Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain

emotional healing from abuse
Healing and Holidays

Throughout the years of trying to change, I tried many things; in fact I tried almost everything that was suggested to me to try. Seminars, self help books, 12 step programs, I tried holistic medicine, cleanses, meditation, medication, vacations; I tried diet plans, fitness plans, naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, you name it I likely tried it. Most of them became another obsession and another way to escape. And I am not saying that any of it was useless, just that none of it got me that much farther ahead. ALL of it was pointing me in the right direction towards emotional healing, but it just wasn’t the entire answer.

(NOTE: Something I noticed in the editing process of this post is that I opened this post with; “Throughout the years of trying to change” ~ See how deeply it goes? I never considered that I was trying to HEAL, just that I was trying to “change” as though I needed to “change” in order to be “okay” when in reality I was trying to give up coping methods without understanding why they were born.)

I was thinking about all the things I had tried attempting to enhance my recovery because of the quote I posted as a mental health tip on the emerging from broken facebook page. This is the quote: “Do not wait; the time will never be “just right”. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”  Napoleon Hill

I thought about this one thing that I told myself when I was trying to stay out of this coping method that was escaping into a fantasy life that I really loved to live in. The fantasy world was what I thought to be a “safe escape” but I was spending so much time there that I knew it was becoming self harming and destructive and that it wasn’t really helping me get where I really wanted to go.  I tried very hard to notice when I was going into that fantasy world, trying to catch myself before I was immersed in the depth of disconnection from reality. And I remember that for a long time I would tell myself “just this once more”.  I would promise myself that I would only escape there one more time.  I would plead and convince myself that it was not harmful, that it didn’t hurt anyone… that one more time would not really change or damage anything.

I did this with almost every coping method that I ever tried to give up.  I did it with binge eating. I did it with purging when I was bulimic. I did it with skipping my fitness programs when I was finally doing them for the right reasons. I even did it when I was going into a self berating spin and trying to learn to stop myself from beating myself up. I told myself that I would start tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the first day of my new life. Tomorrow I would make the necessary changes.

I did almost anything I could to avoid progressing into “better mental health”.

And when I finally noticed that I was doing this avoidance technique, I finally started looking at what I was avoiding. Why was I so afraid to STAY in reality? What was I avoiding taking a look at? What exactly was I trying so hard to escape from? WHY did I have so many coping methods?

And the answer, (or at least the root of the answer) of course was ME ~ I was trying to escape me. I was trying to avoid facing me but NOT for the reasons that I thought; 

Deep down I really truly believed that I was the problem and that was why I could empathize with you and see your value ~ I could validate you and try to convince you that you didn’t deserve whatever happened to you, but I could not see that for me. The reason I was so afraid to face reality was because I was afraid that I would find out that I HAD NO REAL VALUE and I was avoiding finding that out.

I had to stop running from that fatal lie and when I did, that is when everything began to change. That was when I began to emerge from broken. That was when I finally turned that corner and began to progress into the new life that I live now.

How does this resonate with you? I find this stuff MUCH harder at holiday times of the year. Please feel welcome to share your thoughts and comments.

Darlene Ouimet 

p.s. this is a process and I am not perfect.  When I was almost but not quite finished writing this blog post, I jumped up and grabbed some crackers out of the pantry. I got some raspberry jam and cream cheese out of the fridge and proceeded to make myself an afternoon snack. When I thought about what I had been doing when I decided I needed the snack, and that I wasn’t really hungry, I realized that for some reason sharing this post with you made me want to escape. And that is very much what it looks like for me ~ I suddenly feel like “running”.

Do I worry about it? No….. well at least not nearly as much as I used to… it is all part of the process of emotional recovery. I often feel insecure about writing the things I write and lately I have been looking at some of the unhealthy ways that I deal with those thoughts and insecurities.  And so today I decided to actually tell you. =)

Due to the depth of the comments on this post I wrote a follow up post which you can read by clicking the post title: “Before I faced the Pain I had to face the lies”

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

98 response to "Tomorrow I will Start to Face the Pain"

  1. By: Riya Posted: 22nd September

    I see I read this three years after it has been posted, however it is so me! I am so happy to find these posts! This site is incredible!

