The “One Day I’ll Show You” Fantasy


self worth, self esteem

I had this fantasy that one day I would “show them”. One day I would prove that I was worth something and that they (everyone) had been wrong about me all along. I had always been disregarded as though I could not possibly contribute to a solution or have a valid opinion. I was “dismissed” as though I wasn’t worth the time it would take to consider anything that I had to say. I had always been regarded as invalid in so many ways, which made me feel as though they thought I was “stupid” and I constantly struggled to prove my worth. So I dreamed that I would become known for how smart that I am. I would make some sort of amazing discovery. And the world would embrace me!

And they (the ones that had defined me as invalid; the ones who disregarded me) would be stunned that they had not noticed me before and they would be filled with regret that they had always treated me with such disregard, and they would want to have a relationship with me and be willing to listen to me; and then…… I would reject them. In my fantasy, I would say “You are too late. You didn’t love me before the world loved me, so don’t come pretending that you are interested in me now; pretending that you actually do love me and want to “see me and hear me” when you never did before. I am the same person that I always was and you didn’t love me then”. 

It never dawned on me though, that I was only willing to stand up to them when I became loved and accepted by others! I was going to prove myself elsewhere and THEN I would show them. I never fantasized about saying to them “you know what; you treat me like dirt and I am done with you and your crap” ~ I wasn’t willing to walk away unless I had somewhere to walk to. I dreamed that others would recognize my value, and through them I would know that everyone else was wrong about me. I would accomplish some fantastic brilliant thing and then I could “walk” to somewhere where I knew that I was loved and accepted. That was the fantasy. 

This idea came from the false belief that I NEEDED someone to validate me. That I NEEDED someone to tell me that I am smart, that I am worthy, that my opinion counts. That is the lie that I believed for most of my life.  This is the same lie that I write about so often in this blog because I so badly want others to realize that this lie in their own belief systems ~ IS A LIE. And the TRUTH will set you free; it set me free.   

I believe the only way out of that lie, is to expose it (to ourselves) for the lie that it is. When I began to expose what the lies actually were, I began to realize that I believed that I was not worthy or valuable. It was through realizing that those lies came from somewhere, that I was not born that way that I began to change the way that I regarded myself. When I realized that I AM worthy, without anyone telling me that I am, that was when I began to find the freedom and wholeness that I had been so frantically searching for and for such a long time.

And the thing is that I would not have believed “the world” if the world had told me that I was in fact valuable. The damage could not be set straight by others telling me that I was in fact lovable. NO ONE can define my value that way because I had been raised not to know it. Because my value had been wrongly defined all along, I had to re-define it. I would never have been able to believe anyone else who defined it.  I had to know it within myself. I had to recognize that my value and worth, does not come from others and the only way that I was able to discover that, was by realizing how I had come to believe that I had no worth. When I realized the HOW and the WHY I was able to realize my beliefs were wrong, and I had to begin the re-wiring process. It wasn’t easy. It isn’t easy to change those beliefs.

It was even harder to stop expecting that my value would be confirmed by the very people that falsely defined me in the first place. And that fantasy was even bigger them the “I’ll show them” one.    

The bottom line is this: I don’t need “proof” that I am valuable and worthy. I don’t need to prove that I am good enough. I don’t need to “do something spectacular” so that I can prove my intelligence. I AM intelligent. I AM loveable. I AM worthy. And my value does not come from others, nor does it come from my accomplishments. 

I was born with it. I was born with ALL of it.

And so were you.

Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time

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 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 : Family



I wanna know what you think I should do under these circumstances: My brother sends me mail, but everything he sends has my name misspelled on it.
Now that’s no problem in itself if it were a matter of him forgetting. But that’s not the reason he does it. HE spells my name in a way I don’t want it spelled to “give our mom credit for how she spelled your name.”
First of all, she NEVER spelled my name that way, and I told him so. I spelled it that way when I was a teenager, she copied it and, when I changed it back to the spelling it has now, she stubbornly kept spelling it the way she wanted to.
But my brother continues to send mail w/ my name spelled the way HE THINKS our mom spelled it, b/c “she deserves some major credit b/c of spelling my name a certain way.” She’s just treated “so unfair” to his way of thinking, and he has to put it right by misspelling my name.
It’s the same old crap of “I’m going to force respecting your abusive mother down your throat by sending you mail w/ your name spelled the way SHE spelled it whether YOU like it or not.”
I don’t want any letters from him ever again, and my friend from New York City, whom my brother is now blaming for “turning me against our mom” said I don’t have to accept the mail. But I don’t know how to go about sending it back. At this point, I don’t care HOW much it costs to send it back. I don’t want his mail ever again.
I’ve been told I’m being ridiculous about this, that I should just accept it, and I’ve questioned myself about it. It’s possible I’m being silly but, so far, admitting it to myself hasn’t changed my feelings of anger at my brother whenever I get another piece of mail.
I don’t understand why he can’t give me the most basic respect that one human being could give another by spelling my name the way I choose to spell it.
There’s no way in hell he’s ever going to convince me he cares about or wants a relationship w/ me. He doesn’t want a relationship w/ me, I don’t even exist in his mind. The only thing that matters to him is that I spell my name the way my hateful, abusive mother spelled it when I was a teenager.
I’d appreciate any feedback even if it’s hard to hear, b/c this situation really bothers me.


