When Family or Friends say Mean and Hurtful Things

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overcoming low self esteem
sometimes it has to be about me…

This morning I was doing research on dealing with dysfunctional family during the holidays.  Everything that I find about this problem has to do with advice regarding ‘acceptance of others’ and how we can’t change anyone else.

I don’t get it; it seems that the solution “out there” is always about acceptance of the people who are doing the damage, and then taking responsibility for YOUR part in it. It is always assumed that each person in the relationship shares part of the blame for the difficulties in family relationships. This 50/50 responsibility for the failure in relationship thing is rarely the way it really is. Think about it this way; in your life, does your family equally share in the success of the relationship according to the way that you were taught the ‘rules of engagement?” 

Even the articles about ‘setting boundary stuff’ are about ‘not engaging’ and not expecting them to change. I never read an article that says, if your family is abusive, humiliating, harassing, degrading or devaluing you, if your family or friends disrespect you privately or publically, then “stay away from them!”

No one ever says that you are RIGHT to have issues with abusive family and that it is okay to stand up to them. They say that if your mother comments on your weight because you are having a second slice of pumpkin pie you should just “let it go”… and “well, you know how she is”… (What does that mean?) Why can’t you say “mind your own business mom, that hurts my feelings” ~ It’s all about keeping the peace and harmony; as though the message is that love is acceptance of abuse! But where does that definition of LOVE come from? Why is it so important that we don’t rock the boat when it comes to ‘family’ no matter what they say? Why is it that it is up to the victim to learn to ‘let it go’ and accept people the (abusive) way that they are?  (The message comes from people who want to live in the system where the one with the most power wins. Just because that message is the most popular message out there, that doesn’t make it a truth based message)

I tried to do this type of acceptance stuff for years and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. Looking back I always felt like I was agreeing with them when I didn’t say anything. Like my silence was consent or at the very least my silence communicated consent.

One time my mother commented that it was a shame that my boobs were not as nice as they used to be before I had 3 children! Why couldn’t I have said to her, “OUCH! What a nasty thing to say MOM”.  What would be so wrong with telling her how mean that comment was?  But I was expected to show love and respect by NOT commenting, or by just letting it go because “you can’t change other people” and the ‘bigger person thing to do’ is to just accept the mean things she says and dismiss them as ‘well, you know how she is”.

And then there are the comments from others, saying “she doesn’t mean to hurt your feelings”. 

What the hell WAS her point in saying that then? What was her motive? Why would a mother say something like that to her daughter?? Did she think I just ‘needed to know?” Did she think it would help me get on with my life if I was aware that my boobs had lost their former beauty? Was her telling me this ‘for my own good’?

She told me another time in reference to one of the grandbabies, that it was ‘too bad her eyes are too close together, and so deep set too; like her fathers eyes’. Was that ‘just a comment’ with no ill will intended? A loving observation? Was that useful information? Was it meant to enrich my life? What was her motive in saying something like that?

What about the time at a family wedding she told my cousin when we were both 19 years old, that it was okay if he slept with me because I was ‘on the pill’.  What was her motive for saying that in front of the whole family? Why would she say that? What made her think she had a right to say something like that, and to my COUSIN which made it seem even worse.

When my son was 2 years old we took him for a haircut and then met my sister-in-law and her husband for dinner. When my husband took our son to the bathroom, she informed me that they had decided that they didn’t like our sons haircut.  HE WAS 2! I wish I would have said “SO WHAT?”  I wish I would have said, “you know, I don’t know why we call you when we are in the city. You are so mean and nasty every time we get together.” What was HER motive in saying that they didn’t like our toddlers haircut? Was it love? Was it to make me feel bad as a mom? Was it just a casual observation with no ill intent?

My mother told me once that my husband had a problem with approval seeking. Where did that come from?  Because he was so nice? Because he wanted them to be comfortable and happy while visiting us? What was her intention for telling me that? If I had told him what she said he might not have served her hand and foot (like the well trained compliant son his father taught him to be) anymore when she came for a visit so I don’t think that was her motive. Was it to make me wrong about ‘who I picked to marry’. Or was it simply to remind me that I didn’t have such a special husband and that I wasn’t as lucky as I thought I was?

I had been so brainwashed with “I am doing this (punishment) for your own good” and “I am telling you this (abusive hurtful thing) for your own good” that I accepted everything anyone threw at me even when looking at certain things ‘logically’, there was no way that the intention behind saying certain things, was for any ‘good’ at all.

My brother told me that my parents were old and they weren’t going to change. I said “SO WHAT?? Does that mean that I have to accept the way they treat me?”  Why do people say things like that; that they aren’t going to change? It makes no sense to me anymore. It used to make sense when I was under the false definitions of love and respect but today I know that it isn’t about them changing. It is about me saying no. It is about me having boundaries and self-respect.   

I don’t agree that people can’t change and until we say something to them about these kinds of comments, until we stand up for ourselves they don’t have any reason or motivation to change; they can have the relationship any way that they want to have it. My silence was consent.

But I am not asking them to change, I am simply deciding that I MATTER and I am not going to put up with the way that they treat me anymore. If they can’t (which means won’t) change, then I guess it is a good thing that I am not in any kind of relationship with them.

When I decided that I mattered, I didn’t stand up to people in hopes of changing them. I stood up for me. When I ‘don’t engage’ today it means that I don’t bother trying to convince them anymore. I don’t try to prove my worth anymore. I don’t have to because I know my worth. Those are the biggest differences. I stood up for me when I no longer cared about the consequences of doing so. Their rejection of me, that rejection I had feared so long, did not originate from when I stood up to them or when they walked away from me, it started many years before that.

I didn’t stand up for myself until I realized that my self-esteem depended on me and not on them. They might have broken it, but it was up to me to fix it. I found a way to restore my own value and today I know that these kinds of comments are not about me but are little truth leaks about the people who say them.  

Recovering from mean and nasty; this is my little snap shot of truth for today; 

Please share your thoughts!

P.S. and just so you know Mom, I am in my 50’s now and my ‘boobs’ are still fantastic. 😛

There is life and laughter on the other side of broken!

Darlene Ouimet

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

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409 response to "When Family or Friends say Mean and Hurtful Things"

  1. By: Annabeth Posted: 13th May

    My brother and my niece have both decided that my daughter is bad, and mean to other children. We used to frequent my brothers house, for barbecues on holidays and weekends during the warmish season. She’s almost 3.my niece has a 3 year old son.

