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.
In these cases, it is harder to unravel the impact on our psyches because it just didn’t seem so bad. This person has just repeated what your inner defender has been telling you all along. All that work you have been doing to override your defender and access your traumatic pain has been thwarted. We are energetically attracted to those with similar trauma. When we interact with people, we will inevitably face their projection, as they will inevitably face ours.I haven’t met a survivor who hasn’t been invalidated as they have journeyed through their recovery process. Step 1: We must have the initial pain of invalidation after a childhood experience. For example, if we experienced sexual abuse and try to tell an enabler parent, we may be faced with the famous accusation that we are making it up.When we hear invalidating statements, it hits us hard. Gaslighting is the most popular manipulation tactic used by enablers of sexual abuse.Somewhere deep inside, we know there is more to life and we are going to find it. Step 4: Someone condescendingly informs us of how stupid that is. We will now be told something by an external person that we are telling ourselves on the inside. That defender launches in to immediate panic mode and begins to manage the danger at hand.
That defender spews the same invalidation used on their inner child, but this time, it comes out of the mouth. It still impacts me, but much less than it used to.
Maybe you realize it but you don’t do anything about it or you don’t feel like you can do anything about it?