Standing up to Damaging Advice and Overcoming Trauma Directives



emotional abuse
unhelpful directives

People always told me things like “deal with it” and “get over it” and “put it behind you” They always seemed so impatient with me and even exasperated that I was still “there” and not over it.

Has anyone ever given you instructions on HOW to “deal with it”? Have you been giving information about HOW to get over it, that didn’t include statements to which you have to keep asking “how do I do that”?

Just get over it  (HOW?)  Just put it behind you. (HOW?) ~ “give it to God”. (HOW?) To which the answer was “Have faith” (HOW?) well you get the picture.

I was told to accept things with statements like “nothing happens by mistake” And while I totally love that expression when I was in the right place at just the right time and suddenly met the person who was going to change my life, what about when someone uses that expression “nothing happens by mistake” when you are trying to comprehend the leftover emotions from child abuse? That expression becomes a way to try to make you grateful for having been abused!

What about people who tell me that I would not be the person that I am today if I had not been abused; that the abuse made me a stronger person. (again that I should be grateful that I was abused) But the truth is that I will never know how I would have turned out. I don’t know how strong I would have been if I had never been abused.  Perhaps my brilliant mind would have been capable of finding the cure for cancer or creating brilliant best selling thrillers instead of writing about overcoming depressions and child abuse. I will never know what my gifts could have been used for and although I love what I do, I will never be grateful for the abuse just because it enables me to make a difference in the world now.

Perhaps even God has a different idea about this whole thing. I wonder if He would suggest any of those lame and unhelpful directives.

What if dealing with it is embracing the justifiable anger and rage for the damage that was done against you and for the time that you lost out of your life because of it. What if dealing with it is acknowledging to yourself that it was not fair, not right and a rotten horrible and usually illegal CRIME that was forced onto you? (and remember that emotional abuse and neglect are crimes too) What if dealing with it is feeling all the feelings that you were never given permission to feel when the damage was done?

What if dealing with it IS talking about it? What if dealing with it means talking about every little detail as many times as you needed to state them, for as long as it takes until you understand and realize that you didn’t deserve the treatment that you got. What if dealing with it means you talk about until someone else agrees with you, that you were unjustly treated, without telling you to “get over it” or “put it behind you?” and thereby validated your pain by not trying to get you to ignore it because the “truth is” that it makes them uncomfortable.

What if you were not told to “get over it”?

What if dealing with it meant confronting the person who did it to you or confronting the person who ignored what happened to you if that was what you needed to do in order to get over it?

The real message out there in the world is “don’t deal with it.” The real message is sweep it under the carpet where it will fester and grow bigger and bigger and manifest itself as depression and mental illness, dissociated identity, multiple personality, bi polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and yes, even narcissistic personality disorder. 

“Put it behind you” is the same as saying “don’t deal with it”. Stop talking about it means “don’t deal with it. Get over it really means “don’t deal with it” Anger is a sin means “don’t deal with it” Don’t think about it, don’t acknowledge what happened to you…although they don’t realize that what they are saying is actually “don’t deal with it and let it slowly kill you.  Let it take whatever ever small part of you that is still left”.

Not dealing with it was like denying that it was ever a problem.  And the truth can only set you free if you face it.

You will never find any of those recommendations written by me in this website.  It was dealing with this stuff, facing all of it and talking about all of it until I finally believed that I was not the problem that cleared the fog and opened the doors of my prison. It was in talking about it enough that I finally realized that I did not cause any of it to happen to me, that I finally overcame it and took my life back. It was by looking at it long enough to realize what I had come to believe about myself because of what happened to me, that I was able to overturn all those false messages that I had accepted as truth.

I think we have been living under the false definition of the phrase “deal with it”

So here in Emerging from Broken I say “deal with it” in every way that you can! Your LIFE depends on it!