    My daughter has always been pretty calm. She’s the type that can play by herself, kind of introverted. Even at 3. Yes, I already know this about my child. I pray about our attention to her. She’s smart, and loves learning. She talks like a 5 year old but it’s still a bit slurred. Anyway.

    My nieces son is very smart too. He’s more wild though. As boys are, sometimes. But he is. Her and I and our kids went on vacation recently and I think my daughter got fed up with him at some point and started wailing on him with my car keys. We were horrified! She’d never done anything like that before. I punished her accordingly. But since then I’ve noticed she’s picked up some bad habits.

    And since then my brother and my niece have been targeting myself and my daughter. As of I don’t watch my kid, and she’s mean and bad to other children. My mom and I have both witnessed her playing nice with 3 other children since then, but when my nieces son is around she’s mean. To my mom and I it’s obvious. The summer when my daughter started waking my nephew pushed her down several times and his mother never did anything about it. She does scream at him alot. I feel like he’s taking out his anger the only way he knows how.

    But last week my brother yelled at my daughter twice for some stupid shit, and then scolded me for picking her up and consoling her. He told his Grandson to throw his napkin away. My daughter picked up the napkin and was going to friggin do it for him. But my brother yelled at her and told her to put his napkin down, you don’t take other people’s stuff.

    We’re so not on the same parenting page. He told her she was being bad, when she thought she s being helpful, which is what I’ve taught her.

    Tomorrow is mother’s day, and he’s having a barbecue for our mom. After reading this, I’m ready to jump on him if he says anything to her or I.

  2. By: Jill E. Thomas Posted: 5th May

    Thank you and I agree. I felt so alone. I appreciate you sharing.

  3. By: Lisi Posted: 1st May

    Amazing what Google searching can lead you to. I just came across this site today. I’ve been struggling for quite some time with issues from my past. Ever since I can remember my cousin (who is a year older than me) has always favored my twin brother over me. She would call me names, make fun of me, and leave me out of things. She was sneaky enough to be nice to me in front of the rest of the family. And I was too shy and afraid to speak up for myself. For forty years I have dealt with this. It shattered my self confidence, made me anxious socially and I have had to push it down. Mostly, I would be told to just get over it or deal with it or grow up. In the last few years, I have seen how her daughter is now doing the exact same thing to my daughter. She ignored my daughter and favors my twin brothers son. It’s like watching my childhood through the eyes of my daughter. Family gatherings have been awkward and uncomfortable and I just can’t take it anymore. I recently blocked my cousin and her kids from social media and from my contacts altogether. Whatever demons I may have from my past are my demons to deal with. But I can’t watch it happen to the next generation too. It hurts too much and I can’t put my child through what I went through. When it comes down to it, my cousin is and always has been a mean bitch. At forty something years old, she still makes fun of people who might be fat, or nerdy, or what she considers a loser. I cannot have my kids be around such bigotry and mean behavior. My kids get ignored by her kids especially when my brothers kids are around. As bad as I feel that we have such a small family, I can’t be around such toxic people any more. I should probably get some counseling after all these years… Who knows?
    Regardless, I am so very glad I read this post today. It’s like I could have written it myself. Thank you.

  4. By: LearningEveryDay Posted: 16th April

    Thank you, Darlene. I have so many issues in common as I read through your original posting and many of the comments from your readers. We all have people in life walked all over us without getting permission. You brought out a good point, forgive and let go were two different stories. Even with “let go” there are different meanings.

    I came to this link as I have been searching for “Friends that are nosy and hurtful”. You spelled out the essence of relationships. Do we want to tolerate inappropriate behavior just because we were coached/consulted/advised/taught we need to let go because we can show the world we are better persons and do not behave the same level the offenders do?

    I say “yes” or “no”. We live in a world of grey areas. It is not black and white as we thought it was when we were much younger. You made it crystal clear, a healthy boundary and setting tolerance limits will do us good. At the end, human beings will back off when they get the tennis ball aiming their forehead. Otherwise, it’s human nature that we keep smacking and returning the ball thinking it is “the norm” and we “are entitled” to do so in a game. We can forgive, but we cannot forget our traumas. We can grieve and heal through many years of psychotherapies but we need time and people in our lives who understand our pain and sufferings without judgment. That is very hard, almost impossible. Why? We all have our needs to meet and most of ours needs were unmet. It is almost unheard of if someone really can take your shoe. Saying “put myself in your shoes” is easy. The execution part is difficult.

    You made me feel good when I told my friend she made me feel I was nothing at the end. She who flew coast to coast two days ago and stayed with me and gave me “expensive psychotherapy sessions” that I did not ask for, though she was the one who introduce a therapist to me 16 years ago. She went through 25 years of therapy herself and it’s still going. I took her to places, gourmet fine dining, shopping, sightseeing etc. and at the end of the three-day visit we had a quick bite at a diner before I dropped her off to her potential business partner for three more days in the city. I was exhausted and to begin with I was NOT in a condition that I had the energy, time, or money to entertain someone after a five-year difficult divorce marathon. I did not tell her I was not ready to “enjoy life” with a girl-friend yet as I was beaten emotionally and physically since I re-injured some muscles resuming yoga 5 weeks ago. Because she was excited about getting out a job she hated and before she began her new job, she needed to get away. She told me she loved to visit me for years and did not get a chance. I did not have the heart to tell her I was not ready to enjoy this wonderful get together yet. Basically, I need to sleep and rest while I’m looking for full-time employment after an eight-year gap. This is already stressful enough that lengthen the emotional and physical recovery process from losing a family, a son, and difficult separation from a 31 year relationship with my narcissistic ex who kept stalking me.

    Long story short, I want to share with you my other learnings from Dr. Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015), founder and speaker of The Centre for Non-violent Communication, cnvc.org. This would give other meanings to Darlene’s coaching and consulting effort in helping those who need personal development and relationship improvements. No matter what ethnicity or language we speak, whether we sell pretzels in a truck at the corner of the street or sit in an executive leather chair in a window office, we all suffer from one common issue – our ancestors, our parents, ourselves, and our children were all taught using “violent” communication skills. You would be surprise to learn but later you would understand why these are violent communications: “You MUST do these before I can accept your work”, or “You SHOULD follow my instruction”, or “YOU ARE BAD AND SELFISH”. The centre of the root causes of our dysfunctional relationships is when we use ineffective communication (words, facial expression, body language, writing, etc.), we cannot get the other person understand our needs. Communications goes many directions and we are all in pain and we suffer from not getting our needs met if we keep using the same skills we are so used to during our entire life. For one person you identified would have a chance to improve communication and relationship with you, urge this person to watch the YouTube videos too, as a start, and go on cnvc.org to look for other free resources. It is worth it. Nevertheless, not everyone in our life is capable of making changes.

