Archive for emotional recovery

eating disorders, food addiction
food or weight disguised as solution

To introduce this series, here is a brief history of my belief system when it came to my body and my weight; I had conflicting beliefs about weight that turned out to be bi-polar opposites; I believed that being underweight or the perfect weight would keep me safe from disapproval, and I believed that being overweight would keep me safe from men and from sexual assault. For many years I lived in strict control of my body and weight, yet at the same time fighting both conflicting sides and pretty much staying a normal weight, except that I was obsessed with my body and my weight and never felt like it was “right”. I developed eating disorders. I was addicted to drugs by the time I was 16, all to do with eating disorders. I had a very big problem with bulimia, which was one of the many ways that I was able to live in both those worlds; eating to gain weight and therefore feel safe, purging to not gain weight and therefore feel safe, and every other eating disorder coping method in between. Forever.   

I am going to write a series of posts on this whole issue of eating disorders, weight gain, body obsession, weight control and how our belief systems get in the way without our realizing that those thoughts and beliefs are even in there. I would like you to read this first article keeping in mind that I am in direct dialogue with my own belief system and how my thoughts and beliefs are revealed to me during that process. You can use this same system to pick apart any other belief system you have hiding inside your head. Look for the little clues and how they pop into my mind.

My daughter and my husband came home the other night and told me that they had seen an old friend of mine. The first question that popped into my mind was “is she fat?” And even as a part of me was realizing that my thought wasn’t very nice, I also knew that I secretly hoped that she was. I hoped that she had at the very least gained more weight than I had since I had seen her in the 10 years that had passed. I had to ask them… I blurted it out “is she fat?” and they confirmed that she had indeed gained a lot of weight. And I was secretly trying to hide my grin. Several things were going on in my mind all at once but I was aware of this nagging question about why I thinking about her in this way.

When something like this pops into my head, I have simultaneous thoughts and in the past they served to pull me in lots of different directions most likely for the purpose of making sure that I did not figure out the roots of any of it.  The way that my survival mode has always worked for me is by trying to protect me from reality because when I was a kid reality was horrible. I am not talking just about events here; I am talking about accepting that I really wasn’t valued or worthy and what would happen if I was thrown away like the garbage I believed I was.  My mind developed coping methods to protect itself from accepting that and other realities and I developed a warped belief system and accepted false truths. I have come to realize that my coping methods developed to help me survive, but also that when I no longer needed them my subconscious was SO sure that they were the answer that if fought like crazy to KEEP those often self destructive survival methods in place. If I let one go, I grabbed another one like the life preserver that I believed it was. I was in a battle against myself. To make it even more complicated, the only way out of the maze is through exposing my belief system by picking apart each of the beliefs at the roots of the coping method ~ but again, since my subconscious really believes that the safer way is to avoid facing reality, (as it was when I was a child) and I am fighting to emerge from the cocoon of my survival methods and discover and live in the truth about all things because I KNOW that is the way to freedom, once again we have a disagreement going on inside.  

And we wonder why finding the ‘beginning’ seems nearly impossible. We wonder why we so often say that we don’t know where to even start. The answer for me was that there were MANY beginnings and all of them had their own start.

The thoughts and roots that I expose in this series about food addiction, eating disorders, compulsive overeating, bulimia, body obsession and weight obsession and the discoveries I will highlight in this series can be applied to any other coping method or belief system that you are trying to unravel. To get to the bottom of one string, I follow the clues. In this case one clue was in my thought process of why I wished my old friend had gained a lot of weight since I last saw her. The key was in processing what that meant to me and to listen to all the other thoughts that pop up to get me off the track, because each of them has a related yet different root attached to it. Separating each thought, and examining them on their own, and then later looking at them in relation to each other is like a treasure hunt. In time I cracked open the huge vault that was my complicated belief system, survival methods and escape modes and discovered the keys to freedom and truth.

Stay tuned for part two, where I will share the process that I went through and the questions that I looked at to realize that I think “fat” is a punishment and how I relate that to myself along with a few other beliefs that I had hiding in my head. (click here for part 2)

Please share your thoughts about this huge subject of weight, food and body issues.

Exposing depth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet ~ Emerging from Broken

Related Posts ~ Sexual Abuse, Bulimia, and Eating Disorders

feelings about food and mixed messages

foundations of eating disorders and body issues

Comments (34)
one day at a time

“I saw the light” by Azelinn

I thought that my present could be resolved by talking about what was wrong with the present… but it turned out it was resolved by sorting out what went wrong in the past. And I had been told all my life to live for today so …… you can imagine the conflict!  

This is one of the most foundational messages that I have to deliver. It is one of those things I just didn’t realize. Living in the present sounded so right and so perfect, I strived for that ideal, never realizing that what was in my way was the unresolved past. We hear things that can back up our belief in these sayings, such as “you can’t change the past” and “live one day at a time” and “live for today” and my favourite of all ~ “If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are peeing on today”. When I look back over the years when I tried so hard to live by these sayings, I realize that they did me no good. I thought that acceptance was the answer, but I really didn’t know what I was trying to accept and so I accepted the blame and responsibility for abuse and for relationship difficulties that were there far before I was ever old enough to be a problem or even a factor in the demise of any one of them.

