for your love and prayers and support. I truly appreciate and need them !




Pam, Darlene, Sylvia,

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Darlene, you’re right ~ after reading your stories, it IS a big issue. I’m now asking myself why I allowed these things to begin with. I actually did try to address the facebook thing, but, on other fronts, I was having trouble really figuring out what it was that made me want to run.

It seems like my instincts served me well, even though I struggled to put my finger on the “whys” at first. I’m thankful it didn’t get to the point where she caused me or my family drama and/or damage. VERY thankful.

She often refers to my things as hers. My kitten ~ she calls him her kitten and wants to know how he’s doing all the time. Just subtle little things like that, and including herself in date night by using the word “we”.

Sylvia, as you said, I think she is eerily representative of my mother. Yet, she needs a mother. She’s lived a largely impoverished life surrounded by alcohol and drugs. It seems she was never mothered, to the point she doesn’t know how to respect boundaries, or avoid barbaric behaviors. There have been times in public that I felt like I needed to mother her in the form of correction. She had no guidance obviously.

I’m not sure how to move forward at this point. I have been avoiding with some success. I’m not sure if I should be up front, or hope she gets the hint with continued avoidance.

Thanks again for your inputs. All your comments helped me realize how it could spiral out of control, and more than anything, I realize I need to examine why I attract these kinds of people. So, thanks for that!



Hi Dave,
Yes I did say that; I reacted to your comment “sounds like you need it” and I realize now that I am (or was) being “touchy”. I am sorry for reacting in that way and causing you to feel even more discourated. The last thing I want to do is disempower anyone or cause anyone to lose hope! None of us exists to suffer Dave. I know it can feel that way. Keep going Dave ~ sometimes the missing keys are hard to find but there is always hope!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Mimi
Just a few tweaks ~ do some writing on what attracts YOU to these kinds of people. What does it fill in you having a relationship like this? You have mentioned things about taking care of ‘her’ and not wanting to hurt ‘her’ what about you. There is something you might want to try to assist you with getting to the bottom of this;
write a letter to yourself from yourself asking yourself why you put up with this stuff from other people. Give yourself examples of what bothers you about the ways these people treat you and then write a reply to yourself. You might be surprised what comes up in the writing!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I haven’t read through all the comments yet but I had to respond to this that she said: “Become involved with giving of your time to those who are less fortunate than you. This brings great personal fulfilment and satisfaction.” Darlene, I thought you were already doing this with your open, forthright attitude, and the validation and space you give to others? I’m not saying that we, as victims/survivors, are ‘less fortunate.” That’s not a good choice of words for me. Some victims are not as aware of the genesis of damage, you provide the insight necessary to determine this. Also, how does one person know what will bring fulfillment to another? Survivors need the continuation of voices being heard on this site and others. Cheers, Lynn



I’ve been wanting to say some things to you for a while but I have needed to get clear with myself before I proceeded. Now I think I can communicate what I need to say.

In my own healing journey I have not only had to understand how I was abused, but also how I myself have unconsciously repeated abusive behavior. This has not been easy, but it has been important. I believe that most of us don’t WANT to be abusers, but often we don’t even see what we are doing. This is why I am hoping that what I will say can be taken as not trying to hurt you or undermine you, but as INFORMATION that you can use to understand yourself better.

I’ve been reading what you say about how hard it is for you to find people who will validate your feelings and listen to your experiences without trying to shut you down. Okay, well, a few months ago, I came here to EFB and posted a comment about how bad I was feeling because I was having a hard time getting in touch with my brother and felt that he was playing games with me. You responded by telling me that he was probably busy and that I shouldn’t worry so much and make a big deal about it. You know what, Dave, that was actually invalidating MY feelings and telling me that I shouldn’t honor my perceptions, which is exactly what you say others are doing to you.

Now, I am not saying that you knew that you were doing this, but the effect on me was the same, and the thing was that I am so used to being invalidated that I didn’t even question what you said until some days after it happened. Also, it led me to feel unsafe about posting here, which I had formerly felt to be a safe place.

I am not writing this because I expect or want an apology, I really just want to give you information that can potentially help you on your healing path. Also, I feel the need to speak out for myself and not just let this slide.

Please hang in there, Dave.



Hi Lynn
Yes, that was exactly what offended me about that comment too. You highliht a good point though in your statement about the way she judges certain people as “less fortunate” and how that is not a good term. It isn’t a good choice of words for me either!
Thanks for sharing Lynn!
Hugs, Darlene


Yes, the less fortunate comment makes me wonder who her support group is for such thinking…like a church…


Hi Mimi,

I think Darlenes advice about writing stuff down is fantastic. Journalling has been an essential part of my healing journey, and you are halfway there – you have seen similarities between this person and your mom. We attract what we are familiar with, in an attempt to re-write history. As I said in my earlier post, I attracted several people of the type you describe. In my experience, this type of individual has a massive fear of abandonment, so it is probably best not to activate this by confrontation, or trying to cut them out of your life suddenly. I have found that it is best to ” starve” them of what they are trying to manipulate you into giving them, which is, usually, surrogate mothering. I often made the mistake of trying to give them love, food, nurturing and sometimes even money. Which they will greedily suck up as their entitlement. Mimi, you mentioned that this person was starting to regard “your stuff” as hers. That is commom. These people do not recognise boundaries. For instance, if you lend them money or belongings, they will see this as what they are “owed”. It will not be returned to you. They wil also do this with people. Its as if anybody who is your friend, husband, child -anybody who they regard as being yours, they are entitled to take from you because you are their parent and should put their needs before your own. Be careful, know that you are loved, carry on, you are getting there.

Love, Sylvia xx


Darlene, if I had the resources, I’d back your monthly costs myself. I think what you’re doing is so important and helpful for so many. This site has certainly helped me a lot—the change in me since I began commenting here is tangible and noticeable to others outside as well. It’s too bad there isn’t some kind of organization you could apply for funding from. People are always jumping on board to help causes for physical ailments, diseases, natural disasters, etc. But how many lives are disabled, if not lost, due to the longterm emotional and psychological effects of child abuse, neglect and trauma? I’m sure I could say billions without that being an exaggeration. Furthermore, I’m positive that once you have successfully worked through your baggage, you become a much more effective, productive, helpful citizen. Everything that impacts the personal will inevitably impact the universal. It is sad that this does not get recognized by society very often, if at all.

Hi Mimi! I totally echo what Pam, Sylvia and Darlene have said re:your friend. I have left almost a handful of friendships behind in the last few years, which is a lot for me, since I have less than a handful of friendships left now. All of those friendships mirrored some element of dysfunction from my FOO, usually me being the listener to people who would dump their emotions and problems on me without ever actually doing anything to take action themselves to change anything. Exactly what my mom did to me for years. My acting as the listener for these people also enabled them to stay stuck and never take responsibility for their own lives. Maybe I hurt their feelings by ending things but I wasn’t helping them by sticking around, either. Sometimes I did the avoidance and sometimes I drew a very distinct line and explained myself; sometimes I started with the first and had to end with the last, depending on the situation. I try not to bother thinking much about whether I did it the “right” or “best” way because I can’t know. I just did what I did because it had to be done somehow and it’s up to the other person to figure out how to deal with their emotions. I have been on the other side (the clingy, dependent, needy person) and that doesn’t give me any more insight on a “best” or “right” way, either. I try not to be mean, basically, which is different than trying not to hurt their feelings.

Right now I’m realizing how important mutual respect, consideration and admiration is to me with my friendships. I’m also more cognizant of what role pity plays. If I feel sorry for someone but I can’t respect the way they behave toward me or others, then there’s likely to be a problem. Pity is not an emotion that deepens with time. The other person thinks you care about them because you LIKE them (and they are likely to be ignoring the signs that maybe it’s just pity, or started off as like but is now becoming mostly pity and not a lot else). Their feelings, or at least their dependency and neediness, deepens, while your patience eventually runs dry. I’ve been on both sides of this situation. And I’d say as much as it hurts and as cold as it can be, I’d rather the person end things than keep dragging something along because they want to “help” me or not hurt my feelings. It’s about authenticity as well and equality. (When one person is mothering another, yes, the mothering person is being used, but from the other angle there is an element of superiority going on; when I was in the other shoes, I eventually railed against the person I was using—or trying to use—because “they thought they were so great,” they thought they knew everything and were always right—like my real mother. I resented my dependency on them and my idolization. But they also had some need to be in that mothering position.)

Whenever I tried to help out my friend, I was careful about how much I gave and I pulled back if I ever started to feel any resentment. The last straw for me was not so much his neediness; it was his self-absorption and the fact that I couldn’t respect the way he acted anymore. I’m glad that I left and I’m proud of myself, too, because in the past the fear of people killing themselves if I didn’t do everything to please them was a definite problem for me (no doubt because my uncle killed himself when I was a kid, so suicide is a very real thing to me, and the job I took on, or rather that was put on me, as a listener, confidante, (ineffectual) therapist to my mother also came out of the aftermath of that death, in the thought that I had to take care of her, perhaps partly for fear of her killing herself, too). So yeah, considering his depression and possible suicidal inclinations, it was a pretty huge deal that I walked away and that I’m okay with it. I did put my whole heart into a few emails I sent him over the last few years, trying to persuade him to get help, telling him about my experiences, etc., but there was simply nothing left for me to give and nothing left in the relationship in general. We are in totally different places in our lives. There was no point anymore. I do wish him the best and hope he sorts himself out, but that’s all. I have my own life to live.

Anyway, thanks for writing! You know, I was at the ocean, too! So, so wonderful. I walked around the seawall for hours, it was great.


I am sick of people like this poster telling me with such authority how I have allowed a bad situation to define my life. Wait…I have allowed a bad situation ? Is that all that it was ? A bad situation ?

You do not get to tell me HOW to move on from my trauma and you sure as hell do not get to tell me to forget about it. The act of forgetting is only a privilege for those who were involved that wish not to face justice. For victims of abuse, it is more than staying in the past, not letting go. It is (or was) that emotional foundation. How I view my past is with a different set of eyes. I allow myself to that awareness because for one, if ever I feel tempted to go back to those people, as a chance to start over, I am faced with that reality.
More of this self-help-just-get-over-it route ‘replace it by giving of yourself to those less fortunate than you.’ Its one of those statements that
This was HER problem NOT yours. Why have you not left the past? Do not view yourself as a victim of your mom’s dysfunction, but as a survivor and move on! We all have a way out, simply walk away
You know the ‘this was her problem, not your’ sounds very much like something that my (now deceased) grandmother used to say in regards to the pain of dealing with a mother with schizophrenia. This idea that I could somehow simply remove myself from my mother’s suffering, do a complete and neat severance. Her mental illness belongs to her. I can choose whether or not it belongs to me. Bull shit. Bull shit.
Why are you so hurt about us speaking ? getting over it would be ideal because you find our lives to be uncomfortable ? too messy ? something that you cannot clean up with strict pull yourself by your boot straps logic ?
She writes with this sense of emotional amnesia: simply forgetting as a way of healing. This also allows her to take on this sense of strength by refusing to be vulnerable by her own pain. If I don’t remember what happened, then I cant be hurt by it. This also allows her to look at the rest of us as being pathetic for we fail to live up to her stoic standards of what it means to be a ‘true survivor’. Survivors come with so many definitions. Those that require therapy every day are not weaker than someone who refuses or ‘doesn’t need it’ Im sure my grandmother, a ‘strong woman’ who never sat in a therapists couch, would not appreciate the thought that her granddaughter sees one sometimes twice a week and has been on countess medications. I cannot compare my strength to hers. I don’t even have to explain myself to her. Im doing what I have to do.
Even survivors do not have the right to tell me how to clean and heal my damn wounds. you see to your own healing, but do not in the process try to diminish, criticize or silence mine.
“your silence will not protect you.” Audre Lorde


Thank you so much and thank you for the support that you do send and have sent!
I agree that just as abuse has a rippel effect (the cycle of abuse) all healing has a rippel effect; the cycle of healing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Akusua
I love your comments! Thank you for posting and for addressing some of the specific things that you did with what this woman wrote to me. I really appreciate all of it and I can only hope that the woman might read it and realize the damage her attitude does.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alaina!,

I agree with so much of what you have said. From a very early age, my mom used me as a dumping ground for her problems. I was also her whipping boy and emotional punchbag, so its hardly surprising that I grew up to attract this in other relationships. And yes, I had to examine my own role in these situations. I was trained into high tolerance of inappropriate behaviour, and as a result, became severely co-dependant, which I now know is a control mechanism. Because I felt so completely powerless, I could only find self-worth in trying to control the lives of others, which I did by saving, rescuing, advising and enabling. I needed to be needed, but then the dependency I had fostered in the person I was “helping”, would become too much responsibility and I would feel smothered and trapped by them. Exactly as I had felt with my mother. Every relationship or friendship I entered, would mirror my relationship with her, albeit from slightly different angles. And as I think you said, we are actually doing people a dis-service by pitying and rescuing them. At the root of my behaviour, was unfinished business with my mother. I was on a subconcious quest to prove myself worthy of her love and approval. I falsely believed that if only I could acheive this, I would be set free. But because I was choosing people who were very similar to her, with which to play out this repetition compulsion, it always ended the way it had ended with her. Which was, me feeling guilty and wretched because I hadnt accomplished my goal, and once again, feeling that I had let others down by being unable to carry their burden and solve their problems for them. But, weirdly, despising them at the same time for being so dependent on me! I now know the only person I can change is myself, and I am learning to stay out of other peoples business.

