We talk about mental health because it helps us - and others - to know we're not alone.
“People who go on and on about how messed up they are seem like they’re just looking for attention or sympathy.” “At some point you have to grow up and get over it.”
How many times have you heard these arguments used against survivors of childhood trauma? After all my work recovering from my own childhood and speaking out about trauma recovery, it will come as no surprise how close to home these comments hit every time I hear them. I feel indicted by these words, but I also feel guilty because I used to hold the same views myself — before I began to realize how the trauma I sustained as a child shaped my behavior over years and decades, without my being any the wiser.
As I sit here, fingers gliding over the keyboard of my laptop, dry-heaving all the ugliness inside me onto the screen, re-reading the same sentence 14 times, replacing “just” with “only” and then back again, only to end up just deleting it completely, I wade through a mud pit of emotions. Critical. Resentful. Sorrowful. Freaking exhausted from re-breaking these old bones and setting them in a way that honors and heals the little girl that never got to be. But brave? I don’t think so.