The Little Girl who cried Wolf; Belief System Development

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Overcoming Depression

I was labelled as a story teller from a very young age. I remember my parents saying that I talked to hear myself talk. Although I don’t remember exactly what I used to do, apparently I was a little bit dramatic and I pretended that I needed help a lot and I was told that I would scream “help” for no reason. I remember when I was a little bit older in childhood years that I believed I was a liar and made things up, probably because I had been told that I was.

To put this in another way, I learned to question my memories ~ I learned to doubt myself. I learned to believe that I exaggerated and was a story teller. And I also remember embellishing the truth, nothing serious or life threatening, just kid stuff, but I think I did it for attention. I was so starved for attention and I think I did it because no one ever HEARD me.  So mix a little truth in with a little false, and add the mind of an abused child to the recipe, and you have some understandable results.

I do remember being told the story of the little boy who cried wolf especially after this one event when I got in a lot of trouble but I really did need help that time. 

I was about eight years old and my cousin was being baptised and we were all gathered at my grandparents for a big family after party. My grandmother smoked cigarettes and she had a lit cigarette in her hand and the kitchen was really crowded.  I was small, and I looking up and I remember seeing her cigarette as she held it above her head and navigated her way through the crowd, BUT she bumped into my grandfather; her cigarette hit him in the forehead, and as I was looking up at both of them, the burning embers fell into my eyes and onto my eyebrows and face. I screamed. I was no longer able to see, but I remember my father grabbing me by the arm and very sternly saying “that’s it”. I was about to get spanked for screaming, but someone explained to him what happened, or he saw my face and eyes, I am not sure about that part, but I didn’t get spanked. He had to go to the pharmacy to get something for my eyes. And that is when I got the lecture. I remember being told that this was a prime example of why I should not scream for help when I didn’t need help because my father admitted that he was going to spank me for screaming for what he assumed was for “no reason”.

All my life I remembered having the embers falling in my eyes as a shameful event. It was the time when something bad happened to me, but because I was so naughty and always screamed for help when i didn’t need help, that this bad thing, which was an accident, became a reaffirmation that I was a bad girl who screamed for attention (help) when I didn’t need it.

It was very hard for me to sort these particular things out, because there were a few other significant memories that added to the cigarette accident, and intertwined with it forming an even more solid belief system about myself. This is about how the foundation formed and about how I regarded myself ~ how I was able to end up blaming myself for the sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse and the resulting depressions, failures, and so many other things. 

I will guess that I was between 7 and 9 years old when I did this horrible thing. I faked a nightmare. I had SO much trouble sleeping as a child, it seemed like I laid awake in bed for hours every night and in the daytime I tried so hard to get my father’s attention and I must have gotten some attention at one time from having nightmares (I do recall that I had a lot of real ones) so I screamed and cried and my father came in and he held me. Instead of that being a wonderful memory however, it was something I remembered for the rest of my life. It was an embarrassing memory filled with guilt and shame because I pretended to have a nightmare for attention ~ proving to myself that I was a liar and a faker. It was just one of the “things I did” that proved in my mind that it really was me that was the problem, that I brought it all on myself.

That time I lied, I was attention seeking, I was making something up, I was exaggerating, I was a bad girl and it was no wonder that my parents didn’t love me, didn’t want to listen to me, didn’t want to protect me from monsters that they told me only existed in my head. When I told the truth, I was ignored; I was told that I must be wrong, so I linked those admonishments to the times where I had been lying.

So let’s do a quick recap; (click on the sentence to see the related blog post)

~My first memory of sexual abuse was at the age of a little over two.  I don’t know if I told or not, but I was left to deal with it. 

~We have a story about how my mother dressed me up in a black lace teddy at the age of 6 and sending me out to dance in front of my father’s business associate, which I relate to being the beginning of learning that my value was sexual.

~We have the story of me telling my parents that I was being emotionally abused by a teacher and they didn’t believe me.

~In the present post we have a story of my being under a little shower of burning embers and getting heck for it, because it was a great way to “teach me” that I should not tell stories.

~ In the present post we have the story of an actual lie that I did tell. Yes there were others.

~ Then when I was 14, when my mother said it was in fact my fault that I got sexually assaulted in the night by her boyfriend… I accepted that.

If you keep in mind that as children we can’t blame our parents, because we believe they have the power to allow us to live or die, which means that our only choice is to change and be good enough to be loved ~ then do you see how these combined events worked together to help form my false belief system? Can you see how they led me to believe and accept false things about why I was not protected from emotional harm, and from sexual abuse? Can you relate to how I was convinced that it was me? That I was bad? I was unworthy of love, protection, and even simple affection and comfort?

It was in breaking this all down that I was able to understand how I came to those conclusions about myself. It was in understanding how the false belief system formed, that I was able to take it apart, re-wire it and put it back together in truth.

Please share anything you want to share, or if this post triggers memories in any way you are welcome to share them here if you wish.  