    Since the age of 8 until the age of 17 I have been so dissociative, I imagined I was another person, gifted, being able to sing, act, do hundreds of different complicated things. I am probably blessed, because if I started it a year earlier probably I would have been able to develop another personality…

    However, only a couple of years ago I realized that my mom was admiring my peers for their skills and abilities, while she ignored me and my brother, and called us suckers, idiors, incapable of anything. She always left us in favour of my peers, who seemed to be so perfect. I had an eye disease, I had never received any diagnosis and I was so terribly clumsy and not being able to see simple things. She was complaining to everyone about me, and it sounded as if I was some permanently damaged product. Every time she put me down, my default was to switch to my fantasy… It is a very bad habbit, because I cannot do anything properly or at time I set it to be done, this pertains to mainly stuff that concerns me. I tend to postpone and in my pleasant reality… it is to a lesser extent now, but it happens everytime someone me down or if I am unhappy with myself…

  2. By: GDW Posted: 11th February

    Sorry I want to make a correction: I am not implying that I deserve to have someone make me feel better at their expense as if I have the right to cause pain because I’m sad- no.
    What I mean is that as a child I was responsible for her emotions and I paid the price for basically existing, when I feel like it’s a parents job (not expense) to comfort and care for a child emotionally when they feel down. Instead of nurturing me, she was behaving cruelly and expecting me to nurture her. Only now that I’m grown up and not asking her for emotional support, while she continues to do so (NC!!NC!!) do I realize how backwards this all is.

    I also remember that she would tell me how ‘angry’ I was. For some reason it was ok for them to spew anger constantly but me getting mad back, was not ok! The more I write, the more I see how they always twist it: me= bad; them=good. Other people do not see me that way.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February

      P.S. GDW
      in your last comment; I totally understood what you were saying in your first comment. You deserved to be treated like a valuable human being (that is a child’s human rights!) and you do have a right to have that mistreatment validated now. As you say, as a child you were NOT responsible for whatever your mother was going through.
      You are certainly on the right website!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: GDW Posted: 11th February


    Though I don’t remember it, my parents tell me I banged my head against a wall and smashed a mirror over my head when I was 14 (I remember that one). It was awful, because my mother would come in my room to torment me when I was already sad, and then I would react this way after she finally felt like she’d taken all of her negative emotions on me and crushed me enough. My father would close the door with the creepiest calmness if he ever heard crying my crying annoyed him, but didn’t affect him.

    They used this as a reason to medicate me and then as an excuse to have me forcibly removed from my home and locked up for almost a year. I mean, two years later! My father paid a lot of money to not have to parent me and still guilts me about how much he spent. As if that traumatic event was something I ever would have chosen on my own! It messed me up a lot. He never took responsibility for not parenting, let alone look at the fact their behavior might have been a reason for my distress (I am at my most stable with NC so that’s proof enough for me!). It’s always my fault. That is something I am really dealing with and trying so hard to challenge.
    I was so ashamed. They blamed me for getting ‘sent away’ in a ‘letter of accountabilty’ so I had to read about the smashing mirror thing to a group of people I didn’t know, some of whom were bullies. Parents’ only reasons were the mirror thing and a single joyride I took with my sister for 20 minutes in town.

    Now he guilt trips me, “If your mother really didn’t love you, why did she spend hours in your room, trying to make you feel better?” Really, really? If she was trying to make me feel better, I would have felt the intent, but she had her own issues that she had to (and still tries to, though we are NC) today.
    It was always about making her feel better at MY expense, never the other way around.

