The Reason People don’t Hear what You are Trying to Say

Facebook91k
Twitter4.6k
Youtube
LinkedIn26
Freedom on the other side
freedom on the other side….

It is very common that when the lights go on and we start to come out of ‘the fog’ that we realize we have been living in for a long time, we are excited to tell others what we are discovering and it is frustrating when they react as though we are crazy.  You know that look; the look that says “WHAT the HECK? You must be Nuts”

Sometimes people try to talk us out of what we are discovering before we are even finished talking about it. Even worse is when people refuse to listen at all as if to say that if they can’t ‘shut us down’ they will simply block us out. This type of reaction is defining in the way that it sent me the message that I was not worth listening to, or that I ‘was crazy’ or out of my mind, ridiculous, exaggerating etcetera. It was dismissive. The bottom line with these types of reactions is that I had been discounted, devalued, not permitted to have any impact and very much what exactly what I have been used to living with for so long, so the automatic response is NOT to fight to have a  voice, it was to question myself again.   

It’s typical for a survivor of any type of abuse to try and understand “why” these people do not want to ‘hear them’ and it is also typical to conclude that the person on the receiving end of our story is rejecting our story because they don’t understand it, have never been a victim of any type of abuse, neglect or devaluing/discounting treatment and don’t relate to it in any personal way.  

But this is usually NOT why the receiver of the information we so desperately want to discuss, will reject our discoveries. It is far more common that the receiver of this information is way too familiar with it themselves and would rather not face it in their own lives. Think of it this way; if you are in denial, there is no action needed but if you come out of denial usually there are a few decisions to make.

At the beginning of my process of emotional healing, after almost 20 years of searching for the answers and finding only Band-Aids when I needed surgery and stitches, I attended a 3 day seminar about the misuse of power and control in relationships put on by the new therapist I was seeing at the time. The lights started to go on about the second day. I started to pick up on a few things about my mother and about my father in law that offered some clarity into the struggle that I had in relationship with those particular two people. My father in law was more overt in his relational style than my mother so it was easier to see his style of controlling my husband and me, then it was for me to see my mother’s more covert style of controlling me.

 That night I came home and burst into the house excitedly telling my husband Jim that his father was an abuser! I stated something like “I know what is wrong in our lives…YOUR father is an abuser!” My husband looked shocked and then he started to look angry. I started to explain what I was learning about how people misuse their power to overpower others and my husband Jim was looking at me like I was nuts! This was HIS father; I mean Jim should have known better than anyone about how his own father ran the show, and how relationship with him was a one way street but none the less he tried to shut me up.

I was excited! I had this feeling that I had found the answer to something extremely important, and I wanted to share it with my husband but he was not hearing me! He didn’t want to hear me. He couldn’t hear me. And the truth is that he was terrified to hear me.

Through attending this seminar about the misuse of power and control in relationship, I was just beginning to comprehend that the “problem” wasn’t actually ME and that glimmer of hope was beyond any hope I had had for years, but Jim was afraid to hear that in case the problem was HIM. And since he believed that his father was his “life’s blood” he could not possibly endure to visit the idea that the problem might be his father either.

Suddenly, Jim wasn’t very happy that I was attending this seminar.

And I was really disappointed. Here I thought that he would be excited to find out that I was discovering a new definition of relationship. That I was learning what LOVE really was and what it wasn’t; that I was learning how controlling abusive people believe that they are the most important person in the relationship and that they keep their victims believing that trash so that they don’t have to operate from the healthy relationship style of equal value, that I thought he would feel like I felt; like I was on a new road to understanding and to healthier relationship and that this road would lead to a happier place for us! And he shut me out.

I had lived with expressions my whole life and I had never thought about them in relation to what they meant. Expressions like “it’s my way or the highway” and “if you don’t like it, tough”. I accepted a social pecking order because it was all I knew.  Learning about the misuse of power in dysfunctional relationships, now that was new and it fit with so much of my history with both my family and my husband’s family.

Something clicked into place for me that weekend but getting Jim on board was a whole other story! He had to overcome his fear of facing the truth about his father way before he accepted what I had discovered about his father. He was terrified to ‘see’ his father through that grid of understanding.  He falsely believed just as I always had that it was far easier to go along with the way that things had always been than to see the truth and advocate for changes in our relationships with our families.

