The Purpose of facing the Past and Childhood History


abusive family In my blog post “Take the good with the Bad or the Bad with the Good?” I talked about my feelings regarding not sharing anything positive about my childhood. The post itself was inspired by a reader on facebook who commented that the conversation was too negative and that I/we should be able to say something good, specifically about my father.

It got me to thinking about what emerging from broken is all about.  EFB is about emotional healing from the damage caused by people who did not have my best interests at heart. This site is about facing the truth that we have never been allowed to face, such as childhood history; how we were discounted, mistreated, devalued and not heard and the problems that manifested because of those things.   Emerging from broken is about the process I went through as an adult. It’s about how I found my voice and took my life back. It isn’t really a place to come and get your warm fuzzies however there is a ton of love, acceptance and support here so maybe there are some warm fuzzies after all.

My emotional healing is not about my parents. It doesn’t matter how messed up they were by their own pasts, it is about the damage that was caused to me regardless of how messed up they were. My emotional healing is all about me and I finally believed that I deserved to have it. But first I had to realize that the beginning of emotional healing was about understanding what happened TO ME.

I had to tell someone what happened to me, so that I could acknowledge to myself that I had been abused, that I had been unprotected that I had not been loved in the true definition of the word “love”. I had to set aside my loyalty issues, stop worrying about the ways that others would react if I faced this stuff, I finally realized that it was self valuing to do this work after a life time of agreeing with my oppressors that I had no value because I was treated as though I had none.  Because my value was not shown to me or taught to me, I believed that I must not have any.

I had been defined by the ways that others treated me. I believed that I didn’t deserve more then what I received and that it was because I wasn’t enough. When my mother disciplined me because she was in a bad mood, I believed that I had caused the bad mood. Therefore I concluded that I was bad. I believed that I upset people.  Everyone else’s reactions and attitudes “defined me” as “the problem” and I had to realize that these definitions about myself were not true. They were all lies tightly woven into the very fabric of my belief system and they all started in childhood. My teacher picked on me, and when no one listened to me about it (and combined with other things that were also going on in my life, and other incidents where I had been dismissed) I believed that I was an irritation to her and that the problem had something to do with me. Those were all the conclusions that I had come to in my young life. And it carried on from there; even when my boyfriend cheated on me, I believed it was because I was not “enough” for him.  After years of being defined as the problem, it didn’t take much for me to accept that it was always “me” who needed to try harder. But that was a lie and I had to take a look at that lie through a new lens.

I was so sick and life was so worthless that I got to the point (in recovery) where it didn’t matter what anyone said or thought about me anymore. I didn’t care about who believed me or didn’t believe me anymore.  I knew the basic truth and I had to give myself credibility in order to begin the healing process. I HAD to stop protecting the people who discounted me all along.  In doing that was I was able to face and embrace the rest of the truth. This was not my shame, and what happened to me was NOT my responsibility, but that it was my responsibility to face it and heal.

Emotional healing isn’t about forgiveness, although self forgiveness played a big part, and forgiveness of others came as a result. It was more like I had to just “transcend” the whole forgiveness issue while I concentrated on the actual facts about myself. Emotional healing isn’t about blame, although putting the responsibility back where it belonged was necessary. I give examples of just how my self esteem was torn down.  I give examples of the ways that caused me to think and believe that I was not important and that I was not worthy, in order to show how getting broken in the first place occurs.  I had to see how I got broken in the first place in order to heal.  That was how it worked for me so that is what I talk about. I share what worked for me after so many years of trying things that didn’t work for me.

All my life I beat myself up for being unhappy and ungrateful. I tried every single method out there for positive thinking and attitude change. I ignored the past, and pretended that I was so lucky to have the parents that I had. I had a “privileged upbringing”, but I didn’t face that it never once helped me! I stole my clothes when I was a teenager because my mother wouldn’t give me money for them while she bought herself glamorous evening gowns and told me she was broke.  I created a fantasy about my childhood reality and I believed it. I pretended for years that I loved everyone and everyone loved me, but my depressions only got worse.  It was when I started to look at the truth, that my depressions came from “somewhere” and that things were not so great, that my parents “status” never benefited me and that in truth they didn’t actually “bother” with me. I faced the truth that I had in fact never been treated in a way that would have caused me to grow and flourish with self worth and self respect. And THEN I began to heal.

Emerging from Broken is about the process of recovery. It is about a method of emotional healing that works. It is about facing the past instead of trying to block it out and avoid thinking about it.  It is not about sweeping things under the carpet to protect the reputations or the feelings of the very people that did so much damage in the first place.

It turns out that the key to positive thinking and high self esteem is in facing the lies and realizing the truth.

Please share your thoughts;

The truth set me free;

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 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing




Categories : Family



Dear Darlene

This is such a beautiful post. .as everything you said you felt. i do now and i feel worthless i fee confused because I cannot get myself from going back to the past for how I feel about the present. It’s like I am stuck in a timezone that my mom created for me to be stuck in.

I said something like ” no one likes me” . .but referring to my family and someone said that is the past. I wish I could stop thinking in the past tenese ..the mode of lies that has me believing am the most worthless unwanted person in the world but I am still not unstuck from that rut.

I try so hard daily to get away from that rut but things..words.. people trigger me back to that time and I find myself reacting like some little child responding. I am discouraged that after 3 months of working towards healing that i am still on square one. I have made it to square.too.. Things form the past are holding me back and i try to get around them and through them but they keep holding me..

I know the past. my childhood all the mean ugly stuff I went through is coming more and more to the surface and i keep feeling more and more like the trash mom said i was. If I were valuable why doesn’t something good happen for me; is it true what my mom says. i will never be of any value.. everything bad will happen to me. she said she put a gypsy curse on me and nothing good will come of me no matter how hard I try.

Sorry I am in a very low place in my heart right now. hurting and broken and confused.. want to move on but i cannot stop reacting from the past . Is my mind to far gone to get with the program and live in the present?

he little girl is crying
The little girl is crying and she is asking why
Why she hurts so much though years have passed her by
She wants to know the reasons; she wants to come outside
I tell her she must wait; but, she doesn’t have to hide

She doesn’t like the waiting, no she doesn’t like to wait
But I tell her time is healing all the hurt and hate
I try to calm her down and try to show I care
But tears are coming out and falling everywhere

Calm my little one for soon you will be free
Everything takes time, you have to let it be
Things will fall in place but it wont be so fast
It took all those years to create for you a past.


ps>thank you Darlene for your selfish sharing of your blog.

Charlotte Antee
July 6th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Darlene I too have been working at looking at what made me depressed and at the end of the day I don’t make me sad all the people I have let walk into my life make me sad . I decided a few months back I would keep reading your posts and sometimes they trigger really sad feelings but I have found out that sadness does pass and when I stop feeling sad over something I seem to be less (in a fog). I have really been having a pretty good summer when my 10 yr old wants to go to the park I take her I never ask Hubby for permission any more because I don’t need it ! I have given myself permission to do what I need to make her and I happy , even my older kids are pretty surprised at the new me . I think it became easier for me when my mom died I had this fake idea in my head that she was so wonderful , I remember telling my kids stories about Marsha Brady when they asked about my childhood I had no memories none at all Now I have lots of memories and they all suck !! But that’s ok because I am making some good memories of my life now . I am taking it one day at a time I am treating myself to things I never would have before because I truly deserve it !!! It is a awesome feeling to want to get up in the morning now Thanks for being here *hugs* to everyone who passes by this page.

Charlotte Antee
July 6th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

@ Joy sweetie it will get better when I found this page it was because I had went to the suicide hotline because I was so tired of surviving , I decided on that day I would stick with the pain because it couldn’t be any worse than how I was treated as a child and I survived that! We are survivors here we will all make it Joy You will make it just hang on and rest on the bad days do something nice for yourself , Your mother was WRONG there is nothing the matter with you you actually inspire me ! I love your writing .*big cyber hugs*



I am in probably my lowest point today and probably lowest i have been for some time. I feel like how dare i hope for good things. am bad. How dare i write nice things. i am broken. Just in a bad bad space tonight..tears all over. I could only scribble few lines through all the tears ..am very bad space..

Thank you for your support and kind words..Just wish I would know why I blank out in therapy .why i live in the past so much.



yourreason for sharing, is not to cause harm but help speed up the journey for those following behind you, just lie we all do in our own lil ways. darlene you know alot about my family history, well to a point anyways, and it has been with your help and blogs and comments that have helped me grown in ways i probably dont even recognise. the freeing feelings i have had since breaking ties from my mother and her version of my childhood has been amazing. yeah there are still issues because of her and her standards which i am trying to sort out ut i am getting there. thank you for your support this last year i dont know where i would have been without it, big hugs


i found that when i couldnt remember a sesion it was because something bad had come up and my brain was struggling to cope with the emotional fallout so shuts out the memories again till i could cope. it a coping skill and is a natural reaction to what a child has been through when it has been abused. there are loads of reasons that we react that we arent not even aware of because the body does it for us. and this keeps us in a kind if loop that gets hard to break. but i also say there is no such thing as a backward step in healing, it is a chance for you to do a side step and look at the problem from another angle., hope you can find some peace


OH MY GOSH!! I think we were raised by the SAME mother! I LOVE your raw honesty! I was treated as a need-gratifying object also, instead of an autonomous individual worthy of respect and unconditional love. Did your mother have Borderline Personality Disorder? Have you read the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells?” That book described my entire childhood.

Anyway, I LOVE your blog. I just stumbled upon it, somehow. Not even sure how. But I’m so grateful I did. All I can say is YOU GO GIRL!! SPEAK THE TRUTH!!

And, FINALLY, someone can relate to what I endured growing up. I’m not alone.


Hi Joy
For me the key wasn’t in not looking at the past, it was in realizing that the lie of “my being worthless” was in fact a lie. I had to look at the things that were said to me and taught to me in the past in order to finally realize that the worthless thing was a huge lie. Just because people say things like that to us doesn’t mean that it is true. Picture a little girl about 5 years old. Can you imagine that little girl is worthless? Would you believe the little girls mother if she told you that her little girl was worthless? I would never believe such a thing!
You mother is a liar. I don’t believe in gypsy curses, she lied about that too.
Hang in here,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Charlotte
Bravo!! Thank you so much for sharing your victory stories here today! I keep trying to share that looking at the past hurts but it will set you free in the end. (and since we were/are in such horrific pain anyway, what do you have to lose by going there?) and your post comments validate what I am saying about it!
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


The truth is only hurtful to liars, Darlene.



Hi Carol
Thank you so much! This is another one of those posts that really validates my purpose for this blog and for my lifes work. I really am passionate about helping other break free from the bondage that I knew all too well.
Thank you for being here Carol.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Karen
Welcome to EFB! From what you just said, you are going to love the whole entire blog! LOL You are not alone! Not only that, there are a ton of us in this site who can all relate to each other! EFB has become a huge community.
I don’t know what my mother “had” ~ She had a lot of depressions all her life. Some of my readers call my mother narcissistic and she has the symptoms of lots of diagnoses but I don’t worry too much about what was wrong with her anymore. I have not read the book you mentioned.
I am glad you are here and look forward to hearing more from you!
Hugs, Darlene


I know what you mean re your comment that the truth only hurts liars but it made me think about that expression “the truth hurts”. I think that the expression “the truth hurts” also means that it hurts to realize that my parents did not act out of love towards me. They didn’t act in my best interest. That was a truth that hurt a lot. But that same truth set me free… so it’s all good!
Hugs, Darlene


Yes, that will always hurt, I think. It doesn’t hurt as much as thinking that love equals being treated like a piece of toilet paper.I wanted them to face the truth also and for us to work things out between us in truth. In the end, I chose to continue to pursue the truth and they chose to believe as they have always believed, that they can live by denial and pretense,in lies. There is a responsibility required when the choice is made to live a life of truth and that responsibility may require one to walk all alone. Sometimes, we have to leave the dead to bury the dead.


Hi Pam
Hey, I have been looking for a new way to say that they treat you like SH%# ! Your toilet paper saying is so much better then my way, so thanks for that! LOL I will be using that from now on!
I love this comment; you said at the end that sometimes we have to leave the dead to bury the dead. I remember one time when that bible verse popped into my mind. It was the one where Jesus was asking someone to follow him and the dude said that he had to bury his father first. Jesus said “let the dead bury their own”. (I am paraphrasing everyone) and it suddenly dawned on me, If Jesus is “the truth” and all that other great stuff, and I can’t “follow him” when my parents still own me and rule my life and keep me in a total fog of lies and confusion~ that it HAD to be okay for me to walk away from them. I felt like I had understood a huge truth that day! (and I still see it that way today)
(Okay, you people all know that I am not one to go on about biblical teaching, but I had to share this one!)
Hugs, and thanks Pam!


