The Only Two Times I Knew it wasn’t My Fault


Although I have some pretty nasty abuse stories, one of the most painful memories from childhood was when I was across the street playing at a friend’s house and I called home to ask if I could stay a little bit later. My father answered the phone and gave me permission but I guess he neglected to tell my mother. When I came home my mother slapped me across the face so hard that my glasses flew across the room and hit the wall. I remember the look of rage on her face, how dare I be late! I was so shocked that she had just hauled off and whacked me with all her might when I wasn’t actually late. She did not give me one second to explain, I don’t remember words, just her fury. I remember my father actually looking shocked which surprised me since he never seemed to show any emotion or get involved in what my mother was doing with me, however the more that I think about it, I am not sure he knew about her temper when it came to us kids.

I remember him telling her that I had called him and he had given me permission to stay the extra half hour. The worst part of it was that then the whole event was between my parents and it wasn’t about me anymore. They argued about it. No one apologized to me; my mother wouldn’t even look at me. No comfort for me. I was just left standing there, crying and shocked and later feeling guilty that I dared to feel sorry for myself.

My mother gave me the strap plenty of times in her raging fits of anger, but none of those beatings hurt like that slap that I didn’t deserve. Even though I got lots of corporal punishment, I never questioned whether or not it was justified; I always knew it could come at any time but this time was different because I knew for sure that I didn’t deserve it.

Note on that story: If I had actually been late, I would not have thought a thing about being hit like that; so if I was late, would she have been justified?

There is only one other time that I recall feeling this kind of hurt and emotional pain. It was when I was in grade one and I asked to go to the bathroom and the teacher said no. I asked again, and she said no. The third time she said no, I couldn’t hold it anymore and ended up peeing my pants. One of the kids yelled out to the teacher. “Miss Frost, Darlene is peeing her pants”. Everyone stared at me, I thought I would die. Then I was excused to go to the washroom where eventually the teacher and a bunch of kids stood outside the bathroom stall door trying to coax me to come back out, and the teacher saying “you should have told me it was urgent”.  The class big mouth was echoing her every word, “You should have told her it was urgent”, I remember thinking that “urgent” was such a big word for a 6 year old to be using.  That statement however, indicated that it was MY fault. I had to take a taxi home. (my mother made me go back to school that afternoon)

I just realized the other day what these two events have in common and although they always seemed like minor events in my life, that they stuck with me and seemed more terrible than some of the others.  These two stories, which I consider to be among the most painful of my childhood, were the only two times that I thought I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. These were two times that no one had convinced me that I had done something wrong.  Even though the teacher made insinuated that it was my fault, I knew that I had asked three times. Most of the other things that happened to me in my life I was not so sure of where I was innocent.

I didn’t deserve ANY of the abuse that happened to me of course, but these were the only two times that I was sure of it. Realizing this helped me to realize how often I was convinced that everything was my own fault.

Chopping holes in the fog,

Darlene Ouimet

18 response to "The Only Two Times I Knew it wasn’t My Fault"

  1. By: laura Posted: 4th May

    My identity was damaged by the fact that hitting continued in my adulthood.I’m still living with my abusers,so each rage tantrum may be followed by hitting.That’s why i have difficulty in setting boundaries.Before EFB,i used to think that i got hit because i was retarded and still had the mind of a child,even though i was over 20.That was the lie ingrained in me by my abusers.I remember that,when going into town,i put on lipgloss and i wore a purse.But those are products for women,not for children.For a short time,i used to babysit and i had to have the authority of an adult.When i was in the workplace,i thought to myself:”What am i doing here? This is for grownups.I should be at home,playing with toys”.My identity was torn.At home,i felt like a child,thinking that an adult can’t be hit.In public,i felt like an adult,because a child can’t have a job,yet i did.

    When i met EFB, everything changed for the better.I found out that i was abused and traumatized and i didn’t know it for so many years.Now i know that i was and i am a woman,and the hitting is called domestic abuse.My abusers tried to make sure that i didn’t open my mouth to complain to anyone.So they told me that i’m immature if i talk about my parents (them) and my childhood.As strange as it may sound,even your age is a validation for me. Many of you are over 40,and my abusers told me that,at that age,people are preoccupied with other problems,such as health,money,jobs,family etc.So,if i talked about my childhood,that meant i was childish and that my brain did not develop properly.Now i finally know the truth,and that sets me free.I learned that it’s ok to hurt over things that were real and actually happened,that it was not my imagination.

