Self Acknowledgment ~ IS IT A SIN?


self aknowledgement

In honour of the Canadian Thanksgiving today I am writing about the importance of self acknowledgement and specifically my ability to be grateful (in public) for my wins and my accomplishments.

I sometimes get email either asking me “why” I brag about accomplishments or reprimanding me about posting my achievements on my face book pages. One lady was really upset with me and wanted to know what my achievements had to do with any of it?  My “bragging” was on my personal facebook profile page, and I when I asked her why this upset her she really couldn’t answer other than to say “it is just wrong”. Recently I got another such note, this time the woman expressed admiration for my work and my message, but then said that when I “tooted my own horn” that way it took away from the power in my message.

I find this a bit shocking and even disappointing that survivors of depression and abuse would be offended by my celebrating my accomplishments.  In order to give some context to what some people find offensive I will list a few of my facebook posts that trigger these negative responses;

~I have posted my Alexa ranking (In 10 months time Emerging from Broken achieved the website rank of #344,000 worldwide. I posted this believing that I was celebrating what I considered to be a big win).

~I have posted a celebratory post about getting 1000 comments on the blog in eleven weeks.

~I have posted the growth in numbers of the facebook page for Emerging from Broken.

~I have posted links to the OTI Members Daily ~ a twitter newsletter put out by online therapy expert DeeAnna Merz Nagel from the Online Therapy Institute, when my blog gets included in the twitter paper.

~I have posted the number of comments on certain posts. The most comments ever was 77 for the post Sexual Abuse ~ Devalued, Discounted and Unprotected

~I posted that I was being interviewed by Scotland Counsellor John Wilson from Online events about my amazing journey and my blog. 

Most of these things are about my accomplishments! Some of them are just a way to get more people to read the posts or visit the fan page because I believe in my message and want other people to find out about it. My blog is about how I went from totally hopeless to living an awesome amazing and excitingly full life. I think that is worthy of promoting!

I spent most of my life in the darkness of depression. I struggled with low self esteem and had a poor self image until I took my life back about 6 years ago. In my old life, no one acknowledged me for anything, in fact I was often put down for my accomplishments, accused of cheating, accused of “sleeping with the boss”, someone else got the credit for my work and the list goes on.  I had huge issues with pursuing a goal because of the fear of those things happening again.

 I was talking to my young teenage daughter about this post and about the concept of not bragging or tooting your own horn; this is what she had to say “Pride is a sin. You can’t be proud of your own work because this is God’s work now ~ you did it for God so it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It isn’t “your pride” anymore. Don’t boast, don’t be proud. That is what I was taught in the Christian school” I think that is very sad that she was taught that, and I try very hard to erase that negative teaching from her belief system.

I learned all kinds of stuff about humility and all that jazz, but before I learned that, I learned to put myself down and keep myself down. I learned to squish myself before someone else did. I learned that it was safer to be quiet then to be in the spotlight. And all this had to be unlearned in order for me to embrace my new life in wholeness so that I could go forward.  

I was a broken woman who had given up hope, and now I have a mental health blog about emotional healing that gets hundreds of views per day.  

I was interviewed by a therapist last week. Therapists used to treat me like I was a fragile, breakable, shadow of a woman and they spoke to me with such care in case I fell apart. Today they are my colleagues. That is something to celebrate. And who is going to celebrate that for me? (click to see the YouTube clip of my interview with John Wilson.)

I doesn’t mean as much when someone else gives me credit. When I was in counselling therapy, my therapist would acknowledge me, and I couldn’t accept it. I learned to recognize my automatic reactions to his statements. Sometimes I just dismissed acknowledgement. Sometimes it made me uncomfortable and I didn’t know where to look, sometimes I thought that he was saying nice things because I was paying him to. I didn’t really always believe that he liked me and I felt like I had to PAY someone to listen to me or to talk to me. I felt like I had to pay someone to really hear me. That came from way deep down in my fragile self esteem and I don’t feel that way anymore.   

While I am on this subject, I also need to apologize to Hillary at “Quivering Daughters” because she bestowed upon me a beautiful blog award, (see it in the picture!) and I neglected to talk about it!  (MY BAD)  Hillary has a great website about Spiritual Abuse, and if spiritual abuse is an issue for you, I hope you visit her site.

I’ve come a long way baby and I am proud of myself. I don’t think that I am “tooting my own horn” because that statement has all sorts of negative baggage attached to it. I think of it as self care; I think of it as good mental health recovery stuff, positive reinforcement, and high fiving with the world!

AND WHY NOT? Whooooooooo hoooooooooooooo life is a ride and I am in the front car! There is room for everyone! Who’s in??

Love and Laughter ~ Always

Darlene Ouimet

P.S. all the titles are live linked to the places and people that I have mentioned, just click on them to visit.

Categories : Self Esteem



Wooooo Hoooo is exactly true. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. “Darlene Super Saver–quicker with encouragement than an evil tounge, stopping abuse trains from running over people, climbing to the top of the tallest buildings and shouting there is hope and recovery for all”
I am glad you are “living” and keep up the great work–shout to the world!!!


being able to reflect on one’s own achievements is one of the hardest things to do, mainly because you have to be honest with yourself as to where you really are in your healing. that honest comes at a cost, time effort and tears to overcome the obstacles others have placed into our path. we have to heal ourself, no one can do it for us, so why not tell when you have overcome something. the more people learn that sometimes there has to be a practical map of how to recover not just an explanation, and those who objected should look at their own persecptions as to how we evaluate our progress if it isnt telling someone else about it.
you keep telling me your achievements please cos i love to hear of good news
from the person who posted your was it 1 or 2,000th comment a few weeks ago
bless you for your time darlene


Jimmy B., you had me laughing and cheering along with you. Darlene and Jimmy, you are both blessed to have each other.