    Remember, people don’t do what they don’t want to do. Especially, if someone you love or you hope to improve relationship with has been suffering from personality disorders may certainly not a good candidate for you to begin practicing non-violent communication skills with. Only the person has the same intention to improvement relationship with you, to being this new process with you. In addition, it is critical to know we, adults, are responsible for our own needs. We can ask/request/demand the other people to meet our needs, however, no one is obligated to do so. That includes our parents, spouses, best friends, etc. Once I acknowledged this fact 2 years ago, I finally understood and recalled the many occasions in life why I was disappointed, hurt, humiliated, and even physically injured in some cases; and it went opposite ways, don’t forget. Don’t deny we have never “hurt” others’ feelings in the past, whether intentionally or not. The YouTube videos are free and some of you will enjoy the videos as Dr. Marshall Rosenberg was a very funny educated person. His teachings have been very practical helping relationships to rebuild, whether it was marriage, parent-child, organizational, or nations in distress and at risk going in war.

    Back to my story with the friend who visited me two days ago. She did not understand my needs or at least I mentioned but she did not get it. She came a long way to be a confident person. Deep down, she could still be very fragile, although after undergoing 25 years of therapies. Besides, she obviously had needs unmet. Her anger regarding her ex-boss, the job she hated and resigned from three days ago and her person matters I would not reveal here. When I picked her up at the airport, I approached her and told her I wanted to listen to her stories and would love to give her a shoulder. However, she kept poking my pain in many different ways. Not that I have never told her my difficult divorce. I ran into people in life who could find ways to get information from you without needing to ask you the question directly. Well, I tried to avoid but she opened up the Pandora box. At the end, all the comments and “teachings” she gave me made me feel crappy.

    Not that I haven’t heard from my therapist, but my therapist would use a different tone and understands it takes time to heal after 31 years of investment in a relationship that I could not save and impossible to save. How many times I had to tell my friend I was not ready to achieve certain level of healing and I was not at the level yet to come out from the shell and pain? I have not gone through grieving properly from many of my traumas since childhood and now finally the dissolution of the long-term dysfunctional marriage and my ex’ extra-marital affairs shattered my heart in pieces, affected my son in many ways, and it takes time to glue the pieces back together. She had no empathy, even though she kept saying she understood. Her facial expression kept telling me she was annoyed by my snail recovery progress. I was frustrated and she was utterly upset.

    I was very disappointed, not only I wasted my effort to stay positive the last few months, now I have to go through the exercise again after her comments and silent treatment. I texted her but she would not reply. I slept and I sat down a moment ago. The light bulb went on. She needed something from me but she did not say. She was testing the water, I felt strongly she did. I guess she wanted to find out if I have capital or management expertise to invest in her new business venture but she did not spit it out for some reasons. After all I completed an executive MBA during this difficult period, I just realized she never said a word to congratulate me. I felt that she came over was to observe my real situation. I believed and still wanted to believe she came over to comfort an old friend. There were other things in her mind or she was basically frustrated at me that I did not “appreciate” her free psychotherapies she offered. I didn’t know, there was no open communication what she might need from me. I cannot read mind. How do I know what’s in her mind? I can only guess and ask questions, which she turned into different subjects.

    If we knew how to communicate clearly what we want from the other person to meet our needs, it would be night and day difference. It could be kindness, understanding, patience, respect, a hug, a kiss, a shoulder, whatever we are asking, but definitely not harsh judgement or cold advice when we were not ready to take action yet. Would you think we could have a better chance to get or continue a meaningful conversation and get what we requested and avoid a lot of heartaches? Remember it goes opposite directions, regardless. My two cents…

  5. By: d ch Posted: 1st January

    I got nasty emails from my brother because NM cried to him about me not going to her house for Christmas, and not wanting gifts.
    After NC since March 2015, Mother and I have started talking Nov. 2016

    I told her I wanted to take things slow as far as visiting, that we could talk on the phone, and see how it goes.
    I told my brother to stop accusing and judging me. He persists in finding me the bad person. I ruined her Christmas and am always disrespectful.

    I messaged NM on Facebook today. (Have not heard from her since I told her I was staying home for Christmas.)
    This is my message to her.

    Happy New Year I hope your anger hurt and disappointment in my choices for Christmas will not last long. Brother texted me about how wrong Ive been. Im sure he told you what I had to say. I told him not to text me anymore with accusations and criticism.
    We all make choices that others dont like or agree with. I hope we can talk soon. Im praying you will understand my need to take time regarding us seeing each other. Call me when you want to talk.
    God Bless You and Stepfather

    I don’t know what the hell to do. She continues to involve my brother when she wants to bitch about me.

    I thought we could work on having a new better relationship…..I don’t know if that will ever happen.

    • By: NeedPeace Posted: 19th January

      You sound just like me! My mom does the same thing. She has for years. When I was a teen, if she thought something was wrong with me, instead of asking me, she would call my best friend…”What’s wrong with —— ? “. Like my best friend wasn’t gonna tell me what she said.

      Sometimes, when I’m around her, I literally don’t know what to say. It makes me sad.
      I have been thru the Christmas event with her, coming to visit thing and yes I feel like everything I do that is not agreed upon by her, she tells my brother. I know for a fact she talks to my cousin about me.

      Only prob is, unlike you, I haven’t gotten to the point of saying what I feel.
      Actually, sitting here thinking about it, makes me sick on my stomach.

      How do I get to the point of saying what I feel. I have got to fix this, for me!
      I have been going thru this exact thing, I feel like for most of my adult life. I’m 55 mind you.

      Replies please

  6. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 31st December

    Or another useful term is HCP-High Confict Person/People if CB seems too mental health-ish.

    Yk, you really can pick your own family. Would you associate with your DNA “family” if not for DNA? Do you actually
    *like* these people? Do you love them? If you had a choice (and you know where imma going with this) would you have anything to do with them at all? Our lives are in large measure, comprised of the decisions we make. In those circumstances where we do have opportunities to choose (even if it’s between horrible and terrible) we are responsible for making those choices-or not.