Freedom is on the other side of broken;

Darlene Ouimet

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


154 response to "Standing up to Damaging Advice and Overcoming Trauma Directives"

  1. By: Mary Posted: 3rd July

    Lost my husband May 2016, my rock, my best friend. My siblings asked my daughter if they should send a card or come to the funeral. I said they would be very unwelcome, I certainly wouldn’t need their drama at a time like that. They didn’t respect my husband in life, neither of us needed their hypocrisy in his death. It would’ve all been for show for the world to see “we care!”
    As I told my son they have no more insight as to why things happened and still put the blame at my feet. I got an email from my sister a few months back that i got her cousins to hate her, wouldn’t know what ones she’s talking about, I haven’t spoken to anyone in years and that her son hates her because of me. Her son is no fool, again I’ve never spoken to him about things. He’s been estranged from her for years, he’s 37 yrs. old, he knows the truth, I don’t have to tell him. All my nieces and nephew know me, they’ve told me they never believed all the trash talk about me at family get togethers. That’s as far as any conversation got about them. They all see through the lies, my children I’m sure have had talks about it with them. I am so grateful my son has stepped up and wants to be my support now. I am moving the other side of the country 2000kms away from the “siblings” and it feels good! My husband wanted that most of all, he was concerned and hoped my children would have my back after he was gone, his final prayer was granted……

  2. By: Laila Posted: 19th January

    I asked for help today because I so want to move forward with my healing. I made a few comments on a page and used my real name and am feeling shaky-like my parents will know even thought they have been gone for fifteen years. The fact is I blame them-especially I blame my mother. When I was pregnant at eighteen she told me she hoped I would die. She told me that she was going to kidnap the baby when he was born and run to Canada and that I would never see her or the baby again. Who says things like that? Unfortunately, a lot of children have heard things like that from their parents. When I started having anxiety attacks from my father’s emotional and sexual abuse she told me to “Stop whining ’cause it makes you look so unattractive.” These are things I have not talked about ever but it is time.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th January

      Hi Laila
      It is okay to place the blame where it belongs. It is a part of taking our lives back. Self-validation goes a long way towards healing.
      Thanks for sharing here. You are safe and I am so glad that you are talking.
      hugs, Darlene

  3. By: mary Posted: 3rd July

    My dear cousin invited me to stay again at her house while I was in town for a doctors appointment a couple years ago. Last time I was there we had a great time. What a setback it turned out to be. When she went on what a sweety my sister was, I knew I was in trouble. She knows how the whole family collectively betrayed me when they took it upon themselves to set our parents straight why I didn’t want to be around my abuser brother. My Dad said he’s taking me out of the will and they would be next if they didn’t stop upsetting their Mother. I begged them not to stir the pot and have that meeting in the first place. They came back telling me I better co-operate that 3 million was at stake. They kicked me in the ditch and didn’t bat an eye. They inherited their riches and are living high, the golden girl getting double the reward. I guess my cousin decided to lean on their side, I wouldn’t have went near her had I known. She lectured me to get over it and grow up. I was dumbfounded. I went to church with her and she informed me it was the church my sister attends, I said it would’ve been nice to have been forewarned to give me the option. Luckily she wasn’t there that day. Fortunately I was taking the train back that day. I got home and was in a frozen state for a few months, I couldn’t speak. My husband had seen this before and knew to just let it ride itself out, that I was processing. I promised myself no one would ever put me in that state again. I have one cousin left out of the whole family who has been more of a sister to me, she’d like to knock all their heads together, she doesn’t see any of them either. My brother at xmas past sent a brief email that he missed his sister, I sent him an article on family dynamics in an incest family and how the family played out their roles perfectly including being left off the will, that it was typical, guess he still isn’t ready for truth, it is the last time I heard from him. Oh well I say. Then I recently got a package for our anniversary, no card, just from “the siblings” on the statement. Why does sibling sound like sinister word, like a Stephen King title, does to me anyhow. I could write the book! lol How ff charitable of them. Try coming to me and making it real and share what they stripped me of, then I might believe the sincerity, it isn’t the money it is the representation of it and what excluding me meant. They sucked it all up and were our parents obedient foot soldiers, took whatever abuse they dished out and fought like hell for position. I was number one (And I told them not to put me there) because I had the longstanding marriage they could boast of while my siblings to this day flounder and fail at relationships that never go the distance. I was unceremoniously knocked off to the bottom when I divorced. I didn’t care, it was too much work living in the same town and trying to please them. Moral of the story, it played out as I predicted, they hardly speak to each other. The brother who attempted to contact was the one they ganged up on after I vacated the position and he moved out west the other side of the country. They probably all feel splintered and they should, this family never was together, the only glue was our parents guilt. Now that they’re gone they are noticing the holes left behind, one that they don’t have me for a sister anymore. I’m not about to fill it again. I came back once and they resumed their attacks, I know better now and a gimmick cheap gift is sure not enough to make me tempted to try. They’ll go on another cruise and forget about me again until next time they’re going through a depression or feel something missing. That’s for them to work out. I had to work out my issues alone and a lot of those were due to their heartless behavior. Oh my cousin, just before I blocked her she posted a picture with my sisters all chummy and all. She wanted to be cool with them, so I guess that’s why she figured she had to work on me and try and meddle thinking she was going to be their hero by trying to be the peacemaker. So stupid, I could’ve cared a less if she had a relationship with them, that’s her business. She didn’t have to betray my trust to have that, but glad she showed her true colors, I know what she’s about now and will never go back. So I gave the gift away, better to stay where I am, stay silent and continue to enjoy my journey with my loyal 2nd husband of 20 years.

