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: Jasmine Posted: 15th January


    Recovery is and will never be easy. Worst, the journey can seem long and daunting…and you don’t know if it will ever end. Yes, it’s sometimes a lot easier to just retrieve back to where you once were – because it’s familiar. But think about it – is that where you want to be? FOR LIFE?

    One of the things that kept me going was the trust in my therapist. “Therapy is a 50-50 effort”, my clinical psychologist once told me. It means that I can trust in her judgement of my progress, and I need to believe it when she believes in me. It wasn’t easy to trust in myself, but I can trust my therapist. If she thinks that I can do it, maybe I can.

    The pain often gets worst before it gets any better. Whoever goes in to therapy and says that it’s an “easy” experience, hasn’t gotten the real deal (yet). It takes courage to be honest and resilient. But you know what – it’s worth it. 13 months (34 sessions) to undo almost all of my pain and start living life – is amazing. Oh yeah that’s partly because my therapist practices short-term therapy (supposed to be 12 sessions). Speaking of which – as brutal as termination sounds, I’m all for it as it forces me to stand on my own two feet.

    I broke down in the therapy room ALWAYS. Every session, except for one. And the “aftermath” of that session was regretful – I was so drained! Crying was a relief, and I learned to be in touch with my emotions within a safe environment. I know that the person sitting across the couch will not be tired or judgemental of my tears. I know I’m safe. I know that I don’t have to hide anything.

  2. By: Paulette Posted: 15th January

    Jasmine – your post is so inspirational!! It gives me great hope of overcoming my past and its abuse! And so true – it is painful and there is always a part of me that just wants to withdraw back into my invisible cocoon – but I strive forward because I hate being and feeling ‘stuck.’

    I’ve broke down in my therapist’s office a few times but always leave feeling as though another ‘monkey’ has been pried off of my back – and then I have to work at keeping the ‘monkey’ off!! It’s not easy – but am determined to live and recover day-by-day – to take one day at a time.

    Recovery is my great hope – to finally be who I am and not who my mother always said I was!

  3. By: Jasmine Posted: 15th January

    Darlene, you’ve hit the nail on the head again!

    One of the reasons why recovery is so difficult is because facing the pain can be almost brutal. I once heard that recovery is like “going for a surgery without anesthesia”. To recover from emotional pain, we need to be completely aware of the process, face the pain and brace through it!

    My clinical psychologist told me many times that she was surprised when I walked in through the door. Through her many years of experience, she has seen many clients walking out of the door and never coming back again. Not because she was a bad therapist, but because it was just too painful. Many times in therapy, I dealt with so many issues that I have hidden. Often I would just cry and bawl in agony…but when the next appointment comes, I was always there. On time.

    People asked me how can I be so resilient. Even professionals questioned. I think I was desperate for recovery. I badly wanted to heal. I never knew a life without pain, but if my friends can have it…then maybe I can too. I didn’t have much hope, but with the very little that I had, I “borrowed” some faith from my therapist…and walked through recovery.

  4. By: Louise Posted: 13th January

    I have value. I’m the only one of me on the planet. I might not have any of the other accoutrements that people consider achievements – a house, a car, a job, money etc. But I have value. I hope I live long enough that I get to heal and translate some of what I’m here for into purpose and helpfulness and joy. I’d like to be in a position where I have enough. But even if I lose everything I have, I never want to give up the self value I’ve found.

    In buddhism they talk about selflessness, but as a trauma survivor, I had lost my self in a very negative damaging way so it confused me to practise imagining invisible deities and try to transform feelings I didn’t/couldn’t feel – I’d already spent my life imagining a way out so this was ironically damaging to try and do. But one of the teachings is also the preciousness of life, of each life! 🙂

    So, I’m practising this thought that I am precious. How can I hurt this precious things there’s only one of – there will only ever be one of! I cannot stand by while others put words in my mouth and lies in my heart and negative opinions in my head – I’m not those things. I’m precious. How dare they? The audacity that you can think to know and tell someone else what their life experience is or may have been and negate what they themselves have told you happened. You can only ever reflect on your own life and declare it’s similarities.
    And yet people who did not know me have said my experience of when I was ill did not happened, that I did not have the chronic fatigue I had and that I was responsible for causing the suffering of others. It makes me so enraged. How could they? I would never do anything like that, how do I know what someone else’s experience is? And what galls me is that my brother who did know my past could have said ‘She’s had a tough life’ but he said nothing. And of course I couldn’t speak, a little feeling is impossible to relate to, a big feeling beyond impossible.