I’ve heard that ignoring these types REALLY gets to them; you make your point, AND they don’t get the pleasure of your agitation anymore.

Some people will not respect. He has proven this over and over.


Thank you, I find so much comfort in this website. This post means a lot to me. I often have this fantasy! thank you.


Ask your post office what to do about sending his mail back.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marie,
I am glad that you like it here!
hugs, Darlene


I’ve had a version of that fantasy also, come to think about it. I love how you declare your own value at the end of the post – I AM intelligent. I AM loveable. I AM worthy. And my value does not come from others, nor does it come from my accomplishments. Yay! Inspiring.


Darlene, this is such a great post and very timely as I was JUST discussing the topic of needing others to validate us earlier today. I had a very similar fantasy that I still find myself daydreaming about once in a while. And I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said AND you HAVE done something spectacular in sharing your story with everyone. We former-unworthy-folks appreciate your candor and insight.


If I could only feel this way. I want to believe that I am worth something. I try so hard…but in almost everything I do, I feel less. I feel worthless. I feel that everyone is better than I am. I can walk into a room and the least little ‘whisper’ or ‘funny look’ sends me into a tail spin. I feel like everyone knows what I am and what I have been through. It is like walking through life with the ‘scarlett letter’ on my forehead. I so want to be different and do not know how. Thank you for this post. Maybe it will be a beginning for me.


I can’t say I ever had that fantasy after, oh, say the age of 14 or so. By that point I knew: I would never be what they wanted me to be. Hell, I knew that when I was 4 and 5. Even before then in some ways: my dad refused to hold me for the first month or two, his disappointment that I wasn’t a girl throwing him off. And mom definitely made no bones about what a burden we were. Punished us for that quite often, if I recall.

But I can see where that fantasy would hold an allure. I was fortunate: my parents knew I was smart, and said so all of the time. “You’re smart enough not to do that; know that; say that – whatever.” Then bang, pow, what have you. “You’re science teacher says you’re a friggin’ genius” (this was in 6th grade?) – “why aren’t you doing better in math?” (maybe, uh, moving from one school to another for the past 5 years has something to do with it? 6 at one time in one year? Jeezus.)

“You’re a wonderful artist . . . but it’s a waste of time. There’s no money in doing artwork, you know. We’ll only fund a college education (which they didn’t; they spent my fund on their divorce – and then got remarried again).” Got Govener’s Honors program in H.S.- $350 to go to Atl. to attend. “No, there’s no money in the art field.”

People still say I’m an outstanding artist. I wonder what I could have done if then . . . but I did get paid $25/hr just to sit on my butt and do art one time – for years. Good thing I did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the home I live in.

Odd things happen in life it seems. Gee, now I remember that dream i had when I was a baby one: “may you have an interesting life . . .”
I guess He wasn’t kiddin’, huh?


Susa > Darlene:

Wow… It is incredible that you wrote this blog entry at this particular time, and that I read it today of all days… thank you for this, Darlene!



p.s. how do you do smiley faces? That’s what I was going for!


@Darlene, I love how you ended the blog “Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time”
Though this has not been my exact experience I can learn a lot from it as all human experience is similar at times.

For me, I was more desperate to get away from them absolutley desperate! And I did get away! I did the great escape. I bought a plane ticket and had a friends mom drive me to the air port. I cooked dinner left it on the table with a note telling them why they would not be graced with my presence any more. It was fro drama but more importantly because I felt unsafe and felt I had to do it this way to stay safe. I had at least 20 child hood photos albums and my mom trashed them which is what she knew would hurt me the most. I had sent a money order with a friedns address and asked her to mail them to the friend. She sent a letter saying she trashed them all. The only pictures I have of my childhood were given to me by friends and are on my FB page.
They were pissed that I had the nerve to leave and go out on my own. It was really my mom. My dad was okay. I was raped by 2 people. I did not go into details but kind of told him about the one guy who raped me who was a family “friend.” My dad had his legs broken. So to me hat was support. I was a freshman in high school when his legs were broken.
My dad was never abusive even supportive in many ways until I told him my brother raped me.
He said dont tell your mom because she will make my life miserable. I lost respect for him at that point but up until then he was cool. But anyway I totally agree with this statement

Darlene wrote: ” The bottom line is this: I don’t need “proof” that I am valuable and worthy. I don’t need to prove that I am good enough. I don’t need to “do something spectacular” so that I can prove my intelligence. I AM intelligent. I AM loveable. I AM worthy. And my value does not come from others, nor does it come from my accomplishments.

I was born with it. I was born with ALL of it.

And so were you.”


This came out of FB, right? 😛

I can’t emphasize this further. As much as I want to always talk about being “recovered”, I must say that recovery and growth is lifelong and there will always be parts that we will struggle with. And for me, this is one of them.

The need for validation has been consuming me ever since I stepped from “in recovery” to “recovered”. Finally, as I began to smile, laugh and act like everyone else…people are beginning to see a different side of me, one that I didn’t even know of. And yes, it’s a fantasy – a fantasy that they will regret looking down on me. That they will wish that they had believed in me, and had treated me better. That it’s now payback time – I can refuse to accept their acceptance.