Darlene, you should be proud of all that you are accomplishing. Those negative bodies who think you are sinning are jealous. That is why your words push their buttons. They wish they had the courage that you do. They wish they had the strength that you do. They wish they could be as honest as you are. It is true that misery loves company.

What you write helps people. Keep on writing girl. Keep on acknowledging your triumps. It gives other abuse survivors hope. You are worth being acknowledged. If we don’t value ourselves, who is going to. Seeing how far you have come is important. Letting others see how far you have come is healing for you and for them.


You GO girl! Self-promotion is not always selfish; sometimes it is selfless ~ and helpful.



LOL Jim… thanks! I have a visual of being in a wonderwoman costume… with my arm straight out in front of me saying “HALT ~ You are not welcome here” to the abuse train… and then flying up to the tallest buildings! (you know ~ sharing this might totally wreck my credibility! LOL)

Hi Carol! ~ (Yes you posted the 2000th comment on this blog about 2 weeks ago!) Thank you for your agreement and encouragement Carol and thank you for being here and sharing your journey with us!

Hi Patricia ~ Thank you for your input. Yes.. I feel somewhat sorry for the ones who reprimand me… I know how much that they are hurting. I will keep on writing and I will keep on celebrating with all of you and on Facebook too. My Alexa rank went up again today!

Hi DeeAnna ~ Thanks for your encouragement too!

Hugs, Darlene


I’ve never been offended by anything you have posted. I celebrate all your achievements with you, you’ve earned it! There is nothing wrong with being proud of oneself, and if others are threatened by it, they are the ones with the problem. Keep posting, I am so happy for you!


I think its awesome that you have so many accomplishments to celebrate! It shows how much you are helping people, and if THAT is selfish or a sin, then I want to be first in line!!!! Im happy that you are able to see your accomplishments and be proud of yourself, because you are right, YOU being proud of what YOU did, matters more than a thousand awards from other people. I have the hardest time with accepting compliments and accolades, deserved or not. I assume they are all lies. My therapist and my husband tell me things and I just flat out dont believe them….and it makes me sad. I know that I will get there someday though.

Its a road and this is a journey and you have come a long way and have a lot to be proud of, dont let anyone tell you any different 🙂


This is a very interesting post. I personally have had problems with acknowledging my accomplishments or others acknowledging them simply because I was afraid to. I was afraid of being prideful, I was afraid of being seen as a know it all, I was afraid that if I acknowledge the good things that people would expect way to much of me, I was afraid that to acknowledge myself then what good there was would disappear. These fears often lead me into a panic attack and then I would sabotage my own self. I know that sounds really horrible but its the truth. You are right we learn first how to put ourselves down and belittle ourselves.

Good post (((HUGS)))


Am sad that you were placed in a position of feeling like you had to defend your accomplishments. What’s that saying about never able to please 100% of the people 100% of the time? If an individual is being triggered, that is their responsibility to explore why they feel that way with their therapist…not to blame you for triggering them. At least that’s my take on it.

As for me, I aspire to have the readership you do. So thanks for dangling those carrots ;-O


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

I am sharing the above quote that showed up on my FB wall today and how appropriate!!!! Darlene, one reason some people become uncomfortable with your enthusiasm for your accomplishments because they are afraid to try to go there themselves. If they ‘demonize’ this particular attribute, they don’t have to strive toward that attribute themselves, it lets them off the hook.

Another reason is, as you have already mentioned, people are taught that humility means self abasement. But this is not the truth!!!! Humility is the virtue of not taking credit for things that you have no right to. As in, setting yourself up as the God of the universe or something!!! But acknowledging your hard earned accomplishments, acknowledging the gifts that have been invested in you and your joy in finding them and using them is not self agrandizing, it is speaking the truth about the joy of being you as you are meant to be.

I say, dear friend, ROCK ON!!!! I AM GOING TO BE JUST LIKE YOU WHEN I GROW UP!!! haha And to clarify, what I mean is that I am going to be my true self, using what God has given me, and living in the joy of that understanding, JUST LIKE YOU!!!

My sunglasses are on, baby… 😛

Love and Hugs!


Hi Nikki,
I can relate to everything you wrote. This is exactly how I used to feel to. It doesn’t sound horrible to me, it sounds like the truth and it was a tough process to get over. Remember how I shared once that a few years ago I had a blog with the same intention of doing what I am doing now? Well I was afraid someone would read it. I was already doing public speaking so it wasn’t that i was afraid of speaking the truth, I was afraid I would be rejected, I was afraid of being prideful too, I was afraid of being seen as stupid or wrong and I didn’t even share the link on my facebook wall. EVER! I never once posted a link to that blog. AND all of that stemmed from my belief system too.
Thanks for your honesty here Nikki!
Love Darlene

Thank you for sharing the Marianne Williamson Quote. It is one of my all time favorite quotes, and yes, so fitting for this post! I like your explanation of humility. That is how I feel too, and I do believe that sharing our wins with the world, is inspiring to the world !!
Sunglasses on Carla! I am right there with you, I know you are more then well on your way to becoming YOUR TRUE SELF.. Thank you so much for this inspirational HIGH FIVE !!
Love Darlene!

