When it comes to the mental health of our loved ones, there is nothing more important than ensuring we communicate our support for them. It would be a shame if they didn’t feel it because we used a lot of mental health jargon instead of having more extended conversations with them. Take the time. They are worth it.
“Here’s a theory: Maybe I had not really been broken this whole time. Maybe I had been a human—flawed and still growing but full of light nonetheless”
I want all of us to ponder that line for a little bit and think about it. Consider the possibility that you, as a survivor, are not broken. Maybe you are just human. Maybe everything you see as broken is just a natural reaction to abuse in the same way every human carries things forward into their lives from their past. That’s not to say the harm isn’t real. Indeed it is very much real. It might not, however, have changed the possibility of our light still being inside us.
You are still human and you still have value in this world.
I think that makes sense. This is consistent with previous studies. What I want to know about, though, are the 45% who don’t have depression, the 49% who don’t have anxiety, the 75% without PTSD, and the 80% with no substance abuse issues. What was different for them? What kind of help or support was available for them as children compared to the others who did suffer from these issues? What kind of trauma were they dealing with? What kind of community did they live in? What resources were made available for them?
In addition to the original betrayal, many survivors are then betrayed a second time when they are not believed or the abuse is minimized. When the people who should be protecting them refuse to see what is happening or refuse to believe that person that they trust would do such a thing, the child is betrayed by a second person, or a third, fourth, etc. Add in the fact that while these extra betrayals are happening it is also unlikely that the child is getting any assistance that could help alleviate PTSD with early interventions.
In short, the more betrayal, the more suffering. We all have a responsibility to, at the very least, not add to the betrayal.
Over the years of having this website, I’ve had many people suggest that my abusive childhood made me more compassionate and a kinder human being. Or, maybe it gave me a better sense of humor or made me more spiritual.
Or maybe it didn’t. No version of me wasn’t abused. If there had been a version of me that wasn’t abused, he could be more compassionate. He could be a complete narcissist. He could be funnier or kinder. He could be a selfish ass.
No one knows. That version of me is Schrodinger’s cat. It’s all the possibilities because the box can never be opened to see what’s inside.
There are a ton of links from there. What I found unique about the page is that they are tackling the issue from two different perspectives. One, how journalists should write about mental health and people dealing with mental illnesses or PTSD from traumatic events, and secondly, how to take care of their mental health as they cover war, disaster, etc.
Both are important topics, and I would love for anyone, from professional journalists covering a war to a blogger writing about mental health or sharing a story of trauma, to consider them. Please consider how we cover trauma and mental health, and how we make sure to take care of ourselves in the process.