Sexual Harassment and the Truth about Freezing in Fear



sexual harassment and freezing in fear
trapped in the deep

I was fifteen or sixteen when I worked in that Real Estate office as a receptionist on the weekends. I answered the phones, and typed offers for the salesmen.  My mother’s disgusting boyfriend got me the job. That should have been the first red flag.

There was this one chubby salesman named Ron who gave me the creeps. He was about 40 years old. He was just a little too friendly. He would come up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. He tried to rub my back. I was terrified of him and didn’t even understand why. It was one of those feelings that today I have come to realize was my intuition. It was my “radar” warning me about a predator. That man had really bad motives when it came to me.

One day he came up to my desk and showed me some porn pictures. At first he was on the other side of the reception desk. He handed them to me; I took one look at them and handed them back without speaking. They looked like snapshots and they were mostly of naked people having oral sex.  Those snapshots were pretty graphic. He came around to my side of the desk and at first I tried to look away, but he told me to look at the pictures. Something about him scared me and so I did as I was told and looked at the pictures. He slowly flipped through them, and I looked at them one by one. I was horrified and terrified, but I didn’t turn away. I thought if I was strong, if I showed no reaction, that he would lose interest in me. I thought that if I just pretended that it wasn’t bothering me, he would not ask me to do those things to him. And then another one of the salesman joined in on this humiliating event. They were egging each other on, asking me if I had “ever done that” and asking if “I would like that” or if I would like to “do that”.  I was scared to death, but I never even flinched. I just kept looking at the pictures as he put one behind the other.  I was sure that I had to stay neutral to be safe. (Today that reminds me of how and why I’d learned that staying neutral would be the safest choice.)

There was a hot tub out back at the real estate office. They tried to talk me into going in it with them. They said that I didn’t need a bathing suit. They told me I could go in my underwear if that made me more comfortable. (like I could possibly EVER be comfortable in a hot tub with two disgusting older married men who showed me porn pictures)  They laughed at how uncomfortable I was when they were around me. I had this one boss there that I liked, but I didn’t tell on those men. I didn’t tell my boss and I didn’t tell my mother. I didn’t even think about telling! (Today that reminds me of how I learned that telling wouldn’t help me anyway so why bother. I was way too young to have to deal with all this stuff alone.)

They never let up on me until I finally had the guts to quit that job before they could complete their version of the grooming process.

I did not know what “sexual harassment” was. I didn’t know what sexual harassment was in the work place, or at school, or with boyfriends.  I did not know that what these nasty older men were doing was illegal. I didn’t know I had rights. I especially didn’t know why the hell I froze and just looked at the pictures! The thing that stuck out the most in my memory was that I froze and complied. I may have even laughed trying to be tough and make them think I wasn’t scared to death. I may have even mumbled the answers to some of the questions.  

And I was haunted by the question to myself about what I would have done if they had forced me to go in that hot tub with them. What if they had pushed me harder? What would I have done if they had demanded that I go? Deep down I was pretty sure I knew the answer…

Silence is consent and all I could think about was that I looked at the pictures and didn’t say no. I didn’t try to stop them. I didn’t report them. I felt as though I had actually gone along with them. For years I beat myself up over that day and the fact that I didn’t “do anything” about it. I didn’t stand up for myself. I didn’t call them dirty pigs. I didn’t say NO. 

I was so angry at myself kicking myself with questions like “Why did I freeze like that”? I bombarded myself with berating statements like “I should have…..” and “why didn’t I?”  It was many years later that I even considered that the TRUTH is that both those men should have been charged and would have been held accountable for the crimes they committed against me. This thing they were doing  was sexual abuse.

I was in my forties when I finally learned that “freezing” is what many children do when they are being abused and overpowered by an adult. I had learned to freeze and dissociate when I was just over two years old. It had become one of my main coping methods. I learned very young that compliance was the safest way to go. I had learned not to react, not to fight and I had learned that fighting or reacting would only make it worse for me. 

