My reflex was to try to make him feel better by minimizing.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, is not just about violence; the staff can also help you find someone to talk to locally to help you find your voice — and find safety if your husband does not respond well to hearing it. I follow a four-step process: “I feel _____ when you _____ because _____.It may be a stretch to find compassion for them, but give it a try.Then move on with your journey knowing that your inner child will never have to feel that way again. And nobody’s projections will stop your healing journey. You have completed the process of overcoming invalidation in your recovery.For example, we might tell someone how we are going to rise above our circumstances one day, and we may be told to be realistic by someone who wants to keep us from being hurt by failure. Your inner defender feels vindicated and has gained a little strength. You inner child is now screaming at the ridiculousness of this invalidation which is repeated again and again. That doesn’t mean we had the exact same experiences. Projection is a fairly simple process that creates a whirlwind of difficulties in relationship. The person who invalidates you has faced similar invalidation in their own life.Step 2: We must internalize that invalidation as a means to keep our pain as unconscious as possible. It is an automatic occurrence that happens as a child is invalidated, but it is critically important to our reaction to invalidation in adulthood. They have built their own inner defenses including a similar inner defender.Are the people around you invalidating you and holding you back from progressing?
Invalidation is an element of toxic relationships, and I’m going to discuss both today.
Often, if we are experiencing a communication breakdown, or if there is a wall between us and someone else, it most likely has been built with the bricks of invalidation. Mastering it will greatly elevate your emotional intelligence and your of validation to feel good about themselves.
The latter is particularly true of people experiencing difficult times or a loss and of people who are highly sensitive, insecure, have low self esteem or who are easily intimidated.
You can also use the therapeutic tactic, “When you _____, I feel _____.” As in, “When you tell me I’m not cold, I feel invalidated.” If your husband is merely unhelpful, these might work.
If instead he genuinely sees his opinion as the only valid one, then no mere phrasing will unlock his inner empath.
Step 3: We grow up and decide we want more in life than the constant pain of squashing our unconscious emotions. This inner defender is just as adept at keeping their pain locked below the surface of their conscious mind.