Where does one begin? There are so many issues involved when it comes to practicing the art of venting. For most it seems to go against the ‘morale’ of society. Nobody wants to hear our complaints – except maybe a paid therapist who gets paid to hear it…and even then I wonder…
The most important gift we can give each other in supporting one another is VALIDATION. Understanding INvalidation and the subtle statements made consciously or unconsciously by others is an important tool as our minds process these messages consciously and sometimes unconsciously. A very good resource that explains invalidation can be accessed [here].
While I am at a place of feeling whole and having healed, I am aware that inadvertently, and sometimes having been in the presence of toxic personalities, there is a lot of invalidation that transpires and this is not conducive to our feeling better about ourselves. A simple and innocuous statement such as: “Think positive, move forward, don’t dwell in the past” in the state we’re in is hurtful. In essence it is saying: “This is too much for me to hear, get off the topic, it’s making me uncomfortable.” Does that mean that the individuals who say these things mean harm? More than likely not; however, never having experienced NPD Abuse, they do not possess any frame of reference to really understand the wound and the level of abuse you’ve just experienced. This is very much the equivalent of rape, as due to the fact we did not know the individual we were engaged with – our consent was denied – we were dealing with them under fraudulent pretenses. We have shared our vulnerabilities, our thoughts, our heart, our minds, our bodies, our fears, our dreams, with someone who never had our best interests at heart and instead used the information as a tool to later destroy us with. It was a violation on every level.
That being said, it is very important that you find a safe place to let it all out without shame and without having to measure your words. Anger is just as legitimate an emotion as love. It is a primitive emotion served to help us defend ourselves. It is important to understand this and to find outlets to channel the anger. Denying our anger, will only result in it popping up elsewhere misdirected, and if we suppress it, many mental health professionals have suggested that doing so will result in depression. It is crucial to your recovery that you get all your feelings out, and equally in the process of supporting one another, it is important that we don’t suggest to those going through the anger stage that they cling to “love, light and positive thinking” but instead respect, understand and validate those feelings just as equally as we support the light and love…
It is complicated providing a quality support forum for this type of abuse simply because there are a myriad of stages to contend with. The following entry explains further the challenges of creating a community that is diversified in terms of their experiences and where they’re at in the process. It is never my intention to become a “Guru” rather than to help others learn to become their own Guru. More on my philosophy can be found [here].
Unfortunately, FB seems to prevent that given that profiles on FB have member’s legal names in many cases. It is my hope that along with the plethora of good resources available online, that each member will be able to find the path to healing that suits them best – no one has a monopoly on NPD Abuse Support, and no one can be a master of all. Ultimately, it is the voice of the collective in conjunction with the victim’s processing of events that I believe ultimately results in emotional resolution of this very devastating experience for the victim.
That being said, this journey is not neat or pretty. We are dealing with some very passionate emotions, and it is important to get it out and process and understand that the blame does not rest on us. We were targeted, we are victims, and it’s okay to acknowledge being victimized, just as it is legitimately valid to own the title of “Survivor” once we’ve done the work and healed. Society has affixed labels some with ‘negative’ connotations to what can only be described as the human condition. When we’re hurt, betrayed and deceived, it is natural and normal to feel sadness, pain, and anger and anything and everything in between. What we have to own is that healing along with love and support from others is attainable and only we have the power and control to do the work that needs to be done in order to heal. Healing is an ‘inside’ job, but we get that work done with the support and understanding of others.
So, go on ahead…get your ANGRIES out! It’s okay, it’s natural and normal and you won’t be judged…equally, share what’s worked for you, questions you have, thoughts, as it is our sharing that not only helps us process, but helps others as well – as others can relate, and a thought someone may have may actually resonate with another victim and help them get clarity on something that is still disturbing to them, something they haven’t figured out. Even to this day, as I continue to read and absorb more from an objective point of view, I’m still learning and it helps because it allows me to find ways to assist others in terms of how I articulate certain concepts, thoughts and ideas. This really is a case of “Each One Teach One” regardless of what stage of the journey we’re in.
The only rules to the Art of Venting is there are no rules, just get it out…be free and let it go…do not affix a timeline, just take things moment by moment…