What I hadn’t realized as I grew up was that I would continue to believe that inaction is the best course of action well after I was old enough to say no. I could have gotten those men in trouble. I could have called the police, but I had been trained to accept unacceptable behaviour. I had been taught that I was not going to be believed OR protected. I had no reason to believe that was ever going to change.

I continued beating myself until I realized the truth about why I chose passive submission most of the times I had been abused from the age of 13 or 14 onwards.  There was a conflict in my belief system. As a grown woman I understood that silence was consent; what I didn’t realize was that my compliance and silence was also the childhood coping method that worked for me.  Silence and compliance was learned behaviour and the only way that I knew and since it was the only way all those years growing up, why would I try or even think to try another way just because I got older? Logically I told myself I “should have known better or should have done something” but the truth was that what worked for me best as a child always won out. I would freeze, dissociate and comply.  

I didn’t tell on those men because I had been groomed from a very young age not to tell. I didn’t fight because I had been taught from a very young age that fighting would only make it worse. I didn’t do anything because I didn’t know that I had any rights or any choices. I didn’t really learn my rights or choices until I was over 40 years old. My power had been taken from me from a very young age and I since I had never had any power in my own life, I didn’t know that I could ever have any.

Today, I know the truth about rights and choices. Today I have my power back.

Please share your thoughts. This post can be applied to any situation where adults misused their power over another person.

There is freedom on the other side of broken,

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts ~ Adult Victims of Child Abuse Still need to be Heard

Dysfunctional Family Law and Family Belief Systems

Effects of Abuse. Guilt, Shame and Solutions

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


78 response to "Sexual Harassment and the Truth about Freezing in Fear"

  1. By: Megan Posted: 2nd September 2013

    Wow, I thought I was alone in that, I had a very similiar experience and for years I have just frozen up when I needed to assert myself and peole would yell at me if I told them and ask why I just stood there, I said I didn’t know I felt like a deer in the headlights, thanks for your insight and you website, it helps me so much everyday, thank you!

  2. By: ArtistB Posted: 24th August 2013

    … AND big thanks to you, Darlene for the article.

  3. By: ArtistB Posted: 24th August 2013

    I am so glad there is a topic on sexual abuse and freezing.

    Years ago, a church leader and friend (Miss T) recommended me to stay at her Christian friend’s (Miss S) place. Little did I know that that was a “bad” area to live in, as I was new to the country.

    1 night when I returned home from work, a man followed me. I hadn’t noticed him until he caught up with me and asked for direction. I answered him, but before I knew it, he grabbed my hand bag.

    He then stood there with my bag in both his hands, staring at me, and wanted to come me again !

    He had my physical belongings and obviously what he was attempting to rape me.

    I FROZE and couldn’t scream until seconds later, I broke down and cried.

    I wondered what happened… But he ran away !

    I ran as fast as I could back to my place and pounded madly for my landlady, Miss S to open the door. When she did, I told her what happened but she did not respond much. She then told me this is a new thing to her, as the neighbourhood has always been safe.

    I rang up Miss T a few days later and told her about the incident (without mentioning anything about Miss S’s non-reaction). Guess what ??? Miss T blamed me !!! She said I must be carrying a curse and these men followed me. She also said that I was always having troubles unlike others who live a relatively trouble-free life. She said I was troublesome.

    I FROZE again and swallowed all her remarks. I even THANKED her for listening to me before hanging up.

    Months later, I found out that Miss S has been robbed several times living there. Many women were robbed as well. That neighbourhood was one of the worst areas to live in. I found out about the place from a kind taxi driver who took me on a ride around the neighbourhood. At 5-6pm, there was still daylight and we saw daylight robbery occurring by the side roads, gangs (he pointed them out) and drug groups. He advised me to leave Miss S’ place as “this place is not for a single foreign girl like you.”

    Years later, I met Miss T. Her victimisation continued. She started sending me emails accusing me of having false intention of taking information from seminar I was to attend and wanting to misuse it to propagate my own reputation !

    Where on earth did that thought came from ? all I did was to politely consult her on whether the seminar was something worth going for, as the teaching therein could help the little group I was attending regularly. And I was attending that group as a member, not even as a leader !

