I was just reading how many mental health professionals invalidate narcissistic abuse survivors. In fact, they can actually gaslight victims more, by this belief that we should ‘look within’ – and invalidating the suffering and abuse….rather than validating the abuse, and the suffering caused to us.
I see this very clearly happening. It’s happening in my own counselling.
I had to email my counsellor a while back asking her why she has ‘never’ said to me that I did not deserve all the abuse I had in the first 20 years of my life. Why she had failed in over 2 years of therapy, to ever say it was never my fault, I didn’t deserve it etc. It is pretty obvious to me, that after all the abuse I have endured, I need to hear those words. And my counsellor is a smart woman, so why doesn’t she say them?
I know part of the reason with my counsellor, is she is so hell-bent on protecting abusers feelings/emotions. As so many church people do. They often want to protect abusers, and do so at the cost of the emotional wellbeing of the victims. They can’t bring themselves or have the empathy needed, to say what victims need to hear…. because they fear saying anything ‘bad’ about the abusers, makes them bad Christians.
I think many church people are brainwashed in this way and fail victims of abuse continually.
At my last counselling session, I talked, or attempted to talk about the shame I feel about all the grooming abuse. Again, at no point did she offer any words of validation or support, that the shame is ‘not mine to feel’. Or the shame I feel has only occurred because of what was intentionally done to me. That the shame is actually the abusers shame. Nothing validating along those lines, was said.
Instead, she just let me sit there and watched me squirm. She spoke about what was happening in my body, how I was feeling, how I probably feel my body let me down during that abuse …. but failed to say the words I needed to hear. I realise now why I struggled so much to continue talking about it. because she didn’t offer the words I needed to hear. And as a result, I will never speak to her again about the worst emotions I have within me, shame.
Maybe she does think I deserved the abuse. Maybe she does think the shame I feel is mine to feel. Like many church people choose to believe. God Forbid we would put the blame and shame where it actually belongs.
And I totally see, how this failure to say what is needed, the truth…. gaslights people. It makes them feel this person does believe they are to blame, does believe the shame is theirs to feel. It aids the abusers, and goes along with the abusers actions and abuse. I can see this then makes victims doubt themselves and feel even worse.