Have you ever been with a parent who totally denies the reality of your childhood? It happens in the small moments such as:
Adult child: You and dad used to fight all the time; I was terrified growing up in our house.
Parent: Rubbish. We didn’t fight all the time at all! Our house was completely safe.
This is gaslighting. The parent is probably feeling shame about the environment and their child’s experience, or they have no concept of what living in their environment might have been like for their children.
Either way, the adult child’s experience is completely invalidated and denied. They can be left feeling like they are crazy, they can start questioning the things that happened. Did I imagine fighting every night? Did I imagine the neglect?
The first step on the healing journey is to recognise it for what it is, GASLIGHTING. It is time to back yourself and your own experiences. If you have someone else in your family to talk to about your childhood, check things out with them. Did they have a similar experience? If their experience was different (as is often the case), this does not invalidate your
Your childhood, and the associated events, feelings and wounds are real to you, and that is what is important. One of the most powerful ways to receive validation outside of the family unit is through attuned therapy. I know from experience that it creates a powerful healing field of validation and love, that it is difficult to replicate in most families.