The Fog of Dysfunctional Adult to Child Relationships

parent child dysfunctional relationship

when darkness falls……

When I talk about the fog, I am talking about the state of confusion that has been created by the adults in my life which began when I was a child. The confusion was created in order to keep me from figuring out that what was going on in my life, was not normal. I was taught false definitions of love, false definitions of being cared for and being kept safe. I was taught that I was not as important as others. I was taught that I was wrong about my feelings. I was discredited in so many ways so that if I ever did figure out that I was not actually wrong, the emotionally abusive adults in my life could remind everyone that I had always been a bit “off”. And I didn’t correct anyone because from a young age I had begun to believe that I was the one that was a bit “off”. The fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.  

In this state of confusion and with all these false definitions of love and respect, I had trouble seeing the truth. I had trouble realizing that a mother, who dress a 6 year old child up in her little black lace teddies to “dance for a visiting man), and a father who doesn’t do anything to stop it, are a little bit abnormal. A mother who sticks her tongue in a 9 year old daughter’s mouth, to show her the way men will kiss her, is not behaving in a normal way. I had trouble realizing that a loving mother would not take all the joy out of every single accomplishment that I had ever achieved. I had trouble comprehending that when a father shows absolutely NO interest in a child’s life or in that same adult child’s life, that is a strong indication that said father just doesn’t care. When someone doesn’t show in any way that they care, they don’t care.  Continue…… When someone degrades another person, they don’t love that person.  When someone constantly tells you that you are stupid, weather with words or actions or by inference, they really DO think you are stupid. They really are telling you that you are stupid. But the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.

When I was 16 years old I had to go on the birth control pill for medical reasons. Soon after that my mother started to tell men that I was on the pill, and therefore it was okay if they wanted to “sleep” with me.  When I was 16 she said this in front of all the people at an office party, to a young man that I actually had a crush on. I was so humiliated. Consequently, a 31 year old married man in the office grabbed me and shoved his tongue down my throat in the garden of the house where the party was. I guess he thought that since she was offering me, he could just take advantage of her generosity. When I was 19 she said those same words to my cousin at the rehearsal dinner for another cousins wedding. This was mortifying for me. It was degrading and humiliating.  But the fog kept me from confronting her. The fog kept me from realizing that there was something wrong with my mother, that she would treat me this way.  And these examples are only the tip of the iceberg but the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.

My parents divorced when I was around 13 years old. If I ever complained to my mother about anything at all she would tell me that if I didn’t like it, that I could go and live with my father.  One day I asked my father if I could come and live with him.  He said no. I was not given any explanation. I thought it was because I wasn’t worthy of his love. But in reality I know today it was because he couldn’t be bothered with me. He couldn’t be bothered being my father. He couldn’t be bothered with me when he lived with us so why would that have changed? I was in my forties, still trying to get my father to notice me, when I realized that I never really HAD a father. But the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.

The fog is exactly that. It makes things foggy and misty and unclear. Emotional abusers create a fog through mixed messages, inconsistency, and by indicating that the person with the problem is not them. They are the model of normalcy. As for ME, however, they say that I have some obvious “issues”. I need to get my head together. I need to change. I need to smarten up. If it weren’t for me and my problems, everything would be fine.  And the message is always, if it weren’t for me, then even THEY would be fine.  This is the grooming; the training; a process of damaging the self esteem until there is no chance that I would ever get the strength to rise up or stand up to the lies and break through the fog that hides the blatantly obvious truth.

And the reason that I didn’t want to believe that it wasn’t me that was the problem, that it was in fact them, was because they had convinced me that I was not worthy of love and acceptance AND I believed it. I worked harder and harder for their unobtainable love and I believed that it was my defects that prevented me from having it.

I believed them for so long because I was afraid that they were right about me, and if they were right about me and I stood up to them anyway, that they would reject me and then my only chance of being loved would be gone. If they were in fact right about me, then no one would EVER love me. So therefore, the relationships that I had with those dysfunctional people, including the false hope and fantasy that I had for so long that one day they really would love me, were better than no relationships at all. I thought that dysfunctional family was better than no family. “Blood is thicker than water” “Family is everything” And those statements and beliefs turned out to be lies too.  

So I busted out of that deathly fog that hid the blatantly obvious truth and instead of the death that I thought the ultimate final rejection from them would bring, I found life. And I found it to the fullest.

 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



sounds oh so familar, though things were slightly different for me, my mother never paraded me around as i had really bad ezcema so didnt think that i was a threat that way but having to put the creams on and the other meds i had were used as tools to embarass and abuse me. my father used to bind our hands with flannelette sheet stripes and wrap sticky tape all over them so we couldnt use our hands for 12hrs a time, left me unabel to pull pj bottoms dwn to go toilet and all sorts of other things that kids use their hands for overnite. all done in our best interests, and it probably was but the loss of my hands for those mornings i was awake for hours before my parents and couldnt do anything cos we werent allowed to wake them up, not cool


In the world of dealing with parents with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), FOG is an acronym standing for Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (F.O.G.). These are the means used to keep others confused and dysfunctionally tied to their abusers. You speak to all of these things Darleen, and it is very true.

My dad used to tell me outright that if I would just starting acting right/doing better/quit being so irresponsible/etc, then HIS life would be better and HE would be okay. Sadly, I didn’t know what else to do but believe him and keep trying to ‘fix’ whatever it was that was so broken in me. I thought it was absolutely my job to make sure my father’s life was okay, that as his daughter the problems he experienced were all my fault. Interesting that we are set up to believe that we are unworthy and unlovable, but when we then choose a dysfunctional spouse (because we falsely believe we are lucky to have ANYONE), the abusers are still against it. Too many self-contradictory behaviors on their part, but the F.O.G. is too thick for us to be able to see clearly at the time.

You said it so well ~ “The fog is exactly that. It makes things foggy and misty and unclear. Emotional abusers create a fog through mixed messages, inconsistency, and by indicating that the person with the problem is not them.”

Thank you Darleen!


Oh yes… the false definitions of “love”, and how that word was used as emotional blackmail by dad. For punishment, he would say over and over on a regular basis: “I love you”… “I don’t love you anymore”… “Okay, I love you”… then, ” I don’t love you anymore”… on and on.


