Permission to Live; Busting through Beliefs and Survival Systems

Permission to live and the truth about family
When the Lies Die by Azelinn

For many years, I didn’t even know that I sought “permission.”  It was a normal way of life for me growing up to need permission for everything. I am not talking about permission to sleep over at my friends, or permission to go to the corner store. It is healthy for children to need to seek permission for those things. That is about safety. I am talking about needing and seeking permission to think, permission to be who I really am, permission to make a decision on my own and in reality, seeking permission to live.

Seeking permission started because a big part of my survival system was about doing what was expected of me and being what and who the adults and my dysfunctional paretents wanted me to be.  And I was so afraid to be wrong. It was dangerous to decide anything on my own without approval. That was just the way I grew up. I didn’t know that I COULD think for myself. I had never been allowed to OR encouraged to so I had never learned how. And this is largely because of the consequences of saying or doing something wrong when I was a kid.

Eventually, I felt like I needed permission to breathe.

As I got older I had this constant feeling of not being able to breathe.

I wondered “how I should feel” instead of having feelings.  It was like I had to have the “right” to have my own feelings. I was not given permission to feel. “I am scared”, was met with “don’t be silly, there is nothing to be scared of.” “That hurts” was met with “no it doesn’t”and when I think about it today, how did someone else KNOW if something hurt me or not? How many times do kids get slapped when they yell “OW”? How validating is that?

Not having permission to say no, to say stop, to say ouch or to feel sad. Not having permission to be happy, to be me, or to say that I don’t like mashed potatoes. I didn’t like them, and I gagged on them, but my father made me eat them. And I never thought that that was wrong of him, but I put having to like or dislike certain foods, into the grid of not having permission.

I was constantly told that I was wrong. I was shut down and told that my personality was too dramatic and that I talked to hear myself talk. Then I was reprimanded for being too quiet, moody and sullen. I was spanked and then told that if I didn’t stop crying that I would be given something to cry about. I learned and believed that crying, even for being hit and consequently being in physical pain, must be wrong. All of that is extremely invalidating not to mention confusing! Having a steady diet of mixed messages nurtures confusion and a faulty belief system full of conflicting beliefs and no permission.  This is a dysfunctional way to grow up.

Over time I learned that at the root of the problem was always something that I did wrong. No wonder I learned to try harder and harder to do things right. But “right” was never defined. One day something I did was right and then the next day it was wrong. Nothing was consistent.

Being hit with a belt and convinced that I deserved it went along with the other false beliefs and they blended into each other; false beliefs such as that I caused other people to fly into a rage, that I caused people to dislike me and that I caused people to feel certain ways and to be in certain moods. I believed that I caused my mother’s depressions. I believed that I caused her to get the strap out and beat the shit out of me. As a teenager I believed that I caused the sexual abuse that happened to me. I was not believed, validated or protected afterwards.  At the same time I was told that it happened because I had a crush on the man who came into my room, which in reality indicates that I was believed but denied my right to be safe. Since I did have a crush on him, then I thought that it must be my fault after all and that I “must have” done something to cause it.

Because of the times when I was convinced that I had done things to deserve those beatings, or done something to “attract” being sexually assaulted, I even went back in time and applied these lies to child sexual abuse and physical abuse that I suffered as a small child, believing that if the assaults and molestations were my fault when I was a teenager, then they must have ALWAYS been my fault. Therefore, I believed I was the reason I was targeted for sexual abuse; the reason my mother cried and why she was so depressed; the reason my mother raged and even the reason that my father left. I believed that I was doing something wrong in the ways that I talked to my mother’s boyfriends, and the list of what I thought I was responsible for was absolutely endless.  And it formed because each of these beliefs built on each other and each one served to support the other one.

It is not just the blatant suggestions that cause the belief system to form full of lies, but phrases carelessly thrown out to a child by an adult also serve as the glue that supports all the self blame. Statements such as “you asked for it” “if you were more like “someone else”, “if you were not so loud, or so quiet” “you get on my nerves” … the list is too long to even go farther, but these lies and beliefs intertwined together with all manner of indications that I myself, attracted certain situations, sometimes mixed with “just enough truth” that I was too confused to think straight. All this created the lasting cement that was the foundation of my belief system.

And it was time to get out the jackhammer and break it down. And when I took a good look at all of it and began to expose the lies at the roots of all this “programming” and dysfunctional family system stuff, I was able to begin to embrace the truth and finally give myself validation and permission. Permission to think for myself, permission to speak; permission to live; permission to be me; permission to be right and to make choices; permission to feel and permission to breathe.

