Personal Value, Self Blame and Belief System Re-wiring


I had to begin to value myself somehow, somewhere. It’s hard because we are convinced that our value will come from someone ~parents, friends or lovers OR from something, such as work, success or material gain. But when it doesn’t happen that way we are left wondering; what the heck?

What do you believe about yourself?

~I believed that I had a problem and that I was a problem.

~I believed that I was THE problem.


~I believed that I deserved the abuse.

~I believed that my results (the way that my life turned out) were entirely my fault, but I was not sure what the heck I had done or where I went wrong. I also forgot how young I was when the results of the events began.

~I believed that the solution was in forgetting the abuse and ignoring the past. (just move on)

~I believed that I had to try harder so that I would be accepted.

~I believed that being accepted would be the answer; I had no real concept of accepting myself first.

~I believed that I was guilty for the anger and resentment that I had inside of me because I thought “acceptance” was the answer. I believed that if I could just accept everyone and their devaluing behavior, I would be fine and I spent a lot of energy accepting the unacceptable way that I was being treated.

~I also believed that the unacceptable way that I was being treated was MY FAULT; see point number one and re-read this whole thing…

The cycle of self blame and a faulty belief system goes round and round and causes such a spin that other thoughts have trouble getting through. The truth is foggy and skewed and it gets blocked out. To make matters worse, controllers and abusers like to keep us in that spin so that we never realize that we are valuable intelligent and worthy individuals. If we realize that we are valuable, worthy and intelligent, they might lose their grip on us and therefore lose control of us. This includes ANY kind of control we might be under.

Do you ever take apart a belief and take a look at where it came from? How was it conceived; what were the circumstances surrounding its birth?

Here is what I do;

~I start off by looking at the feeling I am having, usually an uncomfortable one.

~I think about what the “voice” in my head is saying.

~I think about where that voice started and when did it become my belief.

~How did I manage to keep it alive?

~What purpose did it serve then and what purpose does it serve now?

~Does it serve me well?

~Is it still necessary for me to have this belief or is it holding me back?

In my next post I describe a single incident which caused me to face my belief system once again while I was on holidays in Puerto Vallarta this past week. I hope to illustrate the exact process that I use to get to the bottom of the belief and “re-wire” it.

It is good to be home and blogging again! Don’t forget to visit our page on facebook for daily updates and news.

To your increased wholeness!

Darlene Ouimet

29 response to "Personal Value, Self Blame and Belief System Re-wiring"

  1. By: Gin Posted: 23rd December

    In taking apart a belief– I get to this point:
    “~I think about where that voice started and when it had become my
    belief.”– and I can’t get anywhere. It is my voice…. and everything points to it having been my voice forever. In therapy, I’ve been asked whose voice it is as well. And I always answer my own. I presume I’m to answer it belongs to someone else. But in no way does it feel like it is. So, I end up kind of trapped. In general, that isn’t my favorite sense–being trapped…

  2. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 3rd June

    Yes I too believed I was the problem. They kept me in that false belief
    by repeatedly challanging me every time I tried to speak up and assert
    myself. By belittling my accomplishments, by constantly criticising
    any thing I did. My choices were always wrong. Now I say…to myself
    at least… according to whom? Who made my dysfunctional
    parents the authority on anything? I always believed them. Ah yes
    the belief system works in their favor against my best interests.
    Wow. I never questioned their RIGHT to demean me. Not until
    recently. Im questioning it now. Im looking at my family dynamic from
    every angle and though I knew my treatment by my Dad was bad, I see
    that my mothers neglect and emotional abandonment was in many
    ways more hurtful than my fathers outright abuse. What hurts is she
    stood by and let him do it. Only to me. She protected my brother.
    I was thrown to the wolves as a sacrifice to protect her. I never
    saw THAT. I see so much now. My eyes are open. I am working on
    healing me. It took time to get broken and will take time to get better.
    Its painful. But something to look forward to. And I do not have to
    accept Jean’s abuse anymore. I dont call her mother any more
    because she is not that to me. And thats MY choice. Thank you
    for listening. I know you hear me and no one has ever heard me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th June

      Hi Karen
      Yay for healing you now and for seeing with more clarity. That has been the answer for me!
      One of the first things that I noticed in my own recovery was that when I finally felt heard, I made some progress. Looking back I feel as though I had been “trying to be heard” my whole life! When I built EFB I looked back on the things that worked for me and tried to recreate them and being heard was one of the elements. I KNOW that when people feel heard they are free to make some progress!
      Thanks for sharing!
      hugs, Darlene

  3. By: MZC Posted: 3rd June

    This morning I thought again of the pet name my mom used to scream at me. “Du Schwein du!” (roughly translated, “you pig, you,” but in German “Schwein” is a much stronger, more meaningful epithet than it is in English). I used to remember it as though she was actually saying it to me, with the same intonation, pitch, inflection. It was as though it was echoing down through the decades. This morning, it wasn’t that way. I remembered, but it was only the way I remember other things: it happened. There was no voice accompaniment. Is this great? I think it’s fantastic, and I think it’s because I’m healing and not believing I’m a pig anymore.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd June