    I have had so many times people have devalued my experience in favour of their judgement. I wish there could be a way you could touch someone and let them know how it feels to be you, in your body with your life. I reckon people who judge me would die before they’d seen the half of it. I reckon that’s the truth. And they’re a long way away from understanding anything as their judgement clearly shows. I want to do what’s good for me now, not what’s good for them. It’s not good for me to hate them but nor is it good for me to forgive them although I can because they’re ignorant. It’s good for me to place the wrongness where it lies in their hands and leave it there and walk away. I’m such a strong person for existing before I’ve done anything else… So much worth if strength is worth something then I am rich. Gandhi said strength was indomitable will and I have that in reams. I guess this time I have to stand up in a different way – not just after the hurt and the wish for life to cease, but FOR myself.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th January

      Louise ~ this is profound where you are going with this! “In buddhism they talk about selflessness, but as a trauma survivor, I had lost my self in a very negative damaging way so it confused me to practise imagining invisible deities and try to transform feelings I didn’t/couldn’t feel – I’d already spent my life imagining a way out so this was ironically damaging to try and do. But one of the teachings is also the preciousness of life, of each life!” This is exactly what I am talking about! We can’t apply those teachings (those wonderful healing teachings) until we clear some of that wreckage away and start with a new foundation in order to really be able to comprehend what these wonderful teachings even mean. We have been so devalued that this step is very hard, but once we make a beginning it get easier.
      I LOVE that you are practicing the thought that you are precious! YOU ARE! WE ARE. way to go! thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Paulette Posted: 1st January

    Lynda’s story resonated with me in that my mother never saw any of her actions as wrong or abusive either. As many a time as I gave her to fess up and apologize and explain, she just never did. But just in these last 4-5 months I discovered that my mother will never change and cannot change when living in her own fantasy world in which she can do no wrong. Someone, who I am convinced 110%, has Narcissistic Personality Disorder truly think that they can do no wrong – they really are the center of their own universe.

    Like Lynda – I had to cut off all ties to my mother – she has not been in my life since the year 2000! It was one of the wisest decisions I ever made. 🙂

  6. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 31st December

    Oh, Vicki. I’m aching inside after reading your post. Aching for you, aching for the children you wrote about……. aching for me, too, and for my siblings, because our childhood was like that too, what you describe. Different, but the same… mother trying to gas us all to death, trying several times and failing to figure out how to override the safety shutoff valve on the furnace. Father, holding my 2-year-old sister loosely in his arms over the side of the top floor of a tall parking garage, chanting “I’m going to drop you Nancy, I’m going to drop you Nancy,” while 2-year-old Karen, Nancy’s twin, and I, age 9, are pleading “NO DADDY, NO, PLEASE DON’T HURT OUR SISTER!”

    My first trauma memory was like that. I was not yet 3, and we were stuck dead in a traffic jam on the big suspension bridge over the San Fransisco Bay, my dad and me, on our way to get mother from work. Suddenly my daddy is chanting in that scary sing-song voice, “I’m going to throw you off the bridge Lynda, I really will, I’m going to throw you off the bridge. Look waaaaaay down to the water, see how far down it is? I’m going to throw you way down there, and then you will die!”

    I didn’t know what ‘die’ meant, but I knew I didn’t want to be thrown off the bridge into the water. I didn’t believe him at first, I thought he was teasing, but he kept saying it, saying he wasn’t teasing, telling me he really meant it, and then…. I believed him. I felt so small, so helpless. Resigned, I remember that feeling. He is going to throw me off and I can’t stop him…. I can still see the bright sunlight sparkling on the bay, I can still see the little boats so far below. To this day, I can’t go over a suspension bridge, without flashing back. Traffic started moving again, it seemed like that was the only thing that saved me.

    My dad died in 1988, but my mother is still living. She’s in her 70s now. Is she sorry? Has she ever been sorry? Or does she still think that we deserved all the verbal and physical and emotional and mental HELL she put us through? Does she still believe what she told me when I was 12, that she had the right to kill us all, because she had brought us all into the world, and that she would be doing us a favor by taking us out of this cold cruel world… does she still believe that?