Standing Ovation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m melting!!!!!! I’m melting!!!!!!!!

I just HAD to throw that line in, Darlene, because you mentioned it once a while back.


I was curious reading your last post, and I can’t remember if we talked about this or not, but I know what you have said about the church/priest when you were growing up, and how bad that was for you, and I totally get that, have had the same experiences myself, SO, I just wondered if you are going to church now? I am nost suggesting going, but just wondered about that. I do not go. I am not judging you either way, just am thinking about your question about yourself feeling stuck in the past.


Carol, excellent coomments in 6&7!!



I understand. It doesnt even have to be therapy..Say you are talking to me.. and 10 minutes later you say .. “how did you feel before you talked to me’ .. I would go blank. I can’t recall how I felt before..it’s like before. goes blank to my memory.

Perhaps my blank is because am stressed or worry ..




No, at moment I feel no desire to go to Church..Too much bad that has happened involved “church” and I don’t feel it will make me better to go .

About week ago or so..someone from church come to my apt and wanted to talk me into going back and I told him I had no desire to return back..

I don’t know where I am right now with what I believe. .

Learning that I have been fed so many lies .. that the church let me down so many times .left me wanting to back away from it.

I know the person from church tried to show me how far in sin I am going but I feel let down . by the church and feel there are many good people who do not go..

When I called to get help from the church the response “you got yourself in that mess get yourself out’ . yet they want me to go back there and call myself a sinner for not wanting to go back to a church that turned its back on me so many times.

The church told me to keep quiet about my sufferings.. not just the past church but the present..I am told by them all that mom couldnt help how she did me. that what happened in 2009 is past.. that I can become closer to God by letting all that go . not thinking on it. I am in “mortal sin” because I feel need to stay away.

There are no churches here I want to go to.

I could have been better had the church not swept things under the carpet.. and left me helpless as a child.. The church made me feel worthless too : back then and now.




I want to believe that me being worthless is a lie. I do much homework on saying positive things to myself.

I wasn’t called worthless just as a child but also as an adult by family. THey not only said this in words but also in actions.. so am worthless to them.

Am trying to hang into all that is good and healing. For some reason, I am feeling down ..

I know its all part of healing.. it hurts, sometimes, the healing.

Hugs back:



I look back and can see where everything I did as a child, was to get attention. I tried to be good. I heard my dad say to my mom one night, ‘Evie’s a fool.She tears everything she gets apart. She doesn’t take care of anything.She ruins everything’ When they would ask me why I did something that made them mad, I never knew what to say. I didn’t know the answer.

I was 7.I liked to ‘improve my toys and firnishings,by redesigning them, and drawing or painting on them, which I’m sure ‘ruined’ them in their eyes, but I never remember tearing anything up deliberately.

I did, against the rules a few years earlier, carve part of the ABC’s on a table because the varnish was so fun to scrape.And I had just learned the ABC’s.I did color the black and white design on the spine of my parent’s expensive two book set because I liked color. I was 4. I wanted to be big and go to school like my sister and she had taught me the alphabet.I also knew I was not supposed to do things like that but I don’t remember deliberately disobeying them. I think they must have thought I did it on purpose to defy them, but I don’t remember at that age feeling that way.

I was slapped hours later, by my father after my mother told him what I did, and sent away from the supper table. My mother brought my plate to me, which I refused. When my mother punished me she used a switch I had to go get from a bush, usually a forsythia, or a plastic Fuller hairbrush. When she hit me with the hairbrush I had to go in her room with her. I don’t remember anything more about those incidents in her room, but a little about the switchings.

One Sunday morning we were about to go to church and I was playing in the carport, and slipped on the oil on the cement floor and fell, getting my dress greasy. My mother, sister and maybe baby brother- can’t remember if he was born yet, went on to church, leaving me with my father, who I was afraid of. Sometime later I told my mother that I wanted more ruffly panties because daddy liked them, but I don’t remember being molested by him. Daddy used to have me stand by him while he ran his hands up and down my behind. I was so little I barely remember it, and that is all I remember.But I remember he was not yelling at me. I was proud my dad loved me.

My dad came in the bathroom one night when my sister and I were bathing, grabbed our hair and banged our heads together, he was so angry we were keeping him awake.We were 5 and three or so.

These scenarios were very frequent in my childhood. I was the kid who did everything wrong.I was ‘hopeless’ in my parents’ eyes.

My parents seemed to want us to be little adults. I remember my mom spanking my baby brother when he wouldn’t stop crying, and my sister and I telling her to stop.

My parents were very angry people themselves I think, and disorder and anything out of control bothered them, especially kids.

Years later my mother would frequently tell me I had depressions because I was ‘punishing myself’.She didn’t seem upset by that, but I was.That was ok with her? Yes, I punished myself for years, feeling guilty and a miserable failure; and a total screwup, in a family of bright attractive and successful people. I finally grew to believe if I thought it, ‘it’ was erroneous,; if I did it, it was foolish; if I started something I would fail it. My decisions were bad. My judgments were wrong.My actions were ‘ill advised’, according to my mother.She was right alot of the time.There came a time I wanted to be nothing like her. I felt nauseous around her from the time I was about 12.

Believing I was already a failure also took alot of the tension out of me later on. If I was a failure, I didn’t have to live up to anything they expected of me. I was terrified of life. Still am.

It became a self fulfilling prophecy, all of that. I believe I failed, I was a ‘screwup’, because that is what my family said I was. I think I punished myself to get them to love/accept me. I gave up and was what they said I was, because that is the only way I was allowed to fit in. I punished myself to get them to love me, in a sense.

I had so little self esteem and so little confidence, I tried to become just like my mother for awhile- maybe if I acted like her they would like me. But I wasn’t her.And she wasn’t going to let anyone be just like her anyway. She was extremely bright; very organized, analytical, loved numbers and math. I was disorganized, messy, hated numbers.I hated precision, tedium, and felt smothered by it. I wasn’t orderly or perfect. I was a ‘mess’.

My mother saw me as rebellious years before I actually was rebellious. My parents were baffled by me.I couldn’t follow the rules; I was restless, I was emotional, I had night terrors, bad dreams, heard things in the night, had horrible scary feelings. I was bright, just not in a way they liked. I was unruly and kept my sister up at night laughing and giggling, bothering her, getting her in trouble and yelled at. She learned as soon as she could, to distance herself from me.

I didn’t follow the rules and didn’t understand why I couldn’t.In my mind, I wanted to. I was different. Around many outside my family I was shy, quiet. But when I made my family laugh, when I was the lovable goofball, I thought they loved me. I was also becoming terrified to try anything hard because I knew I was a failure.I KNEW.I had a sickening scared feeling when I did anything new and unfamiliar, to the point of having panic over it. I was afraid of riding over mountains, afraid of heights, afraid of storms. Afraid of monsters.

I became unwilling later to do anything challenging because no matter how I did it, or what I did, it wouldn’t be perfect, and anything less than perfect was all wrong; all bad. My mother was never afraid of anything. I never saw her at a loss, be afraid, be nervous, or display tension or anxiety. My mother was my rock, but I didn’t realize then she was not comforting and encouraging me, she was encouraging me not to believe in myself.I was ‘silly’, flighty.

All this time inside I worried about my parents. I loved them. I started hating them around age 13. I didn’t know why. All I felt around my mom was guilt; all I felt around my dad was anger.In between those times I loved them very much. I didn’t understand how I felt at that time, and still don’t. My mom would try to hug me and I would push her away, and then feel guilty. My dad was drinking alot. I loved and hated him both.

All my life as long as I can remember, I have had anxiety. I think now anxiety was why I was so restless as a kid. I look back and think, I was ‘dancing’ as fast as I could.’Look at me. Look at me.’ ‘Don’t be mad. Don’t be sad.’ ‘Don’t be serious’.’Look at me’. I was dancing for my life. I just wanted everything and everyone to be ok. But in my mind it was all about me. Therefore if I hated myself enough, maybe they would be ok. If I was the ‘bad one’ maybe they would be the ‘good ones’, and we would all be ok. I realize that sounds sick, but it is the way I felt.I am not sure how that happens to a kid. I remember being a happy kid at times but always tense, and watching everyone.

It is tough sometimes to see myself as lovable, and capable. Much of the time I feel neither. My family was a big tragedy. Its left an empty hole that is huge because I never really filled it with anything else. I just kept trying to get it right; make it right; As an adult now for a number of years, I see how little I know about the world; how little I see how people really are. I see them how I wish they were much of the time; and that isn’t reality.I feel stunted, behind, and a little scared of the world.

Its still hard to understand how I came to be the way I was/am. To hate oneself so bad at times, is not something a child would ever think of doing on his or her own, though. Little kids don’t hate themselves unless someone told them they were bad or were at fault all the time. I don’t know if this makes any sense to grow up hating yourself so your parents would love you.Its like ‘I’ll hate myself, so you won’t have to- I’ll make fun of myself so I get the jump on you’. Its crazy but its what my life felt like.

A few years ago my sister, mom, niece and two little grand nieces were rear ended by a man texting or something, at about 40 mi per hour. It totalled their car. I was on my way to meet them for lunch as my sister was here on a day visit. I was so ahaken by the sight of their car, and the whole thing, I was trembling. It was almost my whole family in that car. I had to walk half a mile or more up a hill to get to them as the traffic had backed up. I remember thinking ‘its my family in that car, my family.’ When I reached them they were ok, but so quiet, so deadly calm. The little girls didn’t cry. My sister, niece, and mother were all calm, calm, calm. Just so very detached. We went to a restaurant later to eat and wait on a rental. No one really talked about the wreck. It had a surreal feel to it all. I was realizing how close they had come to being hurt or killed as they had been approaching a two way two lane tunnel, and the guy that hit them spun around them after hitting them and hit another car head on. But there was very very little emotion in any of them, not only then but as far as I knew, ever about it. This is how it was in my childhood. We all just acted detached and removed no matter what happened.No one discharged normal emotions. We were to control ourselves. I was the one shaking and scared, not them- even the little girls.

Thanks for letting me share.


You are not in sin to not go to church. Do whatever you can to keep that line of sanity drawn for yourself. It is difficult when so many people that you know assume that they can lord this thought over you. I have the same issue in my life. Don’t worry about what you “belive.” God is not forsaking you in the least. God is not behind those kind of “powers” and paychecks!! you don’t owe anyone an explanation for living your life the way you live it either.


YES! i cannot count how many times my mother asked me “WHY???? did you do…” And there was no answer.
And, around the age of 12, I could hardly stand to be around her.

OMG, this is so much like my life!

“I had so little self esteem and so little confidence, I tried to become just like my mother for awhile- maybe if I acted like her they would like me. But I wasn’t her.And she wasn’t going to let anyone be just like her anyway. She was extremely bright; very organized, analytical, loved numbers and math. I was disorganized, messy, hated numbers.I hated precision, tedium, and felt smothered by it. I wasn’t orderly or perfect. I was a ‘mess’.

My mother saw me as rebellious years before I actually was rebellious. My parents were baffled by me.I couldn’t follow the rules; I was restless, I was emotional, I had night terrors, bad dreams, heard things in the night, had horrible scary feelings. I was bright, just not in a way they liked. I was unruly and kept my sister up at night laughing and giggling, bothering her, getting her in trouble and yelled at. She learned as soon as she could, to distance herself from me.”

And I really like the way you can write about your emotions from different times in your life, the awareness that you have is great!

It is helpful to me, because my sister learned to distance herself from me, and that is a good way to put it. Just the two of us, and it is sad.



I find that God is with me. that I dont have to drive miles or walk somewhere to find Him when He is in me and everywhere.. I believe Some need the “church” they need that to find Him and they believe that to have Him they have to be there. and I respect that but I believe He has always been with me .even in the stormiest of times..even now ..as tears keep welling up. He is there with angels. and He doesn’t expect I open a book to use someone else’s words to speak to Him ..He is one that will let me speak with my voice and it will be enough ..however fragile and unimportant it may be to others..This is what I believe. and I dont ask others to believe so simply but I am not able to grasp complicated ways.no matter how much i study am still me … whose mind is only capable of little things and little ways and thats all. I may understand things God shows me but only as He shows me and without Him I can see nothing.

