The Fear of Good-bye if You Don’t Comply

problems with parents
if you don’t comply ~ good-bye

Today I was thinking about how many emails I get from people who sincerely want to find validation. Unfortunately most of them want validation from the people who invalidated them in the first place.  I am always thinking about ways to communicate WHY hurt people seem to think that if the people who invalidated in the first place would finally validate, then life would be so much better.  It is the way our belief systems have been fed and formed that is at the root of this dilemma. And there are MANY hidden false truths back there that govern the confusion we are dealing with.  

It occurs to me that the people in my own life who invalidated me had this kind of “if you don’t comply ~ Good-bye” attitude towards me. In realizing that truth I remembered that my mother always said “if you don’t like it, lump it.” I don’t remember if I ever wondered what the hell that meant but I always took it to mean that if I didn’t like it, too dang bad. And that means the exact same thing as “if you don’t comply, good-bye”.  When I got older she started to say “if you don’t like it you can leave” which is exactly what I thought she had been saying all along anyway.

To “lump it means “to accept or tolerate a disagreeable situation: In northern English  the word “lump” also means to carry, especially something heavy so in other words you can like it OR carry it anyway. In even more other words  ~ this is a blunt reminder that YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, and that is what I grew up with. I had no choice. I had to like it or lump it ~ comply or good-bye and that is pretty scary to a child when the true implication of “lump it” is the biggest fear a child has; It means that if you don’t want to like it, if you refuse to carry it, perhaps you would prefer the alternative;

Which Is Rejection

And rejection to a child means death.

I discovered on the emotional healing journey that there were leftovers to this whole dysfunctional upbringing and from these unhelpful threats disguised as some sort of loving parenting statements. I learned to fear rejection for one thing and I carried that fear well into my adulthood without considering that I might be better off without these people that I was so afraid of rejection from.  I had a boyfriend who was physically abusive when I was in my late teens. I was so afraid to stand up to that abuse because of that fear of rejection.  The ways that I had been treated as a child had primed me to define myself as “unworthy” and the ways of society as I grew up taught me to be accountable for my life. It was pretty easy to draw the conclusion that I must have done something to have deserved this man in my life to be so angry with me. I was willing to share in the accountability for what he was doing because of the conditioning of my past when I was a child with no choice. I had learned to “lump it”.

Emerging from broken is all about learning WHAT the conditioning was in the first place by learning what the belief system is about certain things. With statements like this there was such a double standard. I had to become aware of that double standard so I could overcome believing in it. For instance, I had to like it or lump it but that statement only applied to me just like the definition of love being compliance and obedience only applied to me ~ the oppressors had a different definition of relationship and even of love or respect that applied to them~ and that was how I learned relationship worked. The one with the most power wins. The truth is that ISN’T how relationship works. That is how dysfunction in relationship works. I had to look at how all these truths I believed in malfunctioned together.

I had not ever been empowered by anyone at any time in my life to receive the knowledge that I actually HAD a choice OR that what happened to me might have been wrong in the first place. I had learned to “like it or lump it” and I continued to abide by that expression even when it was unspoken because I was so afraid of “good-bye.”

Please share your thoughts with me and with this community of men and women who are striving to overcome the belief systems set in place in childhood. Together we are so much stronger. Your identity is safe here. Please feel free to use any name you wish to use including only a first name or a screen name. Although emerging from broken has a facebook page, the comments on this blog are not published on facebook.

Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

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480 response to "The Fear of Good-bye if You Don’t Comply"

  1. By: Janie Posted: 18th September

    Hi Everybody!
    I have been reading along here and appreciate the conversation! I just wanted to include something we had studied in nursing school, so you all know that your behavior and choices in your teen years was totaly appropriate, and you were doing just what you should have been, to grow as a healthy individual. It is a little exerpt from the Eight stages of development by Erickson. This is stage 5, ages 12-18, where you are asserting yourself as an individual. Here it is:
    5. Adolescent: 12 to 18 Years

    Identity vs. Role Confusion – Fidelity

    Up until this fifth stage, development depends on what is done to a person. At this point, development now depends primarily upon what a person does. An adolescent must struggle to discover and find his or her own identity, while negotiating and struggling with social interactions and “fitting in”, and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong.