Love, Sylvia x


I am going to work on the exercise you suggested. Journaling has always afforded me much calm, although I don’t enjoy doing it for some reason. I always get relief though. I tend to only pay attention to my journal when I’m in turmoil and can’t find a way out. I WILL do this exercise though. I have learned one BIG thing over the last 18 months…. when I’m writing, whether personally, or on your site, I get big revelations at unexpected times. Even when writing about my friend above, it became more clear what was bugging me as I typed. Thank you for the suggestion.

So interesting what you wrote about lending things and not getting them back. I lent my friend a kitchen gadget which I loved, and I have not gotten it back. I haven’t seen her since then either, however. Only phone communication. But, I do want it back!

You also said you think the root of the problem is fear of abandonment. I agree wholeheartedly with that in my friend. I don’t know how her upbringing shaped her so differently than mine did me. We are polar opposites when it comes to needing time alone. I have to have it, and she nearly drowns when she’s alone. She could get a part time job or volunteer without it infringing on her disability benefits. She doesn’t do it though. I think if I were that lonely, I would be seeking out other things to do with my time. I rarely experience the feeling of loneliness though. I’m thankful for that too. It makes me wonder what it is that causes me to seek isolation, and causes other people (who’ve been abused) to seek PEOPLE.

On occasion, she has pretended to know me better than I know myself. This was frustrating for me, and I’m realizing that’s my mother as well as her counselor. I like your idea of starving her of the ways she tries to take advantage.

So much insight for me in what you wrote. Thanks for sharing details. I instantly asked myself if I was that person ~ the one who somehow puts myself above her/the superiority complex. I hope like heck I haven’t come across that way to her.

I think the desire to tell her what I thought she was doing to keep herself in her current circumstances, is one of the reasons I started to feel like fleeing. I felt like it wasn’t up to me to guide or advise her. BUT, at the same time, I was feeling frustrated with not being able to do that, and seeing her repeat avoidable issues in her life. An example would be her financial situation. She’s been living rent free with a friend for almost a year now. She spends her money like it grows on trees, never trying to save any so she can eventually be independent. The most I’ve said to her about that is that she can’t buy my lunch, because I want her to save her money.

About a month ago, she texted me on a friday, and said her friend told her she had to be out of her house by monday. I didn’t offer to let her stay with us. I knew that would be a disaster. Monday came and went, as did tuesday and I didn’t contact her. On wednesday, she texted me and said she was still at her friend’s house. Today, she is still there. I can’t help but wonder if she was hoping I would offer up my home. There is room here, and she knows that, but 3 is a crowd for sure.

She once stole a piece of jewelry from Walmart when I had taken her shopping. We got in the car and she pulled it out of her purse and said she’d forgotten to pay for it. Then she said, “should I go back in and pay for it?” I didn’t answer because immediately after she said it, she then said, “oh well, they can afford it more than I can”. I reluctantly drove off. I was shocked and unsure how to handle it. After pondering for a day or so, I told her I couldn’t take her shopping anymore. She said she didn’t do it on purpose. I said, “then you should have gone back in and paid for it when the opportunity was there”. A few days passed and she texted me and said she went back to Walmart and paid for it. I asked if she had a receipt to prove it. She said yes. I never saw it, but, I didn’t ask for it either. I thought, if I have to go to those lengths, it IS like I’m her mother. Somehow, though, we ended up shopping again after 2-3 weeks passed. I should mention she’s been in trouble with the law for retail theft. It is a compulsion, which she admitted in the past.

Anyhow, now, I just want my kitchen gadget back. It came from Ikea, and I have to drive 4 hours to the nearest Ikea. (I fear I sound materialistic like my mother…. eeeek)!

All this to say, I hope I didn’t come across to her as feeling “superior”. I just cringe at that because that’s my mother’s way. She feels superior by belittling others. I found myself holding my tongue, but then feeling frustrated and wanting to flee. I feared I could abuse her. Obviously, my lines are blurred as well, between what is abusive, and what is healthy and constructive.

I really appreciate you shedding light on both sides of the circumstances. It helps me understand how the other person(s) could be feeling. You said, “It’s about authenticity as well and equality”. That is so true so thanks for reminding me. I do strive to be authentic, and I have strived to value her as an equal. Unfortunately, I think she may be abusing that. 🙁

Thanks to everyone for your comments and sharing experiences. I have learned a lot the past few days.

Love to everyone,
ps – Alaina, I’m really sorry you experienced the suicide of your uncle.



Do you know anything about Cluster B personality disorders? There are 4 or 5 disorders in the Cluster B category, they are interchangeable and its quite common for people to suffer from more than one, which is known as Co-morbidity. Please dont think I am attempting to diagnose your friend or anyone else as having a mental illness, I am not qualified to do that. However, she is displaying several Cluster B behaviours, which include compulsive stealing and spending. It may be worth doing a bit of online research. I accidentally stumbled upon an article about this, and it changed my life. One of the friends I had, who was similar to yours, was a compulsive shopper, or what is now jokingly called a shopaholic. She ran up huge debts, stockpiling clothes and other items that were never used. As I had never come across this before, I decided to explore it further. I learned that it could be a symptom of a personality disorder. As I didnt know much about personality disorders either, I researched those as well. I ended up online for 11 hours non-stop. It was like Open Sesame. It explained so much that had previously been inexplicable to me. It told me so much about my mother (who was a compulsive spender and thief) and many other people that I had attracted and been attracted to. It was a tremendous help to me. As I have said, its not about making amateur diagnoses, its about arming yourself with as much information as possible. I also learned coping strategies, which helped me deal with this type of individual, and what it is like to be them, and feel what they feel. They are usually in a tremendous amount of emotional pain, terrified of being alone and abandoned. However, there isnt a lot anyone, except a doctor or therapist, can do for them. You will have already discovered that nothing is ever enough to fill the void inside them. Meanwhile, you need to protect yourself and look after your own interests.

P.S. Can I just say, it is possible for people to display Cluster B behaviours, without having a full-blown disorder.

Love Sylvia x


Just a note about “disorders” (Sylvia), I understand that although this kind of information is helpful, for the purpose of what we are trying to accomplish here I want to clarify for the other readers that understanding the behaviour of someone else is not going to lead us to finding the solutions to why we are permitting them to treat us that way in the first place. The more we focus on others and what might cause them to be the way or act the way that they are, the less that we focus on ourselves and why we don’t draw boundaries and on our own healing process. Again, I am writing this for the purpose of what we are doing here in EFB. I used to do so much research on what was going on with other people and it was always a rabbit trail leading me away from what I needed to deal with in myself. Even when I figured out what was wrong with other people, it didn’t change the damage that was done to me, and it was the damage that I needed to heal from.
Hugs, Darlene


HI Sylvia! Yes! Absolutely to what you’re saying. There’s definitely the line where helping becomes enabling. I tried to be very careful with my friend over the last few years. He wasn’t the clingy type, though; he was more the waiting-for-someone-to-see-him type, which was exactly what I was before I hit crisis mode. He expressed a desire to go to counselling and he works now at the university where we went to school together. I’d used their counselling services and benefitted from it. Because he works there, I believe (as did he, though I don’t think he ever checked) that he has free access. So he wanted to go but he always expressed a fear of going. I did what I could to encourage him with my own story, etc. I know there are a lot of horror stories with therapy (and I had a bad experience with one) but facing the fear and taking the step to go is itself worthwhile, even if it doesn’t work out (like Darlene said in her post to me). Basically, his issues got in the way of having a decent friendship—i.e. a friendship where how crappy he felt didn’t take over our communications and time together. It was in butting up against the exact same issue that came up a year ago that did it for me. With this particular friendship, I don’t regret anything at all in the way I behaved. We’d been friends for a year before I noticed something was wrong and I reached out to him. I did it a few times mostly because that’s how long it took me to say what I wanted to say (at first I had my own anxieties in sharing my experiences and also in directly approaching the subject of depression and suicide with him due to my past and the fears I’ve had of people killing themselves; if it happened today, I’d be able to write it all out in one letter and then let it go). If I hadn’t done that, I never would have felt at peace with myself. His issues were so reminiscent of my own that to be true to my heart and myself, and because I cared about him as a friend and fellow human being, I wanted and probably needed (just for myself) to reach out to him. But I absolutely don’t regret leaving and did recognize that to stay would be doing him a disservice and would be false and inauthentic on my part. Best case scenario would be if he could recognize that because he’s chosen to let his fear rule him, his issues have cost him a good friendship (and I mean to say that we both lose out for it, not just him) and that might spur him on to take action. But that’s not likely—I doubt I’m that “important” (similarly, I’m not “important” enough that losing me would cause him to kill himself, as per my old fears). I think probably it will take the risk of losing his wife (with whom I assume he has a codependency), and even with that, you never know… Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts on this! I totally appreciate it. You’re right that it is absolutely about unfinished business. I agree that it’s about control. I also think that as long as you’re busy being the “mother” or the “child,” you can evade the responsibility of being an adult and facing your own issues. The other thing is that with our mothers, when we tried to separate and individuate and stop her from using us, no doubt we were all accused (directly or indirectly) of being a bad person, a bad daughter, selfish, uncaring, blahblahblah, and not just from our mothers but from other family members, society in general, complete strangers, even counsellors (like Mimi’s mother’s counsellor). I think we can get caught up in this stuff because we want to save our image, we want people to think we’re a good person, not selfish, etc., and mostly want to believe ourselves that we are good, nice, and eventually it can become that we don’t actually care that much anymore specifically about the person we’re trying to help, so much as we care about our image and proving ourselves, as you say. And in fact that makes for a very false friend. I think, too, when we concern ourselves about how to end it in the best possible way, so we don’t hurt feelings, etc., that it can be about this unfinished business, too, in the sense that if only we can end things “right” so the person understands and knows we’re not bad, uncaring people… If we can walk away and they don’t think ill of us, then we prove that it was our mothers, etc., who were wrong in accusing us of being bad for separating… Now, I just don’t care. My friend can think whatever he wants, same with anybody else I have left behind. There was a time in my past where I would’ve thought that the stance I’m taking now was the equivalent of the one taken by the woman in this post Darlene wrote about… but no, it isn’t at all. Something I’ve noticed is that all the people who have wanted me to believe I didn’t care enough about others were the exact people whose actions showed that they didn’t really care about me. Those people do not get to define who I am anymore.

Hi Mimi,
Thanks for your caring, I so appreciate it. You have a big heart. I don’t know how much it’s worth concerning yourself about this superiority complex thing—it was just something I noticed when reflecting back (a kind of side note). My mother, too, was like that, and yes I’ve been like that before but I say that without any shame because I don’t care anymore, quite frankly. I inherited this BS innocently because of the way my family treated me and taught me. Besides, those people I was feeling superior to were also USING me, so really how much time is worth knocking myself for having a superiority complex? (My mother has this superiority complex with her relationship with my grandmother (and others), even while my grandma continues to abuse my mom—it’s all related… By the way, I also ended my relationship with my grandmother because she was trying to use me as a mother, too. I really tried hard with that one—not to help her but to address my issues in a calm, caring, succinct way that there might be hope that she would take some accountability, apologize and change, but she did not, she continued to play the victim and I have walked away and will stay away unless she does take accountability, etc.) Anyway, it really sounds like this woman is using you and encroaching on your boundaries—and that’s the big deal in my mind. That’s just not cool. Sometimes people can confuse you into thinking that standing up and defending yourself or another is actually attacking or abusing a person when it isn’t. Actually, in my experience it wasn’t just sometimes but always, and in the moment they almost always had me believing it until I stepped back and said, Hey, wait a minute….