    These are the painful personal questions and decisions I confronted many decades ago-long before the Internet. Because we are so inculcated with the belief there is something wrong *with US,* admitting to myself I did not like or love my CB “mother” left me in a yet more heightened state of internal shame-everybody loves their mom, right? Or at least likes her amIright? So what’s wrong with me? And I do believe this is exactly where Darlene started her own personal journey-she courageously reframed the question: It was no longer “What’s wrong with me?” but instead, “Wait, how did I get here? WHY do I feel as I do?” Perspective alters EVERYTHING. Instead of viewing one’s self or their life through a pin hole lens, you instead change the view to a panoramic lens. Step back. And then step back some more: The memories and experiences we have did not occur in situ, in a vacuum. We were the KIDS. We came into this world hard wired to bond with our primary caretakers-that’s just science, Yk? This decision to accept your feelings and experiences as a result of externals involving growing up and into adulthood with a High Conflict Parent (or sibling) is IMO an excellent Starting Point. But admitting your own Truth to yourself-for better or worse, it really doesn’t matter-requires humility, compassion and courage. It’s NOT about judgement, it’s about accountability. It’s not about “a few mistakes were made” but about a pattern of behavior over decades and over which we had no control. It’s not about “what’s wrong with me?” but “What am I going to do NOW that I can admit my Truth to myself?” We are loath to use the “a” word (abuse) or the “n” word (neglect) to describe our experiences. After all, we didn’t end up in an installment of “Crimimal Minds: Special Victims Unit.” The bar we set for “good enough” parenting/”family” is set so low-and besides, “others had it worse”-and is so distorted we keep gaslighting ourselves, minimizing, rationalizing, denying our own Truth and Reality. In doing so, we attempt to erase US.<That takes a huge amount of energy and psychological/practical Shuck n Jive. It's exhausting! Any wonder we become depressed, anxious, fearful etc.? These are normal responses to an abnormal reality we did not create.

    The provision of food, clothing and shelter, the bare bones minimum to sustain human life is not an indicator of a "good enough" or gold star parenting. Remember, these are ALSO provided by orphanages, jails and prisons. It's not about the typical CB parental responses when confronted with your Truth a la "I did the best I could!" NO.YOU DID WHAT YOU DID. It's not about "Well, I know I wasn't PERFECT!" That's a Strawman argument and a Diversion/Distraction tactic. It's not about "someone else had it worse" etc. because what YOU experienced, yeah, your own neglect and abuse-call things by their right names, please!-was personal to YOU. Let that sink in. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. Burns scar over. It is the emotional/psychological effects of growing up into adult life and the continuation of those behaviors and dynamics that leave the longest Legacy. It is not about "carrying grudges /living in the past" because their on-going behavior ensures the There and Then continually plays out in the Here and Now: The CB/HCP pattern of interaction, of painful destructive family dynamics makes the Past Present.<This was in my experience the reaffirmation of my "fatally irrevocably flawed" belief that kept me from truly examining where my feelings and beliefs originated.

    Darlene has created a fantastic space here for all of us-and thank you Darlene for being who you are, for your generosity, your integrity, your willingness to speak your Truth even when you scared yourself half to death when you broke the most fundamental Law of CB/HCP Families: Thou shalt not talk. This was ruthlessly inculcated in ALL of us.
    Until we speak honestly to ourselves, we can not start the process of ensuring we do not pass on that same Legacy to our own families. The pain stops with us. I believe there is no greater gift we can give to our own families, loved ones and communities than this. Every one of us has the potential for Greatness, for changing our world and the world at large "one snapshot at a time."
    Wishing Darlene and all of us battered and bruised-but still willin' 😉 folks a peaceful, loving New Year. Thank you all. I'm an old widow with a cat, live in the boonies and I'm being a wind bag today (yeesch, I've become a cliche!) but I want you to know, every time I read here it once again makes me so aware, gives me so much faith, leaves me feeling such deep awe in the greatness of everyday people.
    And I know you don't see it.
    But I do and FWIW, I'm cheering you on every step of the way as you continue on your Journey.

  7. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 31st December

    Cluster B (Personality Disorders) or Crazy B**ch/Bas*turd.
    Sorry for the confusion!

  8. By: ellie Posted: 30th December

    What is CB, or a CB family?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th December

      I was wondering the same thing.. what does CB stand for?
      Darlene

  9. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 30th December

    You know you come from a CB family/Parent or a (Couple of) CB Steps when:
    -The parents set up a Scarity Economy in which Love and Approval are strategically doled out creating a constant Gladiators-In-The-Coliseum level of conflict between the siblings for just a drop of their parent’s Approval Nectar.
    -The parents nurture the most corrosive emotions including feelings of envy, competition, nasty back biting etc. between the siblings.
    -The classic family roles (golden, scapegoat, lost etc.) are fostered between the siblings-which they will likely spend the rest of their lives attempting to “fix” rather than accept they are who they are and they don’t get to Identify who you are without your participation. And if one does manage to “fix” this ridiculous label by refusing to participate, there will be consequences. So what? Anything short of Death/Dismemberment will feel like a spa vacation and if you have concerns about bodily harm, you know how to contact LEO.
    -When you’re an adult you’re treated as a child and when you were a child you were treated like an adult.
    -Family “get togethers” are transparent “war councils” to decide who gets kicked off the island.
    -Even though the siblings are adults, they are never treated as such because the “Faaammmmiiilllyyy” hierarchy must be maintained at all costs and besides, it’s fun for the CB parent(s)/sibling to wield the whip to remind all just who’s in charge here and don’t you forget it.
    -None of the adult offspring are ever “allowed” to say no to anything regardless of their status as an AARP member-particularly these awful “Family Events”-without incurring the wrath of the parents and/or other siblings.
    -As an adult, you are never “allowed” to develop/have your own traditions with your OWN family. Consequently, you end up dragging your kids all over creation on holidays, having to plan each Holiday as if it’s a G8 summit under the guise of “Fair and Equal” with your partner’s family. What’s glaringly absent is any consideration for your time, your resources or the best interests of your children, their allegedly beloved “graaaanndddbabies!”
    -The pit of dread in your stomach coordinates with the seasons-and starts by the end of October.
    -Every time you think of going back “there” for the holidays, “Highway To Hell” becomes your auto-repeat ear worm.
    -Holiday meals, Get Togethers etc. are a re-creation of every last one you’ve ever experienced since your earliest memories-but on steroids. ‘Roid Rages and Road Ragers are not the kind of people you want to associate with anyway never mind on a special occasion.
    -You’ve never questioned the Summons From On High that you “HAVE TO COME HOME!” Wanna bet? That hasn’t been your permanent address for years. “Home” is where you are. If they want to see you so desperately, they can make the trip to your place-and make arrangements to stay in a hotel. You’re not running a Bed and Breakfast for a bunch of miscreants who consistently behave badly because “Faaammmiiillyyyy!”

