To Heal from Emotional Damage Know what the Damage Was

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the truth about neglect and child abuseIf there is ONE place that I recommend starting the emotional healing process, it is starting with the damage.  That might sound easy, but I had to actually find out what “the damage” to me was. 

I had to find out how I got broken.  What happened to my self esteem in the first place? How did my self esteem get so low? What happened to me? That was where the keys were and those were the keys that led to freedom. 

I remember when I realized that my depressions and dissociative issues came from somewhere; I sat stunned, repeating to myself over and over ~ What happened to ME?

I had to look at the roots. I thought that I was born depressed.  But the more I thought about it, how could that be?? There were actual events that caused damage and my depressions were in fact related to those events! I just had to see it. I had to finally SEE it. 

The biggest obstacles in my way were avoiding looking at how I used by others, how I was objectified and not considered to be equally human, and how I was failed by others. By avoiding looking at the truth about that, I was able to excuse the damage they caused.  I excused them because I had to. As a child, survival is of the utmost importance and if we start complaining about the people who are failing us, but are also in charge of our welfare, it is a pretty sure fact that we are not going to survive.

When I tell stories about teachers who were bullies or outsiders who devalued or abused me, I get a huge response. It is much easier to face the truth about someone outside of the family that hurt me and damaged me than it is to face the truth that my parents let me down, but the truth is that my parents knew about the bullying and the way it was effecting me, (I was sick in bed for months) and they avoided doing anything about it until I was so sick that the Dr whose care I was under, figured it out and MADE them do something about it.  As I have written before, my parents tried to resist the Doctor, but he threatened to get a court order on my behalf.

If the damage, (including the emotional damage) is excused and ignored… there is further damage. I am saying “so what” if my parents were “sick”. They did a lot of damage with their “sickness” and instead of looking at them and making excuses for them, it was time to look at the damage ~ to call it like it is ~ and heal from it. EVEN if it makes them angry; even if it hurts them; even if they rejected me and even though they deny it, lie about it and don’t agree with me or validate my truth. They started covering their butts when I was a baby, why would now be any different? It finally had to be about me or I would have ended up just like them; dysfunctional, sick, chronically depressed and unhappy.

It was one thing to face the damage that the teacher herself caused to me. That was the easy part. It was way harder to face how much emotional damage was caused to me because my parents were unwilling to act on the information that they got, (even from the doctor) in favor of saving face in the community.

My parents were still discounting me and devaluing me when I was a grown woman married and with 3 children. My father was still disinterested in me or in my life and didn’t seem to acknowledge that I was alive. His phone calls were still all about him. No matter what was going on in my life, he switched the subject in order to talk about himself and what was going on in his life. Every phone call or visit from him was a painful reminder that I was not valid or important to him.  

I was in my 40’s and my mother was still accusing me of enticing her boyfriends when I was a teenager and how it was because I had a crush on one of her boyfriends when I was just turning 14 was what caused him to come to my room in the night and molest me. My mother was still putting me down and accusing me of being the biggest problem that she ever had.  I was not allowed to have a voice, I was not allowed to look at the truth; the fog spin that she created was way too thick for me to see through it.

I was getting really tired of carrying the entire burden of the relationship with my parents. There was no pay off. They still invalidated me.

My biggest fear was that my parents would reject me if I faced the truth.

The truth is that my parents rejected me when they didn’t take care of me in the first place. They rejected me when they refused to hear me and silenced my voice and instead protected the people hurting me. They rejected me when they called me “dramatic, and a story teller”.  They rejected me when the way the rest of the world saw them, was more important than I was.  They were still rejecting me in the exact same ways. That is what I had to face. That was the damage.

I had to start by facing the damage.  The truth is that both my parents were broken. I had to finally say “SO WHAT?”  Whatever happened to them did not excuse or make up for what happened to me and knowing about how hard “they had it”, didn’t help me to heal. There was no solution in realizing that my parents were abused and devalued too. There was no solution in knowing that my mother suffered from chronic depression. It didn’t cancel the way that I was treated.

I had to stop running from the truth. I stopped accepting that depression was a “gene” that I was born with and instead, face the roots of my distress. In order to heal, I had to find out how I got broken.  What happened to my self esteem in the first place? How did my self esteem get so low? What happened to me? That was where the keys to emotional healing were hidden and those were the keys that led to freedom from depression, low self esteem, dissociative identity disorder, and many other issues that I had. 

