The Day I got Tired of Being the Last Person that Mattered


unnamed-1Abusers will point at minor issues going down trails leading nowhere designed to confuse the situation in order to discredit you along the way enabling them to be right and to defend their actions and position of power and entitlement.” Darlene Ouimet

The final straw is rarely the biggest issue and although the issue that I highlight in the following article may seem like a pretty big one, it was really just another event in a long line of events where I didn’t count.

The final straw for me has been different with different people and depending on the situation but the bottom line of this article can be applied to situations involving almost anyone that has you in a position of less power or value than they see themselves as having.

In the case of my mother the final straw was when she called me one day and said that she needed to talk to me about something. She told me that when I was in Arizona visiting my brother, I had said something to his wife that had caused a bit of a stir.

At this point I had been coming out of the fog for about a year and a half, I had been working with a therapist, I had attended a few workshops about recognizing the abuse of power and control in relationships and I was really catching on to the way that I had been defined by the ways I had been regarded and disregarded by my mother as a child, teenager and adult. So when she said “when you were in Arizona” the first thing that I did was the math and I quickly realized that my mother was talking about something that had happened 8 months prior to this phone call; I immediately recognized that “this incident” which was about me, had been discussed for a very long time behind my back. Here is how it went; 

Mom said “I have been wanting to talk to you about something for a long time now” and then she said WE have been talking about THIS since YOU were in Arizona and we haven’t been sure what to do about it.” And I said “Mom, that was 8 months ago. Are you telling me that you have been discussing this for the past 8 months and nobody has even mentioned it to me?”

 The big deal she was referring to was that I had told my sister in law that I was in therapy dealing with some issues and I told her that one of the issues was that I had been sexually assaulted by my mothers boyfriend when I was just shy of 14 years old.

After my Mother told me what they had been discussing for the past 8 months behind my back and I asked hey why she had waited so long to ask me about it (to which there was no response) I said “So what?” I think that shocked her. She didn’t expect me to actually ask a question indicating that I was not doing anything wrong but although I was aware that I was beginning to feel angry, I was also a little stunned and I didn’t understand what the big deal was. So what if I was talking to my sister in law about what happened to me?

My mother ignored my question, and she plowed right ahead with what she wanted to say. She told me that my sister in law had taken notes about what I told her. It was interesting that she told me that; it was as though she was prepared for me to deny that I had said these things to my sister in law. I told my mother that I DID tell my sister in law that, and SO WHAT? What about it? What was the problem?

Part of me couldn’t understand why she was upset because so far she wasn’t repeating anything I supposedly said, that I hadn’t actually said. However another part of me – the part that was ‘waking up’- knew exactly what was going on. She believed that SHE was the real victim here! 

I realized that this confrontation was not going the way my mother expected. I told her that it was MY story to tell. I told her that I had not told my sister in law anything that wasn’t true. But the whole time in the back of my mind I was aware that this is how things always went. I was in trouble because I was doing something that she didn’t like. I was causing a problem, for her.  I was repeating something that she had always denied, something that made her uncomfortable, something that she refused to believe or to deal with when it had happened TO ME. 

A big part of me was screaming at myself ~ “Here we go again! I am in trouble for telling MY story. I am getting hell for talking about my own life, for expressing my feelings and exposing MY wounds. I am getting told off for being me, for being alive and for something that happened to me that someone else decided I shouldn’t talk about. And I was aware that even though I knew what I had told my sister in law was 100% the truth, I didn’t’ know how much of it has been twisted or embellished against me, and it occurred to me that my mother was willing to take my brothers word for everything that I has ‘supposedly said’ without asking me if I had said it. The bottom line is that as usual, my mother didn’t realize that this wasn’t about her. 

And for once I heard my own thoughts screaming. I felt ambushed. I was so tired of the way that my family operates. I was exhausted with the realization that this was one of hundreds of examples of the way that they manipulate. My own mother didn’t think to ask me even once in 8 months. But then why would she? My side of the story had never mattered and it was finally dawning on me that this fact wasn’t going to change.

Regarding what I had said to my sister in law; the truth is that I wasn’t doing anything wrong by talking about my life. Even though the old part of me was feeling guilt and shame listening to my mother telling me off on the phone, the new part of me, the part that was beginning to see the truth about the situation, was saying “HEY, why am I getting shamed for talking about MY life?” And so I said it. I told my mother that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I had a right to talk about MY life.