But I forget the other side of this. I forget that I will have to keep on being “perfect” just so that the validation will not stop. I could not even allow myself to feel depressed for a while because I feared that (people think) I will fall into the pit again. Whatever that I do, I must do it perfectly or I am not good enough.

I also did not realize that by pushing people away, they most probably will care less about it than I had fantasized. In fact, I would be the one who ends up getting hurt (again).

Validation has to come from within. We have to separate the person from the problem. We have to stop striving so hard to be better than others just to feel like we’re on the same plane.

Because actually, these things don’t really matter in real life.


Hi Ellen,
I am thrilled that you are inspired! My deepest desire is to inspire others!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Cindi
Thanks for your compliments and welcome to EFB!
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nico!
I felt that same way too, for a very long time. When I found the way out, I vowed to tell others about it. I started speaking in mental health seminars, and then I started writing this blog. There is hope! It is a process, but I no longer feel that way at all. Not only do I not care what others are thinking about me, I don’t even wonder about it anymore. I walk into places everywhere with the knowledge that I am ME and I am equally valuable to everyone and I can smile at the world. I feel really great and my life is 100% different.
I am really glad you are here.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much Darlene. I am glad I am here also. My feelings of inferior can sometimes consume me and make it hard to leave the house. But, I am working on them.


Hi Jasmine!
YES! this was inspired by the discussion we were having on Emerging from Broken the Face book page last week. LOL
Love your comments and additions to this post!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene! But, I’m not new just no longer blogging (So Much More Than A Mom). 🙂


ME, TOO, Darlene ~ to everything you said.



…except for the last part, your bottom line:

“….I don’t need “proof” that I am valuable and worthy. I don’t need to prove that I am good enough. I don’t need to “do something spectacular” so that I can prove my intelligence. I AM intelligent. I AM loveable. I AM worthy. And my value does not come from others, nor does it come from my accomplishments.

I was born with it. I was born with ALL of it….”

I’m not quite as “there” as you are, Darlene. But, thanks to you and this amazing blog community you have created… I’m getting there!



Wow, that was such a powerful read. That we ARE already worthy and have value and don’t need proof in our accomplishments or from others.
Wow, that’s going to take a while to get my head around. I’ve noticed that one day I believe it for a bit and next day I don’t! But that’s one day MORE than ever before! 🙂
I’m beginning to look at what’s stopping me believing it. Usually it’s anything that triggers my despair, hopelessness, or helplessness. And what helps me believe it is reiterating that truth to myself, whether it’s reading it here in your blogs Darlene or hearing it, or just reminding myself ‘I have value’ ‘I am valuable’. I always used to want to become useful. I felt that I wasn’t, I felt I was a burden, a pain sponge or like an emotional punch bag. Maybe that is useful for some but not for me. It’s one thing leaving an abusive situation, a whole other thing to take the abuse out of yourself. And your saying it was PUT there, and we weren’t BORN like that, is just huge!


Ya know, the more I think about it, the more I see into this thing. Because there IS one visceral thrill I get.

It’s when I look at my mom and dad and see how unhappy they are. How bitter and angry (and I remember me being all too well on down that own road; that row they were having us hoe.)

And now: when they see me they are all kinda confused. Like “where’d that happy man come from?” And while I don’t mock them (too much) with my happiness (preferring instead to try to lead them down that right path – not much success, I’m afraid: I still kinda HATE them all, after all) – but being able to prove I am happy DESPITE them – and because of them! – just proves my point to them: “I am better than what you are.”

A sin of pride no doubt, and a bit of meanness perhaps in that spirit; but I know: every time I ‘show’ them how happy I’ve become –
I’ve diminished them – and their ‘power’ over me (past, present, and future tense) – just one step more in my own lives.


Loved this, Darlene. This stood out at me, “The bottom line is this: I don’t need “proof” that I am valuable and worthy. I don’t need to prove that I am good enough. I don’t need to “do something spectacular” so that I can prove my intelligence. I AM intelligent. I AM lovable. I AM worthy. And my value does not come from others, nor does it come from my accomplishments.

I was born with it. I was born with ALL of it.

And so were you.”



To me, the fantasy was a coping mechanism, and it worked for a while, protected you as you emerged more and more out of the darkness, along your path of discovery. People may feel that if they’re still in that “fantasy” they’re doing something bad, but it’s all part of the journey, and everyone emerges at different times, as they’re ready. I’m so glad you’ve arrived at the point where you’re strong and realize your truth. I applaud you, and envy you at the same time, because I’m still in the “fantasy” phase, myself. I’m coming closer to realizing that nobody’s going to validate me, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting it. My own kids aren’t doing it, and my “husband” (legally only) surely does all he can to tear me down with his passive-aggressive swipes at me all the time. I’m a human shield to my kids, against his destructive patterns, and I’ve put my own preservation aside to be that shield.


Awesome post, Darlene … and as always, I always it so resonates with me. My fantasy was that my family members would wake up and see my mother the way I see her. But that wasn’t the case. Like you, I never fantasized about just confronting them all on it … but I did anyway because I got tired of them insinuating that it was up to me to ‘fix’ the relationship with my mother. And now that I’ve basically been rejected by them – I feel good, and I feel good about me. Not that it gave me any inkling of self worth, but the self worth kicked in making me feel strong enough to confront them even if it meant their rejection of me.