    Some attempt to delay entrance to adulthood and withdraw from responsibilities (moratorium). Those unsuccessful with this stage tend to experience role confusion and upheaval. Adolescents begin to develop a strong affiliation and devotion to ideals, causes, and friends.

    This helped me alot when I learned this. We were not “bad children” for being disobedient, anf not folowing the family mores and sicknesses, we were good children, trying to define ourselves and how we related to the world. If you rebelled,it was actually a healthy response, especially with all of the insanity going on around us.

    Love and hugs,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      Hi Janie
      Love what you have shared here. My daughter studies Neuro Science in university. It amazes me what they are teaching the students and yet the world is in such denial about what happens to kids who are shut down by abuse, neglect or mistreatment. It is a well know medical fact that what happens to a child in the formative years leads to the problems they have later on, and yet, you would be shocked at the response from so many people that I get when I suggest depression comes from “somewhere” and isn’t something we are born with.(and it goes way farther than this even) It is this missing link (such as you have shared here) that I work so hard to communicate.
      I really appreciate you posting this!
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Aurele Posted: 18th September

    Your father was so wrong.
    Mine also rejected my feminity and I also saw the disgust in his eyes in my puberty.
    One day, I forgot some packet of period towels (which were clean and non used) in the wc and he said with extreme disgust and anger that I must remove them because it was dirty !!

    Great father, isn’t it ?

  3. By: Aurele Posted: 18th September

    Thank you Sylvia for your answer :), it gives me some real relief.

    Does the expression “you are really going places!” mean that I make some progress in recovery ?

    Love too.

  4. By: sylvia Posted: 18th September

    Hi Aurele!

    I am sorry to hear you have been feeling upset, but I believe that tears are very theraputic, its when we hold our emotions inside that we store up trouble for ourselves. You are doing so well. Your story sounds incredibly similar to mine. My parents were fine as long as I “earned” their approval by being docile, timid, silent, subservient, withdrawn, and didnt show any emotions, or any desire to have friends, or play with other kids. But like you, when I started puberty, thats when the shit really hit the fan. They knew they could no longer prevent me from growing up, developing an identity and socialising with other kids, so they decided to punish me for it. I was no longer given lavish amounts of pocket money, or clothes. I was called names, given the silent treatment and grounded for the slightest thing. They would use any excuse to keep me in the house. I was ruthlessly emotionally blackmailed and gulit-tripped. I started my periods at 13, and my father never really spoke to me again after that. He would only talk to me if he absoloutley had to, and then, only in monosyllables. I could clearly see the dislike and disgust in his eyes. He died when I was 14, but I felt as though he had abandoned me long before that. My mom was just an out-and-out nutcase. The pair of them were an absoloute joke as far as parenting went. They were equally abusive in different ways. The thing is, we are so vunerable when entering puberty, so full of strange feelings and insecuritie. We SO need positive feed back and encouragement, and yes of course we need our parents to create boundaries, but in a healthy, loving way. It is unforgiveable for them to have destroyed our already fragile self-esteem the way they did. What the hell were they thinking about? I am glad mine are both gone. Had a situation ever arisen in which I had to care for one or both of them, I dont know if I could have done it, if I could have found the compassion to do it. After the way they behaved towards me, I would have struggled. Having said that, I am not like they were. I would have felt a sense of duty toward them, and wouldnt have wanted them to suffer in any way. Which is a hell of a lot more than can be said of their attitude toward me! Keep up the good work, Aurele, you are really going places!

    Love Sylvia x

  5. By: Aurele Posted: 18th September

    Hi Sylvia,

    Can I ask you how was your teenage hood ? Did they start to reject you during this period unlike they seemed to be very proud of you when you were a child ?

    Thank you, I hope everything goes well for you, ;)). I like to read you.

  6. By: Aurele Posted: 18th September

    Sorry, “according to them” instead of “towards them”, in the end of the paragraph.

  7. By: Aurele Posted: 18th September

    Hi Sylvia,

    I can recognize myself a lot in what you wrote in post 425.
    I was not allowed to exist on my own too, to have the least little voice on my own, I was just expected to be a puppet in their hands never think, never do anything by myself, just a quiet obedient and always smiling pet, obey, accpet everything with smile. That’s make me very sad and I cried a few hours ago.
    But here is the real truth.

