Saying Sorry Doesn’t Automatically Cancel the Damage


emotional abuse emotional healingLast week I published a guest Post by Pam about Self Abuse and how sometimes we “learn to be self abusive” by the ways we are treated as children. I enjoyed the conversations that went on in the comment discussions. I’m adding to another highlight to the conversation about self harm today.


Something that I was really confused about, both in the past and during my process of emotional healing was that I mistakenly thought if someone was truly sorry for their behaviour I believed it should cancel the DAMAGE done by their behaviour. I thought that I should be OVER it as soon as someone expressed regret for their behaviour.  I felt guilty and ashamed that I still felt the effects of the damage that was caused to me. I am not talking about an isolated one time minor incident such as my mother losing her temper and calling me a brat. I am talking about being devalued, criticised, discounted, picked on, neglected and or abused over time.


I am familiar with both sides of this coin. My mother never said she was sorry for any of the damage that she had a hand in over my lifetime.  A few times she said “I’m sorry but…” and the BUT always had excuses tagged on to it like “I’m sorry but I never wanted to be a single mother” or “I’m sorry but you were not the easiest person to be around.” Or I’m sorry but I had a really bad day…” well, you get the picture.   


When I finally drew my personal boundaries with my mother, she withdrew from my life. At first I was shocked but eventually I was able to see the whole picture of my life and dysfunctional toxic relationship with my mother, and I actually understand why she doesn’t want to have a relationship with me or even to try and work things out with me. It helped me immensely to finally understand that this is about my mother and NOT about me. Healing from the damage caused by my dysfunctional and toxic mother’s lack of interest in me had been up to me and has never depended on her apologizing.


My mother has never tried to make amends to me or in any way tried to restore our mother daughter relationship, so in healing from the damage caused to me in our dysfunctional and toxic mother daughter relationship I learned that I could heal without my mother making any amends. I don’t need the “other person” to “do” anything in order for me to recover.   


My husband on the other hand, did try to work things out and get things between us resolved. The damage caused by my husband discounting me was not gone just because he realized he was doing it and began the process of learning how to have an equality based relationship with me. He wished it were that easy, and I guess that I did too, but I still had to look at and define the damage that was done to me and heal from it. HE didn’t cancel the damage he caused just by saying he was sorry for all the years of putting himself and his need/wants/dreams ahead of mine. And the fact that I was still in pain from the damage he caused, and still had healing to do didn’t mean that I didn’t accept his apology.


Because he apologized and learned to have a real relationship with me, we are still married.

Personal Recovery and emotional healing is not about the relationship with the people who did the damage though. It has been so important for me to understand and to remember this truth. Emotional Recovery is about personal healing from the damage that was caused. Emotional Recovery does not depend on someone else’s decision or reaction to what I decide to do. They might be sorry and they might not EVER be sorry, but at the end of the day, it matters not.


It isn’t that I held a grudge, which is often what he accused me of, in his attempt to get me to just “get over it”. It was the wounds that went deep. Part of it was that I had been denying that there WERE wounds most of my life, and now I was taking an honest look at them.


It isn’t wrong to still be hurt and feel hurt for a while afterwards. The fact that I was hurt was the truth. His “I’m sorry” didn’t change that. After years of being discounted; it was important for me to understand that the change in my husband was only a very small part of solution towards healing our broken relationship.


The healing work still had to be done by me regardless of what my husband or my mother or anyone else does or doesn’t do.


Please share your thoughts, feelings and stories. This is a safe place. Please remember that you may use any name you wish in the comment form and that if you change your mind about using your real name, you may at any time change the comment form.


Exposing truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

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I am currently in a toxic relatioship relating back to my childhood. I was malested by my brother who is now deceased and several other young boys since i was in 3rd grade. i am now 43. I often stillconfuse sex with love because i had a distant father. I now see the same relatioship between mu husband and father and my 10 yr old. we are the same. She was bullied in 4th gr she allowed girls to treat her badly. My husband is now cheating on me in my face and in front of the girls. He says he is sorry and doesnt know why he’doin what he’s doing. I want to hold on and wait for him to get better. Reality I need to go and let this go your post i read daily and helped me realize what obstacle ill be facing in my path. Thank You for posting that i will look at t daily.


I was just chastised by my mother after I reposted your blog on my fb page. She told me that I was insinuating that my father had molested me and that I was publicly venting anger that I would eventually regret. I told her that that was not the case at all! That I was merely trying to share survivors feelings in order to help educate people. She told me that she would no longer read my page. That her family did not talk about things and that that was the way it was. I think she is reacting in ego and told her so. What do you think? Thanks for keeping me down, Mom….


I LOVE what you told your mother, that you are merely trying to share survivors’ feelings in order to help educate people! I do the same thing. Most readers get it. Once in a while I explain that I share words that I relate to, or others I know relate to, in order to give a voice to those (who relate to what I am writing) who need it.
My family has reacted at times to my stuff in general. (“You must spend all your time on facebook”…or “pray for those who abue you”…or, :”are you going to church?”) I made a separate facebook account for my relatives who just don’t “relate” to my posts. My posts are a collection, a scrapbook of health for my own benefit, and if someone cannot appreciate what is there, and feels the need to actually let me know that, then I remove them from that place. I just took one down today, and we have been online together for a long time, but she was obviously putting me down, and I just won’t tolerate that.


Hi Kelly
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I am so glad to have you here and I am sorry that you are having such a hard time right now. Please share as often and as much as you like,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Deirdre
Welcome to EFB. Good for you for not caving in with your Mom. I let my mom direct the things I did and the ways I acted and reacted. It never did me any good at all. I was never good enough and like you said, my mother only kept me down.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


I really had to think about this and my first reaction was that I’m still waiting for people to say they are sorry and I have no idea what comes after that. Then I thought, no, I’ve given up on ever hearing them say they are sorry. Then I thought about my normal long-term relationships where there have been conflicts and the reconciliation. Sorry is the point of new beginning both in healing the hurt and the relationship and I agree, that sorry isn’t the end result. However, I’ve spent a lifetime waiting for people in my family of origin to say they are sorry and in a way, if that ever happened, it would be an end in itself but I don’t think it would be enough for me to begin to trust them. It might be the beginning of my trying to learn to trust them a little bit at a time. Old walls don’t come down easy when they have been continually refortified over a lifetime.Relationships take work on the part of two committed individuals and the only commitment was on my part. When I ceased to be wholly responsible for maintaining a quasirelationship, it comepletely fell away.





I never had any of my abusers apologize to me .Instead they laid out guidelines whereby I would be considered a member of the family. If I apologize. if I stop having therapy and if I return to that church.

Well therapy was dropped without my wanting it to be.. it just happened.. going back to that church i cannot do and I don’t see why I must apologize for being hurt by someone ..

I am beginning to wonder though, after last nights episode if my mom isnt right. was i a mistake..will everything I do fall apart..because i wasn’t suppose to be in this world.

If I apologize i will be allowed into the dysfunctional family. .and you know am almost tempted to . for going the right path I was hurt. wouldnt it be better to be hurt by dysfunctional people then professional people.

Sorry for rambling but am in a black cloud. .No one is going to apologize to me who has hurt me since everyone who has believes i deserve what was done to me.




First, I am very happy and excited to have found this site!! This article is awesome, because I to do not have a realationship with my mother and don’t care to have one with her anymore. No she cannot admit to any faults, wrongdoings or transgressions, which I figured out awhile ago, but I also Finally figured out I don’t need her to apologize to me anymore in order for me to recover. These are her issues not mine! I have tried on several occasions to meet her halfway, but as usual I was the bad person! Our relationship has truly alienated me from alot of my family members who are just as narrow-minded as her because in their eyes she is a “Saint” NOT!!! Maybe one of the biggest hypocrites. Yes, it still hurts sometimes when I see other families, but I get through it with the wonderful extended family and true friends that I have! And also if you look at her issues or issues in general IT’S YOU and not me!! Thanks for this website again, may everyone have a truly blessed day.


Hi all, Here’s something this post reminded me of. Someone told me there are three ways to make an apology and only one of them is truly helpful. The first way is to just say “sorry” but make no effort to change. The second way is to apologize and actually try to use one’s willpower to keep from re-offending. The third way is to apologize and then actually do therapy to uncover the roots of what caused us to be hurtful in the first place. This doesn’t relate to the idea of how long it should take the other party to recover from the damage done, but I think it should help someone realize that their hurtful actions have a history, and that they need to take time for recovery, too. Darlene, when you talk about how you and your husband recovered your relationship, do you mind if I ask if he did any kind of therapy also to explore his traumatic roots? You know, I am single now, and as I continue with therapy, I realize that I only want to get into a relationship with someone if they are also willing to engage in healing themselves, since otherwise I think I’ll be in for a lot of unconscious hurt and projection. I am so grateful for this forum. Sophia


My mom always made ME apologize for abuse that happened, like when my gran raged at me and said, “I had the devil in me and I was going to HELL!!!” I locked myself in her bathroom and never cried so hard in my life. I was a teenager. Also, after my brother hit me for a remark I made that was the truth about why his wife left him. I meekly apologized both times. I was conditioned to believe everything was ultimately my fault. What a bunch of crock.

Here are two poems I wrote today about my relationship with my egg donor. I hope you enjoy them:

I was born perfect and whole, but you broke my wings.
I became crippled, an invalid who needed crutches just to rise. You birthed me in darkness, but I yearned for sun, rainbows and blue sky. Abruptly, you rejected me from under your wing. I was timid, terrified and alone facing a foreign world. I was forced to learn to use disfigured wings. It wasn’t easy, but I did, one feeble flutter at a time.

I taught myself to fly.

Now I soar above.


Day and night I forage for crumbs you toss on marble floor. I find one scattered here and there. I discover one in a dusty corner, another in a deep crack, one by the toilet. I don’t care if they are stale; I am famished. I sit at your feet begging for crumbs as you gorge yourself feasting. I sit and beg, all the while, hoping, one day you’ll make bread and share.

You never do.


Deirdre: Good for you for not letting your mom bully you! I always say ‘when you let the cat out of the bag the rats will undoubtedly scurry.’


Oh my gosh. Karen, your poems really touched me. They gave voice to some of my deepest pain. I especially like the parts about finding the crumb by the toilet and the part about feeling so famished while the other person gorges themselves. Anyone who has experienced what we have knows exactly what you’re saying. Your poems brought tears to my eyes. Just lovely.

