Invalidation can retraumatise suffering. When you invalidate someone else's truths, you can create further damage and break the persons own self repair. You may not even be aware you have done so until it is too late. This post I will speak about past experiences of invalidation I have experienced, and how I repaired the damage I endured.
When someone speaks of their truth and they choose to expose it to you, you should listen assertively. People tend to not believe people as 'seeing is believing'. For example, I have chosen to share my childhood trauma with two handful of people in my lifetime. Only one handful of them have listened, supported and validated my truth. The other handful have mocked, asked me to 'prove' my trauma and abuse and have chosen to ignore me when I suffer post traumatic episodes from said abuse. Some people have believed I put it on for 'attention'.
You see, when you invalidate people's traumas like I have experienced, it can hinder the healing process. They come forward to speak about their abuse, only to be ridiculed and shut down. Once someone has shut you down after coming to confront them about your trauma, you will become closed off. You will reach a mind set where you have come forward to speak of a truth to a close one, only to have a 'Well if they don't believe me, who else will out there' mind set. It's a normal feeling to have when someone doesn't validate your trauma.
I spent a year and three months trying to show an
Ex partner of mine that my hurt and suffering was 'valid' and 'reality'. For her it was hard as she lacked the emotional intelligence, empathy, kindness and compassion to be able to relate. As soon as I saw she didn't view it as valid, my BPD mind convinced me it wasn't valid at all. That's when the suppression of emotions started to happen. That's where I felt like I was drowning in my own trauma. I had so much to speak of and when what I felt like were the closest people around me not believing me, I started to not believe in myself.
Removing myself from this toxic environment allowed me to focus on the people around me who did validate, support and listen to my suffering. I could see the empathy in the gestures of comfort and reassurance that they would help me through it when I suffered a psychosis or a BPD episode of impulsiveness and dissociation. I would become very ill to the point I would have to re live my absue. A lot of people believe you can only help yourself which is true. But helping yourself is reaching out to the right people around you and also remembering that your pain is valid. No one should strip that away from you.
I have to live with the fact I will never get full closure or an explanation as to why I have endured the childhood abuse I endured. I have a side of the family who love and support me. But with childhood trauma comes the family who loved you blaming themselves, not knowing how to take the pain away. All I can say is from the small actions of comfort and compassion I have received lately when I have opened up to people around me, that's enough to remind me I am loved and cared for. That's enough to control my suicidal state of mind. I tried so hard fixing my abuse through abusive and neglecting relationships that I became more mentally impacted and impaired. It's the good people around me who washed out the negative people who didn't believe me. The negative people got left behind in my emotional and chaotic storm.
Trauma of any kind is valid. Any personal trauma remind yourself if you offer support that it's their own personal truths of a perspective. They are a victim, and you cannot deny them of that. Show small gestures of comfort and support. Ask questions that can relay back to them, and also ask questions out of curiosity while displaying comfort. It's vital you listen assertively when someone opens up about trauma. It's not as easy as you think to vocalise abuse out loud. Don't take the voice we didn't have when we were younger away from us.