Facebook Hide Features and Belief System Busting

finding self , who am I
Going Behind the Walls

In today’s blog post I am taking a look at motives driven by beliefs about ourselves that are not based in the truth.  In order to do that, I am going to post some food for thought questions.  You may answer them in the comments if you wish. You may share them with your friends. You may click the facebook “like button” or not. You have a choice. I want you to have a choice. The point of this post is not to make you feel guilty about yourself. The point is that in answering these questions for yourself, you will see some truths about your belief systems. 

How many of us hide our communication in facebook from our families and close friends? There is nothing wrong with using that option and I am not suggesting that you stop hiding your likes and dislikes or comments in facebook.  This exercise is merely an exercise in fog busting and truth realization. Everyone will have different answers. Some of us never use the hide button.  Some of us really must use the facebook hide buttons, because to neglect to do so would truly be dangerous. 

Having said that, here are the questions. Not all of them will apply to everyone;

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am going to define my own value from now on?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I participate in or read discussions about emotional and psychological abuse?

~Why do I use the hide button on some comments and not on others?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am reading a self empowerment blog?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I am finding out that they were wrong about me?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I do not belong to them? They don’t own me; or do I   still think that they do?

~Why don’t I want my family to know that I have a mind of my own? That I am thinking about forbidden things; that I am going to grow up without permission from them?

~Why do I feel like or believe that I have to hide my actions?

~In thinking that I am protecting their feelings, why do I worry more about their feelings then I do about my own.

~Why do I question myself and my actions, MORE then I question theirs?

When I stood up for myself and took my life and my identity back, I was not using facebook for any kind of self improvement type work. If my family would have been on facebook with me, I would have been terrified they might find out what I was doing. I would have used all the hide features. That is not the point of this blog post.

The point is that It was in answering these kinds of questions that led me to realize my own belief system and all the problems that were rooted in that system. When I asked myself why I questioned my own actions more then I questioned theirs, I was stunned. I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. These kinds of questions served as a giant spring board into the depths of my mind and greatly advanced my own process of changing the lies I believed, back into the truth.

Please remember that I am in no way encouraging you to stop using hide features or to start standing up to anyone, either family or friends. This is not about judgement. I am not judging you and I do not want you to judge yourself. This is an exercise in exposing your own belief system. This is not easy. This was what worked for me.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me and with each other.

Finding treasure in the darkest places;

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken on FaceBook

More on Mother Daughter Dysfunctional Relationship ~ there is a discussion in the comments that relates to this post

For those of you who are worried about privacy settings on Facebook, here are the instructions on how to set privacy settings:


On Facebook, Emerging from broken is an open group. If you are concerned about others outside of this group viewing your posts, you can choose who sees your posts by following these links: Account, Privacy Settings, Personal Information and Posts, Posts By Me, then Customize. Choose who sees your posts from there. Please note that this option applies to all your comments, not just those on facebook pages.

For individual wall posts, below the ‘share’ button, there is a ‘filter’ option. If you click on that, you can choose who sees that particular wall post. This only applies to wall posts and not to the discussions or comments.

49 response to "Facebook Hide Features and Belief System Busting"

  1. By: Kellie Posted: 5th February 2011


    These are great questions. You have provided some food for thought.


  2. By: Vicki Posted: 27th January 2011

    There’s a reason besides the fact that I don’t want my family to hear that I won’t talk on Facebook.
    About a year ago, I discovered that one of my supervisors was looking up personal information about his employees and using the knowledge against them.
    I found out by accident and, to this day, he has no idea I even found out.
    I think it’s slightly deranged to be looking up information about your employees after hours, especially when it has nothing to do w/ the job.
    The man thinks women have no business working in Emergency Medicine, and he’s been getting rid of them all by finding information online and then using it against them.
    Talk about an insecure man. He’s the damn epitome of one.

  3. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 26th January 2011

    I have myself hid when people do a search they cannot find me unless they are on my friends list. cause of my mom who adopted me threatened my life back in 01 and I moved to another state. I don’t say where I am from on fb.. I don’t think she knows or earned how to use a computer she was not into it before. I know i have my website out but it has been out before she threatened me she never new it was out. She does not know my last name now so I put the rest in Gods hands and just live life as well and joyful as I can. Thanks for having this discussion.. Hugs

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th January 2011

      It is very important to keep ourselves safe, thank you for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Elizabeth Posted: 20th January 2011

    Nope. You have NOT offended me. LOL.

