Facebook is a place I liked several PTSD web pages plus others that advocate and share ways to heal. One of these is Emerging from broken. This is one of her posts
I deserved to heal, but first I had to believe that I had something I needed to heal from. I had been told all my life that I had “nothing to complain about” I had to believe myself regardless of the lifelong message that I had nothing to complain about. I had to validate my story and I had to validate my pain. I had to validate ME and stop waiting for the people who had invalidated me, to validate me. –
Darlene Ouimet Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing.
One of the most insidious behaviors of abusers is to convince their victim that they are complaining for no reason. That the abuse they are suffering is ‘normal’ or worse deserved. Not hard to do this to a child. One of the key parts of counseling was to recognize and validate that I was hurt. That I wasn’t an imaginative child. I didn’t make up what happened to me. I didn’t lie about it. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was treated. I had to dig up my past and expose the damage. The process was painful. I asked my counselor why I needed to do this. He explained that if I went to a medical doctor with an infected wound that healed over the infection, the first thing they would do was open up the wound to expose and clean out the infected area. He validated that I was suffering. He validated that what happened to me was unfair and often cruel. He validated that I deserved better. He taught me to validate myself. I needed to accept for my own sake that my abusers will always blame me. It is part of what they do. Expecting them to do other wise is like expecting a rattle snake not to strike. I will always be disappointed. I am thankful that my counselor understood the value of validation as I told the secrets I buried for years. I recognized the need for healing as I understood what I needed to heal from.