When People use Facebook to Spy; Dear Stalkers



Check the Motive

Check the Motive

Note: this post was originally published February 18th 2014 but due to a server malfunction it was lost in cyberspace along with about 25 comments from this post and 25 others from other posts! I am including some of the comments that I saved in email at the end of the post so please read through to the end.

*also: for those of you who don’t know, facebook has a feature that allows me to choose if I want to allow people to subscribe to my posts and status updates, and since I have a really big readership here and not everyone wants to publically follow the emerging from broken facebook  page, I allow people to follow the status updates on my personal page.

When People use Facebook to Spy; Dear Stalkers

I was surprised to see how popular my “dear stalkers” status update on my facebook page was.  I thought that the ‘back story’ might make for an interesting update here on the emerging from broken website.

When I first noticed that my mother’s husband was subscribing to my status updates on my personal facebook page, I was a little shocked. I couldn’t figure out why the hell he was openly following me when my mother (his wife) isn’t even interested in speaking to me. Why would they ‘follow me’ and subscribe to my personal facebook status updates?

The day before I noticed he was following me, I had confronted a cousin that I have not spoken to for YEARS for sharing a picture of my daughter on her page. I have not spoken to her for at least 12 years and I noticed that she had subscribed to my status updates on my personal page and for over 3 weeks she had been clicking the like button for everything I posted, but she had not sent me a friend request, messaged me or spoken directly to me.  I thought it was really odd.  But when I saw the share notification from facebook that she had shared a picture I posted of my youngest daughter getting her cast changed in the hospital, (my daughter had been in a car accident a couple of weeks earlier) I thought that was downright creepy!

So I went to her facebook page and asked her why she was sharing my pictures? She responded with “because your family does care about you”.  You know the old saying “they have a funny way of showing it?” well I worded it this way; “So you are sharing these for my family? You’ve been liking my status updates for weeks but you’ve never talked to me? No one in my family has even asked about any of my kids for years ~ is that what you call “caring?”  

(I don’t call it caring; I call it spying and information mongering.)

She didn’t answer the question but proceeded to tell me all the family news!??? (News such as who had surgery, and who died and how she doesn’t talk to most of ‘them’ because they are only interested in themselves. (Have you ever noticed how much these people are so willing to throw each other under the bus in order to convince you that they are on “your side”?) 

I stopped responding to her in that conversation on her status because suddenly the whole horrific dysfunctional family thing came rushing back and I remembered why I stopped talking to all but one cousin on my mother’s side of my extended family YEARS before I drew the boundaries with my mother.

The very next day I got the notification from facebook that my mother’s husband had subscribed to my status updates and was following me on my personal facebook page, (not my professional page which all of them are welcome to follow.) I felt ‘invaded’.  I felt like I was being spied on. My blog is public but my personal facebook page is a whole different thing when it comes to people that don’t actually care about me or my family. 

My first reaction to seeing his name in my notifications was fear. I am not sure why that was my first reaction, but I am guessing it is related to the default mode of the childhood fear of standing up to your ‘elders’ or perhaps ‘controllers’ is a better word for them. (Sometimes I think of them as my past ‘handlers’ since I was consistently regarded as less than an actual person and more of an object they ‘owned’.) When I was a kid, if I stood up to anyone I was threatened with the fear of being sent away, the fear of being hit, or the fear of not being loved, all of which are rejection.

I wondered if my Cousin Judy ~ the one who was posting my picture on her page, had contacted him. I wondered if I should respond to the notification that he was following me by posting a public status update asking him WHY? I wondered if his following me was a type of threat. I wondered if he actually knew that by pressing the follow button, he realized that I would be notified. I wondered if someone was pretending to be him in an attempt to frighten me or mess with me so I checked his profile and confirmed that it was his profile.

I wondered what they hell they were up to!

Perhaps I should have wondered what they are afraid of.

I already know that they have been reading my blog for years and I have never cared. I also know that they read my professional fb page and I don’t care about that either ~ my blog and the EFB facebook page are public and I write them under my real name with the full understanding that they are visible to anyone on the internet but there is something about these people who don’t give a crap about me, checking out the pictures of my life and of my kids on my personal facebook page that bugs me.

It bugs me because they want to KNOW about my life but they don’t want ME to know that they want to know. They want to have all the updates without actually caring about my family. It bugs me that they don’t ‘care’ about my family even though at the same time I am relieved that they don’t care. It doesn’t hurt so much anymore but it still gets under my skin a little. They want to pretend that they care without the ACTION of care. I know that in this day and age it is easy for people to find out all kinds of stuff about another person and see pictures and all that, and maybe if the story they tell about me was true it would be easier, but the story they tell isn’t the actual truth.

It bugs me that they read my work and they stalk me on facebook but they have never wanted to work anything out with me. They have never shown any interest in hearing me but they want to know what I am saying and it is by the statements their actions make that they have lost the privilege of knowing the news about my children and our lives.  They have made it very clear that they don’t care, that they don’t LOVE. They want to have their selfish fantasy which is that I closed the door on them and have deprived them of their grandchildren ~ BUT that isn’t how it happened and it isn’t the truth about how our relationship ended. The truth is that I told my mother what was bothering me and asked to be treated with mutual respect and she never spoke to me again.  (the rest of that story is all within the pages of this website. Please feel free to read as much of it as you like.) 

After I thought about the option of blocking them on facebook I had other fears flash through my mind such as “what if by blocking them I communicate that I am afraid of them or what if they think that I didn’t know all this time that they were spying on me and reading my blog? What if they get really mad?… These fears are just default mode / survival mode fears that come up sometimes because of having lived in that fear for so long. But today it only takes me minutes to overcome those fears and return to the truth. My life is mine today. Who cares if they get mad? Who cares what they think or why they think? It makes no difference to the truth. They can’t hurt me anymore because the truth set me free from all that.

As I was considering my options here, I realized that even though blocking doesn’t prevent them from making another account and following me again, it does help that I won’t see their names in my FB notifications anymore.  So I blocked them from my personal page.

So, here is the status update that I posted after I blocked both my cousin and my mother’s husband from being able to see my personal facebook page but suspected that one of them is already following again; Dear Stalkers ~ (this would be to my so called family that don’t actually speak to me but want to know everything I am saying and doing) ~ I am well aware that blocking you from my FB page does not prevent you from following my page under a fake name ~ but it does prevent me from being irritated by it!”

The status update was hugely popular! I am thinking about making it a regular feature. J My next “dear stalkers” article might be about the people who have contacted me to tell me all the lies that my family tells about me. Each of them has asked me not to reveal that they contacted me… I’m like “really??” I thought you said that you read my blog!  

Please share your thoughts about this subject and the two sided rules and expectations in dysfunctional family dynamics. And for those of you who can, please share this post on Social Media! There are millions of people out there looking for support and validation and this is a great place to find it!

P.S. My daughter made a full recovery ~ thank you for all the notes and get well wishes that were sent from all over the world!                                          

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

Here are some of the comments that were posted by readers in the brief time the post was online; Please feel free to share your thoughts with any of these commenters as well!

Caden said; Exactly, they just want to suck up the information without really wanting to know or respect you or your voice; to impose themselves and their interpretation of your life on you without having to change anything about themselves or work on a relationship.  My “family” was the same way, eternally thinking they could just contact me as if nothing had ever happened.  They’d still do it if they could I’m sure. And I remember my mother violating my boundaries by spamming me with information about my estranged siblings lives and careers, etc. after I was no longer speaking with them.  It was so sick.  Personally, I don’t want to stalk them–for my personal safety I’d want to know if they moved in next door, but otherwise, I’m not interested in their lives, and I’m not “one of them.”  And there is no way I want to participate in their insane triangulations either, all the “I don’t really like that person either”–and it lasts until we get off the phone or until another event arises for a fake showing of relationship, or they decide to gang up on me with that other person instead.  All of that hypocritical fakeness makes me sick. I can imagine I would feel fear too if they suddenly tried to follow me on Facebook or hang around on my blog. I’ve had some creepy stalker requests from obviously fake facebook accounts in the past year since I confronted my family, but you know what?  If that is all they can do, try to trick me into becoming facebook friends, then they’re really quite pathetic and why should I fear them since that’s all they’ve got?  The old fears come back up, but really, today they’re nothing.  I believe in pre-emptively blocking estranged relatives and their minions for my own peace of mind. Thanks so much for sharing about this subject Darlene!”