Darlene Ouimet

Announcement:

Therapist John Wilson from ~ Online Events ~ presents ~ Emerging From Broken – Interview with Darlene Ouimet on Sunday Nov.03 at 12:00 Noon Pacific, 3:00 pm EST and 1:00 pm Mountain time. London: 8:00 pm, Sydney: 5:00 am. Please visit the following link in order to reserve your ticket. Click on the first box ~ there is no charge for the live event. Hope to “see” you there.  http://emergingfrombroken.eventbrite.com/

57 response to "The Little Girl who cried Wolf; Belief System Development"

  1. By: Elizabeth Posted: 3rd October

    Yes, Darlene,

    I see now that in my family ( and also in church!!)that respect and love were not reallly in play – What WAS going on was I -and my daughter later- were considered property. We were considered posessions by my family and people in the church; to be manipulated around, treated disrespectfully, and lied to, as if we were not real people, but things.

    What mattered most apparently to my mother in this situation was that she repressed the fact that my daughter had been molested, by not discussing it, discouraging me from talking about it, etc.

    At the time and later I had these weird thoughts that maybe SHE hurt my daughter. I still don’t know. I still wonder if she knew who did it- Her reactions didn’t seem normal to me but it could mean her own history caused her to react this way.

    I DO know her actions behind the scenes later and at the time caused others to discount me in some very key areas…..as did my sister’s. (Don’t listen to Elizabeth, she’s off balance, irrational etc…)

    After my daughter and I moved out I still let my daughter go to chutch with her. I found out much later that my mother was saying to my daughter at those times:”you don’t love me..’ Trying to make her feel guilty….

    This sounds like a really really sick person who was trying to get her needs met thru a child- my daughter. THAT makes me feel, on a gut level that my mother did indeed harm my child om an emotional incestous level, and I wonder if she did more to my child.
    I wish I didn’t feel that way.

  2. By: Barbara Posted: 2nd October

    Darlene – the blame seemed improbable to me to until I learned about Personality Disorders and the physical & chemical differences of people who have them.

    It was almost insurmountable for me to get past the fact that weeks, months or years later these people would NEVER give me the apologies I deserved… only continue to blame shift and demonize me for even expecting or deserving it.

    Even when proved wrong my Mother continued on & on & on. She felt that being my mother should excuse all her horrendous abuse of me. Now that I am a mother myself I wouldn’t even CONSIDER not validating or apologizing to my children when I am wrong.

    Thanks for opening this conversation.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd October

      Hi Barbara
      I had a lot of issues with this whole blame thing; it was one of those things that I went round and round with until I finally realized that the bottom line for me was that I was not going to accept abuse anymore. I don’t care what the excuse is ~ because I made excuses for my mother my whole life, instead of standing up to her ~ and now I don’t care about personality disorders, or anything else, all I know is that no one is going to treat me that way again. That was the foundational decision that I made for myself and my life as I moved forward. That is the bottom line.
      Thanks for being here Barbara and for your contribution to this blog!
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Elizabeth Posted: 2nd October

    DARLENE-

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Yes, the coverups and the denial of abusive acts IS conscious and it does support my own belief now that most of what went on in at least my family did have running theme of covert and secretive behavior.And scapegoating behavior. Even if the motivation to abuse arise from the unconscious the actions themselves and the coverups and lies are done with full intent to hide the truth and people don’t hide what they believe is upright and positive behavior.

    The next logical conclusion to this then, is that abusers knew what they were was wrong and hurtful and did it anyway.Because it served some selfish purpose for them. They got some stolen sick gratification out of it at the expense of the abused; who wwere abusedeven more if and when they protested the behavior.

    This is the worst kind of trap to be in.
    At times I felt in the last several years I was in some version of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or The Twilght Zone.I don’t want to get too out there but my family and church and a few family friends seemed to act more like cult members than seperate individuals. I will probably always wonder about alot of things. AND maybe I don’t want to know it all.

    What I have learned is extremely selfishly self protective people will throw anyone under the bus. When its people you love and want to believe they love you, its tremendously hard to get strong enough to face unless you have ALOT of support, validation, and faith in yourself, AND are living in a safe environment. I did not have all these things at the same time until recently.I still have alot of anger because I watched out over and cared for my mother after her accident years ago and then after she got cancer. I took on alot that my sister was not around to do and didn’t want to do.

    I just feel angry, used, treated like crap, and then disposed of. But I am now also free. Limping a little but free.

    Realizing

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd October

      Elizabeth,

      One of the things that helped me a lot in my recovery was realizing that I had the wrong definition of love. Learning that love wasn’t what I was brought up to believe it was was shocking, but it helped so much. I had this belief that family loves each other, that parents love their children ~ but it isn’t always so. When I began to realize that my definition of love was really wrong by learning what the real definition of love is, I realized that a lot of my definitions were very wrong. I had the wrong understanding of the word “respect” and “relationship” too. There was a lot of obligation mixed in with my definitions of those words. And the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that we learn those definitions by EXAMPLE. And guess who our examples were?
      My therapist had a very simple definition of love; Love is doing what is best for the one loved. (and if you think about it ~ that works for the one doing the loving too, because the true definition of best would work for everyone involved. ) By that definition, I could see where many decisions were not made based on what was best for me.