And while I was at it, I told her that I was shocked that “they” had all been talking about this for 8 months and nobody ever once thought to ask me about it. This was third party information, but still they had mulled it over for 8 months deciding what they should “do”. Apparently my brother called everyone in our family to see if I had been telling anyone else “anything.” That in itself is a bit of a truth leak.

It didn’t matter to me anymore what she was getting at. I was sick of being treated that way. I was shocked and devastated that even though I was a married woman in my 40’s with three kids of my own, I was still being “told”, that I had to watch myself, that I was still being controlled and that I was still being regarded as the problem and that I didn’t have the right to talk about my own life.

There was a family reunion scheduled for the upcoming summer, which I had agreed to host. In that moment my entire life flashed in front of my eyes; I saw how my role in the family was to be a servant; how I had been called a liar and the perpetrators had been protected and therefore proven to be more important than I was. I saw how I had been consistently disregarded and I felt the pain of continuously being unheard and discounted. It was in that moment that I knew I didn’t want to host that reunion. In a weird kind of “fast forward” flash, I saw what it would be like for me; that it would be just as it had always been.

I didn’t just wake up one day and “boom” I was done with the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded. It was an accumulation of events that communicated to me that I was the last person “they” were concerned about and my courage to stop making excuses for them that eventually allowed me to have the moment that became “the final straw that broke the camels back.”

Remember that the final straw can often be what others would regard as a “little thing” and they will use that to discredit you by pointing out your sensitivities or calling your reaction ‘ridiculous’ or exaggerated; something that really helped me to sort all of that out was looking at the whole picture through the actual truth instead of looking at everything the way that they directed me to look at it. I became very aware that the way they wanted me to see things worked for them. They had no motivation to change because they had the relationship exactly the way they wanted it. I was the one that was struggling.

I finally decided that I was NOT going to be the “last person” in my own life.

How does this impact you? Share some examples of things that have been the “final straw” in your own life that caused you to decide to take your life and your power back from whomever had hijacked it in the first place.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from the people that have bought my book. Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

278 response to "The Day I got Tired of Being the Last Person that Mattered"

  1. By: Amanda Doohen Posted: 26th April 2017

    What became my final straw was what led me to your site. After years and years of being the “black sheep”, being unincluded in family events and told/made to feel as though it was my fault, after an aunt said that my son attempted suicide because of my poor parenting, after giving, and giving, and giving of myself/my time/my gifts and never reciprocated, after finding (actually laid out in front of me by a sister) family group texts where I am the subject and talked about like a dog, and, yesterday, told that I was not included in the latest outing because I am “tolerated, not liked” at family functions. What a horrible thing to say to anyone. Once I stopped blaming myself, calling myself a weirdo who no one likes, and feeling gut-wrenching loneliness, I found this site and I’m so grateful. I’ve had a notion that it wasn’t me so much as them, but when you’re always told that it is indeed you, it’s hard to believe. Thank you for this blog and your book. I sure hope to be feeling better soon.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th April 2017

      Hi Amanda
      Welcome to EFB! I am really glad you found us too!
      Sounds like you are in the right place and I hope you are feeling better soon as well.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Kris Posted: 27th January 2017

    For me, my mother pretending to care about me….and realizing that it isn´t the truth….keeps waking me up to the truth. It is so weird to feel my mothers need for “harmony” between us and my own lack of identity at the same time.
    So in the past that meant, I must be somehow guilty for not being able to honour her active interest in a harmonious relationship with me.
    I only saw her “interest” and my “rejection of her” , so obviously I must be the wrong one, the bad one.
    But now, I rather take my feelings of resisting her seductions serious which means, that I do know deep down that it cannot be true love. I also see that I must have judged myself guilty my entire life in order to protect her and me from the devastating truth that she doesn´t love me. To confront her with who she really is must have been too dangerous for a dependent child as I was. I guess we need that hope of being loved in order to survive.

    So my mothers christmas cookies she sent to me after 2 years of no contact….woke me up again to my unconscious hope that she might really care and the truth that she never did and never will. It made me aware that I rather feel guilty than right, for having ruined our relationship. In fact, I ruined nothing, it was rotten from the start. If there would have been one glimpse of true love, it wouldn´t have turned out that way. It´s so hard to proove if everybody calls my mother a “warm” person. So I must be the “cold” one, questioning her.
    I am at the point where I have no energy for all this daily suffering and living like under a bad spell.
    I am glad there are more people on this journey, like me.
    Thank you for this side and the ongoing flow of healing input.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th January 2017

      Hi Kris
      Welcome to EFB and thank you for sharing. You are not alone!
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Gail Posted: 16th December 2016

