The Best Advice for the Healing Journey by Christina Enevoldsen

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I am excited to welcome Christina Enevoldsen, founder of the popular blog and facebook page “Overcoming Sexual Abuse” and published author of the book “The Rescued Soul” as my guest writer for Emerging from Broken. Christina has a wonderful message and I am thrilled to have her voice on my blog this week. I hope you will help me welcome Christina and please feel free to share your comments with us. Darlene

 The Best Advice for the Healing Journey by Christina Enevoldsen

At the beginning of my healing process, my pain oozed out of me. I didn’t seem to have a shut off valve to contain the memories and emotions that were surfacing. Consequently, without intending to talk about my abuse, words or tears would leak out before I knew what I was saying or feeling.

My friend, Claire, had been abused as a child and had been raped as an adult. At the time, I thought someone who had been so wounded and violated would be a good source of the understanding and compassion that I sought (without knowing that’s what I was looking for).

Unfortunately, that’s not what I found. While I sat across from Claire, crying and trembling, she cited scripture and told me I needed to put things in God’s hands. She believed that if I applied my faith to my abuse, I wouldn’t have to waste my time being so sad or negative.

The way Claire dispensed her rational information left me feeling like there was a barrier between us—like I had shown up at her doorstep with a contagious disease and she reacted by throwing her religious rhetoric out on her lawn, quickly slamming the door behind her, hoping I would go away.

Claire didn’t want to hear about my past or about my pain. She wanted me to put a smile back on my face and to be “fixed”. I was left feeling empty and frustrated. Sharing my pain with Claire only added more pain.

I know that Claire was trying to be a good friend and was only passing on what she truly believed. Coldly offering me that empty advice, the same “wisdom” she tried to live by, was all that she had. The trouble was, her advice wasn’t even working for her. Her own life was a huge struggle.

Around the same time, I met Julia, who had also been abused. She also considered her faith to be instrumental in dealing with her abuse, but she didn’t consider her faith to be a replacement for facing her past or as an excuse to bury her feelings.

Julia listened to me, empathized with me, cried with me, and embraced me. She poured out her own stories with her pain and fear and anger.

Telling my story to Julia was the gateway to feeling compassion for myself and to acknowledging the depth of my loss. I finally felt heard. When I saw her response to my experiences, I believed that what happened to me really was that bad and that I wasn’t making a big deal out of nothing.

Julia didn’t offer advice to me, at least not in the form of “You need to…” or by telling me what was best for me; she offered information that had helped her—books she’d read or techniques she’d tried. Mostly, though, she shared herself. She shared her presence. Julia was there for me.

I learned a lot from Julia. She modeled the value of “feeling what I feel” without judgment. She showed me that shouting obscenities can be really good therapy. Mostly, she created space so I could learn to find my way back to me.

Many years of my own healing process and reaching out to other survivors of abuse have only confirmed what I learned from those two friends:

  • Only those who have dealt with their own pain can help me deal with mine.

 

  • When people reject me for sharing my pain, it’s because I remind them of their own pain, but that doesn’t mean I’m a pain.

 

  • Their rejection doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve comfort; it means they can’t offer it. 

There’s a greater lesson that I learned from my two friends: As lost as I felt in the beginning of my healing journey, I didn’t need advice. Living in abusive power and control dynamics throughout my childhood and most of my adulthood, I had very little power over my own life and decisions. I didn’t need one more person to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. I needed the freedom and encouragement to sort through my feelings and then to decide for myself without guilt or pressure.

Love doesn’t say, “You need to listen to me because I know what’s best for you.” Love says, “I’ll listen to you so you can figure out what’s best for you.”

Part of my healing has been the transition of being directed by others to being directed by me. The healing process has revealed my own inner wisdom and I’ve learned to trust in the answers I have for my own life. I’m open to wise counsel from people I trust, but I have the most trust in myself. It’s been a process to get here, but I started to learn that when I was finally heard and validated.

 No, I didn’t need advice. Opinions or information aren’t what healed me. Human connection was where I found healing—connections that encouraged me to reconnect with myself—my own experience, my own emotions, my own expression. The best advice isn’t advice at all: it’s the permission to merely be by being with me.

