Invalidation, as used in Liberation from the Lie, means anything that induces a young child to sever his or her connection with the authentic self.
Hundreds of studies have shown that very young children (right after birth) need unconditional love from their parents. They need constant caring connection. That is not what happens in the modern era (it did happen with hunter/gatherers). Children are placed in their own rooms where they must deal with isolated terror; exiled and disconnected from their life givers. They are frequently punished for just being themselves. They are expected to be obedient to authority (family – school – work).
They learn that love is earned – it is NOT a given. To receive love, the child must conform to the demands of their “bosses” (parents – teachers – relative – etc.). They learn, in the starkest terms possible, that they are not acceptable as they are.
In this way we lose our connection with our authentic selves. We become a Fear-Based Self.
A child, to live as the authentic must be fully secure in their body and mind. When the connection is severed, as it is for nearly all of us, this security is lost. The Fear-Self is an adaptive strategy in a child’s attempt to regain security based on methods learned to gain love and respect. In this way, we become addicted to being “smart”, or the “expert” or “beautiful/sexy”, or “spiritual” or becoming a “pleaser” etc. We become manipulators of love, affection, and commitment. We can’t live as our authentic self, because we no longer who this person is.
This is how invalidation operates in our very first days and years of our lives and this Fear-Self is the adaptation made to compensate for this invalidation.