Hi Darlene,

Point taken, I absoloutley agree 100% that that we need to look at what happened to US, and not get caught up in the whys and wherefores of those who perpertrated the abuse. I certainly wasnt making excuses for abusive people, but I do realise that it may have come over that way. For me personally, it helped to clarify WHAT I was attracting, to see WHY I was attracting it – and of course – attracted TO it. For years, I lived in a topsy-turvey world, where I was told that I was the crazy one and my abusers were “normal”. I know from my own experiences that we can only change our outer world by changing what we believe about ourselves. The last thing I would want to have anyone on this site do, is to make excuses for the abusers, or look for explanations as to why they were abused, which I suppose is exactly what I was doing! Sincere apologies,

Love Sylvia x


Hi Sylvia
I didn’t mean to ‘shut you down’ I just wanted to make those points too. When you clarify it the way that you just have, it is much more understandable. I too kept repeating the same dysfunctional relationships and I too was told and convinced that it was me and that the abusers were ‘normal’! I am really glad that you came back and made these points! Thanks so much! (and don’t be sorry, all communication here is valuable!)
Hugs, Darlene


I don’t know if this concept is hard to understand or not but for me it made SO much sense!

If those people hadn’t told us who we were or how to be and faded “our photograph” (self image) to a black and white we wouldn’t be able to discover how courageous and bold we could be to “paint our picture” to show our beauty and our personality.

I took something that felt ugly and made it beautiful and my own.


Hi Darlene,

Thanks so much for your response #132. Its so validating to know I wasnt the only one to be told I was nuts, and that the abusers were of sane and sound mind. My mother started gaslighting me when I was as young as 4 or 5 years old. I was frequently told that I hadnt seen what I had seen, hadnt heard what I had heard, and that I had “an overactive imagination” and was “prone to dramatise everything”. I was actually a very stoic, down to earth child, with an keen sense of observation. When we are treated in this way, we learn not to trust our own senses and instincts. This can potentially put a child in danger. Many times, over the years, I would have a “bad feeling” about someone I had met, but would squish it down. On every occasion, that person eventually turned out to be abusive. Another confusing thing my mother did, was to get me to lie for her, but then go absoloutley crazy if she suspected me of telling a fib, off my own iniative. That taught me that I was of less value than her. It was ok for me to lie on her behalf, but not on my own behalf. I could tell lies to protect her from something, but could not lie to protect myself. I internalised the belief that I was not as important as her. Oh,the damage done by way of mixed messages!

Hi Jessie,

I love your analogy about people fading our photographs! Its very apt. But wouldnt it have been fantastic if we had never been made to feel ugly? If we had always felt beautiful? I feel so grateful and blessed to be on this healing journey, as I know lots of abused people never get this far, but I still wish that I hadnt spent so many precious years not knowing how beautiful I really was.

Love,Sylvia x


Hi Darlene, I just realized I had used two different nicks, I’m sorry. I often use different endings of Mira on websites in an attempt to make up a name that is not taken. Maybe I should just use Mira?

Jessie, what happened when your mother visited, and the dialogue is something that could have taken place between me and my mother. In fact she has said the same things to me many times. I loved your letter to her, it’s what I’ve been wanting to say to my own mother. She has constantly told me that I should be grateful I had a mother, grateful for all kinds of things, that she wasn’t an alcoholic, and on and on.

I don’t have any contact with her anymore, my subconscious just rebelled one final day and I felt so sick that I dared to think the unthinkable – to try to cut my family out completely. No letter, no explanation, no nothing. I had tried so hard to communicate with them for three decades, I just finally had to accept that the problem was not that I had not tried hard enough, it was that THEY KNEW very well what I was trying to say, and they did not want to hear it. No matter how much I would have tried to continue talking to them, it wouldn’t have helped. An abuser doesn’t want to hear from the victim about the pain of being abused. And doesn’t want to hear about what he/she did or what happened, because THEY KNOW. At some level, they know. Of course they do. When this finally became clear to me….it was very painful, but what followed that pain, for the first time, was a sense of freedom, of relief. I didn’t have to fight to “make them understand”, “try to make them talk about the past so I can heal”, any of those things. Yeah in healthy family talking about the past is not taboo and cause for attack….but it was ME that had to really get all of these things and finally accept them.

What stopped me for so long from going no contact was that my sense of fairness kept telling me that I had to “at least” “explain” to them, give them fair warning. But then one day one quiet voice said, ” And what about these last 3 decades, when you’ve tried to talk to them and “explain”? Doesn’t that count? What could you possibly say in a letter that you haven’t already tried to say one million times? That will not be picked apart and used against you, ridiculed, like everything else you’ve tried to say for al these years? Fair warning? Haven’t your life, your depressions, your despair and behavior been fair warning enough? If none of that helped, how would some words on a paper help? If you just go, do you really believe they will be oblivious to the fact that there was a problem?” and “Maybe it’s time to think the unthinkable – to save your words for those who will actually listen and care, to find people out there, outside the family, who will.”

I gave myself a break, I gave myself the freedom to just go.


” Its so validating to know I wasnt the only one to be told I was nuts, and that the abusers were of sane and sound mind. My mother started gaslighting me when I was as young as 4 or 5 years old. I was frequently told that I hadnt seen what I had seen, hadnt heard what I had heard, and that I had “an overactive imagination” and was “prone to dramatise everything”. I was actually a very stoic, down to earth child, with an keen sense of observation.”

Oh, this, so much this. I was also told in various ways that I was nuts, crazy. And I started doubting my senses and became vulnerable to abusive people. It makes me so angry to think of this right now, what their treatment of me has done to me, how different my life could have been.

As soon as I got away from my family, went no contact, I’m meeting people who treat me respectfully and they tell me they think I’m intelligent and rational. Go figure.


Hi Alaina,

Im sorry your friendship has had to end but it sounds like you made the right decision for YOU and thats all we can do, we cant make decisions for others, although I think its better for your friend too. He may see things more clearly now. Looking back, I can see that I was TRAINED to have unhealthy friendships. I didnt know how NOT to be enmeshed with others. I had never experienced healthy bondaries, or been allowed my own space. My mothering, saving and rescuing of others not only stopped me having to look at my own issues, I was actually stopping THEM dealing with theirs in their own way. I would listen to the same problems over and over, and then get angry that my advice wasnt being taken. I now know that if you listen to a person too much, it can actually de-motivate them from taking action. Also, I so agree with what you said about standing up for yourself. I, too, felt that by defending myself, I was attacking the other person, and that I shouldnt hurt THEIR feelings. This goes back, once again to my mom. If I tried to defend myself from one of her vicious and totally unjust verbal attacks, she would turn on the crocodile tears, and gang other family members up against me. This made me frightened to stand up for myself, as well as feeling guilty for “hurting” my attacker. Thankfully, the times they are a changin!

Love Sylvia x


Hi Maralee/Maralina
Please feel free to use which ever name (or both) you wish!
Being convinced that the problem was “all in our minds” is a huge huge problem to undo, but it is very important that we look at that issue. I finally reached a point where I could say to myself ~ HEY that happened and I know it happened. These people are LYING to me trying to convince me it didn’t happen. I am NOT crazy! and somewhere around that point I realized that they wanted me to think I was crazy because it gave them way more control over me. It was all part of the way they kept me focused on me and not on them and on the truth.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sylvia
You make excellent points in your paragraph here:

Sylvia said “Looking back, I can see that I was TRAINED to have unhealthy friendships. I didnt know how NOT to be enmeshed with others. I had never experienced healthy bondaries, or been allowed my own space. My mothering, saving and rescuing of others not only stopped me having to look at my own issues, I was actually stopping THEM dealing with theirs in their own way.”

This is why I often say that standing up to abusers and setting boundaries is LOVE.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for writing, Sylvia! I so appreciate your voice here, and I totally get everything you wrote. More or less the same deal with me and my experiences. I’m so glad to be figuring out boundaries and making solid friendships these days (even if I only have a few). I’m really feeling happy these days and I’m trying not to invest myself into a single dysfunctional relationship. I feel like I’m really getting ready to move forward in my life, deciding who and what matters to me and where I want to go. I’ve lost a lot of need to control things lately (at least in the last couple weeks) and I see myself not caring so much. For so long I’ve felt like my life was on trial, always being watched and judged, even when no one’s here but me and I’m doing nothing but thinking. That’s fading these days (it pops back up when something triggers me but, yes, on the whole I believe it’s fading). And I’m not so preoccupied with the future and what might happen. I guess I’m starting to trust myself. My family also had me thinking I was nuts and they were sane. Being able to see now that it was/is the other way around is huge. For so long I thought I shouldn’t/couldn’t trust myself, that my mom honestly knew better than I, that the whole world would agree with anything and everything she thought/said/did, and I should and had to follow her every thought, desire, need, etc. There was no voice of dissent in my family—my dad, brother and I all followed her, and I had no life outside my family for most of my life, so for me, my mom ruled the world. What a marvel to start to realize how small she actually is; how large, the world outside…


I had this experience as well. When I started looking at my issues and there was a friend that I wasn’t sure would be a real friend or if she could handle some things I was dealing with. Sure enough, she came out loud with the oh, why can’t you get over it. LET IT GO! So, I was looking to see if she could pass the test and I knew she had her own issues. I was glad to lose her as a friend.

I’ve gone NC with dysfunctional family and the only form of communication is letters. I like it because I have proof of the insanity and I can just ignore it. I’m not going to get on the phone anymore unless necessary. So, it is interesting to get the letters that say “Why don’t you call anymore? I guess you don’t care about anyone.” I think I’m getting pretty detached now. If I see an ounce of sanity in any letters there might be a chance, but when one family member sends me hateful email for no reason and then complains to another family member that they think I don’t like them. (this is insanity).


Hi Everyone!

I just published a new post about how many people write that they thought they were alone in the trauma of being rejected by the actions of parents esp. mothers. I am including the stats on how many people are looking for information about dysfunctional family stuff vs. how many people don’t want anyone to know that!

I am looking forward to the conversation on this one! Here is the link; “My Mother Doesn’t love me and I am not Alone”

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everybody, Am hiding upstairs in my room right now. My guy came home in a bad mood,and is raging around, slamming things. Doing this in front of his children, who just returned for a week. I would guessit is directed at me, as he has a very exact way of doing things. Perhaps I didnt clean the kitchen properly? He is really just ticked off because he has to do it all for his children, because he refuses to allow me to have any mothering role with his children, and although we have been together for 5 years, i swear that it is because he holds out hope that she will take him back. That really feels unnatural to me,as even though I am often angry on here,I have a very maternal side, and enjoyed that bound with my stepsons, who are grown. I dont know how much longer I can stay here, or what I should do.
He just came up here and apologized for acting “like an ass”, but that doesnt make me feel much better. This doesnt happen often, but it reminds me of my rageholic father growing up, and i feel sad and pretty unsettled.


Hi Janie
I am sorry that you are going through this. There is no excuse for someone to treat someone else like that.
Hugs, Darlene


I am so glad I found this post. I believe God led me to this. I believe many victims of abuse turn to various addictions to drown the pain. In my own journey to lose weight, I have discovered that my silence on the abuse I have suffered in my marriage was a huge reason for why I almost killed myself with food. There were other issues growing up in my family that contributed to me using food in this manner. All my life I have been controlled by others. My family was very controlling growing up. While I loved them, they controlled me to such an extent that I had little to no control over my own life. I was never allowed to have an opinion. Any opinion I had was considered disrespectful. I was always silenced. The same thing happened in my marriage. Only now am I finally recognizing much of what I”ve experiences as mainpulation, power plays and abuse. I am finally giving a voice to it and I find that others who have been through similar things find hope in that. Most people don’t view it as me living in the past. They actually view it as a way to give power back to the victim. To give a voice to the victim. And to no longer live in fear of the abuser. Unfortunately, I was recently told by someone very high up in my church that I need to stop writing about my abusive marriage. I was told that it was wrong and unbliblical because I am pointing out someone else’s sin. I was told to start being very vague and unspecific from now on. That identifying the abuser makes me a judgemental person. This person also told me that they are far more impressed with silent victims than those who share details. I have been very frustrated by this especially being told that I need to be silent. That is what led me to hostess cupcakes. Always being silenced. In my effort to find out if others feel this way I googled some key search terms and ended up here. Thank you so much for this post and for all those who left comments. I really believe that being silenced is giving power back to the abuser. I don’t know why others feel we must protect the abuser. To me, God has promised to take what was meant for evil and use it for good. You are doing that right now. Only in sharing the details have you helped me today.


