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: Lisa B. Posted: 27th December

    Sorry…forgot to click notify me, so posting again…please disregard this post. 😉

  2. By: Lisa B. Posted: 27th December

    I’ve postponed a lot. I’ve postponed my life because my coping mechanisms take up all my energy. I bought The Courage to Heal today and read the introduction and the first chapter and am already (once again) talking myself out of the fact that I need to heal at all…that I really wasn’t abused…that my “abuser” was also a child…that I don’t need to focus on all this.

    The problem is I can’t get past the fact that, even if I am never able to justify my own abuse as “bad enough”, the results are the same. I still have all the symptoms of poor self-esteem, even self-hatred. And my other problem is that I feel the need to pigeon-hole the sexual abuse as the only bad thing that happened…and I conveniently forget all of the verbal, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual abuse that was layered on top of it…and that is still going on.

    So I’m going to try to at least take one step today. To admit that whether or not I was abused ENOUGH, I was in fact abused. And that it has had many long-term effects on my life. I guess it’s a step. 😀

  3. By: Cyndi Posted: 27th December

    Well, this is fascinating. I’m doing this. Right now. Trying this that and the other “thing”. Searching. Examining. And yes, even eating sometimes. I decided a few months ago to go back to my therapist because I felt I had avoided dealing with my father during my therapy. I declared that having avoided talking about the abuse was the reason for so many of my problems and I needed to face it once and for all. So much time had been spent on my mother and my father was much scarier. Anyway, I was wrong. We were done with him in 4 sessions. There just wasn’t anything left to examine or talk about. And I’m still feeling “off”. Like you, I can validate anyone and feel compassion for others but for myself….that’s a tough one. And you’re right. All these things I try are just new and improved ways of avoiding looking at me. Great post!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th December

      Hi Gabrielle
      There are no shoulds in this process ~ it happens how it happens. The best part of your comment is when you said that you want to know what it feels like to live your life. BRAVO ~ this is all it takes. The desire. And even hating the way it feels is part of that journey Gabrielle. Some of us get stuck there however, because we think it will get worse! Facing the truth for me (and I am talking about the belief system that formed out of the lies that I swallowed about myself because of the abuse) led me to the freedom I longed for for so long.
      I am really glad that you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Cyndi!
      The off feeling comes for me when I am missing something about a belief that I have that is still wrong, but I missed it. For instance, after I published that post I had a realization that my mother never hit me when my father was away on a business trip. And I also realized that she used food to say she was sorry. (she was never sorry in my memory but she would do special food things which I now realize was like “make up” food. That gave me a whole new starting place to think about in relation to my belief system about food. (and about why she was so dang much better when my father was away??) See how this one revelation has two separate parts… and so goes the process… LOL
      Thanks for being here and for being part of this Cyndi!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Gabrielle Posted: 27th December

    Darlene, I like what you wrote to Lorraine about realizing that it happened to me. My abuse was 40 years ago and I blocked it until 22 years ago but still never got to the realization that it is true, it DID happen, it happened to ME. Now I’m grieving like I never have before. To a person who hasn’t experienced this, it would seem like I should be over it by now, but I’m just getting started. I’m tired of living in a fog just to survive. I want to know what it FEELS like to LIVE my life. I just hate the way I feel right now.

  5. By: Jane Posted: 27th December

    I’ve read the blog for some time but I’m only now delurking to tell you how I see myself in every word you write. You’re much further down the road to recovery, and you’re such an inspiration during a very difficult time for me. In theory, I’m very well aware of everything that you describe as coping mechanisms, but in practice I tend to dissociate a lot. It’s a constant struggle for awareness. That’s why I recently started an anonymous blog, so I would make sure that I would regularly check in with myself, even if I don’t feel like it much.
    Thank you so much for spreading hope and light.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th December

      Hi Jane!
      I laughed when I read that you were “delurking” ~ I am really glad that you did! Thanks for this comment and for sharing. I am really glad that my words resonate well with you. I get the in theory and in practice thing too, I have been there and sometimes still go there with coping methods (not so much with dsissociation anymore) but I keep pushing forward and that is all we can do. I just keep striving. That is all we can ask of ourselves. =)
      Thanks for being here and for coming out of lurk mode. =)
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Jo Posted: 27th December

    I read some of your posts now and then. Takes a lot of courage and honesty to write about your recovery process. By reading about your coping methods, I realize how many people will use them to different degrees and for many different reasons.


  7. By: Lorriaine Posted: 27th December

    I have just realized that i was running away from myself, yesterday i wrote a little about if on fb. now tht i realize this i must face my past head on. i have feelings that i do not want to accept some things that happened to nme because they were so horrifying i find it hard to believe someone would take me there and put me through such abuse. i see what happened but have not really felt it, though my PTSD symptoms are gearing up. but i am ready to stop running.