    Its a series of questions that are an intrinsic part of the healing process, I think, but the answers might not be what you think;

    In the end those answers that can only be decided by each individual. Each individual must decide what those kinds of questions mean to him/her and also what the answers mean, or might mean.

    I’m quite clear on what my process is in not posting and making things so accessable and public on FB.Not that there are that many people who have access to it. However, there was a time pre FB, I thought no one was observing me and my family, or my process of recovery, and there WAS a great deal going on behind the scenes involving people violating MANY boundaries.I would take a stand, and the ante would go up regarding my daughter with certain people.It happens.

    There are retaliatory people in this world.

    There are reasons and choices about who we let in to our lives and recovery. Our reasons don’t have to make sense to anyone else.

    Great blog! Thanks for all the work you do, Darlene!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th January 2011

      Yes! that is exactly what I think ~ that they are individual and unique to each person. My writing is about asking for that… asking each person to dig for those individual answers. and knowing that those answers don’t have to make sense to anyone else ~ that is empowerment!
      I have had many “information mongers” in my life too. People (and lots of family) that only want to know what I am doing in order to use it against me. To gossip, to tear me down. And as you say, there are consequences. I have huge realizations of how losing my children could have been part of the consequences for me too.
      I have learned a lot from writing this blog post and from getting all the feedback. I would not write anything quite this way again.. LOL Next time I will answer the questions as I write them and not leave it so open ended.
      Thank you so much for being a big part of this discussion.
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Kia Posted: 19th January 2011

    At Amira, WOW! I can so relate to what you have written. (Esp your first post).
    I don’t have many family members on FB and some of the ones that are on, well, I just post. I’m not one to write a lot of personal stuff on my page. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that one sister has not been to happy with me because I will do something and let a post or picture be sufficient without having to explain myself to her first. For example when I first started wearing pants I did not call and tell her that. I let a picture of me be posted on FB where I was wearing pants. I decided that I am not accountable to her that I have to tell her every change I make and thing I do. As my foster mom said about her – grow up!
    @ Louise, I can so relate. About your question on anger – give it some time. In my situation, to protect myself I worked on hiding my emotion. And in time, I didn’t even feel emotion. After we left, my foster parents worked to get me to show my emotion, but it took time. I was so ashamed of my emotions. I still tend to be a more inward-directed emotional person. I will take emotion out by hurting myself. To this day, Pastor is still working with me to let the tears inside me flow and to express the emotion (anger, hurt, joy, etc) verbally and with expression.
    One way to let anger out is when something comes up (for me it was my real mom’s letting my bio dad do what he wanted with me and not standing up for me.) stop and say to yourself “how does this make me feel?” With time you will be able to feel and identify your emotions. I felt hurt, betrayed, angry at my mom. Learning to identify and feel my emotions is a large part of who I am right now. That is where I am in my healing. There is hope and healing! And as I am still learning about myself – YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

  6. By: Elizabeth Posted: 19th January 2011

    I wanted to add that its not a fair question to ask why we might conceal our thoughts and recovery from other people on FB. That’s like asking ‘why don’t you invite you abuser into your counsellor’s office with you?’ Not quite the same but….similar.

    What we reveal, and say about our feelings is OURS; those belong to US. WE have the right to say who we want to read our thoughts and who doesn’t. That is a big boundary issue.

    Revealing things to abusive family or people is not a measure of ‘recovery’; it’s a very individual decision based on circumstances and our own knowledge of what is safe for us individually.

    Our lives and pain are not a book to be published and viewed by people who either abused us, abetted the abusers, or stood by and did nothing; or for for curious looky loos.

