Understanding Narcissism and the root of Abusive Behaviour


narcissistic mothers; knowing the diagnosis does not alter the damageWhen a shark bites the damage needs to be attended to and then that damage needs to heal. The fact that something may have been wrong with the shark doesn’t assist in healing that damage nor does it change the facts about that damage.  

Many of us come up with the term “narcissism” when we look into our family history and conclude that our mothers had narcissistic personality disorder.  Sometimes it is the father that fits the description. The diagnosis of Narcissism seems to answer so many mysteries and questions.

At first, realizing that my Mother had the symptoms and all the signs of narcissism I was relieved that I finally realized and even understood what was wrong with her. I felt like I had finally found the answer. I had this kind of “OH NOW I UNDERSTAND” feeling. But the more I thought about it, I wasn’t any farther ahead knowing that she fit the description of being a narcissistic mother.  

She also suffers from depression and is on medication for that too. But that knowledge also didn’t help me overcome the damage that has been caused to ME because the damage is there regardless of what is wrong with her. 

My father is dissociated. He seems disconnected from reality and as he ages he lives in his own little world more and more.  He was passive and non violent but because he was dissociated and emotionally unavailable, there were consequences for me as his daughter. I got the message that I didn’t matter to him.  

Having an answer or a diagnosis for the people who caused so much damage with their neglect and carelessness in my life, did not actually help me to proceed on my recovery journey even though it can be another little piece in the puzzle we are trying to solve as survivors.

All my life I had tried to understand my mother and father.

Why was my mother so self centered? Why was everything about her? Why did she have so much depression? Why did she spend money on herself and leave me fending for myself? Why did she humiliate me in public? What is wrong with me? And at the bottom of all those unspoken questions, I thought it was because something was wrong or lacking in me; that I was a big disappointment and that if I was a better daughter, then she would not have to be selfish with her love. I tried to find the way to “deserve her love.” 

Realizing that my mother has all the symptoms for the diagnosis of Narcissism at first allowed me to believe that her ill regard for me was about the Narcissistic personality disorder, but that knowledge didn’t help for long.  Pretty soon I realized that my mother did not treat everyone the way she treated me.  She was popular in her friend group.  She was much less self centered with her boyfriends and with her co-workers.  She did not treat other people the way that she treated me which helped me determine that she could actually control her behaviour.  And if she could hide it from others… then was it really a disorder? Did she really have narcissistic personality disorder if she only seemed to target it at a few select people?

I decided that perhaps my mother had specifically the “narcissistic mother” disorder which would only affect the way that she was with her children. But the more I thought about that, it didn’t really fit either. She didn’t seem to do the same things to my brothers that she did to me or even have the expectations from them that she had from me and although I am in no way saying that I was the most picked on of the children in my family when I look at the details of this whole picture, the fact remains that my mother could control her behaviour.  People with disorders can’t really help it. 

Thinking about it that way, I was back to square one.  Why me? Although learning about narcissism and other diagnosis’s and realizing which ones my parents may have had, it turned out that only a small piece of that huge puzzle was solved for me. 

It seemed as though my struggle for finding emotional healing went round and round for many years as I sought the solution to the mysteries, until I realized a few key things;

~ I had to realize that there was damage done to me and acknowledging that damage was the first step in my emotional and personal healing.

~ I realized that I HAD to face the pain that damage caused in order to validate myself where I had never been validated before. In a way it was like giving myself permission to be right and to be alive. I began to embrace my own value for the first time ever.

Covering up for my parents by excusing damage they had contributed to had kept me in the spin of mental illness for many years.  My loyalty to them was based on my fear of further rejection and on my belief that they would “be there for me and love me” if I could finally figure out how to be acceptable in their eyes. If I could find THAT missing piece of THAT puzzle I thought I could be good enough and that I could be what they needed and wanted as a daughter.  All those thoughts and beliefs kept me on the wrong track because the focus was based in a lie. I already WAS good enough and I already HAD value. The truth is that THEY had failed to communicate that to me.

In the beginning of my healing process, I had huge amounts of guilt, shame and fear about feeling anger and blame towards my parents. I realized that the fear is based on my childhood understanding that if they reject me, I will not survive. Eventually I realized that the truth isn’t always pretty and that anger and blame are necessary stages that I had to allow and even encourage in myself. Those stages were a huge part of my SELF VALIDATION process.  I had to validate myself in order to go forward.