Please share your views and feedback

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

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87 response to "Permission to Live; Busting through Beliefs and Survival Systems"

  1. By: Amy Posted: 24th May

    Oh Goddess yes! This X 1,000,000,000! As a teen I often had the though that I was a horse on a picket line. I had total freedom to think(like my abusers insisted I did) but ONLY within the radius of my picket line.

    I literally could not form my own opinions, my thoughts were whatever the most dominate person I was currently with was. This could change hour to hour. It was exhausting. When I got out I asked my spouse permission for everything. “Can I got some water?” “Can I turn on the TV?” Eventually she turned it into a game. I would say “can I watch TV?” and she would yell playfully “NO! YOU MAY NOT!!!!” I would laugh and do it anyway.

    Now I don’t ask permission, I have opinions, and I can argue without breaking down in tears and giving in. I can tell people “I don’t agree with that” and stick to my guns. It feels god damn WONDERFUL!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th May

      Hi Amy
      Yay for having your own opinions etc. and getting that part of your life back! It does feel awesome!
      hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Louise Posted: 5th June

    have some ”perspective’ I meant to write

  3. By: Louise Posted: 5th June

    I had to come back to read this one. Where you wrote ‘I wondered “how I should feel” instead of having feelings’, I did the same thing or had to do it. And also about how responsible we feel for the wrongs, it amazes me how many things I subconsciously think are my fault – I don’t even have to be present for me to take on the responsibility for some thing messed up! To feel bad because of it, or that there’s ‘something I could have done’ or not done… And feeling like you needed permission to breathe… Oh my that’s a sore point. I always get yelled at in such an exasperated tone of despair… like I’m irredeemable. And what’s mad is that I can’t breathe, I feel suffocated. And then my ‘self’ comes out highly anxious, really stressed, has tongue tied outbursts or gets depressed. It’s like night and day when I’m elsewhere with different people. Know I won’t get yelled at for being me, like a heavy weight coming down. I’m glad I’ve had some distance in the past to have some , I think it would be even harder if I hadn’t had that space.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th June

      Hi Louise,
      I totally relate to this. I don’t know how many times I was aware that I “couldn’t breathe” and felt suffocated before I realized that I also felt like I was being held down and not given permission to breathe.. or to live.
      As I took my life back and got stronger, those feelings went away!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 31st May

    Ok, this post just *almost* made me want to *SCREAM* when I read it just now. I haven’t, yet, read any of the comments here because I am just so freking blown away by this post.

    Thank you for writing this, Darlene. Thank you for putting my painful reality into words.

    Lynda ~ no longer “COMING” Out of the Crazy Closet, because I am OUT Of The Crazy Closet

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st June

      Hi Lynda,
      It is by realizing all this stuff that I was able to take my life back and give myself BACK the permission to live that was taken from me.
      Glad you are back!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Renee/A Resurrected Spirit Posted: 28th May

    Hello Charlotte,
    I would like to read your story. It is safe here and we help each other by telling our memories. When your ready we are here for you, all of us.

    I wrote on a different post but I want you to know we are doing a lot of healing, more than I ever thought could be.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th May

      I just read the other post! I love it! I will comment there!
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Charlotte Antee Posted: 28th May

    Awesome posts I am so glad I am here I hope someday I can share my story here I just don’t feel safe yet I hope that’s ok *hugs* to you all .

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th May

      Hi Charlotte,
      I am so gald you are here, and when you are ready I will still be here! I love that you post a hello!
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Renee Posted: 27th May

    Sounds like my family, throw in guns, knives, maschettes,forced being shot up with drugs(my little brothers ages 6-9 by the prediphile and serial rapist of a brother) and you discribed in a small way my family dynamics. Everyone we knew were evil. I think it is called grooming. I have a nephew that is in foster care, his social worker puts him in homes that are doing just that. She is using the power of her position to allow it. I had him and we were bonded, first chance she got she lied to the court and took him away broke my heart and his. Then my neice now has him. I can see the damage that was done to him while he was away. I was in a bad marriage and they told me I couldn’t have him, it didn’t matter that it caused damage to that little guy. Now my neice and her husband are going through a rough patch she is facing the same thing and im afraid he will be shiped back to the state that case worker is at. Im so afraid of what the out come of this precious little boy is going to be.

  8. By: Star Posted: 27th May

    “I was constantly told that I was wrong. I was shut down and told that my personality was too dramatic and that I talked to hear myself talk. Then I was reprimanded for being too quiet, moody and sullen. I was spanked and then told that if I didn’t stop crying that I would be given something to cry about. I learned and believed that crying, even for being hit and consequently being in physical pain, must be wrong. All of that is extremely invalidating not to mention confusing! Having a steady diet of mixed messages nurtures confusion and a faulty belief system full of conflicting beliefs and no permission. This is a dysfunctional way to grow up.”