      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Elizabeth Posted: 2nd October

    Another point I wanted to make was that when my daughter wa a toddler, before I found out she had been molested or was being horribly abused by someone; she was acting out by hiiting me, hitting our cats, trying to trap the cats under plastic crates; hitting herself in the face, all kinds of things. I knew something was going on but it was before any physical evidence appeared of her molestation, and I was hypervigilant to the max.

    My mother was telling me I was ‘overstressed’, being silly, rather condescending and a little mocking towards me at that time.Basically telling me I was not seeing what I WAS seeing.Even after there was physical evidence of my child’s molestation, she clammed up, making no other comment than ‘I think something bad has happened to Susie.’Period.That was it.She walked out of the room and never mentioned it again. There was NO curiosity about who could have done this, no comforting of my child, no support of me in trying to deal with this and address what needed to be done next. Nothing. Indifference.I was a wreck and terrified because I had no idea where this had happened.

    After my mom died I read her journal from this time period and there was NO mention of this at all. Only that I had taken my daughter out of her daycare on such and such date. Nothing else.

    For many years after I moved out of my mom’s house I wondered if she knew more than she was saying.One of the themes in her journal from that time was her fear that I would not allow her to be around my daughter, even though I had not expressed that. I HAD mentioned moving out but made no threats like that. I had just felt that my daughter was getting confused about who was her mom, me or my mother- and I was concerned that the putdowns from my mom towards me were going to make my daughter perceive me as being defective etc…

    As it turned out I didn’t get out until my daughter was ten and then it was swift and an emergency situation as my mother’s friend began stalking me. This was right before I was to start back to school….I had a breakdown and the next 8 years were sheer hell.
    I did manage to get out, and was on disability but I was terrified to pursue anything formyself for fear of being sabotaged and something happening to my daughter.I felt very trapped, ashamed, because I was now officially labelled ‘crazy’ in my family. Everything I did independently after that was countered by my daughter being interfered with by my family, church people etc..I didn’t and don’t know what to think to this day really-it was all so bizarre.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd October

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Wow, I think you are putting things together for yourself in these comments. You really are doing some amazing processing here in Emerging from Broken. One thing that I want to comment your statement that you don’t think your experiences were “that extreme” I had those thoughts too and they held me back for years. Abuse is abuse. I started my process with only a couple of memories of things I suspected should NOT have happened to me. I wasn’t even sure that they were “that bad” and so I believed that I had “no right” to complain. I realize today that abuse is abuse and I HAD to realize that what happened to me was just as significant as what happened to anyone else. I had to find compassion for myself just like I found for others and their stories. I looked for people who had it worse then I did, so that I could tell myself that I had no right to complain. This was a real problem for me. I still don’t have all the memories but that didn’t stop me from finding my freedom. Knowing all the details didn’t set me free ~ Keep sharing Elizabeth, YOU are doing something amazing here in EFB. I am honored to be a part of it.
      Hugs,
      Darlene
      P.S. M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie” is one of my all time favorite books too. It was a real eye opener for me that this sort of thing existed. I believe that sick people can paint other people as sick in order to make sure they don’t get caught as the sick ones. I believe that most abuse is more conscious (on the part of the abuser) then we like to think. If it wasn’t why do they go to such lengths not to get caught? Why the facade that all is well and they are “good” people. If they didn’t think any of it was wrong, why the cover up?

  5. By: Elizabeth Posted: 2nd October

    Jean my heart goes out to you. this gaslighting along with the abuse is so hard to overcome and to get validation from others with. Its as if they set you up not to be believed about anything- set the stage- and then when you were abused no one believed anything you said. Its like double jeopardy- an it leaves you very unprotected.Things like pouring water on your bed and then saying you wet the bed, like your dad did is horrendous.Soul destroying.

    I don’t think my experiences were that extreme, but I don’t have many old memories. They are disconnected, some explosive, and very hurtful and shaming.I remember being that kind of frightened where you are screaming but no sound comes out at times when I was little, but don’t have all the details.

    I remember one time when I was about 7 I had a canary. I remember leaving the cage door open and laying on the floor pretending to dead, hoping my bird would fly out and see if I was ok. I don’t know what to make of a 7 yr old doing this, except I must have been very starved for loving attention and caring trying to get love from a bird!The bird stayed in his cage, luckily..lol.

    I also have been placed by my family, without my knowledge at the time -Or permission- in the position of having things attributed to me that I never said or did. The only reason I can think of for this is they WANTED the person they were talking to, to believe negative things about me.

    I have had counsellors tell me it was probably unconscious on my family members’ parts.That hurt almost as much as the things I was telling the therapist about.Its funny how some therapists-can ‘mind read’ our abusers, but don’t ‘allow’ us- the client- to draw our own conclusions finally, when it is finally safe to do so.I felt as if the therapists who did this-two of them at least- were recreating the unsafe situations I was trying to heal from.To me its still NOT being believed.And its still being ‘pathologized’.

    Back to the abusers- even if they were doing it unconsciously- as my counsellors suggested, invalidating me, attributing things to me I had not said or done, attributing meanings and feelings to me I had not expressed and did not feel or think; they STILL spoke the words and did things that were very hurtful and it would be to anyone.