  8. By: nikki Posted: 27th December

    It seems to me my whole life is a coping method and the sad thing is I cope to survive the coping methods.
    Most days it doesn’t bother me much but something will happen to trigger me and there I am in the midst of a very self defeating down fall.
    Thank you for posting this and for being so open and honest.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th December

      Hi Nikki
      I completely understand what you wrote today. That was the conclusion that I came to several months into my process. My coping methods were riding piggyback! BUT the more unraveling that I did, the more clear and settled that I became and then I started dropping coping methods.. some of them just naturally disappeared. I just didn’t need them anymore.
      Thank you for being here Nikki and for being such a wonderful part of this blog!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Lorriaine
      It is really hard for us to get our heads around the things that really did happen TO US! ~ as strange as that sounds, it is really true! When I finally told it and connected myself to it (not on the same day) it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I finally felt sad for myself which was a surprise. I finally realized “oh my gosh, they did that to ME, that happened to Me… it was horrible and so very sad to realize that my whole life was shaped by the sick acts of others.
      Thanks for sharing Lorriaine! I love your last line: I am ready to stop running!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jo,
      Welcome to EFB ~ great to see you here.
      Yes isn’t that true. So many coping methods, so many reasons for them too. =)
      Thanks for your comments,
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Pinky Posted: 26th December

    “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.”
    In regards to this statement , in my opinion this is true for every human being who ever lived! I think it is key not only to recovery from the kinds of things we are all in recovery from, but anyone who has low self esteem, anyone who makes wrong choices anyone who struggles with root issues that are controlling their lives this I believe is the root of it!
    I believe that once a human being no matter what their background is when they realize they have real value that if they let people in to see who they really are they won’t be rejected that is the only real way to be whole. This is really great insight! Again I think it is true across the board for everyone and as people in life grow and begin to be healthy their ability to face reality and willingness to face reality starts with the realization that they have value that they are lovable!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th December

      Hi Carol,
      I know what you mean about using the word “normalizing” being the wrong word, because abuse and abusers try to make us accept abuse as “normal” but I understand your comment to mean that exposing the depth of our supressed feelings makes us feel not alone, and that normalizing in that way that we all feel this way so how can it NOT be normal. Its like the proper use of the word “normalizing” VS. when abuse is normalized, that isn’t proper AT ALL!! Thanks for adding this comment!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Thanks for the additional things you have added too! I agree that we need to keep talking about what happened. We don’t have to tell the whole world; it isn’t that everyone has to be like me, it’s that for the sake of our own healing the truth of what happened to us as individuals needs to be exposed to others, we need to talk about it so that we can come out of the darkness.
      Hugs, Darlene

      I love your statement; “I am going to bed living in the moment” and I am so happy to hear that this was a wonderful Christmas for you!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Pinky,
      I Believe that you are right of course =) That is my theory too. Thanks for sharing, thanks for putting it the way you did.
      Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Kathy Posted: 26th December

    The holidays were always the worst time of the year for me…even after having my 2 girls. But as I have grown over the year and a half in my healing journey, I have to say this Christmas by far has been MY BEST CHRISTMAS with my beautiful family ever! Healing not only heals the survivor but those that are closes to them as well….a lesson I have learned!
    I could go on and on of my past holiday experience’s but I’m in a different place now and there is no need for me to go there…I have happiness, joy, love and people I can trust in my life. I’m going to bed living in this moment! I deserve it!

  11. By: Kathy Posted: 26th December

    The holidays were always the worst time of the year for me…even after having my 2 girls. But as I have grown over the year and a half in my healing journey, I have to say this Christmas by far has been MY BEST CHRISTMAS with my beautiful family ever! Healing not only heals the survivor but those that are closes to them as well….a lesson I have learned!
    I could go on and on of my past holiday experience’s but I’m in a different place now and there is no need for me to go there…I have happiness, joy, love and people I can trust in my life. I’m going to bed living in this moment! I deserve it!

  12. By: Sally Petty Posted: 26th December

    I have never spent Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a birthday with mom after I left home. I did spend Christmas with my sisters one year with my sons. I did visit mom, but at her house then. We had already started the healing process a long time before. I’m glad we did. She died a few years later. But the rest of the years I spent it alone or with husband and kids after they came along. It isn’t a hard thing if you’re used to it.

  13. By: Sally Petty Posted: 26th December

    Amen Carol! We have to keep speaking out for others and ourselves! I heard that we believe ourselves more than we believe anyone else, so if we will keep speaking things we want our loud it helps! Keeping quiet is where the trouble kept getting worse also. So….. SPEAK and speak LOUD!

