Trauma is not made for public consumption.
You don’t get to dictate when someone should have told you about what devastating thing happened to them. You don’t get to dictate how someone processes or admits to trauma. Society doesn’t get tell survivors of trauma how quick they should divulge what happens to them!
In the age of social media stalking and toxic masculinity, it’s easy to say what you believe you are entitled to when it comes to the life of another person.
Pain is universal, yes. The processing of pain is universal. How long it takes to process that pain is not universal. It cannot be. Why? Because people are not alike. As with death, pain too is the great equalizer. Whether it be heartbreak, death or divorce, to stubbing your toe. Pain is something you will never leave this life without experiencing. I guarantee you this.
Whether it takes 5 years to tell a therapist or 30 years to tell your husband or wife–coming forward, that admitting something has happened to you, is first an internal work. A hard, dirty, sullen internal work. In certain belief systems, it’s called shadow work.
The things you do to improve or change that no one sees or you don’t let them see. They are also the things you may have to die with. In that, you take everything with you for reasons only you can know or understand.
This too has to be okay. Even if for you and to you.
In giving voice to this trauma, in telling people what happened; in allowing yourself to be caught bleeding as it were, you allow people into your space you may reserve only for God. That’s hard for some people. That is impossible for others. That can’t be dismissed.
Don’t ever tell someone whose body or space was taken from them, ‘They should have come forward earlier.” Or by the way of social jackassery, say this” “What took them so long?” You don’t get to determine this. You as an outsider, unfamiliar with that type of trauma cannot say this. It is a level of insensitivity that borders on being a complete asshole.
As an outsider, you have the right to observe, evaluate the story to see if it makes sense, or even judge. What you don’t get to do is say what took you so long!
Let me tell you a secret.
You wanna know why it takes so long to come forward?
The world we live in loves to see other people’s pain, but not validate it. Not honor suffering and turmoil, as long as it’s in a category we can judge or in a police drama. Society can be the worst kind of vulture voyeurs.
We wait to see whom is wounded and want or will them to die in the open–to pull them apart.
Victims don’t come forward because they don’t want to be picked apart and still have to die. They don’t want to be exposed and still nothing happen to heal what was broken or taken.
Why wish that one someone?
If a person tells you about their trauma, and it is genuine, don’t be a vulture.
Be a balm. A healing place.
There are too many people in the world that desire to deny or devour. Don’t partake in the eating ofthe dying wounded. No one needs to die twice.
[image from Yuppee magazine via Google; image from Px Here]