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Invalidation. Words Can Hurt!


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#1 Vera

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 05:10 PM

I have been thinking all day about this. Most of us had to deal with "invalidation" in some form or another. It can be someone minimizing your experience, even avoiding you because of it, or just saying the wrong thing. Sometimes stupid comments are made by friends or relatives, those closest to you and whose opinion you value the most, or by random strangers. Either way, they hurt. No wonder survivors often have a huge problem with trust...sometimes we learn not to trust to protect ourselves.

I thought I'd make a list of some of the stupid remarks that have been said to me together with my replies (Most of the time I didn't say anything but I'll write what I now wish I had said back then)

"This is an unpleasant issue"
Huh, really? You know it was so pleasant for me to live it.

"My life is still worse then yours"
I'm sorry, are we having a contest?


Feel free to share any stupid comment you heard and maybe we can find a way to laugh at them together tongue.gif

#2 Guest_mmbenton_*

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 06:03 PM

Well said Vera! I completely understand what you mean when you say that you didn't actually say what you would have liked to say at the time. Sometimes, I think if I really told people what I'm thinking they would lock me up.

I think what makes it so hard for people to understand is the fact that the physical act of the abuse is not always nearly as damaging as the emotinal scars left behind - which is something that they can't visually see. They expect it to be like a scrape on the knee, clean it up - put a bandaid on, and move on! Hang in there, I do like your idea of a collection of stupid things people have said to us over the years. I will have to think about it and add something later.

#3 Wanda1234

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 12:22 AM

The only time I can remember ppl saying anything cruel or unusual to me was the other day when my mum's b/f came in from a night of drinking with a family friend. A t.v programme had upset me and I told them so.

My mum's b/f, hardly Mr Sensitivity, scoffed at me, turned around and said "Why don't you talk to somebody". He meant a consellor, I suppose, but at that moment in time I lost my temper. I stood there and shouted at him "Would it help to have some details!" And proceeded to give him some details.

I hated him at that point in time. I don't think I'll ever forget that one. The family friend spent about 4 hours calming me down afterwards.

#4 Guest_oicuron2_*

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 08:30 PM

My moms boyfriend ( a month after leaving abusive stepfather) moved us into his house and said " I know all about it pick a room and I'll even put a lock on it" Gee, thanks is history going to repeat?
Mom said ( without getting all details) It isn't sex if there isn't penetration...was there? Like she cared? She knew it happened and stayed 11 more years and never checked to see if still going on.

#5 Lilea

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 12:09 AM

What a great way to vent... good idea, vera.

Stupid things said to me...

"So since you had sex at such a young age, did it hurt the first time when you got older?"
Like it didn't hurt the first time it was forced upon me?!?!?

"How could she remember something like that?" said by my mother when my middle school guidance counselor disclosed the abuse
Like it was just some typical event that took place between niece and uncle... just another day of babysitting that any "normal" child would forget as time passes... what in the h*ll was she thinking?!?!

"Did you ever orgasm (from the abuse)?"
As if we don't carry enough shame!!!! Especially when our abusers DID manage to sexually arouse us... like I'm going to give you every detail like it was a raunchy romance novel story... I was never more taken aback or disgusted when asked that.

#6 Guest_JessicaSC_*

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 10:12 PM

Lilea, OMG that last comment made to you was the worst!

Hi Vera, this was a really good idea, venting like this. I myself have thought about it too. Here are the comments made to me:

By my "best friend" the DAY AFTER the rape:
"You seem upset. Your mom is worried about you. It's not the end of the world. Cheer up."
- Are you kidding me?? Unless you're totally emotionless, if YOU were raped, you would be A LOT MORE than upset!!

By my "best friend" after I started counseling:
"If that happened to me, I wouldn't need counseling."
- How would you know? You have never been raped, so you are not in any position to say!

(She is no longer my best friend.)

By the first people I spoke with after the rape...the police (actually just one officer):
"I think she's been here SEVERAL times." and
"Weren't you here A FEW WEEKS AGO?"
- No, I haven't been here in years. You don't know who I am, nobody has asked to see my driver's license. I hope you're not this insensitive to other rape victims.