As you said in your post, I had come to realize that I was of worth with or without them. I also realized that I didn’t need them to validate me or expect them to love me and accept me as is. I am ‘me’ with or without them. God defines me which is the epitome of me. God is the only true parent I’ve ever had – He truly knows me better than I know myself – He thought I was worthy enough to be saved from my sin – and I realized that I need to start seeing myself the way He sees me.


The child of a narcissist is valuable to them in the same way that they value their arm or their leg. They view that child as a part of them that should serve them. An arm has no use or purpose on its own and when you are raised by narcissists it is tough to redefine one’s self as having a unique purpose seperate from serving another. Individiation should begin at birth and that is the most severe abuse perpetrated by a narcissistic parent, they deny the individiation process. When they refuse to change or even to think something might be wrong with them, I don’t think there is any way for the child of a naricissist to become fully their own person but to end their relationship with their parent. That is where I’m at. I feel free and sad at the same time.


Hi Louise and Lynda

It took a while for me to get my head around it too, so no worries about how long it takes to believe it. The most important thing is that I realized it. A slight glimmer of it was all it took for me to get started.
Keep believing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Meg!
That is the bottom line for me too! I don’t need proof ~ I just needed to realize / recognize the truth.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rachel!
Welcome to Emerging from Broken

The stage that you describe yourself as being at ~ realizing that nobody is going to validate you, but still wanting it, is a part of the necessary process. For me, it was there that I was able to start doing the self validating work. I can validate myself. I see your above statement slightly differently today then I used to; it isn’t that no one will ever validate me, I am validated by others all the time ~ what is different now is that I know that being validated by others is NOT the answer and will not get me closer to healing. It was validating myself that was the key to getting my self esteem back.
Thanks for your comments! Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Paulette
Even God didn’t define me; there was some abuse with that too, so I was unable to accept that God saw me as lovable, worthy, etc. I just could not believe it. I worked backwards for me; AFTER I did the work that I always talk about, only then was I able to even begin to grasp what the “God loves me etc” stuff was about. I still needed to see myself the way that I truly was and that no one defined me. I could not take anyone’s word for it, not even Gods.
I am not saying that everyone is like me! I appreciate you sharing what worked for you and I know that many others feel this way too!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
Thanks for sharing this snapshot of truth! For the readers who do not have a narcissist parent, just take the word narcissist out and put any other word for dysfunctional in and you get the same results!
I felt free and sad for a long time.. and sometimes I still feel sad. But having the FREEDOM is so worth the occasional sad!
Thanks for being here!
Hugs, Darlene



In reading Louise’s, Jeffery’s, Meg’s, Rachel Tucker’s (double WOW), Paulette’s, Pam’s, and Darlene’s followup comments, I am just blown away by all the awesome wisdom and awesome validation I’m seeing in everyone’s comments.

I’m having an AWESOME OVERLOAD, lol.

(Jeffery, I just now realized that I’ve been misspelling your name all along as Jeffrey, ugh, I’m so sorry.)



Darlene, what you said about not being defined by God (in your own mind), until AFTER you had done the healing work, because there was abuse in that area too… Me, Too!!

It was interesting though that in my case, when I FIRST BEGAN TO BELIEVE that I am worthy and loveable and valuable, just because I was born with those inherent qualities… almost immediately, or within a day or two, I also began to accept and truly believe that that is how God sees me, too. The two beliefs, for me, occurred so close together that they were almost ~ but not quite ~ simultaneous.



Jeffery, I SO GET THAT, about your “one visceral thrill.” I have had that, too.

I only say “have had,” rather than “still have” that visceral thrill, because my parents are no longer in my life. My dad died in January, 1988, and I haven’t seen my mother face-to-face since May or June of 2003, and the last time I spoke with her on the phone was in July, 2006.

But the last time I saw my mother face to face… she was clearly, absolutely STUNNED, by me. I had just had my 50th birthday a few weeks before, yet I was so youthful, so healthy, so vibrantly HAPPY and fully ALIVE for the first time in my whole life… my mother just kept staring at me in shock, like she was wondering, “Who IS this person? This can’t by my daughter Lynda!”

When I last saw my mother face to face, that was at the beginning of my healing journey, after I had taken my settlement money from my last divorce and checked myself into a world-renowned psychiatric clinic, where the famous psychiatrist and author or co-author of 80+ books, after a full battery od psychology and physical tests, had told me that I was not and never was “crazy,” but that I had, in his learned opinion, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which, he emphasized, was a 100% NORMAL REACTION to extreme trauma, no less normal than it is to BLEED if you are stabbed. For the first time in my life, I had a Mental Health Professional treating me with utmost Compassion, Understanding, RESPECT (!!!), and Encouragment… and that made all the difference to me. Through Paul Meier, MD’s, validation of me, I finally began to be able to see the TRUTH about LYNDA… that I was not the MISTAKE who should never have been born, I was NOT the crazy toxic person who didn’t even deserve the food that it takes to keep her alive. For the first time, EVER, I looked into the mirror and LIKED the person I saw. WOW! What that did for me!!

When I went into that clinic, I was absolutely determined to kill myself if I didn’t feel significantly better when I left there. I had reached my absolute rock bottom, I could not take the P*A*I*N of my life any longer.