Kris Healing said; “Thanks for the post! I have figured out that in my relationship with my mother that from her point of view, knowledge equals power. If she knows something that I don’t, or if she knows something about me, even something fairly mundane, then that equates to having control over me. This makes sense, as she has always been extremely controlling and manipulative in many ways. Even though I used to talk to her frequently, she would often not tell me important family information, including people moving, breaking up, getting married, health concerns, even deaths in the family or our community. I used to get very frustrated with her when this would happen and tell her so, and she would always have an excuse like she didn’t want to bother me, or it was so sad she didn’t know how to tell me, or she meant to but forgot because her life is so busy. I didn’t really believe her, but I didn’t understand why she was doing this. This bothered me a lot until I figured out that keeping information from me was just another way for her to feel like she had power and control over me – that she had something I didn’t, and something I wanted/needed, – so it fit right in with all of her other controlling and manipulative behaviour. Although she kept all kinds of things from me, she demanded that I tell her everything about myself and my life – my thoughts, my problems, my successes, my feelings, all of the details of everything in my life. I used to think it was wonderful that she cared so much, and and then I started noticing that she used that information against me. Often it would be something subtle, like digging for more information about a problem I was having, and then dramatizing it to the point that I would feel complete despair. I told myself that she was just worried because she loves me. Other times she would be very critical or judgemental of what I told her, yet continue to push for more details to critize or judge. Sometimes this would happen in later conversations, not right away, so I didn’t see the pattern. She also demanded to know every detail of my activities, down to the very smallest details. She wanted to know my plans in advance, and would be very angry if I did something like go out for lunch with a friend without telling her first. Note: I am in my late 30s. She always had a very good reason that made her look very loving and caring, like that she was worried about my safety on the icy roads, or just wanted to know where I was so she could think about me being there, but I started to see how those were really just excuses for wanting to know all of my activities, thoughts, feelings, etc. It was when she called one day and asked what I was doing and I answered, “Nothing” and she exploded in anger – “What do you mean, nothing? You’re never doing nothing! Are you sitting or standing? Are you breathing? Are you blinking? TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE DOING!” that I realized there was something wrong, and she was not just interested in my life. She was demanding to know every small detail of everything. Now, I am working towards recovery and can see these things where I couldn’t before. I have set up better boundaries for myself and don’t tell my mom everything, which makes her suffer terribly, she tells me. I’m sure my mom would stalk me on Facebook if she knew how to, just for the thrill that she gets from knowing my business! It would have nothing to do with caring about me. Thanks so much for your post!”

Kera said; Darlene, I smiled when I saw the title of your latest post.  I agree with you. These people who say they want to ‘be a part of your life’ – but don’t care enough about you to treat you with genuine love and respect – have sure got a funny way of showing they ‘care’. They get upset that they don’t get ‘the latest pictures’ or ‘regular updates and visits’ … but, that’s what happens when you do things like: try and manipulate my 3 year old boy into being a part of your triangulation (rather than just handling your issues like a mature adult). Then you don’t get access to my child, because I can’t trust you to respect their right to be a child. He is a person, not a thing you can use to get your way.  Thus – no contact. They try and send ‘well wishes’ & flower bouquets on my wedding anniversary – (though, its rather ironic, coming from individuals who tried to convince my husband that I am “a liar, a slanderer, who is manipulating’ him and that he “should not trust” me – words and insinuations that could plant seeds of distrust and wreck a marriage … But ya wanna wish me a happy anniversary?  … no thank you. I do not respond to the empty ‘well wishes’. (and I threw away the bouquet, btw) They keep ‘resurfacing’, but never to make things right. It feels more like its to feed their own egos. So that they may continue lying to themselves about their side of things (as though, then they can delusionally tell themselves: “I am ALWAYS SOOOOO nice to them, I even called to say “happy anniversary” … etc.  But she is just so cold and unloving that she doesn’t respond to my loving ways) I don’t respond to it, but … when you said: “it gets under my skin” that is right!  I am trying to find ways to ‘shake it off’ and move on with my day, when I get contacted by them like that. (I’m finding that it ‘ruins my week’ less … now I hope I can make it to the point that it doesn’t ruin my day.) I would love it, if you have the time in the future – for you to do an article on what to do when your FOO won’t LET you go NC … (i.e. driving slowly in front of your house, leaving manipulative voicemails, triangulating, … etc.)  I would LOVE to have some insight into how to cope with this. Thank you for your articles and brave telling of your experiences! Sincerely, KR

Larae saidI got a call from an Aunt I haven’t heard from in a long time supposedly to tell me about  one of my abusers having surgery. Anyway she acted like she totally understood how abusive these other relatives were and I answered a few of her questions about what had happened with them. After I hung up I totally felt like I had just been primed for information from her to take back to my abusers. Perhaps I am just still overly cautious but I just felt like I had been spied upon by the other abusive relatives through her. So hard to tell. I don’t want to make wrong accusations but don’t ever want to not trust my feelings again either.  The confusion about what is the truth and isn’t is hard for me to figure out sometimes. Am i just over reacting because of what happened to me or are some people really that manipulative. I have blocked all my abusers on Facebook so I could feel safer and talking to this relative brought back all my old fear and feelings of unsafety.  She complained about being around them but yet is too afraid to stand up to them which makes me uneasy about trusting her.  I just want to feel safe again and not worry about what any of them think or say.  Thank you Darlene for your always timely articles! Your writing has helped and still is to heal me from my abusive past”.

Amber saidThere’s something very cowardly about this stalking dynamic. The person  doing it wants to gather information about you but doesn’t want to face you. They don’t want to address the issues. This brought up an incident I almost forgot about.  My mother had gone no contact with her brother.  Somehow she found out that he had remarried, and through more information gathering learned that her new sister in law owned a small shop.  My mother brought me with her  to the shop and anonymously engaged her  unsuspecting sister in law in conversation.  I felt real creepy during this exchange and couldn’t wait to leave. It’s obvious that my mother wanted information on her brother and his new wife without having to deal with an responses from them.  Real creepy!”

 Join my Professional Facebook page “Emerging from Broken” here.

Follow my personal page on Facebook here.  ~ Darlene


Categories : Family



Hi Darlene,

Such a great post once again! Sorry, but I tried repeatedly to post a comment on the previous article on “Self-love” by Carrie but I could not. I don’t where the technical problem came from either my home computer or the server?…oh, well.

I know that there is both good and bad to this new social media. I am getting older myself and growing up we did not have to worry about all these boundary issues. I want to believe in a good and safe world where it’s safe to be me, but that will never completely happen. Both my parents are quite low-tech and they do not even own a computer, nor do they have a friend or neighbor to help them.

My one online incident consisted of my Narc. mom’s family in Seattle who are the ones I don’t want to find me. They apparently looked up my address online and tried mapquest and either zillow.com or trulia.com. My mom’s relatives are kind of Narcs themselves, and very nosy and snooty. I heard through a cousin that these Seattle relatives searched for my house online, and found all the data like the cost of my house, square feet, and outdoor photos. I was kind of hurt but I realized that these are just facts and anybody can look this up. These relatives like to play a game with comparing my house, career, social life, and money to their kids’ lives. I couldn’t care less since I am a FREE person. There is a safety and freedom that comes from moving far away and starting your life over again. Since I live in Arizona, I will NEVER see them again! LOL! If they ever came to my front door and rang the bell, then I have the freedom NOT to answer the door! If they ever tried to call on my cell phone, I do not have to reply back with any message! If they tried to send me a Christmas card, then I can toss it in the garbage can and not reply. In other words, I am free and I don’t have to play their games. I am an adult now and no longer a helpless teenage girl living at home with my parents.

I have changed and I am older. I practice a different religion (Druids/Wicca) and I do have posts on facebook. All of my very best friends have been chosen by me in my adult life, with only a couple of childhood friends. I am very careful with meeting new friends and I am honest. The first thing that I do bring up is my true religion and the second thing that I talk about is my abusive childhood. I figure if they can’t accept me for what I am then it’s basically a waste of my time and theirs to pursue a friendship. I am proud of myself for developing a friendship with a coworker and she accepts me for who I am–(a very open minded artistic person)–and I don’t change her and likewise. I would much sooner have a circle of a few very close friends than many phony acquaintances anytime. That being said since I’m a bit eclectic, non-mainstream, I have made a few actual friends on facebook who are metaphysical like me. So, I am open to meeting new people. No, I can’t control others and my Seattle Narc. mom’s family may even find me on facebook and read my comments and profile. So what! I don’t care about what they think of me anymore. I will NEVER see or visit them again and I’m happy with that.