    What you don’t do: Ask yourself why you’re doing this beyond you “always have.” You’ve been doing this for decades and asking yourself when it’s gonna be “your turn.” Never. Because you never thought you actually HAD a choice and/or you’re too afraid of the consequences for doing what’s best for you or your own family rather than those who clearly have no regard for you. There comes a point when you’re no longer a victim but a volunteer.

    Some bridges are so unsafe, so shoddily constructed, so hazardous to your wellbeing they need to be burned, carpet bombed and naped.

    The Holidays really can be a joyous, happy occasion spent in your jammies, bathrobe with a gourmet meal fit for the kids-PBJ or hot dogs are a legitimate food group when you’re a kid (or an adult)-and a take out for you and your partner-or what ever you want to have. Wanna make a “meal” of Holiday cookies? You’re “allowed.” Wanna have a movie marathon or catch up with your favorite shows? Do it. Wanna eat off paper plates or let everyone lick the beaters from the cookie mix? Why not? The health department is off too. Want to buy something special for yourself but you “can’t” because you were too stressed out trying to get them a gift they may actually LIKE and what they DEMAND is waaayyyy more than you’d ever spend on yourself. So you deprive yourself and once again, your gift falls flat.

    If you make one New Years Resolution this year, make it one that honors yourself as an ADULT, equal in status to every other adult. Otherwise, you’re gonna remain the perpetually dumped on kid you’ve always been. Some things never change just as some people never change either. Holidays are fleeting in the overall picture: Character is forever-including the other 364 days a year. CBs don’t take vacations or do “Holidays.”
    Maybe it’s time you did. Permanently.

  10. By: ellie Posted: 30th December

    I told my mother a great many things six years ago as my daughter was being swept into an ultra orthodox religious cult. I begged my mother not to share the information I told her with my sisters who I (rightly, it turns out) would not show empathy or understanding, never mind help. Two years later I realized that she not only forwarded each and every email I sent her to my sisters, she waited for their nasty replies about me before replying to my emails. I cannot tell you how betrayed I felt. At the time I had already been low contact with her for years. I confronted my mother about this betrayal & was very angry. Rightly so, I still think. I was blown off & my sisters proceeded to “diagnose” me with everything from borderline personality disorder, manic depressive – you name it. Now we’re up to three years ago. At that time my mother decided to divide a family bracelet that belonged to my g-grandmother. Did I want a link? Sure. She gave a link to each of my sisters for Christmas but not me. She also “accidentally” forwarded me an email intended for another sister telling her to “just keep the extra diamonds.” I kept my mouth shut. At my son’s wedding two years ago one of my sisters who has been running a 20 year smear campaign against me, tearfully approached a friend of mine lamenting that she just didn’t know why I didn’t like her (my sister). My friend listened & finally said “because you treat her like shit.” My friend also said “what’s the deal with the bracelet? everyone else got a piece but (me) is being punished for calling out her mother about betraying her confidence?” My sister sat stunned & flabbergasted. The next Christmas my mother claimed she couldn’t find my address even though I’ve lived in the same home for 28 years. She wants to mail me the bracelet link. I said no thanks, there was no joy left in that bracelet for me. That was my Christmas present from my mother. A twisting of the knive & no gift. I haven’t seen my mother in two years & barely kept in touch through eamil. Last Christmas she sent me a small check for Christmas & that was fine. This Christmas she traveled 1,500 miles to visit my sister who lives fairly close to me. I could not think of a way to get out of seeing my mother so I finally agreed to coffee on the day before she was due to leave. It was the safest visit I could think of. 90 minutes. Short & sweet I hoped. My niece was in the room the entire time EXCEPT (and I should have known something bad would happen) when my niece briefly stepped outside. My mother leaned in like a puma ready to pounce, her eyes & mouth ready for the kill, & in her sweetest voice said “I brought the link of grandma’s bracelet with me, would you like it?” I did a poker face & said no, but I’ve felt ripped to shreds for three days since. That was my Christmas present from my mother this year. Another no-Christmas present of that fucking bracelet. I realize this is how she gets her jolly’s but I’m tired of being her punching bag.

  11. By: Hope Posted: 26th December

    Hi Darlene and Merry Christmas,

    The last part of your article is so powerful to me:
    “I didn’t stand up for myself until I realized that my self-esteem
    depended on me and not them.”

    I hope one day I can stand up for myself like you do.
    🙂

  12. By: Diana Posted: 26th December

    I am thankful to read all this as I thought it was just me! I feel like I have tried to do as much as I can to help my family, to the point that I just silently help. I dont say a word when I pay all the grocery bills, when I am up all hours caring for their kids, when day or night they call me wanting me to do endless favors..but to them they just expect me to do it all til I am exhausted..and I sit and watch as they do nothing but think my time is worth nothing. They think it is OK if they sleep while I work at their home, doing their work, or they are on facebook while I care for their kids and home..then they get snarly with me. I baked, cooked, bought, did all I could to make this Christmas different, and all I get is “Dont stress me out Mom” or “What now?”…my husband is as bad…he does not lift a finger and acts like asking him to do a thing I will hear forever how I made him slave and ruined Christmas ( interrupted him on computer or sleeping he means)….I am ready to walk away and say forget you all… but then for the rest of my life I would hear about what a bad person I was to abandon them….

  13. By: Nkosi Posted: 15th December

    Great article, I’m struggling with my younger sister. She’s 15years younger and always acted strangely around my husband when I was there but normally when I wasn’t. The last straw was when she asked him for some pieces of our furniture instead of me and I have always done things for her. I told her I didn’t like it and it was wrong,six months later she’s still sulking it and raises it at every opportunity. Just the other day she told my eight year old he smelled bad in front of everyone. I told her to take her negativity somewhere else and I don’t want her in my house anymore!