I persisted in learning about the true definition of love and in my discovery of what healthy relationship was and eventually I realized that even my marriage to Jim was not based on mutual respect or equal value. That was when I realized that if Jim saw his father as controlling and demanding, he would have to see that in himself too. That was not something he was willing to do right away; he liked things the way they were and he had no motivation to change. But I was no longer willing to live in the dysfunction. 

Eventually, Jim had to get some help if he wanted to save our marriage. And it was interesting (and frustrating to me at the time) but the way that Jim was finally able to hear me, was to face the dysfunctional father son relationship that he had with his father. He had to see how controlling and manipulative that his father was with him. He had to see the truth about how one sided his relationship with his father was. It was very painful but in the end Jim getting clarity on how he was regarded and disregarded by his father and in seeing the truth about how his father treated and regarded his wife ~ (Jims mother) ~ enabled Jim to see himself in relation to the way he saw me and our kids and how he believed his needs/wishes etc. were more important than ours were. He saw that he didn’t regard us with equal value to himself.  

My husband saw ‘giving up his power in exchange for equality’ as a death sentence. He believed that ‘his power’ was all that he had and all that he was. It was a big part of his identity.  His self-esteem was grounded in making people comply and obey his wishes.  (Just like his father and my mother.) If I jumped, Jim believed he was loved. That was how I proved my love; by being the way he wanted me to be. Just like I did with my mother. The cycle of abuse continues when the grown up abused children adopt the false definition of love they have been raised with believing that compliance and obedience equals or proves respect, love and self-worth and the partner in the relationship goes along with the belief that compliance and obedience will eventually lead to being loved.  It doesn’t matter which angle that the false definition comes from, neither is the truth.

Hand in hand these dysfunctional relationship ideas rule the relational world and keep the cycle of abuse and the misuse of power, going. It is very hard to face the truth about disregard and disrespect especially when it comes from our own parents, but living in the dysfunction, trying to guess all the time what was ‘expected’ of me and what to do better next time, was exhausting and therefore even harder.

Jim and I did our individual work and our marriage relationship recovered. Jim surrendered his belief that ‘control over me and the kids’ proved his worth. Our parents were not interested in giving up their power in exchange for equal value and thereby gave up having any relationship with their own children and grandchildren.  

Jim and I and our three kids (2 of whom are now adults) are thriving. Our relationships are all based on the true definition of love and are no longer about compliance and obedience.  We are no longer exhausted. We live life to the fullest in freedom and wholeness.  All of this happened because we were willing to look at things the way that they really were and we were willing to see that there was truth that we had not considered yet.

So next time someone shuts you down and discounts your story or your discoveries, tells you that you were not abused or neglected and infers that you are ‘nuts’ or crazy, don’t be too quick to conclude that they have never been through it themselves. Perhaps, like Jim, they are just trying to avoid having to make major life changes that facing the truth about all this stuff brings about.  Don’t let that stop YOU from making the changes that YOU want to make to improve your own life and relationships.

There are two main topics in this post. One is about the way that people react to our stories, discounting and trying to shut us up. The other is about the cycle of abuse in dysfunctional family. Please share your thoughts about these topics or any other thoughts that you wish to share. I look forward to the conversation!

There is freedom on the other side of broken;

Darlene Ouimet   

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

 

For related posts, see highlighted words in BOLD print and click on them                                         

 

90 response to "The Reason People don’t Hear what You are Trying to Say"

  1. By: Diane Tuper Posted: 11th February

    I look back now and I can’t believe it was me that put up with the things he did to myself and my children. It’s like awakening from a nightmare, but it wasn’t a nightmare it was my life. I raise my voice now, your right some don’t want to hear it but I kept silent to long. I finally found the courage to break away from this monster, and I want to yell to the highest mountains I GOT AWAY, I AM FREE. It took so long, and so many tries and my family paid the price for him staying in the home. Now we are recovering, each of us in our own way. I thank god everyday for finally giving me the courage to walk away from such a dysfunctional relationship and finding peace in the knowledge that I no longer live in fear, I no longer need be afraid to come home, I no longer need to listen to his threats of what could and would happen,no more intimidation, I now call the shots in my own life. I will never never NEVER give that up again. Three years free, and still recovering.

  2. By: nate Posted: 11th February

    Amazing post. Beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to write your story in such a beautiful, open, helpful and meaningful way.