    I confronted family members who were doing this and they denied, they rearranged the meanings and details trying to minimize and discount me. It made things worse for me. But my point is, while my amotionally abusive family members may have had UNCONSCIOUS feelings of hatred or dislike towards me, they CONSCIOUSLY acted out and consciously said and did things that shamed me, disempowered me, amd made me appear to others like a very cruel person and unbalanced person.

    It affected my/our place in my community, at my daughter’s school, at church, and family, and had the effect of making my daughter very vulnerable to some other abusive people in the church we attended.They might as well have placed a red bull’s eye on my daughter’s back because she was very horribly spiritually and emotionally abused by both my mother and people in our church when I tried to leave it with her.

    I have always wondered if my mother feared losing control of my daughter and I and asked the church for help in ‘corralling us’ making it extremely hard for me to get these people away from daughter.The same dynamics of discounting, making false attributions about me etc went on in the church.It was eerily similar.

    I believe when people abuse they KNOW what they are doing. They appear to overcome the hesitation to treat people horribly by deciding you ‘deserved’ it.Unless these people are hypnotized or traumatized into not knowing what they are doing, like in a cult situation, they Know what they are doing, and they know it is wrong and cruel.By pretending you are the crazy one they can be assured that no one will believe you, they protect themselves; and you will even doubt yourself.

    M.Scott Peck wrote a great book called ‘People of the Lie’, which I think everyone might identify with.Its about evil, veiled evil.

    There is one story in there about a very very depressed boy he counselled, whose brother had committed suicide.
    It emerged that the parents had given this boy the very same gun his brother had killed himself with, as a Christmas present.Dr. Scott arranged for thee boy to go live with a caring aunt far away, after the boys parents told him they saw nothing at all wrong with such an action,as they just couldn’t afford expensive presents for him.. and they just ‘couldn’t understand’ what was ‘wrong’ with their remaining son.

    These people may have unconsciously sent the message to their son with the gun, that he should do the same thing his brother did, or maybe it was not unconscious. What was glaring to dr. Peck, was that above all the parents wanted to present an image of loving kindness, and squeaky clean innocence to him.

    This was always how my family struck me. We had all these horrendous fmily things go on, and no one could ever ‘figure out’ the dynamics of it; we were all so squeaky clean and proper (except for me- I was the official pond scum of the family-)kind of like a bunch of cardboard cutout people with big smiles on their faces, ignoring the pain and suffering around them.much of which they active kept going, even by recruiting and getting support from others to keep abusing….I just doubt whether all this was uunconscious on their part.

  6. By: Andrea Posted: 2nd October

    Thank you for this post. I can relate to that. I only got ‘negative’ attention from my parents. When I was crying they didn’t comfort me they were just saying: “What are you crying about now?” So I automatically thought that everything that happened that made me cry was also my fault. When I first tried to confront my mother and my sister about the psychological abuse she told me that this never happened and that something must be wrong with me. It felt like I was running against a wall and even speaking up and talking about what was happenening to me didn’t make any difference.
    I was doubting my memories very often. Now I know that they are true.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd October

      Hi Barbara,
      It seems odd to me how easy it is for some people to blame other people for everything and not consider anything beyond blame on someone else. When cornered, my mother would say “well I’m sorry but…” There was always the but ~ followed by the justification for her actions and usually a statement about why it was my fault anyway, or why I “made” her do whatever it was ~ (like when she told men they could sleep with me) ~ I have lots to write about this stuff yet.
      Thanks for Sharing Barbara.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Andrea
      This is a great example of the progression that takes place when we are not heard and when our feelings are not validated. I too was always told that something was wrong with me, or that my memories were faulty. I was discounted, and that has a long term effect on a person; when it starts in childhood, it is worse. Children have no defense against such mind warping treatment. I constantly heard things like the statement you heard here ~ along with “stop that crying or I will give you something to cry about” ~ well that was my mother; I can’t remember my father ever paying any attention to me at all. He didn’t say all those negative things but it is JUST as damaging and devaluing when a parent ignores a child.
      I doubted my memories for such a long time too.. and even more than doubting them I think I doubted that I had a right to be upset about them because I believed that it was my fault.
      Thanks so much for your comments today!
      I am glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Barbara Posted: 1st October

    Darlene – this all reminded me of a guy I dated for a nanosecond in High School. Boy did I love him. And he was remorseless… just disappeared on me when I became ‘inconvenient.’ I was devastated. 15 years later he looks me up for a ‘hey how are you.’ I ask him why he left me. His answer? Blamed ME. In hindsight it was a ridiculous answer but it triggered my undiagnosed PTSD sooooo bad I acted out. I wrote about it on one of my other blogs:
    http://thestumblingblock.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/the-first-narcissist/

    He was just ONE example of how I got used to the lack of apologies from people who owed them to me. I don’t put up with that anymore. No one should.

