The Grooming Process of Discrediting Children and the Cycle of Abuse

Facebook91k
Twitter4.6k
Youtube161
LinkedIn26

carla's hawaii 117Dear Mom;

If you read my blog as the daughter YOU were, instead of as the mother you ARE, can you honestly tell me that you would not completely relate to what I am saying? If I wasn’t YOUR daughter, (if I was your next door neighbor), I know you would be a fan. 

My mother always said a lot of things that indicated that I was the problem ~ her problem. Those types of things that she said were a big part of the grooming process in the cycle of abuse. Grooming a child to believe that the child is the problem and communicating that publically serves several purposes one of which is that it discredits the child to other family members and friends of the family way before the child ever tries to stand up to abusive treatment which serves to insure that the abuser will never be questioned by other people. It is important for the controlling or abusive person to discredit the child in case the child ever tells or exposes the truth about the dysfunction in the family. Another purpose for grooming the child to believe he or she is the problem is that it also causes the child to spend more time questioning themselves than they ever would spend questioning the treatment that they have been groomed to accept as ‘normal’ treatment. In other words this type of grooming insures that all eyes are always on the child and never on the parent or adult involved.

The truth is that my mother comes from a dysfunctional family herself and she comes from an abusive family as well so she herself went through this same grooming process. She learned to discount me from the same grooming process that she learned her own value from. I don’t mention that to excuse her, but to show the cycle of abuse. The only way to stop the cycle is to expose it and to stand up to it. I stood up to it and I have been successful in stopping it in my own life and within my own family.  

And some would say there is a price I have paid. I have no family. I have nieces and nephews that I will never meet. I will always be referred to as the crazy one in the family and I suppose that if I didn’t have this website, if I didn’t get hundreds of thank you notes every month, if my writing wasn’t shared by hundreds of thousands of people and studied by universities all over the world, I might still question that old belief that I was the crazy one… but I don’t believe that lie anymore because I understand that it was part of the grooming process all along. The ‘price’ for my freedom from the abusive cycle, however expensive, was well worth it.

I understand that in order for my mother to give herself credit, she had to discredit me and she still ‘has’ to discredit me. But that doesn’t make her right. I understand that in order to deny the truth about the cycle of abuse that she comes from she had to say that it wasn’t actually abuse so that when she repeated the same abusive treatment that beat her down in childhood, she could justify it. But that doesn’t make it acceptable. It is important to recognize that this message communicated in this dysfunctional family system ~ that children are worth less than adults or worth less than their parents ~ is achieved by discounting and dismissing children in order to ‘teach’ children to learn their ‘place’.

But here is what I learned about ‘my place’;

“My Place” was nowhere. “My place” was in first knowing and then accepting that I was not actually as valid as a human being as ‘they’ were. Respect, according to this false system, is worshiping parents no matter what the sick desire or motive of those parents is. The false definition of respect is to accept anything they dish out and be happy about it. Respect in the dysfunctional family world is acceptance of any type of treatment, without question. Respect in abusive relationships means NEVER asking to be respected in return. ‘My place’ was no place.

The confusion happens because of the mixed messages children get in a dysfunctional family system; it is very confusing when we experience that we don’t get that same ‘privilege’ as they get; we are taught how to prove our love for them, but we are not loved in the definition of love that they have taught us proves our love for them. It is puzzling when we are ‘taught’ how to love but we are not loved back in the way we are taught to love. It is baffling to a child when we don’t get this respect (that proves love) back!  And in order to adjust and to cope with it, we discount ourselves even more and consequently we are stuck in the spin of proving our worth in the dysfunctional ways that we are taught to prove it!

 And that is the cycle of abuse and dysfunctional family.

Coming out of the fog and Emerging from Broken is a process of seeing the lies that were set so deeply in place that these lies are believed to be true and overturning them. It is a process of seeing the lies for the lies that they are and changing them back to the truth.

Perhaps I didn’t see this consciously when I was in the fog, but it is evident that I believed that I didn’t deserve the other side of respect and that respect wasn’t ‘mutual’. I believed that the way I was taught to prove my love for them was not the way that they should prove their love for me. In order to believe and accept that lie, I had to believe that I was ‘less valuable’ than they were ~ which is exactly what their actions taught me in the first place. I had to believe in the dysfunctional pecking order system where I was less and they were more and I would never be as valuable as they were in order to survive in it. My parents and other adults communicated to me by their actions that I was ‘worth less’ than they were. As a child, I had no choice but to accept that I was worthless and try to survive by compliance and obedience to their actions and messages about me.