  3. By: Ashley Posted: 11th February

    DARLENE, excellent observations. So glad you had a good outcome. It depends if the other person is ready to look, and ready to change. When you know you are on the edge of finding a breakthrough it is great if your closest will share in the value of it, as a joint win, but sadly many cannot break through. Validate self from the deepest levels.

  4. By: DXS Posted: 7th August

    Annie: I like what you said, but for me, my family is already thinking that about me and more than likely will beat me to the punch on saying those things, so me saying it to them is pointless.

  5. By: Annie Posted: 7th August

    @deb-
    You can get the last word there by saying, “Ha, I’ll apologize when I’ve done something to apologize for.”

    Or, You can say, “I’ll apologize when you’ve earned it.”

    Or, “Please be sure to hold your breath while you wait.”

    And then hang up or walk away.

    I had a tough time sticking up for myself, trying to think of good comebacks and such. Terrible freeze mechanism I have with my family. I finally had to walk away. The stress of staying involved and being scapegoated was too much.

  6. By: deb Posted: 6th August

    Ginger,
    Your words rang so true to my heart…i have been searching all night for a phrase that sums up my feelings.

    “Unbelievably, I am still unable to get the last word. I can’t even tell them to get lost…..without them telling me that if I wish to speak to them again, I need to apologise. I sometimes wonder who is insane. Is it possible that it is me…….when I feel I am surrounded by so much insanity.”

    No truer words were ever spoken

  7. By: Cindee Posted: 22nd May

    My son and I were locked out and the rest of what we had was put out in the rain- then locked up in a storage unit. We have not had our toothbrush or change of underwear. just the clothes on our backs.
    We slept in the vehicle it was good because we were not in the abusers home and *** did not know where we were..but we were cold.
    Someone saw we were preparing to sleep the second night in the parking lot and she kindly offered a temp stay in a rental home. We were blessed and finally had some solitude and quiet.
    but *** found us where we are- and took the vehicle. And there were constant abuses through the evening while we were at *** mercy while trying to locate some of our basic personal possessions before *** threatened times up- doors are gonna be locked. This is OUR property.
    I am again very weak and exhausted today- heart is our of time and heavy to breath. felt like sleeping…could have had a job interview but found out too late and did not have a way there..
    *** has been doing this since last AUG. I take a step forward, something good is happening or about to happen and *** bulldozes in to stop the good. *** is doing everything to keep me from any success.
    Someone told *** where we were staying. Was it the sheriff? only one who knew and had contact with both of us. feeling vulnerable and betrayed again.

  8. By: angie Posted: 17th May

    Hello Darlene, thank you for your work.
    I just found out 3 days ago that my mother in law is an emotional abuser, and I am in shock. After 14 years with my husband I new there were a lot of issues between him, his brothers and their parents, i knew they where at some point abusive, but never really understood how he felt.
    After all these years, my mother in law decided to make me an object of mental abuse too.
    We leave in different cities and we saw each other 2 or 3 times a year, always with her planning and schedules, etc..

    I let her be that way, to be polite and because she was nice to me and pretended she cares. she used to treat me different but last month she decided she will stay with us for 20 days (my worst 20 days ever) and got out her real self.

    It started when she tried to stop my little 4 years old boy from crying by telling him awful things like he is making the worst day for her, that he was horrible like a little baby, that no one likes crying babies and stuff like that. I got very angry, when we arrive she started to talk in my back with my father in law about how spoiled my kids are and how manipulative they are..I was about to explode, confront her about it and her face turned in a way I never saw, i looks like she was enjoying it. I left her talking and since then she acted in a way she had never been too me… for the next 15 days she never stopped to be attentive, but she got in my mind, she tried to make me feel ugly, or that her family is better than mine etc etc etc.. I think I don’t need to explain, you understand the modus operandi of this people…
    When she leave, she in a very low voice said, I’m sorry for the bad days I cause… that made me feel super confused.
    When she left my husband and I spent 2 days talking about all the little details that bothered us, the drama created, the lies, the manipulation etc… It had happened before, but this was the first time i felt it, and it was the first time I can totally empathize with my husband feelings…. but, then I started to get introspected about my own life and my relationship with him. On this 14 years the last 5 years i felt something wasn’t ok between us, he is a very angry man, not with me both with people in general, we always talk about it but never do anything drastic. But know I stared to get scared, I don’t know if he can change to the point of being an emotional abuser to me or my kids.
    I told him how scared I am and at the beginning he tried to change subject and told me I am exaggerating… but I not going to let him stop me from learning all about this mental health problem. I’ve been reading about this illness from 10 day and it makes me fell better to know that we can recover, yesterday he read all the pages I read and he cried as a never saw him cry.
    I just have to be firm and seek for help, do you think we need proffessional help, we live in a small town in mexico and I dont know good professionals here.. can we auto heal from reading and getting support online?