    My parents liked to tell me how I was a great child, obedient, calm, adorable, charming, very very docile, easy child, they lived a dream thanks to me because they have a wonderful child. They was very proud of that.
    But when I became a teenageyer, they totally changed their minds and told me how I was ugly, rebellious, a bad seed just because I had my own personnality and existence and couldn’t stand to be their sweet little pet anymore.

    I got the message that I was a failure in my teenage years and I deserve punishement. And it was totally my fault if the relationship with them failed.
    They send me the message I am the one who screwed up things in teenage years, because they were so great parents in my childhood. It’s my fault if they were naughty in my teenage years, I provoked it.
    As a result, I idealized my childhood which was great towards them. A way to dissociate.

    Hugs to you.

  8. By: Ladybug Posted: 17th September


    Thank you for your post. I understand how you feel. I am so proud of you for not talking to people who don’t respect your feelings, and what you went through. That takes a ton of courage. Who cares if people think it’s your fault? You have to do what you have to do to take care of YOU.

    The experts say that the effects of child abuse can be lessened if the child has someone to talk to, someone who understands. In my case, there was no one to talk to. Everyone, including my beloved grandmother who passed last December–the only person in my life who gave me true care–she didn’t even believe that I’d been abused. After all, my stepfather was a good disciplinarian, bla bla bla. My mom was neglecting of me, but everything went under the radar, right in front of everybody. I was being neglected, beaten, abused and mistreated and it was all legal, and it was easy to say that it didn’t happen at all.

    This KILLED the person that I was. I had no inkling what to believe. I knew for a fact that I was abused, family members confirmed that they literally called CPS, but they couldn’t do anything about a father who wouldn’t let his stepdaughter play games, laugh or experience joy. (I got belt spankings for displaying happiness…) That was arguable. No one believed me.

    So today, I take time to listen to myself. Whenever myself wants to express itself about the pain and the abuse, instead of ignoring my own heart, I rest and allow the feelings and the scenarios to play in my mind. It’s my way of reparenting myself, and learning to take time with myself, so I will know how to do the same for others.

    Every time I replay what happened, new feelings surface. In those new feelings I find keys to opening new levels of hurt and disappointment. These keys open up the next layer and the next. I always feel so much better–like a whole other level better–when I go through and listen to my own heart. It’s like I’m free to grow and my emotional mind is free to develop when I take time to process what happened.

  9. By: heather Posted: 17th September

    ladybug….wow…i love your reply to ali. My story is much the same as far as my mother goes.
    Your reply echoed my thoughts exactly every time my aunt would tell me to pray over these issues. Please understand…I do believe in God BUT many times when i was so torn and hurt,,,that just was not the answer i needed. Sadly my aunt ‘my only support …the only one who was always there for me… passed away in may. It was unexpected and such a shock i still can’t believe she is gone. As much as i used to cringe every time she said that…you know right now i would give ANYTHING to hear it again from her.
    I am not sure what my point is….i am sort of just rambling. My mother is/was a horrible person who raised me to believe i was not worth anything. I do not speak to her any more…not even for my childrens sake. I wont pretend it’s ok when it wasn’t. and she doesnt get to say i am sorry and it’s forgotten…because she is not sorry. Just like my ex … who was just like my mother… But you know … I am the bad one… my mother, my sister, my brother and my ex … tell me to get over it for the sake of the kids… LOL I just don’t speak to any of them… but then it makes me look like i am the one with the problem. How do i make my kids under stand…that i don’t have a answer for. to my children those people are such wonderful people. It breaks my heart. My aunt would listen to me for hours,,,but she’s gone now. and i don’t have one single person.
    sorry…ladybugs answer just brought all that to mind

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      Hi Heather
      Something you said struck me; when they told you to get over it for the sake of the kids ~ what does that mean?? That you should cover up for your abusive mother so the kids can ‘what’??? be abused by her too? or watch you be abused by her which communicates a message to them about your worth and about how we do relationship! They (your family) can say and think that you are the one with the problem all they like but that doesn’t make it true. My family thought I was the problem too and in the end I told them they should throw a party because “their problem” was leaving… ha
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Ladybug Posted: 17th September

    Ali, so funny that you would post this. I was just about to write something about how one of the most difficult things about being a child abuse survivor is the way you are misunderstood. People just can’t possibly understand the depths of the pain. It’s deeper than you can reach unless you’ve actually been there.

