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What does validation mean to you?

Old 11-16-2010, 07:51 PM
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What does validation mean to you?

What validation means to me!

I want to thank all my friends I have found on SR. It was through your help that I have had an AAAHHHAAA! moment and have been able to pinpoint the troubles between my AH's and my relationship.

My feelings are not being validated through my relationship with my AH. Invalidation is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone's feelings. Constant invalidation may be one of the most significant reasons a person with high innate emotional intelligence suffers from unmet emotional needs. My AH wants me to run everything I do through him for his acceptance and yet when I suggest that he needs to do something as get himself a physical or get into individual therapy I'm ignored. My idea of a marriage is a two-way straight, it's a give and take mutual agreement. However, my AH's idea of a marriage is it's his way or it's NO WAY!

I was in intensive care for about one month at the beginning of the year, and and almost died. I have no memory of this chunk of time. It was literally through the Grace of God that I survived. My doctors can not medically provide an explanation as how I survived. When I became conscious again my awareness rose. I suffered self-esteem damage as a result of my illness. As a result, I began to notice to notice the invalidation. The invalidation took and continues to take its toll on me.

Psychiatrist R.D. Laing said that when we invalidate people or deny their perceptions and personal experiences, we make mental invalids of them. He found that when one's feelings are denied a person can be made to feel crazy even they are perfectly mentally healthy. When we are invalidated by having our feelings repudiated, we are attacked at the deepest level possible, since our feelings are the innermost expression of our individual identities. The more sensitive the person, the more serious the damage of invalidation. Invalidation undermines self-confidence because it causes self-doubt. This in turn further diminishes self-esteem. Invalidation is serious violation of one's "true self." I believe it is one of the worst crimes one person can commit against another without ever lifting a finger against them. And yet it is neither illegal, "immoral" by most who consider themselves moralists, nor even widely recognized as a problem.

Ann has written a good article about validation and invalidation on the What is Recovery? on SR.

What does validation mean to you?

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Old 11-16-2010, 07:59 PM
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nice to see you back.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
I believe it is one of the worst crimes one person can commit against another without ever lifting a finger against them. And yet it is neither illegal, "immoral" by most who consider themselves moralists, nor even widely recognized as a problem.
So, knowing you cannot change another person, why would you hand over your power to someone who commits "one of the worst crimes" against you?

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Old 11-16-2010, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
I was in intensive care for about one month at the beginning of the year, and and almost died. I have no memory of this chunk of time. It was literally through the Grace of God that I survived. My doctors can not medically provide an explanation as how I survived. When I became conscious again my awareness rose. I suffered self-esteem damage as a result of my illness. As a result, I began to notice to notice the invalidation. The invalidation took and continues to take its toll on me.
You know, every time I read your story, I am reminded of a seminar I took a couple of years ago. The presenter had been in a car crash and spent four months in the hospital recovering. She described it as a "beautiful experience." She explained that it had changed her life and her focus and made her realize what a precious gift life is.

I think you have been given the same gift. A not-so-subtle reminder that life is precarious, and fragile, and uncertain. A second chance, so to speak. What will you do with this gift? How will you spend the limited days you have left in this world?

One of the things that helped me let go of trying to control my AH was the realization that, if actuarial tables are correct, I have more days behind me than I do in front of me. I could choose to squander more of my precious life trying to control him, or I could grab onto life with both hands and live whatever life I have left with gusto and passion.

What will you choose to do with the gift that has been handed you?

L
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:34 PM
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As humans, we all seek some form of validation. It comes from our need as keeds to feel valued and validated by our parents. The highest form of validation is for ourselves but Buddhists also believe in the interconnectedness of beings.

