When Dad Enables Mom in Emotionally Abusive Family Relationships

breaking free of the web
breaking free of the web

This weekend some of us celebrate Father’s Day in some parts of the world including Canada and the United States. Father’s day can be a really tough time of year emotionally for many of us who have been raised in dysfunctional families or where we have been taught that love is proven (by children) through obedience, compliance and service. It helped me to realize that if obedience, compliance and service is love, why isn’t it returned in the same way to the children in dysfunctional families. Why are the rules different for some people? Why aren’t we loved in the same way that we are taught to love? When the rules are different for some people, it isn’t really love; it is a false definition of love that causes confusion. Emerging from Broken is about breaking free from all that confusion by enabling clarity.

 Typically, there is more resistance when looking at issues we have with our fathers, and it is okay if that is what you are feeling when you read this. This is painful stuff!  It took me a lot longer to acknowledge the pain that my father caused me with his passive abusive actions and inactions than it took me to see the pain that my mother caused me with her more overt treatment. And father’s day was hard the first few years after I drew my boundary because I missed the idea of a loving father; I missed the hope that he might ‘see me’ one day. Letting go of the fantasy was like a death and there is grieving and sadness in the emotional healing process when the father has been emotionally absent.

In this post Carrie H. shares her process of coming to see her father through new eyes and the pain of the betrayal when she realizes that he isn’t actually on the side of the truth about love when it comes to her. Please help me welcome Carrie as she shares her heart and the core of her pain with us.  

Happy father’s day to all who celebrate, and remember to celebrate, appreciate and acknowledge yourself.

For some of us, we are or have become our own best fathers.

Darlene Ouimet

 When Dad Enables Mom in Emotionally Abusive Family Relationships ~

 Enabling Father by Carrie H.

 “Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’ll be the one, if you want me to

Anywhere I would’ve followed you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I am feeling so small It was over my head I know nothing at all And I will stumble and fall I’m still learning to love Just starting to crawl

Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you

Anywhere I would’ve followed you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride You’re the one that I love And I’m saying goodbye”

– lyrics from the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World

I saw my dad for the first time as I sat across the booth from him at an Italian restaurant post therapy session.  I saw him for the coward he is.  I saw him as a man who is terrified of feeling.  How could I expect my feelings to be validated by this man when he isn’t even willing to validate his own?  I saw a man who walks hunched over and crooked because he holds so much pain inside.  I saw a man who uses humor to avoid looking at truth.  I saw a man who hides behind blanket spiritual statements like “it’s all just an illusion” and “we are all love” to avoid confronting any darkness in himself or others.  A man who wants to skip to the end of the spiritual journey and claim the truths of those who have walked through fire rather than feeling the flames himself.  

 I saw my dad and I wanted to cry.  I wanted to cry for him.  I wanted to help him, to save him somehow.  I wanted him to step up to the plate for me, for my mom, for my sister, for his grandson, for himself.  I wanted him to embrace truth but he won’t cross the briars and thorns it would take to get there and experience the kind of spiritual bliss he devours books about. He sat next to me in the therapy session, a session that was supposed to be about our relationship but, as usual, it was about my mom.  He had a notepad and I glanced over and saw, written in his own handwriting these words: “what has [my wife] done to deserve this?” And there it is, in a nutshell.  He’s never been on my team.  He claims to not take sides but his jersey has always sported my mother’s name.  “Be the bigger person,” he loves to say to me.  But what does the bigger person do when someone is constantly trying to hurt her?  She doesn’t say, “Here let me step closer so you can throw another punch.”  No.  She walks away.  That is the bigger person. I once told my dad that my mom was incapable of love to which he agreed.  “Well she doesn’t love herself so she can’t love anyone else.”  So at dinner that night I asked him a point blank honest question.  “Why are you with someone who doesn’t love you?”  “Well, She loves me!” he barked angrily.  

Yes, I suppose she does love him just like he would claim to love me.  He looked me in the eyes and told me that he would never abandon me.  That he wouldn’t be one of the enabling fathers that got pulled down the chasm with his wife when she was no longer part of my life.  And yet, I haven’t heard from him again.  The final betrayal.  He pretended to play for my team and even gave me hope that he would.  But there he is, getting ready to go up to bat for my mom.  It’s her side he is on.  Always. Her side ~ as he sat silently when she told me I would never get married.  Her side ~ when he listened to her tell me I wasn’t socially ok.  Her side when I plugged my ears to keep her words for getting in. He sat silently while she shattered my soul into a million pieces.  Why should I expect anything different now? “It’s all just an illusion,” he loves to say.  Yes, dad, it is.  Our family as perfect, that’s an illusion.  That there was no abuse, that’s an illusion.  That you love me in the true definition of love, that’s an illusion.  