So although understanding what is wrong with the abusive person in your life may be valuable information and it may even feel like winning the lottery, it is not the answer to healing from the damage. The real freedom and recovery happens when we begin to validate the hurt that was caused.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

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

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The related posts are in bold print throughout this post.  One more related post is ~ My mothers Narcissistic Reaction to my book idea


75 response to "Understanding Narcissism and the root of Abusive Behaviour"

  1. By: Lora Posted: 6th December

    Darlene! I’m always so impressed the way you express yourself. Sometimes I feel emotionally constipated..;-) and I can’t express everything because there is just too much emotion behind it.

    You’ve just validated me on so many levels and it’s given me great insight into my own behaviour. There is so much religious dogma, society dogma, media dogma that we all buy into and it affects the way we see ourselves. Parental dogma is the worst because there seems to be this “entitlement” that children are property of the parent and they have the right to treat them the way they choose. I know for myself what was difficult to break out of, was this feeling that I owed my parents something because they gave me life and took care of me.

    What was really going on was they couldn’t or wouldn’t take accountability that parenting was something they both never really wanted or were ready for and they basically forced themselves to be parents because it would make them look like caring loving people.

    When my dad admitted to me as adult (48) that he had others plans when my mom was pregnant with my sister and that he didn’t want another child. It’s like my denial bubble had been burst. Looking at the history of abuse my mom comes from I put together all the pieces that it was never about me. This truth didn’t take away any of the pain I felt, in fact it just opened up more issues to face within myself.

    The layers to this healing work are tedious but when I start to discover that I am a loveable, loving person who just needs to learn a better way to treat herself I feel relieved…I feel hopeful…I feel free from my dysfunction past and free to re invent myself and be true to myself. I can honestly say I didn’t know who I was and sometimes I still don’t, but I have more education now and can reach out for help when I need it.

    I thank the Universe for people like you who choose to come out of the victim closet and reveal the warrior that is hiding inside. I am now a believer that if we choose to heal and love ourselves, anything is possible, each one of us has to choose it for ouselves, no one can do that for us and that’s waht makes us all so brave. Love you all!

  2. By: Amelia Posted: 9th August

    How wonderful to come across this’s site!..it has helped me realize so many things that happened in my childhood that affected me as an adult. My father was an aggressive narssicist while on the other hand my mom is more of the passive aggressive narssicist who never takes responsibility of her mistakes as a mom, even now when she says something hurtful to me, she makes me very angry to the point that I get aggressive myself and end up leaving her house, days may pass by and I never get a phone call of apology, the only thing she loves to do is to text me with: ” god bless you and good night” in the mid time I get very anxious waiting for her to call me and say: sorry….after a few days I call her and decide to forgive her. Every time is the same I always make the first move and ended up feeling more guilty. I even noticed that I’m taking lot of my frustration on my husband and getting very aggressive towards him..I love him so much I don’t want to ruin my relationship….I know I need to heal

  3. By: ButtaFli Posted: 20th December

    I have cut off all contact with my malignant narcissistic mother and I’m feeling more empowered as the months go by. I am angry as hell and I don’t give a crap who has a problem with my being angry. I no longer have hope of her changing; instead I’m changing and she can kick rocks! Thank you for this blog. I come to your blog often and each and every time I feel more validated in the reality that I know to be true: that I was abused as a child and having a diagnosis of complex ptsd, ocd and severe depression is proof that abuse. Thank you again Darlene. You’re like a mother that I’ve never had. (happy tears)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st December

      Hi Buttafli
      What a wonderful note! Thank you!
      Anger was a very necessary stage for me. What happened to us justifies anger!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: priya Posted: 21st September

    Yes i was actually telling its difficult to cut off from brother and mother because due to the damage done by them i cant make friends, i cant take independent decision, i cant hold onto jobs for long period of time…i cant even keep my sanity..
    and in india the circumstances are different there are no support groups, no proper counselling, no government support
    Women are badly abused,molested if walking alone on roads or living alone.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st September

      Hi Priya
      Thanks for clarifying. This must be very difficult. Please feel free to use this site as your support group.
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: priya Posted: 19th September

    To Drained, Post 53
    Looks like we are living parallel lifes across two different countries with so much starkling similarities.
    Narcissistic mother, abusive alcoholic father and dominating narcissistic brother……what more one needs to screw up in life.
    One thing i understood from your post which futuristic that your sister in law poisoned minds of your nieces saying bad things about you and you had to cut off…my nieces are quite small now and i am sure my sis in law will start doing that when they grow up
    But even my life is extremely lonely and now i kind of accepted it…i just draw, paint, read, surf net, my husband and kid are there thats about it.