Depressions, dissociative identity, illnesses and addictions all manifested in my life as a result of not being protected, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse and spiritual abuse.  The roots of all of these were grounded in being unloved in the true definition of love.

Finding and facing the damage led me to learning the truth about my value. Self love and self esteem finally became possible when I faced where the broken began.

Please share your thoughts on facing the damage.

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

 

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136 response to "To Heal from Emotional Damage Know what the Damage Was"

  1. By: Roshani Posted: 30th June

    Beloved Darlene !!! Yes ….for me too when i was a harmed Child , I begin to feel just now , that my BIGGEST FEAR was that my PARENTS would REJECT ME if i would have spoken to them the TRUTH , and that it was meaning for me , to tell to them what it was happening to me with my COUSIN, in order to relise a little THIS BIG WEGHT ON MY HEART!!! THIS was my CONSTANT INNER CONFLICT inside me: ” I SPEAK AND I RISK NOT TO BE LOVED NOMORE or it is BETTER to TAKE ALL FOR MYSELF, aND I PLAY LIke nothing it is happening to me , in order to have a little LOVE ???”.But when i was around 12 years old i think, i could not manage to take all this in myself , with speaking with no one , because in that time i gotnmy period for the first time , so arrived another BIG FEAR : ” MY BE NOW I CAN ALSO HAVE A BABY !!! ” …..and this was really too much for me!!!! So the DESPERATE INNER SITUATION , has given to me the COURAGE to SPEAK ALL ….regardless ….And taking all the consequences and risk of this act!!!!And it has been like this ….all the family on the side of my mother , they immediatly DISCRIMINATED ME…..and since that moment they have cut every contact with me and my PARENTS!!!SO i was terrified that now also my mother would have done the same …that means that now also she DOES NOT LOVE ME anymore …..and exactly how you write, REJECTION FOR A CHILD MEANS ” DEATH” !!!! So now i know why i have done what i have done towardsmy mother!!!! I was so in fear that this coud happen to me …..that I was thinking that i STAR FIRST NOT TO LOVE HER …..BELEIVING THAT I WOUD HAVE SUFFERD LESS , WHEN SHE WILL DO!!!But now i now that i have not sufferd less ….was just an ILLUSION. , giving me a possibility to SURVIVE !!! I started to DEPRIVE MYSELF ofvall my FEELINGSVOF LOVE THST I STILL HAD FOR HER …..and at the end i managed really not to have no morevany feeling for her …..so now i also have an explanation why i was not really SUFFERED qhen she DIED suddenly at the age of 49 years old!!!!Now all the picture it is a little more CLEAR about what HAPPENED TO ME and HOW I HAVE BEEN BROKEN ……however i BELIEVE AT YOU when you say that on the other side of BROKEN there is FREEDOM …..but I am not yet THERE …. but i know that there is HOPE for me to arrive there…..and i want to arrive there too!!!!Without that I continue to PROJECT all this pain ON INNOCENTS!!!I really wish with all my heart to STOP qll this!!!!THANKS FOR SHAREING YOUR EXPERIENCE …..it IS SO PRECIOUS FOR ALL OF US …..in order that we DO NOT GIVE UP !!! LOVE AND LIGHT!! Roshani

  2. By: Shary Posted: 21st May

    My head feels like its going to explode. I’ve been reading your post since I first found them on facebook, thanks to an old high school friend. I think I can do this, and I try, I got a rock wrote things and names on it, and even drew a door, behind that door is the lies, the hurt, the rape, the beatings, and emotional abuse. Tied with a black ribbon on the rock is the key to that door. I threw that rock as far as I could into a lake close to my home, my husband went with me and even said a prayer for healing. I felt great, like I could move on and begin “building me.” That lasted maybe a week, then the old guilt about being a ungrateful, miserable, stupid, problem child came back with a vengence. I don’t know how to sort these things out in my head, I’m seeing a counselor, I have “cut off” my parents to prevent anymore abuse and drama. Although now my mother has started with my adult daughter who is astranged from our family for doing illegal activity. She is trying to get to me through her, and sometimes it works because I want to protect her but know I can’t when she chooses to listen to my mother because she(mother) excuses my daughters illegal and immoral activity. i have not spoken to either of my parents now in about 7 or 8 weeks and I can honestly say I don’t miss them. I am relieved, but I want to stop feeling like the victim, and that there is something wrong with me. Where do I start digging, and I’ve already remembered things I’d rather have left buried. But I know in order to heal and grow I have to confront these things, these memories, these lies and remove myself emotionally and physically from people who continue to hurt me, I’m confused as to how to get there.
    Thanks for letting me ramble!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st May