    Hi Darlene,
    I stumbled across your website by accident, a few months ago and all your words could be me!!!
    I don’t know if I’m recovering but I do know I’m realising just how disfunctional my family are.
    I have not had contact with my younger sister for a number of years, maybe 6. And recently I’ve not had contact with my parents, for 2 months. This was because my son had sworn at my mother and according to them (my parents) I should make him apologise (he’s 30). He hasn’t done so according to them I haven’t done enough to make him. Anyway yesterday I rang my father to inform him his mother was in hospital (he hasn’t spoken to her for years) after I’d informed him of the situation the conversation was turned, by him, back to my son. We did argue but I feel I gave in and so we parted on reasonable terms. Today father rang to thank me because the parcel with their Christmas presents in it arrived. During that conversation he told me that they (my parents) and my uncles were travelling to my sisters to spend Christmas with her and her family. No one had told ME!!! In my shock I asked if they could spend time with me while they’re here. They will but don’t know when or how long. By the way, my sister lives around the corner from me!!!
    Now after some thought, I’m furious. How come they think this is ok? Father did say no one told me cause we weren’t talking……..WHAT? So that makes it right? My feelings obviously don’t count!! Obviously not.
    I now don’t want to see them while they’re here. I don’t want to be the after thought AGAIN. But now I’m scared to tell them this as it will be twisted round to me doing wrong. But I think I’m going to do it anyway as I’ve reached my last straw. My stomach is churning at the thought but your words and those of others here, have given me the courage to do it!! Wish me luck!!!!’

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th December 2016

      Hi Gail,
      Welcome to EFB ~ thanks for sharing! Recovery began in my life when I started to realize the dysfunction and the damage it caused to me. The way that I was regarded and disregarded (the ways you describe in your own post here) caused me to see myself through the ways that they treated me and conclude that I was not worthy but I finally realized that their actions (and inactions) are about them. I wish you all the best going forward!!! I am glad you are here.
      hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Michelle Posted: 14th December 2016

    The “final straw” for me lasted a few months. It unfolded like a strange dream. My mom and I had a fight in Aug. Then she left her boyfriend and went to go live with my half sister in another state. For 2 months, while she was there, she didnt contact me in any way, shape, or form. Then I hear from my biological dad that my mom moved back to be with her boyfriend. Next it was her birthday. I didnt want to contact her. But I didnt want to be accused of ‘keeping her grandchild from her’ so I sent a card from my daughter to her. Then I got an email from my bio dad who said my mom contacted HIM to find out WHY I was being so mean to her and disrespectful for not contacting her on her birthday.
    I had it at this point. Her using my bio dad (who I was just starting to have a relationship with) to get him on her side and to come between us just so she can have her way…NOPE. I sent her an angry email and havnt heard from her since. (1 month) But I’m kind of scared as to what will happen over christmas. All of my family lives far away, so I am not going to travel and I’m not sending any cards or anything. I can only imagine the conversations they are all going to have about me. 🙁

  5. By: Melinda Posted: 6th September 2016

    Also, the fact that my stepfather was in the picture made it even more difficult.
    My mother is the type of woman who puts men above children. Even after my stepfather had his first violent outburst (before they were married) she stayed with him anyway.
    It was then that I realized that I wasn’t a priority in her life. She put her selfish needs/desires above my need for safety, stability, and happiness as a girl growing into womanhood.

    I was told to never ask for anything…even the most basic needs in some cases.
    My stepfather ruled our home like a tyrant. If I dared to protest the way he treated me, I was called “disrespectful” and punished severely. One of his favorite punishments was to force me to sleep in a hot bedroom with no fan or AC.
    The ceiling fan in my bedroom stopped working and he refused to fix it because I was “bad”. Mind you, we lived in Florida and it was HOT. I already suffered from asthma and the heat made it worse.

    I opened the window once just to get some relief from the heat and he brought his wrath down on me.
    There is just so much I could say, but I’ll stop now.

  6. By: Melinda Posted: 6th September 2016

    @Kristina…thanks for your kind words. Yes, I had a lot of trouble with that too.
    Shopping with my mother was often painful when I was growing up because she had her own idea of how I should look. She would also criticize all the clothes I tried on with a disgusted look on her face, saying that nothing looked good on me.

    My mom has occasionally complimented me but it’s rare. I know that in her own way she loves me, but I’m not the type of daughter she really wants.
    I was often embarrassed and ashamed growing up because she didn’t teach me how to take care of myself in terms of clothes, hygiene, etc. When I started menstruating at an early age, she only told me that I needed to be careful around boys. There was no other explanation about anything.