Because I’m getting older I’m getting tougher. When both my parents die in the near future, I plan on coming more out with my real religion. I want to decorate my house with my books in my bookcase, with my Pagan statues and crystals, etc….I really don’t care about having a neighbor, handyman, service man come to my house and try to “save” me. If they are uncomfortable then they can leave. It’s my house and my life. That’s how I feel about facebook and any public website that I’m on. I am NOT such a bad person and I don’t care what they see. As far as them “having some information on you” to hurt you, no they can’t since it’s my life and I am always in control of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s my life and I would say to these snoopy relatives, “Up yours!” LOL!

Blessed Be,



Dear Darlene ,
thank you for posting this .I’VE had this kind of thing to happen to me with so called friends so called family ,they hide in the shadows of fb, or even making fake name ,they dont want any thing to do with you .they have no boundrys at all .they see what you post and tell all the family ,but wont come to you and talk about whats really going on .its pretty bad then they have to hide in the shadows .look out new trick they will try making fake profile just to toll and read what you post . nothing worse than a peep-n-Tom . its just creepy all of it .


hey ive got one write a book on them lol . just kidding but its a thought .


Dear Yvonne,
be who you are and be happy with who you are .Live your life to the fullest
don’t be like me a fool trying to please every one .if they cant except who you are and what your belief is well its on them . I’ve all my life bought into the toxic of the guilt-tripped people in my family that no matter what I believed that I would never be accepted by them or loved at one time I was guilt tripped so bad I wasnt good enough for them judging me where I would wind up .I’ve started calling them on it now ,I say and what makes you think I am not going to heaven? your judging me .then they stumble for words saying you know what I mean . then I tell them yes I really do know what you mean . I am not letting you make me ashamed for what I belive or how I feel ,I have a right to feel as I do ,you dont have to agree .where ever you think I am going when I die you maybe surprise where your going too . then I giggle at them for being stupid . lol you be who you are ! people will judge you no matter what .I tell people its ok you talk about me behind my back ,at least your leaving someone else alone I just laugh at them . dont let anyone take your happyness you be you.


This was like reading a variation of my family on Facebook, and the way they “stalked” me. I finally had it when a cousin who wouldn’t ever take my calls back when I was still trying to connect with my relatives contacted me on FB immediately after I had cut off my family to find out what was going on. I knew the pattern, and I knew that she would contact other relatives and tell them the dirt on what I had done to satisfy everyone’s curiosity. When I was trying to get free and start MY life I was fearful too. My family had badly hurt me and controlled and rejected me and to think of them stalking me and knowing about me and my life freaked me out! I so badly wanted them to stay away and at the time I needed and wanted them desperately they did not care about me in a healthy loving way and so my need for them vanished and my wanting them to share my life dried up. I feel fiercely protective of my new self, and my new life and I feel extremely territorial about what is MINE. Especially when it comes to relatives. They are out of my life and it is for good. I can’t even tell you how many times over the last couple of years they have one by one tried to fish me back in. That is all they know how to do. Their lives are empty in a real way of something that only I filled up for them. It was unhealthy and damaging for me, but it still made life somehow easier for them when I was in it. I could be blamed and shamed and disregarded and that was satisfying to them for some reason. I think this was a very insightful blog!


Hi Yvonne!
haha the end of your post made me smile!
Good for you for being who YOU are!
Since I have emerged fully out of the fog, I don’t know if they can hurt me anymore. 🙂 I don’t care what they think of me or what they don’t think but I know one thing for sure.. I will NEVER go back to being controlled by having to prove that I am not who they think I am.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Karla-KY
In a way I did write a book! This website has over 200 articles about my life and it is being compiled into 2 books and right now it is way more public than a book. 🙂
and about your first comment~ isn’t it interesting how many people make a fake account, not for their own protection or because they want to heal in private which is fine, but to stalk people they pretend or claim not to care about. I think they are worried about missing something but whatever.. I just don’t want my mother and her husband to subscribe to my facebook feed, which is what the ‘follow button’ does.
Hugs and thanks for sharing!


Hi FinallyFree!
Excellent example of exactly what I am talking about! (and they think we are the problem!?? and they think that we aren’t going to catch on to this stuff) and you are right, it does make it better for them when we are there, dancing to their tunes and jumping through their hoops… its like FOOD for them. It seems to restore their order and define them as worthy if they can make other people prove their loyalty by letting themselves be put down, disregarded and manipulated. (another blog post coming on!)
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


I often wonder id Im being spyed in too. my brother is a it tech so he would know how. I keep getting friend requests from people I dont know


Darlene, I had forgotten that I used to feel and actually say to my husband after I cut my family off that now that I was gone for good, they could all feed off of each other. That is how I view it even today. When you wrote that when we are around them and jumping through their hoops, trying to win love and acceptance and approval it is like food for them, it reminded me of that very thing I used to feel! It is no wonder I startle easily and fear is triggered when the thought of going back into that . It’s a life of lies! Lies that we will one day be loved and included and wanted and living in a happy family, when all they seem to actually want is chaos and drama, and they eat it up! I would love to read your views on the abusers need for restoring their order and worthiness by utterly bringing down helpless children and others!


I don’t do Facebook. This will sound weird, but I WISH my mom would “follow” me. My Twitter posts are public, I gave her a link, she won’t even read those.

But, I can understand if you aren’t speaking to someone, having them “follow” you is a bit weird…..


Dang Darlene, your family sounds just like mine and I’m so sorry your going through all of that. One thing you mentioned was, “They want to have all the updates without actually caring about my family”. I’d like to re-word that in that, “they want to have all the updates without any repentance on their part”. So they can continue to bash you and stay in their comfort zone of dysfunction without ever have to grow or change, right?

A similar situation happened with me recently within my own family and I had to cut the cord with most of my family members. It was painful, but a necessary step.

I’m glad you blocked them and took a stand with your voice!! It’s about time.


I’m not on facebook but I know there have been similar issues among my family.

When I was cut off from my parents the first time but still had connections with extended family, I knew that they were being updated on my life. I didn’t really care then. Or I wanted them to be because it made it easier for me to be cut off, that the guilt would have been too huge otherwise, thinking that they were worried about me, etc., because when I cut off the first time, it was “for my health.” I needed separation. I wasn’t sure that things were beyond fixing or that I had done everything I could and that it was up to them. But I remember sometime after I reconnected, my dad referred to those who were feeding him/them info about me as the “little birdies” (hearing from the little birdies about what I was up to…) and it just felt so condescending. A way to infantilize my reality and the choice I made. After that, and when they refused to recognize the full reality of the dysfunction, it irked me. Certainly them finding out about me and what I was up to wasn’t about them caring or worrying about me. It irked me too that I had worried about them worrying—that was very normal for me for most of my life. But they were never actually worried about me FOR me. (I’m sure there were times in my life when they really were worried about me but it’s hard to believe it was ever FOR me; if they were willing to abandon me because it didn’t suit them to recognize things about themselves, and willing to live with whatever the consequences might be of that abandonment, it’s hard to believe they ever did really care.)

I’m also glad to be out of that world of triangulations and phoniness. It’s such a weird thing that “love” and “loyalty” in dysfunctional systems actually mean telling lies, half-truths and keeping silent. It means playing the game. And it’s true that when you’re in it, if things aren’t going to change and you do want to “belong,” you do actually have to adopt this phoniness and the triangulation becomes a means to cope. Sometimes it’s meanness and scapegoating, and that’s bad, but other times it’s when you can’t call out someone’s bad behaviour because of the drama that will ensue and the need to play by the rules of the game, (i.e. it’s pointless to bring your problem to the person who’s at fault because they don’t want to take responsibility, but you still need/want some kind of release and comfort, so you find an ally so you can vent, but you’re still in the system, it’s still triangulation, it’s still phoney, etc.)