    So many other examples of how she didn’t love me- involving neglect/emotional abuse- I still have this awful feeling of having to prove myself. They are intent everything bad in their lives is my fault.
    Last time I spoke with her she said, “Everything is good in my life except you’re not in it” while simultaneously bawling and cutting me off. Every boundary I tried to set on that call was disregarded. Of course she mattered, poor her, but I was nothing. Even when I don’t talk to her or communicate I the reason for her unhappiness. How sick is that? And family members guilt me “If my daughter didn’t talk to me”….

    I have an aunt and her boyfriend’s family whom are people who understand the concept of love and respect. So when I contrast their behavior and my own parents, I poke so many holes through the “We love you/it’s all your fault” logic.
    I spent the holidays with them last christmas- best holidays I’ve had in 10 years. Why is that now?? 🙂
    Even if they hadn’t invited me, I would have been happier alone in my apartment.

    Sorry this is so long!
    Wow, what a great community this is. I can no longer live in the dark, I never will again.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February

      Hi G
      I am going to use part of your comment (92) in my new blog post. I have been working on a blog post about when ‘the abusers’ play the victim.
      I was addicted to proof for YEARS and even in the beginning of this healing process I had to constantly remind myself that I didn’t need to PROVE anything about what happened to me. What you are talking about in this post is the root of so much of the root of the problem in millions of adult childrens lives today.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: MMG Posted: 30th December


      In your comment you spoke of being forcibly taken away to a place for a year and having to read a “letter of accountability” to strangers as your parents put it as a result of self-harm and a 20 minute joy ride that you were at for roughly a year that they complain and hold over your head the large sum of money they paid. Are you a survivor of a troubled teen institution? If so, so am I. I understand that adds another layer of abuse that most don’t understand. There are many of us struggling alone because these places forbade contact after discharge. If you had this experience, please, know you’re not alone and I can give you resources for additional support in that area if applicable and you are interested.


  4. By: Connie Posted: 25th January


    Oh my gosh. When I read your post I truly felt as though I could have written it. Every point you made is exactly how I feel and what is going on in my life as well.

    The computer, eating, doing projects…whatever it takes to avoid the complexity of facing my life.

    I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 52, and I think I’m actually in shock that absolutely everyone I have ever known is out of my life. I think this is by me pushing people away. I don’t want intimate relationships…at least I think I don’t. More accurately…I can’t.

    For years of my life, I went out with friends, I worked good jobs, I always had a boyfriend and a husband too for 8 years, but little by little everything was eroded away and I found myself totally alone; in the middle of 10 other adult siblings who are wicked dysfunctional. I, like you, have a daughter, who is 28 and of course she is a great comfort to me, but she is busy with her job and children and doesn’t have a whole lot of time for me.

    I was just thinking yesterday, if someone would have told me when I was 25 or 35, or even 45 for that matter, that I would be in such a pathetic condition at 52 years old….there’s is no way I would have believed them. Worse yet, I believe my life has become pretty much the worse fears of most women. Fat, alone, emotionally ill.

    I haven’t always been fat…I was actually quite a good looking woman up to my divorce about 5 years ago. My divorce, which was very bad, just capped off the PTSD I have carried from my childhood with another large dose of stress, and I just couldn’t take anymore. I just totally withdrew from the world. I haven’t dated a man in 5 years, and I really didn’t care if I gained weight, because food was the only comfort I had….plus I really have self-hatred and don’t do the things necessary to promote physical health.

    I used to work out on a regular basis, but after my divorce I obviously learned I only did for men. And I thought the only thing I had to offer men was my body, so I kept it in good shape.

    I think the key to me trying to heal is getting to the point where I want to work out FOR ME. I want to take care of myself FOR ME. I am plugging along here on emerging from broken. I do a lot of reading and some writing about my issues, but I know very soon I will have to find a way to identify and then face all the emotional pain I have lived through in my life. I really hope I can do it.

    Again, Elizabeth, don’t feel like your alone….I so relate to all that you said. Maybe we should be friends….