    Sorry for my bad english, is not my fist language.
    A.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th May

      Hi Angie
      Welcome to EFB
      Deciding to get some help is a decision that only you can make. I have met people that have had great results from reading this site and some of the books that we talk about (alice miller has great work) and there are online professionals too. (I myself do coaching and consulting over Skype and on the phone.)
      Your English is fine!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: GDW Posted: 18th February

    Connie-

    Thanks! I hear you too 🙂
    I just had a great conversation with a former mentor of mine, and current friend.
    She was so proud of me for standing my ground (I emailed this aunt and told her how I felt; basically that I did not want someone in my life who didn’t think I deserved to express my opinion, she obviously did not see us as equals, and that if she didn’t like me, too bad- I even told her I was not ok with her talking crap about my other aunt to me- I told her I was not apologizing.) I was blunt, but it was therapeutic.

    Talked to two other people; one was supportive, one was doing the whole “be careful”. But I am trying to stay away from people who warn me away from standing my ground: what do I have to learn from that?
    I like to be around people who say, “It’s good you have opinions, and are honest” than those who are frightened or angered by them. That may be a new red flag for me.

    I hear you so much too. I think it is almost a sign of how well we are doing when these people reject us- they are threatened by healthy people and so eager to drag us into the mud, back into victimhood- ick!
    My mentor said, “Take it as a compliment!” I couldn’t in the moment, but yeah, if she’s so threatened by my adulthood/individuality that she has to resort to pity than she is pathetic. As I told her, I don’t need that in my life. I matter. I have people in my life who matter. Why would i want to be around people who lie to me and say I don’t regardless of whether its explicitly said or not?

    Here’s to us!

    G

  10. By: Connie Posted: 18th February

    GDW,
    I hear you. I cannot express how similar things are with me and my family. The more knowledge and healing I get, the more they talk about me behind my back. When I refuse to participate in their lies and dysfunctional system…they more they shut me out. I see my therapist tomorrow for the first time….I’m really hoping she can help me shed some light on where I go from here….hang in there GDW….we can heal if we keep the goal in sight. God Bless.

    Connie

  11. By: GDW Posted: 18th February

    For anyone who has read my posts before, this is a different aunt than the one I am close to- the one I am talking about also sides with my mother….

  12. By: GDW Posted: 18th February

    Uggggg! This topic makes me livid!
    I am not sure what to do with all this rage!
    My aunt recently invalidated almost everything I told her by justifying how my parents did a good job, and telling me to take a gratitude class.

    Today I actually expressed how I felt, and she did the same thing that my parents do when they feel they’ve lost control: feel sorry for me and treat me like a victim.
    “I hope that you’ve found peace” she just kept repeating over and over when my voice wasn’t weak for once.
    Uggg how will I get better if people keep feeling sorry for my valid and justified emotions! WTF? That’s a form of invalidation itself- hear a valid emotion, pity the person and treat them like they’re crazy and a victim.

    Anyone have any insight here? I feel like I’m going mad! Aren’t I allowed to have an opinion (especially if its right) without being talked down to?

    Rawwr! That is how mad I amm!!!

  13. By: Annie Posted: 14th February

    Wow! A lot of comments.:) I found this blog last night. I forget what I googled exactly but I’ve been searching for what to say when I finally cut the cords to my family.

    Anyway, this article resonates, but only because this USED to be me. I used to get so excited about things I learned in general and share them with my family. (Stuff that had nothing to do with abuse.) I got accused by sis that I was pushing my ways on her…simply because I was enthusiastic.

    When it comes to the past though…the truth of abuse, both sibs are in denial of how bad it was and don’t want to hear about it from me.

    In fact things have gotten really strange to the point that sis has actually said to me, “I no longer want to get phone calls from you discussing any sort of problems you might have with other family members.”