    One question i want to ask Darlene since most of my family relationships are disfunctional even cousins so there isnt much people i can relate too….so i have to forcibly keep in touch with my mother and brother just for diplomacy sake there is no other choice if there were good cousins or relatives i wouldnt have to tolerate my mother….what is your opinion about that??

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th September

      I don’t understand your question. If you are asking my opinion about how you are forced to keep in touch with your mother and brother, I don’t relate to that. I don’t have much ‘family’ but it was in realizing that I don’t “have” to do anything that set me free to make choices.
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Emma Posted: 19th September

    Hi Michelle,

    Your post 56 reasonated with me.

    I found symtoms of narcissism on the internet and i saw my mother. What it did was fill me with relief and validation that my mother was not normal as I suspected when I was in a thick fog of sadness and confusion.

    What it didnt do was heal the damage done to me, but it was the first step for me in not accepting the blame anymore. I put the blame squarely on my mother for damaging me and my siblings and creating a fearful toxic environment full of danger for a frightened little girl.

    My mother tells everyone that i am mentally ill and that she is a great mother with a loving marriage and a great relationship with both my siblings.

    I often say to myself what would a “normal, healthy, loving mother do” and I find its often the complete opposite of what my disordered, cold and unloving mother does by her actions.

    EFB has helped me see that this damage is real, it has a root cause and its been an important step for me in healing by accepting that damage was caused, finding out where it came from and healing it.

    My mothers actions now tell me all I need to know about who she is. Unfortunately.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th September

      Hi Emma
      It is so easy for people to tell lies about other people to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the failure of the relationship. It makes me sick that so many people willingly believe that the failure originated with the CHILD in the relationship!
      Looking back I feel very fortunate today to have seen my mother and father for the truth about who they really are. It is the truth that eventually set me free to fly.
      Hugs Darlene

  7. By: Barbara Posted: 19th September

    “People with disorders can’t really help it. ”

    People with mental disorders can’t help it.
    People with PERSONALITY disorders can.

    Narcs KNOW they are hurting you and they enjoy it.


    Hug Darlene and thank you always for this GREAT resource

  8. By: Michelle Posted: 23rd July

    I am just beginning to explore whether my M was N. Sometimes I feel so sure she was, and then I have doubts. Could my mom have just been a victim herself? Or was she herself complicit in the abuse?

    I have read a lot of stories of NMs, how they are enmeshed in their daughters’ lives, directing, controlling, manipulating. My mother was completely uninvolved.

    I had gone NC with her for 2 years about 12 years ago. She never tried to contact me. I was the one who contacted her in the end. I have gone NC again, it’s been about 5 months, and it hurts to think that this is what she wanted — an excuse to discard me.

    I hope you don’t mind if I write you a long story, because I am hoping that you can validate that my M was N. I think my father was N or possibly sociopathic. .

    My M was like an empty shell. We were fed, clothed, provided shelter, but there was no affection, no empathy whatsoever. My father (deceased) was an alcoholic and was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive towards his children. He was also sexually inappropriate with me (no penetration). Father was Jekyll & Hyde. Walking on eggshells. He was not like this with my mother. For the most part, they got along well.

    My mother never initiated hugging me, never had a word of praise. If I did hug her, she would stiffen like a board. I could never do anything right. Her most common saying to me was “tsk, tsk, Michelle!” If I became upset about something, my father would say I was just feeling sorry for myself. My mother would say that I was exaggerating or overreacting.

    I always believed my mother was afraid of my father and that this was the reason why she hadn’t done anything about my father’s abuse. But this was projection on my part. My mother actually was NOT afraid of my father. I had asked her many times over the years, before and after his death, and she always said she was not afraid of him. I never believed her. For a long time, I thought she was just in denial.

    She told me once that my dad had cheated on her when I was around 4 years old (and later denied saying this). It was around this time that I was molested 4 times by 4 different men between the ages of 4 and 5. Two were babysitters, one a neighbour, one a stranger who abducted me and took me away (and no one ever missed me). Sometimes I wonder if perhaps she may have been jealous because my father may have been paying attention to me? Maybe she set me up to be molested. It feels right to say this was true, but then I say to myself, can this really be true?

    Even before I was molested, I did not feel safe in our home. There is a picture of me when I was 3-4 years old, before I was ever molested. My nails are bitten down to the quick.