  8. By: Barbara Posted: 1st October

    Just remembered another one. In high school I had a small bank account. One day, after making a deposit I noticed when I got home – that $300 was missing. I went to my mother, who worked for a bank. Mother proceeded to berate and verbally abuse me and accused ME of taking out the money to have an abortion (I was a virgin). She said she was going to prove what a LIAR and STORYTELLER I was, so she dragged me down to the bank. She asked them to produce the withdrawal slip so she could show me my own handwriting. I was in a daze. Turns out the clerk had mixed up 2 numbers… the money was immediately returned to my account with huge apologies from the bank. No apologies from Mom… all I got was “well you GOT AWAY WITH IT that time.” WTF? I doubted myself for years & years after that.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st October

      Hi Cyndi,
      Yes, and it works the same way doesn’t it? My husband was labeled “too sensitive” also and as you say ~ EXACTLY the same result.
      Thanks for pointing this out Cyndi! It all goes together into one big pot of nasty and as you also point out, it is the combination of those things AND abuse (of any kind) that blend together to cause us accept this kind of belief about ourselves forever!
      (until we say no more!)
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Barbara,
      This is so sad, and I can relate to it so much. Wow.. isn’t it crazy the lengths that a MOTHER would go to? Thanks for sharing both your stories. Oh my gosh you have triggered a few memories in me today also, more blog post ideas about my own mother and her treatment of me.
      Oh and the last part about “no apologies” ~ that is one of the most damaging things I think that happens. When the child in the relationship has been berated, punished, even beaten or whatever for something, and it is proven that it was a mistake, and the adult does not apologize in any way… there is a hope in the child that dies. I remember several things that happened to me too, where I died a little more inside, because I was regarded so little and looked down on by my own mother and ignored by my own father. Those incidents where there is PROOF that the adult was wrong, proof in front of the whole world ~ those ones cause horrific damage!
      Thank you so much for sharing this today. This is a very very important part of recovery, to realize where some of this stuff has it’s root.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Barbara Posted: 1st October

    According to my mother it was MY FAULT that I had a genetic endocrine disorder that messed me up – it was MY FAULT that boys wouldn’t date me or used me like garbage – it was MY FAULT that I was bullied and beaten up at school. This was the tip of the iceberg…

    I think the most telling thing she did was this: in 1981, 2 years after graduating college and moving 300 miles away she called me. Told me she needed a signature on a document she was sending. Turns out the day after I moved on she took out life insurance on me without my knowledge because she was convinced I would die or be killed living away from home. Since that didn’t seem to be happening she needed the money back.

    This is the classic Narcissistic mother – you’re just an object to her.

  10. By: Cyndi Posted: 1st October

    Darlene, this is oh so familiar, except I wasn’t labeled a story-teller. I was labeled, “too sensitive”. Hearing that my entire childhood I learned to distrust my feelings. I learned I must be overreacting to everything. Combined with the physical and emotional abuse, that led to me to accept bad treatment from others in every area of my life. I couldn’t speak up when I felt I was mistreated because I thought it was just me being too sensitive, plus it felt familiar. So, I put up with it all quietly. Different message…same result.

  11. By: Jean Posted: 30th September

    I think some of my doubts and struggles have been added 2 by others more since i began 2 tell ……. i 1st tried opening up almost 16 years ago when my eldest child was born … the trigger for me opening up was seeing my dad holding him!!! …… i did counselling, i did groups, but this was the 1st time i came across direct challenges 2 what i KNEW … to what i REMEMBERED … the 1st counsellor i was given thru my dr said i had 2 vivid an imagination and it couldn’t possibly b true …. amazingly – maybe thru desperation 2 b believed – i found another counsellor …. she was brilliant but untrained and had limited understanding …… she never doubted me or challenged me … i just never felt understood …… thru this time i did manage 2 go to the police …….. the lady i saw was fab, my dad was arrested – altho he charmed his way out of it …… and there was no evidence ….. him and his m8s (one of them active in the police at the time) managed 2 alter records and began a series of vicious attacks on me whilst using all their inside knowledge 2 make sure no evidence would be found ……. the end of that case came when dad stabbed me and i was actually interviewed by ~HIS friend who wrote it up as self harm …

    I clammed up for the next 15 years …… never spoke a word ……. then had a break down in October last year and turned to my Vicar’s wife ….. i knew i need God in my life …. i needed someone who KNEW ….. in my Church family i’ve been treated with compassion and love and NEVER doubted …….. they walked me thru another try at police …… my dad n his m8’s once again resorted 2 violent attacks in an attempt 2 stop me …… threatening my life and that of my family …. i tried 2 tell the police but they managed 2 produce tickets and stuff 2 say dad was out of the country on one of the dates ….. it cast doubt over my whole testimony …… my dr sent me 4 a psychiatric assessment saying that she and the police thought i may b deluded and that maybe my flashbacks were so intense that i was mistaking them 4 reality ….. i dropped the case ….. the attacks stopped and i switched dr’s ………