    I also had a lot of body hair at that age and the other kids bullied me for that. She didn’t allow me to shave despite my embarrassment, so I took matters into my own hands.
    It was just another way to control me. My developing body was viewed as something to be ashamed of.

    And yes, my hair was another way that people attacked me. Being half black and half white, I have very thick hair.
    There is a lot of trauma around my hair because of the racist bullying I experienced growing up and because of my own mother sometimes making me feel bad about my hair.
    I started having my hair relaxed many years ago but I still had to deal with nasty comments from people.

    When I started dating and being interested in boys, my family couldn’t handle it.
    They shamed me for showing any hint of femininity. But prior to that, when I wore clothes that covered me up, they criticized me for not being girly enough.
    I just couldn’t win either way.

    My mother wanted me to be “perfect” as a young girl…pretty, popular, an honor student, etc.
    But I was all too human. I was a sullen, lonely, depressed teenager with low self-esteem and a bad home life.
    I was on the margins in school and otherwise. My cousin was the golden child of the family. She was popular, considered beautiful (despite being overweight), and had all of the privileges that I didn’t.

    And yes, I was shamed for wearing lipstick and gloss. It was seen as wrong for me to look nice.
    I was accused of trying to seek attention. Now I wear makeup without caring what anyone says, but I still remember the cruel words.

  7. By: Roger Wilson Posted: 31st August 2016

    Darlene, you speak to me and for me. Thank you.

    I am a mid-40s male who recently “unthawed” and realized that I have been dealing with an extremely dysfunctional family for my entire life. It’s eerie really, looking back on every single conversation and event that I’ve had with my parents and dysfunctional siblings and finally seeing what was happening. How I was abused and neglected and placed in a rigid role. It’s disturbing and hurtful too, but I am thankful for the truth. I can’t believe how strong my lifeline denial has been.

    In any case, my wake-up moment occurred when I went to visit my father on Father’s day with my wife and children 2 years ago. My father is a raging narcissistic with some sort of mental disorder that Mom always accepted and allowed. He verbally abused us and still does. So I’m there on Father’s day and he becomes unhinged in front of my children and I feel so ashamed and embarrassed by his behavior. I wanted my boys and me to enjoy Father’s Day with 3 generations together. I got a sudden realization of how dysfunctional he was and how hurt and broken I am because of this. I ended up storming out of there and when I got home I said to my wife “What about me?” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was my inner child releasing a lifetime of pain. What about me? After a lifetime of verbal abuse (father) and emotional neglect (mother), what the hell about me?

    The backstory is that I was going through a difficult time in my life at that moment and I needed the love and support of my family. I guess the juxtaposition of his behavior and my needs was just too much. Like, the Lie was exposed because it was just too divergent from the reality at that moment in time.

    How did dysfunctional mom handle the situation? She was out of town, but when I told her that data really “hurt” us that day, she ignored me for 3 months. You see, it’s my fault if I ever feel anything. It’s my fault for ever arguing with my crazy father. The dysfunctional family lie is that I am the asshole of the family–even though I am a kind and caring father and husband and a compassionate and caring person in other areas of my life. You see, by defining me as the asshole, they can all live the family lie and ignore the truth that I bring to the table. So when something like this happens, they can always shift the blame to me.

    After 2 years, I am just now starting recover from the emotional toll that this realization has taken on me. But the light came on that Father’s day. BTW, my family of origin has since cut me and my family out of their lives. My mom won’t speak to me because I’m so disrespectful. She’s right, after a lifetime of staying in bounds, I am now disrespectful to the family lies and I can’t go back now. It hurts so much, there are many days that I wish I could.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st September 2016

      Hi Roger
      Many of my breakthroughs have been around that statement “What about me?? What the HELL about ME!” ~ I learned so well not to think about me which really works for them. (but those days are gone)
      I don’t think drawing boundaries is disrespectful at all. I think it is actually loving AND respectful. How else would they ever have the chance to realize that how they treat other people is wrong?
      Hugs and thanks for sharing,

  8. By: Shannon Posted: 31st August 2016

    My final straw was when my mother blamed me for not telling my oldest brother that his dad wasn’t who he thought he was. She had told me years ago when she was drunk and trying to keep him from getting in touch with who he thought was his father. So I didn’t believe her and said if it was true that she, as his mother, should be the one to tell him. Fast forward 5 years and she found his birth father and when he got upset she blamed me. “Your sister has known for 5 years and said she would tell you herself” Total lie. But rather than be a real stand up person and/or mother, she pushed in front of the bus to save herself. Again. Thank you for sharing your stories on here. They give me strength and validation!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st September 2016