Christina Enevoldsen is the author of The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal. She’s the cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse, an online resource for male and female abuse survivors looking for hope, inspiration, encouragement and tools for healing. Christina’s passion is exploring new ways to express her new life and freedom. She’s recently discovered the joy of waterslides and peach and basil salads. She and her husband live in Scottsdale, Arizona and share three children and six grandchildren.

109 response to "The Best Advice for the Healing Journey by Christina Enevoldsen"

  1. By: Kris Posted: 21st November 2015

    Nadia,

    Thanks for you last post because now I see that I was trying to reconcile with my mother without taking the necessary steps in order to be able to do it with and that is why something inside of me didn’t feel right and it was because I was still operating out of the old sick warped belief system that told me that all that mattered was how she felt and her being happy not taking into consideration how I felt or what was best for me that only ends up with me feeling bad about my self and enabling my mother to stay in denial that doesn’t help either one of us.

    Now I see that extending someone grace doesn’t have anything to do with letting them off the hook. It has to do with believing that there is something worthwhile to salvage between the two of you that makes it worth giving them a second chance because you too will have something to gain out of it not just them.

    Now I see that reconciliation is a process that needs to be taken in steps. Not just inviting them back into your life acting as if nothing bad ever happened before because you are still telling your self the lie that they won’t get it anyway when the truth is they don’t want to get it and you are letting them get away with not getting it which my mother would be more then happy to do but that isn’t going to help her or me in the long run and I was about to repeat that same sick pattern my self until I read your post where I said to my self “what am I getting out of this thing??!!!” It seems to be all about her and it was because I made it that way by skipping the most important step about how this thing needs to be about me too not just her that my mother taught me to do all of my life that led me to be everyone else’s doormat until now.

    The next time I talk to my mother it won’t be about seeing my Christmas tree!! It will be a conversation where I finally have the courage to lay down my boundaries in front of my mother and see how she responds and that is how I will be able to discern whether or not there is something left to salvage here.

    Thanks again for your support.

  2. By: Nadia Posted: 19th November 2015

    Kris
    I want to thank you for your kind and supportive words. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone in this. I do feel bad however, for anyone who has a mother who doesn’t hold herself accountable for anything she has ever said or done to hurt other people. Be strong Kris and do what you have to do to help,you thru this healing journey.
    I also thought that in order to heal, I had to reconcile with her. I don’t. My well has run dry. I have nothing left to give.
    All the best to you and to all us victims of our mothers abuse.

  3. By: Kris Posted: 17th November 2015

    S1988,

    Thnx for the well wishes and sharing a part of your life with me and I am sorry that things didn’t work out for you and your mother. I know that this thing probably has disaster written all over it but this isn’t about me doing this for my mother. This is about me doing it for my self…so I know once and for all that I can stand up on my own two feet …where I am no longer afraid of my mother still allowing her to call all the shots from afar because at the end of the day that is what she has been doing as I sat her in limbo with her over the past 3 years and now I want my power back once and for all and I can’t do this without seeing my mother again!!! She has to see my face in order for her to finally get that I no longer need her to survive anymore and she is just going to have to find a way to live with that or not be a part of my life.

    My peace and freedom isn’t based on reconciling with my mother it is dependent upon me believing in my self and I know that if and when this whole thing blows up in my face that I will have the compassion and support of all the people on this website because so far I have never heard the words “I told you so!!!”…thank goodness! Lol We are all just trying to do what we think is best for us but sometimes that is hard to know what that thing is unless you go out and try it and that is what I am gong to have to do if I want this thing to be over with which I do. 3 years of this bullcrap is long enough not to mention the 46years I lost prior to my recovery. It is time for me to move on.

  4. By: S1988 Posted: 17th November 2015

    Kris,

    I wish you luck with your venture with your mother. I gave a second chance to my mother, and that was one of the biggest mistakes I made in my life. I refuse to have a relationship with someone who “apologizes”, yet blames me for her actions, and treats me like a naughty 8-year-old at one moment, then her substitute therapist/personal assistant the next. I don’t want to be anyone’s scapegoat or messiah. I hope your experience turns out better.