    • By: Linda Posted: 2nd July

      My heart goes out to you.I personally can relate to a similiar family dynamic.It is indeed very heartbreaking and very damaging .The wrong and unfair and unjust mistreatment of your loved ones..your own family can cause more lasting damage I believe ,than what has already damaged you that you needed their love and support to get through..and rightfully so-
      Instead you got just the opposite due to their own selfish greed. I know what that feels like and it hurts like hell causing even more extreme damage to have to suffer with .Its sad .its glad your not alone and have a supportive husband..someone in your corner.I personally. Am not fortunate to have that. God Bless You.i am so sorry for all the joy that was lost …stolen – from your life .

  4. By: Margaret Posted: 7th February

    Had these kind of comments in the past, often from my chief abuser . So much so in fact ,I find that I upbraid myself ,in my head ,with them. Now I am very careful who I speak to, not wanting to throw my pearls of pain and suffering before swine, just to be trampled on.

  5. By: Mimi Posted: 22nd January

    Hi Annabelle,
    I understand your struggles I think. I was raised in church as a young child, and, I was always a believer. Later in my teens, twenties, I believed, but, I wasn’t active so to speak.

    I have often questioned what’s going on in my life too. Why won’t he heal my brain so I can be normal? Why doesn’t he work a miracle in my mother so she can be normal? Why, Why, Why? I found myself frustrated with Him, and reluctant to go to him with any kind of concern or request.

    I decided I had to look at the big picture of my life in order to figure out if He really was there with me. If He DID want the best for me. I look back at adverse events in my life that involved fear (ie surgeries, illness, etc.) when I prayed with abandon. I prayed and begged. When I look at those times, my prayers were always answered.

    Annabelle, it hasn’t been easy to convince myself that He’s had my best interests at heart, particularly in light of the past two years with my mother, siblings, and even my husband. In the darkest of times, I would cry and pray. It seemed like He would never move on my behalf. I’ve had to wait and wait. I’m still waiting on some things. What I’ve learned is that He has come through for me. It sometimes doesn’t happen when I think it should, but, it has happened. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of all that’s happened in my family the past few years. My head still spins at times, and I get upset at times. NOTHING like it used to be. He has answered my prayers, and the ones I’m waiting for…. I’m just trying to be patient.

    Recently, I prayed to release the negative emotions surrounding my mother. Not for her, but for me. I don’t like being unsettled, worried, angry, etc. He has made a transformation in my heart that’s brought me peace just the past day or so. Not to say I won’t have to pray this again, but for today, I have no negative emotions surrounding my mother, the worst offender of all.