      Hi Shannon
      I am glad you like the stories!
      It is crazy when kids get blamed for not doing things that they should NEVER have been expected to do, and then they also get blamed for things that they tell that the parent didn’t want told… can’t win.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Maja
      Thanks for sharing these examples too! Glad you are resting and healing now!!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: maja Posted: 30th August 2016

    I used to take care of a lot of things at home – which were barely noticed – and in the last ten years things have struck me – time after time –

    for one when my sister called me to pick her up in the midst of the nite, when i said i would she started screeaming that she d never want a ride from me cause i was a menace on the road and she d rather have other solutions whilst scaulding and yelling – i started to thin of other options to which she started shouting even louder – how could i leave her there? what monster was I? at that point i did get fed up and wanted to leave it as such, but as usual at that poin in time i did pick her up, not to be thanked or applauded, but just to reciev more yelling on the phone by family members to whom my sister had complained to, to the point where we were in the car to pick the car up that had no longer worked and a friend of my mother s started as well – it took all my effort to set things straight, that i had NOT abandoned her at all, that she was actually yellin NOT to pick her up for quite some time – to which my mother replied – well you do know your sister can be stressed out, her response was natural –

    it s when i for a first saw the family dynamics for what they were – even tho my mother had always told me that i was the best child of the both of us this was never true for real – and all of a sudden i could see through th emanipulation – but to really end these dynamics ten more years went by

    ten more years in which i learned tha ti live with a system which is referred to as DID – to learn that the kids were terrified of my mom to which i said for a first that we d never have to see her again ever – regardles of wht therapists or psychiatrists or the hosptial ward we were in would say or want – as i d cut my mother ot of my life before at least three times – btu was always told to get back in touch with her by carers – they said she was sooooo kind – so I did

    even so it was hard to get the right help so that ofor once this decision would be supported – which happened – and during that timme my aunt for a frist said in compelte amazement – do you really think of me as your favourite aunt, cause i ve been so hard on you all your life, what is the rest of the family like then? i had a shimmer ofhope this meant she would soften up – but her last cards told me otherwise – she will and continue to try to reconnect me with my mother even tho she won t listen to anything

    and so bit by bit i realised it s been enoug – my sister asking for advice reagerding clothes and not seeing i need to move and am in need of help, my fahter who only shouts that i should not be ill and should not talk about abuse as after all i should just get back in church with him and pretend nothing ever happened etc etc – he ll never change that image of what he wants me to be for who i really am – the exorcisms he did give me three years ago cause i had seizures – enough is more then enough

    to this point where i re evaluated friendships and family relationships and i realise i no longer want nor have to reply to their texts, calls or emails – which has been frightening given the anger they can express when i do something they do not want me to do –

    but i do it anywas – i still hear my sister say that last xmas i should have invited her and my aunt to entertain them even tho i m mostly bedbound and spent xmas alone myself barely able to eat – but yet they think of me as a bad person for not inviting them –

    too often i ve been told that what i said was too little to be angry about – that it was all normal –

    i refuse to think of such behaviour as normal

    i m fed u of being the last person that matters in so many ways, the person that eidid not deserve nice clothes and was told that it was just my way of dressing, the person that was trying to reach out and was told to shut up etc –

    i ll be my number one – done with takinc are of others and the world, it s time someone does that for me – i longed to find someone to do this – i ll just start myself – time to rest – recharge – and heal for real –

  10. By: Summer Breeze Posted: 27th August 2016

    Thank you Darlene! I always look forward to your encouraging words!

  11. By: Summer Breeze Posted: 22nd August 2016

    I have been quietly following along for some time now, but was also scared that FOO would discover me.

    After I personally told all family members of my cancer, I shared my story with my friends on fb. I don’t have thousands of fb friends, I don’t even have hundreds! I personally know all of them and my point was about awareness. I shared because I did everything I was supposed to. I did everything I was supposed to… regular visits and screenings, and it STILL happened! The response was incredibly kind and supportive! I was blown away by the kind words my friends shared.