    I have lived several states and many hundreds of miles away from my family of origin since 1974, with only a few brief visits back to my home state over these many years. In 2001 I went back for a big family reunion. My mother took me aside on that day, and told me very fervently how SORRY she was for not treating me better when I was growing up. “I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you things to make you feel good about yourself. I’m sorry I didn’t buy you pretty dresses. I saw you as an extension of myself, and I hated myself, so I treated you the way I felt about myself. I am really so very, very, sorry….”

    Wow….WOW!!! FINALLY my mother had said what I had longed to hear all my life, that she was wrong, not me, that she had mistreated me, not the other way around. Finally she had told me that she was SORRY!!!!!! AND, for the icing on the cake, she had even given me an EXPLANATION for all the hate and hell she had heaped on me all my life, an explanation that wasn’t about how I was so unworthy. My mother had hated herself… my mother saw me as an extension of herself… and so she had treated me accordingly. WOW!

    I stayed in frequent touch with my mother after that, by phone and by mail, for the next couple of years. Then one day during one of our phone conversations, I told her how much her apology and explanation had meant to me. My mother said, “I don’t remember that at all. I don’t remember saying any of that. I don’t know what you’re talking about!” And then, not long after that, she started verbally putting me down again, just like old times, and spreading lies about me to the rest of the family, again like old times. I haven’t been in contact with my mother since 2006.

    So the “moral” to my story is this… I had my apology, and then, I had it taken completely away. In the end, it was worth less than the paper it wasn’t written on.


  7. By: Vicki Posted: 31st December

    I didn’t think I was worthless and without value. At least I didn’t what one doctor called ‘come down the chute thinking I was worthless.’ He meant you’re born w/out ideas. All the people around you in the first 5 years of your life put ideas into you. He was a psychiatrist.
    Anyway, the people in the first 5 years of my life-the one my brother DEMANDS I respect-told me I was “good for nothing,” “will never amount to anything” and “worthless b/c of being born legally blind.”
    It’s kind of difficult to think the adults are wrong when they’re saying something after being told repeatedly that adults know more than kids.

    I’m mostly angry about it, b/c I worked on the life squad long enough to see that most of the people who do this to their kids aren’t even sorry in the least that they’ve done it. And some are outright hostile about it.
    We came to the scene of one such incident, and the lady was trying to convince the police her kids had deserved what they got.
    One of the kids was diabetic and she’d sent her to bed w/out dinner, and we were there b/c she was in hypoglycemic shock. The other kid had been locked in a closet for days, b/c she said something the mother thought was disrespectful, and they found her too late. A third child was chained to the table and had died of an infection that took a week to kill her. But the woman still had the nerve to think her kids had “asked for the punishments” she gave them, and she was trying to talk the police out of arresting her.
    Besides disgusting me, the call made me realize my own parents also were never sorry. They never admitted they did anything wrong and certainly had no sorrow for what they did-they never stopped blaming Children’s Services for taking us out of the home. I suppose, in their view, one of the kids was supposed to literally starve to death and that would have been preferable to Children’s Services taking her out of the home.
    Anyway, after the call I responded to, I stopped “loving them in spite of their actions,” which every member of my family still does. And, according to them, that means they’re stronger than I am; b/c they let people think of them like they’re shit, they’re stronger than I am.
    IDK what I am other than angry after seeing it so much when I was a paramedic, and seeing so many “adults,” who blamed the kids for the chaos in the home.
    I hope this post made sense. It’s really difficult to stay focused when telling what happened to me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st January

      Hi Vicki,
      Thanks for posting about your experience on the life squad and how they made you realize the things you did about people and about your own family. This stuff is really hard. Your post makes sense ~ don’t worry about that. There is so much stuff that we are trying to sort out. As long as we keep tyring to talk and triyng to sort it out, we do get closer to the truth of it all. The truth hurts but there is freedom in the end. When I try not to look at the truth, I just hurt.

      Keep talking and sharing. Thank you for sharing the stories that you do, I know that this helps others to think about sharing their own stories and it helps us to realize that some things never should have happened ~ things that we used to think were just “normal” and it is hard to change our definition of Normal.