    Yes, Oh yes. In my youth, in my romantic relationships in my work for a lot of years. I finally learned to walk away, and stay away without guilt. Life is good now, I mourn the years I did not know that, but now, it is so sweet.

  9. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th May

    I almost missed you comment #50
    Thank you for sharing the outcome! YAY for you!
    Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Jackie Posted: 26th May

    The “step mom” always saw to it we were taken care of in her way, from manners right on down to cleanliness…and so on. She’d see to it we learned on a daily basis, no matter what it took. When she became the “stepmother”…allot of things changed between her and us. She began to do things to us and not her own kids for one thing. Another thing was…new rules were made and some of them were very hard to live up to but we’d do our best because if ya broke a rule, you were in for it so below are some of the rules and consequences of a life lived with her…

    Toothpaste in the home was more like a “treat” to us. You had toothpaste ya but you had to make it last for a month because if you ran out before that month was over (which many a time we did)…you had to brush your teeth another way so we would try to make that tube of toothpaste last a whole month… but it was at times impossible so when we ran out, we were made to use “step moms” way…comet and bleach. No, it didn’t taste good and no it wasn’t cool but ya never back talk your “step mom” or even look at her funny because you’d be brushing less teeth if ya did. I got use to the comet allot easier than I did the bleach but you’d use the comet like toothpaste. You’d put some comet in your hand, enough to cover the top of the toothbrush…take the toothbrush and dip it a cup of bleach to wet it (also provided by “step mom”)… then you’d take the bleach soaked toothbrush and press it into the palm of your “comet” filled hand so the comet would stick to it, then you’d brush your teeth like usual. When you were done brushing them, you’d use he cup of bleach to then rinse your mouth first, then you were allowed to get some water after “step mom” checked your teeth out. She had to make sure we brushed them good enough so we wouldn’t have to go to the Dentist because then folks would find out what was going on in our home. I learned how to keep my teeth in my mouth for a change.

    We took baths ya…we got to use hot water too…only thing was, we couldn’t have no more than 2 inches of water in the tub. If it went over 2 inches we got out bare butts whipped big time or our head hit against the tub wall. The “step mom” would keep a ruler in the bathroom so we could put the right amount of water in the tub. Then we’d all have to use the same water, rag and towel and go in an order that the “step mom” picked, I was always the last one to get my bath and sometimes it bothered me ya because I always ended up taken my bath in black, cold water. Then one day I decided to change part of that rule and as quiet as I could be…I drained some of the water out of the tub, then quietly turned on the hot water real low so it could warm up the water. I eventually got caught doing that and got my face slapped around a bit but the good thing…. I learned how to turn on the hot water quietly and drain some of the cold water out and I thought that was cool so I was glad I was last.

    Toilet paper
    “1 for “pee” and 2 for “poo” if you use more than that, I pity you” you’d think this wouldn’t be such a big deal wouldn’t ya well, in our house, it was a major deal to the “step mom”… we had to use 1 sheet for “pee” and 2 sheets for “poo” and if you used more than that, you got it good. The “step mom” basically knew in her own way how many times one should be allowed to use the bathroom, right down to what time one should go, including how many times a day one should “poo” so, she would mark on the toilet paper how much should be used in a single day, if it went over that mark boy did she have a fit! Toilet paper was expensive she would yell so we had to abide by her rule. It was hard at first ya, because without thinking, I would just grab the toilet paper and roll it out, then tear it off and use it. I soon got out of doing that though because if the “step mom” found out…you not only got your face smacked around but you were also called out into the living room in front of everyone with your pants still down, and ya got told again how you were to use the toilet paper, all the while with the “step mom” hitting ya in your face or upside your head…and then you got your “bare” butt whipped with a leather strap right in front of everyone. Some may think it funny but you try pulling up your pants over welts, and then tell me how funny it is. I learned quickly how to be more conservative “her” way then….

