Archive for my mother doesn’t love me

unnamed-1Abusers will point at minor issues going down trails leading nowhere designed to confuse the situation in order to discredit you along the way enabling them to be right and to defend their actions and position of power and entitlement.” Darlene Ouimet

The final straw is rarely the biggest issue and although the issue that I highlight in the following article may seem like a pretty big one, it was really just another event in a long line of events where I didn’t count.

The final straw for me has been different with different people and depending on the situation but the bottom line of this article can be applied to situations involving almost anyone that has you in a position of less power or value than they see themselves as having.

In the case of my mother the final straw was when she called me one day and said that she needed to talk to me about something. She told me that when I was in Arizona visiting my brother, I had said something to his wife that had caused a bit of a stir.

At this point I had been coming out of the fog for about a year and a half, I had been working with a therapist, I had attended a few workshops about recognizing the abuse of power and control in relationships and I was really catching on to the way that I had been defined by the ways I had been regarded and disregarded by my mother as a child, teenager and adult. So when she said “when you were in Arizona” the first thing that I did was the math and I quickly realized that my mother was talking about something that had happened 8 months prior to this phone call; I immediately recognized that “this incident” which was about me, had been discussed for a very long time behind my back. Here is how it went;  Read More→

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Mothers Day can be a rough time for survivors of dysfunctional family relationships. The key to overcoming all the emotional baggage that comes up with the pain of mothers day has been to take a look at what that pain is where that pain originated.

We are told from a young age that our parents know best. We are told and convinced that they love us and are doing their best and that they always do what is best for us. We are taught that they are right. The problem is that when we are dismissed, devalued or discounted by these same parents we don’t know how to reconcile those two polar opposite teachings. On the one hand, we have been brainwashed (convinced) to believe that that there is nothing as beautiful as a mothers love. On the other hand we are hurt by the dismissal of our mothers. Our pain has been minimized; we have been told that we exaggerate, that we outright lie, that we are too sensitive, that we are crazy, that we are don’t remember what “really happened”.

These are deflection tactics motivated by the need to cover up the truth. Mothers will jump straight to saying that we are ungrateful. “After all I have done for you, this is how you treat me!”

My mother would say; “Oh Darlene, you think you are so hard done by!” I never once thought about what that meant, I just felt the burn of shame for being ‘that daughter’… the daughter that thought her own mother was selfish. That daughter that thought her own mother was unloving and shame on me, for not understanding how hard it had been for my poor mother. I felt guilty for feeling frustrated. After all, my mother went through a lot in her life. And the whole world teaches that there is nothing as strong and protective as a mothers love.

The whole world teaches that a mother does the best she can.

A loving mother does her very best.

So I had to take a look at what a loving mother is. What does love do? What does love look like?

Does love ignore? Does love dismiss? Does love turn a blind eye to a child’s fear or to a child’s feelings? Is a parent entitled to follow different rules when it comes to love?

Is it possible that just maybe not all mothers are ‘loving’?  Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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Looks like Love but Is It?

Looks like Love but Is It?

“In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.” Christina Enevoldsen

I began writing this blog post a few years ago inspired by the blog post on the Overcoming Sexual Abuse website “Exposing the Incest Family Secrets”. In this article Christina Enevoldsen shares about how her mother’s dismissive treatment of her makes it clear that the message is “you are nothing”. She quotes her mother’s statements about her and the fact that her parents sued her for writing her blog, “Overcoming Sexual Abuse” exposing her father for sexually abusing her and her mother for disregarding it. Christina’s parents sued her for defamation of character and emotional distress. Through their case, they wanted to shut down OSA and silence her voice.

Christina and I have become close personal friends through the passion we share for advocacy work. The fact that her parents sued her had a dramatic effect on me. An anger and frustration came up in me that caused me to lose sleep; I could NOT get my head around how a sexually abusive parent could SUE the child that was sexually abused. Christina’s parents were suing for ‘emotional damages’. In Christina’s article she shares about the way she was convinced that she was ‘nothing’ and how she went on to regard herself as nothing just as they taught her her value.

