PhD in Invalidation

So my DBT therapist, who from here on out I will be calling Grace, because I’m getting tired of referring to her in such a disconnected way, and I, we seem to be at an impasse.

I am the great invalidator. That’s right. If you were wondering who might be the great one, the greatest one, of all invalidators. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you have found the great one. Because I am the great invalidator.

For every single thing Grace gave me as a positive, that I had achieved, that I had realized, that I had processed, right there in that individual session, manages to invalidate every single one.

Every. Single. One.

I frankly am shocked that Grace did not sigh at me with great exasperation because she would have had every right to. I’m actually shocked, and impressed, that she kept her patience and remained calm while she tried repeatedly to get me to accept one thing she was offering. And what did I do? I crapped on and kicked back every positive thing she showed me. I invalidated all of it.

And the worst part, I didn’t have to consciously do it one time. It came totally natural. This is our impasse because there are things that should be acknowledged of what I’m learning and applying and how difficult it is, and I wasn’t able to accept it.

I barely had to think about it, and had she not pointed it out to me, I wouldn’t have even realized I was doing it so much. I give her credit for her patience because if the positions were reversed I would have gotten upset and frustrated. Why can’t this woman accept a personal achievement, or a realization that wasn’t easy for her, or to take at the very least, a compliment? But she kept professional. Kudos Grace 😉 because I was pretty sure you wanted to punch me.

The thing that is really the take away her though is that I wasn’t able to accept it. And it wasn’t even necessarily her words, some of it was my own realizations and my own achievements of skills I was applying. I invalidated every single one without missing a beat.

That actually saddens me. I don’t want to invalidate myself. I don’t want my achievements that are weeks and months in the making to be brushed aside so easily. This work is hard. Very hard. To get through DBT, and applying the skills is a lot of hard work and requires regular, maybe daily in some cases, commitment. I don’t want what I achieve to be lost, and for it to be me that put it there.

This is a work in progress obviously, and I hope that I can build the mindfulness around the invalidating I do, and bring it down a level because man was it bad. PhD level. (Grace’s words, for the record)


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