  14. By: Jeanne Polehonki Posted: 10th December

    Exactly. Maybe that’s why only 3% of addicts and alcoholics actually recover. Maybe those are the 3% that were not abused.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th December

      Hi Jeanne
      That is a good point. 🙂
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi jfk
      Hang in there.
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: jfk Posted: 9th December

    I would just like to add. In situations where you cannot cut ties. Like mine for example, I am currently 28 and living with my mother because I am on disability which is not enough to live on my own, so until I get better that will not change. Our relationship is okay for the most part, my family as a whole is very dysfunctional however. Living at home means I cannot cut ties with my two younger siblings or refuse to attend family gatherings, which all take place at my house etc. My sister is the one who I have the biggest issue with. She can be very abusive and telling her how I feel about it just a) adds fuel to the fire and I feel like it gives her more to go on and its like I don’t really feel heard its more like now she knows she has gotten to me and I am weaker and/or b) she doesn’t care anyways so it just feels pointless.

  16. By: anne Posted: 23rd October

    Hi, so happy to see this. Right now I am 22 years old having 2 jobs, I am a chef and a marketing manager and I enjoy what Im doing but my mother always tells me its a job that wont get me anywhere, that Im not doing my life right, that its pure stupidity. on the other hand, I always make it to a point that I tell stories about myself with a happy tone that I am happy and I want them to know hoping theyd be happy for me too, but never did it end that way.

    recently we moved to a new house I was gonna share bedrooms with my gay brother and I was totally fine with it, but my mother put some clothes that belongs to father in the 2nd closet of that room which should belong to my gay brother, so I suggested that the clothes should be removed since my mother and father has a big closet. my brother went out to tell mom and then suddenly I heard her shouting REALLY shouting to my father thay I should be disciplined that I should jusy shut up and my father is spoiling me. turns out my brother said an entirely wrong story which he always does (my mom and my brother is really close).

    my nani heard them talking when my mother calmed down that I want my brother out of that bedroom because I want my girlfriend ( im bisexual) to live in there too. and I absolutely ,never thought about that! theyre always critical to me but not with my brother saying that my partner is a bad Influence, that with her there will be no future for me. But believe me shes rrally a good and hardworking girl. she’s the breadwinner of their family and pays for all their bills, shes very respinsible, why is it that with my brother being gay its okay but with me its like im some ki d of murderer!?

    I started hurting myself I cant anymore, I started to loose weight I have no appetite I wanted to leave the house, everyday I feel caged with judgements with disgust, no appreciation or sowhatever im tired of trying to please them ti accept me or appreciate me.

    Is moving out a good idea? please help me

  17. By: Claire Posted: 8th September

    I am 48 years old and still am trying to figure out why my parents don’t accept me. My husband just says ‘let it go’. And I try to. But every time I am with them these feelings just come flooding back, especially when they say rude things trying to be ‘helpful’. I was the oldest growing up with a disabled sister. Our family revolved around her. I remember in Jr. High I had been teased at school and came home crying. My mom would say — what are you crying about — your not disabled, look at your sister. I learned to keep my feelings to myself. As I got older my mom would wonder why I never ‘talked’ with her about things. It felt very competitive in my household. And it is more than ever now, since I am grown and now there are grandchildren. I have so many hurts, stories, pent up emotions. Every time I try to talk and share my feelings it always ends up I am too sensitive and selfish and prideful. It further drives me to just want to stay in bed and never leave my house or have relationships with anyone. I just have always wanted a close loving caring relationship with my parents and am realizing now that is never going to happen. It makes me sad. I was always and still am the ‘sensitive’ one. But when you receive little put downs all while growing up they add up big. Another thing that has always bothered me is when we go out and she see someone in a store – she will look at them and seem to know their whole life story and make comments like – she looks so rude and stuck up. Or a waitress will forget to bring a hot chocolate and she starts to throw a fit about it like she is 5. All of these things drive me so crazy and I feel so defeated and depressed as I don’t really have anyone to talk with about this. My youngest sister died. My disabled sister was the middle child and is close with my mom. My mom desires us sisters to be close, but I feel like she has driven this wedge. When I try to discuss things with my sister, it all goes back to my mom –then I am in deeper troubles. My father was the passive parent. So, I have learned to keep things to myself, when I am there everything is surface level.

    I am always second guessing myself. It is hard for me to make concrete decisions. I am always looking at myself and feeling like I am just a crazy person. I guess finding this blog is nice as I don’t feel so alone.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th September

      Welcome to Stephanie and Claire

      I believe you will both find a lot of insight and answers here in this website. (and in my e-book if you are interested) ~ I had to focus on me for a while instead of focusing on them. When I found out where ‘the broken began’ for me, I began to see everything through a new grid of understanding. That is when the freedom came!

      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

    • By: Nancy Posted: 10th October

      I can relate to you so much. I’ve been going through this and now we are no longer talking such a long story but, comes down to respect and caring about my feelings. Which my parents my brother and sister don’t. I feel upset and miss them but, how can I care when they don’t care about me. They say and do the opposite. Actions speck louder then words, their actions show how much I don’t matter.
      I hope things have gotten better for you.

  18. By: Stephanie Posted: 1st September

    I’m happy to find this post, because I deal with a mother like this every day. She makes insulting comments and if I tell her it’s hurtful she acts like it’s a joke and says I’m over-sensitive. She even sort of fake-laughs to herself as if she thinks it’s hilarious that I’m upset. Then I say “Why are you laughing? I just told you that what you said hurt me. So when you laugh at THAT you’re saying that you think it’s funny that I’m hurt..”, and she laughs even more. If I try to get her to actually have a conversation with me about it, she tells me no she doesn’t want to talk about it…”The conversation is over” and then starts acting like I’m not there even though I’, standing 3 feet away from here trying to have a conversation with her…

    • By: Doodle Bug Posted: 26th December

      You literally could have just described my mother on her bad days- just goes to show you are never as alone as you think!

  19. By: Claire Posted: 6th August

    Hi there,

    Wow…there are a lot of comments!

    I am wondering. ..is there a point where you have to give up and end the relationship?

    My issues are with my older 44 year old sister. I lost my husband fairly recently and very unexpectantly….and at the young age of 28. I was, and am, devastated. We were in love for twelve years…it was honestly blissful.

    While he was still here, my sister would sometimes say really bad things about him. I hated it but ignored it. She would say these things about pretty well everyone.

    Now that hes gone, she still says things about him. I no longer can tolerate it. Ive asked her to stop…even told her that she needs to either be respectful toward usor I may need to end this relationship. But she says things to me also….like telling me to “$!#/ myself and my miserable life, put on my big girl panties and move on, (from losing my husband), and when I told her I wouldnt engage with the conversation, she said its all things I need to hear and that she wont say it all cute and nice like I want. She bashes him still and me. She claims I hate my family (because I dont pack up and move in with them) and claims that he was a bad husband.(He was not…he was wonderful).