And Joy, I’ve never said so, but your poems always inspire me. There is an innocence and a beauty about them that I really admire. My favorite has been the one your shared about dreading what is to come. You posted it just as I was facing such a situation. Thanks for sharing it. One day soon I’m going to try my hand at writing some poetry.


Good for you! I love your way of describing your facebook page! A scrapbook of health for you own benefit! I love that!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Yes, sorry is a good starting point for reconciliation as it was with my husband, but it is not necessary for me to progress with MY healing. I too gave up waiting for the others in my life to apologize or even for them to WANT any reconciliation with me. It was easy when I realized how much easier life was without the constant judgement and control tactics they used on me! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy
Remember that the point of this post is to say that I didn’t NEED an apology in order for me to heal from the damage they caused. I didn’t need to apologize for things that I didn’t do either. What happened with your Therapist, does not make your mom right. Those are two separate things; your T. was wrong. She is wrong, unprofessional and unethical. Your mother is wrong, you are not her possession and you are not a mistake.
I would think deeply about your statement “for going the right path I was hurt. wouldn’t it be better to be hurt by dysfunctional people then professional people”. I think it would be better NOT to be hurt by anyone. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Hang in there Joy!
Hugs and love, Darlene


Hi Shareise
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! I am happy your found this site too!
I can totally relate to your description of your relationship with your mother. I have written lots of articles here about that whole thing and all that goes with it. Relationship is never all one person.
Please share often,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sophia,
Yes, my husband had to do his healing work too. I was really ticked when he finally went for help with our marriage and ended up talking about his issues with his father for months! But today I realize that is how we heal today; by facing the root issues from yesterday. When my husband realized his own brokenness, and how he took it out on me, (and tried to make me responsible for HIS healing) that was when things began to get sorted out between us.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen
Great examples of how dysfunctional relationships can be. Being made to apologize for what happened to you is the damage I am talking about.
Thank you for sharing your poems! They are lovely and deep!
I had so many images in my minds eye of being tossed crumbs by everyone or a little bone. I had an image of me on the floor begging for some crumbs of love. Today I don’t need their crumbs anymore; I can feed myself and since I have gone through this process of facing the root of it all, I feast on life and share it with others!
Thank you for sharing!!
Hugs, Darlene



You are right and i have thought about it after I wrote it and
I should not speak so badly of myself .. I don’t deservie mistreatment
from anyone you are right I feel much better.. now that I have slept and ate.

I felt so bad . .I couldnt eat or sleep after what that T did. I just can’t believe it but I have hope there are lots of good people to point me in the right direction.. She isn’t the last fish in the ocean and phd psyd means nothing if you don’t have the ability to prove you know your stuff. she called me a tangled mess she didnt want to deal with me now that i had a court date but thats her loss.. I miss her but there will be others to replace her. .like there are others replacing my family

All you good people here on EMB . I love you all and am sorry I was so down .. it really hurt and yes I am sorry because I was letting bad stuff take over my good spirit and happiness

I dont have to apologize as I did all i can for my family and for my T i did all she asked . .I cannot help they were not happy with me.. I did my best

Thank you Darlene. you are super great.. I need reminders to keep me on the path to healing




Dear Robin

Thank you for making such a kind remark about my poems.. see ..I never really thought much to evaluate them . .I hear many good and kind comments on them .but all I do is write from my heart. I know it may not be perfect grammatically but it will be the truth . .from my heart..

I would love to see your poetry, online, Robing. I know that Shaynyn, Nicole, Jan, and others write so beautifully . Darlene, Pam, Patricia, Susan and Lynda are also very gifted writers as we have seen here..

Isn’t it wonderful how much creativity comes out of so much suffering..

Thank you for your kindly words.

Much love:



This has just reminded me of somethign I had forgotten – there was an episode, some 30yrs ago, when my mother and Id didn’t speak for nearly 2 years – I can’t remember exactly why now, but I think I had toldher I wasn’t happy for her to comment so negatively on my decisions about life & work.
She was a formidable woman, a hospital matron of the old school – and yes, I was scared of her to some degree. She tended to relate to me from her professional role. Both my parents were nurses – and proud of the “fact” that they used applied psychology to raise me. Huh.
Psychology was used to manipulate me on numerous occasions by my father. My mother used it to tell me how I should feel. When my abuse came to light, Mum did act to get me out of the place – but I NEVER heard an apology for my neglect which got me into trouble in the first place. And I never got the attention I needed which would have helped me to recover.
Years later, when I finally did marry – she talked to my husband about me – and I know she did feel guilty – but she never said anything to me.
Their behaviour was one of blanket denial – of everything – I never heard my mother express any emotion, and I never trusted anything that my father said, he was not consistently his true self (more of a rival sibling than a father). My mother was open in her dislike of children – what was I to think, when I was a child? (or was I? Is this weher my sense of being a fraud or imposter came from?) An only child, I was further isolated by their demands re: keeping everything private, and since we were a military family, I had little access to other family members for comfort/support, although my grandparents were indeed loving, kind and consistent. If it were not for them in my life, I think I would not have survived into adulthood at all.
My mothers’ toxicity and my fathers’ incompetence were directly responsible for my vulnerability to being abused. But they chose not to see it for what it was. They are gone now – I cared for my father in his final illness, I have no regrets about doing that – but I didn’t love or even like him – it was too late; the relief I felt when my father died was huge.
Had either of them ever apologised to me, I think I might have felt something like validation – but it wouldn’t have changed anything, since I don’t believe either of them was capable of doing any kind of meaningful therapy themselves – and they would have despised me for doing what I am doing now – in therapy.
I have had family pass negative comments for my involvment in sites like this – one younger person said he thought it was disgusting to talk about such things so publicly. So I choose to post these more personal pieces under another name; I am disapointed by his reaction, but its not going to stop me being public about my abuse – speaking out is vital if we are to stop the damage to others. And I choose not to permit that toxicity spread further anymore.


This evening I am so grateful to my heavenly Father for leading me to this post. I have an illness of dissociative amnesia and I suffer with depersonalization. I have flashes of my parents raping me and grandparents raping me. As a little girl I was often molested and mocked on the school bus. My abuser on that bus did awful things to my body. I have a brother who tried to have sex with me, and it was like everywhere I went their was some type of sexual abuse. I had no one, even though I asked my mother to help me. Now as an adult these things come to me in the night. Now I feel the wounds. My family today do not rape me but are still so very toxic. Their denials and betrayals let me know I had to give up any hope that I could have a lovely relationship with them. I did feel guilty for hurting but not now. Reading your post was such a reassurance to me that I’m on my way to continual healing. It gets pretty tough because I’m alone. The friends I thought I had walked away from me because these friend were my sisters and they didn’t want to see my pain from the abuse and I guess being apart of my healing showed them what monsters their parents were and our mother still is. I had to accept the departure and not hold on or pursue them. They wanted me without the pain. They only want me if I shut off my mind to what happened to me. I can’t do that anymore, even if it means I will be alone…Thank you, I have been truly encouraged.


Libby, I loved your last paragraph (post #17) – I feel the very same about my family – I too choose not to let the toxicity spread anymore! Family members only think its disgusting because they don’t want the truth getting out or they don’t want to know the truth. They’d rather live in their own ignorance – of course, this is my own opinion about my own family.

I always love Darlene’s blogposts – I can always relate to them. Even with the apologies, “I’m sorry, BUT …” I got those all the time and they were always my mother’s way of shifting the blame from her to me – making everything my fault. Her lack of happiness was my fault, her life not going well – my fault; things falling apart in her world – my fault. Anything good that happened in her life of course, definitely had nothing to do with me, even though I worked hard at making her life easier and in trying to get her to just love me and accept me as I was … but everything became about what I could do for her, and even those things I did for her were never enough to earn her love and affection.

It’s taken me many years to sort through the confusion … as well as almost 9 months in therapy … and the words to an old song fill my mind … “I can see clearly now … the rain is gone … “


Thankful (post #18) … I feel for ya! It’s been over a year now that I finally confronted my father and siblings about my mother’s abuse (which was everything but sexual and physical – she is also someone who could be the poster person for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.) When I confronted them, they all told me, “I don’t want to hear about it and I don’t want to talk about it.” When they did this, I chose to not have relationships with them – how could I when they blatantly choose to not believe me. I was very hurt at first, but now I’m free. Truth sets us free, be it God’s truth or our own – His Word stands true in His Word and life, truth sets a soul free!

I have no desire to have relationships with people who just want to put this ugly thing aside and not deal with it – and now that its out there, it makes for impossible relationships. I am happier and I finally feel free to be ME … I am FREE! The toxicity and abuse stops with me and will NOT be passed down by my kids – I get to show them what real love is, and what real love looks like – and God has shown me what that is. 🙂


Hello all you Amazing, Courageous Survivors! I’m Karen – I found this blog through the posts of my friend Shannon, and I’m so thankful to her for leading me to this very inspiring place. I’ve been catching up as I can on Darlene’s blogs and on your comments/struggles/triumphs and I just want to say that you are all so amazing. It takes so much courage to put your foot down and say “STOP” to all the mean, nasty, hateful abusers in your life – and it sounds like many of you have some truly monsterous people in your life to stand up to. It takes so much courage to give yourself permission to believe in and DECLARE your truth, and I really admire those of you who are doing this even in the face of criticism and messages of shame and suppression from your families.

I realize reading your posts that I’m still so careful about what I say and do so that I don’t offend, provoke or challenge my parents (especially my Mom) because I was raised to believe that it was never acceptable to criticize her in any way, even when she was being neglectful, manipulative and abusive. If ever I did try to confront her or even just share my feelings about something she’d done or said and how it made me feel, she becomes as slippery as an Eel and as mean as a cornered badger – before I knew what hit me I’d be caught up in a whirlwind of shame and confusion, feeling like a horrible, mean person for “attacking” her. She was never wrong, it was “never her intent” to hurt me, so therefore if I felt hurt I guess it was my problem – clearly I misinterpreted her terribly. Because in her mind she is a loving, caring person, and she has no conscious intent to cause pain, neglect me, use me to get her own needs met, punish me in numerous subtle ways, withhold her approval or affection etc. etc, then no matter what evidence I present that she’s acted in unloving and hurtful ways, she ALWAYS finds herself NOT GUILTY, and immediately makes me feel either CRAZY, DELUDED, OVER-SENSITIVE, IRRATIONAL, OVER-REACTIVE, CRUEL, and just out of touch with reality. (which messed with my head quite a bit – always being told that my truth was false – it has taken me years to learn how to trust myself…but that’s another discussion)

And I realize today, after reading your posts, that I still tread really carefully so that I don’t “offend” her by challenging her view of herself too strongly, and I’m so careful to be discreet about who I am and what I really think about many things so taht I don’t upset or offend or challenge her. I’m speaking of Facebook in particular – she is on there now and I find her presence so stifling. My entire family on both sides are Mormon, but I left the Church years ago and have my own spiritual and philosophical opinions about things that are very different from those of my family. I find I am careful about what I post/say because I don’t want to offend anybody or worse, invite them to come down on me with preaching, rebuttals, arguements etc. (Because unfortunately many people seem to think that MY posting on MY profile about MY thoughts and beliefs is somehow and invitation to them to challenge that!)