Hi Holly!
Welcome to emerging from broken
Everything you are talking about in your comments is the kind of stuff we talk about here! The manipulative ways that abusers get victims to be quiet! And there is a ton of stuff in the christian teachings about exposing the truth! When things are kept in the dark, then nothing ever stops. The message that Christ brought to the world was based in the truth that all people have equal value. And all the leaders hated that message because they didn’t want to give up their power over others. So the manipulation of the teachings began right then. And not only does silence give the power back to the abuser, it gives them permission to abuse too! Who cares if that person is impressed with you or not! (I got a smile out of that one) ~ That person is either justifying being silent OR is an abuser happy that his or her victims are silent. I am really glad that you are here! Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] People who try to Silence Victims Interfere with Emotional Healing […]


I love the story you shared. That person in clergy needs to be silenced!! It frustrates me to read this common problem over and over from many different people. I’m glad you came here to share, and that you’re hearing your own voice. I’ve had to remind myself that just because someone is more educated, more wealthy, older, or has climbed the corporate ladder further than me, does NOT make them right ABOUT me. It makes them too self-assured when they pretend to know me or what’s right for me ~ better than I do myself. My mother’s counselor is one of them. She’s a christian counselor, and she pretends to know me better than I know myself. She pretends she knows my relationship with God better than I do myself. She pretends she knows the bible better than I do, and she knows my mother better than I do. PFT!! Not true. None of that is true. And, no degree or experience she has can make it true. I have blocked her from emailing me. And, I feel good about that. This is a common problem among christian advisors in my opinion. I hope you aren’t silenced by the advice.

I have also struggled deeply with my mother ruling the world, and the fear that everything she ever said about me would cause the whole world to follow. Largely, my family has followed. I am finding out that it’s not as true as I thought it was though. Part of that belief was because she (for years) told me it was true. That my family all thought she was right about me. That I had no defense aganst her. I had no people to help me stand up for myself. They were all on her “side”….. which is incredibly elementary to begin with. I don’t know if it was true throughout the years. I know it FELT true at family gatherings, etc.

Now, it’s slowly gotten to the point that it no longer matters. Unfortunately, my relationship with my grandmother has suffered somewhat. I know where my mother learned her tactics. I’m disheartened to learn it was from my grandmother, who I always felt so much love toward. I have a hard time even talking to her now. I feel guilt for that in addition. I know that anything I share with her, will go back to my mother. I know that she is judging me, yet acting like she’s worried about me. I know she thinks the issues between my mother and I are my fault. I don’t feel like I care so much about that, but, I also don’t want to be in her presence. I don’t want to be subjected to it. I don’t want to watch her be her phony self, while she’s judging me behind my back and saying hurtful things.

I’m sorry you have to go through this on top of all the other things you juggle. Peace and clarity sent your way!! xoxo

I appreciate what you wrote to Darlene in #132. I too have had trouble trusting my gut, for the same reasons you shared. I was told I didn’t see or hear things I knew I did. But, my mother’s influence was so strong, I actually BEliEVED her BS. No matter how crazy or illogical it was, I believed it. You’re so right. That really messes with our instincts and ability to trust them. I’m so happy you wrote this. I needed to hear it because of my friend that I’ve spoken of recently. My instincts have been there. I had trouble sorting them out and figuring out what they were trying to convey. BUT, they were there, so I’m thankful for that. I’ve learned a lot in the conversation regarding abusive friends and how we attract them. I always appreciate your wisdom!

Thank you. Just thank you for everything!!

On a different note, which I apologize if I’ve already mentioned, when I was on vacation, I got email from my mother ~ the generic form letter that says her email address has changed.

Just a few weeks (give or take) ago, her husband supposedly created his own email account, and told me I was not to contact her in any way anymore. I was to deal with HIM now. He gave me his phone number as well. I suspect it was my mother who actually created an email account for him. Anyhow, it doesn’t really matter who created it, or who, in no uncertain terms, demanded that I stop contacting her. I find it ironic that they ordered me to stop contacting her, yet, she sent me her new email address. I quickly shot her new email into the group, “blocked email addresses”. It was always her that was making contact anyway. I only replied to her emails. Even though I hadn’t instigated anything or contacted her except to respond, I was ordered not to contact her. THEN, she shares her new email address. I’m a little confused by that.

I am going to meet my needy friend sometime this week for lunch. It will be the last contact hopefully. I am getting my kitchen gadget back from her (I hope) and then I plan to let it die out. I know she will start contacting me again daily after we have lunch. But, I’m prepared to let her go entirely. I’ve decided the next time she asks if I’m angry, I will tell her about the boundaries I feel she’s failed to observe. I feel stronger about doing this since the conversation here about it. Thanks to everyone who helped me see things with more clarity.

Peace and Love,


Hi Mimi
About the email stuff with your mom; isn’t that typical! I call that “the spin”. I noticed that people did stuff like that to keep me in the spin so that I didn’t slow down long enough to SEE the plain truth. It’s like they believe in two different sets of rules. One for you and one for them but the rules for them can change daily and that is “none of your business”
I especially relate to your comments to Sylvia. And encouragement to you re your meeting with your needy friend! Sometimes looking back I realize that I didn’t think I deserved mutually respectful and loving friends! Everything changed when I finally knew that my value was equal and therefore I did deserve!
Hugs, Darlene


That comment you made about the senseless rules being “none of your business”…. that made me laugh out loud because it’s so true. You’re exactly right. That’s precisely what my mother would say!!! It’s like there’s an abuse manual they all have tucked away in their libraries!!

The needy friend ~ I totally get the part about mutual respect. I see how ridiculous it is to accept less than that. Something written above (I think Alaina) about thinking if we do stand up for our own rights or respect ourselves, we are somehow hurting someone else. That really hit home because I put myself in the backseat so often in times like this. I put their feelings above my own. I’m going to work on that for sure. I don’t know why (well, actually I do) any violation against me I let slide for fear of hurting someone else. That’s not self love!! I’m getting there though. I love this place!!! 🙂

Thanks again,


Just Stopping in to say, “Hi” to everyone. I haven’t posted on here for awhile. I’ve been trying to keep up reading the recent comments. I’m continuing to work hard on my recovery from Abuse & Trauma. I joined a closed group, mostly with women who have experienced pathological manipulation & abuse in relationships with Spouses, Foo, Co-workers, & Friends. It’s been eye opening! I have a deeper insight into the pathology in my FOO & my husband. There has been a shift in my thinking from seeking approval from the wrong people in my life. I’m more focused on my thoughts & feelings. I’m trusting my gut & intuition much more. I’m aware that validation, respect & acceptance comes from within, esp when my life has been with invalidating & emotionally unavailable people. I’ve been NC with FOO for over 2 months now! I’m not riddled with Guilt or Obligation either. Thank God!

I understand the mixed messages your mother conveys with her withholding & reaching out manipulative behavior. Disordered people do that!…They are predictable in that way. My FOO has not contacted me directly for about 2 months now & I haven’t contacted them either. I did had a short & simple message from mom, just before labor Day. I wonder how long they will stay away LOL….It just goes to show, that I was doing all the work in the so-called relationship & I made excuses for their rejecting & shunning behavior. Such as, they are too busy, my mom is sick, mom works full-time, yet there are ways to stay in contact. I’ve felt much better with less stress & drama from their behavior & tactics. I’m living my life & my new mantra is “I’m building a life worth living” with my children. Don’t know how it will play out with my husband in the next year, since uncovering much there. I’m looking out for myself & my children. That is my First Priority! I’m practicing Self Love too & working on believing that I’m worth it!….I’ve come to realize that I’ve been giving my empathy away to others that don’t deserve it. I need to give to myself, what I was not given.


Hi. I stumbled upon this site and read a few of the posts. I immediately felt like this was a place I could release some of the pain I’ve been holding onto. As all of you here, I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse. From the age of 1, yes 1 (which I just recently found out) up to the age of 14. All by members of my family. Brothers, cousins, step-brother, grandmother, grandfather. 9 total. And then the emotional abuse from my mother which continues to this day. I am 53 yrs. old. I was bullied early on in school for nervous habits. As I went through puberty, I got more active in school. I was a cheerleader, took karate (unbeknownst to anyone in my family, was for my own protection, which I did use much later) and became popular and gained many friends…all while keeping my secret. My mother did ask me one time if my brothers were “touching me”. That’s when I was 9. Of course I lied, as I had been threatened. They were 4 and 5 years older than I. My parents divorced when I was 13 and my mother remarried right away. I found out by accident that she was seeing another man while still married to my father, but she lied to me until much later. In fact, there were several lies that came out regarding my mother in later years. Another story. I married at the age of 22. Somewhere along the line, I blocked out the memories. The first years of my marriage were great. We had our first child when I was 25. I, like other young working mothers, took on most of the responsibilities as my husband began traveling with his work. 5 years later, I became pregnant again. I was beyond happy! Until 4 months into the pregnancy, I miscarried. I was at work and started cramping and bleeding, and went straight to the doctor. My husband was not traveling at the time, but was over an hour away from where I was. I called him from my doctors private office with my doctor by my side. We were both in tears. I told my husband that I was losing the baby and had to go to the hospital. His reaction was, “What do you want me to do about it, I’m in _____!” That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. I stayed with him until our daughter was 11. In the time between the miscarriage and our divorce, one of my female cousins (and best friend) called me and asked if I would go to a counseling session with her as she didn’t want to go to a group session, but would be comfortable talking in front of me. I didn’t know why, but I agreed. The session was about the sexual abuse she had gone through during our childhood. She was 11 months older than I. It involved our grandfather, and my brothers. The more she talked, the more my mind raced, as I started to remember the torment I had gone through myself. I opened up and told what I could recall at that time. As days and weeks went by, I became physically ill. I went through PTSD. My body started attacking itself with unexplained widespread pain, sleep disorders, IBS. My work was suffering. My marriage was suffering. I could barely take care of my daughter. I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. My mother was the one who actually read an article in the newspaper, and sent it to me. I started treatment with my doctor along with a Rheumatologist. I became a different person. Angry, depressed and felt like I was no good to my family, so my husband and I divorced, my daughter did not want to move away from her school, so I left everything and moved a county away…back to my hometown. I started getting better rather quickly, much to my surprise. During all of this time, through holidays, birthdays and such, I was “forced” for lack of a better word, to be around the abusers and expected to act normal. I was far from normal, and am still learning just how dysfunctional my family really is. When my memories of the abuse came back, I finally told my mother. I should preface this by telling you that she was also a victim of sexual abuse, by her father and step-father. The lack of compassion baffles me to this day. “You should have told me and I could have done something about it”, she said. I’ve told her that I had decided that when she was gone, I would no longer have anything to do with my oldest brother. The other brother died 2 years ago. She said, “but he’s all you’ll have!”. I beg to differ. I have had some times of remission from the fibromyalgia, but have had other health issues as well since then. And I still continue to be a part of the family get together’s, as difficult as they are. I suffer from anxiety attacks, so I medicate myself before having to face my abusers. I have forgiven, but I will never forget. And God forbid I get “testy” with my mother around as she will pinch me to the point of bruising me. This was farely recent. I have hidden most of this pain from everyone. I keep a smile on my face in public and do what I can to help anyone in need. But I prefer to stay at home with my animals. It’s my safe place. Thanks for reading my ramblings. God bless us, one and all.