In her Article, Christina writes about her struggle and breakthrough in dealing with the deeply implanted childhood belief that she really was the bad person that her parents accused her of. She makes a statement in her article that just jumped out at me and hit me ‘differently’ and at a deeper level than usual. She wrote “Abuse is about powering over someone else. I’m not taking away my dad’s power; I’m claiming my own power. I’m exercising MY right to tell MY story of MY life.”

I have known for a long time now that abuse IS about powering over someone else but what struck me differently is the way abusers, manipulators and controllers see this statement; the way that parents with entitlement beliefs UNDERSTAND this statement is what struck me as shocking.  Read More→

Categories : Family
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12399970_10201138795870244_1750274099_oThis time of year can be really difficult for survivors of dysfunctional family dynamics, and survivors of any kind of childhood trauma, abuse and or neglect. The same applies to the situation for adult children who have been or are currently dealing with narcissistic mother or narcissistic parent issues or abusive and emotionally unavailable parents in general.

I get lots of email from people asking me how I dealt with the whole ‘going no contact’ issue. When this time of year rolls around, those questions are triplicated. There is just something about Christmas that triggers us to wonder if we are in fact the actual problem when it comes to strained relationship with members of our families and something about this time of year makes us revisit our self-doubt whether we have already made the decision to go no contact or if we are simply trying to sort out if we even have a right to feel discounted or if we imagined the whole dysfunctional family thing.

In particular at this time of year, I get asked to address parental rights when it comes to our children and their relationship with our parents, their grandparents.

Because I have been putting everything through the ‘truth grid of understanding’ for so long now, there are things that are much more obvious or logical to me now, then they were 10 years ago and today I look at it this way; Read More→

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EFB door 2For the past few years I have not thought about myself as a daughter on “Mother’s day”, I have thought of myself as a mother instead. When I used to think of myself as a daughter the purpose of mother’s day was to celebrate someone who constantly reminded me that I was not the daughter that she wanted. I celebrated someone who treated me like I was lacking in some ways. I celebrated someone who seemed to be exasperated with me and communicated to me that I was somewhat of a pain in her butt. I celebrated my mother even though she blamed me for more things than I care to list in this post and I celebrated a mother who caused me untold grief. (Well actually, it was untold until 6 or 7 years ago. Now I have told…)

Mother’s day in the past was a time of great anxiety for me. It was difficult to decide ‘how’ to celebrate my mother; what kind of card, what kind of gift and what if she didn’t ‘like them’ and what if she didn’t show any appreciation and what if she made that ‘disappointed face’ which crushed my soul and spirit so many times on previous Mother’s days and on other gift and card giving holidays. I had so much anxiety over the fear of ‘that face’.

Mother’s day in the past was about celebrating someone who hurt me. It doesn’t make much sense to me today when I put it that way but back then I never thought about it that way. I was in the deep fog of conditional love, brainwashed to believe that mother is god and that parent entitlement rules over all else, no matter what… Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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Blog pic 1My Mother Blamed Me for her Disgraceful Behavior

I was lying in bed the other morning and this phrase “when mothers blame others” kept running through my mind as though some unknown source was whispering at me to write about it. I agreed that it would make a catchy title but I questioned why it was running through my head in the first place.

And then I laughed!

This idea is so prevalent that it’s a wonder it isn’t in my head all the time. Survivors of dysfunctional mother daughter relationships can’t escape the constant reminder that some mothers will blame anyone and everyone as long as they don’t have to look at their own actions. It is still frustrating to me that no matter what proof I had, no matter how many times I tried to explain the situation, no matter how much I defended myself, my mother blamed me OR she blamed something or someone else for HER decisions and behavior.

And although this problem is more widely discussed when it is the adult daughter who is targeted and blamed, this happens very often with adults sons as well. This isn’t exclusive to mothers who blame daughters, but very often fathers blame daughters and or sons as well. Sometimes ALL the children in the family are blamed and defined as “the problem” and sometimes only one or two of them are singled out and blamed and defined as “the problem” in the family.

