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Specific ways to identify THE SILENT ABUSE = Invalidation

Silent Abuse known to me as invalidation is often hidden, especially from the person who is being invalidated. Self-esteem is low, depression is high and one's spirit is not what it should be, making impossible the soul purpose for which you were brought to this earth.

My last article, October 1, identified this horrific abuse.

Now I would like to share with you a specific technique that helped me identify when I was being invalidated. This is a necessary step because The Silent Abuse known as invalidation is so subtle, like an insideous gas that you don't know this is your problem. Then when you identify it, you think like I do which is that my ex=husband was the invalidator abusing my soul big time. But the truth is and my experience shows me that there are always many people in your life who invalidate you, in fact you choose friends who do this because this is your normal. At least that was my experience.

Anyhow, I hope The SIlent Abuse of invalidation is not your problem but if it is, here is what I learned. First, think of someone who invalidated you over and over. See them. Now notice WHERE you feel this in your body. It could be in your head, your chest, your whole body. One woman felt it in her teeth believe it or not. But get clear where you feel it in your body.

Now whenever in the future you get that feeling in your body, that is a sign to you from your body that the person or environment you are in are giving you abuse, the Silent Abuse, invalidation. Why? Because your unconscious mind always knows before your conscious mind what is going on. Your body is in touch with your unconscious mind. So, listen to it. Your body is your best friend.

For me my head hurt so much I called them pressure headaches because if I pressed my hand down real hard on my head, the headache went away. Wow! Imagine how much I must have been holding in if this was happening to my head. I always thought it was me. That there was something wrong with me, that my angry or emotional outbursts were because, as my husband said "Wendy is so out of control, so emotional". No, I learned. It was the pain of that Silent Abuse = invalidation. The years of my saying or asking something and not having him answer, of my walking in a room and he walked out, of his talking to others but ignoring my presence, of his "work related" absences when I had 4 little children 18 months apart, on and on.

And I learned that if I wake in the morning depressed and ask myself "What's wrong with me?" that I am asking myself the wrong question. The right question is "WHO is wrong FOR me?" Wow ! That question and answer hit me right between the eyeballs. But at least I knew it wasn't me, that there was nothing wrong with me. That's a start. That's hope in the making.

Let your body be your best friend, because in many ways it is.

I hope you cannot relate to any of this and don't have this problem. But perhaps you have friends who could benefit from this knowledge.

And remember, the mantra for today and always is "I AM WORTHY".

Love ya,

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together).




Amei's picture

It is learning with undersatnding

I am glad now that I can be in control of my emotions and thoughts. I can change my state of mind to get positive outcomes. Undersating the issues helped me take actions that are both benificial to both those who I love and me.

I was living with extreme physical body pain for a long time. Only recently I understood the reasons! I have forgiven the reasons and people who caused it. I have acknowledged the pain and learnt to let it be. Rather than worrying about it.

Even now when I write I can feel the pain in my arms but now the pain is less compared to before I can continue talking to you here. It is the memory that causes the physical pain. The most painful parts are my arms the pain on my legs are very minimal now. I feel as if they are broken. Now imagine like in the story of Harry Potter that my bones are getting mend overnight. It will be mend and then the pain will go away. i can actually smile realting my pain to Parry Potter.

I found that in years I was unable to lessen my pain but now holding or tapping to a good feeling I am healing the pain.

I to pray no one else goes through the pain.

All the best Wendy, with love, Amei

UpasanaC's picture

You are so right

You are absolutely right on this Wendy, Most of the times we wont even realize that we are getting abused as it will be completely silent and will kind of very manipulative. This question keeps striking in my mind now and then that 'What's wrong with me' but now I see a very good point in the correct question that 'Who is wrong for me'.Once we have an answer for this we have a solution and hence we will be much more so called patient. Our anger develops inside only after things are piled up one after another and we are not able to fix that up also. It's not our fault though , it's the fault of the person we are mostly avoiding to find a fault in ...
A very good thought shared..

Cheers to Life

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi Upsi

hi Upsi,

First I am glad to see you have a nickname ! Haha. Just kidding. Your full name is beautiful but your shortened name is cute and peppy much like you I expect. .I thought you might be called something shorter by your friends.

Thank you for your comments about the silent abuse. It is SO huge and SO unidentifiabe and does SO much damage to our self esteem. You are right. Once you identify it, it almost cures itself though it takes time to get rid of the invalidators or to at least train them that you don't do invalidation any more. God bless you for speaking up. When I was a therapist, I found other therapists miss the point a lot when counseling couples or families and it is SO huge.

I am going to try to write more about this (Perhaps you will want to read my journal on empowerment because it SPECIFICALLY shows you what I went through and how I overcame it.) I have achieved many things in life, but finding my soul again was the hardest and highest achievement of my life.

You sound like a terrific lady. Once I got rid of the invalidators, it took my energy about 4 years to clear out the faulty thinking and wrong people for me. But now that I have it is amazing how really good people who really like me are in my life and keep coming. It is a new feeling for me and one I deserve AS YOU DO.