I know some might say how dare she speak in rhymes and she is so broken not even past square one but if I recall well the bible . that god spoke from a donkey .. so GOd can speak through whom He pleases and how He please and when and if He chooses to speak to me in my heart.. though I seem the least likely that is His choosing not mine..

If I recall right God has a tenderness and care for the most forsaken broken and needy. so I am a good candidate. and I will always love God . even if I never step foot inside a church.


I sat with a friend the other day listening to her descibe her painful memories. She explained that they no longer felt sharp and blunt not the gut wrenching twist and turning of a more recent emotional tragedy, yet they still remained.

I listened as she sobbed,her whole body shook. I remembered my own past memory of experiencing the same throbbing pain. I held her, knowing that in such moments,a comforting embrace is all that one can give, many more would be needed throughout her grieving process.

As she expressed her current emotional pain she began to release many emotional past memories,i began to undersatnad that the healing process is continuous and never fully achieved on ones own,only through a supportive, caring patient process tightly held painful past memories can be released.

As I embraced my friends grieving sorrow,i too began to release my past painful memories.


I just loved your comments in #24! SO true! Makes me cry!



What a realization! What a gift for your friend you gave!! Thank you for sharing this!!


Dear Kate

I give you a virtual kleenex but wont say not to cry since i am
learning its ok to do so.. thank you for your understanding.. in the end really .. in the very end all the buildings of worships and titles we give to the religions we embrace will all disappear ..they are all just means but not the “END” .. only one is the final place ..if we are already there in the “END” why do we need the means.. Churches…religions .. books .. they are vehicles. . roads to. if we are there. why go backwards . .if we are in new york we are not going to leave new york ..maybe go to new jersey catch a bus there just to get back to new york.. if we have and are in God .. we don’t need the transportation to get there.. we are there. this is how i see it.. some are needing the different vehicles to get to God. ..some don’t .. some are there. with Him/Her.. .. if one is there with Him/Her and He/She with them why settle for whats less i believe GOd is him/her. what do you call God if God is HIm/Her?
surely God doesn’t have the same hangups that we do but truly God is spirit no him no her so Him/Her??


God is all, God is both, God is EVERYTHING good!


KATE this is the best saying of God you said: All ..Everything : good. .thank you


I said that because that is exactly the scripture that I remembered when I needed to walk away from my family. I couldn’t live a life of truth as long as I live underneath their lies. Those lies were like chains that bound me and prevented me from being the person I am intended to be.


Re your comment “I’m melting I’m melting…. I laughed right out loud on that one! (and yes, I remember mentioning that recently! )
Thanks, hugs, Darlene

The tragic thing about all of this (family, church, organizations, school teachers) is that we have been LIED to so much and it really takes time to realize it. To tell someone that they are sinning because you are not doing what HE wants is a huge manipulation. Leaving the church was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life, but I know today it was because I was not sure which things I had been taught were lies by the people in the churches who misused their power to control and manipulate. I was very afraid that God would punish me. I had no concept of a loving God. (And that was the fault of how I had been taught) I began to notice that as long as I did whatever “they” wanted, then I was a good Christian. But that definition is NOT anywhere in the teachings of Christ. It took time for me to get strong in this area, but as I realized more and more of the false truths that had destroyed me, I realized the church abuse ones too.
Hang in here!
Hugs Darlene

Hi Evie
Your comments describe so much of what I am talking about here; how we come to believe that we are no good and the ways that we are told we are bad. I rarely did anything like what you share in your comments as a child, but I was taught that I was bad too. The problem is with the people who defined us that way, not with us. I totally relate to your comment about your parents wanting you to be “little adults” I felt that way too. But when I think about it, nothing I did was good enough anyway and the rules always changed. (and I wonder if your father would have gone into the bathroom and knocked two adults heads together? It is as though we were not people in the first place! NO wonder we grew up not realizing we had any value being treated like that. Your comments are really wonderuf and insightful.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Cowanmagee
I too think it is so important that someone hears us without judgement. Being heard gave me the permission to keep going forward. That is one of the reasons that I created this site. A place where everyone could be heard.
Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Darlene

Kate and Joy ~ love your conversations here today!

Hi Pam
EXACTLY! I am going to reprint what you said!

Pam said; “I couldn’t live a life of truth as long as I live underneath their lies. Those lies were like chains that bound me and prevented me from being the person I am intended to be”.


This very topic came up for me in my session this morning! I am sorry that my parents, particulary in this discussion, my father had horrible circumstances in his life. However, it gave him no right to treat me as an object, subhuman, a piece of trash.

The damage that abuse caused in my life has crippled me for five decades. There is nothing good to say about any person who precipitated those circumstances in my life


This is a great topic, Darlene.

My memories as a child I wrote about here were when I was 4 years old, regarding writing the ABC’s on the table and coloring the books. I was 3 when dad came in and knocked my sister’s head and mine together. I was 7 when he told my mother I was a ‘fool’ and ruined everything. I was 3 in my first memory ever- sitting in my closet eating a box of Betty Crocker cake mix from my Easy-Bake set.

I am sure there were many more incidents I’ll never remember. What stands out to me is how hurt,confused and scared at this age, my parents’ reactions to me were. There was alot of sudden out of the blue rage from them. There were alot of punishments that were delayed for several hours till dad came home. As basically not much older than a toddler,at 3 or 4, it was extremely frightening to me to be punished for something I did hours earlier or even days before.

Watching my mother repeatedly spank my brother for crying, when she was changing his diaper was scary too.
I think the uncertainty of life then, never knowing when I was going to get hit, and still loving my parents mixed me up badly as a kid, emotionally.

Eventually my father killed himself.A little over 2 years later so did my brother.


I love this post, Darlene! So true … even the abused to have some memories that were good, but as you said, this site isn’t about that … its about recovering from abuse. As for me, even the ‘good’ memories seem empty because of all the abuse that was endured. I have very little recollection of my childhood – I don’t remember the schools I went to or who my teachers or classmates were – I don’t even know if my teachers were male or female. Before about grade 4 and 5 … I remember very little. It’s like my childhood is a blur … what childhood memories I do have were ones of shame and guilt and or punishment. I don’t have loving memories at a young age.

If I have anything good to say about my parents, it would be that they have taught me what NOT to do and how NOT to treat people. Therapy has taught me about proper and healthy responses to things – for instance, ‘it’s okay to stick up for people – vehemently if necessary.’ I never ever had anyone stick up for me except my husband – do you have any idea how valued it makes someone feel when they are stood up for???? My parents never did that.

As far as ‘honouring’ my parents – I honour them by overcoming, by becoming a better person, a better parent, a better spouse. It doesn’t mean I have to have relationship with them. I have forgiven them – but this in no way translates to reconciling.

Their rejection has been my blessing.


Hi Ronnie,
Yes, I had to realize that the the issues that they had were not my problem. (like I always thought they were, and believed that I just added to the problems they already had.) I had to realize in order to recover, that I had to stop thinking about them and realize the damage that had been done to me. (regardless of the brokenness they suffered themselves)
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Evie
This is exactly what I am talking about, how we got so mixed up emotionally. Realizing that stuff really is how I recovered from a lifetime of depressions and confusion.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rise
This is my story too. Very few memories that were good; very few memories at all before grade 7 and 8. I realized the other day that I don’t have ANY Christmas memories with my parents. NONE. I find that really odd. I have some vague ones from the year when I was 15 but that is about it. I remember the Christmas tree… but not the event itself.
I agree about when someone sticks up for you! Very empowering.
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene : my idea as a little girl was we ought to love God but he doesn’t love me.. because I am bad.. that is a lie I know but that was my idea and probably still have lots of remnants in me as I feel undeserving of good. But I am working with my T to learn that all those things were lies. .This blogs too is helping me immensely


Hi Joy
It is really great how you are realizing all these lies! This was how I emerged from broken. Don’t judge your progress by your feelings of overwhelming sadness; your grief is normal and part of the whole process. Realizing these lies is very painful too. BUT realizing them is the beginning of freedom!
Hugs, Darlene



Oh, I feel a poem coming on, (or it might be just another hot flash)but since I am not a poet, I will just give some ideas. (no sarcasm intended–Joy–I hope you can use my ideas)

“Feelings come and go
Truth and lies, not so”

(or should it just be TRUTH not so, but lies are the opposite, or the back side of the truth)

a start of a poem, at least, I hope?


@Darlene, I dont know who it was that said it is too negative but after having dealt with “religious) types and I use the word in a negative sense because I think you can be spiritual and not be so religious, it had to be someone who was either religious or has “religious” input into their life that is neither healing or helpful but soudns really good and spiritual but in the long run they are empty meaningless words. The old feel good religious talk. I fin that there is so much denial in religious communities not just about abuse but abotu truth in general. Religion is not only worthless it is harmful!
I have a friend who is not a believer who I told this to and she was shocked she said I thought you were religious! I said please dont call em names! LOL! I do believe to be emotionally and spiritually healthy the health has to be based on truth not feel good platitudes.The person who said to be more positive is most likley in denial of some kind!



thank you . .. i think that’s what I am doing.. measuring progress by the amount of grief, overwhelm-ness and tears.. all of which is way over board .. according to last month…but could be am seeing more now than last month.

I appreciate so very much your support..

grateful hugs:


@Kate. .will think about your two lines for a poem.. 😉 i never “plan” anything i write it usually just falls into my head but will see what happens when I take them inside to my secret space..

gentle hugs ..if ok..



Hi Pinky
I think that this reaction is common from many people regardless of their backgrounds. It is a society problem more then anything else. The thing about this is that it doesn’t matter why she was having the problem with the thread or our attitudes regarding our fathers and parents, the point is that it is okay for us to ignore those kinds of comments and continue to share and seek truth. That comment at first caused me to feel a blush coming on. The blush of shame. My first reaction was to feel “bad” that I was being negative and saying negative things. BUT I immediately remembered that I am NOT and just because she made her judgement, didn’t mean that I had to agree with it OR that she was right.
I just wanted to point this out Pink, I don’t want anyone to miss the point here. She was wrong that we were being negative when our motives were about seeking freedom and recovery but sharing the truth.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy
YOU ARE seeing more then last month. You ARE making progress.
Hugs, Darlene


@Darlene, good point and clarification.


#24 was a bull’s eye and the best sermon that I’ve heard in years. All of your answers are within you, sweetie. You are an encouragement to me even in your broken state. You will rise like the pheonix and encourage many. What you call your simple ways are simply beautiful and very deep. Your comment comes from the core of faith.



Pinky – post #41 … I feel ya there. I am a Christian and hate being referred by the term ‘religious’ – so true that religion kills, it enslaves. And yeah, when I would try to talk to my fellow believers about the abuse – about coming out with the truth – it would get weird. Christian circles buy the ‘honour your parents’ to the point where you are almost expected to ‘shut up and put up with it.’ I did a study on it (as its my mother primarily who was my abuser) – and I found a scripture verse that said we are not required to honour those who do not act honourably. I wish I could remember the verse!! I’ll have to find it again.

The Christian church is not well-equipped to handle parental abuse with believers … it is in this very area that I am feeling very drawn to tell my story … and that enduring abuse from a parent is not in God’s plan for our lives. 🙂


Darlene – post #37 … Whoa!! I am constantly amazed at how our experiences resulting from our mothers’ abuse is so much alike!!! I remember so little … I remember one Christmas when I was young – but only because my uncle was extremely drunk and he did nothing but put down his kids, telling them they will never amount to anything. I never forgot it. I have one or two other Christmas memories – but they are just flickers of receiving the one thing that I loved each time. It wasn’t until about grade 6 or 7 when memories started becoming more vivid. And even then – there is no much I don’t remember. Amazing how trauma can affect one’s memory!!!! For instance, my 15th birthday is the only birthday ‘party’ I ever remember having – it was family only with cake and ice cream. I don’t think I even got a gift. I don’t remember one. And the only reason I’m sure I remember it is because a photo was taken. The only other birthday I remember before meeting my husband is my 25th when my friends were the ones who made a big deal about my birthday! I will never forget my 25th – they made me feel pretty special.