      Hi Shary
      Welcome to emerging from broken. Thank you for sharing your rock story and some of your life story. For me it was only the beginning to know what the trauma was and to discover the lies at the roots. The huge part of the process is to re wire those lies back to the truth but looking in deeper detail at HOW they got in there and took root. It is almost like looking for the “Proof” of why I accepted it before I understood how wrong it was. It takes time but it sounds like you are on the path to healing!
      Hugs,Darlene
      p.s. I am going on vacation for 12 days starting now so if I don’t answer comments for a bit please understand. The blog will still be open but I am not going to do much more than check it and approve comments that are held in moderation.

  3. By: Karenina Posted: 16th May

    One more little thing. Mama liked this story so well- it always got laughs,-that she decided to make it about her golden boy after a while.So she started making him the “star” of her favorite story about the nail in the butt. I guess the story was so good, it was too good to waste on me.
    I didn’t care much, I was glad not to be humiliated anymore. But my memory is very clear. Gas lighting? Well it wasn’t the only time, maybe not even the first, but certainly not the last. Always over really unimportant stuff.

    Well not that the abuse was not important, but I mean that it didn’t really confer any real advantages to her favorite two kids, golden boy and looks-just-like-mama sister, except maybe the limelight? Funny thing, after many tellings, the siblings would swear it was never changed at all…

  4. By: Karenina Posted: 16th May

    I’m okay, Darlene. It feels good to tell these tales. Especially to people who will actually listen. My sister and brothers say we had a great childhood, a normal childhood. And the best Mom in the world. They like these kind of stories, old home stories they say. They have heard them over and over and never get tired of them. Say I’m just making mountains out of molehills. Say I was always melodramatic. A crybaby. A “little shit.”

  5. By: Karenina Posted: 16th May

    I meant to ask, is this a funny story, or is this abuse? Really, what’s your opinion?
    I’ve had IBS for years and years… Related? nervous tension or early damage? who knows.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th May

      Karenina
      I was off the computer and got your comments on my phone just now. I HAD to come back to answer your question about your story.
      As I was reading your story I said right out loud. “OH MY GOD” My daughter playing her guitar stopped and asked me “what mom?, because I don’t usually react outloud. This story is one of abuse. SERIOUS DISGUSTING HORRIFIC abuse. I would say that your IBS is totally related to this. (but I am not a dr.) There is NOTHING funny about this story. Your mother could have been charged (and SHOULD have been charged) with child abuse for what she did to you.
      I am so sorry.
      Having said that, I too did not know for sure what abuse actually was and that was part of the sorting out process. Facing it and validating that it WAS abuse was also part of the healing. Thank you for sharing. Please be gentle with yourself; you have been sharing some deep stuff and sometimes it all catches up and overwhelms. I have seen it many times.
      Hugs and love, Darlene

  6. By: Karenina Posted: 16th May

    Me @7 yrs old: Daddy my tummy hurts, real bad.
    Dad: well go lie down
    Later, sweat on my too pale face, me: Daddy, it stil hurts
    Dad: okay, let’s get to the doctor
    Me: I don’t wanna go to the doctor
    Daddy: (putting my little brother’s shoes on) sigh, go get me a comb for your hair.
    Me: it really does hurt, Daddy
    Doctor: I think she’s impacted in her colon.
    Daddy: you mean constipated?
    Doctor: yes. You need to be sure she goes every day. Give her an enema.