Maggie, Amira, and Lisa Marie!!
Thank you all for your support and for being here and chiming in too! It is great to have this kind of support and these kinds of friends, I had so much “nothing” for so long,
Hugs, Darlene


A HUGE CONGRATS for all your accomplishments so far Darlene, and the many more to come!

Your presence is always thought provoking and inspiring to me!

John Wilson


Bloody Oath!!! Stuff this being humble thing. 🙂

I am proud of what I have done: what We have done and what We continue to do.

I haven’t any certificate/s for doing so and that doesn’t concern me one little bit: Not one iota.

I have the Knowing and that is what matters most to me; The knowledge that my speaking up and in the doing so I saved the life of my little daughter and started the healing for the little girl I had been, ‘Invisible’; who had No Voice at aLL.


Darlene, I just read your post for today. I personally think it is amazing at how far you’ve come and how much you want to be there for other broken people!! You are a tremendous encouragement to all of those who think, or who thought, that there was no hope for them – myself included. I think you are offering knowledge and insight that so many broken souls search and long for! Anything you share is INSPIRING and often healing, or at least aids other in their healing!

With that said, I had to make a point about the pride being a sin – it is. Its why Satan sinned and was cast out of heaven. And although we are not to be boastful or be prideful, I think it has to be taken in the context it’s supposed to be. There is a pride that can lead to sin and that pride is the kind that exalts yourself in a god-like manner. This ‘pride’ you show is not that (from what I see.) But the things we are to boast about are the things that God does in our lives. If it be God who has led us out of our depressions, and abuses, who aids us in our recoveries and victories … then there is no problem for it to be boasted about. With that said, I have never, not once, ever thought you were prideful or boastful in anything you’ve shared. I see everything as accomplishment! Anything you’ve posted is shared to help others in their healing.

I’m so sorry you’ve received such negative feedback … but I hope you know that most of us are grateful for EMERGING FROM BROKEN! I know I sure am!!

love, Paulette

Everything you share is an example to me that recovery is possible, that having the healthy life and relationships we long for are possible, you are an example that we can rise above the crap we endured when we were young and come out shining! That pride thing – whether its a sin or not – depends entirely on where your heart is. I have always got the impression from you a great heart, whose heart aches for other women and men who have been abused, used, and marked as worthless.

I know it my own life – God has done great things in it – and of those I boast. He is doing even more by bringing me to Emerging From Broken! A lot of things Christina posts on Overcoming Sexual Abuse is also enlightening and inspiring. So much is shared that brings more and more healing. I cannot see how this can be a bad thing.

I hope you know that without your posts and the things you’ve shared, I don’t know where I’d be right now. You have been a light, Darlene! You were that first listening ear that could relate to me and who understood what I meant about my narcissistic mother. God is good … and I hope that He keeps using you to reach hurt and broken souls who have been battered and beaten by all forms of abuse.

Not many speak out about it candidly – I sure wish more did!! Just finding a listening ear means so much!

So, from little ol’ me, THANK YOU!!


OOps … guess I should’ve edited better … oh well! It still says what I wanted to say!! 🙂


By the way, totally love Carla Logan’s post!! I’ll ditto that!! 🙂


Good for you, Darlene!

These ARE your accomplishments and you should be proud!

My therapist-current one- doesn’t want me to get emotional and one day I got angry in her office at all the crap I went thru in a situation-angry on my own behalf. She asked me if I needed to go to the local mental health center for three days to’stabilize’.SNORT.She said she is trying to help me ‘reframe’ my thoughts and feelinds so they have less emotional impact on me. It just doesn’t feel authentic. Self defeating thoughts, yes, I think I could use help there;reframing would be good…. but I NEED to stand up on my own behalf and be angry about the garbage because it was wrong.

I am still in the place where I value and want validation too. Its been a long lonely road, and I need a travel companion through this journey.

Thanks for this blog and for all who post here!


Here is a scripture of self esteem but there are many this is just one verse.
Psalm 139:13-14

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

The problem is there are a lot of Christian ideas and theologies but many of them are not base don scripture or the full scripture you know using one part of the bible and not comparing it to other scripture they use isolated verses to come up with their ideas and theologies and many of them are just cultural and not really biblical. I remember we wrote about a while back that so many Christians believe that God brings evil into your life to “use” you to help others and that isn’t really biblical but you hear it all the time. God can bring some good out of evil and the word promises he will work it all for good but he is never the author of evil. Getting of topic now but I am using this illustration to talk about the misuse of scripture.
The Bible does not teach us to be self-deprecators who are always cutting ourselves down and deny the abilities with which God has blessed us. We are called to be self-forgetters who forget ourselves and our own glory. We are freed from being concerned with self and rise above the petty way of life in which the world is involved. But when God blessed us with a gift or we come to a new season or have a new revelation or accomplishment then I think it is actually sin NOT to celebrate it!