Well Vera, this was a very good idea. Thank you!!

#7 Clarissa

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 02:07 AM

one of the dumbest things someone said to me was "Why didnt you just tell them to stop?" Well, gee, i think it's cuz I wanted them to keep doing it!

Another stupid thing someone said was "if you didnt try to look good, boys wouldnt pay that kind of attention to you".... um, yeah, well hygiene is just a little important, dont you think?

#8 Guest_Madonna_*

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 12:38 AM

Yuck! This is the worst. I swear people don't even know how cruel they can be. Sometimes I wish these people can see the images that I see everyday in my head because then they wouldn't even dare say them. Oh man, people can be so dumb!!! It's frustrating!!!!

Madonna

#9 Guest_sleepysmile_*

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Posted 30 January 2004 - 02:06 AM

"Why don't you just stop thinking about it? It was a long time ago..."
-I lost a part of me that day. If you lost a leg would you just forget it was missing?

#10 Guest_MJ_*

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 01:32 PM

My mother the day after i told her an albeit toned down version of my brother's abuse-
"Lots of little boys do that."
(he was adoloescent not pre-school and certainly capable of things a little boy isn't. ) So that doesn't make it ok.

After i told my friend i was raped
" not being funny but did you want him to?"

#11 Vera

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE
"You seem upset. Your mom is worried about you. It's not the end of the world. Cheer up./ If that happened to me, I wouldn't need counseling."
Woow, Jessica what an insentive bit*h! Thank God she is not in your life anymore, you deserve so much better than that.

QUOTE
"not being funny but did you want him to?"
I hope your reply was something like "not being funny but do you realize you are a waste of space?"

I wonder why it still surprises me how low people can get....

#12 Belinda

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 06:15 AM

From a "friend"

"Why didnt you kick him in the nuts? did he have a knife? "

"I wouldnt let a guy rape me"

"just ignores anything I mention about it"

"You asked him if he had a condom so u obvioulsy wanted to have sex"

A girl who doenst like me much found out i had been raped and said to this other "friend"

"Who would be so desperate to have sex with Belinda. shes so ugly."

and another girl once said to me about another girl that she would believe she was raped if she said so because she is pretty.

#13 Guest_Aurelie_*

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 11:14 AM

When I confronted my brother and asked him to pay for my therapy he said...."I don't believe in therapy...bunch of quacks" !!!

I responded: "OK! You don't believe in therapy! How about civil and criminal prosecution? Is that official enough....????":?

He followed up saying...."You've always been weak anyway and I've moved on..."
I responded "I'm not weak...and you're not superior, the only thing you know how to do is bring down someone to your level. As for moving on I seriously doubt that, you have to be aware and assume the consequences of your acts to move on. You are "blissfuly" ignorant nor do u feel the necessity to inform yourself of those consequences....! You're pathetic and you have far more to lose than I do.

Those words were a breakthrough at the time, it underlined the fact that for the first time in my life I no longer viewed and accepted HIS visions of things and no longer lived by it. I didn't like my first views of reality but I confess feeling a delicious sense of satisfaction of having set his clock at the right time. For once I saw in his eyes the fear that had been mine for years....P::

#14 Clarissa

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 01:56 AM

(((aurelie))) Wow, girl, you are so strong! I really admire you for being able to stand up for yourself like that. I love that last line: [quote For once I saw in his eyes the fear that had been mine for years....P:: [/quote]
That is so empowering. Thank you for sharing! Keep up the good work, sweetie! I really really admire your strength!
love clarissa

#15 aquapit

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE
Originally posted by Clarissa
Another stupid thing someone said was "if you didnt try to look good, boys wouldnt pay that kind of attention to you".... um, yeah, well hygiene is just a little important, dont you think?


....hmmm....sounds like we know people in common. Like if we look all gross and nasty people will leave us alone, how nice. I have had this one said to me many times...it pisses me off every time.