Hi Terri
Welcome to emerging from broken
Thank you for sharing your story; sounds like you have found the right place. What happened to you was horrible. This is a huge community of people sharing about the pain of abuse and the way out of that pain and forward to overcoming and living in freedom. Validating that it actually happend is the first step.
I am glad you are here and hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene


I love your new mantra. Amazing that you stopped contact, and it started dying out. (actually, not that amazing, huh?) It’s been the case with me and my sisters at times. I think I’ve healed from that and my expectations are different. I suppose in the end, it’s just that I’m more self reliant. I don’t “need” them like I used to. It was almost like they were surrogate mothers to me. Particularly the oldest sister. I see them both more clearly now. I see their flaws, where before, I ignored them out of dysfunctional love. I also thought their word was the final word. If it was something I had to decide on, and they thought a different decision was better, I would often go with what they thought was better. I admired them both so much.

I didn’t really go through that with my mother. In retrospect, I stopped admiring her and her decisions decades ago. The most devastating part of the collapse of my relationship with mother was nothing but realizing she doesn’t love me. Even though I didn’t look up to her or admire her decisions, I still thought she loved me. She’s proving now, she doesn’t. She prefers to be right than to have a relationship with me.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. She turned 70. In a different world, we would have had a huge celebration for her. I only sent a card. Inside I wrote, “although your husband warned me not to contact you anymore, I didn’t want to let this milestone go by without at least wishing you a happy birthday”. I felt like, in this sentence, I reaffirmed the orders that came directly from “them”. I’m not sure it was my stepdad who wrote that statement in email, so I regard it as a statement from them both. It’s also the orders I’ve waited for. No obligation. I found a card that was appropriate also. It had big black spots on the front and one silver one covered in glitter. It said, “there’s everyone else” Inside, “and then there’s you”. It was designed to be flattering, as if the recipient stands out in some spectacular way, above everyone else. I know that she will get the meaning behind it coming from me however. As if she’s in a class of dysfunction, all her own.

With that, the holidays are fast approaching. I will send my standard Christmas card, as I do to everyone else. No gifts, and no family gatherings. I feel so much relief with that. I will have my own celebration with my stepkids, and step grandkids. We had so much fun last year. I’m looking forward to Christmas for the first time in over 20 years. 🙂

Love to you Sonia,


That is what I went through with my mother too. And that was the pain I felt… that she didn’t love me enough to try to hear me or see me as a person. My mother would also rather be ‘right’ then to have a relationship. At first I could say “well it’s her loss” but it took me a long time to believe it.
I love what you wrote in the card. To me, that is living in a truth system. (telling her that you were warned by her husband, kudos for that! ) And I got a giggle out of the card itself. ha ha.
I also noticed that with each passing year I got less anxious and more excited about christmas. I never realized how much fear and anxiety I had around those occasions! wow. So happy to be free of all that stuf now!
Hugs, Darlene

YES you are worth it! Learning to give myself what I was not given and giving myself (filling in those voids) what was missing was HUGE! Yay for you!
Hugs, Darlene


You sound so healthy! I agree with you about not needing FOO. I’ve certainly been rejected, shunned, abandoned, & belittled,throughout the years. I tell myself it’s their loss & I’m believing that!…I’ve given away my kindness to them, when they have not deserved it. My family would rather be right too, instead of having a real relationship. They life in ego & competition.

My mom’s B-Day is coming up in a few days. I do plan to send a short & simple card. My son’s 14th birthday is also on Columbus Day. No word from his grandparents & I’m not feeling obligated to call them on it either. They know when his Birthday is & if they choose to ignore or shun my son for it, then that will show how pathological they are. My son asked me to call them to let them know that his Birthday is coming up. I’m not going there, since it’s been no contact for 2 months. I do hope for my son’s sake that they send a card. He may feel crushed. We will be celebrating with my m-i-l & my son is having a friend’s party at one of those laser tag game places & play games. Yes, Christmas is coming up too & I’m already starting to plan ahead. I’ll ask my s-i-l on my husband’s side to come over again this year to have dinner & exchange presents. Then, I’ll send my annual kids X-Mas card photo to family & friends. I usually call my mom to bring my kids over around the Holidays, yet I’m reconsidering that this year. Not letting go totally, yet continue to draw my boundaries, so that they don’t have power over me! They see me through dysfunctional eyes & not at the individual person I am. Survivors play roles in the dysfunctional family & I’m not going to play their game!


BTW, I laughed about the card you sent her. It was a dig, yet she’ll take it as a compliment that she is special…HaHaHa!!

Darlene, Thanks for your support always!



I’m happy to hear the holidays got less stressful with each year. I had no idea how hard I worked to be acceptable at the family gatherings. I had no idea how afraid I was of my mother and her cruel judgments. Sometimes, they were non-verbal even. BUT, there was no uncertainty about the meanings. That’s one of the things that’s given her so much leverage and deniability. She could always say, “that’s not what I meant at all, and damn you for accusing me of that.” Her sneaky looks and snide remarks to others….. always a way to deny it. Now, I look at her through the eyes of truth. There IS meaning to her ways and words. There IS judgment and contempt for not being what she wants me to be. It is freeing for sure, but, I do still have issues I’m working on. I’m having trouble shaking the imbedded ideas that everyone looks at ME through her eyes. I feel like I’m under a microscope. I’m waiting for that to pass. And, I need to help it along, but, I sometimes fail to do that. Not without hope though.

Thanks for your comments. You sound very healthy as well. I feel bad for your son. It’s your parents’ responsiblity to remember his birthday IMO. Not yours or his. If you have to call and remind them, they have totally dropped the ball. (also just my opinion). Your poor son. BUT, the party you’re planning sounds awesome!!

Happy you’re feeling the freedom that comes from no contact. It IS liberating. Although for me, it hasn’t solved everything. I sort of expected it would, erroneously. I’m realizing now there’s still all that crazy training to wade through and correct. If I go back and read my own posts from a year ago, I see so much difference. But, I know there’s still miles to go. The progress I’ve made in a year keeps me hopeful. I’m hopeful for you too!!

Love to everyone,


Hi Mimi
Really really excellent comments. I will tell you how I got past that ‘feeling’ that everyone judged me through what my parents and family thougth about me. First of all for the most part it wasn’t just a feeling ~ that is the way the dysfunctional system works! That is how everyone stays on top of others and how control is misused. So that is why everything in recovery comes back to ‘self love and self care’. It was when I finally (and this is the process so don’t feel bad about how long it may take) validated myself enough that I realized in my heart and soul that I AM not what they say, they do NOT define me, abuse etc does not define me and I deserve to be respected/loved and valued for the wonderful INDIVIDUAL that I am that I stopped caring how anyone else saw me. And the way the world responded to me changed then too. Anyone who wants to judge me through the eyes of my mother gets met with the same healthy self love boundry I set with my mother. I know my value and that is where the freedom lives!
Hugs, Darlene


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


Hi, this is my first post here or on any child abuse forum, so I’m a bit nervous. I would like to tell a bit my story. It is only in the last 5 or 6 weeks that I’ve recognized on an emotional level that my childhood was abusive. I’m feeling a lot of intense emotions balled up together and don’t have family to talk to but have started counselling again.

I’m 48, started overeating at age 6 and started drinking at 15. I had 16 months sober until a couple of weeks ago because I feel overwhelmed, but I am forgiving myself and determined to quit.
Basically I’ve always known something was wrong with my family but minimized things because I wasn’t hit, and as far as sexual abuse, I don’t remember physical violation. Also, I have always believed I am the problem, since my adult life has been so screwed up. However, my mother was/is a narcissist and perpetually miserable but God forbid us kids get angry. She laughed at me at least once when I was mad as a teen and motioned at my sister to watch like I was entertaining. One time I was talking to my Dad in their bedroom when I was about 8 and she walks in and says, “Look at the two fat pigs”. After Dad died when I was 24, me, my sister and Mom were looking at pictures of him at the dining table, my sister starts to cry and this BITCH says to her(I’m so sorry, well not really but you can edit that out) “Why are YOU crying, you weren’t married to him?” I could go on and on.
I actually love my Mom, I think, but have no interest in seeing her and don’t miss her. My doctor told me in a chat session once I don’t love her, I care about her, wow those MD degrees give one mighty powers of insight, thank you for telling me how I feel.

Dad was a porn addict and I was present sometimes when he bought, standing there besides him, until I was a teenager but I’ve always minimized that, he also slept on the couch in underwear with his genitals out; he’d say, “Well they’re gonna see it one day anyway”. He leered at my breasts once after I tried on a sheer nightgown they bought for me at about 13, I complained and he looks at my breasts and says, “Oh that’s alright”.
Both of them shoplifted and packed items in my coat.

I have pictures where I’m bright and open faced one year and from the next year on, withdrawn. A couple of pictures from age 6 when the change starts, were taken when I’d just been crying, my eyes are red and watery. In one of them a man who came to visit my Mom once, along with his wife, he’s got me pulled close to him and I look at that picture and hate his dirty fingernails on my skin, that one too, I’ve been crying.

Up until recently I’ve considered my childhood “abuse lite” or something. Yet I have been in pretty much constant emotional pain for over 40 years, overeating, drinking, drugging, some cutting, hook-ups with strange men, making my physical appearance a low priority yet longing to be seen as beautiful, my ex turns out to be a pedophile, and thinking all this time what a complete mess up I am.
Now I feel as if waking from a conscious dream, like colours deepening or a film being lifted, and I see that rather than being weak and “sick”—which I was told I was explicitly by both parents—I am STRONG and a tough survivor, a beautiful person.

Now I want to do more than survive. Unfortunately I had a disappointing chat with my GP doctor a few weeks ago (he has chat sessions and I’ve been talking to him about my childhood for 20 years). But I haven’t been talking on an emotional level, more like telling a story. I felt a big change starting in me and saw him excitedly to explain because it feels like a breakthrough. But he just said the same things, how one day I won’t feel like a ‘victim’ anymore and won’t need to talk to him, that I would find talking about it boring, he mentions people in camps or starving in Africa, how did they cope, and after I tell him a story I never told him before he says, “you probably have 149 other stories”.

And I left that office so disappointed and don’t want to talk to him anymore. My feeling is he thinks I won’t move on. I think HE’S bored with my “stories” and minimized my trauma just bringing up those global catastrophes. I realize now, he just doesn’t get it.

Over the years I’ve been told by counselours, “They did the best they could”, asked, “Why do you call it abuse?”, and denied participation in a sexual abuse group cause I didn’t qualify. One day when I was 16 a teacher saw me looking distressed all by myself and took me aside and asked if I was pregnant. I said no, it was my home life. She offered to speak to my parents, and after she did she said to me, “You made it seem like they were monsters, they weren’t bad”. So she takes my 16 years experience living with these people and throws it away cause in one meeting they put on an appearance as people will naturally do.

This invalidation over the years has really hurt me as well as being the black sheep of the family, the one with ‘the problems’ when no one else will look at themselves. My sister doesn’t want to deal with the past and basically avoids me. She says she wants a stronger relationship but does sweet dick all about it.

The most painful, the most painful legacy of my early life is in all these years believing I am inherently flawed, deficient, too sensitive, weak. I have always aimed low, never working for long, never having a career, never learning to drive, never having children or a loving romantic relationship, prostituting for booze money, my sister pissy with me cause of my addictions. They crushed me inside and I feel thrown under the bus by my family (I know my sister was a victim too but I am talking emotionally), everyone denying the truth and making me the screw up and boy now I feel angry but I will not give them the rest of my life. My controlling sister now has POA over Mom and denies me info and I am fed up with them both. I’ve spent 2 painful Christmases at my sister’s, she avoids me leaves me alone in the living room while she and her husband smoke in another room for most of my visit, then fawns over Mom when she arrives. I refuse to go back this year.

I’m ready now to get my life back. Maybe it’s been greatly compromised but there’s no price on peace of mind.

Sorry this is so long…..


Hi Doren
Wow. I hear this all the time about counsellors telling clients ‘they were not that bad’ or ‘they did the best they could’ on of my post popular posts on this blog is called “my parents did the best they could according to who?” No one has the right to decide that they did the best they could! What does that even mean!
A huge part of my healing came from me deciding that I didn’t need anyone to agree that my childhood was abusive and that my parents didn’t do the best they could.
Welcome to emerging from broken ~ you are going to find a lot of validation here.
Hugs, Darlene


I felt reprimanded and shamed by what this lady said, but, thinking about it on a deeper level, the fact that her daughter and grandaughter have a dysfunctional relationship, in my opinion, says that all is not well with the lady herself as beliefs that cause problems seem to be passed down. I think she can’t handle her abuse but was trying to off-load it onto this site by putting us down to make herself right. I think if she had been so sure of herself, she wouldn’t have needed to comment. Just a thought.