    So, I would say, just BELIEVE your friend. Don’t try to give her simple, pat answers or antidotes. Don’t try to solve her problems for her. Just BELIEVE her. Don’t tell her about the time you said a prayer and God came in and gave you just what you needed–believe me, your friend has done that too if she’s a victim of child abuse.

    Child abuse is like being kicked when you are down, all the way down low. Think of a puppy, cute and cuddly. Now, think of some mean person coming in and kicking it, punching it and/or being mean to it day after day…

    Still that puppy, as scared as it is of the owner, still loves the owner. The owner is all that it has.

    How would you treat that puppy? Would you tell the puppy a Bible verse? Would you tell that puppy how it should feel? If the puppy was scared of big people, would you tell that puppy it should not be? Of course not! What would you do?

    You would hold the puppy, pet it and tell it that everything is safe now. That you are here and you’re not leaving its side. You would respond when the puppy cries, and you would be patient, loving and understanding.

    That’s all victims of child abuse need. What we need most is someone to LISTEN, and someone to understand.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      I really like your puppy analogy! Thank you for posting that. It really sheds light on the way children need to be taken care of even if those children are adults now.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: ali Posted: 17th September

    my comment is easy. i’m the friend of the person who was abused as a child. there is nothing out there teaching the friend what to do and/or say. what words or actions of friends helped you in your recovery?

  12. By: sylvia Posted: 16th September

    Hi Ladybug,
    Wow, I can totally see how the type of childhood you describe is every bit as abusive as the smothering variety that I received was. Its almost as if your Mom was so enmeshed with you, that she did not see you as a seperate entity who had needs of your own, to the point of not meeting even the most basic of your needs. Which is exactly what my mom did, albeit in a different way. Before I was even born, my mom had decided that, as the last child she could ever have,( I was the youngest of 5), I was going to be her lap dog who would never leave her side. My dad, who hadnt had any kids before me, made up his mind that I was going to be like an impeccably behaved pet, who never gave anyone a moments trouble. Their disappointment at having their dreams shattered knew no bounds. I was made to feel wrong, dirty, selfish and deceitful. Almost like a con man or “con child” who had cheated them in some way. As a result of this, I was never able to trust myself, and still struggle with this, in spite of the progress I have made. I was made to feel “disreputable” for want of a better word, and there is still a part of me that feels that way. For years, I felt that once people found out what I was really like, they would be as disappointed and let down by me as my parents had. To this day, I feel that people think I am lying, when I am absoloutley telling the truth. I have to “back my story up” with irrefutable evidence. I have always hated seeing a doctor, in case they think I am lying about my symptoms, as I was always accused of exaggerating. This is the legacy of being made to feel that who you are is defective, that you have let your parents down. But this has become my quest, my crusade. To reconstruct myself after being taken apart by these damaged individuals. I wish everyone luck, we are all on a quest here.
    Love, Sylvia x

  13. By: KateN Posted: 16th September

    Also, gotta ask as come from across the pond and have tried to work it out with no success, what does FOO stand for?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th September

      Hi KateN
      FOO stands for “family of origin”.
      I didn’t know at first either and I don’t know all of the little short forms people use so you are not alone!
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: KateN Posted: 15th September

    Hi Darlene, the other issue that I received from this constant message was that if I did let her know about the abuse while I was younger then that would be the last straw, she would leave and that I would be left with the man that was abusing me.

    One of my mechanisms as I grew older to cope with the guilt I felt, I can only describe as having a box with a lid on that I tried very hard to keep on. It would pop off and all my monsters would come out and I would struggle to get the lid back on.

    With the aid of a good counsellor who specialised in CBT, I was able to take the lid off, let them out, take a good look at them and realise that I had no reason to feel guilt, it wasn’t mine to feel. Still have the odd twinge but now know how to cope and deal with it- ITS NOT MINE!
    How clever abusers are!!!!

    As I said in my previous comment I am in a much happier place, have had no contact for approx 5 years except for family get togethers (rather rare and which tend to be uncomfortable)and have superb support from my immediate family and great husband.