Pinky ~ Well said! 🙂

Elizabeth – I feel for you. I think that when with a therapist, this is where we should feel safe to express our anger. How else do we get it out!! It has to be released. ‘Not getting emotional’ sounds an awful like stuffing to me. Healthy anger is not wrong. And I hope you find the validation you need here – I found it here too!! You are among friends and we understand! 😉


Darlene~ I’m just straight up proud of you. When you’re in the public eye is there a balance that pleases all? People are watching. People have feelings. People have ideas about how others should act. What I’ve learned is that until we try to do exactly what another is trying to do- build their site so that it can reach those that it can help- than we don’t really know what it takes to succeed to this level. You have to generate interest. How else are the people you can help supposed to find you?

Along the way, you have every right to celebrate. Achievement is joyous. Helping others is cause for celebration. Is celebration the same thing as bragging? It isn’t in my world.

I’ve never taken a single comment you’ve made as bragging. But then again, I also believe in celebrating the accomplishments of others. I’m very comfortable doing that I love to celebrate people. Especially amazing people like yourself. I am always finding inspiration for my own life in the success of others. I like living this way. Makes for good times. 🙂

I think it comes down to humility. Can you be humble and brag? No. But you can be humble and still celebrate. From here I see a woman who bares her soul, courageously. She does it by allowing us to see her true thoughts, even the ones that haven’t been so pretty. But, they are, and she is, real. How could a woman who does that be a person who is also vain? I don’t think so. You go girl! I’m with you.
Peace & Love~


I wish there was a ‘like’ button for other’s comments – I totally agree and ‘like’ what Kim Vasquez said!


I, too, agree with Kim.

I can’t wait for the day I’m able to celebrate my own achievements so openly and so proudly! I’ve taken a step towards it with my Saturday posts on my own blog, though!

Interestingly, I was discussing something similar with a friend this morning. She commented on something we’ve both noticed — I have a tendency to wait to find out what someone else thinks about something I’ve done before I decide whether I’m ‘proud’ of doing it or not! I’ve been working on it for a while, but it’s a lengthy process, *laughs*, but I know I’ll get there in the end.


Self-acknowledgement is a very detestable sin, and a very beneficial teaching, for those who are paid to teach it, who never acknowledge their own sins of controlling and manipulating others so that they can be acknowledged as the experts of thought and retain the postions of those who are highly regarded.


Sheryl – how true is that!! Your statement reminds me of this church … oops! … cult, we attended that my husband and I attended years ago … the ‘pastor’ was a self-proclaimed prophet whose prophecies NEVER came true which meant he was NO PROPHET at all! (Definitely other spirits at work in that place.) When my husband and I tried to talk to him about it, we were conveniently shunned and labeled ‘trouble-makers.’ Of course, we left!!! Running!! 🙂 But this is an example too of someone who is exalting himself so as to be ‘worshipped’ as no one was permitted to question the guy. Now there was a guy filled with the kind of pride that’s a sin. :o)


Paulette, He is actually guilty of the thing he aims at your character…


OMG!!! what is the matter with some people.

When you have lived a life of critisism it is inevitable that we internalise this and believe it. To break free from such restricted belief systems is AMAZING and then to be able to acknowledge and praise yourself is just wonderful!!

My therapist told me once that there is a difference between being self absorbed and self focussed and it is essntial at times for us all to be self focussed in order to understand and know who we are and also to be able to look after ourselves, this however is completley different to being self absorbed.

If we cant praise oursleves then who can praise us? do we look to others for praise, and if so then we are lending ourselves to often old parental patterns of ‘your only good if i tell you you are’ !! and for some of us we have a whole heap of years of being critisized and being self critical so bring on the self belief and self acceptance.

I believe it takes a whole lot of courage to have a balanced view of ourselves. xxx


Your therapist’s words sound like good use of discernment to me!!
Anyone who goes through a situation learns discernment for that situation. This is how we learn, unless we listen to voices that tell us to ignore what we experience and to not feel what we feel.


Katherine ~ I laughed at your “bloody oath.. stuff this being humble thing! LOL And the knowing is what saves all of us.. the knowing of the truth!

Paulette ~ I can’t answer all your comments, but thank you for each one of them! Thank you for being part of this blog, for all your support and encouragement and especially for your deep honesty and courage. You have come a long way too baby!

Elizabeth, until I was able to vent the truth, express it until I really understood and believed what really happened to me and (this is a big one) ACCEPTED IT ~ I was not able to move forward very much.
We all need validation. It is basic human nature, we need to love and be loved ~ and we learn the wrong definition of love ~ not our fault but it is our work to change it. I have seen huge growth in you this past month! I am proud to have you traveling alongside me and the rest of the readers on this blog!

Kim ~ Bravo and here here! I must say that I deeply understand the criticism of those others, and I am pulling for them. There are people right on this blog that encourage me and cheer me on now, but it the beginning they were skeptical and critical. I just keep doing my thing and trying to send out the truth as I have come to see it. Thank you so much for all that you say here, I am honored that you SEE me ~ you see my heart, and you reflect it back. That is a wonderful thing. !

Chrysalis ~ when I kept moving forward, and kept trying to just forage ahead, this day came! Knowing that you will get there in the end is a huge part of it for me! I knew I would get there, and I did. I just kept doing the work, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but persistently always. It is lengthy but woweee… the results are mind blowing.