Hi Paloma
Welcome to emerging from broken!
Yes, that is a very typical reaction. This woman reminded me so much of the other people in my life that tried to control my feelings and shame me in this way. And YES it is always about them, and not about the person or people they are pointing fingers at.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene for your warmth and understanding. It is helping me already to know I’m not alone, that others ‘get’ it.

I’m realizing now how much denial society on the whole is in. These are very painful issues and I can understand on one level people not wanting to think of this stuff. People feel powerless over the ‘evils’ of this world. But the painful truth is, in my opinion, we have to expose these things and face them squarely—that is the way out. We have to go through that valley, not around it, under it, whatever.

Counsellors are going to have issues of their own and who knows what messages they’ve absorbed from their pasts. All the book learning in the world won’t really penetrate if they themselves aren’t ready to face their stuff. After all lots of therapists come from crappy pasts and are drawn to the field for that reason.

But while I understand people’s need to want things to go away, it just doesn’t work that way. Why would people put themselves through this if it was simply mind over matter. You can’t heal from child abuse as a child, it is all you can do to survive and you’re not equipped to understand fully what’s happening. As an adult though, so often you’ve been brainwashed and remain in survival mode for maybe decades.

I get the unstated message from my sister, my doctor, others with that mindset, which is, “Take responsiblity for your life, grow up, you want to be a victim”. Like I don’t want to move, I don’t WANT to do anything. But I am the very product and manifestation of the abuse, just like if someone comes from love and nurturance their adult life will reflect that daily.

This woman who wrote that letter, it is very telling that she is elderly but somehow finds herself looking at a site on child abuse. That part of her that suffers still is guiding her and speaking, a very ironic thing considering her stated “grownup” viewpoint. Hopefully she’ll live to connect the dots, that there is deep conflict within her. Her child self is making herself felt, but it hurts too much and she’s really silencing herself more than anyone.


I love your insights when you said, “But I am the very product and manifestation of the abuse, just like if someone comes from love & nurturance their adult life will reflect that”….So True!…We mirror what we were exposed to in childhood. Yet, we can heal by doing the hard internal work.
Also, “Her child is making herself felt, but it hurts too much and she’s really silencing herself more than anyone”…Yes & Yes…She is in Denial!..Some Honest Soul Searching would help.
Thanks for sharing,


I think a honest person who is in the case of that woman (her child triggers her own suffering) would realize there is a problem and would search help instead of being naughty with her child and others people who were abused like us.


That’s why all the parents have no excuses to pass the violence they recieved through their own child, because they always have a choice.


And the child don’t have any (choice).


Aurele, I can relate to what you said regarding “passing the violence”. My mother shows one side to most people, but for those closest to her, she shows her true colors. Yes, she had a rough life, being raped by her father and step-father. She left home at 15 and married a man twice her age. At 16 she had a baby by her husbands best friend. At 17, she had her second child by her husband. She left from the hospital, picked up her first son, and took a bus across 3 states to her mothers home. That’s when the second rape happened by her step father. The lies and secrets started then. My oldest brother did not know his biological fathers’ name until he was 21. Why she waited so long, I have no idea. By the time he decided to look for him, it was too late. Anyway, 2 or 3 years passed and she met my father. They were married and I came along 2 years later. Since she worked, I was taken care of mostly by my fathers parents. It was then that the abuse began with me. At the age of one, my mother took me to the hospital from my grandparents house, as I was bleeding from the rectum. My grandmother had an obsession with enemas. One would think that one time would be enough, and not allow further visits, much less babysitting. But for some reason, that’s not how it went. Years went by and I can remember calling my mother, crying, for her to come pick me up. I would sneak to the telephone so as not to get caught. I did get caught once, and was spanked by my grandmother. I was probably around 5 or 6. After that day, I would beg my mother to not take me there. But there was no one else to watch me, so the enemas continued until the age of 9. I would lie to her and tell her that I had already had a bowel movement so that I would not have to undergo that awful event! At the age of 53, I still have issues with IBS. It’s no wonder. I can remember visiting relatives and having one of my cousins “watch” me while the grown ups were in the kitchen. I was 3 when he had me turn around and put his penis between my thighs. It seems that anytime we went anywhere to visit anyone (in the family), someone would violate me. It was around that age(8-9) that my brothers were old enough to watch me as they were 4 and 5 years older. I think that’s when the actual rapes began. The older I got, the more violence I recall in the family, be it prejudice or whatever. Even my anger would come out. Especially when my mother would pinch the fat on the inside of my thighs, saying “this is the part I just love, right here!”. It would hurt, and I knew she had to know! Everyone would laugh, even though I would withdraw and cry and run away from them. I can also remember at a very young age lying in my bed with the sheets folded just perfect around me, and if I didn’t move, God would take me because they would think I was dead. You see, there was no place to hide. Not one house that I was taken to was safe. And I was angry for that. Most of them are long gone now, but some of my abusers are still out there. I still have my mother and oldest brother that I deal with on a daily basis. They still have anger issues, and I am still medicated! But now, I stand up for myself. It is only when I am alone that I allow myself to feel the pain, if only for a little while.


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


Hi Terri,

I can relate to what you said when you said there were no place where you could be safe as a child. For me, that was the same. That caused me nocturn terrors still today.

I like what you said “But now, I stand up for myself. It is only when I am alone that I allow myself to feel the pain, if only for a little while”.




I honestly believe that because of the abuse, and the fact that I blocked it until my 30’s, it created this anger in me and therefore kept me from having a normal relationship with men. I’ve been married twice, once for 15 years. My husband had his own issues with sex which made me think he didn’t want me. And when we would have sex, something would click inside me if he nuzzled my neck. I just wanted it over with! And he was not one to speak of such things. Ever!

I spoke with my brother for a short time yesterday, and for the first time, I realized that he considers me a victim. For instance, “your problem is that you stay in the house all day, you need to get out”, or “I think what’s wrong with you is …” I am disabled, and most times I don’t feel like going out, and when I do, I’m fine, as long as I don’t over do it! I still have flash backs off and on, but nothing like I suffered earlier on. My dreams are mostly of my mother. And they’re usually not good. She is the biggest silencer of all. I said something recently that she didn’t care for, and if looks could kill…but I was just happy I wasn’t standing close to her, or I would get pinched. Can you imagine a 75 yr. old woman doing that? It’s just bizarre.

The one thing that I can tell you, all of you, is that I promised if I ever had a daughter, she would not go through this. I kept my promise. She is a healthy 28 yr. old beauty that I am very proud of. I broke the chain. She doesn’t have any children yet, but when she does, I know she will be a compassionate and loving mother.

I’m so glad to have found this site.




this is late but thank you so much for writing back about my post. It means a lot:)
Like so many I have felt alone for many years. You mentioned in a post how dysfunctional families play roles, and mine has never changed, nor has anyone else’s in the family. My sister relates to me today the same way she did 20, 30, 40 years ago. I decided not to visit her at Christmas cause I’m so new to awakening about the past, and don’t want to experience being ignored and watching Mom be fawned over again. It’s hard cause I LOVE Christmas and will very likely be alone. But I don’t want to put the ‘kid’ in me through that again.

My sister says she feels too old to think of childhood now. She says she wants a better relationship but then nothing happens to act on that. She wants to keep it at talk about celebrities or shopping and I am having a hard time with that. She always gives the impression of having so much responsibility and stress, so please don’t bring anything ‘family’ to her—then I am hurting her if I do. Like when I tried to talk to her about my past meeting men on the internet, she looked angry and said “Do you know how painful this is?” I felt, how could I do that, how inappropriate and thoughtless of me. And I dropped it.
I am tired of playing my role and see no way out but to detach more from family. I can only control myself and I’m doing myself a disservice waiting for a big change. I have to start living now rather than only surviving. I have to be in charge now and I’m uncomfortable with that but hope that will lessen in time.

Another insight I had was that by drinking as I have I’m silencing my own self, drowning that voice. The painful and angry feelings are the truth and I too bury the truth when I use. A big part of my liberation is in putting down the bottle and stop playing the role of “the addict who’s a mess-up and therefore not valid to speak to”.
It may not change anything on their end but my voice will get stronger in sobriety.



Thanks for commenting back to me. I can relate to bringing up the past with my family & being shut down with comments like your sister’s. “Do you know how painful this is?”, “You want to hurt me by saying those things” & “Where is this coming from?”…Abusers are not willing to look at the damage. We as victims/survivors have to do the healing work & not look to them for validation. We have to build ourselves up & surround ourselves with supportive people, who understand our pain. My Foo has already proven, that they are incapable of giving me emotional support. Yes, your voice will grow stronger in sobriety. The feelings that were drowned out by alcohol, will come up to be acknowledged & validated. I like when you said, “A big part of my liberation is in putting down the bottle and stop playing the role of “the addict who’s a mess-up and therefore not valid to speak to”. We are worthy of love & healing!…Wishing you the best in kicking the bottle! we have to define ourselves.


Thanks again Sonia for the thoughtful response. It’s my 5th day back to sobriety and I’m scared but know I have to face this stuff.

This is new territory. It’s very uncomfortable and I want to crawl back and escape. But something has changed inside, like a breaking point was reached.

I think to myself, “Can my doctor be wrong?” He has all the education. He is authority. He speaks with confidence. He’s talked to many abused patients. He is a nice caring man and has a great rep in the city as probably our best doctor. Even after the therapist I saw, who works in the same clinic as him, and knows him, even after she told me he can give appalling advice and she’d never go to him for mental health talks, I sit here and still question myself:

How can I be right, and he is wrong? How can I speak and live my truth about my childhood and be ‘right’ if my sister sees it so differently? Because more than one person says, “Move on”, it creates huge doubt in me.

That is inside me…WHO AM I? Do I know best who I am?

Do I have a right to put myself number 1?

By not going to my sister’s for Christmas, I’m putting myself first. Because I feel complicit in the pretence when I’m there, and I am resisting that now. “Let’s all have a nice Christmas”—that would be great if so much wasn’t unspoken. And I’m not going to go there and try to ruin it.

Once or twice I’ve suggested hosting Christmas myself. I’ve never hosted, I’ve always travelled the one-way highway. My sister said, “Oh Mom can’t stay away from the retirement home that long” (I live 2 hours away). So I am on someone else’s turf, left alone mostly until Mom comes and everyone comes out to keep her occupied, and I wonder, “Why am I here?”

And I am silent last year as they all watch and laugh at cat videos, cause Mom loves cats, silent and I move off to the dining room, feeling very sad and apart. My sister did not once come out to sit with me all day. And at dinner she says, “I know ALL the medication you take Mom, even your vitamins”, knowing that I’m sitting there and asked for that information months before from sis and never got it. And I’m silent.

Now I have to think of myself, and I wrestle with guilt..

I guess I wonder, has my family been trying to silence me, all these years, and I haven’t seen it for that? I’ve been taking it for people just wanting peace, and I rock the boat, although I’ve been growing steadily more bothered and angry the last few years.

I wonder why there is such an effort to silence if everything’s ok?

