Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Invalidation, enforcing feeling ‘sorry for the abuser’ – leads to more shame, more trauma.


I see this all the time, in the media, on social media, within society, within Church people, even in my own Christian counselling.

This happens all the time, everywhere.

People/society/Christianity – all programmed to ‘not think the worst’ about an abuser, ‘look for the good’, assume the victim is lying/exaggerating and minimize what you haven’t personally endured.

I’ve been ‘invalidated’ (not intentionally) in counselling, because it is Christian based, and they can be the worst for avoiding the worst possible reality about someone’ bad’.

When the victim, is being very honest, as most are, all this does is completely invalidate what that victim has endured and re-traumatises that victim over and over.

How is a victim of severe abuse, prolonged abuse meant to process everything deeply and fully, when the focus is to be concerned about how the ‘abuser’ feels, and by others assuming the abuser ‘didn’t know they were causing so much harm, didn’t mean it’ etc ???

I’ve had my ‘needed’ and ‘deserved’ emotions of anger towards the horrific abuse I have endured – completely invalidated by comments like ‘oh they were probably abused too’ and ‘the abusers are in such pain too’.

I have an ongoing huge difference of opinion with my doctor, who I do respect – who makes it very clear she does not believe in ‘labelling’ as this is ‘not okay for the abuser’. ‘Abuser’ – that’s a label I am apparently not meant to say. ‘Narcissist’ is another one, when in fact someone highly narcissistic, will act in every way out of a place of selfishness and ego – so every action, every thought, will be narcissistic. And abusers, rarely stop, and often abuse again, until they are stopped. So – that is what they are. People who are abusers. People who are narcissists. People who are sociopaths. People who are paedophiles.

The reason given to me for this shame inducing ‘we must not label’, which bothered me greatly at the time it was said, and still does, was ‘these labels can destroy people’. I’ve also had it said to me that these abusers are ‘in so much pain themselves to do what they do’.


Did these ‘people’ care that they were destroying their victims lives? Of course not, in 99% of cases. None of my abusers cared – because they have no empathy, no remorse, no conscience. And they had a choice.

Some of my abusers ‘enjoyed’ what they did. There may be reasons they abused, but they weren’t actually ‘feeling’ pain when they did it. When they made those choices to hurt me so badly. They weren’t feeling pain at all.

I was.

Massive pain.

Severe pain.

Prolonged pain.

Deep fear.

I’ve wanted to die many, many times because the pain has been so horrific.

So why is there a push for unhealed victims who did NOT have a choice, and have been deeply harmed, with long term, often life long severe issues, that are painful and can in fact cause suicide – to have to feel this ‘compassion’ for abusers?

I need to focus on finding and having compassion for ME. Not them, while I am healing. Self compassion is something I know so many abuse victims don’t have, so ‘that’ is the focus needed.

These types of comments from others, are very damaging. They are only going to cause more shame, more enforced guilt, cause the victim to shut down, not trust and not want to share.

I know and do actually understand why people would think this way. But to a severe abuse victim, they need to know the people they need to trust, aren’t minimizing the harm caused to them as the victims, and that actually there may be reasons why the abusers did what they did, but they still made a ‘choice’.

I am ‘allowed’ to be very angry about that.

Now, I am someone who is capable of compassion and can put my own emotions aside, and see things from an abusers life/emotions etc. But, not everyone can do this.

So, this enforced ‘we must feel sorry for the abusers’ and having people minimizing the harm to us, is going to really fucking hurt, after having had other people minimizing, denying, ignoring etc the abuse, which has happened to many of us.

Victims, need someone on their side. Not pushing forgiveness and compassion for abusers, onto non healed victims, who are having nightmares about horrendous abuse and other horrific symptoms , caused by the actions of these ‘abusers’.

I am not promoting hatred, or retribution, or vigilante groups etc.

But, please…..let me be angry. Safely. Appropriately. Let me vent it. Let me label, or whatever else I need to do, to process the pain.

Because if you don’t, all I do is internalise this as self hatred, or depression. Please don’t do this to me, or others. You may feel compassion for abusers, but you weren’t the one horrifically abused, and in pain, who wants to die at times – I am.

Allow me to have my rightful emotions of how horrific this was for ‘me’.

Don’t enforce anymore guilt or shame onto me. I’ve had that all my life.

And I speak for many victims of abuse, when I say this.

I see clearly how society, Christianity, is all about minimizing abuse, always veers towards non belief about what the victims says, trivialising abuse, protecting perpetrators of abuse and all this does is re-victimise and re-traumatise the victim, over and over.

And that hurts.

Really, really hurts.

And we’ve been hurt so much already.

And Christians, please don’t hurt victims more, in your attempts to be model/prove you are a ‘good Christian’, by showing compassion for the abuser, and flaunting that in the faces of unhealed abuse victims, minimizing the horrific harm it caused us, re-victimising them repeatedly.