Anyway, sorry to ramble on. I just want to tell you all that I appreciate your strength in choosing to fight for yourselves and defend yourselves against those who would like to break you. The greatest crime against a dysfunctional family is just to call it what it is, and sometimes just by trying to be healthy yourself, you reveal just how messed up everyone around you is, and they will fight hard to stop you from revealing them for what they are – either because they don’t want to face it, or becuase they like things the way they are becuase it works for them – they are getting their needs met and feel in control. (I learned the hard way that not everybody wants love, peace and happiness in their relationships – too many people just want control, power over others, and somewhere to vent their anger/pain.) Dysfunctional families will fight very hard to silence those members who stand up, walk away, speak out, and fight back against the dysfunction – so again I commend all of you who are standing up and fighting back. It’s really hard to do and I appreciate you all inspiring me to stop hiding myself for fear of “offending” my family. It’s scary though, to feel like I’m risking alienating my entire extended family just by being true to myself. * sigh * Oh well. Maybe I’ll open a seperate FB account where I can just relax and be myself without having to worry about what I think/say/post. But I will also examine why I am still letting my Mother and other people define what I feel I can do/say/be – that’s an important thing for me to think about. So THANK YOU, all you incredible people! <3


Oh, I should clarify that I’m a different Karen from the other Karen who posted, so I’ve added a B to my name.

and Joy, I just want to add that in my experience, therapists and counsellors are just as imperfect as anybody else, and can also be set off or provoked by a client that forces them to come too close to their own unresolved issues. I have tried many different kinds of therapy and seen quite a few counsellors – and unforunately there are many messed up, angry, sadistic, and incompetent people who are out there pracitising in this field. I have encountered therapist who are otherwise very nice, great people, but when you say something or have some issue that triggers their issues, they can react angrily or shut down and basically push you away. My “stuff” must have pushed them into territory that they weren’t comfortable dealing with or capable of facing, and when that happens I am instantly perceived (subconsiously) as a threat (to their ego-self) and reacted to as a threat. Unfortunately, therapists and counsellors and psychologists etc., as trained as they are, are all still just people with many of their own issues, limiting beliefs, fears and ego-issues. Unless they are really self-aware and willing to examine themselves and their feelings and reactions in response to their clients, then there is always a risk that their own issues are going to flare up and damage the practitioner/patient relationship. I’m so sorry that your relationship with your therapist has ended – I’ve been there myself and it’s very painful, confusing, and devestating. You feel rejected and broken and damaged beyond repair all over again, because even a trained professional can’t handle you and doesn’t want you. It feels almost worse than being rejected by your family, because at least I know they were messed up and didn’t have the capacity to love me unconditionally. The Counsellor on the other hand was supposed to help me without judgeing me, shaming me, rejecting me etc. – that’s what I’m paying for! So it hurts, alot, when they suddenly turn on you. But as Darlene might say, it’s not you, it’s HER issue here! Hopefully you will not despair and not go back to your family just because the familiar seems better than nothing at all. There are good therapists out there so don’t give up on finding the help you need, and most importantly, you’ve always got YOU!!!! Never underestimate how important YOU are in this world, and your role in your own healing. Again, sorry you’re having this set-back. But maybe this means that someone even better for you is going to come along.


My facebook page, my scrapbook of health for my own (and others’) benefit, also, I call it my “playground”


Joy, No matter how unprofessional your therapist was, you have made progress and that is due to your work. You’ll find another person to hire in helping you continue to progress. If you don’t find anyone that suits, keep moving forward and use any resource available to you. That’s where I’m at and I’m making better progress than when I thought I wasn’t worth listening to and needed the help of a professional. Professionals can be helpful in unlocking the truth inside but I know now, that I’ve always had the truth that is setting me free. I am worth listening to. I do know the way out of this mess. I know which piece of me goes where and I’m the one putting me back together again. Hang in there, don’t give up on you.



Darlene and Joy,
Yes, they are two separate issues, AND it is not about the T. OR about your abusive family; it is all about YOU!


Sorry, its a simple word, easy to pronounce, easy to spell, not so easy to say it with feeling and mean it i don’t think.. i have never recieved a sorry from my family for all that has happened from my childhood on up.. i used to yearn to hear it, yearn to feel that they truly were sorry, that they loved me, that i was important to them… I gave up on that fantasy and many others… i must say though, in the last couple years, i see my mother making strides to try and make up for some of what she is done… so for that i am grateful.. I remember as a child, cowering as she towered over me, crying and saying over and over again that i was sorry.. I remember doing the same to my abusive ex.. at times, he would ask me what i am sorry for, which, most times i didn’t even know what i had done wrong to recieve the beating…. i would panic.. knowing if i gave the wrong answer, the punishment would be worse… at some point, i just fell silent, i never spoke, years went by where, so afraid that the words i would speak were the wrong ones… so in his presence i spoke no more.. In the beginning of that relationship, hours after he would hit me.. he would say he was sorry.. but that didn’t last long.. One day he just said.. ” well, really there is no point in saying sorry, as we both know it will happen again, because you never learn, you always piss me off, there is no end in sight, this is our life..” From that moment on, things went from bad to worse…



I don’t understand what you mean; please explain. thanks



You are so right..I have had several people emerge . .and I will be slow to choose I know I did all the work in my therapy. I like the idea of doing things “together” I know God allowed this . I know T has some serious things she needs to look at. she has done this before.. and perhaps she needs time out to get some counseling herself. She hurt me deeply . as she went against her own promise to me. She KNEW that “just dropping me” would traumatize me as we discussed my fears of such in several sessions. She cannot claim “ignoranc” she is psyd with 20 plus years . SHe called me a “tangled mess” and didnt want to deal with me but she only said this when I said i had a court date. .she never ever said this to me before. So for my T I think “court dates” are triggering words. I dont know : I went over it in my head the few minutes of sept 27 session over and over . I know all i asid was I have to appear in court and am so afraid. She had said something about me droppign the lawyer but NEVER let me explain that the case doesnt just involve me someone else is also being represented and I cannot drop out since I am pivotal for the other person to win too . but I learned that education is no guarantee. .never ever. Some people may have it in the head but not in the heart. I am sorry for saying all this .. she preached relationships in her blogs but she never would be warm. .and she ended so coldly and uncaring that I am traumatized more by her than by some without all her degrees.

I will get better I have a whole army of friends who reached out to me Darlene HAS been a GODSEND and she has helped me through this: thanks Darlene

Thank you Pam.. I have the truth inside me and am not going to let someone else who is unhappy ruin my life



Darlene, Thank you for sharing. I have had a lot of dificulty trying to explain this to my extended family. They want me to come to family functions with my abusers and they think as long as I keep distance between them and me it should be ok…..The problem is it takes months for me to get over even the smallest of encounters with them…You see I have nearly 20 years of memories, of my Dad raping me, he was caught by his father who did nothing, he wanted us to have a family of our own, And I have a set of twins with him as well as haveing two abortions that My mother covered up for him. They say it never happened I have the Children to prove it did. Now that some of the family knows they think I should be ok and over it by now. after all I am an adult and this happened when I was a child, They just don’t get it, and It just doesn’t work that way. I have been working for 11 years this November on healing and taking care of myself, as well as learning how to do things I should have learned as a child. I wish they could look at my parents through my eyes then maybe they would get it. In the mean time it is very lonely at times knowing that the family I was born into is together and I have had to make the decision to put a very stiff boundry between all of them and me because they think it should be ok. I dont think it will EVER be OK. I am determined to find my own way and be free from the grooming I was raised in. Sometimes I feel like that same girl, sometimes I feel lke a totally different woman then I was 11 years ago. I am proud to be one of many survivors who are fighting for their own life…….Keep Fighting on………………….



your words hit me so deeply and I know what you say is right . I truly believe that I triggered something in my T . I dont know what made her flare up ..but there was another time when she got flustered.. She told me something I said made her think of her own pets etc .. at that time. I just wished she had honored her promise ..She said if she ever decided she couldnt do it; we would discuss it over several sessions but “never just drop me” . She failed to keep her promise.
I am going one little step at a time now If she hadn’t known of others ‘just dropping from my life”
maybe what she did wouldnt hurt me and yes she is THE PROFESSIONAL who I came to all broken and she knows in her emails she told me she sees me progressing. Maybe something
else came available at the time slot she had me that would fill her pocket book more ..I was just
a job. something to get done. .IF I was really in a therapeutic “RELATIONSHIP” she would have stopped to think ” How is what I am going to say going to affect Joy and how should I say it so its not so traumatizing” SHE Is The PSYD the DOCTOR and she dropped me harder than any other
person i have known

I am sorry for so much anger but she told me so often I didnt deserve bad treatment ..did i deserve what she did to me?



