The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

A recent conversation with my husband gave me an interesting revelation.

 

He said when I talk about the traumatic things I’ve been through, it’s almost always what my parents did rather than how I feel or how things affected me.  He’s right.  I immediately chalked that up to having C-PTSD.  The disorder means sometimes I have to talk things to death to come to some sort of terms with them.  However, I felt there was something I wasn’t realizing about this.  God revealed to me what it is.

 

Surviving growing up with narcissistic parents instills a need for constant validation in a person.  That is why I talk more about the things they did rather than my feelings.  I can handle my feelings just fine on my own.  What I need help with is understanding exactly how bad my parents have been to me.

 

When you’re raised by narcissists, your reality is much different than real reality.  In my case, I learned my mother was always right & should get whatever she wants even if that means hurting me.  I learned my father is very helpless, & couldn’t do anything to take care of me or protect me from my mother’s abuse.  I also learned very early in life that my parents’ emotional needs were my responsibility.  I was to have no needs or feelings of my own since that could be a distraction from them & their needs & feelings.

 

Pretty messed up, huh?

 

Thankfully, as an adult, I’ve learned how wrong, dysfunctional & abusive these things are.  Even so, I still battle them to a degree simply because these beliefs were very deeply instilled in me.  If I tell someone about some awful thing my parents did to me & they get angry & say things like, “That was terrible!  It was wrong to do that to you!” their outrage helps to validate my pain & tear down those false beliefs.  An objective third party seeing that they were wrong & I wasn’t to blame (as I always was with my parents), is a huge help to me!

 

Are you like me?  When you discuss the abuse, do you discuss more about the events than how you feel about them?  Or, do you seek validation frequently by asking people if your perception or feelings are OK?  If so, know there is nothing wrong with you, even though it may feel that way.  It’s just one more thing that narcissistic abuse can cause in a person.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Accept it for what it is, & ask God to help you heal.

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15 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

15 responses to “The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

  1. “Messed up” doesn’t begin to describe the alternate reality in which abuse survivors have to grow up. How anyone could fail to validate our suffering is beyond me.

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    • No it doesn’t, but I honestly couldn’t think of any more accurate way of describing it. Not sure word really exist to fully describe it!

      I know! It’s incomprehensible people can’t validate our suffering! They must have hearts of stone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy

    Yes! As Meatloaf sang: “You took the words right out of my mouth!!!”

    I have to say things out loud to someone else (usually my husband) repeatedly to finally let it sink in EXACTLY what was done to me.

    We were led to believe we were always the problem, our feelings were wrong, we had no right to our own thoughts, etc. I am 48, and to this day, I still struggle with needing validation in every area. Example: When I am sick, I put off going to the doctor (usually way too long), because of the fear that they won’t believe me, and they will tell me nothing is wrong with (even though I know there IS). Sad, but true. I am getting better about it, but is still a struggle!

    I was low contact (text only) for two years, but this last year I finally went no contact. I finally realized (for me) it was the only way to start “really” healing. Her voice was too loud in my head. Even a text (always manipulative) could set me back a week.

    Anyway, you are exactly on point in this post as always (so validating!). I can’t tell you how many times I have asked my husband or best friend (regarding something she had done): “This isn’t normal is it? Like something is really wrong here, Right?” Absolutely desperate inside to make sense of a lifetime of nonsense.

    When I finally lost my $h*% with her 3 years ago I said this to her, “I’ve wondered my whole life what is wrong with me, and now I know the answer: Nothing.” It was a pivotol moment for me. Changed absolutely nothing with or in her, but set the path for me towards peace.

    Thank you again,
    Amy ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Comments like this are so validating for me!! I always thought that I was the only one in the world who experienced the things I have. As much as I hate that others have gone through these things, it helps me knowing they have at the same time. So thank you for sharing this!!