  14. By: carol Posted: 26th December

    there is some good research out there, the (well it something like that)have some really interesting reports written about the long term affects of abuseive n neglectful childhoods have on the child into adulthood. it is british government reports but they dont take any notice even when the academics say it, makes it so much harder for us survivoirs to speak out when they dismiss what you have to say. but dnt stop talking as they will listen eventuall as the voices are getting stronger and are pishing for the changes society need to make tooo

  15. By: Sally Petty Posted: 26th December

    Shary! I love your post! It took me a long time to realize I can dust tomorrow or finish pies for whatever another day. It doesn’t all HAVE to be done now. Another thing that is hard to not feel guilty about. I am glad you have figured out that what you were taught were definite lies. If you were supposed to be a missionary, God would have put that into YOUR heart. He didn’t so you aren’t. The one thing God does want for you and all of us is to be happy. To enjoy our lives without guilt and shame. Guys, anything that makes us feel guilty or shamed is not what we are to be a part of. Most guilt is false anyway. God will never use guilt or fear or shame. The one thing that is built into our being, physically and emotionally, is love. The rest is a perverted form. They have proven that scientifically by the way!

  16. By: carol Posted: 26th December

    thank you darlene and all the wonderful people who have gathered because of your courage to share, even the new stuff that as the days are going by you realise without the pain that nomrally comes with those eruka moments because you ahve already absorbed the message you need to hear. this site nad the facebook group all help play a part in normalising (this is not the right word but couldnt think of an alterative) the horrifing stuff we went thro and allowing us to speak freely amd know that someone somewhere wil understand what you mean and can help expand our knowledge that bit more

  17. By: Jen Lynn Posted: 26th December

    I’ve given up avoiding difficulties anymore. Much better to face them sooner than later.

    I have learned that no matter what I did to avoid what I needed to deal with, God has always brought about the right circumstances to allow me to face these things, at the right time. The times I had to face these things, the right people, who had been through something similar were there too. Perhaps the years of struggle were for a reason too. There is so much that I have learned. I wouldn’t trade that for anything now.

    And because of my experiences, I started the facebook page below. It is my way of sharing what God continues to do in my life

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th December

      Hi Josi
      Welcome to EFB I’m glad that this post resonated with you and I love what you have added to it with your comments! Realizing that I never got the proper foundation in the first place was really a huge beginning for me too. Thanks for being here!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Shimon!
      Glad I helped you escape the tomorrow trap!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Sally
      I can really relate to these additions to my avoidance methods! When I have time and ESPECIALLY the ones about “when things are back to normal!” and “too busy” right now. And the truth is that it is never the “right time” when we are avoiding. There was never enough time to take care of me… and I had to ask myself WHY NOT? When am I going to put me first? And that was part of the whole thing I was talking about in my last couple of posts… I was waiting for someone esle to tell me that I was worth it! (round and round it goes)
      Thanks for sharing Sally! So glad to see you here by the way!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jen Lynn
      Yes it is much better to face difficulties sooner rather than later! And I have noticed timing being right often times too! Thanks for sharing your FB page with us!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Sally Petty Posted: 26th December

    There are other ways I have to put off facing things I should. “Later” is one along with “wait till things are back to normal” and “when I have time”. Like that would ever happen and we know it won’t. Then there is the fact that we have “too much to do now” or “too busy”. I heard one time that busy is an acronym. BUSY: Being Under Satan’s Yoke.
    The thing you talked about eating when you aren’t hungry as a way of escape made me think. This is a problem I’ve had for some time now and have been trying to figure out why. It is something to think about. Thank you.

  19. By: Shimon Posted: 26th December

    Thanks- you helped me get out of my current ‘tomorrow’ trap have a wonderful year

  20. By: carol Posted: 26th December

    went back on f/b and the comments there are great and it set a train of thought off that i thought i would share here.
    i have come to realise that the sooner you face what happened the less hold your coping skills will have on you later on. my defences becames barricades keeping in the past and denying me the chance to change how i coped as it was so ingrained into me that i was it. at 18b i described myself as me, myself and i. it was the only way i could cope with the memories that surfaced then, some i skirted, some i have worked on removing layer upon layer. it hard when you become your own worst enemy, but once ya start and then find ways that work for you,it does get easier. honest it does it must do cos there are people further along the road than i am

  21. By: Josi Posted: 26th December

    Love,love,love this!!! You certainly hit the nail on the head. For years I tried to change all my coping mechanisms without facing the reasons why I acquired them. I wanted to be the reason, it certainly is easier to change yourself than others behaviors towards you. It was a lot easier to keep believing the lies I was told (that I deserved to be unhappy).