      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th December

      I read it Shanyn, thanks for sharing it with us. I left a comment there too. It’s a great post.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Shanyn Posted: 30th December

    Darlene! Another one hit right over the fence and out of the ball park! I have so been struggling with the ‘things’ that I felt gave me ‘value’ and when I’m not able to (for various reasons) use those talents I’ve felt quite useless and without value. When I purposefully pulled back from places where I used to be, and there wasn’t any response I was feeling like a stick being pulled out of water. I left nothing behind but a fading ripple and a small dent in the mud below. I’ve been blocked and haven’t written for weeks as I struggle with the value of BEING and the value of DOING. I’ve got value, I’m valuable for WHO I am, not for what I DO. Sole value of a person shouldn’t be whether they are impressed by another person, or whether they can do something – it should be based on who they are and how far they have come to be there.

    Where is my value? Where am I if doing the things I love or thought were of value to others are not there or not used? I fear sometimes, even through my prayers, that I’ll be foot prints in the snow – filled in and forgotten in the cold wind. I don’t WANT that, but finding my way through the reasons that I learned it from my childhood forward has been very difficult. My whole life was based on a few key, foundational lies, and now that I am dismantling them some of my former foundation stones are crumbling…do I shore up the wobbly parts or let them fall?

    Great post my dear, I’m way far behind on my reading so I’m off to read and comment some more!

    Much love and bright blessings…

  9. By: Judy Posted: 30th December

    Just this week while working on an issue with me, my therapist was suggesting possible responses I might make to address the problem. One was: From what I see happening, I feel that I’m not being treated fairly. It was like a bolt of lightening. What struck me about this was the honesty that sentence requires. My viewpoint and my needs were never to be addressed. I have never been really honest, I’ve been so busy trying to be that person my mother demanded I be, the one who had no needs, who wasn’t selfish or whiny. I had/have no idea who I really was/am. I have been living a lie. But I’m working on that and have gone from fear of finding ME to excitement at what I may uncover.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th December

      This is my story too ~ and the discovery that I could not say or even think things like “I am not being treated fairly” because I didn’t even believe I had the right to feel anything like that! ~so busy trying to be who they said I was and who I thought they wanted me to be, and it was never good enough, but today I am good enough.
      Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

      (looks like you might have gotten over your writers block by the sounds of your comments here! You could write a blog post based on this comment!)
      I can only tell you what I did: I let the wobbly parts fall; after all, I could pick them up later if I needed them right? I let it all come undone, it felt horrible and I was empty, lost and really uncomfortable, but I let it go. So there I was in this barren desert type place in my mind… nothing but sand/ space/ wind for miles around me and no end in sight, but I rebuilt from there. And it worked…
      So glad that you are here my friend.
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Lynda Robinson - Posted: 29th December

    Darlene, on Dec 26, when I read the title you gave this post: “Tomorrow I will start to Face The Pain” ~ I couldn’t face the pain of reading any further. So I saved this in my favorites, to read…. tomorrow. 😉

    Now that I’ve read through this post and all the comments, I realize there is a fine balance between procrastinating to the point of staying stuck and never getting better, and trying to do too much all at once, which can be just as damaging.

    Christmas was a very big, exhausting, emotionally healing day for my husband and me and our neighbor friends, as I commented about on your “That ~ Makes Me Angry” post. After the 4 of us made our long pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Angel Fire, I really needed to rest for a few days, and recharge my emotional and physical batteries, so I could read this great post and understand what I was reading.

    Maintaining a healthy BALANCE is a key part of my healing, because for most of my life I have been an All or Nothing kind of person, either doing way too much or way too little, and neither one is healthy.


  11. By: Andrea Posted: 29th December

    I did take the running literally before knowing that I wasn’t the ‘problem’. I always thought that somewhere I would get happy instead of searching for the solution inside myself.
    Since a year I’m actively working on my trauma and grief. I’m living in the here and now, most of the time.
    I’m having some problems right now that confuse me. I’m studying since about 4 years with breaks now and then to run again. As I said, I stopped running a year ago. I was moving lots of times but since a year I was finally feeling comfortable being somewhere. Now I will have to move out of the place I considered my home and I have the feeling that I can’t start over anymore. Because it is all just temporally. I don’t want to bore you with more details here. If you are interested you can read more on my blog (
    I have a long distance relationship and the plan was for me to move to him after graduation.
    Now that I have the feeling I have to decide between my mental health and school I am considering moving there earlier.