Anyway, Darlene, I think you are incredibly brave. I find that fear reflex so hard to shake sometimes, even when I know there isn’t present danger… or rather I find that fear reflex disproportionate to reality and that’s what I find tough sometimes or at the very least annoying. Usually there is some issue that has triggered the fear and a simple decision/boundary is required. It can turn into a drama in my mind, something that will take up a bunch of my time/energy, but then when I’ve drawn the boundary, I realize it wasn’t a big deal. Other times, usually when I’ve accidentally tripped on someone’s “issues,” it does turn out to be a big deal (but never to the degree it was with family) and that tends to lead to increasing amounts of these fear reflexes (because on top of that, then you “never know” what’s going to cause the next one), which can lend itself to general anxiety, if issues keep coming up and I don’t just extract myself. I suppose it’s a skill and the more you practice, the more comfortable you get with it and more assured of your strength in doing it… But there’s also a difference between people who fully understand the boundary and why it’s there vs. people who are willing to abide by the boundary but don’t actually “get it,” as there is a difference between those who don’t even need you to say anything or very little for them to understand that the boundary is there, that it’s so natural, neither person even realizes that there’s a boundary that is being respected. You just feel good.


Hi Mike
Facebook is a strange deal. I think everyone gets friend requests from people they don’t know. There is a way to prevent that, there are all kinds of privacy options available if you look in your settings. I just choose not to use them because I have a passion to spread this message of hope and healing publically. As for your brother being an IT, I totally understand the fear there!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

I actually understand totally what you mean when you say “I wish she would follow me”. There is a longing I had for so long that I believed any kind of interest (even spying) would have made such a big difference. Hang in there.. I found out that unhealthy wasn’t better than nothing at all, I just hoped it would be.. 🙁
hugs, Darlene

After I wrote that comment to you I started thinking about how I would word that whole blog post if I were to write it. It always seems like it would be a whole book! 🙂 I’m keeping it in mind.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Sariah
Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂 I know that my family believes that they are the victims in this whole thing, but that is how they have always functioned so why would it be any different now? Freedom for me today is that I don’t care what they think. They will say what they say, feel how they feel, do what they do, and believe what they believe. The difference for me today is that I don’t have to try and convince them otherwise in order for ME to know otherwise. 🙂
hugs and thanks for sharing, Darlene


Hi Alaina!
I forgot about the little birdies!!!! oh wow. my mouth dropped open when I read that. 🙂
I love your comments on love and loyalty in a dysfunctional system. It was so important for me to look at the true definitions of those words and realize how manipulatively I had been taught the false meaning of them.

I was thinking the other day about how a family member would tell me some gossip or something and then say “don’t say anything” or “don’t tell them I told you” and all that b.s. and then if you do repeat it, you are called the trouble maker or the say “don’t tell Darlene anything, she will tell the whole world..” and I remember the shame that I felt WITHOUT actually remembering that I wasn’t the one that started it! The initiator of the whole thing got away with it! ugg. I don’t miss any of that.

I really relate to your thoughts on needing to get some sort of release and comfort. (validation) It is so sad to me today the lengths that I had to go to find any kind of support based in real love.
Love your notes on boundaries too!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


I think they want to spy just to see if I post things they dont like. I havent talked to any of them since Christmas. and I dont miss them one bit, my life feels so much less stressful without them


Hi Darlene, It makes me sad that you had to go through all of that. I hope they got the message and that it is over. I actually, think it was very normal and right for you to feel afraid of these wolves in sheep’s clothing deciding to stalk you. It is obvious why they would do so and I’m sure they are searching for any tid bit of information they can use against you as they chortle over any pain you may be experiencing in your life. I’m glad you responded to their subterfuge by bringing all they did into the light for everyone to see. The one thing that defeats these types is the light of day.

I also, can relate to how you felt when threatened by being engulfed once again in the dysfunction. I was recently contacted by a family member and had the same feeling. Although, they said some affirming things, it wasn’t long before I also, uncovered that they have decided “I don’t remember things quite right” and that they are holding me responsible for my mother’s current state of ill health. In short, nothing has changed and I am as much of a scapegoat in absentia as I am when present. Why on earth would I go back to that? I was told how terrible it was that everyone had to be so sad when all we had to do was love each other. The implication being that my boundary requiring respect and their own personal accountability for relationship with me, was unloving and unreasonable. I responded with “I’m not sad! I don’t don’t miss that cloud of disapproval and shame that was used to keep me confused for most of my life!” And that is the truth though I do sometimes miss some of them and wish they would do the right thing. I don’t miss them enough to denigrate myself and re-enter into such sick relationships with them. Like you, I am happy to be free of all that.

Love you, Darlene. Hang in there and thank you for fighting the good fight!



Hi Pam!
This is so typical! When I started to see how typical this is I was shocked and relieved at the same time. I was also set free from the confusion of NOT being able to comprehend why on earth these people could not see it the way that I had come to see it; that it was totally weird that everyone thought the way they think. That people think parents are owed something just for being parents and that they don’t have to be accountable for any harm they have caused but that children can be held accountable for ‘wrecking’ the parents lives. That setting healthy boundaries causes HARM to the family and is unloving and unreasonable! YIKES. And when I look at all of this through the grid of truth, I totally know why I don’t miss any of it!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Dear Darlene and fellow readers,

This is my first time commenting but I have been following and reading EFB since August 2012.

The website and EFB on facebook have been a tremendous help on my long healing journey from a dysfunctional and abusive family.

I just want to thank Darlene and everyone for sharing and being so brave, as I have been afraid to comment until today, and fyi I follow EFB on facebook using an alias, because I was badly harassed and stalked on line by my FOO for years after going NC.

I wasn’t or am not as strong as Darlene and many of you and deleted several blogs where I once shared my story on line and no longer have a real facebook account. Just one real friend in my alias on facebook now who has nothing to do with my family, and where I also follow EFB, and I am so thankful for the daily posts there from Darlene.

Wishing everyone a healthy healing journey, strength, love and the knowledge that I think everyone here is an amazing person worthy of respect and being treated as such.

Thank you Darlene and again to everyone who shares their stories here which I relate to so well.

You’ve all made a positive difference in my life to heal and no longer feel so alone and misunderstood.



Thanks Darlene and Karla-KY and to everyone on this site! You all really make my day! For Darlene: Please consider publishing an amazon kindle book—if you care to! I will give you a five-star rating and good review!

Yvonne 🙂


Hi Dave
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I love it when someone writes that they have been reading for a long time and that this is their first comment! There is something special about that. 🙂
Sometimes it isn’t safe to share. I had a blog once that I kept a secret too. I was terrified that I would get caught writing about my family and my childhood. But one day when I healed (because I healed) I wanted to tell others about HOW I finally healed and that was when I began to overcome my fear of sharing. (NOT that this is for everyone!!!)
This is what I do both as a passion and as my job and I had a lot of years of healing and then training.
Thanks for sharing Dave! I am so glad that you are here and that you posted today!
hugs, Darlene


Yes! I keep my page private and a small amount of friends and my MIL confronted me about a status update I had on my account. When I asked how she knew, the response was a demeaning, “It doesn’t matter how I know. Whatever you post on social media is out there for public consumption.” Sure, that’d be true if my page was public, but in this particular scenario, a Facebook friend of mine decided to share my information with my MIL, a woman I had excluded from my page.

Just sharing my experience!


Hi Christy
Welcome to emerging from broken! Of course it matters how they know! It wasn’t meant for them to see so if they are going to spy it’s their problem if it upsets them. I hate that people think they have a right to say what we can or can’t say!! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs Darlene


Thanks for your comments, Darlene!

There was a point when getting validation within my extended family was a lifesaver, when I couldn’t articulate things or even know what it was that needed articulated and so their words were vital in knowing I wasn’t crazy, etc, and in knowing certain behaviour was wrong. So on one level, that kind of triangulation can be a step toward separation and health. I guess the problem is when that’s not actually a step toward change but the end in itself, where the whole family gets stuck, and turns into this gossipy superiority thing, and everyone’s words shift depending on who they’re talking to and heaven forbid you try to bring their words to the surface to the wrong people… And that’s when you start to understand the inherent betrayal and abandonment in this kind of system; it was there before you were brought in and it’s there when you’re gone. Thank goodness you can leave. And when you’re out, a lot of that behaviour is really understandable, really human. Though not so understandable when they won’t/can’t see what becomes so obvious… It’s too bad people on the inside don’t know how nice life and people are on the outside (though a bit lonely)

Hi Pam! I want to say that I can totally relate to what you went through with your family. Almost word for word. I’m sorry you went through that but I’m glad we’re both out!


This explains why the “friend” who cut me off on FB because I wouldn’t buttkiss her mother started following my art website account after I tired of the drama and deleted my FB account.

At the time I thought maybe she still cared and was reconsidering, but after two weeks I changed my mind and blocked her permanently. It was the right choice.