    Daddy to Mama that afternoon: had to take Karenina to the doctor today. He said she was impacted in her colon.
    Mom: What does that mean?
    Daddy: She needs an enema, he said.
    Mom: AN ENEMA! You mean we had to pay for a doctor just because she’s CONSTIPATED?That makes me zoo mad! Karenina, get your little but in that bathroom!
    Daddy: Now, Micky, don’t be rough on her.
    Mom: Well if you don’t want me to do it you do it!
    Mom, in bathroom to me: You’re gonna get an enema alright. Wasting money because you’re too dumb to know when to go shit! It’s gonna be high hot and a helluva lot!
    Me: Please Mama, no, Mama! Ooo oww! Nooooo! GET THAT NAIL OUTTA MY BUTT! GET THAT NAIL OUTTA MY BUTT! stop mama, I can’t hold it I can’t hold it! It’s too hot!
    Mom: you had better hold it! You had better hold this whole bucket full!
    Me: Mama stop I can’t…I can’t
    Mom: I CanNOT BE LIEVE you shit on me! When we get done you are gonna get a whipping! You did that on
    purpose!
    Me: No, mama, please mama, I couldn’t help it…

    I got a daily enema for months. Got a beating if I complained. Mama seemed to enjoy it. One of her favorite stories for years, told in mixed company in my presence, was about me screaming so the whole neighborhood could hear me, “Get that nail outta my butt.” My humiliation just made her enjoy the tale all the more.

  7. By: Anon girl Posted: 14th May

    Alexis

    my mother did the ‘replaying her life’s movies in her head’thing over and over too. Narcicistic and self absorbed, all she every did was talk about herslef.

  8. By: Diane Posted: 3rd May

    I discovered this website early this morning and I have been poring over all of the comments after I read an article. I can’t tell everyone on here enough how much all of this is meaning to my heart today! I have NEVER had anyone to talk to about my own past that totally understood or helped me to understand like this! My mother died when I was three yrs, and my dad remarried and she adopted legally my older brother and myself. I don’t know why she bothered, to be honest because from that year on it became increasingly clear that she resented us and she did everything she could to humiliate, degrade, reject and not have anything to do with us. My dad went along to keep the peace and then the abuse and neglect really escalated. My father was absolutely emotionally withdrawn….unless he was beating or yelling or making fun of me. Occasionally he would feel guilt so he would take me out for an ice cream cone. Everything was to make sure that “mom” was happy….if she was unhappy with me…I would be “punished” . She was unhappy with me on either a daily basis or I was completely ignored. I was the kind of girl who wanted to please, so I chased after both of them to try to get them to love me. Instead I was ignored, not praised ever etc etc. The rejection and emotional neglect would make me sit in my closet with a pillow and blanket and light I put in there to feel warm and safe. I also used to twirl around and around until got I became so dizzy that I would fall over and I would fall onto my bed and hold my pillow and pretend it was my parents arms holding me. I don’t know why, but that feeling somehow worked for me or something. So…on and on it went through the years until I was so deeply depressed that I could barely get up in the morning. I have worked so hard to get healed of the neglect messages that I absorbed as a kid, but even today it doesn’t make sense yet to me how I am attractive, worthy or as valuable as others. I mentally know this , but I am still a compulsive over eater so I know that unravelling this garbage inside of me is what it is going to take. Thank you so much for this place to be able to speak out the pain and begin to really understand that it wasn’t MY fault.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th May

      Hi Diane
      I can related deeply to your comments. One thing that I have observed in myself and in many others is that the food problems are very often the last thing that gets resolved. Busting that old belief system takes time but persistence will pay off. I have written over 300 articles here talking about many of the ways that realizing the depth of lies that I believed about me (unattractive, not as worthy) helped me to change them around. It was in looking at the specifics of how the lies got cemented in there that really helped. Remember ~ combating brainwashing takes time!
      So glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Alexis Posted: 29th April

    I too felt like this was written for me. It was nice to read this because I often hear rise above your raising and I find it difficult when I was set up for failure. But after reading this is makes me think that I was right in distancing myself from my family. The only way for me to be able to deal with life was to get the sickness “my family” out of my life. My mother is the self absorbed one, who would only make an attempt to talk about herself when I spoke with her. It got to the point where I thought, when did I become the mother here? I just cannot understand how the person who raised me and has been on this plant 20 years longer than me, just can’t get along in life. What happened, how did you forget all your life experience and begin to rely on a 19 year old experience? My mother didn’t even know the day of my upcoming wedding when someone asked her in front of me. Even when she owned/owns a flower shop, she wasn’t concerned with the wedding at all. She instead would talk nonstop about her divorce. I really feel like she is sick inside her own mind, she is lost in there inside the videos of the past replaying. She cannot stop hitting that replay button. I was just glad to know that others have over come this, I was beginning to think I would die before 40 from feelings caused by this.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th April

