You Reap What You Sow ~ What about Child Abuse

Darlene Ouimet

Yesterday I suddenly thought about how abusive this statement is when I think about it through the eyes of myself as a child! You reap what you sow, you get what you deserve. I was raised with this expression. I was raised to believe that whatever was in my life or NOT in my life was my fault. That if I had problems in my relationships with people then it was because I cultivated incorrectly and I had sown bad seed.  I was willing to take that responsibility because I had been taught that it was all up to me in the first place.  I believed that I deserved to be picked on because I thought I was dislikeable. I believed that if I could be likeable, that people would treat me differently. I thought that my mother would be happier if I was more what she wanted as a daughter. I thought my father would pay attention to me, that he would SEE me if I was different. I thought that I was doing something wrong. I thought that I would be loved when I figured out what others wanted. I thought it was all up to me and the seeds that I had sown.

When I was in my early twenties seeking some sort of life for myself I was never really happy, and it seemed like relationships were such a struggle, I believed that it was because “you reap what you sow” and once again I believed that it was me. I accepted that all relationship success was up to me. I accepted that all relationship failure was my fault. I believed as I had always believed as a child, that I had to try harder. If there was a problem, then it was within me.

And as a child I seemed to attract a lot of abuse. I had accepted that as my fault then too.

I don’t think that children have much choice in what they sow.  Did I sow the seeds of deserving abuse? Did I do something to bring that on myself? Was I sexually abused because I had “sown bad seed?” Was I neglected because I had not sown the right seeds? I believed that I deserved the strap that I endured many times; I was told that I deserved it. I was literally brainwashed to accept that I had brought all abuse on myself. And I certainly believed that I did.  You reap what you sow.

Because of this type of conditioning I received as a child as adult, I took this statement out of the context that it was intended to be said in.

One of my boyfriends was violent.  I believed that I was provoking him somehow.  I tried to be sweet and compliant so that he would not get mad at me, but when I look back my mistake was in taking the blame and responsibility for his temper. I thought that I reap what I sow… so I must have sown the seeds that triggered his temper. Just like I believed that I had sown the seeds that caused my mother to have such a temper. 

When I was 17, I had a boyfriend with a serious drinking problem; I thought that I should be able to fill whatever void was in him so that he didn’t “need to drink”.  I felt that his drinking problem reflected my failure. He got violent too and although I was deathly afraid of him, I was sure that I could help him by loving him. That if only I could sow the seeds of love, he would calm down. I left him out of fear but I still felt that the failure of our relationship was my fault.  

Several married men hit on me before I was 20 years old. I honestly believed that I had done something to attract that. I was willing to accept the blame for their behaviour. I must have done “something” to reap what was sown.

In my early twenties I had a boyfriend who cheated on me with other women.  I was devastated to realize that this was going on, but I was way more disappointed in myself then I was in him.  I believed that I had done something wrong for him to feel the “need” to have sex with other women.  I believed that I could to learn to love and accept him enough that he wouldn’t “have” to do that anymore.

People were very happy to let me take all this responsibility. Abusers will always blame someone else for their actions.  And my mother would use this expression “you reap what you sow” to remind me that whatever was wrong in my life, must have been caused from some seed I had sown in the first place.

This was a way of life for me. I constantly searched for the seed I had sown. I constantly looked for what I had done wrong to CAUSE someone to treat me with disrespect and disregard.  My definition of love was very wrong but I had never been taught anything different. I had been taught to be accountable for things that were not my fault. The saying “you reap what you sow” was like confirmation to me that it really was something I had done to deserve the grief and mistreatment in my life.

There is a bridge between childhood and adulthood that many survivors never cross. We go from being abused to being held accountable for all our results in life. In this case I abused myself with the statement “you reap what you sow” more than others abused me with it. Accepting the blame for my results as a child paved the way for others to come along and inflict more pain on me and get me to take the blame for it too.   

The first time I connected that “it was my own fault” was when my mother’s boyfriend came into my room in the night when I was just a young teenager and he molested me. He was trying to get into bed with me when he was caught and stopped by my aunt who was visiting us and sleeping in the next room. My mother denied that it happened. She tried to convince me that I had misunderstood his intentions. She said he was drunk; he didn’t realize what he was doing. 