LOVE what you said! That is a chunk of truth right there! (she said ~ Self-acknowledgement is a very detestable sin, and a very beneficial teaching, for those who are paid to teach it, who never acknowledge their own sins of controlling and manipulating others so that they can be acknowledged as the experts of thought and retain the positions of those who are highly regarded.”
Thanks for being here and for adding your thoughts!
Gosh I am sorry that I can’t answer every single comment the way that I want to. There is much more work to be done!

You said a mouthful here too ~ Thank you! I hope everyone reads your profound comment! I am going to quote you on the facebook page!
Love to EVERYONE, and thank you so much for your encouragement!


for Sheryl Matters … the stupidchurchpeople.com site seems like some sort of ‘christian hate/dislike site’ which I can say I don’t care for, but everyone has a right to express or believe what they want. In my life God’s Word has proven true, and the more I learn and study, and the more God’s Word proves true, the more it solidifies my faith, even after being in a cult for 2 years in my late twenties. I am a Christ-follower, always will be – have been since I was 26 (I’m in my 40’s now.) My intention is not to ruffle feathers, as everyone has a right to believe what they choose, but felt it necessary to say something.
There are many people and pastors who claim to be Christians and clearly ARE NOT. Sorry, just because someone goes to church doesn’t mean that they are in any way a Christ-follower. )

Darlene, I apologize for posting this here, but felt I should clarify where I am coming from in regards to my beliefs, to Sheryl, as I think I may have been misunderstood?? 🙂


Thanks Darlene … YOU ROCK!


Hi Everyone,
Paulette and Sheryl

I am not a fan of slashing any particular religion or denomination. I am a big fan of acceptance and the rights of others. I am a follower of Christ, but I doubt I will ever go to a “church” again. There has been MUCH damage done there. I do not like to generalize about people “as in Church people say stupid or dumb things or the church is stupid ” etc.. it is much too general. The same type of stigma is on mental health ~ none of us who struggled with that liked to be put into a certain box. In my view that is what this kind of judgment does.

I think that site Sheryl is referring to has some good points, they just seem to deliver the content in a sarcastic matter. The title of the site alone is enough to turn me off. For me, this type of teaching style doesn’t work. Some of us however, might need to review it that way in order to get help getting over it. Spiritual abuse is a very very big thing and touches many of our lives. One day I plan to start writing or talking about it and have some experts in mind to share with us about it.

I am not upset about Sheryl posting the link OR about Paulette posting her thoughts. I do not endorse the website, but others can decide if they want to visit or not. Having said that, if I believe that a link that is posted might be damaging to the readers, then I remove it and I do not endorse books or programs that I know nothing about. If someone post a book link here, that does not mean that I endorse the link.
Hugs, Darlene


Well said Darlene … better said by you than me! 🙂 I have had experience with spiritual abuse too (which I won’t go into until you address it) … so I understand what you mean. 🙂


Yes, the title of the website is unfortunate, however, I found the description of pastors to be helpful after many of my own experiences, helping make sense out of my life, a life spent in church, with wrong priorities that way, relationships triangulated to include the beloved pastor and his thoughts at all times, etc. The pastor’s children were praised while I (child and adult) was ignored/put down, (who would thrive under those conditions?)I have had a lifetime of it. It really helps me to understand why I don’t have to listen to what they say and why they are not superior to me or in charge of my life.

Sorry if the link offended anyone. I was trying to offer insight.


Woohoo, this is a great post, can’t find the words, to be honest, but thought I’d just say that.


That is exactly what I thought Sheryl,
I wasn’t offended at all, and I have run accross the stie before as well. (too bad for the title, but it is likely named for search engine optimization ~ we can write all we want but we have to get found somehow)

Many have been spiritually abused, my children had a terrible time in a christian school, and they kept silent about the spiritual and emotional abuse, (we all know why .. they were “trained to accept”; they were guilted and shamed, it is so unfortunate.) And as I say, however and wherever we find healing, goes towards the good. I have not read enough of this site to really have a valid opinion, but I am very glad that it is helping you! Thanks for coming back, and thanks for sharing what you have. I think that you have offered insight. =)
Hugs, Darlene


I’m right here reading along..you post or brag about what you want to.. you have earned it.. I find it all encouraging.. I have learned so very much from your writings.People that don’t wanna hear your success’s can choose not to read and I believe it’s their loss.I am proud to share in your journey 🙂


Darlene, some people are so bloody jelouse they can’t STAND to see anyone other than themselves happy. Instead of a pat on the back, they take their daggers & stab you in it. How dare anyone think they have the right to tell a survivor of all people, they don’t have a right to at last feel happy or proud of how far they have come. Girl, ones like that wouldn’t last FIVE minutes in our boots!! If we don’t give a wee bit of praise to our selves & to others once in a while, who will?? The abusers?? HELL NO!! Not in our lifetime. Considering all the horrors we’ve seen what nightmares we’ve been through, the tears, the fears, & all that other B.S. & garbage, I think we deserve a good word or two now and then. And girl, if ANYONE has a problem with that….TOO BLOODY BAD!!!


Keep on keeping on!
Good and wonderful things are being done! YOU are living your life to the fullest..and doing what you are supposed to do.. NO false pride in that.. just acknowledgement, and rejoicing! Why NOT celebrate? For crying out loud!
The numbers of women you have helped and are helping increases. I am one of those..THANK YOU!!