 …. and that you would ever take my side against her’s; that’s most definitely an illusion.

 Carrie H.

 Please add your thoughts and comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

Hugs, Darlene

 Although this website has a facebook page, your comments will not be posted on facebook and you are welcome to use any name you wish here for the sake of privacy.

The song “Say Something” by A Great Big World and link to the YouTube video

Related post: Passive Abuse and Emotionally Unavailable Father

220 response to "When Dad Enables Mom in Emotionally Abusive Family Relationships"

  1. By: Carrie H. Posted: 3rd January 2015

    Jay, wow! You have a gift with words. Our fathers sound so similar. “For the sake of others, I could no longer sacrifice my soul’s sovereignty. It was time to attend to my own spiritual care; and, without any exaggeration, my path to wholeness was a life-and-death struggle. I almost didn’t make it.” I am so glad that you did. Knowing that we aren’t alone on this journey is a huge comfort and I’ve no doubt that your eloquent words will touch others as they did me. We couldn’t save our fathers, but that wasn’t our job anyways. I’m glad we decided to save ourselves instead.

  2. By: Andria Posted: 3rd January 2015


    Your writing is eloquent and touching. I am sorry for all you have gone through with your family. I understand your pain of thinking things could change and be better for you and your father. The idea that you are the broken one that needed fixing. Your father did not realize what a good son he had.

    There is one thing that these dysfunctional families cannot allow and that is the truth. You dared to be honest and tell how you felt. This is why this forum is so wonderful. We can speak our truth and be heard and believed.

    Best wishes on your journey. Your post made a difference for me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th January 2015

      Hi Jay
      Welcome to EFB ~ I am glad to have you with us and as others have mentioned, you write beautifully!
      Thank you for sharing your story.
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Jay Posted: 2nd January 2015

    Darlene and Carrie H., I am deeply grateful for your honesty. Carrie, the parallels between your father and my own are so striking, the details so similar, that I felt like I was sitting across from my own father in that Italian restaurant.

    Several years ago, during a truly dark time, I awoke with these words booming in my ear: “Who will heal the Wounded King?” It was so real, so vivid, I jumped out of bed, ready for trouble, thinking a stranger was in the room, but no: it was actually my disowned soul crying out to me. My father is a Wounded King–and so am I.

    But my wounds did not matter to him: I was supposed to “take the good with the bad,” even when my narcissistic mother and enabling family pushed me to the edge of madness and death.

    “Don’t let her get to you.”
    “If you can’t change your environment, change your attitude.”
    “God is love.”

    A platitudinous, do-nothing father, incapable of protecting his children, much less himself from his cruel and all-devouring spouse. Oh, I agonized and agonized (and still do, to be honest) on how I could heal this Wounded King, on how, like Parzival, I could ask the right question at the right time, thus “freeing the waters and healing the land.” But I cannot heal a King who refuses to acknowledge his injuries; instead, I had a smiling, jokey patriarch who was ready to bind my horns with red string and usher me into the Wasteland, a scapegoat sacrifice, bearing the sins of my family because I am the freak, the weirdo, the damaged broken sick thing who dared to tell his mother, “No, what you did wasn’t just wrong: it was evil.”

    He even accompanied me to my first therapy visit, and I saw this as promising; however, I soon realized that he thought the purpose of therapy was for me to accept my mother’s behavior without expecting her to change. Even now, years later, I can still barely wrap my head around his delusion. Of course, as the fog burns off, trauma survivors often see their dysfunctional parents as they really are: broken, manipulative, irresponsible, ego-driven, and utterly inadequate as guides and mentors. But my father was fixated on the idea that therapy would fix me, as if I was a damaged component, a gear-stripped cog, who could be outsourced, repaired, repacked with grease, and returned to my assigned place in the family machine.

    Much of my young adult life has been spent worrying about how I could rescue him, freeing him from the shame and depression that kept him stuck in his own tragic past; and, right there, in that therapist’s office, he had the opportunity for self-encounter, for a journey we could undertake as father and son–and his courage failed. He pushed the truth away, fleeing back to what is toxic and familiar: I am the problem; I am the weakling, the crooked nail, the deluded screw-up. Hurry up; get fixed. Your brokenness is interfering with your duty to us.

    I had to cut him and everyone else out of my life–a necessary choice that still pains me, but I, too, am a Wounded King: For the sake of others, I could no longer sacrifice my soul’s sovereignty. It was time to attend to my own spiritual care; and, without any exaggeration, my path to wholeness was a life-and-death struggle. I almost didn’t make it.