Submitting in the Lord carries that idea of submitting only in honorable ways to those who are acting honorably. But that may not be the verse you are looking for?


Kate – that might be it actually. Do you know the verse??


It might be the one talking about submitting to your husband, or to each other, in the fear of the Lord, something like that, from maybe Ephesions, or 1 Peter, ?? But even the word FEAR isn’t what some people would twist it to mean.

Hear is a fabulous quote that Warren posted on facebook today:

“Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person.” Rachel Naomi Remen


Kate ~ Nope, not the submitting to husband one … and yeah, when we are to ‘fear the Lord’ it is to hold Him in reverence. I like the quote … although it doesn’t apply to me much. I have tried for years to develop a relationship with my abuser – 11 years in fact, praying and praying that the Lord would change her heart as the Lord changed me into a better person, and that as I loved her that she would grow to love me back … all that did was make her hate me more, her abuse of me got more and more worse. I was just repeatedly rejected, disregarded, treated with disdain, etc. Knowing my abuser fits the bill 97-98% of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder – I know now that she will never change – and ‘if’ she does, it will be the Lord’s doing. Reconciling with someone like this is impossible because they don’t ever see themselves as being in the wrong and should they experience ‘bad luck’ or misfortune in their life – they themselves are never to blame … they place blame on someone else. That someone else was usually me! It was up to me to ensure her happiness – and that’s not up to me. 🙂


The good times in my childhood, made the bad times all the more confusing. I think it would have been easier for me to understand that my parents were bad, if they were ALL bad. My definitions of love and hate, good and bad, were all mixed up.

I told my new therapist that my mother hates me. She asked me why I believe my mother hates me. I didn’t even know where or how to begin to answer that question.

The most confusing thing to me as a child was that my mother called her hateful treatment of me, LOVE.

Even the 62-page hate letter that my mother sent me a few weeks ago, stated that God wanted her to write it, FOR MY OWN GOOD.

For my GOOD? I feel like I have been emotionally BLUDGEONED by that letter. I feel this way, even through I didn’t read the letter, because my husband got the mail that day, saw the thick taped envelope with all the extra stamps from my mother, and, knowing my history, figured it wouldn’t be good. I had previously given my husband permission to read my mail, and to do whatever he thought best with anything that came from my mother. He read just part of the first page, saw that it was full of “hate and jealousy” ~ his words ~ and then he took it to the town dump and tore all the pages to bits.

My husband didn’t even tell me about the letter, I found out about it a few days later when my aunt sent me a draft reply via email to my mother’s letter… my mother had sent a copy of her hate letter to me, to her sister, my aunt, apparently hoping to make my aunt hate me, too. It had the opposite effect, my aunt was horrified that any mother would do such a thing to her daughter, and told her so in no uncertain terms, in her reply letter.

I’ve received long hate letters from my mother in the past, so I have a pretty good idea of what this latest one was like. My mother would swear on a stack of Bibles that she “loves” me and is only telling me everything that was ever “wrong” with me, “for my own good.”

Hearing that, as I was growing up, was very confusing, because I believed it. I believed that my parents loved me, and that was why they had to hurt me so bad. It is very confusing to grow up believing that love literally means you get HURT. When my mother confessed to me that she had been putting the pilot light out on the gas furnace on purpose, trying to kill us all as we slept in our beds, she told me she thought she would be doing us a favor, by taking us out of the cruel world.

How is that for a screwed up definition of love ~ “I love you, so I am going to kill you.”

My mother didn’t kill me physically, but she has done everything she could to kill me emotionally.


I was wondering: Does it make you upset if a person can’t read all the way through most posts? I’m asking, b/c I still can’t read all the way through a lot of posts. In fact, if I were downright obvious I would have to say I’ve read through most of each post, but never ALL the way through more than two or three.
The reason is about me; it’s certainly not about the writing, not when I have no problem reading through 300 pages of J.D Salinger’s work–and his is emotional but not like this.
I’m just concerned about it, b/c I feel like I’m the only one it’s happening to. But I know that can’t be right. I always think I’m the only one it’s happening to, but it’s almost never true.
I just have a little problem with trusting people, I mean it takes me too long to do it.


Dear Vicki

I cannot read through every post.. I sometimes have to stop ..even in the middle of my own writing..

How I feel is that if it triggers me I stop..it doesn’t mean I am bad or what is written is bad ..just at my point in the journey I am not able to handle more trauma..

I don’t know if I am right..but I do know we have feelings for reasons and being triggered means back away; maybe later will be a better time.

What do you think, Vicki?

Having gone through so much painful trauma..sometimes reading that of others sparks a reminder of my own.. If I am not ready to look at mine then I am surely not capable of looking at that of others..

I am sorry you feel triggered..and find it hard to read.. but you are not alone..

The only one who knows you havent read every response is you..and your heart.. and you have a right.. I feel to take care of your heart and feelings and go your pace… .don’t you feel?



I wouldn’t read the letters after the first or second one. I don’t know if that makes me callous, but I think of doing something like reading a hate letter as deliberately hurting myself.
I wouldn’t deliberately hurt myself with a physical object, and I don’t feel like doing it with emotional objects either.
Then again, people have always called me “selfish” for being like that. I don’t know. I just know that, after working on the life squad–and seeing how much they truly don’t give a rat’s ass about what they do–I snapped and told myself that never EVER would I do anything like it again.
Not when they’re not even sorry for acting stupid. It’s one thing for someone to realize they made a mistake or flat-out did something harmful, but when they don’t even admit that’s what it is I lose all semblance of anything like patience. Which I have too little of anyway, and I can’t afford to spare it for someone who’s not even a LITTLE sorry. Or can’t admit they make ANY mistakes.
Most of them act like the Anderson woman. They’ve even convinced themSELVES they didn’t do it; well it must work for them, b/c I sure as hell don’t believe a word they say. The only one they have any CHANCE of fooling is themselves.


I know with me . now. but I am just in the very beginning. I have long ways to go.. if a letter comes form my abuser . I wont open it now. One time I did and like you said. .it was like being ripped open ..turned inside out.

I think what my T is teaching me about boundaries and what I let into me and how far I will put me in danger depends on boundaries I put up. If i don’t have something up . .boundaries.. to keep the bad out.. then I am helping the bad to hurt me. so I have all kinds of boundaries being put up all over the place.

What I read is limited.. what I take by phone is limited .. by email.. by online interraction..

Sometimes I fail. as I am softhearted and sometimes people convince me they are sincere, then rip me apart once I believe them, then I have to start all over with the people boundary.

Sometimes there is a healthy selfish. I am learning that. .healthy selfish doesn’t hurt others but protects me so others can’t hurt me.
I think.




Thank you for you kindly words.. faith in my heart is there but where it wants me to go.. I am still discovering . I appreciate you and your kindness..I am so not knowing what’s going on in my life.. am mixed up . .all the lies are resurfacing and I have to face them in my brokenness . . I know they are lies but there were many ..the old tapes keep trying to play me down. sigh



i did this too when i was at the start of my journey. and i know i have had several conversations that i have no idea what was said by me , and they still have not come back to me.yet i found that facing the truth sometimes is too much and my mind protects itself by forgetting chunks of time, people looking at me might not even realise i have gone up into my head, as i carry on doing as i was doing. this disassociation gets worse when i am over stressed or have a incident with triggers, that i think i have just ignored only to realise that i hadnt carried on as normal at all in fact i was a lot different. each is different and it depends how you coped as a child as to how you may not cope as an adult.


Hi Carol

As a child I didnt cope . i just survived. I had nothing to cope with and really today not too much more .. am just learning ..and trying to acquire what I should already have.. Some ways I have moved along normally like I went to school learned things .. cognitively..but emotionally ..mentally.. am so far behind.. what good is all the schooling if you can’t face every day as normal people do. ? I can add 2+2 and spell and all but I still react in small ways..like a child ..to many situations. I never learned the right way to do things.. although mostly I do things right.. I still react like a child would. .I still fear things will happen as the have happened before.. and still want to trust people more than I should because as a child i was always looking for just one person to understand …. am still needing much work done inside.



@Rise, yes the verse is actually abotu the marital relationship that we are to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. The word submit is just abused and misunderstood considering the bible was written in Greek and our language does not have the rich language of Greek to communicate the thoughts fully.
But I have more about parents but will send you a PM as not to take up space here since it is not my blog.


I hope that i didn’t come across as suggesting trying to submit or get along with an abuser. I was just trying to answer what you asked about that verse. I totally agree and have had the same experience as you in regards to trying to get along with an abuser, and it just gets you MORE abuse. Yesterday was a victory for me in that regards. I sent an email to acknowledge a birthday instead of phoning. Short and sweet, well, almost, but at least done.


send to me, too? PM?

I am SO glad you mentioned this about not reading all the posts. It cand just depend for me, but I am usually not able to get through them all. you wouldn’t eat more food than your body wanted, so it is with this, just take what you can, what you want, and use it, figure out what you think is good for you and go with that.


I know, I’ve been there. In many ways I stayed there for years and years. I’d pull it all together for awhile and then fall completely apart. I had depressions that lasted for months and months. I was so out of touch with what was really wrong with me and I didn’t know where the depressions came from. I thought I was defective. I would try to face my past but my family always put up road-blocks and I thought I needed their help to resolve it. I accepted their version of my life and believed that I was at fault. I was stuck for a very long time. I want to encourage you in that you have already put so many good actions into place and I know you will not remain stuck for years as I did. Rely upon that special core of faith that you have, listen to what it tells you, and don’t doubt it. You will begin to move forward. This time of assessment and mourning will pass. You are a very strong young woman, Joy.



Hello Vicki, Joy and Kate
I want to respond to this discussion about not being able to read through the posts. Kate, your response seems to indicate that you don’t read “ALL” the posts, which is totally fine, and yes I understand that this blog is pretty intense. But Vicki, you are saying that you can’t get through a whole post. It doesn’t “upset” me Vicki, but I am concerned because so often the solutions are near the end of the post. So you are reading the “painful parts” which are triggering your pain too, but then you don’t get to read the hope part. If you are rarely reading the whole blog post then you are not getting the whole picture. So while I certainly understand having to read this blog is small doses, I don’t recommend not finishing a whole post because that might actually cause you more damage and pain. It would be like picking the scab off a wound and making it bleed again and just leaving it that way. The hope is what made me keep going forward.
Joy, you responded more about not being able to read through all the comments. I don’t think very many people CAN keep up with all the comments; That is a whole other story and I agree that if they are triggering, leave them alone. I think Vicki is talking about the blog post itself though.
These are my thoughts about not reading a whole blog post with the exception of the comments.
Hugs, Darlene


Pinky (post #60) – sounds good. :o)



Yes, excellent. I, too, thought somehow that I “needed” their “help” to move on. What a concept!! What a laugh now!! Thanks for putting that into words.

one thing I did for myself, during the inbetween years, was to discover that better nutrition really did help my over all perstective, motivation and production levels. It really sucked to grow up with food reactions to what we commonly ate, and to be told that my stomach didn’t hurt, i just thought it did. Nothing i thought was real, only their comfort, which was attained by getting my to shut up.


Hi Rise,
I shared in another post that I only have one memory of a birthday before the age of 16 and that memory is when my mother cancelled my birthday party because I had 2 chicken pox marks. I remember one Christmas gift when I was 15 ~ because I hated it. (that is a long story.. LOL) I am glad those days are over!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynda
That is how we get so messed up ~ by all the mixed messages. Saying “god told me to” is one of the most common and most destructive things that a person can say to another person. It is SO manipulative. And it is not just children that believe when people say that. When we are raised to give our power to others who seem to have more power and authority then we do, we believe them. EVEN when there is NO logic to what they say. I believed that my mother did things for my own good too, but was conflicted by her mean streak. That is what we are sorting out here.
So glad you are part of this healing adventure!.
Hugs, Darlene


Kate (post #61) – I wasn’t sure where you were going, so just thought I’d lovingly explain a bit about my past. 🙂 I tried for so long with my mother – she has been dead to me now for a year. Before that, she was not physically in my life for almost 11 years! She is so incredibly toxic that I cannot have her in my life in any way. No matter what I did or said – nothing was ever good enough and 11 years ago is when I finally realized this … I would never be enough for her as long as I was imperfect (by her definition) and as long as I refused to be who she wanted me to be. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. And now … I’m FREE! 🙂


Darlene – post #67 – I’m so glad those days are over too … gifts … most gifts my mother gave me were gifts that she’d prefer herself or they were butt ugly. It’s like she expected me to like and adore what she did and I never did. And like you, I am so glad those days are OVER and DONE! 🙂



I guess am just picking scabs sometimes too because occasion..not too often I have sometimes skimmed on a blog post..skipped a sentence or two and then went to end of post to see the end. I do sometimes stop and then maybe return later to the post and try again.