    Now whenever she sees me at a public event, she chases after me asking me for my latest information and what I am up to. I now refuse to answer any of her question and walk away from her.

    She then started chasing me with emails asking me to support her financially, etc the “new ministry” she set up ? I had to ask her to unsubscribe me and she had the cheek to try to find out more information from me.

    I learn now that my silence expressed through freezing was CONSENT. CONSENT to sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, etc !!?!!



  4. By: Jennifer Posted: 23rd August 2013

    Just recently went through being chased in my home by a father in law I was caring for…at first my husband believed me and confronted him…he just asked to be sent home..his intent may not have been sexual but his gestures were and therefore sexual assault. I think we forget this is not sexual for them…it is a controller issue. They want the cat and mouse game, my husband is now beginning to doubt the whole thing and it quite possibly end our relationship…but for the first time in my life I feel empowered, it is just too bad that sometimes in doing the right thing causes undeserved repercussion.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th August 2013

      Hi Jennifer
      Welcome to EFB ~ It is awesome that you stood up for yourself!
      Thanks for sharing! hugs, Darlene

  5. By: sahitha Posted: 26th July 2013

    So true! I had known for years that I “freeze” when there are sexual advances by people I do not like and recently started to undo it. Thank you Darlene for articulating the thought pattern that runs in our heads ” If I pretend not to like him or ignore him, he will lose interest and go away”.

    Hmm! this thought process may not entirely be false either because truly honorable men would go away if we showed no interest but the abusers are actually looking for a woman who would “freeze” that means no resistance.

  6. By: SMD Posted: 10th April 2012


    Yes it is, “almost as though I agreed with them that I was not important and that my needs were not worthy”. Well how could I have NOT agreed.” Exactly! That WAS my Life, as a child. I had the right to be safe, loved, & happy, but how could I be without being raised with Self Worth!…My mom didn’t have any either, but then again, she could stand up for herself as a Bully would. I needed more assertive & loving examples in my life!….I’m going to continue making the work here a priority. It’s Validating & Healthy for my Self Worth! Thanks for your comments…they help me so much by pointing out the tangled mess inside of me & my family.
    Thank you, Sonia

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th April 2012

      Hi All
      ~ I have a new post published; In this new post I take a look at how I convinced myself something really unhealthy was actually healthy in order to find some validation and approval. This is about sexual harassment that I never realized even was sexual harassment. This is the next article in my mother daughter dysfunctional relationship category! I hope you all read it here: “I avoided the pain of Abuse by Altering the Truth”
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: SMD Posted: 9th April 2012

    Hi Darlene,
    As you know, from a prior post, I have recently discovered I was sexually abused by my uncle (my mom’s sister’s husband) at 12 years old. I buried my emotions from this one incident and never told anyone. It was not until this past month, at the age of 43, that I’ve rediscovered this memory. I had visual flashes of memories that I could no longer deny. I know it happened, when I allowed myself to feel those feelings I had then. That is what made it Real for me!

    The trigger in this post was the word “freezing”. I froze when my uncle fondled me under my parent’s dining room table. I remember how he looked at me, whispered to me, and touched me. It was WRONG! but I was terrified he would finish what he started & come into my bedroom that night. He was still in my house with my parents. I remember praying, freezing under my sheets and feeling so anxious. I felt ashamed & disgusted with myself. I was raised Catholic, so I thought it was a SIN & I was a SINNER. This makes me angry to think I believed that!…But understandable given that I was trained to be compliant & submissive.

    When I did tell about other wrong doings, I was called the “girl who called wolf”!, “it’s your imagination” or “your a tattle tale”. I was the oldest & looked out for my brother & sister, so if they did something wrong, I would tell my mom. I did not do that to be mean…I was concerned that something bad would happen to them, by them doing something wrong. I felt responsible for them. I was a little mother to them. Actually, they were mean to me in different ways. I have some flashes of different incidents of how my brother & sister treated me, as young as 6 yrs old.

