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Don’t Invalidate My Trauma Because It Was ‘Normal in the Old Country’

Anyone who has ever disclosed experiences with physical, emotional or sexual abuse has been confronted with varying degrees of having their trauma met with dismissive or minimizing statements.

I’ve experienced my fair share of them, particularly with regards to sexual abuse that ranged from hurtful to gaslighting. Each time I dare to tell my truth and it is met with this kind of response, I feel not only let down but retraumatized.

But perhaps none of these responses are as hurtful and tone-deaf as being told something was “normal in the old country.”  Maybe because I have a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, maybe because I’m a first-generation American born to Jewish Hungarian immigrants who are the children of Holocaust survivors,

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