Invalidation and trauma

Tw/cw – invalidation, trauma, gaslighting. Please be mindful before continuing.

Today I’d like to take a moment to talk about invalidation.

To everyone who has ever heard, or said, “its all in your head”, I offer this: Your whole life happens there. Our experiences shape the way we see and interact with the world. What you’ve experienced is real. Trauma can arise from perceived experiences as well as real ones. Your experiences are real, and valid.

Invalidation is when someone denies, dismisses or rejects someone’s feelings – even their own. As a teenager I couldn’t have even considered that what I was feeling was depression. That what I as a child, had experienced was traumatic grief. I invalidated myself with my own rejection.

I’ve met people who don’t see their experiences as valid, or for whom it’s taken a lot of work to understand that their experience is. Sometimes we don’t recognise it until we’re looking back on it after healing. When we make a new normal, we have a fresh perspective on the full extent of the old one.

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