When I left that clinic, I felt like I had been reborn, and made all brand new, a beautiful NEW creation. For me, life began at 50!! I will be 58 in 5 more days, and for me, these past 8 years of my life have been by far, the BEST years of my life… and it just keeps getting better and better. To this day, I still turn heads wherever I go, and I believe it is because I GLOW with inner peace, love, and happiness. Good People are DRAWN to that! Before, only negative, abusive people were drawn to my weak broken condition.

A few weeks after I left the Meier (formerly Minirth-Meier) Clinic in Richardson, Texas, I made the huge decision to take what was left of my divorce settlement money (I could have paid cash for a modest home for my old age, but I used that money to save my sanity and my life, instead) ~ and I moved 1,880+ miles from the toxic life I had in eastern Pennsylvania, to the awesome wide-open mountain beauty of the high desert country of New Mexico… where I did not then know a soul. I had fallen in love with this state, as I was traveling west from PA, intending to celebrate my big 5-0 in Northern California, where I had been born, and hadn’t been back to, since just before my 3rd birthday. But when I got to NM, I loved it here so much, that I didn’t go any further. I celebrated my big 5-0 in a hot air balloon ride over the Rio Grande, then I rented the top floor of a century-old Victorian in the quaint old town area of Albuquerque, perfect for my antiques, and complete with an evergreen-shaded private balcony off my little living room with awesome views of the Sandia Mountains.. and, leaving my little black sports car behind, I flew to PA, hired a crew to load up a big rental truck (I lived on a 3rd floor walk-up, and with my bad back, could not do all that lifting myself), and then I drove that huge long rental truck all by myself over 1,800 miles to a place where I didn’t know a soul when I had first arrived there a few weeks earlier…

…and while I was passing through the mid-western state where I grew up, and where my family of origin still lives, I decided to stop and see my mother on an impulse.

I was glowing, I was alive, I was full of excitement over my new life and great adventure of going west all by myself like a pioneer woman of old… and my mother almost couldn’t close her astonished open mouth at the sight of me, and, YES, that felt GOOD. I hadn’t expected that reaction from her at all, if anything, I expected her to find fault with what I was doing… oh, and that she did, but it took her several days of thinking to finally come up with the “fault,” and that was, “What kind of a mother and grandmother was I to move so far away from Pennsylvania, where my 3 grown children and their children live?? (UH…. WHY did it not occur to me, until Just This Minute, how HYPOCRITICAL that criticism is, coming from a mother who literally THREW HER OWN DAUGHTER, ME, AWAY, WHEN I WAS 14??????!!)

It wasn’t any of her business, but I told her anyway, that because I DO love my grown children and my grandchildren so much, before making my decision to turn my western vacation into a permanent relocation, I had telephoned each of my grown children, starting with the eldest, and said to each one of them, “I know you are fully grown and have a life and family of your own, so maybe you will think this is a silly question, but I just want to know, if I decide to permanently more out here to New Mexico, which is almost 2,000 miles away from you, Will you feel like I have abandoned you? I love it here and I have never felt so at home and so perfectly at peace, as I feel here… I would really like to LIVE here… but I don’t want to move here, if that will hurt YOU.”

All 3 of my grown children said the same thing to me, almost word for word. They said that they had been so worried about me for so long,that i f I had finally found a place and a life that would make me happy, that would be the greatest gift I could give them. They also told me, each one of them, that they don’t like the Lancaster, PA, area, they hoped to eventually move away from there someday, and if I went back and continued to live there just to be near them, eventually, I would end up not being near them~

….isn’t it funny though, that I never saw the hypocrisy in my mother’s belated criticism of my decision to move to New Mexico, until I put her criticism in writing, just now!?

OH, and she also wanted to know, if I really HAD to move far away from my children and grandchildren, WHY didn’t I move near to HER. Then I would only be aobut 1,000 miles from my kids/grandkids, not 2,000, and I would be… UH…. NOT NO, BUT H*LL NO!!!




My saying, that I came up with after my life-saving and life-changing experience at the Meier Clinic, is this:

“Turn PTSD into C.U.R.E. with Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and Encouragement.”

I believe that my version of CURE is actually the first, most essential step, in facillitating healing from any and all “mental illness” labels: 1. Compassion, no less than you would have for a person with cancer; 2. Understanding, which includes have the humility to understand that you cannot FULLY understand, unless you have been in the other person’ shoes, regardless of how many educational degrees you have after your name; 3. Respect ~ OH that is the BIGGIE for me! NO condescending attitudes, EVER!! RESPECT the hurting person’s inherent equal rights and inherent equal value, and also, show them due respect for having Survived the Hell they have Survived; and finally: 4. Encouragement…. having the optimistic, and fully realistic, attitude that NO ONE is HOPELESS, absolutely NO ONE is “too sick” to recover.

Where there is LIFE, there is ALWAYS H*O*P*E.


First – another FABULOUS article, Darlene. One thing I noticed when I got old and started DOING some very wonderful things – those people I wanted to “show” STILL FOUND SOME REASON to devalue, disregard, disparage, etc. It was a no win. And it did take a while before I realized it was THEIR dysfunction – not mine. Some of it was even jealousy and envy.