{I thought that dysfunctional family was better than no family. “Blood is thicker than water” “Family is everything” And those statements and beliefs turned out to be lies too.}

I can completely relate to this particular post, especially the above quote… I now live 3500 km from the bulk of my family, and rarely contact them, and in fact, I DREAD the phone ringing because it might be someone calling to tell me something I won’t like to hear from or about them. They still live in the FOG and I refuse to, so it’s still me with the problems, me who is negative, me who is delusional, me who is ALWAYS WRONG… I realized, with the help of a wonderful therapist, that moving so far away is the RIGHT thing for me, and to hell with the people who call me selfish-bad-wrong-delusional for distancing myself from their disfunction


Darlene (comment #4) – though my dad and stepmom are now both dead, I always knew that I never wanted to live near them! This was AGES before I understood the truth of the abuse; I’m sure I thought it was still ME and my fault, but my gut told me to be far, far away from them. I think you are doing a wise thing to be far from your abusive and dysfuntional family; you must protect your own heart and life, and I’m so glad you have a wise therapist who is supporting you!


I remember expressing anger and then being chased and then locking myself in the bathroom. The bathroom door was taken off and then I was hit with a belt. I think my anger was legitimate, but it was unacceptable. I remember at that time thinking that someday I would be far away. Somehow I already knew then and then later there was the FOG. Obligation, guilt. Called not family oriented. Always wanting to stay away. I felt I needed to return to deal with issues. I sort of did that, but things are the same and I’m at peace being away.


Hi Carol,
Sounds like you had quite an ordeal with that eczema growing up. That is a very difficult story ~ It was horrible enough that you had the problem, but to be humiliated over it it really really awful.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Monica,
I didn’t know about that Acronym! All these years in Mental Health and I had not heard that; Thanks for sharing!! I don’t think either of my parents had BPD but wow… I can really relate to your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susa,
That kind of on and off stuff really generates some huge false beliefs about what “I love you” means.
Thanks for being here!
Hugs, Darlene

By the way, Susa and everyone here ~ there is a guest post coming in the first week of April about a coaching session that I did with Carla Dippel about her belief system regarding Love that you might find interesting. Stay tuned for that.


Hi Darlene
YAY for doing what is right for YOU! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Bonnie,
OH yes… NOT family oriented! I wondered what would have happened if we had asked for an explanation of the word “family” ~ well I know what would happen because my mother told me once that my aunts that I refused have anything to do with again (for the same behaviour that I ended up standing up to my own family for) were “family” and that you only get one family… and I asked her “what is that supposed to mean?” and she had no answer. Usually when you ask a fog busting question, there is no answer, because they CAN’T answer. The answer would reveal the truth, and the truth is that they think they OWN you.. and you should be grateful to have a owner.
I am glad that you are at peace!
Hugs, Darlene


@Darlene – I am at peace. Thanks so much for your site and all that you do. I’d like to see everyone on this site full of smiles and joy. We deserve it!



“Emotional abusers create a fog through mixed messages, inconsistency, and by indicating that the person with the problem is not them.”

This is so true! My parents loved using their children to glorify themselves. They would proudly describe how much they did for us while we had to sit quietly and listen, torn between misplaced feelings of obligation and feeling like there was something wrong with our parents. Their help always felt wrong because their motives were selfish.

I think since an early age, I carried around feelings of responsibility for making my parents happy. My brother and sister didn’t seem to feel that same kind of responsibility. I was definitely the obedient one.

I remember when my sister and I were 10 or so, my parents had their heart set on us learning to play the piano. Naturally, we had no say in it. They didn’t care what we wanted. My sister went to ONE lesson and then said she didn’t want to go anymore. I didn’t want to go either, but I never said anything. I went for over two years. Incidentally, the piano I had to practice on was old and had many keys that didn’t work. I told my piano teacher this, and even she said (repeatedly!) that they really needed to get me a decent piano. So they were sending me off to piano lessons without showing me the respect of buying a decent piano for me to practice on. Could someone please explain this warped behavior?

Even after I went no-contact, it took another six years for me to see through the fog of lies and distortion. I see a lot of questions on forums and question-and-answer sites where people (sometimes young people) will describe horrible behavior and ask if it’s emotional abuse, and some people will answer that it’s not, it’s just their parents having a hard time or under stress and they should be understanding. It makes me want to scream! If I can, I post an answer and tell them HELL YES and explain why.

Thanks for letting me vent on this one!



When I was little, we used to watch the Rankin-Bass productions of holiday shows. I remember the one about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer– the toys and fellow travelers all considered themselves “mis-fits”. I remember feeling — very young , mind you — that I could relate. I so wanted to go live on The Island of Misfit Toys. Did anyone else have a similar experience?


I needed to believe it was me for a long time…because if it wasn’t me…that meant something worse than it was me…how could they? The alternative to it not being me, for a long time, was more devastating and unbelievable to me than just accepting that it must be me. Eventually, and thankfully, the pain of trying to achieve all the success points to prove it wasn’t me, or that I overcame, was too tiring and the truth was actually less painful than continuing to try and achieve what never really was achievable.


Hi Rainbow,
Thanks for venting. I think that people that say it isn’t emotional abuse are in a fog of their own. I think it is also scary to admit that your own parents might have been abusive, because it implies so many things that are so hard to face and I think that is why it takes so long to come out of that fog to see the truth. Today I am sort of on the logical side of it; I think that most depressions and mental health struggles are caused by some sort of abuse or having been devalued as a child. I don’t really care anymore WHO did it, just that when I realized that it had in fact happened to me, and that I developed a funky belief system because of it. The key was not in blaming anyone at all, but in discovering where and how I had adopted those lies about myself and how I got so broken. The problem is that I couldn’t seem to discover all that truth, unless I really looked at my parents role in the whole thing. Today I am not so invested in the part they played at all… because I am free now. (not of them, of the lies) I would love to have relationship with them, but that is up to them and they insist on living in the lies. (which brings me right back to “I was the problem” and I am not living there anymore….)
Rainbow, thanks for being here… you’ve inspired me this morning!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kellie,
Oh yes I remember the island of the misfit toys too! And yes I wanted to be there as well. I could always relate to the “rejected or the underdogs”.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


hi darlene, yep my skin was an issue for me for most of my childhood and finally cleared up to almost zilch when i left the family home, mmm wonder why that was then? me i think it was the stress of living in the house thta caused some of the flare ups and even when my knuckles were split and finger joints couldnt bend i was still expected to do the household chores and do dishes in scalding hot water, sort makes you go beyond your personal limits if they were never accepted as a reason not to be able to do sonething, and my nan actually hit my father for rubbing salt into it one day when i couldnt stop scratching, so no it wasnt good. just another way to control and abuse us. yet knowing all this doesnt help me slow down and accept ow that i am ill, i just walk slower or do domething to hide the fact i carnt do something. ooo parents can be so much hard work when they broken before we got here