    Anyway, my point is I took on the shame, disgust & guilt of the abusers in my life!…I was not responsible or to blame for their behavior!…I knew from a young age, that my uncle’s criminal behavior would have been sweep under the rug, just like every other traumatic/abusive incident in my family to this day!…They will not look at the Truth & trained me Not to either!…That is Wrong!…As a Good Catholic Girl, I should have been believed and not sheltered from the truth!…I could just imagine how my life could of been without my depressions and anxiety!

    I’m so angry with my parents!…My anger is bubbling to the surface these past few months. I need to get this anger out in counseling… I’ve been holding back. My depressions have been my coping method to avoid the pain & anger!….My anger has been coming out in bits & pieces, over the last few years. The difference between then & now is, I know better now, where the damage came from & I’m BELIEVING in MYSELF. Amazing what I’m learning as I work through my traumas.

    I was teased from boys, which I would now call Sexual Harassment in Junior High. They noticed my physical changes and I felt embarrassed & even humiliated with their attention. They would steal my comb from my back pocket of my jeans and talk about me wearing a bra. There was one boy who came up behind me and pulled my bra strap. I would say stop & he would not…This was done while in line with other classmates and the teacher in the class!…I was scared and then to add salt to the wound, a girl started in with teasing me about having breasts. One day, I did not wear a bra & the boy went to snap it from behind and when he realized it wasn’t there, he said out loud that I was “hanging loose”…that was so Hurtful & Demeaning!…

    I’m teary eyed now, writing about this….I never liked this boy from then on and the ironic part was, he was well liked & popular. He was good looking but I hated him for humiliating me!….I never talked to him after this & avoided him. I considered him an enemy & a bully. Of course, he had to be in many classes with me, throughout high school, so I had no choice but to deal with him. I did not know I had choices- my parents did not talk to me about other options- like going to another school or changing classes. I did tell my mom about these incidents, because I was so upset & needed her support.

    I remember my mom telling me she called the School Counselor to discuss the problems I was having with some of my classmates. I was then, called into the counselor’s office with the girl bully. I was scared to talk with the bully sitting there and feelings I wasn’t going to be believed by the counselor! How brainwashed I was!! Of course, the girl blamed me for making faces at her. I wasn’t aware I was doing that!..I was shocked & denied that. It was a distressed reaction to her bullying! I was the victim & cried about her mean behavior towards me. I felt ashamed for not having the WORDS to VOICE my distress. Scared into Silence! I cry for that Scared Little Girl…..

    No wonder, I became so Depressed and I felt powerless. I remember my mom chalking up my depressions to “peer pressure”, when I ended up in a psych hospital for children at 15 yrs old! Even when I was there, I had a difficult time talking about my feelings. I was so scared but I choose to stay there, then to go home. That is telling in itself! I would rather be in the hospital, then to be home! Then years later, my dad tells me that, “I left the Family!”…Now that was a truth leak, if ever I heard one. I had problems that were not being addressed by my parents and I was blamed because I left them to go to a Psych Hospital!…How twisted is that!…The family is more important then my emotions/problems! The more I uncover of my family’s beliefs, the more angry I feel!…I need to process my anger further in therapy… This is all so Hurtful!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th April 2012

      This IS all so hurtful. Yes it is. This is all the stuff that I had to look at, I looked at all these things that seemed unrelated (the way things were at home vs. the way things were at school) and realized that all of it was my life. The way that I was invalidated by people. The way that I thought that I had to be silent. The fear, the shame, the silence, almost as though I agreed with them that I was not important and that my needs were not worthy. Well how could I have NOT agreed?? They gave me that message. I was raised with that message from everywhere. Facing that message and the damage it caused, (finally realizing it was not my guilt or shame or my fault in anyway) is what set me free. I stood up for myself. I finally realized that I had a right to be safe, happy, and loved. I stood up for myself by doing making this work a priority.
      You are doing great! Thank you so much for sharing here.
      Love Darlene

  8. By: Michelle Posted: 9th April 2012

    This reminds me of a situation I was in when was around 19 when I worked at a car dealership as a receptionist(executive assistant)/runner. I would work the phones, call for salesmen, file things etc, you know the drill, and also I would drive around part of my day delivering/picking up titles etc from the courthouse, other dealerships, the auto auction, etc…detailed job but fairly simple.