  5. By: Vicki Posted: 10th February

    If going through recovery is like going through surgery w/out anesthesia, I can definitely say I’m probably not going to make it.
    I started waking up during my CTR surgery, and I couldn’t take the pain I was only just starting to feel.
    They put me back under when I asked why he was putting freezing water into my hand.
    I feel like I’m going through hell on earth right now, b/c this guy I’m friends with has to get yet another operation as a result of being severely burned on September 11, 2001. This will be the second surgery since I met him. Four months ago.
    There’s nothing I can do to make him feel even a little better-or, if there is, I haven’t found it-and he’s been staying away from me, from everyone, since he heard he has to have another operation.
    He thinks he has to be strong or isolate himself, I guess, and I have no idea what it must be like to go through what he’s been through. Being set on fire in a literal way? I think I’d die from the emotional fallout.
    I believe what Robert Stack said on Unsolved Mysteries:
    Some things go too hard against the heart, and you never fully recover from it.
    I think the emotional effects of being physically set on fire probably qualify as going too hard against the heart.
    Whoever did that to him, I don’t really care who it was like other people do, whoever did it are the biggest jackasses that ever walked the face of the earth.

  6. By: Vicki Posted: 25th January

    The only problem w/ people not admitting it, and acting like it didn’t happen, is that I ALSO have to not admit it and act like it didn’t happen when I’m around them. And they genuinely wonder why I wanted to spend Christmas w/ a friend instead of them. Then, I guess I felt bad about that too, but not bad enough to refrain from doing it.
    If I have to keep playing these games every single time I talk to them, I don’t see how it’s going to help me.
    That’s one of the reasons I had to find a support group in the first place although, when I started looking, it was to help a person I’ve treated several times over for domestic violence.
    We still treat her to this day, so she either didn’t listen or doesn’t believe it’ll work or something. But he also monitors every little tiny detail of what she does, so I don’t see how she could do anything w/ him around.
    Once I gave her the book, Dolores Claiborne, and hoped she’d get a message from it. I was frustrated coming to their house all the time, and I’m still wondering when we’re going to arrive too late?
    We’ve arrived too late so many times I prefer not to dwell on it but, fortunately, I’ve never been w/ a man like that. Watching someone go through it when I had no choice but to watch turned me against doing it myself.

  7. By: Louise Posted: 25th January

    My friend did this (she banged her head on things) at boarding school but I don’t know why. I figured it was a way to express stress and channel pain just like all the other ways, for me I scratched and rocked occasionally too – and I would scream when I was little too

  8. By: Sheryl Posted: 25th January

    From approximtely ages 1-5, I banged my head on my crib or wall, rhthymically,everynight to go to sleep and later, sat on the edge of my bed and bounced rhythmically and sang for an hour before I could go to sleep. Has anyone else ever done this or had any experience with this behavior? I know I can read books, but I want to hear from people.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th January

      My comment about “exactly” was about your last comment, not your latest one about head banging etc. I personally did not do this, but I have heard MANY such stories. You may not get much feedback on this post becasue the article itself is a month old. You might get better feedback if you post your question on a newer post or if you post it in the facebook page for Emerging from Broken ~
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Louise Posted: 25th January

    Oh I’m really surprised you found my comments helpful and clear and wotnot, I’m feeling anything but clear at the moment. Getting all sorts of memories back from my childhood, some are quite funny – we had blue straws with our milk at school, I had a toy that was a monkey when I was little.
    What’s amazing is they come back as flash when I’m doing something totally different. These sort are quite delightful although I get anxious they just hide other stuff. My dreams are much more unnerving and my body memories just ridiculous (not in the funny sense but in the unsettling overwhelming sense). Like I can be talking to someone or another survivor about not being able to talk about something and then I virtually feel like I’m getting convulsions and the overwhelming sense of not wanting to be in my body.