I am overwhelmed with all the truth and wisdom here ~ the fog was so thick in my life thst I didn’t even begin to see my way out of it until the year I turned 50. The fog was all I had ever known, I didn’t even know I was in a fog. For 50 years I believed that I was the problem, that I was crazy, and too crazy to know it, too crazy to know what was WRONG with me, I only “knew” that I was WRONG. I tried everything I could find to trt to fix my crazinee-wrongness. I tried self-help books, pop psychology books, religions, counselors, many prescribed medications, pretty much every psychotropic rx out there, a doctor has had me on it.

NOTHING helped any better than a bandage on an amputated limb…. until just before my 50th birthday in 2003 I finally found a psychiatrist who told me that I WAS NOT AND NEVER WAS CRAZY, that I had a crazy childhood, I had crazy parents, and they had broken me, wounded me, and that did not make me WEAK or STUPID or NUTS, it made me NORMAL…. just as it is normal to bleed if you are stabbed.

I had spent my whole life being put down by the stigma of being “mentally ill,” I had spent my whole life putting myself down for being mentally ill, I had spent my whole life accepting what little crumbs of “love” any abuser would toss my way, because no normal healthy person could ever love a crazy person, so why even try for one of those…. I basically spent my whole life being put down, and punished, and berated, and unloved, and berating myself, for being so GROSS as to BLEED all over the place, after having been stabbed.

No More, Dammit. NO MORE.



[…] Read the original post: The Fog of Dysfunctional Adult to Child Relationships :: Emerging … […]


I still struggle with thinking that maybe I’m the one that’s wrong. Maybe I should have just accepted their assessment of me. I also still struggle with expressing myself for fear that I will prove that I am stupid. I can’t work outside the home, because I’m afraid to even try anything new. I’m afraid I can’t learn. That I really am stupid and worthless.


~You said a lot in your comment! I think that it is so hard for us not to believe it was us because there is no hope if it is them. We can’t change them and even as children we understand that. BUT we think that if we can be better, try harder, get it right, then they will love us and I think that is why we readily accept that “the problem is me” I agree that doing this work in the end is far easier then the old way.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

~ NO MORE! YAY! Great comments!

~It is so common to struggle with still thinking that they are right. Remember that this was set up from such a young age. But no one is born worthless and stupid. NO ONE. So they can’t be right. I had all these same fears. ALL OF THEM.. and it took time, but I kept going forward by looking at some of the events for clues about where the lies were actually born and adopted by me. Eventually, I realized that I was valid, smart and totally wonderful! I found the real me. And you can do this too. We all can.
Hang in here!
With Love, Darlene


That’s why I have a problem with the “doing the best they (you, me, us) can”. Even while I was “in the fog” I still kind of knew…you could know that by challenging me. For example, if I say to my husband something that they said or did to me…I would be saying it as a complaint, and as if there was nothing that I could do about it or do differently to protect myself from it…but, whooaaa, if he would say the same thing as me…I was the only one allowed to say what was going on, and how it was hurting me, and how it was affecting those around me…but I was uninterested (even angry) at anyone who would say what I could say…or try to suggest anything different to me, or God forbid suggest what it would mean when someone could treat someone else that way. I wasn’t doing the best I could, I was doing the best I was willing to do to keep my own emotions safe (comfortable, so I thought), at the expense of my actions and emotions being passed on to the rest of my family that had to deal with me.


Very powerful comments Wendi..
I knew a lot of this stuff when I was in the fog too, but I was too scared to face it. Thank you for sharing this.
Hugs, Darlene

~I also felt badly about some of my own reactions to my kids, because I knew that they were less then my best; I blamed the depressions, but didnt think about where the depressions came from in the first place. People set themselves up as God’s in my life, and I didn’t know how to stand up to that. When I look at the elders in my life since childhood, so many of them acted as though it was thier turn to become a “GOD” in thier own world, as they had to submitt to the “gods” in thier own childhoods.. and on it goes, as though having power over others is the only way that they could have any value. The cycle has stopped in my family.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] fellow truth seeker, Carla Logan, guest posting today on Emerging from Broken. There have been some really deep posts this past couple of weeks and Carla shares a summary of her feelings and discoveries using the imagery of “living off the […]


Hi Everyone,
I just published a new post by Carla Logan related to these last three blog posts here on Emerging from Broken
You can read it here:

No More Crumbs by Carla Logan


Another powerful post. I love the safe forum you have created here for information, truth, support…Thank you, again.

~So I busted out of that deathly fog that hid the blatantly obvious truth and instead of the death that I thought the ultimate final rejection from them would bring, I found life. And I found it to the fullest.

Absolutely Right!


It’s mothers day today and I can’t say I know what that means anymore. Commercially it’s a time to buy her gifts and let her know how much she means to me but I can’t say she means anything anymore. To me she is just a vessel in which was used to bring me to earth and as harsh as that sounds, that’s all I feel anymore because I’m tired of the burden I have had to carry all these years.

Since being a child I have witnessed my mother in an abusive relationship with my father and have felt obligated to protect her. Whether it’s cause he wouldn’t hit her in front of me (and soon began directing the punches my way) or because she indirectly blamed me for the fact that I was to blame for them being together (afraid of single mother stereotype), I felt responsible and guilty.

She was involved with another man during one of their frequent breakups and had a child by him – my 7 year old brother. That never lasted and has since been back with my father and they are now separated – apparently getting divorced.

