The Truth about Being Told to Get Over it and Let it Go


let it goHow many times have you heard the instruction “Just Let It Go”? How many times have you personally been commanded to “let it go and move on”? How many ways is that statement communicated to people who are simply trying to justify their pain? How many insensitive people tell hurt people to “forgive and forget” or to “stop living in the past”? Last week, someone on the Emerging From Broken Facebook page directed ‘everyone’ on the page to “get over it and just let it go” and this sweeping, careless statement inspired me to write from a slightly different view point about the directive “Let it Go”.

In my view today, letting go is no longer about trying to simply forget injustices done to me. It is rather offensive to have been directed to let go of wrongs that had never been acknowledged in the first place. I was being told to ‘forget’ events that were mean, wicked and sometimes even illegal and to stop trying to have my pain validated. I was being told to let go of things that most of the people in my life were denying ever happened to me.

And you know what;

I did let go. Here is what I let go of;

I let go of the idea that successful relationship depends only on me.

I let go of the expectation that things would change if I just tried hard enough.

I let go of the belief that if only I could figure out how to be who they wanted me to be, that they would love me.

I let go of the hope that I would one day be good enough to be seen as an individual with valid thoughts and opinions of my own and I realized that they don’t get to decide how valid I am OR how valid my decisions and opinions are.

I let go of the idea (that I had been brainwashed to believe) that I had no choice.

I let go of the belief that ‘they’ did the best they could and realized that there were many times that they didn’t do the best they could at all. The truth was that I was not permitted to judge their choices for me.

I let go of the idea that something was wrong with me.

I let go of the hope that they would change.

I let go of the resentments I had when I realized that I had a right to have them and that they didn’t come from my delusional imagination. The resentments that I had came from somewhere. Validating where they came from went miles towards my being able to ‘let them go’ in order to ‘move forward’.

I let go of the belief that something was wrong with me when I started looking at what happened to me. I let go of the pain when I validated the pain and where it originated; I was only able to let go of the past when I faced it.

I let go of one-sided relationships that told me I didn’t matter and in doing so I found the beauty that has always been me.

When someone advises you to “just let it go” ask them what their definition of “letting go” is. Get clarity about what they are asking you to do. Ask them to define the word “it”. (And if they can do that to your satisfaction, ask them to tell you how they would suggest you go about “letting it go…)

Ask yourself what letting go means to you.

To me letting go is no longer about trying to forget injustices done to me. I was being commanded to let go of injustices that had never been acknowledged in the first place. I was being told to ‘forget’ events that were wrong and sometimes even illegal and in doing that I was being told to stop trying to be authenticated. I was being told to let go of things that most of the people in my life were denying ever happened to me.

As a result of that, I was trying to let go of the fact that I had been dismissed, invalidated, neglected and ignored. I was trying to AGREE with ‘them’ that nothing bad or wrong had ever actually happened to me and in doing so I was regarding myself exactly the way I had been regarded. As a result of that I was sinking deeper and deeper into depressions, feeling as though I could not breathe and in reality I was fighting for my life.

I was actually fighting NOT to let go of the truth ~ and it’s a good thing too because it turned out that it was in finally understanding that I was not the problem and that letting go of what I was being told to let go of was NOT the answer, that I found the answer. It was in realizing that being directed to “let go” was actually dismissing me yet again, that I was finally able to take my life, and my power and control back, and finally “let it go” and I got over it.

I let go of false hope. I let go of the hope that they would transform in favor of working on my own transformation. I let go of the hope that they would HEAR me. I let go of the hope that they would SEE me. Instead of my hope being in THEM, I listened to me. I heard me, I saw me, I validated my own pain and I began to emerge from the broken life I had been living.

I put my hope in the truth.

I began to breathe.

I began to heal.

I found my true self and realized that I was not a mean hateful person. I found out that I was a hurt, squished person and underneath the wall I had built up to protect myself, was a loving, caring, sensitive and beautiful woman.

And I said NO to being squished. I let go of the belief that unless the people that had invalidated me, decided to validate me, I wasn’t valid. I didn’t need proof that I was valid anymore. I let go of looking at me through their eyes!

I let go of the lies and false definitions of me, and I began to live!

When I let go of the belief that the answer was in proving to “them” that I was worthy and when I faced the truth about what happened to me, I found my worth and all the resentments fell away.