  5. By: Kris Posted: 17th November 2015

    Nadia,

    I just read your post and my heart goes out to you. I get what you are saying. I am sorry that your mother did this to you. I am at the same point as you are. I am about to give my own mother a second chance of having a relationship with me after being estranged from her for the last 3 years. I am terrified to death that my outcome will be the same as yours but at least you know in your heart that you did everything in your power to try and make things work out and that is how I feel about this whole thing too. I need to do it for my self..for my own peace of mind…so there aren’t any what if’s or regrets down the road…to have closure from this thing once and for all no matter what the outcome is.

    My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine the pain that she has caused you all over again but know in your heart that you DID DO the right thing. It is HER loss. SHE is the one who is missing out on being a part of your life not the other way around. Shame on HER. You don’t owe anyone any explanation about a darn thing because anyone who can’t see just how sick and toxic your mother is being doesn’t need to be a part of your life because it means that they are thinking just like her which is sick. You don’t need it. Focus on your self and your own family and the heck with everyone else!!

    You were a good daughter. She just wasn’t having any of it due to her own issues getting in the way. She has to live with herself not you. Just remember, like you said, you are a grown woman now, no one gets to tell you what to do anymore… but you!!!

    Peace & Hugs,
    Kris

  6. By: Nadia Posted: 15th November 2015

    I just want peace and freedom…peace in my heart that I did all I could to be a good daughter. Freedom to let it go with the knowledge that I tried MY best…not THEIRS. She wants to control my life and she always has.
    I want to live whatever time I have left on this earth with my Husband, who is going thru his own journey, and my 3 kids, who I love and adore but refuse to suffocate. I need to go forward from here….with Hope and Faith and Love.

  7. By: Nadia Posted: 15th November 2015

    Hi Darlene..its been awhile…I tried reconnecting with my NArcissistic M and it was going well for awhile. My Father in law was dying of cancer and so I was spending more time with hubby’s family. I called her one afternoon to see if she needed me to watch my Dad so she can run errands and I could tell from her voice that she was not happy. My Father in Law passed away in May and we were trying to get my mother in law situated at our house or my Sister in Laws…it was a sad Spring, but it brought us all closer together. Back to the phone call…she seemed angry and it all came out…she was mad at me for spending more time with my In Laws during my FIL sickness…..who says that? She also told me that I was never there for her..the rest is a blur…I can’t say more than this because it gets me very upset and I start shaking….after all the accusations I was done…I had nothing left to say or do or explain or defend…this woman was draining the life out of me. I was a mess…that day will forever be embedded in my mind…my daughter trying to snap me out of my breakdown,,,I was talking and sobbing and making no sense,,,,my hubby was yelling at me to stop pacing the floors and to stop repeating myself and using my hands as I was trying to push out the pain….my son called a hotline to see if I needed to go to a hospital. I was aware of the whole thing but I couldn’t stop the pacing, the crying and the repetitive talking and hand gestures. I looked like like I was going crazy and it scared the hell out of my family…my poor baby was downstairs not wanting to be part of what was going on….she didn’t deserve this.
    How do u explain this to your friends or family who can’t understand what u r going thru?
    That was it….no more…I told only a few people would listen and who I knew who try not to fix it. I told myself that I didn’t have to explain why I had to leave my parents and my brother who are trying to control me. I’m 52 and they still treat me like I’m 14…I’m sorry for my Dad but he has dementia and it is almost a blessing because he got the brunt of her Narcissism. I just need to find a way to answer to these family members who are going to judge me again.
    The people who don’t try to fix me and just listen, are the ones that I grow the most from. I don’t need to hear their advice