    In our home growing up, we weren’t allowed to talk to no one, not even our other siblings’…Only ones we were allowed to talk to or even answer for that matter was the parents and that was mainly when we were in trouble and fixing to get a whipping or have our face rearranged again. The “step mom” thought it best we use our time wisely and in her eyes, time wasn’t well spent if you were talking. Ya know the statement of “children should be seen and not heard”, well imagine that statement been more like “children weren’t to be seen or heard”… as far as my “step mom” was concerned. Most times we weren’t even allowed out of our rooms unless we were chosen to “fulfill a need”, or do something for our parents or their friends. The majority of our time we were kept in our room, on our bed, in silence. If we so even much as whispered, the “step mom” would come in there with both fists in position and she’d go to hitting whoever it was that “talked” and then hit whoever looked at her. My “step mom” use to say she had very good eyes and ears …she’d say she had eyes in the back of her head that let her know who would talk and ears like bats so she could hear everything, including your breath whenever she wanted to and I believed her because she’d hit me just for the heck of it and say she “saw” me look at her whether or not I did. We weren’t even allowed to look up at her, much less anyone else. If you talked, you did it in sign language or some by gestures, never by mouth. What I learned out of this rule of no talking was to be silent.

    TV is not for all kids, just those who knew how to be civil enough to sit on the floor and watch it. That line usually meant no TV for us because she said we acted like a bunch a heathens so no one could watch TV. When the “step mom” would leave somewhere, she’d put the TV on a certain channel when she’d leave, so she’d know if someone even so much as touched the TV. No one was allowed to watch it but her and she’d make sure no one did. If you got caught glancing at it the TV when you were rubbing her feet or brushing her hair or just passing through to put her clothes away…her hand or fist would meet your face in either the lips, nose, eyes or cheek…other times she’d come off that couch with both hands punching at ya while she told you again the rule about “gawking at the TV” and how it’s forbidden to you to watch. IF you did and got caught…your face would meet the hand or fist of the “step mom” anyway she felt like introducing it. Most times after such an introduction, you’d end up with a busted and bloody lip…bloody nose…a black and blue eye or a reddened cheek that would bruise later. You then learn quickly NOT to even think about laying one eye on that TV.

    You don’t need friends to make it through school so absolutely no friends allowed. This rule was an ok rule to me because back then, what friend would even want to come over to a home where everything looked “ghostly”. When you walked up the drive to our home, all you saw was barren ground with stumps and trees so when the wind blew, all you’d hear is the rustling of leaves. The “step mom” had this rule so that no one would visit because if they did, the questions would be next and the “step mom” had no answers as to why she did what she did except that we were “bad” kids. Our house set way off the main dirt road so the parents could see anyone who walked or drove up the drive and that walk or ride, would give them ample time to say one threat to us we all understood”, open your mouth and you’ve had it”…which back then was enough to make us all keep silent. When the church folk would come up the drive, the “step mom” would yell for everyone to shut up and act like a nobody because a “nobody” didn’t exist and that way she could get through those “holy rollers” she would call them…without them wanting to see us. One day one of those “holy roller” men asked about us though and the “step mom” told him we were all doing great. He then asked if he could give us a small bag of candy and she said “sure”…but before he set off to our room, the “step mom” calls us all to the living room. She’d watch every move and listen to every word one of us would say and if we said anything out of line, we’d see her fist do the “punch sign” into the other hand and we knew we were in trouble so we learned how to put on a “smile” even when things weren’t ok. That small bag of candy we always got, went in the trash, along with any pamphlet those men would leave to.

    Ok you’re really wondering what kind of rules could possibly be made on meals right, our main rule was at dinner time but here’s a brief of the other 2 meals we ate when we deserved to eat. Breakfast was always instant grits, no salt & pepper, no butter, no nothing but a packet of cold grits in a very small bowl, I wasn’t allowed to have them hot and just 1 packet, no more. If you showed you were hungry and at real fast, the back of your head would meet the palm of the “step moms” hand or you’d get “clipped” backhanded in the face. Most of the time I went without eatin because I was always in trouble with the “step mom” and one way she’d make sure I’d “behave” was to make me go hungry, since I was a “bad” kid…When I did get breakfast, I had to learn how to NOT shove it down as well as hide my hunger no matter how hard that was. Sometimes, I would wait until the “step mom” went back to bed like she usually did, and then I’d pick up my little bowl of grits and lick it clean. Our lunch was a bit bigger… I would get a scraped off peanut butter & jelly sandwich and 4 cookies, every day. “Scraped off” means the peanut butter & jelly would be put on the bread, then scraped back off to where there was barely any left for tasting in case you’re wondering so it was more like just 2 pieces of bread and cookies…and I was always so hungry that I soon began to eyeball the dog’s food because…he at least got 3 meals a day. Dinner was our biggest meal and the “step mom” would fix our plates. She would then put them in front of us and set the timer. If you got through with your plate before 30 minutes, you ended up being yelled at, hit with a fist and then given another plate full of food loaded with more than the first one and you were expected to “match” a time the “step mom” set, if you went over it well…let’s just say not many times did any of us go over the “step moms” set time because we learned quickly, her games of play. I eventually snuck the dog’s food because of the harsh ways the “step mom” would “feed” us so, I mean if the dog could eat dry food, why couldn’t I and it looked good enough to eat so eventually I began to eat it in order to survive…until I got caught and when I did, I not only got my butt beat, I also had to eat dog food for a week but anyway…in a home where food was only scarce when the “step mom” thinks it should be and then it was only given to those who she felt deserved to eat well…you’d be hungry for something else too. So the rule at mealtime was I learned to eat like I had some sense before it all got knocked out of me.