    Love to you all 🙂

  15. By: KateN Posted: 14th September

    Hi, I have been scrolling through quite a few of the posts and they all resonate on some level with me.Thank you for sharing post 411 and the comments there-that one was a biggie! It is hugely comforting to know that I am not alone in my need to have No contact with my Mum. During the first few months I experienced a fair amount of anxiety , but that got better in time. As an epiliptic I also noticed that the level of my fits decreased which has had a huge impact on my personal health. One of my stress factors had been removed.Altogether it has made me a healthier and better person and more at peace with myself. I could no longer take her “woe is me” attitude anymore and her total dependency on me to validate her all the time. I also grew up fearful of upsetting her and one of her favourite phrases was ” If you dont behave I am going to pack my bags and leave”

    When I was older the phrase turned into “I wish I had packed my bags and left”

    I had a “eureka” moment when I was about 22 that our roles had reversed and that I was the parent and she the child and that I was constantly worried about her and watching out for anything that me and my brothers may do to upset her and trying to head it off. This occured very early on in my childhood, probably from the age of about 6 or 7.

    When confronted with my stepfathers abuse of me from the age of 8 she was more upset with knowing about it than what had happened to me and for years we circled around the issue and she stayed married to him for a further 17 years.What can I say!

    Thank you for providing a safe environment to share our thoughts and issues.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th September

      Hi KateN
      Wow. yes, that is how it goes for sure! I have heard of mothers who threaten to leave. That message is terrifying to a child and blames the child too so that the child believes that it is up to them to KEEP the parent in the home. The message is that if the child makes one wrong move, the mom will leave. This is SO damaging!
      It is also horrible that your mother was more upset knowing about the abuse you suffered than she was concerned about doing anything about it! That sends a huge message too. That is what I refer to as “the damage” that we are facing.
      Thank you for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Ladybug Posted: 5th September

    My mom was extremely negligent and lenient with me when I was a kid. I never had a rule or a curfew. I had a boy spend the night in my house, in my room, when I was just 12 years old. That was a surrogate form of love. I had to have a boyfriend to get my needs met, including my need to eat food. I always ate at his house. He was 17.

    Anyway, I had zero rules. None. I was on my own. She was never home. When she was home, she allowed me to talk back to her, which caused tremendous shame and guilt and worthlessness to manifest in me. The only thing she would get mad at me for was when I said to her, “Get off my case.”

    Why is that? Why did she say, “Get off my case?” She would go nuts when I said that. I remember it being bizarre, even as a kid. You mean, I can tell you to jump in the lake, but I can’t say, “get off my case?” What gives? LOL

    I’ve since figured out that she was incensed when I said, “Get off my case,” because it defined me as a separate person. It implied that I have a case that is different from hers.

    She would hear nothing of it. I was an extension of her, or nothing. Her way or the highway… Like it or lump it was a regular expression as well.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th September

      Hi Ladybug
      The kind of childhood that you are talking about, a childhood filled with neglect communicates the same message that other abuse communicates. Thank you for sharing this side of it.
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Sinitta Posted: 15th August

    Hi Darlene,

    Yes that is exactly why I asked you if you read her books :). As you both have similar straight to the point no BS writing styles. I have just pulled her books out and am re-reading them again with a better understanding.

    Clearing the past for a better future one step at a time.I have literally told my brothers & sisters not to contact me either. Its too freaky that they can not see the dysfunctional patters. And would rather stick with the “Oh its always been this way”.

    Its amazing what a freeing experience it is when we realise ” NO” we dont need to do anything we do not want to 🙂

    Love Always

  18. By: Sinitta Posted: 12th August

    ‘like it or lump it’…That’s hilarious I thought my mother was the only one to use this phrase.Wow this article makes so much sense.Especially the current arguements going on with my family.Apparently they all perferred the old me,who sat quietly and never questioned anything.And ever since I started delving and questioning what was done to me.I am now purposely upsetting the ‘dysfunctional apple cart’ so to speak.And if I dont like it I can leave,after everything they have done for me.

    Its hilarious my mother sits crying her usual crocodile victim tears,my father turns to his bottle of whiskey for solace.And my brothers and sisters circle around them protecting the very people who caused all the damage.Nobody can see the crappy same old drama n roles being played out..And Im being told Im the crazy one.