I wont pretend to be strong when in all reality am weak at times on some posts .. sometimes I feel triggered..sometimes I run away from the post for a while then come back again.

I hope am not bad for that but I am really at a very “triggering” stage..everything seems to bring up all my stuff.. I guess thats what its suppose to do?



Don’t worry, this is how TONS of people feel and react. I have had people tell me that they have to come back the next day to read it properly. My intention is to bust through the fog and I guess that is triggering and yes, everyone is at a different stage of healing. AND there is NO wrong stage!
Hugs, Darlene


Joy, in my experience when something would trigger me, I’d have to take a steady breath and then ask myself what exactly is triggering me and why – it is what helped me face my own stuff … I would read through and so often, just being validated is so healing. I did eventually get to a point of being so incredibly ‘stuck’ that I sought therapy … so glad I did … healing in leaps and bounds. The healing is slow, but even my therapist is amazed at my progress … I know its because God is with me through it, making the rewiring stick. 🙂


How do you get that mark over the e in your name?
My mom, too. And even if we tried, they change the rules, and it never works. We are just their little play thing.





i love your blogs so please don’t get me wrong .. if i am triggered its my fault.. am not knowing how to process something or some thing made me go all the way back home in my mind. I feel frightened yet at sitting with my bad memories but lately have been trying to handle them as they come and really don’t know what the right way to handle them is .. they make me cry. .. i don’t know how to think about them when I am crying about them..

seems every day lately .. something triggers. it don’t even have to be here on your beautiful blog…am just an ole unraveling ball of yarn with many loose ends and keep getting snagged on something ..

Gentle hugs:


@ Rise

Am in therapy but slowly going because i still have so much fear and still go blank alot .. always have so much to say but in the end say so little ..:( I have the most patient T no doubt but am not as patient with myself as she is. I wish I would just stop being afraid of my own story . ..I think that’s why sometimes I stop in reading some things.. the memories are so painful yet. but maybe pain is not bad .. and tears are ok..just my ‘self’ seems to be afraid of that ..




I was raised to view myself as part of another so it was natural to my programming to think I needed assistance. It wasn’t until I began to set personal boundaries, when I began to mark the places where I end and others begin, that I was able to view myself as a individual with my own power to solve my own problems.

A lot of my depressions had nutritional causes as well as emotional. My liver doesn’t convert the food I eat into the enzymes that my brain needs to function properly. When I started taking enzymes, it was like a miracle. I felt so different. I also have problems with blood sugar and some food allergies. As a child, I was allowed to eat all of the candy and pop I wanted (to the extent of junk being the basic of my diet)and I was given a lot of alchohol. I think those things set me off on the wrong foot healthwise. I have had to work hard at my health all of my life. I had hep c for 33 years and developed a blood disorder called cryoglubulinemia that caused my blood to start to gell when any part of my body dropped below 70 degrees. I’m virus free now and the cryo went with it. Many of my other problems have improved also. I’m healthier now than I can ever remember being. This really is a time of new beginning for me both emotionally and physically.


Kate – #73 – Here is a link as to how to make accent marks … the website shows how for Mac and Windows.



Kate – #73 – About mothers – EXACTLY. And anytime I did stand up for myself, she upped the abuse. There was just no winning.


Joy – post #75 – {hugs}


Well, the end of this post says “It turns out that the key to positive thinking and high self esteem is in facing the lies and realizing the truth.”
Unfortunately, that doesn’t say anything specific and, besides that, I’ve been facing the lies for years now–at least in terms of acknowledging they WERE lies–so I’m not understanding why realizing a lie, and vocalizing that it’s a false concept, has me still at Square 1 or 2, so to speak, in terms of FEELING as opposed to THINKING better.
I’ve faced the lies and realized the truth, but a part of me-apparently-refuses to ever believe my intellectual mind. In the part of the mind that harbors thought processes and logical thinking, I understand with every fiber of my brain that I’ve been lied to and that a different truth than theirs exists, and I even know what that truth is.
But in the part that harbors the emotions, I’m paralyzed; it feels as if someone gave me a drug that literally stopped my emotions from moving, or something, because no part of the emotional system–which is scientifically called the Limbic region of the brain, believes I’m decent, or good, or worthwhile.
And if any psychologist working toward a Ph.D or Master’s Degree wants to study severe cognitive dissonance and its effects on a human subject, I’ll gladly submit myself as a solitary control group. I’ve never understood how to fuse the thinking part of my brain with the emotional part. I’ve tried so hard to do this and have had such little success at it–by which I mean I haven’t succeeded at all–that I’m almost beyond believing it’s even possible. I’m almost certain that I’ll have to ‘take what I can get’ and hope the rest arrives by osmosis. No sarcasm intended.
And how many people here FEEL like they’re worthwhile. I don’t mean that they believe it or think it, I mean deep down, in the part of the brain where emotions take control, I wonder how many people believe that they’re worthwhile and feel the thought.
I hope that makes sense. I’m trying to say I have two different systems and one is refusing to cooperate.
Those are my HONEST feelings, and I’m pretty sure (or maybe I feel it, IDK) but I’m concerned that people will either a) laugh at how I feel or b) tell me I’m too damn depressing for them to continue associating with me.
Those are the two reactions I’ve gotten most often when discussing how I feel. They call me Cassandra, the prophetess of doom, or they laugh at my emotions.
Or, in rare cases, they’ve considered me “weak” b/c I feel too much.



I feel the very same way you do.. honestly.. my brain part can rationalize stuff but the emotional and other side is so far behind and lacking I feel like i am in kindergarten on some levels of my life. I would gladly also be a volunteer for that study.. I literally have just written a version of what you are saying to my T.. I feel like there is a division in me. i can’t believe what my brain is telling me .. although am working on my some positive tallk to myself..

I just don’t understand that either.. i have been told so much bad stuff that i am trash, worthless and stupid and though I might see visually signs that its not true I still feel worthless and not important ..

I tell myself alot is lies but am still not believing it. I want to but I havent yet got there.



I get triggered a lot, too, when reading posts and especially, comments. I realize that many of my own comments may be triggering to others, and I am very sorry for that.

I always try to force myself to read every word of a post, and every word of every comment. I force myself to keep reading, even when a post makes me feel triggered. But I think that forcing myself to keep going when I’m feeling very triggered, may be counter-productive, because when I feel triggered, I sort of dissociate while I am reading. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I keep making myself read, and then I realize that I am reading the words, but I am not understanding the meanings of the sentences. It’s like I’m reading a list of words on a spelling test, words that have no relation to each other. When I catch myself doing that, sometimes I give up, and sometimes I try to read it again a couple of times until it makes sense. Sometimes I come back to it a few days later and try again.

Speaking of triggers, lately my startle reflex has been much worse. Now, when my husband walks into a room and says something and I didn’t hear him coming, instead of just jumping a foot into the air, like I have done for years, now I am also screaming! It’s really a pain and it’s embarrassing, too. I’m glad my husband understands and doesn’t take it personally when all he does is say something like, “Lynda,” and I come out with a little involuntary SCREAM!

But it’s upsetting to our sweet Australian Cattle Dog when that happens, she jumps up and tries to push Stan back with her front paws, like she is trying to protect me from him. I tell her that it’s ok, daddy is a good daddy, he isn’t going to hurt me. Then our Lady-dog looks at me like, “So why did you scream?” Try explaining a startle reflex to a dog!!

I don’t know why my startle reflex is so much worse now, it’s been this way ever since I found out about my mother’s latest long hate letter, and then, a few days later, my cousin drowned, the day after my cousin and I were talking on the phone about my mother and her letter.

I just feel so UNSAFE right now.

I’m very thankful for everyone here on EFB, for my new therapist, and for my husband.



I think that you are brave to do what you do . but I cannot force myself to read when I feel so triggered. .I feel overwhelmed if i force myself to do anything since force itself is a trigger in so many ways.. I was never given a choice.. so why force myself to do something that is painful..


Love what you have written; thank you for your courage and being so candid; I believe you will lead many to look at the truth of their personal histories and emerge triumphantly! Way to go!


When I said “the end” I didn’t literally mean the last line. What I am saying is that my blog posts all fit together as one single message. So if you skip parts of them, then you won’t get the message that I have intended to deliver. Oh course it is your choice, I was just giving my feedback.

I don’t know how long you have been in this process, but it does take time. Joy you have told me that you have been with a therapist only 3 months, so you are at the VERY beginning and I encourage you to be patient. It took me over a year to even realize how deep the lies went and in this blog I am exposing some of that stuff really bluntly, so it might be to harsh for some people or too much too fast. When I went through my process I was pretty much alone, (no one was writing this stuff so I wasn’t triggered the same way) so I don’t know the effects of having this type of writing as an addition to recovery.

I believe that everyone can heal and reclaim self worth. It might be just a matter of finding the right entry key, but I believe this works for all. I think that there are many factors that contribute to our breakthroughs and for each of us they may be different. I really hope you persevere. I am grateful every day for my persistence in all this work. It was a long haul, but it really paid off.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Clarissa
Welcome to emerging from broken.
Thank you for your lovely words and encouragement!
Hugs, Darlene



Want to clarify . the impatience is with me and towards me not on therapy or my T. . she is the best and its doing what it should .. am impatient and I would never give up .. i just wish . i would have known sooner that I would have sought help sooner. .. its all good. but if i would have sough help sooner instead of letting my life be ruled by lies maybe so many things wouldnt have happened..

I do believe everything happens when it should I am just upset with myself for not being strong enough to seek help . that i didnt do it before 2009 .. that I didnt have sense enough ..

I know its going to take time and I am not going to ask how long .. although some people are speaking years in groups i belong to..



I know hon. Don’t worry about anything here at my end. I felt that same impatience so I know where you are coming from. You didn’t let your life be ruined. YOu had nothing to do withthat. I sought help several times before I got good help and it had nothing to do with that i was not strong enough to seek help when I didn’t; I believe that I had given up. Some of us give up sooner then others. Things changed when I finally gave up being upset with myself all together. I hope that one day you will too!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene for understanding..

Sometimes i get what i want to say and what I actually write jumbled and i wouldnt want the wrong thing implied..I tell myself that but sometimes i forget to believe myself when i am telling myself that its not my fault..thank you for all our encouraging words . i so appreciate it.




If I go by what I feel (and know too), I’ve been in the process since the night I saw the woman who had abused her kids, killing all but one of them, who was trying to convince the police that “they deserved it” and that she was not in the least “bad for doing it.”
It was then that I KNEW the truth. I didn’t feel it but I knew it. It doesn’t really make sense, and I don’t completely understand it myself. But it feels like the emotional part is never going to come.
Incidentally that incident occurred in 1995, but I’d seen other people who had the same attitude as that woman did. It was a collection of abusive people who never once–or so they acted–thought they were wrong in any possible way for doing it. Some even openly blamed the child for what happened. I thought they were some kind of mutants acting that way, but it helped me see that my family is generally the same way. Making excuses, saying “He was sick, you’re a bad person for being intolerant of what a sick person does.” Referring to what our dad did, she blamed it on alcoholism and accused us of being heartless or soulless when nobody was more of either one of those things than SHE was. This was the person who threw me out of the house and made me sit in freezing winter weather w/out a coat, who banged my head into walls and who fried an egg while totally ignoring my crying from blood running down the walls.
But WERE the ones, according to her, who are ‘intolerant and just plain mean.’
If I had never seen the life squad incidents, I believe I still wouldn’t know it’s wrong to do it to me, personally. I ALWAYS thought it was wrong to do it to OTHER people. Something about the intensity of the scenes and their absolute disregard for anyone but their gd selves just hocked me off. Especially after seeing it 50,000 times over.
There really is way too many of these scenes (of child abuse and domestic abuse), and it’s plain to see that the people doing it expect to be treated just like ANY normal person. When they’re not.
I believe what happened to me is wrong, but I still don’t feel like it is, and that’s the part that gets hard to explain.
I’d like to someday FEEL like its wrong, but I’m concerned that day is never going to arrive.
I’d also like to know why reading certain posts creates pain in me while everyone else appears to feel hope and other types of positive feelings. Hardly anyone says that a post feels painful, which is why I thought it was wrong to say so in the first place. It GIVES me hope, but it feels painful too. But if nobody concentrates on the painful part, I assume I shouldn’t either.
Somebody I know told me to say how I REALLY feel; he never thinks I already DO say how I really feel. In fact, he told me he thinks I don’t. Well, in some cases he’s right, but it’s only b/c I thought we were supposed to be concentrating on the POSITIVE side of healing, not the painful one. And I’ve NEVER been a fan of being the only one who’s doing something while everyone else is doing something else.
That’s also related to abuse, but at least THAT abuse wasn’t physical. I’ve had all three: physical, mental and spiritual abuse. If I had to pick only one, I’d say I would rather be mentally abused than physically. That’s just my opinion, so I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.