    Not being allowed to use a broom, toilet brush, a mop, or anything to clean with…we had chores to do and the way they had to be done was another thing. Our room had carpet and we couldn’t use a broom on it so we picked it up best we could, with our fingers and hands. Our fingers we’d use to basically pick up stuff we saw like lint or string and our hands we used as a sweeper. Our palms would do the sweeping, and then our fingers would pick up any foreign object that wasn’t allowed on the floors. In other words, if the “step mom” come in and saw lint on your floor, you got kicked in the side and told to get it up. If you didn’t get it up in her timing, you got yelled at. If you said you didn’t see any lint or you already cleaned it or even if you asked “where”…you got snatched up by the back of your hair, punched in the face a bit, then pushed to the floor with your head still in her grip so while she smothered your face in the floor making sure you saw the “lint”. Then we found an easier way to clean our floor and that was to use our own hairbrush, made it allot easier then. On the bathroom we had to use the rag we took a bath with and the “step mom” made us use the toilet water so as not to waste a drop of “the good water” she called it. We mopped on our hands and knees, which hurt most the time, but we learned to adapt to it. For marks on the walls, we were to wet them with our tongue and clean them with the same rag we used on the floors and bathroom. The only cleaning supplies we ever had were comet and bleach and those were already in use when we ran out of toothpaste. When we behaved good enough, we were allowed to do dishes and that was exciting to me because I didn’t get out of my room much so I enjoyed doing the dishes. I would have to put a pot of Boiling water from the stove into the sink, use bar soap and a rag to wash them and then dry them really good. If I so much as left one speck of food or water on them, I was had for so I learned how to do them well. There were other chores we did but some of those chores were of a different nature here and I’m sorry, I don’t think it wise to mention them.

    “No one is to know what goes on in our home, if anyone finds out, you’ll be taken away and locked up for being bad”. That was a rule in the home and it was a strong one. You never told anyone what happened in the home because if you did, no one would believe you anyway. The parents would find ways to make you out to be a liar all the time. If a cop comes to the door, they’d invite them in for coffee and be oh so nice to them while all the time telling them how you “fell” or “tripped” or some other line and bad thing here was they were ALWAYS believed no matter what. School was one of my favorite places to go, I could escape the life at home and be in a world of excitement. I loved to go to school not just to get away from the abuse at home but also because it was where I could truly be happy and have a different outlook on life, I loved school to the max! When we went to school though, we had to wear long sleeves and pants because the “step mom” didn’t want anyone to know bout our home life so she would pick our clothes out each morning and then lock the closet back up so no one would sneak something else out because my older sister would do that constantly so…the “step mom” would lock up our clothes after that. At school I had this one teacher who I looked up to, she was very kind and she always saw potential in me. I soon developed a friendship with this teacher to the point of she began to ask me about some of the bruises on my face and that scared me. I would tell her I fell or it was dirt and I just forgot to wash my face or. I’d find all kinds of excuses not to tell her the truth because I didn’t want to be locked up for being bad like the parents said. She became the “mom” I never had and I began to confide in her eventually. One day she come right out and asked me was I being hit at home and without thinking I said “all the time” and that did it. The teacher who I trusted, told the guidance counselor who in turn called me into her office and she was nice to me so when she told me what she thought was going on at home and I truthfully said yes to all of it. Counselors aren’t suppose to “rat” you out though right…well no sooner did I get home than the “step mom” yell for me to come in the living room, she was on the phone with the school. The minute she got off, she didn’t even wait to ask me what I said or nothing but I got the beaten of my life and then had to write an apology to the teacher and counselor for lying. I told the “step mom” I wasn’t lying and she knew it and that was a big mistake. You never talk back; I should have remembered that rule if not any other.