HUg back


Doren, Your FOO sounds alot like mine. My sister is the same way, much as my mother. Would rather engage in gossip, about people who do not matter at any way, in their worlds, than deal with real feelings of the people in their lives. I think the only real feelings my sister and mother feel are anger, when their “authority is questioned”. We will never receive compassion or understanding from them, as that is not our assigned role. Nor are they probably capable of it, as narcissistic people are not known for empathy.
As an nurse, it is amazing that I have off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,and also the 3 days around thanksgiving! However, I do think that subjecting myself to their shananigans will make for a meaningful holiday, so I will probably go with my S.O’s family. Them, I can deal with. They have a couple lightweight playa’s, but not full blown disfunction! Some of them are quite nice! Who knows, I may choose to do something totally for myself! Maybe a spa day, day after Thanksgiving!
It is interesting, folks are talking about giving up alcohol. I have been on a very healthy and strict diet, over the past 3 weeks, not much carbs, lots of veggies and protein, and I think I have gone through carb withdrawal! The first week, unresolved issues kept coming up, my Uncle’s recent death, and Kens dad’s death, and I found myself becoming very emotional. I think I was numbing myself with carbs.
I feel much happier now, and upbeat, taking care of myself, and finally coming off of most night shifts. I have far less anxiety, which is a great feeling. Why go around the FOO, and have them ruin it all?
Last I heard, they were still fawning over my older sister, whose hubby is in jail now, for 4th driving while intoxicated. I know very well she knew he was drinking and “babysitting” their son, driving the car while drinking, but she turned a blind eye to it. Everyone sees her as a poor victim,when she was an enabler, and really latched on to him from the get go to get in with the “popular crowd” in my home town, as she was kind of a pariah when we were growing up. Now she is also being “bullied” by her hubby’s sister, who is attempting to help her clean up her really filt hy house, because SIL is “too bossy”, trying to run her life. She has a 8 yr old son who must live through all of this, their creation. That is who is the victim, who I feel sorry for.I wonder when she ever has to take ownership of the mess she has made of her life?
See,there I go, getting sucked into the dysfunction. I went to call my parents today on my cell,it had been a while, and the voice volume went. I couldn’t hear anything. Someone up above was looking out for me, lol.

Hugs to all,


Thanks Janie, you hit it on the head, I didn’t mention narcissism but I’ve recently concluded that’s my mom’s disorder. Until last year, when dementia rendered her more childlike, she was constantly miserable and bitter throughout my life. This kept her at the center of attention, I see now. I spoke out and argued as a teenager, then gradually silenced myself as addiction took over. Now I have a very hard time asserting myself, but I know I have to find my voice.

I have a friend in his 70s who was abused (though he never uses that word)as a kid. When he asks me how I am and I say, “Down about childhood stuff”, he says “Yeah well, lots of people have gone through that, you’re not the only one”. I change the subject then, but I want to say, “That means we have to listen to each other, not sweep all of us under the rug”.

Another older man I know, I ran into him at the Evil Empire the other day, he told me how when he starts to complain to his best friend the friend says, “Check your pulse, if you got one you’re doin alright”. And I said something I would have held back before, I said, “You know what that means? That means “I don’t want to hear it'”. He said, “Yeah, pretty much”. He’s also a survivor who doesn’t put the ‘a’ word on his past.

I am SO sick of the trite BS statements that are glossing over major pain. So many have got Snoopy band-aids on and are afraid to rip them off.

Janie that spa day sounds good, hope you have a great holidays
Stay sane 🙂



Hi Doren
Saying “Lots of people have been through that” is abusive and it discounts the pain you are in. And that just causes more damage! It causes more pain because it is like being reprimanded for being in pain! These are the people that I stay away from now. Facing the pain is the only way away from it and so I faced it and now help others face theirs.
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Doren, I so agree with you, lots of people do not want to hear it, either because they must take responsibility for, or look at their abuse to others, or abuse they suffered! That reference to everything being okay because we have a pulse, is sickening, because lots of people who have pulses are abusive or are abused. It also reminds me of the “They did the best they could” statement, when you bring up neglect or abuse concerning who raised you. No, they didn’t!! Also, Oprah’s “when they knew better, they did better” . Really?? Because it’s been pointed out to them, many times, and they still do not care to change, it doesnt suit their purposes……….
Thanks for the well wishes for the holidays. I hope you manage to find some peace, joy,and hapiness in yours, too!



Oh how our abusers wished we would just let things go and go with everyone else in the dysfunctional family system, sure would make their lives much easier but it is us, you know those who dare to speak up who are such horrible people, people who make up lies and then start trouble,,,sigh…these people who side with the ABUSERS are no different for they love and keep the the lies alive and continue to punish the scapegoast right along with the abusers, my own sister who I grew up with and was very close with did this to me and she choose the lies and people who keep them over her own sister, she will pay one day when she realizes what she did to me, one day I feel she will suddenly realize she threw her own sister under the bus, and it will be too late, **%% forgiveness.


Wow, I am so glad I came across this website. I stumbled onto it because I’ve been looking for some kind of help, validation or reality check.

I feel as though I’ve been living in the twilight zone. I agree with 100% about the need for survivors of child abuse to validate our pain and reality and no one has the right to try to talk any of us out of it. About a year ago, I broke off a long-time friendship because I realized that I could never move past the pain I shared with this person. I’m not sure if I realized this then, however all I knew was that I didn’t want to share with this person anymore. I used to confide much of the rotten crap my mother did to me and she felt it her duty as my friend to explain my mother’s actions. By the way this friend is about 22 years my senior who has children the same age as me. In any event, when I would share my hurt and pain about something my mother said or did she would say things like “I know it seems like your mother just threw you under bus and slashed a major artery, that’s not what’s really going on”
I now know that’s EXACTLY what was going on. I don’t think this person did this because she’s malicious. She’s someone who doesn’t recognize the pain of her own upbringing. If you let her tell it she’ll tell you that she had an IDYLIC childhood (much of which she cannot remember)

I just want to know when does the pain stop? Right now I feel like my soul is on fire, I am angry, sad and depressed all at the same time. How is this possible?


Hi Tracie
Yes it was exactly like living in the twilight zone! And what you are sharing here is exactly what we talk about in this site all the time. The pain stopped for me when I finally validated my right to have it and that what happened to me was wrong, and when I learned how to validate, love and take care of me!
I have written tons in this site about how I did this and almost every article has a discussion on it, so keep reading and you will find some answers! My depression went away, i totally recovered from dissociative identity and a whole lot more!
Hugs, Darlene

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


[…] them. I am sharing the following comment with you today because it is a fantastic example of the judgement that is out there in the world about what we reveal when it comes to our dysfunctional family […]
This is the new post on EFB that is related to this post. ~ Darlene



I see nothing wrong with this woman speaking her mind, maybe she need’s to write a post to ease her mind. Why are you punishing her?

I have read many posts and find myself in many of them. But whether I need to write of something that bother’s me or toot my own horn isn’t that where healing begins.

I await your comments.


Hi Cathy,
Why am I punishing who? I am using someones comments as an example of how survivors and victims are spoken to by people who don’t know a thing about the truth in the situation. Did you read what she told me? She presumed all sorts of things. If she needed to ease her mind she would have told HER story not tried to tell me mine.

She has decided WHY my father decided to move. She decided that HE was emotionally drained. Where does she come up with that stuff and why does she have a right to say that to me?? She tells me that I don’t know his side… well I know the side he told me and his side isn’t the point anyway ~ the point is that there was damage that leaked over onto me.

I think you are missing the whole point about this article. My father was having an affair and left my mother for another woman. This woman is defending him and telling me that I need to give him a break! My healing came from finally deciding that I needed a break.

And now you are telling me that I am wrong too. Telling me that I am ‘punishing someone’ ~ maybe you can clarify a little bit more about that?? I really don’t get what you are having a problem with here.

Hugs, Darlene


I reaize that I have answered your comment on the wrong post. So other than the stuff about my father, the rest still applies.
I will post the other stuff on the other comment thread to the comment you left there.



I touched a nerve and I am sorry for that. I simply believe everyone has a right to their opinion regardless of what we think.

I will not explain myself any further.



While it’s true that the woman in question has a right to an opinion, this particular woman seemed to be writing not to share hers, but to attack Darlene’s support of a lot of people who are struggling with the effects of CSA. Her attack was personal enough that I can’t help but wonder if she’s related to a regular participant in these discussions, and wants to ‘lecture’ that person.

I agree with Darlene. If she wanted to be helpful she would have simply told her story, and not made a list of assumptions about Darlene’s past.



I seemed to have created quite a stir, not my intention.

Live and Learn.



What’s BEST for ME is NOT this WEBSITE.


You might be surprised Cathy about what is best ~ maybe you should try to see what triggered you about this whole thing. Why are you having such a strong reaction to what I am doing on this blog?


My mother used to point out every fault and shirt coming I had and then when I was down and depressed she only added fuel to my despair. I had many people tell me she was jealous if me and very controlling. She ran off first boyfriend and I never felt safe bringing any friends home…our home was in shambles and I just knew to never ask or expect that. Later in my twenties she would insult me and call me a whore when she suspected I was having sex. I was 29 and I had no checking account and I didn’t j ow how to drive and my mom drive me to work. When I expressed interest in college she screamed that I would waste my money and fail. I did go and u graduated with honors as well.
I was not allowed to have sex with anyone and I was in my late 20s and my curfew was around midnight. It was that when I was 17. My mom was very controlling and she had attempted to take my life a few times. My dad knew of one time and he didn’t take her gun away. He too is afraid of her. He is passive and selfish and never tried to get to know me…we lived in the same house and yet he barely spoke to me.
I was wondering if it was common for passive men to marry abusive controlling women?


Hi Kimberly Ann,

Your mom sounds very similar to mine. She was very jealous of me but at the same time, couldnt let go of me. I didnt bring friends or boyfriends home either, because she always found fault with them, and would nag at me ceaselessly. She started calling me a tramp and a slut when I was 10 yrs old, simply because I wanted to play with other kids. Now of course, I realise that she was projecting her own shame and self-hatred onto me. She talked me out of going to University, and when I announced that I was going to start taking driving lessons, she hit the roof! She called me a selfish bitch who thought of no-one but my self. Bear in mind, I was paying for them with my own money. For decades after, I felt bad about spending my own money, or even HAVING any money! She didnt want me to have ANY independence. She veiwed me as a possession, not a person in my own right. And yes, my father was a passive enabler. But not so passive that he didnt take his anger and frustration with my mom out on me. He didnt dare stand up to her, so he scapegoated me. As a father, he was as good as useless, and every bit as abusive as my mom, albeit in a different way!

Love, Sylvia x


Hi Sylvia and Kimberly Ann,

I can totally relate to your stories. I wasn’t allowed to have the least independance too.
When he met the lawyer to divorce with my “mother”, he asked him to put me tutelage (!), as if I was a disabled person.
In France, someone are under tutelage when he hasn’t the mental abilities to have his own money.
He also threatend me to put me in a mental hospital.

He saved money for me since I was a child, but when I was 19, I asked him to pass my driving my licence with the money and he simply answered “you haven’t the money anymore, I spent it” although he insisted like crazy to force me to pass this exam.

I couldn’t go out and have friends because he didn’t want to. He said that he didn’t trust me and that I don’t have good people around me.
Of course I have not, because thanks to his treatement, I attracted only bad persons.
He is son of a bitch and I pray for his death coming soon. If only he could die soon, I would be so relieved.
I dream to found him dependant, ill and miserable one day, and to come to see him and to degrate him, to have no mercy, and to frighten him to death as much as he did to me. Just imagine it is so good.

Yes Kimberly, people reenact the drama of their childhood in choosing an abusive husband or abusive spouse.
In my house, it was the contraryn, my “dad” the abusive and my “mother” the submissive to him or slave it could be more accurate.


Hi Kimberly Ann
Wow, thank you for sharing your story. It is amazing that we get through this stuff!!! My father was a passive abuser and my mother was the screeming one but I have seen countless cases of it being the other way around. And sometimes both parents are violent or verbally abusive and sometimes both parents are passive abusers. I had to see the damage that it all caused me in order to heal. It took me much longer to see the damage that my father caused with his passive abuse and emotional neglect.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Thanks Sylvia and Aurele for your input here too!!


I want to thank you for your site. I have been pouring over it the last couple of days. Only these last few months have I been able to admit that my mom was an abuser. And sickingly enough my husband and I both were/are. I have gone to my adult children and asked their forgiveness. This has only come around in the last 3 weeks. So everything is raw and confusing. My husband and I were already going on a counseling retreat because I was considering leaving him. All this I’m sure will start to be addresse there. I am facing the hard truth that my husband is neglecting,passive abuse (wow did this explain a lot) emotionally abusive. I have a tremendous amount of shame for redirecting my pain. For keeping my blinders on. And for not protecting my children from the same abuse I experienced as a child. I think once the retreat is over I am going to separate from him. My younger children and I have a lot of healing to do. I am having a lot of fear over this because I have been a stay at home mom most of my life. I don’t have skills to work someplace that actually pays. I know ultimately that’s my insecurity talking. And I probably won’t have too much trouble landing a job becaus people generally like me despite my ridiculous insecurities.