Joy, I think your way is better, not forcing yourself when it is too painful. I need to be kinder to myself, I think.

I, too, am frustrated with the process… how long it took me to go for help, how long it took me to find GOOD help, and how long it’s taking me to heal. I like what Darlene said in comment #87: “Things changed when I finally gave up being upset with myself all together.”

That’s what I need to do, I am still beating myself up for inappropriately blowing up at someone on a facebook post because she didn’t express any empathy for my trauma that I had told in some detail, she kept playing the “devil’s advocate” as she called it, and I felt so triggered… this was about 2 and 1/2 weeks after my cousin drowned, and my Grief and Pain and Survivor’s Guilt was overwhelming me, and I just verbally BLASTED the poor woman. Now I feel SO ASHAMED. I don’t know how to stop being mad at myself. I NEVER want to HURT someone, verbally or otherwise, I NEVER want to be like my abusers!!

I am thankful that I have a good new therapist to help me work through this self-anger, and my inappropriate trauma-triggered rage.


I would say a lot more but, for some reason, I feel like it would be rude to be disrespectful about other people’s abusers, especially when said abuser is a parent of theirs. Like I could say a lot more about what I think about Lynda’s mom and her letter, but I’m afraid it would sound disrespectful of her mom, and I was raised to believe you don’t say ANYthing disrespectful about another person’s parents.
Especially since, most of the time, a small part of the person still has feelings for the parent however large or small or moderate-sized they be.
IDK Since I got in trouble, by opening my mouth on another site, I feel it would be best if I were frugal with my comments.
But for the record, I responded to his telling me to “shove it.” Just b/c I disagree with a book review and, AS USUAL, I wasn’t even freakin’ TALKING to him, so of course he just had to answer or die from keeping quiet; just b/c I disagree with him he feels it necessary to say “shove it.”
I won’t repeat what I said to him, but it’s the last thing I’m ever saying to him. I just wish I could have learned beFORE I made the mistake. Like he’s so not worth talking to it’s not even funny, but I caved in today.
I’m really tired of this online mental illness being played out on a daily basis. I mean who the hell gets that goddam upset at somebody they’ve 1) never met and 2) most likely never will meet. What the freakin’ hell is going on with people. I know I may be more upset b/c I’ve been up since 4 am, but I seriously believe adults should have a right to report abuse. Except, every time I’ve tried in the past, nobody listens b/c I’m an adult. So I guess with the privilege of being an adult comes the “right to suffer through shitloads of verbal GARBAGE.”
The way I feel now, I’d rather be a kid.
Sorry. End of rant. Sometimes getting it out DOES work.


Don’t feel too bad. I think you were just protecting yourself from another asault. When we’ve been abused, we don’t need anyone to play devil’s advocate. If people poke their fingers into a wound, they should expect some screaming.



Pam ~ wow. What you said: “If people poke their fingers into a wound, they should expect some screaming.” Well, OK, then! I like that.

Dear Vicki ~ I hear you loud and clear, and I’m SO in your corner, about the person who was so RUDE to you. People have such a low tolerance of other people having a different OPINION about something. Nations go to WAR over differing opinions. People KILL people just for having a different religion or political belief or sexual preference or whatever. It’s ridiculous.

Also, Vicki, I appreciate what you said about not wanting to be disrespectful in expressing your opinion of my mother. The thing is… *I* don’t even know, fully, what my opinion is of my mother. There is still a certain amount of what Darlene calls a “fog” in that area of my thinking. All I know for sure is that SOMETHING is RELLY WRONG with her. But what that something is, I don’t know. I also know I can’t fix it, and I can’t and won’t tolerate her continued abuse in my life, regardless of what her problem or excuse is for treating me the way she does.


Darlene; you had said:

“My emotional healing is not about my parents. It doesn’t matter how messed up they were by their own pasts, it is about the damage that was caused to me regardless of how messed up they were. My emotional healing is all about me and I finally believed that I deserved to have it. But first I had to realize that the beginning of emotional healing was about understanding what happened TO ME.”

Absolutely! When I finally began to find the light part of it was because I’d made the shift from first focussing on my hatred of those who had hurt me to minimizing and denying what they had done to me to finally being able to focus on the reality of what had happened to me, what I had lost, what had been taken and what I will never have because of what was done to me. It was about feeling the feelings and expressing the anger at being violated, the tears at the losses and grief and finally being able to make sense out of what makes no sense. It was in learning to feel my feelings and go through the full range of emotions that I found freedom. Trying to put bandaids on and cope with “symptoms” only made it worse as the wound festered and poisoned me from the inside out. It was in facing my reality and having it validated as worthy of being recognized by another that I found freedom from the prison that had was my mind.

Once again – I am eternally grateful for this space and community.



SusanKS!!! WOW!!! THAT’S IT ~ that’s my answer to what I need to do about the multiple abuses my mother has done to me… starting from my earliest childhood memories, to the latest hate letter, this one 62 pages long, that she sent to me, and a copy to my aunt, a few weeks ago.

I have been ATTACKED, I have been viciously HURT, I have been treated with CONTEMPT and HATE, all my life, by my mother, when I should have been treated with LOVE and RESPECT. What I need to do isn’t about HER, what’s WRONG with her, does she not KNOW any better, is there something fundamental that’s missing in her head or her heart or her soul or her metabolism, or WHATEVER…. I need to stop worrying about whether my response to my mother’s latest, and lifetime, of attacks, is hurtful or hateful or non-Christian or whatever. I need to do what you said, Susan. You said:

” When I finally began to find the light part of it was because I’d made the shift from first focussing on my hatred of those who had hurt me to minimizing and denying what they had done to me to finally being able to focus on the reality of what had happened to me, what I had lost, what had been taken and what I will never have because of what was done to me. It was about feeling the feelings and expressing the anger at being violated, the tears at the losses and grief and finally being able to make sense out of what makes no sense. It was in learning to feel my feelings and go through the full range of emotions that I found freedom. Trying to put bandaids on and cope with “symptoms” only made it worse as the wound festered and poisoned me from the inside out. It was in facing my reality and having it validated as worthy of being recognized by another that I found freedom from the prison that had was my mind.”

This, most of all: “It was about feeling the feelings and expressing the anger at being violated……”

I see it now. I SEE it!!!!!!!!

WOW I love you Susan.



ANGER…. all my life I have feared ANGER. I have been afraid of other people’s anger, and I have been afraid of my own anger.

I’ve said it before, but in all the pain of this new abuse by my mother, I have forgotten it: ANGER, like PAIN, is a God-given sign that something is WRONG and needs to be corrected.

I’ve been in PAIN, for years, over my mother’s abuses. I’ve been ANGRY, for years, over my mother’s abuses. I am in PAIN because my mother has hurt me all of my life, and she continues to hurt me. I am ANGRY because my basic, inherent, human RIGHTS have been violated by my mother all of my life, and she is continuing to violate my rights to this day.

I need to STAND UP, SPEAK UP, and STOP my mother’s violation and abuse of me, and I need to do it NOW.

For ME, not for her~


YAY. This really is the process. We have to go through all that rough stuff, all the sharing and working it out and going back and forth in order to get that kind of clarity that you are sharing today. When I look back on my life, I realize that I was SO totally brainwashed that it is no wonder it took me a few years to come back to the truth and to see things clearly. The way that I was rasied was wrong. I was taught to feel guilty for any emotions including anger at anyone even if it was justified anger. And we learn to FEAR anger in all forms becasue of the ways that we have paid for anger. (both our own anger and the anger of others)
These comments from you are amazing today!
Hugs, Darlene


@Lynda happy for you! I did it when I was 28 I am 48 now. Once I did it I cant tell you how many things fell together into my life relationships and friendships and ministry and carer and on and on. I still have huge challenges but I know there is no legal or spiritual requirement of me to put up with any form of abuse ever so I dont. I think once I realized that it all clicked. Also my brother who was the first to sexually abuse me raped and broke his 2 year old daughters legs that made me realize I needed to speak up. Once you do you will find even more freedom I believe ! I am really happy for you!


WOW~ SusanKS, Darlene, and Pinky,
Since I posted my last comment #96, I finally started writing my long overdue letter to my mother! I’ve been trying to write it for months, and I thought I was almost ready to start, when her latest unprovoked hate letter of 62 pages came a few weeks ago… and even tho my loving husband protected me from reading it, I felt so horribly emotionally BLUDGEONED by my mother, all over again. But now, today, I logged on and read Susan’s comment, and it all just CLICKED, and I am now up to the top of page 4 on my divorce letter to my mother.

Wow… already I can feel the weights lifting.

Going to take a break now, and get some lunch.




That is really great Lynda!
Thanks for the update! I am going at breakneck speed writing a blog post about confronting my own mother. (I hope to publish it wednesday!)


Darlene ~ post #97 – my thoughts exactly … I too feel as though I was ‘brainwashed’ … my mother used guilt to manipulate, but also taught me that its not okay to be angry, like you, even if it was justified. I’m learning that this has no truth to it. It’s okay to have righteous anger and express it in a constructive way.

Lynda – confessing truth of any kind sets us free – like Pinky said. I confronted my mother (via letter because it was safest) several times and I never got a response or an explanation and certainly not an apology!! I’m done writing her – I’ve confronted her about it, but in her head she’s done nothing wrong to me and so I choose to never have a relationship with her again. I have since ‘given’ her to the Lord to deal with – I am finally so done with her and my family who has obviously sided with her.


Well, since a few comments have been about mothers, I just got an official second opinion of the beating our heads against walls being linked to possible seizure activity. Now I have two medical reports that corroborate my statement that she banged our heads against walls, or at least mine [but she did to Kathy, Cindy and Tom too.]
It may not matter to anybody else that I have physical proof and two medical doctors’ opinions of the matter but it does to me b/c David, my brother who thinks both our parents’ assholes are lined with pure morality, told me I was lying about it. I had no doctors opinions when I mentioned it, just scars that he insisted came about through some other means.
But every last one of them insist on calling us the names we were given by the same mother who only through luck didn’t kill some of us.
Yeah, that’s right. B/c she’s such a victim that they have to deMAND that we use the names she gave us.
If it didn’t annoy me so much it would make me vastly physically sick. It thoroughly disgusts the hell out of me. Being party to all their stupid gd games.
Well, even if I’m not a party to it, I will be, b/c they call me the name SHE gave me whether I like it or not. And, if that doesn’t prove they never loved me at all, nothing will.
That’s how I feel today.


@Vicky, I am sorry for your pain and thanks for sharing. I can totally relate to the medical proof part. My doctor found out kind of by accident that I have proof all these years later that i was raped and after being called a liar so many years now I have medical proof that I was raped. Though I have no contact at all with my abusers or family at all I have to deal with them from time to time on a legal level ,long story they insinuated themselves into my life legally.
So now I can take this proof to court! I know the way you feel about this!


Healing means looking at the past and seeing the patterns and the lies that you believed about yourself and changing those beliefs. It means learning to love yourself and to know that you have value just because you exist. Your true value comes from inside yourself, not from others as we believe in childhood. Acknowledging that some patterns of behavior are no longer helpful and letting them go is important to healing. As Darlene has said many times, our healing isn’t about our parents. Healing is about us. As a child, I wasn’t responsible for my abuse. As an adult, I have a responsibility to change the beliefs that kept me trapped in the abuse and to change patterns of behavior that I am allowing to continue to hurt me or other people.