    My family was a different story altogether. As my status update posted, my parents, sister and BIL were headed south for an oceanside vacation. When they swung through Virginia, they stopped to see my daughter. My mother proceeded to tell my daughter they “they” didn’t think it was appropriate to air my personal business to the world, and that I “jumped the gun” because it was “only” Stage 0, it hadn’t yet progressed to invasive cancer. (That happened a year later, after we thought it was all removed in the first surgery).

    THIS was when I began to really question my fog. It took me over another year to finally decide that this was just too exhausting. The final straw came in January when my sister “accidentally” sent me a message meant for my mom. Referring to me, the two words that made me snap were “As always”

    I have been NC since. This has been all my life, now that I can see beyond the fog, I now see it all so clear!

  12. By: Hope Posted: 21st August 2016

    Hi All,
    I have a similar story to you Kristina (and thank you for the Snow White reference), in the way your friends used you to take from you and never reciprocated back when you needed the help (and I am so sorry you have to go through this pain). As soon as my partner and I told people we were fixing our house they all stopped calling us as they knew they couldn’t just get a free pampered holiday anymore. I hate free-loaders. At least they all did me a favor and now I know who is in my life for real. All those people that initially hurt me by disappearing are banned from coming back in my life. Only I know how much time, effort and money I have spent on them. At least now I see the truth and I’m not going back to old habits of bowing down to the needs of users and abusers. When I needed a place to stay one time recently when I went back home, not one single friend offered to invite me to their place. It was a real eye opener.

    I also had a friend since I was 8 years old and she forgot about me while she was married for 20 years and I made huge efforts to go see her every year until I got tired of it. She finally emailed me after 3 years of not talking, to tell me she got a divorce. She thought I would just let her back in to my life but this time I said “No Thanks!” and funny enough, it felt good. I have been over-accommodating to everyone but no more. From now on they will get what they give me…NOTHING!

    Cheers, Hope xx

  13. By: Light Posted: 19th August 2016

    Thank you Lynne and Andria and Darlene for your support and kind words. It is very validating to know that others can see that some of my childhood experiences were damaging. Andria, I liked your “long labyrinth” description….

    Kristina, I too am sorry you had friends like that. It’s been a growing process for me to not overgive. I manage a chronic illness and it can be hard on marriages and friendships. Yet it sounds like you were asking for little — the kind of help that a healthy friendship could accommodate.

  14. By: Lynne Posted: 18th August 2016

    There is nothing normal about putting a small child to sleep alone in an attic! It is also not normal for a young child to pull her own hair out. I am no psychologist but that behavior signals that you suffered abuse. I can relate so much to your need for validation too. That is the one thing that , if I got it from my NM, I believe that I could really move past everything and heal. It drives me crazy and I find myself looking for it even from others and many friends are reluctant to give it too. My heart goes out to you and everyone else here.

  15. By: Andria Posted: 18th August 2016


    I am sorry that you had friends like that. I have had some friends like that too. When I was growing up we called those kind of people “fair weather” friends. As long as your life is going well and you can do stuff for them they will be your friend. But when storm clouds gather around you and the rain comes in they scatter like people avoiding a downpour.


    I’m sorry about your abuse and how you were not believed by your mother or siblings. I have had “free-floating” anger as well. Sometimes something someone said triggered me. It is good to go back and assess what happened, and try not to do it again. By your statement I can see you are mindful of this dynamic. I know about a sibling not understanding about my feelings towards the parents. They think you are the one that is “off”. They confer amongst themselves and come to the conclusion that of course it is you that is goofy.

    Yeah, I am the other in my family. Probably even more so since going NC. From what I have read, it is the scapegoat that usually is the most grounded and sane of the bunch. I know I have days when it doesn’t feel like I am mentally stable, but after years of having my head messed with by family I can recognize personalities that I need to stay away from or if I can’t stay any from them I need to have my protections in place.

    An unplanned pregnancy should not automatically be a reason to be a non-fit in the family narrative. That is just wrong. Sleeping in an attic for a 2 or 3 year old is strange. Kind of young for that I think. And I think sleeping in a crib as a 6 year old is not good. You want to start feeling a little bit like a big girl. Not a baby in a crib.

  16. By: Light Posted: 18th August 2016

    Hi Darlene and others. I hope I can get to the point of believing it is not about me (us); my siblings were more loving when I was young…it’s when I became an adult and was unhappy and angry because I was not validated about the sexual abuse (father: perpetrator, mother not believing me) that everything changed. They remained loyal to my parents and refused to support or understand me.