I had this picture pop into me head of a traveler, because we are all on this ‘journey’ together. And I saw a travel trunk that has all these stickers on it of places the person has traveled. It was very colorful and it made you want to stop and look and investigate the travels of this person. And that is what we all should be. We should be people who are colorful and who wear our travels right out there for everyone to see. And people will be uplifted by this, they will want to stop and take notice and share in those journies.

I see you as this, you are sharing your journies and you are allowing us to see each place marked with a colorful sticker as you go. We all need to rethink how we absorb things, we should all be cheerleaders for ourselves and those around us, and not afraid to show our travel stickers!!!


I love how enthusiastic you are about your own success and about everyone else’s too. Why should you be able to celebrate and broadcast other’s accomplishments and not your own?

I admit that at first, I felt uncomfortable about your freedom, but I recognized that was my issue, not yours, and used it to challenge myself to find those things that kept me from that same freedom. You inspired me and for that, I thank you. You’re a wonderful example to all of us!

Hugs, Christina


Darlene, You are totally awesome! Everything you have overcome and accomplished is so encouraging. You go right ahead and toot your own horn! You deserve to. We all do. We all go through so many obstacles that many others dont have to. A little pride and a little self credit is healthy. It keeps us moving forward in a positive way. I have recently achieved a few things that I thought I would never be able to do. I am proud of myself and I will be the first one to toot my horn LOL 🙂 Keep going Darlene you rock! ((hugs))


Sheryl, I honestly wasn’t sure and wasn’t offended as much as I was concerned 🙂 … but I have had experience with an abusive pastor (spiritual abuse) years ago (dare I mention the movement?) – so I do have my opinions too. I didn’t grow up in a church like others have – but have quickly learned that pastors are just people too and are no more holy than their congregations. (Because of what my husband and I went through, we don’t do Sunday services anymore but are still Christ followers.) I hope Darlene is able to find time to write about spiritual abuse, that’s a whole other topic that also deserves attention. It can be so damaging. Sheryl, I am so sorry you experienced that kind of abuse!! Makes ya wonder, ‘Where is the LOVE?’


I think your reference to the traveller is great. As you said each sticker is a celebration of what we have achieved and i think the colour, for me, represents that a person no longer feels shame/ashamed, as shame is often a key element of abusive histories, of their experiences but proud of their survival and they are showing the world that existing is no longer an option and that despite their battle it is time to live a now chosen life.


Bongo ~ Thanks for your encouragement too! I am glad you are here to share in this journey!

Ginger ~ The thing is that most of the people who are reprimanding me ARE survivors. This goes so deep. I think that the problem is much of what has been said here, and that this is a good example of just how deep the brainwashing goes. We have been put down so long that it makes us squirm when someone mentions celebrating self. Well not all of us, but I was just like this too. I could acknowledge someone else, but it made me uncomfortable if THEY did it for themselves. Having said that, I am comfortable with self approval now!
Thanks for sharing !

~Vivian ~ thanks! I have never felt so close to living “on purpose” or “in my purpose” or “with a purpose”.. LOL not sure how to describe it but you get it!
Thank you for cheering me on!

Carla ~
Thank you for posting this perfect visual of the traveler. I love this powerful analogy and yes, this is how it is ~ my suitcase is battered but man I have some great vacation tips to share! I love my travelling buddies, and I am proud of how far I have come!
Thank you ~ this is an awesome contribution to this post!

Hi Christina,
This is a good point ~ no one minds when we promote other people or when we celebrate other people. You also bring up a great point ~ when I learned to look at “why” something was bugging me, if I can take an honest look at it, I could see where my issue with it was and I too can grow from there. (I am not referring to something abusive bugging me… sometimes when something is really getting under my skin, I realize that it has a relationship to abuse and control)
Thanks for being here!

Hi Nicole!
I look forward to hearing your toots!! (horn toots that is!) LOL

Hi Nikki
YES it is time to live a chosen life! It is time to choose life! I love what you have written here!

Thank you to everyone that reads here and everyone that contributed. I am so deeply thankful for all the comment, the encouragement and the “cheering!”
Hugs, Darlene


Well Darlene, this might sound silly but I have finally learned how to cook. This is a big accomplishment for me. My mother never really let me do much with her and constantly critisized me for every little thing I tried to do as a child and adult…Turns out I love to cook and am really starting to get good at it. 🙂 So there is one of my toots LOL ((hugs))


That’s great! Thanks for sharing your toot! It is hard to say “I am good at” something ~ so bravo for you!
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. This is one of my “toot” things too.


Lol! This post is so right on where I’ve been lately Darlene! I actually just did a post this week on this subject — and — it’s a great post! I am able to tell my story about what it was like, what happened and what life is like for me now….where I can see anothers success in life or this healing journey and begin to see the potential for what I COULD have instead of the jealousy around feeling powerless to have or accomplish what others have.

I’ve had similar experiences on twitter mostly – where I’ll say something positive about myself and NO ONE will chime in and offer a cheer or any support. But – as soon as I focus on something negative, difficult or a struggle that others are or have experienced a lot of folks will comment about that. It’s amazing to watch – folks will jump on board the ship that is sinking but will resent you for grabbing your own life raft.