Hi Libby
You are doing some good work here!
About the judgement of others ~ good for you for just changing names! I am all for doing whatever it takes to take care of me and do what I NEED to do!
I think people are so threatened by this kind of openness for many reasons. But I want my life more then I care to respect their wishes.
Thank you so much for your share here today!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rise
You bring up a great point… most of us really tried very hard to make things easier for our parents; we tried to comply, we wanted harmony and believed that if we could achieve that we would find the love we desired. It never worked that way. I was just led to believe that the success of the relationship was all up to me. And that is not the way it works!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Thankful and welcome to EFB!
Thank you for adding your voice to this post! You are definitely not alone! As you read through some of the other posts and comments on this website, you will realize that there are many many who feel this same way and have lived a similar horror.
I am so glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen B
Welcome to Emerging from Broken~
Love your comments, love how you are working this out here. You are really doing some great sorting through stuff and that was how I finally found my freedom! I love how you have realized some of the oppression that you have been living under and that you are sharing it here.
The kind of awareness that you are coming to in your comments will serve you well. Looking forward to hearing more from you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pamela
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
This is so typical; family wanting the victim of abuse to attend family functions WITH the abusers! Time has nothing to do with accepting being around people who raped you and didn’t protect you; you will never be comfortable with those kinds of abusers especially if they all cover it up and accuse you of lying. (oh and saying you should be over it by now is an admission that it happened) “they” don’t get to say when or if it should be okay. You can recover, but that recovery doesn’t ‘have to’ include them.
Thank you for sharing this with us and thank you for posting your conviction to be a survivor fighting for you own life!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Kelly
I am not even talking about when someone says “sorry” and they don’t mean it. Wow, thanks for adding this to the discussion ~ this is very valid. Your X was never sorry. And he made sure you knew it was your fault anyway, which is why you said sorry over and over. It is that kind of brainwashing that we are recovering from here. People like that are pathetic… they beat us down so that we don’t realize they are pathetic ~ we are too scared and worried about making sure they feel good…
Thanks so much for sharing, I am so sorry that you went through all that , but so glad that you are OUT
Hugs, Darlene

You are doing so me excellent work! I have never heard you sound so sure and clear! You are right, she was the pro and she made the mistakes.
You keep going woman! I am thrilled to hear you working this out this way!
Hugs, Darlene



Thanks to you too . .as you have helped me see clearly in less time than anyone else. I so APPRECIATE you;) It would have been so easy to add this to my pile of proof that accuses me of worthlessness and no value but rather its on the pile of learning and be sure not to be fooled again.

You are so good to us all by sharing and I look forward to healing with your help and EMB friends . .everyone is so kind and caring



When i started writing the last post, i had one thought in mind, but somehow it went in a totally different direction then i had planned.. hmmm.. When my ex used to apologize, i was expected to from the point of the sorry, to be happy and cheerful.. kiss and make up.. get back in the kitchen and continue my duties.. i caught myself a couple times in the kitchen after the apology, with tears streaming down my face, beating myself up, berating myself for still feeling sad, hurt and lonely, when he was sorry… a couple times he walked in the kitchen behind me.. i had a mix of emotions, one was guilt and feeling bad that i would hurt his feelings,for still being upset when he had apologized, also fear, as it would anger him to know i was crying after the apology… in my attempt at hiding it would splash dirty dish water on my face, hoping to diguise the tears… i expected, just as he did, that his sorry should fix everything.. not the broken bones, bruises, cuts, etc, of course.. but internally, i should now be happy and at peace, just because he is sorry..


Pamela: What a brave soul you are and it’s astonishing your family is so dismissive, but not surprising. When one of my brothers found out I caught another older brother spying on me in the shower when I was in my early 20’s by placing a mirror under the door, which devastated me especially since I was just beginning to TRUST him, he remarked nonchalantly, “So what? He got a little peep show. What’s the big deal?” This is the same brother who sexually abused me when he was 11 and I was 8, so it obviously benefits him to act like it’s no big deal and I’m just overreacting. But I know the truth! It definitely was a BIG deal; I was BETRAYED by someone close to me and, once again, treated like an object for others to use and abuse. If this devastated me so greatly, I can only imagine what scars you must carry from bearing your father’s offspring. My heart breaks for you and others in your shoes and mine. I read this recently: “Nothing penetrates the core of a child’s inner being like sexual abuse. Its long tentacles reach deep within the child, wrapping around the young heart, choking and killing innocence and trust. This violation leaves its victims in a dark, dirty ditch…a place no child should have to experience.”

Fortunately, I was able to crawl out of that ditch and discard their backpack of shame that held me a hunchbacked. I unstrapped it and buried it in that ditch. I walk upright now with my head held high. I pray you are able too also, someday, and leave the dirt where it belongs.


I too, am so glad i am out.. Thank you so much for all your validation, kindness, understanding and a safe place in which to share my thoughts and feelings..

You are a true blessing and a treasure.


I hope that everyone reads your comment (#34) You have presented this snapshot brilliantly.
Your comment illustrates exactly what I am talking about. (I know that many of the readers were not abused in this way but just for a moment consider that ALL abuse is the same…) The abuser or controller believes that YOU caused the abuse, that YOU deserve what they dished out. They also believe that “sorry” fixes everything. If you don’t accept the apology by moving off your pain, then YOU are going to get more of whatever it is that they dish out; rejection, a beating, humiliation, whatever their brand of punishment is. So this goes round and round and it goes deep, controlled by fear of loss ~ usually the loss of something that you are still working your hardest towards GETTING in the first place!
Thanks! hugs, Darlene
(and thank you for your validation and compliments too)



it’s awful but that is how I felt my 2009 position. i was always trying to escape from my abuser but then he would apologize say things would get better. i even had plane tickets had my suit cases packed in 2009 and he had one of my friends call from work .no doubt he threatened them . saying i was getting a raise.. an apartment I could lve free in. The boss called me and asked me to return ticket said he was sorry . I believed him. i lost lots of clothing i sent on ahead of me vial ups.. He never kept that promise. instead of giving me the raise he cut my pay in half. He housed me in a bare apartment no linens, no sheets, no towels no soap. I had been living in hotelss i paid . for where everything was supplied so i didnt have those things in my possessin. .Even dishes were supplied in hotels i stayed but when i arrived at that “promised apt” there were no dishes .. no uteensils. I didnt have food. no coffee pot. He had my debit card so I couldnt go out to get food. Luckily I had some oatmeal packets i packed for my journey up to nj still in the suitcase. I took my ink pen pulled out the insides. I had a cup small and made me oatmeal ..for several days i drank oatmeal. I only ate when he decided.

I felt so betrayed. I believed he was sorry as he had my friend convince me he was sorry . I thought they were a friend!

I had no heat i froze . .there were no blankets

I planned to escape many times but he had the key to the apt. I told him I was leaving and he was there at the bottom when i was trying to leave. .

I wish I would have gotten on that plane but sorry and my friend convinced me my abuser had changed and he had now.



I believed for a very long time that if my mother at least showed remorse and apologized, it would make the pain go away or at least alleviate it. I am sure there is a little girl inside of me that still believes that. The adult in me know that no words from her could ever take away the pain and the trauma I experienced.

My healing has come through so many other ways for which I am deeply grateful. One of which is to have others mirror to me that they are sorry such horrible things happened to me. Finding healhty mirrors was very important early on.

Now, I don’t need that particular mirroring as much. My healing path continues to evolve and I am usually presented with exactly what I need at the time…even if it a conflict that brings up a layer of my pain, I still need to look at and heal. Thank you Darlene for continuing the very important conversations survivors need to have.


Hi everybody,

I had to really take some time to think about how I felt about this subject. I think I learned some years ago that I would never, ever recieve apologies from anyone. Not a sincere one, anyway. Anytime I ever received an apology it was with something ugly attached to it, as many of you have mentioned, or it was uttered just to get my behaviour to change. It was a form of manipulation. Either way it was not real.

What I’m facing now is the reality of a life without love. There is nobody in my life that loves me for real. It’s overwhelming. What I want to know is, am I wrong to want love? Apologies aren’t needed for healing, but is love?


Darlene, this post of yours is SO RIGHT ON. You wrote:

“It isn’t that I held a grudge, which is often what he accused me of, in his attempt to get me to just “get over it”. It was the wounds that went deep.”


I have often used the analogy that Post-Traumatic Stress (or any form of mental or emotional brokenness caused by trauma and abuse), is a NORMAL response to trauma, just as it is perfectly normal to BLEED, if we are STABBED.

If someone stabs me, and then immediately is overcome with remorse, and apologizes…. I am STILL going to be WOUNDED, I am STILL going to be bleeding and hurting and in need of healing.

Not only that, but however long it takes my body to fully heal from a stab wound, is… how long it takes. Whether my abuser apologizes or not, as you said, has nothing to do with the speed of my healing process. Nor does it matter if the person who stabbed me “didn’t know what they were doing,” or if my stabber was mentally or physically incapacitated in some way and therefore didn’t know any better than to stab me. Even if the person who stabbed me was “doing the best they could” ~ I AM STILL GOING TO BE WOUNDED AND BLEEDING AND IN PAIN. If my stabber somehow stabbed me accidentally, with no premeditation, no malice, no desire whatsoever to hurt me… maybe they tripped over something as they were walking to the dining room table with the carving knife to cut up the turkey, and when they fell, they stabbed me… it doesn’t matter how or why it happened, it doesn’t matter if it was intentional or unintentional, it doesn’t matter if the person is sorry for stabbing me, or glad they stabbed me…. if I have been stabbed, I am going to be in pain, I am going to be wounded, I are going to bleed, and I am going to need a certain amount of time, and medical care, to heal from the stab wound.

I’ve told you before about the “friend” who said something hateful and uncalled-for to me one day. When I called him on the phone that same evening and told him how badly his words had hurt me, he flipantly said: “I’m sorry. Now, get over it.”

Yes indeed, I got over it ~ I got over thinking of him as my friend.

Lynda ~ with love



I have the same though… where is real love. I love Joseph McManners song on youtube where he sings from Oliver Twist “where is love”
I have never been loved for me till I became virtual and I truly feel
here on EMB we have some real good wholesome love being shared

Its not the same of 3d love or family love; but its better than no love.

I am so wanting love . from mom from famly ..from anyone but hello. .anyone there? No one there. .I live in a very rural place where my only neighbor who is in her 80’s has taken up killing my outside kitties, squirting me with the hose, calling me names and more.

I stay only because my landllords are elderly . I promised I would help if they should need me. THey held this apt open when i left for NJ so that if it wouldnt work out I have a place to stay. I kept contact with them and they knew all my trauma of 2009 and they sent money to get me back home finally so that is love ..

Family, however love me if i would just do what they want . be rich.. be catholic or whatever they decide i should be . that’s not love thats capitvity.



Robin and Joy,
For the first 50 years of my life, I really did not have anyone’s love. It was my biggest hurt. I felt like I was literally STARVING for love. I thought I was not good enough to be loved. I hated my life, I was so lonely and miserable. I hated myself. I thought that if I only had one person who really knew me, faults and all, who would truly LOVE me, then I would be healed from my many traumas and abuses.

Today, I am 58, and I am loved, deeply loved, truly loved, I am loved for ME, faults and all. It took me 50 years to find that, but wow, it was worth the wait!