      This is fantastic! This is so similar to how it happened for me. I finally changed the root belief; I used to believe they were right, and when I learned to validate the damage that was actually done, I knew they were NOT right and I stopped believing the things that they defined me as. YAY
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Ruth Posted: 2nd June

    The one invaluable thing that I have learned from therapy is that I need to rewire my train of thought. In order to get from A to Z, I have to be really conscious of my thoughts. It is a constant struggle! The part of your post that I relate with the most, is having guilt and shame for expressing my feelings. I have guilt and shame every time I express my feelings and it’s not limited to my abuse.

    Thank you Darlene for sharing this!

  5. By: Worth-Waiting-For Posted: 2nd June

    Wow, everything in here (and so many of your posts, for that matter!) really resonates with me. I like how you fleshed out questions for tracking faulty beliefs. I have been trying to do that on my own, but having questions for guidance will be really helpful. Anyway, thank you for your invaluable insight! Hope you’re having a nice weekend, Darlene. xx

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd June

      Hi Ruth, Worth-waiting-for and Calvin!
      Thank you for your comments!!
      Hugs!! Darlene

  6. By: calvin blue Posted: 2nd June

    What you are describing has kept me broken as I have tried to accept the abusive people in my life and tell myself its me with the problem ,especially siblings of mine. Thanks again for the excellent material……Cal

  7. By: mugisha peter Posted: 28th July

    i believe even relationships gone wrong can lead to a breakdown. this triggers resented memories of family mishaps and what would have been.self blame for making a wrong choice.failure to move on because we’re still caught up in the past, in stead of re wiring.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th July

      Mugisha Peter,
      Yes, there are many triggers and events that can lead us back to having to deal with the original issues.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Krystina Posted: 26th December

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for verbalizing this crazy feedback loop that I go through. It happens to go away for awhile but usually comes back when things in life quiet down and there isn’t drama to overshadow the thoughts and feelings.

    Jeannette- you worded your post so perfectly too! I, too, am afraid to even write down my innermost feelings for fear that someone will find them and think for sure I am nuts and that there is something so “wrong” with me that drastic measures will need to be taken (i.e., institionalized) and then EVERYONE will know that I’m not as perfect as I seem. Huh… I just had that realization. Thanks! That boils down to abuse as a child and that severe punishment measures will be taken for feeling “bad” or “sad”. There was no safe haven for feelings and we were NEVER allowed to tell ANYONE what happened in our house. If we even challenged it, we were told that there was nothing wrong with what was going on even though we knew something wasn’t right and were supposed to keep it a secret (we, meaning my siblings). Whoa,,, talk about messing with one’s mind. Here comes my self blame. I suppose it was all my fault for thinking wrongly that all of the abuse was really supposed to be normal, but nobody was allowed to know about it. Geez.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th December

      Hello Krystina and welcome to emerging from broken;
      I wrote a comment just yesterday that I think applies to your comment too, (about being afraid to even write our feelings down ~ so I am going to repost it here;

      ~ One of the things that I have discovered in recovery is that we MUST tell the stories, because I found out that so much of my belief that no one would believe me or that they would think I was NUTS etc. was not true. The people that devalued me and wanted to keep me down of course would say that I am crazy and I suspect that they still think that… (but thousands of readers monthly seem to think otherwise), but what I found out is that it was very important for me to realize (often through others) that my stories and my history had happened to MANY others. Many can relate. Many were in crazy dysfunctional family systems too! this was very healing. Very important for me. So please, tell the stories.
      thank you for sharing!

      Thank you for being here! Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Susan Posted: 13th June

    I learned to analyze my actions and emotions and where they came from when I was in drug rehab, over 30 years ago. I still do it but not much. It works and it helped me to find the Susan I was born to be, not the one that my abusers made. I love that you reiterate these techniques for those who have not been blessed with good counseling. You are a blessing Darlene. Thank you.

  10. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 6th June

    In the past, I believed all of the lies told to me by both of my parents and the family system that they created that stopped all of us from breaking the silence demanded by that system. Awareness has to come before acceptance. It isn’t acceptance of the lies that you want to cling to. It is acceptance of the truth that you are worthy and a beautiful child of God. If you don’t like the idea of God, change it to Universe. They both work for me. None of us deserved to be abused or to be blamed for our abuse. We deserved parents that unconditionally loved us no matter what. We deserved to have parents that didn’t abuse us. All of the lies change when you learn to love yourself and put your needs first. I know that loving yourself isn’t easy in the beginning but it is doable one step at a time.

  11. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd June

    Hi Everyone!

    When these things come up, I call it “facing or confronting the belief system”. I learned to actually listen to that voice, the one that said I am lazy, or phony, or not able. I asked it “what else do you have to say” and some very interesting information is always discovered when I do this. I am going to describe one such event in my next post.