This ‘grooming process’ is the same for all abuse and all abuse has its foundation in psychological abuse. The grooming process is the same for domestic violence as it is for sexual abuse only the details are different. The “worth less” message is communicated in the work place by bully bosses or bullying coworkers, the same as it is communicated in dysfunctional family systems. If someone can get you to believe you are worth less than they are, they can make you look at yourself instead of at them. As long as I was looking at what was wrong with me, (which is survival and there isn’t a better way to try to cope when we are children) I was trying harder to make them like and accept me.

Everything changed when I finally took a look at the truth. Everything changed when I realized that I was being controlled by the fear of the consequences of standing up to them. Everything changed when I realized that I was no longer that child and that I had become an adult with real choices. Everything changed when I realized that my biggest fear was that they would reject me and that truth was that they already had. It had already happened when they didn’t see me as having equal worth as an individual and when they invalidated and disregarded me by their actions or inactions.

When I stood up to that dysfunctional family system and declared my own value, I got dumped. When I insisted that I deserved the same respect that was demanded of me, everyone was shocked. I was rejected because I asked for something unheard of in a dysfunctional and abusive family system; I asked to be regarded as having equal value. When I asked for respect and simply asked to be treated the way I was expected to treat her, I was rejected.  My mother never experienced that with her mother because she never stood up to her mother but I am certain if my mother read this blog as the daughter she was instead of the mother she is, she would totally relate to it.

Please share your thoughts about this angle of dysfunctional family relationships, the grooming process in the cycle of abuse or about the pain of being rejected for requesting equal value.

P.S. My mother doesn’t speak to me. (She would likely tell you that it is ME who doesn’t speak to her, but that would not be exactly the truth.)

There is freedom on the other side of broken;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here in the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Related Posts ~ See highlighted sentence fragments in bold

Also see – Why People discount the Child and Defend the Abuser 

Emerging from Broken on Facebook (your comments here will not be published on FB)

 

645 response to "The Grooming Process of Discrediting Children and the Cycle of Abuse"

  1. By: S1988 Posted: 22nd April

    @Light

    You mention your longing for your mother a lot on this website. I can see why since you said that you two bonded over a few things. I find that hard to relate to because my mother and I have just as much in common as day and night. Maybe that’s why my older sister is practically her best friend since they are more alike. They both are loud and talkative, while I’m the quiet, eccentric loner. A part of me does wish for some type of repentance, but I’m not holding my breath. I guess I feel no love for her because we’re so different. Yes, she did the basics such as providing food, shelter, clothing, school, and even some vacations. But, I don’t recall anytime that we had a conversation where we both can exchange ideas and opinions. When she lectures, er, I mean talks, I have to listen and agree, or I’m either bad or wrong.

    It must be sad to yearn for someone with who you can kind of relate to. I’m sorry to hear that.

  2. By: Light Posted: 22nd April

    Hi JMC – You are welcome. I hear what you are saying about still feeling love for your parents. It is confusing – I’m glad you brought up the topic. I still feel love for my mother. She has done many wonderful and nice things for me, but the bad was emotionally painful and eroded the foundation of our relationship. She seems (genuinely?) at a loss as to how to repair it. Sometimes I think she doesn’t want to repair it because of what that would require of her and her loss of power.

    I do miss those time when we shared laughs though and had a few things to bond over. It’s very sad.

  3. By: JMC Posted: 18th April

    Light,

    Thanks so much for your response and for caring.
    I am so confused about how i feel because I love both my parents. I still see them and I want them in my life. The most important thing and that which I thank God every day for my children and that I never did any of these things to my children. I could never live with it if I did.
    I guess the humiliation is what I remember the most. I recall being hit and yelled at and belittled to feeling and being so low and thinking so little of myself when it was happening. I felt trapped. I am so glad to be able to talk about it, I never really have had anyone to talk to about it and it helps more than I thought it would.

    Thanks so much. I’m very glad I found this forum.

  4. By: laura Posted: 18th April

    Hi Light,
    Maybe all is not lost.I come to that park everyday and i see the police everytime.Someday i’ll be ready to talk to them.Even if the police left me alone,i’m sure they keep an eye on me.Plus,they already know me by sight.If i see them again,i’ll start by saying hello to them and maybe,in time,a human connection will form and it will be easier for me to open up.One day,i’ll be strong enough to follow through.