My parents have always had a dysfunctional relationship and that has left our family lost and broken. They are now in the process of a divorce (about 25 years overdue)and I haven’t spoken to my father in over a year (he simply doesn’t care about any of us)and my mother is going through a depression which she is yet to realize. I rarely speak to her and when I do it’s always based on what she needs me to do for her. The ironic thing is she was used all her life by my dad and now that’s all she bases all her relationships on – what can you do for me? It’s like she’s forgotten her responsibilities as a parent. My dad never really had any – I knew he was messed up from an early age but they (my parents) brought out the worst in each other and we (the kids) suffered heavily for it.

Rather than face responsibility for their (my parents)actions and fix it, they have hidden behind their so called faith (claiming to be Christians) and created a thick cloud of FOG that still hovers above me and my siblings.

My older brother is just a delusional as my father and hides behind his faith as a Christian musician, but dates numerous women who fund his so called lifestyle – a lesson well learned from my father.

My younger sister who I can clearly see has been affected by their bad decisions is so confused and battles with her emotions daily. She held them in such high regards and that all came crushing down on her which has been hard for her to deal with. She’s dropped out of a really good uni and gets her satisfaction from useless men and clubbing – she’s also highly materialistic. We live in the same city and do not communicate – things have been rough. I was dealing with the turmoil myself, and couldn’t support her in the way she needed to be so now my guilt has shifted from being a good daughter to a big sister – the cycle continues. She’s totally distanced herself from everyone in the family (including me)and I don’t blame her, but the worse thing is my parents are carrying on with life like everything’s okay and act like they don’t care. How deluded can one get?

My little brother is the worst of all – or will be. He still thinks my biological dad is his dad, and is abroad (when he lives less than 20 miles away) that’s why he’s not living at home and to make matters worse, my mum recently stared dating his biological father who then showed up at her house announcing to my little brother that he’s his father despite never seeing him his entire life!Confused? Imagine how he feels. So here he is, wondering where his dad is, then being told by some random stranger that he’s his dad and what does my mum do – nothing! I spoke to him recently and his words were-‘Kim, we have two dads!’ – I broke down in tears. I realized just how selfish my mum can be and how she’s using the fact that she wants my little brother to have a father a way of filling a void she has within herself – she’s afraid of being alone and will get with any loser and expose her kids to dysfunctional relationships to not feel that way.

I know we cant change the past, but I want to change the future and stop this craziness. I don’t have a ‘normal’ relationship with my parents and honestly don’t give a damn anymore. All I want to do is be supportive to my younger brother when he needs someone, because he’ll one day realize as we all have, how messed up parents can be. We can’t change them, but we can help those affected by their immorality.It may be too late for some, but as long as we have such parents, they’ll be more affected children to come who’ll need our help and love !

So finally, thanks to you all for making me feel not alone in this. As bad as the situations we have all faced are, it is reassuring to know we are all in this together and we should continue to support one another.

God Bless


I don’t know how to tell you all this unless I just blurt it all out. I had two friendships go to nothing on me this week. It hurts like crazy. I didn’t feel as though it was bad friendships, but they ended in verbal abuse. Now I can’t help but ask myself a bunch of questions. Was I wrong to say that they were not pushing me out of my comfort zone to fast? Am I the black plague, so to speak, to marriages? Is it wrong of me to need the positive influence of both a man and a woman – each individually – in my life? All I have had is negative. Am I not an adult if I can’t face abusers by myself? Haven’t I had enough relationships go sour? Why more? How come so few know about the major affects of emotional abuse? I was told by another person a few weeks ago that I should never be alone in facing the people who abused me badly. Yet, I got accused of not being an adult cause I wouldn’t face this couple alone. I’ve been asked if I really want to have a friendship again with this couple. I’m so confused and hurt so much that I really don’t know what I want. I can’t beleive this happened. It feels an awful lot like betrayal. I was very close to these people, and had shared alot of my heart and struggles with them only to get it thrown back in my face and in some of the ways they know that I am the most vulnerable. What scares me the most is that I feel they are being another Brad to me – and Brad is one of the people in the cult I left. He abused me alot.
At the time this happened I had just had a long conversation with my biological mother that did not go well. She attacked me also. She told me I couldn’t be a Christian because I don’t live in thier house anymore. And I told her that I wanted a mother-daughter relationship with her. She said she wants that to BUT… I told her that my biological father could not be in the picture and in our relationship. That ended it right there. I don’t know how to keep going. My kids at work are what are keeping me going right now. I don’t feel like I have a whole lot left to keep going on for. This is just a fraction of what happened in these situations and all of it took place in two weeks. I can’t help but ask why is it all at once? I’m exhausted trying to deal with it, be cheery at work and keep up with my school work. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on to a cheery composure. I feel as though my heart is in a thousand pieces. I also feel right now like I am pretty much alone and on my own to pick up the pieces of my life – again.



My heart is literally aching for you. Every word you wrote, I could have written in the past. I understand only too well, that horrible feeling of WHY ME? and WHY DOES EVERYTHING GO WRONG ALL AT ONCE? To me, the worst question always was, WHAT IS IT ABOUT ME THAT CAUSESE SO MANY PEOPLE TO REJECT AND HURT ME?

You know what I think it is, Kia? This is a HARD WORLD. The world is full of greedy, self-centered, narcissistic, cold-hearted JERKS, who will use every opportunity they can find to make themselves seem bigger by climbing on the backs of those who are vulnerable.

You are vulnerable, because you do care. You are vulnerable, because you have a heart, and a heart can be broken. You are vulnerable, because you have already been broken by abusers and users in the past.

I like what someone said on one of Darlene’s posts a while back. I wish I could remember who said it, so I could give her proper credit. What she said ~ I can’t remember the exact words, but it went something like this:

If a mad pitbull tries to attack me, I don’t think, “I wonder what is wrong with me that would cause this animal to want to hurt me?” Instead, I say to myself, “WHAT A NASTY BEAST!”

The world is full of nasty beasts. Those of us who have a heart, and are capable of feeling concern and compassion for our fellow human beings, don’t want to believe it… but it is very evident that it is true, when you look at the world around you. Yesterday I found a website that shows the locations of all the nuclear power plants in the United States, and the likelihood, at each location, of an earthquake occurring within the next 50 years.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how many nuclear power plants are scattered all over the USA. I REALLY couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the ones that are located in areas where a devastating earthquake is virtually guaranteed to happen within our lifetime, or our children’s lifetimes.

