I have it mostly managed about the opinions of people who don’t matter in my life. I can ignore their invalidation.
But, for those I have in my personal life, I still struggle with invalidation. It is still a big trigger and one I understand and I accept. There are deep reasons why invalidation is painful and fear inducing.
It also links to trust issues. And trust issues are massive with complex trauma survivors. This also being very understandable and a normal part of survival of such profound trauma.
My mind is wired, due to so much abuse, to not trust people who invalidate and minimize what I have endured. This being a consequence of decades of abuse, from birth onwards.
Invalidation, is also others making a statement that what I endured, and still endure, isn’t ‘that bad’, and therefore, I am not ‘entitled’ to my emotions, hurt, pain etc. So therefore, I am just being dramatic, wallowing etc.
It minimizes what I have endured, and that is not for ‘my benefit’ – that is always for the benefit/needs of the person invalidating/minimizing.
Sometimes, this invalidating and minimizing isn’t malicious, it is purely a lack of insight and understanding of the deep affects of severe trauma. But, regardless of the intention – it still hurts, a lot.
I also accept many of the ways my mind is wired, is subconscious. I don’t sit and think to myself ‘okay this person is invalidating what I am enduring, so I am going to be upset and have anxiety and not trust them’……it happens subconsciously. Only now I can work out what is happening in my subconscious mind.
And I realise this causes emotional flashbacks too. (See this article that explains emotional flashbacks https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/emotional-flashbacks-due-to-complex-trauma-lilly-hope-lucario/ )
Over the last 2 years, I have been able to work out a lot of what is going on in my subconscious thinking. Sit and process why I feel a certain way about something, why I feel anxiety, why I feel fear, why I feel emotional distress, why I close down.
To be able to work out how my post trauma mind works and my capacity for self insight and honesty required to face why my mind works the way it does……..is helpful to me and to others – as I can share why I think, feel and react the way I do.
Working out why invalidation hurts so much and is so difficult to deal with, has been one of many of such processing of my subconscious mind processes, I have figured out and can share.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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