I got living for today and accepting the past mixed up with the realization that I can’t change the past, forgetting that the goal in healing from the past is not to change the past, it is to resolve it. The goal was to be ABLE to put it behind me in order for me to be able to live in freedom; to be able to LIVE in the present moment.

And I got so used to running from today that I didn’t know I was running.  I got so used to thinking that I WAS living in this day, and so accustomed to avoiding those feelings by using any number of coping mechanisms and escape tools, that my coping mechanisms rode piggyback on each other and every time I resolved or exposed and untangled one escape route, my cleaver surviving mind switched and adopted another one. The survival instinct is very strong and I got so messed up that I didn’t KNOW that I was even in survivor mode. I didn’t know that my coping methods were because my brain was so badly wired that it thought the escape tools WERE better and safer for me. I thought the problems WERE the answers.  

In order to live in the present I had to be willing to actually LOOK at what I was running from. I had to ask myself ~ why did I disconnect and dissociate. Why did I use food for comfort? Why did I go to bed for days on end? I had to ask myself what I was afraid of feeling. I had to become aware of my survival methods and look at where they came from; what they developed as a result of ~ and guess what??? All those questions led me back to the past.

But when I answered those questions one by one, month after month, over time I was able to stop using all those coping methods.  Little by little, as I understood the past and where my desire to run was born they just seemed to fall away and the more that they fell away, the more that I was able to live in today. And not just live in today, but LIVE. THRIVE.  Really live with the new energy that I found I had when I didn’t have to use all my energy to COPE so dang much. 

For the most part, I live in the moment today. The work that I do with Emerging from Broken is my chosen purpose and in order to shed light on how I found my own freedom, I write about my past almost every day in one way or another, however I do not live in the past any longer because my past is resolved. Today, the past is in the past and I can actually appreciate all those lovely quotes, understanding the true intention behind the sayings now.

Keep going, keep growing and please share with me and the other readers!

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received many hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Related posts ~ “the problem with living one day at a time”

Related posts ~ “the problem with living one day at a time”

“tomorrow I will start to face the pain”

“self validation for emotional abuse”



Categories : Therapy
Comments (68)
personal recovery emotional healing
The Journey Ahead

Last night I had a dream that seemed to carry on throughout the entire night.  I dreamed that for some reason I was in prison, except that it seemed more like some kind of hospital or institution. I was innocent however I felt that I had little chance of proving it. It kept going through my mind that since every criminal claims innocence, no one would believe me… maybe I should just stay in the prison.

Some of us were hanging out in the hallway and I noticed that one of the doors leading to the outside was open. It was night time. A guy told me that if I crouched down, we could crawl out of there without being seen by the surveillance cameras. So we did, and we were outside! I kept thinking that my escape was justified because I didn’t do the crime that I was being accused of, but I felt slightly guilty about leaving without permission. My heart was racing as I expected to hear the alarms being sounded but I heard nothing.  Next thing I knew we were stowing away on a cargo train. (just like in the movies) I text messaged someone using coded messages about being “out” and all the while was aware of the fear of getting caught by my communications being traced. It was cold and I was tired and the train ride was really long. My traveling companion disappeared.

Eventually I was off the train and in a motel room with a laptop and a television.  No one was looking for me and there was nothing on the news about my escape. No one seemed to care and as the dream went on, (and now it is a few days later) I started to feel safer about having escaped but at the same time I felt kind of mystified that no one was looking for me and the rest of the dream was about wondering why the heck no one cared, even though I was innocent and even though I had not done the crime I was imprisoned for and I was getting weary, wondering when I would finally make it “home”. *

When I first woke up this morning, I thought this dream was pretty funny, but as I was telling my husband about it, I realized that it was actually really significant and it painted a picture of my past and of my journey to emotional healing.

Deep down I thought that I had been falsely accused but yet I was filled with guilt and shame, so I lived in the prison that they made for me. There was an open door, but I did not think that I had a right to use it, because no one would ever believe my innocence.  Even I questioned it. When I made my escape into the scary blackness of night, I was surprised it was successful. I had the feeling over and over again that it was so much easier than I thought it would be.

Throughout the dream, I kept waiting to be caught, and to be proven wrong and then put back into the prison. I was sure that they would track me down and put me back in “my place”. As the dream went on, I started wondering why no one came looking for me. And I felt sad that no one cared that I had escaped. I felt really abandoned and alone. It was so great to be free, but there was something really sad about it too. There was a kind of “now what” feeling as though escape was only part of the healing journey, and I have found that to be true to my recovery as well.