But it was her final statements that did the most damage. She said “well Darlene, you do have a crush on him” in other words “You reap what you sow”

Please add your voice to these thoughts of mine. Were you conditioned to believe that you reap what you sow, in a negative way such as this?

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

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 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

For related articles visit the blue links in bold print throughout this post.

This expression “you reap what you sow: comes from the bible verse Galatians 6:7 take note: It says “a man” not “a child”. Taken out of context, this verse is used to abuse.  

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90 response to "You Reap What You Sow ~ What about Child Abuse"

  1. By: Louise Posted: 14th September

    I loved this post. I’m only just beginning to see how when someone else is angry it’s not automatically entirely because of me or something I’ve done…
    I’m realising I can stand back a bit and say ‘This bit here is your stuff and that be there is my stuff’ And I apologise for what I’ve done that deserves an apologise but i won’t go any further taking blame for more than I’ve done.
    In fact I’ve begun to feel angry myself towards others behaviour that HAS been rude or unjust when I’ve realised they seem to be deflecting onto others or me or whatever and perhaps because its the first time I’ve been able to see past it being ALL my fault and realise there has been and injustice on their behalf. I’m really done with that, with taking it. There’s only so much a person can do their best, you can’t do better than your best and to be knocked when that’s what you’ve been doing is really harsh.
    Also I’ve noticed lots of folks point out your inadequacies and not your strengths, but I know for sure I have done some really good things and that’s the truth of it. Especially a sign is that I’m tired out from trying so hard!

    And often when I think about things that haven’t worked right, there’s usually a reason, sometimes a few reasons, often there might even have been an accident and there’s nothing you can do about those things it’s just life.
    Then I’ve noticed how people interpret things according to what’s in their heads about how they’re perceived and nothing at all like the truth and they will react or respond accordingly (like in a defensive or offensive way).

    Also I’ve felt a few times how I’d love to go back on my doorstep refuge in the quiet with noone there but somehow I carry that round with me a bit inside these days. It’s like that ‘equality’ of never being less than or more than anyone IS a real boundary… Just because you might not have any place to live, or whatever doesn’t mean you’re less than anyone else.
    All these things are starting to come clear in my head. It’s really hard and I feel like I have to trust a lot it will come clear but somehow clinging to the truth is very protective. I’m not a bad person, I don’t do bad things, or intentionally cause harm or any of those things so I don’t deserve to be treated like that. I don’t and shouldn’t have to ‘take’ any of the backlash from other folk’s own frustrations.

    I’m beginning to realise I have the power to just walk away, then where would they be with their ‘plans’ for me, and all the drama that might go with them. I figure we’re only human we can only give what we can, and only have so much time in a day in which to do so.

    Often I’m completely confused by people’s anger or why they’re upset at me suddenly out the blue, but sometimes I know that’s because I really have a big grey area in terms of folk’s need for space and privacy and other times it’s because I simply don’t know what I’ve done and have slipped into defensive mode already and assumed the role of ‘it’s my fault’ and scapegoat.

    Sometimes I wonder whose fault it would be when all the scapegoats have run out…

  2. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

    Hi Holli
    Welcome to Emerging from Broken. Yes this IS taken out of context with Adults as well and is used all the time against other adults.
    Hugs, Darlene

    Hi Libby
    I understand what you are saying. That is how I feel too, that I was just abandoned…. and that doing nothing is the same as giving permission to carry on. You did nothing to deserve this, none of us did. Taking my life back had a lot to do with knowing that with all my heart.
    Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