Months later I got a thinly disguised email from her pretending to be someone else asking for “advice.” I handed it to a trusted family member to verify my hunch (it was still a painful subject at the time), who at my request deleted it for me.

I’m still uncomfortable posting personal things on my art website account because there’s nothing to stop her from fishing it under another account. On the one hand I don’t care, on the other hand the less people know the less they can hurt you with. Still trying to deal with that.


Thanks for sharing this story Darlene and thanks to everyone who shared their stories as well.


I totally get what you are saying because we are so ‘starved’ for validation and we have learned to question ourselves so deeply that we need to have people close to the situation ‘agree’ with us or at the very least listen and seem to understand. I think that when that goes wrong too, it is another total devastation. And it is so vital to realize what you said ~ that it was there before you were born and it will be there as long as the people that opt not to look for a different way to live and relate.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi NativeHelping
Welcome to EFB ~ I think that some people get a thrill or something out of this kind of spying but deep down I think it is their fear. They are afraid that you might say something about them. I told my sister in law that (at the beginning of this journey) that my mothers boyfriend had come into my room when I was a kid and that my mother didn’t do anything about it. She told my brother and since this was something that I had never done before (talked about the past) my brother called everyone in the family asking if I was ‘talking about him’. It was fear. His fear.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


This is soo amazing. I am going through the narcisstic divorcea and this week I am being dropped daily of friends….all of a sudden..


FinallyFree..loved your post regarding the family we walked away from and the fact that they are feeding off each other. My Narc Mother has extended her behaviour towards my two eldest children. She texts my son and emails my daughter. I want to move out of this province so badly but we can’t. Hubby still has his job and his elderly parents and it would not be right. My children have to experience the behaviour of a so called grandmother who can use a computer like a champ but can’t say a kind word or give support to her grandchildren. The thought of running into her or any part of my extended family gives me such anxiet that I start shaking from the tips of my fingers to my toes.
If I had cuts and bruises to show them, maybe they would stop judging. I can’t talk about it anymore and I don’t have the energy or strength to defend myself anymore either. There are a chosen few that I talk to anymore and I am ver particle about who I confide in.
My mother is now using my children to control me and my family. She uses my dad’s dementia as an excuse. I wonder if it occurred to her that she is the problem and that my children don’t visit because my children have had enough of her Narc ways.


Hi Marla
Welcome to EFB ~ controlling people will say anything to get people on their side. I had a friend that as soon as she stood up to her controlling husband, he set up the divorce behind her back, moved bank accounts etc. and then told all their friends that SHE was having an affair. They all dumped her, believing him without question. And this is common ~ !
glad you are here,
thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Darlene, thank you again for giving us this forum to share our truth without any backlash.
Your words say what we are feeling and thinking, but cannot express. Thank you so very much for helping me and so many other people who have been broken and are trying desperately to rebuild.


Nadia, I completely understand why you want to get away and STAY away from your relatives! Being sucked dry ( by them feeding off of you!) and then they turn to your children when you finally get out, has to be very difficult. My parents did the same thing for awhile, but my daughter eventually didnt feel much connection with them and so she wanted it all to stop. Emails werent very satisfying for her, and since they would never call her on the phone even though she has her own phone and number, she decided on her own to let them go from her life. We do live in another state from them now, so for us it has made it much easier than if we still lived there. I can imagine the high levels of anxiety you must go through when you think you might run into them ! I can understand why you have only a few people to confide in. I am the same way now. I used to try so hard and now I dont try anymore. I am just ME and that is fine with me. I am also fine with the reality that I dont trust just anyone or everyone anymore and that I am very selective. It works and nothing used to work before, so I am happy with it. The peace and relief are wonderful to feel instead of constant worry and fear and chaos. I may be wrong but it seems to me that any level of self confidence that I now have from MY choices is much more important to me than if my relatives or any other person likes me or approves of my choices!
You are wondering if your mother has a clue? I think she must have somewhat of a clue since she is pulling out your dads dementia as a trump card to use. I also think she must know it is her, even if she tries to blame you, because she is so frantic to contact your children. I doubt if she will allow herself to realize the full truth of what she is and how she has behaved though. My parents never did and no amount of trying to explain ever worked either.


Wow. You have to be the strongest, wisest, most transparent lady I have ever known. Having read so many of your posts over the years it had never occurred to me you may still be struggling with the painful intrusive family drama. I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. I just want to hug you ? Thank you for giving us a forum to speak our truth. for multiple reasons I just started a brand new facebook with a made up name and deleted the one I used to follow you on. When I read this post and realized I had not started following yet- I requested you and then I stopped cold, afraid you might think I was one of your crazy family members! I messaged you to try to not concern you I was fake! My real name, Nancy, I have never liked so I called myself Grace. Because I yearn for grace.
I’m always wanting to post comments and questions but somehow I’m always afraid the narc in my life will stumble across it and life will get even harder.
Maybe later! Thanks for all you do and who you are 🙂


Hi Darlene,

I love this article, thank you so much for writing/sharing it. I just had this happen to me. I have been NC with my family for about one and a half years. I was missing having a connection so I reached out to extended family. I sent my aunt (who lives overseas) a birthday greeting on facebook. I got no response. Oh well, I thought, I tried. Three weeks later my aunt tagged my new profile picture with HER name?! I was confused. The next week I got a terrible letter from my brother outlining “conditions” for reconnecting and accusations of all my “wrong doings”. I also noticed that my aunt changed where she lived to my hometown on her profile. I felt violated, stalked. I took action and blocked her from my page and changed my settings from public to private. I also log off everytime I leave facebook. It’s a little annoying but I feel good knowing I’ve set some awesome boundaries!



Dear all ”family” moles, spys, stalkers,
I just want you to know I hope I bore you to tears with all my one million cat pictures ,and flower pictures .oh and I want you to see my smile I am living well publishing my life story written by me ,healing from the abuse most of you condoned and enabled the abuse to keep on going. I am healing living pretty good happy as heck . so I hope you found both my fb pages ,I want you to know I am doing pretty good and I am happy! I really dont know why you would waste your time following me under fake names .but after all its about you and the gossip you like to talk trash about .all I can say is I do my best to give you something to talk about! if most most of you dont really claim me till the money comes in then you all love me . I am just fine with out you. I’ve broken the chain of the abuse you choose to live in I am writting about all of my family abuse no slander or libelous in the books due to be out this fall but its the truth about abuse and it feels good standing up for us who have no voice .I am speaking the truth and you can read that one my fb.stalking me on fb. be careful its like picking up the phone eavesdropping it may upset you what you read . you have all make me feel the abuse was all my fault it wasnt .the truth feels good comming out its like getting out of a toxic storm into the sunlight to heal. thank you so much for posting this Darlene! you are a blessing ! God that felt great to say!someone once said the truth will set you free such wisdom in the words! yvone, its so healing to be able to write about my abuse ! its the greatest .I’ve not yet published my book:bruises from with in ,its been everything like a roll coaster ,all the tears and just being able to bring to the light all the abuse I’ve suffered I am stronger than I was .sorry to get off topic .Darlene , you have helped me so much in my life just being able to read all the toxic abuse I have suffred you lady are helping me heal! @’— a rose for you ,thank you for all you do for us!


Dear Darlene,
I am so glad you posted this ,so many times I’ve wondered if I was the one going nuts like the rest of my family -about family stalking me . its good to see I am not the only one dealing with this . So post lots of cat pictures, and more flower pictures wondering if they are enjoying my pictures ,yup they even take some of my pictures (jerks) they love and thrive off my post . thank you Darlene for inspiring me to write my books. they have really helped me heal .reading all the other family toxic story’s of toxic pain family loves to keep you in makes me so sad to see so many people living in toxic abuse they wont heal they choose not to heal .I cant live that in abuse and its a different world to living in healing .thank you again Darlene and all of the people on this page that share their story’s of abuse ,its so good to be able to just speak the truth .even if I am now the out cast or trouble-maker . all you have to do is start speaking the truth about abuse see how many turn their backs on you .we all dare to heal ! Karla Reeves(FB)Karla Mangold Reeves(fb)I choose to have my new voice of speaking out on abuse ,I will walk tall even if its alone with my so called family .god bless


I use the blocking setting on my facebook for my NM and all people who associate with her including photos etc. It’s a pretty short list of the people that associate with hera anyway because we have a small family and she has very few close friends anyway. It’s easy to do. I also make sure if I post random comments about stuff on the internet that my user id is not my name. I also make sure any photos of me or anyone else with a tag have to be approved by me on my timeline.