    A few weeks back I prayed and pleaded with God to be my vindicator, because I was feeling like revenge would make me feel relief. I know in my heart it won’t, but convincing my head is no easy task. So, I prayed.

    It will be difficult for you to connect the dots without going into an all out life story, but, in short, my mother exploded at another family member. She showed her rage which she effectively keeps secret with the exception of her children, and her ex (my dad). She’s been saying I’m angry, immature, and unreasonable for years. This of course, was projection. I’ve had anger, don’t get me wrong, but, It wasn’t without provocation by her, and it’s been years and years since I’ve shown any anger toward her. She still maintains these claims to this day. But, now, God has been my vindicator just as I pleaded. I’ve waited fairly patiently for my mother to show her true nature to ANYone. She finally did. Her colors shone that day. It was a good day for me. She disproved her own lies about me being angry, immature, and unreasonable….. by being all those things herself. She cussed out a family member in a yelling, bawling rage. I didn’t have to do a thing to expose her. She did it on her own, and I can’t help but credit God for being my vindicator. He released me on some level that day. I have waited decades for other people to see her in her truest form. (although, I only prayed about it recently). She finally did it all on her own.

    The whole idea of free will to me is, we were all given free will, and unfortunately, there are multitudes of people who abuse it. I was given free will as well. I could cheat on my husband, or slash my mom’s tires, or whatever. I thank God that he’s given me a conscience and a desire to do good. Otherwise, I’d be among the multitudes. I’ve been at a lonely place with all my hopes in humanity dashed. It’s taken a conscious effort on my part, and prayer, to find good people. There are still good people out there. It just might take some searching. It’s still very difficult to trust people, don’t get me wrong. But, that’s not their fault or God’s. It’s the fault of the people who battered my trust by their own free will.

    Darlene, you are one such angel. You are proof to me that there is still good in the world, along with many of the people who comment here.

    Annabelle, I feel like Darlene in that it’s fine if you decide that God isn’t real. I hope that I’m a “live and let live” kind of individual. I only shared my experiences with you because they are truthful, and because sometimes I feel like we need the experience of others to help us in this thing called life.

    Peace and hope to you as you navigate!

  6. By: Annabelle Posted: 22nd January

    Thank you Darlene for responding, I really am having trouble with this issue.

    I can’t see the free will here on earth though.
    A lot of people who are abusers are trapped in thinking and behaviour that is subconscious. They don’t get it – I can’t see where the free will is in that!

    And then they unwittingly abuse others, who often, in turn become abusers because they are not aware of what happened to themselves, nor how they can overcome it… This never ending cycle seems to continue until someone happens to be born with enough wit and vigour to challenge the patterns of thought and behaviour enough so that the next generation has a fighting chance. Why God would not afford this wit and vigour to each person in the chain, I cannot understand. If he truly intended free will, he would have given us all the information we needed, so we really could make decisions and express free will.

    I feel sadder thinking he is real, because if he is, then he abandoned us, leaving us to suffer alone in confusion and desperation.

    It is easier sometimes to believe he doesn’t exist and explain life by the theory of the survival of the fittest. To me, these dysfunctional families would not be the fittest, and their lines would eventually die out. That seems to be what is happening in my family.

    I want God to be real because I know it would comfort me, but where is He? how could he let this happen to me and to so many innocent lives?
    Is he cruel? is he an abuser himself? I just don’t understand.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd January

      Hi Annabelle
      I understand what you are saying ~ and I have written so much about this in this site ~ I may not have called it by the same words, but it is all here. Our free will was pretty much destroyed by the misuse of power against us by other people. This website is about how I got it back. And as far as the abusers go, most do know that what they are doing is VERY wrong or they would do it all in public and they would not bother to groom children to be silent about it. I had to put all the ‘God’ stuff aside in order to concentrate on healing and then the God stuff became much more clear to me. I realized that ‘he’ didn’t actualy LET anything happen. Thinking of it that way, (that he let it happen) then him preventing it would mean that all humanity would be just a bunch of robots.
      And it is fine to decide that god isn’t real. I set all those confusing things aside for over 2 years in my healing process. I think if you keep reading this site, more clarity will come.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Krissy Posted: 20th January

    Here’s another piece of confusing advice – according to neurobiology, toxic thoughts are literally toxic to your brain and can cause physiological problems. So, according to some experts, change your thoughts, and you will literally feel better, and be less depressed, less sick, etc. A friend of mine even went so far as to say we can decide to change our thoughts, that is, decide not to be depressed. She insists that most people sadly don’t want to change and if someone really wants to get out of anxiety or depression, he/she should just decide and speak it out, and think that way.