  8. By: stitch jones Posted: 19th September 2015

    So much wisdom, strength and courage in these comments. I love the strong, brave adults here raising their voices up and Telling what the brutalized children inside us all were forbidden to speak of. Nearly two years ago I ended contact with my parents. I had been sexually abused by my grandfather at age 10. At the same time I suffered peer bullying that only intensified as I got older. It wasn’t until I began reading EFB that my memory cleared, childhood memories made sense in a different way, and I understood things I never did before. Why I had no self-esteem, was because of my emotionally rejecting, hypercritical, overcontrolling four-foot-eleven-inch tyrant of a mother. I was too afraid of her gaslighting and accusations to go to her when grandpa began sexually assaulting me. he was my father’s father, and here is the kicker, I didn’t put two and two together until I was in my late fifties that my father knew the whole time his dad was a child molester. But hey, the folks had to go out bowling every Thursday night and had a dandy live-in babysitter. “Dad” told me to respect and obey his father. I lived in abject terror, I remember having to give my abuser what he wanted before I could go to my room after school and do my homework. I was failing mathematics, my father screamed and my mother beat me. My mother chain smoked, never taught me to clean then complained that I couldnt do anything right. My issues throughout my life make perfect sense to me now, and I’m so thankful to know at last that my mind was clouded by abuse, it was never because of me. I ended up in the hospital at age 12 with what I now know to be ovarian torsion, it was misdiagnosed, I had horrible pain with my periods but my mother never took me to a doctor. My Fallopian tube had separated from my ovary, decreasing my fertility by fifty percent, but I didn’t learn about this until I was in my forties. I have one child, a daughter, she is 25 now.
    I will never know if this pelvic trauma I suffered was a cumulative result of what was being done to me. I remember times when my mother was kind, even loving, but because it was the exception rather than the norm (which is why those memories stand out). And beneath my father’s smiles and easy-breezy bullshit, beats the heart of a true sociopath. The last time I spoke to him, over a year ago, he informed me I was never to speak of the past if I wanted to be part of his family. Since that conversation, I haven’t bothered to acknowledge his existence. Contact with my mother is by mail, and GC brother doesn’t bother with me anymore – just as well, he is an abusive addict with a personality so toxic I am repelled by him. It’s hard to believe the insidious effects of lifelong abusive relationships. I am still trying to overcome them. I know I’m not alone, though, that we are here to lift one another up. You do that for me. I have made some wonderful friends through EFB and on Facebook. I love you all. Stitch

  9. By: elisa hill Posted: 2nd September 2015

    Hi,really interesting article, thanks. Its strange to hear your contrasting experience of both your friends,because i am a Christian, which i came back to late in life.I have experienced domestic abuse, i was an unwanted child,suffered sexual abuse,Raped as an Adult, so i have been there! My Faith was what has Healed me,just to know i was loved unconditionally,those people made their choices to treat me badly,that’s their problem! not mine or my fault! I know i have a healthy, fruitful productive life, despite all the abusers ‘opinions’ that i wouldn’t ever do anything!!,Life is good,and i am very grateful to God to even be alive, because so many times i doubted that i would make it through alive!..Yes i cry and share with others who share with me, i am there for them as long as they need me,I am proud of your friend who was there for you, and worry for the one who wasn’t. Its a real pleasure to hear about your happy life, God bless you

  10. By: S1988 Posted: 25th August 2015

    @Kris

    That IS sick.

    What everyone on this site went through shows that some people SHOULD NOT be parents.

  11. By: Kris Posted: 25th August 2015

    S1988 #87,

    I had that same sick dynamic in our house too but we all lived together. My father would play us against my mother by giving us what we wanted and letting us stay up late at night to watch TV and when my mother thought he was winning us over that is when she would reveal the things that he did to her like putting out all the chopped up dried flower arrangements he would mangle up in his machinery downstairs and put them out on the dining room table just to show us that we don’t know who we are dealing with causing me confusion in the end because my father chose me to go with him to buy my mother new flower arrangements so now in my mind “is he the good guy or the bad guy” and ultimately I ended up feeling sorry for him and taking on his poor behavior as if it was my own because I was the one who liked it when he let me stay up and watch TV late at night. No matter what I did I was always the one who ended up feeling guilty. Shame on them!! Such a mind game. The whole scenario was sick.

  12. By: S1988 Posted: 25th August 2015

    I don’t know what to say since both of my parents are still alive. (I forgot to mention that they divorced when I was 11.)

    I’ll probably be neutral about my dad’s death since he was absent for most of my life. (And because of that, I don’t have as much resentment towards him like I do my with my mother.)

    Here’s something that no here mentioned: What about a death of a sibling? Has anyone here experienced that? I haven’t went through that yet, but I may sooner or later. (Unless I die before they do.)