    Im tired of being cursed out, Im sick of asking her to stop only to randomly receiving these kinds of messages from her. I have literally considered moving far away just so she will no longer know where I am.

    Advice? I even spoke to my mother about it and she claims its nust my sisters way of showing how much she cares.

    What do I do next?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th August

      Hi Claire
      Yes, unfortunately, there are times when we have to give up but only you can decide when that time is. There are tons of articles here in this site about making that decision.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Brenda Posted: 3rd August

    This so deeply resonates with me. I am from an identical family. All my life I have “put up with nasty, rude, hurtful comments and suggestions on how I can improve”. From my mother, step father, ex spouse, and now sister in law (who is extremely jealous now that she is divorced and I am happily married to her brother who was her substitute significant other until recently). I have been told I am stupid, ugly, fat, have sunk in eyes, would “never get that” (concept) or be able to do that skill, I would not survive being on my own, raising two kids (did so successfully and managed to pay for private school and a portion of college for both). I was rash in deciding to marry again (because “he can’t even swing a hammer”).
    I have been repeatedly told I live “in a shack” which I don’t-I own a 3 bedroom cape and like many homes it can do with some upgrades but its a lovely home that I OWN.
    Recently my sister in law messaged me about a facebook posting, reprimanding me and stating “public displays of anger and bringing out the dirty laundry in a relationship or unacceptable” “this ended my marriage and should my brother-who is not on this social media see this; it will end yours”. “you are doing a grave injustice and being a bitch” followed by “I love you, hope you know where I’m coming from” and “I’ve discussed this with my mother who is not on FB and she agrees.” Yes, I’m so sure the evil B did so and twisted my words or cut, copied, pasted something horrible to show her non-media savy Mom. Sick person. BTW original post was about a comment my spouse made about his ex (“he wished he had had the money to go to her 10 years ago when she called to rekindle their relationship”) My response and post was a “hey feeling second best here”. After I discussed this all at length with my spouse (both he and I are fine with the post and fine with our discussion/relationship).
    I am a good person, a caring soul, a spiritual person but I have gotten to the point I can no longer be around these toxic, evil, hurtful people who prey upon people; lie, say hurtful things and damage reputations (with “Mom”) for what purpose??? for attention? to make themselves seem more appealing? due to jealousy?

    Enough already!!! Currently I have blocked this sister, intend to ignore her posts/calls/texts and will probably continue to do so. Ive been told twice by her sister and a neice that she is “so evil” there “will be serious repercussions if I confront her”. When asked the replies were “slashed tires, key scratched car, home broken into and mugging” that may have been related having occurred after being threatened and after confronting this sister.

    How does one attract positive, healthy people into their life and disperse with negative, hurtful, hateful ones?

    Thanks for listening

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th August

      Hi Brenda
      I found that when I valued myself as much as I valued the people that were hurting me, everything changed. As I got stronger I attracted (and was attracted to) much healthier people and all my relationships changed.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: sabrina Posted: 1st August

    I never searched for my situation before. I guess I assumed that I was in the wrong and what would I find on the internet to tell me any different? What I am suffering is not physical abuse and ive been told time again, I’m overly sensitive and it’s in my head, that’s how she is, and get over it and move on.

    I have found so many statements and pieces of advice that have resonated with me on this site. Like finally I am hearing people speaking to my soul. My friends try and understand and are always supportive but they haven’t had the same.

    Again, I had no physical abuse, I wasn’t locked up under the stairs but I have had years or the comments, the nit picking, cold shoulders and being frozen out, ignored on birthdays, constant criticism, mum not attending my graduation… just lot of pride issues. I was told that she wished I was never born, that I ruined her body, that im selfish and no one would ever love me and on and on throughout my life. Yet I kept going back for more. Craving the love and acceptance that I had when I was a child. When i had no choice but to listen and accept everything and told not to speak back and respect your elders. That’s what I knew.

    As soon as I was able to run my own life I was frozen out and ignored under the same roof. I wouldn’t let them control my money anymore and then things got worse. And still I went back for more, for years I would run away to far off places on trips for months on end, looking for a horizon. I was away for a year and my mum refused to speak to me when I called home every week. She literally put the phone down when I was alone on the other side of the planet.

    Everything I did was wrong. I was weak. I couldn’t defend myself in an argument and just broke into tears and hide. When I was told to leave, they didn’t help me move, didn’t help me find a place didn’t even get my address. This loving family I remember as a child just didn’t care anymore. I would visit the family house every weekend, sometimes they would all be gone and I would just sit outside crying. So I stopped visiting but then my mum had a heart attack and we were all at the hospital with her. None of us seeing eye to eye but keeping a united front for mum.

    After a year of visiting her in hospital mum came home, I continued to do my weekly visit and continued to be hurt when they would be out altogether at the weekend and I would be out in the cold crying, they never called or made an effort to see me. They didn’t even know where I lived or worked.

    After a few years I needed to move on… to reclaim my life and tried to stop crying. For a year I stopped visiting, stopped sending birthday cards and didn’t call anymore and they took this time to go on some family holidays to far off places. None of them told me they were going away, apparently as the one that stopped talking to them I didn’t deserve a text letting me know my ill mother was taking flights that the doctors advised her not to. The principles my parents taught about them treating us all equal apparently didn’t apply (no different than any other time in my life). When I found out, it was a punch in the gut. My dad eventually called and I answered. We met and cought up on whats been happening with the family. His words were ‘we went on a family trip’ not realising that there was one member of that family not present. I ran out.

    Not long after, my mum was back in hospital. I put my pride behind me and visited everyday for two month hoping we could air what happened. Why she stopped caring… but nothing… I did my best but I couldn’t bring myself to address it. Then she passed away at hospital. We were all devastated but as usual my sisters and dad excluded me from the arrangements of the funeral. But apparently me cleaning the family home and serving guests and putting up the united front was ok. Other people started noticing what was happening which was the first time anyone has seen it with their own eyes and mentioned it. It was a relief… it wasn’t in my head.
    For as long as I have been an adult, every time I am in that family there is tension, hatred, jealousy, pride. I am usually the victim and the one to blame.