    As I was running all my life, I’m not sure.. am I running again when I do that?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th December

      Hi Lynn
      Your comment caused me to nod, smile, laugh, shake my head in memory… I can relate to so much of that stuff! It is a learning process ~ yes ~
      Thank you for sharing!

      Hi Clare,
      I love your statements in your comment. They are filled with determination and conviction. I once made this same decision, and then I went for it!
      Looking forward to the updates along the journey.

      Thanks for being here.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Andrea;
      I can relate to having had the feeling that I can’t start over anymore.. but I decided to stop thinking about it as starting over in favour of thinking about it as picking up where ever I left off… more like continuing with my journey. It makes things a little “softer” that way. I am not sure why you feel that you have to pick between your mental health and school… maybe you could have both?
      I wish I could be more helpful Andrea.. but only you can answer the question about if you are running again or not.
      I am really glad that you are here and I am sorry you are in such a struggle right now, but keep going, keep trying to move forward!
      Hugs, Darlene

      I am writing a follow up post to this post that I will publish today and then I am going to write one about why we are afraid of facing this stuff and I am going to go a little deeper into belief system stuff on that one again.

  12. By: Clare Posted: 28th December

    I read Elizabeth’s comments and I could relate to feeling a similar way in fact only at the beginning of 2010 did I start to not feel so lonely. Like Darlene I am also married and have kids. I want to live for the here and now, I want to be the person I know I am. I am still in the process of working that out, I do not feel as lonely though, but it is still there. I still avoid stuff and learning about what they are and why I do it. I am not scared of it mind you at the time I realise it is a avoidance thing I am. I do not want to avoid my life anymore, I want to heal.

  13. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 28th December

    I always second guess what I’ve written, such as here. I enter the caring circle, read, relate, and share, then want to take back what I said. If there was a disorder to coincide, it would be “attachment-avoidance disorder.” It’s as if I am drawn to what may be healing, and yet I am afraid of what insights may happen. Speaking of “happen” IT did not just happen like some random fender-bender on the freeway. Sexual abuse, child abuse, is a premeditated act of a deliberate and forceful nature. I thought that reincarnation was required to change my life; I relied heavily on suicidal thinking (and activity) as a coping method. When that did not work, I was thrown into a psych circle: hug therapy, anger therapy, physical therapy, biofeedback, psychodrama, and psychobabble. Perhaps a lobotomy or shock therapy could knock some sense into me. For years, I preferred my warm fuzzies full strength in a pill. Only recently did I realize the anesthetic/amnesic effect on my memory bank. And, like Darlene, I tried practical explanations, achievable destinations, affirmations, meditations, and celebrations. In other words, it was a learning process for new healthy coping methods.

  14. By: Lorriaine Posted: 28th December

    I wanted to respond again after reading several comments i am wondering about coping metheds, are you saying some coping methods are avoidance,binge eating,stop running,do it now, do not wait when things get to bog you down, take one step at a time, do one thing then another and after some time accomplishments will be felt and appreciated. what are some other avoidance coping methods you are talking about darlene, could you expand some on that? Just trying to see what all around are coping methods. before i had none, now i have some. your response will be appreciated. look forward to hearing from you.

  15. By: Susan Posted: 28th December

    Wow Darlene; you hit the nail on the head here! I also tried everything under the sun to figure our how to “fix” myself…because of course, I was the problem, I was broken, one paster even called me “damaged goods” to my husband as though I was not in the room. It was when I stopped chasing the dream and started living my life that I realized it was in learning about myself and understanding that my seeking comfort and help from others that I realized “the issue is not the issue” 🙂 Be engaging in seeking my answers outside of myself I was succeeding only in avoiding myself. When I learned to identify when I was “avoiding” I learned I could choose to stop avoiding and start healing.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th December

      Thank you ~ I wish there was a “font setting” for these comments. I would repost the following sentence of yours in one inch high bold font:

      “By engaging in seeking my answers outside of myself I was succeeding only in avoiding myself. When I learned to identify when I was “avoiding” I learned I could choose to stop avoiding and start healing.”