It has been very difficult for me to accept that my mother did not pursue a relationship with me when she realized that I was serious about not living in the extremely dysfunctional mother daughter relationship that we had for so many years.  I was so sure that she would want to journey to the other side of broken with me. I was so sure that finally, now that I understood what happened to me AND eventually I understood also what happened to her, that I would be “worth it.” I would be worth her effort. But it didn’t’ happen that way. One of my biggest fears was that if I stood up to her that she would walk away, proving that I was unlovable. But in reality her walking away did not prove that I was unlovable. What it proved was about HER. It was not about me.

This dream represented an analogy of the past. ~I was trapped in prison. ~The hospital or institutional feeling was about feeling all my life like I was CRAZY. ~The door being open represented that I had a choice. ~The night represented that it was scary, dark, with unknown and unforeseeable things ahead of me. ~The cell phone texting represented my fear of getting caught and being proven “wrong” again and having to go back to the crazy and the prison. ~The train ride was long = the journey to wholeness and recovery ~my travel companion disappeared was about having help getting started but ultimately I had to do the work on my own. ~Being bored in the hotel room with mixed feelings about NOT being pursued; my mother just walked away. ~The feeling of okay now what, was exactly how it was. Fairly early in recovery I had to find my “now what” and learn to live in this new life of clarity and freedom. 

~Possibly the most significant part of this dream was when I found myself weary and wondering when I would finally make it home. This was not about getting to a “building”, but rather about getting home to ME. This was about finding myself, or rather returning to myself and the peace, comfort and wholeness that I have found in doing that. ~Eventually getting back on my lap top unconcerned about who found out OR if I got “caught” represented that I did find myself, and now my work with others and my blog and how I talk openly about my past and about my journey to the other side of broken.

Please share your thoughts about how this post resonated with you.

There is freedom on the other side of broken….

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts ~ Welcoming a New Year of Emotional Healing

Mother daughter Relationship Nightmares

Parent Child Relationships

Categories : Mother Daughter
Comments (59)


Emotional Healing, Abuse Recovery

another year bites the dust

Today is a new day and we are close to beginning a whole New Year! In the past I liked New Years because it always seemed like a new chance for a new beginning, but the past couple of “New Years” my thoughts are different; I thought that 2009 was the best year ever, and now I think 2010 was the best year ever so this year I am celebrating that I had a GREAT YEAR, and celebrating that I know 2011 is going to be the best year ever too. =) I am not thrilled to say good bye to 2010 but yet I’m super excited to welcome 2011.

Emerging from Broken was born out of my life long quest for recovery from depression, abuse,  (sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, spiritual abuse) and from mental health struggles and from the resulting dissociative identity disorder and other coping methods that I had been using and trying to overcome my entire life.  I had been told that depression was not curable, only treatable. For some reason, I didn’t believe it. Both my mother and grandmother had suffered chronic depressions and my mother had prepared me for a lifetime of that struggle too, but I kept seeking a solution.  I remember this little flame of hope ~ this tiny voice within me that said “NO” I don’t believe that. I am SURE there is a cure ~ a permanent solution, a way to live in fullness in the way that I was sure we are meant to live ~ like a birthright. I almost gave up before I found it but I am happy to say that I persisted just long enough. (the key was in finding the truth)

To be more accurate, Emerging from Broken was born out of my victory over all those things. When I finally knew that I was free, that I had found a new way to deal with depressions, addictions and coping methods, I wanted to share the message of hope with you all.  I wanted to tell the world that healing and recovery is possible, freedom from depression in all its many forms, is possible, that living in fullness and purpose is really possible because I live there now. (the key was in finding the truth)

Recovery from abuse of any kind is a journey of many levels, twists and turns. There are hills, valleys, scary caves, dark forests, bright clearings, majestic mountains and dark creepy forests. There are rivers to be forged, and oceans to be crossed and there are peaceful ponds to rest by on lovely sunny days, after stormy nights filled with thunder and lightning. 

Today I like it all. I see the beauty in the journey. I see the progression to wholeness takes all of this and sometimes even more.  It takes willingness and courage. It takes determination and decision. It takes resolution, strength and stick-to-itiveness. It takes hope and belief.

I didn’t think I had any of those things! I didn’t think I had courage OR strength; I didn’t even think I had WORTH ~ but I did. I had all of them ~ some were weak and buried deep but they budded, blossomed and grew and they continue to grow and flourish as I keep going forward..  Deep down I had all these qualities and you have them too.  

So it is with excited anticipation that I say good bye to 2010 tonight and welcome 2011. I do things differently today; I live differently. I live in the truth. I like myself and I believe in myself. I am on the journey with myself and no longer dissociated and I am enjoying getting to know the real me. This is my hope for you too.

As I reflect back on the past year, and anticipate this New Year, I am grateful. I didn’t have community in the most difficult part of my journey and wished I had had that so I have created it here in Emerging from Broken for all of us; it helps me stay the path also. I am grateful for each one of the readers, guest post bloggers, commenters and contributors because my life is enriched by each of you. You give me a reason to share. You help me fulfill my purpose. You inspire me and encourage me. I thank you.