  5. By: Light Posted: 18th April

    Wow, Laura, that is an amazing story. Did you say this just happened today? Yes, it’s too bad that you didn’t jump at the opportunity…I don’t see you as a coward though. You were just doing the best you could to cope with trauma. You could still follow through if you choose – that doesn’t take away from the fact that THEY approached YOU in case that ever came up.

    The irony is that many children (and victims of all ages) who need help the most are probably the least-equipped to get help for themselves. They’ve been beaten down emotionally/sexually/physically and don’t have the internal strength and coping skills to figure out what to do and follow through. Many have been isolated from others. It’s really too bad.

  6. By: laura Posted: 18th April

    Hi Light,
    Just like you,i wish i would have gotten legal with my abusers.I always had this fantasy that the law will help me.Today i sat on a bench in the park,where the police does its daily round.Suddenly,2 policeman came.They told me that they had seen me for years in the park,melancholic and all alone.They asked me if there was anything wrong at home.I should have jumped at the opportunity and tell them all about my trauma.It was an amazing chance for me,as the police came to me.I didn’t go to them,and they were genuinely interested in my situation as it was their job to spot unusual individuals in the park and ask them what’s going on.Instead of talking to the police and ask for legal help,i pushed them away.I refused to give them my name and identify myself.I told them this was private info and i had no legal obligation to tell them anything about myself,as i had not committed any crime and i knew my legal rights as a citizen.They were polite enough and they left.

    Now,i feel like a coward for not making the right choice.I feared the consequences.What if my abusers were above the law,what would happen to me and so on.

  7. By: Light Posted: 17th April

    JMC My father admitted sexual abuse with a sibling and a neighbor. I endured his covert sexual abuse which he denied. There were other people who also went to my mother and told them of his covert sexualized behavior. She did not stand with me, wouldn’t acknowledge it happened to me FOR ALMOST THIRTY YEARS. This was agony for me. She finally did, but recently took back the part of her validation that said these dynamics and her nonsupport of me had a ripple effect through the family (my brothers support my mother, e.g. one brother tells me my feelings “aren’t justified”).

    Yes, denial is infuriating. I am now on very low -to no – contact with her and both brothers.

    I am sorry you had to endure such horrible abuse and hateful words. Her standing there makes her just as culpable as your father. It’s ugly.

    When I was younger I was familiar with the concept of denial, but to see how it works in a family really brings it home. Denial is very powerful and people do indeed see what they want to see.

    Just today I was thinking that I wish I had had the wherewithal to have “gotten legal” with them. I didn’t have the resources as a teen to do so, but it would have been so much better if a jury and judge were given the facts and be left to decide where responsibility should be placed, and what amends to the victims should be made.

  8. By: JMC Posted: 17th April

    I wonder if anyone else has had this experience: my mother would tell my father things about us and my father would hit is, while she stood there and watched. This happened many times during my childhood. My father also called us names like”scum” and “filth” and “scum sucking pigs” to name a few. She saw all of this and allowed it. Personally, I would rather die than allow any of this with my children. I know that humiliation and I don’t ever want them to feel that.
    Here is the interesting part: my mother now denies that any of this ever happened. This makes me absolutely furious. It happened to me, not to her. She did not protect me from it, and now she is going to try and wipe it all away as though it never happened! I won’t allow it. I don’t care how old and feeble she tries to act, she isn’t going to wipe that off of her conscience. For some reason, this makes me more angry than anything that ever happened, abuse wise.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd April

      Hi JMC
      I am sad to tell you how many people have shared similar exp. with me. It is horrific how many parents deny the reality of what happened to us at their hands. It is so invalidating. You have found the right place to share and heal.
      hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Michelle Posted: 10th February