      Isn’t it bizarre?! My word.. we have been through hell & think it’s not a big deal or we were overreacting because they made us think that way. Is it any wonder we’re starved for validation? After a lifetime of that crap, it does quite the number on your mental state!

      Thank you for your comment again. Hugs to you & God bless you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy

        You’re so welcome. I have been reading your blog from the beginning, but have only recently been brave enough to comment publicly. You know the fear of: “What if she finds out?” lol

        I finally realized, “So what if she finds out???” I am not the one who should feel ashamed.

        I am glad the words offered you much deserved validation. It is so comforting to find people who really “get it.”

        God bless,
        Amy ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you!! 🙂

          Ugh, I know that fear. I’ve had it every time I’ve published a book in particular. Thankfully it’s gotten like yours.. so what if she does find out? It’s my story too & I have nothing to be ashamed of. Not my fault if she does!

          It truly is a comfort finding people who really get it. Sad there are so many of us out there, but a blessing when we find each other.

          God bless you too! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Amy

            You mentioned your books, so one last thing: “It’s All About Me!” is one of the first books I read on this path to peace. I remember reading certain sections out loud to my husband & he would say: “That is just like your mother!” 😉🤣

            While reading it, I would say over & over (out loud, of course): “You can’t make this stuff up!” lol (That comes from when my mother asked me to give her an example of how she treated me ‘differently’ than every one else. I told her about her behavior at the hospital following my back surgery. When I finished with the example she said (in the coldest voice), “Well, that would be awful if it happened to anyone. BUT that doesn’t sound like me. That just sounds made up!” 🤤😲

            If we tried putting our collective heads together, none of us would be able to make any of this crap up! lol (It is funny now, but my jaw hit the floor the first time she said those words to me.)

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            • It’s really something else when these mothers sound so similar. One lady in my group is in Taiwan, & I’m in the USA. Her mother & mine sound like they could be twins. Different cultures, they never met since they’re in 2 different countries, but you’d think they were twins separated at birth. It’s amazing.

              “That just sounds made up”?! Right, because you’d make up something to tell her during that conversation. Good grief. These people!!

              That is absolutely true- there is no way anyone can make this stuff up!

              Liked by 1 person

  3. jarwithaheavylid

    I highly recommend ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Luckily it comes in books and online if you haven’t got a therapist or a social worker trained in it in your area.

    Russ Harris’s ‘The Reality Slap’ is extremely helpful for those of us with this trauma. It teaches us to feel our feelings and accept our feelings – validating them ourselves. And although I hate to say it, Melanie Tonia Evans’s healing program may seem a little strange, but that’s what her program is in a nutshell – I don’t even think she knows it. But with every session you feel expansion and redirection for traumatic emotions that we recirculate time and time again. The validation is helpful. I did her course when I just woke up and started out – and now 2 1/2 years on, I’ve come full circle and understand what her course was doing.

    Anyway, two recommendations for either those in a lot of emotional pain, or those who stay in their heads with resentment and victim stories in avoid feeling their pain. Get out of the trap and be your own best friend. Self love and self care are so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like we are sisters. Check out my book The 67th book subtitle No holds barred conversation between Mom and Me. I went through similar things. You can get it online from Barnes and Nobles. I really understand.

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  5. Wow, this is so incredibly true. I do the same thing – I talk about the events, not my feelings about them, and definitely rely on validation from others that my perception was accurate, that it really was “that bad.” It is amazing the level of self-doubt that can be instilled by the narcissist and how that continues even after the relationship may have ended. Thank you for writing about this. Wish you all the best – speak766

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment! It’s comments like this that help me know I’m on the right track with my writing.

      I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. Narcissistic abuse really does instill an incredible amount of sec doubt, doesn’t it?

      Wishing you the best too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I fully agree with this, I still discuss what my family did rather than how it made me feel. I do this less and open up to my friends a bit more now about how I feel, realising that part of the reason why I do it is because my feelings never mattered growing up so I dismissed them like my family did.

    Liked by 1 person

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