Below is a post I brought over from Safire Falcon (the blog I used to write on). It was posted on May 20, 2014. At that point I had just been (somewhat) “No Contact” with my family for less than a year. I turned to a friend hoping for some validation, which I didn’t get.
It seems a bit synchronistic that I came upon this post over at SF.
I signed in there to read through some posts and decide which one(s) to transfer over tonight. I haven’t done any of that in quite some time and I want to empty the blog of all the stuff that’s relevant to this blog so I have it all in one place. And since I’m feeling on the strong side tonight I figured I’d venture in there.
Well, recently it came to my realization that lack of validation has been a big problem in my relationship with B. It never really occurred to me that it was that. I mean I go from 0-60 with my anger in a matter of seconds that I never really thought about it. I thought it was all me.
That being said, I’m not excusing my behaviors of yelling and berating. Not at all. I’m just pointing out this discovery that has been in front of my face all these years, that I completely missed. It has brought things to light and makes complete sense as to why I’ve felt so distant from him.
He can validate when he relates to an experience or has the same emotion I do in relation to an experience. When I’ve gotten this from him I feel connected. But if his differs, the validating is absent I become beyond frustrated. The feeling of distance brings on the rage and the attempt of forcing him to see what I’m saying begins and keeps going.
It’s a waste of energy quite frankly.
This isn’t another B bashing though. My frustration is more now, with not realizing what was going on. I knew I was frustrated by these interactions with him but just didn’t understand why and why my reactions were so intense.
I understand better now. It’s still been a struggle though, to control my behavior and reactions. I’m not so sure DBT is really the answer. But if I go on along that line, it will take me in a different direction from validation and the lack of it from others. And that is what the post below is mostly about.
There’s also a bit about something else that has come up lately. But I’ll just let you read it.
The comments will be closed on this post because the conversation happened three and a half years ago. I really just want to get the post over here from SF, for my own feeling of completeness. She has since made it up to me a couple times now. She never specifically addressed with exact words, but something came up and she said something that let me know she understood. And again about a month ago, she was pretty validating of something else I told her.
The quote in the picture is from The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out of Blame.
I took it from the book after a phone conversation with a woman I’ve known for a long time. Someone who lived through her own childhood abuse and has learned to be a ‘tough girl’ who claims to ‘not care.’
She and I had not talked for a little over a year. Because of distance, because of life and how busy it can be. But truthfully, for me, I don’t like to talk with people in general, when I don’t have something specific to talk about or if it’s someone I haven’t seen in a long time, because our conversations eventually comes around to ‘what’s new’ with me.
And what’s new for me, is that I’m working through trauma from abuse, that I hadn’t realized so clearly, was such an issue until recently. And I haven’t been doing much else. So it’s tough to talk about much else and to say, “Nothing really,” feels completely awkward.
The solution I suppose would be to not talk to her about that stuff but I seem to fall into it when we talk. I mean, what do I say when she says, “What’s new?”
So although apprehensive and somewhat against my better judgment, while at the same time thinking she’d ‘get it’, I talked to her about what I’ve been dealing with.
After all she’d gotten herself away from her neglectful mother and abusive step-father when she was just a kid. She put herself in the foster care system.
The conversation waxed and waned about my experience, how I felt and then her experiences of a recent betrayal of someone in her life and how she feels.
We also talked about more mundane things but then the conversation wound around again to my family and that toxicity.
And it was then that she told me that I take things too personally. I was hurt. I thought, “Not you too. Not someone who I really believed would understand.” I shook my head and thought, “Just like talking to my sister about how I feel.”
I also thought, “Again. I fucking did it again. I should know better than to expect her to understand.” Because everyone reacts this way, why should she be any different?
She said I internalize and that I shouldn’t do that because those other people go on with their lives, they’re not effected and I should do the same.
She claimed that’s what she is doing and that she has just learned to not care. Yet here she was, bitching about all this shitty treatment she’d put up with, in recent years from a couple relatives.
She was, and I’m judging by her tone of voice here and reading between some lines, that she was angry and even a bit confused by the behaviors of these people.
It seems to me, that if she truly didn’t care, that she would not feel anger or confusion.
Despite feeling hurt though, I also saw the wisdom in the statement.
I do internalize deeply. And I do think that my ‘taking things too personally’ has been a detriment to me and has indeed held me back.
That being said, people who’ve been traumatized and scapegoated internalize things. That’s a thing. It’s not our fault. In fact, from what I see, I’d say my friend does it too.
But back to contemplating her words to me: I’ve allowed what they think to keep me down. I get depressed, paralyzed and demotivated. (She didn’t say those things. This is what I’m deriving from what she said.)
So what I took from that is that I have a choice. I can build my life up to a point that I can finally stick a big fat middle finger up at everyone who has branded me a failure, or I can go crawl in a hole somewhere and suck my thumb and never emerge.
It sucked not to be acknowledged by her, especially since I think she may be in her own denial.
But I also derived from what she said, that no matter how much I feel sorry for myself, the people who have hurt me deeply don’t care and my picking up, dusting myself off does not have to do with them.
BUT that does not mean I need to push it all aside. It does not mean I can’t grieve. It does not mean I have to pretend it didn’t happen. In fact what I’d really like to do is find a way to derive strength from it all.
While at the same time validate myself for my feelings and the shit I’ve been through despite what others say and think. Just because she thinks I should push it all aside and “not care” doesn’t mean that’s what I have to do.
What I have to do, is find my own way.