I’ve come to understand this as another residual affect of the power of the past. In the work of Colin Ross this is identified as the shift of our “locus” or center of control having been taken from us so we feel powerless. Then we can’t attach to positive things because we doubt ourselves as we were convinced we were so unworthy of anything good. There’s more to it of course but it seems to come down to learning to recognize how we were conditioned to view the world – ourselves and others – through the eyes of those who reminded us we were “less than”. We can’t sit with anothers pain – or joy – when we can’t sit with our own:)

Great post Darlene!

I’m thinking a page where forks can call in or write in and do some tooting of their horns is in order?! Video, audio, articles….boy you’ve got me thinking now!


Wow, the focus of my control, and my good feelings always came from others. It was as if I didn’t HAVE any good feelings about me. I wasn’t supposed to apparently.When I did i was quickly controlled or retraumatized…wow that sounds so weird saying that, but its literally true. Now that is changing.And its time for peeking out and seeing what other brave survivors are doing to empower their lives and themselves.

Darlen’s blog is a saga, and as Carla says, we are all travelling with her here.

Its a celebration of life Darlene to read of your sucesses.I may not get where you are but where I am is a hell of alot better than where I have been, and I am very grateful for how far I have come already.You are an inspiration and your courage and so many others’ courage here is like soul food to me!

And Susan, I feel as I know you thanks to your experiences, so similar to mine, and your honesty.


Woooo hooooo Elizabeth! You said it! Right on the money – “my good feelings came from others…I didn’t have any good feelings about me…and I wasn’t supposed to. When I did – I was quickly controlled…..”

Precisely! And….not to get off topic – but this was also how I was kept in the belief that i was “mentally ill” for so many years…because when I tried to find or express my feelings – good or bad – I was quickly reminded that I was “ill” and needed more or different “meds” to control this.

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing!

(doing a happy dance….:))


YES! Susan, Excellent contribution to this post!
this is a big area where we can all encourage each other. I made a lot of progress with this part of my healing when I started keeping a gratitude journal. I wrote down some of my gratitude each day and my wins too. Pretty soon I was ready to share those wins!

ELIZABETH!! I echo Susan here… this is exactly right on. I am doing a happy dance too!
thank you ~ you prove that it is worth while for me to write this blog. You keep me going (along with all the others comments), but these kinds of comments are very special!
Thank you !
Hugs, Darlene


About children being quiet on spiritual abuse…yes, as a child I can relate, and my kids went through it as well. I complained all the time to my parents, and my sister still complains to this day. My kids never wanted me to get involved. When the last church resulted in all four olf my children leaving in tears from their high school class experiences there, I was done attending. They may think that they would suffer MORE if I brought attention to what was happening. My son was punched in the mouth in swim practice one morning, and all the parents already knew that my son and another were being pitted against each other…but my son didn’t want me to know about getting punched…”don’t cause more trouble”


Yes, it was interesting; my older son got sick and had to be home and away from school for almost a year.. and that is when we found out about 6 months after he came home, what was really going on in the school. The guilt and shame and emotional manipulation that they used on the kids was horrifying for us to find out. I also heard that if parents interfered, it was worse! I was also so shocked at these people who were supposed to be examples of love, grace and all that stuff??? I was paying for them to teach my children a Christian lifestyle, a love for Jesus? This is a bit of a hot spot for me.. LOL

Today I realize though that keeping quiet is never the answer. We have had two situations of having to go so far as to call police to intervene. I was terrified, (the reporting would make it worse ~ these were not school situations) but I have never been sorry for one minute. My children have learned how to stand up for truth today and they have learned that any kind of abuse is not right.
Thanks for your reply! Hugs, Darlene


If we’re tooting I have one to share. All my life I’ve been terrified of speaking in front of groups. I have the worst stage fright! A year ago I joined choir to try and cure myself of this fear. I’ve never had a problem singing in a group, I’ve been in choirs all my life. Here is where my tooting comes in.

I have grown a whole new sense of myself and even gained back some of my self esteem since coming to this site, and OSA. A few weeks ago I asked for one of the solos in the Christmas program. I really don’t know what I was thinking. I got the solo, and I even sang it, by myself, in a room full of people! I know this may seem like no big deal to some people, but to me it’s a huge step in taking myself back. For too long I believed that I wasn’t good enough or as good as everyone else at anything. You shared a light with me, and I am determined to make it shine! Toot! Toot!


I would just like to publicly acknowledge my achievements of this year
– I disclosed my abusers to the police on 8 March 2010
– I was believed by the police officer who interviewed me for nearly 8 hrs
– I accepted a referral to a Sexual Assualt Referral Centre (SARC)for support through the legal process
– I began working with my SARC worker in April, after 4 months of testing out and disassociating I finally was able to trust her and be real and safe with her
– I began working with mental health professionals too and have slowly been able to trust more and more
– I’ve been believed by everyone who’s crossed my path since I disclosed to the police
– The case against my abusers was dropped for lack of evidence despite reams of evidence, they walked free and it’s been hell, but I’m still alive, I’m still here
– I wrote my own “Bill of Rights” with my SARC worker last week which is the beginning of establishing a new life for myself
– I am at the beginning of changing my name and will complete the legal formalities in Jan 2011, that’s about starting afresh and about my own safety
– Now I’ve disclosed and been believed by so many people I’m starting to hope and believe for a future that’s not all about my abuse but that is about living not just existing
– As a result of disclosing I’ve regained my voice and I WILL NOT BE SILENCED EVER AGAIN

– I think I’ve achieved a hell of a lot during the last 7 months although it’s been hell to live through


Simply put, you are excited that you can open your mouth, and have a voice. Once our voices finally open, after being shut down for so long by the abuse ~ they are unstoppable. It’s not boasting what so ever, it is nothing more than a sigh of relief. A union of voices that have come through terrifying ordeals and together we celebrate breaking the silence. By posting the success of all of these words & achievements, you & many others like you & like me can join in with a sigh of relief that the silence has been broken.