    I have never written about this before in a public forum, and my purpose is not spiteful; instead, I take courage from Darlene’s example of healing as truth, which is why I am sharing this. If at least one person reading this feels more validated, less alone, then a little Grail energy is released back into the world, and the Wasteland recedes.

    With deep respect to all present. In the coming year, may we all drink from the cup of self-compassion.

  4. By: Beth Posted: 17th October 2014

    I never had a father and I always envied people who did have one. I thought that a father would be someone who is good and kind.
    My biological dad was out of my life before I was born because my mom, who was only 19 years old when she married him, ran away in fear and left him before she knew that she was pregnant with me.
    I connected with and met my dad when I was 17 years old and I was disappointed because he was so different from what I had hoped for. I am glad that I didn’t know him when I was a young child. I did learn to love my dad, from a distance (he lived all of the way across the country from me), but I was never able to be close with him. My dad was a very damaged and unusual person whom I found difficult to relate to. Mostly, I felt sorry for him, because of his own inability to connect with people in a way that would have been good for him.
    My succession of stepfathers were abusive emotionally and in other ways, so none of them ever made up for the deficit of having no father. And, none of my male relatives ever took an interest in me.
    When I read your stories, I feel sorry for the suffering that your fathers caused you. My pain is from the lack of having a father and your pain is from having one.
    But, as I know, from what I have heard, there are fathers out there who are worth having. I wish that I could have one of them.
    Beth <3

  5. By: Kelly Posted: 17th October 2014

    Hello All,
    I was reading some of the “families” that each of you were STUCK with. And in your road to healing, of course it hurts to not be loved, validated by your “families”. I wonder if this hurt could lead you to FINDING the families that you DESERVE, THAT YOU CHOOSE? Don’t settle for anything less, don’t accept anything less, as you all DESERVE to have love, acceptance, admiration, truth. With the most respect I can feel for you all, keep on accepting NOTHING LESS THAN YOU NEED….Kelly

  6. By: Dee Posted: 18th August 2014

    I thought my dad was my knight in shining armour. We spent time together in the mornings as he got ready for work, before mom got home. I loved my time alone with him because mom was so unreachable. But as I grew up and needed him in the evenings, he was usually drunk in bed. As I got older neither of my parents was there in a loving way. Mom hated my love for him and his for me, so she made me feel worthless. I couldn’t do anything right by her. Still can’t seem to. When I heard her side of the story I felt like an orphan. He used me to show his hate for her because he knew she wanted a daughter. So he loved me, showered me with things, I was his honey. But when she would tell him to get things done before she woke up (worked nights), he would come to me to do the chores. I didn’t mind until I found out what was going on. I basically became his wife, and to her I was the mistress. I had to realize he wasn’t my knight in shining armour, and she wasn’t the worlds biggest bitch. She still shows no concern for me even though I take care of her every need, she still makes comments when I open up to her (which I don’t any more)that make me feel stupid. I understand she was abused (I think), but I have alot of healing to do. Didn’t realize so much that his passitivity was such a problem, but they hated each other until the day he died. I felt horrible to know he used me to torture her. I didn’t know he really hated her. He told me he was funning with her. But he wasn’t. I hated being a part of his underhanded ways of making her life miserable for so many years. I miss him, but the 2 of them have left me so messed up. Trust in people? Are you kidding? I have no recollection of being sexually abused by him thank God.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th August 2014

      Hi Dee
      Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. It sounds like you were standing in for him as husband too, even if your mom didn’t know it.
      You have found a safe place to share here,
      hugs, Darlene

