It’s hard to understand what another person has gone through if you haven’t been through the same thing. Traumatic experiences have the potential to both leave people speechless and unaware of the event itself, but other times it can leave them hyper vigilant and aware of every detail. There’s a wide range between what people have been through, how they managed to cope, and their ability to talk about it. And on top of dealing with the event itself, there’s often a stigma associated with the different outcomes of trauma. For example, one being that only soldiers can develop PTSD. (Which is untrue). And when people believe in these misconceptions it only makes it more difficult for those affected to be able to open up and clear the air. So we asked our Instagram community if there is anything they wish other people understood about overcoming/surviving/experiencing trauma.
Read below for their answers.
1. “For some people its easy to talk about their experience. Others just cant talk about. Don’t force them. Its hard enough to not being able to talk and to feel bad because others ‘just do it’.”
2. “Different people are predisposed to enduring trauma differently. One person can be terribly and maliciously abused and still focus on future goals and distract themselves with things that make them feel content or even happy while another person can stub their toe on a coffee table and still be complaining about it a month after it happened. They might even demand that all coffee tables be removed from the home and the workplace. Support does not function well beside judgement.”
3. “I wish people understood that sometimes it never goes away no matter what you do and that it’s like living with a blade in your chest that randomly angles itself to cut from the inside. But i also wish others with trauma understood that you can grow from it and gain wisdom from the pain. It’s as much of a curse as it is a gift.”
4. “I’ve had several people tell me that only real war veterans can have a post traumatic stress disorder and that I’m being overly dramatic . I wish they understood that everyone can experience trauma and develop a PTSD be it an abuse victim, someone who grieves the loss of a loved person or a war hero.”
5. “I wish people would understand that everyone heals at their own pace. Survivors of anything shouldn’t be expected to just “get over it” or quickly move on because everyone else is ready to.”
6. “It’s not just what happened, it is also about where you were at and what you were forming at the time. Your understanding of what was happening to you and then how this understanding shapes your experience in the present. It’s a big web of a mess that needs to be carefully picked apart and addressed. It affects EVERYTHING.”
7. “We are not afraid of what could happen…we are trying to forget what already did happen!! Telling me to “let it go” or “get over it” is damaging and belittles me. PTSD is not about worrying. ..it’s about remembering”
8. “That people who have lived through harrowing experiences are not ‘ruined’, ‘damaged’ or somehow a ‘loser’ in their journey. Anyone who has been carved into psychologically and emotionally by trauma potentially contains more empathy and joy as a result of that cleared space. Any scars are marks of resilience and the depth of their understanding can be a healing to themselves and others.”