Lisa, I’m toot toot toooting with ya!!! Keep shining your light and if you have to feel the fear and do it afraid, then do it and feel the liberation as you do it!!


Fi ~ THAT’S AWESOME!!! Since I discovered that my abusive mother will never change and told the full story to my family members (via letter because it would be too hard to get them all together in one place & it allowed me to be able to edit what I wanted to say) – being my father and siblings. It’s given me a freedom I didn’t know I could have or would’ve experienced. And now that I know that a relationship with ‘the woman who would be mother’ is very impossible, because she’s narcissistic, I am way more open and vocal now about her abuse of me. I don’t care who knows anymore and I refuse to be silenced about something that is clearly NOT my fault. I also refuse to feel ashamed about something that was clearly NOT my fault as well. In my case, I can honestly say that confession equals freedom for me. So happy for you, Fi !!


Katie … I so agree with that!! 🙂


Lisa Marie!
Congrats and thank you for sharing your win!! This is awesome news!

Fi ~
Wow, you have really accomplished a lot this last few months! That is one heck of a list! Congratulations on doing the work that sets you free! Most of what you shared is really tough stuff, the real slugging it out stuff, but it really pays off! My favorite part is this statement that you wrote “As a result of disclosing I’ve regained my voice and I WILL NOT BE SILENCED EVER AGAIN” That is freedom baby!

Your comment reads like poetry! Thanks so much for your contribution!

You have also accomplished a lot in recent months! Thanks for sharing your wins and your freedom!

I love this idea of posting our wins and accomplishments.. I might make a special place for it!
Hugs, to all, Darlene


Wow. I can relate to the Christian school comments that a few of you have posted. OMG between that and the church I almost lost my relationship with my child. It was that destructive. She also didn’t want me to get involved and didn’t tell me a quarter of what was going on.

I have to say my mother wanted her in this school, and as I was a single parent and living with her I caved, and allowed my child to be sent there. Talk about a convoluted bag of pitfalls for the kid of a single parent! this school was where alot of kids had their first sexual experiences amongst each other, and some of the male teachers were inappropriately close with the female students. it was a land of even fewer boundaries than a secular school, and far fewer rules and regulations were followed than public schools followed.It was also a place where alot of parents opted to send their troubled kids to straighten them out! What was I thinking when I let my precious child attend?

What I was thinking was that because they were ‘Christians’ they were kinder and gentler with ALL people than other schools. WRONG.


Elizabeth … I know, you think Christian schools would have a better reputation than that! I have heard so many horror stories of different Christian schools, and I am a Christ-follower! 🙂 My husband and I opted to put our kids in public school … besides, the thing about Christian schools is that you really don’t know what they are being taught in ‘religion.’ And because I am a total freak about Truth, my husband and I teach our kids Bible at home – we may not be scholars, but at least we know what they are learning. I didn’t want my kids embracing religion, I want them to embrace Christ, I want them to experience His grace. The more I hear about Christian schools, I cringe.

Elizabeth, I’m so sorry you experienced that, and that your kids did! I have heard that said that many Christian schools are worse than public in the regard that you mentioned. Sad.


You go Girl.
I don’t see it as tooting at all- I see it as encouraging other women to grow!

You are such an inspiration to me. I have been quietly watching you since I had you on my show. I am not yet ready to forgive- when i get ready I know where to turn to learn how.

I wish you had agreed to be on my board but you are doing a great job right where you are! Don’t let anyone slow you down, or take any air out of your balloon, you just keep soaring just as high as you can– you have earned those wings!


Hi BettyJean!
Wonderful to hear from you! I think of you often too, and I get notifications about what you are up to with your site and your show. I know about not being ready; that’s okay, but I am here when you are ready! (and I’m looking forward to that time for you!~ freedom calls B.J.)
Thanks for your encouragement! I will keep pressing forward and spreading my wings!!!!
Hugs, Darlene


One of the things this post set off in me is affirmation for what I have come to believe about humility, which I do believe to be a virtue. My own tangled mess of an upbringing has often left me adrift for having a deep sense of knowing whether or not I am on the right path, with right thinking.

I began believing and teaching my own children that humility, true humility, is not about lowering ourselves, but rather about elevating others. We don’t need to negate or diminish the good we do or the good we are in order to be humble, but we do need to recognise and celebrate the awesomeness of others. True humility is seeing ourselves as we truly are, and not shying away from that–and that includes both our virtues and assets, as well as our vices and defects. I don’t know if any of that makes sense–but this post really touched that place in me deeply.

Thank you for the work you do. Sharing your journey with others so publicly is an amazing gift to us all!


Hi Shannon!
Everything you wrote here makes sense to me! I agree! Thanks so much for your comment and the lovely compliment to my work.
I appreciate it.
Hugs, Darlene


Whats wrong if you “tooted your own horn” anyway!!!!

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