    I was blindsided. And I’m sorry to say I said nothing. And she in fact moved on quickly to something else.

    And I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve actually done that. I stopped calling her like she’s a friend years ago. In fact SHE IS the one who has done what she claims I have done.

    Anymore, the eggshells are so thick that speaking of any feeling other than joy or something caring, is apparently judged and forbidden. It has not been easy and it’s just come to my realization this is the case, so getting it down is tricky. But I don’t doubt that certain things are being tucked away to be used against me at some point. I catch myself now and then talking about an interest of mine and when I catch myself I quickly change the subject and hang up the phone.

    I just woke up one day and realized and almost in the same moment accepted that I will never be able to express myself the same way ever again with any of them. I believe I am dealing with some PDs. I don’t know which ones but it doesn’t matter. Tread lightly is the rule here.

    I kept trying. I kept wanting to resolve past stuff. But sis made it crystal clear one day that she never wants to go there, ever. So what choice do I have, right? I realized I’m not interested in selling someone my beliefs on what makes a healthy relationship. Either you agree or not. We can agree to disagree, sure. But this is one subject that will make or break the relationship. And I’ve come to peace with that. In fact, as soon as I did that, the pain I’ve had in my shoulder blade for years suddenly subsided. No joke.

    I’m working out a safe way to cut ties. I’m well aware that I won’t be able to live this way for the rest of my life. But I need to do it safely and without drama.

  14. By: SMD Posted: 12th February

    Came across this well written article, when I googled “gaslighted”. My sister has done this to me recently, by trying to twisted my reality. I see it for what it is another control tactic. I defended myself with my Truth and did not buy into it. I will say more about this on the new post darlene has wriiten about victim blaming. Check out this link: It was validating to read.
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

  15. By: Pam Posted: 12th February

    Darlene, We are in a war and we each have our battle to fight in that war. It starts with healing ourselves and then reaching out to heal others and also, in being a voice for children who are currently, being abused. I know how hard you work and I know it isn’t money that fuels your ambition. There is a better world to come and it is that world and that hope that encourges me to continue the battle. I’m very thankful that God brought you and EFB into my life. It was predestined.:0)

    Love,
    Pam

  16. By: Pam Posted: 11th February

    SMD, I’m thankful for everyone who comments here. The truth as expressed by so many people who have survived experiences simular to mine, changed my perspective on everything and also, changed my life. I have to pinch myself sometimes. I can’t believe that I am able to talk about my past so easily, now. It’s amazing to be set free!

    Love,
    Pam

  17. By: SMD Posted: 11th February

    Darlene,
    Thanks for your validation!…I’m not buying into my foo’s twisted beliefs. I’m sticking to my Truth and trying to avoid self doubt & second guessing. They see I’m serious, so the control & bully tactics are increased, by way of my sister now.

  18. By: SMD Posted: 11th February

    Karen, Thanks for commenting back to me. Yes, I do believe my sister is being used to “put me down” & “gain info” from the attack. It’s very obvious that they talked, since she knew what I told my mom. She also used the same words my mom has used towards me. I know what we discussed will be passed on to my mom. It’s nothing I wouldn’t say or have said to my mom anyways.I’m not worried of that.
    A good friend of mine pointed out that my sister sounds frantic & panicked over the abuse. She can’t face it, so she is making me the crazy one. Karen, you nailed it about the “put downs” & “gaining info” (asking lots of questions & pretending to really care about me)…I believe my sister has buried trauma, which she has not faced & with me coming out with mine, she is either forced to look at it or deny it. It’s easier to make me out to be the crazy one. My mom’s pain is so much more important for her to protect…why is that?…To protect the Truth from coming out!…She had an eating disorder for a decade growing up & became seriously thin. Binge & Purging was her obsession & that usually stems from trauma, usually sexual. I suspect my uncle did the same to her from memories I’m piecing together. I’m not certain of course, given the secrets in my foo. I believe there is a connection.
    Anyway, I told my sister they need to do “their work”. In counseling of course. So, i’m glad my mom has reached out to a professional, however, my sister is claiming they told her to go home after a few sessions, since she is a good mother. My mother & I already exchanged our letters just after Christmas and we are at a place of low contact at this time. In the meantime, I will have no direct contact. My parents & my brother are no longer my FB friends either & my sister does not do fb. FOO is threatened by the truth. If that makes me look like the bad guy, so be it. They have mistreated me, by not even considering me & being told I’m wrong. I’m certainly not responsible for my mom’s feelings.