      • By: B Posted: 6th December 2017

        I too know all to we’ll the pain of my father taking a seat when he should of been protecting me.I’m still in this mess,right I’m the middle.it was only a few months ago I learned there was a term for my nm and I also just learned the term Gaslighting.growing up my mother would rage over the slightest things and still does,it used to be my father who took most of the abuse,he would take whatever she dished out and never stand up for himself,I always felt bad for him and would go off and cry somewhere.Years later mother is the same only worse and it is no longer my father she scolds it’s me,I walk on eggshells knowing she’s a ticking time bomb and will blow at anytime.She can dish our but she sure won’t take it,at least not without revenge anyways which is what led me to searching how could a parent do such nasty things to her child.She rewards my father with her love if he treats me like dirt,I used to worship the ground he walked on now I fear him..and her.they love drama,the more the better but know if u play that game there’s no winning.over the years my stuff would come up missing and I knew the only people around my stuff was them,I let it go sooo long because I didn’t wanna hurt them by saying I knew ,in my head I thought they would see their wrong doing and stop.well it didnt,over many years I’ve lost alot and they aren’t the kind of people that NEED.They live in a house that’s paid off,both drive nice cars they can afford their own and I struggle just to survive.The latest things they have taken from me was the breaking point,I had a house fire back awhile ago and put my stuff into storage,meanwhile I took my pictures and left them at their house (pictures of daughter’s from birth all the way into their 20s) while I got onto my feet,I never once thought they would take something that would break my heart like that.They walk around as if it dont bother them,all while I can’t even sleep over this loss.I lost some of my memory when my daughter’s were little due to having ect.treatment so those pictures were everything to me.ECT treatment (depression that started due to them).I don’t understand.I’ve went to their house and picked my items out of their lawnsale.My dishes are in the cupboard.they stole my computer.they are very sick people and they have not just taken belongings but my trust in everyone.I sleep with my purse.my face is numb,I’m easily startled,I’ve been thinking perhaps I’m going thru ptsd.they’ve really messed me up but they (esp.my mother) walks around acting like she’s the victim,I can’t even have my own emotions,I don’t know how to deal with this.sorry for rambling..

  7. By: marquis (female) Posted: 16th August 2014

    I agree wth Laura. Why should we make an effort to our parents who NEVER bothered to make any EFFORT to be a parent towards us? My mom bitches that “I don’t spend time with her” why do I want to hear about Jim Crow, Tiger Woods, Obama, and MLK etc daily? My idiot ex-therapist said ‘that’s your mom’s way of wanting to have a meaningful discussion,’ and I said ‘how the hell is that a meaningful discussion?!? yelling at one another is having a close knit relationship?!?’

    I’ve had a lot of people say that to me and was like omg. She gets enrage when i spend time with friends or boyfriend hates both and told my mom ‘how much of an attention whore are you? Why am I always your punching bag? Every time dad leaves, I am the punching bag, but when he is here he is mostly the punching bag or both of us!’ She screamed so loud calling me a liar that’s how it is and my sister lied to me lol my sister isn’t even here but she would know what I am talking about it.

    My dad was always busy with sluts out there and getting himself into trouble not like that hasn’t changed and my mom so self-absorbed not only with her herself but also in the news claiming ‘I am seeking the truth’ I said seeking the truth is finding out the answers for yourself and she used to say that to me when I was a kid by not listening to everything people say yet can’t take her own advice! You never wanted to be a parent that you should have been and you got the nerve to say I am not a good daughter? You chose chaos/drama/evilness with dad, both of you deserve one another yet I am the bad person here?!?

    Strangers out there would call that selfish, however, I have gotten along better with strangers as long as you didn’t ask me about my parents. I always tell people do unto others as if you have them do unto you and that is the mistreatment they gave us we are doing it back to them and a lot of people were irate at that and disagreed with it wholeheartedly which I agree with it 100%. It’s not about blaming our parents or relatives, it is about making them accountable for what they did and yea I hate my parents still do; the damage was already done long ago. I told them I should have a right to spend qualify time with real, loving people unlike some people who refused to even be that kind of person and man was that a knock down fight with them. They said we are loving you are not gonna do what you want, who said anything about doing what I want? Well, let’s go back: this is about having my own life, a social life, enjoying life, etc what is this crap about running the streets? That’s what the conversation was about it came about running the streets aka prostitute! It’s funny they said they didn’t have to be loving or spend any real time with me that answered all my questions!

    I will finish this up later.

  8. By: laura Posted: 16th August 2014

    Hi Amy,
    You cannot rely on your father,but you can rely on yourself.You will never let yourself down.Just like yours,my mother is also toxic.33 years of my life i felt neglected and invisible.We’re still living under the same roof,unfortunately.When i am at home,i lock myself in my room for hours.When i go into town,i come home late in the evening.My mother complains that i neglect her and that i avoid talking to her.Really?What about my childhood?Back then,she was busy drinking,watching tv,burrying herself in work etc.She never had time for me.Even if i did want to talk to her,i wouldn’t find any conversation topics.I connect with strangers much better.

    In my local park,i see so many real parents spending quality time with their children.Aren’t they tired or busy?Don’t they have exhausting jobs?When do they make the time to be parents in their busy schedule?

    You say your father wouldn’t leave her to protect you.So,he chose not to be a father.Why should you make an effort to be a daughter? I think if a parent is abusive,the other is too.Your father did nothing to get you out of that toxic environment.He silently watched your mother abusing you,and he didn’t lift a finger.