    So clarity is a surprise, I think it’s coming with the revelations and realisations I get whenever I read a post here or on OSA or like in @Lynda’s comment about it being called ‘Character Assassination’ I never knew that, but knowing that’s what it IS and then thinking about your just leaving them to it and not letting it affect you is really helpful. When for example I hear my ma say something on the phone, or directly to people about me, it about destroys me inside and rarely do I say anything to the contrary, if I do I usually get undermined by another comment that invalidates me, It’s not always like this but I react badly when it is. Reading what @Darlenes said about not ‘receiving’ people when they’re talking disrespectfully at you without cause and just reflecting their behaviour back at them IS really powerful. I guess we could also hang up, interrupt, point it out after the event, request them not to do it again, and if they do point it out again. I have pointed people’s behaviour out and said how it makes me feel and they keep doing it. So maybe I will say this is the last time I will point this out and give some sort of ultimatum, only I don’t really have any ultimatums up my sleeve… Wish I could shock people. I mean the only time I think I have is with friend’s of mine who had sided against another friend, and were giving her the silent treatment. I was horrified I respected all these people and saw our group as a sort of refuge. I never raised my voice or swore, but on this day I shouted and swore and cried at the same time and told all of them they were being superficial and should be ashamed of themselves and to be nice to her… They were all so shocked AND ashamed of themselves 🙂 And it worked! But I felt safe with them you know, one of them had survived abuse and neglect, another her brother abused her, the friend the ganged up on she was abused – somehow we all found each other in our twenties. Only I couldn’t speak because I was still in the fog so to speak I think with DID and PTSD very severe and my memory gone, it’s sad. They were all speaking and sharing and I couldn’t say anything only feel and being distant.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th January

      Exactly Sheryl!
      Thanks for your comment.. I found myself looking for a “like” button.. LOL

      Remember what I said about all of this happening in stages. I thought about all this for months before I stood up to anyone. My mother stated in front of people that her boyfriend had come into my room when I was 14 because I had a crush on him ~ when I was in my 2nd year of this process and I sat there. Before I verbally responded to any of this stuff, I had thought about it all for a very long time. I took my power back and found my voice long before I lived it out loud. AND that is just fine! It happnes how and when it happens.
      About clarity, something I noticed looking back at my progress is that I often wrote things that were amazingly clear but I didn’t see them as clear at first. I would have these “breakthroughs” that I didn’t even get the depth of until sometimes MONTHS later. It is all part of the journey!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Sheryl Posted: 25th January

    “I had to find a way to move beyond the desire to have my memories validated by someone other then me.”
    And there is the key! Memories, feelings, beliefs, do not need validation from anyone other than myself, they dare not!

  11. By: Vicki Posted: 24th January

    Lynda. That fate is exactly what happened to me, but not b/c people in the family told about the abuse. And even Children’s Services refused to call it abuse. They called it ‘neglect’ instead, as if ‘neglect’ has any more of a positive feeling to the one being neglected.
    Anyway, the law found out about what was happening b/c of a police investigation. My brother always gets angry at me for saying yes to becoming adopted, and acts like I’m a large cause of the family’s troubles, but HE’S the one who broke into a neighbor’s basement, stole $100 and precipitated the investigation. He never mentions that though, but he knows about it. He was the first one to be taken from the home, so he HAS to know it.
    Kathy and I were second. Paul was third, and my youngest sister wasn’t even allowed to come home from the hospital right at first. She has no memory of anything that happened and is the one who believes everything the oldest sister says, using the reasoning that ‘Ruthann was the oldest, so she’ll remember what happened most vividly.’ Except when she doesn’t WANT TO, that is; but, for some reason, my youngest sister doesn’t want to believe Ruthann lives in a state of perpetual delusion.
    Oh. And Ruthann is the one who told my youngest sister that I never had my head banged into walls. Even though I have all these visible scars on my head, my youngest sister believes Ruthann. That kinds of denial is IMO going beyond simple denial. I’ve never been able to deny physical evidence.
    Everybody but me has Ruthann on some pedestal, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I don’t even think about God the way they act like they think about Ruthann.
    I had a supervisor, who was a social worker-when I worked for Hospice Home Care-and he saw through Ruthann faster than any other educated person I know. I mean he saw through everything, even noticing stuff about her that I’d missed b/c I guess I was putting her on a pedestal too. But never the one that everyone else has her on. I was always able to recognize that she’s not perfect.
    IMO you’re not really having a relationship w/ someone you’ve deified. Not when the person is human and, therefore, not subject to deification in the first place.
    BTW our biological mother died blaming Children’s Services for what happened to everybody. Once, in a letter, she said I’ve had a stormy life since I left. Not before, but after I left.
    I don’t even get how someone can believe that when they tell it to themselves. I understand how they can say it, but I don’t see how they can actually, honestly believe it. And, unless she was the world’s greatest actor, she truly believed everyone was making her a victim.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th January