Second (I may have shared this before) I remember when an article & interview with my doctor came out in 1998 about PCOS. For years & years & years my Mother had BLAMED me for all the symptoms, called me a FREAK every chance she could and raged at me for not being her perfect mirror and having medical problems. I watched her out of the corner of my eye, read the article. Literally I would swear I saw her deflate – like a balloon – as all of her nonsense blaming was ripped to shreds by medical printed fact. (She’s blamed me for having things “specially printed” just to make her look/ feel bad… lol – but this time she didn’t). She put down the magazine and walked away and didn’t talk to me for quite some time. No apology, no acknowledgement. Nothing.


Hi Barbara,
YES! Barbara, it IS their dysfunction!
Thank you for sharing the story about PCOS ~ that is also so typical of abusers, isn’t it?? Even when there is proof (REAL PROOF) nothing changes!
Hugs, Darlene


My mom didn’t even deflate when she read medical facts that corroborated my story. In fact she made the doctor so angry at her he didn’t even want to talk to her anymore and refused to do so. IDK if he was even allowed to do that at the time, but he did it anyway. She had ignored an allergic reaction I had to bees, b/c it fell short of being a dire emergency. But it was a local reaction that could have turned into a Trauma 1 emergency within seconds-it has a rapid onset-b/c she thought I was “swelling up my own arm b/c of being stressed out over having a bee sting.”
Swelling up my entire arm from my hand all the way to my shoulder? Right.
My family counselor refused to have further family sessions w/ her b/c. every time she brought up any involvement my mom may have had, suddenly my mom would notice squirrels darting around outside the office window and comment on them. Or the nice weather. Or anything else.
I remember being utterly confused that professionals were suddenly angry at her, but she’s the one who sent me to the expensive hospital (and blamed me for costing her money which, upon her death, I found out was one of the biggest lies of them all.) She wasn’t worried about spending 1000’s of dollars every month as disposable income but raged at me for “costing” them money. And she arranged to have 5 of my cats killed in the most inhumane way anyone could have ever done it. She didn’t take them to the river and throw them in, but she had someone else come get them, while I watched as he stuffed them all in a burlap bag, and took them to a river and drowned them.
There HAD TO BE some other way than that to get rid of cats you no longer wanted, and I still don’t understand why they chose the cruelest, most extreme way to exterminate other living things.
Not everybody will think it’s that bad, but most people, even dedicated cat – haters would probably choose a HUMANE over IN-humane method of getting rid of the cats.


Pam ~ post 24 … I so agree with you there. I have no relationship with my narcissist parent either and I am happier than I’ve ever been. I feel free to be ME! :o)


Oh, Vicki, I’m so sorry you went through all that with your very inhumane mother.


O’tay, I guess this falls into the ‘fantasy’ realm.
Here I got this book (The Boy) I wrote. Just got the ‘proof’ to ‘read and correct’ before authorizing distribution for ‘hard copy’.
As any editor/writer knows, you should have many many eyes scan over your work to ensure all the mechanical errors are out (tho’ reading Clive Cussler’s work – and Stephan King’s latest novels, I’m disappointed – finding errors there. Just goes to show what you can get by with if you’re famous).
(sighing) I’ve read this thing … countless times. Had the wife read it. Daughter is ‘too busy’. …
Then I got to thinking: mom. She (and the old man) are avid readers . . . should I ‘give’ it to them? Let THEM read the damn thing?
Fantasy world. I think as soon as they saw the author’s ‘bio’ – there would be feces flying from the fan – extremely so, and extremely thick, and I’d be standing right in the middle of it. Might not be such a happy place.
Yet . . . the temptation is there. I might lose my only copy (sure, I could order another) . . . but… can you understand???

Wish I had a real editor; non-judgmental (in terms of ME and … crap – ALL OF US (meaning the “me’s” inside).

But it would sure be a mind-twisting thing for them to wrap their heads around: on one hand “darling boy” would have produced a novel. On the other hand – darling boy (yeah, and F’ing brat, too, yeah yeah remember them … jeezus. Crapping little rabbit pellets just with the idea they’ll find out.) – and YET it is NOT about them. It’s about me (or rather my twin alters, Mikie and the other one, the teen). And it’s a frickin’ fiction story (and YET – it IS most truly the true story of their souls, meaning my own, meaning two of us on the inside).

(sighing again)

Fantasy world. Bravery is a b*tch. And my mom…(shuddering). She’s simply insane.

Could cause the family to start falling apart…and yet…I wonder.
Fantasy thing.
We’ll see and we’ll be seeing. Gotta lot of plowing (thru that book) to do; resubmit w/ corrections, redo a ‘blurb’ on the cover . . . time to think – but…
really could use them eyes. And my mom is a harsh and critical judge. (My dad is a grandiose a-hole, closet sadist, prick and a-hole (again) who would just ‘use’ it to try to get his own points across – useless reading there: he would want to change EVERYTHING and make it into his own book – f’ing plaguarizer, he’s written ONE book – and copied everything it says, if you’re getting my drift – literal quotes, one after another, garnered off the web. Religious treatise, full of bumpin’ BS – most of it his twisting facts around.)