    When i first met EFB,i thought i only had a few bad memories to share.But,as time went on,the memories came flooding. I didn’t know i had them.So much is coming to surface.

  2. By: Karen Moody Posted: 3rd May

    I can’t recall exactly what age I was when she stopped hitting me – maybe around 17. It was then she changed tactics; she would get into one of her rages and push me or get me up against the wall, then tell people I was hitting and pushing her, which I swear on my child’s soul, I never once did. I would leave. I would get in my car and leave. Meanwhile, she’d call my father who was on business trips – and my sisters – who were older and already lived away – and tell them I was abusing HER. They believed her. Or maybe it was easier to believe her and scapegoat me – kept her wrath off themselves, right? I’m No Contact now – at 50. In therapy. Doing the very best I can to treat my 11-year-old daughter nothing at all like I was treated.

  3. By: Poppy Posted: 3rd May

    Thanks Darlene. That is such a good way of looking at it. Going to stick that on my fridge so I always remember it 🙂 Hugs, Poppy

  4. By: mary Posted: 3rd May

    It was no-holds abuse as far as I was concerned in fact Mom held me down so my youngest sister could pull my hair and spit on me. My perv brother repeated the behavior the next day again enlisting my youngest sister to do the deed. My daughter is trying to balance a relationship with them and me, she doesn’t realize things that trigger me. My youngest sister is moving 3000kms and is giving her photos she isn’t taking with her. The first one she posted to me was of me at 2 years old with a huge shiner that had made it in to the newspaper back then. It was of me checking it out in a hand mirror while my brothers sat on the couch all laughing and jeering. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that black eye was the first of many lessons my brother gave me. “Don’t climb on the table you could get hurt.” He shoved me off it face first and said see what I told you! My sister pushed me off the top bunk, again I did a face plant, my nose was bloody and my mouth hurt. I went downstairs sobbing to my Mom, when I told her how it happened she busted out laughing hysterically. I crawled back to bed and laid there feeling like a lump of nothing. My sister decided to be annoying when I got home one night, she had her friend over and she was being a show off. I went to bed to avoid her. An hour later she woke me and said we’re sleeping here. I said it is my bed leave me alone. she said I’m getting Dad. I said go ahead, Stupid me, I thought he’d hear me out and side with me. He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me like he commonly did and threw me up the stairs. I retorted “You are going to make me hate her!” I took a beat down that didn’t stop until I took it back, I did but when he got halfway down the stairs I yelled, “But I don’t mean it!” This happened 2 more times the final time he sat on the bed and said “Your going to kill me!” I meant what I said, it was a show down and neither one of us won. I have deep tissue damage in my leg that I suffer from to this day. After Mom’s death, gracing the princess with riches and leaving the others set and leaving me off the will I wasn’t the one under attack as much as one of my other brother was, I had moved far away and was distanced from them all. so he was made fair game for put downs and treated as the loser. He moved far away from them. He tried to communicate, I sent an article about family dynamics in an incest family, no response back, that was 2 years ago. So then another brother was made subject of ridicule and they turned their back on him. The youngest sister most responsible for stirring the pot is now moving where the 1st brother she called loser moved to after visiting him there, she must be desperate. She’s burned most of her friendships and a long list of lovers. Time to move on to new prey where no one knows her I say. It was easy to see way back that they would rip each others throat and and it would end up this way. I am glad I was out of the loop by then. I will have to talk to my daughter and tell her do what she feels she is comfortable with when it comes to them but I’d rather not know what they think, I don’t need a play by play report, I don’t need the triggers and I don’t want to snap at my daughter. So I don’t hate my sister, I hate what being raised in the family has made her become and the rest of them too. They were made into sick depraved people who can’t hold a relationship past two years and have difficult relationships with their grown children. What little of a relationship they have with my children is awkward. They can’t step back and see the picture that Mom and Dad painted and designed a long time ago, that it is a dark one and always will be unless they pull their heads out of the sand. Their lives will never be full and happy living under their agenda even after now that they’re gone. They don’t want to see, it would mean admission for one and that is almost impossible since they learned to duck and weave from the best. They’ll never get me back in the ring. I’m not here to outbox anyone, I’m here to find as much freedom as I can and be happy and I’ll never give them permission to come here and try and take that away. I will always hope they will find themselves for their sake but I certainly won’t dwell on them, I’ve done that crap for far too long!