WHY would ANYONE with the power and authority to decide where to build these things, choose to build them in earthquake-prone areas??? HOW can these people with the power to make these decisions, care so little for life ~ ALL life ~ for the future of our entire planet. Is it stupidity, or just plain cold selfish GREED?

I don’t know, Kia. But I am not going to waste my time any longer, worrying about what might be so wrong with ME, that the powers that be don’t care if they are risking my life, and my children’s lives, and my grandchildren’s lives, by building nuclear reactors all over our country, even on the fault lines. They aren’t doing it because We the People of the United States aren’t good enough or worthy of LIFE. They are doing it out of greed, and/or ignorance. They are doing it because they are nasty beasts.

We need to take our lives back, and we need to take our world back. It starts at home, it starts with you and with me. Hateful people, phony friends who use you and then turn on you, aren’t worth crying over. But YOU, Kia, YOU are worth it. Take care of YOU. Don’t let the bastards win.

I know you need to grieve the loss, grieve the pain, grieve what little good you had for a time with these people. Grieve the illusion, that it wasn’t real. But please don’t blame YOURSELF, for other people’s bad behavior. They had hurt you enough already, you don’t need to hurt yourself by taking on blame that isn’t yours.

I know what I’m talking about, because that was the story of my life for 50 years. But not any more. NOT ANT MORE.

Hugs and Love,


[…] Relationship with Me ~ Emotional Healing By Darlene Ouimet “When a child has been in a dysfunctional family system, that child grows up with some dysfunctional thinking. It can’t be helped.  The dysfunctional […]


Is it typical for a person who has done 8,10,13, years of work on healing to now feel nothing? I have been reading your blog for a while now and when I read your title subject I am void of feelings. Then when I read Vicki’s or Fi, or Lynda’s comments something just rises in me and I want to explode!!! Is it compassion,or a trigger of something that has happened to me? What ever it is I guess I am glad for it. I was hospitalized and shipped away when my daughters were young. My exhusband was so convenced I had all these demons in me. He felt it was wrong for me to fight him when he raped me, he thought it was wrong when I would disagree with him when he wanted to beat my girls instead of disciplining them in a healthier way. ON and on. My therapist sent me to watch the color purple when it was newly released. He asked me my reaction when the girl was raped and treated so horriably. I told him I cried, I asked why he said had I not had a reaction to what happened to her he felt I was going to need more professional help than what he could give. The key was “reaction” I guess there was hope for me after all 🙂


[…] I was raised to believe that whatever was in my life or NOT in my life was my fault. That if I had problems in my relationships with people then it was because I cultivated incorrectly and I had sown bad seed.  I was willing to take that […]


My heart is so heavy right now. Why is it those that impack your life in a good and healthy way seem to leave us. Like holding onto a life raft that is not sea worthy but yet is strong enough to hold you together. My raft was Danette. She was an intervert and a hoarder. Yet though she had faults the kindness and genuine friendship made nothing else matter. I just found out yesturday she went to be with the Lord in March. No one could find me and so it wasn’t until yesturday that I was finally told. I can’t stop crying. I have kept every letter she wrote me. As I reread them I can imagine her telling me the very words with so much kindness. I know I have to go through the grieving process and it hurts. I spoke to her husband and I feel his sence of being lost. My heart hurts.


Oh my gosh Renee
I am so sorry for your loss. Life can be so dang hard sometimes! Please take care of YOU and please feel free to share as often as you need to during this diffficult grieving process.
Love, Darlene


I have been perusing your wondeful site. But I have a question. You spoke of your wish to have a relationship with your parents on your March 2011 post. I have seen other people who survived horrible childhood abuse want to be friends with their former abusers. My sister was beaten terribly by “Mother” but when she was an adult wanted to be friends with this horrible woman! I was appalled. Especially appalled because I listened to those beatings and will never get over the sounds. I reminded my sister that “Mother” was no different-in truth she was the same she had only lost her power over little kids. Why in the world invest any time with an ogre? It is not forgiveness it is more like joining the ranks of the petty tyrants. But that is just my take on it and I have always wondered. Perhaps this thing called family ties or a sense that finally one can have a parent. As for me I’d rather be an orphan!


Hi Dendera
I am not sure which post that you are speaking of, but you make a good point. Sometimes I think that if my mother were willing to change that I would be willing to give her a chance. If she were willing to admitt that this was how it was, that I would be willing to talk to her. But when I think about this the way that you put it, and knowing that I don’t miss her manipulative crap in the least, I certainly see your point.
Thanks for posting this,
hugs, Darlene


The post was March 27, 2011 and you spoke of how you would love to have a relationship now with your parents but it is up to them but they insist on living the lies. For a long time I would have let “Mother” in the door. I had run away to London, England. She wrote me light-heated letters. I nearly fell for it. But dark memory took precedence. I had to ask myself if I was that desperate for family. I waited for an apology from her and everyone. No apology came of course. I can still hear her screech “You deserved it!” She always jabbed her index finger at my face when she delivered that one-liner. I noted that her finger nail was immaculately emory boarded. Funny how memory is! When she hit me across the face and blood ran out of my nose I went to the sink to clean myself up. My blood dripping on the porcelain was remarkable. I had to pause and admire the contrast between my blood and the white sink. I thought it was beautiful. I was meant to be an artist. An abstact minimalist But I degress. I found out after she had died that she was on her way to London to ring my doorbell. And I knew I would have let her in and made a pot of tea. We would have sat there talking of this and that and she would have smoked her Marlboro cigarettes and blown smoke rings on the exhale. Sure of herself. Tapping her little fat fingers on the table-the same fingers that held the belt, the broomstick the fingers attached to the open palm as it slammed against my face. The woman died one fine day in May. She never reached London.


You have a way with words! I remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that line in the post. I was (and very often am) thinking about the whole social interest in “forgiveness” and that if I am too strong on my conviction that “divorce” is the only option, that I will scare people off. And I too am still growing and tweeking the way that I present things.