    Pam,
    I totally agree with all you said esp, “Truth is an undeniable force when it is embraced and given momentum by implementing it in our lives.” I’m certainly working on that. Thanks for all that you do in speaking for those who are silenced by abuse <3

  19. By: Pam Posted: 11th February

    Hi Darlene, Abuse is so pervasive that it creates a culture of abuse. Some learn to adapt to it and rise to the top of the pecking order and others, live their lives under the control and abuse of others. I know it is the root of substance abuse and other self-abusive behaviors. When I first understood that I’d been sexually abused as a teenager, I expected my family of origin to be as excited as I was and be happy that I finally, understood that I was a victim and not a perpetrator. I saw them as victims of the predators who raped me, too. I was devestated when they reacted first, with deafening silence and then with telling me I needed to forgive those predators, while continuing to carry all responsibility for what happened to me. I was even told that I was just “trying to make excuses for my sin.” That was when the emotional knot at my core began to unravel. That’s when I found my way here and learned to define what was ‘wrong with me’ as abuse. It changed my life and I know it has the power to change the world but it’s very hard to get those who’ve risen to the top of the pecking order to let go of their power and acknowledge the truth but I know that if enough people at the bottom continue proclaiming the truth, those at the top will topple. Truth is an undeniable force when it is embraced and given momentum by implementing it in our lives.

    Pam

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th February

      Hi Pam
      I love your saying re my message ~ “I know it has the power to change the world but it’s very hard to get those who’ve risen to the top of the pecking order to let go of their power and acknowledge the truth but I know that if enough people at the bottom continue proclaiming the truth, those at the top will topple.”
      There are days when I feel so tired from chopping holes in the fog when there is so much denial in the world on all sides that I think I will just retire but I know there is a higher power than me behind all this and that sustains me. The numbers for traffic and time on site here go up every month and it is amazing how many people are looking for validation about having been abused when the truth has been twisted for so long. And it is difficult for the victims to go against the abusers because of the brainwashing that if we go against the people who ‘owned and objectified us’ that we will not survive the consequences. It was exhausting to come out of all that fog, but the energy and freedom that I feel drives me to share this with the world. Together the strength of truth increases and ~ as you say ~”Truth is an undeniable force when it is embraced and given momentum by implementing it in our lives.”
      Thanks for sharing Pam!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Alice Posted: 11th February

    Hi Darlene,

    Yes, isn’t what he said worrying for someone in the health profession? Sounds like a great upcoming post. I thought twice about posting about it (and aside from this he’s been a good doc) but then I remembered I would be helping shine a light on this. I’m getting a bit vocal about it these days…
    I guess I am starting to expect that other people’s reaction to me telling them is going to be dismissive. I’m not as upset about it as I used to be but it does weigh in my decision on who gets close.
    Alice

  21. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 11th February

    “like being told you’re wrong without even being considered”
    Thats exactly it!!
    SMD:
    Sounds like your sister is your mother’s puppet. My mother
    used others to attack me so she could remain blameless. Many
    times the other person was used to put me down and also gain
    info from the “attack” and defense that could be used to further
    prove my craziness. The more I defended the more it was seen
    as my inability to act normal and blend in. Acting normal in my
    Foo was compliance and carefully worded statements that agreed.
    No individuality or expression was allowed. The extreem displeasure,
    cutdowns and snide sarcasim were very devaluing.
    Seeing the process for what it is with open eyes took away many
    of my distressful feelings . Its like watching playacting. Now that
    I dont care what they think I can just sit back and watch the show.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February

      Hi Karen
      To me that is the horror of being dismissed. You have been defined as “wrong” before you are even heard. Being told to ‘get over it’ before you are even heard, being told “to forgive” before the crime against you was even told or validated, being told that “your expectations are out of order” ~ before anyone has even listened is SO devaluing and dismissive! One of the keys in the beginning for me was realizing that I deserved to be heard even if I was the only one who heard me!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Alice Posted: 11th February

    Thanks for your message Darlene!
    I just got back from a doctor’s appt (annual) where he asked me about any stressors I’d had over the past year. Among other things, I mentioned my mother and how hard it was when people to whom I’d otherwise look for support immediately defended her and discounted me.