  9. By: Claudia Barlow Posted: 16th August 2014

    Amy Hudson, you are worthy of love and happiness, just as we all are and have found that out over the years, only you are going through it at present and we went through it probably fifty odd years ago and have been through our lives already and can help you through it now. Please know that you are a viable human being with abilities and traits to be developed into what you are to become. Do not ever give up on yourself.

  10. By: Amy Huber Posted: 15th August 2014

    I think you and my fathers may be brothers. My mother was extremely mentally ill and abused my father and me. Time and time again I would cry, begging him to leave her (to protect me). Instead he would choose to work up to 80 hours a week to avoid the situation and not protect me. I felt (and feel) my father is a weinie with no backbone. He is so weak and pathetic. I cannot rely on him. Thanks to him I still sometimes feel I’m not worthy of love or happiness.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th August 2014

      Hi Amy
      I smiled when I read that your father is a weinie! LOL Yes that is certainly one word for it!!!
      I am glad you have found this blog! There are millions of us dealing with this very thing!
      hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Carrie H. Posted: 14th August 2014

    Catching up on all the comments!

    Laura – “abusers will never see their own behavior as the problem.” – Exactly!!
    Karen R – So sorry to hear this. I’m glad you are here now.
    Nignog – I am glad you have surrounded yourself with loving people!
    Claudia Barlow – Yes we can CHOOSE to break the cycle!

  12. By: Claudia Barlow Posted: 12th August 2014

    It looks to me as if human nature has not changed; that mothers are doing the same things to their daughters that they have done in past generations, and that history is repeating itself. Fathers are covering over things that mothers do and families are probably also covering up different abnormalities in personalities as well. There are novels written about this sort of thing that are supposedly fiction, which are not far from truth. It is true that abuse is getting worse, but unless we stop and think about what we are doing, it will never stop.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th August 2014

      Hi Claudia,
      Welcome to EFB ~ Yes we have to think about our actions and I have found that so much easier since I have been able to stop and think about what THEY (the people who were abusive to me) were doing and the false messages that I received about myself through that, so that I could change my thinking and the way that I set my boundaries. This is how I stopped the cycle of abuse in my family. I stood up to my parents etc. and I set a new example of love for my kids.
      hugs, Darlene

  13. By: laura Posted: 11th August 2014

    Thank you,Andria.Indeed,people don’t have to yell to be abusive.Contradiction is a pathological trait.I asked my father:”Why do you feel the need to contradict?” he said he never contradicts,he just corrects me.Normally,parents set boundaries for children.But in toxic relationships,the roles are reversed,and victims need to set boundaries.

  14. By: Andria Posted: 11th August 2014


    Yes, I am familiar with emotional abuse. In my family there was not a lot of yelling and there was no raging and no hitting or physical abuse. But my wounds are there none the less.

    I had a similar problem as you with the contradicting behavior. My sister-in-law would contradict almost every comment I would say. I would say black; she would say white. I’d say white and she would say black. It got to the point that when we were visiting with her I just let my husband do all the talking. I became weary of her aggressive behavior. You can tell aggressive behavior by the tone of voice and body language. We are low contact with her now, and she has noticed this. Now when we visit with her; she acts nicer. I know she still does not like me, but at least it is more palatable now.

    My father is a passive aggressive person. He will agree to do something and then just blow it off. He will walk away from you while you are trying to have a conversation about something he does not want to hear or talk about. If it gets too much under his skin he will talk back, but it is in a controlled manner. People don’t have to yell to be abusive. That’s why it is so crazy-making for a person. You think: did I just get verbally slapped? If this thought crossed your mind then the answer is yes you did!

  15. By: laura Posted: 11th August 2014

    Emotional abuse doesn’t always imply hitting or shouting.Violence has many cunning ways to manifest.For example,my father contradicts me every time i voice my opinion on something.He does it in a calm tone of voice.However,this is still an aggression.That’s when abusers say we’re crazy or too sensitive.The cruelest type of manipulation is abusers hurting us without even raising their voice or show any type of open aggression.

    Another type of hidden aggression:bringing up a sensitive topic and discussing it calmly.We just ‘happen’ to be there and the topic appeared ‘unintentionally’.It just ‘came up’ in conversation,as if at random.

    Has anyone noticed hidden aggression or is it just happening only to me? Most of you commenting here write about visible violence,including yelling and narcissistic rage.What about conversations that don’t end in a fight and do not involve name calling,yet still leave us with sizzling anger inside?