    Hi Pam and all other readers interested in this thread and my thoughts about faith and spiritual abuse;
    This is such a huge topic for me and it is really important to me that my readers understand where I am coming from on this one. I could write volumes about my spiritual life and how it has changed over the years but not this year. My mental health and my spiritual health were not separate for a very long time; It was important for me to realize that. My whole life was a mess and I had to recover in all areas. It was a process for me to be able to even view them as separate. I want to be clear that I didn’t give up my faith or even set it aside; I set all the God stuff aside while I healed. I set aside ALL the stuff I had been taught while I sifted through all the lies I had been taught and so many went hand in hand with everything. My spiritual life was grounded to some degree with all the other lies. I write mostly about how my belief system formed and how false beliefs piggyback on other false beliefs. I believe that God/Christ was behind all my healing, just like I believe that doing EFB is my gift and I am living in my purpose. I have always been strong in my faith even when my understanding of it was wrong. I don’t express that strongly here because I have a deep understanding of how much damage it would do esp. when I look at how far I have come and I have come full circle. The way it seems to me is that people take it by example (when we live it) far easier then they take it by me telling them about it. Its hard to explain. I have had people shocked when I tell them that I follow the teachings of Christ because they have this idea that all Christians are evil and dangerous. Then I have people who tell me that I am an angel sent from God. I would rather be known just by my love than by any other label. People throw away what isn’t helpful to them when they are ready. That has little to do with me and I don’t want to get in the way of that. That is just me and the way that I carry the message. I am picky about it because of the damage so many live with regarding spiritual abuse and not for any other reason.
    Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Libby Posted: 14th September

    OMG how this hits home. How can a child abandoned in this way? But we all havebeen in some way. My father NEVER stepped up to his responsibilities as a father, to protect me from harm by others. My mother said” you made your own bed, so you must lie in it” when I was hurting as a young adult and she didn’t approve of me. The education auithorities held ME responsible for my abuse at school by THEIR employees and refused to place me ina different school – and abanadoned me, threw me to the lions – basically giveing my abusers permission to carry on – “you reap what you sow” How can this be? How did those adults square away their consciences for their behaviour? How did they reap what they sowed? WHat could I possibly have swoed in order to “deserve” this treatment/neglect?? And where was God???
    I have no religious faith in the sense of belonging to a congregation – they cannot explain or justify my life’s experiences to me in any way that validates ME. For me, religion is as morally bankrupt as the adults who should have protected me and promoted my best interests . I don’t accept that and never will. I have my own sense of spirituality, interms of the wonder of life – but I don’t accept the notion of a higher authority – authority never did anything for me.

  5. By: Holli Posted: 14th September

    So well put …but could even be taken out of context with adults as well! Could be used against an abused to keep her where she is…

  6. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Joy, I thought I could change others also and I developed that idea because of the neglect and abuse I suffered as a child. My parents heaped so much of their responsibility on me that I grew up feeling that I was responsible for everything. That did translate into my faith for awhile, also but I didn’t fully understand the spiritual teaching because my psychology wasn’t healthy. I was unable to put the spiritual teaching of “dying to self” or self-sacrifice into healthy practice. I understand it differently now. I never wanted to make it easy for someone to do evil either but I did sometimes, because I accepted their mistreatment of me. I can’t be responsible for anything others do but I can take responsibility for my own wrong-doing and I’m better off for it. Abuse and neglect blurred those lines for me. There were also people in my family who wanted to use my faith as a way to control me and they intentionally, twisted teachings in a way to give themselves control over me. It didn’t have anything to do with God,it was just them doing what they do. It is only been in the last few years that I have gained a better understanding.

    I only share what I did that I think enabled others to hurt me and how I corrected that in an effort to share what might help another as well as, express my own pain because it is good for me to talk about how I was hurt. I never mean it to say that is what another does or that my way to overcome is the only way. I am happy to find others on the path to healing that I’m also on but I also know that we are all individuals and we are all at different levels of healing. There are simularities with all of us but there are differences too. I would never want to transplant my own ideas into another because that would totally change who they are. I do believe we can learn from each other when we are honest about who we are as well as, what has happened to us. That’s all I’m ever trying to do.