Before I could find this good healthy kind of love, I had to do some healing, first. I had to learn that I am WORTHY of love. I had to stop hating myself. I had to unlearn all the wrong relationship things that I had learned when I was growing up, in a horribly abusive home. I had to learn that I am ok, faults and all, that I am not at fault for being BROKEN and NEEDY and STARVED for love… my abusers are at fault, not me.

In my case, a big part of my healing came through me learning to believe that my Creator loves me totally and unconditionally, just the way I am.

Robin, you asked if love is needed for healing. Personally, I believe that YES, if IS necessary. But that love can come from within you, and that love can come from your spiritual beliefs, and, as Joy says, that love can come from healing places like Emerging From Broken.

Lynda ~ with love


Hi Stephanie
Yes, our healing comes in many ways. Thank you for being here too,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robin
I completely understand what you are feeling right now. I have been there too! I even realized that my husband did not love me in the true definition of the word love. (the same husband who loves me now..) It is not wrong to want love, it is a natural human desire. There are those that say we are made to love and be loved. I will tell you the most important thing I have discovered on this journey; The only love I really needed for my healing was my own. Self love was the key. And when I developed a little self love I began to see that the ones I sought love from did not and could not love me not in the real true definition of the word love. Self love allowed me to see that and acknowledge that I deserved better and that I have equal value.
Hang in there Robin,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lynda
Yes, I like your story! The way he treated you was not right. It was not love or friendship. It was disrespectful and devaluing. Apologies only work when they are sincere and then the healing has to begin, however long it takes.
Glad you are here~
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, speaking of what you call “the damage caused by my dysfunctional and toxic mother’s lack of interest in me” ~ last night one of my brothers called me. He is 8 years younger than me, so he is my “little” brother, even though he is 50 and over 6 feet tall ~ my brother was very upset because our mother had called him about 5 days ago and told him off. My brother said, “She said things to me that were worse than anything that anyone else has ever said to me. I got so upset and depressed that I went to bed and I haven’t done anything, not even take a shower, in 5 days. I wasn’t even able to call you and tell you about it, until today.”

I was so hurt when my mother sent me a 62-page hate letter back in May, and sent a copy to my aunt, trying to poison her against me, too. I was so depressed, it was horrible. But when my brother told me about our mother telling him off, verbally abusing him so badly that he went into a deep depression, I wasn’t hurt, I was enraged. I felt white-hot ANGER. HOW can our mother be so utterly MEAN and HEARTLESS?

This brother and I have been treated far worse by our mother, than any of our other siblings. As the eldest by many years, and as a daughter, my mother took her hatred for herself out on me, by projecting all of her denied “badness,” onto me. My brother, on the other hand, looked the most like our father, and he was given our father’s name, as well. When this brother was 4, and I was 12, our parents’ marriage ended very violently. From that time on, our mother HATED our father, and she took her hatred out on the brother who looked so much like him. As a result, my brother and I have been the most badly broken in our family. I was horribly broken…. but my brother was broken even worse. He was homeless for over 3 and 1/2 years (I did not know this at the time, I was not in touch with my family of origin at that time. If I had known, I would have taken my brother in, in fact he did live with me for about 2 years, in the 1980s, and my husband and I have told my brother that if he ever loses his place in the group home where he is now living, he can live with us.)

Our mother took someone else’s powerful tranquilizers when she was pregnant with my disabled brother. He was born with feet so severely clubbed, they looked like claws. Cognitively, my brother was always a bit slow and backward, too, whereas everyone else in my family has at least an above-average IQ. My brother has battled severe depression and anxiety all of his adult life. He has attempted suicide several times. In the 1970s and 1980s, my brother was given many many many electric shock treatments, as well as super powerful antipsychotic drugs. His cognitive abilities have suffered greatly from all that “treatment,” to such a degree that he cannot even learn to use the computer to email and do facebook. (He sends me letters the old-fashioned way, which I love.)

My brother is on SSDI, and most of it goes to pay for his room and board in the group home. Social workers buy his groceries and his medicine. My brother is very child-like, very sweet, polite, thoughtful, and super empathetic. He is like a sad but hopeful, whipped puppy.

What kind of a “MOTHER” would call up such a severely disabled son, and tell him off, telling him “worse things than anyone else has ever told him about himself? I am so ANGRY that she would HURT him like this. She hurt me with her insanely long hate letter, but I am not nearly as disabled as my brother, I have a high IQ and the power of reaasoning, and I am not ALONE like my brother is, I have a loving super supportive husband, and I also have loving supportive grown children and grandchildren. But my brother has never married, never had any children ~ he has not had the capability to do those things. He wanted to, but he could not. He is even alone in the group home, has been for months… why no one else is living there, is a puzzle. That is why my husband and I think that he may have to come and live with us. If he does, he will have a home with us for as long as either one of us is alive, and we will probably leave our little house to him, if he is living with us. (I say probably, only because my husband and I have not discussed that yet, but I know my husband’s heart, he would want our home to go to the one who needs it the most. Our grown kids are doing fine on their own, but my brother is not.)

My brother told me that our mother recently expressed a concern that he may soon lose his place in the group home, that it may be shut down, since it has been empty nor for going on a year, with the exception of him. I suspect that our totally hateful and SELFISH mother was worried that our brother would want to go live with her, and she is too selfish to allow that. It would be just like her to stage a preemptive fight with him. so that she will not be put in the position of having to turn her severely handicapped son down, if he loses his home.

I’m just glad that my brother and I are in contact and he was able to call me and tell me what had happened. He is wounded, he has been wounded, his whole life long, by our very unloving mother. But at least he has me, and my husband.



24, by Pam is good, and I have had these disappointing experiences as well. so, it is about you and the progress that you will make and have made, and not about you deciding who are your best guides, or if you were better off with your family, or whatever about them, but it is about you. does that make better sense? i am not real sure how to put it.


I just wish I didn’t live 700 miles away from my brother right now. He lives near our mother, I am the only one put of a total of 7 children, who grew up and moved hundreds of miles and several states away, which I did many years ago. With the exception of the 2 years that my brother lived with me, he, and everyone else, has stayed right there close our mother. I couldn’t stand to. My brother told me when we talked last night, that many therapists and drs. have told him over the years that he would be better off without any contact with our mother. But he kept trying and trying and trying to win her love. She HAS no love.



I think i am clear that just because my therapist dropped me its not about me’s about her. .breaking a promise as a professional leaving me to scramble when I had just received news that already sent me into panic .. She the phd .. who told me we would work things out said she would never drop me just when I appear for therapy..but would prepare me gradually .. was wrong.. she broke me. . she traumatized me..revictimized me.. my last few emails she told me i was making progress. .. ..whenever i was unsure of myself she told me its normal but the last day i was with her ..she called me a tangled mess she didnt want to deal with.. Yes its about her.. she advertises being an expert in trauma therapy but she cowered when i mentioned a court date.. SHe turned skype off on me as i was talking . how professional .. how demeaning.. how hurtful

How I handled her traumatizing me is about me. my brokenness .. my fragility..she took advantage of my brokeness and so she is very much part of my present hurt…Kate.. she owes me an apology for breaking her word and promise.. a person is only as good as their word.

Does this make sense?



Joy, I’m sad that you were traumatized again and at this particular time. I’m encouraged though to hear you say that you know it isn’t your fault. You aren’t a tangled mess and even if you were, it is her job to help people get untangled. She sure is behaving poorly for someone who is afraid of lawyers and law suits…



Pam: thank you . .i know i made progress there was nothing i did to deserve how she treated me and that is why it hurts me so much. she had told me session before she sees lots of progress in me. She never remembers what she says from one session to next so much so I thought i was seeing two different people Regardless I cared immensely for her and respected her until she broke her promise. she really dashed all my beliefs that phd psyd means professionals you can trust. Not always. She broke me in a way no one ever has . Like someone near and dear to me said recently ..she was not my friend or family but a professinal I paid for service and who advertised as being able to help people with trauma. .. she left me traumatized. she is highly intelligent so ignorance is not something she can use as her excuse for what she did. SHe KNEW dropping like that . would traumatize me as i told her this so many times. that if it ever would happen like she did me. I would be so broken.

Luckily despite my brokenness . I am not hopeless.. I have friends who are more powerful than the wound she inflicted on me.

I am sorry i didnt measure up to her expectations that I allowed myself to be led to believe i finally found a trustworthy person.! I was so mislead so wrong.

She left me when I needed her most!



Yes i see, how what we both experienced would bring about the same feelings in that regard.. The fear, isolation and powerlessness.. which is why i could relate to you the day before yesterday when we were writing back and forth.. Just because he hadn;t assaulted you physically yet, the threat was there, a very real threat it was… so the fear would be the same i would imagine.. Had you not escaped when you did there is a very real possibility that he would have escalated and made good on his threats… Living in fear for your safety, living in fear of your life, always waiting for the next attack, always looking over your shoulder.. constantly striving to do what they want, exhausting yourself trying to find the right answers, the right thing to do.. to just be good enough.. I know, i understand, i can relate.. i am so very sorry you had to live through that.. and so very happy you escaped..



You have it all captured very well. IT was like that.
Thank you for your solidarity and support.




Yes that makes sense. (I went to a new therapist today and he told me that he is spending most of next week testifying in court.)
Yes, it is amazing how they all of a sudden just can’t wait to get rid of you. I have had the same thing happen, sort of the same, anyway. And, Pam, good point, about the T. and unprofessional behavior.



Wow.. he must be dedicated to stand for his client. my T did say I am not going to court with you .. I was good when she needed the money. .. i suppose now she doesnt need so much. I paid good amount 5000 since I started with paid emails and paid sessions. maybe little over.

I feel so bad since I believe in therapy but find it hard to trust yet another time. Literally felt like my heart was ripped out of me.



I didn’t read all the comments but wanted to comment. I have usually said I am sorry for things I’ve done, I have truly been sorry but then I go and make the same mistake again. Often I say sorry for things that I am not responsible for but part of me thinks that everything wrong that happens is my fault. But I am always sorry to see anyone hurt even my worst enemy. I wish I could make all the hurt go away. My mother would often say she was sorry that my brother/father hurt me, they hurt her also but she would not admit she was hurt. She would not say want she wanted. She always tells people want she thinks they want to hear. She would not tell her child that they were wrong to hurt another of her children/others. She usualy would try to make the abuser feel better. She will spend more time listening to the hurtful child then the hurt one. She never wants to stand up to one child for the other. I have a hard time asking for what I want I think I do not deserve to have what I want. If something bad happens I think i deserved it.