Happy New Year.

Wishing you a year filled with Truth ~ then Love will follow

Darlene Ouimet 

Related Posts ~ “Before I faced the pain, I had to face the lies”

                            ~ Getting to the Turth ~ an audio by C.Enevoldsen and myself

                            ~ I held the key to my freedom ~ by Susan Kingsley Smith

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Depression
Comments (30)


Emotional abuse, recovery from abuse

The Road Ahead

Something is happening here on Emerging from Broken.  There is a depth of sharing and honesty that I didn’t expect. There is a community growing that I only hoped for. There is a profound expression of struggle and healing, all working towards the overall good and towards emotional recovery.

This post is the follow up to my last post ~ “Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain” . If you have not read it, I really recommend that you take the time to read it and the 50 some amazing comments that it has generated so far. There is something special there.

Some of those comments made my heart ache with pain and I wanted to touch each heart and convince each one that there is hope for emotional healing. It is possible. It is doable. This is curable!  I feel your pain because I remember that pain myself.

~The pain of realizing that any kind of abuse including emotional abuse is rejection.  I worked so hard all of my life to be this great person full of acceptance and rejection was my biggest fear, only to wake up one day and realize how rejected that I was all along. But that was not MY failure.

~The pain of realizing that my life was built on lies. But they were not MY lies.

~The pain of realizing that all of my efforts to avoid being alone, left me alone anyway, but then realizing that the journey is lonely because we have to go through it as individuals. All my life I tried to do life how someone else taught me to do it, but in reality, I had to find my way because there is only one of me. They took that from me for way too long.

~Realizing that I had been defined by someone else and then suddenly realizing that if I was not who I thought I was, then who was I?  And being scared to death to find out who I might be. Which comes from the same fear of rejection and round and round it goes.

~I was so stuck in realizing that after the abuse I felt like no one ever loved me again ~ thinking the answer would be in finding someone to love me again, but in truth, I didn’t love me either.  I didn’t know how. The abuse defined me. I wanted someone else to fix it just like someone else broke it. But I had to do it for me. I had to decide that I would love me. I had to find out how. I had to redefine me and in that new beginning, I was able to take my life back.

~Realizing that I never believed that MY abuse was really valid and therefore I was invalidated; first by them and then by me. But that was not my choice. That was what I learned to do. I wasn’t given a choice. But I have one now. I have one today.

~Realizing and finally acknowledging that I was filled with guilt and shame and not knowing exactly what the heck to DO with it.  But it wasn’t MY guilt and shame and realizing that was what got me to the next step in the process of letting it go.

~And the frozenness that goes along with all of it and seems to return with each new stage. That feeling of being immobilized; the fear of forward motion; all of that with its own history, each one of us with a slightly different story that the frozen is grounded in and has its roots in and everything even remotely related to any of the following things.

    ~ I told but was ignored

    ~ I didn’t tell because I was too scared of the consequences

    ~ I told and I suffered the consequences

    ~ I didn’t know there was anything to tell

AND the threads of steel wrapped around each one of these things, each memory, each event, each invalidation and ALL the conclusions that we came to ~ all of which need to be looked at, examined, cut and then healed such as:

~The belief that I am the one that wasted my life.  That somehow I should have been able to get over all of this by myself; that somehow I am a failure because of what happened TO me. That somehow the abuse done to me has suddenly become my fault, and I lived my life as though it was my failure ~ that my whole life was my screw up. But HOW was I supposed to move forward with no guidance? HOW was I supposed to “get over it”?   

~No one validated me so that I knew how to validate myself

~No one ever helped me move forward.

~No one encouraged me to be who I am but everyone “told me” who I was and that was a lie too. No one knew me. No one SAW ME.

~And I carried the failure that was not mine to carry. I lived the identity that they assigned me.

Running from me but not realizing that it is in the running back to me that I find my true self. Running from the truth because I believed the lies.

Running until I finally realized that the running was killing me. Realizing just one truth was enough to set me on the right path. And then running again because the fear of the unknown was just too scary to actually stop running to face it. 

Round and Round it goes… like a whirlwind that I was trapped in. I had to somehow find a way to step out of it for mere moments at a time. Picture being inside of a small tornado that is spinning you around so fast that everything is a blur. Now picture stepping back just enough that you can SEE the spin in front of you, but you are not in it, just for one minute. That is how it began for me. And I began by just looking at one thing at a time for those moments when I could step back from the spin. As time went on, I learned to love myself and fill the void in me for myself. This was not quick OR easy but it was possible and it is possible.

And we do have a choice.

And we can overcome.

And we can take our lives back.

And we can leave the pain behind.

And we can live fully in real happiness and freedom.

………..And I know because I didn’t think I could do it either, but here I am.

Please share.

