TeenHelp
Support Forums Today's Posts

Get Advice Connect with TeenHelp Resources
HelpLINK Facebook     Twitter     Tumblr     Instagram    Hotlines    Safety Zone    Alternatives

You are not registered or have not logged in

Hello guest! (Not a guest? Log in above!)

As a guest on TeenHelp you are only able to use some of our site's features. By registering an account you will be able to enjoy unlimited access to our site, and will be able to:

  • Connect with thousands of teenagers worldwide by actively taking part in our Support Forums and Chat Room.
  • Find others with similar interests in our Social Groups.
  • Express yourself through our Blogs, Picture Albums and User Profiles.
  • And much much more!

Signing up is free, anonymous and will only take a few moments, so click here to register now!


Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
When is the future?
Jeez, get a life!
***********
 
Noire's Avatar
 
Name: Jordan
Age: 28
Gender: Female

Posts: 5,198
Blog Entries: 420
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Feeling invalidated - February 6th 2017, 05:21 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

As I said in my previous post, in December I was sexually assaulted at a party. I was on my way to getting out of a long period of depression but the assault really set me back. I've kind of fallen apart in its aftermath. Well, a week or two ago I went to see a therapist who specializes in working with trauma patients. During out intake appointment I told her, in detail, about what happened at the party, which was really hard to do without breaking down but I managed to get through it. She seemed to be with me but I found out after our session she called to connect with my primary therapist and told her she doesn't think I was assaulted because I "gave consent" at the party.

This really, really hurt my feelings. I thought I was talking to someone open and accepting and now I'm worried the whole time I was talking about what happened to me she was just thinking to herself that it wasn't an assault. Now I'm actually really afraid to talk to anyone else about it. I'm afraid they'll invalidate me. They'll think I'm a slut for having been at a sex party and that what happened wasn't really an assault. I don't know how to open up anymore.

I feel this way about all my abuse, actually, that I've encountered as an adult. Several years ago I had a previous boyfriend physically and sexually assault me on two separate occasions and people told me it was a "misunderstanding." They said that we both loved each other so much that what he did wasn't intentionally abusive. I felt so hurt and betrayed by both those events but I had to shove my pain away because no one else would validate it. I'm afraid this most recent situation is going to be the same way. I'm already invalidating it to myself. I ask myself over and over again if it was really rape or not because I just don't know. Some people call it rape, some people call it sexual assault...I just don't know. I know I feel like I was raped. But then I blame myself for it, and I'm afraid if I talk about it to other people they're going to blame me for it, or at least not validate it, just like they did with my previous boyfriend.

I have so many feelings. So many horrible, negative, burdensome, painful feelings, and I just don't know what to do with them. I'm fixing to go to residential and they're going to put me in their trauma program but I'm afraid I won't be able to talk to anyone because I'm afraid they'll invalidate me. I also minimize my pain. It was one instance at a party. Other people there will have been abused for months and years; mine is nothing compared to theirs.

I just don't know what to do.


Love joins
Love unites
Love breaks us apart
The power to conquer here in our hearts
Enduring and sacred
Eternal as time
For love, love alone will conquer all


"A Million," by VNV Nation
  Send a message via Yahoo to Noire  
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
~One Skittles Minion~

Jeez, get a life!
***********
 
Celyn's Avatar
 
Name: Holly
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Location: Wales

Posts: 5,358
Blog Entries: 149
Join Date: June 16th 2009

Re: Feeling invalidated - February 6th 2017, 05:43 PM

I am beyond words that the new therapist contacted your primary therapist and said that she didn't think you were assaulted because you 'gave consent' at the party. I wanted to say that perhaps the therapist doesn't understand sex parties or perhaps believes the myths and stigma surrounding sex parties, but honestly, therapists are supposed to be open minded and non-judgemental. Sounds like you just came across not so professional therapist, and I can't imagine how invalidating that must've been for you.

I totally understand that the experience would be deeply upsetting for you and would make you feel less inclined to open up to others. It's hard enough going through what you did and understandable you would find it difficult to trust. However, not everyone is going to judge you or react that way. Just to think of everyone who supports and believes you here on TH.

Unfortunately, some people may just lack understanding of consent or even empathy to realise that previous assaults were just that and not a 'misunderstanding'. It is very hard when you are invalidated especially with certain people. It can be a very difficult betrayal when you go to them for support only to get anything but that. As for whether it's rape, go by how you feel. You went through it, not anyone else, so trust your feelings.