I am thinking . .i was so brave couple hours ago but now am crying all over again. So much did all this hurt me .I think am over it then somethng comes to mind and am crying again. I wish she would had prepared me for her departure as well as she did those people she left in chicago ..they knew ahead of time she was leaving . I feel like to her i was no value: worthless.. so it mattered not that she crushed me.



Hi Joy,

I’ve been browing the blog and came accross an earlier post about Abuse by Mental Health professionals, where everything I was trying to say about therapists being imperfect people with their own issues was already (much better) said, and then some. If you haven’t read that post or the comments, maybe it would help you with what you’re going through now.

Once again I’m blown away by what the contributors to this blog/discussion have faced and are working through and overcoming. So much courage and strength here – again, you are all amazing.


Sorry, I meant *browsing* the blog.



I had read Susan’s post at that time I was one month into therapy. Nothng ever appeared wrong.

I think you explained well what you said. I actually responded to what you if you scroll up. I know what you are saying .My heart is still so broken. I just don’t know what to do

Never in a million years would I have expected the T to do what she did hw she did . .I don’t know I will go back to any T or not but will see.



Karen: thanks for finding that post. I will look it over again .. Susan is an excellent writer .. I loved hearing her speak on blog talk radio ..whe she had Darlene as a guest



written to my former T but she will never see:

You cut my heart out

You cut my heart out; you pulled out from me every ounce of trust
And took the meaning you once gave me and trampled it to the dust
You toppled the mighty tower of hope you once built up in therapy
And left me broken in pieces, now I scramble to put together “me”

How do you explain it, when so much trust was handed over to you:
Leading me to believe that there was nothing you and I can’t do?
You had my confidence ; then one evening you cut me to the core
Called me a tangled mess that you weren’t going to deal with anymore.

So here I am broken by the one who was suppose to heal me
Wondering how in the world such could happen, what an irony.
From friends or famly one might expect such things to come to be
But not from one was educated to help, who holds the title of phd



Joy, It’s really beautiful how you can express yourself so eloquently through poetry. I went back and re-read your response to my post – it was really unprofessional of her to just drop you when she’d promised she wouldn’t. When she knew what a fear/issue that was for you because you guys had talked about it already. So she can’t claim she didn’t know how much her actions would affect you. Your last paragraph in the poem so expertly describes the impact of her actions on you, and how badly she’s let you down. It’s so hard to take the rejection from someone who is supposed to be in a position to help you.

I also wanted to point out that you’ve apologized to us for being so angry, and I hope you know that it’s totally normal and a healthy response to be angry when someone hurts you. Anger is like physical pain, it’s a signal that we’ve been hurt and a signal to us that our boundaries have been violated, so hopefully you will give yourself permission to feel all the emotions that arise because of this experience – the anger, the disappointment, the grief, the sorrow – whatever comes up. In my experience, I have always tried so hard to “be strong” and “keep it together” and respond rationally to the painful stuff in my life – I over-analyze and second-guess my reactions to things and have not fully allowed myself to FEEL my feelings and have had to learn how to stop judging myself for and trying to stifle my emotional reactions. I think it’s important to just sit with ourselves and allow the feelings to come and to just be okay – to love ourselves and listen to and honour our feelings without judgement. To let the waves of grief or sorrow or rage or whatever build and churn and swell until they naturally crash and then subside and trust that if we just sit with that and love ourselves through it, we’ll be cleansed by the wave rather than drowned by it. I’m in the process of doing work on this myself and it does seem to help with my healing. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it while I’m caught up in the turmoil of it though – processing the pain (which often means revisiting older, deeper pains) feels so awful while you’re in the middle of it. Sometimes we do need a life preserver to hold on to, or a hand to help us pull ourselves out when the whirlpool is too strong.

Anyway, I know how much we’re conditioned to feel bad or wrong for having feelings – especially “negative” feelings like anger, and how hard it is to get past that programming that says we should always be nice and cut everyone else some slack and forgive everybody etc., that being angry is something we need to be ashamed of. Not sure if you can relate to any of this but I just wanted to say that if I were you, I’d be REALLY angry too, and so so sad, and that feeling strong for a while and then breaking down and crying again later seems to me like a totally normal, healthy response.


Joy, Lynda, and Darlene,

Thank you for your understanding and support regarding my comment from yesterday. I believe that all of you are right. EFB *is* a place where I have found acceptance and love, though I’m afraid to think of this support as love, like maybe I see it as more than what it really is (does that make sense?) And I also agree that the key to healing is self-love, love from within.

My problem yesterday was that I was completely overwhelmed. I’ve shared about my mom and I’ve shared about the lady from church who is still harassing me by email, by the way. But on top of those things, my boss has really been harassing me as well. It’s the same system we’ve been talking about. He is constantly fault-finding and is never, ever satisfied. I was so bombarded by everyone else’s view of me that I lost sight of my own. My self-esteem was in the toilet yesterday. All I could see was my struggle with my mother (my egg donor – Karen, I liked that title), all of the fault-finding that the church lady implied just because I made a choice she didn’t like, and the negative attitude and comments from my boss. I felt like a colossal failure and like there was no hope for someone to really appreciate me, let alone love me.

I see things differently today. After much journal writing and prayer I realized that these negative outlooks and comments were their problem and not mine. I realized that my boss finds fault in me constantly because he’s a narcissist and sees me how he wants to see me and not for who I really am. He projects what he hates about himself onto me. I realized that the church lady is a controlling freak and I refuse to be her source of narcissistic supply. And my mom… I know exactly who and what she is, but I won’t say it in front of polite company.

I think this is the reason I felt so unloved. I lost sight of all the good things in myself and only saw faults.

Whew… I think I vented everything. I hope this makes some sense.

*Hugs everyone*

BTW- Joy that poem about your T was the best one yet.


thanks for sharing your thoughts, your anger and your poem! Anger is part of healing.
Keep working this out by sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen,
Thank you for your encouragement to Joy and for finding that blog post by Susan and referring it for Joy ~ I was going to do that this morning! You saved me the task! Great to have you here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robin,
Makes sense to me! you sound great! Thanks for the update!
Hugs, Darlene


Karen: Thank you . .I so appreciate you breaking thing down for me and making it so digestable. I need to work on moving on now .. Letting go of what happened.. I know I wasn’t the reason it happened.. I am did my best to do what my therapist wanted. I feel in my heart she must have some things going on . and was unable to voice the so what I got was her frustrations . Perhaps if she would have simply cancelled our appointment for that day and let things cool down in her mind from whatever is happening . I would still be her client.. THere must be someting happening in her life .She was not always so curt.

Thank you for every thing..



Thanks for your compliment. it as probably the most tear filled poem I have written so far.





My anger is cooling and am really starting to feel sorry .. after all we were doing so well.. I wrote poems of how happy I was and how much she was helping me. .I was angry hurt.. was feeling abandoned. .like a little nobody. but maybe she is feeling like that too.. maybe someone said something mean to her before she came to my session .. i don’t know . I wish i could undo that day .. make it disappear like it didnt happen.

My eyes are darkened from tears.. my heart is broken from grief. but I am trying to get back up from allthis.




As a professional coach who helps people to live a new life story and move out of victim mentality and survivor mode, I encourage you to read your last two comments and be aware of where you are going with your thoughts.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

Guess I am not going the right way .. am going to make me to blame.? Am trying to make excuses for the wrong done to me..?



I would say that you are trying to make excuses for her. This is no different from what battered wives do; their husbands come home from work and beat the hell out of them and they say.. “Oh poor dear, he must have had a bad day, he must have gotten in trouble with his boss or one of his co workers got mad at him…” SO WHAT?
They (the victim, wife, or child) wish they had not said the offending or trigger phrase. The phrase they “think”caused him to fly into the rage and hit them. (taking the blame for the results)
We do this with our abusive parents too. We make excuses for people who treat us like nothing and in the end we are agreeing with them that we are in fact nothing. But you are not nothing. You are worthy and the LIE is that you are not worthy. The lie here is that what she did may be justified when there is no way that it can be.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene: Guess am going backwards and making little of how i really feel . I am doubting my right to feel hurt since i am measuring her intelligence to mine. .and was feeling that maybe I am not right for being so broken ..but this then is saying that its ok to do such things to me.. and I shouldnt say its alright. so am all mixed up . .Perhaps in my mind saying she was having a bad day makes it easier to move on but really is not putting the responsablity for the wrong in the right place..

You are right.. am making excuses.. i have been doing this all my life am a professional covering over all the bad things done to me. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME T????




I just saw email come in as I entered. hope i answered right but I have shed tears now 3 days. i have one many tapes going on in my head..I have not been able to concentrate..this is me . broken me who she said needed to learn things I never learned as a child so how would me who am still a child in handling thigs know how to handle what she did? I am lost.




One of the first things that I learned on my journey to wholeness and in my “growing up” was to stop blaming myself or finding a justification for every single person who ever hurt me. My common phrase was “in all fairness to my mother… she was a single parent… or in all fairness to my boyfriend I did slam the door right before he grabbed my and slammed me into the wall. AS if what I did or what the circumstances were justified the actions of someone esle.

You may not know how to handle what she did Joy, but that is what you are leaning now. Don’t excuse bad behaviour. AND it is okay to be devastated. BOTH at the same time.. All feelings at the same time are fine. This is the process.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene: thanks for pointing this out. I must try harder.. you are right i need to stop looking for excuses for those who hurt me.. I will try harder…It’s not my fault for what happened and she knew how much what she did would hurt me . she was well aware. more than any other person what would traumatize me. which causes the deepest scar in my heart.. knowing she knew it would hurt me and did it anyway.