More little snapshots of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

Related posts: “Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain”

                              “But HOW do I recover? Emotional and other abuse”

and most of the other posts on this blog.. 😎

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
Comments (34)

Self Validation for Emotional Healing from Abuse

Posted by: | Comments (62)
emotional abuse, self esteem, self validation
the path to emotional healing

It makes sense if you think about it, that a child victim of any kind of abuse or a child, who has been devalued in any way, is likely to have a lower self esteem and self image. So if we go into adulthood with a lower sense of self, really believing that we are not as valuable as others, then it stands to reason that we will continue to accept the devaluing behavior that we have become accustomed to as children.

That is one of my most foundational messages of recovery from trauma and depressions and other mental health issues.

Realizing that our belief system is skewed in the first place, that we are not starting from a “fair” place when we are supposed to become mature independent adults, is an important truth to realize if we are to make a new beginning.

One of the most important discoveries that I have made is that so many of my problems as an adult had their foundation in the fact that I had been invalidated and discounted for so much of my life.  Because I had been invalidated (and also defined) by other people from such a young age, it stands to reason that I believed validation would come from others.  In other words, I thought that validation would come from somewhere else or from someone else because invalidation came from somewhere else. (Not from me)

A close relative of this problem is that we constantly hear statements indicating that we “should” be able to move on, and that our “issues” are the problem when in fact the ABUSE we suffered was really the problem that CAUSED the issues. There is a huge difference between these two things.

The key was actually in self validation.  I was angry at myself because I could not seem to make my life work.  I had trouble coping, I was messed up.  I had to realize that it wasn’t my fault. 

The pathway to freedom for me began when I validated myself. This was a process that can be looked at in stages.

A)   I was mistreated. Abused, Devalued.

B)   My belief system developed in an unhealthy way and it was therefore formed full of lies.

C)   I had to identify those lies

D)   I realized that I was not to blame for those lies or for the mistreatment.

E)   I had no choice in accepting the childhood abuse because I was a child.

F)    I also had to realize that I had carried my childhood acceptance of abuse with me into adulthood.

G)   I came to understand that I HAD to develop coping methods (what others often called my issues) as a child in order to survive.

H)   In realizing those lies and then validating myself I was able to understand why I needed all those coping methods.

I had been trying to skip the step of realizing that there were reasons for the way that I was and for why I had trouble and needed coping methods. I believed that I was a failure.

So the key was to go back and figure out where I was invalidated, AND what I came to believe about myself because of it and validate

A)   first the abuse,

B)   that it was wrong and I didn’t “deserve” it

C)   that it was not my fault

D)   that I was in fact valuable and worthy

This enabled me to make a beginning when it came to validating myself. It is important to validate ourselves because as I said earlier, we have not been validated by others in the ways that we needed to be validated and we have to stop thinking that others are going to finally give us the “stamp of approval” that we long to have.

We need to approve of ourselves, but we can’t because we never learned how and because we are stuck with never having been helped with dealing with the abuse, mistreatment or the way that were not valued in the first place. We have also been told all our lives (usually not in direct words) that we are the ones at fault because we can’t move on. I am referring to statements such as “are you still going on about that??” or “when are you going to move on?” or “that happened years ago”.  SO WHAT? When something didn’t get dealt with properly, it didn’t get dealt with properly! It has nothing to do with how much time went by, but we accept those statements as the truth.  Somehow we believe that the defect is ours. That we “should” be able to move on and very often we don’t even know that our depressions or other mental health struggles had to do with abuse, emotional disregard, and the way way we were not valued in the first place!

The abuse has been so downplayed that often we can’t even validate it ourselves!  For many, when they finally do tell, they are heaped with more guilt and shame or blamed for it in the first place. Some mothers will take the focus off the event and change the focus to HER feelings instead. Statements such as “how do you think I feel?” or “I can’t listen to this” are designed to throw us off and to once again make us think of someone else’s feelings before our own. They are invalidating statements. 

As with every other process, there is always more than one major issue that is in the way. We have been so accustomed to being the one to try harder that many of us myself included, got lost in a sea of making excuses for the people who devalued us in the first place ~ which makes it even easier to stay stuck in self blame. ***YES the people that discounted me had huge issues of their own, but SO WHAT? That didn’t change what happened to me. I am not suggesting that we have to stay in a place of placing blame on others; I am just saying that I had to stay there long enough to be able to validate myself.

I had to believe that I was worthy and valid before I could stop expecting someone else to tell me that I was.

Please share your own experience, struggles or victories with me and the other readers.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Inspired by comments from posts; “How do I recover from emotional and other abuse?”

 “that” Makes me Angry

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (62)

But HOW Do I Recover? ~ Emotional and other Abuse

Posted by: | Comments (64)
psychological abuse, abuse recovery
Success is a series of small accomplishments

I wanted to know HOW I would recover from emotional abuse; how do I do it? What do I do?

As though knowing HOW would make it possible.

I wanted to know HOW the healing would take place, as though knowing how would make it real or as though knowing how would enable me to make the decision on whether or not I was willing to go through with it.

But the truth is that I didn’t ever get to know how. I didn’t ever get prior knowledge as to where the journey would take me.