    Incidents with animals happened when I was around 11 years old. I came home from school to discover she put my pet hamster in a jar and smothered him because he was getting too old. She smiled and pointed out how she had put some food in the bottom of the jar so that he died happy. Another time, we had a cat that had kittens. My mother called my sister and me to the bathroom because she said she had something to show us. There she was, drowning the kittens in a pillowcase in the toilet.

    When they were 11 and 12 years old, my brothers were getting in a lot of trouble with the law, destroying property, lighting fires, B&Es. They were removed from our home and put on “boys’ farms” (detention centres). They never lived at home again. I’m certain my parents only visited one of my brothers once and the other brother not at all.

    After my dad died in ’97, I went in therapy and realized that I had been affected by the sexual abuse in my childhood. I realized for the first time that it was not my fault. And I came to learn that my mother was not willing to discuss it. She would deny knowing anything, or she would just go silent, or blame me, or minimize it, or insult me. I got an investigation started and they closed the case after they talked to her.

    I think the truth is that she did know I was sexually abused as a child. I consciously remember trying to tell her the first time when I was 4 years old. I told her that the babysitter had taken off all my clothes and all his clothes and we had played a funny game. It was like I hadn’t said anything at all. She always claimed to not remember anything, but one incident must have made a big enough impression on her that 35 years later she was able to tell me about it (albeit in a way that was meant to convey that it was my fault it happened). She later denied saying it. This was an incident that I had repressed and had no conscious memory of until after she related it.

    Some of the things she has said to me when I tried to talk to her were shocking to me and ridiculous, i.e.,
    1. So what if your father crawled in your bed naked and drunk, he always slept naked.
    2. If I had tried harder to be a virgin maybe these things would not have happened to me.
    3. If I had cared more about my appearance maybe these things would not have happened.
    4. Perhaps I secretly wished these things to happen to me.

    Do you think my mother is a narcissist?

    Sorry for the long post. I really would appreciate your opinion.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Hi Michelle
      I don’t concentrate on the diagnosis of the abusers (or on any diagnosis for that matter), controllers or manipulators. That didn’t help me. My mother has the “symptoms of narcissism” however I don’t think she is a narcissist because she can control it. She isn’t that way with everyone. She is sick but even understanding that didn’t help me heal.

      What has worked for me is validating the damage that was caused to me. Another thing that helped me was to look at my father and mother separately. I know that they impacted each other such as you saying that your mom was afraid of your dad but that does not change or alter the damage done to me and that is the key. SO I looked at it this way; My mother did xyz and my father did xyz. The only crossover was where the one did not do anything about the abuse caused by the other one which is also damage.
      I hope that helps

      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: SMD Posted: 2nd June

    I can so relate to disengaging & reducing contact as much as possible from my dysfunctional family. This is happening more, since my Narc Mom has been physically sick with chronic pain. I can predict that I would be the scapegoat for her wrath. Well, I’m glad to say I’ve avoided that recently!…My sister is getting my mom’s poisonous arrows instead. My mom blasted my sister for having to watch her kids, while my sister stayed home icing a leg injury. My mom does not like to be taken advantage of! My sister will get in her face & then takes what she needs. It’s sick how this dynamic plays out. I’m the kinder dtr who sets limits & boundaries and doesn’t demand from her and I’m ignored. It’s a blessing in some ways because with me there are no strings attached or obligation. My sister has to deal with the drama & tension to get what she wants/needs! Better her than me. So glad I moved away. My sister is down the street from her. Too close for comfort for me.
    So glad for EFB in keeping me on track. It’s comforting to have understanding & support!

  10. By: Drained Posted: 2nd June

    Daugher of Narcissists, I can relate to much of what you say. My N mother was extremely controlling, domineering and critical of me. Yet to outsiders she seemed so fun, outgoing, nice… She’s had dementia for the last 8 years and I’m left to take care of her. She’s in a nursing home now, but it’s still emotionally draining and I’m responsible for all the administrative work on her behalf.

    One thing I’ve noticed with NM’s mental decline is how she still maintains the core N temperament, but with the additional dementia effects of poor cognition and judgement, forgetfulness and general confusion. Having to deal with an N mother all my life, then be be the only one responsible for her during her dementia years has really burned me out. She’s 89 now, had 2 surgeries for fractured hips in the last 3 years and still going strong. The staff can’t believe her persistence, stubbornness, energy, volume (she yells a lot), ability to remove items meant to keep her from falling again, etc. We are all exhausted…

  11. By: Drained Posted: 2nd June

    I grew up with a similar scenario to Priya’s: Narcissist mother, alcoholic dad, dominating (golden child) brother who put me down and ridiculed me every chance he could. Sadly, this dynamic would continue even after he died (in his 40s). He and his N wife programmed my nieces to disregard me and have the same lack of respect and ridicule for me. All I can do is disengage from it and reduce contact as much as possible. Because of his death, I felt I needed to keep the connection going with them, but it really wasn’t very healthy for me.