And I said YES to me!

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments. 

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book “The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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Related Posts: When People Treat You like You are Crazy, Stupid or Frustrating” 


216 response to "The Truth about Being Told to Get Over it and Let it Go"

  1. By: Morgan Posted: 18th March

    I believed an abuser and lashed out on the abused. He even told the one being abused that no one will believe her because he does not do it to other people. How do I make it right

  2. By: J Posted: 18th March

    I believed an abuser and lashed out on the abused. He even told the one being abused that no one will believe her because he does not do it to other people

  3. By: pinklemonayd Posted: 6th October

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! i just had a huge fight with my brother who doesn’t understand why i get upset about things (i was the scapegoat child and also the oldest). he asked why i couldn’t just let it go, saying our parents are getting old and he doesn’t understand why i’m holding a grudge. i almost lost it and after everything he said to me, i started to doubt myself. after reading this i snapped out of that and came back to the truth and back to me. so again, thanks for sharing. xo

  4. By: Melinda Posted: 8th December

    @Tundra Woman…see, that’s why I like you. 🙂 You aren’t afraid to tell it like it is.

    I had a “therapist” accuse me of playing the victim and it was just one of the reasons I quit therapy.
    Her invalidation of my pain, her attempts to make it seem like I was the problem, was extremely triggering and I couldn’t do it anymore.

    It’s kind of like how certain people today complain about “political correctness”…they are pissed off because racism and sexism is no longer tolerated, and they can no longer be offensive without it coming back to bite them in the ass.
    The same is true of those who have abused some of us in our most vulnerable years and refuse to accept responsibility for their actions or even to admit that it WAS indeed abuse.

    You’re right, there is no timeline on when a person should heal. I think that everyone’s healing journey is different and no one can tell us to “move on” if we are still in a place of trauma, trying to make sense of it all.

  5. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 3rd December

    See my response above at 201 starting with the sentence, “I am so sick to death of…” Thank you for providing such a succinct example of exactly the phenomena described.

    So what is the cost to you if someone chooses to “go on and on with their victimhood?” What, do you stand there playing arbitrator with a stop watch and decide when “time’s up?” I give fuck all for “intention:” That’s every abuser’s Get Out Of Jail Free card. How many times have child abuse victims been told they’re “too sensitive,” “can’t take a joke,” the abuser “didn’t mean it that way” and every other excuse that is simply blame shifting from the Perp to the victim? Abuse is not “tricky:” It is a pattern of maltreatment/behavior that persists over decades that is targeted towards another smaller, weaker or less capable individual by an abusive person. And what do you think happens to Child Abusers when their children grow up? Their abusers now become ADULT abusers. Just as these twisted perps never age out of their abusiveness, their victims are never too old for a smack down, verbal, physical or psychological.

  6. By: Sooha Lee Posted: 11th November

    Thanks for this post.

    Although I have given people advice to let it go very often, I did it in a compassionate way.

    But, I exactly know what you mean by your post.

    It is very tricky. Because, sometimes people go on and on with their victimhood.
    But on the receiving end, I know how it can feel like being judged when someone say, “Just let it go.”

    So, I would say it definitely depends on the tone of the voice and intention of the people who say those words.

    I will say…
    Be compassionate with yourself and others and trust the process.

  7. By: LaRae Posted: 11th July

    Had some relatives post this quote on facebook. “It is very sad when members of the same family do not talk with each other. The children suffer for the adult ego. Cousins miss the wonderful opportunity to be together, and all due to a bruised adult ego. Stop getting offended. Reunite with your family members. One day, your imaginary conflict will all come to an end… with or without you. Don’t wait until it’s too late.”
    I found this to be very invalidating. If only the abuse was imaginary. It wasn’t and my pain wasn’t just a bruised ego. Thank you Darlene for this blog post. It hurts when relatives or people try to dismiss abuse and basically tell you to just get over your “bruised adult ego.” What’s even more interesting is the abuser was the one who posted it. I wrote a letter to this person a few years ago and told them I would no longer allow hurtful behavior in my home during visits. I also told them that I loved them and wanted to build a new relationship with them based on mutual respect and love. They quit speaking to me. I had really hoped for an apology and to work things out with them and have a good relationship. The silent treatment was hurtful. I guess based on this facebook post nothing has changed, except that I am working on healing and moving forward with my life. Thank you for your blog!!