I guess my questions would be where do I start? When I first read this I though ‘yea that makes sense” but then I read your comments and I could totally see where you’re coming from. But here is my concern I don’t want to be like my mom (the poster) and I don’t want to also be stuck in anger mode. Somewhere there is an inbetween. Accepting,strong,overcomer. But the anger is useful too. I just want to find a balance and not be bitter. And I’m afraid if I get stuck with victim thinking that the bitterness is what will take root. And what steps do I take standing up to my husband to remain strong? I know its an individual processes. But there is so much insight here that I want to be a little bit buffered when we go to the retreat. I’m also having panic attacks when I’m around my husband becasue of the association with my mom. Anyhing regarding this too would be helpful because I will have 4 days with him at a hotel and 3 hour ride in a car. I have no insurance so I can’t see a Dr to get medication. Thank you.


Hi Nicky
Welcome to emerging from broken
Thank you for sharing. I am sure that this wasn’t easy for you to share, but wow, I think it is so great. My husband and I had to make plenty of amends and coax open the doors of equal rights and communication with all three of our kids too once we began to see how our parents controlled us and how we learned dysfunctional relationship. It all paid off! Two of our kids are adult and we still have one teenager at home. This healing process takes time for everyone but it is so worth the effort.
The anger is a stage in the process and it takes time for each stage to live and then be overcome. I tried to skip steps but it never worked. Balance takes time and for me it came with time and clarity. There is no quick way. As far as where to start, keep reading. Read some of my early work first (there is an archive button on the right side bar and there are category buttons at the top to help you navigate) Hang in there and know that this takes time. Even if you could sit down and read the whole blog in a week, (there are over 350 articles and discussions) you would not be able to progress any faster. It really takes time.

Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


WOW, can’t believe she said that and I agree with not telling someone how to feel and what they should be doing.

I chose to no longer see myself as a victim after my last therapy sessions in 2010. I wanted to change myself, I no longer wanted to be a weak person, I wanted to know that I’ve been abused and I’m not wrong or bad for it and the way how my life turns out from here on out is in my own hands and not in the hands of those who have done wrong or want to be in denial. I had a ‘friend’ who wanted me to keep talking about it and making links between my now [and even then] sexuality and how my abuse has affected me. Personally I don’t see the link and I don’t care for the link to be honest because it’s me who counts now in this present moment that matters. She didn’t know at the time that I already had therapy but kept on suggesting it like I needed it. I didn’t. I didn’t want any more of it. She wanted me to stay in an abusive relationship where this man had pinned me to the fridge and raped me when he wasn’t getting the sex he wanted. I wanted to leave because I knew I deserved more and it wasn’t feeling right any more. So that she can come around and be the ‘better one’ who doesn’t have problems of her own.

At the time I took it and understood where she was coming from but at the beginning of 2011 when I had enough of it. I cut her off and cut her out of my life. She became toxic. Now, as I don’t talk about my past because it’s been accepted for what it is, I won’t even entertain those types of people any more if I do talk. Moving on and no longer being a victim is something the victim does in their own time when they’re ready. Talking about it doesn’t mean that they’re still being a victim it means they’re sharing and can help someone who needs it.


Hi Shay
Thanks for sharing a part of your story! I don’t think of myself as a victim anymore either, I ‘was’ one but now I am a thriver and I use my life to inspire others to thrive.
Thank you for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


I was emotionally abused through guilt, manipulation of truth, anger, and rejection. I have heard emotional abuse described as emotional rape–and that is what it has felt like to me, as if I had been violated, and invaded, bm own identity and boundaries disregarded.

When people have disregarded my pain, telling me that I ought to try more to love and forgive, that my poor mother was just wounded and probably loved me the best that she could, and that what happened doesn’t matter, that I ought to just put the past behind me, I feel as if they are adding to the abuse, agreeing with the abuser that I am weak, inadequate, and ought to do more to be better. They make me feel as if they are standing by my hospital bed defending the ones who beat me up.

I am fighting for healing and wholeness. I find myself having breakthroughs and taking steps of growth. I am gaining strength and healing, but sometimes it as is more “lies” come bubbling up and I have to fight yet another tiring battle. I have found that pretending the damage doesn’t exist just shoves it down inside where it nibbles away at me filling me with self-doubt and loathing. Only by dragging out a lie and killing it with truth can I overcome it.


Excellent observations! I love these comments!
Hugs, Darlene


This below is what I’d like to set up for all of us that are victims of abuse and who have had attempts made against them to silence truth

‘Time to make a stand against child abuse’.
What would you do if someone you knew had abused a child? If you knew that this person refused to acknowledge the damage that they had caused to that child and had ensured that child be excommunicated from family for voicing. Do you really care enough to openly make a stand and show support by signing a petition against this and all child abuse? I am involving you because I believe society needs to make known to child abusers within their own communities that their abusive behaviour damages that child. That they cannot should not be able to hide behind a facade of being religious people when what they have done is not the teachings of Jesus and what they are doing by not facing up to what they have done by not being sorry for hurting their child and by shutting their child out from family for voicing what is true is wrong & very cruel. So now you have 2 choices. You can choose to investigate the truth of my words with the intention of making a stand against this wrong once satisfied that my words are true. Or You can choose to not believe me without making effort to make sure 100% that I am not speaking truth and in taking this choice then this is your effort measure against child abuse. So if you have made the second choice you need not read any further as you have no intention of making any stand against child abuse as you can’t be bothered to seek truth by your lack of effort alone you are supporting child abuse. Goodbye & I wish you well.
For those of you who care enough to establish truth so that if required you are then able to make a stand against child abuse I THANK YOU as we can all make small incremental changes if we are brave enough and willing to help as one day with all abuse eliminated we will have heaven on earth. Read on as this situation is relevant in your own community.
The person who abused me will try to discount the truth of my words & discredit me by claiming i am delusional. I can show you a physiatrist report stating that i am not delusional & will meet with any phychtrist anytime anyplace to be analysed if so requested. My whole life the scene was set for me to be the scapegoat for my parents sins. I have been excommunicated from family for voicing truth. This is cruel & wrong as I am not lying I am not delusional & I can prove it. I am able to undergo any voice analyser lie detector test arranged by anyone anytime to prove i an not lying. The person that abused me cannot will not under any circumstances sit any lie detector test i can guarantee that. Now once you have satisfied yourself of the truth & I tell you the name of the person that sexually abused me you may still find it hard to believe because this person is a woman & a mother she is my mother. There are 2 reasons you may find it hard to believe that this person could do such a thing. Firstly society finds it hard to accept that a mother could do such a thing to their child. Here is a link to research that shows that sexual abuse by females is more common than previously thought, does happen, yet the victim is often not believed because society cannot accept a mother would do such a thing. Secondly you may find it hard to believe she would do such a thing because she seems so nice so caring and of good standing in her religous community. Here is a link to research proving that indeed child abusers seem very often of this outward projection. I am making a stand against abuse of me of all children by public ally naming an abuser who is trying to hide from her wrong doing. The person who abuses must be made aware and accountable & the victim must be supported not cast out. If we all make a stand against child abuse
that we can move closer to living in a world where love is not lacking so that abuse of our children does not continue on down through our bloodlines. By signing this petition you are showing that you support victims rights to acknowledgment of wrong done, to validation of the damages suffered & to their rights to voice what is true without thrests or actuality of excommunication from family. By signing this petition you are public declaring that abuse of children is not acceptable in your community in our world. We can all make small incremental changes if we are brave and willing to help. Are you? Sincerely Maria Binnie


Hi Darlene,
The post by the reader which you have published was very bossy. She has no idea how to deal with the emotional pain and I do no think she has cleared hers. If she truly has, then she would have been “sharing” her experiences rather than be bossy and “tell” everyone to get over it.

“Getting over it” doesn’t happen overnight. We have to change the programs in our sub-conscious mind and face the pain like you have mentioned first.


Amen, Darlene! I’m with you 100% percent. I actually recently wrote a similar piece about people saying “Forget the past”. I just found your website today. I love how God leads me where I need to go at the right time. Wishing you continued success!


I’ve never commented on your website, Darlene, but I frequently like to give feedback or share my experiences on your Facebook posts. I saw this and I had to comment here as it’s not currently featured on FB. While some who are just at the beginning of their healing process may be venting and justifiably so as they need so badly and deserve to be heard, some of us are well into it and are living the healthy happy lives we’ve always wanted. We are not just complaining. What happens to people who are suffering from abuse related trauma is that they don’t realize what is really wrong. They don’t understand that their minds are full of cognitive distortions or false beliefs that were taught and brainwashed into them since infancy and throughout their childhood years while their brains were developing and they were learning about their identities, their human value, their relationships to others and to the world around them. EFB is a place where many people vent and if you’re ok with that then good. I think it’s good too, but EFB isn’t just a venting site, it’s a learning site. By reading how you came to understand your own cognitive distortions and how they got there, survivors can come to understand their own confusion that leads to depression, low self esteem, DID, and other mental health struggles they have. It answers the question “why am I like this” and “why do I feel this way”. We are taught not to blame others for our choices but our choices are based on our beliefs and those beliefs have a source. EFB is an important tool and one that anyone trying to heal from abuse and the emotional repercussions caused by it, should have in their mental health/healing toolbox.


Hi Laurie
Thanks for your comments! Yes, that is what EFB is about!
hugs, Darlene


She makes the arrogant assumption that her way of healing is the “right” way, and that she will impart – no demand – that others follow her truth. She is in no position to make condescending judgments about the healing process that others go through.

She sounds kind of overwhelmed, and if she simply tells us to “stop it” she will feel more in control.


have had these speeches myself

just focus on fun, live, don t look back

well that s a tough one given my health is completely down the drain for so many reasons so I choose to heal, it s not dwelling, it s unfolding

I don t understand why people have to sya ‘give to the less fortunate’ for one you state I am fortunate and not allowed to have pain or feel and two you state others are worse off so they are to pittied and helped – only the deserve it?
and thrid – do you yourself don t allow yourself to feel or heal
cause others may have it worse?

doesn t everyone deserve healing without proving first that it s serious enough….

heard so often, you love music and you love drawing so leave memories and trauma s alone – how can I when they shout so looud to be heard, and why shoudl i not hear them, without feeling and healing what is left of my life….

as for her statement to leave her dysfunctional daughter s family alone, that s so hard to read

so many people turned away from the situation we were in as kids

and to read her state that it s good to do so…… you leave everyone alone so you can help kids you don t know, but the kids you do know that are family – you leave thmem behing – why –

I got to the point when people start talking as such I ask them to just stop – I m done – if it s your way – so be it – it s not mine – and I will not make it mine.

I need to feel.

Thx for sharing


This message is sad to read because it shows how many people in our society live in the way they only knew from their parents and choose denial! It is hurtful and I’m glad you posted this message at this time, because it helps me to recognize how my abuser lived and continues to live and will for the rest of her life. My husband and I joke at home that we should call my abuser “saint”, because she feels like God, if she always does only the right things,and she knows it all she must feel like God! The woman that sent you the message appears to be exactly the same way, she is above everybody else and she does not even want to get involved with her daughter and grandchild because they are wrong and she is right, but she won’t interfere! I feel sorry for her but more sorry for the children of people like her. They are the ones who pay the price and are hurt! Darlene, thank you for what you do, thank you for all your help that so many need including me! Please continue doing it and share with all of us what helped you , so we can find in your example our courage and strength to do it for ourselves!


I want to add something to my message that I missed to include. I noticed in the message of this woman how she makes herself feel good in her own misery by believing she is fortunate and others not! That is exactly what a relative of mine who also was hurt from my abuser, and continues to live under her oppression often points to me how healthy she is and she knows all my life I have been sick constantly, so that makes her feel good for herself. People when talk in front of others that they are better in some way with their life,they do it because they thing that will make up for all other pain they have. Showing me that you are physically healthy and hurting me, is not going to heal your emotional pain inside of you that you are denying. And if that is your choice keep it to you , but you need to hurt others to make up for your pain, so that how this chain of cycle goes on! If this woman was so happy in life , where is her love for her children and grandchildren. Because she needs to feel loved, which she obviously is not receiving from her children she goes to help not so fortunate people and children, so she can feel good for herself! So pathetic and sad!

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