      Hi Alexis
      Welcome to emerging from broken
      I can relate to the feeling that I might die from the feelings/damage caused from this; never being validated that it even happened or that none of it was wrong was what got me so stuck! learning how to validate my pain and then my self worth is really what made all the difference! That is what this site is about.
      So glad that you are here!
      Thank you for your comment,
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Blair Posted: 28th April

    I remember telling my mother I was ‘unloved’. She replied that I had no idea what love was. She was so right!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th April

      Hi Blair
      Welcome to E.F.B.
      Yes, and they don’t know what love is.. and that is the part of the damage that we have to heal from.
      Glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Michudy Posted: 26th March

    Thank you for having the strength to climb out, rise above your abusers and share your stories so that we may be inspired to do the same.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th March

      Hi Michundy
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken. I am glad that you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Brenda Posted: 18th March

    I find myself returning to this particular blog because it is so important.

    Bottom line: I am now realizing that it is OK to take my feelings seriously.

    Life seems to be much more manageable just by doing this one thing…and in fact, it makes complete sense now (in retrospect) that for all these decades mired in depression and what would appear to be my constant *ruminating* from outside observers has actually been my internal struggle in simply giving myself permission to take my feelings seriously.

    So simple…now.

    It is starting to make an incredible, positive difference in my life and I just wanted to share/pass this along…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th March

      Hi Brenda
      this was a big thing for me too! To finally validate my own feelings! Thanks for highlighting this in your words!
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: R Posted: 17th March

    “You sound really good talking self care and everything!”

    Yes, I talk a good talk sometimes, it’s the walking of the walk that’s the difficult bit 🙂 🙂

    Sorry one more personal triumph to report today – someone unepectantly offered me some practical help that I hadn’t asked for at all but sorely needed.

    And I actually accepted it.

    Not much of a shocker in ‘normal’ terms but I’ve never done that before in my life. Always insisted on struggling on by myself, pretending all will be fine because I was taught that accepting help is just the ultimate shameful taboo.

    And it suddenly hit me that there’s probably always been help around me but I just couldn’t see it let alone make use of it.

    “Having said that, I don’t “expect” donations but I am going to have to do something different pretty soon!”

    Well, I for one would be quite happy to pay a regular subscription fee (if it went that way I meant)

    Just saying….

  14. By: R Posted: 17th March

    Spoke too soon, exhausted today he he.

    At least now when that happens I just acknowledge that I’m tired, allow myself an easier day, rest etc rather than giving myself an internal beating for being ‘lazy’ ‘good for nothing’ and an external punishment by doing double what I would usually.

    SMD – glad you’re starting to feel better in yourself too!

    Onwards and most importantly upwards (with the good feelings) 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th March

      R
      You sound really good talking self care and everything!
      YAY
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: SMD Posted: 16th March

    Hi R,

    I was thinking about donating to EFB too! I’m also feeling better with more Aha moments. Some days, I’m exhausted & confused from the hard work, but it’s been worth it! I’m catching myself more, before I go into a spin. I’m feeling better with less anxiety too! Darlene, I agree, you are amazing! Thank You.
    Sincerely, SMD

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th March

      Hi SMD
      Thank you. I spent a lot of years in training before I started this site and it is great to hear when other people are having results because of what I am sharing here. That was my hope.
      Hugs Darlene

      Everyone~ about donations;
      ~ I appreciate it very much when people donate to EFB. I should do a page about donations; it costs me around 200 per month to run this becaue of the size of the site I pay a tech person to maintain it for me, back it up and update the tech stuff in the back end and do the security stuff and I pay for hosting as well as for the autoresponder. (not to mention my time .) I don’t make that in donations. Having said that, I don’t “expect” donations but I am going to have to do something different pretty soon!

  16. By: R Posted: 16th March

    Hello Darlene,

    I keep coming back here to post general things because it feels like the foundation ‘101’ of this site 🙂

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the change I felt in me is lasting and I’m so pleased!

    The fear and panic that used to be with me everyday have really dampened down (was worried it was a fluke last week) but I feel so much calmer inside now it’s like a miracle.

    A few things have happened that would have had me in an absolute spin of anxiety before, nothing overly momentous, just normal life to most people but all things that would have normally had my heart thumping in my chest and throat and completely overtaken by a fear that felt like my very life was at stake.