    For at least 10 years I have had no relationship with my sisters and minimal with my dad. I asked him if he would go to my wedding but apparently its all of them or none of them. My sisters have been clear that they hate my partner and he also hates them for everything they have done to me. Hate is a strong word but they have hurt me for a long time. They’ve even used my mum as a reasoning they should all be invited. I have been told that I should not make a decision I will regret for the rest of my life, to be the bigger person, to stop being sensitive to forget the past and think of what God would want me to do. It has caused a lot of anguish till I found this blog.

    When parents and family programme you to do what they want for such a long time, its so hard to change the station especially when they convince you that you are wrong.

    You almost need to rip your heart apart and putting it back together in a more positive and constructive way but the scars will continue to hurt me forever. Reading this blog makes me feel a little more sane. Thank you to Darlene and everyone else for sharing their stories. After every altercation with my family I used to tell my partner that im broken, he should find someone else. The title of this blog and book truly resonate.

  22. By: AG Posted: 23rd May

    I can connect to this! I have a Family like this!! I was married by an arranged marriage to an abuser who used to act innocent in front of my parents (far relative) before our marriage and once married, he used to abuse me starting from initial months of marriage itself (which I didn’t even realize that it is abuse as he always used to show me reasons I said something wrong so he was doing that!), I told my parents & due to so called ‘society’ fear they just used to tell me ‘just adjust, he will change’ etc..had a kid (he demanded that his parents want grand kid, later who never took care of my kid even for a single day!) & his abuse increased even further (both verbal and physical), it gotten to a point where he used to throw things at me to hurt me (my daughter was toddler by then), he used to say “I (him) would have killed you (me) it’s just that going to jail that I am (he) worried about”!, he used to push me to ground, kick me, hit me, hurt me, choke me, literally I went through hell !!!…I had to plead for help with my parents and in-laws about his abuse but no help!…

    Finally, after repeated raising hands my family (including my sibling) was like..do what you want, we will support you..I had to approach law and he was proven guilty of domestic voilence, he broke protective order so got arrested for few days!(I had to fight all this in court all on my own with no major help from my Family again!)…after all this, my family still thinks I should have stayed with him for my entire life due to society fear!..as a single mother had been raising my kid, struggling to provide good future for my kid…and in recent years, not feeling well and hospitalized couple of times, had couple of surgeries (working so insurance covered but due to lay offs had to change jobs)…no support from Family at all! especially from my sibling or his family who stays in US.

    moreover, my sibling after his marriage changed and verbally abuses me, bullies me, teases me instead of supporting/helping me and my mother supports his actions and shows same kind of bahaviour towards me!..the only question I have is..what did I do wrong?! I never interfere in my sibling life or said anything bad to them!! still like outsiders, my Family behaviour towards me suprises me!! more than that, it really hurts me when I hear rude words/comments from them!!!…today is one of those days for me, rude words by my sibling towards me when called to check how their daughter doing after a small surgery for her today! and this is what I get at the end of the day!!! why?!…my fiancee does not say anything to my family and stays neutral (playing safe?), again not sure why!

    God, please be continuously fare to people like us!..atleast you give us support, health and courage to fight back this beast called ‘abuse’!

    – AG

    (sorry Darlene! thought I entered my comments for this topic here but posted it in a diff topic of yours by mistake earlier) so now adding here…Thanks.

  23. By: Julie Posted: 5th May

    Hi Darlene, I just stumbled upon this article after searching “how to stand up to a hurtful mother”. This is EXACTLY the relationship I have with my mom. The reason for the search today was a conversation that happened yesterday. My husband left yesterday for his yearly long weekend with the boys on the coast of northern California. They camp, dive for abalone, have a fire and bond. He adores me, I love him and we have a great relationship. My mom implies (she can be very subtle, or very blunt) that since he’s away from me and among all his guy friends, he will “stray”. That’s what men do. I said nothing. Later she asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. I told her I wasn’t hungry (i really just wanted to get away from her) and she suggested maybe it’s because I ate all the chocolate in her house. Huh. Ok. So, now I’m dwelling on that conversation, among all the others over the course of my childhood and lifetime with her. I just don’t know how to stand up to her. I can’t hurt her feelings and every time I’ve tried to talk to her about it, she says I’m just too sensitive and that’s she’s old and set in her ways. I just have to accept that. I’d like to cut her out of my life.

    Here’s the kicker…my 3 siblings all live in other states (smart) so it’s left to me to care for her. She is 87 years old and in poor health (COPD and congestive heart failure). There is talk of her eventually living with us. (good God, no) I take her to her doctor appointments, grocery shop for her, etc. but it’s NEVER enough. I don’t do enough for my children, I don’t look right, I don’t wear the right clothes, I don’t have the right kind of friends, I should do this or I should do that, I’m not smart or successful like my brothers…it never ends.

    I clearly see, by this article, that this is a common problem. Why? Why do mothers want their daughters to feel so bad about themselves? Are they jealous? resentful? regretful? I think my mom is all those things. But it doesn’t matter. It’s not my fault.

    How do I survive her remaining years on earth (2 or 3 we are thinking with her health issues) without being mean and hurtful right back to her. Trust me, after the fact, I think of all sorts of things I could have said. But that’s not me. I do know, though, that it explains a lot about me and my often lack of self esteem.

    I’m rambling now but I just wanted to thank you for this article. I’m going to go peruse more!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th May

      Hi Julie
      Welcome to EFB! Glad you are here! I think the more you read here, the more you will come up with your own answers. (and my e-book available here is also a great way to get some great insights and clarity.
      You are not alone!
      hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Deborah Posted: 30th March

    Marie, if you read this, I want you to know that I am horrified by the way you have been treated, and my heart hurts for you. You are loved by God, and I don’t blame you at all for not wanting anything to do with your mother. I wish I could go back in time and wrap you up in a big hug when you were a child. What she did to you was absolutely devilish. Mothers are supposed to be comforters, not abusers. Sigh. I am so sorry for your hurt!

  25. By: Deborah Posted: 30th March

    I am so glad you wrote this post. I felt like it was me writing it. That is exactly, exactly how I feel, and where I am at. For me to have the strength to say “no more” I need to read things like this. I need a support group!!!!
    Thank You!!!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th March

      Hi Deborah
      Glad you enjoyed this article! Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      Join the conversation on the home page article (currently titled “the truth about being told to get over it and let it go”) if you are looking for support from others ~ there is always more interaction there. Introduce yourself as “new”
      Hugs! Glad you are here!
      Darlene

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