    “There is freedom on the other side of broke” ~ so true ~
    Many years of abuse at the hand of my father, with my mother completely denying any abuse when I was a child. The isolation, guilt, blame, fear I felt was intense. I felt so different from everyone. I am now 47 and last year I confronted my Mother about her knowledge of the abuse. I had been working with my therapist 5 years before to confront my Mother. My therapist scheduled the appointment with me, her and my mother for July 4th. She would actually make the time for me on a holiday to help me thru this process. She was wonderful. Then trajedy hit the weekend before my sister was killed. I couldn’t go thru with it, my sister’s death was devastating to me. My sister even volunteered to travel from Florida to be with me the weekend of the confrontation.
    The last two years I have had a very strained relationship with my Mother and thru the help of my husband, listening and supporting me I finally confronted my Mother. She totally denied knowing anything about the abuse. I pointed out memories, situations, discussions with her in the past~yes she never remembered anything. Selective Memory
    Many times at family functions she would pull family members and even my best friend into a private conversation about how messed up my life was, how disappointed I didn’t have a better life, what a disapointing mother figure I was. I was devastated to hear the things she would say about me. I have never confronted her about how she has talked about me to others. My teenage years were filled with guilt, neglect, ignoring me, I never saw any support or love. She refused to attend my High School Graduation because my boyfriend would be in the audience. Instead she watched it from a TV monitor in a classroom. What mother does that??? She absolutely refused to help me with my wedding or pay for anything. And she blew up at me when the engagement in the paper mentioned her name as my mother. She would not attend my baby shower for my first child because she wanted to throw it by herself without the help of my best friend and husbands family. ~~UGH~~ Definate control isses!
    So within 4 months of the confrontation last year my Mother decided to move to Florida. Away from 2 of her grown children including me.
    I talk to her once a week. She usually will not call me because she throws out there that I am just too busy for her. She continues to ask me every conversation when I am coming to Florida to see her house. When my sister died I vowed never to enter the state of Florida, and she said the same thing. But she moves there and wants me to visit her…..another form of control.
    I am happy to say I am so much stronger than I ever have been. I am learning to let the negativity, guilt comments roll off me. I have no plans to visit Florida anytime soon.
    I have found the freedom, I have much more work to do. Reading the blogs on this site has helped me tremendously.
    As my husband has told me, I have a family and children that love me for who I am.

  10. By: Nikki Posted: 9th February

    I have never been able to put into words the immense hatred my family has shown me over my 27!years, I have bookmarked your blog and am very grateful to have found it!
    Thank you for bein so strong and open.
    Thank you.
    Nicole

  11. By: Charles Browne Posted: 8th February

    Rachel in her comment #130 used a phrase that I believe I have only come across recently or else just paid attention to recently and that phrase is “afraid of love”.

    I have read about “Fear of being Alone”* and “Fear of Rejection”* but I don’t think I ever considered the “Afraid of (Fear of) Love” aspect.

    It makes sense to me. In my case I didn’t have true love, in any form, mirrored back to me from my parents. So as I progressed into, and through adulthood; though I had a natural built-in desire for love, and a desire to give love. I did not know how to bring it about, or how to accomplish it. So I avoided it. I mean, if what my parents exhibited was love (What I was taught was love, by their example). Why would I ever want that for myself, or to treat someone else that way.

    I know when I was younger I listened to the music group Nazareth’s song ‘Love Hurts’ over and over. Looking at it now, it is as if I was listening to that song to verify what I was already feeling inside. That…love hurts.

    Another thing I noticed from my earlier life in my late teens, late twenties and early thirties. Is that I could do the same things that other people did. But when they did it they were just being friendly or trying to make friends, but when I did the exact same things that they did; I was bugging people. Or so it seemed to me.

    * These of course having come about due to the way we were mistreated in childhood and Adolescence.

  12. By: Lulu Posted: 20th October

    Wow. I have been struggling to find a “why” for so long – and I think this might have answered that question for me.

    My teachers were definitely “grooming” us to believe all sorts of stuff.

    For example:

    Student: “I am having a hard time in class because the teacher just moved here from China and only speaks Chinese. He knows only a handful of english words”

    Dean: *smiles* “At this school we embrace diversity. You should try that”

    Student: “Are you saying that I’m racist and discriminating against him because he is chinese?”

    Dean: “Yes. And that won’t be tolerated here.”

    After that we all tried extra hard to learn from him. I felt horrible because I felt the same way as this kid in my class did. Am I really a racist? I thought maybe! The REAL TRUTH is that home boy professor spoke NO ENGLISH and should never have been hired!

    $30,000 / year for tuition and we get a teacher who can’t teach. Absurd! You could tell it was really hard for him too – he seemed like a really nice man who tried everything he could to learn new words to communicate to us but he just never should have been given the job.

    But as usual, the blame was always deflected on the students.

    I could never understand how so many staff at my school could be so heartless. But now it makes sense that it could just be an example of “the cycle of abuse”.

    I get the impression that this program had really rough and abusive beginnings. And that “normal” was just perpetuated as students became teachers. And on and on.

    As my professor explained, “That is how it has always been and that is how it will continue”

    This is so bizarre! But my professors really were “grooming” us – whether they knew it or not.