    My anger was sometimes free-floating and random and directed toward the wrong people because at the time I was not skilled at identifying what the dynamics were and addressing them. It was wrong to take it out on the wrong people. Other times it was expressed as frequent irritation at my parents for seemingly minor things. My siblings and nieces and nephews saw this and it’s been downhill from there.

    I didn’t fit into the family narrative, and my being angry about not being heard and validated comes across like I’ve thrown a monkey wrench into an otherwise happy family. My siblings and mother are quite charismatic and funny, and other people typically like them very much.

    I actually didn’t fit into the family narrative from the beginning: I was an unplanned pregnancy. Does anyone else think it’s weird that I slept in the attic? My mother said “it was a small house” “you were older then” (2-3), and “your sister could hear you”. I recall pulling out my hair on one side of my head at age 4ish, and I slept in a crib until age 6 or so. About the crib my mother said “well, you fit in it”.

  17. By: Kristina Posted: 18th August 2016

    Light and all:

    your experience at the wedding reminds me of my friends. ( I am not that far that I can truly see how my family did not care and does not care, but I noticed with friends past years). Similar situation: I engaged conversations, I was the one who cared for others, asked questions (and I was interested), I invited people together, I made it possible for them to visite me and see interesting places, they could have stayed over in my place for free, I asked after their families, I know their life story, but on the whole, no one truly cared for me. They often even did not use my name, did not ask questions, did not offer help…, but I know they spied on me. It is not true that “they had no information”. The ignorance had a purpose.
    to show me who is the boss, that I must plead for their attention, friendship….the same way my NM works with me.

    When I fell sick, most of them disappeared, I was of no use to them.
    The last of “friends”, dropped when I asked for help (challenged them) -which I never did before.
    Some did not ask after me for years, some dropped when I was not fine with the way they treated me (some false promises, trying to get me to a place where they´d have some profit, I was even verbally attacked back that there was something wrong in my head to not be fine with false promises. Often even after 10 years of friendship. It was shocking for me. Perhaps it was a “learning lesson” to train me, but I did not answer anymore.
    One female friend even wanted to make a couple of my that-time bf with her female friend. (behind my back, sure, I only know the energy around that was not good). When I wrote to her years later that I don´t like the way she treats me, she had tons of “excuses”, wanted to talk to me on the phone immediately,but then…she simply did not write anymore. She dropped.
    Looking back, I was not validated, seen anyway, I was ignored (often, it took months to receive a replay by e-mail, I was not invited to any single event: never to marriage of the friends, to socialise with their friends etc). If they had invited me to a wedding, I´d be happy and go. But, I guess it would be as usual: I´d be ignored, these people would talk about themselves, their interests…not asking me: unless I had a super-power job, money, important friends etc.

    I was the last one in terms of their interest.

    It is so good for me being without such friends.

  18. By: Andria Posted: 17th August 2016

    Hi Light, Darlene, Jessica, & All,

    Yes, it is and was never about us. It is very painful to know that your own family does not care about you. It is a long labyrinth of gestures,words,stories,and untruths that are displayed for us. It is very confusing until you see the light and once you know the truth no one can tell you any different. People can say what they may, but you know what you have to do to save the only person you can save: your own self.

  19. By: Jessica Posted: 17th August 2016

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts too. You hit the nail on the head. It isn’t about us. It has always been their choice, their life and they are the ones missing out. I have determined to break the cycle of abuse with my children and hopefully I am successful at it.

  20. By: Light Posted: 17th August 2016

    I see you’ve all been talking about hair and this is a topic change but maybe that’s OK. I just returned from a wedding (niece). It was painful; I felt so irrelevant and consistently overlooked. I found myself giving off this energy of trying too hard, initiating conversations with family members that go nowhere because of non-interest, being too eager to interact and waiting for a little crumb of interest and interaction. I want to stop that. I don’t like taking on that position. While I know it’s about the bride and groom at a wedding, it was painful to see other aunts and uncles engaged and invited into conversations and activities while I was not.

    I kept reminding myself of the friends I do have…they are interested in me, and don’t seem bored by me. The indifference at the wedding and the other family gatherings (before and after) did a number on my head.