  7. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Darlene, That is why I think that it is important to remember that mental health and spiritual health are two seperate things but they do interlock with each other. Becoming a spiritual person saved my life and I did change many habits but I also needed psychology to give me a deeper understanding of human behavior. I’ve thought about what you’ve said about setting your faith aside and wondered if I was even able to do that but I think by seperating the two has having different functions, that maybe I have done what you did. I’m more confident in my faith than in my knowledge of psychology. When I offer comfort to others, I tend to go with what has given comfort and hope to me. The benefit of psychology that I have experienced is on a different level. I want to be both a mentally healthy and sprititually healthy individual and I think both are necessary for abundant living. I am also very much for people putting in the work required to come to their own understanding in everything not just faith. We set ourselves up to be victims when we accept all of what anyone says without question. I do express a strong faith point of view on my own blog but that is because I am strong in my own point of view. I offer it so that people may be able to take what they need from it but I also, very much want people to throw away what isn’t helpful to them. If everyone were meant to be a christian, then everyone would be, I guess. I am and some are not, and in my thinking, niether of us should be diminished because of that. Some people will want to throw away everything I say and I’m perfectly fine with! I’m still going to speak my truth and be who I am. I’m not out to make clones of me. One is enough!

  8. By: joy Posted: 14th September

    HI Darlene

    Thats what I am going to do for now. too. I need to sort myself out before I try to understand the bible.. I believe like you that GOd understands..just like I believe God understands that I don’t try to be in any particular church.. somehow I believe everyone is a little church themselves.. Namaste 😉

  9. By: joy Posted: 14th September


    It was my past belief that suffering at the hands of others with patience may change their hearts and bring them to God. .I know people say “you are not a saint” but .. anyone who goes to heaven is a saint and anyone who wants to go to heaven is a saint in the making. .I know some of the ideas placed in my head may be wrong . I never suffered things because I thought it was making someone “feel good” but because I felt that by suffering it patiently .. in time would change the person’s heart..only thing . the only person who changed was me. the monsters became bigger monsters.. because they saw me suffering and not getting away as an avenue to apply more abuse.. I have the desire to do the right and in me I desire that others turn to the right as well but my lack of knowing just how .. has led me to be victimized.. I also tend to freeze before mean people. I don’t know how to take a shouting person . .an angry person.. I freeze up as that triggers something else in me. it sends me back to my moms presence where shouting and screaming and anger preceded .. some physical abuse..

    I am so afraid to speak up .. and fear . .and mixed up religious ideas are all messed up as one in my head so I have to sort them out..

    I dont want to be a victim that helps evil people become more evil..


  10. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Kate, was that something that came more from church or home or both?

  11. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Joy, I always take comfort in knowing that nothing can separate me from God, not even my own confusion. There have been a lot of cultural changes since the scriptures were written but a lot hasn’t changed either. People are still the same. To me, Jesus didn’t suffer as a helpless victim. There were many times when people wanted to hurt Him and He took actions to avoid it. He also asked God to take the cross from Him but He went through with it because that is what God sent Him to earth to do. He suffered from a position of power with the goal of achieving ultimate good. That is very different from allowing people to mistreat us just because it makes them feel good.–My rule of thumb is that if a traditional teaching causes me to have to lie in order to keep it or it flies in the face of good mental health, then I question that teaching will all that is in me and I dig into the scripture until I find the truth. To be honest, I read little theology because it is an interpretation of that which I’m able to read and arrive at my own view of. When I read the Bible, I’m looking for truth for myself and not for what the Bible says to someone else.–If I endure suffering for someone else, it is not as their victim because I believe, if I allow them to abuse me then I am contributing to their sin, if I suffer it is in over-looking small hurts that I know they don’t intend as I wait for them to heal. If they hurt me in some large way,it is my duty to speak up and remove myself from their abuse. The Bible is a tool and people pick it up and use it in many different ways. Not all of them for good. Have you seen the movie, “The Book Of Eli”?

  12. By: Vicki Posted: 14th September

    I don’t even think adults who are in domestic violence centered relationships are guilty. I think the guy who DOES it ought to at LEAST get a mentioned credit in the matter.
    I work with victims of domestic violence and see them every single week. I’m a paramedic. I clean up what their abusers start.
    I’m certainly going to be against child abuse if I don’t like domestic violence of an adult on another adult.
    Domestic violence upsets me more than it used to, b/c I know two people who were murdered during a domestic violence dispute. One of them was 5 months pregnant with a baby she had just named Alexandra Jordan a week before she, and her baby, were killed.
    He even buried them. There’s no way in HELL he’d ever get me to believe he loved them, like he said in court.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

      I want to just add one more thing about the bible. I too studied it extensively and when I was in the fog of false teaching and with my OLD belief system, I didn’t see the truth everywhere in the bible either. It was as though my “grid” that I looked through was tainted with all the other false teachings… but when I came out of that fog, all my bible study was still there, and it was easy for me to see where others had used it to control and manipulate me and others. I saw the true truth in the teachings, but only after I began to see all the other lies that I had accepted as truth first.