    “When I was in school my friend had a mental breakdown and ended up in the hospital. Some people are just not cut out for this profession. Maybe you don’t have what it takes.”

    I felt so much shame!! School is not supposed to break you down! It is supposed to build you up and give you skills!

    I trusted and looked up to so many of these men. But now I can see that they were very seriously wrong.

    Thank you for this post Darlene!

    • By: Tila Posted: 24th August

      So right about the bastardization of “diversity”. Students need to be taught in THE LANGUAGE THEY SPEAK. Arrogant pick deans get some kind of kickback for all the “diversity” they hire. And articulating it is the opposite of racist.

  13. By: Steve Posted: 9th October

    It is amazing how effective and completely the job is done on us, by a dysfunctional, abusive family, and how it pervades our existence, at least for me.

    Darlene, you so accurately define how it all works with great examples, how we get put into the spin of doubting ourselves and trained like animals to try ever harder to attain love that we will never be granted.

    It’s a deck stacked against us, a dangling carrot / bait and switch routine.

    But the way it ends up being done to each of us, though the forms vary, is just sickeningly complete, in terms of making our jobs to climb out of the hole they dig for us, quite the task, SEEMINGLY impossible. But is is NOT impossible!

    …And I experienced, as I guess many of us have, that these things happen in the workplace and elsewhere.

    My experience too, was one of being rejected for simply, finally, refusing to be the black sheep, the lone sole responsible for all that was wrong in my family.

    I did tell some family members, though indirectly, that I would no longer stand for being diminished and abused, essentially saying no more contact, but most of my family chose to walk away from my need, my request, my right, and my insistence, to finally be treated as an equal.

    Putting aside for a moment the immense guilt I was conditioned to feel for choosing to have self worth versus staying in relationships with my sick family, it doesn’t matter whether I said, “don’t contact me”, or if they chose not to be bothered having me around.

    My family being unwilling to bother trying spoke volumes about my not being worth any effort to each and every one of them.

    The guilt I carry / carried is not justified, it doesn’t serve me, and all of the lies they tell themselves and others about ME being the “crazy”, or demanding or unreasonable one, doesn’t change the truth or reality.

    Yes, I WISH I had a family, I still wish they loved me, but what they were selling, was never love.

    I still think I feel love for them or at least know I DO care about them, evidenced by the amount of time they fill my thoughts, and wish for a different outcome, though I understand less and less at times how I got tricked into thinking that what I had with my family was ever love.

    Somewhere inside me at least, as I child, I knew it wasn’t love. But it WAS the only “game” in town.

    As always, thank you Darlene and to everyone who shares here, for helping me and one another to bust out of the fogs we grew up in.

  14. By: Davina Posted: 22nd July

    Hi Light,

    I saw you comment on your “care test” somewhere earlier, been thinking about it and it makes sense. I’ve been a puppy dog in my life–it wastes years and sets up unhealthy patterns. That’s why the friend from college knew she could treat me like an idiot and get away with it(though it takes a jerk to behave that way in the first place). Now I’m much more selective about choosing potential friends.

    My boundaries are fuzzy–I need to speak up right away even if the relationship doesn’t survive. My cousin orders me to call my abusive mother and commands that I should be married; my brother minimizes my mother’s abuse; the college friend put me down for years. It would have saved so much time and trouble to draw lines early on instead of letting myself be treated insignificantly for decades. Now I’m in my late 50s and starting all over again.

  15. By: Light Posted: 9th July

    Thank you Davina!! I’ve lost/left some longstanding friends as I’ve gotten healthier as well. I can relate about wanting a brother to be close to. I have two brothers but they are solidly in my mother’s camp and treat me like a polite guest when I see them at get-togethers. Mostly they are checked out and I’m not on their radar screen. This year I’ve decided that people in my circle have to pass my “care test”….I will care about them to the extent that they care about me (that is, if I have feelings for them). No more of this eager puppy dog stuff, waiting for a little morsel to be tossed my way.

  16. By: Davina Posted: 7th July

    Hi Light (525)

    Yes, I’ve recently experienced someone who began making unusual efforts to connect with me after 40 years of treating me like a zero. This was a former college friend who I’d kept in my life because we’d gotten along well as roommates and I liked the idea of having a friend from 40 years ago. She’d always made me out to be an idiot and invalidated me, especially when people were around, though I was smarter, better looking and have had much better jobs and partners than her. I knew she was insecure and assumed she’d eventually mature and stop it. I only saw her every 5 to 15 years, but in between meetings would forget about her putdowns, then eventually see her again and realize that she was still doing it. When she came to town last February, I could see that she’d become a shrew and was still invalidating me and that at 60, she’d never matured. I gave her the boot. Suddenly she was calling, texting and sending little notes for the first time but it was far too little too late. Most of all, I realized how wrong I’d been to put up with her put downs for decades.