Thanks for getting me turned around .. I am experience a whole array of emotions right now



I had an unsettling experience today, although it was subtle and it’s interesting to me that I caught it at all. I was doing some volunteer work for a local political campaign and I went to have lunch with one of the other workers. She has treated me well in the office and I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable. We chatted about mutual interests and future goals, and I said that it was one of my goals to find ways to help folks recover from trauma. She sort of drew back then and muttered something about how maybe some things had happened in her life, but she just tried to put them behind her and move on. Then she said that she practiced something called ho’oponopono in which every person is supposed to acknowledge that they are 100% responsible for everything that happens to them (!) and that even people who have been hurt should recite that they are sorry and ask for forgiveness and say “I love you,” and that this is the thing to do even when faced with violence. Apparently, you are supposed to recite this over and over in a ritualistic way no matter what is happening in your life and this is supposed to transform everyone around you into kind loving people. Well, I just said that it didn’t really resonate with me and that I was happy with the results I was getting from my therapy, and she sort of frowned at me. I had a thought flash through my mind that this seemingly nice woman could be dangerous. That word actually popped in my brain: danger! It seems to me that she is in denial and uses a sort of new age system to keep her pain at a distance, and this nice “front” she had would dissolve if I had challenged her beliefs much further. I feel now that while I have to work with her in the office, I no longer trust getting close to her. Does this make sense? Thanks, Sophia


I was also sensing that she was telling me that I was “spiritually incorrect” for even acknowledging the existence of trauma. In the system she describes we are apparently supposed to apologize to the universe for having created a reality wherein someone could hurt us! If we just keep repeating their mantra of apology, love, and forgiveness, then every thing will be great. I find this really frightening! I am actually proud of myself for seeing the problems in this belief system and not allowing myself to be talked out of my point of view.


oh yes, am writing a letter to the abuser when i was 19 and i no longer care if it will be acknowledged, i just want to do it… now or never,or else i will be doing it in my “deathbed”..just to finish my process of healing…i will do it no matter if i will be told that they are sorry or not for the damages done to me…G


Hi Sophia,
This makes perfect sense to me! That kind of thinking is what got me stuck and sicker for so many years. That kind of thinking cemented my self blame issues and prevented me from living the life of freedom and wholeness that I have today. I tried all that crap for so many years the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I read your comments. I am proud of you too for seeing the problems in this belief system.
Thank you for sharing! Listen to your intuition on this one!
Hugs Darlene


YAY G !!
You go girl! Love your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh, and Lynda, I’m really grateful for your example of how emotional trauma is like physical harm, and needs TIME and proper attention to heal. If you were stabbed no one would expect you to forego proper medical treatment, we know that can be dangerous. So why are we expected to just be able to “get over it” when we are emotionally traumatized? Thank you, I know I will be using your words when talking to others about this. Hugs, Sophia



You said ” so why are we expected to just be able to ‘get over it” when we are emotionally traumatized” I have someone on f/b telling me that I need to move on get over it. on my most recent trauma . . making excuses for how my T dropped me which caused me to second guess my own feelings.

I think i have more traumatized by my ‘healer’ in one night than many others how have hurt me over time 🙁



Darlene, after I posted here I went and did some research on ho’oponopono, and that in itself was an education. Basically it started as a traditional Hawaiian practice to help restore family harmony, but that bears very little resemblance to this creepy new age pap that is being sold now under the same name. It is another form of cultural theft to enrich the oppressors. That is a story for a whole new chapter: the way a dominating culture uses abuse and trauma and theft of all value and resources against another culture……



i must confess am afraid of the anger emotion.. but i know am angry because so much time and money and tears went into creating and establishing trust I was trusting my secrets to her.. i told her everything. now what? i dont matter my words did she even hear them . .did i ever matter ? 🙁

THank you Darlene for saying its ok to be angry . i am every thing right now angry, confused, lost, upset, sorry..



Here’s an addendum to my earlier poem called “Crumbs.”

Day and night I forage for crumbs you toss on marble floor. I find one scattered here and there. I discover one in a dusty corner, another in a deep crack, one by the toilet. I don’t care if they are stale, mildewed, contaminated; I am famished. I sit at your feet begging for more crumbs as you gorge yourself feasting. I sit and beg, all the while, hoping, one day you’ll bake bread and hand me a loaf.

You never do.

You never will.

So I grab what few crumbs are left and walk out the door. I must learn to bake bread on my own. I must learn to feed myself. It isn’t easy, but I do.

Now I am the one feasting and I will never hunger again. My stomach is full. I bake bread every day and I will always share my loaves with others who cannot bake bread yet.

I will encourage them to leave crumbs behind and teach them how to bake. And during the process when they become discouraged, I will tell them one day they will learn.

They, too, will have full bellies.
They, too, will hunger no more.
They, too, will share their loaves with others who have yet to become bakers.

They, too, will survive the crumbs.


I have heard of that Hawaiian practice.
I agree with you that this “new thing” sounds like another way to enrich/protect the oppressors…
Thanks for posting more info.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen
Thanks for coming back and sharing again! This is excellent. “Now we have to learn how to bake” Very profound indeed.
This is what I am trying to do here! Sharing my loaves with others while teaching them to BAKE for themselves. I LOVE IT!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jeanie
I am so sorry! I missed your comment (#56) the other day when I was answering comments! Welcome to EFB
I totally understand what you are saying. Even though I felt sorry for some of the people who were being abused, I had to set that feeling sorry for them aside if they were also abusing me (ignoring and neglecting is still abuse) and start taking care of me and letting my feelings come out too. It took me a while to really feel that I deserved anything good but it happens. Keep going forward,
Hugs, Darlene



I love what you have written.. very beautiful!! Learn to bake for one self instead of scavenging for crumbs.. even the tiniest crumb and now you don’t have to scavenge any more..

Very beautiful



I believed the same until I converted to Catholicism. This is how it was explained to me by this story: An elderly lady sat in her front room crocheting when a rock crashed through her window. She went over to look and see who it was and realized some kids had been playing stick ball in the street with a rock and stick… She could see one child slowly making his way up her sidewalk. Then there was the quietest knock on the door as if the child had not really wanted her to hear it. She opened the door and said, I wondered if you were going to make it up here. He said, Mam, I’m sorry for breaking your window. It was an accident. Will you forgive me? She said “Oh yes of course I will.” The boy whirled around and started running down the sidewalk yelling thank you over his shoulder. She yelled “Hey wait sonny our buisness here is not over yet. He turned looking at her with a shocked face and said but I thought you forgave me? She said “I did but there is still the matter of the broken window and how you are planning to fix it.”

A true apology comes with reparations. If you are truly sorry then the change of attitude will be reflected in the actions that make it right. Without actions, it’s just words and words without actions are called “lies”.


Hi Naomi
Great Story! Thanks for sharing it here!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for sharing! You have worked through so much! I would not have had what it takes to restore the marriage. Gd gave you a lot of grace and you are now in a great place! I have not had that experience with my husband at all. But I have with other people. One expression that abusive people use and also those in denial who don’t want to address the issue is they say “let it go” When I hear that expression I know there is a world of toxins behind it like a poisonous snake bite!

I also wanted to tell anyone who was aware that I was sued for 20 million dollars on false charges by abusers whose attorneys are worse then them. They slandered me in the international news and harassed and threatened me for 9 years.The judge was bribed and if I went into the whole story it would sound like science fiction. It may never be fully over but it is 95% over and the good news is the judge after 9 years went into hiding due to another unjust case where she is in fear of being caught. Though they can bribe another judge it is still good news. The bad news is the administrative judge who was good suddenly retired out of the blue. She had ordered them to drop the case against me and they refused. She is gone now.


My mother came to visit this week. She flew half a country away to spend time with my family. She got here on Saturday. She wanted us to go out to eat, so we did. She wanted to go shopping yesterday, so we did. Since last night she has been literally walking around my house saying how much she wants to drive to the next province over (6 1/2 hours away) to visit my Great Uncles. She asked how I felt about her going. I said “it’s your vacation, do what you want.” For the past 24 hours I have NOT heard her shut up about going and not knowing if she should, CLEARLY waiting for me to either get mad at her annoying behavior and give her a reason or to tell her to go and it starts all over again! I can’t take much more and I even went as far as saying I’ll take my youngest child and drive her there and back within two days if she wants to go that bad. Once she accepted this she then starts asking if I want to go to the mall and go shopping. I don’t have money to do that this week and said I have no reason, go if you like. I have 3 children taking naps and I’m NOT waking them up to go out for lunch at McDonalds! NON-STOP! Then I finally lost it and yelled “GET THE “F” OUT AND GO SHOPPING!” She tried to hug me and ask me to go again stating she just thought I wanted to go. I guess saying no 500000000000000000000000000 times didn’t clue her in. I gave up and sat down to watch cartoons. She left upset at me. 10 minutes later the phone calls start. ONE AFTER ANOTHER! “I’m sorry!” “Is there anything you need?” “I’m sorry.” “Do you want me to get something while I’m out?” “Are you sure you don’t need anything?”…..on and on and on. I’m seriously thinking of personally using my credit card to rent her a hotel room. I honestly don’t know how much more I can take without losing it. Being away from her for 6 months has taught me one thing…..she’s like one of those dogs on a leash. They never really understand WHY they’re on a leash, just that if they literally pull at it making a choking sound you eventually give. I’m ready to let the leash go and hope it gets stuck to a tire wheel!!!! OMFG! Rant done. Thanks for listening/reading/whatever!!!! ….I may be back LOL


I don’t even know WHAT to think. My brother, who I left a few weeks ago, doesn’t really give two shits that I did. But, while I was with him, he never stopped saying “Family’s important. You have to see family b/c they’re family.” And, “I care about you b/c you’re family.”
Well what’s up with him now? Either all that crap he said was ALWAYS crap, and he’s the biggest liar I’ve ever met, or I don’t understand why his withdrawal means never seeing, talking or knowing me again.
Just b/c I got upset that he turns every freakin’ thing that happens to anyone, anywhere, to be about him. That’s why he flew into a rage when I mentioned that Eric, my daughter’s dad, died in the World Trade Center. There was no obvious way to turn that into being about David, so he told me, and I quote, “Nobody gives a shit that that happened to you.” And the words aren’t the worst part of it. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people I don’t care what they think, b/c they’re going to think what they want with or without my permission. But, blowing up like a volcano over every damn little thing, especially when he can find no way to make himself the most pitiful person in the room, doesn’t work for me.
I absolutely HATE when people blow up and their anger is 50,000 times magnified over what it SHOULD be. Everything isn’t melodrama, blowing up and feeling sorry for David, but that’s all he’s ever going to want from life.
The weirdest part of doing this is that I can’t figure out why I have all these strange feelings.
Like why do I feel completely isolated from the rest of the family? I didn’t leave THEM, I left Davis. They still let David trample them into the ground and go back for more.


I’ve been thinking about this saying sorry issue. If we do make mistakes and we are adult enough to realize that our mistakes hurt someone, then we have to accept that an apology alone is not tgoing to make it all better. I went through this a few months ago at work. I had done something, not meaning to cause harm, but it ended up causing some tension between a woman I work with and her supervisor, and she was rightly upset and concerned for her job. Even though I did apologize, relations between us were strained for a few weeks, and inside myself I recognized that this was a natural outcome because I had caused her to distrust me. I wouldn’t have dreamed of telling her to just get oover it. I had to humbly wait, and show that I would not repeat the offense, and gradually rebuild trust. A tough lesson, but it was the nature of reality.