Hi Nadia
You are so very welcome! This is my passion; to share the message of hope for healing and wholeness and to be a bit of a guide to others along the way!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Grace, welcome to EFB
I don’t care at all if my family changes their names in order to go through the trouble of stalking me on facebook. I just don’t want to see their REAL names ~ it just feels nervy to me that they just follow me like that. I keep my facebook available to the public because my passion is about spreading the message so if I make it private, I limit the amount of people that can see me.. It makes me happy when people follow me on my personal page, so don’t worry about any of that!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Simona
YIKES! Isn’t that so typical and I notice that they usually gang up with each other, which is because they feel that if they all agree, then it must be true. I don’t buy any of that crap anymore! Yay for you setting boundaries! That is awesome!
hugs, Darlene


Karla KY Reeves!
Wow! Love your comments and I can FEEL your healing and self love here! It is good to speak the truth, it is amazing!
Good for you Karla.
hugs, Darlene


I want to share something with my readers before it goes public ~ My message is about to be taken to a whole new level. Writer/Producer Robin Jay, an award-winning filmmaker, has just signed me to be a featured expert in her newest film, ‘The Secrets of the Keys.’ The film will star icons of the personal development industry including Brian Tracy, Michael Beckwith, Dannion Brinkley, John Assaraf, Gloria Loring, and will feature special guest don Miguel Ruiz, author of ‘The Four Agreements. I am beyond excited to have been recognized in this way! More news soon… I just signed the contracts yesterday and I am still getting used to the idea!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, congratulations!! I am so happy for you, and I know it is very well deserved. Enjoy every minute of it! And once again, thank you for all you do. You have changed many lives for the better, mine definitely being one of them.
🙂 🙂 🙂


Hi Darlene, that is fantastic, you really deserve the recognition for all the awesome help you’ve provided so many people with your blog.


Hi Darlene,

Wow! A film? That is just incredible, wonderful news!

You have such an amazing gift for understanding and helping people, I am thrilled that you shared the news here.

I am excited to know that more people will have the chance to find out about you and this blog and be helped on their healing journeys as you have already done for so many people here.

I can only imagine how excited you must be, and wish you all the best with this experience as you richly deserve.

Go Darlene!




Hi Darlene,

I am so very happy for you. Congratulations! You deserve it and others will begin to understand the victims’ healings. It feels so good to be understood and supported by all here. I have received more help through this site than all of my past efforts with traditional “therapy”—which was for the birds!
Thanks for being you! You’re awesome!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne 🙂


Hi Yvonne, Dave, Ali and Amber!!
Thank you so much for your acknowledgement! I am pretty excited. Later this week I am going to publish a post with all the details including links to the movie site.
Hugs! Darlene


Congratulations Darlene!
I’m also stoked that the “personal development industry” will be getting a much-needed injection of truth:)


Congrats, Darlene!! I’m so glad your work is going to reach more and more people and that you are being recognized like this! You deserve it (and much more!)…. The more I understand and the more I realize the truth I’ve been deprived of all my life (and would continue to be deprived of, if not for you showing me what I didn’t know/didn’t see), the more I feel like there’s this mass conspiracy to keep people from knowing the truth you speak of, and not just within individual families, but on a much larger scale within society. I know that sounds paranoid but when you break it down, it’s essentially true… Especially because at core your message is actually so simple (equal value, mutual respect), and as radical and revolutionary as it kind of feels to me, has in essence been around for centuries, just not applied quite like this, broken down and disseminated the way you do here for all of us… so I’m so glad your voice is reaching a wider and wider audience. The world is brighter with you in it. It is a joy and a privilege to have a space here in the comments section with you and everyone on EFB (well, not always a “joy” so much, but you know what I mean, in the grand scheme of things, a joy to know you, to be empowered, to become whole again… nothing can beat that!). I wish you continued success!


Dear Darlene,
way to go!!!! you deserve it!!!


Darlene, Wow! That is amazingly wonderful and thrilling and I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations!


Thanks Alice, Karla and FinallyFree
Alice, Yes, I am hoping that I can get my message into an easily consumable ‘nutshell’. 🙂
Thank you all for your encouragement!

Your paragraph is really profound; that is the exact conclusion that I came to as well when the ‘fog’ lifted and I looked around. I felt like the woman who came out of a coma in the middle of a world war.
I also feel like my message isn’t “mine” or “the original message” I just package it differently. 🙂 I feel blessed to have the gift of expressing the way that I can now. Equal value and mutual respect has been preached and taught for thousands of years… but the only way it can be applied is if people are willing to lay their power and the lust for power over others ~ down.
I am both nervous and excited for this opportunity!
Thanks and hugs,


yes I have blocked all of my ex family and the reason i blocked them was because seeing their names popping up just triggered me and i would feel so much anger rising that it was not worth it. Then I had very strange friend requests all of a sudden?? My fb page has only a few friends on it as i am not into gathering fake people in my life!! I think you are amazing for challenging them like that Darlene , i so love the way you say it as it is , you have lost the fear that abusers instill to keep you quiet and that is such an empowering place to be. You never cease to give me ‘wow’ moments with how you challenge the status quo, so much admiration and love for you xxxx


I have my mother blocked on facebook. I’m not “friends” with my brother or his wife. But I still have extended family on my friends list in the restricted catagory. I still feel guilty deleting them. I want to give them a chance to have a relationship with me, though it seems that that is not going to happen. I guess I’m afraid that they will think of me as the enemy. I feel that my problems are with my original family, though I understand that those problems came from somewhere and the whole family is affected to one degree or another. Stil, it is triggering when, on an impulse, I go and look at their pictures. There is inevitably holiday pics that include my original family. It almost always bothers me, tho this last time, I think I did pretty good at detaching. Is it silly for me to give them about a year? I think it’s a fair rule to have, anyone I haven’t spoken to in a year, I remove from my list. I’m being patient, but the truth is, I want to remove them now. I want to not care what they think. I already removed and blocked my aunt who is very close with my mother. Anyway, I guess my point is that I feel like I’m the stalker. I know a lot of those people just don’t want to get involved in the drama, but the fact of the matter is that I don’t really matter to them. I only ever mattered in the context that I was HER daughter. Didn’t ever really matter who I was as an individual. And there is some complicity in some of the family members. You know what, I think I will remove those people.


I appreciate this one because it reminds me how these people really operate. They don’t have the balls to heal the relationship but they have the nerve to get other people to join them in their victim mentality. I guess it’s easier to blame the child than take some ownership of how their behaviour is creating the original wound.

In my opinion, untreated wounded people are very dangerous because they fail to see how their wounds affect the well being of others and how it also contributes to infecting their own wounds even more. I thought people were evil before, but now I see they are just afraid of facing their own truth.

It’s why all these support groups are created and yet they still choose to live in their pain and blame others for their problems. This bugs me becaues I’ve had to work my ass off to be a well person and they can too but they rather be a pain in the ass than help themselves. I have no respect for these people anymore, at one time I felt sorry for them, but not anymore since I’ve done my own work.

Thank you for sharing!


Oh yeah, I blocked my mother and my aunt on Linkedin. Why my retired mother with all of one contact in her network would even be on a professional networking site beats me. My aunt being there was legitimate but her “networking” of me on there wasn’t. We have nothing to do with each other professionally.

I took it as a way for both of them, but especially my mother, to be able to say to other people that she knew what I was doing in life, that she was in some way still involved. Or at least it allowed her to “keep up appearances” without actually talking to me. Which I think a lot of people do on social networks.

I guess it’s possible that she may also have been doing so with a benevolent eye but when we (in the past) talked about my professional choices, she wasn’t very supportive at all. Before I could block them both (because the block function is pretty recent), I was definitely less active on Linkedin because I knew she could see what I was doing and saying on there. And at one point I feared my aunt would intervene in some awful way in my network or on that site too. Paranoid? Maybe. Maybe not.

It pisses me off quite some because it’s a “professional” site and I sometimes think if I made better/more use of it I might improve my networking and promotional activities and hence my bottom line. But I ask myself every time “How much is my peace of mind worth?” and Linkedin didn’t make the cut.


