This title came to mind this morning as I was going about my life thinking about insights I had since learning yesterday of the concept of the sensitive emotionally invalidated person…… My therapist was explaining how precarious and difficult is the life of those who carry deep sensitivity in this life and meet with invalidation at every turn.. Seeing and feeling deeper than others can see and feel, they feel alone. Sharing insights and feelings only to be told they are wrong, bad, confused or mixed up for feeling that way fucks with their heads, with their sense of self value and with the belief that they have viable inner stand point.
This precarious state of affairs was reflected in a dream image from last night. When my disabled sister was alive and I was meeting her to take her to a movie or out to lunch, a maxi cab had to be called to collect her in her wheelchair, since she was wheelchair bound for the later part of her life. Last night I dreamed that she arrived in the maxi cab but as the wheelchair came out of the cab she had lost both her legs, they had literally been amputated from the waist down. Thinking about this image today the phrase “I don’t have a leg to stand on”, came to me and the association to what my therapist and I had been discussing towards the end of our session yesterday.
My therapist often talks about the need and process of me finding my ‘sea legs’ a way of being able to hold onto a calm strong sense of an inner centre when powerful emotions come and I find myself met with invalidating voices within and without.
Part of what I experience on a bodily level together with my psychological issues of self doubt due to emotional invalidation has been the feeling that I am being spun around in some way. In one of my two major accident traumas I was literally flung head first over my bike doing a somersault and landing with my head cracked open by an iron foundry on the Mill Road in Cambridge while there in 2005. Since this time that I have experienced the spins. They come along around the time the accident occurred most evenings or just after I eat dinner. At the time they occur it as though my body is flooded with phlegm, I am spun and drowning. It is hard to breathe. Come to think of it this reflects how I feel when I hit the stumbling block of others invalidation, dismissal and gas lighting.
Meeting a lack of validation and understanding does literally leave us without a leg to stand on and spins us off centre. We are cut off from the waist and from a grounded, deeply rooted understanding of our essential being and self which requires we embrace the truth and value of our feelings empathy or sensitivity and anguish, anger and pain over meeting invalidation.
As emotional sensitives we may have been subject to many projections from others who may even have been threatened by our true selves, they may have a hidden agenda for treating us as they do. They may have felt threatened or they may have had no reference point for dealing with us.
If we could not be truly heard, affirmed, supported, nourished, empathised with, mirrored and if instead we were shamed or actively discouraged from expressing what we long for and need to express we may have lost contact with the essential nature of who we really are. We may feel cast out, wandering in what seems like an alien universe for many years. Some of us may never even find the way back home and we may choose to depart.
Life becomes precarious, confusing, challenging and disorienting until we can in some way find the way back home to the depth of heart and being that felt and was in contact with a whole universe, too large for others to understand or recognise.
After constantly hearing that I shouldn’t be feeling what I was feeling and that my observations couldn’t be trusted, I began to label myself hysterical, dramatic, and other words used to make people…… discount their emotions.
7 ‘Positive Thinking’ Phrases That Can Actually Cross the Line Into Gaslighting
For those who are not aware of the term, gaslighting is a subtle form of abusive communication used by others to invalidate or disregard an emotional truth we are trying to express or address.
By an act of synchronicity while writing this article and being on Facebook I came across a link to an article online on gaslighting that included the following quotes:
A common result of gaslighting is questioning everything. You may feel like you’re going “crazy.” Like you don’t know what’s real and what’s imagined. Like you can’t even make the simplest choices, because you find it impossible to know what’s “right” and what’s “wrong.”
You may feel like you’ve lost your sense of self – like you need someone else to confirm that your perception is correct before you trust that anything you believe is true.
This is exactly how gaslighting erodes your trust in yourself. When you’re constantly hearing that you’re doing something wrong, it’s only natural to begin to question whether you can do anything right.
Getting angry or sad or fearful in response to mistreatment or injustice (both of which gaslighting are) makes perfect sense. You have every right to express your emotions in a healthy way.
And allowing yourself to feel what you really feel – instead of burying your emotions under shame – can be profoundly healing. You can be honest with yourself about what you’ve been through, how it affects you, and what you need.
Reframing your thinking to see your vulnerability as strength, rather than weakness, can help you escape the cycle of self-blame and move through a cycle of healing.
Instead of believing your vulnerabilities put you in a position to be abused, think of it this way: Someone took advantage of your positive qualities, which is not your fault. But those same qualities helped you get through it to be the powerful survivor you are today.
6 Unexpected Ways I’ve Healed From Gaslighting Abuse and Learned to Trust Myself Again
Regaining our ground from invalidation abuse takes time, healing and a lot of insight. There are resources out there. We can learn to heal, grow strong, accept the gift of vulnerability and see how it actually is a great strength, contrary to what many others would have us believe.
For help in understanding emotional invalidation the following web article may be also be useful :
4 thoughts on “The precarious life of the emotional invalidee!”
I can really relate to this feeling. Thank you for writing this and for bringing ‘gaslighting’ to my attention too, I never had a word to explain this .. and it happens to me a lot. Much love 💛
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I’m glad it helped. There are some good things out there in the internet about it, if you do a google search. There is a site called something like FOG (sorry I dont have the complet title) which has some great info on emotional invalidation and manipulation. Love to you, too. ❤
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Reblogged this on Emerging From The Dark Night and commented:
Emotional validation is necessary to our healing process. This is a post I wrote in 2016.
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