  8. By: alicia Posted: 7th June

    I have been told to let go of the abuses inflicted upon me. I was told to just let them go. I was not abused in separate, distinct instances. I was raised in an atmosphere and environment of abuse where I was the scapegoat. I have been told by my parents, especially by my mother, that they had no control over how i felt about my childhood. My brother and sister only fell into the patterns of abuse established by my parents when we were very young, but I hold them responsible for their treatment of me after we were all in adolescence/teenagers. At that point, we all had choices in how we treated each other. I was commanded to take care of their personal needs, they were allowed to mistreat me. We are all adults now and they have told me directly that they will not say that anything that was done to me was wrong – they actually do say that I am too sensitive, that I paid attention to much, and that they don’t remember things the way that I do.

    I have come to realize that for me to let go would mean for me to release what is true for me, what is my very history. I have been made to feel ashamed of myself for talking about the abuse at all – for talking badly about my family. I have violated ‘sacred loyalties’ by revealing what was done to me. I do need to let go and move on, but I hesitate because I know that doing that will mean cutting myself off from all of my close biological family because they all have significant roles in my being abused. They don’t think that I will really let go of them. They don’t care that I have been hurt and don’t think that they deserve to be cut off. But it is what I have to do – I have to come to grips with this. I will be alone after that.

  9. By: wholesomebadass Posted: 1st June

    OMG—just the title of this article sent me over the edge. I can’t even….
    I will return to post my response after I calm TF down.

    Thank you for sharing. Deep breaths…..

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th June

      Welcome to Emerging from Broken! So glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Taylor Baker Posted: 26th April

    My name is Taylor Baker.

    I am young man in my mid twenties (who doesn’t feel like it at all) who questions his sexuality and is an autistic atheist. Ever since my middle school days I have been maliciously tormented by society for being different. I don’t even need to explain the current political climate to go into detail about how I feel as human being.

    No matter where I go and who I explain my problems to, people always tell me to just shut up and deal with it, normally after calling me a slur.

    Tundra Woman, post # 201, took the words right out of my mind when I started thinking about the term persecution complex.

  11. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 11th January

    How come victims of child abuse/neglect aren’t “allowed” to have a victim mentality? What would you expect? THEY ARE VICTIMS. And who exactly gets to decide what this supposedly negative “victim mentality” even means, how it’s suppose to play out in each individual’s life and what or even if there’s an expiration date on recognizing and accepting, “yes, this DID happen?” I am so sick to death of “do-gooders,” self-appointed and anointed “mediators” and other alleged “experts” and being TOLD how I “should” feel, and what my reality “should” be and how to grieve-if I’m even “allowed” to do the grief work for a stolen childhood, adolescence, early adulthood and adulthood. Apparently my experiences must be subsumed to someone else’s definitions and determination of the legitimacy of my Reality; otherwise I have a “victim mentality.”

    There are some fundamental Truths that form a “victim mentality:” This mentality is the result, not the CAUSE of a much more insidious and damning indictment of the perpetrators and their pattern of behavior towards their offspring over decades. I’m saying very directly let’s call things by their real name. Let’s call phenomena what they are because *words have meaning.* As loathe as abused Adult Children are to verbalize out loud the “a” word or the “n” word (abuse/neglect) they’re equally as loathe to use those words even to THEMSELVES: They consistently minimize, deny, rationalize or otherwise engage in what ever internal psychological Shuck-n-Jive necessary to protect themselves from this painful and threatening reality. What a recipe for the continuation of internalized self-flagellation and a belief system that is inherently distorted and serves no one-least of all the victims-except those who are indeed accountable, the perpetrators for victimizing their OWN children.

    A “victim mentality” kept those victims alive. It kept them constantly aware of their environment for potential threats to their wellbeing-in every way. A “victim mentality” arose from experiences garnered over decades. I’m asserting a “victim mentality” is ultimately Life Preserving, Full Stop. Are people in Domestic Violence Shelters accused of having a “victim mentality?” Ever? Is there ever a demand they explain themselves in a manner acceptable to their *abuser’s satisfaction* to determine whether or not they were abused? Does the abuser determine the number of beatings, of verbal and psychological terrorism, the number of years etc. the victim must endure before they are “allowed” to seek shelter, to be worthy of shelter, to have their Reality confirmed? Does anyone say, “Well, have you thought about what you’re going to do when the abuser dies?” Is it ever the case the abuser admits culpability-unless legally coerced? And these few examples of consideration are given to ADULTS. But to Adult Children? No. They are retraumatized by individuals and organizations in an effort to coerce them to collude with their abusers, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Adults can seek redress through Legal Seperation or Divorce. An Adult Child has absolutely NO redress beyond NC. (Have you ever tried as a minor to become Emancipated? Good luck with that.) Abusive parents assert the very act of NC is an act of HOMICIDE towards them-and yet nobody questions that outrageous assertion.