Please have empathy, and some sensitivity towards the victims needs, not just your egocentric ‘must be a good Christian’ needs.

Thank you.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle.

19 thoughts on “Invalidation, enforcing feeling ‘sorry for the abuser’ – leads to more shame, more trauma.

  1. This is something that has been on my heart and mind for a very long time. I am glad you posted this! Thank you.

    • I am thankful if anything I have written, helps❤

      I see so much going on, that I see is unhealthy thinking, and does not help victims of abuse at all. Added shame and guilt – from others – is more abuse, whether intentional or not. And it adds to the pile of shame and guilt and feeling a failure etc, that we already feel.

      I believe, this is why so many abuse victims don't fully heal and that bothers me greatly.

      The compassion and forgiveness stuff, needs to be something a survivor of abuse can start to consider if they want to, once they have already found their own self compassion and dealt with much of their own healing.

      Which is my insight into how church people fail and hurt abuse victims more, by this issues of forced forgiveness, forced compassion for abusers, at a time that is not okay and very damaging to the healing process.

  2. I have forwarded this to a friend of mine and she thanked me for it. What you post helps people more then you will ever know! You are a true blessing!

  3. I’ve heard it all about the forgiveness as well. It’s tiring! I wish people would stop pushing it. I don’t do well with that at all.

  4. Some Christians don’t believe that there are actually evil people in this world. My abuser enjoyed every minute of what they did. That is Evil.

  5. I’ve written quite a lot about church people and their forcing shame onto abuse survivors by demanding they forgive too quickly and damage healing. And have no right to judge people and believe they ‘know’ when forgiveness is appropriate.

    I will have a look and see which ones I have❤

  6. The last couple of days, I’ve seen a Youtube video talking about the pain of the narcissist, and comments on a recent advice column, Annie’s Mailbox: A letter writer said his son-in-law was a narcissist. Readers then posted in the comments about how bad it is to label, turning someone into that label and not seeing your own bad behaviors, how we shouldn’t be calling people narcs if we’re not psychiatrists, etc. etc. And people said the daughter probably married someone just like her dad, and the commenters had all sorts of bad things to say about the letter writer. 😦

    It just felt like the pain of narc abuse was being minimized, like we’re just whiners and don’t know what we’ve experienced, like we just read a couple of websites and think we’re psychiatrists. No, it’s about recognizing what you’ve been through, and oftentimes we do tons of research into this. It’s part of the healing process, after all. It’s not about going around calling everybody a narc; it’s about recognizing the signs so you know how to protect yourself, with your recent abuser and with future narcs.

    • Yes, there are many who want to focus on how the abuser feels and minimize the harm they cause.

      I actually believe some survivors of narc abuse are far more able to spot them and know the harm and abuse they cause, than most psychiatrists and mental health professionals. And narcs are very manipulative and con many professionals into believing they are sorry and in pain themselves. All to excuse their behaviours they ‘know’ they do and ‘choose’ to inflict on others.

      I am aware society is all about perpetrator protecting and minimizing abuse and I will continue expressing how wrong this is.

  7. I have no sympathy for my recent abuser/bully because the day she ripped me apart without justification, she wrote on Facebook, “I’m having a GREAT day!” Then when she discovered my blog, she sent me a message saying I’m “not all there” and that she and her husband “had a good laugh.” Then they went to MY PRIEST to complain about me, and I’m pretty sure I heard her use the word “self-righteous.” If that’s not sociopathy, then what is??!!

  8. Pingback: Recovery From Abuse/Getting Out | Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

  9. Pingback: Reblog: 5 Sneaky things Narcissists do to take advantage of you | Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

  10. Reblogged this on Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD and commented:

    This is such an important message people, religion, everyone needs to know.

  11. Thank you,for writing that ,it is so good ,honest and true,I couldn’t agree more

  12. It always makes me cry to hear someone say what I feel/experience. We are connected on twtr too -but I only support ptsd there. I cant talk about this yet. Memories are coming up and I have got help..but more traumas occur (death of abuser/Mom) dealing w abusif bro over estate & I crawl back into isolation. Looking good on the outside makes it so easy for them to be dismissive, Then they are critical when I zone out… or am late because I got lost driving or went to the wrong place – or forgot where I was going..or forgot what I was saying – or what you were saying..I have been trying to want to keep trying for a long time. I have lost my career, avoid my old friends, refuse to have a relationship – I can’t function.. except in small doses. This makes me happy to see I am not alone.. well – gives me some hope.. because I know you are active!! xo I may eventually blog a bit – I cant think in a straight line long enough lol

    • I am thankful this resonates with you and helps you to feel less alone.

      I am so sorry you have endured abuse and trauma and continue to have to deal with it and please know I do understand how painful it is to lose your friends, job, and to have considerably impaired functioning. I have dealt with all this too and I am not working.

      You are not alone in this journey❤

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