Many adult children of Narcissistic mothers know this all too well and although my mother is not a true narcissist (because she has total control over her actions), she fits the narcissistic mother pattern of not taking responsibility for her own actions that have ultimately led to the failure of our relationship. Most importantly for the purpose of this article is the fact that the results have been the same with my mother and I as they are with others who do have more typically narcissistic mothers.

When children (of any age) are blamed and labeled as the problem, a burden or “less important’ than the parents, the damage to the self-esteem and overall emotional wellbeing of the child is substantial!

And the treatment and tactics used by the parents are so typical that it is almost as though there is secret manual that these mothers (parents) subscribe to. A manual endorsing that parents have the right to do this stuff and act this way with their children without any consequences to themselves! 

The children of these mothers, MEN and WOMAN who have been blamed as children for the ways in which we have been treated, are blamed as adults as well; Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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breaking free of the web

breaking free of the web

This weekend some of us celebrate Father’s Day in some parts of the world including Canada and the United States. Father’s day can be a really tough time of year emotionally for many of us who have been raised in dysfunctional families or where we have been taught that love is proven (by children) through obedience, compliance and service. It helped me to realize that if obedience, compliance and service is love, why isn’t it returned in the same way to the children in dysfunctional families. Why are the rules different for some people? Why aren’t we loved in the same way that we are taught to love? When the rules are different for some people, it isn’t really love; it is a false definition of love that causes confusion. Emerging from Broken is about breaking free from all that confusion by enabling clarity.

 Typically, there is more resistance when looking at issues we have with our fathers, and it is okay if that is what you are feeling when you read this. This is painful stuff!  It took me a lot longer to acknowledge the pain that my father caused me with his passive abusive actions and inactions than it took me to see the pain that my mother caused me with her more overt treatment. And father’s day was hard the first few years after I drew my boundary because I missed the idea of a loving father; I missed the hope that he might ‘see me’ one day. Letting go of the fantasy was like a death and there is grieving and sadness in the emotional healing process when Read More→

Categories : Father Daughter
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Broken Bottle 2

Carrie H. first guest posted here on Emerging from Broken in March and her post “Self Love and Navigating the Waters of Grief” was a big hit. Carrie writes with passion and beautiful emotional imagery and I am excited to publish her second post. Please help me welcome Carrie back with her second contribution here as we light the path to emotional healing by shedding light on the empowering truth. ~ Darlene Ouimet

Defined as the Problem by the Age of Four  by Carrie H.

Bottle Breaker

When I was very young, maybe three or four, my mom asked me to carry some glass bottles up the concrete steps leading up to a neighbor’s house.  On the first trip I dropped a bottle and it shattered.  My mother was very upset with me, but she let me try again.  This time, I was so nervous that I would drop the bottle that it slipped through my fingers and broke.   She was furious.  She yelled at me.  I don’t remember exactly what she said but it made me feel like she thought I had intentionally broken the bottle just to upset her.  There was no way to prove that wasn’t true.  It was the first time I felt trapped behind a lie about myself that I couldn’t prove wrong.  

It was the first time I felt like I was screaming into the wind and my words were carried away.  It was the first time I felt like I was placed into a box; a box with glass walls that gave the illusion of freedom.  A box I couldn’t escape, yet couldn’t prove was there.  No matter how hard I tried (and still try), I couldn’t escape that box.  How could I possibly prove that dropping the bottle was an accident???  How could I possibly prove I wasn’t unkind?  Eventually I adapted to being trapped in that glass box labeled “unkind” and “selfish” and I became comfortable.  So comfortable that even I stopped seeing the walls.  

Until one day I stumbled upon them.