      I was so stuck believing that if someone from my past admitted that the abuse happened, then I would be able to move on. But no one ever did admit it, and I had to come to realize that it DID happen and that my mother, or my siblings coming forward and agreeing with me that there was abuse was not going to happen. I couldn’t let that stop me from recovery. I had to believe in myself. I had to just take what I knew as truth and go from there. It was amazing when I finally stopped trying to PROVE that I had been abused and just believed myself KNOWING that it was true. The whole world got brighter and I was finally able to move forward.
      My mothers sister came forward and told my mother that she had caught my mothers boyfriend in my room trying to get in bed with me when I was a teen. My mother didn’t believe her either. I had a witness that ONE time and it made absolutely NO difference. I had to find a way to move beyond the desire to have my memories validated by someone other then me.
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 24th January

    Louise, what you wrote really speaks to me, on the deepest levels:

    “…why would people seek to be fixed if they’re not already broken…”

    “Makes me so angry how many times I stood there and just took people’s invalidation and destructive remarks, after all they were older, or a man, or had a degree or I ‘owed’ them for allowing me my life.”

    “You don’t owe people for giving you life, if you do, that’s no sort of love.”

    “…I don’t ever want to ‘take’ that sort of judgement again that denies my own truth and experience. I AM deserving of respect, just as I give anyone I meet that respect because I DON’T KNOW their experience. It doesn’t mean I am less than anyone, respect is about equality. I have earned my own self respect because I KNOW what I have gone through – that’s all I need. I will never let anyone talk down to me again, they have no idea.”

    “…the same effect can happen even if someone isn’t talking TOO you, maybe they’re talking ABOUT you to someone else and it has the same effect of being invalidating and disempowering -what do we do about that – anything??”

    I’m right on the same page with you, Louise. Also, I, too, wish I knew how to deal with the people who aren’t talking directly to me, but are talking about me to others. It’s called Character Assasination, and it can be deadly, killing to the heart and soul. As someone here on Darlene’s blog has said ~ it may have been Darlene who said it ~ people BOND over talking dirt about YOU. And it HURTS, and it’s so unfair and hateful.

    For me, where I am in my life now, I just let them go ahead and bond with each other in whatever way they choose. I know the truth, I know who I am, I know what I’ve been through and all that I’ve survived, and I’m proud of me. I like me. If hateful people want to bond with each other by telling ignorant judgmental lies about me ~ whatever. They deserve each other. I’m staying out of it.

    BUT if there is a better way to deal with that sort of thing, I would love to hear it. Meanwhile, as you said, Lousie:

    “…being surrounded by positive people is a great boon… I can get a glimpse of it here with you guys.”


  13. By: Louise Posted: 24th January

    I have just been reading all your comments and coming from a place where I’ve spent twenty years experiencing the ramifications of trauma I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) even remember your words are amazing. So comforting. I realised just being here on this website and finding so many words of experience and insight is sufficient validation for me . After all why would people seek to be fixed if they’re not already broken somehow? I’ve had so much negative judgement (from family) people that know what I went through (unless it hurt too much for them to remember so they too forgot it even though they weren’t experiencing it). Makes me so angry how many times I stood there and just took people’s invalidation and destructive remarks, after all they were older, or a man, or had a degree or I ‘owed’ them for allowing me my life.

