If I had heart failure, would you tell me to get over myself? If my leg was broken, would you suggest I walk it off? Probably not, right?
We live in a society that often deals with emotional trauma by saying just that. As if somehow emotional trauma is not really trauma.
I have dealt with so many people who tell me that my childhood cannot have been so bad, because my parents rarely raised their hands at me. It is true, I got slapped a few times but not structurally. Lucky me, right? I did however get a constant stream of put downs and slurs. I was made to believe I was unlovable, a brat, a waste of space…
I left my parents’ home with severe trauma, emotional trauma that is.
I had to face the world without any self-esteem. I felt like I was hard to love, difficult to befriend, lazy, fat, stupid, undisciplined.. I did not feel like I had anything to offer the world. I did not know how to care for myself, nor did I believe I deserved self-care. I really struggled. In my first year at university I suffered my first burn-out. I developed migraines and other health issues. I spend so many days curled up in a corner of my room with the music up and the black out curtains drawn, I am sometimes surprised I ever made it out of there alive.
So, does that sound like the abuse did not affect me? Like I could just shrug it off?
We need to acknowledge that people need time, space and support to heal from emotional trauma. ANYONE who has been made to feel unworthy or unlovable, whether male or female, at work, by a partner or a parent, needs to be able to say: I am hurt, please help me heal. And when they say that, the world needs to say: of course you do, here hide under my wing for a while until you feel stronger.