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for sharing your letter to you mom with me and with the other readers here.
      I felt your pain and your letter is so heartfelt and beautifully expressed. I am so sorry that all this happened to you, a little girl who only wanted love. I can so relate to that too.
      Thank you Sarah,
      Love, Darlene

      Hi Kate,
      Me too.. it was quite a thing for me to sort out and undo. The bible teachings were taught way out of whack using guilt and shame and more “not good enough”, to make everyone spin and comply. ugg.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Vicki,
      Of course adults who are being hit in domestic violence situations are not at fault! I think the person who does it should be charged!
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Kate Posted: 14th September

    In church I found all kinds of statements to use against myself…it was the place to connect all your previous abusive messages in your head, add twisted statements from scripture/practical sermon illustrations, and even congregational memory verses, etc., and never be able to dig yourself out!

  14. By: sarah Posted: 14th September

    I too have lived with the thinking that if my parents feel that way then everyone will and until my husband i seemed to seek out abusive men. I have known for quite sometime that i needed to break away from my mother and the hope that she will ever be the mother i have needed. I mailed the letter on Monday and this is what it says.

    Dear Mom

    I have always known that your love for my father has always outweighed your love for me. Yet to this day I would do anything in the world if it meant I would get even a piece of the love you have for him. I have always felt like an outsider looking in at the two of you. As a child it was very painful for me and at first I tried to be the “perfect” child.. good grades.. Did my chores.. Was quiet and respectful. When that didn’t seem to work I then went to the other extreme of failing school, getting in fights back talking. I don’t understand why instead of helping to see what the big problems were you just completely shut me out. I was crying out for help. I remember what happened to me as a child. I can also remember begging you not to take me back to this place and how much I did not want to “play house” There were several occasions at age 5 that I begged you, but you chose not to hear the fear in my voice. It is also after this that I had my first dissociative episode due to the fact I had no one to talk to I disappeared inside myself and became withdrawn, quiet, shy. I can now connect the dots as to why I was not interested in the joyful things most children my age were. I was such a lonely child, and in turn grew up to be someone that did not confide easily and did not try to be “me” I have been whomever those closest to me needed me to be. The second episode was after my rape, though those memories came back after a couple years the effects were the same. I began to act out more, failing, it is also the time in which I began to get migraines everyday. The migraines you said I was “faking” or “weak” because they were so debilitating.

    Once things were at the worst, I became obsessive with knowing how you and dad talked about me, to the point that I would stay up late at night and listen to you talk about me though you believed I was in bed. I knew I was broken, but could not understand how your love seemed conditional and once I had “proved to you that I was a useless screwup” you just stopped caring completely. To this day I believe that I am not worthy of anyones love. If your own parents don’t love you how can anyone? All I have ever wanted is your love and for you to be my mother, I have always felt like I was competing with Dad to get even a little bit of your affection, though when he came home I was shut out in the cold again. The saddest thing of all is that I still get my hopes up just to be disappointed again when you don’t call. I know how messed up our family is and I can see now that putting all your love into Dad has been your way to hold on to your sanity. For a long time I was angry because all of my friends had loving nurturing parents and I always felt alone. I still wish that you hadn’t had me mostly because I don’t understand why you did. I have been able to gain enough reflection to believe that you do have some love for me in the best way you can, but you will never be able to love me as a mother should or be there for me the way mothers are. And even though I know that and can understand it it still devastates me. You would think at almost 26 years old I could accept that which I cannot change but I cant,. Because you are my mother, because I have so much love for you that has never been returned. You have never been there for me when I have truly needed you, you have never been by my side during the hardest of my times and though I have been blessed with many that love me all I have ever really needed was you my Mother, and though I have tried to be there for you, you wont even let me be there for you during your bad times. My father will never have the deep love for you as I do or would do as much as I would if I knew it would work simply because a childs love for their mother is unconditional and unwavering.. You have never let me close enough to show you my love. You cant know how easy it is for you to hurt me, you don’t even mean to but by not calling or being active in my life it hurts me everyday and I shed a lot of tears. The times that you and I have talked and I have confided in you it was so easy. Then you promise not to be a stranger and I get my hopes up just for you to never call back. I feel bad because Skylar and Danielle don’t know what to say or do for me because they can’t understand it. They are close to their mothers and cannot see why you wouldn’t want to be close to me, I tell them it is because im not worthy of your love or your affection for me as a mother, I am a screw-up and failure and that I mess up everything that I touch. I have spent so long convincing myself that that was the truth that as much as I love Aidan and Skylar I still believe they would be better off without me.