  5. By: Pompi Posted: 3rd May

    I just came across this article. After reading through the comments, I tried to recall when did my mother stop hitting me. It occurred to me that she only stopped when hitting me started to hurt her hand.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd May

      Hi Pompi
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      I remember my mother hurting herself while hitting my brother. The leather strap she was using with such force that it was snapping up and hitting her back. It’s brutal to think of a child maybe 35 lbs being beaten with the force of a full grown adult. This would be assault in the eyes of society if it were happening adult to adult and is in fact legally liable when it happens to children too but much of our society seems to think that parents are entitled to perpetrate this treatment on children even though it actually IS assault!
      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs Darlene

  6. By: Poppy Posted: 3rd May

    What I find interesting about this post is how the adults in question have total power over the child and are able to subject the child to humiliation without ever being made accountable for their actions. I’m sure this is why I have a huge problem with being alone with authority figures as an adult. What infuriates me now is how people still don’t believe me when I tell them I’m a child abuse survivor and take the side of my parents. It’s scary. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Darlene. Hugs to everyone, Poppy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd May

      Hi Poppy
      Welcome to EFB ~ Through the healing process that I talk about in this website, I have found freedom by empowering myself that I know I am not making things up and I hear me today so much so that I no longer care what anyone thinks or believes. It’s a sick world we live in and I had to remind myself for a few years that when people take the side of abusive parents that is about them and their issues/coping methods. It is never about me. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. 🙂 That is the sweetest part of freedom!
      Thank you for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Beth Posted: 3rd May

    I have similar stories of events that happened in my childhood. Times where the behavior of adults was so attacking, neglectful, cruel, and disturbing, while being totally unprovoked! I suppressed so many of these memories during my life, I was disassociated from them. But, now that my Narcissistic mom is deceased, the memories and feelings are beginning to return. It is strange how much I have remembered in the last 21 months. I feel like the memories are flying at me from out of the blue, they come with no thought or effort. They are just appearing. It is like the death of my Nmom, has enabled me to begin to get more in touch with myself, which means that while she was alive, I was being prohibited from being in touch with these experiences of abuse and the memories. It is strange how she was so powerful that she could actually cut me off from myself. That is power. Now, after decades of being cut off from large segments of myself, I am finally free to be whole! ~ Beth

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd May

      Hi Beth
      Yes they have a sick power and they start wielding it and brainwashing us when we are so young we have no choice but to accept the false messages communicated to us by them, about ourselves. Yay for memories, yay for seeing the truth!
      hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Just Be Real Posted: 8th May

    Wow, I just learned in t. this year that when my mother slapped me across the face that that was physically abuse. I had no clue! Thank you for sharing this post Darlene.

  9. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th May

    I could write a whole post responding to your post, and I might, but for now, thank you for such a wonderful contribution to this blog. I really appreciate the depth that you go into and your own willingness to try to work this out within yourself, here.
    Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th May

    That is such a big part of what I am talking about. HOW do children ever learn that they matter? Do they suddenly deserve to be treated with respect when they turn 21? How does that work? Thank you for your comment. This is exactly the point that I want to make!
    Hugs, Darlene

    This is also what I am talking about, there are a few things about this story. One was that you were flying down the hallway because of a misunderstanding. The other one was that they thought you were faking with your wrist, which was broken, because you were sent flying down the hallway, and THEN all of it was your own fault. How do kids grow up to have good self esteem when that kind of thing is what happens in childhood? You can see why so many kids can’t wait to grow up and be in charge of their own kids! It is a crazy cycle. You can also see why some kids grow up to be parents that go to the extreme other side and never discipline ( or correct) their kids at all.
    Thanks for your comments! Darlene

  11. By: stacy Posted: 6th May

    I too had plenty of “difficult” times growing up and it’s funny how I most remember the one when I got a spanking for something I didn’t do. And my parents finally realized that I hadn’t done the thing. But no appology came. My parents believed firmly that they should never appologize to their children because it undermined their authority. Honestly, I think was an awfully convenient belief of theirs. Convenient in that they never had to admit to making mistakes. Convenient in that they never had to face their own shame.