  13. By: Yvonne Posted: 25th August 2015

    Hi Kris,

    My computer was just acting up again—sorry—I will make this short. I think that I was not seeking my father’s love but only protection and kindness. I gave up on “love” years ago when I was little. I was able to get kindness from adult school teachers, neighbors and others. They helped me a lot to know what normal adults were when I was growing up.

    Hi s1988,

    I felt like a freak when I joined EFB. I was an only child with both parents, so I never got the sibling thing, either good, bad, or indifferent. I got the entire abuse from my “Mommie Dearest–Joan Crawford—type mom” with no one else for attention. I was afraid that my Narc mom could even kill me and there were no witnesses and she could say like it was an accident. I had no one to believe me and no one to talk to. The plus side is that I always had my own bedroom and not a half-bedroom shared with a sister. My heart goes out to the abused women who are the “molested by their own father type”. I felt as if I had to apologize for being on EFB and my problems were not as a bad. Maybe I was not as bad as these women, but my stuff was still hard. I have come far with healing my past.

    I’m trying to take one day at a time. There are days when I’m good and days when I’m down. I would love to hear from others about how they have dealt with a parent/abuser’s death. I know that my Narc mom will not last much longer, age 82 years old, and someday she will be gone. I can survive some more if I have to. Thanks for sharing.

  14. By: Yvonne Posted: 25th August 2015

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments. I will try to write more later.

  15. By: S1988 Posted: 25th August 2015

    It’s hard for me to relate to most here because I grew up in a single-parent home. Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m the “controversial one” in the family because in my sibling’s eyes, I’m being an ingrate to a mother who raised two kids alone. (My brother was in his early twenties when the separation happened.)

    The last time I had contact with my father was about four years ago. This was during estrangement #1. I thought that since I was on outs with the rest of the family, I could at least have a decent relationship with him. But, I was wrong. Every time I spoke with him, he would talk so much that I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Most of the things he would speak of included how much he hated my mother and brother, and implied that he wanted me to be on his side. I’m far from being a fan of them, but I don’t want to wage war against them. After some time, I stopped talking to him because I refuse to be snagged into a feud.

    It’s really ridiculous that even as an adult, I’m treated like a child in a custody battle. My mother said he left us, while he said he was prevented from seeing us. I’m not sure who to believe and couldn’t care less because I’m too old to be dependent on a parent.

    The odd thing is that my mother, brother, and sister despise him because of what he did to them in the past (I was favored by him until the separation occurred when I was 3.), yet they still associate with him from time to time. Why do they continue to speak with someone they hate, yet don’t want to acknowledge their own sick behaviors? Their hypocrisy makes my head spin. Anyway, they can have their weird soap opera. I just want to be left out, thanks.

  16. By: Kris Posted: 25th August 2015

    Yvonne,

    Sorry that you are in so much pain regarding your father. I get what you are saying because I felt that way about my own father for a very long time too. I wanted to share this with you because it really helped me and maybe it will help you too. What I found out is there isn’t a little girl on this planet who didn’t want the love from her daddy and the longer I denied this truth the longer I remained in pain using anger and resentment to cover it up. It was when I acknowledged how my father was never there for me and how that made me feel like a worthless piece of garbage that I was able to finally see that none of this junk was my fault and with that I was able to release all of that penned up rage and resentment I had towards my father for not being there for me when I was standing right there in front of his face when I was a child. Then I was finally able to see how much he hurt me and then I was able to grieve the loss of my father’s love while he is still alive till this day and now I am not so angry or resentful in my heart which set me free in the end.

    My father did me wrong period and now I know it and now I worked through the PAIN of my father emotionally rejecting and abandoning me and the guilt and shame that goes along with the false belief system that somehow all of this mess must have been my fault in order to survive his abuse and now that I was able to work through all of this mess my father can no longer hurt me that way ever again because now I see the truth and now I won’t let him do to me what he did to me back then because now I am a grown woman who has choices so now I am not so afraid of my father anymore although I still have some work to do in this area!!

    Feeling numb is a cover up for pain as well. I encourage you to dig a little deeper and get to the root cause of all of that numbness and see where it leads you. I have a feeling it will lead you to the same place as me and it is very hard to admit that all I ever wanted was my father’s love after realizing just how abusive he was towards me and what his abuse cost me throughout my life. It felt like I was betraying my self for saying it but in actuality it was the beginning of setting my self free.