    I have to let you go. As hard as I try I know I can never accept what I get from you without pinning my hopes on more, and believe me I feel so much pain as I write this because I have spent my life living on the hope that you will one day be the mother I need. I hope that maybe one day once I have a better sense of self and have dealt with all the things that have gotten me to this place. I hope you can read this and understand, I know that you will probably shut it out of your mind, but I had to tell you how I have always felt. For a long time it was anger, but now it is only sadness. I will always love you.

  15. By: joy Posted: 14th September


    I read the bible 3 times daily and pretty much from cover to cover several times. I was majoring in Theology before I started to change.. With many studies in the bible. I do know that there are many things that makes you stand and wonder.. When the bible was written “women” didnt even count when there was a count. .they were not allowed to attend the synagogue or preach. They were to keep their heads covered etc. Lots of things have changed since scripture was written.

    I do know that Jesus said “give to the one who asks, if someone presses you for one mile, go two, to the one who asks for your tunic ..give your coat as well. ”

    “if anyone would follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me”

    They are very clear scriptures and honestlly I dont see where there is wrong in putting others before oneself. I have found in so doing. ..blessings come .. maybe not earthly blessings but heavenly ones.

    I have been lost for some time .. these past two years.. but I do know I dont want to be separated from God or take out of me what makes me “me” and that is I love people and I love to help people and I will go the extra mile and sometimes people get hurt when they stick their neck out for others.. Jesus was nailed to the cross because he loved us so much.. he died for everyone so whats wrong with a little suffering for everyone?


  16. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Joy, You’ve been taught those values with a twist of control over you. It is different to read and understand those values with a healthy point of view. There’s nothing wrong with the values and spiritual principles of the Bible. The problem is with the way they are traditionally taught. If it weren’t for the Bible, I would have died in some back ally long ago. God doesn’t abuse, human beings do.


  17. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Darlene, As usual, I read one of your posts and then it settles in and I have a deeper reaction than initially. As an adult, I have struggled with feelings of actually being what my parents sowed. My family used to give me such a hard time about being depressed, anxious, and angry. It was my parents that caused me to first develop these problems and that is the worst of being a neglected or abused child is that we grow into the abuse and neglect and it becomes a part of who we are. Then we struggle all of our lives to overcome the damage. It isn’t much different than a birth defect. You want to talk about anger? I feel very angry about that this morning and also very angry at my family for denigrating me for becoming what they taught me to be. Layers, upon layers of cruelty. Wouldn’t it be something if they actually had enough compassion to realize their mistakes and the excruciating pain that they caused and said they were sorry so that I truly could forgive them and see them receive that forgiveness? It sure would be something if they took back some of that misplaced responsibility that they heaped upon me. I’m not holding my breath and I’m done being the garden in which they sow their seeds of cruelty. There’s nothing else that I can do; but there will always be something inside of me that wishes my parents would really BE parents and do their part to make things right.