    The most vulnerable, the most voiceless, the most powerless victims of abuse are stripped of their most fundamental right: The right to self-defense, ANY act of self-defense even as ADULTS who quietly NC. A “victim mentality” is the natural consequence of being victimized. And like it or not, there are vestiges of growing up with these kinds of “parents”-who-aren’t that will remain with me until my physical death. That’s a fact, neither good nor bad; simply Reality. I did not terminate the relationship with my biological “mother” lightly, without prior decades of anguish, without profound sadness, without consequences: Decades of a Scorched Earth War ensued despite absolute silence on my part. The EP’s public talk may be allll about “not knowing whhyyy!” and “Reconciliation;” however, the behavior is pure sadistic retribution. I call Bull Shit on the words when the consistent behavior screams otherwise. Apparently the “problem” isn’t a consistent massive failure on the part of the parent to parent but a failure on the part of the Child for failing to “kid” correctly.
    And I do not, for a second believe I am in any way unique as an Adult Child.

    A “victim mentality” more accurately IMO is a “survivor mentality.” It is life preserving. It is a *part of* but not *all of* every victimized human being. It is not a retreat, an excuse, “holding a grudge,” a murderous retribution nor an accusation: It is a Statement of Fact.

    • By: kat Posted: 19th February

      All I can day is THANK YOU!

    • By: Dalene Posted: 29th March

      I as a survivor of childhood and spouse’s abuse totally agree with you.

  12. By: Marquis Posted: 8th January

    My date friend whom I have been seeing, we talked about letting go. His version is not letting it get the best of you and stop hanging onto the issue(s) like a victim. we had a great discussion about the topic I still have a hard time letting go. not easy right now to let go when other negative factors are still having me to hold onto shit.

  13. By: Bob Posted: 23rd November

    I’ve been told to let it go, move on, and other such stuff. It seems like the people who tell you to let it go, and the ones who would benefit from you letting it go.

    I can’t let it go, my whole life situation is because of these events. I was forced to give up my life/friends. I was told that if I did not move, my parents with my girlfriend would take my kids and go anyway. It was suggested that I had an inheritance and that I will be getting my university paid for if I moved and went back to school. Apparently that was my inheritance. I would need to redo high school.

    I moved begrudgingly, I let everyone say how horrible I was for moving to get an inheritance, I listened to people tell me I should give up my kids as I am not rich. But still, I redid high school so I could get into university, I got honors, I got enrolled into university. Suddenly there was no inheritance, I was being told stuff like, Why are you going to school you should be working. I was also told to let it go, and move on, there was no inheritance.

    My oldest daughter had some rare skin cancer. The doctors thought it was a cyst and removed it. They biopsied it after and discovered it was cancer. My daughter needed multiple skin grafts, and a 8 hour surgery. During this time my girlfriend left, life was very stressful for both of us, and my parents who told her that she would be taken care of instead blamed her for what happened to my daughter. She left and has never seen her daughters since.

    I am now single, with 2 daughters, broke, can’t afford to finish university, can’t pay for most necessaries. I am very angry these days. My health is very poor, and I cannot afford the dental work I need. My doctor basically has me on antibiotics constantly. I have become a recluse. I am still told that I should let it go, and that its doesn’t matter what I was told, or what other did.

    Let it go seems like a trick,

    I suppose if I had something good in my life it would be easy to let it go.

  14. By: Jeri Posted: 17th October

    I got married in the 11th grade to get away from my mother. My grandma told her not to waste time on me, as I was not worth it. I heard this conversation. I grew up always trying to just survive. Since I could do no right by her, pardon the pun, I became Ellie MaeClampett. I beat up more boys, hunt, learned a lot. Mostly anger, never could match up to my brother. If it weren’t for finding Jesus, I’d been dead long ago. There’s more to the story, but my father, God Bless him, just passed, and my mom turned on me. and my husband at the funeral. Threw us out of the house,before the viewing,and now won’t sleek to us. I left out alot, but we plan on helping her best we can .