    Jeanette, I totally relate to your comment and thank you for your wonderful contribution to this conversation!

    Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Lisa Posted: 3rd June

    Carla, thanks for the kind words. What you said about using up all the energy on worrying and obsessing rings true as well. My overwhelming emotion/sensation now is pure exhaustion…mental, physical and spiritual. That contributes to my skepticism. I’m tired of trying so hard to “get better” with little to no results. I know I have to be true to the real, but it’s so hard to see it under all the B.S. Anyway, thanks everyone for the encouragement. Will try to stay positive (or at least realistic). 😉

  13. By: Carla Dippel Posted: 2nd June

    Lisa, after reading Darlene’s post, the same belief/fear that you expressed here came to my mind as something I still am working on- the fear that I am lazy. The truth is, I have done A LOT of work in my life. I worked SO HARD to try and please other people; I spent so much energy worrying and obsessing, creating a truly complex coping method inside that did so much work… I had little energy left for the work to build myself up and change my belief systems and really pursue what was good for me! Now, as my beliefs change to true ones, the less I have to rely on other people to tell me I’m okay, and the more brain space I have to build the things I want in my life. We are not lazy- the more we get rid of the trash, the more free our true selves are to work towards what is best for us. I am excited for you and your first session tomorrow. You are truly courageous and have all that it takes to pursue your wholeness Lisa!

  14. By: Lisa Posted: 2nd June

    Jeannette, you are so right! I’ve always thought of myself as pathetic and attention-seeking and “wanting” to stay sick because I am too lazy to do the work. All of those things are messages from my childhood that I completely bought into. Still do, I guess. I find myself comparing my experiences of abuse with those who experienced much worse, and I say to myself, “what are you complaining about? You had it so easy!” I don’t give myself permission to actually feel what I feel. And that has kept me stuck for SOOO long! So I’m nervous about tomorrow, really because I’m afraid that all my inner messages – even though INTELLECTUALLY are lies – are really all true. I’m just pathetic and lazy. Don’t want that to be true!!

  15. By: Laura Posted: 2nd June

    :o) That’s all I have to say about that. :o)

  16. By: Jeanette Posted: 2nd June

    Lisa – One of my biggest blocks when I started therapy was that I was afraid my therapist would find me pathetic. Why would I think that? Because that is what I thought of myself. Why did I think that of myself? Because it was a lie I had bought into as a child and carried with me my whole life!

    I had no intention of letting my therapist into my real inner world. I wanted a quick fix to some surface issues and thought there was going to be some kind of magical solution. The solution is not magical, it is hard work, and part of that hard work was building trust in the therapeutic relationship so that I could unveil what was really taking place inside of me. And contrary to being seen a pathetic, I am seen as being courageous. And little by little I am starting to accept that this is true, I am not pathetic, I am courageous and the hard work and vulnerabilty within that relationship is going to pay off when, as Darlene says, I replace the lies buried deep within my soul with the truth, a truth I have never known but am looking forward to knowing and embracing.

    Your therapist will rejoice with you when you can find that kind of healing together! It’s what their mission in life is all about!


  17. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd June

    Lisa, I hear you!

    Just knowing that you like to seek approval from a counselor is a good beginning. When I made my big breakthroughs I decided that I was too tired to care what the therapist thought and I just let it fly. ALL OF IT. Ultimately, we direct our own therapy and they guide us through the murky waters. We do the work because it is our work to do. When we do the work, the therapist feels really helpful and successful, so everyone wins! Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd June

    It is hard, but it gets easier. Just realizing how our beliefs are wrong and not working helps us to clear the wreckage for a new foundation of truth to be built on. I found that a lot of fear came up, but the fear is just the old belief system, and can be dealt with by knowing the real truth. I am going to talk about that in my next post. Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Ligeia Posted: 2nd June

    You have shared some valuable information here. I’m sure your readers appreciate the effort that you put into it.

    Thank you

  20. By: Lisa Posted: 2nd June

    This post is so timely for me right now! It’s exactly what I go through every single day. The problem is, my results are starting to break down. In other words, my behaviors and patterns don’t work for me anymore (if they ever did), and I have spent so much of my life in them (I’m 42) that I don’t know what to replace them with. It’s a scary and anxious time. I am starting counseling – literally – tomorrow. For the hundredth time in my life. And I’m scared I will do what I always do…look for the counselor’s approval instead of actually working on my stuff.

    Thanks for sharing your process. Like Cassie said, it’s helpful to know I am not alone.

  21. By: Cassie Posted: 2nd June

    This post is my daily inner monologue. While it is great to know that I am not alone in these beliefs…I still struggle. I am constantly thinking that if I accept and change, others will treat me with more respect or kindness. I almost always think any problem is my fault. This is where I am in my marriage. I am finding it hard to change this wiring…so difficult.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. By: Splinteredones Posted: 2nd June

    You are an inspiration. Thanks.

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