    I told him that was a major source of stress. He told me that since my parents were old, I should expect to take care of them. He told me that many people would defend her just like he was and that I should just get used to it.

    He told me that I should consult a psychiatrist if my anxiety over this issue increased and that I should look at meds.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February

      Hi Alice
      Well, may I say “what an ass” that dr. is! ha Isn’t he the helpful guy!
      I am writing a new post about when the abusers play the victims and I am going to use this comment as an example of the way that other people validate the person who does the wrong in the first place and discount the victim of the mistreatment. It is so much worse somehow when the someone validating the manipulators is in a position of power such as a dr.
      Thanks for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: SMD Posted: 10th February

    correction: it felt like my character was assasinated & I was gas lighted!!

  24. By: SMD Posted: 10th February

    My sister called me for the first time in years. She called to feign concern for me and wants to “understand me”. She had an agenda though & it turned ugly. She was discrediting me and shaming me for the abuse in our foo. She asked me, How can I tell our mom about ME being molested over the phone! My MOM is broken up over it and went to see a shrink. She was “told to go home & that she is a “good mother”. Well, first of all, that was between my mom & I, which is what I said & of course it’s another case of triangulation/confrontation. She said, I’m “distorted” and the help I’m getting isn’t the “right help”. I said, I don’t agree and I’m not a liar. Then, why didn’t I tell her or my mom years ago!..I said, I was a “FRightened Child!”..then, questioned me about where she was…How the damn do I know that!!..I was busy being molested!! I said, I had “PTSD” & she said, oh “That’s the excuse”. Then she denied any abuse in our foo and that we had loving parents compared to the sleazy inner city kids that she teaches! Then said, we lived different lives. I said, I saw things differently then her & I carried alot of the burden. She reacted to everything I said and also snickered and laughed!!!…She did not hold back her nastiness & at the same time projected it onto me!!…I don’t doubt that at all. I did tell her to listen & stop interrupting me. She also said I’ve turned on the family and have not treated her mom well by cutting off. I said, I have boundaries & that isn’t the same. She says, my parents want me to visit and just don’t say anything. This is all so telling. It’s not that they don’t understand. It’s about not wanting to Face the Abuse! My God, I was the one molested and my sister goes on to say, my mom thinks the worse happened because I said the word “MOLEST”!!!! Crazy!!…Well, I said, It’s not my fault she doesn’t know the definition of molest & I went on to say what the true definition is. Then, she asked me what’s my next step?…I said, I’m figuring it out, is that an honest enough answer for you. The last thing my sister said was I Love You!…What, love doesn’t hurt like this!!…She felt character assassinated and gas lighted!!…I believe I see it clearly…Se also had to add that her & our brother always thought I was “beautiful”, “gifted” & “very smart”…Then, why did I feel devalued, confused and depressed all the time!! Rhetorical question… FOO still wants to believe it’s me. This just validates all of what I’ve been learning about the cycle of abuse. It’s not that they don’t understand. The abusers don’t want to Face the Truth!…Denial and gas lighting the victim. Then she says, I’m blaming them. Well, look in the mirror & get some help. I actually said, I’m glad mom is getting help. She didn’t like that & said I need to get help with her. I’ve done lots of my own work over the years & I’m in a better place living my life. How can I do this to the family!!!:0…..So much was said & I’ve only captured some things but it’s enough to get the jist of the Crazy Making from my foo. I’m wiped out now from all of these realizations. Why would I want to be part of that Craziness!!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February

      Hi Ginger
      I totally understand, and I felt exactly like that too. Letting go of the belief that being heard and validated by the people who invalidated me was a process which took a little time. Persistence on the truth seeking journey really helped me with that.
      Hang in there,
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi SMD
      This is so typical! Just as I said to Alice, you were totally discounted and your mother was protected and validated. And then the comparison to ‘inner city kids’ ~ that is another very common brainwashing thing we have to overcome; Abuse is abuse and everyone has a right to heal. Kids that were locked in a closet for thier whole life don’t have any more right to healing and validation than you do. None of us heal until we begin the process of really acknowledging what happend to us in the first place. About blame; blame is a necessary stepping stone on the pathway to freedom. Being told that blame is wrong is a huge lie that has been used against victims of all kinds of abuse since the dawn of time. ugg.
      Thanks for sharing this!
      Hugs, Darlene

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.