    Well I was in a very bad situation there with many of the salesmen constantly sexually harassing me, which at the time I didn’t understand fully as what it really was! It was WRONG in every way. The specifics are difficult to even discuss this many years later (I am now 45). The reason I am commenting here is not simply because I was horribly sexually harassed the entire time I worked there, but because of one situation that truly crossed the line and absolutely deals with this topic of freezing! I had frozen so much already in situations of sexual and physical abuse growing up and in high school and college, so looking back I can see that it was a well developed pattern for me…dissociating I would call it…being anywhere but ‘HERE’ so to speak to get through abusive situations and episodes, and then never telling anyone anything that had happened, which only set me up for further abuse!

    Well there was one man in particular, a middle aged black man, who was especially interested in me. I found myself in a situation one day where I had to go somewhere to pick something up, and he told me he was going the same place so we could go together. I, out of fear/intimidation perhaps, definitely stupidity!! (I have never really figured out why) agreed to let him take me, and got in that car with him, a decision I have regretted ever since!!

    Well to make this story short, I found myself being driven not where I needed to go, but actually being ‘kidnapped’ in a sense and driven many miles away and offered money for my ‘services’…When I refused, he attempted to rape me, and when I fought him he got frustrated and then chose to ‘relieve himself’ as he continued to touch and grope me!!! I was unable to leave as the doors were locked on his side, and we were in a out of the way place down by the river and no one would have heard my screams, so I was helpless to get away, though I beat myself up to this day for not trying harder fight the situation and get away!!

    After IT happened, he put himself back together, and told me to clean myself up and he drove me back to the dealership…I never said a word and worked there for a while longer and then was finally able to quit! I didn’t tell anyone until many years later!! I froze!! I was terribly ashamed!! To this day I am haunted by that situation, and sadly terrified of black men, and that is sad because I am not, nor have I ever been prejudiced!! I am simply terrified of back men! My Recovery from that and many other situations of abuse continues and I feel it will never really be over!! Very affected and ashamed after that situation and many others!!! FROZEN in my shame and disgust!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th April 2012

      Hi Michelle
      I found myself bracing and cringing as I read your story.. I totally relate to what you said. I have several of those too, and I am going to be writing more about them in the coming weeks in an attempt to show in a deeper way than I have so far, exactly how they impacted my beliefs about myself and my worth and how I overcame being haunted by them. None of this stuff haunts me anymore! Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Kia Posted: 22nd January 2012

    I should clarify that I don’t know for sure that Eric sexually abused me. My gut tells me that. My actions tell me that. And the few things that I have been told about the years that he was around me. So I think he did, but I don’t know.
    Also, I can’t understand why Kent did it when he never, ever liked me….. Just a few thoughts….

  10. By: Kia Posted: 21st January 2012

    I got called away from the internet last time. Like I was saying, I am starting to realize and understand why I act the way I do. A guy friend of one of my girlfriends reached out to touch me and I immediately shrank back and told him with fear not to touch me. I broke up with my boyfriend because of not feeling safe with him and having to much to deal with myself with the abuse and i couldn’t be strong for both of us. he had been abused to, but was being very dependent on me. I had no clue that i had been sexually abused. None. I’m remembering other things also. things like not being read to as a kid, having my only toys (two dolls) burned in the night because of them “having an evil spirit in them and putting that in me.” I didn’t know where my dolls were. Didn’t find out till later that they had been burned. Even now, memories are few and far between of those years. Though it is coming back. I froze so many times. I often wonder why, why I didn’t stop them from touching me. Why I didn’t raise more of a fuss. Why didn’t I fight them? Just thinking about this is making my chest tight. They were so much bigger than me. My brother did it before i was even four years old.
    Every day is a battle in itself. I can’t go a day without something bringing it up.