    Bathroom privileges
    I wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom after 8 pm. Bedtime was at 8 on the dot every single night up until I turned 18. You didn’t dare try and uses the bathroom after the “step mom” said go to bed. The “step mom” was very strict about this rule…you only had a certain amount of time in that bathroom and if you didn’t finish your business by the time she set, you were pulled out by your hair even if your pants weren’t up and literally kicked, to your room. If you got caught using it after 8 pm, the “step mom” would slam your head into a wall so hard that you’d be picking yourself up off the floor and or you’d get your face and back smacked around all the way back to your bed while she yelled at you for disobeying. We soon learned when we had to use the bathroom to “pee” quietly and the ways we had to do it were very inhuman. We were already afraid to “pee” the bed because we knew our noses would get rubbed in it and our face smacked for it. When we had to go real bad and knew we couldn’t hold it, we began to “pee” on the bottom of our beds where the “step mom” wouldn’t notice, then cover it up before she came in to get us up. Eventually that way backfired because the smell got us in trouble so we had to think of another way to use the bathroom. We were scared because we knew the consequences if we got caught, but when you have to use the bathroom you shouldn’t be told NO. We then began to think of other ways to go to the bathroom and eventually we found a solution. We began to “pee” on the side of the tub near the back so it wouldn’t be loud when it went down the drain and pray to God it would drain silently so the “step mom” wouldn’t hear it. Then we’d take the rag, wet it in the toilet bowl and wash down the back of the tub so she wouldn’t notice it…and if we couldn’t get to the bathroom, we’d “pee” out our bedroom window. This was one of the most indecent rules we had and having to find ways to use the bathroom wasn’t cool but it was the only way we could. No, it wasn’t a good way either but ya know, there’s just so much one could take before they got tired of having the “hell” beat out of them on a daily basis so…The bad thing bout this rule is you shouldn’t hold your “pee” no matter how old you are because it can and will cause damage. My younger sister ended up holding hers for so long that slowly as days progressed, her urinary ended up closing down. Then one night she woke up trying to muffle her screams so the “step mom” wouldn’t hear her and come hit her…but being in severe pain as she was she couldn’t help but scream. The “step mom” did come in our room and when she turned on the light, let’s just say the parents ended up taking my sister to the hospital for an emergency operation of a D/C and a reconstruction of her urinary tract due to this inhuman rule the “step mom” had. My sisters’ belly had swollen up to what the Doc said, a 4-6 month pregnant woman and the “step mom” got chewed out for her idiotic rule and even still the Doc saw no reason to call child abuse so go figure….

    Sometimes I use to wonder why God made parents ya know, I use to think they were here to love us and take care of us but now I’m not sure. I only know that today I’m a mother and I love my kids very much, more than these words I write…speak out. I’m a very protective Mom with one warning…don’t mess with my kids because when ya do, you mess with me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th May

      My dear Jackie,
      Thank you for sharing the rules you lived by. Your childhood home life was far worse then prison. This is the bottom line of major dysfunction and major abuse. I thank you for your courage in posting this and I know that you will give others permission to share their own horror. We all need to get this stuff out. We need to share it with understanding human beigns. We NEED to be told that we are HEARD and that what happened to us was very wrong, very sick. This is all part of the healing.
      Thank you so much,
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Renee Posted: 26th May

    Hi Janelle;
    It is safe here and it’s ok (Darlene I hope you don’t mind)to just read the posts. It is your time, and your journey,you do what is safe for you.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th May

      Hi Renee
      Thank you for your kind comments to Janelle. Yes, it is perfectly fine to do whatever is right for YOU (and that goes for all readers) and whatever feels safe for you! This is YOUR recovery and your choice.
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Renee Posted: 25th May

    Awhhhh Ultrlite,
    That was beautiful! Thank you

    Darlene, Fi, Pam, and all of you that supported me in the desision I made to speak to me brother. I decided I needed to. We had never had a talk like this one not even close. It turned out well and found out some vital information that would help connect the dots in my maze of life. Though you couldn’t “give” me advice you encouraged me to be strong and true to myself. Not to except lies or turn from them. It was bare bone heart to heart. Im glad I did it. He and my brother Jack are the only 2 out of 11 children that treated me as a sister, the others were more like I had leprasee. Some to a stronger degree than others but unfair all the same. I beleive it will strenghten out relationship and if it doesn’t at least he will know more about who I am. I told him every thing. Im glad I did. Thank all of you for being in my corner.

  13. By: Ian Posted: 25th May


    what a gift, to have just ONE person to instill positive messages at a young age.

