The Problem with Statements like “Get Over It”


psychological abuseI saw a little saying on Twitter the other day that read ~ “God likes you. A lot. Deal with it” It was a twitter account that was promoting the book, “The Shack” and although I loved the book, the saying itself really bugged me. And not because I am not a fan of God; I am. But it was the “Deal with it” part that bugged me.  I felt like saying “NO” I don’t have to “deal with it”.  I felt “told” and I felt as though I had “no choice”.  Even though this is meant to be a positive statement, that God likes me a lot, I found it to be irritating.

I have the same aversion to being told things like “get over it” I find instructions and directives like that demeaning, as though these people are inferring that I am incompetent, and that I have made the wrong choice where my own feelings are concerned. Those statements often come in larger sentences such as “Oh for goodness sake, get over it already” and there is always an impatient voice infliction attached to them. Tone of voice is used to “remind me” that I must be too stupid to understand “HOW to deal with it” thereby putting the focus back on me, reminding me that I am  incompetent, in order to make me stop talking about whatever it was that I was trying to deal with in the first place.

Let’s define the word “IT”. “IT” in this case and according to my experience was psychological abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Get over emotional abuse. Get over sexual abuse. Get over physical abuse.  Get over being told in actions and sometimes in words, that you were not lovable, not valued, not valid as a human being but rather defined as an object with no feelings, by just forgetting about it. Get over being told (and believing) that no one could love you, not even God, that you were just a big disappointment.

Being told to “get over it” (abuse) is exactly what I was told when I was a kid. It triggers those same feelings of being WRONG, being powerless and being helpless. I had no choice when I was a kid and I grew up well into my adult years not ever realizing that I did in fact have a choice.  And as a child, I bought that lie, that I was the one who was wrong.

It reminds me of when I was told that if I didn’t stop crying that I would be given something to cry about.  And I tried to accept the lie that I was crying for no reason. Again I had no choice about crying; if I kept crying I would get “something to cry about”.  And I learned not to cry. But worse than that my feelings were wrong and so I learned not to FEEL.

Then my life became a quest to avoid feeling at all and the pain started to get backed up… like a huge stinking rotting pile in the back yard that I just ignored as I continued to get sicker and sicker from avoiding it and from believing that the reason that I was struggling with depression and the past was because I couldn’t “get over it” or “deal with it”.  Round and round it goes.

Being told to “just get over it” is devaluing. It implies that I am making a mistake in processing an event. It indicates that something is wrong with ME because I am in still confused about something that has not been resolved.  The statement is emotionally abusive.  And even when it is used in a positive context, as in the example in the first paragraph, there is a negative left over from all the abuse that was forced on me in the past.

WHY is it wrong to need to have something understood or resolved in the first place?

Furthermore, people who say stuff like this don’t have any solutions; they don’t ever offer suggestions on HOW to get over it or deal with it, because they don’t know how either.  They only offer devaluing and thoughtless instructions that remind me of my childhood and how I was never right, never good enough and never entitled to my feelings or to my pain. I was not entitled to realize that I had been wronged. I was always the one who was wrong no matter what the situation was.

And once again this all began in childhood. Being conditioned this way as a child prepared me to accept that something was wrong with me, so statements like this trigger the same feelings of “not good enough” and “what is wrong with me, why can’t I just get it right?” Add that to “powerless and helpless child” and the teachings, feelings as well as the reactions have carried on into adulthood.

Until I learned that I do have rights, that I am as equally valuable as everyone else and that I AM ALLOWED to and NEED TO feel the pain of the past and get angry about it SO THAT I COULD “get over it” (which was how I did get over it) but until I embraced those truths, I was stuck in the sick dysfunctional system.

Please feel free to share your reactions.

Busting through the fog with another snap shot of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book 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


164 response to "The Problem with Statements like “Get Over It”"

  1. By: Jeff Posted: 2nd August

    I have full-blown C-PTSD and all the features that accompany it including very poor sleep despite taking a prescription antipsychotic nightly. Hoping to find help, I joined a “secret group” that’s being run on top of Facebook whose non-professional members purport to help people recover from this type of abuse (you might have run into them). Several of the members suggested that I could find the answers myself if I would consider pursuing some form of meditation, and if I were sincere about it I could recover that way. Others said I could only find help through God and reading the Bible. NOBODY suggested I should seek help by consulting a professional therapist (and specifically a trauma therapist like I am currently seeing)! Like your article says these are all equivalent to the message “just get over it”, if I don’t recover I’m either incompetent at meditation or I’m a failed Christian! And the truly shocking part to me is these people actually purport to be there for the purpose of helping me recover, ouch! If THESE folks are clueless then how much better can we expect of the general public, or even the social agencies who are supposed to be helping us recover from our mental health issues? I would like to offer the observation that the primary crisis that’s in a worse epidemic than narcissistic abuse is the general incompetence in recognizing and dealing with it. And I want to sincerely thank Darlene for this wonderful site, I showed my therapist one of her blog entries the other day (the one about “grooming”) as one of the very limited number of websites who absolutely “get it”.