    Then recently I was told two things: one, that I do not laugh enough (this was from a five year old). Two, that i don’t let myself cry enough. I almost never cry. And I was told that I need to prove that I have an “outside voice”. I can NOT scream at all. I can’t get my voice to come out like that. I feel so often like my emotions, my voice, my laughter, my tears are locked inside. I can’t get them out. People wonder why I don’t do those things, but I was taught to hide my emotions from an early age, and to this day, I can NOT let them out well.

    I blocked most of my relatives from my facebook page because of the drama they caused on it. I was so tired of having them be negative of me. I had no freedom on my own page. It took them six or seven months to figure it out. My first thought was: so I mean that little to you? Then one of my sisters emailed me and asked why she couldn’t find me on facebook anymore. I told her the truth. She laid many guilt trips on me and it hurt badly. Then a brother called and he “was so pissed that I would even dare to block my own brother on facebook”. He wanted to know why and I told him I was tired of being scolded every time I said a thing on facebook. He demanded a specific time and example which I could not think of – I was under to much pressure. When I told him i couldn’t think of anything right off the top of my head he got super mad and hung up on me. Yes, that hurt, but it shows that I was justified in blocking him. He also told my sister (who I live with when I am not in college) that I was just like Kent (birth dad). That was the lowest blow that anybody could give me. I do NOT want to be like him at all.

    I refuse to bite anymore. I won’t answer the phone when he calls me. I can’t take his superiority and harassment any longer.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd January 2012

      Hi Kia
      Wow, there is lots coming up for you! I had some of those same problems ~ emotions~ that you are talking about. I still don’t cry much but I laugh a lot now. I have a sense of humour and I make others laugh too. I feel safe within myself most of the time. All of these things straightened out for me as I continued with the work on the original belief system that had developed in me as a result of trauma.

      It sounds like you hit a big nerve with your brother by standing up to him. It sounds like the truth about himself is really bugging him. I have an older brother who is a total bully and I don’t talk to him any more either. I don’t miss him at all. These people wanted me to follow a different set of rules then the ones they had to follow. they could treat me anyway they wanted but I could not treat them that way OR stand up to them. (how dare you??) There is no winning, no equality in that system and that is why I am done with that system.

      Thanks for sharing and Good for you ~ there is a lot of victory in your comments! Lots of forward movement!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: betsy Posted: 19th January 2012

    I will rewrite my comments again as there was some wrong and it did not post. I suffered sexual abused when I was 4 yrs old when my nanny asked me to do some deed for her and was abused by several men until I was 12 years old. Along the way, I was abused by a nun too. These horrible experiences I had are one reason why I have personality disorder that I am facing in right now. It is really painful knowing that I lived in the darkness all of my life and did not enjoy my childhood and adolescence. I kept it all of my life not until recently I just shared it to few of my closest friends.

  12. By: Kia Posted: 19th January 2012

    My memory has begun to come back to me and it has been intensely difficult for me to refrain from blocking things out again. I had totally blocked out the first ten years of my life and that is coming back to me now. I did not realize until recently that I had been sexually abused by a brother, a brother-in-law, and Kent (bio dad). Sure things start to fall into place about why I act the way I do now, but ouch!
    Finish this later…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th January 2012

      Hi Kia
      I can relate to the pain of things coming back. The pain of facing this stuff for me was so worth going through because when it was past, I realized that I had been in so much pain all my life anyway that the intense pain for a time, was worth having NO pain at all anymore.
      I look forward to hearing more when you come back.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Betsy
      I am sorry that you lived in that horror! I am really glad that you are able to face them now. There is freedom in getting this stuff out of the dark, and looking at it in the light of truth.
      Hang in here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: betsy Posted: 19th January 2012