    Well, I don’t owe them anything. You don’t owe people for giving you life, if you do, that’s no sort of love. Family seems to be some kind of conditional set up. Sometimes I think maybe I feel that way because my perceptions are all off. But I got my perceptions from somewhere didn’t I.

    Anyway I recognise now I don’t ever want to ‘take’ that sort of judgement again that denies my own truth and experience. I AM deserving of respect, just as I give anyone I meet that respect because I DON’T KNOW their experience. It doesn’t mean I am less than anyone, respect is about equality. I have earned my own self respect because I KNOW what I have gone through – that’s all I need. I will never let anyone talk down to me again, they have no idea.

    However I noticed that the same effect can happen even if someone isn’t talking TOO you, maybe they’re talking ABOUT you to someone else and it has the same effect of being invalidating and disempowering -what do we do about that – anything??
    This is where I think being surrounded by positive people is a great boon. I don’t have the luxury of that option physcially right now – be nice though one day. I can get a glimpse of it though here with you guys

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th January

      Louise ~
      Oh my gosh the things you are saying lately are absolutely amazing and wonderfully clear. Thank you for posting this comment.
      about your question ~
      “However I noticed that the same effect can happen even if someone isn’t talking TOO you, maybe they’re talking ABOUT you to someone else and it has the same effect of being invalidating and disempowering -what do we do about that – anything??” That was a harder one because the being devalued was more covert, but as time went on I dealt with that too. The fog lifts in stages. The clarity comes as the fog lifts. The truth gets stronger and stronger the more of it that we have. That is the process.

      A neighbour man phoned one day and started yelling at me about my husband and the cows that got into his garden (which I later found out was a lie). I asked him ” why are you talking to me like that I already said that I would tell Jim?” He was flabbergasted that I would dare to ask him such a question. I knew that he would never speak to Jim that way. When he recovered his shock he started on me again and I said “why don’t you say all this to Jim instead of going off on me” and he hung up on me! LOL And he never dared to call here again! But the point is that even if the cows got out, he did not have the right to talk to me that way. There is no excuse for the way that some people treat others. Once I found my voice there was no stopping me. I am clam about it too. When someone is sarcastic to me, indicating that they can’t believe I am so stupid by their very voice infliction, I bluntly ask them why they are speaking to me with such dripping sarcasm as though they think I am stupid. People are SHOCKED.
      (some people are afraid of me.. LOLOL)
      I have even told a few people that it hurts my feelings when they talk that way, because when I began to own my power, I realized that I didn’t have to give it away if I said something that in the past would make me feel vulnerable.
      Thank you Louise, for being here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 24th January

    Darlene, YES YES YES to what you said:

    “…one of the most amazing empowering parts of my healing has been to realize that it no longer matters who believes me. I know my family does not believe me, and I don’t care. I don’t need anyone to believe me. It makes no difference if they do or not, becasue I KNOW what happened to me, I believe me, and I deserved better than that. I validate myself now.”


  15. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd January

    Dear Vicki,
    The ignorant DENIAL by others of our trauma realities can be very re-traumatizing. Especially when the ones doing the denying are family members, people we expect to care about us.

    “Trauma and Recovery,” the landmark book by Harvard Clinical Psychiatrist Judith Herman, MD, helped me to understand that the tendency of most people to deny horrific realities, is actually a defensive, coping mechanism. The almost universal response to hearing anything terrible is to say “NO.” NO, the person I love most in the world, isn’t dead. NO, terrorists didn’t just fly two jets into the Twin Towers. ~ ETC. How many people deny the horrible reality of the halocaust, or “blame the victims” for being too docile, etc.?

    For years I didn’t tell about the abuses that happened in my childhood home, because I believed my mother’s warning that she would go to prison for the rest of her life, and the 5 of us kids would go to separate foster homes and never see each other again. To my little girl’s mind, that was a fate worse than death, so I did not tell for years. Then, when I finally told, I was not believed. The extreme trauma of my childhood had caused me to have a PTSD breakdown at the age of 14, in 1967 this was, years before PTSD was known ~ so, because I was certifiably “crazy,” my story of horrific child abuse could not possibly be true~~~

    It was like being abused all over again. It also made me doubt myself~ was I really so insane, that events which seemed as real and true to me as knowing my own name, and seeing my own face in the mirror, were nothing but a fantasy, a product of my warped imaginatioin?