Having said that, you are right. SO very right and I realize that my message, when I say that I would like to have relationship with my parents, is a contradiction to my message of “why would anyone want to be around that kind of treatment!” And I see today another bit of fog in myself that had not lifted quite yet. I think that this bit is related to that “wishing that I could have had a mother that loved me”, and the fantasy of how it could be different.

Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it so much. I might write about this conversation with you.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much for your site! It is gentle, soothing and freeing!


Hi Renee,

just found this post – very sorry to hear about the loss of your “raft” Danette (that’s a lovely way to phrase it!)

I hope you’re doing ok through the grieving process.

thinking of you



To Lynda
Sounds like exactly how I have been treated all my life by my family. I mean truely.
Bad,wrong,crazy,too emotional, etc
I now know thru counciling that its no all me.


The “fog” is exactly how I explain my situation to the few people I have shared my story. The fog is all around and covers everything. No one, including me, can move the fog and no one really sees what is going on inside the fog. I know now that a strong wind of belief in myself and others as well as confidence that I don’t HAVE to live in the fog, and IT is hindering me, and that I am not the hindrance in my own life can move the fog out. It is a slow process but one I am determined to conquer and be better for it instead of continuing to slowly let it eat away at me.


This is painful to read. The older I got the angrier I got because I could see that there was a fog. The more that people would reinforce that I was the problem and that “nothing was happening” to me and I was just being “hysterical” and “whiny” and an “attention seeker” (for asking questions and becoming upset at the lies and deceit and manipulations,) the more I believed that yes *I* was the problem. I was making trouble and needed to shut my mouth. Even now my sister will tell people that I was trying to usurp her power as older sibling. I had 3 different people degrading me daily: the babysitter, my parents and my sister (and sometimes brother.) Only now do I see the disgusting dysfunction that goes on and am strong enough to say “I have the right not to put up with your SH*T. Now bugger off.”
I hurt for you Darlene and although I am not responsible I am sorry that these things happened in your life and in so many lives of others. I don’t want to hate any one. It turns out though that the years of put downs, bullying and BS has made me bitter and disgusted with the ignorance that was originally attributed to me as stupidity and uselessness. I work daily to clean out my soul so that I can become the person I thought I never could be because I believed that I was incompetent and subhuman. And I put the anger and disgust to work by using them to fuel my own wounded child to stand up and defend myself since I was left vulnerable and unprotected.


Hi Karen
Welcome to EFB. You are not alone with having had those feelings.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Michelle
This whole site is about breaking through that fog. (Some even joke about fog busting!)
For me the fog lifted when I was able to see the truth through new eyes and not through the lies that I believed most of my life about myself as a result of the abuse and trauma. It is a process as you say and YAY for determination to Conquer!!
Hugs, Darlene

Bipolar Bear
Its interesting that your sister thought she “had power” as your older sister. That was one of the “fog things” that I came out of. The pecking order system that was so dysfunctional making people think they had positional power and entitlement. UGG
I don’t hurt any more. I could never do a site like this if I was still in pain. Thank you for your soothing comments towards me. My past pain is over and I only use it to show others that there is hope. It was important for me to feel that anger and disgust for a time however; it was validating, and it helped me a long way towards self love and self validation. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


It resonates so much to me.

I was also convinced that I was crazy, the rebel teenager, selfish, even abnormal. I even doubt of my intelligence. I thought i was autist, a failure too. They let me believe that and it was ok for them, for them I was the crazy one. This hurts huge until today.
my genitor said to me that he will conduce me in psychiatric azylum.
So gentle to him.

For me too, it was not his blows who were the most hurtful, it was that he tremendously hurt me and let me think that I was at the orignin of his treatment and I was crazy to not accepting this kind of treatment.

For me too, there was no room for developp a sel esteem and it’s not normal.
My “father” rejection is something that broke my heart. Until today, this feeling is so so huge and it prevents me to talk to make new friends as I long for. And I have always the fear inside me to become or to be crazy.

It is more easy for them to put the blame on us, to treat us as outcast, whore…than to questionning their attitude towards us.

I was described too as overreactive, rebel, even agressive and hurtful towards other. Of course sometimes I have this attitude to them but it was because they really drove me mad.
And at the outside teh home when I was a teenager, I was defensive and react very strong and replay the role I have in my family so people rejected me and hurt me. So I didn’t know what to think if finally after all, I was not crazy and naughty.

Thanks for reading.
I helps me a lot to read your articles :)thank you.


Hi Aurelie
Yes, this is exactly what happens. The grooming process begins when we are very young and making us believe that we are the problem is a big part of that process. always indicating that “you are the crazy one”. When we blow up or get angry that it used as “proof” that the problem really is us and all the while NEVER addressing the actions of the abusers.
Thank you for being here and for sharing. We were not and are not the problem here.
Hugs, Darlene


I cannot thank you enough … this website and the utter honesty you speak with is SO liberating… I’ve spent years trying to get past my past but I could never really make it out of the FOG, but I’ve sat here for 2 days straight reading many of the entries on this website & crying & journaling about it all & it has given me a clarity that years of trying to “accept them for who they are” has not. You can’t accept someone for who they are unless you see them for who they are! Then you know what you have to work with OR NOT! The truth really does set you free. Truly Darlene I am eternally grateful to you for getting past the bullshit, the pretence & hypnosis …. you are doing this world a GREAT service.


Hi Mimi
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I love your statement; “You can’t accept someone for who they are unless you see them for who they are!” That is such a great way to put it!
I am so glad that you like my work and I hope you will share your thoughts often.
Hugs, Darlene


darlene, what are your fees for life coach sessions and do you offer sessions via phone? thank you, sandy
happy holidays!


Hi Sandy,
(I don’t have a page to advertise this as I rarely have openings! )

I do work one on one with clients either on the phone or on skype.
My fee is $175.00 per session and I work in 2 hour sessions through the
following format; 1 hour on the phone or skype and the second hour(of my
time) is for reviewing and sending some feedback for homework assignments
that I assign the client in the phone session. The client can work as long
as he or she likes on the homework without having to pay for session time
with me. I have a very high success rate with this format.