    I had no idea just how bad it was before, no wonder I was always exhausted, it was exhausting to always feel so threatened yet to have to push on regardless and berating myself for feeling that way at the same time.

    I’ve laughed a lot more and I’ve said a lot more things than I would usually dare because the truth of who I really am is slowly really starting to sink in.

    As soon as one of this weeks calamities is sorted out I will be making a donation to this wonderful blog and, I know I keep saying it but thank you, again, from the bottom of my (newly calmer) heart 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th March

      Hi R.
      I am really glad that you are having all these breakthroughs and results! That is fantastic! I remember when I noticed that I was coming out of those spins, when I realized what they even were! and I too realized why I had been so exhausted. It is WORK to stay in that false system. It is WORK to stay in denial. Clearing all that up gave me more energy then I had ever had in my life! (oh and the calmness is amazing ~ something I never imagined)
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Annette Booth Posted: 9th March

    Darlene,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog! It helps to know that one is not alone in issues such as this.

  18. By: Krissy Posted: 9th March

    Hi, Darlene, I’m been following for a while, so I am familiar with what you are trying to share. My question is this – if you look at the damage and identify where the lies are, and you realize you are not at fault, etc. how is the PTSD affected? Does that mean that the next time someone publicly humiliates you and does something that replicates the original abuse, you are not affected? Or are you still affected but not paralyzed? I know that for me, I can use my cognitive abilities to respond, ie tell myself that it is wrong, then take action like walking away, not engaging, formally complaining or whatever, but won’t it always be devastating when someone behaves the way all abusive people do – treat you like invisible, not worthy, etc.?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th March

      Hi Krissy
      for me the PTSD went away over time as a result of changing what I used to believe about myself. My self esteem was very badly affected by the original truama and emotional abuse. When I started to look at the original damage, I suddenly realized that my depressions, ptsd and dissociative issues began there. Fixing what was originally broken healed those issues. As time went on, (just realizing this stuff does not automatically change the reaction to it) I was quickly able to realize that when people treat me like I am invisible or not worthy, it was about them, and not about me. It no longer bothers me when this kind of thing happens and another bonus is that it rarely happens; I think abusive controllers etc. can sense when someone has a strong boundary and they are afraid to even push it. Abusers are really quite pathetic and deep down, they know it.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Annette
      Welcome to EFB. Thank you for your lovely message!
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th March

    Hi R
    This is awesome! thanks for sharing.
    about “voices” no worries, I was the same way. and it was by listening to them and correcting them that I changed them from being so slef negating.
    Hugs! Darlene

  20. By: R Posted: 8th March

    I am so amazed, something in me has grabbed on to at least one fundamental truth I recognised since I’ve started reading this blog.

    Ever since I can remember I’ve had this horrible anxiety hanging over me, no matter what I did, it was there. Like something really horrible was about to happen and I had to be ready for it.

    Stomach churning, heart beating as if there was a crisis to be dealt with, nail biting to the point where whole nails would ‘go missing’ and need plasters applied to them for days kind of anxiety and fear feeling.

    That’s reduced markedly in the last couple of days and it’s such a nice feeling, to the point where I have no idea how I managed to exist with it before.

    I pass a mirror and the old voice starts up with ‘look at the state of you, ugly, sad, fat, pathetic etc etc’ and I just tell it to get lost – and it actually feels real and it works.

    Years of reading self help books advocating the use of mantras and affirmations (i.e say I love you everytime you look in the mirror) just made me want to be sick and slap myself before but now I really feel it.

    I’m pottering around my house, perfectly happy just to be without whipping myself to go ‘do something useful and stop being lazy’

    Even the voice that would sigh a hundred times a day and tell me ‘what’s the point’ has piped down and every time I catch myself in the usual round of mental insults there’s another voice now saying ‘but you know that’s rubbish, don’t you?’

    All this talk of voices, sorry, just the best way for me to describe it right now.

    I’ve even been able to cry a bit for the little girl I was rather than just feeling it all happened to someone else.

    Nowhere near enough yet and as Darlene says. this process takes time but so far this road is giving me a glimpse of the inner peace and strength that I feel sure are waiting for me further on.

    I was looking at my cats tonight and suddenly realised that one of the reasons I love that particular type of animal so much is the way they are born with a sense of being beautiful and right and belonging to this world. No need for anyone to tell them they are valuable and precious, they just know and no one can convince them otherwise.