I see validation as acknowledgement of who I am, as I see myself. We don't live in an emotional bubble so that if a person does not 'hear' or 'see' us metaphorically, it can be painful.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:38 AM
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I think validation is akin to empathy. Empathy is listening to, acknowledging, accepting and understanding other's feelings and experiences. Sometimes we are able to place ourselves in another's shoes if we have been through a similar experience (not wholly because each experience and feeling is unique to the individual) and sometimes we are not able to place ourselves in another's shoes because we have not had a similar experience. However, we can still offer empathy and support because we have the capacity to feel, understand and respect the other and offer validation through active listening skills.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:53 AM
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all my life my validation has been external. It is a crazy-making way to live. There will always be someone who does not agree with what I do, and I can't ask everyone whether what I am doing or thinking or feeling is right/wrong/ok/whatever and work out what the majority decision is, wich is basically how I was trying to go about it.

So trying very hard to foster self-validation, I wish it were automatic as I find this a painful process.

I find it extra hard to self-validate in the presence of someone who has strong opposite views about me/my feelings/my thoughts, I don't think that is necessarily an attack, but I do wonder though why I would want to be with someone who consistently didn't like or trust what I said/thought/felt/did, and vice versa.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:05 PM
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The number one way my dry drunk husband's way of invalidating me was by completely ignoring me. There were times I wondered if he was deliberately trying to drive me crazy. I have never once heard him thank God that I was still alive! Instead I have heard him say "If we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck.

Other ways he would invalidate me was by dictating to me not to feel the way I felt, tell me that I was too sensitive or too "dramatic", judge me, and led me to believe there was something wrong with me for feeling how I felt.

All invalidation is a form of psychological attack. When I was attacked, my survival instinct would tell me to defend myself either through withdrawal or counter-attack. Repeated withdrawal tended to decrease my self-confidence and lead to a sense of powerlessness and depression. Going on the offensive often escalated the conflict.

One of his favorite ways of invalidating me was by asking "What about me?"!

But that was yesterday! It is liberating to know my feelings are REAL! And that I'm NOT going crazy!

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it's called the Present"

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Old 11-17-2010, 05:21 PM
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Today, I validate myself, for myself. Externals, other people, no longer validate my being.
I have learned that I am the captain of my ship, and, I am responsible for my happiness.

I no longer have any desire to be abused by some weak insecure man who I have to carry on my back.

Life is a song worth singing...sing it!
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
Psychiatrist R.D. Laing said that when we invalidate people or deny their perceptions and personal experiences, we make mental invalids of them. He found that when one's feelings are denied a person can be made to feel crazy even they are perfectly mentally healthy. When we are invalidated by having our feelings repudiated, we are attacked at the deepest level possible, since our feelings are the innermost expression of our individual identities. The more sensitive the person, the more serious the damage of invalidation. Invalidation undermines self-confidence because it causes self-doubt. This in turn further diminishes self-esteem. Invalidation is serious violation of one's "true self." I believe it is one of the worst crimes one person can commit against another without ever lifting a finger against them. And yet it is neither illegal, "immoral" by most who consider themselves moralists, nor even widely recognized as a problem.

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This explains the last 5 yrs of my life with my ex.
I never mattered to him and never will, so today I matter to me
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:31 PM
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My dad totally ignored me. He was a drinker though, and the son of a drinker. But the strange thing is he just did not know how his ignoring me affected me. I don't hold this against him, I honestly in his case know that he just thought girls should be raised by their mothers. I can't feel anything but sadness about what he missed. In his way I think he loved me, he was just incapable of emotion. When a person invalidates me because of their own strong stubborn will I do feel it more in a negative way, the outcome is the same, feeling abandoned but the feelings are much different.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:39 PM
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The most valuable form of validation comes from self and that is why I finally trusted myself and my reality enough to separate from my husband, but I understand completely what you are saying and I still very much struggle with feeling crazy in my assessment of the situation when it comes to my AH. I never really thought about it as being a validation issue before, but that makes a lot of seems to me. Like when I say something about feeling my AH has problem only to be told I am being silly or crazy or when I catch him in a lie and it is followed up by another lie and complete denial I feel that sense of invalidation and it does leave me feeling so unsure of myself. I know I shouldn't allow him to "make" me feel crazy or unsure, but it is tough when the person in life you set out to trust the most seems to see the world so differently than you and you find yourself saying "is it me?"
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