Toxic positivity in the world of abuseJul 09, 2022
Is there a place for toxic positivity in the world of abuse?
I hope I speak for most survivors of abuse here;
When you've had any kind of abuse in your life, whether psychological, physical, sexual, emotional, institutional - it flips so many of the regular rules of things. It changes the lens of your life!
There's a lot of toxic positivity messaging these days, from individuals, media, structures of power - and if you've been through emotionally or physically abusive relationships, it's important to recognize that it feels like more gaslighting and frustrating invisibility.
Positivity like "I'm glad it happened because it made me the person that I am today"... or my personal favorite that "you have to forgive your abuser to be healed"...
Well... how about F**K NO?
Post-traumatic growth versus toxic positivity
Yes, as a good soul trying to self reflect and do good in the world, you'll look for post-traumatic growth from your pain, but you will never be looking back and thinking "I'm so glad it happened".
Don't be glad it happened! Be pleased you grew.
But don't be glad that somebody purposefully started this in your life and that you had to heal in the first place.
People are largely so uncomfortable, unaware and unable to just hold space and validate abuse survivors experience, that they rush to the solution stage to make it go away.
Toxic positivity in the world of abuse
Toxic positivity hits abuse survivors somewhere deeply as invalidating, and I don't like that aspect of it. I started off as a Spiritual Life Coach, but quickly saw the need for a trauma-informed approach, as a survivor myself, this world felt a lot like bypassing.
I'm trained to do the opposite. I believe you, I hear you, I see you.
I will listen to you and bear witness. I have solutions of course, having been through every kind of abuse myself and finding ways to take back my power; but I will not rush into that first. That's not what survivors need.
That's the thing that was missing for most people I help. One of the biggest contributors to moving unconsciously toward relationships that feel familiar but are not safe - is not being truly seen and heard. Not having a voice or boundaries of your own in childhood or formative relationships. You weren't free to be whoever you were. You had to fit in one box or another to be loved.
When you start to stand in your own power and are solid on your feet, from there you can start embracing that messaging, then it will not feel like another thing you are doing wrong/not grasping.
Focusing on creating with clients; when we have processed the traumas and named the abuse is a beautiful part of my work - but first, you have to be seen and heard.
Learn more about working with me if you want to have 1:1 support throughout your journey.
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