  2. By: Millie Posted: 13th May

    Just “get over it” was something I heard for years after my ex stopped taking his medication for bipolar. I was hurt more by “get over it” because it implies I had the problem instead of HIS medications refused. I was told that I cried to mask my behavior!!! I cried because I was hurt that 1) I could not fix him, 2) no amount of me begging him to take his medications for his diagnosed illness would change that he would probably do so again and 3) our kids has to witness it and simply accept that as “tolerated behavior!” So on top of the hurt, I was devastated by his blame and shame of me! What I realized after his blatant statement that he could not appreciate or respect anything I did for him, I decided to chose myself and the kids. Our mental health was more important than anything else. He even complained to one of his doctors who also told me “ok it’s time to get over it” since it was a few years after the last medication miss. I was shocked once again for somehow being blamed again that it was MY fault! I stopped believing the lies and started to wake up to choosing myself!

  3. By: Chris Posted: 6th May

    I am a misanthrope. I can’t stand people in general, and statements like “get over it” just makes me hate mankind even more. People are rude, arrogant, and selfish. Which is why I NEVER tell anyone about my problems. I deal with them on my own and I like it that way.

    Of course, like most misanthropes, I do have friends, but am very selective about who I encounter. You do something shortly after that I don’t approve of, then you are out of my life forever. And if you tell me to get over it, ADIOS. I don’t know you anymore. You muttering that phrase just proves that you are what is wrong with the world. Simple as that.

  4. By: Carlos Posted: 14th February

    Dad on my reaction to his mother-in-law’s “loving and caring” response to my degree and future ambitions: “Get over it, you’re so sensitive!”

    Me: “Of course I am sensitive! I love this person and she will only hurt me!?” (Again?)

    Dad: “You failed to see the “grandmotherly love” in her response when she said “Why would he even study at Uni if he is just going to end up working in a kitchen?”

    I honestly don’t even know why I decided to confine my problems to someone who has the same mindset as his barbaric monster-in-law, I obviously wasn’t going to get any words that would help to uplift my spirit (*sigh*) Funny thing is though, if they are the ones who “got hurt” you’re expected to play the role of the cheerleader as well as offer a shoulder to cry on. Pathetic.

  5. By: Tanya T. Warrington Posted: 15th February

    I just heard the “get over it” type of statement last week. The funny thing is the woman said it to me because I confided that I had a rough counseling session dealing with a set a memories I have not shared with anyone before. I was being urged to get over it–right after I first admitted and looked at some horrible abuse.

    I am convinced the hurry-up-and-stop-thinking-about-it people are trying to relieve their own discomfort. They don’t like to feel their own feelings about the reality of abuse. They don’t want to think about it. They don’t want to imagine it. They don’t want to suffer and they don’t want you to suffer.

    But, abuse does cause damage and it takes lots of time and patience to recover from the harm. Remembering the memories and finally feeling the feelings is the only path to freedom from dysfunctional coping behaviors we learned in abuse. It is essential to face and deal with the pain if we want to be our most healthy selves. Additionally, it is uncomfortable for society, but essential, that former victims tell the truth about the abuse and its pain–secrecy gives abusers way too much power.

    When the person told me last week that she just got over it and seemed to be pushing me to hurry up and get over it, I reminded myself of several things:
    1. My history has much more abuse in it than hers and I am younger than she is.
    2. My healing is happening at the right pace. I have had lots to face and I am successfully doing it, one day at a time.
    3. I have no intention of forever wallowing in abuse history. But I am determined to become as healthy as I can and to do so I must face the realities of my experience. My progress always follows facing, with courage and patience, the truth and the pain of past abuse.
    4. It isn’t my job to make other’s more comfortable by denying my own life. It is my job to figure out how to live my life in a way that leads to me being my most loving and real self.

  6. By: Lynne Posted: 28th November

    Even if they know that I don’t have any intention of talking to her anymore, which they don’t question. But coming from Christians who feel that everything is forgivable. I tell the, well if God forgives everything then why is there a Hell?

  7. By: Lynne Posted: 28th November

    Another comment I can’t stand after I shared my feelings is “You need to forgive” UGH

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