  16. By: Nignog Posted: 8th August 2014

    I had a possessive mother, an indifferent father, and a wayward younger sister. My existence was to serve as an extension to my mother. I was to do what she wanted, I had to play the piano so that she could show me off to her friends, I was not allowed my own likes and dislikes, I was followed to school and back by a servant who made sure I didn’t wander or loiter with classmates. Even at university, I had to be back by dinner time and evenings out were forbidden. My father lived like a shadow in the house, not felt, not participating, not involved. My sister and I hardly knew him, and he didn’t matter. Because my mother focused on me only, my sister was kind of abandoned, not clever, not loved, as a kind of appendix to the household. She failed exams, lost umbrellas, chased boyfriends like a nymphomaniac, all the way from Asia to Canada. I didn’t realize that I was a separate person from my mother until I graduated from university, found a job, and threatened to leave home if mom didn’t leave me alone. It worked, and I started my own existence, at age 20. In the years since, I made mistakes, picked myself up and made further mistakes. I had no pseudo-parent to ask questions of, or provide comfort or guidance. So, ‘I did it my way.’ Every thought, belief, experience I have I am responsible for, and I never look back. Father, mother and sister are no longer in my life, and I am surrounded by my own friends and people I cultivate because of the positive vibes I have from them. Bad relationships when young can be debilitating, but in my case, I know that we can limit its influences. Choose your paths and associates well. You never need to be haunted by your past because of the much happier and meaningful present. Don’t hang on to the past if it drags you down. (I am not going into our responsibilities towards our aged parents here.)

  17. By: marquis (female) Posted: 5th August 2014


    It seems my mom made me into her being stuck with no money since she wasn’t able to do that to my older sister. I’ve had people and that ex-therapist say ‘you do have a choice, the choice to leave and find organizations to help you.’ I told the, ‘come off it, those organizations only help those who are abused by a significant other or spouse! Try telling them oh my parents are abusing at xyz age and they will be puzzled like why are you still there? Not the point are you gonna help or not?!’

    It seems everybody else can have the money to do things but not me, that’s why my ex-therapist said why is money so important to me? Told her why because you need it to do things with plus never in my life was I even allowed to have money. I was made to be always be broke by my parents and omg, a lot of people disagreed with that. I don’t understand how these people would know if they never lived that kind of life!

    We don’t have many good nonprofit organizations to help out anyway it’s your an adult figure it out yourself. When I brought up respect, bad topic to bring up. I got “you don’t deserve respect, respect is only reserved for parents and older folks as children need to realize who is in charge.” OMG, doesn’t that sound like a dictator?!? I said to my ex-therapist how can you sit there and deny what they said? It’s a dictator comment but no she said it’s parents are the ones who are in control. I said gee, no different from my parents guilt as sin!

    I agree, what about their reaction? You wanna talk about oversensitive, start hitting the abusers where it hurts and watch them go into rage. Funny, this is shit my ex-therapist is suppose to know yet I had to educate her because all she could use her marital and parental arrogance against me which is very poor of an argument if you ask me.

    My parents throw random insults left and right yet they keep talking like nothing happen. My ex-therapist said to ignore it, oh really?? I agree, it’s on purpose no normal, sane, nice person would do that on purpose! I was called a mooch and not “independent at all” by my mom because I always needed money from them. I am sorry, you trained me to be codependent and into a maidservant, how the fuck would you expect me to be independent?!? She isn’t independent herself a maidservant to my dad!

    I couldn’t keep jobs in the past because of the negativity she was saying about jobs and people. That explains why I have big gaps in my resume, I felt jobs were too hard to deal with and wanted it to be easy for me. She speaks about jobs like it is no big deal yet my mom rarely worked in her life! 17 credits in her social security and complained it isn’t enough, gee, wonder why! She gets social security from my dad’s assets nothing in her life was ever earned; shit was stolen from us and we were used, yep, something my ex-therapist and other people failed to look at.

    I always had to hear it if I got a job somewhere I’d get the usual talk ‘oh the white people don’t want you there, you gotta do this or that at the job to keep a good record, etc you know the white people blah blah’ always about the white people at jobs! Seriously, my mom isn’t the prime example of hard work neither is my dad as he stole and threaten his past employers with lawsuits and bankruptcies – again, is that suppose to be a good role model for me on hard work?

    “This is cruelty at its worst”

    Agreed. Nobody I knew wanted to agree with that! ‘Oh, it’s what parents do,’ is what I got and should ‘deal with it maybe one day when you’re a parent you will do the same to your kids,’ are you kidding me?!? Why would I want to be a tyrannical idiot like my parents? Ugh, I wish the money was there so I can hurry up and meet my goal then leave. I have no plans for a roomie have nothing against them but my own plans of having my own place requires me and me only nobody else to interrupt me!