  14. By: Lainey Posted: 17th January 2012

    Michelle, I truly feel your pain and wish there were something I could do for you and everyone here who still suffers and/or are fighting the good fight to flourish and be true to themselves.
    That being said, when I first visited a domestic violence center, one of the first things I was told was that women very VERY often return to their abusers because they’ve been psychologically damaged and emotionally manipulated into believing they need that person and can’t survive on their own. We know that many abused people becomes abusers themselves while swearing they would never ‘be like them’ and they don’t realize they’re abusive or are truly incapable of doing ‘their best’.
    I don’t know what it is in a person, how they have an inner strength that the next person doesn’t, that makes them say, I have to get out, or if not for themselves, I have to get my children out. I was planning my escape but was so psychologically battered and controlled that I felt I couldn’t. I KNEW I HAD TO but it wasn’t until he began to be cruel to my kitten that I said, Oh no… no no and removed her from the home to a safer place immediately. I knew then that I would follow her to be with her. I sought resources and friends were looking out for me and helped me find the shelter which also gave me the courage to keep trying and to believe in myself more and I did on August 29th, 2011, in the middle of Hurricane Irene, in the dark. I left everything behind. Everything. Affluence, my beautiful home, three pets there was no way I could take but knew he would take care of them because they favored him, and even my reputation because he had my friends, family and neighbors believing he was a prince. But I’m alive. I’m alive and with the help of my advocate, therapist, doctor, attorney, friends and some family, I will flourish.

  15. By: Michelle Posted: 17th January 2012

    I no longer believe she ‘did her best to find a nice corner for her babes to sleep’.
    I wrote this about 3 or so years ago and at the time we honestly believed she would finally leave him when it ‘sunk in’ to her just how badly we were damaged. She did leave him, for a week, during that week told us all sorts of stuff he had done to her and others. (he told her he once killed a man with his bare hands, even if that is a lie, why would someone say that? To intimidate her, that’s why. It is a wonder he never killed her but I believe now he always stopped short of doing that because he needed a human punching bag, and she was the best he’d found yet)

    So yeah, I just wanted to clarify, SHE DID NOT DO HER BEST!

  16. By: Michelle Posted: 17th January 2012

     This was my life. It no longer is.

    Once there lived a certain cretin. His home was a dungeon, rank and full of odour, and that suited the cretin just fine. His only visitors were those whom he obtained his needed supplies, and they didn’t notice the smell and the darkness, for they regularly partook of his potions, and were constantly under his spell. They were addicted to the mind numbing concoctions, and slowly, but surely they all died a slow, poisonous death. The cretin became lonely, and had run out of supplies for his filthy dungeon, so off he went in order to procure some more.
    It was raining outside and the cretin was cold, hungry and thirsty. He must get his sustenance, his very survival was at stake. He happened upon a young pheasant woman, her clothes were tattered and torn and her demeanour defeated. Her children were hungry and without paternal provision. She offered him her pleasant remedy and she took his magic potions.
    Before too long the cretin took the woman and her babes back to his filthy dungeon. She saw and smelled, and tried her best to make a nice corner for her babes to sleep. Try as she may, desperation took over, and she too fell under his spell, and her taste for his potions grew stronger every day.
    The cretin utilised the children as slaves, and they did their best to please him, for they had no where else to go. They did many chores in the dungeon, from sweeping the floor to providing his perverse entertainment, which they were naively unaware of their contribution. They had to continually rescue the woman from the hands of the cretin, and tried vainly to reason with him in his moments of pure madness. When he tired of tormenting the woman he turned his attention to the children, and they too suffered the painful reality of his madness. They washed the wounds of the woman, and of each other, the best way a child knew how, and pleaded with the woman to escape. She vainly attempted to run away from the cretin, but his potions always lured her back, and once again the children resigned themselves to life in the dungeon.
    As time went by, the children ate and slept, the woman succumbed further to the intoxicating influence of the cretin and his many and varied charms. At the heart of her sanity, which rarely prevailed, she reasoned foolishly that she was unable to survive with out the meagre existence he measured out to her, and her innocent dependants. for them to be kept barely alive was all he needed to suit his purpose, of his own continued existence and ultimate domination.
    As if by some miracle, some higher calling, the woman realized a need greater than her own, and dismissed her need of his magic potion. He, sensing her imminent departure, swiftly disguised his disgusting appearance and cunningly persuaded her to stay at his side. She had moral purity to consider, he, instinctive driven survival. After all, they had borne offspring, and the woman’s hidden moral centre irrationally surfaced once again, and she was forever bonded to the cretin.
    As the days went by, the children grew. They gained strength from maturity, and reasoning from experiences suffered. Through the perfect miracle of innocence, they remained untainted and sweet, and without infection. The cretin simmered with pitiful disgust, and despised the children, for they represented purity and perfection, and he was the very manifestation of all things perverse. However, her illegitimate son, who was destined to suffer that curse, was sacrificed, his fate pre-determined by the cretins affliction and demented perceptions…
    So the outsiders, those who had rescued them from the dungeon, came to see their pitiful existence, and threw them a lifeline, that for one soothed their conscience, and fulfilled their life’s desire to save the wretched. The woman gladly subjected herself to that which offered peace and eternal salvation, feeling born again, released from the cretins potions, she recognized a pure existence, one full of life and purpose. The cretin had little choice but to alter his alter his once proven course , to that of showing himself as a human man. For many days his new appearance succeeded in fooling the outsiders, they found him both entertaining, convincing and a reliable provider of life’s necessities, if only material.
    It occurred that the cretins selfish greed finally befell the outsiders and his manic ways were exposed to those enlightened.
    Of course those who had never dwelt under the roof of his dungeon, or smelled his foul odour, were yet to fully acknowledge the realization of his deviant purpose, his goal of total control over all in his path.