    Peace & Hugs,
    Kris

  17. By: Mary-Grace Posted: 24th August 2015

    Yvonne,
    Feel free to continue sharing your story here. I might not respond much but I do read, listen and continue to pray for all who reach out here on EFB. Thank God for Darlene and her bravery.

  18. By: Mary-Grace Posted: 24th August 2015

    Catching up and absorbing all the sharing wow.
    The brainwashing, the neglect, people able to step in but chose not to.

    So much comes up for me, and it is good.

    I am so relieved to know that at 48 I am not alone in realizing so “late in life” that I have been under a horrible spell, mature in a life I had been groomed for by terribly broken people.

    I could no longer make excuses for their insane behavior. I am not a child any more, and being away from my FoO was best for my sanity; so I could live out the rest of my days in peace–chaos free.

    When my dad, whose abuse was neglect and emotional absence, died quite expected my I might add we were on very good terms. I had accepted that his ability to love was not there–stunted by being raised by an abusive alcoholic deep in grief of his own. The damage is so generational.

    But when the day came that he died I was quite stunned by how deep my grief for him ran. He was my father, after all. It was a physical experience which surprised me greatly.

    Because my healing from my families insanity hadn’t began and I was still so brainwashed I was a mess. I was in despair and it was during this time that I had become suicidal. It only lasted for a few hours but during that time I reached out to a sister I trusted. I later realized that she was a primary abuser and gaslighter. As I was reaching out to her for help, suicidal she said coldly that before she could help me I owed her an apology–for what she would never to this day say.

    I hung up on her…and she never called me back, even to check to see if I was ok.
    That was the beginning of the end.

    My point being: you never know how you will feel when the day comes.

    My mom is also in her 80’s and I am nc with her. When she goes I know I will grieve, because we aren’t resolved or on good terms.

    But it is as it should be. I won’t go back…just so I can attend my abuser/neglecters’ funeral.

  19. By: Yvonne Posted: 24th August 2015

    Hi Everybody,

    I’m still dealing with my father’s death. They had a full veteran memorial service for my father way back and I did not attend. I made the excuse of having car troubles to not drive down to another city, like a two hour drive away. Someone emailed the photos from the service but I did not open the photos and deleted the email. I felt angry and not sad. How come my father got such a fancy military funeral service? Now my father was treated as if he was a total hero. His name is forever on a veterans’ memorial wall with his remains in a box. A neighbor lady painted the box and hot glued faux sunflowers on the box. I am glad that I was not there at the service and my Narc mom and cousin could not fight with me. There were neighbors who attended this service who were taking pictures and asked where is the daughter?

    The truth is that I never really had any love for my father. It made me angry that I must pretend to be an actor who cared for my father. I am angry that my distant cousins and relations wanted these funeral photos. I am angry that I have no voice and no one knew about what actually happened behind closed doors!

    Then there are moments when I feel light and free as if a tremendous burden has been lifted. We have lost all karmic ties forever. I never have to deal with him again and I am safe. It’s never over until my mother has passed away. I cannot do ‘No Contact’ with my Narc mom and adopted cousin because there are some business and legal issues with them.

    I ask how come these Narc parents can be such good actors? My father was the enabler who could have stopped the abuse, but not. My father gaslighted me into thinking that I was the crazy one and the one who was provoking my Narc mom. He shamed me and gossiped about me to the distant cousins. I was just so tired of both of them near the end. I never understood how abused I was until I studied online websites, youtube videos, and EFB. Everyday, I have searched for any good memories and there are too few. I can’t remember if I ever had any love for my father as a child and I think so but I’m not sure. It’s like a newlywed couple who believe they’re in love, but after years of serious fighting they simply feel nothing. I think that I’m wanting someone to reach out to me and give me a big hug saying that I’m OK. There is NOTHING wrong with me for feeling no emotion toward my father. There are others who would like to shame me for having no emotion like I’m a terrible sociopath. I am NOT and I am just tired. There are women who have never known their own father and they somehow do not miss what they don’t know.

    It’s ironic but in the end my father is admired as a hero. He had an important career after being in the service. He built a luxury house and was so concerned with reputation, but not me. It was never about raising me or caring about me.