    I agree that flooding the brain with adrenaline is like bathing it in toxins and the immune system is affected as well. But what these experts fail to see or express is that the body emits adrenaline as a natural fight/flight/freeze reaction to danger, and the anxiety or depression that results is natural, given the threat that the body is exposed to. It’s no good telling a person experiencing natural post-traumatic reactions to change the thoughts while remaining in threatening situations.

    Simply thinking positive is not going to help a person being hounded by a soldier any more than telling an abused person to think cheery thoughts. Sure, I agree that it’s good advice to encourage positive thoughts, but I think that authors of these types of books and proponents of such thinking need to be more responsible when their audiences are going to include a significant proportion of people who are or have been in abusive situations. For these victims/survivors, shoving the “positive thinking” line is only going to make them feel guilty, or worse, turn their attention away from what really needs to happen, and that is, to address the source of the threat.

  8. By: Annabelle Posted: 20th January

    I think it is interesting Darlene, that you mention God in your posts, despite all you have been through. I find belief in a God very difficult after I endured what I did as a child.

    I would like to believe, but I struggle to see past a dog eat dog, or survival of the fittest/meanest – view of the world.

    I would very much appreciate your comments, or a link to an article if you talk about it anywhere on this site already. You truly are providing much help to me personally, which I am very appreciative of.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st January

      Hi Annabelle
      The God thing was a big part of the whole picture for me. I realized that I had been brainwashed about God too, and that I didn’t know the truth about ‘him’ either. The way that I was taught about God was all wrong. I had this idea that he was a mean and brutal parent too, that only loved conditionally.
      I see this as a dog eat dog world as well. That is about people. God gave free will and people misuse the power they have to disempower and control other. That is not what God had in mind I am sure.
      I came ‘back to god’ after I sorted out the truth from the false. God was not responsible for any of the horrible things that happened to me.
      There are hundreds of articles on this site about everything! You can use google search (type in emerging from broken with whatever subject you are looking for and if I have written about it, it will come up) to find most of them easily.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Laurie Posted: 4th January

    My favorite one is the new age concept, “You brought it to you” (Law of Attraction). Really? How? (Let’s reason together and blame the victim who had NO CONTROL over another human’s choices. I cut off a few friends who chew me out when I lamented about how others abused or neglected me.) I brought it to me because I had my focus on hiding myself from the known neglecters and abusers. Those with keener perceptions and sensitivies get the bad rap by those who choose callous behavior, even if they profess to practice law of attraction principles and love of self (and they usually live alone and are single with no one to upset any part of their being – so much for their wisdom and understanding). I’ve had some crazy people do crazy things to me, deny it all, then blame me or yell at me for the results of what they did.

    How about the ones that say these “experiences” make you stronger? Really? From my experience, it’s worn me down to the point that even a minor event sets me into huge negative feelings inside myself. My conscience isn’t right too. I feel bad for me, bad for them, angry, helpless, powerless, feeling like a “less than”, etc. And when I dare to speak of these behaviors that are out of integrity for life & well-being, and what they do to others, those that are blantently guilty of them will whole-heartedly agree…and repeat the offenses without showing they made the connection of what I said, what they agreed, and what they did. Only OTHER people do that stuff. NOT THEM. hmmmm.

    I walk a lonely life wishing to find a kindred soul.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th January

      Hi Laurie
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      You have found the right website, thats for sure. Everything you mention is what this site is about and how I overcame, recovered and took my life back.
      Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

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