    The remaining children made a pact, sealed with love and cemented by memories of their horrendous pain. They built a magnificent mansion, and planted a beautiful garden, where all sorts of plants and flowers grew, and they proceeded to have children of their own, these where, of course, the most beautiful in all the land. Everything grew to perfection, and the children filled their parents hearts with joy everyday.
    And so they lived a calm and peaceful life, far away from the cretin. They ate and drank to their own satisfaction, forever at peace, and joyous at the prospect of sharing eternity with those of their own.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th January 2012

      That is a powerful illustration! Thank you so much for sharing it here. I am so glad that it not your life anymore.
      Something that is so hard for so many is what you wrote in the second comment; that you no longer believe that she did her best. Reading your story I was so sucked into feeling sorry for the woman (who was my mother too just with many different details) and I have such a deep understanding of the potions and the how all that works, and how hard it is to draw the line… but the damage was done and until I healed from the damage, I was broken. I could not heal by ignoring not tending to the wounds. I could not tend the wounds if I denied they were ever there.
      and realizing that they didn’t do their best was something that set me free too. I still feel sorry for her, but not a my expense anymore. She chose to stay in the sick system. If she wanted to recovery and face the truth about the damage she caused, and even about the damage caused to her, she could have freedom too.
      Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Wow, thanks for sharing. Yay for escape and for being alive!
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Michelle Posted: 17th January 2012

    Darlene i love your comment # 53
    It is not as painful, or making me as physically I’ll, or giving me IBS, I am not having hardly any migraines anymore, my stomach doesn’t lurch EVERYTIME the phone rings anymore.. Etc the list goes on.

    I was criticized, ostracized and downright kicked in the guts when I started to see them for who they were, and (god forbid) then start trying to deal with it. They just wanted it BURIED. Too bad, I was suffering therefore so were MY HUSBAND AND CHILDREN so they got what they deserved. It took me about 14 years to cut them off completely and I don’t regret it for a second. I NEVER thought I could or ‘would be allowed’ to do it. But I done it.
    And now all they have is each other, and maybe a handful of suckers who don’t know the real truth. I don’t even feel sorry for those suckers coz they NEVER have spoken to me properly. Just sucked in to a typical sociopathic relationship. They are there for them. Oh well… At least someone will show up at there funeral, I certainly won’t be!
    How ironic that she prayed for god to make me ‘dead to her’, and now she is dead to me. And I didn’t even had to pray for that, she did that all by herself. THANKS ‘mummy’! My life is soooo much better without you and your poisonous claptrap. You and your filthy husband have finally removed ‘the last problem remaining in your life’ (me). So now, go be happy, (or not, i dont really care) in the filthy little quagmire the rest of us prefer to call ‘LIFE’

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