    So anyway ……. spose wot am trying 2 say is am used 2 being called a liar :/

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st October

      HI Chrysalis,
      My mother has this belief too, that I remember wrong. I didn’t realize how much this affected me before I had this kind of belief system therapy. I learned to doubt myself about anything that anyone else said I was remembering wrong ~ This went so far that my husband caught on and started to say that he told me things that he hadn’t told me and because I had such huge self doubt, I believed him… but I started to think I was losing my mind. That is where the whole self doubt thing led me. SO it is exactly as you have said here; you said “As an adult, I am constantly afraid that others won’t believe what I say – even I doubt what I’m saying, a lot of the time. Did it really happen, or is it all in my head? Even when I am fairly certain something happened the way I remember it, I still have doubts. And then, too, I must always be open to the idea that I misunderstood, misinterpreted, got it wrong somehow” YES exactly. The good news is that I was able to turn this around and I don’t struggle with that self doubt anymore.
      Thanks so much for this comment!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jean,
      I am so sorry that you have been through this horrific ordeal. (and believe it or not, this stuff happens all the time and ppl. get away with this stuff that way!) I am so glad to hear that you didn’t give up, and the most important thing is not to give up on yourself! keep fighting for your recovery!
      One of the things that helped me with this is that when I had a specific memory (like you describe here ~ when you saw your Dad holding your son) I decided that I was right, that my memories were right, that I had not altered them, that I had not exaggerated them in any way, and that not being believed was not my problem anymore. I realize now that deep down I believed that the only way I could be right is if the person saying I was lying would finally admit that I wasn’t or if I could PROVE that what I said happened, actually happened. That is how I was as a result of being labeled as a story teller and told my memories and feelings were wrong. Standing up for myself in my own mind first, was so key for me in this. I AM NOT mistaken, these things happened, I know they happened, and no one can tell me they didn’t happen ever again. My parents can stay in denial for the rest of their lives, but it isn’t my problem anymore, and it does not change the truth about my past.
      Thank you so much for contributing this story, it will make such a difference to other readers who have been through something similar!
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Chrysalis Posted: 30th September

    Ouch, but thank you! Reading this post has helped me link together some aspects of my own childhood that cause difficulties for me in my life now.

    I still remember my stepmother telling me I was a liar and that I should be honest – I can recall so many incidences of being told this, and yet no instances wherein I lied surrounding that. The only time I do remember, as a youngster, lying to her was when, after telling the truth about something, she wouldn’t believe me! So I lied, and the lie was accepted as truth, and as further proof of what I liar I was. I have memories of my mother, my father and a couple of teachers, calling me a liar as well. Interestingly, I have also got many memories of being lied to by these same people!

    With my mother, too, there’s been the added dimension of us both believing two very different “stories” on the way a situation went. In these instances, my mother didn’t think I was lying, but she did/does remember something that conflicts with what I remember — and in all of these instances, I have been told that I am remembering wrong, that there is something in my brain that mixes things up that way. I am the one at fault, I am the broken one, there is something wrong with me.

    As an adult, I am constantly afraid that others won’t believe what I say – even I doubt what I’m saying, a lot of the time. Did it really happen, or is it all in my head? Even when I am fairly certain something happened the way I remember it, I still have doubts. And then, too, I must always be open to the idea that I misunderstood, misinterpreted, got it wrong somehow.

    Thank you for helping me make these links! It’s always easier to challenge things when you see them for what they are and where they come from.

  13. By: Jenny Posted: 30th September

    Darlene,

    It makes me sad when I read that your mother dressed you up in a teddy and you pranced around in front of an adult man….that is just so sick….It truly turns my stomach and just makes me have so much compassion for you and the little girl you once were….big hugs to you….

    I guess when I read your posts they make me want to have more compassion for myself. I was never taught how to care for myself and that I mattered or that my needs were important.

    You said that you lied sometimes….I lied too…I remember one time I lied about going to Hawaii with my family…I so badly wanted my family to be “normal” that I drew a picture at school and told them this was when my family went to Hawaii….I even had a perfect idea of what Hawaii would be like and more importantly what Hawaii represented…a sane, happy, loving, calm home…..something that could only be created in my mind…..I actually remember having a fake smile when I was little…my family made fun of me and asked me why I smiled like that….I don’t remember ever having a response…but in hindsight…I had to…it was me trying to convince myself and others that I was happy….I thought if I smiled even when I was dying inside I would be okay….I would survive this hell….
    I noticed that about myself after seeing quite a few photos of myself with my fake smile…..sorry to have gone off on a tangent….sometimes that’s just how the wave is….you just gotta go with it….easier than fighting the tide 😉

  14. By: Splinteredones Posted: 30th September

    Sorry got kicked out. Anyway I was so divided by what wasreal and what I was being told that I built myself a smiler. Justshut upmand nod. Everyone is dangerous. Just run away. I think thatodten in DID. treatment it is assumed that alters are built to defend the child from the actual sexual events. When the truth is that the physical and emotional abuse can stiles in a kids’ life be the worst.

    I’

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Hi Ginger,
      This is exactly what I’m talking about. It is as though some adults don’t regard children as real people, and then as you say, we DO learn not to speak up because of the way we paid for it as children.
      Thanks for this comment!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Splinty,
      Once again, this is exactly what I am talking about and this isn’t just what people USED to do, this is still going on. I am so sorry that this happened to you, no matter how often I hear stuff like this it still shocks me and makes me sick. I have heard the expression “all this bother” too many times too, it is so crazy. Thanks for sharing this story; it really helps others know that they are not alone, that this stuff happens, that many of us were accused of making stuff up. Unreal~!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jenny,
      It is sick.. and for so many years I remembered that event with shame, because I had done something to disappoint my father, and I never really thought about what had been done to me. I was uncomfortable with the memory, and when I grew up and realized what she had dressed me up in, HER sexy undies, it was too creepy for me to think very long about.