I have one opening coming up in the new year; if you are interested, please let me know. (I am also going to send you note through a private email).
I offer a half hour intake session (free) to see if we would be a good fit.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Hugs, Darlene


If blood truly is thicker than water then how come my father is seeing more of what he expects from a “proper son” in my 16 yr old cousin. “Oh why can’t you be more like hin.” Boy did I comply with that voice to the point that when I looked back at all the actions I did to be the “model son”
I was like oh how disgusting. Love how I am told to be myself but to also “copy and paste” what’s in the hots in his eyes, only to be criticized because I can’t think for myself (Geez make up your mind, I am not multi-faceted Dad).

Thankfully my cousin sees through the treatment he’s given by me old lad, to the point that he even bluntly told me: “Hey man, how come your Dad loves me more than you, is that normal?” Ouch to hear that from him, but at least I not only have a best friend in him, but someone who actually validated the damage I received and did not tell me to act my age (6 yrs his senior) and just move on. I have since also been his confidante whenever he feels any form of hurt from his own family. Our passion for this subject is so huge that we even put ourselves at risk, when we decided to talk about the abuse we received inside the family car during a trip to the city! (My cousin was not only a chatterbox, but I also had to tone his voice down as it was that bad).

I am slowly appreciating the me that I wanted to be or, rather should have been ages ago. Yes I still cringe at times, whenever father dear decides to do something “loving”, but I have lovely people in my life who have heard and supported me. Though I am not going to “milk them out” to rewire me, as that is a task I have given myself to accomplish.

For those who have tried to point him out for his disgusting behaviour, yet he still didn’t change, well we could only do so much. (Mom I really don’t care anymore if what Dad said about you being controlling is true, because the amount of things he has done to me, outweigh the only issue he has with you even more. His disgusting behaviour is not on you, it’s on him. So the next time I hear another “sob story” from him about you being “iffy”, I’ll be like in my mind: “Ain’t karma a bitch”. Though I still don’t like driving when you are in the passenger’s seat Mom, but if that’s my only issue with you, well I am not ashamed to be in favour of you over Daddy dearest. To hell with society’s Mama’s boy tag).

Righto time to recommence on rebuilding myself as that is bound to take a very long time.


I too long for a relationship with my dad, but realistically the toxic contribution would be counter productive. I have to concentrate on my daughters and I role modeling healthy boundaries


Dear Mom,
Over the last two years I have lived with you I have figured out that some things were very wrong and have been for a really long time. People used to ask me, “what’s wrong with your mom?” And I just always brushed it off but I know what it is now. You have never been good with emotions or sharing or connecting for that matter so I’ll start with the facts but you will have to deal with my emotions over them, even though I know you are glad you don’t have to live with my moods anymore. Most normal people are not emotionless, like you.
The way you never interacted with my children in a positive way unless you were directed by me on an activity to do with them made me remember the same thing when I was little. Only, I had no one to be an advocate for me, to direct you into being a mother to me. Let’s start with the beginning shall we…

I remember being a baby sleeping on a twin bed in a dirty room. I was waken up by something being put in my arms. I was tired but it seemed like being tired was the norm for me. My brother was coaxing me awake and all I understood was the word Christmas. He had placed a baby in my arms and it was a Christmas gift. He motioned for me to come with him and I did. I remember, my sisters playing amongst some presents in the living room with no one else around. No mom or dad and it was very dark like it was in the middle of the night. I sat on the couch with my new baby in my arms and I remember just… loving it but i knew it was different from the way I always felt loved.

I remember wanting you so bad, I remember just needing you all the time. It was probably the reason I was with you one weekend when you went to visit your mother when I was three years old. I can think of a million reasons that were my fault about why I was there. But i can’t think of a single reason why you left me there with him. You knew what he was like, you knew what he already did to you. You knew what your stepfather did to me and you never once asked me if I was okay. Instead you hid behind your forgiveness just so you didn’t have to deal with it. You erased it for me, at least my feelings about it and tried turned me into a robot. No feelings just like you except I began to cry a lot more than usual and say things like no one loves me… because you didn’t. You don’t love me. You benefit from me and always have and that’s the truth.

You left all four of your children when I was 5 years old. You left us with a broken man who separated us but that wasn’t the first time, was it? I grew up hearing how you pulled up to our grandparents house, let us out of the car all the time and pulled away until you never came back.

What I can’t figure out was why you came back years later. Was it because that’s what mothers are supposed to do? Was it to appease your new boyfriend? Was it to hurt daddy? Was it for money, to claim your three daughters to get a tax relief you could spend on yourself? Was it so you wouldn’t have to pay child support? The reason doesn’t really matter. What matters was that even though we were struggling with dad, we were okay. He got us to keep things clean and made us laugh. He interacted with us by playing games and having BBQs. He protected us, mostly… he even threw his friend out of the house when he took us to the park all day instead of taking us to school. Which is more than I can say for you. He wasn’t perfect at all and we certainly would have grown up with wounds from an alcoholic parent who drove drunk but we were more okay than getting sexually abused by the man you chose over us.
Even losing my cat made me remember how you couldn’t even console another child over losing her cat when you took us to another miserable life in California and refused to let my sister have hers. It was so easy for you to say no like it was easy for you with my daughter and me. My cat was our family that helped me through my divorce the way my sister’s cat helped her when her mother left.

I keep thinking about the way you never brushed my hair or made me brush my teeth. How you just let me walk to school with only my fingernail to scrape plaque off my teeth and hair bent in awkward places from sleeping in a dirty room. I imagine the clothes you dressed me in and I think about how much time you didn’t spend grooming me with care. The first time I have ever felt like a normal child in style was with a family that wasn’t even mine in a foster home.

You sent us to be with a broken angry alcoholic father for a summer and then chopped all our hair off because you couldn’t be bother to clean out tarnished hair as if we weren’t traumatized enough after our dad tried to kill himself in front of us. You just sent us to school as tainted bald children so everyone would know we had bugs.

You never knew half the things we did as children because you never paid attention. You never knew that as soon as you left for work at the but crack of dawn that we would wait for the right moment to run across a four lane busy as hell highway at the corner of our apartment at 7 years old, you never knew that my twin burned my face with a match, you never knew that my brother would put us on our bicycles and have us follow him through the dangerous highways of Coronado to the park next to the library and that I was scared to death all the way there.