I'm really glad that you have the residential treatment coming up. If you're worried about others judging you, perhaps you can open up slowly? Like you could tell them that you were raped, and later on you could say that it was at a sex party but didn't want to say at the time because you have been invalidated? Whatever makes you feel comfortable might help a bit.

I think abuse is non-comparable. We might think that others have it worse than us, but that doesn't make what you went through any less real or painful to you, and you do deserve to be heard and supported.


HelpLINK and Live Help Officer
Feel free to PM me! Even if I canít help, Iím always going to listen <3
SKITTLIFY!

   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
del677 Offline
Member
Experienced TeenHelper
******
 
del677's Avatar
 

Posts: 516
Join Date: December 28th 2016

Re: Feeling invalidated - February 8th 2017, 07:47 AM

Sorry that happened to you.

Are you still very depressed?

When I get depressed my past looks bleak and I brood over all the bad things that ever happened to me. It's as if my brain is looking for a reason to be depressed.

I've learned that's the secret. My brain thinks there must be a reason I'm feeling so bad, and by golly it's going to find it. Any past trauma becomes the reason. Even if it has to reach back a few years to find something traumatic, or even if the event really wasn't that traumatic at the time, it must have been really traumatic, because I feel so bad now, that past event must be it.

The hardest lesson I have to learn, is if I'm depressed right now, and I'm thinking it must be because of something that happened in my past, that's probably not the reason. Depression, like any illness, is a condition of the body. I need to eat healthy, exercise, see my doctor, see my psychiatrist and ask him to adjust my medications. Or it may be because it's December and dark a lot of the time, and I just have to wait for February. (Yes I do feel better now.)

Later when I'm well, I can talk about my past, past experiences I did not enjoy, how I felt then, how I felt about it later, and how I feel about it now.

I am endlessly surprised by how much my perception of a past event can change, from it was devastating at the time, to I never think about it because I'm feeling fine now, to now I'm seriously depressed and that past event was even more devastating than it probably originally was and I think all the newspapers should publish a story about how wronged I was, to I'm feeling fine again, recovered from my depression thanks to some medicine that started working, and that past event I know it was traumatic at the time but I'm not feeling traumatized anymore.

When I'm depressed and sensitive I concern myself with what I think everyone is thinking about me. When I'm well and feeling fine I don't care so much what other people think. Someone thinks my hair is orange? Interesting, doesn't look orange to me. Someone thinks I'm a slut? What's their problem? I don't see myself that way.

But when I'm depressed, I'm very sensitive, my brain insists there must be a reason, and it doesn't like the "Oh my body chemistry is off"answer I suspect is correct, and insists it must be because person X thinks I'm a slut, or doesn't believe me when I describe a traumatic experience I had, etc.

I'm not trying to invalidate your experience, I'm just trying to point out how depression can greatly skew one's perception of the past; how our current mood right now in this present moment tends to alter our interpretation of past events. If we could fix your mood, a lot of that past trauma will lose its significance. It still happened, it just won't seem so important anymore.

Easier said than done.

Yes I know. I'm just trying to spread hope that you won't have to suffer forever what you are stressing over right now.

I'm sorry you are suffering right now. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate reading it. I hope you feel better soon. Sorry I don't have an instant cure for depression. Sorry my post doesn't seem as compassionate as I would like it to be. (Maybe that's just my perception. I'm not totally satisfied. I'm sorry all that stuff happened to you. I'm especially sorry you are hurting right now.)
   
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
When is the future?
Jeez, get a life!
***********
 
Noire's Avatar
 
Name: Jordan
Age: 28
Gender: Female

Posts: 5,198
Blog Entries: 420
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: Feeling invalidated - February 9th 2017, 12:47 AM

I appreciate your comments on my post. However, I do feel they were extremely invalidating.

I've had a mood disorder most of my life. I've been dealing with medication, physicians, and therapy since I was quite young. As a result, I've come to be very aware of my emotional states. I can generally tell when something is chemical and when something is not. There are usually subtle, but definite, differences.

Before this even happened I had been experiencing a depression that lasted a long time, almost a year. However, my physician and I had finally found a medication that worked. That was one of the things that was so devastating about this experience: I had finally started to feel better, and the whole reason for me going to that party was to try and get back to doing something I really enjoyed. When I was healthier, I really enjoyed those types of parties. So I went back hoping to reconnect with my old friends who frequent those events and to maybe make some new friends.