      Thank you for sharing your “lie” story with me and the other readers. I totally understand making something up like that in order to be normal. It is as though we have to, I think it is another coping method as you say… to survive the hell.
      Please don’t be sorry for sharing something like this, it is so valuable for others to hear things like this; these stories trigger memories for others, they give permission to other readers to share their stories, and telling this stuff takes some of the weight off, and allows us to let some of the past rest.
      Thanks for being here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Splinteredones Posted: 30th September

    So. Right on hon. For anoint time I was told that my abuse was “my fault” by my main perp, and mom flat-out told me I was lying. There’s much physical proof on my body, the guy did the same to his 4 girls. They took him to court much later and won. I do not go to that maybe yes maybe no place because after 15 years in therapy I know the truth. Or as much of it as I need to anyway. This is what people used to do with their big shameful secrets. Product of the times. I remember one time when was a out 4. Came home from perp’s house and couldn’t speak for major pain. My neck was black and blue. Mommasked memwhat I did, said Uncle Norman hurt me (he had choked me and it messedup my voicebox). She said you’re lying you were being bad and yelling weren’t you? Even after finally going to the doctor and needing surgery, she continued to blame me for “all this bother”.

    I

  16. By: Ginger Smith Posted: 30th September

    It always amazes me how adults can think a child can’t remember. I can recall a few really good memories from my very early childhood, so why in Hell shouldn’t I be able to recall the bad? Some people only hear what they want.and as kids, we want to please the adults, many times at the expense of our childhoods. I can recall my mother saying she was ashamed of me many times growing up & always for trying to tell my side of things. No wonder so many never speak up as adults, the fear we had as kids still remains.

  17. By: Jenny Posted: 30th September

    Darlene,

    my response was to a different post, the dissociative one….oops…sorry

  18. By: Jenny Posted: 30th September

    Thanks Darlene.

    You dig so deep…it’s always amazing to hear about what you have found. I can completely relate to the feeling of being in that “spot” again. I have that dreaded feeling sometimes of having not moved forward much in my healing. I feel like I am just beginning to scratch on the surface of the problem and am afraid sometimes that I will never come to the end of it….I feel like an addict sometimes..
    powerless…I know in my mind that I can do whatever it is I put my mind to but sometimes I just don’t want to do the work….I have so many emotions that come up in the struggle…..I used to dissociate often….I have slowed down but I still want to escape sometimes…it just seems like life is too much to handle at times…but I have made it this far. I truly know I am not alone here, it just hurts that as a precious little person I wasn’t heard and loved….the thing that keeps me going is the thought that the healthier I get, the more loved and free I will feel and the more love I will be able to give to my daughter and my partner.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Hi Jenny,
      If you want to move the post, just repost it on the post you wanted it on too.

      I felt so much the same way as you have written about here. That it would never end… that I would be on this exhausting journey of recovery, forever. But I remember this one day when I knew that I was never going to be “that broken” again. I just knew that I had gone deep enough, and re-wired my belief system enough that I would never feel that kind of confusion that I had had my whole life, again. Progress is the goal, not perfection. I didn’t put time limits on myself; I let myself BE in the process, I allowed myself days when I ran to the bedroom, jumped under the covers and hid until I felt better. Doing that didn’t hurt me or anyone else. I just kept going at whatever pace was good for that day or week. My kids were my motivation much of the time too. I was sick of the cycle. Deep down I was tired of not living and being caught somewhere between life and death. You have made it this far! Bravo. thanks for sharing your victories! You will inspire hope in others with this comment!
      Thank you so much!

      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Jean Posted: 30th September

    Totally in empathy with this blog …… my dad would pour water on my bed and tell my mother i’d wet the bed, break vases and blame me ….. and these are recollections of times b4 my abuse began …….. the cover up was being set …… i was labelled a liar and a fantasist ….. this was added 2 by my mother who would beat me, wash my mouth out with soap and lock me in the cupboard under the stairs 4 ‘lying’ …. i learnt that denial actually made things worse 🙁 ……. when i met my husband my parents told him that he should never believe anything i ever told him because i lived 2 make up stories and loved 2 try and make ppl believe i’d had a bad childhood ….. they turned up the act ….. making him think i was some awful person …… altho years l8r he said he never quite understood as i am the worlds worst liar and says he always knows when i lie cos i go bright red!!!! ….. but i’ve taken it all in ……… all the lies I was fed ….. and i find it hard 2 place the blame back on the right ppl ……. i sometimes think i’ll always feel like it was my fault :/

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Thanks for the comment and affirmation, Jimmy
      Hugs, Darlene

