Many people who have been abused seek validation. Validation to me is basically someone saying that “Yes, that was right/wrong” or believing you when you say something. Just listening to a person and understanding where they are coming from makes a lot of difference.

The subject of validation came to me after another conversation with my mother yesterday. It’s nice to know that she’s good for something (inspiring blog posts)! Some time ago, my mother had said something and after I hung up, I was like “Crap, I could have said something there!” That annoyed me for days, but I eventually let it go. She brought the subject up again yesterday, and I was not letting it slide this time. There’s a reason my hubby calls me “a rabid pitbull with a bone”!

She started telling me about how my cousin who was pretty much like her third daughter betrayed her. (It still amazes me that she didn’t know what to do with me but could find the time to communicate with everyone else.) I had heard this story from her before and so I just took a back seat and listened. I was determined not to let anything she say get to me. I observed the conversation, picking out all the Narcissistic cues.

After she had finished her story, she told me that “It’s when you are hurt by those who are close to you, that makes it unbearable.” I told her that she now knew what I felt when my Narc sister lied about me and when my mother chose to take the side of my Narc sister rather than even giving me the benefit of the doubt. I had finally told her the stuff of my nightmares (not that I would give her the satisfaction of knowing that I had them). I told her that she immediately believed my Narc sister and yelled at me 4 years ago – piling on the additional hurt and disbelief (which eventually led to the delayed onset of PTSD).

Ring the Narc alarm bells! Narcissists never/cannot (or should I say delusionally choose not to) believe that anything they do could be wrong. I had called her out on something that was blatantly wrong on her part. Her response? Totally unrelated and irrelevant. She started giving me back story (all the way from when she was 16) about how “naive” and “gullible” she was, believing what everyone says at face value and how she never knew that the Narc sister was having an affair. She insisted that she didn’t know about the affair. Me thinks she doth protest too much. Especially since someone told me that she had told her sister about the Narc sister’s affair when she was drunk.

She later tried to push the blame or fault back to me, by saying “If you knew, why didn’t you tell me?” I replied that all my life she had never believed a word I’d said about the Narc sister, why would she start then?! I returned the blame to where it was due. Her response to that one? Blatant disregard. She ignored it and went silent as though I had not spoken.

I felt proud that I told her what my issues were. But I didn’t have any expectations of her validating them. She was not capable of doing that. Apart from feeling accomplished at what I told her, I felt – absolutely nothing. No hurt, no anger – nada. But my chest pain (which is a physical manifestation of my PTSD) got bad very quickly. While the chest pain used to scare me a lot 2 years ago, today, it almost acts as my guide. When my chest starts hurting, I start to take stock of my thought processes and figure out why it’s hurting. Sometimes I have no clue, but very often, if my chest hurts, it means that I need to acknowledge something.

This time, I had to acknowledge that I am not feeling. I am rationalizing everything again. Telling myself that I didn’t expect to get validation from my mother, so it was all good. But it was not. It’s NOT right for a person who has hurt you to ignore it and pretend like it didn’t happen. I should have felt hurt, disappointment, anger like every normal human being would have. But I felt nothing. I am still working with my therapist on this. Fortunately for me, I have a great therapeutic relationship and I do get validated by her.

I guess after my ranting and raving, what I am trying to say is that it may take ages to finally confront a Narc about what they’ve done, but they are NOT going to validate what you are feeling. Basically, they want you to shut up and take your issues with them and bury them as deep as possible, never to see the light.

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Comments
  1. jamilouise says:

    I can tell that I am in a bad spot again… because a lot of what I am reading in people’s writing is ringing true in my life. NOT that you are in a bad spot. Jus saying that I’m goin’… yay…yay alot right now. Thank you for this! Very good writing! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    • FireAndIce says:

      Hi jamilouise!

      Welcome to my blog! The bad days intersperse with the good days. While I am happy that you’ve found writing that you can relate to and learn that you’re not alone in this “Narc war”, I am sorry to hear that a Narc has crossed your path, because they usually leave nothing but devastation in their wake.

      Look forward to chatting more, and thank you for your comment and for following my blog!

      Cheers!

  2. unfortunately I find myself still seeking validation, or at least acknowledgement, I recently needed to movie back in with my parents after living on my own for 3 years. During those years my mother still made my lief hell, but being so far apart ( province away ) I was not aware just how horrible my mother is. I hope to stope looking for her to validate my pain, because I know she won’t stop no matter how much she hurts me ( she claims its my fault she treats me the way she does, and its not so it will never change) but she just keeps going.. and I keep waiting for it to stop. Reading these posts helps me to deal and accept that my moms a messed up narc and its not my fault. so thank you!!

    • FireAndIce says:

      Hi justinebanszky!

      Thank you for sharing! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to move back into the abusive environment. Yes, she won’t stop if she’s a Narc. And it is definitely not your fault. The healing is entirely in your hands, and you can do it! 🙂

      I still constantly seek validation too – from my husband, my friends, my mother-in-law, my therapist, psychiatrist, etc. I am trying to work through this with my therapist. But I’ve seem to have developed a coping strategy of not feeling when it comes to me, so that’s not good.

      I am glad that you found my post helpful! It was only this year that I learnt about Narcs, and since having a label and its associated characteristics. it all became so much clearer. Hope you continue to find strength on blogs, knowing that you are not alone.

  3. FireAndIce says:

    Southafricanwhitegirl,

    It is amazing what a difference finding a label makes. Do you find this too? Hubby keeps saying that it’s just me trying to analyse and put things in little boxes.

    • bellam979 says:

      Information is power and knowing exactly what you are dealing with is a way to make some choices, hard choices in some instances, but necessary ones so that we can continue to pursue our own happiness or begin to. I’m so sick of doubting myself at the hand of narcs and abusive people. This year God has revved up this trial and test and I am still trying to figure out the lessons He wants me to learn, but am getting some clear clues. Understanding and applying labels that are glaringly accurate is one and not allowing an unrepentant friend or family member into my inner circle of trust 🙂 is another. My circle of trust is diminishing pretty fast.

  4. bellam979 says:

    I can relate to needing validation. For me, it’s necessary in not becoming a full fledged emotional paraplegic. I’ve wasted so much time and energy on negative people and I do jot want to become one myself. People say let it roll of your back (but they don’t when it happens to them) in your moment of deepest hurt – screw that. I need to process my emotions to truly heal, not sweep them under the carpet. I just had ” words” with my mother in a brief exchange – mine were innocent and hers went from zero to ugly in a few short sentences. Nothing new though. My validation comes in knowing she really despises me with that true tone coming out drowning out her too often “I love you’s” and other phoniness.

  5. shiradionblalock says:

    Basically I find that validation only comes from friends, the few family members who are not in my mother’s inner circle, and strangers like you who have been through similar experiences. Luckily, people are slowly becoming more educated on narcissism and its effects so that there are a lot of us out there to lean on each other.

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