    Its just not a relevant question.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th January 2011

      You are right in all things that you have said in this comment. It seems that you think that the purpose of this post was to challenge the readers to be more public about their process. These questions are about how I went inside of my own belief system and realized WHY I was afraid to stand up to certain people in my own life. This is about the realizations ~ NOT about sharing them with the very people who caused me all the pain and who devalued me.
      Realizing that some of you have misunderstood this post makes me feel sick to my stomach because I would never want to ADD to the pain of this whole process; I would never suggest that revealing things to abusive family is a measure of recovery.
      Elizabeth you have been such a huge part of EFB ~ you have done so much work here. You know the way that I write, the way that I challenge even my own thinking. Asking the question why we might conceal our thoughts and recovery from people on FaceBook was a question designed to make you think ~ not to make you reveal to abusers or let your guard down. I asked myself these questions to get in touch with my beliefs.
      like this: Q ~why would I hide the recovery pages that I am commenting on in facebook?
      A~ because my family has always said I was crazy and I am not going to give them any more validation about that fact. And that led me to think about all the things my family did and said to keep me thinking that I was crazy. That led me to think about why I believed my family.
      AND I could list a whole lot of other answers that helped me to realize what I was feeling deep down. I should have written the post that way but I didn’t think of it at the time. I did not think that these questions would be taken as a challenge to the way that people do facebook.
      I hope that this makes things a bit more clear. I am so sorry that I have offended you Elizabeth. It was never my intention.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Susa (Art Cathartic on FB) Posted: 18th January 2011

    Oh dear…. I forgot to add the whole point of my post – I don’t care if my only family member finds this blog, or any blog or FB I’ve posted on, and reads our posts because for once, I am standing strong in my convictions, and finally being ME… the TRUE ME (or a combination of MEs working together). (Okay, these legs are still a bit wobbly… this is new!)


  8. By: Susan Posted: 18th January 2011

    Lol! Boy do I hear that Darlene! The constant criticizing of any thought feeling or choice. It was as though I was literally afraid to breathe! When I started looking at the root cause of this fear in my every day life – it really was all about having permission to exist; to have the power to say yes, no, I like or don’t like this. The power to decide what my life would be like. My first memory is of my father telling me how when I cried they would “throw” me in the back seat of the car and drive around until I stopped crying and went to sleep (out of exhaustion I’m guessing…) From the very beginning I had no value to him other than what he could take from me. I was not allowed to express my feelings or needs from early on and was punished for doing so. I did not exist as an individual. I was raised to be powerless and wait for permission to do anything, to tolerate being treated as “less than”. Like you – I am loving my new life and often find myself literally dancing in joy at my new freedom! Thanks Darlene!

  9. By: Marg Robins Posted: 18th January 2011

    Well, I have to chime in on this one! First of all – GREAT post and I have to say, it hits home!
    I can’t say that I have the problem with anyone of Facebook etc., because I have finally deleted those who aren’t supportive from my life, however, there was one point when I was so unbelievably cautious of my actions, activity and words spoken. This fear was there LONG before Facebook, but its a great example. I used to avoid reading/joining/discussing ANYTHING abuse related in fear someone would see it and question me. Whenever I went to post something, such as a status, I caught myself removing it before anyone had the chance to see it. I would think “OMG – what’s my mom going to think of this?” Or “This person doesn’t like this, so I can’t say it”.. As I said, this was all there before Facebook – I’ve always been cautious of what I say, or my actions. I was robbed the right to be unique, and cast in silence of a murky past.
    I was never told “don’t you talk about those things” it was just a given – no words needed to imply those rules.
    I have finally “blossomed” into an outspoken, yet caring person. With people in “real life”, if I can’t talk to them without them passing judgment, then I don’t bother. It stings to let some people go, but hurts to much to be forced into the life of a pre-programed robot. For those on Facebook – its my page, my rules.. If they don’t like it – they know where the delete button is, just as well as I do.
    Life is too short to walk in the shadows of others, walk in fear of others opinions, beliefs and truths.
    Its taken a long while to finally view things this way – but its the only way for me to preserve what’s left of me..