Hi Pinky
I didn’t think that I would had what it would take either! But I did.
Thanks for the update about your court case etc. Wow… crazy world we live in!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jessica
YIKES! Breath woman! My heart goes out to you BIG TIME! I totally understand what you are going through. Please share as often as you need to.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Vicki
I am so sorry that you are going through all this stuff right now. It is normal for all these feelings to come up; possibly you are coming out of the fog.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sophia
Yes, this is very true Sophia, as a mature adult, we know that it takes time. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. I have done things like this too. Thank you for adding this point.
One of the problems that many of us have is taking the point you just made and using that as the excuse to excuse the behaviour of someone who is NOT sorry at all and not willing to believe they did anything wrong in the first place. These are two separate points. Again, thank you for adding this point!
Hugs, Darlene


Joy – I’ve been browsing around the web (following some of the amazing links on Pam’s blog), and I found this article and immediately thought of you. Maybe you will find this helpful.



THank you so much for reaching out to me. It means so very much to me. I did see a few posts by our dear Pam and love her writing.I am heaing over there right now to see the link; thank you so so much..




Sorry, it was actually Fi’s blog…


Its ok. I love Fi’s writings too .. all are good writers here am sure.



[…] healing would not have happened more rapidly if my parents sincerely apologized to me for the damage that they contributed to in my childhood.  It might have helped a bit but it would not be where the […]


My mother says I don’t remember, I never did that!


Hi Joan
My mother says stuff like that too… She also reminded me for years that I did not remember things correctly and would use examples from her own siblings to “prove it” ~ that they remembered things differently. She was always trying to make me doubt myself.
Hugs, Darlene


Joy, I’m so sorry what happened between you and your therapist. In the past I have had not very fruitful meetings with therapists, and I would search myself and blame myself, because surely there was nothing wrong with them. After all they were the therapists, they had the phd’s and so on. Now I have a much different approach – if I feel weakened or diminished from the encounter, if I don’t feel strengthened, I conclude the therapist has done a bad job. I’m the customer, paying for a service. And my feelings know if I’m getting what I pay for or not. So what you feel, is all that matters. You’re the customer. She didn’t pay you to care about her feelings, right? She can get her own money and pay for her own therapist for that, or she has her family and friends. At no point, what so ever, should you feel responsible for her feelings or have to try to understand her. This is not an equal give and take relationship when it comes to feelings. You give her money, she is supposed to be there for you and aid in your healing. Just as when you receive bad service at a restaurant, you don’t expect to have to care about wether the chef has had a bad day. I hope this helps you and empowers you in your future dealings with therapists. Good therapists will agree with this and clearly tell you not to worry about their feelings. They will also encourage you to test them out the first couple of sessions and see if you can trust this to be true. All the best to you, and trust your feelings. There are bad therapists out there, just as there are bad car mechanics, but there are ways to find out the difference.


Oh I will also add, not only was I thinking “she/he is the therapist”, (and that was something superhuman to me at that time, i really did think they must be close to perfect beings.) I was also thinking “I’m the sick /flawed one”, so surely if something went wrong I had at least a part in it….But this is how I was raised. I was raised to see at least a little bit of fault in myself for everything, by my family. Because that way they weren’t solely responsible of course. So people could treat me badly all over the place, without me having access to my anger. I don’t think that way anymore, although I do have to battle old thinking patterns sometimes. Now I think, if I pay for food at a restaurant, I don’t care about how the chef’s wife is doing. It’s not my responsibility. I should be served food that doesn’t make me sick at the very least. I have a right to be angry if I don’t get the value that I paid for. If I pay to have my car fixed, I have a right to be angry if they return the car without having fixed it, or if they’ve even broken it some more. Thatmay seem obvious to (healthy) people but I actually did not allow myself to get angry over basically anything! Anger was not allowed. Not anymore though.


LOVE the points you made esp in your second comment. I was raised to believe that I was the flawed one and my whole life was directed by that belief ~ that is why I talk about the belief system more than anything else in this site. Understnading mine is what enabled me to change it back to the truth and set me free.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,my mother never apologized for any of the horrible things she did to me. She would say things like if I had to do it all over again I would not have had you,I would have married the man I dated before your father he was rich and died from cancer so I would have had his money and would have been free to do what I wanted.I had a nervous way of moving my leg when I sat down, my one leg would cross over the other and I would swing it up and down fairly fast but I only did this when I was at home, my mother would always yell at me and say “what are you digging my grave,then I would hurry up and stop what I was doing and more than once I would just go to my room.She was sorry she had me that was her apology to me. When I moved out I still thought it was my duty to keep in contact with her even though she made my visits with her unbearable. Then the day came when I stopped calling her and I stopped going to her house it didn’t faze her at first but she did finally call me and said I’m sorry if I ever offended you it was such a generic apology because she didn’t even remember what it was she did, she never told me it was because I abused you and treated you like shit your whole life, I let your brothers molest you and rape you when you were little and that your older brother got caught by your father and was sent away to the army and that I blamed you for his being sent away because I molested and raped you myself along with your brothers. Then I threatened you to secrecy that if you ever told a single person I would kill you. I could never figure out why I hated her so much while I was growing up, why I was deathly afraid of her and my brothers. Until the day I remembered what finally happened to me, till it all made sense why I didn’t speak,only enough to get by. No teacher back then ever ask me what was wrong with me until 8th grade my math teacher who was a nun told my mother I was failing math,she told my mother that she could see I had problems, psychological problems. My mother ignored her she said the nun was crazy. That same year another teacher asked my mother if I was an only child because I rarely spoke in class. So the apology of I am sorry if I offended you in any way cut me to the bone. I can not begin to tell you of the life that was taken away from me at the hands of my mother.It’s my turn to say that I am sorry to that little girl that everyone abused and that everyone abandoned. Hugs Jane (Believe it or not I am not crying as I type these words.)


Wow Jane
What a horrific childhood you had. What happened to you was brutal and there are no words to even express how much I felt reading the comments you wrote and how much I relate to the pathetic excuse for an apology and how much it cut you. Thank you for sharing this here. I smiled a victory smile for you and with you when I read the part of how you are sorry to that little girl everyone abused and abandoned. YES!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone, I have struggled for years trying to live with anger from my childhood, which was very abusive. I have always blamed my mom because she said she was not strong enough to get herself out of the abusive marriage much less us..I went on to date abusive men and the ones who were not abusive did not interest me. I finally found a man that treated me like a princess and loved me, we married in 2002. The night we came home from our honeymoon was the first time I had ever seen him get angry, he called me a a B****h and threw a suitcase at me almost knocking me down a flight of stairs. I was not sure what to do or why he was acting like this, later his family started talking of his bad temper. The marriage just kept get worse, he was controlling, manipulative, selfish and cruel. We had two beautiful babies but by December of 2009 I was done. We divorced in March 2010 and he still was abusive to me and my kids…June 2011 my daughter, who was 6 at the time, told me daddy was molesting her. I have never felt such betrayal and anger in my life..I turned him in to the police and he confessed. The day the warrant was issued they found him hanging in his garage..complete selfish to the end. We are all in counseling, and in church..God is the only one who got me through this ordeal.


Hi everyone,

Darlene, thanks for posting this. I am just now realizing, over the last couple of years, the part that my mother played in my abuse. When I have talked to therapists about my mother, they’ve expressed that they were surprised that I had any relationship with her at all. One tried to get me to make our relationship ‘right’ because I said I sometimes wished I had the kind of relationship with my mother that was normal. I think first, I needed to accept that it was not normal. My mother and I both attended Al-Anon meetings over the last few years (not together) and at one point my mother tried to make amends with me. I chalked it up to the fact that I was going through the same program and I felt like she was doing it for herself and not because she was really sorry for what she had done. She asked what she could do to make it right – REALLY? I’m supposed to have an answer for that?! I chose to distance myself from her at that moment. I ‘detatched’ myself from her.

A couple of years ago, my father was on his deathbed in my mother’s opinion, my brother and I were spending a lot of time with him. That was what she thought – in reality, we maybe saw him once a week for an hour or so, unless he was in the hospital which towards the end was pretty frequent. My mother called a family meeting which is just me and my brother since my parents have been divorced since I was four and my oldest brother passed away 17 years ago at the time. She had me and my brother convinced that she was going to tell us that she was dying of cancer. She started the conversation that a few months prior she had been to the doctor because she wasn’t feeling well and he ran a bunch of tests. When the test results came back, he (the doctor) said she should talk to her kids. Funny, in order to keep her from dragging it out, my brother blurted out “Well, what IS IT?!” That’s when she told us it was heartburn. She told us she was upset that we were spending so much time with our dad and not her. She chose this time to tell us that our dad used to beat his mother. She asked us for forgiveness for being such a terrible mother. My brother fell for it and went to her side. I stayed back and told her that while I couldn’t speak for my brother, I felt like we were doing the best we could with what we got dealt. Two weeks later my dad died.

She still tries to give us the guilt trip for detaching from her. I haven’t exactly been straightforward to her about the act of detaching but I don’t feel guilty about it. I do, however, have a hard time with the fact that I haven’t been able to accept her apologies/amends. I just feel like they are for her well-being, not for mine – just as it always has been. I shared on another post about when I told her that her BF was abusing me, she told me that I should never come out of my room without being fully clothed and then proceeded to let him live with us for another year or so after. I just can’t get over that broken trust.


Hi Melanie
I am so glad to hear that you got out! I am so sorry for you and your kids but so happy to hear that you are taking care of them now. I think that it is huge when a parent validates a child by doing something about the abuse (turning him in) and then getting them help when they have been abused. It is rare that a parent will take action!
Glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


I hope you understand how much your words mean to me, right now. My Mother will never say she is sorry.

“I’m sorry you feel that way”

“You were always a difficult child”

“She’s very hard to live with ” (what She told my astonished husband)

“You have a very vivid imagination”

“That never happened ”

” I never said that ”

“I always knew something was wrong with you”

These quotes are emotional imprints. It is truly sad , because i used to believe them. Till one day I woke up from her abnormal behavior. I saw the damage in my own daughter.

I want to know how to purge her brainwashing from my mind. Please help me.

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