  15. By: alex Posted: 26th September

    I started to refer to me as a jackass in the process, I thought since I was apparently such a rubbish person I could just as well act the part –

    deep down I could still find care too tho no one seemed to see it still

    it s been and still is hard to use me as a reference to start from –

    me as a reference whether the room is hot or cold, me as a reference whether I can use the bathroom or not rather then listening in for possible signals of abuse from carers or…..

    that I am enough –

    that my knowledge of me is enough without them acnkowledging it

    that my healing process is okay even tho it s not the result therapists wanted to see –
    I m still healing –

    and I guess that is enough – I cannot make them happy or make anyone feel I m doing enough –

    I tried to do so by letting go in ways others instructed me too –

    they never worked in full just temporary and then they got angry – when I just wanted to say I need help in a different way and I want you to say my healing is okay

    okay so they ll never say this – I can let go of expecting them to acknowledge my worth and the worth of this healing joureny –

    I guess saying it myself can be enough just as well

    I ve given it all I can as it is – how can thet be not enough in the end

  16. By: Balu Posted: 25th September

    Darlene, I want to thank you and all the people who post on your website. This community has been a life and sanity saver for me many times. Just by reading these pages, I feel not so alone on this journey.
    Wishing peace and contentment to all!

  17. By: Mem Posted: 8th September

    Just discovered your website. So much to peruse. So much that speaks to me. What a club we are in! Thank you for helping us validate and know one of the most important aspects of growing up (and hopefully out of the clutches of) with narcissists: we are not alone, crazy, weird etc etc. And in fact, we can even have a sane voice about the insanity of growing up with such parents. Word is finally getting out: it really was THAT bad… And we must fight for the right for it to be acknowledged by those who, most times, have little understanding and allow themselves to continue to wallow in ignorance, even after one has tried to explain…
    What I’m finding is that although malignant narcissism etc IS becoming a more familiar topic on websites, how to truly and specifically heal as much as possible, from the minutiae of everyday symptoms/triggers (can’t think of better word ATM) etc is rarely or adequately addressed. It has to be from someone who has truly been there, recovered from that. I strongly believe that people who haven’t experienced it can truly wrap their heads around this disorder. Not that I’ve found, at least. So different to PTSD…
    So, I look forward to reading all your posts.

  18. By: maja Posted: 30th August

    to let go of what we were brainswashed to believe feels still hard –

    i feel whenever in therapy i was told ot let go and just to give my family and friends a break and stop making a fuss about things and change myself for one shortly put- i was actually being fed on my hopes of thme changing –

    but it never did change for real –

    only recently realsiing that for real –

    and only recently letting go of my expectations of them to change – as it won t happen – and letting go too of all the times i was called the problem when in fact the things i went through had been problematic, not me

    and letting go of the result of what i feel i should ve reached by now – at times i still feel the no good at all person i was told i was by a lot of people and i feel i still need to prove i m actually okay as a person and allwoed to exist, an d that the only way by doin that is continuin to force myself

    maybe letting go of all these things wil rrelease some things, and bring back more lust for life as well? as at times it s really hard to believe things can change – and keep on trusting –

    thx for sharing this

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th September

      Welcome to EFB ~ Maja and Mem!

      Thank you both for sharing!
      hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Marquis Posted: 24th August

    Thank god I came across this! I had people who told me oh the past is the past blah blah. It should be, but the problem is they kept bringing up my past and throwing it in my face. One thing I felt I let go on is that to everybody out there who felt my parents did “the best they could” or “were the best parents ever” my conclusion is I will be wrong in their eyes, but I know the truth so do my siblings (except brother is in denial about our mom).

    I feel if people aren’t going to at least listen and validate my feelings, then it’s not worth my oxygen tank to tell them crap. There are other issues I am still needing to work on as far as is letting go myself not the societal way of letting go. My now ex friends recently told me that I have this victim mentality and I have been told this by a lot of people too including the very first therapist I saw. Although, I came to that conclusion not sure why I still don’t feel free I still feel angry.

    I am not sure what to make of that. I read two articles on forgiveness that were absolutely wonderful and hit home for me.

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