    If it wasnt so pathetic this would be funny.. Im sure it will one day..

    Thanks Darlene this is exactly what I needed to read.Have you read any of Alice Millers books?She was a psychologist and has written many books on childhood traumas and the ripple affect into adult life.Her books are a real eye opener into toxic families and poisnous parents.

    Its time to cut my poisnous toxic family out of my life in order to thrive.

    Love Always

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th August

      Hi Sinitta
      My family liked the old me too… I never made any waves and it made everything so much easier for them. I am glad that I saw how much harder it made everything for me! I am glad that you enjoyed this post.
      I have read about 5 or 6 of Alice Millers books. They were introduced to me just over a year ago by a colleague who thought that I must have studied under her! Her books are wonderful and when I read them I knew why I had been asked if I studied her work!
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: truthbtold Posted: 27th July


    I just wanted to let you know that this same situation is happening to me as well, and I feel absolutely STUCK. People are calling/texting me everyday about the situation with my Mom. They have turned the situation into something about them that I don’t like, and my Mom is fueling that fire, I think. I have asked these family members to lunch and have been ignored, or told that they don’t have time on their visit. I, too, have an upcoming wedding to attend, and I am dreading it. When I told my sister that I was going to the wedding and that I was also no contact with my Mom unless her and I started counseling, I was met with “So how are you going to go to the wedding then?” I have uncles that I barely talk to calling me, saying “I love you, and I’m missing you being here. Everyone’s here and wants to see you.” Everyone wants me to just drop my boundaries regardless of how I feel and what will make me well. Sometimes I dream about moving away, but I’d miss my husband’s family so much. They are the parents I never had. They parent me in a way that makes me feel so loved. I can turn to them for ANYTHING and get zero judgement.

    Where do we go from here, Melody? Any ideas?

    Take care (and I know how you feel!!!!!)


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th July

      I had to share this quote from another post comment!
      These words were given to one of the other readers here and she found them very empowering; I find them very empowering too!

      “Your mother is an adult. Her life is her own, her choices are her own, and you do not need to take care of her or fix her, or do anything. She is a grown woman who is responsible for her own decisions, and she is free to do that however she sees fit, and you are free to protect yourself from her unhealthy influence by severing ties and not feeling guilty.”

  20. By: Melody Posted: 25th July

    Thanks all for the helpful words! Yes, the wedding will go on as planned and truly be a great day. Certain family members are getting involved due to the backtalk behind the scenes, the familiar blamegame of me of course. For those of you who have been no contact for a long time do you run into family members that have taken sides against you and you weren’t aware of it? With loyalty to the mother who hadn’t treated you well? How do you handle that? You can never explain fully to anyone why you feel your mother hates you. But, that is where I am at. No one believes me, my sibs are again saying that “I” have to forgive her. (For all of the trouble she’s causing to me near my daughters wedding?) They will not go through this with their family because it’s me she dislikes, for whatever reason. They just don’t understand and feel it’s me just caught up in anger. Sometimes I think they like to see me in the hotseat because the alternative could be them. No one on my side at this time. Thanks again.

  21. By: Rizae Posted: 24th July

    Buttafli ~ I’d like to say, welcome too! I felt the very same too until I found Emerging From Broken. I thought I was the only one with such a mother. The validation from this site and what I’ve learned is a gem. I had been no contact with my NM for 12 years – knowing I could not have her in my life, yet always beating myself up and always questioning myself about my sanity – until I would recall things that you cannot excuse. And then I would think I was, or must have been a terrible person. I wasn’t that either. Finding out that there are others like me felt like I found a lifeline. It helped me to realize that there is NO WAY that I’m the crazy person. 🙂

  22. By: ButtaFli Posted: 24th July

    This is exactly where I’m at in my life right @ this moment in time. I have NO relationship w/my sperm donor. I have gone NO contact w/my NM (Narcissistic Mother). I am taking deep inventory on my ‘thought life’ and in the process of deprogramming my belief system. Darlene-I’ve felt alone in carrying the history of my abusive childhood for over twenty-six years…until recently. I came across your blog. It’s like you’ve written about my childhood almost down to every detail. Yet I’ve never met you and don’t know you. I was on the brink and with reading your posts-the burdens become lighter and lighter as I read. The more I read-the more validated I feel. My childhood abuse was NOT a figment of my imagination and I thank you for validating that with me. You have helped save my life in ways you will never know. Continue to speak YOUR truth. And thank you for giving me the confidence to begin to speak MY truth and start on a journey to Emerging From Broken…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th July