    There are others whom I have dearly loved and lost, but not parents. I had a close friend’s death about ten years ago and I keep his picture in a frame by my desk. I have a picture of my Cousin Dean also by my desk and I secretly call him “my real father” because he was there for me as a kid. I always wished that I could have been adopted by him but it was not possible. Why is it that only the good die young?

    My Narc mom is now age 82 years old. She is the same person with her same bag of nasty tricks. I don’t trust her and Narc cousin. My BFF coworker friend does not want to hear any of my story and I have no one to talk to. I just hope and pray that I’m strong enough to make it until she passes away.

    Blessed Be,

    Yvonne

  20. By: Callynt Posted: 24th August 2015

    S1988 (16),

    Your words here are a mirror of my childhood, and my current response sometimes to loud and aggressive people. I get into a bad rumination cycle of why I didn’t stand up to bullies, and it’s precisely because I was cowed at home. I am going to spend some time today really sitting with this, because I think I may actually be getting some freedom in this area.

  21. By: DXS Posted: 23rd August 2015

    I always thought since I was never treated in ways that warranted CPS intervention, that I wasn’t abused. Even my mother herself would tell me what was “real” abuse and what wasn’t. I said to myself, “I was never a sexual abuse victim. I wasn’t beaten black and blue (though I was hit). I never was left in ragged clothes or starved, so why am I making a mountain out of a molehill?”

    S1998, nope, we didn’t get any “physical” abuse, which is what they claim. What we got was emotional abuse. Emotional abuse leaves no “visible” scars other than our varied reactions to situations.

    And my mom tells me to “stand up for myself” but I cannot/not allowed to stand up to her!

    Kris, you said it all!

    My mom had this wonderful habit of always phrasing things as “optional” and then getting mad when you said “no.” The word “no” was NEVER allowed! That’s freaking covert!

  22. By: Kris Posted: 22nd August 2015

    S1988,

    I think what you were talking about is called Stockholm syndrome. It is a mind game. There was no consistency or predictability in my house either which caused me to second guess my self too which ultimately caused all of that fear and anxiety to build up inside of me because I never knew what to expect from day to day and I never felt safe of secure because there was no consistency in their parenting.

    Sorry your mother played head games with you too. I think my mother’s emotional abuse and neglect of me was the worst thing for me to have to overcome because there were so many sick mind sets that I developed because of it. I struggled so much with whether or not my mother was really being “nice” to me or was it all just an act and when I looked at things closer I realized there was usually something in it for her. Some void that she was using me to fill but sometimes she really was a warm and caring person and there is where the mind f*ck begins!!!

    Until I was able to see both the good and the bad qualities in my mother at the same time I wasn’t going to be able to see who she really was.The truth is she is both a manipulator and a kind person at times. So hard to wrap my mind around these two qualities at the same time but it is the truth about who my mother really is.

  23. By: S1988 Posted: 22nd August 2015

    @Kris

    Thank you. But, what made it confusing for me was I was told “I love you”, and hugged, and I even have memories of being taken to fun places when my mother was “nice”. (And she would use these acts as “proof” of being a good mother.) I think that’s why it took two estrangements to leave my family because she was so volatile. She would be hurtful to me one moment, and act loving the next.

    I read some literature on the Internet about how abusers would be nice sometimes as a way for their victims to stay with them. People who are kidnapped and held against their will are great examples of this. They are unsure about escaping because their captors give them food and a place to sleep, so in their minds, the captors aren’t that bad. It’s similar to how I thought until I realized truly loving people are because they really care for you, not so that you can second-guess yourself.

  24. By: Kris Posted: 22nd August 2015

    S1988,

    You nailed it with what you said. You don’t have to be in tattered clothes and filthy for it to be considered emotional neglect. Never hearing the words I love you and never being there to comfort your child and never providing them with a feeling of safety are all forms of emotional neglect. We need to stop believing the lie that unless we are beaten to a bloody pulp with a gash across your forehead that it’s not considered abuse because emotional abuse is just as bad as physical and sexual abuse. They all just affect us in different ways that are all detrimental to our well being in the end. So glad you brought this point up.

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