    I also have a similar situation with a brother who scoffs at my problems with my mother and often invalidates me. It’s complicated in that he’s head injured from a motorcycle accident 40 years ago and has a severe drinking problem so he can’t follow complex ideas and has a horrible memory. I can explain everything to him, then he’s forgotten the next time we talk or write. He lives near my mom and is in her back pocket because she helps him navigate life, which is hard for him to do because of the head injury. She loves the admiration and power she gets from his dependence and enables his drinking, keeping her liquor cabinet stocked and unlocked though she rarely drinks. He thinks she’s a saint; she treated me like crap all of my life when no one was watching while acting sweet sweet sweet in public. I hesitate to discuss, explain, confront or draw boundaries with him because he runs to my mother with every issue. I’ve been NC with her for 13 years and don’t want her to know anything about me or to communicate with her even indirectly.

    My brother lives in a hut on public land–he’s basically a street person using my mother’s house as a base, so he has a very lonely and hard life. I hate to disconnect from him and I know he loves me but on the other hand, he is sexist and often invalidates me so I’m torn. We communicate mainly by letter so I stick to neutral topics like the weather, my silly cats and the witty things the guys at the gym say. I’ll probably keep it that way but it’s lonely not having a brother who understands me.

    I know I need to develop my circle but have moved a lot the last few years and am pooped on starting over. Once I’m around people I do well and they like me generally but I tend to sit home too much!

    There are some very nice people on Sierra Club hikes and also at Meetup.com groups. Many people at these gatherings are looking for friends.

    I’ve often thought of having monthly open houses with wine and appetizers, inviting interesting people from around town, but haven’t gotten around to doing that yet.

    Good luck to you!

  17. By: Widdershins Posted: 1st July

    Thanks for this article! I was just talking to a close friend the other day about the weird ways my mother would disempower me in front of the family. For one example, she would educate my sister about something and set up a date to go do it, but not tell me anything about it at all. So the day would dawn and there I’d be playing alone in the yard and I’d see them getting into the car, eyeing me reproachfully.

    The most painful incident was once when I looked up to see my Mother holding a gift for my grandmother, who was in a nursing home and my sister was wearing a candy-striper’s uniform, ready to go volunteer there. The possibility of doing that had never once been discussed in my hearing and the date to go visit my grandmother (who I loved dearly) was never shared with me.

    Afterward, my mother told people about how I “selfishly stayed at home” instead of going with them. It hurt me horribly that I’d been excluded in the first place and now was called names as a punishment for missing the trip.

    That happened so many times that before long the rest of the family had labeled me as “a loner” and “weird” and I was routinely left out of events. Other labels applied to me were “liar” and “fantasy-prone” so that if I’d tried to report the physical or mental and emotional abuse, no one would have believed me. What a terribly wounding thing to do to a sensitive, lonely little girl…

  18. By: Maria Binnie Posted: 2nd June

    Re my poem THE COLOUR OF A LIE’
    of course i now know I am not denied healing
    I know now I am healing myself with the help of support such as this website
    thank you

  19. By: Maria Binnie Posted: 2nd June

    POEM TO MY MOTHER
    Born of you
    to become strong
    to become everything you are not

    your mistakes you could evolve from
    your choice is to hide from
    denial alienation not just from one
    from whole family
    your subconsious mistake
    now a life sentence
    victim denied healing
    denied family

    a familiar feeling
    a lesson learnt before age allowing memory
    a lesson demonstrated again at important times

    thrown out of family room breaking arm age 5
    scapegoat tagged & the decree of the white lie

    white lies are the lies decreed as necessary
    by you
    to say in a hushed voice
    to the hospital,
    to the school
    to say behind my back
    to the family all my life
    even 38 years later
    decreed by you as necessary
    as you said you couldn’t possibly tell my child
    a child of modern generation
    …………..the truth

    frozen to watch you disgust your self in front of me
    daylight I in front of you to the side just a foot
    my age start of puberty
    affect so strong
    blocked from concious memory
    thirty eight years later
    hold on rewind,,,,,
    ..what is this a memory of
    its a memory of sexual abuse