Upsi, let our mantra be "I AM WORTHY"

Thanks again. Your comments mean a lot.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together)


Wendy Stebbins
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Sharontina's picture

Getting addicted

I am getting more addicted to your articles Wendy. Your writing is powerful and contagious. You know i was more a reserved and a person in a shell before landing up in World Pulse when it came to my personal issues. But now slowly people like you are driving the urge in me to bring out my pain and struggle in life. I have not come out with it still. i peep out and then retreat waiting for another time. if i am not able to to tackle mine, take the thorn out of my heel then how will i raise my voice for others?

I pray that the power of your words and actions spread throughout all the women of WP like a fire. A fire that never can be quenched. It should always keep us burning to keep us alive. Make the spirits high dear.


Merlin Sharontina

Wendyiscalm's picture

Sharontina you have made my day !

Dear Sharontina,

Just when I needed it, you appear and bring me joy and hope. You say you are afraid to speak out, but you just spoke out about your vulnerability. That takes courage, girl. You have just started this 65 year old's day with a smile. That is power. You have power. You matter. You remind me of a seed. You are planted. Now, WP is watering you and members are fertilizing you and before you know it, you will see the most beautiful bud begin to appear. Then it will turn in to a living, breathing, beautiful flower. YOU ! Keep it coming! But do it at your own pace.

My daughter needed help with assertiveness once and bought a book called "Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway". I don't remember the contents of the book but I will ALWAYS remember the title.

Addicted to me?" Oh, how exciting for me. 5 years ago no one, and I mean no one loved or cared about me. But I worked on myself, step by step, slipping back MANY times but never giving up. And now ALL I have in life are people who care about me . . . you are one of them. So, if I can make a difference, you can and will make a difference. Everyone has to take things at their own speed because you do not know your soul purpose, the reason you came to this messy world.But with your attitude, courage, talent, vulnerability and desire you will find out. Keep it coming !

FYI: I leave for Livingstone, Zambia tonight for just 5 days from Chicago because my birthday is October 12 and I do not want to spend it alone. Everyone there is happy, we will have a nice party and I will feel blessed. This was not even a thought 5 years ago. Your time is coming !

The mantra for today is: I AM WORTHY ! And you definitely are, Sharontina.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together).


Wendy Stebbins
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Kara-Amena's picture

Our Deceptive Minds

Hello my dear friend Wendy!!

Your post reminds me of so many things I have learned in this last year. I have read a lot and attended workshops on trauma and the brain. It amazes me how there are physiological responses in our brain as a result of trauma. The points you make are exactly what I learned. It's really important that we recognize our "triggers" and know how best to respond to them. It's how we can take control and overcome what can become a huge obstacle in our life.

I started a new job recently and once a week I have to travel 2 1/2 hours in my car. I get bored if I can't be doing something productive. So my oldest son gave me a CD of lectures called "Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills." The lectures are fascinating and I have learned so much about the brain and our flawed logic and memories. I've also learned that it's dangerous to take notes while you are driving!!! Hahah!

Anyway, your words echo all the things I have been learning in this area. One thing I would like to add is how healing expressive arts can be for trauma. I always wondered how I emotionally survived after my mother's friend attempted to rape me throughout the course of an entire weekend and a few other experiences of being sexually molested by family friends. My mother didn't believe me. I had no outside support of any kind. I suffered in silence through my adolescence. But I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And now I have come to learn that there are specific parts of the brain that are affected by trauma and that writing, painting, dancing and other art forms are known to affect the brain in specific ways that help in the healing process.

So I would just like to point out the added value of the submissions on World Pulse. It's great to write and to tell our stories. To read, to listen, to reflect and share. I encourage people who have suffered from traumatic events to find an artistic outlet if you are so inclined. Ideally, you can get professional help. But, if you can't, write or draw or paint or dance - express yourself, process your grief, find the inner strength that Wendy is always talking about so passionately. It's there. We all have it. And, like Wendy says, WE ARE WORTHY!!!

Thanks for all your inspiring words and great stories, Wendy!

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi kara

Appreciate your sharing your skill of the arts to cope. Myself I am a classical pianist and practicing got my feelings out. I am especially accomplished at technique and feeling when I play. I am sure the piano saved my life. What is so amazing about people is that different things work for different people. For men especially getting physical, such as hitting a punching ball, jogging for others, reading for others, cleaning for others, So many coping skills work in different ways for different people it amazes me. Just as we all grieve differently, we all heal differently. I spoke with a speical forces counter-terrorist experit for the US Govt. based in the UK on a plane ride recently. FOR HIM THE TRAUMA WORKED BGEST BY OVER TALKING HIS FEELings. So, the beauty is there are so many ways that work for each person. YOu and I just happen to be blessed (OF course) with the arts as a tool. Dancing especially made me go into a much needed fantasy world.

Thanks for your sharing and comments.

I love you.


Wendy Stebbins
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

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