    But~ I KNOW what is true. I KNOW what happened to me. Even if no one else knows it, and no one else believes it, I KNOW WHAT IS TRUE. And, so do you.

    I’m sending you a big hug in my heart~

  16. By: Vicki Posted: 23rd January

    I’m probably going to be in trouble for saying this but, after hearing that I have irreversible physical damage to my brain-on top of the existing PTSD-I don’t see how I’ll ever be able to “love them in spite of their actions.”
    Once cells are killed in the brain, there’s no bringing them back.
    My oldest sister wrote a letter to another of my older sisters and said she loves our mom despite my mom’s actions and that she (my mom) “has a special place in” oldest sister’s heart.
    None of them even believes I HAVE traumatic brain injury, to which I quickly replied “And of course you know more than Dr. Freeman, you w/ your Licensed Social Worker degree certainly tops his M.D degree.”
    I’m sorry but I also work in health care, as a paramedic, and one of the first things we’re told is that the doctor’s always right. Even when the doctor in question is wrong, we have to treat the him or her as if he or she knows more than we do.
    We have a paramedic license, but it’s an extension of the Emergency Physician’s license. If anything goes awry, the doctor will be ultimately blamed even in situations that weren’t strictly their doing. That’s b/c we operate UNDER a physician’s license.
    But amazingly, my sister, who doesn’t have ANY degree in Medical Science, knows more than Dr. Freeman.
    It’s bullshit plain and simple. It’s bad enough that they talk only to impart what *I* consider stupid advice, but it’s pretty d*%$ annoying when they start acting like they know more than a medical doctor about traumatic brain injury.
    *I* wouldn’t even claim to know more than a doctor on the matter, and I work more directly w/ physical brain trauma than my oldest sister does. She approaches everything from a psychiatric evaluation’s point of view. And even psychiatrists see something wrong w/ banging children’s heads against walls when the brain is still in developing mode. From 0-8, the brain undergoes the most significant fundamental and physiological changes.
    So even psychiatrists disagree w/ my oldest sister, who refuses to admit her reaction is emotional and continually tries to say it’s a professional opinion.
    And you wouldn’t believe-or maybe wouldn’t want to see-all the people she has fooled.
    It disgusts me on both a professional and personal level. But, even though it disgusts me, it also makes me upset that I always feel like I’M the wrong one. Even knowing what I do about traumatic brain injury, I still feel like I’M the one w/ the problem.
    I don’t understand why that’s happening. How I can question myself after three doctors, one of them a psychiatrist, and a Medical Technologist have agreed w/ me about brain injury.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th January

      Hi Vicki
      I don’t know why you think you might get in trouble for saying that you doubt that you will come to ” love them in spite of their actions”, but you won’t get in trouble here. I understand how you feel.
      About not being believed; one of the most amazing empowering parts of my healing has been to realize that it no longer matters who believes me. I know my family does not believe me, and I don’t care. I don’t need anyone to believe me. It makes no difference if they do or not, becasue I KNOW what happened to me, I believe me, and I deserved better than that. I validate myself now.
      Hang in here! We believe you!
      Love Darlene

  17. By: Paulette Posted: 16th January

    So true about the pain gets worse before it gets better. I’ve been experiencing that. I still have anger that surfaces too, but its so much less than it ever used to be. And yeah, I don’t want to stay where I was – I was miserable there. I have this ideal in my mind of who I want to be … and every day I have to consciously choose to work towards being the woman I long to be!!

    I do feel safe with my therapist and I also feel safe on this site. I know I can share and not be judged in any way, and I’m believed … experiencing this has helped further confirm what my therapist tells me, ‘I am not the crazy one.’ So glad to have met you Jasmine!

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