Enuff I reckon of my own troubles. But I feel/felt it fits this ‘fantasy world’ of ours . . . if only they could accept it in some good light ..
Thing is, they wouldn’t. All they’d see is themselves in it (which they are NOT) – and accuse me of abusing THEM – by ‘portraying’ myself as an abused child. (get my drift again? While they admit they would have been locked up in jail a long time ago, in THEIR little friggin’ minds, they were ‘never abusing the child’ – just ‘disciplining him’ – so I ‘wouldn’t go to jail’. Or sumthin. like that. F’ing parents.)
Thanks for listening. Really complex and conflicted again, LOL. Just like always. I should be getting used to it by now, don’t cha’ll think? (I’m thinkin’, we’re thinkin’, and it’s doing no good.)
Anyway, ya’ll have fun (sighing again: I do that a LOT when I’m feeling bad, f’d up and conflicted; fortunately, I’ve got most of me ‘lifting’ me up; meaning my ‘others’. Nice to have that sort of ‘built in’ support system, I reckon. LOL, another MPD survival trait and tool – always keeping a sharp eye out for ‘advantages’ to the thing.)
BTW, Lynda: I miss NM. Was there in last summer; went up and lived around Prescott AZ, down deep in some canyon (Copper Creek Mine area). LOL, funny rocks and things, and lots of rattle tails. Was very nice and very hard; was ‘gold mining’ with an old friend (meaning he was very old, and he considers me a friend.) Wide skies there; endless horizon. Miss them, and all the stars at night (could see the satellites tracking across the sky). Not the steamy hellhole the south can be once the heat and humidity gets goin’. (sigh) Best not to even think of the thing.
Until later, and thank you guyettes for all your help; wonderful conversations, et cetra ad infinitum.
Until later.


I did not feel that I could “show” them after years of trying. Now while working on my self esteem and placing my core values on me and what I was born with,as opposed to what I can produce to make my self esteem, finally after seeing the real value in me I can why I felt so empty most of the time. Accomplishments served to only prop me up for a short time with a crash following. I just put so much value on what they thought looking in instead of fixing what I saw looking out. This fit right in with me running from my truths instead of seeing them and realizing what was wrong with me. Great post Darlene.


“I don’t understand why I am being abused, mistreated, ignored, devalued, whatever…”

I don’t understand why I am being abused, but I do understand THAT I am being abused.

I don’t understand.

I am being abused.

I am being abused.

I am being abused.


Jeffery, in July 2000 I published a novel, “The Second Mrs. Robinson,” written under the pen name, Rebecca Rochelle.

My best editor was my brilliant and loving and supportive Aunt. She used to be an English teacher, so she knew exactly what to do with the red pen.

If you happen to have an English teacher friend, that’s my recommentation.


PS~ My eldest soon-to-be 40 son helped, too. He’s not the most brilliant when it comes to grammar, but he’s pretty good at spelling and spotting typose. He was in prison at the time, so he had plenty of time to read…


Hi Edward,
YES I totally get and agree with what you are saying. That was what it was for me too. I “thought” that if I could only find the “key” to being good enough that then they woudl see me as good enough. But my value was always there. this whole thing was like a running track away from healing for me too.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sheryl,
This is a painful realization you have shared.
But all realizations have always been so healing in the end at least for me. Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene



The hardest thing, recently, with my parents has been realizing what their purpose for me is. My doing well or being good runs contrary to that purpose. They see me as their scape-goat, the reciprical of everything they deny in themselves and the one that takes blame so that the family can function again when something goes wrong. They don’t even know who I am because who I am is not as important to them as their sick purpose for me. From the time I was born, my mom taught me that I was bad and for such a long time I believed it. I now know that all of that ‘badness’ resides in them and nothing can help them to see the truth unless they begin to search for truth and do something toward healing themselves. However, that is not likely for people who have spent their whole lives going to great lengths to cover truth and deny it.

You’re right that each revelation is healing in the end but it is so damn painful. I can’t believe I am as old as I am and I’m still struggling to overcome what they did to me.


” I now know that all of that ‘badness’ resides in them ”
AND they would even not call it badness!!


[…] world for a very long time before I began to find my way out of that darkness that I talked about in my last post.  I felt as though I didn’t belong; as though I was different then everyone else; as though I […]


Hi Pam,
Exactly ~

Hi Everyone
I just wrote a follow up post looking at how looking at the causes of how I came to struggle so much were the key to the freedom that I have today.
You can read it here “Emotional Healing and the Causes of Low Self Esteem”
Hugs, Darlene


@Jeff, thanks for sharing. I can identify. I was an underachieving distracted and bored student in high school. brilliant but no study skills until last couple years of college. I would get lost in fantasies, games, and stories rather than sit with feelings I was not able to handle. These defenses and coping mechanisms of mine became addictions. But what could I do back then? It was all I had, for lack of trustworthy mentors and nurturing role models. Some progress began when my Dad and stepmother started therapy, which they sometimes shared with me. My mother however….. that hope is dead now. She will never be what I needed and never was. Thanks to everyone for this community. I needed this.


Hi, Ian. I’m glad you are here. This is the most awesome healing community that I’ve ever found, for healing from the brokenness caused by a terribly painful childhood.



