Further to a blog I wrote earlier, the invalidation abuse prolonged sufferers receive from others, is very damaging.
So, here’s a bit more of why.
I’ve had prolonged abuse, from birth, abused by parents who deliberately and intentionally turned me into a child sexual abuse victim, and I have been groomed, repeatedly and forced into abuse, including considerable sexual abuse, as a child and as an adult.
During this, everything was about the abusers. All of them. What they wanted, what they decided to do, how they wanted to hurt me, about their dark needs etc…And all the while, I wasn’t allowed to protest, to say no, to complain, to voice my emotions. There was never any consideration about me, how I felt, the pain I endured.
Because of all this severe abuse, severe suffering, severe pain, once I was 20, and moved away from family, away from all those abusers, I just suppressed it all. I had no-one to share all that with, no-one I could talk to, no-one to help me.
So, I did what society says abuse survivors should do, and ‘moved on’, ‘tried not to think about it, ‘didn’t act the victim’ and I worked, provided for myself and looked after myself. I had PTSD, I’ve had it since being a child, but again, I just ignored it as best I could. Which was the worst way to deal with it.
20 years of all this suppression, and at 40, I had a breakdown, because the brain cannot suppress that much trauma indefinitely. Then I had no option, but to have to start to deal with it. 3 years later, I am still processing, still trying to heal.
Some of the people, who I have told about my past, have been so deeply invalidating of my emotions, that it so painful. I’ve had so many invalidating comments that I would be here all day listing them.
One example and this is a common church attitude….right in the beginning of my breakdown, I had a pastors wife almost dismiss it all and say ‘well your mother was probably abused too’. And this was said in a way that of course being a ‘church person’, that this should be my focus….to focus on my mothers issues….to focus on how hurt she is….to focus on forgiveness….and not be angry at her. And that because she ‘may’ have been abused, that was the reason, the excuse, the justification for the abuse to me.
My mother destroyed my life. I had no childhood. I had my innocence robbed, stolen from me. I have memories so painful, no-one should ever have to endure. She did that. Her decisions. Her choices.
My mother never allowed me to have a voice, or be heard, or have an option other than put up with abuse. I was the family scapegoat, was set up to be abused by her husband and his friends. It was ‘all about her and what she wanted.’
And she ‘never’ cared about how I felt. I was horrifically abused within the first 20 years of my life. And I was told to shut up and keep quiet.
And now, I do start to speak up………..and I am meant to feel sorry for my mother?
Of course, now it is straight back to being ‘all about her’. Her issues. Her needs.
And this applies to all my abusers. It’s ‘all about them’. Still.
Not me. Or my pain. Or my needed anger. Or all my needed painful grieving. Or the huge amount of time needed to heal all this trauma.
Nope……I have to be concerned and mindful, and feel compassion for the abusers.
It’s always about ‘them’.
And this attitude, is more deeply invalidating and abusive to someone as painfully abused, and painfully harmed, as I have been and many other survivors who have endured such intentional, ongoing abuse.
And I can fully understand any abuse survivor who feels this way.
It’s always about the abusers. Their rights. Their legal rights. Their human rights. Their mental health. Their issues. Their problems. Their past. How they must be forgiven. How they must receive compassion. How they couldn’t help it. How they didn’t understand what they were doing. How they are hurting inside. How society unfairly judges them. How we must not label them. How we must pray for them. How we must forgive them. The list is endless.
And ‘I’ am the bad person, if I don’t. More shame, more guilt, more emotional abuse. Only from those who I need to help me. Again.
The abusers made sure it was ‘all about them’ in the past.
And now everyone wants to continue making sure it’s ‘all about them now’.
And church people are the worst for this.
And it is abuse. It is re-traumatising. It is re-victimising.
But, hey who am I to have an opinion? I’m ‘just the victim’. What I needed never mattered.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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