      This is profound. (I am having a “profound” day) Thank you.
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Elizabeth Posted: 28th December

    Great comments.

    One of my coping methods- the worst one- is to NOT pay attention to issues in my life.I sleep. I play on the computer:)I eat.I find ’causes’ to read about…its still escaping. I haven’t taken care of myself well. Some things I just don’t want to deal with and look at because it hurts- or I think it will hurt too much, or be too overwhelming.

    This has been an awful Christmas.I was snowed in, alone,in my mom’s old house, where I live for almost two days.It was so bad I tell people I had a ‘great Christmas’ without a second thought. I just don’t want to go there.

    I do alot of things to avoid anxiety.Many times things are not as bad as I worry about- or bad at all. I just got into the habit in some areas of my life of just ‘not wanting to know’…
    Many times in the past I have delved into things and been horrified.
    I was raised to not ASK, nor was I told about alot of things in my family; it was discouraged spokenly and unspokenly.So in my family when I dug to find out about a situation I was labelled obsessive and crazy – again.

    When I zone out, get anxious for unknown reasons I know there either IS something I need to look at or do, OR its this free floating periodic anxiety triggered by something reminding me of the past.Its very tiring and frustrating.Determining the difference has been anxiety provoking in itself.

    I have this feeling of having to reconstruct everything in my life and am not sure what exactly I have to build on.It feels like my entire history of family was a farce; evidently built on smoke and mirrors and untruths. Suddenly I find myself really facing that I have NO family, other than my daughter and neither does she, other than me. Her dad is not in her life by his own choice. I have to maintain.That is why it angers me so much that my family acted as they did-no one required them to be jerks- they chose it.But they hurt a very sweet and loving girl in the process as well as me. That really makes me angry.

    So facing my fears for me is daunting. I AM alone.That is my fear.I am alone.Its a fear come true.Almost every connection built on familiarity and history is gone.Now I feel like I have to ingratiate myself to prople to be part of something.It feels conditional. I still feel like I can’t create my own life; I can only hope to be part of someone else’s life that they let me into. Does that sound crazy? Its damned embarrassing; this feeling.

    Its also kind of embarrasing because around me I see people connected, healthily or unhealthily in families-or friend networks- but at least they HAVE family or friend networks. They have a network and unless they are faking it, and I have no reason to think they are; they are having some great times. I wonder what I am doing wrong at times.I just feel kind of frozen and unsure of what to do next.

    For some reason lghting a nice candle and taking a bubble bath with soothing music playing, and saying affirmations and reading inspirational books isn’t getting it for me.

    There isn’t a ‘second’ family to have Christmas with and to continue your life with for many of us.Dysfunctional or not, every significant relationship from my past is gone.its almost embarrassing how little I apparently mattered to people who mattered to me.I still feel like I am looking through a window at other people’s lives wondering how they came to be thriving in recovery. It seems most of those people have a support system in place and/or friends and family who are supportive of their healing in real time.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th December


      Believe it or not I felt exactly the same way even though I was married with children. The journey is lonely. I felt totally alone, I felt like I was starting over from scratch and I felt like I was too old to start over. But in retrospect I realize that in some ways the feelings that you describe in this post were somehow “the new beginning”. I was accepting that this was what had happened; that my family had done this to me; that my life was built on lies; and so on and so on, but in the acceptance of all that, I also accepted that I needed to start building a new life. FOR ME. Learning to love and value MYSELF. And in realizing that my old foundation was not functional, I was able to begin to build a new one. It wasn’t too late, I wasn’t too old. I have the rest of my life NOW.

      Elizabeth, hang in here! Reading your post reminded me so much of some of the stages that I went through, where it felt SO hopeless but really they were breakthroughs in disguise!