I was held back on some aspects because I thought the pain would kill me, but the pain of recovery was never as bad as the pain of living broken. Unfortunately, we don’t know that for sure until we are on the other side of broken.

I thought that if I ventured forward but didn’t succeed, that the pain of another failure would kill me; so I hesitated about moving forward.

I hear this question all the time; “But how does it work? How will I do it?”

I didn’t know, I never knew, and looking back I don’t see how I could have even been told. Because it is different for everyone. Because it is a step by step process that takes time. Because on breakthrough builds on another.

What I remember is that I believed it was possible. That belief came because my therapist told me that there were others that had overcome and recovered from chronic depressions and dissociative behavior. I had not actually met anyone that had overcome, but when I started to trust him, I started to believe him and after I began to believe him and when I had my first little breakthrough, then I believed that I could do recover too. I finally had hope. I finally believed that if someone else could overcome ~ if someone else had recovered from dissociative identity disorder, sexual abuse, and a lifetime of psychological abuse, then maybe I could recover too.

I finally believed that I was worth taking the chance on.  I was worth the effort. And I also realized that the reason that I had not considered that I was worth it prior to this was because from a very young age I had been treated as though I was not worth it. As a child I had no choice but to believe that lie.

I dug my heals in and went for it. I just put one foot in front of the other and took my time looking at the reasons that I had been in this state of difficulty and struggle with my mental health for so long. All I had was hope and it turned out that was all I needed. Each little success, each little breakthrough no matter how tiny was what kept me going forward after that. My breakthroughs became my motivation and hope was my foundation.

Blind faith I guess you could say.  

I realize today that success is not the end result but rather a collection of accomplishments.

I took someone else’s word for it; that recovery was possible and it ended up being the truth. This is my biggest inspiration for writing this blog. I want to inspire hope as it was inspired in me.

I made the decision to face the pain. I made the decision to go forward but I didn’t know the answer to the HOW question. And in the end, it didn’t matter.

What are your thoughts on the “HOW” question? Please share them with us in the comments.

Exposing Truth ~ One Snapshot at a Time

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Therapy
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That ~ Makes Me Angry by Darlene Ouimet

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anger at abuse,
Darlene Ouimet ~ on vacation!

Greetings from Beautiful Puerto Vallarta Mexico!

I have trouble with this topic. I didn’t feel anger the way that I understood anger to be. I saw others express their anger, and I couldn’t relate to that kind of feeling. I was afraid of anger. The few times that I got angry before my process of recovery, I remember quickly going from feeling anger to feeling powerless. I did not give myself the right to be angry. In my mind’s eye I see a spineless, droopy shell of a person, rather like a rag doll, void of any real emotion.  Tossed about by the world and its people; everyone had more rights than I did, everyone was more important than I was, everyone had a right to their feelings except me.

That makes me angry.

I don’t remember ever being angry as a child. I did not have a temper. I was quiet. I was often labeled sullen. I was withdrawn. I had no confidence, no spark; I was afraid to be noticed.

I was afraid to be….

That makes me angry.

I remember as a young adult being told that there are only two emotions and all other emotions fall under the heading of one or the other. I was taught that there is only love and fear. Anger comes under the emotion of fear and I was taught that if I was angry to ask myself what I was afraid of. Because of this teaching, just when I might have gotten in touch with my anger for the first time in my life, I shut it down. The truth is that I was afraid of everything including life itself. Asking myself what I was afraid of was WAY too big a question.

That makes me angry.

Looking at things that way also puts the focus on what is wrong with me. For someone who knew her whole life that the reason I was how I was, was because something was wrong with me, was just heaping more guilt, blame and shame on myself. I needed to get to the root of the WHY I was so shut down, why I was so afraid, before I cut straight to the “get rid of it”. No one ever helped me with actually doing that. Everyone wants to skip the WHY steps.

That makes me angry.

I was not heard. I had no voice. I stopped trying; I gave up. I put myself behind everyone else. I got more and more depressed and had more and more emotional struggles. And I got blamed for them. I got more labels attached to me. Crazy, reactive and over reactive, incompetent, emotional, stupid, unwilling to forgive, holding grudges……

That makes me angry.

When I had to go on anti depressants because I couldn’t get out of bed anymore, some people acted like they finally had the PROOF that it was ME who had the problem all along. “See, she is crazy”…. I was embarrassed and ashamed at what I thought was my inability to cope with life.  And actually with a medically treated depression, things got worse. My family looked down on me, as though now they had a right to treat me like I was “nothing”.

That makes me angry.

I was so compliant, I was so easily manipulated, so willing to do what they wanted, and yet I was so unimportant and so disposable. I was a good victim, a great victim actually; the PERFECT victim. And that wasn’t enough. Nothing I did was ever enough or good enough. And when I said enough, they said goodbye.

That makes me angry.