    When I finally decided to grow up and “get over myself” I realized I never got the validation and love that a child needs to develop a healthy sense of self. I think it was easier at the time than starting WW3 in my family. Holidays without extended family are hard, but I think in the long run it will be easier than passing on this hate to my own children.

    But we can do this together, and writing posts like you did today is one step in the path towards healing.
    Thank you!!!!!

  22. By: carol Posted: 26th December

    hi these are comments i posted on the f/b page
    tomorrow is always a better day to do it, another is ‘when-i-get-round-to-it hahaha
    me i kept finding issues that i wasnt able to deal with so i went round them, carried on working on other stuff so now that i done skirting and am ready to start thro it i have laid down newer better coping skilss to help me cope n heal faster. thanks for this darlene it has helped so much xxx
    i have done alot of mental preperation like trying to figure out the stuff i could work on. doing the linking and learning how others have tried to do things and which bits i cld manage to try. gaining insight into the why it happened and the half realiasation that i wsant at fault and the shame isnt mine it is and was always theirs. big stuff but i still missing huge chucks of me, all the heart stuff and those earliest years when all my mind patterns and problem solving skills where laid down. shame i now have to unpick them now, as they really wasnt laid down in what is considered to be healthy by any means. gettin gto the root has been hard when there was so many bits stickong out to snag my attention.
    now i am calm, but i know it wont last as i am already planning that assult on my fortress, hopefully i can break thro my walls and see and finally heal from what it has been hiding from me all these years

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th December

      Hi Shary,
      Yes exactly, and you have described the upside of “tomorrow”. I had this all mixed up in the past. I had to put all the “doing things” as priority and the BEING things I put off! Thanks for sharing Shary!

      Hi Kathy!
      You sound so great Kathy; I see so much growth in you with this post. You are certainly on the right track with this ~ keep going and please keep sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Carol!
      Thanks for coming over from Facebook to post these great comments! I think that what you have posted here is very key for many people. Kathy touched on it above too. Realizing that the guilt and shame isn’t MINE and that I wasn’t at fault is HUGE for all of us and we didn’t even know that was where we were stuck!
      Once we get to that point and uncover that part and start to really take a look at it, it is way less scary to face some of the other lies lurking in the background.
      And YES to what you said about it is HARD when you have become your own worst enemy!
      Thanks so much for being such a big part of this blog! The changes and growth I have seen in you this year are fantastic and inspiring!

      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Kathy Posted: 26th December

    WOW! I can re-late to this in so many ways but want to share with you what just popped in my head reading this. For the longest time I had this deep overwhelming pain of not having a loving mother and I would beat myself up all the time asking the why questions, why did she abuse me? Why does she hate me? Why is she so mean? ect………I would escape from this deep pain by living in a fantasy that I had what I wanted…a loving mother that cared for me. In time this became a very dangerous coping skill for me because I would continue to hurt myself even more fantisizing something that would never happen. I would cut myself, starve myself, isolate myself, and even depend on other relationships to fulfill my need. Recently, I have finally gotten rid of that fantasy and accepted that my mom is who she is, I can not change what happened to me, nor can I change her or replace her. By really letting go of this the freedom I have recieved has been enormous! It was a really hard process for me to work through but I had to set into reality and learn that nothing in this entire world will replace that void of not having a loving mother and for me I’ve been able to heal that wound with God’s unconditional love. This is still a healing process I am fragily working on….but I recognize it, I’m facing it, and overcoming it!

  24. By: Shary Posted: 26th December

    Darlene that is so good. I find I avoid doing what I want also. I have found out I have pushed away the emotion of being happy. Because of the lies we were taught at boarding school if I didn’t become a missionary I would not be in God’s will therefore I would live an unhappy life. I am finding out how great it is to just be really honest with myself. Not trying to think what I a suppose to think. But thinking about what is my honest feelings and thoughts about things. I ask myself a lot of questions. For me saying I’ll start tomorrow is often a good answer. I do way to many things because “I should” not for the right reason. I have enjoyed this Christmas so much more because I can clean the mess up tomorrow, I can make the cookies another day. Living in the truth is great.

  25. By: Gabrielle Posted: 26th December

    Darlene, God bless you! You hit the nail on the head here. As I was reading this I found myself thinking that I could have written this very thing. I can relate to all of it. Thank you for your bravery and insight and for sharing, (even the part about the crackers and jam!). What you are doing here is making a difference and I ant to say “thank you”!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th December

      Welcome Gabrielle,
      Thank you for saying so! I am very glad that you can relate. It makes a difference when we “get each other” hey??
      Hugs, Darlene

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