      Hugs and Love Darlene

  17. By: Listening heart Posted: 28th December

    Bravo, Darlene, Standing Ovation from me… Bravo! ~??~

  18. By: Rachey Posted: 28th December

    Hi all, this is my first posting.. and wow once again darlene is in myhead. lol. and Josi – wow you could have been speaking my words.. I know exactly .. I mean exactly how you feel. I am complacent being content in and with mediocrity. or at least i notice that i do whatever i can to stay under the radar.. I dont go out, I dont go for the jobs I want, I dont live my life and i know the abuse has caused my invalidation of self etc etc.. do you realize how hard it is to know something youre never taught? and how hard it is to try to learn something that should have been ingrained? well im sure you guys do.. but man others cna just be mean and vicious. ages 7-14 is hard to take abuse of every sort – sexual, emotional, verbal and physical. I just retreated and felt like no one has ever loved me again. My mom let the asshole talk her out of believing me when I told her after i turned 8. She stopped loving me. She stopped being my mom. I was completely abandoned and grew up f*cked up. I feel like i cant be that sweet girl i used to be.. Its not safe and everyone wants something. everyone. I feel there is no love without motive and I hate myself for feeling this and for being stuck. I am afraid to have my own family.. Im afraid to date because all guys want is sex it seems.. and rationally I KNOW there are exceptions out there… I do know this rationally, but i just cant believe it. Im a hermit by choice and now a prisoner of my mind and its symptoms. Its an illusionary prison that i cant seem to get out of.. its not as easy as ‘just do it’ like most think.. you cant just ‘go to the mall’ or ‘deal with lots of ppl’ etc.. they dont understand the helplessness you feel. and they all leave in the end because i refuse to grow because im scared. Im scared to expose myself in any fashion except being a control freak. lol and i joke about it.. but man i hate it. I hate it. and i cant stop. thats the worst.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th December

      Here is what I most love about your comment: “All this running ‘to others’ – whether it be savior-types or wise women or stone or cards or whatever – the journey is towards the self. You do not need all these ‘things’ and special words and whatnot. Just go inside. And yes; it is gonna hurt, but it hurts anyway, so?” That is so simple yet so profound! IT HURTS ANYWAY! so what do you have to lose really? (I could write another post about that actually… what we THINK we are going to lose.)
      Thank you so much for being part of this blog!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Thanks Kim for the standing ovation… I feel honoured and blessed!

      Welcome Rachey!
      It is great to have you join us! I really understand what you have said in your comments. This whole thing is like a vicious cycle that is very hard to stop, I had to somehow find a way to step out of it for mere moments at a time. Picture being inside of a small tornado spinning you around so fast that everything is a blur. Now picture stepping back just enough that you can SEE the spin in front of you but you are not in it, just for one minute. That is how it began for me. And I began by just looking at one thing at a time for those moments when I could step back from the spin. As time went on, I learned to love myself and fill the void in me for myself. This was not quick OR easy but it was and is possible. I know because I didn’t think I could do it either, but here I am.
      I hated it too. I feel and understand your frustration. Hang in there! I never thought that my life would be like it is today. I never realized that it could be this good! I never even wanted it to be ‘this good’ I just wanted a bit better!
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Anne Posted: 28th December

    That was so totally beautiful and amazing, Darlene – and you sharing this was correct and meaningful for all involved. I know you feel vulnerable for sharing yourself, we all do and all will on some levels. But you are in safe hands here and all who participate are willing to learn and support; which is just beautiful, in the right sense of the word.

    When I first started ‘feeling’ myself, I would go into states of being in the womb, as I called it. Times where I could be alone, with a blanket and just cry and sob. And sometimes get very angry and hit something. It is also very embedded in the physical. We need to visualize fighting back; taking what’s mine. Saying NO!

    Anyway – here I am – still alive and if not ‘whole’ then very close to.

    All this running ‘to others’ – whether it be savior-types or wise women or stone or cards or whatever – the journey is towards the self. You do not need all these ‘things’ and special words and whatnot. Just go inside. And yes; it is gonna hurt, but it hurts anyway, so?

    And it gets so much better.

    Love you all,

  20. By: Krissy Posted: 28th December

    Darlene, thank you for persisting in unveiling the truths about abuse and healing. Your words and the words of other survivors are what I hang on to – that it is possible to move on.

    What you wrote about is so currently relevant – I keep thinking about tomorrow – that it will bring the end of pain. How I don’t know. My coping method of this scariness is to be paralyzed and not do anything. When I think of where that got me – decades of abuse, something has to change. And it starts with acknowledging and self-validating.