My anger (when I finally did get in touch with it) for the most part was for the life that I lost. It was about the fog that I lived in and was kept in and about the lies that we swallow and because we are groomed for the lies as children, it is easy for us to continue to be easily fooled. It is anger for you, for me, for the children and for the broken world.

But today I have my life back. I don’t live in that fog; in fact I am a “fog buster” now. I know the truth. I know that my anger is justified, I am not afraid of it anymore. I am not easily fooled anymore; I don’t believe those lies anymore!

I have hope for you for me and for the children and I rest in the knowledge that there is indeed hope.

Please share whatever is important to you to share and thank you for being part of this blog.

Exposing truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

As always, please feel welcome to share with us.  I am on my way home in a couple of hours from now, and will answer the comments sometime tomorrow! 

Related Posts: What is my Anger telling me?

                              Emotional abuse and Anger  

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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Fuel on the Fire: Anger by Shanyn Silinski

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Anger, rage, fire

I am excited to have guest post blogger Shanyn Silinski from “the Scarred Seeker” contributing to our Anger series while I am taking some time off to vacation in Mexico.  Please share your thoughts and feedback about her take on the subject of Anger.

Darlene Ouimet ~ founder of Emerging from Broken

Fuel on the Fire: Anger by Shanyn Silinski

 You may not guess from reading what I write or from knowing me now but I’ve got anger issues.  I struggle, really struggle with being angry, becoming angry and what to do with that fire I hold in my hands.

 For me there are three kinds of angry and like the real fires I used to fight each can be deadly, scarring and wounding to myself and to others.  What kinds am I referring to?

 Holding fire, throwing fire and hiding fire, holding anger, throwing anger and hiding anger.   Much like their real counterparts, the fire of anger burns sometimes just on the surface and other times deep enough to reach the bone.  Some fires are hot enough to render us down to ash and others barely singe the hair on our arms.

 When I hold on to my anger whether it be old or new anger, it is like holding fire without gloves.  It is hot and it burns.  Burns me, hurts me, causes me to be in pain.  Holding on to my anger doesn’t cause any pain to the one I’m angry at.  It doesn’t even warm them up.  I can be as righteously angry, unfairly angry, grudge holding call it up from the past furious or newly started.

 When I throw my anger, like throwing around Molotov cocktails I cover everyone in flames, burning fuel and I hurt them.  Scarring, burning, scorching and delivering pain I serve my anger as a slave.  I’ve become that which abused me – a controlling person who needs to hurt.  I’m throwing hurt around, anger around, and feeding the flames of myth.  What have I become?  That which hurt me, I’ve become  the person and the people who scarred and scorched me.  How does that honour my healing path?   It doesn’t.

 Hiding anger can be as sneaky and deadly as any fire because you don’t see it coming.  When you are fighting a grass fire you have to watch your back.  Fire can sneak up on you under the grass, under your own feet and when it gets a chance it engulfs you.  Hiding anger, for me, is the one that preceeds the other two.  Hiding anger is like putting fire in your coat pockets and then hanging up the jacket.  The fire smolders, it waits quietly for a breath of air and WHOOMP! 

 Anger, like fire, requires three things to burn us: fuel, ignition source and air (oxygen).  In a real fire each element is separate and independent, in people and in anger they can be all in one person, they can be interchangeable.  That just makes the fire of anger even more deadly, scarring and harmful.

 My personal fuel can be something as simple and complex as unresolved feelings from recent or distant events.  Fires can burn out of control when there is a large fuel load.  When we have a lot of dry, burnable materials stacked up we are just a fire waiting to happen.  Emotionally we also stack up lots of fuel and it’s just waiting for a spark.

 Sparks! Flashes! Steel wool and a battery, matches, BBQ lighters or lightning – sources of ignition.  A quick flash that can cause things to explode or a small spark that starts a slow burn.

 No fire will burn, no anger will burn, without AIR!  Anger, like a fire, needs to breathe, it needs air to keep it burning.  Air is simple, oxygen is simple – we keep talking, we keep shouting, screaming, yelling, hitting and we keep pumping the air into the fire.  We burn hotter and hotter, we burn deeper and deeper. The anger which burns those around us will like a fire consume us as well.

 There is a simple way to extinguish a fire: remove one of the three key elements.  Remove the fuel, the ignition or the air source.  Simply said, very hard to actually do!  What is the best way to stop a fire?   Two ways – controlled burns to reduce fuel load and fire prevention.  Stop fires before they start, have prescribed burns to reduce the fuel load which would create an inferno.  Who is doing your fire control?  How do you do controlled burns?

 Controlled burns are venting, therapy, writing, art and keeping the fuel load from stacking up, keeping the anger from building up.  Keeping the air circulating, controlling the ignition sources (and those can be hard to manage!) and stop stacking up fuel.  We can prevent fires, prevent burning scarring anger from consuming us by preventing those fires, those raging emotional and physical infernos from getting out of control.  Smoke detectors in our homes detect the early signs of fire – smoke.  We can do the same with anger – when we are ready.

