This is called chronic emotional invalidation, which is often one of the markers of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Marsha Linehan, Ph D, the founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, includes emotional invalidation in her model of risk factors for Borderline Personality Disorder.
It was so important for me to believe that my childhood had in fact been difficult.
I had been brainwashed that my childhood was wonderful, normal and that I was one of the “privileged” people in the world.
A sensitive child who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust his own emotions.
I was shocked that I’d never realized that it happened to ME and in fact I was realizing it for the very first time.Many experts believe that emotional invalidation, particularly in childhood and adolescence, may be one factor that leads to the development of BPD. D., the clinical psychologist who developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has proposed that an “emotionally invalidating environment,” or an environment in which one’s emotional responses are consistently invalidated or punished, may interact with other factors to cause BPD. Linehan’s model, children at risk of developing BPD later in life are born with a biological predisposition toward strong emotional responses.Unfortunately, these strong emotional responses can be met with invalidation (which may, but does not necessarily, take the form of abuse or neglect).The fact of the matter is, some children are not allowed to express themselves emotionally, even when they’re not putting their parents in the line of fire of people who just want to wait in line at Starbucks in peace.Some children are habitually shut down emotionally by their parents or caregivers.Clearview Women’s Center is a residential treatment program that specializes in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).