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We often think that trauma has to involve violence, like a car crash, assault, or physical abuse.  Abuse can definitely lead to trauma, but abuse does not have to involve overt physical or even verbal violence. Neglect and shame can be just as damaging.  Safety is a basic human need and when it is chronically undermined in any way our nervous system can become over-sensitive and dysregulated. 


Invalidation Trauma  happens when we are made to feel worthless, rejected, and devoid of human value. Children whose brains are still developing are particularly vulnerable to this.  All children seek validation and emotional attachment from their parents. When they get chronically ignored instead, dismissed, unrecognized, unheard, like just getting eye rolls rather than responsive affirmation, this can lead to even more damage than more traditionally recognized overt forms of abuse.

Persistent invalidation and shame leaves its mark on us





We experience easily triggered emotional and physiological dysregulation, sometimes escalation and sometimes withdrawal.  If we already have challenges with self-regulation related to an Autistic nature the resulting situation can be doubly overwhelming. Either way our objective is to recognize that such disturbances are happening, to simply notice, accept without judgment, and not beat ourselves up.  We remember to breathe and focus on ways to care for ourselves that allow us to move forward with a minimum of damage until we are feeling better.


The nervous system sees invalidation as a threat to our existence.

It is not a sign of weakness when our body's protective systems kick in when old  hazards are recognized.  Such threat recognition is not always conscious and can be triggered  by the smallest things.

The resulting escalations and shut-downs

can make life challenging and set us apart

Breaking the cycle of abuse demands accepting diversity

in ourselves and others


Recovery from oppression involves practicing self-compassion

letting go of what does not nourish us

even when we would rather hide, avoid, or create further chaos

Seek safety and find peace



















Some people have had abusive

invalidating experiences

that make them feel so unsafe they cannot regulate themselves enough to fit in


In extreme cases the person may be in an ongoing state of defensive arousal, not trust anyone, and be in constant distress

Sometimes this distress lies dormant but gets triggered

at unexpected times

The most innocent things can set us off

anxiety wells up

defensive anger rises to the surface

We may not know what is happening

We can make it worse with desperate attempts to cope

We may take drastic measures to make it stop

The more drastic the measures, the more we hurt ourselves and others

Find a way to slow it down

Damage control until we are ready to move forward



We can learn to notice when this escalation is happening rather than simply getting wrapped up in it and carried away

Accept we are being triggered rather than pushing it down and denying it and acting it out

If we remember to breathe we can take care of ourselves

Soothe ourselves

Help ourselves feel safe

Move forward with the least disruption

Practicing self-compassion is critical

Although it is hard to overcome the self-loathing that has been planted at our core

Finding supportive non-judgemental others we can tap into our spontaneous humanity with is the most healing way to build resilience to the active scars left by trauma

Although it is hard to overcome the fear and lack of trust  that gets built into us

Moving our body helps bring regulation

Those who say we should "forget and move on" do not appreciate the depth of the emotional and physiological scars

Patience is required

We need to find ways to reconnect with our aliveness and the world to find our power again. We need to smile, move our body, ground ourselves in nature, and do things with others.  We try to find inspiration wherever we can.














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An  old friend from my days in BC
made this lively video with some pals.
See if it doesn't make you smile and and get some energy moving in your body.  Find life in yourself and build on it.  Believe in whatever you choose, but get up and move around. Anything we can do to move forward in some small way from the box we feel stuck in is a triumph!

We all have our role in the inter-generational process

that healing calls for

Blame and judgement keep us stuck

You can do it!

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                    Thanks to Christian Prekratic
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