      Welcome to emerging from broken! I am thrilled that my work resonates with you. I have a passion for sharing this message. You are certainly not alone. This blog has 1500+ readers a day and generates over 1000 comments a month. We didn’t imagine this stuff, that is for sure! There is a lot of healing and support here; glad that you are here too!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Mimi Posted: 21st July

    In your comment #400… the part about “I’ll show you who’s boss.” I had to wonder then, if that’s what my mother is thinking right now. If she plays silent treatment, I will eventually cave. Oh my goodness, she’s so off the mark if that’s what is going through her tiny little mind. I do imagine that she thinks she’s really making me suffer. The “I’ll show you” attitude. I feel like such a smarta$$ because I have a tiny inclination to laugh at that. I don’t know what that comes from. If it’s a place of joyous freedom that she has no control, or if it’s a vengeful feeling, like, all those years it worked and she has no idea it doesn’t work anymore. Like I pulled a fast one on her finally. I don’t know… doesn’t matter I guess. I just like the distance!! She for sure has no idea the gift she’s giving in the silent treatment!!

    ps – thanks for comment 402.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st July

      For me I started to think about it in terms of “what worked for her in the past”. And actually it was my father in law who was the more blatant example of this “punishment” style of control. In the past I would comply exactly as they wanted, (unless I misunderstood what they wanted, which was very possible because nothing was actually communicated in words and when I looked back I saw several times where I didn’t catch on!) and they were used to me “getting back in line” and of course restoring their order. I think that my father in law was shocked that his punishments and threats stopped working on both his son and I. I had that same feeling too, that he was sure we were suffering without contact from him. (and maybe my mother felt that way too, I am not really sure but in the case of my father, he likely didn’t notice or feel anything. The neglect had been going on my whole life and he didn’t even notice anything enough to even try getting me to comply so totally different type of abuser there) My father in law and my mother both I am sure didn’t realize the gift they gave us by withdrawing.
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st July

      There is a new post on the home page everyone! This one is about that saying “love and you will be loved” and how it infers that it is your own fault if you are not loved… more about what is communicated by parents in this one! ~ Darlene

  24. By: Mimi Posted: 21st July

    I’m finally back, LOL!! I’ve been much busier than usual lately. But, I’m enjoying getting back to life finally. I had to take it pretty slow when I went back to work a few months back. Now, I’m getting back into the swing of things at a more normal pace.

    Your comment above struck so many chords ~ so so similar to what my mother has done.

    The “head games” you talk about. So difficult to pin down, it took me 43 years. It was exactly that, Head games. It made me reluctant to say I was abused. How is it possible to equate head games with pedophilia, etc? I was never molested or severly beaten. My mother stopped short of severe beatings. She is so crafty that she always managed to slide right under the radar. Hard to prove head games. Hard to get others to believe it’s happening when she appears so well rounded.

    Also agree, it is soooooo good to be gone from it. I held my mother accountable and she fled. I’m so happy to have this space. If she never comes back, well, I think I’m better off. Isn’t it amazing how “healthy” they appear to others. It’s like if you look the part, people believe it. Actually, what “look” does an emotionally healthy person possess?? Society has some standard, but I don’t know what it is.

    My mom has recently extended her chaos even further out the limbs of the family tree. I said the exact same thing…. let them feed off each other!! I have trouble believing that it’s what brings everyone involved TRUE joy.