    I think many of mine were from childrens magazines, PBS and a select few of my teachers.

    thank you for sharing that. very touching.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th May

      Hi Ultralite
      When I was in really great therapy, I got in bed with a PILE of blanket after EVERY session. It was a great way for me to sort of come to terms with all that came up. A way for me to comfort myself. I did it for a long time; it really worked for me.
      Thank you for sharing the section of the book! That is great.
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Ultralite Posted: 25th May

    Good Morning to all of you. Once again, there is so much to catch up on. . . new voices, new victories. . . new challenges — valuable new insights.

    Layla (and Darlene and Renee), you mentioned coming out of the fog. I made it to the appointment with my new therapist — and she was like a headlight beam coming at me through the fog — “We need to get you some power, girl.” And let’s get some light on all this stuff that’s holding you fast (like a deer in headlights). . . she was kind and concerned for my safety — and while I’m incredibly anxious about what I need to do before I see her again, I did get a sense she would do the work to help me find the help I need. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have a complete melt down when I got home — because I did climb into bed and wrap up in my fuzzy blanket for comfort. The storm seems to have passed, and in the interim I got lost in a book my daughter gave me: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I got to this one section (chapter 7, pp 91-92 — hope that’s enough attribution). I was so moved, I felt it needed to be shared:

    “Mae Mobley? Mae Mobley Leefolt!”

    Miss Leefolt just now noticing her child isn’t setting in the same room with her. “She out here with me, Miss Leefolt,” I say through the screen door.

    “I told you to eat in your high chair, Mae Mobley. How I ended up with you when all my friends have angels, I just do not know. . .” But then the phone ring and I her her stomping off to get it.

    I look down at Baby Girl, see how her forehead’s all wrinkled up between the eyes. She studying hard on something.

    I touch her cheek. “You alright, baby?”

    She say, “Mae Mo bad.”

    The way she say it, like it’s a fact, make my insides hurt.

    “Mae Mobley,” I say cause I got a notion to try something. “You a smart girl?”

    She just look at me, like she don’t know.

    “You a smart girl,” I say again.

    She say, “Mae Mo smart.”

    I say, “You a kind little girl?”

    She just look at me. She two years old. She don’t know what she is yet.

    I say, “You a kind girl,” and she nod, repeat it back to me. But before I can do another one, she get up and chase that poor dog around the yard and laugh and that’s when I get to wondering, what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?

    . . . After a while, Mae Mobley come over and press her cheek up to mine and just hold it there, like she know I be hurting. I hold her tight, whisper, “You a smart girl. You a kind girl, Mae Mobley. You hear me?” And I keep saying it till she repeat it back to me.

    * * *

    You all are smart. You all are kind. I love you all. I need to say this to you — because I’ve been talking to myself for too long. And let’s please keep reminding one another — and telling one another — until it can pierce the fog, and becomes the truth that lights up our lives.

  15. By: Janelle Posted: 24th May

    It is almost as if you are writing for me, as if you grew up in the same home with the same parents. Thank you for writing about these things. I cannot articulate what I went through.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th May

      Hi Janelle,
      Welcome! I am glad to hear that this post resonated with you.
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th May

    Glad you are here too! I am glad ALL of you are here too! I am so glad that I didn’t let my fears stop me from creating and writing emerging from broken!! I am so blessed by all of you.

    That “thrown away” phrase is one that really hits a lot of people. I can relate.
    hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Pam Posted: 24th May

    I’m glad I didn’t hurt you. I don’t want to say something stupid and hurt you more. I’m glad you are here too because you deserve the support. You also are an encouragment to me to keep trying. I am grateful to you too.

  18. By: Renee Posted: 24th May


    You didn’t say to much, I don’t feel that at all. I come on here to this blog because it helps me. I have DID and I don’t know how to organize “us”. When I was in counseling and I was diagnoised with it they trierd to force us to merge. It didn’t work, it can’t be forced at least I don’t think it can be, least it didn’t for me. I am exhausted from the emotional side and from my physical disabilities, im in a lot of body pain right now. I am learning from all of you and thank God he has lead me to all of you. I don’t feel isolated when I read this blog. I need it and choose and open myself to this healing. So all of you Darlene, Pam, Pat, Vicki, FI, Shanyn, Susan, Lynda, even my brother Jack and the many others that write in here, I NEED your caring and support. I never had this kind of support any where in my life and I just wanted you all to know your contribution helps me and I am truely gratefull.

  19. By: Pam Posted: 24th May

    I’m sorry if I said too much yesterday. This is one of my boundary issues that I’m working on. When I see someone hurting, I tend to want to take away all of their pain. I pull them too close and say too much. I know I don’t have all of the answers for you and I’m sorry if I sounded like I think I do. I’m just sad that you are hurting.