  18. By: laura Posted: 5th August 2014

    Hi Darlene,
    Like Marquis,I don’t have enough money to leave,so i’m stuck.That’s why i DON’T have a choice.Life would be so easy if we could decide something and put it into practice,with no obstacles.My choice is to leave,but that choice is hindered by financial problems.After each fight with them,i feel like i lost another battle.I was dependent on their reaction.I felt like i hadn’t said the right words to them,and that’s why i couldn’t set boundaries.When i bring up the topic of respect,they say:”Do you want us to bow before you and kiss your hand,Your Majesty?” Is that what respect is for them?No, that’s submission,obedience.

    Hi Marquis,
    Recently,i started documenting myself on the concepts of respect,love,maturity and being an adult.Just like a schoolgirl,i do my homework.It’s like a research,using dictionaries and the internet.True,you can’t make abusers listen,especially if they have hearing problems.

    Oversensitive.What about THEIR reaction? Abusers go blue in the face if you dare to contradict them.However,you are expected to remain calm when they throw insults at you.By the way,the insults are not random.They always hit you where it hurts the most,and this is NOT an accident.They don’t just happen to touch your most vulnerable spot.They do it on PURPOSE,and it’s often something they are guilty of.For example,i lost my job because of them.Afterwords,they called me a parasite who lives off their money,because i don’t like to work.This is cruelty at its worst,as it’s not a mistake i made.It’s something they did,blaming it on me.If i get another job,they’ll do the same.

  19. By: marquis (female) Posted: 4th August 2014


    “Abusers will never see their own behavior as the real problem.That would imply becoming normal over night,which is impossible.Some therapists even give examples of replies we should say to our abusers.I tried them all.NONE of them worked.On the contrary,it increased their rage.”

    Agreed. The women at the women’s center said very rarely will an abuser change for the better, but don’t count on it. As long as they’re right nothing else will stop them, so if a person is always right to the end, how could they see their own bad behaviors? Which is true lots of other people disagreed. Ex-therapist disagreed told her ‘with your thinking, this is why most abused women feel “he can change” or “everybody goes through bad days,” type of mentality.’ You can’t expect a person to change if they don’t want to, funny how people tell me that about my parents yet INSIST that they will change!

    However, people told me different ways to deal with my parents and tried every way they told me and nothing worked. It’s like I’ve told my ex-therapist and other people all of my life that you can’t make someone listen (ha, they said the same thing to me!). Then they said ‘well, your parents really don’t have to listen to you,’ then it is not a relationship it’s a control, dictatorship over you! I told these fools ‘go study history and controlling others – it doesn’t change whether it’s a home environment, work, or friendships; controlling is everywhere. Did the people in history ever had a voice?’ When you got parents having the most power, it’s a problem and the power is not balance where both sides have a voice. This is about power nothing else and when I say that to people, omg, every name calling in the damn book!

    People say I don’t make an effort to “talk to my parents.” Yes, I have as it never went anywhere as always. None of these so called talks with my parents went anywhere, it was always and still is very one sided; how could people expect that to even go anywhere?!? How do you talk to people who are always right and nothing is ever wrong in their eyes? You can’t make sense with these people and other people out there need to stop lying to me, lying to themselves, and lying to others because it is very hypocritical of them to say what I said above tell me you are wasting your time. Ex-therapist was furious when I said that, not my fault she spoke with a lot of contradictions!

    I could tell my parents the truth about something like someone slashed my tires (making up a scenario) and guess who’s fault that is? It was my fault for not “being home earlier” and the tire slashing wouldn’t have happen! On top of that, I’d have most people agreeing with my parents and very, very few disagreeing with them and agreeing with me at the same time!! As sad as it is, people out there really do speak in contradictions, a twisted tongue if you will. Then it comes down to ‘you need to understand your parents’ thinking,’ I already know it and damn right scary!

    Oversensitive, yep, been told that one a lot like it’s my fault. They said I am oversensitive funny how they can move on while I am still pissed! My parents told me it’s my fault that I am sensitive to people yelling at me and who is the fucking cause behind all of this??! There are ways to handle someone yelling at you and they said ‘your brother got yelled at in the Air Force and it didn’t bother him,’ wtf?!? Hmm, my dad was in the Navy Reserves long ago yet stole shit from them which is why the house has always been hoarded!