    We always end up doing what we think we SHOULD do, even if it’s at the expense of our own physical and mental health, and that has to stop. We need to learn to give ourselves permission to stop feeling obligated to people that have such little regard for our own well-being.

    Fortunately, being an introvert and not really a people-person, I stopped caring that I didn’t fit in and was always a bit of a misfit. I actually prefer my alone times and can enjoy my animals, books, movies, creating art, … all the things I really enjoy most and don’t miss being around people. My husband and I get along great, he has his interests and I have mine, plus we have our shared interests. It took a long time, but it seemed to have fallen into place.

    It helps to know we are not alone and others here understand what we are feeling. That’s a big step in the long process of healing.

  12. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd June

    Hi Priya
    Keep reading and commenting. Self validation for the damage done in my childhood has been key for me in recovery and in getting my life back. Seek help from a qualified professional if you can but make sure that they are willing to look at the root causes of your depressions. That was key for me.
    Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: priya Posted: 30th May

    i could relate well with the blog my mom is a narcissist too and my dad a chronic abuser and alcoholic.
    my brother dominating personality.
    overall a dysfunctional family
    but all said and done my life is in ruins…i suffer from depression
    i can’t make friends….people isolate me and they bully me
    at workplace i am ignored one.
    with poor social life and loneliness i will soon hit mental asylum
    can someone guide me with strong points how to bring back my life on the track.
    if people keep avoiding me i will break down

  14. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th April

    Hi Jenna
    (I will fix that link, thank you for telling me)
    I am glad you are here! It is really lovely when we come together over these discoveries!
    Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th April

    Daughter of Narcissists
    Welcome to EFB ~ It sounds harsh to say (at least in my view) because it is so hard to fathom! and it hurts. It is shocking how many times I hear that the child of a parent who has regarded this way will be the one to take care of the parent in their last days.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th April

    Hi Drained,
    Yes, that is what I realized too. The fact that my mother could hide her behaviour towards me from others showed me that Narcissism isn’t exactly the correct diagnosis. When a person has a “disorder” they can’t turn it on and off. I found that comforting to me. It meant that she really was mean to me and that she could “help it” that she could have done better. It helped me to understand that it was HER and not me.
    Glad you are here, thanks for sharing,
    Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Jenna Posted: 9th April

    Part 2 is a dead link. Man, your stuff is so RIGHT ON, it’s like the universe is unfolding with you and confirming my own healing journey. It’s like your voicing stuff I’ve just realized, and I’m right in the thick of uncovering, confronting, feeling, facing… The answers I’ve
    already found for myself are included here on your blog, plus, you are
    farther along the healing process than me, so it lifts me up a little
    higher. Even as I grapple for my own pathways to venture, I see the
    breadcrumbs you’ve left behind, and I’m thankful.

  18. By: Daughter of Narcissists Posted: 8th April

    I agree with drained. It was so very strange to be treated differently than everyone else. It was mind bending because I was told that I was the favorite and so could not be treated well. I received the shaming and cruelty and neglect and abuse. While, my other more unruly siblings received the financial help, care and concern through out life. I was made to believe that this was because I could not be favored. And my siblings quickly learned how to play up on this. And use me to guilt others into giving them more. They treated me like crap & stole from me all of my life. My mother was severely abusive with me. It was like living in a concentration camp…extremely controlled and I was to be there for her at her every whim and need. I was not to have a need to my own life, friends, or etc. Yet, she was extremely popular with others. People told me constantly that she was one of their absolute favorite people and that they just loved my mom. She charmed and used a lot of what I came to see as fake flattery. She’d use the same lines on them all and they’d all believe her. She wanted the popularity and had to be a constant center of the universe up and into her dementia and passing away. It was constant attention seeking. No wonder my life never seemed to matter to her. It didn’t. Except, for how she could use me. That sounds harsh to say. And I believe she believed she loved me. She told me often in her last days. But, again…I was the one left to take care of her. So, she needed me.