  12. By: Shanyn Posted: 6th May

    Darlene, Patricia, Nikki – hugs you all so special! The one time I remember most clearly was when I had a friend over, I was around 13 I guess. She and I were horsing around and for some reason my Dad came between us to shout and tell us to stop…being kids we didn’t stop immediately, and she made one last shot at me and I made a face at her. Then I was flying down the hallway and landed with a broken wrist. I remember laying in bed crying because I wasn’t making a face at him (NEVER) and didn’t get a chance to explain, and that they were talking like I was faking with my wrist. It was fractured and I had a cast – which almost ‘wrecked’ our holidays because it almost stayed on too long. Still not quite sure how all of that was my fault to them but I know for sure it wasn’t…for sure it wasn’t!

  13. By: Nikki Posted: 6th May

    Darlene I can so sympathize and empathize with you.

    One evening when I was a pre-teen I had asked my dad if I could have one of his cold cokes. My dad had several in the fridge that he was going to take to work with him. We didn’t get many carbonated drinks when I was growing up so to get a coke it was a treat. At first when my dad responded to me I thought he was joking so I kept nagging him for a coke. It was hard to tell when my dad was serious or not because he never showed much of his emotions on his face or in his behavior thus I thought he was just joking with me that evening. Well it was apparent later on that he was not joking but my dad took it a step further than necessary. We ended up arguing and I went to my room he followed me to my room and proceeded to chew me out .. at that point I felt very angry with him and I stood there with my anger written across my face. That is when he looked at me and said “you act like you have a demon in you” which was followed by two back hands to the face. He hit me so hard that I did see stars. At that point something in me broke and I thought to myself “If I am going to be accused of having a demon in me then hell hath no fury” to be honest that was a huge turning point in my life actually it was the very turning point in my life that led me down a very dark and lonely road.

    When it came to me neither of my parents knew how to handle me they didn’t understand me and to be honest I often times didn’t understand me either. I shouldn’t have nagged my dad but in all fairness I really did think he was joking. Nevertheless for it to have escalated to the point of him accusing me of being demonic and then back handing me twice was really a huge extreme and it was wrong on his part!

    There were other times in my life though that instead of my dad bullying me he actually came to my rescue. When I was around 10 years old we lived with my dad’s mother. One evening my cousin and I got into a spat. My cousin went back and told our grandmother that I had cussed her out. Back then I didn’t know what a cuss word was (I was very much naive) anyways as my parents went out to get the clothes off of the line that evening my grandmother confronted me and threatened me .. she told me that she was going to tell my dad how very bad I had been and that I should never cuss. She never gave me a moment to explain that I had not cussed that it was my cousin who had cussed me. All I knew to do at that point was go to my parents room where I literally fell upon their bed and cried in sheer terror. I just knew my dad would believe his mom over me and I would get beat half to death. So when my parents came in from getting our clothes off of the line they saw me laying in a heep on their bed sobbing. They asked me what was wrong .. it took a while for me to tell them but when I finally was able to tell them my dad took care of it. He did not come down on me instead he confronted his mother. My dad stood up for me!

    I shared the first story simply to point out the actions of my dad in the second story. I honestly believe to a certain extent my dad tried to not repeat what was done to him (by taking up for me when his mother my grandmother falsely accused me, which this event took place before the first story of the coke) but my dad’s reaction to me for nagging him about the cokes shows that even though my dad may have tried not to repeat the abuse he may have received as a child yet he did to a certain extent. Plus what I do understand now was during the event with the coke this was after my dad’s major accident which left him with PTSD. But please don’t think that I am justifying what he did to me I am just saying from an adult stand point I do understand somewhat better than I did as a child.

    Honestly I am glad that I have lived and he has lived long enough for the both of us to be able to come to terms with many things and because of that we do have a much better relationship now. But it has been a very very long road and very hard one for the both of us. And there still is somethings that he and i don’t see eye to eye on but I have resolved myself to agree to disagree and go on..

    thank you for sharing your story I know it isn’t easy baring our souls to the world as you have. Thank you !

  14. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th May

    My mom slapped me accross the face like that until I was around 15. Even though that time she did it because I had disobeyed her, I didn’t blink, flinch or cry, I just squared my shoulders and told her that if she ever hit me again I would hit her back. I was done with her shaming me that way. Did the abuse stop?? NO but she never hit me again. =)
    Thanks for sharing, love Darlene

  15. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 6th May

    I remember my mother slapping me across the face several times when I was young. She didn’t do it as I got older. Slaps across the face are not discipline. They are done solely for shaming the person who is slapped. Darlene, neither one of us deserved the abuse that we got from our parents.

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