When I am upset with someone, I look to see what about me is reacting. Is it a childhood pattern? Is it a childhood fear? Am I being abused again? Does the person intend to hurt me? Am I understanding and seeing the whole picture. Am I overreacting? I can only change my part if I am aware of it. All of this comes from the process of changing my belief system about who I am. I am not the lies about me by my abusers.


Hi Patricia,
Really great comments! Thank you for sharing the way you look at it, the way that you process being upset. I ask myself some very similar questions too.
Hugs, Darlene


OH MY GOSH,… I DID IT! I wrote the WHOLE letter! I said everything that I needed to say to my mother, everything I needed to say, FOR ME, for my own well-being. I wrote and I rewrote and I wrote some more, for HOURS, after reading Susan’s awesome comment #94, which gave me the KEY that finally UNLOCKED my many months of Writer’s Block.

I thought that once I finally got going, it would take me days, weeks, and maybe months, to write everything that’s been bottled up inside me for most of my 58 years. I thought that my answer to my mother’s recent 62-page hate letter, and to her other book-long hate letters that she has sent me, UNprovoked, over the years, would fill at least 100 pages…

BUT ~ GUESS WHAT?! Not only have I finished the letter in less than one day ~ when I wrote my final draft in my word program using regular Times Roman size 12 font, my letter to my mother that says every single thing I feel I really need to say, FOR MY INNER HEALING and PEACE OF MIND, came to only: 2 and 1/3 pages!! WOW!

I then increased the font size to 14, to make it easier for older eyes to read, and now my letter is exactly 3 pages long. And that’s it. That’s all. Three pages of enlarged print, and I am finally DONE.

I feel as stunned and relieved as I did when I reached “The End” of the first novel I wrote. I mean, I am DONE. THE END. HALLELUIA!

Susan and Darlene and Pinky and Risé and Vicki and Patricia and Pam and Joy and EVERYBODY who reads and comments on Emerging From Broken:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! (((((BIG-HUGS)))))

Lynda ~ waaaaay OUT of the CrAzY Closet!!


PS~ I thought I had to write about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G that my mother had ever said or done or failed to do, that HURT me. To write every single thing, WOULD have filled it at LEAST 100 pages. To remember, and laboriously spell out, in detail, EVERY ABUSE, would most certainly have taken me many HARD MONTHS to write.

But what I found out, once I started writing, was that I don’t NEED to spell out EVERYTHING. All I needed to do, was write ENOUGH. I wrote ENOUGH.

I’m so psyched~ I feel like a TEN TONS have been lifted off my back.


YAY for enough!


Lynda! I rejoice with you, girl! Emancipation tastes sweet doesn’t it?! It’s amazing how just writing can do that … even when I wrote the letter to my family last summer – granted it was about 16 pages – but the freedom that came from that is INDESCRIBABLE!! I didn’t realize how much in bondage I was until I confronted my family in a letter, taking the risk of being rejected. And now, I can live in freedom because truth was revealed. Great big fat HUGS to you, Lynda!


wow what a discussion,
vicki, i have found that i have the same problem you have, connecting the intellectual to the emotional sides of my being. this is because i though if i could understanf why and how it happened, that logically i would be healed, didquite work that way.
i was 17 when i fisrt started to realise my chhildhood was different to others, and i am now 43 and stil in the healing process. i have dealt with smaller issues as they became crisises and yet still find i cannot join the dots to make me whole.
healing is a long road for some people and a short one for others, it usually depends on how easy it is to change how you think and behave. for rme my coping skills kept me going around in circles. knowing what i wanted to do but not being able to se how it got done in reality, and i still struggle with this. probably i will have some kind of struggle my whole life as new memories rise to the surface as the old ones lose their weight and pain.


This is great news! I am so happy for you! I totally understand the liberation you feel and I too didn’t need to say “everything” just enough. I am publishing a blog post tomorrow about my own exp. of drawing a verbal boundary with my mother. I only mentioned 3 things, (and none of it was about the past, just the present) but it was enough for me to realize that I had VALIDATED ME. I stood up for me. I did for myself what she never did. If my mother sent me a letter like your mother did, I would have more to say; I would like to say a few things about the past, but for now it is enough.
Thank you for sharing your amazing victory with us!
Hugs, Darlene


@Lynda, I am so very happy for you! It is an accomplishment for us tall too in the sense of all of us being survivors. I am so glad you were able to do it while she is still alive!
You write so well that I knew it would flow once you made up your mind! Doing the happy dance! I also posted your quote on both of my pages!


Lynda~ Yay to the letter. Yay for you feeling lighter!

Thank you to Susan KS- your post was helpful to me.



yeah, I got one together for my dad last night, don’t know if I’ll write or send:

Dear Dad,
Remember that junior high friend you wouldn’t allow me to have anymore because she used profanity? So the only friends I could have from that point on were church friends and church activities, where the real idol God talk happened…church college, a real hiding ground for abuse, and after twenty years of marriage to one of these Christian graduates, and marriage to the “church” and to your admonitions, dad, to not get divorced, to stay and do what’s best for the children, and to not worry about his spending, just be a godly wife (PEEEEEUUUUUKKKEE) you, my dad, tell me that I have to admit MY part in staying with the ex for so long and going along with his spending problems, etc,…and when my old friend from junior high heard about my ex-husband after all these years, she says, “random game player..” SO quick to point it out and so accurate, but because I was hiding in the church, for MANY years, had NOBODY that could give me that kind of feedback. You know, dad, it would have been a whole lot better for me if you would have said that you prefer I don’t use profanity, and asked me what I liked about this girl in junior high, and I could have told you…but you didn’t ask, and I could have stayed friends with her, a stronger person, and we both could have benefitted, and our families would have benefitted, but no, because she was a catholic, and not a protestant, it was all too easy to just write her off…


my mother and i swapped letters about 15yrs ago, and it resulted in me not speaking ot her for 5 years. we started speaking and got on fine at first, but over the years the old emotional abuse and controlling ways started to surface. unfortunately fo rher i had grown beyond her total control and did not allow her to get away with her comments and actions, pointing out calmly and not so calmly that i was an adult and as such ahd the right to live my life how i want and not as she wants. i mean, look at the success you made of that mother. ooo she didnt like the truth as i now see it. she surely didnt like my accusation that she was more like her own mother than she realised, but that was met with disbelief because she had lent us kids money. mmm i really did not know what to say to that one, but i found my voice very quickily to tell her that if i was a total stranger i would get more respect and support than i do as her daughter, just like her mother had done to us. her inability to love 3 children equally and consistently has put all of us through the mangle many a time, yet we always went back. now i choose not to see her, i communicate so that my child can carry one her relationship, which is not as bad as mine, and be polite if i run into to her by accident. just like i would a stranger. i still get the gut wrenching spasms when i run into her and i hope that jolt will fade but as long as it is there it is better for us to be strangers rather than parent-child.



Fabulous points….no one could say it any better!!! Facing the truth is truly the road less traveled in my family of origin….it is so difficult to be one of only two people who are fighting to make it out of the dysfunction. It is like being the captain of a ship without ever having one sailing lesson…sometimes very lonely and sometimes very rewarding….hugs…


Kate ~ So heartbreaking and sad … just because we are not of the same faith as our friends doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. There are a good many moral non-Christians out there.

Carol – I know what you mean about that gut-wrench thing … I get that severely even still, after 11 years of my mother not being in my life, and I get it at just the thought of being is the same room as her or the idea of running into her! I have cut off all contact with her and I don’t let my children have relationship with her. I told my kids that when they get to be 18 years of age and have a dire need to meet her, that is up to them (18 is legal age in Alberta) – but before they’re 18 years of age, it is my responsibility to protect my kids from people like her. I just couldn’t run the risk of my kids being poisoned by her toxicity! 🙂



You wrote:
“she had lent us kids money. mmm i really did not know what to say to that one, but i found my voice very quickily to tell her that if i was a total stranger,i would get more respect and support than i do as her daughter”

YES, for me, this was a long, drawn out painful lesson of having to LIVE with my parents AND my four kids in the parents’ home, and you want to see entitlement based on money, LOUD and CLEAR!!!!!

And that they would treat you better if you were a stranger, no truer thing has ever been said! I saw more examples of hypocrisy during that time, that just stopped me cold, including my own father daring to demand that I clean a mirror (no big deal, especially if he asked in a normal way) on the SABBATH DAY, and no, we are not Jews. We are the right kind of Christians (they are) that REST on SUNDAY. In all my life, I was never allowed to do much more than breathe on the SABBATTH day, let alone clean a mirror.


[…] My motive for any type of confrontation is for self healing. MINE. But there was a lot of fear. I had to really look at why I was afraid to hurt their feelings and I had to figure out why I was afraid to say anything. Did I feel the need to protect “them”?  Why was I so concerned with the reactions of everyone else? […]


Hi Everyone,
I just published the new post about confroting the abuser and the feelings and fears that go with doing or not doing that

You can read it here ~ To confront or Not to Confront; that is the question

Hugs, Darlene


Thanks, everyone, for all the kind feedback!

Darlene, in comment #111, you said: “If my mother sent me a letter like your mother did, I would have more to say; I would like to say a few things about the past, but for now it is enough.”

I just read that comment of yours a few minutes ago, and it confirmed what I had already decided, after setting the letter to my mother aside for a couple of days, and giving myself time to think about it. Although I do feel that the 2 – 3 pages I have already written, is perfectly adequate for setting my new healthy boundaries with my mother, I have also decided to write some more about the past, mainly for the purpose of my inner healing. I’ve made notes on the things I want to add, and I expect I will probably end up doubling or tripling the number of pages I’ve already written.

That’s still very minimal, though, compared to the 62 pages my mother sent me, on top of the other insanely long hate letters she has sent me in the past! Even with the extra writing I’ve decided to do, I still feel very good, because now I know that I’m DON’T have to laboriously slave away for months on end, writing 50 or 100 pages or more, going into excruciating detail about every single instance of abuse and neglect. I will write just enough detail about the past, to make it abundantly clear WHY I an now setting my new boundaries. I am also going to point out how utterly ridiculous it is that my mother has sent me so many unprovoked crazy long hate letters over the years, condemning me for the most idiotic, petty misdeeds and misunderstandings, stupid things that most normal people would give you the benefit of the doubt about, but not my mother, she ALWAYS without fail, jumped to the conclusion that I was at fault in every misunderstanding, she ALWAYS without fail, assumed that I had the worst possible motives for everything I ever did or said. I mean she has manufactured things out of the thin air, all based on her lifelong belief that she can Read My Mind, and know that my intentions of my heart are always evil, no matter what kind and caring thing I do or say, she twists it until it’s something horrible.

It’s all so ludicrous, when the things that my mothere has done wrong to me have been thousands of times worse, than my worst fault or wrong against her! It’s like a convicted murderer, condemning someone to hell for talking with their mouth full. Like it says in the Bible that my mother loves to beat people over the head with, she has a BEAM in her eye, but she ignores that, and makes a huge deal out of a tiny speck, in my eye.



Writing letters to our abusers and confronting them with what they did to us is very healing and empowering. Taking our power back implies that we once had power over our lives. As abuse survivors, in particular, incest survivors, they often never had any power over their bodies or their minds when they were children. Many were told what to think, what to eat, what to do and were forced to be sexual beings long before sexual behavior was wanted or was appropriate. So anything that empowers a survivor helps them to heal.


And thank you Darlene your blog is exactly what we need.
Can’t find any ” happy things to say ” but I’m sure my parents n other abusers could say oh ” what bad have I done to deserve a daughter like you” soooo ur saying I’m a punishment, even though I am trying to be Perfect “everything”

Do people even know that for the first time in 38 yrs because of being able to express the “so call negative” here I have come to realize it all wasn’t my fault I’m not BAD—
I can finally get up n not clean my house for hours or not hurt my own body:::
Even comb my hair like I want.. Hope only came in expressing the negative which in turn gives us back so much “positive” and I am learning that I have the right to keep the “positive” only for my son and me!!
I don’t have to entertain the world no more “crazy Jojo the clown”
Move on to another blog if you don’t like this one —– OMG I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO SAY THAT LOL
IF U DON’T LIKE IT U DONT HAVE TO BE AROUND ME wow that felt good lol..
Thank U Darlene u are blessing , thank you for understanding! 🙂


Love your comments! Thanks for posting!
Hugs! Darlene


[…] So although understanding what is wrong with the abusive person in your life may be valuable information and it may even feel like winning the lottery, it is not the answer to healing from the damage. The real freedom and recovery happens when we begin to validate the hurt that was caused. […]


Hi Linda,

I’m so revolted about your mother attitude. It’s so so so unfair and disgusting. I am relieved that the rest of your family was outraged by your mother’s letter and there are right.