    My mother has also coined me as having anger issues. I was pretty angry when I was younger, in growing up years. I have learned that if no one cares to listen to our hurts and concerns when we need support as children, that energy can come forth as anger. In my teens, I knew my mother was trying to ruin me among my family members with her tongue. Of course that made me angry. I never cursed her or hit her or anything near that. But, yes, I was angry. It’s been believed by literally everyone in my family, that I have anger issues. I got angry when I was backed into a corner and needed a confidante, a place to vent, I needed to be heard by my mother, I needed her to quit alienating me, to hear me, to stop the abusive lies and the chaos she created. It’s human nature to become angry at those things, IMO. Perhaps not everyone reacts with anger. But, I had a lot of stifled anger at all those things. When something pushed me over the edge, all that stifled energy would come out. I don’t like to be angry at all. I can have conversations without being angry. My mother cannot, but she certainly doesn’t see that. It’s more fun for her to project it onto me. I hate yelling too and I can’t remember the last time I did.

    I think you’re right. Someone always has to be “out” in my mother’s circle. She loved for it to be me for sooooo many years. She had to have a scapegoat ~ someone to release all her own self loathing on. It was me. I was certainly the focus for years. All in the family took part in, “what will we do with Mimi?” I agree that this helped remove the focus from all the crap my mom was doing/saying. She raced to people to spread venom before I could ever have a chance to be heard. She’s still doing that today. That way, no one will notice she’s pathological.

    Like your brother, I occupied the hotseat for many years. My mother prefers me to be there I believe. However, both my sisters have been punished in this same way recently. My mother is very uncomfortable with harmony. If things start to appear harmonious, she will create something to disrupt it. Purposely leave someone out, or shun, make them feel left out, singled out, etc. That way, she is controlling the ring. Everyone in the group is like a puppet, and she holds the strings. I can’t express how far she is from holding my strings these days.

    In the things I discovered recently, the people she’s reaching out to, lying about me, it just didn’t have the same effect on me that it has in history. I wasn’t angry, hurt, didn’t cry, dwell, etc. I was just thankful that it’s all going on without me. Creating my own peaceful life is a beautiful place to be. I don’t mind letting everyone else be her puppet. I am thrilled to have the freedom to walk away from drama and chaos. I do not care what she says anymore. I don’t care what anyone in my family says. I already sank to the bottom of the pain barrel, and now I’m heading back up. I feel fairly safe saying that I don’t think any of them have the power to pull me back down to the bottom.

    I have finally accepted that I lived in a fantasy about nearly everyone in my family. There’s no loyalty or love. Only twisted views, half truths, and facades. That’s not the way family is supposed to work. Not in my opinion. There was a time I would have given my life for my sisters. They were my heart. They are deeply injured too. I am sorry for that, but, there isn’t anything I can do. I would have went to battle for either of them over my own self. Not today. I had bad dreams about my mom for years (10 years, give or take). My oldest sister who is the most spiritual, said she believed God was trying to prepare my heart for the big reveal of my mothers ways. Then, I started having the same dreams about HER. I wonder how she would explain that? I imagine she would consult her pastor friend…. the one that pushed me down at the altar years ago. The one who I feel God showed me was a master manipulator years ago. (Too much evidence to ignore). Evidence I’ve kept under my hat out of respect for my sister. If she asked me, I would be honest. But, she wouldn’t DREAM of asking. She is fiercely loyal to them and would never suspect a thing.

    My middle sister…. poor thing. Since mother doesn’t speak to me, (and apparently she’s ticked at my oldest sister), suddenly the middle child is no longer invisible. She says that has been her role in our family all along. I believe she is right. Her daughter is also invisible, even shunned by my mother. Now, suddenly, they are acceptable in my mom’s view. I feel sorry for my middle sister because she soaks it up like a sponge. She would say otherwise, but, it’s very apparent to me what’s going on. The attention she never got is now being piled on. I think she falls for the sappy suckings up of my mother. I wonder how she can ignore the truth about it… that she and her daughter have actually come in dead last. What an all out insult!! She’s in denial still. She would say she isn’t, but it’s obvious she is. And, not my problem. Let the drama and BS continue….. I’m out!!!

    Thanks for your comments Diane. I enjoy reading your perspectives and wisdom. Sorry I got so long winded here. Maybe too much coffee this morning!! BZZZZZZZ!!! 🙂

    Peace and Hope,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st July

      Wow, thanks for sharing your breakthroughs! Emotional abuse and misuse of control is every bit as damaging as all other types of abuse. It was when I stopped trying to “prove” that there was damage caused and just validated and faced that damage that I began to heal from it. Your comments are really excellent!
      Hugs, Darlene

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