    So now the content of the white lie is no longer hidden
    although as you say ‘you honelsy can’t remember what you said to the school’
    well I do believe mrs honestly
    that you said it was my fault
    age 5

    & what can’t be placed as of my fault
    you force containment in the part you label my deluded imaginary mind
    storage for your sins not mine

    almost half of my life
    half my life

    are you surprised your containement vessel has exploded
    are you shocked that it is loud
    anguished relaisation that even my willingness to forgive
    falls short
    of the dercree of the white lie
    to which you command accordance with or fate be
    in your own words
    ‘alientaton from entire family’

    What a strange thing it is that sticks in my mind
    is the colour that you assign to a lie
    I have never seen a lie that is white
    nor black or even blue
    the only lie I see is from your lips
    the colour of which
    must be of some bizarre relevance
    to someone delueded enough to actually consider that
    coating it in a white colour
    gets her off the hook

    The conclusion is
    The colour of a lie matters only to pretenders
    not of any relevance to the one the lie hurts

  20. By: Suzy Posted: 22nd May

    Reading the last comments I really relate. If you say or do something to the abuser that they perceive as an offence they have rages that are completely out of proportion. Yet, to them, their evil actions are justified.

    I always find that the incapacity of feeling guilt and to self-analyse is a good indicator of narcissism. Often, I find myself wondering if I am the evil one for wanting to live my life away from my mother (who is old but by no means frail). Then, I recall that this woman has no remorse. Whereas, my whole life I carried burdens of the lies she put on my shoulders. I accepted the guilt and carried it. I still do, but I am getting better. Slowly.

    As far as she is concerned, she was the best mother ever. Everyone has faults, but not her. Sure, she has apologised on occasion when she was exposed a couple of times, but that lasted only a few hours and she soon starts denying something ever happened, or she puts a twist on it.

  21. By: Jamie Posted: 21st May

    One of the things my mother would do that made it seem like she was somehow “better than those people” was criticize the way other people were raising their kids or living their lives. The very things she would sometimes do (beat us, loose control, verbally abuse us); she would criticize in others. I don’t know if she was just that unaware of herself and her own life, or if she thought she was better because her so called intentions were never “bad”. Or so she thought. I can say for certain now that her intentions towards me were never really rooted in love (not as I understand it now). This has made it very hard and confusing for me to really peg her as abusive, somehow there was always an excuse for what she did. There is a passage in my diary about how wonderful my mother is and that she just got in trouble at work for attacking a coworker and gripping her by the neck (something she did to us all the time). They didn’t fire her, they sent her to anger management. She got philosophical about the whole thing and managed to make herself sound like a hero, and I believed it. I can’t believe it when I read it now. It’s just amazing how pliable we are as children, the things we believe to survive our childhoods.

  22. By: Jamie Posted: 21st May

    Sunshine,
    Just wanted to send hugs. I so know that feeling of just wanting things to be normal. My son keeps asking about her and he’s too young for me to explain the situation to (Haven’t had contact since November). It’s one of the things that got me over and over again… the kids and their relationship with my mother. It wasn’t until I was triggered by something she said to my daughter that I put my foot down. She tried to weazel her way back in with presents and money on holidays/birthdays; but I’m not having it. I won’t let my kids or myself be bought.
    I like what you said about her pretending to be normal, it’s been my experience, too that they (the abusers) pretend they did nothing wrong and really, they’re just “great” people who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

  23. By: Sunshine Posted: 21st May

    I saw my Mom tonight, she came to my son’s school play. There are huge issues hanging between us from a few weeks ago. I have not had any contact with her golden child, my sister, or her for weeks after their latest indignity towards me.

    Mom just acts as if nothing ever happened, this is common after she gets past the initial wounded phase. This is how we play her game. It is what she wants, to pretend I never told her that I would rather die than let her and my sister treat my child they way they treated me, that I will die before I let that happen.

    She was normal tonight, not calling attention to herself, behaving. She really thinks that she can completely ignore that I have told her and my sister that I am drawing a line in the sand and that I am done.

    It is a game, I know for them. They are going to act like I am crazy, that they never got called out on their despicable behavior and that I am lucky they are coming around. They want me to feel embarrassed and ashamed for causing turmoil again.

    They are going to act like normal people for awhile, normal people who have been put out by me and my demands. If I am really lucky, they will throw me a crumb or two and let me back into the fold as long as I come back with my tail between my legs. This is their game.