  20. By: Pam Posted: 24th May

    In that bubble, I wasn’t allowed to live. I was a pretty object kept safe from corruption. When she refused to acknowledge that I had been sexually abused and she knew I was going to break off the relationship, she came back with the bubble fantasy again telling me how much she wanted to protect me from pain. She wouldn’t even acknowledge the reality of my pain! I needed her to call the cops not dream about keeping me in a bubble! Argh! My throat tightens in a knot just thinking about it!

    Thanks for giving me a place to talk about this ‘stuff’. My dad didn’t talk about keeping me in a bubble but in his mind, I was a soiled woman and an emberrasment. I think he thought I’d ‘get what I was asking for’.

  21. By: Pam Posted: 24th May


    Actually, my mom and dad both threw me away. I just happened to be talking about my mom at the moment.:0)

    I’ve never talked to anyone who had the same thing happen. My family treats me as if I seduced him. My parents made a big point of ‘forgiving’ him. They never acknowledged what happened to me. My husband says he doesn’t thing they’ve even ever thought about what it was like for me. It’s all about how I hurt them.

    The sad thing is that I had so much shame that I bought their version and never questioned it. I was fifty before I really realized what had happened. In a way, I think my pride kept me from understanding how I’d been manipulated. It is almost easier, sometimes, to take responsibility for wrong doing rather than face the fact that one has been victimized.

  22. By: Renee Posted: 24th May

    Thank you Darlene for the much needed encouragement. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned to Vicki that it was the fear of rejection. I think I am so consumed by that fear of rejection that reality gets put on the back burner. Yet i felt I dealt with that fear years ago in counseling that I was free from it. At one time as heart breaking as it was I excepted the fact that my family made me an outcast, someone lesser than them. Left out of family gatherings constantly and how much that just brought up all that pain of abuse fresh as if it was yesturday. It hurts that I still feel that fear and angers me because I dealt with it years ago, and its back roaring it’s ugly hurtful head! Was it a waste of time and money (I made $5.25 an hour and single parent of 2 girls). Then the thought comes did I make my girls sacrifice needlessly because that rejection is hitting me really hard right now? Im healthier because I did so much work on me yet if I have to deals with this crap what is the use? I know im not the only one that has to deal with this issue “rejection” and it would be good to know because information is power in itself.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th May

      Hi Renee,
      I thought that I had dealt with all this years ago too. I think about it differently today. I did deal with lots of stuff, but I didn’t go this deep. The real freedom for me was in the depth of looking at the real truth. The truth about my childhood history. It was worth it. I realize now that I only thought that I had dealt with “all of it” and there was lots more. It was this process of really facing the past, that really set me free.
      Please be patient with yourself and your process.
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th May

      Hi Renee
      Keep one thing in mind as you read the posts here; it doesn’t matter how much you “study” this, it takes time. The fog won’t lift any faster then it will lift. My whole life went before my process, I had a LOT of beliefs that were false and it took time to first see them, and then change them. Time. This is a process. I “heard” this message too, when I was in those difficult years of coming out of the fog, and sometimes I understood a concept for a few days and then suddenly it didn’t sit so clearly again. That is the process. You are doing fine and I can tell by what you share here that you ARE in the process. I hope that helps Renee
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Vicki,
      I was terrified of my mother. She is 4 feet and 11 inches tall and really, there is no way that she could “beat me up anymore” BUT sometimes fear makes no sense. I realized that most of my fear around my mother was the same fear that I had when I was a small child. Discovering all that it was, was part of my process. and then I was able to let it go. As an adult, I have no reason to be afraid of my mother. My biggest fear turned out to be the fear of rejection, and it turns out I realized that they rejected me a long long time ago. So nothing really changed. 🙂

      Hi Shanyn,
      I loved that permission post of yours the first time I read it and I loved it again this time too!
      Thanks for posting the link!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Vicki Posted: 23rd May

    I’m still NOT allowed to do anything like that with my family. If I do it, I do it without permission, and the let me know so when my so-called Aunt Rosemary said that she’d “beat the shit out of anyone who talks bad about” my mom, her sister.
    If that’s not saying you have absolutely no permission to do what she doesn’t want you to do NOTHING is. I’ve just decided to tell what she said, b/c I think that all these secrets of it is what makes it even worse. That, and I really don’t care what she does. She’s in her 70’s and she’s still going around threatening to beat people up if they don’t do what she says. I don’t know how anyone else feels about it, but I think she looks stupid being in her 70’s and still threatening to beat people up.
    Since I’m the one she threatened though, I might possibly be biased in that thought.

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