    I hate being scapegoated. I’m angry about what’s been unfairly said about me over the years, how I’ve been made out to be wrong about sexual abuse, about how I’ve been misunderstood and rarely talked with directly, and the lack of love and support. I wish I had the verbal skills years ago to be proactive and defend myself, but I didn’t, and now it feels too late and it would be awkward because no one cares.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th August 2016

      Hi Light
      This is one of those “in time” things for me. When I went to my father in laws funeral last month, it was the first time that I didn’t feel awkward at something like that. (a large ‘family’ thing where I know people are and have made major judgements about me) and I was actually really comfortable with my decisions, etc. And even more important, I am extremely comfortable with ME. Something you said in your last sentence is KEY; you said I wish I had the verbal skills years ago to be proactive and defend myself, but I didn’t, and now it feels too late and it would be awkward because no one cares.” ~ and it was KEY for me to understand the part that “no one cares”. That was the most painful part because I kept wondering what it was about ME that made them not care… and today I know that it was never about me.
      Thank you for sharing,
      love and hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Jessica Posted: 16th August 2016

    Hi Kristina,

    Yes, almost my entire adult life I have had long hair. I recently cut it to above my shoulders because I am getting older (53) and just thought it would be easier. It is not. I always had to do some kind of styling or whatever and to tell you the truth, I looked in the mirror and saw “boy”. I have let it grow out again, now to about my shoulders and will let it keep going for a while. Short hair just isn’t for me!

    I can also relate to the neglect and disdain at a very young age. It is a terrible way to have been raised and requires a lot of effort to overcome. I have vowed to myself I will never give up, we are all worth it!

  22. By: Kristina Posted: 14th August 2016

    Hi ladies, yes, it is sad with the hair. I am sorry for your experience. Perhaps there is some strenght and power of little girls and women, that NM love to dominate and harm the hair of their daughters to put them down.

    Hope, your mother sounds like the queen from the Snow White when washing your hair. Making some effort to show/cause you the pain.
    So sad and terrifying what you had to go through.

    Jessica, my NM, too, she did not want to have long hair (until I was 10, but also until 15 I had to have still very short hair, only after 15 I made it with longer hair, but she was far more after me with her threats). She also wanted me to look like a boy. She justified it with the fact that long hair is difficult to care for, implied I cannot care for it, I was too stupid. Also, she said that I will get sick with long hair in winter because I must wash it and it will not get dry enough….(scaring me about sickness must have been common with my mother, yes, bitch, she really knew what I was afraid of, where my insecurities are…even though she put me herself into it).
    Jessica, do you have long hair, now ?

    I also remember the hate NM had towards me in those moments, it must have fueled her. The attacks of hate, envy that turned in her rageous tantrum and in tyranising myself.
    I have proof of her hate when I was 1 year old. I´d need to be validated in it that I don´t make it up, but the hate in her face, the hateful light in her eyes, the no-action, the neglect, the condescending, threatening regard was there.
    (NM mysogyne ” I will show you who is the boss, I will teach you the pain and break down your self-esteem, I want to see you suffer, also as an adult, you will not be successful, happy adult”).

  23. By: Hope Posted: 13th August 2016

    Hi Jessica,
    Another hair moment I just remembered from what you said. It was one of those days of having long hair as a kid, we were having breakfast (my sister, NM and I) before going to school and I refused to eat breakfast. My NM started screaming at me to eat and I wouldn’t. She got so fed up she threw the whole glass of milk on my just washed hair. She then grabbed my arm and dragged me to the shower and scrubbed my hair in cold water during winter and I was really late for school thanks to her tantrum.
    I just couldn’t understand why she was acting like that when she was the one that drilled into my head that when I was 2 years old I swallowed a coin and lost my appetite, which was a totally made up story but I think she actually believed it and so did I as I would tell people and they would laugh at me. I just can’t believe how gullible I was.

  24. By: Jessica Posted: 12th August 2016

    Hope and Kristina,

    Funny you should mention hair! What is it about NM that hair is such an issue. My mother would not let me grow it long. I have vivid memories of her cutting my hair on a regular basis in a “pixie cut”. I would sit on a high stool and bawl my eyes out because I hated it so much. Everyone mistook me for a boy for a long, long time. She said I wasn’t able to take care of long hair so she had to cut it. Bitch!

  25. By: Hope Posted: 11th August 2016

    One more thing you mentioned Kristina about your hair (and sorry for the long notes), I remember my NM never let me cut my hair as it was an expense she was never willing to pay for or take the time to take me to the hairdresser, just for ME. So I had really long hair down to my bottom without choice and one day it was time to wash my hair and for some reason she had to wash it for me (I can’t remember if I had head-lice or she just never let me wash it on my own) and with her really long manicured red painted nails she was so rough in scrubbing my scalp with shampoo I remember I bled for days. She had so much anger and hatred in her voice, I was wondering what I did to her. I told my dad and he said nothing. But I know I never let her wash my hair ever again after that.

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