Wow could I identify with what Kris Healing said:
My mother controlled me when I moved away by controlling access to important family info.
Like ” your Grandmother died” But… you had just moved to FL and had a lot on your mind and
I didnt think you should be voming back up here??
What? What? so you didnt tell me for 6 weeks. I could even send flowers.
I wonder what she told all the family.
Oh I am too emotional and might do something crazy … like flying back up to NH.
I see now after this post what Ive never seen. Why. Control.
She controlled me by keeping info from me. Just more proof that NC is a good choice for me. Hugs. Karen


Oops I hit post too soon. Congratulations on the film! Great news!!


Many, many congratulations to you Darlene on your appearance in the upcoming film The Secret of the Keys!! I would imagine that feels so validating!! Enjoy every minute and soak it all in. YOU are an expert, and YOU have helped thousands of people, and YOU will help thousands more…and most importantly YOU have helped yourself break free.

((Big hug)) and a squeal from Light


Congrats Darlene! Very well-deserved!


Hi Everyone
I just published a new post for the Upcoming Mother’s Day it’s called “The Dreaded Mother’s Day Card Purchase” Hope you will stop by and read it, share it and maybe leave a comment!
hugs, Darlene


Congratulations Darlene. I’m so proud of you and finally, a voice that’s gonna be heard in an even broader context. Eay to go girl, you have worked so hard. This is just awesome. 🙂


Argh, way to go, I meant


Thanks Raven,
I thought the official announcement would be sooner but stay tuned everyone! It’s coming! (with links to the movie site etc)
I am excited!
hugs, Darlene


congrats with the movie Darlene i will be very interested to see this, inspirational 🙂 xxx


I just found out about your site from an advert on Facebook and after just reading a few of the stories and comments on I feel great. You dont realise just how many other people have suffered some kind of abuse from family and partners. Not being able to say was the worst part knowing you wouldnt be believed or indeed u were to blame in some way…ironic when your only a child. I did once tell someone in the medical profession and they said ..these things happen which lead me too believe it was indeed my fault or worse normal…anyway just wanted to say a big thank you and will continue to read and watch for more updates and stories..and its brilliant that you are making a film. Society needs to change its whole outlook on abuse etc and stop stiffing it.


Hi Debbie
Welcome to EFB
Because of the way that we have been groomed to be silent, silence is the most common thing! It was when I started speaking in mental health seminars and EVERYONE related to me and reacted to what I was saying almost in shock, that I realized this whole thing was really common! Glad you are here,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene

I believe something like this is is happening to me now. .I broke down and started trusting my niece as she acted like she was sympathetic to me.. turns out she is running back and forth to my mother who is one of my abusers who I try to stay away with.. I feel so so used. I trust people too easily and then find out they are being used by the mother to hurt me.. It’s hard for me to unfriend people as I know how much it hurts to be unfriended or blocked.. I have this happening to me. .and its challenging .. I want to be loved somehow by foo but its not going to happen . .I am seeing this now.. they are merely watching my texts and posts and using people to gain my trust only to hurt me..

I miss the good stuff here on EFB… Thanks for posting this Darlene.




Another day passes and reading the stories on here and experiences makes you realise your not the only one and its great that other people understand and are there to help you..its not great that we all had to suffer abuse at the hands of loved ones. The Fb problem will never end and you will always get people that spy or try and find out about you through deception. I have given a great friend of mine your website address she suffered horrific abuse by her mother and is badly scared..and like us all blamed herself..so I am hoping the site will open her eyes. All the people on here are inspirational in there own way and all survivors….no longer victims.


Hi Joy
It is really devastating to find out that someone you trust is using you to pass info but I took a little comfort in realizing that this was a reflection on THEM and not on me! That doesn’t lesson the pain of it much but it is validating.
Once my eyes were opened it was a huge system of dysfunction that I began to comprehend ~ the details became more clear to me and I also realized that it was okay if I didn’t ‘trust’ and some people deserve to be blocked.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene.. I so appreciate your words back….I was feeling sorry for a niece of mine..thinking she was a victim too but really she was opening a page to my mom .. I get so upset with myself for believing someone in my family really cared. I keep hoping and trusting for one civil acting person to emerge from the group and so far have been so disappointed and awakened…Seems my mom has power over everyone . My niece had told me my mom told her if she is talking to me not to talk to her.. and all sudden she is telling me things she is saying to my mom..and commenting on posts i make like they are addressed to her.. oh well.. am still trying to harden myself enough that such things don’t hurt me.. don’t know if i will ever get there ..

Hugs back:



I just published a NEW article on the homepage!
This one is about Victim Blaming and it is about when YOU are blamed for the core of your pain. This is a huge issue for children who grew up in dysfunction and didn’t actually realize how deep the brainwashing went, which makes it easier for other people to blame them (for other people to make you think maybe it is actually YOU that is at fault) for the difficulties in their relationships!
Hope to have a great discussion there! “Victim Blaming ~ When you are Blamed for the Core of your Pain”
hugs, Darlene


Leaving not living sorry for the error


Hi Apple
Welcome to EFB!! So glad you are here! There are 400 articles on this site all about this kind of stuff and there is always a current conversation; (check the home page or the side bar for recent comments to see what is active)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

This is my first post. I’ve been reading on here for a little while now. I’m the youngest of five in my very dysfunctional family. I was the one neglected, ignored, emotionally abused and sometimes physical. When my mother passed, I decided to reconnect with three older siblings. Initially two of them were nice to me which got my hopes up but then when I spoke my truth of the abuse/neglect by our father two of them quit talking to me labeling me a “negative” person and telling me how I “should” feel as they have re-written history to read that our dad was a fine, upstanding guy. Trying to re-connect with them was like walking into the Twilight Zone from reality where the “rules” had changed and I was the only one who wasn’t informed. Anyway, the fourth sibling jumped on the bandwagon because she’s always hated me. She tried to kill me by smothering me with a pillow when I was 10. For this she ended up in a girls’ home and then a foster home (she was always out of control). They’ve welcomed her with open arms because she buys into the “our dad was a fine upstanding guy” line and I’ve been branded the “evil” one. My older brother is the only one who stays in contact because his very nice wife makes sure of it I think. What also really hurts is that when our dad re-married (9th time?) when I was 15 his then wife gave him an ultimatum, “It’s either me and my 9 year old daughter or Lynne.” They didn’t know I heard. Next thing I know I’m having money shoved into my hand with, “Don’t tell Betty,” and I’m being shipped off to my grandparents before summer vacation was over. Since then, my step-sister did literally take my place (as though children/siblings are inter-changeable) and today is preferred over me by my “siblings.” My step-sister wouldn’t tell me where my dad was when he was dying of cancer because I didn’t immediately welcome him back into my life when I was 33 after he simply said, “I’m sorry,” and absolutely nothing else! He also sent me a card saying he was sorry he couldn’t come to my baby’s funeral because he had “car problems.” I’ve done nothing to these people but tell my truth. Now we are all on Facebook. I posted a picture of us all when I was just a baby (I’m 54 now) and my two sisters who won’t speak to me and are abusive when I try to contact them took my picture and posted it on their pages recently. I felt so angry and thought, “How dare you, that was my picture you didn’t even want after my mother died!” The one sister who tried to kill me when I was 10 also took pics of our mother off of my page. She abused my mother, me and didn’t lift a hand to help take care of her over the 14 years my mother had Alzheimer’s. Then pictures are posted of me and my daughters on my brother and sister-in-laws pages and they “like” them or comment and they have never met them. Even one of my nieces whom I’ve never been invited to see since she was a baby (she’s 44 now) liked a pic of my daughter graduating. At first I thought I was being too sensitive as I’ve always been accused. But after reading this article today I feel very validated in my feelings of anger, hurt and “how dare they!” I know I should block the others but I’m afraid if my one brother and sister-in-law find out that this would give the others ammunition to say, “See, she’s so mean and negative. We told you so.” But after reading so many articles on EFB I feel that this is exactly what I should do. It hurts for them to do these things and then ignore me and my daughters in the world outside of FB. Also, when I read their comments on my one brother’s page like THEY are all one happy family it is very painful. I have gone No contact with them but not my one brother. However, I mostly only see him on Christmas. All I ever wanted was to be loved and included but not at the price of my sanity having to walk back into the “Twilight Zone.”


Sometimes no contact is better then trying to make dysfunctional people ever understand your situation..even though it stares them in the face..or they have witnessed the abuse firsthand. The only power you have is in your own hands once your away from the abuser or person that hurt you or made you feel bad about yourself. I have been there and survived I gave up ever trying to understand why people that you love would ever do such horrible acts….because they would always find and excuse even when there was none. Sharing my kindness and compassion was just wasted on such people.