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th January 2011

      You bring up a very important part of this whole topic. Thank you for posting! I thought I was somewhat of a “black sheep” in my family. In recovery, I realized that I was much more then that ~ I was the fall guy, the care taker, and all those other things you mentioned and the worst part was that although I did all those things, I still wasn’t good enough.
      YAY about being the real YOU! That is a freedom I have found that I wouldn’t part with for anything!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Marg,
      I related to everything you said. I used to hide the books I was reading if my mother was over.
      No words were needed in my case either.
      As you say, it is the same thing in fact I think that your examples are actually better then the ones I used about facebook.
      Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Kia
      I like your pants example. That reminds me of so many things that happened to me. My grandmother would tell me that she didn’t like a haircut or she didn’t like my lipstick… and it would just devastate me. My sister in law told me once that her and her boyfriend didn’t like my 2 year old son’s haircut. It bothered me deeply. Today I say “that’s your problem” It shocked my family when I started not caring about their opinions about MY choices. I could write a whole blog post about this…
      Thanks for being here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Susa (Art Cathartic on FB) Posted: 18th January 2011

    Hi Darlene,

    I think that the most difficult part of setting boundaries with family, is that they are so conditioned to having a family member who is their own personal: “shoulder to cry on”, baby sitter, therapist, medic (boo-boo fixer), protector, empathizer, and all round doormat. They have learned to rely on this person (moi) for years and years, and when I first started setting boundaries with sister, she had a violent reaction… I have DID, and our “empath part” is named Tress. This is the part of me who is 13 years older than sister, and protected her from abuse for the years before we left for college. Sister grew up calling me that, and after she sensed that I, Susa, was starting to set boundaries for all of the parts of me, she expressed her displeasure, and made it crystal clear, that she wanter her Tress back. We are in and out of communication now, (mostly out), but that is her choice. I will stand by my new boundaries, and she can either respect them, and give me the validation that I never got, or she can live her life without me (as painful as that is for me since she is my only bio relative). This is extremely difficult, but it is something that I finally HAVE to do for ME! For once, something for me, and for all of the parts of me!


  11. By: Susan Posted: 18th January 2011

    As always Darlene; a thought provoking and powerful post! This is a really vital set of questions; in the beginning….I was afraid of my family. I was terrified to have a thought, feeling or make a choice without their approval. I was as a small child seeking the approval of my family that would guide me and tell me I was ok, that I was doing it right, that I was on the right track. Only I wasn’t a small child. I was an adult, terrified of being attacked by my family. I felt such deep deep shame for even existing. In that past, I would have never been on facebook because I was criticized for even making that kind of decision. It was as though “I” did not exist.

    Since that time I still protect myself online from my family; but not because I’m afraid of them. Because I don’t share my truth with anyone I know cannot validate or support my choices. I now know that I can choose to share what I wish. I also know I can choose what and who to let into my world, I can choose when to let them in. I can choose when I no longer want them in my personal space. Today, my family is not invited into my new world because they still cant accept me in my RT world. They don’t honer me. They don’t value my thoughts, my feelings or my choices. So I have, like you with your mother, simply let them go about their business and I go about mine.

    The thing is – this process of learning how to separate myself from my toxic family was scary. It took baby steps of practicing valuing myself in other relationships to be able to decide I no longer had to subject myself to the abuse of my family. So today I protect myself from their abuse because I know I don’t have to share my life with those who will use my disclosure to abuse me where in the past I was protecting myself from their abuse because I still believed it was ok to be abused and I was still ducking and running. Does this make any sense?

    PS Amira; thank you for your kind note!

  12. By: Young Mom Posted: 18th January 2011

    I recently shut down my IRL facebook for a time, not because I wasn’t being myself, but because of the emotional exhaustion that came from trying to communicate with “concerned” family members that challenged pretty much everything I ever wrote or posted or linked. I found myself getting depleted from trying to be civil with them, so I quit for now.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th January 2011

      Hi Paulette,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I realized that too with my kids.. what kind of an example was I being to them? Did I want to teach them that the way things were between myself and other people was the right way to have a relationship?? No way.
      Thanks for being here!

      Hi Young Mom
      It is exhausting to constantly be having to explain and justify oneself. That is for sure and something we often talk about in EFB.
      Thank you for sharing!

      Hi Susan
      Everything you say makes sense! This is a wonderful contribution to my article. You reminded me of one of my sisters; She told my son who had started a FB fan page for his band, that facebook sucked, and that he shouldn’t bother with it …. bla bla bla,, you get the picture. Of course she is on facebook herself. Anyway, I digress…
      about YOUR comment ~
      I LOVE IT~ I have nothing to add. =)
      Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene
      p.s to the other readers, Susan has the blog ” A Journey” that Amira was mentioning in her comment and Susan also guest posts for Emerging from Broken. Click on Susan’s name in the comment box to visit her blog!

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