  20. By: Karen R Posted: 4th August 2014

    Socal mom I do the same thing. Responding to my parents abuse was always turned around and used as proof of my craziness. I stopped responding because of this training. Just another tactic to punish me into compliance. Sneaky. That way they could treat me any way they wanted. Unfortunately I applied this response to abuse from anyone then beat myself up afterward because of my distress. I hope I am better now but still tend to withdraw when attacked.

  21. By: Karen R Posted: 4th August 2014

    Laura my Dad was like that all his life. No discussions. Every topic caused rage or was proof that I was bad or no good. It was aweful. I tiptoed around him til no contact when I was 40. Then the threats and name calling began. He actually threatened me with the State Police and false charges if I ever entered the state of NH again. Yup but Im the crazy one.

  22. By: Karen R Posted: 4th August 2014

    Both my parents abused in different ways. My NPD Dad required perfection and no emotions or problems. His way was the only way. I was a possesion. My mother was emotionally unavailable and down right didnt like me. She taught servatude and compliance. Never speak up. Dont contradict anyone especially bullies. Both of them worked to crush my spirit and personality. I became a doormat/people pleasing servant. The emotional distress and self harming behavior was their “proof” that I was a defective person and this aweful problem they were burdened with. I just accepted it as truth because my inner turmoil seemed to support it.
    They worked as a team to destroy their own child. Hes dead but shes still an abusive monster. At least I see it now. I dont think I will ever be completely healed but Im working on it every day.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th August 2014

      Hi Karen!
      Yes, they do the harm and then use it against us to prove it is us. Round and round it goes… (Until we stop it)
      hugs, Darlene

      Yes there are things we can say back BUT if they don’t work and the offender doesn’t respond to those sayings, then we can make a new decision about the relationship. I have said certain new things to people that are nasty to me.. and those people have a choice about how they respond. BUT if they refuse to respect me, I don’t have to continue having any sort of relationship with them. The success of standing up to people isn’t about how they respond. 🙂
      (and for me this was about learning that I had a choice too.)
      hugs, Darlene

  23. By: laura Posted: 4th August 2014

    Abusers will never see their own behavior as the real problem.That would imply becoming normal over night,which is impossible.Some therapists even give examples of replies we should say to our abusers.I tried them all.NONE of them worked.On the contrary,it increased their rage.

    As for projection,everything they accused me of was applying to themselves.They said i was too sensitive,but they were the ones who couldn’t stand to be criticized.They accused me of needing professional help,but they were the ones with an abnormal behavior.They accused me of telling lies,but they were the ones who wouldn’t face the truth.And the list could go on.If only i knew then (when i was a child)what i know now!

    Everytime i want to do something,i keep hearing their hateful words in my heart,even though i’m very aware they’re wrong.On Judgement Day,their own daughter will testify and stand against them.Whenever i try to communicate with them,i adapt my speech for people with disabilities. I say things like:I have something to tell you,so pay attention.Also,i keep my sentences short and clear,because i want my message to be understood before they start shouting.

    Another thing,Why do they knock on my door,if they don’t wait for me to say ‘come in’?To me,that sounds like mocking,not knocking.I feel exhausted and drained.

  24. By: marquis (female) Posted: 4th August 2014


    I agree. My ex-therapist and others said to put boundaries between my parents and I. I said to be popped in the mouth by my dad? They said call the police and said I did when when I contacted CPS of the emotional abuse wasn’t popped in the mouth. When my sister was 16, dad was pissed about something and he hit my sister. She beat his ass to a pulp, backed him into a corner with a screw driver. Mom was sitting there painting her nails like no big deal but she chose to save dad instead of fighting for my sister. My sister said I didn’t stay with a friend for 2 weeks, pops left for 3 weeks I stayed as usual mom told part of the story with the truth while the rest they twisted it. This was before I was born.

    I told my ex-therapist what kind of boundaries should she put against my dad? She didn’t have shit to say as always. I have seen many different stories of abuse where a woman in an abusive marriage, having no say so, and can’t place boundaries to her jerk hubby. I believe the only way boundaries will work is if the other person or groups of people are willing to see their own behaviors as a problem and willing to listen and work out the problems – then boundaries will work on both ends.

  25. By: laura Posted: 3rd August 2014

    I wish therapists stopped giving unrealistic advice such as ‘set boundaries’ and put victims in even more danger than they already are.Just imagine trying to stop narcissistic rage,and then get hit as a result.Believe me,i’m talking from experience.All my life,i’ve been trying to do just that,and i failed everytime.Afterwards,i blamed myself for not being able to do it.I still feel helpless about it.Setting boundaries means confronting my abusers,which leads to violence.

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