Wow I really needed to read that. It’s so hard to grasp… even reading it my mind still wanted to say “no you have to be validated by others” I think it’s from some kind of fear that if I believe I’m worth it but somebody else doesn’t then I will look foolish and stupid and be in danger… of what I don’t know. Anyone have something like this?


Hi Naomi
There are MANY fears and false beliefs that we cannot determine our own worth, we have never been encouraged to do it for one thing. Yes, we are afraid that if others do not agree then wi eill look foolish, but that is so much more about them then about you. If someone told you that they believed that they had equal value to everyone else, would you tell that person that he or she is wrong? I know you would not, so why do we care what someone esle says about us if not for the fact that we have in a way been brainwashed to believe that we are NOT equally valuable!
p.s.I totally relate to what you said here but just keep going and push through!.
Hugs, Darlene


Yes, yes yes to this posting Darlene. I tried and tried for years to PROVE to them my worth. By them I mean my abusive family. Even when I was being
told that my website designs and decorating were WOW I discounted all of it. I did not believe my
honest good friends and employers. I still believed my family’s devaluing that my personal accomplishments
were not up to par. So I tried harder. For years..Im talking 35 years. Just in the last 6 months and now following this blog, I see what you mean. Boy 50 years of brainwashing is hard to turn around.
I told them I won’t take that abuse anymore and meant it. I broke contact. I am much less stressed now and
determined to find my way back.
I am with ya Pam.
By the way I love your symbol picture very Ingrid Bergman!


Hi Karen
Crazy hey?? It started so young though how were we to realize it was all lies? How could anyone have ever known it was a manipulative control tactic? The fastest way to turn it around is to find out the whys of why you believed it. What is still stuck in there? I dug through my mind like a miner panning for gold, and I found out where those lies originated and why I thought they were true, and I overcame them.
I got my life back!
So glad you are here, and thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene, Just want you to know I look forward to reading all your post and I do. I try and read most of the comments too. Although I don’t comment much because there is so much going on with my thoughts that it gets overwhelming, but your wise words are helping me grow and become stronger slowly but surly. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You are a real treasure.


Hi Brenda!
Great to hear from you and thank you for your note, I am so happy to hear that you find some assistance here and to hear that you are growing and becomming stronger!That is music to my heart! Don’t worry about commenting; do so when you wish!
Hugs, Darlene


Hey Darlene!

All my toxins are gone from my life. My ex abuser just recently married and it threw me for a loop. No validation there. He constantly invalidated me, and it was a long line of validations before him…

I find myself in an interesting place. The voices of “you’re no good” are louder than those that say I am. I find myself in the middle of a desert now with no water, no compass. I am lost.

I wouldn’t know how to begin to validate myself. I get a lot of validation with the work I do, but I know that’s not where it comes from. How to make it happen from within, without the other voices around the validate the negative anymore, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. I mean truly alone. Something we’re beginning to work on in therapy. Thanks for the article!

HUGS, Kelli


Hi Kelli
I had to listen to those voices in order to dig down and find out where they had their roots. When I found out where they originated, I was able to see that they came from a lot of lies (that I believed about myself) caused from truama events, and lies that needed to be set back to the truth.
This for me was the process of healing and finally being able to validate and take care of myself emotionally. (and what I write about all over this site!) Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene


I just loved this post! I know it was posted like three years ago. This was my untold fantasy ever since I was 3 years old! I can’t believe someone is so brave to be able to talk about it. Because I have never told anyone. I keep dissociating still at the age of 31, I can’t help it, and it is only about how to impress others. About two months ago, I stopped and asked myself – why don’t I start dreaming of how to make it better for myself. For the time being I am at this stage – How to make things better for myself.

It is good to find out that there are others struggling with these isues.


But I guess, fantasizing may be a survival mechanism, just finding hope in a hopeless situation, when you are devaluated and discarded as a person and a human being with opinion, and breathing right. I think this is what helped me survive, and made me accomplish stuff, compared to my devaluators, who never finished a single things, and struggle to make ends meet.


I am really inspiried after reading all the comments!And I am very impressed to see that many brave people!

@Pam, my parents had a purpose for me too. I was never good enough, healthy enough to do anything, or to attempt to do anything – such as singing, or painting… I lacked this or I lacked that. I have a visual impairment which my mother tried incessantly to fix, by taking me to all the psychics and doctors she could. Then she would whine to them. The moment we got home, she started screaming at me because she wasted her day in doing nothing. Her arguments were – I was supposed to do as she said since she ruined her life because of me. When I was 17 she noticed me, and she had moments of sharing her stuff with me, only to manipulate me in joining her in her projects so she would not feel lonely. The again I was supposed to pretend as if I was not there…

@Lynda, I find your story very inspiring. I am glad it worked out for you and you have been brave of choosing yourself. I guess when you dwell in a fantasy, then it is something you can take advantage in a while, I have chosen to harness mine, and write a book…

@Ian, I was “gone” most of the time in highschool, I was so useless and uproductive. From time to time, I still do that, and I have noticed that it is in situations in which I perceive I lack control. Recently I have tried to find out how I can gain control over the situation. I at least try to find what I am trying to escape from…

Thanks for sharing! 🙂


Hi Riya
YES. Fantasizing about many things and in many areas, was one of my biggest survival mechanisms, a huge coping method for me.
Thank you for sharing! Glad you are here!
hugs, Darlene

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