 I realize that I’ve been trying to prove that wasn’t me my whole life.  The little girl who broke a bottle on purpose.  The selfish person who would intentionally hurt another.  But it turns out that my family won’t see me any other way.  I’ve left the box but they won’t see me unless I climb back in.  I’ve tried so hard to Read More→

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My Flowers

My Flowers

Yesterday someone asked me for guidance on the “dreaded mother’s day card purchase”. Flashbacks of trying to find just the right card went zipping through my mind. I remember reading dozens of them trying to find something that my Mother would like, but that didn’t make me feel like a liar. I wanted to make her happy and I wanted approval but I also wanted to feel good about myself. Joke cards were fun, but my mother didn’t appreciate them at all. Mushy cards that said “thank you for being the most wonderful mother in the world… for always taking care of all my needs, for putting yourself last” and all that other stuff wasn’t truthful. Not getting a card was even more risky than buying a less than perfect card. Thinking about that whole dreaded mother’s day card shopping nightmare resulted in the following thoughts;

This week in honor of Mother’s day, don’t forget to acknowledge the Mother that YOU have been to yourself. I am talking about everyone who has survived any kind of family dysfunction, emotional neglect or psychological abuse. I am talking to everyone who lived in a violent home, and to everyone who was spiritually abused and told that even God is disappointed in you. I am reaching out to every human being who was taught to believe that they were less valuable than any other human being and to anyone who felt shame that was not theirs to bear, and to every individual who came to the conclusion that if actions speak louder than words, my mother didn’t love me. I am referring to everyone, man or woman, who has persisted in moving forward in spite of the baggage and false beliefs left over from child abuse that we have tried and tried to ditch although this has always been so much easier said than done.

I remember feeling horrified and even panicky at the point in my process of emotional healing when I realized that I was going to have to be the one that had to Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
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Check the Motive

Check the Motive

Note: this post was originally published February 18th 2014 but due to a server malfunction it was lost in cyberspace along with about 25 comments from this post and 25 others from other posts! I am including some of the comments that I saved in email at the end of the post so please read through to the end.

*also: for those of you who don’t know, facebook has a feature that allows me to choose if I want to allow people to subscribe to my posts and status updates, and since I have a really big readership here and not everyone wants to publically follow the emerging from broken facebook  page, I allow people to follow the status updates on my personal page.

When People use Facebook to Spy; Dear Stalkers

I was surprised to see how popular my “dear stalkers” status update on my facebook page was.  I thought that the ‘back story’ might make for an interesting update here on the emerging from broken website.

When I first noticed that my mother’s husband was subscribing to my status updates on my personal facebook page, I was a little shocked. I couldn’t figure out why the hell he was openly following me when my mother (his wife) isn’t even interested in speaking to me. Why would they ‘follow me’ and subscribe to my personal facebook status updates?

The day before I noticed he was following me, I had confronted a cousin that I have not spoken to for YEARS for sharing a picture of my daughter on her page. I have not spoken to her for at least 12 years and I noticed that she had subscribed to my status updates on my personal page and for over 3 weeks she had been clicking the like button for everything I posted, but she had not sent me a friend request, messaged me or spoken directly to me.  I thought it was really odd.  But when I saw the share notification from facebook that she had shared a picture I posted of my youngest daughter getting her cast changed in the hospital, (my daughter had been in a car accident a couple of weeks earlier) I thought that was downright creepy!

So I went to her facebook page and asked her why she was sharing my pictures? She responded with “because your family does care about you”.  You know the old saying “they have a funny way of showing it?” well I worded it this way; “So you are sharing these for my family? You’ve been liking my status updates for weeks but you’ve never talked to me? No one in my family has even asked about any of my kids for years ~ is that what you call “caring?”  

(I don’t call it caring; I call it spying and information mongering.)

She didn’t answer the question but proceeded to tell me all the family news!??? (News such as who had surgery, and who died and how she doesn’t talk to most of ‘them’ because they are only interested in themselves. (Have you ever noticed how much these people are so willing to throw each other under the bus in order to convince you that they are on “your side”?) 

I stopped responding to her in that conversation on her status because suddenly the whole horrific dysfunctional family thing came rushing back and I remembered why I stopped talking to all but one cousin on my mother’s side of my extended family YEARS before I drew the boundaries with my mother.

The very next day I got the notification from facebook that my mother’s husband Read More→

Categories : Family
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