  19. By: Drained Posted: 8th April

    Very enlightening. Some of the confusion that clouded my perception was realizing what you mention in this article. My mother treated me differently than others. She treated me differently than my brother. Her friends thought she was wonderful. She was outgoing, joyful and talkative with them. I longed to tell them, “Sure, she’s great around you, but YOU didn’t have to be her daughter!” but they wouldn’t have understood or believed me.

    I finally realized that the venom directed towards me was really meant for her mother. Her long buried hostilities towards her own mother were never dealt with. Some aspects about me reminded her of her mother so I got the fallout from her damage. I don’t blame her for being victimized by her mother. I do blame her for victimizing me. Understanding this is a big step for me in the healing process. For me, understanding the Why of something makes some kind of sense to the chaotic confusion, and then I can proceed to the next step.

  20. By: Andrea Posted: 1st January

    Both my parents suffer with mental illness. My dad was in a mental hospital when I was young because he was so controlling mom, beating her almost everyday infront of us, and beating men who he thought might be wanting to have an affair with mom. Dad also tried to kill us a few times. The doctor said to mom, “You better leave that man, or he will ruin your life and your children’s life” Mom never did. Dad is an extreme head game player…very abusive to the mind with his words.He begins talking as a friend with you, but he is going somewhere with his words, and it always ends up being something disturbing, sexually in some-way. He also sexually abuse me when I was a child. and when I finally confronted him with it, telling him I forgave him…he called me a daughter of the devil, and he denies it until this day. Mom is also extremely abusive with her mouth towards me, and has been since I can remember. I am now in my late 40″s and left home to live in the streets at the age of 14 because of the physical abuse from both of them. they never reported me missing. In 1994 I became a Christian, and God began taking me in a journey of healing…I have come a long ways! 1996 I had a vision from God where he allowed me to see both my parents hearts, and they were broken. since then I see my parents with different eyes, and was able to forgive them for the abuse. Their verbal abuse hasn’t stopped, but I know Gods conviction is upon them both…so I stay away as much as possible. I still feel the effects, the pains of their abuse. But I have the understanding now that is coming from two broken individual, and continue to choose to forgive them and move forward in understanding…And I know its God who helps me everyday to move, and as I do, I have a peace and a joy in me that comes from leaning and trusting God with my right choices.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd January

      Hi Andrea
      Welcome to E.F.B. What an awful childhood!
      Thank you for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Mitz Posted: 14th December

    Just wanted to say that each time I read a post of each and every one of you, I am given such validation..something I have longed for. I cannot wait to get to know you all more.

  22. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th December

    Hi Patty
    That is a great point! I love how you worded it and I had not thought about the subtle way that I talk about that subject myself!
    Indeed, my parents were always like that too. I never had a voice either. And as you say, the rejection was not because I spoke up at all… it was because they never did validate my feelings.
    Excellent comments, Thank you
    Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Patty Hite Posted: 11th December


    As always, powerful blog. While reading this, I was reminded of how many times I have said, “My family turned their back on me because i told them about my abuse.” I blamed myself for the turmoil I caused by speaking out. But, thru time and healing, I have come to realize that it wasn’t because I spoke out. It was because they were always that way. Searching into my childhood, I never had a voice. I was never validated and anything I had to say was unimportant.

    So, it wasn’t because I spoke up, it was because my speaking up was an excuse for them to not validate my feelings or pain, again. I was so quick to blame myself or find an excuse for their behavior. Boy, if that isn’t a sign of the abuse world, I don’t know what is.

    Thanks so much for a wonderful blog.

  24. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th December

    Yay for starting something new! Good for you. Yes please update!
    I had to draw boundaries with my mother. I didn’t try to get agreement from her to do that. I just did it. She didn’t like it but what else was new??

  25. By: Jessy Posted: 9th December

    Hi Darlene,

    She keeps responding in leaving messages apologizing once then going on to ask me a million of questions about Christmas because she can’t make up her mind. On Facebook she leaves about 20 messages a day asking the same thing. It’s the way she’s always gotten a reaction from me – to make me angry by annoying me. It was the only message I left and haven’t felt this stress free for a while. I feel great 😉 I feel sad sometimes because I’ve always wanted our relationship to be different, but I know it never will unless she can change, which I doubt. She doesn’t know a thing about me because she’s stuck in “me” land. I need to have “Jessica” land for a while which includes my husband, children and friends. Wish me luck I’m about to dive into a social life that includes a more broad friendship network and I’m actually terrified because I lack the self esteem and confidence, but there isn’t another way. Here I go! I’ll update you sometime 😉 Thanks for all the encouragement and your strength in telling us your own journey. 🙂


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