Like I said, I appreciate you reading and crafting a thoughtful, detailed response; I really do. But I want to be incredibly clear: my brain is not "looking for a reason" to be depressed. In all my years of mental illness I've come to accept that there's not always a reason for why I feel things. This is not one of those cases. This is depression directly linked to a specific reason, that reason being what happened was really, really crappy and really, really hard to suffer through. It was painful and it brought back memories of old abuse I had gone through. Things that I had (mostly) moved past, but that were stirred back up with this new assault. My sense of self was damaged, and that caused me to be depressed.

So thank you for your response, but no, I'm not "looking for a reason" to think things are bad. Things are really, truly, honestly bad, and things are going to hurt for a while. The trauma hurts because it hurts, not because I'm making it out worse than it was in order to justify depression.


Love joins
Love unites
Love breaks us apart
The power to conquer here in our hearts
Enduring and sacred
Eternal as time
For love, love alone will conquer all


"A Million," by VNV Nation
  Send a message via Yahoo to Noire  
1 user(s) liked this post or found it helpful.
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
del677 Offline
Member
Experienced TeenHelper
******
 
del677's Avatar
 

Posts: 516
Join Date: December 28th 2016

Re: Feeling invalidated - February 9th 2017, 06:45 AM

Thank you for correcting me. I humbly accept my mistake. Yes I wasn't totally satisfied with that post when I wrote it, as I mentioned at the end.

Wow, if I understand correctly, you were climbing out of depression, made a foray into the world, and got slapped with a horrible traumatic experience! I'm so sorry that happened.

You've suffered a lot of previous abuse too? Wow, I'm starting to get the picture now. So this incident just opened up all those old wounds, and now things are back to being very bad again. I'm so sorry.

You're thinking of going to a residential program?

I spent 3 months in a residential treatment program a few years ago. I'd never been to one before, but I was really bad off and I really wanted to go. I was surprised to find most everyone else there was just like me: normal on the outside, no one could really tell there was anything wrong with any of us. I felt so much better once I got there. After 3 months I switched to outpatient care and continued for a year, slowly tapering it off as I felt less need for it. I learned about "Processing Groups", those were my favorite. We also did social groups, where we just went out and did stuff, like go to a museum, or a horse ranch. I just needed a suitable environment to heal in. I got to know the other residents, and I helped them when I could (I suspect helping others is therapeutic).

I honestly had no idea what to expect since it was my first time in a residential, but I also honestly didn't care. I just said, "Fix me," and I didn't care what they did to me or asked me to do, I said, "Crucify me if you think it will help. I don't care. Just fix me." (They didn't crucify me.) Turned out to be just a nice place where I could heal from trauma.

I'll be interested to hear how the residential place goes. I've been interested in learning about other residential programs, how they run things, just curious how other places might be different or similar to the one I went to.

Best wishes, and I apologize if I misunderstood anything.
   
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
When is the future?
Jeez, get a life!
***********
 
Noire's Avatar
 
Name: Jordan
Age: 28
Gender: Female

Posts: 5,198
Blog Entries: 420
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: Feeling invalidated - February 10th 2017, 02:52 AM

Thank you for your apology, and no worries.

Yes, I'm considering going to residential for the trauma, some ED issues, and to get my self-injuring under control. I hope to primarily focus on the trauma and the ED issues, since I have a lot of experience learning skills to help combat SH urges and the whole reason I started self-harming again was because of the trauma.

I've been to several residential facilities over the course of my life, starting as young as nine years old. The most recent time I went was back in 2012. It worked very well for me, therapy-wise, and I made some really good friends. I liked the sense of community and structure, as well as the fact we got to go on outings and do activities. Though parts of it were hard overall it was a very positive experience.


Love joins
Love unites
Love breaks us apart
The power to conquer here in our hearts
Enduring and sacred
Eternal as time
For love, love alone will conquer all


"A Million," by VNV Nation
  Send a message via Yahoo to Noire  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
feeling, invalidated

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All material copyright ©1998-2018, TeenHelp.
Terms | Legal | Privacy | Conduct | Complaints

Powered by vBulletin®.
Copyright ©2000-2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search engine optimization by vBSEO.
Theme developed in association with vBStyles.