      Jean,
      You mention an important point here when you talk about the cover up being set. There are many ways that people can be set up. I know it is hard to put the blame back where it belongs because after years of being convinced “that it must have a least something to do with me” it is hard to replace that thinking. I felt like I was being a sissy and a whiner when I decided that it wasn’t my fault after all. It was hard to get those nagging voices (of other people) out of my head, and I had my own new voices in my head that I was used to letting reprimand me for all the reasons that I was not lovable and worthy and no wonder I was in the mess I was in, and no wonder I had problems with depression. It isn’t easy to re-program all that thinking. Sometimes I thought that I would always feel that way too, but that was not the truth either!
      Hang in there,
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Jimmy B Posted: 29th September

    Fantastic post!! This is pretty heavy but you do articulate “it” too a tee!! Our belief systems are formed from many incidents. Thanks

  21. By: jujuseyes Posted: 29th September

    this blows my mind. i was always ignored. My dad said in front of the family one day that I had “emotional problems”. That was because he ignored me and chose his gay friends over us kids. He drank, he was mean and neglected the whole family. Even blamed me for being raped. I was molested and incest occurred by a really mean big brother, My mother is in complete denial. She is a mess. Even today I still want and need to be heard. I am also bipolar. I am a caring person. Noone listens to me even on Facebook. I am just pathetic huh? Any how…I could have achieved so much in my life If I wasnt so screwed up. I became an alcoholic at one time and stayed sober for 7 years. I learned alot of tools then….this blog I found on facebook. Now I guess I have a good reason to keep this up. They all ignore my post on there. I have no friends. I almost got therapy but the therapist and i were getting nowhere. She seemed incompetent.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th September

      Hi M,
      This is a perfect example of what happens ~ your mom didn’t pay attention to you in your time of need, leaving you feeling unimportant, devalued and maybe not loved. And as you have said here, you wonder what she was thinking. (and you will never know what she was thinking) We carry those memories and feelings as well as the confusion with us into adulthood. In my case this wasn’t a single event, there were others that hooked onto that event and for me that was reaffirming my suspicion that I really was not valuable. I had to take a look at what happened to me and realize where the blame laid before I could learn how to value myself.
      thanks so much for this comment!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jujuseyes,
      Once again, there is lots of stuff here that happened. We all still want to be heard, that is for sure and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be heard. I didn’t make progress until I was finally heard. You are not pathetic, you are a victim of your childhood. I took my life back and that is why I am writing about it. Because it is possible. I did it. You can do it too ~ why not? SO.. please hang in there and keep sharing and keep looking forward. In a nut shell the beginning for me was when I realized that I did not deserve the way that I was treated, I did not deserve to be so devalued and blamed for the things that happened and I decided that I was the only one that could do something about it. I did have a great therapist, but I did the work. I decided to overcome; it was overwhelming, it was hard, it seemed impossible sometimes, but I persisted and I did it. AND you can too!
      So glad that you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: M Posted: 29th September

    This brought back a memory of when my mother was giving one of her parties, and, being about six or so, I was running around like mad with the neighborhood kids. Unfortunately, I ran into a pine tree and a needle pricked my eyeball. I ran to my mother with tears running out of that eye and told her what happened. I remember her saying, “Oh, are you crying?” and laughing and turning away from me. Did she think I was doing it for attention? How would I have made just one eye water? If one of my kids came up to me with an eye watering and said that they had just run into a pine tree, I would be alarmed and take care of it.

  23. By: Pandora Posted: 29th September

    Thank you so much for this post Darlene, it really resonated with me at the minute. I’m in a situation at present where I have come to seriously doubt the abuse that I suffered as a child; in part, it might be a ‘defence mechanism’ because I’ve just been chucked out of therapy, but it may also have a deeper meaning – that that when I tried to speak up, I was labelled as a fantasist and a liar.

    I am sorry for what you, and other contributors to/readers of this site, went through and were treated when speaking up. Thank you for this post and for this blog, which is supportive and inspirational.

    P x

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th September

      Hi Pandora,
      I had many bouts of self doubts before I started to look at the foundations of where my beliefs came from. It took me a long time to put the events of this post together when I was in my process of recovery. These were all separate events, that I didn’t realize joined together to form my belief system ~ that it was me, that it must have been something to do with me. (and this is just the part about the story telling ~ there were many of these sorts of things that I was able to put together so that I could understand MY beleif system, and fix it. SO yes, as you say, when you tried to speak up, you were labeled as a fantasist and a liar. (and very likely, like me, you accepted that label. That is where the self doubt comes from.
      Thanks for your contribution today!
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Jackie Posted: 29th September

    I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be ugly I’m sorry

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th September

      Hi Jackie,
      It is okay to say things like this here. I understand the anger and hurt that you feel about what happened to you. You are not “getting ugly” according to me, you are expressing how hurt you are and have been by all that. When I wrote this post, I felt a bit angry still for the way that things happened, but really, I could not have “won” there was just too much against me. It wasn’t my fault, I didn’t cause the abuse, and I was just a normal little kid, trying to get some attention, trying to find some comfort, but because of the way these other things happened, I believed that it was my fault. It is how we process things as children. What I did to recover is I learned how to process it as an adult. Hang in there!
      Love Darlene

  25. By: Jackie Posted: 29th September

    It was always “my fault”. My fault I got the crap beat out of me, my fault I got my mothers fist to my face, my fault my father raped me, my fault my brothers did same…always my fault because I deservedit.

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