 You cannot control your anger until you know it, understand it and can face it.  We can still be angry – anger is a natural response to certain kinds of danger, certain kinds of injustices.  Controlling our anger so it is a vent which safely lets the pressure off.  Finding ways to release that anger can be positive and healing, it can clean our wounds and cauterize the cuts, it can be a warning and it can be a signal. 

 I know I have anger issues – I’ve had them as long as I can remember.  I know I’ve got challenges with my fuel load and I’m a deadly ignition source and I can hear myself sometimes adding air to the fire building it higher and hotter.   But I know my anger now and it doesn’t control me.  I have flare ups, explosions and yeah sometimes I get caught making Molotov cocktails I can recognize that in me, just like I recognized the fires when I wore the turnout gear of a fire fighter.  I’m working really hard to not burn everything down when I’m feeling angry.  It lurks there, though, below the surface.  At least I know it is there and for me that is over half the battle.

Shanyn Silinski

Shanyn Silinski is an outspoken survivor who writes, creates and lives life as fully as she can with her husband, son and the animals on their small ranch in Manitoba.  The author of a number of blogs, a book of poetry with two more in the works, Shanyn also sculpts, scrapbooks and loves having fun with photography. Visit Shanyn’s blog  “the Scarred Seeker”


Related Posts: Emotional Abuse and Anger by Carla Dippel

Related Post: Memoirs of a Mad Survivor by Patty Hite

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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Happy 1st Birthday Emerging from Broken

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emotional recovery, emotional healing
Darlene ~ Please join me for the celebration!

 Tomorrow, December 01st 2010 ~ this blog ”Emerging from Broken”; my baby is one year old. Emerging from Broken was born out of my life long pursuit of freedom and recovery from multiple depressions starting in childhood and dissociated identity disorder which resulted from the trauma of abuse. I was fortunate enough to find a therapist who believed in working on emotional healing and recovery from the root of the problem. The transformation and emotional healing was so profound ~ so liberating, that I quickly developed a passion to share the message of wholeness with others who struggle with mental health issues, dissociative issues, post traumatic stress disorder and bi polar disorder, but to name a few.  I started to speak in mental health seminars about my recovery process. I went back to school and obtained certification in life coaching, eventually specializing in “new life story” coaching and I became a mental health advocate.

 I pursued work in the mental health field. While speaking in mental health seminars and working as the director of client relations for a counselling company, I noticed that when I spoke about certain subjects, people’s eyes would light up as though they comprehended something amazing for the first time. I realized that there were some hidden truths that others, like me, had not ever realized. I started to comprehend that not very many people understood the truth about the foundations of depression, mental health struggle and abuse because no one was talking about it. I knew that this was the truth that set me free. After a few years of speaking, I developed a passion to share my message with an even larger audience.

Emerging from Broken was the platform that I chose with which to do just that.

 It has been an exciting year! Emerging from Broken has gone from zero to having over 7000 readers a month. According to Alexa, Emerging from Broken ranks in the top quarter of a million for all websites worldwide! EFB has an interactive page on facebook which has over 1200 members. But to me the most amazing and wonderful part is the comments.  Emerging from Broken has generated thousands of comments now averaging 1000 comments every 8 weeks. People are sharing their lives here. People are having breakthroughs here!  My goal to have my message of freedom and wholeness after depression and abuse, delivered to a larger audience is being achieved!

This week I am celebrating the first year anniversary of Emerging from Broken. I am celebrating freedom from depressions, wholeness and living life to the fullest. I am celebrating that there is a solution and full recovery from abuse and trauma is possible! I invite you to celebrate with me.

 Tomorrow, I am flying to Mexico with my daughter where we are spending two whole weeks vacationing in Puerto Vallarta. I am excited to be publishing a special series about anger and to have some special guest bloggers joining me this next two weeks. The blog will run as always and I will check in frequently.

 In honour of EFB being one year old, I am excited to welcome the first guest blog post from Carla Dippel, who co-authored EFB for the first 6 months of its life. While I am away I will be checking in here frequently.

 Thank you all for being here. Thanks to everyone who has ever shared my blog posts on Facebook; to everyone who has ever shared using the share button or the “like” button; to everyone who passes this blog along through twitter. Thanks to each one who had shared it with a friend who is not online and to everyone who comments and keeps the conversation going! Thank you for sharing your heartaches and your breakthroughs your wins and your devastation; all of it makes such a huge difference to the other readers. I would also like to extend a big thank you to every guest blogger who has ever posted and to all the readers. I am so blessed by each one of you. Together we can overcome. Together we are so much stronger. Together we can take back our lives and live in freedom.

 Please help me to celebrate this one year birthday and milestone by leaving a comment. Please feel free to share how Emerging from Broken has impacted your life, a special memory or breakthrough, or just say hello!   I look forward to hearing from you!

 Freedom is on the other side of broken!

With love, gratitude and appreciation;

Darlene Ouimet 

Please join us on  Facebook ~ Emerging from Broken page

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
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