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Re: parental invalidation fallsfall

Posted by Reva on September 4, 2003, at 10:18:53

In reply to Re: parental invalidation Reva, posted by fallsfall on September 3, 2003, at 22:22:33

I am 56 and haven't lived in that house for a long time. We did try family therapy a little bit in the past with bad results to say the least. I wasn't living there then either. The effect of the invalidation is described in my initial offering... I can't wrap by mind, heart and soul around any goals because SO MUCH interferes every time I START doing it. I feel in my gut that the kind of stuff that interferes is the kind of bullying, ignoring, misinterpreting, and/or overcontrolling and basic INVALIDATION I ingested with my steak and potatoes. I ended up feeling that nothing I wanted, thought, believed, dreamed, or questioned was legitimate or valid. I don't think this stuff is that hard to understand. At the same time I kind of, on the sly, educated myself in humanistic psychology, and came to realize that no substitute will ever suffice for a healthy family of origin, and I say while there's life there's hope. It seems that everyone thinks I should give up. But it's the giving up that seals in the craziness. Of course, my need to hang on to this (probably futile) hope may be a bad symptom too.. ie: the pattern is after a good abuse session, I would be given the impression that forgiveness and reconciliation is possible. And then I'd get sucked back "in" again. It just happened for the millionth time a couple of days ago. I wasn't going to ever let them hurt me again and I was never going to give them the opportunity. But now I'm supposed to respond positively to their latest gesture suggesting of "wiping the slate clean". The crisis had been precipitated by their resentment at my forwarding them an article describing a certain international situation from a "leftish" point of view, complete with a sound intelligent call to action. They bristled at the idea that I know more about this situation and consequently cared more. And it opened a floodgate of recriminations from the past, (also related to my attempts to clarify OTHER of their distortions about me..) as if to say, "If you rebel against our success in making you a worthless piece of shit in our eyes, then that alone justifies our contempt for you." But because I've taught myself to become an excellent writer and written communicator, they, (actually my father this time - they alternate in a perfect slow metronomic beat in this regard) after slamming the "door" in my face before the exchange had really closed, decided to open the door again, and again without conceding their wrong- to another round - which will invariably end the same way. So now all is supposed to be forgiven (of me) and now I'm supposed to join them in their next meat-and-potatoes ritual at the end of this month and set myself up for it to happen all over again. (My mother stayed out of this one, but my father will stay out of the next one...they think they're the SAME PERSON!) If I don't go, the same result will ensue. It's so easy to say "just stay away"... But there was a family death/funeral recently. There was another one 5 years ago, which I didn't attend. The next one will probably be one of theirs. Should I stay away from that one? I DON'T WANT TO IMPART THE WRONG MESSAGE - this is what they think I'm trying to do anyway!!!!! I feel I have a sacred right and obligation to spread more love, peace and understanding in the world. I actually used to sneak into people's backyards at three in the morning to comfort some hideously lonely dog that was breaking my heart with its own unhappiness. WE REALLY ARE ALL CONNECTED in powerful, awesome ways. I had an inredible (for anyone else) mystical experience in 1970 in which I discovered all this connection stuff - and it's TRUE, for better or worse. I just really don't know how to break this healing work down into do-able steps with all the idiotic barriers thrown up at me. This is why I joined the bulletin board. Besides, I have no more money OR patience for these charletan shrinks... OVER.....

You bring up interesting questions.
> 1. What is the effect of invalidation? I think that there is a long continuum, and the effects on one person would not be the same as on another.
> 2. Family therapy is not likely to happen when the children are still living in the family. If the parents were enlightened enough to get family therapy, they probably wouldn't be invalidating.
> 3. The only way for a sufferer to recover is to confront the invalidators. I don't believe that this is true. I think that it is ONE of the ways, but not the only way. In my case, my parents loved me and tried to do their best. But due to a psychological issue for one, and workaholicism for the other they couldn't give me what I needed. I can see NO benefit to showing them how they hurt me. They aren't going to change now. It would make me feel awful to hurt them.
> 4. Confrontation must be done without a therapist. Why do you believe this? How would a therapist's help make the confrontation less useful? I don't understand.
> 5. Can Babble provide support for a confrontation like this? Babble provides support, but does not provide therapy. There are also types of issues (i.e. someone is suicidal) where local, real live support is essential. My personal opinion is that it would depend on the magnitude of the hurt, and the initial state of the relationship between the parents and child, and all of their personalities. I, personally, would feel better if Babble provided support in addition to a therapist. I would certainly defer to the Babble experts.




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