  18. By: cowanmagee Posted: 14th September

    Just recently my son (13 years old) had an opportunity to confront his father about traumatic experiences with the aide of his counselor. The validation of his feelings and the harm that he experienced, he was finally able to express to his father, brought about his sudden and significant emotional steps towards the healing progress.
    A remarkable change that has allowed him to regain his sense of inner strength and confidence to openly express himself without fear of being silenced.
    To fully appreciate that a generational cycle of emotional abuse has been broken, provides for me a sense of relative relief that the pain and suffering that i endured while married to my sons father would not be fully experienced by my child and he would not grow up to repeat and continue the cycle of abuse.
    Although I could not prevent nor completely shield him from all possible abuse by divorcing his father and being able to provide him with a safe haven, continued court ordered visitation ensured that my full protection of him was not possible.
    I have come to appreciate the constant struggle that one faces once the pain of emotional abuse is understood, this internal pain at times feels so draining, yet to feel such pain is to acknowledge and confirm that the abuse was and is a real identifiable personal experience that cannot be denied.
    My sons father although has listened to his sons voice, does not have the emotional capacity to comprehend such pain as he as been severly damaged and desensitized himself through his own childhood abuse by his family of origin, learning to deny and invalid thus perpetuating and repeating the generational cycle of abuse and passing it on to his son.
    My hope is that by providing for my son every advantage and opportunity his father was not given, I have altered and ended this families generational cycle of abuse.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

      Hi Cowanmagee
      Excellent comments! Thank you for sharing. You make many excellent truth filled points. I agree with you that it is very healing to be heard in a safe place.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Pam,
      Well I am glad you came back! This is what I view as the proper use of anger! You should be angry! It was when I began to feel and acknowledge that kind of anger that my healing moved to a new level. I still remember things in new ways that make me angry ~ it just doesn’t last so long anymore but it is still very healing. I hear your wish for parents. Somedays I feel that… but most days I don’t anymore. I still feel the pain of that kind of rejection… and I know (I am pretty sure) that they blame it on me however I also know that they are wrong. I love your expression “done being in the garden in which they sow their sees of cruelty” That is excellent
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 14th September

    Hi Darlene

    The phrase my mother used all the time was “you made your bed, now lie in it.” It had the same result of making me feel like everything was my fault, my responsibility.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

      Hi G,
      I had to let go of those people; they continued to make me feel very bad about myself. They continued to affirm that I was less valuable then the people who abused me. I had to let go so that I could get strong enough to validate myself. I found that when I was not around that constant “not good enough, and them blaming me stuff” I was able to sort out the truth so much faster and easier. The ones that I let go of are not going to change, so I had to let go so that I could heal. Today my validation comes from within myself. I know the truth, they can’t hurt me anymore.
      I am so glad you are here! Thanks for your comments
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Joy,
      I put the bible teaching and all my bible knowledge on hold for over 2 or 3 years when I began this journey. I had to heal. This is just the way that I did it. I knew in my heart that God was encouraging me because there was so much brainwashing and false teaching that was in my way. That is why I am not preachy on my page in anyway. If I had gone for support somewhere that preached Jesus is the only way, I never would have recovered.
      It took time for me to sort all this out. To come out of the fog of all the lies (including the “biblical ones” that really had been USED to control me. but for me, I had to put it on hold. God didn’t mind ~ look what came out of it!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Fi,
      Yes, you made your bed now lie in it is the same expression! I heard that one too!
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: joy Posted: 14th September

    Hi Darlene,

    I am constantly amazed how much what you say I can say .. verbatum.. I am so sorry you went through all that bad stuff..

    I know I was also brainwashed to believe I got what I deserved and I think that phrase ” you reap what you sow” also pains me as i often asked myself and god : what did i do to have all this happen to me.

    Mom’s response was I should never had been born. It was my fault for coming out. I should have died in her womb ..and because I didnt I am cursed. Never wanted because of how i was conceived .. I was and am a constant reminder of what she did to have me..

    She told me I would never amount to anything . that anything I would do would fail and you know.. so far most everything I have done has failed ..

    I attract bad people into my life and I dont want to but it happens. .I refuse to accept i want those such people in my life. I simply cannot seem to stop people from hurting me. .Even though I have been broken and rebroken. i keep hoping that people will change..

    That is my big big problem . I turn the other cheek like the bible says..go the extra mile and in the end I cannot even get up again.

    I trust people are who they say they are.. I give to others ..everyone the benefit of the doubt.. because you reap what you so. and I end up hurt every time.

    I am so blind so stupid that I cannot see people who will hurt me. I try and try but I think because in me I would never imagine doing the things people end up doing to me that I don’t expect them to do such things..