I was raised by the same lies too and I also have a huge self inner anger.

I am happy you have found a good therapist.



Sorry Lynda I didn’t see that the events took place a year before. So i hope I won’t remind you bad memories.

Beverly Berzins
July 9th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Darlene your posts are truthful and helpful and I am grateful for the time you have taken to put this information together and share with others like me. thankyou


Hi Beverly
Thanks!! I appreciate your comments.
Hugs, Darlene


So many of the post conversations are revived by new comments all the time because they are found in search engines. It is fine to make a comment about a comment no matter how old it is.
Hugs, Darlene


YES …..Darlene!! I feel this PRECIOUS place of shearing that you have created it is so PRECIOUS for me and i think for all of us , because finally we can become confident and trustfull, speaking thins that we could never speak in our childhood and also in our adult life!!! I also don’ t manage to care of the past of my mother or of my cousine ( THE ABUSER) , but i am omly able now , meanwhile i am processing so many devastating negative emotions in relation with my mother, I am only able to look egoistic the DEMAGES that their NOT CARING has left in me !!!! FORGIVINESS i don’ t want to exlude that maybe i shall arrive there, but just now I don’t manage neither to hear this word …..I become FURIOUS…..and inside me sounds like that now that finally i give myself the PERMISSION the look at the TRUTH….again the others ask me to look at the OTHERS and on top to forgive them!!!!It sounds so ABSURD !!! But maybe one day i shall arrive first to forgive myself and the ones who have harmed me !!! LOVE AND LIGHT ! Roshani


This was a very enlightening post.

The most challenging and scary part for me has been that I learned to think that I was bad and went around making that very argument in my mind, while I tried to be good.

It is a thought pattern that was provided to me that I then perpetuated on my own – quite well, I might add. So it’s very frustrating to know that I contributed to that same notion.

The good news is that it is learned and therefore can be unlearned.


Hi Patrick
Welcome to emerging from broken
This is what this whole website is about. It is about HOW we learned to think and react in these ways and how we can un-learn it. (sounds easy.. but not so!)
Hugs, Darlene


[…] the Truth as beginning with making a commitment to question everything she learned and experienced (especially in her Child History) with the assumption that many of her ingrained beliefs were based on False Truths. […]


Someone already made this comment on another of your posts: “It’s not love. It’s just a reward because you played ball they way they wanted you to.”


I have the opposite problem of zoning out. I have vivid recollections. My father tried to argue about my recalling him having a 1960’s red truck, he said no I didn’t we argued for a few minutes. I went and got the picture of us with that red truck. He said you were 3 years old and we only had it 2 weeks. Yes but you still had a red truck. I remember every time my mother told me “I made her ____”, I remember every slap, kick in the back with her cowboy boots, I remember hoping over the front chain link fence to get away from her wrath every time she had a bad day. I remember every time I was called a little bitch.

I remember vividly lining up my stuffed animals on the outside of my bed so I could feel my cousin sneak in to my bed to molest me, I remember the first time it occurred when we were camping at Glacier National Park. I kept proof of his sick obsession over me from letters he wrote me from jail when I was a teenager.

My mom had 13 strokes in 5 years, when she got sick she apologized for all the harm she’d done and asked for guidance on how to make amends. I remember the gratitude I felt. When she passed away I remember thinking 3 months later when he was on his first date xmas eve that my dad had looked after her entire 5 years he deserved love and happiness.

When he remarried 10 months later I remember seeing him beaming and thinking how nice it was that my grandmother finally got to attend her son’s wedding (my parents eloped). Over the next 10 years he didn’t phone every other week anymore I wasn’t allowed to pop over yet he would complain I didn’t visit often enough. I wasn’t allowed to throw him a retirement dinner. In 2001 when I announced my engagement to my husband, his wife stood up after I said we would like to do a pot-luck reception put her hands on her hips and said ” I assume you’d like your dad to attend, well if you do that I’ll take him out camping tie him to a tree and he won’t be allowed to attend!! You will be disgracing your dad in front of everyone” I was speechless (and unbeknownst to me also pregnant)I tried to compose myself, but couldn’t calm down. My husband and Dad didn’t say a word they just let her rant. I came back from the bathroom and told my husband I needed to leave. My dad walked us out to the car and offered to pay for the catering if I did it her way. I said but I just want a simple JP wedding not a big fancy affair. He replied “well just consider it YOU can do things inexpensively” I did the wedding her way, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter after I put down all the deposits and my dad had paid for the caterer. He said “oh I guess you’ll have to postpone” No it’s not 1950, my daughter is 1 1/2 years old being pregnant with my 2nd child isn’t a shot gun wedding we’re not loosing deposits and I’m going ahead. He told me how ashamed my deceased grandmother was of me. I asked “why I was the only grandchild who went to visit her, did her spring clean every year even when I lived in another province. Why on earth would you say that?” During the entire day his wife was moody, sullen and impatient. I had to use the washroom, my bridesmaids helped me get dress over the toilet and left me in the stall. My dad’s wife came in to washroom and told my female cousin “This is the worst day of my life”. She got drunk at the reception and I remember thinking maybe she’ll leave now I’m pregnant and hot and just don’t need this shit! At the gift opening she was to hungover to attend my dad told me she had taken off her wedding rings this morning and put them on his dresser. I told him what I overheard her saying that my wedding day was the worst day of her life, how is that when I did what she wanted and now I can’t afford a honeymoon because I caved to her demands. I remember thinking if she hurts my dad……. I was never allowed to talk to her about her behavior.

In 2011 after my daughters and I were involved in a rollover accident, my boss fired me because I was unable to work because of injuries from the accident, my father-in -law had a heart attack. I went to see my dad because he had just returned from a 2 month vacation seeing her golden son who moved to Kelowna in 2009. She was behaving the same way she acted on my wedding day. She opened front door seen me grabbed her smokes and marched to her bedroom. You could cut the tension with a knife, my dad asked how things were going I told him what we’d just been through. I decided to cut visit short and head up early to the hospital to see my father-in-law, half way down the street I decided to drop my daughters off at other family members house and call to go back, put my big girl panties and have that discussion. My dad’s wife answered the phone and layed into me, this time I layed back into her. She wrote me a vile letter disowning my daughters and I, put it in an envelope with a pretty blue bird on it and mailed it to my home. My daughters regularly got the mail from the box saw the letter and read it before me. I wrote her a letter in response, telling her everything I held in for 20 years. According to my dad I involved my daughters in this fight.

I idolized my dad my entire life so I tried counseling with my dad, he refused to go after 1st session because I was lying that my mom abused me, that it was my choice to be an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend. I was lying about my cousin molested me, because I went to Kelowna with a female cousin for his anniversary party, that means you put the girls at risk. I replied “She knows he molested me, I went so I could see could see a dear friend who was dying of cancer. I would not stay at his house I made female cousin pay half a for a motel room, and I hovered over my daughters the entire 1 1/2 days. I remember thinking why do I have to justify myself. He told me I’m so ashamed of you and your not my daughter anymore. My grandma had a grandchildren’s picture board I had inherited, I took it to the cemetery where she was buried and had a funeral for my dad, eulogy and all. My husband wouldn’t attend. I remember wondering why I didn’t deserve the support I’ve always given him.

My female cousin found out I disclosed her brother molested me and I was in counselling. She text me demanding I “stop counselling, the statue of limitations has run out, my mom will protect him”. When she messaged my oldest daughter disowning us because your mom is crazy. I went to the police, they read her text and started an investigation on her brother and told me to get a restraining order. I applied and received a 1 year order when I reapplied I was denied a 2nd order, my husband didn’t want to support me by missing work to attend court. I remember wondering why the court and my husband didn’t want to protect and support my daughters and I.

Lately I have been the support for my daughters with health issues and counselling to deal with loosing all of their extended family except my in-laws. My husband and I live together and I no longer expect support from him or my dad, I have built my support from friends, communities such as this, counselling, beginning the process of being a foster mom for dogs. I remember thinking the other day it’s not my fault I was broken, but I’m grateful I made the choice to learn new skills so I can finally find unconditional love instead of just giving it and peace of mind knowing I didn’t break my daughters. I have hugged the little girl inside and told her we will be ok.

Mom was right I am a



While I am sad that so many have experienced the same past and ongoing suffering as myself, I am happy to not feel so alone in mine anymore.

It’s funny how now that I’m older and have learned how to stand up for myself by calling them out on their crap, that it makes them mad at Me because they are in the wrong and I won’t stand for it anymore. Distancing myself from them, a divorce, therapy, and this blog are the best (and the only) things I have ever done for Me, and Me alone. I now have a solid support system in place for when some of them still get to me and I start going into a tailspin.

Calling them on their crap was hard at first but gets progressively empowering and easier each time I do it. And did I mention it’s kind of fun now to watch their looks of confusion at my standing up for myself? ?


Thank u for this post. My mum is a chronic alcoholic and a narsasist she was also 8 weeks ago diagnosed with cancer. I am in recovery myself from alcoholism I am 4 years sober. I have had to dettach completely with her . I am due to start thearpy at the end of this month. I am finally ready to begin the healing process from my childhood. My dad was also an alcoholic who passed away last year he was 14 years sober. I suffer chronic shame attacks , my self esteem /worth is very low . My mother was emotionally mentally and physically abusive to me so was my father when I was younger. I am now 43 and I have to come to a point in my life where I need healing from this. The guilt I’m feeling now I have detached is crippling. But I know today I don’t have to keep putting up with the distigusting verbal abuse I was getting from her she can not physically abuse me anymore with the wooden spoon as she did when I was a child . My mother makes everything about her she is so self obsessed / centred she thinks the whole world revolves around her. Her cancer is complicated and I’m constantly questioning myself I’m full of self doubt i have been all my life and asking myself am I doing the right thing. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with her but I pray everyday for her. I just can’t go on with being sucked in to all local the dysfunction anymore. I’m also a codependent and I’m aware I have alot of changes to make with my behaviours and the first is trying to give myself self care and looking after me which I find hard but I have am ready to heal . I’m full of fear about therapy because I know I have to look at the past but I so want to feel some peace in myself. I hope dettaching from my mum is the right thing to do …..


Welcome to the new people on this post!
Thank you all for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


This post describes exactly what I needed to do to finally start to heal. I have been reading this blog for four years now,b before that, I spent decades, yes, decades trying to figure out what was wrong with ME that caused people to treat me like I wasn’t important, didn’t matter, as well as why they put me down, calked me names and used me to do things for them. Darlene, you opened the door for me to start looking at my past and I realized that I was never valued as a child, I was treated like I was a burden, my needs, even basic ones like being bathed or having clean clothes were unimportant to my mother. Girls were particularly low on the totem pole and I was at the bottom of the family pecking order because I was the only daughter. So the damage was that I grew up feeling very insecure, inferior for being a female, I believed that my needs didn’t matter and that I better stay as quiet as possible not to be a burden. I also felt that I had to comply with chores as well as staying out if my mother’s way or making sure that HER needs were met. I guess it was the joy hope that she would approve of me, but it didn’t work. One hard truth was that she was not going to approve of me no matter what I did. She would just temporarily throw in scraps of approval when I complied and I’m sure this was to keep it going. I no longer look at ” what is wrong with me”. Look more at how I was shaped to become the people pleasing, compliant person pushing my needs out of the picture. And I finally realize that I deserve better than that. I deserve love, I deserve to have my needs met, I deserve to be able yo express my feelings and opinions. I have come far in four years, but there is still more work to be done. I still get that fear sometimes that if I say NO something terrible will happen. But I’ve been doing it more and more anyway. I have friends that are upset right now because we said no to dog sitting because our own plans. There was a time I probably would have even changed plans to keep the friendship, but I would have been full of resentment. Now I say my needs are important too. A sibling is upset with me because I was not available for him to stay over when he wanted yo come in. Again, why should I be the one to have to shuffle my schedule around to accommodate someone else who has the capability of making alternate plans? My needs matter, and the lie a I was brought up with that they don’t matter but other peoples’ do was one of the biggest ones I had to reverse. Thanks once again for your wonderful blog Darlene. It has been a life changer.

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