    It’d be lovely to get that place myself eventually 🙂

    Another huge thank you again from me, for the existence of this blog and all of the wonderfully couragous people posting on it, helping me to see the truth about myself one bit at a time.

  21. By: R Posted: 5th March

    Tonight I find myself wishing I’d never read this site – so much going round my head yet I can’t beat myself back into line with the old methods.

    I’ve been writing things down for the first time ever because it’s just too much to try to reason out without it. And I remembered something interesting and important for me.

    When I got to my last foster family, I was told that one of the social workers who knew me before I got to the family had said that I was bound to be left with problems and issues probably into adulthood given what had happened to me in my original family and first foster home.

    I remember very clearly being horrified at that and deciding that I wasn’t going to be one of ‘those’ people. I was going to be ‘good’ and perfectly normal and not have any problems whatsoever.

    Then again, since counselling offered to me was rejected by my foster family out of hand (you don’t need it, just forget about it, it’s done now etc) I guess there wasn’t really much choice involved in my ‘decision’ to be a perfectly normal human being.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th March

      Hi R.
      That is the thing about the fog lifting to reveal the truth at the bottom of it all…. once exposed it is pretty hard to go back. I know what you mean though.. there were many times I wished I could unsee the stark and cold truth that I had finally seen… but eventually it got much better and then it got terrific and today I would never want to go back!
      Hang in here! This process takes a bit of time.
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March

    R.
    I would think of it more as “comforting and reassuring” those scared voices. They are after all, parts of you trying to protect yourself the way you were forced to as a child. You are challenging your “survival mode” and that takes a lot of gentle understanding towards yourself. (well it did for me anyway!)
    Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: R Posted: 4th March

    “sharing this much stuff all at once might scare the crap out of you”

    Yes, the factory in my mind is already complaining very loudly about these ‘infractions’ so I completely get what you’re saying.

    Opportunity to push on in the coming days and silence the very scared voices perhaps.

  24. By: R Posted: 4th March

    Can’t stop – either I put this down or I shrink back into embarrassment, now or never kind of thing….

    Although this site is showing me why asking why is futile and ultimately doesn’t matter I still wrestle with the why’s or more accurately how’s of the fact that both of my parents colluded with each other to torture me.

    Egging each other on to ever greater schemes of pain and humiliation for their small defenseless daughter, while their son was king and could do no wrong.

    Two of them in my room, winding each other up, holding a strange kind of kangaroo court over my perceived wrong doings, only question in my mind being which one was going to start the hitting first.

    How the hell do two people come up with ‘games’ of their kind? One of my earliest memories at four years old is being sat at the kitchen table, one of them holding my hand firmly down on a bread board while the other wielded an electric knife and told me my fingers would be cut off. The bloody teeth on that thing were millimetres from my small hand.

    The terror was unbearable, still can’t stand to even hear the sound of an electric bloody knife to this day. When that was finished they told me to go to bed but to watch out because one of them might decide to come and cut my head off with the knife in the night. Lying awake waiting for one of your parents to come cut your head off – no wonder I had night terrors into my late teens.

    I could typing for days and days and really extract the urine in taking up space here but I just can’t.

    Thing is, I always felt one of the lucky ones because I knew my entire childhood was messed up and so I tried to run away repeatedly, three times without success.

    The night I was called into the dining room at eight years old cemented my knowledge that I had to get away. Both ‘parents’ sitting there, stony faced, another kangaroo court, telling me all of my failings as a daughter, my father spat in my face and told me if he had his gun in the house he would have killed me there and then.

    I ran away for the fourth and final time the next day, feeling that I would die if I stayed any longer.

    Still remember that walk, leaving my much loved little brother with only a rough idea of where to go but I managed to get away with the help of a school friend’s parents.

    Thank you (again) for the space to let this out.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March

      R.
      You are welcome ~ thank you for your willingness to share. Be aware that sharing this much stuff all at once might scare the crap out of you even as soon as tormorrow. Many people here who share a lot all at once become overwhelmed by it all and the fear sets in. I am not trying to discourage you, just giving you a heads up. You are sharing some really big chunks!
      Hugs, Darlene

  25. By: R Posted: 4th March

    Just realised I contradicted myself with the toys/no entertainment. A handful of plastic animals
    were left, all of them without tails because my mothers favourite game to play with my younger brother was slaughterhouse.

    Bizarre how memory works…

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