    The scary bit is that I fear I am too old to start over; that I have practically wasted my life and I am the culprit. And I am crumbling under the weight of it. I think that is why I would rather face the pain tomorrow. Because the closer I come to it, the more I have to realize that I made the lousy choices that kept me in an abusive relationship. I gave up a high-paying career and a life to serve someone else’s life and make him happy. Now I have nothing to show for the last 25 years of life and it is hard to start over again. I can’t retrain and I can’t go to work because I have little ones. But I need to, to support all of them, including older ones chasing their dreams. And I need to get financial freedom to escape his clutches because he knows he can still mess me around because he has the money.

    I think what you are saying is that I have to stop heaping the condemnation upon myself for being such an idiot and wasting my precious life. I had a reunion with my college classmates the day after Christmas and while it was great, I couldn’t help beating myself over the head for being the daftest one there – throwing away my life to be ex’s slave. How could I have been that stupid – and I can’t blame my mother, siblings or ex even if they were all abusive. And that’s the scary bit – this one is my own doing, and I dare not get angry with myself or I may explode.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th December

      You managed to get the self bashing into your comments ~ did you see it? You said “I have to stop heaping the condemnation upon myself for being such an idiot and wasting my precious life.”
      I know exaxtly how you feel; I felt that same way and I was so disapointed about how much of my life was “gone” that I could have been stuck there for the rest of it, but actuallly it is a good stage because it meant that I had come to realize that I didn’t want “that” anymore.

      I also remember the day when I finally realized HOW MUCH of my life that I still had left to live! How much I still had to do things differently, how much time I still had to make a difference in the lives of my children and in the lives of others. I was frozen in worried about the present that was caused by the past instead of just getting on with what I could do for just this one new day. Don’t lose hope and don’t lose sight of where you are going with all this!
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: carol Posted: 27th December

    thanks darlene for getting where i wanted to go with my htoughts. you seem to have that knack. i am finding it really hard to use my language skills at the moment, it like i regress back to when i was lil and it gives me an indicator of how stressed i am, i have picked up some useful tips n awareness that helps me monitor myself and catch what i am doing, sometimes i can work with it but other times it brushed aside as it popped up somewhere i couldnt think about it n it had gone when i had time. plus avoidance is sometimes nessary for our brain to be able to process it without it shutting down the body in shock,
    things like catching my shouldres rising i work on bringin them dwn, grind my jaw or teeth stop as soon as become aware, i try to unclunch hands when i notice them just lil things but the cut down on the physical harsh ness abit, mmm well has me

  22. By: Paulette Posted: 27th December

    Lisa B. – I’ve been where you are … I finally broke and found myself a therapist – she’s helped me more than any book ever could (and I’ve bought my share of them.) But that’s me. I found that having someone validate me was huge. It’s like that was the real missing piece. I needed the validation of a professional to say that I was in fact abused. If you were abused in any way, great or small – you were abused. A little abuse is still abuse. Therapists are not cheap – but, so worth it. Getting my sense of self back bit by bit is worth every minute. Even I never realized how much abuse affects us – it is huge, as you well know.

  23. By: Paulette Posted: 27th December

    Darlene ~ Loved this post as it so resonates with me. I have looked into many a self-help book looking for solutions or at least anecdotes that would enable me to make real change in my life. These last few months, it hasn’t been about changing myself at all, but healing. As I see my therapist and continue to work through the crap – more and more healing comes, and the more healing that takes place, the more change I see. It’s not about change – its about healing.

    So when we emotionally overeat, binge, are bulimic or anorexic – those things are symptoms of something broken. A reflection of a broken heart and spirit looking for something to fill that unmet need in life. What is your unmet need? What happened to you that needs healing?? Whatever it is, it is that that is the key to moving toward wholeness … at least in my experience! :o)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th December

      Hi Lisa,
      That is a great step ~ to realize that the bottom line is that you were abused.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Paulette,
      Yes it is about healing. I had that mixed up for a very long time. I do change but it is a result of the healing, not because I NEED to change. I heal. I grow and I heal some more and I grow some more. 🙂
      Hugs, Darene

      Hey Carol,
      Thanks for bringing up some of the body signs too. I used to wake up with clenched hands so bad that I had marks in my palms from my nails. My jaw used to ache, and I too had to become conscious of some of that stuff and tend to the stress signs in my body. This is a very good point!
      Hugs, Darlene

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