“We are so used to such phrases that most people don’t even notice them. But there are some who do notice them; people who have decided to analyze the words of adults from the perspective of the child are arriving at new knowledge and no longer afraid of letting in the light. They see that the destruction of a human life is not to be described as “ambivalent parental love” but must be recognized for what it is: a crime”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries
Have you ever thought about the statement “leave well enough alone”? What the heck is “well enough”? What does that even mean and who gets to decide what “well enough” is. It is actually more of a command or a directive then a statement. Someone else is dictating what I should do or shouldn’t do and even telling me how I should or shouldn’t FEEL. (Because we never want to revisit anything that we don’t have strong feelings about)
I can tell you that in the old system, it was certainly not me who got to decide what “well enough” was! It is certainly not the person who is suffering from the damage of what happened that got to decide what needed to be left alone or not. And I can assure you that the person who was invalidated and mistreated is not WELL ENOUGH to leave it alone. We were NOT “well enough”, and the situation is NOT “well enough”. Good grief. I am getting confused just writing about it!
This statement makes me angry. When we want to talk about the past, about injustice, psychological or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or even just having been hushed or ignored, so often we are told to leave it alone or let it go, but when we are told that it is “well enough” as it is, it is like being slapped. It is a re-abuse. It is a reminder that we are not important or worthy enough to bring it up again but if it is still not resolved and not addressed then it festers and grows deep down inside of us. We are talking about abuse here. We are not talking about bringing up that Johnny stole my crayon in kindergarten and never said he was sorry. We are talking about way bigger issues than that.
This statement is invalidating. How can someone else say that it is “well enough” and that we should “leave well enough alone”? How can someone else decide that for us? Invalidation is at the root of all mental health struggles. I had to validate myself by realizing and stating the truth.
When people say “leave well enough alone” they are declaring that they believe that the way the situation sits is “good enough” and that it should just be forgotten; that the pot should not be stirred but the people who told me to “leave it alone” were not the ones that had suffered a trauma or had been mistreated and discounted. SO they are not qualified to decide what is “well enough” and what it isn’t.
Deciding that no one else gets to decide when a situation is “well enough” is part of the process of taking our lives back.
Very often the person advising “leave well enough alone” is protecting an abuser somewhere anyway. And what the heck is THAT about? Why does the offender get or deserve protection? Why is it so hard for everyone to FACE the truth?
Very often the things that we are being told to “leave well enough alone” are about, illegal offences such as in the case of domestic violence or sexual abuse. And I am not discounting spiritual or psychological abuse here, we have a right to validate all of it!
People always have a motive for telling you to leave well enough alone. Perhaps they are covering their own guilt? In any event, they don’t want the truth exposed. They want the secret kept in the dark, where they don’t have to face it, and they don’t have to live in the painful truth about the circumstances that need to be exposed to the light.
But does that qualify them to tell you cease talking about it; that it is well enough to be left alone? Do they have the right to ask the survivor or victim to “leave well enough alone”?
I don’t think so. My emotional healing came from finally realizing MY rights.
Please share your thoughts and feelings.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;
Related Posts: “Forget about it!” by Patty Hite on Overcoming Sexual Abuse
“The Problem with statements like “get over it” ~ D. Ouimet EFB
“The Confusion created around Forgiveness Issues” ~D. Ouimet EFB
“Emotionally Abusive Statements designed to control ~ D. Ouimet EFB
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