Hi Debbie
Great points! Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Lynn
Welcome to EFB ~ I totally get where you are coming from; I was so afraid to ‘do anything’ that they would see as ‘proof’ that it was ME that was in the wrong, but that was part of the brainwashing that they caused to me in the first place… I was ALWAYS looking at what was wrong with me. It was in seeing the truth in all of this, that I finally found the courage to draw my boundaries and do something that would assist ME to live without the pain etc. I have since realize that ‘they’ will say all sorts of things, and they DO, but they always did, so really the only thing that has changed is that it doesn’t get to me anymore and I am FREE!
Thanks for sharing, hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
Thank you so much for your comment. I’m going through so much right now. Was rear-ended the other day in my car and found out yesterday that the other driver is lying and blaming me for the accident! A huge trigger for me. Then my Narc ex-husband has blamed me for his children finding out about his porn and sex addiction. He’s a MAJOR abuser and had the gall to say I drove him to it because I didn’t give him what he “needed” in our marriage. Well, we’ve been divorced for 13 years and he’s “supposedly” happily married three years now to a woman who drove his children out of his life because she wanted instant “respect” (control and ordering them around)from his children. Of course he supported her because he’s an abuser too. I’ve protected my children from them (17 and 15 years old)as that is what they deserve (and what I never got as a child)and of course I’ve become the scapegoat. But I don’t care! I’ll gladly stand in between them and their sick, abusive so-called “father” but it does take its toll. I’ve told me girls that we need to go No Contact. It hurts my 17 year old because she’s very sensitive but that has made her the scapegoat for his Narc wife. It hurts me to see them hate their dad so but it’s not my responsibility. He has the relationship (or not) that he’s created and that’s his problem. Now I know that I got into the mess of a marriage with him because I was groomed to be a victim within my FOO. It makes me so sad I cannot tell you how much. I’m 54 years old. Will I ever know what real love is??!! I know I need to love myself before I can know real love with anybody else. All I’ve ever wanted is to be loved and included in a family. A health family. I’m sorry for going on so long but I feel so sad right now and there’s nobody to talk to who understands. I do have God and it would be nice to have others to talk to about all of this.

Thank you so much for all you do Darlene. I would like to make a donation. I can’t do too much as I’m trying to help my daughter go to college but I think what you’re doing here is SO important. You’re a special person.



My FaceBook experience is not about ‘Stalking’, but has been used to ‘HURT’ me.
My husband’s brother and his wife (D&M) decided to take my son and his new wife (K&A) as their friends. BFFS!!
I mean they (D&M) kicked us aside and do everything together that my husband and I used to do with them (D&M)
Oh, lets see… they go over(D&M) house on the weekend for Uno and Pizza; they go camping together; bought a camper together; they have all went places together with MY grandkids that I never see, with (D&M)grandkids. (posting the pics on FaceBook)
(D&M)planned publicly on FaceBook a Birthday Dinner at their house for my daughter-in-law. When I commented on thanks for leaving us out…again. My son answered with ‘Get Over It’. Isn’t that a nice way to talk to your Mother?
Then I find out they all 4 put my husband and I on the Restricted List, so we wouldn’t see their posts. (only the ones they wanted me to see)
Oh,(D&M)had really helped us out when my Mom passed away in Feb, 2013.
They opened their house for a Wake. (but see this is a ‘public’ gesture so everyone thinks they are so great).
I really appreciated it anyway.
Then that fall, all 4 planned a camping vacation and half heartedly told us where they MIGHT be and to call when we got near there, as we were planning a trip to the same area.
We called, sent pictures of where we were, no answer.
The at home, we got to see all their Vacation pics on FB they took while evading us.
I have NO ‘extended side of the family’, my sister has lived in CA. for over 40 years. My Mom was my only relative here.
When my Mom’s house had to be cleaned out, all 4 of them were camping that weekend together. (they forgot).
A year after my Mom died,(K&A)got married at their house. Of course,
(D&M) came early to help, took 80% of the pictures, took over everything.
(D&M) went on vacation south. They them invited(K&A) to meet them have way in Tennessee for a weekend. Posting their fun on FB.
(we were not asked)
Then 2 months later,(M)made MY son’s Birthday Cake! I asked ahead of time if they needed one, but was told ‘It has been taken care of’.
A bunch of people were there and I felt like 2″ tall.
(D&M) are stealing my son and his wife!
So son’s Uncle and his wife are BEST Friends with out son and wife now.
They(D&M) have a SON, his wife and 2 grandkids. I guess they won’t hang out with their parents, so they took my son and family.
The whole thing is bizarre. I used to go to therapy, my therapist, a few people in the family have even commented on the 4 BFFs. So I know it’s not Me being paranoid.
We never talk to (D&M) anymore, except a friendly ‘hello’ at the many family gatherings this summer.
The worst part is…they don’t seem to know what they did to make us mad. DUH! I know my son is to blame also, but if I don’t talk to him, I will never see my grandkids. (we don’t talk about it)
Anyway, I know I have been in a Depression since my Mom died, so I am not too much fun anymore to hang out with, but this is NOT helping me climb out of the dark hole, it is making it worse.
OK, done for now. I feel better just from sharing.


This kind of behavior on FB disgusts me…I am being stalked by a group of people that includes my sister, who is a psychopath. Most of the members of this group have not met me or briefly met me. They are NOT people that I want in my life or who I have anything in common with- obviously . they are bullies. They have stalked me across the USA and constantly bullied me, spreading lies about me and isolating me .They have posted insulting posts on FB . I finally moved to South America and they have stalked me here – in 2 different cities- caused trouble where I worked and with people that I knew.My sister holds court behind my back with people in these cities,( she cheated me out of my inheritance and has $ which gives her instant credibility with a lot of people) spreading her lies and her stories.She recently recruited a local realtor to lecture me thru posts on FB. She is a classic narcissistic sociopath. So are some of the people that are in her group.She is a very scary sick person who has chosen men to be with her who are desperate for money and then she has abused them until they 1. leave her , 2. physically beat her, 3. cheat on her or all of the above. One of her live in boyfriends, who was still married to his 4th wife, stole her car and took it to another state. Her third husband was charged with stealing AC units from a construction site right before the marriage . He and his relatives also broke into her home and stole all her jewelry. She married him anyway.She has fronted $ for drug deals with a local dealer attorney in AZ who was later murdered in his front yard. The police said it was not a robbery. It was an execution.She is now in the town in SA where I am living and stalking me along with these sleazy people who help her bully me.She has stalked others . I have sent two messages on FB to her and told her to immediately leave. She is silent and continues the behavior.I know that she also has other FB accounts because I blocked her and she continues reading my posts and getting information. I do not want to cancel FB because of my friends here.


Nice one Darlene. I think I posted a question about how people handle their family of no contact on facebook not too long ago on your page. It’s a very complex situation…..and the day I posted the question I was feeling sort of abused by them being able to comment or like when they feel like it, but totally ignoring me if I say something they don’t like….(the truth). It can feel abusive at times, but I also have young nieces and nephews who I hold no ill will against, so I just decided if they don’t like what I have to say on FB….they can block me.


I’ll be honest…I have looked up people I know online, but I would never use the Internet as a tool to hurt anyone.
When I do searches on people, it’s mostly out of curiosity but never with the intent of causing harm or being malicious.

Whereas I feel like with most of the people I know, I need to be cautious because some of them can’t be trusted and they will keep tabs on my life in order to use information against me.
One of my cousins and her narc mother did this a few years back. I’m not on Facebook anymore because my husband’s sister also “reported” to my husband that she was offended by my content on Facebook (which was actually innocent and I’m a grown woman, thank you very much). I just didn’t want to bother with drama from anyone.

I keep a very low profile these days, both on social media and in real life.
My Instagram account is fairly inactive and I AM on Pinterest, but no one I interact with in real life is on my Pinterest feed.

Part of the reason I keep a low profile on social media is also because there are too many fake and untrustworthy (is that a word?) people who will pretend to be friendly with you, while secretly looking for “dirt” on your personal life.
I’ve made some mistakes in my past and I know some people who will stalk around and try to reopen old wounds.

So my personal suggestion would be to either deactivate your Facebook account OR keep a low profile online to disarm toxic people who try to insinuate themselves into your lives.
Block them, ignore them, shut them out as much as you can.

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