    I did a good job tonight of acting like my sister, the ice queen, with my Mother. I was polite and proper, but distant. I begged for nothing and offered nothing, not speaking unless she spoke to me. There was no warmth inside me, no devotion. My Mom could have been anybody sitting in that seat, I gave her only what I would have given a perfect stranger, maybe even a bit less.

    A couple of times during they play I talked to my husband, smiling about the children and caught my Mother rubber necking towards me as if she thought I was going to speak to her and not my husband. I felt guilty about his, neglectful and like I was hurting her. but I did not budge.

    Once I noticed a bit of disappointment on her countenance when she realized I was enjoying the play with my husband and not trying to kiss up to her.

    I don’t want to play the “nothing ever happened” game anymore. I don’t want to go crawling back ashamed for having made a scene about something they did.

    It is just so striking how normal she can be when she wants to. I get this little voice in my head that says maybe I am the crazy one and she is a good Mother and there is something wrong with me. But I know this trick now. I can’t go back there.

    I never dreamed they would treat my child the way they have treated me, my Mom and her protege golden child. My sister is the Madonna, an old soul, Mother of all Mother’s according to my own Mother. She, herself, according to all I have ever been led to believe is completely devoted to her grandchild.

    Imagine my shock when I realized my son was expendable to both of them. Imagine me kicking myself a thousand times for not knowing this already.

    Still there is that voice inside my head that sees this normal Grandma, wanting to see her Grandson at the play tonight. I am this little girl whose Mother treated her good tonight who wants that Mom so bad she is willing to believe almost anything.

  24. By: JD Posted: 13th May

    Thank you so much for this. I have spent my life telling the world how wonderful my mother is. And she is to everyone but me. She has conditioned me to think everything that happens to me is somehow my fault. I was physically abused by a live-in boyfriend and the first thing she asked was “what did you do to make him get angry?” Already feeling so broken, that question almost sent me over the edge. I am working on my boundaries with her, but it’s a struggle. She thinks I am incapable of succeeding at anything or being self-sufficient in any way, but somehow I am accused of mistreating her. When I was a child and we’d argue, she would pack her bags and threaten to move out. One time she actually did leave briefly. Am I crazy for thinking that was over the top? Everything was always my fault, and it still is. It plays out in all of my romantic relationships – me needing to please this person and make everything okay. Yet I always pick people who are impossible to please, just like my mother. I love her so much, and she has a lot of love for others, but not much at all for me. That’s what hurts the most.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th May

      Hi JD
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      You have landed on the right website! These are all the things we talk about and overcome here. All of this DOES hurt but there is healing when we get a little clarity. (and there is lots of that here!)
      hugs, Darlene

  25. By: marquis (female) Posted: 13th May

    Did anybody hear about the issues going on with the Mental Health Field? I was just reading an article in the AZ Republic Newspaper that the system is failing (not surprised), no adequate help (again not surprised), putting mentally ill people in jails because everything is full and lack of money, no compassion for these people (not surprised there), lack of everything! They were saying they need money and space to help people.

    I told my ex-therapist that these people aren’t getting the help with the lack of so called MHPs not really helping the client(s) and say it’s all in your head, how is that helping them? They failed to mention that part in the article plus MHPs putting their dogma onto their clients all because they feel it shouldn’t be that way for you but look at me, my life is wonderful! That’s projection – however, reading that article didn’t surprise me one bit.

    The whole Mental Health Field needs to be revamped with quality care for clients and the MHPs attitudes or whatever can stay out the door as it’s not about them and if they got a problem, they can go see someone themselves. Ex-therapist got offended feeling I “took a job towards her field,” the field that she “loves so much.” It’s fine if you love your job, but your client comes in for a reason and you shouldn’t be there to try to figure out your issues through them!

    Makes sense why people refuse to keep going back to therapy when they are not getting the quality help they need! Who wants to keep going back and forth, hearing the same bullshit, and none of those professionals have an answer to anything?! No compassion for those who need help, then this is why we have a huge problem in this country on mental health and I think everybody should have good mental health and adequate care – people do go through life changes and nobody is a robot in life ever!

    So, reading that article proved my point in what I was saying in my past sessions with the ex-therapist. I just figured by going to therapy, things would be different that I would get an MHP where I don’t have to fight my case but I was wrong there! You are not there to fight or win a battle with an MHP not their life anyway, you’re there for mutual understanding, trust, intimacy, closeness, support, and for them to put their feet in your shoes so they can feel what you feel, see what you see, judge as you judge, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.