    I get very discouraged as I want to stop being abused and stop being someone that others take advantage of but i am not very strong and not very wise..

    I was very grounded in the bible.. “the measure you measure will be measured out to you” . I have tried to be the kind of person the bible says to be. and seem
    people take advantage and walk all over such people.

    How does one heal and live the values the bible teaches.. I don’t want to stop believing. what has been in me since I was little but am confused by the results.

    DO we have to be broken people to be godly people?


  21. By: g Posted: 13th September

    “i am many years stranged “(above)
    This should be “estranged”..G

  22. By: g Posted: 13th September

    you said…”We go from being abused to being held accountable for all our results in life”

    i had/still have many evil/mean people in my life ,i remember, i run away from another abusive ex, he would give/allow me to use drugs with him and whenever i was high ,he would torture me by showing me ropes, gun and tell me if i watched movies where women were killed and chopped into pieces, i was punched and slapped, i remember i got into drugs because i wanted to get numb on how i was sexually tAKEN and resulted for me doing drugs to cope up for that painful thing that happened to me, but it led me to more abuses from other people because i was vulnerable and punishing myself , i suffered guilt for not standing up for that so i resorted to self harms…then, these same people’s circle who took me,punished me more when i finally stood up for myself,these people told me, how would i solve my new problems if my other/older problems was not solved by me? it made me mad because they were the same people who did those abuses and blackmailed me more by using people i love to control me more, so when things led me to more chaos, they would critisize me more on how i handle my life after i left the first abuser..which they are protecting until now.
    i am many years stranged to some members of my circle because i told them ,first things first..if talking about accountable..then they should be the first people to be accountable for me because until now, the man who took my body/innocence is enjoying his life with them, while me i am here, suffering all the consequences…G

  23. By: Janie Posted: 13th September

    I can relate to this BIG TIME. Have you ever felt not good enough? Have you ever dealt with abandonment issues? Lately I feel so lost….

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th September

      Hi Janie,
      Welcome to emerging from broken.. I write about overcoming those deep feelings of “not good enough” and abandonment issues. You will love this website.
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Betty LaLuna Posted: 13th September

    This article speaks to the heart of many of us who are dealing with the aftermath of NPD abuse as well, some of us have childhood wounds as well that we are trying to overcome.

    In reading your article I was reminded of how when I would come home with some complaint of an offense or hurt someone else caused, getting kicked or hit by another child, instead of being protected, nurtured, validated and supported, I was always asked: “What did you do?” As if somehow I brought it upon myself…

    This laid the blue print for life to take blame.

    Thank you so much for your voice and for sharing…I am sharing it with my group…


  25. By: Pam Posted: 13th September

    Darlene, The answer is yes, I was. I don’t remember those words being used often but I was certainly conditioned to accept blame for everything that went wrong and to also think that I was responsible to fix whatever was wrong for others. My conditioning was more from watching my parent’s relationship and the way my dad expected my mom to take responsibility for what he did wrong and she did. Then she would turn and dump it on me. The one saying I remember most was, “You made your bed, now lay in it!” That is what it was like after I was sexually abused. I’d lost my virginity and there was no hope for me. My bed was made and I had to lay in it and get what I deserved. It filled me with rage that I didn’t understand or I did understand with my heart but not with my head.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th September

      Hi Pam
      I don’t remember those words (your reap what you sow” directed “at me” until I got older. But I had heard them. I heard the “you made your bed now lay in it” too. Pretty much the same saying. Once I got to a certain age, I applied those things to myself; it was a natural progression from taking the blame for being disregarded as a child; it was natural for me to keep taking the blame on myself. People tell others to “pull your socks up, get over it” and this was all part of the same problem for me. I believed that something was wrong with me because I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t make them love me.
      I can relate to what you have said here too. You didn’t deserve any of that. None of us did.
      Thanks for adding your voice!
      Hugs, Darlene

      I think this speaks to the heart of anyone who suffered ANY kind of abuse. What you describe here is the way so many children are dealt with. (I wrote a post on that topic it is so common) And all of this DOES lay that foundation.. draws the blueprint as you say. (love that)
      Thank you for being here and for sharing EFB with your group!
      Hugs, Darlene

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