You never knew that we were desperately afraid of your husband. How could you not see the fear in our eyes every time he called us to the kitchen table to give us our punishment to ground us to our room for weeks at a time just to get us out of your way. I see the fear in my daughter’s eyes every day. How could you not see that? You never paid attention to our cries for help when our stepfather would creep into our room late at night to have oral sex with your 10 year old daughter. You never knew that she acted out what he did to her on us. You never knew that she would try to seduce men at 10 years old and if you did know, you’d think there was something wrong her, not with the situation you had us living with. I know because I remember your accusations when my twin confronted you at 16 years old. “You caused it by the clothes you wear. You want it… I have caught you looking at his penis.” Well, it’s easy to look when he pulls us on his lap in front of you with a hard on for your teenage daughters.

I look back and I think you let your daughters get taken away and you couldn’t even be bothered to clean our room. I know, stupid right? But that’s what I would have done, anything just to make up for being selfish.
I certainly wouldn’t have let my baby girl come home to climb over mounds of rubble just to collect her things to live with someone else. No, I traveled all the way across the US to fight for my daughter. I left my husband just as soon as I knew he was trying to come between my children and me, to hurt them. I chose my children. My children have always been target for me to find my way back to the light. Why wasn’t I ever yours?

Instead you let us break in silence while you didn’t believe. You put me in a position to need you, to depend on you so it could happen again and I couldn’t have feelings about it because I became a teenage mother at 14 years old. No… I had to keep my mouth shut so my baby and I would have a place to live. You made me learn how to say “no” to your husband. You taught me that I couldn’t say “no” to mine. I had to dodge his advances while defending you to my siblings and completely ignore my feelings about it so that my son could have what you never gave me… a childhood.

Oh… but things got easier after my twin sent our stepfather to prison and left home. I made it easy for you to pretend nothing ever happened. I made it easy for you to pretend you weren’t guilty for letting another man hurt your children while one was living on the streets at the lake. I never spoke up. I lived in silence while you kept me in the dark of this trauma bond you helped create for control so you could take money from me. I remember you claiming us on your taxes and spending it all on yourself. You used it for down payments on cars every couple years and then complained because i wanted to learn to drive so I could take care of my son. My son’s father was the one who had to teach me to drive because you wouldn’t. You absolutely refused to teach me… why?
I know why now… to keep me dependent on you.
I remember you buying computers and computer desks. I even remember helping you put them together and then you’d cry because our electricity would get shut off. You watched me work my ass off while going to school to try to make up for being a teenage mother when I should have been a child.

My college room mate was the one who clued me in on what you were doing with the taxes even after I moved out. I confronted you and as soon as you could no longer benefit from me, you pushed me out when I needed you again. You pushed me out with two kids and nothing… while trying to make it through college, feeding me with crumbs to keep me dependent… acting like you were trying to help me but then I’d have to pay you back knowing I couldn’t. You left me vulnerable to a narcissist and watched me struggle every day until it destroyed me. If I actually had been lucky enough to find a healthy marriage after what you put me through, I could see how John was right. You did come between us.

Everything you ever did for me was disguised with your benefit. Going on my family vacations, guilting me into choosing you on family holidays made it absolutely horrible for me. From buying my house… after all, you did it because we offered you money to do it. But again, I spent so much time trying to make up for that. So much that it almost destroyed me… I almost got prosecuted for taking all the money out of my husband’s business account trying to make it up to you. I went backwards so much that I worried about feeding my kids trying to live in it for you.

But I never saw any of this, not until this last incident that woke up old wounds you say never happened. Why? Because you lived like it never happened. You never even tried to make up for any of it. You never tried to make up for it with my sisters or me or even my brother. But it was easy for you to push your religion on us. As if God could forgive you we should too. Mom… I never had the option to forgive you. I was so completely broken by your choices that I became a teenage mother, that my sister became addicted to cocaine and both of them lived on the street.

I watched you this past year, talking to a man who said he lived in Africa. He came up with this story that he was a widower and business man stuck overseas because he owed back taxes. I watched how easy it was to get you to believe him with a simple phone call from someone who said they were from immigration and all he had to do was dangle cash in your face. That’s all it took was money but honestly, I didn’t care what you believed. I was happy to see the smile on your mouth again until my son told me you took $500 from him and told him to keep it a secret. And then the lies started… I specifically remember asking what you thought he did with his money and you swore up and down that you didn’t know. When you asked me to help send the money to Africa to random people is when everything clicked into place for me. The way you acted like nothing happened at church after your bank account was frozen from having $99 million sent to your account and threatened with an investigation. You’re really good at that, acting like nothing happened and turning on the tears when you want something which was probably what happened when you asked the church for grocery money. Which is also what happened when we had a counseling session after I got pregnant. I just never knew that using tears was a form of manipulation to avoid responsibility until you told me how Ann did it in court. You would know right?

I’m glad you did what you did. It allowed me to confront you for the first time ever and I just can’t get past it. At first I thought it was guilt I saw in your eyes but I was wrong. It was blame; I only saw guilt in the reflection of your eyes. My own guilt staring back at me. Guilt for being born, guilt that you had to take care of me, and the way you started to make me feel guilty for feeling mad at you. Telling me everything you have done for me as a reason for letting me go again for making things hard for you… for feeling.
Giving away guilt is easy for you but me… I avoided it. I made things easy for you and never spoke up, never asked any questions because i believed that everyone walks around with the same guilt I always did. But I finally got to ask you a really hard question and you didn’t even flinch. I asked you if you stayed with our stepfather after what he did to us for money. All you did was deny like you always do. Deny…Deny…Deny. But I know one thing for sure now. You never felt guilty for anything.

You can say that you were just a single mother just coming out of a rebellious marriage and that you did the best you could. But that’s not true… what about all the other things you didn’t do, more important things. I know you never protected your daughters and I know you never spent a minute trying to make up for as much as you tried to guilt me into making up for with my decisions. It was hard to see that from the inside when I needed you. But oh… other people from the outside looking in have been very clear. The way I see it, I just removed 2 very toxic people out of my life – My husband and you.

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